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for high-treason out of parliament solely and
by himself in an extra-judicial manner. The bishops clajn trer
* “ In the name of God, amen: Whereas right to be prefent in'ull parliaments, and on England, it doth belong to the archbishop all occasions.
of Canterbury for the time being, and the other his fuffragans, brethren, and fellow bia. shops, abbots, and priors, and all their other prelates whatsoever, who hold by barony of our lord the king, to be personally present in all parliaments whatsoever, as peers of the kingdom, and there to consult, treat of, ordain, constitute, and determine of the affairs of the kingdom, and other things there usually treated of, together with the rest of the peers of the said kingdom, and others having interest there, and to do all things, which there may happen to be done. In all and every of which, we William archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and legate of the apostolic see, do protest for ourselves, our fuffragans, and fellow bishops, and all the abbots, priors, and prelates aforesaid, and every one of them doth protest by themselves, or by his proxy, if so he was present, both publicly and expressly, that we
* Rot. Parl. 11 Ric. ?.
intend, and do intend, and every one of us will in this present parliament, and in all others, be present as peers of the said kingdom, in the usual manner, to consider of, treat, enact, constitute, and determine, and to do all other things with others, who have power of being present in the same, our estate and order, to every one of us in all things faved unto us entire. But because Bishops forbid.
den by canon in this present parliament some matters will · law, to debate
upon capital be treated of, in which it is not lawful for cases. us *, or any of us, according to the institutions of the holy canons, or canonic law, in anywise to be personally present, therefore for ourselves, and for every one of us, we protest, and every one of us here present doth protest, that we intend not, neither will, as by the law we cannot, neither doth any of us intend, nor will any of us in anywise be present in this present parliament, whilst any of those matters are debated, or shall be debated of. But upon that account, we and every one of us will absent ourselves ; the right of our peerage, and the right of every. one of us, being present in the said parlia
*Note this diversity: in their ecclefiaftical or clerical capacity they have obligations which in their lay capacity they do not avow; for though they be subject to the canon law, they are also fully subject to the muni. cipal civil law, and in no manner exempt from it. Bb 4
right for their
ment, as to all and every thing there to be done agreeable to our estate and order in all'
things to every one of us saved entire, They claim the Moreover we protest, and every one of us succeffors to doth protest, that by reason of our absence be present in parliament, at as aforesaid, we intend not, nor will, neither all times, and on all occasions. doth any of us intend or will, that the pro
cess had or to be had in this present parliament in the matters aforesaid, in which we cannot and ought not as aforesaid to be prefent, as to what relates to us, or any of us, shall in time to come be in anywise impugned, weakened, or repealed.”
*" And forthwith the Viscount Beaumont, on the behalf of the said lords fpiritual and temporal, and by their advice, assent, and defire, recited, said, and declared to the king's highness, that this, that was so decreed concerning the person of the said duke, William de la Pool duke of Suffolk, proceeded not by their advice and counsel, but was done by the king's own demeanance and rule ; therefore they besought the king, that this their saying might be enacted in the parliament roll, for their more declaration hereafter, with this protestation, that it should not be, nor turn in prejudice nor derogation of them,
* Rot. Parl. 28 Hen. VI.
the lords fpi
between the rights of the
their heirs, nor of their succeffors in time The rights of coming, but that they have and enjoy their ritual in parlialiberties and freedoms in case of their peer- for ever. age hereafter, as freely and as largely as they or any of their ancestors had and enjoyed before this time.”
It cannot be pretended, that the word Spiritual is here inserted without its full meaning, for the representatives of the spiritual lords are described by the word successors, as the representatives of the temporal lords are by the word beirs; and neither is applicable to the other. Now if this canon law or No difference ecclesiastical ordinance were paramount to the municipal law, from which they ac
aco and temporal ina quired their right of fitting in parliament, parliamento then must it be allowed, that the bishops had no right to judge or vote. in capital cafes ; and every act of parliament affecting the life of a person, must have been passed without the advice and consent of the lords spiritual ; whereas no act appears upon our statute books, expressed to have been enacted with the advice and consent of the lords temporal only, and therefore I conclude against Mr. Selden, and many others, that the constitution knows of no difference of parliamentary duty, right, power, or jurisdiction, between the Spiritual and the temporal lords ; and I
shall hereafter speak indiscriminately of their common rights, duties, and privileges, which the constitution has vested in them as peers
of parliament. Temporal lords. * « The lords temporal consist of all the
peers of the realm, (the bishops not being in strictness held to be such, but merely lords of parliament) by whatever title of nobility distinguished, dukes, marquisses, earls, viscounts, or barons ; of whịch dignities we shall speak more hereafter. Some of these sit by descent, as do all ancient peers; some by creation, as do all new-made ones; others, since the union with Scotland, by election, which is the case of the sixteen peers, who represent the body of the Scots nobility. Their number is indefinite, and may be in-' creased at will by the power of the crown; and once, in the reign of queen Anne, there
was an instance of creating no less than Bill to limit the twelve together ; in contemplation of which, passed the lords, in the reign of king George I. a bill passed
- the house of lords, and was countenanced by
the then ministry, for limiting the number of the peerage. This was thought by fome to promise' a great acquisition to the constitution, by restraining the prerogative from
number of peers :
and was thrown LL
* Black. Com. b. i. ç. 2,