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reduced, under corporation management, at the expiration of the said lease, to sixteen acres and eighteen poles ; which land was again demised by his late Majesty, for the term of thirty-one years. The notice taken of this grant, stands among the records in the tower, thus :
“Tiverton. Rex et Regina demiserunt ad firmam majori et burgensibus, villæ de Tiverton, parcellam terræ vocatæ Elmore, in comitatu Devoniæ. (Originalia anno 5. rolulo 40.)"
Our observation is now drawn to a clause in the charter, of which, hitherto, I have heard but little mention. It is a grant and confirmation to the mayor, and burgesses, otherwise the inhabitant householders within the parish, as often as they shall think fit, to assemble together, and hold a convocation of the mayor, capital burgesses, and assistants, or of the major part of them, and in the same convocation to handle, confirm, consult, advise, and determine, on the statutes, ordinances, good rule and government of the town and parish. It appears, in fact, that the inhabitants of Tiverton possess a similar privilege, as the citizens of London do, that of holding a common hall.
Let us for a few ininutes, turn our attention to the abstracts from the bye-laws and ordinances, (6) made, ordained, and legally confirmed, in and for the liberty, town, and parish of Tiverton, printed in the year 1767, which a much respected friend has most kindly furnished me with. The very first clause imposes a fine of 3s. 4d. on every freeman, who shall not attend on summons by the mayor, this public meeting of the inhabitants, under their incorporated name of mayor and burgesses, touching the state and government of the town and parish. Now this evidently has reference to the clause, for holding a convocation, the resident freemen of a borough being clearly synonymous with burgesses, as resident freemen of a city are with citizens. (c)
St. Paul claimed (it has been said) protection as a citizen of Rome, not as one who purchased his freedom, as the chief captain did, but as being free by birth. Vide Acts xxi. 39.
"I am a man, which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, citizen of no mean city.” Tarsus obtained the privileges of a Roman colony, by its adherence to Julius Cæsar, which gave the inhabitants the rights of citizens of Rome. Some maintain that Tarsus, though a free city, was not a Roman colony
in the time of St. Paul ; and that no trace is
(b) Vide Appendix (E) Abstracts from the Bye-Laws.
(c) Vide Rex. v. the Mayor of Exeter, p. 65
found of this, on the medals before the reign of Caracalla or Heliogabalus ; therefore the privileges of a citizen of Rome, belonged to the a postle, not as being a denizen of Tarsus, but by some personal right derived from his father or ancestors. Pardon this, which perhaps may be considered more curious than important! But I must beg leave to observe, St. Paul calls himself a Roman, and by birth a freeman ; had he resided at Rome, he would have been a citizen; residing at Tarsus, his native city, he calls himself, “a citizen of no mean city." How exactly does this correspond with the case, R. v. mayor of Exeter, second extract, page 65! (d) So also, a man may be a freeman of Tiverton, and at the same time reside in South America, or Kamtchatka, but he must be a freeman, and also an inhabitant, to be what is meant in the charter by “a burgess.” Vide the Abingdon case, Sir H. Spelman's and Whitelock's definition of a burgess, page 33. We will conclude our observations on this clause, for bolding a convocation, by a comparison with
(d) My object in referring to scripture for an illustration of an argument, I am attempting to enforce, is this, that as there are more clergymen, in our political body, (as by a reverend capital burgess it has been called) than lawyers, I have thought it fitting, whenever an opportunity presented itself, to reason with them from that sacred volume, with which our reverend common council-men are so thoroughly acquainted.
that, by which the mayor is empowered to call together the capital burgesses and assistants, or common council, to make ordinances, &c. &c. Vide 67, clause D.
In the latter, the mayor must be one ; nothing can be appointed, constituted, or ordained, without him ; but in this common hall, where the inhabitants are present, a majority of the corporate officers is only required. The inhabitants by this clause, we find, have the opportunity of placing their grievances before those, who by the charter, are to manage the various affairs of the incorporated body, consisting of the inhabitant householders of the town and parish ; they can here enter their protest against strangers, foreigners, lodgers, and inmates, being admitted as corporate officers, who contribute nothing towards the charges and expences of the town and parish ; and should an unworthy mayor refuse them those rights, which the charter gives them, they can here produce their complaints against the irregularities he might wish to sanction, and demand those privileges, which self interest on the part of their leading officer, might induce him to withhold. This convocation also, furnishes the means, whereby the capital burgesses, and assistants, may urge their dissatisfaction against the proceedings of the mayor, as no other occasion may present itself of publicly expressing their disapprobation in this respect, for it appears no other meeting can be held, except such as is called by the mayor, and he himself presiding thereat, armed with the advantage of a casting vote, in case of an equality.
Here we find regulations for the election of a new mayor, on Tuesday next after the feast of St. Bartholomew, and as to swearing him into office, on the Tuesday in the second week then next following; and of the election of a capital burgess to succeed him, in case of death. It has already been mentioned, that the charter of James was lost, on account of the election of a new mayor not being made, on the day appointed in the charter. There is now, however, no danger of a similar occurrence, for, by the 11 Geo. c. 4. as we have seen, it is enacted, "that if in any city, borough, or town corporate, no election should be made of the mayor, &c. on the day, or within the time mentioned in the charter, or usage for such election, the corporation should not thereby be deemed or taken to be dissolved.” And in section 2, of the same act, it was further enacted, “ that if no such election of such officer or officers should be made, or such election being made, should afterwards become void, in every