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tion. .1.1). 1191.

During the all but continuous absence of Richard, the Administraadministration of the kingdom was carried on by four

tion of

Richard's successive justiciars who acted as viceroy's. (1.) William four succes.

sive justiLongchamp, Bishop of Ely, a Norman of obscure birthi, ciars. was both justiciar and chancellor. As a parvenu le excited ...) Long.

champ : the jealousy of the barons, and by his vigorous assertion of the royal rights raised up a strong opposition headed by Earl Jolin, who was ever plotting against his brother's government. The struggle ended in the deposition of Ilis vleposeLongchamp from the justiciarship by a Great Council of the bishops, carls, and barons of England, and the citizens of Londoli, assembled at St. Paul's by: Earl John, and apparently acting in concert with William of Coutances, archbishop of Rouen, whom the King had sent over from Messina some months previously with a secret appointment to the office of justiciar, to be produccil only if circumstances should require it. This proceeding has been characterized as the carliest authority for a leading principle of our constitution, the responsibility of ministers to Parliament.'? But this vicw scems to invest the action of the council of St. Paul's with too great importance. It can at most be regarded as a rudc anticipation, by an irregularly constituted assembly acting as if it represented the nation, of that constitutional control over ministers of the crown which the regular national council was later on to claim and obtain. (2.) The assembly which deposed Long- (ii.) Williar. champ recognized the archbishop of Rouen as his successor. At the close of the year 1193, the archbishop of Rouen gave place to (3) Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, (iii.) Hubert and a nephew of the celebrated Ranulf de Glanvill; and on the resignation of Hubert Walter in 1198 Geoffrey

of Cou-
tances.

Walter.

will in the matter of taxation which is recorded in our national history' was the refusal of Deckel to ag:ee to Henry II.'s wishes with reference to the Danegeld in 1163. This was the commencement of the quarrel between the king and the Archbishop ; and as 'Danegeld appears for the last time under that name in the accounts of the year,' the opposition would seem to have been, formally at least, successful.'-- Tvid. 463.

? Bened. Abb. ii. 213, A.1), 1191 ; Select Chart. 244. · Hallam, Mid. dyes, ii. 325.

(iv.) Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, Earl of Essex, the fourth and last of Richard's Fitz-l'eter.

justiciars, entered into office.

Under the rule of cach of the justiciars, but more especially of Hubert Walter and his successor, Geoffrey FitzPeter, the administrative system established by: Henry II. was maintained and considerably developed. By the extensive application of the principle of representation to the assessment of the taxes on both real and personal property,

the people were gradually cuucated for self-government. Election of In the year 1194, the principle of clection in the appointcounty Coroners.

ment of county officers was introduced. Coroners, three

knights and a clergyman, were ordered to be clected in (haricks every county; to hold pleas of the Crown. The advance sranici: 0 borougis.

made by the boroughis towards independence, through the charters which, as a means of raising money, were extensively sold to them, is also an important feature of this reign. In some instances the privileges granted were assimilated to those of the citizens of London, which served as a model for the provincial towns, and included the right of electing the town-recve.? On the occasion of Longchamp's deposition, in which, as we have seen, the citizens of London concurred, they secured a formal recognition, by the justiciar and barons, of their existence as a 'cominuna,' the exact meaning of which is not quite clear, but which was certainly a near approach to what is understood by a corporation.'3 In connexion, doubtless, with this establishment of the communa,' the mayor now appears for

the first time. Summary. On the whole, the reign of Richard, through no merit

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Praeterea in quolibet comitatu eligantur tres milites et unus clericus custocles placitorum coronae.'--Curpitul: placitorum Coronae Regis, cap. 20 ; Select Chart. 252.

: *Has praedictas consuetudines eis concessimus, et omnes alias libertates et liberas consuetudines quas habuerunt vel habent cives nostri Londoniarum quando meliores vel liberiores habuerint, secundum libertates Londoniarum et leges civitatis Lincolnine. Et cives Lincolniae faciant praepositum quem voluerint de se per annum. qui sit idoneus nobis et eis.'- From Charter of Richard I. to Lincoln, A.D. 1194, in Foedera, i. 52, and Select Chart. 258.

. Bened. Abb. ii. 213, A.D. 1191; Select Chart. 244. Yo borouglis were incorporateci as municipal corporations, in the modern sense of the term, till the reign of llenry VI.- Jerewether & Stephens on Boroughs, vol. i., Introd.

however of his own, was beneficial to the libertics of the people. They became accustomed to the rule of law as opposed to the rule of force. Even the unexampled taxation was levicd with the appearance of legal formality: The immense sums raised are a proof that the kingdom had rapidly advanced in wcalth during the preceding reign. The baronage, which had been severely repressed under Henry II., became at once more orderly and less inclined than formerly to submit to the caprice of the sovereign, to whose personal interference they had become unaccustomed. The fusion of the two races, nearly accomplished under Ilenry II., was silently worked out under Richard ; and in the following reign we shall find the barons and people claiming for themselves against the Crown the common liberties of Englishmen.

100

CHAPTER IV.

MIG.1.1 CILART.I.

Tlie three THREE great political documents, in the nature of sundagreat fundamental com: mental compacts between the Crown and the Nation, stand pacis out as prominent landmarks in English Constitutional hisbetween the Crown and tory: Magna Charta, thc Petition of Right, and the Bill of the Nation : Rights, constitute, in the words of Lord Chatham, the Viagra Charta,

Bible of the English Constitution. In each of thesc docul'etition of ments, whether it be of the 13th or of the 17th century, is Right, Biil of Rights.

observable the common characteristic of professing to introduce nothing new. Each professed to assert rights and liberties which were already old, and sought to redress grievances which were for the most part themselves innovations upon the ancient libertics of the people. In its practical combination of conservative instincts with liberal aspirations, in its power of progressive development and selfadaptation to the changing political and social wants of cach successive generation, have always lain the peculiar excellence, and at the same time the surcst safeguard, of

our constitution. The Great Charter, an

The Great Charter of Liberties was the outcome of a act of the whole people

movement of all the freemen of the realm, led by their under the

bil

By far the greatest portions of the written or statute lau's of England consist of the declaration, the re-assertion, repetition, or the re-enactment, of some older law or laws, either customary or written, with additions or modifi. cations. The new building has been raised upon the old ground-work : the institutions of one age have always leen modelled and formed from those of the preceding, and their lineal descent has never been interrupted or disturbed.' Palgrave, Eng. Commonwealth, i. 6.

barons.

natural leaders the barons.? Far from being a 'mere picce leadership of class legislation,' extorted by the barons alone for their of the own special interests, it is in itself a noble and remarkable

L'nselfishproof of the sympathy and union then existing between the mess of the

barons. aristocracy and all classes of the commonalty: At least onc-third of its provisions relate to promises and guarantees on behalf of the people in general, as contradistinguished from the baronage. But one fact is specially significant. The important and comprchensive clause (60), by which the customs and libcrties granted to the king's tenants-inchief, are expressly extended to every sub-tenant in the kingdom, did not, like the similar provision in the charter of Henry: I., emanate from the King, but was spontaneously included by the barons themselves in the articles presented to John as a summary of their demands.?

The eminently noderate, practical, and conservative The Charter character of the barons' demands is especially noticeable. a treaty of Magna Charta was in fact a treaty of peace between the between the King and his people in arms; yet their ancient rights and

king and his

people in liberties, the acknowledgment of which had been extorted arms. from the King, were expressed to flow from his grant. There is nothing theoretical or revolutionary in the Char- Its mode

! •The Great Charter is the first great public act of the nation after it has realised its own identity : the consummation of the work for which unconsciously kings, prelates, and lawyers have been labouring for a century. There is not a word in it that recalls the distinctions of race and blood, or that maintains the differences of English and Norman law. It is in one view the summing up of a period of national life, in another the starting point of a new, not less eventful, period than that which it closes.'— Stubbs, Const. Hist.

i. 532

Articles of the Barons, c. 48, Blackstone's Charters, pp. 1-9, and Select Chart. p. 286 ; Magna Charta, c. 60, infra, p. 125. “The barons maintain and secure the rights of the whole people as against themselves as well as against their master. Clause by clause the rights of the commons are provided for as well as the rights of the nobles ; the interest of the freeholder is everywhere coupled with that of the barons and knights; the stock of the merchant and the wainage of the villein are preserved from undue severity of amercement as well as the settled estate of the earldom or barony. The knight is protected against the compulsory exaction of his services, and the horse and cart of the freeman against the irregular requisition even of the sheriff. In every case in which the privilege of the simple freeman is not secured by the provision that primarily affects the knight or the baron, a supplementary clause is added to define and protect his right ; and the whole advantage is obtained for him by the comprehensive article [60] which closes the essential part of the Charter.'—Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 530.

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