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Bradshaws of Bradshaw in Derby- stracted from any opinion or wish to
antient View of Fraokpledge took Blomefield, in his History of Nor- cognizance of every man within its folk, mentions having seen an anticot jurisdiction :-The Act of 8 Hen. VI. pedigree of the family of the Hol
c. 14. restrained the right of voting sands of Lincoloshire, which he slales for knights of the shire to freeholders to have been collected by George of 40s. per annum in lands or teneHolland in 1563, and continued since meots, because of the very great outto 1601, the title of which he gives rageous and excessive number of peoin the following words :
ple dwelling within the counly. These, “ Estoving-ball.--Here ensueth the
it may be presumed, came to the full Pedigree of the Hollandes of the House of County Court. The freeholders were Estoven hall in the parts of Holland in inhabitants, and freeborges or landthe countie of Lincolne, and do dwell owners; for those who were not such there without alteration or change ey
were of an inferior class, villeins and ther of house or name by xiijth descent labourers. The freeborges were burbefore the Conquest."
gesses, or frank.pledgers in their reHenry Holland, a descendant of spective tithings and hundreds, which this family, in Midsummer 1563, afterwards became incorporaled into Blomefield says, proceeded Master vi burghs. Co. Lit. 209. Arts in Gonvile-hall, Cambridge, at
In the great annual courts of frankwhich time Christopher Holland was pledge, every householder was incora student in Pembroke-hall, and in porated with vive other neighbours 1601 Edward Holland, his 40p, was
ing bousebolders (the titled meo exalso a student in Cambridge.
cepted), which constituted tithings If any of your Readers can give all others attended the Court to be information concerning this pedigree,
sworo to arms and allegiance, yet the
ing deciners, were suitors at the
in the landowners. The citizens of Of Universal Suffrage and Duration borough-luwas now incorporated deof Parliaments.
rive their title from the freeborges M
R. BROUGHAM is reported lo who so pledged one another in their “ he should be gratificd, if any of also to householders paying scot and the framers of the Petitions for Re- lot; which burgage teoore is now form could produce an historical the title by which Westminster, Southvoucher substantiating Universal Suf. wark, and many other towns, vote at frage and Annual Parliaments — that elections paying an annual rent, they must have known the reverse,” (Littleton, 109. b.) and none else bad &c.—This language excited curiosity, the privilege. It is lbus clear that and induced a hasty review of some Universal Suffrage was not the cusof the antient authorities; and, ab. tom of this realni. (See Gr. Sharp on
Congregational Courts, No. 2.) And by summons to represent themselve this will appear more especially, if we and all the rest of the people, in consider that these meetings, or great grand Geniole or Common Council of covacils, were composed of the wise the realm : chosen, as above slated men--lbe Wittenæ. There was some by those who paid an annual rept as mode adopted by which the selection householders.' (Lit. 109. b.) froin the whole people was made, II. As to Annual Parliamenta. hæc sunt Instituta quæ Edgarus Rex Parliaments must be allowed to be of concilio sapientum suorum instituit... very great antiquity, coeval with the and also, bæ sunt lostitutiones quas British Constitution. The Wittenarex Edmundus et episcopi sui cum sa gemote amongst our Saxon ancespientibus suis instituerunt; and their tors means the same thing, and dirduly, even according to the modern fered little from a Folkmote, oply Usage and design of Parliament was that the last was annual, and chiefly Dovis injuriis emersis nova consti- sat about the standing affairs of the tuere remedia. (Fleta, l. 2. c. 2.) Nation; the other was called at the
This Common Council of the Realm King's pleasure, upon emergencies of is recognised as existing at the time the State, and to make Laws. (Spelm. of K. Jobu's Charter, which declares, Gemolum.) The Folkmote was introne scutegium vel auxilium ponulur duced by King Arthur, and met yearly in regno, nisi per cununiune conciliun on the kalends of May, as we find in the regni, &c.; that no Escoage (War Laws of King Edward the Confessor, Tax] or aid shall be laid upon the Ruod Artherus Rex inclytus Britekingdom, but by the Common Coun num invenil, At this yearly Folk mute cil of the kingdom; asticles upon or Parliament, met once a year the wbich the great Charter was framed. Princes of the realm (Peers were so (Bishop Burnet's MS copy, art. 29.) called), Bishops, Magistrates, and Free
la the original great Charler, in men; all the Laynica were sworu in French, article 18, ihe above is much the presence of the Bishops inlo a enlarged ; and the following words mutual covenant with each other, are the foundation of Parliament, into their feally to the King, and and of its mode of meeting at this day; to preserve the rights of the kingdom, " Et aient le Commun Conseil," &c. and to consult of the common safety, " And as for coming to the Common of peace, of war, and of promoting Council of ihe kingdom, and for as the public profit. (Spel. 315.) This sessing aids (except in the three cases part of their functions had at least aforesaid), and as for the assessing of the authority of Parliament. And as escuage [the helmet or war-tax], a proof that this Folkmute made all we will cause to be summoned the the laws, the coronation oath of Archbishop, Bishops, Abbots, Earls, Richard II. (taken twice) may be and the greater Barons, each in par. adduced: Concedis justas Leges et ticular, by our Letters; and more Consuetudines esse tencndas ; et proover we will cause to be summoned millis per le esse prolegendas el ad in general by our Sheriffs and Bailiffs honorem Dei corroborandas quus all that hold of us in chief at a cer Vulgus elegerit secundum vires tuas 2 tain day, to wit, 40 days after at least, Respondebit, Concedo et promillo, 1 and al' a certain place ; and in our Hen.IV. membr. 20 inter Decem Scrip. said Lelters we will express the cause tores, p. 2746. Do you grant that of the summons; aod when the sum the just laws aud customs which are mons shall be so made, business shall of the folks chusing shall be kept ; go on at the day assigned by the and do you promise that they shall be advice of such as are preseot, though protected, and, to the honour of God, all that are summoned do not appear.” receive affirmance by you to the ul
Heuce it is fair to conclude, that most of your power: The King shali in the earliest times of the British answer, 1 grant and promise. bistory the three estates of the realm The statutes and writs are our first consisted of the King, or monarchia authority. But, upon the authority cal bead, wbo could not make laws of Horne's Mirror, in the time of Edwithout the aid of his Council as. ward I. and II. we learn that Alfred sembled, consisting of the principal caused the Counties to meet; and ormen, or aristocratical assistants of the dained it for a perpelual usage, what Crown, and the freeborges, liberi had already been the enslom during tenenles, who were chosen and called the Heptarchy (Glan. I. 13. c. 32.-
1. 9. c. 10. Co. Rep. 9.--- 2 Inst. 52. b.) there is a testimony to the practice that at two times ycarly, or oftener, of Parliament meeting twice in a year if need were, in tiine of peace, they well worthy of our observation; it reshould as emble at London to sit in lates to a yearly tribute of 1000 marks, Parliament. And be states, as the se which the Popes, from the time of cond abuse of the law, that Parlia- King Jobni, exacted, and of which ments did meet but seldom, and at there were at this time some arrears. the King's will, for aids and gather. The King's excuse to the Nuncio was, ings of trea ure; and that the ng that from the pressure of business, and made ordinances instead of the Parlia- bis own sickness, he had not come to ment. Thus then the case stood till any resolution in his Parliament, which Edward 1. A. D. 1272.
he had accustomed to hold at Easter; But we may refer back to 1235, but, by common advice, he would 20 Hen. III. when we find in the pre- give him an answer in his Michaeluias amble to the statute of Merton, made Parliament; thus speaking of them upon the assembly there for the mar both as customary.- Pro firmo scituri, riage of Henry with Queen Elinor, pie later et Domine, quod in alio Puro that this law was made, as well by lianiento nostro quod ad feslum Michs, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the prox. futur. intendimus, dante DoBishops, Earis, and Barons, as by mino, celebrare, habilo et communi. the king himself, and others. calo concilio cum prelatis et proceriIt cannot be supposed that this Par- bus inemoralis, vobis super premissis liament could have been composed of ipsorum consilio dabimus responsioany other than the personages named nem.--" Koow for certain, pious Fawith ihese others; and ihat they ther and Lord, that in our other Par. were the original Freeborges of the liament, which we design to hold at realm, and Decennaries.
the next feast of St. Michael, with In 1266, the St. 51 Hen Ill. secms God's permission, we and the Prelates from its language to be an Ordinance and Peers aforesaid, in council had of the King, until 3. 3, which is in. thereon, will, by their advice, give troduced by the words, “ By consent you an answer on the premises. of the whole realin," the assize of (see clause Rolls, 3 Ed. 1. m. 9. Sceflour, &r.-- And from this date writs duia.--Prynne, p. 158.) are preserved, which have been issued Il no where
proroga. to summon knigtits, citizens, and tions and any length of adjournmenis burgesses, 1o Parliament.
were practised in those days; and the To the following year, 1267, the law being that Parliaments should statute of Marlborough is pre
be beid inice or oftener, this record faced by these words :-" The more is a complete proof that there were discreet inen of the realm being called two Parliaments in that year. together, as well of the higher as of The silting of Parliament was the lower Estale:" which lower Es- usually 40 days, so low as King Ritate, it is fairly to be presuined, con chard U.; and if they were longer sisted of the s?ime persons as
detained, the subject of the wages of above mentioned.
the kniglots and burgenses came into In the preamble to the Sta:ule of dispute: aud Kuyghion, p. 2682, bas Westminster, 1 Edw. I. A.D. 1275– preserved a memorable record of it is with the assent of the Aribbi- ibis fari, Dicunt eliam, &c. "In short, shops, Bishops, Abbols, Priors, Laris, they say, that they have an antient Barons, and all thc Comnionally of statule, whereby, if the King wil. the realm, being thither summoned. fully absent himself from his Parlia
The friends of Universal Suffrage ment, not having any infirmity or have here a claim to the extensive other cause of necessity, but per immcaning of theterni Conumonally; but, moderatam voluntatem prolerrè, &c. if the above explanation of the Free 40 days, and not caring for the vexa. borges wou were called to the County tion of his people, and their heavy Courts on view of frauk pledge cao expence, it shall then be lawful for be supposed to have prevaileil, the thein ali to withdraw from the domisame must have constituted this Con- gerio regis, and return to their own monalty, and not the whole people homes. at large, which is, and always must It is supposed by Lord Coke, that have been, impracticable.
until 8 llen, IV. the whole Parlia. lo Edward I.'s Letter to the Pope, n'ent sat together, because at that
date theç ordered their Speaker to shall be holden every year ; as anoput his Scal to their Act concerning ther time was ordained by stat. 4 Ed. the successiodlo the Crowo; previous III. c. 14. It is ordained, that a Parto which dale there is no such in- liament shall be holden every year siance; but, on the contrary, at the once, and more often if need be. Parliament of 28 Edward i. in the 50 Ed. III. A. D. 1377. The Parletters then sent to the Pope, the liament's demand or petition is, that concluding teste is, In cujus rei les a Parliament may be bolden every limonium sigilla nostra iam pro nobis year; the Knigdis of the Parliament quam pro lola cornmunitate pred. may be chosen by the whole counties; Regni ingliæ præsentib.sunt uppensu. and that the Sheriff may be without Ceriain it is, that at the first both brokage in court. The King's answer houses sat together, as it appears in the is,- To the Parliament there are staTrealise De modo tenendi Parliam. tuies made therefore ; to the Sheriffs and in the Parliament Rolls of 5 Ed. there is answer made ; to the Knights ward III. nu. 3, and in 6 Edward ili, il is agreed, that they shail be chosen in divers places; and that 11e Cone by the common consent of every moons bad no contingal Speaker; but, county, after consultation had, they agreed R. il. Tlie petition was, p. 163, upon some one or more of them that That a Parliament may be yearly had greatest aptitule for piesent bu- bolden in convenient place, to redress siness, to deliver their resolution, delays in suils, and to end such cases which wrought great delays of pro. as the Judges doubt of. — To which ceeding, and thereupon the Houses the King's answer was, - Il shall be divided ; and the surest mark of the as it halo been used. time of the division of them is, when And in 2 Ric. Il. The reason for the House of Commons al the first opening the Parliament was siated to had a continual Speaker, as at this be, --secondly, for that it was enacted, das it hath. After the division the that a Parliament should yearly be Córamons sal in the Cha; ter-house held. of the Abbot of Westminster (Roi. This law remained for a space of Par. 50 Ed. lll. nu. 6. — 4 Inst. 2.) 262 years, till 16 Car. I. when that until I Edward ll. 1547, when the King, having discontioned Parliasta'ute of that year, ch. 14, having ments for 12 years, the Nation found scaled in the Crown the Colleges, a necessity of having a Cautionary Chapels, and Chavolries, of monastic Parliament every third year, to sefoundation, the King became pos cure their Agonal Parliaments for the sessed of the anlient and beautiful two years immediately foregoing, free Chapel of St. Slephen, founded This is said to be the true reason of by King Stephen; and since that time the Act for a Triennial Porliament. it has served for the House of Com- A. D. 16:0. The tirsi euacement of mons. (4 11!. 255.)
this slatule was, that the laws for a In these carly tinics it does not ap Parliatuent to be holden at least once pear how these Parliamcals wereaccus. a year shall hereafter be duly kept tomed to assemble, nor whether they and observed. (Scubel, Collecl, 16 niet in one or in different assemblies; Car. I. c. 1.) but in Richard II. who began his reign This Act was afterwards repealed in 1377, and reigned till 1399, they sat by 10 Car. II. c. I. which in its prein two houses; and this w is the case ainble denouncesihe Act of Car.l. asin at the Parliament holden at Eltham. derogation of his Majesty's just rights
Moreover, in Collon's Abridgment and prerogative inherent to the linpe. of the Records in the Tower, 5 Edw. rial Crown of this realın, for the callII. A. D. 1312, it is ordained, tuat a ing and assembling of Parliainents; Parliamnent shall be held one or ivo and may be an occasion of manifold times a year: On which it may be mischiets and inconveniences, and noted, that the original rule ví voce much endanger the peace and safety a year is now changed into once or of his Majesty, and all his liege pectwice.
ple of this realm. Avd after having 36 Ed. III. A. D. 1363. For main- esacied, in s. 2, the repeal, it protenance of the said articles and sta- ceeds, . 3, to declare the law to be, tules, and redress of divers mischiefs that because by the antient laws aud which daily happen, a Parliament statutes of this realm (made 4 Ed. III.
c. 14, and 36 Ed. III. c. 10), “ Par- the rebellion within the kingdom, and Jiamepls'are to be held very often,” an invasion from abroad, be destructhat hereafter the sitting and holding live to the peace and security of the of Parliaments shall not be inter- government. milted or discontinued above three This Bill originated with the Duke years at the most; but that within of Devonshire in the House of Lords, ihree years from the determination and was much opposed by the Earls of of that Parliament, and so from time Notting hain, Abingdon, and Paulet, to time withiu three years after the op the grouods that frequent Parlia. determination of any other Parlia ments were required by the fundament, or, if there be occasion, more mental constitution of the kingdoin, often, the King and bis successors
ascertained in the practice of many should issue writs for calling, assein ages; and that the Meinbers of the bling, aod holding another Parlia. Lower House were chosen by the meut, to the end there may be a fre- body of the Nation for a certain term quent calling, &c. once in ihree years of years, at the expiration of which at the least.
they could be no longer represenla. Thus the Parliamentary Law coo tives of the people, who, by the Par. tinued until 1694, 6 Will. and Mary, lianient's protracting its own autho. C. 2, when the last statute was re rity, would be deprived of the only enacted; but in s. 3 it was further de reivedy which they had against those clared, That po Parliament whatso- who, through igaorance or corrupever that should at any time thenaf- tion, betrayed the trust reposed in ter be called, &c. should have any them; and that a lung Parliament continuance longer than for three would yield a greater temptation, as years only at the farthest from the well as a beller opportunity to a viday of meeting specified in the sun cious Ministry, tu corrupt ibe Memmous ; and inat that Parliament bers, than they could possibly bave should cease on 1 Nov. 1696, unless when the Parlianients were short and sooner dissolved.
frequent. (2 Smoll 330.) The Bill There was a dissolution, and a new passed in the Upper House by a maParliament began on 22d of Novem- jority of 35, there being 96 in the af. ber, 1695, at Westminster. — And by firmalive, and 61 in the negative; and an Act in 1696, c. 25, for regulating 30 Lords entered a strong protest elections, the qualification of voters against il. In consequence of this is, freehold lands or hereditaments of proceeding, various Petitions were the yearly value of 40s.
presented to the House of Commons The period of Parliaments having from different parts of the kingdom, thus crept ou, continued 21 years declaring that the people looked upon upon the last stalute, when in 1715, it as an attempt to overturn the Coci Geo. I. it was further extended, ch. stitution : but it passed by 261 against 38, to a term of seven years, and no 121. (Hist. May. Ch. XXXVII.) longer, not only for that but for all From these testimonies it appears future Parliaments, unless sooner
that Aadual Parliaments, and somedissolved. It is stated in the pream. times two Parliaments within the year, ble, that it had been found by expe were the custom of the Realm; but ricoce that the Triennial Act had that the Legislature afterwardsthought proved very grievous and burden- fil to extend their duration to three sonic, by occasioning much greater years; and the same high authority and more coutinued expences in or iu later times further extended them der to elections, and more violent to seven years. But it dves not any and lasting heats and animosities where appear that Universal Suffrage amongst the subjecis of the realm, was ever the right of the people, for a than were ever known before that qualification, and that free burgesses, clause was enacted ; and that the pro- and a rent of 40s. gave this privilege to vision, if it should continue, miglit the few who held some tenure of that probably at that juncture, when a value, over those who held fut any. restless and Popish faction were de- property to qualify theiu for more sigoing and endeavouring lu reuew iban labour.