« PreviousContinue »
ing a Peer, or Bishop, no matter whether true or false, is subject to fine and imprisonment; and every Nobleman so scandalized may prosecute the offender and recover damages.
X. The person of Peers is for ever sacred and inviola-
(6) S. O. H. of L. xlix.
(n) 2 Leonard's Rep. 173.
(p) S.O. H. of L. Ixvi. (9) 10 G. III ch.50. * A Peer or Peeress cannot be bound over in any other place than the Courts of King's Bench or Chancery.-4 B1. Com. 253.
† This writ of homine replegiando is now seldom used, it being superseded by the writ of habeas corpus.
Peer, or his
Being a privilege of Peerage (r) it extends to all Peers of the realm, though not having seats in the House, and to all peeresses, English, Scotch or Irish.
XI. Of Franking Letters through the Post-office to all of Franking. parts of Great Britain and Ireland, from forty days before a summons, until forty days after the prorogation of Parliament (s). This privilege, being exclusively parliamentary, does not extend to those Peers who have not a seat in the House of Lords (t).
XII. To assault a Peer or his menial servant, is a high Assaulting a contempt, and may be punished with great severity by the servant. House (v), and there were also penalties annexed to it in the courts of law, by the statutes 5 Henry IV., ch. 6, and 11 Henry VI. ch. 11--but these acts were repealed by 9 G. IV, ch, 31-so that such an offence is not now, by the Statute law, distinguishable from a common assault.
XIII. Peers are exempt from attendance or serving in Courts-leet; Sheriff-tourns (w), the militia,* or the posse Courts Leet, comitatus in cases of riot (x).
XIV. The Houses of Peers may not be entered by Peers' Houses Officers of Justice without a warrant under the King's own by
Justice. hand, and those of six Privy Councillors, (four of whom
Except. must be Peers of the realm,) if the search be for conventicles, prohibited books, &c. (y) or for other reasons without the King's sign manual, and certain other forms prescribed by law, varying according to the particular case (2).
not to be entered by Officers of
(r) 2 Stra. 985.
(a) Dodridge on the Nobility.
Sitting covered in Courts, and
Not to lose his
Qualifying • XV. Peers can qualify a certain number of Chaplains, Chaplaius.
viz :--a Duke six ; a Marquis or Earl, five; and a Baron
three. An Archbishop, six, and a Bishop, four (a). Sitting covered XVI. They have the privilege of sitting covered in upon the Bench. Courts of Justice,* and are further entitled by their rank
to a seat with the Judge upon the Bench.
XVII. A Peer cannot lose his nobility but by death, or attainder for high treason. It has been said, that if a Baron or Peer waste his Estate, so that he is not able to support his dignity, the King may degrade him ; but it has been expressly held, by authority of the Parliament itself, that a Peer cannot be degraded but by Act of Parliament. There is but one instance upon record of the degradation of a Peer for this cause; it occurred in the reign of Edward the IV. in the case of George Neville Duke of Bedford (6).
XVIII. No Essoin or day of grace is granted to plaintiff's in suit or actions wherein Noblemen or Lords of Parliament are defendants (c); except the plaintiff is also a Peer, when the Judge, upon motion or prayer may relax the rule for a day or more (d).
The reason for this privilege, is, that a Peer should have expedition of Justice,“ in respect he has to attend “the sacred person of the King, and the service of the “commonwcalth.”
No day of grace when Peers are Defendants.
(a) 21 Henry VIII ch. 13. 16) Rot. Parl. Edw. IV, 16 June. See also Moor. 678. 12 Rep.56, 107. (c) Cam. Brit. 169 (Eng. Edit. 1610; (d) Dodr. 144 (Edit 1658). * No Peer can be covered in the Royal presence without express permission for that purpose, except Lord Kingsale. The Barons of Kingsale have, since the time of King John, enjoyed exclusively the hereditary privilege of being covered in the royal presence, after having first made the usunl obeisance. This arose from their ancestor, Sir John de Courcy (afterwards Earl of Ulster), who was a remarkably powerful man, having engaged to fight in single combat, and having routed the Champion of France, on occasion of a dispute regarding the proprietorship of the Duchy of Normandy, between John and the French King, Philip Augustus. The descendants of this redoubted Kuight have on all occasious claimed, and been allowed their peculiar privilege.
to expenses of
To be summoned
XIX. Lords of Parliament are exempted from taking Exempt from
cances Oath except the Oath of Allegiance in courts leet; or any place out of in Parliament. Parliament (e); and from taking the Oath of Supremacy at all (f): except when it may be expressly required of them on accepting any office, as by the 13 and 14 Car. II. ch. 3. sec. 18—- which require them to take these Oaths before they are appointed Lieutenants or Deputy Lieutenants of counties.
XX. Lords of Parliament are not to contribute to the Not to contribute expenses of the Knights of the Shire that come to Parlia- Knights of the ment (g).
XXI. Being defendants in Chancery, they are not to r. be summoned by Subpæna, but by a letter from the Lord in Chancery Chancellor, or Lord Keeper (h); and although they do sive, &c. not appear, no attachment can be taken out against them (i).
XXII. They have the privilege of appointing deputies may app to all offices and places of trust held by them, the law Deputies ta presuming the necessity for their attendance in Parliament. (k).
XXIII, If Peers or Lords of Parliament are appointed 143, Justices of the Peace, they need not be resident in the Peace; need not Shires in which they are Justices (2).
XXIV. Formerly (by 14 car. Il. ch. 24), Noblemen or Lords of Parliament could not be considered as Merchants, Bankruptsa and therefore could not be made Bankrupt, but this act was repealed by 6 Geo. IV. ch. 16--which declares a commission of bankruptcy may issue against a trader. having privilege of Parliament, although he may not be arrested, except in cases of Felony.
XXV. If for any crimes they are sentenced to be hanged, it is altered to beheading. But this, though an instead of
If Justices of the
As to being
To be beheaded
(e) Stat. of Marlebridge, 52 Henry III. ch. 10. ( 5 Eliz, ch. 1.
(8) Cromp. 17. (14) Ib. 33. (i) Dyer, 315.
(k) Perkins, sec. 99, 100. (l; 2 Henry V. stat. 2, ch. 1.
May wear swords
To have a knight
causes in which they are parties.
ancient use, is still but a favour from the King, and may be refused, and many cases of refusal are to be found in History (m).
& XXVI. By proclamation of Edward III. they may in London, &c. wear Swords within the limits of London and Westmins
XXVIJ. If any annuity or rent is given by the King to a Nobleman on his creation to the Peerage, for the support of his dignity, it cannot in any way be alienated or given from the same (n).
XXVIII. Formerly, when any cause was tried before on the jury in a Jury in which a Lord was a party, at least one Knight
5. must have been on the pannel (c). But this privilege
was taken away by 24 Geo. II. ch. 18. sec. 4, and 6 Geo.
XXIX. Every Lord Spiritual or Temporal, summoned to Parliament, and passing through the King's forests, may, both in going and returning, kill one or two of the King's deer, without warrant,--in view of the forester, if he be present, or on blowing a horn, if he be absent, that he may not seem to take the King's venison by stealth (9).
This is a very ancient privilege, declared by the Charter of the Forests, ch. 10, and confirmed in Parliament, 9 Henry III.
XXX. No carriage (r) belonging to a Lord of Parliacarriages exempt ment, or cart (s) employed on his grounds, can be taken
for the King's service.
Of killing the
Their carts and
from King's service,
(m) See Lord Somers' Tracts, vol. 13, page 378, 379.
(0) Dyer, 107, 208.
(8) 2 Inst. 35.