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the House,

Punishment for

have not sent their proxies or are excused by His Majesty

for some time (c).* Manner of calling According to the usage of Parliament, when the House

appoints a Select Committee, the Lords appointed to serve upon it are named in the order of their rank, beginning with the highest; and so when the House sends a Committee to a conference with the Commons, the Lord highest in rank is called first, and the rest go forth in like order. But when the House is called over, for any purpose within the House, or for the purpose of proceeeding forth to Westminster Hall, or upon any public solemnity, the call invariably begins with the lowest Baron.

If a Lord of Parliament do not attend in his place at non-attendance. a call of the House, he is liable (like a Member of the

House of Commons) to be fined and imprisoned at the discretion of the House (d).

* Each day, before the commencement of business, Prayers.

prayers are read by the youngest Bishop. Every Peer entering the House after the commencement, must give and receive salutations from the rest, and before sitting

down, make his obeisance to the Cloth of Estate (e). Speaking.

In speaking, the Lords address themselves to the House generally (as “My Lords”) and not to the Speaker (f).

And if any difference arises between them within the walls Quarrels.

of the House, when it is sitting, they must appeal to the Lords for reparation, and not occasion or entertain quarrels, under pain of censure (g); and if the House be not sitting, the Speaker's command is to have the authority of an order of the House (h). But from the full confidence


(c) Elsy. 91. 3. O. H. of L. xxvii.

(d) See Precedents of the Punishment of the Lords for this offence io L. J. 25 July, 1820. (e) 8. O. H. of L. xi.

() S.O. H. of L. xiv. (g) Ibid, xvi.

(h) L. J. vol. 9, pp. 110, 116. * The King cannot by any Writ, or Charter of Exemption, absolvo a Peer from his attendance altogether, for he is bound by his Writ of Summons to appear.-4 Inst, 49.

reposed in their Lordships' high sense of dignity and propriety, no apprehension is entertained of any heat or indecorum being allowed to enter into any of their expressions. The Peers of the realm are supposed incapable of exercising their exalted privileges in any manner calculated to give personal offence.


The House of Commons is the democratic part of our worse,
Constitution, consisting of representatives freely nominated mons.
by the people.

The number of Members has varied considerably since Past and present the Commons first were admitted into Parliament'as a number separate Estate. In Fortescue's time, who wrote during the reign of Henry VI., the House consisted of upwards of 300 Members; in Sir Edward Coke's time, their number amounted to 493. At the time of the Union with Scotland in 1707, there were 513 Members for England and Wales, to which 45 for Scotland were added, making the number of representatives amount to 558. In consequence of the Union with Ireland, in 1801, 100 Members were added for that country, and the whole House of Commons now consists of 658 Members. The Reform Bill, though it made material changes in the distribution of the elective franchise throughout the Kingdom, made no alteration in the number of Members. The proportions in which Members are returned, under the Reform Acts, are as follows, viz. 158 for counties in England and Wales; 64 for counties in Ireland ; and 30 for counties in Scotland: 338 for English; 39 for Irish; and 23 for Scotch burghs: with 4 for the English Universities, and 2 for the University of Dublin.

The Universities were not, originally, empowered to Universities. send burgesses to Parliament though once, in 28 Edw. I.

when a Parliament was summoned to consider of the King's right to Scotland, there were issued writs, which required the university of Oxford to send up four or five, and that of Cambridge two or three of their most discreet and learned Lawyers for that purpose (ë). But it was King James I. who indulged them with the permanent privilege of sending constantly two of their own body, to serve for those students who, though useful members of the community, were neither concerned in the landed nor the trading interest : and to protect in the legislature the rights of the republic of letters (k).

The right of voting for the election of a Member to represent the University of Dublin is regulated by 2 & 3. Wm. IV. ch. 88, s. 60, 61.

The regulations of, and restrictions upon the election of Members to serve in the House of Commons, first claim

attention. Who are disqua- I. As to who are disqualified from voting at Elections ().

1. All who do not possess the necessary property qualiquired. fication (m). And see the property qualifications required

in Canada by the 31 Geo. III. ch. 31, s. 20. Minors. 2. Minors, or persons under twenty-one years of age,

by 7 & 8 Wm. III. ch. 25, s. 8. For Perjury or 3. All persons convicted of perjury or subor nation of

perjury, by 2 Geo. II. ch. 24, s. 6--or bribery, by 2 Geo.

II. ch. 24, s. 7; 16 Geo. II. ch. 11 ; 49 Geo. III. ch. 18. Refusing to take 4. All persons refusing to take the Oaths of Supremacy,

Allegiance, or Abjuration at Elections, or Affirmations
being Quakers (or Moravians, by 22 Geo. III. ch. 30)-
6 Anne, ch. 23: but these oaths are abolished by 5 & 6


lified to vote at.

Property re


Refusing to take the oaths.

(i) Prynne, Parl. Writs, v. 1, p. 345. (IE) 1 BI. Com. 174.

(1) Principally by 7 & 8 Wm. III. ch. 25; 10 Anne, ch. 23; 2 Geo. II. ch. 21 ; 18 Geo. II. ch. 18; 31 Geo. II. ch. 14; and 3 Geo. III. ch. 24.

(m) Seo the Reform Acts, 2 & 3 Wm. IV. ch. 45, 65 & 88.


possession 12


Wm. 36, s. 6. For the Oaths required to be taken at an election in Upper Canada, see Appendix III.

5. No one shall vote on any fraudulent grant.-10 Anne Fra ch. 23, s. 1; 13 Geo. II. ch. 20; 2 Wm. IV. ch. 45, s. 5.

6. Every voter shall have been in actual possession or Must have held enjoyment for twelve calendar months previous, except it months.

Except. came to him by descent, marriage, will or promotion.

7. No one shall vote on any annuity or rent charge, Annuitants. unless registered twelve months. -3 Geo. III. ch. 24 (n).

8. Only one person shall vote for any one house, to Householders. prevent the splitting of freeholds—7 & 8 Wm. III. ch. 25, s. 7 (); except in any English city or borough (p).

9. In mortgaged or trust Estates, the person in posses- Mortgages. sion shall have the vote.—7 & 8 Wm. III. ch. 25, s. 7.

10. No estate shall qualify a voter unless assessed for Land Tax Astwelve months previously to the Land tax 30 Geo. III, ch. 35, the necessity for this is done away with by 2 Wm. IV. ch. 45, sec. 22.

11. Where the Land tax has been redeemed, the free- Land Tax Reholder shall be entitled to vote upon proof of such redemption, without any registering of a memorial or certificate thereof, 42 Geo. III. ch. 116, sec. 200451 G. II]. ch. 99.

12. By 31 Geo II., ch. 14, no tenant by copy of Court PropertyQualifiroll was permitted to vote as a freeholder; but by the Reform acts the right of voting is extended to copyholders, lease holders and householders, with certain provisions as to the yearly value of the interests which shall give such right of voting.

13. All persons employed in managing or collecting .... the duties of Excise, Customs, Stamps, Windows, Houses, and the Post Office Revenue, are disqualified to vote (2),




. (n) Heywood, 145.

(0) This extends only to the prevention of fraud. See Heywood's Elec. Law,

p. 99.

(P) 2 Wm. IV, ch. 45, s. 29.

(1) 22 Geo. III. ch. 41.

of Mail Packets.

and are prohibited by several acts from interfering at elections (r), but this does not extend to freehold offices granted by Letters Patent, or Commisioners, &c. of the

Land tax. Captains, &c. 14. All Captains, Masters, or Mates, of ships or packets

*, employed by the Postmaster in conveying the mails are

disqualified, by the 22 Geo. III. ch. 41. Persons farming 15. By 27 Geo. III. ch. 26, sec. 15, all persons farming

e or collecting Post horse duties.

16. By 51 Geo. III. ch. 84, certain coal and corn meters. 17. Women (s).

18. Peers* (except Irish Peers when members of the Peers, &c.

House of Commons),- Ministers of state, Lord Lieut

&c. Post-borse Duties.

Corn & Coal

(r) See in Finnely's Elec. Law, 48. (8) 4 Inst. 5. * That Peers have no right to vote at the election of Members of the House of Commons, is an undisputed axiom ; but as it is not laid down by any express statute, but merely rests upon the authority of a Sessional Resolution of that House, it is material to know, 1st, Whether Peers have ever claimed or exercised a right to vote at such elections; and 2dly, whether the House of Commons has sufficient authority to make and enforce a Resolution prohibiting them from voting.

1. Whether the Lords have ever claimed or been allowed the elective franchise. This question is one of a very difficult pature, because, supposing that no such right was ever claimed, there would, in all probability, be no mention of it, sufficient to be satisfactory evidence that such was the case ; and, on the contrary, it is very possible, that it may have been exercised without record of it being handed down. But in the absence of any direct light upon the subject, we must be satisfied with that which may be gleaned from other sources.

The Lords and Barons of the realm, being summoned to Parliament in their own persons, it seems very evident that they bave no right to appear with the Commons who attend as the Representatives of the people, which they would do were they to possess a vote,-the maxim being, that he who elects appears in Parliament in the person of his Representative.

The distinction between the Lords and Commons (or the people) was, in former days, much greater and more apparent than it is now ; from which we may infer that the haughty Barons of those times, would not degrade themselves by mingling with the more humble electors, though in too many cases, they were not above using corrupt influence by means of their Attorneys.

In referring to one of the earliest Statutes by which the elective franchise is regulated (1 Henry 1), we find these words—"and that the Knights and Esquires, and others which shall be choosers of those Knights of the Sbire ;" where, if the Burons had been “ choosers,” they would have been inserted before the Knights; for it has been laid down as a general rule (1), that no Statute

(1) See Dwarris, 757, 758, and caşcs there cited.

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