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and those we have of that King's time are but few. Nor have we any reports of judicial decisions, in any constant series of time, before the reign of Edward I. ; though we have the Plea Rolls of the times of Henry III., and King John, in some remarkable order. 1
Of the reign of Henry III. we have only one Summons of Parliament extant of record, viz. 49 Henry III., and we have but few of the many Acts of Parliament that passed in his time; viz., the Great Charter, and Charta de Foresta, in the ninth year of his reign ; the Statute, or Ordinance, of Merton, in the twentieth year of his reign; the Statute of Marlbridge, or Marlebridge, in his fifty-second year; and the Dictum sive Edictum de Kennelworth, about the same time; and some few other old Acts.?
As to the Acts now extant of Edward I., and Sir Matthew Hale's comments upon them, see ante, page 122.
We have but few of the Acts of Parliament of the reign of Edward II. extant, especially of record.
From the accession, however, of Edward III.(1327), the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th, and 9th years of his reign excepted, we have extant upon record, either in the Parliament Rolls, or in the Statute Rolls of that King and his successors, all the Acts of their respective reigns, and, for the most part, the petitions upon which the Acts were drawn up, Time within Memory.- Statute Laws, or Acts of Parliament,' says Sir Matthew Hale, ‘are of two kinds : (1) those statutes which were made before time of memory; and (2) those statutes which were made within or since time of memory. According to a juridical account and legal signification, “time within memory” is the time of limitation in a Writ of Right; which, by the Statute of Westminster, 1.c. 39 (25th April, 1275), was settled and reduced to the beginning of the reign of King Richard I., or ex prima coronatione regis Ricardi primi ; who began his reign on July 6th, 1189, and was crowned September 3rd following. So that whatever was before that time, is before time of memory. What is since that time, is, in a legal sense, said to be within, or since time of memory. And therefore it is that those Statutes, or Acts of Parliament, that were made before the beginning of the reign of King Richard I., and have not since been repealed, or altered, either by contrary usage, or by subsequent Acts of Parliament, are now accounted part of the lex non scripta; being, as it were, incorporated thereinto, and become a part of the Common Law. And in truth such statutes are not now pleadable as Acts of Parliament. Because what is before time of memory, is supposed without a beginning, or at least such a beginning as the law takes notice of. But they obtain their strength by mere immemorial usage or custom.'
very Acts themselves.3
character of most of our historians, either in print or MS., with an account of our records, law books, coins, &c., the English Historical Library, by Dr. Nicholson, may be referred to with confidence; and for the History of English Law generally, Reeve's History of the English Law, by Finlason. i Hale, p. 83.
2 Ib., p. 9.
3 Ib., p. 8.
Those ancient Acts of Parliament, which are ranged under the head of leges non scriptæ, or customary laws, as being before time of memory, are to be considered under two periods,-1, Such as were made before the coming in of William I.; 2, Such as intervened between his coming-in and the beginning of the reign of Richard I. The former are mentioned by our ancient hisrians, especially by Brompton; and are collected into one volume by William Lambard, in his Tractatus de priscis Anglorum Legibus ; being a collection of the laws of the kings Ina, Alfred, Edward, Athelstane, Edmond, Edgar, Ethelred, Canutus, and of Edward the Confessor. Which last body of laws, compiled by Edward the Confessor, as they were more full and perfect than the rest, and better accommodated to the then state of things, so they were such whereof the English were always very zealous, as being the great rule and standard of their liberties.'1
1 Hale, p. 3.
Sir Matthew Hale also divides the leges scriptæ, or Acts of Parliament subsequent to the accession of Richard I., into two classes, the old statutes and the new. The old statutes, extending from the accession of Richard I. to the accession of Edward III., or from 1189 to 1327; the new, from the latter date till the present time.
The Subjects of Municipal Law are persons and property. The word property is here used in preference to the term things, as designating those things only which have been reduced into possession either by the State as such, or by individual members of the State. All property may therefore be said to be either public or private. It is either real or personal.
Hale, p. 5. The authenticity of these laws of Edward the Confessor is, however, controverted by Dr. Hicks. (Hic. Thes. Ling. Septen. Dissert. epist. 95.) A full account of the known Acts from the Accession of William I. to that of Richard I., is to be found in Selden's Janus Anglorum.
Persons.—When considering the State relatively to the individual members of the State, we are in fact considering a body relatively to its members. The mind will more readily seize the real question we have to discuss by adopting the simple illustration of an individual man. The man is the State, the members of the State are the various organs or members of his body. That the members exist solely by virtue of the existence of the body; that the body cannot exist without members; that some of the members are more important than others, i. e., the vital than the non-vital; and that as to the non-vital there are also degrees of value, viz., the hand over a single finger, is abundantly obvious; no less so is the fact that their interest is one, or the further fact that, while on the one hand it is consistent with the interest of the whole that an effort should be made by the whole to restore to health any individual member that may happen to be diseased, it is, on the other hand, imperative upon the whole to submit to the loss of that member whenever the reason. able hope of recovery has ceased, and danger to the whole is threatened. If this analogy is sound, what citizen who realises his true position as illustrated by it, be he the meanest member of the State, can fail to take a lively interest in the measures adopted to keep the body in a healthy condition ? or, in other words, who, with correct notions upon the subject, can be indifferent to the study of the Public Municipal Law of his land ? The analogy, however, between the natural body and its members, and the political body and its, fails in this one important particular. Whereas in the the case of the natural body the hand must always remain the hand, the foot the foot, in the political body the
accident of birth entails no such fate. By virtue the meanest are exalted ; lacking virtue, the most exalted become debased. There is therefore this further incentive to the careful consideration of this subject, that, in addition to the general interest each member must have in the welfare of the whole body, he has this particular interest, that the improvement of his personal condition, while practically in his own hands, must be contingent upon the observance of those rules which have been adopted to advance the interests of all.
Table VI. is intended to exhibit the various classes amongst which persons are distributable, the relations they may establish between themselves, and the characters they may individually assume. The relation of Sovereign and subject has been discussed in the chapters on General Jurisprudence, Constitutional Law, and International Law. The remaining rights, duties, and obligations of persons are of two kinds—those derived from the Public, and those from the Private Municipal Law of their land. It is with the former only that we are here concerned, and which, together with the consideration of property, constitute the topic of our remaining remarks.
Property.- Property, as has been already stated, is either public or private ; in fact, therefore, each British citizen possesses two species of property: that which belongs to him as a member of the State, and that which belongs to him in his individual capacity. His interests are consequently twofold, public and private ; hence all contributions made by him from his private to the public purse are, in strictness, mere appropriations of his wealth for the support of one branch