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not only summoned to Parliament, along with the Dukes, Princes, and the rest of the Nobility, but that they were always ranked the first, taking precedence of the greatest and most eminent of the secular Peers. And during the whole of this period they, and the other prelates of the Church, held by no other tenure than in puro et pepetuo Eleemosyna,* or frankalmoigne,†sitting in Parliament in no other capacity than as spiritual persons merely, who, because of their great learning and knowledge, at a time when the laity were sunk in the grossest ignorance, were thought best able to direct and advise the Sovereign in all points of difficulty. But after the Norman Conquest the case was altered. The Prelates of the Church were no longer suffered to hold their land in frankalmoigne, or to be free from secular services, or commands, but were constrained to hold them sub militari servitute, either in capite, or by Baronage, or some such military tenure, by which they were compelled to aid the King, in time of war, with men, arms, and horses; the same as lay-subjects, holding by a similar tenure, were required to do. At first, this was loudly complained of as an oppression, a disfranchisement, a heavy burthen, on the prelacy; but in the end, it conduced to their greater honor, by giving them a higher title than they before possessed, to their place in Parliament, namely, ratione officii, by reason of their offices or spiritual dignities only. They now sat in Parliament by virtue, also, of those Baronies which were erected and annexed to their several dignities; and from that time forwards, they were to be looked upon, in Parliament, not as Bishops merely, but as Peers and Barons of the realm. This right they asserted, in the reign of Henry II., in the Parliament held at Northampton: non sedimus hic EPISCOPI, sed BARONES, pares hic sumus: (Selden, Titles of Honor,)—we sit not here as Bishops only, but as Barons; we are Barons, and you are Barons; here we sit as Peers.

After the alteration of their tenure by the Norman Conqueror, we find, in a Parliament assembled in the fifth year of that King's reign, Episcopi, Abbates, Comites et primats totius Anglia-the Bishops, Abbots, Earls, and the rest of the Baronage of England. And in the ninth year of William Rufus, that monarch, as we learn from an old author, (Eadmer Hist. Nov. 1. 2.) having to consult on the affairs of the kingdom, he called together, by writ, the Bishops and Abbots, and all the Peers of the realm. So, in the reigns of Henry I., Henry II. and Richard I., we learn from William of Malmesbury, Hoveden, &c. that the Bishops and Abbots, "with the other Peers," were always summoned to Parliament. John called a Parliament wherein certain laws were made for the defence of the kingdom, " communi assensu archiepiscoporum, episcoporum, comitum, &c." by the common counsel and assent of the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, and the rest of his lieges. From this time down to the present, there is not an act of Parliament, (excepting, of course, those passed during the Commonwealth and the four or five years preceding) in which the assent of the Bishops-the Lords spiritual and temporal-is not to be found.

If it were not going too largely into the subject for our pages, we might add to the above, the form and manner of the writ by which the Bishops were summoned-the privilege of Parliament which they enjoyed for them

* Camden.

+"Tenure in frankalmoigne." says Blackstone," or free alms, is that, whereby a religious corporation, aggregate or sole, holdeth lands of the donor to them and their successors for ever. The service which they were bound to render for these lands was not certainly defined; but only in general to pray for the souls of the donor and his heirs, dead or alive; and therefore they did no fealty (which is incident to all other services but this,) because this divine service was of a higher and more exalted nature. This is the tenure by which all the ancient monasteries and religious houses held their lands, and by which the parochial clergy, and very many ecclesiastical and eleemosynary foundations hold them at this day." Comment. Bk. II. Ch. VI.

selves and servants during the session-the "liberty to kill and take one or two of the King's deer, as they passed by any of his forests in going to Parliament upon his commandment,"*—their enjoying the same immunities as were and are enjoyed by the temporal peers, &c.—all proving that they sit in parliament by as good a title as the temporal lords, and therefore forming essential and fundamental parts of the Court of Parliament.

It is clear, too, from our ancient statutes, and other memorials, that they were accounted one of the three estates of Parliament, distinct from the Sovereign, as its head. Thus, we find it affirmed by Titus Livius, (M.S. in Bibl. Bodl.) in his "Relation of the Life and Reign of Henry V," that "when his funerals were ended, the three estates of the realm of England did assemble together, and declare his son King Henry VI, being an infant of eight months old, to be their sovereign lord -as his heir and successor. But three estates there could not be, to perform that office, unless the Bishops were acknowledged one of the number. Speed, too, mentions, that, “in the parliament rolls of King Richard II. there is mention of a bill or parchment presented to that prince, being then Duke of Gloucester, on the behalf, and in the name, of the three estates of the realms of England, that is to wit, of the Lords, spiritual and temporal, and of the Commons by name, &c. &c."-Again: it is so acknowledged in a statute of 1 Elizabeth, cap. 3, where the Lords, spiritual and temporal, and the Commons in that parliament assembled, being said expressly, and in terminis, to represent the three estates of the realm of England, did recognise the Queen to be their "true, lawful, and undoubted lieged Lady and Queen." And in a statute of the eighth year of that Queen's reign, the Bishops and clergy are declared to be the "greatest estates of the realm;" and, in another place, are called, "the high estate of prelacy."

We will now cite the authority of one who has "6 great oracle of English law"-Sir Edward Coke. in his book concerning the Jurisdiction of Courts,


been justly styled the

This profound jurist, speaks thus of parlia

"This court consisteth of the King's Majesty, sitting there as in his royal politick capacity, and of the three estates of the realm, viz., of the Lords spiritual, Archbishops and Bishops, who sit there by succession, in respect of their counties, baronies, parcel of their bishopricks, which they hold also in their politick capacity; and every one of these, when any parliament is to be holden, ought, ex debito justitia, to have a writ of summons. Secondly, to Lords temporal, &c.&c. thirdly, the Commons of the realm, &c."

Having thus shewn " by what right the Bishops sit in parliament," it remains to be shewn, that they cannot be excluded from parliament by any other authority than that which supersedes the authority of the law, the constitution, and the maxims of public justice—an authority that can only erect itself upon the ruins of the monarchy. It is laid down as a fundamental principle by all our great writers upon public law, that nothing can be done by two of three estates which tends to the subversion of the third. They are of co-ordinate powers, each having a capacity of separate jurisdiction and independent deliberation, in matters concerning the common weal, but neither of them in possession of antagonist rights, as concerns their own functions, and political existence. That is to say, by the law and constitution of the country, the House of Commons and the House of Peers, can no more agree to deprive the Bishops of their seats in parliament, than the Bishops, uniting with the temporal peers, can abolish the House of Commons, or uniting with the House of Commons, can abolish the secular branch of the other house. Were it otherwise, how easy it would have been, in former times, when the clergy exercised so large a share of influence in all public matters, for them, either by joining with the nobility to exclude the Commons, or, by joining with the commonalty, to exclude the nobility.

* Charta de Foresta.


But, it will be said, the thing has been done. It has and public confusion, and public misery followed. We are not contending against what has been done, because there is no crime of which either nations or individuals can be guilty, which may not be committed, if the mere shewing that they have been committed is to be taken as sufficient authority for their repetition. The scope of our argument in this inquiry, has been to establish, bistorically, the fact, that from the earliest beginning of the British monarchy, the presence of the Bishops in parliament, or by whatever name the great council of the nation was called, was a fundamental and essential part of its constitution, and that, in the only period when they did not form this fundamental and essential part, the monarchy itself did not survive.


"You would pluck out the heart of my mystery."- Hamlet.

Hercules Huncks, when I first knew him, was a schoolmaster; a calling he had followed for upwards of thirty years, in the village of -, where accidental circumstances occasioned me, lately, to take up my temporary residence. There was a sort of mystery connected with him, arising from three causes. First, nobody knew where he came from: secondly, nobody had ever been able to get the secret out of him; thirdly, he always wore a broad black band round his throat, which nobody had ever seen him remove; not even when he lay sick of the scarlet fever, and was unable to shave himself, and when he peremptorily refused to let John Snobbs, the village barber, turn down the edge of it, to get at the crop of bristles which was beginning to luxuriate beneath.


The tradition of the place was, that Hercules Huncks (everybody said that was not his true name) arrived, on foot, in the village of summer's evening, when the inhabitants were celebrating the close of their harvest labors. With a wallet at his back, a staff in his hand, the dust of many a weary mile upon his feet, and the gloom and care of many a sorrowful hour in his pale, anxious face, which was bedewed with perspiration, he sat himself down on the traveller's bench, outside the Royal Oak, and calling for a mug of ale, surveyed, while he drank it, the sports that were going on, with a seemingly keen but melancholy interest. The villagers looked at him; wondered who he was; made two or three guesses upon the subject; and then troubled themselves no further about the matter.

The sun went down, and the soft hour of twilight and repose came on, and still the stranger was seen sitting on the traveller's bench. Group by group, and one by one, the villagers retired to their homes. A few thirsty souls, some half-dozen or so, who had no careful wives to look after them, continued to smoke, and drink, and sing, and laugh uproariously, round a table that stood in the open air. At length, they too departed, and then, the stranger, calling the landlord to him, inquired if he could have a bed.

This was a question which honest Michael Jones, mine host, could not venture to answer, till he had taken sweet counsel of Mrs.Jones,who was the Minister for the Home Department; for though he knew there was a spare bed, he did not know that Mrs. Jones would choose to spare it, while he did know, from past experience, that any assignment of it, without her consent, was not the way to strew roses upon his own bed.

"Let me look at him," quoth Mrs. Jones, when she heard there was a

traveller who wanted to sleep at the Royal Oak that night; and out she bustled, with her hands in her pockets, to make the survey.

"Where do you come from, my good man?" said she, placing herself opposite to him.

"A long distance, as you may see," replied the stranger, pointing to his dusty shoes.

"And where are you going to?"

"Do you mean to-morrow?"

"I suppose so."

"Ah, mistress, I have already lived long enough to learn the wisdom of letting to-morrow answer for itself. Can I pass to-night, where I am?"

“ Y—e—s—,” responded Mrs. Jones, slowly, eyeing him from head to foot as she spoke. “ Y—-e—s— I can make up a bed for you, but it will be eighteenpence."

"A bargain—and money down," answered the stranger, taking eighteenpence from his pocket, and placing it in Mrs. Jones' hand, who kept it there till she could examine it by candle light-" and now," continued he," the sooner I may turn in, the better pleased I shall be, for I am weary; but you may bring me another mug of ale."

Such was the manner, as I have heard, of Hercules Huncks' first appearance in the village of He slept at the Royal Oak that night; re mained an inmate for nearly three months; at the end of that time took a house near the church; resided there about another three months; and then made known his intention of opening a school.

Whether he was rich or poor, nobody could tell; because, although he always had money enough for everything he wanted, he never apappeared to have more than enough. Whether he dropped from the clouds, or came up from the centre of the earth, nobody could tell; because although the postman, at some time or other, brought letters or parcels for almost every other person in the village, he never brought parcel or letter for Hercules Huncks. Yet he received, and wrote, letters; for he was seen to read, and known to answer, them. But as he went regularly twice a week, winter and summer, to the neighbouring market town, distant about eight miles, it was not unreasonably conjectured that he took that opportunity of carrying on his correspondence.

It would be injustice to the good folks of

to conceal, that they

left no stone unturned to get at the bottom of Mr. Huncks' mystery; and it was only after they were foiled at all points, that they confessed it was not worth while to trouble themselves about it.

For many years he avoided all intercourse with the people of except so far as the business of his school, or other ordinary matters, brought them together. But there was nothing of the misanthrope about him; nothing beyond what appeared to be a natural reserve of character, and fondness for solitude.

On one occasion, when pressed to dine with Mr. Simpson, the surgeon, he said mildly, yet with a little touch of peevish pride, " I cannot now keep the company I would, and I will not keep the company I can;" then added, as if suddenly aware of the apparently ungracious import of his words," do not misconceive me-you I should gladly have ranked among my friends, when I had friends, of whom I was proudest." Latterly, he relaxed somewhat from this rigid seclusion: not as to visiting, or being visited, for he accepted no invitations, and gave none: but he mingled more with his neighbours, on public occasions, and even consented to belong to a club that met nightly at the Royal Oak, and which consisted of all the most considerable persons of the place.

It was at this club I first saw him, shortly after I had become a resident in Apprized beforehand, of the circumstances I have related, and many more, I went prepared to find a man affecting singularity upon a small scale, for the sake of being what is called a "character." I was disappointed.

Had I not been told what I had, I should never have discovered it from his manner. He was then between fifty and sixty, his hair thin and grizzled, his figure bent, his eye sunken, but retaining much expression, and his countenance indicative of great benevolence, overshadowed, as it seemed to me, by the habitually pensive expression of some deep-rooted sorrow. One thing I discovered in the first half hour of our conversation—that his mind and attainments were not those of an ordinary man.

Perhaps he made a similar discovery (nobody knows who I am, so I may indulge in a little bit of foolish egotism) for it was not long before he evidently sought occasions for being in my company, instead of acting towards me as he still continued to do towards every other person, passively allowing them to seek his. My house was divided from his only by a meadow, and being built on a slight eminence, he commanded an easy view of it; and I was soon convinced that he watched my going out, that he might purposely throw himself in my way, though there was always an attempt, when we met, to ascribe it to accident. The result was, that in due time we became intimate in the fields, lanes, and sequestered paths; for he never asked me to cross his threshold, and after what I had heard, I did not dream of inviting him to cross mine. Every fresh opportunity of studying his character added to my first impression of it, and insensibly awakened an interest for one who I was sure was unhappy, and who, it was possible, did not deserve to be so.

Some men have the power, no matter how deeply stricken their hearts may be, to shroud in impenetrable secresy, all but the fact that they are wretched. The cause of their wretchedness lies entombed within them. Others, though they never talk of the precise circumstances, by a thousand little indications leave a sagacious observer in no doubt as to their general nature, but without being able to fix their exact bearings as to the individual. Hercules Huncks was of the former description. His grief, whatever it was, never rose to the surface of his conversation. But its whole current was tinged by it.

We were returning home one evening, after one of these casually contrived meetings, when we met a man hurrying along, with that distraction of countenance which denoted the occurrence of some calamity. We inquired what had happened. In accents of the deepest anguish, he told us that his father had just attempted to destroy himself, and that he was hastening for the doctor. "Attempted!" ejaculated my companion with a peculiar tone-" He is not dead, then?"

"God knows!" answered the poor fellow, his eyes streaming with tears, "He lies in a pool of blood-but may be alive perhaps," and on he went, upon his sad errand.

"How dreadful !" I exclaimed.

"Yes!—it is dreadful," replied Hercules Huncks.

We continued our walk in silence for several minutes, during which my mind was busied about a strange fancy.

"What a moment that must be," I observed," when a man holds a razor to his throat, or a pistol to his head, and the next,-is no longer a being of this world! Were it possible for a suicide to return, and tell us of that moment, methinks it would be a tale of horror surpassing our endurance to hear."

My companion made no reply. Indeed he seemed to be so much shocked by the circumstance, that he scarcely exchanged another word during the remainder of our walk; and when we parted, I saw, by his countenance and manner, that the occurrence had made a deeper impression upon him than upon myself.

The following day I was summoned to London, to attend a consultation in a chancery suit which had been depending eleven years, and was at length, by what I learned on my arrival in town,in a favorable train for settle ment, in about five more, provided the litigating parties could agree upon one

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