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veniencies which have arifen in the aflize and making of bread for fale; and that the columns in the repealed act of 8 Anne would be the proper aflize for the faid standard wheat bread, a twelve penny loaf of which would, on a medium, contain 2lb. of bread in 8 more than the twelvepenny loaf of wheat made under 31 G. II.

The report from the committee of the Houfe of Commons. 1774, to confider the method practifed in making flour from wheat, the prices thereof, and how far it may be expedient to put the fame upon the regulations of an affize was printed 9 Nov. 1795.


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four ounces of the fame flour mixed
with one pound twelve ounces of
potatoes; when boild and mashed,
equal quantities of yeaft, falt, and
water, were put to each loaf; but, in
making up, it was found that the loaf
of flour required more water, which
was accordingly added, and that the
mixed loaf had already too much;
three ounces of flour were added to
remedy the defect. On weighing
them when cold, after baking the
fame time in the fame oven, it was
found that the flour loaf weighed
eight pounds fix ounces, and the
mixed one only five pounds fifteen

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Account of the Government of EngLand from the Year 1400 to 1485; from Andrews's Hiflory of Great Britain, vol. I, part 2.

HE power of each department of legiflature became now more accurately defined, although no confiderable alterations had been made in either.

"The king's authority was moft affuredly not in general defpotic, fince he could neither repeal nor change any law which had been made by confent of his parliament. Yet that difpenfing power which each monarch affumed, when it fuited his purpofe, threw far too great a weight into the fcale of royalty. The fovereign befides retained the cruel right of giving in marriage the wards of the crown, although that prerogative (as well as that of purveyance) was exercifed in a much more moderate degree than it had been of old.*

He could likewife prefs for his fervice not only foldiers and failors, but alfo musicians, goldfmiths, embroiderers and various forts of artificers. †

The peers attended their duty in parliament at their own expence. The reprefentatives of the commons were always paid from the commencement of reprefentation. To

wards the clofe of the 14th century it was fixed at 4s. per diem fo knights of fhires, and half that fun for each burgels.

The fheriff's influence in re turning members was extenfive and frequently abufed. Sometimes they made no proper elections of knights, &c. fometimes no return at all, and fometimes they returned fuch as had never been elected.'

For thefe and fuch like mife meanors he might be sued by acti at the affizes and was liable to fina and imprifonment.

The qualification requifite fr knights of the fires was 401. p annum. It appears too that fireng of body and conftitution was ut manded, for the parliamentary w about this period directed the elec tors to chufe not only the wifest bat the ftouteft men (potentiores ad borandum), that they might be able to endure the fatigue of the journ and of clofe attendance. §

Befides their pay, the members the Houfe of Commons had the privilege, for themfelves and the fervants, of freedom from all a refts. A neceflary exemption, t they might be enabled to per their duty. But this privilege i well as their pay) attended on e members only during their actua fervices, and quitted them at the

Fortefcue de Eaudibus Legum Angliæ. Preamble to ftat. 23 Hen. VI. cap. 14.

+ Ibid. Pryrine.

end of each feffion; allowing only for the few days which they might be obliged to employ in journeying to London and returning home. * The convocations were regularly fummoned with the lay-parliaments and as regularly met. The prelates were ftill directed to attend and 'confult with the nobles.' They were alfo directed to order their dean and archdeacons to attend in perfon, each chapter to fend one proctor, and the clergy of each diocefe to fend two proctors, to confent to thofe things which fhould be ordained by the common council of the kingdom.' As therefore they were only to confent,' not to confult,' the proctors could fcarcely be reckoned a part of the commons. They however received wages and partook of the privileges of parliament. The ecclefiaftics ftill 'continued to lay taxes on themfelves; but the confent of the other branches of legiflature was neceflary to give

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force to their decree. +

Parliaments were often called and quickly difmiffed. They had frequently only one feflion, and once (in 1399,) but a fingle day.

No confiderable alterations appeared in the English courts of law. The number of the judges in the courts at Westminster was by no means certain. Under Henry VI. there were at one time eight judges in the court of Common Pleas. Each judge took a folemn oath that he would take no fee, penfion, gift, reward, or bribe, from any fuitor, faving meat and drink, which thould be of no great value.

tenance (an union for finifter purpofes) ftill prevailed; the priests by their exemptions were fet above the law; fanctuaries abounded throughout the realm and protected the vileft criminal and the moft difhoneft debtor; perjury throve and afforded a living to many; while the high conftable, under colour of exerciting military law, was authorized to proceed in cafes of treafon, fummarily and without noise or form of trial,' and if he withed to give an appearance of juftice to his proceedings, he could call in the aid of torture by fire or on the rack.

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The account which the learned judge Hale gives of the lawyers who pleaded in the 15th century does them little honour. He condemns the reports during the reigns of Henry IV. and V. as inferior to thofe of the last twelve years of Edward III; and he fpeaks but cooly of thofe which the reign of Henry VI. produces §

Yet this deficiency of progreffive improvement in the common law, arofe not from a want of application to the fcience; fince we read in a very refpectable treatife that there were no fewer than 2,000 ftudents attending on the inns of Chancery and of Court, in time of its wri ter. T

The Court of Chancery feems to date its rife at the clofe of the 14th century. It was highly obnoxious to the profeffors of the common law, who, by their intereft in the Houfe of Commons, procured a petition againft it from the Parliament to Edward IV. in 1471. The influ ence of the prelates (who were certain of guiding that court) defeated this attempt, and its ettablishment Fortefcue de Laudibus Legum Angliæ.

The laws were ill-executed throughout the 15th century. Main+ lbid. Hift of Common Law, apud Henry.


Fortefcue de Laudibus, &c. encountered

encountered no farther difficulties *.

One obfervation there remains to make on the general fate of the English at this period. Civilization indeed had not hitherto made fuch progrefs as entirely to abolish flavery. Yet few land-owners or renters were to be found who did not prefer the labour of freemen to that of flaves. This circumftance diminish ed their number, and the perpetual civil contests enfranchized many by putting arms in their hands. Within a few years after the acceffion of the Tudors, flaves were heard of no more.

A reflection at the clofe of the 15th century by Philip de Commines will very naturally finish this fection. His fuffrages in favour of England is the more remarkable as it is given voluntarily at the clofe of the longeft and moft bloody civil war with which the English anuals can be charged. In my opinion' (fays that judicious obferver) of all the countries in Europe where I was ever acquainted, the government is no where fo well managed, the people no where lefs obnoxious to violence and oppreflion, nor their houfes lefs liable to the defolations of * war, than in England; for there the calamities fall only upon the authors.

Scotland was not fo happy. The unfortunate death of the Norwegian Margaret had involved that realm in a long and bloody conteft with its powerful neighbour; and, although the gallant and free fpirits of the Scots had preferved the independence of their country notwithflanding their inferiority in numbers, wealth, and difcipline, it could not

prevent the preponderance of moft odious and tyrannic ariftocracy. Perpetual domeftic war loofened every tie of conftitutional government; and a Douglas, a Creighton, or a Donald of the ifles, by turns exercised fuch defpotifm and inhumanity as no monarch in the 15th century would have dared to practife.

The endeavours of the first and of the fecond James were turned towards improving the jurifprudence of the North, by engrafting on it the beft parts of the English fyftem; but the fuddennefs of their deaths and the weak reign of their fucceffor James III. prevented their people from receiving much benefit from fuch laudable defigns.

The parliament of Scotland, at this period, had nearly monopolized all judicial authority. Three committees were formed from the house (for there was only one) foon after the members met. The firft, like the

Triers in England,' examined, ap proved of, or difapproved petitions to the fenate; the second conftituted the highest court in all criminal profecutions, as did the third in civil ones. And, as every lord of parliament who chofe it might claim his place in each of thefe committees, almost the whole administration of law, civil as well as military, refided in the breast of the Scottish nobility.

There was another court, that of Seffion, of which the members and the duration were appointed by par liament.

The jufticiary (an officer difcontinued in England as too potent) was ftill nominally at the head of the Scottish law, and held courts which were ftyled Jufliciaries,' as

Cotton's Records.

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did the Chamberlain Chambers fact, the matter was then referred to lainaries;' from these courts there the decifion of the fword. If the was allowed an appeal to a jurifdic- parties were noble, the king himtion of great antiquity, ftyled The felf was always prefent at the comFour Boroughs' Court.' This was bat, feated on a fcaffold, attended formed of burgeffes from Edinburgh by the earl marfhal and high conand three other towns, who met at ftable of England, who were to fee Haddington to judge on fuch ap- that no undue advantage was peals. taken by either party. The conqueror was then declared innocent, and the vanquifhed guilty.

There was one abuse, however, which rendered every court of juftice nugatory. It had become a cuftom for the Scottish monarchs to beftow on their favourites not only eftates but powers and privileges equal to their own. Thefe were ftyled Lords of Regalities;' they formed courts around them, had mimic officers of ftate, and tried, executed, or pardoned the greateft


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The good fenfe of James II. prompted him to propofe a remedy for this inordinate evil; but two admirable laws which he brought for ward (the one against granting Regalities' without confent of parliament; the other, to prohibit the beftowing of hereditary dignities) were after his deceafe neglected; and Scotland continued, two centuries longer, a prey to the jarring interefts of turbulent, traitorous noble


Account of the Procceding in the Trial by Battle; from Dallaway's Heraldic Inquiries.

NCIENTLY, when one perfon was accufed by another without any farther witnefs than the bare ipfe dixit of the accufer, the accufed party making good his own caufe by ftrongly denying the VOL. XXXVII.

The feventh of June, a combate was foughte before the king's palace at Westminster, on the pavement there, betwixt one fir John Annelley, knight, and one Thomas Katrington, efq.


The occafion of this ftrange and notable triall rofe hereof. knight accufed the efquier of treafon, for that whereas the fortreffe of Sainte Saviour within the isle of Conftantine, in Normandie, belonging fometime to fir John Chandos, had bin committed to the faid Katrington, as Captayne thereof to keepe it againft the enemies, he hadde for money folde and delivered it over to the Frenchmen, when he was fufficiently provided, of men, munition, and vittayles, to have defended it against them; and fith the inheritance of that fortreffe and lands belonging thereto, had apperteyned to the faid Annefley in righte of his wife, as nearest coufin by affinite unto fir John Chandos, if by the falfe conveyance of the faid Katrington, it had not bin made away and alienated into the enemies hands, hee offered therefore to trie the quarrell by combate, against the faide Katrington, whereupon the fame Katrington was apprehended, and putte in prifon, but fhortly af ter fet at libertio againe. [*H]


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