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character and appellation of Crown lands, these two species of property were entirely confounded. It became a maxim of English law that all lands and tenements possessed by the King belong to him in right of his crown, and descend with it to his successor though he had been seized of them in his private capacity before he was king, and had inherited them from ancestors who were never invested with the attributes of royalty. By the adoption of this principle, the King was restrained from making bequests of landed property by will, but he still retained the power of giving away the lands of the Crown in his lifetime, and from erroneous conceptions of his right to these lands he was allowed to dispose of them by patent without the advice and consent of his great council. How much that power was abused it is needless to say.


The abuse was at last remedied by the Civil List Act of Queen Anne. The fifth section sets forth the true nature of the interest of the Sovereign in the Crown lands in the clearest possible way. It declares that

the necessary expenses of supporting the Crown, or the greatest part of them, were formerly defrayed by a Land Revenue, which hath from time to time been impaired and diminished by the grants of former kings and queens of this realm, so that Her Majesty's Land Revenue at present can afford very little for the support of her Government; nevertheless, from time to time, upon the determination of particular estates, whereupon many reversions and remainders in the Crown do now depend or expect, and by such lands, tenements, and hereditaments as may hereafter descend, escheat or otherwise come to Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, the Land Revenue of the Crown, in fines, rents, and other profits thereof may hereafter be increased, and consequently the burthen upon the estates of the subjects of this realm may be eased and lessened in all future provisions to be made for the expenses of the Civil Government.

The section after this preamble goes on to restrain the alienation by the Crown of any manors, messuages, lands, tenements, rents, tithes, woods, or other hereditaments 'now belonging or hereafter to belong to Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, or to any other person in trust for Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, in possession reversion remainder use or expectancy, whether the same be or shall be in right of the Crown of England, or as part of the Principality of Wales or of the Duchy or County Palatine of Lancaster, or otherwise howsoever.'

This comprehensive enactment includes in its sweep the true private property of the Sovereign for the time being. It was not until 1800 that this anomaly as it had now become was removed. By a statute of that year it is enacted that none of the restrictions or provisions in the Act of Anne shall apply to any landed property

* The greater part of the estates of the Crown had, indeed, been sold or purposely given away before the close of the seventeenth century. Even at the time of the Revolution the Crown lands were considered to be of so little value that, in the debate in the House of Commons upon the settlement of the revenue of King William and Queen Mary it was said, 'The revenue of the Crown lands is all gone; it is aliened from the King; he can have nothing from his land but from Parliament.' At the close of King William's reign the net revenue of the Crown lands was estimated at 6,000l. a year only, exclusive of the revenue of the Duchy of Cornwall, which was estimated at 9,000l. a year.-Mr. Gladstone's Return, part II. p. 433.

purchased by the King or his successors out of moneys from the privy purse, or other moneys not appointed to any public service, or coming to him or them from any person or persons not being kings or queens of this realm.''

The combined effect of the various Civil List Acts and this Act is, according to Mr. Allen, virtually to restore to the public the Crown lands, and to the Sovereign the power of acquiring landed property of his own. The historians, including Mr. Freeman, perhaps lay too much stress on this aspect of the surrender.' The public character of the Crown lands is even more emphatically asserted in the appropriation of them to the purposes of Civil Government by the earlier Acts, and in the unequivocal language of the Statute of Anne. The true conclusion appears to me to be best stated in the words of a writer the weight of whose opinion would be at once recognised if I were to mention his name:

It is a fallacy that the Crown lands are in some peculiar sense the private property of the Sovereign, and that their revenues constitute a fund chargeable only with his personal expenditure, and that of the Royal Family. The title of the Crown to the Crown lands is indisputable, but it is only entitled to them subject to the somewhat onerous obligation of defraying the whole of the ordinary expenditure of the State.

They once constituted the fund out of which almost the whole of the expenditure of the State was defrayed, and they are now held by the same title and subject to the same obligations as they were then.

The arrangement made at the beginning of every reign is really an integral part of the Constitution, and could not be abandoned.

The reversionary interest of the heir to the Crown is saddled with an annual burden of some seventy millions; it is therefore practically valueless, and may be disregarded.

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We have seen that the Duchy of Cornwall was expressly exempted from some of the Civil List Acts. Doubts appear to have arisen whether the surrender' by William the Fourth, which embraced hereditary and casual revenues, included the revenues of the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster, but it was distinctly stated in the House of Commons that it did not. The revenues of Cornwall never were the property of the Crown except when there was no heir apparent to the Throne, and the revenues of Lancaster had been from a very early period subject to peculiar regulations, totally independent of the authority of the Sovereign.' 10 Attempts have been made from time to time to subject these revenues to the same control as the 'surrendered' revenues. In 1780 Mr. Burke proposed to take them over for the public service in exchange for a clear annuity to the Crown based on their average value for a period of twenty years. Parliament, however, has been content with enacting, as it did in 1837, that accounts of the income and expenditure of the two Duchies should be laid before it every year. The papers for

939 & 40 Geo. III. c. 88.

10 Return of 1869, part II. p. 605.

1899 show that Lancaster in that year paid 60,000l. to the Queen, and Cornwall 66,915l. 68. 4d. to the Prince of Wales. It may be added that the charges on the Duchy of Lancaster include the salary of the Chancellor, who is of course a member of the Government of the day. These 'Crown lands' accordingly occupy an anomalous position, due, or at least attributed to the peculiarity of the title. They form no part of the revenues which, according to Mr. Freeman, 'a custom as strong as law' has compelled the King to give back to the nation. On the other hand, they are no more than the Crown lands the private property of the Sovereign or the Heir Apparent, although that contention also has from time to time been maintained.

The true private estates of the Sovereign are governed by a series of Acts of Parliament of their own. These are really enabling Acts, permitting the King to escape from the disabilities of his common-law and statutory position and to acquire, own, and dispose of landed property in his own personal right. The Act of 1800 was the first, but by no means the last. An Act of 1862 defines the 'private estates' of the Sovereign (in terms which effectually exclude anything in the nature of Crown lands), and in respect of these seeks to give the Sovereign the ordinary rights of a private owner. But as recently as 1873 it was necessary to pass another Act in order to make it quite clear that if the Queen were to leave Balmoral to the Prince of Wales, the estate would not, on his accession to the Throne, fall into the grip of the Statute of Anne and become Crown land in the ordinary sense of the term. And it was not without difficulty that the emancipation was effected. Constitutionalists like Mr. Bouverie resisted it on the familiar ground that the private wealth of the Sovereign should not be increased-that he should be, as in times past, dependent on the bounty of Parliament.

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The now expiring Act of 1889 was based upon the report Committee of the House of Commons which, reciting that Her Majesty did not then press for any pensions for the children of her daughters and younger sons, recorded its opinion that with regard to the daughters and younger sons of future sovereigns, at the proper time arrangements should be made under which no future claims of a similar kind can arise.' They accordingly recommended the grant of 36,000l. a year to the Prince of Wales 'in order to prevent repeated applications to Parliament and to establish the principle that the provision for children should hereafter be made out of grants adequate to that purpose which have been assigned to their parents.' These words are recited in the preamble of the Act, and it is hardly possible that the new Civil List can be settled without reference to them. Of course the present Parliament is not bound by the enactments of a preceding Parliament, still less by the findings or the recommendations of a Select Committee. But

Parliament did profess in 1889 to create a precedent, and it is to be regretted that the debates of that time do not more clearly elucidate its precise intentions. Mr. Gladstone, however, had no doubt about the practical effect of the words in question.

In my opinion [he said] the question of the grandchildren of the reigning Sovereign, other than the children of the Heir Apparent, is settled—I think for all time I admit not by a formal withdrawal. I give a most confident opinion, founded upon such observation of public affairs as has ever been within my power, that this claim has as completely disappeared from the region of what may be termed practical politics, as if it had been withdrawn by a deed upon parchment regularly stamped and sealed. What is now asked for undeniably secures us from controversy during the remainder of the reign, and, on the other hand, as undeniably points to the construction of a new Civil List as the occasion when the whole question must be settled in principle and in practice, and likewise indicates that mode of settlement which will be recognised as sound and just.

On the other hand, the proposals of the Select Committee were resisted by other members on the ground that they left alive, if indeed they did not confirm, the claim which Mr. Gladstone considered to be barred.

In this paper, little or nothing has been said of the Civil List and the hereditary revenues of Ireland and Scotland, as they were before these countries became incorporated in the United Kingdom. Nor have I attempted to anticipate the terms of the new settlement the House of Commons is about to make. My object has been to bring together those points in the history of a very curious part of our constitutional system which seem to have the most direct bearing on the immediate question of the hour. For this purpose

it has appeared to me that the line of English settlements, beginning with the Act of William the Third, supplied sufficient material. There is now only one Civil List for the United Kingdom. The ' hereditary revenues,' from whatever quarter of the Kingdom they arise, go into the Consolidated Fund, and out of that fund comes the provision for the maintenance of the Crown and the Royal Family. That simple fact seems to me to dispose of the subtleties that have come to the surface in previous controversies, and to leave before the House of Commons and the country the simple question what allowance it befits the country to offer to the King, and to what purposes that allowance should be applied. I am unwilling to add to the few suggestions I have made, but I cannot help observing that the question would become simpler still if the House of Commons were to abandon the system of classification, and allow the King to administer his household allowance as he may think best.




OWING to various causes which it is not necessary to investigate or dwell upon in this article, the Church of England has of late years been allowed to drift in a somewhat absent-minded manner, so far as the majority of Church people are concerned, into a condition which can hardly fail to cause anxiety to her best friends, and might very easily become dangerous to her as the Established Church of the Realm.

In venturing to emphasise this danger I hope I may be understood to do so in a dispassionate spirit. I am not one of those who make a fetich of Establishment, as some Anglican Churchmen seem to do.

Both historical and contemporary experience have abundantly proved that political establishment is not of necessity and under all circumstances the arrangement by means of which a church can most effectively fulfil her moral and spiritual mission. The value of such establishment, compared with freedom, should be estimated on its merits in the case of each particular national church, and by the nation itself.

But this question is one that involves so many grave and farreaching issues in an historic Church like ours that when those who, if a frontal attack were made on her position as an Establishment, would immediately close their ranks and fight for it as for hearth and home, and would even clamorously denounce the attack as sacrilegious-when such persons are seen to be bringing her into imminent danger by the policy they support, or encourage, or acquiesce in, the pity of it can hardly fail to stir us to utter a note of warning.

I may be told that, if this drifting into such dangerous waters has been really going on, the persons chiefly to blame for it are the rulers of the Church, the appointed guardians and stewards of her position and privileges; and I do not venture to affirm that the bishops are, or have been, above criticism in the matter; but even if it can be shown that they might have, been wiser or stronger, more

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