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portant was the institution of parliaments. Though Independene the antiquity of the modus tenendi parliamentum cy of Irish
parliament. said to be transmitted for Ireland by king Henry II. is questioned by some learned antiquaries, yet it incontestibly appears, that prior to the reign of Edward III. the parliament of Ireland was, as Sir Edward Coke observes, regulated according to the institution of England. How far the Irish parliament was or ought to be dependent upon the parliament of England, has been a subject of controversy amongst learned and ingenious men. It is neither my wish or intention to revive this discussion now :. but it is important to inquire how any statutes passed in England, came to have authority or force in Ireland: and this question may be answered by referring to the statutes themselves, without resorting to historical deduction, or to any abstract or philosophical reasoning upon the subject. By the 10 Hen. 7. c. 4. Ir. as explained by the 3 & 4. Ph. & M. c. 4. Ir. it was enacted, that no parliament should be holden in Ireland, until the lord lieutenant and council should certify to the king, under the great seal, the considerations, causes, and articles of all such acts, provisions, and ordinances as were thought meet to be enacted; and should have received the king's answer, under the great seal of England, declaring his pleasure, either for the passing of the said acts in such form and tenor as they should be sent into England, or else for the change or alteration of them, or any part of them. But this latter statute provided, that such other causes, considerations, &c, as the lord 'lieutenant and council should think good to be enacted, might, in like manner, be certified pending the time of parliament; and that no other acts than such as were certified and returned under the great seal of England, should be passed in Ireland.
And it was further enacted by the 11 Eliz. st. 3. c., 8. Ir. that no bill should be certified into England for the repeal or suspending of Poyning's act, (10 Hen. 7. c. 4. supra) before such will should, be first agreed to by the greater number of lords and commons in parliament assembled. Whether the object of this act of Sir W. Poyning's administration was (according to Sir J. Davies,) to restrain the governors of the realm from imposing laws upon the commons, not tending to the general good, but to serve their private turns, and to strengthen their particular factions; or (according to Mr. Molyneux) to prevent any thing passing in the parlianjent of Ireland surreptitiously, to the prejudice of the king, or the English interest of Ireland'; it is clear, as Dr. Leland remarks, that this statute did not contain any resignation of legislative rights, or any formal investiture of the parliament of England with the power of making laws for Ireland. But the several provisions of the 10 Hen. 7. c. 4. Ir, and 3 & 4 Ph. & M. c. 4. Ir. above stated were, in the year 1782, distinctly recited and repealed by an act of the Irish parliament (21 & 22 Geo. 3. c. 47. Ir.) Prior to this period the parliament of England had passed several acts affecting or purporting to bind Ireland ; and the 6 Geo. 1. c. 5. Eng. had expressly declared, that the king's majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons of Great Britain, in parliament assembled, had, and of right ought to have, full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the kingdom and people of Ireland: But this statute was repealed by the 22 Geo. 3. c. 53. Eng. And the 23 Geo. 3. c. 28. Eng. further declared and enacted, that the right claimed by the people of Ireland to be bound only by laws
enacted by his majesty, and the parliament of that kingdom, in all cases whatever, &c.* should be established and ascertained for ever, and should at no time thereafter be questioned or questionable.
But though the authority of the English legislature How English to make laws for Ireland was at all times denied by to be of force the Irish parliament, and was thus, at this memora- in Ireland. ble period of Irish history, renounced on the part of Great Britain ; yet many English statutes have been from time to time adopted in Ireland by the parliament of this country. Sir Richard Bolton (formerly lord chief baron of the exchequer in Ireland) states in a note to his edition of the Irish statutes, that in the 13th year of king Edward II. the statute of Merton made the 20th of Henry II. [tthe statute of Westminster the first made the 3d of Edward I, the statute of Gloucester made the 6th of Edward I, and the statute of Westminster the second made the 13 Edward I.] were all confirmed by the parliament of Ireland ; and all other statutes which were of force in England were referred to be examined in the next parliament. And that in the 10th of Henry IV. it was enacted in Ireland, that the statutes made in England should not be of force in Ireland, unless they were allowed and published in this kingdom by parliament. And that the like statute was made again in the 29th year of Henry VI. These statutes are not to be found in the parliament rolls: but Sir R. Bolton affirms, that he had seen the same exemplified under the great seal, and
* This act also restored the appellate jurisdiction to Ireland.
+ The Red Book of the exchequer, and Black Book of Christa church, Dublin, contain entries or exemplifications of these statutes of Edward I. amongst others. And it appears from the memoranda at the foot of several English acts, that they were transmitted to Ireland by a transcript under the great seal of England,
that the exemplification remained in the treasury of
meanors; or for punishment of merchants or factors; are enacted to be of force in Ireland; provided they should be first proclaimed at Dublin, Drogheda, and other market-towns. Several other acts passed in subsequent reigns might be here also referred to, which specially adopt particular English statutes. Some instances also occur of Irish acts explaining or repealing English statutes which had been previously in force in Ireland. But the cases are very numerous in which the Irish statutes appear to be literal transcripts of English acts, without any reference however to them: and in many instances also the Irish acts are very nearly corresponding to the English statutes which they have followed with but little deviation. For all these I must refer to the body of this work : but the 21 & 22 Geo. 3. c. 48. Ir. (commonly called Yelverton's act) deserves to be Yelverton's
Act. here particularly noticed. This statute enacts, first, that all statutes made in England or Great Britain, under which any lands, &c, in this kingdom, or any estate or interest therein, are or is holden or claimed, or which concern the title thereto, or any evidence respecting the same; and, 2dly, all such clauses and provisions contained in any sta. tutes made in England or Great Britain, concerning commerce, as import to impose equal restraints on the subjects of England or Ireland, and to entitle them to equal benefits; and, 3dly, all such clauses, &c, contained in any statutes made as aforesaid, as equally concern the seamen of England and Ireland, or Great Britain and Ireland, save so far as the same have been altered or repealed, shall be accepted, used, and executed in this kingdom : Provided (s. 2.) that all such statutes, so far as aforesaid, concerning commerce, shall bind the subjects of Ireland only so long as they continue to bind the