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Frenchmen of printing and publishing / unlimited, and their dignity is for life their opinions, and prohibits for ever the only; art. 23 of the “Charte,” which re-establishment of the censorship.* It related to the peerage, having been abolishes the conscription; provides for replaced by the law of 9th December, the oblivion of all political offences pre- | 1831, which abolished an hereditary vious to the restoration of the Bourbons; peerage. This law is incorporated in and guarantees the security of property the “Charte.” It points out the class (including the so-called “national do- of persons from whom peers must be semains” sold during the first Revolution), lected; and prohibits pensions being atexcept when the public good, as made tached to the dignity of a peer. The out in a legal manner, requires the sacri- ordonnance of nomination must mention fice of individual property, in which case the services for which the honour is conthe owner must be indemnified.
ferred. The peers have no right of entry 2nd head, containing eight articles.- into the chamber under twenty-five years Formes du Gouvernement du Roi (Limits of age or of voting under thirty. The of the Kingly Power).—This head secures chancellor of France is president, or, in to the king the supreme executive power, his absence, a peer nominated by the the command of the army and navy, the king. The sittings of the peers are pubright of making war and treaties of peace, lic. The chamber takes cognizance of alliance, and commerce; of nominating to offences against the state. A peer can all the offices of public administration; only be arrested by the authority of the and of making all regulations needful for chamber, and is not amenable to any other the execution of the laws, without the tribunal than the chamber in criminal power of suspending them or dispensing matters. with them. It provides that the legisla 4th head, containing sixteen articles.tive functions shall be exercised by the De la Chambre des Députés (Of the Chamking, the Chamber of Peers, and the ber of Deputies).—This head provides for Chamber of Deputies; that every law the election of the deputies and the sitmust be agreed to by a majority of each tings of the chamber. The electors must chamber (the discussions and votes of be not less than twenty-five years of age which are to be free), and sanctioned by and the deputies not less than thirty, and the king; that bills" may originate with each must possess whatever other qualifiany of the three branches of the legis- cations the law requires.* (The law of lature, except money bills, which must 19th April, 1831, for regulating the elecoriginate in the Chamber of Deputies ; | toral franchise was passed in pursuance and that a bill rejected by any branch of a promise given in the Charte.) of the legislature cannot be brought in The deputies are elected for five years, again the same session. The civil list and one-half of the deputies for each is fixed at the commencement of every department must have their political reign, and cannot be altered during that domicile in it. The chamber elects its eign.
own president at the opening of each ses3rd head, containing ten articles.- sion. Its sittings ordinarily are public: De la Chambre des Pairs (Of the Cham- but any five members can require that it ber of Peers).—This head provides for the form itself into a secret committee. Billsinassembling of this chamber simultaneously troduced by the government are discussed with the deputies, and renders every sitting illegal (except when the chamber is exercising its judicial power) unless it is * The deputies are all chosen by the departheld during the session of the deputies. institutions, they are all county members :" and
ments; or, to borrow the language of our own The nomination of the peers is vested in the electoral qualification consists in the paythe king (the princes of the blood are ment of 200 francs direct taxes. The qualificapeers by right of birth); their number is tion of a deputy is the payment of 500 francs.
The votes are given by ballot, both by electors
and by the deputies in the chambers. The wholo * The law of Sept. 9, 1835, restrains the free number of deputies is now 459, having been indom of the press by several severe enactments. creased within the last few years from 430.
in separate bureaux, or committees. No 1 (xáptns). Charta appears to have signi tax can be levied without the consent of fied writing material made of papyrus both chambers. The land-tax (impôt fon- The term was afterwards applied ne cier) can be granted only year by year; only to the materials for writing, but other taxes may be voted for several the writing itself, as to a letter or the years. The king convokes the two cham- leaf of a book. In English law it we bers, and prorogues and dissolves that of used to denote any public instrument the deputies, but in the case of dissolution deed, or writing, being written evidene he must assemble a new one within three of things done between man and mar months. All members are free from arrest and standing as a perpetual recor." for debt during the session and for six (Bracton, lib. 2, c. 26.) Among the weeks before and after, and from arrest Saxons such instruments were known on a criminal charge during the session, gewrite, or writings. unless taken in the act or arrested by per Charters are divided into—I. charter mission of the chamber.
of the crown, and II. Charters of privat 5th head, containing two articles. persons. Des Ministres (Of the Ministers). 1. Royal charters were used at a ver They may be members of either chamber; early period, for grants of privileges, es and they have also the right of entry emptions, lands, honours, pardon, an into the other chamber, in which they can other benefits that the crown had to com claim to be heard. The deputies may im- fer; and thus the term became restricte peach the ministers; the peers alone have to such instruments as conferred som the right to try them.
right or franchise. These instrument 6th head, containing twelve articles.-- did not differ in form from letters patent De l'Ordre Judiciaire (Of the Adminis- being usually addressed by the king tration of Justice).- This head provides all his subjects, and exposed to open view for the continuance of the previously ex- with the great seal pendent at the bot isting institutions, including trial by jury, | tom ; but such as contained grants a until properly moditied by law; the pub- particular kinds were distinguished by the licity of criminal proceedings (except in name of charters. Thus as giving w# particular cases); the non-removability of the object of a charter, the terin becami the judges, who are appointed by the very popular, and was used in a more king (the justices of peace, who are also extended sense, to denote laws of a popu appointed by the king, are however re- lar character. movable); and the right of the king to Whatever may have been the pres remit or commute the penalty imposed. rogatives and legislative authority of It prohibits the confiscation of goods; the the kings of England, it is certain that creation of special commissions or tribu- from the earliest times there were many nals; and the withdrawal of any from rights and liberties which by the law of the jurisdiction to which he is legally the land belonged to the people. AS subject.
these were often restrained and violated 7th head, containing eight articles.- nothing was more acceptable to the natita Droits particuliers garantis par l'Etat than a formal recognition of them by (Individual Rights guaranteed by the the crown: and the popular name of State). Among other things, this head charter was applied to those written laws renders inviolable all engagements with by which the kings from time to time the public creditor; provides for the go- confirmed or enlarged the liberties of the vernment of the colonies by particular people. Such laws were regarded not laws; and requires the king and his suc- only as concessions from the king, but cessors, on their accession, to swear to the as contracts between man and man- bare faithful observance of the constitutional tween the king and his subjects; while, charter.
at the same time, they were promulgated CHARTER. This word is from the as the legislative acts of the sovereiga Latin charta, a word of uncertain origin: authority in the state. the Greek form of the word is chartes The charter of William the Conqueror,
for observing the laws throughout Eng-1 his subjects who should violate the liber land, was in the nature of a public law. ties of the people. (Magna C'HARTA.] It settled the religion of the state and These charter-laws, though often exprovided for its peace and government, pressed to have been made by the advice for the administration of justice, the pan- of the king's council, implied an absolute ishment of criminals, and the regulation legislative power vested in the crown; and of markets; it confirmed the titles to as royal prerogative became restrained lands, and the exemption of the teuants and the public liberties enlarged, legisin chief of the crown from all unjust ex-lation by charter was gradually supersetion and from tallage. The words are seded by the statutes and ordinances those of a lawgiver appointing and com made in Parliament. During the reigns manding; “statuimus, “ volumus et fir- of Henry III. and Edw. I. laws were puter precipimus," " interdicimus," "de promulgated in both forms; but since pretum est,” are the forms of expression that time statutes and ordinances have
which matters are ordered or prohi- been the only records of legislation-not bited. (Fædera Rec. Comm. Ed., vol. i. differing materially, at first, either in
form or in the nature of the authority The charters of liberties granted by from which they emanated, from the Henry I., Stephen, Henry II., John, charters of earlier reigns, but gradually Henry III., and Edward I., are all, more assuming their present character as acts or less, in the nature of public laws, agreed to by the entire legislature. sither making new provisions, or confirm But notwithstanding the discontinuance ing, enlarging, and explaining existing of the practice of promulgating general laws, and relate to the freedom and good laws by royal charter to bind the whole government of the people, and all the kingdom, the exercise of prerogative, by most important interests of the country. means of charters, has partaken of a legis. Some of them are still regarded as autho- lative character throughout the entire ritative declarations of the rights and history of the British government. Some privileges which the people of England of the most ancient and important of have enjoyed for centuries.* So valid | these were charters to boroughs and muand binding were the royal charters nicipal bodies, conferring immunities and esteemed as laws, that in the 37 Henry franchises, of which the greatest was that III. (A.D. 1253), in the presence of the of sending representatives to parliament. king, several of the first nobles, “and There are still extant municipal charters other estates of the realm of England,” of the Saxon kings, and of the Norman the archbishop and bishops excommuni- kings after the Conquest, couferring cated and accursed all who should violate various rights upon the inhabitants of or change “ the church's liberties or the boroughs, of which an exclusive jurisatrient approved customs of th realm, diction was always one; but the first ed chiefly the liberties contained in the charter of incorporation to any municipal ekarters of the common liberties and of body appears to have been granted in "he forest, granted by our lord the king,” | 1439, in the reign of Henry VI., to Kings In those times no sanction more solemn ton-upon-Hull; although, in the abando Sald have been given to the authority of of prior charters, it lias been uzual 10 aty law. It was intended chiefly as presume that charters confirming existing - 2 check upon the king himself, whose usages had been lont. power had been restrained by the popular But though the king's charters have concessions made in the charters of liber- conferred upon boroughs the right of t.es, but it was also directed against all sending members to parliament, it was
held in several canon, by the flouse of
Commons, that the right of voting by the * They are printed at length in the first colume of the Statutes of the Realm, published by charters from the crown.
common law, could not be varied by
(Glanville's the Record Commissioners. With the exception of one charter in the 25th Edw. I, they are all in
Reports, p. 47, 63, 70.) Between the the Latin language.
reigns of Henry VIII. and Charles II.
no less than 180 members were added to tice, contrary to the ancient and fundathe House of Commons by royal charter, mental laws of the realm, which was the last borough upon which that right abolished by the act 21 James I. c. 3. was conferred, in this manner, having [MONOPOLY.] been Newark, in 1673. Several of these The crown has ever exercised, and still were ancient boroughs which had ceased retains, the prerogative of incorporating to send members, and whose rights were universities, colleges, companies, and other thus restored by charter; while some public bodies, and of granting them, by towns, expressly created boroughs by charter, powers and privileges not inconcharter, did not send members to parlia- sistent with the law of the land. But as ment for centuries afterwards, as Queen- the most considerable bodies ordinarily borough, for example, to which a charter require powers which no authority but was granted in 1368, but which did not that of parliament is able to confer, sach return members until 1578. Hence it corporations as the East India Company has been argued that, notwithstanding and the Bank of England, which were the practice of later reigns, the charter of originally established by royal charter, the crown alone was not sufficient in law have long since derived their extraordito entitle a town to send members to par- nary privileges from acts of parliament, liament, although expressly created a as well as other public companies which borough, to which, by the common law, have been incorporated in the first inthe right of sending members was inci- stance by statute. dent. (Merewether and Stephen's His But the largest powers now conferred tory of Boroughs and Municipal Corpora- by royal charter are those connected with tions, Introduction, and pp. 664, 1256, the colonies and foreign possessions of the 1774, &c.) This view derives confirma- crown. Whenever a new country is obtion from the acknowledged law that the tained by conquest or treaty, the crown crown was unable, by charter, to exempt possesses an exclusive prerogative power a borough from returning members, since over it, and by royal charters may esta. that right was always held to be exercised blish its laws and the form of its governfor the benefit of the whole realm, and ment; may erect courts of justice, of civil not for the advantage of the particular and criminal jurisdiction, and otherwise place. (Coke, 4th Inst. 49.) Upon these provide for its municipal order, for the grounds a charter of exemption to the raising its revenue, and the regulation of citizens of York was declared void by its commerce. (Chitty, On Prerogaact of parliament, 29 Henry VI. c. 3. tives, c. iii.) This sovereign power, howBut as parliamentary representation has, ever, is always subject to the ultimate at length, been comprehensively arranged control of parliament; and even if defor the whole kingdom by the Reform puted to a legislative assembly, or other Acts, the legal effect of royal charters local government, possessing rights and upon the elective franchise has become a liberties defined by charter, the crown question merely of historical interest. cannot recall the charter, and govern by The peculiar rights of corporations have any laws inconsistent with its provisions also been determined by the Municipal or at variance with the common law. Corporations Act; but a power has been II. Charters of private persons are the reserved to the crown, with the advice of title-deeds of lands, many of which are the Privy Council, to grant charters of the ancient grants of feudal lords to their incorporation to other towns, upon the tenants. These pass with the land as inpetition of the inhabitants, and to extend cident thereto, and belong to him who to them the provisions of the Municipal i has the inheritance; or, if the land be Corporations Acts (5 & 6 Will. IV. c. 76, conveyed to another and his heirs, the $ 141). [MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.] charters belong to the feoffee. A charter
Charters were formerly granted by the of the crown, granted at the suit of the crown, establishing monopolies in the grantee, is construed most beneficially for buying, selling, making, working, or the crown, and against the party ; but a using certain things; an injurious prac- private charter is construed most strongly
against the grantor. (Fleta, lib. iii. c. | all the districts ; and that electors vote 14; Comyn's Digest, tit. Charters; Coke, only for the representative of the district Ist Inst. 6 a, 7 a, 2nd Inst. 77; Cowel, in which they are registered. V. That Law Dictionary; Blackstone and Ste no other qualification be required for phen's Commentaries; Preface to Statutes members than the choice of the electors. of the Realm, &c.)
VI. That every member be paid 500l. a CHARTER PARTY. (SHIPs.] year out of the public treasury for his
CHARTISTS, the name given to a po- legislative services; and that a register litical party in this country, who propose be kept of the daily attendance of each extensive alterations in the representative member. system, as the most direct means of at There is nothing new in the principles taining social improvement, and whose or details of the People's Charter. They views are developed in a document called have, either separately, or some one or the People's Charter.” The principal other of them in conjunction, been a propoints of this proposed charter are, uni- minent subject of discussion at various versal suffrage, vote by ballot, annual intervals within the last seventy years. parliaments, the division of the country In 1780 the Duke of Richmond introinto equal electoral districts, the abolition duced a bill into the House of Lords for of property qualification in members and annual parliaments and universal suffrage. paying them for their services. The In the same year the electors of Westprinciples of the charter and the means of minster appointed a committee to take carrying them into effect have also been into consideration the election of memembodied in the form of a bill. It was pre-bers of the House of Commons, and in pared in 1838 by six members of the House their report they recommended the idenof Commons, and six members of the tical points which now constitute the London Working Men's Association; and main features of what is called the the following are the most important of People's Charter. The Society of the its enactments :- 1. The preparers of the Friends of the People, established in Bill allege the low state of public feel- 1792, three years afterwards published a ing as an apology for not admitting wo declaration which recommended a very men to the franchise, and it is there large extension of the suffrage. In seafore only provided that every male in- sons of national distress, the amendment habitant be entitled to vote for the election of the representative system has always of a member of the Commons' House of been warmly taken up by the people of Parliament, subject however to the fol- this country. lowing conditions :-). That he be a In 1831 the wishes of a large mass of native of these realms, or a foreigner who the middle classes were realized and has lived in this country upwards of two satisfied by the passing of the Reform years, and been naturalized. 2. That he Act. A season of political repose, and, as be twenty-one years of age. 3. That he it happened also, of commercial prosbe not provedo insane when the lists of perity, followed the excitement which voters are revised. 4. That he be not preceded the passing of that measure. convicted of felony within six months A victory had been gained, and the peofrom and after the passing of this act. ple waited for the benefits which they 5. That his electoral rights be not sus were to derive from it. In the next pended for bribery at elections, or for period of distress which arose,
the personation, or for forgery of election cer- amended state of the representative tificates, according to the penalties of this system and the advantages which it had act. II. That the United Kingdom be brought were narrowly scanned; and the divided into 300 electoral districts, so as consequence was, the gradual formation to give uniform constituencies of about of a party who were dissatisfied with its 20,000 voters each. III. That the votes arrangements, and sought to attain the be taken by ballot. IV. That a new Par- ends of political and social good by a liament be elected annually; that the more extensive change. This is briefly elections take place on the same day in the origin of Chartism and of the Peo