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(usually descendible to the issue male (a). It was first instituted by King James the First, in the year 1611, in order to raise a competent sum for the reduction of the province of Ulster in Ireland ; and for this reason all baronets have the arms of Ulster superadded to their family coats (6). Next follow knights of the Bath, an order instituted by King Henry the Fourth, revived by King George the First, and newly regulated in the last reign (c); they are so called from the ceremony, formerly observed, of bathing on the night before their creation. The order consists of civil knights and military knights. After them come the knights bachelors (d), the most antient, though the lowest, order of knighthood amongst us; for we have an instance of King Alfred's conferring this order on his son Athelstan (e). Knights are called in Latin equites aurati, –aurati from the gilt spurs they wore, and equites, because they always served on horseback ($); and they are also called milites, because they formed a part of the royal army, in virtue of their feodal tenures, one condition of which was, that every one who held a knight's fee immediately under the crown, was obliged to be knighted, and to attend the king in his wars, or else to pay a fine for his non-compliance (9).
These, Sir Edward Coke says, are all the names of dignity in this kingdom, esquires and gentlemen being only names of worship (1); but before these last, the heralds rank all colonels, serjeants at law, and doctors in
(a) Re Carnac (1885), 30 Ch. 1). 136.
(b) The arms of Ulster are, a hand gules, or a bloody hand, in a field argent.
(c) See London Gazette, 25 May, 1847 ; 16 Aug. 1850.
(d) The most probable deriva. tion of the word bachelor is from bas and chevalier, an inferior kuight ; and thence latinized into
the barbarous word baccalaureus. (Ducange, Bac.)
(e) Wil. Malms. lib. 2.
(5) Camd. Brit. tit. Ordines ; Co. Litt. 74.
(9) 2 Inst. 594.
(h) 2 Inst. 667. The various orders or decorations granted by the Queen as Empress of India appear to be also mere names of worship.
[the three learned professions (o). And, by a recent order of Queen Victoria, the children of the law lords, who are only peers for life, are given precedence before baronets.
(i) The Table of Precedence as given by Blackstone (vol. i. p. 405) is here subjoined (with slight modifications); but its authority in some points at the present day can scarcely be relied upon, except with regard to those which are marked* (who are entitled to the rank there allotted them, by the 31 Hen. 8 (1539), c. 10); those marked † (who are entitled y the 1 W. & M. (1688), c. 21) and those marked || (who are entitled by letters patent, 9, 10, and 14 Jac. 1). As to those marked I, their place depends on antient usage and custom ; and as to them the following authorities may be consulted :-Seld. Tit. of Hon. ; Camden, Britannia, tit. Ordines ; Milles, Catalogue of Honour, edit. 1610; and Chamberlayne, Present State of England. It is to be observed, moreover, that the Judicature Acts, 1873 to 1884, contain provisions with regard to the rank and precedence among themselves of the judges of the Court of Appeal and of the High Court of Justice, and of certain officers therein. (See the Supreme Court of Judicature Acts, 1873 (s. 11), 1875 (s. 6), 1877, 1879, and 1881.
above all peers of their
* Archbishop of Canterbury. * Lord Chancellor or Keeper, if a
baron. * Archbishop of York. * Lord Treasurer, * Lord President of
Council, * Lord Privy Seal, * Lord Great Chamber-1
lain, * Lord High Constable, * Lord Marshal, * Lord Admiral, * Lord Steward of the
Household, * Lord Chamberlain of the
Household, * Dukes. * Marquesses.
Dukes' eldest sons. * Earls. I Marquesses' eldest sons.
Dukes' younger sons. * Viscounts.
Earls' eldest sons. Marquesses' younger sons. * Secretary of State, if a bishop. * The Bishop of London.
Durham. - Winchester. * Bishops. * Secretary of State, if a baron. * Barons. † Speaker of the House of Com
mons. + Lords Commissioners of the
Earls' younger sons.
TABLE OF PRECEDENCE.
* The king's children and grand
[Esquires and gentlemen are confounded together by Sir Edward Coke, who observes, that every esquire is a gentleman (k); and a gentleman is defined to be one qui arma gerit, who bears coat armour, the grant of which adds gentility to a man's family, in like manner as civil nobility, among the Romans, was founded in the jus imaginum, or having the image of one ancestor at least who had borne some curule office. But it is somewhat unsettled, what constitutes the distinction of esquire ; for it is not an estate, however large, that confers this rank upon its owner (1). Camden distinguishes esquires the most accurately, when he reckons up four sorts of them (m),-1. The eldest sons of knights, and their eldest sons, in perpetual succession (n); 2. The eldest sons of younger sons of peers, and their eldest sons in like perpetual succession,—both which species of esquires, Sir Henry Spelman entitles armigeri natalitii (0) ; 3. Esquires
|| Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Bench (or of England).
Pleas (now obsolete). || Chief Baron of the Exchequer
(now obsolete). The Judges [and Barons of the
Coif]. || Kuights Bannerets, royal. || Viscounts' younger sons. | Barons' younger sons. Law Lords' children. || Baronets. || Knights Bannerets. I Knights of the Bath. | Knights Bachelors. || Baronets' eldest sons. || Knights' eldest sons. || Baronets' younger sons. || Knights' younger sons. I Colonels.
N.B. Married women and widows are entitled to the same rank among each other as their husbands would respectively have borne between themselves, unless such rank is merely professional or official ; and unmarried women to the same rank as their eldest brothers would bear among men. during the lives of their fathers.
(K) 2 Inst. 668.
[created by the king's letters patent, or other investiture, and their eldest sons (p); and, 4. Esquires by virtue of their offices, e.g., justices of the peace, and others who bear any office of trust under the crown, and who are named esquires in their commission or appointment (1). To these may be added barristers-at-law (r), the esquires of knights of the Bath, whom to the number of three each knight constitutes at his installation, and all foreign peers who, as well as the eldest sons of peers of Great Britain, though frequently titular lords, are only esquires in the law, and must be so named in all legal. proceedings (s). As for gentlemen, says Sir Thomas Smith, they be made good cheap in this kingdom ; for whosoever can live idly, and without manual labour, and will bear the port, charge, and countenance of a gentleman, he shall be called master, and shall be taken for a gentleman (t). A yeoman is he that hath free land of forty shillings by the year ; who was thereby formerly qualified to serve on juries, to vote for knights of the shire, and to do any other act, which the law requires of one that is probus et legalis homo (u).
The rest of the commonalty are tradesmen, artificers, and labourers ; and as to these as well as others, it was provided by the 1 Hen. V. (1413), c. 5, that they must be styled by the name and addition of their estate, degree, or mystery, and the place to which they belong, or where they have been conversant, in all indictments or other legal proceedings on which process of outlawry was to be
(p) The creation of esquires by way of investiture has long been disused. When so created, they used to he invested calcaribus ar. gentatis, to distinguish them from the equites aurati.
(9) See Talbot v. Eagle (1809), 1 Taunt. 510.
(r) R. v. Brough (1748), 1 Wils. 244.
(s) 3 Inst. 30; 2 Inst. 667.
(1) Commonw. of Eng. b. 1, ch. 20.
(u) 2 Inst. 668.
[awarded, in order, as it would seem, to prevent any clandestine or mistaken outlawry, by reducing to a specific certainty the person who is the object of its process.] But no indictment, under the law as it now stands, is insufficient for want of, or by reason of any imperfection in, the addition, or description, of a defendant (x)