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manor, with free chase, right and royalties, vested; and under this recognition James I., in the third year of his reign, granted the estate to his son Prince Charles and his heirs male: we next find Brandon in the possession of Lord Villiers, Viscount Purbeck, elder brother of the celebrated court favourite George, Duke of Buckingham, and it remained with the Wrights, who claimed to be Lord Purbeck's descendants, and long sought the family honours, until 1727, when John Wright, alias Villiers, who assumed the titles of Viscount Purbeck and Earl of Buckingham, becoming the associate of gamblers, and dissipating his inheritance, sold the lands and manor of Brandon to the trustees of the will of the Lord Chief Justice Holt. At length in 1818, Admiral George Wilson, of Redgrave, whose mother was the heiress of the Holts, alienated Brandon, with the manor, rights and royalties, to the late EDWARD BLISS, Esq., a gentleman of great opulence, and public spirit, who devoting unceasing attention to the improvement of his purchase, was enabled to improve the district to a most remarkable extent, and to ameliorate, in an equal degree, the condition of the poor, by occupying them advantageously for their own interest as well as for that of the community at large. Not long after the acquisition of Brandon, he commenced planting, and in less than six months covered a large portion of the land with no fewer than eight millions of trees, thus transforming tracts hitherto wild and sterile into richly wooded plantations and productive farms. Mr. Bliss, who was a justice of the peace, and served as High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1836, died 2nd April, 1845, possessed of immense wealth. Desirous of being buried on his own estate, he had erected a spacious mausoleum near the house, embosomed in plantations, and there now repose his mortal remains. Brandon Park, with its fine mansion and the whole of his other property, (subject to some life annuities) passed to his nephew Henry Aldridge, Esq., who by sign manual changed his name to Bliss, and is the present lord of the manor.
The following acrostic, addressed to the late Mr. Bliss, on his adornment of Brandon, is ascribed to the pen of his early friend, Lord Eldon :
E-nchanted I view the scene with surprise:
D-eep sands made the traveller's journey a toil,
S-ee a Palace adorns, and forests abound;
S-ee Bliss has created a Paradise round.
VOL. IV. NO. XVI.
THE SCROPE AND GROSVENOR CONTROVERSY.
THE publication of Sir Harris Nicolas on this subject belongs to that branch of human learning ranged by Lord Bacon under the general category of" Antiquities or remnants of history," and which were likened by him to the painting of a wreck (tabula naufragii) which is, says he, when industrious persons by an exact and scrupulous diligence and observation, out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of books that concern not story and the like, do save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time. In considering the general condition of human knowledge and learning in his day he assigned no deficience to antiquities, "because any deficience in them is but their nature."
Be this however as it may, that which was "antiquities" has here become "history" through the zeal and disinterested exertions of the learned author; and the judges, parties and witnesses who figured in the celebrated case of Scrope and Grosvenor are again before us in all the reality of a representment,
"Lifeless yet lifelike and awful to sight;"
grim seamed warriors, tried in the wars of "le bon roy Edward tierce que Dieu assoile," and companions of the Black Prince, youthful knights and esquires, " per poy de temps armez," royal dukes and mitred abbots! There are
"Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster-
and on the opposite side in this suit his antipodes, the cool, calculating, fantastic, conceited Glendower,
"The great magician, the damn'd Glendower,"
besides Stanleys, and Breretons, and Courtenays, and Grays, and Cliffords, and Talbots, and a host of historical names, and with them one belonging to the aristocracy of English genius, whose name blazes like a beacon in that remote age,
"The morning star of song,
We have them all upon their examinations, princes and earls answering "par la foy de chivalerie," and those of inferior degree upon their oaths. Whether we consider the names of the parties whose depositions were taken, or of the parties interested, or of the judges in the first or last. resort, the extraordinary constitution of the tribunal, or the curious subject matter of the controversy, there are few of us who will fail to find in the perusal of the original record of the case of Scrope and Grosvenor and the notes appended a wide field for fruitful meditation. Who will grudge to the author his meed of thanks and commendation, the just salvage for his rescue of this wreck (once more a trim and gallant vessel) from the "deluge of time?"
The perusal of the case of Scrope and Grosvenor involves a consideration of the origin, nature and jurisdiction of the once redoubtable tribu
nal of the constable and marshal. But to what source shall we refer for authentic materials upon this subject? Dr. Plott's treatise on the Curia Militaris exists I believe only in its title page and table of contents, the records of the court are for the most part destroyed, Sir Robert Cotton's collection (however valuable may be the information that it affords) is not available but to the laborious student and patient investigator. If we turn for incidental notice to our books of reports, meagre indeed is the result; the questions therein raised respecting the tribunal affect merely a small branch of its jurisdiction. In this dearth of accessible materials, the Cottonian MSS. unconsulted from want of time, we have, as authorities for the following résumé, been compelled to rest contented with the case of Lord Rea and Ramsay in our State Trials, with Camden's disquisitions On the Office of Earl Marshal, a few manuscript treatises in the Inner Temple Library, and with Dr. Duck's remarks upon the Curia Militaris contained in the work De Usu et Authoritate Juris Civilis, termed by Struvius " non inelegans tractatus," and one of those few treatises written by British lawyers to which foreign jurists condescend to refer. Dr. Duck's opinions upon this subject may be considered as peculiarly valuable, for he was appointed by King Charles I. his advocate in the Court of Chivalry (promotor causarum regiarum), and was counsel in the last cause of arms (Lord Reay v. Ramsay) ever brought before that dreaded tribunal, and in which two other celebrated antiquaries, original members of the Society of Antiquaries (Selden and Cotton) had been also consulted. The judges of the Court of Chivalry were the constable and marshal, invested with equal authority for the decision of causes, although the marshal alone was intrusted with the execution of the judgments awarded.* It cannot be affirmed that these offices existed in the time of the Anglo-Saxon kings; on the contrary, rather were they introduced by the Norman princes after the example of the Gauls, who, anciently in imitation of the Romans, had as far back as the reign of Charlemagne their constables and marshals strongly resembling, as French writers themselves attest, the magistri equitum and tribuni celerum of the Romans.† Be this however as it may, both offices were ever regarded in this country as of the most exalted nature. That of constable has been filled by sons, brothers or uncles of our kings, and finally descended by right of inheritance to the Staffords, dukes of Buckingham, by whom it was long held until the hereditary office itself was abolished in the reign of Henry VII., at the death and attainder of Edward, Duke of Buckingham. The power of the constable was so great that it became at last an object of suspicion to the crown itself; and when the chief justice was asked by Henry VIII. as to the degree of authority possessed by the constable, he begged to decline the question, affirming that the solution belonged to the law of arms and not to the law of England. From that time the office has rarely been granted by the sovereigns, and when conferred it has only been for occasional purposes, § such as coronations or particular trials in which the common law provided no adequate remedy.
The court derived a considerable accession of pomp and dignity from the circumstance of the heralds acting as its officers. These were garter king at arms (especially charged with the forms and ceremonies con
*Coke, 4 Institute, c. 17.
§ 4 Institute, c 17.
Kelw. Rep. Mich. Term. 6 Henry VIII. f. 171.
nected with the illustrious Order of the Garter), Clarencieux king at arms for the south of England, Norroy king at arms for the northern districts, and six other inferior heralds or pursuivants. The principal office of the heralds was to act as messengers of peace and war, to charge themselves with the settlement of the rank, genealogies and arms of our families, to marshal the ceremonies attending the coronations of our sovereigns, and the proceedings upon duels before the constable and marshal, to arrange the funeral rites of deceased nobles and gentlemen upon occasions of solemnity, besides other duties which devolved upon them by virtue of their appointment, they were formed into a college and invested with many privileges by the English kings and exercised their functions. under the authority and jurisdiction of the constable and marshal.
Proceedings.-The authority of the civil law in the court is recognized by all our books,* and is styled law of the realm, law of the crown, law of the land. † It is also clear that all suits before that tribunal were always dealt with by the civil law and the customs of arms, and not by the common law of England, and accordingly a sentence of death entailed no forfeiture of land or corruption of blood.‡
But since the constable and marshal had other public affairs of importance to attend to, a doctor or other lawyer of experience versed in the imperial jurisprudence was occasionally appointed for life to direct the proceedings§; so in the reign of Edward IV., a learned civilian was made king's advocate in the same court.|| Dr. Duck held a similar office by patent from Charles I. dated the seventh year of his reign.
All causes proceeded according to the forms prescribed by the civil law, i.e. libel, or petition; the witnesses were privately examined; the pleas, replications and other proceedings observed the forms of the same jurisprudence, the decrees were in writing, as likewise were the appeals. The dignity and supremacy of the court were such that wherever any one excepted to its jurisdiction, the matter was referred to the lords of the privy council. Appeals from definitive sentences have for the most part been made not to the chancellors, but to the kings themselves, who have thereupon generally nominated as delegates the chief nobles of England associating with them some doctors of the civil law. All this once and perhaps still clearly appears by the records of this Court, preserved in the Royal Archives in the Tower of London, which it has been said frequently furnish readings upon the Roman jurisprudence. The court of the constable and marshal had cognisance of crimes committed in lands out of the realm, of contracts made in foreign parts, and of things that pertain to war and arms whether within the realm or in foreign parts.**
1. Of Crimes committed on Lands out of the Realm. Thus where one Englishman charged another Englishman with the commission of treason out of England, the proceeding was before the constable and marshal,†† Fortesc. de Legib. Angl. c. 32; Finch in Nomotechn. lib. 4. cap. ; Coke, 1 Inst. ; sec. 3; and 4 Inst. c. 74.
Mich. Term, 32 Henry VI. f. 3; Pasch Term, 37 Henry VI. Tresp. 8. f. 21; Kelw. Mich. Term, 6 Henry VIII. f. 171; Coke, 1 Inst. lib. 1. c. 1, sec. 3; and 4 Inst. c. 74. Coke, 4 Inst. c. 17.
$ Coke, 4 Inst. c.17. ex par. 2, patent 23 Hen. VI. memb. 20 23. Edw. III. memb. 2. Patent 8 Edward IV. memb. 1; Coke, 4 Inst. c. 17.
Duck De Authoritate Juris Civilis, lib. 2, c. 8, part 3, s. 22.
** Duck De Authoritate Juris Civilis, lib. 2, cap. 8, part 3, s. 15; Reeves' History of the English Law, 3rd ed. vol. 3, p. 195, 196, vol. 4, p. 303. Stat. 13 Rich. II. stat. 1. c. 2. ++ Coke 1 Institute, lib. 2, cap. 3, sec. 102; 37 Henry VI. f. 3.
and the proof was by witnesses or (by the ancient customs of this court) by the duel. So where one of the king's subjects killed another subject in Scotland or elsewhere in foreign parts, neither the courts of common law here* nor Parliament itself had jurisdiction; and accordingly when Francis Drake had put one Dourish to death in America in the 25th year of Queen Elizabeth, and his brother and next heir claimed justice at the hands of the queen, the judges having been consulted on the subject advised her majesty that no proceeding could be instituted with reference to the offence but before the constable and marshal,‡ and weighty reasons deterring her, the queen refused to appoint a constable, and so the charge fell to the ground. But when, during the reign of Charles I. A.D. 1632, William Holmes an Englishman had killed with his sword William Wise another Englishman in Newfoundland, and the widow petitioned Charles I. to be admitted to an appeal of her husband's death, the Earl Lindsay was appointed constable for that sole occasion, and he and the Lord Arundel, Earl Marshal of England, by a definitive sentence promulgated in the Court of Chivalry in April, 1633, condemned Holmes to death, a fate from which he was only saved by a royal pardon.§ So also where one Englishman inflicted a mortal wound upon another Englishman in France whereof the latter afterwards died in this country, he could not be tried at common law, but only in the Court of Chivalry.|| It is true that, as far as treason committed out of the realm was concerned, the court ceased to have exclusive jurisdiction by the effect of several acts afterwards passed, which rendered that crime cognizable also by the Court of King's Bench or Royal Commissioners.¶
2. Of Contracts made in Foreign Parts. Of these, this court had also cognizance. Thus, in the reign of Henry IV., one Pountney impleaded one Burney Knight, before the constable and marshal in respect of a loan of £10 made at Bourdeaux in Gascony.** And in the national rolls once preserved in the Tower of London numerous instances occurred of judgments in this court respecting all kinds of civil contracts made abroad, especially during the reigns of Edward III., Richard II., Henry IV., Henry V. and Henry VI., whilst the English crown held Normandy, Aquitaine, Anjou, and other extensive provinces in France.tt Indeed the notion prevailed generally amongst us, that the cognizance of contracts made abroad belonged of right to this tribunal and that of contracts made within the realm to the courts of common law.‡‡ Originally the Court of Chivalry must have had exclusive cognizance in the case of such foreign contracts. In the process of time, however, the courts of common law contrived to obtain a concurrent jurisdiction by the fiction which enabled them to be averred as if made in England. For it has long been settled in our courts where one Englishman has taken the
*Rot. Parl. 3 Henry VI. memb. 38; Stamford, pl. Coronæ, 65; Coke,'l Inst. lib. 2; cap. 3, sec. 102; 4 Inst, c. 17; and 2 Inst. ad Magn. Chart. c. 29.
Stat. 1 Henry IV. c. 14.
Coke 1 Inst. lib. 2, cap. 3, sec. 102.
§ Duck, De Authoritate Juris Civilis, lib. 2, cap. 8, pars 3, s. 16. Coke, 1 Inst. lib. 2, cap. 3, s. 102, and lib. 3, cap. 13, sec. 745.
St. 26 Henry VIII. c. 13; 35 Henry VIII. c. 2; 5 Ed. VI. c. 11; Coke, 4 Inst.
**Ter. Mich. 13 Hen. IV.
++ Coke I Inst. lib. 3, cap. 13, sec. 745, 4 Inst. c. 17; Selden ad Fortesc, cap. 32. Mich. Term, 13 Hen. IV.; Dalt. 10; Fortesc. de Leg. Angl. c. 32.