صور الصفحة
PDF

person whom the Crown might endeavour to make a life-peer. The government of the day accepted the situation, and soon afterwards a new patent was made out which followed the usual limitation to heirs-male. The precedents in favour of the Crown’s action were not strong. The essential and outstanding attribute of the house was its hereditary character. The whole balance of the constitution worked on the pivot of the independence of the pc ers. They existed as a moderating force in the counsels of parliament, and the alteration of the hereditary character of the House of Lords might easily have rendered it amenable to. whatever pressure the government of the day might see fit to exercise. In such circumstances its position as arbiter bet ween people and government would tend to disappear. ought not, it was said, to be made by the simple prerogative of the Crown. If so far-reaching an alteration. in the law were justifiable it was for parliament to make it. Further, it was pointed out, there had been no life-creations for centuries, and those that are recorded to have been conferred since the crystallization of our parliamentary system were of such a nature that the grantees never sat in the house by virtue of their lifehonours, inasmuch as they were existing peers or women. Soon Jaw” after the Wensleydale debates the government Pam introduced a bill into the House of Lords to authorize

the creation of two life-peers, who were to be persons of at least five years’ standing as judges. They were to sit as lords of appeal but to be peers for life. Eventually the bill disappeared in the House of Commons. In 1869 Earl Russell introduced another life-peerage bill of far wider scope. Twentyeight life-peerages might be in existence at any one time, but not more than four were to be created in any one year. The life peers would be lords of parliament for life. They were to be selected by the Crown from the peerages of Scotland and Ireland, persons who had sat for ten years in the Commons, distinguished soldiers, sailors, civil servants and judges or persons distinguished in science, literature or art. The bill received a rough handling in committee of the Lords, and the time was evidently not ripe for change, as the bill failed to pass its third reading.

In 1870 attempts were made in the House of Lords to alter the position of the Scottish and Irish representative peers. In gums!“ 1876 the need of further judicial strength in the Reformst Lords was tardily admitted, and an act was passed Amr'mm'" authorizing the creation of two lords of appeal in ordinary, and power was reserved to appoint two more as certain judicial vacancies occurred. They were to be entitled to the rank of baron during their lives but were to sit and vote in parliament only so long as they held their judicial office. Their dignities lasted for life only. Eleven years later another act enabled all retired lords of appeal to sit and vote as members of the House of Lords for life. To those interested in House of Lords reform the pages of Ham-ard’s Parliamentary Debates are the best authority. In 1888 reform bills were introduced by Lords Dunraven and Salisbury, and in 1907 by Lord Newton. In December 1908 the publication of a. long report with sweeping recommendations for reform ended the labours of a House of Lords committee which had been appointed to consider the question in detail. In the session of 1910, following the general election, long discussions took place in both houses of parliament. Opinion generally was freely expressed that the time had arrived for diminishing the number of lords of parliament and for putting into practice the principle that hereditary right alone should no longer confer lordship of parliament. (See PARLIAMENT.)

The Scottish peerage, like that of England, owes its origin to feudalism. In Anglo-Norman days Scotland was a small country, and for some generations after England was settled the Scottish king's writ ran little beyond the foot of the Highlands, and even the Lord of the Isles reckoned himself an independent sovereign until the beginning of the 15th century. The weak and usually ineffective control of the Crown resulted in opportunities for acquiring personal power which the nobles were not slow to take advantage

Scottish Pherage.

A change fraught with so many serious possibilities.

[graphic]

of. Seldom accustomed to act in concert, they soon deVeloped particularist tendencies which steadily increased the strength of their territorial position. These conditions of existence were entirely unfavourable to the establishment of any system of parliamentary government such as centralization had made possible in England, therefore it is not surprising to find that the lesser barons were not relieved of their attendance at the national assemblies until well on in the I 5th century (Burton’s Scotland, iii. 111). Again, when the Scottish earls and barons came to parliament, they did not withdraw themselves from the rest of the people, it being the custom for the estates of Scotland to deliberate together, and this custom persisted until the abolition of their parliament by the Act of Union in 1707. The territorial spirit of the nobles inevitably led them to regard the honour as belonging to, and inseparable from, their land, and until comparatively late in Scottish history there is nowhere any record of the conferment of a personal dignity unattached to land such as that conferred in England on Beauchamp by Richard II. This explains the frequent surrenders and altered grants which are so common in Scottish peerage history, and which, in sharp distinction to the English rule of law, are there regarded as perfectly legal. To-day there exists no Scottish dukedom (except the royal dukedom of Rothesay), marquessate or viscounty created before the reign of James VI. of Scotland (and I. of England). Of the existing Scottish peerages sixtythree were created in the period between James’s accession to the English throne and the Act of Union. There are now only eighty-seven in all. Unlike one of the English peerages owing its origin exclusively to a writ of summons, ancient Scottish peerages do not fall into abeyance, and when there are only heirs-general, the eldest heir of line succeeds.

Whenever a new parliament is summoned, proclamation is made in Scotland summoning the peers to meet at Holyrood to elect sixteen of their number to represent them in such parliament. The Scottish peerages are recorded on a roll, and this is called over by the lord clerk register before the assembled peers seated at a long table. Each peer answers to the name of the peerage (it may be one or more) he possesses. The roll is then read again and each p'eer in turn (but only once) rises and reads out the list of those sixteen peers for whom he votes. Proxies are allowed for absent peers and are handed in after the second roll-call. The votes are counted and the lord clerk register reads out the names of those elected, makes a. return, and signs and seals it in the presence of the peers assembled. The return eventually finds its way to the House of Lords. The Scottish representative peer so elected receives no writ of summons to parliament, but attends the House of Lords to take the oath, his right to sit being evidenced by the return made. It might be thought that the rules of election in so important a matter would be more stringent, but the fact remains that it is quite possible for an entirely unqualified person to attend and vote at Holyrood. No evidence of identity 01' of a man’s right to be present is required and the lord clerk register is compelled to rcceive any vote tendered except in respect of peerages for which no vote has been given since 1800, these being struck off the roll (10 & 11 Vict. c. 52). Any person claiming to represent such a peerage must prove his right before the House of Lords, as was done in the case of the barony of Fairfax in 1908. It is true that by the act last cited any two peers may protest against a vote at Holyrood, and the lord clerk register thereupon reports the proceedings to the House of Lords, who will consider the question if application be made for an inquiry, but nothing is done unless an application is made. The right to vote certainly needs better proof than that now accepted. For many years the House of Lords maintained that the Crown could not confer a new peerage of Great Britain on a Scottish peer, the ground being that the Scottish peerage was only entitled to the sixteen representative peers given it by the Act of Union, but eventually in 1782 in the case of the duke of Hamilton this contention was given up.

The Anglo-Norman conquerors of Ireland carried with them the laws and the system of tenure to which they were accustomed in England, and consequently the growth of the baronage and the establishment of parliamentary government in Ireland proceeded on parallel lines with the changes which occurred in England. Until the reign of Henry VIII. the Irish were without representation in par. liament, but gradually the Irish were admitted, and by the creation of new parliamentary counties and boroughs were enabled to elect representatives. In 1613 the whole country shared in representation (Ball’s Legislative Systems of Ireland). Just as James I. had added many members to the Scottish peerage, so he increased the number of Irish peers.

[graphic]

y 50011 develom Bed the Strength “‘5 of etistenc: n 9" any System anon had made I to find that 11¢ e n the national urton’s Scotland, barons came to a from the reg 195 of Scotland sted until 1hr rin 1707. The 1 to regard the heir land, and re is nowhere 1y unattach ieauclramp by rs and altered ' history, and law, are there i no Scottish marqucssatr . of Scotland emges sixtyaccession to re now only ges owing its at Scottish re are only

[ocr errors]

In 1800 the Union of Great Britain and Ireland abolished the parliament of Ireland“ By the Act of Union the Irish peers became entitled to elect twenty-eight of their number to repreSent them in ‘the House of Lords. The election is for life, and only those peers are entitled to vote at elections of representative peers who have proved their right of succession to the satisfaction of the lord chancellor, who issues his notice to that effect after each individual proof. The names of such peers are added to the voting-roll of the peerage, and when voting papers are distributed—the Irish peers do not meet for election purposes as do those of Scotland—they are sent only to those peers who have proved their right to vote. If any claim to the right to vote is rejected by the lord chancellor the claimant must prove his case before the Committee for Privileges (barony of Graves, 1907). When an Irish peer has been elected a representative peer he receives, as a matt;r of course, a writ of summons at the beginning of each parliament. The great bulk of the Irish peerage owes its existence to creations during the last two centuries, only seven of the existing peerages dating back beyond the 17th century; of the rest twenty-two were created during the year of Union, and thirty-three have been added since that date. Some hundred or more years ago ministers found the Irish peerage a useful means of political reward, in that it was possible to bestow a title of honour, with all its social prestige, and yet not to increase the numbers of the House of Lords.

On the death of a representative peer of Scotland or Ireland a vacancy occurs and a new election takes place, but in accordance with modern practice promotion to a United Kingdom peerage does not vacate the holder’s representative position (May’s Parliamentary Practice, p. 11 n.). Scottish and Irish peers, if representative, possess all the privileges of peerage and parliament enjoyed by peers of the United Kingdom; if non-representative all privileges of peerage, except the right to a writ of summons to attend parliament and to be present at and vote in the trial of peers. A Scottish peer, if non-representative, is in the anomalous position of being disabled from serving his country in either house of parliament, but an Irish peer may sit for any House of Commons constituency out of Ireland, though while a member of the Commons his peerage privileges abate.

Though many peers possess more than one peerage, and frequently of more than one country, only that title is publicly used which is first in point of precedence. It was once argued that whenever a barony by writ came into the possession of a person already a peer of higher rank, the higher peerage “ attracted” 0r overshadowed the lower, which thenceforth followed the course of descent of the dignity which had attracted it. This doctrine is now exploded and cannot be regarded as applying to any case except that of the Crown (Baronies of Filzwaller, 1660, and Do Ros, 1666; Collins’s Claims, 168, 261). Every peerage descends according to the limitations prescribed in its patent of creation or its charter, and where these are nonexistent (as in the case of baronies by writ) to heirs-general. (See ABEYANCE.)

In dealing with English dignities it is essential to realize the difference between a mere title of honour and a peerage. The Crown as the fountain of honour is capable of conferring upon a subject not only any existing title of honour, but may even invent one for the purpose. So James I. instituted an order of hereditary knights which he termed baronets.

Irish Peerage.

[graphic]

and Edward VII. created the duchess of Fife “ Princess Royal ”-—a life dignity. The dignities of prince of Wales, earl marshal and lord great chambcrlain have been Cream," for centuries hereditary, and though of high court and must be social precedence, of themselves confer no right to “w'd'l'l a seat in the House of Lordsw-they are not peerages. '0 Lw‘ The grant of a peerage is a very different matter; its holder becomes thereby a member of the Upper House of Parliament, and therefore the prerogative of the Crown in creating such an office of honour must be exercised strictly in accordance with the law of the land. The Crown’s prerogative is limited in several directions. The course of descent must be known to the law; and so, in the first place, it follows that a peer cannot be created for life with a denial of succession to his descendants (unless it be as one of the lords of appeal in ordinary under the acts of 1876 and 1887). The courses of descent of modern patents are invariably so marked out as ultimately to fix the peerage in some male line according to the custom of primogeniture, though the immediate successor of the first holder may be a woman or even a stranger in blood. The following instances may be cited; Amabell, Baroness Lucas, was in 1816 created Countess de Grey with a limitation to the heirs-male of her sister; a nephew afterwards succeeded her and the earldom is now held by the marquess of Ripon. Other courses of descent knoWn to the law are as follows: Fee simple, which probably operates as if to heirs-general, earldoms of Oxford (1155) and Norfolk (1 13 5), both probably now in abeyance; and Bedford (1367), extinct; to a second son, the eldest being alive, dukedom of Dover (1708), extinct, and earldom of Cromartie (1861) called out of abeyance in 1895; a son-in~law and his heirs-male by the daughter of the first grantee, earldom of Northumberland (1 747); to an elder daughter and her heirs-male, earldom of Roberts (1901); to an elder or younger brother and his heirs-male, viscounty of Kitchener (1902) and barony of Grimthorpe (1886). It is, however, not lawful for the Crown to make what is called a shifting limitation to a peerage, i.'e. one which might vest a peerage in an individual, and then on a certain event happening (e.g. his succession to a peerage of higher rank) shift it from him to the representative of some other line. Such a limitation was held illegal in the Buckhurst case (1864). A peerage may not be limited to the grantee and “ his heirs-male for ever." Such a grant was that of the earldom of Wiltes in 1398. The original grantee died without issue, but left a male heir-at-law, whose descendants in 1869 claimed the earldom, but the original limitation was held invalid.

There is no limitation on the power of the Crown as to the number of United Kingdom peerages which may be created. As to Scotland, the Act of Union with that country operates to prevent any increase in the number of Scottish peerages, and consequently there have been no creations since 1707, with the result that the Scottish peerage, as a separate order, is gradually approaching extinction. The Irish peerage is supposed always to consist of one hundred exclusively Irish peers, and the Crown has pewer to grant Irish peerages up to the limit. When the limit is reached no more peerages may be granted until existing ones become extinct or their holders succeed to United Kingdom peerages. Only four lords of appeal in ordinary may hold office at any one time. The number of archbishops and bishops capable of sitting in the House of Lords is fixed by various statutes at twenty-six, but, as pointed out previously, the spiritual lords are not now regarded as peers.

Since party govemmeht became the rule, the new peerages have usually been created on the recommendation of the prime minister of the day, though the Crown, especially . . . . - . . Growth in in consrdermg the clarms of royal blood, 1s beheved Numbem in some instances to take its own course; and constitutionally such action is entirely legal. By far the greater number of peerage honours granted during the last two centuries have been rewards for political services. Usually these services are well known, but there exists several instances in which the reasons for conferring the honour have not been quite clear. Until the reign of George III. the peerage was comparatively small, but that monarch issued no fewer than 388 patents of peerage. Many of these have become extinct or obscured by higher titles, but the general tendency is in the direction of a steady increase, and where the peers of Tudor times might be counted by tens their successors of 1910 were numbered in hundreds. The full body would be 546 English peers. There are also 12 ladies holding English peerages. The Irish peerage has 17 5 members, but 82 of these are also peers of the United Kingdom, leaving 28 representative and 65 without seats in the House of Lords. Of 87 Scottish peers 51 hold United Kingdom peerages, the remainder consisting of 16 representative and 20 without seats.

As centuries have gone by and customs changed, many privileges once keenly asserted have either dropped out of use or been forgotten. The most important now in being are a seat in the House of Lords and the right to trial by peers. The right to a seat in parliament is one sanctioned by centuries of constitutional usage. The right of a peer in England to aseat in parliament was not, as pointed out in the early part of this article, entirely admitted by the Crown until late in the Plantagenet period, the king’s pleasure as to whom he should summon always having been a very material factor in the question. Charles I. made a deliberate attempt to recover the ancient discretion of the Crown in the issue of writs of summons. The earl of Bristol was the subject of certain treasonable charges, and though he was never put on his trial the king directed that his writ of summons should not issue. The excluded peer petitioned the Lords, as for a breach of privilege, and a committee to whom the matter was referred reported that there was no instance on record in which a peer capable of sitting in parliament had been refused his writ. There was a little delay, but the king eventually gave in, and the earl had his writ (Lords Journals, iii. 54.4).

At the beginning of a new parliament every peer entitled receives a writ of summons issued under the authority of the Great Seal; he presents his writ at the table of the House of Lords on his first attendance, and before taking the oath. If the peer be newly created he presents his letters-patent creating the peerage to the lord chancellor on the woolsack, together with the writ of summons which the patent has evoked. A peer on succession presents his writ in the ordinary way, the Journals recording, e.g. that Thomas Walter, Viscount Hampden, sat first in Parliament after the death of his father (Lords Journals, cxxxix. 4). The form of writ now issued (at the beginning of a parliament: for the variation when parliament is sitting see Lords Journals, cxxxix. 185) corresponds closely to that in use so long ago as the 14th century. It runs as follows:— ~

Geor e the Fifth by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great ritain and Ireland and of the British Domimons beyond the seas King Defender of the Faith to our right trusty and wellbeloved Greeting Whereas by the advice and consent of our Council for certain arduous and urgent afiairs concerning us the state and the defence of our said United Kingdom and the Church we_have ordered a certain Parliament to be holden at our City of Westminster on the . . . day of . next ensuing and there to treat and have conference with the prelates great men and peers of our realm We strictly enjoining command you upon the faith and allegiance b which you are bound to us that the weightiness of the said aKairs and imminent perils considered (waiving all excuses) you be at the said day and place personally present with us and With the said prelates great men and peers to treat and give your counsel upon the affairs aforesaid. And this as you're ard us and our honour and the safety and defence of the said nited Kingdom and Church and despatch of the said afi'airs in no wise do you omit.

Privilege: o! Peer-m

[blocks in formation]
[graphic]

r4 5), Magna Carta has always been regarded as its confirmatory authority. The important words are:—

“ nullus liber homo capiatunimprisonetur a_ut disseisiatur de libero tenemento suo vel libertatibus_ seu liberis_consuetudinibus suis, aut utlagetur autexuletur nec ahquo modo distruatur nec dominus rex super ipsum ibit nec super eum mittet ms: per legale judiczum Parium suorum vel per legem terrae." . .

The peers have always strongly insisted on this privilege of trial by their own order, and several times the heirs of those wrongly condemned recovered their rights and heritage on the ground that there had been no proper trial by peers (R.D.P., v. 24). In 1442 the privilege received parliamentary confirmation (stat. 20 Henry VI. c. 9). If parliament is sitting the trial takes place before the House of Lords in full session, i.e. the court of our lord the king in parliament, if not then before the court of the lord high steward. The oflice of lord high steward was formerly hereditary, but has not been so for centuries and is now only granted pro hac vice. When necessity arises the Crown issues a special commission naming some peer (usually the lord chancellor) lord high steward pro hac vice (Blackstone's Comm. iv. 258). When a trial takes place in full parliament a lord high steward is also appointed, but his powers there are confined to the presidency of the court, all the peers sitting as judges of law as well as of fact. Should the lord high steward be sitting as a court out of parliament he summons a number of peers to attend as a jury, but rules alone on all points of law and practice, the peers present being judges of fact only. Whichever kind of trial is in progress it is the invariable practice to summon all the judges to attend and advise on points of law. The distinction between the two tribunals was fully discussed and recognized in 1760 (Trial of Earl F errers, Foster’s Criminal Cases, I 39). The most recent trial was that of Earl Russell for bigamy (reported Igor, A.C. 4.46). Among others are the Kilmarnock, Cromarty and Balmerino treason trials in parliament in 1746 (Slate Trials xviii. 441), and in the court of the lord high steward, Lord Morley (treason, 1666, State Trials vi. 777), Lord Cornwallis (murder, 1678 Slate Trials 145), Lord Delamere (I686, treason, Stale Trials xi. 510). Recently some doubt has been expressed as to the origin of the court of the lord high steward. It is said that the historical document upon which the practice is founded is a forgery. The conflicting views are set forth in Vernon Harcourt’s His Grace the Steward and Trial of Peers, p. 429, and in Pike’s Constitutional History of the House of Lords,p. 213. In any case, whatever its historical origin, the court for centuries as a matter of fact has received full legal recognition as part of the constitution. The right to trial by peers extends only to cases of treason and felony, and not to those of misdemeanour; nor can it be waived by any peer (Co. 3 Inst. 29; Kelyng’s Rep. 56). In the case of R. v. Lord Graves (1887), discussed in H ansard’s Parliamentary Debates, 3rd series, vol. cccx. p. 246, Lord Halsbury points out that the question of trial by peers is one of jurisdiction established by law rather than a claim of privilege in 'the discretion of the accused. Scottish and Irish peers, whether possessing seats in the House of Lords or not, are entitled to trial by peers, the same procedure being followed as in the case of members of the House of Lords.

Peers with a seat in the House of Lords possess practically the same parliamentary privileges as do members of the House of Commons. Among other privileges peculiar to themselves they have the right of personal access to the sovereign (Anson’s Law of the Constitution, i. 227). In the House of Lords, when a resolution is passed contrary to his sentiments, any peer, by leave of the house, may “ protest," that is, enter his dissent on the journals of the house (Blackstone, Comm. i. 162). Formerly a peer might vote by proxy (Blackstone, ibid.), but. since 1868 there has been a standing order discontinuing this right. In accordance with resolutions passed by the two houses, neither house has power by any vote or declaration to clothe itself with new privileges unknown to the law and customs of parliament (Commons Journal, xiv. 555). Peeresses and non-representative peers of Ireland and Scotland have,

[ocr errors][graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors]

with the exception of the right to sit in the House of Lords and its attendant parliamentary privileges, every peerage privilege: a widowed peeress retains her privilege of peerage while unmarried, but loses it if she marries a commoner (Co. Litt. 166; Cowley v. Cowley [1901] A.C. 45o). Dissolution of marriage probably deprives a peeress of all peerage privileges which she acquired by marriage. _ I The children of ers are commoners. The eldest son of a peer of the rank of earifiand above) is usually known socially by the "Inland name of his father's next peerage, but the courtesy Fame,“ nature of such title 15 clearly indicated in every public Pam or legal document, the phraseology employed being " John Smith, Esq., commonly known as Viscount Blackacre." Several cases are on record in which peers' eldest sons have actually borne courtesy titles not possessed as peerage honours by their fathers, but inasmuch as such are onl accorded by courtesy, no question of peerage privilege arises. T e oun er sons of dukes and marquesses are entitled to the prefix ' Lor " before their Christian names, and all the daughters of earls as well as of dukes and marquesses are entitled similarly to style themselves " Lady," on the principle that all the daughters are equal in rank and precedence. The younger sons of earls and all the younger children of viscounts and barons are entitled to the prefix ‘Honourable." Usually when the direct heir of a peer dies his children are given, by the Crown, on the death of the r, the courtesy titles and precedence they would have enjoyed ad their father actually succeeded to the peerage. An alien ma be created a peer, but while remainin an alien cannot sit in the House of lLords, nor, if a Scottish or Irish r, can e vote at e ections or representative peers. eer~ cm” of ages may be created (I) by writ of summons, (2) by W" atent. The writ of summons method is not now used except in t e case of calling up an eldest son in the barony of his father. This does not create a new peerage but only accelerates the heir's'appearance in the House of Lords. On the father's death the peerage remains vested in the son. Should the son die without heir the poem e revests in the father. The invariable method of creation in a l ordinary cases is by patent. The letters patent describe the name of the dignity, the person upon whom it is conferred, and specify its course of descent. Claims to peerages are of two kinds: (1) of right, (2) of grace. In theory the Crown, as the fountain of honour, might settle any claim without reference to the House of Lords and cum" 0 issue a writ of summons to its petitioner. This would ham" not in any wa prevent the House of Lords from examining the patent an writ of summons when the faVOured petitioner or any heir claiming through him came to take his seat. lf of opinion that the patent was ille l the house might refuse admittance, as it did in the Wenslcyda e case. In the case of a petitioner who has persuaded the Crown to terminate in his favour as a co-heir the abeyance of an ancient barony and who has received his writ of summons, the matter is more difficult. The house cannot refuse to admit any person properly summoned by the Crown, as the prerogative is unlimited in point of numbers; but it can take into account the precedence of the newcomer. If he has an old barony he naturally expects its proper place on the bench of barons; but if the house thought fit they might compel him to prove his digree before according any precedence. If he refused to do this they would still be bound to admit him, but it would be as the junior baron of the house with a peerage dating, for parliamentary purposes, from the day of his summons. The general result is that the Crown, unless there can be no question as to pedigree, seldom terminates an abeyance without referrin the matter to the House of Lords, and invariably so refers all claims which are disputed or which involve any question of law.1 The procedure is as follows: The claimant petitions the Crown through the home secretary, setting forth his pedigree and stating the nature of his claim. The Crown then refers the tition to its legal adviser, the attorney-general. The titioner t en in course of time appears before the attorney-genera with his proofs. Finally the attorney-general reports that a prima facie case is, or is not, made out. If a case be made out, the Crown, if it does not take immediate action, refers the whole matter to the House of Lords, who pass it on to their Committee for Privileges for examination and report. The Committee for Privileges, which for peerage claims is usually constituted of the lawhlords and one or twodother lords interested mmm" 1n erage istory, sits as an or mary court 0 Justice film", an follows all the rules of law and evidence. _The kn“ attorney-general attends as adviser to the committee and to watch the interests of the Crown. According to the nature of the case the Committee reports to the house, and the house to the Crown, that the etitioner (if successful) (I) has made out his claim and is entitled) to a writ of summons, or (2)

1This was not done in the case of the earldom of Cromartie called out of abeyancc in [895. The holder of the title being a lady the house has had, as yet, no opportunity of considering the validity of the Crown's action.

[graphic]

has proved his co-heirship to an existing peerage, and has also proved the descent of all existing co-heirs. In the first case the writ of summons is issued forthwrth, but the second, bei one of abeyance, is a matter for the pleasure of the Crown, which need not be exercised at all, but, if exercised, ma terminate the abeyancc in favour of any one of the co-heirs. T e seniority of a co-heir (though this alone is of little moment), his power to support the dignity, and the number of existing co-heirs, are all factors which count in the chances of success.

Reference has already been made in the earlier part of this article to the reply of Bishop Peter de Roches to the English barons who claimed trial by their ers, and, as was su gested Peer, 0, the bishop probably had in is mind the peers of France. Fun“ Possibly the word pares, as eventually used in England, ' was borrowed from this source, but this is uncertain. The great men known originally as the twelve pairs de France, were the feudal holders of ‘large territories under the nominal sway of the king of France. They were the (archbishop) duke of Rheims, the (bishop) dukes of Langres and Laon, the (bishop) counts of Beauvais, Noyon and Chalons, the dukes of Bur undy, Normandy and Aquitaine, and the counts of Flanders, oulouse and Champagne. These magnates, nominally feudatories, were ractically independent rulers, and their position can in no way be compared to that of the En lish baronage. It is said that this body of peers was institute in the reign of Philip Augustus, though some writers even ascribe its origin to Charlemagne. Some of the peers were present at Philip’s coronation in 1179, and later again at the alleged trial of ohn of England when his fief of Normandy was adjudged fo eit to the French Crown.

As the central power of the French kin s grew, the various fiefs lost their independence and became unite to the Crown, with the exception of Flanders which passed into the hands of the emperor Charles V. In the 14th century the custom arose for the sovereign to honour his more important nobles by granting them the title of Peer of France. At first the grant was confined to the royal dukes, but later it was conferred on others, amongst whom late in the 17th century appears the archbishop of Paris. To several counties and baronies the honour of a erage was added, but most of these eventually became reunitedpe'ith the Crown. As a legislative bod a chamber of peers in France was first founded by Louis XVIlI. in 18I4; it was hereditary and modelled on the English House of Lords. The revolution of 1830 reduced its hereditary quality to life tenure, and in the troubles of I848 the chamber itself finally disap eared.

Austria, Hungary and ortugal are other countries possessing peeragcs which to some extent follow the En lish model.v In Austria there is a large heredita nobility an those Other members of it in whose families t e legislative dignity Max”. is hereditary by nomination of the emperor sit in the Herrenhaus or Austrian Up er Chamber. together with certain prelates and a large number oynominated life-members. In Hungary all those nobles who possess the right of hereditary peerage (as admitted by the act of 1885 and subsequent acts) and who pay a land tax of cen tin value, are members of the House of Magnates, of which they for I a lar e majority, the remainder of the members being Roman Catho ic prelates, representatives of Protestant churches and life eers. In Portugal until recent years the House of Peers was an rereditary body, but it is now practically a chamber of life-peers. (G. E. )

PEERLKAMP, PETRUS HOFMAN (1786-1865), Dutch classical scholar and critic, descended from a family of French refugees named Perlechamp, was born at Groningen on the 2nd of February 1786. He was professor of ancient literature and universal history at Leiden from 1822 to 1849, when he resigned his post and retired to Hilversum near Utrecht, where he died on the 27th of March 186 5. He was the founder of the subjective method of textual criticism, which consisted in rejecting in a classical author whatever failed to come up to the standard of what that author, in the critic’s opinion, ought to have written. His ingenuity in this direction, in which he went much farther than Bentley, was chiefly exercised on the Odes of Horace (the greater part of which he declared spurious), and the Aeneid of Virgil. He also edited the Ar: poetica and Satires of Horace, the Agricola of Tacitus, the romance of Xenophon of Ephesus, and was the author of a history of the Latin poets of the Netherlands (De vita, doctrina, e! facultalc N ederlandorum qui carmr'na latina composuerunt, 1838).

See L. Miiller, Gesch. der klassischen Philala ie in den Niederlanden (1869), and J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Class. Schol. (1908), iii. 276.

PEESEMSKY, ALEXEY FEOFILACTOVICH (1820—1881), Russian novelist, was born on his father’s estate, in the province of Kostroma, on the roth/zznd of March 1820. In his autobiography he describes his family as belonging to the ancient Russian nobility, but his more immediate progenitors were all very poor, and unable to read or write. His grandfather ploughed the fields as a simple peasant, and his father, as Peesemsky himself said, was washed and clothed by a rich relative, and placed as a soldier in the army, from which he retired as a major after thirty years’ service. During childhood Peesemsky read eagerly the translated works of Walter Scott and Victor Hugo, and later those of Shakespeare, Schiller, Goethe, Rousseau, Voltaire and George Sand. From the gymnasium of Kostroma he passed through Moscow University, and in 1884 entered the government service as a clerk in the office of the Crown domains in his native province. Between 1854 and 1872, when he finally quitted the civil service, he occupied similar posts in St Petersburg and Moscow. His early works exhibit a profound disbelief in the higher qualities of humanity, and a disdain for the other sex, although he appears to have been attached to a particularly devoted and sensible wife. His first novel, Bayarstchina, was forbidden for its unflattering description of the Russian nobility. His principal novels are Tufak (“A Muff ”), r850; Tcesicha doush (“A Thousand Souls ”), 1862, which is considered his best work of the kind; and Vzbalomoucheneoe more (“A Troubled Sea ”), giving a picture of the excited state of Russian society about the year 1862. He also produced a comedy, Gorkaya soudbina (“ A Bitter Fate ”), depicting the dark sides of the Russian peasantry, which obtained for him the Ouvarofl prize of the Russian Academy. In 1856 he was sent, together with other literary men, to report on the ethnographical and commercial condition of the Russian interior, his particular field of inquiry having been Astrakhan and the region of the Caspian Sea. His scepticism in regard to the liberal reforms of the ’sixties made him very unpopular among the more progressive writers of that time. He died at Moscow on the 2nd of February 1881 (Jan. 21, Russian style).

PEGASUS (from Gr. mos, compact, strong), the famous winged horse of Greek fable, said to have sprung from the trunk of the Gorgon Medusa when her head was cut off by Perseus. IBellerophon caught him as he drank of the spring Peirene on the Acrocorinthus at Corinth, or received him tamed and bridled at the hands of Athena (Pindar, OI. xiii. 63; Pausanias ii. 4). Mounted on Pegasus, Bellerophon slew the Chimaera and overcame the Solymi and the Amazons, but when he tried to fly to heaven on the horse’s back he threw him and continued his heavenward course (Apollodorus ii. 3). Arrived in heaven, Pegasus served Zeus, fetching for him his thunder and lightning (Hesiod, Theog. 281). Hence some have thought that Pegasus is a symbol of the thundercloud. According to O. Gruppe (Griechische Myflzologie, i. 75, 123) Pegasus, like Arion the fabled ofispring of Demeter and Poseidon, was a curse-horse, symbolical of the rapidity with which curses were fulfilled. In later legend he is the horse of Eos, the morning. The erroneous derivation from 111171’1, “a spring of water,” may have given birth to the legends which connect Pegasus with water; e.g. that his father was Poseidon, that he was born at the springs of Ocean, and that he had the power of making springs rise from the ground by a blow of his hoof. When Mt Helicon, enchanted by the song of the Muses, began to rise to heaven, Pegasus stopped its ascent by stamping on the ground (Antoninus Liberalis o), and where he struck the earth Hippocrene (horse— spring), the fountain of the Muses, gushed forth (Pausanias ii. 31, ix. 31). But there are facts that speak for an independent mythological connexion between horses and water, e.g. the sacrcdness of the horse to Poseidon, the epithets Hippios and Equester applied to Poseidon and Neptune, the Greek fable of the origin of the first horse (produced by Poseidon striking the ground with his trident), and the custom in Argolis of sacrificing horses to Poseidon by drowning them in a well. From his connexion with Hippocrene Pegasus has come to be regarded as the horse of the Muses and hence as a symbol of poetry. But this is a modern attribute of Pegasus, not known to the ancients, and dating only from the Orlando innamorato of Boiardo.

[graphic]

See mono raph by F. Hannig, Breslauer phdologische Abkond— lungen (1902 , vol. viii., pt. 4.

PEGAU, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Saxony, situated in a fertile country, on the Elster, 18 m. S.W. from Leipzig by the railway to Zeitz. Pop. (1905), 5656. It has two Evangelical churches, that of St Lawrence being a fine Gothic structure, a 16th-century town-hall; a very old hospital and an agricultural school. Its industries embrace the manufacture of felt, boots and metal wares.

Pegau grew up round a monastery founded in 1096, but does not appear as a town before the close of the 12th century. Markets were held here and its prosperity was further enhanced by its position on a main road running east and west. In the monastery, which was dissolved in 1539, a valuable chronicle was compiled, the Annales pegat'ienscs, covering the period

from 1039 to 1227.

See Fiissel, Anfang and Ende des Klaslers St Jacob zu Pegau (Leipzig, 1857); and Dillner, Grossel and Gunther, Altes and mass aus Pe au (Leipzig, 1905). The Annales Pegavienses are published in Ed. ’VI. of the Monumenta Germaniae historica. Scriptores.

PEGMATITE (from Gr. finite, a bond), the name given by Haiiy to those masses of graphic granite which frequentlyoc‘eur in veins. They consist of quartz and alkali feldspars in crystalline intergrowth (see PETROLOGY, Plate II. fig. 6). The term was subsequently used by Naumann to signify also the coarsely crystalline veins rich in quartz, feldspar and muscovite, which often in great numbers ramify through outcrops of granite and the surrounding locks. This application of the name has now obtained general acceptance, and has been extended by many authors to include vein-rocks of similar structure and geological relationships, which occur with syenites, diorites and gabbros. Only a few of these pegmatites have graphic structure or mutual intergrowth of their constituents. Many of them are exceedingly coarse~grained; in granite-pegmatites the feldspars may be several feet or even yards in diameter, and other minerals such as apatite and tourmaline often occur in gigantic crystals. Pegmatites consist of minerals which are found also in the rocks from which they are derived, e.g. granite-pegmatites contain principally quartz and feldspar while gabbro-pcgmatites consist of diallage and plagioclase. Rare minerals, however, often occur in these veins in exceptional amount and as very perfect crystals. The miherals of the pegmatites are always those which were last to separate out from the parent rock. As the basic minerals are the first formed the pegmatites contain a larger proportion of the acid or more siliceous components which were of later origin. In granite-pegmatites there is little hornblende, biotite or sphene, but white mica, feldspar and quartz make up the greater part of the veins. In gabbro-pegmatites olivine seldom occurs, but diallage and plagioclase occur in abundance. In this respect the pegmatites and aplites agree; both are of more acid types than the average rock from which they came, but the pegmatites are coarsely crystalline while, the aplites are fine-grained. Segregations of the early minerals of a rock are frequent as nodules, lumps and streaks scattered through its mass, and often dikes of basic character (lamprephyres, &c.) are injected into the surrounding country. These have been grouped together as intrusions of melanocrale facies (uéhas, black, Kpt'u'os. strength, predominance) because in them the dark basic minerals preponderate. The aplites and pegmatites, on the other hand, are leucocrate (hevxos, white), since they are of acid character and contain relatively large amounts of the white minerals quartz and feldspar.

Pegmatites are associated with plutonic or intrusive rocks and were evidently formed by slow crystallization at considerable depths below the surface: nothing similar to, them is known in lavas. They are very characteristic of granites, especially those which contain muscovite and much alkali feldspar; in gabbros, diorites and syenites pregmatite dikes are comparatively rare. The coarsely crystalline structure may be ascribed to slow crystallization; and is partly the result of the rocks, in which the veins lie, having been at a high temperature when the minerals of the pegmatites separated out. In accordance with this we find that pegmatite veins are nearly always restricted

[graphic]
« السابقةمتابعة »