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but soon becoming more ambitious it aspires to local titles and dignities; and next, encouraged by success, to the enviable honor of sitting in Parliament, or at least of exercising a decided influence over the election of others. ,

If however the interests of persons of property thus lay them under a continual obligation of cultivating the good opinion of those by whom they are surrounded, they have at least an inestimable advantage in finding no obstacle towards gaining it, from any of those exclusive privileges which would only render them the objects of universal jealousy.

There are not any nobility, properly speaking, in England ; that is to say, not in the precise sense in which we understand the word. Birth, excepting to those who are of the peerage, gives neither title nor rights, nor indeed any particular privilege, whatsoever. With the English there is no division into two parts, as in most other European nations; the one noble, as the descendants of ancient conquerors, the other plebeian, as the posterity of the conquered, and with distinctions between them perpetuated from generation to generation, without any possibility of mixture. The meaning which we affix to the word gentleman is not in use among the English, and is indeed scarcely understood by them. They do not acknowledge any other as nobility or noblemen, ex. cepting the members of the House of Lords, and their eldest sons, who are called to the peerage." Ņor have these last ever a right to the title of Lord; it is given to them simply by courtesy, and is not recognised in law. In courts of justice they are designated merely by their family names, to which is added commonly called Lord such an one.'' When a member of the House of Peers possesses several titles, for instance, when he is at the same time a duke, a marquis, and an earl, these titles devolve in succession upon his eldest son, his eldest grandson, and his eldest greatgrandson. His younger children have only the privilege of adding the epithet honorable to their names; but the younger children of his eldest son, or the descendants of his

younger child rèn, merely go by their family names.

There are also some titles which are granted to persons who are

1 This is not the case in Ireland and Scotland. At the time of the union it was stipulated that as the whole body of Scotch and Irisb Peers could not be included in the national House of Lords, only a certain proportion of them should be admitted into it; that is to say, eighteen from Ireland, and sixteen from Scotland. These peers, who represent in the British Parliament, the whole body of the Scotch and Irish peerage, are returned, the former for the term of parliament, the latter for life:

• The younger children, however, of dukes and marquisses retain the title of Lord, which is given to them by courtesy, in order to distinguish them from the younger children of earls, viscounts and barons.

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not of noble birth, and who are included in the class of commoners; some of these titles are hereditary, and others personal. The only hereditary title after that of a baron is that of a baronet. It is con ferred by the king upon those who may have rendered any essential service to the state, in whatsoever way it may happen to be. This title only descends to the eldest son, and the younger children do not derive any advantage from it.

The other titles are merely personal. The first, which is that of knight, is granted by the king, either from himself, as a mark of esteem, or on a request made to him for the purpose, and the second, that of squire, is universally bestowed, not only on all gentlemen of landed property, but also on all who exercise the liberal professions, such as lawyers, physicians, bankers or merchants on an extended scale. The wives of baronets and knights have a right to the title of Lady, the same as the wives of the nobility. All the other citizens are gentlemen--a term which answers to ours of monsieur ; and this denomination is applied to the whole body of the people when they are harangued during the time of the elections.

All these ranks, as well as those which spring out of public offices, are regulated by a scale which is observed with scrupulous exactness, even in private parties, and prevents all the disagreement which might arise from the unfounded assumption of individual consequence. The scale which I subjoin will show at once the

There is also another title of honor in England, which, though only personal, takes precedence immediately after that of baronet; it is that of knight. It ought to be conferred by the king, in person, upon the field of battle in the face of the enemy. But this title is fallen altogether into disuse, the king no longer having any occasion to command his armies in his own country, and not being able to do it in any other.

? The mayor of London is sometimes made a baronet, after the expiraration of his office. The physician to the Prince Regent had this title bestowed upon him in the month of October last.

3 TABLE OF PRECEDENCE. 1. The King:

land. 2. Prince of Wales.

16. Earl Marshal. 3. King's sons.

17. Lord High Admiral. 4. King's brothers.

18. Lord Steward of H.M. Household. 5. King's uncles.

19; Lord Chamberlain of Ditto. 6. King's grandsons.

20. Dukes according to their patents. 7. King's brothers' or sisters' sons. 21. Marquisses according to their pa. 8. Archbishop of Canterbury. 9. Lord High Chancellor.

22. Dukes' eldest sons. 10. Archbishop of York.

23. Earls according to their patents. 11. Lord High Treasurer.

24. Marquisses' eldest sons. 12. Lord President of the Privy 95. Dukes' younger sons. Council.

26. Viscounts according to their pa13. Lord Privy Seal. 14. Lord High Constable.

27. Earls' eldest sons. 15. Lord Great Chamberlain of Eng“ 28. Marquisses' younger sons.

tents.

tents.

design of government, and the secret motives which induce it to connect its chief distinctions, rather with the interests of the state, than of any particular family.

None of the titles which I have just enumerated include in themselves the least privilege, either of a pecuniary or an honorary nature. It is true that there may still be traced in Englan some remains of feudal privileges, but these privileges attach not to person, nor result from birth; they belong to the estate itself, and pass along with it into the possession of the purchaser.

These privileged lands are called manors, and the owners of them are styled lords of the manors. The privileges attached to them depend upon the nature of the different estates included in them, and are more or less extensive according as these estates are freehold or copy-hold.

Freeholds are estates of which the ancient possessors were per

sons.

29. Bishop of London.

56. Eldest sons of the younger sons 30. Bishop of Durham.

of Peers. 31. Bishop of Winchester.

57. Baronets' eldest sons. 39. Bishops according to their seni- 58. Knights of the Garter's eldest

ority of consecration. 33. Barons according to their pa- 59. Bannerets' eldest sons. tents.

60. Knights of the Bath's eldest sons. 34. Speaker of the House of Com- 61. Knight's eldest sons. mons.

62. Baronets' younger sons. 35. Viscounts' eldest sons.

63. Flag and field officers. 36. Earls' younger sons.

64. Serjeants at Law. 37. Barons' eldest sons.

65. Doctors, Deans, and Chancellors, 38. Knights of the Garter.

66. Masters in Chancery. 39. Privy Counsellors.

67. Companions of the Bath. 40. Chancellor of the Exchequer. 68. Esquires of the King's Body. 41. Chancellor of the duchy of Lan- 69. Gentlemen of the Privy Chamcaster.

ber. 42. Lord Chief Justice of the King's 70. Esquires of the Knights of the Bench.

Bath. 43. Master of the Rolls.

71. Esquires by creation. 44. Vice-Chancellor of England. 72. Esquires by office or commission. 45. Lord Chief Justice of the Com- 73. Younger sons of Knights of the mon Pleas..

Garter. 46. Lord Chief Baron of the Exche- 74. Younger sons of Bannerets of quer.

both kinds, 47. Judges and Barons of the Exche- 75. Younger sons of Knights of the quer according to seniority.

Bath. 48. Hereditary Bannerets.

76. Younger sens of Knights Bache49. Viscounts' younger sons.

lors. 50. Barons' younger sons.

77. Gentlemen entitled to bear arms. 51. Baronets.

78. Clergymen not dignitaries. 52. Bannerets for Life only.

79. Barristers at Law. 53. Knights of the Bath Grand 80. Officers in the Army and Navy, Crosses.

not Esquires by commissions 54. Knights Commanders.

81. Citizens, Burgesses, &c, 55. Knights Bachelors.

sonal proprietors, but for which they promised homage and allegiance to their feudal lord. These lands were held of the chiefs by the payment of some small sum not exceeding the value of a few shillings, which is called a quit-rent. The same sort of acknowledgment is still made to the lord of the manor, by the owner of the freehold, who is not however liable to any

other species of servitude ; such as anything respecting the chace, fisheries, &c.

Copy-holds are lands which appear to have belonged originally to the lord of the manor himself, and to have been ceded on certain conditions which were to be observed by him who should take them, and which therefore might be considered as in some measure the price of them. They are called copy-holds, because the title of the agreement is entered in the county registers, and the tenant has only a copy of it, which must be renewed in case of any change taking place. The conditions of the agreement vary according to the peculiar customs of every manor.

In strictness a land-owner has a right to resume the possession of his estate, either at the time of the copy-holder's decease, or even during his life. But this power has been so long laid aside, from a benevolent principle of consideration towards the tenantry and their family, that it has insensibly got to be looked upon as no longer existing. It was likewise considered as injurious to the progress of agriculture, insomuch as it placed the copy-holder and his children in a state of discouraging uncertainty, and in a state of dependence too nearly allied to servitude ; at present the heirs or successors of a tenant have only to fulfil the original conditions of the agreement. The cause of these conditions being gradually lost in the lapse of ages they no longer appear in any other light than as the most humiliating stipulations, and the refinement of the age is continually tending to effect their total effacement. Thus the heriot, or right of the lord of the manor to chuse the best of every thing belonging to the copy-holder, at the time of his death, whether the richest of his furniture, or the finest of his live stock, is now almost entirely done away with, partly by the care which the copy-holder takes to make a bequest of such of his property immediately about him, which may be of most value, such as his pictures or horses, and partly by the custom now introduced of not paying such things in kind, but submitting them to a valuation, which is always made a good deal below what they are really worth.

' Most of the freeholds, however, are exempted in the present day from the payment of this quit-rent, either because they belonged originally to the king, who has chosen to remit it, or that the possessors of them have obtained a release from it of the proprietor.

In the same way the right of proprietorship, which the lord of the manor has over all mines that may be discovered on the estate of the copy-holder, is rendered of no avail, in consequence of the action of trespass (or quasi debet) which can be brought against him by the copy-holder, whenever he may offer to make use of it. This action is founded upon the right of the copy-holder to hinder the lord of the manor from going over his land; a right which effectually precludes the possibility of having his mines worked. But as the lord of the manor can in his turn forbid the copy-holder to derive any benefit from them, it follows that the innumerable contests which are perpetually occurring from the number of coal mines in the country, almost always terminate in an arrangement between the parties, by which either the copy-holder obtains leave of the lord of the manor to work the mines, on the payment of a certain sum, or the lord of the manor obtains at the same price the right to go over the land of the copy-holder.

Copy-holds become every day more scarce, on account of the feeling of common interest which impels both the lords of the manors, and the copy-holders to do away with those distinctions to which they owe their original titles, and to exchange them for considerations more lucrative and more conformable to the manners of the day. It is now common to affranchise copy-holds entirely on the payment of a suitable sum. The copy-holder finds a particular advantage in this, besides that of ridding his estate of a sort of servitude which he feels every day more and more painful to him : it gives him the right of voting, in his new capacity of freeholder, at the election of the members of parliament, which he could not possess as a copy-holder, from the supposition entertained in the law, that in that situation he might be liable to be influenced by his landlord, who, in his turn, is not less satisfied with a contract which augments his actual income, with no other sacrifice than that of rights which have been long little more than nominal, and which, withering under time, were every day parting with some of their small re maining value. All the prerogatives founded upon the nature of estates are then to be regarded less as privileges, than as a sort of credentials, of the same kind as any other civil credentials, resulting from the sale or grant of lands.' We must bear in mind also that in the course of time manors, freeholds and copy-holds having passed, one after another, into the hands of new owners, and entailing on them, as it might happen, either their privileges, or their obligations, they can no longer be made subservient, as they might originally have beer, to establishing the pre-eminence of the fami. lies to whom they may chance at this time to belong : besides which, the spirit of the constitution of England shines with such lustre,

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