John Fortescue.

The works of Sir John Fortescue, Knight, Chief Justice of England and Lord Chancellor to King Henry the Sixth (Volume 1) online

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wheras he treateth thefe wordes i^jid funt regna nifi magna latrocinia, that four things
maie ertablifli Kingdomes gotten by conqueil. That is to iaie, acceptation ot God; ap-
provinge of the Churche ; longe continuance of pofTelTion, and th'afl'ente of the people.
Which four the faide Kinge Henrie the fixt hath in his Kingdome. Eor that realme
defcended to him being not fully a yere olde ; which was the deed of God, fithen the lame
Kinge had then none age to defire it. And the Cluirche hath approved him and his reigning
by accepting of his Protedure in the Counkll general, and in the Court of Rome; and alfo
under Bulles made unto him by diverie Popes and by manie other diverfe meanes. And
he is entitled in his Kingdome by long continuance, as by tlie toreiaide title ot prsfcripti' m,
and by the aflente of the people of the whole land of England. Eor they tuoke and admit ed



Before the words •' By which "' in the MS. is this broken line —

lume parletnente was bounde unto the lame.



l\ • ij



502 ^7'aSis by Sir yohfi Fortefcue.

him to be theyr King, when he was, as is before faide, not fulHe one yere olde. And with
ther hoole affent he was eiioynted and crowned King uppon them, when he was not fully
eight yeares olde.'

yllia multa htc dejunt.



The word " jiid" is la the MS. here jfter " olde."



OPUSCULI JOHANNIS FORTESCU MILITIS



(Ul N'OMKN



DEFENSIO JURIS DOMUS LANCASTRI/E,

FRAGMENTA QU/E SUPERSUNT.




I .LTiiiii.i lion
Ircctlit in
ngnL.m



DEFENSIO JURIS DOiMUS LANCASTRI.E.

I.

,D quod dicit miles prediftus, quod nulla mulier ohftantibus lege et confuc-
tudine Angliix- in jure corona; et regni illius fucccdere potelt, fed ad
ha;redes femper mafculos dffundendum eft; ficut de faflo per evidentias Anght
et exempla qua- inter alia tarn citra conqueftum per Normanos de eodeni
regno fadum, quani ante eundcm conqueftum contingere clare liquere
poteft, et in articulis duobus proximus luculenter apparebit.

Henricus primus filius conqueftoris Wilhelmi nullam filiu'm fed folam filiam Matildam
nomine habuit, qua- Almannia; Imperatori defponfata fuit, et poft ejus fatum Comiti Ande-
gavia:, a quo fobolem fufcepit Henricum filium Imperatricis nominatum. Et poft deceftit
Henricus ille primus, deceftit et Andegavis Comes fponftis Mathilda;. Poft quorun. utro-
rumque fata licet memorata Imperatrix titulo patris fui ha-reditario Ducatus Normannia:
pofteirionem, et filius fuus Comitatus Andegavi;^: patris iui jure pacifice et quietc acceperint,
eaque fuerunt potiti, dida tamen Matilda nunquam jura regni aut corona; Anglia; narta eft,
aut fuit unquam Anglia; Regina eft^eifla, inftetit tamen fortiftime ut potuit, quatenus die^tus
filius fuus tanquam proximus de fanguine Regis Henrici primi avi fui, quumque per liiieam
fcemineam defcendens, ad pofleftionem regni et corona' Anglia- admitterctur, cujus fruftruta
petitio fuerat, dum Domini, proceres, et communitas Anglia; acquiefcere fibi, aut votis fuis
legibus et confuetudinibus Anglia; obftantibus minime voluerunt. Sed, omiftb illo Henrico
Imperatricis filio, confiderantes nullum fuperftitem clfe line;e mafculina-, humanitate quadani
dudti, potius Stephanum Comitem de Bloys et de Boulogne filium ibroris didi regis Hei rici
primi fanguinis amore in Regem Anglia- eligerunt ; ut diftus Henricus fanguine proxiniior
fi eleftus fuiflet titulo matris, regni fc gubernacula accepifte contra memoratas leges et Am li;e
confuetudines prefumpfiflet. Oui quidem Stephanus fie conimuni confenfu regni elechis
unCtus erat, et in Regem AngliLt coronatus, ac tota vita iua videlicet decem et oCto annos et
amplius ibidem regnavit ; fundavitque ad perpetuam rei menioriam Abbatiam de I'everfchame,
vbi fepultus quiefcit, Abbatiam de Cogfxle, et alias domus religioiorum preclaras.
i. 3 T



p



X£\.a P.iiiia-
meiiti tem-
pore Regis
Stephuiil.



506



TraEls hy Sir 'JoJui Fortefcue.



Tempore tamen didi Stephani, niortuis primo duolnis filius fuis quos fobs habuii:, vivciite
tamen Mathilda hlia lua, CDminuni confcnru jM-oceiiiin ct L'uinnuiniratis regni Anglia' ad
inftantiam et requifitioncni ipfivis Stephani, in publico parlianiento ordinatiim atque con-
chifum eft quod Henricus filius Impeiatricis etiain eideni Stephano in fanguine proximus
malculus mortuo ipfo Stephano fierut Rex, et ha,-redes ipfius I ieniici mafculi poll ipfum
fuccederent in jure regni et coronie Angli;v. lit fie aftum ell. Nam mortuo Stephano
Henricus ille, vulgariter filius Imperatricis vocatus, vivente adhuc matre fua Mathilda totius
regni confenfu, et non aliter, in Regem Anglia; unftus et coronatus ell; illoque modo et
non matris titulo regni gubernacula llimpfit, quemadmochmi t;uii ex cronicis quam ex gellis
in parlianiento memorato evidentillime patet ; qui ordo non taliter fuilTet fervatus, fi Mathilda
h;rres regni hjiffet, aut ejus filius jure ipfius in regno fuccedere debuifTet.

Jam ante eonqueftum S;m(51:us Edwardus Chrifti Confeflbr roto tempore vit; fux- pacificus
Rex Anglia- in fatum difceduns voluit et ordinavit quod W'ilhelmus Dux Noi mannia-, con-
fanguineus luus germanus ex Gunilda amita fua forore patris fui, in jure corona- Anglia- filii
i'uccederet ; qui etiam fie fibi pofl: ejus mortem conquelhi tamen lucceirit, et Rex Angli.e
coronatus fua durante vita regnavit. Non obftante quod di6tus Sanftus Edwardus habu t
confiuTguineam, filiam Edwardi filii fratris fui fenioris Edmundi videlicet I''erreum Eati s
vulgariter vocati, nomine Margaretam, qua; Malcolmo Scotorum Regi defponfata ent, > t
ex qua omnes ab illo tempore hadenus Reges Scotorum defcenderimt. Et tamen n;qie
dida Sandla Margareta licet a fratre feniori dicti SancTii Edwardi exitus, neque ullus mafculus
ab ea defcendens fuccefTit aut fuccedere potuit aut fuccedere vindicavit in jure regni rt
corona; Angliie, obllantibus legibus et conluetudinibus Anglia- iupra.licliib.

Alioquin videretur quod Sanftus Edwardus et fucceflbres fui ejus ordin:^tione, mi-dio,
et voluntate, injuriam fecerunt difta; San(5fa.' Margarita.- et fuccelToribus fuis, quod non eil
prefumendum de tarn Catholico atque Sanfto viro, nee fas eft dicere. .



Regnum
Anglia'
fpecialiU-r
talliatum.



II.

€^<^^fgEMO poteft plus juris in alium transferre quam fibi competere dinofcatur. Et
^ -^C*' ^ ^'^^ '^""'' fcemina talis in terris ita ut dicitur talliatis non poteft fuccedere, multo
ii^^^^k manis in filios ab ea defcendentes fucceliionis jura transfundere nequi*-, prout m
reo-no Anglic indubitato jure obfervatur ficuti judicibus omnibus ac dodis viri' et injure
il'lius regni peritis conllat.



I'., 'L ■ ; M



Defeiifio Ju7-is Donuh LancaJIricv. 507



i^M'^r^T^^^^^'^ praTumcndum iion eft quod ix-gnum aliquod talc jirefcrtini ciijus ab

^J Py^C)^ antiquo Reges iblciit, et nullum in terris rupLTiorem in temporalibus

^0/^:^^ recognofcunt, cujus modi regnum Anglix eft, jure ha:reditario ad mulieres eflct
devolvendum, aut in mafculos ab eis defccndentes ipdu-um tltulo abfque eledVione feu alia
audoritate adjunfta; ilcuti per hibfcripta exempla patere poteft, primo lie regno brancia:
exempli caufa exordiendo. Si t-cemina; regnum b'rancia; hsreditalTent, hoc regnum ante ha.'C
tempora mulieris jure ad regnum Navarria; devenifTet, et alia vice, fimili titulo Comiti
Idandrire, alioque tempore fnnili jure et titido Kegi Anglix, quemadmodum per cronicab
Francia? liquide conilare poteft. Adeoque f-amoftftimus princeps Henricus hujus r. iminis
quintus Rex Anglia' tali titulo diu regnum ]*'rancia; vindicavit, licet poftea, ut Chriftianif-
fimus, doiftorum virorum ufus conlilio, habitoque traftatu longo, titulum ilium conlulte
reliquerit, et Katrniam filiani Caroli tunc l<'ranciaj liegis cepit in uxorem ; cujus maritagii
gratia, ut lites queftionefque diverfie qua; tunc inter eofdem Reges, et eorum rtgnu vertc-
bantur indifculTa j)erpetuum finem fortirentur, de ejulclem Regis Caroli triumque Statuum
regni fui communi afienfu ordinatum fucrit firniiter et conclulum, quod diftus Rex Hem'icus
ex turn elTet, realiterque nominaretur Regens et htres regni brancia; et non Rex b'rancia*
tota vita ipfius Regis Caroli; et poft ejus mortem, ipfe Rex Henricus et omnes ha.'redes iui
malculi de corpore fuo exeuntes edent immediate realiter, de jure et fafto, Jveges regni
branciae in perpetuum ; cujus vigore idem Rex Henricus poftniodum et tantum baredem et
regentem regni Francia et non Regem Francia in omnibus Icriptis luib tota vita fua apjiel-
lavit, et appellari tecit. Confitnili'Lerque p,oft ejus mortem appcllari et fecit baredem regni
brancia prefatus Henricus filius ejus tota vita prehiti Caroli regis, qui erat avus ejus, vide-
licet pater prefata Katrina: Matris fua; et poft mortem illius Caroli idem Flenricus fextus
titulo predido unctus hiit et coronatus pacifice Pariliis in l\egem b'rancia de alTenki pariter et
confenfu majoris partis omniinn principum et dominorum ncc non procerum et communitatis
totius regni Francia. hem ii jiua talium regnorum ad mulieres defcenderent, i-egnum
Hifpania dudum ad Duces Lancaftria et I'.boraci titulo mulieris perveniflet, cum duo il'i
Duces duas duxerint filias Regis Hifpania', et tamen regnum illud ad eos aut ecrundem
alterum minime pervenit ; fed poft tata Fetri Regis Hifpania didarum filiaruni p;'.tris,
proceres et gentes regni ejufdem FJenricum fratrem baftardum memorati Regis J'etn per
Papain legitimatum in Regem fuum erexcrunt.

Apparet infuper ex ordine facra fcriptura quod I3eus abdicavit mulieribus fupre;nani
fuper viros poteftatem propter traiifgreirimi prima mulieris, dum dicit, " Lris iub
poteftate viri, et ipfe dominabitur tui." Ouamobrem lex aut conluetudo qua- mulien
fucceftionis titulo regimen regni difFeret, talis potilfunum regni quod nullum in terris m



1^ .'^;;r.-'



5o8 Tra&s hy Sir 'John Fortefcue.

temporalibus fuperiorem habctj corruptela potius quam lex aut confuetudo merito eft
dicenda

Item Regibus Anglia- Regali ipfo officio plura incumbunt, qua- natura: nuiliebri adver-
(Imturj et Regibus Anglia: qua:dam fpeciali gratia ccelitus infufa funt qux- Reginis ibidem
lion intunduntur. Rex videlicet Anglia; aufloritate Ecclefia; mixta perfona cenfetur,
adeoque vacantibus epifcopatibus Reges ibidem omnes prebendos ecclefiarum Cathedralium
lie vacantium interim vacantes conferunt quibus vokint, et breviariis fuis Regiis collationes
illas faciuntj ijuibus breviariis iidem prebendarii in prebendis fuis futficienter in lege intitu-
lantur et inveiiiuntur, ac in eilliem ecclefiis Cathedralibus, ut Canonici earundem vigore
hujufmodi breviariarum Regiorum incorporantur ; et (ic in hoc et pluribus aliis cafibus qu;f
oftendi poiTunt poteft Rex AnQ;]ia' epifcopi vices exercere, quit poteftas mulieribus non
convenit, nee mulieri unquam fuit concefla. Reges infuper Angliie m ipia unftione iua
talem coelitiis gratiam infufam recipiunt quod per tadlum manuum fuorum unft;.rum, infeftos
morbo quodam qui vulgo Regius morbus appellatur, mundant et curant, qui alias dicuntur
incurabiles. Item aurum et argentum iacris undis manibus l^egum Anglia in die Paraiciv;^-
divinorum tempore, qucmadmodum Reges Anglis annuatim facere folent, tadum devot :
et oblatum fpafmaticos et caducos curant; quemadmodum per annulos ex didto auro feu
argento fados et digitis hominum morbidorum impofitis multis in mundi partibus cn:bro
ufu expertum ell:; qua; gratia Reginis non coiifertur, cum ip{;e in manibus non ungaritui.
In fuper Regina in inferiori parte capitis ungitur quam Rex, in lignum quod fuperiorem
habet ; nee in brachiis ungitur, ut Rex, quia non debet exercere voluntariam poteftatem, ne ■
gladium portare, prout Rex facit, et non fine caufa, ut inquit Apollolus, cum efiet contr i
natura; normam mulierem fe virilibus immifcere ofiiciis. Pra'terea contingen. pofiit c|uoil
hujufmodi Regina incoiifulto calore anioris ignobilem aut qui vili forfan Itirpe ortum trahcret
fuum, acceperet in maritum, cujus liberi Regale poftea folium tenerent, et viventibus adluic
nominis et lines Regalis nobilibus, fceptra regni geftarent, quod fiebile nimis auditu foret, et
longe magis horribile vifu. |

Ouadrobrem nunquam vifam aut auditam eft quod extantibus mafculis ex linea Regali
progrelfis in regno aliquo et maxime in Anglia mulier quantumcunque gradu propinqpa
coronam regni acciperet aut earn titulo fuo in fuos fuccefibres transfunderet. Attamen
bene convenit ut, ceflante exitu mafculino, filius fcTmina in linea Regia proxime qui nobili
patre procefferit, et probitate fua honore dignus fuerit, per Dominos et comunitatem regni,
cum cafus hujufmodi contigerit, ante omnes alios a ianguine Regis remotiores id cuimen
Regium erigatur. .




Defe?ifw yuris Do?/nh LancaJIria;. 509

IV.

r^EOUITUR hic tertium refponfum lege facro-fanfta; ecclefix- roboratum.



Rex Henricus quiiitus, ac poft ipfiim filius fuus Rex Henricus fextus adhiic Nulla pra -
fuperrtes fucceilive Reges un6ti et coronati regni Anglia- per fexafrinta et tres annos et |^''''P"°""'"
aniplius coiitinuos communi coiiienfu et aflcnfu totius regni illius pacifice ac fine cujuf- Ecdeliam.
cunque contradidione aut reclamatione fa61:;i, bona fide, regnaverunt, quod quidem tempus '

longiilimam prefcripfionem inducit et plus, prefcripfione contra Ecclefiam Romanam tantuni-
modo excepta. Cum igitur titulus prtfcripfionis talis jure ecclefia; fatis lit ad acquireridum '

dominium, fequitur quod Rex Henricus fufficienter intitulatus ell in regno Anglia jure
Ecclefiffi.



W P^UC^S'T Henrici quinti fata Chriftianiirunus Princeps Henricus lextus, ejus filius et
^\ M0^ Hares, Parentum fuorum a-quo et iufto titulo, in jure corona et Regni Anelia
g^-iE^^ fucceilit ; tenerrimaque atate in Regni ejufdem Regem, nullo contradicente, fed
uno onuiium applaufu, uncTius et coronatus eft. Cui etiam adhuc inter ubera volutanti, et
nondum coronato, prafiatus Edmundus Comes Marchia-, tanquam haredi ejufdem Henrici
quinti Regique ac Domino iuo iupremo, cum omni humilitate ultru ligeuni fecit homa {ium,
et ad hoc faciendum quam celerrime potuit libentilfime properavit.

Poftea vero dido Edmundo Comite fine Haredibus de corpore fuo exeuntibus a rebus
humanis exempto, Ricardus nuper Dux Eboracenfis, Pater iftius P'.dvvardi et Nepos iftius
Edmundi, videlicet filius Anna Sororis iua, tanquam proximus fibi Hares, in Cancellaria
ejufdem Regis Henrici fexti, fecundum modum Curia illius, poflefiionem didi Comitatus fibi,
tanquam proximo haredi ipfius Edmundi, ab eodem Rege, tanquam a Domino fuo fupremo,
deliberari petiit et obtinuit. Et ob hoc idem, ut fuo Regi et fupremo ]3omino, homagium
ligeum fecit ; et poftea, fuis indenturis, figillo armorum et figno fuo manuali fignatis, diilo
Regi fuo Henrico fexto fe obligavit, de le fideliter gerendo et habendo in officio Locum
Tenentis fui in Francia, quod et diu fecit. In quibus fcriptis ipfimi Elenricum Dominum
fuum fupremum, Angliaque et Francia Regem nominabat. Pofteaque a partibus I'Vam ia
ad Angliam reverfus, fimilibus fuis Icriptis indentatis, fuoque figillo armorum una cum figno
manuali fuo fignatis, ad fideliter ferviendum eidem Domino fuo fupremo in officio Locum -
tenentis fui in Hibernia, quoad placeret Regi ipfum revocare, onunbus modo, via, et forma
juris, quibus melius potuit, fe aftrinxit et obligavit; iplumque Regem Henricum fextum, in






>' '"■'■'I'



510 Tj^aEls by Sir 'John Fortefcue.

illis etiani fcriptis fuis, fuprenium l^omlnum iuum, Regcnunuf Anglix et Fnincia,', femper
profitendo, nominavit.

Iterum ctiam, tlum Rex I Icnricus taiua a-gritudine vcxatiis fi.crat, quod rcgiii fui
gubernaculis peiibiialiter intendere nou valuit, dictiis Richardus Dux liboraccncis, Icriptis
iuis figillo armorunij luoqiic (igno nianuali notatis, iplutii Ivcgcm fponte IJomiiiiini iuum
iuprenuini, regemque Angliiv ct Francis nominavit ; et in publico Parliamento, durante
infirmitate ilia, Proteftoris et Defenforis Anglia; officium, audtoritate ejufdcm Parliamenti,
in ie allumpfit, pleno corpore Regni in Parliamcnto illo, et iccuiuiimi jura Anglix- repre-
fentato ; et diftum ChriftianiiTmium Principem Henricum fextum, Regem Anglia; fuumque
fupremum Dominum in plena curia Parliamenti illius de recordo appellavit ; cumque tunc
temporis Rex ipfe, obftante infirmitate pra-'diiita, nullum fibi ad fie tacienduni tmiorem
incutere potuit.

Item idem liichardus, vice repetita kipra facrimi Corpus Chrilli facrame.italiter vifum
juravit, quod feniper fidelis iubditus et ligeus eflet eidem Regi iuo Henrico fexto, et pro
pofl'e fuo defenderet et adjuraret, atque pro viribus luis totis ad Status fi.n Regii conferva-
tionem incrementumque ageret, et ad ejus confirmationem Corpus Chrilli recepit. Ouibt s
juramentis non modo corpus, Ted animam fiiam, luumque honorem ftrirtius tortiufque, q.iai i
aliquo temporali vinculo potuit, obligavit.

Edvvardus etiam illc filius fuus, jam Regni ufiirpator, confimiliter in pralentia Cleii
totius Provincia; Cantuarienfis ad tunc convocati in Kcclefia S. Pauli Londonii iuper
Crucem Cantuarienfem jurant folenmiter, quod Temper honoraret Domimmi fiunn lupremuni
Regem Henricum Textum, ipfi.mique pro Rege Anglia; et Donnno iuo iupremo acciperct, e:
fibi humiliter, ut Regi iuo, totii vita iua obediret, et po(k-a in publico Parliumento j n-a
mentum Iuum repetiit pariter et renovavit.

Ex quibus pramiilis liquet a-quo intuentibus lumine, quod fi progenitores Edwardi
huius nunc ufijrpantis, a principio jus aliquod ad coronam et regnum Anglia; habuillcnt,
quemadmodum nunquam habuerunt, ab illo tamen jure per promifliones et affirmationes fij.is
ilib figillis et fignis iuis manualibus roboratas, per renunciationes ipontaneas tam tacitas
quam exprelTas, etiam in Parliamento et Convocatione Clcri, qua maxima auftoritans luiji,
atfirmatas et per juramenta iolemnia fpoiite fafta, recelTinn eft plenarie et abfolute. Adeoquc
(a habuifient jus, prout non habuerunt, omnis tamen via petendi illud eis eorum taCco
proprio praclufa eft, idemque jus in lege annihilatum exeat et extincHum. i



A TRANSLATION OF THE FOREGOING PASSAGES FROM
DEFENSIO JURIS DOMUS LANCASTRIiE.

I.




=n1r=^S7hO which the Knirrht aforelaid faith, that no woman, in oppofuion to the
vy^t)^ law and cuitom of En^huul, can fuccccd to the rights of that crown and
'''-j::^^^^ kingdom; which, on the contrary, nniit: always pafs to male heirs, as may



IJn



((Q^:'^i( be made clearly evident to be in fac'l: the cafe by proofs and examples.



if^i^^^>j^i^ both fince the conqueft of the faid kingdom by the Normans and before
the fame, and as in the two next articles will plainly appear.

Henry I., fon of WilHam the Conqueror, had no fon, but only a daughter, Matilda by
name, who was efpoufed to the Emperor of Germany, and after his death to the Count of
Anjou, by whom fhe had ifTue Henry, called Fitz-Emprefs. Ikit afterwards Henry L, anil
the Count of Anjou hufl)and of Matilda, departed this life, after whofe deaths, although
the Emprefs aforefaid, by her father's hereditary title, and her fon the Count of Anjou in
right of his father, peacefully and quietly took and enjoyed poflelHon oi the Duchy of
Normandy and County of Anjou, neverthelefs the faid Matilda never acquired a right to the
kingdom and crown of England, nor was ever made Oueen of England, and yet flie infilled
moll: Itrongly with all her power that her faid ion, as neareil in blood to King Henry I., his
grandfather, although through the female line, Ihould be admitted to pofielTion of the crown
and kingdom of England, which petition of hers availed nothing, inafmuch as the lords,
nobles, and commonalty of England refufed by their votes to affent thereto in oppofition to
the laws and cuftoms of England. But, fetting afide the faid Henry Fitz-Emprefs, and
confidering that there was no furvivor in the male line, they, out ot a certain kind tcedng,
and from aifeftion for the blood, eleCled as King of England Stephen, Count of Blois and
Boulogne, fifter's fon of the faid King Henry I. ; fo that had the faid Henry, the nearer in
blood, been chofen, he would iiave prefumed himfelf to have taken the government ot the
realm by his mother's title. Which Stephen, being thus by common confent ot the
kingdom, eledled, was anointed and crowned King of England, and reigned over the lame



512 IVaBs by Sir Jo/ui Fortefctte.

all his life, that is to fay, eighteen years, and in nerpetual memory thereof founded the
Abbey of Faverfliam, where he refls in his grave, the Abbey of Cogfale, and other famous
religious houles. Then in the time of the faid Stephen, his two only fons being dead, but
his daughter Matilda ftill living, it was ordained and concluded by the common confent of
the Nobles and Commons of the realm of h'.ngland, in open Parliament, upon the inftance
and requifition of Stephen himfelf, that Henry Fitz-lMnprefs, the ncareft male in blood to
the faid Stephen, fliould be King upon his death, and that the male heirs of Henry fhould
fucceed him in his right to the kingdom and crown of Englaiul. And fo it was done. For
upon the death of Stephen, Flenry commonly called Fitz-Emprefs, his mother Matilda fiiill
living, was, by confent of the whole realm and not otherwife, anointed and crowned King of
England, and in that manner, and not by his mother's title, alTumed the government of the
kingdom, as both from the Chronicles and from the proceedings of the Parlia nent aforef^xid
is abundantly evident ; which order would not have been fo obferved if Matddu had been
heir of the kingdom, or if her fon had been entitled to fucceed in right of her.

Even before the ConquelT:, Saint Edward the Confellor, all his days the pacific Kmg of
England, when departing this life, willed and ordained that WiUiam Duke of Normand ',
his coufin-german by his aunt Gunilda his father's fifter, flioidd fucceed him in his rigiit o
the crown of England, who alfo after his death became his fucceflbr, although by conq lef ;
and being crowned King of England, reigned therein during the remainder of his life, no:-
withftanding that the faid St. Edward had a kinfwoman, daughter of Edward, fon of his
elder brother Edmund commonly called Ironfide, Margaret by name, who was efpoufed o
Malcolm Kinp of Scots, and from whom fince that time all the Kings of the Scots to this
dav are defcended. And yet neither the faid St. Margaret, though fhe were the ifTuc o tl e
elder brother of the faid St. Edward, nor any male delcendant of hers, iucceeded or could
fucceed or claimed to fucceed to the kingdom and crown of England contrary to the laws
and cuffoms of England aforefaid. Otherwife it would appear that St. Edward and his
fucceflbrs, by his means, will, and difpofition, inflifted an injury upon the faid St. Margaret
and her fucceflbrs, which is not to be prefumed and ought not to be faid of fo Catholic and
holy a man. I



jP'O man can convey any greater right to another than is adjudged to belong to
himfelf. And thus as fuch a woman cannot fucceed to lands fo ent.uled (as the

^ term is), much lefs is fhe capable of conveying over to her fons any rights of
fucceffion, even as in the kingdom of England is by undiiputed law obferved, and as among
all the judges and learned men fliilled in the laws of that realm is agreed. ^,,^




Dcfc?ifio 'Jw'is Doinus Lcuica/Iricc. 513



III.



^n5)t/\^IKEWISE is it not to be iH-efumed that any fuch kingdom, efpcciallv one whofe



^;



jV9 Kings from of old have reigned independently, and acknowledged no fuperior on



^ earth in things temporal, fuch as the kingdom of England, fhould devolve by
hereditary right upon women, or through them upon their male defcendants, without elec''l:ion
or other additional authority : as may be made evident by the fubjoined inftances, ber^inning
firil; for example's fake with the kingdom of l^Vance.

It females had inherited the kingdom of France, that kingdom would before thefe
days have devolved in right of a woman upon the crown of Navarre ; and upon another
Gccafion, by like title upon the Count of Manders, and another time by like right and
title, upon the King ot luigland, as by the chronicles of France may clearly le afcer-
tained. And accordingly that inoft famous Prince Henry, fifth of the name, King of
England, long claimed the crown of France by fuch a title ; although afterward, like a
moft Chriftian prince, following the advice of learned men, and after long negotiations, he
deliberately relinquiihed that title, and took to wife Katherine daughter of Charles then
King of France ; for the fake of which marriage, in order that the divers fuits and queflions
which remained unfettled between the faid Kings and their kingdoms might be for ever
ended, it was firmly ordained and concluded by common alfent ot the fame King Charles,



Online LibraryJohn FortescueThe works of Sir John Fortescue, Knight, Chief Justice of England and Lord Chancellor to King Henry the Sixth (Volume 1) → online text (page 67 of 87)