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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preient Parlement alFemhled, and by auftorite of the lame to enacte, ordeyne, and ftablilh, that the feide
Acte, and all Adles of atteyndre, or forfeiture made avenil the lame John and his feotl'ees to the v\t: of
the lame John, in youre faid Parlement holden at ^V'L■il:miIll^er the laid fourth dav of No\embre, as
ayenll theym, and every ot theym, and eny ot thcym, by what name or names the lajne John be
named, or called in the fame Aife or Adtes of, in, or by reafon of the prenniles, be utterly vtjide, and
ot noone ettecte ne force ; and that the fame John nor his heires in no wife be prejudiced nor hurt by
the fame A£te or Acles made ayenll the fame John, and that by the lame auctorite )'oure leid Suppliaunt
and his heires have, polTede, jt)y, and enherit all maner of I'olTeirions, and heriditaments in like maner
and tourme, and as ample and large wife, as the fame John Ihuld have doon vf the fame AiSte or A£tes
never had be made ayenll the fame John, and that the feid J. hn and his heires, have, hold, joy, and
enherit all Callelles, Maners, LordlFips, Londes, 'I'enemeiitez, Rents, Services, Fees, Advoufons,
and all other Ilereditamentez and PolVeflions, with their appurtenauncez which come, or ought to have
comyn to youre hands by reafon of the fame Acte or Ades made ayenft the fame John, and feoft'ez o
his ule, and into theym, and every of theym, to entre, and thevm to have, jo) and pollede in li':e
maner, fourme, and condnion, as the fame John iFuld have had or doon, yf the fame A£le or Actes nev ;r

' l\ulls of Parliament, vi. p. 69.


4 2 •^{/'•' '^f ^^^' 'J^^-^^'- Forti


had been made ayeiift the feid Johji and his laid feuftez to his ufc, without fiiyint; them, or eny of theym
out of youre handes by petition lyvere, or otherwile by the couric of your hiwes.

And that all Lettres patentes made by V'>i'r Highnes to the Icid Jo'iii, or to eny [lerlone or
|ierlbnes of eny of the premiiles be voide, and of noon elfecle ; Saving to every perfoiie luch title right
and lawful entre as they or any of theym, had at the tyme ot the laid Acte or Aetes made ayenll the
fame John or any tyme fith, other than by meane and virtue ol youre Lettres patentes made lith the
fourth day of March the firlt ycare of youre reigne, or eny tyme fith. And that iioo perlone or perlones
be empeched nor hurt of, or for, takyng any iflues or profittes, nor for eny olFenfes doon in, or of eny
of the premiffez, afore the third day of tlie moiieth of ApriU the thirteenth yere of youre reigne, and
lith the laid fourth day of March by the feid John or eny fei.lfez to his ufe by way of a£tion, or

Provided alway that noo perfone nor perfones atreynted, nor their heires, take, have, or enjoy, any
avauntage by this prefent Adte, but oonly the laid John and his heires in the prem lies, and alio the
feoft'ez to the ufe of the feid John oonly, for of and in the premiiles which the fame I ,-oftez had to the
ufe of the feid John the feid thirtieth day or any tyme fith : And youre laid Supj^liant lliull pray lo (Jod
for the prefervation of youre mooil Roiall Aftate.

Conlideryng Soverayn Lord, that youre feid Suppliant lovith lo, and tenderith the good of youre
moolt noble Altate, that he late by large and clere vvrityng delyvered unto youre Highnes, hatl lb
declared all the maters which were uiiten in Scotland and ellefwhere, ayen youre right or title, wh ch
writynges have in eny wife eomen unto his knowelege, or that he at eny t) me hath be pryv ■ u ito
theym ; and alio hath fo clerely dil'proved all the arguments that have be made ayen the fame right ; nd
title, that nowe there remayneth no colour, or matere of argument to the hurt or infamye of the
right or title, by reafon of any fuch vvrityng, but the fame right and title ftonden nowe the more clere
and open by that any fuch writyngs have be made ayen hem.

On the 6th of Oftober, in tlic year 1473, this petition was htid before Pairiantent ly the
King's command.

The following record occurs in the Rolls of Parliament:' —


Memorand : quod di6fo fexto die Odlobris Anno Tertiodecimo pr:cdi6to, qux-dam Petitio exhibita
fuit prefato Domino Rcgi in prefenti Parliamento per Johannem Fortefcue iVlilitem, in hrec v^^rba.

(Here follows the I'etltion, as before).

Qua quidem Petitione in Parliamento prediito letta, audita, et plenius intelleiSta, de advil.uiiento,
et aflenfu, Dominorum Spiritualium et 'Femporalium, et Communitatis Regni Anglia-, in dicto
Parliamento exiftentium . . . et audtoritate ejufdem, relpondebatur idem in forma fequc iti.

Soit fait comme il elt delire. ,

And the final ftage in tlie revcrfal of the attainder was completed upon the figning of

' From Rolls of Parliament, \o\. vi. p. 6g.

u, i vi , ..■=;

Life of Si?' Joh:i Fui-tefciic. 43

the Exemplification or Infpexiinus on the 14th of l<"ebruary, 1475. ^"^e document runs
thus : —

EnwARDUS dei gratia Rex Anglias, Francire, et Dominus Hibernix, Omnibus ad quos prffc-ntes
litter.t perveneriiit, (lilutem. Inlpeximus quandain pctitiojiem in Parliamcnto nollro .qiud W'cit-
monafterium fcxto die Oclobris, anno rcgni nuftri duodecimo funnnunito ct tentu, ct jicr divcrfas
prorogaciones ulque ad et in iextum diem Octobris, anno regni noltri tertiodecimo, per Johannem
Fortefcu milirem exhibitam in h.xc verba : To the icyng oure lovreyne lord, In the mouil: humble wife
fheweth unto your moll noble grace, iVc. ii;c. iN:c.

(The whole Petition as before is here recited).

Infpeximus etiam quendam ailenlum eidem pcticioni per communitates regni noftri Anglis- in ditto
parliamento exillentes, (ecundum eft in dicla peticione r|;ecihcatum in hx-c verba, A c/l biUt- Ics coc-nz
font ejjentux. Inlpeximus inluper quandam refponfionem idem peticioni per nos de advifa nento et
afTenflu dominorum ipiritualium et temporalium in diiSlo parliamento fimiliter exiilentium, ac connnuni-
tatis praediitse, necnon auiitoritate ejufdem Parliamenti fadlam et in dorfo ejufdem petitionis infertam in
hxc verba, foit yliit come il eji defin. Nos autem tenores peticionis, afienfus, et refponfionis prx'diil.u, ad
requifitionem praefati Johaimis duximus exempliiicandos per prefentes. In cujus rei teilimunium
has litceras noftras fieri tecimus patentes. Tefte me iplb apud W^ellm. quarto decimo die Februarii,
Anno regni noftri quarto decimo.


, ( Fohannem Ciunthorp |

Fx'*. per , ',, J , Certihcatores.'

{ 1 homam Ivo )

At the fame tune Petitions almoil: in the fame words with the foregoing were prefented
from feveral ot the Lancaftrians who had been l<'ortefcue's companions in exile, and in
war; namely, Thomas Ormond, Sir Flenry Roos, Doftor Mackerell, and Do(!:l:or,
afterwards Cardinal, Morton. The career of the lall was, in many particulars, and up to a
certam point, like his own. Having riien to the highelT: place as an advocate in the
Ecclefiaftical Courts luider Henry the Sixth, he was fvvorn of the Privy Council, and pre-
fented with valuable livings. Like Fortefcue, he adhered with unfliaken fidelity to the
Lancaflrian caufe fo long as that caufe exified. They were together at tlie Battle of
Towton, and in exile in l"'rance ; and although Morton is not mentioned as being preieiit at
the defeat at Tewkefbury, he returned to England about that time, and, being pardoned by
Edward, was reflored, like Sir John, to the Privy Council. He was, however, fifte-n or
twenty years his junior, and iVill young enough to be employed. We confequently fin ' him
Marter of the Rolls in 1473, and Bilhop of Ely, and finally, under Henry the Seventh,

Cainpbuli, •• Lives of the Ciiancellors,'' vol. i.


44 ^^f'^ ^f ^^'' y^^^^^^ Forte [cue.

Archbifliop of Canterbury, Carilmal, aiul ChancclKjr.' So clofcly allicii in thcfc times, as in
thole before them, were the protellions ot the Law and of the Church ; fo averfe were men
from appearing; to put afunder what, as it Icenied to them, God Ii.kI joined together, by
drawing a diftinflion between the laws of Cod and the hiws of man, until the Reformation,
recognizing the tart that an enligluened ChrilHanity permits wide diifeienees of opinion as
to what the former code coniifts oi, made it impoiliblL- in a free State to continue in prartice
what in theory it is fo delightful to contemplate, viz. a Cliurch and a State not united, but
eflentially one.

This fame feeling appears in the ftrong theological tone, and the frequent and arbitrary
quotations from Holy Scripture and from the Fathers, as from legal authorities^ which are
fo prevalent in Fortefcue's works, as well as in thofe of his contemporaries who wrote upon

After Sir John's refloration to his eftates he does not appear to have tak ai any part in
public affairs.

The latell notice of him which I have feen is in the Records of tlie Exchequer, in tliC
I 5th year of this reign, namely in February, 1476, when he delivered into the Exchequer ; n
Alhze that had been taken before him when Chief JuiVice."

His treatife, " On the Difference between Abiolute and Limited Monarchy," was wiitti n
during this period.

He lived qLiietly for fome years at Ebrington, a manor houfe, part of which ftdl
remains included in the prefent lefs ancient building, dole to the church and pretty village
of the fame name, looking over a fmiling countrv of gentle hills and flopes, on the bo.'de 's
of Gloucefterlhire and Worcefherfhire, within the former county.

" Here," frys Lord Campbell, "he quietly fpeut the remainder of his days, and he -e lie
died, leaving a great and venerable name to his pollerity and his country." According to
the local tradition, which the prefent occupant of the manor houfe repeated to me, he liK'ed
to be ninety years old. ■

Lie was buried in the pariflt church, near tlie communion table on the north fide, where
his tomb iLill remains. The following is copied from notes taken by the author on the
fpot on the 8th of Auguft, 1863. The church is not in itfelf remarkable, nor, except
where a good Norman arch remaiiis, near the tower, infide, can it be as old as the Chancell jr's
time. His monument is againft the north v.all infide the communion rails. It conhlls,
firil, of a large mural tablet, put up in 1677 by Colonel Robert Fortelcut , tlie then
owner of the family property, furmounted by the b'ortefcue arms, bearing tlr; following
infcription : —

> Cami.lKll, >. p,4i7.

- Kal. Kxclicq. iii. 8. Quotud in Fufs, Lives otlhu Judges, \ul. iv. Ankle " Foitelcue."

a mm wi

1 !

''<f.' V

Life of Sir foJin Fortefci/e. 45


Fffilicem ct iiiimortalem memoriam
Claiiduni Viri Domini


Militis, Grandffivi, Anglix- Judicis Primarii,

Et proceHu temporis fub Henr. VI. Rege et

Edwardo Principe funimi Cancellarii,

Regis Confiliarii prudentillimi,

Legum Anglian peritiilimi

Nccnon earinidem




Corporis Exuvias Lxtam Relur-

reiftioneni expedtantes

PIic depofuit.

Marmoreum hue nionumentum
Pofitum el^ A.i).


Vote et Expenfis Roberti Forteicuti

Armigeri, ejulciem Famili.'e Haj-

redis nuper defunifti.

Angligenas intra Cancellos Juris et /lic]ui

Oui teiuiit, Cineresjam tenet Urna Viri.
Lex viva illu tuit Patrix', Lux fplendida Legis,

l''orte bonis fciituni, fontibus et fciitica. •

Clams erat titulis, clarus Majoribus, Arte ;

Ciarus, virtute aft clarior eniicuit.
Jam micat in tenebris, veluti Carbiniculus Orbi,

Nam Virtus radios non dare tanta nequit.
Vivit adhuc I'ortefcutus laudatus in /Fvurn ;

Vivit et in LeLUim laudibus ille fuis.

46 Lifd of Sir Joh?i Forte/cue.

In Eiiglidi thus :' —


The happy aiij immortal menioi-y

Of that moll: famous man

Sir John Fortescuk,

An ancient Knight, chief Juftice of England,

And in procefs of time, under Henry VI.

And Prince Edward, Higli Chancellor.

Of the King, (he molt prudent councellor,

In the Jaws of England profoundly learned,

And of thefe laws alfo

A Champion

Invincible ;

Whofe earthly remains, in expecTiation of

A joyful Refurreflion,

Are here dcpofited ;

This marble monument
Is erefted


By the direcflion and at the expence of

Robert Fortcfcue, Eiq.

The direct heir of this family, lately deceafed.

Of him, who juftice could the beft explain.
This little urn does all that's left contain.
His country's living law, that law's great light.
The fcourge of wrong, and the defence of right
His birth diftinguiflied, merit gave Iiim Hate,
Learning, applaufe, but virtue made him great.
Through darknefs now a carbuncle lie fhines.
Nor wifdom's rays the gloomy cave confines ;
To lateft times fliall Fortefcue be known,
And in the law'sjuft praife be read his own.

The Englifh is from the •• Bio^nphia Britannica."

Life of Sir folin Fortefcue. 47

Below tlie tablet on a fmall flab are thcfe words : —
'' To perpetuate the memory of that learned and excellent man, Chancellor Fortefcue,
tliis nionument was repaired h)' his defcendant, Matthew Lord I'ortefcue, in the
year 1765."
And on a brafs plate, ftill lower on the wall : —

" Relfored by the Right ITonble. Hugh jrd Karl b'ortefcue, a.d. 1861."

Below this is the tomb itfelf, furniounted by a full-length figure of tlie Chancellor, \\\
red robes and cap, very brilliant in their new paint, lying on his back, with the hands
joined as in prayer. On the three fides ot the tomb the family arms are repeated feveral
times on fliields, alio coloured newly. I'he tomb and figure are fuppofed to have been
eretfled foon after the Chancellor's death. The print annexed, from Mr. Maunde's dn wing,
is a pei-fettly correft reprefentation ot the v,-ho!e.

The antiquary, Thomas Hearne, in his uiipiiblidied diai-y, correc^ts a millake made by
fome authors as to the age of the tomb. I le writes, November 29th, 17JJ : —

" Sir Ivobert Atkyns, in his defcription of Gloucellerfliire, hath made a grofs mii^ake
(in which he hath been followed by Biihop Gibion, the author ot the ' Magna Britanma,'
&c. &c.) ill aflerting that my Lord Chancellor bortelcue's monument, with his effigies, in
Ebburton Church, was fet up by his heir in 1677. For tlio' it be true that m the year
1677 a nionument with an infcription was fixed in the wall on the north title the chancel,
yet that with his effigies (which is a raifeil monument ot tree-llone, finely painted in colours,
ftanding on the north fide the chancel, within the communion rails) was erected, as any
eye may witnefs by the form ot the worknianffiip, immediately atter his death."

The writer ot Fortefcue's Lite, in the " Biographia Britannica," in like manner lays that
the old tomb and figure were, judging by their appearance of antiquity, and by the iL le of
their workmanfiiip, probably executed foon aft.r his interment.

Sir John's only fon, Martin, had died in 1472, on the 12th of November,' leaving, as
we find by a Poft-mortem Inquifition held at Torrington on the 12th of May, 12th ot
Edward W , his fon and heir John b'ortefcue, aged 12 years, and a lecond ton William.
Through this elder fon the ellate of ]i,brington has come down in direft male fuccelfion to
the prefent F.arl Forteicue — who, 1 trull, will long enjoy it, and be allowed to hand it on to a
lengthened line of male pofterity. Lord b'ortefcue's eltates of Wear (jifFard, and iMlleigh,
or Caillehill, have in like manner been inheritei.1 through the Chancellor's graiulfun in right
of his mother, the heirefs ot Denzile. 1 lis younger grandfoii, William, fucceeded to the
Buckland-Filleigh property, and it continued in his male defcendants until the yi ar
1776, when, upon the death ot John b'ortefcue, who had inherited it trom the Kight

Inc]. P. Mortem, \1 I'iJward IV. See Appendix.



48 Life of Sir 'John Fortcfcm.

Honourable William Fortefcue, the eftate paflcd in the female line to Mr. Richard
Inglett, and was fold by his fon ColonLl John Inglett ['"ortefcue,' who tlicd in the
year 1840.

The prefent Earl Fortefcue informs me that neither he nor any member of his family
holds any lands which at any time were the Chancellor's, excepting Ebrington. Philip's
Norton in Somerletfliire," which came to huii by his wife Ifiliella Jamys, remained
with his defcendants until fold by Hugh Fortefcue, Far! Clinton, about 1725, to a Mr.
Edward I'rip.

The male defcendants of the Chancellor, ot the Buckland Filleigh houfc, although
extinift in the elder line, have been continued through Sir Faithful Forteicue of Buckland-
Filleigh, who went to Ireland in the reign of James the Firft with his uncle, Arthur Lord
Chichefter the F.ord Deputy, and who is the anceifor of the Earl of Clerniont, and of the
prefent Lord Clermont, who writes this memoir.

Of Sir John Fortefcue's charafter there appears to have been, from his own times to the
prefent, but one opinion. Elis judgments are iHll referred to with veneration, and the only
two of his works which have been hitherto publilhcd are quoted by nearly all who hive
written on the early Englifh conftitution as authorities ot the greateil weight, both as tof. (5ts
and doflrines.

A writer born about 20 years after Fortelcue's death — Bifl"iop Bale, in his " Scriptor mi
Illuftrium Majoris Britannia:" Summarium," is among the earlieft who have left on record an
opinion of his merits : — ,


" Fofkevue alias Fortefkevue ut Recordus habet,^ juris peritiflimus, primarius judex, et
Anglia: Regni Cancellarius fummus, inter eruditos in nollro catalogo locum et dodis laboi|ibus
honorificum petit. Quem fi illi negaremus ingrati merito appellaremur.

"Excoluit tum juvenis, tuni etiam ienex, vntutem, literalque politas ut tjui maxime
fempei- amavit.

" Inter forenfes Londini claridimus juris civilis interpres admittebatur ; ac nobiliores in
fchola juvenes, peculiares a regibus conditas leges pcrdocuit. Inde a gradu ad grailum
afcendit donee effet fupremus Angli;i; Cancellarius, quod iimnus m reipublica' aJmiiiiltratione
et auftoritate, et dignitate, in eo regno longe maximum elt.

" In quo officio tam candide fe gefi'it ut juiHcix ac prudentia,' laus illi tribuerttur fumma.

' Buckl,ind-I''illL-igh PL-Jigrec;, Iiifciiplion in Bucklind-KillLigli Cliurcli.
'^ Lord Foittfcuo's Letter of November 6, lS(J5.

■" Recordus, i.e. Robert Recoid, a writer who died in the \a\\ year ot' CJueen Mary, 1558. See Biog. Britt.
Article " Foitefcue.''

Life of Sir yo/in Fui-tfcue. 49

C^iidquid dignit:ite valebat, aut gratia apiiJ Priiicipem, id juvandiv reipublica- totum
impendifle fertur.

" In hoc zelo pietatis fcripfit Tub I-[enrico Sexto, Differentiam inter leges provinciales ac
civiles, vel,

• De Difcrimine Legum,' Lib i. ' Seviente dudum in regno Anglia.\'

' De Laudibus Legum,' Lib i.

' De Politica Adminil1:ratione,' Lib i.

' De Vi^ore Lcgis Naturalis,' Lib i., aliaque nonulla.

" Tandem fuit exul ab Anglla. l^t colligo ilium claruifTe circum tempus civilis belli
quo Edwardiani cum Henricianis Anno Domini 1460, de imperii fumma pertinaciffime
certabant. Exilii vero caulas non legi."

Sir Edward Coke,' the celebrated Chief Juftice of the reigns of Elizabeth and James,
mentions his " profound knowledge of the law, and his excellence as an Antiquary," that is
to (ay, as an Lliftorian, ftyling him " that moll i-everend and honorable Judge," and when
commending Trial by Jury, he fays :'^ " b'or the excellency of this kind of trial, and why it
is only appropriated to the common laws of England, read Juftice Fortefcue, chapters 25,
26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, &c. &c., of his book ' De Laudibus Legum Anglia",' which being
worthy to be written in letters of gold for the weight and worthinefs thereof, I will not
abridge any part of the fame but refer the learned reader to the fountain itfelf ;" and in
another place^ he relates with approbation a cafe in the 34th of Men. VI, when the Judges,
with Fortefcue at their head and fpeaking for them, give an opinion againft the power of
the King to make Sheriff of Lincolnfliire a perfon who had not been " chofen and pre-
fented unto liis Highnes, after the effei^l: of the Statute in fuch behalf made."

Llere is the opinion of Coke upon Sir John's conducft in retracing his Defence of
Henry VI.^

" To the Reader —
"FoRTEScuE De Laudibus Legum Anglia,*; this book was written in the reign of King
Henry VI, In commendation of the Laws of England, containing withal much excellent
matter worthy the reading. He wrote alio a book in defence of the title of King Hen. VI.
his fovereign Lord and Mafler, to the crown of England ; but after, out of tru^h and
confcience, retradted the fame, both which I have. Wherein he derived fingular com-
mendation, in that he was not amongft the number of thole 'qui fuos amaffent ei rores,'

' Sir E. CoUl', 6th I'art of l?tpoitb, 4I0., London, 1777.
''■ Sir E. CokL', 8th Part of Kuporls, 1777, f". xi\.

•* Coke, 2nd Part of Inftitutes of tho Liiws of England, 410.. London, 1642, l'. 559.
■* Tenth Part of Reports of Sir E. Coke, 410., London, 1777, folio x\i.

J i J '..

50 Life of Sir yoh?i Furtejciie.

but yielded to truth when he fouiul it. I'his Sir Juhii Fortercuc was Lord Chief Juftice
ot England, and afterwards I,ord Chancellor of Knij,l,ind, and his poi>.nty remain in gr :■':
ar.d good account to this day."

An anonyi'ious adnr.rer has wrirt;.'-, in a haiid bearing marks of bei'^g alniofi: as old as
r.''-.; volume w'-ieh conta'ns them^ th^ lollowing lines: —

" Legis e-> noilra; tibi forte fcutum
Sive rem ipetftes, feriemve Icripti
Sive Scriptoris placeat notare

Nobile Nomep."

Thele are on the flyleat ot a eop\- of an edition of " De Laudibus," publilhei in the year
1599, now in my polTeiiion.

In the iame fenfe Sir Walter Raleigh llyles him "that notable bulwark of our laws."^

To come down to our own time, I find the character ot Sir John as a Judgi., ;
Statefman, and a Writer, fo tully and fo tavc^urably drawn by the late Lord Campbell, ht
himfelt, like b'ortefcue, an authority of high literary as well as legal re[)utation, that I ilall
without apology, infert here, in conclufion, an extradl from the intererting memoir.-

" It is delightt'ul, aniidll intriguing Churchmen and warlike Barons who held the Gieai
Seal in this age, to prelent to the reader a lawyer not only of deep proteflional learning, but
cultivated by the ftudy of clallical antiquity ; and not only of brilliant talents, but the
ardent and enlightened lover of liberty, to whole explanations and praills ot our free conif i-
tution, we are in no fniall degree indebted for tlie refiftance to opprellive rule, which hat
diltinguiflied the people of E.ngland.

" As a Commondaw Judge, Lortefcue is higldy extolled by Lord Coke, and he feems
to have been one of the moll learned and upright men who ever fat in the Court of Kin^l's

" Me laid the toundation of parliamentary privilege to which our liberties are mainly ^o
be afcrlbed. He had the fagacity to iee, that if queftions concerning the privileges <jf
Parliament were to be determined by tiie Cominon-law Judges appointed and removable I y
the Crown, thefe privileges muft loon be extinguiflied, and pure delpotilm mull be ellablillied.
He perceived that the Houfes of Parliament alone were competent to decide upon their own
privileges, and that this power muil; be conceded to them, even in analogy to th ; pratlice
of the Court of Chancery, and other inferior tribunals. Accordingly, in Thorpe'-; caie, he
exprelfed an opinion which, from the end of the reign of King Henry the Sixdi till the

' Raleigh, IliUory of the World, 1614. London, I't. i. BooU i. cluip. iv, lie. 16, \>. 247 (lee Hiog. Hiitt. p,


■' Camphell, Lives ut the Chuneellurs, vol. i. y.^. 371, 376, et le(|.

Lift^ of Sir yohn Fort clone. ^\

commencement of the reign ot (^leen Viitoiia, was received with profound deference and

" 1 horpe, a Baron ot the I'Axhequer, and Speaker of the 1 loufc of Commons, benig a
Lancaftrian, had fcii:eci fotiie harncfs aiul mihtary accoutrements which belonged to the
Duke of York, who brought an artion of trefpafs againft him in the Court of Exchequer to
recover their vahie. The Pl.iintitF had a verdicl, with hrrge damages, for which the
Defendant, during a recefs of l-'arhament, was arrefted and impriloned in the b'leet. When
Parhament rc-allembled, the Commons were without a Speaker, ami the queilion arole
whether Tliorpe, as a iVIember ot the Lower 1 loufe and Speaker, was not now entitled to
be difcharged ?

" The Commons had a conference on the fubjeft with the Lords, who called in the Judges,

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 7 of 87)