« ПредишнаНапред »
Wynne, was not made a Judge till some years afterwards. The fact is, that
there were two Powells, who were knights and had the Christian name Comyns Rep. of John; and what is rather remarkable, they both sat together afterwards p.l,
(Hil: 7 W. 3.) as Judges of the Common Pleas, and thus the mistake may be easily accounted! for. The change made at the Revolution was so complete, that, of the Judges appointed by King James, there does not appear to have been a single one who was allowed to resume his seat; and Sir William Dolben, Sir William Gregory, Sir John Powell, Sir Robert Atkins, and Sir Edward Nevill, who had all been displaced by bim, were restored to the Bench.
LDR ay, ii.
The writ of Sir John Holt was made out quamdiu se bene gesserit, and it is not to be doubted that the commissions of all the other Judges were made out in the same form, and so they probably continued till the end of the reign of Queen Anne. This was done by order from the crown, not in consequence of any interference of the legislature, for the statute of the 12 and 13 W. III. €. 2. s. 3. did not take effect till after the decease of Queen Anne and King William, without issue. By that act, which limited the crown to the Princess Sophia, Electress and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover, and her descendants, it was enacted, that after that liinitation should take effect the commissions of the Judges should be made quamdiu se bene gesserint, but that, upon an address of both houses of parliament, it should be lawful to remove them. By the 7 and 8 W. 3. c. 28. $. 21. the commissions of the Judges were made to remain in force for six months after the death or demise of the King, or any of his successors. Upon the accession of Queen Aone, Sir John Holt conceiving his appointment to be revoked, notwithstanding the 12. and 13 W. 3. he and all the other Judges ceased to sit, and new commissions were issued to all of them except two; and though the Judges, upon the accession of George the First, in consequence of this act, became irremoveable by the Prince who called them to the bench, yet their cominissions continued as before to terminate upon a demise of the crown. At the accession of George the First, three Judges were omitted in the new appointments; and at that of George the Second, being the first after the before mentioned limitation had taken ëffeét, one Judge only was not reappointed.
When his present Majesty ascended the throne, all the Judges who had been in office at the demise of the late King, were without any exception called upon to resume their seats. And on the 3d of March, 1761, his Majesty was pleased to point out from the throne the incon. Com. Journ.
xxviji, p. 1094. venience of the offices of the Judges being determined upon the demise of the crown, or at the expiration of six months afterwards. He declared that he looked upon “the independency and uprightness " of the Judges of the land as essential to the impartial administration « of justice, as one of the best securities to the rights and liberties”. of his loving subjects, “ and as most conducive to the honour of the
crown.” He, therefore, recommended provision to be made to prevent the inconvenience in future, and that he might be enabled to grant such salaries to the Judges as he should think proper, so as to be absolutely secured to them during the continuance of their coinmissions. In consequence, the 1. Geo. III. .C. 23. was passed, whereby the Judges are continued in their offices during their good behaviour, notwithstanding any demise of the crown, and their full salaries absolutely secured to them during the continuance of their commissions : reserving, however, to the crown power to remove any Judge upon an address from both Houses of Parliament.
Of the importance of the acquisition made by the acts just mentioned in favour of the liberty and happiness of the people of this country, it is scarcely possible to think too highly. A perusal of the following list may give some faint idea of it:
In the reign of James the First, SIR EDWARD COKE was made Chief Justice of the King's Bench, on Cro. Jac. Inthe 23d day of October, 1613, and was discharged by writ on the 15th trod, cro. Car. day of November, 1616. (14 Jac.) He was succeeded by Sir Henry con's Works, Montague. His arrogance and overbearing temper made him disliked, vi. 72. 121, and he had the misfortune to be the rival and enemy of Sir Francis &c. 397, &c. Bacon for many years of his life. He was appointed Chief Justice of the Common Pleas on the 30th June, 1606, and in Reasons why he should be removed and made Chief Justice of the King's Bench (upon
the vacancy occasioned by Sir Thomas Fleming, who died about August, 1613,) drawn up by Sir Francis Bacon, it is said, " Besides “ the remove of Sir Edward Coke to a place of less profit, though it “ be with his will, will be thought abroad a kind of discipline to him “ for opposing himself in the King's causes; the example whereof « will contain others in more awe.” It seems that this expedient was not successful, and Sir Edward Coke continued to act in the same manner in bis new office as bad before provoked the displeasure of the court. And besides other offences, real or imaginary, which may have been imputed to bim, there is preserved in Lord Chancellor Bacon's works, a list of innovations introduced by him into the laws and government. In short, he was charged with having, while he was on the Bench, acted in derogation of the rights of the church and the royal prerogative, and the jurisdiction of other courts, and his books of reports were examined, and many exceptionable passages pointed out. He was, on the 30th of June, 1616, convened before Lord Ellesmere, then Lord Chancellor, and Sir Francis Bacon, then Attorney General, assisted by some of the Judges and the King's learned Counsel, but not behaving in a satisfactory manner, he was commanded, until their report was made and the King's pleasure known, to forbear to sit at Westminster or go the circuits, but not to be restrained from exercising his office in private. He was allowed to take the long vacation for reviewing his reports, and was to retract or explain the objectionable passages to the satisfaction of the King. On the 17th October, he was called again before the Chancellor, when he was told the errors he had admitted, and the excuses he had made were not satisfactory'; and five questions, founded on so many specific cases, were pointed out for his particular consideration. Sir Edward gave separate answers to each, and repeated an offer be had made before to explain them so as not to affect his Majesty's prerogative, and if that offer should not be accepted, then to refer it to all the Judges of England. The King, however, was not satisfied, and Sir Edward was removed from his office as above-mentioned, on the 16th of November following.