It was observed in a former chapter,1 that one of the principal bulwarks of civil liberty, or (in other words) of the British constitution, was the limitation of the king’s prerogative by bounds so certain and notorious, that it is impossible he should ever exceed them, without the consent of the people, on the one hand; or without, on the other, a violation of that original contract, which in all states impliedly, and in ours most expressly, subsists between the prince and the subject. It will now be our business to consider this prerogative minutely; to demonstrate it’s necessity in general; and to mark out in the most important instances it’s particular extent and restrictions: from which considerations this conclusion will evidently follow, that the powers, which are vested in the crown by the laws of England, are necessary for the support of society; and do not intrench any farther on our natural liberties, than is expedient for the maintenance of our civil.
KeywordsCivil Liberty Executive Power Sovereign Power Judicial Power British Constitution
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- 1.E. Plowden, Commentaries or Reports (London, 1613), citing Hill v. Grange (1556) 1 Plowden 178 and Willion v. Berkley (1561) 1 Plowden 234.Google Scholar
- 1.[G. V. Gravina, Originum juris civilis (Leipzig, 1717), 1. 103: the power and dignity of the ancient republic was represented in his person alone, through the collective powers of the magisterial offices.]Google Scholar