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King in United Kingdom

Concept of King; Queen

The following is an old definition of King; Queen [1], a term which has several meanings:1. The person in whom is invested the supreme executive power of the government of Great Britain

Alternative Meaning

Sovereign power; government; commonwealth; state. Compare Rex. The crown is hereditaiy, in the feudal path for succession to landed estates as marked out by the common law; but this does not imply an indefeasible right. Therefore, in his political capacity, the king never dies. His duty is to govern according to law;. disobedience to his command is a high contempt or a mis-prision. As the fountain of justice, he is always ubiquitous – always present in his courts; hence he cannot be non-suit, and does not appear by attorney. He is the steward of the public, to dispense justice to whomsoever it is due. In foreign affairs he represents the nation: sends and receives ambassadors; makes treaties; proclaims war, and peace; issues reprisals, grants, safe-conducts. In domestic affairs he is part of the supreme legislative power: may negative a new law, and is bound by none unless specially named; is the general of the kingdom – raises armies, defends the kingdom; con- fines subjects within the realm, recalls them from abroad; is the general conservator of the peace – erects courts, prosecutes offenders, pardons crimes, issues proclamations; is the fountain of office and privilege; is the arbiter of domestic commerce – erects marts, regulates weights and measures and the coinage of money; and is the supreme head of the church – convenes and dissolves synods, nominates bishops, and receives appeals. His revenue is ordinary: ecclesiastical and temporal – from demesne lands of the crown, from the Courts of justice, royal fish, wrecks, jetsam, flotsam, ligan, royal mines, treasure-trove, waifs, estrays, forfeitures for offenses and for deodands; from escheats, and from the custody of lunatics; and extraordinary: aids, subsidies granted by the Commons – now a tax, charged with the civil list, and with which the expenses of the civil government are defrayed. In the kfing there can be no negligence; no delay bars his right. See Tempus, Nullum, etc. ” The king can do no wrong.” This means either that whatever is excep’tional in the conduct of public affairs, is not to be imputed to him; or, that the prerogative extends not to an injury; in his political ca- pacity the king is absolute perfection. The maxim has no place in our systems of constitutional law. The Constitution admits that heads of departments may do wrong, and provides for their impeachment. A wrong attempted in the name of a State is imputable to its government. Statutes of parliament are generally cited by the name and the year of the sovereign in whose reign they were passed. In the subjoined table the Roman numerals indicate the year of accession: 1. William 1, 1066. 20. Henry VHI, 1509

Alternative Meaning

William ll, 1087. 21. Edward VI, 1547. 3. Henry I, 1100. 22. Mary, 1553. 4. Stephen, 1135. 23. Elizabeth, 1559. 5. Henry ll, 1154. 24. James 1, 1603. 6. Richard 1, 1189. 25. Charles 1, 1625. 7. John, 1199. 26. The Commonwealth, 8. Henry Ill, 1216. 1649. 9. Edward 1, 1273. 27. Charles II, 1649. 10. Edward II, l307. 28. James ll, 1685. 11. Edward III, 1327. 29. William and Mary, 1689. 12. Richard ll, 1377. 30. William llI, 1695. 13. Henry IV, 1399. 31. Anne, 1702. 14. Henry V, 1413. 33. George 1, 1714. 15. Henry VI, 1422. 33. George lll, 1727. 16. Edward IV, 1461. 34. George III, 1760. 17. Edward V, 1483. 35. George IV, 1820. 18. Richard m, 1483. 36. William IV, 1830. 19. Henry VII, 1485. 37. Victoria, June 20, 1837. See Bench; Council; Counsel; Court; Crown; Feum; Government; Parliament; Patent; Patria; Peace; Prerogative; Tenure,1; Treason; Ubiquity, 1.

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Notes and References

  1. Meaning of King; Queen provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)


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Anthony Lincoln, 'King' (lawi.org.uk 2017) <https://lawi.org.uk/king/> accesed 2021 June 12

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  • Article Name: King
  • Author: Anthony Lincoln
  • Description: Concept of King; Queen The following is an old definition of King; Queen [1], a term which has several meanings:1. The [...]

This entry was last updated: January 21, 2017

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