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EXCLUSION OF THE QUEEN
HISTORICALLY AND LEGALLY CONSIDERED.
BY A BARRISTER.
Lex est justorum injustorumque distinctio.
THE FOURTH EDITION,
ENLARGED AND CORRECTED BY THE AUTHOR.
EXCLUSION OF THE QUEEN
THE following pages are written for the purpose of examining whether the advice, given to the King by his ministers, to exclude the Queen's name from the Liturgy, was consistent with the laws of the realm, and the spirit of the constitution. Many persons who ought to have been better informed, have asserted, that the Queen was prayed for in the different rituals, from the Conquest to the time of Henry the Eighth: this is a mistake; for in all of them the King only is mentioned under the general title of tuo famulo nostro rege.'
The introduction of the King and Queen by name was contemporary with the reformation, when the principles of the established church were first embodied with the law of the land, which makes the present, in a legal point of view, a most important consideration. Henry the Eighth, "a catalogue of whose vices would comprehend many of the worst qualities incident to human nature, first directed their insertion in the litany of the Primer, and he
Salisbury Ritual, Brit. Mus. 1534., and those of Sarum, York, Bangor, and Lincoln, mentioned in the 2 & 3 Edw. 6. c. 1. in the Lambeth and other episcopal libraries. The author has examined three of the Salisbury Rituals, and is informed by a gentleman of great historical learning, that the more ancient do not contain the name of the Queen: if they had, it would have been evidence of a common law right. The churches within the province of Canterbury used the Salisbury Ritual, as Lynwood mentions, "tota provincia Cantuariensis hunc usum Sarisberiensem sequitur."
2 The litanies and suffrages, the most ancient part of the Common Prayer, in use from the time of Constantine.
was described as "thy servant, our King and governor," and Queen Katherine as "our noble Queen." James the First, whom his most partial biographer represents as having " scarce a virtue free from the contagion of some neighbouring vice," and queen Anne his wife, "neither eminent for her virtues nor her vices," the one is styled "thy servant James, our gracious King and governor," the other "our gracious Queen Anne." The first unfortunate Charles, and his bigotted Queen Henrietta Maria, have each of them the same description as in the preceding reign.3 The second Charles, (" as a sovereign, his character, though not altogether destitute of virtue, was, in the main, dangerous to his country, and dishonorable to himself,") was more honored than his ancestors, and had the epithet of " most religious" first added to his title, which gave great umbrage to a few bishops, who were inclined to think that "the signification the word bore in the English language no way applicable to the king, who usually came from his mistresses' lodgings to church, even on sacrament days;" and his Queen, a violent catholic, and towards whom he very soon manifested a perfect hatred, is called" our most gracious queen Katherine." 4 James the Second, so bigotted to his faith as to prefer it to the crown, and Queen Mary, at heart of a different persuasion, even in their short reign, had each of them, with the change of names, the same description as their immediate predecessors. George the First, who was a stranger to the language, laws, and customs of this country, had been long separated from his wife when he took possession of the throne; he always represented her as being first depraved, afterwards mad, and that he was, by the laws of Germany, divorced a vinculo matrimonii. Historians have said little about this unfortunate lady, except that she died deserted, neglected, and immured in the castle of Ahlden: she was never domiciled with us: no one, either directly, or indirectly, claimed for her any of those high privileges and immunities which belong of right to the Queen Consort of England. George the Second, and his wife Queen Caroline, were prayed for in like manner with Charles the Second and his Queen. Our late ever to be revered monarch and Queen were formally, but most truly designated, our most religious King, and our gracious Queen." The present Queen was in the Liturgy as Princess of Wales, in
'See original, Brit. Mus. 1546.
2 Ibid. 1606. 1611. 1613.
3 See copies, Brit. Mus. 1630. 1637. 1639.
* Copy royal, no date. It was probably immediately after the marriage, June 30th, 1662; another copy, 1665, the same description, and two more without date, British Museum.
'Brit. Mus. royal copy, without date.
NO. XXXV. N
serted by the late King, and continued there under the Regency, but when she became Queen her name was erased. Hence it appears that the Queen Consort of England, from the year 1546, with no exception, has been in all times, and under all circumstances, inserted in the Liturgy. It is also evident (and for this purpose only the quotations from the English history are given) that neither the moral nor the religious character of the King or of the Queen has had any thing to do with the subject.
To account for the uniformity of the practice, we must see whether there is any principle in the constitution sufficiently arbitrary to produce such an effect; the result of the examination will probably be, that the uncontrolable power of the law ordained, and for the wisest of purposes, that those first in dignity should be represented to the people in their political characters, and at periods when the mind is most disposed to serious reflection, as persous peculiarly entitled to honor and respect: and perhaps the law (summa ratio) may have contemplated the still nobler purpose of imploring the Almighty to keep the hearts of kings and queens in the right way, and, if disobedient, that he would, for the benefit of mankind, turn them to the wisdom of the just. Other branches of the royal family have been from time to time in the Liturgy, under the general terms of issue, progeny, and family; the practice has been altogether irregular, shifting as circumstances arose.
Let us now consider, not for the purpose of assisting any party views, but for the sake of that best safeguard of prerogative, its due exercise, what the common and statute law have provided in this particular. Before the time of Henry the Eighth matters ecclesiastical were more or less subject to the control of the see of Rome ;3 in the year 1529 the reformation began, and in 1534 king Henry the Eighth "was declared to be, and accepted and reputed, the only supreme head of the church, and should have full power and authority to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by any mannerspiritual authority, or jurisdiction, ought or may lawfully be reformed; repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquillity of this realm; any usage, custom, foreign authority,
1 All taken from Hume and Burnet.
2 See Common Prayers before referred to.
3 Bracton. lib. v. c. 2. Observations on the King's Jurisdiction in Matters Ecclesiastical, 1689. Brit. Mus. Burnet's Reformation, vol. i. Hume, Henry 8th.
prescription, or any other thing or things to the contrary thereof notwithstanding." After the passing of this act the King acted as if his mind was vacillating about the reformation of the church, for he did not till 1538 order the translation of the Bible, which was revised by the universities in 1542. In July 1543 he married Katherine Parr, and in the year following a translation of the prayers and litanies into English was first made, and styled "The Primer."
The last correction of this book was printed in the year 1546, the one before referred to, and it was afterwards twice reprinted and ordered by proclamation for public use, and continued in use till December 1548, when the Liturgy was framed, and for the first time called the Common Prayer, and incorporated with the law of the land, and the use of any other prayer books, primers, &c. prohibited.3
Notwithstanding the statute of Henry the Eighth, the King's power respecting the church was so doubtful, that in the year 1549 it was thought fit to give him authority, with the advice of his council, to appoint for three years thirty-two commissioners, to examine and correct abuses in the ecclesiastical laws.4
The first Common Prayer Book (1548) could not of course contain the name of the Queen Consort, there not being one at the time.s
Queen Mary repealed all the statutes against the see of Rome.6
As soon as Elizabeth came to the crown, an act 7 was passed repealing the statutes of Mary; the 3d section enacts, that “ the Book of Common Prayer shall be used, and all the common and open prayer, in such order and form as is mentioned in the said book so authorized by Parliament in the 5th and 6th years of King Edward the Sixth, with one alteration or addition of certain lessons to be used on every Sunday in the year, and the form of the litany altered and corrected, and two sentences only added in the delivery of the sacrament to the communicants, and none other or otherwise." Elizabeth did not even attempt to make one alteration
26 Hen. 8. c. 1.
2 Chiefly compiled by Cranmer.
3 2 & 3 Ed. 6. c. 1.-3 & 4 Ed. 6. c. 10.-5 & 6 Ed. 6. c. 1.
43 & 4 Ed. 6. c. 11.
5 This Prayer Book does not appear on the roll or in the parliament office, and is no where to be found. It is much to be regretted that the papers now before the House of Commons contain only extracts from the Lambeth Library, which are not so important as those at the British Museum and at other places; and the orders in council do not go further back than the year 1684; the most material would be those made when James the First came to the throne, and when Charles the Second was married, in 1662.
1 Eliz. c. 2.