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sequence, they liad neither manors nor jurisdi&tion.' It was of fuch tenants in capite that Dr. Stuart was treating; and it argues the groffest ignorance of feudality to conceive that such proprietors had any title to make their appearance in parlia

To these distinctions of the knight's-fee Dr. Robertfon and Mr. Wight were entire strangers. Upon this fubject they wrote merely at random : And they never conceived that from the irregular tenants in capite an important revolution was to take place with respect to propertv and refinement. As the irregular tenants in capite were bound to no service, and poffefsed their grants in perpetuity, they had in fact, escaped out of the circle of feudality. They fostered accordingly, in no common degree, the idea of the alienation and sale of feudal property ; and by extending riches and land, gave encouragement to improvements, civilization, and com

The application of the doctrine of the regular and irregular tenants in capite to the opinions of Mr. Wight will immediately explain their frivolity. To every tenant in capite without distinction he gives the honour of appearing in the great council of the Scottish nation. Now no poffeffor of an irregular fragment of a knight's fee could appear

there. For besides being poor, he had no manor, and no jurisdi&tion of any kind , and of consequence by the feudal law he was incapable of any distinction. Mr. Wight's admiration of Dr. Robertson probably induced him

to adopt the strange opinion of that historian.' That historian however, has not advanced any argument to support it: And while Dr. Stuart contradicts him, he employs not the slighteft acrimony, although Mr. Wight has ventured to say so. But it is to be allowed that his contradiction, though it is by no means angry or passionate is profoundly contemptuous.

The Scottish act cited by Mr. Wight has not the most diftant reference to the proprietors of irregular fractions of the fee, and is of no sort of importance to his argument. Nor does his positive assertion avail him, that the custom of knight's fees was uncommon in Scotland. For the same necellity of situation which produced knight-service in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, operated power fully in Scotland. And, in fact, without the law of knight. fervice 'no army, in certain periods of the history of these nationis, could have been marched and put in motion. The examples of the knight's fee in Scotland are many. Şeveral very curious examples of it are afforded in the conftitutional enquiries of Dr. Stuart : And a great variety of thein are yet to be found in the Scottish records which at this hour are in preservation in the Museum and the Tower. The reader who attends to these observations will readily


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perceive that Mr. Wight has no talents for controversy. But while we cannot commend him either in this respect as an historian or as an antiquarian, it is a pleafure to us to observe that he has merit as a man of businefs. His materials concerning the elections of the representatives from Scotland are ample"; and in general they are satisfactory. The Author is here upon professional ground, and he holds out to his reader the full amount of his experience.

As a specimen of his performance we shall lay before our readers his account of the manner of electing the sixteen peers of Scotland.

. We have already seen, that when a parliament is to be held, the peers of Scotland are called by proclamation, to meet for the purpose of electing their representatives; and that such proclamation must be made at Edinburgh, and the other county towns of Scotland, ac least twenty-five days before the time appointed for the election.

6. The fame statute orders the peers to come to such meetings with their ordinary attendants only, under the several penalties inflicted by the laws and statutes of Scotland, prescribing and directing with what numbers and attendants the subjects of that part of the kingdom might repair to the public courts of justice..

• It likewise declares, that it shall not be lawful for the peers: so met together to act, propose, debate, or treat, of any matter or thing whatsoever, except the election of their representatives ; and that any person who shall at such meeting presume to act, propose, debate, or treat of any other matter, Mall incur the penalty of premunire, as expressed in the statute of the 16th of King Richard II.

• The day named for the election being come, the peers assemble at the place fixed by the proclamation, and are attended by the Lord Clerk Register, or two of the principal clerks of feffion, appointed by him to officiate in his name. After prayers by one of the King's chaplains, two of whom attend for that purpose, the proclamation, and the execution at the market cross of Edinburgh, are read. but no evidence of the execution at the other county towns is required or produced. The' roll is then called, and the peers present are marked in the minutes, as are likewise the proxies, and the figned lists of those who are absent. This being done, the oaths and declaration are administered to the peers who are present, and the oaths taken by thofe who have fent proxies or lists are examined';' after whïch, the votes are carefully collected, and the lists investigated, and a certificate of the names of the fixteen peers, who have the majority of voices in their favour is made out upon parchment, signed and read in presence of the meeting by the Lord Clerk Register, or the clerks of the session appointed to officiate for him, and returned to the court of chancery before the time fixed for the meet ing of the parliament, in a packet addressed to the clerk of the

The peers have no power to decide upon disputed titles at their meetings for election. When, therefore, two appear to claim the fame peerage, both must be allowed to vote ;; but protests may be



ontered by the other peers against the votes of both or either of them; and, in like manner, they may themselves object to, and protest against each other's right. No notice is however, taken in the certificate returned to the crown office of any objections that may have been made in the meeting ; but those peers who defire it are entitled to get a copy of such objections, or an extract (ex: emplification) of the minutes from the returning officer, and may dispute the election of the peer, or peers objected to, by preferring a petition to the House of Lords complaining of the return. Of this there are two instances, the one in 1708-9, the other 1734-5. Upon the firit of these occasions, the clerks of session who made the return were ordered to carry up the proceedings, and to vindicate their conduct.

• The law has established no decisive, or casting vote, in the event of, an equality of voices for two or more of the candidates : All, therefore, the returning officers can do, is to certify the fact, leaving it to, the House of Lords to act as they shall think fit.

• Hitherto I have only spoken of a.general election upon the calling of a new parliament. The same rules are however observed when a vacancy happens by the death, or legal disability, of any of the fixteen peers during the course of a parliament. A proclamation issues for summoning all the peers to meet and elect a new representative to supply the vacancy; and the same form of procedure takes place at that meeting as at a general election,

• Al elections ought to be free ; and to remove even the appearance of restraint, it was ordered by an act of the 8th of George 11. cap. 30. that all soldiers who are quartered in any city, borough, town, or place where an election either of peer or commoner is to be made, ihall be removed to the distance of two miles, one day at least before the day appointed for the election, and shall not ap. proach nearer till the day after it is ended. Orders to this purpose must be given by the secretary at war, or other person who officiates in his place; and if he neglect to iffue such orders, and be convicted thereof within . fix months, he is to be discharged from his, office, and becomes disabled to hold any office or employment; in his Majesty's service. This act does not, however, extend to the city of Westminster, or' borough of Southwark, in respect to his Majesty's guards ; nor to any place where the King or Royal family reside at the time, in respect to such troops as attend as guards: nor to any castle or fortified place where a garrison is usually kept, in respect to such garrifon. The act likewise declares, that the secretary at war Mall not incur the forfeiture on account of his not sending orders for the removal of the troops at an election for filling up a vacancy, unless notice of the new writ be given him by the clerk of the crown, who is ordered to do so with all convenient speed. No writ issues for supplying a vacancy in the fixteen : peers. Probably the royal proclamation would be held a fufficient notification to the secretary at war. Indeed, the exception of the statute does not literally apply to that case.

• Ever since the union, the miniitry has had great influence in the election of the fixteen peers of Scotland : and the court list has almost universally prevailed. For a long time, the matter was mana


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ged, with at least an appearance of delicacy, by some of the peers themselves ; but at lait it became usual for the minister to send official circular letters to all the peers. At the general election in 1768, Lord Irvine, though not poffeffed of an inch of property in Scotland, was elected one of the fixteen peers. And on the death of the late Duke of Argyle in 1771, the Earl of Dyfart, a peer of Scot. land, but .precisely in the same situation with Lord Irvine, was propofed by a recommendatory letter from Lord North, then at the head of the treasury. This gave offenee to many of the peers, who set up the Earl of Breadalbain in opposition, upon which the ministry wisely dropped the Earl of Dyfart, and, in his room, declared for the Earl of Stair, who was accordingly elected by a majority of nine votes.

At this election the official letters were complained of in severe terms, and several protests were taken against them. The same thing happened at the general election in 1774, when there was a warm contest between the Earl of Caflillis, set up by the court, and the Earl of Eglintoun started against him by opposition. On that occasion, another official letter was circulated, and the Earl of Caftillis prevailed. This disgraceful practice of sending these letters has, however, ever fince been discontinued, and good humour and harmony among the peers have been rettored.

• In the end of the year 1718, and the beginning of 1719, there ivas much talk of a peerage bill. The fcheme was this : Instead of fixteen elective peers from Scotland, there were to be twenty-five hereditary, by the junction of nine, out of the body of the Scottish nobility, to the fixteen then fitting in the House of Lords. Six were also to be added to the then English peers ; and from thence the peerage to be fixed. The King gave his consent to this scheme; but the bill went off for that feflion, and was no more heard of.

In the year 1733, it was moved in the House of Lords that the election of the sixteen peers for Scotland should be by ballot; but the motion was rejected.'

As a literary publication, the volume before us has no claim to praise. It exhibits no proofs either of genius or learning ; and the autfor has evidently no taste for composition. His language is rude and anomalous : it affumes no elevation of tone; aims at no elegance ; and is disgraced by perpetual Scotticisms. It is merely as a practical lawyer that our Author has any title to attention. In this refpeét his diligence has been great; and if the projected reform of parliament fhould miscarry, his perforinance may be uncommonly ufeful.

ART. II. Letters to Edward Gibbon, Esq; Author of the History of

the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ; in Defence of the Authenticity of the Seventh Verse, of the Fifth Chapter, of the First Epistle of St. John ; by George Travis, A. M. (Formerly of St. John's College, Cambridge) Prebendary of the Cathedral Church


of Chester, Vicar of Eastham in the County of Chester, and
Chaplain to the Right Honourable the Lady Víscountets Dowager
Townshend. 4to. ss. Rivington. 1784.
THE controversy of a fingle-verse of the new testament,

may at first light seem but a slender subject upon which to spend a five shilling pamphlet. There are not however many controversies that have had a greater eclat, The text has been thought of some consequence in supporting or detecting the great question of the Trinity. This application indeed is in some measure given up by Mr. Travis. He seems to think that the words, and there three are one," may

be at least fairly interpreted to refer only to unity of teitimony. The genuineness of the text has been successively questioned, among others, by Eralmus, Emlyn, Benson, Bowyer, and Sir Ifaac Newton. It has been afferted by many able divines, though not perhaps of equal celebrity; and laft, not least in the catalogue, by Mr. Travis.

Few of our readers are probably so little versed in theological controversy, as not already to have had before them fome part of the merits of the question. But as all may not recollect the arguments of either side, and as our author has perhaps thrown some new light upon the subject, we cannot better introduce what we have to say to his pamphlet, than by a brief, clear and impartial state of the whole evidence, as it is now before the public.

The verse as it stands in our translation, is as follows: " For there are three that bear record in heaven; the Fa" ther, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are


Four objections have been started to the authenticity of this passage. 1. That it is found in only two manuscripts of the Greek Testament now existing. 2. That it is found in only one of the ancient verfions, and not in all the copies of that version. 3. That it is not quoted in those works, or parts of works of the more ancient fathers, which have de {cended to the present age. 4. That the drift of the Apoitle's reasoning is injured and interrupted by its insertion.

The evidence on the other side, as it appears on the face of Mr. Travis's pamphlet, is, 1. That it was found in one ancient manufcript by Erasmus and pere Amelotte, in seven by Laurentius Valla, in fixteen by Robert Stephens and : ; Theodore Beza, in a considerable number by Jerome and the Complutensian editors. 2. That it is read in the crossão;, or collection of the apostolical epistles to be read in churches, which may be traced up to the fourth or fifth centuries; in Jerome's or the vulgate translation, and in the Armenian L 4


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