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of Commons. Nay, thofe very Commons that turn'd the Lords out of this House, tho' they took from them many other of their Privileges, yet left them the conftant practice of this till the very laft Day of their fitting. And this will be made appear by feveral Precedents thefe Noble Lords will lay before you, much better than I can pretend to do. Since this Business has been in agitation, their Lordships have been a little more curious than ordinary, to inform themselves of the true nature of these Matters now in Queftion before us; which I fhall endeavour to explain to you as far as my fmall Ability, and my averfion to hard Words will give me leave. For howfoever the Law, to make it a Myftery and a Trade, may be wrapt up in Terms of Art, yet it is founded upon Reason, and is obvious to common Senfe. The Power of Judicature does naturally defcend, and not afcend; that is, no inferior Court can have any Power above it, the King is, by the Laws of the Land, fupreme Judge in all Caufes Ecclefiaftical and Civil. And fo there is no Court, High or Low, can act but in fubordination to him; and tho' they do not all iffue out their Writs in the King's Name, yet they can iffue out none but by vertue of fome Power they have received from him. Now every particular Court has fuch a partìcular Power as the King has given it, and for that reafon has its Bounds: But the higheft, Court in which the King can poffibly fit, that
is, his Supreme Court of Lords in Parliament, has in it all Judicial Power, and confequently no Bounds: I mean no Bounds of Jurifdiction; for the Highest Court is to govern according to the Law, as well as the Loweft. I fuppofe none will make a Question, but that every Man and every Caufe is to be tryed according to Magna Charta, that is, by Peers, or according to the Laws of the Land: And he that is tried by the Ecclefiaftical Courts, the Court of Admiralty, or the High Court of Lords in Parliament, is tried as much by the Laws of the Land, as he that is tried by the King'sBench or Common-Pleas. When these Inferior Courts happen to wrangle among themselves, which they must often do, by reafon of their being bound up to particular Causes, and their having all equally and earneftly a defire to try all Causes themselves, then the Supreme Court is forc'd to hear their Complaints, because there is no other way of deciding them. And this, under favour, is an Original Cause of Courts, tho' not of Men. Now these Original Caufes of Courts muft alfo of neceflity induce Men, for faving of Charges and for dispatch fake, to bring their Caufe, originally, before the Supreme Court; but then the Court is not obliged to receive them, but proceeds by Rules of Prudence, in either retaining or difmifling them, as they think fit. This is, under fa your, the fum of all your Precedents can fhew us 3 which is nothing but what we practice
every Day; that is, that very often, because we would not be molefted with hearing too many particular Cafes, we therefore refer them back again to other Courts: And all the Arguments you can poffibly draw from hence, will not in any kind leffen our Power, but only fhew an unwillingness we have to trouble ourselves often with matters of this Nature. Nor will this appear ftrange, if you confider the conftitution of our Houfe, it being made up, partly of fuch, whose Employments will not give them leisure to attend the hearing of private Caufes; and entirely of those that can receivé no profit by it. And the truth is, the Difpute at present is not between the Houfe of Lords, and the House of Commons, but between us and WestminsterHall: For, as we defire to have few or no Caufes brought before us, because we get nothing by 'em, fo they defire to have all Caufes brought before them, for a reafon a little of the contrary Nature. For this very Reason it is their bufinefs to invent new ways of drawing Caufes to their Courts, which ought not to be pleaded there. As for Example, this very Caufe of Skinner, that is now before us, (and I do not speak this by Roat, for I have the Opinion of a Reverend Judge in the Cafe, who informed us of it the other Day in the House) they have no way of bringing this Caufe into Weftminfter-Hall, but by this following Form, the Reafon and Sence of which I leave
I leave you to judge of; the Form is this: That inftead of Speaking, as we ordinary Men do that have no Art, that Mr. Skinner loft a Ship in the Eaft-Indies; to bring this into their Courts, they must fay, Mr. Skinner loft a Ship in the Eaft-Indies, in the Parish of Islington, in the County of Middlesex. Now fome of us Lords, that did not understand the Refinednefs of this Stile, began to examine what the reafon of this fhould be, and fo we found, that fince they ought not by right to try fuch Causes, they are resolved to make bold not only with our Privileges, but the very Sence and Language of the whole Nation. This I thought fit to mention, only to let you fee, that this whole Cause, as well as many others, cou'd not be try'd properly in any place but at our Bar; except Mr. Skinner fhould take a fancy, to try the Right of Jurifdiction between Weft minfter-Hall and the Court of Admiralty, instead of feeking relief for the Injuries he had received in the place only where it was to be given him. One thing I hear is much infifted upon, which is, the Tryat without Juries, to which I could answer, That fuch Tryals are allowed of in the Chancery and other Courts 5 and that when there is occafion for them, we make ufe of Juries too, both by directing them in the King's-Bench, and having them brought up to our Bar. But I fhall only crave leave to put you in mind, That if you do not allow us in fome Cafes, to try Men without Juries, you
will then abfolutely take away the use of Impeachments, which I humbly conceive you will not think proper to have done at this time.
The Duke's Speech in the Houfe of Lords, to prove the Parliament Diffolved.
Have often troubled your Lordships with my Difcourfe in this Houfe; but I confefs I never did it with more trouble to my felf, than I do at this time, for I fcarce know where I fhould begin, or what I have to fay to your Lordships: On the one fide, I am afraid of being thought an Unquiet and Pragmatical Man; for in this Age, every Man that cannot bear every thing, is call'd unquiet; and he that does afk Queftions, for which we ought to be concern'd, is look'd upon as Pragmatical. On the other fide, I am more afraid of being thought a Dishonest Man; and of all Men, I am moft afraid of being thought fo by myfelf; for every one is the beft Judge of the Integrity of his own Intentions; and tho' it does not always follow, that he is Pragmatical whom others take to be fo; yet this never fails to be true, that he is moft certainly a