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HEREDITARY DISTINCTIONS IN ORDER OF
(daughter of James I.) being Protestants.
Viscounts of England.
Michael and St. George.
Michael and St. George.
'Knighthood is per nal, but as the children of knights enjoy a certain precedence, their distinctions may be said to possess an hereditary rather than a personal character.
happens that he is raised to the peerage, in which case, he of course comes under the general rule often referred to in this article, namely, that of taking rank according to his peerage; or if he should, as more frequently occurs, be a member of the Privy Council, he then belongs to No. xc.
XCIX. THE VICE-CHANCELLORS. dence of this class of judicial officers has been settled by the 5th of Victoria, cap. 5, sec. 25, in these words, “ And be it enacted, that the vice-chancellors to be appointed in pursuance of this act, shall during the continuance in office of the present vicechancellor, (namely, the vice-chancellor of England,) respectively have rank and precedence next to the lord chief baron."
C. PUISNE JUSTICES OF THE QUEEN's Bench conform to the general rule of taking precedence amongst each other according to seniority of appointment. The place here assigned them collectively is on the ground of ancient usage.
CI. PUISNE JUSTICES OF THE COMMON PLEAS, on the same ground as No. C., and taking rank amongst each other according to seniority of appointment.
CII. Puisne Barons of the EXCHEQUER, on the same ground as No. c., and taking rank amongst each other according to seniority of appointment.
CIII. Knights BANNERET, created under the royal standard displayed in open war, the sovereign or the Prince of Wales being present. They would take rank amongst each other according to seniority of creation.
CIV. YOUNGER Sons Of Viscounts are here placed under the authority of letters patent, temp. James I., and rank according to the precedence of their respective fathers.
CV. YOUNGER Sons of Barons have this place assigned them in compliance with immemorial usage confirmed by the decree of James I. in 1612.
CVI. BARONETS.-This portion of the titled classes are created by letters patent, and the granting clause of each patent is to the following effect; that A. B. and the heirs of his body shall take place and precedence by virtue of the dignity of a baronet next after the younger sons of barons. Those patents, however, make exception in favour of knights banneret of the highest order, knights of the Garter, privy councillors, the chancellor of the Exchequer, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the lord chief justice, the master of the Rolls, the vice-chancellor of England, the chief justice of the Common Pleas, the chief baron, and the puisne judges of the Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer. Such exceptions, in the absence of higher authority, may be regarded as confirming the positions assigned to them in this article. Baronets conform to the general rule of taking precedence amongst each other according to the dates of their patents respectively.
CVII. Knights BANNERETS, provided they be not made in the manner described at No. cau. This position was allotted to such as were created by the commanders of armies in the king's name on the open field of battle.
CVIII. Knights OF THE THISTLE.—The order of the Thistle is scarcely ever conferred on any but Scottish nobles of very high rank, and of course they take precedence according to their peerages. The statutes of the order are silent respecting precedence, and we have not been able to discover any acts of Parliament, royal ordinances, or letters patent, on the subject. In the absence of these authorities, the natural course is to place the orders according to priority of institution or revival.
CIX. KNIGHTS OF ST. PATRICK.—This order has never been, and probably nefer will be, conferred upon a commoner. Its right, therefore, to the place here assigned it in the scale of precedence is not likely to be soon decided. The warrant under which the order was instituted, declares, that in Ireland the knights of St. Patrick shall take precedence immediately after the eldest sons of barons. It has been sometimes supposed that the warrant or the statutes of the order gave them this rank in England, which would amount to granting them precedence over the knights of the Garter. The statutes of the order of St. Patrick do not take cognizance of, still less do they abrogate, any statute of the order of the Garter; and nothing is more evident than that the sovereign never intended to place the Irish order above the more ancient and illustrious fraternities of England and Scotland. It is a position clearly established, that baronets shall come next after the younger sons of barons, and that no knight in respect of his knighthood, (except those of the order of the Garter together with certain bannerets,) shall be entitled to precede a baronet. As the general rule then is, that knights come after baronets, the several orders of knighthood have been placed, as already stated, according to priority of institution or revival.