Page:Blackstone Commentaries Book 1.djvu/219

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Ch. 3.
203
of Persons.

grievances of the ſubject, it was impoſſible for any other title to be aſſerted with any ſafety ; and he became king under the title of Henry IV. But, as ſir Matthew Hale remarks [1] , though the people unjuſtly aſſiſted Henry IV in his uſurpation of the crown, yet he was not admitted thereto, until he had declared that he claimed, not as a conqueror, (which he very much inclined to do [2] ) but as a ſucceſſor, deſcended by right line of the blood royal ; as appears from the rolls of parliament in thoſe times. And in order to this he ſet up a ſhew of two titles : the one upon the pretence of being the firſt of the blood royal in the intire male line, whereas the duke of Clarence left only one daughter Philippa; from which female branch, by a marriage with Edmond Mortimer earl of March, the houſe of York deſcended : the other, by reviving an exploded rumour, firſt propagated by John of Gant, that Edmond earl of Lancaſter (to whom Henry's mother was heireſs) was in reality the elder brother of king Edward I ; though his parents, on account of his perſonal deformity, had impoſed him on the world for the younger : and therefore Henry would be intitled to the crown, either as ſucceſor to Richard II, in caſe the intire male line was allowed a preference to the female ; or, even prior to that unfortunate prince, if the crown could deſcend through a female, while an intire male line was exiſting.

However, as in Edward the third's time we find the parliament approving and affirming the law of the crown, as before ſtated, ſo in the reign of Henry IV they actually exerted their right of new-ſettling the ſucceſſion to the crown. And this was done by the ſtatute 7 Hen. IV. c. 2. whereby it is enacted, "that the inheritance of the crown and realms of England and France, and all other the king's dominions, ſhall be ſet and remain[3] in the perſon of our ſovereign lord the king, and in the ſheirs of his body iſſuing;" and prince Henry is declared heir apparent to the crown, to hold to him and the heirs of his body

  1. Hiſt. C. L. 5.
  2. Seld. tit. hon. i. 3.
  3. foit mys et demoerge.