Page:Blackstone Commentaries Book 1.djvu/218

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Book I.
The Rights

of his father, king Henry II, it was a point undetermined [1], whether, even in common inheritances, the child of an elder brother ſhould ſucceed to the land in right of repreſentation, or the younger ſurviving brother in right of proximity of blood. Nor is it to this day decided in the collateral ſucceſſion to the fiefs of the empire, whether the order of the ſtocks, or the proximity of degree ſhall take place [2]. However, on the death of Arthur and his ſiſter Eleanor without iſſue, a clear and indiſputable title veſted in Henry III the ſon of John : and from him to Richard the ſecond, a ſucceſſion of ſix generations, the crown deſcended in the true hereditary line. Under one of which race of princes [3] we find it declared in parliament, "that the law of the crown of England is, and always hath been, that the children of the king of England, whether born in England, or elſewhere, ought to bear the inheritance after the death of their anceſtors. Which law, our ſovereign lord the king, the prelates, earls, and barons, and other great men, together with all the commons, in parliament aſſembled, do approve and affirm for ever."

UUpon Richard the ſecond's reſignation of the crown, he having no children, the right reſulted to the iſſue of his grandfather Edward III. That king had many children, beſides his eldeſt, Edward the black prince of Wales, the father of Richard II : but to avoid confuſion I ſhall only mention three ; William his ſecond ſon, who died without iſſue ; Lionel duke of Clarence, his third ſon ; and John of Gant duke of Lancaſter, his fourth. By the rules of ſucceſſion therefore the poſterity of Lionel duke of Clarence were entitled to the throne, upon the reſignation of king Richard ; and had accordingly been declared by the king, many years before, the preſumptive heirs of the crown ; which declaration was alſo confirmed in parliament [4]. But Henry duke of Lancaſter, the ſon of John of Gant, having then a large army in the kingdom, the pretence of raiſing which was to recover his patrimony from the king, and to redreſs the

  1. Glanv. l. 7. c. 3.
  2. Mod. Un. Hiſt. xxx. 512.
  3. Stat. 25 Edw. III. ſt. 2.
  4. Sandford's geneal. hiſt. 246.