Page:United States Reports, Volume 2.djvu/447

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Supreme Court of the United States.


any such writ be found (unless in a very few instances, where it is mere matter of account) in which the Treasurer is not joined with the Barons. So far was it from being taken to be law at that time, that the Barons had any original power of paying the King’s debts; or of commanding annuities, granted by the King or his progenitors, to he paid, when the person applied to them for such payment. But perhaps it may be objected that it is not to be inferred, because petitions were brought in these cases, that therefore it was of necessity that the subject should pursue that course, and could take no other way. It might be reasonable to require from those who object thus, that they should produce some precedents at least, of another remedy taken. But I think there is a good answer to be given to this objection. All these petitions which I have mentioned, are after the Stat. 8 Ed. I. Ryley 442, where notice is taken that the business of Parliament is interrupted by a multitude of petitions, which might be redressed by the Chancellor and Justices. Wherefore it is thereby enacted, that petitions which touch the seal shall come first to the Chancellor; those which touch the Exchequer, to the Exchequer; and those which touch the Justices, or the law of the law, should come to the Justices; and if the business be so great, or si de grace that the Chancellor, or others, cannot do them without the King, then the petitions shall be brought before the King to know his pleasure: so that no petitions come before the King and his Council, but by the hands of the Chancellor, and other chief Ministers; that the King and his Council may attend the great affairs of the King’s Realm, and his sovereign dominions.” This law being made; there is reason to conclude that all petitions brought before the King or Parliament after this time, and answered there, were brought according to the method of this law; and were of the nature of such petitions as ought to be brought before the person of the King. And that petitions did lie for a chattel, as well as for a freehold, does appear 37 Aff. pl ii. Bro. Pet. 17. If tenant by the statute merchant he ousted, he may have petition, and shall be restored. Vide 9 H. 4. 4. Bro. Pet. 9. 9. H. 6. 21. Bro. Pet. 2. If the subject be ousted of his term, he shall have his petition. 7. H. 7. ii. Of a chattel real a man shall have his petition of right, as of his freehold. 34. H. 6. 51. Bro. Pet. 3. A man shall have a petition of right for goods and chattels, and the King indorses it in the usual form. It is said indeed, 1. H. 7. 3. Bro. Pet. 19. that a petition will not lie of a chattel. And, admitting there was any doubt as to that point, in the present suit we are in the case of a freehold.” Lord Somers’s argument in Hargrave’s case of the Bankers, 103 to 105.

The solitary case, noticed at the conclusion of Lord Somer’s argument, “that a petition will not lie of a chattel,” certainly