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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 436 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AIDS, a term of medieval finance, were part of the service due to a lord from his men, and appear to have been based upon the AIDS 435 principle that they ought to assist him in special emergency or need. The occasions for demanding them and the amount to be demanded would thus be matters of dispute, while the loose use of the term to denote many different payments in-creases the difficulty of the subject. Both in Normandy and in England, in the 12th century, the two recognized occasions on which, by custom, the lord could demand " aid," were (I) the knighting of his eldest son, (2) the marriage of his eldest daughter; but while in England the third occasion was, according to Glanvill, as in Normandy, his payment of " relief " on his succession, it was, according to the Great Charter (1215), the lord's ransom from captivity. By its provisions, the king covenanted to exact an " aid " from m his barons on these three occasions alone—and then only a " reason-able " one—except by " the common counsel " of his realm. Enormous importance has been attached to this provision, as establishing the principle of taxation by consent, but its scope was limited to the barons (and the city of London), and the word " aids " was omitted from subsequent issues of the charter. The barons, on their part, covenanted to claim from their feudal tenants only the above three customary aids. The'last levy by the crown was that of James I. on the knighting of his eldest son (1609) and the marriage of his daughter (1613). From at least the days of Henry I. the term " aid" was also applied (1) to the special contributions of boroughs to the king's revenue, (2) to a payment in lieu of the military service due from the crown's knights. Both these occur on the pipe roll of 1130, the latter as auxilium militum (and possibly as. auxilium comitalus). The borough " aids " were alternatively known as " gifts " (dona), resembling in this the " benevolences " of later days. When first met with, under Henry I., they are fixed round sums, but under Henry II. (as the Dialogue on the Exchequer explains) they were either assessed on a population basis by crown officers or were sums offered by the towns and accepted by them as sufficient. In the latter case the townsfolk were collectively responsible for the amount. The Great Charter, as stated above, extended specially to London the limitation on, baronial " aids," but left untouched its liability to tallage, a lower and more arbitrary form of taxation, which the towns shared with the crown's demesne manors, and which London resisted in vain. The two exactions, although distinct, have to be studied together, and when in 1296-1297 Edward I. was forced to his great surrender, he was formerly supposed by historians to have pledged himself, under De tallagio non concedendo, to levy no tallage or aid except by common consent of his people. It is now held, however, that he limited this con-cession to " aides, raises," and " prises," retaining the right to tallage. Eventually, by a statute of 1340, it was provided that the nation should not be called upon " to make any common aid or sustain charge " except by consent of parliament. The aids spoken of at this period are of yet another character, namely, the grant of a certain proportion of all " movables " (i.e. personal property), a form of taxation introduced about 1188 and now rapidly increasing in importance. These subsidies were conveniently classed under the vague term " aids," as were also the grants made by the clergy in convocation, the term covering both feudal and non-feudal levies from the higher clergy and proportions not only of " movables " but of ecclesiastical revenues as well. The " knight's aid " of 1130 spoken of above is probably identical with auxilium exercitus spoken of in the oldest custumals of Normandy, where the phrase appears to represent what was known in England as " scutage." Even in England the phrase " quando Rex accipit auxilium de militibus" occurs in 1166 and appears to be loosely used for scutage. The same loose use enabled the early barons to demand " aid" from their tenants on various grounds, such as their indebtedness to the Jews, as is well seen in the Norfolk fragments of returns to the Inquest of Sheriffs (1170). Sheriff's aid was a local payment of a fixed 'nature paid in early days to the sheriff for his service. 'It was the subject of a hot dispute between Henry II. and Becket in 1163. coupled with his connexion with the Richelieu family, gave him an important place at court. He was a member of the so-called parti devot, the faction opposed to Madame de Pompadour, to the Jansenists and to the parlement, and his hostility to the new ideas drew upon him the anger of the pamphleteers. In 1753 he was appointed commandant (governor) of Brittany and soon became unpopular in that province, which had retained a large number of privileges called " liberties." He first came into collision with the provincial estates on the question of the royal imposts (1758), but was then blamed for his inertia in the preparation of a squadron against England (1759), and finally alienated the parlement of Brittany by violating the privileges of the province (1762). In June 1764 the king, at the instance of d'Aiguillon, quashed a decree of the parlement for-bidding the levying of new imposts without the consent of the estates, and refused to receive the remonstrances of the parlement against, the duke. On the 11th of November 1765 La Chalotais, the procureur of the parlement, was arrested, but whether at the instigation of d'Aiguillon is not certain. The conflict between d'Aiguillon and the Bretons lasted two years. In the place of the parlement, which had resigned, d'Aiguillon organized a tribunal of more or less competent judges, who were ridiculed by the pamphleteers and ironically termed the bailliage d'Aiguillon. In 1768 the duke - was forced to suppress this tribunal, and returned to court, where he resumed his intrigue with the parti devot and finally obtained the dismissal of the minister Choiseul (December 24, 1770). When Louis XV., acting on the advice of Madame Dubarry, reorganized the government with a view to suppressing the resistance of the parlements, d'Aiguillon was made minister of foreign affairs, Maupeou and the Abbe Terray (1715-1778) also obtaining places in the ministry. The new ministry, albeit one of reform, was very unpopular, and was styled the " triumvirate." All the failures of the government were attributed to the mistakes of the ministers. Thus d'Aiguillon was blamed for having provoked the coup d'etat of Gustavus III., king of Sweden, in 1772, although the instructions of the comte de Vergennes, the French ambassador in Sweden, had been written by the minister, the duc de la Vrilliere. D'Aiguillon, however, could do nothing to rehabilitate French diplomacy; he acquiesced in the first division of Poland, renewed the Family Compact, and, although a supporter of the Jesuits, sanctioned the suppression of the society. After the death of Louis XV. he quarrelled with Maupeou and with the young queen, Marie Antoinette, who demanded his dismissal from the ministry (1774). He died, forgotten, in 1782. In no circumstances had he shown any special ability. He was more fitted for intrigue than for government, and his attempts to restore the status of French diplomacy met with scant success. See Memoires du ministere du duc d'Aiguillon (3rd ed., Paris and Lyons, 1792), probably written by J. L. Soulavie. On d'Aiguillon's governorship of Brittany see Carre, La Chalotais et he duc d'Aiguillon (Paris, 1893); Marion, La Bretagne et le duc d'Aiguillon (Paris, 1898) ; and Barthelemy Pocquet, Le Duc d'Aiguillon et La Chalotais (Paris, 1901-1902). The three last have full bibliographies. See also Flammermont, Le Chancelier Maupeou et les parlements (Paris, 1883) ; Frederic Masson, Le Cardinal de Bernie (Paris, 1884).
End of Article: AIDS
AIGRETTE (from the Fr. for egret, or lesser white h...

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