Online Encyclopedia

JOHN BATES

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 509 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN BATES. A famous case in English constitutional history, tried before the court of exchequer in November 16o6, arose out.of the refusal of a merchant of the Levant Company, John Bates, to pay an extra duty of 5s. per cwt. on imported currants levied by the sole authority of the crown in addition to the 2s. 6d. granted by the Statute of Tonnage and Poundage, on the ground that such an imposition was illegal without the sanction of parliament. The unanimous decision of the four barons of the exchequer in favour of the crown threatened to establish a precedent which, in view of the rapidly increasing foreign trade, would have made the king independent of parliament. The judgments of Chief Baron Fleming and Baron Clark are preserved. The first declares that " the king's power is double, ordinary and absolute, and they have several laws and ends. That of the ordinary is for the profit of particular subjects, for the execution of civil justice .' in the ordinary courts, and by the civilians is nominated jus privaturn, and with us common law; and these laws cannot be changed without parliament. . . . The absolute power of the king is not that which is converted or executed to private uses to the benefit of particular persons, but is only that which is applied to the'general benefit of the people and is salus populi; and this power is not guided by the rules which direct only at the common law, and is most properly named policy or government; and as the constitution of this body varieth with the time, so varieth this absolute law, according to the wisdom of the king, for the common good; and these being general rules, and true as they are, all things done within these rules are lawful. The matter in question is material matter of state, and ought to be ruled by the rules of policy, and if it be so, the king bath done well to execute his extraordinary power. All customs (i.e. duties levied at the ports), be they old or new, are no other but the effects and issues of trades and commerce with foreign nations; but all commerce and affairs with foreigners, all wars and peace, all acceptance and admitting for foreign current coin, all parties and treaties whatsoever are made by the absolute power of the king; and he who hath power of causes bath power also of effects." Baron Clark, in his judgment, concurred, declaring that the seaports were the king's ports, and that, since foreign merchants were admitted to them only by leave of the crown, the crown possessed also the right of fixing the conditions under'which they should be admitted, including the imposition of a money payment. Incidentally, Baron Clark, in reply to the argument that 1863 had a great success in London as Leah in Augustin Daly's adaptation of Mosenthal's Deborah. In 1866 she married George Crowe, but returned to the stage in 1868, playing later as Lady Macbeth with Henry Irving, and in 1875 in the title-part of Tennyson's Queen Mary. When her mother opened the Sadler's Wells theatre in 1879 Miss Bateman appeared as Helen Macgregor in Rob Roy, and in 1881 as Margaret Field in Henry Arthur Jones' His Wife. Her daughter, Sidney Crowe (b. 1871), also became an actress. Virginia Bateman (b. 1854), a younger sister of Kate, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, went on the stage as a child, and first appeared in London in the title-part of her mother's play, Fanchette, in 1871. She created a number of important parts during several seasons at the Lyceum and elsewhere. She married Edward Compton the actor. Another sister was Isabel (b. 1854), well known on the London stage.
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JOSHUA BATES (1788-1864)

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