Bank of England Government and the Crown

Bank of England Government and the Crown:

The Bank of England is owned by the Government – The Bank was privately owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946. Today it has only one share certificate which is owned by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the government, with independence in setting monetary policy. 

The Treasury Solicitor (Philip Rutnam) This office goes back several centuries. The office was enshrined in law by the Treasury Solicitor Act 1876, which established the Treasury Solicitor as a “Corporation sole” (an office with perpetual succession). Treasury Solicitor constituted a corporation sole.

“The person for the time being holding the office of Solicitor for the affairs of Her Majesty’s Treasury (in this Act referred to as the Treasury Solicitor) shall be a corporation sole by name of the Solicitor for the affairs of Her Majesty’s Treasury, and by that name shall have perpetual succession, with a capacity to acquire and hold in that name lands, Government securities, shares in any public company, securities for money, and real and personal property of every description, to sue and be sued, to execute deeds, using an official seal, to make leases, to enter into engagements binding on himself and his successors in office, and to do all other acts necessary or expedient to be done in the execution of the duties of his office. Any document purporting to be sealed with the said official seal shall be receivable in evidence of the particulars stated in such document.”

Grant of administration to Solicitor of Treasury.

Where, by reason of Her Majesty having become entitled in right of Her Crown to the personal estate of an intestate or otherwise, any court has power to grant administration of the personal estate of any deceased person to a nominee of Her Majesty, and Her Majesty, by warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, (*) is pleased to nominate for that purpose the Treasury Solicitor for the time being, the court may grant such administration for the use of Her Majesty to the Treasury Solicitor (by his official name) and his successors, or, if the warrant so provide, to some person nominated in that behalf by the Treasury Solicitor.

(*) The royal sign-manual is the signature of the sovereign, by the affixing of which the monarch expresses his or her pleasure either by order, commission, or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive act—for example, an appointment to an office—or an authority for affixing the Great Seal of the pertinent realm. The sign-manual is also used to give power to make and ratify treaties. “Sign manual”, with or without hyphen, is an old term for a hand-written signature in general. It is also referred to as “sign manual and signet”.

A royal warrant may nominate the Treasury Solicitor for the purposes of this section, either in any particular case or class of cases, or in all cases, and may limit such nomination to be during Her Majesty’s pleasure, or during any limited period or otherwise, as to Her Majesty may seem fit; and may, if to Her Majesty seem fit, authorise the Treasury Solicitor to nominate some other person to take out the administration in any particular case or class of cases.

The administration so granted to the Treasury Solicitor, and the office of administrator under such grant, and all the estate, rights, duties, and liabilities of such administrator, shall, notwithstanding any change in the person who is Treasury Solicitor, be vested in and imposed on the Treasury Solicitor for the time being without any further grant of administration. Provided that nothing in this section shall affect any limitation, in duration or otherwise, contained in the grant, or any right of any court to revoke such grant.

What is a corporation sole?

A corporation sole is a legal entity consisting of a single (“sole”) incorporated office, occupied by a single (“sole”) natural person. A corporation sole is one of two types of corporation, the other being a corporation aggregate. This allows corporations (often religious corporations or Commonwealth governments and the Crown) to pass without interval in time from one office holder to the next successor-in-office, giving the positions legal continuity with subsequent office holders having identical powers and possessions to their predecessors.

According to Black’s Law Dictionary a corporate sole is a fiction an artificial creation – “An artificial person or legal entity created by or under the authority of the laws of a state or nation, composed, in some rare instances, of a single person and his successors, being the incumbents of a particular oltice (1), but ordinarily consisting of an association of numerous individuals, who subsist as a body politic under a special denomination, which is regarded In law as having a personality and existence distinct from that of its several members, and which is, by the same authority, vested with the capacity of continuous succession, irrespective of changes in its membership, either in perpetuity or for a limited term of years, and of acting as a unit or single individual in matters relating to the common purpose of the association, within the scope of the powers and authorities conferred upon such bodies by law. See Case of Sutton’s Hospital, 10 Coke. 32; Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, 636, 657. 4 L. Ed. 629; U. S. v. Trinidad Coal Co., 137 U. S. 160, 11 Sup. Ct. 57. 34 L. Ed. 640; Andrews Bros. Co. v. Youngstown Coke Co., 86 Fed. 585, 30 C. C. A. 293; Porter v. Railroad Co., 76 111. 573; State v. Payne, 129 Mo. 468, 31 S. W. 797. 33 L. R. A. 576; Farmers’ L. & T. Co. v. New York, 7 Hill (N. Y.) 2S3; State BL.LAW DICT.(2D ED.)”

(1) “Oltice” Historically, surnames evolved as a way to sort people into groups – by occupation, place of origin, clan affiliation, patronage, parentage, adoption, and even physical characteristics (like red hair).

In law all these corporations and corporate soles are legal entities in their own rights. In Law the Government does not own the Bank of England – it is owned by a Corporate Sole.

So in law  Philip Rutnam who owns the one share certificate – and thus the entire assets of the Bank of England could sell it. But he is also bound by his legal oath to her “Majesty” the “Crown” the “Queen.”

His oath effectively binds him to the Crown. But the Queen could tell him to sell his one stock share to a private enterprise. The Queen’s oath and all her servants oaths are legally binding and can not be broken by any statute law.

The Queen’s Treasury:

The beginnings of the Treasury of England have been traced by some to an individual known as Henry the Treasurer, a servant to King William the Conqueror. This claim is based on an entry in the Domesday Book showing the individual Henry “the treasurer” as a landowner in Winchester, where the royal treasure was stored. The Treasury of the United Kingdom thus traces its origins to the Treasury of the Kingdom of England, which had come into existence by 1126, in the reign of Henry I. The Treasury emerged from the Royal Household. It was where the king kept his treasures. The head of the Treasury was called the Lord Treasurer.

Starting in Tudor times, the Lord Treasurer became one of the chief officers of state, and competed with the Lord Chancellor for the principal place. In 1667, Charles II of England was responsible for appointing George Downing, the builder of Downing Street, to radically reform the Treasury and the collection of taxes.

The Treasury was first put in commission (placed under the control of several people instead of only one) in May or June 1660. The first commissioners were the Duke of Albermarle, Lord Ashley, (Sir) W. Coventry, (Sir) J. Duncomb, and (Sir) T. Clifford. After 1714, the Treasury was always in commission. The commissioners were referred to as the Lords of the Treasury and were given a number based on their seniority.

Eventually the First Lord of the Treasury came to be seen as the natural head of government, and from Robert Walpole on, the holder of the office began to be known, unofficially, as the Prime Minister. Until 1827, the First Lord of the Treasury, when a commoner, also held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, while if the First Lord was a peer, the Second Lord usually served as Chancellor. Since 1827, however, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has always been Second Lord of the Treasury. During the time when the Treasury was under commission, the junior Lords were each paid £1600 a year.

Today – in law it is still the Queen’s Treasury – though all her gold has been moved to the vaults of the Bank of England – further strangle-hold over the Monarchy. 

The Crown (as a “Corporate Sole”):

Within most constitutional monarchies, notably the Commonwealth realms, the Crown is a non-statutory corporation sole. Although the office and office-holder, conceptually speaking, retain dual capacities in that they may act both in a corporate capacity (as monarch) and in an individual capacity (as a private person), they are inseparably fused in law, which is to say that there is no legal distinction between the office of the crown/sovereign and the individual person who holds it.

The Crown can enter into contracts and possess property, and it is in this way that the Crown (state) legally acts as a person. Conceptually speaking, the person of the monarch (office holder) may hold properties privately, distinct from property he or she possesses corporately, and may act as monarch separate from their personal acts. For example, Elizabeth II as a natural person has fills several separate offices, such as Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen of Canada, Queen of Australia, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, etc. which are all distinct corporations sole, and at the same time she may also act as a natural person in a private capacity separate and apart from her role filling these various offices (corporations).

This functions in the same way as the office of Prime Minister for example, which may have use of certain properties and privileges, such as an official residence and decision-making powers, however these assets do not belong to the office-holder in a private capacity and thus remain with the office once the office holder leaves, and at the same time the office holder may own property such as a house or a car in a private non-office related capacity.

The sovereign’s status as a corporation sole ensures that all references to the Queen, the King, Her Majesty, His Majesty, and the Crown are all synonymous and refer to exactly the same legal personality over time. While natural persons who serve as sovereign may pass on, the sovereign never dies in law, thus it is the corporate nature of the office of sovereign that ensures that the authority of the state continues uninterrupted as successive persons occupy the office. Subsequently, the sovereign is made a corporation sole to prevent the possibility of disruption or interregnum preserving the stability of the Crown (state), and so at the moment of the demise (2001) of the sovereign a successor is immediately and automatically in place – this has yet to be done.

Having the Crown as a corporation sole means that the legal person of the sovereign is the personification of the state, and subsequently acts as the guarantor of the rule of law and the fount of all executive authority behind the state’s institutions. As certain countries such as Australia and Canada have federal systems of government, the sovereign in these cases also possesses capacities as distinct corporation sole in right of each of the Australian states and Canadian provinces, for example as Her Majesty the Queen of Australia in Right of Queensland and Her Majesty the Queen of Canada in Right of Alberta.

As stated the “Crown is a non-statutory corporation sole” and it is very important to us in “Common Law” and Magna Carta 1215 to understand what is meant by “non-statute.” Statutory refers to something that is related to a formal law or a statute, and nonstatutory is essentially another term for Common Law. If something is statutory, it is based on laws or statutes. If something is nonstatutory, it is based on customs, precedents or previous court decisions ie Common Law Magna Carta and .The Bill of Rights of 1689.

Statutes are by Parliament and non-statutes are of Common Law. A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city or country. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies; they are distinguished from case law or precedent, which is decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies.

Government in the UK is through Parliament – which has no written constitution. “The principle of parliamentary sovereignty means neither more nor less than this: namely that parliament thus defined has, under the English constitution ,the right to make or un-make any law whatever; and further, that no person or body is recognized by the law of England having a right to override or set aside the legislation of parliament……..” .V. Dicey Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution (1885).

During the 17th century in England, a notion developed that Parliament (made up of the House of Lords and House of Commons) shared in sovereignty with the King, based on an entirely erroneous notion of the history of parliament. It was not until the changing of the Coronation Oath in the Coronation Oath Act 1688 as part of the Glorious Revolution that Parliament was recognised as part of the constitutional structure, with laws being considered to emanate from Parliament and not just the King. The Bill of Rights 1689 and Claim of Right Act 1689 were passed the following year which asserted certain rights of the Parliaments of England (which at the time included Wales) and Scotland and limited the powers of the monarch. Furthermore, in 1698 parliament created the Civil List, a financial arrangement that left the monarch reliant on parliament for income – tis effectively stopped the monarch from raising taxes to meet his/her needs.

The doctrine of parliamentary supremacy, in English Law, was upheld in 2005 by Lord Bingham in the case of R (Jackson) v Attorney General:

“The bedrock of the British Constitution is … the Supremacy of the Crown in Parliament.”

It is the “Crown” that has supremacy over the Parliament. The Crown – the Monarch – is the non-statutory head of all. The Monarch still has prerogative powers: The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy, as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and vested in a monarch with regard to the process of governance of the state, are carried out. In most Constitutional monarchies, individual prerogatives can be abolished by Parliament, although in the United Kingdom the royal prerogative is devolved to the head of the government. In Britain, while prerogative powers were originally exercised by the monarch acting alone, without an observed requirement for parliamentary consent (after Magna Carta), since the accession of the House of Hanover these powers have been generally exercised on the advice of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet, who in turn is accountable to Parliament, exclusively so, except in matters of the Royal Family, since at least the time of William IV.

One of the monarch’s historic prerogatives was the dissolution of Parliament, which was “perhaps the most important residual prerogative exercised personally by the sovereign, and represents the greatest potential for controversy.” This prerogative was normally exercised at the request of Parliament and the prime minister, either at his or her discretion or following a motion of no confidence.

Constitutional theorists have had differing views as to whether a unilateral dissolution of Parliament would be possible today; Sir Ivor Jennings wrote that a dissolution involves “the acquiescence of ministers”, and as such the monarch could not dissolve Parliament without ministerial consent; “if ministers refuse to give such advice, she can do no more than dismiss them”. A. V. Dicey, however, believed that in certain extreme circumstances the monarch could dissolve Parliament single-handedly, on the condition that “an occasion has arisen on which there is fair reason to suppose that the opinion of the House is not the opinion of the electors… A dissolution is allowable, or necessary, whenever the wishes of the legislature are, or may fairly be presumed to be, different from the wishes of the nation.”

The monarch could force the dissolution of Parliament through a refusal of royal assent; this would inevitably lead to a government resigning. By convention, the monarch always assents to bills; the last time the royal assent was not given was in 1708 during the reign of Queen Anne when she withheld royal assent from the Scottish Militia Bill. This does not mean that the right to refuse has died: George V believed he could veto the Third Irish Home Rule Bill; Jennings writes that “it was assumed by the King throughout that he had not only the legal power but the constitutional right to refuse assent.” The royal prerogative to dissolve Parliament was abrogated by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. Section 6(1) of the Act however specifically states that the monarch’s power to prorogue Parliament is not affected by the Act. To prorogue means discontinue a session of a parliament or other legislative assembly without dissolving it.

It is to be noted that whilst the royal prerogative is deployed by the UK government when making (and unmaking) treaties, the Supreme Court held in R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union that it does not give the government the power to serve notice of termination of the UK’s membership of the EU (under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union), unless and until Parliament decides to do so. The Court’s reasoning was that such a notice will inevitably affect rights under domestic law (many EU rights having direct effect in the UK), in which realm the royal prerogative has no application. Nor was there scope for inferring that when enacting the European Communities Act 1972 Parliament had intended royal prerogative powers to survive for the purpose of serving such a notice. Consequently, only Parliament can decide to serve such a notice.

The UK Parliament has increasingly separated itself from the monarch – though in Common Law it can not do so. It has taken powers rules upon itself without asking the common people to agree to those powers. Yet every member who has been elected by the people must take an oath of allegiance to the crown. The Parliamentary Oaths Act 1866 states that the oath of allegiance must be taken:

by every member of the House of Commons at the table in the middle of the said House, and whilst a full House of Commons is there duly sitting, with their Speaker in his chair, at such hours and according to such regulations as each House may by its standing orders direct.

In practice, at the beginning of a new Parliament all Members are offered the opportunity to take the oath or affirm. A number of days are set aside exclusively for this purpose between the election of the Speaker and the Queen’s Speech. These are known as “swearing in days”. The current standard oath of allegiance is set out from the Promissory Oaths Act 1868 in the following form:

I, (Insert full name), do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.

Under the Oaths Act 1888 (51 & 52 Vict. c.46), consolidated and repealed by the Oaths Act 1978, those who choose to may make a solemn affirmation instead of swearing an oath.  In general, this oath is sworn to the crown, monarch, sovereign, or regent, as represented by the incumbent king or queen, currently Elizabeth II. This oath also specifies that this same oath to the Queen, is equally sworn to her (plural) “heirs and successors,” rather than the (singular) heir and successor, or even, heir and/or successor. This (plural) anomaly indicates that any oath given to the Queen is equally given to all of her heirs, i.e., her/their children, and her/their grandchildren, and equally to all successors to the British throne, currently listed in the line of succession to the British throne, in the event that any one of them should accede to the throne.

This oath to the Queen, her heirs, and successors is now administered in citizen ceremonies to immigrants becoming naturalized British subjects. Magistrates only swear allegiance to the Queen, whereas judges swear their allegiance to the Queen, and to her heirs and successors; police officers in England and Wales pledge their allegiance to the Queen, but not her heirs and successors. Before 2001, Northern Ireland police pledged their allegiance to the Queen, but not her heirs and successors, but since 2001, as also with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, they do not swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, or her heirs and successors. The Scottish police have never pledged allegiance. Members of the Privy Council only swear allegiance to the “Queen’s majesty”, not to the Queen’s heirs and successors.

It is to be noted that The oath of allegiance has its origins in the Magna Carta, signed on 15 June 1215.

Once the terms had been finalised on 19 June, the rebels again swore allegiance to King John. The later Bill of Rights (1689) included the Oath of Allegiance to the crown, which was required by Magna Carta to be taken by all crown servants and members of the judiciary.

In swearing any oath of allegiance – it means that Magna Carta 1215 is still in force to this very day.

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