FARMER PETER SPENCER AND THE HIGH COURT
We acknowledge the efforts of SOS-NEWS in bringing to the public’s attention the plight of farmer Peter Spencer. Readers will remember Mr. Spencer spent 52 days without food on his farm aloft the "Tower Of Hope" in an effort to bring to the attention of the Australian public not only his plight but the plight of other farmers who have had their land – in effect - stolen by various government’s legislation.
Peter was unable to farm his property due to unworkable legislation banning land clearing and sought compensation in the courts. He claimed he could no longer make a living or repay debts from his own farm, which he had worked for 30 years. SOS-NEWS reported this magnificent rural property and homestead was claimed by the Sheriff in February 2010 to be sold to pay his creditors - thus ending the dreams of Peter Spencer.
Ignored by Prime Minister Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Peter Spencer managed to attract thousands of people to attend two rallies outside Parliament House Canberra, one in January the other in February. Peter is not the only farmer angry that through the legislative process governments can steal the people’s land and not pay for it.
But now, after more than 200 court appearances since 1998, and meeting the might of taxpayer-funded ‘legal silks’, representing government hell bent on stopping his claim, Peter Spencer has been granted leave to appeal to the High Court in Canberra. Previously unable to present his evidence of government land theft without compensation, Peter will now have his day in court, not as one man, but representing all Australian farmers on this issue.
Peter Spencer's barrister, Peter King, is quoted by the ABC as saying,: "It was a welcome decision with wide-ranging implications. It is important because, as Peter Spencer has said on a number of occasions, his case is not just about his loss at the hands of government, but for all farmers who have been affected by laws that take or acquire people's property without just terms."
Currently on a lecture tour, Peter is informing the people of Australia how land theft, to appease the radical greens, but carbon theft from farmers also without compensation, was used by government to pay their Kyoto bill. Without the penalising of our farmers, the ‘carbon emissions reduction’ target would have not been achieved and would have attracted international fines.
Peter will be in Victoria between April 12 - April 20; Tasmania April 21 – 23; Western Australia April 28 - May 5 and South Australia May 7 - May 11.
For further details of Peter’s tour, keep a check on: www.sosnews.org
The Native Vegetation Laws that are unworkable and need serious review.
While the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee against this insidious legislation has passed, readers should note the Native Vegetation Laws, Greenhouse Gas Abatement and Climate Change Measures Terms of Reference:
(1) The impact of native vegetation laws and legislated greenhouse gas abatement measures on landholders, including:
(a) any diminution of land asset value and productivity as a result of such laws;
(b) compensation arrangements to landholders resulting from the imposition of such laws;
(c) the appropriateness of the method of calculation of asset value in the determination of compensation arrangements; and
(d) any other related matter.
(2) in conducting this inquiry, the committee must also examine the impact of the Government's proposed Carbon pollution Reduction Scheme and the range of measures related to climate change announced by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Abbott) on 2 February 2010.
Details for Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee. PO Box 6100, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Australia. Phone (02) 6277 3530 Fax: (02) 6277 5809 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ideas not so much pursued as discovered
by Betty Luks
I was recently introduced to Professor Michael Detmold’s ‘Law of Love’ lecture series, (more on them later) I saw that Professor Detmold had based his work on the outworking of the 2nd Great Commandment – to love thy neighbour as thyself - in the history of the growth of Common Law. So let’s see if we can trace the origins and development of this body of law by looking for some signposts on our history map.
Richard O’Sullivan in “Christian Philosophy in the Common Law” identified one signpost in the early Christian centuries, the Athanasian Creed, which drew attention to the threefold nature of reality and set forth ideas that were far in advance of the times. For a thousand years, wars, revolutions, plagues, pestilences and famines were the lot of the peoples, but through all the trauma ran the thread of a controversy, between the Papacy and Empire “in which an idea was not so much pursued, as eventually discovered”.
This was the idea, or group of ideas, which clusters round the word constitution in its social and political connection. Even in a thousand years, neither party attained complete domination although both came near to it. But the important point is that the controversy was the thread along which the rivals groped towards ideas and institutions which could satisfy both spiritual and temporal requirements.”
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s look back into the mists of time and study the development of the British Isles. We know that humans developed in small communities and the relationships were based on human bonds.
We know that life was primitive and hard and relationships were often brutal.
During 20th century building excavations, in the town of York an ancient campsite beside an old creek-bed was dis-uncovered. The authorities preserved it and made it accessible – in its original state - to the public. For authentic effects, the smells and noises associated with the camp site and experienced by the ancients have been added. It certainly did not smell like a bed of roses and the noise of the flock of geese could be deafening!
We know from the work of Professor Bryan Sykes (“Blood of the Isles”) the British people are, in fact, an ancient people. Their genetic history is read mainly from the surviving genes passed on by generations of ancestors whose descendants carry them today. The good professor has ‘rewritten’ the genetic history of the British people. He was involved in a systematic survey of the genes of the present inhabitants who can trace their ancestors back at least a number of generations. The results of his study has left him with the firm belief the overall genetic structure of the Isles is stubbornly Celtic. By Celtic he means that today’s inhabitants descend from a people who were in the Isles long before the Romans invaded and the originals spoke a Celtic language.
From the painstaking research of archaeologists, we can now ‘see’ back through the dim mists of time to a Britain covered in primeval, untamed, forests and only slowly – very slowly – the plough conquering the forests. We can ‘see’ that the bulk of present day villages first came into existence as clearings in the forest. The small groups of humans (communities) had gradually learned the uses of the dog, the sheep, the goat, the ox and the pig to their own benefit. Adopting the use of metals, the bronze-age men became skilled in the craft of weaving and gradually replaced animal skins with woven fabric.
Through the ‘eyes’ of a philologist we can examine pastoral life.
Owen Barfield writes (“History of English Words”):
get a glimpse of the kind of settlements in which these pastoral people must have lived in the
fact that the English word garden has grown from the same
stem as the termination -grad in Petrograd, where it means
'town', while on the other hand the Dutch for garden is
'tuin'. We see their villages, family settlements springing
up in an enclosure round the home of a patriarch. Households are large and cumbersome, the sons, as they grow up,
bring home wives from different villages, and all live
together under the roof and absolute dominion of the mother and father-in-law…
the business of the women in these communities not only
to remain faithful to their husbands on pain of the most
appalling penalties, not only to bring up the children, to
keep house, and to weave and spin but also to till the fields
and look after the bees, geese oxen, sows, and such other
animals as may have been domesticated. A hard enough
life, but they have their consolations as they grow older and
become respected as dames… It is the
men's business to make war, hold councils, and hunt…
There is much brutality. Widows may be expected to
join their husbands in the grave, and old men are sometimes killed off to make room; nevertheless, life is not without its friendlier aspect…
The Angles and Saxons brought this mead into our country,
and the word occurs in Dutch, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish,
German, Irish, Lithuanian, Russian, Greek ('methu'),
Sanskrit, Zend, and modern Persian. As it threads its way
through this babel of tongues, ringing the changes on the
meanings of 'honey', 'drunkenness', and 'enjoyment', the
little monosyllable seems to give us a peculiarly intimate
peep into the interior of an Aryan home…
call up before us a roof and walls of wood or wattles,
bounding a dark interior crowded with human beings and
possibly some cattle, lit only by a draughty hole in the roof
- an arrangement which the Teutons were evidently trying to express when they afterwards dubbed it a ‘wind’s eye’ or window – we have a picture which will serve.”
Although the evidence points to the Christian faith being carried to the British Isles in the first 100 years, possibly by Roman soldiers, or sailors, maybe commercial travellers, it would be a mistake to either idealise or broadly censure any period, whether past or present, in this search for signposts on the map of history.
In Anglo-Saxon times there was no such body of legal men as a ‘King’s Court’ who kept the King’s peace and no such body of law as Case Law for the whole nation. At this stage of development the ancients lacked the instinct for political unity and administrative consolidation.
The concept of justice during the Anglo-Danish period was based on three things:
1. The payment of a ‘weregild’ or money payment for a wrong to be paid to the injured party or his kin – to prevent a blood feud erupting.
2. The new doctrines of the Church taught that: ‘Wrong doing had the further aspect of sin or moral wrong, to be expiated by penance’.
3. The peculiarly Scandinavian view found in Anglo-Danish laws – cowardly flight or desertion of one’s chief were dishonourable – ‘nidings voerk’ – to be punished as deeds unworthy of the free warrior.
In some respects it was an enviable life, so long as the population could avoid being hewed in two with swords mill-sharp or decapitated by an invading Viking with his axe. Being islands and open to invasion, war and bloodshed were normal conditions of life. But what a place it must have been with its virgin woodland wilderness, still harbouring God’s plenty of all manner of birds and beasts and at times a riot of colourful flowers with the wealth of trees. The early American and Australian pioneers would have had similar experiences.
Richard O’Sullivan is a ‘goldmine’ of signposts in “Christian Philosophy in the Common Law”. He writes:
“Behind the great conflict i.e., between Papacy and Empire (read “Cultivation of History”/Race-Culture-Nation on League website) we have to recognise the appearance in the consciousness of the civilised world of principles new and immensely significant. For behind it all there lies a development of conception of individuality or personality which was unknown in the ancient world…”
The Law of the Age between 1154-1272AD deserves study for its own sake
O’Sullivan refers us to the memorable words of Pollock and Maitland “History of English Law”:
“The law of the age that lies between 1154 and 1272 deserves
patient study. For one thing it is a luminous age throwing
light on both past and future ...
But we wrong this age
if we speak of it only as one that throws light on other ages.
It deserves study for its own sake. It was the critical moment
in English legal history and therefore in the innermost
history of our land and race. It was the moment when old
custom was brought into contact with new science.
in our national life and character depended on the result
of that contact...
Of this there can be no doubt, that it
was for the good of the whole world that one race stood
apart from its neighbours, turned away its eyes at an
early time from the fascinating pages of the Corpus Juris and, more Roman than the Romanists, made the grand experiment of a new formulary system. Nor can we part
with this age without thinking once more of the permanence of its work.
Those few men who were gathered
at Westminster round Patteshull and Raleigh and Bracton
were penning writs that would run in the name of kingless
commonwealths on the other shore of the Atlantic Ocean;
they were making right and wrong for us and for our
children. They were penning writs that would run in the name
of kingless commonwealths on the other shore of the
Atlantic Ocean; they were penning writs also that would
run in the name of the King-Emperor on the shores of the
Indian Ocean and the China Sea…”
Its Inspiration and Character
Now it is reasonable to suppose that a system of law
which had its origin in England in the 12th and the 13th centuries would be Christian in inspiration and in character. In fact, each of the men who are named on the memorable last page of the great History of Pollock and
Maitland was a prelate of the Christian Church. Martin of
Patteshull was Archdeacon of Norfolk and Dean of St
Paul's; William of Raleigh was Bishop of Norwich and
(after a stern struggle with the King) Bishop of Winchester; and Henry of Bracton was Archdeacon of Barnstaple, and at his death in 1268, Chancellor of Exeter
Henry Bracton, one of the Fathers of common law, took “a text, now from the Old Testament and now from the New Testament, anon from the writings of the Roman Civil lawyers or from the canonists, who were the ecclesiastical lawyers of the Church, again from a master of Jurisprudence of the Law School of Bolgna, or from the precedents set by his predecessors of the English bench” and “passed them all through the fires of justice and hammered out a set of legal principles which gave to the world, in the language of a famous judge of the United States Supreme Court, 'a far more developed, more rational and mightier body of law than the Roman.'”
C.H. Douglas in “Realistic Constitutionalism” points to another signpost lest we should miss it. “The locus of sovereignty over Common Law is not in the electorate, because Common Law did not derive from the electorate and indeed ante-dated any electorate in the modern sense.
In the main it derived from the Mediaeval Church, perhaps not directly, but from a climate of opinion which the Church disseminated.”
Remember the Church had been insisting for many a year: ‘Wrong doing had the further aspect of sin or moral wrong, to be expiated by penance’.
You will know the truth and it will set you free ! In obedience to its own principles:
But how did this teaching work out and through the centuries? Can we recognise the signposts pointing to the evolution, the development, of communities based upon principles to which all can agree ?
Richard O’Sullivan gives us a background picture:
“In the course of the centuries the doctrine which
animated the Common Law, that by virtue of his nature
man is free, wrought in England a social revolution. Throughout the Anglo-Saxon period the mass of the
English people were slaves or serfs or villeins or otherwise of unfree condition. All the Germanic peoples
At the coming of William the Conqueror an extensive slave trade was being carried on at
Bristol and was only temporarily stopped by the preaching
of Bishop Wulfstan. At the end of the Anglo-Saxon
period the class of praedial serfs comprised most of the
humble cultivators of the soil. The gebur, the ploughman,
the cottar and their progeny were often serfs attached to
the soil and sold with the soil. They were the most
valuable part of the stock of the farm and their pedigrees
were carefully kept.
God did not make man to lord it over his fellows:
The slave class, which was composed of men and women who were slaves by birth, of
those who in evil days 'had bowed their heads for bread',
was tending to become merged in the miscellaneous class
of persons who actually cultivated the soil. Such a state of
things was inconsistent with the witness of (Saint) Augustine
that 'God did not make man to lord it over his
fellows, but only to be master of irrational creatures; and
that the desire to rule over our equals is an intolerable
lust of soul,' and with the declaration of Gregory… that the main purpose of the Incarnation was
to break the chain of slavery by which men are bound and to restore them to their natural freedom.'
It was natural then
that the equality of human nature should he affirmed by the
Canonists as a first principle and that it should pass in due
course into the texture of the Common Law.'
The free and lawful man of the English Common Law
Book that is called Glanvill we meet at once the great
conception of the Common Law, the free and lawful man
(liber et legalis Izorno), existing not merely as an idea but
so to say as an institution.
'All through this period,' says
Professor Holdsworth, 'the medieval Common Law was
creating the idea of the normal person - the free and lawful man of the English law.'
'Among laymen,' says
Maitland, speaking of the 13th century, 'the time has
indeed already come when men of one sort, free and lawful men (liberi et legales hoinines), can be treated as men
of the common, the ordinary, we may perhaps say the
normal sort, while men of all other sorts enjoy privileges
or are subject to disabilities which can be called exceptional.
The lay Englishman, free, but not noble, who is of full
age, and who has forfeited none of his rights by crime or
sin, is the law's typical man, typical person.'
The growth of the Common Law was thus unfavourable
to the existence of a class of slaves or serfs or villeins or
other men of unfree condition. In the course of time all the
unfree and dependent classes were merged in one mass
under the general title of villani, and in the end, in obedience to its own principles and in the interests of the
social welfare, the Common Law came to hold the villein
to be a free and lawful man. The law of villein status was
never repealed. It fell into disuse because the persons to
whom it applied had ceased to exist in the early Tudor time’…”
Substance of the Law: you must Contract and Not Steal
Professor Michael Detmold (Law of Love lectures 2009) provides an important ‘key’ to help us understand the thinking of such men a thousand years ago. He observed:
“The localities in which the human clusters evolved were called ‘commonses’ and the substance of the law that comes from the commons is: you must contract and not steal.
‘Stealing’ stands for every possible imposition by one person in a relation upon the other – it is the antithesis of the law of love. It’s not logically possible for the self to impose on the self; if other is as self, then self can’t impose on the other. To impose is to steal the other’s life, or part of it. A murderer steals the life of another (steals it for his own end – whatever the reason is for the murder), a thief their property, a rapist their sexuality.
The more complex concept of negligence turns on the same thing. Negligence is a failure to give a proper (non-stolen) place to the interests of another. Provision (care) for the other’s place and interests are a cost of any enterprise on the road. I may have to drive more slowly in your presence; in negligence, freedom from that cost (my speeding) is stolen. Fraud and other duresses are the same; I can steal your lawful place in our relation by a trick or abuse of power – this reflection embraces the whole of equity…”
The First Arbitration
“Suppose" continues Detmold, "in the early stages of human evolution before any substance of law has been thought of (nothing at all instituted positively), two evolving humans, Doe and Roe, have conflicting desires and they are in dispute. Under these conditions there is no positive law available. However, suppose the parties have the bright idea to refer the matter to a third person as an impartial arbitrator. There's still no positive law available for the arbitrator to apply but they think that as long as the arbitrator is impartial between them in her process that will do - it will have to do for they are sick of fighting.
This requires that in nothing that the arbitrator decides or does can the single desire of the one or the other of the parties be favoured or privileged. The great and miraculous thing about law is that from this impartiality of process a substance of law emerges.
The impartiality of process will mean that Doe and Roe have no option but to bargain (contract) - for one of them to be allowed by the arbitrator prospectively or retrospectively to impose on the other (for example, to steal from them) would favour or privilege the one. Contract, on the other hand institutes the substantive impartiality of equal respect to both parties. So the arbitrator must, substantively, insist on contract and preclude stealing."
The Whole Substance of Commons Law
"No moral foundation for our arbitration is needed. All that is required is that the arbitrator is in fact impartial between Doe and Roe. The arbitrator does not say to herself I shall be impartial because I ought to be impartial. I must be impartial, she says, because only this fact will be acceptable to both of the parties. And from that fact comes the whole substance of the common law (in which I include its continental equivalents - droit, Recht, diritto and others - all based in the Roman jus as contrasted with lex). The substance of law itself emerges without any moral or other theoretical base. The substantive impartiality that emerges in the arbitration I've described is the commons law."
The Sanctity of Bonds
"Cordelia is a girl wise beyond her years. She has two ugly sisters and a father sinking into the illusion of his power. Lear, the father, is bent on accumulating flattery. The first two of his daughters play his game, but the third, Cordelia, will not. When invited to try to surpass them in a declaration of love for the old king she declines (King Lear, 1, 1, 90:
Unhappy that I am I cannot heave my heart into my mouth:
I love your majesty According to my bond; nor more nor less.
That is, she loves the king in the terms of their relation, nor more, nor less. The relation of persons is never at large in law, but obtains only in the particular transactions and relations actually made, or otherwise coming about (the bond of parent and child being a combination of the two). We will understand Cordelia when we see that what she is insisting on is the law of the bond.
Robert Nozick, a distinguished moral philosopher of the 20th century, regretted this. He took Cordelia’s declaration to be immature (1989, 29-30;) something in the way of a diplomatic fudge was required. But 'nor more, nor less than bond' is exactly the case. She is this daughter; he is that father. What should Cordelia try to be? Someone else's daughter? Someone with a better father? An angel? A diplomat to the court of her father?
Nozick's mistake was a fundamental one in the thesis of these lectures; he did not take law seriously. His claim on Cordelia for something more than her bond (or actually less – the mutually demeaning flattery) is of the same mettle as the justice of a false judge who in the case of a contract for the sale of six apples orders the delivery of seven. Think of Lear demanding an extra apple from his greengrocer, who replies: I love your majesty according to our contract, which is for six apples; nor more nor less."
Love your neighbour – as yourself
“The power of law is in the bond itself. Had Cordelia acted under a moral principle: you ought to love your father according to the terms of your bond then she might well have found other moral principles to modify her behaviour - there really are quite a lot of them jostling around. Love is its own power: there is no law to love. Compulsory love is a travesty: the power would be in the compulsion not in the love.
The larger point is this. There was a time when natural philosophy (the philosophy of the physical world), for example the natural philosophy of Aristotle, substituted for physics itself. And even quite recently the natural philosophy of the Inquisition purported to overrule Galileo. But now we can see no point to natural philosophy and every point to physics itself. In like manner we should at this time see, that there is no further point to morality or moral philosophy. The substance of the law of human bonds - that is to say, our discipline, law - becomes the fundamental discipline of the human sciences. I shall describe this law but must first make it clear that law is not defined by the jurisdiction of judges.
Cordelia could not sue Lear directly for his wrong (though it's easy to think of ways the issue might arise collaterally in an ordinary jurisdiction). There are many reasons - not least, court budgets - for limiting the sorts of matters that judges might adjudicate upon. What law is, is a quite different question…”
Morality Reduces to Law
Professor Detmold continues: “I used to think law needed a moral foundation. But it doesn't… Whilst I still think the idea of unity is right, the moral foundation is always an illicit third position. I (once) thought law reduces to morality. Now I think morality reduces to law. Morality does not hold the balance between laws. Rather, law holds the balance between moralities. In a liberal state if a morality wishes to have a place it can only be a place consistent in law with that of other moralities."
‘Adversarial’ the True Quality of Love
“I never ceased to be surprised how many students, practitioners, scholars, and writers of books on legal ethics, particularly these latter, thought that legal ethics was a matter of applying general ethics (morality) to the practice of law. It is not. The fundamental principles of legal ethics come from the structure of law itself.
An obvious example, and one pertinent to the case of Lear and Cordelia, is the adversary system and the ethics that follows from it. Law is adversarial, so its ethics is adversarial. (It is a) mistake to try to impose a univocal or unilateral thing (morality) on a bilateral (adversarial) relation. An inquisitorial system does the same. ‘Adversarial' does not mean bellicose: it means the law comes from the impartially related parties, not from an imposed, extraneous, and univocal position.
It means the law is free - nothing extraneous is imposed. Nor are the parties a committee – another univocal position. ‘Adversarial' is precisely as Cordelia saw her bond. ‘Adversarial' is actually the true quality of love. It's worth emphasising this. There is love when one's thought is on one's adversarial relation: love the other as yourself, nor more, nor less; and love the self as the other, nor more, nor less. When it is on a moral principle recommending love, love is out the window..” To be continued…
Further reading – send for a book list:
A photocopy version of “Christian Philosophy in the Common Law” by Richard O’Sullivan KC.
“Constitutional Barriers to Serfdom” by Eric D. Butler.
“Realistic Constitutionalism” by C.H. Douglas.
“The Realistic Position of the Church of England” by C.H. Douglas.
“The Essential Christian Heritage” by Eric D. Butler.
“The Great Liberal Death Wish” by Malcolm Muggeridge.
UNDER WHICH KING – WHICH SOVEREIGN ?
by Betty Luks
I see that David Flint and Phillip Benwell - both of Constitutional Monarchy organisations – were having a public spat. It centred on the term ‘head of state’. For myself I think the term sovereign is more appropriate for a Constitutional Monarchy but I don’t particularly want to get involved in the wrangle between the two gentlemen.
At this time, I am much more interested in Professor Flint promoting a favourable book review of Charles II - “A Gambling Man” by Ned Crabb in The Wall Street Journal of 26 November, 2009 republished in print only version of The Australian Review on 27-28 February, 2010. The author of the book is a Jenny Uglow.
Prof. Flint writes that Ned Crabbe says that when Charles II stepped ashore in Dover on May 27, 1660, and then entered London in a glorious procession two days later, on his 30th birthday, he was greeted with tolling church bells, cries of joy and expressions of hope. More than a decade had passed since his own exile to The Hague, the execution of his father and the rise of Oliver Cromwell's republican Commonwealth - regarded as a dictatorship by the many who chafed under the rule of the "Lord Protector." With the arrival of Charles - a tall, dark-haired man of physical grace - England's monarchy was splendiferously restored.
Early in "A Gambling Man," a detailed and thoroughly engrossing examination of the Restoration's first decade, Jenny Uglow notes that Charles Stuart, upon his ascension, "wanted passionately to be seen as the healer of his people's woes and the glory of his nation…known to history for his pleasure-loving ways - his love of theatre, music, hunting, horse racing, tennis and female company. But Ms. Uglow shows how diligently he worked to navigate the political cross-currents of his time and fashion a fairer society…”
Frankly, I would have expected such romanticised versions of the times to appear in the pages of the Australian Women’s Weekly, but not in the ‘pages’ of a Constitutional Monarchy website. A far more reaIistic portrait of Charles II was ‘painted’ in 1899 by Alexander Del Mar, formerly Director of the Bureau of Statistics of the United States of America and Mining Commissioner to the United States Monetary Commission of 1876.
History of Monetary Crimes:
In his book “Barbara Villiers: or A History of Monetary Crimes” Del Mar warned his readers: “The insidious crime of secretly or surreptitiously altering the monetary laws of a State - than which no more dastardly or fatal blow can be dealt at its liberties - is not a new one. There is a suggestion in the decree of B. C. 360, concerning the ancient iron money of Sparta, that Gylipus was not unfamiliar with this grave offence…
The Crime of 1666:
“The reign of Charles II was not only corrupt, it was corrupt to a degree that affected all classes in proportion as they wielded power or influence. In 1661 the king granted a new charter to the East India Company, without consent of Parliament and contrary to law, with leave to export £50,000 per annum of foreign silver, a privilege, that subsequent events render it difficult to believe, was granted without pecuniary consideration…
In 1662, he sold the right of flooding Ireland with base coins to a company of London goldsmiths, who probably turned their privilege to better account, by floating their issues in the Oriental trade.
In 1664 the Duke of York and probably also the king was pecuniarily interested in the African Company, whose profits were chiefly derived from the slaves captured in British Guinea and carried to British America. In 1665 the king granted a patent to "an ill-judged Canary Company," conceding them the monopoly of trading to the Canary Islands for gold, slaves and other commodities…
“The enormous powers and privileges granted to the East India Company against the protests and representations of persons well qualified to point out their mischievous and dangerous influences, were evidently not granted for nothing; and even were Sir Thomas Cooke's evidence wanting, it may fairly be concluded that the exposure of the Company's methods, which took place in 1694, proved the means that were employed by them to procure the Act of 1666-7, which really formed the basis of their prosperity, as it constituted the most profitable of the various concessions granted to them by the Crown, or the avid parasites who advised and swayed it.
“In 1666, the same year that he signed the Coinage Act, and as contended, for the sake of a pension to Barbara Villiers, to come out of the customs on liquors granted by the Commons and for other considerations, he also granted to another of his mistresses, Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond, the sole coinage of tin farthings, the effigy of "Britannia" on these coins being, as Evelyn intimates, that of the frail but fair patentee…
In 1668 he sold the town, port and island of Bombay with the rest of the isle of North Salsette, together with certain sovereign rights, to the East India Company; and throughout his entire reign, from the Restoration to the period of his death in 1684-5, he was the recipient of an ignominious pension from Louis XIV of France.
Such are the circumstances under which this mischievous measure of Free Coinage was generated, such was its character and such its offspring: a bribe to the Crown; a premium on piracy; a stimulus to the vile trade in mining-slaves; and the reward of intrigue and corruption, which were destined to breed, in turn, every form of injustice, rottenness and oppression."
Control over Money Issue conferred on Aristocracy of Wealth:
"It deprived the State of its ancient control over money and has practically conferred this supernal prerogative upon an aristocracy of wealth more detestable than the tyranny from which our (American) forefathers rebelled. It has extorted from the people hundreds of millions for the expenses of mint establishments in whose support they have no interest, or else to make good the wear and tear of coins which are sold, like hogs, by the pound weight and sent abroad to have their effigies of "Liberty" effaced and made to do service for the avowed enemies of liberty. Through the command of metallic money, which this measure placed in the hands of the goldsmith or banking class, it has enabled them to grasp the control of all money, of all substitutes for money and of that commerce whose indispensible instrument is money. The remainder of the people are practically restricted to manual labour, the retail trades, or other inferior or comparatively profitless employments….”
Nobles, Knights, Aldermen, Merchants and The East India Company:
“The monetary legislation of the 17th century related to a legal decision and to a mechanical invention by which coins could be manufactured of a uniform weight and size, a thing practically impossible by the process of hammering and hand-punching. By the new invention coins could also be produced cheaply, so that small coins of silver, of billon and even of tin and copper, could be manufactured economically, rapidly and measuredly safe from the arts of forgers.
"Afterwards, the monetary legislation related to an intrigue which originated with the billioneurs, the goldsmiths or bankers and their commercial colleagues, namely, the 215 nobles, knights, aldermen and merchants, trading with the Indies, under the title of the East India Company. It was consummated under the auspices of the king's mistress, Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, and afterwards Duchess of Cleveland. Finally, it fell altogether under the influence of the all-absorbing East India Company.
It was not long after that great event, when avidity awoke to new life over the spoils of a plundered Continent, that attempts were renewed to snatch the prerogative of Money from the State. This time it was not the truculent noble, who impudently claimed a right that had once belonged to the Caesars and boldly exercised it in defiance of the Crown, but the sneaking billioneur, who stealthily sought to acquire it through the arts of falsehood, intrigue, and forgery. Such were the crimes of 1666, 1742, 1870 and 1873…”
Writing as one loyal to his own people, Del Mar asked:
“What interest had we in the iniquities of the East India Company, its murders and robberies in the East, or its shameful purchase of a polluted king, a polluted cabinet and a polluted Parliament, in the West? What had we to do with the prostitution of Barbara Villiers, her greed, her avidity, her hold upon the British Mint, the monetary legislation that was framed to rid the king of her presence and install another infamous woman in her infamous place? I say, what had we Americans to do with this burden of crimes and pollution which lay at the door of the Stuart family and belonged to a state of society from which we had revolted with abhorrence?”
As I reflect on the corruption in high places, in this present century as in the 17th, Israel Shamir’s words on the ‘shepherds of the flocks’ come to mind. He observed that the shepherds shear the sheep, but the marauders will maul and kill them.
Methinks there are many descendants of the “commercial colleagues, the nobles, the knights, the aldermen and the merchants” who came to this land and positioned themselves among the ruling establishment.
They still want to ‘shear the sheep’ but having got embroiled with a far more ancient and secretive group, i.e., the billioneurs, the goldsmiths and bankers, they are being outsmarted and losing their own usurped power.
Sufficient the day the evil thereof :
If Charles II had been simply a womaniser who squandered his own money, or even a weak king whose personal behaviour affected at most his immediate relationships, I would consider the matter as being simply ‘ancient history’.
But the discussion is really about the king of a sovereign nation who was instrumental in handing control of the nation’s financial system over to usurpers.
It was not only the people of the British Isles who came under this private financial monopoly but eventually so did Australians. And now the whole world is in bondage to these usurpers. That’s why I ask: Under which ‘king’ – under which ‘sovereign’?
* “Barbara Villiers: or A History of Monetary Crimes” by Alexander Del Mar.
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