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6.10.07

Bringing the Duchy of Cornwall within the law

Bringing the Duchy of Cornwall Within the Law from the Cornish Stannary Parliament.

The Stannaries are claimed as the property of the Duke of Cornwall by charters. The first of 1337 was published in 1978 as Statutes in Force, Constitutional law. The second and third Duchy of Cornwall charters of 1337 and 1338 give the Duke the powers of: “The King’s Writ and Summons of Exchequer” throughout Cornwall. These powers of the Duke of Cornwall represent the powers of government retained as a result of the English conquest of Cornwall, c.1000 AD. By the Cornwall Submarine Mines Act 1858, the foreshore of Cornwall was awarded to the Duke as “part of the soil and territorial possessions of the Duchy of Cornwall”. We note that territorial possessions can not be private possessions. Research reveals that the public spirited Crown Estate provides cultural support and housing for the public everywhere in the U.K. except Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall is the analogous body in Cornwall but, in a departure from its historical role, now claims to be a private estate with exemption from the Freedom of Information Act 2000, clearly, a stratagem designed to deter investigation into Duchy history and Cornish history.

Lord Coke, in “The Princes Case” 1606, ruled that the transfer of property could not be exercised by charter alone. Whereupon, he contended that only the three Duchy of Cornwall Charters were to be classified as Acts of Parliament. There is no entry in the Parliamentary records between 1330 and 1340 to substantiate this exceptional claim. It is possible that the claim of the Imperial Parliament to ‘sovereignty’ is asserted in order to legitimise English bias as a right to any claim to the property of the subject made by the Crown. The present powers of the Duke of Cornwall in respect of control over Acts of Parliament are to be found in the standing Orders of the Westminster Parliament No. 7.178. The powers of the Duke of Cornwall to “control or intervene” in the judicial process are to be found in the Crown Proceedings Act 1947, section 40 (2g). Even so, the unrepealed Royal Mines Act 1688 specifically states that no tin mine shall be a royal mine. This Act has been ignored by successive Dukes of Cornwall in Cornwall. In Cornwall, the Duke is Lord Paramount, and is entitled to claim intestate estates and bona vacantia to accrue mineral rights without reference to Stannary law. Stannary law was, however, the basis upon which the Duchy Charters originally laid claim to the ownership of the minerals of Cornwall.

Lord Coke, in his ‘Case of the Stannaries’1606, does concede: “base mines (includes tin) belong to the subject but the tin in Cornwall belongs to the King although now a reason cannot easily be rendered”. The tax (coinage) imposed by the Duchy on Cornish tin production was at twice the rate applicable to that of Devon which comprised only 5% of total UK tin production. Lord Coke’s 4th Inst. 33 reveals the English custom of a double tax on foreign produce and G.R.Lewis in ‘The Stannaries’ ascribes the difference to the fact that the Cornish were Celts and the people of Devon, Anglo-Saxon, part of the ruling English national majority. Before 1832, English law permitted the Duke of Cornwall to create 44 constituencies in Cornwall for his ‘Prince’s Party’ at a time when Scotland had only 45 M.P.s.

Clearly, these otherwise unjustifiable manipulations of the law were acceptable to English people then, just as currently, the absence from English law of the world wide constitutionally enforceable right to equality before the law is accepted to protect the Duchy of Cornwall from an effective legal challenge. The Duke of Cornwall acquired a fortune from Cornish tin, and thus, English people were, and are still, absolved from sharing the responsibility of paying, through taxation, for their enjoyment of the privilege of having an heir to the throne.

Do you agree that the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall should be made subject to equality before the law and that English people should begin, after over six centuries, to pay for the maintenance of the heir to the throne? In addition, do you accept that Cornish people have the right to recover ownership of their mineral resources from the Duchy of Cornwall and to re-instate their traditional Stannary Parliament under the provisions of international law?

September 2007

info@cornishstannaryparliament.co.uk

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