THE LAW OF THE ACCESSION

Date01 April 1953
Publication Date01 April 1953
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1953.tb02115.x
AuthorC. d'O. Farran
THE
LAW
OF
THE
ACCESSION
IT
istcommonly stated that the succession
to
the Crown is governed
by
the Act
of
Settlement,
1700.'
This
is only indirectly correct as
the
Crown
of
England-to which the Act
of
Settlement relates-
came to an end with the Union With Scotland Act,
1706.*
By
this
Act a new kingdom entitled the United Kingdom of Great
Britain
was created.* The
Crown
of
this new kingdom was settled
on
"
Princess Sophia Electoress and Dutchess dowager of Hanover
and the heirs
of
her body being
protestants,"
'
i.e.,
on
the persons
on
whom the Crown
of
England had been eventually settled by
the Act
of
Settlement. Their right
to
the Crown of Great Britain
was
to
be subject to the
conditions
contained in that Act and in
the Bill
of
Rights,
1688."
(a) The person coming to the possession
of
the Crown should
join in communion with the established Church of Eng1and.O
(b)
If
the sovereign becomes a papist
or
marries a papist, he
or
she is
ips0
@to
to forfeit the throne, which is to descend
to
the
next protestant heir as
if
the offender was naturally dead.7
By the Union With Scotland Act, moreover,
"
the sovereign
succeeding
. .
.
shall in all time coming at
his
or
her accession
to
the crown swear and subscribe that they shall inviolably maintain
and preserve the
. . .
settlement of the true Protestant religion
)'
as by law established in Scotland.*
The Crown of Great Britain duly descended from George
I
to
Edward
VIII.
By
His
Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act,
1936,'
that sovereign and his issue (if any) are excluded from the
throne, but otherwise the earlier settlements remain in force. The
accession
of
George
M,
which resulted
from
that Act, raised an
interesting question as to the meaning of the words
"
heirs of the
body
"
in the Acts
of
Union and Settlement, as he had two
daughters but
no
son.
If
the phrase mentioned is found
in
an
ordinary will
or
settlement of real property its meaning
is
perfectly
clear.'' The property in question goes in the absence of
sons
to
These were briefly that:
1
12
&
13
Will.
3,
c.
2.
2
6
Anne,
c.
11.
3
Ibid..
Art.
I.
4
Ibid.,
Art.
II.
Similar proviaion
is
made
in
the
Act
of
Union
with Ireland.
1800,
art.
II.
5
1
Will.
&
Mar.
(Seee.
a),
c.
2.
6
Act
of
Settlement,
8.
3.
1
Ibid.,
8.
2.
8
8.
2.
*
1
Edw.
8,
c.
3.
10
Littleton,
66.
14
et
req.
and Coke
thereon;
North
v.
Martin
(1833)
6
Sim. 266;
140
Van
Crutten
V.
Fozwell
[1897]
A.C.
658,
662-4.

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