Constable of the Tower
The Constable of the Tower is the most senior appointment at the Tower of London. In the Middle Ages a constable was the person in charge of a castle when the owner—the king or a nobleman—was not in residence; the Constable of the Tower had a unique importance as the person in charge of the principal fortress defending the capital city of England. Today the role of Constable is a ceremonial one and involves taking part in traditional ceremonies within the Tower as well as being part of the community that lives within its perimeter; the Constable is a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces and of the Royal Armouries. Under the Queen's Regulations for the Army, the office of Constable is conferred upon a field marshal or a retired general officer for a five-year term; the Constable appointed in 2016 is General Sir Nick Houghton. The Constable's ceremonial deputy is the Lieutenant of the Tower of London Simon Mayall. At the conclusion of the Constable's Installation ceremony, the Lord Chamberlain symbolically hands over the Queen’s House to the Constable.
He in turn entrusts it to the Resident Governor, responsible for the day-to-day running of Her Majesty’s Palace and Fortress, the Tower of London. The office of Constable of the Tower is one of the oldest in England, dating back to within a few years of the Conquest, has always been one of great honour and dignity. In the past, this appointment has been held by eminent prelates of the Church, prominent politicians and distinguished soldiers; the first Constable, Geoffrey de Mandeville was appointed by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. In the absence of the Sovereign, the Constable would have been among the most powerful men in London. Today the Constable retains the right of direct access to the Sovereign. Since 1784 the Constable has always been a senior military officer. During the medieval period the Constable ran the Tower which included building maintenance, soldiers' pay and, as the Royal menagerie was housed in the Tower, supervision of the'Keeper of the King’s Animals', he was ultimately responsible for the prisoners kept there.
The first known prisoner was the Norman bishop Ranulf Flambard in 1100, the London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray were the last official prisoners, for a few days in 1952, for refusing to do their National Service. They were sent to the Tower as it was the barracks of the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers to which they had been assigned; the Constable’s responsibility for prisoners was made clear in the words with which he was entrusted with them: “You are to guard them securely in the prison of our said tower in such a way that you shall answer for them body for body... Fail in no part of this on pain of forfeiture of life and limb and all property you hold in our realms.” Until the expulsion of the Jews in 1290, the Constable was responsible for the regulation and protection of London's Jewry. Until 1899, the Constable held the office of Lord Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets; the Tower Hamlets was an area of SE Middlesex that urbanised as inner East London and included the area of the eponymous modern borough and most of what is now the London Borough of Hackney.
This was an unusual arrangement as Lord Lieutenancy powers were exercised at county level. In the Middle Ages it was a profitable position; every ship that came upstream to London had to moor at Tower Wharf to give a portion of its cargo to the Constable, as payment for the protection afforded by the Tower's cannon. These dues included oysters, cockles and wine; the tradition is still maintained today by the Royal Navy, at the annual Ceremony of the Constable's Dues, when one large vessel presents the Constable with a barrel of rum. Since 1784 the tradition has been for the Constable to be a senior military officer a general officer; the most famous Constable was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, who served from 1825 to 1852. During his tenure, the royal menagerie and record office were removed and many buildings were restored to their medieval state; the moat was converted into a parade ground. Yeomen Warders were no longer permitted to buy and sell their places but were to be drawn only from sergeants in the Army.
To His Grace's displeasure, tourism at the Tower increased during his Constableship. Each Constable is now appointed for five years; the new Constable is handed the keys as a symbol of office. On state occasions the Constable has custody of other royal jewels; this is an incomplete list of people who have served as Constable of the Tower of London, a post traditionally combined with that of Lord Lieutenant of the Tower Hamlets. Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages thepeerage.com — Darryl Lundy W. L. Rutton and Queries, pp.62–63 pp.161–163 pp.243–246 "Constables and Lieutenants of the Tower of London", 10 S. IX, Channel 4.
The Lord Steward or Lord Steward of the Household, in England, is an important official of the Royal Household. He is always a peer; until 1924, he was always a member of the Government. Until 1782, the office carried Cabinet rank; the Lord Steward receives his appointment from the Sovereign in person and bears a white staff as the emblem and warrant of his authority. He is the first dignitary of the court. In the House of Lords Precedence Act 1539, an Act of Parliament for placing of the lords, he is described as the grand master or lord steward of the king's most honourable household, he presided at the Board of Green Cloth, until the Board of Green Cloth disappeared in the reform of local government licensing in 2004, brought about by the Licensing Act 2003. In his department are the Treasurer of the Household and Comptroller of the Household, who rank next to him; these officials were peers or the sons of peers and Privy Councillors. They sat at the Board of Green Cloth, carry white staves, belong to the ministry.
The offices are now held by Government whips in the House of Commons. The duties which in theory belong to the Lord Steward and Comptroller of the Household are in practice performed by the Master of the Household, a permanent officer and resides in the palace. However, by the Coroners Act 1988, the Lord Steward still appoints the Coroner of the Queen's Household; the Master of the Household is a white-staff officer and was a member of the Board of Green Cloth but not of the ministry, among other things he presided at the daily dinners of the suite in waiting on the sovereign. He is not named in the Black Book of Edward IV or in the Statutes of Henry VIII and is entered as master of the household and clerk of the green cloth in the Household Book of Queen Elizabeth, but he has superseded the lord steward of the household, as the lord steward of the household at one time superseded the Lord High Steward of England. In the Lord Steward's department were the officials of the Board of Green Cloth, the Coroner, Paymaster of the Household, the officers of the Royal Almonry.
Other offices in the department were those of the Cofferer of the Household, the Treasurer of the Chamber, the Paymaster of Pensions, but these, with six clerks of the Board of Green Cloth, were abolished in 1782. The Lord Steward had three courts besides the Board of Green Cloth under him—the Lord Steward's Court, superseded in 1541 by the Marshalsea Court, the Palace Court; the Lord Steward or his deputies administered the oaths to the members of the House of Commons. In certain cases the lords with white staves are the proper persons to bear communications between the Sovereign and the Houses of Parliament. Sir Thomas Rempston 1399–1401 Thomas Percy, 1st Earl of Worcester 1401–1402 William Heron, Lord Say 1402–1404 Sir Thomas Erpingham 1404 Sir John Stanley 1405–1412 Sir Thomas Erpingham 1413–1417 Sir Walter Hungerford 1413–1421 Robert Babthorp 1421–1424 Sir Walter Hungerford 1424–1426 Sir John Tiptoft 1426–1432 Robert Babthorp 1432–1433 William de la Pole, 1st Marquess of Suffolk 1433–1446 Ralph Boteler, 1st Baron Sudeley 1447–1457 John Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp 1457–1461 William Neville, 1st Earl of Kent 1461–1463 John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester 1463–1467 Henry Bourchier, 1st Earl of Essex 1467–1470 Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby 1471–?1485 The Lord FitzWalter 1485–aft.
1486 The Lord Willoughby de Broke 1488–1502 The Earl of Shrewsbury 1502–1538 The Earl of Sussex 1538–1540? The Duke of Suffolk 1541–1544 The Lord St John 1544–1551 The Duke of Northumberland 1551–1553 The Earl of Arundel 1553–1568 The Earl of Pembroke 1568–1570 no Lord Steward appointed 1570–1588 The Earl of Leicester 1587–1588 no Lord Steward appointed 1588–1603 The Earl of Nottingham 1603–1618 The Duke of Richmond 1618–1623 The Marquess of Hamilton 1623–1625 The Earl of Pembroke 1625–1630 none 1630–1640 The Earl of Arundel and Surrey 1640–1644 The Duke of Richmond 1644–1655 none 1655–1660 The Duke of Ormonde 1660–1688 The Duke of Devonshire 1689–1707 The Duke of Devonshire 1707–1710 The Duke of Buckingham and Normanby 1710–1711 The Earl Poulett 1711–1714 The Duke of Devonshire 1714–1716 The Duke of Kent 1716–1718 The Duke of Argyll 1718–1725 The Duke of Dorset 1725–1730 The Earl of Chesterfield 1730–1733 The Duke of Devonshire 1733–1737 The Duke of Dorset 1737–1744 The Duke of Devonshire 1744–1749 The Duke of Marlborough 1749–1755 The Duke of Rutland 1755–1761 The Earl Talbot 1761–1782 The Earl of Carlisle 1782–1783 The Duke of Rutland 1783 The Earl of Dartmouth 1783 The Duke of Chandos 1783–1789 The Duke of Dorset 1789–1799 The Earl of Leicester 1799–1802 The Earl of Dartmouth 1802–1804 The Earl of Aylesford 1804–1812 The Marquess of Cholmondeley 1812–1821 The Marquess Conyngham 1821–1830 The Duke of Buckingham and Chandos 1830 The Marquess Wellesley 1830–1833 The Duke of Argyll 1833–1834 The Earl of Wilton 1835 The Duke of Argyll 1835–1839 The Earl of Erroll 1839–1841 The Earl of Liverpool 1841–1846 The Earl Fortescue 1846–1850 The Marquess of Westminster 1850–1852 The Duke of Montrose 1852–1853 The Duke of Norfolk 1853–1854 The Earl Spencer 1854–1857 The Earl of St Germans 1857–1858 The Marquess of Exeter 1858–1859 The Earl of St Germans 1859–1866 The Earl of Bessborough 1866 The Duke of Marlborough 1866–1867 The Earl of Tankerville 1867–1868 The Earl of Bessborough 1868–1874 The Earl Beauchamp 1874–1880 The Earl Sydney 1880–1885 The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe 1885–1886 The Earl Sydney 1886 The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe 1886–1892 The Marquess of Breadalbane 1892–1895 The Earl of Pembroke 1895–1905 The Earl of Liverpool 1905–1907 The Earl Beauchamp 1907–1910 The Earl
Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of England's patron saint. Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, no more than 24 living members, or Companions; the order includes supernumerary knights and ladies. New appointments to the Order of the Garter are announced on St George's Day, as Saint George is the order's patron saint; the order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions. King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne; the traditional year of foundation is given as 1348. However, the Complete Peerage, under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344.
The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Its original statutes required that each member of the Order be a knight and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year; the foundation is to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch, a chivalric romance written in Catalan by Valencian Joanot Martorell, it was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: King Edward III Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March John de Lisle, 2nd Baron Lisle Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun Sir Hugh de Courtenay Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey de Rotherfield Sir Richard Fitz-Simon Sir Miles Stapleton Sir Thomas Wale Sir Hugh Wrottesley Sir Nele Loring Sir John Chandos Sir James Audley Sir Otho Holand Sir Henry Eam Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt Sir Walter Paveley They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c.
1431, now in the British Library. Various legends account for the origin of the Order; the most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!", the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order.
This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to Esq.. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III. *Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First. The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim; the use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used t
Edward Charleton, 5th Baron Cherleton
Edward Charleton, 5th Baron Cherleton, KG, 5th and last Lord Charlton of Powys, was the younger son of John Charlton, the third baron, his wife, daughter of Lord Stafford. During the lifetime of his elder brother John, the fourth lord, soon after her husband's death in Ireland, Edward married the widowed Countess of March, her lordships and castles of Usk and Caerleon thus fell into his hands. This brought him into relations with the chronicler Adam of Usk, who speaks of him as juvenis elegantissimus and is loud in his praises. Charlton's relationship to the Mortimers involved him, however, in hostility to Henry of Bolingbroke, who, in July 1399, was about to proceed from Bristol to ravage his lands. Charlton accompanied Henry to Chester in his march against Richard II, was afterwards in high favour with him. About this time Charlton showed his personal severity and the extent of the franchises of a lord marcher by condemning to death the seneschal of Usk for an intrigue with his natural sister prioress of that town.
On 19 October 1401 the death of the 4th Baron Cherleton without issue involved Edward's succession to the peerage and estates of Powys. It was a critical period in the history of the Welsh marches. Owain Glyndŵr had risen in revolt, had ravaged the neighbourhood of Welshpool, the centre of the Charltons' power, whence he had been driven by John Charlton just before his death. Edward Charlton was possessed of inadequate resources to contend with so dangerous a neighbour. In 1402 Owen overthrew his castles of Usk and Caerleon, though next year Charlton seems to have again got possession of them. In 1403 he urgently besought the council to reinforce the scanty garrisons of the border fortresses. In 1404 he was reduced to such straits that the council unwillingly allowed him to make a private truce with the Welsh. In 1406 his new charter to Welshpool shows in its minute and curious provisions the extreme care taken to preserve that town as a centre of English influence, exclude the'foreign Welsh' from its government, its courts, its soil.
Some time before 1408 Charlton was made a knight of the Garter. In 1409 he procured a royal pardon for those of his vassals who had submitted to Owen, but in 1409 Owen and John, the claimant to the bishopric of St. Asaph, renewed their attack on his territories. Strict orders were sent from London that Charlton was not to leave the district, but keep all his fortresses well garrisoned against the invader; the growing preponderance of the English side may be marked in the injunction of the council not in any case to renew his old private truce with the Welsh. Charlton succeeded in maintaining himself against the waning influence of Owen. In January 1414 Sir John Oldcastle, after his great failure, escaped to those Welsh marches, where he had first won fame as a warrior, took refuge in the Powys estates of Charlton. There he lurked for some time until the promise of a great reward and the exhortations of the bishops to capture the common enemy of religion and society induced Charlton to take active steps for his apprehension.
At last, in 1417, the heretic was tracked to a remote farm at Broniarth, after a severe struggle, was captured by the servants of the lord of Powys. He was first imprisoned in Powys Castle, thence sent to London. For this service Charlton received the special thanks of parliament; the charters are still extant in which he rewarded the brothers Ieuan and Gruffudd Vychan, sons of Gruffudd ap Ieuan, for their share in Oldcastle's capture. In 1420 Charlton conferred a new charter on the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella, of which his house was patron, he died on 14 March 1421. Edward Charleton married twice: Firstly to Alianore Holland, daughter of Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent and sister and co-heiress of Edmund Holland, 4th Earl of Kent, widow of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, he left two daughters and co-heiresses. The estates were divided between the co-heiresses, the peerage fell into abeyance from which it has never emerged, the creation in favour of the Greys being more a new peerage than a revival of the old one: Joan Charleton, eldest daughter, who married Sir John Grey of Heton, Northumberland Joyce Charleton, youngest daughter, who married Sir John Tiptoft, had descendants both powerful marcher chieftains.
Secondly to Elizabeth Berkeley, daughter of Sir John Berkeley of Beverstone Castle, who survived her husband and married secondly John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley. Their son Edmund Sutton married daughter of Joyce de Cherleton and Sir John Tiptoft. Grey and Dudley descendants jointly held the Cherleton inheritance, including Powis Castle, until it was allowed to pass to their kinsmen the Herbert family in 1587
A regent is a person appointed to govern a state because the monarch is a minor, is absent or is incapacitated. The rule of a regent or regents is called a regency. A regent or regency council may be in accordance with a constitutional rule. "Regent" is sometimes a formal title. If the regent is holding his position due to his position in the line of succession, the compound term prince regent is used. If the formally appointed regent is unavailable or cannot serve on a temporary basis, a Regent ad interim may be appointed to fill the gap. In a monarchy, a regent governs due to one of these reasons, but may be elected to rule during the interregnum when the royal line has died out; this was the case in the Kingdom of Finland and the Kingdom of Hungary, where the royal line was considered extinct in the aftermath of World War I. In Iceland, the regent represented the King of Denmark as sovereign of Iceland until the country became a republic in 1944. In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, kings were elective, which led to a long interregnum.
In the interim, it was the Roman Catholic Primate who served as the regent, termed the "interrex". In the small republic of San Marino, the two Captains Regent, or Capitani Reggenti, are elected semi-annually as joint heads of state and of government. Famous regency periods include that of the Prince Regent George IV of the United Kingdom, giving rise to many terms such as Regency era and Regency architecture; this period lasted from 1811 to 1820, when his father George III was insane, though when used as a period label it covers a wider period. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans was Regent of France from the death of Louis XIV in 1715 until Louis XV came of age in 1723; the equivalent Greek term is epitropos. As of 2018, Liechtenstein is the only country with an active regency; the term regent may refer to positions lower than the ruler of a country. The term may be used in the governance of organisations as an equivalent of "director", held by all members of a governing board rather than just the equivalent of the chief executive.
Some university managers in North America are called regents and a management board for a college or university may be titled the "Board of Regents". In New York State, all activities related to public and private education and professional licensure are administered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the appointed members of which are called regents; the term "regent" is used for members of governing bodies of institutions such as the national banks of France and Belgium. In the Dutch Republic, the members of the ruling class, not formally hereditary but forming a de facto patrician class, were informally known collectively as regenten because they held positions as "regent" on the boards of town councils, as well as charitable and civic institutions; the regents group portrait, regentenstuk or regentessenstuk for female boards in Dutch "regents' piece", is a group portrait of the board of trustees, called regents or regentesses, of a charitable organization or guild.
This type of group portrait was popular in Dutch Golden Age painting during the 17th and 18th centuries. In the Dutch East Indies, a regent was a native prince allowed to rule de facto colonized'state' as a regentschap. In the successor state of Indonesia, the term regent is used in English to mean a bupati, the head of a kabupaten. Again in Belgium and France, Regent is the official title of a teacher in a lower secondary school, who does not require a college degree but is trained in a specialized école normale. In the Philippines the University of Santo Tomas, the Father Regent, who must be a Dominican priest and is also a teacher, serves as the institution's spiritual head, they form the Council of Regents that serves as the highest administrative council of the university. In the Society of Jesus, a regent is an individual training to be a Jesuit and who has completed his Novitiate and Philosophy studies, but has not yet progressed to Theology studies. A regent in the Jesuits is assigned to teach in a school or some other academic institution as part of the formation toward final vows.
List of regents Regency Acts Viceroy, an individual who, in a colony or province, exercised the power of a monarch on his behalf
In English criminal law, attainder or attinctura was the metaphorical "stain" or "corruption of blood" which arose from being condemned for a serious capital crime. It entailed losing not only one's life and hereditary titles, but also the right to pass them on to one's heirs. Both men and women condemned of capital crimes could be attainted. Attainder by confession resulted from a guilty plea at the bar before judges or before the coroner in sanctuary. Attainder by verdict resulted from conviction by jury. Attainder by process resulted from a legislative act outlawing a fugitive; the last form is obsolete in England, the other forms have been abolished. Medieval and Renaissance English monarchs used acts of attainder to deprive nobles of their lands and their lives. Once attainted, the descendants of the noble could no longer inherit his income. Attainder amounted to the legal death of the attainted's family. Monarchs used attainders against political enemies and those who posed potential threats to the king's position and security.
The attainder eliminated any advantage. In many cases of attainder, the king could coerce the parliament into approving the attainder and there would be a lower or non-existent burden of proof than there would be in court. Prior to the Tudors, most rulers reversed their attainders in return for promises of loyalty. For example, Henry VI reversed all 21 attainders, Edward IV 86 of 120, Richard III 99 of 100. However, this changed with Henry VII. Regnants who used attainder include: Margaret of Anjou: her attainder of Richard of York compelled him to invade England and attempt to seize the throne after the Battle of Northampton, which led to the penultimate phases of the War of the Roses. Edward IV of England: used attainder after killing his brother, George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence for high treason; this allowed Richard III of England to seize the throne when he claimed that Edward IV's sons were illegitimate. Henry VII: attainted men after he ascended the throne, he used the threat of attainder as a means to keep the few nobles who survived the War of the Roses in line.
However, he would penalize them with exorbitant fees and fines, or force them to have bonds which would be forfeit unless they exhibited good behaviour Henry VII attainted 138 men, of whom he reversed only 46 attainders, some of these were conditional. Henry VIII: compelled parliament to attaint many nobles during his lifetime, including magnates with major land holdings, any magnates whom he came to mistrust. Examples include: Anne Boleyn: Before her execution, she was stripped of her title, her marriage was annulled. Catherine Howard: Henry VIII had an Act of Attainder passed against Catherine Howard, which made it treason for a woman with an unchaste reputation to marry the king. Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, one of the wealthiest magnates in England, whom Henry had executed on flimsy charges in 1521. Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury: One of the last surviving noble Plantagenets of senior line. Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey: The poet son of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk. Charles I: subsequent to the failed impeachment of his former Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford, was attainted during the political crisis of 1640 -1641.
The Bill of Attainder, having passed the depleted House of Commons and House of Lords, was enacted by Charles I as a concession to his political opponents. During his reign, the Long Parliament of 1641 passed an Act of Attainder against William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, beheaded in 1645. Charles II: Although deceased by the time of the Restoration, the regicides John Bradshaw, Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton and Thomas Pride were served with a Bill of Attainder on 15 May 1660 backdated to 1 January 1649. William III: James, III and VIII, the Old Pretender, 1702 George II of Great Britain, following the Jacobite rising of 1745: Attainder of Earl of Kellie and others Act 1746Once attainted, nobles were considered commoners, as such, could be subjected to the same treatments, including torture and methods of execution. For example, commoners could be burned at the stake. Nobles would refer to the act of being attainted as the person's "destruction". In the Westminster system, a bill of attainder is a bill passed by Parliament to attaint persons who are accused of high treason, or, in rare cases, a lesser crime.
A person attainted need not have been convicted of treason in a court of law. A rumour circulated that a bill of attainder against Thomas Jefferson occurred in 1774 because of his authorship of A Summary View of the Rights of British America. A bill of attainder was last passed in Britain against Lord Edward FitzGerald. Attainders by confession and process were abolished in the United Kingdom by the Forfeiture Act 1870. Section 9 of Article One of the United States Constitution provides that no bill of attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed by Congress; the following section forbids states from passing them. Corruption of blood is one of the consequences of attainder; the descendants of an attainted person could not inherit either from the attainted person or from their other relatives through him. For example, if a person is executed for a crime leaving innocent children, the
Thomas FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Desmond
Thomas FitzJames FitzGerald, 7th Earl of Desmond, called'Thomas of Drogheda', known as the Great Earl, was the son of James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond and Mary de Burgh. He was Lord Deputy of Ireland for the Duke of Clarence from 1463 to his death, in 1464 founded the College of Youghal, his plan to found a University at Drogheda failed due to his judicial assassination. Upon the death of his father, James FitzGerald, 6th Earl of Desmond, in 1462, Thomas FitzJames FitzGerald, became the 7th Earl of Desmond; that same year Desmond, having sided, as had his father, with the House of York, put down a Lancastrian invasion of Ireland by John and Thomas Butler, brothers of the Earl of Ormond. Local memory claims that the Battle of Piltown was so violent that the local river ran red with blood, hence the names Pill River and Piltown. Piltown was the only battle of the Wars of the Roses fought in Ireland. In appreciation, the following year King Edward IV appointed Desmond Lord-Deputy under the Duke of Clarence.
Desmond built castles around the Pale, continued the hereditary feud with the Butlers. In 1464 he founded the collegiate church at Youghal. In 1466 he was badly defeated in an expedition to Offaly, which permanently weakened the defence of the Pale, he was beloved in Ireland for his defence of the Irish people against the difficulties of English law – the parliament in the Dublin Pale passed an act in 1465 that every Irishman dwelling in the Pale was to dress and shave like the English, take an English surname such as the name of a town, or of a colour such as Black, Green or White, or of a trade such as Smith, Thatcher, or forfeit his goods. Another measure forbade ships from fishing in the seas off Ireland, because the dues went to make the Irish people prosperous. Another provided that it was lawful to decapitate'thieves' found robbing "or going or coming anywhere" unless they had an Englishman in their company. On bringing the head to the mayor of the nearest town,'head money' was paid. Desmond was the main defender of the Irish against such exactions.
Following his assassination, in 1468 Edward IV replaced Desmond as Lord Deputy with John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester, a Crown servant notorious for cruelty and ruthlessness, nicknamed "the Butcher of England". Accused by his political enemies of treason, for aiding the Irish against the King's subjects, as well as extortion, Desmond attended a Parliament held in Drogheda. He, along with 7th Earl of Kildare, was attainted for treason; the fact that Desmond had been seized in a Priory, in breach of the right of sanctuary, caused particular indignation. Desmond was summarily beheaded, while Kildare managed to escape to England to plead his case before the King. Desmond was buried at St. Peter's Church, Drogheda afterwards removed to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Desmond's death shocked the nation: "slain by the swords of the wicked, or may I say a martyr" wrote one chronicler; some accounts claim that Tiptoft murdered two of Desmond's young sons, who were attending school in Drogheda. The Munster Geraldines invaded the Pale.
Not wishing to see a similar uprising in Leinster, Edward revoked the attainder against both Kildare and Desmond. Although Desmond's heir was allowed to succeed to his father's lands and title, relations between the Crown and the Desmonds were strained for decades; the precise cause of his downfall remains something of a mystery. There were vague rumours that he was involved in a plot against Tiptoft, not a man to give his enemies the benefit of the doubt, vaguer rumours that Desmond might be planning to become King of Ireland. Apart from Tiptoft, he had another powerful enemy in William Sherwood, Bishop of Meath, a man as ruthless as Tiptoft himself, believed by many to have poisoned Tiptoft's mind against Desmond. Accounts suggested that Edward IV's Queen, Elizabeth Woodville, was the prime mover, having taken offence at some tactless remarks of Desmond; the Queen was undoubtedly a formidable enemy: her husband's biographer describes her as a woman, cold and calculating by nature, "quick to take offence and reluctant to forgive" but there is no contemporary evidence of any quarrel between her and Desmond.
One account claims. Desmond has been praised by modern historians as a attractive figure, he was handsome, affable and learned: "a Renaissance magnate with an Irish tinge". On 22 August 1455, Thomas married Ellice de Barry, daughter of William Barry, 8th Baron Barry, Ellen de la Roche, they had issue seven sons and two daughters: James FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Desmond. Maurice FitzGerald, 9th Earl of Desmond. Lady Katherine Fitzgerald, married Finghin MacCarthy Reagh, 8th Prince of Carbery Thomas Fitzgerald, 11th Earl of Desmond. Unnamed boy #1, murdered by John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester. Unnamed boy #2, murdered by John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester. John FitzGerald, de facto 12th Earl of Desmond. Ellen Fitzgerald, married 1) Thomas Butler of Caher, 2) Turlogh Mac I Brien Ara, of Duharra, Bishop of Killaloe. Gerald Oge Fitzgerald of Macollop, c.1464 whose male descendants became extinct in 1743. Battle of Piltown Battle of Piltown and The Execution of ” Great Earl” of Desmond Ireland’s Wars: Roses At Piltown