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Family distinctions of those high Ranks. Again, the Baronets are the only class of privileged subjects in the Monarchy, who have equestrian nobility superadded to their hereditary baronial honour under Royal Covenants rendering the same, with its ornaments and pre-eminences, descendible rights in the Order for ever. Hence in the Representation placed in the hands of the Prime Minister, the Committee submitted on behalf of the Order, that no claim had been put. forth which was not substantiated by reason, by evidence, and peremptory enactment; neither had any rights, privileges, or distinctions been received or exercised which were unjustified by precedent, analogy, public convenience, or by the design and intention of the Royal Founder of the Baronetage implied or declared. There exists in various quarters an impression that the rights, privileges, and distinctions in question are new or unaccustomed, and it is considered that for their free use and enjoyment the sanction or concurrence of the reigning Sovereign is indispensable. This, however, is not so; indeed it would essentially compromise the interests of the Baronetage, and of every other privileged Order in the Monarchy, were a doctrine so novel and unconstitutional to be recognised. The reigning Sovereign is the fountain of honour to such of her subjects as she may be pleased to ennoble. But the Queen is not the source of any privilege vested in the Baronetage by its Constitution—and there is no prerogative in Her Majesty to interfere with the free and full enjoyment by the Baronets of any rights, immunity, or privilege whatsoever incidental to their dignity in virtue of the Acts, patents, or engagements of her predecessors on the Throne.
During the course of these proceedings, and before asserting any rights or privilege appertaining to the Order, the Committee successively exhausted every step which the most devoted loyalty to the Crown or dutiful respect to Her Majesty could dictate—they therefore considered that they would betray the dearest interests of the Community, and act unworthily of men whose ancestorslaid the foundation of the Monarchy, if they for a moment receded from any of the above conclusions.
The object for which the Committee for privileges of the Order of Baronets was founded was, to sum it up in a single sentence,—to accomplish the restoration of the Baronetage to the original Chartered excellence of its position—and this they felt might be effected independently of all extraneous aid, and notwithstanding any official opposition. To enable them to do so with honour and credit to the Order, they asked for the steadfast continuance of that high-minded co-operation on the part of their brother Baronets which had so far sustained the dignity and integrity of the proceedings, under all the anomalous and discourteous usage which attended their progress—and further they relied upon the support and approbation of all those Ranks and Degrees in the United Kingdom who were favourable to the conservation of a graduated aristocracy, and who would wish to preserve for the nobility, higher and lesser, of the British Empire, that consideration among the Titled Ranks of Europe, which became the position of a great Nation,—the ancestral recollections of past centuries,—and the honour of a Dynasty not second in eminencedto any that presides over the destinies of mankind.
The Second Anniversary General Meeting of the Order was held on 4th june, 1842, at the Clarendon Hotel, Bond Street, London, Sir Henry Mervyn Vavasour, Senior Baronet of the United Kingdom, being in the chair. The Report of the Committee, with regard to the above proceedings having been read, the Meeting deliberated upon the same, after which the following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to :—
“ Ist. That the Report read be received and entered upon the journals of the Order together with the unanimous and most approving vote of Thanks of this General Meeting to those acting Members of the Committee, who, during the course of the last year, have so faithfully and honourably upheld the interests of the Order and uncompromisingly discharged the duties confided in [sic] them by their brother Baronets.
“ 2nd. That with a view to checking in future the abuses existing in the Baronetage from the irregular assumption of Titles; This General Meeting resolve and declare: That no person henceforth taking up a Baronetcy after a dormancy or succeeding to such dignity by collateral succession, shall be recognised, held, or considered a Member of the Order, or his name be added to the authentic Roll thereof, who shall fail to submit to the Committee for Privileges the evidence by which his right is instructed, or neglect to record the same in the Books of the Committee.
“ 3rd. That the Committee shall prepare and keep a Great Roll of the Order which every Baronet shall be invited to sign in order that there may be formed a correct and authentic Registry of the Members of the Order.
“4th. That the Prime Minister having approved of the course pursued by the Lord Chamberlain in the case of Mr. Broun’s application for Knighthood, which course the Committee for Privileges after mature deliberation have found and declared to be in direct contravention of the constitution of the Baronetage, a Statute Law of the Realm of Scotland, the Articles of Union, the obligations of the Coronation Oath, and the unbroken precedents of 230 years, this General Meeting do require of Mr. Broun, in whose person the natalitial rights of the Eldest Sons of the whole Baronets in the United Realm have been violated, that he will, in virtue of his being a Knight de jnre as the eldest son of a member of the Order of ancient creation, vindicate this fundamental and inalienable privilege of the Eldest Sons of Baronets, by henceforth, using, taking, and enjoying, the ancient chivalrous dignity of a Knight (Eques Auratus) with the immunities and precedencies thereunto belonging; and that the Committee for Privileges do record the same in the journals of the Order, that the precedent may rule in future the cases of all such Eldest Sons of Baronets as may hereafter apply for Knighthood under the Letters Patent of the Ioth and 14th ]ac. I. and experience a similar arbitrary and illegal course of procedure on the part of the responsible Officers of the Crown.
“ 5th. That it be an instruction from this General Meeting to the Committee to direct their especial attention during the course of the year ensuing to the questions connected with the dignity, precedency, and privileges of the wives, daughters, and daughters-in-law of Baronets; to the settlement of the points yet unconcluded as to the Honorary style to be attributed to the Order and to individual members when spoken of, or addressed, in public assemblies; and generally to the prompt and vigorous carrying out of the conclusions arrived at since its institution. '
“ 6th. That the dress uniform shall be scarlet, and green ; the undress uniform green, and black or white; the details to be finally arranged by the Committee.
“ 7th. That the Ulster and Nova Scotia Ribands may be worn either round the neck with the Badge suspended or scarf-wise without the Badge, at the option of the wearer.
“ 8th. That as the uniform adopted refers to the military functions vested in the Baronetage, viz., their being a body of Knights for the defence of the Royal Standard of the Sovereign—the device on the button shall be the Royal Standard surrounded with the Collar of S.S. surmounted by an Imperial Crown.
“ gth. That all eldest sons of Baronets, being Knights dc jure by birth with privilege to become Knights de facto on
attaining majority, shall have the privilege of wearing the uniform adopted with the ensigns appertaining to Knighthood-viz., the Collar of S.S., Gold Spurs, Ring, etc.
“ Ioth. That the younger sons of all Baronets may wear the undress uniform, and button of the Order.
“ 11th. That with a view to setting an example to the Order at large, the Members of Committee resident in London shall be expected to have their uniforms and badges made as soon as possible; and that such Baronets and Eldest Sons of Baronets as may be invited during the course ofthe present or future seasons to parties given by members ofthe Order, shall be expected to wear them.
“ 12th. That this General Meeting at its rising do stand adjourned, subject to the call of the Committee for Privileges.”
The Meeting was then adjourned till Monday, 20th of the same month, on the evening of which day the Anniversary Dinner, in celebration of the Birthday of King james I., the Royal Founder of the Order, took place.
It may be worth while to add that before the adjournment of the above Meeting a Resolution was passed requiring the Honorary Secretary (Mr. Richard Broun) to vindicate by an act of his own the alleged inalienable right vested in the heirs apparent of the Order. In response to this Resolution Mr. Broun stated that the Prime Minister had not hesitated to approve of, and make himself a party to, proceedings which ought to subject the advisers of the Crown in this matter to public impeachment, and that he (Mr. Broun) had no possible hesitation in complying with a requisition which called upon him to evince his respect and loyalty to the Crown and Monarchy, by acting in conformity with the will and pleasure of the Sovereign Founder of the Order, recorded under the Great Seal of the Realm and promulgated by a Statute Law of that supreme and pre-eminent tribunal, the Estates of Scotland in Parlia