HC Deb 18 March 1901 vol 91 cc240-1
MR. BLACK (Banffshire)

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the officials in the Signet Office in Edinburgh decline to signet summonses running in the name of His Most Gracious Majesty King Edward unless the words "the Seventh" are added; and whether, in view of the fact that no Sovereign bearing the name of Edward has hitherto reigned in Scotland, instructions will be given to discontinue the practice in all writs and documents running in the name of the Crown relating to Scotland alone.

MR.JOHN DEWAR (Inverness-shire)

Before the right hon. Gentleman answers, may I inquire whether his attention has been called to the fact that the Oath; of Allegiance taken by hon. Members was to "King Edward'' and not to "King Edward VII."?

MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen. N.)

Is the Lord Advocate aware that, if a rigorous rule were enforced as to the words '' the Seventh," a precedent would be created which was not adhered to in the similar case of William IV.?


The answer to the question on the Paper is that it has been decided, after full consideration, that His Majesty shall sign as Edward VII. all writs passing the signet and other documents running in the name of the Crown in Scotland. The Secretary for Scotland sees no sufficient ground on which to suggest an alteration of this decision as is suggested in the question. In answer to the question of the hon. Member for North Aberdeen, I have made inquiry into the matter, and find that in the time of William IV. signet letters and summonses always ran in the name of "William the Fourth," so that precedent is adhered to. As to the question of the hon. Member for Inverness-shire, I candidly confess I have tried in vain to find a Scotch grievance in the King's designation as Edward VII. It seems to me to be really a matter of convenience of citation, and that it would lead to considerable confusion if the statutes were cited in Scotland as those of Edward 1. of Scotland. His Majesty was proclaimed under the title of Edward VII., and the old idea in Scotland in regard to King James does not arise, because the statutes were not cited in the same way as now.


May I point out that the precedent of William IV. was not always followed?