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Latin Tongue, called by different Names sometimes Curia, sometimes Conventus Generalis, but for the most part Placitum. Gregorius, lib. 7. cap. 14. says thus : --- Therefore when the “ Time of the Placitum approached, they were “ directed by King Childebert, bc. Aimoinus,
lib. 4. cap. 109. In the middle of the Month he held the General Convention at Thion
ville, where there was a very great Appear
ance of the People of the Franks; and in “ this Placitum, the singular Compassion of “ the most Pious Emperor eminently show'a so it felf, buc.
Now it was the Custom in that Council to send Presents from all Parts to the King; as may appear from many places which might be quoted, wherein that Council is called Con ventus Generalis. Aimoinus, lib. 4. cap. 64. Speaking of King Pipin ----- "He compelld them - ( says he ) to promise they would obey all “ his Commands, and to send him every Year " at the Time of the General Convention, three " Hundred Horses, as a Gift and Token of “ Respect. Item, cap. 85. Not forgetting the “ Perfidy of the Saxons, he held the General “ Convention beyond the Rhine, in the Town “ of Kufftein, according to the usual Cu
This Council was sometimes called by another Name, Curia, the Court ; from whence proceeded the common Saying, when People went to the King's Hall or Palace, We are going to Court ; because they seldom approach'd the King, but upon great Occasions, and when a Council was call’d. Aimoinus, lib. 5. cap. 50. “ Charles, (fays he) the Son of the Danish “King, fued (or prosecuted) several Noble
" Men of Flanders very conveniently at this
Great and General Court, Curia, held at
Romans, calling the Princes together at “ Francfort, a City of East France, celebrated “ there a General Court.
c H A P. XI. Of the Sacred Authority of the Pub
lick Council; and webat Affairs were wont to be transacted there.
V E think it necessary in this Place to
V consider what kind of Affairs were wont to be transacted in this general Annual Council, and to admire the great Wisdom of our Ancecestors in conftituting our Republick. We have (in short) observed that they are there that follow.. First, the Creating or Abdicating of their Kingso Next, the declaring of Peace or War. The making of all Publick Laws: The Conferring of all great Honours, Commands, or Offices belonging to the Commonwealth : The asigning of any part of the deceased King's Patrimony to his Children, or
giving Portions to his Daughters; which they usually called by a German Name Abannagium; that is, pars exclusoria, a Part set out for younger Children. Lastly, all such Matters as in popular Speech are commonly call's Affairs of State : Because it was not lawful to determine or debate of any thing relating to the Commonwealth but in the General Council of the States. .
We have already produced sufficient Proofs of the Electing and Abdicating their Kings, as well from the last Will and Testament of Charles the Great, as from several other Authors : To which we will add this one Passage more out of Aimoinus, lib. 5. Cap. 17. where speaking of Charles the Bald. He says thus, " Having “ fummon’d a General Council at * Carisiacum, he “ there first gave his Son Charles arma virilia ; “ that is, he girt him with a Sword,or knighted “.him, and putting a Regal Crown upon his “ Head, assign'd Neustria to him, as he did Aquitain to Pipin. .
Now concerning the Administration of the Kingdom, Aimoinus gives us this remarkable Instance, Lib. s. Cap. 35. speaking of Charles the Bald. “ Charles ( says he) being about taking “ a Journey to Rome , held a general Placitum “ on the Kalends of June at Compeign ; and “ therein was ordained under particular Heads,
after what manner his Son Lewis should govern the Kingdom of France, in Conjunction
with his Nobles, and the rest of the Faithful “ People of the Realm, till such time as he re“ turned from Rome. .
Also in the same Book, Cap. 42. speaking of Charles che Şimple : “ Whose Youth (says he) “? the principal Men of France judging ( as it " was indecd) very unfit for the Exercise of
" the Government of the Realm, they held a
General Council touching these weighty Af
fairs; and the great Men of the Franks, Bur“ gundians, and Aquitanians being assembled, “ elected Odo to be Charles's Tutor and Governor “ of the Kingdom, :
Now concerning the Power of making Laws and Ordinances, that single Passage in Gaguinus's Life of St. Lewis is a sufficient Proof. “ As “ soon (says he) as King Lewis arrived at Pa“ ris, he called a General Convention, and there
in reformed the Commonwealth; making “ excellent Statutes relating to the Judges, and “ against the Venality of Offices, &c.
Concerning the conferring the great Honours and Employments upon Persons of approved Worth, Aimoinus lib.5.cap. 36. gives us this Instance; speaking of Charles the Bald, he tells us, “ That where“ as he began (before his Inauguration) to di“ ftribute the Governments and great Offices
of the Realm according to his own liking; " the Great Men summond a General Council, and “sent Ambassadors to the King ; neither “ wou'd they admit him to be crown'd till he
had made use of their Advice and Authority in disposing of those great Employments. The Nobles (says he) being very
much displeas'd, because the King conferr'd “ Honours without their consent ; for that Rea“ son, agreed together against him, and sum“ inon'da general Convention in the Town of “ Witmar, from whence they sent Ambassadors “ to Lewis, as Lewis likewise sent his Ambala “ fadors to them, &c.
Also the Appendix to Gregory of Tours, lib. II. cap. 54. “ That same Year (says he) King Clow "S tharius, cum Proceribus do Lcudibus, i..e. witli
" the Nobility and Free Subjects of Burgundy,
met at Troyes, and when he earnestly sollicicc ned ted them to advance another Person to the
og wondering the same Place and Degree of Honour which Warnbar (lately deceased) had enjoy'd, they unanimously refused to do it ; and said they
would by no means have any Mayor of the " Palace, earnestly defiring the King to excufe “them :" And thus they gained their Point with the King.
To this Head may be referr'd all the Contentions of such Princes, as were foreseen might be dangerous to the Commonwealth. These were debated in the General Council. For Aimoinus, lib. 4. cap. 1. where he speaks of Clotharius, Son of Chilperic , from whom Queen Brunechild demanded the Kingdom of Austratia, says thus : -...“ Clotharius made answer, that she ought “ to call a Convention of the Nobles of the Franks, " and there debate (by common confent) an “ Affair relating to the Community. That as
for him, he would submit to their Judgment “ in all things, and would not obstruct in any “ Measure whatever they should command.
The same thing is recorded in the Appendix to Gregory of Tours, lib. 11. “ Clotharius (says he) “ made Answer to her, that he would refer the “ Difference between them, to the Determi“ nation of the Sele&t Franks, and promis'd to “ fulfil whatsoever they should ordain". Also Aimoinus, lib. 5. cap. 12. where he speaks of King Lewis the Pious, who was grievously tormented with the Contentions of his Sons, says thus, --- “ When Autumn approached, they to whose Sentiments differ'd from the Empe" ror's, were for having the General Convention
held in some Town of France. - - - Item cap.