Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter vii: What Rule was observ'd concerning the Inheritance of the deceased King, when he left more Children than one - An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor
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chapter vii: What Rule was observ’d concerning the Inheritance of the deceased King, when he left more Children than one - Robert Molesworth, An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor 
An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor, Edited and with an Introduction by Justin Champion (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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What Rule was observ’d concerning the Inheritance of the deceased King, when he left more Children than one
All that we have above said, tends to prove, that the Kingdom of Francogallia in old times, did not descend to the Children by Right of Inheritance (as a private Patrimony does); but was wont to be bestow’d by the Choice and publick Suffrages of the People: So that now there is the less Room left for the Question,—What Rule was observed in Relation to the Children of the deceased King, when he left more than one behind him. For since the Supreme Power not only of Creating, but also of dethroning their Kings, was lodged in the Convention of the People, and Publick Council of the Nation; it necessarily follows, that the ordering the Succession (whether they should give it entirely to one, or divide it) was likewise in the People. Although in this place another Question may arise, viz. supposing the People should reject the Son of their King, and elect a Stranger, whether any thing should be allowed to the first to maintain his Dignity? For the Solution, of which ’tis to be understood, that Lawyers81 reckon four Kinds of such Goods, as may be properly said to be under the King’s Governance;82 viz. the Goods of Caesar, the Goods of the Exchequer; the Goods of the Publick, and Private Goods. The Goods of Caesar are such as belong to the Patrimony of every Prince, not as he is King, but as he is Ludovicus, or Lotharius, or Dagobertus. Now this Patrimony is called by the Gallican Institutions, The King’s Domain; which cannot be alien’d, but by the Consent of the publick Council of the Nation, as we shall make it appear hereafter, when we come to treat of the Authority of that Council. The Goods of the Exchequer are such as are given by the People, partly to defend the King’s Dignity, and partly appropriated to the Uses and Exigencies of the Commonwealth. The Goods of the Publick (as the Lawyers call them) are such as inseparably belong to the Kingdom and Commonwealth. The private Goods are reckon’d to be such Estate, Goods and Fortune, as are esteemed to belong to every Father of a Family. Therefore upon the Death of any King, if the Kingdom be conferr’d on a Stranger, the Patrimonial Estate, as Lawyers call it, (being what was not in the King’s Power to alienate) shall descend by Inheritance to his Children: But that which belongs to the Kingdom and Commonwealth, must necessarily go to him who is chosen King, because it is part of the Kingdom. Although it may be reasonable, that Dukedoms, Counties, and such like (by Consent of the publick Convention of the People) may be assigned to such Children for the Maintenance of their Quality; as Otto Frising.Chron. 5. cap. 9 and Godfrey of Viterbo, tell us, That Dagobert Son of Lotharius being made King, assigned certain Towns and Villages near the Loire, to his Brother Heribert for his Maintenance. Which Aimoinus confirms, lib. 4. cap. 17. and further adds, that he made a Bargain with him, to live as a private Person, and to expect no more of his Father’s Kingdom. Also in his 61. chap. where he speaks of King Pipin, “He bestowed (says he) some Counties on his Brother Grifon, according to the Order of the Twelve Peers.” And to this belongs what Greg. Turon. writes, lib. 7. cap. 32. “Gondobaldus sent two Ambassadors to the King with consecrated Rods in their Hands, (that no Violence might be offer’d them by any body, according to the Rites of the Franks) who spoke these Words to the King, Gondobaldus says, he is a Son of King Clotharius, and has sent us to claim a due Portion of his Kingdom.”
But to return to the Question, as far as it relates to the Succession of the Kingdom; I can find out no certain Rule or Law in Francogallia touching that Matter; because (as I said before) the Kingdom was not hereditary. ’Tis true, that in many Noble Patrimonies there was what we call Fiefs, Feuda; as Otto Frising. lib. 2. cap. 29. observes, “’Tis the Custom (says he) in Burgundy, which is also in most of the other Provinces of France, that the Authority of the Paternal Inheritance always falls to the Elder Brother, and his Children, whether Male or Female; the others looking on him as their Lord.” And that the same was practised among the whole Nation of the Franks,Petrus de Vineis, lib. epist. 6. epist. 25. and in other places of his Writings, sets forth at large. But in the Succession of the Kingdom a different Rule was observ’d. For our Records do testify, that in old times the Kingdom of Francogallia, upon the Death of the King, was very often, not bestowed by the People on any one of his Sons, but divided into convenient Parcels, and a part assigned to each of them. Therefore when Clodoveus the 2nd King dyed, anno 515. who left four Sons, Theodo-rick,Clodoveus,Childebert, and Clotharius, we find the Kingdom was thus divided among them; Theodorick had the Kingdom of Metz for his Share, Clodoveus that of Orleans, Clotharius that of Soissons, and Childebertus that of Paris, as ’tis recorded by Agathius, lib. hist. 1. Greg. Turon. lib. 3. cap. 1. Aimoinus lib. 2. cap. 1. Rhegino sub anno 421.
Again, after the Death of Clotharius the 4th King, the Kingdom was divided among his four Sons. So that Cherebertus had that of Paris; Guntranus, Orleans: Chilpericus, Soissons: and Sigebertus that of Rheims, Greg. lib. 4. cap. 22. Aimoinus lib. 3. cap. 1. Rhegino sub anno 498.
On the other hand, Otto Frising. chron. 5. cap. 9. and God. Viterb. tell us, That about the Year 630, when Lotharius the 7th King died, Dagobertus his Son reigned singly in France, and assigned to his Brother Heribert some Cities and Villages on the River Loire, for his Maintenance. For from Clodoveus ’s Time till now, the Kingdom of the Franks was confusedly subdivided among the Sons, and the Sons of Sons, each of which reigned over the part allotted him. “The Extent of the Kingdom of the Franks reaching now from Spain, as far as to Hungary: Dagobert being sole King of all the Franks, gave Laws to the Bavarians.” So says Godefridus, not without good Grounds, as many wise Men have thought. For, as Justin tells us, lib. 21. “That Kingdom will be much more potent, which remains under the Domination of one Person, than when ’tis divided among many Brothers.”
But after some Years, when the Kingdom of the Franks was excessively enlarged on all Sides, and King Pipin was dead, the General Council of the Gauls changed this Method again. Which serves to confirm what we said before; viz. That the whole Power, relating to that Matter, was lodged in that Council. For Eguinarthus, in his Life of Charlemagn, writes thus, “After King Pipin ’s Death, the Franks having assembled themselves in a solemn general Convention, did there appoint both his Sons to be their Kings, upon this Condition, that they should equally divide the whole body of the Kingdom between them: And that Charles should reign over that part of it, which their Father Pipin enjoy’d; and Carloman over the other Part which their Uncle held.” Also the Abbot of Ursperg says, “When Pipin was dead, his two Sons Charles and Carloman, by the Consent of all the Franks, were created Kings, upon Condition, that they should divide the whole body of the Kingdom equally between them.” The same Method in dividing the Kingdom, was practised after the Death of Charlemagn, as ’tis manifest by his last Will and Testament, recorded by Joannes Nauclerus, and Eguinarthus ’s History of his Life. Wherein we find almost all Europe so divided among his three Sons, that nothing was assigned either as a Portion or Dower, to his Daughters; but the marrying and providing for them was entirely trusted to the Care and Prudence of their Brothers. Otto Frisingensis, chron. 6. cap. 6. and Rhegino in chron. Anno 877. assure us, that the same Manner of dividing the Kingdom was practised in East France, after the Death of King Lewis the Stammerer, in 874. Again, some Years after, anno 880. after King Lewis the 23rd King’s Death, the very same way of dividing the Kingdom was made use of; which however we are to observe, was “not in the Power and Arbitriment of the Kings themselves; but done by the Authority of the Publick Council,” as we may easily collect from these Words of Aimoinus, lib. 5. cap. 40. “The Sons (says he) of Lewis, late King of the Franks met at Amiens, and divided their Fathers Kingdom between them, according to the Direction of their faithful Subjects.”
From all which Arguments ’tis very plain, that anciently there was no certain Law or Right of Francogallia touching this Matter; but the whole Power of disposing of it was lodged in the Publick Council of the Nation. Indeed afterwards in the Reign of Philip the 3rd, (the 41st King) it was ordained, that certain Lordships might be set out and assigned to younger Brothers: But even of this Law there were various interpretations, and many Controversies arose concerning Daughters; so that we can deliver nothing for certain in this Affair; only thus much we may truly say, That if the Ancient Institution of our Ancestors ought to be our Rule, the Determination of this whole Matter must be left to the Publick General Council of the Nation: that according to the Number of Children, some particular Lordships or Territories, may (by its Authority) be assigned for their Maintenance.
[81. ]Molesworth silently translates “Roman Law” as “lawyers.”
[82. ]Note in margin providing the Latin: “In Regis ditione”; GS Franc. indicate the original text as “in principis imperio ac ditione” (“within the authority and at the disposal of the prince,” GS Franc., p. 247).