8 Annotations

dirk  •  Link

Selden: Mare Clausum vs. Mare Liberum

The historic controversy which arose out of demands on the part of different states to assert exclusive dominion over areas of the open or high sea. Thus Spain laid claim to exclusive dominion over whole oceans, Great Britain to all her environing narrow seas and so on. These claims gave rise to vigorous opposition by other powers and led to the publication of Grotius

Wim van der Meij  •  Link

The Grotius of 'Mare Liberum' is Dutchman Hugo de Groot, who is well-known for the fact that he escaped from the castle where he was kept prisoner by hiding himself in a book-chest, and which was carried outside by friends of his.
After that he fled to Sweden.

Bill  •  Link

SELDEN, JOHN (1584-1654), jurist; educated at Chichester under Hugh Barker and at Hart Hall, Oxford; entered Clifford Inn, 1602, and Inner Temple, 1604; barrister, Inner Temple, 1612; bencher, 1633; steward to Henry Grey, ninth earl of Kent; published, 1617, 'History of Tythes,' many passages in which, and in the preface, gave offence to the clergy; his 'History of Tythes' suppressed by public authority; took active part in preparation of the protestation of the Commons, 1621, and was temporarily placed in private custody; returned to parliament as burgess for Lancaster. 1623; M.P., Great Bedwin, 1626; took prominent part (1626) in impeachment of Buckingham; counsel for Sir Edmund Hampden, who had been committed to prison for refusing to lend money to Charles I on his sole demand, and disputed legality of detention on warrant which did not specify the offences, 1627; M.P., Ludgershall, 1628; chairman of committee to consider precedents as to imprisonment without cause assigned; supported (1629) petition of printers and booksellers against Laud's interference with their trade, and took active part in discussion on tonnage and poundage; imprisoned in consequence of his action in the house; liberated, 1631; M.P. for Oxford University in Long parliament; opposed crown on question of ship-money; on committees to draw up articles of impeachment of Laud, 1641, and to examine Charles I's violation of privileges of parliament, 1642; sat in Assembly of Divines at Westminster, 1643; received office of clerk and keeper of records of the Tower of London, 1643; member of committee to manage the admiralty, 1645; member of committee to hear appeals from parliamentary visitors to Oxford University, 1647; after 1649 took no further part in public affairs and abstained from expressing any opinion. He won fame as an orientalist by his treatise 'De Diis Syris,' 1617, and subsequently made a valuable collection of oriental manuscripts, most of which passed at his death into the Bodleian Library. His work in this direction consisted chiefly in the exposition of rabbinical law. His 'Table Talk,' containing reports of his utterances from time to time during the last twenty years of his life, composed by his secretary, Richard Milward, appeared in 1689. His works include 'Titles of Honour,' 1614, an edition of Eadmer, 1623, 'Marmora Arundelliana,' 1624, 'De Successionibus,' 1631, 'Mare Clausum,' 1635, 'De Jure Naturali,' 1640, 'Judicature in Parliament,' 1640, 'Privileges of Baronage,' 1642, 'Fleta,' 1647, and 'On the Nativity of Christ,' 1661. His works were collected by Dr. David Wilkins, 1726.
---Dictionary of National Biography: Index and Epitome. S. Lee, 1906.

Bill  •  Link

SELDEN, John, a learned Englishman, born at Salvinton, Sussex, 1584. He was educated at Chichester school, and Hart hall, Oxford after which he entered at Clifford's Inn, and two years after removed to the Inner Temple. He early distinguish himself as an antiquarian, and in 1610, published Jani Anglorum Facis Altera, & Duello, or the Origin of Single Combat. Besides other pieces he published Titles of Honor, 1614, a work of great merit and in 1618, appeared his History of Tithes, which as it censored the ignorance and laziness of the clergy gave great offence to that body. The work was attacked by several writers, especially Montague afterwards bishop of Norwich, and the author at last was obliged to make submission before the lords of the privy council for this offensive publication. His opinions in favor of the privileges of the house of commons, and his opposition to the measures of the court, drew upon him in 1621 the displeasure of king James, who committed him to the custody of the sheriff of London, from which he was liberated by the interference of his friend bishop Andrews. In 1623, he was chosen member of parliament for Lancaster and two years after for Great Bedwin, and in the house he distinguished himself by his attack on the character of Buckingham, and became one of the managers of his impeachment. His opposition to the measures of the court continued and for the freedom of his sentiments he was, in 1629, arrested with several other members, and upon refusing to make submission to the court he was sent to the king's bench prison. He was again sent into confinement the following year; but his sufferings in the cause of public liberty were rewarded by the parliament of 1646, who voted him 5000l. for his losses. Though apparently much engaged in politics, Selden was laboriously employed in literary pursuits. In 1634, he defended, in his Mare Clausum, the privileges of the English, and their rights in the herring fishery, against Grotius's work, called Mare Liberum. He was in 1640, elected member for Oxford university, and in 1642, it was intended by the king's ministers to remove lord Lyttelton from the seals, and to give them to him, as though he opposed the measures of the court, he was a sincere friend to the just prerogatives of the crown, but the offer was not made, as his delicate constitution, and his great love of ease prevented his exertions, and would have induced him to decline the honorable office. In 1643, he became one of the lay members of Westminster assembly of divines, and he about this time took the covenant, and was made by the parliament keeper of the records of the Tower.

Bill  •  Link

[continued] But, however, though he continued member of the house, and was in 1644, one of the 12 commissioners of the admiralty, he did not concur in the violent measures of the parliament and when the Icon Basilice appeared, Cromwell in vain solicited him to employ his talents to write against it. He died 30th Nov 1654, at White Friars at the house of the countess of Kent, with whom he lived in habits of friendship, and with some report of criminal intimacy. He was buried in the Temple church, and Usher preached a sermon in honor of his memory. His valuable library was given by his executors to the university of Oxford. As a scholar Selden ranks very high. He was not only skilled in the Hebrew and oriental languages, but he was acquainted with all laws, divine and human, and in the stores of a most retentive memory he had treasured up whatever is valuable, interesting, and important, in ancient and modern literature. He was, as Grotius states him, the glory of the English nation and as Whitelock says, his mind was as great as his learning, and he was as hospitable and as generous as any man. He was a person, as Clarendon has observed, whom no character can flatter, or transmit in any expressions equal to his merit and virtue. His learning was stupendous, and if he had some infirmities they were weighed down with wonderful and prodigious abilities, and excellences, in the other scale. The works of this great character were collected by Dr. Wilkins, 3 vols. fol. generally bound in six, 1726, of which the two first contain his Latin pieces, and the third his English, with a long life prefixed.
---Universal Biography. J. Lemprière, 1810.

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  • Jan