Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Corporations have no soul: Coke -The Case of Sutton's Hospital. 1612 - Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I

Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634)
Corporations have no soul...Nor are they subject to imbecilities.  One would hope the same for the Supreme Court, which will soon decide if corporations can refuse to provide contraceptive coverage because their owners abide by the Pope's injunction against "artificial birth control". - gwc
Online Library of Liberty - The Case of Sutton's Hospital. - Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I: Lord Coke (1612)
So I have seen a Record, That Catharine the first wife of King Henry the eighth had a licence to found a Chauntry by the name of the Chauntry de monte Calvarie extra Algate London. And it is great reason that an Hospital in expectancy or intendment, or nomination, shall be sufficient to support the name of an Incorporation, when the Corporation itself is onely in abstracto, and resteth onely in intendment and consideration of the Law; for a Corporation aggregate of many is invisible, immortal, & resteth only in intendment and consideration of the Law; and therefore in 39 H. 6. 13b. 14 a. Dean and Chapter cannot have predecessor nor successor. 21 E. 4. 27. & 30 E. 3. 15. 6. They may not commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls, neither can they appear in person, but by Attorney 33 H. 8. Br. Fealty. A Corporation aggregate of many cannot do fealty, for an invisible body cannot be in person, nor can swear, Plow. Com. 213, and The Lord Berkley’s Case 245, it is not subject to imbecilities, or death of the natural, body, and divers other cases. A thing which is not in esse but in apparant expectancy is regarded in Law, as a Bishop who is elect before he be consecrated, an infant in his mother’s belly before his birth, &c. 5 E. 2. Bre. 80. 8 E. 2. voucher 237. 38 E. 3. 30. 41 E. 3. 5. 11 E. 3. Quare Impedit 158. So for the name of a Corporation it is sufficient to name a place in England by the name of Jerusalem, mount Calvary, mount Carmel, Bethlehem, &c. a fortiori, the name of a spacious and goodly house well and actually buildeth by the name of an Hospital is sufficient; for the same importeth truth and certainty. By which it appeareth, that in the case at barre there was a lawful incorporation of the Governours, &c. created and instituted by the King’s Charter, and by consequence as well any person in England, as Sutton, might give and grant to them before any foundation laid, or to be laid by Sutton (as it was imagined he ought to have done before they were capable, &c.) but the same is clearly answered and confuted before; and in truth haec recitasse, est confutasse.
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