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ports, but Consular attributes acquired more of the commercial aspects of the present time in the States of Italy, France and Spain, which after the feudal yoke was thrown off, constituted themselves into republics and commercial towns, as Amalfi, Venice, Geneva, Pisa, Marseilles, Sicily, Barcelona, Ancona. Here the first official commercial agents and Consular missions were established, with power to administer the commercial and maritime laws of their respective countries.

Regular Consular missions were established in Spain and Genoa since the 14th, and in Portugal and England about the 16th century.

The diversity of the commercial laws and usages in force in different countries, engaged in active commercial relations, as also the difficulties which travellers and foreign merchants encountered in those days, caused the establishment of Consular conventions based on the system of mutual reciprocity. By such conventions foreigners were allowed to bring with them their own legal advisers or magistrates as general agents for the purpose of administering justice among the subjects of their respective nationalities, in conformity with their own commercial laws and usages. The ships of foreign merchants, says Sir T. Twiss, were held to be navigated under the jurisdiction of the Nation whose flag they carried, and the general practice was for vessels engaged in long sea voyages, some of which occupied a period of not less than three years, to have on board a magistrate whose duty it was to administer the law of the country of the flag, amongst all on board, not merely whilst the vessel was on the high seas, but while she

*Don. ANTONIO BERNAL DE O'REILLY. Elementos para el ejercicio de la Carrera Consular. Cap. I.

was in a foreign port, loading or unloading cargo. This magistrate was termed the alderman in the ports of the Baltic and the North Sea, whilst in the Mediterranean ports he was designated by the familiar name of Consul, and was the precursor of the resident commercial Consul, who continues at the present day to exercise, in the case of merchant ships of his own nationality, notwithstanding their being within the territorial jurisdiction of another State, a portion of the personal jurisdiction formerly exercised by the ship's Consul. The exercise of this Consular jurisdiction requires no fiction of exterritoriality to support it. Its limits are either regulated by commercial treaties, or, where it has originated in charter privileges, it is now held to rest upon custom. *

With regard to the origin of the Consular mission, Prof. Lorimer makes the following state


"Like the other institutions of the middle ages which had the protection of commerce for their object, that of the Consulate originated with those merchant communities which at an early period sprang up around the shores of the Mediterranean. The best authority on the early history and development of the Consulate is Alexander von Miltitz, whose Manuel des Consuls appeared in London and Berlin in 1837; following upon the Essai sur les Consuls of Herr von Steck, published in Berlin in 1790. The work of Miltitz consists of five thick volumes, executed with all the fidelity and something of the prolixity of German Gelehrsamkeit, a statement which will explain the impossibility of my even attempting a resumé of it here. I shall endeavour, however, to state, in a few sentences, the view which he takes of

* Sir T. TWISS. Law Magazine. Feb., 1876.


the history of the office,-a subject on which nothing satisfactory is to be found in the popular treatises."

"And first, I refer to the name. Having been continued by the emperors of the West, as a mere empty title, long after it had lost its ancient significance, and adopted by their rivals and successors at Constantinople, the name to which so many magnificent associations cling was arrogated to themselves for a time by the kings of France and Italy and Germany. Even the Saracen princes in Spain coveted it; and it became a most incongruous addition to their other titles. The consequence of its popularity was that it fell into entire disrepute. Having lost its eclat,' says Miltitz, 'from the multitude of little princes who adorned themselves with it, the Greek emperors, and in imitation of them the other great monarchs, abandoned it, towards the commencement of the tenth century. When thus repudiated by sovereign princes, the title of Consul was adopted by the chief magistrates of the free towns of Italy. On the establishment of the Commune in France, in the twelfth century, municipal officers were appointed who, in the southern provinces, were called Consuls, and who corresponded to the maires, echevins, jurats, and conseillers de l'hôtel de ville, elsewhere.""

In his preface to Haliburton's Ledger (p. XLVIII) Professor Innes says: "The Consuls and prudhommes in Southern France, the maires and echevins in the Langue d'Oil, the schout and schepens of the Low Country cities, and many another name of magistrature, hardly differ in essentials from our own aldermen, provosts, bailies, and councillors."

"Many other examples might be given of the generic sense in which the term was used, cor

responding to a certain extent to the loose and general way in which we ourselves often speak of a magistrate. But some of the uses thus made of the term might disturb the complacency of the present dignified holders of a title at the mention of which once the world grew pale.' From the learned pages of Miltitz, one may learn that in the fourteenth century the tailors and the broommakers of Montpelier had each a Consul of their own. On board ship, the officer under whose charge the provisions were placed, and who thus corresponded to the modern steward (an epithet, by the way, of great historical dignity amongst ourselves), was known as the Consul. The eleventh section of the Consulato del Mare provides that if this dignitary should be guilty of cheating the owners (whether sole or part owners), he should be branded on the forehead with a hot iron. But enough of antiquarianism, by which, as by statistics, it would often seem that anything can be proved."

"The next step, by which the title of a Consul was specially appropriated to domestic judges in maritime affairs, was an easy and natural one. The statutes of the city of Pisa of the year 1169 vest, it is said, in the consules marinariorum et mercatorum, authority to counsel, to advise, and to judge in all matters relating to the interests of the mercantile community, and impose upon them the duty of advancing, by every means in their power, the maritime and commercial interests of their country. These latter judges were the consules maris, out of the recorded decisions of whose Courts the maritime codes of the middle ages grew. The last stage in the transition of the word from its ancient to its modern signification, presents us with the institution of the Consulship

pretty nearly in its completed form. In foreign ports Consuls were appointed whose functions very closely resembled those of the domestic magistrates whom I have just mentioned. Of these Consuls d'outre mer, or Consuls à l'étranger, traces appear at a very early period. Their first establishment was probably a consequence of the wise policy which induced the barbarian Conquerors of the Western Empire to recognize the municipal laws of Rome as governing the city communities; and accordingly we find in the Codex Visigothorum a distinct recognition of the right of seafaring strangers and foreigners to be judged by magistrates and arbitrators of their own Nation, and according to their own laws. But though such was probably the origin of the Consular office in Europe in mediæval times, there can be little doubt that it has existed whenever and wherever a permanent foreign trade has been established. Whether Heeren and Miltitz may or may not have succeeded in finding traces of it in the very remote ages in which they have sought them, I shall not hesitate to believe that there were Phoenician Consuls at any rate, of whose Courts the Rhodian and other earlier maritime codes were the digested decision, just as the codes of the middle ages were the decisions of the Courts of their successors.'


"The popular view of the matter assigns to them, however, a far shorter pedigree. The prevailing opinion appears to be that foreign Consuls were first appointed during the Crusades, in consequence of permission granted by the Franks to the trading towns of Italy, France, and Spain, to send magistrates into Asia to protect the commercial interests of their own citizens, and to act as judges amongst them. The advantages resulting from these appointments induced

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