Concept

Doctrine of capacities

Résumé
NOTOC The doctrine of capacities is a concept in political theory of medieval England which asserts a distinction between the person of the King and the institution of the Crown. The roots of this political theory can be traced back to the years shortly after the Norman Conquest. Here the distinction was made between the ecclesiastics in their temporal and spiritual capacities. When William the Conqueror brought a case against his brother Odo of Bayeux, Odo defended himself by claiming that as a bishop he could not be prosecuted by lay authorities. William replied that he was not being prosecuted in his capacity as bishop, but in his temporal capacity as Earl of Kent. In the reign of Edward I, the principle was applied to the chancellor, to distinguish between his official capacities. Even more significantly, Edward I himself tied the doctrine to the institution of the monarchy, when he tried to revoke a grant he had made as prince after he became king, claiming that he was to be
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