The Right of Collation

Præsentatio Sive Collation the right of collation, or the Jus Patronatus in catholic canon law, is the right to recommend a clergyman, vicar, or reverent for appointment.

Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands

The hereditary right was abolished in The Netherlands in 1922 on the condition that all holders were allowed to keep the right until their death. Princes Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was the last living holder of the collation right when she died in 1962 in Apeldoorn. There she chose the reverends preaching within the council.

The right of collation was one of the last rights reserved for the noble class. It was hereditary but also tradable. When the Dutch constitution was altered in 1922 it was abolished – excepting the current holders at that time.

On rare occasions a local council possessed the right of collation. In other cases the nobleman responsible delegated the work to the church-elders who presented their final candidate to their local lord.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day was first celebrated in early colonial times in New England. The actual origin, however, is probably the harvest festivals that are traditional in many parts of the world. After the first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists in 1621, Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighbouring Native Americans. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers.

The First Thanksgiving

Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same.

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving, and since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, generally designating the fourth Thursday of November as a holiday.

Certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals: first and foremost, turkey is usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table – so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as Turkey Day.

Fiddle The Figures

‘You mean “periodically re-structure the base from which the statistics are derived without drawing public attention to the fact.”?’

– Lynn J., Jay A. 1986. The Complete Yes Prime Minister London, Great Britain: BBC Books (1989) p. 406


The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.

Coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire

The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an electoral prince. The dignity of Elector was extremely prestigious and second only to King or Emperor.

The Holy Roman Empire was in theory an elective monarchy, but from the 15th century onwards the electors often merely formalised what was a dynastic succession within the Austrian House of Habsburg, with the title usually passing to the eldest surviving son of the deceased Emperor. Despite this, the office was not legally hereditary, and the heir could not title himself Emperor without having been personally elected.

Formally they elected a King of the Romans, who was elected in Germany but became Holy Roman Emperor only when crowned by the pope. Charles V was the last to be a crowned Emperor; his successors were all Emperors by election only.

Electors were among the princes of the Empire, but they had privileges in addition to their electoral ones which were not allowed their non-electoral brethren. Though in principle not a title of nobility – and thus held in addition to such feudal titles as Duke, Margrave, or Count Palatine – the dignity of Elector was extremely prestigious.

At least from the thirteenth century, there were seven electors, three spiritual: the Archbishop of Mainz, the Archbishop of Trier, and the Archbishop of Cologne, and four lay: the King of Bohemia, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony, and the Margrave of Brandenburg; these last three were also known as the Elector Palatine, the Elector of Saxony, and the Elector of Brandenburg, respectively.

Only six of the electors, however, had the right to sit at ordinary meetings: The King of Bohemia, who was in fact not a prince of the Empire but a neighbouring and independent monarch, might vote at an imperial election, but was allowed on no other occasion to meddle in the affairs of the Empire.

Other electors were added in the seventeenth century and include the Duke of Bavaria – referred to as the Elector of Bavaria replacing the Count Palatine of the Rhine, who was of the same family but had lost his title temporarily during the Thirty Years’ War – and the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg – the Elector of Hanover. The office in time held by three Hanoverian kings of Great Britain, George I, George II, and George III, until the institution was abolished in 1806 under Napoleon Bonaparte and the Elector became the King of Hanover after regaining his lands following Napoleon’s defeat in 1814.

Several new electors were created during the reorganization of the Empire in 1803, but these never participated in an election.

On August 6, 1806, pressed both by Napoleon and by several German princes – including some Electors – the last Holy Roman emperor, Emperor Francis II, by edict dissolved the Empire.

After or just before the dissolution, the Electors of Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, and, eventually, of Hanover each took the title of king of his former electorate, while the King of Prussia extended his royal title to cover his erstwhile Electorate of Brandenburg as well as the lands he held as king outside the imperial border. The Electors of Regensburg who had succeeded to the Mainz vote, Würzburg who had succeeded to the Salzburg vote, and Baden which was a new electorate became grand dukes. The Elector of Hesse and Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel chose to retain the defunct electoral title until the state was annexed by Prussia, sixty years later.

Anglo-French Diplomacy

‘Humphrey,’ I asked, ‘do we never get our own way with the French?’
‘Sometimes,’ he allowed.
‘When was the last time?’
‘Battle of Waterloo. 1815.’

– Lynn J., Jay A. 1986. The Complete Yes Prime Minister London, Great Britain: BBC Books (1989) p. 331

18/x mmxi

What is a group of frogs called?
– An army

How long does an average human being spend in bed?
– Twenty-five years

True or False?

The average bed lasts longer than the average marriage.
– True (in western Europe)

There has never been a left-handed pope.
– True (as far as historical records can show)

Roman author and teacher of rhetoric Claudius Aelianus described beavers chewing off their testicles to preserve themselves from hunters.
– False (it is not possible because the beaver’s testicles are inside its body)

Banana Side-effects

“Several odd side-effects of eating a banana are not very well known; when eaten whole and sideways they may cause victims to smile or frown uncontrollably.”

– Phil Jupitus