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Savoy, The

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Alexander Howard
1360736.  Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:47 pm Reply with quote

There is more to the Savoy than the hotel: the area was a manor with extraordinary privileges, some of which remain. This was one of the estates included in the Honours of Lancaster, which in time were granted to John of Gaunt as Duke of Lancaster. As the Duchy of Lancaster had palatinate rights, the Savoy was included in this and the Court Leet of the manor claimed exemption from the authorities of Middlesex into modern times.

The remaining part of the estate, the Precinct of the Savoy, is a distinctive area, belonging to the Duchy of Lancaster (and the Duchy offices are here, not in Lancashire). The chapel is still a Peculiar, answering to the Duke of Lancaster not to the Bishop of London: the Duke of Lancaster is of course The Queen.

There is a two-volume history of the Savoy has been written, in intensive detail. (I could not find the enthusiasm to read it.)

There were in past ages several legal clashes between the authorities of the Savoy and the usual authorities over how far the privileges extended. (Again, I could not find the enthusiasm to read into it.)

The Savoy's oddities are a plot point in Patrick O'Brien's Captain Aubrey books. Both main characters at times lodge in an inn within the Savoy because there they cannot be arrested for debt. The assertion is that because the Liberty is under the courts of Lancaster, writs issued from the King's Bench cannot be enforced there: the tipstaff cannot step over the boundary. (The author more fun with the minutiae of the Georgian law on the point than you can imagine.) I haven't been able to verify whether O'Brien is right on the point. Much of what is in Wikipedia seems to come from Patrick O'Brien.

1360770.  Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:35 am Reply with quote

And you don't mention the taxi issue?
The road that comes to the door has traffic on the wrong side.
Anyone designing a new version of a London cab has to consider that the vehicle must be able to go round that corner in one fell swoop with no reversing.


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