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At one point in the development of this paper I contemplated calling it ‘Sir John Fortescue in another context'. I abandoned the title as too cryptic; but my intention remains the same, namely, to place Fortescue's thought in a less familiar but, I hope, a none the less revealing context. For the benefit of those who may well feel that the dominium politicum et regale in any other context would smell no fresher, let me hasten to add that I am not here primarily concerned with that famous formula, nor for that matter with Fortescue considered primarily as a political or legal theorist.