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Three Estates of the Realm

are the nobility, the clergy, and the commonalty. In the collect for Gunpowder Treason we thank God for “preserving (1st) the king, and (2nd) the three estates of the realm;” from which it is quite evident that the sovereign is not one of the three estates, as nine persons out of ten suppose. These three estates are represented in the two Houses of Parliament. (See Fourth Estate.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Though Lost to Sight, to Memory Dear
Thousand Years as One Day (A)
Threadneedle Street
Three Bishoprics (The)
Three-Decker (A)
Three Chapters (The)
Three Estates of the Realm
Three Holes in the Wall (The)
Three Kings Day
Three-pair Back (Living up a)
Three-quarters or 3/4
Three R’s (The)
Three Sheets in the Wind
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Three Tuns