Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Commission, an authority entrusted to any one. In the army it was originally applied to the warrant authorising an officer to raise, equip, and command a body of troops. It is now the warrant by which all officers, in the army from sub-lieutenant upwards, in the navy from lieutenant upwards, exercise their authority. A Royal Commission and a Parliamentary Commission are respectively bodies appointed by the Crown and either House of Parliament to investigate and report upon some subject - the relations between capital and labour for instance. The term is also applied to certain courts, e.g. the Irish Land Commission or the Court of High Commission appointed under Queen Elizabeth, and abolished in 1641, to investigate ecclesiastical offences. Special Commissions are courts appointed by a special Act of Parliament to investigate and report on charges against particular bodies or persons. The Parnell Commission is a familiar recent instance. The "Commission of the Peace" is a term for the county and borough magistracy (excluding stipendiaries). From the practice in business of entrusting agents with goods to sell, etc., the payment made to such agents for their services has obtained the name of commission.