Sivut kuvina

more than twelve-pence for making a bond, he shall forfeit 201. with costs, and shall suffer imprisonment for half a year. And by statute 17 Geo. III. c. 26. to take more than ten shillings per cent. for procuring any money to be advanced on any life-annuity, is made an indictable misdemesnor, and punishable with fine and imprisonment: as is also the offence of procuring or soliciting any infant to grant any life-annuity; or to promise, or otherwise engage, to ratify it when he comes of age.

5. Cheating is another offence, more immediately against public trade: as that cannot be carried on without a punctilious regard to common honesty, and faith between man and man. Hither therefore may be referred that prodigious multitude of statutes, which are made to restrain and punish deceits in particular trades, and which are enumerated by Hawkins and Burn, but are chiefly of use among the traders themselves. The offence also of breaking the assise of bread, or the rules laid down by the law, and particularly by the statutes 31 Geo. II. c. 29. 3 Geo. III. c. 11. and 18 Geo. III. c. 62. for ascertaining its price in given quantity, is reducible to this head of cheating: as is every likewise in a peculiar manner the offence of selling by false weights and measures; the standard of which fell under our consideration in a former volume. The punishment of bakers breaking the assise, was anciently to stand in the pillory, by statute 51 Hen. III. st. 6. and for brewers (by the same act) to stand in the tumbrel or dungcart:' which, as we learn from domesday book, was the punishment for knavish brewers in the city of Chester so early as the reign of Edward the confessor. "Malam ceverisiam faciens, in cathedra ponebatur stercoris.” But now the general punishment for all frauds of this kind, if indicted (as they may be) at common law, is by fine and imprisonment : though the easier and more usual way is by levying on a summary conviction, by distress and sale, the forfeitures imposed by the several acts of parliament. Lastly, any deceitful practice, in cozening another by artful means, whether in matters of trade, or otherwise, as by playing with false dice, or the like, is punishable with fine, imprisonment,

h See Vol. I. pag. 282. 3 Inst. 219.

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and pillory. And by the statutes 33 Hen. VIII. c. 1. and 30 Geo. II. c. 24. if any man defrauds another of any valuable chattels by colour of any false token, counterfeit letter, or false pretence, or pawns or disposes of another's goods without the consent of the owner, he shall suffer such punishment by imprisonment, fine, pillory, transportation, whipping, or other corporal pain, as the court shall direct.

6. The offence of forestalling the market is also an offence against public trade. This, which, as well as the two following, is also an offence at common law, was described by statute 5 & 6 Edw. VI. c. 14. to be the buying or contracting for any merchandize or victual coming in the way to market; or dissuading persons from bringing their goods or provisions there; or persuading them to enhance the price, when there any of which practices make the market dearer to the fair trader.

7. Regrating was described by the same statute to be the buying of corn, or other dead victual, in any market, and selling it again in the same market, or within four miles of the place. For this also enhances the price of the provisions, as every successive seller must have a successive profit.

8. Engrossing was also described to be the getting into one's possession, or buying up large quantities of corn or other dead victuals, with intent to sell them again. This must of course be injurious to the public, by putting it in the power of one or two rich men to raise the price of provisions at their own discretion. And so the total engrossing of any other commodity, with intent to sell it at an unreasonable price, is an offence indictable and fineable at the common law." And the general penalty for these three offences by the common law (for all the statutes concerning them were repealed by 12 Geo. III. c. 71.) is, as in other minute misdemesnors, discretionary fine and imprisonment." Among the Romans these offences, and other mal-practices to raise the price of provisions, were punished by a pecuniary mulet. "Pœna viginti

* 1 Hawk. P. C. 188.

1 Ibid. 234.

m Cro. Car. 232.
n 1 Hawk. P. C. 235.

aureorum statuitur adversus eum, qui contra annonam fecerit, societatemve coierit quo annona carior fiat."

9. Monopolies are much the same offence in other branches of trade, that engrossing is in provisions: being a licence or privilege allowed by the king for the sole buying and selling, making, working, or using of any thing whatsoever; whereby the subject in general is restrained from that liberty of manufacturing or trading which he had before. These had been carried to an enormous height during the reign of queen Elizabeth; and were heavily complained of by sir Edward Coke, in the beginning of the reign of king James the first: but were in great measure remedied by statute 21 Jac. 1. c. 3. which declares such monopolies to be contrary to law and void; (except as to patents, not exceeding the grant of fourteen years, to the authors of new inventions; and except also patents concerning printing, saltpetre, gunpowder, great ordnance, and shot;) and monopolists are punished with the forfeiture of treble damages and double costs, to those whom they attempt to disturb; and if they procure any action, brought against them for these damages, to be stayed by any extrajudicial order, other than of the court wherein it is brought, they incur the penalties of præmunire. Combinations also among victuallers or artificers, to raise the price of provisions, or any commodities, or the rate of labour, are in many cases severely punished by particular statutes; and, in general, by statute 2 & 3 Edw. VI. c. 16. with the forfeiture of 101. or twenty days imprisonment, with an allowance of only bread and water, for the first offence; 201. or the pillory, for the second; and 407. for the third, or else the pillory, loss of one ear, and perpetual infamy. In the same manner, by a constitution of the emperor Zeno, all monopolies and combinations to keep up the price of merchandize, provisions, or workmanship, were prohibited upon pain of forfeiture of goods and perpetual banishment.

10. To exercise a trade in any town, without having previously served as an apprentice for seven years, is looked upon to be detrimental to public trade, upon the

o Ff. 48. 12. 2.

P1 Hawk. P. C. 231.

9 3 Inst. 181.

r Cod. 4. 59. 1.
$ See Vol. I. pag. 430.

supposed want of sufficient skill in the trader: and therefore is punished by statute 5 Eliz. c. 4. with the forfeiture of forty shillings by the month.

11. Lastly, to prevent the destruction of our home manufactures, by transporting and seducing our artists to settle abroad, it is provided by statute 5 Geo. I. c. 27. that such as so entice or seduce them shall be fined 100l. and be imprisoned three months; and for the second offence shall be fined at discretion, and be imprisoned a year: and the artificers, so going into foreign countries, and not returning withing six months after warning given them by the British ambassador where they reside, shall be deemed aliens, and forfeit all their land and goods, and shall be incapable of any legacy or gift. By statute 23 Geo. II. c. 13. the seducers incur, for the first offence, a forfeiture of 500l. for each artificer contracted with to be sent abroad, and imprisonment for twelve months; and for the second, 1000l. and are liable to two years imprisonment and by the same statute, connected with 14 Geo. III. c. 71. (18) if any person exports any tools or utensils used in the silk, linen, cotton, or woollen manufactures, (excepting woolcards to North America,') he forfeits the same and 2001., and the captain of the ship, having knowledge thereof, 100l.; and if any captain of a king's ship, or officer of the customs, knowingly suffers such exportation, he forfeits 100l. and his employment; and is for ever made incapable of bearing any public office and every person collecting such tools or utensils, in order to export the same, shall, on conviction at the assises, forfeit such tools and also 2007.(19)


t Stat. 15 Geo. III. c. 5.

(18) This act is explained and amended by the 21 Geo. III. c. 37.

(1)Further penalties are incurred by the 22 Geo. III.

c. 60.



THE fourth species of offences, more especially affecting the commonwealth, are such as are against the public health of the nation; a concern of the highest importance, and for the preservation of which there are in many countries special magistrates or curators appointed.

1. The first of these offences is a felony; but, by the blessing of Providence for more than a century past, incapable of being committed in this nation. For by statute 1 Jac. I. c. 31. it is enacted, that if any person infected with the plague, or dwelling in any infected house, be commanded by the mayor or constable, or other head officer of his town or vill, to keep his house, and shall venture to disobey it; he may be enforced, by the watchmen appointed on such melancholy occasions, to obey such necessary command: and, if any hurt insue by such inforcement, the watchmen are thereby indemnified. And farther, if such person so commanded to confine himself goes abroad, and converses in company, if he has no plague sore upon him, he shall be punished as a vagabond by whipping, and be bound to his good behaviour; but, if he has any infectious sore upon him, uncured, he then shall be guilty of felony. By the statute 26 Geo. II. c. 26. (explained and amended by 29 Geo. II. c. 8.) the method of performing quarantine, or forty days probation, by ships coming from infected countries, is put in a much more regular and effectual order than formerly, and masters of ships coming from infected places and disobeying the directions there given, or having the plague on board and concealing it, are guilty of felony without benefit of clergy. (20) The same penalty also attends persons escaping from the lazarets, or places wherein quarantine

(20) By 45 Geo. III. c. 10. all former acts relating to quarantine are repealed, and other regulations made in lieu thereof. See 3 Burn's Jus. tit. Plague.

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