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marrying with the king, by a woman not a virgin, without previously discovering to him such her unchaste life; judging or believing, manifested by any overt act, the king to have been lawfully married to Ann of Cleve; derogating from the king's royal style and title; impugning his supremacy; and assembling riotously to the number of twelve, and not dispersing upon proclamation: all which new-fangled treasons were totally abrogated by the statute 1 Mar. c. 1. which once more reduced all treasons to the standard of the statute 25 Edw. III. Since which time, though the legislature has been more cautious in creating new offences of this kind, yet the number is very consi derably increased, as we shall find upon a short review.

These new treasons, created since the statute 1 Mar. c. 1. and not comprehended under the description of statute 25 Edw. III. I shall comprise under three heads. 1. Such as relate to papists. 2. Such as relate to falsifying the coin or other royal signatures. 3. Such as are created for the security of the protestant succession in the house of Hanover.


1. The first species, relating to papists, was considered in a preceding chapter, among the penalties incurred by that branch of non-conformists to the national church; wherein we have only to remember, that by statute 5 Eliz. c. 1. to defend the pope's jurisdiction in this realm is, for the first time, a heavy misdemesnor: and, if the offence be repeated, it is high treason. Also by statute 27 Eliz. c. 2. if any popish priest, born in the dominions of the crown of England, shall come over hither from beyond the seas, unless driven by stress of weather," and departing in a reasonable time; or shall tarry here three days without conforming to the church, and taking the oaths; he is guilty of high treason. And by statute 3 Jac. I. c. 4. if any natural-born subject be withdrawn from his allegiance, and reconciled to the pope or see of Rome, or any other prince or state, both he and all such as procure such reconciliation shall incur the guilt of high treason. These were mentioned under the division before referred to, as spiritual offences, and I now repeat them as temporal ones also; the reason of distinguishing these overt acts of popery from all others, by setting the mark of high treason * Latch. 1.

w Sir T. Raym. 377.

upon them, being certainly on a civil, and not on a religious, account. For every popish priest of course renounces his allegiance to his temporal sovereign upon taking orders; that being inconsistent with his new engagements of canonical obedience to the pope; and the same may be said of an obstinate defence of his authority here, or a formal reconciliation to the see of Rome, which the statute construes to be a withdrawing from one's natural allegiance; and therefore, besides being reconciled "to the pope," it also adds " or any other prince or state."

2. With regard to treasons relative to the coin or other royal signatures, we may recollect that the only two of fences respecting the coinage, which are made treason by the statute 25 Edw. III., are the actual counterfeiting the gold and silver coin of this kingdom; or the importing such counterfeit money with the intent to utter it, knowing it to be false. But these not being found sufficient to restrain the evil practices of coiners and false moneyers, other statutes have been since made for that purpose. The crime itself is made a species of high treason; as being a breach of allegiance, by infringing the king's prerogative, and assuming one of the attributes of the sovereign, to whom alone it belongs to set the value and denomination of coin made at home, or to fix the currency of foreign money and besides, as all money which bears the stamp of the kingdom is sent into the world upon the public faith, as containing metal of a particular weight and standard, whoever falsifies this is an offender against the state, by contributing to render that public faith suspected. And upon the same reasons, by a law of the emperor Con stantine, false coiners were declared guilty of high treason, and were condemned to be burnt alive: as, by the laws of Athens," all counterfeiters, debasers, and diminishers of the current coin were subjected to capital punishment. However, it must be owned, that this method of reasoning is a little overstrained: counterfeiting or debasing the coin being usually practised, rather for the sake of private or unlawful lucre, than out of any disaffection to the sovereign. And therefore both this and

y C. 9. 24.2. Cod. Theod, de z Pott. Ant. b. 1. c. 26. falsa moneta, l. 9.

its kindred species of treason, that of counterfeiting the seals of the crown or other royal signatures, seem better denominated by the latter civilians a branch of the crimen falsi or forgery, (in which they are followed by Glanvil, Bracton, and Fleta,c) than by Constantine and our Edward the third, a species of the crimen læsæ majestatis or high treason. For this confounds the distinction and proportion of offences; and, by affixing the same ideas of guilt upon the man who coins a leaden groat and him who assassinates his sovereign, takes off from that horror which ought to attend the very mention of the crime of high treason, and makes it more familiar to the subject. Before the statute 25 Edw. III. the offence of counterfeiting the coin was held to be only a species of petit treason; but subsequent acts in their new extensions of the offence have followed the example of that statute, and have made it equally high treason with an endeavour to subvert the government, though not quite equal in its punishment.


In consequence of the principle thus adopted, the statute 1 Mar. c. 1. having at one stroke repealed all intermediate treasons created since the 25 Edw. III. it was thought expedient by statute 1 Mar. st. 2. c. 6. to revive two species thereof; viz. 1. That if any person falsely forge or counterfeit any such kind of coin of gold or silver, as is not the proper coin of this realm, but shall be current within this realm by consent of the crown; or, 2. shall falsely forge or counterfeit the sign manual, privy signet, or privy seal; such offences shall be deemed high treason. And by statute 1 & 2 P. & M. c. 11. if any persons do bring into this realm such false or counterfeit foreign money, being current here, knowing the same to be false, with intent to utter the same in payment, they shall be deemed offenders in high treason. The money referred to in these statutes must be such as is absolutely current here, in all payments, by the king's proclamation; of which there is none at present, Portugal money being only taken by consent, as approaching the nearest to our standard and falling in well enough with our divisions of money into pounds and shillings: therefore to counterfeit

a l. 14. c. 7.
bl. 3. c. 3. § 1 & 2.

c l. 1. c. 22.

d 1 Hal. P. C. 224.


it is not high treason, (7) but another inferior offence. Clipping or defacing the genuine coin was not hitherto included in these statutes; though an offence equally pernicious to trade, and an equal insult upon the prerogative, as well as personal affront to the sovereign; whose very image ought to be had in reverence by all loyal subjects. And therefore, among the Romans, defacing or even melting down the emperor's statues was made treason by the Julian law; together with other offences of the like sort, according to that vague conclusion, "aliudve quid simile si admiserint." And now, in England, by statute 5 Eliz. c. 11. clipping, washing, rounding, or filing, for wicked gain's sake, any of the money of this realm, or other money suffered to be current here, shall be adjudged high treason; and by statute 18 Eliz. c. 1. (because "the same law, being penal, ought to be taken and expounded strictly according to the words thereof, and the like offences, not by any equity to receive the like punishment or pains,") the same species of offence is therefore described in other more general words; viz. impairing, diminishing, falsifying, scaling, and lightening; and made liable to the same penalties. By statute 8 & 9 W. III. c. 26. made perpetual by 7 Ann. c. 25. whoever, without proper authority, shall knowingly make or mend, or assist in so doing, or shall buy, sell, conceal, hide, or knowingly have in his possession, any implements of coinage specified in the act, or other tools or instruments proper only for the coinage of money; or shall convey the same out of the king's mint; he, together with his counsellors, procurers, aiders, and abettors, shall be guilty of high treason: which

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(7) By 37 G. III. c. 126. s. 2. counterfeiting foreign gold or silver coin, not current within this realm, is made felony, and punished with transportation for seven years; bringing it into the realm to pass it, with transportation for any term not exceeding seven years; tendering in payment such counterfeit coin, for the first offence six months' imprisonment, for the second offence two years' imprisonment, and for the third offence felony, without benefit of clergy: and no person shall have in his custody more than five pieces of such counterfeit foreign coin, under the penalty of forty shillings for every piece. VOL. IV.-PART I.


is by much the severest branch of the coinage law. The statute goes on farther, and enacts, that to mark any coin on the edges with letters, or otherwise, in imitation of those used in the mint; or to colour, gild, or case over any coin resembling the current coin, or even round blanks of base metal; shall be construed high treason. But all prosecutions on this act are to be commenced within three months after the commission of the offence: except those for making or amending any coining tool or instrument, or for making money round the edges; which are directed to be commenced within six months after the offence committed. And, lastly, by statute 15 & 16 Geo. II. c. 28. if any person colours or alters any shilling or sixpence, either lawful or counterfeit, to make them respectively resemble a guinea or half-guinea; or any halfpenny or farthing to make them respectively resemble a shilling or sixpence; this is also high treason: but the offender shall be pardoned, in case, being out of prison, he discovers and convicts two other offenders of the same kind.

3. The other new species of high treason is such as is created for the security of the protestant succession over and above such treasons against the king and government as were comprized under the statute 25 Edw. III. For this purpose, after the act of settlement was made, for transferring the crown to the illustrious house of Hanover, it was enacted by statute 13 & 14 W. III. c. 3. that the pretended prince of Wales, who was then thirteen years of age, and had assumed the title of king James III. should be attainted of high treason; and it was made high treason for any of the king's subjects, by letters, messages. or otherwise, to hold correspondence with him, or any person employed by him, or to remit any money for his use, knowing the same to be for his service. And by statute 17 Geo. Il. c. 39. it is enacted, that if any of the sons of the pretender shall land or attempt to land in this kingdom, or be found in Great Britain, or Ireland, or any of the dominions belonging to the same, he shall be judged attainted of high treason, and suffer the pains thereof. And to correspond with them, or to remit money for their use, is made high treason in the same manner as it was to correspond with the father. By the statute 1 Ann. st. 2.

f Stat. 7 Ann. c. 25.

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