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Yositud HIGH COURT OF ADMIRALTY, naval officer, a post captain, in the Jan. 31.

service of the king of Great BriPrize . Money-Genoa and its

tain. This party, who had been

serving as a British naval officer, Dependencies, il

was transferred to the military sercase was most elaborately vice of the other ståte, argued at the close of the last term federate state, then united with and the commencement {lof the Great Britain sin a struggle against present by Dr. Phillimore and Dr. the common oppressor of Europe. Lushington, on behalf of his ex- It did not appear how this transfer cellency count "Ludolf, the Sicilian was effected. The court did not ambassador, and Dr. Jenner, on think it resulted from any of the the part of the representatives of papers which had been laid before sir Robert Hall, deceased (late a it, that sir post captain in the British návy, to these captures,

overall, previously

had any conand a brigadier-general in the Sici- nection with the Sicilian army, or lian service). The king's advo- with Sicily itself. It was probable cate and Dr. Arnold, appeared for that this was the first time that he Chelsea hospital; against which had been connected with the Sicilian institution the Court was prayed to service by the joint opinions of enforce monition..

the British military commander-inLord Stowell gave judgment to chief in that expedition (lieuteday. The question, which the nant-general lord William BenCourt was called on to decide, arose tinck), and the British admiral from the capture of Genoa, and (now lord viscount Exmouth). It its two dependencies, Spezzia and seemed to have been, also the last Savona, then in the possession of time that he served in his military the French government.

The capacity, so that his connexion capture of these places was effected with the man wice might be by the combined armies and fleets considered have been accidental of the king of Great Britain and and 1 temporary only. At the

or prize, distributed

among the captörs un- ticated fact, that sir Robert had der the grants of the respective been validly transferred to the Sicisovereigns. The immediate ques«lian army: for helwas certified by tion arising out of these transac- the British commissioners for the tions, related to the particular share distribution of the Sicilian prizeof sir. Robert Hall, a person de- money as "a lieutenant-general in scribed as a military officer in the the Sicilian service.". The claim service of the king of the Two now made on his prize-share, wasi Sicilies, and who was likewise a preferred by the Sicilian minister

Vol. LXVIII. *A *

the king of Sicily; and a very same time, the Court was bound

resident at this court. No

ques- or other, and at various times. tion, therefore, could be raised as But it was late in the course of the to the validity of his appointment, last war, before any regulations confor however long or short a period cerning the distribution of prize it might have lasted. A great deal to the forces employed in such conof obscurity had been introduced joint operations was made by parinto this question by various events, liamentary authority. Three acts and particularly by reason of the of that nature were passed in the death of sir Robert Hall. The reign of his late majesty ; and one capture of the booty was made in containing, certainly, very perempthe early part of the year 1814; tory enactments, in the reign of yet the first time, on which the the present king, and apparently present question had been intro- with reference to this very expeduced to the notice of the court, dition which took Genoa and its was on the last court-day of the dependencies; and an order in very last term only; at the close council had also been made, which of 1825, or very nearly 12 years directed that the prize share, or after the matter happened. In that share in the distribution of the that interval, many things had booty captured by the combined occurred that did certainly em- forces on this occasion, that might barrass the question very much. be adjudged to Sicily, should be Sir Robert Hall, who, if he had paid over to the minister Plenipobeen living, would have been able tentiary from the court of the two to come into court himself and Sicilies, residing at this court. Out assert bis own claim, was dead, of this general injunction no reand so were great many other servations were made. The money persons who could have thrown so distributed was to be remitted to much light upon this cause. -It Sicily for the purpose of its being was to be observed, that a very paid over to those who might be scanty provision had been made entitled thereto, according to the by law relative to booty or prize laws and constitutions of that captured by the combined opera- country, and “the directions of tions of a British force, together the sovereign thereof.” with foreign forces. There seem- Now it was upon this state ed to have occurred scarcely any of facts, that the present quesinstance in the earlier

ages

tion came before the court. Sir history, wherein any permanent re

Robert Hall's character as a Sicilian gulations, at least in respect of officer was sufficiently establishsuch cases, had been made. It ed; and being so, there could was very true, that Great Britain be no question but that his must had very often had to maintain be considered as “ Sicilian” contests single-handed. But this share. This share was paid somewas by no means the case with what early and prematurely, but the last struggle for the indepen- by no means imprudently, by way dence of Europe, which was sus- of safe custody, into the treasury tained by the European states ge- of Chelsea Hospital ; though at nerally, against the common op- what time it was

so paid, did pressor. In that contest, Great not appear on the face of these Britain had the concurrence of proceedings. This payment was most of such states, in one shape in itself somewhat irregular. Chel

of our

a

sea Hospital, indeed, was the com- of the same class, that other share mon depository of all unclaimed was held to be divisible as among shares of British military officers; those other officers. By the Engbut this gentleman, sir Robert lish course of prize property, thereHall, was clearly not a “ British fore, an officer thus situated had a military officer ;" he was a British right to take the higher proportion « naval” officer, and a “ Sicilian of the two proportions which the military" officer. Though it had commission might afford, but to remained in the hospital for several that superior share he must conyears, this prize share was to be fine himself. By a common error, considered as not having been paid however, in this casean error in, in the regular way that British common to all the parties this property of such a description rule was not observed. In that would have been, in the usual error it appeared that latterly sir course; namely, under the inten- Robert Hall himself had become tion, that, being unclaimed, it involved; for he himself appeared would, after a certain lapse of time, as a British naval officer, and took become vested in the hospital. For the booty erroneously assigned to as Sicilian property, though un- him in that character. He never claimed, it would not have become came forward as a Sicilian military so vested; nor could any provision officer, which he was most una to the contrary, bearing on foreign doubtedly entitled to do. At least, prize shares, be made, without it did not seem that any applicabeing in some degree discoloured tion was ever made by him in that by injustice. It appeared, that in capacity, and he actually received the Sicilian prize list, made out as a British naval officer. That with perfect accuracy, sir Robert share he decidedly received in Hall was described as a Sicilian error; but with perfect integrity brigadier general, and a large sum on his part, since he never claimed was assigned to him in that cha- the higher share which was due to racter by the agents for the distri- him. Whether he did not consider bution. Unfortunately, it hap- himself entitled as a Sicilian brigapened that in the British naval dier-general, or acted under that prize list, he was likewise entered, common delusion which had opeand described as a naval officer. rated, apparently, on all parties in Now the usual course observed, in this matter, he had never asked for respect of English prize or booty, his military proportion; and by with regard to prize, to “ conjoint that means had come off minus expeditions” of the British and about 500l. (the difference between foreign forces, was this: that an the share he did take, and that English officer holding rank also in which he should have taken). His the foreign service was not en- share as a British naval officer was titled to share in both capacities, something more than 7001. The but in the higher and more profit- share he ought to have drawn as a able of them. The prize due to Sicilian major-general, and that the other office, which the indi- which was now in question, was vidual should appear to have eva- 1291l. so that, in truth, he had cuated, and not to have fulfilled, acted upon an erroneous notion; a but the duties of which he had left notion in which all parties seemed to be performed by other officers to have been involved, and of which

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the fallaciousness added much to larger sum due to him as a Sicilián the obscurity that brooded over the military officer, on account of the whole of the case. But, in this, capture of Genoa ? And here the

Robert Hall had acted in Court must admit, that if it should honest error; not meaning to take turn out that this latter was a good more, less, thout willing to take much claim, the Court was bound by the

what properly belonged order in council, and the acts of to him, in virtue of that station parliament which had been referred to which he had been called by to in argument, to order the money the principal authorities in the to be paid over to the Sicilian am

Sicilian service. These facts had bassador. As to ihe claim which opposed great difficulties to the had been interposed on the part of possibility of the Court finding its the British representatives of sir way to the justice of this case. If Robert Hall, it was very difficult they had not occurred, the course for his lordship to meet it, under of that justice would have been the present state of the case, with very obvious and easy. It would all that attention which was unhave consisted in the Court's order- doubtedly due to those by whom

ing the payment over to sir Robert it had been so advanced. For, if Hall, of the sum now demanded this were Sicilian property, it by the Sicilian ambassador, 1,291.; to be paid over to the Sicilian and in directing sir Robert to repay plenipotentiary; and the Court was on account of the officers who had disposed to think with counsel, that served in this affair as post-captain by his excellency it was to be rein the British navy, the sum which mitted to Sicily, there to be dealt he had wrongfully taken, as a post with according to the rules of her captain himself; a course of pro- service, and the general prize reguceeding with which, had he been lations of that country. Now what living, he would have testified a 'those regulations were with respect ready compliance. Whether the to prize property which had been officers, to whom such post-captain's unclaimed during the life-time of share would then have reverted, the party entitled, the Court could and who discharged those duties not state. Probably such property which he must have so evacuated escheated to the Crown; or being on the occasion whether they so unclaimed during the life-time were now living or dead, did not of such party, was forfeited to the appear, and it was not perhaps very uses of some naval establishment in material for the Court to be ape Sicily, or some charitable instituprized, seeing that the Court could tion in that country, of a nature hardly set the matter right, were similar to that of some charities in they even to appear. For it could this kingdom. The Court had, not order a fresh distribution of perhaps, the less reason to deplore such share at this time of day, its own ignorance on this point; seeing that

that account was seeing that the Court, at all events, closed.

had it not in its power to apply The only question now was, how the money claimed, to the relief in far this apportionment of naval any way of the parties representing prize, which had most incorrectly sir Robert Hall here, on the printaken place as to sir Robert Hall, ciple of British representation. It should destroy his claim to the was specifically directed by the acts'

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of parliament, that monies of this stood, or a paper (the British list)
kind, thus circumstanced, should be which was obviously incorrect, even
paid over to the minister plenipo« independently of the proper prin-
tentiary of the king of the Two ciple adverted to by the Court, on
Sicilies; and the lapse of time which sir Robert Hall's greater
which had intervened in this in- claim on account of these transaca
stance, made no sort of difference tions was founded? His lordship
as to the efficiency of that order. proceeded to show that he must
Neither those acts, nor the order look upon the former as that which
in council, comprised any limitation he ought to keep in view; that the
as to time, and their application acts of parliament, and the order in
was just the same as if the case council, were both clear in their
were of the freshest occurrence. It directions, and peremptory
was the duty of the Court to carry their enactments ; and that his
their enactments into execution as jurisdiction in this matter coma
imperatively and peremptorily at menced and ended with them.
this day and hour, as it would have. Finally, he ordered the whole sum
been at the earliest opportunity of 1,291l. to be paid out of the
which could have presented itself treasury of Chelsea hospital, to the
for acting on such statutes. The Sicilian ambassador, according to
jurisdiction that they created for the injunctions of the statute;
this Court began and closed with adverting to some charges in
the attainment of a particular ob- sinuated in the proceedings against
ject, which was as binding now as' the conduct of the officers of the
it could have been at any former hospital, as if the original applica-
period.

tions of his excellency had been If lapse of time, then, would treated with inattention and disnot affect the application of these respect, the Court said, it must acts, what was to be said as to infer from the entire silence of sir Robert Hall's having received Counsel on the subject, that such a prize share as a naval officer? charges had been entirely abandona Why, the Court was bound to con- ed: and it in truth saw no reason sider that the payment which had to think, that the officers in question been so made to him, was made had done any thing but their duty, altogether in error. He was, in or testified the slightest disregard fact, to take as a Sicilian military or inattention in the business, to officer; and that share was subject the interests of any of the parties to be conveyed to Sicily for distri- concerned. He recommended the bution, or to be dealt with there representatives of sir Robert Hall, according to the will of that sove- to apply to the sovereign of Sicily reign, or the institutions of that through his minister here, who country. As to the authority to be received these monies, in order to respected, at this distance of time, get so much of it as the inclination was the Court to prefer a paper (the or liberality of the royal mind of Sicilian list) which, though neglect- his master might be disposed to ed during a long lapse of time was allow them. The Court could only not reprehensible on any other lament, that it had no power to do account, and which was perfectly more in regard to them, than to accurate and correct as, it now suggest this advice.

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