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same time, to contribute to the pauper's support, by a joint, or by several orders. (1)
But a relation of sufficient ability may be ordered to contribute to the support of several children in one family by the same order. (2)
This order may be made as well on the application of On whose ap
plication. the indigent person as of the parish officers : and when a sum is directed to be paid weekly, it is due at the commencement of the week. (3)
The 43 Eliz. enacts a specific penalty of 20s. a month Punishment, for disobedience to the order; which was, doubtless,
43 Eliz. more than sufficient to maintain a poor person at the time when that statute passed. But it has been since held, that By indictment. notwithstanding the statute inflicts a particular punishment, and prescribes a specific method to recover the penalty, the party may be indicted at common law for disobeying the order.
Of the Remedy against illegal Orders upon Relations.
As the power to make these orders is vested exclusively No appeal. in the quarter sessions by statute, there can be no appeal to that jurisdiction. The chief remedy, therefore, is by removing the order into the court of king's bench, which, unless a case is stated, can only quash for such defects as appears upon the face of it.
(1) It seems, from the wording of 43 Eliz. c.2. s. 7., as if the relations enumerated were all liable.
(2) See Rex o. Robinson, Burr. Rep. 799. Rex v. Commins, 5 Mod.
If, however, the magistrates have exceeded their authority in making the order, the party may refuse obedience; for, if illegally made, that is a good defence against an indictment for disobeying it; and if the penalty given by the 43 Eliz. is sought to be recovered, in such a case the defendant may contest it by bringing an action for the illegal distress.
Of compelling Parents to maintain their Family. (1)
It has been already shown that an order cannot be made No order unupon a husband, directing him to maintain his wife, under der 43 Eliz.c.2. 43 Eliz. c. 2. (2)
to maintain his wife.
The legislature has enacted more severe penalties against those who desert their families, by the following statutes:
By 7 Jac. I. c. 4. s. 8. people able to labour, running away 7 Jac.I. c.4.s.8. out of their parish, and leaving their families upon the pa- ning away and rish, shall be taken and deemed incorrigible rogues. And leaving their
children if they threaten to run away, and leave their families as
chargeable, aforesaid, the same being proved by two sufficient witnesses deemed incorupon oath, before two justices of peace, the persons so rigible rogues. threatening shall, by the said two justices of peace, be sent Threatening to the house of correction (unless he or she can put in suf- to run away to ficient suretiès for the discharge of the parish), there to be sturdy wanderdealt with, and detained as a sturdy and wandering rogue, ing rogues. and to be delivered at the said assembly or meeting, or at the quarter sessions, and not otherwise.
But the statute only inflicted personal punishment upon those who deserted their families. It became necessary, therefore, to provide a further remedy for this inconvenience, and devise some method for maintaining the deserted families out of that substance which the fugitive has left behind.
(1) As to the compelling Catholic or Jewish parents to maintan their Protestant children, see ante, chap. XXX. sect. 1.
(2) Reg. v. Davison, ante, 232. (8). An order may be made upon a father, to maintain his child, by the express words of 43 Eliz. c. 2.; but quære, if this can be until after it has ceased to be part of his family?
5 Geo. I. c.8. This was accomplished by 5 Geo. I. c.8. s. 1. The church
wardens, or overseers of the poor of a parish or place, by warrant of where any wife, or child, or children, shall be left chargemay seize the able, may, by warrant from any two justices, seize so much offender's of the goods and chattels, and receive so much of the goods, &c.;
annual rents and profits of the lands and tenements of such husband, father, or mother, as such two justices shall order,
for or towards the discharge of such parish or place, for and by order the bringing up and providing for the same; which warof quarter sessions, dispose
rant or order being confirmed at the next quarter sessions, thereof. they, the justices of such quarter sessions, may make an
order for the churchwardens or overseers for the poor of such parish or place, to dispose of such goods and chattels by' sale, or otherwise, or so much of them, for the purposes aforesaid, as the court shall think fit; and to receive the rents and profits, or so much of them, as shall be ordered by the sessions as aforesaid, of his or her lands and tene ments, for the purposes aforesaid. (1)
A sufficiency only to be taken.
The justices are not authorised by this act to empower the parish officers to seize the entire property of the person who leaves his wife chargeable, when a part will be sufficient to relieve the parish.
Form of order. The original order, therefore, by the two justices, ought
to specify the sum to be raised; because the declared intention of the act is, that so much should be taken as the justices should think fit; meaning, that they should exercise their discretion upon the amount to be taken. This order should also specify how much property is to be seized, and then the order of sessions should state how much of the property seized is to be sold or appropriated. (2)
(1) See also 59 Geo. III. c. 12. sects. 31, 32. empowering two justices to order overseers to receive pensions, and the wages of seamen in the merchants' service, and to apply them to the support of the wives and families of such pensioners and seamen, post, c. 34. s. 1.
(2) Per Lawrence J., Stable v. Dixon, 6 East, 172,
It seems also as if they could not make a prospective Must be retroorder for the family's future maintenance. The language
spective. of the act is, that the goods and chattels, rents and profits, are to be taken for, or towards the discharge of the parish, which imports that it is to relieve the parish from a burthen already incurred, and which is, therefore, capable of being ascertained. (1)
One Stable being possessed of a messuage and farm in Case. the parishes of B. and W. demised them at an annual rent of 18l. 10s., and afterwards quitted his abode in C., leaving his wife chargeable to the parish of C. The overseers of C. applied to two justices of the county, who, in pursuance of the statute, made their warrant or order, &c. whereby, after reciting (in substance) that it appeared to them, “ as well on the complaint, &c. as on due proof, on oath, that the said S. had gone away from his place of abode at C., &c. into some other county or place, and had left D. S. his wife chargeable to the said parish, the place of their last legal settlement, and that the plaintiff had some estate, whereby to ease the said parish of the said charge, in whole or in part, they, the said justices, thereby authorised and commanded them, the churchwardens and overseers, &c. of C. to receive the annual rents and profits of the lands and tenements of the said S. at B., in the parishes of B. and W. in the said county, for and towards the discharge of the said parish of C. for the providing for the wife of the said S., and that, with the said warrant, they, the said churchwardens and overseers, should appear at the next quarter sessions for the county, and certify then and there what they should have done in execution of the said warrant. This order was confirmed by the court at the next quarter sessions, and the court did then and there order the said churchwardens and overseers, 8c. to receive 71. 165. rent, of the rents and profits of the lands and tenements of the said S. at B., in the parishes of B. and W.” The parish officers received
(1) Per Lord Ellenborough C. J., 6 East, 172,