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provision that the enactment shall not apply to any meeting for the election of members of Parliament, or to persons attending upon the business of either house of Parliament, or any of the said courts.
The twenty-fourth section recites, that divers societies and 57 Geo. 3.c. clubs had been instituted in the metropolis, and in various parts of 19. s. 24. rethe kingdom, of a dangerous nature and tendency, inconsistent ing societies with the public tranquillity and the existence of the established taking unlawgovernment, laws, and constitution, of the kingdom; and that the ful oaths, &c. members of many such societies or clubs had taken unlawful committees, oaths and engagements of fidelity and secrecy, and had taken or delegates, &c. subscribed or assented to illegal tests and declarations; and that many of these societies or clubs appointed or employed committees, delegates, &c. to confer or correspond with other societies or clubs, and to induce other persons to become members; and by such means maintained an influence over large bodies of men,
and deluded many ignorant and unwary persons into the commission of acts highly criminal : and recites also, that certain societies or clubs, calling themselves Spenceans, or Spencean Philanthropists, And also conprofessed for their object the confiscation and division of the land, cerning Spen
cean societies and the extinction of the funded property of the kingdom; and or clubs, &c. that it was expedient and necessary that they should be utterly suppressed and prohibited as unlawful combinations and confede racies highly dangerous to the peace and tranquillity of the kingdom, and to the constitution of its government. And then it enacts, “ That all societies or clubs calling themselves Spenceans, And the Spen“ or Spencean Philanthropists, and all other societies or clubs, by
or clubs, &c. “ whatever name or description the same are called or known, are suppressed “ who hold and profess, or who shall hold and profess, the same and prohibited
objects and doctrines, shall be, and the same are hereby utterly combinations suppressed and prohibited, as being unlawful combinations und and confede
confederacies against the government of our sovereign lord the racies. “king, and against the peace and security of bis Majesty's liege “ subjects."
The twenty-fifth section enacts, “ That all and every the said 57 Geo. 3. c. “ societies or clubs, and also all and every other society or club
cieties taking “now established, or hereafter to be established, the members unlawful oatlis, “ whereof shall be required or admitted to take any oath or en- &c. or eiecting gagement which shall be an unlawful engagement within the
delegates, &c. meaning of the 37 Geo. 3. c. 123. (vl) or within the meaning of to be deemed “ the 52 Geo. 3. c. 104. (e) or to take any
oath not required or “ authorized by law; and every society or club, the members “ whereof, or any of them, shall take or in any manner bind them“ selves by any such oath or engagement, on becoming, or in order “to become, or in consequence of being a member or members of “ such society or club; and every society or club, the members or
any member whereof shall be required or admitted to take, sub“ scribe, or assent to, or shall take, subscribe, or assent to, any “ test or declaration not required or authorized by law, in what
ever manner or form such taking or assenting shall be performed, “whether by words, signs, or otherwise, either on becoming or in “order to become, or in consequence of being a member or mem(d) Ante, 129.
() Ante, 130.
19. s. 25. So
unlawful combinations and confederacies.
“bers of any such society or club; and every society or club that “ shall elect, appoint, nominate, or employ any committee, dele“gate or delegates, representative or representatives, missionary
or missionaries, to meet, confer, or communicate with any other “ society or club, or with any committee, delegate or delegates, “ representative or representatives, missionary or missionaries, of “ such other society or club, or to induce or persuade any person
or persons to become members thereof, shall be deemed and “ taken to be unlawful combinations and confederacies, within the “ meaning of the 39 Geo. 3. c. 79. (f) and shall and may be pro
secuted, proceeded against, and punished, according to the pro“visions of the said act; and every person who, from and after “ the passing of this act, shall become a member of any such
society or club, or who, after the passing of this act, shall act as
a member thereof, and every person who, from and after the “passing of this act, shall directly or indirectly maintain corre“spondence or intercourse with any such society or club, or with
any committee or delegate, represertative or missionary, or with
any officer or member thereof, as such, or who shall, by contri“ buiion of money, or otherwise, aid, abet, or support, such society “or club, or any members or officers thereof, as such, shall be " deemed guilty of an unlawful combination and confederacy “ within the intent and meaning of the said 39 Geo. 3. c. 79. and “shall and may be proceeded against, prosecuted, and punished, “ according to the provisions of the said act, with regard to the “prosecution and punishment of unlawful combinations and con
“ federacies.” (8) 57 G. 3. c. 19.
Nothing contained in this act is to extend to lodges of Frees. 26. The masons, complying with the regulations of the 39 Geo. 3. c. 79; (1)
nor to any declaration approved and subscribed by two or more lodges of
justices of the peace, and confirmed by the major part of the jusFreemasons; tices at a general session, or at a general quarter sessions of the
peace, pursuant to the regulations in the said act of the 39 Geo. 3. proved by jus- c. 79.;(*) nor to meetings of Quakers; nor to any meeting or tices; nor to society for purposes of a religious or charitable nature only, and in meetings or
which no other matter or business shall be discussed. (k) societies for charitable purposes. S. 28. Offence Any person knowingly permitting any meeting of any society, or of persons permitting
club, declared by this act to be an unlawful coinbination or conunlawful federacy, or of any division or committee of such society or club, meetings. to be held in any place belonging to him, or in his possession or
occupation, is made liable, for the first offence, to a forfeiture of. five pounds; and for any offence committed after the conviction
for such first offence is to be deemed guilty of an unlawful combiS. 29. Li- nation and confederacy in breach of this act. (1) And two jus
tices, upon evidence on oath that any such meeting, or any meethouses where they are held to ing for any seditious purpose, has been held at any house, &c. be forfeited. licensed for the sale of liquors, with the knowledge and consent.
act is not to extend to
nor to decla
(f) Ante, 257, et seq.
(k) 57 Geo. 3. c. 19. s. 26.
(1) Id. s. 28. Section, 13 of the 39 Gco. 3. c. 79. is nearly similar.
of the person keeping such house, &c. may adjudge the licence to be forfeited. (m)
The thirtieth and three following sections of the act relate to s. 30, 31, 32, the recovery of the pecuniary penalties, which may be incurred 33. Recovery under the act, their application, and the limitation of actions of penalties
and limitation against justices, &c. for any thing done in pursuance of the act. of actions. Penalties exceeding 201. may be recovered by action of debt; and those not exceeding 201. may be recovered before a justice in a summary way,
The thirty-fifth section enacts that nothing contained in the By s. 35. the act shall be deemed to take away, or abridge, any provision already act is not to made by the law of the realm, for the suppression or punishment of
provisions any offence described in the act. And by the thirty-sixth section made by law : it is provided, that no person shall be prosecuted under the act, and by s. 36. for having Leen a member of any illegal society, if such person rate against shall not have acted as a member, after the passing of the act; but persons not that the act shall not extend to prevent any prosecution, by indict- having acted as ment or otherwise, for any thing which shall be an offence within the passing of the act, and which might have been so prosecuted, if the act had the act. not been made.
The thirty-sixth section also provides that no person prosecuted And by s. 36. and convicted, or acquitted, of any offence against the act, shall persons probe liable to be again prosecuted for the same offence.
to be again
prosecuted for the same offence. The thirty-seventh section contains a provision, that where any S. 37. empowproceeding or prosecution shall be instituted for any offence against ney-General or the 39 Geo. 3. c. 79. or this act, either by action or information, Lord Advocate before any justice or justices, or otherwise, the attorney-general to stay proin England, or the lord advocate in Scotland, may order them to ceedings in be stayed; and, in case of any judgment or conviction, one of his and a secretary Majesty's principal secretaries of state may, by an order under his of state to stay hand, stay the execution of such judgment or conviction, or miti- exccution, or
to mitigate gate, or remit, any fine or forfeiture, or any part thereof.
the forfeiture. The act does not extend to Ireland. And it was enacted, that it might be repealed, or in any manner altered, during the session. (n)
As to Ireland the Irish act, 33 Geo. 3. c. 29. and a late statute, Unlawful socie4 Geo. 4. c. 87. declares certain societies, clubs, &c. in that coun- ties in Ireland. try, to be unlawful assemblies, combinations, and confederacies; makes the members guilty of an unlawful combination and confederacy, and provides for the suppression of the societies and the punishment of the members. And a more recent statute, 6 Geo. 4. c. 4. was passed to amend the former acts relating to unlawful assemblies in Ireland: but it is to continue in force only for two years from the passing of the act, and until the end of the then next session of Parliament. (c)
Several statutes have lately been passed for the purpose of regu- of places used lating places used for delivering lectures, and holding debates : for lectures
and debates. (m) Id. s. 29. Section 14 of the 39 “son keeping such house, &c.” Geo. 3. c. 79. is similar, except that it (n) S. 39, 40. does not contain the words “ with the (a) S. 12. "knowledge and consent of the per
&c. to be
but the enactments contained in them are for the most part of
limited duration. 36 G.3. c. 8.
Many of the sections of the 36 Geo. 3. c. 8. were intended to remedy' the evil occasioned by persons who, under pretence of delivering lectures and discourses on public grievances, delivered lectures and discourses, and held debates, tending to stir up hatred and contempt of the king's person and government, and of the constitution : but this statute was limited to a duration of three
years from the passing of the act, and until the end of the then 39 G. 3. c. 79.
next session of Parliament. (0) It is referred to in the 39 Geo. 3. s. 15. Places of lecturing,
c. 79. s. 15. which, reciting that divers places had been used for debating, or lectures or debates, which were not within the former act, but reading, for
which lectures or debates had in instances been of a seditious the purpose of
many raising money,
and immoral nature, and that other places had been used for sedi
tious and immoral purposes, under the pretence of being places of deemed disor
meeting for the purpose of reading books, pamphlets, newspapers, derly, unless previously or other publications, enacts, that every house, room, field, or licensed.
other place at or in which any lecture or discourse shall be publicly delivered, or any public debate shall be had on any subject whatever, for the purpose of raising cr collecting money, or any other valuable thing, from the persons admitted; or to which any person shall be adınitted by payment of money, or by any ticket or token of any kind, delivered in consideration of money or other valuable thing, or in consequence of paying or giving, or baving paid or given, or having agreed to pay or give, in any manner, any money or other valuable thing; or wliere any money or other valuable thing shall be received from any person admitted, either under pretence of paying for any refreshment, or other thing, or under any other pretence, or for any other cause, or by means of any device or contrivance whatever; and every house, &c. which shall be opened or used as a place of meeting, for the purpose of reading books, pamphlets, newspapers, or other publications, and to which any person shall be admitted by payment of money, or by any ticket, &c. (as before) shall be deemed a disorderly house or place, within the said act of 36 Geo. 3. unless the same shall have been previously licensed in the manner afterwards mentioned in the act. And the persons by whom such house, &c. shall be opened or used, are to forfeit 1001. for every time of opening or using, and be otherwise punished as the law directs in cases of disorderly houses; and every person conducting the proceedings, debating, or furnishing books, &c.; and also every person giving or receiving money, &c. in respect of the admission to any such house, &c., or delivering out, or receiving, any tickets or tokens, knowing such house, &c. to be opened or used for any such purpose, is, for every such offence, to forfeit twenty pounds.
It is further enacted, that any person appearing as master, or as 8:16. Who are having the management of any such house, &c. shall be deemed to sons opening
be a person by whom the same is opened, or used, and liable to be houses, &c. sued or prosecuted, though not the real owner or occupier. (P) S. 17. Jus- A power is also given to any justice who shall, by information
(0) The date of the act is the 18 () 39 Gco. 3. c. 79. s. 16. December, 1795.
39 G. 3. c. 79.
upon oath, have reason to suspect that any house, &e. is opened or tices by inused for lectures, debates, reading, &c. contrary to the act, to go
formation on to such house, &c. and demand to be adınitted; and, in case of ad- oath, suspect mittance being refused, such house, &c. is to be deemed a disorderly to be opened house or place within this act, and the said act of the 36 Geo. 3. for lectures, and the provisions in both the acts are to be applied to such house, mand admit&c. where such admittance shall have been so refused; and every tance; and if person refusing is to forfeit twenty pounds. (9)
place is to be deemed disorderly, and the persons refusing to forfeit 2016 The eighteenth section of the act relates to the licensing any S. 18. et sequ. place for lecturing, or reading, by two or more justices at their as to licences general sessions, or at a special session held for the purpose ; but &c. and the gives a power to the justices at any general sessions to revoke such power of juslicence. And any justice may demand admittance to any licensed tices to de place; and, in case of refusal, such place is to be deemed, notwith- tance to places standing the licence, a disorderly house or place, within the act; licensed; and and every person refusing such admittance is to forfeit twenty of licences pounds. (r) It is also provided, that any two justices upon evidence, or oath, that any licensed place is commonly used for lectures or discourses of a seditious or immoral tendency, or that books, &c. of a seditious or immoral nature are there commonly kept, and delivered to be read, may declare the licence to have been forfeited. (s) Every house, &c. licensed for the sale of ale, or liquors, is to be deemed licensed for reading within the act : but two or more justices on evidence, on oath, that seditious or immoral publications are usually distributed there for the purpose of being read, may declare the licence for selling ale, or liquors, to have been forfeited. (1)
The act is not to extend to lectures delivered in the universities The act is not by members, &c. or to lectures delivered in the hall of
to extend to inns of court by persons authorized; and payments to school- certain places. masters are not to be deemed payments for admission to lectures within the act. (u) And prosecutions for any penalty imposed by Prosecutions the act are to be commenced within three months after it shall liinited. have been incurred. (w)
The statute 13 Car. 2. c. 5. reciting the mischiefs of tumultuous 13 Car. 2. st. petitioning, enacts, that no person shall solicit or procure the get-...c.5. as to
tumultuous ting of hands or other consent of any persons above the number of petitioning twenty, to any petition, &c. to the king or the houses of Parliament, for alteration of matters established by law in church or state, unless the matter thereof shall have been first consented unto and ordered by three justices, or by the major part of the grand jury of the county, &c. at the assizes or quarter sessions; or, in London, by the lord mayor, aldermen, and common council: and that no person shall repair to his Majesty or the houses of Parliament, upon pretence of presenting or delivering any petition, &c. accompanied with excessive number of people, nor at any one time with above the number of ten persons; upon pain of incurring a penalty not exceeding one hundred pounds, and three