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conspiracy to charge an innocent person with an offence, whether temporal or spiritual, is an indictable offence (1). Best's case, 2 Lord Raym. 1167 ; 1 Salk. 174'; 2 Russell, 555. And it is no justification of such a conspiracy that the indictment was defective, or that the court had no jurisdiction, or that the parties only intended to give their testimony in a due course of law, for the criminal intention was ihe same. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 72, s. 3, 4. Where the charge was for conspiring falsely to indict a person for the purpose of extorting money, and the jury found the defendants guilty of conspiring to prefer an indictment for the purpose of extorting money (without saying falsely,) it was held sufficient, it being a misdemeanor, whether the charge was true or not. Hollingberry's case, 4 B. and C. 329 (a). Although several persons may not combine together [ *366 ] to prosecute an innocent person, yet they may meet together *and consult to prosecute a guilty person, or one against whom there is probable ground of suspicion. Hawk. P.C. b. 1, c. 72, s.7; 2 Russell, 556. And no one is liable to any prosecution in respect of any verdict given by him in a criminal matter, either upon a grand or petit jury. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 72, s. 5.
Proof of nature of conspiracy—to pervert the course of justice.] Any combination to obstruct, pervert, or defeat the course of public justice, is punishable as a conspiracy. Thus, a conspiracy to dissuade witnesses from giving evidence, is punishable, Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 21, s. 15 ; see Bushell v. Barret, Ry, and M. N. P. C. 434 (6); or to tamper with jurors. 1 Saund. 300; Joliffe's case, 4 T. R. 285. So where several persons conspired to procure others to rob one of them, in order, by convicting the robber, to obtain the rewards then given by statute in such case, and the party who accordingly committed the robbery was afterwards convicted, and actually executed, these persons were indicted for the conspiracy and convicted. Macdaniel's case, 1 Leach, 45; Fost. 130. So a conspiracy, by justices of the peace, to pervert the course of justice by producing a false certificate of a high road being in repair, is punishable. Mawbey's case, 6 T. R. 619. A conspiracy to prevent a prosecution for felony, is as much an offence as a conspiracy to institute a false prosecution. Per Ld. Eldon, Claridge v. Hoare, 14 Ves. 65.
Proof of nature of conspiracy-conspiracies relating to the public funds, &c.] The conspiring by false rumors to raise the price of the public funds on a particular day, with intent to injure purchasers, has been held to be an indictable offence, and also that the indictment is good, without specifying the particular persons who purchased, or the persons intended to be injured. It was also held, that the public government funds of this kingdom inight mean either British or Irish funds. De Berenger's case, 3 M. and S. 67. Bayley, J., said, that to constitute this an offence, it was not necessary that it should be prejudicial to the public in its aggregate capacity, or to all the king's subjects; but that it was sufficient if it were prejudicial to a class of the subjects. Id. 75. See Crowther v. Hopwood, 3 Stark. N. P. C. 21 (c); 2 Dod. Ad. Rep. 174. So a conspiracy to impoverish the farmers of the excise was held indictable ; for it
(1) Comm. v. Tibbetts and al., 2 Mass. 536.
tended to prejudice the revenue of the crown. Starling's case, 1 Sid. 174; 2 Russell, 559. So a conspiracy to obtain money, by procuring from the lords of the treasury the appointment of a person to an office in the customs, was ruled by Lord Ellenborough to be a misdemeanor. Pollman's case, 2 Campb. 229.
Proof of nature of conspiracy-to create a riot-cause mutiny, &c.]. A conspiracy to commit a riot is indictable. 2 Russell, 560; 2 Chitty, C. L. 506. (n.) So if a body of persons go to a theatre with the settled intention of hissing an actor or damning a piece, such a deliberate and preconcerted scheme would amount to a *conspiracy: Per Lord [ *367 ] Ellenborough, Clifford v. Brandon, 2 Campb. 369; 6 T. R. 628. bination amongst officers of the East India Company to resign their commissions, with a view to force the company to make them an additional allowance, is indictable, as tending to excite insurrection, and a resignation made under such circumstances is not a determination of the service. Vertue v. Lord Clive, 4 Burr. 2472.
Proof of nature of conspiracy—against morality and public decency.] A combination to do any act contrary to morality or public decency is a punishable misdemeanor, as a conspiracy to seduce a young woman. Lord Grey's case, 3 St. Tr, 519: 1 East, P. C. 460. So a conspiracy to take away a young woman, an heiress, from the custody of her friends, for the parpose of marrying her to one of the conspirators. Wakefield's case, (Murray's ed.) 2 Deac. Ab. C. L. 4. A conspiracy to prevent the burial of a corpse, though for the purposes of dissection, has been held to be an indictable offence. Young's case, cited 2 T. R. 734; 2 Chit. C. L. 36. Vide post, title, Dead Bodies.
Proof of nature of conspiracy—to marry paupers.) The conspiracy by sinister means to marry a pauper of one parish to a settled inhabitant of another, is an indictable offence. Tarrant's case, 4 Burr. 2106 ; Herbert's case, 1 East, P. C. 461; Compton's case, Cald. 256. Where the marriage is by consent of the parties, although money has been given to one of them by the overseers to procure it, it is not an indictable offence.
In such a case, Buller, J., directed an acquittal, holding it necessary, in support of such an indictment, to show that the defendant had made use of some violence, threat, or contrivance, or used some sinister means to procure the marriage, without the voluntary consent or inclination of the parties themselves; that the act of marriage, being in itself lawful, a conspiracy to procure it could only amount to a crime by the practice of some undue means; and this he said had been several times ruled by different judges. Fowler's case, 1 East, P. C. 461 ; and the same has been determined in a re
Seward's case, 1 Ad. and Ell. 706 (a), 3 Nev. and M. 557. Where it is stated to have been by threats and menaces, it is not necessary to aver that the marriage was had against the consent of the parties, though that fact must be proved. Parkhouse's case, 1 East, P. C. 462.
A conspiracy to exonerate a parish from the prospective burthen of maintaining a pauper not at the time actually chargeable, and to throw the burthen upon another parish, by means not in themselves unlawful, is
(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxviii. 185.
not an indictable offence. Seward's case, 3 N. and M. 557 : 1 Ad. and Ell. 706.
Proof of nature of conspiracy-affecting trade—to defraud the public, &c.] A conspiracy to impoverish A. B. a tailor, and to prevent him by indirect means from carrying on his trade, has been held to be indictable. | *368 ] Eccles's case, i Leach, 274; 3 Dougl. 337 (a). *This offence was considered by Lord Ellenborough to be a conspiracy in restraint of trade, and so far a conspiracy to do an unlawful act affecting the public. Turner's case, 13 East, 228. Though persons, in possession of articles of trade, may sell them at such prices as they individually may please, yet if they confederate, and agree not to sell them under certain prices, it is a conspiracy. Per Lord Mansfield, Eccles's case, 1 Leach, 276. Where, in an action for libel, it appeared that certain brokers were in the habit of agreeing together to attend sales by auction, and that one of them only should bid for any particular article, and that after the sale there should be a meeting, consisting of themselves only, at another place, to put up to sale among themselves, at a fair price, the goods that each had bought at the auction, and that the difference, between the price at which the goods were bought at the auction and the fair price at this private re-sale, should be shared amongst them, Gurney, B., said, “ Owners of goods have a right to expect at an auction that there will be an open competition from the public; and if a knot of men go to an auction, upon an agreement amongst themselves of the kind that has been described, they are guilty of an indictable offence, and may be tried for a conspiracy." Levi v. Levi, 6 C. and P. 240 (b).
A conspiracy to raise money by means of a bill importing to be a country bank bill, where there is no such bank, and none of the parties are of ability to pay the bill, is indictable. Anon. Pasch. 1782, Bayley's MSS. Vide post, 370 (1).
Proof of nature of conspiracies--of workmen to raise wages, &c.] Though every man may work at what price he pleases, yet a combination not to work under certain prices is an indictable offence. Per Lord Mansfield, Eccles's case, 1 Leach, 276. So a combination by workmen, to prevent the workmen employed by certain persons from continuing to work in their employ, and to compel the masters to discharge those workmen, is a conspiracy, and punishable as such. Bykerdike's case, 1 Moody and Rob. 179. So a conspiracy by workmen to prevent their masters from taking any apprentices; and it is no variance upon such an indictment, if it appears that the conspiracy was to prevent the masters from taking more than a certain number they then had. Ferguson's case, 2 Stark. N. P. C. 489 (c). If the masters of workmen combine together to lower the rate
(1) A conspiracy to manufacture a base material in the form and color of genuine indigo, with intent to sell it as genuine, is indictable. Comm. v. Judd & al., 2 Mass. 329. s. C. 2 Wheeler's C. C. 293. So a conspiracy in falsely pretending they were about to enter on business, whereby they obtained goods on credit, when the intention was to procure the goods, sell them at an under price and leave the commonwealth, is indictable. Comm. o. Ward, 2 Mass. 473. But it has been held not an indictable offence for several persons to conspire to obtain money from a bank, by drawing their checks on the bank when they have no funds there. State o. Rickie, 4 Halst. 223.
(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxvi. 131. (b) Id. xxv. 377. (©) Id. iii. 443.
of wages, they also are liable to be punished for a conspiracy. See Hammond's case, 2 Esp. N. P. C. 720 (1).
Formerly various statutes existed for repressing the practice of combination amongst workmen ; but these were repealed by the 5 Geo. 4, c. 95, and other provisions substituted. The latter statuie, however, being found ineffectual for the purposes intended, it was repealed by the 6 Geo. 4, c. 129, s. I, which continues the repeal of the former statutes, and enacts the following provisions with regard to the combination of work
By s. 3, “if any person shall, by violence to the person or property, or by threats or intimidation, or by molesting, or in any way *ob- [ *369 ) structing another, force, or endeavor to force, any journeyman, manufacturer, workman, or other person hired, or employed in any manufacture, trade, or business, to depart from his hiring, employment, or work, or to return his work before the same shall be finished ; or prevent, or endeavor to prevent, any journeyman, manufacturer, workman, or other person not being hired or employed, from hiring himself to, or from accepting work or employment from any person or persons ; or if any person shall use or employ violence to the person or property of another, or threats, or intimidation, or shall molest or in any way obstruct another, for the purpose of forcing or inducing such person to belong to any club or association, or to contribute to any common fund, or to pay any fine. or penalty, or on account of his not belonging to any particular club or association, or not having contributed, or having refused to contribute to any common fund, or to pay any fine or penalty, or on account of his not having complied, or of his refusing to comply, with any rules, orders, resolutions, or regulations, made to obtain an advance or to reduce the rate of wages, or to lessen or alter the hours of working, or to decrease or alter the quantity of work, or to regulate the mode of carrying on any manufacture, trade, or business, or the management thereof; or if any person shall, by violence to the person or property of another, or by threats or intimidation, or by molesting, or in any way obstructing another, force, or endeavor to force, any manufacturer or person carrying on any trade of business, to make any alteration in his mode of regulating, managing, conducting, or carrying on such manufacture, trade, or business, or to limit the number of his apprentices, or the number or description of his journeyınen, workmen, or servants; every person so offending, or aiding, abetting, or assisting, therein, being convicted thereof, in manner hereinafter mentioned, shall be imprisoned only, or shall and may be imprisoned and kept to hard labor, for any time not exceeding three calendar months.”
The fourth section enacts, “ that this act shall not extend to subject any persons to punishment, who shall meet together for the sole purpose of consulting upon and determining the rate of wages or prices, which the persons present at such meeting, or any of them, shall require or demand for his or their work, or the hours or time for which he or they shall work in any manufacture, trade, or business, or who shall enter into any agreement, verbal, or written, ainong themselves, for the purpose of fixing the
(1) Every association is criminal, whose object it is to raise or depress the price of labor, beyond what it would bring were it left without artificial excitement. Comm. o. Carlisle, i Journal of Jurisp. 225. See The Trials of the Journeymen Cordwainers, Philadelphia, 1806 New York, 1810—Pittsburg, 1816. Pamphlets.
rate of wages or prices which the parties entering into such agreement, or any of them, shall require or demand for bis or their work, or the hours of time for which he or they will work, in any manufacture, trade, or business; and that persons so meeting for the purposes aforesaid, or entering into such agreement as aforesaid, shall not be liable to any prosecution, &c."
The fifth section provides and enacts, “that this act shall not extend to subject any persons to punishment, who shall meet together for the sole purpose of consulting upon and determining the rate of wages or prices
*370) which the persons present at such meeting, *or any of them, shall pay to his or their journeymen, workmen, or servants, for their work, or the hours of the time of working in any manufacture, trade, or business ; or who shall enter into any agreement, verbal or written, among themselves, for the purpose of fixing the rate of wages or prices, which the parties entering into such agreement, or any of them, shall pay to his or their journeymen, workmen, or servants, for their work, or the hours or time of working, in any manufacture, trade, or business; and that persons so meeting for the purposes aforesaid, or entering into any such agreement as aforesaid, shall not be liable to any prosecution,” &c.
The statute also provides, that offenders shall be obliged to give evidence, and shall be indemnified.
Proof of nature of conspiracy—to extort money from individuals.] A conspiracy to extort money from an individual is punishable, as conspiring to charge him with being the father of a bastard child. Kimberty's case, i Lev. 62, vide ante, p. 343. And it is an indictable offence, even without an intent to extort money, for at all events it is a conspiracy to charge a man with fornication. Best's case, 2 Lord Raym. 1167. See also Hollingberry's case, 4 B. and C. 329 (a), ante, p. 365.
Proof of nature of conspiracy-to defraud individuals.) Frauds practised by swindlers upon individuals, may sometimes be indictable as conspiracies. 2 Russell, 561. As where three persons conspired, that one should write his acceptance on a pretended bill of exchange, in order that the second might, by means of his acceptance, and of the indorsement of the third, negotiate it as a good bill, and thereby procure goods from the prosecutor. Hevey's case, 2 East, P. C. 858. (n.) So an indictment may be maintained for a conspiracy by the defendants, to cause themselves to be believed persons of considerable property, for the purpose of defrauding a tradesman. Robert's case, 1 Campb. 399. If a man and a woman marry, the man in the name of another, for the purpose of raising a spurious title to the estate of the person whose name is assumed, it is indictable as a conspiracy, and in such case it was held not to be necessary to show an immediate injury, but that it was for the jury to say, whether the parties did not intend a future injury. Robinson's case, 1 Leach, 37, 2 East, P. C. 1010. The following case has generally been regarded as that of a conspiracy to defraud an individual. The indictment charged, that the defendants, M. and F., falsely intending to defraud T.C. of divers goods, together deceitfully bargained with him to barter, sell, and exchange a certain quantity of pretended wine as good and true new
(a) Eng. Com. Law Rep. x. 346.