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whilst she went with County, that he might get the money to pay for them. In her absence Donovan carried them into Middlesex, and County afterwards joined him there, and concurred in securing them. The indictment was against both in Middlesex, and upon a case reserved, the judges were unanimous that as County was present aiding and abetting in Surrey, at the original larceny, his concurrence afterwards in Middlesex, though after an interval, might be connected with the original taking, and brought down his larceny to the subsequent possession in Middlesex. They therefore held the conviction right. County's case, Russell, 175.

The prisoner was tried in Kent for stealing two geldings in that county. The horses were stolen in Sussex. The prisoner was apprehended with them at Croydon in Surrey. The only evidence to support the charge of stealing in Kent was, that when the prisoner was apprehended at Croydon, he said he had been at Dorking to fetch the horses, and that they belonged to his brother who lived at Bromley. The police officer offered to go to Bromley. They took the horses and went as far as Beckenham church, when the prisoner said he had left a parcel at the Black Horse, in some place in Kent. The police officer went thither with him, each riding one of the horses; when they got there the officer gave the horses to the ostler. The prisoner made no inquiry for the parcel, but effected his escape and afterwards was again apprehended in Surrey. The prisoner [ *592 ] was convicted, but sentence was not passed, Gaselee, J., *reserving the question whether there was any evidence to support the indictment in Kent. The judges were unanimously of opinion that there was no evidence to be left to the jury of stealing in Kent and that no judgment ought to be given upon the conviction, but that the prisoner should be removed to Surrey. Simmond's case, 1 Moody, C. C. 408 (a).

The prisoner was indicted for a larceny at common law, for stealing a quantity of lead in Middlesex. It appeared that the lead was stolen from the roof of the church of Iver, in Buckinghamshire. The prisoner being indicted at the Central Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction in Middlesex and not in Buckinghamshire, the judges, (Park, J., Alderson, B., and Patteson, J.,) held that he could not be convicted there on the ground that the original taking not being a larceny, but a felony created by statute, the subsequent possession could not be considered a larceny. Millar's case, 7 C. and P. 665 (b).

See further, title Venue, ante, p. 230.

(a) 2 Eng. C. C. 408. (b) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxxii. 679.

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Blasphemous libels-at common law.] All blasphemies against God, or the Christian religion, or the Holy Scriptures, are indictable at [ #593 ] common law, as are all imposters in religion, such as falsely pretend extraordinary missions from God, or terrify or abuse the people with false denunciations of judgment. In like manner all malicious revilings, in public derogation and contempt of the established religion are punishable at common law, inasmuch as they tend to a breach of the peace. 1 East, P. C. 3; 1 Russell, 217. So it has been held that to write against Christianity in general is clearly an offence at common law, but this rule does not include disputes between learned men on particular controverted points, but only refers to those cases where the very root of Christianity itself is struck at. Woolston's case, Fitzgib. 66, 2 Str. 834.

With regard to the boundary of the rule regulating the discussion of religious topics, it is observed by Mr. Starkie, that a malicious and mischievous intention, or what is equivalent to such an intention, in law, as well as morals, a state of apathy and indifference to the interests of society, is the broad boundary between right and wrong. If it can be collected from the circumstances of the publication, from a display of offensive levity, from contumelious and abusive expressions applied to sacred persons or subjects, that the design of the author was to occasion that mischief to which the matter which he publishes immediately tends, to destroy, or even to weaken men's sense of religious or moral obligations, to insult those who believe, by casting contumelious abuse and ridicule upon their doctrines, or to bring the established religion and form of worship into disgrace and contempt, the offence against society is complete. 2 Starkie on Slander, 147, 2d ed. Upon an indictment alleging that Jesus Christ was an impostor, a murderer in principle, and a fanatic, a juryman inquiring whether a work denying the divinity of our Saviour was a libel; Abbott, C. J., stated that a work speaking of Jesus Christ in the language here used was a libel, and the defendant was found guilty. Upon a motion for a new trial, on the ground that this was a wrong answer to the question put, the Court of King's Bench held the answer correct. Waddington's case, 1 B. and C. 26 (a).

Blasphemous libels-statutes.] By the 1 Ed. 6, c. 1, persons reviling the sacrament of the Lord's supper, are punishable by imprisonment. By

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. viii. 14.

the 1 Eliz. c. 2, ministers and others speaking in derogation of the book of common prayer, are punishable as therein mentioned. See also the 12 Eliz. c. 12; 3 Jac. 1, c. 21, s. 9.

By the 9 & 10 Wm. 4, c. 32, s. 1, "if any person or persons, having been educated in or at any time having made profession of the Christian religion, within this realm, shall by writing, printing, teaching or advised speaking [deny any one of the persons in the Holy Trinity to be God or] shall assert or maintain there are more Gods than one, or shall deny the Christian Religion to be true, or the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be of divine authority, and shall upon an indictment or information in any of his Majesty's Courts at Westminster, or at the assizes, be thereof lawfully convicted by the oath of two or more credi[*594] ble witnessses, *such person or persons for the first offence shall be adjudged incapable and disabled in law, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, to have or enjoy any office or offices, employment or employments, ecclesiastical, civil or military, or any part in them, or any profit or advantage appertaining to them or any of them. And if any person or persons so convicted as aforesaid, shall at the time of his or their conviction, enjoy or possess any office, place or employment, such office, place or employment shall be void, and is hereby declared void. And if such person or persons shall be a second time lawfully convicted as aforesaid, of all or any of the aforesaid crime or crimes, that then he or they shall from thenceforth be disabled to sue, prosecute, plead or use any action or information in any court of law or equity, or to be guardian of any child, or executor or administrator of any person, or capable of any legacy or deed of gift, or to bear any office, civil or military, or benefice or ecclesiastical, for ever within this realin; and shall also suffer imprisonment for the space of three years, without bail or mainprize, from the time of such conviction."

By s. 2, information of such words must be given upon oath before a justice, within four days after such words spoken, and the prosecution of such offence be within three months after such information.

By s. 3, persons convicted, shall for the first offence (upon renunciation of such offence or erroneous opinions in the court, where they were convicted within four months after such conviction) be discharged from all penalties and disabilities incurred by such conviction.

So much of the 1 Wm. 3, c. 18, s. 17, and 9 and 10 Wm. 4, c. 32, as related to persons denying the doctrine of the Trinity, was repealed by the 53 Geo. 3, c. 160. The statute of the 9 & 10 Wm. 3, has been held not to affect the common law offence, being cumulative only. Carlisle's case, 3 B. and A. 161 (a); Waddington's case, 1. B. and C. 26 (b).

Indecent libels.] Although an opinion formerly prevailed, that the publication of an obscene or indecent writing not containing reflections upon any individual, was not an indictable offence. Hawk. P. C. b. 2, c. 73, s. 9, yet a different rule has been since established, and it is now clear that an indictment at common law may be maintained for any offence which is against public morals or decency. Sedley's case, Sid. 168; Wilke's case, 4 Burr. 2530; Holt on Libel, 73, 2d ed. Under this head may be comprehended every species of representation, whether by writing,

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. v. 249. (b) Id. viii. 14.

by painting, or by any manner of sign, or substitute, which is indecent and contrary to public order. Holt, ubi supra. The principle of the cases also seems to include the representation of the obscene plays, an offence which has formed the ground of many prosecutions. 2 Stark. on Slander, 159, 2d ed.; Holt, 73; 1 Russell, 220.

Libels on the government.] The result of the numerous cases respecting *libels on the government, is thus given by Mr. Starkie: "It [*595] is the undoubted right of every member of the community to publish his own opinions on all subjects of public and common interest, and so long as he exercises this inestimable privilege candidly, honestly, and sincerely, with a view to benefit society, he is not amenable as a criminal. This is the plain line of demarcation; where this boundary is overstepped, and the limit abused for wanton gratification or private malice, in aiming a stab at the private character of a minister, under color and pretence of discussing his public conduct, or where either public men or their measures are denounced in terms of obloquy or contumely, under pretence of exposing defects or correcting errors, but in reality for the purpose of impeding or obstructing the administration of public affairs, or of alienating the affections of the people from the king and his government, and by weakening the ties of allegiance and loyalty, to pave the way for sudden and violent changes, sedition, or even revolution; in these and similar instances, where public mischief is the object of the act, and the means used are calculated to effect that object, the publication is noxious and injurious to society, and is therefore criminal." 2 Stark. on Slander, 183, 2d ed. The test with regard to libels of this description proposed by Mr. Starkie, and adopted by another eminent text-writer, is this: "Has the communication a plain tendency to produce public mischief by perverting the mind of the subject and creating a general dissatisfaction towards government?" 1 Russell, 224; see also Lambert's case, 2 Campb. 398; Tuchin's case, Holt, R. 424; 5 St. Tr. 583; Holt on Libel, 88, 89 (1).

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Libels on the administration of justice.] Where a person, either by writing, by publications in print, or by any other means, calumniates the proceedings of a court of justice, the obvious tendency of such an act is to weaken the administration of justice, and consequently to sap the very foundations of the constitution itself. Per Buller, J., Watson's case, 2 T. R. 199. It certainly is lawful, with decency and candor, to discuss the propriety of the verdict of a jury, or the decisions of a judge, but if the writing in question contain no reasoning or discussion, but only declamation and invective, and it is written, not with a view to elucidate the truth, but to injure the character of individuals, and to bring into hatred and contempt the administration of justice, such a publication is punishable. Per Grose, J., White's case, I Campb. 359.

Libels upon individuals.] A libel upon an individual is defined by Hawkins to be a malicious defamation, expressed either in printing or writing, and tending either to blacken the memory of one that is dead, or the reputation of one that is alive, and expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule. Hawk. P. C. b. 2, c. 73, s. 1. Though the words

(1) Resp. v Dennie, 4 Yeates, 267.

impute no punishable crime, yet if they contain that sort of imputation which is calculated to vilify a man and to bring him into hatred, contempt, [*596] and ridicule, an indictment *lies (1). Per Mansfield, C. J., Thorley v. Lord Kerry, 4 Taunt. 364; Digby v. Thompson, 4 B. and Ad. 821 (a). No man has a right to render the person or abilities of another ridiculous, not only in publications, but if the peace and welfare of individuals or of society be interrupted, or even exposed by types or figures, the act by the law of England is a libel (2). Per Lord Ellenborough, Cobbett's case, Holt on Lib. 114, 2d ed. Thus an information was granted against Dr. Smollett for a libel in the Critical Review upon Admiral Knowles, insinuating that he wanted courage and veracity, and tending to cause it to be believed that he was of a conceited, obstinate, and incendiary disposition. Smollett's case, Holt on Lib. 224, (n.) So an information was granted against the printer of a newspaper for a ludicrous paragraph, giving an account of the Earl of Clanricard's marriage. with an actress at Dublin, and of his appearing with her in the boxes with jewels, &c. Kinnersley's case, 1 W. Bl. 294. And for a libel on the Bishop of Durham, contained in a paragraph, which represented him as "a bankrupt." Anon. K. B. Hil. T. 1819; Holt on Lib. 224, (n.) 2d ed. It is extremely difficult to define the boundaries beyond which reflections upon the character of an individual are commonly cognizable. It is said by Mr. Holt, that where there is no imputation on the moral character, no words of ridicule or contempt, and nothing which can affect the party's reception in life, it is no libel, and he illustrates this position by the following case. The alleged libel was this:-"The Rev. John Robinson and Mr. James Robinson, inhabitants of this town, not being persons that the proprietors and annual subscribers think it proper to associate with, are excluded this room." This libel was published in the Cassino room at Southwold, by posting it on a paper. It was held that the paper and mode of promulgating it did not amount to a libel. 1st, Because it did not, by any necessary or probable implication, affect the moral fame of the party. 2dly, That it was the regulation of a subscription assembly, and the paper might import no more than that the party was not a social and agreeable character in the intercourse of common life. 3dly, That the words charged him with nothing definite, threw no blemish on his reputation, and implied no unfitness for general society." Robinson v. Jermyn, 1 Price, 11; Holt on Libel, 218, 2d ed.

Wherever an action will lie for a libel without laying special damage, an indictment will also lie. Also, wherever an action will lie for verbal slander, without laying special damage, an indictment will lie for the same words if reduced to writing and published. But the converse of this latter proposition will not hold good, for an action or indictment may be maintained for words written, for which an action could not be maintained if they were merely spoken. Thorley v. Lord Kerry, 4 Taunt. 355. As for instance, if a man write or print, and publish, of another that he is a scoundrel, J'anson v. Stewart, I T. R. 748, or villain; Bell v. Stone, 1 B. and P. 331; it is a libel, and punishable as such; although if this were

(1) M'Corkle v. Binns, 5 Binn' 349. State v. Avery, 7 Conn. 266.

(2) Where a painter to revenge himself on one whose likeness he had taken, for disapprov ing of the execution, painted the ear of an ass to it and exposed it to sale at auction, it was held indictable as a libel. Mezzara's case, 2 Rogers' Rec. 113.

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxiv. 171.

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