Sivut kuvina

to belong to the trustees or commissioners of such road, and it shall not be necessary to specify the names of any such trustees or comunissioners."

Proof of ownership-goods, &c. of commissioners of sewer3.) By statute 7 Geo. 4, c. 64, s. 18, with respect to property under commissioners of sewers, it is enacted, “ that in any indictment or information for any felony or misdemeanor committed on or with respect to any sewer or other matter within or under the view, cognizance, or management of any commissioners of sewers, it shall be sufficient to state any such property to belong to the commissioners of sewers within or under whose view, cognizance, or management, any such things shall be, and it shall not be necessary to specify the names of any of such commissioners."

Proof of ownership-goods belonging to friendly societies, &c.] By the 10 Geo. 4, c. 56, s. 21, the monies, goods, chattels, securities for money, and all other effects whatever belonging to any friendly society, may be described to be the property of the person appointed to the office of treasurer or trustee of the society for the time being, in his proper name, without further description. So by the 9 Geo. 4, c. 92, s. 8, the monies, goods, chattels and effects, and securities for money, or other obligatory instruments and evidences or muniments belonging to any sav. ings bank may be stated to be the property of the trustee or trustees of such institution for the time being, in his, her or their proper names, without further description. So by the 4 and 5 Wm. 4, c. 23, for the establishment of loan societies in England and Wales (s. 4,) the monies, goods, chattels and effects belonging to any such institution, may be stated to be the property of the trustee or trustees thereof for the time being, in his or their proper nane, without further description.

Presumption of guilt arising from the possession of stolen property.) *Most of the cases on this subject have already been considered; [ *589 | ante, p. 18. The question of what is or is not a recent possession of stolen property, is to be considered with reference to the nature of the article stolen. Therefore where two ends of woolen cloth, in an unfinished state, consisting of about twenty yards each, were found in the possession of

the prisoner two months after they were stolen, and were still in the same · state, Patteson J., held, that as they were not articles such as pass from

hand to hand readily, it was a question for the jury, whether the usual presumption did not arise. Partridge's case, 7 C. and P. 551 (a); see Cockin's case, 2 Lew. C. C. 235.

Restitution of stolen property.) By the 7 & 8 Geo. 4, c. 29, s. 57, in order to encourage the prosecution of offenders, it is enacted, “that if any person, guilty of any such felony or misdemeanor as aforesaid, in stealing, taking, obtaining, or converting, or in knowingly receiving any chattel, money, valuable security, or other property whatsoever, shall be indicted for any such offence by or on behalf of the owner of the property or his executor or administrator, and convicted thereof, in such case the property shall be restored to the owner, or his representative; and the court before whom any such person shall be so convicted shall have power to

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxxii. 627.


award, from time to time, writs of restitution for the said property, or to order the restitution thereof in a summary manner: provided always, that if it shall appear before any award or order made, that any valuable security shall have been bona fide paid or discharged by some person or body corporate liable to the payment thereof, or being a negotiable instrument shall have been bona fide taken or received, by transfer or delivery, by some person or body corporte for a just and valuable consideration, without any notice without


reasonable cause to suspect that the same had, by any felony or misdemeanor, been stolen, taken, obtained, or converted as aforesaid ; in such case the court shall not award or order the restitution of sueh security.”

The court cannot, under the above provision, order a Bank of England note, which has been paid and cancelled, to be delivered up to the prosecutrix of an indictment against the party who stole it. Stanton's case, 7 C. and P. 431 (a). Where a prisoner was convicted of stealing money, and it appeared that he had left in the care of another, a borse, which it was clear, from the evidence, he must have purchased with stolen money ; Mirehouse, C. S., after consulting Gurney, B., and Williams, J., made an order for the delivery of the horse to the prosecutor. Powell's case, 7 C. and P. 640 (6).

Venue. An indictment for larceny must be tried in the county in which the offence was, either actually, or in contemplation of law, committed. But where goods stolen in one county are carried by the offender into another, or others, he may be indicted in any of them, for the continu[ *590 ) ance of the asportation is a new caption (1). *l Hale, P. C. 507; 4 Bl. Com. 305; 1 Moody, C. C. 47 (n.)(c). The possession still continuing in the owner, every moment's continuance of the trespass is as much a wrong, and may come under the word cepit, as much as the first taking. Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 19, s. 52. Though a considerable period elapsed between the original taking and the carrying them into another. county, the rule still applies ; as where property was stolen on the 4th November 1823, in Yorkshire, and carried into Durham on the 17th March 1824. Parkin's case, 1 Moody, C. C. 45 (d). This rule does not, however, hold with regard to compound larcenies, in which case the prisoner can only be tried for simple larceny in the second county. Thus, where the prisoner robbed the mail of a letter, either in Wiltshire or Berkshire, and brought it into Middlesex, and was indicted on the statutes, 5 Geo. 2, c. 25, and 7 Geo. 3, c. 40, the judges, upon a case reserved, held that he could not be convicted capitally out of the county in which the letter was taken from the mail. Thompson's case, 2 Russell, 174. So if A. robs B., in the county of C., and carries the goods into the county of D., A. cannot be convicted of robbery in the latter county, but he may be indicted of larceny there. 2 Hale, P. C. 163.

If the thing stolen be altered in its character in the first county, so as to be no longer what it was when it was stolen, an indictment in the second county must describe it according to its altered, and not according to its original state. 2 Russell, 174; see Edwards' case, Russ. and Ry. 497 (e). Thus,

(1) Commonwealth o. Cousins, 2 Leigh, 708. Commonwealth v. Dewitt, 10 Mass. 154. (a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxxii. 572. (6) Id. 669. (c) 2 Eng. C. C. 47. («) Id. 45.

(e) 1 ld. 497.

an indictment in the county of H., for stealing "one brass furnace," is not supported by evidence that the prisoner stole the furnace in the county of R., and there broke it to pieces, and brought the pieces into the county of H. Halloway's case, 1 C. and P. 127 (a).

If the original taking be such of which the common law cannot take cognizance, as where the goods are stolen at sea, the thief cannot be indicted for larceny in any county into which he inay carry them (1). 3 Inst. 113; 2 Russell, 175. And so where the goods are stolen abroad (as in Jersey,) carrying them into an English county will not render the offender indictable there (2). Prowes's case, 1. Moody, C. C. 349(b). The case of property stolen in any one part of the united kingdom, and carried into any other part, is provided for by the 7 & 3 Geo. 4, c. 29, s. 76, which enacts, " that if any person, having stolen or otherwise feloniously taken any chattel, money, valuable security, or other property whatsoever, in any one part of the united kingdom, shall afterwards have the same property in his possession in any other part of the united kingdom, he may be dealt with, indicted, tried, and punished for larceny or theft in that part of the united kingdom where he shall so have such property, in the same manner as if he had actually stolen or taken it in that part; and if any person in any one part of the united kingdom shall receive or have any chattel, money, valuable security, or other property whatsoever, which shall have been stolen or otherwise feloniously taken in any other part of the united kingdom, such person knowing the said property to have been stolen *or other- [ *591 ) wise feloniously taken, he may be dealt with, indicted, tried, and punished for such offence in that part of the united kingdom where he shall so receive or have the said property, in the same manner as if it had been originally stolen or taken in tiat part."

A joint original larceny in one county may become a separate larceny in another. Thus, where four prisoners stole goods in the county of Gloucester, and divided them in that county, and then carried their shares into the county of Worcester, in separate bags, it was ruled by Holroyd, J., that the joint indictment against all the prisoners could not be sustained as for a joint larceny in the county of Worcester; and he put the counsel for the prosecution to his election, as to which of the prisoners he would proceed against. Barnett's case, 2 Russell, 174. But where a larceny was committed by two, and one of them carried the stolen goods into another county, the other still accompanying him, without their ever hav-' ing been separated, they were held both indictable in either county, the possession of one being the possession of both in each county, as long as they continued in company. M'Donagh's case, Carr. Suppl. 23, 2d ed.

A man may be indicted for larceny in the county into wbich the goods are carried, although he did not himself carry them thither. The prisoners, County and Donovan, laid a plan to get some coats frorn the prosecutrix under pretence of buying them. The prosecutrix had them in Surrey at a public house, the prisoners got her to leave them with Donovan,

(1) Contra, M'Cullough's case, 2 Rogers' Rec. 45.

(2) Larceny committed in one of the U. States is not punishable in another, although the thing stolen be brought into the latter State. State o. Brown, 1 Hayw. 100. People v. Gard.

2 Johns. 477. People v. Schenck, Id. 479. Commonwealth v. Simmons, 5 Binn. 617. M'Cullough's case, 2 Rogers’ Rec. 45. Contra, Commonwealth o. Cullen, i Mass. 115. Commonwealth v. Andrews, 2 Id. 14. State v. Ellis, 3 Conn. 185. Rex c. Peas, 1 Root, 69. See People v. Burke, 11 Wend. 129.

(a) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xi. 341. (6) 2 Eng. C. C. 349.


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 lver, 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 stalute, 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. (6) Eng. Com. L. Rep. xxxii. 679.


Blasphemous libels—at common law

Indecent libels
Libels on government
Libels on the administration of justice
Libels on individuals
Proof of introductory averments
Proof of publication-in general

Of libels in newspapers


By admission of defendant

Constructive publication
5.94 Proof of inuendos
594 | Proof of malice

595 Proof of intent
.* 505 Venue

597 | Proof for the defendant

Statute 32 Geo. 3, c. 60
· 601

• 603 - 603

605 - 606 - 607 . 607 • 608 . 611

Blasphemous libelsat conmon 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. Io 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 Savisur 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 inotion 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,

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