« PreviousContinue »
mental and of intention narrow measure, it applies to a few out of many industries.: Employers in the departments of industry represented by railways, factories, mines, quarries, or engineering works, persons dealing with buildings over thirty feet high by way of construction, demolition or repair by scaffolding, or on which steam, water, or other power is used, are liable to compensate workmen for personal injuries arising out of and in the course of their work. The scale of compensation is indicated by a schedule. Where the injury is due to the act of a stranger under circumstances creating a legal liability to pay damages in respect thereof, the workman can proceed either against the stranger or the employer. In the latter event, the employer can enforce, in the workman's name, all rights of action possessed by him against the person causing the injury. Sect. 2 provides that no liability accrues in respect of injuries disabling the employé for less than two weeks from earning full wages at his work. The ordinary civil liability of an employer for damage caused by his own negligence and default, or that of some person for whom he is responsible, is untouched. The amount of damages can be determined either by arbitration in accord. ance with another schedule or by the old procedure. An employer, however, cannot be attached both under the Act and independently of it. It is necessary for a workman to give notice at once of an accident and to claim compensation within six months, or, in case of death, for his representatives to claim within one year ; but an omission to comply with this is not fatal unless the employer is thereby prejudiced in his defence. In the House of Lords an amendment was carried by which, if the accident is found to be attributable (not • solely' attributable) to the serious and wilful misconduct of the sufferer, he can claim no compensation."
The London County Council are considering the desirability of obtaining an amendment of the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, so that Justices out of Quarter Sessions may deal summarily with cases of false pretences. We hope that the Legislature will not intrust such cases, wherein the line between crime and debt is often of the thinest, to our crassid Dogberries, paid or unpaid.
1.—THE SILVER OAR OF THE ADMIRALTY.
THE Silver Oar is emblematic of the jurisdiction of
the Admiralty. It was, and is always, used in all Admiralty Courts, as well as on other occasions when any matter connected with the Admiralty jurisdiction arises.
When Admiralty Sessions for the trial of offences committed on the high seas were held at the Old Bailey, in London, for the trial of offences committed on the high seas, under the Statute 32 Geo. II., cap. 25, the Commissioners attended by the Doctors of Law, Advocates, Proctors, and others, were preceded on entering into Court, by an officer carrying the comniission for holding the Admiralty Sessions, and by another officer carrying the Silver Oar. The Oar was also used at executions.
The account of the execution of Captain William Kidd (May 23rd, 1701), states that he and the rest of the pirates were conveyed from Newgate to Execution Dock, at Wapping, “by the officers of the Admiralty and others carrying the Silver Oar before them according to the usual custom on such occasions."
Execution Dock was on the left bank of the Thames just below the Wapping New Stairs, and is described by Stow (B. IV., p. 37) as “the usual place of execution for hanging pirates and sea rovers at the low water mark, there to remain till three tides had overflowed them.” The Gentleman's Magazine for 1796 contains an account of three sailors, convicted of murder on the high seas, being brought from Newgate on February 4th of that year, and conveyed in solemn procession to Execution Dock, there to receive the punishment awarded by law. They were preceded to the place of execution by the Deputy Marshal of the Admiralty bearing the Silver Oar.
The Silver Oar was also used by the officers of the Admiralty in making arrests, or in seizing goods; in fact, on all occasions when the jurisdiction of the Admiralty was exercised. It should not be forgotten that there being no distinctive dress for the officers of the Admiralty, any more than there was, or now is, for parish constables, bailiffs, justices of the peace, or coroners, it was necessary that certain insignia of office should be produced, such as the Silver Oar by sea, or the constable's staff by land. This gave rise to the use of the Silver Oar. In the illustration before us, Fig. I is a reduced representation of the Oar now used in the Admiralty Division of the High Court of Justice of England. Its length is 2 ft. g in., the stem or loam being 1 ft. 9 in. Fig. 2 is a larger drawing of the blade, the uppermost part of which is an heraldic shield bearing the Royal Arms, France and England, quarterly, having for supporters a dragon and a greyhound rampant, which were the Arms and Supporters of Henry VII.
The Royal Arms are surmounted by a high arched crown, the middle arch of which has been broken away, and a more modern crown has been engraved in the vacant space. Below are the Arms of William, Duke of Clarence (afterwards William IV.),* who was Lord High Admiral in 1827. Fig. 3 is an illustration of the stem. It is of the same size as the drawing, and declares itself to have belonged to Jasper Swift, who was Marshal or Serjeant of the High Court of Admiralty (1585) in the reign of Elizabeth. As to the date of the Silver Oar:-On various parts, with the exception of its blade, are the London Hall-marks for 1798-9, and the initials of silversmiths, W. P. and J. P. (William
* Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, writing to the Times (June 22nd, 1897), thinks that they are the Arms of James, Duke of York, and that the date of the blade is circa 1660.