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the purchasing power of money has so considerably diminished, it must be grossly inadequate. In view of a still further addition to their duties, it is the more to be regretted that the Government should disregard the recommendation of the Select Committee of last year to increase the stipends of the County Court Judges. A salary of £1,500 a-year, with a retiring pension, given only under certain not very gracious conditions is not a prize of sufficient value to tempt a man from the first ranks of the legal profession. A leader in Westminster Hall can, if in full practice, reckon upon securing from three to four thousand pounds a year, and if he is willing to risk an election with its chances, has a reasonable prospect of a puisne judgeship. Such a man is not likely to shelve himself in the prime of life for a salary of thirty pounds aweek, in return for which routine work of the most arduous and uninteresting description is rigidly exacted. For the sake of the public it is to be desired that the County Court Bench should command the services, not of those great chiefs of the profession who properly regard its higher prizes as their right, but of those who occupy what may, without disparagement, be called the second rank, who are, as a rule, sound lawyers, if not always brilliant advocates. It is from among these men that our County Court Judges ought to be chosen, and not, as is now too often the case, from the back benches. It has, however, been announced that no augmentation of stipend is contemplated, but, “if,” says the Lord Chancellor, “ the Bill should have the effect, as it very likely will, of considerably increasing the amount of business to be transacted, it will then be for Parliament to consider whether some additional strength will not be necessary on the County Court bench-whether it will not be essential to increase the number of Judges." Far from strengthening the bench, an addition to their numbers, under existing circumstances, would, in our opinion, conduce to a result precisely the opposite of that anticipated.
A reform in the direction aimed at by the Bill would open the door to speculative cases, where solicitors set the law in motion, with little expectation of winning, but on the chance of getting something. The employment of counsel acts as a deterrent in the Superior Courts, but this wholesome check would be absent in the inferior Courts, where solicitors practice as advocates. A large accession of business in the County Court would also oblige the Judge to reside in the district over which he presides. Now it is undesirable that a Judge should be too familiarly known by the suitors, or by the Bar, or the solicitors in his Court; he ought not to have opportunities of hobnobbing with his people. He comes in time to be regarded as the friend of certain residents in the district, and he is supposed to have favourites practising before him and exercising a sinister control over his mind. The losing party is almost certain in his heart to feel that the decision of the local Judge has been biassed. Generally speaking, there exists no reason for this feeling, but everyone who has investigated our magisterial system must know that public opinion is in favour of the law being administered by persons who have no local influence or surroundings.
' Bringing justice to every man's door" is a captivating cry, but we must calculate before-hand all contingencies, lest a step be taken, the evil consequences of which may not become apparent until the mischief is irreparable. The benefits flowing from a great body of law, administered, tempered, and checked by a central body in London, under the keen eyes of the public, are not to be hastily laid aside for a vain chimera. An extensive development of County Court jurisdiction would, if successful, do one of two things. It would either extinguish all save the appellate business of the High Court-a result not contemplated by the authors of the Judicature Acts, nor advantageous to the interests of Justice—or, if the County Courts were to attract a considerable amount of business, but there still remained
sufficient to occupy the Superior Courts, there would be two concurrent jurisdictions guided by different rules and out of harmony with each other.
We have lastly to consider how the proposed change would operate on the Bar. The Bar it is said, has, from interested motives, persistently resisted all attempts to localize our system of judicial administration. But the Bar, though it may not approve proposals out of harmony with its traditions, is too patriotic to place itself in hostility to any measure which would confer a substantial benefit on the nation. The Bar has ever shown a readiness to sacrifice all personal considerations to the just demands and requirements of the public. On the other hand, no one can have any doubt that the welfare of the country to a great extent depends upon having not merely an illustrious, but an honest, independent, high-minded Bar. The country is unfeignedly proud of its Judges ; their ability, dignity, and above all their impartiality, have won for them a world-wide reputation ; but these qualities so highly prized are mainly derived from
from a lengthened apprenticeship at the Bar. Any reform therefore that would cause the source from whence their ranks are replenished to deteriorate, would strike at the well-being of English society and tarnish our prestige amongst foreign nations. The high standard of forensic excellence to which the Bar has attained, is, for the most part, attributable to the refined intellectual atmosphere in which its members move. To be constantly practising before the most eminent Judges, and to be continually pitted against the most talented opponents, burnishes the wits and maintains their brilliancy. The keenness of this wholesome competition would be minimized by a successfully pursued policy of decentralization; but, what is more to be dreaded, localization would disintegrate the Bar into petty cliques, and with its dismemberment the esprit de corps animating it would suffer annihilation.
B. L. Mosely.
Legal Obituary of the Quarter.
(ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND IRELAND.) Arden, Joseph, of Rickmansworth Park, Herts, and of Gray's Inn, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, &c., Bencher, aged 79. Called 1840. Principal of Clifford's Inn, J.P. and D.L. for Middlesex, and J.P. for Hertfordshire. Jan. 30.
Bartley, the Hon. Thomas Houghton, late Speaker of the House of Legislative Assembly, New Zealand, and of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law, aged 80. Called 1823. Dec. 25.
BATESON, Samuel Stephen, of Cambusmore, Sutherlandshire, and of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, aged 57. Younger son of the late Sir Robert Bateson, Bart., of Belvoir, Co. Down. J.P. and D.L. for Sutherlandshire. Called 1847. March 9.
Beveridge, Patrick Sandeman, Esq., S.S.C. (Scot.) Admitted 1850. Feb. 14.
Bicknell, Henry Edgeworth, Esq., late Senior Registrar of the Court of Chancery (retired 1859), aged 91. Feb. 20.
Burkitt, John, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, aged 82. Called 1830. March 26.
BURWASH, Sydney, Esq., Notary Public, aged 38. Admitted 1874. March 24.
BÝers, James Broff, Esq., Solicitor, aged 63. Admitted 1841. Feb. 10.
Cates, Francis Nethersole, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Barristerat-Law, formerly a Solicitor, aged 51. Called 1863. April 2.
CLARKE, Richard, Esq., Solicitor, Shrewsbury, aged 66. Admitted 1860. Feb. II.
CORBALLIS, John Richard, Esq., LL.D., Trin. Coll., Dublin, Q.C. (Irel.), aged 82. Called 1820. J.P. for Cos. Dublin and Meath, and City of Dublin. Feb. 13.
CULLEN, James, Esq., Solicitor (Irel.) Feb. 18.
Currie, Edmund, of West Burton House, Sussex, and of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, aged 76. M.A., Wadham Coll., Oxon. J.P. for Berks and Hants. March 4.
Curtis, Thomas Acres, Esq., Solicitor, Guildford, aged 61. Admitted 1839. Jan. 24.
Day, William, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, aged 76. Called 1832. Jan. 31.
De Quetteville, David, Esq., Judge of the Royal Court, Jersey, for 28 years. Jan. 27.
Dooner, John, Esq., Solicitor (Irel.), aged 71. Admitted 1829. Fan. 24.
Dorman, William Henry, Esq., Solicitor, Ramsgate, aged 41. Admitted 1860. March 10.
Dunn, Thomas John, Esq., Notary Public (Scot.), aged 65. Admitted N.P. 1839. Jan. 6.
FAITHFULL, Edward Williams, Esq., Solicitor, aged 55. Admitted 1846.
Jan. 22. Foster, Peter Le Neve, of the Middle Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law, aged 69. M.A. and Fellow of Trin. Coll., Camb. (38th Wrangler, 1830). Called 1836. Secretary to the Society of Arts since 1853, and Editor of the Society of Arts Journal.
FRANKS, William, of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-atLaw, aged 58. M.A., Trin. Coll., Camb. J.P. and D.L. for Herts, and J.P. for Middlesex. Called 1846. Feb. 8.
GAMMON, Charles, Esq., Solicitor, aged 55. Admitted 1847. April 6.
Gibson, John, Esq., W.S. (Scot.), aged 89. Admitted 1818. Jan. 31.
HANDCOCK, the Hon. Charles, Barrister-at-Law (Irel.), aged 70. Second son of the second Lord Castlemaine. Called 1833. J.P. for Westmeath. Feb. 13.
HARDINGE, William Henry, Esq., Barrister-at-Law (Irel.), late Keeper of the Landed Estates Records, aged 78. Called 1829. Jan. 20.
Harrison, Henry William Fortescue, of the Middle Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law (late 17th Lancers). Called 1864.
HARTIGAN, Edward, Esq., Solicitor (Irel.), aged 56. Admitted 1844. Feb. 23.
HEATHCOTE, Godfrey, Esq., Solicitor, Doncaster, aged 43. Admitted 1856. March 22.
Hughes, Henry, Esq., Solicitor, Maidstone. Admitted 1851. Jan. 22.
Jackson, William Maxwell, Esq., Solicitor, Hull, aged 43. Admitted 1856. Feb. 16.
KENNEDY, Right Hon. Thomas Francis, of Dalquharran and Dunure, Advocate (Scot.), aged go. Called 1811. Educated at Harrow, and University of Edinburgh. J.P. and D.L. for Co. Ayr. M.P. for Ayr Burghs (Liberal), 1818-34. A Lord of