Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]

“What remains to be said concerns offences against the post-office laws. Under our benignant system of government, the means of cheap and frequent intercourse between the most distant parts of the Republic are provided; relatives and friends separated by the breadth of the continent correspond freely with each other. Correspondence is nearly as cheap as talk. And not only do the mails convey messages of affection, science, and business, but they are also the agents of immense pecuniary transactions, by remittances of bills of exchange and small government money orders. You see at once how important it is that the laws which regulate this vast interchange should be faithfully executed; and we are confident that nothing more is needed to insure your best endeavors to detect and bring to justice all those whose crimes and offences deprive the people of the great benefits which those laws are intended to secure.

“There seems to be no necessity at this time for kirther observations from the court. You will retire to your room, gentlemen, carrying with you, we doubt not, in your retirement, a profound sense of the serious obligations you have taken upon yourselves, to your country and to your God.”

EXTRADITION TREATY. — In re Trueman B. Smith. This was an application by a prisoner to be discharged on writ of habeas corpus, on the ground that the charge under which he was in custody was not within the Extradition Treaty, or the Act of Canada giving it effect.

The charge was, that “Smith, at the town of Toledo, county [blank], State of Iowa, on or about the 21st March, 1867, did commit the crime of forgery, by forging, coining, counterfeiting, and making spurious silver coin, of the stamp and imitation of the silver coin of the United States of America, of the denomination of five and ten cent pieces, with implements and materials which he procured for the purpose of carrying on the business of coining such spurious money."

The court, Adam Wilson, J., held, that the charge above stated does not constitute the offence of forgery within the meaning of the treaty and statute. “It is," says Judge Wilson, “ unquestionably not forgery by our law here; nor from the evidence given can I assume it to be forgery according to the law of the State of Iowa, or of the United States of America, if that would make any difference. The statute declares that the offence charged must be such as would, according to the laws of this province, justify the apprehension and committal for trial of the person accused, if the crime had been committed here; so that if not an offence of the character charged, according to our law, the person is not to be apprehended, committed, or delivered over to the foreign government."

GREAT BRITAIN. LORD CRANWORTH. - Robert Monsey Rolfe was born at Cranworth, in the county of Norfolk, England, December 18, 1790. He was the eldest son of the clergyman of that parish, the Rev. Edmund Rolfe, who was first cousin of the renowned Admiral Lord Nelson. He attended the grammar school of Bury St. Edmunds ; going from there to Winchester College, and finishing his collegiate education at Trinity College, Cambridge. He came out as Master of Arts in 1812, with the moderate rank of 17th wrangler, and was in the same year elected

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

to a fellowship at Downing College. Having been a law student at Lincoln's Inn, he was called to the bar there in 1816. He began as an equity barrister, and for many years worked hard at Lincoln's Inn on a small and slowly increasing chancery practice. He became recorder of Bury St. Edmunds, and in 1832 was made a king's counsel by Lord Brougham. He was returned to the Reformed Parliament in the liberal interest, in December, 1832, as member for the Cornish borough of Penryn, and continued to represent it until 1839. On the 6th of November, 1834, during Lord Melbourne's first administration, he was made Solicitor General ; but, retiring with the Wbig Ministry the very next month, he remained out of office during the brief rule of Sir Robert Peel. He resumed it again in the spring of 1835, under Lord Melbourne, and held it until his appointment as a puisne baron of the Court of Exchequer in 1839. When Lord Cottenham left the woolsack in 1850, Baron olfe was appointed one of three Commissioners of the Great Seal, and held the office for a brief period. After the death of Sir Lancelot Shadwell, he was, Nov. 2, 1850, made one of the Vice Chancellors, and a month later was raised to the peerage, with the title of Baron Cranworth. This creation was the first and only instance of a Vice Chancellor receiving a peerage. In less than a year after, he became one of the two Lords Justices of the Court of Appeal in Chancery, and in December, 1852, he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Great Britain ; continuing in office during Lord Aberdeen's ministry and during that of Lord Palmerston which followed it. The Tories came into power again with the Earl of Derby's second administration, Feb. 21, 1858, and Lord Cranworth had then to yield to an eloquent barrister, Sir Frederick Thesiger, who took his seat on the woolsack with the title of Lord Chelmsford. Lord Cranworth was passed over for Lord Campbell when Lord Palmerston's second administration began in June, 1859. Lord Westbury succeeded Lord Campbell, who died in office in June, 1861. The unhappy complications in which Lord Westbury became involved by the disgraceful proceedings of his eldest son led to his abandoning the Chancellorship, and Lord Cranworth was again elevated to the woolsack. This unexpected appointment was attributed by some to a desire on the part of the government to save one ex-chancellor's pension, as there were that time four “ Dowager Chancellors ” (Lords Brougham, St. Leonards, Cranworth, and Chelmsford), drawing a pension of £5,000 a year each. Lord Cranworth did not long retain the office, for the Earl of Derby came into power a third time, June 27, 1866, and Lord Chelmsford resumed the woolsack. Since his retirement, Lord Cranworth performed his share of the duties of the House of Lords, but had of late become quite infirm, so that his death, which occurred on July 26, 1868, created no surprise. Lord Cranworth was not distinguished by any great talents, and was in no sense a marked man. Lord Romilly said of him in the House of Lords the day after his death, “He was pre-eminently distinguished for three qualities, — his candor and fairness, his common sense, and his gentlemanly feeling and bearing towards all with whom he was brought into contact.” Lord Cairns used on the same occasion rather warmer language, not attributing to Lord Cranworth, however, the possession of any brilliant or uncommon qualities. He said, “ My lords, of the loss of Lord Cranworth to those who have had the privilege of enjoying his friendship, I feel it impossible for me to speak. But, my lords, this I may say, that your lordships and the public have in him lost one who has passed through a long career of high judicial office without a tarnish on his name; one who, I venture to say, in the discharge of his great duties, for courtesy, for candor, for careful and conscientious efficiency, and, above all, for sound and explicit common sense, has never been surpassed by any persons who ever before filled the same offices.” Possessed of much natural capacity, by constant study and assiduous devotion to his profession, with tact, good temper, and genial manners, he rose slowly and gradually to the Lord Chancellorship, filling that as well as the antecedent positions honorably to himself and satisfactorily to the public. Although a Liberal from the first, he was nothing of a Reformer. Although a politician, he was not a statesman. He made no pretentions to being an orator. What he accomplished in life, - and he accomplished much, — what fame be gained, — and he has left a most honorable record, — was due to the exercise of those homely though rare qualities which we have referred to. after the book had been published in London, it was also published in America. Messrs. Routledge & Co. subsequently printed and sold copies of it at the rate of 2s. each, Messrs. Low's price being 168. A bill for an injunction was filed to restrain the sale, and for an account. The appellants demurred; but the Vice Chancellor overruled the demurrer, and the injunction was granted. Messrs. Routledge appealed; and the case, after being heard by the Lords Justices, who made a decree in favor of the respondents, was brought up by appeal to the House of Lords.

[graphic]

The London Times, from whose columns we copied in an earlier number,' a discriminating article on the retirement of this nobleman from office, thus portrays him after his death: “ Although Lord Cranworth lived in agitated times, he never made a personal enemy; and, although during the years in which he held the great seal he presided over debates of the keenest interest, the demeanor of the House of Lords was under him maintained unruffled. His career was of a kind of which Englishmen are not unnaturally proud. He was the son of a country parson, and he made his way in the world by his own good abilities and sterling character. A sedulous schoolboy, a successful if not a distinguished student at the University, an advocate of trusted reputation, a judge of the first rank both on the common law and equity sides of Westminster Hall, distinguished as a lawyer by his freedom from the prejudices of his profession, and as a politician by his perfect temper and consistency, Lord Cranworth earned the position he held with the approval of all men. It was as impossible for him to sympathize with the stormy violence of Brougham as with the dogged resistance Eldon offered to change. His life had been too easy to allow him to be revolutionary, and, owing nothing himself to privilege, he was never tempted to engage in a vain battle in defence of privileges. He had worked ha

for many years, but his labor had been well rewarded ; and as he kept his mind open to fresh impressions to the last, he never sank into the optimism of those who think the world must be perfectly well ordered because they are themselves tolerably comfortable in it. Few men enjoyed greater personal popularity. He was a thorough Whig, but he never allowed the keenness of his partisanship to cloud his judgment or to warp his actions. Fair and equal to all, no man grudged him his elevation, but rather every one rejoiced at a conspicuous instance in which abilities carefully cultivated had obtained distinguished reward." Another critic says,

Sir Robert Monsey Rolfe, as Solicitor General, and as a judge, it was often said, had a kind heart and an ever-smiling face. His looks did not belie the real nature of the man within. As an advocate in the courts, indeed, and as a member of the House, he showed no symptoms of fancy, or even of liveliness; and he seemed as if he could not for the life of him imagine what any thing light or playful could have to do with either side of Westminster Hall. His speeches were

[merged small][ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]

All the lords agreed in overruling the demurrer, and holding that, under the British Copyright Act, 5 & 6 Vict. c. 45, an alien friend who first publishes in the United Kingdom a work of which he is the author, if at the time of publication he is resident in the British dominions, is entitled to copyright in such work throughout the British dominions, even though such residence should be only temporary; and the fact that the temporary residence is in a colony with an independent legislature, under the laws of which he would not be entitled to copyright, does not prevent his acquiring this privilege.

This doctrine seems extremely liberal, especially when contrasted with our own practices towards English authors; but Lord Cairns (the Chancellor) and Lord Westbury went even farther, and expressed the opinion that the protection of copyright is given to every author who first publishes in the United Kingdom, wheresoever he may be resident, or of whatever state he may be the subject. Lords Cranworth and Chelmsford did not concur in this latter opinion, and Lord Colonsay avoided the expression of any opinion on this second branch of the subject.

The other copyright case was Low v. Ward.

“This was a motion by the publishing firm of Sampson, Low, & Marston, of Fleet Street, for the purpose of restraining the publication and sale by the defendants, Messrs. Ward, Lock, & Tyler, of a cheap edition of The Guardian Angel,' by Oliver Wendell Holmes, of Boston, Mass. It appeared that “The Guardian Angel' first appeared in a serial form in the United States in the monthly numbers of “The Atlantic Monthly Magazine,' commencing in January, 1867. In March of that year Professor Holmes entered into an agreement with the plaintiffs for the as. signment to them of the copyright of the work, and, for the purpose of acquiring a British copyright, — there being no international copyright treaty between England and the United States, — went to reside at Montreal, Canada, for some time previous to the first publication of the work in this country. In October, 1867, – at which date the story was not completed in the numbers of “The Atlantic Monthly,'— the plaintiffs, in pursuance of their agreement with the author, published “The Guardian Angel' in two volumes, at the retail price of 16s. In April, 1868, the defendants, Messrs. Ward, Locke, & Tyler, of Warwick House, Amen Corner, in ignorance, as they stated, of any copyright claimed by the plaintiffs, or of the editions brought out by them, published from the pages of The Atlantic Monthly'a 2s. reprint of • The Guardian Angel,' and it was sought by the present bill to restrain this publication as an infringement of the copyright vested in the plaintiffs. The entry of the name of Professor Holmes as proprietor of the copyright of 'The Guardian Angel' and of the date of first publication (October 25, 1867), was made at Stationers' Hall on the 3d of June last, and at the same time an entry was made in the register of the assignment of the copyright by Professor Holmes to the plaintiffs.

“The Vice Chancellor (Giffard) said that he had not the slightest doubt upon the

« PreviousContinue »