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LONDON, DECEMBER 18, 1880.
quadrangle ready for occupation by the chief clerks of the judges of the Chancery Division at Easter, 1881. It is hoped that the remainder of the building will be completed in time to enable the courts to be used at the Easter Sittings of 1882, but it is needless to say that this depends on many contingencies over which neither the architect nor the Lord Chancellor has any control.
CURRENT TOPICS ..
...... 130 TUE JODICIAL STATISTICS ...
........ ..................... 131 REVIEWS
................. ........... 133 GENERAL CORESPONDENCE ..........
133 CASES OF THE WEEK :Wood v. Swann ....................
134 Newton, Ex parte. ... ........ ........................ 134 Lacey, Ex parte......
134 Breuil, Ex parte .....
135 Withernsea Brick Works, The, In re .... Brown v. Sewell .........
135 Standard Discount Corporation (Limited), Re......
136 Northern Counties Fire Insurance Company, Re.............. Metropolitan District Railway Company, The, and Cotton's
Trustecs, In re ............................................ 157
138 COMPANIES .................. ............. ................... 138
138 SOCIETIES .........
138 LAW STUDENTS' JOURNAL...........
138 CREDITORS' CLAIMS .........
140 COCRT PAPERS -................ LONDON GAZETTES, &C., &C.............
THE LAST Act to suspend the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland, passed in 1866, followed generally the precedent of the English Act for the same purpose passed in 1817 (57 Geo. 3, c. 3). Section 2 of the Irish Act provided that, where any persons had been, before the Act or during its continuance, arrested, committed, or detained in custody under a warrant for high treason, or treason-felony, or treasonable practices, or suspicion of high treason, treason-felony, or treason practices, signed by six members of the Irish Privy Council, or by the Lord Lieutenant or the Chief Secretary for Ireland, it should be lawful for the persons to whom the warrants were addressed to detain such persons "at any place whatever within Ireland," and that the persons to whom the warrants were directed should be deemed and taken to be, in all respects, lawfully authorized to detain such persons, and to be their lawful gaolers or keepers. It will be seen that this provision retrospectively legalized custody under warrants issued before the Act came into force. Mr. PARNELL and certain other Irish M.P.'s will also be interested to know that the Irish statute of 1866 did not imitate the English statute of 1817 by expressly preserving the privileges of Parliament.
CASES REPORTED IN THE WEEKLY REPORTER.
136 Davis v. Artingstall (Ch.Div. Fry,
137 Deks v. Yates (Ch.Div. V.C.B.)....
..... 135 Elphick v. Barnes (O.P.Div.) ......
............. 139 Mason v. Brentini (App.) ...............
126 Mollny v. Kilby (App.) ................:::::
127 Northrop, In re.' Taylor v. Northrop (Ch.Div. V.O.M.) ..
134 Pannett, Ex parte. În re Kitchen (App.) .....
129 Queen's Benefit Building Society, Ex parte. In re Threlfall (App.) .............................
128 Rainbow and wife v. Juggins (App.)
130 Stronsberg v. Republic of Costa Rica (App.) .......... 125
LAST WEEK We discussed the question whether the sheriff is bound to retain in his hands, for fourteen days, the proceeds of sale of the goods of a company, taken in execution for a sum exceeding £50, as he would be in the case of the goods of a trader—a matter upon which, as we pointed out, the judges of the Chancery Division had held opposite views. We did not know then that the question was on the point of coming before the Court of Appeal, but only a day or two after our article appeared - viz., on Monday last-the Court of Appeal decided, in the caso of Re Withernsea Brick Works (Limited), in favour of the view we advocated—viz., that the sheriff was not bound to do so. The object of section 10 of the Judicature Act, 1875, the court thought, was to abolish the old chancery rule that a secured creditor could prove for his whole debt, and realize his security afterwards, and to substitute the bankruptcy rule, that such a creditor can only prove for the balance of his debt after giving credit for the value of his security.
THE MASTER OF THE ROLLS announced on Thursday that he would not take any more witness causes during the present sittings.
MR. WILLIAM BARBER has been appointed Professor of the Law of Real Property to the Council for Legal Education, in succession to Mr. Joshua Williams, Q.C.
IT IS UNDERSTOOD that the long-pending question
IT APPEARS from Sir CHARLES DILKE's speech to his whether the Chancery Paymaster shall receive an in
constituents that Sir ERSKINE Max's scheme for the crease to his staff has been settled in the affirmative, appointment of Grand Committees of the House of but, notwithstanding this, no new clerks have been as yet
Commons is likely to be brought forward by the Governappointed. It appears that a question as to the salaries
ment in the ensuing session. The ancient Grand Comof the additional clerks stops the way. Meantime the
mittees of the House were appointed annually for staff is over-worked and cannot keep down the accumu
certain general subjects, such as grievances, religion, and lating arrears.
courts of justice (see Lex Parliamentaria, p. 340). They were, in fact, committees of the whole House, to
which “ Bills of great concernment were committed, to ONE IMPORTANT RESULT of the visit of the Lord Chan- | the end that there might be opportunity for further cellor to the building of the Royal Courts of Justice, on debate; for that at a committee the members have liberty Saturday last, is that every effort will be made to render to speak as often as they shall see cause to one question." the block which forms the western side of the great Sir ERSKINE Max's proposal differs widely from this
ancient practice. He suggests that there should be four ing the Queen's Bench and Court of Chancery into one standing committees on public Bills, devoted respectively Supreme Court (see section 3), and by transferring the to religion and ecclesiastical affairs, law and courts of jurisdictions of the same courts to one High Court (see justice, trade and navigation, and local government and section 16), has apparently abolished the curious old. taxation; that each committee should be appointed by a fashioned right of applying to one court after another for special committee of selection ; that twenty members a habeas in case of each unsuccessful application. Among of each Grand Committee should be chosen from the many instances of this ancient practice, it is instruc. members of Parliament who are “representative men tive to refer to Reg. v. Baines (12 Ad. & E. 210)-one of in connection with the different subjects,” and that the many cases in which the writ de contumace was inwhenever a Bill is referred to a Grand Committee there voked, not, as now, by laymen against clerics, but by should be added to the standing Grand Committee clerics against laymen-for non-payment of church rates. members of Parliament whose functions should cease It had been held by the Court of Queen's Bench, in a con. with the consideration of the particular Bill.
sidered judgment, to be no objection to the writ that it did not appear to have been “ opened" in court. But,
adds the reporter, in a note," the prisoner in the same IT IS AN INTERESTING QUESTION how far the right to the
vacation sued out a habeas corpus, returnable in the Court costs of a winding-up petition which is withdrawn ex
of Chancery, .... on the ground that the writ did not tends with regard to persons appearing thereon in response
appear to have been opened according to statute 5 Eliz. c. to the advertisement issued in accordance with the Rules
23, s. 2. The points discussed (December 8, 9, and 15, of Court. As the advertisement is addressed to all who
1840) were nearly the same. ... Lord COTTENHAM, consider themselves liable as contributories or entitled as
C., overruled all the objections; and the prisoner was creditors to appear on the hearing of the petition, there
remanded (In ne Baines, 1 Cr. & Ph. 31)." appears to be no reason why, if the petition is withdrawn, any one of these persons who appears should be deprived of his costs of appearing. The question has not been defi THE FARMERS OF KENT have recently taken up as a nitively decided as yet, and, perhaps, never may be, but special grievance the “extraordinary tithe" on hops, it was on the point of being decided by the Master of the fruit, and market gardens, and it cannot be denied Rolls on Saturday last. A petition for the winding up that this tax operates as a serious impediment toof a company had been in the paper of the previous agriculture. The extraordinary tithe is a charge Saturday, and was, by consent of the petitioner and of levied, in addition to the ordinary tithe, upon. the company, withdrawn on that day, but was put lands newly cultivated with hops, or fruit, or in the list again last Saturday to be “ called " pro vegetables. It varies in amount in different parishes, formâ in order that any creditor or contributory thinking į occasionally being as high as £1 per acre ; but in some himself entitled to costs might be heard. Upon its parishes it is not levied at all. Mr. INDERWICK proposes being “called ” counsel for a creditor asked for his to redress this grievance by a Bill to be introduced costs of appearing, and the Master of the Rolls would during the next session, which will embody two have considered the point had it not turned out upon principles. First, that no land in the future, when first inquiry that the counsel had only been instructed since cultivated with hops, fruit, or vegetables, shall become the case was first in the paper-in fact, on the very liable to extraordinary tithe; and, second, that extramorning of the day on which it was to be formally called i ordinary tithes, wherever now existing, shall be redeem. on. Under those circumstances no costs were given, able upon certain terms. For the former of these but it is difficult to see how, had counsel been instructed proposals he finds a precedent in a statute passed in at the earlier stage, he could have been refused his costs 1873 (36 & 37 Vict. c. 42), which relieved newly-formed of appearing. When a winding-up petition is compro market-gardens from extraordinary tithe in all parishes mised and withdrawn, practitioners should see that they where such extraordinary tithe was not distinguished at get a sufficiently large indemnity against the contingency the date of commutation. With regard to the latter of having to pay the costs of creditors or contributories. proposal, it must be remarked that the existing Tithe
Commutation Acts expressly reserve extraordinary tithes
from the benefit of their operation, so that some amend. IT WAS ASSUMED by Mr. Justice MANISTY in Mr. Dale's ment, at least, in the law seems to be incumbent. Mr. case that an appeal lay from the judgment of the Queen's INDERWICK's suggestion is that the tithepayer, or rather Bench Division refusing the writ of habeas corpus,
the landlord, should be empowered to enforce against the and, although no such appeal lay before the Judica tithe-owner (whether parson or lay impropriator) a com-ture Act, it seems to be clear from the 19th section pulsory redemption, just as the copyholder is now of that Act, that the prisoner, and not only the entitled to compel enfranchisement from his lord. The prisoner, but also the party at whose suit the pri- | terms of redemption which Mr. INDERWICK specifies soner was imprisoned, has such right of appeal. either continued payment for nine years at the existing The words of the section in question are very explicit : | rate, or a lump sum paid down equivalent to the present “ The Court of Appeal shall have jurisdiction and power
value of the unexpired period of nine years, treated as to hear and determine appeals from any judgment or an annuity at three per cent.—may seem unduly hard order, save as hereinafter mentioned, of her Majesty's upon the tithe-owner. But, on the other hand, it must High Court of Justice.” We believe that we are correct in be remembered that the extraordinary tithe, even now, is . stating that, as a matter of fact, no case of habeas corpus not in the nature of an annual payment fixed and cerhas come before the Court of Appeal since the Judicature tain, but is lost altogether if the land be brought under Act, but the House of Lords, in Walsall Overseers v. cultivation with ordinary farm produce. London and North-Western Railway Company (L. R. 4 App. Cas. 30), has given so liberal a construction to sec. tion 19 that, unless a respondent can bring his case clearly THE CURRENT NUMBER of the Irish Law Reports . within the exceptions of that section, the right of appeal contains a report of the judgment of the Queen's Bench cannot be controverted. The exceptions are appeals from Division upon the demurrer in the action brought inferior courts, determination of criminal matters, and against Mr. MACDONOGH, Q.C., by a client, for breach of orders as to costs, and under none of these exceptions contract to act as his counsel, the arguments upon which can habeas corpus be fairly said to come. There is a we reported ante, p. 35. It will be remembered that, new right of appeal, therefore, given to either party ; the defendant demurred to two paragraphs in the statebut it would seem, at the same time, that the ment of claim. The 7th paragraph stated that the right of indirect appeal, which only the prisoner plaintiff, having been committed for trial at the Com. had, is taken away. The Judicature Act, by consolidat. i mission of Oyer and Terminer held in the city of Dublin, .
had, by "a special and express contract," agreed with the defendant that if the defendant would promise and JUDGES FOR GREAT CASES. agree to attend and assist, with the aid of two other counsel, in the plaintiff's defence during the continuance
An article in the Times of Thursday last draws attention of his trial, he would pay to the defendant, instead of an
to a point connected with the position and duties of ordinary honorarium, a special fee to be named by
judges of the High Court of Justice which deserves the defendant; that the defendant thereupon agreed
careful consideration; for the difficulties and objections that if he should be paid as a special fee a sum of fifty
which it states and raises are such as might escape the guineas with his brief, and a sum of twenty-five
notice of lawyers, but strike the minds, and vitally affect guineas for each day after the first day of the trial, and
the interests, of the public for whose benefit the whole also a sum of five guineas instead of the ordinary fee of
machinery of law exists. two guineas for such consultations as he should direct
The difficulty suggested is that the severance of the and require, he would attend throughout the said trial
| Appeal Court from the High Court, rendered more comwith all due and reasonable diligence, and without
plete by the abolition of the two offices of Chief Justice wilful or unreasonable absence, to defend the plaintiff
of the Common Pleas and Chief Baron of the Exchequer, throughout the trial; that the plaintiff thereupon, and
which formed connecting links between the two, upon the faith of the defendant's promise, paid him fifty
will affect and lower the position and dignity of the guineas on his brief which he delivered to him, and the
judges of the court; and that the public will no longer defendant received the brief and accepted the money
have the same security and confidence as formerly with upon the terms aforesaid ; that the plaintiff, in
regard to the trial of those great and important causes, further pursuance of the agreement, paid the defendant
criminal and civil. on which universal attention is fixed. three further sums of five guineas each for three consulta.
It is no sufficient answer to this objection to say that tions, and the said sums were accepted by the defendant
judges of the Court of Appeal do in fact act as judges of under the terms and in pursuance of the said contract;
first instance, because they do not so act in the metropolis, and that the trial of the plaintiff occnpied three days,
where the majority of these cases occur. It must there. and all conditions were fulfilled necessary to entitle the
fore be examined and dealt with on other grounds; and, plaintiff to have the agreement performed by the defend.
admitting at once that there is force and weight in the ant; yet the defendant, although he was tendered the
view expressed by the Times, it must be considered how sum of twenty-five guineas to attend on the second day
far the objection really goes, and by what means it may of the trial, refused, without reasonable cause, to attend
be met most easily, and without unnecessary disturbance on the second or third day, whereby the plaintiff was
of the present arrangements. greatly injured. The eighth count alleged, by way of
Now, it must be observed, in the first place, that all alternative, the breach of a special contract by the de
the five great cases enumerated by the Times were fendant that he would, in consideration of a special fee
criminal cases, of which three were State trials; of these of fifty guineas to be paid on his brief, and of twenty
three, two were trials at bar, and one was a trial under a five guineas a day while the trial should last, attend
special commission. But though trials at bar in the old throughout the trial and defend the plaintiff. These
sense may no longer exist (though we know of nothing paragraphs had been introduced into the statement of
to prevent them), it is not, nor we believe can be, claim in the hope of distinguishing the case from
shown that the Crown does not possess ample power to Kennedy v. Brown (11 W. R. 284, 13 7. B. N. S. 677),
nominate a commission for the trial of important by setting up & special contract on the defendant's part
matters. If, however, it is (and it well may be) desirable, to give exclusive attention to the plaintiff's case in
it is also easy, to provide in express terms for the con. consideration of the payment of special fees, to be fixed
stitution from time to time of commissions performing by the plaintiff, and of amounts in excess of the fees
the same functions, and which may consist either ordinarily paid in similar cases; and the plaintiff relied
wholly of judges of the Court of Appeal, or of judges of upon the dictum of Pigot, C.B., in Hobart v. Butler
the High Court, or of both combined. The other two (9 I:. Rep. C. L. 157), that an express contract for the
cases mentioned by the Times were cases of murder, requital of the services of a barrister is not prohibited by
extraordinary only in the sense that the circumstances law. The court held that the case could not be distin
were no doubt complicated and difficult, and the public guished from Kennedy v. Brown, since Sir WILLIAM ERLE
interest excited was great and general; and other cases there laid it down that “the relation of counsel and client
might no doubt be added of the like rank and character. renders the parties mutually incapable of making any
Now, as to the trial of such cases the same method may contract of hiring and service concerning advocacy in
be applied ; or if the case is not deemed a proper one for litigation," and the principle laid down by the Court of
a commission to two or more judges, a very slight exCommon Pleas in England was “absolute, completely
tension of the present duties of judges of the Court excluding any contract, either express or implied, between
of Appeal would place at the service of the Crown and the parties." May, C.J., added that it was "wholly im
the country, when occasion required it, the best talent material whether the fee or honorarium was named by
and experience which the bench has to afford. the counsel or the client, or whether the duties were to
In dealing with the only classes of cases referred to be performed in an ordinary or exceptional court."
by the Times, it might, perhaps, if the matter was to be dealt with in an argumentative spirit, seem that enough had been said. But the point raised is a real and
important one, and the objection should be considered We have received from Messrs. Partridge & Cooper broadly, and, so considered, it embraces also the trial of several specimens of their diaries for 1881. The folio l civil causes ; and we will, therefore, proceed to suggest scribbling diary and the octavo scribbling diary are an innovation which seems at least worthy of attention, marvels of cheapness, and their Handy-book and pocket and which has in its favour the analogy of existdiary is convenient in size. All these publications, | ing practice. There are civil, as there are criminal, besides a diary, contain a good deal of infor causes in which the issue is of unusual importance, and mation. Partridge & Cooper's diary and blotting. I the investigation of unusual difficulty, and in which, pad combined is an ingenious idea, and ought to be suc. I therefore, the demand on knowleage, experience, and cessful. The remembrancer or date-block for 1881 has care is unusually great. It seeni, not unreasonable the day of the month in most legible figures, and saves that in such cases it should be in the power of the the trouble of arranging cards in a case.
court, whether on the application of both parties, or of As we announced would be the oase, the Lord Chancellor one only, and under such limitations as may be thought made a tour of inspection of the various buildings compris. | right, to direct that the trial should take place before ing tbe new Law Courts in the Strand on Saturday after. I two or more judges of the High Court. To work out a noon last.
plan of this kind in detail is not suitable to the
present opportunity ; but we venture to think periods, seem to have existed with regard to various (and the recent experience of the trial of elec- | matters forming part of the political and social constitu. tion petitions warrants the belief) that, while such tion of the country. The result of this irregularity and & plan would be free from the objections which uncertainty was that in various places customs sprang up lie against the hearing of appeal business by a court differing from the common law; or perhaps in many cases of two, it would give to the parties great confi it may be that the common law was a generalization from dence in the tribunal; that it would, by raising the more or less divergent local practices effected by the action importance of the court, raise at the same time the im. of the law courts and other causes. To anyone who has
portance of its members; that the confidence so created sufficient experience of ancient precedents to appreciate * would produce a corresponding acquiescence in the the way in which, in our law, mos becomes lex, the
result; and that, while in the first instance it would reliance placed upon isolated instances of the sort above apparently absorb unduly the services of the judges, it referred to by the author of this pamphlet must seem would, in the end, create a saving of labour, and materi. | absurd when opposed to the uniformity of practice in all ally lighten the duties of the Court of Appeal.
But the author of this pamphlet seems to be of opinion that, quite apart from the ancient practice,
upon the construction of the Representation of the ARE WOMEN “MEN”?
People Act, the Common Pleas ought to have held that
women were entitled to be registered as voters. He relies THE annual meeting of the Women's Suffrage A880 on the change of language from “male person ” used in ciation, held last week, reminds us of a pamphlet, which the Reform Act to “man," in the later Act, and also on the was forwarded to us some time ago, containing a con- provision of the 13 & 14 Vict. c. 21, which provides that siderable amount of argument in support of the proposi.words importing the masculine gender shall include tion that, by the law of England, women now have the females unless the contrary as to gender is expressly proright to vote ; asserting that the law of England is with vided. The author says with regard to this latter prothe supporters of the Women's Suffrage movement, vision, in language of a bombastic character not very though the lawyers are not; that it is not St. Stephen's complimentary to the lawyers, “It permits no casuistic that has shut its doors against women, but Westminster exception through which forensic ingenuity may carp its Hall; and in fact that women are electors by the law of sinuous way." This is intended to be very biting, but, the land, and are disfranchised only by the casuistry of | for ourselves, we see little difficulty in carping our sinuous the courts.
way through the supposed dilemma. Provisions of the But for the fact that questions of this sort questions nature alluded to are general provisions intended to which give rise to a kind of political crusade among en. I obviate the necessity of specifying females in every secthusiastic adherents-sometimes throw very able minds off | tion of particular enactments which are obviously aptheir balance, so faras the particular question is concerned, plicable and intended to apply to females as well as we could hardly have supposed that any sensible man | males. One would have thought the author could never would waste time over the argument of so hopeless and have heard of the maxim "generalia specialibus non futile a proposition as this. According to the author's derogant.” Unless such general enactments are read own dictum, we, a legal journal, written by lawyers for with regard to some such qualification the greatest ablawyers, cannot regard this as a question open for dis- surdities might be produced. The author vehemently cussion. In any practical sense of the word “law," the argues that the words of the Act necessarily exclude a law of England is determined by the tribunals. If the | mere implication to the contrary. The fallacy of this final tribunal, whatever that may be, in this particular reasoning is too transparent to need much discussion. case has declared the law to be such' and such, for all No such enactment can possibly be construed upon the practical purposes the law is as declared. If the argu- bare phraseology without reference to the obvious intenment is intended to influence Parliament, it seems l tion of the Legislature and the history of the law on the to be superfluous. Surely the right argument to pre-l subject. The question whether there is an express sent to Parliament is that the extension of the franchise provision to the contrary must depend on the circumis expedient. The cause is not advanced one whit, in any stances under which the words importing the masculine sensible man's estimation, by the fact that “Dame gender are used. To take an illustration, suppose Dorathie Packyngton (tenant in dower of the towne of an Act provided that boys under fourteen on being Aylesburye) chose and appointed Thomas Lichfield and convicted of larceny might be ordered to be whipped or George Burden, Esquires, to be her burgesses of her said sent to a training ship. To follow out the author's train towne of Aylesburye." We should think it very probable of reasoning, the word “boy" imports the masculine that there were instances in which women exercised, in gender, and using the word “ express" in the sense for former times, the right of returning members, but any which he contends, there is no express provision that it one who has had any wide experience in legal matters of shall not import the feminine gender. There is no ina similar nature will at once feel the fallacy of en herent impossibility in whipping a girl or sending her to deavouring to determine such a question by isolated a training-ship, So that, according to the argument out authorities and precedents. We think it not unlikely of which, according to the author, no forensic ingenuity that if any industrious person anxious to prove that it can carp its sinuous way, a conclusion must to was still the legal right of a husband to sell his wife at which, having regard to the whole current of previous Smithfield, were to search with sufficient diligence in the legislation and feeling in the one case, and to the usual various year-books, and grand abridgments, and similar avocations of the sexes in the other, is absurd. treasuries of obsolete learning, he would find instances Again, with regard to the argument derived from the for the purpose of supporting his theory. According to use of the word “man” in the Representation of the the kind of reasoning used by the author of this pamph People Act, as contrasted with “ male person ” in the Relet, if any one could find in Rolle's Graunde Abrege. | form Act, can any rational person suppose, having regard ment a case in which it was held that “ par coutume de to the universal practice existing at the time of the later London home poet vendre sa feme a Smithfielde,” the uni- | Act, that the Legislature really intended by such form practice of a great length of time to the contrary language to introduce woman suffrage? The author of ought to be disregarded. Any one who has had occasion this pamphlet seriously contends that it did. He says, to go at all deeply into the historical origin, as it appears “ It is a palpable inference incapable of avoidanee that from ancient legal authorities, of many other political and this marked deviation from the terminology of the social arrangements than those which govern the | leading and principal Act had an object. And what franchise, must frequently have been surprised at the other object could it be designed to secure than that irregularity and uncertainty which, in more undeveloped for which I contend ?" It is, no doubt, a rule of con
struction that the judge must not seek to ascertain the usual, a year in arrear, relate to the year ending the 31st intention of the Legislature by reference to what took of December, 1878. These show that the payments on place when an Act was passed. If it were admissible to account of criminal prosecutions in 14,454 indictments do so, the observation is obvious that no question of the amounted to £128,455 198. 6d., or an average of -admission of women to the franchise was put forward £8 178. 4d. each. The amount paid in respect of 14,501 when the Representation of the People Act was passed. indictments in 1877 was $129,519 118., being an average But, in construing an Act, it is clear you may look of £8 18s. 7d. each, 80 that the average cost of to the circumstances under which it was passed, and the each indictment was 11d. less than in 1877. The existing state of the law. If the Legislature had meant payments from the same source in respect of 21,103 to introduce such a change as this, it is absurd to summary proceedings under the Criminal Justice and suppose they would not have done so in distinct terms. Juvenile Offenders Acts amounted to £19,744 ls. 2d.,
being an average of 18s. 8d. in each case. The amount 80 paid in respect of 19,827 summary proceedings in 1877 was £18,468 Os. 2d., being an average of 18s. 7d.
each. THE JUDICIAL STATISTICS.
The total number of Mint cases prosecuted and
concluded in the year 1879 was 210, and the total costs CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS.
paid by the department of the Solicitor to the Treasury THERE is a small increase in the number of persons sent
amounted to £1,227 14s. 1d. The number of criminal for trial in 1879 in England and Wales as compared with
cases other than Mint cases prosecuted upon indictment the number in 1878. In 1879 the number was 16,388,
or otherwise, by the Solicitor of the Treasury, and and the increase was only 16. The number for 1879
brought to a conclusion within the year 1879, was 173, compared with that for the year 1875, which was the
and the costs incurred in respect of the same amounted lowest in any one year for more than twenty years past,
to $10,102 9s. In the previous year the number of exhibits an increase of 1,674 ; but when compared with
Mint cases was 184, and the costs were £1,416 28.; the the average of the preceding five years, an increase of
number of other prosecutions was 134, the costs of which 739. Under the class “Offences against the person,"
amounted to £10,807 19s. 1d. the decrease in 1879 is 198. The number of commitments for murder in 1879 was 60, of whom 34 were
GOVERNMENT LOCAL PRISONS. acquitted and 26 convicted. The number of commit
Under the heading of Prisons it appears that, at the ments for murder was 1 more in 1879 than in 1878.
commencement of the Prison Act, 1877-namely, the There is an increase in the class of “ Offences against
1st of April, 1878-there were 113 local prisons; that property with violence" amounting to 306. The com.
during the year ending the 31st of March, 1879, 45 local mitments for burglary show an increase of 96, the
prisons were closed or abolished, leaving 68 still in numbers being 420 in 1879, and 324 in 1878. Commit.
operation. By the Prison Act, 1877, these prisons are ments for receiving stolen goods numbered 524 in 1879,
now vested in the Secretary of State, who is thereby ss against 480 in 1878. Of the 16,388 persons com
authorized to appoint commissioners, not exceeding five mitted for trial, we find that 6,853 were tried at county
in number, to aid him in carrying into effect its proquarter sessions, 2,182 at Middlesex Sessions, 3,500 at
visions. From these returns it appears that there were borough sessions courts, 2,678 at the assizes, and 1,175
during the year ending the 31st of March, 1880, 192,235 at the Central Criminal Court. As a result of the pro
persons committed to prison, being 6,175 more than in ceedings against these 16,388 persons, 3,835 were not
the previous year. The following table shows the prosecuted or no bill was found against them, or they
different classes committed, and the number under each
class :were found not guilty on trial and were therefore acquitted and discharged, 9 were acquitted on the ground
Remanded and discharged . . 11,533 of insanity and 19 were found insane, 34 were sentenced
For trial at assizes and sessions
14,262 to death, 1,502 to penal servitude, and 10,440 to im
Convicted at assizes and sessions (not: prisonment; 195 were sent to reformatories, and 354
previously in custody).
Convicted summarily were fined or discharged on bail; making a total of
• 149,646 12,525 convictions. In 1878 the convictions numbered
Want of sureties . . . . 2,701
Debtors in civil process 12,473 out of a total of 16,372 committed for trial. The
7,771 proportion of those acquitted is 23-4 per cent. of the
Military and naval offences . . 5,298 number committed, which is a very little below the average of the previous five years. The number of
192,235 persons sentenced to death in 1879 was 34 ; in 1878 In the total number of persons re-committed there is a there were only 20 so sentenced. Those sentenced to decrease of 629, or 0.9 per cent., as compared with the penal servitude for life were 10 in 1879 and 14 in 1878. number for the previous year. Among the persons Of the 34 persons sentenced to death in 1879, 8 were committed there were 69,237 who had been previously females. Of these, 13 males and 3 females were exe committed, 24,636 of whom had been previously comented. The remaining 18 sentences were commuted to mitted once, 11,350 twice, 6,820 thrice, 4,876 four times, terms of penal servitude and confinement. Of those 3,208 five times, 4,623 six or seven times, 4,233 eight or commuted to penal servitude for life, 9 were males and nine times, and 9,491 above ten times. As is always the 4 females; there were 5 other cases--namely, 4 males case, by far the largest number of criminals committed to confinement in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum to prison are between the ages of twenty-one and thirty. during her Majesty's pleasure, and 1 female to one year's The proportion which the criminal under sixteen years imprisonment with hard labour,
of age committed to prison bears to the total number of
criminals committed is 4:2 per cent. Of the total num. Crown Cases RESERVED.
ber of criminals committed, 33.3 per cent. could neither During the year 1879 there were 19 cases reserved for read nor write ; 63.0 per cent. could read, or read and the consideration of the Court of Criminal Appeal ; in write, imperfectly ; 3:2 per cent. could read and write 16 of these cases the decision was affirmed, and in 3 well, and 0-2 per cent. had received superior instruction. reversed. Fifteen cases were submitted for the decision The state of education of the remaining 0:3 per cent. of the court in 1878 (in one of which thirteen persons could not be ascertained. were concerned), as against 21 cases in 1877.
In addition to the 192,235 prisoners, including crimi
nals, debtors, and naval and military offenders comCosts of CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS.
mitted during the year, there were 19,168 in prison at The returns given of the sums paid by her Majesty's the commencement of the year, and 8,179 were removed Treasury on account of criminal prosecutions being, as between local prisons, making a total of 219,582. Out