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in any elec- “ or their vote or votes in any such election, (a) such person so hold any office
de offending in any of the cases aforesaid, shall, for every such or franchise. " offence forfeit five hundred pounds." And further, that such
offender, after judgment against him in any action, or information, or summary action or prosecution, or being otherwise lawfully convicted thereof, shall for ever be disabled to vote in any election of any member to parliament, and to hold any office or
franchise, as if such person was naturally dead. 2 G.2. c. 24. The eighth section enacts, “ that if any person offending against s. 8. Offenders “ the act shall, within the space of twelve months next after such discovering
“ election, discover any other person or persons offending against others in 12 months after “ this act, so that such person or persons so discovered be therethe election i upon convicted, such person so discovering, and not having indemnified.
“ been before that time convicted of any offence against this act, “ shall be indemnified and discharged from all penalties and dis
“ abilities which he shall then have incurred by any offence against Prosecutions “this act." The eleventh section provides that no person shall must be with- ho 1:
be liable to any incapacity, disability, forfeiture, or penalty, unless in two years.
a prosecution be commenced within two years after the incapacity, &c. shall be incurred, or, in case of a prosecution, the same be
carried on without wilful delay. This statute It has been holden that, notwithstanding this statute, bribery does not take in elections of members to serve in parliament still remains a
ome crime at common law; that the Legislature never meant to take mon law crime. But away the common law. crime, but to add a penal action; and that the Court of this appears by the words in the statute,-“ or being otherwise King's Bench will rarely
ach lawfully convicted thereof."(0) And a conviction upon an inproceed by formation granted by the Court of King's Bench is just the same information, as if the party had been convicted upon an indictment. (p) But
as the offender will be equally liable to the penalties of the statute, (9) that court will not interpose by information until the two years are expired, in ordinary cases; though there may possibly be particular cases, founded on particular reasons, where it may be right to grant informations before the expiration of the time limited for commencing the prosecution on the statute. (r) And in one case, where the defendant had been convicted of bribery, and the time for bringing the penal action was not expired, the court permitted him to enter into a recognizance to appear at the expiration of that time. (s)
(a) An action will lie though the being under prosecution for perjury, party bribed does not vote according was no ground for postponing the to the bribe. Tulston v. Norton, I judgment. Rex v. Haydon, 3 Burr. Blac. R. 317. and Orme, 296, note. 1387. S. C. 1 Blac. R. 404. And the
(0) Bex v. Pitt and another, 3 Burr. Court refused to stay judgment upon 1335. S. C, 1 Blac. R. 380.
the postea where they were moved to (p) Rex v. Pitt and another, 3 Burr. do so on the ground that the defendant 1399.
had made a discovery of another per(a) Coombe v. Pitt, 1 Blac. R. 524. son offending against the statute, who (r) Rex v.Pitt & another, 3Burr.1340. had been convicted on his (the de
(8) Rex v. Heydon, 3 Burr. 1359, fendant's) evidence, Pugh v. ČurgenBut where that time had expired, the ven, 3 Wils. 35. And see the cases Court held that the circumstance of collected in 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 67. s. 10. the witness, by whose evidence the note (4) where see also as to the Court defendant was convicted of bribery, of King's Beach granting a new trial.
f the statute.
deemed a dis
Where a friend of the candidate gave an elector five guineas to Construction vote, and took from him a note for that sum, but at the same time of the gave a counter note to deliver up the first note when the elector had voted, it was held to be an absolute gift and bribery within the act, although the elector voted for the opposite party.(t) And laying a wager with the voter that he does not vote for a particular candidate is also bribery within the act.(u) In an action upon this statute it has been held, that, before the time of election, any one is a candidate for whom a vote is asked ; and that it is not competent to the defendant to dispute a man's right of voting when he has asked him for his vote; it being immaterial whether the voter bribed had a right to vote or not, if he claimed to have such right. (w) It seems that a declaration upon this statute must state what the bribe was, and specify that the defendant took money or some other particular species of reward; and where it stated generally “that the defendant did receive a gift or reward,” in the disjunctive, it was held bad, and that the defect might be taken advantage of in arrest of judgment, the charge being of a criminal nature. (x)
As to the person who shall be considered as a discoverer within Who shall be the eighth section of the statute, so as to be indemnified from deen
coverer within its penalties, it has been decided that the circumstance of a party the eighth having been, within the limited time, a plaintiff in an action on section of the the statute, and having prosecuted it to judgment, does not prove 2
2 Geo. 2. c. 24. him to have been the first discoverer. Lord Mansfield, C. J. ob- indemnified, served, that the Court had not said, nor would say, that a plaintiff cunnot be the discoverer ; but that the act does not make him so, or consider him as the discoverer; and that as the plaintiff could not be the witness himself in the action, some other person must have been the witness; it was not therefore to be presumed, without any evidence of it, that the plaintiff in the action was the first discoverer. (y) And where one person procured another to make an affidavit of facts amounting to bribery, and then prosecuted a third person upon those facts to conviction and judgment, it was held that the person making the affidavit was the discoverer. (2) With respect to what shall be deemed a conviction within this section, it has been held that a verdict will not be sufficient, and that there must be a judgment; but that when the judgment is obtained it will relate, for the purpose of the indemnity, to the time when the discovery was first made. (a)
A recent statute, 49 Geo. 3. c. 118. reciting that the giving 49 Geo. 3. money, &c. in order to procure the return of a member to Parlia- Cor
imposes pement, if not given to or for the use of some person having a right, nalties on per
so as to be
18. s. 1.
(t) Sulston v. Norton, 3 Burr. 1235. illegal. 1 Blac. Rep. 317.
(W) Combe v. Pitt, 1 Blac. R. 523. (u) 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 67. s. 10. note (2) Davy v. Baker, 5 Burr. 2471. (4), eiting Lloft 552. and referring also (y) Curgenven v. Cuming, 4 Burr. to Allen v. Hearne, 1 T. R. 56. where 2504. a wager between two voters, with re- (2) Sibly v. Cuming, 4 Burr. 2464. spect to the event of an election, laid (a) Sutton v. Bishop, I Blac. R. before the poll began, was held to be 665.
sons giving or or claiming to have a right, to act as returning officer, or to vote ney, &c. to
at the election, is not bribery within the former statute, (2 Geo. 2. procure the c. 24.) enacts, that if any person shall give, or cause to be given, election of a directly or indirectly, or promise, or agree to give, any money, member to Parliament, gift, or reward, upon any engagement or agreement that the perthough such son to whom, to whose use, or on whose behalf, such gift or promoney, &c.
mise shall be made, shall by himself, or by any other at his request be not given to voters.
or command, procure, or endeavour to procure, the return of any person to Parliament for any place, he shall, if not returned himself to Parliament for such place, for every such gift or promise forfeit one thousand pounds; and if returned, and having given, or promised to give, or knowing of and consenting to such gifts or promises, shall be disabled and incapacitated to serve in that ParTiament for such place, and shall be as if he had never been returned or elected a member of Parliament. And it enacts also, that any person who shall receive or accept of by himself, or by any other, to his use or on his behalf, any such money, gift, or reward, or any promise upon any such engagement, contract, or agreement, shall forfeit the value and amount of such money, gift, or reward, over and above the sum of five hundred
monedas. 6), section of this status give or procuns office, planet
49 Geo. 3. The third section of this statute enacts, that if any person c. 118. s.3.
shall by himself, or by any other, give or procure to be given, imposes penalties upon per- or promise to give or procure to be given, any office, place, sons giving or employment, upon any express contract or agreement that or receiving offices, &c. by
10, the person to whom, or to whose use, or on whose behalf, such way of bribes gift or promise shall be made, shall by himself, or by any other at to procure the his request or command, procure, or endeavour to procure, the return of members to
return of any person to Parliament for any place, such person so Parliament. returned, and so having given or procured to be given, or so pro
mised to give or procure to be given, or knowing of and consenting to such gift or promise upon any such express contract or agreement, shall be disabled and incapacitated to serve in that Parliament for such place, and be deemed no member of Parliament, and as if he had never been returned ; and any person who shall receive or accept of by himself or by any other, to his use or on his behalf, any such office, place, or employment, upon such express contract or agreement, shall forfeit such office, &c. and be incapacitated for holding the same, and shall forfeit five hundred pounds. And it further enacts, that any person holding any office under his Majesty, who shall give such office, appointment, or place, upon any such express contract or agreement that the person to whom, or for whose use, such office, &c. shall have been given, shall so procure, or endeavour to procure, the return of any person to Parliament, shall forfeit one thousand
pounds. 49 Geo. 3. c. The fourth section of the statute enacts, that no person shall 118.8.4. limits be liable to any forfeiture or penalty imposed by the act, unless prosecutions,
y some prosecution, action, or suit for the offence committed, shall &c. to two years after (6) S. 1. The second section pro- to or by any person, for any legal exthe offence.
vides that the act shall not extend to pense bona fide incurred at or conany money paid, or agreed to be paid, cerning any election.
be actually and legally commenced against such person within two years next after the offence committed, and unless such person shall be arrested, summoned, or otherwise served with the writ or process within the same space of time, so as such arrest, summons, or service, shall not be prevented by such person absconding or withdrawing out of the jurisdiction of the court; and in case of any prosecution, suit, or process, the same shall be proceeded in and carried on without any wilful delay.
CHAPTER THE SEVENTEENTH.
OF NEGLECTING OR DELAYING TO DELIVER ELECTION WRITS.
53 Geo. 3.
The statute 53 Geo. 3. c. 89. was passed for the purpose of effectc. 89. s. 1. directs the
ing the more expeditious and regular conveyance of writs for the course in election of members to serve in Parliament. It enacts, that the
lection messenger, or pursuivant of the great seal, or his deputy, shall, writs shall be forwarded bř after the receipt of such writs, forthwith carry such of them as shall the messenger be directed to the sheriffs of London or Middlesex, to the respective of the great officers of such sheriffs, and the other writs to the general post seal, and through the
office in London, and there deliver them to the postmaster general post office. for the time being, or to such other person as the postmaster shall
depute to receive the same (which deputation the postmaster is thereby required to make), who on receipt thereof shall give an acknowledgment in writing, expressing therein the time of delivery, and shall keep a duplicate of such acknowledgment signed by the parties respectively to whom and by whom the same shall be so delivered; and that the postmaster or his deputy shall dispatch all such writs free of postage by the first post or mail, after the receipt thereof, under covers directed to the proper officers, to whom the said writs shall be respectively directed, accompanied with proper directions to the postmaster or deputy postmaster of the place, or nearest to the place where such officers shall hold their office, requiring such postmaster or deputy forthwith to carry such writs respectively to such office, and to deliver them there to the officers to whom they shall be respectively directed, or their deputies, who are required to give to such postmaster or deputy a memorandum in writing, acknowledging the receipt of every such writ, and setting forth the day and the hour the same was delivered by such postmaster or deputy, which memorandum shall also be signed by such postmaster or deputy, who are required to transmit the same by the first or second post afterwards to the postmaster general or his deputy at the general post office in London, who are required to make an entry thereof in a proper book for that purpose, and to file the memorandum along with the duplicate of the said acknowledgment, signed by the messenger, to the intent that the same may be inspected or produced upon all proper occasions by any
person interested in such elections. (a) 53 Geo. 3. c. The statute, after directing that all persons to whom the writs 89. s. 2 and 3. for the election of members to parliament ought to be and are
(a) 53 Geo. 3. c. 89. s. 1.