Page images
PDF
EPUB

within two

[ocr errors]

to

ames princi particuquired

fended, and trate, against any owner or part-owner, or any captain, master,

is informe mate, surgeon, or supercargo, of any ship or vessel, who shall ing against have committed any offence against this act, and shall give eviany owner, dence on oath against such owner, &c. before any magistrate or ter's mate,

court before whom such offender may be tried; or if such person surgeon, or so offending shall give information to any of his Majesty's ambassupercargo,.sadors, ministers, &c. or other agents, so that any person owning not to be liable

pains such ship or vessel, or navigating or taking charge of the same, and penalties as captain, master, mate, surgeon, or supercargo, may be appreof the act. hended, such person so giving information and evidence, shall

not be liable to any of the pains or penalties under the act, incurred in respect of his offence; and his Majesty's ambassadors, ministers, &c. are required to receive any such information, and to transmit the particulars thereof without delay, to one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state, and to transmit copies of the same to the commanders of his Majesty's ships or vessels, then

being in such port or place. S. 48. Trial The 48th section enacts, that all offences against this act which of offences

shall be committed in any country, territory, or place, other than against this act.

the united kingdom, or on the high seas, or in any port, sea, creek, or place, where the admiral has jurisdiction, and which shall be prosecuted as piracies, felonies, robberies, or misdemeanors, shall and may be enquired of, either according to the ordinary course of law, and the provisions of the 28 H. 8. c. 15. or according to the provisions of the 33 H.8. c. 23. or according to the provisions of the 11 and 12 W.3. c. 7. or according to the provisions of the 46 Geo. 3. c. 54.; (e) and that all persons convicted of any of the said offences, to be enquired of, tried, and determined, under and by virtue of any commission to be made or issued, according to the directions of the said act of the 46 Geo. 3. shall be subject and liable to, and shall suffer all such and the same pains, penalties, and forfeitures, as by this act, or any law or laws now in force, persons convicted of the same respectively would be subject and liable to, in case the same were respectively enquired of, tried, and determined, and adjudged, within this realm, by virtue of any commission made according to the directions of the statute

28 H. 8. c. 15. S. 49. Trial of A subsequent section enacts, that all offences against this act, offences com- which shall be committed in any place where the admiralty has mitted out of the admiral's

not jurisdiction, and not being within the local jurisdiction of any jurisdiction. ordinary court of a British colony, &c. competent to try such of

fence, may be enquired of, tried, &c. under and by virtue of any commission to be issued, according to the directions of the 46 G.

3. c. 54. iences It is then further enacted, that all offences committed against may be tried, as if com

this act may be enquired of, tried, determined, and dealt with, as mitted in Mid- if the same had been respectively committed within the body of dlesex. the county of Middlesex.

(e) Ante, 110.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER THE NINETEENTH.

OF FORESTALLING, REGRATING, AND INGROSSING, AND OF

MONOPOLIES.

EVERY practice or device by act, conspiracy, words, or news, to Nature of enhance the price of victuals or other merchandize, has been held these offences. to be unlawful; as being prejudicial to trade and commerce, and injurious to the public in general. (a) Practices of this kind come under the notion of forestalling; which anciently comprehended, in its signification, regrating and ingrossing, and all other offences of the like nature. (b) Spreading false rumours, buying things in the market before the accustomed hour, or buying and selling again the same thing in the same market, are offences of this kind. (c) Also if a person within the realm buy any merchandize in gross, and sell the same again in gross, it has been considered to be an offence of this nature, on the ground that the price must be thereby enhanced, as each person through whose hands it passed would endeavour to make his profit of it. (d) So the bare ingrossing of a whole commodity, with an intent to sell it at an unreasonable price, is an offence indictable at the common law; for if such practices were allowed, a rich man might ingross into his hands a whole commodity, and then sell it at what price he should think fit. (e) And so jealous is the common law of all practices of this kind that it has been held contrary to law to sell corn in the sheaf; upon the supposition that by such means the market might be in effect forestalled. (f)

The offences of forestalling, regrating, and ingrossing were for the stat a considerable period prohibited by statutes; and chiefly by the on this sub3 & 4 Edw. 6. c. 21. and 5 & 6 Edw. 6. c. 14.: (g) but the bene- ject now reficial tendency of such statutes was doubted; and at length by the pe

pealed. 12 Geo. 3. c. 71. they were repealed, (h) as being detrimental

(a) 3 Inst. 196. 3 Bac. Abr. 261. in gross. 3 Inst. 196. Forestalling (A).

(e) i Hawk. P. C. c. 80. s. 3. 3 Inst. (6) 3 lnst. 195. 8 Bac. Abr. 261. 196. Forestalling (A).

(f) 8 Inst. 197. 8 Bac. Abr. 261.. (c) 1 Hawk. P.C. c. 80. s. I.

Forestalling (A). (d) 3 Inst. 196. 3 Bac. Abr. 261. (g) Altered by 5 Eliz. c. 5. s. 13. Forestalling (A). I Hawk. P.C. c. 80. 5 Eliz. c. 12. and 13 Eliz. c. 25. s. 13. S. 3. But it was held that any mer. (h) The acts repealed are 3 & 4 chant, whether subject or foreigner, Edw. 6. c. 21. 5 & 6 Edw. 6. c. 14. bringing victuals or any other mer- 3 Phil. & Mar. c. 3. 5 Eliz. c. 5. 15 chandize into the realm, may sell it Car. 2. c. 8. and so much of 5 Ann. ·

to the supply of the labouring and manufacturing poor of the

kingdom. The offences It has been sometimes contended that forestalling, regrating, are still pu

and ingrossing, were punishable only by the provisions of these nishable at common law. statutes :(i) but that doctrine has not been admitted, and they

still continue offences at common law; (k) though their precise extent and definition at the present day may perhaps admit of some doubt. There is not much to be found in the books concerning the common law upon this subject; and from the time of the 5 & 6 Edw. 6. c. 14. prosecutions for offences of this nature were probably found to be framed with more facility and certainty upon the statute than upon the common law. That statute, it has been observed, is now repealed: but as it particularly describes the offences of forestalling, regrating, and ingrossing, it may be of use to refer to it as containing a parliamentary exposition of the

respective terms denoting the several particular offences. (1) Parliamentary Î'he first section enacted that whosoever should buy or cause exposition of a forestaller.

to be bought any merchandize, victual, or any other thing whatsoever, coming by land or by water toward any market or fair, to be sold in the same, or coming toward any city, port, haven, creek, or road, from any parts beyond the sea, to be sold; or make any bargain, contract, or promise, for the having or buying the same or any part thereof, so coming as aforesaid, before the said merchandize, victuals, or other things, should be in the market, fair, city, port, haven, creek, or road, ready to be sold; or should make any motion by word, letter, message, or otherwise, to any person, for the enhancing of the price, or dearer selling of any thing above mentioned ; or else dissuade, move, or stir, any person coming to the market or fair, to abstain or forbear to bring or convey any of the things above rehearsed to any market, fair, city, port, haven, creek, or road, to be sold as afore

said-should be taken to be a forestaller. (m) Of a regrator. The second section enacted that whosoever should by any means

regrate, obtain, or get into his hands or possession, in a fair or
market, any corn, wine, fish, butter, cheese, candles, tallow, sheep,
lambs, calves, swine, pigs, geese, capons, hens, chickens, pigeons,
conies, or other dead victual whatsoever, that should be brought
to any fair or market to be sold, and should sell the same again in
any fair or market holden or kept in the same place, or in any
other fair or market within four miles thereof-should be taken to
be a regrator. (12)
c. 34. as relates to butchers selling or to prevent the public market; and
cattle alive or dead, in London or. metaphorically, to intercept in gene-
Westminster, or within ten miles ral; avd seemeth derived from fore,
thereof; and all the acts made for which is the same as before, and stalle,
tbe better enforcement of the same. a standing place or departwent, from

(i) Rex v. Maynard, Cro. Car. 231. whence sprang the ancient word stalRex v. Waddington, j East. R. 153. lage, which signifieth money paid for

(k) i Hawk. P. C. c. 80. s. 15. erecting a stall or stand for the sell

Di Hawk. c. 80. s. 15. 2 Burn's ing of goods in a fair or market. Just. Forestalling, &c. p. 482, 483. 2 Burn's Just. 481. Forestalling, &c. 4 Blac. Com. 158.

(n) Regrator is said to be derived (m) Forestalling (forestællan or fore- from the French word regratement, . stallan) in the English Saxon signifieth for huckstery. 3 last. 195. properly to market before the public,

· The third section enacted, that whosoever should ingross or Ofan ingrasser. get into his hands by buying, contracting, or promise taking, other than by demise, grant, or lease of land or tithe, any corn growing in the fields, or any other corn or grain, butter, cheese, fish, or other dead victuals whatsoever, to the intent to sell the same again, should be taken to be an ingrosser. (0)

It has been suggested, that at the present day it would pro- Common law bably be holden that no offence is committed, unless the conduct offence. of the party manifests an intent to raise the price of provisions ; as the mere transfer of a purchase in the market where it is made, the buying articles before they arrive at a public market, or the purchasing of a large quantity of a particular article, can scarcely be regarded as in themselves necessarily injurious to the community. (p) And that many cases may occur in which a most laudable motive may exist for buying up large quantities of the same commodity. (s) It is stated also, that in one case the court were equally divided on the question, whether regrating is an indictable offence at common law : (r) and that it seems therefore, at all times, to be safer to charge in the indictment, that the acts complained of were done with an evil design to raise the price of the article in question. (s)

In a case which occurred in the year 1800, and in which the Waddington's defendant was charged by an information, filed against him by case.--Ěnleave of the court, with divers acts committed with the intent of hancing the

price of hops. enhancing the price of hops, the law relating to forestalling, regrating, and ingrossing, was much considered. The defendant being a merchant of credit and affluence in Kent, and having a stock of hops in hand, went to the city of Worcester for the purpose of speculating how he could enhance the price of that commodity. And for that purpose he declared to the sellers, that hops were too cheap, and to the hop planters, that they had not a fair price for their hops: and in order that his speculation of raising the price of a falling market might not be defeated, he contracted for one-fifth of the produce of Worcestershire and Herefordshire when he had a stock in hand, and admitted that he did not want to purchase. For this conduct the information was filed against him, containing many counts, (t) upon which he was

(0) The vendee cannot sell again in rumours, with intent to enhance the gross, for then he is an ingrosser, ac- price of hops, in the hearing of hopcording to the nature of the word, planters, dealers, and others, that the for that he buy ia gross and sell in stock of hops was nearly exhausted, gross. 3 Inst. 195.

and that there would be a scarcity of (p) 2 Chit. Crim. Law, 528, in the hops, &c., with intent to induce them notes, referring to Smith's Wealth of not to bring their hops to market for Nations, 2 Vol. 309. and the lodex, sale for a long time, and thereby tit. “ Labour."

greatly to enhance the price; 2d, With (9) 2 Chit. Crim. Law, ibid. referring spreading such rumours generally, to the arguinents, &c. in 14 East. 406. with intent to enhance the price of 15 East. 511.

hops; 3d, With endeavouring to en(r) Rex v. Rushby, Hil. T. 40 Geo. hance the price, by persuading divers 3. 2 Chit. Crim. Law, 536, note (r) and dealers, &c. not to take their hops to 528, in the notes.

market, and to abstain from selling (8) 2 Chit. Crim. Law, 528, in the for a long time; 4th, With ingrossing notes.

large quantities of hops, by buying (9) There were nine counts; the 1st, from many particular persons, by charging the defendant with spreading name, certain quantities, with intent

convicted generally; and upon his being brought up to receive judgment, the questions as to his having committed any offence at all, and as to the nature of that offence, if any had been committed, were discussed by permission of the court, though not urged re

gularly in the form of a motion in arrest of judgment. Arguments On behalf of the defendant it was contended, that the facts urged for the

charged against him never constituted any offence, even previous defendant.

to the statute 12 Geo. 3. c. 71.; but that if they did, the offences stated in each count, and all others ejusdem generis, were done away by that statute, which went to repeal, not merely the particular acts of parliament therein enumerated, but the whole system of laws respecting forestalling, regrating, and ingrossing. And the resolutions of the committee of the House of Commons, to whom it was referred to make a report upon these laws, were relied upon, as shewing that it was the intention of the Legislature to do them away altogether. The defendant's counsel also urged, that an ingrossing must be of some commodity which constitutes victuals, and that hops were no victuals : and they also took objections to the particular form of the counts of the information; and amongst others, that there was no quantity specified on the face of the information out of which the defendant purchased the hops, whereas this should have appeared; ingrossing being a relative term, and meaning the getting either the whole of any commodity, or at least so much of it as to prevent others from supplying their wants in the common course of trade; and that the quantity ingrossed ought to have been so much as

would have affected the consumption of the whole kingdom. Lord Kenyon's Lord Kenyon, in delivering his opinion, said, that it could not opinion.

be denied, but that our law books declare practices of the sort with which the defendant was charged to be offences at common law; that he was perfectly satisfied that the common law remained in force with respect to offences of this nature; and that in considering whether that was intended to be done away by the act of the 12 Geo. 3. he could not regard the resolutions entered on the journals of the Commons house of Parliament, but must look to the statute-book; and that there he found nothing which trenched upon what he had said, but only a repeal of certain statutes, upon none of which that prosecution was founded, but upon the common law. With respect to the objection that hops were no victuals, he observed, that if they were become a necessary ingredient, though only for preserving the common drink of the people, they must be deemed a necessary of life and a victual, the ingrossing of which, or committing any undue practices to enhance the price to the public, is an offence at common law. (u)

to resell the same for an unreasonable ith, With buying like quantities with profit, and thereby to enhance the like intent; 8th, With buying like price; 5th, Ad idem, stating the par- quantities with intent to resell at exorticular contracts; 6th, with getting bitant profit, and thereby greatly to into his hands large quantities, by con- enhance the price; 9th, With unlawtracting with various persons for the fully ingrossing, by buying large quanpurchase, with intent to prevent the tities with like intent. The defendant same being brought to market, and to was convicted generally upon this inresell at an unreasonable profit, and formation. thereby greatly to enhance the price; (u) It appears that hops and malt

« EelmineJätka »