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persons in the defendant's house ;(k) nor for keeping a house to receive women with child, and deliver them. (1) And cases of non-feasance and particular wrong done to another are not in general the subject of indictment: but we have seen that circumstances may exist of mere non-feasance towards a child of tender years (such as the neglect or refusal of a master to provide sufficient food and sustenance for such a child, being his servant and under his dominion and controul), which may amount to an indictable offence. (m)
It has been held, that where a mayor of a city, being a justice, made an order that a company in the city should admit one to be a freeman of that corporation, and the master of the company, being served with the order, refused to obey it, such refusal was not the subject of indictment. (n) And an indictment will not lie for not curing a person of a disease according to promise, for it is not a public offence, and no more in effect than a ground for an action on the case. (0) To keep an open shop in a city, not being free of the city, contrary to the immemorial custom there, has been held not to be indictable. (p)
With regard to trespasses, it has been held that a mere act of Trespasses not trespass (such as entering a yard and digging the ground, and erecting a shed or cutting a stable,) committed by one person, unaccompanied by any circumstances constituting a breach of the peace, is not indictable; and the Court quashed such indictment on motion. (a) And an indictment against one person for pulling off the thatch of a man's house, who was in the peaceable possession of it, was also quashed on motion. (v) So an indictment for taking away chattels must import that such a degree of force was used as made the taking an offence against the public. An indictment averred that the defendant with force and arms unlawfully, forcibly, and injuriously seized, took, and carried away, of and from J. S., and against his will, a paper writing purporting to be a warrant to apprehend the defendant for forgery; and, after a conviction, a motion was made in arrest of judgment on the ground that the charge did not amount to an indictable offence. Perryn, B. took time to consider to the subsequent assizes, and had the case argued before him; and then held the objection valid, as the indict
settlements, and in which they shortly died, whereby the parishioners were put to expense. In a late case it is stated to have been held, that no indictment will lie for procuring the marriage of a female pauper with a labouring man of another parish, who is not actually chargeable. Rex v. Tanner and Apother, 1 Esp: 301. But if the facts of the case will warrant a charge of conspiracy, the offence would be substantiated, if under the circumstances the parish inight possibly be put to expense. See I Nol. P. L. Settlement by Marriage, Sect. I. in the potes.
(k) Rex v. Langley, i Lord Raym. 790.
(1) Rex v. Macdonald, 3 Burr. 1646.
(0) Rex v. Bradford, I Lord Rayın.
(p) Rex v. George, 3 Salk. 188.
(9) Rex v. Storr, 3 Burr. 1699.
ment charged nothing but a mere private trespass, and neither the king nor the public appeared to have any interest therein. (a)
But where the indictment stated the entering a dwelling house, and vi et armis and with strong hand turning out the prosecutor, the Court refused to quash it. (s) And an indictment will lie for taking goods forcibly, if such taking be proved to be a breach of the peace:(t) and though such goods are the prosecutor's own property, yet, if he take them in that manner, he will be guilty. (u)
(a) Rex v. Gardiner, Salisbury, 1780, MS. Bayley J.
(8) Rex v. Storr, 3 Burr. 1699.
(1) Anon. 3 Salk. 187.
BOOK THE SECOND.
OF OFFENCES PRINCIPALLY AFFECTING THE
TIIE PUBLIC RIGHTS.
CHAPTER THE FIRST.
OF COUNTERFEITING OR IMPAIRING COIN-OF IMPORTING INTO
Of Coninterfeiting Coin. The Legislature has made several provisions against the counterfeiting of the following descriptions of coin, namely :-1. The king's money, properly so called.-II. Foreign gold, silver, or copper coin.--And, in. The copper money of this realm.
1. The first of these, the king's money, is protected by enact- of counterments, which place the offence of counterfeiting it in the highest feiting the class of crimes, upon the ground that the royal majesty of the king's money. crown is affected by such offence in a great prerogative of government; the coining and legitimation of money, and the giving it its current value, being the unquestionable prerogatives of the crown. (a) The statute 25 Edw. 3. st. 5. c. 2. declares it to be high treason“ if a man counterfeit the king's money." And, as there are no accessories in treason, it follows that all who, by furnishing the necessary tools, or by any other means, aid or assist in the coining, are guilty of the offence as much as he whose hand is employed. (6)
It appears that the coin or money of this kingdom consists pro- What is the perly of gold or silver only, with a certain alloy, constituting what king's money. is called sterling, coined and issued by the king's authority; and that the statute of Edward the Third, in mentioning “the king's money" generally, refers to such money; which is supposed also to be referred to by any other statute naming “money” generally. (C) The weight, alloy, impression, and denomination, of money made
I East. P. C. 148.
(a) I Hale 168. U) Kel. 33.
(c) i East. P.C.) 17. And see i Hale, chap 17, 18, 19, and 20.
in this kingdom are generally settled by indenture between the king and the master of the mint: but the statute, 56 Geo. 3. c. 68. provided, with respect to the new silver coinage, that the bul. Jion shall be coined into silver coins of a standard and fineness of eleven ounces two pennyweights of fine silver, and eighteen pennyweights of alloy in the pound troy, and in weight after the rate of sixty-six shillings to every pound troy, whether the same be coined in crowns, half-crowns, shillings, or sixpences, or pieces of a lower denomination. A proclamation has in some cases been made as a more solemn manner of giving the coin currency: but the proclamation in general cases is certainly not necessary, and in prosecutions for coining need not be proved.(c) And it is not necessary in such prosecutions to produce the indentures; though it
may be of use in case of any new coin with a new impression, not yet familiar to the people, to produce either the indentures, or one of the officers of the mint cognizant of the fact, or the stamps used, or the like evidence. But in general, whether the coin, upon a question of counterfeiting or impairing it, be the king's money or not, is a mere question of fact which may be found upon evidence of common usage or notoriety. (d) It should be observed, that any coin, once legally made and issued by the king's anthority, continues to be the current coin of the kingdom until recalled, notwithstanding any change in the authority by which it was constituted. (e)
Some verbal difference is observable in the wording of several of the statutes on the subject of the coin since the Revolution. The statute 8 and 9 W.3. c. 26. speaks of the gold and silver coin " of this kingdom," or "current within this kingdom.” The statute 15 Geo. 2. c. 28. in one part expresses by name "guineas and half-guineas,” and “shillings and sixpences,” and is consequently confined to those identical coins. In another part it speaks of counterfeit money generally. The statute 11 Geo. 3. c. 40. as to the copper coin, and the statute 37 Geo. 3. c. 126. s. 2. as to gold and silver coin, describe each as the coin of “this realm," following the words of the more ancient statutes. No stress can be laid upon such verbal differences between statutes passed in pari materiá : the construction which the reason of the thing points out must be such as the words are capable of receiving
without violence to their proper or accepted legal signification. (f) Marking the Besides the counterfeiting of the king's money within the staedges of coin. tute 25 Edw. 3. st. 5. c. 2. which has been already mentioned, the
(c) ) East. P. C. 149, where see some case of old coin which has gradually cases in which proclamation by the fallen into disuse, though still the legal writ of proclamation under the great coin of the king, there can be no geseal, or a remembrance thereof, is con- neral notoriety of the fact. sidered to be necessary to prove a coin (e) i East. P. C. 148. where it is current; and it is also stated, that by said also, that this recal may be by the act of the 37th Geo. 3. c. 126. s.1. proclamation; and long disuse may, relative to a copper coinage, the king's it is conceived, be evidence of it. It proclamation is made necessary; and has also been effected by act of Parseems, therefore, to be required in liament, as by 9 W. 3. c. 2. and 6 Geo. proof of any indictment upon that 2. c. 26. statute.
(f) I East. P. C. 157. (d) i East. P. C. 149. But in the
offence of high treason may also be committed by marking on the
money coined in his Majesty's mint; every such offence shall be “adjudged high treason; and the offenders therein, their counsel“lors, procurers, aiders, and abettors, being thereof convicted or "attainted, shall suffer death, &c." (0)
Making shillings or sixpences to resemble guineas or half- Making shilguineas, and making halfpence or farthings to resemble shillings pences to reor sixpences, amount also to the crime of high treason. The sta- semble guitute 15 Geo. 2. c. 28. s. 1. provides, “that if any person shall neas or half “wash, gild, or colour any of the lawful silver coin called a shil- guineas, and
making half“ling or a sixpence, or any counterfeit or false shilling or six- pence or far
pence, or add to or alter the impression, or any part of the things resem“impression, of either side of such lawful or counterfeit shilling or or sixpences. “sixpence, with intent to make such shilling resemble, or look “like, or pass for a piece of lawful gold coin called a guinea, or “ with intent to make such sixpence resemble, or look like, or pass “ for a piece of lawful gold coin called a half-guinea ; or shall file
or anywise alter, wash, or colour, any of the brass monies called “halfpennies or farthings, or add to or alter the impression, or “any part of the impression, of either side of a halfpenny or
farthing, with intent to make an halfpenny resemble, or look “ like, or pass for a lawful shilling, or with intent to make a farthing “ resemble, or look like, or pass for a la xful sixpence; such “ offenders, their counsellors, aiders, abettors, and procurers, shall “ be guilty of high treason.” (k)
(8) Made perpetual by 7 Ann. c. York, upon an indictment which had 25.
not such an averment; and for this (h) This exception seems unneces- reason it was holden bad, and that the sary, and would have been implied by prisoner ought to be tried again, which law on behalf of persons so employed was done at the Lent Assizes, 1702, by his Majesty's authority. But yet before Powis, J. when the prisoner was it was holden about Hil. T. 13 W. 3. attainted and executed. I East. P. C. by all the Judges, that in an indict- 166, 167. nient on that act, it ought to be aver- (i) By 7 Ann, c. 25. S. 2. the red, that the party was not employed cution is to be commenced in six in the Mint, or authorised by the trea- months after the offence. surer, &c.; because the exception of (k) But the fourth section provides, such persons is within the enacting that the blood shall not be corrupted. clause ; and the want of such an au- By the fifth section, offenders are to thority is part of the description of be indicted, arraigned, tried, and conthe offence itself. This question was victed, by such like evidence, and in moved by Mr. Justice Turton, who such manner, as were then used and had convicted one upon this statute at allowed against any offenders for