Page images

&counterfeitinmplaintin40. . the

in a proper manner. By the 8 and 9 W. 3. c. 26. s. 5. coining tools may be seized and carried to some justice of the peace, secured by him in order to be produced in evidence, and afterwards destroyed; and counterfeit or diminished money produced in any court of justice, in evidence, or otherwise, is directed to be cut in pieces in open court, or in the presence of some justice of the peace, and then to be delivered to such persons to whom the same of right shall appertain. The 11 Geo. 2. c. 40. s. 3. provides, that any justice of the peace, on complaint that any person is or has been concerned in counterfeiting copper monies, may, by warrant, cause the house, &c. of such person to be searched for coining tools; and if any such be found, the person discovering the same is required to seize them, and carry them to some justice of the peace of the county, city, or place, where the same shall be seized, who is directed to cause the same to be secured and produced in evidence; and directions are also given for defacing and destroying such tools. Provisions of a similar kind are made by the 37 Geo. 3. c. 126. s. 7. with respect to searching for counterfeit gold or silver foreign coin, or for tools, implements, or materials for coining such coin, and securiug the same, aud producing them in evidence, and afterwards destroying or otherwise disposing of them. And the 43 Geo. 3. c. 139. s. 7. authorises searching for counterfeit foreign coin of copper or metal of less value than silver, and the tools or implements for coining the same. (t)

(1) The Legislature has made other in a proclamation, any persons are provisions for the suppression of base required to cut, &c. any piece or coin, or coin inferior in value, where pieces of old silver coin of this realm, there is no criminal charge imputed current at any time before the passing to the person who may happen to of that act, which shall be tendered tender it. By the stat. 9 and 10 W.3. to them in payment, and which shall C. 21. s. I. any person to whom any be of less value than the denominasilver money, and by stat. 13 Geo. 3. tion thereof shall import, and the 6. 71. s. I. any person to whom any person tendering the same shall bear gold money shall be tendered, which the loss: but if any such piece so cut, shall be diminished otherwise than &c. shall appear to be of the full by reasonable wearing, or which, from value which its denomination shall the appearance of it, he shall suspect import, the person who shall cut, &c. to be counterfeited, may cut, break, is required to take the same at the or deface the same: but if the same rate it was coined for; and disputes shall afterwards appear to have been about the value are to be determined lawful money, the person who cut by the mayor, &c. or other chief &c. sball take the same at the rate officer of any city, &c. where such it was coined for ; and every question tender shall be made; or if the tender respecting the validity of such coin be made out of any city, &c. then by shall be finally determined by the some justice of the peace of the county chief mayistrate of the place. The inhabiting or being near the place 56 Geo. 3. c. 68. s. 7. also enacts, where the tender shall be made. that after the period to be mentioned

[ocr errors]


Of Impairing Coin. Clipping, By the statute 5 Eliz. c. 11. s. 2. clipping, washing, rounding, washing, or filing, for “ wicked lucre or gain's sake, of any of the proper rounding, or filing. “ monies or coins of this realm, or the dominions thereof, at this

“ present, or that hereafter at any time shall be the lawful monies “ or coins of this realm, or of the dominions thereof, or of any “ other realm and by proclamation allowed and suffered to be cur“ rent here, shall be taken, deemed, and adjudged treason; and 6. the offenders therein, their counsellors, consenters, and aiders, “ shall be taken, deemed, and adjudged as offenders in treason; “ and being thereof lawfully convicted or attainted, shall suffer

“pains of death.” (u) Of impairing, But there were methods of falsifying, impairing, diminishing, falsifying,

bing, and lightening the coin, which were not comprehended in this aet scaling, or of Elizabeth. A subsequent statute, 18 Eliz. c. 1. was therefore lightening. passed, which enacts, " that if any person shall for wicked lucre or

“ gain's sake, (w) by any art, ways, or means whatsoever, impair, diminish, falsify, scale, or lighien, the proper monies or coins of “ this realm, or any the dominions thereof, or the monies or coins “ of any other realms, allowed and suffered to be current at the “ time of the offence committed within this realm of England, or “any the dominions of the same, by proclamation, &c. shall be “ taken, adjudged, and deemed to be treason; and the offenders “ therein, their counsellors, consenters, and aiders, shall be like“ wise deemed and adjudged as offenders in treason ; and being “ thereof lawfully convicted or attainted, shall suffer pains of “ death, &c.” (x)

The impairing of Irish coin, though not current in England, is

within the express words of these statutes. (y) New silver The statute relating to the new silver coinage, 56 Geo. 3. c. 68. coinage.

s. 17. enacts, “ that all acts in force immediately before the passing “ of that act respecting the coin of this realm, or the clipping, diminishing, or counterfeiting the same, or respecting any other “ matters relating thereto; and all provisions, proceedings, penal“ ties, forfeitures, and punishments, therein contained or directed, “ not expressly repealed by that act, and not repugnant or contra“ dictory to the enactments and provisions of that act, shall be “ and continue in full force and effect, and shall be applied and put « in execution with respect to the silver coin to be coined in pur“ suance of the directions of that act, as fully and effectually to all “ intents and purposes whatsoever, as if the same were repeated “ and re-enacted in that act.”

(u) And see i Halc 216, 220, 267, 318. By the provisions of this statute, all the goods and chattels of such of. fenders are forfeited, and all their lands and tenements during their lives: but by s. 4. the offences make no corruption of blood, or forfeiture of dower.

(w) The clipping, &c. within these statutes must be for gain or lucre, and must be so laid in the indictment, which must also pursue the words of

the statute in describiog the offence ; and conclude against the form of the statute, because they were in some respects introductive of a new law. 1 East. P.C. c. 4. s. 20. p. 174. i Hale 220, 228.

() The same provisions are made, as in the last statute, as to forfeiture and corruption of blood, s. 1, 2.

(y) I East. P. C. c. 4. S. 20. p. 174. I Hale 221, 222.

With a view of more effectually preventing the clipping, dimi- Having clipnishing, or impairing the current coin of the kingdom, the statute pings, &c.

possession. 6 and 7 W.3, c. 17. s. 4. enacts, “ that if any person whatsoever

shall buy or sell, and (z) knowingly have in his custody or pos« session any clippings or filings of the current coin of this king

dom, he shall, for every such offence, forfeit the said clippings or « filings, and also the sum of five hundred pounds, one moiety to “ his Majesty, and the other to the informer, (a) and shall be also “ branded in the right cheek with a hot iron with the letter R; and “ until payment of the said five hundred pounds, shall suffer im“ prisonment.” The eighth section of the statute makes provisions for breaking open houses and searching for bullion : and the person in whose possession bullion is found, not proving it to be lawful silver, and that the same was not before the melting thereof coin, nor clippings, shall be committed to prison; and in case, on an indictment against such offender for melting the current silver coin Melting coin. of the realm, he shall not prove, by the oath of one witness at the least, the bullion so found to be lawful silver, and that the same was not the current coin of the realm, nor clippings thereof, he shall be found guilty and imprisoned for six months. Provisions concerning melting down coin are made by other statutes. By the 17 Edw. 4. c. 1. no person shall melt down any moncy of gold or silver sufficient to run in payment, upon pain of forfeiture of the value: and by 13 and 14 Car. 2. c. 31. melting down any current silver money of the realm is to be punished with forfeiture of the same, and double the value ; and if done by a freeman of a town, with disfranchisement; if by any other person, with six months' imprisonment. And if money, false or clipped, be found in the hands of any that is suspicious, he may be imprisoned till he hath found his warrant per statutum de moneta. (6)

It was agreed by all the Judges, that one witness was sufficient Evidence. in clipping as well as counterfeiting the coin; though it appeared that the opinion and practice had once been otherwise in the case of clipping. (c)

(z) It is so in the statute: but qu. whether it should not be “or” instead of and." The same qu. is stated in the margin of 1 East. P. C. 174.

(a) To be recovered as directed in
the act.

(0) 3 Inst. 18.
(c) i East. P. C. c. 2. s. 64. p. 129.




Importing counterfeit money of England.

Importing foreign coin current here,

Of Importing into the Kingdom counterfeit or light Money. The statute 25 Edw. 3. st. 5. c. 2. enacts, that “if a man bring “ false money into this realm, counterfeit to the money of England, “ as the money called Lushburg, or other like to the said money of “ England, knowing the money to be false, to merchandise or “ make payment, in deceit of our said lord the king and his peo“ ple," it shall be high treason.

By the statute 1 and 2 Ph. and M. c. 11. it is enacted, that “if “ any person shall bring from parts beyond the sea into this realm, “ or into any of the dominions of the same, any false or counterfeit coin or money being current within this realm as aforesaid, “ knowing the same coin or money to be false and counterfeit, to " the intent to utter or make payment with the same within this “ realm, or any the dominions of the same, by merchandizing or “ otherwise ; such offenders, their counsellors, procurers, aiders, “ and abettors, shall, on conviction or attainder, be deemed “ traitors.” The words, current within this realm, refer to gold and silver coin of foreign realms, current here by the sufferance and consent of the crown, which must be by proclamation, or by writ under the great seal. And the money, the bringing in of which is prohibited by these statutes, must be brought from some foreign place out of the king's dominions into some place within the same. (d) It may be observed also, that these acts are confined to the importer, and do not extend to a receiver at second hand; and such importer must also be averred and proved to have known that the money was counterfeit. (e)

It seems to be the better opinion, that it is not necessary that such false money be actually paid away or merchandized with, for the words of the statute 25 Edw. 3. are to “merchandize or make payment, &c.” which only import an intention to do so, and are fully satisfied whether the act intended be performed or not:($) and it is clear, that bringing over money counterfeited according to the similitude of foreign coin is treason within 1 and 2 Ph. and M. c. 11. (g)

The 37 Geo. 3. c. 126. recites, that the practice of bringing into the realm, and uttering within the same, fulse and counterfeit foreign gold and silver coin, and particularly pieces of gold coin

Importing gold or silver foreign coin

not current.

(d) I East. P. C. c. 4. s. 1, 4, 5, 6, 21, 22.

(e) i Hale 227, 228, 317. I Hawk. c. 17. s. 86, 88. i East. P. C. c. 4. s. 22. p. 175.

(f) I Hawk. c. 17. s. 89. But Lord Coke and Lord Hale seem to have thought differently. 3 Inst. 18. i Hale 229. But see | East, P. C. c. 4. s. 22.

p. 175, 176. where it is said that though the best trial and proof of an intent be by the act done ; yet it may also be evivced by a variety of circumstances, of which the jury are to judge. At any rate such intent must be averred in the indictment.

(8) i Hawk. c. 17. s. 89.

commonly called louis d'or, and pieces of silver coin commonly called dollars, had of late greatly increased, and that it was expedient that provision should be made more effectually to prevent the same; and then enacts, that “if any person or persons shall bring “ into this realm any such false or counterfeit coin as aforesaid, “ (namely, the coin described in sect. 2. as 'any kind of coin not “ the proper coin of this realm, nor permitted to be current within the same') resembling, or made with intent to resemble, or look “ like any gold or silver coin of any foreign prince, state, or coun“ try, or to pass as such foreign coin, knowing the same to be « false or counterfeit, to the intent to utter the same within this a realm, or within any dominions of the same; every such person “ shall be deemed guilty of felony, and may be transported for any. “ term of years not exceeding seven." Accessories before are not. mentioned in this statute : there may however be such accessories, as they are incident to every felony; but it is doubted whether they are liable to the punishment of transportation. (h) From the words of the statute, an importation with intent to utter is clearly. sufficient, without any actual uttering. The intent must be collected from circumstances; and though an actual uttering may be. the best evidence of such intent, it is said to be safest that the. indictment should follow the words of the statute. (i) It seems, that this statute does not provide for the case of a person collecting the base money therein mentioned, from the venders of it in this country, with intent to utter it within the realm, or the dominions, of the realm. (k) Considerable quantities of old silver coin of the realm, or coin of importing

1 light silver purporting to be such, below the standard of the mint in weight, were formerly imported, to the public detriment at that time; in consequence of which the 14 Geo, 3. c. 42. probibited the bringing into the kingdom any such coin, and provided that if any silver coin being or purporting to be the coin of this realm, exceeding in amount the sum of five pounds, should be found by any officer of his Majesty's customs on board any ship, &c, or in the custody of any person coming directly from the water side; or upon the information of one or more persons, in any house or other place on search there made in the manner directed by a statute of 14 Car.2., the officer might seize the same; and if upon examination it should appear to be of the standard weight, it should be restored ; but if it should be less in weight than the standard of the mint, that is to say, at and after the rate of sixty-two shillings to every pound troy, it should be forfeited. This act was revived and made perpetual by 39 Geo. 3. c. 75: but the recent act 56 Geo. 3. c. 68. s. 2. enacts that so much of the 14 Geo. 3. c. 42. as enacts that any silver coin of the realm less in weight than after the rate of sixtytwo shillings for every pound troy shall be forfeited, and of any act or acts for reviving or continuing or making perpetual the provisions of the said act, in this respect, shall from the passing of that act be repealed.

(b) See ante, 62, note (r), and 58, (0) i East. P. C. c. 4. s. 23. p. 176. note (u), and i East. P. C. c. 4. S. 23. (k) 1 East. P.C. c. 4. §. 23. p. 177. p. 176.


« EelmineJätka »