Page images


Importing counterfeit money of England.

Importing foreign coin current here.

[ocr errors]

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: (f) 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. | 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 I 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 eviuced by a variety of circumstances, of which the jury are to judge. At any rate such intent must be averred in the indictment.

(8) 1 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 “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

light silver purporting to be such, below the standard of the mint in weight, coin. 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 Viajesty'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.

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


Of Exporting Counterfeit Money.
Of sending
The statute 38 Geo. 3. c. 67. s. 1. enacts that “ All copper

coin counterfeit “ whatsoever, not being the legal copper coin of this kingdom, and coin, &c. out

“ all counterfeit gold or silver coin, made to the similitude or resemof the kingdom for the purpose

“ blance, or intended to resemble, any gold or silver coin either of of its being “ this kingdom or of any other country, which shall under any preimported into

“ tence, name, or description whatsoever, be exported or shipped, the British colonies in or laden or put on board any ship, vessel, or boat, for the purpose America, or the of being exported from this kingdom to the island of Martinique West Indies.

“ in the West Indies, or any of his Majesty's islands or colonies, in “ the West Indies, or America, shall be forfeited,” &c. And the second section enacts that “every person who shall so export, or

ship, lay, or put on board any ship, vessel, or boat, in order to be so exported, or caused to be shipped, &c. or shall have in their

custody, in order to be so exported, any such coin as aforesaid, “ shall forfeit 2001. and double the value of such coin, to be reco“ vered by bill, suit, action, or information, in any court of record « at Westminster.”


of the Judgment in Cases of Treason respecting the Coin. In all cases of treason respecting the coin whether newly created such or not, and so in petty treason, the judgment is to be drawn on a hurdle and hanged; for that was the judgment before the statute 25 Ed. 3. st. 5. c. 2. and was not intended to be altered thereby: and these being all offences in pari materiá, and auxiliary to the original law, have the same judgment. (1)

(1) I East. P. C. c. 2. s. 70. p. 138.





Of Frauds relating to Bullion. Bullion signifies properly either gold or silver in the mass : but is sometimes used to denote those metals in any state other than that of authenticated coin; comprising in this latter sense gold and silver wares and manufactures. Many statutes have been passed for the prevention of frauds with respect to such bullion by creating offences in making, working, putting to sale, exchanging, selling, Making gold or exporting, any gold or silver manufactures of less fineness than and silver the standards respectively fixed at the time by the several acts. wares under

the true alloy. But it is not intended to make any particular mention of those statutes; (a) the punishments inflicted by them being in general certain penalties and forfeitures, or, in default of payment, commitment to the house of correction. It should be observed, however, that the statute 28 Ed. 1. st. 3. c. 20, is still in force, which prohibits any goldsmith from making any vessel or other thing of gold or silver, except it be of good and true alloy, namely, gold not worse than the touch of Paris, and silver of sterling alloy or better; and provides that all silver vessels shall be assayed by the wardens of the goldsmiths' company, and marked with the leopard's head. The punishment of a goldsmith so offending against this act is imprisonment and ransom at the king's pleasure; and, as the statute is a prohibitory law, the proper remedy under it is by indictment.(b) Though the description of the offence in this statute is not so large as in the subsequent statutes, it has been held that it is not repealed by any of the subsequent statutes against the same offence, but that they only add accumulative penalties. (c) But the knowingly exposing to sale and selling wrought gold under the sterling alloy for gold of the true standard, though indictable in goldsmiths, is a private imposition only in a common person, and the party injured is left to his civil remedy. (d)

It is conceived also that offenders fraudulently affixing public Fraudulently and authentic marks on goods of a value inferior to such tokens are

affixing marks

indictable at (a) See them collected in 1 East. (c) Rex v. Jackson, Cowp. 297. 1

common law. P.C.c. 4. s. 32. p. 188 to 194.

East. P. C. c. 4. s. 34. p. 194. (b) Bs. Lord Mansfied in Rex v. (d) Rex v. Bower, Cowp. 323. Jacksod, Cowp. 297.

liable to suffer at common law upon an indictment for a cheat. Joseph Fabian, a working goldsmith, was indicted for falsifying plate, by putting in too much alloy, and then corrupting one of the assay master's servants to help him to the proper marks, with which he stamped his plate, and sold it to the goldsmiths; and being convicted, he was fined 1001. and adjudged to stand three times in the pillory; and was also forejudged of his trade that he should not use that trade again as a master workman. This judgment must have been at common law. (e)

The offences of counterfeiting the assay marks on bullion or plate, or transposing such marks from one piece of manufacture to

another, will be mentioned in a subsequent part of the Work. Of frauds in It was provided by the stat. 15 Car. 2. c. 7. s. 12, that any pertion of bullion, son might export any foreign coin or bullion duty free, first making

an entry thereof at the custom-house: but under colour of this regulation it was found that English money or wrought plate had been melted down into the form of foreign coin or bullion for the purpose of exportation. The statute 6 and 7 W. 3. c. 17, and the 7 and 8 W.3. c. 19. s. 6. contain some enactments for the prevention of this evil. The 6 and 7 W.3. c. 17. prohibits making ingots or bars of silver in imitation of Spanish bars or ingots, (f) and enacts that no person shall export molten silver, unless stamped at goldsmiths' hall, or without a certificate from one of the wardens of the goldsmiths' company that oath has been made of the same being lawful silver, and that no part thereof was (before it was molten) the current coin of the realm, nor clippings thereof, nor plate wrought within this kingdom. (g) The 7 and 8 W. 3. c. 19. s. 6. provides that no person shall ship, &c. any molten silver, or bullion, unless a certificate be first obtained from the court of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, oath having been made before the court by the owners and two witnesses that the same was and is foreign bullion, and that no part thereof was the coin of the realm, or the clippings thereof, nor plate wrought within this kingdom, &c.; and that such oath shall be circumstantially certified by the said court to the commissioners of the customs, before any cocket shall be granted for shipping the same. The regulations of these statutes are enforced in most instances by pecuniary penalties and forfeitures. Some alteration, however, has been made in them by a recent statute 43 Geo. 3. c. 49. which reciting that the East India company and others may be possessed of large quantities of foreign molten silver or bullion, brought from parts beyond the seas, and not be able to prove that no part of it was coin of the realm or clippings, nor plate wrought within Great Britain, so as to obtain the necessary certificates for the exportation of it, enacts that the treasury may grant licences for the exportation of molten silver or bullion, and that persons so licensed may export bullion

without the usual certificate. Brokers prohibited from

The same statute of 6 and 7 W.3. c. 17, enacts also (h) that “ if buying and any broker, not being a trading goldsmith or refiner of silver, seðing bullion.

(e) Fabian's case, Old Bailey, Dec. (8) S. 5. Other provisions as to the Sess. 1664. i Last. P. C. c. 4. s. 34. seizure of molten silver or bullion are p.194 Kel. 39.

contained in s. 6, 13, and 14. U) S. s.

(h) 8.7.

« EelmineJätka »