Page images

1 Geo. 1. st. 2.

make resist

“ riotous assemblies. God save the King.” And every justice, sheriff, &c. within the limits of their respective jurisdictions are authorized and required, on notice or knowledge of any such unlawful assembly of twelve or more persons, to resort to the place, and there to make or cause such proclamation to be made.

The third section enacts that if the persons so unlawfully, riotc. 5. s. 3. Per. ously and tumultuously assembled, or twelve or more of them, bled, and not after such proclamation, shall continue together and not disperse dispersing themselves within one hour, that it shall be lawful for every juswithin anhour, to be seized

tice, sheriff, or under-sheriff of the county where such assembly and taken be- shall be, and for every constable or other peace-officer within such fore a justice. county, and for every mayor, justice, sheriff, bailiff, and other

head officer, constable, and other peace officer of any city or town where such assembly shall be, and for such other persons as shall be commanded to be assisting unto any such justice, sheriff, or under-sheriff, mayor, bailiff, or other head-officer (who are thereby authorized to command all his Majesty's subjects of age and ability to be assisting to them therein) to seize and apprehend such persons so unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously continuing together after proclamation made; and they are thereby required so to do. And that they shall carry the person so apprehended before one or more of his Majesty's justices of the peace of the county

or place where such persons shall be so apprehended, in order to And if they their being proceeded against according to law. And the section

also enacts that if any of the persons so assembled shall happen to ance, the per- be killed, maimed, or hurt, in the dispersing, seizing, or apprehendthem, &c. are ing them, or in the endeavour to do so, by reason of their resisting,

then every such justice, &c. constable, or other peace-officer, and all persons being aiding and assisting to them, shall be free, discharged, and'indemnified concerning such killing, maiming, or hurting.

The fifth section provides, “ That if any person or persons do, c. 5. 8. 5. Pre- « or shall, with force and arms, wilfully and knowingly oppose, venting such proclamation

“obstruct, or in any manner wilfully and knowingly let, hinder, or from being "hurt, any person or persons that shall begin to proclaim, or go made, felony “ to proclaim, according to the proclamation hereby directed to be withoutclergy. « made, whereby such proclamation shall not be made, that then

every such opposing, obstructing, letting, hindering, or hurting, “such person or persons, so beginning or going to make such

proclamation as aforesaid, shall be adjudged felony without be“nefit of clergy; and the offenders therein shall be adjudged

“ felons, and shall suffer death as in case of felony, without benefit And persons

“ of clergy; and that also every such person or persons being so

“ unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled, to the numwhere the pro- “ ber of twelve, as aforesaid, or more, to whom proclamation hindered, and “ should or ought to have been made, if the same had not been not dispersing “hindered, as aforesaid, shall likewise, in case they or any of within anhour, « them, to the number of twelve or more, shall continue together, clergy. “ and not disperse themselves within one hour after such let or

“hindrance so made, having knowledge of such let or hindrance “so made, shall be adjudged felons, and shall suffer death as in

“ case of felony, without benefit of clergy." Prosecutions

By the eighth section of the act, it is provided that no person to be commenced in shall be prosecuted by virtue of the act for any offence committed twelve months.


1 Geo. 1. st. 2.

so assembled

contrary to it, unless the prosecution be commenced within twelve months after the offence committed. (f)

By the 39 Geo. 3. c. 79. s. 1. reciting that divers societies had 39 G. 3. c 79. been instituted in this kingdom and in Ireland, of a new and dan- s. 1:. Certain

societies are gerous nature, inconsistent with public tranquillity, and with the

suppressed. existence of regular government; particularly certain societies calling themselves “Societies of United Englishmen, United Scotsmen, United Britons, United Irishmen, and The London

Corresponding Society,and that it was expedient and necessary that all such societies, and all societies of the like nature, should be utterly suppressed and prohibited, as unlawful combinations and confederacies, highly dangerous to the peace and tranquillity of these kingdoms, and to the constitution of the government thereof, as by law established, it is enacted, “ That all the “ said societies of United Englishmen, United Scotsmen, United Irishmen, and United Britons, and the said society commonly “ called the London Corresponding Society, and all other societies “ called Corresponding Societies, of any other city, town, or place, " shall be, and the same are hereby utterly suppressed and pro“hibited, as being unlawful combinations and confederacies “ against the government of our sovereign lord the King, and “ against the peace and security of his Majesty's liege subjects.”

The second section of the statute enacts, that the said societies, 39 G. 3. c. 79. and every other society then established, or hereafter to be es- s. 2. Societies, tablished, the members whereof shall, according to the rules thereof, of which shall

the members or to any provision or agreement for that purpose, be required or take unlawful admitted to take any oath or engagement which shall be an unlaw- oaths or enful oath or engagement, within the intent or meaning of the 37 G. &c. or where 3. c. 123. (8) or to take any oath not required or authorized by the names of law; and every society the members whereof, or any of them, some of the shall take, or in any manner bind themselves by any such oath or of persons engagement, on becoming, or in consequence of being members of forming comsuch society: and every society, the members whereof shall take, mittees, &c. subscribe, or assent to any test or declaration not required by law, secret, or or not authorised in manner hereinafter mentioned ; and every so- where there ciety of which the names of the members, or of any of them, shall are divisions, be kept secret from the society at large, or which shall have any cieties, are to committee, or select body so chosen or appointed, that the mem- be deemed

unlawful bers constituting the same shall not be known by the society at

combinations large, to be members of such committee, or select body; or which and conshall have any president, &c. or other officer, so chosen and ap

federacies, pointed, that the election or appointment shall not be known to the society at large, or of which the names of all the members, and of all committees or select bodies of members, and of all presidents, &c., shall not be entered in a book to be kept for that purpose, and open to the inspection of all the members; and every society which shall be composed of different divisions or branches, or of different

(f) For the section of the act re- and that offenders in Scotland shall lating to the demolishing, or pulling suffer death, and confiscation of movedown churches, chapels, bouses, &c. ables. This statute is commonly called by rioters, see ante, 251. The ninth the Riot Act; and is required by s. 7, section of the act enacts, that she- to be openly read at every quarter riffs, &c. in Scotland, shall bave the session, and at every leet or law day, same power for putting the act in (8) Ante, p. 129, et seque execution as justices, &c. have here :

[merged small][ocr errors]

to extend to

parts, acting in any manner separately or distinct from each other, or of which any part shall have any separate or distinct president, &c. or other officer, elected or appointed by, or for such part, or to

act as an officer for such part; shall be deemed and taken to be unAnd persons

lawful combinations and confederacies. (1) And further, that every ing with such person who shall directly or indirectly maintain correspondence or societies, or intercourse with any such society, or with any division, branch, aiding them, committee, or other select body, president, &c. or other officer, or to be deemed

member thereof as such, or who shall by contribution of money, or guilty of an unlawful com- otherwise, aid, abet, or support such society, or any members or bination and

officers thereof, as such, shall be deemed guilty of an unlawful confederacy.

combination and confederacy. The act is not

There is a provision, that the act shall not extend to declarations

approved by two justices, and registered with the clerk of the declarations

peace; but that such approbation shall only remain valid till the approved by two justices,

next general session, uvless the same shall be confirmed by the and registered; major part of the justices at such general session. (0) And it is nor to lodges also enacted, that it shall not extend to the meetings of societies, sons, where or lodges of Freemasons, which, before the passing of the act, had tificate and re. “ masons," and in conformity to the rules prevailing among such there is a cer- been usually held, under the denomination of “ Lodges of Freegistry.

societies ; (k) provided that there be a certificate of two of the members upon oath, that such society or ladge had been usually held under such denomination, and in conformity to such rules; the certificate duly attested, &c. being, within two months after the passing of the act, deposited with the clerk of the peace, with whom also the name or denomination of the society or lodge, and the usual place and time of meeting, and the names and descriptions of the members, are to be registered yearly. (1) The clerk of the peace is required to enrol such certificate and registry, and

to lay the same once in every year before the general session of But the justices the justices; and the justices may upon complaint, upon oath, that may order the the continuance of the meetings of any such lodge or society is any lodge to be likely to be injurious to the public peace and good order, direct discontinued: them to be discontinued ; and any such meeting, held notwithand any meeting held, not

standing such order or discontinuance, and before the same shall, withstanding by the like authority, be revoked, shall be deemed an unlawful such order, combination and confederacy under the provisions of the act. (m) will be an unlawful combi

The eighth section of the statute enacts, “ That every person nation and “who, at any time after the passing of this act, shall, in breach confederacy. “ of the provisions thereof, be guilty of any such unlawful com39 G. 3. c. 79. “ bination and confederacy as in this act is described, shall and 8. 8. Proceed. ings against of

may be proceeded against for such offence in a summary way, fenders before either before one or more justice or justices of the peace for the justices, or by “county, stewartry, riding, division, city, town, or place, where indictment,

“such persons shall happen to be, or by indictment to be pre“ ferred in the county, riding, division, city, town, or place, in

England, wherein such offence shall be committed, or by in


(h) By the 59 Geo. 3. c. 19. s 27. cussed.
this enactment is not to extend to (i) 39 Gco. 3. c. 79. s. 3.
meetings of Quakers, or to any meet. (l) Id. sect. 5.
ing or society for purposes of a reli- (?) Id. sect. 6.
gious or charitable nature only, and (m) Id. sect. 7.
in which no other matter shall be dis-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“ dictment in the court of justiciary, or in any of the circuit “ courts in Scotland, if the offence shall be committed in Scot“ land; and every person being convicted of any such offence, on “ the oath of one or more credible witness or witnesses, by such “ justice or justices as aforesaid, shall be by him or them com“mitted to the common gaol, or house of correction, for such

county, &c. there to remain without bail or mainprize, for the “ term of three calendar months; or shall be by such justice or “justices adjudged to forfeit and pay the sum of twenty pounds,

as to such justice or justices shall seem meet; and in case such sum of

money shall not be forthwith paid into the hands of such “ justice or justices, he or they shall, by warrant under his or their 6. hand and seal, or hands and seals, cause the same to be levied “ by distress and sale of the offender's goods and chattels, together “ with all costs and charges attending such distress and sale; and, “ for want of sufficient distress, shall commit such offender to the “ common gaol or house of correction of such county, &c. for any “ time not exceeding three calendar months; and every person “ convicted of any such offence, upon indictment by due course of “ law, shall and may be transported for the term of seven years, “ in the manner provided by law for transportation of offenders;

or imprisoned for any time not exceeding two years, as the “ court before whom such offender shall be tried shall think fit; " and every such offender, who shall be ordered to be transported, “ shall be subject and liable to all laws concerning offenders or56 dered to be transported."

But the justice or justices, before whom any person shall be Justices may convicted of any unlawful combination or confederacy, may miti- mitigate the gate the punishment, so as it be not thereby reduced to less than punishment. one-third of the punishment by the act directed to be inflicted, whether by imprisonment or fine. (n) And it is provided, that And persons any person who shall be convicted or acquitted by any justice, cuted before upon a summary prosecution, shall not afterwards be prosecuted a justice, or inby indictment, or otherwise, for the same offence; and in like dicted, are not manner that any person convicted, or acquitted, upon an indict- liable to other ment, shall not afterwards be prosecuted before any justice in a summary way. (0) But the act is not to extend to prevent any But offenders prosecution by indictment or otherwise, for any thing which shall may be indictbe an offence within the intent and meaning of the act, and which ed, if not pro

under might have been so prosecuted if the act had not been made, this act. unless the offender shall have been prosecuted for such offence under the act, and convicted or acquitted of such offence. (p)

The statute 60 G. 3. and 1 G 4.c. 1. reciting that in some parts 60 G.3. & 1 G. of the United Kingdom men clandestinely and unlawfully as- 4. c. 1. Meetsembled had practised military training and exercise, to the great ings for the terror and alarm of his majesty's peaceable and loyal subjects, litary exercise and to the danger of the public peace, enacts, “ That all meetings prohibited; and 66 and assemblies of persons

for the

purpose of training or drilling persons attend“ themselves, or of being trained or drilled to the use of arms, or ings, for the “ for the purpose of practising military exercise, movements, or purpose of "evolutions, without any lawful authority from his majesty, or

training others, “ the lieutenant, or two justices of the peace of any county or therein, liable

or aiding (n) 39 Geo. 3. c. 79. $. 9.

(P) 39 Geo. 3. c. 79. s, 11. (0) Id. sect. 10.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



to be trans- “ riding, or of any stewartry, by commission or otherwise, for so ported or ima

“ doing, shall be, and the same are hereby prohibited as dangerprisoned. And persons attend

ous to the peace and security of his majesty's liege subjects, and ing for the

“ of his government; and every person who shall be present at, purpose of

" or attend any such meeting or assembly for the purpose of trainbeing trained, liable to be


and drilling any other person or persons, to the use of arms, fined and im- “or the practice of military exercise, movements, or evolutions, prisoned. or who shall train or drill any other person or persons to the use

of arms, or the practice of military exercise, movements, or evolu“tions, or who shall aid or assist therein, being legally convicted “ thereof, shall be liable to be transported for any term not ex“ ceeding seven years, or to be punished by imprisonment, not

exceeding two years, at the discretion of the court in which such “ conviction shall be had ; and every person who shall attend or “ be present at any such meeting or assembly as aforesaid, for the

purpose of being, or who shall at any such meeting or assembly “ be trained or drilled to the use of arms, or the practice of mili

tary exercise, movements, or evolutions, being legally convicted " thereof, shall be liable to be punished by fine and imprisonment, “not exceeding two years, at the discretion of the court in which

“ such conviction shall be had."(a) 57 G. 3. c. 19. A statute, 57 Geo. 3. c. 19. and a more recent statute 60 & 60 G. 3. & 1 Geo. 3. & 1 Geo. 4. c. 6. contained many enactments relating to

assemblies of persons, collected for the purpose, or under the preporary enact

text of deliberating on public grievances, and of agreeing on peti-
tions and addresses to the throne, or to the houses of parliament ;
which were only temporary enactments, and appear to have now

57 G. 3. c. 19. But the statute 57 Geo. 3. c. 19. contains also several enact-

ments relating to meetings and assemblies of persons which are
not limited in
their duration. not of a limited duration.
Sect. 23. The twenty-third section, reciting, that it is highly inexpedient
No meetings to that public meetings or assemblies should be held near the houses
be held on cer- of Parliament, or near the courts of justice in Westminster Hall,
tain days with-
in a mile of on certain days; enacts, that it shall not be lawful for any person
Westminster to convene, or to give any notice for convening, any meeting con-

sisting of more than fifty persons, or for any number of persons
exceeding fifty to meet in any street, square, or open place, in the
city or liberties of Westminster, or county of Middlesex, within
the distance of a inile from the gate of Westminster Hall, (except
such parts of the parish of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, as are
within such distance) for the purpose of considering of or pre-
paring any petition, &c. for alteration of matters in church or
state, on any day on which the two houses, or either house of
Parliament, shall meet and sit, nor on any day on which the
courts shall sit in Westminster Hall. And that if any meeting or
assembly for such purposes shall be assembled or holiien on such
day, it shall be deemed an unluwful assembly. But there is a

G. 4. c. 6. tem


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(a) The second section of the act six months. And by sect. 7. prosecu.
provides for the dispersion of persons tions for offences against the provi,
so assembled, or for their detention sions of the act must he commenced
and giving bail. By sect. 5 & 6. ac- within six months after the offence
tions for ang ting donc in pursuance conmitted.
of the act must be comincuced witbin

« EelmineJätka »