« EelmineJätka »
CHAPTER THE SECOND.
OF FRAUDS RELATING TO BULLION, AND OF COUNTER
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.(6) 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of the offence in this statute is not so large as in the subsequent statutes, it has been held that it is not repealed by any of the subsequent statutes against the same offence, but that they only add accumulative penalties.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
indictable at (a) See them collected in' i 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. (6) By Lord Mansfied in Rex u. (d) Rex v. Bower, Cowp. 323. Jackson, 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 foreveged 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. (8) 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, selling bullion.
(e) Fabian's ease, Old Bailey, Dec. (g) S. 5. Other provisions as to the Sess. 1664. 1 East. P. C. c. 4. S. 34. seizure of molten silver or bullion are p. 194. Kel. 39.
contained in s. 6, 13, and 14. (f) S. 3.
(h) S. 7.
“ shall buy or sell any bullion or molten silver, he shall suffer “ imprisonment for six months without bail;" a regulation which is supposed to have been intended to prevent gambling speculations which might enhance the price of the precious metals. (i)
Of Counterfeiting Bullion. The statute 8 and 9 W.3. c. 26. s. 6. reciting that several mix- Blanching tures of metals had been invented in imitation of gold and silver, copper, &c. and that blanched copper was principally made use of in imitation of silver, and seldom if ever for any honest or good purpose, enacts " that if any person shall blanch
copper for sale, or mix blanched copper with silver, or knowingly buy or sell or offer to sale “ blanched copper alone or mixed with silver, or shall knowingly 6 and fraudulently buy or sell or offer to sale any malleable compo“sition, or mixture of metals, or minerals, which shall be heavier “ than silver, and look and touch and wear like standard gold, but “ be manifestly worse than the standard,” such person shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and being thereof convicted or attainted shall suffer death. (k)
(i) i East. P. C. c. 4. s. 37. p: 196. be made unless commenced within
(k) The seventh section provides three montiis after the offence cointhat there shall be no corruption of niitted. This statute is made perblood or forfeiture of dower: and by petual by 7 Aun. €. 25. 5. 3. the ninth section no prosecution is to
CHAPTER THE THIRD.
OF THE MAKING, MENDING, OR HAVING IN POSSESSION ANY
INSTRUMENTS FOR COINING.
Making, mend- The statute 8 & 9 W. 3. c. 26. s. 1.
no smith, ening, or having“ graver, founder, or other person or persons whatsoever, (other in possession coining instru
“ than and except the persons employed, or to be employed in or ments, high “ for His Majesty's mint or mints in the tower of London or else
“where, and for the use and service of the said mints only, or
persons lawfully authorised by the lords commissioners of the “ treasury, or lord high treasurer of England for the time being)(a) “ shall knowingly make or mend, or begin or proceed to make or “ mend, or assist in the making or mending of any puncheon, “ counter-puncheon, matrix, stamp, die, pattern, or mould of steel, “iron, silver, or other metal or metals, or of spaud or fine founders’ “ earth or sand, or of any other materials whatsoever, in or upon “ which there shall be, or be made or impressed, or which will “ make or impress the figure, stamp, resemblance, or similitude of “ both or either of the sides or flats of any gold or silver coin cur“ rent within this kingdom; nor shall knowingly make or mend,
or begin or proceed to make or mend, or assist in the making or “ mending of any edger or edging tool, instrument or engine, not “ of common use in any trade, but contrived for marking (b) of
money round the edges with letters, grainings, or other marks or figures resembling those on the edges of money coined in His Majesty's mint, nor uny press for coinuge, nor any cutting en
gine for cutting round blanks by force of a screw out of fatted “ bars of gold, silver, or other metal; nor shall knowingly buy or “sell, hide or conceal, or without lawful authority or sufficient “excuse for that purpose knowingly have in his,'her, or their
houses, custody or possession, any such puncheon, counter-pun
(a) It was holden by all the Judges, ought to be tried again ; which was about Hilary Term 13 W. 3. that it done at the Lent Assizes, 1702, before ought to be averred in an indictment Powis, J., when the prisoner was at. on this statute that the party was not tainted and executed." employed in the mint, or authorised (0) The word is making in the black by the treasurer, &c. 1 East. P. C. c. Jeller folio copy of the Statutes; and 4. s. 15., where it is staled that the Mr. East has so copied the word, (1 question was moved before Mr. Jus. East P. C. c. 4. s. 16. p. 167.) adding tice Turton, who had convicted one
in the margin
quære a misprint in upon this statute at York upon an the printed statute for marking.” In indictment which had not such an the octavo edition of the statutes, hy averment; and for this reason it was Pickering, the word is murking, as in holden bad, and that the prisoner the text.
“cheon, matrix, stamp, die, edger, cutting engine, or other tool or “ instrument before mentioned." And every such offender and offenders, their counsellors, procurers, aiders, and abettors, shall be guilty of high treason, and being thereof convicted or attainted shall suffer death, as in case of high treason.
The second section of the same statute creates another offence, Conveying out and enacts, “that if any person shall, without lawful authority of the mint “ for that purpose, wittingly or knowingly convey, or assist in the any puncheon,
conveying out of His Majesty's mint in the tower of London, or son; “out of any other of His Majesty's mints, any puncheon, counter“puncheon, matrix, die, stamp, edger, cutting engine, press, or “ other tool, engine, or instrument, used for or about the coining “ of monies, there, or any useful part of such tools or instruments, such offenders, their counsellors, procurers, aiders or abettors, as also all and every person and persons knowingly receiving, hid- and receiving, ing, or concealing the same, shall be adjudged guilty of high trea- hiding, &c. the son, and being convicted or attainted thereof, shall suffer death, as
same, also high in case of high treason.
This statute was only temporary, but afterwards made perpetual Prosecution by 7 Anne, c. 25. s. 1. ; and by the second section of that statute
months, and the prosecution of such as offend against the said act of 8 & 9W.3. in some cases c. 26. by making or mending, or beginning or proceeding to make within three or mend any coining tool, or instrument therein prohibited, may
months. be commenced within six months after such offence committed. The act of W. 3. provides that no prosecution shall be made for any offence against that act, unless such prosecution be commenced within three months (c) after such offence committed. In cases still within this provision it is incumbent on the prosecutor to shew that the prosecution was commenced within three months. And it has been holden that proof by parol that the prisoner was apprehended for treason respecting the coin, within the three months, will not be sufficient, if the indictment be after the three months, and the warrant to apprehend or to commit be not produced. The indictment was for having in possession a die on which was impressed the resemblance of the head side of a shilling. The offence appeared to have been committed above three months before the indictment was preferred; and neither the warrant to take or to commit, nor the depositions before the magistrates, were given in evidence; but parol evidence was given that the prisoner was apprehended upon transactions for high treason re. specting the coin within the three months. On a case reserved the Judges were of opinion that this evidence was not sufficient, and a pardon was recommended. (d)
Several points have arisen as to the tools or instruments which are to be considered as within the words of the statute 8 & 9 W.3.
In one case the prisoner was indicted for having in his custody Having possesa press for coinage without any lawful authority, &c. One of the sion of a press questions raised was, whether a press for coinage was one of the for coinage, or tools or instruments within that clause of the act on which the in- within 8 & 9 dictment was founded : and a majority of the Judges held that it W. 3. c. 26.
(c) Voide Willace's case, ante, p. 56. Mich. T. 1818, MS. Bayley, J. Russ. note (I); and post, 79, note (h). & Ry. 369.
(d) Rex v. Phillips and Another,