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of the rights of our Protestant dignitaries. And by 14 & 15 Vict. c. 60 (the Ecclesiastical Titles Act, 1851), a penalty of 1001. was imposed upon any person who should procure from the see of Rome, or publish or put in usé within the united kingdom, any bull for constituting archbishops or bishops of pretended provinces or sees ; or upon any person, other than the person authorized by law, who should assume or use the title of archbishop, bishop, or dean of any city, town, place, or territory in the united kingdom (a). No prosecution under these enactments was ever instituted, although prelates appointed by the Pope have continued to assume, both in England and Ireland, territorial titles; and it has been thought inconvenient to retain them in our statute book. Accordingly they are repealed by the 34 & 35 Vict. c. 53,—the preamble to the Act declaring it to be inexpedient to impose penalties upon those ministers of religion "who may, as among the members of the several religious bodies to which they respectively belong, be designated by distinctions regarded as titles of office, although such designation may be connected with the name of some town or place within the realm.” There is, however, a proviso attached to the repeal, that it shall not be deemed in any way to authorize or sanction the conferring of any rank, title, precedence, authority or jurisdiction over any subject of this realm by any person other than by our gracious sovereign.
IX. [Contempts against the royal palaces have been always looked upon as high misprisions; and, by the antient law before the Conquest, fighting in the king's palace or before the king's judges was punished with death (6). So too, in the old Gothic constitution, there were many places privileged by law—" quibus major re
(a) There is a prior enactment to Geo. 4, c. 7, s. 24. the same general effect (apparently (5) 2 Inst. 140; LL. Alured, cap still unrepealed) contained in 10 7 and 34.
[verentia et securitas debetur, ut templa et judicia, que sancta habebantur, arces et aula regis, denique locus quilibet præsente aut adventante rege”(c).] And with us, by the statute 33 Hen. VIII. c. 12, malicious striking in the king's palace wherein his royal person resides, whereby blood is drawn, was punishable by perpetual imprisonment and fine at the king's pleasure, and also with the loss of the offender's right hand, the solemn execution of which sentence is prescribed in the statute at length (d); but by 9 Geo. IV. c. 31, s. 1, the part of this Act which inflicted the above mutilation, is repealed. It appears, however, to be a contempt of the kind now in question to execute the ordinary process of the law, by arrest or otherwise, within the verge of a royal palace, or in the Tower; unless permission be first obtained from the proper authority (e).
X. [The maladministration of such high officers as are in public trust and employment, may be ranked as a contempt against the sovereign or his government. This is usually punished by the method of parliamentary impeachment; wherein such penalties short of death are inflicted, as to the wisdom of the house of Lords shall seem proper; consisting usually of banishment, imprisonment, fines or perpetual disability. Hitherto also may be referred the offence of embezzling of public money, called among the Romans peculatus ; which the Julian law punished with death in a magistrate, and with deportation or banishment in a private person (f). With us it is not a capital crime; but subjects the committer of it, at common law, to a discretionary fine and imprisonment.]
(c) Stiernh. de Jure Goth, 1. 3,
(a) See Knevet's case, 11 Harg. St. Tr. 16.
(e) See Elderton's case, Ld. Raym. 978; R. v. Stobbs, 3 T. R. 735; Winter v. Miles, 1 Camp. 475; S.C.
10 East, 578; Sparks v. Spink, 7 Taunt. 311 ; Batson v. M'Lean, 2 Chit. Rep. 51; Bell v. Jacobs, 1 M. & P. 309; but as to impton Court, see Att.-Gen. v. Dakin, Law Rep., 2 Ex. 290.
(f) Inst. lib. 4, tit. 18, par. 9.
And by statute 50 Geo. III. c. 59, s. 2, it was provided, that if any officer entrusted with the receipt or management of the public revenues, should knowingly furnish false statements or returns of the monies collected by him, or the balances left in his hands, he should be guilty of a misdemeanor; and be fined and imprisoned at the discretion of the court, and for ever rendered incapable of holding any office under the Crown. And special provisions have been made with regard to the stealing or embezzlement by a person in the service of the Crown, of any chattel, money or valuable security in his possession, or coming under his control, by virtue of such employment(9)
XI. To the same class of offences, must be referred that of selling public offices; as to which it was provided by 49 Geo. III. c. 126 (reciting and extending the 5 & 6 Edw. VI. c. 16 on the same subject), that persons buying or selling, or receiving or paying money or reward for, any office in the gift of the Crown; and persons receiving or paying money for, or soliciting or obtaining, any such office, or making any negotiation or pretended negotiation relating thereto; and persons opening or advertising houses for transacting business relating to the sale of any such office ;-should, respectively, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor (h).
XII, Offences relating to the coin.
Offences of this class seem properly classed under the general species of which we are now speaking, by reason of the invasion they usually involve of the prerogative of
(9) 24 & 25 Vict. c. 96, ss. 69, 70.
(h) As to this statute (from the provisions of which certain offices are excepted) see Hopkins v. Prescott, 4 C. B. 578; Sterry v. Clifton, 9 C. B. 110; Eyre v. Forbes, 12
C.B. (N. S.) 191. See also 6 Geo. 4, cc. 82 and 83, by which the sale of offices in the Queen's Bench and Common Pleas are expressly prohibited.
the crown with regard to the coinage of money, and of which we spoke in a previous division of this work (i).
First, then, of offences relating to the coin of this realm. These are now comprised in the stat. 24 & 25 Vict. c. 99, (intituled “ An Act to consolidate and amend the Statute Law of the United Kingdom against Offences relating to the Coin"); which statute repeals, as far as the united kingdom is concerned (j), the 2 & 3 Will. IV. c. 34, by which this subject was previously regulated; and which itself swept away a great variety of enactments relating to the coin, by which our criminal code was previously encumbered. The existing provisions are as follows:
With respect to gold and silver coin.
1. Whosoever shall falsely make or counterfeit any coin, resembling, or apparently intended to resemble or pass for, any of the queen's current gold or silver coin, shall be guilty of felony (R).
2. Whosoever shall gild or silver, (or colour with any wash or materials capable of producing the colour of gold or silver, or by any means whatsoever,) any coin, resembling or intended to pass for any current gold or silver coin; or any piece of silver or copper, or of coarse gold or silver, or of any metal or mixture of metals (of a fit size and figure to be coined),—with intent that the same shall be coined into false coin, resembling, or intended to pass for any current gold or silver coin; or who shall gild, silver, or colour any of the current silver coin or copper coin (or file or alter such silver or copper coin), with intent to make the same resemble or pass for
of the current gold coin or silver coin,-shall, in any of the above cases, be guilty of felony (l).
(i) Vide sup. vol. II. p. 520. local provisions, with respect to
(j) In certain of the colonies, offences relating to the coin of this however, the 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 34, realm, have not been made. remains still in force, its provisions (k) 24 & 25 Vict. c. 99, s. 2. having been, by 16 & 17 Vict. c. 48, (1) Sect. 3. See R. v. Turner, 2 extended to those colonies in which M. C. C. R. 42.
3. Whosoever, without lawful authority or excuse, (the proof whereof shall lie on the party accused,) shall buy, sell, receive, pay, or put off any false gold or silver coin, at a lower rate than the same by its denomination imports; or shall import into the united kingdom any such false coin, knowing the same to be counterfeit; he shall, in either case, be guilty of felony (m).
4. Whosoever, without lawsul authority or excuse, (the proof whereof shall lie on the party accused,) shall knowingly make or mend, or buy or sell, or have in his custody or possession, or shall convey out of the Royal Mints, any coining moulds, machines or tools,-or shall convey out of such Mints any coin, bullion, metal, or mixture of metals,—shall, in any of such cases, be guilty of felony (n).
The punishment for any of the offences hitherto mentioned, is penal servitude for life, or for any term not less than five years; or imprisonment for any term not more than two years, with or without hard labour and solitary confinement(o).
5. Whosoever shall impair, diminish, or lighten any of the current gold or silver coin, with intent that the coin so altered may pass for the current gold or silver coin, shall be guilty of felony; and is liable to penal servitude for any term not less than five years, nor more than fourteen years, or may be imprisoned as already speci
(m) 24 & 25 Vict. c. 99, ss. 6, 7. See R. v. Joyce, Car. C. L. 184.
(n) Sects. 24, 25. See R. v. Foster, 7 Car. & P. 495; R. v. Bannen, 1 Car. & Kir. 295.
(0) Sects. 2, 6, 7, 24, 25; 27 & 28 Vict. c. 47. In the case of any felony under the 24 & 25 Vict. c. 99, the court may, if it shall think fit, bind over the offender with snreties to keep the peace, in addition
to any other punishment (sect. 38). Until the passing of 2 Will. 4, c. 34, many offences connected with counterfeiting coin were capital felonies; and, in the time of Blackstone, to counterfeit the king's money, or bring false money into the realm, was treason (4 Bl. Com. p. 84).
(p) 24 & 25 Vict. c. 99, s. 4; 27 & 28 Vict. c. 47.