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and sale, the forfeiture imposed by the particular Act of parliament.
IV. [A monopoly is a licence or privilege allowed by the sovereign for the sole buying and selling, making, working, or using of any thing whatsoever ; whereby the subject in general is restrained from that liberty of manufacturing or trading which he had before (p). These monopolies had been carried to an enormous height during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and were heavily complained of by Sir E. Coke, in the beginning of the reign of James the first (9);] but were in great measure remedied by statute 21 Jac. I. c. 3, which declared such monopolies to be contrary to law and void ;-except as to patents to the authors of new inventions, and except also patents concerning printing, saltpetre, gunpowder, great ordnance and shot ;-and monopolists were made punishable with the forfeiture of damages to those whom they attempted to disturb.
And if they procured any action, brought against them for these damages, to be stayed by any extra-judicial order, other than that of the court wherein it was brought, they were made liable to the penalties of a præmunire(r).
(p) Vide sup. vol. II. p. 25. The with intent to sell them again. We offences of forestalling the market, may also here allude to two other regrating and engrossing, (with offences mentioned by Blackstone many other statutes in restraint of (vol. iv. pp. 154, 156). The first of trade,) were abolished by 7 & 8 these is that of orcling, or the offence Vict. c. 24. The offence of fore- of transporting wool or sheep out of stalling the market, consisted in the kingdom; which, (with all other buying the merchandize on its way offences relating to the exportation to market, or dissuading persons to of wool or sheep,) was abolished by bring their goods there, or persuad- the effect of 5 Geo. 4, c. 47. The ing them to enhance the price when other is that of usury; as to the there. That of regrating, consisted history of which, vide sup. vol. II. in buying corn, &c. in any market, and selling in again in or near the (7) 3 Inst. 181. same place. That of engrossing, was (r) As to a præmunire, vide sup. getting into one's possession or buy- p. 168 et seq. It was formerly an ing op large quantities of corn, &c., offence to transport and seduce our
V. We may also here mention some provisions which have been made against assaulting or otherwise molesting persons engaged in the exercise of certain trades. For by 24 & 25 Vict. c. 100, s. 39, whosoever shall use or threaten any violence to any person in order to deter or hinder him from selling or disposing of wheat or other grain, flour, meal, malt, or potatoes, in any market or other place : or shall use or threaten violence to any person in charge or having care of its carriage, with intent to stop the same ;-or who shall unlawfully and with force hinder any seaman, keelman, or caster from exercising his lawful trade or occupation; or shall beat or use violence to any such person with intent to prevent him from so working—may, on being summarily convicted before two justices, be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for three months (s).
artists to settle abroad, or even to export any tools or utensils used in certain manufactures. And both of these are classed by Blackstone (vol. iv. p. 160), as offences against trade. But as restrictions upon trade, such offences are now
removed. (See 5 Geo. 4, c. 97, and 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 52.)
(8) 24 & 25 Vict. c. 100, s. 40. See also the enactments against obstruction or molestation of workmen, contained in 34 & 35 Vict. c. 32, mentioned sup. p. 241.
OF OFFENCES AGAINST THE PUBLIC HEALTH, POLICE,
The nature of the offences indicated by the title of this chapter, so far as they regard the public health, will be readily conceived; but it may be necessary to remark, that by offences against the public police and economy, we mean those committed against the due regulations and domestic order of the kingdom; whereby the individuals of the State, like the members of a well-governed family, are bound to conform their general behaviour to the rules of propriety, good neighbourhood, and good manners; and to be decent, industrious and inoffensive in their respective stations. This head of offences (some of which are felonious, some indictable misdemeanors, and others punishable only by pecuniary penalties,) must therefore be very miscellaneous, and a selection of them can only be here attempted; inasmuch as the class comprises all such crimes as especially affect public society, and yet are not comprehended under any of the preceding species.
I. We shall mention first, under the present head, certain fraudulent practices contrary to the plain rules of honesty, but still falling short of felony. One of these is the sale of unwholesome provisions. [To prevent this the statute 51 Hen. III. st. 6, prohibited the sale of contagious or unwholesome flesh, or flesh bought of a Jewunder pain of amercement, fine and imprisonment, and abjuration of the town, according to the frequency of the [offence (a). By the statute 12 Car. II. c. 25, s. 11, any adulteration of wine was made punishable with the forfeiture of 1001. if done by the wholesale merchant, and 401. if done by the vintner or retail trader; on which subject, additional regulations were made by 1 Will. & M. st. 1, c. 34, s. 20.] By 3 Geo. IV. c. cvi. and 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 37, special provisions were made against the adulteration of bread, corn, meal or flour (6). By 11 & 12 Vict. c. 107, heavy penalties were imposed upon such as expose, or offer for sale, in any market or other public place, any meat unfit for human food. And now the 23 & 24 Vict. c. 84, and the 35 & 36 Vict. c. 74, provide generally that every person who shall sell any article of food or drink or any drug with which, to his knowledge, any ingredient or material injurious to the health of persons eating or drinking such article has been mixed, or who shall sell as pure and unadulterated any such article which is impure or adulterated, may be fined 201. and costs on a summary conviction before two justices—and on a second offence, the justices may cause the offender's name and address, and the offence he has committed, to be published in the news, papers, or made known to the public in such other way as may seem desirable (c).
Other species of deceitful practices, contravening the law of honesty, have been incidentally noticed in former
(a) See as to this, Burnby v. Bollett, 16 Mee. & W. 644.
(b) See also 32 & 33 Vict. c. 112, as to the adulteration of seeds. As to 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 37, see Jones v. Huxtable, Law Rep., 2 Q. B. 460; The Queen v. Wood, Law Rep., 4 Q. B. 354; Hill, app., Browning, resp., ib. 5 Q. B. 453. We are told by Blackstone (vol. iv. p. 158), that the punishment of bakers for offences relating to bread was antiently to stand in the pillory; and
for brewers, for offences relating to beer, to stand in the tumbrel, or dung cart, " which, as we learn from “ Domesday Book, was the punish“ ment for knavish brewers in the “ city of Chester, so early as the “ reign of Edward the Confessor : « • Malam cerevisiam faciens, in “ cathedra ponebatur stercoris.''
(6) These Acts also provide for the appointment of analysts, by whom any articles of food or drink may be tested.
parts of this work -- as, for example, that of obtaining property by personation, or by false pretences (d). And our limits will not allow us to pursue the subject in the present place, further than to add the following instance. If any person shall personate a master and give a false character to a servant; or assert in writing, contrary to truth, that any servant has been hired for a period of time or in a station, or was discharged at any time, or had not been hired in any previous service; or if any person shall offer himself or herself as a servant, pretending to have served where he or she has not served, or with a false certificate of character, or shall alter a certificate, or shall, contrary to truth, pretend not to have been in any previous service; the offenders, in any of the above cases, are liable, under 32 Geo. III. c. 56, on conviction before two justices of the peace, to be fined twenty pounds; and in default thereof to be imprisoned with hard labour, for any time not more than three months nor less than one calendar month.
II. A common nuisance is an offence against the public order and economical regimen of the State; and it consists in either doing a thing to the annoyance of all the lieges, or neglecting to do some good which the common welfare requires (e). Common nuisances are of the class of misdemeanors; and are distinguishable from private nuisances, as being a grievance to the community at large, and not merely to particular persons. Of the nature of common nuisances are—1. Annoyances in highways and bridges. Offences in respect of highways and bridges may be committed—as we have had occasion elsewhere to notice,-- either positively, by actual obstructions, or negatively, by want of reparations. The latter, or negative, kind of offences, can of course only be com
(d) Vide sup. p. 146.
(e) Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 75, s. 1.