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18. Embracery is an attempt to influence a jury corruptly 18. embracery, to one side by promises, persuasions, entreaties, money, en-corruptly to in.

Auence a juror; tertainments, and the like (r). The punishment for the person embracing is by fine and imprisonment; and for the juror so embraced, if it be by taking money, the punishment is, by divers statutes of the reign of Edward III. perpetual infamy, imprisonment for a year, and forfeiture of the tenfold value (44).

19. The false verdict of jurors, whether occasioned by em- 19. false verbracery or not, was anciently considered as criminal, and there- anciently crifore exemplarily punished by attaint in the manner formerly produced by mentioned (s) (45).

embracery or 20. Another offence of the same species is the negligence 20. negligence of public officers, intrusted with the administration of justice, cers; as sheriffs, coroners, constables, and the like : which makes the offender liable to be fined ; and in very notorious cases will amount to a forfeiture of his office, if it be a beneficial one (t). Also the omitting to apprehend persons, offering stolen *iron, lead, and other metals to sale, is a misdemesnor, [*14:1] and punishable by a stated fine, or imprisonment, in pursuance of the statute 29 Geo. II. c. 30 (46). 21. There is yet another offence against public justice, 21. oppression

by magistrates; which is a crime of deep malignity; and so much the deeper,

not ;

(r) I Hawk. P. C. 259.
($) See vol. III. p. 402, 403.

(t) 1 Hawk. P. C. 168.

p. 179. *

der government, by his interest and decies tantum was founded. For the recommendation; 4 Burr. 2,498. For definition of this offence, and instances bribery at elections, see 1 vol.

of it, see I Hawk. P. C. 259; 1 Rus-Ca.

sell, 183. (44) By stat, 6 Geo. IV. c. 50, (45) The writ of attaint against ju$ 61, the offence of embracery of ju- rors is now utterly abolished by the 6 rors, and jurors wilfully and corruptly Geo. IV. c. 50, $ 60; and, by $ 61, consenting thereto, is punishable by they are rendered punishable for misfine and imprisonment.

conduct by another mode; Vide ante, This statute repeals those of 5 Edw. note (44), post, 361. III. c. 10; 34 Edw. III. c. 8, and 38 (46) Repealed by 7 & 8 Gco. IV. Edw. III. c. 12, whereon the action of

c. 27.

• Sec Talmash q. t. v. Gardiner, 1 W. III. c. 4; 2 Geo. II. c. 24; 49 D. & R. 512; Huntingtower v. Ire- Geo. III. c. 118, and 6 Geo. IV. c. lund, 2 D. & R. 450; 1 B. & C. 297; 108; 1 Russell, 156, et seq. ; on this the statutes 34 Edw. III. c. 1 ; 7 & 8 subject.

as there are many opportunities of putting it in practice, and the power and wealth of the offenders may often deter the injured from a legal prosecution. This is the oppression and tyrannical partiality of judges, justices, and other magistrates, in the administration and under the colour of their office. However, when prosecuted, either by impeachment in parliament, or by information in the court of King's Bench, according to the rank of the offenders, it is sure to be severely punished with forfeiture of their offices, either consequential or immediate, fines, imprisonment, or other discretionary censure, regulated by the nature and aggravations of the offence committed (47)

22. Lastly, extortion is an abuse of public justice, which consists in any officer's unlawfully taking, by colour of his office, from any man, any money or thing of value, that is not due to him, or more than is due, or before it is due (u). The punishment is fine and imprisonment, and sometimes a forfeiture of the office (48).

22. extortion

(u) 1 Hawk. P. C. 170.

(47) On motions for informations Staffordshire (Justices), 1 Chit. R. 219; against magistrates, the question is, Rer v. Jachson, 1 T. R. 653; Anonynot whether the act done might on full mous, 1 Chit. R. 217; Rex v. Brooke, investigation be found to be strictly 2 T. R. 190; Rer v. Daris, Lofft. 62; right, but whether it proceeded from Rer v. Jones, I Wils. 7; Rer v. Someroppressive, dishonest, or corrupt mo- setshire (Justices), 1 D. & R. 443; tives (under which fear and favour may Rer v. Lancashire (Justices), id. 485; generally be included), or from mis- Rer v. Fielding, 2 Burr. 719; Rex v. take, or error ; in either of the latter Harris, 3 Burr. 1716; Rer v. W'il. cases, the court will not grant a rule ; liams, id. 1317; Rex v. Constable, 7 D. Rer v. Barron, 3 B. & A. 432. That & R. 663; Paley on Conrictions, 2d case seems to lay down the general Edw. by Dowling, 349. rule upon this subject clearly and defi- (48) See, generally upon this subnitively. For other decisions, see Rer ject, Bac. Abr. Fees; Jacob's Law

. Cozens, 2 Doug. 426; Rer v. Doire, Dict. Extortion ; Harrison's Digest, tit. id. 588; Rer v. Seaford, 1 W. Bl. 432; Officers, Sheriff; 1 Chit. Stat. ExtorRer v. Jackson, Lofft. 147; Rer v. tion, and the cases there collected,

142

CHAPTER XI.

OF OFFENCES AGAINST THE PUBLIC PEACE.

the public peace are, actual, or constructive ;

twelve; former

We are next to consider offences against the public peace : Offences against the conservation of which is intrusted to the king and his officers, in the manner and for the reasons which were for- a'id felonious, or merly mentioned at large (a).

These offences are either such the felonious as are an actual breach of the peace: or constructively so, by modern statutes. tending to make others break it. Both of these species are also either felonious, or not felonious. The felonious breaches of the peace are strained up to that degree of malignity by virtue of several modern statutes: and, particularly,

1. The riotous assembling of twelve persons, or more, and 1. Rintous as. not dispersing upon proclamation. This was first made high number of treason by statute 3 and 4 Edw. VI. c. 5, when the king was ly high treason,

now felony ; a minor, and a change in religion to be effected; but that statute was repealed by statute 1 Mar. c. 1, among the other treasons created since the 25 Edw. III. ; though the prohibition was in substance re-enacted, with an inferior degree of punishment, by statute 1 Mar. st. 2, c. 12, which made the same offence a single felony. These statutes specified and particularized the nature of the riots they were meant to suppress; as, for example, such as were set on foot with intention to offer violence to the privy council, or to change the laws of the kingdom, or for certain other specific purposes : in which cases, if the persons were commanded by proclamation to disperse, and they did not, it was by the statute of Mary made felony, but within the benefit of clergy: and *also the act indemnified the peace officers and their assist- [*143] ants, if they killed any of the mob in endeavouring to suppress such riot. This was thought a necessary security in that sanguinary reign, when popery was intended to be reestablished, which was like to produce great discontents : but at first it was made only for a year, and was afterwards

(a) Vol. I. p. 118, 268, 350.

continued for that queen's life. And, by statute 1 Eliz. C. 16, when a reformation in religion was to be once more attempted, it was revived and continued during her life also and then expired. From the accession of James the first to the death of queen Anne, it was never once thought expedient to revive it: but, in the first year of George the first, it was judged necessary, in order to support the execution of the act of settlement, to renew it, and at one stroke to make it perpetual, with large additions. For, whereas the former acts expressly defined and specified what should be accounted a riot, the statute 1 Geo. I. c. 5, enacts, generally, that if any twelve persons are unlawfully assembled to the disturbance of the peace, and any one justice of the peace, sheriff, undersheriff, or mayor of a town, shall think proper to command them by proclamation to disperse, if they contemn his orders and continue together for one hour afterwards, such contempt shall be felony without benefit of clergy. And further, if the reading of the proclamation be by force opposed, or the reader be in any manner wilfully hindered from the reading of it, such opposers and hinderers are felons without benefit of clergy: and all persons to whom such proclamation ought to have been made, and knowing of such hinderance, and not dispersing, are felons without benefit of clergy (1). There is the like indemnifying clause, in case

(1) If in reading the proclama- If there be such an assembly that tion from the Riot Act the magistrate there would have been a riot if the paromit to read the words “ God save the ties had carried their purpose into efKing” at the end of it, persons re- fect, this is within the statute; and maining together an hour after such whether there was a cessation or not, is reading of the proclamation cannot be a question for the jury; Id. capitally convicted under the first sec- An indictment for remaining astion of that Act; Rex v. Child, 4 C. & sembled an hour after proclamation P. 442.

made, need not charge the original If an indictment on the same section, riot to have been in terrorem populi; for remaining assembled an hour after Rer v. Jumes, 5 C. & P. 153. proclamation, in setting out the procla- A riot is not less a riot, nor an illemation, omit the words “ of the reign gal meeting less an illegal meeting, beof,” which were contained in the pro- cause the proclamation from the Riot clamation read by the magistrate ; this Act has not been read, the effect of is a fatal variance; Rex v. Woolcock, that proclamation being to make the 5 C. & P. 516.

parties guilty of a capital offence if If the proclamation be read several they do not disperse within an hour; times, the hour is to be computed from but if that proclamation be not read, the first reading; Ibid.

the common law offence remains, which

any of the mob be unfortunately killed in the endeavour to disperse them; being copied from the act of queen Mary. And, by a subsequent clause of the new act, if any persons, so riotously assembled, begin even before proclamation to pull down any church, chapel, meeting-house, dwellinghouse, or outhouses, they shall be felons without benefit of clergy (2).

is a misdemeanor ; and all magistrates, and, on conviction, shall suffer death as constables, and even private individuals a felon. are justified in dispersing the offenders, It is not a “ beginning to demolish” and if they cannot otherwise succeed in a house within this statute, unless the doing so, they may use force; Rer v. jury are satisfied that the ultimate obFurney, 6 C. & P. 81.

ject of the rioters was to demolish the (2) These provisions were, by sub- house, and that if they had carried sequent statutes, extended to

every

de- their intention into full effect, they seription of mills and the works at- would, in point of fact, have demotached to them; to buildings or ma- lished it; Rer v. Thomas, 4 C. & P. chinery for carrying on any kind of 237. trade or manufacture, or for warehous- An indictment on this statute for ing goods or merchandize; and to feloniously beginning to demolisha houses, shops, and buildings, with the house, cannot be supported unless the fixtures, furniture, goods, and commo- persons committing the outrage had an dities whatsoever contained therein. intention of destroying the house; and

And now by 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 30, therefore, where considerable damage $ 8, it is provided, that if any persons, was done to a house by a mob, who did riotously and tumultuously assembled this with an intention of seizing a pertogether, to the disturbance of the pub- son who had taken refuge in the house, lic peace, shall unlawfully and with this was held to be not within the staforce demolish, pull down, or destroy, tute; Rex v. Prior, 5 C. & P. 510. or begin to demolish, pull down, or de- But where a party of coal-whippers, stroy any church or chapel, or any having ill-will towards a coal-lumper, chapel for the religious worship of per- who paid less than the usual wages, sons dissenting from the united church created a mob, and riotously went to of England and Ireland, duly regis- the house where he kept his pay-table, tered, or recorded, or any house, stable, and cried out that they would murder coach-bouse, outhouse, warehouse, of- him, and threw stones, and broke winfice, shop, mill, malt-house, hop-oast, dows and partitions, and part of a wall, barn or granary, or any building or till they were compelled to desist by erection used in carrying on any trade the police; it was held that they might or manufacture, or any machinery, fixed be convicted of beginning to demolish or moveable, prepared for or employed under this statute, though their princiin any manufacture, or any steam-en- pal object was to injure the prosecutor, gine, or other engine for sinking, drain. provided it was also their object to dem ing, or working any mine, or any staith, molish the house, either on account of building, or erection used in conduct- its being used by him, or by his men, ing the business of any mine, or any though they had no ill-will against the bridge, waggon-way, or trunk for con- owner of the house personally ; Res v. veying minerals from any mine, every Butt, 6 C. & P. 329. . such offender shall be guilty of felony,

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