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THE CUSTODY OF INFANTS ACT,
Chancery Reform.- Notes on Equity. formed by the Masters in Chancery. They
NOTES ON EQUITY. have neither time nor technical knowledge to fit them for the task. The clerks in court, as a body, have passed through no
2 & 3 Vict. c. 54. course of practice like that of a solicitor which can enable them rightly to appreciate Blackstone says, with respect to the his services, or to hold the balance with an power of a mother over her children, that, even hand between the solicitor and the
as such, she is entitled to no power, but client. It is manifest that solicitors who only to reverence and respect, (1 Com. 452,) have been in extensive practice, are, of all and Mr. Stewart, in his edition leaves this persons the most competent to estimate the text unaltered, but adds this note: “ This proper charges, because they know the has been very recently so held, both at law labour bestowed, the difficulties overcome, and in equity, Skinner v. Skinner, 9 Moo. and the responsibility incurred by the soli- | 78; Rex v. Greenhill, 6 Nev. & M. 244; citor, and when their personal interest Ball v. Ball, 2 Sim. 35.”—Rights of Perceases by retiring from practice, we should sons, p. 488. Thus stood the law until the suppose the suitor or parties would be satis- last session of parliament, when the Custody fied with their decision. It will be recol- of Infants Act was passed, which was, when lected that in assessing the amount due to originally brought in, intended to have a a merchant or tradesman for goods or work, much more extensive operation. The act is the court and jury are obliged to rely on the printed 18 L.O. 356. It will be seen that all evidence of persons engaged in the same
that is done by it as it passed, is to enable the kind of business, to prove the reasonableness Lord Chancellor, [Vice Chancellor), and the of the claim. So far indeed from its being Master of the Rolls, both here and in Ireland, objectionable to entrust the duty of taxation
“ if they shall see fit,” to order the mother to solicitors, we incline to think they are as
access to any infant child in the custody of likely as any other class of persons to deal the father or of any person by his authority, strictly with their former brethren, and their
of any guardian after the death of the practical knowledge would certainly enable father, under such regulations as the judge them to detect any attempted overcharge. shall deem convenient; and if the infant It might, however, be more satisfactory to shall be within seven years of age, such inthe public if a proportion of the taxing fant may be delivered to and remain in the officers were chosen from the bar ; the union custody of the mother until attaining such of members of both branches of the pro- age, subject to such regulations, (s. 1.) fession, would probably secure general ap- But no mother against whom adultery has probation. A board thus constituted, should, been established shall be entitled to the however, be guided by a set of regulations benefit of the act, (s. 4.) Under these which would apply to all ordinary cases; circumstances, application may be made by but they should have a discretionary power petition under the act. to make larger allowances on special occasions, subject to revision by one of the Superior Courts. If such a board of taxation were estab
We have recently seen that a foreign lished, its certificate of allocatur should bave suitor in our Courts of Law, if he comes
monarch is treated precisely as any other the effect of a judgment, for it would be but there voluntarily. We shall now show that reasonable that if the client were enabled to the same rule obtains in Equity. “I am of tax a conveyancing bill which now can be opinion," says Mr. Baron Alderson, contested only before a jury, the solicitor her most faithfnl Majesty, being a suitor should stand in the same situation as if a trial had taken place; the taxing officers
voluntarily in a Court of English Law, bebeing substituted for the jury, who even now that suit to the jurisdiction of the Court of
comes subject in all matters connected with must depend on the testimony of other soli- Equity (the Equity Exchequer); that the citors regarding the fairness and usual discovery prayed by this bill is material to amount of the items. Other suggestions might be made, but we and that this demurrer is too large and
the plaintiff's defence at law in that suit, have said enough for the present to call at- must be overruled, and that it should be tention to the subject.
with costs. The demurrer was, that as a sovereign, the suit was not maintainable against the Queen. Rothschild v. Queen of Portugal, 3 Yo. & Col. 594.
HUSBAND AND WIFE.
The New Judge.— The Serjeants. — Reform in the Record Offices.
the midst of the attack a bagpipe was heard If a wife agrees to waive the further playingprosecution of an indictment against her “ The Campbells are coming,” husband for an assault, in consideration of but we believe this is a mere idle rumour. his allowing her an annuity by way of sepa- We have been favoured with a series of rate maintenance, this is an illegal contract, melodies, composed on this melancholy octhough entered into with the sanction of casion, which are entitled the “ Lays of the the court in which the indictment is to be last Serjeants.” They are somewhat untried, and the wife cannot claim the arrears suited to our pages, but we trust our graver of the annuity as a debt against her husband readers will pardon our giving one or two in competition with her husband's creditors. of them, and that even the learned “ band Garth v. Earnshaw, 3 Yo.& Col. 584. As of brothers may excuse our correspond. to the effect of separation between husband ent's nonsense verses. and wife, see 18 L. 0. 371.
THE SERJEANTS' TEARS.
Serjeant Taddy declares he'll go mad;
Serjeant Spankie looks perfectly blank;
Serjeant D'Oyly is on the boil ; We believe that the Solicitor General is to Serjeant Adams, “I wish Old Nick had 'ein;" be the new Judge, and Mr. Sergeant Wilde Serjeant Andrews, coif and bandrues ; Solicitor General.
Serjeant Stork declares he can't talk ;c It will be remembered, Serjeant Ludlow lies in the mud low; that some weeks ago, on the death of Mr. Serjeant Scriven's heart is riven ; Justice Vaughan, we augured that this serjeant Stephen's mind's uneven ; would be the most probable arrangement; Serjeant Bompas is all of a rumpus ; (see 18 L. O. 451.) At the time we write Serjeant Goulburn's very soul burns ; this (Wednesday) the appointments have not Serjeant Merewether, « There's nothing like been actually made, but the only reason for Serjeant Heath declares it's his death ; the delay is, we understand, that it is in And Serjeant Talfourd is only half heard. tended to remove Mr. Baron Maule into the Common Pleas, and to appoint Sir R. Rolfe to the vacant seat in the Exchequer Bench. REFORM IN THE RECORD OFFICES. This will certainly be the more desirable plan, as although not entirely unacquainted It will be recollected that by the 1 & 2 Vict. with common law practice (having gone the Norfolk circuit in former times with c. 94, the Master of the Rolls was appointed much success), yet he is, of course, more
Keeper of the Records of the Kingdom, familiar with equity, which will probably be with power to appoint an Assistant Record assigned to him in the Exchequer. The Keeper, and proper clerks, &c. We trust plan of a settled Court in Equity Exchequer Lordship to make some progress in the in
that the late long vacation has enabled his may thus be easily tried, and it may be seen what relief it will afford the Court of
tended improvement of the Record Offices.
We hear that in several of them the pracChancery. We forbear making any further remarks on those appointments until they | of acting as agents in record cases:
tice is still continued by some of the clerks
We are officially announced.
understand the Master of the Rolls intends to abolish this grievance: it is a very
serious one, and we hope his Lordship will not defer THE SERJEANTS.
carrying his determination into effect.
We are told, that on one occasion, where The Sergeants have again risen, and the a clerk in a Record Office was engaged for Court of Common Pleas has been in a state one of the parties, a record of great imof much agitation since the first day of term. Taking Mr. Serjeant Wilde for their leader, Coinmon Pleas in his eye when he wrote the
a Shakespeare evidently had the Court of they have abandoned the seige of the Privy line, Council, and set themselves down in great
• We few, we happy few, we band of brothers !" force before the citadel of the former Court. Whether they will become masters of it is defective, which the indulgent reader is re.
b The rhymes are in several instances very yet to be seen. They have at any rate so quested to forgive. far had it all their own way, no other party c This is an abominable cockneyism: it appearing. We have heard indeed that in shall be amended in a second edition.
Reform in the Record Offices.--Changes in the Law. portance was not to be found in its usual inent of the said sum of three shillings for the place, the clerk having, as it afterwards insertion thereof, in such forin as the court for turned out, removed it for the purpose of the relief of insolvent debtors, or any commistranslation for his client, and had not re-rect: And whereas it is just and expedient
sioner thereof, should from time to time di. placed it. The opposite party proceeded to that the said act should be altered and trial, confinent that the Record in question, amended as herein-after mentioned: Be it for which diligent search had been made, therefore enacted by the Queen's most Exceldid not exist. When the trial came on, the lent Majesty, by and with the advice and conRecord was unexpectedly produced, and sent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and the party against whom it was given in Cominons in this present parliament assembled, evidence lost his cause. The evil was par of the said act as is herein before recited shall
and by the authority of the saine, that so much tially cured by 4 new trial, on the ground of be and the same is hereby repealed ; and that surprise, but at great expense. It may be from and after the passing of this act all printthat the omission to restore the documenters and proprietors of newspapers sball and was purely accidental; but whatever might are hereby required to insert any advertisement be the cause, it is manifest that no officer, or advertisements hy the said 'recited act di. having the custody of public documents rected to be inserted in any newspaper, on should be open to the suspicion of acting Insertion thereof, in sich form as the said
payment of a reasonable compensation for the unfairly.
court, or any coin missioner thereof shall from If inadequate salaries are paid to the time to time direct. Record Clerks, the amount should be in- 2. The Court may appoint persons to receire creased, so that they may devote their time recognizances.-And whereas it is expedient to preparing indexes, and properly arrang. that persons residing at a distance greater than ing the documents in their charge, whereby Street who may be willing to enter into recog;
len wiles from the court house in Portugal such mischiefs as that we have alluded to nizances of sureries for the due appearance of may be altogether prevented. It is uni- insolvent debtors before the court, or before versally acknowledged that no Judge can commissioners on their circuits, or before be more anxious to discharge his duty than justices of the peace in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the present Master of the Rolls, and we should be enabled to enter into such recognitherefore look forward to an early and effec-zances without the necessity of appearing for tual remedy of the evil in question.
such purpose before the court itself at its usual and ordinary place of sitting ; be it therefore enacted, that the chief cominissioner and other
the cominissioners of the court for relief of in. CHANGES IN THE LAW
solvent debtors for the time being shall and
inay, by one or inore cominission or commis. IN THE LAST SESSION OF PARLIAMENT.
sions under the seal of the said court froin time No. XII.
as occasion shall require, empower such and so
many fit and proper persons as they shall think 2 & 3 Vict., c. 39.
necessary, in all and every the several towns An Act to amend an Act passed in the last Ses. the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, to take and
and counties within England and Wales and sion of Parliament, for abolishing Arrest on Mesne Process in Ciril Actions except cognizances of sureties into which any
receive all and every the recognizance or rein certain Cuses, for extending the Reme. shall be willing to enter into for the due apdies of Creditors against the Property of Debtors, and for amending the Laros for pearance of insolvent debtors according to such the Relief of Insolvent Debiors in England: euch form as the court, in pursuance of the
several and respective recognizances, and in [17th August, 1839.) statute in that behalf, may and shall direct and 18 2 Vic. c. 110. Repeal of Provision in require. recited act respecting insertion of advertise- 3. Persons empowered to enter into recogni. ments. Whereas by an act passed in the last cances, fc.-And be it enacted, that in any session of Parliament, intituled “An Act for case of a prisoner whose estate and effects shall abolishing Arrest on Mesne Process in Civil have been or shall hereafter be, by order of the Actions except in certain Cases, for extending Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors, the Remedies of Creditors against the Property vested in the provisional or other assigvee, of Debtors, and for amending the Laws for and who shall be confined in the gaol of any the relief of Insolvent Debtors in England,” it county, town, or place other than in London, was amongst other things enacted, that the sum Southwark, Middlesex, or Surrey, and who of three shillings and no more shall be paid to shall have fled bis schedule in the said court any printer or proprietor of a newspaper for according to the statute in that behalf, it shall the insertion of any advertisement by that act and may be lawful for any person or persons directed to be inserted in any newspaper, and who may be willing to enter into such recogniall printers and proprietors of newspapers were zances as before mentioned, whose usual and thereby required to insert the same, on pay. ordinary place of residence shall be distant Changes in the Law.-United Law Clerks' Society.
23 more than ten miles from the Court House in UNITED LAW CLERKS' SOCIETY. Portugal Street, London, to appear before a person duly appointed and empowered in man. The following is the Seventh Annual Report ger aforesaid, and there to enter into and ac. of this Society, read at the Anniversary Meetkuowledge such recognizance of sureties for ing, held on the 13th August, 1839. Michael the due appearance of the insolvent, according Clayton, Esq. in the Chair: to such forms and in such terins and manuer “After the experience which seven years has as shall or may be prescribed by the said court ; afforded of the utility of this Society, it must which said recognizances of sureties so taken be considered unnecessary to enter into any as aforesaid shall be transınitted and filed in statement in corroboration of that fact; the the said court, with an attidavit of the due best proof of it is to be found in the great suctaking of the said recognizances of such suri:
cess which has attended the progress of the ties by soine credible person present at the society ;-and it is a fortunate circumstance, taking thereof, upon payment of such fees as of which few institutions can boast, that the have been usually received for the taking of history of its affairs from its origin, presents recognizances in the said court; which recog: an anchequered career of uniform advance and nizances so taken, transmitted, and tiled shall prosperity. But with this inost cheering result he of the like force and effect as if the same must be associated feelings of gratiturle to the were taken before the said court; for the profession whose zealous support has been con. taking of every such recognizance of surrties / stantly rendered in a manner, highly creditable the person or persons iso einpowereil shall re- to their liberality and benevolence. ceive only the salt or fee of iwo shillings and “ It will, therefore, be obvious, that the So. sixpence is pel no more.
ciety should from time to time present to its 4. Commissioners to make rules for regulu- benefactors and inembers some account of the ting the amount ord the taking of recognizancer. management of the resources which they have And be it enacted, that the commissiouers placed at its disposal ; and for this purpose it of the said Court shall make such rules aud again devolves upon the Secretary, in this, the orders regulating the amount and for the la: Seventh Annual Report, to enter briefly upon king of such recognizances as to them shall such a statement as will satisfy both the donors seem meet, so as such sureties be nul coin. and the members, that its funds have been pelled to appear in person in the said Court honestly and judiciously appropriated. io justify themselves, but the same inay and is “ The entire income of the Suciety may be hereby direcied to be determined before the divided into two branches-one, which arises said Court, or a commissioner thereof, ly atti- from subscriptions and donations to the General davit or affidavits duly taken before the person Benefit Fund, and the other, froin subscriptions or persoas so einpowered as aforesaid, who and donations to the Casual Fund; and in are hereby empowered and required to take shewing the state of the accounts it will be the saine.
necessary to keep the transactions of each fund 5. Commissioners empowered to take such re- under distinct beads. cognizances — And be it enacted, that any “The first, and principal branch is, the coinnissioner of the said Court on his circuits General Benefit Fund, upon which is charged all shall and inay take and receive all and every allowances and płyments in respect of sickness, such recognizances of sureties as any persoa superannuation, and death : and in reference or persons shall be willing to inake and ac. to the annual stateinent, inade on the 6th of knowledge before him, which, being trans- April last, it appeared that the capital of the initted, shall without oath be filed in inauner Society then amounted to 2,4481. 128. 101., aforesaid, upon payment of the usual fees. shewing an increase since the last year, of
6. Couri to order discharge of insolvent | 6081. 28. 7d. ; being an excess in the receipts tohen sureties justified by nffidavit, &c.And over the expenditure of the current year, and be it enacted, that as soon as suchi suresies which forins the saving of the Society during shall have justified by affidavit in inanner that period; although it might reasonably be aforesaid, and such recognizances as herein expected from the increase of the inembers, before mentioned shall have been filed, the that its liabilities and expenditure would be said court shall thereupon issue a warrant to greater, it is most sittisfactory to state, that the the guoler for the discharge of such insolvent savings of the present year are larger th.in that from custody accordingly, and who shall have of any one which has preceded it. such and the like privileges and be subject to “In carrying on the management, and reguthe like liabilities as the statute in that behalf lating the expenditure of the Society, the utmost directs.
efforts have been made to add to its accumu7. Commencement of act. And be it enacted lation already invested with the commissioners that this act shall commence and come into of the national debt, for the purpose of forinoperation on the first day of October one thou-ing a guarrantee or reserve fund, in case of sand eight hundred and thirty uine, except any unexpected pressure or claims upon the where any other commencruent is specified in society; and it wvill be seen from the half this act.
yearly account, made up to the 20th of May last, that the sums invested up to that date, amounted to 2,3751. 78. lld., and adding 121. 188. 8d., the half year's interest then dhe thereon, and a subsequent investment of 2004.
United Law Clerks' Society.
not yet brought into that account, the total curred, being the same number as that of the deposit and interest with the commissioners of former year, to all of which the present fixed the national debt at the present time, have in. allowance of one guinea per week hias been creased to 2,6181. 6s. 7d.
made; the four most severe cases have termi“From this account it will appear that the nated in death, and the sum of 2001. has been whole capital of the society, except a small paid to their nominees and widows, being an sum reserved for its current expenses, has allowance of 501. to each ; and it may bere be been transferred from the hands of the trea- stated, that further assistance is frequently exsurer, into the names of the trustees at the tended to the widows of members, in addition National Debt Office, where it is left to accu-to the above allowance, should their future inulate at a fixed interest of 31. 168. 85d per circunstances ever require it. cent.
“It will, on reflection, be apparent, that as "It becomes necessary to enter into these de- the pumber of members has increased since tails, to shew that the Society's resources are the last year, without any increased demands increasing, and to remove any doubt which on the funds, the sickness and mortality must exists of its safety, as well as its capability, to be considered to have proceeded in a decreased provide for all the benefits offered by its rules : ratio, a circumstance indicating the general there still being a numerous class of persons good health of the members of the society; who have yet to avail themselves of its provi- but there is one case of superannuation, which sions; and it is hoped that the members of the still continues, being that of a member afflicted profession, who have been desirous of promo- with paralysis, and who has received a weekly ting its welfare, will urge upon their own allowance for some years past. clerks the prudence of joining it, and of be. “The next and subordinate branch of income coming, should adversity overtake them, par- and expenditure, is in respect of the casual ticipators in a fund intended more extensively fund, which is appropriated to loans and temto diffuse its benefits.
porary assistance to members, in addition to “The general revision of the rules, will, in the general benefit fund, and in relieving perthe course of the next year, come under con- sons unconnected with the society, being sideration. Past experience having suggested clerks, their widows and families. The baa modification of many of their provisions so lance in hand on the 1st day of July last, the as to adapt them to the altered circumstances date of the last audited account, amounted to and prospects of the society; and it being con-1231. 188. 50., consisting of inoney subscribed sidered practicable to extend its operations, lo by the members, and a proportion of the increase its benefits, and to remove some of donations occasionally appropriated to this the restrictions at present existing, it is confi- fund, for the purpose of carrying out more dently expected that any plan emanating from efficiently, its various benevolent objects. this society, tending to elevate and improve “In the course of the year, advances of 51. the condition of law clerks, will meet with the each, have been made to ten of the members, same encouragement which has been extended requiring them to be repaid by instalments on to its former, and hitherto successful efforts ; their personal security. Fifteen deserving apand it cannot be doubted that still greater plicants for relief have been assisted by various good may be accomplished, particularly if the sums, awarded according to the nature of each great body of clerks become sensible that case, strict inquiry having been previously iniheir happiness, as well as interest, can be se- stituted in all. Others were found to be undecured by acting upon principles of inutual ad- serving, or to have been too much in the habit vantage and support.
of relying upon the mistaken syinpathy of the “Since the publication of the last report, the Profession towards them. From the experisecretary is able to announce an accession of ence the society has already had in this departmany eminent members of the profession as ment of expenditure, it feels justified in recomdonors; and arnong others the Honorable Mr. mending the greatest caution in administering Justice Littledale, Mr. Serjeant Andrews, the relief, not only to prevent imposition, but as Honorable Mr. Justice Patteson, the Right the only ineans of checking the increase of a Honorable Sir N. C, Tindal, the Regis- practice most degrading in its tendency on the trars of the Court of Chancery, Messrs. Bax- future prospects of the individuals themselves; endale, Tatham, and Co., Messrs. Bourdillon and in order to aid the exertions of the and Sons, Messrs. Home, Loftus, and Young, society in suppressing all casual and uncertain Messrs. Roy, Blunt, and Co., William Tooke, charity, it is earnestly requested that the proEsq., Mr. Alderinan Thomas Wood, Mr. Al.fession will co-operate by sending cases for inderman Harmer, and Sir George Stephen. vestigation and relief, employment having Many other names could be inentioned if the been obtained for some, and small gifts of limited extent of this report would admit of it, money given to others, who appeared to be to shew the increasing contidence enteriained industrious and deserving persons. by the profession in this society, as represent- “ The library for reading and reference, has ing a large and industrious body of men. been found useful among the junior members of
"The next subject to which it is necessary to the society, and the registry which is esadvert, and one of great importance, as affect- tablished for supplying clerks with situations, ing the prospect of the Society, is the number furnishes the society with the means of procurof claims made upon it during the year. It ing employment for the members requiring it, appears that nine cases of sickness have oc- and a source from which the profession may