Page images

man, labourer, or other person whatsoever, 14 years of age or upwards, is to do or exercise any worldly labour, business, or work of his ordinary calling upon the Lord's Day (works of charity or necessity excepted). Forfeiture, 58. in each case, leviable by distress; and if no sufficient distress, the offender may be committed to the stocks for two hours (29 Car. 2, C. 7, ss. 1 and 2).

The costs may be included in the conviction and levied by distress under Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1848, s. 18, but it is doubtful whether justices can order imprisonment in default of distress. The offender cannot be put in the stocks for non-payment of costs (R. v. Barton, 18 L. T. 56).

To publicly cry, show, or expose for sale any wares, fruit, goods, &c., on the Lord's Day renders the seller liable to forfeiture of the goods; but by section 3 of Act milk can be sold before 9 a.m. or after 4 p.m.; and 10 and 11 Will. 3, c. 24, s. 14, authorizes the crying or selling of mackerel before or after divine service.

There is no prohibition to the dressing of meat in families, inns, cook-shops, or victualling houses on Sundays.

6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 37, s. 14, regulates Sunday baking.

Procedure.Prosecution must be commenced within ten days before one justice (29 Car. 2, c. 7, s. 4), with the consent in writing of the chief officer of police or of two justices. Such justices cannot adjudicate in the case (34 & 35 Vict. c. 87, s. 1).

As to Arrests on Sunday, see p. 2, ante.
As to Issue of Warrants on Sunday, see p. 215.
As to Sporting on Sunday, see p. 192.

As to Closing of Public-houses on Sunday, see pp. 230 234.

As to Playing Billiards on Sunday, see p. 97.


To keep the peace. It is laid down in Hawk. P. C. 5 book, c. 60, s. 6, that wherever a person has just cause to fear that another will do him some bodily harm, as by killing or beating him or his wife or child, or will procure others to do so,he may demand the surety of the peace against such person ; and every justice of the peace is bound to grant it upon the party making oath before him that he is actually under such fear, and has just cause to be so, by reason of such person having threatened to beat him or laid in wait for that purpose, and that he doth not require it out of malice or for vexation. Binding over a person to keep the peace is not in the nature of a punishment, but is to prevent the apprehended danger of a breach of the peace. The procedure is now regulated by the Summary Jurisdiction Act, 1879, s. 25.

To be of good behaviour.-Legal authorities are not agreed as to all the offences for which this surety may be required. It is more comprehensive than the surety of the peace, as good behaviour includes the peace (30th ed. Burn's J. vol. 5, p. 754). It cannot be required for merely rash, quarrelsome, or unmannerly words, unless they tend to a breach of the peace, &c. Surety may be required for rioters, common breakers of the peace, night-walkers and eavesdroppers, persons misbehaving themselves in the presence of a justice in some outrageous manner, or abusing a constable in the execution of his duty; and, in general, whatever act is of itself a misbehaviour is sufficient cause to bind such an offender to his good behaviour (5 Burn's J. p. 760). As to processions of “ Salvation Army," see title Riot, ante.

Swearing. See BLASPHEMY, p. 102.

Telegraphs. By the Telegraph Act, 1868, any person connected with the post office, contrary to his duty, disclosing or in any way making known or intercepting the contents of any message entrusted to the Postmaster-General is guilty of a misdemeanor- punishment, imprisonment for twelve months. See also Telegraph Act of 1869.

Persons injuring telegraph wires, posts, &c., are guilty of a misdemeanor. See 24 & 25 Vict c. 97, ss. 37, 38, EPITOME OF STATUTES, post; see also under title Post OFFICE OFFENCES, ante.


"The Act 6 & 7 Vict. c. 68, contains provisions regulating the licensing &c., of theatres (a). Persons keeping houses or places of public resort for the public performance of stage plays are required to obtain a license from the county justices, or from the Lord Chamberlain in the metropolitan district (section 2).

(a) A building used by the appellant as part of his house fitted up as a private theatre, and to which the public were invited by advertisements to a theatrical performance with the sanction of the appellant, by tickets obtained of the secretary of a charity upon payment of a fixed sum in aid of the funds of the charity, was within this section, and the appellant was rightly convicted, although he was not paid anything for use of the building (Shelley v. Bethell, 47 J. P. 756; L. J. Notes, vol. 16, p. 127).

Copyright.-In the case of a private performance by amateurs at Guy's Hospital of a stage play (“Our Boys”) for the amusement of the inmates, nurses, and patients, and to which the friends of the inmates were admitted by tickets without payment, it was held by the Queen's Bench Division that the parties were not liable to be sued for penalties by the owners of the copyright for performing the play at a place of dramatic entertainment, the place not being public. (Dück v. Bates, 47 J. P. 756 (“Stone's Justices' Manual.")

Licenses can be granted by the county justices upon the proper notice being given as required by section 5 of Act; and by section 9 the justices have power to make rules for securing order and decency in such licensed places.

Acting in unlicensed place. Any person who for hire shall act any part of a stage play in any (b) unlicensed place, shall be liable to a penalty of 101. for every day on which he so offends (section 11). Section 23 defines the meaning of “stage plays,” which include tragedy, comedy (c), farce, opera, burletta, interlude, melodrama, pantomime, or other entertainment of the stage, but does not extend to performances in booths or shows allowed by justices, &c., at any lawful fair, feast, &c. A tent or booth used by strolling players is not a place of public resort within the meaning of the 2nd section, but a booth used as a temporary theatre is a "place" within the 11th section, and a penalty will be incurred for acting there unless the booth be within the exception of the 23rd section (Fredericks v, Payne, 32 L.J. 78; 38 J. P. 197).

Threats-Threatening Letters, &c. Demanding money or property, &c., from any one by menaces or by force is felony, as is also the accusing or threatening to accuse any person of infamous or abominable crime with the view of extorting money, property, &c. Sending, &c., a letter threatening to murder or to burn or destroy any property, or to accuse of crime or to demand money, &c., with menaces is felony.

(6) The effect of this section is, per BLACKBURN, J., to make it punishable “ to act stage plays for hire anywhere where there is no license(Tarling v. Fredericks, 28 L. J. 814; 38 J. P. 197). It is not clear that even actors engaged at a certain sum to act at evening parties are not liable to the penalty. (See Fredericks v. Payne, supra.)

(c) A “dialogue” in which two persons in different costumes and character hold dialogues is within this definition (Thorn v. Colson, 25 J. P. 101).

See as to above offences, 24 & 25 Vict. c. 96, ss. 44 to 47; 24 & 25 Vict. c. 97, s. 50; and 24 & 25 Vict. c. 100, s. 16, EPITOME OF STATUTES, post.

See also instructions, page 62, ante (CRIMINAL INVESTI. GATION).

Threshing Machines. By 41 Vict. c. 12, it is enacted that in order to prevent accidents the drum and feeding mouth of all threshing machines shall during the working of such machines be kept sufficiently and securely fenced, so far as reasonably practicable and consistent with due and efficient working. Penalty for neglect, 51.

A constable has power of entry on premises to enforce the Act.

The person to whom the machine belongs, or for whose service and benefit it is used, is to be deemed to have permitted the offence, unless he satisfy the court that he took all reasonable precautions to ensure observance of the Act. Any constable, on reasonable cause, may at any time enter premises to inspect machine.

Towns Improvement Clauses Act.

(10 & 11 Vict. c. 34.) Certain offences contained in the “ Towns Improvement Clauses Act, 1847," are incorporated with the Public Health Act, 1875 (sections 160, 169). They are now in force in every urban sanitary district, and may be applied by the Local Government Board (under section 276) to rural sanitary districts.


1. Defacing numbers, &c., on houses or names of streets, &c. Penalty, 40s. (section 64).

« EelmineJätka »