« AnteriorContinuar »
dently, therefore, of the objection, that if a special in the transferee, which will or may deprive him of his crossing had the effect of rendering it no longer payable title to the cheque, would be a serious inconvenience to to bearer, but only to the banker named, it would destroy a large body of the public, who now both give and reone of the essential ingredients of a banker's cheque, ceive crossed cheques, and enjoy all the security which the above observations of the Court of Exchequer the present custom of bankers affords. Many persons shew that the weight of the evidence given by the who have no banker now receive crossed cheques, and bankers examined on both sides was, that there is no pay them to their tradesmen, or get them cashed by a material distinction between crossing a cheque with friend ; but who will take a crossed cheque if the fact the name of a banker, and simply crossing it with the of his so taking it is to taint his title to its proceeds ? words"and Co.," the effect in either case being merely to The decision in Carlon v. Ireland, therefore, appears give notice that the cheque should be presented through to be in accordance with the law, and with the presome banker. And this view of the custom is sup- vious decision in Bellamy v. Majoribanks. If merchants ported by the practice adopted by the bankers in Bel- and others in the habit of making large payments by lamy v. Majoribanks and in Carlon v. Ireland: in the than they now possess, the most effectual and conve
means of crossed cheques wish for
a greater security former case, Messrs. Gosling presented and Messrs. nient course will be, to obtain from the Legislature an Coutts paid Mr. Bellamy's cheque, though it had been enactment, distinguishing between a simple crossing previously crossed with the name of another bank; and "and Co.," which should continue to afford the secuin the latter, Messrs. Gosling presented and Messrs. Mas- rity which the present custom gives, without restrictterman paid the cheque, though it had been previously ing with the name of a particular banker, which might
ing the negotiability of the cheque, and a special crosscrossed with the name of Messrs. Dixon. The custom, have given to it the effect of rendering the cheque so limited and understood, is founded on the practice payable to such banker only, without affecting its valiof bankers, and applies only to the banker by whom dity as a cheque, within the proviso in the schedule, the cheque is to be paid; it is notice to him not to part 1, of the 55 Geo. 3, c. 184. pay except through a banker'; but it does not affect a mere transferee of the cheque, like the defendant in LIABILITY OF EXECUTORS UNDER AN Carlon v. Ireland. To hold that the crossing will affect AGREEMENT TO TAKE A LEASE. a bona fide transferee of the cheque, and as against him raise a presumption of negligence in taking it, which
In the case of Stephens v. Hotham (1 Jur., N. S., will impugn his title thereto, would be, in fact, to re- part 1, p. 842) the testator had entered into an agreestrict the negotiability and prevent the transfer of a ment for a building lease of copyhold land, and as the crossed cheque; and the object of the custom, viz. to custom did not allow of leases beyond twenty-one years, afford the means of tracing and ascertaining on whose ment that the lessor should at the expiration of the
a lease was taken for twenty-one years, with an agreeaccount the cheque was presented, and by whom the term procure a license for a further lease to the builder, money was received, appears to be sufficiently attained his executors, administrators, and assigns, and that the by merely requiring that the banker on whom it is builder, lis executors, administrators, and assigns, should drawn should not pay it except through a banker. accept such lease, and execute a counterpart of it. The
builder entered into possession under the first lease, and Bankers, from the very nature of their business, are called upon, and their contract with their customers his executors. The lessor procured a license to demise,
died before the term expired, appointing the defendants in fact obliges them, in the case of ordinary cheques, and tendered a counterpart of the new lease to the deto pay them in the absence of any circumstances of fendants for them to execute, which they declined to peculiar suspicion) to any person presenting them at do. On a bill for specific performance, Sir W. P. the bank, and consequently to perfect strangers, with Wood, v..C., on the authority of Phillips v. Everard, whose residence, business, or habits they are wholly (5. Sim. 102), but against the inclination of his own
opinion, decreed specific performance and execution of unacquainted; and there would be therefore great dif- the counterpart by the executors, observing that great ficulty, often amounting to an impossibility, where a care would be required in framing the lease so as to cheque has fallen into dishonest hands, in tracing the avoid fixing the defendants with a personal liability to party who received payment of it. The custom of pay the rents, &c., especially on the reddendum. crossing cheques enables the owner of the cheque to defendant's testator to grant to the latter, on the ex
In Phillips v. Everard the plaintiff agreed with the obviate this difficulty, and, by requiring the drawee of piration of an existing lease, a new lease, subject to the the cheque to pay it only through a banker, affords same covenants as were contained in the existing lease. the means of ascertaining on whose account the pay- Among those covenants was a covenant against assignment was received, and, through that party, the person ment of the lease, not extending to the lessee's execufrom whom he received it. Although bankers, from tors or administrators. The testator died before the the nature of their business, are compelled to pay Shadwell, v. C., decreed specific performance of the
time arrived for granting the new lease, and Sir L. cheques to strangers, an ordinary person would not cash agreement, the form of the lease to be settled by the a clieque crossed or uncrossed for a perfect stranger; / Master. Before the bill was filed the plaintiff offered and if he did so, it would be in itself strong evidence to permit the covenants which were to be entered into that the transferee was not a bonâ fide holder. The effect by the executors to be so qualified as that they might of crossing a cheque, therefore, as the law 'now stands, be no further liable thereon than they would have been is not to give to the owner absolute protection against into by their testator in case a proper lease liad been
on the covenants which ought to have been entered a dishonest holder, but it gives almost the certainty of made to him in his lifetime. tracing and detecting him. On the other hand, to On the other hand, in Worley v. Frampton, (5 Hare, restrict the negotiability of crossed cheques, by holding 560), which was cited in Stephens v. Hotham, and was that the taking of such a cheque amounts to negligence the converse case of a bill filed by a lessee, against a
devisee in trust of the reversion, for specific perform- of equity; while, on the other hand, the divisions apance of a covenant to grant a renewed lease, with a propriated to the law of real property, and to civil procovenant for further renewal, Sir J. Wigram, V.C., cedure, were so incumbered with technical details as held that the trustee could not be required to enter to be unreadable by those who merely sought for so into any covenant for renewal, even though qualified much knowledge of English law as becomes an educated so as to render him and his representatives liable only member of society. Mr. Warren, who has had the to the extent of their beneficial interest, if any. It was general reader in view during the preparation of the admitted that the agreement gave a good equitable title present work, has pruned away the conveyancing techto the renewal, without any further covenant. The nicalities with perhaps almost too free a hand; but he same point had been decided by Sir J. Leach, V. C., in has substituted information on a variety of subjects of the case of The Copper Mining Company v. Beach, more general interest, and has corrected Blackstone's (13 Beav. 478; S.C., 1 L. J., 0. s., 84).
historical and antiquarian chapters by the light which The cases are in conflict. No doubt seems to have modern research has afforded. "Two-thirds of the book, been entertained in any of them as to the possibility of he informs us, consist of new matter. The whole is qualifying the executor's covenants so as to prevent evidently the result of much honest labour, and will be his incurring a greater liability than his testator's cove- very useful for educational purposes, and acceptable to nants would have imposed on him. In Phillips v. non-professional readers in general. Everard, as we are informed by the reporter, the parties agreed upon the form of the lease, and did not go be- A Treatise on the Administration of Trust Funds under fore the Master. The object, which was to frame co- the Trustee Relief Act; with an Appendix, containing venants that should be binding on the executors to the Trustee Relief Act, the Act for the further Relief the extent of the assets, and on the person for the of Trustees, the General Orders, and Forms of Pra time being entitled to the term, without binding the ceedings. By John DARLING, Esq., of the Inner Temple, executors after parting with the term beyond the Barrister-at-Law. 8co., pp. 140. amount of the assets, seems to be attainable in the
[Stevens & Norton.] same way in which covenants for title by, persons
A CAREFULLY prepared work on a subject of everyhaving and conveying partial interests in land are day practice. Mr. Darling appears to have collected qualified, namely, by an express limitation of the co- all the authorities, (already amounting to about two venantor's liability to the extent desired. Thus, if a hundred in number), and in stating them and the tenant for life of one moiety of a piece of land joins in enactments, is always
alive to the importance of exa conveyance of the fee, he covenants for and against tracting a principle. The heads of contents are:-Inthe acts and defaults of himself and of those claiming troduction: Nature and objects of the Trustee Relief under him, so far only as concerns the title, &c. to one Act.-Chap. 1. The payment of trust funds into court. moiety, during his own life. In the same manner it is Sect. 1. To what description of trustees and trust funds conceived that an executor may covenant for payment the act is applicable. Sect. 2. Under what circumstances of rent, &c., but so as not to render him, his heirs, the trustees are authorised to pay trust funds into court. executors, or administrators, personally liable in re. Sect. 3. How trustees must proceed in paying trust funds spect of any arrears of rent or breaches of covenant into court, and how far trustees are discharged by the accrued or committed after he or they shall have as- payment of trust funds into court.-Chap. II. Payment signed the term, beyond the value of the personal estate of trust funds out of court. Sect. 1. Application for of the testator which shall have come to the hands or payment of trust funds out of court in ordinary cases. within the power of the executor, his executors or Sect. 2. Special circumstances incident to applications administrators, and for the time being shall not have for payment of trust funds out of court in cases where been duly applied in or towards the discharge of any pauper infant lunatics or married women are interested. debts or obligations of the testator, over which, in the Sect. 3. The practice respecting stop orders and chargadministration of such assets, the claims of the testator's ing orders.- Chap. III. Costs of proceedings under the covenantees would not be entitled to priority. If by act. Sect. 1. Costs of paying a trust fund into court. executing a counterpart of a lease containing covenants Sect. 2. Costs of applications for payment out of court so qualified an executor can discharge his testator's con- of the
capital of a trust fund. Sect. 3. Costs of applitract, and place the lessee and himself in a position cations for payment of the dividends of a trust fund. substantially the same as that in which they would have stood if the counterpart had been executed by the 111. Forms of proceedings.
-Appendix: I. The act. II. The general orders. testator, there seems to be no reason why he should not be compelled to do so.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE JURIST." Blackstone's Commentaries, systematically abridged, and scheme for the incorporation of the Inns of Court as a
SIR,—The excellence, in almost all respects, of the adapted to the existing State of the Law and Consti- legal university, will, I doubt not, be very generally tution; with great Additions. By SAMUEL WARREN, recognised by the Profession as well as by the public
. of the Inner Temple, Esq., D.C..., F.R.S., Recorder I think, however, that it will be apparent, on careful of Hull, and one of her Majesty's Counsel. Post 8vo., consideration, that some minor details of the plan are [Maxwell, and Blackwoods.]
less simple than they might be, and that some of the This work is at once a second edition of the Selec- terminology employed in the report is not only inactions from Blackstone, by Mr. Warren and the late curate, but calculated to produce confusion. J.W. Smith, published in 1836, and a composition for Analogy would suggest, as the style of the intended Mr. Warren's long-promised edition of the entire Com- corporation, "The Chancellor, Barristers, and Students mentaries, now declared to be abandoned. Blackstone's of the University of Law,” or “ of the Legal University work was never perfectly adapted to either of the pur- of London.” The term “barristers” would, I appreposes for which it was designed. As an institutional hend, properly include all who have been called to the book for professional students, it was defective in many bar, and not subsequently deprived of the degree then important branches of the law-for instance, contracts, conferred upon them. and indeed mercantile law generally, and the doctrines The designation “Master of Laws” (though used of
late at Cambridge) is objectionable, inasmuch as it when he walked home. He was in his fifty-fourth tends to the confusion of our ancient academic system. year, and born in Lancashire; the only son, we believe, It seems to be very generally forgotten, that in accord- of a physician. He became Senior Wrangler in the year ance with that system there are two, and only two, 1824, and was till his marriage a Fellow of St. John's degrees in each faculty-bachelors, and masters or College. He was a member of the Middle Temple, and doctors *. The terms “master” and “doctor" denote called to the bar on the 9th November, 1827, and went the same thing; there is no difference whatever be the Northern Circuit, where he was universally retween them, unless it be that in the preliminary faculty, spected. On the last vacancy in the representation of that of arts, the appellation used is, in ordinary ac- the University of Cambridge, Mr. Cowling, who in poceptation, less dignified than that employed in the litics was a Conservative, announced himself as a canhigher faculties. To have doctors and masters in the didate, and would undoubtedly have received powerful same faculty is an anomaly similar to that of having support, but he withdrew in a very handsome manner earls and counts in the same peerage, or, as somebody in favour of Mr. Wigram. Mr. Cowling stood in the has observed with reference to the statute lately passed highest rank of the common-law bar, and enjoyed & at Cambridge, to a Maria and a Mary in the same very large and lucrative practice. He was distinfamily.
guished for his scientific and profound knowledge of the It may be seriously doubted whether the introduction law, and the accuracy and logical ability with which of degrees into our proposed legal university, other he brought it to bear on every case in which he was than the two ancient degrees in common law-barrister engaged. He was of a remarkably shy and diffident and serjeant, which are analogous to bachelor and temper, and characterised uniformly by simplicity of doctor-would not be in itself a great anomaly. I be- eharacter and lionour in both private and professional lieve it would. However this may be, the suggested life. No member of the bar was listened to by the designation of “Master of Laws" must, I think, be re- judges with more manifest respect than Mr. Cowling, garded as a most unbappy one. If any further degrees and few have been more distinguished by the masterly than those already used are to be introduced, those of tact with which he detected the weakness of an oppoBachelor and Doctor of Laws would be the most appro- nent's case and vindicated his own. One of his latest priate; and they should, if introduced at all, be ob- arguments was at the close of the last term-the very tainable by the existing race of barristers on their important one of Hilton v. Eckersley, in error from the attaining seven and ten years' standing, and performing Queen's Bench, the question turning on the right of certain exercises.
counter-combination by masters against their men, and A word in conclusion. Would not the incorporation which lies over for judgment till the next term. His of a legal university be a suitable opportunity for the argument was a masterly one. For the last few years discontinuance of the frightful wig, and the substitution he has been spoken of as likely to be raised to the of the academic cap?
GREGORIUS. bench, and no one's elevation would have secured a
greater share of professional approbation.-- T'imes. LAW REFORM DRAMATISED.
INDIA. The Westminster play for the present year is “Phormio';" and on the 13th instant, being the second night of performance, the epilogue was given. It treats of
(From the Times' Correspondent at Calcutta). law reform in this wise :-Hegio is discovered weeping
ONE great source our present weakness and irreover an urn, inscribed with the names of “ John Doe solution is now exciting considerable attention. We and Richard Roe,” (a tolerably old joke). Damipho, have no officers for new enterprises. The military and who has brought an action against Phormio for the re- civil services are alike exhausted..... The civil service covery of the thirty minæ, is disgusted to find that the has diminished in practical strength, and Government defendant will be allowed to give evidence in his own is at its wits' end for men. All sorts of appointments cause. Chremes, henpecked more than ever by Nau- are doubled up. Every European who has nothing to sistrata, laments the good old days, whengwives could do obtains a post. Young men are pluced in charge of be beaten with impunity; and Dorio having been the most important departments. The Director-General transported, has returned with a “remeatûs tessera," of the Post-office is harely thirty-six. The educational i. e. a ticket of leave, on the strength of which he picks department has scarcely a man of thirty. Work after the pockets of his former acquaintances.
work is suspended, and still there are not sufficient men. The Governor-General, it is said, has recommended an
extensive addition to all departments. DEATH OF MR. JOHN COWLING, BARRISTER
The Friend of India has recently published a stateAT LAW.
ment which indicates the remarkable advance recently Tuis very eminent member of the common-law bar the great difficulty, the costliness of imprisonment, has
made in prison discipline in Bengal. It appears th t expired at lialf-past twelve o'clock on Wednesday night, been removed. The largest gaol in the country already the 12th instant, at his house in Albemarle-street. His death was utterly unexpected, and is attributed to some duce a surplus. The idea that prison labour ought never
pays almost all its own expenses, and will speedily prospasmodic affection of the heart. Though he hadsuffered to come in competition with honest labour has been a little during the last week from a bronchial affection, given up. The convicts weave gunny bags, make
carit had not interfered with his attendance in court during the last term, nor at chambers, till the evening of the pets, print, do all kinds of rough work, and in one place day on which he died, and where he was engaged in his tried in England. Convicts could make army clothing,
even bake bread. Surely this experiment inight be ordinary professional avocations till nearly six o'clock, even better than an association of tailors; and convicts
.* The rank of S. C. L., commonly regarded as an acade- are always clean. The Government is directing much mical degree, is but an apparent exception to the rule. Though of its attention to this question, and to the criminal considered equal to the degree of B. Arm it is not properly of Cassation, in criminal matters is found to be favour:
law generally. The authority of the Sudder, or Court possessing it has been admitted to the study of the civil law. able to crime. The Court is apt to demand an amount It is, in fact, very nearly analogous to the position of a student of evidence which it is in this country impossible to in an inn of court.
procure, and invariably decides upon the narrowest technicalities. It is therefore_proposed to intrust the Crown and forgery, proceed by bill before the grand power of final decision, as in England, to the sessions' jury, but in other cases should at his discretion be judges, assisted, I believe, by a jury. Punishment will allowed to proceed upon commitment by a stipendiary then follow rapidly on the heels of the offence. At magistrate, without any bill found.”
These, among present a murderer may be under trial for six months, other resolutions, are now under consideration in the and under sentence of death for two. These reforms, House of Lords, and by the Government, they having, however, wait for a movement in England. The amal- I will not say refused, but for the present declined to gamation of the Supreme and Sudder Courts has been issue a commission to examine into the whole subject; promised, and is ardently desired, but nothing has been because these eighteen resolutions extend over almost done. . . . Calcutta has amused itself by voting a statue the whole of the criminal procedure. The Chancellor to Sir Laurence Peel, the retiring Chief Justice of Ben- has pledged himself to bring in one or two bills, which gal. The act is curiously illustrative of the Indian are now in preparation, to carry into effect several of metropolis. Sir Laurence Peel has been remarkable these resolutions; and I believe one, but which is not among us for his kindness of heart and boundless pe- yet so matured that he has been able to give notice of cuniary charities. He has actually given away the it, will have reference to curing the defect with regard whole of his official income of 80001. a year. Moreover, to a public prosecutor, to a certain extent. . . I am he has been an admirable judge, a little too lenient, but always exceedingly slow to speak about foreign law on the whole well deserving his native nick-name, and foreign practice, but I believe we are really the
Apokyopati”—one who has no side in his decisions. only country in which there is no public prosecutor. He leaves us in ill-health by this mail; and it was When I made my statement lately in the House of felt that to omit all expression of regret would be Lords I said that this was the case, unless in America discreditable to Calcutta. Accordingly a great meeting they may have imported the English law in that rewas called, and it was proposed to vote him an address, spect as well as in others; but I believe there is very and raise funds for a portrait. The meeting agreed, | little doubt that they have a public prosecutor in but Mr. Peterson proposed a statue.
America; I know in New York they have, for I have
looked at the New York code; they have what is PUBLIC PROSECUTORS.
called the state attorney, county attorney, and the district attorney. In France no doubt they have a
public prosecutor: everything is done by a public (Continued from p. 492).
prosecutor. The Lord Advocate.-In Scotland the whole system In order to follow out the system fully would it is uniform; the public prosecutor has the charge of the not be necessary to have something like a department case from the time the first information is given down of public justice?-I am quite clearly of opinion, that to the conviction; that is, through an organised staff not only in order to carry into effect this system, of officers, of whom the Lord Advocate is the head; and but that even if you never dreamt of touching the in the Crown Office the whole proceedings are filed, subject of a public prosecutor at all, there are a thou. and consequently at any time there can be a reference sand other reasons why there ought to be a departto the person who has the charge of the case. In ment of the ministry of justice. To take an instance England how does your Lordship propose that that of the want of such a department: it is hardly posshould be done; because I think one important func- sible ever to sit in judgment in this country upon tion of the public prosecutor is the fact that he is a the construction of an act of Parliament, especially acts person responsible in Parliament to the public for the of recent date, without being astounded with the inwhole proceedings which take place; that would re- sufficient manner in which they are drawn. A conquire a very large organisation in England ?-I think, siderable proportion of the business in courts of justice before your Lordship came in, I mentioned that I con- now arises from the mode in which acts of Parliament sidered that to be the very great difficulty in the case. are framed; it is very much improved of late, since In Scotland there is, as you know, a procurator fiscal Mr. Coulson came into his present office; but still a in many districts and in many towns, independently of single person will not suffice-there must be a board. the counties; so that there is a local prosecutor every- Mr. Philipps.-Before we quit the subject of the where. In England there ought to be something of the grand jury, in your Lordship's judgment to which error same arrangement; and that is a very great difficulty, do you think the grand jury most prone, that of throirno doubt. The plan which we thought of in 1834 was ing out bills which they ought to find, or finding bills intended, at first, to have operated within the great which they ought not?–My own personal and prodistrict of the Central Criminal Court. It did not re- fessional experience upon the subject is of very little quire an act, for the Treasury were to employ the value, for I practised very little in criminal courts; it different counsel; and our view was, that becoming was by mere accident that I ever went into the eriwise by the experience which we should have had of a minal courts while I was either upon circuit or in year or two, we might extend it a little further, till at Westminster Hall; but I should say that it was rather last we could enlarge it so as to cover the whole coun- by the escape of the guilty than by the trial or opprestry. In the resolutions which I moved in March be- sion of the innocent that the evil existed. . . . . With fore the House of Lords upon criminal procedure, and respect to grand juries, I may mention that the dif. which are still there for discussion, the sixth and seventh ference between a public prosecutor and the grand jury relate to a public prosecutor; the sixth resolution is, system is very striking from the returns which we “ That the prosecution of offenders should be intrusted have, and the result of which I may be permitted to to an officer appointed by the Government, with such state. The number of commitments for England and number of subordinate officers as may be required for Wales in the last year for which we have a return, conducting prosecutions in the counties and larger namely, 1853, was 27,057. The number of persons towns; but that until such a measure can be adopted,” tried was 25,585, there being 1472 discharged. Of (this is with a view to the difficulty in question), “it those tried, 4793 were acquitted, including those against is expedient to appoint barristers who shall advise upon whom the grand jury threw out the bills; that is to and conduct the prosecutions in the Central Criminal say, the acquittals were between one-fifth and one-sixth Court and the courts of quarter session of Middlesex of those tried. In Scotland, for the same year, the and Surrey," purposely to begin experimentally. Then commitments were 3756, the persons tried 3139, and the seventh resolution is, “That the public prosecutor the acquittals only 279, or between one-eleventhi and should, in all the graver cases, as the pleas of the l one-twelfth of the persons tried; so that the acquittals
were twice as numerous in England as in Scotland. I the lax mode of proceeding, which is one of the evils, took the liberty of stating that as clearly shewing the no doubt. That is an extreme case; but still there are difference between proceedings instituted and conducted great differences in England, it is not to be denied. by experienced, professional, responsible public men, Mr. Watson.—Does not the large proportion of acand those conducted by private individuals. Not only quittals which take place out of the number of trials is there this difference between England and Scotland, depend very much upon the laxity of committing mathat is to say, between the result of proceedings under gistrates ?—It may; but a public prosecutor would reprofessional superintendence and those which are not medy that. so, but it varies exceedingly in the counties in Eng- The Attorney-General.—The public prosecutor would land; it varies so much as this, that the average ac- have to exercise his discretion upon the very same maquittals of the whole country being between one-fifth terials that the grand jury in Ireland had before the and one-sixth of the prisoners tried, the proportion in new practice was introduced, namely, upon reading Somersetshire is one-third, in Hampshire and Bucking- the depositions; and inasmuch as the great value of all hamshire between one-third and one-fourth, in Sussex examination is rather when the witness comes to be put about one-fifth, in Wiltshire between one-sixth and one- more or less to the torture, I take it, that so far as seventh; so that in the different counties in England it the grand jury are concerned, they having only to see varies in the proportion of two to one.
that there is a primâ facie case upon which the man is Mr. W. Ewart.-Does your Lordship recollect that to be put on his trial, it is comparatively unimportant many years ago Mr. Alison, in his Criminal Practice whether they see the witness, in order for him to make of Scotland, stated that at that time, in Scotland, the the same statement as is contained in the depositions, average of convictions to acquittals was as six to one, and to be subjected to no cross-examination at all ?and in England as two to one, that being a confirma- I cannot help thinking that it is very important that tion of your statement ?-Yes. With respect to grand the grand jury should see the witness; a single quesjuries, without intending at all to say that they ought tion addressed to the witness might put an end to the not to be continued, it is impossible to deny that they case at once. I will give a very remarkable instance are a very unsatisfactory body. In the first place, there of that in the case of a very excellent friend of mine; is no challenge; you cannot tell who may be upon the he was put upon his trial, and there was a trial before grand jury; one or two of the very persons that ought Lord Denman, which lasted twelve hours, for a connot to be upon the grand jury may be upon it conspiracy to carry a bill by bribery, in Mexico. The nected with the parties, either connected with the pro- grand jury found a bill without the least hesitation, secutor, or connected with the person against whom the and the foreman of the grand jury, on coming into bill is to be preferred; politically connected, as friends court, I understand from persons who were present, or as antagonists. Then there is a great variety of chuckled exceedingly when he presented a true bill qualification, I may say, in the grand jury; at least, against the first merchant in the world. If the grand there used to be, and I do not know whether it is jury had known what they were about, they would not so still. Generally speaking, freehold qualification have put a question to the prosecutor, by means of used not to be necessary for the grand jury; if it is which it would have been found that he owed the party now necessary generally over the country, it is of charged 30,0001. or 40,0001., and that this was in relate years that that has been so. In Yorkshire it was venge because he would not forgive him that debt, and necessary, but not in the rest of England. Then the there would have been an end of the prosecution. practice in grand juries varies very much; the practice As the result of your very great experience at the in different counties, I may say of my own knowledge, bar, do not you believe that indictments for conspiracy, varies exceedingly as to the mode in which they resolve and for offences of an analogous character to conspiracy, to proceed, the kind of evidence that will satisfy them, are resorted to for the purpose of enforcing civil rights, and the kind of evidence which they call before them. or coercing people into doing what they cannot be One very great variety, no doubt, existed in Ireland obliged to do by means of civil procedure ?-It is by no till the year 1816 or 1817, when it was found, that with means rare. I was for two days once before Lord the exception of one or two counties, the inveterate Tenterden for the defendants, in an indictment for perpractice in every county in Ireland was never to see a jury, which was evidently transferred from the Court witness—they never called a witness before them. That of Chancery, where the biil was pending on the answer was discovered by Sir S. Romilly and Mr. Horner, and to which the perjury had been assigned, and we were others of us in the House of Commons, by some mere trying at Nisi Prius a bill in equity, in fact. accident; we asked, and found to our astonishment Your Lordship must have known of that occurring that it was so; that the practice was inveterate and very frequently?- Frequently, certainly. universal in Ireland, with the exception of one or Is it not most desirable that that class of cases should two counties, of only receiving the depositions before be subject to the control of a public prosecutor?-Certhe magistrate, and then, without seeing a witness, tainly; I think it most important. Another case I proceeding to find the bill or to ignore it. The next might mention as shewing the errors committed by year a bill was brought in by Mr. Horner, supported grand juries: it was before Alderson, B., I think, sitby Sir R. Peel, who was then Secretary for Ireland, ting at the Central Criminal Court: there was an which bill was passed; and I recollect, that through | indictment for forgery—the forgery of a will; and it delicacy towards the judges and other official persons i turned out, when the case came before him, that there in Ireland it was not made declaratory, though it ought was no case whatever. The question was put, and it to have been; but it was made enacting, as if there turned out that the grand jury had never taken the prewere some little doubt existing as to whether it was caution of seeing the will, upon the forgery of which the utterly illegal, no lawyer either in Ireland or in Eng- indictment proceeded; they had never looked at the land having the shadow of a doubt that the procedure document alleged to be forged. There were two cases bewas grossly illegal. And what was the consequence of fore the same judge (Alderson, B.) upon the Midland Cirthat procedure ? Sir S. Romilly produced a proof of cuit, of persons being kept in prison five or six months. the result of this variety in the practice of grand juries There was a woman (one of the grossest cases that in Ireland. Instead of the acquittals being one-twelfth could be conceived) who was kept in prison five or six of those tried, as in Scotland, or one-sixth, as in Eng- months, with all the contamination of a gaol, and all the land, the acquittals there were in the proportion of wretchedness of her family, from whom she was taken 15 to 16 of the persons tried; 192 were acquitted out away; and it turned out, the moment the case came of 205 who were tried. This was evidently owing to I to be looked at, that there was an end of it, and it was