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her choice, either to hang, behead, or marry the offender.* No instance of a conviction is upon record, and only one traditionary. After the rope was fastened round the neck of the criminal, the injured woman repented of her determination, desired he might be released, and offered him a ring, the symbol of the third condition. He accepted the gift with thanks ; but told her that, having been already condemned to one punishment, he thought that sufficient, and would keep the ring for another occasion.
The unnatural crime, which is made capital by statute of 1665 is only that between man and beast, not that between man and man.
Assault, or battery, and provocation, or provoking language, likely to occasion battery, are determinable, without a jury, by the Governor or Deemster.f The punishment for the first offence is two shillings ; for the second, thirteen shillings and fourpence, to the Lord, besides imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. This law seems to be made in the spirit of the old proverb, that “ prevention is better than cure.” For the first offence damages may also be recovered by the injured party.
* Statute-book, 1577. + Ibid. 1736.
Not only is burglary felonious, but also enter- ! ing a house without a door, if there be but two sticks across the doorway, or a bundle of gorse reared up there. * It is remarkable that neither this crime nor that of murder is mentioned in the Statute-book, although one part of it was intended to include the whole common or cus- . tomary law of Man.
Theft is divided into great and small ; that which is equal to, or exceeds the value of sixpence halfpenny, and that which is under sixpence halfpenny. The first includes necessarily theft of sheep, lamb, goat, kid, swine, or honey taken from bee-hives : the crime is capital.
* Chaloner, page 20 and 21.
+ Formerly, the punishment of theft was, in certain cases, more lenient. “ If the thief be the Lord's born man, or els hath made faith and fealty, and put liim in grace, if he be indicted, and no mainour in his hand, or the verdict be given, he ought, by the law of Man, to have his life; but he must forfeit his goods. And then he shall have his choice of three things: first, he shall choose whether he will rest in prison a year and a day, with sustenance of the prison, viz. he shall have bread, one part meale, and another part-chaffe of the same meale, and the third part ashes, and he to drink of the water next to the prison doore: the second is to foresweare the King and all his land: or els, for the third, to pay the King three pounds.” Statute-book, 1422.
The second offence, called petty larceny, subjects the offender to corporal punishment and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
Forgery was not punishable in England, till the reign of Elizabeth., except at common law. The crime was in no case capital. Commerce and paper credit so much increase the temptation and the opportunity, that a multitude of other statutes have since this periud been found necessary, and there is now scarcely an instance wherein fraudulent forgery is not felonious. The Manks laws are still silent upon the subject. Only one, and that a modern instance, has occurred. I have remarked the abundance of card tickets, payable on demand, and equally current with the silver coin. Several forged ones, for five shillings each, were issued in the name of a gentleman resident at Peel, accustomed to have his notes in circulation. The criminal was detected, and confessed the fraud. It could not be considered in any other light than that of a civil debt. The matter was in some way compounded, and the prisoner set at liberty.
When a summons to appear at court was nothing else than a piece of marked stone, we may easily suppose that an error or a perversion
of its use might frequently happen. To counterfeit or make false use of the Governor's token subjected the offender to a fine of twenty shillings; of the Deenister's token; to a fine of ten shillings, besides imprisonment, in either case, during the Governor's pleasure. *
We have seen that two punishments may, in some instances, be inflicted for the same offence : nor is there any thing unjust in the practice, when a public and a private wrong are blended. A statute of Henry the Eighth directs that, in cases of mayhem, treble damages shall be awarded, as a compensation for the civil injury, to be recovered by action of trespass ; and that the offender shall also be criminally prosecuted for a fine to the King. Any one beating a clerk in orders, is, even now, in England, subject to three kinds of prosecutions, which may be pursued at the same time ; an indictment for breach of the peace, by assault and battery; a civil action for damages; and a suit in the Ecclesiastical Court.
All felonies, and most crimes, must be determined at the Court of General Goal Delivery.
* Statute-book, 1651.
Before any person can be tried, he must be #indicted: I will therefore speak of the indict* ment first. i. When a person is apprehended on suspicion e of felony, the Coroner, in whose sheading it has
been committed, is obliged, ex officio, to take the en offender into custody, and, by warrant of the _ Deemster, summon a jury of six good and lawbe ful men out of the sheading, together with all
such persons as he thinks may be able to give any el testimony in the matter, to appear before the * Deemster. If the crime be committed in one cis sheading, and the supposed criminal live in :: another, the jury must consist of three men of
each sheading. * They are, under the direction e of the Deemster, to make inquiry, and take
evidence, in writing, respecting the offence com: w plained of. Upon proof, confession, strong is presumption, or suspicion, supported by pre
pailing circumstances, the jury indict the offender. The Deemster is required to receive their verdict; to transmit it, with the depositions that have been taken, to the Rolls Office; and to release, admit to bail, or imprison such person, so acquitted or indicted, as the nature of the case may require.
* Chaloner, page 20.