Page images
PDF
EPUB

1231

Lord's Day.

27 Hen. VI. c. 5; 1 Eliz. c. 2; 3 Jac. I. c. 4; 1 Car. I. c. 1; 3 Car. I. c. 1;
29 Car. II. c. 7; 10 & 11 Will. III. c. 24; 11 & 12 Will. III. c. 21; 2 Geo.
III. c. 15; 13 Geo. III. c. 80; 21 Geo. III. c. 49; 50 Geo. III. c. 73; 1 &
2 Geo. IV. c. 50; 3 Geo. IV. c. cvi.; 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. lxxv.; 3 & 4 Will.
IV. c. 31; 3 Will. IV. c. 19, s. 26.]

[ocr errors]

church on.

ALL persons, not having a lawful or reasonable excuse, shall endeavour Resorting to hemselves to resort to their parish church or chapel, (or to some con- ch rregation of religious worship allowed by the toleration act), on every Sunday; on pain of punishment by the censures of the church, and also of forfeiting one shilling to the poor for every offence: to be levied by he church wardens by distress, by warrant of one justice; and in default hereof, commitment till payment; the prosecution to be in one month, 1 Eliz. c. 2, ss. 14, 24. And see 3 Jac. I. c. 4, s. 27).

Profanation of the Lord's day, vulgarly (but improperly) called Sab- Sabbath-breaking. bath-breaking, is an offence against God and religion, punished by the municipal law of England. For, besides the notorious indecency and

candal of permitting any secular business to be publicly transacted on that day, in a country professing Christianity, and the corruption of morals which usually follows such profanation, the keeping one day in seven holy, as a time of relaxation and refreshment, as well as for public worship, is of admirable service to a state, considered merely as a civil institution. It humanizes, by the help of conversation and society, the manners of the lower classes, which would otherwise degenerate into a sordid ferocity and savage selfishness of spirit; it enables the industrious workman to pursue his occupation in the ensuing week with health and cheerfulness; it imprints on the minds of the people that sense of their duty to God, so necessary to make them good citizens; but which yet would be worn out and defaced by an unremitted continuance of labour, without any stated times of recalling them to the worship of their Maker. (4 Blac. Com. 63).

By stat. 27 Hen. VI. c. 5, s. 1, all fairs and markets, upon feast days Fairs, &c. on feast or on Sundays (the four Sundays in harvest excepted) shall clearly days, or Sundays. cease, on pain of forfeiture of the goods exposed to sale; and fairs holden theretofore on solemn festivals shall thereafter be holden three days before or three days after such festivals.

King James I., in 1618, publicly declared to his subjects, in what Sports on. was called The Book of Sports, these games following to be lawful, viz. dancing, archery, leaping, vaulting, Maygames, Whitsun-ales, and morris-dances; and did command that no such honest mirth or recreation should be forbidden to his subjects on Sunday after evening service; but restraining all recusants from this liberty; and commanding each parish to use these recreations by itself; and" prohibiting all unlawful games, bear-baiting, bull-baiting, interludes, and bowling, by the meaner sort. (Dalt. c. 46).

After which it was enacted, by stat. 1 Car. I. c. 1, that there shall be no concourse of people out of their own parishes on the Lord's day for any sport or pastimes; nor any bear-baiting, bull-baiting, interludes, common plays, or other unlawful exercises and pastimes, used by any persons within their own parishes; on pain that every offender, being convicted within a month after the offence, before one justice, or chief officer of any city, borough, or town corporate, on view, or confession, or oath of one witness, shall forfeit, for every offence, 3s. 4d. to the poor, to be levied by the constable and churchwardens by distress ;

Lord's day. in default of distress, the party to be set publicly in the stocks for thre

hours. Places of enter. Any house, room, or other place, which shall be open upon the Lord's tainment on.

day for public entertainment or amusement, or for publicly debating a
(religious or) any subject whatever, and to which persons shall be ad
mitted by the payment of money, or by tickets sold for money, shall be
deemed å disorderly house or place; and the keeper thereof shall forfei:
2001. for every day that it shall be so opened, &c.; the person managing
or conducting the entertainment, or acting as master of the ceremonie
there, or as president, chairman, or moderator, 1001.; and every doer
keeper, or servant, or other persons, who shall collect money, or tickets,
or deliver out tickets, 501., to him who shall sue. Stat. 21 Geo. III. .

49. (See tit. “ Disorderly House," Vol. II.) Killing game.

By stat. 1 & 2 Will, IV. c. 32, s. 3, killing or taking game on a Sunday or Christmas-day subjects the party to a penalty not exceeding

51. and costs. (See ante, tit. “ Game," p. 243.) Trading on. Stat. 29 Car. II. c. 7, s. 1(a), “ for the better observation and keeping

holy the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday,” enacts, “That all the
laws enacted and in force concerning the observation of the Lord's dar,
and repairing to the church thereon, be carefully put in execution; and
that all and every person and persons whatsoever, shall on every Lori's
day apply themselves to the observation of the same, by exercising
themselves thereon in the duties of piety and true religion, publicly and
privately; and that no tradesman, artificer, workman, labourer, or that
person whatsoever, shall do or exercise any worldly labour, business or
work of their ordinary callings upon the Lord's day, or any part thereof
(works of necessity and charity only excepted); and that every person
being of the age of fourteen years or upwards, offending in the premises,
shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of 58.; and that no person
or persons whatsoever, shall publicly cry, shew forth, or expose to sale
any wares, merchandizes, fruit, herbs, goods or chattels whatsoever,
upon the Lord's day, or any part thereof, upon pain that every perca
so offending shall forfeit the same goods so cried or shewed forth, ar

exposed to sale." Dressing of meat

Sect. 3. “ Nothing in this act contained shall extend to the prohibitfor private fami

ing of dressing of meat in families, or dressing or selling of meat in inns, lies, victualling houses, selling cooks' shops or victualling houses, for such as otherwise cannot be promilk, &c.

vided, nor to the crying or selling of milk before nine of the clock in the

morning or after four of the clock in the afternoon." Prosecution to be Sect. 4. “No person or persons shall be impeached, prosecuted a within ten days. molested for any offence before mentioned in this act, unless he e

they be prosecuted for the same within ten days after the offence coma

mitted." Mackerel.

Mackerel are allowed to be sold on Sundays, before or after Divine

service, by stat. 10 & 11 Will. III. c. 24, s. 14. Alehouses.

As to opening alehouses &c. on, see ante, tit. “ Alehouses," Vd.I.

113. Baking bread, &c., The stat. 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 37, s. 14, ante, Vol. I. p. 436, contains on Sundays. enactments relative to the baking of bread, &c., on Sundays, out of

London, &c. The 3 Geo. IV. c. 96, s. 16, ante, Vol. 1. p. 425, contaires enactments as to the baking of bread, &c., in London, or within ten miles thereof, &c.

(a) The 3 Car. I. c. 1, on butchers killing or selling meat on a Sunday; but the offence is fully provided against by the 29 Car. II. Selling meat on Sundays is no offence at common law; and, therefore, it was held an indictment

on stat, 3 Car. I. for that offence mest conclude “ against the form of the sts. tute, &c." (R. v. Brotkerton, 2 St. 702. See also Faulkner's case, I Sound 249, 8. P.; 2 Keb. 506, S. C.)

The statute of 29 Car. II. extends only to such work, business, or Lord's day. contract, as is done or made on the Lord's day, in the “ordinary calling"

What cases within of one of the parties. Therefore, in Drury v. Defontaine, (1 Taunt. 131), the 29 Car. II. c.7. it was ruled that a sale of a horse on a Sunday was not void, such sale not being within the ordinary calling of the plaintiff or his agent; but Mansfield, C. J., intimated an opinion, that, if it had been such ordinary calling, the contract would have been void. (And see 4 Bing. 84; 3 B. & C. 233; 5 D. & R. 84). And it has been held, that a sale and warranty by a horse-dealer on a Sunday is within the act, and illegal. (Fennell v. Ridler, 5 B. & Cres. 406; 8 D. & R. 204, S. Ć.) And the contract, &c., if made in the ordinary calling of one of the contracting parties, is void, though it does not relate to manual labour, calculated to meet the public eye. (16.)

A contract of hiring made on a Sunday between a farmer and a labourer for a year is valid, and a service under it confers a settlement. (R.v. Whitnash, 7 B. &0.596; 1 M.& R. 452; 1 M.HR. M. C. 177,8.C.)

A bill of exchange may be dated on a Sunday. (Begbie v. Levy, í Crom. & J. 180).

An agreement by an attorney for the settlement of his client's affairs, whereby he renders himself personally liable, may be made on a Sunday; for it is something beyond his ordinary calling, even assuming that as an attorney he came within the statute, which it should seem he does not. (Peate v. Dickens, 3 Dowl. P. C. 171; 1 Crom., M. & R. 422; 5 Tyrw. 116, s. C.)

The words, other person or persons, mean other persons, ejusdem generis with the words preceding them, viz. “ tradesman, artificer, workman, labourer.” They do not, therefore, include the owner or driver of a stage coach, and, therefore, their contracts to carry passengers on a Sunday are binding. (Sandiman v. Breach, 9 D. & R. 796; 7 B. & C. 96, S. C, See sect. 2, infra).

The baking provisions for customers is within the exception as to works of necessity, and, it seems, within the exception in section 3, as to cooks' shops; (R. v. Cox, 2 Burr. 787; R. v. Younger, 6 T. R. 449); but baking rolls on a Sunday is within the act. (Crepps v, Durden, Corp. 640). And see the 3 Geo. IV. c. 106, s. 16, ante, Vol. I. p. 425, which enacts, that no baker in the city of London, or within ten miles thereof, shall make, bake, or expose to sale any bread or rolls, or bake any meat, puddings, pies, or tarts, or in any other manner exercise the trade of a baker on the Lord's day, under the penalties therein mentioned. And see also the 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 37, s. 14, relative to baking bread on a Sunday elsewhere than in London (a).

An action will not lie upon a contract illegally made and completed

(a) (R. v. Cox, 2 Burr, 785). An inormation was moved for against a jusice of the peace, for refusing to receive in information against a baker, for ex. rcising his trade on a Sunday, contrary o the aforesaid statute of the 29 Car. II.

7. On shewing cause, it appeared hat the charge against the baker was Lot for baking bread, but for baking ruddings and pies, and other such hings, for dinner. And the Court rere of opinion, that this was not an offence within the act, but fell within he exception of works of necessity and harity, and within the equity of the proviso, as being a cook's shop; there being the same reason that the baker hould bake for others, as that a cook ihould roast and boil for them; and it

VOL. III.

is better that one baker and his men
should stay at home, than many fami-
lies and servants. And the rule to shew
cause was discharged with costs.

Upon the same principle, it has been
ruled, that the statute does not prohibit
a baker baking dinners for his custom-
ers on a Sunday. Lord Kenyon, in that
case, said, that the statute should be
construed equitably, so as that it may
answer the purposes of public conveni.
ence, taking care, at the same time, that
Sunday should not be profaned. (R. v.
Younger, 5 T.R. 449).

In Crepps v. Durden, (Cowp. 640), the plaintiff was convicted for selling small hot loaves of bread on the same day, being Sunday, by four separate convictions, in the sum of 58. each. It

4 K

Lord's day. on a Sunday, although entered into by an agent without the direction

of his principal, and although the objection is taken by the party at whose request the contract was so entered into. (Smith v. Sparre, 4 Bing. 84; 12 Moore, 266; 2 C. & P. 544, S. C.)

But where A., not knowing that B. was a horse-dealer, made a verba. bargain with him on a Sunday for the purchase of a horse, the price (which was above 101.) being then specified, and the horse warranted sound; but it was not delivered till the following Tuesday, when the money was paid; it was held, that the contract was not complete until the delivery of the horse, and that, therefore, it was not void under this act; but assuming it to be void, as the purchaser was ignorant that the vendor was exercising his ordinary calling on the Sunday, he had not been guilty of any breach of the law, and was, therefore, entitled to recover back the price of the horse for breach of the warranty. Blanese v. Williams, 3 B. & C. 232, 5 D. & R. 82, S. C.)

And it is to be observed that where a man keeps goods which he has bought on a Sunday, and afterwards promises to pay for them, be is liable, at all events, on the quantum meruit. (Wiliams v. Poul, 6

Bing. 653; 4 M. & P. 532, S. C.) Travelling on a

By 29 Car. II. c. 7, s. 2 (a), “No drover, horse-courser, waggoner, butSunday.

cher, higler, their or any of their servants, shall travel or come into his or their inn or lodging upon the Lord's day, or any part thereof, opaa pain that each and every such offender shall forfeit 20s. for every such offence, and that no person or persons shall use, employ, or trare una the Lord's day with any boat, (see 7 & 8 Geo. IV. e. lxxv. past, 1930) wherry, lighter, or barge, except it be upon extraordinary occasion, to be allowed by some justice of the peace of the county, or head officer, or some justice of the peace of the city, borough, or town corporate, where the fact shall be committed; upon pain that every person so offending

shall forfeit and lose the sum of 5s. for every such offence. And that, if the conviction shall be.

any person offending in any of the premises shall be thereof couricted before any justice of the peace of the county, or the chief officer cr officers, or any justice of the peace of or within any city, borough, or town corporate, where the said offences shall be committed, upon his or their view, or confession of the party, or proof of any one or more witnesses by oath,(which the said justices, chief officer or officers, is * by this

act authorized to administer), the said justice or chief officer or others Penalty, how shall give warrant under his or their hand and seal, to the constable e levied.

churchwardens of the parish or parishes where such offence shall be committed, to seize the said goods cried, shewed forth, or pat to sale es aforesaid, and to sell the same, and to levy the said other forfeiture or penalties by way of distress and sale of the goods of every such offender

distrained, rendering to the said offenders the overplus of the mooie If insufficient dis- raised thereby; and in default of such distress, or in case of insuficienky

In what manner

was objected, that there can be but one
offence, attended with one single penal.
ty, on one and the same day. By Lord
Mansfield-The true construction of the
act is, exercising his ordinary trade upon
the Lord's day, and that without any
fraction of a day, hours, or minutes. It
is one entire offence; whether longer or
shorter in point of duration, or whether
it consist of one, or a number of par.
cular acts, makes no difference. The
penalty incurred is 58. There is no idea
conveyed by the act, that, if a tailor sews
on the Lord's day, every stitch he takes
is a separate offence; or, if a shoemaker
or carpenter work for different customers
at different times on the same Sunday,

that those are so many separate and s-
tinct offences. There can be bat ede
entire offence on one and the same day.
And this is eren a much stronger ce
than that upon the game laws. K g
a single hare is an offence, bat dhe kë.
ing of ten more in the same day wil sot
multiply the offence, or the penalty
imposed by the statute for killing ook
Here, repeated offences are not the st-
ject which the legislature had in view
in making the statute, bat, singiy, to
punish a man for exercising his ordinary
calling on the Lord's day.

(a) See also the 3 Car. I. cl; bat this statute of 29 Car. II. comprises all the offences named in that act,

toll.

or inability of the said offender to pay the said forfeitures or penalties, Lord's day. that then the party offending be set publicly in the stocks by the space ires

tress, the offender of two hours. “And all and singular the forfeitures or penalties aforesaid shall be set in shall be employed and converted to the use of the poor of the parish stocks.

Forfeitures, how where the said offences shall be committed, saving only that it shall and disposed of: may be lawful to and for any such justice, mayor, or head officer or officers, out of the said forfeitures or penalties, to reward any person or persons that shall inform of any offence against this act, according to their discretions, so as such reward exceed not the third part of the forfeitures or penalties.” (Sect. 4, ante, 1232, limits the time for prosecutions for the penalty to ten days).

The driver of a van travelling to and from distant towns (as London and York) is a carrier within the meaning of this act, and liable to the penalty for driving on a Sunday, though the driver of a stage or mail coach may not be so liable. (Ex parte Middleton, 3 B. & C. 164; 4 D. & R. 824, S. C.; Sandiman v. Breach, 7 B. & C. 96; 9 D. & R. 791, S. C. supra).

By stat. 2 Geo. III. c. 15, s. 7, fish carriages shall be allowed to pass Fish carriages. on Sundays and holidays, whether laden or returning empty.

The 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. lxxv, contains various regulations relative to Watermen. watermen plying and working on the river Thames on a Sunday, and repeals so much of the 29 Car. II. c. 7, s. 2, as prevents travelling by water on a Sunday. (See the enactments, tit. “ Thames, Vol. VI.)

The 3 Will. IV. c. 19, ss. 26, 27, empowers the court of aldermen or Route of stage two justices to regulate the route and conduct of persons driving stage coaches, &c.com carriages, cattle, &c., during divine service. (See tit. “ Police," Vol. vice. V.; Stage Coaches," Vol. V.; and ante, tit. “ Hackney Coaches”).

As to the exemption from toll of persons going to or returning from Exemptions from church on a Sunday, see ante, p. 727.

By stat. 29 Car. II. c. 7, s. 6, no person upon the Lord's day shall Serving process serve or execute any writ, process, warrant, order, judgment, or decree, (except in cases of treason, felony, or breach of the peace), but the service thereof shall be void; and the person serving the same shall be as liable to answer damages to the party grieved, as if he had done the same without any writ, process, warrant, order, judgment, or decree.

But this doth not extend to ecclesiastical process; as, citations or ex- Ecclesiastical pro communications. (Gibs. 271; Walgrave v. Taylor, 1 Ld. Raym. 706). cess

A justice issued a warrant to the constable, to make a person find justice's warrant sureties for his good behaviour: the constable executed the warrant on to obtain sureties

for good behaa Sunday, and he was justified by the Court; who resolved, that a war- viour. rant for good behaviour is a warrant for the peace, and more; and that this statute is to be favourably interpreted for the peace. (Johnson y. Colton, T. Raym. 250).

So a person may be arrested on a Sunday, on an attachment for a Arresting for a res. rescue. (Anon., Willes, 459). Or under an escape warrant. (Sir W. cue or escape. Moore's case, 2 Ld. Raym. 1028; 2 Salk. 626, s. C.) Or, if the party has wrongfully escaped, he may be retaken on a Sunday, without a warrant. (16.; and Atkinson v. Jameson, 5 T. R. 25; and Featherstonehaugh v. Atkinson, Barnes, 373). But bail cannot take the defendant on a Sunday, in order to surrender Bail taking de

fendant. him. (Brookes v. Warren, 2 Bla. Rep. 1273). It has been held, that, by the construction of stat. 29 Car. II. c. 7, s.7, Warrant of com

mitment for a pea warrant of commitment for a penalty cannot be executed on a Sun

nalty cannot be day, and that the apprehension on that day is wholly void, and the de- executed on. fendant entitled to be discharged out of custody. (R. v. Myers, 1 T. R. 265, on the Lottery Act). Judicial acts cannot be done on a Sunday; but ministerial ones may. Judicial acts may

not be done on, (9 Coke, 66b. See tit. “ Coroner," Vol. II.)

on,

« PreviousContinue »