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6. The offence of forestalling the market is also an offence against public trade. This, which (as well as the two following) is also an offence at common law!, was described
i 1 Hawk. P.C. c. 80. s.1.
ing any pawnbroker's memorandum or ticket. The statutes of Hen. 8. and G. 2., extended as the latter is by the 52 G. 3. c. 64., form a very important head of our criminal law, upon which numerous decisions have taken place. The first of these provides for the offence of deceitfully getting possession of other persons' money, goods, chattels, jewels, or other things, by means of any false token, or counterfeit letter made in any other man's name. The necessity for this and the succeeding statutes arose from a principle in the law as to larceny, which will be noticed more fully hereafter, that wherever the owner of goods delivered them to another, and intended by the delivery to part not merely with the possession but the property of them, no larceny was committed by the person so receiving them, whatever fraudulent means he had used to prevail on the owner so to do. It should therefore be always borne in mind, that these statutes apply only to cases of such delivery; for without this caution we shall be apt to confound cases under them with cases of larceny at common law. The words of the statute of Hen. 8. are confined to goods, &c. obtained by means of a token, which must be some real visible mark or thing (as a key, or ring), calculated to gain the party using it some additional credit beyond his own assertions; or a letter, which must also be made in the name of a third person. This statute, thus expounded, was a very inadequate security against fraud; the statute of G.2., therefore, extends to goods, &c. obtained by any false pretence with intent to cheat. These words are very general, and there has been some doubt as to the extent in which they are to be understood; but it seems now to be determined that they are not to be restrained in their operation, but that wherever the pretence is false, and the money or other thing obtained by that pretence, the case is within the statute. Thus, where a Count V. told Sir T. B. that he was entrusted by the Duc de Lauzun to take some horses from Ireland to London, and that he had been detained so long by contrary winds that his money was spent, by which representation (being entirely fictitious) Sir T. B. was induced to advance him money; the case was held to be within the statute, and the defendant was sentenced to hard labour (3 T. R. 104.). And this case would have been equally so, if the story had been only false in part, supposing the false part had been the material inducement to part with the money. For it most commonly happens, that a false pretence is a matter made up of some truth as well as some falsehood, the former used as the vehicle of the latter. The object of the 527.3. c.64. was to extend the protection of the statute of G. 2. to corporate bodies, and to cases where not merely money, goods, &c. were obtained, but bonds, bills, bank notes, or any other security, or warrant for the payment of money, or delivery of goods. On this subject, generally, I cannot do better than refer the student to the case of the King v. Young and others, 3 T. R. 98., and 2 East's P. C. c. xvii. s. 8., or Russ. P. C. 1385.
by statute 5 & 6 Edw. VI. c.14. to be the buying or contracting for any merchandize or victual coming in the way to market; or dissuading persons from bringing their goods or provisions there; or persuading them to enhance the price, when there: any of which practices make the market dearer to the fair trader.
7. REGRATING was described by the same statute to be the buying of corn, or other dead victual, in any market, and selling it again in the same market, or within four miles of the place. For this also enhances the price of the provisions, as every successive seller must have a successive profit.
8. ENGROSSING was also described to be the getting into one's possession, or buying up, large quantities of corn, or other dead victuals, with intent to sell them again. This must of course be injurious to the public, by putting it in the power of one or two rich men to raise the price of provisions at their own discretion. And so the total engrossing of any [ 159 ] other commodity, with intent to sell it at an unreasonable price, is an offence indictable and finable at the common law m. And the general penalty for these three offences by the common law (for all the statutes concerning them were repealed by 12 Geo. III. c.71.) is, as in other minute misdemesnors, discretionary fine and imprisonment". Among the Romans these offences and other mal-practices to raise the price of provisions, were punished by a pecuniary mulct. “ Poena viginti aureorum statuitur adversus eum, qui contra
annonam fecerit, societatemve coierit quo annona carior “ fiato."
9. MONOPOLIES are much the same offence in other branches of trade, that engrossing is in provisions (10): being a licence or privilege allowed by the king for the sole buying and selling, making, working, or using of any thing m Cro. Car. 232.
° Ff. 48. 12. 2. 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 80. s.5.
(10) Hawkins states the difference to be only in this, that monopoly is by patent from the king, and engrossing by the act of the subject between party and party. Pl. C. 1. c. 79.
whatsoever ; whereby the subject in general is restrained from that liberty of manufacturing or trading which he had before P. These had been carried to an enormous height during the reign of queen Elizabeth ; and were heavily complained of by sir Edward Coke", in the beginning of the reign of king James the first : but were in great measure remedied by statute 21 Jac. I. c. 3. which declares such monopolies to be contrary to law and void ; (except as to patents, not exceeding the grant of fourteen years, to the authors of new inventions; and except also patents concerning printing, saltpetre, ganpowder, great ordnance, and shot ;) and monopolists are punished with the forfeiture of treble damages and double costs, to those whom they attempt to disturb; and if they procure any action, brought against them for these damages, to be stayed by any extra-judicial order, other than of the court wherein it is brought, they incur the penalties of praemunire. Combinations also among victuallers or artificers, to raise the price of provisions, or any commodities, or the rate of labour, are in many cases severely punished by particular statutes; and in general by statute 2 & 3 Edw. VI. c.15. with the forfeiture of 101. or twenty-one days' imprisonment, with an allowance of only bread and water, for the first offence;
201. or the pillory, for the second ; and 40l. for the third, or [ 160 ) else the pillory, loss of one ear, and perpetual infamy. (11) In
the same manner, by a constitution of the emperor Zeno', all monopolies and combinations to keep up the price of merchandize, provisions, or workmanship, were prohibited upon pain of forfeiture of goods and perpetual banishment.
10. To exercise a trade in any town, without having previously served as an apprentice for seven years', is looked upon to be detrimental to public trade, upon the supposed want of sufficient skill in the trader : and therefore is punished by statute 5 Eliz. c. 4. with the forfeiture of forty shillings by the month. (12)
P i llawk.P.C. c.79.
Cod. 4. 59.1.
(11) This statute is repealed by 5G. 4. c. 95. See ante, p. 137. n.
11. LASTLY, to prevent the destruction of our home manufactures by transporting and seducing our artists to settle abroad, it is provided by statute 5 Geo. I. c. 27. that such as so entice or seduce them shall be fined (any sum not exceeding] 1001. and be imprisoned three months : and for the second offence shall be fined at discretion, and be imprisoned a year : and the artificers, so going into foreign countries, and not returning within six months after warning given them by the British ambassador where they reside, shall be deemed aliens, and forfeit all their lands and goods, and shall be incapable of any legacy or gift. By statute 23 Geo. II. c. 13. the seducers incur, for the first offence, a forfeiture of 5001. for each artificer contracted with to be sent abroad, and imprisonment for twelve [calendar] months; and for the second, 1000l. and are liable to two years imprisonment: and by the same statute, connected with 14 Geo. III. c. 71., if any person exports any tools or utensils used in the silk, linen, cotton, or woollen manufactures, (excepting woolcards to North - America',) he forfeits the same and 2001., and the captain of the ship (having knowledge thereof) 100l. ; and if any captain of a king's ship, or officer of the customs, knowingly suffers such exportation, he forfeits 1001. and his employment; and is for ever made incapable of bearing any public office: and every person collecting such tools or utensils, in order to export the same, shall, on conviction at the assizes, [or quarter sessions,] forfeit such tools and also 2001. (13)
+ Stat. 15 Geo. III. c. 5.
(13) These statutes, and several later, which had been made in pursuance of the same policy, so far as they relate to artificers going abroad, or the enticing them so to do, are now repealed by the 5G. 4. C. 97.
CHAPTER THE THIRTEENTH.
AGAINST THE PUBLIC HEALTH, AND THE PUBLIC POLICE OR OECONOMY.
the commonwealth, are such as are against the public health of the nation ; a concern of the highest importance, and for the preservation of which there are in many countries special magistrates or curators appointed.
1. The first of these offences is a felony; but by the blessing of Providence for more than a century past, incapable of being committed in this nation. For by statute 1 Jac. I. c.31. it is enacted, that if any person infected with the plague, or dwelling in any infected house, be commanded by the mayor or constable, or other head officer of his town or vill, to keep his house, and shall venture to disobey it, he may
be enforced, by the watchmen appointed on such melancholy occasions, to obey such necessary command: and, if any hurt ensue by such inforcement, the watchmen are thereby indemnified. And farther, if such person so commanded to confine himself goes abroad, and converses in company, if he has no plague sore upon him, he shall be punished as a vagabond by whipping, and be bound to his good behaviour; but, if he has any infectious sore upon him, uncured, he then shall be guilty of felony. By the statute 26 Geo. II. c.6. (explained and amended by 29 Geo. II. c. 8.) the method of performing quarantine, or forty days' probation, by ships coming from infected countries, is put in a much more regular and effectual order than formerly, and masters of ships coming from infected places and disobeying the directions there given,