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Limitations of actions.
indebted to the plaintiff in the sum of
being forfeited by an act, intituled "An Act for the better Preventing Thefts and Robberies, and for Regulating Places of Public Entertainment, and Punishing Persons keeping Disorderly Houses;" and the plaintiff, if he recover in any such action, shall have his full costs.
XIV. Provided, that no action shall be brought by virtue of this act, unless the same shall be commenced within the space of six calendar months after the offence committed. Note. It is clearly agreed that keeping a bawdy-house is a common nuisance, 1 Russ. 299. An indictment, however, charging that the defendant "fuit communis lena ac male dispositas personas in domibus lupanaribus convenire et scortationes et fornicationes committere pro suo lucro propria illicite procuravit" is bad. The indictment must be for keeping a bawdy-house: R. v. Peirson, Salk. 382. If a person be only a lodger and have but a single room, she may be indicted for keeping a bawdy-house, as well as if she had the whole house, ibid. A wife may be indicted with her husband for keeping such a house: R. v. Williams, Salk. 384. Gaming-houses are also nuisances in the eye of the law 1 Russ. 299. And it seems to be sufficient to allege in the indictment, that the defendant kept a common gaming-house: R. v. Rogier, B. & R. 275; 2 D. & R. 431; in this case it was held, that the keeping a common gaminghouse, and for lucre and gain unlawfully causing and procuring divers idle and evil-disposed persons to frequent and come to play together, at a game called "rouge et noir," and permitting the said idle and evil-disposed persons to remain playing at the same game for divers large and excessive sums of money, is an indictable offence at common law. It has also been adjudged, that it is an offence for which a feme covert may be indicted: 1 Russ. 299. An indictment against a de
fendant, for that he did keep a common, ill-governed, and disorderly house, and in the said house, for his lucre, &c., certain persons of ill name, &c., to frequent and come together, did cause and procure, and the said persons in the said house, to remain fighting of cocks, boring, playing at cards, and misbehaving themselves, did permit, has been held to be good: R. v. Higginson, 2 Burr. 1233. Any number of persons may be included in the same indictment, for keeping different disorderly houses, stating that they "severally" kept, &c. such houses. It seems that it is necessary to state where the house is situate, and the time so as to make a particular statement of the offence, which is the keeping of the house. But particular facts need not be stated; and though the charge is thus general, yet, at the trial, evidence may be given of particular facts, and of the particular time of doing them. It is not necessary to prove who frequents the house, for that may be impossible: but if any unknown persons are proved to be there, behaving disorderly, it is sufficient to support the indictment: 1 Russ. 302; and see J'Anson v. Stuart, 1 T. R. 754. It may be observed that players and playhouses are regulated by certain statutes (see 10 Geo. 2, c. 28; 28 Geo. 3, c. 30). But playhouses are not, in themselves, a nuisance, though they may become so by accident: 1 Haw. P. C. c. 32, s. 7.
3. DANGEROUS AND OFFENSIVE NUISANCES.
Magazines of Gunpowder.
12 Geo. 3, c. 61.
XI. Be it enacted, &c., that no person or persons shall Dealers uot have or keep at any one time, being a dealer or dealers in to keep gunpowder, more than two hundred pounds of gunpowder, 200lb. of and, not being such, more than fifty pounds of gunpowder, gunpowder, in any house, mill, magazine, storehouse, warehouse, shop, at one time; cellar, yard, wharf, or other building or place, occupied by the same person or persons (all buildings and places adjoining to each other, and occupied together, being to be deemed one house or place within this act), or on any river or other water (except in carriages loading or unloading, or passing on the land, or in ships, boats, or vessels loading or unloading, or passing on any river or other water, or detained there by the tide or bad weather), within the following limits; (that is to say, within the cities of London or Westminster, or within three miles of either of them, or within any city, borough, or market town of Great Britain, or one mile of the same, or within two miles of any palace or house of residence of his present majesty, his heirs or successors, or of her present majesty the queen, or any queen consort, or dowager, or within two miles of any gunpowder magazine belonging to his majesty, his heirs or successors, or within half of a mile of any parish church, or in any other part of Great Britain Magazine (except in mills or other places which at the commencement of this act shall be used for the making of gunpowder, mencement and the magazines, storehouses, and offices thereto adjoin- hereof exing and belonging, and in the places where it shall be cepted. lawful to make gunpowder, or to keep greater or unlimited quantities of gunpowder, by force of the provisions hereinafter contained), on pain of forfeiting all the gunpowder beyond the quantity hereby allowed to be kept, and the barrels in which such gunpowder shall be; and also two shillings for every pound of gunpowder beyond such allowed quantity.
used before the com
person liable to
XII. [300lbs. of powder may be kept for the use of mines.] XV. Provided, nevertheless, and be it further enacted, No that no person shall be liable to pay any penalty or prosecution under this act, for keeping unlimited quantities of penalty, till gunpowder, without such license of the justices, in any six months magazine apart and remote from any gunpowder-mill, and after adju dication by already built and used for that purpose, in any place not being within London and Westminster, and the other limits within Great Britain hereinbefore particularly described, until the expiration of six calendar months after an adjudication by the justices of the peace for the county or other division in which any such magazine shall be, at their general quarter sessions of the peace, that the same is
No greater quantity to be conveyed at one time than 25 bar rels, by land, and
not exceeding 200
barrels by water.
dangerous; it being hereby declared that they shall not have authority to make any such adjudication, except on complaint made to them of any such magazine, by some householder of the parish or place in which the magazine shall be, and after due summons of the owner or owners of the magazine complained of, to answer such complaint; and after such examination on oath of the witnesses produced to support or invalidate such complaint; and also that no person shall be liable, at any time, to any penalty or prosecution whatsoever for keeping unlimited quantities of gunpowder, without such license of the justices of the peace, in any magazine erected by appointment of the justices of the peace, under the power given to them by any of the former acts regulating the keeping and carriage of gunpowder.
XVIII. And be it further enacted, that no person or persons shall have or convey at any one time, within Great Britain, more than twenty-five barrels of gunpowder, in any waggon, cart, or other carriage by land, or more than two hundred barrels of gunpowder in any barge, boat, or other vessel by water (except in vessels with gunpowder imported from, or to be exported to, any place beyond the sea, or going coastwise); and all gunpowder conveyed on land or water (excepting such vessels for importation or exportation of gunpowder, or going coastwise), shall be in barrels close joined and hooped, without any iron about them, and so secured that no part of the gunpowder be scattered in the passage; and each barrel shall contain no more than one hundred pounds of gunpowder; and when conveyed by land shall be entirely inclosed in a leather bag, or a bag commonly called a saltpetre bag; and every carriage in which gunpowder shall be conveyed by land, shall have a complete covering of wood, painted cloth, tarpaulin, or wadmill tilts, over all the gunpowder therein contained and also no gunpowder shall be conveyed in any barge, boat, or other vessel by water (except in vessels by * gunpowder imported, or to be exported in manner aforesaid, or going coastwise), that hath not a close deck; and as soon as any gunpowder is put on board such vessel, all such gunpowder shall be covered with raw hides or tarpaulins; and all gunpowder, which shall be carried or conveyed (except in such vessels with gunpowder for importation or exportation as aforesaid, or going coastwise) within any part of Great Britain, in greater quantity, or in other manner than is hereinbefore prescribed, and the barrels in which such gunpowder shall be, may be seized by any person or persons, who shall have the same authority to remove such gunpowder and barrels, and to use for that purpose, during the space of twenty-four hours after seizure, the carriage or vessel in which such gunpowder shall be seized, and the tackling, beasts, and accoutrements.
belonging thereto, on the terms of paying a recompense for the use thereof, and to detain such gunpowder and barrels, as is hereinafter given to persons searching under a warrant of a justice of the peace; and such seizure shall be for his, her, or their own use, on conviction of the offender or offenders.
XXIII. [Justices to issue a warrant to search for powder made, kept, or carried contrary to this act; searchers to seize all which they find, and remove it.]
XXVI. And be it further enacted, that all penalties Penalties created by this act, shall be recoverable before two or more and forfei justices of the peace for the county or other division in which tures how to the offence shall be committed, on proof of the offence, by ed and apthe oath or oaths of one or more credible witness or wit- plied. nesses, or on confession of the offender; and one moiety of each penalty shall belong to his majesty, his heirs or successors, and the other moiety thereof to the informer or informers prosecuting for the same; and, where the penalty shall be pecuniary, in case of non-payment, it shall be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods and chattels, by warrant under the hands and seals of such justices; and the overplus of the money raised, after deducting the penalty, and the expenses of the distress and sale, shall be rendered to the owner; and for want of sufficient distress, the offender shall be sent, by such justices, to the house of correction, there to be kept to hard labour for any time not exceeding six months, nor less than three months, as such justices shall think most proper.
XXVII. [Prosecution to be commenced within fourteen days after seizure. General issue. Treble costs.] XXVIII. [Limitation of actions.-Six months.]
Note. As to the proper form of a conviction on the 18th section of this act, see R. v. Smith, 5 M. & S. 133. It seems, that erecting gunpowder mills, or keeping gunpowder magazines near a town, is a nuisance by the common law, for which an indictment or information will lie I Russ. 297, note (o). Not only dangerous but offensive trades and manufactures may be public nuisances. Thus a candle manufactory, a brewhouse, a glass house, or a swine yard, may be indicted as nuisances, if placed in inconvenient situations; that is to say, so near either to dwelling-houses or the highway as to be a reasonable cause of offence to the neigh
bourhood: 1 Haw. P. C. c. 32, s. 10; 1 Russ. 196. And it is not necessary to support an indictment for a nuisance, that the smells from the place or manufactory indicted should be unwholsome; it is sufficient if they be offensive to the senses: R. v. White & Ward, 1 Burr. 337; R. v. Neil, C. & P. 485.
And, though it appears to have been ruled, that a person cannot be indicted for setting up a noxious manufactory, where other offensive trades have been long borne with, unless the inconvenience to the public be greatly increased, R. v. Neville, Peake, 91; yet, in a late case it is said, that the presence of other nuisances will
not justify any one of them; and one is not the less subject to prosecution because others are culpable per Lord Tenterden, 2 C. & P. 485. But, if a certain noxious trade is already established in a place remote from habitations and public roads, and persons afterwards come and build houses within the reach of its noxious effects; or if a public road be made so near to it, that the carrying on of the trade becomes a nuisance to the persons using the road; in those cases the party will be entitled to continue his trade, because his trade was legal before the erection of the
March, 1698, no person
shall make, sell, &c.. squibs,
houses in the one case, and the making of the road in the other: R. v. Cross, 2 C. & P. 484. No length of time will legalize a public nuisance: 3 Camp. 227. All common nuisances are regularly punishable by fine and imprisonment; but as the removal of the nuisance is usually the end of the indictment, the court will adapt the judgment to the nature of the case. Where the nuisance, therefore, is stated in the indictment to be continuing, and does in fact exist at the time of the judgment, the defendant may be adjudged to remove it at his own costs: 1 Russ. 305.
Fire Works, &c.
9 & 10 Will. 3, c. 7.
I. Whereas much mischief hath lately happened by throwing, casting, and firing off squibs, serpents, rockets, and other fire-works; some persons having thereby lost their lives, others their eyes, others have had their lives in great danger, and several other damages have been sustained by many persons, and much more may thereby happen, if not speedily prevented; for remedy whereof for the future, be it enacted, &c. that from and after the 25th day of March, 1698, it shall not be lawful for any person or persons, of what age, sex, degree, or quality soever, to make or cause whatsoever to be made, or to sell, or utter, or offer, or expose to sale, any squibs, rockets, serpents, or other fire-works, or any cases, moulds, or other implements, for the making any rockets, ser- such squibs, serpents, rockets, or other fire-works, or for pents, &c. any person or persons to permit or suffer any squibs, serpents, rockets, or other fire-works, to be cast, thrown, or fired from, out of, or in his, her, or their house, or houses, lodgings, or habitations, or from, out of, or in any part or place thereto belonging or adjoining, into any public street, highway, road, or passage, or for any person or persons, of what degree, quality, or age, soever, to throw, cast, or fire, or to be aiding or assisting in the throwing, casting, or firing of any squibs, serpents, rockets, or other fire-works, in or into any public street, house, shop, river, highway, road, or passage, and that every such offence shall be, and is hereby adjudged to be, a common nuisance.
Court may award costs
II. [Penalty of five pounds on persons throwing or firing squibs, or suffering them, &c., to be thrown or fired from their houses. Forfeitures to be levied by distress and applied to the use of the poor.]