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Laws touching the Elections of Knights of the Shire to serve in Parliament for that Part of Great Britain called England," several good provisions were enacted for the better regulating the said elections; and whereas it is reasonable that like provisions should be made for the due election of members to serve in parliament for such cities and towns in that part of Great Britain called England, as are counties of themselves, and in which persons have a right to vote for electing such members, for and in respect of freehold lands, tenements, or hereditaments, of the yearly value of forty shillings: therefore, be it enacted, &c. that Persons de from and after the 24th day of June, 1746, every person manding to demanding to vote for the election of any member to serve the election in parliament for such city or town, being a county of itself, of members, in that part of Great Britain called England, for and in if required, respect of any freehold estate of forty shillings a year, oath follow. shall, before he is admitted to poll at the said election (if required by the candidates, or any of them, or any person having a right to vote at the said election) first take the oath (or being a Quaker, the solemn affirmation) following, videlicet.

vote for

to take the

ing, &c.

The oath.

The oath, &c. by


“You shallswear (or being a Quaker, you shall solemnly affirm) that you have a freehold estate, consisting of (specifying the nature of such freehold estate, whether messuage, land, rent, tithe, or what else; and if such freehold estate consists in messuages, lands, or tithes, then specifying in whose occupation the same are; and, if rent, then specifying the names of the owners or possessors of the lands or tenements, out of which such rent is issuing, or some or one of them) lying or being in the city and county, or town and county (as the case may be) of

of the clear yearly value of forty shillings, over and above all rents and charges payable out of, or in respect of, the same; and that you have been in the actual possession or receipt of the rents and profits thereof, for your own use, above twelve calendar months, or that the same came to you within the time aforesaid, by descent, marriage, marriage-settlement, devise, or promotion to a benefice in a church, or by promotion to an office; and that such freehold estate has not been granted or made to you fraudulently, on purpose to qualify you to give your vote; and that the place of your abode is at and that you are twenty-one years of age, as you believe; and that you have not been polled before at this election."


Which oath (or solemn affirmation) the sheriff or sheriffs whom to be by him or themselves, or his or their under sheriff or under sheriffs, or such sworn clerk or clerks as shall be by him or them appointed for the taking of the poll, is and are hereby required to administer; and in case any freeholder, or other person, [&c. as in last act.]




9 Geo. 4, c. 31.

II. Be it enacted, that every offence which before the Petit treacommencement of this act would have amounted to petit son to be treated in treason, shall be deemed to be murder only, and no greater all respects offence; and all persons guilty in respect thereof, whether as murder. as principals or as accessories, shall be dealt with, indicted, tried, and punished as principals and accessories in murder.




15 Rich. 2, c. 3.

Item, at the great and grievous complaint of all the commons made to our lord the king in this present parliament, for that the admirals and their deputies do encroach to them divers jurisdictions, franchises, and many other profits pertaining to our lord the king, and to other lords, cities, and boroughs, other than they were wont or ought to have of right, to the great oppression and impoverishment of all the commons of the land, and hindrance and loss of the king's profits, and of many other lords, cities, and boroughs through the realm; it is declared, ordained, and established, that of all manner of contracts, pleas, and quarrels, and all other things arising within the bodies of the counties, as well by land as by water, and also of wreck of the sea, the admiral's court shall have no manner of cognizance, power, nor jurisdiction, but all such manner of contracts, pleas, and quarrels, and all other things rising within the bodies of counties, as well by land as by water, as afore, and also wreck of the sea, shall be tried, determined, discussed, and remedied by the laws of the land, and not before nor by the admiral, nor his lieutenant, in any wise. Nevertheless, of the death of a man, and of a maihem done in great ships, being and hovering in the main stream of great rivers, only beneath the bridges of the same rivers nigh to the sea, and in none other places of the same rivers, the admiral shall have cognizance, and also to arrest ships in the great flotes for the great voyages of the king and of the realm; saving always to the king all manner of forfeitures and profits thereof coming: and he shall have also jurisdiction upon the said flotes, during the said voyages only, saving always to the lords, cities, and boroughs, their liberties and franchises.

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Whereas traitors, pirates, thieves, robbers, murtherers, and confederates upon the sea, many times escaped unpunished. because the trial of their offences hath heretofore been ordered, judged, and determined before the admiral, or his lieutenant or commissary, after the course of the civil laws, the nature whereof is, that before any judgment of death can be given against the offenders, either they must plainly confess their offences (which they will never do without torture or pains), or else their offences be so plainly and directly proved by witness indifferent, such as saw their offences committed, which cannot be gotten but by chance at few times, because such offenders commit their offences upon the sea, and at many times murther and kill such persons being in the ship or boat where they commit their offences, which should witness against them in that behalf; and also such as should bear witness be commonly mariners and shipmen, which, because of their often voyages and passages in the seas, depart without long tarrying and protraction of time, to the great costs and charges, as well of the king's highness, as such as would pursue such offenders: for reformation whereof, be it enacted by the fences com authority of this present parliament, that all treasons, mitted upon felonies, robberies, murthers, and confederacies, hereafter the sea, or to be committed in or upon the sea, or in any other haven, river, creek, or place where the admiral or admirals have Jurisdiction, or pretend to have power, authority, or jurisdiction, shall by the king's be inquired, tried, heard, determined, and judged, in such commissions shites and places in the realm as shall be limited by the

Trial of of

within the


king's commission or commissions, to be directed for the same, in like form and condition as if any such offence or ellences had been committed or done in or upon the land; and such commissions shall be had under the king's great sea', directed to the alpiral or admirals, or to his or their Lesterast, de uty, and deputies, and to three or four such elder suostatudi persvas, as saail be named or appointed

by the lord chancellor of England, for the time being, from time to time, and as oft as need shall require, to hear and determine such offences after the common course of the laws of this realm, used for treasons, felonies, murthers, robberies, and confederacies of the same, done and committed upon the land within this realm.

II. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, The comthat such persons to whom such commission or commissions missioners' authority. shall be directed, or four of them at the least, shall have full power and authority to inquire of such offences, and of every of them, by the oaths of twelve good and lawful inhabitants in the shire limited in their commission, in such like manner and form as if such offences had been committed upon the land within the same shire; and that every indictment, found and presented before such commissioners, of any treasons, felonies, robberies, murthers, manslaughters, or such other offences, being committed or done in or upon the seas, or in or upon any other haven, river, or creek, shall be good and effectual in the law; and if any person or persons happen to be indicted for any such offence done, or hereafter to be done, upon the seas, or in any other place above limited, that then such order, process, judgment, and execution shall be used, had, done, and made, to and against every such person and persons so being indicted, as against traitors, felons, and murtherers, for treason, felony, robbery, murther, or other such offences done upon the land, as by the laws of this realm is accustomed; and that the trial of such offence or offences, if it be denied by the offender or offenders, shall be had by twelve lawful men inhabited in the shire limited within such commission, which shall be directed as is aforesaid, and no challenge or challenges to be had for the hundred; and such as shall be convict of any such offence or offences The punishby verdict, confession, or process, by authority of any such ment of of commission, shall have and suffer such pains of death, losses of lands, goods, and chattels, as if they had been attainted and convicted of any treasons, felonies, robberies, or other the said offences done upon the lands.

III. And be it enacted by authority aforesaid, that for treasons, robberies, felonies, murthers, and confederacies done upon the sea or seas, or in any place above rehearsed, the offenders shall not be admitted to have the benefit of his or their clergy, but be utterly excluded thereof and from the same, and also of the privilege of any sanctuary.


IV. Provided always, that this act extend not to be pre- Taking of judicial or hurtful to any person or persons for taking any things that victual, cables, ropes, anchors, or sails, which any such may be spared upon person or persons (compelled by necessity) taketh of or in necessity, any ship which may conveniently spare the same, so the and paying same person or persons pay out of hand for the same vic- for them. tual, cables, ropes, anchors, or sales, money or money

Commissioners directed into any place

five ports.

worth to the value of the thing so taken, or do deliver for the same a sufficient bill obligatory to be paid in form following, that is to say, if the taking of the same things be on this side the Straits of Marroke, then to be paid within four months; and, if it be beyond the said Straits of Marroke, then to be paid within twelve months next ensuing the making of such bills, and that the makers of such bills well and truly pay the same debt at the day to be limited within the said bills.

V. Provided alway, that whensoever any such commis. sion for the punishment of the offences aforesaid, or of any of them, shall be directed or sent to any place within the within the jurisdiction of the five ports, that then every such commission shall be directed unto the lord warden of the said ports for the time being, or to his deputy, and unto three or four such other person or persons, as the lord chancellor for the time being shall name and appoint; any thing in this present act to the contrary notwithstanding.

VI. Provided alway, that whensoever any commission shall be directed unto the five ports for the inquisition and trials of any the offences expressed in this act, that every such inquisition and trial, to be had by virtue of such commission, shall be made and had by the inhabitants in the said five ports, or the members of the same; any thing in this act to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

Note. This statute does not alter the nature of the offence, so as to make that which was before a felony only by the civil law, now become a felony by the common law: 1 Haw. P. C. c. 20, s. 11. The of fence of piracy therefore remains, as before, of a special nature, and is not included in a general pardon of all felonies: id. s. 12; 3 Inst. 112; F. Moor, 756. The statute, moreover, has not affected the jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court, but merely altered the mode of trial: 1 Chit. Cr. L. 155; Com. Dig. Admiralty (E.) 5. And, indeed, neither this statute, nor that of the 39 Geo. 3, c. 37, see post, take away any jurisdiction as to the trial of offences, which might before have been tried in a court of common law; and, therefore, an indictment for a conspiracy on the high seas, is triable at common law, on proof of an overt act on shore, in the county

where the venue is laid: 4 East, 164. If a pistol be fired on shore, which kills a man at sea, the offence is properly triable at the Admiralty Sessions, because the murder is, in law, committed where the death occurs: R. v. Coombe, 1 Leach, 388. But if, on the other hand, a man be stricken on the high seas, and die upon the shore after the reflux of the water, the admiral, by virtue of this commission, has no cognizance of the felony: 2 H. P. C. 17.

Various offences have been made piracies by different statutes: see post, 11 & 12 Will. 3, c. 7, et seq. At common law, the offence consists in committing those acts of robbery and depredation upon the high seas, which, if committed on land, would have amounted to felony there: 1 Russ. 100. Where several mariners on board a ship lying near the Groyne, seized the captain, he not agreeing with them, and,

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