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VII-HIGHEST and LOWEST PRICES of the PRINCIPAL FUNDS from November 1856 to October 1857.
94 933 91213222 216 93 927 933 23 219
217 92 934
213 91 92
943 94 94 213
94 2 227
943 213 227
93 94 2
217 91 913 917
214 90 89 90
shut shut 893 91)
213 883 901 88
91 92 91 27 220
927 92 925
Wheat. Barley. Oats.
Bank of England Rate of Discount in 1857.-Jan. 1, 6 per cent.; April 2 64 per cent.; June 18, 6 per cent.; July 16, 54 per cent.; Oct. 8, 6 per cent.; Oct. 12, 7 cent.; Oct. 19, 8 per cent.; Nov. 5, 9 per cent.; Nov. 9, 10 per cent.
VIII. AVERAGE PRICES of CORN, per IMPERIAL QUARTER, in ENGLAND and WALES, for one Week in each Month.
8. d. 41 7 40 2
36 O 42 7
210 11 discount.
38 9 46 0 41 7
THE LEGISLATION, STATISTICS, ARCHITECTURE AND PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS, AND CHRONICLE OF 1857.
LEGISLATION OF 1857.
THE Parliament met on the 3rd of February. It was dissolved on the 21st of March. During the sitting of seven weeks, the subject of China, which weightier matters have caused us now to look upon almost with indifference, occupied the Legislature, to the exclusion of many measures of improvement that had been confidently promised for consideration. When the dissolution came, there had been only passed twenty Public Acts. The new Parliament met on the 30th of April, and sat till the 28th of August. The results of its labours, in the form of Statutes, show that the Session was not devoted to debate without business. A House of Commons more resolved to get through the work before it in a satisfactory way was never assembled.
The Abridgments of the more important Public Acts, which we furnish upon our usual plan, require no introductory illustration of their several details. We merely desire here to point out such of these Acts as the future historian may consider as characteristic of our times.
In The Act to amend the Winding-up Acts of Joint-Stock Companies' (cap. 78); in 'The Act to make better provision for the Punishment of Frauds committed by Trustees, Bankers, and other persons intrusted with Property' (cap. 54); will be seen the legislative evidences of a state of commercial morality which has brought discredit upon the old national character for fair dealing. The frauds of trustees of individual property are more effectually reached by this Act, and such frauds have at all times been common. But there must be something peculiarly rotten in a social condition in which not only is it necessary to provide that a Director or Manager of a public Company shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in falsifying accounts, but which contains this clause:" If any Director, Manager, or Public Officer of any Body Corporate or Public Company, shall make, circulate, or publish, or concur in making, circulating, or publishing, any written statement or account which he shall know to be false in any material particular, with intent to deceive or defraud any member, shareholder, or creditor of such Body Corporate or Public Company, or with intent to induce any person to become a shareholder or partner therein, or to intrust or advance any money or property to such Body Corporate or Public Company, or to enter into any security for the benefit thereof, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor." How many have been tainted with this corruption, and have laid "the flattering unction to their souls" that their family duty, their social position, the example of "respectability" in its carriage, demanded the best exercise of their business talents; that there was a vast difference between a lie
and a little over-colouring; and that there was a wide distinction between the petty frauds which consigned poor rogues to the hulks, and the large operations of "Director, Manager, or Public Officer of any Body Corporate or Public Company." It is well that the mere money-getting spirit has had this reproof.
The due punishment of the rich, educated, experienced, fraudulent trustee well contrasts with two statutes for the rescue of the poor, ignorant, youthful offender from utter ruin. The Act to promote the establishment and extension of Reformatory Schools in England' (cap. 55) gives power to Justices of the Peace for a County, or for the Council of a Borough, to grant money in aid of Reformatory Schools, for the purchase of a site, or for building, or for other permanent purposes; they may contract with the managers of such schools for the reception of offenders; and they may enforce contributions from the parents of such unhappy children. Under this Act provision is also to be made for the proper care of juvenile offenders when discharged from Reformatory Schools. The other Act (cap. 48) is to make better provision for the care and education of vagrant, destitute, and disorderly children, and for the extension of Industrial Schools.' The particular provisions of this Act will be found in our Abstract. The preamble, noticing that Industrial Schools for the better training of vagrant children have been established, and may be established, says, "It is expedient that more extensive use should be made of such institutions, and that the responsibility of parents to provide for the proper care of their children should be enforced." In these two Acts we have the machinery for a great moral reformation. It depends upon individuals to employ the machinery. "The responsibility of parents for the proper care of their children" may be, in some measure, enforced under these statutes. It is for all of us to unite in the careful employment of all the public machinery which we possess for improving the condition of the people; but it is also for each of us to apply his individual energy towards making that machinery doubly and trebly effective, by judicious advice, by timely but not improvident help, by never-failing sympathy.
In the introduction of a great social reform into Scotland, nothing can be more important than "The Lunatics' Act' (cap. 71). The country is divided into eight districts, under Commissioners, and, whether for the richer class of lunatics, or for paupers, the abominations of the system which lingered in Scotland after it was driven from England, will be effectually swept away 'The Act to render more effectual the Police in Counties and Burghs in Scotland' (cap. 72), promises to be of great utility. The police in Scotland has been regulated by various Acts, from the 11th of George I. to the 113th and 14th of Victoria. Till our own time the supply imperfectly raised was called 'Rogue Money.' One uniform system is now to prevail; and we may hope that 'Rogue Money' will effectually become Money for the Prevention of Roguery.'
The last Session of Parliament is remarkable, perhaps more than any Session of our history, for the almost final separation of Civil from Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. The contest with the power of the
Church, in which the sagacious and intrepid Henry II. was conquered the struggle of High Commission Courts against Common and Statute Law-such vital battles belonged to other states of society. For two centuries the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction has been far less obnoxious, but very inconvenient: it was most troublesome in the matter of Probate and Administration. By the statute of 20 and 21 Victoria, cap. 77, it is enacted, that from a day to be appointed by an Order in Council, but not before the 1st of January, 1858, the Testamentary jurisdiction of Ecclesiastical and other Courts is abolished, and all testamentary jurisdiction is to be exercised by a Court of Probate, under one judge, and that Court is to have throughout all England the same power as the Prerogative Court within the Province of Canterbury. There are to be forty District Registries throughout England and Wales. 'The Act to amend the Law relating to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes in England' (cap. 85) constitutes a Court with exclusive jurisdiction in such matters, and provides that all such jurisdiction now vested in Ecclesiastical Courts shall cease, except as to the granting of Marriage Licences. The particular provisions of this Act will be found in our Abstract.
IX. ABSTRACTS OF IMPORTANT PUBLIC ACTS, PASSED IN THE FIFTH SESSION OF THE SIXTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.
[20 Victoriæ, cap. 5.-March 21, 1857.]
An Act to authorise the Inclosure of certain Lands in pursuance of a
The General Inclosure Act comprises the following twenty-five places, included in the Commissioners' Report:
Cornwall-Tresparrett Down. Cumberland-Gamblesby Fell and Viol Moor. Devonshire-Halham Common. Dorsetshire-Ashmore. Hampshire Chilworth Common; North Baddesley; and Petersfield. Hertfordshire-Ashwell. Norfolk-Cossey; Dursingham; Holme Common; and Hunstanton Common. Northamptonshire-Passenham (Passenham with Deanshanger); Passenham (Potters Pury with Yardley Gobion); Passenham (Wicken); Whittlebury; Whittlebury (Alderton); Whittlebury (Grafton Regis); and Whittlebury (Paulers Pury). Staffordshire-Burntwood. Sussex-Broadbridge; Chiltington Common; and Westbourne. Yorkshire-Bowes Moor.
[20 Victoriæ, cap. 6.-March 21, 1857.]
An Act to reduce the Rates of Duty on Profits arising from Property,
By this short Act the rate of the Income Tax is reduced for the year commencing April 5, 1857, from sixteen-pence in the pound to seven
pence; and on the occupiers of farms heretofore charged at elevenpence-halfpenny in the pound to fivepence; subject to similar deductions and abatements as in the previous Acts.
[20 Victoriæ, cap. 15.-March 21, 1857.
An Act for granting certain Duties of Customs on Tea, Sugar, and other Articles.
From April 5, 1857, until April 5, 1858, the duty on tea is fixed at 1s. 5d. per pound. On sugar-candy, brown or white refined, 18s. 4d. per cwt.; white clayed, 16s. per cwt.; yellow muscovado and brown clayed, 13s. 10d. per cwt.; brown muscovado, 12s. 8d. per cwt.; and molasses, 5s. per cwt. On dried cherries, preserved ginger, marmalade, and all fruits preserved in sugar, not otherwise enumerated, 24. per pound. The drawbacks on sugar from May 5, 1857 to May 5, 1858, are fixed— on refined sugar, thoroughly dried in stove, in loaf or crushed, 17s. 2d. per cwt.; refined sugar, unstoved, 16s. 4d. per cwt.; bastard or refined sugar, unstoved, not inferior to standard sample, No. 2, 15s. per cwt.; and bastard sugar below that standard, 12s. 8d.
[20 Victoriæ, cap. 16.-March 21, 1857.]
An Act to amend an Act of the last Session of Parliament, for repealing and reimposing under new regulations, the Duty on Race-Horses.
By the previous Act the duty of 31. 17s. on each race-horse was to be collected by the clerk of the course. This is repealed, and a receiver of the race-horse duty is appointed, and the owner of any horse running it in a race without previously paying the duty is subjected to a fine of 50l. A receipt is to be given on a printed form supplied by the Inland Revenue Office, such receipt to free the horse until the next 5th of April. The receiver is to find security for the performance of his duties and for the payment of moneys collected, and any neglect subjects him to the penalty of 501.
[20 Victoriæ, cap. 19.-March 21, 1857.]
An Act to provide for the Relief of the Poor in Extra-parochial Places.
By § 1, after December 31, 1857, "every place entered separately in the Report of the Registrar-General on the last census, which now is or is reputed to be extra-parochial, and wherein no rate is levied for the relief of the poor, shall for all the purposes of the assessment to the poor-rate, the relief of the poor, the county police or borough rate, the burial of the dead, the removal of nuisances, the registration of parliamentary and municipal voters, and the registration of births and deaths, be deemed a parish for such purposes," and the justices of peace within whose jurisdiction such place may be, are empowered to appoint overseers of the poor therein; or (§ 2) one overseer only if two cannot be conveniently appointed from the resident householders, or an overseer from a neighbouring parish either with or without an annual salary for the Inns of Court in London (§ 3); the under-treasurer is to act as over