Marine Act, 1850; and such court shall investigate the cause of the wreck or abandonment, and may summon and compel the attendance of parties and witnesses, and make a report containing the statement of the proceedings and of the evidence, and send it to the Board of Trade; and if such report is to the effect that the wreck or abandonment has been caused by the misconduct or incompetency of the master or any certificated mate, the Board of Trade may cancel or suspend his certificate, whether of competency or service.


[14 and 15 Victoriæ, cap. 99.—August 7, 1851.

An Act to amend the Law of Evidence.

§ 1 repeals so much of § 1 of 6 & 7 Vict. cap. 85, as has the effect of rendering incompetent to give evidence "any party to any suit, action, or proceeding individually named in the record, or any lessor of the plaintiff, or tenant of premises sought to be recovered in ejectment, or the landlord or other person in whose right any defendant in replevin may make cognizance, or any person in whose immediate and individual behalf any action may be brought or defended, either wholly or in part." By § 2, on the trial of any issue joined, or of any matter or question, or on any inquiry arising in any suit, action, or other proceeding in any court of justice, or before any person having by law, or by consent of parties, authority to hear, receive and examine evidence, the parties thereto, and the persons in whose behalf any such suit, action, or other proceeding may be brought or defended, shall, except as hereinafter excepted, be competent and compellable to give evidence, either viva voce or by deposition, according to the practice of the court, on behalf of either or any of the parties to the said suit, action, or other proceeding. But nothing (§ 3) herein to compel any person charged with an indietable offence to give evidence to criminate himself, or to render any husband competent or compellable to give evidence for or against his wife, or any wife competent or compellable to give evidence for or against her husband; nor is anything herein contained (§ 4) to apply to proceedings in consequence of adultery, or to any action for breach of promise of marriage; nor (§ 5) to repeal provisions of 7 Will. IV. and 1 Vict. c. 26. The common law courts (§ 6) are authorised to compel the inspection of documents on application made for such purpose by either of the litigants whenever a court of equity would grant discovery. Foreign and colonial acts of state, judgments, &c. (§7) may be proved by certified copies, without proof of seal or signature, or the judicial character of the person signing the same; apothecaries' certificates (§ 8) under the common seal of the Society of Apothecaries of the City of London to be deemed sufficient proof that the person named therein has been from the date of the said certificate duly qualified to prac tise as an apothecary in any part of England or Wales. All documents (9) admissible without proof of seal, &c., in England or Wales are to be equally admissible in Ireland; those (§ 10) so admissible in Ireland to be equally admissible in England and Wales; and those (11) so admissible in England, Wales, or Ireland, to be equally admissible in the Colonies. The registers of British vessels (§ 12) and certificates of registry to be admissible as prima facie evidence of their contents, either by the production of the original or by an examined copy thereof, or by a copy thereof certified under the hand of the

person having the charge of the original, who is to furnish such certified copy to any person applying for the same, upon payment of 18. Whenever ( 13) it may be necessary to prove the conviction or acquittal of any person charged with any indictable offence, it shall not be necessary to produce the record of the conviction or acquittal, or a copy thereof, but it may be certified under the hand of the clerk of the court or other officer having the custody of the records of the court where such acquittal or conviction took place. Examined or certified copies of documents (§ 14) are to be admissible in evidence provided they be proved to be examined, or be signed and certified as a true copy or extract, by the officer to whose custody the original is intrusted, who is required to furnish such certified copy or extract to any person applying for the same, upon payment of a sum not exceeding 4d. for every ninety words; and any officer (§ 15) knowingly certifying a false document as true shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding eighteen months. Every court, judge, justice, officer, commissioner, arbitrator, or other person (§ 16), having authority to receive and examine evidence, is empowered to administer an oath to all such witnesses as are legally called before them. All persons (§ 17) forging the seal, stamp, or signature of documents tendered in evidence, or wilfully uttering the same, to be deemed guilty of felony, and shall upon conviction be liable to transportation for seven years, or to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three years nor less than one year, with hard labour. By § 18 the Act is declared not to extend to Scotland. By § 19 the words "British colony" as used in this Act are to include all possessions of the British Crown wheresoever. By § 20 the Act comes into operation from November 1, 1851.


[14 and 15 Victoriæ, cap. 100.-August 7, 1851.]

*An Act for further improving the Administration of Criminal Justice. 1 By § 1, after the coming of this Act into operation, whenever on the trial of any indictment for any felony or misdemeanour there shall appear to be any variance between the statement in such indictment and the evidence offered in proof thereof, the court may amend all such variances as are not material to the merits of the case, and by which the defendant cannot be prejudiced in his defence, and may either proceed with or postpone the trial; the verdict and judgment (§ 2) given after making such amendment to be of the same force and effect as if the indictment had originally been in such form; and (§ 3) whenever it shall be necessary to draw up a formal record, it is to be drawn up in the form in which the indictment was after such amendment was made. § 4 enacts that the means by which the injury was inflicted need not be specified in indictments for murder and manslaughter, but it shall be sufficient in every such indictment to charge that the defendant did wilfully or feloniously kill and slay the deceased; § 5, that for forging, uttering, stealing, embezzling, destroying, or concealing, or for obtaining by false pretences, any instrument, it shall be sufficient to describe such instrument by any name or designation by which the same may be usually known, or by the purport thereof, without setting out any copy or fac-simile,

or otherwise describing the same or the value thereof; § 6, that for engraving plates in whole or in part, or for using or having the unlawful possession of any paper upon which the whole or part of any instrument, matter, or thing whatsoever shall have been made or printed, it shall be sufficient to describe such instrument, matter, or thing by its usual name or designation; and (§ 7) the same in other cases in regard to writing, printing, &c. By § 8 the intent to defraud any particular person need not be alleged or proved in cases of forgery, uttering, or obtaining property under false pretences, but it shall be sufficient to prove that the defendant did the act charged with an intent to defraud. Any person (§ 9) indicted for felony or misdemeanour may be found guilty of an attempt to commit the same, and be liable to the same consequences as if charged with and convicted of the attempt, and no person so tried to be afterwards prosecuted for the same. 10 repeals a clause of a previous Act that had been found obscure, intended to enable juries in cases where any felony included an assault also, to acquit of the felony and find the defendant guilty of the assault; § 11 now enacts that on the trial of an indictment for robbery, the jury, if they find the robbery was not committed by the defendant, may yet convict him of an assault with intent to rob, and he is to be punished accordingly. If upon the trial of any person for any misdemeanour (§ 12) it shall appear that the facts given in evidence amount in law to a felony, such person is not to be acquitted, but may be found guilty of the misdemeanour; no person, however, tried for such misdemeanour shall be liable to be afterwards prosecuted for felony on the same facts, unless the court shall think fit to discharge the jury from giving any verdict upon such trial, and to direct such person to be indicted for felony, in which case such person may be dealt with in all respects as if he had not been put upon his trial for such misdemeanour. Persons indicted for embezzlement (§ 13), as clerks, &c., are not to be acquitted if the offence turn out to be larceny, but the jury shall be at liberty to return as their verdict that such person is not guilty of embezzlement, but is guilty of simple larceny, or of larceny as a person employed in the capacity of a clerk or servant, as the case may be, and thereupon such person shall be liable to be punished in the same manner as if he had been convicted upon an indictment for larceny; and in cases where persons. are indicted for larceny they may in like manner be found guilty of embezzlement. On an indictment for jointly receiving (§ 14), persons may be convicted of separately receiving; and (§ 15) separate accessories and receivers may be included in the same indictment notwithstanding the absence of the principal felon. Three distinct larcenies (§ 16) from the same person within six months may be included in several counts of the same indictment, and prosecutor may proceed on all or any of them. If upon the trial of any indictment for larceny (§ 17) it shall appear that the property alleged to have been stolen at one time was taken at different times, the prosecutor shall not by reason thereof be required to elect upon which taking he will proceed, unless there were more than three takings, or more than six calendar months elapsed between the first and the last of such takings; in either of such cases the prosecutor shall be required to elect to proceed for such number of takings, not exceeding three, as appear to have taken place within the period of six calendar months. Coin and Bank notes (18) may be described simply as money. By § 19 provision is made for the punishment of perjury; § 20 extends the same to other cases of false evidence, and §§ 21 and 22 to cases of suborna

tion to perjury, &c. § 23 declares it not to be necessary to state any venue in the body of an indictment, but the county, city, or other jurisdiction named in the margin thereof shall be taken to be the venue for all the facts stated in the body of such indictment; provided that in cases where local description is required, such description shall be given in the body of the indictment. No indictment (§ 24) for any offence is to be held insufficient for want of the averment of any matter unnecessary to be proved. Every formal objection to any indictment (§ 25) must be taken before the jury are sworn; and the court may amend any merely formal defect. § 26 repeals part of 60 Geo. III. as to the traverse of indictments in cases of misdemeanour; while 27 prescribes the provision as to traversing indictments. In any plea of autrefois convict or autrefois acquit (§ 28), it shall be sufficient for any defendant to state that he has been lawfully convicted or acquitted (as the case may be) of the said offence charged in. the indictment. Whenever any person (§ 29) shall be convicted of any one of the offences following, as an indictable misdemeanour; that. is to say, any cheat or fraud punishable at common law; any conspiracy to cheat or defraud, or to extort money or goods, or falsely to accuse of any crime, or to obstruct, prevent, pervert, or defeat the course of public justice; any escape or rescue from lawful custody on a criminal charge; any public and indecent exposure of the person; any indecent assault, or any assault occasioning actual bodily harm any attempt to have carnal knowledge of a girl under twelve years of age; any public selling, or exposing for public sale or to public view, of any obscene book, print, picture, or other indecent exhibition; it shall be lawful for the court to sentence the offender to be imprisoned for any term now warranted by law, and also to be kept to hard labour during the whole or any part of such term of imprisonment. § 39 is the interpretation of terms; § 31 declares the Act to come into opera-tion on September 1, 1851; and § 32 excepts Scotland from its ope



[14 and 15 Victoriæ, cap. 103.-August 8, 1851.]

An Act to confirm certain Provisional Orders of the General Board of


This is the third Act of the session confirming the provisional orders of the Board of Health. The first (cap. 80) was for Great Yarmouth alone. The second (cap. 98) included Morpeth, Bristol, Beverley,. Sherborne, Bridgend (Glamorganshire), Bryn Mawr (Breconshire,) Norwich, Gateshead, Doncaster, West Cowes, Margate, Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, Newmarket, Romford, Tenby, Kingston-uponHull, and Hastings (not including St. Leonard's). The third act. (cap. 103) includes Tynemouth, Barnard Castle, March, Halifax, Ware, and Alfreton.


[14 and 15 Victoriæ, cap. 105.-August 8, 1851.]

An Act to continue an Act of the 14th of her present Majesty for charg ing the Maintenance of certain Poor Persons in Unions in England"

en! Wales upon the Common Fund, and to make certain Amendments in the Laws for the Relief of the For.

The principal points of importance are, that the costs of removing certain lunatics are to continue (§ 1) to be charged to the common fund of the union; fraudulently abstracting, altering, fabricating any voting paper for guardians, or personating a voter, or otherwise unlawfully intermeddling in the election (§ 3), are declared punishable, on conviction before two justices, by imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding three months. Guardians (§ 4) are empowered, with consent of the Poor Law Board, to subscribe from the parish or union funds towards the support of hospitals or infirmaries. Where a union (§ 6) having adequate provision for the reception, maintenance, and education of poor children, has more accommodation than they require, they may receive by contract the children under sixteen of any other union within twenty miles who are either orphans or whose parents may consent, such children to be instructed and maintained in the same manner as those charged on the union or parish. Questions of settlement, removal, or chargeability (§ 12) may be referred by consent to the Poor Law Board, whose decision is to be final. The Poor Law Board (§ 14) is empowered, upon the application or with the consent of the board of management, to dissolve any association of unions or parishes for providing asylums for temporary relief and setting to work therein the destitute houseless poor; they may sell the lands and buildings, discharge the liabilities due, and divide the surplus according to the proportions of the original contributions. In any school district situate within the metropolitan police district (§ 16) the money allowed to be raised for providing school buildings is increased from one-fifth of the amount annually raised for the relief of the poor to one-third of the same



The following List contains the Titles of the Public Acts of the Session not included in the foregoing Abstracts.]

3. To apply the sum of eight millions out of the Consolidated Fund to the service of the year 1851.

4. To enable her Majesty to appoint a vice-chancellor in the room of Sir James Wigram, resigned.

5. For the regulation of her Majesty's royal marine forces while on shore.

6. For punishing mutiny and desertion, and for the better payment of the army and their quarters.

7. To amend an Act of the Parliament of Ireland of the 25 Geo. III., for explaining and amending several laws for the encouragement of agriculture, so far as relates to leases for the erection of mills.

9. For raising the sum of 17,756,6007. by Exchequer bills for the service of the year 1851.

10. To indemnify such persons in the United Kingdom as have omitted to qualify themselves for offices and employments, and to extend the time limited for those purposes respectively.

15. To amend the Court of Chancery (Ireland) Regulation Act,


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