transfer of stock is charged with 17. 15s., which is an increase, the former duty in such case being 17. only.

The foregoing are all the cases in which the duties have been altered by the new Act; but there are some material provisions which it will be proper to glance at.

All the provisions of former Acts relating to Stamp Duties are kept in force, including exemptions.

Certain agreements for letting lands in Ireland which were charged with ad valorem duties as leases, but which, if in England would have been subject only to the duty of 2s. 6d. as agreements, are to be deemed to have been liable to the latter duty.

Any person receiving money for stamp duty (including legacy duty) and not applying it, is to be accountable to the Crown by summary


Transfers of mortgages, further charges, and further securities executed before the 11th October, 1850, are not to be deemed to be liable to the additional duties already pointed out and attaching by reason of the decisions alluded to, but, in this respect, are to be put upon the same footing as those executed subsequently.

The terms on which instruments may be stamped after execution are materially varied. The penalty, in ordinary cases payable on stamping an instrument executed before the passing of the Act is 5l. ; upon payment of which and the duty, the stamp may be affixed. By the new Act the penalty is 107.; and where the duty required exceeds 107., then, further interest at 57. per cent, per annum on the duty, calculated from the date or first execution of the instrument; but no amount of interest beyond that of the duty is to be paid by way of penalty. In lieu of a receipt for the duty and penalty as formerly, a stamp denoting the payment of the penalty is to be impressed. One advantage to the party is however given. Under the old law, if an instrument was stamped, but with an insufficient amount, the whole duty was to be paid without regard to what had been already paid besides the penalty; but now, the deficient duty only is required.

Where instruments are executed abroad, the commissioners are empowered to stamp them without penalty at any time within two months after they are received in this kingdom.

Until this Act there existed no power to determine what stamp duty was payable in any case, so as to assure parties that the stamp on an instrument was sufficient. The Commissioners are now invested with a power to adjudicate in all such cases, and to certify by means of a particular stamp, that any instrument is duly stamped, and so to preclude all question upon the point. The fee for obtaining this adjudication is 10s. An appeal is given to the Court of Exchequer.

In some transactions where the property dealt with is of considerable value, the new duties are higher than the old; it was thought right, therefore, where any such matters were begun before a certain date (20th March, 1850), but could not be completed, by the execution of the necessary deeds, before the new duties took effect, that such deeds should not be charged with higher duties than they would have been if the Act had not been passed; a clause is therefore contained in the Act to that effect, but the deeds are to be brought to be stamped before the 30th April, 1851.

The duties in Great Britain and Ireland are now assimilated, but

it appears that a deed liable to Irish duty could not be stamped in London; and vice versa; this is now permitted.

By the Act of the 12 & 13 Vict. c. 80, the discount of 71. 10s. per cent. allowed on the purchase of receipt stamps, was taken away; by the Act now under consideration it is restored.

Licences to insure against fire both in Great Britain and Ireland are necessary before any such insurance can be made; they were all formerly required to be obtained annually, but by the 5 & 6 Vict. c. 79, such licences in Great Britain were to be permanent; the same provision is by the recent Act made as to Ireland.

One or two examples have been already given of the benefit to be derived from the new scale of duties in particular transactions of small value; it will be well to furnish an instance or two more.

Take the case of a sale of freehold property for 150l., the conveyance consisting of 40 folios, that is one entire quantity of 15 folios after the first, and requiring, therefore, one progressive duty. Under the old law the duties would be as follows:

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In some cases, as in the purchase of freeholds, subject to a fee farm rent, at Manchester and other places, a duplicate is requisite, which under the old law would require stamps amounting to at least 31.; now it will be liable only to 7s. 6d., so that the stamp duties on such a transaction are reduced from 77. 15s. to 17. 12s. 6d.

Again, take a mortgage of a freehold estate for the same sum. The duties were the same in amount as on a sale, viz, :—

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THE progress in opening new thoroughfares, through the densely crowded parts of the metropolis, has during this year been nearly confined to pulling down; and even this preparatory part of the work has proceeded little, except in the important line from St. Paul's to East Cheap. The eastern half of that line has been cleared, and two small houses built, which however, both in height and decorative character, seem better fitted to some suburban situation than to one so central and conspicuous. This line of street, which in utility and importance will yield to no other that has been opened or projected, not excepting Regent or New Oxford Streets, will, beginning from its eastern extremity at the statue of William IV., follow first the old track of Cannon Street (the supposed main thoroughfare of Roman London), of which it will be merely an enlargement. It soon, however, diverges from this curving vestige of remote antiquity, though itself making also a slight bend in the same direction. Its second portion has its axis directed to the south side of the dome of St. Paul's, thus affording a partial view of that grand object; but it is to be hoped that the remaining part of the line (for which no preparation is yet made) will not be allowed, for any paltry saving of present cost, to inflict a permanent eyesore on the most frequented avenue and chief entrance to the capital, by having its axis directed otherwise than to the centre of the majestic pile to which it leads. Such a half measure would, as far as beauty is concerned, be the reverse of an improvement; occupying the place and precluding the chance of real improvement, and leading every spectator to regret that the whole work had not been left untouched till an age should arrive with sufficient spirit to execute it thoroughly. The positions of some neighbouring churches, however, almost limit the line to its true direction. Luckily it cannot be perverted north of its due course without clashing with those of Aldermary and Allhallows, Bread Street; nor south of it without leaving a strip of ground between itself and them, too narrow for building and useless for any other purpose. We may therefore hope at length to have one fit approach to our justly famous cathedral, and this nearly on the site of one projected by its great builder himself; whose exquisite-foresight has also provided, on this side as well as on the west, an object most artistically contrived to aid the imagination and bring out the full grandeur of his great work. The spire of St. Austin's will here interpose; as that of St. Martin's, Ludgate, does in a west view; both being evidently designed with great care, by their hard strong outlines and deep colour, to throw back the cathedral into misty distance, and by their slenderness and fantastic forms to enhance the breadth and majesty of the great mass towering behind them,

The same street, in its present unbuilt state, affords on its south side the only good views of two of the finest of Wren's minor campaniles, those of St. Michael's, College-hill, and St. James's, Garlickhill, which it is to be hoped will not be entirely shut out.

No further progress has been made in the two Victoria Streets, viz., the northward continuation of Farringdon Street, and that which is to run south-west from Westminster Abbey. The sinuous avenue of ruins called Endell Street, still disfigures the centre of the town¡ and its new buildings seem so placed as to frustrate completely the intention with which it was professedly begun. Long before any internal improvements of London had been attempted, no suggestor of such improvements had failed to point out this dense knot of mean buildings, interposed between two long and nearly straight avenues, which if united would extend from Hampstead Road to the Surrey obelisk. Indeed, ever since the building of Waterloo Bridge, this opening has been as obvious a desideratum as that from Oxford Street to Holborn, or from the Strand to the Mall. Endell Street seemed intended so supply the defect, but no sooner had it begun to be cleared than a mock-Early-English chapel springs up, lying apparently exactly across the desired passage. A closer inspection showed that the improvement was still practicable by passing east of the church instead of following the temporary road west of it; when a carriage warehouse of great pretension, and an Elizabethan hospital, almost as large and lofty, rise and block up the exact line of the improvement with structures more substantial and costly than ever before occupied it.

New Oxford Street is now nearly complete, and we give an engraving of part of the line of shop-fronts mentioned last year, certainly evincing a taste far superior to that hitherto pervading this kind of fictitious architecture, which seemed to scorn the shackles of truth and wander farther and farther in unreality, only to become more tame and unimaginative. Why the air-hung masses of brick suspended over our all-important displays of luxury, should be dressed in representations of architecture, rather than any other kind of decoration, would be a question not easily answered. It must be referred to the habit or necessity of taking beauty entirely upon trust, and the ignorance that (all beauty being only another word for truth) the beauty of architecture consists in its constructive truth or fitness, or the appearance thereof, every thing having a reference to the force of gravity, and the contrivances for using or counteracting it. Hence, no one pretends to see any beauty in a piece of architecture inverted, or laid on its side. Remove the structural meaning and the beauty vanishes. Remove the ground or basement on which a structure rests, and it retains just as much beauty as if it were turned base upwards. Hence, of all kinds of decoration, the architectural is the most unfitted for application to any foreign purpose. ornamental designers are in some degree sensible of this, for they do not give us architecture upon shawls and waistcoats, hardly now upon carpets or book-covers. There is just as little reason for it upon the walls that tower over a basement of plate glass.


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