ページの画像
PDF
ePub

he,“

66

swears not only to what did happen, but to what, in certain lettos, and other formidable weapons, which were captured given circumstances, would have happened. “I do," says by the police.

upon my oath, say, that if the police had not interfered But we must close our remarks on this painful subject, there would have been no disturbance." “ If you had had We observe with great satisfaction, that Lord Melbourne has a stick with you," asks one of the jurors, “ would you have not hesitated at once to meet the justifiable homicide verdict resented the blow?"' “ Certainly," replies the valiant solici. of the coroner's jury by the proclamation of a reward of 1001. tor, • I would have cut the head off the man who gave it." for the discovery of the author of the policeman's death, So at least it stands in the newspapers. This legal opinion designating the act at the same time by its proper name, of seems to have made a great impression on the jurors, one of a murder. We trust the murderer will yet be found, and whom afterwards refers to it in justification of the verdict. dealt with as he richly deserves. Meanwhile we have en

To witnesses of this description, the demeanour of the deavoured to perform our own duty by joining our voice jury is all approbation and encouragement. No remark is to that of the respectable part of the press on both sides of made, or question asked, except what has a tendency to politics, in reprobating the deplorable proceedings which adjust and reconcile the different parts of the testimony. have grown out of his crime, and exposing both the absurdity But such as depose to the violence of the mob receive very and the fatal tendency of this ignorant and thoughtless verdifferent treatment. On the first day's examination, Mr. dict. We are well aware that there are some of the organs Baker, the superintendent of police, was forced to complain of public discussion, which hold a very different language that the questions were put so rapidly to him, as to make it on the subject from that which we have employed, and impossible for him to answer them, and that he was tried profess to take nearly the same view of it with the coroner's rather than examined. On the next day, when the long jury. It may be very natural that they should. How, for staves headed with pikes, known by the name of Maceronis, example, could we expect such a paper as The Despatch to which had been captured by the police, were produced, a speak in any other than a tone of triumph and congratulajuror, casting his eye on the armoury of insurrection, coolly tion of the murder of one of those policemen whom (notwithremarked, that there did not appear to be any thing very standing that it is the property of an alderman of London formidable in the weapons. The business of the fourth and and a magistrate, bound by his office and his oath to exert last day commenced with the examination of Mr. John Jef- himself to his utmost in the maintenance of civil order) it fery, cabinet-maker, a most intelligent witness. After rarely fails, once a week, either in its own columns, or by giving an account of a violent harangue made to the mob puffing placards of its contents, posted over the town, to by Mr. Stallwood, Mr. Jeffery added, “ The people again denounce as brutes and savages ?-In a cause like this, we collected to the amount of three hundred, taking courage, as do not reckon upon support from such a quarter. Neither, I presumed, at the moment, from what Mr. Stallwood said." in the remarks which we have made, we beg to say, do we “Do you admit this as evidence, Mr. Coroner ?" imme- address ourselves, with any hope of being favourably heard, diately exclaimed the foreman ; " the witness is stating to the seventeen jurymen upon whose conduct we have felt something that he presumed." Mr. Stirling said it was cer- it necessary so freely to comment. They have been solicited tainly not evidence. But it was at least as good evidence as by the Times to reconsider their verdict ; but, for our own Mr. Goore's declaration of what would have happened if the part, we shall not trouble them with any such useless request. police had not interfered, which we have noticed above-or The mischief they have done must be mended by other indeed as many parts of the evidence favourable to the hands than theirs. They have heard the shouts of the other side of the question, which were received with avidity. mob, and they may hear them again. The bakers' winAgain, a little lower down, we find the foreman aiming at dows of Paris are all barred and grated, because in the days the witness one of his heavy sarcasms, in the remark, “You of tumult, especially in the revolution, the bakers were pehave given a very elaborate description of the scuffle beculiarly objects of plunder. Our bakers' windows are not tween the flag-bearer and the policeman; pray, how long barred, because the rights of property are better protected did it occupy ?"

Then because Mr. Jeffery had described by the moral strength of the people themselves. Six of these the tlag-bearer, after stabbing the policeman, as having run jurymen are bakers. If their shops are ever plundered, forward for a little distance in a stooping position, with his they will perhaps “reconsider their verdict." hands upon his head, a juror chooses to ask, with a sneer of incredulity, how that could be. Another, immediately after,

PUBLIC PETITIONS. contends that it is impossible for a near-sighted person to tell The Nineteenth Report of the Committee for the Classifi. that a coat had a velvet collar, without being at the same

cation of Petitions has been published, and we proceed to time able to distinguish its colour to a certainty—a position give our abstract; but, as great part of what we have hitherto which, in regard at least to certain colours, is manifestly enumerated under the head of Miscellaneous occupies a absurd. In the same style is the following scene, which is large space, without possessing a corresponding interest, we stated to have occurred the first day on the examination of have on the present occasion only given the number of petiFlack, a policeman. “The foreman.—You seem to have tions and the amount of signatures contained in the last had plenty of room and time to observe the dress and sta- eight reports, without detailing their particular objects. In ture of these men. Pray, why did you not take them into the other classes the number of petitions and the amount custody? Witness. We could not, Sir ; there was great of signatures include all that have been presented since the confusion at the time: and it happened, that in that confu

commencement of the session, except where stated to the sion, I and my comrade were left behind by the rest of the

contrary. force, and against such unequal odds, we had no power to apprehend the two men. The foreman.-Why, there were

Parliamentary. two of you, and only two of them, according to your account?

Petitions. Signs. Witness. You don't seem to understand me, Sir. The Against the septennial act

12 7,420 whole mob was against us. Foreman.-How then is it that for yote by ballot

33 18,876 you could observe their dress and stature with so much Against nocturnal legislation

2,281 seeming accuracy?" The stupidity of this defies, and does

Ecclesiastical. not require, comment.

For the better observance of the Sabbath

241,168 After all, only nine witnesses seem to have come forward Against the Sabbath observance bill

1,906 to swear that they had been actually attacked by the police, Against the present system of lay patronage in and among these were several who were only slightly hurt.

the Church of Scotland

119 57,185

15,934 There was not a woman among the number, notwithstand Against tithes in England

4,983 ing the numbers of females, old and young, whom some of Against church temporalities bill (Irelaud) the witnesses declared they saw knocked down and other Against union of church and state

774

20,909 wise ill-used. If we suppose the casualties to have been For the removal of religious disabilities

18,427 even twice or thrice as numerous as this evidence would in- For removal of civil disabilities from the Jews

43,327 dicate, still the amount does not seem greater than might Against administering of oaths

1,107 have been calculated on in the case of a collision with a multitude of 4000 people. On the other hand, we have one Against assessed taxes.

Taxes.

45 20,155 policeman killed, two others stabbed, and many more struck Against the house and window tax

57.155 with brick-bats and bludgeons. The ruffianly intentions of Against receipt stamps

6,709 many of the mob are also incontrovertibly established by Against the malt tax

25,186 the revolutionary flags, the pikes, and Maceronis, the sti Against the corn laws

No. of

No. of

952
11

.

.

[ocr errors]

40 82 4 8 88 43 12

.

90
14
44

9 6,621

.

[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]

.

.

.

.

city

.

[ocr errors]

.

.

[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Against alteration in corn laws

2 433
Athlone town

7,543 11,362 Against taxes of different kinds—these have ali

Wexford

171,053 182,991 been reported since the abstract in the last

Wicklow

111,234 122,301 Companion to the Newspaper 44 15,885

1,737,295 1,928,077 Ireland. Against the disturbances (in Ireland) bill 655 415,538

MUNSTER.
Against the new system of education

9
751

Clare

11 For introduction of poor laws

2,477

241,911 258,262 Cork

638,758 705,926 Miscellaneous.

100,658 107,041 For the abolition of slavery 2914 614,136 Kerry

216,342 264,559 In favour of factories' bill 79 100,302 Limerick

214,094 233,505 Complaining of abuses in corporations

105 62,513

city, including St. Fran. Against the retail beer act

135 14,788

cis' Abbey, extra parochial 60,585 66,575 For a legislative regulation of wages for hand

Tipperary

346,398 402.598 loom weaving, 45 39,353 Waterford

125,258 148,077 city

28,679 28,821 Reported since the publication of the last Companion to the Newspaper 137 20,691

1,971,683 2,215,364 ELECTION PETITIONS.

ULSTER.
Antrim

262,820 314,608 In page 63 we gave the result of those petitions which

Carrickfergus

8,023

8,698 had been decided, and the state of those which were yet un- Armagh

194,884 220,651 settled. The following is a statement of the decisions since Cavan

195,076 228,050 our last publication :

Donegal

247,710 298,104 Bristol city-Election affirmed.

Down

327,071 352,571 Carlow county-Election affirmed.

Fermanagh

129,304 149,555 Carnarvon borough—0.J. E. Nanney declared unduly elected, Londonderry

184,752 222,416 and the return ordered to be amended with the name of Sir Monaghan

174,693 195,532 C. Paget. Sir C. Paget was originally returned, and had been Tyrone

261,015 302,943 previously unseated on a petition from Mr. Nanney. In our last number we stated this petition had been abandoned, but

1,985,348 2,293,128 there was a second petition to the same effect which was overlooked.

CONNAUGHT. Clonmell-Election affirmed.

Galway

309,695 394,287 Coleraine—Sir J. P. Beresford declared unduly elected, and the

town

27,775

33,120 return ordered to be amended with the name of W. T, Cope

Leitrim

124,785 141,303 land.

Mayo

292,709 367,956 Dover-Election affirmed.

Roscommon

204,376 239,903 Galway county-Election affirmed.

Sligo

146,233 171,508 Galway town—L. Maclachlan declared unduly elected, and the return ordered to be amended with the name of M. J. Blake.

1,105,573 1,348,077 Limerick city-Election affirmed. Lincoln city-Election affirmed.

SUMMARY Linlithgow county-Election affirmed.

PROVINCES. Montgomery borough (new election of Colonel Edwards peti

Leinster

1,737,295 1,928,067 tioned against)--Committee sitting.

Munster

1,971,683 2,215,364 Salisbury city-W. Wyndham declared unduly elected, and the

Ulster

1,985,348 2,293,128 return ordered to be amended with the name of the Hon. D. Connaught

1,105,573 1,348,097 P. Bouverie. Tiverton borough-Election of J. Kennedy declared void.

6,799,899 7,784,636 Warwick borough-Election of Sir C. J. Greville declared void, and that gross bribery had prevailed on the part of his agents.

The cities and towns which are given separately, are so returned The issuing of the writ has been suspended.

as being counties in themselves. ABSTRACT OF PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS,

Brewers.—The following is an account of the number of

brewers, licensed victuallers, and persons licensed to retail Population of Ireland.-Return of the population of the beer in England, with the number of the two latter classes several counties in Ireland, as enumerated in 1821 and who brew their own beer; the number of brewers and li1831. [N.B. The return of 1821 was very imperfect, in con- censed victuallers in Scotland, and of brewers in Ireland; sequence of many places forwarding no returns. In Carlow, and the total quantity of malt used by each class, in the for instance, out of 61 places there were ten which made no year ending Jan. 5, 1833. return, and in Meath 70 omitted out of 229. Similar omis

England. --Brewers in London 108, in the country 1645, sions, varying in their extent, prevail throughout all the total, 1753 ; licensed victuallers, in London 4391, of whom counties. In 1831, there appears to be scarcely any in- 22 brew their own beer; in the country 46,405, of whom stances of similar neglect.].

24,271 brew their own beer; persons licensed to retail beer LEINSTER. 1821.

1831. in London 1017, of whom 129 brew; in the country 29,900, Carlow

79,251 81,576 of whom 12,973 brew. The quantity of malt used was, Dublin

149,934 183;042 by brewers, 13,891,851 bushels ; by licensed victuallers, city

185,881 203,752+ 8,898,789 bushels; and by persons licensed for the general Kildare

99,243 108,401 sale of beer, 3,093,519 bushels. Kilkenny

156,969 169,283 Scotland.- Brewers, 216 ; licensed victuallers, 17,070, of city 23,230 23,741

whom 318 brew their own beer. The quantity of malt used King's

130,138 144,029 Longford

106,570 112,391

was, by brewers, 893,901 bushels, and by licensed victualLouth

99,957 108,168

lers, 96,505 bushels.
Drogheda town
18,118 17,365

Ireland.-Brewers, 216. Quantity of malt used, 1,543,265 Meath

160,347 177,023

bushels. Queen's 135,515 145,843

The number of barrels of beer exported during the same Westmeath

125,536 136,799 period was, from England, 65,268," from Scotland, 28544, * This is the population of the county of the city of Dublin. from Ireland, 20243 ; total, 70,1363; on which was allowed The returns state, that the population of Dublin,

inside the Circu: a drawback of duty to the amount of 17,5341. 38. 9d. lar Road, and as connected with the county inside the Circular

Hops.The total number of acres of land in Great Road, amounts to 232,362 ; and with the suburbs inside and outside Britain under the cultivation of hops, in 1832, amounted the Circular Road, to 265,316.

to 47,1015; the total amount of duty for the same period 4. The summary in the Parliamentary Return gives the number was 241,7711, 1s. as 203,652; the number here given is that of the amount of the Malt.- In the year ending Oct. 10, 1832, there were respective parishes.

manufactured in England 7,122,5904 qrs, of malt, on

[ocr errors]

.

.

.

[ocr errors]

which a duty of 1l. 88. was levied, producing the sum of | able, but it is, we think, the best that could be adopted. To 4,260,0101. 38. 8d. ; in Scotland, during the same period, call upon the country, or the county, to pay the expense of 370,530 qrs. of malt were manufactured from barley, at the counsel for every prisoner, would certainly be carrying same duty, and 93,623 qrs. from bigg, at a duty of 168., philanthropy for delinquents very far indeed. At all being a total of 464,1524 qrs. of malt, and producing the events, we would not begin by the adoption of this prinsum of 457,7791. 168. ; in Ireland, 221,304; qrs. were made ciple. If any case should occur, in which there was reason from barley, and 37,779) from bigg, at the above duties, to apprehend that the prisoner was likely to suffer hardship being a total of 259,084 qrs. of malt, and producing the or oppression from not being able to procure the aid of coun sum of 258,9051. Os. 1d. The total number of quarters in sel, there can be little doubt that public benevolence would the United Kingdom was 4,845,828, and the duty levied always be ready to come forward with the necessary assistamounted to 4,976,6941. 198. 9d. In the same period were ance. If, after a trial of this scheme, it was found that few used in distillation, in England, 22,561 qrs.; in Scotland, prisoners obtained the advantage which the law intended 328,329 qrs.; and in Ireland, 89,866 qrs., being a total of to allow them, the expediency of purchasing the services of 440,756 qrs.

counsel in all cases might then be taken into consideration. Corn.--The importation of corn into Great Britain in the In point of fact, however, counsel are very often employed year ending Jan. 5, 1833, was, of wheat and wheat flour by prisoners; but one great advantage of their employment 463,592 quarters, 5 bushels ; of other corn, 177,534 quarters, is denied to the prisoner, 7 bushels. The amount of duty received in the same period An argument which Mr. Justice Blackstone brings forhas been, for wheat and wheat flour 264,7041. 18s.; for other ward is, that the judge is the prisoner's counsel. Now, cercorn and meal, 45,318l. 58. 6d. The average prices of corn tainly, no other feeling can be attributed to the judges than in Great Britain, in the year 1832, were, barley, per quarter, the desire to deliver the innocent and punish the guilty. 33s. 1d.; beans, 358. 4d.; oats, 20s. 5d. ; pease, 378.; rye, But it does not seem to be the strict duty of a judge to act 34s. 7d.; wheat, 588. 8d.

as counsel either on the one side or the other. Nor does

he in truth ever do so. The business of a counsel is to COUNSEL TO PRISONERS.

represent his client's case in the most favourable light which ACCORDING to the present practice of our law, a prisoner, his ingenuity can enable him to do. There would be an uncharged with felony, as is well known, is not allowed on his trial fairness in this, if there were no other counsel to do the to have the aid of counsel to address the jury in his defence. same for the opposite side. This is precisely the unfairness The only exception is in cases of treason, for which provision which is charged against the present mode of trying indicthas been made by a special statute. On all other indictments, ments for felony; for although, in most cases, the counsel the prisoner's counsel can only examine and cross-examine the for the crown exercises his exclusive privilege with great witnesses, and speak on points of law that may arise ; he caution, the truth might be expected to be more clearly cannot address the jury on the general question of the pri- brought out by a contest between the counsel. The duty soner's guilt or innocence, nor even explain to them, how- of the judge is to look with the same impartial consideration ever ill-qualified his client may be for doing so himself, the to both sides, and not to allow more force to what tells for answer which he has to make to the charge. It is left to the prisoner than to what tells against him. the prisoner himself, who is in most cases an uneducated It has also been said that prisoners are sufficiently proman,--and often additionally embarrassed by the feeling, tected by the preliminary inquiry before the committing enough to shake the strongest minded, that his life hangs magistrate, and by the intervention of the grand jury. This on the issue of the trial,- to watch and sift the evidence, to however, seems more than doubtful; for a large proportion detect the points of it that make most for his acquittal, and of prisoners annually indicted are acquitted, notwithstandin a formal speech both to arrange these in the most advan- ing these fences against undue accusations. During the tageous and lucid order, and to rebut the unfavourable pre- seven years ending with 1831, out of 121,518 persons comsumptions which other circumstances may have raised. mitted for trial, while 85,257 were convicted, no fewer than Meanwhile, on the side of the prosecution, counsel has been 23,442 were acquitted. The remainder were not brought permitted both to examine and cross-examine witnesses, and to trial at all. to address the jury. There is some reason for believing that Lastly, it is apprehended that the allowing of counsel to in very ancient times the rule which thus denies to one side address the jury for the prisoner, would occasion trials to be of the question the advantages which are granted to the so protracted, that there would scarcely be time to get other did not obtain in the practice of our courts; and several through the business of the court. But to this it may be attempts have been recently made to do away with it as un- replied, that the time of the judges being the property of the reasonable and unfair. In 1828, the present Lord Melbourne, public by whom they are paid, the ease of the judicial bench then Mr. Lamb, brought a bill into the House of Commons ought not to be taken into consideration in the decision of to effect this object, which however was afterwards with the question ; and that if more judges are necessary, more drawn. This session the subject has been again taken up ought to be appointed. Justice must not be left undone by Mr. Ewart, the member for Liverpool. A bill intro- for the sake of this expense. duced by this gentleman has been read a first time, and We may observe, in conclusion, that prisoners are not by stands for a second reading on the 5th of June. It provides the present practice allowed copies of the depositions against that in future, on all trials for felonies, whensoever any them before the committing magistrate. These they ought counsel learned in the law, being then of counsel for the pro- surely to be furnished with in every case ; and we trust the secution of such felony, shall have called his witnesses on attention of the Secretary of State will shortly be directed the matters of fact in furtherance of such prosecution, the to this subject. person or persons so prosecuted shall be admitted to make his, her, or their answer and defence thereto, and to state

On the 1st of July will be published, his, her, and their case, by counsel learned in the law; any The QUARTERLY SUPPLEMENT to the Companion to the NewsPAPER. law, custom, or practice to the contrary notwithstanding."

THE POOR LAWS. It is proposed that the counsel for the prosecution shall not be allowed to reply to the address of the prisoner's counsel,

LONDON :-CHARLES KNIGHT, PALL-MALL EAST. except when evidence has in addition been produced on the

Shopkeepers and Hawkers may be supplied Wholesale by the following part of the prisoner. This is the same rule which is observed in civil suits.

London, GROOMARIDOE, Falmouth, Philp. Nottingham, Wright
Panyer-alley, Pater. Hull, Stevenson.

Oxford, Slatter.
In answer to the reasons which have been urged, for thus

Jersey, Carre, jun. Plymouth, Nettleton. giving to prisoners charged with felonies the same legal aid

Leeds, Baines&Newsome. Portsea, Horsey, jun.

Lincoln, Brooke & Sons. Sheffield, Ridge. in making their defence which is allowed to defendants in Bath, Simms.

Birmingham, Drake. Liverpool, Willmer & Shrewsbury, Tibnam. civil actions, various objections have been raised; but none, Bristol, Westley & Co.

Southampton, Fletcher, in our opinion, of much force. Perhaps the strongest is de- Bury St Edmunds, Lan. Handovery, D. R. & W. Lane End, stafordshire. rived from the difficulty of dealing with the cases of those Canterbury, Marten. Lynn, Smith.

Worcester, Deighton, numerous prisoners who are too poor to employ counsel. Carlisle,Thurnam& Scott. Manchester, Robinson ;

Dublin, Wakeman. Mr. Ewart's bill proposes to meet this difficulty, by enacting Derby, Wilkins & Son.

, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, - Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd. that whenever the person prosecuted is without the means

Charnley.

Glasgow, Atkinson & Co. of retaining counsel, the judge may, with the consent of any

Norwich, Jarrold & Son; Aberdeen, Smith,
Exeter, Balle.

and Wilkin & Fletcher. New York, Jackson. barrister, assign him to conduct the defence, without fee or reward, This plan is not, perhaps, perfectly unobjection

Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES, Stamford-street,

Booksellers :

noster-row.

Smith.

Rees.

C. Watts.

and Webb & Simms,

Doncaster,

White.

Brooke

&

THE

TO BE CONTINUED MONTHLY.

No. 6.

JULY 1, 1833.

Price 2d.

PAGE

89

93

.

CONTENTS.

aspect to the official exposition of it. It is certain, for inPAGE

stance, that of the offences committed in this country, a conState of Crime in Great Britain and Ireland

91 Abolition of Imprisonment for Debt 9 siderably larger proportion are now made the subjects of Turkey and Egypt 83 Combinations

92 prosecution than were even a very few years ago. Much of Proposed Change in the Law of Public Petitions

93 this increased activity of the law is owing merely to the Libel

86 Post-Office Arrangements with Corporation Reform 87 France

natural progress of society. The more remote, and out-ofLocal Conrts Bill 88 Abstracts of Parliamentary Papers 94 the-way corners of the country, in which offences used fre

quently to be committed with impunity, are every day beSTATE OF CRIME IN GREAT BRITAIN AND coming more subjected to public observation; while the IRELAND.

growing intelligence of the people also enables them to perFor some years past very full and particular accounts have ceive more clearly the importance of not permitting violabeen annually laid before Parliament, of the number of tions of the law to go unpunished. But above all, it is persons committed, tried, convicted, and acquitted, on each well known, that an act passed a few years ago for reguof the different criminal charges known to the law, through-lating the allowance of their expenses to prosecutors, has out England, and also statements of the same nature, more

greatly contributed to increase the number of offences or less complete, for the other parts of the United King- brought under the cognizance of the courts, and even the dom. It is the principal object of the present paper to

number of committals for trial, without, of course, having present an analysis of these returns for the year 1832, who have had the best opportunities of investigating the

at all affected the actual amount of crime. Many persons accompanied by a few observations illustrative of the neral conclusions to which the facts seem to lead. There subject, are of opinion that these causes are quite suffiis no department of political science more important than cient to account for the increase in the number of offences, that which relates to the statistics of crime. Without an

as exhibited by the public accounts, without supposing any accurate knowledge of the facts coming under this head, real increase of crime at all. no sound opinion can be formed respecting almost any

We do not, therefore, propose to seek in the Parliameasure that goes to affect the social condition of the great mentary Returns before us, any evidence with regard to body of the people, and the business of legislation, in its this latter point-holding it to be at least extremely doubtmost vitally influential exercise, becomes merely an unpro. here. But they may still be taken as showing, in certain

ful how far we ought to trust their apparent testimony fitable and hazardous course of experimenting in the dark. Scarcely any new law or other measure of public policy cases, the increase or diminution of particular offences. If

, can be adopted which has not a bearing in this direc- for instance, it shall appear that one class of offences has tion-a tendency either to increase or to diminish some par

increased, while another has diminished or continued ticular species of crime. The greater or less prevalence of stationary, no alteration having taken place in the law with any particular species of crime, on the other hand, is often regard to either, it may be safely inferred that some circuma valuable diagnostic of improving health or growing dis- stances in the situation of the country have occasioned the ease in some region of the body politic. Looked to as a lance of the law, and the zeal of prosecutors, have been, in

change. It is not to be supposed that the augmented vigiwhole, again, the amount of crime existing in a country, is, perhaps, the best single index of its general prosperity general, directed upon one description of offences more than and civilization. If we could obtain a perfectly accurate upon another. But after all, our chief object is to exhibit record of the progressive increase or diminution of crime

a view of the existing state of crime, without much referthroughout the community, that alone might almost serve

ence to its state at any past period. This is at least the as a measure of the public welfare.

first thing which it is necessary to know in directing our It is important, however, to observe that we are by no attention to the evil

, with the view of applying the proper

remedies. means as yet in a condition safely to compare in this man

The condition of the community cannot be ner our own country in its existing state, either with other understood in the most interesting and important of its countries, or with itself at a former period. Of the crimi- elements, until this knowledge has been acquired. nal statistics of other countries, we have, in general, no

The first return which we shall proceed to examine is the sufficiently detailed accounts; and even if our information House of Commons' Paper, numbered 135, containing a were more minute and complete than it is, there are many the seven years, from 1826 to 1832, inclusive, in the different

statement of the committals, convictions, and acquittals for other circumstances besides the mere enumeration of offenders, which would have to be taken into consideration of this part of the United Kingdom, and in the city and

counties of England and Wales. In the fifty-two counties before a safe judgment could be come to. The peculiar form of the government, and the nature of the laws, in so

county of Bristol, it appears that the number of committals far as they differed from our own, would in particular re

for each of the seven years was as follows: quire to be examined and allowed for. Acts that were For 1826

16,164 | For 1830

18,107 punishable in the one country, might not be reckoned

7
17,924

19,647 offences at all in the other. A more rigorous and oppressive

16,564

20,829 police in the one, without extirpating either the disposition

18,675 to crime, or any of the other causes which usually lead to its prevalence, might yet prevent it from actually breaking The movement here exhibited, it will be observed, so far out to the same extent as in the other, where more indi- from having been steadily progressive, has occasionally dividual freedom was enjoyed. And various other diffe- even retrograded. In 1828, and again in 1830, the number rences might in a similar way affect the comparison. The of committals was less than in the preceding year. The same difficulties also, to a certain extent, interfere when we increase, also, although considerable on a comparison of the attempt to compare the present with the past state of our two extreme years in the series, is very much diminished own country. Even if we confine ourselves to the short if the year 1827 be compared with 1831. On this interval period during which the annual accounts of criminal of four years, it is only 1,723, or about 10 per cent. ; the offenders have been made up and published with the requi- population, be it recollected, having probably increased site fulness, we cannot safely place our dependence upon about eight per cent. in the same time. There rethese documents alone. During this space of time, various mains, therefore, only 2 per cent. of the increase of crime changes may have taken place which, without the state of to be accounted for by the increased activity in the adminiscrime having been affected, nevertheless tend to give a new tration of the law. Vol. I. Printed by WILLIAM Clowes. Duke-street, Lambeth.

G

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

.

[ocr errors]

1 2

.

.

.

8 9

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The following is the number of females committed scoundrels than the thieves (most of them mere children) during each of the seven years :

through whom they derive their infamous gains. The

other most numerous classes of criminals are those conIn 1826 2,692 | In 1830.

2,972 victed of breaking into a dwelling-house with larceny, (of 7. 2,770 1

3,047

whom, in 1832, there were 583,) of breaking into a shop, 8.

2,732
2

3,343 &c., not connected with a dwelling house of whom there
9
3,119

were that year 203), of burglary (of whom there were 118), This makes the proportion of female commitments gene- of counterfeiting coin, uttering, &c., (of whom there were rally somewhat less than one-sixth of the whole number; 349), of frauds (of whom there were 280), of offences excepting in 1829, when it was rather more than one-sixth; against the game laws (of whom there were 163), of emand in 1832, when it nearly amounted to one-fifth. It does bezzlement by servants (of whom there were 151), of horsenot appear, however, to be regularly on the increase. stealing (of whom there were 155), and of sheep-stealing

On an average of the seven years, rather more than a (of whom there were 219). For robbery of the person there tenth of the persons committed have not been prosecuted. were 223 convictions, in none of the cases there being any Of the 127,910 persons committed, no prosecutions have attempt to kill or maim. For murder there were 20 contaken place in the case of 13,300. Of the remainder, victions, for the attempt to commit murder 52, for rape 16, 24,370 have been tried and acquitted, being somewhat less for assault with intent 80, and for arson 35. Of the 14,947 than one-fifth of the whole number committed. The num- convictions, the 203 last enumerated are nearly all that can ber convicted has been 90,240, being not quite 3: con- Be described as of peculiar atrocity. If we add to these the victions for one acquittal on the whole number brought to 118 cases of burglary, and the 223 cases of robbery of the trial. On the whole, the convictions have not amounted to person, we shall include almost all that come under the head two-thirds of the whole committals; and this proportion of violent and daring outrages against the law. has been nearly uniform throughout the seven years.

In looking over this table of convictions with a view to There can be no doubt that very many of the persons who discover which particular offences have most remarkably have thus escaped punishment, have nevertheless been increased or diminished during the last seven years, we guilty of the offences for which they were sent to gaol; and find that that of arson has increased from 3 cases in 1826, it is also manifestly impossible, on the other hand, under the to 35 cases in 1832; that of breaking into a dwelling-house most perfect administration of the law, to prevent an inno- with larceny from 125 to 583; those of counterfeiting the cent man from being sometimes apprehended on a criminal coin, uttering, &c., from 210 to 349 ; that of embezzlement charge, and sent to take his trial. Yet, when for every by servants from 91 to 154; that of forging instruments 90 persons convicted, about 38 others, who had been in other than Bank of England notes from 8 to 50; that of like manner charged as guilty, and subjected to the hard- frauds from 147 to 230; and that of receiving stolen goods ship and degradation of imprisonment, are after all dis- from 157 to 347. On the other hand, cases of burglary have missed without anything being proved against them, it is diminished from 311 to 118; forgery of Bank of England difficult not to feel that there is something faulty in the notes from 15 to 5; and larceny in dwelling-houses from system of which such is the result. The evil may lie partly 222 to 127. Some of these changes, however, have been in the law, and partly in its administration; or it may arise, occasioned by alterations in the law, according to which as it probably does in a great measure, from a defective offences that were formerly comprehended under one head police, which allows too many opportunities to the lawless are now transferred to another, or are differently punished portion of the community to commit offences in circum- from what they were formerly. stances where their agency can be only matter of suspicion. The number of persons sentenced to death, in 1832, was But still it is, in any view of it, a serious consideration, that 1449, of whom 5+ were executed, namely, 16 for arson, 15 there should be nearly 6000 persons every year, in England for murder, 7 for rape, 4 for breaking into a dwelling-louse alone, committed to jail as criminals, against whom no with larceny, 4 for riot and felony, 4 for robbery of the charge is ever substantiated. It is, of course, impossible to person, 2 for attempts to murder, i for burglary, and 1 for say what proportion of the number may be innocent; but secreting and stealing letters containing bank notes. The let it be either considerable or insignificant, the fact is proportion of executions to condemnations, therefore, was almost equally to be deplored. We have either many that year not much more than 1 in 27. On the whole innocent persons treated, to a certain extent, as if they were seven years, from 1826 to 1832, it has been nearly 1 in 23 ; criminals; or we have many criminals permitted to escape 414 persons having been executed during that time from without their deserved punishment. In either case we among 9729 sentenced to death. have the guilty and the innocent confounded together, and Of the other persons convicted in 1832, there were senthe law made to seem contemptible for its weakness, where tenced to transportation for life 546, for 14 years 764, and it is not hated for its injustice and oppression.

for 7 years 2603. Of the remainder, 7644 were sentenced The total number of convictions for 1832 was 14,947. only to imprisonment for six months and under, and to be Taking the population of England and Wales as amounting severally whipped, fined, kept to hard labour, &c. that year to somewhat above fourteen millions, this would The second part of this paper contains a statement of the make rather more than one criminal in every thousand of number of persons committed, convicted, sentenced, and the inhabitants. But although the number quoted is stated acquitted in London and Middlesex alone. The entire to be that of the persons convicted in the year, we presume number of persons committed, in 1832, was 3739, of whom it is the number of convictions which is meant to be given ; 866 were females, being nearly one-fourth of the whole, in which case the number of criminals must be taken at instead of only one-sixth, as throughout England generally. considerably less. The persons by whom larcenies, and Of 2653 persons convicted, 120 were sentenced to death, lareenies from the person are mostly committed, are in a and 6 were executed, being one-twentieth of the whole. In great many cases convicteil several times in the course of 1826, of 204 persons condemned to death, 20 were executed, the year; and probably it is not too much to say that on an being nearly one-tenth of the whole. The proportion of average each suffers two convictions during that time. If executions has been greatly reduced since 1829,-in which so, we may subtract between 5000 and 6000 from the total year nearly 1 in 5 of all who were convicted were left to number of convictions; when the real number of the per- suffer. No person has since then been executed either for sons annually convicted will remain little more than 9000, burglary, coining, forgery, horse-stealing, or the attempt to or about one in every 1500 of the population.

murder, for all of which offences there formerly used to be Of the 14,947 crimes for which convictions were obtained several executions every year. There have been no con in the course of the last year, considerably more than two- victions for arson, in London or Middlesex, since 1829. thirds were what in common parlance would be termed But besides those committed to gaol on criminal charges, petty delinquencies – indicating the existence, indeed, of a a great many persons are every year taken into custody in large number of persons living by depredation, but not that London and its vicinity by the metropolitan police, and of habits of violence and ferocity in any considerable fraction being brought before the magistrates, are either, when of the population. When this large number of convictions not immediately discharged, committed for trial, or sumis mentioned, it ought not to be forgotton that 10,130 of marily convicted. The House of Commons' Paper (No. 225) them were for larceny simply, and 1151 for larceny from the contains a statement of the number of persons thus taken person. Connected with these cases may be noticed 347 into custody, with the charges on which they were taken, convictions for receiving stolen goods, a criminal trade in and the manner in which the several charges were dealt which the persons engaged are commonly much greater with by the magistrates, for the years 1831 and 1832. From

« 前へ次へ »