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by statute 5 & 6 Edw. VI. c.14. to be the buying or contracting for any merchandize or victual coming in the way to market; or dissuading persons from bringing their goods or provisions there; or persuading them to enhance the price, when there: any of which practices make the market dearer to the fair trader.
7. REGRATING was described by the same statute to be the buying of corn, or other dead victual, in any market, and selling it again in the same market, or within four miles of the place. For this also enhances the price of the provisions, as every successive seller must have a successive profit.
8. ENGROSSING was also described to be the getting into one's possession, or buying up, large quantities of corn, or other dead victuals, with intent to sell them again. This must of course be injurious to the public, by putting it in the power of one or two rich men to raise the price of provisions at their own discretion. And so the total engrossing of any [ 159 ] other commodity, with intent to sell it at an unreasonable price, is an offence indictable and finable at the common law m. And the general penalty for these three offences by the common law (for all the statutes concerning them were repealed by 12 Geo. III. c.71.) is, as in other minute misdemesnors, discretionary fine and imprisonment". Among the Romans these offences and other mal-practices to raise the price of provisions, were punished by a pecuniary mulct. “ Poena viginti aureorum statuitur adversus eum, qui contra " annonam fecerit, societatemve coierit quo annona carior “ fiato."
9. MONOPOLIES are much the same offence in other branches of trade, that engrossing is in provisions (10): being a licence or privilege allowed by the king for the sole buying and selling, making, working, or using of any thing m Cro. Car. 232.
• Ff. 48. 12. 2. * i Hawk. P. C. c.80. s.5.
(10) Hawkins states the difference to be only in this, that monopoly is by patent from the king, and engrossing by the act of the subject between party and party. Pl. C. 1. c. 79.
whatsoever ; whereby the subject in general is restrained from that liberty of manufacturing or trading which he had before P. These had been carried to an enormous height during the reign of queen Elizabeth ; and were heavily complained of by sir Edward Coke?, in the beginning of the reign of king James the first : but were in great measure remedied by statute 21 Jac. I. c. 3. which declares such monopolies to be contrary to law and void ; (except as to patents, not exceeding the grant of fourteen years, to the authors of new inventions; and except also patents concerning printing, saltpetre, gunpowder, great ordnance, and shot ;) and monopolists are punished with the forfeiture of treble damages and double costs, to those whom they attempt to disturb; and if they procure any action, brought against them for these damages, to be stayed by any extra-judicial order, other than of the court wherein it is brought, they incur the penalties of praemunire. Combinations also among victuallers or artificers, to raise the price of provisions, or any commodities, or the rate of labour, are in many cases severely punished by particular statutes ; and in general by statute 2 & 3 Edw. VI. c.15. with the forfeiture of 10l. or twenty-one days' imprisonment, with an allowance of only bread and water, for the first offence ;
201. or the pillory, for the second; and 40l. for the third, or [ 160 ) else the pillory, loss of one ear, and perpetual infamy. (11) In
the same manner, by a constitution of the emperor Zeno', all monopolies and combinations to keep up the price of merchandize, provisions, or workmanship, were prohibited upon pain of forfeiture of goods and perpetual banishment.
10. To exercise a trade in any town, without having previously served as an apprentice for seven years', is looked upon to be detrimental to public trade, upon the supposed want of sufficient skill in the trader : and therefore is punished by statute 5 Eliz. c. 4. with the forfeiture of forty shillings by the month. (12)
(11) This statute is repealed by 5 G. 4. c. 95. See ante, p. 137. n.
11. LASTLY, to prevent the destruction of our home manufactures by transporting and seducing our artists to settle abroad, it is provided by statute 5 Geo. I. c. 27. that such as so entice or seduce them shall be fined (any sum not exceeding] 1001. and be imprisoned three months : and for the second offence shall be fined at discretion, and be imprisoned a year : and the artificers, so going into foreign countries, and not returning within six months after warning given them by the British ambassador where they reside, shall be deemed aliens, and forfeit all their lands and goods, and shall be incapable of any legacy or gift. By statute 23 Geo. II. c. 13. the seducers incur, for the first offence, a forfeiture of 5001. for each artificer contracted with to be sent abroad, and imprisonment for twelve (calendar] months; and for the second, 1000l. and are liable to two years imprisonment: and by the same statute, connected with 14 Geo. III. c. 71., if any person exports any tools or utensils used in the silk, linen, cotton, or woollen manufactures, (excepting woolcards to North America';) he forfeits the same and 2001., and the captain of the ship (having knowledge thereof) 100l.; and if any captain of a king's ship, or officer of the customs, knowingly suffers such exportation, he forfeits 1001. and his employment; and is for ever made incapable of bearing any public office: and every person collecting such tools or utensils, in order to export the same, shall, on conviction at the assizes, [or quarter sessions,] forfeit such tools and also 2001. (13)
I Stat. 15 Geo. III. c.5.
(13) These statutes, and several later, which had been made in pursuance of the same policy, so far as they relate to artificers going abroad, or the enticing them so to do, are now repealed by the 5G. 4. c.97.
CHAPTER THE THIRTEENTH.
of OFFENCES AGAINST THE PUBLIC HEALTH, AND THE PUBLIC POLICE OR OECONOMY.
THE fourth species of offences, more especially affecting
the commonwealth, are such as are against the public health of the nation ; a concern of the highest importance, and for the preservation of which there are in many countries special magistrates or curators appointed.
1. The first of these offences is a felony; but by the blessing of Providence for more than a century past, incapable of being committed in this nation. For by statute 1 Jac. I. c.31. it is enacted, that if any person infected with the plague, or dwelling in any infected house, be commanded by the mayor or constable, or other head officer of his town or vill, to keep his house, and shall venture to disobey it, he may be enforced, by the watchmen appointed on such melancholy occasions, to obey such necessary command: and, if any hurt ensue by such inforcement, the watchmen are thereby indemnified. And farther, if such person so commanded to confine himself goes abroad, and converses in company, if he has no plague sore upon him, he shall be punished as a vagabond by whipping, and be bound to his good behaviour; but, if he has any infectious sore upon him, uncured, he then shall be guilty of felony. By the statute 26 Geo. II. c.6. (explained and amended by 29 Geo. II. c. 8.) the method of performing quarantine, or forty days' probation, by ships coming from infected countries, is put in a much more regular and effectual order than formerly, and masters of ships coming from infected places and disobeying the directions there given,
or having the plague on board and concealing it, are guilty of felony without benefit of clergy. The same penalty also attends persons escaping from the lazarets, or places wherein quarantine is to be performed ; and officers and watchmen neglecting their duty; and persons conveying goods or letters from ships performing quarantine. (1)
9. A SECOND, but much inferior species of offence against public health is the selling of unwholesome provisions. To prevent which the statute 51 Hen. III. st. 6. and the ordinance for bakers, c. 7. prohibit the sale of corrupted wine, contagious or unwholesome flesh, or flesh that is bought of a Jew; under pain of amercement for the first offence, pillory for the second, fine and imprisonment for the third, and abjuration of the town for the fourth. And by the statute 12 Car. II. c. 25. & 11. any brewing or adulteration of wine is punished with the forfeiture of 1001, if done by the wholesale merchant; and 40l. if done by the vintner or retail trader. These are all the offences which may properly be said to respect the public health. (2)
(1) The 45G.3. c. 10. and 46 G.3. c. 98. are the laws now in force for the regulation of quarantine. Many offences described in these statutes are punished by pecuniary penalties and imprisonment; but it is felony, without benefit of clergy, for any master knowingly to omit disclosing that he has touched at any infected place, or has any infected person on board, or wilfully to omit, under such circumstances, the hoisting the yellow flag ; it is also a capital offence for persons liable to perform quarantine to refuse to repair to the appointed place for performing it, or to escape from it; and for any officer of quarantine knowingly to permit any person, ship, or goods to depart, or be conveyed from such place, without permission of his majesty, or to give a false certificate of the due performance of quarantine. Persons uninfected who once enter a lazaret are laid under the same restrictions, and exposed to the same punishments, as those performing quarantine there. It is also a capital offence to convey clandestinely, or conceal for such purpose, any letters or goods from a ship in quarantine.
By the common law, it is a nuisance to expose persons infected with contagious disorders in streets or places of public resort; and therefore, though it is not unlawful to inoculate with the small-pox, yet it must be done under such guards, and the patients afterwards so managed as not to endanger the public health by the communication of the disease. R. v. Vantandillo, 4 M. & S. 73., and R. v. Burnett, 4 M. & S. 272.
(2) By 1 W.& M. st. 1. C. 34. s. 20., it is more generally provided that every person selling wine by wholesale or retail, who shall adulterate it,