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A PRACTICAL TREATISE
PRACTICE, PLEADINGS, AND EVIDENCE,
INDICTMENT OR INFORMATION.
WITH A COPIOUS
INDICTMENTS, INFORMATIONS, PRESENTMENTS,
Comprehensive Notes as to each particular Offence,
JUDGMENT AND PUNISHMENT
OF THE MIDDLE TEMPLE.
THE STATE COURTS;
BY RICHARD PETERS, JR.
COUNSELLOR AT LAW.
IN TWO VOLUMES-VOL. II.
* MURDER ON THE STATUTE OF STABBING,
1 Jac. 1. c. 8.
The offence. The 1 Jac. 1. c. 8. was enacted at a critical pe- The of. riod, and intended to remedy an immediate evil. It is said to have fence. been directed against a number of persons, who adopted a method of deadly revenge by wearing short daggers under their clothes, which they were prepared to use on slight provocations, and those frequently sought for by themselves. Fost. 298. Its particular object is thus stated in the preamble, which may serve to direct us in its construction : “ To the end, that stabbing and killing men on the sudden done and committed by many inhumane and wicked persons, in the time of their rage, drunkenness, hidden displeasure, or other passion of mind, may henceforth be restrained through fear of due punishment to be inflicted on such cruel and bloody malefactors, who heretofore have been emboldened by presuming on the benefit of clergy," after which it proceeds to enact, " that every person which shall stab or thrust any person that hath not then any weapon drawn, or that hath not then first stricken the party which shall so stab or thrust, so that the person so stabbed or thrust shall thereof die within the space of six months then next following, although it cannot be proved that the same was done of malice aforethought, yet the party so offending shall be excluded from the benefit of his clergy and suffer death as in case of wilful murder.” This enactment is followed by a proviso, that it shall not extend to any killing se defendendo, by misfortune, or in other manner than aforesaid ; nor to manslaughter, in a bona fide attempt to preserve the peace ; nor to death, happening in chastisement or correction of a child or servant when death was not intended.(d) This act was originally but temporary, but by 17 Car. 1. c. 4. it is with other statutes continued till some further
(d) This last proviso is very sin- already that wherever a deadly ingular; for it is difficult to conceive strument is used to correct, and in what way stabbing could occur in death ensues, it is murder at com. lawful correction ; and we have seen mon law, ante 730*.