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CHAPTER VII.

on point

OF OFFENCES INJURIOUS TO THE KING'S PREROGATIVE,

OR AFFECTING HIS GOVERNMENT.

1. Offences relating to Coin. By 2 Will. IV. c. 34, (intituled “ An act for consolidating and amending the laws against offences relating to the coin,") if any person shall falsely make or counterfeit any coin resembling, or intended to resemble or pass for any of the king's current gold or silver coin, he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for life or any term not less than seven years, or be imprisoned not exceeding four years, at the discretion of the court.

If any person shall gild or silver, wash, colour or case over as in the act mentioned, any coin resembling the king's current gold or silver coin, or any piece of silver or copper, or of coarse gold or coarse silver, or of any metal or mixture of metals, of a fit size and figure to be coined, and with intent that the same shall be coined into counterfeit coin resembling the king's current gold or silver coin; or shall gild, wash, colour, &c. any of the king's current silver coin, or file or in any manner alter such coin with intent to make it resemble the king's current gold coin; or shall gild or silver, wash, colour, &c. any of the king's current copper coin, or file or in any manner alter such coin with intent to make it resemble the king's current gold or silver coin, he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for life or any term not less than seven years, or imprisoned not exceeding four years, at the discretion of the court.

If any person shall impair, diminish, or lighten any of the king's current gold or silver coin, with intent to make it pass as the king's, &c. he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for any term not exceeding fourteen years nor less than seven, or imprisoned not exceeding three years, at the discretion of the court.

If any person shall buy, sell, &c. or put off, or offer to buy, &c. any counterfeit coin resembling any of the king's current gold or silver coin, at a lower rate or value than its denomination, or shall import into the United Kingdom any counterfeit coin resembling any of the king's current gold or silver coin, knowing the same to be counterfeit, he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for life or any term not less than seven years, or imprisoned not exceeding four years, at the discretion of the court.

If any person shall tender, utter or put off any counterfeit coin resembling any of the king's current gold or silver coin, knowing it to be counterfeit, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and imprisoned for any term not exceeding one year; and if he have in his possession at the time any other such counterfeit coin, or either on the day of such tendering, &c. or within ten days afterwards shall tender, &c. any other such counterfeit coin, knowing the same to be counterfeit, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years; and upon the second committing of any of the misdemeanors aforesaid, he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for life or any term not less than seven years, or imprisoned not exceeding four years, at the discretion of the court.

If any person shall have in his custody or possession three or more pieces of counterfeit coin, resembling the king's current gold or silver coin, knowing the same to be counterfeit, and with intent to utter, &c. he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and imprisoned for any term not exceeding three years, at the discretion of the court; and upon the second offence he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for life or any term not less than seven years, or imprisoned not exceeding four years, at the discretion of the court.

The statute has also provisions against the making or mending, or beginning to make or mend, or having in possession any coining tools for gold and silver coin, or conveying tools or coin out of the mint without authority, and makes such offences felony, and punishable by transportation for life, &c. as in other cases of felony within the act.

And it is further enacted that if any person shall counterfeit any coin resembling the king's current copper coin, or knowingly and without authority make or mend, or begin or proceed to make or mend, or buy or sell, or have in his custody or possession, any instrument, &c. adapted for the counterfeiting any of the king's current copper coin, or if any person shall buy, sell, &c. any counterfeit coin resembling the king's current copper coin, at a lower rate or value than its denomination, he shall be guilty of felony, and transported for any term not exceeding seven years, or imprisoned not exceeding two years, at the discretion of the court.

And if any person shall tender, &c. any counterfeit coin resembling any of the king's current copper coin, knowing the same to be counterfeit, or have in his custody or possession three or more pieces of such counterfeit coin, knowing the same to be counterfeit and with intent to utter, &c. the same, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and imprisoned for any term not exceeding one year.

And in all cases of imprisonment under this act, the court may also sentence to hard labour and solitary confinement.

By 14 Geo. III. C. 42, (revived and made perpetual by 39 Geo. III. c. 75,) if any silver coin exceeding the sum of £5, being or purporting to be the silver coin of this realm, but below the standard of the mint in weight or fineness, shall be imported into Great Britain or Ireland, the same shall be forfeited in equal moieties to the crown and prosecutor. As to foreign coin, the statutory provisions are as follows:

By 37 Geo. III. c. 126, ss. 2, 3, if any person or persons shall coin or counterfeit any kind of coin not permitted to be current within this kingdom, to resemble or with intent to resemble any foreign gold or silver coin, or shall knowingly bring such false coin into this realm with intent to utter the same, he or they shall be guilty of felony, and may be transported for a term not exceeding seven years; and by sect. 4, if any person knowingly utter or tender in payment, or pay any such counterfeit foreign coin, for the first offence he shall be imprisoned six months and find sureties for six more—for the second offence he shall be imprisoned two years—and for the third be guilty of a capital felony.

By 43 Geo. III. c. 139, s. 3, it is declared a misdemeanor to counterfeit any foreign coin, with intent to resemble any copper or other coin made of metal or mixed metals of less value than silver, the party offending to be imprisoned, on the first conviction, not exceeding one year, and on the second, transported for seven years.

And by s. 6, persons having in their possession more than five pieces of false foreign coin, without some lawful excuse, may, on the oath of one witness, before a magistrate, be convicted in the penalty of not more than 40s. and not less than 10s., and shall forfeit the base money.

2. Serving Foreign States. By 3 Jac. I. c. 4, s. 18, it is made felony for any person whatsoever to go out of the realm to serve any foreign prince, without having first taken the oath of allegiance before his departure.

And also by sect. 19, felony for any gentleman or person of higher degree, or who hath borne any office in the army, to go out of the realm to serve such foreign prince or state, without previously entering into a bond, with two sureties, not to be reconciled to the See of Rome or enter into any conspiracy against the king.

By 59 Geo. III. c. 69, s. 2, if any natural-born subject shall, without leave of his majesty, engage to go or go into foreign countries, with intent to enlist or serve in foreign service, either by land or sea, or if any person shall retain or procure, or endeavour to hire or engage any others to enlist or be employed in any such foreign service, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon a conviction upon

any information or indictment shall be punishable by fine and imprisonment, or either of them, at the discretion of the Court.

By sect. 5, if any vessel in any port or place in his majesty's dominions shall have on board any persons so enlisted, such vessel may be detained and prevented from proceeding with such persons.

By sect. 6, masters of vessels taking on board any person known to be so enlisted shall forfeit £50 for each.

Sections 7 and 8 provide certain penalties on persons fitting out armed vessels to aid in military operations with foreign powers without license, or aiding the warlike equipment of vessels of foreign states.

3. Embezzling the King's Armour or Stores. By 31 Eliz. c. 4, and 4 Geo. IV. c. 53, if any person having the charge or custody of the king's armour, ordnance, ammunition, or habiliments of war, or of any victual provided for victualling the king's soldiers or mariners, shall, either for gain or to impede his majesty's service, embezzle the same to the value of 20s. he shall be transported for life or for any term not less than seven years, or suffer imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding seven years.

Other embezzlements, falling under this denomination, are punished by the following statutes:-9 & 10 Will. III. c. 41; 1 Geo. I. c. 25; 9 Geo. I. c. 8; 17 Geo. II. C. 40; 9 Geo. III. c. 30; 39 & 40 Geo. III. c. 89; 54 Geo. III. c. 60, c. 159; 55 Geo. III. c. 127; 56 Geo. III. c. 80; 1 & 2 Geo. IV. c. 75. And as to embezzlements generally by persons employed in the public service, vide 2 Will. IV. c. 4, post, p. 51.

4. Destroying the Marks on the King's Stores, or using

the Marks without authority, As to these offences see 39 & 40 Geo. III. c. 89, and 55 Geo. III. c. 127,

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