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MAGISTRATE'S AND VESTRYMAN'S
A DIGEST OF ALL THE LAWS OF THE ISLAND
FROM 33 CHARLES II. TO 8 GEORGE IV.
WITH FORMS OF HOLDING QUARTER-SESSIONS, CORONERS' INQUESTS,
PRINTED AT THE OFFICE OF THE ST. JAGO DE LA VEGA GAZETTE,
Such a work as the present has been long wanted, and its general utility must be obvious to all. The compiler has only to regret that some one more competent than himself had not undertaken the task. A considerable, part of it, in outline, had been brought together, for his own private use, and several gentlemen, who saw the manuscript, suggested the propriety of its completion and publication. It will be found to contain the substance of all the laws of this island from the earliest period to the last session of assembly, alphabetically arranged, and references to every act, with the exception of those granting annuities to individuals, or manumising slaves, which were considered rather of a private than of a public
For the use of magistrates, vestrymen, and others, forms of holding quarter-sessions, coroners' inquests, &c. are detailed, and forms given of oaths under various laws, warrants, recognizances, indentures, bail-bonds, summonses, assignments, &c. &c. Forms of inquisitions and verdicts for laying out of roads are also included, as well as the police acts and regulations of the different towns and parishes, with tables of rates of wharfage and storcage, droggerage, drayage, &c. and a digest of the acts regulating the different public offices, with tables of their fees, and the rates of stamp duties.
The laws relating to slave property have been introduced, with the exception of the slave law, which has been omitted, not only in consequence of the disallowance of the one passed last session of assembly, but because, it is presumed, most gentlemen interested would be in possession of an entire copy of the existing law; and, should a new law pass next session, it is the intention of the publisher to print an edition of it with the same type, and of the same size, as the present publication, which will be sold to its purchasers at the low price of a dollar.
From the number of laws in our statute book, having duration clauses, and subject to frequent alterations, it was thought best to arrange them in an appendix.
Besides the laws of this island other matters have been introduced, as furnishing useful information, such as definitions of crimes from English law-books, a list of governors, post roads, &c.
On the whole, it is hoped, that the publication will be found an useful manual to magistrates, vestrymen, and others; and to gentlemen of the legal profession it will perhaps be valuable, as a general index to the laws of this island; at least the compiler has endeavoured, by every care and attention, to render it so. He is however fully aware that in a work of such a nature errors in reference or omission may have escaped him, and, as only a small edition has been printed, he solicits such gentlemen as may discover any to communicate them to the publisher, for the benefit of a second edition, should it be required.
MAGISTRATE'S AND VESTRYMAN'S
BY 57, Geo. 3, c. 18, sundry enactments are made in aid of the British acts of parliament, for the abolition of the slave trade, which there has never been any occasion to enforce in this island, and it is believed never will. It is therefore quite unnecessary to detail them here; more especially as this act will be found abridged in the Abstract of Slave Laws published in 1819.
Accessary is he that is not the chief actor but one concerned in the felony by commandment, aid, or receipt. An accessary before the fact is he that, being absent at the time of the felony committed, doth yet procure, counsel, command, or abet, another to commit a felony. An accessary after the fact is, where a person, knowing the felony to be committed by another, relieves, comforts, or assists the felon! Receivers of stolen goods are accessaries.