Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER VII.: OF FELONIES INJURIOUS TO THE KING'S PREROGATIVE. - Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, vol. 2
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CHAPTER VII.: OF FELONIES INJURIOUS TO THE KING’S PREROGATIVE. - Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books, vol. 2 
Commentaries on the Laws of England in Four Books. Notes selected from the editions of Archibold, Christian, Coleridge, Chitty, Stewart, Kerr, and others, Barron Field’s Analysis, and Additional Notes, and a Life of the Author by George Sharswood. In Two Volumes. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Co., 1893).
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OF FELONIES INJURIOUS TO THE KING’S PREROGATIVE.
*[*94As, according to the method I have adopted, we are next to consider such felonies as are more immediately injurious to the king’s prerogative, it will not be amiss here, at our first entrance upon this crime, to inquire briefly into the nature and meaning of felony, before we proceed upon any of the particular branches into which it is divided.
Felony, in the general acceptation of our English law, comprises every species of crime which occasioned at common law the forfeiture of lands and goods. This most frequently happens in those crimes for which a capital punishment either is or was liable to be inflicted; for those felonies which are called clergyable, or to which the benefit of clergy extends, were antiently punished with death in all lay or unlearned offenders, though now, by the statute-law, that punishment is for the first offence universally remitted. Treason itself, says Sir Edward Coke,(a) was antiently comprised under the name felony; and in confirmation of this, we may observe that the statute of treasons, 25 Edw. III. c. 2, speaking of some dubious crimes, directs a reference to parliament, **95]that it may there be adjudged “whether they be treason, or other felony.” All treasons, therefore, strictly speaking, are felonies, though all felonies are not treason. And to this also we may add, that not only all offences now capital are in some degree or other felony, but that this is likewise the case with some other offences, which are not punished with death, as suicide, where the party is already dead; homicide by chance-medley, or in self-defence; and petit larceny, or pilfering; all which are (strictly speaking) felonies, as they subject the committers of them to forfeitures. So that, upon the whole, the only adequate definition of felony seems to be that which is before laid down, viz., an offence which occasions a total forfeiture of either lands or goods, or both, at the common law, and to which capital or other punishment may be superadded, according to the degree of guilt.
To explain this matter a little further: the word felony, or felonia, is of undoubted feodal original, being frequently to be met with in the books of feuds, &c.; but the derivation of it has much puzzled the juridical lexicographers, Prateus, Calvinus, and the rest; some deriving it from the Greek φηλος, an impostor or deceiver; others from the Latin fallo, fefelli, to countenance which they would have it called fallonia. Sir Edward Coke, as his manner is, has given us a still stranger etymology;(b) that it is crimen animo felleo perpetratum, with a bitter or gallish inclination. But all of them agree in the description that it is such a crime as occasions a forfeiture of all the offender’s lands or goods. And this gives great probability to Sir Henry Spelman’s Teutonic or German derivation of it;(c) in which language, indeed, as the word is clearly of feodal original, we ought rather to look for its signification, than among the Greeks and Romans. Fe-lon, then, according to him, is derived from two northern words: fee, which signifies (we well know) the fief, feud, or beneficiary estate, and lon, which signifies price or value. Felony is therefore the same as pretium feudi, the **96]consideration for which a man gives up his fief. As we say in common speech, such an act is as much as your life or estate is worth. In this sense it will clearly signify the feodal forfeiture, or act by which an estate is forfeited or escheats to the lord.1
To confirm this, we may observe that it is in this sense of forfeiture to the lord that the feodal writers constantly use it. For all those acts, whether of a criminal nature or not, which at this day are generally forfeitures of copyhold estates,(d) are styled felonia in the feodal law: “scilicet, per quas feudum amittitur.”(e) As, “si domino deservire noluerit;(f)si per annum et diem cessaverit in petenda investitura;(g)si dominum ejuravit, i.e. negavit se a domino feudum habere;(h)si a domino, in jus eum vocante, ter citatus non comparuerit;”(i) all these, with many others, are still causes of forfeiture in our copyhold estates, and were denominated felonies by the feodal constitutions. So likewise injuries of a more substantial or criminal nature were denominated felonies, that is, forfeitures; as, assaulting or beating the lord;(k) vitiating his wife or daughter, “si dominum cucurbitaverit, i.e. cum uxore ejus concubuerit;”(l) all these are esteemed felonies, and the latter is expressly so denominated, “si fecerit feloniam, dominum forte cucurbitando.”(m) And as these contempts, or smaller offences, were felonies or acts of forfeiture, of course greater crimes, as murder and robbery, fell under the same denomination. On the other hand, the lord might be guilty of felony, or forfeit his seignory to the vassal, by the same acts as the vassal would have forfeited his feud to the lord. “Si dominus commisit feloniam, per quam vasallus amitteret feudum si eam commiserit in dominum, feudi proprietatem etiam dominusperdere debet.”(n) One instance given of this sort of felony in the lord is beating the servant of his vassal so as that he loses his services; which seems merely in the nature of a civil *[*97injury, so far as it respects the vassal. And all these felonies were to be determined “per laudamentum sive judicium parium suorum,” in the lord’s court; as with us forfeitures of copyhold lands are presentable by the homage in the court-baron.
Felony, and the act of forfeiture to the lord, being thus synonymous terms in the feodal law, we may easily trace the reason why, upon the introduction of that law into England, those crimes which induced such forfeiture or escheat of lands (and, by small deflection from the original sense, such as induced the forfeiture of goods also) were denominated felonies. Thus, it was said that suicide, robbery, and rape were felonies; that is, the consequence of such crimes was forfeiture; till by long use we began to signify by the term felony the actual crime committed, and not the penal consequence. And upon this system only can we account for the cause why treason in antient times was held to be a species of felony: viz., because it induced a forfeiture.
Hence it follows that capital punishment does by no means enter into the true idea and definition of felony. Felony may be without inflicting capital punishment, as in the cases instanced of self-murder, excusable homicide, and petit larceny; and it is possible that capital punishments may be inflicted and yet the offence be no felony; as in case of heresy by the common law, which, though capital, never worked any forfeiture of lands or goods,(o) an inseparable incident to felony. And of the same nature was the punishment of standing mute without pleading to an indictment, which at the common law was capital, but without any forfeiture, and therefore such standing mute was no felony. In short, the true criterion of felony is forfeiture; for, as Sir Edward Coke justly observes,(p) in all felonies which are punishable with death the offender loses all his lands in fee-simple and also his goods and chattels; in such as are not so punishable, his goods and chattels only.
*[*98The idea of felony is, indeed, so generally connected with that of capital punishment that we find it hard to separate them; and to this usage the interpretations of the law do now conform. And therefore, if a statute makes any new offence felony, the law(q) implies that it shall be punished with death, viz., by hanging, as well as with forfeiture; unless the offender prays the benefit of clergy; which all felons are entitled once to have, provided the same is not expressly taken away by statute.2 And, in compliance herewith, I shall for the future consider it also in the same light as a generical term, including all capital crimes below treason; having premised thus much concerning the true nature and original meaning of felony, in order to account for the reason of those instances I have mentioned, of felonies that are not capital, and capital offences that are not felonies; which seem at first view repugnant to the general idea which we now entertain of felony as a crime to be punished by death; whereas, properly, it is a crime to be punished by forfeiture, and to which death may or may not be, though it generally is, superadded.
I proceed now to consider such felonies as are more immediately injurious to the king’s prerogative. These are, 1. Offences relating to the coin, not amounting to treason. 2. Offences against the king’s council. 3. The offence of serving a foreign prince. 4. The offence of embezzling or destroying the king’s armour or stores of war. To which may be added a fifth: 5. Desertion from the king’s armies in time of war.
1. Offences relating to the coin, under which may be ranked some inferior misdemeanours not amounting to felony, are thus declared by a series of statutes which I shall recite in the order of time. And, first, by statute 27 Edw. I. c. 3, none shall bring pollards and crockards, which were foreign coins of base metal, into the realm, on pain of forfeiture of life and goods. By statute 9 Edw. III. st. 2, no sterling money shall be melted down, upon pain of forfeiture thereof **99]By statute 17 Edw. III., none shall be so hardy to bring false and ill money into the realm, on pain of forfeiture of life and member by the persons importing, and the searchers permitting such importation.3 By statute 3 Hen. V. st. 1, to make, coin, buy, or bring into the realm any gally-half-pence, fuskins, or dotkins, in order to utter them, is felony; and knowingly to receive or pay either them or blanks(r) is forfeiture of a hundred shillings. By statute 14 Eliz. c. 3, such as forge any foreign coin, although it be not made current here by proclamation, shall (with their aiders and abettors) be guilty of misprision of treason; a crime which we shall hereafter consider.4 By statute 13 & 14 Car. II. c. 31, the offence of melting down any current silver money shall be punished with forfeiture of the same, and also the double value; and the offender, if a freeman of any town, shall be disfranchised; if not, shall suffer six months’ imprisonment. By statute 6 & 7 W. III. c. 17, if any person buys or sells, or knowingly has in his custody, any clippings or filings of the coin, he shall forfeit the same and 500l., one moiety to the king and the other to the informer, and be branded in the cheek with the letter R. By statute 8 & 9 W. III. c. 26, if any person shall blanch or whiten copper for sale, (which makes it resemble silver,) or buy or sell, or offer to sell, any malleable composition which shall be heavier than silver and look, touch, and wear like gold, but be beneath the standard; or if any person shall receive or pay at a less rate than it imports to be of (which demonstrates a consciousness of its baseness, and a fraudulent design) any counterfeit or diminished milled money of this kingdom, not being cut in pieces; (an operation which is expressly directed to be performed when any such money shall be produced in evidence, and which any person, to whom any gold or silver money is tendered, is empowered, by statutes 9 & 10 W. III. c. 21, 13 Geo. III. c. 71, and 14 Geo. III. c. 70, to perform at his own hazard, and the officers of the exchequer and receivers-general of the taxes are particularly required to perform;) all such persons shall be guilty of felony, and may be prosecuted for the same at any time within three months after the offence committed.5 *[*100But these precautions not being found sufficient to prevent the uttering of false or diminished money, which was only a misdemeanour at common law, it is enacted, by statute 15 & 16 Geo. II. c. 28, that if any person shall utter or tender in payment6 any counterfeit coin, knowing it so to be, he shall for the first offence be imprisoned six months, and find sureties for his good behaviour for six months more; for the second offence, shall be imprisoned two years, and find sureties for two years longer; and for the third offence, shall be guilty of felony without benefit of clergy.7 Also, if a person knowingly tenders in payment any counterfeit money, and at the same time has more in his custody, or shall, within ten days after, knowingly tender other false money, he shall be deemed a common utterer of counterfeit money, and shall for the first offence be imprisoned one year, and find sureties for his good behaviour for two years longer; and for the second be guilty of felony without benefit of clergy. By the same statute, it is also enacted, that if any person counterfeits the copper coin he shall suffer two years’ imprisonment, and find sureties for two years more. By statute 11 Geo. III. c. 40, persons counterfeiting copper half-pence or farthings, with their abettors, or buying, selling, receiving, or putting off any counterfeit copper money (not being cut in pieces or melted down) at a less value than it imports to be of, shall be guilty of single felony.8 And by a temporary statute, (14 Geo. III. c. 42,) if any quantity of money, exceeding the sum of five pounds, 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.9 Thus much for offences relating to the coin, as well misdemeanours as felonies, which I thought it most convenient to consider in one and the same view.
2. Felonies against the king’s council(s) are these: First, by statute 3 Hen. VII. c. 14, if any sworn servant of the king’s household conspires or confederates to kill any lord of this **101]realm, or other person, sworn of the king’s council, he shall be guilty of felony. Secondly, by statute 9 Anne, c. 16, to assault, strike, wound, or attempt to kill any privy counsellor in the execution of his office is made felony without benefit of clergy.10
3. Felonies in serving foreign states, which service is generally inconsistent with allegiance to one’s natural prince, are restrained and punished by statute 3 Jac. I. c. 4, which makes it felony for any person whatever to go out of the realm, to serve any foreign prince, without having first taken the oath of allegiance before his departure. And it is felony also 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 his natural sovereign. And further, by statute 9 Geo. II. c. 30, enforced by statute 29 Geo. II. c. 17, if any subject of Great Britain shall enlist himself, or if any person shall procure him to be enlisted, in any foreign service, or detain or embark him for that purpose, without license under the king’s sign-manual, he shall be guilty of felony without benefit of clergy; but if the person so enlisted or enticed shall discover his seducer within fifteen days, so as he may be apprehended and convicted of the same, he shall be indemnified. By statute 29 Geo. II. c. 17, it is moreover enacted that to serve under the French king as a military officer shall be felony without benefit of clergy; and to enter into the Scotch brigade in the Dutch service, without previously taking the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, shall be a forfeiture of 500l.11
4. Felony by embezzling or destroying the king’s armour or warlike stores is, in the first place, so declared to be by statute 31 Eliz. c. 4, which enacts that 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 *[*102to the value of twenty shillings, such offence shall be felony. And the statute 22 Car. II. c. 5 takes away the benefit of clergy from this offence,12 and from stealing the king’s naval stores to the value of twenty shillings; with a power for the judge, after sentence, to transport the offender for seven years. Other inferior embezzlements and misdemeanours that fall under this denomination are punished, by statutes 9 & 10 W. III. c. 41, 1 Geo. I. c. 25, 9 Geo. I. c. 8, and 17 Geo. II. c. 40, with fine, corporal punishment, and imprisonment.13 And, by statute 12 Geo. III. c. 24, to set on fire, burn, or destroy any of his majesty’s ships of war, whether built, building, or repairing; or any of the king’s arsenals, magazines, dock-yards, rope-yards, or victualling-offices, or materials thereunto belonging; or military, naval, or victualling stores, or ammunition; or causing, aiding, procuring, abetting, or assisting in such offence, shall be felony without benefit of clergy.
5. Desertion from the king’s armies in time of war, whether by land or sea, in England, or in parts beyond the sea, is, by the standing laws of the land, (exclusive of the annual acts of parliament to punish mutiny and desertion,) and particularly by statute 18 Hen. VI. c. 19, and 5 Eliz. c. 5, made felony, but not without benefit of clergy. But, by the statute 2 & 3 Edw. VI. c. 2, clergy is taken away from such deserters, and the offence is made triable by the justices of every shire. The same statutes punish other inferior military offences with fines, imprisonment, and other penalties.14
[(a) ] 3 Inst. 15.
[(b) ] 1 Inst. 391.
[(c) ] Gloss. tit. Felon.
[1 ] But a forfeiture of land is not a necessary consequence of felony; for petit larceny is felony, which does not produce a forfeiture of lands; but every species of felony is followed by forfeiture of goods and personal chattels.—Christian.
[(d) ] See book ii. page 284.
[(e) ]Feud. l. 2, t. 16, in calc.
[(f) ] Ibid. l. 1, t. 21.
[(g) ] Ibid. l. 2, t. 24.
[(h) ] Ibid. l. 2, t. 34, l. 2, t. 26, 3.
[(i) ] Ibid. l. 2, t. 22.
[(k) ] Ibid. l. 2, t. 24, 2.
[(l) ] Ibid. l. 1, t. 5.
[(m) ] Ibid. l. 2, t. 38. Britton, l. 1, c. 22.
[(n) ]Feud. l. 2, t. 26 and 47.
[(o) ] 3 Inst. 43.
[(p) ] 1 Inst. 391.
[(q) ] 1 Hawk. P. C. 107. 2 Hawk. P. C. 444.
[2 ] The criminal law has been considerably ameliorated, however, in this respect, by the statute 8 Geo. IV. c. 28, s. 8, which enacts that any person convicted of felony not punishable with death shall be punished in the same manner prescribed by the statute or statutes especially relating to such felony; and that every person convicted of a felony for which no punishment has been or may be specially provided shall be deemed to be punishable under that statute, and be liable to transportation for seven years, or imprisonment (with whipping, if the court think fit) for any term not exceeding two years.—Kerr.
[3 ] Repealed, by 59 Geo. III. c. 49, s. 10, which enacts “that it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons to export the gold or silver coin of the realm to parts beyond the seas, and also to melt the gold and silver coin of the realm, and to manufacture or export, or otherwise dispose of, the gold or silver bullion produced thereby: and no person who shall export or melt such gold or silver coin, or who shall manufacture, export, or dispose of such bullion, shall be subject to any restriction, forfeiture, pain, penalty, incapacity, or disability whatever for or in respect of such melting, manufacturing, or exporting the same respectively; any thing in any act or acts in force in Great Britain or Ireland to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.”—Chitty.
[(r) ] 2 Stat. Hen. VI. c. 9.
[4 ] The importation of foreign bad coin is further provided against. Thus, by the 37 Geo. III. c. 126, s. 2, coining or counterfeiting any kind of coin not the proper coin of the realm, nor permitted to be current (id est, by proclamation under great seal) within it, but resembling, or made with intent to resemble or look like, any gold or silver coin of any foreign state, &c., or to pass as such foreign coin, is a felony punishable with seven years’ transportation. And, by the same act, (sect. 6,) having in custody, without lawful excuse, more than five pieces of bad coin, is punishable with a forfeiture of not exceeding 5l. nor less than 40s. for every piece. By section 3, importing counterfeit gold or silver foreign coin, not current, with intent to utter, is felony, punishable with transportation for not exceeding seven years. Importing with an intent to utter is a sufficient offence within the act, (1 East, P. C. 176;) and, by 43 Geo. III. c. 139, s. 3, counterfeiting foreign coin not current by proclamation, but resembling copper or mixed metal coin of a foreign state, is a misdemeanour, punishable for the first offence by not exceeding one year’s imprisonment, and, for the second, transportation for seven years. And sect. 6 inflicts a penalty of not exceeding 40s. nor less than 10s. for every such piece of coin in possession of a person who shall have more than five pieces in his custody without lawful excuse. And, by sect. 7, houses of suspected persons may be searched by warrant for such counterfeit coin.
See also 3 Geo. IV. c. 114.—Chitty.
[5 ] Selling base and counterfeit money at a lower rate than its denomination imports—as twenty bad half-crowns for a guinea—is a crime of great magnitude, and in populous towns is much practised. The offender in this case is either the coiner himself, or the wholesale dealer between the coiner and the utterer, who puts each piece into circulation at its full apparent value. The statute declares that the offender shall suffer death as in case of felony; but, not having expressly taken away the benefit of clergy, for the first offence he was subject only to be burned in the hand, and to suffer any imprisonment not exceeding a year; and, since the 19 Geo. III. c. 74, the burning in the hand may be changed by the court into a fine, or whipping publicly or privately, but not more than three times. An offender of this description must necessarily be so conversant with coining or coiners that public policy requires that in the first instance he should be sent out of the kingdom.
It has been determined that the term milled money does not mean edged money, or money marked on the edges.
The word milled seems to be superfluous, and to signify nothing more than coined money. Running’s case, Leach, 708.
In a case where the prisoner had counted out a quantity of bad money and placed it upon a table for a person who had agreed to buy it, but before it was paid for, and whilst it lay upon the table, the prisoner was apprehended, it was held that he had not paid it or put it off, so as to be guilty of this crime. Wooldridge’s case, Leach, 251.
But in this case he certainly might have been prosecuted for a misdemeanour; for every attempt to commit either a felony or a misdemeanour is a misdemeanour. R. vs. Scofield, Cald. 397.
The R. vs. Sutton, 2 Stra. 1074, which is the basis of the cases R. vs. Scofield and R. vs. Higgins, 2 East, 5, is precisely in point upon this subject. A man was convicted of a misdemeanour for having in his possession two iron stamps, with intent to impress the sceptres on sixpences. The court, after hearing two arguments, declared “the intent is the offence, and the having in his custody is an act that is the evidence of that intent.”
This case is more fully reported in Cases in the Time of Lord Hardwicke, 370; and there it appears that one count was for having in his custody a counterfeit half-guinea, with intent to utter it. The court take no notice of that count in their judgment; but in the argument four indictments are cited, for unlawfully procuring false money with intent to utter it, and with intent to defraud the people of England.
The words in the statute 15 & 16 Geo. II. are, “shall utter, or tender in payment;” and it has been decided that the words “in payment” refer to the word “tender” only; so that to tender in payment is one offence, and to utter is another; and a man was convicted of uttering who having received a good shilling immediately changed it and gave back a bad one, insisting it was the one he received. Frank’s case, Leach, 736.
If a man is prosecuted for having uttered or tendered in payment any false money, and for having done the same within ten days afterwards, these two acts must be charged in one count. Tandy’s case, Leach, 970.
But it is not necessary to aver in such count that the defendant was a common utterer of false money. Smith’s case, ib. 1001.—Christian.
[6 ] It is now settled that the mere act of having counterfeit silver in possession, with an intent to utter it as good, is no offence, for there is no criminal act done, (Russ. & R. C. C. 184, 288;) but procuring base coin, with intent to utter it as good, is a misdemeanour; and having a large quantity of such coin is evidence of having procured it with such intent, unless there are other circumstances to induce a suspicion that the defendant was the maker. Russ. & R. C. C. 308.—Chitty.
[7 ] By the 3 Geo. IV. c. 114, the prisoner may be sentenced to hard labour. The reward given by the 15 Geo. II. c. 7 is taken away by 58 Geo. III. c. 70.—Chitty.
[8 ] The 15 & 16 Geo. II. c. 28 and the 11 Geo. III. c. 40 specify half-pence and farthings only; but, other pieces of copper money having been since coined, the provisions of those statutes, by the 37 Geo. III. c. 126, are extended to all other pieces of copper money which are ordered to be current by the king’s proclamation. A remarkable error is made in two different pages of Mr. East’s publication upon criminal law, which states the punishment for coming copper money, and for selling counterfeit money for less than its denomination imports to be, only burning in the hand and imprisonment not exceeding a year. 1 East. P. C. 162, 181. But the punishment before the 19 Geo. III. in all cases of felony which had the benefit of clergy was burning in the hand, and imprisonment for any time, at the discretion of the judge, not more than for one year, under the 18 Eliz. c. 7, s. 3. By the 19 Geo. III. c. 74, burning in the hand may be changed at the discretion of the judge into a fine, or whipping not more than three times. See p. 372, post.—Christian.
[9 ] This statute, by the 39 Geo. III. c. 74, is revived and made perpetual.—Christian.
But these statutes are all repealed by two recent statutes, (2 W. IV. c. 34 and 1 Vict. c. 90,) by which the law relating to the offence of coining is now declared and regulated.—Stewart.
[(s) ] See book i. page 334.
[10 ] This latter statute was enacted in consequence of Mr. Harley, the Secretary of State being stabbed by Anthony Guiscard, a French marquis, while under examination before the privy council. See an account of this in one of the Examiners, by Dean Swift.—Archbold.
By stat. 9 Geo. IV. c. 31, these statutes are repealed; and (s. 11) all attempts to kill are made capital offences, without any distinction as to the rank of the party, with the exception of the king and the royal family.—Stewart.
[11 ] These statutes of 9 Geo. II. and 29 Geo. II. are repealed by the 59 Geo. III. c. 69, which re-enacts and adds to their provisions; and by it the entering into, or agreeing to enter into, the aid of a foreign prince or people, &c. in any warlike capacity whatever, or going abroad with that intent, or attempting to get others to do so, is a misdemeanour, and punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both; and a penalty of 50l. is imposed on masters of ships and owners for assisting in the offence. There are further provisions for preventing the offence.—Chitty.
[12 ] This provision of the statute 22 Car. II. c. 5, which takes away the benefit of the clergy, is repealed by the 5 Geo. IV. c. 53; and offenders may be transported for life, or for not less than seven years, or imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for not exceeding seven years.—Chitty.
[13 ] By the 39 & 40 Geo. III. c. 89, s. 1, persons, other than contractors, receiving or having stores of war in their possession, may be transported for fourteen years; and, by sect. 2, persons convicted of offences against the 9 & 10 W. III. may, in addition to the punishment thereby to be inflicted, be punished with whipping and imprisonment, or either; but the penalty may be mitigated.—Chitty.
[14 ] To this class of felonies injurious to the king’s prerogative may be added two felonies lately created by the legislature, who thought it expedient to repress the attempts of mischievous and disaffected persons by transportation or capital punishment. The 37 Geo. III. c. 70 (revived and made perpetual by the 57 Geo. III. c. 7) enacts that if any person shall maliciously and advisedly endeavour to seduce any person serving in her majesty’s service by sea or land from his duty and allegiance, or to incite any person to commit any act of mutiny or mutinous practice, he shall be guilty of felony, and shall suffer death without benefit of clergy. The crime, wherever committed, may be tried in any county. A sailor in a sick-hospital, where he had been for thirty days, and therefore not entitled to pay, nor liable for what he then does to a court-martial, is a person serving in the king’s forces by sea, within the 37 Geo. III., so as to make the seducing him an offence within that act. Russ. & R. C. C. 76.—Christian.