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appeared to be a doubt amongst some punishment. It was no degradation. He members, as to whether the words of the had known men die at the head of their resolution were sufficiently comprehensive, regiments, who had at one time been subthe wisest course would be to adjourn the jected to the punishment of flogging. debate.
Mr. G. Lamb declared himself a conThe debate was accordingly adjourned vert to the opinion of the hon. member till Friday.
for Aberdeen, not from the arguments
used on his side of the House, but from MUTINY BILL-FLOGGING IN THE those urged by the gallant officers who
ARMY.) The House having gone into a opposed the abolition of flogging. Nocommittee on this bill,
body could persuade him, that the tying Mr. Hume proposed, as a clause to be a man up to the halberds, and flogging added to the bill, that it should be unlaw- him in the presence of his fellows, was ful to inflict corporal punishment, by not a degradation. stripes or lashes, upon any soldier or non- Colonel Wood contended, that this commissioned officer.
punishment was indispensable in the Sir J. Sebright opposed the clause, con- militia. vinced, as he was, that the power to inflict Mr. W. Smith said, that as he had corporal punishment ought not to be dis- used his best endeavours to save criminals continued in the army.
from this degrading punishment, he could Mr. Hobhouse supported the clause. never give his consent to have it inflicted
Lord Barnard was averse to the inflic- on British soldiers. tion of corporal punishments; but, from The committee divided : for the clause an experience of eleven years in the army, 16; against it 57: majority 41. he felt bound to declare, that, in his opinion, it would be unsafe to try the ex
HOUSE OF LORDS. periment suggested. Mr. Bernal wished a committee to be
Tuesday, February 27. appointed, for the purpose of inquiring GAME Laws.) Lord Wharncliffe having into the practicability of dispensing with presented a petition from the magistrates the infliction of corporal punishment in of Bury St. Edmund's, praying for a revithe army,
sion of the Game Laws, observed, that in Sir H. Vivian trusted, if a commit- pursuance of the notice he had given, it tee were appointed, that it would be a now became his duty to call the attention committee of practical men, and expressed of their lordships to this subject. His his opinion of the necessity of corporal lordship proceeded to state the grounds on punishment to maintain a proper degree which he thought the present Game-laws of discipline among our troops.
ought to be altered. He trusted that his Mr. R. Gordon said, that these punish- motives would not be mistaken, nor the ments were admitted by their advocates object he had in view over-rated. Their to be evils, though they contended that lordships had doubtless heard of those they were necessary evils. He should be desperate conflicts which frequently took glad to see the necessity removed, and place in consequence of the attempts of some better system substituted for the poachers to obtain possession of game, and present defective one.
must wish to do away with such a state of Mr. R. Martin denied that the inflic- things. Unfortunately, there must now tion of flogging in the army was not a re- be many persons in the country who had volting cruelty.
become habituated to this system of depreLord Palmerston defended the system dation and plunder; for it had been carof corporal punishment in the army, and ried on for a great number of years. So contended that, from the classes from long as the persons who had been brought amongst which the British army was com- up in such habits existed, it could not be posed, it was impossible to preserve disci- expected that poaching would entirely pline but by some coercive measures. cease; but he hoped and believed, that a He denied that any abuses of the power change in the present laws-a change could be proved.
which would go along with the common General Duff said, that it was as easy sense and feelings of the people, and to chain the north wind as to manage which would induce them to say,
" this is British soldiers without the aid of corporal / right,"--would greatly tend to remedy the
evil, and would speedily diminish the Now, in the “ Commentaries” of Blacknumber of those who lived by unlawful stone,-a book which was the most popular plunder. He hoped it would not be thought of any on the laws of England,-a dictum presumptuous in him to submit a proposi- was laid down on the subject of game tion on the Game-laws to their lordships, which he must beg leave to say was at so soon after he had had the honour of variance with the common law of the land. being called to that House by his majesty's That author stated the animals pursued as favour. The subject, however, was one to game to be feræ naturæ, and that being which his attention had been directed for so, they belonged to nobody but the king. many years. He had frequently adverted Now, he would contend against this dictum. to the subject in the other House of par- Such was not the law, and never was the liament, and that House had, on his law of England. The king never possessed motion, passed a bill to amend the Game- such a power as that attributed to him by laws, which was sent up to their lord- Blackstone. Every man had full and comships, but which did not receive their plete power over the game on his own sanction. Being now a member of their land, and the true principle of English law lordships' branch of the legislature, he with respect to such property was—cujus proposed to bring the subject under their est solum, ejus est usque ad coelum, atque consideration. He did not expect to be ad inferos. Not a partridge or a hare upon able to remove all the evils, or even the any man's estate belonged to the king. greater part of them, which sprang from The first principle to be set out with in the Game-laws, but with those laws no amending the Game-laws was, that acman was satisfied. All parties and all cording to the common law every man ranks condemned them; and the question had the right to do what he liked with his was, could these laws be so amended as to own land, and therefore was the owner give satisfaction to the great mass of the of the game upon it. Such was always people? He was aware that the task was held to be the case, till a comparatively à difficult one; but not so difficult, he late period, when the Game-laws were thought, as to induce him not to encounter altered –
-an alteration which had produced it. He was himself a country gentleman, a change disgraceful to the country. The fond of the sports of the field, and wished first great alteration was made in the time on no account to do any thing to injure or of Charles the 2nd, by acts of the 22nd destroy them. No man was more sensible and 23rd of that king's reign. The qualithan he was of the advantages of country fications which had been established for gentlemen residing on their estates; but killing game were of the most absurd and if that advantage were to be purchased at inconsistent nature. He knew that a great the expense of retaining all the gross evils number of persons were of opinion, that of the present Game-laws, he should say the present state of the law on this point it would be too dearly purchased. He was was the means of preserving game, and happy to say that when he looked at the though willing to allow game to be sold, system of the Game-laws, he found that they would not consent to alter the qualiin order to amend them, nothing more fications. But he must say, that if their would be necessary to be done than for lordships allowed the sale of game, and their lordships to return back to the state continued the present qualifications, they of those laws at an early period, before would not only do no good, but would they had been altered by modern legisla- make the law worse than it now was. tive enactments. For himself he would What were the present qualifications to say, that he was no reformer, but he could kill game. He would mention some of not shut his eyes to errors which were the them to their lordships. A man must be growth of time. He would look to the possessed of land to the value of 1001. aprinciple on which their lordships' ances- year if a freeholder, or of 1501. if a leasetors had founded the Game-laws, and holder, or must be the eldest son of an keeping that principle always in view, esquire, or of some person of higher degree. would endeavour to discover how far, con- Now, with respect to the first qualification, sistently with that principle, they could that of 1001. a-year, it was easy to underbe amended. And here ne must observe, stand why it had been enacted. It was, that nothing in his opinion did so much doubtless, supposed, that a man who posharm as an erroneous dictum laid down in sessed an estate of 1001. a-year, would a book which was generally popular. I have land enough to sport upon; but the reason of other qualifications and disquali-1 law upon this subject stood. He would fications was not so apparent. He was wish to prevent any person from sporting now addressing the great landholders of on another man's land without his leave, this country; and all the noble lords and would make it lawful for any person around him were not, perhaps, aware, to warn any one so sporting, off the ground. that every time a Scotch or Irish peer By the alterations he should propose, the went out to sport in this country, he was owners of land would have complete power liable to a penalty of 51. if he did not pos- to prevent any one from trespassing on sess freehold or leasehold property in Eng-their grounds. A main object which he land of the required value. According to had in view was, to do away with the the law, the second son of a man of pro- present qualifications. In justice and hoperty was not qualified to shoot on his nesty, every person ought to know another father's grounds. The elder son was quali- person's land, and ought not to pass the fied, but all the rest were disqualified. hedge which divided his own from that of There were some classes who acquired the his neighbour's property. He would say that right of shooting through others who could no man should trespass upon another not shoot. Certain persons, propagated person's land, either for the purpose
of sportshooters, for they might have sons who ing under the protection of qualifications, were officers, and were therefore qualified, or with the object of theft or gain. Should though the law would not allow them such any person so trespass, he would propose right. He would mention to their lord that it should be lawful for the person ships an instance of hardship which might who owned the grounds, or any body apevery day occur in the administration of pointed by him, to go to the trespasser, the Game-laws. A person of great pro- demand his name, and warn him to go off perty, who resided in the country, but was the property; and if that demand should possessed of no land, wished to amuse not be complied with, the proprietor should himself by shooting. He went out with have power to take him immediately before his gun, and the next day had an informa- a magistrate, and if any resistance should tion lodged against him, which was fol- take place he hoped some considerable lowed with a conviction, and the payment punishment would be enacted against the of the penalty of 52. Among the other offender. This was a way by which, he inconsistencies of the law, he would again thought, property would be much better advert to the circumstance of the second protected than by the trumpery laws that son of a man of property not being quali- now existed. Every one would thus have fied. If a second son was seen sporting a complete power of preventing any person on his father's grounds, the gamekeeper trespassing on his grounds, and a summary of a neighbouring estate might lodge an power too, by being enabled to take the information against him ; but the game- Offender forthwith before a magistrate, inkeeper could not seize his gun or prevent stead of being sent to seek for the distant him from shooting, because he could not remedy of an action for damages, the come over the hedge without leave. If he chances of which were, after all, against did, he would be guilty of a trespass. If, him.—Havingstated his mind upon that part however, an uaqualified person went on of the question, he should proceed to the shooting, the law afforded but a very other parts of the question. The lord of the remote remedy. All that could be done manor should have a right to the whole of was some three months after to prosecute the game upon his soil. The principle upon him at some assizes. The prosecutor must which this went was, to do away with the then take his chance of an action at law, qualifications, but to guard against treson which he would perhaps lose the day, pass. He thought it should be considered and have to sustain a considerable expense; whether, when a power was given for a whereas the unqualified sportsman, if con-protection of game, a power should not yicted, would only have to pay his own also be given for the sale of game. He costs. Under the act of the 5th of queen saw no reason why a person who was alAnne, a man might go on sporting all day lowed a property in game should not be alif he gave his name. If he was afterwards lowed to sell it. The law which prevented found, he was only liable to conviction in qualified persons from selling game was the penalty of 5l., and perhaps he might of recent date. An early statute of Henry never be found. All these circumstances 7th prohibited the selling of game; but showed the confused state in which the the statute of the 28th of Geo. 2nd qualified that principle,'and was the first statute | injustice in the first bill he should have that imposed a penalty upon the selling of the honour of laying upon their lordships' game; but its operation was against the table.--Another part of the subject reperson who sold the game, leaving the per- lated to those persons who went out in the son who took it untouched. The 58th of night for the purpose of poaching. Every Geo. 3rd put the buyer and the seller upon one who had read the papers for the last the same footing. He proposed to sweep three months, and knew the state of the away those statutes. The state of society country, must have seen with horror the in this country had altered considerably conflicts which had taken place in consince those acts had passed, which im- sequence of that practice. "It happened, posed a penalty on the selling of game. too, that the compassion of the people of Whatever laws their lordships might make, this country was not excited for the unlet them not be deceived. However tightly fortunate gamekeeper, but for the poachers. they might endeavour to draw the cord, The language held upon such occasions game would be sold as long as there were was, that the laws were unjust and severe. rich people to buy. Riches would ulti- This was not a right state of things, and mately triumph; and it would be absurd the only way to put an end to the practice to say to the rich alderman in London, of poaching was by giving a right state of "you shall not have game." Let game feeling to the public mind. That would be bought and sold; but he was well go to break the habit of going out at night, aware that at that moment, and under for the purpose of depredations of this sort. present circumstances, it was possible that If a man once went out at night, if he did à free and open market might have the not get a partridge or a pheasant, he would effect, for some years, to increase the not return without a sheep. He intended crime of poaching. He would, therefore, to bring in a bill for the purpose of punishrestrict the operation of this principle of ing persons who should go out at night, and free purchase and sale, until the market to repeal the 57th Geo. 3rd on that subject. should get into a regular state of supply. The penaltiesofthat existing severe act were, He should therefore propose, that the bill that every person who should be found in a should contain a clause empowering magis- wood or enclosure, armed with a gun, for trates to license persons, until such time as the purpose of destroying game, should be that power might be dispensed with; for liable to be tried for felony, and, upon conhe thought it the best and wisest plan to viction, to be transported. That was a open the door only by degrees. As he most severe act, and, in many recent cases, had stated before, he had great reason to the punishment had been thought to be of hope that the legalizing the purchase and so severe a nature that juries had been sale of game would go a great way to put unwilling to perform their duty. That an end to the crime of poaching. But he would not be the case if the law were would ask of their lordships to consider altered. It might be very necessary when well how much they would increase the a person should be so inveterate in crime, injury of the present laws, if they should and so decidedly unfit to remain in this confine the power of selling game to the country, to send him to another. But it person possessing a certain amount of was rather too severe a punishment for the property--if it were allowed to an in- first offence ; when, by proper means the dividual who possessed an hundred acres of offender would probably mend. His proland, or 1001. a year, to kill game and go position was, that a man for the first to the market and sell it, while his neigh- offence should be liable to be carried bebour, who possessed only ninety nine acres fore a magistrate, and, upon conviction, be of land, or 991. a year, should be prevented. sent to the House of correction and put to Not only the great landlords, but the hard labour for three months, and at the small proprietors of land, should have the end of that period to find good sureties privilege of selling game. If a person had for a year. For the second offence, the an estate of three hundred acres, two offender should be sent to prison for six hundred of which were mortgaged, he months, and find sureties for a still longer would then just have sufficient to qualify period; and for the third offence be liable, him, but would have the power of shooting upon conviction, to be transported. Further over the whole estate; while another person than that he was even willing to go, and who had ten acres less would be disquali- to say that if any person should assault the fied. He would endeavour to correct that gamekeepers, whether upon the first second
or third offence, such person shonld be liable this great increase of poaching was not so to be tried for that assault. These were the much owing to the Game-laws, as to the alterations in the present law which he present distressed condition of the humbler proposed to their lordships. They were classes of society. The Game-laws had founded in justice, and upon a provision existed for two centuries, without this which was new in gaols, and to which he crime having prevailed_to so great an should call their lordships attention. extent as at present. The circumstance Hitherto persons offending had been sent to was owing to the reduced state of the gaol, and at the expiration of their con- poorer classes, and to the low price of finement were perfect masters of them- agricultural produce. He observed a noble selves, and at liberty to follow their former lord smiling at that observation, but such practices. He had proposed to take from was undoubtedly the case ; for, owing to those people a note-of-hand, which should the low price of produce, the agriculturists be signed by some of their relations; and were unable to employ so many labourers it certainly had the effect of making them as they would otherwise do in the imthink that if they offended again, they provement and management of their lands; would not only bring themselves, but their and the consequence was, that, in the relations into danger. It had been said, agricultural districts particularly, the people in objection to that point, that it could not were too apt, from want of lawful employbe supposed that young men could give ment, to encounter the dangers of poachsureties; but he was satisfied that there | ing. Another cause of the increase of was no young man who had offended only poaching and other crimes, was the prea first time, or even a second, but could sent commodious and comfortable state of find sureties. He had had sureties offer- our gaols. With reference to that point, ed to him over and over again. These his lordship stated, that a man had shot were the provisions which he would sub- at another man in his park, and desired a mit for their lordships consideration ; and person who was passing at the time, to he trusted that their lordships would notice the fact. The man was brought give their full consideration to them. before him, and when questioned as to his His object was, to put the law upon the inducement to shoot at the other man, he subject, not only in an intelligible, but also replied, that he wanted to be sent to prison. in a practicable form. His measures did He did not think it proper to gratify the not go in the least to touch the rights man's inclination ; but this showed in what of the lords of the manor ; and he trusted light imprisonment, in the present comtheir lordships would not receive them as modious state of our gaols, was regarded. coming from an enemy of their sports; His noble friend had stated, that he did for he was equally connected with those not mean that the sale of game
should be sports as any of their lordships, but was made entirely open at once, but only that proceeding from an anxious desire that it should be rendered lawful for certain the peers and the gentry of Great Britain licensed persons to sell game, which, in should stand well with the people. The reality, amounted to the same thing. In noble lord then introduced a bill to amend adverting to the topic of qualification, he the laws respecting the preservation of completely differed from his noble friend, game in that part of Great Britain called who appeared to think it an hardship on England.
the rich fundholder, that he should not The Earl of Malmesbury did not rise to have a proper supply of game for his object to the first reading of the bill which money, while it could be had in abundance his noble friend had just brought in, but by a far less wealthy landowner. Now, to return thanks for the clear statement it so happened, that the fundholders had, he had made upon so important a subject during and since the war, obtained great as the Game-laws. He wished, however, interest for their money, and increased to make a few observations. In the first their capital prodigiously; while the landplace, he did not attach so much import- owners were obliged to be content with ance to doing away with the qualifications, an interest of three per cent on their as he did to the provision for making game capital. If these rich fundholders were property. The great increase of the crime so bent on having game, why did they of poaching had been ascribed to the not, with their superfluous riches, purchase operation of the Game-laws. So it had as much land as would give them a qualioften been stated, but the truth was, that fication to kill it. The case of the rich