This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1813 Excerpt: ...by reason of the difficulty of obtaining redress against evil governors b any other means. 1. It will not be improper to premise, under the first head, that a gentleman of the law, who takes upon him to pronounce so 'magisterially as the northern barrister has done concerning libels, ought to have considered well the nature and extent of his subject. It might be expected, that be is not unknowing in any part of learning necessary to fix his idea of a libel; and yet the present case would appear to be quite different. This learned gentleman might have informed himself, by reading some of the ancient laws before the Conquest, that when the falsity of virulent writings and speeches was taken into the description of the crime, there was a specific penalty annexed, vii. Cutting out the offender's tongue, Lamb. Sax. Laws. But this severity seems to have fallen into disuse under the Norman kings; aud accordingly Bracton, who wrote in the reign of Henry 3, gives a description of these offences, as they were understood in his days, wherein falsity is neither expressed nor implied. These are his words: " Fit autem injuvia, non solum cum quis pugno percussus ftierit, vecberatus, vulneratus, vel fustibus ceesus; verum cum ei Convitiiim dictum fuerit, vel de eo iactuni Carmen fatnosum et hujusmodi," fol. 155. Indeed, here is no mention of libels ag.tinst the king, or the state; the reason of which seems plainly to he, that offences of this sort were considered as a species of treason, not only in that age, but in several ages after, notwithstanding the statute 25 Ed. 3, and though they have by happy degrees dwindled into misdemeanours, yet nobody, except the barrister, will say they are come to have a greater indulgence from the law, than the like offences aga...
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