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commonly inserted at the end of the for private bills, with which it is conact to remove the doubt. Private bills tended that parliament would otherwise in passing into laws go through the be inundated. The misfortune is, that it same stages in both houses of parlia- is not the most unnecessary applications ment with public bills: but relating as which such a check really tends to prethey do for the most part to matters as vent, but only the applications of parties to which the public attention is not so who are poor, which may be just as proinuch alive, various additional regulations per to be attended to as those of the rich. are established with regard to them, for BILL OF EXCHANGE. [Exthe purpose of securing to them in their CHANGE, BILL OF.] progress the observation of all whose in- BILL OF EXCHEQUER. [Exterests they may affect. No private bill, CHEQUER BILL.] in the first place, can be introduced into BILL OF HEALTH. [QUARANeither house except upon a petition stat- TINE.] ing its object and the grounds upon which BILL OF LADING, an acknowledg. it is sought; nor can such petitions be ment signed usually by the master of a presented after a certain day in each ses- trading ship, but occasionally by some sion, which is always fixed at the com- person authorised to act on his behalf, mencement of the session, and is usnally certifying the receipt of merchandise on within a fortnight or three weeks there- board the ship, and engaging, under cerafter. In all cases the necessary docu- tain conditions and with certain excepments and plans must be laid before the tions, to deliver the said merchandise house before it will proceed in the matter, safely at the port to which the ship is and it must also have evidence that suffi- bound, either to the shipper, or to such cient notice in every respect has been other person as he may signify by a given to all parties interested in the written assignment upon the Bill of measure. To a certain extent the con- Lading. sent of these parties is required before the The conditions stipulated on behalf of bill can be passed. For the numerous the master of the ship are, that the perrules, however, by which these objects son entitled to claim the merchandise are sought to be secured, we must refer shall pay upon delivery of the same a to the Standing Orders themselves. certain specified amount or rate of freight,
Au important respect in which the pas- together with allowances recognised by sage through parliament of a private bill the customs of the port of delivery, and differs from that of a public bill is the known under the names of primage and much higher amount of fees paid in the average. Primage amounts in some case of a private bill to the clerks and other cases to a considerable per centage (ten officers of the two houses. Although the or fifteen per cent.) upon the amount of high amount of the fees payable on pri- the stipulated freight, but the more usual vate bills has been the subject of much allowance under this head is a small fixed complaint, and is undoubtedly, in some sum upon certain packages; e. g. the cases, a very heavy tax, it is to be re- primage charge upon a hogshead of sugar membered that the necessary expense of brought from the West Indies to London carrying the generality of such bills is sixpence. This allowance is consithrough parliament must always be very dered to be the perquisite of the master considerable, so long as the present secu
of the ship.
Average, the clajin for rities against precipitate and unfair legis- which is reserved against the receiver of lation shall be insisted on. The expenses the goods, consists of a charge divided of agency, of bringing up witnesses, and pro rata between the owners of the ship the other expenses attending the making and the proprietors of her cargo for small application to parliament for a private expenses (such as payments for towing bill, at present often amount to many and piloting the ship into or out of har times as much as the fecs. These fees, bours), when the same are incurred for ou the other hand, are considered to be the general benefit. sume check upon unnecessary applications The exceptions stipulated on behalf of the shipowners are explained on the face , in Ireland the duty was reduced from of the Bill of Lading, and are “the act Is. 6d. to 6d. by 5 & 6 Vict. c. 82. Preof God, the king's enemies, fire, and all vious to this reduction, in 1841, the duty and every other danger and accidents of in Ireland produced only 10791. The duty the seas, rivers, and navigation, of what- for England cannot be given, as the duty ever nature and kind soever excepted.” was applicable also to protests. In every case where shipments are made BILL OF RIGHTS is the name comfrom this country, one at least of the bills monly given to the statute 1 William and of lading must be written upon a stamp Mary, sess. 2, chap. 2, in which is emof the value of sixpence. One of the bodied the Declaration of Rights, prebills (unstamped) is retained by the mas- sented by both Houses of the Convention ter of the ship, the others are delivered to the Prince and Princess of Orange, in to the shippers of the goods, who usually the Banqueting-House at Whitehall, on transmit to the consignee of the goods the 13th of February, 1689, and acone copy by the ship on board which cepted by their Highnesses along with they are laden, and a second copy by some the crown. The Bill of Rights was oriother conveyance, In case the ship ginally brought forward in the first session should be lost, when the goods are in- of the parliament into which the Convensured, the underwriters require the pro- tion was transformed; but a dispute beduction of one of the copies of the Bill of tween the two Houses with regard to an Lading on the part of the person claim- amendment introduced into the bill by ing under the policy of insurance as evi- the Lords, naming the Princess Sophia of dence at once of the shipment having Hanover and her posterity next in sucactually been made, and of the owner- cession to the crown after the failure of ship of the goods.
issue to King William, which was reBy the act 6 George IV. c. 94, § 2, it jected in the Commons by the united votes is declared that any person in possession of the high church and the republican of a Bill of Lading shall be deemed the parties, occasioned the measure to be true owner of the goods specified in it, so dropped, after it had been in dependence as to make a sale or pledge by him of for two months, and the matter of difsuch goods or bill of lading valid, unless ference had been agitated in several conthe person to whom the goods are sold or ferences without effect. The bill was pledged has notice that the seller or however again brought on immediately pledger is not the actual and bonâ fide after the opening of the next session, on owner of the goods."
the 19th of October, 1689, and the amendThe property in the goods represented ment respecting the Princess Sophia not by a Bill of Lading can be assigned like having been again proposed, it passed a bill of exchange by either a blank or a both houses, and received the royal assent special indorsement, and as, in the event in the same shape in which it had formerly of the first mode being used, the docu- passed the Commons, with the addition ment might accidentally fall into impro- only of a clause inserted by the Lords, per hands—a fact which the master of a which enacted that the kings and queens ship could not reasonably be expected to of England should be obliged, at their discover-it is manifestly only justice to coming to the crown, to take the test in shield him from responsibility when act- the first parliament that should be called ing without collusion. Should he, on at the beginning of their
reign, and that the other hand, act either negligently or if any king or queen of England should collusively in the matter, the law will embrace the Roman Catholic religion, or compel him to make good their value to marry with a Roman Catholic prince or the real owner of the goods.
princess, their subjects should be absolved The stamp duty received on bills of of their allegiance. This remarkable lading in Great Britain for 1843 was clause is stated to have been agreed to 19,5181., and in Ireland 1973). The duty without any opposition or debate. in England and Scotland was reduced The Bill of Rights, after declaring the from 3s. to 6d. by 5 & 6 Vict. c. 79, and I late king James II. to have done various acts which are enumerated, utterly and declarations, judgments, doings, or prodirectly contrary to the known laws and ceedings, to the prejudice of the people in statutes and freedom of this realm, and any of the said premises, ought in anyto have abdicated the government, pro-wise to be drawn hereafter into couseceeds to enact as follows:
quence or example." 1. That the pretended power of sus- The act also recognises their Majesties pending of laws, or the execution of laws, William III. and Mary as King and by regal authority, without consent of Queen of England, France, and Ireland, parliament, is illegal. 2. That the pre- and the dominions thereunto belonging: tended power of dispensing with laws, or and declares that the crown and royal the execution of laws, by regal authority, dignity of the said kingdoms and domias it hath been assumed and exercised of nions shall be held by their said majesties late, is illegal. 3. That the commission during their lives, and the life of the surfor creating the late court of commis- vivor of them; that the sole and full exsioners for ecclesiastical causes, and all ercise of the regal power shall be only in other commissions and courts of the like and executed by King William, in the nature, are illegal and pernicious. 4. names of himself and her majesty, during That levying of money for or to the use their joint lives; and that after their deof the crown, by pretence of prerogative, cease the crown shall descend to the heirs without grant of parliament, for longer i of the body of the queen, and, in default time, or in other manner, than the same of such issue, to the Princess Anne of is or shall be granted, is illegal. 5. That Denmark and the heirs of her body, and, it is the right of the subjects to petition failing her issue, to the heirs of the body the king, and all commitments and prose- of the king. cutions for such petitioning are illegal. The Declaration of Rights is under6. That the raising or keeping of a stand- stood to have been principally the coming army within the kingdom in time of position of Lord (then Mr.) Somers, who peace, unless it be with consent of parlia- was a member of the first and chairman ment, is against law. 7. That the sub- of the second of two committees, on jects which are Protestants may have whose reports it was founded. The oriarms for their defence, suitable to their ginal draft of the Bill of Rights was condition, and as allowed by law. 8. That also the production of his pen. In the election of members of parliament ought latter especially there is very apparent to be free. 9. That the freedom of speech, a desire to preserve in the new arrangeand debates or proceedings in parliament, ment as much as possible of the principle ought not to be impeached or questioned of the hereditary succession to the crown. in any court or place out of parliament. The legislature, for instance, in strong 10. That excessive bail ought not to be terms expresses its thankfulness that God required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor had mercifully preserved King William cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. and Queen Mary to reign over them 11. That jurors ought to be duly empan- | “upon the throne of their ancestors ;” and nelled and returned, and jurors which pass the new settlement is cautiously desigupon men in trials for high treason ought nated merely“ a limitation of the crown." to be freeholders. 12. That all grants Mr. Burke has, from these expressions, and promises of fines and forfeitures of contended (in his • Reflections on the particular persons, before conviction, are Revolution in France') that the notion illegal and void. 13. And that for re- of the English people having at the Redress of all grievances, and for the amend-volution asserted a right to elect their ing, strengthening, and preserving of the kings is altogether unfounded. “ I never laws, parliaments ought to be held fre- desire,” he adds, in repudiation of the quently."
opposite opinion, as held by one class of It is added that the Lords and Com- persons professing Whig principles, “ to mons “ do claim, demand, and insist upon be thought a better Whig than Lord all and singular the premises as their un- Somers, or to understand the principles doubted rights and liberties; and that no of the Revolution better than those by
whom it was brought about, or to read in BILLON, in coinage, is a composition the Declaration of Rights any mysteries of precious and base metal, consisting of unknown to those whose penetrating style gold or silver alloyed with copper, in the has engraved in our ordinances and our mixture of which the copper predomihearts the words and spirit of that im- nates. The word came to us froin the mortal law."
French. Some have thought the Latin The Declaration and Bill of Rights bulla was its origin, but others have demay be compared with the Petition of duced it from vilis. The Spaniards still Right which was presented by Parliament call billon coin Moneda de Vellon. to Charles I. in 1628, and passed by him BILLS OF MORTALITY are into a law. [PETITION OF Right.] turns of the deaths which occur within
BILL OF SALE, a deed or writing a particular district, specifying the numunder seal, evidencing the sale of personal bers that died of each different disease, property. In general the transfer of pos. and showing, in decennial or shorter session is the best evidence of change of periods, the ages at which death took ownership, but cases frequently occur in place. The London Bills of Mortality which it is necessary or desirable that the were commenced in 1592, after a great change of property should be attested by a plague. The weekly bills were begun in formal instrument of transfer; and in all | 1603, after another visitation of still cases in which it is not intended that the greater severity.. In London, a parish sale shall be followed by delivery, such a is said to be within the Bills of Mortality solemnity is essential to the legal efficacy when the deaths occurring within it are of the agreement. The occasions to supposed to be carried to account by the which these instruments are commonly company of parish clerks. In 1605 the made applicable are sales of fixtures and London Bills of Mortality comprised the furniture in a house, of the stock of a ninety-seven parishes within the walls, shop, of the good-will of a business sixteen parishes without the walls, and (which of course is intransferable by six contiguous out-parishes in Middlesex delivery), of an office, or the like. But and Surrey. In 1626 Westminster was their most important use is in the transfer | included ; and in 1636 Islington, Lamof property in ships, which being held in beth, Stepney, Newington, and Rothershares, cannot, in general, be delivered hithe. Other additions were made from over on each change of part ownership. time to time. The parishes of MaryleIt seems to have been from ancient times bone, St. Pancras, Chelsea, and several the practice, as well in this country as in others, which have become important other commercial states, to attest the sale | parts of the metropolis within a recent of ships by a written document; and at period, were never included. At present the present day a bill of sale is, by the the parishes supposed to be included in registry acts, rendered necessary to the the Bills of Mortality comprise the City validity of all transfers of shares in Bri- of London, the City and Liberties of tish ships, whether by way of sale or of Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, mortgage.
and thirty-four out-parishes in Middlesex BILL OF SIGHT is an imperfect and Surrey, the whole containing a popuentry of goods at the custom-house when lation of about 1,350,000. the importer is not precisely acquainted The manner of procuring returns of the with their nature or quantity. A Bill of number of deaths and causes of death, as Sight must be replaced by a perfect entry described by Grant, in his Observations within three days after the goods are ou the Bills of Mortality,' published in landed. (3 & 4 Wm. IV., c. 52, § 24.) 1662, was as follows :-"When any one
BILL OF STORE, a licence granted dies, then, either by tolling or ringing of by the collectors and comptrollers of cus- a bell, or by bespeaking of a grave of the toms to ship stores and provisions free sexton, the same is known to the searchers of duty for consumption and use during corresponding with the said sexton. The the voyage. (3 & 4 Vict. c. 52, § 33 and searchers hereupon, who are ancient ma34.)
trons sworn to their office, repair to the
place where the dead corpse lies, and by circumstances under which they paid view of the same, and by other inquiries, their visit, their demands were frequently they examine by what casualty or disease complied with. In some cases they even the corpse died. Hereupon they make proceeded so far as to claim as a perquisite their report to the parish clerk, and he, the articles of dress in which the deceased every Tuesday night, carries in an ac- died. count of all the burials and christenings For some time before the Act for the happening that week to the clerk at the Registration of Births, Deaths, &c. came Parish Clerks' Hall. On Wednesday the into operation, the Bills of Mortality were general account is made up and printed, of no value whatever. In fact they ceased and on Thursday published, and disposed to be of use after the last visitation of the to the several families who will pay four plague. The inhabitants of London were shillings per annum for them.” Maitland, no longer apprehensive of a sudden inin his . History of London,' says that the crease of deaths, and the Weekly Bills, charter of the company of parish clerks once so anxiously regarded, and which, strictly enjoins them to make a return of on the appearance of the plague, warned all the weekly christenings and burials in those who could afford it to leave their respective parishes by six o'clock on town, sank into neglect. In 1832 the Tuesdays in the afternoon; and that a bills reported 28,606 deaths, and in bye-law was passed, changing the hour 1842 only 13,142. In 1833, out of 26,577 to two, in order that the king and the deaths, the causes of decease were relord mayor may have an account thereof turned as unknown in 887 cases, being the day before publication." The lord 1 in 30; and in 1842, out of 13,142 mayor, every week, transmitted a copy of deaths reported, the cause of death was the bill to the court. Pepys says, the stated to be unknown in 4638 cases, or Duke of Albermarle “shewed us the less than 1 in 3. Searchers' are no number of the plague this week, brought longer appointed ; and the unscientific in last night from the lord mayor.” In diagnosis given in the Bills is usually 1625 the company of parish clerks ob obtained from the undertaker or sexton at tained a licence from the Star-Chamber the funeral. Besides this, many of the for keeping a printing-press at their Hall parishes professedly included in the Bills for printing the bills. So recently as of Mortality make no returns at all. St. 1837 no improvement had taken place in George's, Hanover Square, ceased to send the mode of collection, or in the value of in an account of deaths in 1823. If all the statistics of disease and mortality in the deaths were returned which occur the metropolis. On the death of an indi- within the limits which the bills profess vidual within the prescribed limits, intito comprise, the annual number would be mation was sent to the searchers, to whom about 33,000, instead of 13,142. In the the undertaker or some relative of the week ending the 18th of November, 1843, deceased furnished the name and age of the Bill of Mortality issued by the parish the deceased, and the malady of which clerks“ to the Queen's Most Excellent he had died. No part of this information Majesty, and the Right Hon. the Lord was properly authenticated, and it might Mayor," stated that "the decrease in the be either true or false. The appointment burials reported this week is 149." This of searcher usually fell upon old women, very week, however, there was in reality and sometimes on those who were noto- rather an extraordinary increase of morrious for their habits of drinking. The tality, and, for the metropolis, the number fee which these official characters de- of deaths exceeded the average by upmanded was one shilling, but in some wards of 300. In January, 1840, the cases two public authorities of this de- registrar-general, under 6 & 7 Wm. IV. c. scription proceeded to the inspection, 86, commenced the publication of weekly when the family of the defunct was Bills of Mortality, which are remarkable defrauded of an additional shilling for their accuracy and their trustworthiThey not unfrequently required more ness as statistics of disease. The 'cause' than the ordiuary fee; and owing to the l of death must be entered in the certificate