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now form a science, to attain a competent knowledge of which, in their present state, must be the result of much time and diligent study. That an acquaintance with the laws, however, is essential to the due guidance of men's affairs, the writings of Sir Edward Coke (a) and Sir William Blackstone (b) bear ample testimony. Indeed, the necessity of this acquaintance is, in this instance, self-evident. As merchants and others must constantly act under the operation of these laws, and are exposed to severe pains and penalties for the infraction or non-performance of their conditions, what can be more obvious than that such persons ought, in order to their security, to be fully apprized of the nature of the regulations which apply to their own case? It is true, that the seasonable lenity of the lords of the treasury and of the commissioners of customs, in all cases where they can properly exercise it, disarms, in a great degree, the rigour of the law; but still it is evident that it is highly to the interest of all persons concerned in its operation to know what that law is. Yet there is not one work (c) (except the statutes) which, at present, supplies this information. To collect, digest, and abridge the laws and orders in council relating to the customs, with an immediate view to the information of commercial and seafaring persons, constitutes therefore the object of this book. (d) Taking this for the boundary-line, some portions of the statutes will be excluded; such as relate to the giving of securities by officersthe payment of salaries, superannuation, &c.—the rewards for seizing-and the proceedings touching prosecutions (which can with safety be entrusted only to professional men), are rejected as not included in the plan laid down. The laws relating to the fisheries, though a trade productive of much advantage to the nation, yet being in comparatively few hands, and the statutes concerning it being voluminous, are omitted. (c)
(a) Ignorantia juris non excusat, Ignorance of the law excuseth not.—COKE.
(6) It is incumbent upon every man to be acquainted with those laws, at least, with which he is immediately concerned.- BLACKSTONE.
(c) The Compiler would consider himself deficient in candour, were he not to make an exception on this head, so far as regards “ Tue Law of SHIPPING AND “ NAVIGATION,” upon which there is a masterly treatise by Mr. Reeves.
(d) This plan has since been greatly enlarged.
(e) The duties, draw backs, bounties, and ms on the pro uce of the fisheries, with some of the regulations connected therewith, will be found under TITLE 258.
Abridgements of laws, however, may be the source of much mischief, unless great care be taken in the compilation of them. Aware of the great importance and intricacy of the subject of this work, the Compiler has availed himself of the plans laid down in similar cases by the most distinguished persons. In the following pages, the precise words (a) of the originals are preserved, divested only of those redundancies which, though necessary to the formation of an act of parliament, would have been superfluous here.
With regard to those laws that are expressly repealed, no doubt need be entertained; but there are others which have been only partially or circumstantially altered: these parts are brought together within a small compass, that the Reader, being possessed of the spirit of the law, may draw his own inferences from it, which, by the mode adopted, it is presumed he will be enabled to do without difficulty. (b)
Many of the statutes referring to different titles, and many of the titles being unavoidably extended to a considerable length, in order to avoid a multiplicity of references, an Index has been framed, by the help of which, it is trusted, any particular part will be readily found.
Thus the Compiler ventures to submit to the public a work founded on the basis of those laws with which the prosperity of Great Britain is inseparably united. Deeply impressed with this conviction, he has spared no exertion to render the execu
(a) The work which I propound tendeth to pruning and grafting the law, and not to ploughing up and planting.-LORD Bacon.
As to the statutes at large, or acts of parliament, the author hath not thought himself at liberty, as some others bave done, to deliver the import thereof in his own words, but bath constan abridged the act in the words of the act itself, leaving out nothing which may seem any way material.-ADVERTISEMENT TO FIRST Edition of Burn's Justice.
(6) Every act that has not been repealed or expired is given, it being apprehended that no statute can ever according to the English law, technically speaking, become desuete or obsolete.
Considerable perplexity has at times arisen (from the terms in which the clauses of repealing acts are couched) in the endeavour to determine the extent of the intended repeal; in all such cases, and even where the balance in the private judge ment of the Editor decidedly inclined to the repeal, the course pursued has been to suffer the enactment to stand.-RAITHBY'S PREFACE TO THE STATUTES AT LARGE.
It is an established rule of construction, that statutes in pari materia, or upon the same subject, must be construed with a reference to each other ; that is, that what is clear in one statute shall be called in to explain what is obscure and ambiguous in another. CHRISTIAN'S NOTE IN BLACKSTONE's COMMENTARIES.
tion of the task commensurate to its object; and when it is considered, that he has trod in the path marked out by the ablest men in similar cases-men looked up to and acknowledged as of high authority—that the Reader is not left to rely on the Compiler's judgment (he having merely brought together, within a small compass, matters hitherto widely scattered; giving, at the same time, the year of the reign, chapter, and, where necessary, the section of each act of parliament, in order that, if any doubt should arise in the mind of the reader, the original might be referred to)—and that his former publication (a) has now stood the test of twelve months' practice without a single error in it having come to his knowledge ; he does trust, that there is reasonable ground to hope that the work may prove serviceable to those for whom it is intended; at all events, he doubts not that the candid and intelligent Reader will make due allowances for the labour and difficulty of the compilation.
Bristol, 5th January, 1812.
(a) The Compiler here alludes to his “ COMPENDIUM OF THE WAREHOUSING Laws,” which was at first published separately, but is now incorporated with this work.
Goods liable to forfeitare or seizure, the packages containing them are always considered as being included in such liability.
If any question arise in regard to the growth, production, or manufacture of seized goods, or to the payment of duties, the burden of proof is to be on the owner, or person in whose custody the articles may be.
Where bond relatiog to the customs or excise is required to be given with sureties, such sureties must be approved by the proper officers respectively.
Where an oath is required to be taken, a Quaker, or a Moravian, instead of it, may make affirmation.
In the Acts of Parliament.
In this Book. His Majesty, his heirs, or successors
His Majesty. His Majesty, by and with the advice of his privy council His Majesty in council. The lords commissioners of His Majesty's treasury for The lords commissioners the time being, or any three or more of them
of the treasury. The lord high admiral of Great Britain, or the commis
sioners for executing the office of lord high admiral The lords commissioners of Great Britain for the time being, or any three or
of the admiralty. more of them Commissioners of His Majesty's customs for the time
Commissioners of customs. being, or any four or more of them Commissioners of His Majesty's excise for the time Commissioners of excise.
being, or any three or more of them
East India Company.
Place. Ship or vessel
Vessel. Master or other person having or taking the charge or
Master. command Ship or vessel, with her guns, furniture, ammunition,
Vessel, her tackle, &c. tackle, and apparel For the use of the seamen then belonging to and on
For the use of the seamen. board such vessel or boat Goods, wares, and merchandize
Goods. Brandy, rum, geneva, and other spirits
Spirits. Shall extend, or be construed to extend
Shall extend. Imported or brought
Imported. Forge or counterfeit
Vessels and Boats Anstrother
Ibid. Rolleston Smith
Ibid. Westerdell Dale
Ibid. Hayton Jackson
Ibid. Underwood Miller, &c.
Maule and Selwyn
Duroford and East
Bosanquet and Puller
Blackstone In the matter of the ship Maria, and other vessels and their cargoes
A Profess. Gent.
Maule and Selwyn
Entry of Goods Comyns
Maule and Selwyn
Bosanquet and Puller
Tomlins Att. Gen. C. Saggers, &c. Import of Gloves Price Hall
Drakord Import of Spirits Blackstone
Beer as Stores East
Export of Bark . Anstruther
Export of Glass Price Shjells, &c. Blackburne
Export of Leather Henry Blackstone Att. Gen. Smythies Export of Silk
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