peace of Berkshire at their quarter sessions, on an appeal against the poor's rate, one objection was, that it appeared that notice of the appeal was not given till the day before the sessions began, whereas there should have been eight days’ notice by the practice of the sessions; that the justices, with a view, perhaps, to supply the defect of notice, adjourned the appeal by the first of their orders to the next day, and directed the overseers to attend them then with the rate ; that on the next day, accordingly, they went on to hear, and made the second order on the merits, whereas they ought, as was insisted, wherever there was not proper notice, to adjourn the appeal to the next sessions. Sir Richard Lloyd, in showing cause against the rule as to the first objection, observed, that the 17 Geo. 2. makes the justices sole judges of what notice is reasonable, and they had thought this so; besides, this notice was the best that could be given from the nature of the case, the rate being made on Saturday, and published on Sunday; notice of appeal was given on

More persons than one may join in one notice of appeal.

Monday, and on Tuesday the session was
held.” Justice Wright observed, that to
these orders several objections have been
taken : first, that by the first order, the
justices appear to be convinced that proper
notice of the appeal had not been given;
yet, instead of adjourning the consideration
of it to the next sessions, as the act directs,
where there shall not be sufficient notice,
they take upon themselves to direct a notice,
and adjourn to the next day only. This is
the objection; but, in answer, it is said, the
notice directed is only to attend with the
rate; the notice of appeal they adjudged
sufficient ; and the adjourned day was not
another, but the same sessions.
As many persons as have objections
against the rate, may join in one appeal and
one notice. Each person’s ground of ap-
peal, and the names of those occupiers who
are supposed to be over-rated, under-rated,
or omitted, must be stated in the notice;
for the court of sessions will not enter into
any other questions on the validity of the
rate, than those which are specified in the
notice. Each grievance and objection
must be clearly and precisely stated, in
order that the overseers may have a rea-
sonable time to prepare their defence.
The principal grounds for moving appeals
against poor-rates, are, —for not being
made by proper persons; nor duly allowed
by the justices; nor published according to
the act; nor made on a proper principle;
that certain property, liable to be rated, is
omitted, over-rated, under-rated, or not
sufficiently described ; that the rate is un-
equal ; includes property not rateable ; is
defective in form; and is made for a greater
sum, or for a longer time, than is necessary.

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Authority for making poor-rates.




THE general provision for the maintenance of the poor is founded on the 43 Eliz., which enacts, that “the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of every parish, or the greater part of them, shall, by and with the consent of two or more justices in the same county, dwelling in or near the same parish or division where the same parish doth lie, raise weekly or otherwise, by taxation, of every inhabitant, parson, vicar, and other, and of every occupier of lands, houses, tithes impropriate, propriations of tithes, coal-mines, or saleable underwoods, in the said parish, to be gathered out of the same parish, according to the ability of the same parish.”


Many acts of parliament have passed for amending the poor laws, since the 48 Eliz., none of which affect the above clause, but frequently refer to it as the general precedent for the description of persons and property liable to be assessed. Several other parts of the act have been repealed, and amendments made to suit the convenience of the times, which will be noticed in their proper places.

By the above clause, the power of making the rate is vested in the churchwardens and overseers, or the major part of them; and they are at liberty to exercise that power without the consent of the inhabitants. When poor-rates were first introduced, the poor were not in need of so much assistall Ce aS they are at present, and, consequently, the equality of rates was less regarded. Churchwardens and overseers then made rates themselves, without entering minutely into the relative value of each person’s occupation; but since poor rates have risen to a burthensome tax, and increased beyond what was contemplated by

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