Puslapio vaizdai


by the same imaginary atonement. That may have been mad enough to wound those feelings (whose delights are my enjoyments) is probable-that I intended to do so is impossible. I am sure my little darling must feel that nothing in this world or the next is prized beyond her-that my advice is not intended for reproof-that though I may have suddenly repelled those tears, there was not one that did not drop into my heart. My dear, dear, dear, dear, dear little love!

If I have been wrong, forgive me, my dear, dear, dear, dear love!

If I was right, be cautious, but be assured I love you, almost to madness.


Sittings in Hilary Term for the City of London, before the Lord Chief Justice and a Special Jury.



Mr Brougham stated the case to the Jury. The plaintiff had been quarter-master-serjeant in the 10th regiment of foot, which was in 1819 stationed at Malta. The defendant was major-general of the same regiment, and at that time was governor in the absence of Sir Thomas Maitland. The plaintiff had held the highest character for correctness in all the duties of his station. But there had been serious complaints by the troops, of being supplied with bad pork; but whatever delinquency there had been of this kind, it had been that of another person, who was allowed to sell out all his commissions, and, what was most extraordinary, to retire on the rank of brevet-colonel. The plaintiff was tried by a court-martial, and found guilty

of having neglected to examine the pork, or submit it to examination after he had received it from the com

missary. He was sentenced to be reduced to the ranks; and he was so reduced. But after he had been thus sentenced, General Layard, who acted as governor, thought proper to have the plaintiff arrested, thrown into the provost prison, and there confined from the 1st of July to the 5th of October. For some days no person was allow to see him, and during the whole of the time, his wife was not suffered to see him or converse with him, without the presence of the jailer, who placed himself between them. The cell was a narrow, low, dark hole, without window or opening for light or air. The consequence was a fever, which had nearly proved fatal.-The Learned Gentleman then called witnesses to prove the facts.

The evidence of Colonel Rate was read, from which it appeared, that General Layard had ordered the arrest and imprisonment, and that the reason was, to prevent any communication between M'Intire and Major Trickey, who were believed to have conspired in the issue of the pork from the stores. Major Trickey resigned rather than stand a courtmartial.

The Attorney-General addressed the Jury. The case was defended by the Treasury, because General Layard, who had served for many years in Spain and various other places, was now absent on the public service; but if any one supposed that, should damages be given, the Treasury would pay it, he was greatly mistaken. The plaintiff's character had been good, and therefore he had been promoted; but he lent himself probably to the temptations of Major Trickey. It was not because Major Trickey was superior in com

mand that a fraudulent collusion could be justified. The plaintiff had made an over issue of beef without authority, and he had also withdrawn beef and substituted unwholesome pork. This was done in absence of the officer whose duty it was to inspect the provisions. They could not suppose that M'Intire did not derive advantage from this fraud. The men had naturally become more outrageous at finding this unwholesome food. The plaintiff was found guilty and degraded. When the defendant arrived from Cephalonia, he found the men still dissatisfied. A court of inquiry was instituted, and the result was, a determination to bring Major Trickey to a court-martial. Major Trickey was a man of influence. He was put under arrest. There were strong apprehensions that M'Intire would be tampered with, and in order to prevent that, he was put under confinement. Even in this country, there were some instances of witnesses being thus confined, where tampering was apprehended, he did not say whether lawfully or not. The plaintiff was treated, during his confinement, with all the lenity consistent with the object.

The Lord Chief Justice summed up. The circumstance of the Treasury paying, or not paying the damages, was not material for their consideration. The estimate of damages would be the result of calm consideration.

Verdict for the plaintiff-Damages




Mrs H. Siddons v. Mr Corbet Ryder. The case of Mrs Henry Siddons, of the Theatre-Royal, against Mr C.

Ryder, of the Caledonian Theatre, came to be pleaded in the Second Division.

The statement in the bill of suspension appeared to be substantially this :-That it is unlawful to exhibit entertainments of the stage without letters patent or license;—that the suspender holds a patent for such entertainments;-that the respondent holds no patent or license;—that he, notwithstanding, exhibits entertainments of the stage;-that he is, therefore, acting illegally; and that the suspender, as possessed of the legal right, is entitled to stop him.

In answer to this, the respondent observed, generally,

1st, That the suspender holds no sufficient right to the patent on which she founds; and, therefore, is not entitled to plead upon it.

2d, That, although she held such right, no exclusive privilege is carried by the patent; and it, therefore, affords no right for challenging. The act of 10th Geo. II. on which the suspender founds, contains no prohibition against the performance of plays. It merely enacts, that if they are performed, certain penalties shall attach; and it is, therefore, inept and incompetent to proceed by suspension and interdict.

3d, That the suspender's premises are not supported by the fact, because the respondent does not exhibit such performances as, according to universal practice and understanding, fall under the description of entertainments of the stage, in the sense of the said act of 10th Geo. cap. 28.


4th, That the question of interdict is a res judicata.

Mr Cockburn, for the suspender, the very threshold with an objection stated, that the suspender was met at to her title. The patent was granted to the late Duke of Buccleuch,

acted at this very theatre under the designation of the Battle of Bosworth. With respect to the minor theatres, they are all either licensed by the Lord Chamberlain, or by the justices

by tolerance that never would be recognised as legal. When this theatre was first got up, it was used as a circus, in which rope-dancing and other entertainments of a similar kind were performed. It has no license from the Chamberlain, nor from any Justice of Peace, nor any one else: and it is, therefore, a place in which entertainments of the stage cannot be acted."

and the late Viscount Melville, by whom it was assigned to certain assignees, who subsequently conveyed the right to the suspender, for the period of five years. The respondent seemed to contend, that that assig--and even in these, much was done nation was limited to five years only, but in this he was mistaken. Even though the objection was originally good, it must fall to the ground when the assignees consent, and all parties from whom the suspender derives her right, concur in her procedure. The act of Parliament declares it to be criminal to act for hire any tragedy, &c., or any part thereof. The argument of the suspender is, that in this theatre the same plays are acted with Mr Moncrieff, for the respondent, the same words and exactly the said the bill of suspension contained same scenes, as acted at the Theatre- a conclusion for an interdict against Royal. The respondent named his all representation whatever. The dehouse a minor theatre-to that the mand was made under very peculiar suspender has no great objection-it circumstances; for it was matter of was of what was acted in it she com- notoriety, that for about thirty years plained." The whole of Shaks- this theatre had been occupied as a peare's plays are acted at this theatre, place of public entertainment; and with only this difference, that they for the last nine years, performances are divided into three acts, and de- of a similar description to those now nominated melo-dramas. The trage- complained of, had been exhibited in dy of Richard III. is called the Bat- that very house without interference. tle of Bosworthfield; and Richard His first objection was, that the susnever appears without the accompa- pender had no title to complain, and niment of a flourish of fiddles, there- she had not shown the fact to be fore the tragedy is said to be melo- otherwise. So conscious was she of dramatised. Your Lordships are the defective nature of her title, that quite certain that a mere change of she brought forward the acquiescence name cannot evade the statute. Me- of a number of other persons, with lo-drama is just a modern name for whom the respondent had nothing to a dramatic performance. Thus, if do. From the very nature of her paHamlet is made to sing a song, and tent, she had no title to complain; the tragedy comprised into three acts, and to make out her case, she foundit is a melo-drama. A burletta, ac- ed on the 10th of Geo. II. She thus cording to the same rule, is a musical founded on a positive statute, which farce, therefore the Beggar's Opera must be interpreted strictly. That was called a musical burletta. So, statute prohibits the representation by merely altering the names, it is of entertainments of the stage "withconsidered quite lawful to perform out authority by letters patent from those pieces which could not be per- his Majesty's Chamberlain," &c. Acformed under their real names. In cording to that statute, she was enpoint of fact, Richard III. has been titled to go before the Justices, and

complain by information; but instead of following that course, she comes and demands an interdict. So, because she had herself obtained a license, she conceived she has acquired an exclusive privilege in her favour. Though her license gave her the right of acting, did it give her a title to apply for an interdict, and prevent such things being done by others? The suspender might proceed against the respondent for a penalty, but not for an interdict. In London, the fact was notorious, that performances at the minor theatres had always been considered as lawful which did not call for interference of the police magistrate. By the 25th Geo. II., which relates to places kept for public dancing, music, &c., all entertainments of that kind, for twenty miles round London, without a Justice's license, were deemed disorderly, and subjected to certain penalties. This was a statute which prevented the acting of melo-dramas and burlettas within twenty miles of London and Westminster, without a license from the Justices; but if a license was granted, every melodrama was acted, and all those complained of in this bill, without interruption. With respect to the minor theatres, the 10th Geo. II. was inoperative, melo-dramas and burlettas being there represented under authority, not that, however, of the Lord Chamberlain, acting on the 10th of Geo. II.-but of the Justices, by the 25th of Geo. II., which protects them, and they are not subject to any other statute. It is plain that the 10th Geo. II. did not apply to melo-dramas, nor did the 25th Geo. II. apply here. In a recent case, (and it was very curious that it happened to be one of the pieces upon which the present bill was founded,) that of Elliston v. Glosset, the proprietor of the Cobourg Theatre, the attempt was

the same as here. A piece, entitled Therese, or the Orphan of Geneva, was performed at Drury Lane, licensed, of course, by the Lord Chamberlain; notwithstanding, the same piece was avowedly performed at the Cobourg.. Mr Elliston complained in the Court of Chancery, and applied for an injunction. It was granted, in the first instance; but when the case came to be argued, the Lord Chancellor dissolved the injunction. In the case of the King v. Glosset, who was said to have acted Richard III. the complaint was for penalties, and L.50 was recovered. In that case, the merits of the question were not decided. The respondent is said to have acted Richard III. That he denies.-He merely performed a melo-drama relating to the scenes and some of the historical facts contained in that tragedy. If an interdict was granted, it would be ruinous to the respondent, who had taken a lease of the theatre on the faith of established practice, and engaged performers, all of whom would be thrown adrift.

Lord Alloway said, that as the case was new, and most of the decisions referred to English, he was not prepared to give his opinion, and wished that the farther consideration of the question should be delayed tillThursday. This proposition having been approved of, the case was adjourned accordingly.

Thursday, February 24.

Mr Moncrieff gave in a minute as to the state of fact of possession. From 1789 to 1801, the Caledonian Theatre was constructed with a stage and movable scenery; it was then converted into concert rooms. In 1816 it was reconverted into its original form; and since that period, melo-drama and burletta had been acted. In 1818, two applications for

interdict had been refused, in which the suspender had acquiesced.

Lord Glenlee then delivered his opinion on the case, which was, that the suspender was entitled to represent such dramas as received the sanction of the Lord Chamberlain, and therefore entitled to an interdict against the respondent, who was not entitled to represent such pieces.

Lord Robertson coincided in the opinion of Lord Glenlee. He was decidedly of opinion, that a melo-drama was a dramatic entertainment of the stage, and clearly within the meaning of the statute; therefore the suspender was entitled to an interdict.


Lord Pitmilly-In 1818, Mrs Siddons applied for an interdict against Mr Corri, for performing entertainments of the stage. The bill of Mrs Siddons was passed, and interdict refused, in order that the question might be tried, but that application appeared to him to be totally different from the present. That application prayed for an interdict against all melo-dramas, interludes, and all other entertainments of the stage whatever. In the present case, the application was limited to the very words of the act of Parliament, interdict prohibiting and interdicting the acting at the Caledonian Theatre, all interludes, tragedies, comedies, operas, plays, farces, or other entertainments of the stage, or any part or parts thereof, including melo-dramas and burlettas, which have been, or shall hereafter be, licensed by the Lord Chamberlain of his Majesty's household, and which the complainer is authorized by the aforesaid letters patent to represent and perform at the Theatre Royal of Edinburgh." What was done in the minor theatres in London was a different casethese were licensed by the justices. Mr Ryder has no license, neither

from the Lord Chamberlain nor Justices of the Peace, nor is it possible that he can be licensed. The act of Parliament is general, and the interdict ought to be equally broad. They ought to follow the act, therefore, as the interdict was asked in terms of the act, they were bound to give it.

Lord Alloway-If it had been ascertained that no prosecution had been made under the act of Parliament except for penalties, he much doubted whether their Lordships should step forward with their authority. He knew nothing that they had to go upon but presumption. In all matters of private right, or for the protection of the public peace, their Lordships were entitled to grant interdict; but in trying this question, they must proceed upon the principle that they were trying the parties upon statute; and their duty was to give statutes the mildest construction, whether these affect the liberty of the subject, or the rights of parties. The first act of Parliament we have on this point, was that of Queen Mary, in 1505, which was to prevent breaches of the peace taking place at the exhibition of the Abbot of Unreason, and Robin Hood and Little John. This act was continued in operation till the period of the Union, after which the statute 12th Anne was passed. Notwithstanding this, theatrical performances were continued ; and that there were at that time two small theatres in Edinburgh, subject to restrictions, was matter of history. The 12th of Queen Anne, same statute, enacted, that every person convicted of certain offences shall be stripped naked from the middle, and whipped till his or her body be blooded, and thereafter sent to hard labour in the jail or bridewell. Notwithstanding the severity of this statute, theatrical amusements went on and increased. Nor was he aware if their

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