Imatges de pàgina

dered incapable to hold any office or place of trust, and for the second be rendered incapable of bringing any action, being guardian or executor, and of taking any legacy or deed of gift, and should suffer three years' imprisonment without bail (y). A person offending under this statute may be also indicted at common law (z). On a motion in arrest of judgment after conviction for a blasphemous libel, on the ground that this statute had put an end to the common law offence, the court decided that it had not, considering that the provisions of the statute were cumulative (a).

By 53 George III. c. 160, so much of the 1st Will. & Mary, sess. 1, c. 18, s. 17, and of the 9th & 10th Will. III. c. 32, as relates to persons denying the Trinity, is repealed. The statute 53 George III. c. 160, s. 2, does not alter the common law, but only removes the penalties imposed upon persons denying the Trinity by stat. 9 & 10 Will. III. c. 32; and, therefore, a publication containing contumelious remarks on the character of Jesus Christmas that he was an impostor, a murderer in principle, and a fanatic, published with the intent to impugn the authenticity of the Scriptures, still an offence at common law (b).

Since the Toleration Act, trusts for the benefit of Protestant dissenting ministers have been held valid. Thus the bequest of a residue of the testator's estate and effects, “ for encouraging such non-conforming ministers as preached God's word in places where the people were not able to allow them a sufficient and suitable maintenance, and for the encouraging such as were designed to labour in God's vineyard among the Dissenters," was held not to be a superstitious use within the statute 1 Edward VI. c. 14, but a gift to Dissenters within the Toleration Act (d), to be distributed immediately, and not made a perpetual charity (e). It is now clearly settled, that if a fund, real or personal, be given in such a way that the purpose be clearly expressed to be that of maintaining a society of Protestant Dissenters, promoting no doctrines contrary to law, although such as may be at variance with the doctrines of the established religion, it is then the duty of the court to carry such a trust into execution, and to administer it according to the intent of the founders (f). Thus, where testator directed his trustees to stand

(y) But the delinquent on publicly that act had made no alteration in renouncing his error in open court, the common law relative to libel; within four months after his convic- if previous to the passing of that tion for the first offence, is to be statute it would have been a libel to discharged.

deny in any printed work, the divini(2) Rex v. Woolston, Barnard. ty of the second person in the Tri162; Fitzgib. 64, Rex v. Williams, nity, the same publication would be 1797 ; 26 How. St. Tr. 654. a libel now; and, that the Legisla

(a) Rex v. Carlile, 3 Barn. & ture in passing the Toleration Act, Ald. 161 ; see Burr. 799.

only thought of easing the con(6) Rex v. Waddington, 1 Barn. & sciences of Dissenters, and not of Cr. 26. In this case, Bayley, J., allowing them to attempt to weaken said, the statute 53 George III. c. the faith of the members of the 160, removes the penalties imposed church.-See 2 Starkie on Libel, by certain statutes referred to in the 151, 2nd ed.; 1 Russ. on Crimes, act, and leaves the common law as 217—220, 2nd ed. it stood before: and Best, J., said,

possessed of money “ in trust for the augmentation of the charitable collections which should be thereafter made for the benefit of the poor dissenting ministers of the gospel, residing and living in any of the counties of England, to be paid to the treasurer or treasurers of such charitable societies or fund for the time being, for that purpose, as the major part of them should direct or appoint :” it was stated in the answer, which was supported by evidence, “ that the Protestant Dissenters in this kingdom were distinguished by the several denominations of Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists; and that the Dissenters of each of those denominations, living and residing in and near London and Westminster, had a separate society, consisting of persons chosen out of their respective congregations, which society was called by the name of the managers of the fund for the support of the poor dissenting ministers of that denomination in the country; and that there were charitable collections annually made at the said meeting houses, belonging to most of the several congregations belonging to each of the denominations, in and about the cities of London and Westminster; and the money given at such collections was constantly and regularly carried to the said fund, and paid into the hands of the treasurer thereof for the time being; and that the same was disposed of by the said managers of such funds, for and towards the support of poor dissenting ministers in the country, whose annual subscriptions from their own congregations were so small, as not to be sufficient, in many cases, to support themselves and families with the common necessaries of life; and also for the relief of any extraordinary necessitous cases of such poor ministers and their families as might occasionally occur: and they had each a treasurer, who took minutes of their proceedings at their several meetings, which were fairly entered in books kept for that purpose, as also the accounts of the disposition of the said charity.” It was objected, that the bequest was void, on account of uncertainty in the description of the objects; but the court held, that the bequest was good, being intended for the ministry in general, and ordered the money to be paid to all the treasurers of the three denominations upon the trusts declared (g).

p. 101.

(d) i Will. & Mary, c. 18, ante, (f) Per Lord Eldon, Attorney

General v. Pearson, 3 Mer. 409, 410; (e) Attorney General v. Hickman, Attorney Generalv. Cock, 2 Ves. sen. Kelynge, R. 34: S. C. 2 Eq. Cas. 273. Abr. 193, pl. 14.

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4. Jews.] The Christian religion being considered as part of the law of the land, a trust or bequest hostile to that mode of faith is illegal (h).

Thus, where a testator directed his executors to invest a sum of 12001. in some government or other security; and directed that the revenue arising therefrom should be applied for ever in the maintenance of a Jesiba, or assembly for daily reading the Jewish law, and for advancing and propagating their holy religion; and directed that his executors

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(g) Waller v. Childs, Ambl. 524. Fitzg. 64, 2 Str. 834; Villareal v.

(h) Taylor's case, i Ventr. 293, Mellish, 2 Swanst. 539; In re Bed3 Keb. 607, 621; Woolston's case, ford Charity, 2 Swanst. 470.


during their respective lives, should have the management of the assembly. On a bill to have the sum laid out according to the directions of the will, Lord Hardwicke distinguished this case from that of a bequest for the support of poor persons of the Jewish religion, as to which orders were made every year by the court. The bequest in question was for the propagation of the Jewish religion; and though it is said that this is part of our religion, yet the intent of the bequest must be taken to be in contradiction to the Christian religion, which is undoubtedly, as laid down by Lord Hale, and Lord Raymond (i), part of the law of the land, for the constitution and policy of this nation is founded thereon. As to the Act of Toleration (j), no new right is given by that, but only an exemption from the penal laws. The Toleration Act recites the penal laws, and then not only exempts from those penal laws, but puts the religion of the Dissenters under certain regulations and tests; this renders those religions legal (k), which is not the case of the Jewish religion, that is not taken notice of by any law (1), but is barely connived at by the Legislature (m). His lordship, therefore, declared that the legacy was not good in law, and ought not to be established by the court (n).

(i) Taylor's case, 1 Ventr. 293, ty, and as that exception has been 3 Keb. 607, 621 ; Woolston's case, repealed, that the law so altered Fitzg. 64, 2 Str. 834.

includes the Jews. On the other (1) i Will. & Mary, c. 18. hand it is insisted, that the To

(k) See Harrison v. Evans, 2 leration Act, as extended by the Burn's Eccl. Law, 207, 220; Fur- 53rd George III. c. 160, does not neaux' Letters to Blackstone, App.; afford relief to the Jews, because Rex v. Barker, 3 Burr. 1265, 1 Bl. the former act was intended for the R. 300, 352; Attorney General v. relief of Protestant Dissenters only, Pearson, 3 Mer. 353.

and, therefore, that Jews cannot (1) See 10 George I. c. 4.

come within its operation. -See (m) It has been contended, that Goldsmid's Remarks on the Civil the statute 53 George III. c. 160, Disabilities of the Jews, 62–68. has extended to the Jews the ex- Blunt on the Civil Disabilities of emptions conferred by the Tolera- the Jews, 111-117. tion Act, which afforded, it is said, (n) De Costa v. De Paz, 2 Swanst. relief to all persons not members of 487—491, Ambl. 228, 1 Dick the church, except such as did not 258, 2 Ves. sen. 274–276. believe in the doctrine of the Trini

It has also been decided, that a bequest to maintain a synagogue, in which Jews met daily to say prayers and sing psalms in the Hebrew language (although not for otherwise propagating their religion) was illegal (0). In an action by lessees for the rents of seats in a Jewish synagogue, it was objected that by the law of England such an establishment was not tolerated; but Lord Tenterden held, since no authority could be produced to the contrary, that such establishments were lawful (p).

Although a donation for founding an institution for teaching the Jewish religion is illegal, yet Jews may be objects of charitable trusts.

Thus an annuity of 201. to be given away every New Year's Day among poor Jews, and an annuity of 301. for teaching and instructing ten poor Jews' children in London, were supported. In the same case, an annuity of 401. given to the gabus of a synagogue in London, was established, the Master having certified that the gabas are persons annually chosen by those frequenting the synagogue as treasurers of it; whose duty it was to collect the annual subscriptions for the support of the poor Jews belonging to the synagogue, and to apply the money received by them in payment of the expenses of the synagogue, and in the maintenance of poor Jews and their families, that they might not become a burthen to the parish in which they reside. The parties were directed to lay a scheme before the Master for the expenditure of the annuity (9). So also Lord Eldon is understood to have been of opinion, that Jews were entitled to vote at the election of a vicar, to be chosen by the inhabitants of a parish, although Roman Catholics had no such right (r).

It was decided that Jews are not objects of the Bedford Grammar School, founded by a charter of Edward VI. for instruction in grammar, literature and good manners-one

(6) Isaac v. Gompertz, Ambl. 2nd ed., n. by Blunt; De Costa v. 228, 2nd ed., n. by Blunt.

De Paz, 2 Swanst. 487, ante, p. 106. (p) Israel v. Simmons, 2 Stark. (c) Edenborough v. Archbishop of N. P. C. 356.

Canterbury, 2 Russ. 111 n. (9) Isaac v. Gompertz, Ambl. 228,

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