« AnteriorContinua »
rate county rates was not only very inconvenient and troublesome, but so expensive that the charge of collection and assessment frequently exceeded the sum rated. For rem dying this evil the 12 Geo. II. c. 29, was passed, whereby justices of the peace at general or quarter-sessions were enabled to make a general rate to answer the purpose of the distinct rates previously leviable under various acts of parliament for the purposes of bridges, gaols, prisons, and houses of correction, such rate to be assessed upon every town, parish, and place within the county, to be collected by the churchwardens and overseers along with the poor rates of every parish and paid over to the high constables of hundreds, by them to treasurers appointed by the justices, and again by them to whomsoever the justices should direct. The county rate for lunatic asylums is, however, by statute, a special rate, and so is likewise the county rate for shire-halls, assize courts, session-houses, judges' lodgings, &c. ; but the provisions of the statutes under which these rates are levied are disregarded, and the justices pay the expenses out of the general county rate. This is the case also with the rate for the county and district police force, where such force is established, though it is directed to be a special rate. There are some other special rates which are required to be separate rates, one of which is the rate for reimbursing to overseers the costs incurred in the burial of dead human bodies found on the shore of the sea. The contributions of a whole parish to this rate would perhaps not amount to a farthing, and the expense is of course defrayed out of the general county rate.
In places where there is no poor's rate the county rate was directed by 12 Geo. II. c. 29, to be levied by the petty constable or other peace officer of the place in the same manner as poor rates are levied, and paid over by him to the high constable of the hundred. The counties of York, Derby, Durham, Lancaster, Chester, Westmoreland, Cumberland, and Northumberland, were excepted from the compulsory direction that the county rate should be levied along with the poor's rate, and it was left discretionary with the justices of those
counties at quarter-sessions to direct the county rate to be levied either by the churchwardens and overseers along with the poor rate or by the petty constable, by an assessment after the manner of the poor-rate. The rates so levied are applicable to the repair of bridges, gaols, prisons, or houses of correction, on presentment made by the grand jury at the assizes or quarter-sessions of their wanting reparation. The act gave to the churchwardens and overseers a right of appeal against the rate on any par ticular parish to the justices at the next sessions. It also contained provisions enabling the justices to coutract for repairs, to oblige collectors to account, &c. It was not the object of this act to impose any new rates, nor to vary the obligation to pay, but merely to facilitate the collection of the amounts previously leviable: it therefore contained an exception of places not theretofore liable to the payment of all or any of the county rates referred in the act, and also a provision that the rate should be assessed in every parish or place in such proportions as any of the rates by the former acts therein referred to had been usually assessed. But this last provision is now to be interpreted with re ference to the next-mentioned act as applying only to the fair and equal proportionable rates.
By the 55 Geo. III. c. 51, further im provements were made in the assessments to county rates. The justices of counties at quarter-sessions were by it empowered to make a fair and equal county rate when circumstances required, for all the purposes to which the county stock or rate was then or should thereafter be made liable by law, extending to all parts of the county except liberties or franchises having a separate co-extensive jurisdiction. The act contained numerous provisions giving powers for enforcing payment of the rate; for ascertaining the value of property for the purpose of assessment; for regulating the right of appeal given by the former act; extending the provisions of the former act to that act; enabling counties where the rates had been regulated by local acts to make use of that act; extending the pro
visions of the act to places having commissions of the peace within themselves, &c.
By the 56 Geo. III. c. 49, extra parochial and other places, though not rateable to the relief of the poor, were made subject to county rates, and certain powers were given for the ascertainment of boundaries between counties, ridings, &c., and other places of separate jurisdiction for the purpose of assessing and levying county rates.
By the 57 Geo. III. c. 94, the provisions contained in the 56 Geo. III. c. 49, as to appeals, were repealed and other regulations established in that respect; and it was provided that where there were no high constables the constables of the parish or place might levy the rates on the warrant of the justices.
By 58 Geo. III. c. 70, all such parts of former statutes as provided that rewards should be paid out of the public revenue to prosecutors upon conviction for various crimes were repealed, and it was enacted that in future the county rates were to be charged with the allowances to prosecutors in such prosecutions. By subsequent statutes the costs in the prosecution of certain misdemeanours are paid out of the county rates. By 7 Geo. IV. c. 64, the principle of compensation to witnesses and prosecutors at the expense of the county was carried into effect more extensively. In 1836, however, the govern
ment determined that one-half of the ex
pense of prosecutions and the conveyance of prisoners should be defrayed out of the public revenue.
By the 1 Geo. IV. c. 85, the powers of former acts were extended to places where there were no separate churchwardens, and where no separate or distinct poor rate has been made for any place extending into two or more counties, ridings, or other divisions; justices were empowered to appoint persons to tax and assess the county rate in extra-parochial places where no poor rate exists, and certain regulations were made as to distress for rates.
By the 5 & 6 Wm. IV. c. 76, § 112, after a grant of a separate court of quar ter-sessions has been made to any borough the justices of the county in which such borough is situate are not to assess any property therein to any county rate thereafter to be made, but (§ 113) such boroughs are to bear the expenses of prosecutions at the assizes.
By 7 & 8 Vict. c. 33, high constables are relieved from the duty of collecting the county rate and paying it to the county treasurer, and these functions are to be undertaken by the Boards of Guardians.
Several local acts have been passed from time to time for regulating the county rates in particular counties. On this subject see Burn's Justice of Peace,' 29th edit., County Rate, where the different purposes for which county rates may be levied are enumerated at length.
The expenditure of county rates in England and Wales in 1792 and 1832 was as follows:
By the 4 & 5 Wm. IV. c. 48, all ness relating to the assessment and application of county rate is to be transacted in open court held upon due notice.
Building and Re
pairs, &c. Gaols, Houses of Correction, &c., and Maintaining Prisoners, &c. 222,787
COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH, an assembly of prelates who meet, being duly convoked by the legitimate authority, for the purpose of defining questions of doctrine, or making regulations or canons in matters of discipline. There are various sorts of councils:
1. General or Ecumenic councils, which are considered as a representative and legislative assembly of the whole church, and to which all bishops are summoned, In the early ages of the Christian Church the general councils were convoked by the Roman Emperor; they have been since convoked by the Popes, at least for the Western or Roman Church. The authority of general councils is considered as binding on the whole church only in matters of faith when the canon establishes a dogma which it enjoins all the faithful to believe under pain of anathema and heresy. In matters of faith the Roman Church considers a general council to be infallible: some say, however, only after its canons have been confirmed by the Pope. All bishops have a right to attend and vote in a general council; the abbots and generals of monastic orders have also been admitted to vote in most councils by consent of the council. Priests and monks have also attended the councils as theologians and advisers, with a consultative and deliberative vote. In the Western Church the Pope, or his legate for him, presides in the council. For a council to be legitimate it is required that all the bishops should be called, whether they attend or not, except those who are declared by the church to be schismatical or heretical, and all deliberations should be free and unconstrained.
2. National councils, consisting of the bishops of a whole kingdom or state, which can be convoked by the sovereign power of such state; but the authority of such council is limited to the kingdom or state for which it is convened.
3. Provincial councils are convoked by the respective metropolitans, with the consent of the sovereign power, or the king, as in England. A bishop may also convoke a diocesan council, with the consent of his superior. (Benedict XIV. de Synodo diocesana.) The Church of Rome reckons several councils, though not œcu
menic, previous to that of Nice, the earliest of which seems to be that held at Jerusalem, about A.D. 50, and which was attended by the apostles Peter, John, James, and Barnabas, and which is mentioned in the fifteenth chapter of the 'Acts of the Apostles.'
COUNCILLORS. [MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.]
COUNSEL, an abbreviation of counsellor. In England a counsellor is a barrister [BARRISTER], or one who has kept twelve terms at one of the four inns of court, and has been called to the bar. After keeping his terms a man may act as a conveyancer, special pleader, or equity draftsman, without being called to the bar, but he must take out a certificate under 9 Geo. IV. c. 49. The word counsel has no plural number, and is used to denote either one or more counsel. The duty of counsel is to give advice in questions of law, and to manage causes for clients. They are styled common-law, equity, or chamber counsel, according to the nature of the business they transact. They are supposed to work for nothing, but in fact they are paid. But, according to Mr. Justice Bayley, 1 Chit. R. 351-"they are to be paid beforehand, because they are not to be left to the chance whether they shall ultimately get their fees or not, and it is for the purpose of promoting the honour and integrity of the bar that it is expected all their fees should be paid when their briefs are delivered. That is the reason why they are not permitted to maintain an action for their fees." Though it is expected that all their fees should be paid before the work is done, this is very far from being the general practice; and sometimes the payment is deferred, and sometimes it happens that it is never made. The counsel is paid by the attorney or solicitor of the person whose business he does. Counsel may be retained generally, that is, to advocate any cause in which the retaining party may be engaged, or specially with reference to a pending cause; and generally speaking, a counsel cannot refuse a retainer: there are certain rules, however, by which their practice is regu lated.
Counsel in a cause may urge and argue
1843 In the last three years the county police expenditure, which in 1843 amounted to 243,738, is included.
From 1830 to 1838 the proportion of five heads of expenditure was 69 per cent. of the total expenditure:-Bridges, 9-3 per cent; Gaols, 9.7; Prisoners' Maintenance, 25.8; Prosecutions, 19.9; Constables and Vagrants, 4.3 per cent.
and fair annual value of the messuages,
The county rate is levied on the same description of property as the poor's rate, that is, on lands, houses, tithes impro- In the session of 1845 a bill was brought priate, propriations of tithes, coal-mines, in to amend the law relating to the assess and saleable underwoods: the term "lands" ing, levying, and collecting of county includes improvements of lands, by roads, rates. It provided for the appointment bridges, docks, canals, and other works by the justices at general or quarter sesand erections not included under the sions of a committee to consist of not term "houses." Under "houses" is com- more than eleven nor less than five jusprehended all permanent erections for the tices, whose duty it should be to prepare shelter of man, beast, or property. Mines, a fair and equal county rate, with power other than coal-mines, are exempted, and to alter and amend it from time to time as the exemption extends to limestone and circumstances might require. By § 4 other stone quarries, or to other matter the words "full and fair valuation" shall that is obtained by quarrying. The be taken to mean "the net annual value county rate is to be assessed upon parishes of any rateable property, that is to say, "rateably and equally according to the full | the rent at which the same might reason