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chief articles for exportation of the dually filling up. In the territory of province Ciara. Formerly it yielded Mundrucania, are various remains of considerable quantities of amber. Ara, the natives, who are at length beginning catig is the most populous and flourish. to reform their austere and ferocious ing town,
habits, by intermingling relations with · Great numbers of cattle are fed in the christians. These have each, their the province Prauhy, the surface or separate and peculiar idioms. soil of which, is in general, low and In an appendix, the author treats of level. The capital, Ceyras, though the provinces Solimoes and Guianna, small, stands in a good situation, and which are included within the governis represented as flourishing.
ment of Para. The first of these pro. The province of Maranhao, is re- vinces contains six districts. markable for a singular kind of silk In general, the work abounds with worm, that subsists on the leaves of new and interesting information, but the orange tree and the Brazilian pine it is chiefly deficient in the article of tree; it fabricates beautiful nests and statistics. There are valuable details cotton stuffs of different kinds. The relative to the position, and mutual number of negroes here, is more con distances of the towns, the direction of siderable than in any other parts. The the mountains, and especially the south west and centre still remain in courses of the rivers, with their re. the possession of a number of wild and spective embouchures, or mouths, and savage tribes. Maranhao, the capital, tributary streams, which he traces to is on the western shore of an Island of their very sources. In the language of the same name.
a sincere friend to his country, he freBelem or Para, capital of the pro- quently deplores the low condition in vince of the same name, is advantage- which he finds the arts of industry, or ously situated on the eastern bank of rather, says the French editor, their the Tucantin, but the harbour is gra- almost total absence.
PROCEEDINGS OF PUBLIC SOCIETIES.
REPORT from the SELECT COMMITTEE - The deputy clerk of assize for the
of the HOUSE of COMMONS appointed home circuit, has laid before the comto consider of so much of the CRI: mittee, a return of commitments, conMINAL LAWS as relates to CAPITAL victions and executions on that circuit, PUNISHMENT.
which comprehends the counties of M HE committee, in execution of the Herts, Essex, Kent, Sussex and Surry,
I trust delegated to them by the from 1689 to 1718, from 1755 to 1784, house, have abstained from all.consi. and from 1784 to 1814. The returns deration of those capital felonies which of the intermediate period from 1718 may be said to be of a political nature, to 1755, he will doubtless furnish very being directed against the authority of soon. From this important return it government and the general peace of . appears, that, for the first thirty years society. To the nature and efficacy of which followed the revolution, the the secondary punishments, of trans. average proportion of convictions to portation and imprisonment, they have executions was 38 to 20; that from directed no part of their inquiries, be- 1755 to 1784, it was 46 to 13; and that cause another committee had been ap- from 1784 to 1814, it was 74 to 19. It pointed to investigate them, and because is worthy of remark, that the whole no part of the facts or arguments to be number of convictions for murder, on stated in this report, will be found to the home circuit, in the first period depend, either on the present state of was 123; that the executions for the these secondary punishments, or on the same period were 87: that in the second, degree of improvement of which they the convictions for the same offence may be found capable. The object of were 67, and the executions 57; and the committee has been to ascertain, as that in the third, the convictions were far as the nature of the case admitted 54, and the executions 44. If the inby evidence, whether, in the present crease of the population, during a pros. state of the sentiments of the people of perous period of a hundred and thirty England, capital punishment in most years, be taken into the account, and cases of offences unattended with vio. if we bear in mind that within that lence, be a necessary, or even the most time a considerable city has grown up effectual security against the prevalence on the southern bank of the Thames, of crimes.
we shall be disposed to consider it as no
exaggeration to affirm, that in this 10.9 Geo. I, c. 22. Breaking down tho district (not one of the most favorably head or mound of a fish pond. situated in this respect) murder has 11.-9 Geo. I, c. 28. Being disguised abated in the remarkable proportion of e remarkable proportion of within the Mint.
12.-12 Geo. II, c. 29. Injuring of Westthree if not four to one. · In the thirty years from 1755 to
minster-bridge, and other bridges by other
acis. 1784 the whole convictions for murder
The second class consists of those in London and Middlesex were 71;
offences, which, though in the opinion and in the thirty years from 1781 to of
of the committee never fit to be punished 1814, they were 66. In the years 1815, with death, are yet so malignant and 1616 and 1817, the whole convictions
dangerous as to require the highest
de for murder in London were 9, while in
punishments except death, which are the three preceding years they were 14.
known to our laws. These the comMost of the other returns relate to too
mittee would make punishable, either short a period, or too narrow a district
by transportation, or imprisonment to afford materials for safe conclusion,
with hard labour, allowing considerable with respect to the comparative fre
"scope to the discretion of the judges quency of crimes at different periods.
respecting the term for which either In general, however, it appears that murders, and other crimes of violence "1-31 Eliz.c. 9. Taking away any maid,
ut punishment is to endure. . and cruelty, have either diminished, or widow, or wife, &c. not increased ; and that the deplorable2.-21 Jac. Í, c. 28. Acknowledging or increase of criminals is not of such a procuring any fine, recovery, &c. nature as to indicate any diminution 3.–4 Geo. I, c. 2, s. 4. Helping to the in the humanity of the people. The recovery of stolen goods. practice of immediately publishing the 4.--9 Geo. I, c. 22. Maliciously killing circumstances of every atrocious crime, or wounding cattle. and of circulating in various forms an 5.-9 Geo. I, c. 22. Cutting down or account of every stage of the proceed
destroying trees growing, &c.
seeu ings which relate to it, is far more pre
6.-5 Geo. II, c. 30. Bankrupts not sur
rendering, &c. valent in England than in any other 7 .- 5 Geo. II, c. 30. Concealing or emcountry, and in our times than in any bezzling. former age. It is on the whole of great. 8.-6 Geo. II, c. 37. Cutting down the utility, not only as a control on courts bank of any river. of judicature, but also as a means of 9.- Geo. II, c. 20. Destroying any rendering it extremely difficult for fence, lock, sluice, &c. odious criminals to escape.
10.--26 Geo. II, c. 23. Making a false The statutes creating capital felo. entry in a marriage register, &c. five felonies. nies, which the committee have consi.
11.-27 Geo. II, c. 15. Sending threatendered, are reducible to two classes;
12--27 Geo. II, c. 19. Destroying bank, the first relate to acts either so nearly &c. Bedford level. indifferent as to require no penalty, or 13.- 3 Geo. III, c. 16. Personating outif injurious, not of such a magnitude pensioners of Greenwich hospital. as that they may not safely be left 14.-22 Geo. III, c. 40. Maliciously punishable as misdemeanors at com- cutting serges.. mon law. In these the committee 15.-24 Geo. III, c. 47. Harboring offenpropose the repeal; they are as follows: ders against that (revenue) act, when re1.-1 and 2 Phil. and Mary, c. 4. Egyp
turned from transportation. tians remaining within the kingdom one It does not seem necessary to make month.
any observations in this place on the 2.-18 Charles II, c. 3. Notorious thieves punishments of transportation and imin Cumberland and Northumberland. prisonment, which the committee have
3. -9 Geo. I, c. 22. Being armed and proposed to substitute for that of death disguised in any forest, park, &c.
in the second of the two classes above 4.-9 Geo. I, c. 22. Being armed in any mentioned. In their present imperfect warren. 5.- 9 Geo. I, c. 22. Being armed in any
state they are sufficient for such ofhigh road, open heath, common or down.
fences; and in the more improved con8.-9 Geo. I, c. 22. Unlawfully hunting,
dition in which the committee trust killing, or stealing deer.
that all the prisons of the kingdom 7.-9 Geo. I, c. 22. Robbing warrens, &c. will soon be placed, imprisonment may
8.-9 Geo. I, c. 22. Stealing or taking be hoped to be of such a nature as to any fish out of any river or pond, &c. . answer every purpose of terror and
9.-9 Geo. I, c. 22. Hunting in his Ma- reformation. . jesty's forests or chases,
On the three capital felonies of, pri. years clerk of arraigns at the Old Bai. vately stealing in a shop to the amount ley, states, that juries are anxious to of five shillings-of, privately stealing reduce the value of property below its in a dwelling-house to the amount of real amount, in those larcenies where forty shillings- and of, privately steal. the capital punishment depends on ing from vessels in a navigable river to value; that they are desirous of omitthe amount of forty shillings, the ting those circumstances on which the House of Commons have pronounced capital punishment depends in contheir opinion, by passing Bills for re- structive burglaries; and that a relucducing the punishment to transporta- tance to convict is perceptible in fortion or imprisonment.
gery. In proposing to revive those bills, Sir Archibald Macdonald bears tesyour committee feel a singular satisfac- timony to the reluctance of prosecutors, tion that they are enabled to present to witnesses, and juries, in forgeries, in the house so considerable a body of di. shop-lifting, and offences of a like narect evidence in support of opinions, ture. He believes that the chances of which had hitherto chiefly rested on ge- escape are greatly increased by the seneral reasoning, and were often alleged verity of the punishments. “Against by their opponents to be contradicted by treason, murder, arson, rape, and crimes experience. Numerous and respectable against the dwelling-house or person, witnesses have borne testimony, for and some others," he thinks, “ the puthemselves and for the classes whom nishment of death should be directed.” they represent, that a great reluctance T. W. Carr, Esq. solicitor of excise, prevails to prosecute, to give evidence, a very intelligent public officer, gave and to convict, in the cases of the three an important testimony, directly applilast mentioned offences; and that this cable, indeed, only to offences against reluctance has hard the effect of pro- the revenue, but throwing great light ducing impunity to such a degree, that on the general tendency of severity in it may be considered as among the penal laws to defeat its own purpose. temptations to the commission of From his extensive experience it ancrimes.
pears, that severe punishment has renBut highly as the committee esteem dered the law on that subject inefficaand respect the judges, it is not from cious. Prosecutions and convictions them that the most accurate and satis- were easy when breaches of the law factory evidence of the effect of the were subject to moderate pecuniary pepenal law can reasonably be expected. nalties; even a great pecuniary penalty They only see the exterior of criminal has been found so favourable to impuproceedings after they are brought into nity, that fraudulent traders prefer it a court of justice. Of the cases which to a moderate penalty. The act of never appear there, and of the causes counterfeiting a stamp in certain cases, which prevent their appearance, they within the laws of excise, was, before can know nothing. Of the motives the year 1806, subject only to a penalty which influence the testimony of wit of 5001. ; but in that year it was made nesses, they can form but a hasty a transportable offence, of which the and inadequate estimate. Even in the consequence was, that the convictions, grounds of verdicts, they may often be which, from 1794 to 1806, had been 19 deceived. From any opportunity of out of 21 prosecutions, were reduced in observing the influence of punishment the succeeding years, from 1806 to 1818, upon those classes of men among whom to 3 out of 9 prosecutions. malefactors are most commonly found, Mr. Newman, solicitor for the city of the judges are, by their stations and London, speaking from thirty years' duties, placed at a great distance. experience, of the course of criminal : The committee have sought for evi- prosecutions in that city, informed the dence on these subjects from those committee, that he had frequently obclasses of men who are sufferers from served a reluctance to prosecute and larcenies, who must be prosecutors convict, in capital offences not directed where these larcenies are brought to against the lives, persons, or dwellings trial, who are the witnesses by whom of men. such charges must be substantiated, The Reverend Mr. Cotton, Ordinary and who are the jurors, by whose ver- of Newgate, has described in strong dicts only effect can be given to the terms, the repugnance of the public to
capital execution in offences unattended Mr. Shelton, who has been near forty with violence, and the acquiescence
even of the most depraved classes in often heard prosecutors, especially fetheir infliction in atrocious crimes. males, say, “I hope it is not a hanging
Mr. Colquhoun, for twenty-seven matter ;'9 and by Mr. Thompson, clerk years a police magistrate in this capi, at the office in Whitechapel, who repretal, and well known by his publica- sents it as common for prosecutors in tions on these subjects, declares his larcenies to ask, “ cannot this be put firm conviction that capital punish- under forty shillings ?”!' ment in the minor offences operate Mr. Alderman Wood, a member of powerfully in preventing convictions; the house, an active magistrate, and and that there is a great reluctance to two successive years lord mayor of prosecute in forgery, shoplifting, lar- London, has strongly stated the un. ceny in the dwelling house, burglary willingness of shop-keepers and others without actual entry, horse stealing, to prosecute, the number of offenders sheep stealing, cattle stealing, frame who, during his mayoralty, owed their breaking, house breaking in the day escape to this cause; and his decided time, robbery without acts of violence, conviction, that if the capital punishand other minor offences, now subject ment was taken away, the reluctance to to the punishment of death. Accord. prosecute would be greatly abated. ing to the testimony of this intelligent Mr. Wilkinson, a merchant in Lonobserver, the public mind revolts at don, stated a case of property, to the capital punishment in cases not atro- value of one thousand pounds stolen cious.
from him, where he was deterred from Mr. Newman, late keeper of New- prosecution by the capital punishment; gate, and connected with the adminis- and expressed his belief that a similar tration of justice in London for forty disposition prevailed among persons of years, gave testimony to the same effect. the like condition and occupation with
Mr. Basil Montague stated a fact of himself. a most striking nature, immediately Mr. Josiah Conder, bookseller, Mr. applicable only to one offence, but Joseph Curtis, currier, Mr. Wendover showing those dispositions in the minds Fry, type-founder, and Mr. John Gaun, of the public, which must produce a merchant and shoe manufacturer, similar effects wherever the general feel. stated instances in which they were ing is at variance with the provisions of prevented by the capital punishment criminal law. From the year 1732, when from prosecuting offenders, whom they embezzlement of property by a bank- would have brought to justice if the rupt was made a capital offence, there punishment had, in their opinion, been have been probably forty thousand more proportioned to the crime. They bankruptcies; in that period there also declared, that there is a general have not been more than ten prosecu- disinclination to prosecute among the tions, and three executions for the traders of the city of London, or to capital offence, and yet fraudulent convict in thefts without violence, and bankruptcies have become so common in forgeries. as almost to be supposed to have lost “Sir Richard Phillips, a bookseller in the nature of crime.
London, and once sheriff, as well as Mr. Hobler, clerk to the Lord Mayor often a juror, has in these several caand to the sitting magistrates in London pacities observed the same facts. for thirty years, stated the anxiety of Mr. Richard Taylor, a commonprosecutors to lower the value of goods councilman, prosecuted some men for stolen ; and has observed many cases breaking into his printing-office, and of forgery, in which, after the clearest stealing some property out of it, for evidence before the magistrate, the which they were transported, but whom grand jury has thrown out the bill for he would not have prosecuted if he had some reason or other, where the magis not previously ascertained that the contrate had no doubt. The same solici. nection of the printing-office with the tude to reduce the value of articles pri- dwelling-house was not such as to make vately stolen in shops and dwelling- the act a capital offence. houses, has been remarked by Mr. Mr. Richard Martin, a member of Payne, clerk to the sitting magistrate the house, informed the committee, that at Guildhall ; by Mr. Yardley, clerk the punishment of death prevented proat the office in Worship-street, who has secutions in Ireland for horse, cattle, observed a disinclination to prosecute and sheep-stealing, for privately stealin all capital cases, except murder; ing in dwelling-houses and shops, and and who says, that in larcenies he has in general for all larcenies without vio
lence. lence. Though the extensive estate, ment in cases of forgery. Messrs. Freof which he is proprietor, be almost deric and William Thornhill, hardlaid waste by sheep stealing, he has waremen, mentioned cases of theft in been prevented from prosecuting by the which they had forborne to prosecute punishment of death. If the punish- on account of the punishment of death. ment were reduced to transportation, The former added, that he found it to he would certainly prosecute the of- be an almost universal sentiment among fenders to conviction. He has no doubt his neighbours and acquaintances, that that his estate would be better protected excessive punishment tends very greatly if the law were more lenient; and that to the production of crime; that he the reduction of the penalties of the knows many persons who have been law would promote the security of pro- great sufferers by thefts in shops and perty throughout the province of Con- dwelling-houses, and who declare that naught.
if the punishment of such offences had Mr. James Soaper, of Saint Helen's been any thing less than death, they Place, Mr. Ebenezer Johnson, of Bi- would have regarded it as highly cri. shopsgate-street, ironmonger, Mr. Baker, minal in themselves to have forborne of the Tower, Mr. Lewis, a retired mer- prosecution, which they had felt them. chaut, and Mr. Garrett, an insurance selves compelled to abstain from in broker, bore testimony to the general every instance on account of the purepugnance to prosecution which arose nishment, and must continue to act on from capital punishment ; some of the same principle of forbearance till them mentioned instances in which there was an amendment in the law. they had been deterred by that consi. He also informed the committee, that deration from bringing offenders to from his knowledge of a great variety justice. Mr. Garrett said, that as far of cases, he was convinced the more as his observation, there was not one in lenient punishment would more effectwenty who did not shudder at the tually prevent forgery. idea of inflicting the capital punish
(To be continued.)
NEW PATENTS AND MECHANICAL INVENTIONS.
MR. PONTIFEX's Apparatus for raising stops to be composed of hollow iron or Water by means of Fire.
metal tubes, of any required diameter, M R . Pontifex's specification con- to be fixed in holes, made in the said
1 tains little more than an imper. side plates, either with a shank or - fect description of that stupendous ma- shoulder, welded or bored inside of the
chine the steam engine, whose improve. end of the round or step, or with a collar ment may be thus described:
or shoulder brazed, or made outside of Two copper vessels made to fit air each. And to prevent the round or tight are connected by what Mr. Pon- step slipping through the ends of the tifex denominates a suction pipe, the same are rivetted down on the outside, lower end of which is immersed in the either on a collar or ring, or immedi. well from whence water is to be raised : ately on the outside of the side pieces, steam is then admitted through two or fastened by a nut and screw, or small branch pipes communicating with otherwise, by making a screw-thread the boiler, which is again condensed by inside of the end of the round or stop the admission of a jet of water. A va- with a screw, so as to fasten the sides cuum being thus formed, the pressure of and rounds or stops to each other. the atmosphere is sufficient to raise the And for the purpose of making the said water about thirty feet, which is the ladder more portable, he makes a morextreme capacity of Mr. Pontifex's en- tice, and tenon joint, as may be regine.
quired, by fixing on the bottom of the TO THOMAS MOTLEY, of the Strand, outside of the upper succeeding part of
for certain Improvements on Ladders. the ladder or mortice, rivetted or brazed, -May 19, 1818.
and the top part of the two sides of the These ladders if made of iron, to be ladder reduced to a tenon, so as to fit constructed of sheet or wrought iron the mortice; and on either the mortice hoops, or of iron rolled or drawn with or tenon part is fixed a spring ketch one, two, or more ribs, either on one or to fasten them together. In like both sides, to be in any given lengths manner the joints are made applicable that may be required. The rounds or to wood ladders, or by having a dove