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require to be stamped, as if it had been drawn in this country; and the rule is precisely the same, whether he signs his name as drawer, before or after he sends it over to this country to be filled up by his correspondent (i). In the case of Snaith v. Mingay(2), which was an action by an indorsee against the indorser, a person resident in Ireland subscribed his name in the character of drawer, and afterwards as first indorser, on a paper which was properly stamped according to the revenue laws of Ireland, and had every mark to designate it as a bill of exchange; he then sent it over to this country with authority to his correspondent to insert the day of the date, the sum, and the name of the drawee; and it did not appear, that there was any intention of evading the stamp laws, or any imputation of fraud in the transaction: under these circumstances the court of King's Bench were of opinion, that the bill was an incipient bill in Ireland, though it was completed here, and that, after it had been completed, it was to be considered as a bill of exchange from the time of its being signed by the drawer; and consequently that an English stamp was not necessary.
It is not sufficient that the stamp used is of the proper value; the stamp must also be of the proper denomination, that is, the peculiar stamp appropriated to the species,of instrument (3). A receipt-stamp will not avail, if used upon a promissory note; nor a note-stamp, if used upon a receipt. So, articles of agreement under seal require a deed stamp; an agreement-stamp will not be sufficient, though it may be of greater value (4). An agreement for a house, and also for goods in the house, requires a leasestamp; and, unless it is so stamped, cannot be given in evidence as an agreement for the sale of the goods, in an action to recover the amount (5). The statute 37 G. 3.
(1) 1 Maule fc Selw. 94. (4) Robinson v. Drybroueh, 6 T. R.
(a5 Ibid. 87. 3,7.
(•3) Stat. 37G. 3. c. 136. s. 1. Stat. (5) Cordcr v. Drakeford, 3 Taunt. 48 l». 3. c. 149. t. 4. Chamberlain v. 381. I'crter, 1 New Rep. 30.
c. 136. contemplates the mistakes, which may arise in the use of stamps, and makes provision for those mistakes. It enacts, that where any instrument, (except bills, notes, and drafts,) shall have been stamped with a stamp of a different denomination, but of equal or greater value than that required by law, the commissioners, upon payment of the duty and a penalty of $1., may stamp the same with a proper stamp. With respect to bills and notes, (which by statute 31 G. 3. c. 25. were forbidden to be stamped after they were made,) the statute of the 37th G. 3. provides, that bills and notes, which should be made subsequent to that act, and stamped with an improper stamp, but of equal or greater value than the stamp required, may be stamped by the commissioners on payment of the duty and a penalty. But bills and notes before that act remain in the same situation as if the act had not passed. The statute 43 G. 3. c. 127. s. 6. provides, that, if the stamp is of the proper denomination, it shall not be ineffectual from being of a greater value than the stamp acts require. Before this act, a stamp of greater value, though of the proper denomination, was determined to be insufficient (1). In the case of Taylor v. Hague (2), indeed, before the statute of the 43d G. 3. the Court held, that a promissory note upon a stamp of a higher value than was required, would be available, on the particular ground, that the value was composed of three different sums applicable to several funds, to which the duties on promissory notes are carried.
A question has often arisen, whether an instrument, to where se. which several persons are parties, require several stamps, ""nece^' or whether a single stamp is sufficient. And the distinc- tary. tion established, is, that if the interest of the parties relates to one thing, which is the subject-matter of the instrument, or, in other words, if the instrument affects the separate interests of several, and there is a community of the same subject-matter as to all the parties (3), there a single stamp
will be sufficient; but where the parties have separate interests in several subject-matters, there ought to be a separate stamp for each party, against whom, or in whose favour, the instrument is offered in evidence.
To illustrate the first part of the rule, if a debtor compounds with his creditors, and each creditor sign the same deed, covenanting either to give further day of payment, or to take a certain sum as a composition; there, every covenant is in fact a separate covenant, and the several deed of each creditor, who signs the deed; but the whole being only one transaction, a separate stamp for each person is not required (i). So, if several persons bind themselves severally in a penalty by one bond, conditioned for the performance of certain acts by each and every of them, such a bond requires only one stamp (2). Upon the same principle, it has been held, that an agreement relating to the prize shares of different persons, though several as to the share of each, yet being payable in respect only of one entire fund, is only chargeable with one stamp (3); and on the authority of this case, the court of King's Bench determined in a very late case, that a single stamp was sufficient for an agreement, which several persons had entered into for a subscription to one common fund, for the purpose of constructing a dock (4). In the case of Jones v. Sandys (5), the question was, whether a bond, in the condition of which a mortgage-deed was mentioned, ought to have had two stamps; and the court held that it was not necessary; and in delivering their opinion, they mentioned the cases of bargain and sale, lease and release, mortgage with covenant to pay the money, as constantly charged with only the single duty.
But the rule is different, where the instrument includes in effect several transactions, and the subject-matter is distinct as to the several parties. Thus, an instrument,
(1) 1 New Rep. 178. (3) Baker v. Jardine, rj East, 135.
(1) Bow en v. Ashley, I New Rep. n. (b). 274. (4) Davis*. Williams, 13East,231.
(5) Barnes, 463.
concontaining the admissions of several persons to a corporation, requires as many stamps as there are admissions. This was determined in the case of The King v. Reeks (1), where, in a trial at bar on an information in the nature of a quo warranto, to prove the admission of the defendant, a paper was produced, containing the admissions of the defendant and four other burgesses, which paper was stamped only with one stamp; it was then objected, on the part of the court, that this paper having only a single stamp could not be admitted to be read in evidence; for the statute 9 & 10 W. 3. c. 25. 8, 27. enacts, that a certain duty shall be paid for every piece of parchment or paper upon which any admission into any corporation, &c. shall be written, and the 59th section enacts, that "if any instrument or writing by that act intended to be stamped, shall, contrary to the intent thereof, be written or engrossed by any person whatsoever (not being a known officer, who in respect of any public office or employment shall be entitled to write the same,) upon parchment or paper not stamped according to that act, then there shall be paid over and above the duty for such instrument ten pounds; and that no such instrument shall be pleaded or given in evidence in any court, or admitted in any court to be good or available in law or equity, until as well the said duty as ten pounds should be paid, &c. and a receipt produced for the same, &c.;" under this section of the act it was insisted, that the instrument in question, being an admission of five persons to be burgesses, ought to have five stamps; that it could be good for none for the uncertainty, or at most it could be good only for one; if it was good for any, it must be for the first named; but the defendaut was the third name, and therefore it could not be good for him. And of this opinion, as the report adds, was the whole court, after argument. The counsel for the defendant then offered in evidence four other distinct pieces of parchment, bearing date on the day mentioned in the information, each of them being duly stamped, which imported the several admissions
and swearings of the four burgesses last named in the other parchment, and one of them the particular swearing and admission of the defendant. But the witness who produced these pieces of parchment proved that the entries were not made upon them, nor were any of them stamped, till near two months after the day on which they bore date; and, an objection being taken on this ground to the single instrument, which stated that the defendant alone was admitted and sworn, the Court was clearly of opinion, that it could not be admitted in evidence; for by the act the admission is to be on paper or parchment, stamped at the time; otherwise it is not to be given in evidence, till the penalty is paid, and certificate thereof produced.
In the case of The King v. Reeks, which has been just mentioned, the instrument first offered in evidence purported to contain the admissions of five burgesses, and it does not appear, that the single stamp, which was impressed, applied more to the defendant's name than to any of the others. This circumstance distinguishes that case from two others lately decided, Powell v. Edmunds (1), and Doe on the demise of Sir Joseph Copley v. Day (2), in which a paper containing contracts by several persons relative to different things, though stamped with a single stamp, was adjudged to be good evidence as to one of the contracting parties, because the stamp appeared to be applicable exclusively to his name. In the first case, the paper contained an agreement signed by the defendant for a lot of timber, and underneath a second agreement with another person for a different lot; this last had pencil marks drawn across it, as if for the purpose of striking it out; the stamp was affixed on that part of the paper on which the defendant's agreement was written, and below was the stamp officer's receipt for a penalty "for making the above agreement." An objection was taken on the