Page:Ruffhead - The Statutes at Large, 1763.djvu/28

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With regard to the Order of Time in which the Acts are printed, the Editor hath adhered to the Plan of former Editions, though perhaps, in many Inſtances, the Years of the King's Reigns are not rightly ſtiled. The Statute se Conſpiratoribus, for Example, is printed not only in Serjeant Hawkins's, and Mr. Cay's but in all the old Editions [1], as the 31 Ed.1. Nevertheleſs it hath been ſaid, by great Authorities, to have been made in the 21ſt[2]. Many Statutes likewiſe paſſed in a Seſſions which began one Year, and continued to another, are ſtiled Acts of both Years, ehich in Stricneſs perhaps ſhould have been ſtiled Acts of the firſt Year only. All Statutes refer to the firſt Day of the Seſ{ls}}ion, unleſs it is otherwiſe provided by the Act[3]. Upon this Principle, it hath been held by the Court, with reſpect to the 22 and 23 Car. II. c. 20. that the printed Statute is falſe, and that it was an Act of the 22d Car. II. For though the Seſſion extended into both Years, yet it commenced the 24th October, 22d Car. II. conſequently was an Act of that Year [4]. The Editor, however, has rather choſen to adhere to the ſtile which has been ſo long in Uſe, that it may be deemed communis error, than take upon himſelf the Charge of rectlifying ſuch Inaccuracies.

In a Collection of this Extent and Importance, an enlarged, perſpicuous and correct Table, is one of the moſt eſſential Requiſites -, therefore the Editor propoſes to make a new Table or Index, alphabetically arranged. In this Table, which will be annexed to the End of the Vlllth Volume, many general Heads, omitted in former Editions, will be ſupplied : Many particular Articles likewiſe will be added, which are not taken Notice of, under the general Heads inſerted in prior Editions ; and Endeavours will be uſed to arrange the whole with ſuch Order and Perſpicuity, that the Reader may be enabled to find all the Laws at one View, on whatever Subject he may have Occaſion to turn his Attention.

Here it may not be improper to take Notice, that many Statutes printed in former Editions, and continued in this, have been held, by Writers of great Name, not to be of Record. Of theſe, the Reader will find a long Liſt in Coke 's 4 Inſt. c. 1. Lord Hales Hist. of the Common Law, and the Table to Cottons Abridgment. Moſt of them however have, by the Diligence of later Inquirers, been found to be upon Record.

With respect to thoſe mentioned by Lord Coke[5], Prynne obſerves, that all of them,

  1. It is so printed in Berthelet's Edit. 1543 — Likewiſe in Raſtall's Abr. 1583 — Alſo in Pulton's Kalendar, 1617 — And laſtly, in Rastell's Statutes at Large, 1618.
  2. See 2 Inſt. 562. — and Holt's Argument. Savil verf. Roberts, 1 Ld Raymond 378.
  3. See 4 Inſt. 25.
  4. It may not be improper to add that the Courts at Weſtminster, are bound to take Notice of the Beginning of all Parliaments. But they take no Notice of Adjournments, though heretofore Adjournments and Prorogations were conſidered as the ſame Thing : And it was ſaid by Treby Chief Juſtice, in the Caſe of Birt and Rothwell, that the Word Prorogation was not found upon the Rolls, till the Time of Edward the Fourth.[notes 1] Their Effects however are, at this Day, eſſentially different. See Birt. qui tam verf. Rotwell. 1 Lord Raym. 210 and 343.
  5. 20 Ed. 3. (N. B. It is printed as the 18. in the Stat. Books.) 27 Ed. 3. c. 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8. (N. B. Cotton ſays nothing of the 4th Cap.) 37 Ed. 3, c. 7 & 19. 2 R. 2. Stat. 1. c'. 5. 2 R. 2. Stat. 2. c. 3.

  1. In this Point, the learned Judge appears to have concluded too haſtily ; for we meet with the Word Prorogation on tbe Rolls of the eigth of Hen. 6. See Rot. Parl. 8 Hen. 6. nu. 16.