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Thus where, a man having erected a wear across a common navigable river, divers persons assembled with spades and other instruments necessary for removing it, and dug a trench in the land of the man who made the wear in order to turn the water and the better to remove it, and thus removed the nuisance, it was holden

not to be a forcible entry nor a riot. (i) The legality or

But if there be violence and tumult, it has been generally holden ufference the act intend the persons assembled be of itself lawful or unlawful; from whence then the

ed to be done
not material it follows that if three or more persons assist a man to make a for-

cible entry into lands to which one of them has a good right of augviolence and

entry; or if the like number, in a violent and tumultuous manner, aufully tumult.

a whether is join together in removing a nuisance or other thing, which may be lot, if the butent if the act intended to be done by them were ever so unlawful. (k)

lawfully done in a peaceable manner, they are as properly rioters as te wukowoffered ove And if in removing a nuisance the persons assembled use any threatbeing brefiaud toening words (such as, they will do it though they die for it, or the rict

may like,) or in any other way behave in apparent disturbance of the the face in the streetpeace, it seems to be a riot. (1) te velf How far the

But the violence and tumult must in some degree be previolence and brego

meditated. For if a number of persons, being met together at a be premedi

fair, market, or any other lawful or innocent occasion, happen on a sudden quarrel to fall together by the ears, it seems to be agreed that they are not guilty of a riot, but only of a sudden affray, of which none are guilty but those who

actually engage in it, because the design of their meeting was innocent and lawful, and the subsequent breach of the peace happened unexpectedly, without any previous intention. (m) But if there be any predetermined purpose of acting with violence and tumult, the conduct of the parties may be deemed riotous. As where it was held that although the audience in a public theatre have a right to express the feelings excited at the moment by the performance, and in this manner to applaud or to hiss any piece which is represented, or any performer who exhibits himself on the stage; yet if a number of persons, having come to the theatre with a predetermined purpose of interrupting the performance, for this purpose make a great noise and disturbarice, so as to render the actors entirely inaudible, though without offering personal violence to any individual, or doing any injury to the house, they are guilty

of a riot. (n) Though the Even though the parties may have assembled for an innocent parties assem

purpose in the first instance, yet if they afterwards, upon a disfirst instance

pute happening to arise amongst them, form themselves into parties,

tumult must


hled in the


(i) Dalt. c. 137. Burn, tit. Riot, s. 1.

(k) i Hawk. P. C. c. 65, s. 7. The law will not suffer persons to seek redress of their private grievances by such dangerous disturbances of the public peace; but the justice of the quarrel in which such an assembly may have been engaged will be considered as a great mitigation of the offence. And Per Cur. in 12 Mod. 648. Anon., if one goes to assert his

right with force and violence, he may be guilty of a riot.

1) Dalt. c. 137. Burn's Just. tit. Riot,

s. 1, where it is said, that if there is
to remove any such nuisance, or to do any
like act, it is safest not to assemble any
multitude of people, but only to send one
or two persons, or if a greater number, yet
no more than are needful, and only with
meet tools, in order to remove it; and that
such persons tend their business only,
without disturbance of the peace, or threat.
ening speeches.

(m) 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 65, s. 3.
(n) Clifford v. Brandon, Campb. 358.

with promises of mutual assistance, and then make an affray, it is for an innosaid that they are guilty of a riot, because upon their confederating cent purpose,

they may after together with an intention to break the peace, they may as pro- wards be perly be said to be assembled together for that purpose from the guilty of a riot. time of such confederacy, as if their first coming had been on such a design; and it seems to be clear that if, in an assembly of persons met together on any lawful occasion whatsoever, a sudden proposal should be started of going together in a body to pull down a house, or inclosure, or to do any other act of violence, to the disturbance of the public peace, and such motion be agreed to, and executed accordingly, the persons concerned cannot but be rioters; because their associating themselves together, for such a new purpose, is in no way extenuated by their having met at first upon

another. (0) If any person, seeing others actually engaged in a riot, joins Any person himself to them and assists them therein, he is as much a rioter as

taking part in

a riot is a if he had at first assembled with them for the same purpose, inas- rioter ; all are much as he has no pretence that he came innocently into the com- principals. pany, but appears to have joined himself to them with an intention of seconding them in the execution of their unlawful enterprize : and it would be endless, as well as superfluous, to examine whether every particular person engaged in a riot were in truth one of the first assembly, or actually had a previous knowledge of the design. (p) And the law is that if any person encourages, or promotes, or takes part in riots, whether by words, signs, or gestures, or by wearing the badge or ensign of the rioters, he is himself to be considered a rioter; for in this case all are principals. (9) It has been ruled, however, that if three or more, being lawfully assembled, quarrel, and the party fall on one of their own company, this is no riot; but that if it be on a stranger, the very moment the quarrel begins, they begin to be an unlawful assembly, and their concurrence is evidence of an evil intention in them that concur, so that it is a riot in them that act, and in no more. (r) The inciting persons to assemble in a riotous manner appears also to have been considered as an indictable offence. (8)

Concerning some acts done in a tumultuous and riotous manner, 7 & 8 Geo. 4, especial provision is made by particular statutes. The statute 7 & 8 ..30, s. 8, Geo. 4, c. 30, s. 8, enacts, that if any persons, riotously, and tu- lishing, &c. a multuously assembled together to the disturbance of the public peace, church; chashall unlawfully and with force demolish, pull down, or destroy, or pel, house, or

certain build. begin to demolish, pull down, or destroy any church or chapel or

ings, or any (2) any chapel for the religious worship of persons dissenting from the machinery in

united church of England and Ireland, duly registered or recorded, any manufacca, grany house, stable, coach-house, out-house, warehouse, office, shop, tory or mine.

mill, malt-house, hop oast, barn, or granary,"or any building or erec- (4) tion used in carrying on any trade or manufacture,

branch thereof, or any machinery, whether fixed or moveable, prepared for or employed in any manufacture, or in any branch thereof, or any 6, (0) 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 65, s. 3.

or any

(s) See a precedent, Cro. Circ. Comp. (p) Id. ibid.

420 (8th ed.), the first count of which is (9) By Mansfield, C. J., in Clifford v. for inciting persons to assemble, and that in Brandon, 2 Campb. 370. And see Rex o. consequence of such incitement they did Royce, 4 Burr, 2073, and the second and so ; and the second count states the incit. third resolutions in the Sissinghurst house ing, and omits the assembling in consecase, 1 Hale, 463.


of it. See a similar precedent in 2 (s) 19 Vin. Abr. tit. Rints, fc. (A) 15. Chit. Crim. L. 500, and the principles Reg. o. Ellis, 2 Salk, 595.

stated, ante, p. 46, et seq.

If rioters desist

own accord

not intend to


steam engine, or other engine for sinking, draining, or working any mine, or any staith, building, or erection used in conducting the business of any mine, or any bridge, waggon-way, or trunk for conveying minerals from any mine, every such offender shall be guilty of felony, and, being convicted thereof, shall suffer death as a felon.

By s. 26, " in the case of every felony punishable under this act, every principal in the second degree, and every accessory before the fact, shall be punishable with death or otherwise, in the same manner as the principal in the first degree is by this act punishable ; and every accessory after the fact to any felony punishable under this act shall

, on conviction, be liable to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years.”

If rioters, after proceeding a certain length, leave off of their own from demolish-llaccord before the act of demolition be completed, that is evidence ing of their

from which a jury may infer that they did not intend to demolish that is evidenced the house. that they did

A party of rioters came to a house about midnight, and in a riotdestroy the

ous manner burst open the door, broke some of the furniture, all the windows, and one of the window frames, and then went away, there being nothing to hinder them from doing more damage; it was held that although the breaking and damage done was a sufficient beginning to demolish the house, yet unless the jury were satisfied that the ultimate object was to destroy the house, and that, if they had carried their intentions into full effect, they would, in point of fact, have demolished it, it was not a beginning to demolish within the act. (t) So where a mob pursued a person to a public house, where he took refuge, and the doors and windows were all secured, and the mob demanded that he should be given up to them, or they would pull the house down, and the front door and lower windows were beaten in, and the shutters and frames of some of them much broken, and

part of the mob entered the house and did much damage to the furniture, but in about twenty minutes, being unable to find the person who had there taken refuge, and a rumour being spread that the

mayor was coming, they went away; it was held that this offence was not within the act; for the persons committing the outrage must have the intention of destroying the house, before they can be charged with a felonious beginning to demolish, and here they had no such intention, but their intention was to get possession of the

person who had entered the house. (u) But if they are. But if rioters are interrupted in the work of demolition by interrupted, the the police or any other force, that is evidence to show that they did intend they were compelled to desist from that which they had deto destroy the signed, and it is for the jury to infer that they had begun to house. demolish within the meaning of the act. A A party of coal whip

pers having a feeling of ill will to a coal lumper, who paid less than the usual wages, created a mob, riotously went to the house where he kept his pay table, cried out that they would murder him, threw stones, brickbats, &c., broke windows and partitions, and threw down part of a wall in a yard, and continued, after his escape, throwing stones at the house, till they were compelled to desist by the threats of the police; it was held that this case was distinguishable from

(t) Rex v. Thomas, MS. C. S. G. and (u) Rex v. Price, 5 C. & P.510, Tindal, 4 C. & P. 237, Littledale, J. See also C. J. Reg. o. Howell, 9 C. & P. 437.

R. v. Thomas, because the mob did not leave off voluntarily, but after the threats of the police, and that they might be convicted of beginning to demolish the house, though their principal object was to injure the lumper, provided it was also their object to demolish the house. (c) The beginning to pull down means not simply a de- The beginning molition of a part, but a part with an intent to demolish the whole. / to pull down The prisoners were indicted for beginning to demolish a building must be with

intent to deused in carrying on a trade. It appeared that they began by molish the breaking the windows and doors, and having afterwards entered the whole house house, they set fire to the furniture, but no part of the house was burnt. Parke, J., told the jury “the beginning to pull down, means not simply a demolition of a part, but a part with an intent to demolish the whole. It is for you to say if the prisoners meant to stop where they did, and do no more; because if they did, they are not guilty; but if they intended, when they broke the windows and doors, to go farther, and destroy the house, then they are guilty of a capital offence. If they had the full means of going farther, and were not interrupted, but left off of their own accord, it is evidence from which you may judge that they meant the work of demolition to stop where it did. If you

think that they originally came there without intent to demolish, and the setting fire to the furniture was an afterthought, but with that intent, then you must acquit, because no part of the house having been burnt, there was no beginning to destroy the house. If they came originally without such intent, but had afterwards set fire to the house, then the offence would be arson. If you have doubts whether they originally came with a purpose to demolish, you may use the setting fire to the furniture under such circumstances, and in such manner, as that the necessary consequence, if not for timely interference, would have been the burning of the house, as evidence to shew that they had such intent, although they began to demolish in another manner.” (y)

If a person forms part of a riotous assembly at the time the act of demolition commences, or if he wilfully joins such riotous assembly, so as to co-operate with them whilst the act of demolition is going on, and before it is completed, in either case he comes within the description of the offence, although he may not have assisted with his own hand in the demolition of the building. (2)

In order to prove that there was a beginning to demolish the house, it must be proved that some part of the freehold was destroyed; it is not therefore sufficient to prove that the window-shutters were demolished. (a)

Although setting fire to a house is a substantive felony, yet if fire is made the means of attempting to destroy a house, it is as much a beginning to demolish as if any other mode of destruction were resorted to. (6)

The 33 Geo. 3, c. 67, s. 1, reciting that seamen, keelmen, &c., 33 G. 3, c. 67, had of late assembled themselves in great numbers, and had com- s. 1. Seamen, mitted many acts of violence; and that such practices, if continued, assembled who might occasion great loss and damage to individuals, and injure the shall forcibly

(2) Rex v. Batt, 6 C. & P.329, Gurney, B.

(y) Ashton's case, | Lewin, 296, Parke, J.

(2) Per Tindal, C. J., Bristol Special

Commission, 5 C. & P, 265, note.

(a) Reg. v. Howell, 9 C. & P. 437, Littledale, J.

(6) Ibid.

prevent the

trade and navigation of the kingdom, enacts, “ that if any seamen, loading, &c. of any vessels, bled together to the number of three or more, shall unlawfully and

keelmen, casters, ship-carpenters, or other persons, riotously assemc committed to with force prevent, hinder, or obstruct, the loading or unloading, or prison.

the sailing or navigating, of any ship, keel, or other vessel, or shall unlawfully and with force board any ship, keel, or other vessel, with intent to prevent, hinder, or obstruct, the loading or unloading, or the sailing or navigating of such ship, keel, or other vessel, every seaman keelman, caster, ship-carpenter, and other person,” (being lawfully convicted of any of the offences aforesaid upon any indictment found in any court of oyer and terminer, or general or quarter sessions of the peace for the county, division, district, &c., wherein the offence was committed) shall be committed either to the common gaol or to the house of correction for the same county, &c., there to continue and to be kept to hard labour for any term not exceeding twelve calendar months, nor less than six calendar months. The fourth section provides, that the act shall not extend to any act, deed, &c., done in the service or by the authority of his Majesty. The seventh section enacts, that offences committed on the high seas shall be triable in any session of oyer and terminer, &c., for the trial of offences committed on the high seas within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty. And by the eighth section it is provided, that no person shall be prosecuted by virtue of the act for any of the offences therein mentioned, unless such prosecution be commenced within twelve calendar months after the offence committed. (c)

Women are punishable as rioters ; but infants under the age of

discretion are not. (d) Of a rout. II. By some books the notion of a rout is confined to such assem

blies only as are occasioned by some grievance common to all the company; as the enclosure of land in which they all claim a right of common, &c. But, according to the general opinion, it seems to be a disturbance of the peace by persons assembling together with an intention to do a thing, which, if it be executed, will make them rioters, and actually making a motion towards the execution of their purpose. In fact, it generally agrees in all the particulars with a riot, except only in this, that it may be a complete offence without the execution of the intended enterprize. (e) And it seems, by the recitals in several statutes, that if people assemble themselves, and afterwards proceed, ride, go forth, or move by instigation of one or several conducting them, this is a rout; inasmuch as they move and

proceed in rout and number. (f) Of an unlawfull III. An unlawful assembly, according to the common opinion, is assembly. a disturbance of the peace by persons barely assembling together

with an intention to do a thing which, if it were executed, would make them rioters, but neither actually executing it nor making a motion towards its execution. Mr. Serjeant Hawkins, however, Lthinks this much too narrow an opinion; and that any meeting of

(c) This statute was at first only tempo- appear by guardian, but may appear by rary, but was made perpetual by 41 Geo. 3, attorney. Reg. v. Tanner, 2 Lord Raym.

(d) i Hawk. P. C. c. 65, s. 14. Ante, 2, (e) 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 65, s. 8. et seq. and 20. But an infant above the (f) 19 Vin. Abr. tit. Riots, &c. (A) 2, age of discretion is punishable ; and, referring to 18 Ed. 3, c. 1, 13 Hen. 4, c. though under the age of eighteen, need not ult., and 2 Hen. 5, c. 8.

c. 19.


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