July 26, 1875

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July 26, 1875
 - JULY 20, 1875. a to so is. - held by tho most...
JULY 20, 1875. a to so is. - held by tho most sober - minded and Conservative public men, and tho obligations they involve have been accepted by tho present no less than by the late Government. Mr. Cuom announces tho determination determination 6! tho present Government to toko up the question where it had becti left by their predecessors. predecessors. It appears that he had advised thu Government to introduce a Bill which would have dealt merely with uncontested points,' but he found that the general opinion of tho House was so strongly in favour of a comprehensive settlement of the principles of Enclosure that ho thought it prudent to abandon the more limited measure. Tho Home Seciietaiiy showed soma alarm when his promise that tho Government would not loso sight of the subject was interpreted as an explicit pledge that ho would bring forward a Bill early next Session. Yet wo may hope that, though Mr. Cnosa is unwilling to bo bound by any pledges he can avoid, he will lose no ' time in dealing with a question which it is unwiso to leave unsettled. Thcro is an element of reason in Mr. Gkjxosy's case. Many schemes of Enclosure are probably free from all objection, for some common lands, like those referred to by Mr. Walsh, tho member for Radnorshire, are rather mischievous than useful in their present state. Where both the owners of the manorial rights and tho commoners agree in desiring to enclose waste, and whero thcro is no largo neighbouring population interested, or likely to become so, in tho maintenance of the waste as an open space, an enclosuro scheme may fairly bo sanctioned. But tho schemes of the Enclosuro Commissioners do not supply Parliament, with adequate materials for forming u judgment in each particular case, even if it were proper that such matters of detail should be discussed and determined determined by tho Imperial Legislature. The absence of guiding principles has, almost of necessity, brought the conduct of tho Commissioners .under tho sway of individual interests. No settlement of 'tho question, however, will be accepted as satis factory by the country which docs not tako conizanco of tho interest of tho community as an clement in tho policy to bo pursued, wholly distinct from the claims of manorial lords, owners in fee, and commoners. That thercis any such interest is something which the advocates' of Enclosures either cannot perceive or do not think it prudent to admit. Sir W. Babttexot plaintively insisted that somebody should explain to him what right tho general public, as distinct from the commoners, had in - iheso common lands that needed protection when an Enclosure was contemplated. Owners and commoners ought to be adequately compensated, ho argued, but when all claimants of theso classes had been bought off, what rights remained I The answer is obvious. Of legal rights there aro none, except thoso of ownors and commoners. But every common which has been maintained as an open space from timu immemorial iu thecchtro of a dense population has been sn joyed by thousands .who have no moro rights of common over it than the wild birds have. If the common bo fenced in and cut up into farms, these thousands suffer an irreparable loss. When, therefore, the persons who' have legal rights over tho wasto come to ask the.Legislature to bo allowed to deal with it in a novel and no t previously legalized manner, it is reasonable for the Legislature to rcfuso its assent if the loss of tho many be manifestly out of all proportion proportion greater than tho gain of the few. Owners and commoners who demand the power to enclojo are looking, in fact, for a property which was not theirs before. It is a proper opportunity for Parliament, as the guardian of tho national interest, to make a bargain which will legally sccuro - to tho publio the enjoyment of a portion at least of those open spaces which aro acknowledged to be as indispensable indispensable to the health of a densely - populated district district as windows are toad welling - house. The state of English law as regards the responsi bility of insano persons for criminal acts, although it has been defined with perfect clearness by many eminent jurists, has yet, during tho hut few years, been so much' obscured by the arguments and dis cussions of somo who would gladly sco it altered, as well as by tno contradictory verdicts ol juries and by the,, often unintelligible decisions of sue cessivo Home Secretaries, that wo cannot but heartily welcomo the forcible exposition it has re - i - ir t i Ti. ? ii oi : i t cctTea trom air. justice niiirrr m tne (jnarge wiucit he delivered to a Maidstone jury onFriday, and which was reported m bur columns on Saturday. The pri soner in the case, Gbobob Blasifieo, was accused of the wilful murder of Jaues Catx, who was a fellow labourer with him in the Dockyard at Chatham.. .It seems that Bummed became insane in December 18C8, and was sent to tho lunatic asylum on; Barm ing - heath, from which ho was discharged cured in December 1872, and had ever silica worked at his trade in n proper manner. The deceased man, Catt, was ofteu associated with him, and somo months ago an altercation aroso be twecn them ; but it was not serious, and they wero apparently on friendly terms. Ou the lGth of April tho two men wero working within six feet of each other, when the prisoner, without any known provocation, struck the deceased violently with an adze on the back of his head, cleaving his skull and inflicting fatal in tunes. 1 no sound ot tne blow attracted tno notice of other men who were near ai hand, and, when they came running up, the prisoner declared thai the deceased deceased had inflicted the wouuds upon himself. Uo told the same story to tho sergeant of police, and when taxed with the murder protested his own inno cence. A lew minutes ncioro tno commission ot tne crimo hd had been to his foreman for instructions, and both then and afterwards he was collected in his manner and coherent in his talk. At his trial he pleaded "Not Guilty," and his counsel set up the defence that he was insane, snd that ho had yielded to a sudden and " uncontrollable" impulse to murder a man against whom he entertained a grudge. The only evidence of his insanity was that of the surgeon of tho gaol in which he had been confined, and this evidence had reference only to his strange opinions on the subject of religion. The attention which has recently been paid to the subject of lunacy by medical men has induced many of them to desire to extend the doctrine of the irresponsibility irresponsibility of tho insano in a highly dangerous man ner. It has been gravely urged, both before juries and in tho discussions which have arisen upon their verdicts, that a single insane delusion should bo considered sufficient to destroy criminal responsi bility even for acts which tho delusion did not prompt ; and that it should confer upon its subject exomption from punishment, strictly so called although leaving him liable to confinement for his own good or for the safety of others. Those who thus argue are of opinion that it would bo unjust to nang a muraerer, nowever deli berate and brutal might be his crime, if it could be shown, . for example, that he be lieved his own bead to be made of glass. In con tradistinction to this, which may be called the mad doctors' view of the subject, Mr. Justice Bbett told the jury, in effect, that tho law took no heed of sanity or insanity, abstractedly considered, or of the presence or absence of delusions. He declared declared advisedly that it was not enough for a man to be mad, but that he must be so mad as not to know the natureof the act be committed ; that is to say, in order to. obtain exemption ho must either not know what he was doing or must not know that it was wrong, if he' knew what he was doing. and if ho knew that it was wrong, then, however mad he might be, ho was still respon sible. In aualyzvig tho evidence the learned Judgo pointed iMit that tho priioner itad for thrco years been sane and had' been treated as sane by his associates ; and that the evidence of his strange opinions about religion fell very far short establishing tho kind or degree of insanity which could afford him immunity from tho legal consequences consequences of his crime. The summing - up pointed very clearly to a conviction ; but the jury, after being quarter of an hour in consultation, shrunk from finding a simple verdict of guilty, and added that the prisoner was not accountabla for his acts. Ho was therefore ordered to be detained in custody during Urn SLuestys pleasure. The notion of the irresponsibility of tho insane has of late been brought so prominently before tho public that wo can hardly fed surprise at the inability of the jury to understand the distinction distinction which was so admirably put before them ; but it would not bo difficult to show that tho Judges Charge was in rfect accordance accordance with scientific truth, as well as with public policy. Although insanity is now known to bo simply a disease of tho brain, the result of some departure from the natural structure or condition of tho cells of which tho nervous centres are composed, composed, this knowledge does not bring us one step nearer to a definition of the disease, and does not help us. to draw a line between sanity and eccentricity, or between eccentricity and insanity. Thero can bo no doubt that there arc many people who stand, as it were, upon the threshold of insanity who are the subiccts of chancres which, it they were carried a little farther, would produce madness. In such people it is generally easy to say when it becomes necessary to put them under restraint: but it would be impossible to assign tho period at which their malady commenced. commenced. Tho dominion of she reason and tho will over the conduct becomes wavering, intermittent, intermittent, and uncertain, before it is altogether lost ; and it is often maintained for days and weeks together together by knowledge of consequences and by fear of suffering. Even in - dealing with the obviously obviously insane, the modern system of managing an asylum the system which has superseded restraint and torture is based absolutely upon an appeal to that diminished degree of self - control which is left to the patients, who know quite well that certain kinds of conduct will interfere with their liberty or will curtail their indulgences, and who act upon this knpwlcdgo every day. Insanity, in most instances, is not a destruction of tho mental faculties, but a greater or less disturbance of them ; and, especially when wo consider the number of insano persons who aro improving under treatment, wo can couccive nothing moro objectionable than to declare that these persons, when they return to their former avocations, avocations, will return with a weakened responsibility before the law. Such a doctrino would bo especially dangerous when applied to cases of alleged " un - " controllablo impulse ;" for an inipuLo, when it prompts to an act of murder or violence, has no real character of suddenness, but is tho result of opportunity, acting upon a mind in which somo evil passion has previously been dwelt upon and cherished. In tho case under consideration thcro can be little doubt that the prisoner had nursed his grudgo 'against the deceased, that ho had often thought with pleasure how ho would kill or injure him, and that in this way he was rendered unable to resist the temptation to strike the fatal blow. But a similar order of events is common to many kinds of criminality ; and one of tho objects of punish incnl is. to prevent evil uiougnu irom becoming or engendering uncontrollable impulses, and to supply feeble minds with inducements to resist them. If BuLUWKD, when ha begin to think about kill ing his fellow - workman, had also thought about being hanged for doing it, the probabilities are that tho second idea would have pre vented the first from being predominant, and that even when the opportunity aroao the fear of punishment would hare arrested Iiis hand. When the matter is thus regarded, it becomes manifest that tha legal - view of responsibility is that which should bo upheld, oven in the interests of tho insane themselves.: There are thousands of lunatics in our asylums many of whom wilt sooner or later bo suffered to return to the world. If they know that thoy return subject to tho law, the knowledge will bo an aid to self - restraint which will allow them to bo released as soon as they aro restored to health J wbcreasj if they are to enjoy a real or fancied immunity from tho consequences of their actions, they nuy become as dangerous as wild beasts. - . t . m , i . , , j ,i VrrV . . !'"" " 1' - " - Tub Port of Lojrnox. On Friday tho Sanitary Committee vf the Coqioratioo of the City in relation to the Port of London, beaded by - their chairman, Sir. lion, made their annual trip down the Thxmai, lUrting iitm Lotido& - hriJg in a stcStuer, and proceeding as far ctowu tho nircr as about two mile below Graveseil, whero their hospital thii, the llhin. Las been eonstatit! moorixl lor tlitf l?t twojtar cr xnoie. The CommitUo was acvvtujiaaied by Mr. J - ihn tSimpu, uf the iledicj Department Department of tlio l'nvy Cuu&cu OUict. - ; Aldcrtuan .Sir Thomks Dakin, Al'icniiaiiSirrroncis Truscott, Mr. John htaplc, Chairuiiuitif ti.e City t oiujihiioo of Sewen; Dr. Scdcwk. Saondcxabtl olLtri. Later in the day they were joined by Mr. Muncktou, th Town Clerk, Mr. Catty, and ether cine authorities. The jurudictivu of the Corporation, as to tho sanitary uicrvUiou of the Tiuuncs. extendi from Tcdiflnj - ton Lock u Uij "ortu I'oreland ; and orerthat, as their sacdlod :viScer, Dr. llrry Leach is Lu trusted with the nupetTuion ; Dr. WJutcomb, of GTeead, baring charge oi the hupital ship llhin. Tha concurrent concurrent testimony of tfwwe entlemen. in etfeet, u tba.t duruu the hut year tho lTiiu.cs has been sinnihrly free I root contagious uiiatu u a rutc isr. icaca i proviaeu lir the ivtittranon wnn is enabled to move n tho river, and so to confront, at the outset, the apnear - ancoof any contagious malady in any partvfiC Tho llhin is an old 1'rench Irigatc, captured towards the end of the lat or the beginning of the present century. Dibdin ia his day would probably have said or' sung, " Here lies a sheer hulk," but tne vessel, tnotreu as she is in m convenient part of the Thames, is well adapted to her present uses, and that is all that is re quirel of her. At the close of the official inspection tuo civic; authorities encased in it, with the medical officers and Mr. John Simou, dncd together in the evening at the principal hotel in Koshervillc. In tho course of tlte entertainment air. Horx, the chairman,proposed the health of Mr.bimon in flattering terms, remarkinj that in hu opinion the. Corporation of London in more cases than one had net recemUA - tl. as It ought to have done, the services of men who nad devoted the greater part of their lives, cotinde - t : : l : e . f, - , . stroym;, uui in atiEj uuu me. air. aimon, rtpiytng tj tne cunipliment, said ho could not easily say how much t J.LI. I Il - JI .1i I .. . ne was uucowi iu u.e Lvrjignuoa oi aonuon. lie lei t tno obligation strongly, in that his connexion with it led some 0 years azo to his beinx preksod into tno service of the central Cot erniiicnt. It had been to him one of the best inlluences of his education that before he entered into the service of the central Government he had learnt by an apprenticeship of seven yean what the results of such a service might be. It wss refreshing to him to return to tne common sense ami the public spirit of the City of Loudon, and to derivo lessons from both. Tuosa who know tho hutery of quarantine in this country must remember that it was an utter sham and delusion and totally inapplicable to the community. Three years ajo the Public Health Act of lis - was passed. It became a question who should bo the sanitary authority authority for the Port of London, and not uatd the last moment was that position taken by the Corpora lion. 11 was not at all sure J that the City at that time knew what a difficult position it was assuming.; but, however that mifht be, the public mind of the metropolis had come to looic to tne iny as sunuin? between it anu foreign peti - lcnce,andas being always prepared for such an eventuality. Some other toasts germane to the occasion were siven, and tha company returned to town. MEECttisr Suirrisc. Tho Board of Trade re turns show that at the eneVof the year 187 - 1 there were registered as bekn;icg to the United Kingdom, including the Channel Islands, 21,401 sailisg vessels of, in the aggregate. aggregate. it10S tons, snd 4,033 steam vessels, of L6T 0,611 tons, making in the whole 'Si,HJt Tessels cf 5,1773,11 tons, being 173, fcW tons mere than ai the end of the year 1373. The above numbers, compared with those for X&0, show in the It years a decline of 4,199 in the. number of sailing vessels, but of onlr Ui.U0 torn in the tonnare : in steam vessels, an rnrrf"" of 2,CC3 in the number and of 1,416.1 tons in the tonnage ; tne total snipping snowing a i - )iTn of 2,106 in the number of vessels, bat an increase cf 1,320,144 tons in the tonnage. Thz CnxECH nr the Mrtcorous. The BishoDl of .London nas uuuiuteu uc i.ev. Lreorza rTwnnn oz to the vkarsge of St. John, KiTburn. and has licensed the liar. Henry Wright, M.A., so be Minister of St. John's Chapel, Haapstead. Cnacax or 3Iusoec James Patchio. who was stabbed at Liverpool on Thursdar evenimr hr a Cemsn ' sailor named Jacob Snider, died yesterday in tne Southern lluttiital

Clipped from The Times26 Jul 1875, MonPage 9

The Times (London, Greater London, England)26 Jul 1875, MonPage 9
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  • July 26, 1875

    lhayes09 – 18 Mar 2013

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