1634: 10 Charles 1 session 2 c.19: An Act for the Triall of Murders and Felonies committed in severall Counties, &c.
FORASMUCH as the most necessary office and duty of law is to preserve and save the life of man, and condignely to punish such persons that unlawfully or willfully murther, slay or destroy men; and also that another office and duty of law is to punish robbers and thieves, which daily endeavour themselves to rob and steale, or give assistance to the same, and yet by craft and cautile, doe escape from the same without punishment; and where it often happened and cometh in ure in sundry counties of this realme, that a man is feloniously strucken in one county, and after dieth in another county; in which case, and divers other cases of that nature, it hath not been found by the laws and customes of this realme, that any sufficient indictment thereof can be taken in any of the said two counties, for that by the customes of this realme, the jurors of the county where such party dyed of such stroke, can take no knowledge of the said stroke, being in a forreigne county, although the same two counties and places adjoine very neer together, nor the jurors of the county where the stroke was given, cannot take knowledge of the death in any other county, although such death most apparently came of the same stroke; so that the King’s Majesty within his owne realme cannot by any lawes, yet made or knowne, punish such murderers or man-killers, for offences in this form committed and done, nor any appeale at some time may lye for the same, but doth also faile, and the said murderers and man-killers escape thereof without punishment, as well in cases where the counties where such offences be committed and done, may joyne, or otherwise where they may not joyne. And also it is a common practise among arrant thieves and robbers in this realme, that after they have robbed or stollen in one county, they will convey their spoile, or part thereof, so robbed and stollen, unto some of their adherents, in some other county where the principall offence was not committed or done, who knowing of such felony, willingly, and by false covin, receive the same; in which case, although the principal felon be attainted in the one county, the accessary escapeth by reason that hee was accessary in another county, and that the jurors of the said other county, by any law yet made, can take no knowledge of the principall felony nor attainder in the first county, and so such accessaries escape thereof unpunished, and do often put in ure the same, knowing that they may escape without punishment; For redresse and punishment of which offences, and other offences of like nature,
[Where the stroke, &c. in one county and death in another, or out of kingdom, and death in any county in kingdom.]
and safeguard of man’s life, be it enacted by authority of this present Parliament, that where any person or persons hereafter shall be traiterously or feloniously stricken, poysoned, or bewitched in one county, and dye of the same stroke, poisoning or bewitching, in any other county within this kingdome, or in any other part or place out of this kingdome: or where any person or persons hereafter shall be traiterously or feloniouslie strucken, poisoned, or bewitched, in any part or place out of this kingdom, and dye of the same stroke, poisoning or bewitching in any county within this kingdome;
[Indictment by jurors of county where death happened good.]
that then an indictment thereof found by jurors in the county where the death shall happen (if in case the same death happen to be within any county within this kingdome, whether it shall be found by the coroner upon the sight of such dead body, or before the justices of peace, or other justice or justices, commissioner or commissioners, which, shall have authority to inquire of any treasons, murderers, or man slaughters ) shall be as good and effectuall in the law, as if the stroke, poisoning or witchcraft had been given, committed, or done in the same county where the party shall dye, or where such indictment shall be so found;
[Where death out of realm, indictment where stroke, &c. given, good.]
and in case such death shall happen to be in any other part or place out of this realm, that then an indictment thereof, found by jurors of the county where any such stroke, poisoning, or witchcraft shall be given, committed or done before the justices of the peace or other justice or justices, commissioner or commissioners, which shall have authority to inquire of any murders or man-slaughters, and the tryall and judgment thereupon had and given, shall be as good and effectuall in the law, to all intents, constructions and purposes, as if the same death had happened in the same county where such stroke, poisoning, and witchcraft was given, committed or done; any law or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
[Justices may proceed as if stroke and death in same county.]
And that the justice or justices of goale-delivery, oyer and determiner, in the same county where such indictment at any time here-after shall be taken, and also the justices of the King’s bench, after such indictment shall be removed before them, shall and may proceed upon the same, in all points, as they should or ought to doe, in case such felonious stroke and death thereby ensuing, or poysoning and death thereof ensuing, or bewitching and death thereof ensuing, had growne all in one and the same county.
[Appeal of murder, &c. sued where party dies, if out of kingdom, where stroke, &c. given.]
And that such party to whom appeale of murder or man-slaughter shall be given by the law may commence, take and sue appeale of murder, or man-slaughter in the same county, where the party so feloniously stricken, poisoned, or bewitched, shall dye, in case he dye within any county within this realme; and in case such death happen out of this kingdome, then in such county where such stroke, poisoning, or witchcraft was committed or done;
[And that against principal or accessaries, in whatsoever county guilty.]
And that in both cases, as well against the principall and principalls, as against every accessary to the same offences, in whatsoever county or place within the King’s dominions, the accessary or accessaries shall be guilty to the same.
[Where appeal sued within the year and day after murder, &c. justices shall proceed, &c.]
And further the justice or justices before whom any such appeale shall be commenced, sued or taken, within the yeare and day after such murder or man-slaughter committed and done, shall proceed against all and every such accessary and accessaries in the same county where such appeale shall be so taken, in like manner and form, as if the same offence or offences or accessary or accessaries had been committed and done in the same county where such appeale shall be so taken, as well concerning the triall by the jurors or twelve men of such county, where such appeale or appeals shall be hereafter taken upon the plea of not guilty, pleaded by such offendor or offendors, as otherwise.
[Trial of accessary, in one county, to a murder or felony in another, good.]
II. And further be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That where any murder or felony hereafter shall be committed and done in one county, and another person or more shall be accessary or accessaries in any manner of wise to any such murder, or felony, in another county within this realme, or in any other part or place out of this realm, that then an indictment found or taken against any such accessary or accessaries, upon the circumstance of such matter before the justices of the peace, or other justice or justices, commissioner or commissioners to inquire of felonies in the county where such offences of accessary or accessaries in any manner of wise shall be committed or done, in case the said offences of accessary or accessaries be committed or done in any county within this realme, shall be as good and effectuall in the law, as if the said principall offence had been committed or done within the same county where the same indictement against such accessary shall be found;
[Justices upon suit to them, shall write to keepers of records to certify, &c. and thereupon proceed against accessaries.]
and that the justice or justices of goale-delivery, or oyer and determiner, or two of them, of or in such county, where the offence of any such accessary hereafter committed and done, upon suit to them made, shall write to the custos rotulorum, clerke of the crowne, or other keepers of the records, where such principall shall be hereafter attainted or convict, to certifie them whether such principall be attainted, convicted or otherwise discharged of such principall felony, who upon such writing to them or any of them directed, shall make sufficient certificate in writing under their seale or seales to the said justice or justices, commissioner or commissioners, whether such principall be attainted, convicted, or otherwise discharged, or not; and after that, they that so shall have the custody of such records, do certifie, that such principall is attainted, convicted, or otherwise discharged of such offence by the law, that then the justice or justices of goale-delivery, or of oyer and terminer, or other there authorized, shall proceed upon every such accessary, in the countie where such accessary or accessaries became accessary, in such manner and forme, as if both the same principall offence and accessary had been committed and done in the same county, where the offence of accessary was or shall be committed or done,
[If accessary’s offence out of kingdom, indictment where principal tried, good.]
and in case that such offence of accessary or accessaries shall happen to be committed or done in any place out of this kingdome, that then an indictment found or taken against such accessaries or accessary, upon the cir-cumftance of such matter, before the justices of the peace, or other justice or justices, commissioner or commissioners, to enquire of any treasons, murderers, man-(laughters or other felonies, in such county where the principall offendor shall or may receive his try all, by force of this act of Parliament, shall be as good and effectuall in the law, to all intents, constructions and purposes, as if the said offences of accessary had been committed or done in the same county where the same indictment against such accessary shall be found; any law, usage, custome, or other thing to the contrary notwithstanding.
[Trial, judgment, &c. as in other cases of treason, &c.]
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every accessary, and other offendor above expressed, shall answere upon their arraignments, and receive such tryall, judgement, order and execution, and suffer such forfeitures, paines and penalties, as is used in other cases of treason, murder, man-slaughter, or other felonies; any law or custome to the contrary heretofore used in any wise notwithstanding.