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Events of the Quarter.
PARLIAMENT was prorogued by Royal Commission on the 7th of August. The session is spoken of, we observe, as one in which little work was accomplished ; yet it was fertile in measures of interest to the legal profession. The Highways Act, the Joint Stock Companies Act, the Chancery and Lunacy Regulation Acts, will alone furnish a respectable addition to the statute-book. And in addition to these are the Transfer of Land and Declaration of Title Acts, destined, if successful, to commence a revolution in the practice of conveyancing. Will they be successful ? Judging by the general tone of opinion, we should answer- -No. But in reality any opinion is at present premature. The Chancellor is clearly determined that if his Act is a failure it shall not lie with him ; he has made an appointment of Registrar, in Mr. Follett, Q.C., which commands the applause of the whole profession, and we believe that active exertions have been, and are being made, to bring the office into good working order. It was opened on the 15th of last month, at 34, Lincoln's Inn Fields, the habitat of the departed Insolvent Debtors' Court, which was recently swept out of existence by another great measure of the energetic Chancellor.
We ought to note, too, that under the Bankruptcy Act just alluded to, the Queen's Prison has ceased to be. The debtors have been all removed to Whitecross Street. The time-honoured institution of imprisonment for debt is passing away under our eyes.
In a little matter which has made some stir, Lord Westbury has not been so happy. A Mr. Jones, of Clytha in Monmouthshire, has assumed the surname of Herbert in the place of his original designation, having previously taken the arms appertaining to his new name. Lord Llanover, the Lord Lieutenant of the county, refuses to recognise the change, and will not permit Mr. Herbert to qualify as magistrate under the new appellation. Lord Llanover, attacked in more than one quarter for his decision, laid the case, or rather his case, before the Lord Chancellor, and received a short reply, stating apreservedly that no man can change his name without royal license. The soundness of this opinion is much questioned, and whether it be sound or not, it should hardly have been given on an ex parte statement. It may be added that Lord Llanover and Mr. Herbert are relatives, and that the dispute has been carried on with all the peculiarities of tone which generally distinguish a family squabble.
HER MAJESTY and the Emperor of the French, in order to define within their respective dominions and possessions the position of commercial, industrial, and financial companies and associations, constituted and authorized in conformity with the laws in force in either of the two countries, have concluded the following articles :
I. The high contracting parties declare that they mutually grant to all companies and other associations, commercial, industrial, or financial, constituted and authorized in conformity with the laws in force in either of the two countries, the power of exercising all their rights, and of appearing before the tribunals, whether for the purpose of bringing an action, or for defending the same throughout the dominions and possessions of the other power, subject to the sole condition of conforming to the laws of such dominions and possessions.
II. It is agreed that the stipulations of the preceding article shall apply as well to companies and associations constituted and authorized previously to the signature of the present convention, as to those which may subsequently be so constituted and authorized.
III. The present convention is concluded without limit as to duration. Either of the high powers shall however be at liberty to determine it by giving to the other a year's previous notice. The two high powers, moreover, reserve to themselves the power to introduce into the convention, by common consent, any modifications which experience may show to be desirable.
All our readers will be glad to know that a well deserved compliment has been paid to Mr. M. D. Hill, Q.C., Recorder of Birmingham. The town council have raised his salary from £300 to £400 a year in consideration of his "lengthened and distinguished services in the general administration of justice, and in the cause of criminal reform.” We believe there was never a juster eulogy pronounced.
Sir John D. HARDING, D.C.L., after holding the highly responsible and confidential office of Queen's Advocate, for ten years, has resigned, owing to failing health. Sir John Harding was appointed in 1852 by Lord Derby, as successor to Sir John Dodson, who succeeded to the judgeship of the Arches Court on the death of Sir Herbert Jenner Fust. Dr. Robert Phillimore is the new Queen's Advocate.
We are glad to see that Mr. George Harris, well known in the profession and the literary world as the author of the “Life of Lord Hardwicke,” and other works, has been appointed Registrar of the Court of Bankruptcy, at Manchester. The salary of the office, under the recent Act, is £1000 a year.
On the 18th ult., Joseph Ormsby Radcliffe, Esq., LL.D., Q.C., expired at his residence in Dublin, after a short illness. Dr. Radcliffe discharged his onerous duties as Judge of the Consistorial Court with independence and ability, and was much respected by the profession. As Vicar General of the provinces of Armagh and Dublin he exhibited the same high qualities of mind, and will be
deeply regretted no less by all who came into contact with him in his public capacity than by his personal friends.
MR. CHARLES PEARSON, the eminent Solicitor to the Corporation of the City of London, died on the 14th of September, aged 69 years. Mr. Pearson was admitted an attorney in 1816. In the following year he was elected to the Common Council for the Ward of Bishopsgate, of which he soon rose to be a prominent member. In 1839 he was appointed City Solicitor, and in 1847 was returned to Parliament for the Borough of Lanıbeth, when he became one of the advocates of that reformation in the treatment of criminals which has been since to some extent carried out. Other offices of minor importance were held by Mr. Pearson, connected with the City of London. The Common Council have formally testified their gratitude for the many important benefits which Mr. Pearson was the instrument of conferring upon
them. The Upper Canada Law Journal, referring to the recent appointments of Attorney and Solicitor-General of that Colony, says :
"The new Attorney-General, the Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald, Q.C., has been for a long period in public life, being now the senior member of the House of Assembly. He received his legal education under the supervision of Chief Justices McLean and Draper, and was called to the bar in Trinity Term, 1840. In 1849, he received the honour of a silk gown, and was appointed Solicitor-General on the elevation of Mr. Solicitor-General Blake to the Chancellorship. He resigned that office in 1851, and the following year was elected Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. He also held his present office of Attorney-General for a short period in 1858. The present Solicitor-General, the Hon. Adam Wilson, Q.C., is
comparatively new to political life. He was called to the bar in Trinity Term, 1839, and was for many years the law partner of the late Hon. Robert Baldwin. In 1850, during the administration of that distinguished politician, he, together with the present Chancellor, and Justices Richards and Hagarty, and others, received the patent of Queen's Counsel. He has held the office of Mayor of the City of Toronto for some years, and has the reputation of being a careful, learned, and pains-taking lawyer.”
The first Congress of the International Association for the Social Sciences (modelled on the English Association) was held at Brussels in the month of September. The meeting was highly successful, and the Association (which is to meet at Ghent next year) promises to be one of permanent utility on the Continent. All the officers were Belgians ; but each nationality represented at the Congress was allowed to elect Vice-Presidents, Secretaries, &c., of its own, who enjoyed a corresponding honorary rauk in the body at large and the different sections. The Vice-Presidents elected by the English members present, were Major-Gen. Sir Joshua Jebb, K.C.B., Chairman of the Directors of Convict Prisons ; Sir John Bowring, late ambassador to China ; Mr. G. W. Hastings, the General Secretary of the Social Science Association ; and Mr. L. Heyworth, of Liverpool, and late M.P. The Secretary chosen was Mr. Westlake, of the Chancery Bar, the Foreign Secretary of the Social Science Association. The President of the Section of Comparative Legislation was M. Tielmans, President of the Court of Appeal at Brussels, and in this section several interesting discussions took place, more especially on the laws relating to the press in the different countries of Europe, in which Mr. Hastings and Mr. Westlake took part, describing the law of England on that subject, and the principles which have regulated our legislation. Mr. Westlake also contributed some valuable observations on the law of joint-stock companies established in foreign countries.
We have received copies of the official despatches from Sir Hercules Robinson, Governor of Hong Kong, to the Colonial Office, stating the result of the official inquiry into the charges made by the late Attorney-General of the colony, Mr. T. Chisholm Anstey, against a Mr. Caldwell, a Government official in the island. Mr. Anstey is entirely exonerated from the accusation made against him by Sir John Bowring, (and for which he was dismissed from the office of Attorney-General,) of having brought rash and malicious charges against Mr. Caldwell ; that individual being adjudged guilty of confederating with pirates, as alleged by Mr. Anstey. In our next number we shall feel it our duty to observe on the extraordinary disclosures made in these despatches.
APPOINTMENTS. LORD Stanley, M.P.; Lord Overstone ; Sir William Erle; Sir W. Page Wood ; Sir Hugh Cairns, Q.C., M.P.; Horatio Waddington, Esq.; W. R. Grove, Esq., Q.C.; W. M. Hindmarch, Esq., Q.C.; W. E. Forster, Esq., M.P.; and William Fairbairn, Esq., F.R.S.; have been appointed Her Majesty's Commissioners to inquire into the working of the law relating to Letters Patent for Inventions.
R. J. Phillimore, Esq., D.C.L., has been appointed Queen's Advocate in the room of Sir John Harding, resigned, and Her Majesty has granted him the dignity of Knighthood of the United Kingdom.
Travers Twiss, Esq., D.C.L., has been appointed Advocate-General to the Admiralty, vacant by the elevation of Sir R. J. Phillimore.
B. S. Follett, Esq., Q.Č., has been appointed Registrar of the Office of Land Registry, under the Act of last Session, and R. H. Holt, Esq., Assistant Registrar.
Mr. James Grant, of the Northern Circuit, has been appointed Revising Barrister for the Northumberland district.
Mr. Edward Mortimer Archibald has been appointed Her Majesty's Judge, and Mr. William Dudley Ryder Her Majesty's Arbitrator, in the Mixed Court, established at New York, under the treaty of April 7th last, between Great Britain and the United States, for the suppression of the African slave trade.
Mr. William Nichols, formerly one of the Commissioners of the Insolvent Debtors' Court, of London, and lately one of the Registrars of the Manchester Court of Bankruptcy, has been appointed Judge of the Birmingham County Court, in the room of Mr. Leigh Trafford, resigned ; and Mr. George Harris of the Temple, Deputy Judge of the Birmingham County Court, has been appointed to succeed Mr. Nichols, as Registrar of the Manchester Court of Bankruptcy.
SCOTLAND.—Dr. Douglas Maclagan has been appointed to the Chair of Medical Jurisprudence and Police in the University of Edinburgh; and Mr. James Muirhead, Advocate, Professor Elect of Civil Law, in the room of Mr. Swinton, resigned.
China.—Mr. Henry John Ball has been appointed Judge of the Court of Summary Jurisdiction ; and Mr. Charles May, and Mr. John C. Whyte, Police Magistrates for the Colony of Hong Kong.
INDIA.—Mr. H. M. Reily, Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector of Conercolly, has been transferred to Furredpore, as Magistrate, and Mr. W. H. Barker, Officiating Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector of Chittagong, to Nodcolly, as Subordinate Magistrate. Mr. G. S. Fayan, has been appointed to officiate as First Judge of the Court of Small Causes, in Calcutta, during the absence of Mr. Boulnois. Mr. F. B. Kemp, to officiate as Judge of the Court of Sudder Dewanny and Nizamut Adawlut. Mr. F. C. Fowle to officiate as Civil and Sessions Judge of Shahabad. Messrs. E. Jackson, C. H. Campbell, A. A. Swinton, and W. B. Buckle, Civil and Sessions Judges, respectively of Nuddea, Jessore, Tipperah, and Backergunge. Mr. A. J. Lewis, Advocate-General, Bombay, an additional Member of the Government Council of Bombay, for the purpose of making laws and regulations. Mr. R. J. Corbet, a Member of the Legislative Council, and a Justice of the Peace, for Ceylon. Mr. H. F. Mutukisna, Acting Deputy to the Queen’s Advocate, for the Northern Circuit, vice Murray. Mr. T. L. Gibson, District Judge, and additional Joint Commissioner of the Court of Requests, Jaffna, vice Price retired. Mr. J. B. Graves, District Judge, Commissioner of the Court of Requests, and Police Magistrate of Kurnegalle, vice Gibson promoted. Mr. D. E. De Saram, Commissioner of the Court of Requests and Police Magistrate of Kandy, vice Graves promoted ; and Mr. G. Stewart, Commissioner of the Court of Requests and Police Magistrate of Gampola, vice De Saram promoted.
MALTA.–Francesco Fitani, Esq., LL.D., has been appointed one of Her Majesty's Judges of the Island of Malta, and Mr. Henry Felix J. Recano, of the Middle Temple, has been appointed to act as Judge of the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, during the absence of Sir James Cochrane, Knt.