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BILL OF COSTS-BILL OF EXCHANGE.
facts and circumstances relied on; and it should exchange performs two kinds of offices in commerce pray specifically for the particular relief which the -it saves the transmission of coined money, and it plaintiff conceives himself entitled to, and also for enables creditors not only to fix down debtors to a general relief, or, as the bill itself usually states, day of payment, but to get the use of a sum equivafor such further and other relief as the court may lent to the debt (less a small discount) before it is think proper;' the object and advantage of which properly due. general prayer is, to decree equity and justice The origin of this important mercantile instruwithout regard to the particular equity sought ment is attributed by Montesquieu and others to the for, It is indispensable that the bill be signed Jews and Lombards, when banished from France by counsel, in order to guard against irrelevant and England in the 13th C., for their usury and and improper matter. It is indeed usually not only other alleged vices, in order the more easily to signed but drawn by counsel, from instructions laid recover the effects they had left behind in these before him by the plaintiff's solicitor.
countries; but Blackstone shews its earlier use Where the object is the administration of the in the Mogul Empire in China; and Depauw, in estate of a deceased person, the procedure is by his Philosophical Researches respecting the Greeks, summons, and is of a simple and very summary has attempted to prove that bills of exchange
In cases of this description, without either were in use among that people, and particularly formal pleading or any direct application to the among the Athenians. However this may be, it is court itself, a summons may at once be obtained, certain that hitherto no trace of them has been and the estate thereupon put in a course of adminis- discovered either in the Roman code, or in any tration. There are also cases where the chancellor's other system of ancient jurisprudence. The first aid is sought for in the form of a petition.
notice of them in modern times occurs about the Generally speaking, the modern English bill in middle of the 12th c., and by the end of the 14th Chancery very much resembles the Scotch summons they had got into general use in all the commercial and condescendence. See on the subject of this states of Europe. In England, from about the article, EQUITY, SUIT IN; CHANCERY ; ČHANCELLOR, middle of the 14th c. down to the time of James I., LORD ; PLEADING ; SUMMONS ; CONDESCENDENCE. and for many years after, bills of exchange were
BILL OF COSTS is an account stating articu- restricted to the purposes of foreign commerce. lately and in detail the charges and disbursements What are called inland bills--that is, bills drawn of an attorney or solicitor in the conduct of his by and upon persons resident in this country--were client's business; and which costs may be recovered not employed much earlier than the reign of Charles under the regulations of the Attorneys' and Solici- II., and even then they were regarded with distrust tors' Act, 6 and 7 Vict. c. 73. See Costs.
and jealousy by the English judges. Another
restriction upon bills of exchange was, that the name of an indictment for a crime or misdemeanour, privilege of their use was confined to parties that when preferred before a grand jury. If that body by the Court of King's Bench, in the days of Wil
were merchants; and there is an old case tried bill thereupon tried before a petty jury, whose verdict liam and Mary, where it was decided that an action determines his guilt or his innocence ; but if the on a foreign bill of exchange could not be maingrand
tained, because the defendant was a gentleinan, and set at liberty. In the latter event, however, other not a merchant! But all restraints on such instrubills may be sent up against him, with or without veniences of society, and now any one capable of
ments gradually yielded to the wants and conthe same result
. See ARRAIGNMENT, GRAND Jury, making a contract can be a party to a bill transacINDICTMENT, PROSECUTION, TRIAL.
tion, without regard to position, calling, or occupaBILL OF EXCEPTIONS is
statement tion. In Scotland, inland bills were put on the same of objections, by way of appeal, against the footing with foreign bills, by an act of the Scottish ruling or charge of a judge in a civil cause. parliament passed in 1696. See TRIAL.
A bill of exchange, as distinguished from a proBILL OF EXCHANGE, a document purport- missory-note (q. v.), is defined in law-books to be a ing to be an instrument of pecuniary obligation for written and open letter of request, addressed by a value received, and wbich is employed for the pụr- person who is called the drawer, to another person pose of settling a debt in a manner convenient to called the drawee, desiring him to pay a certain the parties concerned. The original and simple idea sum of money, either to the drawer himself, or to of a bill is this : Two parties residing at a distance a third party called the payee, within a certain from each other can settle their transactions without time after its date, or after it is presented for pay. the trouble or risk of sending money direct from the ment, or on demand. If the drawee signs the bill debtor to the creditor. Thus, A and B are two in token of his agreeing to this request, he is parties in business in London; and C and D are called the acceptor. For the constitution of the bill merchants in Cadiz. A owes C £1000; and D owes itself, no particular form of words is necessary, B a like sum. Instead of A sending cash to C, and provided its characteristic qualities clearly appear D to B, A pays B and receives B's bill on D, which on the face of it, as an essentially pecuniary instruhe sends to C, who receives the amount from D; so ment; a bill of exchange is only good for a certain that the transaction throughout is settled, without sum in moncy: such an instrument for the delivery a farthing in money being sent from Cadiz to of goods or property other than money, would be London, or from London to Cadiz. Another simple invalid. But although no particular words are idea of a bill is this : One person owes another £100 required in a bill or note, it is always advisable to for goods, for which he is to have credit for three adhere, as much as possible, to their customary months. The creditor, however, not being able con- form. To this general rule, however, there are veniently to be without the money for that length of exceptions: thus, by the 48 Geo. III. c. 88, negotime, gets from the debtor an obligation or bill bear- tiable bills or notes for less than 208. are void ; and ing that the £100 is to be paid in three months. by the 17 Geo. III. c. 30), s. 1-made perpetual by This bill, being a negotiable instrument, will be dis- the 27 Geo. III. c. 16, and 7 Geo. IV. c. 6-such counted by a banker, or other capitalist, who now bills and notes under 20s. are illegal, and above stands in the position of the creditor, and receives this amount and less than £5, are also void, unless patment when the bill is due. Thus, a bill of they specify the name and place of abode of the
BILL OF EXCHANGE.
FORM OF A FOREIGN BILL.
person to whom, or to whose order they are made , due. While the bill is in the possession of A. B. payable, and are attested by one subscribed witness he is the holder, but if he pass it to G. H., A. B. at the least, and bear date at or before the time is the indorser and G. H. the indorsee or ultimate when they are issued, and are made payable within holder. Acceptance in the case both of inland and twenty-one days after the date, and are in the form foreign Bills of Exchange must now be in writing on prescribed by the act. There are also certain forms the bill, and signed by the acceptor, or some person prescribed with respect to cheques, and with respect duly authorised by him. In England, the mode of to bills and notes issued and reissuable by bankers acceptance is by the acceptor simply signing his name at certain distances.
across the bill, or with the word 'accepted' before In regard to foreign bills, the risk of miscarriage his nanie; but in Scotland acceptance is usually made to which they are liable in their transmission to by the acceptor signing his name immediately under distant countries has given rise to the custom of the drawer. There are certain precautions to be drawing them in sets ; that is, writing out two or observed before accepting. The drawee should, upon three of the same form and tenor, and transmitting presentment for acceptance, and before he accepts, them to the payee by different channels, so that if assure himself that the signature of the drawer is one or two of the individuals of any set are lost, the genuine, and that there has not been a fraudulent other might reach its destination. The first of the substitution of a larger sum than that originally set that is presented and accepted is alone entitled inserted in the bill by the drawer. And if the drawee to payment, and payment of it discharges the accept a forged bill, or a bill for a larger amount acceptor; but foreign bills, of course, may also be than that originally named by the drawer, he will drawn singly.
nevertheless be liable to pay a bona-fide holder; nor Besides the other requisites mentioned, bills of will he have any right to recover against the drawer exchange must be duly stamped. The regulations for the larger amount. There is also acceptance on this subject are contained in the 17 and 18 Vict. supra protest, which takes place where, after a foreign c. 83, and are to be found in almanacs and other bill has been protested for non-acceptance, but not publications in common use. By sections 3 and 5 of before, the drawee or any other person may accept the Act, it is provided that the duties on bills drawn it supra protest, which acceptance is so called from out of the United Kingdom shall be denoted by the manner in which it is made. And where the adhesive stamps, to be affixed by the holder of the drawee of a foreign bill cannot be found, or is not bill before negotiating it, under a penalty of £50. capable of making a contract, or refuses to accept,
The following are the usual forms of the bills of this description of acceptance is frequently made exchange.
in order to save the credit of all or some of the parties to the bill, and prevent legal proceedings.
In this country it is called an acceptance for the £1000.
JAMAICA, 1st January 1860. honour of the person or persons for whose use it is Fifty days after sight of this First of Exchange made, and in France an acceptance par intervention. (second and third unpaid) pay to the order of A. B. It had been a question in England what amounted One Thousand Pounds sterling, value received. to a qualified acceptance, but that was set at rest
by the 1 and 2 Geo. IV. c. 78 for England, and To E. F., London.
9 Geo. IV. c. 24 for Ireland, which required an acceptance, in order to be a qualified acceptance,
to express that the bill is payable at a banker's £100.
LONDON, 1st January 1858. (Stump.) Two months after date for at sight, or ‘on elsewhere.' And now, as against the acceptor, the
house or other place only, and not otherwise or demand,' or at days after sight'] pay to Mr. or order, One Hundred Pounds, for value received.
absence of these words from the acceptance leaves
C. D. it at large, an unqualified acceptance, not requiring To Mr.
} Bristol, payable at
presentment at a particular place, notwithstanding that, in the body of the instrument, a particular place of payment is expressly specified by the drawer. There may likewise be conditional accept
ance--that is, acceptance in such a form as will As prescibed by Stat. 17 Geo. III. c. 30. [Insert the subject the acceptor to payment of the bill on a place, day, month, and year, when and where made.]
contingency only, of which there are Twenty-one days after date, pay to A. B. of his order, the sum of value received.
amples in the law reports ; for instance, to pay E. D.
'as reinitted for,' or on account of the ship Thetis, To E. F. of
when in cash, for the said vessel's cargo,' or on Witness, G. H.}
condition of getting a certain house by a given term,
or when certain goods are sold, or when certain From the first form it will be seen that there are funds come to hand. usually three parties to a Bill of Exchange, these three The bill as a negotiable instrument being thus being: 1st, The drawer (C. D.); 2d, The payee, or complete in all its parts, may either be held by the party in whose favour the bill is drawn, and who is drawer or other payee till due, when it may be preentitled to receive the contents (A. B.); and 3d, The sented for payment to the acceptor, or it may at once acceptor or drawee (E. F.). The transaction, however, be transferred by indorsement (q. v.), the indorsee may be simply between the drawer and acceptor, taking it for its value at maturity, and in the meanwithout the interposition of a third party; and time cashing or discounting it to the holder. There there are other modifications and changes of form, may be a succession of indorsees, the last of whom according to the circumstances of the case, and the is entitled to payment; and to him all the other inmode in which it is desired to have the bill nego- dorsees as well as the drawee and drawer, are bound. tiated. The bill being thus in proper form, and When the bill comes to maturity--that is, when duly authenticated, is then presented for accept the period arrives for its presentment-it must either ance, which may be defined to be the act by which be at once paid, or the parties must arrange for its the drawee evinces his consent to comply with, and renewal (q. v.). If the latter course is not agreed be bound by, the request contained in the Bill of on, and the necessary funds are not forthcoming, Exchange directed to him; or, in other words, it the holder can only then proceed to recover at law; is an engagement to pay in money the bill when and this is now done in a very speedy form under
FORM OF AN INLAND BILL.
FORM OF A BILL ABOVE ONE AND UNDER
BILL-BILL OF SALE.
a recent act, the 18 and 19 Vict. c. 67. This act, I qualifying them to hold their respective offices. however, does not extend to Ireland, where the old See ACT OF INDEMNITY, and ABJURATION. form of action still prevails. But in Scotland BILL OF LADING is a receipt from the cappayment of bills may be enforced even more sum-tain of the vessel to the shipper (usual termed marily without any action, under the severe pro- the consignor), undertaking to deliver the goods visions of two old Scotch acts passed in 1681
-on payment of freight-to some person whose and 1696. See INDORSEMENT, PROMISSORY-NOTE, name is therein expressed, or endorsed thereon by RENEWAL. Bills are sometimes drawn at sight,' the consignor; and the delivery of this instrument
on demand,' or at one day's date;' and in these independently of the actual delivery of the goodscases it is doubtful whether the three days of grace will suffice to pass and transfer to the party so named allowed for payment beyond the literal time speci-|(usually termed the consignee), or to any other person fied in the document are applicable. Unless in whose name he may think fit to indorse thereon, the special cases, bills, by the Statute of Limitations property in such goods; and by a recent statute, (q. v.) in England, and by Prescription (q. v.) in is and 19 Vict. c. 111, it is now expressly provided Scotland, do not cease to be valid documents for six that every consignee and every endorsee of a B. years.
of L. shall also have transferred to him all rights In the United States there has sprung up a of suit, and be subject to the same liabilities in method of dealing with bills of exchange which is respect of the goods as if the contract in the not much known in England. This consists in B. of L. had been made with himself. It is also selling bills without a concurrent obligation by provided that every B. of L. shall be conclusive indorsement to make them good. Instead of dis- evidence of the shipment made. The act, howcounting his bills in the usual form through a ever, declares that nothing contained in it shall banker, à merchant in New York will sell his bills prejudice or effect any right in transitu, or any to a broker or dealer in this kind of instrument, right to claim freight against the original shipper or the price paid being according to the state of the owner, or any liability of the consignee or indorsee, money-market and the creditworthiness of the by reason or in consequence of his being such conacceptor. In such cases, the purchaser stands in signee or indorsee, or of his receipt of the goods, by the place of the drawer, undertakes all risks, and reason or in consequence of such consignment or as custodier of the bill, has the power of legally indorsement. See STOPPAGE IN TRANSITU. exacting payment. The method of transacting
BILLS OF MORTALITY are accounts of the with bills is called discounting without recourse.
births and deaths within a certain district; and AccoMMODATION BILL. Å bill in its legitimate sense is a document constituting a debt, and they were an expedient, with the view of communias such is beneficial to all parties connected with cating to the inhabitants of London, to the court,
and to the constituted authorities of the city, its negotiation. A owes B £100. A cannot conveniently pay the amount, while B is in need of it; decrease in the number of deaths. These bills were
accurate information respecting the increase or B draws on A, and C (a banker) discounts, i. e., commenced in 1592, during a time when the plague for a consideration pays the amount to B. B thus
was busy with its ravages; but they were not gets his money at once, A obtains time, while C makes a profit for advancing. These facilities have another plague in 1603, from which period, up to
continued uninterruptedly until the occurrence of had the effect of inducing bills to be resorted to the present time, they have been continued from for raising money where no value is given, and week to week, 'excepting during the great fire, in which one party gives the use of his name when the deaths of two or three weeks were given for the accommodation of another. In the above in one bill. In 1605, the parishes comprised within case, for example, let us suppose that A does not the B. of M. included the 97 parishes within the owe B, but yet accepts B's draft. If Cdiscounts the bill, it is immaterial whether he knows that walls, 16 parishes without the walls, and 6 conA has got value or not-as an onerous holder, tiguous out-parishes in Middlesex and Surrey. In
1662, the city of Westminster was included in the
B the bill. But if merely in B's hands, the amount is bills; in 1636, the parishes of Islington, Lambeth, not recoverable from A if the latter can prove that additions were made from time to time. At present,
Stepney, Newington, Hackney, and Redriff. Other no value was received by him. Accommodation bills give rise to much fraud and rash speculation, and the weekly B. of M. include the 97 parishes within many attempts have been made to suppress the the walls, 17 parishes without the walls, 24 outsystem; but it is difficult to do so without unduly district churches, and 10 parishes in the city and
parishes in Middlesex and Surrey, including the interfering with the negotiation of bone-fide bills.
liberties of Westminster. The parishes of MaryBILL, EXCHEQUER. See EXCHEQUER BILL. lebone and St. Pancras, with some others, which,
BILL OF HEALTH, a certificate or instrument, at the beginning of last century, had only 9150 signed by consuls or other proper authorities, inhabitants, but now contain a rapidly increasing delivered to the masters of ships at the time of their population, were never included in the bills.
But these bills are row, from want of proper clearing out from all ports or places suspected of being particularly subject to infectious disorders, machinery, of little or no value, and the only true certifying the state of health at the time that such bill is now that prepared at the Registrar-general's ship sailed. A clean bill imports that at the time office under the new Registration Act. The first the ship sailed no infectious disorder was known to of these weekly bills was commenced January 11, exist. A suspected bill, commonly called a touched 1840, and the series has been continued from that
See Wharton's Law patent or bill, imports that there were rumours of time without interruption. an infectious disorder, but it had not actually Dictionary, 2d edition, 1860, and Knight's London. appeared. A foul bill, or the absence of a clean bill, BILL IN PARLIAMENT. See ACT OF PARimports that the place was infected when the vessel LIAMENT and PARLIAMENT. sailed. See M'Culloch's Commercial Dictionary. BILL OF RIGHTS. See Rights, BILL OF.
BILL OF INDEMNITY, an act of parliament, BILL OF SALE is a writing under seal, evidenpassed every session, for the relief of those who have cing a grant or assignment of chattels personal. The unwittingly or unavoidably
, neglected to take the occasions to which these instruments are commonly necessary oaths, &c., required for the purpose of made applicable are sales of fixtures and furniture
BILL OF SIGHT-BILLARDIERA.
in a house, of the stock of a shop, of the good-will of nor any articles taken on board to be deemed as a business, of an office, or the like. But their most stores, unless they be specified in this document. important use is in the transfer of property in ships, BILL-BROKERS are persons who, being skilled which being held in shares, cannot, in general, be in the money-market, the state of mercantile and delivered over on each change of part-ownership. personal credit, and the rates of exchance, engage, Such B. of S. may be either absolute or conditional; either for their own profitable adventure, or that of in the former case, operating as a conveyance, and in their employers, in the purchase and sale of foreign the latter, as a security. By the 17 and 18 Vict. c. 36, and inland bills of exchange, and promissory-notes. passed to prevent frauds upon creditors by secret bills They are to be distinguished from discount-brokers, of S., it is provided that every B. of S. must be filed or bill-discounters, whose business consists in disin the Court of Queen's Bench within 21 days after counting bills of exchange and notes which have its execution, together with an affidavit of the time some time to run before they come dne, by means of such B. of S. being given, and a description of the of the funds, or on the faith of the credit of capitalists residence and occupation of the deponent, and of or other persons having the command of money. every attesting witness of such B. of S., otherwise it See BROKER, BILL OF EXCHANGE, PromissoRYwill be void, as against assignees in bankruptcy and Note. insolvency, and creditors. The residence and occu- BILL-CHAMBER is a particular department of pation of each attesting witness should appear in the Court of Session in Scotland (coeval with the the B. of S., and also in the affidavit.
establishment of that court itself in 1532), the Notwithstanding these precautions, the practice of business of which corresponds, in many respects, to disposing of various kinds of morable property, more the practice of the Judges' Chambers in England. particularly household furniture and stocks of goods It is called the B., because, formerly in Scotland, in trade by B. of S., leads to great and injurious judicial proceedings were for the most part comdeceptions: for as the seller, by an arrangement menced by a writ called a bill, which was the with the buyer, sometimes retains possession, and is skeleton or draft of the legal process which it was in the eye of the world as much the proprietor as sought to have issued, and which bill was obtained ever, he is enabled to carry on his affairs and get in this particular department of the court. For credit as usual. See REFUTED OWNERSHIP.
such purpose, as well as for other matters which do BILL OF SIGHT. The law on this subject is not admit of delay, the B. accordingly sat, as it regulated by the Customs Regulation Act, 3 and continues to sit, all the year round, and as in 4 Will. IV. c. 52, s. 24 and 25, and is to the effect England, it is presided over by a single judge. that when a merchant is ignorant of the real quan- This judge, to whom for the time are delegated the tities or qualities of any goods assigned to him, so whole powers of the court, is called the Lord that he is unable to make a perfect entry of them, Ordinary on the bills, and during the sittings of he must acquaint the collector or comptroller of the the Court of Session, the duty is taken by the circumstance; and the collector is authorised, upon junior or last appointed judge of the Court; but in the importer or his agent making oath that he can- vacation-time, the business of the B. is performed not, for want of full information, make a perfect in rotation by the six judges of the court who are entry, to receive an entry by B. of S. for the pack- not justiciary or criminal judges. In case of the ages
, by the best description which can be given, indisposition or absence of any of these six judges, and to grant warrant that the same may be landed any judge of the Court of Session may act for him. and examined by the importer, in presence of the A recent act, the 20 and 21 Vict. c. 18, now regulates officer's; and within three days after any goods many of the details of the procedure. shall have been so landed, the importer shall make The business of the B. consists of all matters of a a perfect entry, and shall either pay down the summary nature; and generally all cases requiring duties, or shall duly warehouse the same. In default the immediate interposition of judicial authority are of perfect entry within three days, such goods are proceeded with, in the first instance, in the Billto be taken to the Queen's warehouse ; and if the chamber. Applications for interdict or injunction, importer shall not within one month make perfect and for warrants necessary for the execution of entry, and pay the duties thereon, or on such parts process, are there at once made. The preliminary as can be entered for home-use, together with procedure by way of appeal from inferior courts, charges of moving and warehouse rents, such goods and in order to stay execution on the judgments of shall be sold for payment of the duties.
these tribunals, also takes place, in the first instance, BILL OF STORE, a license under the Customs in the Bill-Chamber. Matters of bankruptcy or Regulation Act, the 3 and 4 Will. IV. c. 52, granted sequestration are also adjudicated on in this de partby the Custom-house to merchants to carry such ment.
But the decision of the judge or lord ordinary stores and provisions as are necessary for a voyage, officiating in the B., may, with some exceptions, be custom-free.
brought under review of the court; and the judga BILL OF VICTUALLING, or VICTUALLING ment of the court itself thus sitting on B. cases, BILL, is a document relating to the stores put on may be brought before the House of Lords by
See Court of SESSION, board a ship when leaving a British port; it is a safe appeal, as in ordinary cases.
JUDGES' CHAMBERS. guard in reference to customs' duties, and is regulated by a clause in an act passed in 1853. The master of BILLARDIERA, or A'PPLEBERRY, a genus a ship, on leaving a British port, for a voyage which of twining Australian shrubs of the natural order (out and home) will not occupy less than 40 days, Pittosporacece (q. v.). They have simple alternate receives from the customs' authorities an order or evergreen leaves, and axillary pendulous flowers. permission for the shipment of such stores and The flowers have a calyx of five sepals, and a bellvictuals as may be required—the data being the shaped corolla of five petals. The fruit is a soft, number of crew and passengers, and the probable spongy pericarp, with inflated cells, and many seeds duration of the voyage. When these are shipped, which lie loose in the cells, terminated by the style, the master prepares a correct account of them, and and generally bluish when ripe. It is eatable, of any other stores at that time in the vessel; and although not destitute of a resinous character, which this account, when approved and countersigned by prevails in the order. B. longiflora and B. ovalis, the customs' officers, constitutes the victualling bill. the former with nearly globose, the latter with oval No stores are allowed to be taken on board the ship, fruit, are frequent ornaments of British greenhouses.
The fruit of B. mutabilis is larger, cylindrical, and of spirit-vaults, livery-stables, and such-like licensed a pleasant subacid taste.
houses. There are certain exceptional cases proBILLAUD-VARENNE, JEAN NICOLAS, a leader vided for; and in and near London there are special in the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution; took regulations concerning the B. of the Guards; but an active part in the September massacres; entered the general rule is as here stated. the Convention, where he distinguished himself for liable are bound to accommodate soldiers, under a his violence against the king and the royal family, system that may be described in a few words. and his general unfeeling cruelty. He was the When troops are on the march from one barrack or author of the Revolutionary Tribunal, and it was on station to another, and cannot cover the distance in his proposal that the Duke of Orleans, the queen, one day's railway or foot travelling; or when they and a host of others became its victims. He joined are to remain for a few days in a town unprovided in the end in bringing about the fall of Robespierre, with barrack accommodation, or where the bar. but could not ward off his own accusation as one racks are already occupied the commanding officer of the Terrorists, and was transported to Cayenne, sends previously to the chief civil magistrate, and where he lived about 20 years, rejecting the pardon demands billets for a certain number of men for a offered by the First Consul. In 1816, he came to certain time. The magistrate has a list of all the New York, but was coldly received, and then sought houses subjected to the B. system, and he quarters an asylumn in Hayti, where he died, 1819.
the men on those houses as fairly as he can. Rules BILLET, in Architecture, an ornament belonging are laid down to prevent the magistrate from B. to the Norman style. It was formed by cutting too many soldiers on one house : any excess in this à moulding-generally a round moulding-into way is remediable at the hands of a justice of the notches, so that the parts left resembled billets of peace. The billets are pieces of paper prepared wood, When used in several rows, the billets and under these rules. On the evening before the arrival
of the troops, two or three non-commissioned officers enter the town, and present an order for the delivery of the billets to them, in order that no delay may arise when the main body enter, After the arrival, the soldiers go to the houses on which they are billeted: all those belonging to one company being
quartered as near together as may be, for convenience Billet.
of muster; and the sick are billeted near head.
quarters. The licensed victualler, or other person, empty spaces are placed interchangeably, as in the is bound to provide each billet-holder with food, accompanying illustration.
drink, bed, and accommodation, either in his own BILLET, in Heraldry. Billets are small oblong house or somewhere near at hand. A specified sum figures, sometimes taken to represent bricks, but of 10d. per day is allowed for this ; or, under other more commonly billets doux. The latter interpreta- circumstances, a trifling sum per day is allowed for tion, which is that of Guillim, is generally adopted fire, candles, cooking utensils, salt, and vinegar. by English heralds, and is supported by the authority About 8d. or 9d. per day is allowed for hay and straw of Colombiere. The former, again, which has the for a horse. The officers visit the houses to see that Trésor Héraldique and Sir George Mackenzie on its the men really have one hot meal per day, instead of side, is further strengthened by the fact that in taking the value of it in money, which might otherGerman they are called Schindeln, shingles.
wise be offered to them. The soldier may demand BI'LLETING is a mode of provisioning and facilities for cleaning his arms and accoutrements. lodging soldiers when not in camp or barrack. It is the financial officer of the regiment makes the pay. one of the many vexed questions connected with the ments. There are often unpleasant disputes between organisation and administration of the British army. the inkeeper or others, on the one side, and the When in camp or barrack, the soldier is supplied officers of the regiment on the other, concerning the with hot food daily by the commissariat officers; occupancy of the best room,' and on minor details or rather, with undressed food, and the means for relating to fire, candles, cooking, bedding, towels, cooking it. But when it is necessary to keep soldiers table-linen, service, &c. The militia, when called for one or more days in a town unprovided with out for actual training, are frequently billeted like barracks, a difficulty occurs which has never yet the regulars. been properly surmounted; a burden is sure to rest There being many untoward circumstances conon some one who is unwilling to bear it. In the nected with this system, a committee of the House early times of our history, monarchs were often of Commons, in 1858, sought how best to remove wont to quarter their troops on the monasteries. them. In their report, the committee could not In later times, the soldiers often compelled the recommend the cessation of the B. system altogether, inhabitants of towns to receive and support them; but they pointed out certain possible ameliorations. and the authorities were either unable or unwilling BI'LLIARDS (in Fr. billard, which meant orito prevent this. The Mutiny Act, passed for the ginally the stick or staff' with which the ball is first time in 1689, put a stop to this pernicious struck, and is allied to Fr. billot, a block or billet practice, by declaring that no housekeepers should of wood). It seems doubtful whether we are be compelled to accommodate soldiers except on indebted for the discovery of this elegant game some recognised and fairly administered system. to France or Italy; but it is certain that it was The chief civil magistrate of a town, on requisition imported hither from the former country. It must from the military authorities, quartered the soldiers have been known, at all events by name, to Englishon the inhabitants as fairly as he could. This con- men as early as the 16th c., since Shakspeare speaks tinued in England until 1745, when all kinds of of it; although, when he represents Cleopatra as persons were exempted from this burden except amusing herself with B. in Egypt, it is probable certain traders; and the new system has •been that he commits an anachronism. It is certain that maintained with minor alterations ever since. The the rectangular slate-table, with its resilient sides, alteration was not made in Scoiland until 1857. covered with green cloth, and furnished with the
At present, the persons liable to have soldiers six brass-bound pockets, the three ivory balls, biiletted on them, are the keepers of public-houses, and that long array of cues with leathern tops, hotels, inns, ale-houses, beer-shops, wine-shops, so familiar now-a-days to almost every eye, are