Images de page
[graphic][merged small][merged small]




[ocr errors]

crofters. The members of these are nominated in which was a wholly different body from that terms of special acts of parliament.

appointed by act of parliament in 1886 to carry Other permanent commissions are the Charity out certain legislative decrees. The former was Commission, created 1853 (of four members, one one of inquiry; the latter, one of administration. of whom is unpaid), to examine into all the charities The royal commissions appointed to inquire into and the management of them, in England and the causes of the depression of trade (1886–87), Wales; the Commission for the management of the and into the recent changes in the relative values National Debt; the Ecclesiastical and Church of the precious metals (commonly called the Silver Estates Commission; the Land Commission of Commission), also in 1886, are among the most England; the Public Works Loan Commission; prominent of recent appointments of this kind. the Thames Conservancy Commission; and the When a royal commission is nominated by royal Commission for the adjustment of Cases under mandate, a secretary is appointed, and such clerical Income-tax Assessments. These are all bodies com. assistance as may be necessary is provided out of missioned to execute certain specified functions, some of the departments. The commissioners are more or less administrative, and partaking to some empowered to call and hear evidence (although not extent of the character of public departments. on oath), to examine documents, localities, &c.

In law, a commission may be issued by mandate The evidence is reported in extenso-question and of a court to take evidence from parties residing answer duly numbered-and is submitted, along abroad or incapacitated from appearing in person. with the formal report, to the sovereign and to A Commission in Bankruptcy is issued for the pur- parliament. The whole is then incorporated in a pose of taking charge of the effects of an insolvent blue-book. The multiplication of royal and special for behoof of his creditors. A Commission in commissions has become rather a legislative Lunacy is appointed by the Court of Chancery to nuisance and a financial burden. Royal commissions inquire into the mental condition of an alleged always include members of the House of Lords or of lunatic whose property may be in question. There | the House of Commons, or of both. are now permanent commissioners in lunacy whose The cost of parliamentary and royal commissions duties include visitation and supervision of asylums. varies much. “In 1896–97 the Charity Commission

In governmental relations, commissions are some cost £42,869 (a small decrease on the preceding year), times constituted where Britain exercises protect the Civil Service Commission £39,700 (decrease). orate but has not formed complete colonial estab. In 1888 the figures for all were : lishments, as in Cyprus, South Africa (see CAPE

Charity Commission.........

.£36,701 COLONY), New Guinea, and some islands of the

Civil Service Commission....

44,477 western Pacific. The commission in such cases Land Commission of England. ..

12,210 is a delegation, with certain limitations, of the

Lunacy Commission of England....

15,217 Scotland ...,

5,990 anthority of the crown. In India (q.v.) the

Public Works Loan Commission..

9,533 administrative head of a province is sometimes National Debt Cominission......

15,071 called chief-commissioner (assisted by district com

Wreck Commission...........

12,680 missioners), who is responsible to the viceroy of

Crofters Commission ...

6,831 Land Commission of Ireland..

45,412 India. Sometimes commissions are international Endowed Schools Cominission..

700 -i.e. composed of representatives of various Temporary Commissions.... nations for international purposes. A conspicuous example of such was the commission in 1871

Another kind of commission is that sometimes on the Alabama question (see ALABAMA); more

given to two or more judges to inquire into certain recent was the commission for Eastern Roumelia,

alleged crimes, such as the commission (1867-69)

to inquire into the Sheffield trades-union outrages, appointed under the Treaty of Berlin of 1878. Again, a commission may take the form of a

and that (1888-90) of three judges appointed by

act of parliament, to inquire into the charges temporary embassy for certain specific purposes.

and allegations' brought in the Times newspaper The appointments are then made by the primeminister and cabinet, as when Mr Gladstone was

against Mr Parnell and others. sent to the Ionian Islands in 1858, or Lord

It should be added that the sovereign, who Dufferin to Egypt in 1883. Somewhat different

nominally presides over the annual deliberations of in character was the commission given to Mr

the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Chamberlain in 1887 to proceed to America, to

delegates the duty to a Scotch peer as Lord High

('ommissioner, a fresh commission being issued confer with delegates of Canada and the United States upon matters in dispute concerning the

every year. For the ecclesiastical court created by fisheries.

Queen Elizabeth, see High COMMISSION. In its parliamentary sense, a commission may be

Commission Agent, or MERCHANT, is a either Special or Royal. In the former case it is person employed to sell goods consigned or delivered appointed usually, and in the latter case invariably,

to him by another who is called his principal, for a in response to a motion in one or other of the

certain percentage, commonly called his commission Houses. A royal commission is appointed only

or factorage. See BROKER. by the crown ; but a special commission may be 1 Commissionaires is a name given a class of appointed by a department of state. The expenses | attendants at continental hotels, who perform cer. of a commission of this kind are usually defraved tain miscellaneous services. Employed to attend by the parties requiring it, but those of a royal at the arrival of railway trains and steamboats to commission are included in the estimates for the secure customers, they wait to take charge of lug. current year. The commissioners may be paid gage, see it passed through the hands of the custom. by fees regulated by government. When a com: house officers, and send it on to the hotel; for all mission sits in London, it has the power of author. which service they charge a fee. ising the payment of witnesses on the scale recog. In 1859 the Corps of Commissionaires was estab. nised in courts of law; but when a commission lished by Sir Edward Walter in England, with sits in the country, witnesses are not paid.

divisions in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, A royal commission is appointed by motion in Liverpool, Manchester, and other large cities in the parliament, and is issued by a royal warrant l’nited Kingdom. The corps has recently extended nominating certain 'trusty and well-beloved its operations to the principal cities of Australia, cousins and counsellors' to undertake a specified and purposes to continue its further development inquiry. Of suci was the royal commission to throughout the colonial empire. The corps is com. mqnire into the condition of the crofters (1882), posed of picked men from every branch of Ecr





Majesty's naval and military service, and in the by purchase, by passing a direct non-competitive London division alone there are 1200 men. They

The lowest price of a first cominiscan be engaged by the day or any other period, sion in the line was £450, the highest (in the Life and for any duty where honesty, sobriety, and in Guards) was £1260. Large sums had also to be telligence are required. The wages range froin paid for each step in rank, so that the interest of twenty to forty shillings per week.

the money thus invested sometimes exceeded the Commission del Cre'deré. See DEL CRE- | pay of the rank. DERE COMMISSION.

The entire abolition of the purchase system

(by royal warrant in 1871) has at the same time Commissioners of Supply. See SUPPLY.

| increased the actual value of commissions as a Commissions, ARMY, are warrants from the | means of livelihood, and the number of those head of the state for holding various military who are in a position to compete for them. The offices, whether combatant or non-combatant. competition has in consequence become very severe The latter class comprises the various departments at the examinations, which are held usnally twice of the army, such as chaplains, commissariat, trans a year, for admission to the two military colleges port, veterinary, ordnance store, &c., in which, so and for militia candidates for army conimissions. far as the British army is concerned, commissions, To meet this, a large number of special educacarrying honorary or relative military rank, are tional establishments have been formed, deroted obtained by direct examination, by nomination entirely to the work of preparing candidates for coupled with special professional qualifications, or these tests, and most of the large schools have by transfer from other branches of the service. special army classes. The expenses thus entailed Candidates for the Medical Staff (q.v.) pass through are often not much less than the cost of a first a course of instruction at the Army Medical School commission under the purchase system, but no attached to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, further payment is incurred by promotion. before being commissioned as surgeons. As regards | The subjects of examination for cadetships are the combatant officers, a first commission as sub- selected, so far as the number of marks allotted to lieutenant can be obtained by any British sub. each is concerned, so as to encourage boys who ject of proper age, character, and physical qualifi- have received the usual classical education, to come cations, either by entering one of the Military up direct from school without having to undergo a Schools (q.v.) as a Cadet (9.v.), or by passing both course of cramming at a military tutor's, where the a literary and a military examination (similar to influences are not always desirable. See CADET. that mentioned below for a lieutenant's promotion),

Commissure, an anatomical term applied to after having served two trainings as an officer in

nervous connections between adjacent parts of the the militia. All correspondence regarding first

nervous system. Though it is not always used in commissions or cadetships is conducted by the

quite the same way, the general signification of the military secretary at the War Office Commissions

term, and the physiological import of the structure, in the Royal Marines are obtained by direct com

is that of a uniting bridge. See BRAIN, NERVOES petitive examination. Two or three sub-lieuten.

SYSTEM. ants' commissions are given each year to cadets from the Royal Military College of Canada. It

Commitment. See CRIMINAL LAW. is also possible to obtain such a commission by Committee (Fr. comité), a portion, generally enlisting ; but only two or three specially selected consisting of not less than three menbers, selected sergeants are promoted each year to the rank of | from a more numerous body, to whom some special sub-lieutenant in the cavalry and infantry (135 act to be performed, or investigation to be made, officers now serving have risen from the ranks), is committed. But though a committee usually though all quartermasters, riding-masters, or | consists of several members of the body by which it officers of the Coast Brigade Royal Artillery, | is appointed, it may consist of one member, or, and Coast Battalion Royal Engineers, are com- what is more frequent, of the whole of the members missioned, as lieutenants, from the ranks.

acting in a different capacity from that which Subsequent commissions up to that of lieuten. | usually belongs to them. For the committees oi ant-colonel are given, as vacancies occur, to the parliament, whether .select,' of the whole house,' senior officer of the next lower rank, provided grand,' or 'standing committees, see PARLIAthat he has been favourably reported on, and, in MENT. the case of a lieutenant or captain, has passed an Commodore, in the royal navy, is a rank examination for promotion in regimental duties, intermediate between an admiral and a captain. drill, fortification, tactics, military law, and topo. It is not perinanent, but is bestowed for a time on graphy. To assist oflicers in passing this test, a a captain. Usually a commodore commands more deputy-assistant adjutant-general for instruction is ships than one, detached from a fleet on some appointed to the staff of each military district, and special service, he hoists at that time a white classes are held under him for the study of the broad pennant, with a red cross, at the main if four last-mentioned subjects. The rank of colonel a commodore of the first class, at the fore if of is only conferred by Brevet (q.v.) for distinguished the second class. A commodore is privileged to service, or on appointment to certain positions have a commander under him in his ship, in the carrying that rank, such as aide-de-camp to the same way as an admiral is privileged to have a Queen, assistant adjutant-general, or commander captain. The commodore, in matters of etiquette, of a regimental district. Promotion to major. ranks with a brigadier-general in the army. When general, lieutenant-general, and general, is by in independent command, a commodore of the first selection, as vacancies occur. The establishment class receives £7, 10s. a day, and a commodore of in these ranks has been much reduced, an' anly the second class about £4, iOs. those who are eminently qualified, profes

Until 1862 the title of commodore, without any and physically, are eligible for commis i il commission as such, was given in the United them.

States navy to such captains as commanded, or Previous to 1st November 1871 all coni. t had commanded, a squadron. In 1862 the rank commissions were purchased, except in t . Il of commodore became a commissioned one. A Artillery, Engineers, and Marines, and a . ' n commodore ranks higher than a captain and lower as prizes to those cadets who passed (ro l e than a rear-admiral. His rank is assimilated to Royal Military College at the head of thir. It that of a brigadier-general in the United States was then also possible to qualify for a (. on army.




Commodus, LUCIUS AURELIUS, & Roman | the law, courts of equity, and especially the Court emperor, born at Lanuvium in 161 A.D., was the son of Chancery (q.v.), framed rules of their own, which of the great Marcus Aurelius and his profligate enabled them to prevent the stricter rules of comwife, the younger Faustina. He was carefully mon law from being used in defence of injustice. educated under his father's care, but lived to be. By the Judicature Acts (q.v.), courts of common come one of the most worthless and bloody wretches law and equity were made parts of one supreme that ever disgraced a throne. At his father's death court; the two systems are administered concur. in the spring of 180, he was successfully fighting rently ; where there is any conflict between equity the Marcomanni and other tribes on the upper and common law, the rules of equity prevail. See Danube, but he at once concluded a treaty with | EQUITY. the barbarians, and hastened to Rome to enjoy the English settlers going to an uncivilised country pleasures of power. After the discovery of his take with them as much of the common law sister Lucilla's plot against his life in 183, he gave as the nature of things will bear.' In Canada, uncontrolled vent to the senseless savagery of his Australia, &c., and in the United States, the his. nature. Nearly all who, by virtue, ability, and torical basis of the law is the same as in England. learning, had risen to honour during his father's In Scotland, and in some other countries, the term lifetime, were sacrificed to appease his savage jeal.common law is used in a sense analogous to its ousy of the good and the great. Proud of his own English meaning. physical strength, he demeaned himself by exhibit THE COURTS OF COMMON LAW.-The superior ing it in gladiatorial combats, and besides used, incourts of Common Law in England had their public, to sing, dance, play, and act the buffoon. origin in the Curia Regis of the early Norman Though a glutton and a shameless debauchee, who | kings, the chief officers of which were the Chief. wallowed in the most sensual abominations, he yet justiciar, the Chancellor, and the king's justices. demanded to be worshipped as a god, and assumed 'The justices sat in the King's Bench to supervise the title of Hercules Romanus. Many unsuccessful the proceedings of inferior courts and corporations, plots were devised against the life of this mingled and to deal with criminal matters directly con. monster and madman, until at length his mistress, cerning the crown. In the Common Bench or Marcia, finding her own name marked down in his Common Pleas they held pleas between subject tablets for death, in concert with two confederates, and subject. In the Exchequer they sat, as Barons tried first to poison him, then caused him to be of the Exchequer, to decide revenue cases. At strangled by Narcissus, a famous athlete, on the first all these courts followed the king, to the great 31st of December 192.

inconvenience of suitors. The Common Pleas were Common Bench. See BENCH, and COMMON fixed at Westminster by Magna Charta ; and in LAW.

course of time the three superior courts of Common Commoner, one under the rank of nobility;

Law were all established on one side of Westalso a member of the House of Commons. For the

minster Hall, each court having its own chief and Commoners at Oxford, a class of students eating

four (afterwards five) puisne or junior judges, who at the common table, see OXFORD.

were called justices in the King's Bench and Com.

mon Pleas, and Barons in the Exchequer. On the Common Forms are the ordinary clauses

passing of the Judicature Acts (1873–76), the three which are of frequent occurrence in identical

courts became divisions of the High Court of terms in writs and deeds.

Justice. The offices of Chief-justice of the Common Common Good. See BOROUGH.

Pleas and Chief-baron of the Exchequer are now Common Law, in England, is the ancient abolished, and the three divisions are consolidated customary law of the land. Before the Norman in the Queen's Bench Division. The Lord Chief. Conquest, the rights of an Englishman were deter justice of England is the presiding judge; he is mined mainly by the customs of the manor, borough, appointed by the crown on the advice of the prime. or shire in which he lived. After the Conquest, | minister, and his salary is £8000. There are fourthe king's judges began to go their circuits in every teen puisne justices, appointed by the crown on the part of the country, doing justice according to the advice of the Lord Chancellor, each of whom has custom of the realm or the common law. In some a salary of £5000. The sittings of the Division are points they kept to the ancient local customs, in held at the Royal Courts in London; the judges others again they introduced new rules. Primo. also try cases on their circuits and at the geniture, e.g., is a rule introduced by the influence Central Criminal Court. The jurisdiction of the of the judges ; the ancient English rule of equal Division includes all special authorities formerly division survives only as the custom of Kent' belonging to any of the old Common Law Courts. under the name of Gavelkind (q.v.). The custom It takes, e.g., appeals from Revising Barristers of certain ancient boroughs, which gave the land (q.v.) which formerly went to the Common Pleas, to the youngest son, survives under the name of and revenue cases which belonged to the Exchequer. Borough English (q.v.). The custom of a place, Appeals from any of the old Common Law Courts or of a body of persons, is allowed to supplement went to the judges of the other two courts, sitting or modify the common law if it has been observed in the Exchequer Chamber, and from them to the from a time whereof the memory of man runneth | House of Lords. Appeals from the Queen's Bench not to the contrary.' Legal memory does not go | Division now go to the Court of Appeal, and thence back beyond the first year of the reign of Richard | to the House of Lords. I., but evidence may be given to impugn the ‘im. Besides the superior courts, there are many memorial' character of a local custom by showing inferior courts which exercise a limited common. that it had its origin later than that year.

law jurisdiction. Each manor has its own courts, Even in making new rules, the judges never but except in regard to Copyholds (9.v.)., manorial assumed to legislate; they professed to expound jurisdiction has been superseded by local courts of the good customs of the realm, and in applying | modern origin. The same remark applies to the the rules of common law, each generation of judges Hundred Court and the ancient County Court. was guided by the decisions of its predecessors. The Court of Common Pleas in Lancaster and the Decisions followed in a series of subsequent cases Court of Pleas in Durham, now form part of the acquired special authority, and were quoted as High Court. The modern County Court (which leading cases. The law fixed by custom and by ought more properly to be called a district court) judicial decision could only be set aside or amended has a common-law jurisdiction; and several statutes by an act of parliament. But without setting aside | contain provisions for remitting the less important

« PrécédentContinuer »