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of the Privy Council appointed under a similar commission, and styled the Lords Commissioners of Appeal in Prize Causes.* By a recent statute the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council are authorized to take cognisance of Prize Appeals; but power is therein reserved to the Crown to issue a special commission as formerly for the cognisance of such appeals in cases where, by treaties with foreign powers, it is provided that a special Court of Appeal shall be so constituted.

The law of Prize is, like the ordinary Maritime Law, founded on the general principles of justice and equity, as received and acknowledged by all independent nations, and by the wisest and most learned of their lawyers and philosophers. Though nearly equal in antiquity, it may be said to have been, in comparatively modern times only, raised to the dignity of a science by the lucid and profound decisions of the illustrious Judges of the English Prize Courts t, delivered upon questions arising out of the extended operations of modern commerce and naval warfare. I

The most distinguished of these was the late Lord Stowell, whose high intellectual powers were only equalled by the variety and richness of his legal and classical attainments. During the early part of the present century, a period pregnant with events so momentous to the peace of Europe, the struggle in which this country was engaged with a powerful neighbouring nation, and which involved her successively in hostility with all the European states, necessarily gave rise to numerous important and intricate questions of international law. The genius of Lord Stowell rose with the exigency; his lucid and comprehensive intellect penetrated and mastered with facility the great principles applicable to the complicated and extensive interests submitted to his arbitrement; his integrity and high estimate of the judicial character, elevated him above all political prejudices, and subdued even the honest sympathies of national feeling; and, in a series of decisions, sustained by a strength and perspicuity of reasoning, and a depth and variety of legal knowledge which have never been surpassed, enriched and adorned by a copiousness of eloquence and a classical purity of diction, rarely united with such attainments, he vindicated the supremacy of justice, and transmitted to posterity models of judicial integrity, wisdom, and eloquence, which will command and receive universal admiration and respect “ so long as the nations judging and recording in the English tongue shall maintain any supremacy in the maritime relations of the

* The first commission of this kind was issued in the reign of Charles II., on the breaking out of the first Dutch war. Wynne's Life of Jenkins, p. 12.

† Sir Julius Cæsar in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Henry Vane in that of Charles I., Sir Leoline Jenkins and Sir Thomas, and Dr., Exton in that of Charles II., and Sir Charles Hedges in the reigns of King William and Queen Anne.

Dr. (afterwards Sir Leoline) Jenkins, was, in pursuance of an order from the Lords Commissioners of Appeal in Prize Causes, dated 6th Feb. 1664, directed, with certain other eminent civilians, to review the maritime laws, and compile a body of rules and ordinances by which the Judge of the Admiralty for the time being should proceed in the adjudication of prizes, which having been done, and approved of by his Majesty Charles II. in council, became the standard of those proceedings.

globe. By this country in particular, which may claim him as its own, and whose tribunals have been invested by his genius with so imperishable a fame, he will ever be held in revered and grateful remembrance, and his memory cherished with pride and admiration. Long will his judgments be an instructive and fascinating study, alike to the civilian, the statesman, the historian, and the scholar; quicquid ex illo amavimus, quicquid mirati sumus manet mansurumque est in animis hominum in æternitate temporum famâ rerum." +

Of the eminent and learned civilian who now presides over the High Court of Admiralty of England, the Right Hon. Stephen Lushington, it would not become the Author to say more than that his triumphant career, at the Bar in Doctors' Commons and the higher Courts of Appeal, appeared naturally to point him out as the fittest successor of the distinguished Judges to whom reference has been made. When in the progress of time his course, like theirs, shall have been accomplished (and may that period be far distant), history will not fail to enrol his name also in her pages, and to claim for him the well-merited admiration and respect of all who have discrimination and gratitude to appreciate his brilliant and extensively useful public services.

Recurring to the present work, the Author would observe, with reference to the manner of its execution, that his main object has been to exhibit and elucidate the law and practice of the Court of Admiralty and of the Courts of Appeal therefrom, as embodied in their recorded decisions. As auxiliary to this object, and with a view to present this branch of the law to the reader in its entirety, the Author has, in accordance with the suggestions of the learned gentleman before referred to, embraced in his scheme the cases in pari materiâ in the Common Law, Equity, and Ecclesiastical Courts, and the statutes applicable to all the cases reported; in doing which he is aware that in many parts of the work he is open to the charge of having to some extent exceeded the limits to which such analogies should be confined : for which he has to solicit the indulgence of his readers, reminding them, however, that, as redundancy is a fault more venial than omission, he has in all instances in which he doubted, considered it expedient to admit rather than to reject.

In presenting the substance of the several cases under their appropriate heads, the Author has not confined himself to a mere arrangement of the reporter's notes, but has, particularly with regard to the Admiralty Reports, investigated each case, and endeavoured to extract from it every important dictum contained in it. Whilst stating the principle of law upon which the case was decided, he has also sought to embody the leading facts, in order that the reader may not only be acquainted with the former, but enabled to perceive more readily its application to the latter.

Facility of reference being one of the principal uses of a Digest, whenever a title treated of in the present work has exceeded the limits which it has been thought advisable there to assign to it, the reader has been directed

* Curtis's Adm. Dig. Introd. p. 10.

† Tacit. Agric.

to those works in which the law and the cases decided upon it are to be found. It has likewise been thought useful to illustrate those points of law upon which no direct decision has as yet been given, or which have not been thoroughly settled, by quotations in the form of notes from text writers and other authorities on international and maritime law. To have embodied the whole of these authorities, ancient and modern, would have swelled the work to an inconvenient size, and destroyed its character of a · Digest, besides requiring a larger portion of time than the Author could spare from his more urgent professional engagements, and greater learning and ability than he can presume to aspire to. He has, therefore, in citing such authorities, felt it necessary to restrain himself within the limits of a due subserviency to the main object of his work.

Frequent resort has in this manner been had to Lord Tenterden's invaluable work on Shipping, to Mr. Smith's able Compendium of Mercantile Law, and to the chapters on Bottomry and Respondentia in Mr. Justice Park's deservedly-esteemed work on Marine Insurance. The Author has also referred to a recent edition of “Gresley's Law of Evidence,” by his friend, Christopher A. Calvert, Esq., of the Chancery Bar, and has been much assisted in his work by that gentleman's able practical suggestions, for which his acknowledgments are due. Extracts from the old maritime writers have been sparingly introduced, and in some instances a mere reference only made to them, particularly in matters of prize; the necessity for an extended study of which branch of the law has happily been superseded by many years of peace among the nations of Europe.

Notes of certain analogous cases have been also introduced from the Scotch, Irish, and American Reports. In analysing those from America, the Author has availed himself of an able Digest, by Mr. Curtis, of the American Bar, from which work he has also to acknowledge having derived much assistance in his own analysis of the late Sir Christopher Robinson's Admiralty Reports.

The American Courts of Admiralty are, in truth, grafts from those of this country, founded on the same law (the Roman Civil Law), and for many years fostered by their association with British institutions, though they have long since reached maturity and independence, and now exercise a larger jurisdiction than that possessed by the parent Courts. They are presided over by Judges of distinguished ability, whose names inspire respect no less in this than in their own country. Amongst them may be mentioned, as occupying a distinguished pre-eminence, that very learned Judge and profound expositor of international as well as local law, Mr. Justice Story

Some extracts have also been inserted from “ Notes of Cases,” compiled apparently with great care in the “ Law Magazine.”

Others from a useful periodical, entitled “ Notes of Cases in the Ecclesiastical and Maritime Courts,” which, though not bearing the stamp and authority of regular reports, are, from the care and accuracy with which they are given, entitled to and receive great attention in the Courts of Doctors' Commons. These, with the able reports by Dr. Deane, contained in the “ Jurist,” (all of which have been included in the present Digest,) have enabled the Author to present to his readers all the material cases decided in the High Court of Admiralty down to the end of the past year.

It may, perhaps, also be proper to mention that all the cases in the present work have been arranged chronologically with reference to the reports, as far as was consistent with a correct classification under their various titles, and the divisions and subdivisions thereof; except those cases not made the subject of a separate division, and overruling prior decisions. These latter cases have been placed at the head of the divisions to which they belong, in order more readily to attract the reader's attention.

The Appendix, containing the principal statutes referred to in the work, Orders in Council, Prize Proclamations, and other similar information may, perhaps, be found of advantage, as saving the time which would otherwise be consumed by the reader in seeking them amongst the various works in which they are to be found.

With these explanations, the Author submits with diffidence the product of his labours to the candid consideration and indulgence of the members of his own profession, and of the law generally, trusting, that it may be the means of saving much of the valuable time of the former, and of some assistance to the latter in facilitating such inquiries as they may have occasion to make into a kindred branch of their profession. The accomplishment in any degree of either of these objects will be an ample recompense to him for the labour which he has, during the last four years, devoted to the preparation of his work, and without which he is well aware he could not reasonably expect it to be received with any degree of public favour.

Doctors' Commons, July, 1847.

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