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From this rate the said masters and fellows appeal.

A doubt might have arisen upon the propriety of the Vice-chancellor of the university, and the mayor of the town, and others who are inhabitants of the town giving any determination on a cause, which, though in its present shape it is confined to a particular parish, and two particular colleges, must ultimately in its effect reach the whole university, and every inhabitant of the town of Cambridge: fuch doubt or delicacy might have arisen, if the statute of 16 Geo. 2. had not avoided it.

By the 16 Geo. 2. c. 18. • Justices may do all things appertaining to their offices, so far as the • same relates to the laws for the relief, maintenance, and settlement of the poor: for passing and punish

ing vagrants: for repairs of the highways, or any * other laws concerning parochial taxes, levies, or rates, notwithstanding they are rated or chargea

ble with the rates within any place affected by • fuch their acts. Provided that justices for a county at large shall not act in the determination of any appeal to the quarter feffions of such county, from any order, matter or thing relating to any such parish, township, or place where such justice is fo charged or chargeable.'

The act had in view the neceffity of giving this jurisdiction to justices of the peace for towns corporate, and cities which are counties of themselves,

The appeal from the last rate not having been admitted the churchwardens and overseers have Thown a contempt for this bench, in making this fecond rate in defiance of that determination, and for putting parties to a great expence; they are to be condemned in full costs if this rate is quashed. For if the other rate was good, this is bad.


must have been long, uninterrupted, and reasonable



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statute law, usage of long time is a silent precedent

which is always admitted in the courts of common -th) says the imperial law. And therefore so far as the Collwage upon the statute goes, and so far as it relates

to the colleges in the university, they have hitherto been exempt from the poor rates by an uninterrupt

The common law, in imitation of the civil law, requires the same qualities to support a usage. It

ellow Fomentation of suits must be checked and pu

niched. priety

That the case is determined, is an objection in d the primo limine. bitants

But to take the whole merits, may be better in the giving an opinion in a popular cause of such con


The fact admitted is, that at no time fince the pelthe making the statute of the 43 Eliz. viz. in a period

167 years, colleges in the university separately or together have been made liable to any rate for the employment and maintenance of the poor of the adjoining parishes.

The question therefore in the general issue turns s, i upon the operation of that statute now upon the

Now with respect to the rule of interpreting the f any

law, as the interpreter of all statutes.

In this it agrees with the civil law, Quid refert an populus sententiamjuam declaret rebusan verbis?"

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been ed usage of no less than 167 years.


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lied in its origin.



Now the presumption Juris et de Jure in this case prima facie on the face of so long a usage must be, that the usage, and consequently the interpretation, or rather the avoidance of the statute quoad hoc is well grounded, that is to say, reasonably grounded; either upon

ist, The special or public nature of the constitution of such eleemofynary and learned foundations, and their rights of incorporations as societies taken separately or conjunctively with the whole body of the university. Or,

2dly, That something is or hath been paid by the members of that public body, and been accepted by another public body in contribution for the maintenance of the poor of the body which has accepted, so as to work a kind of modus or legal right of exemption from any farther contribution.

The general rights of the university, including those bodies which make a part of it, so far as it relates to a public purpose, undoubtedly stand upon great grounds of law.

It consists of societies which are in their legal and actual nature eleemofynary foundations of antient time, for the encouragement of good learning, sound doctrines in morals and religion, and good loyalty; and for the support of the national govern ment in all its connections; affecting the minds, and consequently the conduct of the subject.

It is an indisputable fact, that as these societies were originally and before the statute eleemofynary, so they are at this day still poor, not only in the eye of the law, but in fact. The fellows and scholars, and even masters of




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colleges, have only such stipends as are in aid of their maintenance in the pursuit of their own studies, or in directing the studies of others; and which are very far indeed from being sufficient for their support in their respective characters and

Upon the general analogy of law, which has efstands that public eleemofynary institutions shall tablished that ecclefia non decimas folvit ecclefiæ, so it not be rateable to eleemofynary purposes for other rects that a proportion of the money to be raised

The same statute 43 Eliz. 6. 2. sect. 14. 15. diby virtue of this act, shall be sent for the relief of hospitals in the respective counties.

Now the act cited never intended that hospitals should be taxed for the relief of other hospitals. ther bodies politic as parishęs, because it is a body its officers, are trustees for the public; and so far as

As every parish is in law a body politic; so every college is a political corporation, and the university is more extensively fo in its general mass. It is distinguished more favourably from such opolitic for great public uses. The occupiers of colleges in the university, and they have any particular emolument and interest themselves, they are but stipendiaries retained in its Service, under fixed regulations.

It is not material to consider singly, whether by perambulation of bounds, colleges, or parts of them, have been taken into the circuit of any parishes or not, and so have been suffered to be held in general


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opinion and vulgar notion, a part and parcel of any parithi or otherwise, whether they are in the nature of a vill within the precinct of any parish? or whether they are reputed parishes of themselves, having a chapel, chaplains, divine service; or, in the language of the ecclesiastical law, having facramenta and sacramentalia within themselves? Or, are intirely extraparochial; from their being antient monasteries, or erected on their foundations?

The fact of double fees paid to the minister of the parish of St. Andrew's, as for strangers buried has been asserted, and that the two colleges were anci, ent monasteries, is admitted.

The above are not material considerations, if colleges are exempt in any one view of the whole argument; and that they are exempt, is agreed from the usage (which is the legal rule of interpreting the Itatute) and from the nature of their foundation as eleemosynary and for great public uses.

These are the first great outlines of the question,

It comes next to be considered how the statute specially directs.

The 43 Eliz. c. 2. fect. 11. “ Directs a taxation s of every inhabitant, parson, vicar, and others; and 16 of every occupier of lands, houses, tithes impro“ priate; propriation of tithes, coalmines, or salea$ ble underwoods, in the said parish.”

So that, in order that any persons should be liable to this taxation, the qualities jointly requisite are Habitancy, and Occupation, in the parish.

The persons to be taxed are separate perfons, not aggregate bodies,


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