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GalwAY COUNTY ELECTION PETITION.
statement of fact reported in the case--it appears I infer that the learned judge who heard the that the respondent by himself, his agents, and by petition has not, as a fact, found, nor has he persons for whose acts as detailed he had rendered stated to us that the existence of the respondent's himself responsible, was guilty of that which the disqualification was brought home to the actual law defines as undue influence, which was prac knowledge of any number of electors. We have tised upon the electors and carried out in pur it that a few hundreds were served with a certain suance of some arrangements made previous to notice; we are told that there was a general knowthe election, and especially during the months of ledge throughout the county amongst the electors November, December, and January preceding the of acts that would constitute a disqualification ; election; and therefore, that he ought not to have but it is not found as a fact that those whom now been elected. Accepting the accuracy of that it is intended to disfranchise for the purpose of the statement, I have no doubt whatever that, so far late election had actual knowledge of the existence, as the respondent is concerned, the consequent as a matter of fact, of such disqualification. There decision by which he is deciared to have been dis being no finding that the fact of disqualification qualified to be elected was a correct and right de was known to the body of the electors, are we to cision. But there remains the question, whether draw an inference that in point of fact it was the facts were such as to justify us in replying known to them? I should have some hesitation in upon the case reserved in the manner stated by my saying that it ever was intended that, presiding brother Lawson, and upon that question I enter and dealing with this case under the Elections tain an opposite opinion. The case affirms that Petitions' Act, we could draw inferences of fact. certain prelates, their numbers undisclosed, and That which we are to determine is what is the that certain other members of the Catholic priest law that should govern a given state of facts. hood, how many not specified, had combined or Were this case being tried with the assistance of entered into an arrangement with the respondent, a jury, it would be one question whether there in consequence of which undue influence was
was evidence enough to go to them of knowledge, exercised, and that the respondent being respon. on the part of the great body of the electors, that sible could not properly have been returned. And the respondent was de facto disqualified so as to accordingly, as properly stated by the case, the re reduce che respondent's large majority of 2165, spondent was disqualified. But that which ap and to seat the petitioner. We are placed here pears to me the most material is the statement instead of a jury, and assuming, as I do, that we that the knowledge of such acts and especially of are bound to reply as best we can, the question such intimidation and undue influence had become is this : Upon the state of facts given should we generally known to and among the great body of come to the conclusion that a number of votes the electors throughout the county, and especially were disqualified sufficient to reduce the responamongst those who afterwards voted for the re dent's majority so far as to justify us in declaring spondent. Now what is found by the case is the the petitioner entitled to be elected ? Let us then fact that undue influence existed, and was known consider the facts so found. It is found in fact to have existed; but not so that the electors had that, through the county, the commission of the become aware that, as the consequence of its exer acts which amount to undue influence was known cise, the candidate was disqualified. [His Lord to the general body of the electors; it is not found ship read paragraphs 8 and 9 of the case.] What in fact how many of the electors knew of the comnumber of electors were compelled to vote for the missio of those acts, or that they amounted to a respondent, or voted for him, having promised disqualification. In my opinion, in order to justify their suffrages to the petitioner, what proportion us in reducing the respondent's majority, it should or how many of them became aware of the acts be found how many voters knew both the fact of which disqualified the respondent, we find un the commission of undue influence and its consespecified. (His Lordship read paragraphs 10 and quence as a disqualification. Did the course taken 11 of the case.] We find that the notice relied at the trial admit of a scrutiny, it would be necesupon was not duly served at all the polling booths; sary, in order that the votes should be struck off there was one exception, for, owing to a mistake of the poll, to prove that notice was given to a ceran agent of the petitioner, it appears that at one tain number of the voters. In some of the recent of the booths the notice was not served until after cases, in which the question arose before comthe votes had been recorded, and that is of no mittees of the House of Common, the course puravail. However, it is found that, with this excep sued was, if objection were taken to a particnlar tion, copies of the notice were served at each voter, his name was struck off the poll on proof of booth, so far as was allowed, upon some of the service of the notice upon him; a similar ruling electors previous to their voting, such personal was applied to others; and so the votes were reservices not amounting in the aggregate to more duced until the petitioner was left in a clear than a few hundreds --whether two, three, or five majority. But here, there was no attempt at any. hundred is not specified, nor can I determine thing of that description; and there is no finding How many services were attempted but frustrated, to enable us now to strike off any one or any even an approximate number, is not specified, number of the respondent's votes, so as to leave neither have we any means of ascertaining. In his opponent in the majority. Even supposing conclusion, the learned judge who tried the peti- for a moment that knowledge of the facts could be tion correctly states the questions arising. (His established as against a number of those electors Lordship read paragraphs 14 and 15.] It has been by reason of their having seen the notices in the contended, on the part of the respondent, that, not halls of the polling places, nay, even were they withstanding that he was found disqualified the aware that the clergymen acted as has been alvotes recorded for him were not thrown away in leged in this case, would it be possible fairly to infer the sense of the reservation. Now, were the as a matter of fact, and not as a mere legal preelectors fixed with notice of the respondent's sumption, that these country people knew that disqualification? From the case, as presented, I the respondent's status was destroyed, and that he
GALWAY COUNTY ELECTION PETITION.
was disqualified for election ? Anyone who knows seated. The committee unanimously held that the class of voters in those country districts must the defeated candidate should not be seated, and be aware that a great many are illiterate, that a they merely held the election void. On that great many, as found by the case itself, speak only petition it was resolved—“ That from the proceed. the Irish tongue.
They know that the Catholic ings before the committee they think it right to priest exercises considerable influence, and that it draw the attention of the House to the unsatis. is not illegal to exercise that influence; for the factory state of the law with regard to the effect Catholic priest has as much as any elector in the of a notice to electors, in the case of a candidate who community, a constitutional right to exercise his is returned by a majority of votes. By the com. legitimate influence. If, indeed, clergymen will mon law the principle seems to be firmly established, act as by the findings in this case they are stated that when a candidate is in point of fact disqualified to have acted, the same law applies to them as to at the time of an election, all votes given for him, others, and such acts would amount to the offence with knowledge of the fact upon which such disof using undue influence, for the purpose of pro qualification is founded, must be thrown away. curing the return of the candidate whom they sup This knowledge may be established either by disported. But it is a wholly different thing to tinct notice or by notoriety, and it will in all cases ascribe to the electors a knowledge of the illegality be inferred that when the voter is aware of the of the acts exercised, and of their effect to vitiate facts he is aware of the legal deduction from those the election. To all it is a very difficult matter facts, however intricate and doubtful such deducto know with anything like certainty where fair tion
may be. It is obvious that on these princiinfluence ends, and where undue influence begins; ples it may be contended that in all cases without and though I am satisfied that as a matter of fact, exception, where notice of disqualification is served a great number of the electors were aware of the on a sufficient number of voters of the majority, influence practised by the priesthood, I do not and where the fact of such disqualification existing believe, and cannot persuade my own mind that, at the time of the election is subsequently estaas a matter of fact, they knew that influence was blished, the candidate who was in a minority on such as to be illegal and to vitiate the election. the poll is entitled to the seat, and some cases As to the question of legal presumption, I do not before election committees appear to have been think that the maxim, ignorantia juris haud decided on principles which lead directly to this excusat, applies exactly as it has been laid down conclusion. On the other hand, other cases point by my brother Lawson. If a person is accused of to the conclusion that to give effect to the a crime, he cannot himself be excused by his ignor notice the disqualification must be founded on ance of the law which rendered the particular act some specific and definite fact existing and illegal ; but I am unaware that it has ever been established at the time of polling, so as to lead decided that a third person, no party to the to the fair inference of wilful perverseness on the illegal act, is to be presumed to know that the act part of the electors voting for the disqualified is illegal, or that being so it would involve the persons." And here I may be permitted to ex: effect sought to be attached to the commission of press that, as the Act under which we sit will the offence here in question. Now, by sect. 26 expire at the end of the present Parliament unless of the statute we are administering, we are directed renewed by the Legislature, I do sincerely hope to have regard to the law as laid down in decisions that the report of the committee in the Clitheroe pronounced by committees of the House of Com case will be taken into consideration, and that mons, and, should that course prove inadequate, some enactment may be passed declaring a rule we are then to resort to the law as dispensed in fixed and definite to be administered in cases of analogous cases by the ordinary tribunals. It this description. The Clitheroe is the last case in happens that the cases before committees, which in which the question arose, but it certainly is not respect of time and circumstance invite attention, conclusive. Yet it is a circumstance not unworthy are but few in number. The second Horsham and of consideration that, from the period of that second Cheltenham cases appear to have been de report up to the time of the passing of the statute cided contemporaneously. In the former it was under which we are now proceeding, there is not a proved that the elected candidate had been guilty single instance to be found in which a committee of treating; notice had been given to each elector; of the House of Commons in cases of treating, and the committee, holding that the election was bribery, or undue influence, bave done more than at his peril, seated his adversary. But in the unseat the sitting member-in none have they latter the committee refused to act upon the
sup seated the unsuccessful candidate. But failing to position of knowledge of guilt, and there, although discover any settled principle or assured rule in notice had been given and the candidate was de the conflicting decisions of the Parliamentary comclared disqualified, they ordered a new election. mittees, I am bound as best I can to ascertain and In the Tavistock case subsequently it had been apply the rule of the common law adapted to this publicly intimated that the candidate had not the But in the common law again changes from necessary qualification; he came forward and made day to day are brought to pass by the adjudica: a solemn declaration that he possessed the neces tions of competent tribunals, and neither does it sary qualification; yet, although no actual per supply a sufficing substitute for a determinate sonal service of notice that he was disquali. statutory enactment. Nevertheless, if I too am to tied had been proved, his opponent was seated. adopt the common law, I confess that for my part I confess that I cannot understand the pro I am unable in principle to distinguish this case priety of that decision. Later occurred the from that of Reg.v. The Mayor of Tewkesbury, which Clitheroe case. It there appearing that the suc was decided so recently as 1868, a case which has cessful candidate had been guilty of bribery never been questioned. There Blizard, one of the at a former election, the question arose whether candidates for the office of town councillor in a that fact and notice of it given should vitiate his borough, was elected, notwithstanding that, inas. present election and entitle his antagonist to be much as he was mayor and acted as returning
GALWAY COUNTY ELECTION PETITION.
officer, he was incapable of being elected. The it is even in the last resort.” It was a necessary question arose whether another candidate should ground of decision, in that case, that a party may be declared elected. It appears that on the morn- be ignorant of the law. The rule is, that ignorance ing of the election notices stating that Blizard was of the law shall not excuse a man, or relieve him so disqualified, and that votes for him would be from the consequence, or from liability upon a thrown away, were served upon the deputy mayor contract. There are many cases where the giving and his assessors, and posted on the town hall, up a doubtful point of law has been held to be å public market-place, and in other conspicuous good consideration for a promise to pay money. places. Others were carried on boards through Numerous other instances might be cited to show the public streets, or distributed at various shops that there may be such a thing as a doubtful point and houses throughout the borough. Blackburn, of law. If there were not, there would be no need J., says: “ There were five candidates, and four of courts of appeal, the existence of which shows vacancies in the office of town councillor. Amongst that judges may be ignorant of the law. That the candidates were one Blizard, who was the being so, it would be too much to hold that ordinary mayor, and Moore. Blizard, as mayor of the people are bound to know in what particular court borough, was the returning officer, and, as such, such and such a practice does or does not prevail. presided at the election. It is quite clear, on the I take this to be the rule of law applicable to this authority of Reg. v. Owens, that a returning And, accordingly, it was in that case held officer cannot return himself, and consequently that, although the electors had knowledge of the Blizard was disqualified, and therefore could not facts which created the disqualification, there was be elected, although he had an actual majority of no inference of law that they knew that these facts votes; and in Reg. v. Blizard we granted a quo
amounted to a disqualification. I regret very warranto to oust him. The question now is much that in this case my opinion differs from that whether Moore, who had the smallest number of of the other members of the court, and it may be votes, has been elected. The candidate for the that I have come to a wrong conclusion; but, in office of town councillor is duly elected if he has an my own mind, I am satisfied that, as a matter of actual majority of valid votes. This was decided fact, the respondent's majority did not know, at in Rex v. Hawkins, and it was also decided that if the time they were voting, that they were voting an elector, having notice of the disqualification of for a disqualified candidate. I am of opinion that a candidate, chooses to vote for that candidate, it there was not sufficient evidence that the notice is the same thing as if he did not vote at all. was known to a majority of the electors who From the illustrations in the cases it is plain that, polled-for there is no mode of taking any distincif an elector knows as a fact that the candidate for tion between the entire number and the number whom he is about to vote is disqualified and yet who voted for the respondent. The case, if it does persists in voting for him, the elector's vote is as anything, disqualifies every man who gave his vote, utterly thrown away as if he had voted for a dead to the number of 2823. I cannot come to the conperson or for the Man in the Moon. Does it appear clusion that all these voters, many of whom-I do in this case that those who voted for Blizard with- not know how many-did not speak English, and out knowing of his disqualification were a smaller several of whom, I am satisfied—but there is no number than those who voted for Moore? If finding on the matter-were not at all in the town it does, Moore is entitled to be declared duly of Galway during the election proceedings, were elected ; if it does not, then the election is aware of the legal disqualification of the candidate void. It is, therefore, necessary to decide for whom the majority voted. And I may add whether the mere knowledge of the fact that
that it is stated in the case that there were eight Blizard was the mayor and returning officer polling places; and the county is a very extensive must be taken to involve knowledge of his It seems to me it would be going a long way being disqualified for election. Every elector in the in this case, the first of its kind, to make a preborough must have known that Bsizard was the cedent such as will be made by the present decision, mayor, and every elector who saw him presiding upon the idea that the legal disqualification was at the election must have known as a fact that he generally known, without a finding and without was the returning officer, and every elector who any means of ascertaining to how many it was was a lawyer and had read the case of Reg.v. Owens, known. That conclusion strikes off the poll the would know that he was disqualified. From the 2823 who voted for the respondent. In the proknowledge of the fact that Blizard was mayor and priety of that conclusion I cannot concur, and returning officer, was every elector bound to know, 1 neither, upon the facts stated, can I declare that as matter of law, that he was disqualified ? I agree the petitioner is entitled to be seated. I am that ignorance of the law does not excuse. But I decidedly of opinion that he is not. That the think that in Martindale v. Falkner, Maule, J., respondent was properly unseated, I entertain no correctly explains the rule of law. He says :- doubt upon the facts reported; but my opinion is “ There is no presumption in this country that that the electors had not sufficient notice of his every person knows the law; it would be contrary disqualification. The judgment of the court, howto common sense and reason if it were so." In ever, will be that the electors who constituted the Jones v. Randall, Dunning, arguendo, says :-“The majority of the respondent were fixed with suffi. laws of this country are clear, evident, and certain ; cient knowledge of the respondent's disqualificaall the judges know the laws, and, knowing them, tion; and, there being no disqualification on his administer justice with uprightness and integrity.' part, that the petitioner is entitled to be elected But Lord Mansfield, in delivering the judgment of for the county. the court, says:-"As to the certainty of law men- KEOGH, J.-It now becomes my duty to express tioned by Mr. Dunning, it would be very hard my opinion on this case—the first time I have upon the Profession if the law was so certain that done so since the questions involved came before everybody knew it; the misfortune is, that it is so me. I gave no opinion upon the matter in the uncertain that it costs much money to know what court at Galway, though there the questions
Winch v. CONSERVATORS OF THE THAMES.
were most ably argued by counsel, and especially This was an action to recover damages in respect so, there as here, by the junior counsel for the of three horses which slipped into the river respondent, Mr. Mac Dermot. I have not given Thames and were drowned while towing a barge any opinion upon the questions since, but I have up the river. It was contended by the plaintiff heard and concur in the judgment delivered by that the accident happened owing to the rotten my brother Lawson, and in a grave constitutional state of the banks of the river at & part where question, such as this undoubtedly is, involving the towing-path ran close to the water's edge. the knowledge not only of the law, but of the The defendants were a corporation constituted by history and constitution of England, unfettered by 29 & 30 Vict. c. 89 for the purpose of maintain. small legal technicalities, I with confidence rest ing and protecting the navigation of the part of my judgment on that which my brother Lawson the river Thames where the accident happened. has delivered, supported and sustained as it is by The plaintiff had paid the defendants toll for the that of my brother Morris. I regret that there use of the towing path with his horses. should be any division of opinion in the court, but At the trial, before Cockburn, C.J., at the I cannot discern this momentous case by the lights spring assizes at Kingston, it was urged by the or authorities which my Lord Chief Justice has defendants as a matter of law that they were not brought to bear upon it; and I rejoice that the bound to repair and maintain the towing path, so conclusion at which the court has arrived is as to be responsible to the plaintiff for a loss susfortified by the authority of that great jurist and tained by him through a default on their part to magistrate, Lord Denman, Chief Justice of perform this duty. England, who, when he believed that the liberties The learned judge left the questions of fact to of his country were in danger, knew how to use the jury, who found for the plaintiff, that the tow. words fit for the occasion and calculated to arrest ing path and banks were not in a proper
condition the attention of the people of England. I stated, relatively to the purpose and proper use of them as in the case submitted to this court, and for the a towing path ; that this was the cause of the acci. purpose of the questions I reserved, that the dent to the plaintiff's horses, and that there was electors of the county of Galway had been intimi no neglect in the navigation of the barge or in the dated by threats and denunciations of temporal management of the horses. They assessed the injury and of spiritual punishment. I stated damages at 1001., whereupon a verdict for the that in the case which now rests before us. I plaintiff for that amount was entered, leare being now, sitting on this bench, which I am warned reserved to the defendants to more to have this that I occupy at the will and in subordina verdict set aside, and a nonsuit or verdict for the tion to powers other than my Sovereign, here defendants entered, if the court should be of declare that I have been obliged to consider this opinion that the defendants were under no legal case and to deliver this judgment, namely, that liability to repair and maintain the towing path. Capt. William Le Poer Trench is entitled to be A rule having been obtained accordingly. declared the representative of the county of Denman, Q.C. and Macleod showed cause. Galway,—under many terrible threats and denun Hawkins, Q.C. and Joyce supported the rule. ciations, public and private.
The arguments sufficiently appear in the judg. Order accordingly, adjudging in the affirmative ment. They turned for the most part on the
on the questions reserved, respectively. provisions of the Acts under which the defendants Agent for the petitioner, J. B. Con cannon. were incorporated. Agent for the respondent, T. Higgins.
Cur. ado vult. July 5.—Bovill, C. J., delivered the judgment of the court, (Bovill
, C. J., Byles and Brett, JJ.COURT OF COMMON PLEAS.
The defendants in this action were charged with Reported by H. H. HOCKING, H. F. Pooley, and R. A.
negligence in the management and control of a KINGLAKE, Esqrs., Barristers-at-Law.
portion of the banks and towing paths of the river
Thames, and in not keeping and maintaining June 4, 5, and 6, and July 5, 1872.
them in a reasonably safe and proper condition
for the purpose of towing barges, whereby certain WINCH v. CONSERVATORS OF THAJES.
horses of the plaintiff employed upon the towing Negligence—Towing path—Taking toll-Liability path in towing a barge and for the use of which to repair.
towing path toll had been paid to the defendants, The defendants were incorporated under private Acts fell into the river and were drowned. The princi
of Parliament for the purpose of maintaining and pal question of law which arose at the trial and protecting the navigation of the river Thames. was reserved for the consideration of the court They had power to acquire, for the public use, was, whether, under the Acts of Parliament which the towing paths along the river, and also to regulate the upper navigation or by force of those maintain and repair the same. In the exercise Acts and the application of the common law, the of their powers, they had provided a towing-path defendants were under any legal liability with for the use of the public, they invited the public to respect to the maintenance and repairs of the use it, and took toll, as they were authorised towing path on the river bank. The defendants to do by their Aots, for the use of it.
are a corporation constituted for the purposes of Held, that the defendants were bound to take reason the upper navigation of the Thames by the Thames
able care that the towing path was in a reasonably Navigation Act 1866, having been originally in. fit condition to be used as a towing path, and that corporated for other purposes by the Thames an action lay against them for neglecting this duty, Conservancy Act 1857. By the Act of 1806, sect
. whereby the horses of the plaintif, who was law 26, the previous Acts relating to the upper naviga. Fully using the towing path with his horses, and tion were to remain in force and to be construed as hal paid them toll in respect thereof, fell into the if the present body of conservators had been river and were drowned.
named therein instead of the former commis
WINCH v. CONSERVATORS OF THE THAMES.
sioners, and it therefore becomes necessary to ing paths, and that the towing had there been examine the provisions and the language of the done by men,
but that the extension of the horse earlier statutes. The first statute which appoint-towing path was then contemplated. There are ed Commissioners, the 24 Geo. 2, c. 8, in the powers given to the commissioners to borrow preamble refers to abuses by the owners of the money on the security of the tolls, and by sect. 55 towing paths and other passages on the banks of there is a general power to appeal to the quarter the river. Sect. 2 gives powers to the commis- sessions against any orders of the commissioners. sioners to settle amongst other things the rates to The next Act which is material is the 28 Geo. 3 be taken by the tenants or occupiers of the towing c. 51. The preamble refers to money having been paths, locks, &c., and to regulate the towing paths, raised and expended in making horse towing paths, &c., for the benefit and safety of the navigation, &c., and by sect. 2 the tolls and moneys to be raised making compensation to owners or occupiers of or paid under that Act or the former Acts and the mills or lands, and they were also to give such property in the lands and works erected or purreparation, satisfactions and damages to persons chased by the commissioners were vested in them, grieved as to them should seem meet, but with an and they were empowered to sue and prosecute for express proviso by sect. 3 that they should not injury to any of the towing paths, &c., by virtue of change the towing paths or landing places without the Acts, purchased, rented, hired, or used for the consent of the land owners. The 4th section pro- benefit of the navigation. By sect. 5 they had vided for the mode of proceeding by the com- further borrowing powers conferred upon them, missioners in making orders. By sect. 8 power and by sect. 6 it is enacted that for providing a was given to the commissioners to view the towing fund for securing the money borrowed with paths, &c., to inquire into their state and condition interest and for repairing and maintaining the and to make orders thereupon, giving notice to the navigation the commissioners shall have full power persons concerned of their intended orders. Sect. 9 to settle and direct the taking of such tolls and imposed a penalty on persons disobeying the rates as they shall think necessary within certain orders of the commissioners, and by sec. 11 parties limits for barges and also for horses used in towaggrieved by any such orders might within eight ing for the use of (inter alia) the towing paths and months appeal against them to the Judges of ways then or to be thereafter made, purchased, or Assize or of Nisi Prius in Middlesex. The next hired by the commissioners on the navigation. Act was the 11 Geo. 3, c. 45, the title of which The commissioners by sect. 18 had power to make was for improving and completing the navigation, bye-laws as to the rates for towing, for the use of and it refers to the abuses and esactions of the any towing paths and for carrying or repairing owners of several towing paths and other passages and regulating the navigation subject to the on the banks of the river and of the locks, &c.; it general power of appeal given by sect. 24. By the also refers to an estimate which bad been made of 35 Geo. 3. c. 106, s. 18, further powers were given the expense of (inter alia) embanking divers parts to five of the committee to survey and view the of the river, and for purchasing land for the river and to hear and examine evidence as to the making of towing paths in order to complete the state and condition of the navigation and the wants navigation; and by sect. 7 power is given to the of repairs, amendments, alterations and improve commissioners to purchase and make towing paths, ments therein and to make reports to the general &c., for towing with horses or otherwise; to settle meetings of the commissioners of all alterations, the rates to be taken for the use of the towing paths, improvements, repairs, and other works which &c., by the tenants or occupiers of the same, and they should think needful or proper to be done at they were to have regard (amongst other things) any place or places for the benefit and improveto the expense of repairing and supporting the ment of the navigation, and to cause estimates to towing paths, &c., and to make orders as to the be made of the expense of doing such works; and towing paths, &c., making satisfaction to the when the commissioners ordered any works, the owners of mills and lands, and giving reparation, committee of five of them might take on them. satisfaction, and damages to parties aggrieved in selves the management, direction, and execution of the same terms as in the former Act. By sect. 19 them, and give orders to the surveyors and others they had power to view the towing paths, &c., and to proceed in the execution of such works, and the the state, condition, reparation, and circumstances expenses after having been reported and allowed thereof, and to make orders as in the previous by a general meeting of the commissioners werc statute, giving notice of their intention to do so to be paid out of the moneys raised under the Acts. to the persons concerned, and by sects. 28, 29, and 31, By sect. 22 the commissioners were to make satisthe commissioners acquired compulsory powers to faction to parties aggrieved, damaged, or injured purchase property necessary for the purposes of by the works, and with a power of appeal as there the Act, subject to certain consents in the cases provided. The 23rd section authorised the purchasspecially mentioned in sects. 31 and 33, and such ing and making by the commissioners of a free conpurchases by sect. 28 might be made in considera- tinued uninterrupted and public horse towing path tion of a sum in gross or of an annual rent to be throughout the whole of the navigation without secured as mentioned in the Act, and the contracts, interruption or impediment; the commissioners conveyances and assurances were to be enrolled making compensation for the lands taken, and for with the clerk of the peace. The commissioners all losses and damages by reason of the taking of had very large powers conferred upon them for lands or grounds for making a towing path, way, regulating not only the navigation but also the or road for the use of the navigation. The next tolls and lock dues as well as the rates for carriage and last Act was that by which the powers, rights of goods and hire of horses upon the river, and and duties of the commissioners were transferred they were invested with authority to determine all to the present defendants, viz: The Thames Navicomplaints subject to appeal. It also appears from gation Act, 1866. The title of that Act is for vestthe 24th section, as well as from the 7th section, that ing in the Conservators of the river Thames the in some places there were at that time no horse tow- conservancy of the upper part of the river, and