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import a promise to pay, or an order for the payment of money within the terms of the statute. In its common and general acceptation, il signifies the act of shining, as, for instance, the sun. In Minsheu's Dictionary of Eleven Tongues (a), the word shine is defined as meaning “splendour," " nitor." In the German language it may mean a member of a family, or may signify “manifestation ” or “appearance :"-And in Noehden's German Dictionary (6), the word schein is described to mean “ the act of shining," &c. (c). Here, the interpreter stated at the trial, that it might mean either a "note, or receipt;" and although the word “ tresor” is prefixed to it, yet it only takes away the generality of the act of shining, and confines it to the treasury; and does not alter the signification of the word, so as to imply that it may be a promissory note, undertaking, or order for the payment of money, within the statute. On these grounds the prisoner is entitled to his discharge.
The Honourable Charles E. Law, contrà. Two objections have been raised for the prisoner-first, that the forged instrument in question does not fall within the first section of the statute 43 Geo. 3. c. 139; and secondly, that a translation of it should have been set out in the indictment. With respect to the first, it has been contended, that it is not a note, undertaking, or order for the payment of money of any foreign Prince. The statute was passed for the sole purpose of preventing the forgery of foreign securities in tbis country; that was the express object of the legislature. The prisoner was charged with the offence of
(a) Word “ shine," (6) Word “ schein.". -(c) In Kuttner and Nicholson's German Dictionary, the word schein (4) is translated as a testimony, certificate or attestation, acquittance, discharge, or receipt for money paid; and in Weber's German Dictionary, as shine, lustre, brightness, splendour, form, appearance, semblance, show, certificate, note, memorandum.
having caused plates to be engraved in a foreign language, and bearing the signature and characters of, and relating to persons resident abroad. The whole aspect of the instrument is foreign, and it therefore cannot be required to possess all the properties of a promissory note, or negociable security of a like nature in this country; it is sufficient if it imports on the face of it to be an undertaking or order for the payment of money. If it in effect, amounts to, or can be considered as such, it may be so laid in the indictment; and no precise form of words is necessary to constitute such a security. The cases of Rex v. Shepherd (a), Rex v. Lockett (b), and Rex v. Witloughby (c), have established the principle, that a writing may be called by any of the denominations to which, in the nature of things, it is entitled, although usage may have assigned the denomination to writings of a peculiar form ; since the nature of things cannot be changed by usage. Hence a bill of exchange may be called an order for the payment of money; and so may a draft on a banker. So the principle of Mary Mitchell's Case is, that the words " warrant or order," as they stand in the statute 7 Geo. 2. c. 22. are synonimous, and expressive of one and the same idea ; and in common parlance, import that the person giving such warrant or order, hath, or at least claims, an interest in the money or goods which are the subject matter of that warrant or order. Here it was necessary to resort to parol evidence, to explain the terms and nature of the instrument; and whether it were interpreted in the English sense, or according to the sense of the country in which it purported to have been issued, or whether it corresponded
(a) 2 East's Pl. Cr. 944. S. C. 1 Leach's Cr. Ca. 226. (6) 2 East's Pl. Cr. 940. $. Ç. I Leach's Cr. Ca. 94.- (c) 2 East's Pl. Cr, 944.
with the exact terms of instruments of a like description in this country : still if it amounts to an undertaking or order for the payment of money in terms, it is in effect, sufficient; as no precise or technical form of words is necessary to render such an instrument available in law (a). In Morris v. Lee (6), where the maker of a note promised to be accountable to A. or order, for 1001. valued received; it was held to be a negociable note. . It cannot be contended for a moment, that a foreign instrument must be precisely conform able to an instrument of like nature in this country; and it is therefore only necessary to see the character the document in question bears upon the face of it. If it be taken in the English sense, it is quite clear that it must be deemed a promise or order for the payment of money. It has been said however, that the word schein, although connected with that of tresor, does not constitute it a note or order, so as to bring it within the terms of the statute. On the front side it is expressed to be a “ Treasury Note,” and on the reverse are impressed the initials of the King of Prussia. This therefore, is in effect, an order for the payment of a definite sum, viz. one dollar, in currency, in Prussia, and issued under the authority of the King of that country. The office of Realisation at Konigsberg, proves that it was to be realised or paid there; or in other terms, that on its being presented at that office, it would be exchanged for coin. The question then is, what does it import or purport to be? Is it to be available or valid in the kingdom of Prussia ? It is expressly stated on the face of it, to be valid in all payments in full : that means, that it may be used as money for certain purposes, secundum rem subjectam; but available every where in all payments in full. The main question then is, whether this be a valid instru
(6) 2 Ld. Raym. 1396,
(a) See Bayley on Bills, 3d edit. p. 3. S. C. 1 Str. 629. 8 Mod. 362.
ment by the law of Prussia, being the country where
it parports to have been issued ? It cannot be exGOLDSTEIN. pected, that orders of foreign Princes must be con
forınable to the forms of negociable instruments in this country; and even here it has been shewn, that no precise or definite forms are required. If a foreign document imports to be an order for the payment of money, its meaning and effect may be explained by evidence in the first instance, to see whether it be valid or not, and whether it purported to be an order or undertaking for the payment of money. The cases of Rex v. Jones (a), Rex v. Gilchrist, and Rex v. Reading, are distinguishable from the present. In the first, the instrument did not appear to be a bank note on the face of it, and therefore it was held, that the want of such appearance could not be supplied by the representation of the party uttering it. In the second, there was a manifest repugnance between the purport and the tenor of the bill as stated in the indictment, and that produced in evidence; and, in the last, the indictment stated that a bill purported to be drawn on John King, by the name and description of John Ring, which was absurd and repugnant in itself. The word
purport,” means the substance of an instrument as it appears on the face of it to every eye that reads it ; and here there is nothing repugnant or contradictory, to shew that the instrument in question does not purport to be an order or undertaking for the payment of money. In the case of Rex v. Reeves, where a scrip receipt was subscribed with the name C. Olier, and the indictment charged that it purported to be signed in the name of Christopher Olier (a čashier of the Bank of England), Mr. Justice Lawrence, Mr. Justice Heath, and Mr. Baron Thompson, seemed to be of opinion, that the indictment was not upon the face of
(a) 2 East's Pl. Cr. 883. S. C. 1 Leach's Cr. Ca. 204.
it, repugnant to the receipt, or inconsistent with itself; and that although the initial C.might signify the name of Charles, or any other christian name beginning with that letter, it was a question to be concluded by the finding of the jury. So here, it was competent for a jury to decide what the initials F.W. R. imported. Suppose the instrument had been in the English language, and the initials G. R. were engraved on it; it would purport to have been issued by the authority of the King, of which a Court of law would be bound to take notice. So F. W. R. purports that the instrument in question applied to the kingdom of Prussia, and was sanctioned by the King of that country, by his allowing his initials to be placed on it. Besides, it was signed in fac simile by the Baron d'Altenstein, who was proved to be the Prussian Minister of Finance. Foreigo instruments must be tried by public tests; and this document, in point of principle, does not differ from an exchequer bill: they are both public instruments; the one issued under the sanction of goveroment, by the 48 Geo. 3. c. 1; the other by the King of Prussia, or his minister; the one payable at the Exchequer Bill Office; the other at the Office of Realisation, at Konigsberg. It has been objected for the prisoner, that if this be an order for the payment of money, it must purport to have been signed by some person authorised to receive such payment; but the case of Minet v. Gibson (a) has decided, that in cases relating to bills payable to fictitious persons, any words in the bill, or extraneous facts, from whence it can be inferred that the person making it, or any other party to it, intended it to be negociable, will give it a transferrable quality against that person. Here the evidence at the trial fully supports the effect of the
(aj 3 Term Rer. 481. S. C. in error) 1 Hen. Blac. 569.