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Breaking Open

beer, annual, house, brewer, brew, premises and value

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BREAKING OPEN a celebrated case reported three hundred years ago by Sir Edward Coke, we read " that the house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose." Nor was this new law even then, for by an old statute of the reign of Richard II., which not only remains unrepealed, but is recognised as fully to-day as ever, it was enacted as follows : " And also the king enjoineth that none from henceforth make entry into any lands and i tenements but in case where entry is given by law, and in such case not with strong hand nor with multitude of people, 'but only in lawful, peaceable, and easy manner. And if any man from henceforth do to the contrary and thereof be duly convicted, he shall be punished by imprisonment of his body, and thereof be ransomed at the king's will." This statute has been held to prohibit any person giving to another leave and licence to break and enter into his dwelling-house. If therefore a lease, for example, or a hire-purchase agreement, contains an express condition that in certain events the house may be forcibly entered, such condition is null and void ; should any person act under its assumed authority, he may in certain events be liable for damages. Except in execution of criminal process, and then only after admittance has been required and refused, the only way to effect an entry into a dwelling house is by au open outer door. A bailiff for rent may, however, climb over a wall, but should the distress be preceded by a forcible entry, it will be void and illegal, and he will be a trespasser. But should the offender be a sheriff or bailiff of a Court attempting to execute a civil process, the execution would not be void, but the offender would be liable for damages and to punishment by the Court of which he is an officer. See DISTRESS; EXECUTION.

BREWER.—To brew beer, ale, porter:spruce beer, black beer, Berlin white beer, or any other description of beer, or any liquor which is made or sold as a description of beer, or as a substitute for beer, such as a concoction of herbs, sugar, and water, and which contains more than (2 per cent. of proof spirit, is to come within the legal definition of a brewer. If a person does

not brew for sale, and the annual value of the house he occupies and actually resides in does not exceed c,L)10, the beer brewed by him is not charged with duty ; but he will be required to give such particulars of his brewing as the Inland Revenue authorities may require, which particulars should be entered in the forms hereinafter mentioned. If the premises are below £8 in annual value no licence is required, unless the beer is brewed for consumption by farm labourers ; but if above £10 and not exceeding £15, an annual licence is required which carries a duty of 9s. Beer so brewed can only be used for the brewer's own domestic use, or for consumption by farm labourers employed by him in the actual course of their labour or employment. The brewing may be either on the private brewer's own premises or on premises gratui tously lent to him by a brewer who publicly carries on a business as such. Should the private brewer brew otherwise than in accordance with the above regulations, or should he sell, or offer for sale, any beer brewed by him, he will incur a penalty of 110. Moreover, any excise officer may at any reason able time enter and inspect any premises used by the private brewer for the purposes of brewing, and examine the vessels and utensils used by him. Where the private brewer occupies a house exceeding ..L'15 in annual value, be will be required to pay the same beer duty as a brewer for sale. So ht: will if he is a farmer who brews for his labourers and occupies a house exceeding £10 in annual value. The annual licence duty is 9s. where the annual value of the premises exceeds £10 but does not exceed .,e15. Before commencing to brew, the privatelibrewer, whose brew will be subject to duty, must obtain from an Inland Revenue officer a certain prescribed form. This must be then filled up and produced on demand ; and in the meanwhile the entries in it are not to be cancelled, obliterated, or altered. The entries are intended to show the quantity of malt, corn, and sugar intended to be used in the brewing, and they must be absolutely correct.

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