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Housebreaking and Bur Glary

burglary, five, dwelling-house and committed

HOUSEBREAKING AND BUR GLARY. The derivation of the word burglary is quite uncertain. By some writers it is supposed to have been intro duced by the Saxons, and to be com pounded of burg, a castle or house, and larron or latro, a thief. But Spelman conceives that the term was introduced into the criminal law of England from Normandy, and says that he finds no traces of it among the Saxons. (Spelman, Glossary," Burglaria," "Hamesecken.)" The offence of burglary at common law is defined to be "a breaking and entering the dwelling-house of another in the night, with intent to commit some felony within the same, whether such felonious intent be executed or not." By 1 Viet.

c. 86, " night-time" is declared to be from nine o'clock in the evening till six o'clock the next morning. By dwelling-house is meant the actual and personal residence of a man. Breaking within the " curti lage" of a dwelling-house and stealing is a different offence. If a dwelling-house is feloniously entered at any other time than in the night-time, the offence is simply house-breaking. Burglary is now only punishable with death when violence is used : in other cases the punishment is transportation for life or for not less than ten years, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years. Stealing in a dwelling-house, with menace or threat, is felony, and punishable with transporta tion for not exceeding fifteen years nor less than ten years, or imprisonment for not exceeding three years. In both cases

principals in the second degree and every accessory before the fact are liable to the same punishment as the principal in the first degree. The punishment of every accessory after the fact (except only a receiver of stolen property) is imprison ment for not exceeding two years.

Committed for burglary in England and Wales in the five years from 1835 to 1839, 1657 ; in the five years from 1840 to 1844, 2873. In 1837 the capital punishment for burglary was abolished. except in case of burglary attended with violence to persons. The number of per sons committed for burglary under cir cumstances of violence was 84 in the seven years ending 1844.

Committed for house-breaking in the five years ending 1839, 2326; in the en suing five years, 3212.

The number of persons committed for breaking within the curtilage of dwelling houses and stealing was 401 in the first five and 405 in the second five of the ten years from 1835 to 1844. The increase in the committals for burglary and house breaking was 54 per cent. on a compa rison of these two periods.