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PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
The numerous alterations in the law which have occurred in the period of nearly ten years which has elapsed since the third edition of this work was published, have occasioned corresponding changes in this, its fourth, edition. A large portion, indeed, has been entirely re-written, as will appear on comparing its text and notes with those of former impressions. The parts which remain have been carefully revised ; such errors as were discovered have been corrected ; and references to the recent statutes and cases have been brought down to the latest period.* Much other new matter has been introduced in as compressed a shape as possible. The general arrangement of the subjects, adopted in the former editions, is here preserved, except in a few unimportant particulars, chiefly occasioned by the new law of bastardy. Tables of statutes and cases have also been prefixed to the work for more convenient reference.
The seventh chapter, which includes the subject of conducting the trials of prisoners, and of the evidence to be adduced for the prosecution and defence, has been much enlarged, in the hope of rendering it useful to practitioners in all the criminal courts.
The first volume of “ Crown Cases Reserved,” which was begun by Sir Edward Ryan and Mr. Moody, and has since been completed by the latter gentleman, is here referred to as first “Moody's Crown Cases,” to prevent confusion with “ Ryan and Moody's Nisi Prius Cases."
Much labour has also been bestowed on the ninth and eleventh chapters, respecting appeals against poor's rates, convictions, orders of removal, and other proceedings by magistrates.
Some forms of indictments and convictions, now obsolete, or rarely used, have been excluded, and their places supplied by others which experience has shown to be required in practice.
Those parts of the late acts for regulating municipal corporations, which affect the sessions of counties at large, are inserted in their proper places throughout: while the provisions which exclusively apply to borough sessions, are made the subject of a new chapter.
The work concludes with another additional chapter, in which miscellaneous matters, within the general jurisdiction of a court of quarter sessions, are briefly considered in alphabetical order.
Upon the whole, it is hoped, that the work, which, though subject to all the imperfection necessarily attendant upon a design requiring at once explicitness of detail and compression in point of compass, has been regarded as useful, will, by the labour again bestowed on its pages, be found still better adapted than before to the use of magistrates, as well as of counsel and attornies practising at sessions. In expressing this hope, the Editor feels, that for a very large portion of the improvements which will distinguish the present edition from its predecessor, he is indebted to the exertions of his friend, Mr. Tyrwhitt, who has bestowed upon it the same unwearied industry and power of lucid arrangement which he has employed on greater undertakings, and which the Editor believes are destined to receive a far more substantial and lasting reward than the grateful tribute which one deeply indebted to his talents is happy to pay them.
T. N. T.
Temple, September, 1838.