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Dr. Neilson HANCOCK'S annual when he is treating of Irish social
Reports on the Judicial and Crimi- conditions that he is treading
nal Statistics of Ireland are justly
reckoned among the most valuable

Suppositos cineri doloso.
contributions made by Government The most noticeable fact in regard
to statistical science, and in them- to the statistics for the year 1870,
selves are almost sufficient to justify as, indeed, for those of the four pre-
the existence of the Statistical Office ceding years, is the struggle that is
at the Four Courts. Dr. Hancock going on in Ireland with various
does not muddle together a mass of success between the forces of or-
raw material for scientific inquiry, derly government and those of dis-
nor does he merely present his own affection and agrarian crimes. In
conclusions, He gives the facts and 1866 agrarian crime in Ireland had
the figures as they are collected from reached its minimum point; in that
police reports and legal records, but year only 87 offences of this kind
side by side with them he offers an were reported. But in the latter
analytical summary of information months of 1869 and the commence-
which otherwise to the vast majority ment of 1870 an appalling outburst
of readers would be unmanageable of agrarian crime occurred, which
and useless. The details of the led, as will he remembered, to the
story, told in fragments by uncon enactment of the Peace Preservation
nected witnesses, are skilfully pieced Act of 1870. This statute became
together until we gain something law on the 5th of April, and four
like a comprehensive view of the months later the Irish Land Act re-
year's battle between lawlessness ceived the Royal assent. Now, it
and civilisation in Ireland. If any is most important to note how
one suspects that Dr. Hancock these measures have co-operated,
is distorting facts to support a theory, by strengthening the hands of the
the authentic information printed law and by promoting popular con-
within the same blue covers will tentment, to suppress agrarian out-
supply the means of exposing falla- rages. In the eight months ending
cious reasoning or unfair statement. March 31, 1870, the number of
We must say for ourselves, however, agrarian crimes reported was 1622;
that Dr. Hancock's explanatory in the eight months ending March
analysis of the phenomena of crime 31, 1871, it was 212.
in Ireland during the year 1870 ap- periods heinous crimes, not of an
pears to be, in Baconian phrase, agrarian character, but specially re-
purely lumen siccum. The acquies- ported to the Constabulary, fell from

cence which has ratified the cool 2040 to 1722. It is more than proI judgments of his previous reports bable that the outbreak of agrarian

may be expected, therefore, to stamp crime in 1869 was indirectly the rethis present one with general ap- sult of the treasonable agitation that proval

, though even the most dis- broke out in 1866. It is satisfactory passionate of statisticians must feel to learn that, partly by the same

In the same

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i Crminal and Judicial Statistics, 1870. Ireland: Dublin., Alexander Thom.

means which have controlled the rian crime to the more general feaformer, the latter has been almost tures of the statistical record, we stamped out. In 1866, 535 treason have to remark, in the first place, able offences were reported; in 1867, that the number ofindictable offences 530; in 1868, 11; 1869, 47; and reported contrasts unfavourably with in 1870, 37. It is further gratifying the returns of the previous year. In to know that in tie last-mentioned 1870 the total number of indictable number no serious infractions of the offences not summarily disposed of law were included; there were 35 was 9517; in 1869 it was 9178; cases of seditious language and two similarly in 1870 the total number cases of defacing proclamations. of indictable offences summarily dis

These important results have been posed of was 19,599; in 1869 it was attained rather by the menace of 19,421. On the other hand, offences stringent coercive measures than by (not indictable) disposed of sumtheir actual application. The powers marily were 224,406 in 1870, as of the Government, the magistracy, against 219,969 in the previous year. and the police have, indeed, been Crimes against human life appear at largely increased; but, notwithstand- first sight to be more numerous in ing, personal liberty in Ireland has 1870 than in 1869, but the returns suffered little practical abridgment. are on this point misleading--the The first portion of the Peace Pre- fact being that under this head are servation Act, which prohibits the now enumerated the offences prebearing of arms without a licence, viously unclassified, of “ endangerand imposes other similar restric- ing safety of passengers in railways," tions, is applied to the whole of Ire- and “unlawfully abandoning infant land, with the exception of part of children.” Riots, we find, have inUlster. All the counties of Ireland creased by 34 per cent., perjury by were proclaimed in 1870 under the

more than 28 percent., and malicious Act, except Tyrone and some ba- offences against property by 9 per ronies of Antrim, Down, Donegal, cent. At the same time it should Fermanagh, and Londonderry ; 'all be observed that Ireland still mainthe cities and towns were so pro- tains its reputation for comparative claimed, with the single exception freedom from immoral and abominof Carrickiergus. The second por- able offences, from suicide, bigamy, tion of the Act, which authorises the and forgery ; under all these heads arrest of strangers and of persons the returns of 1870 show a diminufound in suspicious circumstances, tion. The decrease in minor offences the closing of public-houses, &c., is principally due to the falling off in was applied during 1870 to Mayo, prosecutions under the Ways Acts, Meath, and Westmeath, and to parts which, however, is almost balanced of Cavan, King's County, Longford, in prosecutions for drunkenness. Roscommon, Tipperary, and Sligo. Dr. Hancock calls attention to the Proceedings were taken under the fact that the increase in a single year Act in 801 cases, but the majority amounts to 75 per cent., indicating, of these were unimportant. Three he contends, ** the need of legislation persons were punished for refusing for dealing with habitual drunkards." to give evidence, and three warrants The distribution of crime throughwere issued against absconding wit out Ireland is a matter both of nesses ; 75 strangers were arrested, political and of statistical interest, but only 14, who were unable to and the recent Census has rendered give satisfactory explanations or se- it possible to exhibit the proportion curity, were detained in custody. of offences to population with the

Turning from the details of this utmost exactitude. The average of struggle with treasonable and agra- of heinous crimes--.e, of offences

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offences against women and chil- the fishery Acts and similar statutes dren ; while, on the other hand, she are more stringently punished in compares unfavourably in cases of the sister kingdom. But nothing malicious destruction of property. can attenuate the significance of the Passing to offences of a minor order, three painful blots on Irish social an opposite result of the comparison life, pointed out by Dr. Hancockis to be noticed. The number of the prevalence of drunkenness, the charges summarily disposed of in frequency of common assaults, and England is in proportion little more the number of vagrant prostitutes. than half the number recorded in These account for the preponderIreland. Dr. Hancock, however, ance of minor offences in Ireland points out that the greater propor- as compared with England. In tion of police to population in Ire- England, however, offences against land tends to a more rigid enforce- the Factory Acts, the Revenue ment of “ statutes which are more a Laws, the Poor Laws, Game Laws, matter of discipline than of crime," and Vagrancy Laws were more such as Acts against Sunday trading. numerous, as might be expected In the same way offences against from our differing social conditions."

TO THE HEART'S-EASE.

Thou art the violet's sister, gentle flower,

The elder and less timid plant, I ween ;
Thou hidest not thy sorm from sun and shower

Beneath the covert of a leafy screen.
Thy many names imply the favour shown?

To thy contented, velvet-hooded faces;
Perchance by rustic minds best loved and known,

Though Pensée as an appellation graces
Thy humble birth, and shows the higher source

Of courtly thought. Thus thou art found
The favourite of high and low, and dost endorse

With “love” and “thought” the waste and garden ground;
I would thy fabled attributes were truly mine,

That I might love and think of Him who did thy tints combine.

1

Reproduced mainly from The Times.
• Heart's-ease ; two faces under a hood ; love in idleness; pansy.

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