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PREFACE.

The importance of this Act, affecting as it does, the entire mercantile community of this vast Empire, and embodying the numerous rules laid down by the English and Indian Courts, since the time of James the First, and the various Statutes and Acts since the time of Anne, on the subject of negotiable instruments, induced me to compile an edition of it containing references to the cases on which the rules were founded, in the hope that it would be of some practical use to those members of the profession who have the advantage of access to reports, and also, by giving copious quotations from the judgments in which the reasons for the rules are to be found, of service to the much larger body of the profession which has not that advantage. I would further hope that it may be found useful to the mercantile and trading community, whom its practical application and working most deeply affect. Its lines are founded on the works of Byles and Chitty on Bills, and the parts relating to Noting and Protests, on Brooke's Office of a Notary. The work will be found to contain between 700 and 800 references to English and Indian cases and in this respect will, I believe, be the first of its kind. The Act is laid

down by the Rules of the Madras High Court, under the Legal Practitioner's Act, as one of the subjects for examination for Pleaderships. I have but rarely attempted to offer original commentary on its provisions, and trust that the plan I have adopted of setting out the reasons and authorities for the rules, will be found useful.

While the work was passing through the press, the English Legislature passed its first Code, under the title of the Bills of Exchange Act, 1882. This I have added in an additional Appendix, and have also inserted a tabular statement showing the correspondence, between the Indian and English provisions. Another English Act was passed during the same period, the Married Women's Property Act, (45& 46 Vict. c. 75) which repeals the Statutes I have quoted in the notes to section twenty-six.

PATRICK D. SHAW.

MADRAS, January 1883.

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