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Thus where a duty is cast by common law or statute upon a person to register or certify that certain facts existed within his knowledge, the register or certificate would, it seems, be evidence of those facts; and in some cases the statute requiring the registration to be made provides that the register shall be evidence although the facts are not within his knowledge, e.g., registers of births and deaths, ante, pp. 125, 126. In all other cases, however, the register would be admissible in proof of the fact of registration only. Thus a report made by public officers is admissible only in proof that they have made a report, but not of the facts therein stated. Sturla v. Freccia, 5 Ap. Ca. 623, D. P. The term “public document" is used in the sense of one made by a public officer, for the purpose of the public using it and being able to refer to it: the public having access thereto are not necessarily all the world, but may be limited, e.g., the tenants of a manor, or the members of a corporation. Id. 643, per Ld. Blackburn.

The official indorsement or certificate, or entry in the officer's book, of the registration of a deed required by statute to be registered is prima facie evidence its registration; Grindell v. Brendon, 6 C. B., N. S. 698; 28 L. J., C. P. 333, and see ante, p. 142; and also, where the statute requires the observance of certain formalities at the time of such registration, that those formalities have been complied with. S.C. See further, ante, p. 43. The registration does not, however, afford evidence that other requisites necessary to the validity of the deed registered have been complied with; as that a composition deed has been assented to by the requisite majority of creditors. Bramble v. Moss, L. R., 3 C. P. 458. And particular facts supplied by private persons do not become evidence against third persons, merely because they are entered in a public register. Huntley v. Donovan, 15 Q. B. 96; Re Wintle, L. R., 9 Eq. 373, ante, p. 126. See also, as to the effect of the entry of a memorial of a conveyance on a county register, ante, p. 143. The stats. 8 & 9 Vict. c. 113, s. 1 (ante, p. 100), and 14 & 15 Vict. c. 99, s. 14 (ante, p. 101), will assist in the proof of public documents.

The following are some of the cases in which evidence of this kind has been received. Lists of registers which have been treated as authentic will be found in most of the books on evidence, but sufficient care has not been taken to distinguish between proof of a document, and its effect when proved.

The register of the Navy Office, with proof of the usage to return all persons dead with the mark Dd., has been admitted to prove the death of a sailor. B. N. P. 249. So, the books of the Sick and Hurt Office, made up from returns of the King's ships, and kept by a public officer under the Admiralty, are evidence of the death of a sailor. Wallace v. Cook, 5 Esp. 117. As to similar registers in the army, see 42 & 43 Vict. c. 8, 8. 3. * Books in the First Fruits Office are evidence of collations. Irish Society v. Derry, Bp. of, 12 Cl. & Fin. 641. The book at Lloyd's, stating the capture of a ship, was held evidence of such capture in an action on a policy, and also of notice of the loss, as against a subscriber to Lloyd's in the habit of examining the books there. Abel v. Potts, 3 Esp. 242. It is also evidence against an underwriter of the time of sailing; for he is presumed to have knowledge of its contents. Macintosh v. Marshall, 11 M. & W. 116. But a certificate by an agent of Lloyd's is not evidence of the amount of damage even against a subscriber. Drake v. Maryatt, 1 B. & C. 473. The log-book of a man-of-war is evidence to prove the time of a vessel sailing under its convoy, in an action on a policy upon such vessel. D’Israeli v. Jowett, 1 Esp. 427. Such log-book, however, is only



evidence when produced as an official public book from the Admiralty; Rundle v. Beaumont, 4 Bing. 537; otherwise it can only be used to refresh the memory of the person who made the entries. Burrough v. Martin, 2 Camp. 112. As to merchant-logs, see the Merchant Shipping Act, 1834 (17 & 18 Vict. c. 104), s. 285, cited ante, p. 129. An official letter written at the end of a voyage by the captain of a convoy, and produced by the Admiralty, seems to have been held evidence of the facts stated in it in a suit inter alios. Watson v. King, 4 Camp. 275. Muster rolls of the King's ships, produced from the Admiralty, are evidence of the fact that persons therein named were then on board. Semb. Barber v. Holmes, 3 Esp. 190, and the cases cited and recognised arguendo, 15 Q. B. 100. A copy of the searcher's report at the Custom House is evidence of the cargo on board, being an official paper made under the statute. Johnson v. Ward, 6 Esp. 48. In the Court of Admiralty, entries in the journals of the lighthouses, The Maria das Dores, Brown. & L. 27; 32 L. J., P. M. & A. 163, and of coastguard stations, The Catherina Maria, L. R., 1 Ad. & Ec. 53, were admitted in evidence to show the state of wind and weather at a given time without further proof, although not admissible at common law. Per Lushington, J., Brown. & L. 28; 32 L. J., P. M. & A. 164.

The bank books are the best evidence to prove a transfer of stock; the testimony of the broker is not enough. Breton v. Cope, Peake, 30. The book from the master's office will prove a person to be a solicitor of a superior court, without production of the roll. R. v. Crossley, 2 Esp. 526. The poll-books at an election are evidence. Mead v. Robinson, Willes, 424. So, the polling papers, handed in at a municipal election and produced by the town clerk, were, it seems, evidence of the vote given; but the custody of them must be traced so as to identify them as original papers; and the mere production of papers, purporting to be such, by a succeeding town clerk is not enough. R. v. Ledgard, 8 Ad. & E. 535. So, the books of the Old King's Bench and Fleet prisons were admitted to prove the dates of the commitment and discharge of prisoners; R. v. Aickles, 1 Leach, C. C. 239; although not then kept by any public authority; but they are not evidence of the cause of commitment, of which the commitment itself is the best evidence. Salte v. Thomas, 3 B. & P. 188.

of an official paper containing the number of passengers on board a vessel, made by the master in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, and deposited at the India House, is admissible to show the number and description of the persons on board the vessel. Richardson v. Mellish, Ry. & M. 66; S. C., 2 Bing. 229. Excise books, transcribed from the maltster's specimen paper, are evidence against him, without calling the officers who have transcribed them. R. v. Grimwood, 1 Price, 369. Shipping entries at the Custom House have been disallowed as evidence to fix a party with fraud, unless the original note, from which the entry was made, be produced and traced to him or his agent. Hughes v. Wilson, 1 Stark. 179. So, formerly, an entry of the sale of a ship in the register of the Custom House was thought not to be evidence of ownership without connecting the party with it, though made under an Act of Parliament. Fraser v. Hopkins, 2 Taunt. 5; but now see Effect of ship's register, post, p. 216. So, the certificates or reports which are required to be made by masters of foreign vessels at the Custom House for the purpose of landing, and filed there, are not evidence of the particulars certified (except as against the master and those in privity with him). Huntley v. Donovan, 15 Q. B. 96. The books of the clerk of the market, made up under stat. 47 Geo. 3, sess. 2, c. 68, s. 29, were not, per se, evidence of the contract of sale as between the buyer and seller of coals in London, though the Act made

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such entries evidence“ in all actions touching anything done in pursuance of it.” Brown v. Capel, M. & M. 374.

Entries in the books of the clerk of the peace of deputations granted many years since to gamekeepers by the owner of a manor are evidence, without production of the deputations themselves, to show that the party therein mentioned exercised the right of appointing gamekeepers._Hunt v. Andrews, 3 B. & A. 341; and see Rushworth v. Craven, M.CÌ. & Y. 417. A book of claims, kept by the clerk (deceased) of an inclosure commission, signed by the commissioners, is evidence of such claims, the originals being lost. Doe d. Welsh v. Langfield, 16 M. & W. 497. A manuscript book of the date of Eliz., purporting to be written by an officer of the Duchy of Lancaster, and describing the duties of the office, is not evidence in behalf of his successor claiming to exercise the same rights and duties under an appointment from the Duchy. Jewison v. Dyson, 2 M. & Rob. 377. Where the plaintiff, the surgeon of a workhouse, was desirous of disproving neglect of a pauper, he was not permitted to put in evidence a journal kept by him and stating his attendances, though it was kept by order of the Poor Law Commissioners under 4 & 5 Will. 4, c. 76. Merrick v. Wakley, 8 Ad. & E. 170. Returns of sales of corn under 1 & 2 Geo. 4, c. 87, were not conclusive, if evidence at all, to show the parties to whom the corn was delivered; for it was no part of the duty of the corn factor to mention this in the return. Woodley v. Brown, 2 Bing; 527. An entry in a vestry-book, stating that A. was duly elected treasurer of the parish at a vestry duly held in pursuance of notice, is evidence of such election, and of its regularity. °R. v. Martin, 2 Camp. 100; Hartley v. Cook, 5 C. & P. 441. But it must appear by the entry, or aliunde, that the meeting was duly convened after proper notice. Heysham v. Forster, 5 M. & Ry. 277. So, a ward-mote book proves the election of a constable in the City of London. Underhill v. Witts, 3 Esp. 56. In an action for disturbing the plaintiff in the enjoyment of a pew claimed in right of his messuage, an old entry in the vestry-book signed by the churchwardens, stating repairs of the pew by a former owner of the messuage (under whom the plaintiff claims), in consideration of his using it, is evidence to prove the plaintiff's title; for it is made by the churchwardens on a subject within the scope of their official authority. Price v. Littlewood, 3 Camp. 288. But see Cooke v. Banks, 2 C. & P. 478. The book kept by the secretary of bankrupts was held not even secondary evidence of a certificate. Henry v. Leigh, 3 Camp. 499. But now see the Bankruptcy Act, 1883 (46 & 47 Vict. c. 52), s. 133, cited post, Part III., Actions by trustees of bankrupts.

Books, &c. of public companies.] The transfer book of a railway company is not evidence of the title of the transferee, though an Act of Parliament makes the entry necessary to complete the title. Hare v. Ivaring, 3 M. & W. 362. Where a water company was sued on a bond, their books were rejected, as proof for them that the bond was executed at an irregular meeting, although the plaintiff was a proprietor, and the private Act required such books to be kept, and to be open for inspection to proprietors. Hill v. Manchester, &c. Waterworks Co., 5 B. & Ad. 866. In the Act in the last case there was no provision to make the books evidence, and the plaintiff, though a proprietor, was considered as a stranger quoad hoc, the books being those of the corporate body, and not of the proprietors generally. But in the recent Acts regulating the incorporation of companies, provision is made for the entry of proceedings, &c., in books, and those books are receivable in evidence; vide post, Part. III., Actions by and against companies. As to the effect of the issue of share certificates by a company and the registration of shares, vide Id.

Bankers' account books.) As to effect in evidence of bankers' account books under the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1876 (39 & 40 Vict. c. 48), vide ante, pp. 122, 123.

Land-tax books.] Land-tax assessment books are evidence of the occupation of land by the parties named in them. Doe d. Strode v. Seaton, 2 Ad. & E. 171. But, where it was proved to be usual to make no alteration in the name as long as the land was in the same family, they were rejected. Doe d. Stansbury v. Arkwright, Ib. 182, n. The proof of redeemed land-tax is the certificate of the commissioner, or copy of the register. Buchanan v. Poppleton, 4 C. B., N. S. 20; 27 L. J., C. P. 210.

Heralds' books.] The heralds' visitation-books, made under commissions regularly issued till the close of the seventeenth century (2 Jac. 2), are evidence of the facts therein recorded in matters of pedigree. B. N. P. 248 ; Report on Public Records, 1800, p. 82. It is usual, and safer, to be prepared with evidence of the commissions; though, as they were general ones, and not merely issued pro hâc vice, such evidence is, perhaps, not strictly necessary. See Proof of Inquisitions, &c., ante, pp. 110, 111. It is doubtful, however, whether these visitation-books are admissible in evidence, inter alios, of the facts therein recorded. See Polini v. Gray, 12 Ch. D. 428, 433, 435, per C. A. A certificate taken from the register of the funerals of Peers at the Herald's College is admissible in evidence as an official document taken by persons whose duty it was to make it up. Vaux Peerage, 5 Cl. & F. 526. But a pedigree, deduced from these books and drawn up by a herald, is not admissible. King v. Foster, T. Jones, 224; 2 Rol. Āb. 686. So, a written pedigree, purporting to be made by one of the family, and entered in the heralds' books, is not evidence. Per Fortescue, J., 12 Vin. Abr. Evid. p. 119. An affidavit stating the members of deponent's family, found in the herald's office, may be good evidence as a declaration; and where the original was lost, an entry of it in their books has been allowed as secondary evi, dence. Per Littledale, J., Doe d. Hungate v. Gascoigne, 2 Stark. Ev. 2nd ed., App. 1087.

Bishops' registers.] The official register-book of a bishop, containing entries of the transactions at visitations, has been admitted as evidence of the right of nomination to a curacy. Arnold v. Buth and Wells, Bp. of, 5 Bing. 316. So, episcopal registers have been admitted as evidence of vicarial endowments; Tucker v. Wilkins, 4 Sim. 262; Leonard v. Franklyn, 1 Daniel, 34 ; or of collations; Irish Society v. Derry, Bp. of, 12 Cl. & Fin. 641; or of the foundation of a deanery in the 13th century; R. v. S. Peter's Exeter, 12 Ad. & E. 512. An enrolment-book of leases, granted by the Bishop of Durham, was allowed as secondary evidence of a lease on behalf of one claiming under the bishop; being a public muniment; Humble v. Hunt, Holt, N. P. 601; and a similar register of chapter leases, from the Chapter House of Salisbury, was admitted as evidence of reputation respecting the limits of a parish. Per Tindal, C. J., in Coombs v. Coether, M. & M. 398. It seems to be on this footing that the foundation charters and grants, registered and preserved among the muniments of dissolved monasteries, are admitted in evidence on behalf of the successors to their estates; at least where the originals cannot be found; ante, pp. 14, 15, 97 et seq. See also ante, p. 142, as to Enrolled deeds.

Notarial and consular certificates.] A notarial certificate of the protest abroad of a foreign bill of exchange is evidence of that fact. Bayley on Bills, 490; Anon., 12 Mod. 345; and see further Geralopulo v. Wieler, 10 C. B. 690; 20 L. J., C. P. 103, cited, post, Action on bills of exchange.Protest. So, a certificate, which purported to be given by a notary public, verifying the signature of a person abroad before whom an affidavit is sworn, and stating that that person is competent to administer oaths, is evidence of these facts. Ex parte Worsley, 2 H. Bl. 275; Omealey v. Newell, 8 East, 364; Cole v. Sherard, 11 Exch. 482. See Abbott v. Abbott, 29 L. J., P. M. & A. 57; ante, p. 128. As to the admissibility of an affidavit sworn before a notary abroad, see In re Bernard, 2 Sw. & Tr. 489; 31 L.J., P. M. & A. 89; In re Lambert, L. R., 1 P. & M. 138, contra ; and In re Davis' Trusts, L. R., 8 Eq. 98. See also the Commissioners for Oaths Act, 1889 (32 & 53 Vict. c. 10, ss. 3, 6, 11, ante, p. 81), which replaces Rules, 1883, 0. xxxvii. r. 6, ante, p. 81.

But, in other cases, notarial and consular certificates are not evidence of the facts certified; thus the presentment in England of a foreign bill cannot be so proved. Chesmer v. Noyes, 4 Camp. 129. So a notarial certificate of the execution of a power of attorney abroad was held to be insufficient evidence. Ex parte Church, 1 D. & Ry. 324. In Waldron v. Coombe, 3 Taunt. 162, it was held, in an action on a policy of insurance on goods to recover a loss by sea damage, that the amount of the loss could not be proved by a certificate from the British vice-consul at Rio Janeiro, although it was the duty of the vice-consul to superintend the sale.

In Batavia, charter-parties are entered into by the instrument being written in a book by a notary (he being a public officer by the Dutch law, which prevails in Batavia), and there signed by the parties. The notary makes copies, which he signs and seals, and which the principal officer of the Government of Java signs, upon proof of their being executed by the notary. Then one copy is delivered to each party. In the courts of Java, in order to prove the charter-party, it is requisite to produce the notary's book ; but this book is never allowed to be taken out of Java; and in Dutch courts, out of Java, faith is given to the above copies as to an original. It was held that the copies were not receivable in evidence in this country. The chief contention was that they had been made originals by the authority given to the notary by the parties themselves, which failed. The court also thought that, though secondary evidence of the contents of the notary's book might, under the circumstances, be admissible, still these copies were not sufficiently authenticated to be used for that purpose. Brown v. _Thornton, 6 Ad. & E. 185. See Boyle v. Wiseman, 11 Exch. 360 ; 24 L. J., Ex. 160, ante, p. 5; and R. v. Castro, ante, pp. 98, 129, 130.

A certificate of ordination, under the seal of the bishop, is evidence of holy orders. R. v. Bathwick, 2 B. & Ad. 639.

Post-mark.] The post-mark on a letter has been admitted as evidence of the date of its being sent. Abbey v. Lill, 5 Bing. 299; R. v. Plumer,

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