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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

153904

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS. 1899.

A SHORT SKETCH

OF

TEMPORARY REGULATIONS, &c.

T

FRANK PLEDGE

HE most certain and effectual mode

of fecuring peace, right, and mutual protection, for any community, is the old English fyftem of mutual Frankpledge, or free-furetyship, given by all the boufebolders, for themselves and each other, in exact numerical divifions of tens and hundreds; which, in the English lawbooks is called " Maxima fecuritas" "the greateft fecurity," though it is now unhappily neglected, and confequently crimes abound and increase; fo that, notwith

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notwithstanding the horrible increase alfo of bloody laws to intimidate offenders, yet there is no effectual fecurity from violence and robbery, either in our streets or roads, or even in our chambers; fince the houses of the rich and great, nay of the first officers of the ftate, are not exempted from the nocturnal intrufion of housebreakers, infomuch that even the Lord Chancellor and Honourable Speaker of the House of Commons have lately experienceed the common danger, and the deplorable want of the antient "Maxima fecuritas." That fundamental system of English polity is fo little known among us at prefent, that many well-meaning perfons are induced, by their fears, to with for fecurity, on a much less eligible plan, formed on the model of the arbitrary fyftem of government in France, commonly called police, the introduction of which would be an utter perverfion of the first principles of legal

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