HC Deb 06 June 1820 vol 1 cc884-5
Mr. N. Calvert

moved for leave to bring in a bill for providing summary punishment for certain vexatious and malicious injuries. It was unfortunately a subject of just complaint that very great and wanton injuries were committed on young trees, plantations, gardens, &c, for which the present remedy at law was extremely dilatory and unequal. In moving to bring in such a bill, he was not at all entering upon an unusual way of proceeding; for there already existed statutes for the protection of timber-trees, banks, and dams of rivers, &c. Abroad, it was to be observed, that gardens, statues, and other articles of private property, as well ns trees loaded with fruit, and standing immediately by the road-side, were not subject to such malicious and vexatious injuries as those which the proposed bill would go to punish. But it was a mortifying reflection that there was no species of property in England which was exposed in public, that was not speedily injured or mutilated, from the common mile- stone upon the high-road to the tomb in Westminster-abbey. It never would be found worth while to prosecute a poor man, if guilty of such offences, by so expensive a process as an action for trespass; and the provisions of this bill would effect all the objects of a a prosecution in a less expensive and unexceptionable manner.

Leave was given, and the bill was brought in and read a first time.