- Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797
The Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797
Parliament of Great Britain
Long title An Act for the better Prevention and Punishment of Attempts to seduce Persons serving in His Majesty’s Forces by Sea or Land from their Duty and Allegiance to His Majesty, or to incite them to Mutiny or Disobedience. Statute book chapter 37 Geo 3 c 70 Dates Royal Assent 6 June 1797 Other legislation Repealing legislation The Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1998, Schedule 1, Part I, Group 2 Status: Repealed Revised text of statute as amended
The Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797 (37 Geo 3 c 70) was an Act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. The Act was passed in the aftermath of the Spithead and Nore mutinies and aimed to prevent the seduction of sailors and soldiers to commit mutiny.
The Act was made permanent by the Allegiance of Sea and Land Forces Act 1817 (57 Geo 3 c 7).
Section 1 - Any person who shall attempt to seduce any sailor or soldier from his duty or incite him to mutiny, etc to suffer death
This section provided:
“ Any person who shall maliciously and advisedly endeavour to seduce any person or persons serving in His Majesty's forces, by sea or land, from his or their duty and allegiance to His Majesty, or incite or stir up any such person or persons to commit any act of mutiny, or to make, or endeavour to make, any mutinous assembly, or to commit any traitorous or mutinous practice whatsoever, shall on being legally convicted of such offence, be adjudged guilty of felony . . . ”
The words at the end were repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1888.
The reference to felony had to be construed according to the Criminal Law Act 1967 and the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967.
The offence was extended to members of the Royal Air Force by the Air Force (Application of Enactments) (No 2) Order 1918 (S.R. & O. 1918/548).
The death penalty for the offence under section 1 was reduced to transportation for life by section 1 of the Punishment of Offences Act (1837). It was reduced again to penal servitude for life by section 2 of the Penal Servitude Act 1857, and to imprisonment for life by section 1(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1948 and of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1949.
This section was repealed by Part III of Schedule 3 to the Criminal Law Act 1967.
Section 3 - Persons tried for offences against this Act not to be tried again for the same, as high treason, or misprision of high treason, etc
This section read:Provided always, that any person who shall be tried and acquitted or convicted of any offence against this Act shall not be liable to be indicted, prosecuted or tried again for the same offence or fact as high treason or misprision of high treason; and that nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to extend to prevent any persons guilty of any offence against this Act, and who shall not be tried for the same as an offence against this Act, from being tried for the same as high treason or misprision of high treason, in such manner as if this Act had not been made.
This section was repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1871.
- ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by section 1 of, and the First Schedule to, the Short Titles Act 1896. Due to the repeal of those provisions, it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.
- ^ John Ehrman, The Younger Pitt. The Consuming Struggle (London: Constable, 1996), p. 29.
- ^ It is referred to in the preamble to the Punishment of Offences Act (1837): http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1837/91/pdfs/ukpga_18370091_en.pdf and in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 1998
- ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Will4and1Vict/7/91/introduction/enacted
- The Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797, at the time of its repeal.
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