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A SHORT SKETCH
TEMPORARY REGULATIONS, &C.
FRA N K P L E D G E.
HE most certain and effectual mode
of securing peace, right, and mutual protection, for any community, is the old English system of mutual Frankpledge, or free-furetyship, given by all the housebolders, for themselves and each other, in exact numerical divisions of tens and hundreds ; which, in the English lawa books is called “ Maxima securitas”. “ the greatest security,” though it is now unhappily neglected, and consequently crimes abound and increase ; so that,
notwithstanding the horrible increase also of bloody laws to intimidate offenders, yet there is no effe&tual security 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 state, are not exempted from the nocturnal intrusion of housebreakers, insomuch 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 securitas.” That fundamental system of English polity is so little known among us at present, that many well-meaning persons are induced, by their fears, to wish for Security, on a much less eligible plan, formed on the model of the arbitrary system of govern ment in France, commonly called police, the introduction of which would be an utter perversion of the first principles of