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OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON ACT 1861

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/04/2005

1861 CHAPTER 100 24 and 25 Vict

Default Geographical Extent: E+W+N.I.


  • Homicide
  • Letters threatening to murder
  • Acts causing or tending to cause Danger to Life or Bodily Harm
  • Assaults
  • Child-stealing
  • Bigamy
  • Attempts to procure Abortion
  • Concealing the Birth of a Child
  • Making Gunpowder to commit Offences, and searching for the same
  • Other Matters
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  • Version 01/02/1991

Introductory Text

Offences Against the Person Act 1861

1861 CHAPTER 100 24 and 25 Vict

X1An Act to consolidate and amend the Statute Law of England and Ireland relating to Offences against the Person.

[6th August 1861]

Annotations:

Editorial Information

X1 This Act is not necessarily in the form in which it has effect in Northern Ireland

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 Short title given by Short Titles Act 1896 (c. 14)

C2 Preamble omitted under authority of Statute Law Revision Act 1892 (c. 19)

C3 References to Ireland to be construed as exclusive of the Republic of Ireland: S.R. & O. 1923/405 (Rev. X, p. 298: 1923, p. 400), art. 2

C4 References to penal servitude to be construed as references to imprisonment and references to penal servitude for life to be construed as references to imprisonment for life or any shorter term: Criminal Justice Act 1948 (c. 58), s. 1(1)


Homicide


1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F1

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 S. 1 repealed by Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act 1965 (c. 71), Sch. and Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1973 (c. 53), s. 31(6), Sch. 5


2, 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F2 Ss. 2, 3 repealed by Homicide Act 1957 (c. 11), Sch. 2


4 Conspiring or soliciting to commit murder.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F3 whosoever shall solicit, encourage, persuade, or endeavour to persuade, or shall propose to any person, to murder any other person, whether he be a subject of Her Majesty or not, and whether he be within the Queen’s dominions or not, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4 to [F5 imprisonment for life] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F4

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F3 Words repealed by Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45), Sch. 13

F4 Words repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1892 (c. 19)

F5 Words substituted by Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45), s. 5(10) (b)


5 Manslaughter.

Whosoever shall be convicted of manslaughter shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be kept in penal servitude for life . . . F6

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F6 Words repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1892 (c. 19) and Criminal Justice Act 1948 (c. 58), Sch. 10 Pt. I


6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F7

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F7 S. 6 repealed by Indictments Act 1915 (c. 90), Sch. 2


7, 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F8

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F8 Ss. 7, 8 repealed by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 3 Pt. I


9 Murder or manslaughter abroad.

Where any murder or manslaughter shall be committed on land out of the United Kingdom, whether within the Queen’s dominions or without, and whether the person killed were a subject of Her Majesty or not, every offence committed by any subject of Her Majesty in respect of any such case, whether the same shall amount to the offence of murder or of manslaughter, . . . F9 , may be dealt with, inquired of, tried, determined, and punished . . . F9 in England or Ireland . . . F9 : Provided, that nothing herein contained shall prevent any person from being tried in any place out of England or Ireland for any murder or manslaughter committed out of England or Ireland, in the same manner as such person might have been tried before the passing of this Act.

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F9 Words repealed by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 3 Pt. III


10 Provision for the trial of murder and manslaughter where the death or cause of death only happens in England or Ireland.

Where any person being [F10 criminally] stricken, poisoned, or otherwise hurt upon the sea, or at any place out of England or Ireland, shall die of such stroke, poisoning, or hurt in England or Ireland, or, being [F10 criminally] stricken, poisoned, or otherwise hurt in any place in England or Ireland, shall die of such stroke, poisoning, or hurt upon the sea, or at any place out of England or Ireland, every offence committed in respect of any such case, whether the same shall amount to the offence of murder or of manslaughter, . . . F11 , may be dealt with, inquired of, tried, determined, and punished . . . F11 in England or Ireland . . . F11

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F10 Word substituted by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 2 para. 6

F11 Words repealed by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 3 Pt. III


11—15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F12

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F12 Ss. 11–15, 19 repealed by Criminal Law Act 1967 (c. 58), Sch. 3 Pt. III


Letters threatening to murder


[F13 16 Threats to kill.

A person who without lawful excuse makes to another a threat, intending that that other would fear it would be carried out, to kill that other or a third person shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.]

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F13 S. 16 substituted by Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45), Sch. 12

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C5 Ss. 16, 20, 26, 27, 34, 36, 38, 47, 57, 60 amended as to mode of trial by Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43, SIF 82), Sch. 1 para. 5


Acts causing or tending to cause Danger to Life or Bodily Harm


17 Impeding a person endeavouring to save himself from shipwreck.

Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously prevent or impede any person, being on board of or having quitted any ship or vessel which shall be in distress, or wrecked, stranded, or cast on shore, in his endeavour to save his life, or shall unlawfully and maliciously prevent or impede any person in his endeavour to save the life of any such person as in this section first aforesaid, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable . . . F14 to be kept in penal servitude for life . . . F15

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F14 Words repealed by Statute Law Revision (No. 2) Act 1893 (c. 54)

F15 Words repealed by Statute Law Revision Act 1892 (c. 19) and Statute Law Revision (No. 2) Act 1893 (c. 54)