King's Bench
p. 1089
Jamaica Laws

Blankard versus Galdy. Trin. 5 W. & M.

2 Salk. 411, 412. 4 Mod. 222, 225, 226. Comber. 228.

      In debt on a bond; the defendant pleaded the Statute of Ed. 6, against buying offices concerning the administration of justice; and averred, that this bond was given for the purchase of the office of Provost Marshal in Jamaica, and that it concerned the administration of justice, and Jamaica is part of the possessions of the Crown of England: to which the plaintiff replied, that Jamaica is an island beyond the seas, which was conquered from the Spaniards in the time of Q. Elizabeth and the inhabitants are governed by their own laws, and not by the laws of England. The defendant rejoined, that before such conquest, they were governed by their own laws, but since that, by the laws of England. The plaintiff demurred to the rejoinder, &c.

      Holt C.J. & Cur'. In case of an uninhabited country newly found out by English subjects, all in [342] force in England, are in force there: but Jamaica being conquered, and not pleaded to be parcel of the kingdom of England, but part of the possessions and revenue of the Crown of England; the laws of England did not take Ireland are part of the possessions of the Crown of England; yet retain their antient laws: and it is impossible the laws of this nation, by mere conquest without more, should take place in a conquered country; because for a time, there must want officers, without which our laws cannot be executed. Jamaica was not governed by the laws of England after the conquest thereof, until new lands were made; for they had neither sheriff or countries, but were only an assembly of people which are not bound by our laws, unless particularly mentioned: and if our law did take place in a conquer'd country, yet they in Jamaica having power to make new laws, our general laws may be altered by theirs in particulars.

      Judgment was given for the plaintiff.