An appeal in the case of the Rev. J. Bell
Cox, imprisoned for ignoring Lord Penzance's sentence of six months' suspension from his cure, but afterwards released by the Court of Queen's Bench on the ground that when the six months' sentence of suspension had expired, the penalty for not obeying that sentence expired with it, was heard this week by the Lord Justices, the appeal case being brought to prove that the Court of Queen's Bench had decided the case wrongly in Mr. Bell Cox's favour. The Queen's Bench took the ground that the object of the imprisonment was not to punish for past disobedience, but to secure the enforcement of the suspension, and that as the sentence of suspension expired in December last, the object of the imprisonment then ceased, and that it could not properly be enforced after that date. This was the position traversed by the appellant, and the Court of Appeal held unanimously that it was rightly traversed, and that the imprisonment was not a mere mode of enforcing submission to the sentence, but was in the nature of a penalty for past disobedience. The Court therefore discharged the rule for a habeas corpus, but the Master of the Rolls expressed a hope that Mr. Bell Cox would not be again imprisoned unless for some further ecclesiastical offence.