Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[12 March, 1659/60.]
Laws against Jesuits, Popish priests, etc., to be put in speedy execution.; Reward for discovery of such persons.
For as much as the Lawes have not of late time been effectually put in Execution against Seminaries, Jesuits, and Romish Priests, whereby they have lately, more than heretofore, taken the boldness to come into this Commonwealth in great numbers, to the intent to stirr up and move Sedition, Rebellion, and open Hostility therein, to the endangering of the peace of this Nation, and seducing of the good People thereof from the true Religion established in this Commonwealth, to the Romish Idolatry and Superstition. The Parliament taking the same into their Consideration, do hereby Publish and Declare, That all Laws and Statutes in force against all Jesuits, Seminary-Priests, or other such Priests, Deacons, or Religious or Ecclesiasticall Persons whatsoever, made, ordained, or possessed, or hereafter to be made, ordained, or professed by any Authority or Jurisdiction, derived, challenged, or pretended from the See of Rome, by or of what Name, Title, or Degree soever the same shall be called or known, shall be put into speedy and effectuall Execution, and against the Harbourers, Concealors, Abettors, and Aiders of them. And the Parliament doth hereby further require all Judges, Justices, Magistrates, Sheriffs, and other Officers and Ministers intrusted with the Execution of the Laws, to take notice hereof, and to put the same in Execution accordingly. And for the more effectuall putting the premisses in Execution, and better encouragement of any discovery of any the persons aforesaid: Be it hereby Enacted and Declared, That he or they that shall hereafter first discover to any Judge or Justice of Peace any the Persons aforesaid, and by reason thereof any of the said Offenders be taken, convicted, or attainted, That then he or they, have made such Discovery, shall immediately after such Conviction, have a Certificate from the Judge or Justice, before whom such Conviction shall happen, to be directed to the Sheriff, or other Officer of any County, Limit, or Place where such Conviction shall be; commanding the Sheriff, or other Officer, to pay him or them that shall first make such discovery, twenty pounds; which Warrant and Payment shall be effectuall in the Law for that purpose, and a sufficient discharge in that behalf for the Sheriff or other Officer, upon his Accompt, and that the Discoverer of such persons shall be free from the Penalties which he may have incurred by any of the said Laws and Statutes.