Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas by an Act of this present Parliament, entituled, An Act for the settling of the Power of the Admiralty of England and Ireland, all and every the powers appertaining to the Office of Lord High Admiral of England are committed unto, and settled in the Councel of State, appointed by authority of Parliament; And whereas Colonel Robert Blake, Colonel Edward Popham, and Colonel Richard Dean, have been and are nominated and appointed by this Parliament to be Commissioners for the immediate ordering and commanding of the Fleet now at Sea, and which shall be set forth for the year ensuing 1649. Be it Enacted, and it is Enacted by this present Parliament, and by authority of the same, That the said Commissioners or any two of them, have and shall have full power and authority as Admiral and General of the said Fleet, to order manage and command the same for the service and safety of this Commonwealth, and for that purpose to give Commissions with the Seal of the Anchor unto the Vice-Admiral of the said Fleet, Admiral of the Irish Sea, and all other Officers of the said Fleet for the service aforesaid; And themselves from time to time shall observe such Orders and Directions as they shall receive from the Parliament, or from the said Councel of State; and this power to commence from the Three and Twentieth day of February, and to continue unto the first day of March, 1649. And that the said Commissioners or any two of them, during the space aforesaid, have and shall have the power of Martial Law over all persons belonging to the said Fleet under their command; and shall be authorized to exercise and execute the same, for the better ordering and government of the said Fleet, according to such Rules and Articles as shall be given, allowed or approved for that purpose by the Parliament, and according to the general Customs and Laws of the Sea; and by Warrant under their or any two of their hands and Seals, to grant the same Power to any Officer of the said Fleet, commanding in chief any Squadron or part of the Fleet divided from the rest, in absence of them the said Commissioners: And that any one of the said Commissioners, being appointed and impowered thereunto by the other two, shall and may command in chief the said Fleet or any part thereof, and exercise therein the powers aforesaid, or any of them, upon such Coast or North-Sea, and in such service, and for such time, for which he shall be empowered. And the said Councel of State are to give a Commission unto the said Commissioners under the Seal of the said Councel, according to the tenor and effect premised, with such farther Instructions and Directions for the prosecution of the service aforesaid, as to the said Councel shall from time to time seem meet.