March 1654: An Ordinance for prohibiting Cock-matches.

Page 861

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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March, 1654

[31 March, 1654.]

Evils by Cock-matches.; Publique or Set-meetings on Matches for Cock-fighting declared Unlawful Assemblies.

Whereas the Publique Meetings and Assemblies of People together in divers parts of this Nation, under pretence of Matches for Cock-Fighting, are by experience found to tend many times to the disturbance of the Publique Peace, and are commonly accompanied with Gaming, Drinking, Swearing, Quarreling, and other dissolute Practices, to the Dishonor of God, and do often produce the ruine of Persons and their Families; For prevention thereof, Be it Ordained by His Highness the Lord Protector, by and with the Advice and Consent of His Council, That from henceforth there shall be no Publique or Set-meetings or Assemblies of any persons within England or Wales, upon Matches made for Cock-Fighting; and that every such Meeting and Assembly of People for the end and purposes aforesaid, is hereby Declared to be an Unlawful Assembly, and shall be so adjudged, deemed and taken to be, and punished; And all Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, Mayors, Bayliffs, Constables and Headboroughs within their several Counties, Cities, Limits and Jurisdictions, are hereby required to suppress, hinder and disperse all such Meetings and Assemblies.