Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas in the seven and twentieth Article of the Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, it is expressed as followeth, That a Constant Yearly Revenue shall be raised, settled and established for maintaining ten thousand Horse and Dragoons, and twenty thousand Foot, in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the Defence and Security thereof, and also for a convenient number of Ships for guarding the Seas, besides two hundred thousand pounds per annum, for defraying other necessary Charges for Administration of Justice and other expences of the Government; which Revenue shall be raised by the Customs, and such other waies and means as shall be agreed upon by the Lord Protector and Council, and shall not be taken away or diminished, nor the way agreed upon for raising the same altered, but by consent of the Lord Protector and the Parliament. And whereas in pursuance of the said seven and twentieth Article of the Government, upon Consideration had by His Highness the Lord Protector and His Council, how the said Revenue might be raised with greatest ease to the people, It was Agreed upon and Declared by His Highness and His Council, That the same should be raised (among other things) by the Customes and Subsidies upon Goods and Merchandizes and by the Duty of Excise and New Impost, and by a Tax of eighty thousand pounds per mensem, to be raised in England, Scotland, and Ireland, from and after the five and twentieth day of December One thousand six hundred fifty and four, Whereof the proportion to be raised in England is also agreed by His Highness and His Council, not to exceed the sum of threescore thousand pounds by the Moneth, to be assessed, taxed, levied, collected, and paid, (saving as is hereafter expressed) in such manner, and by such waies and means as the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds by the Moneth, by an Act of Parliament, Entituled; An Act for an Assessment, at the rate of one hundred and twenty thousand pounds by the Moneth for six Moneths, from the twentyfifth day of December, One thousand six hundred and fifty three, to the four and twentieth day of June, then next ensuing, towards the maintenance of the Armies and Navies of this Commonwealth, was appointed to be Taxed, Assessed, Levied, Collected and Paid, and according to the several Rates and Proportions of the Moyety of the Respective Summes by the said Act set upon the Respective Counties, Cities and Places therein mentioned, That is to say,
By which Agreement and Declaration of His Highness and His Council, It is Provided, That in case the Moneys arising by the Customs and other the Revenues therein mentioned, should be improved and amount to a greater Yearly value then they were at the time of making the said Agreement, or any other Revenue or Moneys shall be added or accrew to the Use of the Commonwealth; in such Case there shall be a proportionate Abatement of the said Monethly Assessment; His Highness the Lord Protector and His Council, in pursuance of the said twenty seventh Article of the Government, and of the said Agreement and Declaration aforesaid, and for preventing the Burthen and Evils attending Free-quarter, which must otherwise unavoidably fall upon this Nation, Do Declare and Order, That the said Sum of Threescore thousand Pounds by the Moneth for Six Moneths, commencing from the said Five and twentieth day of December One thousand six hundred fifty four, Shall be Taxed, Assessed, Levied, Collected and Paid in the several Counties and Places, in such manner, and by such ways and means, and according to the several Rates and Proportions before hereby set down and expressed; And do Order and Require the several Commissioners and other Persons nominated and mentioned in the before-mentioned Act, and such others, as by any Order of that Parliament, or of His Highness the Lord Protector or His Council, Have been since added as Commissioners, or so many of them as by the said Act are thereunto respectively authorized, to Use, Exercise and put in Execution all such and every the Powers and Authorities for the Assessing, Levying, Collecting and Paying the present Six Moneths Assessment hereby appointed; as also the arrears of all former Assessments, which they had or were Impowered to Use and Exercise by the said recited Act, for the assessing, Collecting, Levying and Payment of the aforesaid Six Moneths Assessment of One hundred and twenty thousand Pounds by the Moneth: And for the better effecting, thereof, the several and respective Commissioners for the said respective Counties, Cities and Towns, shall meet together at the most common and usual place of Meeting, in each of the said Counties, Cities and Towns respectively, on or before the Twentieth day of February, One thousand six hundred and fifty four; And the said Commissioners, or so many of them as shall then and there attend and be present, shall put this present Order in execution, for the Directing, Managing, Levying and Bringing in the said Monethly Assessment hereby required; and shall then, if they see cause, appoint a second General Meeting on or before the First day of March then next following, to the end the Rules and Directions aforesaid may be as is before declared, timely prosecuted and observed, so as the full Sum of the first Three Moneths Assessment, charged upon each Division, Hundred, Parish, and Place, may be at once wholly Collected and Paid in to the respective Receivers-General at or before the Twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty four, and the latter three moneths Assessment to be wholly Collected and Paid in to the respective Receivers-General, at or before the Twentieth day of May then next following. And it is further Ordered, That in case the way and manner of Assessing by a Survey and Poundrate, in such sort as is prescribed by the said recited Act, shall prove prejudicial and obstructive to the bringing in of the Six Moneths Assessment aforesaid by the times limited for the paying in of the same; That then, and in all such cases, the said Commissioners in any of the said Counties, Cities, Towns and Places in the said Act mentioned, where such Obstructions shall be or happen, or the major part of them present at their General Meeting, may, and are hereby Authorised for the Removal of such Obstructions, to proceed according to the most just and equal way of Rates held in such places, in the Proportioning, Levying, and Assessing the respective Sums charged upon them and every of them, according to the Directions of an Ordinance of the Eighth of June, One thousand six hundred fifty four, for an Assessment for Six Moneths thereby appointed: And the several and respective Commissioners, ReceiversGeneral, Collectors, Sub-Collectors, and all other persons, who are or shall be Intrusted or Imployed in the Assessing, Levying, Collecting or Receiving of the said Six Moneths Assessments, in any part thereof, are hereby enjoyned and required to observe such Orders and Directions as shall from time to time be made and given forth by the Commissioners for the Treasury, or by the Committee of Commissioners for the Army, or any three of them, in and concerning the premises. Provided always, and it is hereby Ordered, That in stead of the Treasurers at Wars mentioned in the said Act, the Receivers-General for the whole Six Moneths Assessment, shall be, and are hereby authorised and impowered to Receive from the Receivers-General of the respective Counties, Cities and Places, and every of them, All and every the Sums of Money hereby to be Taxed, Assessed, Levyed, Collected and Paid for the said Six Moneths Assessment, or otherwise as aforesaid; and to give Acquittances and Discharges, and to make such Alowances in and about the premises, in as full and ample maner to all intents and purposes, as the Treasurers at War (mentioned in the said Act) by the said Act, or by one Ordinance of the Nine and twentieth day of June, One thousand six hundred fifty four, Entituled, An Ordinance for Continuing a Committee for the Army, and Treasurers at War, were impowered and enabled to do: And the said ReceiversGeneral of the respective Counties, Cities and Places, and every of them, are hereby Authorized and Required to make Payment of the said several Sums which shall be by them received of all and every Collector and Sub-Collector by vertue hereof, unto John Blackwel the yonger, and Richard Dean, Esquires, Receivers-General for this whole Six Moneths Assessment, at Guild-Hall London, to be by them paid in to, and accompted for in the Receipt of His Highness Exchequer; and that all and every the Acquittance and Acquittances of the said Receivers-General for this whole Six Moneths Assessment, shall be unto the said Receivers-General for the said Counties, Cities and Places, and to all other persons who shall by vertue hereof pay any Moneys unto them for the purposes aforesaid, a sufficient Discharge.