Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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His Highness the Lord Protector and the Parliament, taking into serious consideration the Engagements which at present lie upon the Receipts of Excise and New-Impost, and finding the Imposition of the Excise to be the most easie and indifferent Levy that can be laid upon the People, as well for and towards the discharging of those Engagements, as for the carrying on the other urgent and pressing affairs of this Commonwealth, and defraying the Charges of the Naval Forces thereof, in the present War with Spain, and against the common Enemy, Do therefore, for the better Advancement and Improvement of the said Receipt, in order to the ends aforesaid, Enact, and be it hereby Enacted by his Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Dominions thereunto belonging, and this present Parliament assembled, and by Authority thereof, That the several Rates and Charges hereafter set down in the Schedule, and according to the Book of Values hereafter mentioned, and every of them, and none other, shall be set, laid, and imposed, and are hereby set, laid, and imposed, to be had, levied, demanded, collected, received, recovered, and paid, in and through England and Wales, and Town and Port of Berwick, and Scotland, Ireland, and the Islands thereunto belonging, upon all and every the Commodities, Merchandizes, and Manufactures, as well Native as Foreign, in the said Schedule and Book of Values mentioned in manner following.
For every pound of Spanish Tobacco, or other Tobacco, which is not of the English Plantation, as well already imported and remaining on the hands of the Importer, as to be imported, to be paid by the first Buyer, One shilling.
For every pound of Tobacco of the English Plantations, as well imported and remaining in the hands of the Merchant and Importer, as to be imported, to be paid by the first Buyer thereof from the Merchant or Importer, One peny.
For every Tun of Wine that is not of the growth of Spain, or Dominions thereof, as well imported, and remaining on the hands of the Merchant or Importer, as to be imported, to be paid by the first Buyer thereof, whether Retailer or Consumptioner, and so after the Rate for a greater or lesser quantity, Six pounds.
For every Tun of Wine of the growth and product of Spain, or the Dominions thereof, as well imported, and remaining in the hands of the Merchant or Importer, as to be imported; to be paid by first Buyer thereof, whether Retailer or Consumptioner, and so after the Rate for a greater or lesser quantity, Nine pounds.
For every Tun of Wine of the growth and product of Spain, or the Dominions thereof, now remaining, in the Vintners, Winecoopers, or any other person buying to sell again, or Retailers hands, Thirty shillings, to be paid by the said Vintner or Retailer, and so after the Rate for a greater or lesser quantity, Thirty shillings.
And the Commissioners for the Excise, and their Sub-commissioners respectively, or the major part of either of them, shall, from time to time, appoint any Officer or Officers, belonging to their respective Offices, to enter into the Cellars, Vaults, Store-houses, Warehouses, Store-cellars, or other places of every Vintner or Retailer or other person or persons, that sells, retails, or spends any Wines of the growth of Spain, or the Dominions thereof, for to search, see, and take an account of what quantities of the said Wines every or any such person hath in his hands, or any other person or persons to his use; And all Vintners, Wine-coopers, Sellers, or Retailers, or other person or persons that sell or retail any Wines of the growth of Spain, are hereby required and enjoyned, quietly to permit and suffer the said Officers to enter into their several and respective Cellars, Vaults, Store-cellars, Ware-houses, and other places, and there to search, see, and take account as aforesaid.
Provided, That no search be made, or required to be made, in any House, Cellars, Ware-houses, or Store-houses, without the consent of the Owner of the same, but betwixt Sun-rising and Sunsetting, and in the presence of a Constable, Headborough, Bursholder, or Tything-man, who are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said Officers in the premisses where entrance is denied: And in case any of the persons aforesaid, shall neglect, refuse, oppose, or resist the Officers appointed as aforesaid, or shall not discover, declare, or shew to the said Officers, all such Cellars, Vaults, Store-cellars, Ware-houses, or other places, wherein he or they have any of the said Wines lying or remaining, for his or their use or uses; that then the said person or persons so offending, are to be proceeded against by the Commissioners for Excise, or their Deputies, by Fine or Imprisonment, the said Fine not to exceed Fifty pounds for their respective Offence or Offences.
For all manner of Druggs, Glass or Glasses, and all manner of Earthen and Stone Wares whatsoever, imported or to be inported, according as they are distinguished in the Book of Rates of Values hereunto annexed, for every Twenty shillings value thereof, according as they are therein rated or valued, to be paid by the first Buyer thereof, Two shillings.
For all unthrown Raw Silk, all Rough Hemp, undrest Flax and Towe, Tar, Rozen, Pitch, Wax, Tallow, Cable, Cable yarn, and all manner of Cordage, imported or to be imported, upon every Twenty shillings value thereof, according as they are rated in the Book of Rates or Values hereunto annexed, to be paid by the first Buyer thereof, Six pence.
For all other Goods and Merchandizes whatsoever (except Bullion, Corn, Victuals, Arms, Ammunition, Ordnance of Brass or Iron) imported or to be imported, not specified or herein rated, to pay for every Twenty shillings value thereof, according as the same are valued in the said Book of Rates or Values for Excise, to be paid by the first Buyer thereof, One shilling.
For every Barrel of Beer or Ale, above Six shillings the Barrel brewed by the common Brewer, or by any other person or persons who shall sell or tap out Beer or Ale, publiquely or privately, to be paid by the said Brewer, or such other person or persons respectively, Two shillings six pence; and so proportionately for a greater or lesser quantity, From and after the 24. of June, 1657.
For every Barrel of Six shillings Beer or Ale, or under, brewed by the common Brewer, or by any other person or persons who shall sell or tap out such Beer or Ale, publiquely or privately, to be paid by the said Brewer, or such other person or persons as aforesaid respectively, Six pence, and so proportionately for a greater or lesser quantity, from and after the 24. of June, 1657. Six pence.
For all Pots, Backs for Chimneys, Plates, Weights, Anvils, and all other Commodities of cast Iron (except Ordnance and Shot) for every hundred weight thereof, containing One hundred and twelve pounds, to be paid by the Maker or Caster, upon the making or casting thereof, from and after the 24. day of June, 1657. Three pence.
For all Ordnance and Shot of cast Iron, of what sort soever, for every hundred weight, containing One hundred and twelve pounds, to be paid by the Maker, upon sale and delivery thereof, from and after the 24. day of June, 1657. Three pence.
For all Aqua-vitæ or Strong Waters, made or distilled within the Commonwealth, whether of foreign or domestick Spirits or materials, upon every Gallon, to be paid by the first Maker or Seller thereof respectively, Two pence.
For every pound weight, containing sixteen ounces Averdupoise, of any Copper, or other Metal, that shall be prepared, made fit, or disgrossed, to be paid at the Bar where the same shall be disgrossed, Two pence.
For every Fother of Lead, containing Twenty hundred weight at One hundred and twelve pounds to the hundred, to be paid by the Maker or Smelter, Six shillings and eight pence, from and after the 24. day of June, 1657.
For all Cyder and Perry made and sold by way of Retail, whether if be by the first Maker, or any Buyer or Receiver thereof from the first Maker, upon every Hogshead, and so for a greater and lesser measure proportionately, Two shillings six pence.
For all Salt made or to be made within this Commonwealth, which is or shall be shipped or conveyed by water, to be paid by the first Buyer of such Salt, at the place of landing or unloading thereof, upon every Gallon a Half-peny.
1. And be it further Ordained and Enacted by Authority aforesaid, That in Order to the more speedy and effectual bringing in of such Arrears of Excise, as are due on the several Accounts of the Merchants, and Importers of any Foreign Commodities exciseable, as the same now stand in the Books of the Office of Excise in the City of London, or in the out Ports, That all and every the Merchants and Importers of any Foreign Commodities exciseable, who have any Accounts depending in the said Office, be, and are hereby required, at, or upon, or before the Nine and twentieth day of September, 1657, to give unto the Commissioners for Excise, at the Office aforesaid, a perfect Account upon Oath, of all Goods and Commodities exciseable, resting on his or their hands, for which Excise hath not been duly paid, at the time of giving in such Account or Accounts, together with what they have respectively exported since the beginning of such Account or Accounts, in the Office aforesaid, and that such Remainder be the rise and beginning of a new Account for the future, with each Merchant or Importer respectively, and that thereupon the said Commissioners for Excise for the time being, or their Deputies, do with all convenient speed ballance each Merchant or Importers Account out of the same Excise Books, (deducting the said Remainder and Exports so brought in as aforesaid, and send Copies thereof to each Merchant or Importer respectively, to be left at the house or usual place of abode of every such Merchant or Importer as aforesaid) who shall within ten days after the delivery or leaving of such Copy or Copies as aforesaid, pay, or cause to be paid into the Treasury of the Excise Office, one sixth part of what appears to be resting due upon Ballance of the said Account or Accounts, and thereupon the same to be fully discharged and the Merchant or Importer thereof cleared and acquitted.
2. That all such Merchants and Importers as shall neglect or refuse to give in to the Commissioners for Excise, or their Deputies, an Account or Accounts, upon Oath, of all such Foreign Goods and Commodities exciseable, that are resting and remaining on his or their hands, together with what they have respectively exported as aforesaid, within the time above limited, that then such Merchants, or Importers respectively, shall be liable to pay the full Excise of all such Foreign Goods and Commodities, as shall be found to stand charged in the Excise Books on his or their Accounts, by entries at the Custome-house, which have not been otherwise cleared by Sales and Deliveries: And the Commissioners for Excise are hereby required, forthwith to proceed against such Merchants or Importers, according as by the Laws of Excise is directed and appointed.
3. That no Merchant or Importer of any Foreign Goods or Commodities shall be permitted to enter any Goods or Commodities at the Custome-house in any Port within this Commonwealth, unless the same Merchant or Importer (or such Person or Persons as by Deed under his hand and seal shall be deputed thereunto) shall sign the entry, by him or them so made, in the presence of the Officer or Officers for Excise, appointed to attend at the Customehouse for that purpose, and the Commissioners for the Customes, and the Commissioners for the Excise, are hereby respectively required and enjoyned to take special care that the same be done accordingly; and no such person as aforesaid, nor any person whatsoever, shall enter any Goods or Commodities in any Customehouse, or with any Officer of the Customes or Excise, but in the name of the true and real Importer of the said Goods or Commodities; nor shall he or they make use of the name of any known Merchant, or any other person or persons whatsoever, in any Port, to colour his or their Goods, (whether it be with or without the consent of such known Merchant or other person or persons,) upon pain of forfeiture of double the value of the Goods found to be so entered and coloured, contrary to the true meaning of this Article, to be levied respectively by distress upon the Goods and Estate of such Offender respectively; and in default thereof, every such Offender to be imprisoned till due satisfaction be made for such forfeiture.
Officers to seize goods carried without Warrant before entry.; How the goods so seized shall be disposed of.; If not claimed within 21 days by the lawfull Owner, the same shall be forfeited and sold.; If claimed, and if it be not made appear they were entred, and a Warrant obtained the same to be forfeited
4. That the Commissioners for Excise hereby authorized, and their Sub-commissions respectively, are hereby authorized, to depute and appoint Officers by Commission under their hands and seals, or under the hands and seals of the major part of them, or either of them, to seize all Exciseable Goods and Commodities which shall be conveying by day or by night, either by Land or by Water, before due entry made of such Goods and Commodities, either inwards or outwards, without Warrant, Ticket or License obtained from the Commissioners of Excise, their Sub-commissioners, or the Deputy or Deputies of either of them, for the conveying or carrying the said Goods and Commodities; And the Goods that shall be so seized, shall be brought to the Office for Excise next adjoyning to the place where such Goods shall be so seized, there to be detained and kept: And in case the said Goods and Commodities so seized shall not be claimed by the true and lawfull Owner thereof, or by one deputed under his or their hand, within one and twenty days after seizure, the said Goods shall be absolutely forfeited to the Commonwealth, and are and shall be sold the next General day of Sale, to be appointed by the Commissioners, or Sub-commissioners respectively, after the said one and twenty days are expired; the one Moyety or half-part of the proceeds thereof (all necessary charges being first deducted out of the whole) to be placed to the account of the Commonwealth, and the other Moyety or half-part to be paid to the party or parties who seized the same: And in case of such Goods or Commodities so seized shall be claimed within one & twenty days by the true and lawfull Owner of them, or by one deputed thereunto under his hand, and if the said Owner or Claimer, as aforesaid, shall nevertheless neglect or refuse to make it appear unto the Commissioners for Excise, or their Sub-commissioners, or unto the major part of them, or either of them, by sufficient proof, that the said Goods and Commodities so seized, were or have been duly entred, and a Warrant, Ticket, or License, obtained for the carrying or conveying them as aforesaid, that then the said Goods and Commodities shall likewise be forfeited to the Commonwealth, and be sold and disposed of as aforesaid.
5. That no Retailer or Shop-keeper be permitted by the Commissioners of Excise, their Sub-commissioners, or Deputies, to ship any Goods Exciseable, either beyond the seas, or to any Port within this Commonwealth, before he bring a particular note specifying the quantities and the qualities thereof, and make Oath that the Excise of such Goods is paid, or that they were bought of some other Retailer or Shop-keeper that hath paid Excise.
Goods carried from Port to Port shall not be landed till a particular be delivered, signed by the Officers of the Port whence they came.; Oath shall be made that no Exciseable Goods have been taken on board since, nor the ship been at any other Port then shall be then declared.; Goods to be delivered at several Ports how to be certified.
6. That all and every Master and Commander of any Ship or Vessel whatsoever, that doth transport and carry any Goods or Commodities Exciseable from one Port to another within this Commonwealth, shall, before he or they have any Warrant for landing or delivering the Goods or Commodities (by him trans ported or carried) on shore in any Port, deliver to the Officer for Excise in the said Port, appointed to receive the same, a true particular of the Goods and Commodities so transported and carried as aforesaid, signed by the Officers for the Excise and Customes of the Port from whence the said Ship or Vessel came, and that then the Master or his Mate, or the Boatswain of such Ship or Vessel, shall make Oath before the Commissioners for the Excise, or their Sub-Commissioners and Deputies, that to his knowledge there hath not been laid on board, or taken into the said Ship or Vessel, any Goods or Commodities Exciseable, since he or they came from such Port, nor that the said Ship or Vessel hath been beyond the Seas, except at such place or Port, as he shall then and there declare. And in case such Ship or Vessel be to deliver one part of her Goods or Lading at one Port, and another part at another Port or Ports that then the Officers for Excise and Customes, where such part of the said Goods or Lading shall be delivered, shall certifie on the back-side of the Cocquet, Transire, or other Warrant, or else by a Certificate alone under the Seals of the Office, how much or what quantity of the Goods or Lading mentioned in the Cocquet, Transire or other Warrant, from the Port whence such Ship or Vessel came, have been there landed and delivered.
7. That if any common Brewer of Ale or Beer, shall at any time hereafter make use of any Tun or other Vessel, for the making and brewing of any Ale or Beer, and not first give notice thereof to the Office for Excise under which his habitation is, or to the Guager or Guagers, or other Officer appointed to guage his Vessels, such common Brewer shall forfeit for every Tun or other Vessel he shall so make use of, and not give notice thereof as aforesaid, the sum of Ten pounds, to be levied by Distress, and in defect thereof, to be imprisoned, till the same be paid and satisfied.
8. That the Guagers or other sworn Officers, appointed by the Commissioners for Excise, or their Sub-commissioners, in their respective Divisions, to guage the Coppers, Fats, and Vessels of any Brewer of Beer and Ale, shall from time to time make Return or Report to the said Commissioners, their Sub-commissioners, or their Deputies, of such Beer and Ale as bytheir guage they find to have been made and brewed by such Brewer whose Coppers, Fats or Vessels they have guaged; and the Returns or Reports of such Guagers or Officers, shall be a Charge upon the said Brewers respectively.
9. That if any common Brewer of Beer or Ale, Soap-Boyler, or Distiller of Aqua-Vitæ or Strong-waters, shall at any time upon the Sabbath-day, brew or tonne any Beer or Ale, boyl or make any Soap, or distil or make any Aqua-Vitæ or Strong-waters. Every such Brewer, Soap-boyler, or Distiller respectively, shall for every such offence pay or forfeit double the Value of all Beer, Ale, Soap, or Strong-waters which shall be then brewed, boyled, made or distilled respectively, upon Proof thereof made upon Oath of one or more credible Witnesses, or the Parties Confession before one or more Justice of the Peace, within the County, City, Town, or Place where the offence is committed, within Three Moneths next after the Offence committed; the one Moyety thereof to go to the use of the Informer, and the other to the use of the Poor, there to be levied by Warrant from such Justice or Justices of the Peace before whom such Party or Parties shall be so convicted, by Distress and Sale of the Parties Goods, rendring the overplus, if any be. And for default of Distress, or not payment thereof made, to be committed to the House of Correction for three Moneths, or until he make payment thereof.
10. That for the better securing and collecting the Excise upon Gold, Silver, Copper, and other Mettal disgrossed for Wyre, and that the Excise may be equally levied on all the Makers and Dis grossers thereof, Be it Ordained and Enacted by Authority aforesaid, That the Commissioners aforesaid for the Excise, and their Sub-commissioners within their several Districts, shall and are hereby authorised to appoint Officers to seize all such Gold, Silver, Copper, or other Mettal, as shall be prepared, melted down, or disgrossed for Wyre, by any Refiner, Goldsmith, Gold-drawer, or other, at any private Bar, or Place, then at the Bar and Place appointed by the Commissioners for the Excise, or their Sub-com missioners respectively; And to seize all private Bars, Benches, Screws, Engines, and other Instruments used in the disgrossing of any Gold, Silver, Copper, or other Mettal into Wyre; And where they have cause of suspition, to demand entrance to search for such Bars, Benches, Screws, Engines, and other Instruments And in case of refusal, Then such Officers appointed as aforesaid' shall in the presence of a Constable or Headborough, have Power, and are hereby Authorized to break open all Doors, Locks and Bolts where they shall have cause of suspition that such Bars, Benches, Screws, Engines, or other Instruments are concealed and hid: And in case they shall upon such search find any such Benches, Bars, Screws, Engines, or other Instruments, the same to seize, take, and carry away to the Office for Excise, next adjoyning where they shall be so seized, there to be broken and made useless.
Provided, and be it further Enacted, That no Fine imposed, or Imprisonment, Penalty or Forfeiture inflicted, or Seizure made by, or by Vertue of this Act, or of any other Act or Ordinance for or concerning the Levying or Paying of the Duty of Exicse for any Inland Commodity, shall be Levied or Executed, or Sale of any such Seizure be made by the Sub-commissioners or Farmers of the Excise within the several Counties and Places of this Commonwealth (except the City of London and the District thereof) or by any their Agents, Deputies, or Officers, otherwise then by Order or Warrant under the Hands and Seals of two or more Justices of the Peace of the said County or Place, the said Justices not being any way interessed or concerned in the thing in Question, or Landlord, or Tenant, or of Kindred or Relation to the Parties therein concerned, or any of them, Any former Act or Ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding. And the said two Justices are hereby authorized and required, upon Complaint to them made by the said Officers or Parties, to hear and examine the same upon Oath, and finally to determine the said matters of Complaint. And in case they shall find upon such examination, that any default hath been in any the said Parties through ignorance or mistake, and not by design of Fraud or Deceipt, That then the said Justices shall be, and are hereby Authorized and Impowred to mitigate such Fine, Penalty, or Forfeiture; so as by such Mitigation, the same be not made less then double the value of the Duty of Excise which should or ought to have been paid, besides the reasonable Costs and Charges of such Officer or Officers as were imployed therein, to be to them allowed by the said Justices.
Provided also, and it is hereby further Enacted, That no person or persons, Inhabitants within the said Counties or Places, shall be compelled by the said Sub-commissioners or Farmers, to travel for the making of their Entries, or Payment of the said Duty, or other cause, touching or concerning the same, above ten miles from his or their Dwelling-house or place of abode, or unto the next Market-Town thereunto adjoyning.
Provided alwayes, That the said Commissioners for Appeals and Regulating the Excise, shall not Indempnifie any Person or Persons whatsoever, whether Commissioned or not Commissioned, for any act or thing by him or them done, or to be done or executed in relation to the Excise, for the doing or executing of which act or thing, he or they shall not be fully Authorized by and according to this present Act, or some other Acts and Ordinances continued by this Act, Any thing in this present Act to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
Provided alwayes, That this Act shall not extend to the laying any Excise upon Salt that shall be expended upon the salting or saving of any Herrings, Cod, Ling, Pilchards, or any other Fish; nor upon the Beer that shall be expended in taking the said Fish, Any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.