Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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It having pleased Almighty God, after a violent and illegal Interruption, to restore the Parliament of this Commonwealth to its former Station, and with it to revive and re-establish the Government of these Nations in the way of a Free State, without a King, Single Person, or House of Peers. And whereas, during the said Interruption, and the various Changes and Alterations which followed, many things have been Attempted, Done, and Acted, inconsistent with the Interest of this Commonwealth and contrary to Law, of which notwithstanding, the Parliament being desirous, by all good ways and means, and with all convenient speed, to remove all Jealousies, Doubts, Distrusts, and Fears, which may remain upon the hearts of many of the people of these Nations, in reference to such their by-past Actings; and that their Mindes, Persons, and Estates may be Composed, Quieted, Setled and Secured and all Disputes, Questions and Troubles thereupon arising, and all displeasure and evil will thereby occasioned, may be Annulled, Extinguished, and buried in perpetual Oblivion, so that the Government now again restored, may be chearfully complied with, Have Enacted and Ordained, and be it Enacted and Ordained by this present Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That all and every Person and Persons, Bodies, Politique, and Corporate, of or within England, Scotland, and Ireland, or any of them, or the Dominions and Territories to them or any of them belonging, or appertaining, who have at any time since the nineteenth of April, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty three, and before the first of June, One thousand six hundred fifty-nine, Advised, Counselled, Acted or Done or Commanded, or appointed to be acted or done, or have consented to, permitted or suffered to be acted and done any matter or thing whatsoever, tending to or concerning any change or alteration of the Government of these Nations, from a Commonwealth or Free State, or tending to the abetting or countenancing such change or alteration, or in pursuance of such change or alteration or by virtue or colour of any Authority derived mediately or immediately of or from any convention or assembly called or reputed a Parliament; or by virtue or colour of any Writ, Commission, Letters Patents, Instruction or Instructions, of or from any person or persons, Tituled, Reputed or taken to be Lord Protector or Chief Magistrate of this Commonwealth, or Commander in Chief of the Forces or Armies of this Commonwealth, or by any other Pretence, Warrant, Command or Commands whatsoever, from them or any of them, or their or either of their respective Councils, or any Member of such Council or Councils, or from any other person or persons whatsoever, Deriving Authority from them or any of them; That all and every such person and persons, and all such Counsellors, Advisors, Actors, and abettors, their Heirs, Executors, and Administrators of them and every of them, and all Bodies Corporate and Politique, and their Successors, for ever shall be and are hereby fully acquitted, pardoned, released, indempnified, discharged, and saved harmless, of and from all, and all manner of Treasons, Misprisions of Treasons, Offences, Crimes and Misdemeanours whatsoever, by them, or any of them committed, acted, done, suffered or consented unto, of what nature, quality or kinde soever the persons or crimes be, or may be deemed, in reference to the several changes in Government and actings there-upon, as aforesaid, since the first day of April, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty three, and before the first day of June, One thousand six hundred fifty nine, and of all and all manner of Indictments, Impeachments, Informations, Actions, Suits, Prosecutions, Judgments, Executions, Molestations, and Demands whatsoever, for or by reason of or concerning the same, be it either for or on the behalf of the Keepers of the Liberty of England, by Authority of Parliament, or the Parliament of this Commonwealth, or by, for, or on the behalf of any persons whatsoever, for or concerning the same.
And also, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act and Free-Pardon shall be as good and effectual in the Law, to every the Persons aforesaid, in, for, concerning and against all things before mentioned or intended, as the same pardon should have been, if all and every the Offences, Offenders, Crimes, Causes, Matters, Indictments, Impeachments, Informations, Actions, Suits, Quarrels, Judgments, Executions, Penalties, and all other things herein contained, or concerned, had been particularly, specially, and plainly named, rehearsed and specified, and also Acquitted, Pardoned and Discharged, by proper and express words and names in their kindes, natures, and qualities, by Words and terms thereunto requisite to have been put in and expressed in this present Act of Free-Pardon,
And furthermore, That the said Pardon by the General Words, Clauses, and Sentences before rehearsed, shall be Reputed, Deemed, Adjudged, Expounded, Allowed, and taken in all manner of Courts of Justice, and elsewhere, most beneficial and available to all and singular the persons before Meant, Mentioned, or Intended, and to every of them, without any Ambiguity, Question, or Delay whatsoever, to be Made, Pleaded, Objected, or Alledged, by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth, or by any person or persons, for, or on the behalf of the said Keepers of the Liberty of England, or on the behalf of the Parliament, or on the behalf of any other person or persons whatsoever.
And be it further Enacted and Declared, That all Fines, Recoveries, Verdicts, Judgements, Statutes, Recognizances, Inquisitions, Indictments, Presentments, Informations, Decrees, Sentences, Probates of Wills, Granting of Letters of Administration, Writs, Return of Writs, Orders, Acts, and other Proceedings relating to the administration of Justice, according to Law or Equity, had made, given, taken, or done, or Depending in the Courts of Chancery, Upper-Bench, Common-Pleas, and Court of Exchequer, by any the Commissioners, Judges, Sheriffs, Coroners, or Ministers thereof respectively, or by any other the Judges, Commissioners, or Ministers of any Court of Record, Court of Admiralty, or Delegates, or other Court of Law or Equity, or by, or upon Commissions of Assize, and Nisi Prius of Oyer and Terminer, Goal-Delivery, Commissions of the Peace, or upon any Commission of Sewers, Bankrupts, Charitable Uses, or other Commissions relating as aforesaid, and all Process and Proceedings therein, or thereupon had, made, given, done, or suffered in England, Scotland, or Ireland, or either of them, or the Dominions and Territories to them, or either of them belonging or appertaining, since the Nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty three, and before the First day of June, One thousand six hundred fifty nine, shall not be questioned, or avoided for want of Legal Power in the said Commissioners, Judges, and Ministers respectively, or by reason of the Change or Alteration of the Name, Stile, Title, or Teste of Writs, Process or Proceedings; or that they have not been in the Name of, or before the Keepers of the Liberties of England, by Authority of Parliament, but that such Fines, Recoveries, Verdicts, Judgements, Statutes, Commissions, Recognizances, Inquisitions, Indictments, Presentments, Informations, Decrees, Sentences, Probates of Wills, Administrations, Writs, Returns, Process, and Proceedings, Orders, Acts and Things, as aforesaid, shall be of such, and of none other Force, Effect and Vertue, then as if such Commissioners, Judges, and Ministers respectively, had acted by vertue of a True, Just, Legal Power and Authority.
Provided always, That this Act shall not extend to confirm or make good any pretended Title of Honor, Dignity or Knighthood, pretended to be conferred, given or granted by Writ, Patent or otherwise, to any person or persons within England, Scotland or Ireland, or the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging, since the said nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty and three, and before the said seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty nine; But that all and every such pretended Titles of Honor, Dignities and Knighthood, are hereby declared to be null and void.
Provided also and be it Enacted, That those Persons who were esteemed and taken to be Commissioners of the Publique Treasury, by colour or pretence of any Grant of that Office made unto them, since the nineteenth of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty three, and before the seventh day of May in the Year of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty nine, shall be and are hereby Indempnified and Pardoned for such Acts as have been done by them in pursuance or pretence of that Authority for the bringing in and issuing out of the Publique Revenue of the Nation.
Provided also, That this Act shall not extend to make good or confirm the Grant of any Office or Place of Trust given or granted, or pretended to be given or granted, by Patent, Charter, or otherwise, since the nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty three, and before the seventh day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred fifty nine; But that all such be and are hereby declared to be in the disposal of this Parliament, anything in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, other then such Offices and Places as have been disposed by, or derived from any person or persons who had Power to dispose thereof by Authority of Parliament, before the twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred fifty three, although such Places or Offices have been disposed since.
Provided always, That this Act shall not extend [or] be construed to extend to any matter or thing exhibited, or depending in Parliament, since the seventh day of May in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty nine, and before the twelfth of July one thousand six hundred fifty nine for their judgment or resolution.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Moneys already paid for necessary Salaries and Allowances had or made to any person or persons for the Administration of Justice, or for the bringing in, or issuing out of the publique Revenue, or for the preservation of the Commonwealth, by the Armies, Navies, or Garrisons, or for Augmentation, Increase of Maintenance, or Allowance to any Ministers, Lecturers, School-masters, Members of Universities, or Colledges, or to Ambassadors, or other publique Ministers imployed into Forein parts, or for the carrying on of the Publique and necessary Affairs of the three Nations, shall be and are hereby made good and allowed, and the persons who received the same, discharged and Indempnified.
And be it further Enacted, that all and every Person and Persons, Bodies Politique and Corporate, comprised within and intended to be Pardoned, or Indempnified by this present Act, or which are Pardoned, Indempnified, or intended to be Pardoned or Indempnified by any other Act, Ordinance, or Order of this present Parliament, shall and may in all Suits, Indictments, or other prosecution, plead the general Issue, and give this Act, or any other of the said Acts, Ordinances, or Orders of this present Parliament in Evidence; and if upon any Trial or other Proceedings, it shall appear to the Court, Judge, Judges or Jury, or other Persons before whom such Trial or proceedings shall be had, that the party or parties claiming Indempnity or Pardon according to the true intent and meaning of this present Act, and all or any the aforesaid Acts, Ordinances, or Orders of this present Parliament, then such Judge, Judges, Jury, and other Persons, and every of them respectively, are hereby Authorized and required to allow the same, and him or them accordingly Indempnifie and discharge, according to the true intent and meaning of the aforesaid Acts, Ordinances, and Orders of Parliament, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, and are hereby Authorized and required to put in execution all and every the said Powers, in as full and ample manner as any Committee or Commissioners for Indempnity by Authority of Parliament were enabled to do, and all persons concerned therein are hereby required and enjoyned to take notice hereof, and to yield Obedience accordingly.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that in case any suit is or was depending in any Court of Law or Equity, the Ninth day of July, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred fifty and nine, or before, for or concerning any matter, cause, or thing, acted or done by any person or persons whatsoever, since the third day of November, in the year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred and forty, for the service and advantage of the Parliament or Commonwealth and any Trial at Law is already had, or any Judgement or Execution thereupon obtained against any Person or Persons whatsoever for the same, that the Judges of the said Court, where any such Suit or Cause is or was depending, are hereby Enabled, Authorized and Required to examine the same upon Oath, (which the said Court is hereby Authorized to Administer, to any Witnesses that shall be therein produced on either Party, upon Complaint to them to be made) and to give relief therein to all and every the persons that are or have been so sued, and ought to be Indempnified and Relieved, and also to give such Costs to him or them that shall be so Relieved therein, as to the said Court shall be thought meet.
Provided always, That this Act nor anything therein contained, shall be Adjudged, Construed, or taken to Discharge or Indempnifie any person or persons who have Farmed the Excise and New Impost, or Customs, or any part thereof, who have not payed in the Arrears of Money due to the Commonwealth for the Rent or Rents of their respective Farms, or shall not pay in the same at such days and times, as the Committee for Inspection of the Treasuries shall think fit, or otherwise that the said Farmers shall have no benefit of this present Act.
Provided always, That no person of the age of sixteen years and upwards, and being of Sane Memory, who shall Claim or Demand benefit of Indempnity or Pardon by virtue of this Act, be admitted thereunto, until it appear to such person or persons, before whom such Claim or Demand is made, That the said Person so Claiming or Demanding, hath made and subscribed, or shall then subscribe this Declaration following; That is to say,