Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Be it Enacted by this present Parliament, and the Authority thereof, that Lieutenant General Charls Fleetwood, Sir Henry Vane Knight, Thomas Scot, George Thompson, Nathaniel Rich, Cornelius Cook, Samuel Hyland, James Walker, Richard Downs, Robert White, Thomas Lee, Edward Hall, Edward Brent, John Sandon, William Angel, Esqs; Major Richard Lewin, Captain— Shaw, Captain William Smiter, Griffith Kent, John Shorter Merchants, William Hester, William Bab, Edward Leader, Jeremiah Rushley, John Pope, Francis Neeves, Gent. John Planner, Thomas Burton, James Pitman, William Sledd, James Childe, Nath. Collier, William Fenton, John Pool, Samuel Lynne Senior, Thomas Middleton, John Smith, Morrice Craddock, John Showel, William Lance, James Reading, John Parker, Gent. John Trenchard, Peter Delaney, Jeremiah Baynes, William Hiccock, Christopher Searle, Thomas Wenborne, Thomas Walker, Thomas Irons, Charls Crayker and Richard Lee, Esqs; or any Seven or more of them, be, and are hereby constituted and appointed a Committee for the Militia for the Borough of Southwark, and Parishes adjacent; viz:—Olaves, Savior, Thomas, Georges, Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, Redriffe alias Rotherhithe, Mary Newington, and Lambeth in the County of Surrey, mentioned in the Weekly Bills of Mortality, on the South side of the River Thames; And that they, or any Seven or more of them, shall have power, and are hereby Authorized to assemble and call together all and every such well-affected person and persons within the Parishes aforesaid, as are meet and fit to bear Arms, and them well and sufficiently from time to time to cause to be Armed, Arrayed and Weaponed, and to form into Companies, Troops, and Regiments, and to Lead, Conduct, and Imploy, or cause to be Led, Conducted and Imployed, as well within the Parishes aforesaid, as within and into any other places of this Commonwealth, for Suppressing of all Insurrections, Rebellions, and Invasions, that may happen to be, and to fight with, Kill, and Slay such Enemies and Rebels as they shall finde in Arms against this Commonwealth. And further to Act and Do according as they shall from time to time receive Directions from the Parliament or Council of State by the Parliament appointed, or to be appointed.
And that the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them shall have power and authority, to present to the Parliament or Council of State, the names of such person or persons, having respect to the Qualifications, declared by the Parliament, as they shall think fit, to be Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels, Majors, Captains, and other Commission Officers of the said persons so to be Armed, Arrayed and Weaponed: which Persons so presented and approved of by the Parliament or Council of State, shall have Commissions signed by the Speaker of the Parliament, as the Officers of the Army have: and being so Commissionated, shall have power to Train, Exercise and put in readiness, and also to Lead and Conduct the persons so to be Armed, Arrayed and Weaponed, by the directions and to the intents and purposes aforesaid. And for the providing of Horse and Arms, and the Furniture thereunto belonging, for the Arming and Weaponing the persons aforesaid: And also for the Defraying and Paying the necessary Charges thereunto belonging.
Be it further Enacted, that the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, have hereby Power and Authority, to Assess and Charge all and every such person and persons, inhabiting and residing within the Parishes aforesaid, or who have Estates within the said Parishes proportionably, according to such Estates there, as are or shall be fit and meet to be Assest and Charged for the purposes aforesaid, for and towards the finding, furnishing and providing, maintaining and having in readiness one or more Horse, or Horses, Arms, or other Furniture, according to the several Estates and abilities of the persons so to be Assest and Charged.
Provided, That no one Person not having an Estate of the clear value of three thousand pounds (of which the said Commissioners are to be Judges) be Charged or Chargeable with an Horse, Arms, and the Furniture thereunto belonging, and that no one person not having an estate of the clear value of four hundred pounds (of which the said Commissioners are to be the Judges) be Charged or Chargeable with a whole foot Arms and the Furniture there unto belonging.
Provided nevertheless, And be it Enacted, That all and every person or persons having an Estate of the clear value of one hundred pounds, and under the said value of four hundred pounds, be chargeable by the said Commissioners, for and towards the finding and providing of Drums, Colours, Powder, Match and Bullet, so that such Charge upon any one Person exceed not the sum of Twenty Shillings.
And be it further Enacted, that if any Person or Persons, so to be Assessed or Charged by the said Commissioners, shall refuse or neglect, by the time to be appointed by the said Commissioners, to Provide and furnish such sufficient Horse, Horses, Arms and other furniture, or to pay such Sum or Sums of money, towards the providing and furnishing as aforesaid, That then it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Commissioners, or any seven or more of them, to inflict a penalty upon such person and persons, not exceeding twenty pounds, and also, by Warrant under their hands and Seals, to commit such person and persons, so refusing or neglecting, to Prison, there to remain, without Bail or Main prize, till he or they shall conform thereunto, and also shall pay such penalty so inflicted as aforesaid, or else by like Warrant to Levy such Sum or Sums of Money, or the value of such Horse, Horses, Arms, and Furniture, and such penalty inflicted by Distresse and Sale of the Goods of the person or persons so neglecting or refusing (rendring the over-plus to the party so distrained) all necessary Charges for Levying thereof being first deducted.
And be it further Enacted, that if any person or persons so to be Armed, Arrayed, and Weaponed, shall detain or imbezle his Horse, Arms, or other Furniture, wherewith he shall be intrusted, That it shall, and may be lawful, to and for the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, to imprison such person and persons, till he or they have made satisfaction for the Horse, Arms or other furniture so by him detained or imbezled, and also that if any person, so to be Armed, Horsed or Weaponed as aforesaid, shall not appear and serve compleatly furnished, with the Horse, Arms, and other Furniture wherewith he is intrusted, at the Beat of Drum, Sound of Trumpet or other Summons, That then and so often it shall and may be lawful, to and for the said Commissioners, or any five of them, if the default be in the person or persons so intrusted, to imprison such person and persons for the space of five days without Bail or Main-prize, or inflict a penalty; if a horse-man not exceeding twenty shillings, and if a footman, not exceeding ten shillings, to be paid down without delay or for bearance: And if any person or persons so assessed or charged as aforesaid, shall refuse or neglect to deliver his Horse, Arms, or other Furniture, upon such Summons or other notice as aforesaid, That then and so often it shall and may be Lawfull to and for the said Commissioners, or any three or more, to inflict a penalty not exceeding five pounds to be Levied by distress and sale of the goods of such person and persons so refusing as aforesaid, rendring the over-plus to the party distrained (necessary charges for Levying being first deducted.) And for the better discovery of the ability of the persons to be assessed and charged, and of all misdemeanors tending to the hindrance of the service aforesaid, the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, are hereby enabled to examine upon Oath such Person and Persons as they shall judge necessary and Convenient. And for the better and more speedy execution of the Premises,
Be it further Enacted, And the said Commissioners are hereby required to appoint such and so often General meetings of themselves as they shall think fit, and as such General meetings to appoint one or more Treasurer or Treasurers, for receiving such Money as shall be Levied by virtue hereof, of all which Receipts and disbursements thereof, the said Treasurers and Receivers are every six Moneths to give their Accompt in writing to the Parliament or Council of State.
And be it further Enacted, That the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them, shall and may Summon all and every Treasurer and Treasurers of any former Committee, or Commissioners for the Militia, within the Parishes aforesaid, or any other person or persons, who by vertue of any Authority of Parliament, or otherwise, are possest of any Sum or Sums of Money, Arms or Ammunition, in relation to the said Militia, and to require them and every of them, forthwith to pay every such Sum and Sums of Money, and deliver such Arms and Ammunition remaining in their hands aforesaid, to such person or persons as the said Commissioners appointed by this Act, or any Seven or more of them, shall appoint, and in case of non-payment and delivery of such Arms and Ammunition, to Levy the same money or value of the said Arms and Ammunition, by Imprisonment of the person, or by distress and sale, rendring the over-plus to the party distrained: All which Moneys so Levied and Received, and all such Arms, and Ammunition, as aforesaid, to be delivered, are to be imployed for carrying on the said service: and at such General meetings the said Commissioners are to divide themselves in such proportions and numbers as they shall judge convenient, and into such Precincts and divisions as may most tend to the speedy and effectual advancement of the Service. And for the better securing of the Peace of this Commonwealth.
Be it further Enacted and Ordained, And the said Commissioners or any Seven or more of them, are hereby enabled and Authorized from time to time, by Warrant under their hands and seals, to imploy such well-affected person or persons as they shall think fit, of which the Constable for the time being within his respective Parish to be one, in the day-time, to search for and seize all Arms and Horses, in ye custody or possession of any Popish Recusant, or other person that hath been in Arms against the Parliament, or that hath adhered to the Enemies thereof, or any other person, whom the said Commissioners shall judge dangerous to the Peace of this Commonwealth, and with such Arms and Horse, to arm such well-affected persons as they shall think fit, or otherwise to secure such Arms and Horse, for the use of the Commonwealth, to which purpose the persons so to be imployed are hereby Authorized and required to enter into the House or Lodging of any such person as aforesaid, and there to search for, seize, and take away such Arms and Horse as they shall finde, and thereof from time to time to give accompt to the said Commissioners.
And be it further Enacted, That all high Constables, Petty Constables, and other Officers and Ministers within the Parishes aforesaid be and are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said Commissioners, in execution of the Premisses; and that all and every Person and Persons, who shall Act or Do anything in execution thereof, shall be saved harmless and Indempnified by Authority of Parliament.
And be it further Enacted, That it shall and may be lawfull, to and for the said Commissioners, or any Seven or more of them to impose the finding and providing of Horse and Arms as aforesaid, by joyning two, three, or more persons together in the Charge, as to their Judgements shall appear most conducible to the service of the Commonwealth.