Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Names of Commissioners for Admiralty and Navy.; Their powers.; They may administer oaths,; Issue warrants for repairing and furnishing ships,; For sale of old ships,; For building new ones, etc.; Commissioners to furnish Parliament with lists of officers and seamen fit for service; together with just salaries and wages, on approbation.; Commissioners may remove all officers under degree of captain, and all mariners and workmen, and appoint others.;.
For the better Ordering and Managing of the Affairs of the Admiralty and Navie of this Commonwealth, Be it. Enacted by this present Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That Robert Reynolds Esq; Atturney General of the Commonwealth, Col. Valentine Walton, Col. Herbert Morley, Edmond West, Esq; Thomas Boone Esq; Sir Michael Livesey Baronet, Col. George Thompson, Carew Raleigh Esq; Thomas Challoner Esq; John Lenthal Esq; Henry Darley Esq; John Weaver Esq; John Dormer Esq; John Lisle Esq; late one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal, General George Monck, Vice Admiral John Lawson, Richard Bradshaw Esq; Col. Thomas Middleton, Edward Bushell Esq; Slingsby Bethel Esq; and George Cooper Esq; or any five or more of them, whereof two of them to be Members of this Parliament, shall be, and are hereby Constituted and Appointed Commissioners for the Ordering, Managing, Directing, and Carrying on of the Affairs of the Admiralty and Navie of this Commonwealth, and shall have, and hereby have Committed unto them, the full care of, and inspection into, and Directive power of all the things that concern or are necessary to the providing and furnishing the Ships belonging to the Commonwealth for service, and supplying them from time to time: And the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, are hereby Authorized and Impowred to Administer an Oath to any Persons for examination of any matter in relation to the business of the Navy. And the said Commissioners are Authorized to make such Orders, and issue such Warrants for the repairing and preserving the Ships and Vessels of the Commonwealth, and for the furnishing of them with Stores and Ammunition, for the Arming, Victualling, Manning, Setting them forth, with all things belonging to them, and every of them, as they shall Judge fit for the Service of the Commonwealth, according to such Orders and Directions as they from time to time shall receive from the Parliament or Council of State. And for the Sale and Disposal of old and unserviceable Ships and vessels belonging to this Commonwealth, the Proceeds thereof to be paid into the Treasury of the Navy, for the use of the Navie: And for the new-Building, Preparing, Fitting, Furnishing, Arming, Victualling, Manning, and setting forth such Ships and Fleets, as they shall receive directions for, either from the Parliament or from the Councell of State appointed by Authority of Parliament. And the said Commissioners are hereby authorized, and required from time to time, as the Service of the Commonwealth shall require, and as they shall receive Orders from the Parliament or Councell of State, to prepare a List of the Names of such Captains and Lieutenants, and other Officers of any Ship, Frigot, or Vessel belonging to this Commonwealth, as they shall judge fit and able for that service. And also what Sallaries and Wages they shall Conceive just and fit to be given by the Parliament unto all Captains and Masters, and other Officers of any Ship, Frigot, or Vessel belonging to this Commonwealth; and also to such Marriners, Workmen, and to all Officers and Persons, who are and shall be employed in the Service of the Navie. The said Lists of the Names of Captains and Masters, and other Officers of any Ship, Frigot or Vessel, belonging to this Commonwealth; and of all Salaries and Wages, to be presented by the said Commissioners, in Writing to the Parliament for their approbation. And the said Commissioners are hereby Authorized and Impowred from time to time, to remove, displace, and discharge from their Offices and Imployments belonging to the Navie, or to any Ship, or Vessel of this Commonwealth, any Officers under the Degree of Captains of Ships, and any Mariners, Workmen, or other Persons, Imployed, or to be Imployed in the Service of the Navie, or of any Ship or Vessel of this Commonwealth, and to place such other able and fit Persons in the said Services and Imployments, in the Rooms and Places of the Persons who shall be so Discharged or Removed, as by the said Commissioners shall be judged and thought fit for the Advantage and Service of the Commonwealth.
Provided, that nothing in this Act shall Impeach or Alter the Power given unto the Generals at Sea, for the Removing or Displacing of any Officer or Mariner at Sea, and placing others in their Rooms, in case of Exigency.
Commissioners to cause surveys of ships, furniture, etc., to be taken,; And deliver the same to Parliament with propositions for advancement of; Navy, and removal of abuses.; Naval officers, etc., to attend on Commissioners and obey their orders.; Commissioners may call Councils of War and appoint Judge Advocate.; Power of said Councils.; Further powers and duties of Commissioners.; Seal of the anchor; Salaries and allowances.; Former votes and resolutions of Parliament for incouragement of mariners.
And the said Commissioners are hereby Authorized and Required, by themselves or any other such fit Persons whom they shall for that purpose make choice of, and appoint, with all convenient speed, to take or cause to be taken, a true and perfect Surveigh and Account of all the Ships, Frigots, Pinnaces, and Vessels of or belonging to the Navie, and of all the Ammunition, Tackle, Furniture, Cordage, Timber and Stores, belonging to them, or any of them, or in the Docks, Yards, Storehouses, or other places belonging to the Commonwealth, of all sorts; and also of all courses now held in the Managing, Ordering, or Governing of the Navie; and Deliver the same so made and taken in Wrighting, unto the Parliament, or such as they shall Appoint to Receive the same; and therein likewise to propound such ways and means for the establishing such Orders and Instructions for Regulating the same, as shall be found agreeable to the service of the Commonwealth, and may increase the Power and Forces thereof by Sea, and to remove such corruptions and abuses as may prejudice the same, and especially may reduce the Mariners, Sea-men, and Sea-services to good Order and Obedience, that thereupon such speedy and effectual course may be taken by the Parliament or Council of State, for the supplying of all defects, and reforming of all abuses, as shall be necessary and behooveful to make and continue the Navy serviceable and powerful (by the Blessing of God) for the safety and Honour of this Commonwealth: And all Officers and Ministers of or belonging to the Navy and Ships, and every of them, from time to time, and all others whom it may concern, are hereby Enjoyned and required, that they and every of them, from time to time, be attendant upon the said Commissioners, and do carefully and diligently observe, execute, and perform all such Orders, Warrants and Directions, as the said Commissioners shall make, give or direct touching the Premises, and in pursuance of this Act: And the said Commissioners at Land, or any one or more of the Generals, Commissioners, or Commanders in Chief at Sea, are hereby Authorized and Impowred, at such time or times as they shall judge expedient for the Service of the Commonwealth and Government of the Navy and Army at Sea, to call a Council or Councils of War of Captains or other Officers, as to them shall seem meet, and to appoint a Judge Advocate to attend the said Councils of War, and to do and perform the Duties of that place, who is hereby Authorized to Administer an Oath to any Person or Persons for the examination of any matter which shall be depending before the said Councils of War. And the said Councils of War are hereby Authorized to cause any Persons belonging to the said Navy and Army at Sea to be summoned, and to appear before them, and there to proceed to the Tryal of any Offenders against the Articles, Orders, or Ordinances of War for the Sea, by examinations of Witnesses upon Oath, and to give Judgment, and to cause execution to be done upon such Offendors, according to the Orders, Articles and Ordinances of War established by Parliament. And the said Commissioners are hereby Authorized and impowred to do, execute and performe, all and every such farther and other Authorities, Powers and Instructions, as shall from time to time be given unto them by the Parliament, And be it farther Enacted, That the said Commissioners be and are hereby Authorized and Required to Inspect the Office of the Ordnance, and to Contract, or give Order for such Contracts to be made from time to time, for all such Provisions of Stores and Ammunition, as shall be requisite for the supply of the Fleets, Armies and Garisons of this Common-Wealth, And to give Warrant from time to time to the Treasurer of the Navie, for the payment of all such Monies as are already due, or shall here after become Due, and owing for any such Stores or Ammunition so contracted or to be contracted for as aforesaid: And the said Commissioners have hereby Power to make use of the Seale of the Anchor for their Warrants, Commissions, Orders and other Transactions, and to make choice of and appoint such Clerks and other Officers under them as they shall thinke meet, with Fitting and Competent Sallaries to each of them, and to Direct Payment to be made by the Treasurer of the Navy of all such Moneys as is, or shall, from time to time, grow due for any Naval provisions to be delivered into the Publique Stores. And also of the Salaries and Wages which now are, or hereafter shall grow due to the Commanders, Officers, and Sea-men serving in the Fleet, And to any of the Officers and Ministers relating to the Admiralty and Navy, and Yards, and to the Office of the Ordnance, as it shall from time to time become due and payable to them or either of them respectively; And likewise of all incident Charges, that shall be requisite for carrying on the service by this Act intrusted with them: And the said Commissioners are hereby Authorized and required to put in Execution the Votes and Resolutions of Parliament passed the two and twentieth of December, One thousand six hundred fifty two, concerning encouragement to be given to Mariners and Sea-men in the Service of the Commonwealth, and all the particulars therein, and to give such Orders from time to time as shall be requisite for effecting thereof.
And the said Commissioners are required to Inspect, Manage, and Order the preservation of the Timber and Wood, in the New Forrest, Holt Forrest, and Forrest of Dean, and the Works and Concernments there, on behalf of the Commonwealth: And to give order for the Felling, Cutting down, and making use of such and so many Timber-trees or Timber as they shall think fit and necessary for the service of the Navy, either in the Forrest of Dean, or in the New Forrest, or Holt Forrest; And to order the Use and Disposal of such Timber-Trees, or other Timber, as are reserved and excepted upon sale of the late Kings or other Lands for the Navies use: And the said Commissioners are to direct and order the Managing and Working of the Iron-Works lately erected in the Forrest of Dean, for the Casting of Round Shot, Iron Ordnance, and making of Iron for the use of the Navy, the best manner as may conduce to the Publique Service. And the said Commissioners are hereby further Authorized and Impowred to issue their Warrant from time to time to the Commissioners for Prize Goods (for the time being) to Deliver to the Commissioners for the Navy, or to whom else the said Commissioners for the Admiralty and Navy shall appoint, such Prize Ships or Vessels, with their Tackle, Furniture, Ordnance, Ammunition, or other Provisions, after they shall be Adjudged Prize, as the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, whereof two of them to be Members of this House, as aforesaid, shall judge fit and necessary for the Use and Service of the Navy.
And the said Commissioners are further authorized and required to use their utmost Endeavours, to preserve the Navall and other Publique Stores, within their Inspection and Management, from all Wasts, Spoyles and Imbezlements. And to that end, they are hereby Impowred to cause inquiry or search to be made (as they shall judge needfull) in any Ships, Hoyes, Vessels, Houses, Shops, Cellars, or other place or places whatsoever, And to seize or cause to be seized and secured, all such Stores as are or shall belong to the State.
And the said Commissioners are authorized to summon and send for, and cause to be brought before them, such person and persons as shall be suspected or found to have Imbezelled any of the Navall Stores, and to cause such person or persons to be committed to Prison, to be proceeded against according to Law, or to make such speedy and due satisfaction for such Injury and Prejudice as the Commonwealth shall receive thereby.
And where the said Commissioners shall find any Person or Persons to have abused or falsified their Trusts by stealing or imbezelling, buying or receiving any of the States Stores, or countenancing or abetting the same, They or any five or more of them, whereof two of them to be Members of this Parliament, have hereby Power to commit such person or persons to Prison, during such time as they shall think fit, not exceeding the space of four moneths.
And whereas there may happen to be a failer of moneys in the Prize-Office, which by the Votes of Parliament of the two and twentieth of December, one thousand six hundred fifty two, are assigned for relief of Sick and Wounded Seamen, and other occasions mentioned in the said Votes, It is hereby further Enacted, That the said Commissioners for the Admiralty be hereby Impowred and Authorized to give Order to the Commissioners for the Navy, to issue their Warrants to the Treasurer of the Navy for payment of such moneys for supply of the said occasions, as the said Commissioners for the Admiralty shall think fit, the said moneys to be reimbursed into the Treasury of the Navy out of the Tenths of Prizes as they shall arise.
And in like manner the said Commissioners for the Admiralty and Navy, are hereby Impowred from time to time to give Warrants to the Commissioners or Treasurer for Prize Goods, for the issuing and payment of such moneys as they shall judge necessary for maintenance and Charges of Prisoners that now are remaining in Custody, or which hereafter shall happen to be taken in Hostility against this Commonwealth during the time of such their Imprisonment, And the said Commissioners have power to make Exchange of Prisoners taken at Sea, as they, or any five of them shall think fit, whereof two to be Members of Parliament.
And in case of failer of Moneys in the Prize Office, the said Commissioners for the Admiralty are to give Warrant to the Commissioners of the Navy, to make out Bills for payment of such moneys out of the Treasury of the Navy, the same to be re-imbursed into the said Treasury of the Navy as moneys shall arise and be paid into the Prize Office.
And it is further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That for the better Encouragement and Security of Trade and Commerce, the said Commissioners shall from time to time, order and appoint such Ships, Frigots, and Vessels of, or belonging to the Navy as they shall think fit, for the conveying of the Ships and other Vessels of Trade of this Common wealth. And in case the Captains or other Officers of any such Ships, Frigots, or Vessels of or belonging to the Navy, shall neglect to obey such Orders as they shall from time to time receive in this behalf, or shall Delay the Execution thereof, or directly or indirectly take or receive any Reward or Gratuitie for the performance of their Duty therein, the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them, whereof two of them to be Members of this House, shall be and are hereby authorised upon proof thereof, to displace and remove every such Captain or other Officer, so offending as aforesaid.