Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas it hath been found by long experience, That the Government of the Church of England by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, and other their Officers depending on that Hierarchy, hath been a great impediment to the perfect Reformation and growth of religion, and very prejudicial to the Civil State and Government of the Commonwealth, and therefore hath been by authority of Parliament abolished and taken away, and all their Manors, Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments appointed to be sold for the payment of the just debts of the Commonwealth, and other necessary charges occasioned by the late Civil War, promoted mainly by, and in favor of the said Hierarchy; saving and excepting all Tythes appropriate, Oblations, Obventions, Portions of Tythes appropriate, of or belonging to the said Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, and Deans and Chapters, and others of the said Hierarchy, and to all and every of them; all which, together with Twenty thousand pounds yearly Rent belonging to the late King and Crown of England, hereafter mentioned, The Commons assembled in Parliament, have thought fit to be reserved and setled for a competent maintenance of Preaching Ministers, in such Cities, Towns and places, where it is wanting throughout England and Wales: Be it therefore Enacted, and it is Enacted and Ordained by this present Parliament, and by the authority thereof, That all Tythes appropriate, Oblations, Obventions, Pensions, Portions of Tythes appropriate, Offerings, Fee-farm Rents, issuing out of Tythes of the said Archbishops and Bishops, the said Deans, Deans and Chapters, and others of the said Hierarchy, with all and every their appurtenances, of what nature and quality soever they be, which at any time within ten years before the beginning of this present Parliament were belonging to them, or any of them, which they, or any of them had, held, and enjoyed in the right of his or their Archbishopricks, or Bishopricks, Deanaries, Dignities, Offices and Functions or places respectively, together with all Charters, Deeds, Books, Accompts, Rolls and other Writings and Evidences whatsoever, concerning the premises, or any of them belonging thereunto, shall from and after the sixth day of January, which shall be in the year 1649. be vested and setled, adjudged and deemed to be, and are hereby in the real and actual possession and seisin of Sir Henry Holcroft Knight, Sir John Thorowgood of Kensington Knight; William Steel, John Coke Esquires; Francis West Esq; Lieutenant of the Tower, Henry Danvers, John Brown, George Cooper, Esquires; Mr. Richard Read, Mr. Richard Yong, William Skinner, Nicholas Marten Esquires, and Mr. John Pocoke, their Heirs and Assignes: And they the said Sir Henry Holcroft, Sir John Thorowgood, William Steel, John Coke, Francis West Lieutenant of the Tower, Henry Danvers, John Brown, George Cooper, Mr. Richard Read, Mr. Richard Yong, William Skinner. Nicholas Marten, and John Pocoke, and the survivors, and survivor of them, and their Heirs and Assignes, shall have, hold, possess and enjoy, all the said premises to them, their Heirs and Assignes, without any Entry or other Act whatsoever, and for themselves, their Leasees, Farmers and Tenants, discharged and acquitted of all Titles, Troubles and Incumbrances, as freely, and in as large, ample and beneficial maner, to all intents and purposes, as any of the persons or Corporations whose offices or places by any Ordinance or Act of this present Parliament, are taken away and abolished, did hold or enjoy, or of right ought to have held or enjoyed, at any time by the space of ten years before the beginnign of this Parliament, or at any time since, Any Order or Ordinance, Act or Acts of Parliament to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
And whereas by Act of Parliament, made the Six and twentieth year of the Reign of the late King Henry the Eighth, concerning first fruits of all Ecclesiastical Dignities and Livings, payable to the Crown; and also concerning one yearly Rent of Pension. amounting to the value of the tenth part of all the Revenues, Rents, Tythes and other profits, as well Spiritual as Temporal, belonging to any Archbishoprick, Bishoprick, Abbacy, Monastery, Priory, Archdeaconry, Deaconry, Cathedral and Collegiate Church, Parsonage, Vicarage, Chantry, or other Benefice or Promotion Spiritual, in England and Wales, payable yearly to the King and his Successors; which said Act of Parliament is revived and continued by another Act of Parliament made primo Elizabethœ, for restitution of first-fruits and tenths to the Crown, with some alterations and additions; and also repealing other Acts of Parliament touching the said first-fruits and tenths; and by the said Statute, uniting and annexing the same to the Crown Imperial of the Kingdom of England for ever; which Office of Kingship is abolished by an Act of this present Parliament: Be it therefore Ordained, and it is hereby Ordained and Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all the said first-fruits and tenths, as well Spiritual as Temporal, payable or intended to be paid, by vertue of the said Acts of Parliament of vicesimo sexto Henrici 8i and primo Elizabethœ, or either of them, or by vertue of any other Act of Parliament made since that time, concerning first-fruits and tenths, payable unto any Kings or Queens of England, other then such first-fruits and tenths as are chargeable upon, or issuing out of any Lands or possessions heretofore belonging to any Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Deans and Chapters, or other persons depending on that Hierarchy, whose Offices and Titles by any Act or Ordinance of this present Parliament are abolished and taken away, shall be, and are hereby vested and setled, adjudged and deemed to be, and are hereby in the very real and actual possession and seisin of Sir Henry Holcroft, and the rest of the abovenamed Trustees, their Heirs and Assignes; and they the said Trustees, and the Survivors and Survivor of them, and their Heirs and Assignes, shall have, hold, possess and enjoy all the said first-fruits and tenths (except before excepted) with their appurtenances, to them, their Heirs and Assignes, as freely, and in as large, ample and beneficial maner, to all intents and purposes, as the late King at any time during his Reign held and enjoyed the same, Any Act or Acts of Parliament to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
Upon trust to pay Salaries, and Augmentations to Preaching Ministers, setled or confirmed by Parliament.; Eighteen thousand pounds per annum, to be disposed for that end.; 2000. pounds per annum, to be imployed for increase of the maintenance of the Master ships of Colledges.; No Lease to be granted for above six years in possession.
Nevertheless, in trust and confidence, and to the intent and purpose that they the said Sir Henry Holcroft, Sir John Thorowgood, William Steel, John Coke, Francis West Lieutenant of the Tower, Henry Danvers, John Brown, George Cooper, Mr. Richard Read, Mr. Richard Yong, William Skinner, Nicholas Marten, and Mr. John Pocoke, or any five or more of them, and the Survivors and Survivor of them, his and their Heirs and Assignes, shall in the first place satisfie or pay yearly, all such Salaries, Stipends, Allowances, and provisions, as have been limited or appointed for preaching the Gospel, Preaching Ministers, or Schoolmasters or others in England or Wales, setled or confirmed by Ordinance or Order of Parliament; and afterwards such provisions, setlements, yearly allowances and augmentations, as have been made or con nrmed by Authority derived from this Parliament, for Preaching Ministers or Schoolmasters, for so long time, and in such maner as in and by the authority of Parliament is limited ordered and appointed; or until the Parliament shall otherwise order, direct and appoint the same, any Act or Acts, or Ordinance of Parliament to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding: For which purposes the sum of Eighteen thousand pounds per annum, of the said Twenty thousand pounds, shall be disposed of and imployed in lieu of such Augmentation or Maintenance as hath been by authority of Parliament setled or given to, or for the Maintenance of them out of the Lands of the Deans and Chapters, until the sum of Eighteen thousand pounds per annum, be raised out of the Improvements of the Tythes and Impropriations belonging to the said Deans and Chapters, or by such other ways or means as shall be hereafter appointed and directed by authority of Parliament; and also that Two thousand pounds per annum of the said Twenty thousand pounds, shall be disposed, imployed and paid for increase of the maintenance of the Masterships of Colledges in both Universities of this Nation, where maintenance is not sufficient. And the said Trustees, or any five or more of them, the Survivors and Survivor of them, their Heirs and Assigns, shall dispose of all and singular the aforesaid Tythes, First-fruits and Tenths, and of every part and parcel thereof, with their appurtenances, and of the Revenues, Rents, Issues and profits thereof, to the uses, intents and purposes before expressed; and also for the maintenance of Preaching-Ministers throughout England and Wales, in such places where such maintenance is wanting, in such maner and form, and to such persons, and for such other good uses, to the advancement of true Religion, and the maintenance of Piety and Learning, as by this or any other Act or Acts of Parliament, now or hereafter to be made, shall be set down and declared, and not otherwise, nor to any other intent, use or purpose whatsoever, nor to grant any Lease or Estate of any the said Tythes, and other the premises, or any part thereof, for above Six years in possession and in being, reserving thereupon a yearly Rent to the full value thereof; and that all Leases, Gifts, Grants, Conveyances, Assurances and Estates whatsoever, hereafter to be made by the said Trustees, the Survivors and Survivor of them, or the greater part of them, his and their Heirs and Assigns, other then as aforesaid, shall be utterly void and of none effect, to all intents, constructions and purposes, Any thing in this Act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
And be it further Enacted, That the several and respective Receivers of the Revenue of this Commonwealth, for the respective Counties in England and Wales, shall be, and are hereby required and authorized to receive the said first-fruits and tenths, as well Temporal as Ecclesiastick, and the same from time to time to pay in to the Exchequer; and if any person or persons shall refuse or neglect to pay in his and their first-fruits and tenths, as usually they have done, That then the Barons of the Exchequer are hereby enabled and authorized to issue out the like Process, and to proceed in like maner against such persons, as in like cases they do against others.
And be it further Enacted and Declared, That the Committee of the Revenue, and such other person or persons who have, or shall have the issuing out of such moneys as shall be paid in to the Exchequer, are hereby required and enjoyned from time to time to issue out and pay the said First-fruits and Tenths, to such person or persons as the said Trustees, or any five or more of them shall authorize to receive the same, and not to any other use, person or persons whatsoever.
Provided always, and it is hereby Enacted, That if it shall so fall out, That all the said First-fruits and Tenths, Spiritual and Temporal, setled and vested by this present Act as aforesaid, shall not be sufficient to make up the full sum of Twenty thousand pounds per annum, to be issued out yearly for the uses and purposes before mentioned, That then some other part of the yearly Revenue, payable in to the Exchequer, shall be provided, set out and charged yearly to supply the defects and want thereof; Saving unto all and every person and persons, their Heirs, Executors and Administrators, Bodies Politique and Corporate, and their Successors, other then the persons and Corporations, and every one of them, whose Office or Offices, Dignity, place or places, by any Act or Ordinance of this Parliament are abolished nor take away his or their Heirs and Successors, all such Right, Title, Interest, Possession, Claim, Demand, Annuities, Fees, Offices, Rents and other profits, which they or any of them lawfully have, or of right ought to have, or might have had, of, in or to any the Tythes Impropriations, Rents and Premises, or of, in or to any part or parcel thereof, in such like maner, form and condition, to all intents and purposes, as if this Act had never been had nor made.
Provided always, That after the expiration of the several and respective Leases of any of the Impropriations, Tythes appropriated, Portions of Tythes appropriated, of or belonging to the late Archbishops or Bishops, Deans, Deans and Chapters, and other Officers depending upon the said Hierarchy, such quantities and proportions of the said Tythes, as shall and will, together with the present Tythes the Incumbent in such Church or Chappel receives (from which the said Tythes were or are appropriated) make the maintenance of the Incumbent in such Church or Chappel, One hundred pounds by the year; and also the Tythes appropriate of lesser value, though they be not sufficient to make the like maintenance for the Minister as aforesaid, shall be after the expiration of the respective Leases, and are by the authority of this present Parliament, united and annexed to the said respective Churches and Chappels, for the maintenance of a godly and Orthodox Minister in them respectively; and where the Impropriate Tythes of the said Archbishops and Bishops, hereby annexed to the respective Churches, shall not be sufficient to make up the maintenance of the Minister there, One hundred pounds by the year, such quantity and proportion of the surplusage, and overplus of the appropriate Tythes or Pensions of the late Bishops, or Rents that shall be reserved upon the same, shall be disposed and paid by the said Trustees, or any five of them, for the making up of the maintenance of the Minister in such Church or Chappel One hundred pounds per annum, Any thing in this present Act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
And to the intent and purpose that speedy care and course may be taken for providing of a competent maintenance for supply and encouragement of Preaching-Ministers in the several Parishes in England and Wales, Be it likewise Ordained and Enacted, That the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal of England for the time being, shall by vertue of this Act, have full power and authority, and are hereby authorized and required, to award and issue forth several Commissions under the said Great Seal, into all and every the Counties and Cities in England and Wales, to be directed unto such and so many persons, as by the Parliament now assembled shall be nominated, assigned and appointed; thereby Authorizing and Requiring them, or any five or more of them, and giving them full power and authority, by the Oathes of good and lawful men, as by all other good ways and lawful means, to enquire and finde out the true yearly value of all Parsonages and Vicarages presentative, and of all other Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Benefices and Livings, unto which any cure of Souls is annexed, lying and being within such Counties and Cities; and of all such particularly to enquire, and certifie unto the Court of Chancery, what each of them are worth truly and really by the year, and the Names of the present Incumbents, Proprietors and Possessors thereof, and of such person and persons as receive the profits, and to whose use, and who supplies the cure, and what he hath for his Salary, and how many Chappels are belonging to Parish Churches, and how scituate and fit to be united within the Limits of such Counties and Cities within which they are directed and authorized to enquire; and how the several Churches and Chappels are supplyed by Preaching-Ministers, that so course may be taken for providing both for Preaching, and for Maintenance where the same shall be found to be needful and necessary.
And it is hereby further Enacted, That the said Trustees, the Survivors and Survivor of them, or the greater part of them, his and their Heirs and Assigns, shall have power, and are hereby authorized to name and appoint such Collectors, Receivers, Treasurers, and other Officers as they shall think fit and convenient, for Collecting, Levying, and Receiving of all or any of the said moneys, as also for issuing out of the same for the purposes afore said, by Warrant under the Hands of the said Trustees their Heirs or Assigns, or any three or more of them, in such manner as they shall think fit and appoint; and to call to an accompt from time to time upon Oath, all such Collectors, Treasurers, and other persons, who shall receive any the Rents, Moneys, and Paofits beforementioned, and to give such fitting and reasonable allowance for the same, by yearly stipend respectively, or otherwise as the said Trustees, or the greater part of them shall think fit, and so order and appoint in writing under their Hands.
Provided also, That this Act, or any thing therein contained, do not at all extend to adnul or make void an Act of this present Parliament (Entituled, An Act for the setling of the Rectory or Parsonage House of Burford in the County of Oxon, and some of the Gleab-Land on William Lenthal Esq; now Speaker, and his Heirs) or any thing therein contained, but that the same shall, and may remain to the said William Lenthal, his Heirs and Assigns for ever accordingly, Any thing in this present Act contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.