Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
[16 March, 1659/60.]
Parliament begun on 3 Nov., 1640, to be dissolved from 16 March, 1659.
Be it Enacted and Declared by this Present Parliament and the Authority thereof, That, the Parliament begun and held at Westminster, the third Day of November, in the Year of our Lord God, One thousand six hundred and forty, from and after the sixteenth day of March, in the Year of our Lord God, One thousand six hundred fifty nine, Be Dissolved, and is hereby Dissolved to all Intents and Purposes.
Parliament to be summoned and holden on 25 April, 1660.; Form of summons.; Lord Chancellor, etc., to issue writs under Great Seal.; Writs for electing; Barons of Cinque Ports, etc., to be directed to Council of State.; Proviso.; Sheriffs, etc. to make returns under pain of forfeiting £1,000.; Penalties for hindrance or elections.; For bribery and corruption by or on behalf of candidates for election.; For acceptance of bribe by electors.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That a Parliament be summoned to be Holden, and be Holden accordingly at Westminster, upon the five and twentieth day of April in the year of our Lord God, One thousand six hundred and sixty; And that the Form of the Writ for the Summoning of the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of England and Wales, and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed, and the Barons of the Cinque Ports, to the said Parliament, be as followeth, Mutatis Mutandis, The Keepers of the Liberties of England by Authority of Parliament, To the Sherif of the County of L—, Greeting, Whereas it is Enacted that a Parliament shall be held at Westminster, the five and twentieth day of April next ensuing, Therefore we Command and firmly enjoyn you, That Proclamation being made of the day and place aforesaid, in your next County to be holden after the receipt of this Our Writ, you cause to be freely and indifferently chosen by them, who shall be present at such Election, Knights with their Swords girt, of the most fit and discreet persons for the County aforesaid, and of every City of the said County Citizens; and of every Borough, Burgesses of the most Discreet and Sufficient, according to the Form of the Statutes thereupon made and provided: And the names of the said Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses so to be chosen, whether they be present or absent, you do cause to be inserted in certain Indentures thereupon to be made between you and them that shall be present at such Election; And that you cause them to come at the day and place aforesaid: so that the said Knights for themselves and the Commonalty of the said County, and the said Citizens and Burgesses for themselves and the Commonalties of the Cities and Boroughs aforesaid, severally may have full and sufficient power to do and consent unto those things which then and there shall happen to be Ordained for the Good and Safety of the Church and Commonwealth: So that for defect of such like power, or by reason of Improvident Choice of the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses aforesaid, the said Affairs may not remain undone in any wise: And we will, That neither you nor any other Sheriff of this Commonwealth be in any wise chosen; And that the said choice, in your full County aforesaid, so made, you certifie to us in our Chancery at the Day and Place aforesaid, distinctly and openly without delay, under the Seal of the County aforesaid, and the Seals of them who shall be present at such Election, sending back to us the other part of the said Indenture to these presents annexed, together with this writ witness, &c. And that the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal of England for the time being, are hereby authorized and required to cause Writs under the Great Seal of England, to be issued forth accordingly, and this shall be to them and every of them a sufficient Warrant in that behalf. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Writs for the Electing of Barons of the Cinque Ports, with the Antient Towns and Members thereof, to sit and serve in the said Parliament, shall be directed to the Council of State appointed by Authority of Parliament: who shall cause the same to be Executed in such manner and form as the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, or Constable of the Castle of Dover heretofore used to do. Provided, That nothing herein contained shall at any time after the Execution of the said Writs, be in anywise prejudiciall to any person and persons claiming any Right or Title to the Offices aforesaid, or either of them. And be it further Enacted, That the Knights, Citizens, Barons, and Burgesses so chosen shall appear and serve in Parliament at the time and place aforesaid. And the Sheriffs and other Officers and Persons towhom it appertaineth shall make returns, and accept and receive returns of such Elections according to the Exigency of the Writ, under pain of Incurring the penalty and forfeiture of One Thousand Pounds, mentioned in an Act made in the sixteenth year of the late King Charls, Entituled, An Act for preventing of Inconveniences happening by the long Intermission of Parliaments, to be recovered in such manner, as in the said Act is expressed more at large. And in case any person or persons shall be so hardy as to Abuse, Frame, Contrive, Serve, or put in Execution any Writs, Proclamation, Edict, Act, Restraint, Inhibition, Order or Warrant whatsoever, to hinder or interrupt the said Elections, or by armed Force, Tumults, or otherwise endeavour to disturbe or hinder the same, or the convening or sitting of the said Parliament, or any Member or Members thereof, that then, he or they so offending in anywise as aforesaid, shall incurr and suffer the pains and penalties, and forfeitures contained in the Statute of Provision, and Premunire made in the Sixteenth year of King Richard the Second, and shall from henceforth be disabled, during his life to sit and serve in any Parliament. And, Be it further Enacted, That if any person or persons shall Directly or Indirectly by himself or others, promise or give any sum or sums of Money, Lands, Gifts, Gratuity or Reward to any City, Borough, Corporation, or Person or Persons whatsoever, having a Voyce or Voyces in any Election, to procure himself or any other to be Elected a Member of the next Parliament, either before, at, or after such Election, That then such person or persons Justly convicted thereof, shall be not onely made uncapable to sit or Vote in the said Parliament as a Member, but likewise forfeit the sum of one thousand pounds; and the said Elector or Electors accepting any such sums of money, Land, Gift, Gratuity or Reward to his own, or the said Cities, Boroughs, or Corporations, or other person or persons use, the sum of Five hundred pounds a piece, the one Moyety thereof for the use of the Commonwealth, The other Moyety to the use of such person or persons who shall sue for the same, by Writ, Bill, Plaint or Information, in any Court of Record at Westminster, wherein no wager of Law, Protection or Priviledge, shall be allowed.
No Sheriff to adjourn County Court without consent of major part of electors on pain of forfeiting £500.; What persons are disabled from sitting in Parliament; Penalties for sitting if not qualified.
And be it further Enacted, That no Sheriff shall adjourn the County Court from the place of their first meeting, without consent of the major part of the Freeholders there present, under the penalty of five hundred pounds, the one moyety to the Commonwealth, the other moyety to the party that shall sue for the same, by Bill, Plaint, Information or otherwise as aforesaid. And be it further Enacted, That all such person and persons who have advised, aided, or any wayes assisted or abetted the Rebellion of Ireland, And all those who do professe the Popish Religion, are disabled, and shall be incapable to be Elected Members to sit in Parliament, Any that all and every person and persons who have advised or voluntarily aided, abetted, or assisted in any Warr against the Parliament, since the First Day of January One thousand six hundred fourty one, and his or their Sons, unlesse he or they have since manifested their good affection to this Parliament, shall be incapable to be Elected to serve as Members in the next Parliament: And that he which shall enter into the Parliament, who is not qualified as aforesaid, shall be deemed no Knight, Citizen, Burgesse, nor Baron for the Parliament, nor shall have any Voice, but shall be to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes, as if he had never been returned nor Elected Knight, Citizen, Burgesse, or Baron for the Parliament, and shall suffer such pains and penalties, as if he had presumed to sit in the same without Election, Return or Authority.
Proviso concerning ancient native right of House of Peers.
Provided alwayes, and be it Declared, That the single Actings of this House, enforced by the pressing necessities of the present times, are not intended in the least to infringe, much lesse take away that Ancient Native Right, which the House of Peers (consisting of those Lords who did ingage in the Cause of the Parliament, against the Forces raised in the name of the late King, and so continued untill One Thousand six hundred fourty eight) had and have to be a part of the Parliament of England.