June 1649: An Act for the Relief of all such persons as have been, are or shall be sued, molested, or any ways damnified contrary to Articles or Conditions Granted in time of War.

Pages 148-151

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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June, 1649

[18 June, 1649.]

Commissioners for execution of this Act.; Power to hear complaints of persons molested contrary to Articles of War.; To determine their claims, And give redress.; Costs for defendants when complaint causeless.

Whereas divers Complaints have bin made touching the breach of Articles or Conditions, granted or agreed upon in time of War The Parliament of England now assembled, taking into consideration the Faith of their Armies and Forces by Land ingaged for performance of the same, and how much it concerneth them in Justice and Honor, that the same be made good, and no violation thereof permitted, Do Enact and Ordain, and be it Enacted and Ordained by this present Parliament, and by authority thereof, That the persons hereafter mentioned (that is to say) The Lords Commissioners for the Great-Seal of England for the time being, and every of them, The chief Justices and the rest of the Justices of the Upper Bench and Common Pleas respectively, for the time being and every of them, The Chief Baron, and the rest of the Barons of the Exchequer for the time being and every of them, John Bradshaw Sergeant-at-Law, Lord President of the Councel of State, William Earl of Salisbury, Basil Earl of Denbigh, Edmund Earl of Mulgrave, Francis West Esq; Lieutenant of the Tower of London, Silvanus Tailor, Edward Coke, Edward Whalley Esq; Sir David Watkins, Knight; Christopher Pack, Alderman, and Samuel Moyer, Merchant and Citizen of London; Matthew Shepherd, Robert Tichborn, Owen Rowe, John Sadler, Esqs; Sir Nathaniel Brent, John Brown Esqr; — Walker, Doctor of the Laws; Thomas Hamond Esq. Lieutenant General of the Ordnance, Sir John Wollaston Knight, and John Fowk, Aldermen of London, Sir Henry Holcroft Knight; John Hays Esq. William Underwood, Nathaniel Whetham Esqs; Sir William Rowe Knight, Thomas Blount Esq; and Sampson Sheffield Esq. shall be, and are hereby constituted and appointed Commissioners for the ends and purposes in this Act expressed, and that they or any nine or more of them, meeting at such times and places as hereafter in this Act is directed, shall be, and are hereby authorized to hear and determine the Complaints of all and every such person or persons as do, or shall pretend to have been, or to be sued, impleaded, molested, or any ways indamaged, contrary to any Article, Conditions or Engagements heretofore granted or made, to or with any such person or persons in time of War, and in relation thereunto, by any General or Commander in-Chief for the time then being in the service of the Parliament by Land, by authority of the Parliament which have been approved by both Houses of Parliament, or the House of Commons assembled in Parliament; and to determine whether the persons so complaining respectively were truly comprized in such Articles, Conditions or Engagements, as it shall appear by certificate under the hand and Seal of the General or Commander in-Chief, by whom such Articles were granted respectively, and by other sufficient Evidence; and also to judge and determine whether the parties so complaining, and being comprized within such Articles or Conditions, have by his or their own default, before the matter or occasion of complaint, forfeited or lost the benefit of the said Articles or Conditions; and where there shall appear any right due to the party complaining, by vertue of any such Articles, Conditions, or Engagements as aforesaid and yet denyed and not only duly performed, or any violation thereof against him or them made, in every such case to award and give to the party complaining, relief and redress so far as in Justice they ought to have by the said Articles, either by staying any proceedings in Law or Equity, discharging Judgments, Executions, Outlawries and Decrees, or by restitution in specie, or in value of what hath been taken recovered, or withheld from them contrary to the said Articles, but without charging any costs or further damages against the Commonwealth, or against any person or persons against whom the complaint is made; and also to award and give to the parties defendants in any such complaints (where and as often as the same shall appear causeless) such costs as in their judgment shall seem meet and reasonable.

Persons in arms against Parl. since granting of Articles to lose their benefit.

Provided always, That if any person so complaining as aforesaid, since the Articles to him granted, shall have taken up Arms, or otherwise been engaged in any new Hostility against the Parliament, and thereof shall be convicted before the said Commissioners, or any nine or more of them, authorised and limited as aforesaid, by the Oaths of two or more competent witnesses; every such person so convicted, shall lose and forfeit the benefit of all such Articles (anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding).

Decisions of Commissioners binding in Courts of Law.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That upon all such complaints, and in all such cases as aforesaid, the Certificates, Orders and Awards of the said Commissioners, or of any nine or more of them authorized and limited as aforesaid, that shall be present at any determination made in any such case as aforesaid respectively, being produced and delivered to any Court of Justice, Committee, Commissioners, Magistrate, Officer, or other person or persons whatsoever, before or with whom any matter, question or thing which such complaint concerns, doth or shall anyways rest or depend respectively, shall in every such matter, question and thing, be binding and conclusive unto, and be obeyed and observed by all and every such Courts, Committees, Commissioners, Magistrates, Officers, person and persons, as aforesaid, who are by vertue of this Act enjoyned and required to take notice of and observe the same respectively, any Law, Order, or Ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding.

Commissioner may appoint Registrar, and; Administer oaths.; Registrar's fees.

And be it further Enacted, That the said Commissioners, or any five or more of them authorized and limited as aforesaid, shall have power to nominate and appoint a Register, to enter and keep a Registry of all complaints that shall be brought before them, and of all their Proceedings, Orders and Determinations thereupon, and also shall have power to administer an Oath or Oaths to any person or persons that shall or may be produced as witnesses upon any such complaint, and in any such case as aforesaid, for the giving of true evidence therein; as also by their Order to authorize and impower such persons as they shall think fit, to take examinations of Witnesses upon Oath in any cause or causes depending before them, by vertue of this Act (where they shall finde the same necessary) and such examinations to return unto them the said Commissioners, to be used as evidence in the said causes respectively; and the said Register shall have such reasonable Fees for his service as the said Commissioners, or any nine or more of them (authorized and limited as aforesaid) shall appoint or allow.

Commissioners may examine witnesses on oath.; Commissioners' first meeting to be on June 20, 1649.

And be it also Enacted, That the said Commissioners or any nine or more of them, shall have power, and are hereby authorized, to examine Witnesses upon Oath for discovering where any person or persons hath had benefit of Articles to the prejudice of the Commonwealth, where they were not comprized in the said Articles, or have had more benefit by the said Articles then they ought to have had; and in all and every such case so appearing, to take Order for satisfaction to be given unto the State or Party agrieved: And for the more certain meeting and proceeding of the said Commissioners in the execution of this Act, The said Commissioners appointed by this Act are hereby authorized and required to meet on Wednesday the twentieth day of June, 1649. in the afternoon, in the Painted-Chamber, then and there to begin the execution of this Act, and thence to adjourn their meeting from time to time, as the major part of them that shall meet accordingly from time to time shall think fit and appoint and any three or more of the said Commissioners from time to time meeting accordingly, shall be a sufficient number to Order a further adjournment.

Act to continue till June 20 1650, only.; Kings Lynn excepted from this

Provided always, and it is hereby Declared, That this Act shall continue and be in force onely until the 20th day of June in year of Our Lord, 1650. and no longer. Provided always, That this Act, nor anything herein contained shall be construed to controul an Order or Ordinance of the Lords and Commons, bearing date the ninth of December, 1643. or any other Order or Ordinance of Parliament, concerning the Town of Kings Lynn, and the Articles agreed unto by the Earl of Manchester, upon the yielding up of the said Town; but that the said Order or Ordinance, and all proceedings thereupon had, shall be as good and effectual in Law, as if this Act had never been made, Anything herein contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.