Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[30 May, 1643.]
Ord. 21 Jan., 1642/3.; Power to Commissioners for Customs and others.; Goods that have not paid custom to be seized.; Such Seizures to be certified to Commissioners.; Fraudulent Compositions forbidden.; Messengers. Their Powers.;Security. How to be taken.; Commissioners of Customs, and all aiding them, to be protected and saved harmless.; This Ord. to be printed and sent to Sea-Ports.
Whereas there are many and great abuses daily committed, by the importing into, and exporting out of this Kingdome, divers prohibited goods and Merchandize, contrary to the Laws: And also for that there are divers practices of late used by Merchants and others, to deceive his Majesty and the Parliament, of such customes and duties as are due and payable for such goods as are imported and exported as aforesaid; For prevention whereof for the future, It is Ordained by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That Thomas Andrewes, John Fowke, Richard Chambers, and William Barkeley, Aldermen of the City of London, Maurice Thompson, Francis Allyn, James Russell, and Stephen Estwick Merchants, who are by an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, of the one and twentieth of January last, appointed and constituted Commissioners and Collectors, to receive all such sums of money which should at any time hereafter be payd for customes, or advanced by way of Loane, or otherwise, for and in respect of goods and Merchandize exported out of, and imported into the Port of London, and all other Ports within the Kingdom of England, Dominion of Wales, & Town of Barwick; As also all Deputy-Collectors, Surveiors Searchers, Waitors, and all other Officers which are, or shall be deputed & appointed by the said Commissioners under their hands & Seales, as their Deputies, Factors, or Servants, for the managing of the Affaires of the customes, & receipt of the said monies, payd & advanced as aforesaid, in the severall Ports aforesaid, and their members; shall have full power and authority to go on Board, and enter into any Ship, Hoye, Barque, Bottome, Boate, or other Vessell whatsoever, as well by night as by day, Riding, lying, or being within any the severall Ports, Havens, Creeks, or other places; As also in the day time, to goe and enter into all, or any Cellars, Vaults, Ships, Warehouses, or other places within the said Kingdome of England, Dominion of Wales, and Town of Barwick, to see, Surveigh, and make search for any such prohibited goods or Merchandizes as aforesaid: And likewise any other goods or Merchandize, either put on Board any Ship or Vessell, or taken out and carried away, or intended to be carried away, (the customes and other duties for the same, having not been fully satisfied and paid) and the said goods to seize, attache, carry away, and put into safe custody: And it is further Ordained by the Lords and Commons aforesaid, that upon all such seizures made by any of the Collectors, Surveiors, Searchers, Waitors, or other Officers, Deputies, Factors, or Servants of the Commissioners aforesaid, or by the Kings Officers, or any other person or persons, certificate shall bee by them respectively forthwith thereof made unto the said Commissioners: And that no fraudulent composition shall be made by the said Officers to the prejudice of the Kingdome, and the loss of the customes, and other duties, due and payable upon the said goods and Merchandizes as aforesaid: And it is further Ordained by the Lords and Commons aforesaid, that the said Commissioners of the customes, shall have power from time to time to chuse and depute a Messenger to attend their Service, and him againe at their pleasure to displace, and others to Substitute, which Messengers by them so chosen, shall have power to summon or Attache all or any such such person or persons as shall be refractory, or disobedient to the Lawes, or Ordinances made for the payment of customes, for advance of monies, or that shall affront or abuse the said Commissioners, their deputies, factors or servants, in the execution of their severall duties or services, and the persons so offending to bring before the honorable House of Commons or Committee of the Navy, to answer such their misdemeanors and miscarriages: And it is further Ordained, that such security as the Committee of the Navy, or the Commissioners of the Customes shall thinke fit to require of any person, or persons, for the better managing of the businesses aforesaid, shall be taken in the name of the Serjeant at Armes for the time being attending the House of Commons, to the use of the Common-Wealth, and for the better enabling them the aforesaid Commissioners, as also of their Deputies, Factors, and Servants by them as aforesaid, authorised and appointed to transact and performe what is required of them in the premises: It is further Ordained by the Lords and Commons aforesaid: And it is hereby required, that all Customers, Comptrollers, searchers and all other his Majesties Officers of, or belonging to the Customes in all the ports and places aforesaid, as also all and every the Officers of, or belonging to the Admiraltie, all Vice-Admiralls, Captaines of Ships, and Forts, and all Justices of Peace, Maiors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables and all other His Majesties Officers, Ministers, and Subjects whatsoever, shall from time to time be aiding and assisting to the said Commissioners, and to all and every their Deputies, Factors, and Servants, by them as aforesaid, deputed, and appointed, in the execution of the said service, and that all and every the said Commissioners, their Deputies, Factors, and Servants, and all those who shall be aiding and assisting unto them shal be defended and saved harmlesse by the Authority of both Houses of Parliament, and that this Ordinance shall be forthwith Printed and Published and sent to the severall Ports of this Kingdome.