Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[13 February, 1648/9.]
An Act constituting a Councell of State.
Be it ordeyned and enacted by this present Parliament That Basill Earle of Denbigh, Edmond Earle of Mulgrave, Phillip Earle of Pembroke, William Lord Grey of Warke, Henery Rolle Lord Cheife Justice of the Upper Bench, Oliver St. John Lord Cheife Justice of the Comon Bench, John Wylde Lord Cheife Baron of the Court of Exchequer, John Bradshaw Sgt. at Law, Thomas Lord Faireffax, Thomas Lord Grey of Groby, Oliver Cromwell Esqe., Phillip Skyppon Esqe., Henry Martin Esqe., Isaack Pennington Alderman of the Citty of London, Sr. Gilbert Pickering Kgt. Rowland Wilson Alderman of London, Anthony Stapeley Esqe., Sr. William Masham, William Hevennigham Esqe., Bulstrode Whittlocke Esqe., Sr. Arthur Hesselrigge Knt. Sr. James Harrington Knt. Robert Wallop Esqe., John Hutchinson Esqe., Sr. Henery Vane junr. Knt., Dennis Bond Esqe., Phillip Lord Lisle, Alexander Popham Esqe., Sr. John Danvers Knt., Sr. William Armyn Knt., Valentine Wanton Esqe., Sr. Henery Mildmay Knt., William Purefoy Esqe., Sr. William Constable Knt., John Jones Esqe., John Lisle Esqe., . . . . . . Ludlow Esqe., Thomas Scott Esqe., William Earle of Salisbury, Cornelius Holland, Luke Robinson or any nine of them shall be a Councell of State And have hereby power, and are authorised to putt in execution these Following instructions.
1. You are hereby authorised and required to oppose and Suppresse whomesoever shall endeavour or Goe about to sett up or maintaine the pretended Tytle of Charles Stuart eldest sonne to the late King, or any other of the said late Kings issue or claiming under him or them, or the pretended tytle or claime of any other single person whomesoever to the Crowne of England, or Ireland, Dominion of Wales, or to any of the dominions or territoryes to them or eyther of them belonging.
2. You are hereby authorised and impoured to order and direct, all the Militias and forces both by Sea and Land of England, and Ireland, and the Dominions to them or eyther of them belonging, preserving the peace or safety thereof, and for preventing, resisting and suppressing all tumults and insurrections that shall happen to rise in them or eyther of them, or any invasions of them from abroad. And alsoe upon any emergencyes to raise and arme such Forces as you shall judge necessary for the ends above expressed, And to give Commissions under the Seale of the Counsell to such officers as you shall judge necessary for the Leading conducting and Comanding of the said Forces, and for prosecution and pursuance of these instructions, or of any other instructions, you shall receive from the Parliament.
3. You are hereby authorised and required to use all Good wayes and meanes for the reduceing of Ireland, the Isles of Jersey, Guernesey, Silly and the Isle of Man and all other parts and places belonging to the Comon-Wealth of England not yett reduced.
4. You shall take care that the stores and Magazines of all military provisions both for the land service and for the Sea be from tyme to tyme well and sufficiently furnished, and that the same be issued as you shall by warrant direct. And you are alsoe from tyme to tyme to take care of the repair of the Shipping belonging to the Comon wealth of England and to build such others as you shall judge necessary for the defence and safety thereof.
5. You are to use all Good wayes and meanes for the securing advancement and the encouragement of the trade of England and Ireland, and the dominions to them belonging, and to promote the Good of all Forreigne plantations and factoryes belonging to this Comon wealth or any of the natives thereof.
6. You shall advise order and direct concerning the entertaining kepeing renewing or settling of Amity, and a good Correspondencie with Forreigne Kingdomes and States and for preserving the rights of the people of this Nation in Forreigne parts, and Composeing of their differences there, And you are hereby authorized to send Ambassadours agents or Messengers to any Forreigne Kingdome or State and to receive Ambassadors agents or messengers from them for the ends aforesaid.
7. You are to advise and Consult of any thing concerning the good of this Comonwealth and report your opinions concerning the same as you find occasion to the Parliamt.
8. You are hereby authorised to send for any person or persons whatsoever to advise with them in pursuance of these or any other instructions that shall be given you by the
9. You have hereby power and are authorized to send for any records writings accompts bookes, or papers that you shall thinke fitt for your information in any Cause, matter or thing in agitation before you in pursuance of these or any other instructions that shall be given you by the Parliament.
10. You have hereby power and are authorised in Case of danger to the Comon wealth to administer an oath to any person or persons for the discoverie of the truth.
11. You are hereby authorized and impoured to send for and imprison, or otherwise to secure by takeing bond in recognizance any such person or persons as shall be offenders against these or any other instructions which you shall receive from the Parliament And all such as shall Contemne or be refractory to any of your Comands directions or orders in pursuance of the said instructions.
12. You have hereby power and are authorized to charge the publiqe Revenue by warrant under the seale of the Councell with such sume or sumes of money from tyme to tyme as you shall find necessary for defrayinge all charges of foreigne negociations, Intelligence, and other incidencies, and for the Salary of such subordinate officers and attendants as you shall judge fit to employ, and for the effectuall carrying on of the service by these instructions comitted to you or by any other instructions hereafter to be Given you from the Parliament.
13. You are alsoe to observe and putt in execution such further orders as you shall receive from tyme to tyme from the Parliament.
14. The power hereby Comitted to this Counsell of State shall continue for the space of one whole yeare from the day of passing hereof, unlesse it be otherwise ordered by the Parliament.
15. You have alsoe hereby power to appoynt Comittees or any person or persons for examinations, receiveing of informations, and preparing of Businesse for your debates, or resolutions.
16. You are to meet at Derby House at fower of the Clocke this afternoone, and from tyme to tyme and from place to place as you shall see cause, and in such manner as you shall thincke fitt for the execution of your instructions.