Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[19 March, 1648/9.]
The Commons assembled in Parliament, taking into their serious consideration the present condition and state of things. in relation to the Interest of England, and particularly to the City of Westminster, and Liberties thereof, with the Parishes and places adjacent of the County of Middlesex, within the weekly Bills of Mortality, and late Lines of Communication, excepting the Hamblets of the Tower; Do Enact and Ordain, and be it Enacted and Ordained by the Authority of the same, That William Lord Monson, Major General Skippon, Sir Gregory Norton, Knight and Baronet, Sir Henry Mildmay Knight, Sir Henry Vane senior Knight, Sir James Harrington, sir John Hippesly, Kts. Hum: Edwards, John Trenchard, Cornelius Holland, Edm: Ludlowe, Michael Oldsworth, Nicholas Love, Lawrence Whittaker, and John Moor, Esqs: Edward Berkhead Esq; Thomas Fawkenbridge Esq; George Manley, Josias Berners, Richard Graves, Nicholas Martin, John Heylin and Edward Dendy junior, Esqs; William Parker Doctor in Physick, James Prince, Silvanus Taylor, Edward Carter, Richard Big, Walter Frost, Nicholas Bond, Arthur Squibb, John Humphries, John Cook, Hunt, John Goyner, Edward Martin, George Crompton, John Robinson, Noah Banks, Peter Lindsey, Richard Bates, Samuel Smith, John Clendan, Francis Blake, Ralph Gray, Edward Neal, William Dashwood, William Dippar, William Stone, Peter Guilliams, James Ravenscroft, Thomas Bradshaw, Josias Fendall, Thomas Evans, Edward Bowes, William Haberfield, Gent, or any seven or more of them, be, and are hereby constituted and appointed a Committee for the Militia of the said City of Westminster, and Liberties thereof, and of all the Parishes and places aforesaid: And that they, or any seven or more of them, shall have Power, and are hereby Authorized, to assemble and call together all and singular person or persons within the said City of Westminster, and Liberties thereof, and the Parishes and places aforesaid, that are meet and fit for the Wars; and them to Train, Exercise, and put in readiness, and them after their abilities and faculties, well and sufficiently from time to time to cause to be arrayed and weaponed, and to take the Musters of them in places most fit for that purpose: And that they shall have power, to lead, conduct, and imploy, or cause to be led, conducted and imployed, the persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, for the suppression of all Rebellions, Insurrections and Invasions that may happen within the said City, and Liberties thereof, Parishes, Places, and Limits aforesaid: And likewise shall have further power and authority to lead, conduct and imploy, or cause to be lead, conducted and imployed, the persons aforesaid Arrayed and Weaponed, as well within the said City and Liberties thereof, Parishes, places and Limits aforesaid, as within and into any other part of the Commonwealth of England, or Dominion of Wales, for suppressing of all Rebellions, Insurrections, and Invasions that may happen, according as they shall from time to time receive directions from the Parliament of England, or Councel of State by them authorized and appointed: And that the said Committee of Militia, or any seven or more of them, shall have Power, and are hereby Authorized to constitute and make Colonels, Captains, and other Officers; and to continue or remove such Colonels, Captains, and other Officers from time to time, as they or any seven or more of them as aforesaid shall see cause and think fit; and that the said Committee, or any seven or more of them as aforesaid, shall have the same Power and Authority within the Limits aforesaid, as the late Committee there had, by two former Ordinances of Parliament, bearing date the Ninth day of September, and the Two and twentieth of January, One thousand six hundred forty seven, to all intents and purposes whatsoever; And for the speedy raising of Moneys necessary for the carrying on of that service; Be it further Enacted and Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, shall have power, and are hereby authorized to cause a Rate and Assessment, not exceeding the sum of One thousand pounds to be made upon all persons, as well as Inhabitants and others, having any real or personal Estate, within the said Parishes, places, and Limits aforesaid: And that the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, shall have the same power, and give such Allowances for the Collecting and Receiving thereof, as is given to the respective Commissioners named in the Ordinance of the Fifteenth of March, One thousand six hundred forty seven, for raising of moneys to be imployed towards the maintenance of the Forces under the Command of Sir Thomas Fairfax Knight: And that the said Committee or any seven or more of them, shall have likewise power to call before them, as well all Receivers, Treasurers, Collectors, and their, and every of their Executors and Administrators of all Moneys which shall be Collected and Levied by vertue of this Ordinance, as also all other Receivers, Treasurers, Collectors, and their, and every of their Executors and Administrators of all Moneys formerly Assessed, Leveyed or Received for the Service of the Militia, within the Limits aforesaid, by vertue of any Ordinance or Ordinances of Parliament; which Receivers, Treasurers and Collectors, and their, and every of their Executors and Administrators, are hereby required to render just and due account thereof to the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, and to pay such Moneys as are or shall be found remaining in their hands, upon their Respective Accompts and Collections, unto such person or persons as the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, from time to time by vertue of this Ordinance, or the said Ordinance of the Two and Twentieth of January last, shall nominate and appoint to be Treasurer or Treasurers, Receiver or Receivers thereof; And that the Acquittance of such Treasurer or Treasurers, Receiver or Receivers, under his or their Hands, of the Receipt of all or any part of such Moneys, shall be a sufficient warrant and discharge to such Collectors, Treasurers and Receivers, and their Executors and Administrators as shall pay the same; And in case such Treasurer and Treasurers, Receiver and Receivers, Collector and Collectors, or any of them, their or any of their Executors or Administrators shall refuse or neglect to render an Accompt as aforesaid, and to pay in the Moneys remaining in their or any of their hands, being in Arrears by vertue of any former Ordinance, or by this present Act; that in such case it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, to levy the same by distress and sale of the Goods of such person and persons so refusing or neglecting as aforesaid, restoring the overplus to the Owners: And the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, shall have likewise power, and are hereby authorized from time to time to nominate and appoint Treasures, and by order under their hands, or the hands of any seven or more of them, to dispose of all Moneys raised or to be raised by the means aforesaid, for the payment of such Debts, and giving such Allowances and Salaries, as by the former Committees of the Militia appointed by Ordinance of Parliament within the Limits aforesaid, or by this Committee have been or shall be contracted for the Service of the said Militia, and not otherwise: And be it further Enacted and Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that if the persons to be Arrayed and Weaponed as aforesaid, or any of them, shall by the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, be deemed and adjudged for or by reason of his, her or their Age, Quality, Sex, or any known or open disaffection to the Publique, unfit to have or bear their own Arms, That in such case the said Committee, or any seven or more of them shall have power, and are hereby authorised to order and appoint some other honest, fit, and wellaffected persons to bear the Arms of the persons so excepted; and shall and may order every such excepted person to finde Arms, and to pay to every such person as shall bear the same for them, for every days drawing forth the sum of Sixteen pence: And if any such person excepted as aforesaid, shall refuse or neglect to finde such Arms wherewith they or either of them from time to time shall be charged, or to pay the sum of sixteen pence for every days drawing forth as aforesaid, That then the said Committee, or any seven or more of them upon complaint thereof made unto them, shall send for such person before them, and shall upon his, her, or their refusal to pay the same, commit such person to prison, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, until such person shall conform and pay the same: And be it further Enacted and Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That all such persons within the particular Limits aforesaid, as shall be thought fit to bear Arms, and shall be listed upon the Trainedband Companies, and shall not from time to time appear compleatly armed, and serve at the beat of Drum, or other Summons, That in such case the Colonels, Captains, and Lieutenants of the said Trained-bands within the Limits aforesaid, may inflict the punishment of two days Imprisonment, without Bail or Mainprize, or the mulct of Five shillings for the supply of the Service. And be it further Enacted and Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That all High and petty Constables, and all other Officers and Ministers within the Limits aforesaid, are hereby required to be ayding and assisting to the said Committee, Colonels, Captains, Lieutenants, and their Marshals of the said TrainedBand Companies in execution of the premises, as they will answer the contrary at their perils: And all and every person and persons who shall act or do any act or thing whatsoever, by vertue of this or any former Order or Ordinance of Parliament concerning the said Militia, shall be saved harmless and indempnified concerning the same, by Authority of Parliament, and shall also have the benefit and advantage of the Ordinances of Parliament, formerly made for saving harmless, and indempnified all persons that have acted by Authority, and for the Service of the Parliament; Provided always, That this Act shall continue in force for one whole year, from the Fourteenth of March, One thousand six hundred forty eight, and no longer.