Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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The Lords and Commons now Assembled in Parliament, taking into their serious consideration the great Danger that this Kingdome lyeth under, through the implacable malice and treacherie of Papists, and other Malignant persons, who have, and daily doe wickedly practise, and endeavour the utter ruine and extirpation of the Protestant Religion, the Priviledge of Parliament, and the Liberty of the Subject: Insomuch, that there is no probable way left them for the preservation of this Nation how to prevent the said malitious practises, but by raising of Moneys for the purposes first above-mentioned, untill it shall please Almighty God in his mercy to move the Kings Majesties heart to confide in, and concurre with both his Houses of Parliament, for the establishing of a blessed and happy Peace, which by both Houses is much desired and prayed for. And forasmuch as many great levies have beene already made for the purposes first above-mentioned, which the well-affected partie to the Protestant Religion, have hitherto willingly payd, to their great charge; and the Malignants of this Kingdome have hitherto practised by all cunning wayes and means how to evade and elude the payment of any part thereof. By reason whereof the Lords and Commons doe hold it fit, that some constant and equall way for the Levying of Moneys for the future maintenance of the Parliament Forces, and other great affaires of the Common-wealth may be had and established, whereby the said Malignants and Neutrals may be brought to and compelled to pay their proportionable parts of the aforesaid Charge, and that the Levies hereafter to be made for the purposes aforesaid, may be borne with as much indifferencie to the Subject in generall as may be.
1. Be it therefore Ordered, Ordained and Declared by the said Lords and Commons: That the severall Rates and Charges in a Schedule hereunto annexed and contained, shall be set and layd, and are hereby layd, charged and imposed upon all and every the Comodities in the said Schedule particularly expressed, as the same are particularly therin taxed and Rated, Aswell upon those that are already brought into this Realme, or the Dominion of Wales, and Town of Berwicke, and every of them; and are remaining in the hands of any Merchant, Buyer or Seller, or other Owner thereof respectively, as upon any of the Commodities in the Schedule mentioned, which hereafter shall be imported into this Kingdome of England, Dominion of Wales, and Town of Berwicke, or any of them.
II. And be it further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That for the better Levying of the Moneys hereby to be raised, that an Office from henceforth, by force and vertue of these presents shall be, and is hereby erected, made, and appointed in the City of London, called or known by the name of the Office of Excise or New Impost, whereof there shall be eight Commissioners to govern the same, and one of them to be Treasurer, with severall Registers; Collectors, Clerks, and other Subordinate Officers, as the eight Commissioners (or the major part of them) for the time being, shall with the approbation of the Committee of Lords and Commons, appointed for the advance of Money, and making of other Provisions for the Army, (sitting at Haberdashers Hall London) nominate and appoint. And it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said eight Commissioners, or the major part of them, with the consent of the said Committee, to displace any of the said subordinate Officers from time to time, if they see cause so to doe.
III. And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that the eight Commissioners here under named shall be, and by these presents are hereby nominated and appointed to be Governours of the said Office (viz.) John Towes, Esq; Alderman of the City of London; John Langham, Esquire, now one of the Sheriffs of the City of London; Thomas Foot, Esquire, Alderman of the City of London; John Kenrick, Esquire, Alderman of the City of London; Symon Edmonds, John Lamot, Edward Claxton, Thomas Cullam, Esquires.
IIII. And it is further Ordered and Ordained, That the said Commissioners and Treasurer shall be from time to time nominated by both Houses of Parliament, which said Commissioners and Treasurer, and other Officers, shall respectively before they enter upon their said Offices, take a solemne Oath before the Speaker of the House of Peeres, or before the Speaker of the House of Commons, for the time being, for the due execution of their severall Offices and places; and the Speaker of the said House of Peeres, or Speaker of the House of Commons, shall have power hereby to administer the said Oath; And all parts of the Cities of London and Westminster, with their severall Suburbs, and all other places within seven miles of either of the said Cities and Suburbs, shall be subject to the Rule and Government of the said Office.
V. That the like Office, and so many of such Officers shall be, and is hereby erected and appointed in all and every the Counties of the Realme of England, Dominion of Wales, and Towne of Berwicke, and in all other the Cities, and such other places thereof, as the said eight Commissioners, or the major part of them shall for the time being thinke fit to nominate and appoint, for the purpose aforesaid: And the like Oath to be taken by them respectively before the said Speakers, or either of them, or such other person and persons, as either they, or either of them shall appoint under his or their hands and Seales, to give the same; which persons so by him or them deputed, are hereby inabled to administer the said Oath.
VI. That the said Commissioners and Treasurer shall quarterly make their Accompt of all their Receipts and Disbursments, unto one or more Auditors that shall from the said Houses be appointed to receive the same: Which said Auditor or Auditors shall take the like Oath and in such manner as is appointed for the said other Officers, and shall keep a Duplicate of all Accompts and Entries in the said severall Offices; the same to be presented to the said Houses, when, and as often as it shall be required: And that it shall be lawfull to and for every of the said Commissioners to make a Deputy for whom he will answer.
VII. That the said Office in all places where it shall be placed, shall be kept open in the week dayes, from eight of the clocke in the morning till eleven, and from two till five of the clocke in the afternoon, for the entring and Registring of the Names and Surnames, aswell of the Sellers, Buyers, and Makers, of all and every the Commodities in the said Schedule mentioned, and of the severall quantities thereof, as for the Receiving of all Moneys as shall be due upon the sale or making of the same, in such manner as by the said Schedule is appointed, which Entries shall be made accordingly.
VIII. That for all such goods as are already bought from the Merchant or Importer, which is to pay Excize, the said Treasurer shall have power to give eight moneths time for the payment of the Excize, so that the partyes pay one eight part of the Excize every moneth, untill he hath payd the full: And if the party chargeable with the Excize, desire to rebate for the time so allowed him for the payment of the Excize, then it shall be lawfull for the said Treasurer to abate for sixe moneths, after the rate of twelve per centum.
IX. That for all Inland Commodities upon which there is any Excise set, which upon the passing of this Ordinance shall be found in the hands or custodie of any person or persons whatsoever, it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Treasurer for the time being, to give eight moneths time of payment for the Excize, so as the party who is to pay the same, doe during the said eight moneths pay one eight part thereof every moneth: And if the party chargeable with the Excize desire to rebate for the time so allowed him for the payment of the Excize, Then it shall be lawfull for the said Treasurer to abate for six moneths after the rate of twelve per Centum per Annum Provided alwayes, that if upon the search of any Inland Commodities mentioned in the Schedule hereunto annexed to pay Excize, there be found in the hands of any person or persons but two Hogs-heads of Wine, or foure Barrels of Beere, and no more that then the party which by the said Schedule is to pay the Excize, shall pay but halfe the Excize due for the same, so that he pay ready money for it.
X. That all and every the Merchants and Importers of any of the severall forraigne Commodities in the Schedule mentioned, and all Ale and common Beere Brewers shall weekly cause to be entered into the said Office a true and perfect list or account, aswell of all and every the severall Commodities by them respectively and weekly sold, as of the names of the buyers thereof, and of those to whose use the same is bought, and that they shall not deliver any of the said Commodities, unto any of the buyers thereof, or other person or persons untill the same shall be so entered, and that the Buyer have procured a Ticket, under the hand of the Treasurer for the time being, signifying that he hath paid the rates set upon the said Commodities, or given security for the same.
XI. That if any of the Sellers of the said Commodities shall refuse or neglect to make a true Entrie of the said Commodities, according to the next precedent Article, or doe any thing contrary to the said Article, that then he or they so refusing, neglecting, or doing contrary to the said Article, shall forfeit to the use of the Common-wealth foure times the true value or worth of the goods and commodities so by him or them neglected to be entred or delivered contrary to the said Article, for which he shall be destrained, by some Officer of the said Office, for that purpose to be by the Commissioners, or the major part of them appointed, and if he or they shall not redeeme the goods which shall be distrained within fourteene dayes thence next ensuing: then it shall be lawfull for the Treasurer or such other Officer, whom the said Commissioners or the major part of them shall appoint, to sell the same, and retaine so much of the money thereof arising, as will answer the forfeiture aforesaid, with Charges, rendring the overplus (if any be) to the Offender or Offenders, requiring the same. And if it shall happen that no distresse can be conveniently taken of the goods of the party so offending, that then it may and shall be lawfull to, and for the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, their Deputy or Deputies, by some one or more of their Officers, to arrest the party so offending, and to commit him to some common prison, next adjoyning to his place of dwelling or abode, there to remaine without bayle or mainprise, untill he pay the penalties by him forfeited, as aforesaid: And it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, out of the forfeitures above mentioned, to give and allow unto any person or persons, which shall informe them of any abuse committed by any person or persons, contrary to this Ordinance, so much money for his and their reward and recompence of his or their paines, as the said Commissioners, or the major part of them shall thinke fit, to be allowed to the said Commissioners, upon their accounts.
XII. That if any common Brewer, Alehouse-keeper, Syder or Perry-Maker, in the Countrey or in any City, Towne, or place therein, which doth brew Ale or Beere, or make Syder and Perry, in their houses or else-where, doe not make a true Entrie in manner aforesaid, in the like Office appointed in the Countrey, Citie or place where they dwell, or in the like Office erected next to their place of dwelling, then they shall incurre the like penalty as aforesaid, the same to bee levyed and disposed of in such manner as aforesaid.
XIII. That all and every person and persons whatsoever, that keepe or shall keepe private houses and families, as well in the City of London, and Suburbs thereof, as in all other parts of the Kingdome, Dominion of Wales, and Towne of Berwicke, which brew, or shall cause to be brewed, their owne Ale, and Beere for the sustenance of their families, or doe make, or cause to be made, any Syder and Perry, for the purposes aforesaid, shall monethly cause the like Entries to be made of all such quantities of Ale and Beere, Syder and Perry, so by them brewed, or caused to bee brewed or made, on the like penalties to bee levyed on the Offenders herein, and disposed of as aforesaid.
XIV. That the Customers or Commissioners for tonnage and poundage shall from time to time, permit and suffer the said Commissioners or any of them, or any of their Deputy or Deputies, to search, view, or examine any note, Booke or Bookes of entries, or other Bookes belonging to the Custom-houses, and to take Copies thereof, or of as much thereof as they please, and that the said Commissioners, or any of them, or their Deputy or Deputies, shall have a place to sit in the Customehouse, and shall have libertie to take a Copie and note of all Entries of goods imported.
XV. That this Ordinance shall begin to take place and effect, from the 25. of July, 1643. and from thence to continue onely for three yeares, then next ensuing, unlesse both Houses of Parliament, during that time, shall declare that it shall continue for any longer time, and then this Ordinance to continue for such further or longer time as shall be so appointed.
XVI. That the said Commissioners and Treasurer, nor any of them, shall issue out any moneys, forth of the said Office, unto any person or persons whatsoever, but by an Order of both Houses of Parliament, unlesse it be for and concerning the payment of Wages unto Officers, and such rents as shall or may be due for house-roome or roomes, where the said Offices shall be kept, or other necessary expences and disbursments, in and about the said Office.
XVII. That there shall be allowed yearely unto every of the said Commissioners for the time being, for his care and paines in and about the said businesse, the sum of to be paid him quarterly for his owne use.
XVIII. And it is further Ordained, that the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, shall have power by these presents, to nominate and appoint, all and every such Subordinate Officers, which they shall thinke fit to be employed in and about the discharge and Execution of the said Office, and to allow them such severall yearly Wages out of the Receipts of the said Office for their paines and service therein, as they, or the major part of them shall thinke fit and reasonable with the approbation of both Houses of Parliament.
XIX. That there shall be allowed yearly unto every Commissioner of the like Office in the Countrey for his care and paines in and about the said businesse, and to such other Subordinate Officers as shall be imployed in or about the same, such reasonable sum and sums of Money as the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, shall from time to time thinke fit, and appoint, with the approbation of both Houses of Parliament.
XX. That the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, shall have power and authorite to call before them any person or persons whom they shall thinke fit, to informe or testifie touching the premises, and to examine them upon oath for the better discovery of any fraud or guile in the not entring, or not payment of the Rates of Excize, or new Impost herein mentioned, and that the testimony of two credible witnesses shall be sufficient, and that the said Commissioners or the major part of them, as aforesaid, shall have full power by vertue of this Ordinance to administer an Oath to any person or persons for the purposes aforesaid.
XXI That the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, shall from time to time appoint any Officer or Officers belonging to the said Office, to enter into the Sellars, Shops, Ware-houses, Score-houses, or other places of every person or persons that selleth, buyeth, or spendeth any of the said Commodities, to search and see what quantities of any of the said Commodities every such hath on his hands, or any other person or persons to his use.
XXII. That the said Commissioners, or the major part of them, shall have power to punish all such subordinate Officers, and other persons belonging to the said Offices, as shall be found wilfully negligent, remisse, or refractory in the said service, by fyne, not exceeding the double value of the yearly wages which he is to receive, the same to be levyed by distresse, and the sale of the Offendors goods in such manner as is herein before appointed for the said other Penalties, and for want of distresse, to Imprison the party for the same. And if the said Commissioners and Treasurer, or any of them shall offend in their respective Offices, they shall be lyable to such censure as shall be imposed on them by both Houses of Parliament.
XXIII. That all Justices of Peace, Majors, Bayliffs, Sheriffs, Constables, and all other Officers, be from time to time ayding and assisting to the said Commissioners and other Officers, and to every of them appointed by this Ordinance, in the Execution of any the Ordinances herein mentioned.
XXIV. That the said Commissioners and other Officers, and every of them appointed by this Ordinance, shall have power to call the Trayned-Bands, Voluntiers, or other Forces of any County, City, or place respectively, to be ayding and assisting to them, to compell obedience to this Ordnance, where any resistance shall be made, Which said Trayned Bands, Voluntiers, and other Forces, and their severall Commanders, and other officers, are hereby required and enjoyned to give their aide and assistance accordingly, as of as need shall require.
XXV. And be it further Ordained, that aswell all and every the said Commissioners, Deputies, Treasurer, Registers, Receivers, or other Officers whatsoever belonging to the said severall Offices, as all and every other person and persons, which shall doe any thing in Execution or performance of this present Ordinance, shall be therein from time to time Protected and saved harmlesse, by the Power and Authority of both Houses of Parliament.
Inprimis, For every pound of Tobacco, which is not of the English Plantation, over and above all Customes due for the same, to be paid by the first buyer thereof from the Merchant or Importer, foure shillings.
Item, For every pound of Tobacco of the English plantation abroad, or made in the Land, over and above all Customes due for the same, to be paid by the first buyer thereof, from the Merchant or Importer, two shillings.
Item, for every Tonne of Wine containing foure Hogsheads, being here retailed over and above all Customes due for the same, to be paid by the first retailor thereof, and so after that rate for a lesser or greater quantity, six pounds.
Item, for every Barrell of strong Beere or Ale, of eight shillings the Barrell and upwards, and for every Hogshed of Syder and Perry bought for private use to bee paid by the first buyer for every of them, one shilling.
Item, for every barrell of Ale and Beere that any Alehousekeeper, Vintner or Inholder shall brew and sell in his house or elsewhere, to be payd by the Alehouse-keeper, Inholder, or Vintner, two shillings.
Item, for every barrell of six shillings Beere, sold to be spent aswell in private houses, as in victualing houses, to be paid by the common brewer thereof, as also by all others that doe brew and spend the like Beere in their private houses, six pence.
Item, for every ounce of silver that the Refiner shal prepare to make silver thred Oaes, Spangles, Plate for Lace, and silver to make Leafe-Silver of in England, to be paid by the Refiner, one shilling.
Item, for every ell of Flanders Holland Cloth, viz., Flemisn Cloth, Gentish Cloth, Isingham Cloth, Overisillis Cloth, Rous Cloth, Brabant Cloth, Embden Cloth, Freeze Cloth, Brown Holland, Bagg Holland three pence.
Item, for every piece of Polonia ulsters Hannovers Lubecke narrow Slecia, narrow Westfalia, narrow Handford, plain Napkinning, and all other narrow cloth of High-dutch land, and the East Countrey, white or browne, and not otherwise containing one hundred ells, three shellings.
Item, That the Excise hereby set upon every the forraigne Commodities above mentioned, is to be paid by the first buyer of the Commoditie from the Merchant, or Importer thereof, unlesse it be otherwise appointed by these presents. And all Commodities here rated, which are first imported and then exported (bona fide) shall be free, so that it be exported within three moneths next after the passing of the Ordinance hereunto annexed.