Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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For the better securing of the Parliament, the Cities of London and Westminster and the Suburbs thereof, and parts adjacent, in these times of imminent danger, The Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled doe Ordaine; That the Committee of the Militia for the City of London, or any person or persons authorized by them, shall have power, and are hereby authorised and required to tender and administer unto all and every such person or persons within the said Cities, or within the Line of Communication, or any of the Parishes mentioned in the weekly Bill of Mortality, which are appointed, or hereafter shall bee appointed, to beare Armes under the command of the Com mittee of the Militia of the City of London, the Oath or Vow hereafter mentioned. That is to say:
I A.B. in the presence of Almighty God, doe Vow and protest, that I will according to my power and vocation maintaine the Cities of London and Westminster, with the Borrough of Southwarke, and Suburbs of the said Cities and the Forts, Outworkes and Lines of Communication lately made about the said Cities and Borrough, against all forces raised or to be raised by the King, or any other, without the consent of both Houses of Parliament, or authority derived from them: And that I will not directly nor indirectly indeavour the giving up, seizing, or taking of any the Forts, Out-workes, Magazins or places of strength within the precincts aforesaid without the consent of both Houses of Parliament, or of such as shall have authority derived from them and of the Lord Major, Aldermen and common-councell of the said City of London, and that I will not in prejudice of the said Cities, Suburbs, or places, raise or assist any Forces, Tumults, or unlawfull Assemblies of people, nor will directly or indirectly give any intelligence or willingly suffer any intelligence to be given to the forces raised without the consent of both Houses of Parliament, or otherwise to the prejudice of the said Cities, Suburbs, or places; and that I will with all convenient speed discover to the Lord Major and Governours of the Forces within the City of London or to some of them, all such plots and designes as I shall know or be credibly informed of, to be against the said Cities, Suburbs, or places, or any of them: And this Vow and Protestation I make without any Equivocation or mentall Reservation, believing that I cannot be absolved from this my Vow and Protestation, and wishing no blessing from God if I doe not performe the same. So help me God.
Any that refuse to take the Oath to be disarmed and their horses to be seized.; If found thereafter with arms concealed their Goods and Estates to be seized.; Power to Committee to seize such persons or others ill-affected and dispose of; them as they shall think fit.
And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That if any such person or persons as aforesaid, shall refuse to take the said Oath or Vow so tendred, the Committee of the Militia for the City of London, or any two or more of them, shall have power, and are hereby authorized and required by themselves, their Agents and Ministers, forthwith to disarme every such person so refusing, and to seize their horses: And in case any such person, after such disarming, shall have any Armes found with him, or with any other to his use, which hee shall not immediately reveale to the said Committee of the Militia, or some of them, That then his Goods and Estate shall be seized to the use of the Common-Wealth, and for the defence of the said Cities, As likewise the Goods and Estate of every such person as aforesaid, as shall willingly harbour or conceale the Armes of any such person so refusing. And shall also have power, and are hereby required to seize the person or persons of all such persons as aforesaid, as shall refuse the said Oath; or any other person or persons which are or shall be knowne or appeare to be malignant or ill-affected to the Parliament, and to put them into safe custody, or to remove and expell them from or out of the said Cities, and Lines of Communication; Or otherwise to dispose of them, as they shall thinke to be most conducing to the safety of the said Cities and places.
And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that the said Committee of the Militia, or any nine of them, or the Commander in chiefe of the Forces raised within the said Cities, and Lines of Communication, or any the foresaid Parishes mentioned in the weekely Bill of Mortality, shall have power, and are hereby required to suppresse all Insurrections, Tumults, and unlawfull Assemblies within the said Cities and Precincts aforesaid; and to apprehend all offenders therein, their ayders and abettors; And also all such as shall weare any Markes, Signes, or Colours, to distinguish themselves as a party joyning against the Authority of Parliament, and to punish or execute them, or so many of them as they shall think fit, according to the rule of Martiall Law.
And it is further Ordained by the Lords and Commons, That the said Committee of the Militia of London, or any nine of them, and the Commander in chiefe, and the respective Officers in their severall places shall governe and punish their inferiours Officers and Souldiers under the command of the said Committee of the Militia according to the Articles and Lawes of War set forth by his Excellency the E. of Essex, and authorized by both Houses of Parliament.
And the said Committee of the Militia are hereby further authorised to take order (as occasion shall require) for the shutting up of all Shops within the said Cities and Lines of Communication, untill further Order shall be taken by both Houses of Parliament, or by the said Committee, to the end that all persons may according to their power and vocation be and continue in a readinesse and fitting posture for the defence of the said Cities and parts adjacent.
Provided, that no power herein granted, shall extend to any Peere, or Member of either of the Houses of Parliament, Or any of the Assistants or Attendants upon the House of Peers, or House of Commons.