Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[22 January, 1643/4.]
Ordinance for appointing and swearing Sheriffs.
Forasmuch as it is of great important Necessity, for the Public Safety of the Realm, and Execution of Justice, which hath been so long obstructed and hindered by this unnatural War raised against the Parliament, that the Office of High Sheriffs of Counties should be forthwith supplied and settled upon Persons on whose Worth and Fidelity the Parliament and Commonwealth may confide: Be it Ordained, by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the several High Sheriffs that now are, or hereafter shall be, nominated and appointed by the said Lords and Commons, for this Year next ensuing, shall be, and are hereby, authorized to execute the said Office, and to have, use, and enjoy all such Power, Authority, and Jurisdiction, and other Incidents whatsoever belonging to the said Office, in as full and ample Manner as any other High Sheriffs of Counties formerly have, or of Right ought to have, used, exercised, or enjoyed, and as if they had been appointed and nominated at the Time and Place, and in the usual Manner, heretofore accustomed: And be it further Ordained, That, in the Oath which is to be taken by the said High Sheriffs as belonging to their said Office, these Words, videlicet; ["unless ye be otherwise licensed by the King"], shall be altered, and instead thereof the Words shall be, and the Oath so taken, videlicet, [unless ye be otherwise licensed by the Lords and Commons in Parliament"]; and that it shall and may be lawful to and for all or any the said High Sheriffs to go out of their respective Counties, b Licence of the said Lords and Commons, or when and as oft as Need shall require, for the Defence of their said Counties, or Public Safety of the Realm: And it is likewise Ordained, That, in the Writs of Assistance to be granted to the said High Sheriffs, these Words ["Archiepiscopis & Episcopis"] shall be from henceforth left out: And lastly be it Ordained, by the said Lords and Commons, That, for the better Furtherance of the said Service, and the Encouragement of those which shall undergo this great Trust and Employment that all extraordinary Charges which shall be necessarily incident to the said Office of High Sheriff, in a moderate and reasonable Manner to be expended, shall be defrayed out of the Fines, Amerciaments, and other Profits of the County, which they are accountable for in the Exchequer, the same to be allowed there upon their Accompts, or by such other Ways or Means as shall be thought fit and Ordered by both Houses of Parliament: All which Premises are so Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, upon mature Deliberation, and upon great and urgent Necessity, in these Times of imminent Danger (any Law, Statute, or Usage, to the contrary thereof, in any Wise notwithstanding).