Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[22 February, 1643/4.]
All Moneys, Goods, &c., received for the Publique shall be accounted for.
Whereas divers sums of money, and other goods have been raised, levied, and taken by divers persons, partly by vertue of several Acts of Parliament, Ordinances, and Orders of both or one of the Houses of Parliament, and partly by pretence and colour of the said Acts, Orders, and Ordinances, or some of them, and by other persons without any authority at all, upon pretences nevertheless for the use or service of the Commonwealth: The Lords and Commons in Parliament think it very necessary, and do ordain, That all and every the Receivers of such sums of Money, Goods, and other things, shall make a perfect Accompt of all and every the said Sums and Goods: And for that purpose have appointed a Committee hereafter named: And whereas the Lords and Commons hold it fit, that no person liable to any such accompt shall be of the said Committee, or of any sub-Committee, for taking the said Accompts: And for the more speedy taking of the same Accompt, have Declared, That no Member, or Officer, of either House of Parliament, or Assistant of the Lords House, or Officer of the Army, or other Forces raised by the Parliament, shall be of the said Committee, or any the sub-Committees;
Committee for Accompts.
Be it therefore ordained by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That the persons hereafter named, That is to say, William Cockain and William Methold Merchants, John Glover William Pryn, John Stevens, Esquires; Thomas Hodges and Henry Hunter, Merchants; Edmond Cason, Samuel Elliot and Walter Boothby Gentlemen; John Langley, John Gregory, Oliver Clowbery, Thomas Hutchins, Anthony Bidolph and Robert Ellis, Merchants; Edward Mead, Thomas Andrews, Nicholas Gold, Christopher Pack, Daniel Hudson, George Witham, Laurence Brinsley, Andrew Kendrick, and William Collins, Gentlemen; shall be a Committee, for the taking of the said Accounts, of all and every the Treasurers, Receivers, Collectors or Agents for the Parliament Members, or Officers of either House of Parliament, or Assistants of the Lords House, Officers of the Army or other Forces raised by Authority of both Houses of Parliament, or other person, or persons whatsoever, which have Taken, Received, or Issued out, or shall Receive or Issue out, or shall be otherwise Chargeable with any the said Monies, or other goods, Raised, Levied or taken, or that shall be received, issued out, raised, levied, or taken as aforesaid, and to enquire of all frauds, deceits, or misdemeanors, concerning the Premisses, as also of the sums of Money that are Rated and Assessed upon any person, or persons, and not yet paid, or which shall not at the time of such Accompt be paid, and to certifie the same to both or either of the said Houses, or to any Committee by both or either of the said Houses in that behalf to be appointed. And every person of the said Committee, hereby ordained, before he enter upon the said service, shall take an Oath before the Speaker for the time being of either of the said Houses, for the due execution of the said Service: Which oath, the several Speakers for the time being of both the said Houses shall have power, and are hereby Authorized to administer; The Tenor whereof shall be as followeth, viz.:
I A. B, do swear, that according to my best skill and knowledge, I shall faithfully, diligently, and truly demean my self, in taking the Accompts of all such persons as shall come before me, in execution of an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, entituled; An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, for taking and receiving of the Accompts of the whole Kingdome, according to the tenour of the said Ordinance: And that I shall not for fear, favour, reward or affection, give any allowance to conceal, spare, or discharge any. So help me God.
Sub-Committees in Counties.
And the said Committee, or any five or more of them, shall have power, and are hereby authorized, if they shall see cause to make and ordain sub-Committees in any County, City or place where they shall think meet, who shall have the like power and authority within their several limits, as the said Committee before named is authorized to have by virtue of this present Ordinance, and shall take the said Oath before any two or more of the said Committee or such as they shall appoint, who shall have power, and are hereby authorized and required to administer the same. The said Oath to be taken before they take upon them the execution of the said service.
And the said Committee herein named, and every such sub-Committee as aforesaid, or any two or more of them respectively shall have power, and are hereby authorized and required, to call before them all and every the persons chargeable, as aforesaid, and to cause them to accompt of all and every such moneys and goods for which they or any of them shall be so chargeable and accomptable as aforesaid: Which Accompt shall be given in upon Oath: And the said Committee or sub-Committees, or any two or more of them, are hereby authorized to administer the said Oath: The tenour whereof shall be as followeth: viz.
Oath to be taken by persons accompting.
I A. B, do swear, that I shall according to the best of my knowledge, give into this Committee (or sub-Committee) a just and true Accompt of all and every the moneys, or other goods by me, or any other by my appointment, or to my use, received or issued out, levied, or taken by vertue of any Act of this present Parliament, Order, or Ordinance of both, or one of the Houses of Parliament, or by colour or pretence of any such Act, Order or Ordinance, or for which I am any way chargeable, or accomptable by force or vertue of a late Ordinance of both the said Houses, entituled, An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament for taking and receiving of the Accompts of the whole Kingdom, without any fraud or concealment whatever. So help me God.
Proceedings to be certified; Power to appoint Officers.
And shall likewise have Power, and are hereby authorized to direct the manner of the said Accompts, and to examine as well the persons accomptable, as any witnesses, or others that can inform or testifie any thing material touching the Premisses, upon their corporal Oaths (which they are hereby authorized, to administer) and to send for any person or persons whom they shall think fit, and to cause them to bring in and produce any Books of Accompts, Writings, Papers, Inventories, Apprisements, Rentals, and other things necessary touching the Premisses: And if any person or persons in whose house or custody any such Books, Writings, Accompts, or Papers concerning the said Accompt shall be supposed to be, shall refuse to shew and produce them, then the said Committee or sub-Committees respec tively, or any two or more of them, may cause any doors, locks, bolts, chests, trunks, or other places, of or belonging to any such person or persons (being no Member of either House of Parliament) to be opened, wherby search may be made for any such things. And if any person or persons shall refuse to come or appear before the said Committee or sub-Committees, or any two or more of them respectively, upon convenient summons, or shall otherwise wilfully disobey, or withstand their Command, in or concerning the Premisses, then they, or any two, or more of them respectively, shall have power to grant out their Warrants for the apprehending of every such person (being no Member of either House of Parliament) and to punish him by Fine and Imprisonment, and to break open any doors, locks, bolts, chests, trunks, or other places, of or belonging to such person, whereby search may be made as aforesaid. And if any such person so refusing to deliver in the Books, Papers, or Writings aforesaid, or disobeying or withstanding their Commands, be a Member of either House of Parliament, then to certifie his name and offence to both or either of the said Houses, or to such as they shall appoint to receive the same. And shall have power, and are hereby authorized and required to examine all and every the said person and persons chargeable, as aforesaid, by what Warrant or Warrants they or any of them have received or issued out, or shall receive or issue out any such moneys or goods, and to use all fitting means for the discovery of the truth, in and concerning the Premisses, as occasion shall require: And shall certifie their Proceedings and doings therein to both or either of the said Houses of Parliament, or such as they shall appoint from time to time, when, and as oft as they shall be thereunto required. And the said Committee and sub-Committees, or any two or more of them respectively, shall have power to appoint Clerks, Registers, and other Agents and Ministers under them, for the better expediting of the said service, as they shall think fit, and to keep one or more Office or Offices for that purpose, in such place or places as they shall think most convenient, and to do all such other acts and things which shall necessarily conduce to the execution of the said service: And they and all others that shall be imployed in and about the said service, shall be therein protected and saved harmless by the power and authority of both Houses of Parliament: And the Lords and Commons will in due time, take consideration of the pains of the Committees beforenamed; And the said Clerks, Ministers, and other Agents, shall have such recompence for their charges, pains and travel, in this behalf, as by the said Committee, or any five or more of them shall be thought fit, and shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament: And those that shall make discovery to the said Committee, or sub-Committees, or any two or more of them respectively, of any such moneys or goods, as aforessid, concealed or detained by any other person, who is, or ought to be accomptable for the same, shall have six pence in every pound for his service therein, and such further recompence as shall be thought fit by both Houses of Parliament, or such as they shall appoint.
Accompts to be brought in within ten dayes after notice.
And be it further Ordained, That all and every person and persons chargeable or accomptable with any such money or goods as aforesaid, by vertue of, or according to this present Ordinance, shall bring in his and their accompts to the said Committee or sub-Committees for this service, within their respective limits, within ten dayes after they shall be thereunto required by the said Committee or sub-Committees, four or more of them, unless the said Committee or sub-Committees shall think fit in regard of the length of the same accompt, or otherwise to give unto them further time, under pain of sequestration of their Estates, and such other punishment as shall be thought fit by both Houses of Parliament: And the said Lords and Commons do further ordain and command, all Sheriffs, Majors, Bayliffs, Constables, Headboroughs, and other Officers whatsoever, to be attendant, assistant and obedient to the commands of the said Committees and sub-Committees respectively, under such penalty of Sequestration or otherwise as aforesaid.