Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[15 June, 1644.]
Whereas divers persons, within the City of London and parts adjacent, within the Lines of Communication, and Parishes mentioned in the weekly Bills of Mortalitie, and Hamlets of the Tower, that are not fit to beare Armes in their owne persons, yet are able and fit to find Armes and pay others for bearing the same, but doe neglect and refuse the doing thereof.
And whereas divers Papists, and other ill-affected persons, doe lurke and hide themselves in divers houses and places within the limits of aforesaid, that hold correspondencie with, or bring intelligence from the Enemy, and others that gather together Armes, Ammunition, and other Materialls of War, likely to be imployed to the prejudice of the Parliament and City.
Power to Committee for Militia of London to make all persons that have Stock in Trade within Lines of Communication find such proportion of arms and pay such soldiers as Committee shall think fit. Penalty for disobedience.
And whereas by severall Ordinances of Parliament; power is given to the said Committee for ordering the said Militia within the limits aforesaid, and drawing out Forces for service abroad, and that many things mentioned in the said Ordinances to be put in execution, require the help and assistance of more persons in the nature of Sub-Committees; Thereupon power is given to the said Committee, to make one or more SubCommittees within the said limits as they shall thinke fit: and for the better enabling the said Sub-Committee so made, or to be made, to performe the services therein contained.
Imprisonment of offenders.
The said Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, doe Ordaine and Declare, and be it Ordained and Declared, That the said Committee of the Militia of London shall have power, and are hereby Authorised to impose upon all such persons as have any Stocks going in Trade within the limits aforesaid, and absent themselves, or doe personally inhabite or reside within the said limits, to find such proportion of Armes, and pay such persons as have been, or shall be appointed to beare the same, as the said Committee shall thinke fit, not exceeding three foot Souldiers for any one person; and such person or persons as shall disobey the commands and directions of the said Com mittee, of the Militia herein, the said Committee shall have power to impose such reasonable Fines upon them, or any of them, as they shall thinke fit, not exceeding the summe of forty shillings for any one offence, and for want of payment thereof, to leavy the same by distresse and sale of their goods and chattels, or otherwise to imprison their persons without Baile or mainprise, untill such times as they shall conforme themselves accordingly: But in case such person or persons so offending, doe absent themselves without the said limits, where the authority of the said Committee doth not extend, and not a sufficient value of his or their goods, or chattells, to be found within the said limits, whereon to leavy the said fines by distresse, as aforesaid, That then the Committee for Examinations upon complaint made by the Committee of the Militia, or such as they shall appoint, do forthwith grant their warrants for apprehending of all such person or persons wheresoever they shall be, and to commit him or them to prison without baile or mainprize, untill he or they doe conforme themselves, or to distraine his or their goods, and bring them to London, and there sell them to pay the said fine or fines: all which fines are to be imployed to such use and purpose, for the safety and defence of this City, as the said Committee of the Militia shall thinke fit and direct.
Power to search in suspicious places for Papists and other ill affected persons, and to expel or imprison them.; Power to break open Houses in case of resistance.
And it is further Ordained that the said Committee for the Militia shall have power, and is hereby authorised by themselves, or such as they shall appoint, to search all houses and places within the limits aforesaid, where the said Committee shall have cause to suspect that any Papists are, or other persons that come from any of the Kings Quarters, or cannot give good account of their businesse, or abode within the limits aforesaid, or that have or shall discover their ill-affection to the Parliament, and likewise to search for Armes, Ammunition, and materials for Warre, in the custody of such Persons, and to seize and take away the same, and to commit such persons to safe custody, or to expell them out of the limits aforesaid, if they shall see cause: and in case of resistance, the said Committee are hereby authorised to command any Constable or Constables to breake open any house or place within the said limits, where such resistance shall be made.
Sub-Committees.; Constables, etc., to obey Committee and Sub-Committees; Proviso.; Indemnity.
And it is further Ordained, that the said sub-Committees so appointed or to be appointed by the said Committee of the Militia, shall have power, and are nereby authorised to cause all or any of the clauses contained in this or any other of the said Ordinances, to be put in due execution, when, and as often as they shall receive directions from the said Committee for the Militia, and all Constables, Head-boroughs, and other Officers and Souldiers are hereby required to obey and execute such Warrants as they from time to time shall receive from the said Committee for the Militia, or other Sub-committees, for and concerning the execution of the same accordingly: Provided that no Power hereby granted, shall be extended against any Peere or Member of either of the Houses of Parliament, or any of the Assistants of the House of Peers. And aswell the said Committee as also their sub-Committees, and all other persons acting in the premises, according to the intent of this Ordinance, shall be saved harmlesse by Authority of both Houses of Parliament: Provided that this Ordinance shall continue and be in force for the space of two moneths, to begin from the publishing of this Ordinance and no longer.