Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas the Counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and other Counties and places have lately raised divers great Forces both or Horse and Foot, to withstand the incursion of the Enemy, and to preserve themselves from plundering, and their Countries from ruine and destruction; which Forces should they be continued abroad any long time, would not only be a prejudice to those Countries in respect of their Harvest, but would be too great a charge for them to beare. And for as much as it is necessary that some course be taken for the keeping of the Enemy from plundering and spoyling, and securing the Countries from the danger of Alarams which otherwise will enforce them to continuall rising, disturbe them in their Harvest, and other necessary imployment, and make their charge insupportable; To the end therefore the Trained Bands now upon these late Alarms raised, may return home, and their Country secured from such further trouble. Be it ordained by the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, that the severall Counties, Cities, and places hereafter mentioned, shall immediately after the receipt of this Ordinance, raise such forces of Horse and Foot, well and sufficiently armed, as are hereafter particularly set down, to be ready to march the twentieth day of this present July, One thousand six hundred forty foure; That is to say:
And the County of Hampshire, and the Towne and County of Southampton, six hundred Foot, one hundred Horse, and fifty Dragoones, which said Forces so leavied, are to be imployed about Oxon, or such other places as by both Houses of Parliament, or the Committee of both Kingdomes shall be thought necessary for the purposes aforesaid, and to continue onely for the space of two Moneths, from the time that they shall come to the place of generall Rendezvouz.
And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that the severall and respective Committees of Parliament, of the severall Counties, Cities, and places aforesaid, or any three of them, are hereby authorized and required, to cause this Ordinance to be put in speedy execution. And for the more speedy execution of this Ordinance, and that the Committees of Parliament (unto whose care and fidelity the same is especially entrusted, and recommended to be forthwith dispatched) may be armed with power sufficient for the effecting of the same, Be it likewise Ordained by the authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawfull for them, or any three of them respectively, by such reasonable wayes and meanes as they shall find most convenient, to raise and leavy such moneys out of the severall Counties, Cities, and places aforesaid, as shall enable them to raise and arme the said Forces of Horse, Foot, and Dragoones, and pay them during the time they shall be imployed; And if any person or persons shall neglect to pay any summe of Money whereat he shall be so rated or assessed, that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Committees, or any three of them respectively, to appoint a distresse of the goods of such persons to be taken and sold for satisfaction of the same, restoring unto the owner the overplus after all necessary charges deducted; and further power and authority is hereby given to the said respective Committees, or any three of them respectively, to use all good wayes and meanes for the effecting of this service, as they in their wisdomes shall thinke convenient; And if any person shall shew himselfe opposite or refractory unto this service, so as the same by meanes thereof shall be delayed, disturbed, or hindered; it shall and may be lawfull to the said severall Committees, or any three of them respectively, to impose a reasonable Fine upon such person for his contempt therein, so as the same exceed not the summe of ten pounds for any one offence; and to leavy the same by sequestration of his Estate, or imprisonment of his body. And because it is not expected that the Trained Band-men should in this time of Harvest be imployed in this service without their own consents, or an absolute necessity, and that probably it may be difficult to find so many Voluntiers as will be sufficient to make up the full numbers in this Ordinance expressed.
It is hereby further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That the said respective Committees, or any three of them, are hereby authorised in their respective Counties, Cities, and places, to Imprest fit and able men for this service, and to imprison such persons as shall refuse to give obedience, untill they reform thereunto.
And it is lastly Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that the said respective Committees, or any three of them, in their respective Counties, Cities and places, are hereby authorized to reduce the said Foot Forces respectively into Companies and Regiments, and the Horse and Dragoons, into Troops and nominate and place over them Collonels, Captaines, and other Officers, except the Majors of the said Regiments, whose severall and respective Companies are to be commanded by the respective Lievtenants thereof to the place of Rendezvous. Provided that no Regiment of Foot shall consist of lesse then One thousand Foot, besides Officers, and no Troop of Horse or Dragoons of lesse then One hundred, besides Officers, and where any County is hereby to raise a lesse number of men then will make up an entire Regiment, the severall and respective Committees of such Counties and places are to meet together with what conveniencie they shall think most fit and to joyne their Forces into Regiments, as aforesaid.
And the Committee of both Kingdoms are hereby authorized to nominate a Major of every Regiment of Foot, and to form the Horse and Dragoons into Regiments, and nominate the Field Officers, the said Majors and Field-Officers to be approved by both Houses of Parliament.
Provided alwayes, That this Ordinance shall not extent to the Pressing of any Clergy-man, Scholler, or Student in any the Universities, Innes of Court or Chancery, or Houses of Law, or any the Trained Bands in any County, City or place, or of any rank or degree of an Esquire or upwards, or the son of any such person rated in the last Subsidies granted by the Parliament, or the son of any person rated at Five pounds Goods or three pound Lands in the Subsidie-Books; or of any person of the person, or the son of the widow of any such person; or to the Pressing of any person under the age of eighteen, or above the age of Fifty; or of the Members or Officers of either house of Parliament; or of the meniall servants of the Members or Officers of either of the said Houses, or any the Assistants of the Lords-House or any of their Meniall servants; or any the Inhabitants of the Isles of Wight or Anglesey, or Cinque-Ports, or of any Mariner, Seaman or Fisherman.