Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas the Lords and Commons now assembled in Parliament finding by continual experience, that very great quantities of Ordnance, Arms, and other warlike Ammunition, together with Ships, Goods, and Victuals of all sorts have been: and still and brought into Newcastle, Fallmouth, Topsham, Dartmouth, and other parts of this Kingdome, being in hostility against the King and Parliament; as also into the Realme of Ireland from forraigne parts, to be employed for the reliefe of the Rebels of the said Kingdomes of England and Ireland, and against the Parliament and their adherents, the well-affected persons of this Kingdome: have by their Ordinance dated the last of November, 1643. Ordered, Established, and Ordained, that it shall and may be lawfull for any of His Majesties good and loyall Subjects to be approved and thereunto appointed by the Lord High Admirall of England for the time being appointed by them the said Lords and Commons to equip, furnish and set forth such and so many Ships and other Vessels warlikely appointed, as they shall thinke fit, and with the same to seize, surprize, and take, all, and all manner of Ships and Vessels, with the Ordnance, Ammunition, Victuals, Goods, Commanders, and Souldiers that they shall meet withall, in or outwards bound, from any part or place within any of his Majesties Dominions, being in hostility against the King and Parliament: or comming from, or returning to any such part or place, or that shall be found to have traded with the Inhabitants of any such parts or place, since their defection from the King and Parliamen: And also to surprize and take all and all manner of Ships and Vessells, with the Ordnance, Ammunition, Victualls and Goods therein, belonging to any Rebel or Rebels in Ireland; and further, to surprize and take all, and all manner, of Pirats, and Sea-rovers, of what Nation soever, and their Ships and Goods whatsoever, and to have and enjoy the same, after adjudication in the high Court of Admiralty, as their owne proper goods, according to the purport, and intent of the said Ordinance.
Foreigners in amity may withdraw their goods from Exeter, Bristol and all other ports in defection from King and Parliament Proviso.; Further Proviso.; Penalties for such Foreigners as shall carry away any goods of the King's Subjects with their own
And forasmuch as it hath not yet been declared by the said Lords and Commons what Ports and places they account to be in defection from the King and Parliament in the Kingdome of Ireland, since the making of the pretended Cessation of Armes there, The Lords and Commons aforesaid doe hereby declare, that all and singular the Ports and places in the Kingdome of Ireland are in defection from the King and Parliament, and within the compasse of the said Ordinance, except the ports in the Province of Ulster from Strangford inclusive Northward, and so along the coast to Callebecke inclusive, and except the Fort of Duncannon, and except the Port of Youghall, Cork, and Kensale in the Province of Munster. And yet notwithstanding, the said Lords and Commons being very willing, that Forreigners, and Strangers should receive all incouragement for Trade, and commerce with the City of London and other Ports and places that stand right, and keep their fidelity to the King and Parliament, and such further liberty as may consist with the weale and safety of the Kingdome, Have Ordained and Declared, and by these presents doe Ordaine and Declare; That it shall and may be lawfull for all Forreigners and Strangers in amity with this Kingdome to have free Trade and Commerce, to and from the City of London and all other Ports and places within any of His Majesties Dominions standing right, and keeping the fidelity to the King and Parliament, they paying the customes and discharging such duties as are due and accustomed; And whereas it is alleadged that some Forreigners and Strangers Subjects to other Princes, and States, Confederates, and Allies to His Majesty, have some part of their estates remaining in the Cities of Exceter and Bristoll, and other Townes and places of this Kingdome of England, in defection from the King and Parliament, and licence and leave is desired by the Ambassadors, and agents of those Princes, and States, for the withdrawing of the same from those Cities, Townes, and places; The said Lords and Commons being very willing to maintaine a good correspondency and understanding between His Majesty and all his confederates and Allies, and their subjects respectively and desirous that the Subjects of such confederates and Allies should not receive any manner of losse, dammage or prejudice in their Estates by the unhappy differences and troubles that are risen in this Kingdome, but should have all such liberty as may consist with the Weale and Safety of this Realm and other his Majesties Dominions; doe hereby declare, That notwithstanding their former Ordinance aforesaid, it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Forreigner or Stranger, Subject to any Prince or State in amity with his Majesty, with such and so many Ships or other Vessells as shall be needfull to sayle, or goe to the Ports or Harbors of Exceter, Bristoll, Falmouth, Topsham, Newcastle, or any other Port or place in this Kingdome of England, which are or shall be in defection from the King and Parliament, and from thence by all lawfull wayes and meanes to withdraw, transport, and carry away their Goods and estates; Provided that those Ships or Vessells which they shal carry into any such Port or place doe not carry or beare any Ordnance, nor carry into any such Port or place, any goods or Merchandizes whatsoever, monies, armes, ammunition, materialls for Shipping of Victualls, more then such Victualls as shall be necessary for the sustentation of the company of such ship or ships and such monies as shall be necessary for the uses of such ship or ships for the necessary supply of them & their companies: And provided further that such City or Town be not then besieged by the Ships or any other forces of the King & Parliament, & that such Forreigners & Strangers, under pretence of withdrawing their owne estates, doe not bring away the goods of any his Majesties Subjects, and in case any ship or other Vessell comming from any such Port, or place as aforesaid shall be found to have aboard her any Goods, Monies, or Merchandizes belonging to any of his Majesties Subject, or Subjects; The Lords and Commons doe hereby declare, That not onely such Goods, Money and Merchandizes, shall be good prize to the takers, being so adjudged in the Court of Admiralty, but also al the Goods, Monies or Merchandizes belonging to any Stranger or Forreigner, in whose name any such Goods, Monies or Merchandizes belonging to any of his Majesties Subjects shal be shipped or coloured, & the ship it selfe in which they shall be found, shall also be prize to the takers, in case it shall be proved that the Master or Owner of that ship, or the Owner of such Goods and Merchandize, in whose name such Goods were colourably shipped, knew that any such Goods, Monies, (or Merchandizes at the time of the lading thereof) did belong to any of his Majesties Subjects.
And be it further Ordained and Declared, That no Commander of Ship or Ships, or other person whatsoever doe or shall, under the pretence of this Ordinance or any clause therein contained, presume to seize, surprise, or take any Ship or other Vessell whatsoever, or any of their lading, during the time such ship or vessell shall remaine, or be within any of the Ports, or Havens belonging to any Kingdome, or State, in amity with the Crown and Kingdome of England.
And to the end that publique notice may be taken of the said Ordinance aforementioned, and of this present Ordinance, aswell by Forreigners as His Majesties Subjects; The Lords and Commons aforesaid, doe hereby order and command, That the said former Ordinance, and this present Ordinance and Declaration, shall both be published by a Sergeant at Armes, three severall dayes upon the exchange London, at the time of the concourse of Merchants thither, and Copies of them both, subscribed by the Clerke of the Parliaments, to be sent to the Am bassadors, and Ministers of forraigne Nations here resident, by the Speaker of either of the said Houses to be by them, or either of them intimated and made knowne to the Subjects of those Princes or States which they represent or from whom they are imployed.