Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[17 February, 1648–9.]
For the avoiding of all doubts and questions, that shall or may arise touching Commissions of the peace, and other Commissions and concerning Letters Patents, or Commissions to Sheriffs, or other officers or Ministers of Justice, Be it Declared and Enacted by the authority of this present Parliament, That all such person and persons as were Justices of the Peace at the time of the death of the late King Charles, in any counties, cities, precincts, liberties or places in England, the Dominion of Wales or Town of Berwick upon Tweed, by force and vertue of any Commissions under the Great-Seal of England, and had by such Commissions power and authority to inquire of, hear or determine Felonies, Trespasses, and other Offences, and do other things in the same Commissions more at large expressed: And all such person and persons, that at the time of the death of the said late King, by force of any Commissions, or Letters patents under the Great Seal of England, were Sheriffs of several counties, precincts and places in England, the Dominion of Wales, and Town of Berwick upon Tweed, shall by force hereof, and by authority of this present Parliament, stand and be. and shall be adjudged and taken to stand and be full and perfect Justices of the peace, Justices of Oyer and Terminer, and Sheriffs respectively, of and in their and their and every of their several respective counties, cities, precincts, limits, jurisdictions and places respectively, from and immediately after the death of the said late King, and shall so continue and be, until there shall be new Commissions and Letters Patents, or Commissions under the Great-Seal of England, for the constituting of Justices of the Peace, and Oyer and Terminer, and of such Sheriffs of and in the said several counties, places and precincts respectively, made and duly published according to the present Government: And that they and every of them, for, and during the time aforesaid, shall likewise be adjudged and taken lawfully to have, and shall and may lawfully have, use, exercise and enjoy, all and every the jurisdictions, powers and authorities whatsoever, which by the Laws and Statutes, Justices of Peace, Oyer and Terminer, or Sheriffs respectively, might lawfully use, exercise or enjoy. And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said respective Sheriffs shall have full power and authority, and are hereby enjoyned to execute and make return, according to usual course of all Writs, which issued out in the life time of the late King, and were returnable after his death. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every Act, Return of any Writs, or other thing whatsoever, had, made, done, used or exercised, or to be had, made, done, used or exercised during the time aforesaid, by the said Justices and Sheriffs respectively, or by any other Officers or Ministers, or other person or persons whatsoever, by command or authority, by, or derived from, by, or under them respectively, shall be as good and effectual in Law, to all intents and purposes, as the same should have been, if the same had been made, done, used or exercised by them in the lifetime of the said King, although no Oath hath or shall be taken by such Justices, Sheriffs, their Under-Sheriffs, or other Ministers, Any Law, Custom or Usage to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.