Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[28 February, 1650/1.]
Act of settling the power of the Admiralty.; Power to Colonels Popham, Blake, and Dean to act as Admiral and General of the Fleets.: Continuance of their powers.; Martial law.; May grant the same to officers in fleet.; Further powers.; Council of State to give Commission to them.
Whereas by an Act of this present Parliament, entituled, An Act, for the Setling of the Power of the Admiralty of England and Ireland, All and every the Powers appertaining to the Office of Lord High Admiral of England, are for the present committed unto, and setled in the Councel of State appointed by Authority of Parliament. And whereas Colonel Edward Popham, Colonel Robert Blake, and Colonel Richard Dean, have been, and are nominated and appointed by this Parliament to be Commissioners for the immediate Ordering and Commanding of the Fleets now at Sea, and which shall be set forth for the year ensuing, One thousand six hundred fifty one; Be it Enacted and it is Enacted by this present Parliament and by Authority of the same, and the said Commissioners or any two of them have, and shall have full Power and Authority as Admiral and General of the said Fleets, to Order, Manage and Command the same for the Safety and Service of this Commonwealth; and for that purpose to give Commissions with the Seal of the Anchor, unto the Vice-Admiral of the said Fleets, Admiral of the Irish Seas, and all other Officers of the said Fleets for the Service aforesaid; And themselves from time to time shall observe such Orders and Directions as they shall receive from the Parliament or from the said Councel of State; and this Power to commence from the Three and twentieth day of February, One thousand six hundred fifty, and to continue unto the first day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty one; And that the said Commissioners or any two of them, during the space aforesaid, have, and shall have the Power of Marshal Law over all persons belonging to the said Fleets under their Command, and shall be authorized to execute and exercise the same for the better ordering and government of the said Fleets, according to such Rules and Articles as shall be given, allowed or approved for that purpose by the Parliament, and according to the general Customs and Laws of the Sea; and by Warrant under their own or any two of their Hands and Seals, to grant the same Power to any officer of the said Fleet, Commanding in chief any Squadron, or part of the Fleet divided from the rest in absence of them the said Commissioners; And that any one of the said Commissioners being appointed and impowered thereunto by the other two, shall and may command in Chief the said Fleet or any part thereof, and exercise therein the Powers aforesaid, or any of them, upon such Coast or North-Sea, and in such Service, and for such time for which he shall be so impowered. And the said Councel of State are to give a Commission unto the said Commissioners under the Seal of the said Council, according to the tenor and effect premised, with such further Instructions and Directions for the prosecution of the Service aforesaid, as to the said Councel shall from time to time seem meet.