Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Forasmuch as the Fortifications and Guards within the Cities of London and Westminster, and parts adjacent, within the Lines of Communication, and weekly Bils of Mortality, are very necessary for the safety and defence of the said Cities and places, and preservation of the Parliament in these times of distraction and danger, and for that the Citizens and Inhabitants within the said Cities and places have been, and are daily at great charges in maintaining the same, For raising of money to pay the charge of the Fortifications and Guards aforesaid, and for satisfying the great debts therby already incurred and other necessary uses: The Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, have Ordained, and be it Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That there shall be monethly charged and levied upon the Cities of London and Westminster, The Hamlets, of the Tower, and Borough of Southwark, and all other Parishes and places within the Line of Communication; and weekly Bills of Mortality, the summe of six thousand nine hundred sixty two pounds foure shillings: That is to say, upon the City of London, five thousand foure hundred eighty two pounds ten shillings three pence. Upon the City and liberty of Westminster, six hundred sixteene pounds ten shillings eight pence halfe penny. Upon the Hamblets, foure hundred ninety three pounds foure shillings seven pence. Upon the Borough of Southwarke, three hundred sixty nine pounds eighteene shillings five pence farthing, for the purposes aforesaid, for six moneths. To commence from the first day of November last past, And to the end the severall summes of money, may be duly raised, levyed, and paid; as hereafter is directed.
Be it further Ordained, by the said Lords and Commons, That the Lord Major and Aldermen of London, shall be Committees for the City of London and Liberties thereof, And the Lord Major and Aldermen of London, and six such persons of every of the Sub-Committees for the Militia, within the Lines of Communication, and weekly Bils of Mortality, as the said severall and respective Committees shall nominate and appoint, for this service, and the former Committees named in the Ordinance for the two last moneths Assessements for the City of Westminster, Burrough of Southwarke, Hamblets of the Tower, and other places within the Line of Communication, and Weekly Bills of Mortality, without the City of London, and Liberties thereof, shall be Committees for the said City of Westminster, Burrough of Southwarke, Hamblets of the Tower, and places aforesaid, without the City of London and Liberties thereof, within their severall and respective Divisions: which said Committees in their severall and respective divisions, or any two or more of them respectively, are hereby authorized and required to direct their Warrants to such number of Persons as they shall thinke fit, within their severall and respective Divisions to be Assessors for the said Rates, which said persons are hereby authorized and required to Assesse all and every Person and Persons wheresoever they shall live and inhabit, either within the said Limits, or without, having any reall or personall Estate within the Limits, Circuits, and Bounds of their respective Divisions, according to the rate and proportion in this Ordinance mentioned.
Sums assessed as directed in former Ord. of 4 March, 1642.; Assessors to make two Copies of Assessments, for Committees and Collectors respectively.; Collectors.; Collectors' and Clerks' Allowances.; Distress.; Assistance; Penalty for conveying away goods.; Tenants to pay rates, and deduct Landlords' share from Rents.; Penalty for Landlords that refuse to allow deduction.; Committees to settle differences between Landlords and Tenants.; Collectors to pay in Moneys to Treasurers.; Penalty or such as refuse to execute offices hereby laid on them..
And be it further Ordained by the Lords and Commons, That the severall Summes which shall be hereafter Assessed or taken upon the severall Cities and Places aforesaid, shall be Assessed and taken both for Lands and Goods, upon such Persons and Estates, and in such manner and forme, as is directed for the Weekly Assessements in an Ordinance of Parliament of the fourth day of March, 1642. Intituled An Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, For the speedy raising and levying of Money for the maintenance of the Army raised by the Parliament, and other great Affaires of the Commonwealth by a Weekly Assessement: and to the end the said Rates be equally and indifferently Assessed and the Moneys duly Collected, and true accompt thereof made; the said Assessors are hereby required, within six dayes after such Assessement made, to deliver two Copies of their respective Assessements fairly written and subscribed by them unto the said respective Committees, or to any of them; whereof one to remain with the said Committee, and the other to be delivered to the Collectors, with Warrants to levy the said Moneys. And the said severall Committees, or any three of them are hereby respectively authorized from time to time to nominate one or more sufficient and honest Persons in every Division or allotment, to be Collectors of the said Moneys so assessed and Rated; which the said Collectors are hereby authorized and required to collect the said Moneys so assessed, and the said respective Committees, or any six of them, are hereby authorized to allow and pay unto the said respective Collectors, two pence in the pound for their paines in collecting the said Moneys, and one penny in the pound to their Clerkes for their paines in faire writing the said Assessements: and if any person or persons whatsoever, shall refuse or neglect to pay any summe or summes of Money, whereat he or they shall be Rated and assessed, That then it shall and may be lawfull to, and for the said Collectors, or any of them to leavy the summe so assessed by Distresse, and the Sale of the Goods of such person or persons so refusing or neglecting to pay, deducting the summe assessed, and the reasonable charges of Distraining, and restore the overplus to the owner thereof. And likewise to breake open any House, Chest, Truncks, Boxe, or other thing wherein such Goods are, and to call to their assistance any of the Trained Bands, Constables, Headboroughs or any other Forces within the Cities and Places where any resistance shall be made, or any other person or persons whatsoever; which said Forces and Persons, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting in the premises, as they shall answer the contrary at their perils. And if any question or difference shall happen to arise upon the taking such Distresse, between the parties distrained and distraining, the same shall be ended and determined by the said Committees, or any two of them: and the said severall Committees, or any two or more of them, are hereby authorized and required to use such other wayes or meanes for the speedy levying of the said Assessements as to them shall be thought fit. And if any person or persons shall purposely convey away his or their Goods, or any other personall Estate, whereby the summe of money so assessed cannot be levyed according to this Ordinance: Then the said respective Committees or any two of them, are hereby authorized by themselves, or such other Persons as they shall appoint to imprison the Persons; and the Sequestrators to sequester the Estates of every such Person, for the advancement of the said service. And the Tenants of all Houses and Lands, which shall be rated by vertue of this Ordinance, are hereby required and authorized to pay such summes of money, as shall be rated upon every such House and Lands, and to deduct out of their Rents so much of the said Rates, as in respect of the Rents of every such House and Lands, the Landlords should or ought to pay, or beare; and the Landlords both mediate and immediate, according to their respective Interests, are hereby required to allow such deductions and payments upon the receipt of the residue of their Rents, and to give Acquittances for their whole Rents, as if no deductions had been made. And if any Landlord refuse to make any such deduction or allowance, or to give such acquittances, then the respective Committees for the Sequestrations in the Cities and Places aforesaid, upon proofe thereof made before them, are hereby authorized (for every time they shall so refuse) to seize and sequester for the service aforesaid, one full halfe yeares rent payable to such persons so refusing, allowing out of the same the summe of Money so paid by that Tenant as aforesaid. And if any difference shall arise between Landlord and Tenant, or any other concerning the said Rates, the said severall Committees, or any two of them in their severall Divisions have hereby power to settle the same as they shall thinke fit. And the said Collectors, and every of them are hereby required from time to time, to pay such summe and summes of money as shall be by them collected by vertue of this Ordinance, to such Treasurer or Treasurers for the City of London and Liberties thereof, as the Common Councell of the said City shall appoint. And for the Lines of Communication, and within the Weekly Bills of Mortality without the City and Liberties to such Treasurer or Treasurers as the respective Sub-Committees in their severall Divisions shall appoint. And the said severall Committees are hereby required to take speciall care, that the said Monethly Assessements be constantly levyed, collected and paid to the said Treasurer or Treasurers once in every Moneth, during the continuance of the terme mentioned in this Ordinance.
And be it further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that if any person or persons shall wilfully neglect or refuse to take upon him any Office or place herein mentioned, incident to this service, or having taken upon him such Office or place shall refuse or neglect to execute or performe the same, or if any other person or persons shall neglect or refuse to performe his dutie in the due and speedy execution of this present Ordinance, the Lord Major of the said City, for the time being, or any two of the Aldermen of the same City, for the City of London and the Liberties thereof, and the said respective Committees without the Liberties of the said City, and within the Lines of Communication and weekly Bills of Mortality, or any five of them, have hereby power to commit such person or persons so refusing or neglecting this service, as aforesaid, to prison, there to remaine without Baile, untill he shall conforme himselfe; or otherwise to impose upon such person or persons so refusing or neglecting the said service or their duties therein, such Fine or Fines as to them shall be thought fit, and cause the same to be levyed by Distresse, and sale of goods in manner and forme aforesaid.
Provided, That no fine to be imposed upon any of the said Committees shall for any one offence exceed the summe of five pounds, and that no fine to be imposed upon any Assessor, Collector, or any other person to be imployed by the said Committees in the said service, or refusing to be imployed therein, shall for any offence exceed the summe of five pounds: And that no priviledged place or person, within the Cities and places aforesaid, shall be exempted from the said Assessements and Taxes.
And be it further Ordained, That the said severall and respective Committees, and every of them shall from time to time give a true and perfect account of all their doings and proceedings in the execution of this Ordinance, (viz.) The Treasurer or Treasurers for London, and the Liberties, to the Lord Major, Aldermen, and Common Councell of the said City of London, or to such persons as they shall appoint; And the said Sub-Committees and their Treasurers, to the Committee for the Militia of the said City.
And be it further Ordained, that the Treasurers appointed to receive the Money by vertue of this Ordinance, are appointed and hereby authorized to issue out the said Moneys so gathered and received for the purpose aforesaid, and not otherwise, within the City and Liberties, as the Lord Major, Aldermen, and Commons in Common Councell assembled, or such persons as they from time to time shall appoint for that purpose; and without the said City and Liberties, and within the Line of Communication, and weekly Bills of Mortality, as the said Sub-Committees within their severall Divisions shall appoint for the uses aforesaid, and not otherwise.
And be it, lastly, by the said Lords and Commons further Ordained, that all and every the respective Committees, Assessors, Treasurers, and Collectors, of the respective Divisions aforesaid, and all that shall assist them in the premisses, shall be by the power of Parliament Protected and saved harmlesse, both for what according to the true meaning of the Premises, they have or shall doe therein.
Provided alwayes, that such Rates and Assessements, as shall be made by vertue of this Ordinance upon any Peeres of this Kingdome, or Members, Assistants, or Attendants upon either the Houses of Parliament, shall before the same be levyed, be presented to the respective Houses, whose Members, Assistants, or attendants shall be concerned therein respectively, and by such respective House allowed and approved of, any thing in this present Ordinance, to the contrary notwithstanding.