Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[24 April, 1645.]
Ord. 27 Feb. 1644.;Pain of death for all Soldiers pressed under Sir T. Fairfax and not repairing to their colours, or that desert.; Defaulters and Deserters to be searched for.; Penalty for concealing such soldiers.; Ord. 15 Feb., 1644.; This Ord. to be printed, and published in all Market.;Towns and Parish Churches.
Whereas by Ordinance of Parliament intituled, An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, For the speedy Raising and Impresting of Men for the recruiting of the Forces under the Command of Sir Thomas Fairfax in the defence of the Kingdom; It is Ordained (Inter alia) that the Committee of the Militia for the City of London, the Deputy-Lieutenants and Committees of Parliament in every County, City or place within this Realm, or any two or more of them, within their several Limits and Jurisdictions, shall be and are thereby Authorized, Required and Inioyned from time to time to Raise, Leavy, and Impress such number of Souldiers for the defence of the King, Parliament and Kingdom, as shall be appointed by both Houses of Parliament, by the Committee of both Kingdoms, or by Sir Thomas Fairfax. The said Lords and Commons for preventing abuses which may happen by the souldiers absenting themselves from their Colors and the Army, and by the harboring and concealing of Souldiers so Raised, Leavied and Imprested as aforesaid, Do. therefore Order and Ordain, That all Souldiers already Raised, Listed or Imprested, or which hereafter shall be Raised, Listed or Imprested under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, shall upon pain of death to be inflicted without mercy, repair to their Colours within six days after publication hereof: And for such as shall be hereafter Imprested and Listed within six days after their Listing; and constantly abide there, and not depart without Licence under the hand of Sir Thomas Fairfax, or of the superior Officer then present of the Regiment wherein such Souldier or Souldiers shall serve. And for the better discovery of all such person who have been Imprested or Listed, as already have, or hereafter shall absent themselves from their Colors, The said Lords & Commons do hereby require and command all High Constables, petty Constables, Tithingmen, and Headboroughs in their several Divisions, Hundreds, Towns and Parishes, to make strict search and inquiry in the several Houses within their respective Limits and Parishes, for finding out such Souldiers as may be harbored there. And if any Souldier or Souldiers shall be found remaining in any of the Towns and Places aforesaid, the High Constables and petty Constables aforementioned, are hereby authorized and required to apprehend their persons, and carry them before such of the Deputy-Lieutenants, Committees of Parliament, or Justices of Peace as are neerest to the places where they are so apprehended; who are hereby authorized and required to commit such Souldiers to the County Goal, or other Prison, and to secure their Horses, Arms, Souldiers Clothes and Moneys, if they have any, for the service of the State, And for the preventing the harboring and concealing any Souldier or Souldiers, as aforesaid, who shall depart out, or absent himself from the said service without Licence, It is further Ordained and Declared, That every Town or Parish wherein such Souldier or Souldiers shall be found to be harbored or concealed, shall forfeit and pay the sum of Ten pounds; and every person harboring or concealing any Souldier or Souldiers as aforesaid, shall pay for every Souldier so concealed and harbored forty shillings: All which said several sums of Money to be forfeited as aforesaid, shall be collected, leavied and paid in such sort, manner, way and form, and shall be imployed to the same use as are prescribed and set down for leavying Money in the former Ordinance of Parliament, For raising and maintaining Forces for defence of the Kingdom under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax. And to the intent that all Souldiers under the command of the said Sir Thomas Fairfax, and all and every other person and persons concerned in the premises may take notice hereof, It is further Ordained, that this present Ordinance be forthwith printed, and published in the several Market Towns and Parish Churches of every County within the power of the Parliament within six days next following the receipt thereof, that none may pretend ignorance of any of the particulars before mentioned.
And it is further Ordained, That the Deputy-Lieutenants, Committee of Parliament, all Mayors, Bailiffs, Sheriffs, Governors of Towns, and Justices of Peace of the several Counties, Cities and places within this Kingdom, shall take special care to put this Ordinance in due execution, according to the purport and true meaning thereof.