Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[27 January, 1642/3.]
Whereas Sir Ralph Hopton, and his Adherents, Rebels and Traitors, combining together, hath levied War against the Parliament, and hath, in a Warlike Manner. already entered into the County of Devon, and besieged, robbed, spoiled, plundered, and pillaged, divers Towns and Places in the said County, and divers cruel and barbarous Murders, Rapes, and other notorious Outrages, hath committed and done, in the said County, upon divers of His Majesty's good Subjects, and many of them hath utterly ruined and destroyed; and forasmuch as the like Danger and Destruction is threatened to the County of Somersett, by the said Rebels and Traitors, who have a great Party in the said County of Somersett, that are Persons ill-affected: It is therefore Ordered and Ordained, by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That Sir John Horner, Sir Francis Popham, Sir Thomas Wroth, Sir George Farwell, Knights, Alexander Popham, Hugh Rogers, Christo. Walker, John Harrington, John Hippesley, John Francis, Richard Cole, William Strode, John Pyne, Henry Henley, John Preston, James Ash, John Ash, Henry Stamford, William Seaborne, Tho. Hippesley, and William Long, Esquires, or any Three or more of them, or any Three or more of such honest, able, and sufficient Men, as any Three or more of the Persons aforementioned shall, by their Warrants under their Hands, nominate and appoint Assessors, shall assess, rate, and charge such Person and Persons, Inhabitants or others, residing and abiding in the said County, as are of Ability, and have not contributed to the Propositions for the raising of Horse, Money, or Plate, for the Defence of the King and Parliament, formerly agreed upon by both Houses of Parliament, and other such as have contributed, but not according to their Abilities, to pay such Sum or Sums of Money, according to their Estates, as the said Assessors, or any Three of them, shall think fit and reasonable, so as the same exceed not the Twentieth Part of their Estates; and if any Person so assessed shall refuse to pay the Money so to be assessed upon him, in such Manner, and at such Times and Places, as by the said Assessors, or any Three of them, shall be required and appointed, it shall be lawful to and for the said Assessors abovenamed, or any Three of them, to grant Warrants to any Person or Persons, under their Hands and Seals, to levy all and every such Sum or Sums so assessed, by Way of Distress and Sale of the Goods of such Person or Persons so assessed and refusing, and restoring the Overplus, if any shall be over, to him or them that shall be so distrained, if if any shall be; and if any Person so distrained shall make Resistance, it shall be lawful to and for the said Assessors abovenamed, or any Three of them, by their Warrant, to require the Parliament's Forces in those Parts, and all other His Majesty's Officers and good Subjects, to be aiding and assisting in the Premises the said Sum so assessed and levied to be paid unto John Ash Esquire, and Roger Hill of Taunton Gentleman, Treasurers, hereby appointed to receive the said Sums so to be raised and levied as aforesaid; and that the Money so raised shall not be issued out but by Warrant to the said Treasurers, under the Hands of Three or more of the said Assessors abovementioned; and such Person or Persons as shall be notoriously refractory and disobedient in the Premises, or have not sufficient to be taken, it shall be lawful for the Assessors abovenamed, or any Two of them, by their Warrant under their Hands and Seals, to commit him or them to some common Gaol, there to remain until Payment be made of such Sum or Sums of Money upon him or them so assessed, or to send them up to the Parliament by Ship or otherwise; and for any Act or Thing done, or to be done, according to the Tenor of this Ordinance, they, and every of them beforenamed, and all and every other Person or Persons by them employed in the Execution of this said Ordinance, shall be saved harmless, by Authority of both Houses of Parliament.