Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[5 June, 1645.]
Forasmuch as the true Protestant Religion, the Laws and Liberties of the Subjects, and the Parliament, are in Danger to be subverted, Idolatry and Tyranny like to be introduced, by the Force and Power of several Armies, raised by Pretence of the King's Authority, consisting of Papists and other dangerous and ill-affected Persons of this Kingdom, and Irish Rebels, and of divers Popish Soldiers and others of Foreign Kingdoms and Nations, being not under the King's Obedience, for the Ruin and Destruction of this Kingdom; and whereas the Western Parts of this Realm, having for a long Time lain under the Power of such Persons, are miserably wasted and destroyed, and have endured many grievous Oppressions, and are likely longer to continue under the same Sufferings, unless prevented by a considerable Power of Forces, to be suddently raised by Authority of both Houses of Parliament: Be it therefore Ordained, by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That all and every Person and Persons as shall be nominated and appointed, deputed or authorized by the Committee of Lords and Commons for the Safety of the Western associated Counties, or any Eight or more of them, whereof Two to be Members of the House of Peers, and Four to be Members of the House of Commons, shall be, and are hereby authorized, required, and enjoined, from Time to Time, to raise, levy, and imprest, within the Limits of the Western Association, such Number of Soldiers, Gunners, and Chirurgeons, and to take and raise Horses, in such Manner as shall be directed and appointed by the said Committee of the Western Associations, who are hereby further authorized to command all Constables and other Officers to be aiding and assisting in the said Service of impresting; all and every which Persons so to be imprested shall have such Imprest-money, Coat and Conduct-money, Wages and Entertainment, and other necessary Charges, Allowances, Accommodations, as shall be fit and convenient, according to the Discretion of the Persons authorized for Execution of the said Service, or any Two or more of them respectively; and if any Person or Persons shall wilfully refuse to be imprested for the said Service, that then it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Persons, so authorized as aforesaid, to commit them to Prison, until they shall yield Obedience, or pay the Sum of Ten Pounds, to be imposed for the Supply of the said Service: Provided always, That this Ordinance shall not extend to the pressing of any Clergyman, Scholar, or Student, in any the Universities, Inns of Court or Chancery, or Houses of Law, or of any Person rated in the last Subsidies granted by Parliament, or the Son of any Person rated at Five Pounds Goods, or Three Pounds Lands, in the Subsidy-books; or of any Person of the Rank or Degree of an Esquire or upwards, or the Son of and such Peron, or the Sons of the Widow of any such Person; or to the pressing of any Person under the Age of Eighteen, or above the Age of Fifty; or of the Members or Officers of either House of Parliament, or of their menial Servants, or any the Assistants or Attendants of the Lords House, or any of their menial Servants; or of any Mariner, Seaman, Waterman, or Fisherman; or any Officer employed in the Office of Excise, or in the Office of Customs for Tonnage or Poundage: Provided, That this Ordinance shall continue, and be in Force, for the Space of Six Months from the Date hereof, and no longer.