Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[1 July, 1645.]
£20,000 to be raised in London and Liberties thereof, etc., for reduction of Oxford; Committee for assessment.
The Lords and Commons taking into their consideration the many and great advantages that would redound unto the Common-wealth, by reducing the City of Oxford, being the Enemies head Quarter, to the obedience of Parliament, and that the same would much conduce to the shortning of the present War, and that for the effecting thereof a competent sum of Money must necessarily be advanced; Have Ordained, and be it Ordained by authority of Parliament, That for the same purpose there be forthwith within the City of London and Liberties thereof, and other Parishes and places mentioned within the weekly Bills of Mortality, the sum of Twenty thousand pounds, whereof the sum of Fifteen thousand five hundred fifty five pounds eleven shillings two pence, within the said Cities and Liberties thereof, and upon such persons and goods wheresoever they are to be found, as are herein after expressed, and Four thousand four hundred and forty four pounds eight shillings ten pence, within the Hamblets of the Tower, City of Westminster, Borough of Southwarke, and other places mentioned in the weekly Bills of Mortality, and upon such persons and goods wheresoever they are to be found, as are herein also expressed; And for the more speedy and orderly raising thereof, It is Ordained by the said Lords & Commons, That the Committee appointed by several Acts of Common-Councel for the gathering in of the arrears, or any seven of them shalbe a Committee to Assesse the said sum of Fifteen thousand five hundred fifty five pounds eleven shillings two pence, upon any person or persons being of ability as either now inhabit or have any trade or stock going within the city of London and Liberties thereof. And that the Committees of Middlesex and City of Westminster and Liberties, and the Committee of Surrey nominated in the Ordinance of October the 13. 1644. for raising Moneys for Ireland, or any seven of them respectively, shall be a Committee to Assess the said sum of Four thousand four hundred forty four pounds eight shillings ten pence, within the Hamblets of the Tower, City of Westminster, Borough of Southwark, and places mentioned within the weekly Bills of Mortality, upon any such person or persons being of ability as either now inhabit or have any trade or stock going within the several places aforesaid.
Penalties for refusal to pay.
And be it Ordained by the authority aforesaid, That all and every such person and persons being Assessed by vertue hereof, and neglecting or refusing to pay the said several sums so Assessed (within ten days after notice given or left in writing at his usual habitation or place of abode, or at the dwelling house or place of abode of any partner or Factor of any person Assessed) unto the several Committees, or the Treasurer or Treasurers by them appointed to receive the same, shall by vertue of a Warrant from the Committee of Lords and Commons for advance of Moneys and other necessaries for the Army, usually sitting at Haberdashers Hall (who are hereby authorized to make and give such Warrants unto such person or persons as shall be by the Committees nominated for that purpose) be compelled to pay the said sums so assessed, by distress of the goods and chattels of such person or persons so neglecting or refusing to pay the same; which said goods so distrained, shall be sold by the said several and respective Committees appointed by this Ordinance for the Service aforesaid. And if any person or persons shall neglect or refuse to make payment of the sum or sums so Assessed and demanded as aforesaid, until a distress be taken for the same; That then every person and persons so neglecting or refusing as aforesaid, shall pay such reasonable charge for every such distress, removal and sale of his or their goods, as the said several Committees shall respectively allow, or appoint to be imployed for the better execution of this Ordinance.
Where no distress imprisonment.
And if no sufficient Distress can be found, then every such person and persons shall by vertue of such Warrant from the said Committee of Lords and Commons to be made as aforesaid, be committed to safe custody, there to remain until such person or persons shall satisfie the said several sums assessed upon them by vertue of this Ordinance.
And the said several Committees appointed by vertue of this Ordinance for the service aforesaid, are hereby further authorized and enabled to call to their assistance, for the better execution and performance of this Ordinance, any Constables, Headboroughs, and any Officers or Soldiers of the Trained-bands or Auxiliaries in their respective limits.
Moneys to be paid over to Treasurers at War.;Allowances; Repayment of Loans out of Excize.
And be it further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the several sums of Money assessed as aforesaid, shall be brought unto the said several Committees, or to such Treasurer or Treasurers as shall be by them appointed to receive the same; which Money so paid to the said several Committees, Treasurers or Treasurers as aforesaid, shall be by them paid over to the Treasurers at War, and shall be by them issued and paid out by vertue of Warrants from the Committee for the three Counties of Bucks, Berks and Oxon, for the advance of the said service of reducing of Oxford, and not otherwise, deducting from time to time such necessary charges for the collecting and gathering in of the said Moneys as the said several Committees shall think fit, not exceeding six pence in the pound. And in regard of many other Taxes now on foot for the publique service in the places abovementioned, the Lords and Commons do hereby Ordain, That such persons as shall pay in the Moneys that shall be upon them assessed by vertue of this Ordinance, shall be repaid the several sums which shall be by them advanced out of the Receipt of the Excise; And that no Ordinance nor Assignment which is not already passed upon the Receipt of the Excize, shall precede this Ordinance; And the Commissioners of the Excize or New-Impost for the time being, are hereby Authorized to pay at the end of six Moneths the Interest of so much Moneys as shall be advanced by vertue hereof, after the Rate of Eight pounds per centum per annum; And the Principal Money and the rest of the Interest after the Rate aforesaid, shall be paid in due course unto such persons as did advance the same.
And be it further Ordained, That all Sheriffs, Constables, Headboroughs, and all Officers and Soldiers of the Trained-bands and Auxiliaries, shall be ayding and assisting to the said Committees, and to such Officers as shall be imployed by them for the better execution and performance of the said service; And if any Officer or person above specified shall refuse and neglect to give such ayd and assistance as aforesaid, in the due and speedy execution of this present Ordinance;
Penalty for non-assistance.
The said respective Committees shall have hereby power to impose upon such Officers or persons so refusing or neglecting their duties therein, such Fine or Fines as to them shall be thought meet, not exceeding Five pounds for any one Offence, and to the cause to be leavied by distress and sale of goods, in maner and form aforesaid.
Committee for Oxon to account to Parl.; Indemnity.; Who exempted.
And be it further Ordained by Authority aforesaid, That the said Committee for the three Counties of Oxon, Bucks and Berks, shall from time to time give Accompt to both or either Houses of Parliament, or to whom they shall direct, how they have caused the said Moneys to be issued out; And that all persons acting in pursuance of this Ordinance, shall be saved harmless by Authority of both Houses of Parliament: And that no priviledged place or person within the Cities and Places aforesaid, shall be exempted from the said Assessments and Taxes, except the Peers of this Realm, Members of the House of Commons, Assistants of the House of Peers, and Officers and Attendants of both Houses of Parliament respectively.