Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Be it Enacted and Ordained by this present Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That Robert Titchborn, Thomas Smith, John Holland, Robert Thompson, Henry West, William Bundock, Robert Dennis, William Berkley, John Langley, Nathaniel Andrews, George Pasfield, John Upton, Maurice Thompson, Owen Rowe, Mark Hildsley, John Dethick, Daniel Taylor, Hamond Ward and Henry Sweet, Esquires, or any three or more of them, and such sufficient Deputies as they or any five or more of them shall nominate and appoint, are hereby constituted and made Commissioners for the sale of all PrizeGoods, and all Ships, Goods, Vessels, Arms, Ammunition, Wares, and Merchandize whatsoever, and of what kinde, condition or nature soever, that either are already seized, surprized and taken, and now remain still to be sold, or shall be hereafter seized, surprized or taken by the Fleet or Ships in the service or employment of the Parliament, or any of them, or which shall be otherwise by any seizure or other capture lawfully belonging to the Parliament: Provided always, That they shall not proceed to any such Sale, till after sentence and adjudication first given in the High Court of Admiralty, that the same be lawfully taken, or be lawful prize, unless the said Court of Admiralty shall (where they finde the Goods perishable, and not preservable till sentence) make some particular order or decree for the apprizement, and sale or delivery thereof to the best advantage. And provided also, That none of the said Commissioners, nor any Deputy or Deputies by them or any of them to be nominated, shall by themselves or any other, directly or indirectly, contract for, or buy all or any of the said Ships, Goods or Prizes, or any part thereof; and that if any such contract or sale shall be made to them or any of them, that the same be utterly void.
And be it further Ordained and Enacted by this present Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That John Sparrow, Richard Blackwal and Humphrey Blake, Esqs; and such sufficient person or persons as they or any two or more of them shall nominate and appoint (for whom they shall, and are hereby declared to be responsible) shall be, and are hereby constituted and appointed Treasurers and Collectors of prizegoods, to receive, collect and take into their custody and possession, all such Ships, Vessels, Arms, Ordnance, Ammunition, Provisions, Wares, Merchandizes and Goods, of what kinde, nature or condition soever. And all such parts and shares of Ships, Vessels, Arms, Ammunition, Goods, Wares & Merchandizes whatsoever, as are already seized, surprized or taken by all or any of the Fleet, ships or vessels in the service or employment of the Parliament, or to which the Parliament hath lawful claim by vertue of any other Seizure, or Capture or Detention, either at Sea, or in Harbor or Ports.
And it is further Enacted, That the said Treasurers and Collectors shall have full power to send for, and call to accompt, and to take and receive accompts of and from all Captains and Masters of Ships, Pursers, Officers and Mariners of Ships, or whatsoever such other persons, to whose hands any Ships, Vessels, Ordnance, Arms, Provisions, Goods, Wares or Merchandizes taken or seized as prize aforesaid, shall come, or happen to be delivered, to render up the particulars to the said Treasurers and Collectors, and to deliver up all the said premises to them or their sufficient Deputies, to be by them preserved and kept, according to the true meaning of this Act. And in case any of the said Captains, Masters, Pursers, Officers, Mariners or other persons as aforesaid, being so required as aforesaid by the said Treasurers and Collectors or their Deputies, shall refuse or delay to do and perform the same, that then upon complaint thereof made by the said Treasurers and Collectors in the High Court of Admiralty, there shall issue out Process against them in the said Court, and proceedings shall there go against them, and they shall be condemned, adjudged and fined, or punished, as their cases shall require.
And it is further Ordered by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Treasurers and Collectors, or any or either of them, shall take due care, that there shall be from time to time due Inventories made and taken of all and singular the said prizes, ships, vessels, wares, merchandize and goods; and that the said appraisements be made to the right and true value, without fraud, deceit or miscarriage, that so the same may be truly known and answered for, as and when the same shall be required.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That upon any sale of any such ships, vessels, arms, goods, wares, merchandizes and premises made or to be made by authority of this Act, that such person or persons that shall buy the same, shall pay the one half of the moneys for which they contract, upon the next day after such sale to be made, and the other moyety upon the delivery of the goods; and in case there shall be any failer of performing their contract, That then the said buyers, and every of them, shall be forthwith convented in the said Court of Admiralty; and in case they shall be adjudged and condemned to pay the money by them contracted for, then the same shall be duly levied by the execution of the said Court, as in other cases is accustomed.
And it is further hereby Enacted, That the said John Sparrow, Richard Blackwal and Humphrey Blake, Treasurers and Collectors for prize goods, are hereby authorized and required to make payment of the moneys arising upon the sale of such prizes, ships and goods as aforesaid, according to the Tenure of a late Act of this present Parliament, Entituled, An Act for encouragement of Officers and Mariners and Impresting Seamen, and according to such Orders as they shall receive from time to time, from the Parliament or Council of State; which Orders shall be sufficient discharge for the said Collectors, or any or either of them; And likewise the said Collectors, or any or either of them, are commanded (as often as they shall be called thereunto) by the Parliament or Council of State, to give a true and just accompt of all such sums of money as have or shall come into their hands of the said prizes.
And for recompence and satisfaction of all charges concerning the said prize goods, Be it further Enacted and Ordained, That all Bills of charges for removal of the said prize goods so sold, keeping and preserving of them, for Storehouses, Bill and charges of Suit, and all other necessary costs and charges (the same being proved upon Oath before the said Commissioners of prize goods, or any two or more of them; (which Oath they are hereby enabled and authorized to give) the said Commissioners for Sale of prize goods, or any five or more of them, are hereby enabled and authorized from time to time to alow of the same: And the Order of the said Commissioners of prize goods, or any five or more of them, for alowance of such Bills, shall be a sufficient discharge and Warrant to the said Collectors and Treasurers for the payment thereof.
And for the further charges of the said Treasurers and Collectors, for their travel, labor of themselves, their Clerks and Deputies, in receiving and paying the money by them collected, for Books of Accompts, and other incident charges, they are to have Twelve pence in the pound and no more.
And it is further Enacted, That the said John Sparrow, Richard Blackwal and Humphrey Blake, shall enter into several Recogni zances in the sum of Two thousand pounds apiece, before the said Commissioners of prize goods, or any five or more of them, with sufficient sureties as the said Commissioners of prize goods, or any five of them shall judge fitting, with condition that they shall make true account of all such moneys or prize goods as they or their Deputies shall receive into their charge, unto the Parliament or Council of State, or such as they shall appoint. And for the better performance of the service contained in this Act, all Justices of Peace, Sheriffs, Majors, Bayliffs, Customers, Comptrollers, Searchers, Captains of Ships and Forts; as also all Officers belonging to the Admiralty Court, and all other Officers whatsoever, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said John Sparrow, Richard Blackwal and Humphrey Blake, or any or either of them, their, or any of their Deputies by them appointed as aforesaid, in the due execution of the premises, as occasion shall require; and this present Act shall be a sufficient authority and discharge for the doing and executing of all and singular the premises, according to the true intent and meaning thereof.