Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas by an Ordinance of Parliament made the third day of January last past, and intituled, An Ordinance of Parliament for the taking away the Book of Common-Prayer, and for establishing and putting in execution of the Directory for the publique Worship of God; it was, (amongst other things therein contained) ordained, That the said Book of Common-Prayer should not remain, or be from henceforth used in any Church, Chappel, or place of Publique Worship, within the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, and that the Directory for Publique Worship, in the said recited Ordinance set forth, should be from thenceforth used, pursued, and observed, according to the true intent and meaning of the said Ordinance, in all exercises of the Publique Worship of God in every Congregation, Church, Chappel, and place of Publique Worship within this Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales; yet, nevertheless, in regard that in or by the said recited Ordinance, there was no special direction made or contained for the speedy dispersing of the said Directory into the several Parishes within the Kingdome of England and Dominion of Wales, and publishing of the same Directory; nor any punishment set down, either for the using of the said Book of Common-Prayer, or for the non-using or depraving of the said Directory; by means whereof, there hath been as yet little fruit of the said Ordinance: The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, taking the Premisses into serious consideration, do ordain, That the Knights and Burgesses of the several Counties, shall send Printed Books of the said Directory for Gods Worship, fairly bound up in Leather, unto the Committees of Parliament residing in the said several respective Counties, who shall with all convenient speed send the same, and cause them to be delivered unto the several respective Constables, or other Officers of all the several Parishes, and respective Chappelries and Donatives, within the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales, and Port and Town of Barwick, (that is to say) One Book unto the respective Constables, and other Officers of every one of the said Parishes, Chappelries and Donatives to be paid for by the Inhabitants within the said several Parishes and Chappelries.
And it is further hereby ordained by the Lords and Commons, That the several and respective Constables or other Officers, shall within one week after their Receipts of the said Books of the Directory, deliver the said Books unto the several and respective Ministers of the said Parishes, upon pain that every of the said Constables or other Officers that shall make default therein, shall forfeit and pay for every such default, the sum of Five shillings of lawfull English Money.
And it is further hereby ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That the said several Ministers shall, on the next Lords Day after their receipt of the said Books of the Directory, before the morning Sermon, openly read in their several Churches and Chappels, the said Directory for the Publique Worship of God.
And it is further hereby ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that if any Person or Persons whatsoever, shall at any time or times hereafter, use, or cause the aforesaid Book of Common-Prayer to be used in any Church, Chappel, or Publique place of Worship, or in any Private place or Family, within the Kingdome of England, or Dominion of Wales, or Port and Town of Barwick; that then every such person so offending therein, shall for the first offence forfeit and pay the sum of Five pounds of lawfull English Money, for the second offence the sum of Ten pounds, and for the third offence shall suffer one whole years imprisonment without Bail or Mainprize.
And it is further hereby ordained by the said Lords and Commons; That the several and respective Ministers of all Parishes, Churches, and Chappels within the said Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales, and Port and Town of Barwick, shall respectively from time to time, and at all times hereafter (as much as shall in them lie) pursue, and observe the Directory for Publique Worship, established by Ordinance of Parliament, according to the true intent and meaning thereof.
And it is further ordained, That every Minister which shall not henceforth pursue and observe the Directory for Publique Worship, according to the true intent and meaning thereof, in all exercises of the Publique Worship of God within this Realm of England and Dominion of Wales, and within the Town and Port of Barwick, shall for every time, that he shall so offend, lose and forfeit the sum of Forty shillings of lawfull English Money. And that what person soever shall, with intent to bring the said Directory into contempt and neglect, or to raise opposition against it, Preach, Write, Print, or cause to be Written or Printed, any thing in the derogation or depraving of the said Book, or any thing therein contained, or any part thereof, shall lose and forfeit for every such offence, such a sum of Money as shall at the time of his conviction be thought fit to be imposed upon him by those before whom he shall have his Tryal; provided, that it be not less then Five pounds, nor exceeding the sum of Fifty pounds.
And be it further Ordained by the authority aforesaid, That no person or persons shall be at any time hereafter impeached or molested, of, or for any of the offences last above mentioned, hereafter to be committed or done contrary to this Ordinance, unless he or they so offending be thereof indicted at the next or second general Sessions, to be holden before any Justices of Oyer and Determiner, or Justices of Assize, or before the Justices of Peace at their general quarter Sessions next, after any offence committed or done, contrary to the tenor of this Ordinance, and that he be thereof lawfully convicted according to the Lawes of this Realm, by verdict of twelve men, or by his own confession.
Provided also, and be it ordained by the authority aforesaid, That the Lord Mayor of London, and all other Mayors, Bayliffs and all other Head Officers of all and singular Cities, Burroughs and Towns Corporate within this Realm, and Dominion of Wales, to the which Justices of Assize do not commonly repair, and that have Commissions of Goal Delivery directed unto them, or are Counties of themselves, shall have full power and authority, by vertue of this Ordinance to inquire, hear and determine the offences afore-mentioned, and every of them yearly within fifteen daies after the twenty fifth day of March, and the nine and twentieth day of September, in like manner and form, as Justices of Assize and Oyre and Terminer may do.
And it is further Ordained by the authority aforesaid, That all Mulcts and Penalties inflicted by this Ordinance, not exceeding the sum of five pounds, shall be levyed and paid to the use of the Poor of the Parish, where the said offence hath been committed, and that all other Fines, exceeding the said sum of five pounds, shall be to the use of the Poor of the County, City, or Burrough respectively, where the said offences shall be committed, to be disposed by the Justices of the Peace, Mayors or Bayliffs respectively, at the next general Sessions, where and when the said sums shall be adjudged.
It is further ordered and ordained, That all Common Prayer Books remaining in Parish Churches and Chappels, shall within a moneth after the publishing of this Ordinance, be by the Church-wardens, or Constables of the respective Parishes, under the penalty of fourty shillings to be imployed as aforesaid, carryed unto the Committees of the respective Counties, where they shall be found, to be disposed of as the Parliament shall direct.