October 1653: An Act For The better and more effectual Discovery and Prosecution of Thieves and Highway Men.

Pages 772-773

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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October, 1653

[21 October, 1653.]

Be it Enacted by the Authority of this present Parliament, That such person or persons, who shall at any time from and after the Two and twentieth day of October, One thousand six hundred fifty and three, discover to any Justice of Peace, or any other Officer of Justice, any person that hath committed or shall commit any Robbery on the High-way, or Burglary, or that hath or shall Feloniously break open any dwelling house or Feloniously enter into any such house, or there use any violence upon any person, or steal any money or Goods, and shall Apprehend or cause to be Apprehended such Offender; upon Conviction of such Offender so Apprehended by means of such discovery, shall have a reward of Ten pounds for every such Offender so Apprehended and Convicted: And all and every Sheriff and Sheriffs of the respective counties of England and Wales, where such Conviction shall be had, be required upon the Certificate of the Judge, or under the Hands of two or more Justices of Peace before whom such Conviction shall be had, to pay unto such person or persons who shall discover and apprehend such Offender, or upon whose discovery such Offender shall be Apprehended, the Reward aforesaid of Ten pounds for every Offender so Apprehended and convicted, out of the publique money received by him in that County; and the same shall be alowed unto him upon his Accompts in the Exchequer.

And be it further Enacted, That if any person Guilty of any of the Crimes aforesaid, shall make any considerable discovery of his or their Complices, or the like Offenders, to the Council of State, or to any of the Judges or Justices of Peace of the Commonwealth, so as the parties discovered shall be apprehended and legally convicted; That then it shall and may be lawful for the Councel of State, Judges or Justices to whom such discovery shall be made, to give Reprieves, Protection, and the reward of Ten pounds for such discovery, to be paid as aforesaid by the Sheriff of the County where the Offence is committed, or the party convicted.

And be it further Enacted and Declared, That any person or persons that shall discover any Felon or Felons (commonly called or known by the name of Moss-Troopers) residing upon the Borders of England and Scotland, who upon such discovery shall be apprehended and convicted of any common Felony (Petty Larceny onely excepted) shall upon the said Conviction have the like Encouragement of Ten pounds; and all Sheriffs of the respective Counties where the Fact shall be committed, and the party convicted shall make payment accordingly: And this Act to continue in Force, until the One and twentieth day of October, One thousand six hundred fifty six, and no longer.