Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[28 October, 1645.]
General Collection in London, etc. for relief of Leicester.; Ord. to be printed and published, and to be read in Churches next Lord's Day.; Ministers, Church-wardens and others empowered to collect in their parishes.; Schedules of moneys received; Treasurers' Accounts and Allowances.; Disposal of moneys collected.; Ord. to continue 12 months..
Whereas it is very well known what miseries befel the Inhabitants of the Town and County of Leicester when the Kings Army took Leicester, by Plundering the said Inhabitants, not only of their Wares in their Shops, but also all their Houshold goods, and their Apparel from their backs, both of Men, Women and Children, not sparing in that kinde Infants in their Cradles, and by violent courses and tortures compelled them to discover whatsoever they had concealed or hid, and after all that Imprisoned their persons, and thereupon forced them to borrow Money to purchase their inlargements, to the undoing of the Tradesmen who are indebted for a great part of their Wares which the Enemy took away, and also to the ruine of many of the Countrey, and those the best affected to the Parliament, that brought their goods into the Town for protection: Be it therefore Ordained, and it is hereby Ordained by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That a general Collection be made in and throughout the City of London, and Lines of Communication, and all other Cities, Towns, Liberties, and Priviledged Places within the Counties of Middlesex, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hartford, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and County and City of Norwich, Bedford, Cambridge, and the Isle of Ely, Huntington, Lincoln, Nottingham, Darby, Stafford, Leicester, Warwick, and the County and City of Coventry, Northampton, Buckingham, Rutland, for and towards the Relief of such Inhabitants of the said Town and County of Leicester, who are well-affected to the proceedings of Parliament, and ruined by the Enemies taking of the said Town. And for the more speedy and better effecting of this Ordinance, the said Lords and Commons do hereby Command, That the same be forthwith put in Print, and published and dispersed into every Parish, Town, Hamlet and place within the aforesaid Counties, as well within Liberties as without: And that the Parsons, Vicars and Curates of the said Parishes, Towns, Hamlets and places respectively, are hereby required to read this Ordinance in their several Churches and Chappels upon the next Lords-day after the same shall be delivered unto them, when the Congregations are assembled together, both in the Forenoon and Afternoon, and to exhort the people to a free and liberal Contribution to this so necessary and charitable a work: And the Minister and Churchwardens of every such Parish, Hamlet, Town and place; and where no Minister and Church-wardens is or are, then two of the most sufficient men of Estates of such Parish, Town, Hamlet or place, are hereby authorized, after the reading of this Ordinance as aforesaid, to go with all convenient speed from house to house, to every of the Inhabitants of the said Parishes, Towns, Hamlets and places respectively, and to collect and gather the free and charitable Benevolences of the Inhabitants thereof, that shall be willing to Contribute to this so Pious and Charitable a work; And that every such Minister, Church wardens and other persons shall cause to be written in a Schedule the several sum or sums of money so given, and the Parish and place where the same is so given: And that the said several Ministers, Church-wardens and other persons shall Subscribe the said Schedule with their Hands, and that they shall within twenty days next after every such Collection respectively, bring or send the said Schedule, with the money so collected or gathered, and the Copy of this Ordinance that shall be sent unto them, unto the Mayor or chief Magistrate of the chief City or Town that is in the Parliaments power, within any of the said respective Counties, who are hereby authorized and required to receive the same accordingly, and within twenty days after their respective receipt thereof, to send the same unto William Hobson, Thomas Eyres, William Kendal, and Thomas Churchman, Gentlemen and Citizens of London, at the Chequer Chamber in Guild-Hall London, and there deliver the said Schedule, Copy and Money unto them the said William Hobson, Thomas Eyres, William Kendal, and Thomas Churchman, who are hereby appointed and authorized Treasurers for that purpose, and to receive the same, and to defray the necessary charges of sending up the said moneys: And lastly it is hereby Ordained. That the Committee of Leicester, or any seven of them (except such of them as shall expect benefit by this Benevolence) shall by vertue of this Ordinance have power to take the Accompts of the said Treasurers, and shall also give them reasonable alowances for their charges; And what moneys shall be collected or gathered upon this Ordinance, shall be divided and paid by the said Treasurers, or any two of them, to and amongst the aforesaid persons, according to the said Computation of their several Losses proportionably; and the Certificate of them the said Committee, or any seven of them, what every person or persons part or parts cometh unto, according to the said Computation, together with such person or persons Acquittance for the Receipt of his or their part or parts of the said Collection, shall be a sufficient Discharge to the said Treasurers; Provided always, and it is hereby Declared, That this Ordinance shall continue for the space of Twelve Moneths and no longer.