Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[19 January, 1645/6]
Power to Com. of London Militia to levy Arms and Soldiers.; Penalty for disobedience.; Fines to be used for; defence of London; Power to Committee to search for and seize Papists and Malignants.; Power to charge certain persons with Horse Soldiers.; Penalty for neglect; Fines to be used for payment of Cavalry Officers, etc.; Members of both Houses exempted.; Indemnity.; Ord. to continue 9 months only.
Whereas divers persons within the city of London, & parts adjacent within the Lines of Communication, and Parishes men tioned in the weekly Bills of Mortality, and Hamblets of the Tower, that are not fit to bear Arms in their own persons, yet are able and fit to finde Arms, and pay others for bearing the same, but do neglect and refuse the doing thereof; and whereas divers Papists and ill-affected persons, do lurk and hide themselves in divers houses and places within the limits aforesaid, that hold correspondency with, or bring intelligence from the Enemy, and others that gather together Arms, Ammunition and other materials of War, likely to be imployed to the prejudice of the Parliament and City; And whereas by several Ordinances of Parliament, power is given to the Committee for ordering the Militia within the limits aforesaid, and drawing out Forces for service abroad, and that many things mentioned in the said Ordinances to be put in execution, require the help and assistance of more persons in the nature of Sub-Committees; thereupon power is given to the said Committee to make one or more Sub-Committees within the said limits as they shall think fit; and for the better inabling the said Sub-Committees so made or to be made, to perform the service therein contained, The Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, do Ordain and Declare, and be it Ordained and Declared, That the said Committee of the Militia of London, shall have power and are hereby authorized to impose upon all such persons as have any Stocks going in Trade, within the limits aforesaid, and do either absent themselves, or do personally inhabite or reside within the said limits, to finde such proportion of Arms, and pay such persons as have been or shall be appointed to bear the same, as the said Committee shall think fit, not exceeding three foot Soldiers for any one person; And such person or persons as shall disobey the commands and directions of the said Committee of the Militia herein, the said Committee shall have power to impose such reasonable fines upon them or any of them, as they shall think fit, not exceeding the sum of forty shillings for any one offence, and for want of payment thereof to leavy the same by distresse and sale of their Goods and Chattels, or otherwise to imprison their persons without bail or mainprise, until such time as they shall conform themselves accordingly; but in case such person or persons so offending do absent themselves without the said limits, where the authority of the said Committee doth not extend, and not a sufficient value of his or their Goods or Chattels to be found within the said limits, whereon to leavy the said Fines by distresse as aforesaid: That then the Committee of Lords and Commons of Sequestrations, upon complaint made by the Committee of the Militia, or such as they shall appoint (being persons of ability and known trust) do forthwith grant their Warrants for apprehending such person or persons wheresoever they shall be, and to commit him or them to prison without bail or mainprise, until he or they do conform themselves, or to distrain his or their Goods or bring them to London, and there sell them to pay the said Fine or Fines: All which Fines are to be imployed to such use and purpose for the safety and defence of the said City of London and parts adjacent, within the Lines of Communication, as the said Committee of the Militia shall think fit and direct: And it is further Ordained, That the said Committee for the Militia shall have power, and is hereby authorized by themselves, or such as they shall appoint (being persons of ability and known trust) to search all Houses and places within the limits aforesaid, where the said Committee shall have cause to suspect that any Papists are, or other persons that come from any the Kings Quarters, that cannot give a good account of their businesse or abode within the limits aforesaid, or that have or shall discover their ill affection to the Parliament, by any offence for which they ought to be Sequestred, questioned or punished by any Ordinance of Parliament; and likewise to search for Arms, Ammunition and materials for War, in the custody of such persons, and to seize and take away the same, and to commit such persons to safe custody, or to expel them out of the Liberties aforesaid, if they shall see cause; and in case of resistance, the said Committee are hereby authorized to command any Constable or Constables to break open any Houses or Places within the said limits, where such resistance shall be made, in the presence of any two of the said Committee of the Militia, or of two such as by the said Committee of the Militia shall be appointed, being persons of ability and known trust: And be it further Ordained that the said Sub-Committees so appointed or to be appointed by the said Committee of the Militia, shall have power and are hereby authorized to cause all or any of the clauses contained in this Ordinance, to be put in due execution, when and as often as they shall receive directions from the said Committee for the Militia: And all Constables, Headboroughs and other Officers and Soldiers are hereby required to obey and execute such Warrants as they from time to time shall receive from the said Committee for the Militia, or other Sub-Committees for and concerning the execution of the same accordingly: And it is further Ordered and Ordained by the said Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, that the said Committee for the Militia of London, shall have power to charge such Inhabitants who are constantly dwelling within the Lines of Communication and Bills of Mortality, or such persons as have any stocks going in Trade within the limits aforesaid, and absent themselves, as they shall esteem able, to finde and maintain Horses with Riders and furniture, at their proper charge for the Defence of the City and parts adjacent, so as no person shall be charged for the raising and maintaining of more then two Horses, to be put under such Officers as the said Committee shall think fit. And it is further Ordained, that if any person or persons shall be charged to finde Horse, Rider and Furniture as aforesaid, and shall refuse or neglect to provide the same within eight days after notice thereof given to them in person, or left in writing at their dwellings, shall forfeit and pay twenty pound, and if they shall neglect or refuse to send forth their said Horse or Horses, with Riders provided, and furniture as aforesaid, when and as often as he or they shall be summoned thereunto by the said Committee of the Militia, or such Commanders or Officers as they shall appoint, in default thereof shall forfeit and pay ten shillings upon every such failing, or suffer four days imprisonment without bail or mainprize, to be inflicted upon every such offender, in such maner and form, and by such Officers and persons as are appointed for the inflicting of the penalties upon the failing (of the Foot Soldiers of the Trained Band) exprest in an Ordinance Dated the second of May 1643. And the said Fines to be imployed by the said Committee of the Militia, towards the payment of the Commanders and Officers of the said Horse, and for such other uses as the said Committee shall finde necessary for the better carrying on of the said service: Provided that no power hereby granted, nor any clause or thing herein contained, shall be extended against any Peer of this Kingdom, or Member of either of the Houses of Parliament, or of the Assistants of the House of Peers or Attendants of the House of Peers or Commons. And as well the said Committee as also their said Sub-Committees, and all other persons acting in the premises according to the intent of this Ordinance, shall be saved harmlesse by authority of both Houses of Parliament. This Ordinance to continue for nine Moneths and no longer.