Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[29 January, 1645/6.]
Whereas the Committee of Lords and Commons for the Admiralty and Cinque Ports are, by an Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament, authorized and enabled to do and execute all such Things as appertain to the Office of Lord High Admiral of England; and whereas it is Ordained, by another Ordinance of Parliament, dated 30 November 1643, That it shall and may be lawful for any His Majesty's good Subjects, that shall be approved, and thereunto appointed by the Lord High Admiral of England appointed by both Houses for the Time being, in Warlike Manner, to equip, arm, furnish, man, and set out to Sea, such and so many Ships as they shall think fitting, and with the same to seize, surprize, and take, all and all Manner of Ships and Vessels which they shall meet withall, in or outwards bound, from any Port or Place within any His Majesty's Dominions being in Hostility against the Parliament, or coming from or returning to any such Port or Place, or that shall be found to have traded with the Inhabitants of any such Port or Place since their Defection from the King and Parliament; and also to seize, surprize, and take, all and all Manner of Ships and Vessels belonging to any Rebel or Rebels in Ireland, together with the Ordnance, Ammunition, Victuals, Goods Commanders, and Soldiers, in the said Ships; and further, to surprize and take all and all Manner of Pirates and Sea Rovers, of what Nation soever, and their Ships and Goods whatsoever; and that the Ships to be so employed shall have Liberty to seek and take their Purchase where and how they please, according to such Instructions as shall from Time to Time be given them by the Lord High Admiral of England, or the Commissioners of the Admiralty, appointed by both Houses, for the Time being: And whereas this Committee hath been petitioned, by, Owners of the Ship The , for our approving of them to employ the said Ship, under Command of Captain, in Execution of the Powers granted by the said Ordinance; we do hereby signify and declare, That we have approved and appointed, and do hereby approve and appoint, the said Petitioners, in warlike Manner, to equip, furnish, and arm, the said Ship The, and to place in her a competent Number of Soldiers, Mariners, and Gunners, with necessary Arms and Provisions; and the same, so manned, equipped, armed, and provided, to set forth to Sea. under the command of the said Captain; and the said Captain to employ the said Ship for doing and performing the Services hereafter mentioned; (that is to say,) for the seizing, taking, and surprizing, of all Ships and Vessels belonging to any of His Majesty's Subjects, which the said Ship shall meet withall, in or outwards bound, from any Port or Place within any of His Majesty's Dominions being in Hostility against the Parliament, together with all the Ordnance, Ammunition, Victuals, Goods Commanders and Soldiers, therein; as also for the seizing, surprizing and taking, of all and all Manner of Ships and Vessels whatsoever, with the Ordnance, Ammunition, Victuals, and Goods therein, belonging to any Rebel or Rebels in Ireland, and also the Ships and Goods of any other Person whatsoever, Foreigner or other, which shall be going to, or coming from, any Port or Place in Ireland, in Hostility against the Parliament; as also for the seizing, surprizing, and taking, of all and all Manner of Ships and Vessels, belonging to any Foreigner or Foreign Nation, going to any Port or Place in Hostility against the Parliament, with Arms, Ammunition, or other Contrabando Goods, for Supply of the Forces raised against the Parliament; and adjudging and condemning the same, together with the Goods themselves, and all such other Goods as belong to the Master or the Laders of such Contrabando Goods; as also for the seizing, surprizing, and taking, of all Pirates and Sea Rovers, of what Nation soever, and their Ships and Goods whatsoever, according to the Authority, Meaning, and true Intent, of the said Ordinance of the 30th of November, 1643: Provided, That, before the going forth of the said Ship, the said Captain , together with the Master and principal Officers thereof, or such other sufficient Persons in their Behalf as shall be accepted of by the Judge of the Admiralty for the Time being, do and shall enter into Bond of Two Thousand Pounds, in the Admiralty Court, with Condition, That neither the said Commander of the said Ship, nor the Master or Company, or any of them, shall, under Pretext of the said Ordinance, or of these Instructions, spoil or damage any of the King's Subjects nor any of the Friends or Allies of the Kingdom, other than such as are intended by the said Ordinance and these Instructions; as also that, for Justification of the Prize or Prizes that the said Commander shall take, he shall bring into the Registry of the High Court of Admiralty all such Cockets, Bills of Lading, and other Documents and Writings, as he, or any of his Company, shall take or find in any such Ship or Vessel; and shall bring in with every such Ship or Vessel Two or Three of the principal Officers thereof, taken in the same, to be examined by the Judge of the Admiralty, or such as he shall appoint, concerning the Property of the said Ship, Vessel, or Goods therein, and to such other Questions and Interrogatories as he shall think fit to administer in that Behalf; and also that neither he nor they, nor any of them, shall break Bulk, spoil, waste, or diminish, any of the said Ships or Goods, until they shall be adjudged in the High Court of Admiralty to have been lawfully taken, according to the true Intent and Meaning, of the said Ordinance and these Instructions, and a true and just Inventory and Appraisement be taken and made of the same; and the Judge of the Admiralty is hereby prayed and required to take Bond accordingly, and to certify the same under the Seal of the Admiralty Court, without which, no Benefit is to accrue to the said Commander, Officers, Mariners, or any others interested in the said Ship, by any Thing done in Pursuance thereof; and the said Captain shall truly pay and deliver, to such Collectors or Receivers as both Houses of Parliament, the Committees of the Admiralty, or the Lord High Admiral Admiral for the Time being (appointed by both Houses of Parliament), have or shall appoint, the full Tenths of every such Prize as shall be taken by virtue of the said Ordinance or these Instructions.