December 1653: An Ordinance appointing Commissioners for the better ordering and bringing in the Duty of Excize, and the Arrears thereof.

Pages 828-829

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

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December, 1653

[29 December, 1653.]

Names of Commissioners for inquiring into arrears of Excise.; Estates of those refusing to pay arrears to be sequestered till payment made.; And sold, unless arrears and damages paid within six months.; Commissioners to hear and determine all complaints.

For the more speedy and effectuall getting in of all Arrears of Excize, Be it Ordained by His Highness, the Lord Protector, with the consent of his Council, and it is Ordained, That Sir William Roberts Knight, John Stone, Gervas Bennet, John Hildesley, Richard Lucy, Edward Clud, Tho. Wood, Anthony Rous, James Phillips, and Nathaniel Barton, Esqs; or any three of them, be authorized and required, to consider and examine, by Oath or otherwise, what Arrears of the Excise are not yet paid into the Treasury for the same, and what remaineth in the hands of any Farmer, Commissioner, Sub-Commissioner or other person whatsoever, or for which any person or persons stand engaged with any Farmer or Sub-Commissioner, and to send for persons Accompts, Articles, Receipts, Bonds or any writings concerning Excize, or relating thereunto; and to hear all parties, and to determine all differences concerning the same, and to commit any person to safe custody for contempt; and if any person shall refuse or delay to pay into the said Treasury, all such Arrears of Excize, and every, or any part thereof, as by the said Commissioners, or any three of them shall be adjudged due to the Common-wealth, and ordered to be paid, upon such default certified under the hand of the Treasurer, and from the said Commissioners, or any three of them; the Commissioners for Compounding at Haberdashers-hall, shall Sequester the Estate of all such persons, both personal and real, till such Arrears be paid with dammages; and in case such Arrears and Dammages shall not be received and paid within Six Months after such Sequestration then all and every Estate so sequestered, and continuing so long in Sequestration, may, and shall be, sold by such person as the Commissioners herein named shall appoint, rendring the overplus to the person so offending, after such Arrears of Excize shall be fully paid, with Dammages for the same: and if any Collector, Receiver, or any other Officer, or person at anytime relating to the Excize, shall pretend anything due to him from the Common-wealth, or from any Commissioners for the Excize, and upon that, or any other pretence, shall detain any money in his hands, or Arrears unpaid into the Treasury, the said Commissioners, or any three of them are hereby impowred to hear and determine the same, and to make such Order and Allowance in all such cases as shall be just; and the said Commissioners or any three of them, are impowred to hear and determine all Suits, Bills, Complaints, or Differences, and to relieve any person by delivering Bonds, releasing Extents, or otherwise, in all Cases concerning Excize; as the Barons of the Exchequer, or the Committee of the late Parlament, for Inspecting the Treasuries, Regulating Officers Sallaries, or any other, might have done before this Ordinance, any Custom, Usage, Statute, Act, or Ordinance, to the contrary notwithstanding.

Power to order Excise Commissioners to farm out excise.; Further powers of Commissioners for arrears.; Their consultations.; They may release persons imprisoned by Excise Commissioners.

And it is further Ordained, That the said Commissioners or any three of them, be authorized to give Order to the Commissioners of Excize, to farm out the Excize of such Counties, Places, or Commodities, in England, Wales, and Town of Barwick upon Tweed, as to the said Commissioners shall appear to be most advantagious for the Commonwealth, and the ease of the People; to Commence from the 29. of December, 1653. and continue till the 25. day of March. 1654. So as the same be not at a less rate then the Excize of such County, Place, or Commodity, was farmed at the last year. And the said Commissioners, or any three of them, are impowred to approve and allow of such Sallaries, or yearly Wages, and other necessary Charges, as by the Commissioners for Excise shall be allowed to their Officers and others, and expended for carrying on of that service; and shall have power to send for Parties, Witnesses, Writings, and Records, and to commit to Prison, such as shall appear unto them, to hinder and oppose the execution of the several Acts, Ordinances, and Orders of Parlament for the Excize, or the Ministers imployed in the said service, and shall from time to time debate consult, and devise of all wayes and means for the improvement of the Excize, for the best advantage of the Commonwealth, in pursuance of the several Acts, Ordinances, and Orders of Parlament relating thereunto, and to prepare such Laws for the Lord Protector, and his Council, for removing of Obstructions and Improvement of the Excize, as they shall think fit and necessary; and from time to time to determine all such Differences which may happen and arise between the said Commissioners of Excize, and the Comptroler. And the said Commissioners or any three of them, are impowred to release such person or persons from prison, who shall be committed by the Commissioners for the Excize, or their Sub-Commissioners or Farmers.