Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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The late Ordinance of the four and twentieth of December 1653, for continuance of the Receipt of the Excise and New Impost extending no further than the five and twentieth of this instant March, and the publick Debts assigned upon the Receipts thereof, being not possibly to be discharged within that time, and it being necessary to provide a continual supply for the carrying on the weighty Affairs of this Common-wealth out of this Revenue, which is still found to be the most equal and indifferent Levy that can be laid on the People, His Highness the Lord Protector with the advice and consent of his Council, doth Ordain, and be it ordained, that from and after the said five and twentieth day of this present March, the several Rates and Charges hereafter set down, and every of them, and none other, in the right of the duty of Excise, shall be set, laid and imposed, and are hereby laid set and imposed, to be had, levyed, demanded, collected, received recovered and paid, in and through England and Wales, and Town and Port of Barwick, upon all and every the Commodities, Merchandizes, and Manufactures, Native and Forein, in manner following, that is to say.
That for all Inland or Foreign Commodities in this Ordinance mentioned, whether rated by the pound weight, hundred weight, fodder, pound value, gallon, barrel, tun, or other greater or lesser measure or weight whatsoever, the excise shall be duly paid for a greater or lesser quantitie pro rato, according to the rates therein appointed and prescribed respectively.
And as to the contents of a Tun of all liquid commodities imported, It is hereby declared, That two Buts, two Pipes, four Hogsheads, of what sort soever, six Terses, three Punchins, or Tertions, and eight Quarter casks, shall bee accounted or reckoned for a Tun and no other. And every Cask of any liquid commodities imported, which, if full, shall exceed a quarter Cask, shall be accounted for a Teirce, and every Cask that shall exceed a Teirce, shall be accounted for a Hogshead, and every Cask that shall exceed a Hogshead shall bee accounted a Puncheon, and every Cask that exceeds a Puncheon, shall bee accounted a But or Pipe, without any pretence of under-guage whatsoever. Provided alwayes that in case any real sale of any of the aforementioned commodities before the twenty-fift of this instant March, whereof due entrie and certificate is or shall bee made accordingly, the Excise shall be accepted and received after the rates of any Schedule of Excise at that time in force, so as the same shall bee all cleared, discharged and fully paid before the twenty fift day of April after the date of this present Ordinance, or otherwise the rates hereby set and imposed to bee taken and received unto the advantage of the Common-Wealth. Provided also that whatever commodities are omitted, abated or discharged by this Ordinance, all persons whatsoever shall bee liable to pay the Excise thereof, and thereupon accruing until the twentie fift of this present March, anything in this Ordinance notwithstanding.
And it is further ordained, that all and every the Acts, Ordinances and Orders of Parliament touching the Excise, and every clause, sentence and Article in them or any of them contained, which were in force the first day of March, one thousand six hundred fifty and three, as well for the collecting, gathering and receiving, as concerning the Government and ordering the Excise, be likewise continued and put in execution for receiving and recovering the several rates in this Ordinance mentioned, notwithstanding any alteration therein made as to the persons Buyers, Sellers, Growers, Planters, or others in any wise charged with the payment thereof. And it is likewise Ordained, That from and after the said five and twentieth day of March instant, Thomas Allen, Alderman of the City of London, Thomas Wood, Richard Bury, George Langham, Esqrs. and George Foxcraft Merchant, and none others, are, and shall be, and are hereby declared, constituted and appointed, Commissioners and Governours of the Excise and New Impost, who, or any three or more of them, are hereby impowred and authorized to exercise and put in Execution all and every the powers and authorities given or granted by, or contained in all or any the said Acts, Ordinances or Orders of Parlament touching the Excise and New Impost, as well for the Collecting and receiving the several rates in this present Ordinance imposed and set, as the arreares upon any former Schedule or Rates due, And concerning the Government and ordering of the Excise and New Impost, as fully and amply as any Commissioners for Excise at the first of March aforesaid, might or ought to have done, and shall observe such Orders and Directions as they shall from time to time receive from his Highness the Lord Protector and his Council touching the same. And the said Commissioners, for their care, pains and service therein, shall have and pay themselves quarterly, in every twenty shillings raised and levyed free and clear from all abatements and allowances for exportations or otherwise, two pence, and shall be lyable according to the same rate for all such exportations or otherwise, for one year after they shall be dismissed from this trust, and no longer.
Names of Commissioners for Appeals.; Their powers.; Penalty of sequestration on default to pay fines etc., adjudged by above Commissioners.; Estates sequestered to be sold on further default.; Further powers of Commissioners for Appeals.
And it is further Ordained by the Lord Protector, with the consent of His Council, That Sir William Roberts Knight, John Stone, Henry Elsing, Jervas Bennet, Adam Bains, and John Bocket Esq; or any three of them, be and shall be hereby authorized to receive all appeals, and to hear, decide and determine the same, and to consider and examine by Oath or otherwise what arrears of Excise are not yet paid, and what hereafter may accrue, either remaining in the hands of any Farmer, Commissioner, Sub-Commissioner, Collector, Importer, Seller, Buyer, Planter, Grower, or Maker, or of any Commodities exciseable whatsoever, or in the hands of any person whatsoever, or for which any person or persons stand engaged with any Farmer or Sub-commissioner, or for which any person whatsoever by bond, bill, entry, promise, or other engagement, hath been, may or shall become obliged, and to send for all persons, Accompts, Articles, Receipts, Bonds or any Writings concerning the Excise, or in any wise relating thereunto; and to hear all parties, and to determine all differences concerning the premisses. And if any Sub-commissioner, Collector, Farmer, or any their Deputies, or any Sureties for them or any of them, or any Importer, Buyer, or Seller, Carrier, or Conveyer of any the exciseable commodities, or any person engaged for them or any of them, shall refuse or delay to pay in to the Treasury of the Excise, any Arrears, Fines, Forfeitures, or other Summes of money, which by the said last recited 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 last recited Commissioners, or any three of them, unto the Commissioners for managing the Estates under Sequestration, the said Commissioners for managing Estates under Sequestration shall, and are hereby authorized and required to Sequester the Estate of all such persons, both personal and real, till such Arrears, Fines, Forfeitures, and Sums of money be fully paid with damages; And in case the same shall not be received and paid within six moneths next after such Sequestration, then all and every such Estate so Sequestered, may and shall be sold by such persons as the said Commissioners for managing Estates under Sequestration shall appoint, rendring the over-plus to the person so offending; And if any Collector, Receiver, or any other Officer or person at any time relating to the Excise shall pretend anything due to him from the Commonwealth, or from any Commissioner of the Excise, and upon that or any other pretence shall detain any money in his hands, or arrears unpaid in to the Treasury, the afore-mentioned Commissioners for Appeal, 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 Authorized to hear and determine all Sutes, Bills, Complaints or differences, and to relieve any persons, by delivering Bonds, releasing Extents, or otherwise, in all Cases concerning Excise, as the Barons of the Exchequer, or any the Committees of the late Parlament, for regulating the Excise, or for inspecting the Treasuries and regulating Officers and Salaries, or any other might have done, any Custom, Usage, Statute, Act, or Ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding. And the said last recited Commissioners, or any three of them, shall have like Authority to retrench the numbers and salaries of all Officers and Offices relating to the Excise, and to give out Directions to the Commissioners for the Excise for the time being, to farm out the Excise of such Counties, Places or Commodities, in England, Wales, and Town of Berwick upon Tweed, as to them or any three of them, shall appear to be most advantagious for the Commonwealth, and ease of the People, so as the same be not at a less rate than the Excise of such County, Place or Commodity was farmed at the last year before, unless it shall be made apparent unto the said Commissioners, or any three of them, that the said Counties, Places or Commodities were before over-rated or lessned by this Ordinance, in which case they are to determine and agree as shall be to the best advantage of the Commonwealth; And the said last recited Commissioners, or any three of them, are impowred to establish and settle all Salaries and wages of all Officers relating to the Excise, payable by the Commonwealth from time to time as they shall think fit, and to allow of all necessary charges and rewards as shall be given and expended by the Commissioners of Excise for the carrying on of that service, and shall have power to send for all parties, Witnesses, Writings, and records belonging to any case brought before them, and to examine upon Oath, and to fine or commit to prison all such persons as shall appear to them to hinder and oppose the execution of the several Acts, Ordinances, and Orders of Parlament, or of the Lord Protector and his Council, for the excise, or the Ministers and Officers imployed in the said service, or oppose, resist, or refuse any lawfull distress, by locking up the Doors or otherwise, and by like Fine and Imprisonment to punish all frauds, concealments, false or short entries, and counter-feiting of hand-writings, entries or alterations, or amendments thereof; In all and every of which cases, if any person do not pay the fine imposed on him within the time limitted, he shall and may be proceeded against by Sequestration, in manner and form as before is herein declared and ordained.
Commissioners for Appeals to take all means to improve excise.; May determine differences between Commissioners; and Controller Excise. And release persons imprisoned.; Excise Commissioners may appoint officers to prevent breach of Excise Laws.
And the said last recited Commissioners, or any three of them, shall from time to time debate, consult, and devise of all waies and means for the improvement of the Excise, for the best advantage of the Commonwealth, in pursuance of the several Acts, Ordinances and Orders relating thereunto, and to offer their opinion unto the Lord Protector, and his Council, for removing obstructions, and improvement of the Excise, 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 Excise and the Comptroller, 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 Excise, or their Sub-commissioners or Farmers.
And the Commissioners of Excise, and their Sub-commissioners for the time being, are hereby authorized to appoint Officers or others to seize all exciseable commodities upon the water, or neer the shore thereof, which shall be conveying by day or night, and attempted to be landed, or which shall be landed or conveyed ashore contrary to the Laws of the Excise contained in the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth Articles of the Act of Parliament for Excise, published in print by Order of Parlament of the fourteenth day of August, one thousand six hundred forty nine, as also to appoint like Officers for Eagers over all Soap-boilers, and makers of any Oyles, as are at present accustomed with the Brewers, whose returns shall be a charge on the said Soap-boylers and Makers of Oyls; And the said Soap-boylers and makers of Oyls shall permit such Officers entrance, both day and night, into all rooms and places whatsoever as they shall demand, upon pain of like forfeiture of fifty pounds for every refusal, as in like cases to the Brewers is appointed and ordained.
And the said Commissioners of Excise, and their Subcommissioners shall not hereafter make re-payment of any excise for any goods at any time imported which have been once sold unto, or in the possession of a Retailer of the same Commodity; or for any such goods, where the property, form or nature of the Commodity once imported and excised, is in any wise altered, mingled, amended or confounded; or for any Wines, Wine-Vinegar or Tobaccoes whatsoever.
And lastly, the Commissioners for Appeals herein named, or any three of them, shall be, and are hereby authorized, in all causes relating to the Excise, to relieve and indemnify as well the present Commissioners of the Excise, as also all former and future Commissioners of the Excise, and all Sub-commissioners, Farmers, and all other Officers and persons whatsoever, imployed in or called to assistance for the due execution of any Warrant or Commission in pursuance of this present Ordinance; And the said Commissioners, or any three of them, shall from time to time have power to put in execution all former Acts, or Ordinances for Indempnity, so far as they may concern the excise, in as full and ample manner as any former Commissioners for Indempnity might, ought, or could have done. And all Courts of Justice of this Commonwealth, and all Judges and Justices of the same, and all Sheriffes, Councellors, Atturneys, Sollicitors and all other persons, are hereby required to conform themselves accordingly, without any opposition or dispute whatsoever.
This Ordinance to commence from the five and twentieth day of March one thousand six hundred fifty four, and to continue to the five and twentieth day of March which shall be in the Year of our Lord, one thousand six hundred fifty five.