Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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Whereas Sir Nicholas Crispe, Knight, Maurice Thompson, Thomas Chamberlaine, Gregory Clement, Richard Waring, John Wood, Richard Shute, George Thompson, William Pennoyer, Thomas Vincent, William Thompson, William Willoughby, Thomas Rainsburrough, Samuell Moyer, and Richard Hill, and their Associates, as well out of their pious and charitable Disposition towards their distressed Brethren His Majesty's Protestant Subjects in the Realm of Ireland, who, being brought into great Misery and Distress, are ready to perish for Want of Relief, as also out of their loyal Respect to His Majesty, and Detestation to that Rebellion, and to reduce the Rebels in the said Realm of Ireland to their due Obedience, and (as much as in them shall lie) to prevent and hinder all such Supplies as shall be sent unto the said Rebels, and likewise, by all possible Ways and Means, to assist and help His Majesty's good Subjects there, and to infest, spoil, and waste the said Rebels by Land and Sea, have lately made known, to the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, their voluntary Disposition and Readiness to undertake, by themselves and their Associates, the setting forth and employing of Twelve Ships and Six Pinnaces, with a convenient Number of Land Forces, Horse and Foot (as an additional Increase of their former Adventure), at such Rates and Prices as have been usually allowed for other Ships and Seamen, and formerly entertained by the Lords and Commons, and for such Allowance for Land Soldiers as have been formerly accustomed in other expeditions upon the Sea; which being well approved by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, as a good means to further the reducing of the said Realm of Ireland and the Rebels therein to their due Obedience, do commend the same for a pious and Laudable Undertaking, and are willing to give it all the Encouragement and Advancement that may be, to bring it to good and successful Issue, as tending very much to the Honour of the King, the comfortable Subsistance and necessary Relief of His Majesty's good Subjects there, and the speedy and effectual suppressing of the Rebellion aforesaid: And therefore, for the better enabling the Performance of this so free and commendable Undertaking and Enterprize, and being very well assured of the Fidelity, Circumspection, Integrity, and Abilities, of the Persons hereafter named, in the well-managing and ordering of the same; it is Ordered, Established, and Ordained, by the Lords and Commons assembled in this present Parliament, and by Authority of the same, That the Right Honourable Robert Lord Brook, Sir Nicholas Crispe, Maurice Tompson, Thomas Chamberlaine, Gregory Clement, Richard Waring, John Wood, Richard Shute, George Tompson, William Pennoyer, Thomas Vincent, Wm. Thompson, William Willoughby, Thomas Rainsburrough, Samuell Moyer, and Richard Hill, or any Five of them, shall have full Power and Authority, by themselves, and such Persons as they shall assign or appoint, in Warlike Manner, to equip and furnish Twelve Ships and Six Pinnaces, with all Things necessary, for the said intended Employment, and to place in them such a Number of Forces, Horse and Foot, not exceeding the Number of One Thousand Horse and Two Thousand Land Soldiers, with necessary Arms and Provisions for such Forces and for that Service, and to appoint such Commanders, Captains, and Officers, as any Five of the Persons before named, with the allowance of both Houses of Parliament shall think fit; and shall be allowed the like Rates and Prices, for the said Ships, Pinnaces, Seamen, Horses, and Soldiers, as hath been formerly allowed in such like Expeditions; And it is further Ordered, Established, and Ordained, That any Five of the before named Persons, and such as shall be by them thereunto authorized and appointed, shall have Power, by virtue of this Ordinance to levy or take up, within the Kingdoms of England or Ireland such and so many Persons only as shall offer themselves voluntarily to serve in this Expedition, as well for Sea Service as Land Service, as shall from Time to Time make up the said Number of One Hundred Horse and Two Thousand Land Soldiers, and not above; and the said Ships and Pinnaces, so manned and equipped, armed and provided, to set forth to Sea, and with those Forces to invade the said Rebels, in any Ports, Harbours, Creeks, Havens, Islands, Castles, Forts, Towns, or any other Places, in the Possession of the said Rebels, within the said Realm of Ireland, and the Rebels therein to take, surprize, vanquish, destroy, or kill, and to sack or pillage any such Place or Places, and to fortify or deliver the same into such Hands as any of the Five persons before named, or such as they shall authorize and appoint, shall conceive to be most for the Advantage, Honour, and Profit of the King's Majesty, or otherwise to destroy and demolish the same, as Need shall require: And it is further Ordered and Ordained, That the said Commanders, Captains, Officers, Seamen, and Soldiers, by Force and Virtue of this present Ordinance, shall have full Power to seize, surprize, and take, all and all Manner of Ships. Vessels, Goods, and Merchandize, belonging to the said Rebels, or any of them, or unto any Person or Persons that they shall find or understand to have aided the said Rebels, or any of them, with any Arms, Ammunition or Victuals, by Sea or by Land; and also to seize all Manner of Ships, and other Vessels, having aboard them Arms, Ammunition or Victuals, by Sea or by Land; and also to seize all Manner of Ships, and other Vessels, having aboard them Arms, Ammunition and Victuals, bound therewith to the Kingdom of Ireland, or any the Dominions of the same, not having aboard them a Passport or Licence from the Lord High Admiral of England, or the Lord Lieutenant or Deputy of Ireland, for the Time being, or other lawful Authority, to carry the same thither: And, for the better Encouragement of the said Adventurers and Persons before named in the said intended Voyage, it is, by the Lords and Commons, likewise Ordered and Ordained, That the said Adventurers and their Associates shall have all Ships, Goods, Monies, Plate, Pillage, and Spoil, which shall be seized or taken by any of the Persons by them employed by Force and Virtue of this ordinance, and the same to hold and enjoy to their own Use, without any Accompt whatsoever thereof to be made: And it is further Ordered and Ordained, That there shall be a true and faithful Inventory taken of the Ships, Monies, Goods, Plate, Pillage, and Spoil, that shall be taken by Virtue or Authority of this present Ordinance, and a true Appraisement made of the same; and the same, together with all Papers and Writings found within any Ships or Place by them taken, shall be carefully preserved; and Two or Three of the Officers of every Ship or Place so taken shall be examined before the chief officer of the next Port within any of the King's Dominions; and the said Examinations, with the said Papers, shall be sent unto the Registry of the High Court of Admiralty, to the End that the taking of the said Ships may thereby by justified, or Restitution by the said Adventurers (if there shall be just Cause) there made: And for that these Ships are set out only for His Majesty's Special Service; for the suppressing of the said Rebels; it is further Ordered and Ordained, That the said Ships shall and may put up His Majesty's Colours, and shall not be liable or subject to any other Direction whatsoever, other than the Direction of the Lord High Admiral, or of any Five of the said before-named Persons, and the Commanders and Captains by them appointed, or such other Direction as shall be given by His Majesty's Authority, signified by both Houses of Parliament; And more particularly we authorise, and by these Presents do give unto the Persons so to be set forth to the Seas by Virtue of this Ordinance, and to every of them, Power, Authority, and Warrant, that, if they shall happen, upon the Seas, or in any Port, Harbour, or Creek, to meet with any Ship or Ships that shall not willingly yield themselves to be visited and proved by Law and Justice, but will defend themselves by Force and Violence, then they shall, by all Means possible, and with all Force, compel them to yield and submit themselves to Reason and Justice, although it doth fall out that, by fighting with them, One or more of them be maimed, hurt, or slain, in the Resistance: And it is further Ordered and Ordained, That the Captains, Masters, and Two or Three other of the principal Officers of either of those Ships and Pinnaces respectively, shall, before their going to Sea, enter into a Bond of Two Thousand Pounds, to the Use of the King's Majesty, in the High Court of Admiralty, that the said Ships or Pinnaces respectively, nor their Captains, Masters, or any of their Company, under Colour or Pretence of this Ordinance, shall not rob, spoil, or indamage any of the King's Subjects, Friends, or Allies, other than such particular Persons of His Majesty's Subjects, Friends, or Allies, as shall be found to have aided and relieved the said Rebels, or shall be taken carrying Arms, Victuals, or Ammunition, for Ireland, without Licence or Authority as aforesaid.