Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[2 December, 1646.]
Ordinances, &c., for the monthly fast to be put in execution.; Relief for persons acting there under.; They may plead the general issue.; Successful defendant to have double costs.
The Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, Taking notice of the great neglect and prophanation of the Monethly Fast, in diverse places of this Kingdome, do, for prevention there of in time to come, Order and Ordaine, and be it Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that all Justices of the Peace, Mayors, Bayliffes, Constables, and other Officers and Ministers whatsoever in their respective places shall put in Execution all Orders, and Ordinances of Parliament, heretofore made for the due observation of the said Monethly Fast, and are hereby authorized and required to use and exercise the same power, and to inflict penalties upon the offenders therein, in such manner and form as is limited and appointed by any Statute Law, Order or Ordinance whatsoever now in force for the Sanctification of the Lords Day, or against the prophanation thereof: And for the better encouragement of all Such Persons as have or shall testifie their good affections to the State by their readinesse in observing and putting in Execution of this and other the Ordinances of this Parliament, and for prevention of causelesse and contentious suits against them; It is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons that if any Action, Bill, Plainte, or Suite upon the Case, Trespasse, Battery, or false Imprisonment now be or hereafter shall be brought, for or concerning any matter, cause, or thing done, or to be done hereafter by any Person or Persons whatsoever, by Vertue of any Ordinance of Parliament, or by any Person or Persons in their ayde and assistance or by their Commandement, according to any such Ordinance of Parliament, the said Action Bill, Plainte, or Suite shall be layde within the County where the Trespasse or Fact was or shall be done and Committed and not elsewhere; and that it shall be lawfull to and for all and every Person, and Persons aforesaid to plead thereunto the General issue that he or they are not Guilty, And for their Justification, to give in Evidence to the Jury which shall try the same, any Ordinance of Parliament which they or any of them shall produce by vertue whereof the Fact complained of was done or Committed. And that if upon the Tryal of any such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Suit the Plaintiffe or Plaintiffes therein shall not prove to theJury which shall try the same, that the Trespass, Battery, Imprisonment or other Fact or Cause of his, her, or their said Action Bill, Plaint, or Suit, was or were had, made, committed, or done, within the County wherein such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Suit is or shall be layed. That then in every such Case the Jury which shall Try the same, shall find the Defendant or Defendants in every such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Suit, not Guilty without having regard or respect to any evidence given by the Plantiff or Plantiffs therein touching the Trespass, Battery, Imprisonment, or other cause for which the same Action, Bill, Plaint, or Suit, is or shall be brought. And if the Verdict shall Pass with the Defendant or Defendants in any such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Suit, or the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs therein become Nonsuits or suffer any discountenance thereof, that in every such Case the Justices or Justice, or such other Judge, before whom the said matter shal be tryed, shal by force and vertue of this Ordinance allow unto the Defendant or Defendants, his, or their double Costs, which he or they shal have sustained by reason of their wrongful vexation in Defence of the said Action, or Suit, for which the said Defendant or Defendants shal have remedy as in other Cases, where Costs, by the Laws of the Realm are given to the Defendants.