Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[30 June, 1654.]
Commissioners for the Customs shall put in execution the Laws against Drunkenness, Swearing and Cursing.; Who may apprehend such persons.; Assistance.
Whereas several persons, as Carmen, Porters, Watermen, and others who are imployed upon the Keys, as also upon the River of Thames, in Ships, Boats and Lighters, and in Thames-street and other Streets and Lanes adjacent within the City of London, for shipping and unshipping, packing, carrying, craning, and removing goods and Merchandize, and other affairs in matters relating thereunto, are very ordinarily Drunk, and do also prophane and blaspheme the Holy Name of God by Cursing and Swearing, to the great dishonor of God, the scandal of the Professors and Profession of the Gospel among us, and of the present Government; for the preventing whereof, Be it Ordained by His Highness the Lord Protector, by and with the consent of His Council, That the Commissioners for the Customs for the time being, be, and are hereby authorized and required to take care that the Laws of this Nation against Drunkenness, Swearing and Cursing be put in execution, against all such persons as shall be guilty of the crimes aforesaid; and for that purpose shall, and hereby have the power and authority of Justices of Peace within the said places. And every Officer and Officers, Deputy and Deputies of the Commissioners of the Customs, having a Commission whereby they are deputed and are authorized to be Officers and Deputies under the hand and Seals of the said Commissioners, shall have, and hereby have power and are authorized to apprehend and attach, and in safe custody to bring before the said Commissioners, or any one of them, sitting at the Custom-house London, every person or persons whom they shall see to be Drunk, or shall hear to Swear, Curse, and Blaspheme the holy name of God, as is aforesaid, and shall have power, and hereby have power to execute any power or powers, authority or authorities in this case, which by Law any Constable may or ought to exercise or use, although the said Officer or Officers have no particular Warrant of the Commissioners aforesaid, for apprehending any the offenders for the offences aforesaid, as in the like cases are usually issued unto sworn Constables by Justices of the Peace upon the like occasions; And all person and persons whom any of the said Officer and Officers shall require to be aiding and assisting unto them, in the apprehending and bringing before the said Commissioners any such offenders, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting unto them therein accordingly; and in case of refusal, such punishment and proceedings shall be had and awarded against them, as by Law may be and ought to be upon every person that shall refuse to be aiding and assisting unto any sworn Constable or Constables, when required thereunto.