August 1654: An Ordinance for the better Redress of the abuses committed upon the River of Thames, and Waters of Medway.

Pages 945-946

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

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August, 1654

[11 August, 1654.]

No Certiorari shall be granted for presentments before the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the River, for Nusances. &c. except where the Freehold is in question.; Nor in such case, until security to prosecute and pay costs.

Forasmuch as the preservation of the River of Thames and Waters of Medway, as well as from Nusances and Incroachment committed thereupon, as from unlawful fishing therein, is of great concernment to the Publique, Be it Ordained by His Highness the Lord Protector, by and with the consent of his Council, That no Writs of Certiorari shall at any time hereafter issue, be granted or allowed, or any presentment or proceeding thereby stayed, which from and after the publishing of this Ordinance, shall be had and presented before the Lord Mayor of the City of London, as Conservator of the River of Thames and Waters of Medway, for any Offences done, or to be done in and upon the said River and Waters within the Jurisdiction of the said Lord Mayor by Nusances, Incroachments, unlawful Fishing, or other Offences; except in cases where the Freehold or Inheritance of the Party presented and desiring such Certiorari, shall be in question; Nor shall any Writs of Certiorari issue, be granted or allowed in any case touching the Offences aforesaid, where the Freehold or Inheritance shall come in question, before such party so desiring the said Certiorari shall put in good and sufficient Sureties before the Judge or Judges for granting the same, that the said party will bring the cause to a speedy tryal and pay full costs in case the said tryal shall go against them.

The Lord Mayor may issue out General Warrants for discovery and apprehending Offenders.; For seizing and securing unsized Fish Nets, Boats &c.; Such persons to be bound over by Recognizance to appear.; For want of Security, such offender shall be committed

And it is further Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, for the better apprehending of Offenders upon the said River and Waters That it shall and may be lawful to and for the Lord Mayor of London, for the time being, to issue out General Warrants directed to such or so many person or persons as the said Lord Mayor, with the advice of the Court of Aldermen, shall think meet for the discovery and apprehending of such persons as shall be found offending in fishing at unlawful times, or by unlawful ways or means or otherwise shall take fish unlawfully, who shall commit any Nusances in and upon the said River and Waters by digging in any other place in the said River of Thames within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor then such as shall be for that purpose appointed by the said Lord Mayor or Court of Aldermen, incroaching or otherwise, and for the seizing and securing all unsized and unseasonable fish, and all Nets, Boats, Barges, Lighters, and other Engines and Instruments made use of for the committing the Offences aforesaid; and that the said Offenders being apprehended shall be brought to the said Lord Mayor, or to some Justice of the Peace of the County where they shall be apprehended, or neer adjoyning, who shall binde such parties over by Recognizance with one sufficient Surety to appear before the Lord Mayor of the said City at the next Court for Conservancy of the said River within the said County; which Recognizance shall be returned to the said Court; and for nonappearance of the Party, the said Lord Mayor shall have power to award process against every such person so making default, to shew cause wherefore he should not forfeit his said Recognizance, and shall have Power and Authority to hear, determine and levy the same. And for want of such Surety, the said Lord Mayor and Justices respectively, shall commit every such Offendor to safe Custody, until he shall finde such sufficient Sureties or be brought to the next Court of Conservacy as aforesaid.

Forfeitures to be levied on Lands without the Jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the River, shall be to His Highness.

Provided, That this shall not extend to impower the said Lord Mayor to levy any Sum or Sums of money upon the Lands or Estate of any person or persons not lying or being within the Jurisdiction of the said Mayor as Conservators of the River of Thames and waters of Medway, but that in all and every such case the forfeiture and moneys to be levyed thereupon, shall be to the use of His Highness the Lord Protector and His Successors, and such Recognizance shall be certified and prosecuted accordingly.

Lord Mayor may direct Warrants for warning Courts, summoning Jurors, &c to such person as he shall think meet.

And it is also Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Lord Mayor shall have hereby power for warning Courts for Conservancy, summoning Jurors, apprehending Offenders as aforesaid, and for Execution of Judgments given in the said Court, to direct his warrants for the purpose aforesaid, to such person and persons as he shall think meet.

Justices and other Officers shall give their assistance.; General Issue.; Double Costs.

And it is lastly Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That all Justices, Sheriffs, Constables, and other Officers and Ministers of Justice whom it shall concern, shall be aiding and assisting to the Execution of the premises, and to the Powers and Authorities lawfully vested in the said Lord Mayor, relating thereunto, and that in any action to be brought against any person or persons for any thing done or to be done concerning the premises, in pursuance of this Ordinance, and of the said Powers and Authorities vested in the Lord Mayor as aforesaid, he shall and may plead the General Issue, and give the special matter in evidence And if at the Tryal the Issue shall be found for the Defendant, the Plaintiff shall pay double costs.