22 & 23 Car. II. c. 20.; 30 Car. II. Stat. 1. c. 4. recited.; The Reasons for passing this Act.; Persons in Prison taking the Oaths of 22 & 23 Car. II. c. 20. and of this Act, to be discharged.
WHEREAS for severall charitable and good Reasons an Act of Parliament was made the Two and twentyeth
and Three and twentyeth yeares of the Raigne of our late Soveraigne Lord King Charles the Second
Entituled An Act for the Reliefe and Release of poore distressed Prisoners for Debt and because of some dubious
Construction of some words mentioned in the said Act the same did not answere the full intent for which it was
made Wherefore for better Explanation thereof and to supply the Defects which did obstruct the good ends and
purposes of the said Act another Act was made by the same Parliament in the Thirtyeth yeare of the said late
King Entituled An Act for the further Reliefe and Discharge of poore distressed Prisoners for Debt By which said
last Act it was Enacted That all Persons being in Prison upon the Nine and twentyeth day of May One thousand
six hundred seventy eight for Debt or Damages upon any manner of Processe whatsoever issueing out of any
Court of Law or Equity and who should take the Oath in the said first recited Act mentioned should and might
be released and discharged from their Imprisonments in the same manner as persons being Prisoners might have
beene by the first mentioned Act and in case the said Debt and Damages had beene ascertained by Judgement
Now Their present Majesties takeing into their charitable and pious Consideration the sad Condition of many
thousands of poore Prisoners in Prison for Debt ready to perish and being noe lesse piously inclined and
intended to ease and relieve their poore distressed Subjects in prison then any other Kings and Queens Their
Predecessors have beene But seriously considering the many Abuses which happened under the two before
mentioned late Acts by Sheriffes Goalers and Keepers of Prisons in discharging and releasing Persons from prison
who were not within the Benefit of the said Acts and who were not really and truely Prisoners at the aforesaid
Nine and twentieth day of May One thousand six hundred seventy eight And the many Frauds by persons
abuseing the Favour thereby to them intended by entring themselves Prisoners under faigned Actions thereby to
decieve and defraud their Creditors of their just Debts Their said Majesties by and with the Consent of the
Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authoritie of
the same have Enacted And it is hereby Enacted That all Persons in Prison upon the Eight and twentyeth day
of November in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninety for Debt or Damages or for or
upon any Action or Actions or upon any meane Processe for Debt Accompt or Trespasse upon the Case which
Actions by Prosecution of Law may be Judgments for Debt or Damages or who may have Judgments entred
upon Record against them or are charged in Execution or Imprisoned upon Attachments for Debt or upon Outlawries
before or after Judgment for Debt or upon any other Processe whatsoever issued out of any Court of Law or Equity
for the cause of Debt or Damages or Costs onely who shall take the Oath in the said first recited Act mentioned
and the Oath in this present Act following shall and may be released and discharged from their Imprisonments in
the same forme and in such manner as is contained and mentioned in the said two before mentioned late Acts
and as if such person was Prisoner before and at the time mentioned for the release and discharge of such
Prisoner in either of the aforementioned late Acts
II. Justices of Peace making Order for Discharge to give Gaolers, &c. an Oath.
And it is further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That any Justice or Justices of the Peace who pursuant
to the before two mentioned late Acts and according to the true intent and meaning of this present Act shall
make any Order for the Discharge of any poore Prisoner for Debt they the said Justice or Justices, shall cause
to come and call before them ( (fn. 1) ) Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison of such Goale or Prison of and from whence
such Prisoner or Prisoners he she or they is or are and shall administer and give to such Sheriffe Goaler or
Keeper of Prison an Oath to this effect following Viz[one]t
I A B doe Sweare That J S was really and truely my Prisoner in my custodie without any fraud, or deceit
by me or by any other to my knowledge at or upon the eight and twentyeth day of November in the Yeare
of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninety Soe helpe me God.
Gaoler refusing to take the Oath.; Penalty.; Gaoler, &c. liable to Perjury.
And if such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison or who was Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of such Prison at
the time of such persons first Imprisonment and thereof not discharged and from whence such Prisoner is about
to be Discharged shall refuse being duely summoned to appeare before the said Justice or Justices and shall
refuse to take the before mentioned Oath soe to be given and administered by the said Justice or Justices as
aforesaid such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison shall forfeit and pay to such Prisoner soe about to be
discharged and released from Prison and thereby detained the value of such Debt or Debts for which he or she
shall be Imprisoned to be recovered by Action of Debt in any Their Majestyes Courts of Record And if any
such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison shall forsweare and perjure himselfe and shall be thereof lawfully convicted
such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison shall incurr and suffer such penalties as are now in force and may by
Law be inflicted upon persons Convicted of Perjury
III. Prisoner discharged must take an Oath.
And it is alsoe Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That such Prisoner as shall take the benefit of this Act
according to the Forme of the two before mentioned late Acts as is hereby required and shall take the Oath in
the first recited Act mentioned shall alsoe before such Justice or Justices of the Peace by whome such Oath is
to be given and administred likewise take an Oath to this Effect (Vizt)
Form.; Prisoner forsworn.; Punishment.; Proviso for Prisoners for Fines.
I A B doe Sweare That on the eight and twentyeth day of November in the yeare of our Lord One thousand
six hundred and ninety I was actually a Prisoner in the custodie of the Goaler or Keeper of D. Prison in
the County of C at the Suite of J. S. without my consent or procurement or by any fraud or collusion whatsoever
Soe helpe me God.
And if any Prisoner who shall take the benefitt of this Act and shall in pursuance of the same take the Oathes
for any the purposes hereby appointed shall Forsweare himselfe then shall such person being thereof lawfully
convicted beyond and over above the penalties which may by Law now in force be inflicted upon persons Convicted
of Perjury suffer Imprisonment for the space of Seven Yeares without Baile or Mainprize Provided neverthelesse
That this Act shall not extend to any person or persons in Execution for any Fine on him her or them imposed
for any Offence by him or her or them committed
IV. Taking the Oaths, &c. how performed.
Debtors to the King, &c. not entitled to Discharge.
And lastly it is declared and enacted by the Authority aforesaid That takeing the Oaths and giveing to the
Creditors such Notice as is by this present Act required in all other things for the release and discharge of any
poore Prisoner from prison it shall be observed and performed in the same forme and method as is mentioned in
and directed by the said two before mentioned late Acts of Parlyament. Provided That noe Person shall be discharged
out of Prison or have any benefitt or advantage by force or vertue of this Act who shall stand charged with more
then the Summe of One hundred pounds principall Money or Damages or shall stand charged with any Debt to
V. Judgment still good against Lands and Goods.
[Provided alwayes and bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That notwithstanding the discharge
of the Person of such Prisoner as aforesaid upon takeing the Oath aforesaid all and every Judgement had and
taken against him or her shall be and stand good and effectuall in the Law to all intents and purposes against
the Lands Tenements Hereditaments Goods and Chattells onely of the said Prisoner soe discharged as aforesaid
And it shall and may be lawfull to and for such Creditor of such Prisoner or Prisoners soe discharged as
aforesaid his Executors Administrators or Assignes to take out any new Execution against the Lands Tenements
Hereditaments Goods and Chattells of such Prisoner or Prisoners (his or her Wearing Apparell Bedding for him
and his or her Family and Tools necessary for his or her Trade and Occupation onely excepted) for the satisfaction
of his her or their said Debt in such sort manner and forme as he she or they might have done if the person
or persons of such Prisoner or Prisoners had never beene taken in Execution Any Act Statute or Custome to
the contrary notwithstanding. (fn. 2) ]
ITEM queda[m] Petitiones privatas personas concernentes (in se forma[m] Actus continentes) exhibite fuerunt predicto
Domino Regi in Parliamento p[re]dicto quoru[m] Tituli subscribuntur.
An Act for the enabling the sale of the Mannour of Kempton and Kempton Parke and other Lands late of
Francis Phelips Esq[uire] deceased.
An Act to enable Dacres Barret alias Lennard Esq[uire] to charge the Revertion of his Estate in England with
the summe of fifteene hundred pounds.
An Act to prohibit the covering of houses and other buildings with thatch or straw in the Towne of Marleborough
in the County of Wilts.
An Act to vest the Mannours and Lands late of George Vilet Esq[uire] in Trustees to be sould for raising portions
for his daughters.
An Act to vest diverse Messuages and Tenements (the Estate of David Bigg Esq[uire]) in trustees to be sold
and for laying out the money to be raised thereby in the purchase of Lands more to his convenience to be
setled to the same uses.
An Act to enable Elizabeth Mountague Widow to make Leases for yeares of houses and ground in Stepney
in the County of Midlesex.
An Act to give Katherine Lady Cornbury certaine Powers to act as if she were of full age.
An Act for the limitting the power of James now Earle of Salisbury to cutt off the Intaile of his Estate.
An Act to annull and make void a marriage betweene Mary Wharton an Infant and James Campbell Esq[uire].
An Act to free the Estate of Sir Samuell Bernardiston Baronet from severall incumbrances occasioned by a
Judgment given against him upon an information in the Court of Kings Bench.
An Act for enabling of Trustees to sell certaine Lands of Richard Cooke deceased to pay debts and to raise a
portion for his daughter.
An Act for the vesting severall Messuages and Tenements in the City of London (late the Estate of John Baines
Gentleman deceased) in trustees to be sould for the payments of debts.
An Act for naturalizing of Francis de la Chambre and others.
An Act to barr a Remainder limitted to Dudley Bagnall Esq[uire] in the Estate of Nicholas Bagnall Esq[uire] in Ireland.
An Act for vesting diverse Lands in Trustees to be sould for the payment of certaine debts of Saint Leger
Scroope Esq[uire] deceased.
An Act for the better enableing Jane Bray Widow relict and sole executrix of the last Will of Reginald Bray
Esquire deceased and others to the speedier raising of the Portions already appointed for her daughters by the said
An Act for selling the Estate of Henry Serle Esquire deceased.
An Act for the setling a Charity given by Robert Aske Esq[uire] to the Company of Haberdashers of London.
An Act for secureing the portion of Elizabeth Lucy and breeding her up a Protestant and for transferring
the trust for that purpose.
An Act for the raising money out of the Estate of Thomas Williams Esq[uire] deceased by letting Leases and
otherwise for the more speedy payment of his debts.
An Act to enable Phillip Hildeyard Esq[uire] to sell Lands in Surrey and to setle Lands in Lincolnshire in liew
An Act to enable Thomas Earle of Aylesbury and Elizabeth Countesse of Aylesbury his wife to make provision
for payment of debts and to make Leases of their Estates
An Act to enable Thomas Sheafe to sell Lands for payment of debts and makeing provision for his wife
according to an Agreement for that purpose.
An Act for incorporating the Proprietors of the Waterworks in Yorke Buildings and for incourageing carrying
on and setling the said Waterworks.
An Act for vesting certaine Lands (the Estate of Thomas Manwaring Gentleman) in Trustees to be sold for the
payment of debts.
An Act to enable John Rosseter Esq[uire] to sell Lands for payment of debts.