William and Mary, 1691
An Act to take away Clergy from some Offenders and to bring other to Punishment [Chapter IX. Rot. Parl. pt. 1. nu. 7.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1819

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311-312

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'William and Mary, 1691: An Act to take away Clergy from some Offenders and to bring other to Punishment [Chapter IX. Rot. Parl. pt. 1. nu. 7.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 6: 1685-94 (1819), pp. 311-312. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46363 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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Any Person convicted of robbing any other Person, or in a Dwelling-house, any other Person being therein and put in fear; or of robbing a Dwelling-house in the Day-time, any Person being therein; or aiding, &c. to commit the said Offences; or to break any Dwelling-house, &c. in the Day-time, and take to the Value of 5s. although no Person there; or counselling, &c. any Burglary, or standing mute, &c. shall lose his Clergy.

Forasmuch as diverse wicked and ill disposed persons are encouraged to co[m]mitt Robberies upon mens persons and in their Houses and other Offenders by the priviledge as the Law now is of demanding the benefitt of their Clergy Be it therefore enacted by the King and Queens most Excellent Majesties and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual [and (fn. 1) ] Temporal and Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That all and every person or persons that shall at any time from and after the First day of March in the year of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety one rob any other person or shall feloniously take away any Goods or Chattell being in any Dwelling house the Owner or any other person being therein and put in Fear or shall rob any Dwelling-house in the day time any person being therein or shall comfort aid abet assist counsel hire or co[m]mand any person or persons to co[m]mitt any of the said Offences or to break any Dwelling house Shop or Warehouse thereunto belonging or therewith used in the day time and feloniously take away any Money Goods or Chattell of the value of Five shillings or upwards therein being although no person shall be within such Dwelling house Shop or Ware house or shall counsel hire or co[m]mand any person to co[m]mitt any Burglary being thereof convicted or attainted or being indicted thereof shall stand mute or will not directly answer to the Indictment or shall peremptorily challenge above the number of Twenty persons returned to be of the Jury shall not have the benefitt of his or their Clergy

II. Persons excluded from Clergy standing mute, &c. not admitted to Clergy.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any person or persons whatsoever be indicted of any Offence for which by virtue of any former Statute he or they are excluded from having the benefitt of his or their Clergy if he or they had been thereof convicted by Verdict or Confession if he or they stand mute or will not answer directly to the Felony or shall challenge peremptorily above the number of Twenty persons returned to be [of the Jury (fn. 1) ] or shall be outlawed thereupon shall not be admitted to the benefitt of his or their Clergy

III. Persons convicted or standing mute, &c. in what case excluded from Clergy.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any person or persons hereafter be indicted of Felony for stealing of any Goods or Chattel in any County within this Realm of England Dominion of Wales or Town of Berwick upon Tweed and thereof be convicted or attainted or upon his or their arraignment shall stand mute or will not directly answer to the Indictment or shall challenge peremptorily above the number of twenty persons returned to be of the Jury he or they shall be totally excluded from having the benefit of his or their Clergy if it appear upon Evidence or Examination before the Justices that the said Goods or Chattel were taken by Robbery or Burglary or in any other manner in any other County whereof if such person or persons had been convicted by a Jury of the said other County he or they are excluded by virtue of this or any other Act from haveing the benefitt of his or their Clergy

IV. Buyers of stolen Goods, reputed Accessaries after the Fact.

And forasmuch as Thieves and Robbers are much encouraged to com[m]itt such Offences because a great number of persons make it their trade and businesse to deal in the buying of Stoln Goods Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any person or persons shall buy or receive any Goods or Chattel that shall be feloniously taken or stoln from any other person knowing the same to be stoln hee or they shall be taken and deemed an Accessary or Accessaries to such Felony after the Fact and shall incur the same Punishment as an Accessary or Accessaries to the Felony after the Felony comitted

V. Stealing Goods from Lodgings, Felony.

[And whereas it is a frequent Practice for idle and disorderly persons to hire Lodgings with an intent to have an opportunity to take away imbezel or purloine the Goods and Furniture being in such Lodgings Be it therefore enacted and declared by the authority aforesaid That if any person or persons shall take away with an intent to steal imbezel or purloin any Chattel Beding or Furniture which by Contract or Agreement he or they are to use or shall be lett to him or them to use in or with such Lodging such takeing imbezelling or purloining shall be to all intents and purposes taken reputed adjudged to bee Larceny and Felony and the offender shall suffer as in case of Felony

VI. Women convicted of Crimes for which Men have their Clergy, upon Prayer punished as Men.

Punishment.

And whereas by the Laws of this Realme Women convicted of Felony for stealing of Goods and Chattel of the value of Ten shillings and upwards and for other Felonies where a man is to have the benefitt of his Clergy are to suffer Death Be it therefore enacted and declared by the authority aforesaid that where a man being convicted of any Felony for which hee may demand the benefitt of his Clergy if a Woman be convicted for the same or like offence upon her Prayer to have the benefitt of this Statute Judgment of Death shall not be given against her upon such Conviction or Execution awarded upon any outlawry for such offence but shall suffer the same Punishment as a Man should suffer that has the benefitt of his Clergy allowed him in the like case that is to say sshall be burnt in the Hand by the Gaoler in open Court and further bee kept in Prison for such time as the Justices in their discretion shall think [fitt (fn. 2) ] so as the same doe not exceed One years Imprisonment

VII. Where a Person has had his Clergy in another County, Clerk of the Crown, &c. shall certify it.

And forasmuch as such Men who have once had their Clergy and such Women as shall once have the benefitt of this Statute may happen to be indicted for an offence co[m]mitted afterwards in some other County Be it therefore enacted that the Clerk of the Crown Clerk of the Peace Clerk of the Assizes where such [Woman or Man (fn. 3) ] shall be convicted shall at the request of the Prosecutor or any other in their Majesties behalf certifie a Transcript briefly and in few words conteyning the effect and tenor of every Indictment and Conviction of such Man or Woman of his having the benefitt of the Clergy or her having the benefitt of this Statute and Addition of every such person or persons and the certainty of the Felony and Conviction to the Judges and Justices in such other County where such Man or Woman shall be indicted which Certificate being produced in Court shall be a sufficient proof that such Man hath before had the benefitt of his Clergy and that such Woman hath had the benefitt of this Statute (fn. 4) ]

Footnotes

1 interlined on the Roll.
2 interlined on the Roll.
3 Man or Woman O.
4 annexed to the Original Act in separate Schedules.