Recital that Persons form Confederacies to pay Penalties, &c. of Conviction:
Person convicted before a Justice of Peace of Deer-stealing.; Limitation of Prosecution.; Penalty, £20.; For each Deer wounded, £30.; Levied by Distress.; Want of Distress,; Punishment.
Whereas notwithstanding the many good Laws before this time made and still in force which do prohibit
unlawfull courseing hunting or killing of Deer yet inasmuch as the Penalties thereby provided are found
by daily experience not to be sufficient to deter divers lewd sturdy and disorderly persons who confederate together
in great numbers makeing amongst themselves as it were a Brotherhood and Fraternity whereby if any of them
shall be discovered and convicted which seldom happens because of their great force and clandestine manner of
combination they by a co[m]mon contribution and for the most part advance and pay for such persons so apprehended
the pecuniary Penalties (which are but small) inflicted on such offenders by reason whereof the other confederates
escape discovery and condigne punishment Therefore for the more effectuall discovery and punishment of such
persons Be it enacted by the King and Queens most excellent Majesties and by and with the advice and consent
of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same
That if any person or persons shall from and after the Twenty fifth day of March in the yeare of our Lord One
thousand six hundred ninety two unlawfully [hunt course (fn. 1) ] take in toyles kill wound or take away any Red or Fallow
Deer in any Forest Chase Purlieu Paddock Wood Parke or other Ground inclosed where Deer are have or shall
bee usually kept within the Realm of England or Dominion of Wales without the consent of the owner or person
chiefly intrusted with the custody thereof or shall be aiding or assisting therein and shall be convicted thereof by
the confession of the Party or by the Oath of one or more credible Witnesse or Witnesses before one or more
Justices of the Peace of the same County wherein the offence shall be comitted or the Party offending apprehended
which Oath the said Justice or Justices hereby are impowered to administer and such persons being prosecuted
for such Offence within Twelve months after such offence done That then every such person soe offending by
unlawfull coursing or hunting only when no Deer is taken wounded or killed shall forfeit for every such offence
the Sume of Twenty pounds And in case any Deer shall by such person or persons be wounded taken in toyles
or killed that for each Deer so wounded killed or taken such person or persons shall respectively forfeit and pay
the Sume of Thirty pounds to be levied by way of distress upon the Goods and Chattells of every such offender
by Warrant under the Justice or Justices hand before whom such Conviction or Convictions shall be made the
one third [parte (fn. 2) ] of such Forfeitures to be given to the Informer or Informers [the other part (fn. 2) ] to the use of the Poor
of the Parish where the Offence shall be comitted and the other third part to the Owner of such Deer And
for want of sufficient Distresse that then such [persons (fn. 3) ] shall suffer Imprisonment by the space of one whole yeare
without Bail or Mainprize and shall be sett in the Pillory by the space of one houre on some Markett day in
the next adjoyning Towne to the place where such offence was com[m]itted by the chief Officer or Officers of such
Markett-Towne or by his or their Under Officer or Officers
II. Constables may search suspicious Houses by Warrant.
If Venison, &c. found, and Offender cannot give a good Account of himself, &c. a Conviction.
And be it further enacted That every Constable Headborough and Tythingman (being thereto authorized by the
Warrant of one or more Justices of Peace under his or their Hands & Seales) shall and may have full Power
and Authority and hereby is required to enter into and search (in such manner and with such power as in case
where Goods are stolne or suspected to be stolne) the House or Houses Outhouses or other places belonging to
such Houses of suspected Persons And in case any Venison or Skin of any Deer or Toyles shall there be found
such Officer shall apprehend such Offender and carry him before some Justice of the Peace of the same County
And if such person doe not give a good Account how hee came by such Venison Skins or Toyles such as shall
satisfie the said Justice or else shall not in some convenient time to be set him by the said Justice produce the
Party of whom hee bought such Venison Skins or Toyles or some other credible Witnesse to depose upon Oath
such Sale of the said Venison or Skins That then such person not giving such good Account nor p[ro]duceing any
such Witnesse as aforesaid shall be convicted by the said Justice of such Offence who on such Conviction shall
be subject unto the Forfeitures and Penalties hereby inflicted for the killing of any one Deer in the same manner
as if thereof convicted as aforesaid
III. Constable may detain Offender till Distress returned.
And to the end that noe persons convicted of any of the Offences as aforesaid may escape Punishment by
their flight or other removeal after such conviction Be it further enacted by and with the Authority aforesaid That
it shall and may be lawfull for and hereby power and authority is given (after conviction as aforesaid) to the
Constable or other Officer or person or persons prosecuting to detain in custody such Offender or Offenders (in
case he or they shall not presently pay the moneys due by the said Conviction) dureing such reasonable time as a
returne may be conveniently had and made to the Warrant for the Distresse upon such Conviction so as such
Detainer do not exceed two days
IV. Persons having Deer in inclosed Ground may oppose Offenders.
And to the end all Owners of Deer in any Inclosed Ground may be indempnified in the just defence of such
their right Be it enacted That any Owner of such Deer or any person or persons acting by from and under him
shall and may oppose and resist such Offenders in the same manner and be equally indempnified for so doing as
if such Fact had been comitted within any ancient Chase or Parke whatsoever
V. No Certiorari except Offender give Security £50. to pay Prosecutor full Costs, &c.
Double Prosecutions not allowed.
And whereas divers Offenders duely convicted do comonly procure Writs of Certiorari to remove such Convictions
into Superiour Courts at Westminster in hopes thereby to discourage and weary out such persons injured by
great delays expences and incertainties Be it therefore enacted That no Certiorari shall be allowed to remove any
Conviction made or other Proceeding of for or concerning any matter or thing in this Act unlesse the Party or
Parties against whom such Conviction shall be made shall before the allowance of such Certiorari become bounden
to the person or persons prosecuting in the Sum of Fifty pounds with such sufficient Sureties as the Justice or
Justices of the Peace before whom such Offender was convicted shall think fitt with condition to pay unto the
said Prosecutors within one Month after such Conviction confirmed or a Procedendo granted their full Costs and
Damages to be ascertained upon their Oaths and that in default thereof it shall be lawfull for the said Justice
and Justices and others to proceed to the due execution of such Conviction in such manner as if no Certiorari had
been awarded. Provided that where any Offender shall be punished by force of this Act that he shall not be
prosecuted nor incur the penalty of any other Law or Statute for the same Offence.
VI. General Issue.
Provided always That if any person or persons whatsoever shall be sued or prosecuted for or by reason of
any matter or thing which he or they shall do in pursuance of this Act it shall and may be lawfull to and for
the person or persons so sued or prosecuted to plead the General Issue and give the Special Matter in Evidence.
VII. Persons convicted before a Justice of Peace for pulling down Pales, &c. imprisoned Three Months.
[Provided also and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any person or persons shall in the night
time pull downe and destroy or cause to be pulled downe and destroyed the Pails or Walls of any Park Forest
Chase, Purlieu Paddock Wood or other Ground inclosed where any Red or Fallow Deer shall be then kept
That such person or persons so offending being thereof convicted by the Oath of one or more credible Witnesse
or Witnesses before one or more Justice or Justices of the Peace of the same County wherein the Offence shall
be comitted shall by Warrant from such Justice or Justices as aforesaid suffer Imprisonment for three Months
without Bail or Mainprize. (fn. 4) ]