William and Mary, 1691
An Act for the better Explanation and supplying the Defects of the former Laws for the Settlement of the Poor [Chapter XI. Rot. Parl. pt. 1. nu. 9.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1819

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314-315

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'William and Mary, 1691: An Act for the better Explanation and supplying the Defects of the former Laws for the Settlement of the Poor [Chapter XI. Rot. Parl. pt. 1. nu. 9.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 6: 1685-94 (1819), pp. 314-315. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46365 Date accessed: 01 September 2014.


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13 & 14 Car. II. c. 12.; 1 Jac. II. c. 17. § 1. recited.; The said Acts revived.

Whereas one Act of Parliament made in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth years of His late Majesty King Charles the Second Entituled An Act for the better Relief of the Poor of this Kingdom (except what relates to the Corporation therein mentioned and constituted thereby) was revived and continued with some Alterations by one other Act made in the First yeare of the late King James the Second and have been found [by experience (fn. 1) ] to bee good and wholesom Laws but may shortly expire. Be it therefore enacted by the King and Queens most Excellent Majesties by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by authority of the same That the said Acts as to what relates to the Settlements of the Poor shall be in force from the First day of March One thousand six hundred ninety one.

II. The Note of Settlement must be read in the Church and registered in the Poors Book.

But forasmuch as the said Acts are somewhat defective and doubtfull for supplying and explaining the same Be it further provided and enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Forty days co[n]tinuance of such person in a Parish or Towne intended by the said Acts to make a Settlement shall be accounted from the Publication of a Notice in Writing which he or she shall deliver of the House of his or her Abode and the number of his or her Family if he or she have any to the Churchwarden or Overseer of the Poor which said Notice in Writing the said Churchwarden or Overseer of the Poor is or are hereby required to read or cause to be read publickely immediately after Divine Service in the Church or Chappel of the said Parish or Towne on the next Lords day when there shall be Divine Service in the same And the said Churchwarden or Overseer of the Poor is or are hereby required to register or cause to be registred the said Notice in Writing in the Book kept for the Poors Accounts.

III. No Soldier, &c. to have Settlement before Dismission.

Provided always and be it enacted That no Soldier Seaman Shipwright or other Artificer or Workman imployed in Their Majesties Service shall have any Settlement in any Parish Port-towne or other Towne by Delivery and Publication of a notice in Writeing as aforesaid unlesse the same be after the Dismission of such person out of Their Majesties Service.

IV. Churchwarden refusing to read; Penalty, 40s.

Distress.; Want of Distress; Imprisonment.; Refusing to register; Penalty, 40s.; Want of Distress; Imprisonment.

And be it further Enacted That if any Churchwarden or Overseer of the Poor shall refuse or neglect to read or cause to bee read such Notice in Writeing as aforesaid in such manner place and time as aforesaid he or they for every such Offence (upon proof thereof by two credible Witnesses upon Oath before any Justice of the Peace of the same County Riding or Division City or Towne Corporate where complaint thereof shall be made) shall forfeit the Sum of Forty shillings to the use of the party grieved to be levied by Distresse and Sale of the Offender or Offenders Goods by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of any Justice of the Peace within the said Jurisdictions respectively to the Constable of the Parish or Towne where such Offender or Offenders dwell the Overplus if any be to be returned to the Owner or Owners and for want of such sufficient Distresse the said Justice shall committ him or them to the Common Goal of the said County City or Towne-Corporate there to remain without Bail or Mainprize for the space of one Month and if any Churchwarden or Overseer of the Poor shall refuse or neglect to register or cause to be registred such Notice in Writeing as aforesaid he or they so offending upon the like Conviction shall forfeit the Sum of Forty shillings to the use of the Poor of the Parish or Towne where such Offender or Offenders dwell to be levied as aforesaid the Overplus if any be to be returned to the Owner or Owners and for want of such sufficient Distresse then the said Justice shall committ such Offender or Offenders as aforesaid for the time aforesaid.

V. Serving as Officer, or paying Parish Duties, a Settlement.

Provided always and be it Enacted That if any person who shall come to inhabit in any Towne or Parish shall for himselfe and on his owne account execute any publick annual Office or charge in the said Towne or Parish dureing one whole year or shall be charged with and pay his share towards the publick Taxes or Levies of the said Towne or Parish then he shall be adjudged and deemed to have a legal Settlement in the same though no such Notice in Writing be delivered and published as is hereby before required.

VI. Service for a Year, of unmarried Person, a Settlement.

And it is hereby further Enacted That if any Unmarried person not having Child or Children shall be lawfully hired into any Parish or Towne for one yeare such Service shall be [adjudged & (fn. 1) ] deemed a good Settlement therein though no such Notice in Writeing be delivered and published as is herein before required.

VII. Apprenticeship, a Settlement.

And it is hereby further Enacted That if any person shall be bound an Apprentice by Indenture and inhabit in any Towne or Parish such Binding and Inhabitation shalt be adjudged a good Settlement though no such Notice in Writeing be delivered and published as aforesaid.

VIII. Appeal to Quarter Sessions.

Order final.

Provided always and be it hereby Enacted That if any person or persons shall find him her or themselves agrieved by any determination which any Justice or Justices of the Peace shall make in any of the Cases abovesaid the said person or persons shall have liberty to appeal to the next General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held for the said County Riding or Division City or Towne Corporate who upon full hearing of the said Appeal shall have full power finally to determine the same.

IX. Churchwarden to receive a Person removed by Warrant of Two Justices of Peace.

Penalty £5.; Distress.; Want of Distress; Imprisonment.

And be it further Enacted That if any person be removed by virtue of this Act from one County Riding City Towne Corporate or Liberty to another by Warrant under the Hands and Seals of two Justices of the Peace the Churchwardens or Overseers of the Poor of the said Parish or Towne to which the said person shall be so removed are hereby required to receive the said person and if he or they shall refuse so to do he or they so refuseing or neglecting (upon proof thereof by Two Credible Witnesses upon Oath before any Justice of the Peace of the County Riding City or Towne Corporate to which the said person shall be [soe (fn. 2) ] removed) shall forfeit for each Offence the sum of Five pounds to the use of the Poor of the Parish or Town from which the said person was removed to be levied by Distresse and Sale of the Offender or Offenders Goods by Warrant under the Hand and Seale of any Justice of the Peace of the County Riding City or Town-Corporate to which such person was removed to the Constable of the Parish or Towne where such Offender or Offenders dwell which Warrant the said Justice is hereby impowered and required to make the Overplus if any be to be returned to the Owner or Owners and for want of such sufficient Distresse then the said Justice shall committ the said Offender or Offenders to the Common Goal of the said County Riding City or Towne Corporate or Liberty there to remain without Bail or Mainprize for the space of Forty days.

X. Appeal to Quarter Sessions.

Provided always and be it hereby Enacted that all such persons who think themselves agrieved with any such Judgment of the said two Justices may appeal to the next General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held for the County Riding City Towne-Corporate or Liberty from which the said person was so removed.

XI.

43 Eliz. c. 2. A Register to be kept of the Admittances of the Poor.; Parishioners yearly in Easter Week, &c. to make a List of their Poor.; None but those in the List to receive Alms, except by Order of Justice, &c. Exception.

And whereas many inconveniences do daily arise in Cities Townes Corporate and Parishes where the Inhabitants are very numerous by reason of the unlimited power of the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor who do frequently upon frivolous pretences (but chiefly for their owne private ends) give relief to what persons and number they think fitt and such persons being entred into the Collection Bill do become after that a great charge to the Parish notwithstanding the occasion or pretence of their receiving Collection oftentimes ceases by which meanes the Rates for the Poor are daily increased contrary to the true intent of a Statute made in the Forty third yeare of the Raigne of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth Entituled An Act for the Relief of the Poor. For remedying of which and preventing the like abuses for the future Be it further Enacted That from and after the ( (fn. 3) ) First day of March there shall be provided and kept in every Parish (att the charge of the same Parish) a Book or Books wherein the Names of all such persons who do or may receive Collection shall be registred with the day and year when they were first admitted to have Relief and the occasion which [brought (fn. 4) ] them under that necessity And that yearly in Easter Week (or as often as it shall be thought convenient) the Parishioners of every Parish shall meet in their Vestry or other usual place of meeting in the same Parish before whom the said Book shall be produced and all persons receiving Collection to be called over and the reasons of their taking relief examined and a new List made and entered of such persons as they shall think fitt and allow to receive Collection and that no other person be allowed to have or receive Collection att the Charge of the said Parish but by Authority under the Hand of one Justice of the Peace residing within such Parish or (if none be there dwelling) in the Parts near or next adjoyning or by Order of the Justices in their respective Quarter Sessions except in cases of Pestilential Diseases Plague or Small Pox for and in respect of such Families only as are or shall be therewith infected.

XII. Parishioners, except Almsmen, may be Evidence against Churchwardens, &c. of their mispending &c. the Poors Money.

[And whereas many Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor and other persons intrustred to receive Collections for the Poor and other publick moneys relateing to the churches and parishes whereunto they [do (fn. 4) ] belong do often mispend the said moneys and take the same to their owne use to the great prejudice of such parishes and the Poor and other Inhabitants thereof And because that many times the Judges when Actions are brought against such Churchwardens and Overseers to recover the moneys so mispent taken or misapplied by the persons aforesaid refuse to admit the Parishioners [to be (fn. 2) ] Witnesses in such cases who are the only persons that can make proof thereof. Wherefore to prevent all such evil and deceitful practices of Churchwardens and Overseers and other persons Be it enacted and declared That in all Actions to be brought in Their Majesties Courts of Record att Westminster or at the Assizes for recovery of any Sum or Sums of money so mispent or taken by Churchwardens or Overseers of the Poor the Evidence of the Parishioners or any of them other then of such as receive Alms or any Pension or Gift out of such Collections or publick moneys of such Parish or Parishes respectively whereof the Defendant or Defendants is or are Inhabitant or Inhabitants shall be taken and admitted in all such cases in the Courts aforesaid Any Custome Rule Order or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding. (fn. 5) ]

Footnotes

1 interlined on the Roll.
2 interlined on the Roll.
3 said O.
4 O omits.
5 annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule.