Persons indicted for High Treason or for Misprision of Treason, to have a Copy of Indictment, but not the Names of the Witnesses, delivered to them Five Days before Trial; Fee to Officer; And admitted to defend by Counsel and Evidence; Court to assign Counsel, not exceeding Two.
Whereas nothing is more just and reasonable than that Persons prosecuted for High Treason and Misprision
of Treason whereby the Lib[er]ities Lives Honour Estates Bloud and Posterity of the Subjects may bee lost
and destroyed should bee justly and equally tried and that Persons accused as Offenders therein should not bee
debarred of all just and equal Means for Defence of their Innocencies in such Cases In order thereunto and for
the better Regulation of Tryals of Persons prosecuted for High Treason and Misprision of such Treason Bee it
enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That from and
after the Five and twentieth Day of March in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety six all and
every Person and Persons whatsoever that shall bee accused and indicted for High Treason whereby any Corruption
of Blood may or shall bee made to any such Offender or Offenders or to any the Heir or Heirs of [any (fn. 1) ] such
Offender or Offenders or for Misprision of such Treason shall have a true Copy of the whole Indictment but not
the Names of the Witnesses delivered unto them or any of them Five Days att the least before hee or they shall
bee tryed for the same whereby to enable them and any of them respectively to advise with Counsell thereupon
to plead and make their Defence his or their Attorney or Attorneys Agent or Agents or any of them requiring
the same and paying the Officer his reasonable Fees for writing thereof not exceeding Five Shillings for the Copy
of every such Indictment And that every such Person soe accused and indicted arraigned or tryed for any such
Treason as aforesaid or for Misprision of such Treason from and after the said time shall bee received and
admitted to make his and their full Defence by Counsel learned in the Law and to make any Proof that hee
or they can produce by lawfull Witnesse or Witnesses who shall then bee upon Oath for his and their just
Defence in that behalfe And in case any Person or Persons so accused or indicted shall desire Councel the Court
before whom such Person or Persons shall bee tryed or some Judge of that Court shall and is hereby authorized
and required im[m]ediately upon his or their request to assigne to such Person and Persons such and soe many Counsel
not exceeding Two as the Person or Persons shall desire to whom such Counsel shall have free Accesse at all
seasonable Houres Any Law or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
Two Witnesses necessary.; Proviso respecting Confession, standing mute, Refusal to plead, and peremptory Challenge.
And bee it further enacted That from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of March in the Yeare of our
Lord One thousand six hundred ninety six noe Person or Persons whatsoever shall bee indicted tryed or attainted
of High Treason whereby any Corruption of Blood may or shall bee made to any such Offender or Offenders or.
to any the Heir or Heirs of any such Offender or Offenders or of Misprision of such Treason but by and upon
the Oaths and Testimony of Two lawfull Witnesses either both of them to the same Overtact or one of them to
one and another of them to another Overtact of the same Treason unlesse the Party indicted and arraigned or
tryed shall willingly without violence in open Court confesse the same or shall stand Mute or refuse to plead or
in cases of High Treason shall peremptorily challenge above the Number of Thirty five of the Jury Any Law
Statute or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. Proviso respecting Outlawry of Persons indicted and Trial of such Persons.
Provided always that any Person or Persons being indicted as aforesaid for any the Treasons or Misprisions
of the Treasons aforesaid may bee outlawed and thereby attainted of or for any of the said Offences of Treason
or Misprision of Treason And in Cases of the High Treasons aforesaid where by the Law after such Outlawry
the Party outlawed may come in and bee tryed hee shall upon such Tryal have the Benefitt of this Act.
IV. One Witness to each of Two distinct Treasons charged by one Indictment, not deemed Two Witnesses.
And bee it further enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid That if Two or more distinct Treasons of
diverse Heads or Kinds shall bee alledged in one Bill of Indictment one Witnesse produced to prove one of the
said Treasons and another Witnesse produced to prove another of the said Treasons shall not bee deemed or taken
to bee Two Witnesses to the same Treason within the meaning of this Act.
Indictment must be found by a Grand Jury within Three Years.; No Prosecution unless Indictment within Three Years.
And to the intent that the Terror and Dread of such Criminal Accusations may in some reasonable time bee removed
Bee it further enacted [by the Authority aforesaid (fn. 2) ] That from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of March
in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety six noe Person or Persons whatsoever shall bee indicted
tryed or prosecuted for any such Treason as aforesaid or for Misprision of such Treason that shall bee committed
or done within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed after the said Five
and twentieth Day of March in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety six unlesse the same
Indictment bee found by a Grand Jury within Three Years next after the Treason or Offence done and committed
[And that no Person or Persons shall bee prosecuted for any such Treason or Misprision of such Treason committed
or done or to bee committed or done within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick
upon Tweed before the said Five and twentieth Day of March unlesse hee or they shall bee indicted thereof within
Three Yeares after the said Five and twentieth Day of March.
VI. Such Limitation not to extend to Assassination of the King.
Always provided and excepted that if any Person or Persons whatsoever shall bee guilty of designing
endeavouring or attempting any Assassination on the Body of the King by Poyson or otherwise such Person or
Persons may bee prosecuted at any time notwithstanding the aforesaid Limitation; (fn. 3) ]
VII. Persons indicted to have Copy of Pannel of Jurors delivered to them Two Days before Trial;
and also Process to compel Appearance of Witnesses.
And that all and every Person and Persons who shall bee accused indicted [or (fn. 4) ] tryed for such Treason as aforesaid
or for Misprision of such Treason after the said Five and twentieth Day of March in the Yeare of our Lord One
thousand six hundred ninety six shall have Copies of the Pannel of the Jurors who are to try them duely returned
by the Sheriff and delivered unto them and every of them soe accused and indicted respectively Two Days at the
least before hee or they shall bee tryed for the same And that all Persons soe accused and indicted for any such
Treason as aforesaid shall have the like Processe of the Court where they shall bee tryed to compell their Witnesses
to appeare for them att any such Tryal or Tryals as is usually granted to compell Witnesses to appeare
VIII. No Evidence of Overt Act not laid in Indictment.
And bee it further enacted That noe Evidence shall bee admitted or given of any Overt Act that is not expresly
laid in the Indictment against any Person or Persons whatsoever.
IX. Indictment, Process, &c. not quashed for miswriting, &c. unless Exception taken before Evidence given.
Mis-writing, &c. after Conviction not to stay Judgment. Writ of Error.
Provided alsoe and bee it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That noe Indictment for any of the [Offences (fn. 5) ]
aforesaid nor any Processe or Returne thereupon shall bee quashed on the Motion of the Prisoner or his Counsel
for miswriting mispelling false or improper Latine unlesse Exception concerning the same bee taken and made in
the respective Court where such Tryal shall bee by the Prisoner or his Council assigned before any Evidence given
in open Court upon such Indictment Nor shall any such miswriting mispelling false or improper Latine after Conviction
on such Indictment bee any Cause to stay or arrest Judgement thereupon But neverthelesse any Judgement given
upon such Indictment shall and may bee liable to bee reversed upon a Writt of Error in the same manner and
noe other than as if this Act had not been made.
Proceedings on Trials of Peers.; 1 W. & M. c. 8; 30 Car. II. Stat. 2.
[And whereas by the good Laws of this Kingdome in Cases of Tryals of Commoners for their Lives a Jury of
Twelve Freeholders must all agree in one Opinion before they can bring a Verdict either for Acquital or Condemnation
of the Prisoner. And whereas upon the Tryals of Peers or Peeresses a Major Vote is sufficient either to acquitt or
condemn Bee it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That upon the Tryal of any Peer or Peeresse either for
Treason or Misprision all the Peers who have a Right to sitt and vote in Parliament shall bee duely summoned
Twenty Days att least before every such Tryal to appearee att every such Triyal And that every Peere soe summoned
and appeareing att such Tryal shall vote in the Tryal of such Peer or Peeresse soe to bee tryed every such Peere
first takeing the Oaths mentioned in an Act of Parliament made in the First Yeare of the Reign of King William
and Queene Mary intituled An Act for abrogateing the Oaths of Supremacy and Allegiance and appointing other
Oaths And alsoe every such Peer subscribing and audibly repeating the Declaration mentioned in An Act for the
more effectual preserving the Kings Person and Government by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of
Parliament and made in [the (fn. 7) ] Thirtieth Yeare of the Reigne of the late King Charles the Second. (fn. 6) ]
XI. Proviso for Impeachment, &c. in Parliament.
Provided always That neither this Act nor any thing therein contained shall any ways extend to or bee construed to
extend to any Impeachment or other Proceedings in Parliament in any kind whatsoever.
XII. Proviso for Indictments for coining and counterfeiting Great Seal, &c.
Provided alsoe That this Act nor any thing therein contained shall any ways extend to any Indictment of High
Treason nor to any Proceedings thereupon for counterfeiting His Majesties Coyn His Great Seale or Privy Seale
His Signe Manual or Privy Signett.