Recital that Questions are likely to arise concerning Elections in Corporations.; Commissions to issue for England, Wales, and Berwick.
WHEREAS questions are likely to arise concerning the validity of Elections of Magistrates and other Officers
and Members in Corporations as well in respect of removing some as placing others during the late troubles
contrary to the true intent and meaning of theire Charters and Liberties And to the end that the succession in such
Corporations may be most probably perpetuated in the hands of persons well affected to His Majesty and the
established Government it being to well knowne that notwithstanding all His Majesties endeavors and unparaleld
Indulgence in pardoning all that is past neverthelesse many evill spirits are still working Wherefore for prevention
of the like mischeife for the time to come and for preservation of the Publique Peace both in Church and State
Bee it Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall
and Temporall and Commons assembled in Parliament and by the Authoritie of the same That Commissions shall
before the twentieth day of February next be issued forth under the Great Seale of England unto such persons
as His Majestie shall appoint for the executing [of (fn. 1) ] the Powers and Authorities herein after expressed And that all
and every the persons to be named Commissioners in the said Commissions respectively shall by vertue of this Act
be Commissioners respectively for and within the severall Cities Corporations and Burroughs and Cinque Ports and
theire Members and other Port Townes within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales and Towne of Berwicke
upon Tweed for which they shall be respectively nominated and appointed
II Proviso for Corporation Charters.
And be it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That no Charter of any Corporation Cities Townes
Burroughs Cinque Ports and theire Members and other Port Townes in England or Wales or Towne of Berwicke
upon Tweed shall at any time hereafter be avoided for or by reason of any act or thing done or omitted to be
done before the First day of this present Parliament
III. Mayors, &;c. before 25th March 1653.
to take the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and the Oath following;
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all persons who upon the Foure and twentieth day of
December One thousand six hundred sixty and one shall be Maiors Aldermen Recorders Bailiffes Towne-Clerks
Common Councel men and other persons then bearing any Office or Offices of Magistracy or Places or Trusts or
other Imployment relating to or concerning the Government of the said respective Cities Corporations and Burroughs
and Cinque Ports and theire Members and other Port Towns shall at any time before the Five and twentieth day
of March One thousand six hundred sixtie and three when they shall be thereunto required by the said respective
Commissioners or any three or more of them take the Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy and this Oath
I. A. B. do declare and beleive That it is not lawfull upon any pretence whatsoever to take Arms against the
King and that I do abhor that Traiterous Position of taking Arms by His Authority against His Person or
against those that are co[m]missioned by Him So helpe me God.
and subscribe the following Declaration.
And alsoe att the same time shall publiquely subscribe before the said Commissioners or any Three of them
this following Declaration.
I. A. B. do declare That I hold that there lyes no Obligation upon me or any other person from the Oath commonly
called The Solemn League and Covenant and that the same was in it selfe an unlawfull Oath and imposed upon
the Subjects of this Realm against the knowne Laws and Liberties of the Kingdome.
IV. Those who refuse to be removed,
and Offices void.
And that all such of the said Maiors and other the persons aforesaid by whom the said Oaths are to be taken
and Declaration subscribed as aforesaid who shall refuse to take and subscribe the same within the time and in
manner aforesaid shall from and imediately after such refusall be by Authority of this Act (ipso facto) removed and
displaced of and from the said Offices and Places [respectively &; the said Offices &; Places (fn. 2) ] from and imediately
after such refusall shall be and are hereby declared and adjudged to be void to all intents and purposes as if the
said respective persons so refusing were naturally dead
V. Commissioners may remove Persons, though they have taken the Oaths and subscribed the Declaration.
And neverthelesse Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Commissioners or any Five
or more of them shall have full power by vertue of this Act by Order and Warrant under theire hands and seales
to displace or remove any of the persons aforesaid from the said respective Offices and Places or Trusts aforesaid
if the said Commissioners or the major part of them then present shall deem it expedient for the publique
safety although such persons shall have taken and subscribed or be willing to take and subscribe the said Oathes
VI. Commissioners may restore any Magistrate unduly removed.
Such Persons taking the Oaths and subscribing the Declaration.
And bee it alsoe Enacted That the said respective Commissioners or any Five or more of them as aforesaid
shall have power to restore such person or persons as have beene illegally or unduely removed into the places
out of which he or they were removed and alsoe to put and place into the Offices and Places which by any of
the wayes aforesaid shall be void respectively some other person or persons then being or which have beene
Members or Inhabitants of the said respective Cities Corporations and Burroughs and Cinque Ports and theire
Members and other Port Townes who shall before the said respective Commissioners or any three or more of
them take the said Oaths of Obedience and Supremacy and the said other Oath and subscribe the Declaration
herein before particularly mentioned and that the said persons from and after the taking of the said Oaths and
subscribing the said Declaration shall hold and enjoye and be vested in the said Places and Offices as if they had
beene duely elected and chosen according to the Charters and former usages of the said respective Cities Corporations
and Burroughs Cinque Ports and theire Members and other Port Townes.
VII. Commissioners empowered to give the Oaths, &;c.
Who shall give the Oaths and Declaration after the Commissions are determined.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said respective Commissioners or any three or
more of them respectively shall have power during the continuance of theire respective Commissions to administer
the Oathes aforesaid and tender the said Declaration to the said persons hereby required to take and subscribe the
same And from and after the expiration of the said respective Commissions the said three Oathes and Declaration
shall bee from time to time administred and tendred to such person and persons who by the true meaning of this
Act or any Clause therein contained are to take the same by such person or persons respectively who by the
Charters or Usages of the said respective Cities Corporations and Burroughs and Cinque Ports and theire Members
and other Port Townes ought to administer the Oath for due executing the said Places or Offices respectively
and in default of such by two Justices of the Peace of the said Cities Corporations and Burroughs and Cinque
Ports and theire Members and other Port Townes for the time being if any such there be or otherwise by two
Justices of the Peace for the time being of the respective Counties where the said Cities Corporations or Burroughs
or Cinque Ports or theire Members or other Port Townes are.
VIII. The Commissioners to cause Entries of Oaths taken;
and deliver them to the Town Clerks, &;c. to be entered in Books.
And be it likewise Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Commissioners Justices of the Peace and
other persons hereby authorized to administer the said Oaths and tender the said Declaration respectively shall
cause Memorandums or Entries to be made of all Oathes taken before them and subscriptions made as aforesaid
and deliver the same once in a yeare to the respective Town Clerks or other Register or Clerke of the said
respective Cities Corporations and Burroughs and Cinque Ports and theire Members and other Port-towns who
shall cause the same to be fairely entred into the Books or Registers belonging to the said respective Cities
Corporations or Burroughs or Cinque Ports and theire Members or other Port-towns.
IX. None to be elected to the Offices aforesaid, unless he shall have received the Sacrament within a Year.
and shall take the Oaths, and subscribe the Declaration.
Provided alsoe and be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the expiration of the said
Commissions no person or persons shall for ever hereafter be placed elected or chosen in or to any the Offices or
Places aforesaid that shall not [have (fn. 2) ] within one yeare next before such Election or Choice taken the Sacrament
of the Lords Supper according to the Rites of the Church of England and that every such person and persons so
placed elected or chosen shall likewise take the aforesaid three Oathes and subscribe the said Declaration att the
same time when the Oath for the due execution of the said Places and Offices respectively shall be administred
And in default hereof every such placing election and choice is hereby Enacted and Declared to bee void.
X.The usual Oath to be taken.
Provided alwaies and be it Enacted That every person who shall be placed in any Corporation by vertue of
this Act shall upon his admission take the Oath or Oaths usually taken by the Members of such Corporation
XI. How long Commissioners Power to continue.
Provided alsoe and be it hereby Enacted That the Powers granted to the Commissioners by vertue of this
Act shall continue and be in force untill the Five and twentieth of March One thousand six hundred sixty three
and no longer
XII. Commissioners sued may plead the General Issue, and recover Treble Costs.
Provided That if any Action Bill Plaint or Suit shall att any time hereafter happen to be brought or commenced
against any person or persons nominated a Commissioner as aforesaid for any matter or thing by them or any of
them done by vertue or in pursuance of this Act That then it shall be lawfull to and for every such person and
persons against whom such Action Bill Plaint or Suit shall be brought or commenced to plead the Generall Issue
and to give this Act or any other speciall matter in Evidence And if the Verdict shall passe with the Defendant
or Defendants in any such Action or the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs become Non suite or suffer any discontinuance
thereof That in every such case the Judge or Judges before whom the said matter shall be tryed or be depending
shall by force and vertue of this Act allow unto the Defendant or Defendants his or theire treble Costs which
he or they shall have sustained by reason of theire wrongfull vexation in defence of the said Action or Suit for
which the said Defendant or Defendants shall have like remedy as in other cases where Costs by the Lawes of
this Realme are given to the Defendants.
XIII. Proviso for Reversions of Offices in London.
Provided alwaies and it is hereby Declared That this Act or any thing therein contained shall not extend or
be to the prejudice of any person or persons whatsoever that hath any Reversion or Reversions of any [of (fn. 3) ] the
Offices or Places belonging to the City of London by force or vertue of any Order Grant Designation or Nominac[i]on
of the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen of the said City heretofore respectively made or granted to him or
them before the times of the late Wars for or in respect of such Grant Designation or Nominacon onely Any
thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding