Charles II, 1663
An Act for the Punishment of unlawfull cutting or stealing or spoiling of Wood and Underwood and Destroyers of young Timber Trees.

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1819

Pages

441-442

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'Charles II, 1663: An Act for the Punishment of unlawfull cutting or stealing or spoiling of Wood and Underwood and Destroyers of young Timber Trees.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 441-442. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47338 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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Recital of 43 Eliz. c. 7. § 1

and that the said Act had not sufficiently-prevented the said Mischief.; Reasons for the same.; Constables, &c. may apprehend suspicious Persons conveying Bundles of Wood, young Trees, Bark, &c.; and by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of a Justice may enter and search Houses, Gardens, &c. which they shall suspect to contain Wood, Bark, &c. and if they find any such, may apprehend Persons suspected of conveying the same away; and also those in whose Premises the same shall be found.; If such Persons do not give a good Account or produce the Persons of whom they bought the Wood, &c.; such Persons to be deemed convicted under the said Statute 43 Eliz. c. 7.; Punishment.

Whereas in one Act of Parliament made in the Three and fortieth yeare of the Raigne of the late Queene Elizabeth entituled An Act to avoid and prevent diverse misdemeanors in idle and lewd persons among other things it is enacted That all and every such lewd person and persons that shall cutt or spoyle any Woods or Underwoods Poles or Trees standing and their Procurer or Procurers Receiver or Receivers knowing the same, and being thereof lawfully convicted by his or their owne confession, or by the testimony of one sufficient Witnesse upon Oath before some one Justice of Peace, or other Head Officer of the County or place where such offence was committed shall give the partie or parties satisfaction for his or their Damages for the first faulte, And if such Offender or Offenders shall by such Justice of Peace or Head Officer be thought not able or sufficient, or if such Offender or Offenders doe not make such satisfaction as aforesaid That then the said Justice of Peace or Head Officer shall committ the said Offender or Offenders to the Constable or other inferiour Officer to receive the punishment of Whipping, as in the said Act more fully doth appeare, And whereas it is found by dayly experience especially in and about London and other great Townes where a great number of such idle and lewd persons doe shelter themselves that this Act hath not sufficiently prevented the said mischeife of cutting and spoyling Woods and Underwoods as was intended as well because the said offences are committed in such a close and clandestine manner that there is none Witnesse to them but such as are pertakers to the offence, as alsoe because the said punishment is too small for soe great a fault, which is not onely prejudiciall and hurtfull to the Owners of the said Woods but very mischievous and damageable to the Commonwealth Be it therefore enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That from and after the fower and twentieth day of June next ensueing every Constable Headborough or any other person in every County Citty Towne Corporate or other place where they shall be Officers or Inhabitants shall and may by vertue of this present Act have full power and authoritie to apprehend or cause to be apprehended all and every person or persons they shall suspect haveing or carrying or any waies conv[e']ing any burthen or bundles of any kinde of Wood Underwood Poles or young Trees or Barke or Bast of any Trees or any Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broome or Furze, and by Warrant under the hand and seale of any one Justice of the Peace directed to any Officer, such Officer shall have power to enter into and search the Houses Outhouses Yards Gardens or other places belonging to the Houses of all and every person or persons they shall suspect to have any kinde of Wood Underwood Poles or young Trees or Barke or Baste of any Trees or any Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broome or Furze, and wheresoever they finde any such to apprehend or cause to be apprehended all and every person and persons suspected for the cutting and takeing of the same, and them and every of them as well those apprehended carrying or any waies conveying any kinde of Wood Underwood Poles or young Trees or Barke or Bast of any Trees or any Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broome or Furze as alsoe those in whose houses or other places belonging to them any such Wood Underwood Poles or young Trees, or Barke or Bast of any Trees, or any Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broome or Furze shall be found to carry before one Justice of the Peace of the same County Citty or Towne Corporate, And if the said person and persons soe suspected apprehended and carryed before the said Justices doe not then and there give a good account how he and they came by such Wood or Underwood Poles or young Trees or Barke or Baste of any Trees or Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broome or Furze by the consent of the Owner such as shall satisfie the said Justice, or else shall not within some convenient time to be sett them by the said Justice produce the partie or parties of whom they bought the same Wood Underwood Poles or young Trees or Barke or Bast of Trees Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broom or Furze or some other credible witnesse to depose upon Oath such sale of the said Wood Underwood Poles or young Trees or Barke or Bast of Trees Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broom or Furze (which Oath the said Justice hath hereby power to administer) That then the said person or persons soe suspected and not giveing such good account, nor produceing any such witnesse upon Oath to testifie the said sale as aforesaid shall be deemed and adjudged as convicted of the said offence of cutting and spoiling of the same Woods Underwoods Poles or young Trees or Barke or Bast of Trees Gates Stiles Posts Pales Railes or Hedgewood Broom or Furze within the meaneing of the said Statute of Queene Elizabeth and shall be liable to the punishment therein contained and to such other proceedings and punishments as by this present Actshall be further constituted and appointed on that behalfe

II. First Offence, Penalty.

Not paying the Penalty, Imprisonment.; Second Offence.; Third Offence.

And be it therefore enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That all and every person convicted of the said offence in manner and forme before in this Act mentioned shall for the first offence give the Owner or Owners such recompence or satisfaction for his or their damages and within such time as the said Justice shall appoint, and over and above pay downe presently unto the Overseers for the use of the Poore of the Parish where the said offence or offences were committed such summe of money (not exceeding Ten shillings) as the said Justice shall thinke meete, and if such offender or offenders doe not make recompence or satisfaction to the said Owner or Owners and alsoe pay the said summe to the Poore in manner and forme aforesaid then the said Justice shall committ the said offender or offenders to the house of Correction for such time as the said Justice shall thinke fitt not exceeding One moneth, or to be whipped by the Constable or other Officer as in his Judgement shall seeme expedient, And if such person or persons shall againe committ the said offence and be thereof convicted as before that then they and every of them soe offending the second time and thereof soe convicted shall be sent to the House of Correction for One moneth, and be there kepte to hard labour, And if such person or persons shall againe committ the said offence and be thereof convicted as before that then they and every of them soe offending the third time and thereof soe convicted shall be taken adjudged and deemed as incorrigible Rogues,

III. Persons buying suspicious Wood

Justices, &c. may examine into the Matter upon Oath; and if they find the same was bought of a suspicious Person, may inflict a Penalty of Treble the Value; and may levy by Distress.; If no Distress, Imprisonment.

Provided alwaies and it is further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That whosoever shall buy any Burthens of Wood or any Poles or Sticks of Wood or any other the Premisses perticularly mentioned in this Bill, which may be justly suspected to have beene stolne or unlawfully come by that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Justices of [the (fn. 1) ] Peace Maiors Bailiffes and Head-Officers or any one of them within their respective Jurisdictions upon complaint to them thereof made to examine the said matter upon Oath which they and every of them respectively are hereby authorized to administer And if they shall finde that the same was bought of a person who might justly be suspected to have stolne or unlawfully come by the same, and that the same was stolne or unlawfully come by, that in such case the said Justices of Peace Maiors Bayliffes or other Head Officers or any one of them respectively shall and may award the partie who bought the same to pay treble the value of the same to the partie from whom the same was stolne or unlawfully taken, And in defaulte of present payment thereof to issue forth their respective Warrants to leavy the same by distresse and sale of the offenders Goods rendring the overplus to the partie, And in default of such distresse to committ the partie to the Goale at his owne charge there to remaine One moneth without Baile.

IV. No Double Punishment.

Limitation of Suit.

Provided allwaies That noe person or persons shall be questioned for any offence upon this Law that hath beene punished for the same offence by any former Law, nor shall be punished by this Law unlesse he be questioned within Six weekes after the offence committed.

Footnotes

1 interlined on the Roll.