Recital that divers Disturbances often happen about His Majefty's Offices, Yards, and Stores:
Reasons for passing this Act.; Certain Officers may punish Disturbances by Seamen and others relating to the Navy Service by Fine or Imprisonment.
Whereas diverse fightings quarrellings and disturbances doe often happen in and about his Majestyes Offices
Yards and Stores for his Majestyes Royall Navy and frequent differences and disorders are occasioned in
the Office of his Majestyes Treasury of the Navy on Pay dayes in London Portsmouth and other places of meeting
for the Service of the said Navy, and that either by the unreasonable turbulency of Seamen and others attending
on or relateing to that Service or their Creditors or by the rudenes of the Officers intrusted with his Majestyes
Stores on Land, or in his Royall Shipps when they are questioned by the principall Officers and Co[m]missioners of
the said Navy either for negclect or imbezilment of his Majestyes Provisions [Ammunitions (fn. 1) ] or other Equipage of
the Navy under their charge, And that not onely to the disturbance of the Peace but sometimes to the danger
and hindrance of his Majestyes Service both in point of husbanding his Majestyes Revenue and alsoe in dispatch
of the Shipps on which the Honour and Safety of his Majestie and [the (fn. 2) ] Kingdome soe much depends Which
Inconveniences required a speedier Remedy than the ordinary attendance on the Sessions of the Peace can give, the
partyes accused or offending being many times bound to Sea, And the principall Officers and Co[m]mmissioners for want
of authoritie to suppresse such Insolencies and determine such Cases being necessitated to passe by many offences
in which his Majestie might be righted if their necessary attendance on that important Service would permitt the
prosecution of the Offenders before other ordinary Judicatures Bee it therefore enacted by the Kings most excellent
Majestie with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in Parlyament assembled
and by authoritie of the same That the Treasurer Comptroller Surveyour Clerke of the Acts and the Co[m]mmissioners
of the Navy for the time being ( (fn. 3) ) have power and authoritie to examine and punish all such person and persons
whom they upon their enquiry examination or on view in their presence shall finde hereafter to make or have
made any disturbance fighting or quarrelling in the Yards Stores or Offices aforesaid at Pay-dayes, or on other
occasions relateing to the Navall Services in such manner as followeth that is to say That they or any two or
more of them may punish any the said Offences by Fine Imprisonment or either of them, the Fine not exceeding
Twenty Shillings and the Imprisonment not exceeding one weeke and have power in such cases to committ such
persons to the next Gaole or to the custody of the Messenger or Messengers for the time being attendant on them,
who respectively are to receive and detaine such person soe offending.
II. May discharge Fine or Imprisonment, and for Nonpayment of Fine may imprison. Fines paid to Clerk of the Chest
II. And that the said principall Officers and Commissioners or the greater number of them then present have
power to discharge such Fine or Imprisonment if they soe thinke fitt, And for non-payment of the Fine soe
imposed and not remitted to imprison the party offending untill payment thereof, which said Fines shall be paid
to the Clerke of the Chest for the use of the named Seamen, and that the examination of Witnesses be upon
Oath before them, which they any two or more of them are accordingly impowered to administer.
III. May bind to good Behaviour.
And it is further by the authority aforesaid enacted That the said Officers and Co[m]missioners or any two or more
of them (in cases where greater example or punishment is needfull) may alsoe binde the person and persons
offending to their good behaviour with or without [Securityes (fn. 4) ] as occasion shall be.
IV. May inquire concerning embezzling of Stores and Ammunition, and search for the same; and imprison till Recognizance entered into
And whereas diverse of his Majestyes Stores and Ammunition pertaining to his Navy and Shipping or Service
thereof are imbezilled and filched away It is by [the (fn. 5) ] like authoritie enacted That the said principall Officers and
Co[m]missioners or any two or more of them by Warrant under their Hands and Seales have power in like manner
to enquire and search for the same in all places as Justices of the Peace may doe in case of Felony and punish
the Offenders by such Fine and Imprisonment as aforesaid, and cause the Goods to be brought in againe, And if
the Offence be of such natures as doth require a higher and severer punishment, then that they any two or more
of them may co[m]mitt fuch Offenders to the next Goale, or to the custodie of their Messenger or Messengers aforesaid
till he or they soe offending enter into Recognizance with Surety or Suretyes according to the nature of the
offence to appeare and answere to the same in his Majestyes Court of Exchequer or other Court where his Majesty
shall question him or them for the same within one yeare following on processe duely served for that purpose on
such Offender or Offenders.
V. Two Officers may proceed.
Continuance of Act.
And it is declared and enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That they the said principall Officers and Co[m]missioners
or any two or more of them may putt in use the said powers on the Offenders as aforesaid in all places where
they hold an Office for his Majestie aswell within Liberties as without, Any Law Statute Ordinance Charter or
Priviledge to the contrary notwithstanding. This Act to continue for two yeares from the First day of June One
thousand six hundred sixty and fower and from thence to the end of the next Session of Parlyament.