Reasons for passing this Act.
A Court of Record constituted.; How to proceed, and what to determine.; Differences between Landlord and Tenant.; Repairs, &c.; Defalcation, Apportioning, &c. of Rent.; Exception.; Times for Repairs, &c.; Definitive Order to be final.
Forasmuch as the greatest part of the Towne of Northampton hath beene burnt downe by a suddaine
and dreadfull Fire which happened in September last, and diverse Suites and Controversies by reason thereof
are likely to arise betweene the severall Proprietors and others claiming under them, tending (if not prevented)
to the great Vexation and Dammage of the poore Inhabitants, and hindering the rebuilding the said Towne [For
Remedy thereof, as also for the promoting the rebuilding of the said Towne (fn. 1) ] Bee it enacted by the Kings most
excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in
the present Parliament assembled, and by the authoritie of the same That the Judges of Assize for the County
of Northampton and other the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and the Barons of the
Coife of the Exchequer for the time being, the Justices of Peace for the said County for the time being and
the Maior of the Towne of Northampton for the time being, and Sir John Holman Baronet, Sir Edmond Bray
Knight Thomas Willoughby James Stedman Robert Heslerige Thomas Andrews Thomas Ward Charles Fleetwood
Daniell Danvers Salathiell Lovell and William Kimbold Esquires or any five or more of them sitting at the same
time and place together at the Guildhall or some other place within the said Towne of Northampton shall be, and
by [the (fn. 2) ] authoritie aforesaid are made and constituted a Court of Record, and shall or may with or without
adjournment from time to time summarily and without the Formalities of Proceedings in Courts of Law or Equity
by Verdict, Testimony of Wittnesses upon Oath, Examination of Parties interested or by all or any of the said
wayes or otherwise at their discretions shall and are hereby authorized from time to time to heare and to
determine all Differences and Demands whatsoever which have arisen or may any wise arise between Landlords,
Proprietors, Tennants, Lessees, Under Tennants or late Occupiers of any the said Houses or Buildings with
their Appurtenances or their Courts Yards or Grounds or any person or persons haveing or claimeing any Estate,
Right, Title Interest in Law or Equity, Charge or Incumbrance of or in the same or their or any of their Heires,
Executors, Administrators Successors or Assignes or any other persons for, touching or concerning the repaireing,
building or not building of the said Houses or Buildings Yards Courts and Grounds or for or concerning the
payment defalcation, apportioning or abatement of any Rent or Rents other then Arreares of Rent onely due on
or before the nine and twentyeth day of September one thousands six hundred seaventy and five, or for or
touching any Covenant Condition or Penalty relateing thereunto or for touching or concerning the prefixing or
limitting of any time for such Repaires or new Building or any Rate or Contribution to be borne or paid.
thereunto by any person or persons Bodyes Politique or Corporate interested in the Premisses and all Incidents
relateing thereunto, And that the definitive Order of the said Court as aforesaid shall be finall as well betweene
the said Partyes their Heires Executors Administrators Successors and Assignes and all claiming by, from or
under them as touching the matter contained in such Orders from which there shall bee noe Appeale or Review
otherwise then as is hereafter expressed.
II. The said Court may make a Decree to charge, &c. Estates, or to order a new or longer Estate to be made, notwithstanding Infancy, Coverture, &c.
Exception; Orders of Court to be obeyed, notwithstanding Infancy and other Disabilities herein mentioned.
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That the said Judges of Assize for the County of
Northampton and other the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and the Barrons of the
Coife of the Exchequer for the time being, the Justices of the Peace for the said County for the time being
and the Maior of the Towne of Northampton for the time being and Sir John Holman Baronet Sir Edmond Bray
Knight, Thomas Willoughby James Stedman Robert Heslerige Thomas Andrews Thomas Ward Charles Fleetwood
Daniell Danvers Salathiell Lovell and William Kimbold Esquires or any five or more of them as aforesaid shall
have authority and are hereby impowered where they shall thinke it convenient to order the surrendering,
increaseing, abridgeing, ceaseing, determining or chargeing of any Estates in the Premisses, or to order new or
longer Estates to be made of any of the Premisses by the Proprietors or Owners thereof or other persons
interessed therein to any Tennant or Sub Tennant or late Occupier of the same their Executors Administrators
Successors or Assignes at such Rent or Fine as they shall thinke fitt unlesse in such Cases where the Lawes of
this Realme doe forbid the diminishing of auntient and accustomable Rent, All which Orders according to the
tenors thereof shall be obeyed by all persons concerned therein respectively and shall conclude and binde them
their Heires Successors Executors Administrators and Assignes respectively notwithstanding any disability in respect
of Coverture, Infancy Non sanity of memory Estate Taile or in right of Church or otherwise, And that Infants
Femes covert Ideots, persons of non sane memory or beyond the Seas, Tenants in Taile Bishops Deanes and
Chapters and other Ecclesiasticall persons and their Successors Corporations and all other person or persons
Bodies Naturall and Pollitique their Heires and Successors and their respective Interest shall be bound and concluded
by such respective Order or Orders according to the tenor or purport thereof, Any Law, Statute or Custome or
other matter or thing to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. Court may make Rules and Directions in respect of the Forms and Order of Buildings;and may enlarge or alter Streets, Lanes, Roads, and Passages, &c.; and may agree for Ground to be used for those Purposes;
In case of Refusal or of Disability by Infancy, &c. then to impannel a Jury; and upon Payment, &c. the Interest of Parties bound.
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That the said Court shall have power and authority to
make and appoint from time to time such Rules and Directions in the Formes and Orders of Building to bee
observed in the rebuilding of such Houses as were demolished by or by reason of the said late Fire or any of
them, and for other Buildings made or to be made since the said dreadfull Fire as they shall thinke fitt and
convenient for the better Securitie and Ornament of the said Towne, And that the new Buildings of the said
demolished Houses and all such other Buildings shall be pursuant to such Rules and Directions soe given, And
alsoe that the said Court shall and may appoint and decree the enlargement or alteration of any of the Streets,
Lanes, Roades and Passages and other places of publique use in the said Towne for the better use and
conveniency thereof. And to the end that reasonable satisfaction may be given for all such Ground as shall be
made use of and imployed to and for the uses aforesaid, the said Court shall and may treate and agree with
the Owners and others interested therein. And if any person shall wilfully refuse to treate and agree as aforesaid,
or through any by disability by Non-age, Coverture, especiall Entaile or other Impediment cannot accept thereof That
in such cases the said Court are hereby impowered to impannell and summon a Jury before them, which Jury
upon their Oathes (to be administred by the said Court) are to assesse such Dammage and Recompence as they
shall judge fitt to be awarded to the Owners and others interested in the said Ground for their respective Interests
in the same, and upon payment of the said money soe awarded or tendered and refusall thereof, the Interest of
all persons in the said Ground shall be for ever bound, and the same shall for ever after remaine to the uses
IV. Court may alter Foundations.
Satisfaction to be awarded; A Jury to be impannelled in case of Disability; Upon Payment, &c. Parties bound.
And further That the said Court for the better Regulation of the new Building of the said demolished Houses
or any of them shall by the authoritie of this Act have power to order or appoint the alteration of the Foundations,
or to take from one House and add to another or to order or appoint such other alterations as shall in their
Judgements be expedient for the better rebuilding of the said Towne. And that the said Court shall and may
award what summe of money shall be paid by the person who hath any benefitt by such alteration unto the
person or persons who hath any losse or dammage thereby in satisfaction for the same. And in case the said
person or persons will not, or through any such disability or other impediment as is before in this Act expressed
cannot accept thereof, in such cases the said Court are hereby impowered to impannell and summon a Jury
before them, which Jury upon their Oathes to be administred by the said Court are to assesse such Dammage
and Recompence as they thinke fitt to be awarded by the person who hath benefitt by such alteration or
addition to the person or persons damnified for his or their losse and dammage thereby, and upon payment of
the said money soe awarded or tender and refusall thereof, the person or persons damnified shall be for ever
barred and the person haveing benefitt thereby his Heires and Assignes shall for ever after hold and enjoy that
which shall be soe appointed and assigned to him by the said Court as aforesaid.
V. Court not to take away any Ground but only for Enlargement of the Streets, &c. as herein mentioned.
Several Houses to be taken away; If Owners do not build within Three Years, then the Court to dispose of the Ground to such Person as will build; Satisfaction to be made to the Proprietor of the Soil.; In case of Refusal a Jury to be impannelled; Payment of Money, &c. a Perpetual Bar.
Provided That the said Rules and Directions doe not extend to the takeing away of the Ground or Soile
of any person or persons Bodies Pollitique or Corporate or others otherwise then to enlarge the Passages at the
Corners and Places herein after mentioned and to take away the Houses herein after expressed that is to say
To inlarge the Passage at the Corner which stands in the Passage betweene the South Streete and the Streete
called the Drapery, the Corner. House there being late in the Tenure of Bartholimew Manning, and at the
Corners which stand in the Passage betweene the said Streete called the Drapery and the Streete called the
Sheepe Market on the North end of the said Streete called the Drapery, and to inlarge all the Streete or Passage
betweene the North-side of All Saints Church and the Houses to be built over against it and the Streete or
Passage on the South-side of the said Church and the Houses to be built over against it, and to take away all
those Houses which stood betweene the Row of Buildings lying on the South side of the Markett Hill called the
Mercers Row and the Row of Buildings lyeing on the North side of the said Market Hill, and to enlarge the
North corner of the 'Passage betweene the Market place and the Streete called Abington Streete, and to inlarge
the passage which went about the midle of the East side of the Drapery Streete into the Market place, And
further in case the Proprietors or Owners of the Houses demolished by or by reason of the said Fire or their
Assignes shall not within the space of three yeares next ensueing after the said Fire lay the Foundations of their
Houses to be rebuilt and shall not within the time to be limited by the said Court rebuild and finish the same
that upon such default the said Court shall have power and authority by their Order and Decree to dispose of
the said Houses soe to be rebuilt and of the Soile thereof and of all Yards, Backsides, Orchards Gardens and
other Appurtenances thereunto belonging to such person as will rebuild the same their Heires and Assignes, And
that the said Court shall and may award what summe of money or other satisfaction the person who undertakes
to be the Rebuilder shall give for the same to the Proprietor or Proprietors, Owner or Owners makeing such
default as aforesaid. And in case the said person or persons makeing default will not or through any such disability
or other impediment as is before in this Act expressed cannot accept thereof, in such cases the said Court are
hereby impowered to impannell and summon a Jury before them, which Jury upon their Oathes to be administred
by the said Court), are to assessé such recompence and satisfaction as they shall thinke fitt to be awarded and
paid unto the person or persons makeing default in rebuilding for the said Houses to be rebuilt and for the
Soile thereof and for the Yards Backesides Orchards Gardens and other Appurtenances thereunto belonging by the
person who undertakes to be the Rebuilder. And upon payment of the said recompence and satisfaction soe
awarded, or tender and refusall thereof, the said person or persons makeing default in rebuilding his Heires and
Assignes and all others shall be for ever barred and the said Houses to be rebuilt and the Soile and other the
Appurtenances thereof soe assigned by the said Court unto the Undertaker to rebuild the same shall for ever after
be and remaine unto the said Rebuilder his Heires and Assignes for ever in such manner as the said Court
shall have assigned and appointed the same.
VI. Houses, &c. to be covered with Lead, Slate, or Tile.
Perilous Trades prohibited; Undue Building; Penalty.
And for the preventing of future danger by Fire It is further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That all
Houses, Outhouses and other Buildings demolished by the late Fire or hereafter to be built within the said Towne
shall bee covered with Leade, Slate or Tile and not otherwise, and that noe perillous Trade in respect of Fire
shall hereafter be used or exercised in the principall publique parts or Streets of the said Towne, and that all
Houses and Buildings hereafter to be built which shall bee covered contrary to this present Act, and all Houses
demolished by the said Fire, built contrary to the Forme, Order and Direction of the said Court shall be adjudged
and are hereby declared to be common and publique Nusances and be proceeded against and dealt with accordingly.
VII. Appeal from an Order made by less than Seven of the Judges.
A Review of the Decree; Costs; Time of determining Appeals.
And bee it alsoe enacted by the authority aforesaid That where any such Order or Decree as aforesaid shall
be made by a lesser number of the said Judges Justices of Peace and other the persons abovenamed and authorized
then Seaven it shall be lawfull for any person agreived by such Order or Decree to present his Exceptions to
the same in Writeing within twenty dayes next after such Order or Decree made to one of the Judges of Assize
for the said County of Northampton for the time being or other the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench or
Common Pleas or the Barons of the Coife of the Exchequer for the time being, and if one of them shall subscribe
thereunto that hee findes probable cause of complaint then it shall be lawfull to or for any seaven or more of
the Judges of Assize Justices of the Peace and other persons abovenamed that made not the said Order or
Decree) sitting at the same time together at the Guildhall or some other place within the said Towne of Northampton,
to review the said former Order or Decree, and thereupon to reverse, confirme, inlarge, diminish or otherwise
alter any such Order or Decree as in their Judgements they shall thinke fitt, or otherwise to award Costs against
such Appeallants for their vexation and delay, and to leavy the same by distresse and sale of his, her or their
Goods rendering the overplus if any be. Provided alwayes That such Appeales bee fully finished and determined
within the space of six moneths next following after the delivering in of such Exceptions as aforesaid.
VIII. Judgments and Decrees good both in Law and Equity.
No Writ of Error or Certiorari; A Register Book for the Judgments to be kept by the Mayor and Aldermen.
And for the better satisfaction of Builders Purchasers and other concerned It is further enacted by the authority
aforesaid That all and every Judgement Order and Decree soe made as aforesaid shall be good, valid and effectuall
both in Law and Equity to all intents and purposes and shall be obeyed by all persons concerned therein, and
shall binde and conclude Infants, Feme coverts, Ideots, persons of non sane memory or beyond the Sea, Tennants
in Taile, Bishops Deanes and [Chapters and (fn. 3) ] all other Ecclesiasticall Persons and Corporations and their Successors
and all other persons Bodyes Naturall and Pollitique whatsoever and that noe Writt of Error or Certiorari shall
be for the removeall or reversall of the same. And for the perpetuating the same to all Posterity that the said
Judgements Orders and Decrees shall be fairely entred into one or more [Booke or (fn. 4) ] Bookes and be subscribed with
the [Names (fn. 5) ] of the persons that made the same and that the said Bookes be delivered in unto the Maior and
Aldermen of the said Towne of Northampton for the time being, to the end the same may be safely disposed
and kept in the Chamber of the said Towne for ever amongst their Records and Evidences and that all persons
concerned may have free liberty of recourse unto the said Bookes to peruse the same from time to time as
occasion shall require. The powers and authorities given and mentioned in this Act to continue for the space of
ten yeares and noe longer.
IX. All Justices of the County that inhabit in the Town, shall be Justices in the Town.
Any Person, not free, building a House within Seven Years worth £300 to have his Freedom.
And for the better encouragement of Gentlemen and others to build and reside in the said Towne Bee it
enacted by ( (fn. 6) ) authority aforesaid That the Justices of the Peace for the County of Northampton from time to
time being who shall be Inhabitants within the said Towne may for ever hereafter use and exercise their said
Office to all intents and purposes within the said Towne and Liberties thereof, and in the Sessions of the said
Towne to be held as they may or can doe in the said County at large, or in the publique Sessions thereof. And
that all other persons who from time to time shall be Justices of the Peace for the said County shall for ever
hereafter use and exercise the said Office within the said Towne and Liberties thereof dureing the time in which
the Assizes and publique Sessions of the Peace for the said County shall be there kept, And that all and every
such persons as are not Free of the said Towne and shall build any House or Houses in the said Towne to the
value of Three hundred pounds or upwards (within seaven yeares) from the twentyeth day of September last past
by and according to the Order of the said Court, such persons shall have liberty to exercise any Trade within
the said Towne as any Freeman of the said Towne may doe.
X. Persons executing Act, to take an Oath.
Provided alwayes and it is hereby enacted That all and every person and persons before they execute any
of the powers or authorities in the said Act mentioned shall take this Oath following before any two Justices of
Peace of the said County of Northampton for the time being which they are hereby impowered to administer
That is to say
I Doe hereby sweare That I will justly and truely execute the Powers and Authorities in this Act contained
according to the best of my knowledge without favour or affection to any of the Partyes concerned
Soe helpe me God.
XI. In Actions for executing Act, General Issue.
And lastly it is enacted That if any person or persons shall be sued or impleaded for any matter or thing
done in the execution of this Act or in pursuance thereof he or they may pleade the Generall Issue and give
the speciall matter in Evidence, and if the Plaintiffe shall be Nonsuite, or a Verdict doe passe against him, such
Defendant shall have and recover his double Cost.
ITEM due Petitiones privatas personas concernentes (in se formam Actus continentes) exhibite fuerunt Pp[re]dicto Domino
Regi in Parliamento p[re]dicto quarum Tituli subscribuntur, videlicet,
An Act for the better enabling of Mary Countesse Dowager of Warwicke to performe the last Will and
Testament of her deceased [Husband (fn. 7) ] Charles late Earle of Warwicke.
An Act for vesting Lands of Alexander Davies Gentleman deceased in Trustees for payment of his Debts.