Recital that Delays had been used by Sheriffs in making Returns of Writs of Habeas Corpus, &c.
Sheriff, &c. within Three Days after Service of Habeas Corpus, with the Exception of Treason and Felony, as and under the Regulations herein mentioned, to bring up the Body before the Court to which the Writ is returnable; and certify the true Causes of Imprisonment.; Exceptions in respect of Distance.
Whereas great Delayes have beene used by Sheriffes Goalers and other Officers to whose Custody any of
the Kings Subjects have beene committed for criminall or supposed criminall Matters in makeing Returnes
of Writts of Habeas Corpus to them directed by standingh out an Alias and Pluries Habeas Corpus and sometimes
more and by other shifts to avoid their yeilding Obedience to such Writts contrary to their Duty and the knowne
Lawes of the Land whereby many of the Kings Subjects have beene and hereafter may be long detained in Prison
in such Cases where by Law they are baylable to their great charge and vexation. For the prevention whereof
and the more speedy Releife of all persons imprisoned for any such criminall or supposed criminall Matters 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 this present Parlyament assembled and by the authoritie thereof That whensoever any
person or persons shall bring any Habeas Corpus directed unto any Sheriffe or Sheriffes Goaler Minister or other
Person Whatsoever for any person in his or their Custody and the said Writt shall be served upon the said Officer
or left at the Goale or Prison with any of the Under Officers Underkeepers or Deputy of the said Officers or
Keepers that the said Officer or Officers his or their Under Officers Under-Keepers or Deputyes shall within Three
dayes after the Service thereof as aforesaid (unlesse the Committment aforesaid were for Treason or Fellony plainely
and specially expressed in the Warrant of Committment) [upon Payment or Tender of the Charges of bringing the
said Prissoner to be ascertained by the Judge or Court that awarded the same and endorsed upon the said Writt
not exceeding Twelve pence per Mile (fn. 1) ] and upon Security given by his owne Bond to pay the Charges of carrying
backe the Prisoner if he shall bee remanded by the Court or Judge to which he shall be brought according to
the true intent of this present Act and that he will not make any escape by the way make Returne of such
Writt [or (fn. 2) ] bring or cause to be brought the Body of the Partie soe committed or restrained unto or before the
Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England for the time being or the Judges or Barons of
the said Court from whence the said Writt shall issue or unto and before such other person [and (fn. 3) ] persons before
whome the said Writt is made returnable according to the Command thereof, and shall [likewise then (fn. 4) ] certifie the
true causes of his Detainer or Imprisonment unlesse the Committment of the said Partie be in any place beyond
the distance of Twenty miles from the place or places where such Court or Person is or shall be residering and if
beyond the distance of Twenty miles and not above One hundred miles then within the space of Ten dayes and
if beyond the distance of One hundred miles then within the space of Twenty dayes after such ( (fn. 5) ) delivery aforesaid
and not longer.
II. How Writs to be marked.
Persons committed, except for Treason and Felony, &c. may appeal to the Lord Chancellor, &c.; Proceedings thereon. Habeas Corpus may be awarded; and upon Service thereof the Officers to bring up the Prisoners as before mentioned; and thereupon within Two Days Lord Chancellor, &c. may discharge upon Recognizance; and certify the Writ with the Return and Recognizance.; Proviso for Process not bailable.
[And to the intent that noe Sheriffe Goaler or other Officer may pretend ignorance of the import of any such
Writt Bee it enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That all such Writts shall be marked in this manner Per Statutum
Tricesimo primo Caroli Secundi Regis and shall be signed by the person that awards the same (fn. 1) ] And if any person
or persons shall be or stand committed or detained as aforesaid for any Crime unlesse for Treason or Fellony
plainely expressed in the Warrant of Committment in the Vacation time and out of Terme it shall and may be
lawfull to and for the person or persons soe committed or detained (other then persons Convict or in Execution)
by legall Processe or any one [in (fn. 6) ] his or their behalfe to appeale or complaine to the Lord Chauncellour or Lord
Keeper or any one of His Majestyes Justices [either (fn. 7) ] of the one Bench or of the other or the Barons of the Exchequer
of the Degree of the Coife and the said Lord Chauncellor Lord Keeper Justices or Barons or any of them upon
view of the Copy or Copies of the Warrant or Warrants of Committment and Detainer or otherwise upon Oath
made that such Copy or Copyes were denyed to be given by such person or persons in whose Custody the Prisoner
or Prisoners is or are detained are hereby authorized and required [upon Request made in Writeing by such
person or persons or any on his her or their behalfe attested and subscribed by two Witnesses [that (fn. 8) ] were present
at the delivery of the same (fn. 1) ] to award and grant an Habeas Corpus under the Seale of such Court whereof he
shall then be one of the Judges to be directed to the Officer or Officers in whose Custodie the Party soe committed
or detained shall be returnable immediate before the said [Lord Chauncellor or (fn. 7) ] Lord Keeper or such Justice Baron
or any other Justice or Baron of the Degree of the Coife of any of the said Courts and upon Service thereof as
aforesaid the Officer or Officers his or their Under-Officer or Under Officers Under Keeper or Under Keepers or [their (fn. 9) ]
Deputy in whose custodie the Partie is soe committed or detained shall within the times respectively before limitted
[bring such Prisoner or Prisoners (fn. 7) ] before the s[ai]d Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper or such Justices Barons or one
of them [before whome the said Writt is made returnable and in case of his absence before any other of them (fn. 1) ]
with the Returne of such Writt and the true Causes of the Committment and Detainer and thereupon within two
dayes after the Partie shall be brought before them the said Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper or such Justice or
Baron before whome the Prisoner shall be brought as aforesaid shall discharge the said Prisoner from his Imprisonment
takeing his or their Recognizance with one or more Suretie or Sureties in any summe according to their discretions
haveing reguard to the quality of the Prisoner and nature of the Offence for his or their appearance in the Court
of Kings Bench the Terme following or at the next Assizes Sessions or Generall Goale-Delivery of and for such
County City or Place where the Committment was or where the Offence was committed or in such other Court
where the said Offence is properly cognizable as the Case shall require and then shall certifie the said Writt with
the Returne thereof and the said Recognizancer or Recognizances into the said Court where such Appearance is to
be made unlesse it shall appeare unto the said Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper or Justice or Justices [or (fn. 10) ] Baron
or Barons that the Party soe committed is detained upon a legall Processe Order or Warrant out of some Court
that hath Jurisdiction of Criminall Matters or by some. Warrant signed and sealed with the Hand and Seale of any
of the said Justices or Barons or some Justice or Justices of the Peace for such Matters or Offences for the which
by the Law the Prisoner is not Baileable.
III. Habeas Corpus not granted in Vacation to Prisoners who have neglected to pray the same.
[Provided alwayes and bee it enacted That if any person shall have wilfully neglected by the space of two whole
Termes after his Imprisonment to pray a Habeas Corpus for his Enlargement such person soe wilfully neglecting
shall not have any Habeas Corpus to be granted in Vacation time in pursuance of this Act. (fn. 11) ]
IV. Officer neglecting, &c. to make the said Returns, &c.
or upon Demand to deliver a Copy of Warrant of Commitment; First Offence, Penalty £100 Second Offence, £ 200 and Incapacity.; Judgment at Suit of Party sufficient Conviction.
And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any Officer or Officers his or their Under-Officer
or Under-Officers Under-Keeper or Under-Keepers or Deputy shall neglect or refuse, to make the Returnes aforesaid
or to bring the Body or Bodies of the Prisoner or Prisoners according to the Command of the said Writt within the
respective times aforesaid or upon Demand made by the Prisoner or Person in his behalfe shall refuse to deliver
or within the space of Six houres after demand shall not deliver to the person soe demanding a true Copy of the
Warrant or Warrants of Committment and Detayner of such Prisoner, which he and they are hereby required to
deliver accordingly all and every the Head Goalers and Keepers of such Prisons and such other person in whose
Custodie the Prisoner shall be detained shall for the first Offence forfeite to the Prisoner or Partie grieved the
summe of One hundred pounds and for the second Offence the summe of Two hundred pounds and shall and is
hereby made incapeable to hold or execute his said Office, the said Penalties to be recovered by the Prisoner
or Partie grieved his Executors or Administrators against such Offender his Executors or Administrators by any
Action of Debt Suite Bill Plaint or Information in any of the Kings Courts at Westminster wherein noe Essoigne
Protection Priviledge Injunction Wager of Law or stay of Prosecution by Non vult ulterius prosequi or otherwise,
shall bee admitted or allowed or any more then one Imparlance, and any Recovery or Judgement at the Suite of
any Partie grieved shall be a sufficient Conviction for the first Offence and any after Recovery or Judgement at
the Suite of a Partie grieved for any Offence after the first Judgement shall bee a-sufficient Conviction to bring
the Officers or Person within the said Penaltie for the second Offence.
V. Proviso as to Imprisonment of Party after having been set at large upon Habeas Corpus.
Unduly recommitting such discharged Persons or assisting therein; Penalty to the Party £500.
And for the prevention of unjust vexation by reterated Committments for the same Offence Bee it enacted
by the Authoritie aforesaid That noe person or persons which shall be delivered or sett at large upon any Habeas
Corpus shall at any time hereafter bee againe imprisoned or committed for the same Offence by any person or
persons whatsoever other then by the legall Order and Processe of such Court wherein he or they shall be bound
by Recognizance to appeare or other Court haveing Jurisdiction of the Cause and if any other person or persons
shall knowingly contrary to this Act recommitt or imprison or knowingly procure or cause to be recommitted or
imprisoned for the same Offence or pretended Offence any person or persons delivered or sett at large as aforesaid
or be knowingly aiding or assisting therein then he or they shall forfeite to the Prisoner or Party grieved the summe
of Five hundred pounds Any colourable pretence or variation in the Warrant or Warrants of Committment
notwithstanding to be recovered as aforesaid.
VI. If Persons committed for High Treason or Felony plainly expressed in Warrant shall not on Petition be indicted as herein mentioned, Judges, &c. may discharge upon Bail; Proviso;
and if not indicted and tried as herein mentioned then to be discharged.
Provided alwayes and bee it further enacted That if any person or persons shall be committed for High
Treason or Fellony plainely and specially expressed in the Warrant of Committment upon his Prayer or Petition
in open Court the first Weeke of the Terme or first day of the Sessions of Oyer and Terminer or Generall
Goale Delivery to be brought to his Tryall shall not be indicted sometime in the next Terme Sessions of Oyer
and Terminer or Generall Goale Delivery after such Committment it shall and may be lawfull to and for the
Judges of the Court of Kings Bench and Justices of Oyer and Terminer or Generall Goale Delivery and they are
hereby required upon motion to them made in open Court the last day of the Terme Sessions or Goale Delivery
either by the Prisoner or any one in his behalfe to sett at Liberty the Prisoner upon Baile unlesse it appeare
to the Judges and Justices upon Oath made that the Witnesses for the King could not be produced the same
Terme Sessions or Generall Goale-Delivery. And if any person or persons committed as aforesaid upon his Prayer
or Petition in open Court the first weeke of the Terme or first day of the Sessions of Oyer and Terminer or
Generall Goale Delivery to be brought to his Tryall shall not be indicted and tryed the second Terme Sessions of
Oyer and Terminer or Generall Goale Delivery after his Committment or upon his Tryall shall be acquitted he
shall be discharged from his Imprisonment.
VII. Proviso respecting Persons charged in Debt, &c.
Provided alwayes That nothing in this Act shall extend to discharge out of Prison any person charged in
Debt or other Action or with Processe in any Civill Cause but that after he shall be discharged of his Imprisonment
for such his Criminall Offence he shall be kept in Custodie according to Law for such other Suite. (fn. 11) ]
VIII. Persons committed for criminal Matter not to be removed but by Habeas Corpus or other legal Writ.
Unduly making out, &c. Warrant for Removal; Penalty.
Provided alwaies and bee it enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any person or persons Subject of
this Realme shall be committed to [any (fn. 12) ] Prison or in Custodie of any Officer or Officers whatsoever for any
Criminall or supposed Criminall matter That the said person shall not be removed from the said Prison and
Custody into the Custody of any other Officer or Officers unlesse it be by Habeas Corpus or some other Legall
Writt or where the Prisoner is delivered to the Constable or other inferiour Officer to carry such Prisoner to
some Common Goale or where any person is sent by Order of any Judge of Assize or Justice of the Peace to
any common Worke-house or House of Correction or where the Prisoner is removed from one Prison or place
to another within the same County in order to his or her Tryall or Discharge in due course of Law or in case
of suddaine Fire or Infection or other necessity (fn. 13) ] and if any person or persons shall after such Committment
aforesaid make out and signe or countersigne any Warrant or Warrants for such removeall aforesaid contrary to
this Act as well he that makes or signes or countersignes such Warrant or Warrants as the Officer or Officers
that obey or execute the same shall suffer and incurr the Paines and Forfeitures in this Act before-mentioned
both for the first and second Offence respectively to be recovered in manner aforesaid by the Partie grieved.
IX. Proviso for Application for and granting Habeas Corpus in Vacation-time.
Lord Chancellor, &c. unduly denying Writ; Penalty to Party £ 500.
Provided alsoe and bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and
for any Prisoner and Prisoners as aforesaid to move and obtaine his or their Habeas Corpus as well out of the
High Court of Chauncery or Court of Exchequer as out of the Courts, of Kings Bench or Common Pleas or
either of them And if the said Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper or any Judge or Judges Baron or Barons for
the time being of the Degree of the Coife of any of the Courts aforesaid in the Vacation time upon view of the
Copy or Copies of the Warrant or Warrants of Committment or Detainer or upon Oath made that such Copy
or ( (fn. 14) ) Copyes were denyed as aforesaid shall deny any Writt of Habeas Corpus by this Act required to be granted
being moved for as aforesaid they shall severally forfeite to the Prisoner or Partie grieved the summe of Five
hundred pounds to be recovered in manner aforesaid.
X. Habeas Corpus may be directed into Counties Palatine, &c.
And bee it enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid That an Habeas Corpus according to the true
intent and meaning of this Act may be directed and runn into any County Palatine The Cinque Ports or other
priviledged Places within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede
and the Islands of Jersey or Guernsey Any Law or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
XI. No Subject to be sent Prisoner into Scotland, &c. or any Parts beyond the Seas.
Persons so imprisoned may maintain Action. against the Person committing or otherwise acting in respect thereof, as herein mentioned; Treble Costs and Damages; and the Person so committing or acting disabled from Office, and incur Premunire 16 R.ll. c. 5. and be incapable of Pardon.
And for preventing illegall Imprisonments in Prisons beyond the Seas Bee it further enacted by the Authoritie
aforesaid That noe Subject of this Realme that now is or hereafter shall be an Inhabitant or Resiant of this
Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede shall or may be sent Prisoner
into Scotland Ireland Jersey Gaurnsey Tangeir or into any Parts Garrisons Islands or Places beyond the Seas
which are or at any time hereafter [shall be (fn. 15) ] within or without the Dominions of His Majestie His Heires or
Successors and that every such Imprisonment is hereby enacted and adjudged to be illegall and that if any of
the said Subjects now is or hereafter shall bee soe imprisoned [every such person and persons soe imprisoned (fn. 15) ]
shall and may for every such Imprisonment maintaine by vertue of this Act an Action of false Imprisonment
in any of His Majestyes Courts of Record against the person or persons by whome he or she shall be soe committed
detained imprisoned sent Prisoner or transported contrary to the true meaning of this Act and against all or any
person or persons that shall frame contrive write seale or countersigne any Warrant or Writeing for such Committment
Detainer Imprisonment or Transportation or shall be adviseing aiding or assisting in the same or any of them and
the Plaintiffe in every such Action shall have Judgement to recover his treble Costs besides Damages which
Damages soe to be given shall not be lesse then Five hundred pounds In which Action noe delay stay or stopp
of Proceeding by Rule Order or Command nor noe Injunction Protection or Priviledge whatsoever nor any more
then one Imparlance shall be allowed [excepting such Rule of the Court wherein the Action shall depend made in
open Court as shall bee thought in Justice necessary for speciall cause to be expressed in the said Rule (fn. 13) ] and the
person or persons who shall knowingly frame contrive write seale or countersigne any Warrant for such Committment
Detainer or Transportation or shall soe committ detaine imprison or transport any person or persons contrary to
this Act or be any wayes adviseing aiding or assisting therein being lawfully convicted thereof shall be disabled
from thenceforth to beare any Office of Trust or Proffitt within the said Realme of England Dominion of Wales
or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede or any of the Islands Territories or Dominions thereunto belonging and shall
incurr and sustaine the Paines Penalties and Forfeitures limitted ordained and provided in( (fn. 16) ) the Statute of Provision
and Premunire made in the Sixteenth yeare of King Richard the Second and be incapeable of any Pardon from
the King His Heires or Successors of the said Forfeitures Losses or Disabilities or any of them.
XII. Proviso for Contracts for Transportation;
[Provided alwayes That nothing in this Act shall extend to give benefitt to any person who shall by Contract
in writeing agree with any Merchant or Owner of any Plantation or other person whatsoever to be transported
to any parts beyond Seas and receive earnest upon such Agreement although that afterwards such person shall
renounce such Contract. (fn. 13) ]
XIII. And for Transportation of Persons convicted of Felony and praying to be transported.
Provided alwayes and bee it enacted That if any person or persons lawfully convicted of any Felony shall in
open Court pray to be transported beyond the Seas and the Court shall thinke fitt to leave him or them in Prison
for that purpose such person or persons may be transported into any parts beyond the Seas This Act or any
thing therein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
XIV. Proviso respecting Imprisonment of Persons before 1st June 1679.
Provided alsoe and bee it enacted That nothing herein contained shall be deemed construed or taken to extend
to the Imprisonment of any person before the First day of June One thousand sixe hundred seaeventy and nine or
to any thing advised procured or otherwise done relateing to such Imprisonment Any thing herein contained to
the contrary notwithstanding.
XV. Proviso for sending Persons to be tried in Places where any Capital Offence committed.
Provided alsoe That if any person or persons at any time resiant in this Realme shall have committed any
Capitall Offence in Scotland or Ireland or any of the Islands or Forreigne Plantations of the King His Heires or
Successors where he or she ought to be tryed for such Offence such person or persons may be sent to such place
there to receive such Tryall in such manner as the same might have beene used before the makeing of this Act
Any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
XVI. Limitation of Prosecution for Offences against this Act.
Provided alsoe and bee it enacted That noe person or persons shall be sued impleaded molested or troubled
for any Offence against this Act unlesse the Partie offending be sued or impleaded for the same within Two yeares
at the most after such time wherein the Offence shall be committed [in case the partie grieved shall not be then
in Prison and if he shall be in Prison then within the space of Two yeares (fn. 17) ] after the decease of the Person
imprisoned or his or her delivery out of Prison which shall first happen.
XVII. After Assizes proclaimed, no Person to be removed from Common Gaol upon Habeas Corpus, but brought before Judge of Assize.
And to the intent noe person may avoid his Tryall at the Assizes or Generall Goale-Delivery by procureing his
Removeall before the Assizes at such time as he cannot be brought backe to receive his Tryall there Bee it
enacted That after the Assizes proclaimed for that County where the Prisoner is detained noe person shall be
removed from the Common Goale upon any Habeas Corpus granted in pursuance of this Act but upon any such
Habeas Corpus shall be brought before the Judge of Assize in open Court who is thereupon to doe what to
Justice shall appertaine.
XVIII. After Assizes Persons detained may have Habeas Corpus.
Provided neverthelesse That after the Assizes are ended any person or persons detained may have his or her
Habeas Corpus according to the Direction and Intention of this Act.
XIX. In Informations, &c. brought for Offence against this Law;
And bee it also enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any Informations Suite or Action shall be brought
or exhibited against any person or persons for any Offence committed or to be committed against the Forme of
this Law it shall be lawfull for such Defendants to pleade the Generall Issue that they are not guilty or that they
owe nothing and to give such speciall matter in Evidence to the Jury that shall try the same which matter being
pleaded had beene good and sufficient matter in Law to have discharged the said Defendant or Defendants against
the said Information Suite or Action and the said matter shall be then as availeable to him or them to all intents
and purposes as if he or they had sufficiently pleaded sett forth or alledged the same matter in Barr or Discharge
of such Information Suite or Action.
XX. Proviso as to Removal or Bail of Persons charged as Accessories before the Fact to Petty Treason or Felony.
And because many times Persons charged with Petty Treason or Felony or as Accessaries thereunto are committed
upon Suspicion onely whereupon they are Baileable or not according as the Circumstances makeing out that
Suspicion are more or lesse weighty which are best knowne to the Justices of Peace that committed the persons
and have the Examinations before them or to other Justices of the Peace in the County Bee it therefore enacted
That where any person shall appeare to be committed by any Judge, or Justice of the Peace and charged as
Accessary before the Fact to any Petty Treason or Felony or upon Suspicion thereof or with Suspicion of Petty
Treason or Felony which Petty Treason or Felony shall be plainely and specially expressed in the Warrant of
Committment that such Person shall not be removed or bailed by vertue of this Act or in any other manner then
they might have beene before the makeing of this Act.