[28 February, 1644/5.]
Whereas divers persons within the City of London, and parts
adjacent within the Lines of Communication, and Parishes mentioned in the weekly Bills of Mortality, and Hamlets of the
Tower, that are not fit to beare Armes in their owne persons, yet
are able and fit to find Armes, and pay others for bearing the
same, but doe neglect and refuse the doing thereof: And
whereas divers Papists, and other ill-affected persons doe lurke
and hide themselves in divers houses and places within the limits
aforesaid, that hold correspondency with or bring Intelligence
from the Enemy, and others that gather together Armes, Ammunition and other materials of War, likely to be imployed to
the prejudice of the Parliament and City.
Power to Committee of Militia of London to require traders to find Arms, not exceeding 3 Foot soldiers per man.
And whereas by severall Ordinances of Parliament, Power is
given to the said Committee for ordering the said Militia within
the Limits aforesaid, and drawing out Forces for Service abroad,
And that many things mentioned in the said Ordinances to be
put in execution, require the help and assistance of more persons
in the nature of Sub-Committees; Thereupon Power is given to
the said Committee, to make one or more Sub-Committees
within the said Limits, as they shall think fit; And for the
better enabling the said Sub-Committees so made, or to be made
to performe the services therein contained.
Penalty for disobedient Persons.; To be enforced by apprehension or distress.
The said Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled do
Ordain and Declare, and be it Ordained and Declared, That the
said Committee of the Militia of London shall have power and
are hereby authorized to Impose upon all such persons as have
any Stocks going in Trade within the Limits aforesaid, and absent
themselves, or do personally inhabit or reside within the said
Limits, to find such proportion of Armes, and pay such persons
as have been, or shall be appointed to beare the same, as the said
Committee shall think fit, not exceeding Three Foot-Souldiers
for any one person: And such person or persons as shall disobey the
Commands and Directions of the said Committee of the Militia
herein, the said Committee shall have power to impose such
reasonable Fines upon them, or any of them, as they shall think
fit, not exceeding the sum of Forty shillings for any one offence;
and for want of payment thereof, to Leavie the same by Distresse
and sale of their Goods and Chattels, or otherwise to imprison
their persons without Baile or Mainprize, untill such time as
they shall conforme themselves accordingly: But in case such
person or persons so offending, do absent themselves without the
said Limits where the authority of the said Committee doth not
extend, and not a sufficient value of his or their Goods or Chattels to be found within the said Limits, whereon to Leavie the
said Fines by distresse as aforesaid, That then the Committee of
Lords and Commons for Sequestrations, upon complaint made by
the Committee of the Militia, or such as they shall appoint, doe
forthwith grant their Warrants for apprehending of such person
or persons, wheresoever they shall be, and to commit him or
them to prison without Bail or Mainprize, untill he or they do
conforme themselves, or to distrain his or their Goods, and bring
them to London, and there sell them to pay the said Fine or
Fines; All which Fines are to be imployed to such use and purpose for the safety and defence of this City, as the said Committee of the Militia, shall think fit and direct.
Power to search for Papists and Malignants.; To seize the arms, etc., of such persons, and imprison or expel them.; Resistance.
And it is further Ordained, That the said Committee for the
Militia shall have power, and is hereby Authorized by themselves, or such as they shall appoint, for whom they shall be
accountable, there being one of the said Committee of the Militia
present to search all houses and places within the Limits aforesaid where the said Committee shall have cause to suspect that
any Papists are, or other persons that come from any of the
Kings quarters, or cannot give a good account of their businesse
or aboad within the Limits aforesaid, or that have or shall discover their ill-affection to the Parliament; and likewise to
search for Armes, Ammunition and Materials for War in the
custody of such persons, and to seize and take away the same,
and to commit such persons to safe custody, or to expell them
out of the Limits aforesaid if they shall see cause; and in case of
Resistance, the said Committee are hereby Authorized to command any Constable or Constables, to break open any house or
place, within the said Limits where such Resistance shall be
Power of Sub-Committees.
And it is further Ordained that the said Sub-Committee so
appointed, or to be appointed by the said Committee of the
Militia, shall have power, and are hereby Authorized to cause
all or any of the Clauses contained in this or any other of the
said Ordinances, to be put in due Execution, when, and as often
as they shall receive directions from the said Committee for the
Militia; and all Constables, Headboroughs, and other Officers
and Souldiers are hereby required to obey, and execute such Warrants as they from time to time shall receive from the said Committee for the Militia, or other Sub-Committees, for and concerning the execution of the same accordingly
Power to charge fit persons with Horse Soldiers.
And it is further Ordered and Ordained by the said Lords & Commons in Parliament assembled, that the said Committee for the Militia of London, shall have power to charge such Inhabitants within the Lines of Communication and Bills of Mortality, as they shall esteeme able to finde and maintaine Horses with Riders, and furniture at their proper charge for the Defence of the City and parts adjacent, os as no one person shall bee charged for the raising and maintaining of more then two Horses.
Members of both Houses of Parliament expected.; Indemnity.
Provided, that no power hereby granted shall be extended against any Peere of this Kingdome, or Member of either of the Houses of Parliament, or any of the Assistants of the House of Peeres, or attendants of the House of Peeres, or Commons. And as well the said Committee, as also their said Sub-Committees, and all other persons acting in the Premises according to the intent of this Ordinance, shall be saved harmlesse by Authority of both Houses of Parliament.
This Ord. to be in force eight months only.
Provided that this Ordinance shall continue and be in force for the space of eight moneths, to begin from the publishing of this Ordinance and no longer.