[12 April, 1648.]
In what cases the Court of Admiralty shall have jurisdiction.; This Court shall not hold plea on bills of Exchange or Accompts between Merchant and Merohant, or their Factors.
The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, finding
many inconveniences daily to arise, in relation both to the Trade
of this Kingdome, and to the commerce with Foreign parts,
through the uncertainty of jurisdiction in the Trial of Maritime
Causes, do Ordain, and be it Ordained by authority of Parliament,
That the Court of Admiralty shall have cognizance and jurisdiction against the Ship or Vessel with the Tackle, Apparel, and
Furniture thereof, in all causes which concern the repairing,
victualling, and furnishing provisions for the setting of such Ships
or Vessels to Sea, and in all cases of Bottomry, and likewise in all
cases of Contracts made beyond the Seas concerning Shipping or
Navigation, or damages happening thereon, or arising at Sea in
any Voyage; And likewise in all cases of Charter, Parties, or
Contracts for Fraight, Bills of lading, Mariners wages, or damages
in Goods laden on board Ships, or other damages done by one
Ship or Vessel to another, or by Anchors, or want of laying of
Buois, except alwaies that the said Court of Admiralty shall not
hold pleas, or admit Actions upon any Bills of Exchange, or
accompts betwixt Merchant and Merchant, or their Factors.
How the Court shall proceed.; Liberty for Appeals.
And be it Ordained, That in all and every the matters aforesaid,
the said Admiralty Court shall and may proceed, and take
Recognizances in due form, and hear, examine, and finally end.
decree, sentence, and determine the same according to the
Lawes and Customes of the Sea, and put the same decrees and
sentences in execution without any let, trouble, or impeachment
whatsoever, any Law, Statute or usage to the contrary heretofore
made in any wise notwithstanding; saving alwaies and reserving
to all and every person and persons, that shall finde and think
themselves aggrieved by any sentence definitive, or decree
having the force of a definitive sentence, or importing a damage
not to be repaired in the definitive sentence given or interposed
in the Court of Admiralty, in all or any of the cases aforesaid,
their right of appeal in such form as hath heretofore been used
from such decrees, or sentences in the said Court of Admiralty.
There shall be 3 Judges of the said Court.; Every of the Judges shall deliver the reasons of their opinion.
Provided alwaies, and be it further Ordained by the authority
aforesaid, That from henceforth there shall be three Judges
alwaies appointed of the said Court, to be nominated from time
to time by both Houses of Parliament, or such as they shall
appoint; And that every of the Judges of the said Court for the
time being, that shall be present at the giving any definitive
sentence in the said Court, shall at the same time, or before such
sentence given openly in Court, deliver his Reasons in Law of
such his sentence, or of his opinion concerning the same; and
shall also openly in Court give Answers and solutions (as far as
he may) to such Lawes, Customes, or other matter as shall have
been brought or alleadged in Court, on that part against whom
such sentence or opinion shall be given or declared respectively.
Provided also, That this Ordinance shall continue for three
years and no longer.