May 1649
An Act for the more certain and constant Supply of the Soldiery with Pay, and the preventing of any further Oppression or Damage to the People by Free-quarter or Billet.

Sponsor

History of Parliament Trust

Publication

Author

C.H. Firth, R.S. Rait (eds)

Year published

1911

Supporting documents

Pages

110-118

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'May 1649: An Act for the more certain and constant Supply of the Soldiery with Pay, and the preventing of any further Oppression or Damage to the People by Free-quarter or Billet.', Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660 (1911), pp. 110-118. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56331 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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Contents

May, 1649

[12 May, 1649.]

Dates for paying in assessments for soldiers' pay.; Measures for preventing further damage to people by free-quarter, in case soldiers' payment delayed.; In such case, inhabitants where forces quartered to advances moneys required.; Persons refusing to lend, how to be dealt with.; Moneys so lent, to whom and how to be paid.; Instructions for repayment.; Counties and places duly paying assessment to be free from all freequarter.; No officer or soldier to take quarter of persons that have paid their assessment.; Except in special cases and according to rules.

The Commons assembled in Parliament, for the taking off and future avoiding of all Free-quarter, (which the last Summers War, and great increase of Forces thereby occasioned, had necessarily brought again upon the people) having resolved again to disband all such Forces as may be spared; and having provided that the rest (which are yet necessary to be continued) shall have constant pay assigned to them out of the assessments of the several Counties by the Committee for the Army; as also an allowance in Money, in lieu of Billet, so as duly receiving the same, they may therewith provide and finde themselves both for Quarter, Billet and other Necessaries, without further charge or trouble to the people where they lie; And finding that without a present advance of Money upon the said assessments, the Forces cannot be reduced to that proportion which the growing Assessment will suffice to pay, and that unless the continuing Forces be timely supplied with their pay beforehand, they cannot be enabled or reasonably required to hold that good order, of maintaining and providing for themselves (as is intended and Resolved) without Quarter or Billetting upon the People; Do therefore Enact and Ordain, and be it Enacted and Ordained by this present Parliament, and by authority of the same, That the first Three Moneths Assessment of the said six moneths, shall be taxed, levied, and paid in the several Counties, to the respective Treasurers or chief Receivers, before the ninth day of June, 1649. and that the first moneths assessment of the latter three moneths, shall in like manner be taxed, levied and paid in before the first of July next following; and the second moneths Assessment of the said last three moneths, before the first day of August next ensuing; and the last moneth thereof, before the first day of September next coming; so as the assignments of pay from the said Committee to the several Forces, out of the assessments of the respective Counties, may be supplyed readily and beforehand, to enable the Soldiery to maintain themselves, without Free-quarter, Free Billet, or other trouble or charge to the countrey: And the several Commissioners for Assessments, Assessors, and Collectors in the respective Counties and places within this Commonwealth, are enjoyned and required, in and according to their several places and trusts, diligently to see to, and take order for the effectual performance hereof, as they tender their own and their countreys ease and deliverance from the Burthen and Grievances of Freequarter, and as they will answer the neglect or failer at their perils. And whereas it often doth, and possibly may happen, notwithstanding the most due and careful taxing or levying of the assessments, that the moneys assigned upon the assessments, for pay to the several Forces, may not always be had so soon, as to come to their hands timely and beforehand, so as the Soldiery not having Money ready in hand, cannot in such case maintain and provide for themselves, as is intended, but may be necessitated (if they be not otherwise supplyed with ready money) to take Quarter and Billet upon Credit, till their pay come: And whereas in all such cases, where the Soldiery wanting present pay, are assigned to have Billet and Quarter found them by the several Inhabitants, it is too frequently or constantly practised, that such Inhabitants either by want of accommodations of their own for the Soldiers quartering, or by the Soldiers troublesomness or difficulty to be kept quiet, and satisfied with such Quarter as they can afford, are extremely exacted upon and enforced to give excessive allowances in Money, either to Inns or Ale-house keepers, where they can hire quarter for the Soldier, or else to the Soldier himself, to hire his Quarter where he can; insomuch as many are inforced to allow in such cases Sixteen pence per diem or more for a Foot Soldier, and Three shillings per diem or more for a Horse and Man, to avoid the Quartering of them; and yet when the Soldiers pay comes (if they pay anything at all towards satisfaction of Quarters) such Inhabitants usually receive back no more than according to the Rates heretofore allowed for discharging of Quarters, which come far short of what it usually costs the said Inhabitants: Now to prevent more surely the Peoples future Trouble, Damage, or Oppression in such kinde, It is Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case by any neglect, delay, default or accident it happen, that such Forces have not their pay timely and beforehand to maintain themselves withal, so as there be a necessity of assigning the Soldiers upon the several Inhabitants of the Towns or places where they lie, to have Quarter and Billet, or Money in lieu thereof, upon credit, until their pay do come, The Commanders of such Forces shall not in such case suffer their Soldiers or Officers to exact or take for Quarter or Billet, any more than the proportion of their days pay, and appointed allowance for additional pay, and Billet money respectively, for each nights and days quarter, but that the Inhabitants lending and laying down in moneys, according to the number of Soldiers and Officers within the Quarters, for each Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer, and Officers man, the full proportion of their daily pay, according to the Establishment for England, and of their additional pay and Billet money, allowed by the Orders and Resolutions of Parliament for that purpose herewith published; and for each Commission-Officer under the degree of a Captain, one half of their daily pay; and for Captains and others above that degree, one third part of their daily pay, according to the said Establishment respectively, the Officers and Soldiers shall therewith maintain and provide themselves both for Victuals, and all provisions for horse and man, and also Billet, at such Rates as they can agree upon with the Inhabitants (with respect to the Rules contained in the said Orders and Resolutions) as if the said Forces had received their pay beforehand from the State, according to their Assignments; and the said Inhabitants lending and laying down the said moneys, according to the proportions aforesaid, whilest the said Forces (continuing amongst them) do want their pay assigned from the State, shall both be freed from any further charge or trouble for the Quarter or Billet of the said Forces according to the said Orders and Resolutions; and shall have the full sum of the moneys so lent and laid down by them, repaid unto them without any abatement or defalkation whatsoever. And for the more sure and orderly performance hereof, It is further Enacted, That in case of such delay, or want of timely pay to any the said Forces, according to their assignments, the Inhabitants and Landholders within such Cities, Towns and Parishes, where such Forces are by Order from the General, or such as have authority under him for that purpose, assigned to Quarter, shall according to the number of Officers and Soldiers actually present within the Quarters, lend and advance the moneys so wanting, according to the proportions aforesaid, for so long time as the said Forces (by like Order continuing there) shall want their pay assigned from the State as aforesaid; which money the Constables or Chief Civil Magistrates of such Towns and places respectively, are and shall be hereby authorized in such case to Rate, Collect, and Levy within the said places, in such equal way and proportions as the Forces otherwise would fall to be Billetted. And if any person refuse to lend his share, he shall lose the benefit provided by this Act for those that do lend the same; and the Constable or Chief Magistrate, with two of the Inhabitants that agree to lend as aforesaid, shall have power to assign so many soldiers as they think fit, to be Billetted upon the Refusers; and the money so lent and advanced, shall be paid into the hands of the respective Field-Officers of the Regiment, or chief Officers of the Troops or Companies quartering there, to be by them issued out to the Officers and Soldiers under them, for their pay and Billet money, which Chief Officers shall thereupon give to the Inhabitants their Receipt or Receipts under their hands, for all the moneys so lent and advanced to them respectively, expressing for what Troops or Companies, and for what Regiment the same is received, and promising and ingaging themselves therein, fully to repay the same out of the next moneys coming in unto them upon their assignments, from the Committee of the Army or otherwise, as pay for that time for which the moneys so lent do supply them; which the said Officers shall accordingly do and perform, under pain of being liable themselves to proceeding at Law for the same: And in case of failer, of such repayment of the said Money, by the space of one Moneth next after the lending thereof, then upon notice of such failer, and producing of the said Receipts before the Committee of the Army, the said Committee shall give Order to the Treasurers at War, for the full and speedy repayment of the said moneys to the said Inhabitants, out of the assessments of the respective Counties and places where they live; or (if the same be not sufficient) out of the assessments of the next adjacent Counties; or (if that suffice not) then out of any moneys disposable by them for supply of the Army; and such order, together with the said Receipts (being delivered in) shall be to the said Treasurers or the Receivers in the respective Counties, by whom the said Moneys shall be repaied, a sufficient discharge. And the said Commanders and Officers to whom any Moneys shall be so lent (in case their assigned pay come not in timely enough) so as they cannot repay the said moneys, before they be by order removed to other Quarters, shall within ten days after such remove, send Notice to the Committee for the Army, or Treasurers at War, what moneys have been so lent unto them, out of what Towns or places, and in what Counties they are so left unpaid, under the like pain as aforesaid. And upon these considerations, it is further Enacted, That from and after the ninth day of June, 1649, and from such time before the said ninth of June, as the said Forces, or any of them respectively, shall be supplied with their Pay and Billet money as aforesaid, the several and respective Counties, places and persons within this Commonwealth duly paying in their assessments, for the Pay and Billet of the Soldiery, as by this Act, or any other Act of Parliament for that purpose is or shall be required, they shall be wholly discharged and freed from all Free-quarter, Billet, or other Charge or burthern of or for the Soldiery; and all Officers and Soldiers whatsoever, having their pay and Billet money allowed as aforesaid, shall herewith maintain and provide for themselves both for Victual, and other provisions for Horse and Man, and also for Lodging, and all things else belonging to Quarter or Billet, at such Rates as they can agree for with the Inhabitants where they are or shall come to quarter; And no Officer or Soldier shall under pretence of taking Quarter or Billet, enter into the House of any person or persons duly paying in their Assessments as aforesaid, without his or their consent (except Inns, Taverns, Victualling Houses and Alehouses) nor shall exact or take any Money, Victual, or other provisions for Horse or Man without consent of the Owner, and due satisfaction given unto him for the same at such Rates as he shall agree un o, other then such moneys and in such cases as is directed to be lent as aforesaid; and otherwise then for such necessary Quarter and Billet, and that in such cases onely, and according to such Rules, and Terms as is expressed in the Rules, Resolutions and Orders of Parliament passed and published with this Act, concerning the disposing and quartering of the Parliaments Forces under the pains expressed in the said Orders and Resolutions.

Orders & Resolutions of Parliament,
Concerning the Disposal of the present Forces, and Rules concerning Quartering.

Resolved and Ordered,

1. That by Saturday the Ninth of June, 1649, all the Forces now in being in England, which are within the Establishment for England, shall be drawn into Garisons, Cities and Towns there to be setled in Quarters, until by due Order from the Lord General, or such as have Authority under him for that purpose, they be removed.

2. That by the same day all the Forces now in England within the Establishment for Ireland, (except such as shall be then upon march for transportation) shall likewise have quarters assigned in Towns or Cities (as near as may be) in order to their transportation.

3. That all the Forces raised since the 31 of March, 1648, by any Committees or Deputy Lieutenants of particular counties, at the charge of their counties, which are not comprehended within the Lists of Forces to be paid as of the Establishment for England or Ireland, lately given in from the Lord General and Councel of War, or shall not before the 28 day of May, instant, 1649, be certified from the General and Councel, to be added to the said Lists, shall be disbanded before the said ninth day of June, 1649, by the Committees or Deputy Lieutenants by whom they were raised, and at the charge of the Counties respectively, unless where the Committees shall see cause to keep up any of their said Forces, for the particular services of their Counties, and can finde wherewith to maintain them without Free-quarter, and without any allowance for their pay out of the Assessment of 90,000.1. per mensem, and where any such county Forces are appointed to be retained in the present Establishment, the Lord General is to signifie to the respective Committees or Deputy Lieutenants, what Forces of theirs are so retained, that the rest may be disbanded by them as aforesaid.

4. That whatever Forces lie quartered in any county, which have not been raised and kept up hitherto by Commission from the Lord General, or by authority of the Committees or Deputy Lieutenants of the respective counties, and are not comprehended in the said Lists of Establishment, for the Service of England or Ireland, shall immediately disband, and disperse themselves before the said 28 day of May instant; and after that day shall not presume to exact or take from any people, any Free-quarter or Free-billet, or any Money, or ought else in lieu of Quarter or Billet, at their utmost perils, and under pain of being proceeded against according to Law, for what violence or wrong they shall do in that kinde.

5. That to the end all Free-billet as well as Quarter may be taken off from the people, the Committee of the Army shal have power, and are required to make assignment and allowance of money, in lieu of Billet to Soldiers and non-Commissionate Officers, in such places, and to such proportions as shal be thought fit by the Lord General and Councel of War, and certified by the Lord General to the said Committee, not exceeding the proportions of one peny per diem a man for Foot setled in Garison, two pence per Diem for Foot of the Army, not setled in Garison; and three pence per diem for Horse and Dragoons, over and above their pay allowed for them by the Establishment respectively; and also till the end of September, 1649, in regard of the present dearth, an additional pay not exceeding one peny per diem to Foot setled in Garison, two pence per diem to Foot not setled in Garison, and three pence per Diem to Horse and Dragoons; during which allowance of additional pay, the said Forces shall maintain themselves with compleat Arms, without any charge to the State: And for performance thereof, the Chief Officer in each Troop and Company, shall have power to stop the said additional pay from such as are defective, until they do compleat their Arms.

6. That from and after the said ninth day of June, the several and respective counties, places and persons within this Commonwealth, duly paying in their Assessments, for the pay and billet of the Soldiery, as by any Act of Parliament for that purpose is or shall be required, they shall be wholly discharged and freed from all Free-quarter, Free-billet, or other charge or burthen of or for the soldiery; And all officers and Soldiers whatsoever, having their pay and billet money allowed as aforesaid, shall therewith maintain and provide for themselves, both for victual and other provisions for horse and man, and also for lodging, and all things belonging to Quarter or Billet, at such rates as they can agree for with the Inhabitants where they are, or shall come to quarter; and no Officer or Soldier shal under pretence of taking quarter or billet, enter into the house of any person or persons, duly paying in their Assessments as aforesaid, without his or their consent, except Inns, Taverns, Victualling-houses or Ale-houses, nor shall exact or take any money, victuals, or other provisions for horse or man, without consent of the Owner, and due satisfaction given him for the same, at such rates as he shall agree unto, other then such money, and in such case as is directed to be lent in the Act of Parliament herewith published, and otherwise then for such necessary quarter and billet, and that in such cases onely, and according to such Rules and Terms as is hereafter expressed; viz.:—

That whensoever any Forces shal by vertue of Order from the General, or from such as shall have authority under him for that purpose, be upon a march or removing quarters, they shall at the Towns or Parishes where they shall be ordered to quarter, be billetted in the usual way by their Quartermasters or Superior Officers respectively, according to the Assignment or Directions of the Constables or chief Civil Magistrate in the said Towns or Parishes, or in case of their refusal or neglect, to make assignment or direction therein, then at the direction of the Quartermaster or superior Officer; and the respective Inhabitants where any Officers or Soldiers shall be so billetted aforesaid, shall receive them to quarter and billet accordingly; and for one night or two at the most, shall beside lodging and necessary billet, finde them victual, according to their ordinary family diet (wherewith the Soldier shall be contented) and also hay, or in Summer time grass for their horses, for which the Soldier shal pay at the rate of eight-pence per diem for a Foot Soldier, twelve pence per diemfor a Dragooner, and fifteen pence per diem for a Trooper and his horse, and for what Provender they use, as they can agree; and the like for non-Commissionate Officers, and Commission-Officers men, of foot, horse or dragoons respectively; and Commission Officers shall pay as they can agree, not exceeding one third part of their daily pay respectively, beside for Provender as they can agree; and after the first two nights (if they stay longer) both Officers and Soldiers shall with their pay, maintain and finde themselves as aforesaid, and pay for what they have at such rates as they can agree with the Inhabitants, both for victual and other Provision for Horse and Man; but for the next five nights after the said two nights (if they stay there so long) both the Soldiers and Officers, if they shall not otherwise agree with the Inhabitants sooner for their Billet, viz.: Lodging, Stable-room, and the use of their ordinary fire and candle-light, shall have the same found for that space by the respective Inhabitants where they shall be so billetted as aforesaid, paying such Inhabitants for the same according to the rates allowed to the Soldiery respectively, in lieu of Billet as aforesaid. And after the said five nights (if they be to continue at or about the same Towns longer) then both Officers and Soldiers shall thenceforth finde and provide themselves Billets also, for their money, where they can obtain and agree for the same, either in the said Towns or Parishes, or at any other Village or place adjacent, within such distance as the Chief Officer Commanding in the Quarter shall allow of, and shall not after the said five nights under pretence of Quartering or Billet, enter into, or continue in the house of any of the said Inhabitants (duly paying in their Assessments as aforesaid) without his or their consent, except Inns, Taverns, Victualling-houses, or Alehouses, nor shall exact or take any Moneys, Victuals, or other Provisions for Horse or Man without the owners consent and satisfaction for the same, at such rates as he shall agree unto.

Provided, That the Constables or Chief Magistrates in the said respective Towns and Places, shall cause the Inhabitants to afford the Soldiery such provisions for horse and men as they have to spare, at such market price as they usually sold the same for unto others, within a week before the Forces came first to quarter there; and for that purpose, the respective Civil Magistrates, or (upon his or their refusal) such chief Officer as aforesaid, shall in such case have and exercise the same power and authority, for the rating of provisions for necessary supply to the Soldiery, as by Law any Magistrate hath or may exercise, for the bringing forth or rating of Corn for supply of the poor, in case of engrossing or forestalling in time of dearth.

Provided also, That in all places to which any forces come to quarter as aforesaid, where there is sufficient receipt, and lodging, for the number of men and horse, at Inns, Taverns, Victuallinghouses or Ale-houses, the said Forces, or so many of them as there is such receipt and lodging for, shall after the two nights of their stay, be disposed of for billet into such Inns, Taverns, Victuallinghouses and Ale-houses, unless they can agree for their billet at other places within the quarter, or such distance therefrom as aforesaid; and in such case shall not after the said first two nights, under pretence of quartering or billet, enter into, or continue in the house of any other Inhabitant, duly paying in his assessments as aforesaid, without his own consent: And wherever any Soldiers or Officers shall come to quarter in any Inn, Tavern, Victuallinghouse or Ale-house, without consent of the Inhabitant, they shall accept and be content with such sufficient lodging, and such convenient stable-room, as the Inhabitant hath and shall appoint for them, and shall pay the Inhabitant for the same, at the same rate as is allowed to them by the State for billet as aforesaid respectively, unless they shall by agreement with the Inhabitant, have with him their dyet or Horsemeat as other Guests, or at such Rates as he shall agree to take; and also provided, that in case the Forces want their pay assigned from the State, they shall be supplyed with money by way of Loan; from the Inhabitants of the Towns and Places within their quarters, according to the Act of Parliament herewith published.

And these Rules are to hold as well upon the drawing of the Forces into Cities or Towns, by or before the said Ninth of June, according to the Resolutions aforegoing, as upon any remove or change of quarters afterwards by due Order as aforesaid, and shall be duly and constantly observed and kept by and betwixt all Officers and Soldiers under pay and command of the Parliament in this Nation; and all Inhabitants of such places within this Commonwealth, where any the said Forces shall happen to quarter by due Order as aforesaid, while Assessments for the Army continue to be paid, unless actual War by Invasion, Insurrection or Rebellion within the Land shall happen so to hinder the due levying of Assessments, and necessitate such encrease of Forces, as that the Soldiery cannot be constantly paid as is intended: And all military Officers for those under their respective Commands, and all Civil Magistrates for those under their respective Jurisdictions, are required strictly to see to and to take order for the due observance of these Rules and Directions aforegoing; and if any Officer or Soldier shall offend, contrary to the effect of the premises, upon complaint and proof thereof made before the Colonel, or other Field Officer of the Regiment, or before the Chief Officer commanding in the Quarters, every such Offender shall be cashiered out of the Army and Service of the Parliament, and for any damage done to any Countreyman, contrary to the premises, shall be awarded and compelled to give full satisfaction out of his pay; and for such damage (if he give not such satisfaction) shall be left to the Law; and for any violence contrary to the effect of the premises (if it be capital or criminal) being first cashiered as aforesaid, shall by the said Chief Officer be sent and delivered over to the next Justice of the Peace, to be dealt with, and proceeded against for the same, according to Law; and if the said chief Officer shal fail of his duty, in not punishing and proceeding against such Offendors as is aforesaid, he shall be cashiered, and be lyable to make satisfaction himself; and if any Countreyman shall wilfully and obstinately offend, to the prejudice of the Soldier, contrary to the effect of the premises, he shall lose the benefit of that exemption from Free-quarter and Free-billet, which is hereby provided for.