January 1650
An Act For Subscribing the Engagement.

Sponsor

History of Parliament Trust

Publication

Author

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

Year published

1911

Supporting documents

Pages

325-329

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'January 1650: An Act For Subscribing the Engagement.', Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660 (1911), pp. 325-329. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56379 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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Contents

January, 1650

1650.

[2 January, 1649/50.]

Whereas divers dis-affected persons, do by sundry ways and means oppose and endeavour to undermine the Peace of the Nation under this present Government, so that unless special care be taken, a new War is likely to break forth: For the preventing whereof, and also for the better uniting of this Nation, as well against all Invasions from abroad, as the Common Enemy at home; and to the end that those which receive benefit and protection from this present Government, may give assurance of their living quietly and peaceably under the same, and that they will neither directly nor indirectly contrive or practice any thing to the disturbance thereof, The Parliament now assembled do Enact and Ordain, and be it by Authority of this present Parliament Enacted and Ordained, That all men whatsoever within the Commonwealth of England, of the age of eighteen years and upwards, shall as is hereafter in this present Act directed, take and subscribe this Engagement following; viz.

I Do declare and promise, That I will be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now Established, without a King or House of Lords.

And for the due taking and subscribing thereof, Be it further Enacted by authority aforesaid, That all and every person and persons that now hath, or hereafter shall have, hold or enjoy any Place or Office of Trust or Profit, or any Place or Imployment of publique Trust whatsoever, within the said Commonwealth; or that do receive or take any benefit or profit by, from or out of any such Office or Place of Trust or Imployment, that hath not formerly taken the said Engagement, by vertue of any order or direction of Parliament, shall take and subscribe the said Engagement, at or before the Twentieth day of February, in the year one thousand and six hundred forty and nine, before the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal of England, or before any two or more such persons as the said Lords Commissioners of the Great-Seal shall appoint thereunto, or before any two or more Justices of the Peace, within any County, City, or Town Corporate respectively, where such person or persons so taking and subscribing the said Engagement, do or shall reside or dwell, which said Engagement the Lords Commissioners, Justices of the Peace, and persons abovesaid, are hereby authorized to give and administer unto all and every such person or persons that hath, or hereafter shall have, hold or enjoy any Place or Office of Trust or Profit, or any Place or Imployment of publique Trust whatsoever as abovesaid; and the said Lords Commissioners of the Great-Seal of England, or such as they shall nominate or appoint, and the said Justices of Peace as abovesaid, shall and are hereby required to certifie in writing under their Hands and Seals, the said Engagement, and the names of the persons abovesaid, so taking and subscribing the same before them respectively, and the time of their taking and subscribing the same, unto the clerk of the Parliament for the time being. And be it further Enacted and Ordained, That all and every person or persons which now hath, or hereafter shall have, hold or enjoy any such office, Place, Imployment, Benefit or Profits as abovesaid, that before the Twentieth day of February, which shall be in the year One thousand six hundred forty and nine, shall not take and subscribe the said Engagement as aforesaid; or that after the said Twentieth day of February in the year One thousand six hundred forty and nine, shall have, hold or enjoy any such Office, Place or Imployment, Benefit or Profits as abovesaid, and shall not take and subscribe the said Engagement as aforesaid, before they do or shall take upon them, or execute by themselves, or by their Deputies, any such Office, Place, or Imployment as abovesaid, or receive and take such benefit and profit as abovesaid, shall forfeit all such Offices, Places, Imployments as abovesaid, and are hereby declared and disinabled to have, hold or enjoy the same, and to forfeit double the value of all such profits and benefits as they shall receive and take as abovesaid; the said forfeitures to be levied by the Committee of Indempnity, by distress and sale of the Offenders goods respectively, or by imprisonment of the persons so offending as abovesaid, until the said forfeitures be duly paid and satisfied; which said forfeitures shall be disposed of by the said Committee, one moyety to the Informer or persons complaining, the other moyety to the Treasurers for wounded and maimed Soldiers and Marriners, in such County, City or Town Corporate, where such persons so offending do or shall reside or dwell: And the said Committee of Indempnity are hereby authorized to hear and determine the same, and to examine upon Oath, and otherwise to proceed, according as in Cases of Delinquent Officers they are directed and enjoyned by Parliament. And it is further Enacted and Declared, That all and every person or persons that expects benefit from the Courts of Justice of this Commonwealth, and that either now are, or hereafter shall be Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, Demandant or Demandants, in any Suit, Plaint, Bill, Action, Information, Writ, Demand, Execution, or any other Proces whatsoever, in any of the Courts of Chancery, the Upper-Bench, Common-Pleas, Publique-Exchequer, Dutchy-Court, or in any other Court of Record, or in any other Court in any County, City, Town Corporate, or in any place of Priviledge, or in any other place whatsoever within the Commonwealth of England, or before any Judge or Judges, or other person or persons that have, or claim to have cognizance of any maner of Pleas, or before any Commissioner or Commissioners under the Great Seal of England, or by any other lawful authority, or before any person or persons as Committees or Commissioners, or otherwise authorized by Authority of Parliament, shall take and subscribe, and are hereby required to take and subscribe the aforesaid Engagement as in this present Act is directed and appointed; and that it shall and may be lawful for all and every person or persons that are or shall be Defendant or Defendants, or that are or shall be Sued, Impleaded, Attached, Arrested, Molested or Complained against in any such Courts as abovesaid, or before any the said Judges, Commissioners or persons abovesaid, by themselves, or by some others on his or their behalf, from and after the Twentieth of April, in the year One thousand six hundred and fifty, to Plead, Aver, or to move in Arrest of Iudgement, or to move for a Supersedeas, or stopping further Proceedings in such Suits, Plaints, Bills, Actions, Informations, Writs, Demands, or Execution, or Proces whatsoever as abovesaid; That the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, Demandant, or Demandants, person or persons complainting, or any of them in such Suit, Plaint, Bill, Action, Information, Writ, Demand, Execution, or other Proces whatsoever as abovesaid, have not taken and subscribed the said Engagement as above is directed and appointed; and thereupon all and every the Judges of such Courts, and persons as abovesaid, before whom such Suits, Plaints, Bills, Actions. Complaints, Informations, Writs, Demands, Executions or other Proces is or shall be depending, shall and may, and are hereby authorized and required to admit such Plea or Averment, in stop of all or any such Suits, Plaints, Bills, Actions, Informations, Writs, Demands, or other Proces as abovesaid; and all such Pleas, Averments, or such motions in Arrest of Iudgement, or in superseding or stopping futher Proceedings as abovesaid, and to hear and determine the same, and to stop all further Proceedings in all such Suits, Plaint, Bills, Actions, Informations, Writs, Demands, Executions or other Proces as abovesaid, until it shall duly appear to the said Judges, Commissioners and persons abovesaid respectively, That the said Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, Demandant or Demandants, or persons Complaining, have or shall Subscribe the said Engagement. And it is further Enacted and Declared, That for the better Tryal of the matter of Fact, whether such Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, Demandant or Demandants, or any of them, have subscribed the said Engagement or no, It shall and may be lawful for all and every such Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, Demandant and Demandants, or persons Complaining as abovesaid, or any of them, in open Court where such Suit is depending, or in presence of one or more of the Judges of the said Courts respectively, or in the presence of one or more of the said Commissioners and persons as abovesaid, before whom such Suits, Plaints, Bills, Actions, Informations, Writs, Demands, Executions or other Proces is or shall be depending, to subscribe the said Engagement, or to produce or cause to be produced, a Certificate under the Hands and Seals of any two Justices of the Peace, Commissioners for the Monethly Assessments, Majors or Chief Officers of any City or Town Corporate where such person doth reside, inhabit or dwell, That the said Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, Demandant or Demandants, or any of them have subscribed the said Engagement before them, and in their presence, and certifie the said Engagement, and true copy of the said Engagement and Subscription thereunto, unto the said Court, Judges, Commissioners and persons as abovesaid respectively, before whom such Suits, Plaints, Bills, Informations, Writs, Demands, Executions or other Proces is or shall be depending; and from and after such Subscriptions of the said Engagement in Court, or before the Judges, Commissioners, Justices of the Peace, Majors, or chief Officers or persons as abovesaid respectively, and the same entred upon Record in such Court or Courts, or before such Judges, Commissioners or persons as abovesaid, and not otherwise, It shall and may be lawful for all such Judges, Commissioners and other persons as abovesaid, before whom such Suits, Plaints, Bills, Action, Informations, Writs, Demands, Executions or other Proces is or shall be depending, to proceed according to Law, as if no such Plea or Averment had been made. And it is hereby further Enacted, That all Justices of the Peace, Commissioners, for the Monethly Assessments in the several Counties respectively, and all Majors, Bayliffs, and other the chief Officers in all Cities and Towns Corporate respectively, or any two of them within their respective Counties, Cities and Towns Corporate, shall and may, and are hereby authorized and required from time to time to receive and take Subscriptions thereunto, from all such persons of the Age of Eighteen years and upwards, that reside, live and inhabit within the said Counties, Cities and Town Corporate respectively, as shall and will Subscribe the same; and all such Engagemeuts and Subscriptions so taken and subscribed, within one Moneth after such taking and Subscription, from time to time to certifie to the High Sheriff of the said Counties respectively, who is hereby required and authorized to enter into a Book the said Engagement, and the Names of all such persons as have Subscribed, or shall Subscribe the same, and the persons before whom, and the time when such Engagement and Subscriptions were so had and taken; and the said Book at the going out of his Office, or oftner, if he be thereunto required by the Parliament or Council of State, send or deliver, or cause to be sent or delivered unto the Clerk of the Parliament for the time being: Provided, That this Act, or any thing herein contained, shall not extend to any Merchant that doth, or shall reside and inhabit beyond the Seas, that in the Court of Admiralty, or in any other Court, doth or shall sue for any Goods or Merchandizes by him imported, brought or shipped into some Port or Harbor of this Commonwealth, or such Goods and Merchandizes of such Merchants residing beyond the Seas, to be transported out of this Commonwealth, into any Forreign Nation or Kingdom, or to any person or persons residing beyond the Seas, Owners of any Ship, Boat or Vessel, that doth or shall sue for such Ship, Boat or Vessel, or for Freight or Goods belonging to such Vessel, or for any Freight, Marriners Wages due for the Hire or Freight of such Ship, Boat or Vessel, due to such persons as do or shall live inhabit or reside beyond the Seas as abovesaid. Provided always, and it is further Enacted, That this Act, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend unto any person or persons that are or shall be Indicted, Arraigned, Arrested, Attached, Imprisoned, Complained against or Molested for Treason, Felony, Breach of the Peace, or the Good Behavior; but that the Judge and Judges, Justice and Justices, Commissioner and Commissioners before whom such person or persons are or shall be Indicted Arraigned, Arrested, Attached, Imprisoned, Complained against or Molested, shall and may proceed, notwithstanding any such Plea or Averment as abovesaid, And it is further Enacted and Provided, That this Act, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend unto any person or persons, that is or shall be sued in any Courts abovesaid, or before any Judges or Commissioners abovesaid, that after Issue joyned, and at the time of Tryal of such Issue, shall then Aver and Plead, That the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, or persons demanding as abovesaid, hath not taken the said Engagement, but that the Judge and Judges, Commissioner and Commissioners, and persons as abovesaid, shall and may proceed to the Tryal of the said Issue, as if no such Plea or Averment had been made.