June 1657
An Act for convicting, discovering and repressing of Popish Recusants.

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History of Parliament Trust

Publication

Author

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

Year published

1911

Supporting documents

Pages

1170-1180

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'June 1657: An Act for convicting, discovering and repressing of Popish Recusants.', Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660 (1911), pp. 1170-1180. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56614 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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Contents

June, 1657

[26 June, 1657.]

Neglect of putting Laws in execution against popish Recusants.; Justices of Assize and Goal-delivery and Justices in Quarter Sessions to give in charge that inquiry and presentment be made of Papists.; Persons presented to appear and take the Oath of Abjuration.

Forasmuch as there is of late a great increase of Popish Recusants within this Commonwealth, occasioned by the neglect of putting the Lawes in execution against them, by reason whereof great danger may follow thereupon to the Publique Peace; They being persons very active in mischievous Plots and Conspiracies, as appears by their late Barbarous and Bloody Rebellion and Cruelties in Ireland and this Nation: For prevention therefore of the rise and growth of so great a Mischief, his Highness the Lord Protector, and the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, do Declare and Enact; And be it Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all Justices of Assize and Goal-delivery, and all Justices of Peace in their open Quarter Sessions of Peace, within the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, shall give in charge unto the Grand Juries, diligently to enquire, and present the names of all such persons, being of the age of sixteen years, as are suspected or reputed to be Papists, or Popishly affected, and that upon every such presentment, the Justices of Assize and Goal-delivery, and Justices of the Peace, shall in open Sessions make Proclamation by which it shall be commanded, that every person so presented as aforesaid, shall personally appear at the next Assizes and General Goal-delivery, or at the next general Quarter Sessions respectively, to be holden for the Shire, Division, Limit or Liberty, and there to take and subscribe the Oath of Abjuration, the form of which Oath hereafter followeth.

The Oath.

I A. B. do Abjure and Renounce the Popes Supremacy and Authority over the Catholique Church in General, and over my self in particular: And I do believe the Church of Rome is not the true Church; And that there is not any Transubstantiation in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, or in the Elements of Bread and Wine, after Consecration thereof, by any person whatsoever. And I do also believe that there is not any Purgatory; And that the Consecrated Hoast, Crucifixes or Images ought not to be worshipped, neither that any Worship is due unto any of them; And I also believe that Salvation cannot be merited by Works; And I do sincerely Testifie and Declare, That the Pope, neither of himself, nor by any Authority of the Church or See of Rome, or by any other means with any other, hath any Power or Authority to depose the Chief Magistrate of these Nations, or to dispose of any of the Countries or Territories thereunto belonging, or to Authorize any Foreign Prince or State to invade or annoy him or them, or to discharge any of the People of these Nations from their Obedience to the Chief Magistrate; or to give License or Leave to any of the said People to bear Arms, raise Tumults, or to offer any violence or hurt to the person of the said Chief Magistrate, or to the State or Government of these Nations, or to any of the people thereof. And I do further swear, That I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure this damnable Doctrine and Position, That Princes, Rulers, or Governours, which be Excommunicated or Deprived by the Pope, may, by vertue of such Excommunication or Deprivation, be killed, murthered, or deposed from their Rule or Government, or any outrage or violence done unto them by the people that are under them, or by any other whatsoever upon such pretence. And I do further swear, That I do believe that the Pope, or Bishop of Rome, hath no Authority, Power, or Jurisdiction whatsoever, within England, Scotland and Ireland, or any or either of them, or the Dominion or Territories belonging to them, or any or either of them; And all Doctrines in affirmation of the said Points, I do abjure and renounce, without any Equivocation, Mental Reservation, or secret Evasion whatsoever, taking the words by me spoken according to the common and usual meaning of them; And I do believe no Power Derived from the Pope or Church of Rome, or any other person, can absolve me from this my Oath; And I do Renounce all Pardons and Dispensations to the contrary: So help me God.

Persons making default, shall be adjudged Popish Recusants convict.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if at such next Assizes, and general Goal-delivery, or at such next Quarter Sessions to be holden as aforesaid, the same person so Proclaimed, shall not make appearance upon Record, and in open Sessions take and subscribe the said Oath, (which Oath the said Justices respectively are hereby impowred to administer) then upon such default being Recorded, such person so making default, shall be adjudged a Popish Recusant convict to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

Justices to send out Warrants four times yearly for presentments of persons suspected to be Papists.; Summons; Presentment at the next Quarter Sessions shall be delivered to be Recorded, and also the Warrant of summons.; Oath of the execution.; In default of appearance, a Proclamation.; Appearance next Quarter Sessions.; Defaulters to be adjudged Popish Recusants convict.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That four times in every year, viz. once in every Quarter, and Eight and twenty dayes at the least before the beginning of the Quarter Sessions of Peace, to be holden for any County, Division, Limit, or Liberty, the respective Justices of the Peace for such County Division, Limit or Liberty, or two or more of them, shall issue their Warrants to all the Constables and Church-wardens of every Parish, Chappel, Town, and Hamlet, within such their respective County, Division, Limit, and Liberty, requiring them, at a certain day and place to be mentioned in such Warrants, which day shall be at least fourteen dayes before such Quarter Sessions, to present, upon their Oaths, unto the said Justices, the names, sirnames, additions and places of abode, of all such persons, being of the age of sixteen years, as are suspected or reputed to be Papists or Popishly affected: And that upon every such Presentment upon Oath, (which Oath the said Justices are hereby impowred to administer) such Justices shall forthwith issue their Warrants to the Constables, thereby requiring them to summon every such person so presented, either by delivering unto every of them a Note in writing, or leaving the same at their dwelling House, or usual place of abode of such person so presented, to appear personally at the next Quarter Sessions to be holden for such County, Division, Limit, or Liberty respectively: And that at such next Quarter Sessions the said Justices of the Peace unto whom any such presentment shall be made, shall deliver every such presentment in open Sessions, to be Recorded; And all such Constables, unto whom any such Warrant of Summons shall be directed, shall likewise then and there, return such their respective Warrants, to be entered upon Record, and make Oath of the due execution thereof, which Oath the said Justices of Peace in their Quarter Sessions, are hereby impowred to administer: And if at such Quarter Sessions, such person so summoned as aforesaid, shall not make appearance upon Record, and in open Sessions take and subscribe tne said Oath, then the Justices shall in open Sessions make Proclamation, by which it shall be commanded, that every person so presented and summoned as aforesaid, shall personally appear at the next Quarter Sessions to be holden for the said County, Division, Limit, or Liberty respectively, then and there to take the said Oath: And if at such next Quarter Sessions to be holden as aforesaid, any such person so Proclaimed, shall not make appearance upon Record, and in open Sessions take and subscribe the said Oath, then upon such default Recorded, such person so making default, shall be adjudged a Popish Recusant convict, to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

Persons suspected, shall be bound over to the Sessions.; Refusers to be committed.; If such person make dafault at the next Quarter Sessions, he shall be adjudged convict.; Persons suspected and not found shall be presented.; Proclamation.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if the Justices of Peace within any County, Division, Limit, or Liberty, or any two or more of them, shall suspect any person, being of the age of sixteen years, to be a Papist, or Popishly affected, it shall be lawfull for such Justices by their Warrants, to send for, and to cause every such person so suspected, to become bound by Recognizance, in the sum of One hundred pounds, to appear at the next Quarter Sessions of the Peace, to be holden for the said County, Division, Limit, or Liberty respectively, then and there to subscribe the said Oath: and if such person so suspected shall refuse to become so bound, then it shall be lawfull unto such Justices, to commit such person so suspected, unto safe Custody, there to remain without Bail or Mainprise, until such next Quarter Sessions, to be holden as aforesaid: And if at such next Quarter Sessions, the same person so bound or imprisoned, shall not make appearance upon Record, and in open Sessions take and subscribe the said Oath, then upon such default Recorded, such person so making default, shall be adjudged a Popish Recusant convict to all intents and purposes whatsoever: And if such person so suspected, shall not upon any such Warrant be apprehended and brought before such Justices, to become bound by Recognizance as aforesaid, then such Justices shall and may, at the next Quarter Sessions, to be holden as aforesaid, present the names of every such person so by them suspected, and upon such presentment Recorded, the Justices shall in open Sessions, make Proclamation, by which it shall be commanded, That every such person so presented, shall, at the next Quarter Sessions, to be holden as aforesaid, make appearance upon Record, and then and there in open Sessions, take and subscribe the said Oath: And if at the then next Quarter Sessions, to be holden as aforesaid, the same person so Proclaimed, shall not make his appearance upon Record, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath, Then upon such default Recorded, such person so making default, shall be adjudged a Popish Recusant convict to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

Making default at the next Quarter Sessions, shall be adjudged convict.; Two parts of the Estate of persons convict, shall be seized by process out of the Exchequer.; Saving.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall be lawfull to his Highness the Lord Protector and his Successours, by Process out of the Court of Exchequer, To Seize, and take into his and their hands, to the use of the Commonwealth, Two parts, in three parts to be divided, of all the Debts, Goods and Chattels of every person any wayes so convict of Popish Recusancy as aforesaid; and also to seize and take into his or their hands two parts, in three parts to be divided, of all Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Leases, Farms, and Copy-hold Lands, whereof any such Popish Recusant convict, or any in trust for him or her, shall be Seized or Possessed at the time of such Conviction, or at any time after, and the same to possess and enjoy to the use of the Commonwealth, until such person so convict shall conform by taking the said Oath; saving to his Highness the Lord Protector and his Successours, and every person and persons, Bodies Politique and Corporate, their Heirs and Successours, (other then such persons so convict, and his, and her heirs, and all claiming to his, her, or their use, or in trust for him, her, or them) all and all manner of Leases, Rents, Conditions, and other Rights and Titles whatsoever, had, made, or done bona fide, and without fraud or covin before such conviction.

The Mansion house to be part of the third part.

Provided alwaies, That his said Highness the Lord Protector, or his Successours, shall not Seize, or take in to his or their two third parts, (but leave unto such person so convict) his or her Mansion house, as part of his or her third part.

Convictions shall be certified before the end of the next Term.; Entry in the Treasurers Romembrancers Office.; Schedules for Process.; Inquisition and Seizure Enrolled.; Discharges to be entred on Record, and certified to the Auditor.

And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every such conviction of any person for Popish Recusancy, shall, from the Justices before whom the Record of such conviction shall remain, be Estreated and Certified, unto his Highness Court of Exchequer, before the end of the term next ensuing such conviction, in such convenient certainty, for time and other Circumstances, that the said Court of Exchequer may thereupon award Process for Seizure of two third parts of all Lands, Tenements, Leases, Farms, Copy-hold Lands, Goods and Chattels of every person so convict as aforesaid. And that every such Certificate and Estreat, shall be entred upon the Docquet, in the Treasurers Remembrancers Office, and from thence to be delivered to the Clerk of the Extracts, and by him immediately to the Clerk of the Pipe, there to be Enrolled, and from thence returned to the said Clerk of the Extracts, to remain in safe custody for a Comptrol for his Highness service, according to the course of the Court of Exchequer: And that Schedules thereof be forthwith made from the said great Roll, for Process, to be thereupon issued by Commission, or otherwise, by the said Remembrancer, to enquire of and seize two third parts of all the Lands, Tenements, Goods and Chattels, of every such person so convict as aforesaid; And that upon return thereof, every inquisition and seizure shall be Enrolled in the Office of the said Remembrancer, and from thence charged in the said great Roll, and from thence forthwith scheduled and delivered unto the Auditors of the respective Counties, to the end his Highness may be duly answered upon accompt by his Receivers of such Counties, of all such two third parts of all such Lands, Tenements, Goods and Chattels; And that every discharge hereafter to be made by the said Court of Exchequer, of any Lands, Tenements, Goods or Chattels, so charged in the said great Roll, and from thence Scheduled and Delivered unto the said Auditors as aforesaid, shall be entred upon Record in the said great Roll, and be from thence certified unto every such respective Auditor as formerly.

Persons convicted taking the Oath shall be discharged.

Provided alwaies, and be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person convict of Popish Recusancy as aforesaid, shall at any time come before the Justices of Assize and Gaoldelivery, or before the Justices of the Peace in their Quarter Sessions for such County, Division, Limit, or liberty respectively, where such person was convict, and in open Session take and subscribe the said Oath, such Justices shall forthwith record such submission, & certifie the same into his Highness Court of Exchequer, and then upon such Certificate Recorded, such person so submitting and certified, shall be freed and discharged of and from all Seizures, Penalties and Losses, which the same person might otherwise sustain and bear, for, or by reason of such persons conviction for Popish Recusancy; And if any such person so convict as aforesaid, or any other person, whose Estate is now under Seizure, or Sequestration for Popish Recusancy, shall at any time come before the Barons of the Exchequer, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath, (which Oath the Barons are hereby impowred to administer) then upon such submission Recorded, the person so submitting shall forthwith be freed and discharged, of and from all Seizures, Sequestrations, Penalties and Losses, which the same person might otherwise sustain and bear, for, or by reason of such persons conviction or Sequestration for Popish Recusancy.

The heir of a Recusant convict being sixteen years old shall hold the estate, so as he take the Oath in the Term next after the death of his Ances or.; Otherwise onely from such time as he shal take the Oath.

Provided also, and be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person being so convict or Sequestred for Popish Recusancy as aforesaid, shall happen to dye, his or her Heir being of the full age of sixteen years, then such Heir shall from the decease of such person, quietly and peaceably have, hold, possess and enjoy the Estate of such person, and the Rents and Profits thereof, freed and discharged of and from all Seizures, Sequestrations, Penalties and Losses, which the same Heir might otherwise sustain and bear, for, or by reason of such his or her Ancestors Popish Recusancy; So that such Heir do or shall before the end of the Term, next after the decease of such Ancestors, come before the Barons of the Exchequer, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath; But if such Heir do not or shall not then come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid; Then such Heir shall have, hold, possess and enjoy such Estate, and the Rents and Profits thereof freed and discharged as aforesaid, from such time onely, as such Heir shall come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, and not before.

The heir undersixteen.; Guardian.; Security.

And if the Heir of any such person so convict or Sequestred for Popish Recusancy, shall happen to be within the Age of sixteen years, at the time of the death of such his or her Ancestors, then the Guardian or Guardians of such Heir, shall, from the decease of such Ancestor, be permitted quietly and peaceably to receive the Rents and Profits of such Estate; So that such Guardian and Guardians, being approved or appointed by the said Barons, do give Security in the said Court of Exchequer, to account once every year, before one of the Auditors of the said Court, for such Rents and Profits, over and above such yearly allowance for the education and maintenance of such Heir, as the said Barons shall appoint, and to pay the residue of such Rents and Profits, over and above such Allowances, unto such Heir; So that such Heir do, and shall before the end of the Term next after such Heir shall attain the full age of sixteen years, come before the said Barons of the Exchequer, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath; And if such Heir do not, or shall not then come before the said Barons, and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, then forthwith to pay the residue of such Rents and Profits into the receipt of the Exchequer, to the use of his Highness and the Commonwealth.

If the heir take the Oath by the time limited he shall have the Estate.; Default.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that if such Heir do or shall, before the end of such next Term, come before the said Barons, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath, then such Guardian and Guardians shall pay unto such Heir, such residue of the said Rents and Profits; And such Heir shall have, hold, possess and enjoy the same, and also the Estate of such his or her Ancestor, freed and discharged of and from all Seizures, Sequestrations, Penalties and Losses, which otherwise such Heir might sustain and bear, for, or by reason of such Ancestors Popish Recusancy. But if such Heir do not or shall not, before the end of such next Term, come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath, then such Guardian and Guardians shall forthwith pay the residue of such Rents and Profits into the receipt of the Exchequer, to the use of his Highness and the Commonwealth; And then such Heir shall have, hold, and possess and enjoy the Estate of such Ancestor, and the Rents and Profits thereof, freed and discharged as aforesaid, from such time onely, as such Heir shall come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath, and not before.

Conveyances for wife or children.; Wife and children shall take the Oath.; Wife or Childe within age.; Guardian.; Security.; If the wife or childe make default, the Guardian to pay the profits into the Exchequer.

Provided also, and be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person whose Estate now is, or hereafter shall be Seized or Sequestred for Popish Recusancy, hath given, conveyed, or any wayes setled, or shall hereafter give, convey, or any wayes settle, by Deed, Will, or otherwise, all or any part of such Estate so Seized or Sequestred as aforesaid, or any Rent, Sum of money or other profit, out of the same or any part thereof, to or for the use, benefit or behoof of the Wife, Childe or Children of any such person as shall happen to die, such Wife, Childe and Children respectively being of the full age of sixteen years, Then such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, shall, from the decease of such person, have, hold, possess, and enjoy the full benefit of such Gift, Conveyance, or other Setlement, freed and discharged, of and from all such Seizures, Sequestrations, Penalties and Losses, for or by reason of the Popish Recusancy of such person so dying, so that such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, do and shall before the end of the Term next after the decease of such person, come before the said Barons of the Exchequer, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath; But if such Wife, Childe, or Children respectively do not or shall not then come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, Then such Wife, Childe and Children shall have, hold, possess, and enjoy, the full benefit of such Gift, Conveyance or other Settlement, freed and discharged as aforesaid, from such time onely as such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, shall come before the said Barons and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, and not before; And if such Wife, Childe or Children shall happen to be within the age of sixteen years, at the time of the death of any such person, then the Guardian or Guardians, of such Wife, Childe or Children respectively, shall from the decease of such Person, be permitted to take the full benefit of such Gift, Conveyance, or other settlement, so that such Guardian and Guardians respectively, being approved or appointed by the said Barons, do give Security in the said Court of Exchequer, to accompt once every year, before one of the Auditors of the said Court, for all such Rents, Profits, or Sums of money, as such Guardian and Guardians respectively, shall or might any waies receive over and above such yearly allowances, as the Barons of the Exchequer shall appoint for the education and maintenance of any such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, and to pay the Residue of such Rents, Profits, and Sums of money, over and above such Allowances unto such Wife, Childe, and Children respectively, so that such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, do and shall, before the end of the Term next after such Wife, Childe and Children shall attain their respective Ages of sixteen years, come before the said Barons of the Exchequer, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath; But if such Wife. Childe and Children respectively, shall not then come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, then such Guardian & Guardians respectively, forthwith to pay the Residue of such Rents, Profits and Sums of money, into the Receipt of the Exchequer, to the use of His Highness the Lord Protector, and the Commonwealth.

Wife or childe taking the Oath.; Default.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, do and shall, before the end of such next Term, come before the said Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, then such Guardian and Guardians shall pay unto such Wife, Childe & Children respectively such Residue of the said Rents, Profits and Sums of money, and such Wife, Childe and Children shall have, hold, possess, and enjoy the same, and also the full benefit of such Gift, Conveyance, and other Settlement, Freed and Discharged of and from all Seizures, Sequestrations, Penalties and Losses, for or by reason of the Popish Recusancy of such Person so dying as aforesaid; But if such Wife, Childe or Children respectively, shall not then come before the Barons, and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, then such Guardian and Guardians shall pay such Residue of such Rents, Profits and Sums of money respectively, into the Receipt of the Exchequer to the use of His Highness the Lord Protector and the Commonwealth, and such Wife, Childe and Children shall have, hold, possess and enjoy the benefit of such Gift, Conveyance, or other Settlement, Freed and Discharged as aforesaid, from such time onely as such Wife, Childe and Children respectively, shall come before the said Barons, and take and Subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid, and not before.

Auditor to take Accompts from Guardians in the County.; Fees.

And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no such Guardian and Guardians shall, for the making of any such Accompt as aforesaid, be bound to attend any such Auditor at his Office or Dwelling house, But such Auditor, is hereby required to take such Accompt in his Circuit, in the County where such Estate doth lie, and not to receive any greater or other Fees for the same, then shall be appointed by the Commissioners of the Treasury for the time being, or any two or more of them, or by the Treasurer, Chancellor, or under Treasurer of the Exchequer for the time being, or any two or more of them.

Person marrying a Recusant convict shall be lyable to the like penalty till he take the Oath.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person being no Popish Recusant Convict, nor Sequestred for Popish Recusancy, shall marry or take to wife, any woman that he shall know to be a Popish Recusant Convict, then upon Information exhibited and proof thereof made in the Court of Exchequer, He shall be taken and adjudged a Popish Recusant Convict to all intents and purposes whatsoever, and shall be subjected and liable in his own particular Estate, real and personal, to such Seizures and Penalties, as any other Popish Recusant Convict, and shall continue so subject and liable, untill he shall come before the said Barons of the Exchequer, and in open Court take and subscribe the said Oath, and no longer.

No Certiorari to remove Presentments.; No Reversal for Errour.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Certiorari shall, upon any pretence or Suggestion whatsoever, be granted by the Court of Upper Bench, or by any other Court to remove any such presentment, or Conviction for Popish Recusancy as aforesaid, neither shall any such Presentment or Conviction, or any thing touching the same, be reversed for any Error, or any other matter or thing whatsoever, but every such Presentment and Conviction shall be and remain in good force, untill such Person be Convicted, or his or her Heirs shall submit and take and subscribe the said Oath as aforesaid.

Concealing Recusants estates.; Notice.; Penalty for not discovering.

Provided alwaies and be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons, shall knowingly hold, possess or own any Estate, Real or Personal, in trust for or to the use of any Recusant now under Sequestration, or which shall hereafter be Convicted, by Vertue of this Act, or shall knowing suffer, his, her or their name or names to be used in any Deed or Conveyance, for the concealing any such Estate which of right ought to be Seized or Sequestred to the use of His Highness the Lord Protector, and shall not within three moneths after notice given to him, or process left at his usual place of abode from the Lord Treasurer, or Lords Commissioners of His Highness Treasury, or Barons of the Exchequer, that he is Charged or Questioned for the concealing such trust or trusts, make discovery thereof, That then every such Person or Persons, shall forfeit for such his Concealment, to the value of the third part of such Estate so concealed, the one Moitie to His Highness the Lord Protector, and the other Moitie to the Informer, to be recovered in His Highness Court of Exchequer, by Bill or Information, wherein no Essoign, Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed.

Penalty on Justices for neglect.; Churchwardens.; Clerks of Assize and Peace.; One moyety to the poor, the other to the Informer.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if the Justices of Peace for any County, Division, Limit or Liberty or two or more of them, shall not, according to the true intent and meaning of this Act, issue their Warrants to all Churchwardens and Constables, requiring them to make their Presentments, as aforesaid, or shall not according to the true intent and meaning of this Act, issue their Warrants unto the Constables, to Summon such Persons so Presented, to make their appearance and take the said Oath aforesaid, or shall not deliver such Presentment at the next Quarter Sessions, as aforesaid, then every such Justice of Peace shall forfeit the sum of Twenty pounds; And if any such Churchwarden or Constable shall refuse or neglect to make such Presentment as aforesaid, then such Constables, for every such offence, shall forfeit the sum of Ten pounds; And if the Clerk of the Assize, or Clerk of the Peace, shall not duely record every such Presentment, Warrant of Summons, and the Execution thereof, and that without paying any Fees, they shall forfeit for every such offence the Sum of Twenty pounds, and that one Moitie of all Sums of Money, so as above, to be forfeited by any Justice of Peace, Churchwarden, Constable, Clerk of the Assize, or Clerk of the Peace respectively, shall be to the use of the Poor of such County, Division, Limit or Liberty respectively, where any such Sum of money shall be forfeited, and the other Moitie to such Person or Persons as shall sue for the same, in His Highness Court of Exchequer, by Bill or Information, wherein no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law shall be allowed.

Estates descending to Protestants.

Provided also, And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That where any Estate, that is or shall be Sequestred for the Recusancy of any Person, shall descend or come to any known Protestant, in such case He or Shee, to whom such Estate shall descend or come, shall repair to the Quarter Sessions of the Peace for that County, where He or She liveth, and there make it appear to the Court, That He or She is a Protestant, upon Certificate thereof, under the Hands and Seals of the Major part of the Justices there present, to the Barons of the Exchequer (the Claim and Title to such Estate being made to appear to the said Barons) Such Person or Persons shall have his Estate discharged without paying Fees, Any thing herein, or any other Law conteyned to the contrary notwithstanding.

No convicted person shall be admitted to take the Oath, unless he hath for six moneths before frequently on the Lords days attended the word in some allowed Assembly.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person or Persons that now is Sequestred or Convicted for Recusancy, or that at any time hereafter shall be Convicted for Recusancy, shall be admitted to take the aforesaid Oath of abjuration, unless such Person or Persons so Convicted, shall make it appear to the Justices of Peace, before whom such Oath of abjuration is to be taken, by the Testimony of Two sufficient witnesses, at the least, upon Oath, which said Oath, the said Justices have hereby power to Administer, That he or they have for six Moneths before that time, ordinarily and frequently upon the Lords days, repaired to some Church or Chappel, or to some Congregational and other Christian meeting, allowed by the Publique Authority of these Nations, And there hath heard the Word of God preached and taught.

Relapse.

Provided nevertheless, And it is hereby Enacted, That if any Person or Persons that is or shall be convicted for Recusancy, after such Oath taken, as is hereby directed, shall afterwards fall into Relapse, or become a Popish Recusant again, or be suspected to become a Popish Recusant again, and be thereof Presented and Convicted as aforesaid, That then every such Person or Persons shall lose all such Benefit, as He or Shee might otherwise, by vertue of this Act, have or enjoy by reason of His or Her taking the said Oath according to this present Act; and shall thereupon stand in such Plight, Condition and Degree, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as though such Oath had never been taken, untill He or Shee (upon due Summons and Proceedings in that behalf to be had) shall again take the said Oath in such manner as before by this present Act is Limited and Appointed.

Penalty for such as shall go to Mass in Ambassadors houses.

And it is hereby further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall not be Lawfull for any Subject of this Commonwealth, (other then the House-hold-Servants that shall come over with any Embassador or Agent) at any time to be present at Mass, at the House of any such Embassador or Agent, or any other place whatsoever, upon pain and penalty of One hundred pounds and Imprisonment, by the space of Six Moneths; The one Moity of the said forfeiture to be to the use of His Highness the Lord Protector and His Successors, and the other Moitie to the Informer; to be recovered by Action, Bill, Plaint, Suit or Information in any Court of Record, in which no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law shall be allowed.