Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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1 E. III. st. 2. c. 1. recited.
The Reasons for passing this Act.; What shall be the Metes and Bounds of Forests.; Presentments, &c. since 20 Jac. 1. contrary hereunto shall be void.
Whereas by Act of Parliament made in the first yeare of the Reign of the late King Edward the third it is ordained That the old Perambulation of the Forrest in the time of King Edward the first should be thenceforth holden in like forme as it was then ridden and bounded and in such places where it was not bounden the King would that it should be bounded by good Men and lawfull And whereas for many Ages past certaine Meets Meeres Limits and Bounds of the Forrests have beene commonly knowne & observed in the severall Counties wherein the said Forrests lie. And whereas of late divers Presentments have beene made and some Judgements given whereby the Meetes Meers Limits and Bounds of some of the said Forrests have beene variously extended or pretended to extend beyond some of the said Meets Meers Limits and Bounds so commonly known and formerly observed to the great greivance and vexation of many persons having Lands adjoyning to the said Meetes Meers Limits and Bounds so comonly knowne and formerly observed And whereas of late time some Endeavours or Pretentes have beene to set on foot Forrests in some parts of this Realme and the Dominion of Wales where in truth none have been or ought to bee or at least have not been used of long time For remedy thereof May it please your most Excellent Majestie that ( (fn. 1) ) be declared and Enacted by Authority of Parliament And be it declared and Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That from henceforth the Meets Meers Limits and Bounds of all and every the Forrests respectively shall be to all intents and purposes taken adjudged and deemed to extend no further respectively then the Meets Meeres Limits & Bounds which in the severall Counties respectively wherein the said Forrests doe lie were co[m]monly known reputed used or taken to be the Meets Meers Limits and Bounds of the said Forrests respectively in the twentieth yeare of the Reigne of our late Soveraigne Lord King James and not beyond in any wise any Perambulation or Perambulations Presentments Extents Surveys Judgments Records Decrees or other matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding And that all and every the Presentments since the said twentieth yeare made and all and every other Presentment and Presentments and all and every Judgement and award upon or by reason or pretext of any such Presentment or Presentments and all and every Perambulation & Perambulations Surveys Extents and other Act and Acts at any time heretofore had or made by which the Meets Meers Limits or Bounds of the said Forrests or any of them are or are pretended to be further extended then as aforesaid And alsoe all and every Presentment of any person or persons at any Justice seat Swainemote or Court of Attachments for or by reason or by colour of any Act or Acts whatsoever done or committed in any place without or beyond the said Meets Meers Limits or Bounds respectively so comonly knowne reputed used or taken as aforesaid and all and every Fine and Fines and Amercement and Amercements upon by reason or colour of any such Presentment or Presentments shall from henceforth be adjudged deemed and taken to be utterly void and of no force or effect Any Law Statute Record or pretence whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding
II. No Place where no Justice Seat, Swainemote, Court of Attachment, &c.
hath been within 60 Years, before 1 Car. I. shall be accounted Forest.
And be it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That no place or places within this Realm of England or Dominion of Wales where no such Justice seat Swainemote or Court of Attachment have been held or kept or where no Verderers have been chosen or regard made within the space of sixtie yeares next before the first yeare of his Majesties Reigne that now is shall be at any time hereafter judged deemed or taken or taken to be Forrest or within the bounds or meets of the Forrests But the same shall be from henceforth for ever hereafter disafforrested and freed and exempted from the Forrests Laws Any Justice seat Swainemote or Court of Attachment held or kept within or for any such place or places at any time or times since the begining of his Majesties said Reigne or any presentment enquiry Act or thing heretofore made or hereafter to be made or done to the contrary notwithstanding
III. For ascertaining of Metes, &c.
Commissions under the Great Seal shall be issued.; Inquest on Oath of Witnesses.; Inquests to be returned into Chancery.; Commissioners may proceed without Officers.
Provided also and be it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That for the better putting into certaintie all and every the Meetes Meeres Bounds and Limits of all and every the Forrests as aforesaid the Lord Chancellour or Lord Keeper of the great Seale of England for the time being shall by vertue of this Act upon request of any of the Peers of this Kingdome or of the Knights and Burgesses of the Parliament or any of them grant severall Commissions under the great Seale of England to Commissioners to be nominated respectively by the said Peers Knights and Burgesses or any of them to enquire of and find out by Inquests of good and lawfull men upon Oath and by the Oathes of Witnesses to bee produced at the said Inquests and by all other lawfull meanes all and every the Meeres Meetes Bounds and Limits of the Forrests respectively which were commonly known to be their Meers Meets Bounds and Limits respectively in the said twentieth yeare of the Reigne of our late Soveraigne Lord King James And to return the Inquests so taken into the Court of Chancerie and that all and every the Sheriffes and Bayliffes of and in everie Countie wherein any such Inquests shall be soe to be taken And all and every the Verderers Forresters Rangers and other Officers of the Forrests respectively where any such Officers be shall be assistant and attendant to the executions of the said Commissions according as by vertue of the said Commissions respectively they shall be commanded And where no such Officers are or where such Officers be if they or any of them shall refuse or neglect such assistance and attendance as aforesaid Then the said Commissioners shall and may proceed without them in the execution of the said Commissions
IV. Forests shall not extend beyond the Metes, &c. so returned.
Places not having Metes, &c. declared free.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Forrests whereof the Meets Meers Limits and Bounds shall be so returned and certified by vertue of any the said Commissions as aforesaid from thenceforth shall not extend nor be extended nor be deemed adjudged or taken to extend any further in any wise then the Meets Meeres Limits and Bounds that shall be so returned and certified And that all the places and Territories that shall be without the Meets Meers Limits and Bounds so returned and certified shall be and are hereby declared to be from thenceforth free to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been Forrest or so reputed Any Act or Acts matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary there of notwithstanding
V. Grounds disafforested shall be excluded out of Returns of Metes, &c.
Provided and be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every the grounds Territories or places which have beene or are Deafforrested or mentioned to be Deafforrested in or by any Letters Patents Charters or otherwise since the said twentieth yeare of the Reign of our said late Soveraign Lord King James shall be excluded and left out of the Meets Meers Limits and Bounds of the Forrests which are to bee enquired of returned and certified by vertue of the said Commissions or any of them respectively And shall be and hereby are declared and Enacted to be utterly Deafforrested free and exempt to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been at all Forrest or so reputed Any thing in this present Act contained or any other Act matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding
VI. Tenants, Owners, &c. of Lands excluded, shall enjoy their ancient Common, &c.
Provided neverthelesse and be it Enacted That the Tenants Owners and Occupiers and every of them of Lands and Tenements which shall be excluded and left out of the Meetes Meeres Limits or Bounds of the Forrests to be returned and certified by vertue of any the said Commissions shall or may use and enjoye such Common and other proffits and easements within the Forrests as anciently or accustomably they have used and enjoyed Any thing in this present Act contained or any Act or Ordinance made in the three and thirtieth yeare of King Edward the first or any Custome or Law of the Forrest or any other matter or thing to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.