Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Rectial of the increase of the poor, and that the same arises from Defect in the poor Lwas and want of Employment
Whereas the necessity number and continual increase of the Poore not onely within the Cities of London and Westminster with the Liberties of each of them but alsoe through the whole Kingdome of England and Dominion of Wales is very great and exceeding burthensome being occasioned by reason of some defects in the Law concerning the setling of the Poor and for want of a due Provision of the regulations of releife and imployment in such Parishes or Places where they are legally setled which doth enforce many to turn incorrigible Rogues and others to perish for want togeather with the neglect of the faithfull execution of such Lawes & Statutes as have formerly beene made for the apprehending of Rogues and Vagabonds and for the good of the Poore For remedy whereof and for the preventing the perishing of any of the Poore whether young or old for want of such supplies as are necessary May it please your most Excellent Majestie that it may be enacted and be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That whereas by reason of some defects in the Law poore people are not restrained from going from one Parish to another and therefore doe endeavor to settle themselves in those Parishes where there is the best Stocke the largest Commons or Wastes to build Cottages and the most Woods for them to burn and destroy and when they have consumed it then to another Parish and att last become Rogues and Vagabonds to the great discouragem[en]t. of Parishes to provide Stocks where it is lyable to be devoured by Strangers Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull upon complaint made by the Churchwardens or Overseers of the Poore of any Parish to any Justice of Peace within Forty dayes after any such Person or Persons coming so to settle as aforesaid in any Tenement under the yearely value of Ten pounds for any two Justices of the Peace whereof one to be of the Quo§ of the Division where any person or persons that are likely to be chargeable to the Parish shall come to inhabitt by theire warrant to remove and convey such person or persons to such Parish where he or they were last legally setled either as a native Householder Sojourner Apprentice or Servant for the space of forty dayes at the least unlesse he or they give sufficient security for the discharge of the said Parish to bee allowed by the said Justices
II. Proviso for Appeal.
[Provided alwaies that all such persons who thinke themselves agreived by any such Judgement of the said two Justices may appeal to the Justices of the Peace of the said County att theire next Quarter Sessions whoe are hereby required to doe them justice according to the merits of theire Cause
III. Proviso for Persons going into other Parishes to work in Time of Harvest with Certificate of Minister, &c.
Such Work not to gain a Settlement, but Persons may be removed back again.; Persons refusing to go back, &c.; Punishment.; Churchwardens, &c. of Parish to which such Persons removed, refusing to receive them, &c. may be indicted.
Provided alsoe that (this Act notwithstanding) it shall and may be lawfull for any person or persons to go into any County Parish or place to worke in time of Harvest or at any time to worke at any other worke so that he or they carry with him or them a Certificate from the Minister of the Parish and one of the Churchwardens and one of the Overseers for the Poore for the said Yeare that hee or they have a dwelling house or place in which he or they inhabit and hath left Wife and Children or some of them there (or otherwise as the condition of the person shall require) and is declared an Ińhabitant or Inhabitants there And in such case if the person or persons shall not returne to the place aforesaid when his or theire worke is finished or shall fall sicke or impotent whilst he or they are in the said worke it shall not bee accounted a Setlement in the cases abovesaid but that it shall and may be lawfull for twoe Justices of the Peace to convey the said person or persons to the place of his or theire Habitation as aforesaid under the paines and penalties in this act prescribed (fn. 1)] And if such person or persons shall refuse to go or shall not remain in such Parish where they ought to be setled as aforesaid but shall return of his own accord to the Parish from whence he was removed it shall be lawfull for any Justice of the Peace of the Citty County or Towne Corporate where the said Offence shall be committed to send such person or persons offending to the House of correction there to be punished as a Vagabond or to a publique Workehouse in this present act hereafter mentioned there to be imployed in worke or labour And if the Church wardens and Overseers of the Poore of the Parish to which he or they shall be removed refuse to receive such person or persons and to provide worke for them as other Inhabitants of the Parish any Justice of [the (fn. 2)] Peace of that Division may and shall thereupon bind any such Officer or Officers in whom there shall be default to the Assizes or Sessions there to be indicted for his or theire Contempt in that behalfe
IV. Corporations and Workhouses to be within the Bills of Mortality.
And for the further redresse of the mischeifs intended to be hereby remedied Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from thenceforth there be & shall be one or more Corporation or Corporations Workehouse or Workehouses within the Cities of London and Westminster and within the Burroughs Towns and places of the County of Middlesex and Surrey scituate lying and being within the Parishes mentioned in the weekely Bills of Mortality consisting of a President ( (fn. 3)) a Deputy to the President a Treasurer And that the Lord Maior of the City of London for the time being be President of the Corporation or Corporations Workehouse or Workehouses within the said City and the Assistants to be the Aldermen of the said City of London for the time being and fifty two other Citizens to be chosen by the Common Council of the said City And that the said President and Assistants or the major part of them shall and may elect a Deputy President and Treasurer and all other necessary Officers hereby constituted and authorized to execute the powers and Offices by this act appointed And that upon the vacancy by death or otherwise of any Assistant the power to elect in theire roomes be in the said Common Council and the Election of the Deputy President or Treasurer and all other Officers in the said President and major part of the Assistants as aforesaid And that a President a Deputy President a Treasurer and Assistants be nominated and appointed by the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England for the time being out of the most fitt persons inhabiting in the Citie of Westminster or the Liberties thereof for the Corporation or Corporations Workhouse or Workhouses within the same
V. Regulations of the like Nature for Workhouses within the Bills of Mortality.
Quarter Sessions to require Accounts of Receipts and Payments of Officers;; and of the State of the Workhouses.; President, &c. to have Succession; how to be sued.; May purchase Lands not exceeding £ 3000 per Annum;; may take Gifts of Personal Estate;; may meet and keep Courts, &c.; and may appoint a Common Seal.
And for the said places within the weekely Bills of Mortality in the said Counties of Middlesex and Surrey respectively there shall be elected and chosen by the major part of the Justices of the Peace for the said Còunties in theire respective Quarter Sessions assembled out of the most able and honest Inhabitants and Freeholders of every of the said Counties of Middlesex and Surrey respectively a President a Deputy President a Treasurer and Assistants for the Corporation or Corporations Workhouse or Workhouses of the places aforesaid in Middlesex and Surrey And that upon the vacancy by death or otherwise of any [of (fn. 4)] the Presidents Deputy Presidents Treasurers or Assistants in the City of Westminster and places aforesaid in Middlesex and Surrey the power to elect others in theire roomes be in the major part of the respective Justices of Peace who in theire General Quarter Sessions from time to time shall accordingly supply such vacant places And that at every Quarter Sessions they shall require and take an account in writing of all the Receipts Charges and Disbursements of the Officers and Treasurer of such Corporac[i]on or Corporac[i]ons Workhouse or Workhouses how and how many Poore people have beene imployed and set to worke in the yeare last past and what stock there was and is remaining which President Deputy President and Treasurer for the time being respectively shall for ever hereafter in name and fact be Bodies Politique & Corporate in Law to all intents and purposes and shall have a perpetual Succession and may sue or plead or be sued and impleaded by the Name of the President and Governours for the Poore of the respective places aforementioned in all Courts and Places of Judicature within this Kingdome and the Dominion of Wales and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed And by that Name every of the said Corporations shall and may without License in Mortmain purchase or receive any Lands Tenements or Hereditaments not exceeding the yearely value of Three thousand pounds per annu[m] of the Gift Alienation or Devise of any person or persons who are hereby without further License enabled to give the same and any Goods Chattels or su[m]ms of money whatsoever to the use intent and purposes hereafter limited and appointed And the each respective Corporation or any Seaven of them shall have hereby Power and Authority from time to time to meet and keepe Courts for the ends and purposes in this act expressed at such time and place as shall be appointed by the said President his Deputy or the Treasurer who are hereby required upon the desire of any foure of the said Corporation at any time to cause a Court to be warned accordingly And shall have hereby Aoverbar said Corporation
VI. President and Governors may apprehend Rogues and Vagabonds, and set them to work.
And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said President and Governours of the said Corporations for the time being or any two of them or to or for any person authorized and appointed by them or any two of them from time to time to apprehend or cause to be apprehended any Rogues Vagrants Sturdy Beggars or idle or disorderly persons within the said Cities and Liberties Places Divisions and Precincts and to cause them to be kept and set to worke in the several and respective Corporations or Workhouses And it shall and may be lawfull for the major part of the Justices of Peace in theire Quarter Sessions to signify unto His Majesties Privy Councell the names of such Rogues Vagabonds idle and disorderly persons and study Beggars as they shall thinke fitt to be transported to the English Plantations and upon the approbation of His Majesties Privy Council to the said [Justices of Peace signified which persons shall be transported it shall and may be lawfull for any two or more of the Justices of the Peace them to transporte or cause to be transported from time to time during the space of three yeares next ensuing the end of this present Session of Parliament (fn. 5)] to any of the English Plantations beyond the Seas there to be disposed in the usual way of Servants for a terme not exceeding seaven yeares
VII. If President and Governors signify to Common Council, Quarter Sessions, &c. the Want of Money, &c. Common Council, Quarter Sessions, &c. may ascertain the Amount;
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if the President & Governours of any of the said Corporations shall certifie under theire co[m]mon Seale theire want and defect either of a present stocke for the foundation of the Worke or for supply thereof for the future and what su[m]m or su[m]ms of money they shall thinke fitt for the same to the Co[m]mon Council of the said City of London and the Burgesses and Justices of Peace in theire Quarter Sessions of the said City of Westminster and the Liberties thereof or the Justices of the respective Counties of Middlesex and Surrey assembled in either Quarter Sessions that thereupon the Co[m]mon Council of the said City of London the Burgesses of the said City of Westminster and the Justices of Peace of the said Cities and Counties in theire Quarter Sessions assembled are hereby required from time to time to set down and ascertain such competent su[m]m and su[m]ms of money for the purposes aforesaid not exceeding one yeares Rate from time to time usually set upon any person for or towards the releife of the Poore and the same to proportion out upon the several Wards Precincts Counties Divisions Hundreds and Parishes as they shall thinke fit And thereupon the Aldermen Deputies and Comon Council men of every Ward in the Cityes of London and Burgesses and Justices of the Peace of the City of Westminster and the Liberties thereof and Justices of the Peace of the said Counties of Middlesex and Surrey shall have Power and Authority and are hereby required equally and indifferently according to the proportions appointed as aforesaid for the several Wards Precincts Cities and Parishes as aforesaid to tax and rate the several Inhabitants within the said respective Wards Precincts and Parishes as well within Liberties as without with which Tax if any person or persons find him or themselves aggreived supposeing the same to be unequal he or they shall and may make theire complaint knowne to the Justices of the Peace at the next open Sessions who shall take such final order therein as in like cases is already by the Law provided
VIII. Any Alderman of London, or Two Justices in Westminster, &c. may authorize Churchwardens, &c. to receive Assessments;
And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Alderman of the City of London or his Deputy or the Burgesses and Justices of Peace of the City of Westminster and the Liberties thereof or any two or more of them or any two Justices of Peace of the respective Counties of Middlesex and Surrey by theire Warrant under theire Hands and Seales to authorize the Church wardens or Overseers for the Poore within the Places and Parishes aforesaid to demand gather and receive of every person and persons such su[m]m and su[m]ms of money as shall be assessed upon them by vertue of the Taxations and Contributions aforesaid And for default of payment within ten dayes after demand thereof made or notice in writing left att the dwelling House or Lodging of every person so assessed to levy the same by Distresse and Sale of the goods of every such person and after satisfaction made to restore the surplusage to the party so distrained
IX. The Stock for Employment of the Poor in the Hands of a former Corporation in London to be paid to Treasurer of Corporation under this act, who is empowered to recover the same, &c.
And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Stocks raised for the releife and imployment of the Poor in the City of London and Liberty thereof which was in the hands of a Corporation heretofore appointed in the said City for that service or in the hands of any other person or persons whatsoever before the nine & twentieth day of September which was in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and sixty comonly called the Feast of St. Michael the Archangell or at any time since togeather with all the Arreares of money formerly allotted for that Service or Legacies given to the same end shall be payable to the Treasurer of the Corporation or Corporations Workhouse or Workehouses to be established by this present act who are hereby authorized and impowred by themselves or theire Officers thereunto by them deputed to collect gather receive and recover the said money and Legacies which shall be due and in arreare as aforesaid with which said Arrears and every part and parcell thereof the Corporation or Corporations aforesaid by this act made constituted and established is and shall be hereby invested and interessed for the execution of the service hereby enjoyned them And all those that have had or now have any of the said Stocks in their or any of theire hands shall be accomptable to the said Treasurer or to those that shall be appointed by the said Corporation or Corporations or any Seven or more [of (fn. 6)] them to take the said account
X. Allowances to such former Corporation.
Provided alwaies and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That there shall be a full allowance of all just and necessary expences which have beene laid out by the said former Corporation for the releife of the said Poor and the carrying on of the said Service since the time before expressed
XI. President and Governors may make By-Laws, &c.
And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the respective President and Governours or any Seven of them shall have power from time to time to make and constitute Orders and By-lawes for the better releiving regulating and setling the Poore to worke and the apprehending and punishing of Rogues Vagabonds and Beggars within the Cities Liberties and Places aforesaid that have not where with to maintaine themselves and for other the matters aforesaid
XII. To be presented to Quarter Sessions.
Provided the said Orders and By-lawes shall from time to time be presented to the Justices of Peace in theire Quarter Sessions assembled to be allowed by the major part of them and confirmed by order of the said Court
XIII. President and Governors may choose Officers, and make them Allowances.
And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the President and Governours of any the said Corporation or Corporations Workhouse or Workhouses or any fourteene or more of them being assembled togeather shall have hereby power to choose and entertaine all such Officers and others as shall be needfull to be imployed in and about the p[re]misses and them or any of them from time to time to remove as they shall see cause and upon the death or removal of them or any of them to choose others in theire places for the carrying on of the Worke and to make and give such reasonable allowances unto them or any of them out of the Stock and Revenue belonging to the said Corporation or Workhouse as they shall thinke fitt
XIV. Sheriffs, &c. to be aiding Corporations.
And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Sheriffs Bailiffs Constables and all other Officers and Ministers of Justice shall be aiding and assisting to the said Corporation or Corporations and to all such Officers as shall be imployed by them or any of them in the execution or performance of the said Service
XV. Recital of Mischief from Want of Officers.
And whereas the Lawes and Statutes for the apprehending of Rogues and Vagabonds have not been duly executed sometimes for want of Officers by reason Lords of Mannors doe not keepe Court Leets every yeare for the making of them Bee it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That in case any Constable Headborough or Tithingmen shall die or goe out of the Parish any two Justices of the Peace may make and sweare a new Constable Headborough or Tithingman untill the said Lord shall hold a Court or until next Quarter Sessions who shall approve of the said Officers so made and sworn as aforesaid or appoint others as they shall thinke fitt And if any Officer shall continue above a yeare in his or theire Office that then in such case the Justices of Peace in theire Quarter Sessions may discharge such Officers and may put another fit person in his or theire place until the Lord of the said Mannor shall hold a Court as aforesaid
XVI. Recital that 39 Eliz. c. 4. and 1 Jac. I. c. 7. are not duly executed.
Justice may reward Persons apprehending Rogues and Vagabonds:; 2s. for every Apprehension.; Constable, &c. refusing, &c. to pay.; Proceedings for Penalty under 1 Jac. I. c. 7. and the 2s. paid thereout.
And whereas for want of some encouragement to such person or persons as shall apprehend Rogues Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars the Statutes made in the nine and thirtieth yeare of Queene Elizabeth and first yeare of King James in which Statutes the Constable Headborough or Tithingman of every Parish that shall not apprehend such Rogues Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars which shall passe through or be found in theire said Parish unapprehended such Constable Headborough or Tithingman shall forfeit as in the said Statutes is expressed are not duely executed Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Justice of Peace to whom any Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggars soe apprehended shall be brought to reward any person or persons that shall apprehend any Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggar by granting unto such person or persons an Order or Warrant under his Hand and Seale to the Constable Headborough or Tithingman of such Parish where such Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggar passed through unapprehended requiring him to pay such person or persons the su[m]m of Twoe shillings for every Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggar which shall be soe apprehended And if such Constable Headborough or Tithingmen refuse or neglect to pay the Twoe shillings as aforesaid that then the said Justices of [the (fn. 7)] Peace or any other Justice or Justices of Peace shall proceed against any such Constable Headborough or Tithing man according to the said Statutes and to compell him to pay such su[m]m of money as he hath forfeited by the Statute of the First Yeare of King James aforesaid and to allow out of the said Forfeiture the said Two shillings and such reasonable meanes and allowance for losse of time as they shall thinke fitt
XVII. Proviso for Persons apprehending Rogues, &c. on the Confines of any County, who had passed through any Parish of another County unapprehended.
And if any person or persons shall apprehend any Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggar att the Confines of any County which passed through any Parish of another County unapprehended it shall be lawfull for such person or persons to goe to some Justice of Peace of that County through which such Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggar passed unapprehended whoe is hereby required (upon a Certificate under the Hand of some Justice of Peace of the County where such Rogue Vagabond or Sturdy Beggar was so apprehended) to grant his Order or Warrant under his Hand and Seale requiring the said Constable Headborough or Tithingman to pay unto such person or persons as aforesaid the su[m]m of Two shillings which if he shall refuse or neglect to doe then such Justice is hereby required to proceed against such Constable Headborough or Tithingman and to cause him to pay Ten shillings or soe much thereof for his Expences and losse of time as the said Justice of Peace shall thinke fitt to such person or persons which he hath forfeited by the Statute aforesaid made in the Nine and thirtieth Yeare of the Queene
XVIII. Constables, &c. may make Rate to reimburse themselves;
And whereas Constables Headboroughs or Tithingmen are or may bee att great charge in releiving conveying with Passes and in carrying Rogues Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars to Houses of correction or the Work-houses herein mentioned and as yet have no power by Law to make Rates to reimburse themselves Bee it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Constables Headboroughs and Tithingmen so out of purse as aforesaid togeather with the Church wardens and Overseers of the Poore and other Inhabitants of the said Parish shall hereby have power and authority to make an indifferent Rate and to tax all the Occupiers of Lands and Inhabitants and all other persons chargeable by the Statute of the [Three and fourtieth (fn. 8)] of Elizabeth concerning the Office and Duty of Overseers for the Poore within the said Parish which Rate being confirmed under the Hands and Seales of any Two Justices of Peace as aforesaid the said Constable Headborough or Tithing men shall have power by warrant under the Hands and Seals of Two Justices of Peace to levy by distresse and Sale of the Goods of any person or persons refusing to pay the same rendring the Overplus to the Owner if any shall be
XIX. Churchwardens, &c. may seize Goods and Chattels of putative Fathers and of Mothers deserting, to support Bastard Child.
And whereas the putative Fathers and lewd Mothers of Bastard Children run away out of the Parish and sometimes out of the County and leave the said Bastard Children upon the charge of the Parish where they are borne although such putative Father and Mother have Estates sufficient to discharge such Parish Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull for the Church wardens and Overseers for the Poore of such Parish where any Bastard Child shall be borne to take and seize so much of the Goods and Chattels and to receive so much of the annual rents or proffits of the Lands of such putative Father or lewd Mother as shall be ordered by any Two Justices of Peace as aforesaid for or towards the Discharge of the Parish to be confirmed att the Sessions for the bringing up and providing for such Bastard Child And thereupon it shall be lawfull for the Sessions to make an Order for the Church wardens or Overseers for the Poore of such Parish to dispose of the Goods by Sale or otherwise or so much of them for the purposes aforesaid as the Court shall thinke fitt and to receive the rents and proffitts or so much of them as shall be ordered by the Sessions as aforesaid of his or her Lands
XX. In Actions for executing act, General Issue Treble Damages.
And if any person or persons shall bee sued for any matter or thing which he shall doe in execution of this act he may plead the general issue and give the special matter in Evidence And if the Verdict shall passe for the Defendant or if the Plaintiff bee nonsuited or discontinue his Suit the Defendant shall recover treble Damages.
XXI. Recital that certain Counties are unable to reap the Benefit of 43 Eliz. c. 2.
Whereas the Inhabitants of the Counties of Lancashire Cheshire Derbyshire Yorkshire Northumberland the Bishoprick of Durham Cumberland and Westmerland and many other Counties in England and Wales by reason of the largenes of the Parishes within the same have not nor cannot reape the [ (fn. 9)] of the act of Parliament made in the three and fortieth yeare of the Reigne of the late Queene Elizabeth for releife of the Poore Therefore be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every the poore needy impotent and lame person and persons within every Township or Village within the severall Counties aforesaid shall from and after the passing of this act be maintained kept provided for and sett on worke within the several and respective Towneship and Village wherein he shee or they shall inhabit or wherein he she or they was or were last lawfully setled according to the intent and meaning of this act and that there shall be yearely chosen and appointed according to the rules and directions in the said act of the three & fortieth yeare of Queene Elizabeth mentioned twoe or more Overseers of the Poore within every of the said Townships or Villages who shall from time to time do performe [& (fn. 10)] execute all and every the acts Powers and Authorities for the necessary releiffe of the Poore within the said Township or Village and shall lose forfeit and suffer all such paines and penalties for Non performance thereof as is limited mentioned and appointed in and by the said in-part-recited act
XXII. Proviso for the Power of Justices in such Counties to raise Money, &c. in such Townships and Villages.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Justices of Peace within the said Counties shall have and enjoye such and the like Powers & Authorities to raise and levy moneys and to do and execute all and every such other act and thing whatsoever within every Township or Village within the said County where they are Justices as is given limited and appointed unto and for them to do and execute within any Parish or Parishes in and by the said act made in the said three and fortieth yeare of the said late Queene Elizabeth under such and the like paines and penalties for the Non-performance of theire Duties to be levied and disposed of as is nominated and expressed in the said act
XXIII. Quarter Sessions may transport incorrigible Rogues and Vagabonds.
Provided alwaies and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull for the Justices of Peace in any of the Counties of England and Wales in theire Quarter Sessions assembled or the major part of them to transport or cause to be transported such Rogues Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars as shall be duly convicted and adjudged to be incorrigible to any of the English Plantac[i]ons beyond the Seas
XXIV. Proviso for Dean and Chapter of Westminster.
Provided alsoe That neither this act nor any thing therein contained shall extend to be or be construed expounded or taken to the prejudice or infringement of any the franchises rights liberties or priviledges heretofore granted by the Kings and Queenes of this Realme His Majesties Royal Predecessors to the Dean and Chapter of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster
XXV. Continuance of act except as to the aforesaid Corporations.
Provided alwaies That this act as to all the matters therein contained (excepting what relates unto the Côrporations mentioned and constituted thereby) shall extend and be in force untill the [nine and twentieth (fn. 11)] day of May One thousand six hundred sixty five and the end of the First Session of the next Parliam[en]t then next ensuing and no longer