Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital of Benefits arising from the Fishery; and that many destructive Abuses had crept in.
WHEREAS the publique honour wealth and safety of this Realm as well in the maintenance of Trade and support of Navigation as in many other respects doth in an high degree depend upon the Improvement and Incouragement of the Fishery And forasmuch as of late yeares there have divers pernicious disorders and abuses by the licenciousnes of the times crept in and yet continue evidently distructive to that Trade for prevention and redresse whereof there is no Law hitherto particularly provided in the growing evils occasioned by Driving Nets and other fraudulent and injurious practises to the extreme damage of the Fishery Be it therefore enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons in Parliament assembled and it is enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the Five and twentieth day of May One thousand six hundred sixty and two no person or persons shall in any yeare from the First day of June till the last of November presume to take Fish in the High Sea or in any Bay Port Creeke or Coast of or belonging to Cornwall or Devon with any Drift Net Trammel or Stream Net or Nets or any other Nets of that sort or kind unlesse it be at the distance of one League and an halfe at least from the respective shores upon the penalty of forfeiture of the said Nets so imployed or the full value thereof and one moneths Imprisonment without bail or mainprize.
II. Persons not concerned in the Craft of Fishery not to make Pilchards, &c. in
And it is hereby enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any person or persons being neither Owners Partners or Adventurers in the Craft of Fishery and in the Boates and Saynes thereunto belonging shall presume from and after the day before limited to make or cause to be made any Pilchards or Fumathoes in Cask to be sold or transported except he or they shall openly buy the aforesaid Fish of the respective Owners Partners and [Adventures (fn. 1)] in the said Pilchard Craft or with theire expresse allowance leave and consent that they shall in such case forfeit all and singuler such Pilchards and Fumathoes so made and every Cask thereof or theire full value the one halfe to the King and the other halfe to him or them that shall soe sue for the same by Bill Plaint or other Information and upon legal proof recover the same.
III. Purloining, &c. Pilchards out of the Nets, &c.
And be it further enacted That if any Owner Partner or Company or any other person or persons whatsoever shall fraudulently purloyne imbezile hide convey carry away or dispose by sale or otherwise or cause to bee purloyned imbezilled hidden conveyed carryed away or disposed out of the Nets Boats or Cellars any Pilchard Fish without the expresse leave consent and allowance of the proper Owners and major part of the Company respectively that then every such person and persons that shall offend therein upon legal evidence shall pay treble the value in satisfaction to the parties so wronged and be sent to the House of Correction for three Monthes
IV. Suspicious Persons, about Boats, &c. not departing on Warning;
And bee it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any idle or suspitious person or persons shall in the night assemble and flock togeather about the Boats Nets or Sellars belonging to any Pilchard Craft upon any of the Coasts of Cornwall or Devon having no busines there to do and being warned by the Company or Owner of such Boats or Sellars to be gone that then upon complaint made unto any one Justice of the Peace every such person or persons refusing so to do shall pay five shillings to the poore of the Parish where such offence was committed or shall be set in the Stocks for the space of Five houres.