Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital that divers Disturbances often happen about His Majefty's Offices, Yards, and Stores:
Whereas diverse fightings quarrellings and disturbances doe often happen in and about his Majestyes Offices Yards and Stores for his Majestyes Royall Navy and frequent differences and disorders are occasioned in the Office of his Majestyes Treasury of the Navy on Pay dayes in London Portsmouth and other places of meeting for the Service of the said Navy, and that either by the unreasonable turbulency of Seamen and others attending on or relateing to that Service or their Creditors or by the rudenes of the Officers intrusted with his Majestyes Stores on Land, or in his Royall Shipps when they are questioned by the principall Officers and Co[m]missioners of the said Navy either for negclect or imbezilment of his Majestyes Provisions [Ammunitions (fn. 1)] or other Equipage of the Navy under their charge, And that not onely to the disturbance of the Peace but sometimes to the danger and hindrance of his Majestyes Service both in point of husbanding his Majestyes Revenue and alsoe in dispatch of the Shipps on which the Honour and Safety of his Majestie and [the (fn. 2)] Kingdome soe much depends Which Inconveniences required a speedier Remedy than the ordinary attendance on the Sessions of the Peace can give, the partyes accused or offending being many times bound to Sea, And the principall Officers and Co[m]mmissioners for want of authoritie to suppresse such Insolencies and determine such Cases being necessitated to passe by many offences in which his Majestie might be righted if their necessary attendance on that important Service would permitt the prosecution of the Offenders before other ordinary Judicatures Bee it therefore enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in Parlyament assembled and by authoritie of the same That the Treasurer Comptroller Surveyour Clerke of the Acts and the Co[m]mmissioners of the Navy for the time being ( (fn. 3)) have power and authoritie to examine and punish all such person and persons whom they upon their enquiry examination or on view in their presence shall finde hereafter to make or have made any disturbance fighting or quarrelling in the Yards Stores or Offices aforesaid at Pay-dayes, or on other occasions relateing to the Navall Services in such manner as followeth that is to say That they or any two or more of them may punish any the said Offences by Fine Imprisonment or either of them, the Fine not exceeding Twenty Shillings and the Imprisonment not exceeding one weeke and have power in such cases to committ such persons to the next Gaole or to the custody of the Messenger or Messengers for the time being attendant on them, who respectively are to receive and detaine such person soe offending.
II. May discharge Fine or Imprisonment, and for Nonpayment of Fine may imprison. Fines paid to Clerk of the Chest
II. And that the said principall Officers and Commissioners or the greater number of them then present have power to discharge such Fine or Imprisonment if they soe thinke fitt, And for non-payment of the Fine soe imposed and not remitted to imprison the party offending untill payment thereof, which said Fines shall be paid to the Clerke of the Chest for the use of the named Seamen, and that the examination of Witnesses be upon Oath before them, which they any two or more of them are accordingly impowered to administer.
III. May bind to good Behaviour.
And it is further by the authority aforesaid enacted That the said Officers and Co[m]missioners or any two or more of them (in cases where greater example or punishment is needfull) may alsoe binde the person and persons offending to their good behaviour with or without [Securityes (fn. 4)] as occasion shall be.
IV. May inquire concerning embezzling of Stores and Ammunition, and search for the same; and imprison till Recognizance entered into
And whereas diverse of his Majestyes Stores and Ammunition pertaining to his Navy and Shipping or Service thereof are imbezilled and filched away It is by [the (fn. 5)] like authoritie enacted That the said principall Officers and Co[m]missioners or any two or more of them by Warrant under their Hands and Seales have power in like manner to enquire and search for the same in all places as Justices of the Peace may doe in case of Felony and punish the Offenders by such Fine and Imprisonment as aforesaid, and cause the Goods to be brought in againe, And if the Offence be of such natures as doth require a higher and severer punishment, then that they any two or more of them may co[m]mitt fuch Offenders to the next Goale, or to the custodie of their Messenger or Messengers aforesaid till he or they soe offending enter into Recognizance with Surety or Suretyes according to the nature of the offence to appeare and answere to the same in his Majestyes Court of Exchequer or other Court where his Majesty shall question him or them for the same within one yeare following on processe duely served for that purpose on such Offender or Offenders.
V. Two Officers may proceed.
And it is declared and enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That they the said principall Officers and Co[m]missioners or any two or more of them may putt in use the said powers on the Offenders as aforesaid in all places where they hold an Office for his Majestie aswell within Liberties as without, Any Law Statute Ordinance Charter or Priviledge to the contrary notwithstanding. This Act to continue for two yeares from the First day of June One thousand six hundred sixty and fower and from thence to the end of the next Session of Parlyament.