Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital that Suits and Differences are likely to arise in consequence of the late Fire.
Whereas the greatest part of the Houses in the Citty of London and some in the Suburbs thereof have beene burnt by the dreadfull and dismall Fire which happened in September last Many of the Tennants Under tennants or late Occupiers whereof are lyeable unto Suites and Actions to compell them to repaire and rebuild the same and to pay their Rents as if the same had not beene burned and are not releiveable therein in any ordinary course of Law and great Differences are like to arise concerning the said Repaires and new Building of the said Houses and payment of Rents which if they should not be determined with all speede and without charge would much obstruct the rebuilding of the said Citty. And for that it is just that every one concerned should beare a proportionable share of the losse according to their severall Interests wherein in respect of the multitude of cases varying in their circumstances noe certaine generall rule can be prescribed Bee it therefore enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and of the Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and the Barons of the Coife of the Exchequer for the time being or any three or more of them sitting at the same time and place and not otherwise shall be and are hereby authorized [from time to time (fn. 1)] to heare and to determine all Differences and Demands whatsoever which have arisen or may any way arise betweene Landlords Proprietors Tennants Lessees Under Tennants or late Occupiers of any the said Houses or Buildings with their appurtenances or the Courts or Yards Grounds and Wharfes or any person or persons haveing or claiming any Estate Right Title Interest in Law or Equity or Trust Charge or Incumbrance of or in the same or their or any of their Heires Executors Administrators Successors or Assignes or any other persons for touching or concerning the repaireing building or rebuilding of the said Houses or Buildings Yards Courts Grounds and Wharfes, or any other Grounds lyeing within that part of the Citty and Suburbs thereof lately burnt pulled downe or otherwise demolished defaced or otherwise ruined by reason of the said Fire or for or concerning the payment defalcation apportioning or abatement of any Rent or Rents other then Arreares of Rent onely due before the First day of September One thousand six hundred sixty and six, or for or touching any Covenant Condition or Penalty relateing thereunto, or for touching or concerning the prefixing or limitting of any time for such Repaires or new Building Rebuilding or any Rate or Contribution to be borne or paid thereunto by any person or persons Bodyes pollitique or corporate interessed in the Premisses, and all Incidents relateing thereunto, And that they or any three or more of them from time to time, and at such place or places as they or any three or more of them shall thinke fitt from time to time with or without any Adjournment summarily and sine forma et figura judicij and without the formalities of proceedings in Courts of Law or Equity shall and may upon the verdict or inquisition of Jurors testimony of witnesses upon oath, Examination of partyes interessed, or by all or any of the said wayes or otherwise according to their Discretions proceede to the hearing and determining of the Demands or Differences betweene the said Partyes concerning the premisses, and that the definitive Order of the said Justices and Barons or any three or more of them as aforesaid shall bee finall as betweene the said partyes their Heires Executors Administrators Successors and Assignes and all claiming by from or under them as touching the matters contained in such Orders from which there shall be noe Appeale or Review otherwise then as is hereafter mentioned Nor shall any Writt of Error or Certioriari lye for the removall or reversall of the same.
II. Judges general Power as to ordering Surrenders, increasing or diminishing Charges on Estates, new Leases, &c.
And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That the said Justices and Barons or any three or more of them as aforesaid shall have Authoritie and are hereby impowered where they shall thinke it convenient to order the surrendring; increasing abridgeing ceasing determining or charging of any Estates in the Premisses or to order new or longer Leases or Estates not exceeding Forty yeares to be made of any of the premisses by the Proprietors or Owners thereof or other persons interessed therein to any Tennant or Subtennant or late Occupiers of the same their Executors Administrators Successors or Assignes at such Rents and Fines or without any Rent or Fine as they shall thinke fitt unlesse in such Cases where the Lawes of this Realme doe forbid the Diminishing of auntient and accustomable Rents, All which Orders according to the Tenors thereof shall be obeyed by all persons concerned therein respectively and shall conclude and binde them their Heires Successors Executors Administrators and Assignes respectively, notwithstanding any Disability in respect of Coverture Infancy Non sanity of Memory Estate Taile or in Right of the Church or otherwise And that Infants Femes Covert Ideots, Persons of Non sane Memory or beyond the Seas Tennants in Taile Bishops Deanes and Chapters and other Ecclesiasticall persons and their Successors Corporations and all other person or persons Bodyes Naturall and Pollitique their Heires and Successors and their respective Interests shall be bound and concluded by such respective Order or Orders according to the Tenor or Purporte thereof Any Law Statute or Custome or other matter or thing to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. Court may issue Summons to appear.
And for the better enableing the said Justices and Barons to proceede with effect in the said Causes Bee it alsoe enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Justices and Barons or any three or more of them as aforesaid upon the complaint or request of any person or persons concerned in any of the said Houses or Buildings and other the premisses shall issue out Notes or Warrants under their hands, or the hands of any such three of them thereby warning the person or persons Bodyes Pollitique and Corporate therein named and concerned in the said late Houses or Buildings and other the premisses in such Complaint mentioned to appeare before them at such time and place as in such Note or Notes shall in that behalfe be specifyed, And upon appearance of the said person or persons summoned or upon defaulte of appearance and oath made of due notice given to him or them (which oath and all other oathes necessary to the Execution of the Powers given by this Act the said Justices and Barons or any three of them are hereby enabled to administer) The said Justices and Barons or any three of them may proceede to make such finall and definitive Orders as aforesaid, and that such Service of the said Note or Notes as is usually allowed to be a good service in cases of Subpena shall be accounted to be a good service in the cases aforesaid.
IV. The said Court to be a Court of Record.
And bee it enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That the said Justices and Barons or any three of them for the matters and according to the powers herein before mentioned shall be, and shall be taken to be a Court of Record, and that the Judgements and Determinations which shall be made betwixt partie and partie by authoritie of this Act shall be recorded in a Booke or Bookes of Parchment to be provided for that purpose, and that every such Judgement and Determination shall be signed by three or more of the said Justices or Barons Which said Booke or Bookes of Record shall be placed and intrusted [in the custody (fn. 2)] of the Lord Maior and Aldermen of the Citty of London for the time being to be kepte with the Records of the said Citty, and to remaine as a perpetuall standing Record, unto which all persons concerned or which shall be concerned shall or may repaire to view the same, and thereout to take Copies of all such Judgements and Determinations as shall relate to him her and them And that none of the said Justices and Barons shall take any Fee or Reward whatsoever directly or indirectly for any thing to be done by them by vertue or colour of this present Act.
V. Officers Fees.
And bee it enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That for a reward of the Officers to be imployed herein the said Justices and Barons or any three or more of them as aforesaid are hereby enabled to order and direct a Table of such reasonable Fees to be made as may carry on and effect the purporte and intent of this Act This Act to continue till the last day of December which shall be in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred sixtie and eight and noe longer.
VI. Appeal on Exceptions being tendered within Seven Days.
[Provided alwayes and bee it enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That where any such Order or Decree as is aforesaid shall be made by a lesser number of Justices and Barons then Seaven, it shall be lawfull for any person agrieved by such Order or Decree to present his Exceptions to the same in writeing within seaven dayes next after such Order or Decree made to the Cheife Justices and Cheife Baron for the time being or any two of them, who shall forthwith communicate the same to the rest of the said Justices and Barons who are hereby required to heare the Partyes and examine and consider the said Exceptions, And if any Seaven or more of them shall subscribe thereunto that they finde probable cause of complaint Then it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Seaven or more of the said Justices and Barons within Twenty dayes next following such Exceptions delivered to review the said former Order or Decree, And thereupon to reverse confirme enlarge diminish or otherwise alter any such Order or Decree as in their wisedomes they shall thinke fitt, Any thing herein contained notwithstanding. (fn. 3)]