Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital that Disturbances happen about His Majesty's Offices, Yards, &c. amongst Seamen and others attending there.
Whereas diverse Fightings Quarrellings and Disturbances doe often happen in and about His Majesties 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 Commissioners of the said Navy either for negclect or Imbezelment of His Majesties Provisions Ammunition 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 the dispatch of the Shipps on which the Honour and Safetie of His Majestie and Kingdome soe much depends, Which inconveniencies require a speedier remedy then the ordinary attendance on the Sessions of Peace can give the partyes accused or offending being many times bound to Sea, and the Principall Officers and Coo[m]mis?ers for want of Authoritie to suppress 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 the Authoritie of the same That the Treasurer Comptroller Surveyour Clerke of the Acts and the Coo[m]missioners of the Navy for the time being or any one or more of them 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 Quarreling 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 one or more of them may punish any of the said Offences by Fine Imprisonment or either of them, the Fine not exceeding twenty shillings and Imprisonment not exceeding one weeke, And have power in such cases to committ such persons to the next Goale, or to the custodie of the Messenger or Messengers for the time being attendant on them who respectively are to receive and detaine such person soe offending, And that the said principall Officers and Coo[m]mis?ers or the greater number of them then present have power to discharge such Fine or Imprisonment if they thinke fitt, And for non-payment of the Fine soe imposed and not remitted to imprison the partie offending untill payment thereof which said Fines shall be paid to the Clerke of the Chest for the use of the maimed Seamen, And that the examination of Witnesses be upon Oath before him or them which they any one or more of them are accordingly impowered to administer.
II. Commissioners, &c. may bind to good Behaviour.
And it is further by Authoritie aforesaid enacted That the said Officers and Coo[m]mis?ers or any one or more of them (in cases where greater example or punishment is needfull) may alsoe binde the person or persons offending to their good behaviour with, or without Securities as occasion shall be.
III. Commissioners, &c. may search for Ammunition, &c. imbezzled.
And whereas diverse of His Majestyes Stores and Ammunition pertaining to His Navy and Shipping or Service thereof are imbezelled or filched away It is by like Authoritie enacted that the said Principall Officers and Coo[m]mis?ers or any one or more of them by Warrant under their hands and seales have power in like manner to inquire and search for the same in all places as Justices of 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 nature as doth require an higher and seveerer punishment then that they any one or more of them may committ such Offender to the next Goale or to the custodie of their Messenger or Messengers aforesaid till he or they offending enter into Recognizance with Suretie or Sureties 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 Majestie shall question him or them for the same within one yeare following on Processe duely served for that purpose on such Offender or Offenders
IV. Officers to exercise the Power given by this Act in any Franchise.
And it is declared and enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That they the said Principall Officers and Coo[m]mis?ers or any one or more of them may putt in use the said Powers on the Offenders as aforesaid in all places where they holde an Office for his Majestie as well within Liberties as without. Any Law Statute Ordinance Charter or Priviledge to the contrary notwithstanding.
V. Executors of Seamen shall pay but 12d. for proving the Will.
And for the better encourageing of such Marriners and Souldiers as now doe or shall serve His Majestie in His Fleete or Shipps dureing this Warr Bee it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid that noe Ordinary Register or other Officer belonging to any Ecclesiasticall Court or Court of Orphans or any Jurisdiction whatsoever within the Kingdome of England or Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke shall take or receive of the Executor or Administrator Executors or Administrators of any Marriner or Souldier dyeing in the pay of His Majestyes Navy dureing this present Warr above the summe of twelve pence for the Probate of any Will, registring the same granting Letters of Administration, exhibiting any Inventory or for any other matter or thing relateing thereunto. And for every defaulte herein by wilfull delay in the doeing granting or executeing the Premisses the person or persons soe offending shall forfeite to the partie greived the summe of ten pounds to be recovered by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information in any of His Majestyes Courts [of Record (fn. 1)] at Westminster or elsewhere wherein noe Essoyne Priviledge Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed Any Law or Statute or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.