Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Reasons for passing this Act.
Commissioners for taking the Accounts of £2,400,000 granted by 16 & 17 C. II. c. 1; 17 Car. II. c.1.; 14(13 & 14) Car. II. c.3.; 18 Car. II. c. 1; 18 & 19 C. II. c. 6. 18 & 19 C.II. C.13.; The Power of the Commissioners to call before them Treasurers, Receivers, &c. for that Purpose; who are to account, and for what, and within what time.; Frauds herein, how to be examined by the Commissioners.; Commissioners to inquire into Frauds in respect of Seamen's Rewards, &c. and what Moneys ought to have been set apart for the Chest since 24th June 1660, and of the Application thereof; and of the Issue of Tonnage and Poundage for the War; and of Frauds in respect of Prize Ships, Goods, &c.; and how the Monies granted for the War have been disposed of; and why Tickets and not Money were paid to Seamen; and generally to inquire into Frauds, &c.; and to inspect former Accompts where necessary.; Commissioners to examine upon Oath; and to reform the manner of keeping Accounts.; Persons refusing to appear or obey the Orders of the Commissioners to be imprisoned without Bail, till Obedience.
Whereas many and great Aides and Provisions have beene given raised and assigned for the necessary Defence of Your Majesty and Your Kingdomes in the late great and important Wars To the end that both Your Majestie and this whole Kingdome may be satisfied and truly informed whether all the same Moneys and Provisions have beene faithfully issued out and expended in and about the preparing and setting forth of Your Royall Navy and other the Management and carrying on the said Warr and with such Care Fidelity and good Husbandry as the nature of such Services would admitt of according to Your Majesties own Gracious and Princely desires and the earnest [expectations (fn. 2) ] of Your most Loyall Subjects then which nothing can( (fn. 3) ) encourage them [more (fn. 4) ] chearefully to undergoe the like burthens in time to come for the necessary Defence of Your Majesty and Your Realms May it therefore please Your most Excellent Majesty 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 Commons in this present Parliament assembled And by the Authority thereof That William Lord Brereton Baron of Laughtyn in the Kingdom of Ireland William Peirpoint Esquire Sir George Savile Baronet Giles Dunster Esquire Sir James Langham Knight Henry Osborne Esquire Sir William Turner Alderman of the City of London George Tompson Esquire and John Gregory Esquire or any Five or more of them shall be Commissioners for the taking of the Accompts of the su[m]m of Twenty four hundred threescore and seaventeen thousand and five hundred pounds granted by a late Act of this present Parliament intituled An Act for granting of a Royal Aid to the Kings Majestie of Twenty four hundred threescore and seaventeen thousand and five hundred pounds to be raised levied and paid in the space of three yeares And of Twelve hundred and fifty thousand pounds granted by another late Act of this present Parliament intituled An Act for granting the sum of Twelve hundred and fiftie thousand pounds to the Kings Majesty for, his present further supply And of Two hundred and ten thousand pounds granted for Three monthes att the Rate of Threescore and ten thousand pounds per mensem by another Act intituled An Act for ordering the Forces in the several Counties of this Kingdome And alsoe for taking the Accompts of all such Moneys as have beene raised or charged by a late Act of this present Parliament intituled An Act for raising Moneys by a Poll and otherwise towards the maintenance of [this (fn. 5) ] present Warr And by another Act of this present Parliament intituled An Explanatory Act for raising Moneys by a Poll and otherwise towards the maintenance of this present Warr. And of the Su[m]m of Twelve hundred fifty six thousand three hundred forty seven pounds thirteen shillings granted by another late Act of this present Parliament intituled An Act for granting the su[m]m of Twelve hundred fifty six thousand three hundred forty seaven pounds thirteen shillings to the Kings Majestie towards the maintenance of the present Warr And of all such Moneys as have arisen by the Customs granted to his Majesty by an Act of this present Parliament and have been applied to the Service of the War and of such Prizes as have been taken during the said late Warr for his Majesties use and of all other Moneys Provisions and; things, whatsoever which have beene raised or assigned for or towards the fitting furnishing or setting out to Sea any of the Navyes or Ships imployed in the said late War or for or touching the management or maintenance [thereof And to that end the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them are hereby authorized and required to call before them all Treasurers Receivers Pay masters Principall Officers and Commissioners of the Navy and Ordnance respectively Victuallers Pursers Mustermasters and Clerks of the Cheque Accomptants and all Officers and Keepers of his Majesties Stores and Provisions for Warr aswell for Land (fn. 7) ] as Sea and all other persons whatsoever imployed in the management of the said Warr or requisite for the discovery of any Frauds relating thereunto To make perfect and true Accompts of all such of the Moneys as have come to any of theire hands respectively and to bring in and deliver the same to the said Commissioners or any five or more of them without delay And alsoe, to bring in theire severall Books of Accompts Vouchers & Acquittances Contracts Muster Rolls Cheque Rolls Cheque Bookes and all other Bookes and Writings whatsoever touching or concerning the p[re]misses to be perused tried and examined by the said Commissioners whereby it may appeare what Moneys they have received and how the same have been disbursed and what Ammunition Provisions and Stores of any kind which were in his Majesties Storehouses or Yards or else where Have beene imployed in the said War after the first day of September One thousand six hundred sixty four and what Ships and other Vessels his Majesty then had for the Service of the War togeather with their severall Equipages and Furniture and what Moneys or other Provisions or Materials have been paid or delivered to the hands of the said Treasurers Receivers Pay masters Victuallers Pursers or other Accomptants or any of the said Officers or Keepers of his Majesties Stores and when the same was soe paid or delivered and how and att what time or times the same have been disposed of and to whom and for what use or uses and to examine the Rates and Prices sett upon any Provisions Wares or Materials bought or provided for the Service of the said Warr and what the same were then truly worth and what was really paid for the same and by whom and to whom and when the same was so bought and paid for and how the same Provisions Wares and Materials have beene imployed or disposed of and by what Warrant and to examine all such Merchants and Tradesmen and theire Bookes Receipts and Acquittances and all such Seamen and others as shall be thought fitt to be heard touching any Frauds Oppressions or Exactions practised or used by any person or persons intrusted or imployed in or about the payment or receipt of any [of (fn. 7) ] the said Moneys or the buying or providing of any of the said Provisions Wares or Materials or the custody ordering or disposing of the same and to what Value and what Gain or Advantage was made thereby and by whom & where and about what time the same was [so (fn. 8) ] done and to enquire and find out whether any and which of the Sea men and others have beene defrauded of any of theire Præmiums or Rewards Victuals Clothes Pillage or other Allowances or Benefitts assigned promised or appointed to any of them for, or in respect of theire Service in the said Warr and by whom and to what Value And to enquire and find out what Moneys have been or ought to have been set apart for the Chest from the Four and twentieth day of June One thousand six hundred and sixty and how the same have beene paid or disposed of and whether any part thereof hath been defalked or detained from the persons to whom it was due and payable and how much when and by whom and upon what pretence the same was done And whether any Su[m]ms of Money and how much arising by the Customes and Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage ever since the First of September One thousand six hundred sixty four hath beene issued and allowed for and towards the maintenance of the said War And alsoe to enquire and find out the numbers and values of all the Prize Ships and Goods which have beene taken for His Majesties use during the said War and theire severall Bills of Lading and how the same Shipps and Goods or any of them have been apprized valued sold imbeziled or otherwise disposed of and how the prices or moneys thereof arising have beene accompted for to his Majesty and what frauds or abuses have beene committed therein and by whom and for what value And to inquire whether any and how much of the said Moneys given for the maintenance of the said War by Act of Parliament as aforesaid hath been bestowed or disposed of to or for any other use or purpose and to what other uses or persons the same are or any part thereof was soe bestowed or disposed And alsoe to inquire by whose meanes counsell or procurement it came to passe That the Ships Seamen Mariners and others were generally discharged by Tickets and not paid with Money by the Cheque Roll of the respective Ships or Vessells wherein they served as formerly and how any of the Land Forces came to be so paid and what losse or disadvantage his Majesty or any of the Seamen or Land Souldiers have sustained thereby and what advantage or benefitt Hath beene made by any person or persons by meanes of such payment or by buying selling or assigning of any such Ticketts and by whom particularly and to what value and how much of the Wages due to any of the said Seamen or Land Souldiers is yet remaining unpaid and to whom particularly the same is due or payable And further to search into examine and find out all other Frauds Exactions Negligences and Defaults and Abuses which have beene practised or committed by any person or persons whatsoever touching the Premisses and when and by whom the same were so practised or committed and what damage hath beene sustained thereby and to what value And for that end and purpose alsoe to inspect and examine all such former Accompts as they shall thinke necessary And to send for Seamen and cause to appeare before the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them all or any of the said Accomptants and other Officers and Keepers of Stores and all such Merchants Tradesmen Seamen Souldiers and other persons as they shall thinke meet and to examine them severally upon theire corporall Oathes (which the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them shall and may administer by vertue of this Act) and alsoe to send for and peruse all such Records Books Vouchers Acquittances and other Writings as they shall thinke fitt to bee produced for the better discovery of any the said Frauds Exactions Negligences and Defaults or Abuses and to do execute & performe all such other act and acts as they the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them in theire Judgement shall find requisite whereby all such person and persons as shall appeare guilty of any of the said Frauds Exactions Negligences Defaults or Abuses may be brought to condign punishment in Parliament or otherwise for the better prevention of the like Crimes and Misdemeanours and encouragement of the Seamen for the time to come And to the end that all and every the said Accompts may be made the more plain and intelligible The said Commissioners or any Five or more of them are hereby authorized to direct reform and amend the manner and method of the same so as it may clearly appeare how the said moneys and every part thereof have been imployed and disposed of for the Service of His Majesty and the Publique Safety and Defence or otherwise as the case shall require And in case any of the said Treasurers Receivers Pay masters Principall Officers and Commissioners of the Navy and Ordnance Victuallers Pursers Mustermasters Clerks of the Cheque Accomptants Officers Keepers of Stores or other person or persons summoned to appear before the said Commissioners shall refuse or neglect to appeare or to produce any of theire Bookes Vouchers Acquittances or other Writings or to be examined upon his her or theire corporall Oathes touching the Premisses as aforesaid or shall refuse or neglect to do such other thing or things as the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them may or shall require of them to bee done by vertue of this Act That then the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them are hereby authorized by Warrants under theire Hands and Seales to committ such person or persons soe refusing or neglecting [into (fn. 9) ] any of his Majesties Prisons there to remain under safe custody without Baile or Mainprize untill he shee or they shall yeild obedience to that which shall be so required of them
II. Commissioners, or Persons constituted by them, may send Precepts to Sheriffs to summon Juries.
And be it further enacted That the said Commissioners or any five or more of them or any Five or more of such other persons as they shall thinke fitt from time to time by Warrant under theire Hands and Seales to constitute and appoint in that behalfe shall have full power and authority by vertue of this Act to enquire aswell by the Oathes of good and lawfull men of any County Citty Port Corporation or Liberty within this Realm aswell within Liberties as without and by depositions of credible Witnesses to be examined before them as by all other good and lawfull wayes and meanes of all and singular the Premisses when and as often as they shall thinke fitt and expedient And for that purpose to award theire Precept or Precepts to all Sheriffs Bailiffs and other Officers within the said Counties Cities Ports Corporations and Liberties who are hereby required to return and cause to appeare before them the said Commissioners or any five or more of them or before such other persons so by them constituted as aforesaid such and so many good and lawfull men inhabiting within theire respective Counties Cities Ports Corporations and Liberties at such time and place times and places as shall be required by such Precept or Precepts and under such Penalties as shall be therein contained to make such enquiry and to find out the truth of the Premisses without any Fee or Reward to be taken or demanded for the same And that the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them or any Five or more of such other persons so constituted as aforesaid shall have full power and authority by vertue of this Act to take Inquests and to examine and take the Depositions of Witnesses upon Oath in or touching any of the Premisses before mentioned for the information of the said Commissioners and to certifie the same in Writing under theire Hands and Seales And to that end the said Commissioners or any Five or more of them or the said persons soe deputed shall and may by authority of this Act administer such Oathes as are usually administred in causes of Suit betweene party and party depending in his Majesties Court of Exchequer.
III. Commissioners to appoint Places of Sitting and Officers.
Clerks, &c. to be sworn.; Salary to Clerks.; Commissioners to make Returns to the King, and also to the Parliament, if sitting; and may finally determine Accounts, &c.; Their Judgments to be certified into the Exchequer.
And for the better execution of this present Act the said Commissioners or any five or more of them are hereby authorized to meet and sitt from time to time with or without Adjournment and in such place and places as they shall thinke convenient ( (fn. 10) ) to call to theire assistance appoint and imploy such Clerks and Officers as they shall thinke meet and to give to every of the said Clerks and Officers an Oath for his true and faithfull Demeanour in all things committed to his trust and performance by the said Commissioners and in all other things touching the Premisses which Clerks and Officers are hereby required faithfully to execute and perform the trust in them reposed severally and respectively without taking any thing for such theire Service other then such Salary or Reward as the [said (fn. 11) ] Commissioners or any Five or more of them shall thinke fitt to direct in that behalfe under pain of forfeiting theire respective Offices Places and Salaries And the said Commissioners are hereby required from time to time as they shall see cause and at the determinatc[i]on of theire Examinac[i]ons and Proceedings by vertue of this Act to give an accompt thereof in Writing under any five or more of theire Hands and Seales to the Kings Majestie and to both Houses of Parliament if then sitting that so his Majestie may receive a full and true accompt how the said moneys and other things have been disbursed or disposed of for his Service or otherwise and that such punishment may be inflicted upon the Offenders and such further order taken in the premisses as to Justice shall appertain And the said Commissioners or any five or more of them may and are hereby authorized upon consideration of the deposic[i]ons and prooffs before them to heare the parties concerned and theire Councel and finally to judge and determine of all the said Accompts frauds exactions negligences defaults and abuses and to allow of such of the said accompts and discharge such Accomptants as to them in theire judgements shall seeme just and meet and to certifie such theire Judgement Order and Determination by Writing in Parchment under theire Hands and Scales into his Majesties Court of Exchequer which Court is hereby authorized and required thereupon to issue and make out his Majesties Process of that Court for the levying of all such Debts and Moneys, as shall be due or payable to his Majestie by meanes of such Judgement Order or Determination as speedily and effectually to all intents and purposes as if the same had accrued or growed due to his Majestie by the immediate Judgement Order or Decree of that Court.
IV. Commissioners may reward Informers;
And be it further enacted That the said Commissioners or any five or more of them by Warrant under theire Hands and Seales shall and may and are hereby directed to assign and allow such part and proportion of all such moneys and goods as shall be discovered and sufficiently proved before them by any person or persons to have been unjustly gotten or detained from his Majesty by meanes of any the frauds exactions or abuses menc[i]oned in this Act as they the said Commissioners in theire discretion shall thinke a fitt reward for such discovery not exceeding one third nor being lesse then one tenth part of the money or goods soe discovered the same to be had and taken by the person and persons makeing such discovery from time to time in such manner and in such proportions as the said Commissioners shall appoint by such theire Warrant as aforesaid out of such Receipt into which the same money shall att any time be paid without any further or other Warrant or Allowance in that behalfe
V. Commissioners to take an Oath.
And be it further enacted That every of the said Commissioners before he enter upon the execution of this Act shall take an Oath before the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England or Master of the Rolls for the time being which they and every of them are hereby authorized and required to administer the tenour whereof shall be as followeth. viz t.
I A. B doe sweare That according the best of my skill and knowledge I shall faithfully impartially and truly demean my selfe in examining and taking the Accompts of all such as shall .make any Accompt before me in execution of one Act entituled An Act for taking the Accompts of the severall su[m]ms of Money therein mentioned according to the tenour of the said Act and in determining the said Accompts and execution of the said Act.
VI. Allowance to the Commissioners for Diet, and for Payment of House Rent, Clerks, &c.
And be it further enacted That the Lord High Treasurer of England or Commissioners of the Treasury for the time being are hereby authorized and required to issue and cause to be paid One thousand pounds by the yeare for the Diet of the Commissioners and alsoe such su[m]me or su[m]ms of money not exceeding two thousand pounds by the yeare to such person or persons as the said Commissioners or any five or more of them by Writing under theire Hands shall desire or direct out of any part of his Majesties Treasure or Revenue to be imployed in or for the payment of Houserent Clerks, Messengers and other Officers and in defraying all other necessary charges, in and about the execution of the powers of this Act and in such manner and in such proportions as shall bee appointed by any five or more of the said Commissioners by Writing under theire Hands in that behalfe the same to bee accounted for by the person or persons to whom the said [money (fn. 12) ] shall be soe issued or paid according to the course of his Majesties Exchequer without any Fee or other Charge to bee taken or demanded for the issuing or payment of the same money or the passing of such Accompt other then such su[m]m as the said Commissioners shall appoint And if any Question or Suit in Law shall arise touching any of the powers or matters contained in this Act or the execution thereof the same shall be heard and determined by the said Commissioners or any five or more of them and not by any other course of Judicature whatsoever out of Parliament
VII. Continuance of Act as to Accounts, &c.
This Act as to the Powers of taking and examining of Accompts and administring of Oathes to endure for the space of three yeares from the end of this present Session of Parliament next ensuing and no longer
VIII. Recital that Ticket were given to Seamen instead of Money, and that they were obliged to sell the same.
[Provided alwaies and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid whereas severall Seamen after Service done to his Majesty expected to receive theire Wages and instead thereof had Ticketts delivered them for theire money due to them for theire service or otherwise upon pretence that there was a want of money to pay them to the great discouragement of the said Seamen And whereas for a present supply of themselves and theire Families they have been necessitated to sell the said Tickets for lesse then the su[m]m of money mentioned in them which Tickets have been sold from man to man Be it therefore and it is hereby enacted by the authority aforesaid That the said Commissioners shall be and are hereby impowered to compell each Buyer of such Tickets or such who purchased from them to restore to the severall persons from whom they purchased them all or as much of the said money as they shall thinke fitt (upon the computation of Interest or any other Considerac[i]on) which remaines to make up the full Accompt or su[m]m contained in and which was due upon the said Tickets and such person or persons that have soe bought Tickets and shall refuse by Order of the said Commissioners to repay to any person or persons such su[m]m or su[m]ms of money as they shall adjudge him to pay preserving to each party the full Principal and Interest at least then in such a case and upon all such refusals it shall and may be lawfull and the said Commissioners are hereby impowered to send to any Goal or Goals all such persons so refusing untill they shall obey the Order or Orders of the said Commissioners (fn. 13) ]
[Provided alsoe and bee it enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any person or persons who by the authority of this Act shall be examined upon Oath before the said Commissioners or any of them shall wilfully and falsely forsweare himselfe or her selfe such wilfull and false forswearing shall be taken and adjudged to be wilfull Perjury and such person or persons shall and may bee proceeded against in such manner to all intents and purposes as by the Lawes and Statutes of this Realm in cases of Perjury is provided and appointed and shall suffer and incurr upon conviction like paines and penalties as by the said Lawes and Statutes are appointed to be inflicted and imposed (fn. 13) ]