Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital of 18 & 19 C. II. c. 12. (19 C.II.C.7.)
Whereas at a Session of this present Parlyament holden at Westminster the eighteenth day of September One thousand six hundred sixty and six An Act of Parlyament was made Entituled, An Act to prevent the disturbances of Seamen and others, and to preserve the Stores belonging to his Majestyes Navy Royall, which was to continue two yeares from the first of February One thousand six hundred sixty and six, and from thence to the end of the next Session of Parlyament, which is already past, and the time for the continuance of the said Act expired. And whereas the said Act is by experience found to be of necessary use and fitt to be revived and continued, in all the matters therein contained, except as is hereafter excepted. 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 Co[m]mons in Parlyament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That the said Act of Parlyament and all and every the Clauses, Sentences and Articles therein contained, (excepting one Clause in the said Act contained, whereby it is enacted 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, Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede shall take or receive of the Executor or Administrator, Executors or Administrators of any Mariner 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 Administrations, exhibiting any Inventory, or for any other matter or thing relateing thereunto; together with such Forfeitures and Penaltyes as is therein expressed, for the Defaults and Transgressions therein mentioned) shall by vertue of this Act be revived and continued, and have the full force and vertue of a Law dureing the continuance of this Act.
II. Recital that divers Persons embezzle His Majesty's Stores, and cannot be convicted by reason of the Absence of Witnesses.
And whereas diverse ill disposed persons upon pretence of carrying his Majeftyes Navall Goods, Provisions Victualls Stores and Ammunition from his Majestyes Yards, Wharfes, Storehouses or other places to his Majestyes Ship or Ships, or to such Shipp or Shipps as are employed in his Majestyes Services, or such persons as are imployed to recarry or remove from the said Ship or Ships such Navall Goods, Provisions, Victualls, Stores and Ammunition to [such (fn. 1)] his Majestyes Yards, Wharfes, Storehouses or other places doe frequently imbezill, take, and carry them away where they cannot be found, and remove themselves to places unknowne before they can be convicted by due processe of Law, by reason that those Witnesses that should prove the said Facts are bound forth to Sea, or otherwise imployed elsewhere. And it is found necessary that Justice be more speedily done in such cases then by ordinary course of Law it can be, Bee it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid That the Treasurer, Comptroller, Surveyour, Clerke of the Acts and Commissers of the Navy for the time being, or any one or more of them where the value of the Goods soe imbezelled, taken or carryed away shall be under the value of Twenty shillings, shall have full power and authority upon the Oath of two or more Witnesses (which they or any of them have hereby power to (administer) or confession of such party soe offending as aforesaid, or other legall proofe thereof, to convict the party or partyes soe offending, by writeing under his or any of their Hands and Seales, and to impose such Fine or Fines upon all or every such person or persons soe offending and convicted as aforesaid, as to the said Treasurer, Comptroller, Surveyour, Clerke of the Acts, and the Coo[m]mis[sion]ers of the Navy for the time being, or any one or more of them shall in his or their discretion seeme meete; The said Fine or Fines not exceeding double the value of the Navall Goods soe imbezelled, or carryed away, Which Fine or Fines shall be leavyed by distresse and sale of the Goods of such Offender, by vertue of the Warrant of such Officer or Officers who shall soe convict the said Offender directed in manner aforesaid to the person or persons aforesaid, or in case noe sufficient distresse can be found, as aforesaid, the party or partyes soe offending shall by vertue of the Warrant of such person before whome such person or persons shall be convicted, be imprisoned in the next Goale for any space of time not exceeding three Moneths without Baile or Mainprize.
III. Power to Treasurer, &c. to grant Warrant to enter any Ship in the Day-time, and search for stolen Goods.
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That the said Treasurer, Comptroller, Surveyour Clerke of the Acts and Coo[m]mis[sion]ers of the Navy for the time being or any one or more of them, upon Oath of two or more credible Witnesses (which he and they have hereby power to administer) testifying that his Majestyes Navall Goods, Stores and Navall Provisions or any part thereof are conveyed into any Shipp or Vessell whatsoever, and mentioning the name of such Shipp or Vessell being at Anchor, and not ready to saile that Tyde, within any of the Rodes, Harbours, Creekes or Rivers within his Majestyes Dominions, or any person or persons by their or one of their Warrant or Warrants, in which Warrant or Warrants the quantity or quality of such Goods shall be specifyed, thereunto authorized and appointed in the day time in the presence of any knowne Officer or Officers of the Admiralty shall have full power and authority to goe on board any such Ship or Vessell whatsoever being within any of the places aforesaid, and in case resistance or refusall be made, upon demand to enter and breake open the Hatches and Cabines of other places of the said Shipp, and search therein for any such Stores, Ammunition, Provisions or any other. Navall Goods belonging to his Majestyes Navy, which have beene imbezelled, purloyned and taken away, and the same to seize, take and carry away to his Majestyes [Storehouse, to be applyed to the Kings use, unlesse the said Officers and Coo[m]mis[sion]ers upon heareing the matter shall finde they were unduely seized, and thereupon restore them to the party claimeing the same, which they are hereby impowered to doe, with liberty hereby reserved to the said Party, finding himselfe agrieved with the Judgement of the said Officers or Coo[m]mis[sion]ers to take his remedy for his said Goods soe seized by course of Law. (fn. 2)]
IV. Personating Seamen, &c. in the Presence of Commissioners or Paymaster, in order to receive Money due to Seamen, &c.
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That whatsoever person or persons shall be discovered fraudulently to personate any Seaman Soldier, Artificer, Workeman or Labourer aforesaid, in the presence of any of his, Majestyes said Officers or Coo[m]mis[sion]ers, or in the presence of the Paymaster or Cashier of his Majestyes Navy in order to his or their receiveing of any money due from his Majestie to the Seaman, Soldier, Artificer, Workeman or Labourer aforesaid, the person or persons soe offending [may be Imediately arrested and committed to prison, by any of the said principall Officers or Coo[m]mis[sion]ers until he or they shall finde Baile to answere the said Offence at the next Assizes, or Quarter Sessions for the County or place where he or they shall be soe arrested, and being there convicted of the said Offence, (fn. 2)] shall for every such Offence forfeite double the Summe he would by such fraude have gained, to the Governours of the Chest at Chatham for the use of the poore and maimed Seamen belonging thereto, and shall moreover suffer Imprisonment by any space of time, not exceeding one whole yeare without Baile, at the discretion of the Court where he or they shall be soe convicted.
V. Counterfeiting the Hands of the Treasurer, &c. of the Navy;
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That every person or persons who shall counterfeite the Hands of the Treasurer, Comptroller Surveyour Clerke of the Acts, or of the Coo[m]mis[sion]ers of the Navy, or of any of them, or the Hand or Hands of the Signeing or Vouching Officers of his Majestyes Navy, Ships, or Yards, or the Hand or Hands of any one or more of them, to any Bill, Ticket or other Papers, by vertue whereof his Majestyes Navall Treasure is or may be paid or disposed of, or shall knowingly produce any such counterfeite Ticket, Bill or other Paper, every such person or persons soe offending shall or may be lawfully coo[m]mitted to prison, by the said Officers or Coo[m]mis[sion]ers or any one of them, untill he shall finde Surety at the next generall Assizes, or Quarter Sessions of the Peace for the County, Towne or place where such Offender shall be soe comitted to prison to be there proceeded against according to Law.
VI. Power to Treasurer, &c. of the Navy to administer an Oath.
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Treasurer, Comptroller, Surveyour, Clerke of the. Acts, and the Coo[m]mis[sion]ers of His Majestyes Navy for the time being or [for (fn. 3)] any one or more of them to administer an Oath or Oathes in any case or cases relateing to the receiveing, keeping, issueing and accompting for any part of his Majestyes Treasure, Victualls Stores or Provisions of his Majestyes Navy, or for the preservation of due Order and Discipline therein in all matters cognizable by the said Officers and Commissioners.
VII. A general Liberty given to the said Treasurer, &c. to execute their Power.
And it is hereby further declared and enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That the said Treasurer, Comptroller, Surveyour, Clerke of the Acts and the Co[m]mis[sion]ers of the Navy for the. time being or any one or more of them may execute all and every the Powers hereby given them or any of them on all and every the Offenders aforesaid in all places aswell within Liberties as without. Any Law, Statute, Ordinance, Charter or Priviledge to the contrary notwithstanding.
VIII. Only Five Shillings to be paid for the Probate of any Will, or granting Letters of Administration of the Estate of any Person dying in the Pay of His Majesty's Navy, except the Estate be of the Value of £ 20 and upwards.
And bee it further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That noe Ordinary, Register or other Officer or Officers belonging to any Ecclesiasticall Court or Court of Orphans, or any Jurisdiction whatsoever within the Kingdome of England, Ireland or Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede, shall take or receive of the Executor. or Administrator Executors or Administrators (being the Wife Childe or Children or next of Kindred) of any Marriner, Souldier, Seaman or before named Artificer or Workeman (except where the deceased shall leave an Estate of twenty pounds or more) dyeing in the pay of His Majestyes Navy above, the summe of five shillings for the whole Charges of the Probate of any Will and registring the same, and granting Letters of Administration, and exhibiting an Inventory, or in doeing any other matter or thing relateing thereunto, Every Officer performeing his Duty in the said Probate to have his proportion of the said Summe according as the Judge of the said Court shall direct, And if any such Officer or Officers shall presume to take more then the said summe of Five shillings for the whole Probate of the said Will, or shall wilfully delay the doeing, granting or executeing the Premisses, the person or persons soe offending shall forfeite to the party grieved the summe of ten pounds, to be recovered by, Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint or Information in any of his Majestyes Courts of Record or elsewhere, wherein noe Essoyne, Priviledge, Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed, Any Law, Statute or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
IX. The Act of 22 Car. II. c. 5. confirmed.
Provided alwayes and it is hereby declared That noe clause, sentence or other matter in this Act contained shall repeale, alter, change or be interpreted to make void any of the clauses, matters or things specifyed or contained in one Act of Parliament made in the two and twentyeth yeare of his [now (fn. 4)] Majestyes Raigne entituled An Act for takeing away the Benefit of Clergy from such as steale Cloth from the Racke, and from such as shall steale or imbezile his Majesties Am[m]unicc[i]oon and Stores. But that the same Act shall remaine in full force and vertue for and notwithstanding any thing herein contained.
X. Powers given by this Act may be executed by Lord High Admiral.
Provided alsoe and bee it further enacted That all and every the Powers hereby given to any Officer or Co[m]mis[sion]er of the Navy may be exercised by the Lord High Admirall of England for the time being.
XI. No Double Punishment.
XII. Continuance of Act.
[Provided lastly and bee it further enacted That this Act shall continue in force dureing the space of seaven yeares from the first day of June in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred seaventy and one, and from thence to the end of the Session of Parlyament then next ensueing, and noe longer. (fn. 5)]