Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital that disorderly Persons steal Game, &c.
Lords of Manors not under the Degree of Esquires may appoint Gamekeepers. What such Game- keepers may seize.; Power to Game-keepers to search Houses, &c.; for Guns, &c. and the same to seize and detain.
Whereas diverse disorderly persons laying aside their lawfull Trades and Imployments doe betake themselves to the stealing, takeing and killing of Conies, Hares, Pheasants, Partridges and other Game, intended to be preserved by former Lawes, with Guns, Dogs, Tramells, Lowbells, Hayes, and other Netts, Snares, Hare-pipes and other Engines, to the great dammage of this Realme, and prejudice of Noblemen, Gentlemen and Lords of Mannours and others Owners of Warrens; For remedy thereof Bee it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the authoritie of the same That all Lords of Mannours or other Royaltyes not under the degree of an Esquire may from henceforth by Writeing under their Hands and Seales authorize one or more Game-keeper or Game-keepers within their respective Mannours or Royalties, who being thereunto soe authorized may take and seize all such Gunns, Bowes, Grayhounds, Setting-dogs, Lurchers or other Dogs to kill Hares or Conies, Ferretts, Tramells, Lowbells, Hayes or other Netts, Harepipes, Snares or other Engines for the takeing and killing of Conyes, Hares, Pheasants Partridges or other Game as within the precincts of such respective Mannours shall be used by any person or persons, who by this Act are prohibited to keepe or use the same. And moreover That the said Game-keeper or Game-keepers or any other person or persons (being thereunto authorized by Warrant under the Hand and Seale of any Justice of the Peace of the same County Division or Place) may in the day time search the Houses Outhouses or other places of any such person or persons by this Act prohibited to keepe or use the same, as upon good ground shall be suspected to have or keepe in his or their Custody any Guns, Bowes, Grey hounds Setting-dogs, Ferretts, Cony dogs or other Dogs to destroy Hares or Conyes, Hayes, Tramells or other Netts, Lowbells, [Hare pipes (fn. 1)] Snares or other Engines aforesaid, and the same and every or any of them to seize, detaine and keepe, to and for the use of the Lord of the Mannour or Royalty where the same shall be soe found or taken, or otherwise to cutt in pieces or destroy as things by this Act prohibited to be kept by persons of their degree.
II. What Persons are prohibited the keeping of Guns, Bows, Dogs, &c.
And it is hereby enacted and declared That all and every person and persons, not haveing Lands and Tenements or some other Estate of Inheritance in his owne or his Wifes right of the cleare yearely value of one hundred pounds per ann? or for terme of life, or haveing Lease or Leases of ninety nine yeares or for any longer terme, of the cleare yearely value of one hundred and fifty pounds, other then the Sonne and Heire apparent of an Esquire, or other person of higher degree, and the Owners and Keepers of Forrests, Parks, Chases or Warrens, being stocked with Deere or Conies for their necessary use in respect of the said Forrests, Parks, Chases or Warrens, are hereby declared to be persons by the Lawes of this Realme, not allowed to have or keepe for themselves or any other person or persons any Guns, Bowes, Grey hounds, Setting-dogs, Ferretts, Cony-doggs, Lurchers, Hayes, Netts, Lowbells, Hare-pipes, Ginns, Snares or other Engines aforesaid, But shall be, and are hereby prohibited to have, keepe or use the same.
III. Recital that Warrens and Grounds not inclosed are used for breeding Conies, and that disorderly Persons destroy such conies.
And forasmuch as diverse Warrens and Grounds not inclosed are used for the breeding and keepeing of Conyes in severall parts of this Kingdome, and that sundry desolute and disorderly persons have beene much incouraged to kill and destroy the Conies in such Warrens and Grounds not enclosed, in the night time, for that the same is not prohibited or punishable by the Statutes in that behalfe made and provided, which extend onely to the stealing and killing of Conies in Warrens or Grounds enclosed, For remedy thereof Bee it enacted and declared That if any person or persons shall at any time enter wrongfully into any Warren or Ground lawfully used or kept for the breeding or keeping of Conyes (although the same be not enclosed) and there shall chase, take or kill any Conyes against the will of the Owner or Occupier thereof, not haveing lawfull Title or Authority soe to doe, and shall be thereof lawfully convicted in manner hereafter following, the parties soe offending shall yeild to the party grieved treble damages and costs, and suffer Imprisonment by the space of three moneths, and after till they shall finde Suretyes for their good abeareing.
And forasmuch as diverse idle and disorderly persons liveing neere unto Warrens have of late time used to kill and take the Conies upon the borders of the same, and under colour thereof doe of time enter into the said Warrens and there take and kill Conyes in the night time when they cannot easily be discovered. It is further provided and enacted That noe person or persons shall at any time hereafter kill or take in the night time any Conyes upon the borders of any Warrens or other Grounds lawfully used for the breeding or keeping of Conies excepting onely such person or persons as shall be Owner of the Soile, or lawfull Occupier or Possessor of the Ground, or any person or persons imployed by him, her or them, whereupon such Conyes shall be soe killed or taken, upon paine that every person soe offending and being thereof lawfully convicted in manner hereafter following, shall give the party or partyes injured such recompence or satisfaction for his or their damages, and within such time as shall be appointed by the Justice, before whome such Offender shall be convicted, and over and above pay downe presently [un (fn. 2)] to the Overseers for the use of the Poore of the Parish where such Offence shall be committed such summe of money not exceeding ten shillings as the said Justice shall thinke meete, And if such offender or offenders doe not make recompence or satisfaction to the said party or partyes injured, and alsoe pay the said summe to the Poore in manner and forme aforesaid, then the said Justice shall committ the said offender or offenders to the house of Correction for such time as the said Justice shall thinke fitt, not exceeding [one (fn. 2)] moneth,
V. Setting, &c. Snares for Hares, &c.
And whereas diverse idle and disorderly persons have of late time taken up a practice to take and kill Hares and Conyes with Snares, Harepipes ( (fn. 3)) and other Engines in or neere Woods, Warrens and other places, It is hereby further enacted, and declared by the authority aforesaid That if any person or persons from and after the first .day of May which shall be in the yeare of our Lord ( (fn. 4)) One thousand six hundred seaventy and one shall be found or apprehended setting or useing any Snares, Harepipes or other like Engines, and shall be thereof convicted in manner following, The person or persons soe offending shall be lyable to the penalties in the immediate foregoeing Clause of this Act in manner as aforesaid.
VI. Fishing in the Pond of any Person without his Consent with Nets or other Engines.
And whereas diverse idle, disorderly, and meane persons doe from time to time betake themselves to the stealing, takeing and killing of Fish out of Ponds, Pooles, Motes Stewes and other severall Waters and Rivers to the great damage of the Owners thereof, Bee it therefore further enacted by the authorise aforesaid That if any person or persons from and after the first day of May which shall be in the yeare of our Lord God One thousand six hundred seaventy and one shall at any time use any Casting nett, Theife nett, Dragg nett, Tramell, Shove-nett or other Nett whatsoever, or any Angle, Haire, Noose, Troll or Speare, or shall lay any Waers, Potts, Nets, Fish-hoodkes or other Engines, or shall take any Fish by any meanes or devise whatsoever in any River, Stew, Pond, Mote, or other Water as aforesaid, or shall be aiding or assisting thereunto without the Licence or Consent of the Lord or Owner of the said Water, and be thereof, or of any other the, Offence or Offences mentioned in this Act convict, by Confession of the Offender, or by Oath of one sufficient Witnesse, within one moneth, after the Offence committed before any Justice of the Peace of such County, Rideing, Division or Place wherein such Offence as aforesaid, shall be committed; which Oath the said Justice of Peace is hereby impowered to administer, Every such Offender or Offenders in stealing, takeing or killing Fish, shall for every such Offence give to the party or partyes injured such recompence or satisfaction for his or their damages and within such time as the said Justice shall appoint, not exceeding treble dammages, and over and above pay downe presently unto the Overseers for the use of the Poore, where the said Offence shall be como[m]itted such summe of money not exceeding ten shillings as the said Justice shall thinke meete. And in default of payment as aforesaid the. same to be leavyed by Distresse and Sale of the Offenders Goods, by Warrant under Hand and Scale of such Justice, before whome the Offender shall be convicted, rendring the Overplus if any be, And for want of Distresse the Offender or Offenders shall be committed to the House of Correction for such time as the Justice shall thinke fitt, not exceeding one moneth, unlesse the party offending shall enter into Bond with one competent Surety or Suretyes to the party injured, not exceeding the summe of ten pounds never to offend in like manner.
VII. Justice of the Peace convicting Offender may cut the Nets, &c.
And bee it further enacted That it shall and may be lawfull for every Justice of Peace, before whome such Offender as aforesaid shall be convict, to take, cutt in pieces, and destroy all and every such Angles, Speares, Hares, Nooses, Trolls, Wears, Potts, Fish-hookes, Netts or other Engines whatsoever, wherewith such Offender as aforesaid shall be taken or apprehended.
VIII. Appeal to Quarter Sessions;
[Provided alwayes and bee it [further (fn. 2)] enacted by the authority aforesaid That if any [any (fn. 5)] person or persons shall finde him or themselves agrieved by any Judgement, which shall happen to be given by any Justice of the Peace by vertue of this Act, it shall and may be lawfull for such person or persons soe agrieved to appeale unto the Justices of Peace in their Generall Quarter Sessions which shall happen to be held next after such Judgement given, Who, or the greater number of them are hereby authorized and impowered to give such Releife, and make such Order therein as shall be agreable to the Tenor of this Act And such Judgement, Order or Determination, as by the said Justices shall be made upon the said Appeale shall be finall to all intents and purposes whatsoever, if noe Title to any Land, Royalty or Fishery be therein concerned. (fn. 6)]
IX. Proviso for Royalties and Prerogatives to His Majesty; and for the Forest Laws.
[Provided alwayes [and be it further enacted (fn. 2)] That neither this Act, nor any thing therein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend to the takeing away or abridgeing of any Royalty or Prerogative Royall of his Majestie, nor to abridge, change or alter any part of the Forrest Lawes of this Realme, but all and every such Lawes, Rights, Powers, Royaltyes and Prerogatives Royall shall remaine and be in as full and ample force and vertue as the same ought to have beene in, if this Act had not beene made. Any thing herein before contained to the contrary notwithstanding. (fn. 6)]