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.
A Court of Record constituted.; How to proceed, and what to determine.; Differences between Landlord and Tenant.; Repairs, &c.; Defalcation, Apportioning, &c. of Rent.; Exception.; Times for Repairs, &c.; Definitive Order to be final.
Forasmuch as the greatest part of the Towne of Northampton hath beene burnt downe by a suddaine and dreadfull Fire which happened in September last, and diverse Suites and Controversies by reason thereof are likely to arise betweene the severall Proprietors and others claiming under them, tending (if not prevented) to the great Vexation and Dammage of the poore Inhabitants, and hindering the rebuilding the said Towne [For Remedy thereof, as also for the promoting the rebuilding of the said Towne (fn. 1)] Bee it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in the present Parliament assembled, and by the authoritie of the same That the Judges of Assize for the County of Northampton and other the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and the Barons of the Coife of the Exchequer for the time being, the Justices of Peace for the said County for the time being and the Maior of the Towne of Northampton for the time being, and Sir John Holman Baronet, Sir Edmond Bray Knight Thomas Willoughby James Stedman Robert Heslerige Thomas Andrews Thomas Ward Charles Fleetwood Daniell Danvers Salathiell Lovell and William Kimbold Esquires or any five or more of them sitting at the same time and place together at the Guildhall or some other place within the said Towne of Northampton shall be, and by [the (fn. 2)] authoritie aforesaid are made and constituted a Court of Record, and shall or may with or without adjournment from time to time summarily and without the Formalities of Proceedings in Courts of Law or Equity by Verdict, Testimony of Wittnesses upon Oath, Examination of Parties interested or by all or any of the said wayes or otherwise at their discretions shall and are hereby authorized from time to time to heare and to determine all Differences and Demands whatsoever which have arisen or may any wise arise between Landlords, Proprietors, Tennants, Lessees, Under Tennants or late Occupiers of any the said Houses or Buildings with their Appurtenances or their Courts Yards or Grounds or any person or persons haveing or claimeing any Estate, Right, Title Interest in Law or Equity, 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 not building of the said Houses or Buildings Yards Courts and Grounds or for or concerning the payment defalcation, apportioning or abatement of any Rent or Rents other then Arreares of Rent onely due on or before the nine and twentyeth day of September one thousands six hundred seaventy and five, 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 or any Rate or Contribution to be borne or paid. thereunto by any person or persons Bodyes Politique or Corporate interested in the Premisses and all Incidents relateing thereunto, And that the definitive Order of the said Court as aforesaid shall be finall as well betweene the said Partyes their Heires Executors Administrators Successors and Assignes and all claiming by, from or under them as touching the matter contained in such Orders from which there shall bee noe Appeale or Review otherwise then as is hereafter expressed.
II. The said Court may make a Decree to charge, &c. Estates, or to order a new or longer Estate to be made, notwithstanding Infancy, Coverture, &c.
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That the said Judges of Assize for the County of Northampton and other the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and the Barrons of the Coife of the Exchequer for the time being, the Justices of the Peace for the said County for the time being and the Maior of the Towne of Northampton for the time being and Sir John Holman Baronet Sir Edmond Bray Knight, Thomas Willoughby James Stedman Robert Heslerige Thomas Andrews Thomas Ward Charles Fleetwood Daniell Danvers Salathiell Lovell and William Kimbold Esquires or any five or more of them as aforesaid shall have authority and are hereby impowered where they shall thinke it convenient to order the surrendering, increaseing, abridgeing, ceaseing, determining or chargeing of any Estates in the Premisses, or to order new or longer Estates to be made of any of the Premisses by the Proprietors or Owners thereof or other persons interessed therein to any Tennant or Sub Tennant or late Occupier of the same their Executors Administrators Successors or Assignes at such 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 Rent, 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 Church or otherwise, And that Infants Femes covert Ideots, persons of non sane memory or beyond the Seas, Tenants in Taile Bishops Deanes and Chapters and other Ecclesiasticall persons and their Successors Corporations and all other person or persons Bodies Naturall and Pollitique their Heires and Successors and their respective Interest shall be bound and concluded by such respective Order or Orders according to the tenor or purport thereof, Any Law, Statute or Custome or other matter or thing to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. Court may make Rules and Directions in respect of the Forms and Order of Buildings;and may enlarge or alter Streets, Lanes, Roads, and Passages, &c.; and may agree for Ground to be used for those Purposes;
And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That the said Court shall have power and authority to make and appoint from time to time such Rules and Directions in the Formes and Orders of Building to bee observed in the rebuilding of such Houses as were demolished by or by reason of the said late Fire or any of them, and for other Buildings made or to be made since the said dreadfull Fire as they shall thinke fitt and convenient for the better Securitie and Ornament of the said Towne, And that the new Buildings of the said demolished Houses and all such other Buildings shall be pursuant to such Rules and Directions soe given, And alsoe that the said Court shall and may appoint and decree the enlargement or alteration of any of the Streets, Lanes, Roades and Passages and other places of publique use in the said Towne for the better use and conveniency thereof. And to the end that reasonable satisfaction may be given for all such Ground as shall be made use of and imployed to and for the uses aforesaid, the said Court shall and may treate and agree with the Owners and others interested therein. And if any person shall wilfully refuse to treate and agree as aforesaid, or through any by disability by Non-age, Coverture, especiall Entaile or other Impediment cannot accept thereof That in such cases the said Court are hereby impowered to impannell and summon a Jury before them, which Jury upon their Oathes (to be administred by the said Court) are to assesse such Dammage and Recompence as they shall judge fitt to be awarded to the Owners and others interested in the said Ground for their respective Interests in the same, and upon payment of the said money soe awarded or tendered and refusall thereof, the Interest of all persons in the said Ground shall be for ever bound, and the same shall for ever after remaine to the uses aforesaid.
IV. Court may alter Foundations.
And further That the said Court for the better Regulation of the new Building of the said demolished Houses or any of them shall by the authoritie of this Act have power to order or appoint the alteration of the Foundations, or to take from one House and add to another or to order or appoint such other alterations as shall in their Judgements be expedient for the better rebuilding of the said Towne. And that the said Court shall and may award what summe of money shall be paid by the person who hath any benefitt by such alteration unto the person or persons who hath any losse or dammage thereby in satisfaction for the same. And in case the said person or persons will not, or through any such disability or other impediment as is before in this Act expressed cannot accept thereof, in such cases the said Court are hereby impowered to impannell and summon a Jury before them, which Jury upon their Oathes to be administred by the said Court are to assesse such Dammage and Recompence as they thinke fitt to be awarded by the person who hath benefitt by such alteration or addition to the person or persons damnified for his or their losse and dammage thereby, and upon payment of the said money soe awarded or tender and refusall thereof, the person or persons damnified shall be for ever barred and the person haveing benefitt thereby his Heires and Assignes shall for ever after hold and enjoy that which shall be soe appointed and assigned to him by the said Court as aforesaid.
V. Court not to take away any Ground but only for Enlargement of the Streets, &c. as herein mentioned.
Several Houses to be taken away; If Owners do not build within Three Years, then the Court to dispose of the Ground to such Person as will build; Satisfaction to be made to the Proprietor of the Soil.; In case of Refusal a Jury to be impannelled; Payment of Money, &c. a Perpetual Bar.
Provided That the said Rules and Directions doe not extend to the takeing away of the Ground or Soile of any person or persons Bodies Pollitique or Corporate or others otherwise then to enlarge the Passages at the Corners and Places herein after mentioned and to take away the Houses herein after expressed that is to say To inlarge the Passage at the Corner which stands in the Passage betweene the South Streete and the Streete called the Drapery, the Corner. House there being late in the Tenure of Bartholimew Manning, and at the Corners which stand in the Passage betweene the said Streete called the Drapery and the Streete called the Sheepe Market on the North end of the said Streete called the Drapery, and to inlarge all the Streete or Passage betweene the North-side of All Saints Church and the Houses to be built over against it and the Streete or Passage on the South-side of the said Church and the Houses to be built over against it, and to take away all those Houses which stood betweene the Row of Buildings lying on the South side of the Markett Hill called the Mercers Row and the Row of Buildings lyeing on the North side of the said Market Hill, and to enlarge the North corner of the 'Passage betweene the Market place and the Streete called Abington Streete, and to inlarge the passage which went about the midle of the East side of the Drapery Streete into the Market place, And further in case the Proprietors or Owners of the Houses demolished by or by reason of the said Fire or their Assignes shall not within the space of three yeares next ensueing after the said Fire lay the Foundations of their Houses to be rebuilt and shall not within the time to be limited by the said Court rebuild and finish the same that upon such default the said Court shall have power and authority by their Order and Decree to dispose of the said Houses soe to be rebuilt and of the Soile thereof and of all Yards, Backsides, Orchards Gardens and other Appurtenances thereunto belonging to such person as will rebuild the same their Heires and Assignes, And that the said Court shall and may award what summe of money or other satisfaction the person who undertakes to be the Rebuilder shall give for the same to the Proprietor or Proprietors, Owner or Owners makeing such default as aforesaid. And in case the said person or persons makeing default will not or through any such disability or other impediment as is before in this Act expressed cannot accept thereof, in such cases the said Court are hereby impowered to impannell and summon a Jury before them, which Jury upon their Oathes to be administred by the said Court), are to assessé such recompence and satisfaction as they shall thinke fitt to be awarded and paid unto the person or persons makeing default in rebuilding for the said Houses to be rebuilt and for the Soile thereof and for the Yards Backesides Orchards Gardens and other Appurtenances thereunto belonging by the person who undertakes to be the Rebuilder. And upon payment of the said recompence and satisfaction soe awarded, or tender and refusall thereof, the said person or persons makeing default in rebuilding his Heires and Assignes and all others shall be for ever barred and the said Houses to be rebuilt and the Soile and other the Appurtenances thereof soe assigned by the said Court unto the Undertaker to rebuild the same shall for ever after be and remaine unto the said Rebuilder his Heires and Assignes for ever in such manner as the said Court shall have assigned and appointed the same.
VI. Houses, &c. to be covered with Lead, Slate, or Tile.
And for the preventing of future danger by Fire It is further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That all Houses, Outhouses and other Buildings demolished by the late Fire or hereafter to be built within the said Towne shall bee covered with Leade, Slate or Tile and not otherwise, and that noe perillous Trade in respect of Fire shall hereafter be used or exercised in the principall publique parts or Streets of the said Towne, and that all Houses and Buildings hereafter to be built which shall bee covered contrary to this present Act, and all Houses demolished by the said Fire, built contrary to the Forme, Order and Direction of the said Court shall be adjudged and are hereby declared to be common and publique Nusances and be proceeded against and dealt with accordingly.
VII. Appeal from an Order made by less than Seven of the Judges.
And bee it alsoe enacted by the authority aforesaid That where any such Order or Decree as aforesaid shall be made by a lesser number of the said Judges Justices of Peace and other the persons abovenamed and authorized then Seaven it shall be lawfull for any person agreived by such Order or Decree to present his Exceptions to the same in Writeing within twenty dayes next after such Order or Decree made to one of the Judges of Assize for the said County of Northampton for the time being or other the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench or Common Pleas or the Barons of the Coife of the Exchequer for the time being, and if one of them shall subscribe thereunto that hee findes probable cause of complaint then it shall be lawfull to or for any seaven or more of the Judges of Assize Justices of the Peace and other persons abovenamed that made not the said Order or Decree) sitting at the same time together at the Guildhall or some other place within the said Towne of Northampton, to review the said former Order or Decree, and thereupon to reverse, confirme, inlarge, diminish or otherwise alter any such Order or Decree as in their Judgements they shall thinke fitt, or otherwise to award Costs against such Appeallants for their vexation and delay, and to leavy the same by distresse and sale of his, her or their Goods rendering the overplus if any be. Provided alwayes That such Appeales bee fully finished and determined within the space of six moneths next following after the delivering in of such Exceptions as aforesaid.
VIII. Judgments and Decrees good both in Law and Equity.
And for the better satisfaction of Builders Purchasers and other concerned It is further enacted by the authority aforesaid That all and every Judgement Order and Decree soe made as aforesaid shall be good, valid and effectuall both in Law and Equity to all intents and purposes and shall be obeyed by all persons concerned therein, and shall binde and conclude Infants, Feme coverts, Ideots, persons of non sane memory or beyond the Sea, Tennants in Taile, Bishops Deanes and [Chapters and (fn. 3)] all other Ecclesiasticall Persons and Corporations and their Successors and all other persons Bodyes Naturall and Pollitique whatsoever and that noe Writt of Error or Certiorari shall be for the removeall or reversall of the same. And for the perpetuating the same to all Posterity that the said Judgements Orders and Decrees shall be fairely entred into one or more [Booke or (fn. 4)] Bookes and be subscribed with the [Names (fn. 5)] of the persons that made the same and that the said Bookes be delivered in unto the Maior and Aldermen of the said Towne of Northampton for the time being, to the end the same may be safely disposed and kept in the Chamber of the said Towne for ever amongst their Records and Evidences and that all persons concerned may have free liberty of recourse unto the said Bookes to peruse the same from time to time as occasion shall require. The powers and authorities given and mentioned in this Act to continue for the space of ten yeares and noe longer.
IX. All Justices of the County that inhabit in the Town, shall be Justices in the Town.
And for the better encouragement of Gentlemen and others to build and reside in the said Towne Bee it enacted by ( (fn. 6)) authority aforesaid That the Justices of the Peace for the County of Northampton from time to time being who shall be Inhabitants within the said Towne may for ever hereafter use and exercise their said Office to all intents and purposes within the said Towne and Liberties thereof, and in the Sessions of the said Towne to be held as they may or can doe in the said County at large, or in the publique Sessions thereof. And that all other persons who from time to time shall be Justices of the Peace for the said County shall for ever hereafter use and exercise the said Office within the said Towne and Liberties thereof dureing the time in which the Assizes and publique Sessions of the Peace for the said County shall be there kept, And that all and every such persons as are not Free of the said Towne and shall build any House or Houses in the said Towne to the value of Three hundred pounds or upwards (within seaven yeares) from the twentyeth day of September last past by and according to the Order of the said Court, such persons shall have liberty to exercise any Trade within the said Towne as any Freeman of the said Towne may doe.
X. Persons executing Act, to take an Oath.
Provided alwayes and it is hereby enacted That all and every person and persons before they execute any of the powers or authorities in the said Act mentioned shall take this Oath following before any two Justices of Peace of the said County of Northampton for the time being which they are hereby impowered to administer That is to say
I Doe hereby sweare That I will justly and truely execute the Powers and Authorities in this Act contained according to the best of my knowledge without favour or affection to any of the Partyes concerned
XI. In Actions for executing Act, General Issue.
And lastly it is enacted That if any person or persons shall be sued or impleaded for any matter or thing done in the execution of this Act or in pursuance thereof he or they may pleade the Generall Issue and give the speciall matter in Evidence, and if the Plaintiffe shall be Nonsuite, or a Verdict doe passe against him, such Defendant shall have and recover his double Cost.
An Act for the better enabling of Mary Countesse Dowager of Warwicke to performe the last Will and Testament of her deceased [Husband (fn. 7)] Charles late Earle of Warwicke.