Statutes of the Realm: Volume 6, 1685-94. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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WHEREAS for severall charitable and good Reasons an Act of Parliament was made the Two and twentyeth and Three and twentyeth yeares of the Raigne of our late Soveraigne Lord King Charles the Second Entituled An Act for the Reliefe and Release of poore distressed Prisoners for Debt and because of some dubious Construction of some words mentioned in the said Act the same did not answere the full intent for which it was made Wherefore for better Explanation thereof and to supply the Defects which did obstruct the good ends and purposes of the said Act another Act was made by the same Parliament in the Thirtyeth yeare of the said late King Entituled An Act for the further Reliefe and Discharge of poore distressed Prisoners for Debt By which said last Act it was Enacted That all Persons being in Prison upon the Nine and twentyeth day of May One thousand six hundred seventy eight for Debt or Damages upon any manner of Processe whatsoever issueing out of any Court of Law or Equity and who should take the Oath in the said first recited Act mentioned should and might be released and discharged from their Imprisonments in the same manner as persons being Prisoners might have beene by the first mentioned Act and in case the said Debt and Damages had beene ascertained by Judgement Now Their present Majesties takeing into their charitable and pious Consideration the sad Condition of many thousands of poore Prisoners in Prison for Debt ready to perish and being noe lesse piously inclined and intended to ease and relieve their poore distressed Subjects in prison then any other Kings and Queens Their Predecessors have beene But seriously considering the many Abuses which happened under the two before mentioned late Acts by Sheriffes Goalers and Keepers of Prisons in discharging and releasing Persons from prison who were not within the Benefit of the said Acts and who were not really and truely Prisoners at the aforesaid Nine and twentieth day of May One thousand six hundred seventy eight And the many Frauds by persons abuseing the Favour thereby to them intended by entring themselves Prisoners under faigned Actions thereby to decieve and defraud their Creditors of their just Debts Their said Majesties by and with the Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same have Enacted And it is hereby Enacted That all Persons in Prison upon the Eight and twentyeth day of November in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninety for Debt or Damages or for or upon any Action or Actions or upon any meane Processe for Debt Accompt or Trespasse upon the Case which Actions by Prosecution of Law may be Judgments for Debt or Damages or who may have Judgments entred upon Record against them or are charged in Execution or Imprisoned upon Attachments for Debt or upon Outlawries before or after Judgment for Debt or upon any other Processe whatsoever issued out of any Court of Law or Equity for the cause of Debt or Damages or Costs onely who shall take the Oath in the said first recited Act mentioned and the Oath in this present Act following shall and may be released and discharged from their Imprisonments in the same forme and in such manner as is contained and mentioned in the said two before mentioned late Acts and as if such person was Prisoner before and at the time mentioned for the release and discharge of such Prisoner in either of the aforementioned late Acts
II. Justices of Peace making Order for Discharge to give Gaolers, &c. an Oath.
And it is further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That any Justice or Justices of the Peace who pursuant to the before two mentioned late Acts and according to the true intent and meaning of this present Act shall make any Order for the Discharge of any poore Prisoner for Debt they the said Justice or Justices, shall cause to come and call before them ( (fn. 1)) Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison of such Goale or Prison of and from whence such Prisoner or Prisoners he she or they is or are and shall administer and give to such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison an Oath to this effect following Viz[one]t
I A B doe Sweare That J S was really and truely my Prisoner in my custodie without any fraud, or deceit by me or by any other to my knowledge at or upon the eight and twentyeth day of November in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninety Soe helpe me God.
And if such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison or who was Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of such Prison at the time of such persons first Imprisonment and thereof not discharged and from whence such Prisoner is about to be Discharged shall refuse being duely summoned to appeare before the said Justice or Justices and shall refuse to take the before mentioned Oath soe to be given and administered by the said Justice or Justices as aforesaid such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison shall forfeit and pay to such Prisoner soe about to be discharged and released from Prison and thereby detained the value of such Debt or Debts for which he or she shall be Imprisoned to be recovered by Action of Debt in any Their Majestyes Courts of Record And if any such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison shall forsweare and perjure himselfe and shall be thereof lawfully convicted such Sheriffe Goaler or Keeper of Prison shall incurr and suffer such penalties as are now in force and may by Law be inflicted upon persons Convicted of Perjury
III. Prisoner discharged must take an Oath.
And it is alsoe Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That such Prisoner as shall take the benefit of this Act according to the Forme of the two before mentioned late Acts as is hereby required and shall take the Oath in the first recited Act mentioned shall alsoe before such Justice or Justices of the Peace by whome such Oath is to be given and administred likewise take an Oath to this Effect (Vizt)
I A B doe Sweare That on the eight and twentyeth day of November in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and ninety I was actually a Prisoner in the custodie of the Goaler or Keeper of D. Prison in the County of C at the Suite of J. S. without my consent or procurement or by any fraud or collusion whatsoever Soe helpe me God. And if any Prisoner who shall take the benefitt of this Act and shall in pursuance of the same take the Oathes for any the purposes hereby appointed shall Forsweare himselfe then shall such person being thereof lawfully convicted beyond and over above the penalties which may by Law now in force be inflicted upon persons Convicted of Perjury suffer Imprisonment for the space of Seven Yeares without Baile or Mainprize Provided neverthelesse That this Act shall not extend to any person or persons in Execution for any Fine on him her or them imposed for any Offence by him or her or them committed
IV. Taking the Oaths, &c. how performed.
And lastly it is declared and enacted by the Authority aforesaid That takeing the Oaths and giveing to the Creditors such Notice as is by this present Act required in all other things for the release and discharge of any poore Prisoner from prison it shall be observed and performed in the same forme and method as is mentioned in and directed by the said two before mentioned late Acts of Parlyament. Provided That noe Person shall be discharged out of Prison or have any benefitt or advantage by force or vertue of this Act who shall stand charged with more then the Summe of One hundred pounds principall Money or Damages or shall stand charged with any Debt to Their Majestyes
V. Judgment still good against Lands and Goods.
[Provided alwayes and bee it further Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That notwithstanding the discharge of the Person of such Prisoner as aforesaid upon takeing the Oath aforesaid all and every Judgement had and taken against him or her shall be and stand good and effectuall in the Law to all intents and purposes against the Lands Tenements Hereditaments Goods and Chattells onely of the said Prisoner soe discharged as aforesaid And it shall and may be lawfull to and for such Creditor of such Prisoner or Prisoners soe discharged as aforesaid his Executors Administrators or Assignes to take out any new Execution against the Lands Tenements Hereditaments Goods and Chattells of such Prisoner or Prisoners (his or her Wearing Apparell Bedding for him and his or her Family and Tools necessary for his or her Trade and Occupation onely excepted) for the satisfaction of his her or their said Debt in such sort manner and forme as he she or they might have done if the person or persons of such Prisoner or Prisoners had never beene taken in Execution Any Act Statute or Custome to the contrary notwithstanding. (fn. 2)]
An Act to vest diverse Messuages and Tenements (the Estate of David Bigg Esq[uire]) in trustees to be sold and for laying out the money to be raised thereby in the purchase of Lands more to his convenience to be setled to the same uses.
An Act for the better enableing Jane Bray Widow relict and sole executrix of the last Will of Reginald Bray Esquire deceased and others to the speedier raising of the Portions already appointed for her daughters by the said Reginald Bray.