Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[8 December, 1642.]
Whereas an Army, consisting of Papists, Delinquents, and others, ill-affected Persons to the Protestant Religion, and the Laws and Liberties of this Kingdom, have possessed themselves of his Majesty's Person, and, by Colour of His Authority, have marched through divers Counties of this Kingdom, and have plundered, spoiled, and wasted the same, in a barbarous and inhuman Manner, have wounded and plundered many of His Majesty's most faithful Subjects, and are still going on to commit the like Spoil, Waste, and Rapine, in all other Parts, which, if not timely prevented, must necessarily bring a speedy Famine, Death, and Desolation, upon the whole Kingdom; and whereas divers well-affected Persons, out of several Counties, have drawn themselves into a Body to join with the Earl of Essex's Forces, for the suppressing of the said Army (an Act well becoming all true-hearted Englishmen, and Lovers of their Country and Religion, and necessary to be imitated by all other Counties, that would prevent the Ruin of both): Now, forasmuch as those Persons that are, or hereafter shall assemble themselves for that Purpose, cannot bear the Charge thereof, or continue together without the Aid and Assistance of the several Counties out of which they come, and that it is agreeable with all Equity and Justice, that, as the Benefit doth redound to all, so all should bear the Burthen and Charge thereof, it is therefore Ordained and Ordered, by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That the Deputy Lieutenants of the said several Counties, nominated and appointed by Parliament, or any Two of them respectively, shall have Power, and are hereby authorized, within their several Counties, from Time to Time, as the Occasion shall require, to charge the said several Counties with such Sums of Money as shall be requisite for that Service, and to apportion the same upon the several Hundreds and Corporations within the said Counties, according to the usual Proportions in other Public Rates; and shall likewise have Power to nominate Assessors, to tax the Inhabitants of the said Hundreds and Corporations, and to appoint Collectors to levy and collect the same.
And, in case any Person so rated shall refuse to pay the Sum or Sums of Money which he is taxed to pay, that then the said Deputy Lieutenants, or any Two of them, within their several and respective Counties, shall have Power, and are hereby authorized, to issue out their Warrants to the said Collectors, to levy the same by Distress, and to sell the Goods so distrained, returning to the Owner the Overplus; and, in case no Distress can be had or taken, to commit the Party so refusing to the Common Gaol of the County, there to remain, without Bail or Mainprise, until he shall pay the Sum and Sums so assessed as aforesaid.