Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[4 March 1642/3.]
Whereas, by the bloody Counsels of Papists, and other illaffected Persons, a Rebellion and Insurrection is raised in several Places of this Kingdom; and forasmuch as Sir Ralph Hopton and his Adherents, Rebels and Traitors, in the County of Cornwall, hath levied divers Forces both of Horse and Foot, and hath in a Warlike and Hostile Manner entered into the County of Devon, and besieged, robbed, spoiled, plundered, and pillaged, divers Towns and Places in the said County of Devon and many cruel and barbarous Murthers, Rapes, and other notorious Outrages, hath committed and done, in both the said Counties of Cornwall and Devon, upon divers of His Majesty's good Subjects, and many of them hath utterly ruined and destroyed; and forasmuch as the like is threatened to the good People of the County of Somersett, by the Rebels and Traitors, who have a great Party there, Persons notoriously illaffected; and forasmuch as the Security of the Town of Taunton and the Parts thereabouts, is of great Concernment to the Western Parts: The Lords and Commons now in Parliament assembled, having taken the same into their serious Considerations, do Order and Ordain, That the Mayor, Justices, and Capital Burgesses of the said Town of Taunton, or the greater Number of them, shall have Power, by virtue of this Ordinance, to call and assemble together all and singular the Person and Persons fit for the War, or to be contributary thereunto, within the Borough of Taunton aforesaid, and to the Liberties of the same, and of the Parish of St. James, Wilton, and Hilbishops, or the Liberties or Precincts of all and every of them, and all and every other Person and Persons, that shall voluntarily offer themselves to serve in and for the said Borough, Parishes, and Places aforesaid; and them, after their Abilities and Faculties, well and sufficiently from Time to Time to cause to be arrayed and weaponed; and that the said Mayor, Justices, and Capital Burgesses of the said Town of Taunton, or the greater Number of them, shall hereby have Power to nominate, appoint, and make, Captains and other Officers, and them to remove out of their Places, and to make others, from Time to Time, as they or the major Part of them shall think fit for that Purpose, who are to take the Muster of them in Places in or adjacent to the said Borough, Parishes, and Places, as by the said Mayor, Justices, and Capital Burgesses, or the greater Number of them, shall be thought meet and convenient, and directed for that Purpose; and the said Captains and other Officers all the said Persons shall train, exercise, and put in Readiness, and them to lead and conduct, and employ, arrayed and weaponed for the Defence of the said Boroughs Parishes, and other Places adjacent, and for Suppression of all Rebellions, Insurrections, and Invasions, that at any Time may happen within the several and respective Places, or other Places adjacent; in such Sort and in such Manner as by the Deputy Lieutenants of the County of Somersett, or, in their Absence, by the Mayor of Taunton aforesaid for the Time being, and Roger Hill of Taunton aforesaid Gentleman, shall be thought fit, meet, and expedient; and that, for any Act or Thing done, or to be done, according; to the Tenor of this Ordinance, they and every of them before named, and all and every other Person or Persons by them employed in the execution of this Ordinance, shall be saved harmless by Authority of both Houses of Parliament.