March 1643: An Ordinance for an Assessment to be made in the several Parishes of England, for the relief of maimed Soldiers Widows, and fatherless Children.

Pages 102-103

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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March 1643

[6 March, 1642/3.]

Stock to be raised for relief of maimed Soldiers, Widdows, and Children of Persons slain.; Who shall assess it.; Distribution.; Accounts.; Distress.; What Certificate shall be brought by persons seeking relief.

Whereas divers well-affected persons have gone forth in the Army raised by the Parliament, for the defence of the Parliament Religion, Laws, and Liberties of the Subjects of England, and in fight have received divers wounds and maims in their bodies whereby they are disabled to relieve themselves by their usual labour, and divers others have lost their lives in the said Service, whereby they have left their Wives and Children destitute of Relief to support and sustain them; The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, taking the same into their pious and charitable consideration, and having relieved divers of them here at London with some small relief for their present subsistence; but finding that that course cannot be held for any continuance of time, without many inconveniences, Have thought fit, and do hereby ordain, That in every Parish within the Kingdome of England, wherein any such persons either now maimed, or slain, did last inhabite afore their going forth to the aforesaid service, shall raise a competent stock of Money by way of assessment upon the Inhabitants of the said several Parishes, for the relief of the said maimed Souldiers, and the Widdows and fatherless Children of the said slain persons: And that the Church-wardens, Collectors for the Poor, Constables, Tything, men, or any two of them within any of the said several Parishes shall hereby have power and authority to assess, levy and collect so much upon the several Inhabitants of their several Parishes, as they in their discretions shall think fit and necessary for the relief of the said maimed Souldiers, Widdows and fatherless Children, and to distribute the same according to the several necessities of the said poor People, and shall once every year, at the several Quarter-Sessions holden for the County, or for any Borough or Town Corporate that hold any Sessions, wherein any such assessment or collection shall be made, send in their particular accounts, both of their assessments, collections and disbursments, there to be recorded: And if any shall refuse to pay according to the said assessments, the said assessors shall hereby have power to distrain the Goods or Chattels of all such persons as shall so refuse for the satisfaction of the said assessment, and shall and may certifie the names to the Committee of the House of Commons for examinations, who shall have power to send for them as Delinquents: And to the end that the deceipts which may be endeavoured in the due prosecution of this Ordinance may be prevented, It is further hereby Ordained, that all such Souldiers who have been maimed in the service of the Parliament aforesaid; as also all such Widdows and fatherless Children whose Husbands and Fathers have been slain in the said service or shall die of any hurt received in the said service, shall bring unto the aforementioned Assessors, a Certificate under the hand of the Colonel, or under the hand of some other Commander, or the Clerk of the Band of that Regiment wherein the said Souldiers or slain persons did formerly serve, of the truth of their being maimed or slain in the said Service, which shall be a sufficient Warrant for the said Assessors to make and levy such Assessments as aforesaid.