Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[9 June, 1657.]
Idle, loose and dissolute persons wandring shall be adjudged Rogues, &c.; 39. Eliz. cap. 4.
Whereas the number of wandring, idle, loose, dissolute. and disorderly persons is (of late) much increased, by reason of some Defects in the Laws and Statutes heretofore made and provided for the punishment of Rogues, Vagabonds, and Sturdy Beggers (they being seldome taken begging) by means whereof divers Robberies, Burglaries, Thefts, Insurrections and other Misdemeanors have been occasioned; for the prevention whereof, Be it Enacted by his Highness the Lord Protector and this present Parliament, and the authority thereof, that all and every idle, loose and dissolute person and persons, which from and after the first day of July, One thousand six hundred fifty seven, shall be found and taken within the Commonwealth of England, vagrant and wandring from his or their usual place of living or abode, and shall not have such good and sufficient cause or business for such his or their travelling or wandring, as the Justices or Justice of Peace, Mayors, or other Chief Officer or Officers of the respective Counties or Corporations, before whom such person or persons shall be brought, shall approve of; That then every such idle, loose, and dissolute person and persons, so taken vagrant and wandring as aforesaid, shall be adjudged, and are hereby adjudged and declared to be Rogues, Vagabonds, and Sturdy Beggers, within the Statute made in the Nine and thirtieth year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth Cap. 4. For the Suppressing of Rogues, Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggers, and shall be proceeded against and punished as Rogues, Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggers within the said Statute, although they shall not be taken begging, any Law, Statute or Usage to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
Fidlers or Minstrels.
And be it further Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons commonly called Fidlers or Minstrels, shall at any time after the said First day of July, be taken playing, fidling and making musick in any Inn, Alehouse, or Tavern, or shall be taken proffering themselves, or desiring, or intreating any person or persons to hear them to play, or make musick in any the places aforesaid, that every such person and persons so taken, shall be adjudged, and are hereby adjudged and declared to be Rogues Vagabonds, and Sturdy Beggers, and shall be proceeded against and punished as Rogues, Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggers within the said Statute, any Law, Statute or Usage to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.