March 1643: An Ordinance for the speedy raising of foure hundred and fifty pounds weekely in the County of Hertford, over and above their former Assessement, for the fortification and defence of the said County.

Pages 117-123

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

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March 1643

[31 March, 1643.]

Tax of £450 weekly on County of Herts for its defence.;Aliens and Popish Recusants to pay double.; Tax on all persons and Corporations whatsoever, having Lands and Offices of Profit.; Church Ornaments, etc., and Servants' Wages exempted.;Payment to continue weekly for 3 months unless Army be disbanded.; Committees appointed to leavy the aforesaid sums.;Power to Collectors to levy Tax by distress on such as refuse to; Taxes on Land let on rack rent to be paid by landlord, otherwise by Landlord and Tenant jointly.; Injuries to be ractified by Commissioners.

Whereas the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, have beene credibly informed that great forces are now marching from Oxford towards the Counties of Bucks, Bedford, Herts, and Counties adiacent, to the great terrors, affrightment, and amazement of his Maiesties good Subiects, Inhabiting in the Counties aforesaid, and having taken the same into their serious Consideration, doe (for the prevention of all Incursions of enemyes, avoiding of all Rapines and Plundrings, or other mischievous actions) order and ordaine, that there shall be a speedy raising of large and considerable sums of Money for the levying and paying of Forces, fortifying of Townes, and buying of Arms, Ammunition, and whatsoever else may be requisite and necessary for the defence and safety of His Maiesties good Subiects of the County of Herts, Which that it may be done with as much ease and indifferency to the good Subiects as the Exigency of the time will permit, for the intents and purposes aforesaid, The Lords and Commons doe ordain that there shall be rated, taxed, charged and levied, upon the severall Inhabitants of the County of Herts, the sum of foure hundred and fifty pounds every weeke weekely, to be collected and gathered within the severall hundreds of the said County over and above the weekely sum already layd upon the said County; by Ordinance of both Houses of Parliament for the Lord Generals Army, and for the better raising of the said weekly sum of foure hundred and fifty pounds for the use and uses of the County of Herts aforesaid, the said Lords and Commons doe further order and ordaine, that every person and persons as well Ecclesiasticall as Temporall, and every Fraternity, Guild, Corporation, mistery, brotherhood, and Commonalty, corporate or not corporate, as well Ecclesiasticall as Temporall, within the County of Herts, for the valew of every pound which every such persons, Fraternity, Guild Corporation, mistery, brotherhood, or Commonalty, corporate or not corporate, hath of his or their owne, or that any other hath to his or their use, or uses, as well in any Coyne, in Plate, stock of Marchandize, any manner of Corne and graine, houshold stuffe, and of all other goods moveable, within the aforesaid County, and of all such sum and sums of mony as to them is or shall be owing, whereof he or they trust in his or their Conscience to be payd, except and out of the premises deducted such sums of money as he or they owe, and is in his or their conscience intended truly to pay, And except also the Apparell of every such person, their Wives and children belonging to their owne bodies (saving Jewels, Gold, Silver, Stones, Pearle) shall pay towards the said weekly sum of foure hundred and fifty pounds; and every Alien and stranger, as well denizens as others and also every Popish Recusant convict or not convict, and all such as have not at all contributed to the Propositions of both Houses of Parliament, for Arms, Mony, or Plate, shall pay towards the sum aforesaid, a proportion double to those of the like estates being no Aliens or Recusants, and hath contributed to the full upon the Propositions according to their Estates. And that every person within the said County, as well Ecclesiasticall as Temporall, and every corporation, Fraternity, Guild. mystery, brotherhood and commonalty, corporate or not corporate, as well Ecclesiasticall as Temporall for every estate that every such person or persons, and every corporation, Fraternity, Guild, mystery, brotherhood and commonalty, corporate or not corporate, or any other to his or their use in trust or otherwise hath in fee simple, fee taile, for terme of life, tearme of yeeres, by execution, wardship or by Copy of Court Role, of and in any honours, Castles, Mannors, Lands, Tenements, Rents, services, tithes, oblations, obventions, annuities, Offices of profit, Fees, corrodies, or other yearely profits or hereditaments, as well within Antient demesne and other places priviledged as elsewhere, shall pay to and towards the said weekly sum, his and their proportionable part and portion of such summe or sums of money as shall be imposed, charged and set upon every the particulars within the aforesaid County, according as the same shall be divided distributed taxed or set upon each severall Towne, hamlet, Parish or place where such person or persons is or shall be chargeable by this Ordinance and the true intent and meaning thereof, except and alwaies fore-prized from the charge and Assessement of the sum aforesaid, all Goods, Chattels, and Ornaments, belonging to any Churches or Chappels which have been ordained and used in any Churches and Chappels for the service of Almighty God, and except yearely wages due to servants for their yearely service, and the said summe so charged shall by authority of this Ordinance be taxed, sessed, and rated in every hundred, City, Towne, Hamlet, Parish, and every other place within the said County before the 20 of April in the yeare of our Lord one thousand sixe hundred forty and three and the first payment of the said weekely summe so assessed by this Ordinance, shall be made at or before the first day of May 1643. And the said weekely payment to continue weekley for three moneths next ensuing from the first day of May, unlesse the Armies pretended to be the Kings, shall bee disbanded in the meane time, and for the better expediting of the said service, in leavying, assessing, and collecting the said weekly sum of foure hundred and fifty Pounds; Bee it further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That the Lord Viscount Cranborne, Robert Cecill Esquire, Sir John Gerrard, Sir John Read Knights and Baronets, Sir Thomas Dacres, Sir William Litton, Sir John Wittewrong, Knights; Richard Jennings, William Leaman, William Preystley, Gravely Norton Esquires, Edward Atkins, Sergeant at Law, John King Doctor in Physick, Henry Meauris senior, Ralph Freeman, John Heydon, Alexander Wilde, Richard Porter, Adam Washington, Gabriel Barber, John Robotham, Toby Combes, John Pemberton, William Beaman, of Redborne, Litton Fairclough, John Scrogs, Thomas Sadler, of St. Albans, Esquire, the Mayor of St. Albans for the time being, the Maior of Hertford for the time being, Iohn Marsh, Isaac Puller, Thomas Meade, Ralph Pemberton, Iohn Thewer, William Carter of Offeley, Gentlemen, or any two or more of them shall bee appointed and Ordained Committees for the Leavying, Assessing, and collecting of the aforesaid sum of foure hundred and fifty pounds to the uses and purposes already exprest in this Ordinance. And for the better raysing of the foresaid weekely sum, the said Committees shall agree to divide and sever themselves into such hundreds, places, and divisions, within the said County as to them shall seeme meet and expedient; and afterwards the said Committees or any two of them respectively, shall direct their Warrants to such number of persons as they shall thinke fit, within their severall and respective divisions, to appeare before them or before any two of them, and upon their appearance the said respective Committees or any two of them shall nominate and appoint such persons as they shall thinke fit, within their respective divisions; which said persons so nominated or any two of them, shall have power to assesse any person or persons, fraternity, Guild, Corporation, mistery, brotherhood, Commonalty Corporate, or not Corporate, chargeable by this Ordinance, to the weekely rate and proportion in this Ordinance mentioned: and the said Committees or any two of them shall have full power and authority within the said County in their severall divisions, to nominate collectors for the money so assessed and rated as aforesaid, according to this Ordinance, which said collectors shall collect the said Money so assessed, and pay the same to such Treasurers, as shall be appointed by the said Committee, or any five of them; and if any person or persons, fraternity, Guild, Corporation, Mystery, Brotherhood, Commonalty, corporate or not corporate, chargeable by this Ordinance, shall refuse to pay the sum or summes upon him or them assessed by vertue of this Ordinance, or shall not pay the same upon demand at the place of his aboad, or where such assessement shall be made; it shall be lawfull to and for the respective Collectors, or any of them, to leavy all or any such summe or summes so assessed by way of distresse, and sale of the goods of the Person or persons so assessed, where ever the same shall be found, and to breake open any house, chest, trunke, boxe or any other thing where any such goods are, and if any person so distrained, or other, shall make resistance, it shall be lawfull to and for the said respective Collectors or any of them as, they see cause, to call to their assistance, by the power of the superiour Officers of the Forces of the said County, any of the Trained Bands or Companies of Volunteeres or other Forces of, or within the said County, place, or places where such resistance shall be made or any other Person or Persons whatsoever, dwelling in or neere the place, and the severall Officers, Commanders, and Souldiers of the same, or other the Persons so to be called, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said respective Collectors in the premises, as they will answer the contrary thereof, and be it further Ordained that every person to be rated and taxed as aforesaid, if he have an estate either in Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, rents, annuities, Fees, offices goods or chattells, in severall places in the said County, then to be rated in the said severall places, according to such his said estate in the said places, and the summe on him set, to be there levyed accordingly; And be it also Ordained that all Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments of all and every person and persons whatsoever, of what degree or quality soever, or in whose possession soever the same, are or shall be rated, charged, and chargeable, for and towards the raysing and payment of the said weekely summe of money set and charged by this Ordinance, Yet neverthelesse with this Limitation and provision that if the Land be set or let to or neerely the yearely valew thereof in the possession of any Tenant for life, lives, or yeares, or at will, such person or persons to whom the rent thereof belongeth to be solely chargeable therewith, but if the same be let at any easie or small rent or under value, then the summe taxed to be apportioned betweene the party or parties to whom the rent belongeth, and the Tenant or occupier of the lands, Tenements and hereditaments as the taxers shall thinke meete, and if they or any of them shall doe any Iniury the same to be rectified by the said Committees or any two of them within their severall limits and divisions according to their discretion.

Tenant unjustly taxed to have redress

And if any such Tenant or Occupier of Lands, Tenements or herditaments, shall or may be charged with any sum of money, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this Ordinance, that it shall and may be lawfull to and for such Tenant or Occupier to stop and detaine the same from and out of his Rent due for the same Land, or to take his lawfull remedy (against such person or persons to whom the said Rent is or shall be due or belonging, who ought by the true meaning of this Ordinance to be charged with it) by action of debt, wherein no Wager of Law, protection or essoine shall be allowed, and for all manner of debts whatsoever, or sum or sums of money due or owing to any person or persons, by any person or persons within the said County, the person or persons to whom such debts shall be due to be charged for the same, during his abode, and residence in the said County.

Household Servants to King, and others, not exempted.; Persons that wrongly escape payment to be taxed treble.; If no distress of goods, Tax to be levied on Debts owing.; Persons over-rated to be relieved by Committee upon examination.; Allowance to Collectors and others.;Assessors and Collectors that refuse this service or prove faulty therein may be imprisoned or fined.; Persons that conceal Goods to avoid Tax to be treated as Delinquents.

And be it Ordained that no person, being or calling himselfe household servant, or waiting servant to the Kings Maiesty or other Lord or Lady, Master or Mistris be excused from the Taxes of the said payment when he shall be set and taxed in the hundreds, Hamlets, Parishes, and other places of the said County. And if any person that ought to be set and Taxed to the said payment, by his crime or craft, or any words or sayings, or otherwise, happen to escape from the said payments, to be not set, and Taxed according to the true meaning of this Ordinance and that proceed by presentment, examination, information, or other wayes before the said Committees or any two of them, then every such person shall be charged upon the knowledge and proofe thereof; At the treble value of so much as he should, might, or ought to have beene set or taxed at, by vertue of this Ordinance, and the same to be levied, gathered, and paid out of his Goods and Chattells, Lands and Tenements, towards the said payment, in such manner as is herein limited for others which refuse to pay: and if no distresse bee found of the goods, or other things of such person or persons, bodies corporate, or other chargeable by this Ordinance, as shall not pay the weekly rate as aforesaid; then the said Collectors shall have power to enquire of any summe or summes of money due, or to be due to the persons so assessed as aforesaid, from any person or persons for any Rents, Tithes, Goods, or Debts, or other thing or cause whatsoever, and to compound for any of the said Rents, Tythes, Goods, Debts, due to the person so assessed respectively as aforesaid, with any person or persons, by whom the said Rents, Tithes, Goods, Debts, or other things due unto the said person respective as aforesaid; As also to give full discharge for the money, by them so received upon composition or otherwise, which discharge shall be good and effectuall to all intents and purposes. And be it further Ordained that if any person, or persons shall finde him or themselves agrieved, that he or they, is or are over-rated; such person or persons at any time before distresse taken, of his, or their Goods, (except it be such persons as have not at all contributed to the propositions of both Houses of Parliament, and these shall pay their tax or rate, so that it doth not exceed the twentieth part of their Estates, yet never the lesse no man shall be taxed, or levied, at, or above the sum of ten pounds by the week) may complain to the Committee, who have executed this Ordinance, which said Committee or any two of them shall have power upon examination to relieve such person or persons as they shall see cause; And for the better encouragement of the Collectors in this said Service, It is Ordained that three pence in the pound shall be allowed for every sum of money which shall be collected, & paid to such Treasurers & Receivers as shall be nominated by the Committee or any five of them; Two pence whereof shall be allowed to the Collectors, and the residue to such other persons as shalbe imployed in the said service, according to the discretion of the Committee, or any two of them. And to the end that all the moneys may be duely collected; Be it ordayned that the severall assessors within the said County shall within one weeke next after their assessements made, returne their said severall Assessements unto the Committees aforesaid; who, or any two of them are hereby required within ten dayes after the return of such severall Assessements, to deliver a Copy thereof subscribed with their or any two of their hands, to the severall Collectors within their said divisions or limits, and also within the like ten dayes to send an other Copy thereof to the Treasurers appointed, to the end, the said Treasurers may thereby know what they are to receive of every Parish, or place within the said County. And if any assessors or collectors shall refuse the said Service, or prove negligent or faulty therein, the said Committee, or any two of them, shall have power to commit such Assessors, or Collectors to prison, or to set such a fine upon him or them as they shall thinke fit, not exceeding the sum of twenty pounds upon the Assessors or the sum of five pounds upon the Collectors, The same to be levied by distresse and sale of such Offenders Goods, to the uses herein mentioned in such sort as is herein before appointed for such as refuse to pay the rates assessed upon him and them. And shall also certifie the said Offence to the Lords and Commons in Parliament, and shall have power to nominate other Assessors and Collectors: And if any person or persons so Assessed, and Rated, as aforesaid shall conceale, or convey away his or their Goods, so that no distresse can be taken, or that the said sum or sums so Assessed upon him or them, cannot be had, or levied by any of the wayes, or meanes in this Ordinance mentioned, Then the said Collectors shall respectively certifie the same, in case hee be under the degree of a Peere of the Realme, to the Committee of the Commons House of Parliament for examinations, which said Committee shall hereby have power to send for such person and persons as Delinquents, and to commit him or them to such place or places within this Kingdome, and for so long time, as the Committee for examinations shall think fit.

Assessors and Collectors to have Protection of Parliament, and fit allowance.

And it is Ordained that all and every the Assessors, and Collectors aforesaid and all that shall assist them in the premisses shall be protected by both Houses of Parliament from all damage that may come to them, or any of them by this Service; and shall further receive such. Allowances for their charges, and obedience in execution of this Ordinance, as shall be thought fit upon examination by the Committee of the said County, or any three of them,

Treasurers to keep Register Book

And further, it is Ordered that the Treasurers appointed by the said Committee for the County in the manner aforesaid shall keepe a Register Booke of the severall sums received and paid out by them, that so they may give a good account (of the receipts and disbursements of all the sums of money collected in the said County, by vertue of this Ordinance) unto the Committee of the County, when thereunto they shall be required by the Parliament.

To issue moneys only by Order of Committees.

And lastly it is Ordained, that the Treasurers of the County, as before appointed shall issue out no sum or sums of Money, which by vertue of this Ordinance is brought into their hands, to any person or persons, or for any the foresaid use or uses, but as they shall receive Order under the Committees hands appointed by this Ordinance for the County of Hertford or any three of them.