Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[2 August, 1648.]
Be it Ordained, by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That these Persons following; videlicet, Sir Gilbert Gerard, Sir Edward Barkham, Sir Richard Sprignall, Baronets, Sir John Danvers, Sir Wm. Roberts, Sir John Hippesly, Sir James Harrington, Sir John Thoroughgood, Knights, John Huxley, John Morris, Richard Downton, and Daniell Proctor Esquires, shall be, and are hereby ordained and appointed, Commissioners for the Militia of the County of Midd. without the late Lines of Communication, and Places mentioned in the Weekly Bills of Mortality, for the better Securing and Safety of the Parliament and the said County; and shall have Power and Authority, and are hereby authorized, by themselves or any Five or more of them, to put that Part of the said County into a Posture of Defence; and are hereby authorized to raise, out of the respective Towns, Townships, Parishes, Liberties, and Places, within the said County (other than in such Places as are within the late Lines of Communication and Weekly Bills of Mortality), such Forces of Horse and Foot as they or any Five or more of them shall think fit; and them to list, arm, and exercise, and to form them into Regiments, Troops, and Companies, and them to muster, array, and weapon, from Time to Time, in Places fit for that Purpose; and to appoint over them Colonels, Captains, and other Officers, from Time to Time, by Commissions under the Hands and Seals of the said Commissioners, or any Five or more of them, as often as there shall be Occasion in that Behalf; and are authorized, by themselves, or their said Commanders, to lead, conduct, and employ, the said Persons, arrayed and weaponed, for the Suppression of all Rebellions and Insurrections that may happen within the said County, according as the said Commissioners, or any Five of them, shall from Time to Time give Directions, or shall be otherwise directed by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, or the Committee at Derby House; any former Order, Declaration, or other Matter to the contrary, in any Wise notwithstanding: And if any of the said Forces, either of Horse or Foot, shall refuse or neglect (upon Summons from their respective Officers) to appear with their Horse and Arms so charged upon them, at such Times and Places as they shall be required, or to send some able Man, with such Horse and Arms as shall be charged upon them, that then it shall and may be lawful for the said Commissioners, or any Five or more of them, to impose such Fine upon such Offenders as to them shall seem meet, provided it exceed not the Sum of Five Shillings per Diem upon him that shall find a Foot Arms, and Ten Shillings per Diem upon him that shall find a Horse Arms, the said Fines to be levied by Distress (in case of Refusual), and Sale of their Goods, or to imprison their Persons, until they conform and pay such Fines: And for the Maintenance of the said Forces, it is hereby further Ordained, by the said Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, That the said Commissioners, or any Five or more of them, shall have Power, and are hereby authorized and required, to lay an equal Rate of Assessment upon the said County (other than on such Places as are within the late Lines of Communication and Weekly Bills of Mortality) not exceeding the Sum of Five Hundred Pounds per Mensem, and to nominate and appoint Assessors, Collectors, and Treasurers, of the said Monies, and to grant Warrant or Warrants, under the Hands of any Five or more of them, to any Constable, or other Officer whatsoever, to levy the said Sums so to be assessed and taxed, by Way of Distress and Sale of the Goods of such as shall refuse or neglect to pay the same, together with reasonable Charges of Distraining: And it is further Ordained, That the said Treasurer or Treasurers, which shall be appointed by the said Commissioners, shall issue forth and pay such Monies as shall be paid to him or them by virtue of this Ordinance, in such Sort and Manner as the said Commissioners, or any Five of them, shall, by Warrant or Warrants under their Hands, appoint and direct: And if any of the said Assessors or Collectors shall refuse the Service, or any Constable, Headborough, or other Persons, shall refuse to do or execute any Act or Service which shall be required by the said Commissioners, or any Five of them, in Execution of this Ordinance, or prove negligent therein, the said Commissioners, or any Five of them, shall have Power, and are hereby authorized, to commit such Person to Prison, or to impose such Fine upon him or them as to them shall seem meet, so as such Fine for any One Offence exceed not Ten Pounds, or Imprisonment Twenty Days; such Fines to be disposed for the Uses aforesaid: And all Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, Mayors, Bailiffs, Constables, and other Officers, are required to be aiding and assisting in the due Execution of this Ordinance; for which, the said Commissioners, and all and every the said Persons, shall be saved and kept harmless and indemnified, by the Authority of Parliament.
Provided, That this Ordinance, and every Thing therein contained, shall continue for the Space of Six Months, and no longer.