Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[6 January 1648-9.]
Whereas it is notorious, That Charles Stuart, the now King of England, not content with those many Encroachments which his Predecessors had made upon the People in their Rights and Freedoms, hath had a wicked Design totally to Subvert the Ancient and Fundamental Laws and Liberties of this Nation, and in their place to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannical Government, and that besides all other evil ways and means to bring this Design to pass, he hath prosecuted it with Fire and Sword, Levied and maintained a cruel War in the Land, against the Parliament and Kingdom, whereby the Country hath been miser ably wasted, the Publick Treasure Exhausted, Trade decayed, thousands of People murdered, and infinite other mischiefs committed; For all which high and treasonable Offences the said Charles Stuart might long since justly have been brought to exemplary and condign Punishment: Whereas also, the Parliament well hoping that the Restraint and Imprisonment of his Person, after it had pleased God to deliver him into their Hands, would have quieted the distempers of the Kingdom, did forbear to proceed Judicially against him; but found by sad Experience, that such their Remissness served only to encourage him and his Complices in the continuance of their evil practices, and in raising of new Commotions Rebellions and Invasions; for prevention therefore of the like or greater Inconveniences, and to the end no Chief Officer or Magistrate whatsoever may hereafter presume traiterously and maliciously to imagine or contrive the Enslaving or Destroying of the English Nation, and to expect Impunity for so doing, Be it Ordained and Enacted by the Commons in Parliament, and it is hereby Ordained and Enacted by Authority thereof, That Thomas Lord Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, Esquires, Sir Hardress Waller, Knight, Philip Skippon, Valentine Wauton, Thomas Harrison, Edward Whalley, Thomas Pride, Isaac Ewer, Richard Ingoldsby, Henry Mildmay, Esquires Sir Thomas Honywood, Thomas Lord Grey of Groby, Philip Lord Lisle, William Lord Mounson, Sir John Danvers, Sir Thomas Maleverer Baronet, Sir John Bourchier, Sir James Harrington, Sir William Allanson, Sir Henry Mildmay, Sir Thomas Wroth, Knights, Sir William Masham, Sir John Barrington, Sir William Brereton, Baronets, Robert Wallop, William Heveningham, Esquires, Isaac Pennington, Thomas Atkins, Rowland Wilson Alderman of the City of London, Sir Peter Wentworth, Knight of the Bath, Henry Martin, William Purefoy, Godfrey Bosvile, John Trenchard, Herbert Morley, John Berkstead, Matthew Tomlinson, John Blackiston, Gilbert Millington, Esquires, Sir William Constable, Baronet, Edmond Ludlow, John Lambert, John Hutchinson, Esquires, Sir Arthur Hesilrige, Sir Michael Livesey, Baronets, Richard Salwey, Humphry Salwey, Robert Tichbourn, Owen Roe, Robert Manwaring, Robert Lilbourn, Adrian Scroop, Richard Deare, John Okey, Robert Overton, John Huson, John Desborough, William Goff, Robert Duckenfield, Cornelius Holland, John (fn. 1) Carey, Esquires, Sir William Armyn, Baronet, John Jones, Esquire, Miles Corbet, Francis Allen, Thomas Lister, Benjamin Weston, Perigrin Pelham, John Gourdon, Esquires, Francis Thorp, Serjeant at Law, John Nutt, Thomas Chaloner, Algernon Sidney, John Anlaby, John Moore, Richard Darley, William Say, Joh. (fn. 2) Aldred, John Fagg, James Nelthorp, Esquires, Sir William Roberts, Knight, Francis Lastells, Alexander Rigby, Henry Smith, Edmond Wild, James Challoner, Josias Berners, Dennis Bond, Humphrey Edwards, Gregory Clement, John Fry, Thomas Wogan, Esquires, Sir Gregory Norton, Baronet, John Bradshaw, Serjeant at Law, Edmond Harvey, John Dove, John Ven, Esquires, John Fowks, Alderman of the City of London, Thomas Scot, Esquire, Thomas Andrews, Alderman of the City of London, William Cawley, Abraham Burrell, Anthony Stapeley, Roger Gratwick, John Downs, Thomas Horton, Thomas Hammond, George Fenwick, Esquires, Robert Nicholas, Serjeant at Law, Robert Reynolds, John Lisle, Nicholas Love, Vincent Potter, Esquires, Sir Gilbert Dickering, Baronet, John Weaver, Roger Hill, John Lenthall, Esquires, Sir Edward Banton, John Corbet, Thomas Blunt, Thomas Boon, Augustine Garland, Augustine Skinner, John Dixwell, George Fleetwood, Simon Meyne, James Temple Peter Temple, Daniel Blagrave, Esquires, Sir Peter Temple, Knight and Baronet, Thomas Wayte, John Brown, John Lowry, Esquires, Shall be, and are hereby Appointed and Required to be Commissioners and Judges, for the Hearing, Trying, and Adjudging of the said Charles Stuart. And the said Commissioners or any Twenty or more of them, shall be and are hereby Authorized and Constituted an High Court of Justice to meet and sit at such convenient time and place as by the said Commissioners or the major part of twenty or more of them under their Hands and Seals, shall be appointed and notified by publick Proclamation in the great Hall or Palace-Yard at Westminster, and to adjourn from time to time, and from place to place, as the said High Court or major part thereof meeting shall hold fit; and to take order for the charging of him the said Charles Stuart with the Crimes and Treasons abovementioned; and for the receiving of his Personal Answer thereunto, and for the examination of Witnesses upon Oath, which the Court hath hereby Authority to administer, or otherwise, and taking any other Evidence concerning the same, and thereupon, or in default of such Answer, to proceed to final Sentence, according to Justice, and the merit of the Cause, and such final Sentence to execute or cause to be executed speedily and impartially. And the said Court is hereby Authorized and required to appoint and direct all such Officers, Attendants and other circumstances as they or the major part of them shall in any sort Judge necessary or useful for the orderly and good managing of the premises. And Thomas Lord Fairfax the General, and all Officers and Soldiers under his command, and all Officers of Justice, and other well affected persons are hereby Authorized and required to be aiding and assisting unto the said Court in the due Execution of the Trust hereby committed Provided, That this Act, and the Authority hereby granted; do continue in force, for the space of one Month from the making hereof, and no longer