Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[25 April, 1643.]
Upon the humble Petition of Elizabeth Chickley, Susan Robinson, Mary Savage, Katherin Swanton, Mary Taylor, Julian Morris, and Lucie Michell, on the Behalf of themselves and many others, setting forth, "That their Husbands and others were taken by Turkish Pirates, carried to Algier, and there now remain in miserable Captivity, having great Fines imposed on them for their Ransoms; and that the Petitioners have endeavoured (by Sale of their Goods, and Help of their Friends) to raise what Part they can of the said Fines; but being very poor, and having great Charge of Children, are no ways able to make up the said Fines without with some other Relief, so that their said Husbands, with the other Captives and themselves, for Want thereof, are like to perish; for Relief wherein, the Petitioners humbly implore the Aid of this Parliament, as by the said Petition may appear: And whereas the Parliament did here tofore take Course for the setting forth of a Fleet of Ships, for the suppressing of those Pirates, and Deliverance of those poor Captives, which hath not taken that Success which could be wished, in respect of the Rebellion in Ireland, and Distempers in this Kingdom, the Safety of both which Kingdoms have inforced the Parliament to employ several Fleets of Ships for the Defence Preservation, and Safety of His Majesty's Dominions, and clearing the Seas of Pirates and other Enemies to the State nearer Home: It is therefore thought fit, and so Ordered by the Lords and Commons in Parliament. That Collections be made, in the several Churches, within the City of London and Westm. and the Borough of Southwarke, and the Suburbs and Liberties of the said Cities, of the charitable Benevolences of well-disposed Christians, for and towards the Relief of the said Captives; and the Monies then collected to be returned and paid by the Churchwardens and Collectors into the Hands of the Commissioners of the Navy appointed by both Houses of Parliament, who are to take Care of the Distribution and Employment thereof, for and towards the Redemption of the said Captives; the Lords and Commons not doubting of a free and liberal Contribution of all His Majesty's People to so good and pious a Work, the great Pressures being upon the State at present disabling or not permitting them to afford them any other Relief: The Collection to last Two Months, and to be but Once made in any Parish."