Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[15 September, 1642.]
Whereas His Majesty, by His special Command, hath lately laid a Restraint upon all the principal Officers and all other the Officers of the Navy, thereby in a Manner suspending the whole Government thereof, and altogether interrupting the Affairs of the same, so as no Provisions can be orderly received in, or issued out, of the Stores, for the Use of the Fleet now at Sea, or any Fleet hereafter to be employed for the Defence of the Kingdom, nor any care to be taken of the Actions of the inferior Officers, whereby the Service of the Navy and Kingdom is like to be much damnified, if timely Remedy be not applied, to prevent the aforesaid Inconveniences: We, the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, having taken the same into Consideration, and reposing especial Trust and Confidence in the Wisdoms and Fidelities of Sir Henry Vane, Junior, Knight, Giles Greene, John Roll, Samuell Vassall, Alexander Bence, Squire Bence, Captain William Batten, Captain Phinees Pett, Captain Richard Cranley, Captain John Morris, Captain Roger Tweedy, and John Holland, Esquires, have nominated, ordained, and appointed, and by these Presents do nominate, ordain, and appoint, you, and every One of you, to be Commissioners for the Affairs of His Majesty's Navy; and do hereby give full Power and Authority unto any Three or more of you, not only to examine all such Books, Bills, and other Writings for Payments, concerning the Business of the said Navy or Shipping, which, by the Comptroller, Surveyor, or Clerk of His Majesty's Navy, formerly, or by any of them, should or ought to be, or have used to be, examined; and, after the Examination had thereof, to rate, vouch, and sign the same, in such Manner and Form as heretofore have been used and accustomed by the said Comptroller, Surveyor, and Clerk of the Navy; and to make, examine, and vouch, Estimates and Certificates for Receipts, and examine, sign and vouch, all and singular Books of the Accompts and Reckonings of the Treasurer, for the Affairs of the Navy for the Time being, appointed by both Houses of Parliament; but also to do, execute, direct, order, and perform, all and singular Thing and Things whatsoever appertaining to the Well-government of the Navy, which the said Comptroller, Surveyor, and Clerk of the Navy, or any of them, did or ought to have done, by Form or by Virtue of any Grant or Grants, Commission, or Commissions, formerly given and granted to them, or any of them, by His Majesty, or by Virtue of their Offices, or any of them, or otherwise howsoever And we, the said Lords and Commons, do hereby require and command all the Clerks of the Cheque and Stores, the principal Masters, and Master Shipwrights, and all other inferior Officers and Ministers in the Navy whatsoever, from henceforth, to be aiding, attending, and assisting unto you, the said Commissioners, or any such Three or more of you as is aforesaid, as appertaineth, as they will answer their Contempt therein to us, the said Lords and Commons; and for the Furtherance of this Service, and Restraint of the Liberty heretofore taken by Inferiors to the Prejudice thereof, we do also hereby give Authority to you, the said Commissioners, or any Three or more of you, to correct or punish the said Under Officers, or others, which shall neglect their Duties, or misbehave themselves in their Charges, either by Defalcation of Wages, or Suspension from their Places, and Substitution of others in their Rooms, if Cause so require, until further Order be given for their final Removing, or otherwise, as shall be thought fit: And we, the Lords and Commons, for the better and more ready executing of this Commission, and Service herein, do appoint you, Captain William Batten, by yourself or your sufficient Deputy, to have the particular Charge and Employment of the Survey of the Ships; and do hereby give you full Power and Authority to provide for their compleat Rigging and Equipage, and for Allowance of Sea Stores, and taking their Remains, and indent with the Boastswains and Carpenters for the Time being, and to take all such Surveys and Accompts, and to do all such other Things, as the Surveyor of the Navy, or his Deputy, heretofore hath done, or ought to have done, or now ought to do, by Virtue of any Grant or Commission from His Majesty, or by Virtue of His Office, or otherwise; you, or either of you, acquainting Three or more of the aforesaid Commissioners herewith, and following their Directions herein, for your better and more justifiable Proceedings: And we, the said Lords and Commons, do further Ordain, That you, or any Three or more of you, the Commissioners aforesaid shall have Power and Authority to appoint, from Time to Time, One able Clerk, or more, to attend you, the said Commissioners, to register your Accompts, and to make Warrants, Bills, Books of Comptrollment, and to do, write, and prepare, all other things, according to such Directions as you, or any Three or more of you, shall give to him or them, who shall have such Allowances for the same as by the major Part of you shall be thought fit: And, for the better Encouragement of you, Captain William Batten, Captain Phinees Pett, Captain Richard Cranly, Captain John Morris, Captain Roger Tweedy, and Mr. John Holland, to execute and perform the Services aforesaid, it is further Ordained, That such Salary and Allowances as is hereafter mentioned shall be made unto you, Captain Wm. Batten, Captain Phinees Pett, Captain Richard Cranly, Captain John Morris, Captain Roger Tweedy, and Mr. John Holland; that is to say, to you, Captain Batten, all such Fees and Allowances, for yourself and your Clerks, as hath been formerly granted unto you by His Majesty, as Surveyor of the Navy; to Captain Pett, the same allowance also that was granted to you by His Majesty; and to each of you, Captain Richard Cranly, Captain John Morris, Captain Roger Tweedy, and Mr. John Holland, the Sum of One Hundred Pounds per Annum; all which several Sums shall be paid to you, and each of you respectively, by the Treasurer of the Navy for the Time being, appointed by both Houses of Parliament, by even Portions, Quarterly; the said Treasurer being hereby fully authorized to make Payment of the said Sums as aforesaid, for so long time as you shall be employed, by Virtue of this our Ordinance, in the Affairs of His Majesty's Navy, the First Payment to begin at the Five and Twentieth of December next ensuing the Date hereof: And for your Indemnity in the Execution of this Service, we, the said Lords and Commons, do likewise Declare and Ordain, That neither you, nor any of you, your nor their Heirs, nor Executors, shall, at any Time hereafter, undergo or sustain any Loss or Damage, for whatsoever Services you shall do and execute in Obedience to this our Ordinance, and according to the Commands you shall from Time to Time receive from us, or the Committee for the Navy authorized by us; and that, if any Person or Persons shall, at any Time, question your Power, interrupt your Proceedings, or otherwise molest you, or your Heirs, for any Act done according to the true Intent of this our Ordinance, you shall have from Time to Time the Power of both Houses of Parliament, to defend and save you and them harmless and indemnified, to all Intents and Purposes; And, for your further Encouragement in this Service, we do hereby Ordain, promise, and allow, That the said Sir Henry Vane, Treasurer of the Navy for the Time being, appointed by both Houses of Parliament, shall pay, or cause to be paid, upon Bills vouched under Three or more of your Hands, Quarterly, to commence the Day of the Date of these Presents, all ordinary and usual allowances, for Paper, Travelling Charges, and other Disbursements, for yourselves and your Clerks, in the Execution of this Ordinance, as hath been formally accustomed