February 1644: An Ordinance for the raising of a new Loan and Assessment in the County of Middlosex, for the maintenance of Forces for the defence of the Cities of London and Westminster, and County of Middlesex; And for the future preservation and safety of the Town of Uxbridge, and preventing of the Incursions of the Enemy hereafter.

Pages 383-387

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

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February 1644

[17 February, 1643/4.]

Whereas the Town of Uxbridge within the County of Middelsex hath been lately plundered by some of the Forces raised by the King against the Parliament to the great impoverishment of the inhabitants of the said Town, and to the great terrour and danger not only of them and the rest of the said County, as also of the City of London, for the prevention of the like Incursions hereafter, and for the mutuall defence and safety each of other; divers well-affected persons within the said County, are willing and ready to send in both Horse and Foot, that a convenient Force may be raised and maintained for that purpose, in such a way and manner as may probably by God's blessing the better assure the said County and City for the future.

Names of Committee for Volunteers in Middlesex Instructions to Committee.; Powers.

The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, taking the premises into their serious consideration, do Ordain, And be it hereby Ordained by the said Lords and Commons in this present Parliament, That William Bridges Esquire, Sir Gilbert Gerard, Sir Edward Barkham, Sir Thomas Fowler, Sir Richard Sprignall, Baronets; Sir John Danvers, Sir John Francklyn, Sir John Hippesley, Sir Robert Pye, Sir William Ashton, Sir William Roberts, Sir James Harrington, Knights; John Glynn, Recorder of the City of London; Laurence Whittaker, William Wheler, John Huxley, Collonel John Brown, Thomas Wilcocks, Robert Woolrich, John Morris, Richard Downton, John Wroth, Gilbert Gerard, Edward Claxton, James Hawley, John Alford, Tobias Massey, Robert Hampton, Richard Graves, Thomas Hubbart, Francis Zachary, Abraham Woodroff, Thomas Falconbridge, John Harvey, Esquires; John Brigham, Thomas Norwood, William Lane, Thomas Weekes junior, John Jackson, Richard Clark, Thomas Treswallen, William Munsey, Thomas Hogsflesh, John Offley, Edward Prescot, Matthew Coleburn, Thomas Paltock William Greenhill, Paul Nichol, Thomas Stapeley, Leonard Welsted, Henry Arundell, Samuel Edlyn, Henry Haley, Richard Nicholls, Steven Ewer, Thomas Fletcher, Edward Nichols, Ralph Johnson, John Cornish, Christopher Hill, Robert Curtis, Thomas Bolton, Robert Morrton, John Francklyn, Peter Nicholls, Robert Stanbrough, Joseph Downer, Daniel Enderby, Henry Finch, William Warren, John Smith, John Haley, Daniel Brown, John Nichol of Cooks' senior, John Rowse, John Reading, John Hill, John Brigginshaw, Francis Childe, John Pierce, William Smith, William Maynard, Robert Cromwell, Ezekiel Tanner, William Turner, John Finch, Ralph Marsh, William Finch, William Atlee, Roger Nicholl, Richard Owen, Thomas Crechley, Thomas Moor, Richard Pig, Reighnold Beecham, John Norwood junior, William Arnold, Henry Proctor, John Arnold, Henry Dewell, William Earsby, John Lacie, John Clever, John Nutmaker, Robert Goodale, William Combes, John Stephens, Thomas Fletcher, and Richard Nicholl, Gentlemen, All of them Inhabitants of the County of Middlesex, shall be, and are hereby appointed and Ordained to be a Committee for Voluntiers of the said Countie, and such other Forces as are or shall be raised and imployed for the present defence of the said County and City, by the Order and direction of the Deputy-Lievtenants of the said County: And that the said Committee, or the major part of them, shall and may with all convenient speed, by Warrant under their hands, or of any seven or more of them, Summon to appear in some convenient place or places within the said County, the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the said County who are able to bear or finde Armes or to contribute towards the same, and thereto to propound unto them the present and imminent danger of the whole Kingdome, and in particular this County is reduced unto, by the wicked and Trayterous Attempts and Conspiracies of Papists, and other Conspirators about his Majesty; And to take the Voluntary Subscription, for Men, Armes, Horse and Moneys, of such well-affected persons as shall be willing to contribute towards the same, and coming to this Imployment, and to convert such contributions to the use and defence of the said County and City, and to List, Traine, Exercise, and put in readinesse such persons as shall be so subscribed; And them well and sufficiently from time to time, to cause to be arrayed and armed, and to muster them in places most fit for that purpose, under such Commanders, Collonels, Captaines, and other Officers, as shall be appointed by the Lord Lievtenant, or Deputy Lievtenant of the said County; and shall have power by these Commanders and Officers to Lead, Conduct, and Imploy, the persons aforesaid, armed and weaponed as aforesaid for the suppression of all Rebellion, Insurrections, Invasions, or Incursions, that may happen within, or into the said County; and shall likewise have power to punish by Fine or imprisonment such Officers, and Souldiers under their Command, as shall not upon summons appeare, or shall absent themselves from this service, without leave of the Officer for the time being, Commanding over them, in Chiefe, or that shall embeasell or wilfully spoyle their Armes, or be disorderly in this service, so that such Fine exceed not the summe of twenty shillings for any offence, to be levyed by distresse and sale of the Offenders goods, to the use herein mentioned, and so as such Imprisonment exceed not the space of ten dayes, for every offence, And for the doing of all things else, needfull for the preservation, defence, and safety of the said County; And for the better raising and procuring of Money for the levying and maintaining of such Forces as shall be raised for the County aforesaid.

Power to tax County for maintenance of Forces, not exceeding £250 weekly.; Those that voluntarily contribute Money, Horse or Arms, or that enlist to be eased.; Collectors.; Treasurers.; Penalties for faulty Assessors or Collectors.; Refusal to pay.; Distress of goods.; Where no distress found power to sequester.

It is further Declared and Ordained, that the said Committee or any seven or more of them shall have power, and are hereby authorised to Assesse and Tax, or to nominate Assessors to Rate, Tax or Levy, upon the severall and respective Townes, Townships, Hamlets, Liberties, Places, Persons, and Inhabitants within the said County, in an equall way according to their Estates and abilities, and according to the most usuall proportion of Rates in the last weekly assessments there; such summe and summes of Money, as shall be by them judged convenient and necessary for the raising, arming, arraying, training, disciplining, and maintaining of the said Forces, provided that it exceed not the summe of two hundred and fifty pounds by the weeke: And also that a speciall care and respect be had (in all such Rates) of easing such as according to their abilitie and power do voluntarily contribute Horse, Money, or Armes, or that shall voluntarily List themselves, or otherwise advance the Imployment aforesaid. And the said Committee or any seven or more of them, with the approbation and consent of two or more of the Deputy-Lievtenants of the said County, shall have power and authority to nominate and appoint Collectors for the Moneys so assessed and Rated as aforesaid according to this Ordinance, which said Collectors shall collect the said Moneys weekly, or otherwise, and pay the same unto such person or persons whom the said Committee as aforesaid shall appoint Treasurer or Treasurers thereof, and at such times and places as they shall receive direction from the said Committee; which Treasurer or Treasurers shall pay and issue forth the said money, as he or they shall receive Warrants from the said Committee or any seven of them, two whereof to be Deputy-Lievtenants of the said County; and if any of the said Assessors or Collectors shall refuse the said service, or prove negligent therein, the said Committee or number as aforesaid, shall have power to set such Fine upon him or them as they shall thinke fit, not exceeding ten pounds upon an Assessor and five pounds upon a Collector, to be leavied by distresse and sale of such Offenders goods to the uses herein mentioned: And if any person or persons who is or are 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 made by the respective Collectors thereof, at the place of his or their aboad, or where such Assessment shall be made, that then the severall Collectors shall returne the names of all such persons unto the said Committee as aforesaid, who shall have power, and are hereby Authorized to grant forth Warrants in writing under their hands, unto any Constables or other Officers (whom they shall conceive most meete) for the leavying of the said summes (taxed and set by them, refused or neglected to be paid as aforesaid) by way of distresse and sale of the goods of the person or persons so refusing where ever the same shall be found, and selling so much as may satisfie and pay the Assessment, and restoring the overplus to the owner and owners thereof respectively. And if any person or persons so distrained, or others, shall make resistance, it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Constables or other Officers, or any of them as they shall see cause, to call to their assistance any of the Trained Bands, Voluntiers, or other Forces within the said place or places where such resistance shall be made, who are hereby required to be ayding and assisting unto them in the premisses, as they will answer the Contrary thereof. And in case no distresse is or may be found, whereby to satisfie and pay the summes Assessed as aforesaid Then the said Committee, or any seven or more of them, with approbation and assent as aforesaid, shall have power, and are hereby Authorized to Sequester the Rents and other Estates of all such person and persons so refusing or neglecting to pay the same untill such time as the said Rates and Assessments shall be fully satisfied and paid, and also that their Armes be taken away and seized by the said Committee or their Agents, for the use and defence of the said County.

Persons over-rated to be relieved on complaint to Committee.

And be it further Ordained and Declared, that if any person or persons shall finde him or themselves agrieved and can make it truly and justly appeare that he or they is or are over-rated, such person or persons at any time before distresse taken of his or their goods, may complaine to the Committee for the weekly Assessments of the said County or any two of them, who are hereby invested with power and Authority to relieve them as they shall see cause.

Rates imposed on Landlords to be paid by Tenants and defalked by them out of next rents.

And be it further Ordained and Declared, that whatsoever sums of Money are or shall be set or imposed by vertue of this Ordinance, upon any Landlords, for or in respect of any Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments held of them by any Tenants, the same sums of Money shall be paid by their severall and respective Tenants (for and on the behalfe of the said Landlords) which said sums of Money (being paid by the said Tenants) they shall deduct and defaulke out of the next Rents Payable by them unto their Landlords: and for so doing, the said Tenants shall be (by force of this Ordinance) saved harmlesse.

Committee and Treasurers to give account of sums raised by them.

And be it further Ordained and Declared by the said Lords and Commons in Parliament, that the said Committee and Treasurers by them appointed by this Ordinance, shall from time to time give an Account of all such sums of Money as shall by them be Levied and raised by vertue of this Ordinance, and how issued forth, unto the Committee for the weekly Assessements for the said County, or any two or more of them, whereof one to be a Deputie-Lievtenant, when and as often as they shall bee by them called thereunto.

Power to Committee to add to their number, and to form Sub-Committees.

And it is further Ordained and Declared, that the said Committee appointed by this Ordinance or the major part of them, shall have power and authority to adde unto themselves such other trustie persons to be of their Committee, as shall be nominated by them and approved of by both Houses of Parliament, and shall have Power to appoint and make out of themselves such Sub-Committees, as unto them shall seeme expedient, every of which Sub-Committees shall and may exercise and execute such Power and Authority as shall be delegated unto them, by the said Committee, or the major part of them, for the better Expedition and Execution of the premisses.

Power to Inabitants of Middlesex to associate themselves with other Counties.; And to admit Commissioners from such Counties.

And it is further Ordained and Declared, that the said Inhabitants of the County of Middlesex may associate themselves with any Hundreds, Townes, Parishes or Places within the Counties of Bucks, Essex, Hertford, or Berks, as will associate with them for the mutuall defence and preservation of themselves, and of the said Associated places, against Papists, Malignants and other the Common Enemies of the King, Parliament and Kingdom; And also to admit into their Committee aforesaid, such persons of the said City, Counties, Hundreds, Parishes and Places as shall be by them nominated and approved of by both Houses of Parliament, and such persons which shall be nominated and approved as aforesaid, shall after such approbation have the same power and authority to all intents and purposes, within the severall and respective places, which according to this Ordinance shall consent to such Association, as the Committees for the County of Middlesex have granted and allowed to them by this present Ordinance.

Forces raised by this Ord. to be under Command of said Committee; Rates on Members of either House of Parliament to be approved that House.

And lastly it is Ordained, and Declared by the said Lords and Commons in this present Parliament Assembled, that the said Forces raised by vertue of this Ordinance shall be Ordered, Governed, Exercised and disposed of, by the said Committee or the major part of them, by the Advice and direction of the Lord Lievtenant, or Deputy-Lievtenant of the said County of Middlesex, or any three of them, for the defence and safety of the said County, and shall not at any time be drawne out of the same without their consents, as aforesaid; Provided alwayes that such Rates and Assessements as shall be made by vertue of this Ordinance upon any Members, Assistants, or Attendants, upon either of the Houses of Parliament, shall before the same be levied, be presented to the respective Houses, whose Members, Assistants, or Attendants shall be concerned therein respectively, And by such respective House allowed and approved of: Any thing in this Ordinance contained to the contrary notwithstanding.