Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[26 March, 1644.]
Whereas the Committee for the Militia of London, have for the better discharge of the great trust in them reposed (according to severall Ordinances of Parliament inabling them thereunto) authorized severall Sub-Committees, to put in execution within the Cities of London and Westminster, Hamlets of the Tower, and the Borough of Southwarke, and other the parts adjacent, within the weekly Bills of Mortalitie, the severall Ordinances heretofore made for ordering the Militia of those parts and places; the speedy and due effecting whereof, will not onely much ease and relieve the Trained and Auxiliarie Bands of the places aforesaid, now much overburdened with duty but will also by Gods blessing upon the same, apparantly tend to the better safeguard of those places, and preservation of this present Parliament, under God, the chiefe Bulwarke and conserver of our Religion, Lawes, and Liberties: And whereas, besides other voluntarie Contributions, a chiefe meane of raysing and forming of the Auxiliarie Regiments already raysed in the places aforespecified, hath been the voluntarie forbearance of one Meale in the weeke, and rendering the value of the same for the purpose aforesaid, which being begun by well-affected persons, is conceived may be of speciall use, for raysing more forces, buying of Armes and Ammunition, and accomplishing the intent of the said Ordinances, if convenient power be added to make that way of Contribution generall, and so as the burthen may not rest alone upon the willing partie.
All persons in London, Westminster, etc., to contribute value of one meal weekly towards raising of more auxiliary forces.; Directions for better rating and raising said moneys.; To be paid in each Thursday to Treasurers.; Authority of Treasurers to issue moneys for purpose mentioned.; Penalty for refusal to pay.; Distress.; Where no sufficient Distress found.
The Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled, taking the premisses into their serious consideration, and being sensible of the good service already performed to the State, by the Forces of the Citie and places aforesaid, and well approving of the continuance of the good endeavours of the said Committee, and of their Sub Committees, whereto they conceive it requisite to give all fitting assistance and encouragement, and holding it very just and reasonable, that all persons according to their abilities, should in a reasonable and proportionable way contribute to the supporting of the charge and burden, which is necessarily to be undergone for the common safetie; doe for the better speeding and perfecting of the said worke, thinke fit to Order and Ordain; And bee it Ordained, Declared, and established as followeth: That all and every person and persons, and their Families, residing or inhabiting within the said Cities of London and Westminster, the Hamlets of the Tower, Borough of Southwarke, and other the Parishes and places within the Lines of Communication and weekly Bills of Mortalitie, shall pay and contribute upon each Tuesday weekly, the value of one ordinarie Meale, to such person and persons as shall be respectively appointed Collector or Collectors thereof in such sort as is after mentioned, the same to be imployed for the ends and purposes before speeified, and hereafter mentioned; And for the better Ordering, Rating, and Raysing the said Monies, It is further Ordered and Ordained, That the Alderman, Aldermans Deputie, and Common-Councellmen, of and for each Ward within London, and the Liberties, calling to their assistance two or more of the Sub-committee, usually sitting at Salters-Hall in Breadstreet, being Free-men of the Citie of London, and of the same Ward, if there be any such therein, and some other able and well-affected persons of each Ward, and the greater part of them: And the said other SubCommittees, within their severall Limits and Divisions, or any seven or more of them respectively, shall have full power and authority, to Assesse or Tax or nominate Assessors, to set a Rate and Tax upon each person and Familie, as aforesaid; To wit, what Rate, Proportion, or summe of Money, each person for him or her selfe, or for themselves and Families respectively, shall pay and contribute for the value of one Meale in the Weeke, as aforesaid; And shall appoint convenient places and fit persons within each Parish or Precinct respectively where, and to whom the said Moneys shall be respectively paid, by the persons so assessed, and to nominate and appoint Collectors, or Receivers, to call for, and attend the receipt of the said Moneys so assessed, who are to pay over the same upon each Thursday weekly, at two of the clock in the afternoone, to the respective Treasurers hereafter mentioned, viz. The Collectors for the said City of London, and the Liberties, to John Langham, Alderman appointed Treasurer by the Common-Councell of the City of London, who shall and may upon occasion exchange and alter the same Officer, and appoint such other fit Officer, as shall to them seeme meete. The Collectors for the Hamlets of the Tower of London, and the Liberties thereof, to M Abraham Corsiellis, one of the SubCommittee there, which usually meets at Savage-house at Towerhill, and who is appointed to be their Treasurer; The Collectors for the said City of Westminster and Liberties thereof, and other the Liberties, Parishes, and places within that Division to M. Edward Carter, one of the Sub-Committee for that part, which usually meet, and sit at the Savoy in the Strand, and appointed to be their Treasurer, the Collectors for the Borough of Southwarke, and other the Liberties and Places within the Division, to M. Richard Walker, one of the Sub-Committee there, which usually meet at the Vestry-House in Olaves Parish, and who is appointed to be their Treasurer; And in default of such persons appointed Treasurers aforesaid, Then to such other Treasurers as shall be severally for such purpose appointed, to wit, by the CommonCouncell of London for the said City, and Liberties, and by the other Sub-Committees, or any seven of them, for their Divisions respectively: which said respective Treasurers are hereby authorized to issue out the said Moneys so gathered and received as is hereafter mentioned, (viz.) The Treasurer for the Citie of London and the Liberties thereof, for recruiting of the Auxiliary Regiments already raysed, raysing and preparing of more Forces, buying of Armes and Ammunition, and for such other uses, as the Common-Councell of the said City of London, or for such persons as they from time to time shall appoint for that purpose, being approved of by both Houses of Parliament, Shall thinke fit to direct and appoint; And the Treasurers for the other parts shall issue their Moneys respectively for recruiting their Auxiliary Regiments, raysing and preparing of more Forces, and Executing the Ordinances of the Militia, within their respective Precincts, according to such Warrants and Directions as shall be given by the said sub-Committees for the uses aforesaid, by Order to be made at the respective usuall places of meeting of the said sub-Committees respectively, of whom seven at-least are then and there to be present, and subscribe the same Order. And if any person or persons Assessed, or to be Assessed for the weekly payment aforesaid, shall after demand thereof made of the person so Assessed, or at his or their usuall places of Habitation or Abode, faile in payment thereof, That then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said Collectors, and every of them respectively, calling to their Assistance any of the Trained Bands, Voluntiers, Constables or others, who are hereby enjoyned to assist upon all occasions, being required to Levie double the summe or summes so assessed, together with the necessary Charges which shall be expended in the Collecting thereof, by way of Distresse, upon his or their goods and Chattels, and shall and may sell the same Distresse or Distresses, for the Services aforesaid, and the over-plus to be returned to the Owner of the Distresse Taken; And if no sufficient Distresses can be found within the said City of London, or the Liberties. whereby the Moneys assessed upon the persons there may be levied; Then upon Certificate thereof made by the said sub-Committees for the City and Liberties, or any seven of them, being Free-men of the said City of London, to the Lord Mayor of the said City, he is forthwith to grant his Warrant for the apprehension of the said person or persons, and for his and their Commitment to safe Custodie, without Bayle or Mainprize wheresoever he or they are or shall be found, within Liberties or without, unlesse he shall see just cause to the contrary. And in like case, if no sufficient Distresses can be found within the other respective Divisions before-mentioned, whereupon the summes assessed upon the persons there may be levied; Then upon Certificate to be made in that behalfe to the respective subCommittees of those Divisions, the said Committee, or any seven of them, by Order to be made at their usuall place of Meeting, shall and may commit such person or persons to safe custodie without Bayle or Mainprize, wheresoever he or they shall be found; whether within the said respective Divisions or without; the said persons so to be committed, as aforesaid, to continue in Prison untill they have fully satisfied their respective Assessements.
Over or under-rating to be examined and rectified by Common Council or Committee.; Penalty for Assessors, etc., that prove negligent or faulty.; Treasurers to keep Register-Book.; To whom accountable.; Allowance to Collectors and Treasurers.
And be it further Ordered and Ordained, That the over or under-rating of any person or persons or their Families, within the said City of London, or any part thereof shall and may upon complaint thereof be examined and rectified by the CommonCouncell of the said City, or any Committee by them for that purpose to be appointed, or the greater part of such Committee; And if any person or persons, within any the said other Divisions, be over-rated in the said Assessments, or under rated, the same shall upon complaint thereof be rectified by the said Sub-Committees of that Division respectively, or any seven of them, according to their discretions; And if any Assessors, Collectors, or Constables within the said City of London, or the Liberties, shall refuse the said service, or prove negligent or faultie therein, upon Certificate thereof made by the said Sub-Committee of Salters-Hall, or any seven of them, being Free-men of the said City of London, to the Lord Major of the said City, he is forthwith to grant his Warrant for Commitment of such persons to prison, unlesse he shall see just cause to the contrary. And like power upon such occasion the said other sub-Committees may exercise within their Limits respectively, or upon such neglect or default as aforesaid the Common-Councell, or whom they shall appoint for London, and the Liberties, and the SubCommittees, or any seven of them within their severall Divisions, may impose a Fine upon the offenders, not exceeding the sum of Ten pounds for every offence, the said Fine to be levied by Distresse, and sale of the offenders goods, and the Moneys to be imployed for the service aforesaid; And it is Ordained, That the said Treasurers respectively shall each of them keepe a RegisterBooke of the summes received, and payd out by them, that so they may give a just and perfect Account thereof, unto the said Sub-Committees to whom they respectively belong, when they shall be by them required, which shall be once monethly at least; And the said Treasurer for London and the Liberties, shall also concerning the Premisses, be accomptable to the CommonCouncell for the said City; or such Committee as they shall thereto appoint, when he shall at any time be thereunto required; And for the better encouragement of the said Collectors and Treasurers: It is Ordained, that five pence in the pound shall be allowed for every summe of money, which shall be Collected, and paid to the said Treasurers according to this Ordinance, whereof foure pence shall be to the Collectors, and one penny to the Treasurer.
And be it lastly, by the said Lords and Commons further Ordained, That all and every the respective Committees, Assessors, Treasurers, and Collectors of the respective Divisions aforesaid, and all that shall assist them in the premisses, shall be by power of Parliament protected and saved harmlesse, both for what according to the true meaning of the premisses, they have done, and shall doe therein for time to come.
Provided That this Ordinance extend not to such persons as receive Almes, nor shal be of longer continuance then for the space of six moneths, to begin from Tuesday, next after the date hereof.
Provided also, That this Ordinance shall not extend to the using of any compulsarie power over any the Members of either House of Parliament, or any Peere, or any Assistant of the House of Peeres, or any Attendant on either House of Parliament, or any Member of the Assembly of Divines; or to give power to settle any other Rates upon any of them touching the premisses, then what they respectively will tax themselves at, or agree unto: Any thingin this present Ordinance contained to the contrarie notwithstanding.