May 1644: An Ordinance for the better execution of the former Ordinance for Sequestration of Delinquents and Papists Estates.

Pages 437-441

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

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May 1644

[25 May, 1644.]

Whereas the former Ordinances of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament for Sequestration of Delinquents Estates, have not been put into such effectual and speedy Execution in divers places as was expected, to the great disservice of the Commonwealth;

For remedy thereof, and for the more speedy collecting and bringing in of all such Monies, Rents, and Goods, as are or shall be due upon the said Ordinances, or any of them, the said Lords and Commons do further Declare and Ordain in manner and form following.

Sequestrators, Committees, and other Officers shall take an Oath.

1. That the several Sequestrators and Committees heretofore or hereafter to be appointed by Authority of Parliament, and the several Sollicitors, Collectors, Treasurers, Appraisors, and all other persons by them imployed by vertue of the said Ordinances, or either of them, shall within ten days after notice of this present Ordinance to them given, or before the intermedling therewith, take this ensuing Oath.

The Oath.

I A. B. do swear, that I shall well and truly according to the trust reposed in me, execute for the best advantage of the Common-wealth, all and every of the Ordinances made by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, for Sequestration of Delinquents and Papists Estates; and that I shall not for fear, favour, reward, or affection, spare, connive at, or discharge any of the said Delinquents or Papists. So help me God.

Which Oath shall be taken by the said Committees before any Deputy Lieutenant, Justice of Peace of the County, City, Borough, or place where such Committees shall sit, who are by this Ordinance authorized to administer the said Oath, and by the said Solicitors. Collectors, Appraisors, and other Officers, before the said Committees, or any two of them, who are also hereby authorized to administer the same: Which said Deputy Lieutenants, Justices of Peace, and Committees respectively, are hereby required and enjoyned to certifie unto the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Names of all such persons as shall take the said Oath, and also the Names of all such as shall neglect or refuse to take the same.

Such as have goods of sequestred persons shal bring them in.; Forfeiture for default.

2. That all Officers, and every other person whatsoever, who hath in his custody any Goods of any person whose Estate is sequestred, shall bring the same in to the several and respective Committees of Sequestration within the said County, within ten days after notice of this Ordinance; or otherwise, within five days after the expiration of the said ten days, pay ready mony to the Committees for the same, according to such rates as they shall be appraised upon Oath by two able Appraisors appointed by the said Committees; and in default of bringing in such Goods, or payment for the same, shall forfeit for every week he or they shall detain or not pay the same, the sum of two shillings six pence for every twenty shillings worth of such Goods, to the use of the Commonwealth.

Suspensions of Sequestrations shall be taken off.

3. That all suspensions of Sequestrations of any Delinquents or Papists Estates made by the Committees in any County or Corporation, without express Order of both Houses of Parliament, shall be forthwith taken off, and cleared, and no suspension or excuse of persons sequestred allowed, but what is warranted by the Ordinances of both Houses.

Debts for goods sold shall be paid in.

4. That all Debts made for goods sold, shall within ten days after this Ordinance be paid in by the persons owing the same, to the Treasurers of the several places where they are due; and in default thereof, the said Debts immediately after the said ten days, to be paid by the several parties that sold the same. under pain of forfeiting the sum of two shillings six pence in every pound for every week they remain unpaid after the said ten days, in regard the Ordinances appoint no sale but for ready moneys.

Sequestred Houses and Lands shall be let.

5. That all the sequestred Houses and Lands now standing void and unlet, shall forthwith be Let, Tenanted, or improved by the respective Committees, and their Officers for the best advantage of the Commonwealth, upon pain of such punishments in case of wilfull negligence, as the Houses shall inflict.

Addition to Committees.

6. That active, able, trusty men, who will diligently attend this service, shall be added to all Committees of Sequestrations where there is cause; and that the Committees of Accomps of the Kingdome shall from time to time present the names of such persons to both Houses of Parliament.

Committee shall sit two days in a week, and reform their Officers.

7. That the several Committees for Sequestrations in each County, three or more of them shall constantly meet, and sit upon this service, two set days at the least every week to be by them appointed, and shall increase or alter the number of their Collectors; and if any neglect or misdemeanour shall be found in any Sollicitor in the execution of his said Office, the said Committee or any three or more of them shall certifie the same unto the Committee of Lords and Commons for Sequestrations.

Treasurers shall have but 2d. in the pound.; All moneys to be paid in to the Treasurers.

8. That no Treasurer appointed by the Sequestrators, shall be allowed above two pence in the pound for Moneys received by him; and that every Committee and Treasure residing in the City of London, or within the Line of Communication, who shall receive any sum or sums of Moneys upon Sequestration, shall pay the same to the Treasurers for Sequestrations at Guild-Hall London, within 6. days after his or their receipt thereof; and the Committees and Treasurers that are to pay in their money to the said Treasurers at Guild-Hall aforesaid, residing within 40. miles of London, shall pay the moneys they receive within 15. days after the receipt thereof; and such Committees and Treasurers who live above 40. miles from London, shall within 30. days after the receipt thereof, pay the same to the said Treasurers, under pain of forfeiting two shillings six pence in the pound for every Week he or they shall detain the same after the respective times herein limited.

Collectors and Solicitors not pursuing their trust shall be disallowed their fees.

9. That the several Collectors and Sollicitors for Sequestrations, that have not heretofore pursued, or snall not hereafter pursue the several Ordinances of Sequestrations, and the trust thereby in them reposed; shall be disallowed upon their Accompts, all fees or sums of money appointed unto them by any Ordinance whatsoever.

Exact Accompts shall be kept.

10. That the several Sollicitors and Collretors for Sequestrations shall from henceforth keep several exact Accompts of all Goods, Lands, Rents and profits sequestred, and enter the same into several Books of Accompts to be kept for that purpose, and shall within ten days next after notice of this present Ordinance make several Books of Accompts of all Debts, Rents and Profits then arrear, unreceived and uncollected, and of the particulars and values of all the Goods, Lands, Rents, Tenements, and Revenues of every person sequestred within their several divisions, and shall likewise quarterly make and deliver the like Accompts unto the several Committees under whom they are imployed, to the end the certain value of the Sequestration may be discovered, and a constant Revenue raised.

Penalties to be levied by the Committees.

11. And it is further Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, that all and every of the penalties in and by this present Ordinance imposed, or to be inflicted upon any person or persons offending contrary to this Ordinance or any Article therein contained, shall be levied by the said respective Committees, their Collectors and Agents, by distress and sale of the parties goods so offending.

They shall not land sequestred goods.

12. And it is further ordained, that no Committee or Committees whatsoever shall without valuable consideration dispose of any sequestered goods, or make any loanes thereof without the consent of both Houses of Parliament.

All who have any Sequestration Moneys in their hands shall pay it in.; Forfeiture for default.

13. That all Officers, and every other person whatsoever, who hath detained in his hands any sequestration moneys, or hath received any of the said moneys without a sufficient Warrant for his so doing, and contrary to former Ordinances, shall bring in and pay all such monies so by them detained or received to the Treasurers for sequestrations at Guild-hall London, within twenty dayes, after notice of this Ordinance, and in default thereof shall forfeit two shillings six pence for every twenty shillings, for every Week he or they shall detain or not pay the same to the uses aforesaid; and the monies so detained, together with the said forfeiture, shall be levied by the said Respective Committees, their Collectors, or Agents, by distress or sale of the parties goods so offending; and where no sufficient distress can be found, the parties so offending, to be committed to prison till the money be paid as aforesaid.

Treasurers and Collectors in the Country shall bring in Accompts.

14. And it is further ordained, that for the prevention of all fraudulent and indirect dealing, and for the present and future satisfaction of the Kingdome, All Treasurers and Collectors in the Associated Counties, under the command of the Right Honourable Edward Earl of Manchester; as also in the County of Kent and Surrey, where by several Ordinances of Parliament they have power to detain one third part of all the Sequestration money within the said Counties, for the better maintaining of the Forces by them Raised, respectively for the preservation of the Parliament and Kingdome; shall bring in to the Treasurers of Sequestrations at Guildhall London, every three Moneths, or oftner, if they shall be thereunto required, an exact accompt of all the Sequestration moneys by them received and issued out for the third part as aforesaid or otherwise, and produce Receipts for the same; to the end the said Treasurers at Guildhall may keep accompt of all the Sequestration moneys, as by former Ordinances was Ordained, and to take care that the said moneys be equally divided and applied, as by the said Ordinances is intended; and that the like course is to be observed by all particular men for all Sequestration moneys they shall receive, in any County or place under the Power or Command of the Parliament, by vertue of any particular Ordinance obtained by them, that they may receive no more than is intended and appointed by their several Ordinances respectively.

Solicitor General for Sesquestrations.

15. And it is further Ordained, that John Madden Gentleman, shall be a Generall Solicitor for the better Execution of this and the former Ordinances of Sequestrations, And is hereby Authorized to keep due correspondence with all Committees, Sollicitors, Treasurers, Collectors, and other Officers, employed about the Sequestrations; and shall give his best advice and assistance to the said Treasurers at Guildhall for the better promoting and advancing of the said service: And when he shall discover any obstruction or disorder in any person or persons therein imployed, he shall acquaint the Committee of the Lords and Commons for Sequestrations therewith. And for his pains and attendance on this service, the said Treasurers at Guildhall shall pay unto him Weekly twenty shillings; and shall also pay to the said John Madden all his necessary charges and expences which he shall disburse, if he shall finde it needfull, with the advice of the said Treasurers at Guildhall, to travel into any of the Counties under the Power and Command of the Parliament, for the better and more speedy effecting of the Premisses, and for Postage of Letters.