November 1650: An Act for turning the Books of the Law, and all Proces and Proceedings in Courts of Justice, into English.

Pages 455-456

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

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November, 1650

[22 November, 1650.]

All Report-Books, and other Law-Books to be in English.

The Parliament have thought fit to Declare and Enact, and be it Declared and Enacted by this present Parliament, and by the Authority of the same, That all the Report-Books of the Resolutions of Judges, and other Books of the Law of England, shall be Translated into the English Tongue: And that from and after the First day of January, 1650, all Report-Books of the Resolutions of Judges, and all other Books of the Law of England, which shall be Printed, shall be in the English Tongue onely.

All Writs, Pleadings, Patents, &c. to be in English.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the first Return of Easter Term, which shall be in the year One thousand six hundred fifty and one, all Writs, Proces and Returns thereof, and all Pleadings, Rules, Orders, Indictments, Inquisitions, Certificates; and all Patents, Commissions, Records, Judgements, Statutes, Recognizances, Rolls, Entries, and Proceedings of Courts Leet, Courts Baron, and Customary Courts, and all Proceedings whatsoever in any Courts of Justice within this Commonwealth, and which concerns the Law, and Administration of Justice, shall be in the English Tongue onely, and not in Latine or French, or any other Language then English, Any Law, Custom or Usage heretofore to the contrary notwithstanding. And that the same, and every of them, shall be written in an ordinary, usual and legible Hand and Character, and not in any Hand commonly called Court-hand.

Persons offending against this Law, to forfeit twenty pounds.

And be it lastly Enacted and Ordained, That all and every person and persons offending against this Law, shall for every such Offence lose and forfeit the full Sum of Twenty pounds of lawful English Money; the one moyety thereof to the use of the Commonwealth, and the other moyety to such person and persons as will sue for the same in any Court of Record, by Action of Debt, Suit, Bill, Plaint or Information; in which no Wager of Law, Essoyn, or other Delay shall be admitted or allowed.