August 1644: An Ordinance for the speedy establishing of a Court Martiall, within the Cities of London, Westminster, or Lines of Cornmunication, together with the names of such Commissioners as are appointed for the Execution thereof.

Pages 486-488

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

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August 1644

[16 August, 1644.]

Names of Commissioners to constitute Court Martial.; Offences within cognizance of Court.

Be it Ordained by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and by authority of the same, That Robert Earle of Essex, Captaine Generall of the Forces raised by the authority of Parliament, Algernon Earle of Northumberland, Henry Earle of Kent, Philip Earle of Pembroke, William Earle of Salisbury, Oliver Earle of Bullingbrook, Edward Earle of Manchester, Basil Earle of Denbigh, William Lord Viscount Say and Seale, Philip Lord Wharton, Dudley Lord North, William Lord Grey of Werk, John Lord Roberts, Philip Lord Lisle, Sir William Waller, Sir Arthur Haslerig, Sir John Corbet, Sir John Bamfield, Sir Henry Heyman, Collonel Alexander Popham, Collonel Stapeley, Collonel Whitehead, Collonel Morley, Collonel Purefoy, Collonel Ven, Edward Baynton Esquire, Collonel William Iephson, Collonel Alexander Rigby, Thomas Arundell Esquire, Serjeant Major Generall Skippon, Sir Nathaniel Brent, Doctor Thomas Eden, John Bradshaw Esquire, William Steele, Esquire, Sir Iames Harrington, Collonel Brown, Collonel West, Collonel Charles Fleetwood, Col. William Strode, Col. Turner, Col. Manwaring, Collonel Witchcoate, Collonel Pyndar, Lievtenant Collonel Welden, Lievtenant Colonel Underwod, Lievtenant Collonel Wilson, Major Salloway, Major Titchborn, Collonel Humphrey, Collonel Player, Collonel Prince, Collonel Harsnet, Major Camfield, William Mollins, Collonel Owen, Lievtenant Collonel Web, Lievtenant Collonel Bradley, or any twelve or more of them, whereof such of the members of either House of Parliament, as have commissions and commands in any of the Armies or Garrisons, and Sir Nathaniell Brent alwaies to be Three, shall be Commissioners, and shall have full power and authority to heare and determine all such causes as belong to Military cognizance, according to the Articles in this present Ordinance mentioned. And to proceed to the Tryall, condemnation, and execution of all offenders against the said Articles, and to inflict upon the offenders such punishment, either by Death or otherwise corporally, as the said Commissioners or the major part of them then present shall judge to appertain to justice, according to the nature of the offence, and Articles here insuing.

I. No person or persons whatsoever, shall from henceforth voluntarily repaire or goe from the Cities of London and Westminster, or from any other parts of the Kingdome, under the power of the Parliament, unto the person of the King or Queene, or Lords of the Counsell abiding with him, or her, or to any Commander or Officer of the Kings Army, or shall give or hold any intelligence by Letters, Messages, or otherwise, with any in Armes against the Parliament, without consent of both Houses of Parliament, or the Committee appointed by Ordinance of Parliament, for managing the war, the Lord Generall of the forces raised by the two Houses, or from the respective Officers that shall command in chiefe any of the said forces, upon paine of death, or other Corporall punishment at discretion.

II. Whosoever hath, or shall plot, contrive, or endeavour the betraying, surrendring, or yeelding up to the Enemy, or hath, or shall, contrary to the rules of Warre, surrender, yeeld up or betray any Cities, Towns, Forts, Magazines, or forces which now are, or hereafter shall be under the power of the Parliament, shall be punished with death.

III. No person or persons whatsoever not under the power of the Enemy, shall voluntarily relieve any person being in Armes against the Parliament, knowing him to have beene so in Armes, with any Money, Victualls, or Ammunition, upon paine of death or other corporall punishment at discretion, or shall voluntarily and knowingly harbour or receive any being in Armes as aforesaid upon paine of punishment at discretion.

IV. No Officer or Souldier shall make any mutinous Assemblies, or be assisting thereunto, upon paine of death.

V. No Guardian or Officer of any prison, shall wilfully suffer any prisoner of War to escape under paine of death, or negligently under paine of imprisonment, and further punishment at discretion.

VI. Whosoever shall voluntarily take up Armes against the Parliament, having taken the Nationall Covenant, shall die without mercy.

VII. Whatsoever Officer or Commander, hath, or shall desert their trust, and adheare to the enemy, shall dye without mercy.

Power to Commissioners to sit when and where they will within Lines of Communication, and to appoint needful Officers.; Assistance.; Indemnity.; Proviso.

And it is hereby further Ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the said Commissioners or any twelve or more of them, whereof such of the Members of either House of Parliament as have Commissions and Commands in any of the Armies or Garrisons, and Sir Nathaniel Brent, alwaies to be three, shall be authorized from time to time so often as they shall thinke fit, or shall be ordered thereunto by both or either House of Parliament, to sit in some convenient place within the Cities of London, Westminster, or Lines of Communication, and to appoint a Judge Advocate, a Provost-Marshall, and all other Officers needfull. And it is hereby further Ordained, that all Majors, Sheriffs, Justices of Peace, Cnstables, Bailiffes, and other Officers shall be ayding and assisting to the said Commissioners in the execution of the Premisses, and that the said Commissioners, and every of them, and all and every other person and persons, that shall be ayding and assisting to them in the execution of the Premisses, shall be saved harmlesse and indempnified for what they shall doe therein by authority of Parliament, provided neverthelesse that no Member of either Houses of Parliament, or Assistants of the House of Peeres shall be questioned, or tryed before the Commissioners appointed by vertue of this present Ordinance, without assent and leave first had and obtained of both Houses of Parliament.

Ord. to continue four months.

And be it also provided, that this present Ordinance, and the authority hereby given and appointed to the persons hereby nominated, shall endure and have continuance for foure moneths from the making hereof.

Not to come into force till eight days after publication.

Provided, that this Ordinance for any offence hereafter to be committed, shall not take place, or be of force untill eight dayes after the publication hereof, any thing in this Ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding.