August 1651: An Act prohibiting Correspondence with Charles Stuart or his Party.

Pages 550-551

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

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August, 1651

[12 August, 1651.]

No persons to hold correspondence with Charles Stuart or his party.; Or aid them High treason.; How offenders shall be proceeded against and punished.; No proceedings by Court Martial except within 3 months of offence.

Whereas certain English Fugitives gathering themselves together in the parts of Scotland, did heretofore perfidiously and traiterously Assist the Enemies and Invaders of this Commonwealth, endeavouring with Foreigners and persons of desperate condition, to bring a War upon their Native countrey; and in order thereunto, did set up for their Head Charls Stuart, calling him their King, who had formerly been declared a Traitor to the Parliament and People of England; And whereas afterwards, to divert the sad Calamities thereby likely to ensue within the Bowels of this Land, It pleased the Lord to direct the Parliament of this Commonwealth to send an Army into Scotland, and to afford them his gracious Assistance and Blessing in so wonderful a maner, that a good part of Scotland is become within the Power of this Commonwealth; and the said Charls Stuart with his Complices, the Remainder of his Party, finding their own weakness and disability to continue longer in that Countrey, are now fled into England: For the prevention therefore of the Mischiefs which may befal divers of the good People of this Nation, in case the said Fugitives be not timely overtaken by the English Army; And to the end all persons may be further warned, The Parliament of the Commonwealth of England have thought fit to Enact and Declare, and do hereby Enact and Declare, That no person whatsoever do presume to hold any Correspondence with the said Charls Stuart, or with his Party, or with any of them, nor give any Intelligence to them, or to any of them, nor Countenance, Encourage, Abet, Adhere to or assist them or any of them, nor do voluntarily afford or deliver, or cause to be afforded or delivered to them or any of them, any Victuals, Provisions, Arms, Ammunition, Horses, Plate, Money, Men, or any other Relief whatsoever, under pain of High Treason. And the Parliament doth hereby command all persons to use their Endeavors to hinder and stop the March and Passage of the said Charls Stuart and his Party, and of every of them, and to Resist and Oppose them according to such Orders and Directions as they shall receive from the Parliament, or from the Councel of State appointed by Authority of Parliament, or from the General of the Forces of this Commonwealth, or from such other persons as shall be thereunto Authorized by them or any of them. And it is further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That whosoever shall offend against this Act and Declaration, shall or may be proceeded against by a Councel of War, who are hereby Authorized to hear and determine all and every the said Offences; and such as shall by the said Councel be condemned to suffer Death, shall also forfeit all his and their Lands, Goods and other Estate, as in case of High-Treason. Provided, That no person shall be proceeded against by any CourtMartial or Councel of War, for any Offence done against this Act, unless such person be proceeded against, and convicted of such Offence within three Moneths after such Offence committed. Provided, That this Act continue in force till the First day of December, One thousand six hundred fifty one, and no longer. Provided also, and it is hereby Declared, That any person or persons who shall not be tryed by a Court-Martial or Councel of War, for any Offence committed contrary to this Act, shall and may at any time after the said three Moneths, be proceeded against for such Offence, according to the Laws of this Commonwealth, as if this Act had never been made.