Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[4 February, 1651/2.]
All Honors, Titles, &c., given by the late King since 4 Jan. 1641 declared null.
Forasmuch as the late King, to promote his Wicked and Traiterous Designs against the Parliament and People of England, did use all ways and means to draw unto himself a Party to assist him, and did, contrary to the end for which he was entrusted, take upon him to confer upon, and give Titles of Honor, Dignities and Precedencies, by Patents or otherwise, unto such persons as he thought were or might be serviceable to him in the work he did intend to put in execution: Now to the end that no persons should presume to assume unto themselves any Titles, Honors, Dignities or Advantage, by a work so much contrary to the Interest of the Nation, Be it Enacted by this present Parliament, and by the Authority thereof, That all and every Honors, Titles, Dignities and Precedencies whatsoever, granted, conferred or given by the said King, since the Fourth day of January, which was in the year One thousand six hundred forty one, be, and are hereby made null and void to all intents and purposes; and that no person or persons whatsoever, shall from and after the Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty and two, presume to assume unto themselves, either by writing or otherwise, any Titles, Honors, Dignities or Precedencies, by colour or pretence of any such Grant or otherwise, conferred upon them as aforesaid.
Writs to be issued for bringing in Patents for Honors, &c.; 50 l. penalty for refusers.; Patents brought in, to be cancelled.
And be it further Enacted and Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the Commissioners for the Great Seal are and be hereby authorized and required, to issue out Writs to the Sheriffs of the several and respective Counties of this Commonwealth, to give notice to all persons whatsoever, who pretend to any such Honors, by any pretended Patent, to bring in their said Patents into the Court of Chancery, within three moneths after the respective publications of the said Writs by the said Sheriffs, under the penalty of Fifty pounds to be levied upon every person or persons, their Lands or Goods, for every Moneth they shall neglect to perform the same, by Proces out of the publique Exchequer as in case of other Fines: And the Barons of the publique Exchequer are hereby authorized and required to put the same in execution accordingly; which said Money to be one half to the parties informing, and the other half to go to the defraying of the publique Charge of the respective Counties where the said Lands or Goods lie, and shall be levied for and towards the maintenance and imployment of the poor there, which shall be paid by the respective Sheriffs to such as the Justices at the publique Sessions shall appoint; which said payments, the Barons of the publique Exchequer are hereby required to allow upon the several Sheriffs their Accompts; which said Patents or Grants so brought in, the said Commissioners are hereby Authorized and required to cause to be Cancelled and Defaced.
Penalty for any person to assume such Titles after 25 March. 1642.; A Lord to forfeit 100 l.; Baronet or Knight, 40 l.
And be it further Enacted by this present Parliament, and the Authority thereof, That if any person or persons shall after the Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty and two, assume to themselves by writing or otherwise, any such Honors, Titles, Dignities or Precedencies, under the pretence of Grant, or being conferred as aforesaid, That every person so offending, shall forfeit for every such Offence, if of the Title of Nobleman, that is to say, A Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount or Baron, the sum of One hundred pounds; and every person pretending to the Title of a Baronet or Knight, for every Offence the sum of Forty pounds, to be recovered by Bill or Information in the publique Exchequer, or in publique Sessions in the usual way; the one half to go to the maintenance and imployment of the poor in the respective Counties where the monies shall be levied, the other half to the party informing.
10s. forfeiture for anyperson that shall knowingly give such prohibited Titles.
And be it further Enacted by the Authority hereof, That if any person or persons whatsoever, shall voluntarily and knowingly, in writing or otherwise, give unto any person or persons who do or have pretended to Titles, Honors, Dignities and Precedencies as aforesaid, any Titles prohibited and intended to be made null by this Act, All such persons so offending, shall for every such Offence forfeit the sum of Ten shillings, the one half to go to the party informing, the other half to be to the poor of the Parish where the Offence shall be committed, the Offence being proved by confession of the party, or proof by the Oath of one or more Witness or Witnesses, before one or more Justices of the Peace; which said Justice and Justices of Peace are hereby authorized and required to cause the same to be paid accordingly, and in case of refusal, to levy by distress of the parties Goods, rendring the overplus upon sale; and for want of distress, to cause the said person or persons to be set in the publique Stocks for three hours.