February 1645: An Ordinance that the Committee for the Militia of London, shall have power to Impose upon persons to find Armes, not exceeding three Foot-Souldiers for any one man: And to search for Papists and suspitious persons, and to disarm them. and to raise Horce.

Pages 648-650

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

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February, 1644/5

[28 February, 1644/5.]

Whereas divers persons within the City of London, and parts adjacent within the Lines of Communication, and Parishes mentioned in the weekly Bills of Mortality, and Hamlets of the Tower, that are not fit to beare Armes in their owne persons, yet are able and fit to find Armes, and pay others for bearing the same, but doe neglect and refuse the doing thereof: And whereas divers Papists, and other ill-affected persons doe lurke and hide themselves in divers houses and places within the limits aforesaid, that hold correspondency with or bring Intelligence from the Enemy, and others that gather together Armes, Ammunition and other materials of War, likely to be imployed to the prejudice of the Parliament and City.

Power to Committee of Militia of London to require traders to find Arms, not exceeding 3 Foot soldiers per man.

And whereas by severall Ordinances of Parliament, Power is given to the said Committee for ordering the said Militia within the Limits aforesaid, and drawing out Forces for Service abroad, And that many things mentioned in the said Ordinances to be put in execution, require the help and assistance of more persons in the nature of Sub-Committees; Thereupon Power is given to the said Committee, to make one or more Sub-Committees within the said Limits, as they shall think fit; And for the better enabling the said Sub-Committees so made, or to be made to performe the services therein contained.

Penalty for disobedient Persons.; To be enforced by apprehension or distress.

The said Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled do Ordain and Declare, and be it Ordained and Declared, That the said Committee of the Militia of London shall have power and are hereby authorized to Impose upon all such persons as have any Stocks going in Trade within the Limits aforesaid, and absent themselves, or do personally inhabit or reside within the said Limits, to find such proportion of Armes, and pay such persons as have been, or shall be appointed to beare the same, as the said Committee shall think fit, not exceeding Three Foot-Souldiers for any one person: And such person or persons as shall disobey the Commands and Directions of the said Committee of the Militia herein, the said Committee shall have power to impose such reasonable Fines upon them, or any of them, as they shall think fit, not exceeding the sum of Forty shillings for any one offence; and for want of payment thereof, to Leavie the same by Distresse and sale of their Goods and Chattels, or otherwise to imprison their persons without Baile or Mainprize, untill such time as they shall conforme themselves accordingly: But in case such person or persons so offending, do absent themselves without the said Limits where the authority of the said Committee doth not extend, and not a sufficient value of his or their Goods or Chattels to be found within the said Limits, whereon to Leavie the said Fines by distresse as aforesaid, That then the Committee of Lords and Commons for Sequestrations, upon complaint made by the Committee of the Militia, or such as they shall appoint, doe forthwith grant their Warrants for apprehending of such person or persons, wheresoever they shall be, and to commit him or them to prison without Bail or Mainprize, untill he or they do conforme themselves, or to distrain his or their Goods, and bring them to London, and there sell them to pay the said Fine or Fines; All which Fines are to be imployed to such use and purpose for the safety and defence of this City, as the said Committee of the Militia, shall think fit and direct.

Power to search for Papists and Malignants.; To seize the arms, etc., of such persons, and imprison or expel them.; Resistance.

And it is further Ordained, That the said Committee for the Militia shall have power, and is hereby Authorized by themselves, or such as they shall appoint, for whom they shall be accountable, there being one of the said Committee of the Militia present to search all houses and places within the Limits aforesaid where the said Committee shall have cause to suspect that any Papists are, or other persons that come from any of the Kings quarters, or cannot give a good account of their businesse or aboad within the Limits aforesaid, or that have or shall discover their ill-affection to the Parliament; and likewise to search for Armes, Ammunition and Materials for War in the custody of such persons, and to seize and take away the same, and to commit such persons to safe custody, or to expell them out of the Limits aforesaid if they shall see cause; and in case of Resistance, the said Committee are hereby Authorized to command any Constable or Constables, to break open any house or place, within the said Limits where such Resistance shall be made.

Power of Sub-Committees.

And it is further Ordained that the said Sub-Committee so appointed, or to be appointed by the said Committee of the Militia, shall have power, and are hereby Authorized to cause all or any of the Clauses contained in this or any other of the said Ordinances, to be put in due Execution, when, and as often as they shall receive directions from the said Committee for the Militia; and all Constables, Headboroughs, and other Officers and Souldiers are hereby required to obey, and execute such Warrants as they from time to time shall receive from the said Committee for the Militia, or other Sub-Committees, for and concerning the execution of the same accordingly

Power to charge fit persons with Horse Soldiers.

And it is further Ordered and Ordained by the said Lords & Commons in Parliament assembled, that the said Committee for the Militia of London, shall have power to charge such Inhabitants within the Lines of Communication and Bills of Mortality, as they shall esteeme able to finde and maintaine Horses with Riders, and furniture at their proper charge for the Defence of the City and parts adjacent, os as no one person shall bee charged for the raising and maintaining of more then two Horses.

Members of both Houses of Parliament expected.; Indemnity.

Provided, that no power hereby granted shall be extended against any Peere of this Kingdome, or Member of either of the Houses of Parliament, or any of the Assistants of the House of Peeres, or attendants of the House of Peeres, or Commons. And as well the said Committee, as also their said Sub-Committees, and all other persons acting in the Premises according to the intent of this Ordinance, shall be saved harmlesse by Authority of both Houses of Parliament.

This Ord. to be in force eight months only.

Provided that this Ordinance shall continue and be in force for the space of eight moneths, to begin from the publishing of this Ordinance and no longer.