January 1646: An Ordinance enabling the Militia of London to Press Soldiers.

Pages 821-822

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

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January, 1646

[19 January. 1645/6]

Forasmuch as the true Protestant Religion, the Lawes and Liberties of the Subjects, and the Parliament are in danger to be subverted, Idolatry and Tyranny like to be introduced by the Force and power of several Armies raysed by pretence of the Kings authority, consisting of Papists and other dangerous and ill affected Persons of this Kingdome, and Irish Rebels, and of divers Popish Soldiers or others of Forraign Kingdoms and Nations, being not under the Kings obedience, for the ruine and destruction of this Kingdom, unlesse the same be prevented by a considerable Power of Forces to be suddenly raised by both Houses of Parliament being with Gods blessing and assistance the most probable way to preserve this Kingdom, our Religion & Liberty.

Power to Committee of London Militia to press Soldiers for defence of Kingdom; Assistance.; Coat and Conduct Money, etc.; Penalty for refusal to be pressed.

Be it therefore Ordained by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, and by the authority of the same, That the Committee of the Militia for the Citie of London within the said Citie and the Liberties thereof, and the Committee of the Militia of London by themselves, or their several sub-Committees respectively within the Lines of Communication, the Deputy-Lieutenants and Committees of Parliament in every Countie, Citie, or Place within this Realme, or any two or more of them within their several Limits and Jurisdictions, shall and are hereby Authorized, and are hereby required and enjoyned from time to time to Raise, Levy, and Imprest such number of Soldiers, Gunners, and Chirurgions for the defence of the Parliament and Kingdome, as shall be appointed by both Houses of Parliament, by the Members of both Houses that are of the Committee of both Kingdomes, or any six of them, or by Sir Thomas Fairfax, And to command all Constables and other Officers to be ayding and assisting to them in the said service of Impresting; All which Persons so to be Imprested, and every of them shall have such Imprest Money, Coat, and Conduct money, Wages, and entertainment, and other necessary charges and allowances as shall be fit and convenient, according to the discretion of the Committees and Deputy-Lieutenants, or any two or more of them respectively; And if any Person or persons shall wilfully refuse so to be Imprested for the said service, that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said persons so authorized as aforesaid, to commit them to Prison until they shall yield obedience to pay the sum of ten pounds to the said Committee or DeputyLieutenants, to be imployed for the supply of the said service.

Persons exempted.

Provided alwayes that this Ordinance shall not extend to the Pressing of any Clergy-man, Scholler or Student in any the Universities, Inns of Court, or Chancery, or Houses of Law, or any the Trained bands in any County, City or Place, or of any person Rated in the last Subsidies granted by Parliament, or the Son of any person Rated at five pounds goods or three pounds Lands in the Subsidy Books, or of any person of the rank or degree of an Esquire or upwards, or the son of any such person, or the son of the Widow of any such person, or to the pressing of any person under the age of eighteen, or above the age of fifty, or of the Members or Officers of either House of Parliament, or of the Menial Servants of the Peers of the Kingdom, or Members of the House of Commons, or Officers of either of the said Houses, or any of the Assistants or Attendants of the Lords House, or any of their Menial Servants, or any the Inhabitants of the Isle of Wight, or Cinque-Ports, or of any Marriner, Seaman, Shipwright, or any of their Apprentices, Watermen or Fishermen, or any Officer imployed in the Office of Excize, or in the Office of Customes for Tunnage or Poundage.

Ord. to be in force 6 months only.

Provided, That this Ordinance shall continue and be in force for the space of six Moneths from the Date hereof and no longer.

Further Persons exempted

Provided also, And be it Ordained by the authority aforesaid, That this Ordinance shall not extend unto the Impresting Jurors, Solicitors, Attorneys, or their Menial Servants, imployed in Law suits, Witnesses or Parties, having necessary occasions to attend their Suits: But that such persons upon a Certificate from the Commissioners of the Great Seal of England, or the Justices of either Bench, or the Barons of the Exchequer, or any of them, shall be discharged and freed.