June 1646: An Ordinance to exclude improper persons from the Sacrament.

Pages 852-855

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

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June, 1646.

[5 June, 1646.]

Names of new Commissioners for determining Scandalous Offences

The Lords and Commons in Parliament, holding their former resolution, That all notorious and scandalous offenders shall be kept from the Sacrament, have thought fit to make a further addition to the Scandalous offences formerly enumerated, for which men shall be kept from the Sacrament; and lest the stay of the enumeration, and the not naming of Commissioners to judge of Cases not enumerated, should hinder the putting in execution the Presbyteriall Government already established: They have thought fit, that in regard that divers persons fit to be Commissioners, according to the said Ordinance of 14 Martii 1645. by reason of the present Distractions, are absent from their habitations, and so cannot doe the service therein, which otherwise they might doe: They doe therefore Ordaine, that in stead and place of Commissioners in the said Ordinance, Thomas Earle of Arundell and Surrey, Algernon Earle of Northumberland, Henry Earle of Kent, John Earle of Rutland, Philip Earle of Pembroke and Montgomery, Robert Earle of Essex, Theophilus Earle of Lincolne, Charles Earle of Nottingham, James Earle of Suffolke, William Earle of Salisbury, John Earle of Bridgewater, Robert Earle of Warwick, Bazill Earle of Denbigh, James Earle of Middlesex, Oliver Earle of Bollingbroke, Edward Earle of Manchester, Edmond Earle Mulgrave, Henry Earle of Stamford, William Lord Viscount Say and Seale, George Lord Berkley, Francis Lord Dacres, Philip Lord Wharton, Francis Lord Willoughby of Parham, Charles Lord de la Warr, Dudley Lord North, John Lord Hunsdon, Charles Lord Stanhopp, Edward Lord Mountague, William Lord Grey of Warke, John Lord Robarts, William Lord Maynard, Edward Lord Howard of Escrick, Richard Lord Herbert of Cherberry, Thomas Lord Bruce.

Francis Rous, Edmond Prideaux Esqrs, Sir Henry Vane Senior, John Glyn Esqrs, Recorder of London; Sir Robert Harly, Bulstrode Whitlock Esqr, Humphrey Salloway Esqrs, Master Serjeant John Wilde, Serjt at Law, Oliver St John Esqrs his Majestie's Sollicitor; Sir Benjamin Rudyard Knight, Master Tate, Sir John Clotworthy, Knight, John Maynard Esq, Sir Henry Vane junr Knight, William Pierrepoint Esqr, William Wheeler Esqr, Sir William Masham, Walter Yong, Sir John Evelyn Knt., John Selden Esq, Samual Browne Esq, Sir William Strickland, Walter Long Esq, Herbert Morley Esq, George Snolling Esq, Harbottle Grimston Baronet, John Boyse Esq, Richard Shuttleworth, Lord Fairfax, Sir John D'Anvers, John Crew Esq, Sir Anthony Irby, Sir John Holland, Sir Philip Stapleton, Luke Robinson Esq. Thomas Westrow Esq, Denzell Hollis Esq, Henry Lucas Esq, Sir John Dreydon, Robert Jennor Esq, Henry Oxenden Esq. Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Nicholas Stoughton Esq, Sir John Burgoyne, Sir Edward Aiscough, John Swynfen Esq. Sir Henry Heyman, Edward Leigh Esq, Sir Thomas Wroth, Samuel Gott Esq, Sir John Bamfield, Will Ball Esq, John Palmer Doctor of Physick, Laurence Whitacre Esq, Sir Arthur Heslerigg, Sir Dudley North, Sir William Waller, Nathaniel Bacon Esq, Richard Edwards Esq, Luke Hodges Esq, Sir William Lewis, Francis Allen Esq, Giles Green Esq, John Gourdon Esq, Dennis Bond Esq, Sir Peter Wentworth, Sir Samuel Luke, Edward Bainton Esq, Richard Salloway junior, Simon Thelwall Esq, Oliver Cromwell Esq, Isaac Pennington Esq, Alderman of the City of London, John Ven Esq, John Bond Doctor of Law, Sir Richard Onslow, Sir William Armyn, William Aiscough Esq, George Abbot Esq, Cornelius Holland Esq, John Blakiston Esq. Lord Herbert, Sir Walter Erle, Henry Martin Esq, Sir Thomas Dacres, Richard Browne Esq, William Ellis Esq, John Lisle Esq, William Ashurst Esq, Sir John Trevor Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston, Thomas Lord Wenman, Sir Martin Lumley, Samuell Vassall Esq, Sir Matthew Boynton, Jervace Piggott Esquire, John Hutchinson Esq, Thomas Hatcher Esq, James Fiennes Esq, Valentine Walton Esq, John Stephens Esq, Sir John Evelyn of Surry, Thomas Scott Esq, Thomas Pury Esq, Henry Peck Esq, Thomas Hodges of Gloucestershire Esq, William Leman Esq, Richard Winwood Esq, John Lowry Esq, Sir Martin Lyster, Sir Edmond Fowell, Robert Wallop Esq, Richard Whitehead Esq, Nathaniel Hallowes Esq, Robert Brewster Esq, Sir Edward Hungerford, Richard Norton Esq, Sir Thomas Barnardiston, Sir Thomas Trenchard, Miles Corbet Esq, Sir Henry Mildmay, Thomas Atkin Esq, Alderman of the City of London; Charles Lord Cranbourne, Roger Hill Esq, Sir John Barrington, John Trenchard Esq, Sir John Corbet, Alexander Popham Esq, Sir Samuell Roll, Sir John Coke, John Nut Esq, Ralph Ashton Esq, Richard Barwis Esq, William Armyn Esq, Richard Tolson Esq, Sir Henry Cholmeley, Sir Thomas Widdrington, George Fenwick Esq, Edmund Ludlow Esq, Lillibon Long Esq, Francis Drake Esq, Sir Michael Livesay, Edward Stephens Esq, Sir William Spring, James Herbert Esq, Henry Laurence Esq, John Roll Esq, Sir John Francklyn, Thomas Sandys Esq, Sir Thomas Maliverer, Sir William Litton, Nathaniel Fiennes Esq, William Purefoy Esq, or any nine of them shall be a Committee of Lords and Commons, to adjudge and determine Scandalous offences not formerly enumerated, and the Elderships shall proceed in the Examinations of such Scandalous offences according to the cautions and restrictions mentioned in the Ordinance of the twentieth of October, 1645.

Powers of Committee; Directions for examination of scandalous offences not formerly enumerated.

And the said Committee shall have such power, and shall proceed in such sort as is hereafter mentioned. If any notorious and scandalous offence not formerly enumerated be committed by any within an Eldership, and so after full proofe shall be found before the Eldership, who shall have power to Examine proofs and Witnesses on both sides, in case both the Elderships and the party complained of do agree the Proofs and Examinations to be duly taken the said Eldership shall forthwith Certify the said offence, with Proofs, to the said Committee of Parliament, who shall with all convenient speed determine and adjudge the same; But in case the party accused shall find himselfe grieved, either by the not examination or the undue examination of Witnesses, or misentring of the Depositions, in such case he shall forthwith declare the same to the Eldership, who shall relieve him if there be cause, which if they shall not doe, then the three Justices of Peace next to the Parish whereof the party complained of is a Member, or any two of them, not being of the same Eldership before whom the Complaint lyes, shall have power, and are hereby inabled and required forthwith to examine upon Oath the said Witnesses that were not examined, or were mis-examined, or whose Depositions were mis-entred, and with all convenient speed returne the Examination to the said Committee of Parliament: And in case the said Justices, or any two of them, do not finish their Examination, within six dayes after the Cause shall be presented to them, the Party shall abstaine untill they have finished and certified their Examinations; And the said Committee upon hearing the whole matter from the Eldership and Justices, or either of them, shall adjudge whether the same be a notorious and scandalous offence and so proved or no. And in case the said Committee shall not adjudge and determine the Case within fourteen dayes after the receip of the Certificate to them made, the party against whom th said Certificate shall be made, shall abstaine from the Sacrament, untill the Committee shall determine the same, unlesse in the meanetime the Party shall show his repentance for the said Offence, and thereof give satisfaction to the Eldership; And it the said Committee shall adjudge the same not to be a scandalous offence, or not well proved, the said party shall be admitted to the Sacrament, and if they shall adjudge the same to be a scandulous offence, and so proved, he shall not be admitted to the Sacrament untill he shall have testified his repentance to the Eldership.

Duties of Elderships.

And be it further Ordained, That the Eldership shall either give personal notice to the Party complained of before them, or else leave notice in writing at his dwelling place, of the time and place when and where they will examine Witnesses against him, and also of the time that they will make Their Certificate to the Committee of Parliament. And in case information shall be given to the Eldership of a notorious and scandalous offence Committed by any within their Eldership, they shall forthwith proceed to the Examination thereof; and if they cannot finish their examination till the week before the Sacrament, and they shall then finde by sufficient proofe that he hath committed a notorious and scandalous Offence, and yet they cannot certifie the same before the Sacrament, it being to be administred within a week after, in such case the Party shall abstaine from the Sacrament for the next time onely, unlesse the Committee of Parliament to whome the same is to be certified, shall adjudge the same a notorious and scandalous offence, and so proved; for which he ought to be kept from Sacrament: and in such case, upon the testifying of his repentance to the Eldership, he shall be againe restored to the Sacrament, and not before.

Persons aggrieved may appeal to Parl.

And be it further ordained, If any shall find themselves agrieved with the judgement against him given by the said Committee, they shall appeale from thence to both houses of Parliament if they see cause.

Reports of Committee of Parliament.

And be it Ordained, That the Committee to whom the said Certificate shall be made, as aforesaid, shall report to both Houses the said several Cases to them certified, and their judgements thereupon, that so the offences not yet enumerated may be added to the enumeration, in case the Houses shall so thinke fit, and in their Reports they shall take care that they first report those Certificates and their opinions thereupon, wherein they at any time shall differ from the Eldership.

This Ord. to continue for 3 years.

And be it further Ordained, That this Ordinance shall continue for the space of three years and no longer, unlesse both Houses thinke fit to continue it.