Charles I, 1640: An Act for the better raising and leavying of Mariners Sailers and others for the present guarding of the Seas and necessary defence of the Realme.

Page 101

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.

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Reciting that a Fleet is preparing for the Defence of the Realm.; Lord Admiral empowered to impress Seamen.; Such impressed Men to have Conduct Money at the Rate of Id. per Mile; and to have Wages and Entertainment at the like Rate as for the Three Years last past.; Seamen, &c. refusing to be impressed, or hiding, &c. themselves. Imprisonment.

Whereas a Fleet is now in preparing to be set forth with all expedition for the guarding of the Seas and necessary defence of the Realme in this time of imminent danger which cannot accordingly be performed unlesse the same be furnished with fit and sufficient men for that service. Bee it therefore enacted by the authority of this present Parliament that the Lord Admirall for the time being shall and may at any time or times betweene this and the first of November next comeing by himselfe his Vice Admirall Commissioner or Commissioners or other Officer or Officers or any of them raise leavie and impresse such and soe many Mariners Sailers Watermen [Chirurgions (fn. 1) ] Gunners and Ship Carpenters as shall be requisite and necessary for this present expedition or for any such further defence of the Realme which said Mariners Sailers and other such persons soe to be leavied or impressed as aforesaid and every of them shall have paid and delivered unto him upon such his impressing by the person that shall soe impresse him for conducct money for every mile from the place where he shall be soe impressed to the Shipp or place to which he shall be appointed to make his repaire the sum of one penny and the like sum of one penny for every mile from the place of his discharge unto the place of his abode and shall be allowed for his service the best wages and entertainment which have or hath beene allowed by his Majestie to any such person or persons respectively at any time within three yeares last past And if any Mariner Sailer Waterman Chirurgion Gunner or Ship Carpenter shall wilfully refuse to be impressed in or for the said Service or shall voluntarily hide or absent himselfe at the time of such Presse that then every such person soe offending shall suffer imprisonment by the space of three monthes without bail or mainprise.

II. Proviso for Masters and Masters Mates of Ships employed, and Persons above 50.

Provided alwaies that this Act shall not extend to the pressing of any Master or Masters Mate of any Shipp or Vessell that is or shall be in imployment nor to any person that shall be above the age of fifty.


  • 1. Surgions.