Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1625-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Reasons for passing this Act.
No Person after the 1st Jan. 1660 shall set or plant any Tobacco.; Penalty.
YOUR Majestyes Loyall and Obedient Subjects The Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled considering of how great concern and importance it is That the Colonies and Plantations of this Kingdome in America be defended protected maintained and kept up, and that all due and possible incouragement be given unto them, and that not onely in regard great and considerable Dominions and Countryes have beene thereby gained and added to the Imperiall Crowne of this Realme, But for that the strength and welfaire of this Kingdome doe very much depend upon them in regard of the imployment of a very considerable part of its Shipping and Seamen, and of the vent of very great quantities of its Native Co[m]modities and Manufactures as alsoe of its supply with severall considerable Commodities which it was wont formerly to have onely from Forraigners and at farr dearer Rates And forasmuch as Tocaccho is one of the maine products of severall of those Plantations, and upon which their Welfaire and Subsistance and the Navigation of this Kingdome and vent of its Commodities thither doe much depend. And in regard it is found by experience that the Tobacchoes planted in these parts are not soe good and wholsome for the takers thereof, and that by the planting thereof Your Majestie is deprived of a considerable part of Your Revenue ariseing by Customs upon imported Tobaccho Doe most humbly pray that it may be Enacted by your Majesty, And it is hereby Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same that noe person or persons whatsoever shall or doe from and after the first day of January in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and sixty sett, plant, improve to grow make or cure any Tobaccho [either (fn. 1) ] in Seed Plant or otherwise in or upon any ground earth field or place within the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales Iselands of Guernsey or Jersey or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede or in the Kingdome of Ireland under the penalty of the forfeiture of all such Tobaccho or the value thereof & of the summe of forty shillings for every Rodd or Pole of Ground soe planted sett or sowne as aforesaid and soe proportionably for a greater or lesser quantity of Ground, one moyetie thereof to His Majestie his Heires and Successors And the other moyety to him or them that shall sue for the same to be recovered by Bill Plaint or Information in any Court of Record wherein noe Essoyne Protection or wager in Law shall be allowed
II. Sheriffs and other Officers may destroy Tobacco planted contrary to this Act
And it is hereby further Enacted that all Sheriffes Justices of the Peace Maiors Bailiffes Constables and every of them upon Information or Complaint made unto them or any of them by any the Officers of the Customes or by any other person or persons whatsoever that there is any Tobaccho sett sowne planted or growing within their Jurisdictions or Precincts contrary to this Act shall within ten dayes after such Information or Complaint cause to be burnt plucked up consumed or utterly destroyed all such Tobaccho soe sett sowen planted or growing.
III. Resisting Execution of Act, Penalty £5.; Distress.; If no Distress, Imprisonment.
And it is hereby further enacted that in case any person or persons shall resist or make forceable Opposition against any person or persons in the due and through execution of this Act that every such person or persons for every such Offence shall forfeit the summe of five pounds to be divided and recovered in manner aforesaid. And in case any person or persons shall not pay the summes of money by them to be paid by vertue of this Act that in every such case Distresse shall be made and Sale thereof returning the Overplus to the Owners and in case noe Distresse be to be found that then every such party shall be committed to the common Goale in the County where such Offence shall be committed there to remaine for the space of two monethes without baile or maineprize.
IV. Proviso for Physic Gardens.
Provided alwayes and it is hereby enacted that this Act or any thing therin contained shall extend to the hindering of the planting of Tobaccho in any Phisicke Garden of either University or in any other private Garden for Phisicke or Surgery onely soe as the quantity soe planted exceed not one halfe of one Pole in any one place or Garden.