Charles II, 1677: An Act for the better Observation of the Lords day commonly called Sunday.

Page 848

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

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In this section

Tradesmen, &c. working on Sunday,; Exception.

Penalty 5s.; exposing to sale Wares, &c.; Penalty.

For the better observation and keeping holy the Lords day commonly called Sunday Bee it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and of the Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the authoritie of the same. That all the Lawes enacted and in force concerning the observation of the Lords day and repaireing to the Church thereon be carefully putt in execution. And that all and every person and persons whatsoever shall on every Lords day apply themselves to the observation of the same by exerciseing themselves thereon in the dutyes of Piety and true Religion publiquely and privately And that noe Tradesman, Artificer Workeman Labourer or other Person whatsoever shall doe or exercise any worldly Labour, Busines or Worke of their ordinary Callings upon, the Lords day or any. part thereof (Workes of Necessity and Charity onely excepted) And that every person being of, the age of fourteene yeares or upwards offending in the Premisses shall for every such Offence foreit the, summe of, five shillings, And that noe person or persons whatsoever shall publickly cry shew forth; or expose to sale any Wares Merchandizes, Fruit, Herbs Goods or Chattells whatsoever upon the Lords day or any part thereof upon paine that every person soe offending shall forfeite the same Goods soe cryed or shewed, forth or exposed, to sale.

II. Drovers, &c. travelling, &c. Penalty 20B.

Using Boats, Barges, &c.; Penalty 5s.; Proceedings on Conviction.; Goods cryed may be seized.; Penalties how to be levied.; In case of Insufficiency, Stocks.; Penalties how to be disposed of.; Reward to Informer.

And it is further enacted That noe Drover Horsecourser Waggoner Butcher Higler their or any of their Servants shall travell or come into his or their Inne or Lodgeing upon the Lords day or any part thereof upon paine that each and every such offender shall forfeite twenty shillings for every such offence, And that noe person or persons shall use imploy or travell upon the Lords day with any Boate Wherry Lighter or Barge except it be upon extraordinary occasion to be allowed by some Justice of the Peace of the County or Head officer or some Justice of the Peace of the Citty Burrough or Towne corporate where the Fact shall be committed upon paine that every person soe offending shall forfeite and lose the summe of five shillings for every such offence, And that if any person offending in any of the premisses shall be thereof convicted before any Justice of the Peace of the County or the Cheife Officer or Officers or any Justice of the Peace of or within any Citty Burrough or Towne Corporate where the said Offences shall be committed upon his or their view or confession of the party or proofe of any one or more Witnesses by Oath (which the said Justices Cheife Officer or Officers is by this Act authorized to administer) the said Justice or Cheife Officer or Officers shall give Warrant under his or their Hand and Seale to the Constables or Churchwardens of the Parish or Parishes where such Offence shall be committed to seize the said Goods, cryed, shewed forth or putt to sale as aforesaid and to sell the same and to levy the said other Forfeitures or Penaltyes by way of distresse and sale of the Goods of every such Offender distrained rendering to the said Offenders the overplus of the moneys raised thereby and in default of such distresse or in case of insufficiency or inability of the said Offender to pay the said forfeitures or penalties that then the party offending be sett publickly in the Stocks by the space of two houres, And all and singular the forfeitures or penaltyes aforesaid shall be imployed and converted to the use of the Poore of the Parish where the said [Offence (fn. 1) ] shall be committed saveing onely that it shall and may be lawfull to and for any such Justice Maior or Head Officer or Officers out of the said forfeitures or penalties to reward any person or persons that shall informe of any Offence against this Act according to their discretions soe as such Reward, exceede not the third part of the Forfeitures or penalties.

III. Proviso for private Families, Inns, &c. and for crying Milk.

Provided That nothing in this Act contained shall extend to the prohibiting of dressing of Meate, in Families or dressing or selling of Meat in Inns Cookeshops or Victualling Houses for such as otherwise cannot be, provided nor to the crying or selling of Milke before nine of the clocke in the morning or. after foure of the clocke in the afternoone.

IV. Limitation of Prosecution.

Provided alsoe that noe person or persons shall be impeached prosecuted or molested for any offence before mentioned in this Act unlesse he or they be prosecuted for the same within ten dayes after the offence committed.

V. Hundred not responsible for Robberies committed on the Lords Day; But shall make fresh Suit after the Offenders. 27 Eliz. c. 13.


Provided and bee it further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That if any person or persons whatsoever which shall travell upon the Lords Day shall be then robbed That noe Hundred nor the Inhabitants thereof shall be charged with or answerable for any Robbery soe committed but the person or persons soe robbed shall be barred from bringing any Action for the said Robbery, Any Law to the contrary, notwithstanding. Neverthelesse the Inhabitants of the Countyes and Hundreds (after notice of any such Robbery to them or some of them given, or after Huy and Cry for the same to be brought) shall make or cause to be, made, fresh Suite and Pursuite, after the Offenders with Horsemen and Footemen according to the Statute made in the twenty seventh, yeare of the Raigne of Queene Elizabeth upon paine of forfeiting to the Kings Majestie his Heires and Successors as much money as might have beene recovered against the Hundred by the partie robbed if this Law had not beene made.

VI. Service of Process on the Lord's Day (Exception) void.

Persons serving the same liable to Action.

Provided alsoe That noe person or persons upon the Lords Day shall serve or execute or cause to be served or executed any Writt, Processe, Warrant, Order Judgement or Decree (except in cases of Treason Felony or breach of the Peace) but that the service of every such Writt, Processe, Warrant, Order Judgement or Decree shall be void to all intents and Purposes whatsoever And the person or persons soe serveing or executeing the same shall be as lyable to the Suite of the Partie grieved and to answere damages to him for doeing thereof as if he or they had done the same without any Writt, Processe Warrant Order Judgement or Decree at all.


  • 1. Offences O.