Charles I, 1640: An Act for the declaring unlawfull and void the late proceedings touching Ship money and for the vacating of all Records and Processe concerning the same.

Pages 116-117

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

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Certioraries.; Mittimus.; Scire Facias against John Hampden, Esq.; Demurrer.; Overruled.; Reasons of the Judges for overruling Demurrer.; Extrajudicial Opinion.; Judgment recited.

Whereas diverse Writs of late time issued under the Great Seale of England commonly called Shipwrits for the charging of the Ports Towns Cities Boroughs and Counties of this Realme respectively to provide and furnish certain Ships for his Majesties Service And whereas upon the Execution of the same Writs and Returnes of Certioraries thereupon made and the sending the same by Mittimus into the Court of Exchequer Processe hath beene thence made, against sundry Persons pretended to be charged by way of Contribution for the making up [of (fn. 1) ] certaine Sums assessed for the providing of the said Shipps and in especiall in Easter Terme in the thirteenth yeare of the Reign of our Soveraign Lord the King that now is a Writ of Scire facias was awarded out of the Court of Exchequer to the then Sheriffe of Buckingham Shire against John Hampden Esquire to appeare and shew cause why he should not be charged with a certaine su[m]m so assessed upon him upon whose appearance and demurrer to the proceedings therein the Barons of the Exchequer adjourned the same Case into the Exchequer Chamber where it was solemnly argued divers dayes and at length it was there agreed by the greater part of all the Justices of the Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and of the Barons of the Exchequer there assembled that the said John Hampden should be charged with the said Sum so as aforesaid assessed on him The main grounds and reasons of the said Justices and Barons which so agreed being that when the good and safety of the Kingdome in generall is concerned and the whole Kingdome in danger the King might by Writ under the Great Seale of England command all the Subjects of this his Kingdome at theire charge to provide and furnish such number of Ships with Men Victuals and Munition and for such time as the King should thinke fit for the defence and safegard of the Kingdome from such danger and perill and that by Law the King might compell the doing thereof in case of refusall or refractarinesse and that the King is the sole Judge both of the danger and when and how the same is to be prevented and avoided according to which grounds and reasons all the Justices of the said Courts of Kings Bench and Common Pleas and the said Barons of the Exchequer having beene formerly consulted with by His Majesties command had set theire hands to an extrajudiciall opinion expressed to the same purpose which opinion with theire names thereunto was also by his Majesties command inrolled in the Courts of Chancery Kings Bench Common Pleas and Exchequer and likewise entred among the Remembrances of the Court of Star chamber and according to the said agreement of the said Justices and Barons Judgement was given by the Barons of the Exchequer That the said John Hampden should be charged with the said Sum so assessed on him And whereas some other

Ship-Writs, and Proceedings thereupon, contrary to Law.

Actions and Processe depend and have depended in the said Court of Exchequer and in some other Courts against other persons for the like kinde of charge grounded upon the said Writs commonly called Shipwrits all which Writs and proceedings as aforesaid were utterly against the Law of the Land Be it therefore declared and Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That the said charge imposed upon the Subject for the providing and furnishing of Ships commonly called Shipmoney and the said extrajudiciall opinion of the said Justices and Barons and the said Writs and every of them and the said agreement or opinion of the greater part of the said Justices and Barons and the said Judgement given against the said John Hampden were and are contrary to and against the Laws and Statutes of this Realm the right of property the libertie of the Subjects former resolutions in Parliament and the Petition of Right made in the third yeare of the Reign of his Majestie that now is

II. St. 3 Car. I. Petition of Right to be observed.

Judgments and Proceedings touching Ship-Writs, and all Entries, Records, and Inrolments thereof made void.

And it is further declared and Enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That all and every the particulars prayed or desired in the said Petition of Right shall from henceforth be put in execution accordingly and shall be firmely and strictly holden and observed as in the same Petition they are prayed and expressed and that all and every the Records and remembrances of all and every the Judgement Inrolments Entry and proceedings as aforesaid and all and every the proceedings whatsoever upon or by pretext or colour of any of the said Writs co[m]monly called Shipwrits and all and every the Dependents on any of them shall be deemed and adjudged to all intents constructions and purposes to be utterly void and disannulled and that all and every the said Judgement Inrolments Entries Proceedings and Dependents of what kind soever shall be vacated and cancelled in such manner and form as Records use to be that are vacated.


  • 1. interlined on the Roll.