Charles I, 1640: An Act for the better ordering and regulating of the Office of Clarke of the Market allowed & confirmed by this Statute and for the reformation of false Weights and Measures.

Pages 129-130

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

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Grievances by Clerks of the Market, and Inequality in Weights and Measures.

There shall be but one Measure, one Weight, and one Yard.; Selling by or keeping any other Weight.; Penalty 5s.; How to be levied.; Default of Distress.; Imprisonment.

Forasmuch as the undue execution of the Office of Clerke of the Market hath beene very greivous unto divers of his Majesties most loveing Subjects who have beene much troubled by unnecessary summons and charged with exactions of diverse sums of Money by colour of the said Office and in regard the said evills have partly arisen by meanes of an inequality of Weights and Measures throughout this Kingdom and by granting and letting to Farme the said Office of Clerke of the Market and the Execution thereof in and through all or the most of the severall Counties of this Kingdome for great sums of Money which the said Farmours or Grantees by theire unjust and undue proceedings in the said Office doe extort from his Majesties Subjects again to theire great impoverishment and yet little or no redresse at all in theire said Weights or Measures or any benefit thereby accruing to his Majestie For remedie whereof and for regulating [of (fn. 1) ] all Weights & Measures according to the true intent of this Statute and the other Statutes in that behalfe formerly made and provided and preventing the said inconveniencies Be it therefore enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie the Lords and Commons of this present Parliament assembled and by the authoritie of the same That from henceforth there shall be but one Weight one Measure and one Yard according to the Standard of the Exchequer throughout all the Realme aswell in places priviledged as without Any usage or custome to the contrary notwithstanding And that every Measure of Corne shall be striked without heape And whosoever shall sell by or keepe any other Weight Measure or Yard then as aforesaid whereby any corne graine or other thing is bought or sold after six monthes after the end of this present Session of Parliament shall forfeite for every such offence five shillings being thereof lawfully convicted by the Oath of one sufficient Witnesse before any Justice of Peace Maior or other head Officer of the County City or Towne Corporate respectively where the said offence shall be committed Who by vertue of this Act shall have power to administer an Oath in that behalfe Which said sum or penalty of five shillings shall be levyed by the Church wardens and Overseers of the Poore of the Parish or some or one of them where such offence is or shall be committed to the use of the Poore of the same Parish of the Goods and Chattels of such Offenders by way of Distresse and sale of the Offenders goods rendering the Overplus to the partie so offending And in default of such distresse it shall be lawfull for any Justices of Peace Maior or other Head officer of the Countie City or Towne corporate respectively to commit the said partie to the Prison or Goal there to remaine without Bail or Mainprise untill he shall pay such su[m]ms of Money forfeited as aforesaid.

II. Clerk of the Market of the King's House, his Limits.

Proviso for Jurisdiction of Mayors, Head Officers, and Lords of Liberties.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid That no Clarke of the Market of the Kings House which now is or hereafter shall be or of the Prince his Highnes his Heires or Successours which is or shall be Duke of Cornewall or his or theire Deputie or Deputies shall hereafter execute his or theire said Office or Offices respectively in any part of the Kingdom but onely within the Verge of the Kings Court where it shall then reside for the time being And that it shall be alwaies hereafter lawfull for any Maior or other head Officer of any City Burrough or Towne Corporate or for any Lord or Lords of Libertie Liberties or Franchises his or theire Deputie or Deputies or Agents according to theire severall Liberties and Jurisdictions to have full power to execute the said Offices respectively as they ought or might have done before the making of this Act

III. Clerks of the Market and other Officers sealing, &c. other Weights, &c. or refusing to seal, &c.

On Payment of proper Fee.; Penalty £5.

And for the more ease of his Majesties Subjects Be it further Enacted That if any Clarke of the Market within his aforesaid precincts and limits of the Verge of the Kings house onely or any Maior or other Officer whatsoever who by vertue of this Act shall have power to inquire of any abuses in Weights and Measures shall seale or give allowance unto any other Weight or measure weights or measures other then according to the said Standard of the Exchequer or shall upon reasonable request and warning refuse to seal or give allowance unto such weight or measure weights or measures as are according to the said Standard of the Exchequer paying only such Fee or fees for such allowance as by the Statute or statutes or by ancient custome are in that behalfe formerly provided and allowed and no more That then the said Clarke of the Market Maior and other Officer or Officers of Citie Burrough or Towne and the said Lord and Lords of Libertie or Liberties and his and theire Deputie and Deputies and Agents respectively shall forfeite for every such offence five pounds to be leavied as aforesaid to the use of the poore of the parish where such offence is or shall be committed.

IV. Clerk of the Market, &c. taking unlawful Fines or Fees;

or imposing Fines, &c. without legal Trial, &c.; First Offence, Penalty £5. Second Offence, £10. Third and every other Offence, £20.

And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That if the Clarke of the Market his Deputy or Deputies or Agents within the Verge aforesaid or any Maior or any other Officer or Officers of any City or Town or any Lord or Lords of Liberties his or their Deputy or Deputies Agents or Assignes respectively shall take or receive of any of his Majesties Subjects by colour of the said Office any common Fine or Fines or any Fees other then are [former (fn. 3) ] allowed by the Statute or statutes or ancient custome in that behalfe made or used shall take any Fee or Fees or other sum of money Reward or considerac[i]on for the making signing or examination of any weights or measures which have beene formerly marked or sealed or shall Impose or Assesse or cause to be Imposed or Assessed any Fine or Amerciament Fines or Amerciaments without a due and legall triall of the offences for which the said Fine or Fines Amerciament or Amerciaments are Imposed or Assessed or shall otherwise misdemean himselfe in the execution of his said Office and be thereof lawfully convicted He shall forfeit for the first Offence whereof he shall be so lawfully convicted five pounds And for the second offence ten pounds And for the third offence and every other offence afterwards twenty pounds to be levied as aforesaid to the use of the poore of the parish where such offence shall be committed

V. Not to be doubly fined.

And be it enacted That whosoever shall be fined or amerced by vertue of this Act shall not be again fined or amerced for the same offence by vertue of any former Law or Statute

VI. Proviso for Rents of Farms or Corn.

Water Measures to be continued.

Provided alwaies That this Act or Statute shall not extend to the Rents of Farmes or Lands or any Corne or Grain due or payable to any Lord or Lords or any Colledges Houses or other Societies by vertue of any Lease or Leases or other Covenant or Agreement but [that (fn. 4) ] the same during the continuation of such Lease Leases or other Agreements shall be paid delivered and performed in such measure and forme as the same hath beene paid delivered and performed before the making of this Act And that such measure as is comonly called Water measure in any Ports Maritine Townes or other places shall be still used and continued as formerly the same hath beene Any thing in this Statute contained to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.

VII. General Issue may be pleaded in Action for executing Act.

Treble Costs.

Provided alsoe that no Justice or Justices of the Peace Maior Bailiffe or other head Officer Church wardens Overseers or any other authorized by this Statute for the due execution thereof in any point shall be sued impleaded or otherwise impeached for doing or executing theire said Offices respectively And if any Suit or Suits hereafter shall be commenced against them or any of them theire Agents or Assistants touching the premisses That then it shall and may be lawfull for them and every of them so sued or troubled in any Court or Courts wheresoever to plead the generall issue Not guilty and to give this Statute in Evidence or any other speciall matter in Evidence And in case by or upon this Law they or any of them shall be found not guilty or the Plaintiffe be Non-suited the Defendant or Defendants shall recover triple costs against the Plaintiffe for his unjust vexation.


  • 1. interlined on the Roll.
  • 2. O. omits.
  • 3. formerlie O.
  • 4. interlined on the Roll.