Charles I, 1640: An Act for the releife of the Captives taken by Turkish Moorish and other Pirates and to prevent the taking of others in time to come.

Pages 134-135

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section

Recital that many Subjects, expert Seamen, and others, were detained in Captivity, and forced to renounce the Christian Religion, &c

and that Money had been since the King's Accession taken from the Subject without Consent of Parliament.; Reasons for passing this Act.; Additional Duty of Customs of One in the Hundred on all Duties to be laid on Goods exported and imported, as herein mentioned, for Three Years, to be received by the Lord Mayor and Chamberlain of London, to be laid out in maintaining a Fleet, under the Direction of a Committee of the Lords and Commons respectively; Lord Mayor, &c. to be accountable to the said Committee.

Whereas many thousands of your Majesties good and loving subjects with theire Ships and Goods have of late time beene surprised and taken at Sea (as they were in theire lawfull trading) by Turkish Moorish and other Pirats and some of them to free themselves of the cruell and barbarous usage of those Pirats have renounced the Christian Religion and turned Turks and others yet kept in bondage are used with so extreame cruelty as they are in great danger thereby to lose theire lives unlesse they shall alsoe forsake the Christian Religion And diverse of those your subjects kept in bondage (being expert and skilfull Mariners) are usually imployed at Sea against others your good subjects and prove [very (fn. 1) ] prejudiciall to them and hurtfull to the trade and merchandise of your Majesties Dominions And whereas as well your Majesties subjects as Strangers exporting or importing theire goods and merchandize into this Kingdome have ever sithence your Majesties accesse unto this Crowne beene charged with the payment of great sums of money under the name of Custom and that without consent of Parliament which had they beene legally taken ought to have been cheifly imployed to the safeguard of the Seas and preservation of your good subjects in theire trade of merchandize from the spoile of Pirats and other Sea Robbers but have been exhausted by evil Ministers and not applied to their proper uses so that your Highnes good subjects have beene exposed to the mercilesse cruelty of those Pirats and barbarous infidels And the Commons taking into further consideration your Majesties pressing wants and great occasions of moneys in these times of distemper aswell in the Kingdome of Ireland as other Kingdoms of forreign Princes so that there will be required some further aid to inable your Highnes to effect so great a Worke besides the present Tunnage and Poundage now granted to your Majestie have therefore for this present pressing occasion and for a time hereafter limited taken into theire Resolutions a further way of raising a supply of moneys for the providing and setting forth to the Seas a Navie aswell for the enlargement and deliverance of those poore Captives in Argier and other places if Almightie God shall [so (fn. 1) ] please to give that blessing unto theire enterprises as alsoe for the preventing of the like future dangers unto your good people theire persons ships and Merchandizes Do therefore pray your Most Excellent Majestie that it may be enacted And be it enacted by authority of this present Parliament That where any Subsidy Custome or other dutie after the nine and twentieth day of September in the yeare One thousand six hundred fourty one and before the foure and twentieth day of June then next following shall be laid or imposed by authority of Parliament upon any Goods Wares or other Merchandize of what nature kinde or qualitie soever to be exported out of or imported into this your Majesties Realme of England or Dominion of Wales that one other sum of One in the hundred according to the rates to be established by Parliament within the time aforesaid over and above the said custome subsidie or dutie so to be laid or imposed shall be raised levied and paid from and after the tenth day of December in the yeare One thousand six hundred fourty one aforesaid of and from all and every such Goods Wares and other Merchandize to be imported into or exported out of this your Majesties said Realm of England or Dominion of Wales the said summe of one in the hundred to be raised levied and paid for the space of three yeares next after the said tenth day of December and no longer And received and taken by the Lord Maior and Chamberlain of London for the Time being theire Deputies or Deputie and by them the said Lord Maior and Chamberlain of London for the Time being to be layed out payed and imployed for providing and setting out to sea and maintaining of one or more Fleet or Fleets of good and serviceable Ships and other necessaries to be used and imployed for the purposes aforesaid in such sort as by order of a Committee of the House of Lords and a Committee of the House of Commons in Parliament of this your Majesties Realme of England shall be directed And such Lord Maior and Chamberlain of London who shall receive or disburse any the moneys aforesaid shall be accountable and account for all and every theire receipts and disbursements afore mentioned to the said Committee or to such person or persons as the said Committee shall order and appoint

II. If Goods attempted to be exported or imported, and the said Duty not paid,

And be it alsoe enacted by the authoritie aforesaid that if any Goods Wares or other Merchandize whereof the sum of one in the hundred aforesaid is or shall be due and payable by vertue of this Act shall att any time hereafter be shipped or put into any Boat or other Vessell to the intent to be carried into the parts beyond the Seas or else be

the Goods to be forfeited.

brought from the parts beyond the Seas into any part of this your Realm of England or Dominion of Wales by way of Merchandize and unshipped to be laid on land the su[m]me of one in the hundred as aforesaid due or to be due for the same not payed or lawfully tendered and secured to be paid to the Maior and Chamberlain of London for the time being or theire deputy or deputies for the uses aforesaid all the same goods wares and other merchandize whatsoever shall be forfeited and lost the one moity of the rate or value thereof to be to him or them that will seize or sue for the same and the other moytie to be imployed to and for the uses before expressed.

III. Captures from the Pirates how to be divided.

And for the better incouragement of Mariners to undertake the said service and Owners of Ships to let out theire Ships for the said imployment Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any Ships goods or merchandize of the said Pirats or of the subjects of any that are or shall be in enmity with your Majestie your heires or successors or the person of any such Pirates shall be taken by the Ships to be imployed in the service before mentioned that one fourth part thereof shall be to the Mariners that shall take the same and one other fourth part to the Owners of the said Ships over and above theire hire and wages and the other two fourth parts to and for such uses as the said Committees shall order and appoint and the overplus of the money to be raised by vertue of this Act and not imployed to and for the service aforementioned (if any shall be) shall alsoe be imployed according to the Order of the same Committees.

IV. This Act not to be drawn into Example.

And be it further declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid that this p[re]sent Act for the raising of moneys for the setting forth of Ships for the suppressing of Pirates and safety of Merchants shall not hereafter be drawn into example but that your Majesty would in time to come be pleased to intrust such Ministers as may faithfully imploy the moneys raised by Tonnage and Poundage unto the right and proper uses for the guarding of the Seas and safety of Merchants which will advance the honour of your sacred Majestie abroad and procure the safety peace and happines of your Highnes loyall and faithfull subjects at home.


  • 1. interlined on the Roll.