Charles I, 1640: An Act for the better raising and leavying of Souldiers for the present defence of the Kingdoms of England and Ireland.

Pages 138-139

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

Recital that great Commotions, &c. have been raised in Ireland.

The Right of the Subject by Law to be free from being compelled to go out of his County as a Soldier.; Justice of Peace, Mayors, &c. empowered to raise and impress Soldiers by Order of the King and both Houses of Parliament; and to command High Constables &c. to bring before them fit Persons to be impressed.; Impress Money, Wages, and Entertainment, &c. allowed at such Rate as the King and both Houses of Parliament shall order.; Persons refusing to be impressed.; Imprisonment and Penalty, £10.

Forasmuch as great Commotions and [Rebellellions (fn. 2) ] have beene lately raised and stirred up in his Majesties Kingdome of Ireland by the wicked plots and conspiracies of diverse of his Majesties subjects there (being traiterously affected) to the great endangering not onely of the said Kingdome but alsoe of this Kingdom of England unlesse a speedy course be taken for the preventing thereof and for the raising and pressing of men for those services And Whereas by the Laws of this Realm none of his Majesties subjects ought to be [impressed (fn. 3) ] or compelled to go out of his county to serve as a souldier in the Wars except in case of necessitie of the sudden coming in of strange enimies into the Kingdome or except they be otherwise bound by the tenure of theire lands or possessions Therefore in respectof the great and urgent necessity of providing a present supply of men for the preventing of these great and imminent dangers and for the speedie suppressing of the said hainous and dangerous Rebellions. Be it enacted by authority of this p[re]sent Parliament that the Justices of the Peace of every County and Riding within this Realm or any three or more of them as alsoe the Maior or other head Officer or Officers of every Citie or Towne Corporate within this Realm having Justices of the Peace together with any two or more Justices of the Peace of the same Citie or Towne Corporate respectively or in default of such Justices then with two or more Justices of the Peace of the County wherein the said City or Town is shall and may att any time or times between the first of December One thousand six hundred fourty and one and the first of November which shall be in the yeare of our Lord God One thousand six hundred forty two within theire severall limits and jurisdictions raise levie and impresse so many men [for (fn. 1) ] Souldiers Gunners and Chirurgions as shall be appointed by order of the Kings Majestie his heires or successors and both Houses of Parliament for the said services and to command all and every the high Constables other Constables and inferiour Officers of and within every such County Riding City or Towne Corporate or the liberties thereof respectively by warrant under the hands & Seales of such Justices of the Peace Maior or other head Officer or Officers as are authorized by this Act as aforesaid to bring before them any such person or persons as shall be fit and necessary for the said services which said persons soe to be imprested as aforesaid and every of them shall have such imprest money and such Allowance for coat and conduct unto the place of theire rendevous as likewise such wages and entertainment from the time of theire first entring into pay during theire continuance in the said Services and such other necessary charges and allowances shall be made touching the said presse the said money and other charges and allowances to be paid by such persons and in such manner as by order of his Majesty his heires and successors and of both Houses of Parliament shall be appointed And if any person or persons shall wilfully refuse to be imprested for the said services that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the said persons soe authorized as aforesaid to the said presse to commit such Offender to prison there to remaine without bail or mainprise by the space of six monthes and untill he shall pay the su[m]m of ten pounds to the Treasurers for the maimed Souldiers of the same County City or Town Corporate where any such Treasurers are to be imployed for and towards the releife and maintenance of such Souldiers Gunners and Chirurgions as shall happen to be maimed in the said services or if none [such (fn. 1) ] shall happen to be then for the releife of other the maimed Souldiers of the said County City or Towne Corporate respectively and in default of payment of the said sum then the said person offending to remaine in prison by the space of one whole yeare over and above the said six monthes without bail or mainprize

II. Proviso for Clergymen, Students in the Universities and of Law, the Trained Bands, and other Persons herein named.

Provided alwaies that this Act shall not extend to the pressing of any Clergyman or any Schollers or Students or priviledged persons of either of the Universities Innes of Court or Chancery or any of the Trained bands of this Realme or to ( (fn. 4) ) the pressing of any other person who was rated towards the payment of the last Subsidies or that shall be rated or taxed towards the payment of any Subsidies hereafter to be granted before the time of such impresting or to the eldest son of any person who is or shall be before the time of such impresting rated in the subsidie Booke at three pound lands or five pound goods or to any person of the rank or degree of an Esquire or upwards or to the son of any such person of the said ranke or degree or of the Widow of any such person or to any person under the age of eighteen or above the age of threescore yeares or to any Marriners Seamen or Fishermen

III. No Reward to be taken, or corrupt practice used, in executing Act; Penalty £20.

Provided alsoe And be it enacted that no money or other reward shall be taken or other corrupt practise used in or for the pressing changing or releasing of any person imprested or to be imprested by force of this Act by any person hereby authorized in that behalfe or theire Agents under pain of forfeiture of twenty pounds by every person so offending for every such offence to be paid and imployed to the Treasurer's of the maimed Souldiers in manner and to the uses aforesaid

IV. Proviso for Menial Servants of Members, &c. of Houses of Parliament; for the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, & Cinque Ports.

Provided alsoe And be it enacted That this p[re]sent Act shall not extend to the impresting of any of the meniall servants of the Members or Assistants or Officers of the Lords House of Parliament or to the meniall [servants (fn. 5) ] of the Members or Officers of the House of Commons or of any of the inhabitants of the Isle of Wight or of the Isle of Anglesey or of any of the Cinque Ports or Members thereof.


  • 1. interlined on the Roll.
  • 2. Rebellions.
  • 3. imprested O.
  • 4. to O.
  • 5. interlined on the Roll.