Charles II, 1660: An Act for inabling the Souldiers of the Army now to be disbanded to exercise Trades.

Pages 241-242

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

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Recital that there are divers Officers and Soldiers instrumental in His Majesties Restoration who used Trades

but who may be hindered by Bye Laws, &c. and by 5 Eliz. c. 4.; Soldiers under General Monk 25th April 1660, &c. may exercise Trades though not served their time as Apprentices, &c.; Those who have been Apprentice to enjoy all Immunities as if they had served their Time.; And in case of Action brought may plead the General Issue.; Double Costs.

WHEREAS there are diverse Officers and Souldiers now in the Kings Majestyes Service under the Command of his Excellency George Duke of Albemarle Captaine Generall of His Majestyes Armies who have beene instrumentall by the blessing of Almighty God to the Happy Restitution and Restoration of his Sacred Majestye unto His Kingdomes and People, and to His Just Right of Government in the Kingdome of England and the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging, Some of which are men that used Trades, others that were [Apprintices (fn. 1) ] to Trades who had not served out their times, and others who are apt and fitt for Trades, many of which the Warrs being now ended would willingly imploy themselves in those Trades they were formerly accustomed unto, or which they are apt and able to follow and make use of for the getting of their Liveing by their Labour and Industry, but are or may be hindred from exerciseing those Trades in certaine Cittyes Corporations and other places within this Kingdome, because of certaine By Lawes and Customes of those places, and of a Statute made in the fifth yeare of the late Queene Elizabeth prohibiting the use of certaine Trades by any person that hath not served as an [Apprintice (fn. 2) ] to such Trades by the space of seaven yeares, For remedy wherof And to the end that those persons who were in actuall Service under the co[m]mand of the said Captaine Generall on the five and twentyeth day of April in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and sixty and were instrumentall to the happy restitution of the Kings Majesty unto his just right of Government as aforesaid, may not be deprived of a meanes of livelyhood May it please your Majestye that it may be Enacted And be it Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestye and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority therof That all such Officers and Souldiers who were under the command of the said Captaine Generall on the said five and twentyeth day of April in the said yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred and sixty and have not since deserted the Service, or refused to take the severall Oathes of Supremacy and Allegience unto the Kings Majestye that now is, His Heires and Successors, and that have heretofore used or exercised any Trade before that time, or that were [Apprintices (fn. 1) ] to any Trade though they did not serve out the time of their [Apprintiship, (fn. 3) ] or any other person imployed as aforesaid under the command of the said Captaine Generall at the time aforesaid that is apt and able to practise any Trade may sett up and exercise such severall and respective Trades Misteries or Occupations wherunto he or they have beene bound [Apprintise (fn. 2) ] and served any part of his or their time or any Handycraft or other Trade exercised about Manufactures though he was never bound [Apprintise (fn. 2) ] to the same in manner following (that is to say Such of them as have beene [Apprintices (fn. 1) ] as aforesaid may sett up and exercise such severall and respective Trades wherunto he or they have beene soe bound [Apprintices (fn. 1) ] as fully as if they had served out their respective termes or times for which they have beene bound, and shall have and enjoy the same Immunityes as they should have had and enjoyed if they had served out their said termes or times. And all others of the said Officers and Souldiers may sett up and exercise such Trades [as (fn. 4) ] they are apt and able for in the severall Townes and Places within the severall and respective Countyes wherein they were borne without any suite lett or molestation of any Person or Persons whatsoever for or by reason of the useing of such Trade. And if any such Officer or Officers Souldier or Souldiers shall be sued impleaded or indicted in any Court whatsoever within this Kingdome for useing or exercising any such Trades as aforesaid, then the said Officer or Officers Souldier or Souldiers makeing it appeare to the same Court where they are soe sued impleaded or indicted that they have served the Kings Majestye under the command of the said Captaine Generall as aforesaid, and that they have severally taken the said Oathes of Supremacy and Allegiance and have not since deserted the said Service shall upon the Generall Issue pleaded be found not guilty in any Plaint Bill Information or Indictment exhibited against them and such Persons who notwithstanding this Act shall prosecute their said Suite by Bill Plaint Information or Indictsment, and shall have a Verdict passe against them or become Non suite therein, or discontinue their said Suite such Person or Persons shall pay unto such Officer or Officers Souldier or Souldiers double costs of Suite to be recovered as any other costs at common Law may be recovered. And all Judges and Jurors before whom any such Suite Information or Indictment shall be brought, and all other persons whatsoever are to take notice of this present Act and shall conforme themselves thereunto, Any Statute Law Ordinance Custome or Provision to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

II. How an Officer or Soldier may prove his being in Service within this Act.

Provided that noe Officer or Soldier shall have the benefit of this Act that shall not prove his Service as aforesaid either by a Certificate under the Hand and Seale of some Feild Officer and two Commission Officers of the Regiment wherein he served, or some Generall Officer of the Army certifyeing his knowledge of the Service aforesaid, and the said Certificate to be proved by one Witnesse at least to be a true Certificate, or for default of such Certificate by the Oathes of two credible persons at least.

III. Producing false Certificates.

Imprisonment, &c.

Provided alsoe that if any person or persons pretending themselves to have been Officers or Soldiers within the qualifications aforesaid shall produce a false Certificate to the intent to have the benefit of this Act, and therof be convicted by confession of due proofe of Law shall suffer Imprisonment not exceeding six months, and to lose the benefit of this Act. Any thing therein contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

IV.Officers and Soldiers and other Tradesmen to bear Offices, &c. in Corporations, and submit to Orders of Companies.

Provided alsoe and be it enacted that the said Officers and Soldiers in this Act mentioned and all other persons exercising or that shall exercise any Trade or Profession in any City or Corporation shall be lyeable to beare all Offices in the said respective Cittyes and Corporations, when by the said Cittyes and Corporations they shall be elected thereunto, and shall submit to such Orders of Corporations and Companyes for search of the well and true makeing of their Manufacture, as others free of the said Companies or Corporations are subject unto, Any Law Usage or Custome to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.


  • 1. Apprentices O.
  • 2. Apprentice O.
  • 3. Apprenticeship O.
  • 4. O. omits.