Charles II, 1666: An Act for reliefe of Poore Prisoners and setting of them on worke.

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1625-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. Public Domain.


, 'Charles II, 1666: An Act for reliefe of Poore Prisoners and setting of them on worke.', in Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1625-80, (s.l, 1819) pp. 613-614. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Charles II, 1666: An Act for reliefe of Poore Prisoners and setting of them on worke.", in Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1625-80, (s.l, 1819) 613-614. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Charles II, 1666: An Act for reliefe of Poore Prisoners and setting of them on worke.", Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1625-80, (s.l, 1819). 613-614. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

In this section

Recital that sufficient Provision has not been made for setting poor Prisoners to Work.

A public Stock to be provided by Sessions; and Overseers to be appointed.; No Parish to be rated above 6d. per Week.

Whereas there is not yet any sufficient Provision made for the Releife and setting of worke of poore and needy persons comitted to the Coo[m]mon Goale for Felony and other misdemeanors who many times perish before their Tryall, and the Poore there liveing idlely and unimployed become debauched and come forth instructed in the practice of Thievery and lewdnes For remedy whereof Bee it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie with ( (fn. 1) ) advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Coo[m]mons in this present Parlyament assembled and by Authoritie of the same That the Justices of the Peace of the respective Countyes at any their Generall Sessions or the major part of them then there assembled if they shall finde it needfull soe to doe may provide Stocke of such Materialls as they finde convenient for the setting poore Prisoners on worke in such manner and by such wayes as other County charges by the Lawes and [Statuts (fn. 2) ] of the Realme are and may be leavyed and raised; And to pay and provide fitt persons to oversee and to sett such Prisoners on worke, and make such Orders for Accompts of and concerning the premisses as shall by them be thought needfull, and for punishment of negclects and other abuses and for bestowing of the Proffitt ariseing by the labour of the Prisoners soe sett on worke for their Releife which shall be duely observed and may alter revoke or amend such their Orders from time to time Provided that noe Parish be rated above Six pence by the weeke towards the premisses haveing respect to the respective values of the severall Parishes.

II. Recital that the Judges, &c. have caught infectious Diseases, and died thereof.

Sheriffs, &c. to provide safe Places for the Reception of Sick Prisoners.; No such Places to be taken without Consent of Owners.

And whereas sometimes by occasion of the Plague and otherwhiles by the great number of Prisoners great and infectious Diseases have happened among the Prisoners whereby it hath come to passe sometimes that the Judges Justices and Jurors have upon occasion of their Attendance at the Tryall of Prisoners beene infected and many of them dyed thereof and sometime such Infection hath spread in the Country For some Remedy therein Bee it by the same Authority enacted That any Sheriffe of the respective Countyes haveing the Custodie of the Goale or such persons who have the Custodie of the Goale with the advice and consent of three or more Justices of the Peace whereof one to be of the Quorum may if they shall on inquiry or information finde it needfull upon emergent occasions in the respective Countyes provide other safe places for the removall of sicke or other persons from and out of the ordinary and usuall Goales the same places to be used and imployed for the reception and custodie of Prisoners to be by or according to their Order or Orders kepte ordered disposed and conveyed to the places appointed for the Goale delivery in such and like manner as such Prisoners ought to be kepte ordered disposed and conveyed in and from the Coo[m]mon Goales by the Lawes and Statutes of the Land, Provided noe such place be made use of for the purposes aforesaid against the good and free will of the Owners thereof,

III. Mayor. &c. may remove Prisoners in time of Contagion; and raise a Stock.

Provided alsoe and bee it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Maior Bayliffe and other Head Officer or any other person and persons who have and hath the Custodie of the Coo[m]mon Goale within any Corporation of this Kingdome and Dominion of Wales shall by and with the advice of three or more Justices of Peace within the said Corporation whereof one of them be of the Quorum in time of Infection have the like power and authoritie for removeing his and their Prisoners into some other convenient place within their Jurisdiction as to them shall seeme fitt dureing the time of Infection, And alsoe to raise a Stocke after the same rates and proportions as is herein before allowed to and for the severall Countyes [of (fn. 3) ] this Kingdome.

IV. Rules and Orders for Exeter Work house.

Overseer thereof; his Salary.; Preacher; his Duty; and Salary.; In what case Offenders may be sent thither; and thence conveyed to Assizes and Sessions

Provided alsoe and bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid as followeth (viz) That whereas there is already provided a strong and sufficient Messuage in the Parish of Saint Thomas the Apostle neer the Citty of Exon for the purpose aforesaid and One thousand pounds more by certaine Trustees upon Proposalls and Agreements made by them with certaine Gentlemen Justices of the Peace for the County of Devon who have alsoe provided One thousand pounds more in order to purchase Lands of Inheritance for the good purposes hereafter mentioned Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said two thousand pounds be laid out in purchase of Lands of Inheritance by Order of the Generall Sessions of the Peace hereafter at any time to be held in the name of such persons as by such Order shall be appointed Item That the said House with the Grounds therewith enclosed be had and used as a Common Goale and Workehouse for the said County in manner as is after expressed Item That an Overseer be therein placed by like Order, and by like Order be removeable from time to time which Overseer shall have the charge custodie and government of the Prisoners to him committed according to this Act, and shall have Fifty pounds per annum dureing the execution of his Office and ten pounds per annum for his Deputie but shall therefore take noe Fees for receiving delivering or doeing any other service relateing to the Prisoners from or of any the said Prisoners Item That the said Justices by like Order from time to time shall and may by approbation of the Ordinary provide and appoint some meete and discreete Minister to reade Divine Service according to the Orders of the Church of England unto the Prisoners at least Fower dayes in the weeke that is to say on the Lords day, each Wednesday and each Friday and Saturday and oftner if the said Justices shall appoint and to take paines in instructing them each Lords day at the least for which they may allow him thirty pounds per annum or after that rate, the rest of the Proffitts to be for repairing the House and towards finding a Stocke for to sett the Prisoners on worke, Item That any person charged with such offence onely for which Clergy is allowable if soe be he be needy and indigent and not [like (fn. 4) ] to maintaine himselfe in Goale may by Warrant of the Justice or Justices of the Peace to whom Jurisdiction in that behalfe appertained be committed to the said Worke house in order to his Tryall and if any person shall be coo[m]mitted to the ordinary Goale who shall be or become soe indigent he may by Warrant of three Justices of [the (fn. 5) ] Peace whereof one to be of the Quorum be removed from the ordinary, common Goale to the said House, All which Prisoners soe coo[m]mitted or removed shall be in the custodie of the Overseer and be ordered and demeaned in the said House and conveyed to the Sessions or to the Goale delivery by like Warrant way and meanes as the Prisoners in other Goales by the Lawes and Statutes of this Realme are to be ordered and demeaned,

V. Prisoners may be removed for Trial to the Common Gaol.

Regulations as to Security for Stock, &c. by Overseer of the said Workhouse. Justices of Devon may execute this Act.

And because the said Workehouse is distant from the ordinary Common Goale, the Prisoners by order from the Sessions or Goale delivery may in order to their Tryalls be removed to the Common Goale to be the more ready for their Tryalls. Item That the said Overseer shall give Security for the Stocke and be lyeable to such Regulations and Orders for Accompts and otherwise as the Sessions shall from time to time make for setting the poore Prisoners on worke there which shall be obeyed and observed that a convenient Stocke be from time to time raised at the Charge of the County. Item That the said Justices in the County of Devon may putt in ure all the powers in this Act as other Justices may in any other County by vertue thereof.

VI. General Saving.

Saveing to the Kings Majestie his Heires and Successors and to every other person and persons and their Heires Successors Executors and Administrators all Rights Titles Claimes and Demands whatsoever into or out of the said Messuages and Premisses as if this Act had never beene made.


  • 1. the O.
  • 2. Stattutes O.
  • 3. within O.
  • 4. likely O.
  • 5. O. omits.