Charles II, 1670 & 1671: An Act for the discovery of such as have defrauded the Poore of the Citty of London, of the Moneys given for their Releife at the times of the late Plague and Fire, and for recovery of the Arreares thereof.

Pages 728-729

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 of Contribution under Proclamations, 6th July, 17 C. II. 13th Sept. 18 C.II. and 26th Sept. 1668, and that a great Part of the Money so contributed had been misemployed.

All Monies received upon Charity for the Poor of London to be paid into the Chamber before 1st Nov. 1671.; If the Receivers are dead, their Executors or Administrators to pay it.; Penalty.

In most humble manner shew unto your most Excellent Majestie the Lord Maior, Aldermen and Coo[m]ons of the Citty of London in Common Councell assembled That in the late dreadfull Calamities of the Plague and Fire happening in your Majestyes Citty of London and Libertyes thereof and other parts of this Kingdome diverse well disposed persons aswell within your Majestyes Dominions as in other parts beyond the Seas were pleased to contribute their Charity towards the Releife of the Poore visited and Sufferers thereby and most were excited by your Majestyes gracious Proclamations to doe the same, [the one beareing Date the sixth day of July in the seaventeenth yeare of your Majestyes Raigne, another beareing Date the thirteenth day of September in the eighteenth yeare of your Majestyes Raigne, The other beareing Date the twenty sixth day of September One thousand six hundred sixty eight. (fn. 1) ] But a great part thereof hath beene misimployed, concealed, or in an unchristianlike manner detained, or at leastwise never came to the uses intended, by meanes whereof many thousands of the said Poore for want of that Releife, remaine in great extremity and are likely to perish. For remedy and recovery thereof may it please your Majesty that it may be enacted, And be it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the authoritie thereof That all and every person and persons who have received any of the Moneys collected for the uses, intents or purposes aforesaid or any of them, or in pursuance of any of the said Proclamations for those purposes made, and have not hitherto paid the same according to the directions of the said Proclamations respectively, that then such person or persons in case they are now liveing, and in case they are dead, then the Executors of Administrators of such persons haveing Assets wherewith to pay the same shall pay the same before the first day of November which shall be in the yeare of our Lord God one thousand six hundred seventy one to the Chamberlaine of the Citty of London for the time being at his Office in the Guildhall London, or to such person or persons as he shall depute or give authority unto for the receipte thereof within the severall Countyes wherein any Money is behinde and unpaid, upon paine of forfeiture and payment of twenty shillings for every twenty shillings soe unpaid or detained, and soe proportionably for a greater or lesser Summe besides the Money soe unpaid or detained.

II. All Bishops, &c. in Visitations to give it in charge to Churchwardens, &c. to present the Names of Persons detaining Money.

And for the better discovery of the Offenders in detaining the said Moneyes all Arch-bishops, Bishops, Arch Deacons, Deanes and Officialls in their Visitations shall give it in charge to all Ministers Churchwardens and Sidesmen that they present the Names of all such persons as they know or beleive doe detaine any of the said Moneyes and the Summe soe detained by them, And further that upon request made unto them by the said Chamberlaine of the Citty of London, or his Attourneys or Agents or any of them, by causeing search to be made into their Registryes and other Offices, and by other expedient meanes they shall contribute their assistance to the discovery of such persons and Offenders as may justly be suspected to have or detaine any such Moneys.

III. So Justices of Assize, &c. to Grand Juries.

And likewise that all Judges and Justices of Assizes and Generall Goale delivery, and all Justices of Peace in their Quarter Sessions shall in open Court give in charge [to (fn. 2) ] the Grand Juryes to enquire of, and present such Offenders.

IV. Justices of Peace may grant Warrants for taking Parties;

and upon their Appearance may bind them to appear at the next. Quarter Sessions, or may commit them on refusal to be bound.; Quarter Sessions may proceed summarily.; If Money not paid to Chamberlain pursuant to Order; Committal,; or Distress.; Order of Sessions to be final.

And that upon complaint made to any Justice of Peace in any County Citty or Towne Corporate by the Chamberlaine of the Citty of London or his Attourneys, Sollicitors, Receivers Agents or any of them, made or appointed by him, by any Writeing under his Hand and Seale for prosecuteing the Recovery or for recovering the said Moneys or any of them against, any person or persons for their unjust detaining of any Moneys collected for the uses aforesaid or any of them, that then such Justice of Peace shall grant his Warrant against such persons soe complained of for the bringing of them before him, and upon their appearance before him if it shall seeme probable to the said Justice upon examineing of the matter, and evidence given by any witnesse upon Oath, which the said Justice may administer, or other evidence, that the person complained of doth unjustly detaine any Moneys collected, or appointed for the uses aforesaid or any of them, then such Justice shall by sufficient Recognizance binde him to appeare at the next Generall Quarter Sessions to answere the matter complained of, and to observe and abide such Order touching the same as the Justices shall then make, and upon his refusall soe to be bound to committ to the Goale, there to remaine without Baile or Mainprize untill he shall become bound by such Recognizance, And at the said Quarter Sessions whether he shall there appeare or make default, yet the Justices then shall summarily proceede to the Examination of the matter complained of, And if upon Oath of one or more Witnesse or Witnesses or any other Evidence the Court shall be satisfyed that he doth unjustly detaine any such Moneys, the Court shall adjudge and order the payment of the same presently, together with the penalty hereby appointed for not paying thereof, and such costs for the prosecution of the same as the Court shall thinke fitt, And if he shall not presently pay the same accordingly to the said Chamberlaine of London or his Attourneys or Agents or some of them shall committ him to the Goale if he be there present there to remaine without Baile-or Mainprize untill he shall observe the said Order of Sessions, And if he shall be absent that then they shall grant their Warrant for the apprehending and committing of him to the Gaole there to remaine untill he shall pay the Money soe ordered, And that if he cannot be taken then for the destraining of his Goods or Chattells and sale of the same rendering the Overplus whereby the Moneys soe ordered may be answered and paid, And [that (fn. 3) ] the definitive Order of the said Justices shall be finall, as touching the matters complained of or contained in such Order, from which there shall be noe Appeale or Review, nor shall any Writt of Error or Certiorari lye for the Removall or Reversall of the same, nor shall the same be any wayes impeached.

V. Distinct Accounts to be kept by Chamberlain.

And bee it further hereby enacted That the Receivers or Agents for the Chamberlaine of the Citty of London shall within two Monethes after the Receipt of any such Moneys pay or cause the same to be transmitted and paid to him the said Chamberlaine, and that distinct Accompts according to the severall Diocesses and Countyes shall be made and kepte by him of all such Moneyes as he shall hereafter receive in reference to the Sufferers by the Fire, and of such as he shall receive in reference to the Plague.

VI. Bishops of Dioceses visited by the Plague in 1665, 1666, 1667, to certify to Bishop and Chamberlain of London what Money hath been expended out of Public Stocks, or borrowed, towards the Support of Persons sick of the Plague within their Dioceses.

How such Monies to be repaid.; To whom to be paid.; How the Surplus to be disposed of.

And bee it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That each Bishop of the severall Diocesses which were visited by the Plague in the yeares One thousand six hundred sixty five, One thousand six hundred sixty six or One thousand six hundred sixty seaven shall within six Moneths after the end of this Session of Parlyament by Certificate under his Hand and Seale deliver or cause to be delivered unto the Lord Bishop of London and the Chamberlaine of the Citty of London to be entred in a Register of his Office a particular Accompt of such Summes of Money as have beene lent or taken out of the publique [Stocke (fn. 4) ] of any and every Citty, Towne Corporate and places adjacent to them respectively, or borrowed of any person or persons for the Releife of the Poore soe infected with the Plague within any Citty or Towne corporate or the places adjacent to them in his Diocesse, and perticularly from whence they were soe taken, and by whome lent, And that the Moneys soe certifyed to be taken out of Publique Stockes, or lent as aforesaid shall by. Order of the Lord Bishop of London to the said Chamberlaine of London be by him repaid in the first place out of the Moneys which shall hereafter be received in reference to the Plague, in case the Monies soe received out or from such Diocesse [which was (fn. 3) ] soe infected shall suffice for repayment thereof without any respect or consideration had to the charge in getting or bringing in the same, And if there shall not be sufficient for such repayment each Summe soe lent by any person, or taken out of such Publique Stocke shall suffer and abate proportionably, And that the payment of such Moneys by Order as aforesaid shall be made to the Bishop, or Deputy of the Bishop of every such Diocesse respectively to be forthwith repaid to every Citty, Towne Corporate or person according to the intent of this Act, And if there shall be any Surplusage left, that then the same, as alsoe all other moneys which shall hereafter be soe received by the said Chamberlaine of London in reference to the said Plague or Fire, the necessary Charges in getting and bringing in of the same being first deducted and abated shall by the Order and Advice of the Lord Bishop of London and Lord Maior of London be paid by the said Chamberlaine for reimburseing the said Citty of London all such moneys as were by them disbursed, taken or borrowed out of their Publique Stocke for the Releife of the Sufferers by the said Fire or Plague in London or the Suburbs thereof, the residue (if any be) to goe for and towards the releife of the Poore of the said Citty Sufferers by the said Fire.

VII. Provison for Ordinaries Jurisdiction. Continuance of Act as to Recovery of Monies.

Provided, and bee it enacted by the authority aforesaid That nothing in this Act contained shall be any way prejudiciall or hurtfull to the Jurisdiction or Power of the Ordinary or any other Jurisdiction whatsoever, and that this Act as to the recovery of any moneys herein mentioned or intended shall continue and be in force untill the first day of November which shall be in the yeare One thousand six hundred seaventy fower and noe longer.

VIII. In Actions for executing Act, General Issue.

Double Costs.

And lastly it is hereby enacted That if any Action or Suite shall be brought against any person for any matter or thing done or executed by vertue of this Act, that then and in every such case the Defendant or Defendants may pleade the generall Issue, Not guilty, and give this Act and the speciall matter in Evidence at any Tryall therupon to be had, and if a Verdict shall passe for the Defendant, or the Plaintiffe shall be Non suite, or discontinue his Action after the Defendant hath appeared, the Defendant shall recover double Costs to be awarded for his or their wrongfull vexation in that behalfe.


  • 1. annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule.
  • 2. unto O.
  • 3. interlined on the Roll.
  • 4. Stocks O.