Statutes of the Realm: Volume 6, 1685-94. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Reasons for passing this Act
13 & 14(14) Car. II. c. 26. recited.; Seller of Butter, &c. discharged from the Penalty of 13 & 14 (14)Car. II. c. 26. after the Buyer hath bought and approved of the Commodity.
Forasmuch as diverse Countries of this Kingdom consist chiefly of Dairy Farmes and are in great measure supported by the sale of Butter and Cheese the growth and product of the same And by an Act of Parliament made in the Fourteenth yeare of the Reigne of his late Majesty King Charles the Second entituled An Act for reforming Abuses in Weighing and false Packing of Butter the Weight thereof is ascertained and the goodness of the Butter is secured under the Pains and Penalties therein mentioned And whereas the Cheesemongers of London their Factors or Agents without any Authority have appointed in all or most of the Sea Port Towns in the said Counties a certain Officer called a Weigher who often times several Weeks after the Cheese and Butter hath been bought and approved by the Factors and Agents of the said Cheesemongers at the Sellers House have taken upon them without any Authority to weigh and search the said Butter when the same comes to the Sea Ports to be shipped and there pretend that the same is faulty and set Rates of Deduction thereupon and give Notes thereof to the Factors who bought such Butter and when the Factor comes to pay the Seller for the same they demand an Abatement accordingly which if the Seller refuseth to allow there are frequent Indictments or Informac[i]ons exhibited against the Sellers upon the said Act of the Fourteenth of the said late King and great Oppressions have been and are daily co[m]mitted to the great Losse and Damage of diverse Land Owners and Farmers in the said Counties contrary to the true intent and meaning of the said Act. For prevention whereof be it enacted by the King and Queens most excellent Majesties by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That after the Factor or Buyer hath bought and contracted for the said Co[m]modity and approved the same at the Sellers House or the Place where he exposes the same to Sale by searching [or (fn. 1) ] weighing the same (if he think fit) the Seller shall not after bee charged or chargeable with or liable to any of the Penalties in the said recited Act of the Fourteenth yeare of the said late King Charles the Second mentioned or inflicted upon any pretence of want of Weight false Packing or mouldy Butter or the Tare or Weight not being sett upon the Cask or otherwise but from thenceforth shall be and is hereby discharged of and from the said Act. Any other Law Statute or Usage to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
II. Buyer, &c. to seal Cask. Seller afterwards changing or mixing the Commodity after Sale.
Penalty 20s; levied by Distress.
And for the preventing any Fraud in the Seller after the Factor or Buyer hath bought and contracted for the said Butter and approved of the same Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Factor or Buyer shall sett his Seal or Mark upon the said Butter or the Cask in which it is or his Name at length And in case the same shall afterwards be exchanged or be opened and the Cask wherein the same is putt upp changed or any bad and decayed Butter shall be mixed and packed upp with sound and good Butter or any other Fraud be comitted by the Seller and the Offender be thereof convicted upon Oath made of the said Offence before one or more of their Majesties Justice or Justices of the Peace by one or more Witnesse or Witnesses which Oath the said Justice or Justices are hereby impowered and required to administer or upon confession of the Offender or Offenders before such Justice or Justices the said Party or Parties shall forfeit the Sum of Twenty Shillings for every such Ferkin and Offence to be levied by Distresse and sale of the Offenders Goods and Chattells the overplus to be restored after all Charges of the said Distresse defrayed And every Constable of the Parish or chief Constable of the Hundred where such Offence shall be co[m]mitted are hereby authorized and required to levy the same accordingly by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of the said Justice or Justices so to do.
III. The Weigher, &c. of Butter and Cheese to ship off all that belongs to the London Cheesemongers.
Fee to the Weigher; Weigher refusing to receive or ship Goods, &c; Penalty.
And to the end the Trade for Butter and Cheese may not bee ingrossed by particular Persons but may bee free and open to all Persons and especially to all the Cheesemongers who are free of the City of London Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every Warehouse-keeper Weigher Searcher or Shipper of Butter and Cheese at any Port or Place in this Kingdom shall receive into his or their Possession or Warehouse all Butter and Cheese that shall be brought to him or them for any of the Cheesemongers free of the City of London or other Person makeing the said Commodities and shall take due care thereof until the same [shall (fn. 2) ] be shipped and shall shipp the said Butter and Cheese successively as it shall come to his or their Hands respectively (without undue preferring one Mans Goods before anothers) on the next Shipp or Hoy or Vessel that shall come to such Port or Place to lade Butter and Cheese for London (except the Owners of the said Goods shall give Order to the contrary) and shall receive for his and their respective care and pains therein of the Owners of the said Goods the sum of two shillings and six pence for every Load and no more and soe proportionably And if any such person or persons or his or their servant or servants shall refuse or neglect to receive such goods or to take due care thereof or shall not ship the said goods as they come to his or their hands successively as aforesaid that every such offender and offenders being thereof convict in manner as aforesaid shall forfeit for every Ferkin of Butter Ten shillings and for every Weigh of Cheese Five shillings to be levied in manner as aforesaid
IV. Weigher, &c. to keep a Book of the receiving and shipping the Butter, &c.
Book inspected without Fee; Weigher, &c. offending; Penalty; Distress; If no Goods, Imprisonment.
And for the prevention of frauds and undue practice herein be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid That all and every Warehouse-keeper Weigher Searcher or Shipper of Butter and Cheese in any such Port or Place shall from and after the First day of April One thousand six hundred ninety and three keep a Book wherein he and they shall duely and fairely enter all Butter and Cheese that shall be brought to him or them as the same comes to his or their respective hands in which entry shall be inserted the time when such Goods were received and the Quantity of such Goods and the Name of the Owner of the same And shall make the like Entries when the said Goods are shipped or put on board of the time when the same were shipped on board and the Masters Name and the Vessels Name in which the same are shipped or put on board and to whom the same are consigned Which Book so kept shall be free and open for all Persons to see and search att all times without paying any thing for such search And [if (fn. 3) ] such Warehouse-keeper Weigher Searcher or Shipper of Butter and Cheese shall not keep such Book as aforesaid or shall refuse neglect or omitt to make such Entries therein as aforesaid or shall make any undue Entries therein (by undue preferring one Mans Goods before another) or shall refuse in the day-time to produce such Book to be searched as aforesaid That every such Offender and Offenders being thereof convict in manner as aforesaid shall forfeit for every Ferkin of Butter Two shillings and six pence and for every Weigh of Cheese Two shillings and six pence and for every other the aforesaid Offence the Sum of Two shillings and six pence to be levied in manner as aforesaid And in case such Offender or Offenders shall not have Goods and Chattells sufficient for the levying the said Penalty that then it shall and may be lawfull for the Justice [and (fn. 4) ] Justices before whom such Conviction shall be made to co[m]mitt such Offender and Offenders to the Gaol without Bail or Mainprize there to remain until such Penalties shall be paid and satisfied.
V. Master of Ship refusing to take in Butter, &c.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Master of any Shipp Hoy or Vessel comeing to such Port or Place to lade Butter and Cheese or his or their Servant or Servants shall refuse to take and receive on board his and their respective Vessels any such Butter and Cheese as shall be tendred to be shipped by such Warehouse-keeper Weigher Searcher or Shipper of Butter and Cheese before the same be sufficiently laden that then every such Offender and Offenders being thereof convict in manner as aforesaid shall forfeit for every Ferkin of Butter so refused Five shillings and for every Weigh of Cheese so refused Two shillings and six pence to be levied in manner as aforesaid.
VI. Penalties divided betwixt Informer and Poor.
Provided that one halfe of all Penalties and Forfeitures within this Act shall be to the use of the Poor inhabiting within the Parish where such Offence shall be from time to time co[m]mitted to be paid to the Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor of and in such Parish and the other halfe to the Informer to be distributed by the said Justice or Justices before whom the Offender or Offenders shall be convicted.
VII. Cheesemongers, &c. may make use of their own Vessels.
Provided always that this Act nor any thing therein contained shall extend to exclude any Cheesemonger or Cheesemongers free of the City of London from sending his and their owne proper Vessels for his and their owne proper and respective Goods But that it shall and may be lawfull to and for such Person and Persons to send his and their owne proper Vessels or such other Vessels as he or they shall hire and send from London to freight by Charter party for his and their owne respective proper Goods and to and for the Warehouse-keeper at such Ports where such Vessels shall be sent to shipp the aforesaid Goods on board and to and for such Masters of such Vessels and their Servants to receive the same as he they or any of them could or might have done before the makeing of this Act.
VIII. Proviso for Warehouses, &c. in Chester, Cheshire, and Lancashire.
Provided that nothing in this Act contained shall extend or be construed to extend to any Warehouse which now is or hereafter shall be within the Counties of Chester or Lancaster or within the County of the City of Chester nor to any Vessel or Boat at any time belonging to or that shall come into any the Ports or Havens of any the said Counties.
IX. Appeal from Justice to Sessions.
Decision final; Security for Costs by Appellant.
[Provided always That if any Person or Persons shall think him or themselves agrieved by the determination of any Justice of the Peace who shall at any time act in pursuance of the Powers to him given by this Act it shall and may be lawfull to and for such Person or Persons to [appeale to (fn. 5) ] the next General Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held for the County Riding City or Towne Corporate where the said Offence shall be committed the Determination of which Justices shall be final and conclusive to all Parties the Person so appealing first giveing, to the Party accused a Bond of the Penalty of Twenty pounds with one or more sufficient Sureties to the likeing of the said Justice of Peace from whom the said Appeal shall be so made to pay such Costs to the said Party accused as the said Court of Quarter Sessions shall allow in case the Appellant be not relieved upon his [said (fn. 6) ] Appeal The said Costs to be [soe (fn. 6) ] paid within One Month after the Hearing and Determining the said Appeal. (fn. 7) ]