William and Mary, 1692: An Act for encourageing the apprehending of Highway Men [Chapter VIII Rot. Parl. pt. 3. nu. 3.]

Pages 390-391

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 6, 1685-94. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.

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In this section

Taking a Highwayman.

Reward on tendering a Certificate to Sheriff; Dispute about Reward between the Takers of Highwaymen; Proceedings; Sheriff not paying Reward; Penalty.

Whereas the Highways and Roads within the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales have been of late time more infested with Thieves and Robbers then formerly for want of due and sufficient encouragement given and means used for the discovery and apprehension of such Offenders whereby so many Murders and Robberies have been co[m]mitted that it is become dangerous in many parts of the Nation for Travellers to passe on their lawfull occasions to the great dishonour of the Laws of this Realme and the Government thereof For remedy 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 Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the authority of the same That from and after the Five and twentieth day of March One thousand six hundred ninety and three all and every person and persons who shall apprehend and take One or more such Thieves or Robbers and prosecute him or them so apprehended and taken until he or they be convicted of any Robbery committed in or upon any Highway Passage Field or open place shall have and receive from the Sheriff or Sheriffs of the County where such Robbery and Conviction shall be made and done without paying any Fee for the same for every such Offender so convicted the sum of Forty pounds within one month after such Conviction and Demand thereof made by tendring a Certificate to the [said (fn. 1) ] Sheriff or Sheriffs under the Hand or Hands of the Judge or Justices before whom [such (fn. 1) ] Felon or Felons shall be convicted certifying the Conviction of such Felon or Felons for a Robbery done within the County of the said Sheriff or Sheriffs and alsoe that such Felon or Felons was or were taken by the person or persons claimeing the said Reward And in case any Dispute shall happen to arise between the persons so apprehending any the said Thieves and Robbers touching their right and title to the said Reward that then the said Judge or Justices so respectively certifying as aforesaid shall in and by their said Certificate direct and appoint the said Reward to be paid unto and amongst the Parties claimeing the same in such share and proportions as to the said Judge or Justices shall seem just and reasonable And if it shall happen any such Sheriff or Sheriffs shall dye or be removed before the expiration of one month after such Conviction and Demand made of the said Reward (not being paid as aforesaid) that then the next succeeding Sheriff or Sheriffs of the said County shall pay the same within one month after Demand and Certificate brought as aforesaid And if default of payment of the said sum or sums of money shall happen to be made by any Sheriff or Sheriffs such Sheriff or Sheriffs so makeing default shall forfeit to the person and persons to whom such money is due as aforesaid double the sum or sums of money he ought to have paid to be recovered by him or them or his or their Executors or Administrators in any of Their Majesties Courts of Record att Westminster by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information wherein but one Imparlance and no Essoign Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed with treble costs of Suit by him or them expended in the recovery of the same.

II. Executor, &c. of Person killed by Robber to have the Reward.

And be it further enacted That in case any person or persons shall happen to be killed by any such Robber or Robbers endeavouring to apprehend or in makeing pursuit after him or them that then the Executors or Administrators or such person or persons to whom the right of administration of the personal Estate of each person so killed shall belong (upon Certificate delivered under the Hands and Seals of the Judge or Justices of, Assize for the County where the fact was done or the two next Justices of the Peace of such person or persons being so killed which Certificate the said Judge or Justices upon sufficient proof before them made are immediately required to give without fee or reward) shall receive [the (fn. 1) ] sum of Forty pounds from the Sheriff or Sheriffs of the County where the said fact was done and co[m]mitted and upon failure of payment thereof by the said Sheriff or Sheriffs double the said sum sum of Forty pounds to be recovered against him or them with treble costs of Suite in manner and forme as aforesaid.

III. Sheriff allowed Payment in his Accounts.

Sheriff not having sufficient Money in hand repaid by Treasury.

And it is hereby further enacted That all Sheriffs their Executors or Administrators upon produceing such respective Certificates and the Receipts for the money by them paid in pursuance of this Act shall be allowed and are hereby impowered to deduct upon their accounting with Their Majesties Their Heires and Successors all moneys (other then the double sum and sums of money and costs of Suit) which they shall disburse as aforesaid without any fee or reward whatsoever. Provided always That if upon the accompt of any Sheriff or Sheriffs there shall not be moneys sufficient in the hands of such Sheriff or Sheriffs to reimburse him or them such moneys paid by him or them by virtue of this Act that then the Sheriff or Sheriffs having so paid the said moneys shall have the same repaid by the Lord Treasurer or Commissioners of Their Majesties. Treasury for the time being out of the Revenue of the Crowne upon Certificate from the Clerk of the Pipe to that effect

IV. Highwayman's Horse given to the Apprehender.

Proviso for Right of Persons robbed to Horse, &c.

And it is hereby further enacted That all and every person or persons who shall so take apprehend prosecute or convict such Robber or Robbers as aforesaid as a further reward shall have and enjoy to his and their proper use and behoof the Horse Furniture and Arms Money or other Goods of the said Robber or Robbers that shall be taken with him or them any Their Majesties Right or Title Bodies Politick or Corporate or the Right or Title thereunto of the Lord of any Mannor Liberty or Franchise or of him or them lending or letting the same to hire to any such Robber or Robbers in any wise notwithstanding Provided always That this Clause or any thing therein contained shall not be construed to extend to take away the right of any person or persons to such Horses Furniture and Arms Money or other Goods from whom the same were before feloniously taken.

V. Persons concerned discovering Two others, in what Case pardoned.

Pardon a Bar to Appeal.

And be it further enacted That if any person or persons being out of Prison shall from and after the ( (fn. 2) ) Five and twentieth day of March committ any Robbery and afterwards discover Two or more person or persons [who (fn. 3) ] already hath or hereafter shall committ any Robbery so as two or more of the person or persons discovered shall be convicted of such Robbery any such discoverer shall himselfe have and is hereby entituled to the gracious pardon of Their Majesties Their Heires and Successors for all Robberies which he or they shall [have (fn. 3) ] committed att any time or times before such discovery made Which pardon shall be likewise a good bar to any Appeal brought for any such Robbery.


  • 1. interlined on the Roll.
  • 2. said O.
  • 3. interlined on the Roll.