Statutes of the Realm: Volume 7, 1695-1701. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1820.
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(fn. 1) Reasons for passing this Act.
Privately stealing or aiding to steal in Shop, &c. Goods of the Value of 5s. or more whether any other Person be present or not, debarred of Clergy.
Whereas the Crimes of Burglary and breaking open of Houses in a felonious manner and the Crime of stealing Goods privately out of Shops and Warehouses commonly called Shop-lifting and the stealing of Horses are of late Yeares much increased to the great Detriment and unspeakable Loss of many of Your Majesties good Subjects occasioned for want of due Prosecution and Punishment of Offenders therein and for want of Incouragement to such as shall vigorously endeavour the apprehending of such Malefactors for preventing whereof Be it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That all and every Person and Persons that shall at any time or times by Night or in the Day time from and after the Twentieth Day of May which shall be in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety nine in any Shop Ware-house Coach-house or Stable privately and feloniously steal any Goods Wares or Merchandizes being of the Value of Five Shillings or more (although such Shop Ware-house Coach-house or Stable be not actually broke open by such Offender or Offenders and although the Owners of such Goods or any other Person or Persons be or be not in such Shop Ware-house Coach-house or Stable to be put in Feare) or shall assist hire or command any Person or Persons to commit such Offence being thereof convicted or attainted by Verdict or Confession or being indicted thereof shall stand mute or will not directly answer to the Indictment or shall peremptorily challenge above the Number of Three and twenty Persons returned to be of the Jury shall by virtue of this Act be absolutely debarred and excluded of and from the Benefit of the Clergy
II. Persons apprehending and prosecuting Offender to Conviction, to have Certificate thereof without Fee.
In case of Dispute in respect of Right to Certificate, the same may be decided by Judge, &c. making such Certificate; Certificate may be assigned once; Proprietor of Certificate discharged of Parish and Ward Offices, as herein mentioned; Certificate inrolled; Fee.
And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the said Twentieth Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety nine all and every Person and Persons who shall apprehend and take any Person guilty of any the Felonies before mentioned and prosecute him her or them so apprehended and taken untill he she or they be convicted of any the aforesaid Felonies such Apprehenders and Takers for his her or their Reward upon every such Conviction without any Fee or Reward to be paid for the same shall have forthwith after every such Conviction a Certificate which shall be under the Hand or Hands of the Judge Justice or Justices before whom every such Conviction shall be had certifying such Conviction and alsoe within what Parish or Place the Felony was committed whereof any such Person or Persons was or were convicted as aforesaid and alsoe that such Felon or Felons was or were discovered and taken or discovered or taken by the Person or Persons soe discovering or apprehending any the said Felon or Felons And in case any Dispute shall happen to arise between any of the Persons so discovering or apprehending any the said Felon or Felons soe convict as aforesaid touching their Right or Title to the said Certificate that then the said Judge Justice or Justices or the major part of them so respectively makeing such Certificate as aforesaid shall in and by his or their Certificate direct and appoint the said Certificate into so many Shares to be divided amongst the Persons therein concerned as to the said Judge Justice or Justices or the major part of them shall seeme just and reasonable which Certificate shall and may be once assigned over and no more and the originall Proprietor of such Certificate or the Assignee of the same whomsoever of them shall have the Interest therein by virtue thereof and of this present Act shall and may be discharged of and from all and all manner of Parish and Ward Offices within the Parish or Ward wherein such Felony or Felonies shall be committed and such Party or Assignee is hereby declared to be discharged therefrom which said Certificate shall be inrolled by the Clerke of the Peace of the County in which the same shall be granted for which Inrollment the said Clerke of the Peace of the County or City in which the same shall be granted shall have for his Fee the Sum of One Shilling and no more
III. Person claiming such Discharge, not to assign Certificate.
Provided nevertheless That if any Person having such Certificate shall at any time make use of the said Certificate to exempt him from any Parish or Ward Office such Person soe makeing use of the said Certificate or any other Person or Persons claiming any Interest therein shall not assigne over the said Certificate to any Person or Persons whatsoever
IV. Executors, &c. of Persons slain in apprechending Offenders, entitled to Certificate.
And be it further enacted That in case any Person or Persons shall happen to be slaine by any such House-Breakers Horse-Stealers or other Felon aforesaid by endeavouring to apprehend or in making pursuit after him her or them or any of them that then the Executors or Administrators of such Person or Persons so slaine to whom the Right of Administration of the Personall Estate of every Person so slaine shall belong shall have the said Certificate in manner as aforesaid without Fee or Reward as aforesaid
V. Offenders, being out of Prison, informing against Two Offenders to Conviction, entitled to Pardon; which may be pleaded in bar to Appeal of Felony.
And be it further enacted That if any Person or Persons from and after the said Twentieth Day of May in the said Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety and nine shall commit any Burglary House-breaking or Felony in stealing of any Horse or Horses or any Money Wares or Goods from whom the Benefit of the Clergy is by this Act taken away and being out of Prison shall discover Two or more Person or Persons who already hath or hereafter shall commit any such Burglary Horse-stealing or Felony as aforesaid and shall be convicted thereof or cause to be discovered and apprehended Two Persons or more who shall be convicted as aforesaid every such discoverer shall have and is hereby intituled to His Majesties most Gracious Pardon for the Burglaries House-breakings Horse-stealings or Felonies as aforesaid which he she or they shall have committed at any time or times before such Discovery made which Pardon shall be likewise a good Barr to any Appeal brought or to be brought for any such Burglary House-breaking Horse-stealing or Felony
Offenders entitled to Benefit of Clergy, to be burnt in the Cheek instead of the Hand, in open Court.
And forasmuch as many Evil-disposed Persons might be deterred from offending should the Punishment by Law to be inflicted on such Persons be made more visible Be it further enacted That from and after the said Twentieth Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety nine all and every Person and Persons who shall be convicted of or for any Theft or Larceny and shall have the Benefit of the Clergy allowed thereupon or ought to be burnt in the Hand for such Offence instead of being burnt in the Hand shall with the usuall Mark wherewith such Offenders according to the Laws now in force ought to be burnt in the Hand be burnt in the most visible Part of the Left Cheek [nearest the Nose which Punishment shall be inflicted in Open Court in the Presence of the Judge who is hereby directed and required to see the same strictly and effectually executed (fn. 2) ] Any former Law or Statute to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding
Fees to Officers by Persons bound to appear to give Evidence against Traitors or Felons, &c; Taking greater Fee; Penalty £5 and Costs.
And whereas the great Fees that are often demanded and received by Clerks of Assize of Persons that appeare as Witnesses against Felons tend very much to the discourageing their Conviction to the great Damage of His Majesties good Subjects to remedy the same for the future Be it enacted That no Clerke of Assize Clerke of the Peace or other Person whatsoever shall demand take or receive any Fee or Reward of any Person whatsoever that shall be bound by any Justice of the Peace to appeare to give Evidence against any Traytor or Felon for the Discharge of any Recognizance for such Appearance nor shall demand or receive more than Two Shillings for the drawing any Bill of Indictment against any such Felon upon the Paine of forfeiting to the Person agrieved; for every such Offence the Sum of Five Pounds with full Costs of Suite
VIII. Officers drawing defective Bills, to draw new ones without Fee.
Penalty £5 and Costs.
And whereas it oftens happens that Clerks of Assize Clerks of the Crowne Clerks of the Peace Clerks of the Indictments or other proper Officers their Clerks or Deputies do draw Bills defective Be it enacted That if any Clerke of Assize Clerke of the Crowne Clerke of the Peace Clerke of the Indictments or other proper Officer or their Clerks or Deputies shall draw any Bill defective they shall draw new Bills without demanding any Fee or Reward whatsoever or forfeite the Sum of Five Pounds with full Costs of Suite and that all the Forfeitures aforesaid shall be recovered by him her or them that will sue for the same by Action of Debt Bill Plaint or Information in any of His Majesties Courts of Record wherein no Essoigne Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed.