William III, 1698-9: An Act for the more effectuall Punishment of Vagrants and sending them whither by Law they ought to be sent. [Chapter XVIII. Rot. Parl. 11 Gul. III. p. 3. n. 9.]

Pages 607-608

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 7, 1695-1701. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1820.

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In this section

Reasons for passing this Act.

If any Person brought to Constable, &c., with any Pass, &c; Constable, &c. may take such Person before Justice of Peace, who is to examine, and if punishable by Law to send to the House of Correction, or if otherwise, then to order such Person to be passed; Justice to give Constable, &c. a Certificate of Number of such Persons without Fee, &c.

Whereas many Parts of this Kingdom are extremely oppressed by the usuall Method of conveying Vagabonds or Beggers from Parish to Parish in a dilatory Manner whereby such Vagabonds or Beggers in hopes of Releife from every Parish through which they are conducted are incouraged to spend their Lives in wandring from one Part of this Kingdom to another and to elude divers charitable and well disposed Persons very frequently forge or counterfeite Passes Testimonialls or Characters whereby the charitable Intentions of such Persons are often abused For Remedy whereof Bee 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 That from and after the Four and twentieth Day of June One thousand seaven hundred if any Vagabond Begger or any other Person whatsoever shall be brought to any Constable Headborough Tythingman or other Officer thereof with any Passe Testimoniall Letter of Request or other Writing whatsoever pretending thereby either to be relieved or conveyed that all and every such Person and Persons shall by such Constable or other Officer or some other sufficient Person or Persons whom he shall order or depute be taken before some Justice of the Peace of every such County wherein they shall arrive who inhabites or resides nearest the Towne or Place where such Persons shall first come appear or be brought before the Constable or other Officer which said Justice of the Peace shall carefully and diligently examine them and if he finds them such Persons as ought by Law to be punished he is then required to send them to the House of Correction and take such further Course with them as the Law in such Case directs or if they are not such Persons then to order them immediately to be conveyed out of the said County to such Towne of the next County unto or through which such Person or Persons are to passe or be conveyed as such Justice shall think most proper And every Constable or other Officer is hereby required accordingly to convey them either to the House of Correction or to such Towne as aforesaid of the next County without Delay and the said Justice of Peace is hereby further required to give the said Constable a Certificate without Fee of the Number of such Persons whom he shall so order to be punished or conveyed as also the Manner how when and from whence such Persons are to be conveyed whether by Cart Horse or Foot and what Number of Persons any such Constable or Officer had Occasion to imploy to bring such Persons before him or for conveying any such Person or Persons to the House of Correction or next County as aforesaid

II. Justices to tax Allowance to Constable on the Back of Certificate, to be paid as herein mentioned.

And to the Intent that every such Constable or other Officer may be fully paid and satisfied for his Losse of Time and his Expences in Execution of this Act Be it enacted That the said Justices of Peace shall tax on the Backside of such Certificate such Constable a reasonable and sufficient Allowance for his Trouble and Expence which Certificate the said Constable shall deliver to the Chiefe Constable of that Divison who is hereby ordered forthwith out of the Summs of the Goal and Marshalsea Money he shall receive to pay such Constable the Summ soe taxed upon each Certificate and take a Receipt of such Constables for the same which Receipt the said Chiefe Constable shall deliver to the Treasurer of the County at the next Quarter Sessions who shall discount the same with the said Chiefe Constable takeing in the said Receipts and Certificates which shall alsoe be allowed him upon the generall Account of the said Treasurer

III. In what Case such Monies may be raised by Quarter Sessions; to be paid on Production of Certificate.

And in case the said Goal and Marshalsea Money be not sufficient after having discharged the Purposes for which it is raised to reimburse the Expence and satisfie the Allowance as is hereby required It is hereby further enacted That the Justices of Peace in their Quarter Sessions shall have Power to raise Moneys upon their respective Counties Ridings and Divisions in which they are impowered to act by their respective Commissions in such Manner as they raise it for County Goals and Bridges to satisfie the said Expences and Allowances soe raised shall Quarterly be paid to the Chief Constable of each Division soe as the said Chief Constables shall have a Quarters Payment in their Hands before hand And as often as the said Petty Constables or Deputies shall produce the said Certificates of his or their Expences and Allowance of the Chief Constable of their Division under the Hand and Seale of the said Justice of Peace the said Constable is hereby required to pay the said Charges according to the said Certificate which he must take in and account for at the next Quarter Sessions as aforesaid

IV. Petty Constables not to charge Inhabitants of Constablery.

And it is hereby further enacted That the said Petty Constables shall not charge the Inhabitants of his Constablery with any Summ or Summs of Money or any Provision towards the Releife or Conveyance for such Rogues and Vagabonds

V. Constable, &c. neglecting his Duty, Penalty,20s.

Justice of Peace may determine Offence.

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That any Constable or other Officer neglecting to apprehend such Vagabond or wandring Beggars or be remisse or negligent in doing his Duty by the Act required shall for every such Offence forfeit the Summ of Twenty Shillings One Fourth Part whereof shall go to the Informer and the other Three Parts to the Use of the Poor of the Parish or Place where the said Offence shall be committed the same to be levied by Distresse and Sale of the Goods of such Offender by Warrant under the Hand and Seale of any Justice of the Peace of the said County who is hereby impowered and required to hear and determine the said Offence by the Oath of one Witnesse

VI. Continuance of Act.

Provided alsoe and be it further enacted That this Act shall continue for the Space of Three Yeares to be commenced from the Four and and twentieth Day of June One thousand seaven hundred and from thence to the End of the next Session of Parliament and no longer

VII. Proviso respecting Counties having Quarter Sessions for distinct Ridings, &c.

Provided alwaies and be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That whereas there are in some Counties severall Ridings or Divisions Liberties and Towns Corporate wherein the Justices of the Peace for the said Counties do keep separate or distinct Quarter Sessions and have severall Treasurers for their County Stocks that all such Rideings and Divisions of Counties Liberties and Townes Corporate shall be taken and deemed as Counties for the severall Purposes and Provisions in this Act mentioned And that the Justices of the Peace Treasurers Chief Constables Petty Constables and other Officers residing therein shall in the certifying and conveying of Passengers and raising and paying of Money act in such Ridings and Divisions as they are by this Act impowered and directed to doe in Counties at large Any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding

VIII. Recital that there is an ancient Hospital at Kingston-upon-Hull; and of Stat.9 W.III.c.47.p.

The said Clause repealed, &c.; and the said Hospital to stand as if the said Act had not been made.

And whereas there is an ancient Hospitall or Corporation in the Towne of Kingston upon Hull called or knowne by the Name of the Guild or Brotherhood of Masters and Pilotts Seamen of the Trinity House in Kingston upon Hull founded upon the Incouragement of Navigation and for the Releife of poor distressed Seamen their Widows and Children within the said Towne of Kingston upon Hull And whereas an Act passed in the Third Sessions of the last Parliament holden in the Ninth and Tenth Yeares of His now Majesties Reigne intituled An Act for erecting Workhouses and Houses of Correction in the Towne of Kingston upon Hull for the Imployment and Maintenance of the Poor there wherein there is contained a Clause to this Effect that all Charitable Gifts Devises and Dispositions that shall hereafter be given devised or disposed to or for the Use of the said Towne or of any Place within the same shall be paid to and be had received and enjoyed by the Corporation in the said Act made to and for the Use of the Poor of the same Towne by which Clause all Gifts made by Seafaring Men or others well-disposed for the Endowment of the said Hospitall of the Trinity House in Kingston upon Hull for the better and further Maintenance of the said distressed Seamen their Widows and Children are or may be prevented or discouraged to bestow any Charitable Benefaction thereon least the same should be or be claimed to be applied to the Use of the Poor of the said Towne in generall contrary to the Intention of such Benefactor by Meanes whereof the said Hospitall is likely to be greatly prejudiced by the Clause aforesaid and other Clauses in the said Act contrary to the Intent thereof Be it therefore declared and enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said recited Clause in the said Act shall stand absolutely repealed And that neither the said recited Clause or any other Thing in the said Act contained shall extend or be construed to affect or extend to the said Hospitall or Corporation of Trinity House in Kingston upon Hull nor to the Prejudice of the Poor belonging thereunto but shall (as to them and every of them) stand repealed and void and that the said Hospitall or Corporation of the Trinity House aforesaid and all the Poor belonging and to be belonging thereunto shall in all respects stand and be in the same Freedome Plight and Condition as they were before the making the said Act and as if the said Act had never been made.