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AN ACT For the better Suppreſsing of THEFT Upon the Borders of England and Scotland, AND For Diſcovery of High-way Men and other Felons.

At the Parliament begun at Weſtminſter the 17th day of September, An. Dom. 1656.

[blazon of the Commonwealth

LONDON: Printed by HEN: HILLS and JOHN FIELD, Printers to His Highneſs the Lord PROTECTOR. 1657.

1

AN ACT For the better Suppreſsing of THEFT Upon the Borders of England and Scotland, AND For Diſcovery of High-way Men and other Felons.

WHereas the Inhabitants of both Nations that live near to the Mountains, and in Dales, and Mariſh and other obſcure places upon the Borders, having been long accuſtomed to Idleneſs and Theft, whileſt the two Nations were under ſeveral Governments, and cannot be brought off from their old evil and accuſtomed maner of Living, by reaſon of the ſcituation of their Habitations and Dwellings near to the great Bogs and Mountains, and Large Waſte Grounds between England and Scotland, having thereby ſuch opportunity, not onely at home to hide themſelves and their Prey or Booties of ſtollen Goods, but alſo of Conveyance over the ſaid Bogs, Mountains and Large Waſtes out of the Nation where they commit theſe Felonies, into the other Nation, where their perſons and ſtollen Goods are oftentimes ſhel­tered2 and received by perſons of their own bad Quality and Confederacy, theſe Bordering People of both Nations thus ſerving each other by turns, ſo as it is very hard to bring theſe people to be reſponſible to Iuſtice, or to get them apprehended upon Iuſtices War­rants to be brought to Trial and Iudgement, whereby they remain much encouraged and emboldened to continue in that their baſe and looſe courſe of Living by Theft, to the great Infeſting and Damage of the Bordering Counties of both Nations; For Remedy whereof, Be it Enacted by His Highneſs the Lord Protector and this preſent Parliament, and it is hereby Enacted and Ordained, That as to all the Bordering Counties and parts of England and Scotland, (viz.) The Counties of Northumberland, Cumberland and Weſtmerland, or any parts or members of them, any or either of them, and the parts and places lying on the North-ſide of the River of Tyne, commonly called and known by the names of Bedlington­ſhire, Norhamſhire and Iſlandſhire, the Town and County of Newcaſtle upon Tyne, the Town of Berwick upon Tweed, and the Bounds thereof upon the Engliſh ſide: The Counties or She­riffdoms of Berwick, Roxbrough, Selkirk, Pebles, Wigton and Dumfreeze, upon the Scottiſh ſide; That it ſhall and may be lawful to and for the reſpective Iuſtices of Peace within any of the ſaid reſpective Counties, Shires and Sheriff­doms, who alſo are hereby required that once a Year at leaſt, any two or more of them (whereof one to be of the Quorum) do, and ſhall hold a private Seſſions for the ends and pur­poſes hereafter ſpecified and declared, within3 all and every reſpective Hundred, Ward or Li­berty within the reſpective Counties, Shires and Sheriffdoms aforeſaid, whereof they ſhal give at leaſt fourteen days warning to the Inhabitants of the time and place of their Sitting, by notice to every Pariſh within the reſpective Ward, Hundred or Diviſion, and al­ſo Proclamation in the next Market-Town in open and full Market time, where at the place ſo appointed by them, they ſhall have power to call before them the Conſtables and Church­wardens, or other Parochial Officer or Offi­cers, to give in upon Oath a perfect Liſt of the Names of all ſuch perſons within the ſeve­ral and reſpective Pariſhes of the ſaid Coun­ties, Shires or Sheriffdoms, as live idly, and can give no good Accompt how they maintain themſelves, or that are of bad fame, and not having any viſible Eſtate, real or perſonal, to the value of One hundred Pounds Sterling Money, which may render him or them re­ſponſible; all which perſons the ſaid Church­wardens and Conſtables, or other Officer and Officers aforeſaid, ſhall alſo upon Warrant from any of the ſaid Iuſtices, ſummon to ap­pear before them the ſaid Iuſtices at the time and place by them appointed, and to bring with them and every of them two ſufficient Sureties, each to be bound to His Highneſs the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and His Succeſ­ſors, in a Recognizance, not exceeding the ſum of Fifty pounds for each Surety, nor the ſum of One hundred pounds for the principal Per­ſon thus to be ſecured, nor under Ten pounds for each Surety, nor under Twenty pounds4 for the perſon to be ſecured that he ſhall be of good Behavior, and upon any occaſion ſo re­quiring, he will and ſhall from time to time make his perſonal Appearance within Four­teen days after the delivery of the Warrant of any Iuſtice of Peace for that County, either to himſelf, or to either of his Sureties, requi­ring him or them to anſwer to any Treaſons, Murthers, Robberies, Felonies or other Miſ­demeanors whatſoever; All which Recogni­zances the ſaid Iuſtices of Peace in their re­ſpective Counties, Shires and Sheriffdoms, are hereby Authorized to take the Acknow­ledgement of, and in caſe of Forfeiture, return the ſame into the Publique Exchequer at Weſt­minſter or Edenburgh reſpectively; And in caſe any ſuch perſon or perſons cannot, or ſhall not finde ſuch Security, That then the ſaid Iu­ſtices are hereby Authorized and Required to Commit him or them to the Common Gaol for the ſaid County, Shire or Sheriffdom, there to remain without Bail until the next Quarter Seſſions for the Peace, where they the Iuſtices of Peace for the ſaid reſpective Counties, Shires or Sheriffdoms, are here­by Authorized and Required, and Impowered by Order of Court, to continue him or them in priſon, or commit him or them to the Houſe of Correction, until ſuch time as he or they ſhall procure ſuch Security as beforeſaid, or otherwiſe to tranſport him or them to ſome of the Plantations in America, belonging to this Commonwealth, not to return for ſeven years without Licenſe from His Highneſs the Lord Protector or His Succeſſors, under the penalty of Felony: And in caſe any ſuch perſon or per­ſons5 make default to appear at the time and place appointed, having lawful Warning gi­ven as beforeſaid, and the ſame teſtified upon Oath, That then the ſaid Iuſtices of Peace ſhall, and are hereby Authorized, Required and Impowered to proceed againſt him or them as beforeſaid, whenſoever he or they ſhall be found and apprehended.

And be it hereby further Enacted, That the ſaid Iuſtices of the Peace ſhall at the next Seſſions for the Peace (after the taking of ſuch Recognizance) deliver all and every of them to the Clerk of the Peace for the ſaid County, Shire or Sheriffdom, who is hereby required to file up the ſame upon a File, and the ſame ſafely keep; And that the ſaid Iu­ſtices Clerk ſhall not take above Three ſhil­lings for any ſuch Recognizance for any one perſon, whereof the one moyety for them­ſelves, the other moyety for the Clerk of the Peace for filing and keeping the ſame; And that the reſpective Clerks of the Peace ſhall not take above Six pence for the Search and a Note of any Perſons name, and the names of his Sureties, of any that ſhall require the ſame; nor that any ſuch perſon or perſons (to be bound by Recognizance as beforeſaid) ſhall be put to the trouble or charge of Renewing his or their Recognizance or Recognizances, but the ſame to continue of force during their Lives, except in caſe of Death of any Surety or Sureties, or their declaring their unwil­lingneſs to ſtand longer bound, except the Iu­ſtices of Peace for the reſpective Counties in open Seſſions of the Peace, or Commiſſion­ers of Oyer and Terminer at their general Gaol-Delivery,6 the Iudges of Aſſize, or Iudges in Criminal Cauſes in their reſpective Cir­cuits, or ſome of them, ſhall finde juſt cauſe to releaſe ſuch Recognizance or Recognizances; For which end all and every of the ſaid Recog­nizances ſhall be called once every year or oft­ner (if occaſion ſhall require) at the reſpective private Seſſions for every County, Hundred, Ward, and Liberty or Diviſion, within any of the ſaid reſpective Counties, Shires and She­riffdoms, and the perſons bound to make their perſonal Appearance, the Clerk or Cryer not taking above Four pence for calling any one Bond.

And be it hereby further Enacted by the Authority aforeſaid, That if at any time or times hereafter any perſon or perſons ſhall commit any offence or offences within the Na­tion of Scotland, which by the Laws of the Nation of England is, are, or ſhall be declared or adjudged to be petty Treaſon, Murther, Man-ſlaughter, Felonious burning of Houſes and Corn, Burglary, Robbing of Houſes by day, Robbery, Theft, or Rape, and do, and ſhall flie or eſcape into the Nation of England, and be, or ſhall be apprehended within any of the ſaid Counties of Northumberland, Cumber­land, Weſtmerland, or any parts or Members of the ſame, or within the parts or places lying on the North ſide of the River of Tyne, com­monly called or known by the names of Bed­lington-ſhire, Norhamſhire and Iſlandſhire, the Town and County of Newcaſtle upon Tyne, and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed, with the Bounds and Limits thereof, That then it ſhall and may be lawful for the Iuſtices of7 Aſſize, or any one of them in abſence of the other, the Iuſtices of Gaol-Delivery at their Gaol-Delivery, or any four of them, or the Iuſtices of Peace in their General or Quar­ter Seſſions, or any four of them, upon due and mature Examination of the ſaid Offence and Offences in open Seſſions, and pregnant Proofs of the ſame, by Warrant under their Hands and Seals, to remand and ſend all and every ſuch Offender and Offenders into the Nation of Scotland, there to receive their Try­al for any the Offences aforeſaid by them there committed.

And it is hereby further Enacted, That if at any time or times hereafter any perſon or perſons ſhall commit any Offence or Offences within the Nation of England, which by the Laws of the Nation of Scotland is or ſhall be declared or adjudged to be Petty Treaſon, Murther, Man-ſlaughter, Felonious burn­ing of Houſes and Corn, Burglary, Robbing of Houſes by day, Robbery, Theft, or Rape, and do or ſhall flie or eſcape into the Nation of Scotland, and be, or ſhall be apprehended within any of the ſaid Counties or Sheriffdoms of Berwick, Roxbrough, Selkirk, Pebles, Dumfreeze or Wigton, That then it ſhall and may be lawful for the Iudges in Criminal Cauſes, or any one of them, the Iuſtices of Peace for the reſpective Shires or Sheriffdoms, or any four of them, upon due and mature Exami­nation of the ſaid Offence and Offences in open Seſſions, and pregnant Proofs of the ſame, by Warrant under their Hands and Seals, to remand and ſend all and every ſuch8 Offender and Offenders into the Nation of England, there to receive their Tryal for any the Offences aforeſaid by them there com­mitted.

And for the better and more effectual Diſco­very and Proſecution of Thieves and High-way Men, Be it Enacted by the Authority aforeſaid, That ſuch perſon or perſons who ſhall at any time from and after the Four and twentieth of July, One thouſand ſix hundred fifty ſeven, diſcover to any Iuſtice of Peace or any other Officer of Iuſtice, any perſon that hath committed, or ſhall commit within Eng­land, Scotland or Ireland, any Robbery on the High-way or Burglary, or that hath or ſhall feloniouſly break open any Dwelling-houſe, or feloniouſly enter into any ſuch Houſe, or there uſe any violence upon any perſon, or ſteal any Money or Goods, and ſhall apprehend or cauſe to be apprehended ſuch Offender, upon convi­ction of ſuch Offender ſo apprehended upon ſuch Diſcovery, ſhall have a Reward of Ten pounds for every ſuch Offender ſo apprehend­ed and convicted; and all and every Sheriff and Sheriffs of the reſpective Counties or Sheriffdoms where ſuch conviction ſhall be had, be required upon the Certificate of the Iudge, or under the hands of two or more Iu­ſtices of the Peace before whom ſuch convi­ction ſhall he had, to pay unto ſuch perſon or perſons who ſhall diſcover and apprehend ſuch Offender, or upon whoſe Diſcovery ſuch Of­fender ſhall be apprehended, the Reward afore­ſaid of Ten pounds for every Offender ſo ap­prehended and convicted, out of the Publique9 Moneys received by him in that County, and the ſame ſhall be alowed unto him upon his Accompt in the Exchequer.

And be it further Enacted and Declared, That any perſon or perſons that ſhall diſcover any Felon or Felons (commonly called or known by the name of Moſs-Troopers, reſiding upon the Borders of England and Scotland, or any Tories in Ireland) who upon ſuch Diſcovery ſhall be apprehended and convicted of any com­mon Felony (Petty Larceny onely excepted) ſhall upon the ſaid Conviction have the like en­couragement of Ten pounds; And all She­riffs of the reſpective Counties where the Fact ſhall be committed, and the party convicted, ſhall make payment thereof accordingly.

LONDON: Printed by HEN: HILLS and JOHN FIELD, Printers to His Highneſs the Lord PROTECTOR. 1657.

About this transcription

TextAn act for the better suppressing of theft upon the borders of England and Scotland, and for discovery of high-way men and other felons. At the Parliament begun at Westminster the 17th day of September, an. Dom. 1656.
AuthorEngland and Wales. Parliament..
Extent Approx. 15 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 6 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1657
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A82439)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 169293)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 159:E1065[37])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationAn act for the better suppressing of theft upon the borders of England and Scotland, and for discovery of high-way men and other felons. At the Parliament begun at Westminster the 17th day of September, an. Dom. 1656. England and Wales. Parliament.. [2], 9, [1] p. Printed by Hen: Hills and John Field, Printers to His Highness the Lord Protector,London :1657.. (Title page with rule border. Variant: title page with border of ornaments.) (On A2r: last word in first line of text: 'both'; first word under initial: 'Theft,'; last word in last full line of text: 'shel-'.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
Languageeng
Classification
  • Brigands and robbers -- Great Britain -- Early works to 1800.
  • Robbery -- Prevention -- Great Britain -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
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  • STC Wing E1100
  • STC Thomason E1065_37
  • STC ESTC R30671
  • EEBO-CITATION 99872266
  • PROQUEST 99872266
  • VID 169293
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