Acts for the repressing of riots (1503)
and the punishment of vagabonds (1572)
HLRO HL/PO/PU/1/1503/19H7n11
HLRO HL/PO/PU/1/1572/14Eliz1n5


H.R. Soit baill[e] aux Co[mm]ens.

Where As in the p[ar]liament holden at Westm[inster] the tuysday the morowe next after all soules the xiijth yere of the Reigne of King Henry the VIIth a monge other thing[es] it was enacted ordeyned & establisshed that if eny Riot assemble or Route of people ayenste the law were made in eny p[ar]te of the Realme That the Justices of the peace iij or ij of them at the lest & the Shriffe or undreshryffe of the countie Where suche riott assemble or Route shulde be doon after the same statute shuld come w[ith] the power of the Shyre if nede shuld be to arrest them & theym shulde arrest & the same Justices and Shryffe or undereshryffe shulde have power to recorde that, that they shuld fynde so doon in ther p[re]sence ayenste the lawe And that by the recorde of the same Justices and Shryffe or Undreshryffe the same trespassours & mysdoers shulde be convict in maner & forme as it is conteyned in the statute of forcible Entrez, w[ith] dyv[er]s & many other Articles touchyng & conc[er]nyng the p[re]misses as in the same statute made the seid xiij yere more playnly at large it apperithe Whiche statute is thought goode & necessarie Wherfore by the advyse & assent of the Lord[es] sp[irit]uell & temporell & of the co[m]mens in this p[re]sent p[ar]liament assembled & by auctoritie of the same, be it ordeyned establisshed & enacted that the seid Acte made the seid xiij yere of King Henr[y] the viith conc[er]nyng Riott[es] assembles or Routes of people And all & ev[er]y article & articles comprised in the same, And also all other estatut[es] be fore this tyme made conc[er]nyng the punisshement of Riottours at the tyme of the makyng of this Acte being in force frome hensforthe stande in ther forces & be duely put in execucion after the tenures & purportes of the same. And for asmoche as in the seid statute made in the seid xiij yere it is not expressed of what sufficientie the Jurryours empaneled shuld be or what issuez they shulde lose yf they appere not nor no mencion therin made of eny punysshement of the manteynours & embracers of the Juriours that shall so be empanelled shulde have for ther mysdemeano[ur] yf eny be it is therfore ferther enacted by the seid auctoritie in this p[re]sent p[ar]liament that yf eny Riott Route or unlawfull assemble be com[m]itted & doon at eny tyme aft the fyrste day of Maye next com[m]yng w[ith]in this Realme of Englond that the Shryfe havyng a p[re]cepte directe to hym shall retorne xxiiij p[er]sones dwellyng w[ith]in the Shyre wher suche Riot Route or unlawe full assemble shalbe so com[m]tted & doon Wherof ev[er]y of them shall have land[es] & ten[emen]ts w[ith]in the same Shire to the yerely value of xx s. of Chart[er] lande or freholde or xxv js. viij d. of Copyeholde or of bothe over & above all Charges to enquere of the seid Riotte Route or unlawfull assemble; And he shall retorne uppon ev[er]y p[er]sone so by hym empaneld in issues at the fyrste day xx s. & at the seconde day xl s. yf they appere nott & be sworne to enqwere of the p[re]misses at the fyrste day & yf defaute be in the Shryffe or undershryffe for retornyng of other p[er]sones not being of the seid sufficientie, or retorne not issues in forme aforseid that then the seid Shryffe shall forfett to ou[r] Sov[er]aigne Lorde the Kyng for eyther defaute therein xx li. And yf the seid Riotte Route or unlawfull assemble be nott fownde by the seid Jurie be reasone of eny maynten[au]ncez or embrac[er]y of the seid Juriours then the same Justices & the Shryffe or undreshryffe ov[er] & above all such c[er]tificate that they muste & be bounde to make accordyng to the seid Statute made the seid xiijth yere, shall in the same c[er]tificate c[er]tifie the names of the mainteyno[ur]s and embraco[ur]z in that behalfe yf eny be, w[ith] ther mysdemeanour that they knowe uppon peyne of ev[er]y of the seyd Justices & Shryffe or undershryffe to forfett xx li. yf the same Justices and Shriffe or undershryffe have no resonable excuse for non c[er]tifyyng of the same, Whiche c[er]tificate so made shalbe of lyke force & effecte in the Lawe as yf the matt[er] conteyned in the same were duely fownd be the verdyte of xij men, And ev[er]y p[er]sone duely p[ro]ved to be a meynteyno[ur] or embraceo[ur] in the same shall forfett to ou[r] seid Sov[er]aigne Lorde xx li. And aswell the same maynteno[ur]z as the embraceors shalbe com[m]ytted to Warde ther to remayne by the discreccion of the Justices.
A cest bill[e] lez Co[mm]enz sont assentuz
Miss(a) a D[omini]s R. Hatton



La Reigne le veult

Where all the partes of this Realme of England and Wales be p[rese]ntlie with Roges, vacabonds and sturdie beggers excedinglie pestred, by meanes wherof dailye happenethe in the same Realme horrible murders, thefts and other greate owtr[ages], To the highe displeasure of allmightie god, and to the greate anoye of the common weale, And for [av]oidinge confusion by reasone of nombers of lawes concerninge the premisses standinge in force togithere. Be it enacted that the Statute made in the xxii. yere of the Reigne of the late Kinge Henry theight, intytuled, An acte concerninge aged poore and impotent parsons compelled to lyve by allmes how theye shalbe ordered, and how vacabondes and mightie stronge beggers shalbe punished, and one other Acte intytuled, An act touchinge the punishment of vacabonds and other ydle parsons made in the thirde and fourthe yeres of the Reigne of the late Kinge Edwarde the Sixte, And one other Acte made in the fifthe yere of the Reigne of o[ur] Soveraigne Ladye the Quenes Ma[jes]tie that now is intytuled, An acte for the Reliefe of the poore; and every braunche, artycle, clawse and Sentence in them and everie of them conteyned, shalbe from and after the Feaste of S[ain]t Bartholmewe thappostle next cominge utterlie voyde, frustrate and of none effecte. Be it aleso enacted by thauctoritie of this p[rese]nt parlament aswel for the utter suppressinge of the saide owtragious ennemyes to the Comon Weale, as for the charitable relevinge of the aged and impotent poore people in manner and forum followinge, First that all and everie parson and P[er]sones what so ever theye be beinge above the age of xiiii yeres beinge hereafter sett forthe by this Acte of parlament to be Roges vacabonds or sturdie beggers, and be at anny tyme after the feaste of S[ain]t Bartholmew the appostle nexte cominge taken begginge in anny parte of this Realme, or taken vagrant wandringe and misorderinge them selfes contrarie to the purporte of this p[rese]nt Acte of p[ar]lament in anny p[ar]te of the same, shall uppon their apprehencion be brought before One of the Justices of the peays, or mayor, or chiefe officer of citties borowghes and Townes corporate within the Countie, Cittie, Borowghe or Towne corporate where the apprehencion shall happen to be, And by the saide Justice or head Officer to be presentlie comitted to the common gaole of the saide Countie, beinge apprehended within the Countie or elese suche other place as by the Justices of Peaxe of that Countie, or three of them at any their general sessions shalbe appointed, and yf he be taken within any Citie Boroughe or Towne corporate, then to be committed to the prisone of the saide Citie, Borowghe or Towne corporate, there to remayne withowt bayle or mayneprise untile the next Sessiones of the Peaxe, or generale gaole deliverie for the saide Shiere Citie Borowghe or Towne corporate, to be holden w[hi]ch shall first happen, and the Cunstables or other officers for the conveyinge of suche Roge or vacabonde by Commaundement of the saide Justices to have suche reasonable charges for them selves and the prisoner, from tyme to tyme borne by the p[ar]ishe or p[ar]ishes where the saide Roge or vacabond shall happen to be taken, as to the discretion of the Justices of peaxe present at the next Assises, or at the Sessions of the peaxe then nexte kepte within the Lymitt where the prisoner is apprehended, shall seme convenyente, at w[hi]ch Sessiones or gaole delivery yf suche parson or P[er]sons be duelie convicte of his or her Rogishe or vacabonds trade of liefe, either by Inquest of Office or by the testimone of two honest and credible witnesses uppon their oths, That then immediatly he or she shalbe adiudged to be grevouslie whipped, and burnte throughe the gristle of the right eare, with a hott yron of the compasse of an ynche abought, manifestinge his or her Rogishe Kynde of lyfe, and his or her punishmente received for the fame, whereof entrie shalbe made of Record by the Clercke of the peaxe of the same Shier in the Recordes of the same Sessions, which Judgement shall allso presentlie be executed excepte some honnest parsons, valewed at the last Subsidie next before that tyme to five powndes in goods, or twentie shillings in Landes or ellse some suche honest howsholder as by the Justices of the Peaxe of the same Countie, or two of them shalbe allowed will of his charitie be contented p[rese]ntlie to take suche offendour before the same Justices into his service for one whole yere next followinge, and to that ende will p[rese]ntlie before the saide Justices enter into bonde, by Recognisaunce to those of our Soveraigne Lady the Quene to paye to our saide Soveraigne Ladie, the Somme of five powndes, yf he keapethe not the said Offendour in his service by the space of the saide whole yere, and to bring him or her unto the Sessions at the yeres ende, or then good proofe of his or her deathe duringe the saide yere, The said Clercke of the peaxe takinge for the said Recognisance but xii d onely, And yf suche Roge or vacabonde so taken into service dep[ar]te within the saide yere from the saide service, against the will of him that so taketh him or her into Service, That then such Roge or vacabond shalbe whipped and burnte through the gristle of the right eare with a hott yron, as is aforesaide. Provided always nevertheles, that yf the saide parsons so committed or to be committed come before the nexte Sessiones of the peaxe or the nexte gaole deliverie to be holden for the saide Countie or before their comitting and do fynde any suche suretie as is nexte before recited, to be bownde in fourme aforesaide, for him or her for one whole yere, Then the saide parsone shall not tarrie in the gaole till the next Sessions, or till the next gaole deliverie. And be it further enacted that saide p[er]sone or p[er]sons so marked or adiudged to be burnt as aforesaid shall not be dealte withall again by way of punishmente by the Space of fourtie daies nexte after the said punishmente executed or adiudged to be burnt as is aforesaid, yf he or she have lycence for the saide fourtie dais from Two Justices of the peaxe of the same Shire testifying the punishment received or Judgement given, But yf after the saide punishment executed, or Judgment given the said parson or parsons so marked or havinge received suche Judgement do after Threeskore dais nexte after he she or they shall so be marked, either in the same Countie where he or she was so marked or havinge received such Judgement or ellse in anny other Countie within the saide Realme of England or Wales beinge of the age of eighteen yeres or above do estsones fall againe to anny kynde of Rogishe or vacabonds trade of liefe, That then the saide roge vacabond or sturdie Beggar . . . .

. . . . parson or parsons as by this Statute are lymited for Roges, unlesse the same be of the age of xiiii yeres or above, but that theye and everie of them under that age shalbe punished with whippinge or stockinge, as heretofore hath byn used and appointed by the lawes and Statutes in that cace provided and now repealed, this Acte or any thinge therin conteyned to the contrarie hereof in any wise notwithstandinge. And it is further enacted by the auctorite aforesaide that yf within any Towne or p[ar]ishe where any suche vacabonde or Roge shall happen to begge or make his abode, contrarie to the forme of this Statute, yf the Constable or tythingemen be negligent and do not his or their best endeavo[ur] for the apprenhension of suche vacabonde or Roge whiche there shall begge or make abode contrarie to the forme in this Statute Lymited, or shall willinglie suffer the said vacabonde or Roge to escape from the punishment or order in this Statute prescribed That then the saide Constable or tythingeman in whome such defaulte shalbe, shall lose and forfaite for everie suche vacabonde and vagrant parsone that shalbe suffred to begge, or make abode within his authoritie contrarie to the forme of the Statute vi s viii ds. And forasmuch as Charitie wold that poore aged and Impotent parsons shoulde as necessarilie be provided for as the saide Roges vacabondes and sturdie beggers repressed, and that the saide aged, impotent and poore people shoulde have convenyente habitacions and abidinge places througheowt this Realme to settle them selfes uppon, to thende that theye nor anny of them shoulde hereafter begge or wander abowt. It is therefore enacted by the auctoritie of this p[rese]nt parlyament that the Justices of Peaxe of all and singuler the Shires of England and Wales within the Lymitts of their Commissions, and all other Justices of the Peaxe Mayors Sherifs Bayliefs and other Officers of all and everie Citie, Boroughe, Rydinge and Fraunchesies within this Realme, whereof theye be Justices at peaxe within the limitts of their aucthoritie, shall at or before the saide feaste of S[ain]t Bartholomewe nexte cominge devyde them selves and so being devided shall within everie of their severall divisions and aucthorities make diligent searche and enquirie of all aged poore impotente and decayed parsons borne within their saide divisions and Lymitts or w[hi]ch were there dwellinge within three yeres next before this p[rese]nt parlamente, w[hi]ch live, or of necessitie be compelled to live, by almoys of the charitie of the people that be or shalbe abidyinge within the Lymitts of their commissions and aucthorities, and shall uppon that searche made make a Registre booke conteyninge the names and surnames of all suche aged decayed and impotent poore people, as be within their said Lymitts and aucthorities, w[hi]ch shall allwayes remayne with the said Justices mayors, Bailiefs or other hed officers or anny one of them, and when the nombre of the saide poore people forced to lyve uppon almoyse be by that meanes trulie known, then the saide Justices mayors Sherifs Bayliefs and other Officers, shall within lyke convenyente tyme devise and appointe within everie their saide severale divisions, mete and convenyent places by their discretions to settle the same poore people for their habitacions and abydings, yf the parish within the w[hi]ch theye shalbe fownde shall not or will not provyde for them, and shall allso within lyke convenyente tyme, nombre all the saide poore people within their saide severall lymitts, And thereuppon (havinge regarde to the nombre) sett down what portion the wekelie charge towardes the Reliefe and Sustentacion of the saide poore people will amownte unto within everie their saide severall divisons and lymitts, And that doon theye the saide Justices Mayors Sheriefs Bayliefs and other Officers within everie their severall commissions aucthorities divisions and Lymitts, shall by their good discretions taxe and assesse all and everie the Inhabitants dwellinge in all and everie Citie Boroughe Towne village hamlett and place knowen within the saide lymitts and divisions to suche wekelie charge as theye and everie of them shall wekelie contribute towardes the Reliefe of the said poore people, And the names of all suche Inhabitants taxed shall allso entre into the saide Registre booke, to gither with their taxacion, And allso shall by their discretion within everie their saide divisions and Lymitts, appointe or see Collectors for one whole yere to be appointed of the saide weeklie porcion, w[hi]ch shall collecte and gather the saide proporcion And make deliverie of so muche thereof accordinge to the discretion of the saide Justices Mayors Sheriefs Bayliefs and other Officers to the saide poor people, as the saide Justices Mayors Sheriefs Bayliefs and other Officers shall appointe them, And allso shall appointe overseers of the saide poore people by their discretions to contynue also for one whole yere, And yf theie do refuse to be overseers, Then everie of them so refusinge to forfaite tenne shillings for everie suche defaulte. And be it further enacted by the auctoritie aforesaide, that the Mayor of the Citie of London, and the Mayors Sheriefs Bayliefs and other hedde Officers of everie other Citie, Boroughe or Towne corporate or his or their sufficient deputie or deputies within their Cities Boroughes and Townes corporate, And the Constables or Tythingmen of all and everie hundred Rape and Wapentake within all and everie the saide Shieres in England and Wales, in all and everie suche abydinge place and places within their hundreds Lymitts and precincts as shalbe appointed to settle the poore people in, shall once everie month nexte after the saide places so appointed be Inhabited with the saide poore people accordinge to the intent of this presente Acte of p[ar]lament, make a viewe and searche of all the aged impotent and lame parsons within the precincte of their Jurisdictions, And all suche parsone and parsones as theie shall fynd not beinge borne within that division, nor within the saide Cities Boroughes or Townes Corporate, Then . . . .


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