1723: 9 Geo 1 c. 28: The Southwark Mint Act

Wordle of the 1723 Dissolution of Southwark Mint Act

Wordle of the 1723 Dissolution of Southwark Mint Act

Anno 9 George I cap 28: An act for more effectual execution of justice in a pretended privileged place in the parish of Saint George in the county of Surrey, commonly called the Mint; and for bringing to speedy and exemplary justice such offenders as are therein mentioned; and for giving relief to such persons as are proper objects of charity and compassion there.

Whereas it is notorious, that many evil-disposed and wicked persons have, in defiance of the known laws of the realm, and to the great dishonour thereof, unlawfully assembled and associated themselves in and about a certain place in the parish of Saint George in the county of Surrey commonly called or known by the name of Suffolk-place, or the Mint, and have assumed to themselves (by unlawful combinations and confederacies) pretended privileges, altogether scandalous and unwarrantable, and have committed great frauds and abuses upon many of his Majesty’s good subjects, and by force and violence protected themselves, and their wicked accomplices, against law and justice: and whereas it is evident, that an act made in the eighth and ninth years of the reign of his late majesty King William the Third, intituled, An act for the more effectual relief of creditors in cases of escapes, and for preventing abuses in prisons and pretended privileged places, hath not proved effectual within the said place, commonly called Suffolk-place or the Mint; and it is absolutely necessary, that further provision should be made for more effectually abolishing the pretended privileges aforesaid, and for bringing all offenders in the premisses to more speedy and exemplary justice: may it please your most excellent Majesty, that it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the King’s most excellent Majesty, 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 if any person or person shall, after the tenth day of October one thousand seven hundred and twenty three, within the said place, commonly called Suffolk-place or the Mint, in the parish of Saint George in the county of Surrey, or within any the limits, or pretended limits thereof, knowingly and wilfully obstruct or oppose any person or persons, serving, or endeavouring to serve or execute any writ, or any rule or order of any court of law or equity, or other legal process whatsoever, or any escape-warrant or warrants of any justice or justices of the peace, or shall assault or abuse any person or persons serving or executing any such writ, rule, order, process or warrant, or for having so done, whereby any such person or persons shall receive any damage or bodily hurt, every person so knowingly and willingly offending in the premisses, being thereof lawfully convicted, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall be transported to some or one of his Majesty’s colonies or plantations in America, by such ways, means and methods, and in such manner, and for such time, and under such pains and penalties, as felons in other cases are by law to be transported.

II. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That after the tenth day of October one thousand seven hundred and twenty three, upon any complaint or complaints at any time or times to be made to any three or more justices of the peace of the county of Surrey, by any person or persons, who have or hath, or shall have any debt or debts, sum or sums of money, due or owing to him, her or them, from any person or persons now being, or which hereafter shall be or reside within the said place or places, commonly called Suffolk-place or the Mint, or within any the limits, or pretended limits thereof (such creditor having any legal writ or process taken out for prosecuting recovery, or levying any such debt or debts, sum or sums of money, and making oath before such justices of the peace, or any of them, that a debt or debts, exceeding fifty pounds at the least, is justly due to him, her or them, from the person or persons against whom such complaint shall be made, and that such creditor verily believes, that such person or persons doth then reside or remain within such a place as aforesaid) it shall and may be lawful to and for the said justices of the peace, or any three or more of them, and they are hereby authorized and empowered, in all and every such case and cases (if they in their discretions shall find it to be requisite) to issue their warrant or order, from time to time, to the sheriff of the county of Surrey, or to the bailiff of the liberty of the borough of Southwark, for the time being, thereby strictly enjoining and requiring him or them, his or their respective deputy or deputies, officer or officers (under such penalty, as by this act is prescribed for non-performance of his or their duty therein) to raise and take the posse comitatus, or such other power or force, as to the said justices, or any three or more of them, shall seem requisite, and enter the said pretended privileged place, called Suffolk-place, or the Mint, and the limits, or pretended limits thereof, and every or any part thereof, and to arrest, and in the case of reluctance or refusal, to open or break open any door or doors to arrest such person or persons, upon any mesne process or other process, extent or execution, and to seize the goods of any such person or persons, upon any execution or extent; and if any such sherrif or chief bailiff, or any his or their deputy or deputies, officer or officers, or any of them, shall neglect or refuse, upon such warrant or order, with such force, to use his or their best endeavours for the executing of such process, execution or extent, he or they so neglecting or refusing to execute such process, execution or extent, shall forfeit to the plantiff or plantiffs the sum of two hundred pounds, to be recovered by action of debt, or of the case, bill, plaint or information, in which no essoin, protection, wager of law, or more than one imparlance shall be allowed; and if any person or persons shall resist or oppose any officer or officers of justice, or any person or persons, who shall be aiding or assisting to such officer or officers in the execution of any writ, or any escape warrant, or any warrant or warrants of any justice or justices of the peace, or of any legal process, execution or extent, within the said place called Suffolk-place, or the Mint, or within any the limits, or pretended limits thereof, or shall make rescous of any prisoner taken upon any such write, process, execution or extent, within the place or limits aforesaid, or shall there knowingly harbour or conceal any prisoner so taken, or any person or persons, who rescued any such prisoner, or shall be any ways contriving, or knowingly and willingly abetting, aiding or assisting, in resisting any such officer or officers, or in rescuing any such prisoner or prisoners taken as aforesaid, or shall presume to exercise any unlawful jurisdiction, or make or execute, or join in the making or executing any pretended rule, order or ordinance, for supporting any pretended privilege within the said place called Suffolk-place, or the Mint, or any the limits, or pretended limits thereof, contrary to law, or for opposing or hindering the due execution of any legal process, or any lawful warrant, or any rule, order or decree of any court of law or equity, all and every person and persons so offending, being thereof lawfully convicted upon any indictment or information to be brought or filed within six months after the offence committed, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall be transported to some or one of his Majesty’s colonies or plantations in America, by such ways, means and methods, and in such manner, and for such time, and under such pains and penalties, as felons in other cases are by law to be transported.

III. And for more effectually preventing for the future the great and enormous mischiefs and abuses, which have been riotously committed and done within the said place called Suffolk-place or the Mint, or within any the limits, or pretended limits thereof, by wicked persons in vizards, masks, or disguised habits, or having their faces or bodies disguised; be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if after the tenth day of October one thousand seven hundred and twenty three, any person or persons whatsoever, wearing any vizard, mask, or disguised habit, or having his or their face or faces, or body or bodies disguised, shall within the said place called Suffolk-place or the Mint, or within any the limits, or pretended limits thereof, join in, or aid or abet any riot or tumult there, or shall, in any vizard, mask, or other disguise whatsoever, knowingly and willingly there oppose the execution of any legal process, order or warrant, or assault or abuse any person or persons serving or executing any such process, order or warrant, or for having so done, all and every such person or persons, being lawfully convicted of any such offence, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall forfeit and suffer as in cases of felony, without benefit of clergy; and all persons aiding, assisting or abetting, or knowingly harbouring or concealing any such disguised person or persons, being thereof convicted, shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall be transported to some or one of his Majesty’s colonies or plantations in America, by such ways, means and methods, and in such manner, and for such time, and under such pains and penalties, as felons in other cases are by law to be transported.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the tenth day of October one thousand seven hundred and twenty three,all and every person and persons who shall apprehend and take any person or persons, guilt of any of the offences before mentioned, and prosecute such person or persons until he or they be convicted, shall have and receive, for every such offender so convicted, the sum of forty pounds, to be paid by the sheriff of the county of Surrey, without any deduction or fee for the same, within one month after such conviction and demand thereof made, by tendering a certificate to the said sheriff, under the hand or hands of the judge or justices before whom such offender or offenders shall be convicted, certifying the conviction of such offender or offenders, and that he or they were taken by the person or persons claiming the said reward; and in case any dispute shall arise between the persons so apprehending any of the said offenders, 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 his and their said certificate, direct and appoint the said reward to and amongst the parties claiming the same, in such shares and proportions, as to the said judge or justices shall seem just and reasonable; and if it shall happen any such sheriff shall die or be removed after such conviction and demand made of the said reward (the same not being paid as aforesaid) that then the next succeeding sheriff of the said county of Surrey 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 such sheriff, the sheriff making default shall forfeit to the person and persons, to whom such money shall be due as aforesaid, double the sum or sums of money such sherrif ought to have paid, to be recovered with double costs of suit by the person or persons aforesaid, or his or their executors or administrators, in any of his Majesty’s courts of record at Westminster, by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoin, privilege, protection or wager of law shall be allowed, nor more than one imparlance.

V. And be it further enacted, That in case any person or persons shall happen to be killed by any such offender or offenders, endeavouring to apprehend, or in making 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 him or them made, is and are hereby required immediately to give without fee or reward) shall receive the sum of forty pounds from the sheriff of the county where the said act was done and committed, and upon failure of payment thereof by the said sheriff, such sheriff shall forfeit double the said sum of forty pounds, to be recovered against him, with double costs of suit, in manner aforesaid.

VI. And it is hereby further enacted, That all sheriffs, their executors or administrators, upon producing 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 his Majesty, his heirs and successors, all monies (other than the forfeited sum and sums of money, and costs of suit) which they shall disburse as aforesaid, without any fee or reward whatsoever.

VII. Provided always, That if upon the account of any sheriff there shall not be sufficient in the hands of such sheriff to reimburse him such monies paid by him by virtue of this act, that then the sheriff having so paid the said monies, shall have the same repaid by the comissioners of his Majesty’s treasury or the lord high treasurer for the time being, out of the revenue of the crown, or by record of surplusage upon any other sheriff indebted to his Majesty, upon certificate from the clerk of the pipe to that effect.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case any such apprehender and prosecutor is guilty of any of the offences aforesaid, every such apprehender and prosecutor, not being in prison for any the said offences, and convicting two or more persons of any the offences aforesaid, shall not only have the aforesaid reward of forty pounds, but shall also have, and is hereby entitled to his Majesty’s most gracious pardon, for any of the said offences committed at any time or times before discovery is made of such other two or more persons so to be convicted as aforesaid.

IX. And whereas it is notorious, that dangerous riots and tumults have been frequently occasioned, and great mischiefs done by many inhabitants in the said place, commonly called Suffolk-place or the Mint, unlawfully assembling themselves, and with force opposing the execution of legal process, so that it hath been necessary, for suppressing such riots and tumults, and to enforce due execution of the law, to raise the posse comitatus, or some other extraordinary power: be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the necessary charge of raising the posse comitatus, or such other power as aforesaid, for enforcing the due execution of this act, or the said former act, or for better effecting the purposes thereof, shall be paid by the said sherrif, and allowed in his accounts, or be repaid by the commissioners of his Majesty’s treasury, or the lord high treasurer for the time being, out of the revenue of the crown, or by record of surplusage upon any other sheriff in debt upon his account, upon certificate from the clerk of the pipe to that effect.

X. Provided always, That nothing in this act contained, shall be construed to extend to repeal or make void the said recited act of the eighth and ninth years of the reign of his said late majesty king William the third, or any other law in force, against pretended privileged places, or for suppressing riots or tumults, but that the same shall, to all intents and purposes, be in full force and effect, as if this act had never been made, except in such cases touching which other provision is made by this act.

XI. And forasmuch as there may be inhabiting or residing in the said place called Suffolk-place or the Mint, or within the limits thereof, some persons, who by misfortunes in trade, or other accidents or calamities, have been reduced to such necessities, as have obliged them to take shelter or protection there; and it may be reasonable and convenient to give some relief to such objects of charity and compassion, upon their faithful discovering upon oath, and delivering up, and assigning all their estates and effects whatsoever, for the benefit of their creditors, as is herein after directed; be it therefore enacted, &c.

Inhabitants of the Mint assigning over their effects, &c. are to be discharged from arrests, &c. Notice must be given thirty days before the sessions to the creditors of the party petitioning to be discharged. Clerk of the peace to give a duplicate of discharge, on pain of 5l. Inhabitants &c. perjuring themselves, deemed felons. Persons discharged are not to be imprisoned for debts due before the 11th of February 1722. General issue pleadable. Others than the persons discharged by this act are answerable as before. No discharge is good, if not obtained before 10 July 1724. Bankrupts not intitled to the benefit of this act. Discharges fraudulently obtained, void. Petitioner, &c. to leave with the justices a list of his creditors, &c. persons owing more than 50l. &c. not to be discharged. No shelterer to gain a settlement without paying to the poor, or serving an office. EXP.

Taken from Danby Pickering, The Statutes at Large, vol. XV, 1765. Hand transcribed by John Levin. This text is in the public domain and may be reproduced freely.

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