1724: 11 George 1 c.21: An Act for the relief of insolvent debtors

Wordle of the 1724 act for the relief of insolvent prisoners.

Wordle of the 1724 act for the relief of insolvent debtors

1724: 11 George 1 c.21:  An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors

Whereas many Persons, by Losses and other Misfortunes, are rendred uncapable of paying their whole Debts; and, though they are willing to make the utmost Satisfaction they can, are nevertheless detained in Prison by their Creditors; and whereas such unhappy Debtors have always been deemed the proper Objects of Publick Compassion, and by several Acts of Parliament have been discharged: For the relief therefore of Insolvent Prisoners, who shall faithfully discover upon Oath, and deliver up and assign all their Estates and Effects whatsoever for the Benefit of their Creditors, and to prevent, as far as possible, the many Frauds and Abuses, which in a great measure have obstructed the good End of such former Acts: 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 all and every Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of any Prison or Prisons, in any County, Riding, Division, City, Town, and Liberty, within this Kingdom respectively, shall, and is or are hereby impowered and required to take and make a true, exact, and perfect List, (Alphabetically) of the Name or Names of all and every Person or Persons, who, upon the Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, were actually Prisoner or Prisoners in the Custody of every such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any Prison respectively, upon any Process or other Matter herein after expressed, and of the Time when such Prisoner or Prisoners were charged in Custody, together with the Name or Names of the Person or Persons, at whose Suit such Prisoner or Prisoners is or are detained, and shall deliver the same to the Justices at their First General or Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, to be hed after the First Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and twenty five, for such County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty respectively, and shall in open Court take an Oath to the Effect following; Videlicet,

I A.B. do upon my Corporal Oath, in the presence of Almighty God, solemnly profess and declare, that all and every Person and Persons, whose Name or Names are inserted and contained in the foregoing List, by me now delivered and subscribed, were, to the best of my knowledge and belief, upon the Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, really and truly Prisoners in the Prison or Goal of      at the Suit or Suits of the several Persons therein respectively mentioned, and so have continued, without any Fraud or Deceit by me, or any other to my knowledge, unto this Day, unless out of Prison by due Course of Law; and that the said List is a true, exact, perfect, and just List of all such Persons, as were really and truly Prisoners in the said Goal or Prison of        unless out of Prison by due Course of Law on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, and have from that Time to this Day so continued.
So help me God.

(Which Oath the Justices, at the said General or Quarter-Sessions, in open Court, are hereby impowered to administer) the Words of which Oath shall be entred or written at the end or bottom of every such List so delivered and subscribed in open Court, by every such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper respectively; which List, so subscribed and sworn unto, shall be kept by the Clerk of the Peace of every such County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty respectively, for the better Satisfaction of the said Justices, and Information of all Creditors, and to be seen without Fee or Reward; and the said Justices, at the said General or Quarter-Sessions, shall order Copies of the said List or Lists to be Printed by the Clerk of the Peace, for each of which Printed Copies he may take, according to the Quantity of the Names therein contained, what shall be ordered by the said Justices, not exceeding One Shilling for each List.

And to the End that no such poor Prisoner may be defeated of his or her Discharge, according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, by having his, her, or their Name or Names left out of the said Lists so to be delivered, Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that all and every such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any Prison, is and are hereby required to fix up in the most conspicuous Place or Places in every such Prison, and at the most frequented and usual Gate, Door, or Entrance into every such Prison, Three or more true Copies of the List or Lists, to be delivered at the said General or Quarter Sessions Ten Days before the said Sessions; and if any such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, Keeper or Keepers of any such Prison, shall in any such List to be delivered in, as aforesaid, neglect, or refuse to insert the Name of any poor Prisoner or Prisoners, who was or were in Prison on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, and had continued so confined, the Person or Persons so neglecting or refusing to insert the same, shall, for every such Name or Names so omitted, incur and be subject to such Penalty or Penalties, as are herein after imposed or laid on every such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, Keeper or Keepers, who shall neglect or refuse to make out or deliver such List, as aforesaid, to be recovered in the same manner, as herein after directed for recovery in the same manner, as herein after directed for recovery of teh Penalty, in case of neglect or refusalt o make out such Lists, as aforesaid.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person and Persons, whose Name shall be inserted in such Lists to be delivered in, as aforesaid, who, upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, were actually Prisoners int he Custody of any Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any Prison respectively of this Kingdom, and from thence to the Time fo their being discharged, in manner as herein after directed, shall continue actually Prisoners, other than such as are committed by any Judges Warrant upon an Escape, who shall take the Oath herein after mentioned, shall and may be for ever released and discharged from their Imprisonment, in such manner as hereafter is provided: (That is to say) It shall and may be lawful for any Justice or Justices of any County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty, within this Kingdom, (upon the Petition of such Prisoner or Prisoners) by Warrant under his or their Hands and Seals, to require the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any such Prison, within his or their respective Jurisdictions, to bring before the Justices, at the next General or Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, to be held next after the Expiration of Thirty Days, from the Date of the said Warrant, for such respective County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty, the Body of any Person being in the sqaid Prison, as aforesaid, with the Warrant of his or her Detainer, together with the Copy or Copies of the Cause or Causes, which he, she, or they, is or are charged, within the several Goals and Prisons, as aforesaid, at the Time aforesaid; which Warrant every such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper, is hereby commanded to obey; and such Prisoner, coming before such Justices at the said General or Quarter-Sessions, shall in open Court subscribe and deliver in a Schedule of his or her whole Estate, and the Names of his or her several Debtors, and the several Sums of Money from them respectively secured and owing upon any Specialty, Contract, or other Account whatsoever, and the Names and Places of Abode of the several Persons, from whom such Debts are due and owing, and of the Witnesses which can prove such Debts or Contracts, (if there be any such) and make Oath, and swear to the Effect following; (that is to say)

I A.B. do upon my Corporal Oath, in the presence of Almighty God, solemnly swear, protest, and declare, that on the Twenty ninth Day of September, which was in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, I was a Prisoner within the Prison of     in the Custody of the Goaler or Keeper of the said Prison of        at the Suit of      without my Consent or Procurement, and without any Fraud or Collusion whatsoever, and from that Time have been in Custody, and confined at the Suit or Suits of the Person or Persons before named, (unless at such Time when I was out of Prison by due Course of Law) and that the Schedule now delivered, and by me subscribed, doth contain, to the best of my knowledge, remembrance, and belief, a full, just, true, and perfect Account and Discovery of all the Estate, Goods and Effects, unto me in any wise belonging, and such Debts as are to me owing, or to any Person or Persons in Trust for me, and of all the Securities and Contracts, whereby any Money will or may hereafter become payable, or any Benefit or Advantage accrue to me, or to my Use, or to any Person or Persons in Trust for me, and the Names and Places of Abode of the several Persons, from whom such Debts are due and owing, and of the Witnesses that can prove such Debts or Contracts, and that neither I, nor any other Person or Persons in Trust for me, have Land, Money, Stock, or any Estate Real or Personal, in Possession, Reversion, or Remainder, other than what are in the said Schedule contained, (excepting Wearing Apparel, Bedding for my self and Family, Working Tools, and necessary Implements for my Occupation and Calling, and these in the whole not exceeding the Value of Ten pounds) and that I have not directly or indirectly sold, lessened, or otherwise conveyed, disposed of in Trust, or concealed, all or any Part of my Land, Money, Goods, Chattels, Stocks, Debts, Securities, Contracts, or Estates Real or Personal, whereby to secure the same, to receive or expect any Profit or Advantage thereof, or to defraud or deceive any Creditor or Creditors, to whom I am indebted in any wise howsoever.
So help me God.

And which said Schedule, being so subscribed in the presence of the Justices in open Court and Sessions aforesaid, is to remain with the Clerk of the Peace, for the better Information of all the Creditors of such Prisoners; and such Estate, Debts, and Effects contained in such Schedule, as aforesaid, shall immediately, after the discharge of such Prisoner, be, and is hereby vested in the Clerk of the Peaces of and for the County, riding, City, or Town Corporate, who is hereby directed and authorized, by Order of the Justices at their General or Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, to make an Assignment of the said Estate and Effects to such of the Creditors of the said Prisoner, as the major Part of the Creditors of the Prisoner, who shall apply for the same by any Writing under their Hands, shall direct or appoint; for which Assignment the said Clerk of the Peace shall take a Fee of Two Shillings, and no more, in Trust for themselves and the rest of the Creditors; which said Assignee or Assignees is and are hereby impowered to sue, in his, her, or their own Name or Names, for and to recover and receive the same, and to give sufficient Discharge and Discharges to each respective Debtor or Debtors, and fully to divide the same among the Creditors, who, within one Month after Notice of such Dividend be Published in the London Gazette, shall produce to such Assignee or Assignees an Affidavit made before One or more Justice or Justices of the Peace, who is and are hereby impowered to take the same, proving his or her Debt due from the said Prisoner so discharged, in equal Proportions, according to their respective Debts; for which Assignment the Clerk of the Peace shall be paid One Shilling, over and above the Stamp, and no more; and after the same is recovered and received, to render the Overplus (if any shall be, their own Debts and Charges first deducted) to the Prisoner, his Executors, or Administrators.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Justice or Justices, who shall grant such Warrant or Warrants for bringing such Prisoner or Prisoners before the Justices at the General or Quarter-Sessions, shall give a Writing, importing Notice to all the Creditors of such Prisoner or Prisoners petitioning, as aforesaid, under his or their Hands and Seals, that he hath granted such Warrant, and that the said Prisoner or Prisoners have or hath petitioned to be discharged; and the said Notice shall be left for, or served upon the Person or Persons, or their Executors, Administrators, Attorney or Agents, lawfully authorized, of the same, or a true Copy thereof, shall be left at the Dwelling House, or usual Place of Abode of the Person or Persons, or with the Attorney, Sollicitor, or Agent, last employed in the Cause or Causes, by the said Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, at whose Suit the Prisoner or Prisoners shall be imprisoned; and every Prisoner, confined in Prison within the City of London, or Weekly Bills of Mortality, shall cause the like Notice to be given to every other Creditor inhabiting, or otherwise residing within Ten Miles of the Prison where such Prisoner was in Custody; which said Notice shall be left with, or served on the person or Persons, as before directed, thirty Days before such General or Quarter-Sessions appointed by the said Warrant; and Publick Notice shall also be inserted in the London Gazette, containing the Name, Trade, or Occupation, and last Place of Abode of every Prisoner, for which there shall be paid Six Pence for each Name, and no more, Thirty Days before such General or Quarter-Sessions, appointed as aforesaid, by the said Warrant; so that as well all the said Creditors, as have not charged the said Prisoner or Prisoners in Custody, as those Creditors, which have, or shall have sufficient Notice, as aforesaid, and the said Prisoner or Prisoners may appear before the Justices at the General or Quarter-Sessions, to be held for the same County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberties, as aforesaid; and in Case it shall be proved upon Oath before the said Justices, that the said Notice was so served or left, as aforesaid, and Publick Notice inserted in the London Gazette, Thirty Days before the said General or Quarter-Sessions, and that the said Person so petitioning was actually a Prisoner as aforesaid, upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, and shall have so continued, to the time of such Prisoner or Prisoners Discharge; and the said Oath taken by the said Prisoner be not disproved by good Testimony of any Credible Person or Persons, on Oath, to be administered by the said Justices, then the said Justices, in their said General or Quarter-Sessions, or the major Part of them, being satisfied therewith, shall thereupon, by Order of the said Sessions, command the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any such Prison or Prisons,forthwith to set at Liberty such Prisoner, without having or taking any Fee or Reward, other than Two Shillings for his or their Attendance with such Prisoner, at such General or Quarter-Sessions, in order for his or her Discharge; which Sum of Two Shillings, such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of such Prison, are hereby authorized    and impowered to receive and take, for the Purposes aforesaid, and no more; which Order shall be a sufficient Discharge to the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any such Prison or Prisons, and shall indemnifie him or them against any Escape or Escapes, or Action or Actions whatsoever, which shall or may be brought, commenced, or prosecuted against him or them by reason thereof.

And be it futher Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That any Court of General or Quarter-Sessions, which pursuant to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, shall make any Order for the Discharge of such Prisoner or Prisoners, as aforesaid, shall (if required by any Creditor or Creditors, who shall oppose such Prisoner’s Discharge) administer and give such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keepers of such Prison or Prisons, (wherein the said Prisoner or Prisoners is ro are) an Oath to the Effect following (that is to say)

I A.B. do swear that     was really and truly my Prisoner, in my Custody, in the Prison of    to the best of my knowledge and belief, at or upon the Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four; and, from that Time, to the best of my knowledge, hath so continued, unless out of Prison by due Course of Law, and the Warrant of his or her Detainer; and the Copy or Copies of the Cause or Causes now by me brought, with the Body of the said     is the Warrant of his or her Detainer, and is or are a true Copy or Copies, without any Fraud or Deceit by me, or by any other to the best of my knowledge.
So help me God.

Provided always, and be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if such Person or Persons, as was the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of such Goal or Prison, on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, shall not happen to be the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of such Goal or Prison, at the Time of making such Order, that the said General or Quarter-Sessions, (if required, as aforesaid) shall administer and give to such Person, as shall be Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of such Prison or Prisons, at the Time of making such Order, an Oath touching the Commitments, or Books of Commitment, to the Effect following; (that is to say)

I A.B. do swear, that I have examined the Commitments, or Books kept of or concerning the Commitment of Prisoners to the Prison of     in the County of     (and I verily believe, that the said Commitments, or Books of Commitment, are really true, and not fictitious, nor calculated for this Purpose) and by them it does appear, that       was, upon the Twenty ninth Day fo September, which was in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, really and truly a Prisoner in the Custody of      the then Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of the said Prison, and from that Time hath so continued, without Fraud or Deceit by me, or the said       or any other Person or Persons to my knowledge.
So help me God.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any Prison, shall without just Cause refuse or delay to bring any such Prisoner or Prisoners, (although in Execution) to the said General or Quarter-Sessions, in order to his or her Discharge, or shall neglect or refuse to make out and deliver such Lists, as aforesaid, or take any of the said Oaths before mentioned, or shall, upon any Account or Pretence whatsoever, take or receive more than the said Sum of Two Shillings, herein before allowed for his or her Attendance, in order to be discharged of such Prisoner or Prisoners, as aforesaid, or shall detain the Prisoner after he or she shall be discharged, as aforesaid, or, if the Printer of the London Gazette, shall neglect or refuse to insert therein the Name, Trade, Occupation, and last Place of Abode of such Prisoner, on a reasonable Request to him made for that purpose, or shall take or receive any Fee or Gratuity, more than Six Pence, as aforesaid, for so doing, every such Sheriff, Goaler, and Keeper of such Prison and Prisons, and such Printer of the London Gazette, shall respectively forfeit and pay to each Prisoner the Sum of Twenty Pounds, which shall and may be recovered, with Treble Costs of Suit, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of the Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law, or more than one Imparlance, shall be allowed.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any Prison, shall, in taking any of the aforementioned Oaths, forswear or perjure himself, and shall be thereof lawfully Convicted, such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of such Prison or Prisons, (over and above such Penalties, as are now if Force, and may be inflicted on Persons Convicted of Perjury) shall, upon every such Conviction, forfeit and Pay the sum of Fifty Pounds, to be recovered with full Costs, by Bill, Plaint, or Information, or Action of Debt, in any of his Majesty’s Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, Wager of Law, or other Delay, to be allowed by and in the Name of such Persons, their Executors and Administrators, as shall, in pursuance of this Act, be appointed Assignees of the Estate and Effects of the Prisoner or Prisoners, for discharging of whom such Perjury shall be committed; and for want of such Asignees, in the Name or Names of any other Creditor or Creditors, who will sue for the said Penalties, to be applied, One Moiety to the Informer or Informers, and the other Moiety towards Satisfaction of the Debts of such his Creditor and Creditors.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Goaler or Goalers, or Keeper of any Prison, shall insert in any List or Lists delivered in, as aforesaid, the Name or Names of any Person or Persons, who was or were not Prisoner or Prisoners actually in Custody, on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, or being Prisoner or Prisoners on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, and did not from that Time actually continue such, to the Time of making out and delivering such Lists, according to the Tenor of the said Oath, taken at the Time of delivering in such Lists, every such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper, shall, for every Name so inserted, as aforesaid, forfeit and pay the Sum of Ten Pounds, to be recovered in the same Manner, and be applied to the same use or Uses, as is herein before directed for recovery of the Penalty and Forfeiture in Case of Conviction of Perjury.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Clerk of the Peace shall delay, or refuse to give every of such Prisoner so discharged, as aforesaid, within Sixty Days after his or her Discharge, a Duplicate of his or her Discharge, on the payment of Two Shillings and Six Pence, or shall take more than the said Sun of Two Shillings and Six Pence for such Duplicate, shall forfeit and pay to every such Prisoner the Sum of Five Pounds, to be recovered with Costs of Suit by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of the Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law, or more than one Imparlance shall be allowed; or to be ordered to be paid by the Justices of the Peace at their General Quarter-Sessions of the Peace, who are hereby Impowered to levy the same by Distress and Sale of the Good of the Person so offending.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Prisoner shall forswear or perjure himself, in any of the Matters aforesaid, and shall be thereof lawfully Convicted of wilful Perjury, he or she shall, over and above the Penalties now in Force against Persons Convicted of wilful Perjury, be rendered incapable of receiving any Benefit of his or her Discharge, and liable to pay his or her Debts, as if this Act had not been made.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Prisoner discharged by this Act shall, at any Time hereafter be Imprisoned by reason of any Judgement or Decree obtained for Payment of Money only, or for any Debt, Damages, Contempts, Costs, Sum or Sums of Money, contracted, incurred, owing, or growing due, before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, but that upon every Arrest upon every such Judgement or such Decree, or for such Debts, Damages, Contempts, Costs, Sum and Sums of Money, it shall and may be lawful for any Judge of the Court, where the Process issued, upon shewing the Duplicate of such Prisoners Discharge or Discharges, to release and discharge out of Custody such Prisoner or Prisoners, as aforesaid, and the Judge is hereby impowered so to do, so as every such Prisoner or Prisoners, Arrested or Detained upon Execution, or Mesne Process, do give a Warrant of Attorney to appear to every such Action, and to plead thereunto.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That, if any Action of Escape, or any Suit or Action be brought against any Justice or Justices of the Peace, Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of any Prison, for performing their Office, in pursuance of this Act, they may plead the General Issue, and give this Ct in Evidence; and, if the Plaintiff be Nonsuited, or discontinue his Action, or Verdict pass against him, or Judgement upon Demurrer, the Defendant shall have Treble Costs: Provided that the Discharge of any Person, by Virtue of this Act, shall not acquit any other Person from any Debt, Sum or Sums of Money, or any Part thereof, but that all others shall be answerable for the same, in such manner as they were before the Passing of this Act.

Provided always, And be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That notwithstanding the Discharge of the Person of such Prisoner, as aforesaid, all and every Judgment or Judgments had and taken, and Decree obtained against him or her, shall stand and be good and effectual in the Law, to all Intents and Purposes, against the Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, Goods and Chattels only of the said Prisoners so discharged, as aforesaid, and it shall and may be lawful to and for such Creditor or creditors of such Prisoner or Prisoners so discharged, as aforesaid, his or their Executors or Administrators, to take out a new Execution against the Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods, and Chattels, of such Prisoner or Prisoners, (his, her, or their Wearing Apparel, Bedding for his, her or their Families, and Working Tools and Implements necessary for his, her, or their Occupations, and not exceeding the Value fo Ten Pounds, only excepted) for the Satisfaction of his, her, or their Debts, in such Sort, Manner, and Form, as he, she, or they, might have done, if the Person or Persons of such Prisoner or Prisoners had never been taken in Execution; Any Act, Statute, Law, or Custom, to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding,

Provided also, That it shall and may be lawful for any Person discharged by this Act, in Case any Scire facias, or Action of Debt, shall be brought against him or her, upon any Judgement obtained against him or her, or Statute or Recognizance acknowledged by him or her, before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, to plead generally in Discharge of his or her Person or Persons from Execution, that he or she was actually a Prisoner in such a Prison, at such a Persons Suit, on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, and duly discharged, according to this Act, at the General or Quarter-Session held at such Time and Place for such COunty, Riding, Division, Liberty, City, Town, or Place, (as his or her Case is) without pleading any Matter specially: And in Case any other Action or Suit shall be Commenced against him or her  for any other Debt, Sum or Sums of Money, due before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, to plead in Discharge of his or her Person from Execution, that such Debt or Sum of Money, (as the Case shall happen) was contracted or due before the said Twenty ninth Day of September; and further generally, that he or she was actually a Prisoner, and duly discharged in the Manner above directed, without pleading any other Matter specially, whereto the Plaintiff shall or may reply, that such Defendant was not actually a Prisoner upont he said Twenty ninth Day of September, or any other Matter or Thing, which may shew the said Defendant not to be entitled to the Benefit of this Act, or not duly discharged according to it, in the same manner as the Plaintiff might have replied, in Case the Defendant had pleaded this Act and his Discharge by Virtue of this Act specially; and if the Plaintiff be Nonsuited, or discontinue his Action, or Verdict pass against him, or Judgment on Demurrer, the Defendant to have Treble Costs.

Provied also, That no Person or Persons whatsoever, who shall not obtain his, her, or their Discharge, pursuant to this Act, on or before the Twenty sixth Day of March, which shall be in the Year of our Lord, One thousand seven hundred and twenty six, shall have any Benefit or Advantage by this Act, or any Thing herein contained; but such Person or Persons shall be continued in Prison, as if this Act had never been made.

Provided always, That this Act shall not extend to that Part of Great Britain called Scotland.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of any Prison, shall, and is hereby required to suffer, in the Day time, any Person or Persons desiring the same, to see and speak within the Lodge, or some convenient Room of the said Prison, any Prisoner or Prisoners, whose Names are inserted in the aforementioned List or Lists, or London Gazette, or either of them; and also to see, in the true and genuine Books of the said Prison, the Entries made of the Name or Names of such Prisoner or Prisoners, together with the Name or Names of the Person or Persons at whose Suit or Suits he, she, or they, are detained; and if any such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper, shall neglect or refuse to comply with what is here above required, such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper, shall forfeit and pay to the Person so refused and aggreieved, the Sum of Ten Pounds, to be recovered with full Costs of Suit by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of the Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, Wager of Law, or more than one Imparlance shall be allowed.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Prisoner, being thereunto required by any creditor, shall refuse to discover and declare the Trade or Occupation, and Habitation, or last Place of Abode of the Person or Persons, at whose Suit he or she are detained, or, being called for, shall refuse to come to the Lodge of the Prison, where he or she is detained, shall, upon Proof thereof before the Justices at the General or Quarter-Sessions, be uncapable of receiving any Benefit by this Act; Any Thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper of any Prison or Prisons, shall make or cause to be made any false Entries in any Book or Books belonging to the said Prison, or shall prepare or keep, or cause to be prepapred and kept, any false Books in order for such false Entries, such Sheriff, Goaler, or Keeper, shall, over and above the Penalties, which are now in Force, and may be inflicted for such Fraud, Forgery, or Corruption, forfeit and pay the Sum of One hundred Pounds, to be recovered, with Treble Costs of Suit, by and in the Name of any Person or Persons, who will sue for the same, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of His Majesty’s Courts of Record at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law, or more than One Imparlance shall be allowed.

Provided also, and be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person, against whom a Statute of Bankrupt hath been awarded, shall have or receive any Benefit or Advantage by this Act except for such Debts as have been contracted since the Date of such Statute.

Provided also, and be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That, notwithstanding the Discharge of any Prisoner or Prisoners, by Virtue of this Act, if it shall hereafter appear the same was obtained fraudulently, the same shall be void and of none Effect.

Provided also, and be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Prisoner and Prisoners petitioning to be discharged by this Act, shall, at the Time of such petitioning, leave with the Justice or Justices petitioned, a true Copy of the Schedule, containing his intended Discovery to be sworn unto at the General or Quarter-Sessions, as aforesaid; which Copies shall be transmitted to the respective Clerks of the Peace, and there to be seen, without Fee or Reward, by any Creditor desiring the same.

And whereas there is but one Common or County Goal for each of the respective Counties of York and Lincoln, which Counties are each of them divided into Three several Ridings or Divisions, all which have several Commissions of the Peace, and if the Goalers of those Goals be obliged to carry the Debtors, Prisoners therein, to the Quarter-Sessions of each Riding or Division, the same will be a very great Charge, not only to such Goalers, but also to the Prisoners in those large Counties, Be it therefore Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for Two or more Justices of the Peace for each of the said Ridings and Divisions, in their respective Counties, at the Common or County Goal thereof respectively, to assemble and meet, and to hold Sessions there, by Adjournment from their respective Quarter-Sessions, from Time to Time, for the Discharge of the respective Prisoners therein, according to the Powers, Limitations, and Directions of this present Act.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Debtors and others, who were in Prison on or before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty four, in the several Goals of this Kingdom, for want of paying their Fees or Charges due to the Keeper or Goaler of any Prison respectively, or to any other Officer, (and upon no other Account) such Fees or Charges not exceeding the Sum of Forty Shillings, shall be discharged, he, she, or they, taking the Oath required by this Act.

Provided always, that this Act shall not extend to discharge any Person out of Prison, who shall stand charged with any Debt to his Majesty, or charged and indebted to any one Person in the Sum of One hundred Pounds, besides Interest and Costs, unless by the Consent of every such Creditor, at whose Suit he shall stand charged in such Sum, as aforesaid.