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third part thereof to his majesty, to commit the offender for six
11. Chap 2. intituled-An Act
at any assembly, conventicle, or V. Provided also, and be it fur. meeting, under colour or pretence ther enacted, by the authority of any exercise of religion, in other aforesaid, That it shall be lawful înanner than according to the Litur. for any two justices of the peace, gy and practice of the Church of of the respective county, upon England, in any place within the oath to them of any offence against kingdom of England, or dominion this act, which oath they are of Wales, or town of Berwick upon hereby impowered to administer, Tweed, at wbich conventicle, meet.
The Conventicle Act. ing, or assembly, there shall be five by the authority aforesaid, that if persons or more assembled toge. such offender so convicted, as ther, over and besides those of the aforesaid, shall at any time again same household, if it be in a house commit the like offence or offences, where there is a family inhabiting; contrary to this act, and be there. or if it be in a house, feld, or of, in manner aforesaid, convict. place where there is no family in. ed, then such offender so convict habiting : then where any five of such like offence or offences, persons or more are so assembled, shall for every such offence incur as aforesaid, it shall and may be the penalty of ten shillings; which lawful to and for any one or fine and fines, for the first and more justices of the peace of every other offence, shall be levied the county, limit, division, cor. by distress and sale of the offend. poration or liberty wherein the of- er's goods and chattels : or in fence aforesaid shall be commit. case of the poverty of such offender, ted, or for the chief magistrate of upon the goods and chattels of any the place where the offence afore. oiher person or persons who shall said shall be committed ; and he be then cunvicted, in manner and they are hereby required and aforesaid, of the like offence at the enjoined, upon proof to him or same conventicle, at the discretion them respectively made of such of the said justice, justices, or offence either by confession of the chief magistrate respectively, su as party, or oath of two witnesses the sum to be levied on any one (which oath the said justice and jus- person, in case of the poverty of tices of the peace, and chief magis- other offenders, amount noi in the trate respectively, are hereby im. whole to above the sum of ten powered and required to administer) pounds, upon occasion of any one or by notorious evidence and cir. meeting, as aforesaid: and every cumstances of the fact, to make a constable, headborough, tithingrecord of every such offence under man, church-wardens and overhis or their hands and seals respect. seers of the poor respectively, are ively: which record so made, as hereby authorised and required to aforesaid, shall to all intents and levy the same accordingly, having purposes be in law taken and ad. first received a warrant under the judged to be a full and perfect hands and seals of the said justice, conviction of every such offender justices, or chief magistrate refor such offence; and thereupon the spectively so to do; the said mo. said justice, justices and chief ma. nies so to be levied, to be forth with gistrate respectively shall impose delivered to the same justice, jusupon every such offender so con. tices, or chief magistrate, and by vict, as aforesaid, a fine of five him or them to be distributed, the shillings for such first offence; one-third part thereof to the use which record and conviction shall of the king's majesty, his heirs and be certified by the said justice, successors, to be paid to the high justices, or chief magistrate, at sheriff of the county for the time the next quarter sessions of the being, in manner following; that peace, for the county or place is to say, the justice or justices of where the offence was committed. peace shall pay the same into the
II. And be it further enacted court of the respective quarter ses.
sions, which said court shall de- impowered and required to levy liver the same to the sheriff, and the same, by warrant, as aforea make a memorial on record of the said, upon the goods and chattels payment and delivery thereof, of any such persons who shall be which said memorial shall be a present at the same conventicle ; sufficient and final discharge to any thing in this or any other act, the said justice and justices and a law, or statute to the contrary charge to the sheriff
, which said notwithstanding; and the money discharge and charge shall be cer- so levied, to be disposed of in man. tified into the exchequer together, ner aforesaid : and if such offender and not one without the other : and so convicted, as aforesaid, shall no justice shallor may be questioned at any time again commit the like or accountable for the same in the offence or offences, contrary to exchequer or elsewhere, than in this act, and be thereof convicted quarter sessions : another third in manner aforesaid, then such of. part thereof to and for the use of fender so convicted of such like The poor of the parish where such offence or offences, shall, for every offence shall be committed; and such offence, incur the penalty of the other third part thereof to the forty pounds, to be levied and disinformer and informers, and to posed as aforesaid. such person and persons as the IV. And be it further enacted by said justice, justices or chief ma- the authority aforesaid, That every gistrate respectively shall appoint, person who shall wittingly and wil. having regard to their diligence lingly suffer any such conventicle, and industry in the discovery, dis. meeting, or unlawful assembly persing and punishing of the said aforesaid, to be held in his or her conventicles.
house, out-house, barn, yard or III. And be it further enacted backside, and be convicted thereof, by the authority aforesaid, That in manner aforesaid, skall forfeit every person who shall take upon the sum of twenty pounds, to be him to preach or teach in any levied in manner aforesaid, upon such meeting, assembly, or con- his or her goods and chattels, or, venticle, and shall thereof be con- in case of his or her poverty or in. victed, as aforesaid, shall forfeit ability, as aforesaid, upon the for every such first offence, the goods and chatiels of such persons sum of twenty pounds, to be levied who shall be convicted, in manner in manner aforesaid upon his goods aforesaid, of being present at the and chattels; and if the said same conventicle; and the money preacher or teacher so convicted, so levied, to be disposed of in be a stranger, and his name and manner aforesaid. habitation not known, or is fled, V. Provided always, and be it and cannot be found, or in the enacted by the authority aforesaid, judgment of the justice, justices That no person shall, by any clause or chief magistrate before whom of this act, be liable to pay above he shall he convicted, shall be ten pounds for any one meeting, thought unable to pay the same, in regard of the poverty of any the said justice, justices or chief other person or persons. magistrate respectively, are hereby VI. Provided also, and be it
The Conventicle det, further enacted, That in all cases take, and required to certify the of this act, where the penalty or same to the next Quarter Sessions : sum charged upon any offender and in case no rec«gnizance be exceeds the sum of ten shillings, entered into, the said appeal to be and such offender shall find himself null and void. aggrieved, it shall and may be law. VIII. Provided always, Chat ful for him, within ont week, after every such appeal shall be left the said penalty or money charged with the person or persons so consball be paid or levied, to appeal victing, as aforesaid, at the time in writing from the person or per: ot i he making thereof. sons convicting, to the judgment IX. And be it further enacted, of the justices of the peace, in by the authority aforesaid, 'That their next Quarter Sessions; to the justice, justices of the peace whom the justice or justices of the and chief magistrate respectively, peace, chietmagistrate oralderman, or the respective constables, head. that first convicted such offender, borough and titbji gmen, by warshall return the money levied upon rant from the said justice, justices the appellant, and shell certify, or chief magistrate respectively, under his and their hands and seals, shall and may, with what aid, the evidence upon which the con• force and assistance they si all viction past, with the whole record think fit, for the better execution thereof, and the said appeal: of this act, afier iefusal or denial whereupon such offender may plead to enter, break open and enter into and make defence, and bave bis any house or other place, where trial by a jury thereupon ; and in they shall be informed any such case such appellant shall not prose. conventicle, as aforesaid, is or cute with effect, or if upon such shall be held, as well within libertrial, he shall not be acquitted, ties as without; and iake into their or judgment pass not for him upon custody the persons there unlawhis said appeal, the said justic's fully assembled, to the intent they at the sessions, shall give treble may be proceeded against accurd. costs against such offender for his ing to this act: and that the lieu. unjust appeal: and no other court tenants or deputy-lieutenants, or whatsoever shall internieddle with any cominissivnated officer of the any cause or causes of appeal upon militia, ut uther of his majesty's this act, but they shall be finally forces, with such troops or com. determined in the Quarter Sessions panies of horse and foot; and also only.
the sheriffs, and other magistiates VII. Provided always, and te and mivisters of justice, or any y.of it further enacted, 'I hat upon the them, jointly or severally, within delivery of such appeal as afore- any the counties or places within said, the person or persons appel- this kingdom of England, dominion lant, shall enter before the person of Wales, or town of Berwick upon or persons convicting, into a re- Tweed, with such other assistance cognizance to prosecute the said as they shall think meet, or can appeal with effect : which said re. get in readiness with the soonest, cognizance, the person or persons ou certificate made to them reconvicting is hereby impowered to spectively under the band and seal
of any one justice of the peace or lawfully called in aid of the conchief magistrale, of his particular stable, ta adborough or tithingman, information or knowledge of sech shail situly aw wittingly onuit unlawtul meeting or conventicle, ihe perfinance of his dury, in held or to be held in their respec. the execution of this act, and be tive counties or places, and that thereof convicted in manner aile. he, with such assistauce as he can said, he shall forteit füre very such get ingether, is not able to sup- offence, the sum of five pounds, 10 press and dissolve the same, shall be levied upon bis goud and chat. and may and are bere by required tels, and disposed in minner allure. and enjoined to repair unto the said : and that if any justice of place where they are so held, or the peace, or chief ravis?rate, to be held, and by the best means shal) wilfully and willingly omit they can, to dissolve, dissipate or the prformance of his duty in the prevent all such unlawful meetings, execution of this act, he shall file and inke into their custody such feit the sum of one hundred and so many of the said persons pounds; the one moiety to the so unlawtully assembled, as they use of the informer, to be recovered shall think fit, to the intent they by action, suit, bill or plain!, in may be proceeded agaiust accordo any of his majesty's courts at ing to this act.
Weininster, wherein no essoin, X. Provided always, That no protection, or nager of law shall dwelling-house of any peer of this lie. realm, where he or his wife shall XII. And be it further enacted then be resident, shall be searched by the authority afor said. That by virtue of this act, but by im. if any person be at any time mediate warramt from his majesty, sued tor putting in execution any under his sign manual, or in the of the povers contained in conci, presence of the lieutenant, or one otherwise than up n appeal alluie deputy-lieutenant, or two justic's ed by this art, stich person shall of the peace, whereof one to be of and may pload the reneral issue, the quorum, of the same county and give the special matter in evia or riding.
dence; and if ihe plant. b. nun. · XI. And be it further enacted suit, or a verdict pass ter the deby the authority aforesaid, That tendant, or if the plainnt discon. if any constable, headborough, tinue his action, or it upun dimur. tithingman, church-wardeo or ser, ju igmeni be giveu fu: ihe de. overseer of the poor, who shall tendant, every such dei ndant shail know, or be credibly informed of have nis full treble costs. any such meetings or conventicles, XIII. And be it further enacted, held within his precincts, parishes, by the authority aforesait, l'hat or limits, and shall not give infor. this act, and all clauses therein mation thereof to some justice of contained, shall be construed most the peace, or the chief magistrate, largely and beneficially for the and endeavour the conviction of suppressing of conventicles, and the parties, according to his duty; for the justification and encoubat such constable, headborough, rugement of all persons to be ern. titbingman, church-warden, over- ployed in the execution thereof ; seers of the poor, or any person and that no record, warrant or VOL. VII.