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liquor, shapes hiin like soft clay into what mould he pleaseth.”
An act of parliament was passed in the 21st of James I. to prevent and reform profane swearing and cursing; which enacted, that all persons confessing a trespass of this description, or convicted of it on the oath of two witnesses, should forfeit for each offence twelve-pence, to be applied for the use of the poor : default of payment consigned the offender (if an adult) to the stocks; and if under twelve years of age, he was to be publicly whipped. Another act accompanied the above, which was intended to restrain the inordinate “ haunting of inns,” ale, and other victualling houses, and the propensity to drunkenness: the penalty for the latter crime was five shillings, and the stocks for six hours upon nonpayment. And the constable who neglected to execute any of the provisions, forfeited ten shillings. Those who after admonition were found tippling in ale-houses, became liable to a fine of three shillings and four pence by this statute; and provision was made in it to enforce enquiry. If any person once convicted of drunkenness appeared again as a delinquent before a magistrate, the latter was authorised to bind him over to his future good behaviour, under the penalty of ten pounds.
The third act on this head of 29 Car. II. cap. 7, for the better observation of the Lord's
Day, commonly called Sunday, I shall give at length, as an ample illustration of what has been expected of the community by our forefathers.
“ An Act for the better Observation of the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday:
For the better observation and keeping holy the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that all the laws enacted and in force concerning the observation of the Lord's day, and repairing to the church thereon, be carefully put in execution : and that all and every person and persons whatsoever, shall, on every Lord's day, apply themselves to the observation of the same, by exercising themselves thereon in the duties of piety and true religion, publicly and privately; and that no tradesman, artificer, workman, labourer, or other person whatsoever, shall do or exercise any worldly labour, business or work, or their ordinary callings, upon
the Lord's day, or any part thereof (works of necessity and charity only, excepted). And that every person being of the age of fourteen years or upwards, offending in the premisses, shall, for every such offence, forfeit the sum of five shillings. And that no person or persons whatsoever shall publicly cry, shew forth, or
expose to sale, any wares, merchandizes, fruit, herbs, goods or chattels whatsoever, upon the Lord's day, or any part thereof, upon pain that every person so offending shall forfeit the same goods so cried, or shewed forth, or exposed to sale.
“ And it is further enacted, that no drover, horse-courser, waggoner, butcher, higler, their or any of their servants, shall travel, or come into his or their inn or lodging upon the Lord's day, or any part thereof, upon pain that each and every such offender shall forfeit twenty shillings for every such offence; and that no person or persons shall use, employ, or travel upon the Lord's day, with any boat, wherry, lighter, or barge, except it be upon extraordinary occasion, to be allowed by some justice of the peace of the county, or head officers, or some justice of the peace of the city, borough, or town corporate, where the fact shall be committed, upon pain that every person so offending shall forfeit and lose the sum of five shillings for every such offence. And that if any person offending in any of the premisses shall be thereof convicted, before any justice of the peace of the county, or the chief officer or officers, or any justice of the peace of or within any city, borough, or town corporate, where the said offences shall be committed, upon his or their view, or confession of the party, or proof of any one or more witnesses
by oath (which the said justices, chief officer or officers, is, by this act, authorized to administer), the said justice or chief officer or officers, shall give warrant under his or their hand and seal, to the constables or churchwardens of the parish or parishes where such offence shall be committed, to seize the said goods cryed, shewed forth, or put to sale, as aforesaid, and to sell the same, and to levy the said other forfeitures or penalties, by way of distress and sale of the goods of every such offender distrained, rendering to the said offenders the overplus of the monies raised thereby; and in default of such' distress, or in case of insufficiency or inability of the said offender to pay the said forfeitures or penalties, that then the party offending be set publicly in the stocks, by the space of two hours. And all and singular the forfeitures or penalties aforesaid shall be employed and converted to the use of the poor of the parish where the said offences shall be committed; saving only that it shall and may be lawful to and for any such justice, mayor, or thead officer or officers, out of the said forfeitures or penalties, to reward any person or persons that shall inform of any offence against this act, according to their discretions; so as such reward exceed not the third part of the forfeitures or penalties.
“ Provided that nothing in this act contained shall extend to the prohibiting of dressing of
meat in families, or dressing or selling of meat in inns, cooks' shops or victualling-houses, for such as otherwise cannot be provided, nor to the crying or selling of milk before nine of the clock in the morning, or after four of the clock in the after
“ Provided also, that no person or persons
shall be impeached, prosecuted, or molested, for any offence before mentioned in this act, unless he or they be prosecuted for the same within ten days after the offence committed.
Provided, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons whatsoever, which shall travel upon the Lord's day, shall be then robbed, that no hundred, or the inhabitants thereof, shall be charged with, or answerable for any robbery so committed; but the
person or persons so robbed shall be barred from bringing any action for the said robbery, any law to the contrary notwithstanding. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of the counties and hundreds (after notice of any such robbery to them or some of them given, or after hue and
for the same to be brought) shall make, or cause to be made, fresh suit and pursuit after the offenders, with horsemen and footmen, according to the statute made in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of queen Elizabeth, upon pain of forfeiting to the king's majesty, his heirs and successors, as much money as might have been