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the said Petition of Right shall from henceforth be put in execution accordingly, and shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed as in the same Petition they are prayed and expressed; and that all and every the records and remembrances of all and every the judgment, enrolments, entry, and proceedings as aforesaid, and all and every the proceedings whatsoever, upon or by pretext or colour of any of the said writs commonly called Shipwrits, and all and every the dependents on any of them, shall be deemed and adjudged, to all intents, constructions and purposes, to be utterly void and disannulled; and that all and every the said judgment, enrolments, entries, proceedings and dependents of what kind soever, shall be vacated and cancelled in such manner and form as records use to be that are vacated.

202. Act for the Limitation of Forests

(1641, August 7. 16 Charles I. c. 16. – 5 S. R. 119. Gardiner, 192–195.)

WHEREAS by Act of Parliament made in the first year of the

reign of the late King Edward the Third, it was ordained, that the old perambulation of the forest in the time of King Edward the First should be thenceforth holden in like form as it was then ridden and bounded, and in such places where it was not bounded, the King would that it should be bounded by good men and lawful

II. And whereas for many ages past certain meets, meers, limits and bounds of the forests have been commonly known and observed in the several Counties, wherein the said forests lie:

III. And whereas of late divers presentments have been made and some judgments given, whereby the meets, meers, limits and bounds of some of the said forests have been variously extended or pretended to extend beyond some of the said meets, meers, limits and bounds so commonly known and formerly observed, to the great grievance and vexation of many persons having lands adjoining to the said meets, meers, limits and bounds so commonly known and formerly observed and whereas of late time some endeavours or pretences have been to set on foot forests in some parts of this realm and the dominion of Wales, where in truth none have been or ought to be, or at least have not been used of long time for remedy thereof, may it please your Most

Excellent Majesty that it be declared and enacted by authority of Parliament;

IV. And be it declared and enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that from henceforth the meets, meers, limits and bounds of all and every the forests respectively, shall be to all intents and purposes taken, adjudged and deemed to extend no further respectively than the meets, meers, limits and bounds, which in the several Counties respectively wherein the said forests do lie, were commonly known, reputed, used or taken to be the meets, meers, limits and bounds of the said forests respectively in the twentieth year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord, King James, and not beyond in any wise, any perambulation or perambulations, presentments, extents, surveys, judgments, records, decrees, or other matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding: and that all and every the presentments since the said twentieth year made, and all and every other presentment and presentments, and all and every judgment and award upon or by reason or pretext of any such presentment or presentments, and all and every perambulation and perambulations, surveys, extents, and other act and acts at any time heretofore had or made, by which the meets, meers, limits or bounds of the said forests, or any of them, are or are pretended to be further extended than as aforesaid; and also all and every presentment of any other person or persons at any Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachments, for or by reason or by colour of any act or acts whatsoever done or committed in any place without or beyond the said meets, meers, limits or bounds respectively, so commonly known, reputed, used, or taken as aforesaid, and all and every fine and fines, and amercement and amercements, upon, by reason or colour of any such presentment or presentments, shall from henceforth be adjudged, deemed, and taken to be utterly void, and of no force or effect; any law, statute record or pretence whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no place or places within this realm of England or dominion of Wales, where no such Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachment have been held or kept, or where no Verderers have been chosen, or regard made, within the space of sixty years next before the first year of His Majesty's reign that now is, shall be at any time hereafter judged, deemed, or taken to be forest, or within e bounds or meets of the forests; but the same shall be from enceforth for ever hereafter disafforested, and freed, and ex

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empted from the forest laws; any Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachment held or kept within or for any such place or places at any time or times since the beginning of His Majesty's said reign, or any presentment, enquiry, act, or thing heretofore made, or hereafter to be made or done to the contrary notwithstanding.

VI. Provided also, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that for the better putting into certainty all and every the meets, meers, bounds and limits of all and every the forests as aforesaid, the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England for the time being shall, by virtue of this Act, upon request of any of the Peers of this kingdom, or of the Knights and Burgesses of the Parliament or any of them, grant several commissions under the Great Seal of England to Commissioners to be nominated respectively by the said Peers, Knights and Burgesses, or any of them, to enquire of and find out by inquests of good and lawful men upon oath, and by the oaths of witnesses to be produced at the said inquests, and by all other lawful means, all and every the meers, meets, bounds and limits of the forests respectively, which were commonly known to be their meers, meets, bounds and limits respectively in the said twentieth year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord, King James; and to return the inquests so taken into the Court of Chancery; and that all and every the Sheriffs and Bailiffs of and in every County wherein any such inquests shall be so to be taken; and all and every the Ver derers, Foresters, Rangers, and other officers of the forests respectively, where any such officers be, shall be assistant and attendant to the executions of the said commissions, according as by virtue of the said commissions respectively they shall be commanded; and where no such officers are or where such officers be, if they or any of them shall refuse or neglect such assistance and attendance as aforesaid, then the said Commissioners shall and may proceed without them in the execution of the said commissions.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the forests whereof the meets, meers, limits and bounds shall be so returned and certified by virtue of any the said commissions as aforesaid, from thenceforth shall not extend, nor be extended, nor be deemed, adjudged, or taken to extend any further in any wise than the meets, meers, limits and bounds that shall be so returned and certified; and that all the places and territories that shall be without the meets, meers, limits and bounds so returned and certified, shall be and are hereby declared to be from thenceforth free to all intents and purposes, as if the same had never been forest,

or so reputed; any Act or Acts, matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

VIII. Provided, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every the grounds, territories or places which have been or are disafforested or mentioned to be disafforested in or by any Letters Patents, Charters, or otherwise since the said twentieth year of the reign of our said late Sovereign Lord, King James, shall be excluded and left out of the meets, meers, limits and bounds of the forests which are to be enquired of, returned and certified by virtue of the said commissions, or any of them respectively, and shall be, and hereby are declared and enacted to be utterly disafforested, free, and exempt to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been at all forest, or so reputed; anything in this present Act contained, or any other Act, matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

IX. Provided nevertheless and be it enacted that the tenants, owners, and occupiers, and every of them of lands and tenements, which shall be excluded and left out of the meets, meers, limits or bounds of the forests to be returned and certified by virtue of any the said commissions, shall or may use and enjoy such common, and other profits and easements within the forest as anciently or accustomarily they have used and enjoyed; anything in this present Act contained or any Act or Ordinance made in the threeand-thirtieth year of King Edward the First, or any custom or law of the forest, or any other matter or thing to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

203. Act prohibiting the Exaction of Knighthood Fines

(1641, August 10. 16 Charles I. c. 20. 5 S. R. 151. Gardiner, 196, 197.)

WHEREAS upon pretext of an ancient custom or usage of this

realm of England, that men of full age being not Knights, and being seised of lands or rents of the yearly value of forty pounds or more (especially if their seisin had so continued by the space of three years next past), might be compelled by the King's writ to receive, or take upon them, the Order or Dignity of Knighthood, or else to make fine for the discharge or respite of the same, several writs, about the beginning of His Majesty's reign, issued out of the Court of Chancery for proclamations to be made in every

County to that purpose, and for certifying the names of all such persons, and for summoning them personally to appear in the King's presence, before a certain day, to be there ready to receive the said Order or Dignity: upon return of which writs, and transmitting the same with their returns into the Court of Exchequer, and upon other writs for further inquiry of the names of such persons issuing out of the said Court of Exchequer, process by distringas was thence made against a very great number of persons, many of which were altogether unfit, in regard either of estate or quality, to receive the said Order or Dignity, and very many were put to grievous fines and other vexations for the same, although in truth it were not sufficiently known how,,or in what sort, or where they, or any of them, should, or might have addressed themselves for receiving the said Order or Dignity, and for saving themselves thereby from the said fines, process and vexations and whereas it is most apparent, that all and every such proceeding, in regard of the matter therein pretended, is altogether useless and unreasonable may it therefore please your Most Excellent Majesty that it be by authority of Parliament declared and enacted;

II. And be it declared and enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, and the Lords and Commons in this Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that from henceforth no person or persons of what condition, quality, estate or degree soever, shall at any time be distrained or otherwise compelled by any writ or process of the Court of Chancery or Court of Exchequer, or otherwise by any means whatsoever, to receive or take upon him or them respectively the Order or Dignity of Knighthood, nor shall suffer or undergo any fine, trouble or molestation whatsoever by reason or colour of his or their having not received or taken upon him or them the said Order or Dignity; and that all and every writ or process whatsoever, and all and every proceeding which shall hereafter be had or made contrary to the intent of this Act, shall be deemed and adjudged to be utterly void; and that all and every process, proceeding, and charge now depending by reason or colour of the said pretended custom or writs aforesaid, or of any the dependents thereof, shall from henceforth cease, and stand, be and remain discharged and utterly void, any former law or custom, or any pretence of any former law or custom or any other matter whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

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