A Briefe of the Bill exhibited against Bankrupts.

THe Bill extendeth onely to make such Bankrupts as seeke their liuing by buying and selling, as the former acts did, onely it maketh a Scriuener, receiuing o­ther mens monyes into his trust or custody, lyable to the same, and an alien. It further describeth a Bankrupt, and prouideth that the remedies appointed by the former acts of 13. Eliza. and 1. Iac. shall be extended to such as are described by this act to be Bankrupt. It enlargeth the remedies in some cases, not sufficiently prouided for by the former lawes, and in speciall cases inflicteth corporall punishment.

  • It enlargeth the description of a Bankerupt, and addeth to the former Lawes.
    • 1. Such as shall obtaine or seeke protections against Creditors, vnlesse onely in time of Parliament.
    • 2. Such as shall prefer or exhibit into any his Maiesties Courts, any bill or bils, or to his Maiesty any petition, or petitions of conformity, to compell Creditors take lesse, thē their iust debts, or to procure longer daies of paiment.
      Reasons.
      • 1. Experience sheweth, that this is done onely to delay and hinder Creditors.
      • 2. That they spend, and consume their estates in the meane time.
      • 3. The money spent in this course, and giuen to vndertakers, may helpe pay his iust debts.
      • 4. This is by pretence of a course of Law, to hinder Law.
      • 5. This is to compell charity, which should be free.
    • 3. Such as owing an hundred pound or more, shall not pay or compound for the same, within sixe moneths after the same [...] grow [...] be demanded.
      • 1. Many men auoyd the acts which make a Bankrupt, but make no conscience by delayes to defraud men of their iust debts.
    • 4. Such as being arrested for debt, shall lye in prison sixe moneths, or being arrested for two hundred pound iust debt, or more, shall get forth by putting in com­mon or hyred bayle, in which case the party is to be a Bankrupt, from the time of the arrest.
      • 1. Not being a Bankrupt til six moneths, incourageth Bankrupts, in which time they prouide for their allies and friends at pleasure.
      • 2. They pay whom they list, they learne much ill and craft.
      • 3. The common and hyred bayle, is a tricke meerely to defraud Creditors, and a great abuse.
      • 4. After such bayle, they keepe their persons priuat, and yet spend their estates.
  • The Bil relieueth Creditors in some cases, not sufficiently, or expresly prouided for by the former lawes.
    • 1. That the Bankrupts wife, after he is proued a Bank­rupt, shall and may be examined, onely for the discouery of his estate, conueyed or concealed by her, and being in her priuity.
      • For want of this, the former lawes are of small vse for the Bank­rupt, knowing the wiues are not to be examined; conuay their goods by their wiues helpe to persons vnknowne to themselues, or any others then their wiues.
    • 2. That the Commissioners, or others by their war­rant or appoyntment, may breake open the Bankrupts shop, house, or ware-house, to the intent to seaze his bo­dy, goods, and estate.
      • This is doubted, whether sufficiently prouided for by the former lawes, wherevpon some fearefull Commissioners, making scruple, the Bankrupt in the meane time conuaieth away himselfe, and his goods at pleasure.
    • 3. That for the better distributing of the Bankrupts estate, the Commissioners may examine Creditors, vpon the certainty of their iust debts, and that they be relieued for no more then their meere debt, whatsoeuer security they haue, by iudgement, statute, recognisance, or bond forfeited, without respect to the penalties in such securi­ties.
      • This is not expresly prouided for by the former lawes, but is within the intent and equity, and is so done de facto, by Cōmissio­ners: but the not expressing thereof, doth breed many times much question, and sometimes suits in law, some Creditors requiring re­liefe for penalties and forfeitures.
    • 4. That in case of any lands, goods, chattels, &c. of the Bankrupts, made ouer to any person, vpon condition of redemption at a day, not due at the time of his being a Bankrupt, the Commissioners may assigne power to any persons to pay the meere debt; vpon tender or payment whereof, the Commissioners may deuide the surplusage of the benefit of the said lands, goods, &c.
      • 1. It hath been conceiued, the Commissioners haue not power by the law, to assigne persons to performe the condition, where­vpon the Creditors are forced to long and tedious suits, in Courts of equity.
      • 2. It seemeth very reasonable and equall to be so.
    • 5. That in case of extents vpon any the Bankrupts lands, goods, and chattels, by any accomptant to his Ma­iesty, the Commissioners may examine such accomptant vpon oath, whether the debt were originally due to him­selfe, or transferred to him in trust for the vse and benefit of the party, whose debt it was: and if it were, that the same be made subiect to the Commission.
      • It hath beene a vsuall course of late yeeres, to transferre debts to accomptants, and to extend for his Maiesty, the accomptants being onely vsed for other men, and yet the accomptants re­fuse to answere vpon oath, to any such interrogatory, because it seemeth to be the Kings case.
    • 6. That where lands, goods, or chattels, of any Bank­rupt, be assigned ouer vpon good consideration, yet the same remaining in the possession, order and disposition of the Bankrupt, after such grant or gift made to receiue the rents, and take the profits: That such lands, goods, and chattels be made subiect to the Commission.
      • This possession of the Bankrupt, the grant being concealed, was the motiue of the Bankrupts great trust and credit.
      • This possession of the Bankrupt, is a badge of fraud, and lyeth in the deck many yeeres thus concealed.
  • The Bill inflicteth corporall pu­nishment, by standing on the Pillo­ry in the County, &c. two houres, and losing one care by course of indictment in cases,
    • 1. Where the Bankrupt doth fraudulently, and de­ceitfully conuey away his goods, or chattels, to the va­lue of fiue pound, and shall not vpon his oath discouer, and (if it be in his power,) deliuer vnto the Commissio­ners all that estate, goods, and chattels so by him or his meanes kept from the Commissioners.
    • 2. Where hee cannot make it appeare vnto the Commissioners, that he hath sustayned some casuall losse, after the buying, and taking vp of such wares, monyes and commodities, whereby he is become vnable to pay his iust debts.
      • 1. Bankrupts increase, and trade decreaseth: the best remedy will be feare of corporall punishment.
      • 2. This corporall punishment is onely in case of wilfull fraud and deceit, and where that fraud and deceit doth continue after monition and warning by the Commissioners.
      • 3. The trade of Bankrupting, is the worme that eateth out the heart of all commerce and trade.
      • 4. Without casuall losse it is a wilfull wrong.
  • The Bill appointeth the Bankrupt to be pursued, and taken as a Felon, and to suffer death as in case of felo­ny, without corruption of blood, or forfeiture of lands, or goods in case,
    • The Bankrupt shall flee away, and will not appeare before the Commissioners, vpon or before the fift pro­clamation to be made according to the forme of the a­foresaid statutes, and after three summons first made in writing, vnder the Commissioners hands, and left at the house, or shop, of the Bankrupts last abode or dwelling.
      • 1. This wilfull deceit is worse then burglary, or robbing by the high-way, which may be preuented, this cannot.
      • 2. The time limited is very sufficient for such to come in and auoyd this punishment.
      • 3. This is more in terror to them, then likely to be prosecuted by the Creditors.

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