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‘HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE’‘DIEV ET MON DROIT’


❧ By the King. ¶ A Proclamation for the maintenance and encrease of the Mines of Saltpeter, and the true making of Gunpowder, and reforming abuses concerning the same.

THe King Our Souereigne Lord, taking into serious and prouident consideration, the most necessary and important vse of Gunpowder, as well for supply of His owne Royall Nauy, and the shipping of His louing Subiects, as otherwise for the strength, safetie, and defence of His people and Kingdomes, and how great a blessing it is of Almightie God to this Realme, That it naturally yeeldeth sufficient Mynes of Saltpeter for making of Gunpowder, for defence of it selfe, without any necessitie to de­pend vpon the dangerous, chargeable, and casuall supply thereof from for­reigne parts; Hath, (with the aduice of His Priuie Councell) concluded and set downe certaine Orders and Constitutions, to be from hencefoorth inuiolably kept and obserued, for the better maintaining of the breed and encrease of Saltpeter, and the true making of Gunpowder, and for reforming and suppressing all abuses concerning the same, in these Articles following.

  • 1. FIrst, That no person or persons whatsoeuer, within this Kingdome of England, or Dominion of Wales, doe from hencefoorth paue with Stone or Bricke, or floore with Board any Doue­house, or Douecoat, or lay the same with Lime, Sand, Grauell, or other thing, whereby the growth and encrease of the Myne of Saltpeter may be hindered or impaired, But shall suffer the floore or ground thereof to lie open, with good and mellow earth, apt to breed encrease of the said Myne and Saltpeter, and so continue and keepe the same.
  • 2. That no Inne-keepers, or others, that keepe Stables for trauellers and passengers, doe vse any deceiptfull meanes or deuices, whereby to destroy or hinder the growth of Saltpeter in those Stables; And that no Stables at all be pitched, paued or grauelled, where the Horse feet vse to stand, but planked onely, Nor be paued, pitched or grauelled, before the plankes next the mangers, but that both places be kept and maintained with good and mellow earth, fit and apt to breed and encrease the Myne of Saltpeter, and laide with nothing which may hurt the same.
  • 3. That all and euery such person and persons, as hauing heretofore had any Douehouse, Doue­coat or Stable, (which were then good nourceries for the breed of Myne of Saltpeter) haue sithence caried out the good mould from thence, and filled the place againe with Lime, grauell, sand, rubbish, or other like stuffe, or paued or floored the same, whereby the growth of Saltpeter Myne there, hath beene decayed or destroyed; shall, and doe within three moneths next comming, take vp the sayde pauements and boards againe, and cary out the said Grauell, Lime and offensiue stuffe from thence, and fill the place againe with good and mellow earth, fit for the encrease of Saltpeter, three foote deepe at the least, and so continue and keepe the same for the breed of Saltpeter Myne.
  • [Page]4. That no person or persons, of what degree or estate soeuer, shall hinder or deny any Salt­peter-man, lawfully deputed thereunto, in the digging, taking, or working of any ground or earth, which by Commission may be taken and wrought for Saltpeter; Nor any Constable, or other Offi­cer doe, or shall forbeare or neglect to furnish any such Saltpeter-man, with conuenient cariages ne­cessary for his worke; And that all and euery Iustice and Iustices of the Peace of any Countie, Ci­ty, or Corporation, to whom the sayd Saltpeter man shall addresse himselfe for assistance, doe not faile, at his and their perils, to take present course therein, That his Maiesties Seruice suffer not by his or their default.
  • 5. That no person or persons, shall directly or indirectly, giue or offer to any Saltpeter-maker, deputie Saltpeter-man, or others, imployed about the getting or making of Saltpeter, any gratui­tie, benefit, hire or reward; Nor any such Workeman, imployed about Saltpeter, shall take or re­ceiue any such gratuitie, benefit, hire or reward, for the sparing or forbearing of any ground or place, which should or may bee digged or wrought for Saltpeter, or of any cariages thereunto belonging, or for concealing, or not discouering of any offence or offences, committed against the true meaning of this Proclamation, or otherwise to the hinderance of this Seruice.
  • 6. That no Saltpeter-man, who shall hereafter vse and take the earth or floore of any Doue­house or Douecoat, for their making of Saltpeter, shall digge or cary the same earth, but in such con­uenient time of the day, and worke it in such maner, as may giue least disturbance and hurt to the Pigeons, and encrease of their breed; and in the chiefe times of breeding, that it bee not done aboue two houres in any one day, and that about the midst of the day, when the Pigeons vse to be abroad; And shall in like seasonable time, cary in the said earth after it shal be wrought, and spread it there, and make flat the floore of the same Douehouse and Douecoat, and leaue it well and orderly, accor­ding to the Direction and Instructions giuen by His Maiesties Commission, and the Deputation thereupon made vnto him.
  • 7. That all Saltpeter-men and workers in Saltpeter, after they haue broken any other sorts of ground, and wrought ouer the earth taken from thence, doe, and shall afterwards within conue­nient time, before the remooue of their worke from thence, fill vp the place againe, and leaue it in such good and orderly case as they found the same, according to their Instructions aforesaid; And that no owner or possessour of any Douehouse, or Grounds, shall hinder or disturbe any Workemen from doing what is prescribed in this, and the next precedent Article.
  • 8. That no person or persons whatsoeuer, doe at any time hereafter make, or cause to be made for Seruice against any enemie, or for Sale, any Gunpowder of any Saltpeter, made, or to be made within the Realme of England, or Dominion of Wales, but of such Saltpeter onely, as is or shall be made by Warrant of his Maiesties Commission, granted or to be granted in that behalfe.
  • 9. That no Saltpeter-man or maker of Saltpeter, doe at any time hereafter transport, or cause to be transported into the parts beyond the Seas, or sell, giue, vtter, or put to sale, or cause to be sold, vttered, or put to sale within the said Realme or Dominion, any Saltpeter, made within the sayd Realme of England, but onely to his Maiesties Storehouse, to his Maiesties Powder-maker there: And that no person presume to buy any Saltpeter, made by vertue of his Maiesties Commission, but his Maiesties Powder-maker onely, to whom it shall not be lawfull to receiue for any Powder to be solde by him to his Maiesties Subiects, aboue ten pence the pound.
  • 10. That no Powder whatsoeuer, either made within the Realme, or imported from forreigne parts, be hereafter solde or vttered within this Realme, or Dominions aforesaid, by any person or persons, before the same be first tryed, prooued, and allowed by the sworne Proofe-master, alreadie appointed or to be appointed, and by him marked, as hath beene heretofore vsed, whereby his Ma­iesties louing Subiects may take notice of the sorts of the said Gunpowder, and the goodnesse there­of, and the vses to which it may most aptly be applyed.
  • 11. That no person presume or attempt to counterfeit the marke or markes, vsed, or to be vsed by the said Proofe-master, to the purpose aforesaid, Or doe worke or put in practise any fraud, deceipt, or sleight, by mixing or mingling any Gunpowder, or otherwise, whereby his Maiesties meaning, before expressed, may be altered, diuerted, or abused.
  • [Page]12. That the Proofe-master, appointed and to be appointed, doe diligently attend to doe his du­tie faithfully and truely, in making proofe of the sayd Gunpowder, and to marke none but that which shall be good and sufficient, and answerable to the markes; And that hee take not aboue sixe pence Fee, for any Barrell of Powder of one hundred weight, which shall by him be tried, prooued, and marked as aforesaid; and so proportionably not aboue that rate, for greater or lesser quantities.

ALl which Articles, and euery of them, His Maiestie doeth hereby straitly charge and commaund all manner of persons, of what quality soeuer they be, duely to obserue and fulfill; And all Offi­cers and persons in Authoritie, whom it may concerne, duely, carefully and diligently to see, and cause the same to bee obserued, fulfilled, and put in execution, as they, and euery of them, will auoyde His Maiesties heauy displeasure, and the censure of being holden contemners of His Maiesties Royal Commandement, in a matter of high consequence, for the publique seruice and safety of the State, and vpon such further penalties and punishments, as for example of terror to others, their con­tempts and want of duety shall demerit, and by his Maiesties Prerogatiue Royall, or otherwise, shall be found fit in Honour and Iustice to be inflicted vpon them.

And for the better and more speedy performance of this Seruice, His Maiesties will and plea­sure is, That the commissioners for the Nauie, shall from time to time take notice of all such com­plaints, as shall be brought vnto them, touching any offence that shall be committed, contrary to this Proclamation, either in the neglecting, hindring, or disturbing this his Maiesties Seruice, or in abu­sing the Subiect: And that the said Commissioners shall certifie the same, to his Maiesties right trustie, and right welbeloued Cousen and Councellor, George Duke of Buckingham, Lord high Admi­rall of England, and to His right trustie and welbeloued Councellor, George, Lord Carew, Master of the Ordenance, to whose speciall trust and care, his Maiestie hath committed the Gouernment of the sayd Businesse, by Commission vnder the great Seale of England: And that they, or either of them, shall from time to time send for all offenders complained of, and cause them to be examined by the sayd Commissioners of the Nauie; And vpon their report, take such further order therein, by referring the offenders to be prosecuted in the high Court of Starre-chamber, or otherwise, as to their Wisedomes shall seeme meete; Commanding and authorizing his Maiesties Attourney Ge­nerall, for the time being, vpon such Reference from the sayd Duke of Buckingham, or Lord Carew, or other information giuen vnto him, of any misdemeanour committed, contrary to the true meaning of any the Articles aforesaid, to prosecute and proceed against the said offenders, in the said high Court of Starre-chamber; It being His Maiesties expresse pleasure, That seuere punishment shall be exe­cuted vpon all the said offenders whatsoeuer.

God saue the King.

¶ Printed at London by Bonham Norton, and Iohn Bill, Printers to the Kings most Excellent Maiestie. M.DC.XXV.

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