THE Reforming Registry, OR A Representation of the very many mis­chiefs and Inconveniences which will unavoidably happen by the needless, chargeable, and destructive way OF Registries, Proposed to be erected in every County of England and Wales, for the Recording of all Deeds, Evidences, Bonds, Bills, and other Incumbrances. Written in the year 1656, when Oliver and the Levelling-Party made it their Design to ruine Monarchy, the Laws of the Nation, and the impoverished Loyal party; and is now pub­lished to prevent the more then a few Evils and sad Consequences which may hereafter be in­troduced by it. By Fabian Philipps.

Plato lib. 6. de Legibus.
Omnes eas leges colunt & Innovare formidant in quibus educati sunt, si illae divina quadam fortuna longis temporibus stabilitae fuerint.

LONDON, Printed by Tho. Newcomb for the Author, and are to be sold by Abel Roper at the sign of the Sun over against St Dun­stans-Church in Fleet-street. 1662.

THE Contents of the CHAPTERS.

  • Chapter 1. THat the Registring or Inrolling of Deeds of Bargain and Sale, whereby an Estate of Freehold doth pass, is provided for by the Statute of 27 H. 8. cap. 16. wherein it being left to the peo­ples choyce where to Inroll them, they have rather chosen to do it in Chancery, and at London, then in the several Counties, p. 3.
  • Chap. 2. The Inconveniences of an inforced Registry of such, Deeds in the proper Counties. pag. 8.
  • Chap. 3. The Inconveniencies if all Deeds, of Bar­gain and Sale shall be Enacted to have the force and effect of Fines with Proclamati­ons, or of Recoveries, and to Bar as they doe: pag. 20.
  • [Page] Chap. 4. Of the Registring of all mens former Deeds or other Evidences, if but for ten or twenty years past, under a penalty to be, otherwise of no effect or less then they would former­ly have been. pag. 31
  • Chap. 5. Of the Registring of all Bonds, Bills, Leases Releases Feoffments, Contracts in wri­ting and all other writings which may incumber reall or personal Estates. pag. 49
  • Chap. 6. Of New Courts or Judicatories to be erected in every County, to hear and determine Causes. pag. 75
  • Chap. 7 That it is impossible to provide against all things which may happen to be Incumbran­ces. pag. 87
  • Chap. 8. That (if it could be possible) the people will not willingly be at the trouble or charges in all their Contracts, to search in so many County Registries to discover Incumbran­ces. pag. 92

CHAP. I. That the Registring or Inrolling of Deeds of Bargain and Sale, whereby an Estate of Freehold doth pass, is provided for by the Statute of 27 Hen. 8. cap. 16. Wherein it being left to the Peoples choice where to Inrol th [...], they have rather chosen to do it in Chancery, and at London, then in the several Counties.

THe erecting of Offices for the Registring of Deeds and Con­veyances Indented in every County, by which any Estate of Freehold or Inheritance is to pass, or be conveyed by Bargain and Sale, will be needless.

[Page 4]For that by the Statute of 27 H. 8. c. 16. which is yet in force and unrepealed, it is already provided for.

And being ever since (now almost One hundred and fifty years ago) left to the Peo­ples liberty, Whether they will Inrol with the Clerk of the Peace in every County, or in the Chancery and Courts of Record at Westminster.

They have so much liked of the better and more proper way of Inrolling in Chan­cery, being the Officina Justiciae of the Na­tion, the Repository of most of the Records of it; and into which, many of the great­est concernment, are by Law and several Acts of Parliament certified, and disliked the other; as there is not one Deed or Inden­ture of that nature, for every Hundred which are in the Chancery, Inrolled in the Courts of Upper Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, by vertue of that Statute.

And not one almost in a year Inrolled with the Clerk of the Peace of every Coun­ty where the Lands do lie, either because where it was done in the proper County, it was by that Statute appointed to be done [Page 5] by the Custos Rotulorum, and two Justices of the Peace of the County, and the Clerk of the Peace, or two of them at the least, whereof the Clerk of the Peace to be one; who by their distances or remote Habita­tions, were not often or easily to be found or got together, or that the people were not so willing to trust their Deeds or Evi­dences, or the Records thereof, with the Clerks of the Peace, as they are with an Officer of Trust in Chancery; which being the Registry of the Supream Authority, is a Court always open, and kept in a known place of strength and security.

And was very long before in use and practice amongst them, for the more sure keeping and memory of their Deeds and Evidences, as Grants and Releases for Lands, and the like, amongst the Records of their Kings and Supream Magistrates, where they thought them safest, as may appear by the close Rolls in Chancery, ever since the raign of King John; and so fre­quently in the raign of King Henry the Seventh, being forty years before the making of the said Statute of 27 H. 8. as [Page 6] there are many Deeds of Bargain and Sale of Lands, Releases of Right and Title to Lands, Deeds of Gift, or Bargains and Sales of Goods and Chattels, Bonds for payment of Money, Acquittances for Money paid, Letters of Attorney, and A­greements betwixt private persons, to be seen Recorded and Inrolled in the close Rolls of 8 H. 7. with the now usual Form or Memorandums, that the Parties acknow­ledging, did come into the Chancery and acknowledge them, &c.

And which was anciently held to be so much assistant, and contributing to the welbeing and preservation of Mens Deeds, by Inrollments, or Records, or Exemplifica­tions made thereof, as it was in 20 E. 1.Cook. 2 part. Institutes 676. Hill. 20 E. 1. in Banco Rot. [...]00. Somerset. adjudged, That if a Deed be shewed in Court, or be in the custody thereof, and the Seal be by mischance broken off, the Court shall Inroll the Deed for the avail of the Party:

Which is not onely an evident De­monstration of the Peoples long appro­ving of the one, and disallowing of the other; but of the ease and benefit which [Page 7] they have had by Inrolling of their Deeds in Chancery, and the Courts at London.

And therefore every mans private Deeds and Conveyances, being to take their Ori­ginal and Principal force from the Parties consent, and contract, and the confirmation and power which the Laws of God, Na­ture, and Nations, and the Common and Sta­tute Laws of this Nation hath allowed them, in making them to be of force and valid.

The Act of Parliament of 27 H. 8. 16. for Inrolling of Deeds as aforesaid, being made in the same Parliament when the Sta­tute of 27 Hen. 8. 10. for transferring of Uses into Possession, was Enacted, did in the supplying of many defects in Deeds of Bargain and Sale, of and concerning Free­hold and Inheritance, and the want of Li­very, and Seisin, and Attornment.

Not forbid or take away the use and force of Fines and Recoveries, Leases with Releases, and Feoffments with Livery and Seisin, which in the extent and validity thereof, are far better Assurances; but one­ly ordain, That all Deeds whereby Estates of Inheritances or Freehold, should pass or [Page 8] or be altered, or changed from one to another, by way of Bargain and Sale, should not be good, unless they should be Indented and Inrolled, as that Act appointed; and restraining onely the execution and effect thereof, to the Inrolment within the time pre­fixed, did leave the people to Inrol them where it might seem best, or their own conveniences per­swade them. Wherefore an Inforced Registry or In­rolment of all such Deeds in the proper Counties, if it should keep within the bounds of that Act, and onely injoyn Inrolments of Deeds by Indenture, where Estates of Freehold and Inheritance are to pass by way of Bar­gain and Sale, will unavoidably produce many Incon­veniences.

CHAP. II. The inconveniencies of an inforced Re­gistry of such Deeds in the proper Counties.

THey will be illiterately, carelesly, and§. 1. ill-favoredly Registred, and kept in the proper Counties, if either the pay or number of them, shall not come up to the care and time, are to be bestowed upon [Page 9] them, or receive no other or greater Fees then are allowed by that Statute for In­rollments.

As it hath demonstrably already hap­ned in the taking and inrolling of Statutes Merchant, by the Majors of the Staple in all Cities, Burroughs, and good Towns, and their Officers thereunto appointed, by vertue of the Statutes or Acts of Parlia­ment of Acton Burnel in 11 E. 1. and the Statute de Mercatoribus in 13 E. 1. which have since the erecting of the Statute Of­fice at London, by the Statute of 23 H. 8. 6. to attend the Lord Cheif Justices of the Court of Upper Bench, or Common Pleas; and in their absence, the Major of the Staple at Westminster, and Recorder of London: For acknowledging of Statutes for Debts have been so much disused, and the course of Statutes Merchant which are yet in force for Merchandise so neglected, as there are above a hundred such Statutes entred, to or for every one Statute Mer­chant: And whereas the Clerk of the Sta­tutes, who was by that Act of Parliament ordered to reside at London, doth fairly [Page 10] and orderly enter and keep his Books and Records, and after certain years, lodg and lay them up for safety in the Tower of London, It will upon search and inquiry appear, that notwithstanding every Sta­tute, whether for Merchandise or other­wise, is to be duly Inrolled by the Clerks or Officers, upon pain of forfeiting of Twenty pounds for every Statute not en­tred or Inrolled, there can be found very few of the Rolls or Books of the Statutes Merchant since 23 H. 8. and none at all of those that were taken and Inrolled in Two hundred years before.

The difference betwixt the now Statute Office, which is inperpetual succession to such a capital City, and superior Courts, as the City of London, and the Courts of Up­per Bench and Common Pleas, and annexed as it were unto them, and the Town▪Clerks or Majors, or Constables of the Staple in the other Cities and Corporations, which do so often change, and are by election, as they become little more then as private persons, giving us the reason why those Writings or Records in their custody, coming after­wards [Page 11] through so many changes, to so ma­ny several hands as they do, can no way, as it seems, escape imbezelling. We may well enough believe, that the same fate may attend these Country Registers, if they shall not be made to be as a Court of Re­cord, and in perpetual Succession; and if they shall be made to be as so many Judi­catures and Courts of Record, will be the cause of more inconveniences to the peo­ple, then the loss and imbezeling of their Records or Inrollments, can come unto.

The City of London which did§. 2. use to Inroll such Deeds in the Hustings, and divers other Cities, Boroughs, and Towns Corporate, who did use to do the like, and had therefore their Rights ex­presly saved by the Proviso of that Act of Anno 27 Henry the Eight for Inrollments, and that it should not extend to any Man­ors, Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, within the said Cities, Boroughs, or Towns Corporate; for that they did an­ciently, and before the making of that Act, use to Inroll such Deeds, will by these new Registries, without any forfeiture, or [Page 12] cause given to loose them, be deprived of those their very ancient Rights and Li­berties.

Such a constrained way of Registring § 3. of Deeds of Bargain and Sale, which concern onely Estates of Freehold and In­heritance, will be very inconvenient to Purchasors (who most commonly do re­side at or near London, or Trade or come thither, where the richest and most money­ed men and Purchasors amongst the peo­ple are to be found; and whose Inhabitants or near dwellers, do amount to almost the one half of the Commonwealth, and added to such as upon Merchandise, or other oc­casions do come thither, and pass to and fro from Ireland, Scotland, and other Fo­reign parts, will make up in number as many as the whole people of the Nation,) and be not a little prejudicial to such also as live in the Countreys more remote; who for any thing of value, do usually, either come themselves on purpose to London, or employ their Attorneys or Lawyers to pro­cure their Conveyances to be there made, where the best of Lawyers, and most [Page 13] variety are most easily to be found and advised withal in the Term times) to travel or send to those several Counties where the Lands do lie, to have their Deeds Inrolled, or for such as dwell and pur­chase in remote Counties, either to con­tent themselves at home with such Counsel o [...] Lawyers which the Country affords, and adventure their Estates and Security up­on it, or go on purpose or send to London to have their Conveyances made; and when they are brought home, send to the Shire-Town to finde the Register, or some before whom to acknowledge the Deed, which may happen to be many miles di­stant from him; and for them that buy in London, to be at the charge to carry those that do sell and live as far as Yorkshire, or other remote places, or make their bargain in London, for Lands lying in Wales, or the West part of England, into that Country where the Lands do lie.

And send or travel to Inroll a Deed §. 4. for every parcel of Land in its several County, the Lands therein sometimes ex­tending into three or four Counties, and [Page 14] many times into more then one, when as now one uninconvenient charge to Inroll it at London, will serve for Lands in all the Counties mentioned in the same Deed.

Or upon any Suit or occasion at§. 5. London or Westminster Hall, where all the Suits and Actions of concernment are, amongst many other businesses most com­monly and commodiously dispatched at one and the same time by the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants, Tradesmen, and Sea­men of the whole Nation, and the generali­ty of all the people (except Cottagers and day Laborers, and the more rustick part of the Yeomandry or Husbandmen) and do as so many several lines drawn from the cir­cumference, meet in the Term times or up­on other occasions at London in one and the same center, to travel or send back­ward and forward; and perhaps to several places at great charges and distances to take Copies of Deeds or Records, where now they can have them all in one place, or within little more then a mile of it:

The Records or Registries which§. 6. [Page 15] are to be as mens publick evidences when the private are lost, will not in times of War or trouble (which most Nations at one time or other, do meet with) be at all or so safely kept as the Records are at London, being the chief City of the Na­tion; and as the heart thereof, the residence of the Supream Authority, and such a strength, as is not easie to be forced or taken, and most likely to be the last place that shall suffer by any Foreign or Intestine Troubles, and which hath hitherto in most of our unhappy Civil Wars, for several ages preserved the Publick Records and Evidences of the people, in the Tower of London, Chappel of the Rolls and Trea­suries at Westminster; places not onely strongly built with stone, but so carefully looked unto, as no Candles or Fire are permitted to be used in the same.

There being always likely to be a vast difference between the safe keeping of Re­cords and Evidences in a City, that hath a­bove Two hundred thousand men, with a Magazin, and strong hold, and more Ships and furniture for shipping to guard them, [Page 16] then all the Shire-Towns, Ports, and Ha­vens of the rest of the Nation can make, and furnish out, if all were put together, and a Shire-Town which hath neither Walls, nor strength, or any considerable number of people to defend them, there being of Fifty and two Shire-Towns, but Twenty two Cities and Walled Towns, and those so weak and unfortified, as Hull onely and Bristol, and some few excepted, every Rebel-rout or Insurrection may plun­der or destroy them.

The consideration whereof did hereto­fore put the Kings and Supream Magi­strates of England, in minde to get from time to time, as much as they could into their care and custody, the Records of the Iters, Judges, Circuits, the Hundred and Petty Court Rolls, perambulations of For­ests, being the out-lying and scattered Records of the Nation, and all that could be saved and got together, from the rage and troubles of former times, and the care­less keeping of such as had the charge of them, and put them into safe custody in the Tower of London, or Treasuries for [Page 17] Records at Westminster; and to that end, from time to time did send their Writs to command the bringing in of the Records of several Courts into the Treasury, which was usually done by Indemures, under the hands of the Judges that brought them in, and the Officers who received them, and made allowances out of the Exchequer, for the Kalendring and wel-ordering of them.

The having of which Publick Records, Memorials, and Evidences, as so many Jewels of inestimable value (wherein our Laws and Liberties, and all that we have concerning our Estates, Lives, Progenitors, and Predecessors do reside, and are Record­ed) so safely preserved for the help and in­struction of our selves and posterities, be­ing justly accounted to be a Blessing.

May teach or give us to understand, what an evil condition the people of Eng­land would have been in, if they had lost those Cabinets and Jewels of their Estates and Memories, or were but inforced, if they could be found again, to send from as far as the people of Scotland do now with [Page 18] great trouble and expences, from all parts of their Nation into England, to the Tower of London, to search and take Copies of the Evidences of their Estates or Recon­cilers of their Controversies, or how easi­ly they might have been lost, if in Wat Tylers, Jack Cades or Ketts popular Fren­zies, they had been kept either in Kent or Southwark, or such like open and unforti­fied places▪

Or what had become of them, if they had lain dispersedly in the Shire-Towns, in our late harassing and destroying Civil Wars.

And that by such, or some other dis­asters, we might have had as bad an ac­compt of them, as are now to be had of all the Records and Court Rolls of the Sheriffs Turns, County and Hundred Courts, Courts Leet, or Courts Baron, and Justices in Eyre, since the time of William the Conqueror, and K. Henry the Second: When as none of the Sheriffs Turns, County and Hundred Courts, can shew us any Records of above Twenty years stand­ing, if so much, the proceedings therein, [Page 19] being either not entred at all, as they should be, or not well kept or ordered: And the other Inferior Courts not far above One hundred years, where any care hath been taken to keep them, and many times not so much: And for one that exceeds One hundred years, there are ten which do not reach to half a hundred.

And that those Records of the petty and inferior Courts of Antient times, which are now to be found in the Treasuries, and amongst the Records at London and West­minster, do not amount to any more then to about the Ten thousandth part of those Country and inferior Courts Records, which are lost and not to be found; and that those that are to be seen, are but as some pitiful scraps and torn pieces of what have been rescued and taken out of the Jaws of Time and Antiquity.

Such an inforcement to Register all such§. 7. Deeds in the proper Counties, will without any necessity of War or Publick Safety, take away the Common Right and Liberty, which God and Nature, and the Laws of the Land, have given to every man; and so far exceed [Page 20] Monopolies, which never yet reached to mens private Evidences, as that it will too much resemble the King of Spain's Paper, which every man in Spain is bound to buy at a rate, to write his Contracts and Assuran­ces upon,

Will be as a selling of Justice contrary§ 8. to Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, and the Liberties of the People, who have of late as well as formerly fought for them, with the hazard and loss of so many of their lives and estates; and which the Army have so often by publick and private Remonstran­ces, called God and Men to witness, they would be car [...]ful to preserve for them; and if all Deeds of Bargain and Sale Registred, shall be enacted to have the force and effect of Fines with Proclamations and Recove­ries, and Bar as they do.

CHAP. III. The inconveniencies if all Deeds of Bargain and Sale, shall be En­acted to have the force and effect of Fines with Proclamations, or of Recoveries, and to Bar as they do.

THat most ancient and strongest kinde§. 9. of Assurance, for conveying and passing of Lands from one man to another, by an undoubted and irrevocable Title, known [Page 21] to be in use long before, and ever since the Conquest; and which, without any strained guess or conjecture, and with more pro­bability for it, then against it, may to such as know that our Fines are Recorded as an Agreement betwixt the Parties acknow­ledged in the Court of ▪ Common Pleas, be­fore the Judges, Et multis aliis fidelibus ibi praesentibus, and many other good people there present; seem either to be deduced, or very much to resemble that manner of assurance or conveyance which Abraham had of Ephron the Hittite, when he bought of him the Field of Ephron for a burying place for himself, and his wife Sarah; where after the Agreement or Bar­gain made for it, the holy Scripture saithGen. 23. 18. it was made sure To Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, be­fore all that went in at the Gates of the City, (which was their Court of Justice) will be taken away, to give place to that, will be a great deal dearer, and a worse assu­rance then a Fine; which as to the In­dentures of Chyrograph (if there were no other necessary foregoing Writs and So­lemnities [Page 22] to make it legal, and prevent counterfeiting) would amount but unto about Five or Six shillings.

And (if it shall be endeavored to be§. 10. made equal with a Fine, with Proclama­tions, and as safe from Forgeries, and be a bar as such Fines are, should be read and proclaimed, and hung up in Tables as Fines are, to be read at the Assizes, in the County where the Land lies, and be also hung up in Tables at Westminster-Hall, and read and proclaimed in open Court, or some eminent place, in four Terms after the Ingrossing or acknowledging of it; to the end, that such as are for ever to be concluded by it, may not pretend igno­rance.

And yet if that were done, there cannot§. 11. be in a Deed inrolled, reasonably supposed, That Ground or Reason, which besides the parties agreement and consent, appears to be in a Fine or Recovery, viz. That it is done upon a Demand, Suit or Action, and Interpleading in the Court of Common Pleas, whereby the parties are for ever bound and debarred to say, It was not so [Page 23] by the strength and power of a double E­stoppel, in so high a Court of Record against the Record, whereof there can be no Aver­ment.

For all our former Acts of Parliament do in their Preambles, which are to be as the Keys to open and expound the minde and intention of the Makers, and to bring the Act it self unto a reasonable Exposition, most commonly (if the Reason it self were not obvious) not onely take care to express and declare the reason and cause, of that which was commanded or forbidden, but made every thing that was to be done in order, to such prohibition or command, to carry and bring along his reason with it, whereby to make known its consistence and agreeableness with right Reason.

Which being the ground, foundation, and support of all Laws, is so every where visible in our Laws, (where time hath not made some alteration of that which was be­fore the basis and reason of it) as every thing therein, if not mistaken by igno­rance, or such as make too much haste to censure or condemn it, before it be heard or [Page 24] understood, may upon due examination, (some small or very inconsiderable de­fects perhaps or redundancies, which the greatest perfections under the Sun, are to be allowed onely excepted) not onely justifie it self, but condemn those that have been too busie in finding fault with it, it being a never failing principle in the Laws, that Ratio Legis is Anima Legis, and gives life and being to it.

And therefore it will be a dangerous pre­sident, § 12. and of ill consequence, that Acts or things in Law, grounded upon several Reasons, and very much differing in the Magis and Minus, or extent thereof, should be made to be of one and the same operation and effect; As that a Grant by Copy of Court-Roll should pass an estate of Freehold as well as Copihold, a Fine levied by Tenant in Tail, bar a stranger in Remainder, as immediately as it doth the issue of his body; or that a General Plea or Issue, Not guilty (the manifold in­conveniences whereof, have all over Eng­land been sufficiently experimented) should carry and amount to as much, [Page 25] as all other more legal Pleas and Issues; or that any thing of an inferior consideration shall be of the same effect, as a superior or more weighty, As that the sign Manual or Privy Seal of the Supream Magistrate, shall be as binding as the Great Seal of Eng­land; that an Interlocutory sentence shall be as much as a Decree, Sentence, or Judg­ment, upon a full hearing or debate; that an acquittance without Hand and Seal, or words of Release of all Actions, shall be of the force of a Release of all Actions under Hand and Seal; a Lease Parol, or by word of mouth, or a Deed Poll should be as much as by Indenture; that a contract or promise of Marriage, before two wit­nesses, shall be as much as a Marriage du­ly solemnized; and that things said or spoken without Oath, shall be as much a­upon Oath; All which would be against that right Reason which do usually accom­pany our Laws.

Women Covert, who upon levying§ 13. of Fines, were to be examined, whe­ther they did freely consent, or do it, must now sign and seal, the Deed to be [Page 26] Inrolled as well as their Husbands, if Dower be to be barred, and examined as they were wont to be upon levying of Fines; for by Law they are not barred by a Deed Inrolled, in regard of their Cover­ture.

Deeds of Bargain and Sale, covinously§ 14. or deceitfully gained, by greedy and insi­nuating oppressors in taking advantages, and working upon mens necessities, or got­ten by cheating Gamesters of some yong Gentlemen, who many times loose their Lands before they finde their wits, or some fawning Cormorant Citizens who gets into such witless mens Estates, upon kindly supplying their wants with a Knavish bar­gain of Beaver-Hats, St. Omers Onions, Brown Paper, Pack-thred, and such like Trash, or loosing Commodities, shall have no remedy or relief in Chancery allowed them as formerly. If that such Deeds in­rolled shall have the force of Fines and Recoveries for that against Fines and Non­claims Doctor and Student 25. and Lib. 1. cap. 1. and Bars by Recoveries, there can be no releif to be had in Conscience or E­quity, because it might otherwise be a [Page 27] means to impeach and open a gap, to break into all other Mens Estates and Convey­ances. So as that which by these Proposals is pretended to be a way to prevent de­ceipt, will in such, or the like case, be­come the greatest fortifier and defender of it.

Such a transferring of the power of§. 15. Fines and Recoveries into Registred Deeds, may hereafter much prejudice and terrifie such, as by this new way of Registring shall have deserted the suing out of Fines and Recoveries. If another Parliament, either in this or any future ages shall hap­pen to repeal, or take it away, or the In­rolments of Deeds or Records thereof, ly­ing in so many dispersed and unsafe places, should happen to be lost, and subject them and their Estates to all manner of Claims and Controversies, which they would other­wise have been freed of, if they had been permitted to make use of the old and safe way of Fines and Recoveries; which in all the Commotions of people or Petitions of Parliaments, were never yet found fault with, or desired to be taken away.

[Page 28]There will be a great difference betwixt§ 16. Fines and Deeds inrolled, not onely in the manner of passing and acknowledging of them, but in the benefits, priviledges, and safety, which as inseparable Concomitants do attend Fines, but cannot by any Rule of Right Reason, be simul & semel, or at all put over to Deeds inrolled or lodged in them, for Fines which are to be acknow­ledged in Court, before two Judges, at the least, or out of the Court, before the Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas; and if by Commission, which is to be signed by the Lord Chan­cellor, or Lord Keeper, and Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, or by some of the Justices of Assise or the Circuit where the Land lieth, ought to be directed to men of quality and conscience, and expert in the Laws of the Land, one whereof is to be a Knight, (the Writs of Covenant whereupon they are ground­ed, passing the Great Seal of England, and so many sworn Officers and Judges hands and perusals,) and have a duplicate or double Indenture of Chyrograph so cut, [Page 29] one in another, as one must necessarily discover the other, if there be any variance or falsification in them, and so many places and Offices recording them, cannot be counterfeited, or if they should, will easily be found out; but Deeds so to be Regi­stred and Inrolled, which shall not be at­tended with so many cares and cautions, may easily be forged, counterfeited, or an­tidated, and bring with them more deceits and incumbrances, then they do pretend to prevent; and fall into all the inconveni­ences, questions and debates, which Fines and Recoveries, being the grand and com­mon Assurances of the Land: for Lands betwixt party and party, have by those many Laws and Cases, which have been adjudged to indulge and protect them, hi­therto avoided and escaped.

The same power and force which are§. 17. granted to Fines, cannot with justice or convenience, be given to Deeds inrolled against the Bargainor or his Heirs, or those that may claim the Lands, because in Deeds there are most commonly reciprocal Cove­nants, and some things to be performed on [Page 30] the Bargainees part, which may demand equity or performance, and many times no words of Warranty or Release; but i [...] a Fine, there is onely a Grant, Release, and Covenant, to Warrant on the part of the Cognisor, or he which levieth it.

And if taken away from the people,§. 18. will loose the Supreme Magistrate and his Revenue, Ten or twenty thousand pounds per annum; which the people having the benefit of such an ancient and sure way of conveyance, Which had in 19 E. 1. now al­most Four hundred years ago, so great and due respect given unto it, as it was by a Par­liament held in that year, declared, That the Order of Law will not suffer them to be le­vied without a Writ Original; and that the cause of the Solemnities then used in Fines, was because a Fine was so high a Bar, of so great force, and so strong a nature in it self: And hath been setled, confirm­ed, and brought to the perfection it now enjoys, by fourteen or fifteen Acts of Par­liament, and for the greatness of the Assu­rance, and the peace and quiet which itPlowd [...]ns Comment. 357, 358. bringeth with it, justly said to be Finis [Page 31] sructus exitus & effectus Legis; the end, fruit, and effect of the Law, and a Fine, be­cause it doth Finem litibus imponere put an end to most Suits or Controversies can arise against it, did never as yet, or have in all their Petitions in Parliament, which have been since or before, concerning other grie­vances, so much as complained of or grudg­ed. And though they had no cause or rea­son to complain of Fines and Recoveries, will not like so well as the Proposers. To be compelled to Register all their former Deeds or Evidences, if but for Ten or twen­ty years past, under a Constraint or Penal­ty to be otherwise of no effect, or not so a­vailable in the Law as they would have been formerly.

CHAP. IV. Of the Registring of all Mens former Deeds or other Evidences, if but for Ten or twenty years past, under a Penalty to be, otherwise of no effect, or less then they would formerly have been.

FOr that were to make any Law which§. 19. should be made to such a purpose, to be guilty of a retrospection, or looking back­wards in its commands or prohibitions, and the penalties ensuing thereupon, which can have no rule or pattern from the Laws [Page 32] [...] [Page 31] [...] [Page 32] or Word of God, who in the making of his most righteous Laws, made them to binde, and look onely to the future: And when he might do what he would with his Clay, not onely commanded those Laws to be written very plainly, but was so willing to pardonDeut. 27. 8. Levit. 4. sins of Ignorance, as he ordained a Sacrifice to be made for them. And when in the forbidding the Children of Israel to marry within certain degrees or nearness of Blood, under the penalty of death, or cutting off from the people, he had said, After the do­ings Levit. 18. of the Land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do. Did not either punish or call them to account for any former marriages contrary thereunto.

Moses therefore who understood the minde of God, concerning those Laws which he had received from him, better then all other Legislators or Law▪givers which have been since, (the onely Son of God ex­cepted) being to die, commanded them to be often read unto the people, that they might hear and observe them.

The Wedg of Gold, and Shekels of Sil­ver, Josh. 8. and the Babilonish Garments, for [Page 33] which Achan was stoned to death, by all1 Sam. 14. 15. the people, had not been the accursed things, but the lawful spoils of War, if the foregoing prohibition had not made them to be so.

Nor had Saul so grievously, or at all offended, or been punished for sparing Agag, being his prisoner and captive in War, if the command or charge of God before hand had not made it to be an of­fence.

Which our English Laws have so much imitated. As the Act of Parliament of 36 E. 3. ordering all pleadings to be in English and Inrolled in Latin, and not in French, as they had been formerly, did neither order or intend, that all the Pleas for the years before, should be entred over again, and made to be in Latin.

The Statute of 23 H. 8. cap. 6. for ac­knowledging of Statutes or Recognisances for Debts, hath an express saving for Re­cognisances taken before the Major and Con­stables of the Staple, though they did not concern Merchandise; which was the evil sought to be remedied.

[Page 34]The Statute of 27 H. 8, cap. 10. for transferring of uses in possession, making great alterations in Mens Estates, did after many savings and provisoes, ordain, That all lawful Wills and Testaments, made or to be made, before the first day of May, 1536. should be of the same force as they were forty years before, notwithstanding the said Act; and that Actions then depending, should not be abated or discharged, by reason of the ex­ecuting of any Estate by Authority of the said Act.

The Act for Inrollments of Deeds of Bargain and Sale made in the same year, and Parliament, was ordained not to take effect, until after the last day of July, which should be in the said year.

The Statute of 5 & 6 E. 6. c. 16. for­bidding the buying and selling of Offices, concerning Administration of Justice, doth expresly provide, That all Acts or things before done in the execution of such Offices, should be good until the parties offend­ing, contrary to that Act, be removed out of their places, and that all Bargains and Contracts made for Offices, before the first [Page 35] day of March, then next coming, should be in such force and effect, as if that Act had never been made.

And all our Acts of Parliament which were not private, or by way of pardon for Offences past, have until the Act of At­tainder of the Earl of Strafford, in Anno 1641. Wherein there was a Proviso, That it should not afterwards be made or taken to be a precedent, been made and or­dained for the future; and in all their Orders and Prohibitions, looking forward, and for the time to come, and not seldom, prefixing a day or time when the Act should begin to take effect. And for fear least any particular should be damaged in their intentions, and care of the general, have besides a saving of other mens rights, been loaded with as many Provisoes to that purpose, as any their cares or forecast could possibly put them in minde of.

Wherin we may hope that our no foolish Ancestors (though some of their ingrate, and less wise Posterity, have been pleased to think them otherwise) did neither erre in following the opinion of Saint Paul, [Page 36] That by the Law is the knowledge of sin, and Rom. 3. 20. Chap. 7. 7. we had not known sins, but by the Law. And the guidance of Gods Holy Laws and Ordinances, or that which the Light of Nature, and Laws of all other Nations (where Justice and Reason had any ac­quaintance) could as well as their own, in­struct them.

For if Laws which are rightly and ge­nerallyCicero Phi­lip. 11. Vida lib. 2. de dignitat. Reipub. defined to be Praecepta quaedam à recta ratione tracta & deducta honesta im­perantia & turpia prohibentia, certain Rules and Precepts drawn and deduced from right reason, commanding good and honest things to be done, and forbidding the contrary, should like Janus (whose retrospection was but feigned, as a loving farewel to the year past) look backward as well as forward, and claw and fall upon all that was past, and behinde them, they would as to what is past, cease to be Laws; and instead of preventing evil, and doing good, prove to be no better then snares to catch and surprise men in their past and innocent actions, before such Laws came to be known, or made against them, make [Page 37] the time past, out of a time to come, and be as to what is past, or had been done be­fore, as Laws altogether impossible to be kept, and as never known or published; and the punishments or evils hapning upon them, as inflicted ▪for Offences before any Law was made, to make or declare them to be so; and be in the birth and making of them, like some fierce and pitiless winds, broke loose into the world, which with some benefit they bring along with them, in other things do at the same time, break, overturn, and throw down all that are near or about them, contrary to the care and love which God himself was pleased to shew to his people Israel, in the making and giving of his Laws; to whom intend­ing to deliver his Laws with great terrors and majesty in Mount Sinai, to the end they might hear and obey them, he did three days before, give them warning to set▪bounds before them, and take heed that they came not near the Mountain, leastExod. 20. 12, 13. they or their Cattle should perish or be consumed. And contrary to the rules of all the Intellect and right reason, which God [Page 38] hath hitherto blessed the World withal; and the rule and reason of all the Laws of God, Nature, and Nations, Civil, Common, or Cannon.

But if there were nothing of ill exam­ple or consequence which might happen by this proposed retrospection in the making of other Laws.

Such as inforced Retrospection of Deeds § 20. and Evidences already past and executed, which could never yet deserve to have any entertainment, or to be so much as heard or mentioned in Senates, will bring a very great charge and trouble to the people to Register their former Deeds and Evidences, which were before as strong and valid, as the Law and the best Council they could get, could make them; and to or from which, such Registring by Act of Parlia­ment; without a judicial examination of the cause, and hearing of the parties con­cerned on both sides, can neither adde or diminish.

Or if they shall be pretended to be one­ly§. 21. inforced to be Registred, to prevent frauds and inconveniences for the future, [Page 39] by former Bargains or Dispositions (which do so seldom happen to Purchasers and Money-lenders, as there is not one in every thousand which comes to any loss or mis­chances by them, will as to Fines and Reco­veries, Judgments, Statutes, Recognisances, and many Deeds which are Inrolled (with­out some of which, no Land, or almost Bar­gain of consequence, doth pass from one man to another;) Actum agere, and altoge­ther needless for that, they being the great­est incumbrances to be feared, are better Registred already, then they are like to be by the Proposers.

And for such Deeds or Evidences which the owners were unwilling to be at the charge of Inrolling, as not being necessary; they are not like to bring any disturbance or inconveniencies to Purchasors, who by the Fines and Recoveries onely, which in every purchase or mortgage of any con­siderable value are sure not to be omitted, may if nothing else were to be found up­on Record (though very many Deeds of Uses, Trusts, Intails, Releases, and of o­ther special concernments, are for preser­vation [Page 40] most commonly to be found In­rolled) easily understand there hath been some former disposition or alteration of the Estate, which is to be suspected or looked after.

And for the greatest part of them, are so little wanting to themselves in their pur­chases or lending out moneys, as they do not onely then and at all other times, before hand, summon in and be speak all the cares, diligences, and jealousies, possible of them­selves, and their Counsel learned; but make out all manner of Inquiries and Scrutinies, concerning the title and value of the Lands; call for and peruse the Sel­lers or Borrowers Deeds or Evidences; de­mand and require for Assurance, Fines, Re­coveries, Feoffments, Warranties, Statutes, Recognisances, or Judgments, and Counter-Securities for performance of Covenants; and be sure to have a discharge of such Mortgages, Judgments, Statutes, and Re­cognisances, which are found upon Record, or otherwise discovered, or to inforce the depositing of part of the money in their hands, to free or discharge Incumbrances [Page 41] or Answers upon oath in Chancery, to discover them: And besides the usual Co­venants of freeing and discharging all manner of Incumbrances done, or suffered by the Seller or Borrower, and if need be, some of their Ancestors, or from whom they claim; and of making better assu­rance within so many years limited, as the Purchasor or Lender, or their Counsel learn­ed, shall reasonably advise or require, do for the most part of them, like some grand Seigniors, or men of Empire in their Wills and Desires, upon such as are to sell or borrow to defend themselves agalnst some importunate necessities; and must needs therefore bow down before them, and yeeld to all that is demanded of them, ra­ther take too much, then too little Secu­rity, to the great and many times imperti­nent cost of the borrower or seller, and that with so great severity, and never almost to be satisfied curiosity, in the inforcing, obtain­ning, making, recording and inrolling of their assurances, as it is to be wished, that they would but imploy the tenth part of that care and deligence, to secure and [Page 42] provide for a Blessed Eternity.

And if amidst all these their cares and industries, they happen to meet with any former Bargains or other Titles, disturb­ing their Purchases or Mortgages, which is very seldom.

Or that such as greedily hunting after cheap bargains, and to have them to be so, can be content to adventure upon crackt or litigious titles, or incumbred estates, or in a wilful hast, or giddy confidence, think their money or fees well saved, if they trouble not a Lawyer that is able to advise or make their conveyance to be safe and legal; but will either do it themselves, or imploy some Scrivener, Parson of the Parish, or yong Clerk to make it, or will not be at the charge of a Fine, or to stay a day or two longer to get a Statute or Reco­gnisance, or have it done as it ought to be, do come afterwards to be deservedly trou­bled with defects or controversies in their Conveyances or Estates, which are for the most part caused or bred onely by the rash­ness, ignorance, negligence, or carelesness of themselves, or their Attorneys or Solicitors [Page 43] (those few suits and troubles which some­times accompany such kinde of Purchasors, having for the most part, besides the kna­very of those who should have been bound faster, no other cause or original, are all of them notwithstanding, not seldom holpen or set right again by those many remedies which the Courts of Law and Equity do afford them against volun­tary or dormant Deeds, or such as are not made upon good consideration, old sleep­ing Statutes, Judgments or Recognisances, not in a long time called upon or put in Execution.

So as to constrain the people to such a Registry of all their Evidences, onely to secure Purchasers, who either will or might be sure enough to secure them­selves without it, (some defects in Title being not by any Registring, possibly to be discovered, if the Deeds should be over and over, and every moneth in the year Registred) may seem to be as little necessary or pleasing to them, as for every one in a Town, County, or Nation, to be ordered or compelled to take Phisick every year, or [Page 44] keep some costly or tedious way of diet to prevent Apoplexies or Gangreens, or some such like seldom diseases or accidents which may happen to their bodies, because some few have died or been much troubled with it, when as multitudes of them are in health and do not need it; many fear it not at all, nor are likely to be in any danger of it, some so poor as they cannot be at the charge, and others not able to undergo the trouble or distemper of it.

And more especially needless, when e­very man which doth but know any thing in our Laws, or hath ever bought or sold Land, or sought to recover any which hath been aliened from him, or had Intails which his careful Ancestors thought to have been an unalterable provision for him and his posterity, docqued and cut off, cannot but confess, That our Laws have from time to time been exceeding careful, and made it to be a great part of their business, to secure and protect Purchasors Bona fide, who are already as well (if not more) provided for in their Conveyances and Assurances, as any Nation under Heaven; and as far also [Page 45] as the care or wit of man could hither­to conceive it to be necessary by Feoff­ments, with Livery and Seisin, Fines and Recoveries, Leases and Releases, Demise and Redemise, Warranties, Bars, and Non-Claims, Prescriptions, Estoppels, Entries tolled, Judgments, Statutes and Recognisan­ces, with Collateral security to perform Co­venants, Discovery of Incumbrances upon Oath; the Statute of 27 H. 8. for trans­ferring of Uses into Possession, the Act of Parliament for Inrolling of Deeds of Bar­gain and Sale, an Act to preserve the Estate of Tenants for years, in a Recovery suffer­ed by one in Reversion; an Act of Par­liament in 2 & 3 E. 6. for saving and al­lowing of Leases, and other kinde of E­states not found in any Inquisition or Office to intitle the King; three or four Sta­tutes or Acts of Parliament against fraudu­lent assurances, or such as go about to de­ceive men of their Debts; and another in 27 Eliz. ordaining a forfeiture of a years value of the Land, by such as are parties or privies in the same; the Statute of [...]3 Eliz. for Inrolling of Fines and Reco­veries, [Page 46] to avoid Errors in them; three or four Statutes or Acts of Parliament con­cerning Bankrupts.

The Statute against forging of Deeds, the Statute of 21 Jac. for limitations of Writs of Formedon unto twenty years after the Title accrued; and another to quiet the Titles of all men against the King, certain cases onely excepted, which had been in sixty years quiet possession; an­other, That the Lands of men, dying in Execution, should be chargeable with their Debts; and another to make it Felony against such as should levy Fines, suffer Recoveries, or acknowledge Judg­ments, Statutes, or Recognisances in other mens names, with the Rule of expound­ing Grants, strictly against the Grantors, Debts to be paid before Legacies, and Trusts void as against Creditors, and many other aids and assistances not here enume­rated, which the Laws have been at all times ready to contribute to such as shall timely and seasonably require or make use of them.

But if there could be any necessity,§ 22. [Page 47] ground, or colour of reason, to lay so great and needless a charge upon the people in general, in Registring their former Con­veyances, to prevent a seldom or far lesser charge or loss which might but possibly happen to some few; in particular, yet such a Registring will certainly, besides many other evils attending it, revive and raise Controversies betwixt adversaries, or such as have been the former owners or inheritors of the Lands, make and multiply Suits, which were never intended, or in­courage others to project or make designs upon men and their Estates; and so breed and multiply Informers, as few mens Estates or Titles shall be free from such kinde of Vermin, and welwishers to them­selves, more then to the Commonwealth: And if no other troubles shall break in that way, lessen or take away the credit of those, who were before reputed to have had a good Title to their Lands and E­states, especially when the late Wars and Plundrings, have lost or taken away a great part, if not all, of mens ancient and later Deeds and Evidences; and where [Page 48] some shall appear to be Registred, and others found to be wanting.

Or if they could be found or produced,§ 24. will many times be to seek for those that did seal or execute them, whereby to have them acknowledged and registred.

Or when those that should be vouched to Warranty, or sued in a Warrantia Charta, or to perform Covenants, shall be gone beyond Seas, or dead, or insolvent, and no witnesses to be found, that can tell or remember any thing of the contents or ve­rification of them.

The want whereof, may be a way to raise again, when courage and necessity shall meet together, the old way (long ago laid asleep, and disused by our now more safe then formerly, keeping our Re­cords and Evidences) of gaging Battel in a Writ of Right, and fighting by them­selves or Champions.

To which, and many more troubles and inconveniences which may be hereafter sadly experimented, there will also be too large an Addition.

[Page 49]If all Bonds, Bills, Leases, Releases, Feoffments, Con­tracts in writing, and whatsoever writings else which may prove or happen to be Incumbrances upon Real and Personal Estates, must also be Registred.

CHAP. V. Of the Registring of all Bonds, Bills, Leases, Releases, Feoffments, Contracts in Writing, and all other Writings executed, which may incumber Real and Personal Estates.

FOr it will as to the Debts and Recogni­sances, Fines, Port-Bonds, Obligations, (which have the force of Statutes Staple) and Accompts due to the King or Supream Coke's 3 Re­ports, Sir Will. Her­berts Case. 7 Reports. Sir Thomas Cecils Case. And 11 Re­ports. Earl of Devon­shire's Case. Magistrate; which by their many Priviledges, Powers, and Severities, may bring great In­cumbrances and Troubles upon such as shall deal with such Debtors or Accompt­ants, by way of purchase or lending of money: And as to Wills and Testaments (which by disposing & charging of Lands, may sometimes obstruct or lessen the Estates and Assurances of Purchasers) Decrees in Chancery and the Exchequer, Fines and Re­coveries, Judgments, Statutes, and Recog­nisances, raise a new and unnecessary charge upon the people, upon a pretence onely that Incumbrances of Mens Estates and Lands, cannot now be so readily found in [Page 50] Twelve or thirteen places in London, within half a mile one of another, as they hope they will be by their supposed better Regi­string or Kalendring of them in above Fifty several Shire-Towns, some thirty, some one hundred and twenty, and the least twenty miles distant one from another.

For the Debrs and Accompts due to the Supream Magistrate and their discharges, are already entred and inrolled in the Court of Exchequer, attended by the Clerk of the Pipe, and his great Roll, the Two Re­membrancers, the Tally, and Pell, and Audi­tors Offices, and need not to be twice In­rolled and Registred. Wills and Testaments are Registred in Books of Parchment, fair­er and better kept then any Records of the Nation; and for a small Fee or Recompence, laid open to the view of such as shall have occasion to seek for any thing in them▪ Fines are exactly and without any diffi­culty to be found in the Fine Office, and Recoveries in the Clerk of the Warrants Office in the Court of Common Pleas the Decrees in Chancery, fairly entred by sworn Registers, and their Clerks in Books of [Page 51] Orders, and so methodically kept and Kalendred, as the search hath nothing at all of hardship in it; and are (if the Clerks of the Six Clerks do but their duty) inrolled afterwards in Parchment, and carri­ed to the Chappel of the Rolls, where they are most orderly kept, and easie to be found; the Recognisances acknowledged in that Court, being with as little charge and labor to be found in the Inrollment Office; and after they are Inrolled, carried in and laid up amongst the Pub­lick Records thereof. The Recognisances taken before the Justices of the Peace, are, or ought to be duly certified into the Quarter Sessions, and entred with the Clerks of the Peace of the several Counties. Statutes (not Merchant) are orderly to be found in the Statute Office. Decrees of the Exchequer entred into Books, and kept by particular Clerks in the two Remembrancers Offices; and the Judgments of that Court are, as the Judgments are in the Courts of Upper Bench and Common Pleas at West­minster, duly entred and recorded in their several Rolls or Records in Parchment; and [Page 52] for such as are in the Courts of Upper Bench and Common Pleas, entred upon Posteas and after Verdicts, have their parti­cular Clerks of the Judgments, to enter and give accompt of them: The Searches in all which several places, making no great charge to the people; some whereof are to be had for nothing, others for Four pence; some Eight pence, others Twelve pence, and the greatest not exceeding Sixteen pence; which in a general search, though all those Twelve or Thirteen Lon­don Offices and places, will not altogether be so much as the charge of a Man and Horse, for one days journey, for a single search to a Registry, if not much above twenty miles distance.

But if there could be any reason to en­ter and inrol them over again, and put them into Fifty two several places and distances, so far of from one another, or to perswade or enjoyn people not to look for them, where with most ease and less charge they are to be found.

The Clerks or Registers of such new§ 25. erected Offices (if either they or their busi­ness [Page 53] could be for the good of the Common­wealth) will be too much exempted, and at liberty, if they shall not according to the Law and Rule of Right Reason, hither­to observed, be constituted and made to be under the Survey or Control, and sworn as Officers or Clerks of some of the Supe­rior Courts; As the Clerks of the Tower Records, and Chappel of the Rolls are of the Master of the Rolls, the Custos Brevium of the Upper Bench; of the Judges of that Court, the Custos Brevium; and all other Officers of the Court of Common Pleas are; of their Judges, the Two Remembrancers and Clerks of the Pipe, by Act of Parlia­ment; and the Chamberlain of the Exche­quer, and the Keeper of Doomsday Book▪ and divers ancient and miscellaneous Re­cords of great value are of the Lord Trea­surer, Chancelor, and Barons of the Ex­chequer.

For if they shall not be incorporate and subordinate to some one, or every of these Superior Courts, as to several respects, whereby with less charge to the people, or trouble to those Courts, to collect and [Page 54] make up their Registers out of the Records, if there could be any need of it; as the Clerk of the Pipe and Exchequer Remem­brancers are order'd by Act of Parliament, to do one out of anothers Rolls or Office, the Decrees and Recognisances in the Chancery and Exchequer, and the Judgments in the Courts of Upper Bench and Common Pleas at Westminster, must by this new and un­practised way of Registers, be certified out of those Superior and Grand Courts of the Nation, to those who are neither Courts of Record, nor intend to be in any subordina­tion to them, with a great deal of unneces­sary charge and trouble to the people, to procure Exemplications under the Seal of the said Courts, or authentick and sworn Copies of Records of them (the latter whereof being to be delivered by the Plaintiffs, or those that obtained the Judg­ments, or their Attorneys, or any other in­teressed therein, may produce many in­conveniences) and send them to and from all parts of the Nation, one as far as from Kent to Westchester, and another from Ox­ford to York to Lincoln; and upon three [Page 55] several Judgments had at London, as it many times happens upon one Bond for payment of money, wherein three or four several men of three several Additions or Residence, do stand bound to send into Wales, Northumberland, Devonshire, Corn­wal, or the like, to have them entred in the proper Registries; where also Judg­ments in personal and transitory Actions against men, who have neither Lands or any fixed Residence in one County, more then in another, and write themselves of several places, will be so much the more difficult in the search, and finding them; As Fisty two Shire Towns are most com­monly farther distant from those that must go unto them, and at all times not a little remote one from another, and not so easie or expedite a search, as it would be with the Registers, or at the Chappel of the Rolls, in Chancery the Prothonotary of the Court of Upper Bench, the three Prothonotaries of the Court of Common Pleas, and in the Pipe and Two Remembrancers Offices in the Exchequer, the Office for Probate of Wills, the Fine Office, and Clerk of the [Page 56] Warrants and the Statute Office, who are all of them constantly to be found most part of the Vacation, and all the Term times, within less then a mile of one another at London, without sending any one on pur­pose thither.

Or if the Plaintiffs or the Superior§ 26. Courts, whose Judgments and Decrees once entred and inrolled, cannot by the Judges themselves be stayed or arrested, without a Writ of Error in Courts of Common Law, and a Bill of Review upon a Decree in Chancery, and are sworn not to deny any man Common Right, shall be ordered to transmit or certifie Copies of such Judg­ments or Decrees, with an Injunction, That they shall not be otherwise valid, or put in execution, will not onely be un­paralelled and unpresidented, and against the Oath of the Judges, and Common Right and Justice; but render those anci­ent and superior Courts to be but as half Courts of Record, and their Judgments but Interlocutory; or as Offices onely of Inquest and Inquiry, and the Registries to be in effect and power, as their Superiors.

[Page 57]Mean while the people having obtained§ 27. any Judgments or Decrees in those Courts, concerning Lands or Personal Estate, sh [...]ll by this new way of Registries, be (if there shall be no provision or exception for such Cases) necessitated and put to another needless charg [...] ▪ and trouble of transmit­ing Copies of [...] and Decrees, which by a [...], Composi­tion, or Agreement (whi [...]h happens so of­ten, as there is not one Judgment in every twenty in a year, considered one with an­other, which stands unsatisfied or un­agreed, or remains as an Incumbrance for three Terms after) do come to be either useless, or not at all to be put in execution or be disabled by such restraints, to take Executions upon such Judgments, which are not satisfied, though it be against a flying Debtor, or a wasting estate, or to acknow­ledge satisfaction upon any such Judg­ments, until they shall be transmitted to the Registries; where unless all Releases, Satisfactions, and Payments, either in part or in whole upon Judgments, shall be also entred. (Which with the other troubles of [Page 58] Registring, will be enough to keep all the men and people of the Nation, from the danger of falling into the Lethargy or sleeping sickness) they may receive mens moneys for Searches and Certificates, but never be able to give a certainty or truth of what shall be desired of them.

Bonds, Bills, and other Writings, which§ 28. are now usually made upon all occasions, and at all convenient times and places, in above Nine thousand Parishes, Sundays onely excepted, and many of them in half or a quarter of an hours space, with great dispatch and ease to the people; cannot, if they must be Registred, be made now, or done as formerly, without both the parties travelling together to the Registry, or meet­ing at 1. or more Shiretowns in fifty & two, to acknowledge and enter them, which may be Forty, Thirty, Twenty, or Ten miles off from the place where the Contracts were made; and will so trouble every mans ordi­nary, and formerly easie enough, affairs and business in that kinde, as to make them to be no less then extraord nary Incumbran­ces, and too much discover every mans [Page 59] Estate, and double every mans misery and wants, in taking away his credit, which might by degrees be a means to help him out of it.

Unlock and throw open every mans§ 29. Closet or place wherein he keeps his Wri­tings and Evidences, and expose them for the Registers Fees, to the view of every one that shall have a desire to see and take Copies of them; which the Chancery and other Courts would not suffer to be done, or so much as to be seen or read by their adversaries, unless at hearings or tryals; nor their Counsel, Attorneys, or Solicitors, to be examined as witnesses against them, or to discover what they had seen, or un­derstood by their Writings or Evi­dences.

Mens wives may by this means be as§ 30. privy as themselves, to their Estate and E­vidences, which wise and good men many times finde fitting to conceal from them; to the end, that they may not lavish, and be the more irregular in their desires and ex­pences.

And their children more prodigal and§ 31. [Page 60] wasteful, and less careful to please their Parents, or to be governed by them in their Marriages, when they shall know what is before-hand setled upon them.

Those that have good Estates, will be§ 32. rendred so, more then needs, to be visible; as the Taxers or Assessment-men shall be sure to over-rate them; for although there be found such Deeds, or Conveyances, or Bonds, or Bills made unto them, which may seem as a good Estate or Income they cannot, or at least will not be at leasure to computate their charges, and out-goings, or be able to judge how much they are trusted or seised to other mens uses, or how much of those Lands are afterwards sold, or how much they stand indebted to others.

Many thousand Tradesmen and Mer­chants § 33. in the Land, who live upon credit, diligence and industry, and have of their own scarce a tenth part of what they trade for, or is in their Shops or Warehouses, will be so laid open to the view and jea­lousie of their Friends and Creditors, or such as they trade with, as they will every [Page 61] one be so afraid of the poor Debtors, and one of anothers being not paid first, or that they may come to be loosers, as they will strive who shall get himself first paid; and so altogether distrusting and vying who shall be the first, rush in at once upon them, and be sure to destroy and tear them all in peices.

No man when he sees a small or no E­state§ 34. in a yong hopeful Tradesman, will lend him any thing to set up withal: And all those advantages which men may have by their towardliness, and honest, and hopeful endeavors will by this Inquisition be taken away and made to be of little advant­age.

Many of the Nobility, Gentry, Merchants, § 35. Tradesmen, Mechanicks, Yeomen, Farmers, Husbandmen, and even day Laborers, being two parts in three of the House-keepers or Masters of Families in all the Nation, who by the late Wars and Miseries of the times, and decay of Trade and Merchandise, are come either a great deal indebted, or so far behinde hand, as more then one half of them may be rationally enough believed to [Page 62] be, if their Creditors did but know the weakness of their Estates, not far from the prison door, or having their Lands extend­ed; and all of them, if a Statute of Bank­rupt could be sued out against them, irre­coverably thrown into ruine, will by this means be very much prejudiced in their Estates and subsistance.

Yonger Brothers and Soldiers, and all§ 36. such as have no Lands, or certain visible Estate, and are a considerable part of the Nation, will never be able to advance themselves in Marriage, or borrow money to buy Land, or trade withal.

Such a Registry will make a man that is§ 37. but a little going behinde hand, to be reck­oned as quite undone for that, if his Pay­ments and Discharges of his Mortgages and Bonds, and every half year or six moneths payment of Interest, be not also Registred, or a search made through all the Fifty two Counties and Registries, what he hath paid or discharged, or purchased, or had Regi­stred in his name in others places, or which he hath in Charter, Parties, or beyond Seas, or in Factories, Retorns, or Consignments, clear­ly [Page 63] liquidated or made to be certain and ap­parent, and will require a great deal of time and money to travel, or send from place to place so far distant to inquire of, which envy and ill-will, or the saving of charges, will hardly or doe very seldom permit, he shall be given over as a dead man, or a per­son infected with the Plague, or some con­tagious disease which no man will come at.

And if the party thus wronged or aban­doned,§ 38. shall go to right or clear himself by proofs or Certificate, it will not onely make it to be an unusual and strange kinde of Proces or Inquiry, but to be very charge­able, whilest by the failing of his credit, and falling on of his Creditors, he shall be sure to be undone, before he can tell how to right or clear himself from that imputa­tion.

It will too much advantage and encou­rage§ 39. Forreign Kingdoms, States, and Com­monwealths, that are at present, or shall be hereafter in hostility with us, to make or continue Wars, when they shall from year to year be able to finde the poverty and [Page 64] consumption of the Nation; and will by such an inspection into our Books and Re­gisters, instruct Forreign Merchants or Bankers, how to raise their moneys ex­change or commodities, by working as they do too much already upon our Mer­chants, wants and necessities, who will not be able to send or carry ready money, if they could be allowed to do it.

Bills of Exchange which have their§ 40. ground and foundation altogether upon the credit of him that gives it, and are as well at home, as in the parts beyond the Seas, a cause of traffick and commerce, and the swift and sure conveyers of money; and if it could be brought to a true examen and accompt, would appear to be so much car­ried and communicated to several hands and uses, meerly upon Exchange and Credit, as amounts to half the money and personal riches of the Nation, will not in such a growth and fertility of distrust and jealou­sies, as will by this means be in all men and parts of the Commonwealth, when it shall be known what money Merchants do ow, or take up at Interest, to Trade withal; [Page 65] be now made use of as formerly without a search, through all the Fifty two Regi­sters, for fear least the Bills should not be answered: And where Merchants and Men of Credit are, if they accept a Bill most careful to perform it, and not onely they that send, but those that do ac­cept it, look upon a protest of not payment, as some mortal sickness happening to their Trade, Credits, or Estates, will by reason of this Engine of jealousies or distrust, neither know how to accept or give any Bill of Exchange

Will be very grateful to the Theeves § 41. and Highway-men of the Nation, who have long taken this way of sending Bills of Ex­change, to be a grievance and hinderance to their imployment; when men being so generally affrighted by these new kinde of Registries, shall rather adventure to keep and carry their money themselves, give them an opportunity of becoming, as they think the better keepers of it, and save them the hazard and charges of cor­responding with Ostlers, Chamberlains, and Tapsters in the Inns, ot to employ Sett [...]rs [Page 66] when by search in the Registries, they may know what money is stirring, and how to way-lay the payment or Carriers thereof.

The Assurance Office, whereby so many§ 42. do daily secure their Fears, Estates, and Adventures at Sea, now more used and requisite then formerly, will be so much distrusted; as those that were wont to be afraid of storms and casualties at Sea, will be now not a little afraid of the Insurers, and whilest they shall stand consulting be­twixt Scilla and Charibdis, spend so much time in it, as the news of their undoing may come unto them before they can finde the way to resolve how to prevent it.

Disgrace and disparage the City of§ 43. London, the Mother and Nursery of all our Trade and Commerce, at home and a­broad, shut up the Old Exchange, take a­way or destroy all our Traffick, by Land or Sea, and the Shipping and Navigation thereof, and like a general Beggery cast over all the Nation, make every man afraid to trust or deal one with another.

[Page 67]Or if to amend the matter, all Bonds and Bills, shall by their Regi­string have the force and power of Judgments, Statutes, or Recognisances bestowed upon them.

Such a rigid and binding security which§ 44. all men have hitherto looked upon as grand Incumbrances to their Estates, and did therefore in all their Contracts and Bar­gains, avoid as much as they could; and which, the people did so little desire to press one upon another, as though ever since the Reign of King Edward the First (which is now almost Four hundred years ago) it was in their power to require it, there is not above one Statute or Recogni­sance, or Judgment, entred into or given as security, in or for every thousand Bonds or Bills which are made, and taken every year in the Nation; and if they shall now, whe­ther they will or no, have all their Bonds and Bills made to be so fierce and biting, will upon satisfaction and payment be in­forced to a great deal of charge and trouble in the discharging or vacating of them; and in stead of taking of Incumbrances, [Page 68] prove to be the greatest and most general in the Nation.

And not well agree with the Laws of§ 45. God; and of this, and many other Nati­ons to binde or captivate the Contracts of the people, which (Sundays onely except­ed) are daily and hourly made to so much trouble, charges, discredit, and severity, be­fore they can be ratified, when as a more easie and gentle way of Securities and con­tracting one with another have hitherto, and for many hundred years together dis­patched them.

Will cause those that with care and dis­cretion§ 4 [...]. enough, may have an occasion for themselves or their friends, to stand bound in twenty several Bonds for payment of money, or performance of Covenants, or the like, to be so much discredited or dis­trusted by two or three Bonds, which shall be found to be entred upon Record, as e­very man doubting the Priority of the for­mer Bonds (if they shall be of the force of a Statute or Judgment) will be afraid to meddle with them, or take them for Se­curity,

[Page 69]Make every man to be little better§ 47. then a prisoner in execution, and to re­nounce the benefit of the Law, which was his birth-right, before he can borrow a lit­tle money to satisfie his necessity or occasi­ons, or to trade withal; and like Esau sell his birth-right for a mess of Potage to paci­fie his hunger; and every Bond and Bill to be as a continual and standing Commission of Bankrupt to hover over him, and tear and pull him in peices; and every borrowing of money, to be as a rack or torture of his credit, and a thraldom of his Estate.

Strengthen the hands of the Usurer and§ 48. Oppressor, bruise the broken Reed, Stretch out the paws of the Bear, and sharpen the ta­lons of the Vulture; leave the poor and honest to the cruel mercy of the wicked, to be gnawn and devoured like Sheep, and teach the Usurers (a great part of whose trade and cunning, it is already like the Kite to catch the Chicken) to finde out the necessities of the people, and prey upon them; and if they give not what brocage they please, to lend them money or to for­bear or continue it at Interest upon the [Page 70] same security (which Ten thousand Bonds and Bills in this Nation, by payment of the Interest, and many times without, have been for two, three, four, or seven years together, without any suite or trou­ble begun, or made upon it) inforce them to all manner of extortions and hard condi­tions; which if they will not call a mercy or thank them for it, and fairly and quiet­ly lie down, and have as many Feathers as they please plucked of them, and live in as much fear of them, as the Partridges do of the Hawks, and by so much the more for that the Usuring Hawks can when they please (which the other cannot) know where to finde out their prey, utterly and at once destroy them by seising upon their Goods and Lands, and carrying them to prison.

Which will be contrary to those most§ 49. righteous and unerring Laws of God, and the minde and pity of the God of Justice and Mercy; who in his own blessed Laws, saith, Ye shall not afflict any widow or father­less Exod▪ 22: v. 22, 23, 24. child, If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear [Page 71] their cry, and my wrath shall wax hot; and I will kill you with the Sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

If thou at all take thy neighbors rayment to Exod. 22. v. 25, 26, 27. pledge, thou shalt deliver it him by that the Sun goeth down: For that is his covering onely, it is his rayment for his skin; where­in he shall sleep. And it shall come to pass, when he cryeth unto me, that I will hear. Thou shalt not take the upper or the nether Deut. 24. v. 6▪ 10. Milstone to pledge. When thou doest lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. Which gives no way or allowance to the tear­ing of their credit in pieces, nor agrees with what our Saviour Christ, and his blessed Apostles taught us, To do as we Matth. 5. v. 7, 9. would be done unto. And blessed are the mer­ciful. But if ye bite and devour one another, Gal. 5. v. 13, 14, 15. take heed that ye be not consumed one of an­ [...]ther.

Executions cannot be made thereupon,§ 50. without Certificate of the Bonds or Bills Registred into the Chancery, as is provided by the Statute of Acton Burnel, 11 E, 1.

[Page 72]And if they be certified, will make an­other charge, and may and ought to be pleaded to; as in the case of Statutes Mer­chant, or other Statutes allowed of, and provided by the Statute of 23 Hen. 8. cap 6.

Whereby the Plaintiffs shall throw§ 51. down and worry the Defendants, and the Defendants make a shift to get up again, and beat and take away their weapons from them by giving Bail, to make proof of their complaints and suggestions suing an Audita Quaerelas out of the Chancery, which like a Bill in Equity, having a long course of suggestions and witnesses to attend it, will loose more time, and make more charges upon such an after game and scuffle, then would have been expended in the or­dinary way of proceeding or getting in money due upon a Bond or Bill, not having the force of Statutes.

For Statutes Merchant are to have a Capias and a Non est Inventus returned, be­fore there can be an extent or seisure of his Lands or Goods; and upon a Statute in the nature of a Statute Staple, the Plaintiff [Page 73] or Cognisee is first to have a Certificate from the Clerk of the Statute Office, to the Clerk of the Crown or Commonwealth in Chancery, who upon payment of an half penny in the pound, for the sum expressed in the Statute, to the use of the Supream Magistrate, makes out the extent, upon which the Sheriff by Act of Parliament takes for his Fee twelve pence per pound for the first hundred, and six pence per pound for the other hundred, besides other charges: Which Writ of Extent being returned, and filed in the Petibag, is the Warrant for a Liberate directed to the Sheriff, to give possession of the Land ex­tended, which is but many times the be­ginning of a greater charge, in bringing Audita Quaerela's or Bills in Chancery,

When as it is in every year to be proved§ 52. and acknowledged for a truth, That of Eight hundred Actions or Writs issuing forth of the Court of Common Pleas or Up­per Bench in a year, in some one particular County for Debt, upon Bonds or Bills or in some other Personal Actions, there are no Warrants taken out to Arrest [Page 74] above Six hundred of them, in regard of the Defendants speedy Agreement; and of those Six hundred, not above Three hundred are Arrested, or come to enter their appearance; and of those not above a half come to plead or make any defence, and not the on: half of them do afterwards come to tryal at the Assises; and not a fifth part of those do come to move in Arrest of Judgment, or sue out Writs of Error, or put in Bills in Chancery: And those that do not proceed so far as to Arrest, do not put the Plaintiff or Defendant to so much as Ten shillings a peice charges; the second sort including the former charges not Twenty shillings a piece, if the Defendant be not a desperate fighter, and hard to be taken; and the third sort, if there be no special or long Pleadings, not above Thirty shillings in all; and the fourth sort, or such as come to tryal, not above four or five pounds, with all the charges reckoned to­gether, besides that of Witnesses or ex­traordinary Counsel, so little is the expence of time and money, in the present way or course of suing upon Bonds and Bills, and [Page 75] other Personal Actions. And so much is like to be the delay, and charges, and vexa­tion of that which some would so willingly have to succeed it.

But if the trouble and charge of Certificates into§. 53. the Chancery, and suing out of Audita Quaerela's, and such a generation of Suits as are like to happen by such a severe kinde of Securities, shall be endeavored to be prevented by making every Registry to be a Court of Record, and to have something to hear and determine, as well as to Write and Register.

CHAP. VI. Of new Courts or Judicatories to be erected in every County, to hear and determine Causes.

THere will be then Fifty two Judicato­ries or Inferior Courts more then are already erected, one of which to be added to every County in England and Wales, will come before they will be welcome or want­ed; for every Shire in England hath already the Summer and Winter Assises, Quarter Sessions four times in every year, County Courts every moneth, Sheriffs Turns, Courts Leet and Baron, and weekly or three weeks Courts in its City or Towns Cor­porate, amounting in every County to no less then Two hundred, one with another; which being in the wisdom of former ages, [Page 76] and some hundreds of years past, and e­very years experience since, sound to be in their due limits and bounds, very necessary and useful, do make as many Law-days and meetings for the people, as they have need of.

To help which new Courts or Judicato­ries §. 54. to work or business, if Bonds and Bills which they would have the Registring of, or any other of the Causes or Matters, which are and have hitherto been from time to time, dispatched by the Courts at West­minster (when they had before the Wars and Troubles of these later times, almost half as much, or as many again as they have now) with good content and conveniency to the people; and to all who have had occasion to seek for, or attend their Justice (if those that are ignorant or peevishly self­conceited or discontented, because their desires or unjust expectations have been frustrated in some Actions or Suits, which they prosecuted or defended,) would but let Reason or Truth be judge of their Mis­taken-apprehensions, and not lay their own or other mens errors or failings upon the [Page 77] Courts or Judges, shall be transferred and carried into these County Judicatories, from the more knowing and Superior Courts and Judges at Westminster; who besides their well-known learning, and justice in all Causes, which are brought before them, may for an evidence or testimony of the peo­ples approbation of them, call to witness the many causes, which for many ages toge­ther, and in every year are, and have been removed from the Inferior Courts to the Superior, for want of Justice; and the many Juries and Tryals at their Bars, which by consent, both of Plaintiffs and Defendants, are yearly and termly brought from the Counties, as well near as remote, to be heard by the more learned sort of Judges and Courts,

And put unto the Judgment, and de­termination§ 55. of the less, or very little, or not at all able or knowing; will stopProv. 5. 1▪ & 2. up the ways of the places of the paths, where Wisdom and Justice made their constant habitation; deprive and take away (if they shall not be impowred to try by Juries) from every man, so much of [Page 78] his part and interest in Magna Charta, as the want of his tryal by his Peers, or a Jury will come to, put the spear of the mighty into the hands of those that are not able to weild or manage it, inforce the people to inquire of the blind and deaf, the way to make an end of their controversies by carry­ing their causes to such as are not able to judge or determine them, which may after the expence of much money, time, and labor, yield them as good a Crop or Harvest, as Ulysses had when he counterseited him­self to be mad by Ploughing the Sand or Shore with his strange kinde of Cattle, and sowing of Salt instead of Corn.

Or if the Sheriffs Turns and County § 56. Courts, shall be put into the power and care of those Judicatures, That ancient and necessary Officer of Justice, and the execu­tion of the Law, will be made either to be as nothing, or but the one half of what it was formerly, and ought to be; and the whole frame of that ancient and useful Ju­risdiction put into disorder, or dissolved; or if the Hundred Courts, Leet and Baron, will take away the inheritance, right, and [Page 79] property of the Lords of Manors, and the necessary relations and dependences, which are and ought to be betwixt them and their Tenants, contrary to Magna Charta, and the whole tenor of our Laws and Li­berties.

Or if these new Judicatories shall as the Systeme-makers had for the setting up of others, not long ago contrived, be made up of several parts or pieces, and torn or taken out of that goodly order and frame of our Laws and Body Politick; or as the Romans did in their original contempt, and poverty, in the getting the Sabine and Neighbor Vir­gins to be their Wives, sally out upon other Jurisdictions, and Ravish and take to them­selves what they can get, and no way belongs to them, will by all, or any of those ways, not onely vex and turmoil all sorts of people; and bereave them as the Members of the Body Politick of the daily care, influence, and communication of Justice which they used, and ought to receive from the head and supream Authori­ty in a place so near unto it; and those that sit at the Helm of Government of that term­ly [Page 80] intelligence which they should have, and cannot well be without at London and West­minster, concerning the due Administrati­on and Distribution of Justice; besides an half yearly inspection into the due exe­cution of Justice in the several Counties of the Nation, and the peoples content and satisfaction in it, by the Assises wherein the Judges of the Superior Courts, like so many Stars and Planets in our Firmament, do keep their circuits and courses, but give them stones instead of bread, and grievances instead of remedies;

Especially if they shall be guided and§ 57. managed by ignorant, though honest well­meaning men or by tradesmen (whom the Athenians and Romans, those wise andSigonius de Antiquo jure Civium Rom. Lib. 2. cap. 7. & 18. Et Lib. 1. de Repub. Atheniens. Lib. 1. cap. 7▪ great Common wealths-men of the World, did never think fit to imploy in the Ad­ministration of Justice) or some small practised or unmolested Doctors of Phy­sick, or men of a contrary Profession, to that which should be the rule of their Judg­ment, Town Clerks, or such who think they can understand better then write or read▪ Committee or Lawyers Clerks, or such as [Page 81] shall be but Balbutientes, or Novi [...]es in the Laws, or very little or not at all furnished with the knowledge, experience, or pra­ctise thereof, or be assisted by Sid [...]smen of their own capacities, or such as being phantastick or self-conceited, shall think they speak Law or Reason, or do Justice; when none but such as speed well by their doing the contrary, can be of that opinion, and would perhaps do right, if they could un­derstand the way unto it, which to such men will not be very easie, whilest (like those ignorant Judges, which Plato long agoPlato, lib. 2. de Legibus. complained of) they sit as men astonished in the hearing of any difficult matter, and are to be taught by others; and for want of knowledge in themselves, or how to distinguish betwixt right and wrong, do not know how to judge of that which is said or pleaded before them; but whilest every one of them must have his own dis­course, and speak his sense as they call it; will be sure, too often, to leave the Point, and Reason, and Truth of the Case, like some house or place infected with the Plague, and a Cross and Lord have mercy [Page 82] upon us put upon it; and rail against the Law, because it puzzleth them; and the Lawyers for troubling them (as one of a Country Committee not long ago said) with their many Reasons. And misuse their power, and make it Arbitrary in not doing what they might or should do, doing many things they should not do, and doing every thing they would do in making their Orders as their Vulgar Reason, or the Byas of partiality or ignorance shall carry them; or if one or more should happen to be Lawy­ers, and the major part none, their know­ledge can go no further then their Votes, or what they shall be able to perswade their misunderstanding, or not at all un­derstanding Companions unto. Mean while the people (who are sure to suffer by it) are after a great expence of Money, and abundance of Delays, Attendance, and Trouble, which are usually to be found in such Courts of later Edition, sent home with the sad stories of their grievances and complaints, ready to make Affidavit, That Ignorance in the Administration of Ju­stice, is an Accumulation of Evils; the [Page 83] fruitful parent of many grievances, and a mighty oppressor.

Which will not be all the evils and mis­chiefs§ 58. neither, which are like to come along with it; For this their design of cutting, as it were, the Moon into Stars, and erect­ing these Registries, and little Tribunals, will by degrees remove into them, the business and being of the City of London, and Courts at Westminster; which hath hitherto, by the Justice and Trade of the Nation, residing in it, and a concourse of all people and Nations, been made to be in that flourishing condition, which it was in at the beginning of the late Wars, in a more near and especial manner, then to the more remote parts of the Nation, communicated her riches and increase, to above twelve neighboring and adjacent Counties, who by the raising of their Land and Commo­dities, and a daily and nightly vent in sending of it thither, have double or tre­ble improved their Lands in their yearly Rents, and values; and will not onely bring a great loss, destruction and ruine to the City and Suburbs, consisting of above [Page 84] Three and forty thousand Houses, above half whereof, with the several Families and Inmates, which are in the Suburbs, being almost two parts in three of the number, do depend onely or very much, upon the termly meetings at the Courts of Justice, but impoverish and make a general disturbance in all the parts and Counties of the Nation, as well near unto it, as re­mote.

Which are so incorporate and concerned§ 59▪ in it, as they that know how the Trade and Money of London is diffused, and com­municated to, and over every part of this Nation; and that there is not a City or Shire-town, except Bristol and Hull, but hath most of their Wares and Commodi­ties from thence, and most of that upon day or trust; and that there is not a Mercer or Shopkeeper, or Innkeeper, in all other Cities and Borrough, and little Villages, but are furnished with their Wines and Commodi­ties, and are as tributary unto them, and depend upon their welfare, cannot deny, but if London sink, they are not like to swim; or, if London perish, they are not [Page 85] like to be without the taste or sense of some of their miseries.

For no man can rationally imagine or§ 60. believe, that after such a ruine or distructi­on of this great Emporium, and onely Town of Trade, of the Three Nations of Eng­land, Scotland, and Ireland, and the taking away or lessening the Courts of Justice at Westminster, the Commerce or Trade of the Nation, can live or subsist in the Can­tons, or little pieces of Trade or Judicato­ries which shall be erected out of it, or that it can produce any better effect, then the laying waste of the glory of the Nation, and the leading into Captivity the Laws and Liberties of the People, or that half of the Fifty two Shire-towns, or any of them, can be so conveniently scituated as to have business and trade enough, to draw all the people and commodities from all parts of the Nation to them; or that Lincolnshire Fens, or Buckingham, or Northamptonshire Pastures, or Essex and Suffolk, Hertford­shire, Kent and Surrey, should or can finde in any of their adjacent Shire-towns or Registries, the hundred part of the vent [Page 86] which they now have for Cattle, Sheep, Wool, Hides, Corn, Malt, Butter and Cheese, and all kinde of Commodities; or that it will be any more then to kill and destroy the Heart, the principal part and seat of li [...]e; and to hope notwithstanding, that the Liver, Veins, and Arteries, and all that conveyed Blood, Spirits, and nutriment to it, and received life in exchange from it, or the Feet and Hands, Stomach and Belly, that used to supply and be subser­vient to it, or the Head and Eyes that used to govern or guide the Body which belong­ed to it, can be in any good condition, and enjoy a health or welbeing, when that so eminent, so vital, and principal a part of the Body shall be cast into a Consumption, lan­guish, or be extinguished.

And yet when all is done, and the sad§ 61. effects and consequences of it suffered, the design or pretence of these Registries of securing all Purchasers of Lands, and Lend­ers of Money, or to make Mens Estates to be so visible and transparent, as no man in selling or borrowing, shall be able to cozen or deceive, or not satisfie one an­other; [Page 87] will be no otherwise possible, then to break in pieces, and disturb a whole Nation, and put them to a great and unnecessary expence, to do that over again which is already done, and better then they can do it, and leave them open, notwithstanding to as many hazards and contingencies as they were before▪

CHAP. VII. That it is impossible to provide against all which may happen to be In­cumbrances.

FOr Confiscations and Forfeitures of Lands; for Treason, Murders, Felonies, and Premunires, may be grand Incumbran­ces to Purchasors, or the Creditors of those that commit them. Misdemeanors, Fines, Forfeitures of Offices or Places; Mortga­ges, Statutes, Recognisances, Bonds and Pe­nal Bills; breach of Penal Laws, Covenants, Trusts and Conditions, which arising out of the Wills or Pravity of Men, or the necessities or carelesness of themselves, or oppression of others; from Causes either in themselves or others, [...] from Actions past or to come, may be a loss or lessening of mens debts, or great obstructions in the recovery of them, Dowers, Intails, powers of Revocation (not to mention or insist upon the various or manifold Incum­brances [Page 88] which may arise or come by Copi­hold Estates, which being not chargeable with Debts or Extents, are in themselves Incumbrances, and were not long ago little less then a sixt or seventh part of the Lands of England, with their Admissions, Surrenders, in or out of Court, absolute or conditional, and their many several sorts of Forfeitures) Lands of Gavelkind or Bur­gage Tenure, Ioyntures, made after marri­age and refused, Elopements, and unlaw­ful Marriages, Tenancy by Curtesie, and trusts with other Mens Money and Estates, Moneys insured by Policy of Exchange, Bills of Exchange accepted; Errors in Matter of Substance, in some of the Credi­tors Judgments, which may be a cause of Reversing them, Disherison of Sons and Heirs Apparent, concealed Illegitimacies, Intrusions, and wrongful Entries, Actions of Battery and Scandal, and all manner of Actions or Suits in Law or Equity, which may lessen or prejudice any Mans Estate; Assumpsits, Promises and Ingagements by word of mouth (which may make as many Obligations, Troubles, and Ties [Page 89] upon Mens Estates, as Bonds or Bills can do, or did before such kinde of Wri­tings or Instruments were invented, Im­bargoes, high flying, gaming or gad­ing Wives, which the Roman Censors would have reckoned amongst Incumbran­ces; prodigal Children▪ losses by Fire, Sea or Land, Wars, Factors, or bad Servants, Suretiship, or too much trusting, death of those for whose lives they held Land or Estates, or had any dependancy upon, sick­ness, decay of trade, deceits or wrongs done by others, vain and unnecessary expences; many of our Actions past or to come, in facto or fieri, esse or posse. And all manner of casualties, accidents or contin­gencies, which are not visible before-hand, or appearing, or possibly to be found in any Registry, may prove to be no small In­cumbrances to Money Lenders upon Bonds, or Bills, Iudgments, Statutes, or Recogni­sances, especially if the Debtors have no Estates in Lands, or shall be liable to Statutes of Bankrupt; which all the Lil­lies, or those which pretend to be in Com­mons, or greatest familiarity with the [Page 90] Stars, or the greatest wits or endeavors of men; can neither perceive before they happen, or tell any one how to escape, but must be constrained to reckon it a­mongst the number of the Grand Impossi­bles to be done by the sons of men, and confess it to be a work onely sit for Om­niscience and Preseience, of which there will be a Non Datur to these new kinde of Regi­sters, as well as other men.

And would in the attempt of it, busie and employ all the Clerks and Writers of the Nation (though to no-other purpose) then to make the people travel up and down, vex themselves with fears and jea­lousies, and spend more then Twenty times as much again, as they do now in their Writings, Assurances, or Contracts; whereas all the charge of the Inrollment Office in Chancery, wherein three parts in four of the Inrolled Deeds of the Nation are inrolled, did never as yet cost or put them to the charge of above One thousand pound per annum.

The Accompt and Ballance of which vast Registry, and the calculation of the Riches, [Page 91] Poverty, or Estates of Men, Lands bought or sold, transferred or settled to Uses; and passed after or involved in two or three o­ther Mens Estates. And what is become of the Money, with the Payments, Satisfacti­ons, Profits, Incomes, Losses, Rises or Falls in expences in House-keeping, Apparel, or Recreations, Releases, Acquittances, and Discharges of Lands, Statutes, Judgments, Recognisances, Bonds, or Bills, Promises, Covenants or Contracts, with those many numberless Intricacies and Impossibilities which will attend such a work; will not onely confound the Auditor, or a whole Col­ledge of Astrologers, if they should under­take it, but give them or any who shall come to be satisfied or secured by them to understand, that it will be as vain in the pro­duct or expectation of it, as the design of Uttamacomock the Virginian, proved to be; who being taken at home for a grand piece of Policy, was sent hither in King Iames his time, and directed by Powhatan his KingCap. Smiths History of Virginia▪ 223. or Emperor, to take the number of the peo­ple of England, and learn their Estate and Condition; did when he came to Plimouth, [Page 92] stand at his Lodging door, and upon a long stick cut a notch for every one that came or passed by: But at last, finding his notches like to wear out his stick, and not being able to know or distinguish those that passed by, or returned; or for which, he had made notches before, had the wit to give over and con­clude the people to be very numerous, and the work impossible.

CHAP. VIII. That (if it could be possible) the people will not willingly be at the trouble or charges in all their Contracts, to search in so many County Registries to discover Incumbrances.

OR if this Impossible could (as it never§. 62. will) be made Possible, and that all or any part of what is designed could be feasi­ble, and that there could be at every Shire-Town such a rare Glass or Perspective, at the peoples charge, as they pretend to make for them; the most part of the people will, when all is done, be like to do but as they do already, which is not in one of every 500 Bargains, or lending of Money, or Con­tracts which they make (unless where they have to do with some very much inoum­bred, and indebted persons and Estates) to busie themselves or their purses in searching for Judgments, Statutes, or Recognisances, [Page 93] or Scriveners Books, or what Fines are leavied, or deeds inrolled, though the searches be not either very troublesome or costly, but rather tarry at home, and be­lieve one another, satisfie themselves by private informations and inquiries, and take, as they have all this while done co­venants or collateral securities, to be freed from incumbrances, or upon any probability of distrust cause them to be discovered upon oath, or be as unwilling to be at the labour and charge to prevent such seldom happening frauds or the wrongs which they may receive by them, as they are in multitudes of deceits, co­zenings and cheatings which every week or oftener are put upon most or many buyers at markets, and in the trading and commerce of most men one with another, though the Laws have provided several sorts of remedies and reliefs, and the Court Leets and Sheriffs Torns, twice a year holden to enquire amongst other things, of those or the like frauds and some of the Buyers as well as the Sellers, the cozened and the cozening, those [Page 94] that commit the frauds and deceipts, and those that suffered by them are not seldom sworn and impannelled in Juries to present them, and every one, or too many as it is to be feared, do buy by false weights and measures which the Office of the Clerk of the Markets, and the care which should attend it, and the punishments of Pillory, and other severities, ordered by our Laws against the offenders, have not been able to restrain, and yet by course or custom do too contendedly endure it, or not put themselves to the trouble of com­plaining of it.

which until a glass, or Christal, or win­dow can be contrived in every mans heart (and head) to be looked into to discern their hearts and purposes (and their inten­tions made unalterable) as Thales one of the seven wise men of Greece, being appoint­ed by Apollo with some other wise men and Philosophers to reform the world in that Learned and pleasant Mythologie of Traiano Boccalini had proposed to be made; will render this design of preventing all or many frauds, and freeing all mens estates [Page 95] and assurances from incumbrances, to as little purpose as the great care which was taken by Edward the third and his Parlia­ment in Anno 27 of his Raign, to have Correctors in every City and Town of the Staple to make and record Bargains be­tween Buyers and Sellers, now and long since (if ever put in execution) utterly disused, and believed to be more trou­blesome then necessary, or or as Mr Hen­ry Robinson's kinde Office of Addresses, or helps to borrow or lend moneys, buy or sell, or rent Land or Houses, help Men or Maids to services, or any that want Solicitors for their Suites at Law cum multis aliis &c. which be­ing erected at his own charges some years ago, the people who thought they could better do their business themselves (though he was content to take for his Fees, but what they themselves should think reasonable) so little relished, as he and some others who have since driven on that design of Publick Advice and Assistance, have to their costs and charges found it to be onely an essay of their own invention, [Page 96] which hath neither answered their charges or expectation.

Nor will this Design of Registring at all, or in any thing gratifie or benefit the people, who will thereby have their charge and trouble as greatly as needlesly multiplied, and their Laws by degrees re­duced into many little Courts and Iudica­tories which will be as much for their good as those many grievances and oppressions heretofore put upon them by Lords and men of power and great Estates, Sheriffs in their County Courts and Tornes, Bai­liffs and Stewards, in the Court-Leets, and Court Barons, long agoe heavily complai­ned of, and by the care of many good Acts of Parliament, at length remedied, or bring the Commonalty of our more happy England, into that servile and sad Condition of the Common people of France, who having at one and the same time many perpetual Parliaments, or Courts so called, and a multitude of Baillages Seneschauses resorts, and petty Jurisdictions, with their numberless Pre­sidents and Lievtenants Criminel and Ci­vil, [Page 97] and as many Appeals as their Con­tentions can possibly purchase, are not seldom in the Chase of one another through their many inferior Courts to the Superior or Dernier resort, with as little money left them as hopes of gaining any thing more then a repentance, brought to a loss of much of their time, as well as their estates.

And will gain as much hereby, as to their needless charges, as they would do if all the people of England from one year old to Fifty, should be ordained to buy and weare Spectacles at more then the ordinary rate, because such as live to be Fifty or threescore and upwards, may have need to benefit and help their Eyes there­by, or as the French do by way of impo­sition or Gabel of a certain proportion of Salt enforced upon every Family at the Kings Rates, whenas many of the Com­mon people have more salt then meat.

Or as to have it ordained that every Town and Village shall all along the High-wayes in the bounds of their Pa­rishes keep a strong and constant Watch [Page 98] and Ward, every day but Sundayes, be­twixt Sun-rising and Sun-setting, to pre­vent Roberies and catch Thieves, because sometimes upon Actions brought upon the Statutes of Winchester, and for Hue and Cry, the Inhabitants of some few hundreds are but selfom enforced to pay for the mo­ney, goods, or Cattel lost, or that all Villages and Towns, not having (as there are very many) any Physitians to cure dis­eases, and Apothecaries with their Shops a­bundantly furnished with allmanner of medicaments, to prepare and administer them, should keep and maintain Physitians and Apothecarie at the chargeof the Inhabi­tants or the publick, because that one part of three, or a very great part of the people do die sooner then otherwise they would do, or languish under long and in­curable pains and Sicknesses, and expend much money to no purpose for want of them, or skill, or care to prevent diseases, or not seeking a cure by Physi­tians or Apothecaries dwelling far off be­fore it be either a great deal more diffi­cult or chargeable, or impossible to be helped.

[Page 99]And as great advantages touching the pre­servation of their happy and well known and approved Laws and Liberties, as the now and long agoe wandring, and every­where dispised Iewes, had by Crucifying their Saviour and letting loose Barabbas the Murtherer.

For the hoped for importation, or our imitation of any such Forreign Customs, or the expected fruit and benefit by this design of Registring (whatsoever they shall be fancied to be beforehand, until it shal otherwise be lamentably experienced) will never be able to Ballance or Recom­pence the charges of one hundred thousand pounds per Annum, pretended to be raised for the King as a constant and perpetual Revenue by that way of Registring and Nine or ten hundred thousand pounds per annum, or a million of English monies, which the people must pay for unnecessa­ry Registring of many of their Deeds, Writings, and Contracts more then they did heretofore; & those other great distur­bances, ruines, and alterations in the Na­tion, troubles and charges in all mens [Page 100] Estates, Businesses, and Affairs, which will arise and happen by it; when as the Registring, supposed to be such an Anti­dote against Incumbrances shall prove to be the cause, not of a few, but very many mis­chiefs & inconveniences, not incombrances and needless charges only in some one sin­gle case of a hundred, or five hundred, and seldom, but for ever upon all the people of England, not upon a part onely of their Estates, but all, and not upon all men for life, or in tail, or for a short time, or but upon some of their Generations, but un­til some good Angel or Act of Parlia­ment, by the mercy of him which dwel­leth on High shall be sent to our Pool of Bethesda, to recal and cure them, remain as an estate in Fee-Simple, and perpetui­ty to all our posterities.

Quae procul a nobis Flectat Deus ipse Gubernans
Et Ratio potius quam res persuadeat ipsa.

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