By the Commissioners for Charitable Uses.

Hertf. ss.WHereas there is a special Commission directed to Us, under the great Seal of England, by his High­nesse Oliver Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Dominions thereto belonging, for the redressing of the misimployment and concealing of Lands, Goods, and Stocks of Money hereto­fore given to Charitable uses, as well by Kings and Queens of England, as by other well-disposed per­sons. Some for relief of aged impotent and poor people; Some for maintenance of sick and maimed Souldiers, and Mariners, Schools of Learning, Free-Schools, and Schollers in Universities; Some for repair of Bridges, Ports, Havens, Cause-wayes, Churches, Sea banks, and High-wayes: Some for education and preferment of Orphans; Some for or towards relief, Stock or maintenance for houses of Correction; Some for Marriages of poor Maids; Some for sup­portation, aid and help of young Tradesmen, Handicrafts-men, and Persons decayed: And others for relief or redemption of Prisoners or Captives, & for aid or ease of any poor Inhabitants concerning payment of Fifteens, setting out of Souldiers and other Taxes: We do therefore in conscience of our duty towards God and Man, hereby order & declare, That if any poor person or persons whatsoever, under any the qualifications before specified, do or shall find themselves justly grieved with fraud or violence, in the concealment, detention, or abuse of any (though never so rich and great Oppressors) of any thing that is or shall be due to them, or any of them by the gift, appointment or assignment of any well disposed persons, and shall make their grievances appear before us to be reall; That they and every of them so grieved, shal have and receive sufficient remedie in the same both for what hath been formerly concealed or detained, as also for what is at present concea­led or detained from them amongst such cruel oppressors, their heirs, executors, and administrators, if they or any of them have Assets in Law or Equity, with all possible speed, and without any fear of their Adversaries malitious power or great­ness, either for the present or for time to come; And also that if any person or persons shall out of a due sence and apprehen­sion of the oppressed and perishing condition of the Poor, make any just complaint of any concealment or detention of any Gift, Appointment, or Assignment of any Lands, Rents, or Monies belonging to any Poor by whomsoever, and shal or can make a clear and full discovery thereof, every such person or persons so doing shall and may recover the same before us for the use of the said Poor, together with all the arrears, against any such unjust dealers whomsoever, their heirs, executors, or administrators, if they or any of them have Assets either in Law or Equity. And for their further encouragement herein, the said Discoverers shall have and receive a fourth part of the dammages awarded against such Delinquents to be allowed them for their charges, care and pains herein; and we do hereby further will and require all Church-wardens, Over­seers of the poor, and all other Officers authorized by Law, to sue for and recover such rights to such uses, to accompt for and pay what they have recovered to the use of any poor concerned therein, And to sue for where none else will or can pro­secute what they have not recovered, being due, upon penalty to pay dammages for their neglect herein, being found guilty thereof by due Inquisition; And that none may be ignorant how to perform what they would or should do herein, We do appoint all that are or may be concerned in what is by us required as aforesaid, to repaire to Mr. Clement Farnham Clerk of the Commission, at his chamber in Grayes-Inne, in the Garden Court up the six stone Steps, who shall and will be ready to receive their presentments, and to direct and instruct them at all convenient times. For the better effecting where­of, we do hereby will and require all and singular the Ministers of the County of Hertford, as well within liberties, as without, to make publication hereof in their severall congregations, both in the forenoon and afternoon of the next Sab­bath-day after his or their receipt of the same, and afterwards to cause it to be fixed on the Church-Doors, where it may be easily seen and read by all people: And that no person or persons whatsoever presume or attempt either to deface or take it off from thence, upon their perils, to be proceed against as contemners of his Highness Authority and Com­mission.

June 26. 1656.

The Commissioners first sitting will be at the White-Hart in Ware, on Wednesday the 16 of July, 1656.

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