¶ By the King.
¶ A Proclamation for abolishing of abuses, by Billes of Conformity.

WHereas diuers Billes of complaint, commonly called, Billes of Conformitie, haue of late yeeres been exhibited into his Maie­sties Court of Chancerie, and other His Courts of equitie, by sun­dry persons against their Creditors, of purpose to enforce them, ei­ther to accept lesse then their iust debts, and dammages, or to giue longer dayes or times of paiment and forbearance, then the said Creditors were willing to doe, pretending inhability & non sol­uencie, sometimes by reason of sodaine and accidentall losse and dammage, sometimes by suertiship, sometimes by euill debtors, and sundry other suggestions and pretences, tending to no other end or purpose, but to defeat or delay their iust and honest Cre­ditors of their due debts and dammages: which Billes haue beene exhibited, sometimes by the debtors alone, & sometimes by the debtors and some of their Creditors by consent, or con­niuencie betweene them: And vpon such billes diuers Decrees, Orders, and proceedings haue passed, to the great dammage of the Common wealth, for that thereby hath ensued as­well the imboldening of Debtors not to pay their debts in due time, whereby many men haue beene disappointed, and not able to keepe their credit with others, to their extreame detriment, as also the encouraging of wilfull Bankerupts, and deceitfull persons, and the scarcity of money (being the measure of all bargaines and contractes betweene man and man) together with a general hinderance of trade, & traffique, & many other inconueniences, which by reason of this late and dangerous inuention of Billes and suites of conformity haue happened, as by due and iust examination (for the reformation of so great an euill, and for his Maiesties honour) hath beene found out, and resolued by the house of Commons in this present Parliament: all which inconueniences by the saide Billes and suits of confor­mity haue increased more & more, sithence his Maiestie (out of his Princely prouidence) hath taken a more exact and carefull course touching Protections, then had beene formerly accu­stomed; whereby many and great delaies of payment of debts, and dueties, and of other iust causes of suites haue beene auoided, which in former times had beene occasioned by some kinds of Protections.

His Maiestie (of his blessed disposition for the Weale of His Subiects) being carefull to stoppe the current of this growing euill, vntill vpon mature deliberation, an exact and full remedy may be prouided by Parliament in that behalfe, Doth hereby signifie and de­clare his most gracious Will and pleasure, and doth expresly charge and command, That all and euery Iudge & Iudges in the sayd Courts of Equity, where such Billes of con­formity doe depend, for so much of the matter in those seuerall Billes conteyned as concer­neth such conformity as aforesaid, and for and concerning all such persons, parties to those Suits, which haue not consented thereunto, shall forthwith, absolutely dismisse the same, and that the said Defendants in such suits be not bound or pressed to any further atten­dance in that behalfe. And that all Orders, Sentences, Decrees, Iniunctions and other restraints or Proces whatsoeuer grounded vpon any such Bill or Suite to the preiudice, hurt or hindrance of any Creditor or Creditors (not hauing consented as aforesaid) and the execution of the same, be from henceforth fully and wholly suspended, and not to be put in execution vntill order and prouision by some Act of Parliament, for a perpetuall refor­mation thereof bee had and taken in that behalfe. And that no Bill or Suite of the effect or nature aforesaid be hereafter receiued, accepted or allowed in the sayd Court of Chancery or other Court of Equity, vntill some such order as aforesaid bee taken in Parliament. And that all and euery person and persons now being in prison, or restrayned of liberty, or stan­ding vpon Bond, Bayle or Mainprise, by or by reason of any such Order, Sentence, Decree, Iniunction or other restraint, (and for no other cause) vpon any Bill or Suit of the effect or nature aforesaid in any of the said Courts of Equity whatsoeuer, or by reason of any procee­ding thereupon, bee forthwith by the sayd Iudge and Iudges of the sayd Courts of Equity, set at liberty and freed from his and their imprisonment or restraint, and be dischar­ged of his and their Bonds, Recognizances, Bayle or Mainprise for appearance, without molestation, vexation or trouble for or by reason of any such Order, Sentence, Decree, Iniunction, Restraint, Bond, Recognizance, Bayle or Mainprise vntill such further or­der be taken in Parliament as aforesayd. And therefore His Maiesty doth authorise and require aswell the Lord Chauncellor of England, as all other His Maiesties Iudges and Iustices, & other persons whatsoeuer, hauing any place of Iudicature, & all and euery His Officers, Ministers and Subiects that now bee or hereafter shalbe, to see and cause this His Maiesties pleasure duely with all conuenient expedition to be put in execution.

God saue the King.

❧ Imprinted at London by BONHAM NORTON, and IOHN BILL, Printers to the Kings most Excellent Maiestie. M.DC.XXI.

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