[blazon of the City of London, consisting of a shield bearing the cross of St. George (patron saint of England) with a sword (emblem of the martyrdom of St. Paul, patron saint of London) in the first quarter of the shield]


CERTAINE Articles concerning the Statute lately made for the reliefe of the poor, to be executed in London, by the Church­wardens and Ouerseers of euery parish, according to the effect of the same Statute.

Imprinted by Iohn Wolfe, Printer to the honourable Citie of London. 1599.

[printer's device of John Wolfe (1579-1601)]

CERTAINE ARTICLES concerning the Statute lately made for the reliefe of the poore, to be executed in London by the Churchwardens and Ouer­seers of euery parish, according to the effect of the same Statute.

INprimis, the saide Churchwardens and Ouerseers or ye grea­ter part of them shall take order from time to time by consent of two or more of the Iustices of peace, for setting to worke of the children of all such persons within the same parish [Page]whose parentes shall not bee thought by them able to keepe and maintaine their children. Wherin it is thought fit that chil­drē of eight years old or vpwards be set on worke, and such as bee twelue yeares old or vpward, if they bee not before that time bounden apprentises, be at those years bounden apprentises by the said Churchwardens and Ouer­seers, according to the intent of the said Statute.

Also all such persons maried or vnmaried, as hauing no means to maintaine themselues, vse no ordinarie trade of life to get their liuing by, are to bee set on worke by the said Churchwar­dens and Ouerseers: Where­in [Page]it is thought meete that such as willingly submit themselues to the lawe to worke within the parish, may be set to worke with­in their parish in these trades fol­lowing, viz:

Or in any other trade, for which the said persons shall bee founde more meete, hauing supply of stocke as the law appointeth: & that such as will not orderly work within their parish, shall bee sent to Bridewell or to other places for that purpose to be appointed there to worke, for which pur­pose the Iustices of peace are rea­die to giue their warrantes vpon [Page]certificate or complaint of the Churchwardens and Ouerseers, they hauing authoritie by the sta­tute so to do.

The Churchwardens and Ouerseers with consent of the two Iustices of peace, must make a taxation of euery inha­bitant within the parish, be they free or not free of the Citie, for a conuenient stocke of flaxe, hemp wooll, thread, Iron, and other necessarie stuffe, to set the poore on worke within the saide pa­rish, and for a weekely allow­ance towardes the necessarie reliefe of the lame, impotent, old, blind, and such other amongst them being poore and not able to worke, and for putting poore [Page]children apprentises: Wherein it is thought meete that they ha­uing due consideration of the ne­cessitie of each person and of their abilities to worke, and of their charge do make allowance to e­uery one ratablie according to their wantes, and that the saide Churchwardens and Ouerseers doe collect and distribute the said taxations monethly, and dispose of the stocke according to the in­tent of the Statute.

And touching such ouer­charge as in some parishes shall happen by occasion of the great multitude of the poore there to bee relieued, more then the weekely allowance of such pa­rishes will supply, the Iustices [Page]of peace are to taxe, rate, and assesse any of any other pari­shes to pay such summe and summes of mony to the church­wardens & Ouerseers of ye said poore parish for the purposes a­foresaid, as they shall thinke fit. Which taxation so made by the Iustices of peace, the Church­wardens, and ouerseers in euery parish are from time to time to re­ceiue & collect as the other taxe, and to pay the same ouer, month­ly, to the handes of the Treasurer appointed by the Citty for that purpose for the yeare, to bee by him distributed, according to the direction of the Iustices of the peace, and true intent of the saide Statute: wherein it is wished, for that some Churchwardens be ma­ny [Page]times very poore, that care bee had that such of the Ouerseers or Churchwardens as be of good a­bilitie may receiue and keepe the money collected vntill it be paid ouer as aboue.

The Churchwardens and the Ouerseers appointed must meet together at the least once euery moneth in the Church of the said parish, vpon the Sun­day in the after noone, after diuine seruice, to consider of some good course to be taken, and some meete orders to bee set downe by them in the pre­misses, vppon paine to forfaite twenty shillinges for euery de­fault, without lawfull cause.

The Churchwardens and [Page]the Ouerseers must within foure dayes after the end of their yeare (which beganne when the said Ouerseers were appointed) and after new O­uerseers nominated as afore­said, make and yeeld vp to such two Iustices of peace a true and perfect accompte of all summes of money by them re­ceyued, or rated and cessed and not receyued, and of such stocke as shall be in their handes, or in the hands of the poore to worke, and of all other thinges concer­ning their said office, and such summe or summes of money as shall be in their hands, shall pay and deliuer ouer to the saide Churchwardens and Ouerse­ers newly nominated as afore­saide, [Page]vpon paine to forfaite for euery default in being negligēt in their office, or in the execution of the orders aforesaide being made by, and with the assent of the said Iustices of peace, twen­tie shillings.

The Churchwardens and O­uerseers, or any of them are by warrant frō any two such Iu­stices of the peace, to leuy aswel the said summes of money of e­uery one that shall refuse to con­tribute according as they shall bee assessed by distresse and sale of the offenders goodes, as the summes of money or stocke which shall be behinde vpon a­ny account to be made as afore­said, rendring to the party the [Page]ouerplus, and in default of such distresse, it is also lawfull for two Iustices of the peace to commit to prison such as refuse to contribute: there to remaine without bayle or mainprise, till payment bee made of the saide summe or stocke.

And it is lawfull for any two such Iustices of peace to com­mit to prison euery one of the said Churchwardens and O­uerseers, which shall refuse to accompt, there to remain with­out bayle or mainprise, till hee hath made a true account and satisfied and paid so much as v­pon the said account shall be re­mayning in his hands.

It is also enacted, that such [Page]persons as shall goe wandring abroad and beg in any place wheresoeuer by licence or with­out, vnlesse it bee poore people, who shall aske reliefe of victu­als onely in the same parish where they shall dwell, accor­ding to the direction of the Churchwardens and Ouerse­ers, shall bee accompted as Rogues and so punished. Pro­uided alwayes neuerthelesse, that euery soldier being dischar­ged of his seruice, or otherwise lawfullie licensed to passe into his countrie, and not hauing wherewith to relieue himselfe in his trauels homewards, and euery sea-faring man landing from sea, not hauing wherewith to relieue himself in his trauels [Page]homewardes, hauing a Testi­moniall vnder the hand of some one Iustice of the peace, of or near the place where he landed or was discharged setting down therein the place & time, where and when hee landed, or was discharged, and the place of the parties dwelling or birth, vnto which he is to passe, and a conuenient time therein to bee limitted for his passage, shal and may without incurring the dā ­ger or penaltie of this Act, in the vsuall wayes directly to the place vnto which he is directed to passe, and within the time in such his Testimoniall limitted for his passage, aske and receiue such reliefe as shall be necessary in and for his passage, the saide [Page]act or any thing therein contay­ned to the contrary notwithstā ­ding.

And for that notwithstanding the liberall contribution of the parishioners, and the great trauell and care of the Churchwardens and Ouerseers in euery parish, to prouide for their owne poore be well effected: yet the negligence of the Constables in many places in suffering Rogues to wander & beg in the streetes, and the fro­wardnes of some stubborne beg­gers who will not bee reformed, doth breed a great scandall to the city, & in time wil discourage the better sort to continue any liberal contribution for the poor, vnlesse due reformation bee had for the [Page]saide Rogues, and wandring beg­gers: it is therefore thought meer and so declared that euery Con­stable and other officer, who shall be found negligent, or remisse in the execution of the statute lately made for punishment of Rogues and vagabondes, shal be censured and punished so farre as the law and authority of the chiefe Ma­gistrate in that place will allow, and that diligent inquiry of their defaults shalbe made from time to time, as shal be needfull.


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