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Anno Regni GEORGII II. REGIS

Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae, VICESIMO TERTIO.

At the Parliament begun and holden at Westminster, the Tenth Day of November, Anno Dom. 1747, in the Twenty first Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.

And from thence Continued by several Prorogations to the Sixteenth Day of November, 1749, being the Third Session of this present Parliament.

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LONDON, Printed by Thomas Basket, Printer to the King's most Excellent Majesty, 1750.

NEW-LONDON, Re-printed by Timothy Green, Printer to the Governour and Company of His Majesty's English Colony of Connecticut in New-England, 1751.

[Page 45]

Anno vicesimo tertio Georgii II. Regis.

An Act for encouraging the Growth and Cul­ture of Raw Silk in His Majesty's Colonies or Plantations in America.

WHEREAS it will greatly tend to the Increase and Improvement of the Silk Manufactures of this Kingdom, Preamble. to encourage the Growth and Culture of Silk in His Majesty's Dominions in America;

May it therefore Please Your Majesty, that it may be enacted,

And be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by, Raw Silk of the Growth of the British Colonies in America; to be imported Duty Free. and with the Advice, and Consent of the Lords Spiritual, and Temporal, and Commons, in this Present Parliament Assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the Twenty fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, it shall and may be lawful to import any Raw Silks of the Growth and Culture of any of His Majesty's Colonies or Planta­tions in America, directly from thence into the Port of London, without paying any Subsidy, Custom, Imposition, or other Duty whatsoever for the same; so as due Entry thereof be first made, so as due Entry be first made, thereof in the Custom-house, at the Time of Importation, in the same Manner and Form ( expressing the Package, Marks, and Numbers, together with the Quantities and Qualities of the respective Goods ) as was used and practised before the making of this Act; and so as the same be landed in the Presence of, and examined by the proper Officer or Officers of the Customs appointed for that Pur­pose; and the same be imported in Vessels that may lawfully trade. and so as the same be imported in Ships or Vessels, that may lawfully trade to His Majesty's Plantations, manned as by Law is required; and on Failure of the said Conditions or Directi­ons herein last-mentioned, such Silks shall be liable to the Pay­ment of the respective Duties, as if this Act had never been made.

[Page 46] Provided always, And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid▪ That in order to intitle the Importer and Importers of Raw Silk, [...] to the Exemption intended by this Act, every Merchant or other Person or Persons whatsoever, who shall, after the Twenty fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, load any Raw Silk on Board any Ship or Vessel, in any of the British Colonies or Plantations in America, shall, before the Clearing out of the said Ship or Vessel from thence, make Proof, on Oath, before the Collector and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, at the Port or Place where such Raw Silk, shall be put on Board, or any Two of them, that the Raw Silk, which he, she, or they hath or have shipped on Board the said Ship or Vessel ( expressing the Quantity thereof ) is Bona fide of the Growth and Culture of some or One of the British Colonies or Plantations in America, expressing the Parish or Place in such Plantation where the same was cultivated and produced, and by whom, producing such Person's Oath thereto made before the Governor of such Island or Province, Master of the Vessel to bring with him a Certi­ficate thereof from Two Officers of the Customs, or before the next Justice of the Peace, ( which Oath the said Governor or Justice of the Peace, Collector and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, or any Two of them, are hereby required and impowred to administer without Fee or Reward ) and the Master, Commander, or other Person, taking Charge of the Ship or Vessel, on Board which such Raw Silk shall be loaded, shall also bring with him a Certificate or Certificates from such Col­lector and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, or any Two of them, as aforesaid, under their Hands and Seals of Office, ( which Certificate or Certificates, such Collector and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, are hereby required and directed to grant without Fee or Reward ) expressing the Marks, Number, Tale, and Weight of the Raw Silk, in each Bale, Parcel, or other Package whatsoever, which he is to deliver to the Chief Officer of the Customs on his Arrival at the Port of London, so shipped or loaded on Board such Ship or Vessel, with the Names, Place or Places of Abode of the Exporter or Exporters thereof, from the said British Colonies or Plantations in America; and the Name or Names, Place or Places of Abode of such other Person or Persons, who shall have sworn the Goods therein men­tioned to have been of the Growth and Culture of the said British Colonies or Plantations in America and the Name or Names of the Person or Persons to whom the same are consigned in the Port of London; which Certificate or Certificates, the said Master, Com­mander, or other Person taking Charge of such Ship or Vessel, shall, on his Arrival in the said Port of London, and to make Oath that the Goods in the Certificate are the same taken on Board in Ame­rica; deliver to the Collector, Comptroller, or other Chief Officer of His Majesty's Customs at the said Port, at or before the Entry of the said Raw Silk; and at the same Time shall make Oath before any One of them the said Col­lector, Comptroller, or Chief Officer of His Majesty's Customs, ( who are hereby required and impowred to administer the same without Fee or Reward ) that the said Bales and Parcels, and Goods contained in such Certificate, are the same Bales and Parcels, and Goods, as were taken on Board in the said British Colonies or Plan­tations in America; and if any Raw Silk of the Growth and Culture of the British Colonies or Plantations in America, in any Default thereof, the Duty is to be paid for such Silk. shall, after the said Twenty fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, be imported as herein before mentioned, without such Certi­ficate signed and delivered as herein before required, and Oath made as before directed, by the Master, Commander, or other Person taking Charge of the Ship or Vessel in which the same is impor­ted; [Page 47] all such [...] Silks shall be liable to the Payment of the respective Duties as if this Act had never been made; any thing herein before contained to the contrary not withstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons shall, from and after the said Twenty fourth Day of June, Penalty on Persons enter ing Foreign Raw Silk as Raw Silk of the Growth of the British Colonies in America, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, make, or cause to be made, an Entry or Entries of any Forein Raw Silk, under the Name or Description of Raw Silk of the Growth or Culture of any of the British Colonies or Plantations in America, or shall mix, or cause to be mixed, any Forein Raw Silk with Raw Silk of the Growth or Culture of the British Colonies or Plantations in America, with Intent to evade the Payment of the Duties payable on Foreign Raw Silk, every Person or Persons so making, or causing to be made, such Entry or Entries, or mixing, or causing such Mixture or Mixtures to be made, shall forfeit and lose the Sum of Fifty Pounds for every such Offence, and all such Forein Raw Silk; and in case of any Mixture, or of mixing other Silk therewith, to evade Pay­ment of the Duties. the Quantity so mixed, both of Foreign and British Plantation Culture or Growth, or the Value thereof, together with the Bales or other Packages containing the same, shall be forfeited, and shall and may be seized and prosecuted, or the Value thereof be sued for by any Officer or Officers of His Majesty's Customs; One Moiety of which Penalties and Forfeitures shall be to the Use of His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, and the other Moiety to him or them that shall seize, prosecute, or sue for the same, in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster.

Provided always, That if any Doubt or Dispute shall arise, whether the said Raw Silk, In Doubts about the Growth of the Silk, the Onus Probandi is to lie on the Owner. or any Part thereof, so to be imported as afore­said, is of the Growth or Culture of the British Colonies or Plan­tations in America, or of Foreign Growth or Culture, the Onus Probandi shall lie on the Owner or Claimer thereof, and not on the Informer or Prosecutor; any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action or Suit shall be commenced against any Person or Persons for any thing done in pursuance of this Act, General Issue. the Defendant or Defendants, in such Action or Suit, may plead the General Issue, and give this Act and the Special Matter in Evi­dence at any Trial to be had thereupon, and that the same was done in pursuance and by Authority of this Act: And if it shall appear so to have been done, then the Jury shall find for the Defendant or Defendants; and if the Plaintiff shall be Non­suited, or discontinue his Action, after the Defendant or Defendants shall have appeared, or if Judgment shall be given upon any Verdict or Demurrer against the Plaintiff, Treble Costs. the Defendant or Defendants shall and may recover Treble Costs, and have the like Remedy for the same, as Defendants have in other Cases by Law.

[Page 48]

An Act to encourage the Importation of Pig and Bar Iron from His Majesty's Colonies in America; and to prevent the Erection of any Mill or other Engine for Slitting or Rolling of Iron; or any Plateing Forge to work with a Tilt Hammer; or any Furnace for making Steel in any of the said Colonies.

WHEREAS the Importation of Bar Iron from His Majesty's Colonies in America, into the Port of London, and the Im­portation of Pig Iron from the said Colonies, into any Port of Great Britian, Preamble. and the Manufacture of such Bar and Pig Iron in Great Britian, will be a great Advantage not only to the said Colonies, but also to this Kingdom, by furnishing the Manufacturers of Iron with a Supply of that useful and necessary Commodity, and by means thereof large Sums of Money, now annually paid for Iron to Foreigners, will be saved to this Kingdom, and a greater Quantity of the Woollen, and other Manufactures of Great Britain, will be exported to America, in Exchange for such Iron so imported.

Be it therefore Enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the [...], Pig Iron made in the British Colonies in America, may be imported Duty free into the Port of London. and Consent of the Lord's Spiritual, and Cemporal, and Commons, in this Present Parliament Assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the Twenty fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, the several and respective Subsidies, Customs, Impositions, Rates, and Duties, now payable on Pig Iron, made in and imported from His Majesty's Colonies in America, into any Port of Great Britain, shall cease, determine, and be no longer paid; and that from and after the said Twenty fourth Day of June, no Subsidy, Custom, Imposition, Rate, or Duty whatsoever, shall be payable upon Bar Iron made in and imported from the said Colonies, into the Port of London; any Law, Statute, or Usage to the contrary thereof in any wise notwith­standing.

And be it further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That no such Bar Iron so imported into the Port of London, Penalty of ex porting, or carying the same Coast wise, except for the Use of the King's Yards. shall be after­wards exported, or shall be carried Coastwise to be landed at any other Port or Place of Great Britain, except for the Use of His Majesty's Dock Yards, upon Pain, that all such Bar Iron so exported, or carried Coastwise, and every Ship, or Vessel, on Board of which any such Bar Iron shall be so exported, or carried Coastwise, shall be subject to such Forfeiture and Seizure, as any prohibited or un­customed Goods, or any Goods clandestinely exported, or imported, or any Ship or Vessel on Board of which any such Goods shall be exported or imported, are now liable by Law; and also upon Pain, that every Person, so exporting such Bar Iron or sending the same Coastwise, and the Master or Commander, and Mariners of every Ship or Vessel, on Board of which any such Bar Iron shall be so exported or carried Coastwise, shall be subject to such and the like Punishments and Penalties as the Master or Commander, or [Page 49] Mariners of any Ship or Vessel, laden with any prohibited or uncustomed Goods, Officer grant­ing any Coc­quet for ex­porting there­of, or Goods clandestinely exported or imported, are now liable to by Law; and that no Officer of His Majesty's Customs shall sign or grant any Cocquet, Sufferance, Transire, Let-pass, Warrant, or Certificate whatsoever, for exporting or carrying Coastwise, except for the Use of His Majesty's Dock Yards, to be fined 200 l. any such Bar Iron so imported into the Port of London, upon Pain, that every Officer of His Majesty's Customs, so offending, shall forfeit and pay the Sum of Two Hundred Pounds, to be sued for and recovered by action, and to be cashiered. Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster, and to be applyed, One Moiety to the Use of His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, the Cocquet to be void. and the other Moiety to such Person or Persons as shall sue for the same, and shall also lose and forfeit his Office, and be incapable of serving His Majesty, His Heirs, or Successors, in any Office of Trust, or Profit whatsoever; and that if any such Cocquet, No Bar Iron to be carried Coastwise, unless menti­on be made in the Certificate, of the duty being paid. Sufferance, Transire, Let-pass, Warrant, or Certificate whatsoever, shall be signed or granted, the same shall be void, and of no Effect whatsoever.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Bar Iron whatsoever shall be permitted to be carried Coastwise, unless Mention be made in the Certificate to be granted for that Purpose, of the Day on which the Subsidies, Customs, Impositions, Rates, and Duties, payable upon the Importation thereof, were paid, Penalty of carrying by Land any such Iron beyond 10 Miles from London, ex­cept for the King's Yards. and of the Name of the Person or Persons by whom the fame were paid.

And it is hereby further enacted, That no Bar Iron imported into the Port of London, by virtue or in pursuance of this Act, shall be carried or conveyed by Land Carriage to any Place beyond Ten Miles from any Part of the Port of London, except to His Majesty's Dock Yards for the Use of His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors; and if any Person or Persons shall carry and convey, or cause or procure to be carried or conveyed upon Horseback, or in any Wag­gon, Cart, or other Carriage, any Iron so imported, to any Place beyond the Limits prescribed by this Act, every Person so offending, shall, for every such Offence, forfeit and pay the Sum of Twenty Shillings for every Hundred Weight of such Iron.

And, that the importers of Forein Pig and Bar Iron, not made in and imported from the said Colonies, may not, upon any Pretence whatsoever, claim the Exemption hereby granted; Oath to be made of the Place where the Iron was made, and to whom consigned.

Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Merchant, Trader, Factor, or other Person, loading any Pig or Bar Iron on Board any Ship or Vessel in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America, shall, before the clearing out of the said Ship or Vessel for any Port of Great Britain, make Oath before the Governor or Lieu­tenant Governor, Collector and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, or any Two of them ( which Oath every such Governor or Lieutenant Governor, Certificate thereof to be given. Collector, and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, is hereby impowred and required to administer without Fee or Reward ) that the Pig or Bar Iron so shipped, the true Weight whereof shall in such Oath be expressed, was made at [...] within the Colony of [...] in which Oath also [Page 50] the Name or Names of the Person or Persons to whom the said Iron shall be sold or consigned, shall be expressed; and thereupon the said Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Collector, and Comptroller of the Customs, and Naval Officer, or any Two of them, shall deliver to such Merchant, Trader, Factor, or other Person, so making Oath as aforesaid, a Certificate, under their Hands and Seal of Office, of such Oath having been made before them.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person or Persons importing any Pig or Bar Iron into Great Britain from His Majesty's Colonies in America, Rules to be observed in the Importa­tion of Iron Duty free shall import the same Duty-free, as aforesaid, unless such Pig or Bar Iron shall be stamped with some Mark denoting the Colony or Place where the same was made; and unless such Person or Persons shall produce such Certificate to the Chief Officer of the Customs at the Port in Great Britain where the same shall be imported; and unless Oath shall be made before the said chief Officer of the Customs, by the Master or Commanding Officer of the Ship or Vessel importing such Pig or Bar Iron, ( which Oath such chief Officer is hereby impowred and required to administer without Fee or Reward ) that the Iron so imported is the same Iron mentioned in the said Certificate.

Provided always, And be it enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, That all Pig, Iron which is not marked, and certified as above to pay the Du­ties. or Bar Iron Imported into Great Britain, which shall not be so stamped and Certified as aforesaid, to be made in His Majesty's Colonies in America, shall be subject to the Payment of the same Subsidies, Customs, Impositions, Rates, and Duties, to which such Iron was liable before the making of this Act.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Governor, Penalty of falsely ma­king such Certificates, Lieutenant Governor, Collector or Comptroller of the Customs, Naval Officer or chief Officer of the Customs as aforesaid, shall falsely make any such Certificate, every Person so offending shall for every such Offence, forfeit and pay the Sum of Two hundred Pounds, and also forfeit and lose his Office, and be incapa­ble of serving His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, in any Office of Trust or Profit; or Oaths; or if any Merchant, Factor, Trader, and Master, or Commanding Officer of any Ship or Vessel, shall falsely make any Oath required by this Act, every such Offender shall incur the Punishment inflicted by the Laws of this Realm for wilful and corrupt Perjury; and if any Person shall knowingly counterfeit any such Stamp, and of coun­terfeiting the Stamps, or Certificates. or shall counterfeit any such Certificate, or publish the same knowing it to be counterfeit, every such Person so offending shall incur the Punishment inflicted by the Laws of this Realm for Forgery.

And that Pig and Bar Iron made in His Majesty's Colonies in America may be further manufactured in this Kingdom,

Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the Twenty fourth Day of June, No Mill for Slitting of I­ron; or Plate­ing Forge or Furnace for making Steel to be erected or continued in America, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, no Mill or other Engine for Slitting or Rolling of Iron, or any Plateing-Forge to work with a Tilt Hammer, or any Furnace for making Steel, shall be erected, or after such Erection, continued in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America; and if any Person or Persons shall erect, or cause to be erected, or after such Erection, continue, or cause to be continued, in any of the said Colonies, any such Mill, Engine, Forge, or Furnace, every [Page 51] Person or Persons so offending, shall, for every such Mill, Engine, Forge, under Penalty of 200 l. or Furnace, forfeit the Sum of Two hundred Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain.

And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every such Mill, Engine, Forge, or Furnace, so erected or conti­nued, the same to be deemed a common Nu­sance; contrary to the Directions of this Act, shall be deemed a common Nusance; and that every Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief of any of His Majesty's Colonies in America, where any such Mill, Engine, Forge, or Furnace, shall be erected or continued, shall, upon Information to him made and given, upon the Oath of any Two or more credible Witnesses, that any such Mill, and the Go­vernor, Upon Information, to cause it to be abated, Engine, Forge, or Furnace, hath been so erected or continued ( which Oath such Governor, Lieutenant Go­vernor, or Commander in Chief, is hereby authorized and required to Administer ) order and cause every such Mill, Engine, Forge, or Furnace, to be abated within the Space of Thirty Days next after such Information given and made as aforesaid; and if any Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief, shall neglect or refuse so to do, under Penalty of 500 l and being disqua­lified. within the Time herein before limited for that Purpose, every such Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief, so offending, shall, for every such Offence, forfeit the Sum of Five hundred Pounds of Lawful Money of Great Britain, and shall from thenceforth be disabled to hold or enjoy any Office of Trust or Profit under His Majesty, His Heirs, or Successors.

And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the several Penalties and Forfeitures by this Act inflicted for falsely making any Stamp or Certificate, Method of suing for and recovering the Penalties. herein before directed, or for erecting or continuing any Mill, Engine, Plateing Forge, or Furnace prohibited by this Act, or for refusing or neglecting to abate the same, shall and may be sued for and recovered by Action, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster, or in the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, or in any of the Courts of Record in His Majesty's Colonies in America respectively, wherein the Offender shall dwell at the Time when the Offence shall be committed, or at the Time when such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Information shall be brought; and every such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Information, to be brought in Great Britain, shall be laid either in the County where any such Offence shall be committed, or where the Offender shall dwell at the Time when such Action, Bill, Plaint, or Information shall be brought.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Application of the Penal­ties. That all such Penalties and Forfeitures shall be applied, One Moiety to the Use of His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, and the other Moiety to such Person or Persons as shall sue for the same.

And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Bar Iron which shall be imported from any of His Majesty's Colonies in America into the Port of London, Iron import­ed on this Act, to be entered at the Custom house in Lon­don, and to be stampt in 3 different Parts. by virtue or under the Authority of this present Act, shall be entered at the Custom­house in London; and every Bar of the said Iron so entered, shall be marked or stamped with such Mark or Stamp as the Com­missioners of His Majesty's Customs shall for that Purpose order or [Page 52] direct, in Three different Parts of every such Bar ( that is to say ) Two of the said Marks or Stamps at the Distance of One Yard from each End of such Bar, and the other of them at or near the Middle thereof.

And it is hereby further enacted, That if any Person shall counter­feit, Penalty of counterfeiting or defacing the Stamps, with Intent to carry the same ten Miles from London. or wilfully destroy or deface, any of the said Marks or Stamps, with an Intent to convey or carry the same to any Place Ten Miles from any Part of the Port of London, contrary to the true Meaning of this Act, every Person so offending, and being thereof legally convicted, shall forfeit the Sum of One hundred Pounds, to be recovered by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminister; One Moiety thereof to His Majesty, His Heirs, and Successors, and the other Moiety to such Person or Persons who shall sue for the same.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the said Twenty fourth Day of June, every Gover­nor, Governors to transmit Cer­tificates of Mills for slitting Iron. &c. erected in his Colony, &c. or Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief of any of His Majesty's Colonies in America, shall forthwith transmit to the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, a Certificate under His Hand and Seal of Office, containing a particular Account of every Mill or Engine for Slitting and Rolling of Iron; and every Plateing Forge to work with a Tilt Hammer; and every Furnace for making Steel, at the Time of the Commencement of this Act, erected in his Colony▪ expressing also in the said Certificate such of them as are used, and the Name or Names of the Proprietor or Proprietors of each such Mill, Engine, Forge, and Furnace, and the Place where each such Mill, Engine, Forge and Furnace is erected, and the Number of Engines, Forges, and Furnaces in the said Colony; and if any Gover­nor, Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief, shall neglect or refuse so to do within Six Months after the said Twenty fourth Day of June, every such Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Commander in Chief, so offending, shall be subject to such Penalties and Forfeitures, as any Governor, or Lieutenant Governor of any of the said Colonies is liable to for any Offence committed against this Act, to be reco­vered in like Manner, as is by this Act directed for the same.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action or Suit shall be commenced against any Person or Persons for any thing done in pursuance of this Act, Limitation of Actions the Defen­dant or Defendants in any such Action or Suit may plead the General Issue, and give this Act and the Special Matter in Evidence, at any Trial to be had thereupon; and that the same was done in pursuance and by the Authority of this Act; and if it shall appear so to have been done, the Jury shall find for the Defendant or De­fendants; General Issue. and if the Plantiff shall be Nonsuited, or discontinue his Action after the Defendant or Defendants shall have appeared; or if Judgment shall be given upon a Verdict or Demurrer against the Plaintiff, the Defendant or Defendants shall have appeared; or if Judgment shall be given upon a Verdict or Demurrer against the Plaintiff, the Defendant or Defendants shall and may recover Treble Costs, Treble Costs. and have the like Remedy for the same, as any Defen­dant or Defendants hath or have in other Cases by Law.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act shall be deemed a Publick Act, Publick Act. and be judicially taken Notice of as such, by all Judges, Justices, and other Persons whatsoever, without specially pleading the same.

[Page 53]

An Act for extending and improving the Trade to Africa.

WHEREAS the Trade to and from Africa is very advan­tageous to Great Britain, Preamble. and necessary for the supplying the Plantations and Colonies thereunto belonging with a sufficient Number of Negroes, at Reasonable Rates; and for that Purpose the said Trade ought to be free and open to all His Majesty's Subjects:

Therefore be it enacted,

And it is hereby enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, Free trade to Africa. by, and with the Notice, and Content of the Lords Spiritual, and Temporal, and Commons, in this Present Parliament Assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That it shall and may be lawful for all His Majesty's Subjects to trade and traffick to and from any Port or Place in Africa, between the Port of Sally in South Barbary, and the Cape of Good Hope, when, and at such Times, and in such Manner, and in or with such Quantity of Goods, Wares, or Merchandizes, as he or they shall think fit, without any Restraint whatsoever, save as is herein after expressed.

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Traders incor­porated, &c. That all His Majesty's Subjects, who shall trade to or from any of the Ports or Places of Africa, between Cape Blanco, and the Cape of Good Hope, shall for ever hereafter be a Body Corporate and Po­litick, in Name, and in Deed, Their Name. by the Name of The Company of Merchants trading to Africa; and by the same Name shall have perpetual Succession, and shall have a Common Seal; and by that Name shall and may sue, and may be sued, and do any other Act, Matter, and Thing, which any other Body Corporate or Politick, as such, can or may lawfully do.

And, the better to uphold, maintain, and defend, all such Forts, Factories, and Settlements, on the Coast of Africa, as now are erected, or hereafter shall be thought necessary to be erected, for the securing and better carrying on the said Trade,

Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every the British Forts, The Forts, Settlements, and Factories, &c of the Royal African Company vest­ed in the new Company. Settlements, and Factories, on the Coast of Africa, beginning at Cape Blanco aforesaid, and extending from thence to the Cape of Good Hope inclusive, and all other the Regions, Countries, Dominions, Territories, Continents, Coasts, Ports, Bays, Rivers, and Places, lying and being within the aforesaid Limits, and the Islands near adjoining to those Coasts, and comprehended within those Limits, which are now claimed by, or are in the Possession of, the Royal African Company of England, or which may be hereafter in the Possession of the Company hereby established, shall, from and after the passing of an Act of Parliament for divesting the African Company of their Charter, Forts, Castles, and Military Stores, Canoe Men, Castle Slaves, and all other their Pro­perty on the Coast of Africa, their Goods and Merchandizes only excepted, be absolutely vested in the said new Company established [Page 54] by this Act, and their Successors, to the Intent and Purpose that the said Forts, Settlements, and Premisses, shall be employed, at all Times hereafter, only for the Protection, Encouragement, and Defence, of the said Trade.

And it to hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Company prohibited to trade in their joint Capacity, &c. That it shall not be lawful for the Company established by this Act, to trade to or from Africa in their corporate or joint Capacity, or to have any joint or transferrable Stock, or to borrow or take up any Sum or Sums of Money on their Common Seal.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Direction and Management of the Affairs of the said Com­pany hereby established, A Committee of Nine to be chosen an­nually to ma­nage the Af­fairs of the Company. shall be in and by a Committee of Nine Persons, to be chosen annually, as hereafter is mentioned, who are to meet and assemble, together, from time to time as often as shall be ne­cessary, at some Place in the City of London; and the Committee­men for the time being, or any Five or more of them, or the Major Part of them so assembled, shall, from and after the passing such Act of Parliament for divesting the African Company of their Char­ter, Forts, Castles, and Military Stores, Canoe Men, Castle Slaves, and all other their Property on the Coast of Africa, as aforesaid, or before the passing such Act, so far as the said African Company shall consent thereto, have full Power, from time to time, to make Orders for the governing, maintaining, preserving, and improving, the Forts and Factories already built, or which hereafter shall be built, within the Limits aforesaid; and to appoint Governors, Deputy Go­vernors, or any other Officers, Civil or Military, of or for the said Forts and Settlements, and them to remove and displace, when they shall see fit; and to make Orders and Regulations for the better Government of the said Officers and Servants abroad, and to take Security from them for their good Behaviour, and for their paying due Obedience to the Re­gulations established by this Act, and to such other Orders and Regu­lations as the said Committee, No Restraint to be laid on the Trade, or Traders. shall from time to time, think proper to make; so as no Orders or Regulations, to be made by the said Committee, shall tend to lay any Restraint whatsoever on the said Trade or Traders, to or from Africa, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Traders, Traders who shall pay 40 s. for their Freedom in the Company, to meet on 10 of July, & choose the first Com­mittee; or Persons intending to trade to or from Africa, who, in order to be admitted into the Freedom of the said Company, shall, on or before the Thirtieth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, have paid into the Hands of the Chamberlain of the City of London, the Sum of Forty Shillings each for their Freedom in the said Company, shall or may meet and assemble on the Tenth Day of July, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, in the Guild­hall of the said City; and they, or the Major Part of them so assembled, shall or may choose Three Persons: And that in like Manner such others of the Traders to or from Africa, who, in order to be admitted into the Freedom of the said new Company, shall, on or before the said Thirtieth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, have paid into the Hands of the Clerk of the Merchants Hall in the City of Bristol, the Sum of Forty Shillings each for their Freedom in the said Company, shall or may assemble on the Tenth Day of July, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, in some [Page 55] convenient Place in the City of Bristol; and they▪ or the major Part of them so assembled, shall choose Three other Persons; and that in like Manner such other of the Traders to or from Africa, who in order to be admitted into the Freedom of the said new Company, shall, on or before the said Thirtieth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty have paid into the hands of the Town Clerk of Liverpool, the Sum of Forty Shillings each for their Freedom in the said Company, shall or may assemble on the said Tenth Day of July, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, in the Town Hall of Liverpool; and they, or the major Part of them, who shall be so assembled, shall and may choose Three other Persons; and the Nine Persons, so to be chosen in the Manner before expressed, who are to continue in Of­fice for 1 Year. shall be the First annual Committee for managing the Affairs of the said Company, and shall continue in Office for One Year, and until others shall be chosen in their Room respectively, as is herein after-mentioned.

And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Future Elec­tions to be on 3 July yearly. That in all future Elections, the said Committee of Nine Persons shall annually, on the Third Day of July in every Year, be nominated and chosen as follows; that is to say, Three of the said Committee shall be nominated and chosen by the major Part of the Freemen of the said Company admitted to the Freedom of the said Company in London, who shall assemble for that Purpose at London; Three other Persons to be of the said Committee, shall be chosen and nominated by the major Part of the Freemen of the said Company admitted to the Freedom of the said Company in Bristol, who shall assemble for that Purpose at Bristol; and Three other Persons to be of the said Committee, shall be chosen and nominated by the major Part of the Freemen of the said Company admitted to the Freedom of the said Company in the Town of Liverpool, who shall assemble for that Purpose at Liverpool.

And be it further enacted, Power given to choose other Com­mittee-men, in the Room of those who shall die, be removed, or refuse to act That it shall and may be lawful for the major Part of the Freemen of the said Company, made free at Lon­don, assembled for that Purpose at London, from time to time, at their Will and Pleasure, to choose and supply One or more Com­mittee-man or Committee-men, in the Place or Places of any of the Committee-men by them chosen, that shall happen to die, be removed, or refuse to act; and in like Manner, that it shall and may be lawful for the major Part of the Freemen of the said Company, made free at Bristol, assembled for that Purpose at Bristol, from time to time, at their Will and Pleasure, to choose and supply One or more Committee-man or Committee-men, in the Place or Places of any of the Committee-men by them chosen, that shall happen to die, be removed, or refuse to act: And that it shall and may be lawful for the major Part of the Freemen of the said Company, made free at Liverpool, assembled for that Purpose at Liverpool, from time to time, at their Will and Pleasure, to choose and supply One or more Committee-man, or Committee-men, in the Place or Places of any of the Committee-men, 10 Days pre­vious Notice of every such Election to be given in the London Ga­zette. by them chosen, that shall happen to die, be removed, or refuse to act: And publick Notice shall be inserted in the London Gazette, previous to every such Election, by the Committee for managing the Affairs of the said Company, of the Time and Place when and where such Election is to be had, Ten Days at least before the Time appointed for such Election.

[Page 56] Provided always, If no Election of Commit­teemen shall be made by the Traders of One Town or City, such as shall be elected by the other shall manage the Affairs of the Company Where 3 July shall happen to be on a Sun­day, the Election to be on the 4th. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case at the Time appointed for the first and other Elections of the said Committee-men, the Traders admitted to their Freedom, in any One or more of the said Cities and Towns respectively, shall neglect to proceed to such Choice; in that Case, such other of the Persons who shall be chosen by the Traders admitted to their Freedom in the other of the said Cities or Towns, or the major Part of them, though less in Number than Nine, shall or may act as the Committee for managing the Affairs of the said Company, until the next annual Election; and that all Elections of Committee-men for managing the Affairs of the said Company, shall be determined by the Majority of Votes then present; and that in all Cases, where the Third Day of July shall happen to fall or be on a Sunday, the annual Election of Committee-men shall be had and made on Monday the Fourth Day of July.

Provided always, In Equality of Votes, the Mayor of the Place to de­termine the Choice. That in case of an Equality of Votes, the Lord Mayor of London, the Mayor of Bristol, and the Mayor of Liver­pool respectively, shall and may determine which of such Persons shall be the Committee-man or Committee-men.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Committee for managing the Affairs of the said new Company, shall meet together, First Meeting of the Committee. for the First Time on the First Monday in August, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, and shall then settle the Manner of their future Meetings, and of the Notices and Summons to be sent for that Purpose, No Orders of the Commit­tee, to which all Members present are not consent­ing to be va­lid, unless confirmed at a subsequent Meeting. from time to time, to the Members of the said Committee; and no Order or Resolution of the said Committee, to which all the Members of the said Com­mittee, present at the making thereof, shall not be consenting, shall be valid or binding, unless the same shall be approved and confirmed at a subsequent Meeting of the said Committee, at which all the Members of the said Committee shall be present, or of which, such of them as shall happen to be absent, shall have had the usual Notice.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That on every Meeting of the said Committee, when the Time prefixed for entering on Business shall be come, Chairman to be chosen, be­fore the Committee pro­ceed to Busi­ness. and the said Nine Com­mittee-men, or so many of them as are necessary to make a Com­mittee, shall be present, before they enter upon Business, a Chair­man shall be chosen by Lot out of the Committee-men then pre­sent, who shall take the Chair for that Meeting; and shall not be permitted to give his Vote that Day on any Question before the said Committee, unless there shall happen to be an Equality of Votes on any Question or Questions; in all which Cases the said Chair­man shall be at Liberty to give his Vote on which Side of the Question he shall judge to be right: Committee-men who are absent at the Choice of the Chairman, not to vote that Day. And to prevent any of the said Committee-men from being designedly absent when a Chair­man is to be chosen, every Committee-man, who shall not be pre­sent at the Choice of the Chairman, shall not be permitted to vote on any Question before the Committee that Day; but shall be at Liberty to be present, and give his Opinion in all Matters what­soever, All Matters to be decided by Plurality of Votes. as any other Committee-man may do: And all Matters, which shall be decided by a Plurality of Votes of such Committee-men as shall be intitled to vote, shall be deemed and taken to be [Page 57] decided by a Majority of Committee-men present; any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Traders pay­ing 40 s for their Freedom in the Compa­ny, on or be­fore 30 June, 1750, to be the First Members, &c. That such of His Majesty's Subjects, who shall, on or before the said Thirtieth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, pay to the Chamberlain of London, the Clerk of the Merchants Hall in Bristol, or the Town Clerk of Liverpool, respectively, the Sum of Forty Shillings each, for their Freedom in the said Company, shall be the First Freemen and Members of the said new Company established by this Act: And that, from and after the said Thirtieth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, any other of His Majesty's Subjects, trading, or intending to trade, to or from Africa, shall and may be admitted to be a Freeman or Member of the said Company at London, Bristol or Liverpool, upon his Payment of the Sum of Forty Shillings for the same, to such Person or Persons, as the Committee for managing the Affairs of the said Company shall, and are hereby required, from time to time, to appoint to receive the same in London, Bristol, or Liverpool, respectively.

Provided always, Persons ad­mitted after 30 June, not intitled to vote at an E­lection for 1 Year after. That no Persons so admitted, after the said Thirtieth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, shall be intitled to vote for the Election of any Committee-man, until One Year after such Admission.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Chamberlain of London, Certificates to be given to Persons ad­mitted to their Free­doms in the Company. Fee of the Certificate. the Clerk of the Merchants Hall in Bristol, the Town Clerk of Liverpool, and such other Persons, whom the Committee, for managing the Affairs of the said Company shall, at any Time hereafter, appoint to receive the said Sums of Forty Shillings for the Admission of Persons into the Freedom of the said Company, shall, upon their receiving the same, sign and deliver a Certificate to the Person paying the same, certifying his having paid the Sum of Forty Shillings for his being admitted into the Freedom of the said Company; Names of the Company to be entered in Book. for which Certificate there shall be paid to the Person appointed to receive the said Sums of Forty Shillings, the Sum of Two Shillings and Six pence, and no more, as a Fee or Reward for his Trouble therein; and the Names and Places of Abode of every Person paying the said Sum of Forty Shillings, shall be entered in a Book or Books, which the Person receiving the same is hereby required to keep for that Purpose.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Chamberlain of London, Sums received for the Free­doms of the Company, to be paid to the Order of the Committee, &c. the Clerk of the Merchants Hall at Bristol, and the Town Clerk of Liverpool, shall respectively pay over the several Sums of Forty Shillings, which shall have been paid to them for Freedoms of the said Company, to such Person, or Persons whom the Committee of the said Company shall authorize to receive the same; and shall, at the same Time, deliver over the Books, in which the Names and Places of Abode of the Persons who shall have respectively paid the said Sums of Forty Shillings each, for their Freedoms in the said Company, shall have been entered, to such Person or Persons as the said Committee shall appoint to receive the same.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Person or Persons who shall, from time to time, be appointed by [Page 58] the said Committee at London, Bristol, and Liverpool, to receive the said Sums of Forty Shillings, payable by Persons on their being ad­mitted into the Freedom of the said Company, shall annually, or oftener, if required by the said Committee, pay and deliver over all such Sums, which shall have been paid to them respectively for Freedoms in the said Company, together with Lists of the Names and Places of Abode of the Persons from whom they shall have respectively received the same, to the said Committee, or as they shall, from time to time, direct.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That a true and exact List shall, List of the Company to be kept at the Office of the Committee, from time to time, be made and kept at the Office or Place where the said Committee shall transact their Business in London, of the Names and Places of Abode of all Persons admitted into the Freedom of the said Company, distinguish­ing the Place where each Person was admitted; which List shall annually, and to be printed annu­ally before the Elections. Ten Days at least before the annual Elections, be printed and delivered, without Fee or Reward, to such of the Persons admitted into the Freedom of the said Company, who shall desire the same.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person shall be capable of being chosen, None to be chosen into the Commit­tee, above 3 Years suc­cessively, &c. or acting as a Com­mittee-man, above Three Years successively; and Two or more Persons, who shall be in Copartnership in Trade, shall not be capa­ble to be chosen or act as Committee-men, during the same Time or Year: And the said Nine Persons, or any of them, shall not, during such Time as they shall be of the said Committee, in any Manner, directly or indirectly, trade jointly, or in Copartnership, to Africa, or lade, or cause to be laden, any Goods or Merchandizes on Board the same Ship, or to trade in Coparnership, &c. in which any One of the said Nine Com­mittee-men shall, for that Voyage, have before laden Goods to be carried to any Place in Africa.

And be it further enacted, That the said Committee shall and may, Committee may invest the Money in the Purchase of Goods, to be sent to Af­rica, for the Use of the Settlements; from time to time, invest such Part of the Money in their Hands, as they shall judge necessary, in the Purchase of Goods and Stores, which, after the same are insured, which they are hereby im­powered and required to procure to be done, are to be sent and exported to Africa, there to be sold, disposed of, and applied, for the sole Use, Preservation, and Improvement of the Forts and Settlements there, and for the Payment of the Salaries and Wages to the Officers, and other Persons employed for keeping and pre­serving the said Forts and Settlements, and not otherwise: But it shall not be lawful for the said Committee to carry, but may not carry on a Trade to and from Africa. or cause to be carried, or exported from Africa, any Negroes, or other Goods, in Return for the said Goods they shall so export from Great Britain, or in any other Manner to carry on any Trade to or from Africa: And a just and true Account of the said Committee's Receipts and Payments shall, Books of the Receipts and Payments of the Committee to be open to the Com­pany. from time to time, be kept in a Book or Books for that Purpose; which Book or Books shall be open at the Office or Place where the said Committee shall transact the Affairs and Business of the said Company in London, to be perused at all seasonable Times by any Person admitted to the Freedom of the said Company, without Fee or Reward.

[Page 59] And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations are hereby autho­rized and impowered, The Com­missioners for Trade and Plantations may remove any of the Committee-men, Officers, or Servants. from time to time, in case any of the said Committee-men, or any Officer or Servant appointed by them, shall be guilty of any Misbehaviour, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, to remove any of the said Committee-men, Officers, or Servants, from their Employments, giving Notice of such Removal, and specifying the Causes thereof, to the said Com­mittee; and when a Committee-men shall be so removed, the said Committee shall give Notice forthwith to the Mayor of the City or Town by whom the said Committee-man was chosen, On Removal of a Commit­tee-man, No­tice to be gi­ven for the Choice of an­other. to elect another in the Room or Stead of him so removed; and if an Officer or Servant shall be so removed the said Committee are here­by impowred to appoint another in the Room or Stead of him or them so removed.

Provided nevertheless, That whenever any Committee-man shall be charged with Misbehaviour in his Employment, Commissio­ners to sum­mon and hear any Commit­tee man char­ged with Mis­behaviour. the Commissio­ners for Trade and Plantations shall summon such Committee-man to appear before them, and shall, in case he attends, hear such Com­mittee-man; and upon his Attendance or Default, examine into the Truth of the said Charge, before they shall remove him from his Employment as aforesaid; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Committee shall, Committee to give into the Commissio­ners as Ac­count yearly of all their Proceedings & Orders, &c. and they are hereby required to render a just and perfect Account of all their transactions once a Year, to the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, or oftener, if thereunto re­quired by the said Commissioners, or any Three or more of them; in which shall be contained an Account of all the Monies received and disbursed by the said Committee, or their Order; and also an Account of all the Orders and Instructions given by the said Com­mittee, as well to their Officers and Servants in Great Britain, as on the Coast of Africa; and all the Answers given thereto by the said Officers and Servants employed by the said Committee; and of all other Matters and Things whatsoever which shall be transacted by the said Committee.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Committee, out of the Monies they shall receive, shall de­duct annually a Sum, Application of the Monies which shall be received by the Commit­tee. not exceeding the Sum of Eight hundred Pounds, for defraying, in the first Place, the Salaries of their Clerks and A­gents at London, Bristol, and Liverpool, the House-rent of their Office in London, and all other Charges of Management, Com­mission, or Agency, in England; and the Residue of the said Eight hundred Pounds shall be shared and divided amongst themselves, as they shall judge proper, as a Compensation for their Trouble and Attendance in the said Officer of Committee-men; and the rest of the Monies which the said Committee shall receive for the Admission of Persons into the Freedom of the said Company, or otherwise, shall be applied and appropriated wholly to the Maintenance, Support, and Im­provement of the Forts and Settlements already built, or which hereafter shall be built, on the Coast of Africa, which shall be in the Possession of the said Company; and for keeping them in good Repair; [Page 60] and for providing Ammunition, and other Stores, and Officers and Soldiers to defend the same; and for paying the said Officers and Soldiers; and to and for no other Use or Purpose what­soever.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Committee shall, Committee, at the Expiration of the Year to lay their Ac­counts before the Cursitor Baron of the Exchequer. within One Month after the Expiration of the Year for or during which they shall have been chosen Com­mittee-men, lay before the Cursitor Baron of the Court of Exche­quer, an Account of all the Money received by the Committee during the preceding Year, and of the Application thereof, upon Oath; and the said Cursitor Baron shall, within One Month after the said Account shall be laid before him, examine, pass, and audite the same; and for the better discovering of the Truth of such Account, and a Copy thereof, and of their Pro­ceeding, be­fore the Par­liament. the said Cursitor Baron is hereby impowred to examine any of the said Committee-men and such other Person or Persons as he shall judge necessary, upon Oath, touching the Articles or Particulars in such Account expressed, or such of them as the said Cursitor Baron shall think fit; which Account, so audited and passed by the Cursitor Baron, shall be final and conclusive, and shall be a full and absolute Discharge to the said Committee-men, and before a General Meet­ing of the Company. without their being compelled to give or render any further or other Account thereof; and the said Committee shall, every Session of Parliament, lay before the Parliament a Copy of such annual Account, audited as aforesaid, and of all Orders and Regulations made by them in the preceding Year, relating to the said Forts and Settle­ments, or the Government of their Officers or Servants employed therein; and Copies of every such annual Account, Orders, and Regulations, shall be annually laid before a General Meeting of the Members of the said Company, Notice of the Meeting to be given. to be had in London, Bristol, and Liverpool, respectively; of which Fourteen Days Notice shall be previously given in the London Gazette.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Officer, Traders not to be obstructed in trading. or any other Person to be employed by the said Com­mittee, at any of the Forts or Settlements built or to be built in Africa, shall at any Time hereafter, in any Manner, or on any Pretence, obstruct or hinder any of His Majesty's Subjects in Tra­ding; and that the Forts, Warehouses, and Buildings, already erected, The Buildings to be free to them for Warehouses; or which shall hereafter be erected, by the said Company, shall and may at all Times hereafter be free and open to all His Majesty's Subjects, to be used as Warehouses for depositing Gun­powder, Gold, Elephants Teeth, Wax, Gums, and Drugs, and no other Goods.

Provided nevertheless, and for Safety of their Per­sons and Effects in case of Danger. That the said Forts, Warehouses, and Buildings, may and shall, in case of Necessity or Danger, be free and open to all His Majesty's Subjects, for the Safety of their Persons, and Security of all their Effects whatsoever.

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Traders may build Houses under the Pro­tection of the Forts, or else­where. That it shall and may be lawful for any of His Majesty's Subjects trading to Africa, for the Security of their Goods or Slaves, to erect Houses and Warehouses, under the Protection of the said Forts, or elsewhere in any other Part of Africa within the Limits afore­said, for the better carrying on of his or their Trade there; [Page 61] which Houses and Warehouses shall be the Property of the Person or Persons who shall build the same; but shall not be disposed of, or lett, to any Foreigner whatsoever.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Commander or Master of any Ship trading to Africa, Penalty on Masters of Vessels com­mitting Vio­lence. &c. on the Natives, to the Preju­dice of the Trade. shall by Fraud, Force or Violence, or by any other indirect Practice what­soever, take on Board, or carry away from the Coast of Africa any Negro or Native of the said Country, or commit, or suffer to be committed, any Violence on the Natives, to the Prejudice of the said Trade; and that every Person so offending, shall, for every such Offence, forfeit the Sum of One hundred Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain; One Moiety thereof to the Use of the said Company hereby established, and their Successors, for and towards the maintaining the said Forts, and Settlements, Application of the Penalty and the other Moiety to and for the Use of him or them who shall inform or sue for the same.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Instructions to be given to Captains of Men of War, to inspect and report the Condition of the Forts. That the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, or the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain for the time being, shall, from time to time, give Instructions to the Captains of such of His Majesty's Ships of War as shall be stationed or ordered to cruise within the Limits aforesaid, from time to time, to inspect and report to them the State and Condition in which the said Forts and Settlements shall be; and the Officers of such Forts are required to permit such Captains to view and inspect the same; Reports to be said before Parliament. and Copies of all such Reports shall, every Session of Par­liament, be laid before Parliament.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That such Commission Officers of His Majesty's Navy, Officers of the Navy to be appointed to inquire into, and report the Condition of Forts, &c. in the possession of the African Company. as the Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, or the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain, for the time being, shall appoint for that Purpose, shall inspect and examine the State and Condition of the Forts and Settlements on the Coast of Africa, in the Possession of the said Royal African Company, and of the Number of Soldiers therein, and also the State and Condition of the Military Stores, Castles, Slaves, Canoes and other Vessels and Things, belonging to the said Company, and necessary for the Use and Defence of the said Forts and Settlements, and shall with all possible Dispatch report how they find the same, to the said Lord High Admiral, or Commissioners for executing the said Office; and the said Company and their Officers and Servants, are hereby required to permit the said Officers of the Navy to make such Inspection and Examination, and to assist them therein; a Copy of which Report shall be laid before Parliament at the Beginning of the next Session.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Commissio­ners appoint­ed to examine into the Claims of the Creditors of said Company and to report their Opi­nion, &c. That the Accountant General of the High Court of Chancery for the time being, and such Two of the other Masters of the said Court, as the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain for the time being, or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of Great Bri­tain for the time being, or the Lords Commissioners for the Great Seal of Great Britain for the time being, shall, from time to time, nominate for that Purpose, shall be, and they are hereby [Page 62] constituted and appointed Commissioners for examining into the Claims of the Creditors of the said Royal African Company; And such Commissioners, or any Two of them, are hereby impowered and required, by the Examination of the Parties interested, or the Testimony of Witnesses upon Oath, or by the Inspection and Exa­mination of the Books, Deeds, Writings, and Accounts of the said Company, and their Creditors respectively, or otherwise, according to their Discretion, to examine into the said Claims, and to enquire and state how and when the same were respectively incurred, and for what Consideration the same were originally, really, and bonafide, contracted or became due; and upon what Consideration, and when the Claimants became respectively intitled thereto, together with their Opinion of the Justness and Reasonableness of such Debts respectively; and for that Purpose all and every the Creditors of the said Company are hereby required on or before the respective Days and Times hereafter limited and appointed for that Purpose, to deliver or cause to be delivered in Writing under their respective Hands, or the Hands of Persons by them respectively authorized, unto such Officer or Officers, and at such Place within the City of London, as the said Commissioners, or any Two of them shall appoint, of which Notice shall be given in the London Gazette, a just and true Account of their respective Claims upon the said Company, together with a true Copy of the Securities by which they respectively claim the same, and such of the said Creditors as reside in Great Britain, or Ireland, shall make their respective Claims, on or before the Thirtieth Day of August, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, and such of them as are resident on the Coasts of Africa, or elsewhere beyond the Seas, shall make their respective Claims on or before the Thirtieth Day of December, One thousand seven hundred and fifty; and the Directors and Officers of the said Company, and all other Persons whatsoever▪ whom the said Com­missioners, or any Two of them shall think fit to examine, touching the Matters aforesaid, are hereby strictly required and enjoined to attend the said Commissioners, from time to time, and at all such Times and Places as the said Commissioners, or any Two of them, shall under their Hands require or appoint, and to give the best and truest Information they can, touching the said Claims, and to produce all Books, Papers, Deeds, or Records relating thereto, is their respective Custody or Power, as the said Commissioners, or any Two of them shall direct; and the said Commissioners, or any Two of them are hereby authorized to administer an Oath, for the better Discovery of the Truth of the Facts, touching which such Examination or Inquiry shall be made; and they are hereby required to close and finish their Examinations of all the Claims that shall be made by such of the said Creditors, Time limited for closing their Exami­nations. who reside in Great Britain or Ireland at the farthest, on or before the Thirty first Day of January, One thousand seven hundred and fifty, and of [...] the Claims that shall be made by [...] said Creditors who reside in Africa, Accounts' of their Proceed­ings to be laid before Parlia­ment. or any other Parts [...] Seas, on or before the Twenty eighth Day of February, One thousand seven hundred and fifty; and the said Commissioners shall lay Accounts of their Proceedings before the Parliament with all convenient Speed.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any Person or Persons summoned to appear before the said Commissioners, shall wilfully neglect or refuse to appear and be examined [Page 63] touching the Matters and Things by this Act directed to be in­quired into, Persons sum­moned not appearing, or refusing to be examined, &c. to be committed. or shall refuse to answer, or shall not fully answer to the Satisfaction of the Commissioners present at the Time of such Examination, or any Two of them, all Questions put to him, her, or them, by the said Commissioners, or any Two of them, as well by Word of Mouth as by Interrogatories in Writing; or shall refuse or wilfully neglect to produce, from time to time, to the said Com­missioners, or any Two of them, all Books of Account, Papers, and Writings, in their Custody or Power, relating to the Matters herein directed to be inquired into by the said Commissioners, as the said Commissioners, or any Two of them, shall, from time to time direct, then and in every such Case it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Commissioners, or any Two of them, by Warrant under their Hands and Seals, to commit him, her, or them, to such Prison, as the said Commissioners, or any Two of them shall think fit, there to remain, without Bail or Mainprize, until such Person or Persons shall submit him, her, or themselves, to the said Commissioners, and produce before them such Books of Accounts, Papers, and Writings, upon Oath, and full Answer make, to the Satisfaction of the Commissioners, to all such Questions as shall be put to him, her, or them, as afore­said, according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act; and the said Commissioners, The Questi­ons to be in­serted in the Warrant of Commit­ment. in every Case where any Person or Persons shall be by them committed for refusing to answer, or for not fully answering any Question or Questions put to him, her, or them, by the said Commissioners, by Word of Mouth, or upon Interrogatories, shall in their Warrants of Commitment specify such Question or Questions.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Royal African Company, their Directors, Officers, and Servants, and every of them, The African Company re­strained from disposing of any Military Stores, &c. shall, for the Space of One Year, to be computed from the Seventeenth Day of March, One thousand seven hundred and forty nine, be, and they are hereby restrained and disabled from assigning, transferring, or disposing of all or any their Military Stores, Am­munition, Slaves, Canoes, Vessels, and Things necessary for the Use or Defence of their Forts and Settlements; and all Actions, Suits, and Process, depending, or which shall be hereafter commenced or prosecuted by any Person or Persons for Recovery of any Debt or Sum of Money due, and all Suits for Money due by them, stayed for one Year. or pretended to be due, from the said Com­pany, or from any Person or Persons, for or in respect of any Debt or Debts contracted for or on Behalf of the said Company, shall be, and the same are hereby stayed for the Space of One Year, to be computed from the said Seventeenth Day of March, One thousand seven hundred and forty nine.

And whereas David Crichton, late One of the Chief Agents of the said Company at Cape Coast Castle, now a Prisoner for Debt in the Custody of the Sheriffs of the City of London, did, with Two others of the said Company's Agents or Servants there ( to wit ) Thomas Chalmer, and James Craik, in the Year One Thousand seven hundred and forty five, contract a Debt at Cape Coast Castle aforesaid, of Fourteen hundred Pounds, for and on the Behalf of the said Company, for the Support and Maintenance of their Forts and Servants: And whereas the said David Crichton now stands charged in the Custody of the said Sheriffs, in Execution, on a Judgment given in the Court of King's Bench, at the Suit of One William Stead, for the Debt aforesaid, which together with Costs of Suit, and Interest thereon, [Page 64] amounts in the Whole to the Sum of Sixteen hundred and four Pounds, Sixteen Shillings, and Six-pence, upon a Judgement obtained against him in His Majesty's Court of King's Bench, by the said William Stead.

Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said David Crichton be forthwith discharged out of the Custody of the said Sheriffs, upon the said David Crichton's giving a new Judgment to the said William Stead, David Critch­ton now in Custody for a Debt con­tracted on Behalf of the Company, to be dis­charged, on giving a new Judgement, for the said Sum of Sixteen hundred and four Pounds, Sixteen Shillings and Six-pence, with Stay of Execution thereon, for One Year, to be computed from the said Seventeenth Day of March, One thousand seven hundred and forty nine: And further, That the said David Crichton do enter into a Bond to the said William Stead, with Two Sureties, to be approved of by One of the Judges of the Court of King's Bench, in double the Penalty of the said Sum of Sixteen hundred and four Pounds, Sixteen Shillings and Six-pence, with which the said David Crichton stands charged in Custody, with Condition that he the said David Crichton will not withdraw himself out of England, and Bond for his Appear­ance. but will always be ready, either in London or Middlesex, at the Expiration of the said Year, to be subject to any Process the said William Stead shall think proper to take out against him.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Expences of obtaining and passing this Act shall be defrayed and paid by the said Committee for managing the Affairs of the said New Company, Expences of this Act, out of the first Monies they shall receive for the Admissions of Persons into the Freedom thereof; and of the Commission­ers, their Ser­vants and A­gents, how to be paid. and the Expences of the said Commissioners, their Officers and Servants, and of the Enquiry to be made in pursuance of this Act, shall be defrayed, in the first Place, out of such Com­pensation as shall be hereafter granted by Parliament, on the said Royal African Company's being divested of their Charter, Lands, Forts, Castles, Slaves, and other Effects.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Penalties inflicted by this Act may be sued for and recovered by Action of Debt, Penalties how to be recover­ed Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster, or in any of the Courts of His Majesty's Planta­tions or Colonies in America, wherein no Essoin, Protection, Privilege, or Wager of Law, or more than One Imparlance shall be allowed; and all and every Offence and Offences which any Person or Persons shall be guilty of on the High Sea, Limitation of Actions. or on Shore, within the Limits before-men­tioned, contrary to this Act, shall be enquired of and determined in His Majesty's Court of King's Bench at Westminister, or before such Com­missioners, and in such County of this Realm, as shall be Assigned by His Majesty's Commission, and by good and lawful Men of the same County.

And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action or Actions shall be commenced or brought against any Person or Persons for what he or they shall do, General Issue. or cause to be done, in pursuance of this Act, then, and in every such Case, such Person or Persons shall and may plead the General Issue, and give this Act and the Special Matter in Evidence, any Law or Usage to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act shall be deemed and taken to be a Publick Act, Publick Act and shall be taken Notice of as such, by all Judges, Justices, and other Persons whatsoever without specially pleading the same.

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