In force for the observation of
L E N T :
And F I S H-dayes, at all other times
Of the Y E A R.
With full and ready notes in the margent,
Shewing the effect in brief.
Published by a well-wisher to peace, for the information of all persons subject to the violation of the said Laws. L O N D O N,
Printed by Robert White, and are to be sold by him at his house in Warick Lane in Warick Court. 1661.
His Majesty having been pleased by his Proclamation lately published to declare his Royal pleasure, concerning the observation of Lent and fish-dayes, at all other times in the year, the observation of which of late years hath not been practiced, by reason of which, many persons are unacquainted with the Laws in those cases, the knowledge of which is of general concernment unto all, I have therefore collected together so much of all the several Statutes that are in force for the observatioins of the said dayes and time as concerns this business: the first Statute you have wholly, the others not wholly, but in part; in which these things ly intermixed amongst other things. Knowing that all men have not the Statutes at large, therefore for the information of such as have them not, I have made this collection, that they may be acquainted with the Laws in this case, and avoid the penalties therein contained; if any may be cautionated hereby, so as to prevent their sufferings, I shall be heartily glad, as having the end answered, for which I have taken upon me to publish the same.
Anno secundo & tertio Edwardi sexti. C A P. XIX. Eating of flesh on certain dayes, and times forbidden.
ALbeit the Kings Subjects now having a more perfect and clear light of the Gospel, and true Word of God, through the infinite mercy and clemency of Almighty God, by the hands of the Kings Majesty, and his most noble Father of famous memory, promulgate, shewed, declared, and opened, and thereby perceiving, that one day, or one meat of it self, is not more holy, more pure, or more clean than another, for that all days and all meats be of their nature of one equal purity, cleanness and holiness, and that all men should by them live, to the glory of God, and at all times, and for all meats, give thanks unto him, of which meats none can defile Christian men, or make them unclean at any time, to whom all meats be lawful and pure, so that they be not used in disobedience or vice: Yet forasmuch as divers of the Kings Subjects, turning their knowledge therein, to satisfie their sensuality, where they should thereby increase in vertue, have of late time more than in times past, broken and contemned such abstinence which hath been used in this Realm, upon the Frydayes and Saturdayes, the Embring dayes, and other dayes, commonly called Vigils, and in the time commonly called Lent, and other accustomed times: the Kings Majesty considering, that due and godly abstinence is a mean to vertue, and to subdue mens bodies to their soul and spirit, and considering also that Fishers, and men using the trade of living by fishing in the Sea, may thereby the rather be set on work, and that by eating of fish much flesh shall be saved and increased, and also for divers other considerations and commodities of this Realm, doth ordain and enact, with the assent of the Lords spiritual and temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that all manner [1/2] of Statutes, Laws, Constitutions, and Usages, concerning any manner of fasting or abstinence from any kinds of meats, heretofore in this Realm made or used, shall from the first day of May next ensuing, lose their force and strength, and be void and of none effect.
And also that no person or persons, of what estate, degree, or condition he or they be, shall at any time after the said first day of May in the year of our Lord God, M.D. xlix. willingly and wittingly eat any manner of flesh, after what manner of kind or sort it shall be ordered, dressed, or used, upon any Fryday or Saturday, or the Embring dayes, or in any other day in the time commonly called Lent, nor at any such other day, as is or shall be at any time, hereafter commonly accepted and reputed to be a fishg day, within this Realm of England, wherein it hath been commonly used for to eat fish and not flesh, upon pain that every person eating any manner of flesh upon any of the said dayes or times prohibited by this Act, to forfeit for the said first offence, ten shillings of lawful money of England, and also to suffer imprisonment, by the space of ten dayes, and during the time of his or her said imprisonment, to abstain from eating of any manner of flesh.
And if any person after he shall be lawfully convict of any offence contrary to this Act, doth estsoons offend, contrary to this Act, and be thereof lawfully convict, that then every person so offending the second time, shall for his second offence forfeit twenty shillings of lawful money of England, and also suffer imprisonment by the space of twenty dayes, and during the time of his or her said imprisonment, to abstain from eating of any manner of flesh, and so like pain and imprisonment as often as he or she afterwards shall offend.
And furthermore, it is ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that Justicees of Goal delivery, and Justices of peace, in all and singular Counties, Cities, Towns corporate, and other places within this Realm of England, and other the Kings Dominions, shall have full power and authority to enquire, hear and determine all and all manner offences, that shall be committed or done contrary to this Act, [2/3] in like manner and form as they may enquire, hear and determine any trespass or other offence, against the Kings peace committed or done, within the limits or place where they then shall be Justices of Goal delivery or Justices of peace. And the moity of every such forfeiture, shall be extreated into the Court of the Exchequer, in like manner and form, as fines for any trespass, or other offence committed against the Kings peace, ought or should be extreated: and the other moity of the said forfeiture shall be to him that will sue for the same, by bill, plaint, information, or otherwise, in any of the Kings Courts of record, in which no essoin, protection, or wager of law shall be allowed.
Provided alwayes, and be it ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that this Act or any thing therein contained, shall not in any wise extend to any person or persons that heretofore hath, or hereafter shall have obtained any licence of our Soveraign Lord the King, his Heirs or Successors, nor to any person being in great age, and in debility and weakness thereby, nor to any person being sick or notably hurt, without fraud or covin, during the time of his or her said sickness, nor to any woman being with child, or lying in child bed, for eating of such one kind of flesh as she shall have great lust unto, nor to any person being in prison, for any other offence, than for any offence contrary to this Act, neither to any that is, or hereafter shall be the Kings Highness Lieutenant, Deputy or Captain of any his Majesties Army, Hold or Fortress: but the same themselves may eat flesh, and license permit their souldiers to do the same in times prohibited, upon the want and lack of other kind of victual: neither shall extend to St. Lawrence even, St. Marks day, or any other day or even being abrogate, neither to any such as heretofore have obtained any licence, in due form of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
And further, be it enacted by authority aforesaid, that all Archbishops, Bishops, Archdeacons, and their Officers, or the Officers of any of them, shall have power to enquire of the offendors in the premisses, and present the same to such from time to time, as by vertue of this Act have authority to hear and determine the same. [3/4]
Provided alwayes, and be it enacted, that no manner of person or persons, be impeached, molested or troubled, or shall incur any pain, penalty or forfeiture for any offence contrary to the Act before rehearsed, committed or done, except he or they be accused, convented or indicted, of and for the said offence, according to the tenour of this statute, within three moneths next after the committing of the said offence. 5 & 6. Ed. 6. 3.
Anno quinto & sexto Edwardi sexti. C A P. III. Which shall be Fasting dayes.
A N D it is also enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every even or day next going before any of the aforesaid dayes of the Feats of the Nativity of our Lord, of Easter, of the Ascension of our Lord, Pentecost, of the Purification, and the Annunciation of the aforesaid blessed Virgin, of All Saints, and of all the said Feasts of the Apostles, (other than of St. John the Evangelist, and Philip and Jacob) shall be fasted, and commanded to be kept, and observed, and that none other even or day shall be commanded to be fasted.
And it is enacted by the authority abovesaid, that it shall be lawful to all Archbishops, and Bishops in their Diocesses, and to all other having Ecclesiastical or Spiritual jurisdiction, to enquire of every person that shall offend in these premisses, and to punish every such offendor, by the Censurers of the Church, and to enjoyn him, or them such penance, as shall be to the Spiritual Judge, by his direction thought meet and convenient.
Provided alwayes, that this Act, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend to abrogate or take away, the abstinence from flesh in Lent, or on Frydayes and Saturdayes, or any other day, which is already appointed so to be kept, by vertue of an Act, made and provided in the third year of the [4/5] rain of our Soveraign Lord the Kings Majesty that now is, saving only of those evens or dayes, whereof the holy day next following is abrogated by this Statute, any thing above mentioned to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
Provided also, and it is enacted by the authority aforesaid, that when, and so often, as it shall chance any of the said Feasts, (the evens whereof be by his Statute commanded to be observed, and kept fasting day) to fall upon the Munday: that then, as it hath alwayes been heretofore accustomably used, so hereafter the Saturday then next going before any such Feast, or Holy day, and not the Sunday, shall be commanded to be fasted for the even of any such Feast, or Holy day, any thing in this Statute before mentioned or declared to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
Provided alwayes, and it is enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall be lawful to every Husbandman, Labourer, Fisherman, and to all and every other person and persons of what estate, degree, or condition he, or they be, upon the Holy dayes aforesaid, in Harvest, or at any other times in the year, when necessity shall require, to labour, ride, fish, or work any kind of work, at their free wills and pleasure, any thing in this Act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
Anno quinto Regine Elizabethe. C A P. V. Constitutions for the maintence of the Navy, &c.
B E it further enacted, that from the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, in the year of our Lord God M D lxiv. every Wednesday in ever week throughout the whole year, which heretofore hath not by the laws or customs of this Realm been used and observed as a fish day, and which shall not happen to fall in Christmas week, or Easter week, shall be hereafter observed and kept as [5/6] the Saturdayes in every week be or ought to be. And that no manner of person shall eat any flesh on the same day, otherwise then ought to be upon the common Saturday.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, for the benefit and commodity of this Realm, to grow as well in maintenance of the Navy, as in sparing and increase of flesh, victual of this Realm: that from and after the Feast of Pentecost next coming, it shall not be lawful to any person or persons within this Realm, to eat any flesh upon any Wednesday nor newly limited to be observed as fish day, upon pain that every person so offending herein, shall forfeit three pound for every time he or they shall offend, or else suffer three moneths close imprisonment without bail or mainprise.
And every person or persons within whose house any such offence shall be done, and being privy or knowing thereof, and not effectually publishing or disclosing the same to some publick Officer, having authority to punish the same, for every such offence to forfeit forty shillings. All which forfeitures for not abstaining from meats, shall be divided into three equal parts: That is, one part to the use of the Queens Majesty, her heirs or successors, the other part to the Informer, the third to the common use of the Parish where the offence is or shall be committed, and to be levied by the Churchwardens, after any conviction in that behalf.
Provided alwayes, and be it enacted, that this Act, nor any thing herein contained, concerning eating of flesh, shall in any wise extend to any person or persons, that shall hereafter have any special licence, upon causes to be contained in the same licence, and to be granted according to the laws of this Realm in such cases provided.
All and every which said licence and licences, shall be void to all intents, unless the same contain the conditions hereafter mentioned: That is to say, every licence made to any person or persons being of the degree of a Lord of Parliament, or of their wives, shall be upon condition, that every such person so to be licenced, shall pay to the poor mens box within the Parish where they shall dwell or remain, in the Feast of the purification of the blessed Virgin Mary, or within six dayes after [6/7] the same Feast, six and twenty shillings and eight pence, the same to be paid within one moneth next after the same Feast, upon pain of forfeiture of every such licence. And every licence to any person of the degree of a Knight, or a Knights wife, shall be upon condition, that every such person so licenced, shall pay yearly thirteen shillings and fourpence, to the use aforesaid, and in form afore-mentioned. And every licence to any person or persons being under the degrees above said, shall be upon condition, that every such person so licenced, shall pay yearly six shillings and eight pence to the said use, and in form afore-mentioned.
Provided alwayes, that no licence shall extend to the eating of any Beef at any time of the year, nor to the eating of any Veal in any year, from the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, unto the first day of May.
Provided also that all persons which by reason or notorious sickness, shall be enforced for recovery of health to eat flesh for the time of their sickness, shall be sufficiently licenced by the Bishop of the Diocess, or by the Parson, Vicar or Curate of the Parish were such person shall be sick, or of one of the next Parish adjoyning, if the said Parson, Vicar, or Curate of his or their own Parish be willfull, or if there be no Curate within the same Parish. Which licence shall be made in writing signed with the hand of the Bishop of the Diocess, or of the Parson, Vicar, or Curate, and not endure longer than the time of the sickness. And that if the sickness shall continue above the space of eight dayes after such licence granted, then the licence shall be registred in the Church book, with the knowledge of one of the Churchwardens, and the party licenced shall give to the Curate four pence for the entry thereof, and that licence to endure no longer, but only the time of his, her, or their sickness.
And if any licence by any Parson, Vicar, or Curate, be granted to any person or persons, other then such as evidently appear to have need thereof, by reason of their sickness: not only every such licence shall be void, but also every such Parson, Vicar, or Curate, shall forfeit every such licence otherwise granted, five marks.
Provided also, and be it enacted, that all licences heretofore granted [7/8] to any subject of this Realm, by any of the late Kings, or by the late Queen Mary, or by the Queens Majesty now being, or by any Archbishop of this Realm, having authority so to do, shall be of as good force in Law for the Wednesday now limited, and other accustomed fish dayes, as they were before the making of this Act, for the said other accustomed fish dayes, so as the parties licenced, do hereafter observe all such conditions as be limited in this estatute, to such as shall hereafter obtain any licences.
And such persons also as heretofore were or ought to be licenced by reason of age, or other impediment or cause, by order of the Ecclesiastical Laws, shall enjoy the same priviledge and accustomed licences: Any thing in this Act to the contrary hereof, in any wise notwithstanding.
And if any person or persons shall be presented before the said Judges, Justices or Officers, within the limits of their authorities, or any information given to them of any offendor of this Act, that then they shall have full power and authority upon any such presentment or information, to make process against the offendors of this Act, like as is commonly used upon indictments of trespass. And if any be presented, and afterward be convicted, by confession or otherwise, that then every such person shall suffer no less forfeiture or punishment then herein is before limited: all which forfeitures to be levied in manner and form following. That is to say, such forfeitures concerning eating of flesh, as are before limited, to certain uses, to be to the same uses in that behalf before expressed and all such forfeitures as according to the tenour of this Act shall be determinable before the said Judges, Justices, or other Officers of the Admiralties aforesaid, or before Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, in that behalf, shall be to the use of the Lord Admiral of England, or Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, where such offence shall be presented, or whereas the jurisdiction of the cause shall appertain.
And all such forfeitures, as according to the tenour of this Act shall be determinable before Majors, Sheriffs, Bayliffs, or other head Officers of Cities or Towns corporate, shall be to the common use of the Corporation of the said City or Town [8/9] corporate, where such offences shall be presented, or whereas the jurisdiction of the cause shall appertain.
And all such forfeitures, as according to the tenour of this Act shall be determinable before the Justices of the Peace, shall be to the use of the Queens Majesty, her Heirs and Successors. And if any person shall be convict, by confession, or otherwise upon any information made by any person or persons, against any offendor or offendors of this Act, in any cause (save for the eating of flesh first before specially limited) that then every such person so convict upon any information, shall lose such forfeiture as is before limited, the one half to such as shall make the information, and the other half to those which upon presentment without special information are before limited to have the whole forfeiture.
And that for the levying of every forfeiture growing by this estatute, as well the said Lord Admiral of England, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, their Lieutenants and Judges, as the said Justices, Mayors, Sheriffs, Bayliffs and other head Officers within the limits of their Commissions or authorities, have and shall have full power and authority to make such process, as they shall think good by their discretions.
Provided always, that none information at the suit of any person concerning this Act, shall be of any effect to put any person to answer or loss of forfeiture, except the said information be commenced within half a year next after the offence done contrary to this Act, nor that any information, or presentment for the Queens Majesty, her Heirs or Successors, or for the Admiral, Warden of the Cinque Ports, Mayors, or other Officers aforesaid, be of any effect, to put any person to any answer or loss of any forfeiture by vertue of this Act, except the said information or presentment be within one year next after the offence done and committed contrary to this Act.
Provided and be it likewise enacted, that it shall be lawful to any person or persons, to have at his or their table, upon every Wednesday, being ordered by this estatute to be observed as a fish-day, one only usual competent dish of flesh, of one kinde and no more, so that he, she, or they have also served to the same table, and meat at the same meal, three [9/10] full competent usual dishes of Sea-fish, of sundry kinds, either fresh or salt, and that without fraud or covin, and so shall also order, that the same fish be meet and seasonable, and that it shall be eaten or spent in like manner, as upon Frydayes or Saturdayes in like case are used.
And also such persons as have, or hereafter shall have, upon good and just consideration, any lawful licence to eat flesh upon any fish day (except such persons, as for sickness shall for the time be licenced by the Bishop of the Diocess, or by their Curates, or shall be licenced by reason of age, or other impediment, allowed heretofore by the Ecclesiastical laws of this Realm) shall be bound by force of this Statute, to have for every one dish of flesh served to be eaten at their table, one usual dish of Sea-fish fresh or salt, to be likewise served at the same table, and to be eaten or spent without fraud or covin, as the like kind is, or shall be usually eaten or spent on Saturdayes.
And that these two Articles and clauses next above, shall be taken and interpreted from time to time, in the favour of expence of Sea-fish, and that the offendor or offendors herein, shall be punished in like manner, as is ordered by this estatute, for punishment of such as shall eat flesh upon Frydayes, Saturdayes, or other fish dayes.
And because no manner of person shall mis-judge of the intent of this estatute, limiting orders to eat fish, and to forbear eating of flesh, but that the same is purposely intended and meant politickly for the increase of Fishermen and Mariners, and repairing of Port Towns and Navigation, and not for any superstition to be maintained in the choice of meats,
Be it enacted, that whatsoever, shall by preaching, teaching, writing, or open speech notifie, that any eating of fish, or forbearing of flesh mentioned in this Statute, is of any necessity for the saving of the soul of man, or that it is the service of God, otherwise than as other politick laws are and be, that then such person shall be punished, as spreaders of false news are and ought to be.
This Act to continue and endure to the end of the next Parliament, 3. Caroli Cap. 4. continued untill the end of the first session of the next Parliament. [10/11]
The punishment of such persons as are spreaders of false news, by the Sta. 3. Ed. I. 33. 2. Rich. 2. 5. 12. Rich. 2. II. which is to be kept in prison while they produce their Authors.
A branch of the Statute of Anno 35. Reginæ Eliz. Cap. 7. entituled, Several Statutes made in the raign of King Hen. 8 King Edw. 6. and Queen Eliz. revived and continued, and certain other Statutes repealed, &c.
In which Statute among other things, it is provided and enacted as followeth.
Provided also, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that every person eating any flesh upon any fish dayes contrary to the form of the said Statute made for the maintenance of the Navy, shall forfeit only twenty shillings, or else suffer only one moneths close imprisonment without bail or mainprise. And every person or persons within whose house any such offence shall be done, and being privy or knowing thereof, and not effectually publishing or disclosing the same to some publick officer, having authority to punish the same, for every such offence, to forfeit only thirteen shillings four pence, any thing in the said Statute contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
A branch of the Statute of Anno 3. Caroli Cap. 4. entituled, Divers Statutes made perpetual, others continued, and some others repealed, when corn may be transported, &c.
In which Statute among other things, it is provided and enacted as followeth.
And so much of an Act made in the fifth year of the raign of the late Queen Elizabeth, entituled, An Act touching certain politick constitutions made for the maintenance of the Navy, as is not repealed by any later Statute, nor doth concern the eating of flesh or using of fish upon the Wednesday, nor the transportation of herring or other Sea-fish, nor freedom of Subsidy, Custom, or Tonnage for the same, nor transportation of Corn, nor the prohibiting the bringing into this Realm any Cod or Lings in Barrels or other Caskes, together with all and every other additions, explanations, and alterations made thereunto or thereof, or of any part thereof by any Statute or Statutes made since the making of [11/12] the said last mentioned Act, and in force the last day of the Session of Parliament that was in the 21. year of the raign of the late King James, shall continue in force until the end of the first Session of the next Parliament.
A branch of a Statute made Anno decimo septimo Caroli Regis, entituled, An Act for the further relief of his Majesties army and the Northern parts of the Kingdom.
In which Statute among other things, it is provided and enacted, as followeth.
Provided and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the passing of this present Act, or of any other Act or Acts, or his Majesties Royal assent to them, or any of them in this present Session of Parliament, shall not be any determination of the said Session, and that all Statutes and Acts of Parliament made in the third year of the raign of his Majesty that now is, entituled, An Act for the continuance and repeal of divers Statutes, continued untill the end of the first Session of the next Parliament: shall by vertue of this Act be adjudged ever since the Session of Parliament in the said third year, to have been of such force and effect as the same were the last day of that Session, and from thenceforth, untill some other Act of Parliament be made touching the continuance or discontinuance of the said Statutes and Acts in the said Act of the third year of his Majesties raign, continued as aforesaid.