64. The Negative Oath.

[April 5, 1645. Rushworth, vi. 141.]

An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, for enabling the Commissioners of the Great Seal, and the other Committees in their several Counties, to tender an Oath to all such persons of what degree or quality soever, that shall come in to the protection of the Parliament.

Be it ordained by the Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, that all and every person of what degree or quality soever, that hath lived or shall live within the King's quarters, or been aiding, assisting or adhering unto the forces raised against the Parliament, and hath or shall come to inhabit or reside under the power and protection of the Parliament, shall swear upon the holy evangelist in manner following:

'I, A. B., do swear from my heart that I will not directly or indirectly adhere unto or willingly assist the King in this war, or in this cause against the Parliament, nor any forces raised without the consent of the two Houses of Parliament in this cause or war. And I do likewise swear that my coming and submitting myself under the power and protection of the Parliament, is without any manner of design whatsoever, to the prejudice of the proceedings of the two Houses of this present Parliament, and without the direction, privity or advice of the King, or any of his Council or officers, other than what I have now made known. So help me God, and the contents of this Book.'

And be it further ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the Commissioners for keeping of the Great Seal of England for the time being, shall have power, and are hereby authorised to tender and administer the said oath unto any peer, or wife or widow of any peer, so coming to inhabit as abovesaid.

And it shall be lawful to and for the Committee of the House of Commons for examinations, the Committee for the militia in London, and all Committees of Parliament in the several counties and cities of the kingdom, to tender and administer the said oath unto every other person so coming to inhabit as abovesaid: and if any person (not being a member of, or assistant unto either of the Houses of the Parliament) shall refuse or neglect to take the said oath so duly tendered unto him or her as abovesaid, the said Commissioners and Committees respectively shall and may commit the same person to some prison, there to remain without bail or mainprize until he shall conform thereunto.


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