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90. JAMES I: STATUTES

(A) Succession Act (1604)

A most joyful and just recognition of the immediate, lawful, and undoubted succession, descent, and right of the crown.... We ... , your most humble and loyal subjects, the lords spiritual and temporal and the commons in this present parliament assembled, do from the bottom of our hearts yield to the divine majesty all humble thanks and praises ... , and in most humble and lowly manner do beseech your most excellent majesty that, as a memorial to all posterities amongst the records of your high court of parliament forever to endure, of our loyalty, obedience, and hearty and humble affection, it may be published and declared in this high court of parliament, and enacted by authority of the same, that we, being bounden thereunto both by the laws of God and man, do recognize and acknowledge, and thereby express our unspeakable joys, that immediately upon the dissolution and decease of Elizabeth, late queen of England, the imperial crown of the realm of England, and of all the kingdoms, dominions, and rights belonging to the same, did, by inherent birthright and lawful and undoubted succession, descend and come to your most excellent majesty, as being lineally, justly, and lawfully next and sole heir of the blood royal of this realm as is aforesaid; and that, by the goodness of God Almighty and lawful right of descent, under one imperial crown, your majesty is of the realms and kingdoms of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland the most potent and mighty king....

Statutes of the Realm, IV, 1017 f.: 1 James I, c. I.

(B) Act to Explain the Statute of Artificers (1604)[1]

An act ... for the explanation of the statute ... concerning labourers.... Whereas the said act hath not, according to the true meaning thereof, been duly put in execution ... , by reason that ambiguity and question have risen and been made whether the rating of all manner of artificers ... , other than such as by some statute and law have been rated or else such as did work about husbandry, should or might be rated by the said law: forasmuch as the said law hath been found beneficial for the commonwealth, be it enacted by authority of this present parliament that the said statute, and the authority by the same statute given to any person or persons for assessing and rating of wages ... , shall be expounded and construed, and shall by force of this act give authority to all persons having any such authority to rate wages of any labourers, weavers, spinsters, and workmen or workwomen whatsoever, either working by the day, week, month, year, or taking any work at any person or persons' hand whatsoever, to be done in great or otherwise....

And furthermore be it enacted ... that, if any clothier or other shall refuse to obey the said order, rate, or assessment of wages as aforesaid, and shall not pay so much or so great wages to their weavers, spinsters, workmen, or workwomen as shall be so set down, rated, and appointed ... , that then every clothier and other ... persons so offending shall forfeit ... for every such offence, to the party aggrieved, 10s.; and that, if the ... offence and offences of not paying so much or so great wages to their ... workmen, workwomen, and others shall be confessed by the offender, or ... the same shall be proved by two sufficient and lawful witnesses before the justices of peace in their quarter sessions ... , the justices of assize in their sessions, or before any two justices of the peace ... , then every such person shall forthwith stand and be in law convicted thereof....

Provided, nevertheless, ... that no clothier, being a justice of peace in any precinct or liberty, shall be any rater of any wages for any weaver, tucker, spinster, or other artisan that dependeth upon the making of cloth; and in case there be not above the number of two justices of peace within such precinct or liberty but such as are clothiers, that in such case the same wages shall be rated and assessed by the major part of the common council of such precinct or liberty, and such justice or justices of peace, if any there be, as are not clothiers.

Ibid., IV, 1022 f.: I James I, c. 6.

(C) General Act in Shirley's Case (1604)[2]

An act for new executions to be sued against any which shall hereafter be delivered out of execution by privilege of parliament, and for discharge of them out of whose custody such persons shall be delivered. Forasmuch as heretofore doubt hath been made, if any person being arrested in execution and by privilege of either of the houses of parliament set at liberty, whether the party at whose suit such execution was pursued be forever after barred and disabled to sue forth a new writ of execution in that case: for the avoiding of all further doubt and trouble which in like cases may hereafter ensue, be it enacted by the king's most excellent majesty, by the lords spiritual and temporal, and by the commons in this present parliament assembled that from henceforth the party at or by whose suit such writ of execution was pursued, his executors, or administrators, after such time as the privilege of that session of parliament in which such privilege shall be so granted shall cease, may sue forth and execute a new writ or writs of execution in such manner and form as by the law of this realm Re or they might have done if no such former execution had been taken forth and served; and that from henceforth no sheriff, bailiff, or other officer, from whose arrest or custody any such person so arrested in execution shall be delivered by any such privilege, shall be charged or chargeable with or by any action whatsoever for delivering out of execution any such privileged person so as is aforesaid by such privilege of parliament set at liberty — any law, custom, or privilege heretofore to the contrary notwithstanding. Provided always that this act or anything therein contained shall not extend to the diminishing of any punishment to be hereafter by censure in parliament inflicted upon any person which hereafter shall make or procure to be made any such arrest as is aforesaid.

Ibid., IV, 1029: 1-2 James I, c. 13.

(D) Statute of Monopolies (1624)

An act concerning monopolies and dispensations with penal laws and the forfeiture thereof. Forasmuch as your most excellent majesty, in your royal judgment and of your blessed disposition to the weal and quiet of your subjects, did, in the year of our Lord God 1610, publish in print to the whole realm and to all posterity that all grants of monopolies and of the benefit of any penal laws, or of power to dispense with the law or to compound for the forfeiture, are contrary to your majesty's laws, which your majesty's declaration is truly consonant and agreeable to the ancient and fundamental laws of this your realm; and whereas your majesty was further graciously pleased expressly to command that no suitor should presume to move your majesty for matters of that nature; yet, nevertheless, upon misinformations and untrue pretences of public good, many such grants have been unduly obtained and unlawfully put in execution, to the great grievance and inconvenience of your majesty's subjects, contrary to the laws of this your realm and contrary to your majesty's royal and blessed intention so published as aforesaid: for avoiding whereof and preventing of the like in time to come, may it please your most excellent majesty ... that it may be declared and enacted, and be it declared and enacted ... , that all monopolies and all commissions, grants, licences, charters and letters patents ... to any person ... , bodies politic or corporate whatsoever ... , for the sole buying, selling, making, working, or using of anything within this realm or the dominion of Wales, or of any other monopolies, or of power ... to dispense with any others, or to give licence or toleration to do ... anything against the tenor ... of any law or statute ... , and all proclamations, inhibitions, restraints, warrants of assistance, and all other ... things whatsoever any way tending to the instituting ... or countenancing of the same ... , are altogether contrary to the laws of this realm, and so are and shall be utterly void and of none effect....

And be it further ... enacted ... that all monopolies and all such commissions, grants ... , and all other ... things tending as aforesaid ... ought to be and shall be forever hereafter ... tried and determined ... according to the common laws of this realm, and not otherwise....

Provided nevertheless ... that any declaration before mentioned shall not extend to any letters patents and grants of privilege for the term of one-and-twenty years or under, heretofore made of the sole working or making of any manner of new manufacture within this realm to the first and true inventor or inventors of such manufactures, which others, at the time of the making of such letters patents and grants, did not use, so they be not contrary to the law, nor mischievous to the state by raising of the prices of commodities at home or hurt of trade, or generally inconvenient; but that the same shall be of such force as they were or should be if this act had not been made....

Provided also, and be it ... enacted, that any declaration before mentioned shall not extend to any letters patents and grants of privilege for the term of fourteen years or under, hereafter to be made, of the sole working or making of any manner of new manufactures within this realm, to the true and first inventor and inventors of such manufactures....

Ibid., IV, 1212 f.: 21-22 James I, c. 3.


[1] No. 81C.

[2] Cf. no. 89D.


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