Middlesex Sessions:
Sessions Papers - Justices' Working Documents

December 1713

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Image 26 of 311st August 1714

ABStract of an Act of Parliament made in the
Twelfth Year of Her Majesty's Reign,
Intitled, An Act for reducing the Laws
relating to Rogues, Vagabonds, Sturdy
Beggars and Vagrants, into One Act of
Parliament: And for the more effectual
Punishing such Rogues, Vagabonds, Stur
dy Beggars and Vagrants, and Sending
them whither they ought to be Sent.

I. THAT all Persons pretending themselves to be Patent-Gatherers, or Collectors
for Prisons, Goals, or Hospitals, and wandring abroad for that Purpose; all
Fencers, Bear-wards, Common-Players of Interludes, Minstrels, Juglers; all
Persons pretending to be Gypsies, or wandring in the Habit or Form of counter-
feit Egyptians, or pretending to have Skill in Physiognomy, Palmistry, or like
crafty Science, or pretending to tell Fortunes, or like phantastical Imaginations,
or using any Subtle Craft, or unlawful Games or Plays; all Persons able in Body,
who run away, and leave their Wives or Children to the Parish, and, not having where with otherwise
to maintain themselves, use Loytering, and refuse to work for the usual and common Wages; and
all other idle Persons wandring Abroad and begging (except Soldiers, Mariners or Sea-faring Men
licenced under the Hand and Seal of some Justice of Peace, fetting down the Time and Place of
Landing, the Place to which, and the Time within which, they are to pass, while they continue
in the direct Way and during the Time so limited) Shall be deem'd Rogues and Vagabonds.

2. That if, after the 1st of August 1714 , any such Rogue or Vagabond shall be found in any Parish
or Place, wandering, begging or misordering him or herself as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the
Rogue or Vagabound, and convey him or her before some Justices of Peace in or near such Parish or
Place. In Case the Constable or other Officer neglect to use his best Endeavour to apprehend such
Rogue or Vagabond, it shall be deem'd a Neglect of his Duty. If any other Inhabitant of such Parish,
being charged by a Justice of Peace or other lawful Authority, shall refuse or neglect to use his best
Endeavour to apprehend and deliver to the Constable, or carry before a Justices of the Peace where
no Constable or other Officer can be found, any such Rogue or Vagabond who shall be seen or known
to refort to any House to beg or gather Alms, and found guilty, by Oath of one or more credible
Witnesses, before any one Justices of Peace, forfeits 10s. to the Poor of the same Place, to be levied
by Distress. In case any Person apprehend such Rogue or Vagabond and bring him before a Justice
of Peace, the Justice may reward such Person by ordering, under his Hand and Seal, the Constable
or other Officer where such Rogue was found begging and pass'd unapprehended, to pay 2s. to the
Person to apprehending. If the Constable, or other Officer, refuse Payment on Demand, the Ju-
stice by Warrant may levy 20s, on the Constable's Goods, and allow to the Person apprehending 2s.
and other Recompence for his Trouble, Loss of Time and Expences, as he shall think fit.

3. The Justices of Peace of every County, City, Etc. or any Two of them, some Time be-
fore the Quarter-Sessions, or after, shall meet and command the Constable in their several Divisions
(who shall be assisted with sufficient Men of the same Place) to make a general Privy-search in One
Night, for Rogues, Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars, and bring them before any Justice, or Justices of
Peace of the same County, City, Etc.

4. Where any Person apprehended in any Manner aforesaid is brought before a Justice of Peace,
he is to examin and inform himself as well by the Oath and Examination of the Party, as of any
other Person, or by other Ways and Means, of the Condition and Circumstances of the Person ap-
preheeded, Place of Abode, or Birth, the Substance of which to be put in Writing, and subscrib'd
or sign'd by the Party, and transmitted to the Quarter-Sessions, to be kept on Record; If it appear
such Person hath obtained any legal Settlement, then to be sent to the Place of last legal Settlement,
in such Manner as other Persons, likely to be chargeable to the Parish, are to be sent; if it cannot be
found such Person hath gain'd any legal Settlement since Birth, then the Justice, or Justices, are by
a Pass, under Hand and Seal (directed to the Constable of the Parish, or Place where such Rogue

of a Rogus
and Vaga-

Duty of
and Inha-

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