Whereas by a statute made in England, in the seventh year of his present Majesty's reign intituled, An Act for requiring the practisers of the law to take the oaths, and subscribe the declaration therein mentioned: The common solicitors in that kingdom are obliged to take the oaths and subscribe the declaration as aforesaid: which said act hath been found to be a general good to his Majesty's subjects in England: and whereas by experience in this kingdom it hath been always found, that papists solicitors have been and still are the common disturbers of the peace and tranquility of his Majesty's subjects in general: and whereas at this time there are a great number of papist solicitors and agents, practicing within the several courts of law and equity in this kingdom; by whose numbers, and the daily increase of them, great mischiefs and inconveniencies are likely to ensue to the prejudice and disquiet of his Majesty's subjects: for remedy whereof, be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by authority of the same, That from and after the first day of March in this present year of our Lord one thousand six hundred ninety eight, no person or persons shall practice or act as solicitor in any court of law or equity, or as agent or manager in any cause or sute in law or equity, or as seneschal, or solicitor, in all or any the courts or offices in this kingdom, not having first taken the oaths, and subscribed the declaration following:
I A.B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King William.
So help me God.
I A.B. do swear, that I do from my heart abhor, detest and abjure, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that princes excommunicated or deprived by the pope, or any authority of the see of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their
subjects, or any other whatsoever. And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate, hath or ought to have any juridiction, power, superiority, preheminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm.
So help me God.
I A.B. do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, That I do believe, that, in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, there is not any transubstantiation of the elements, of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever; and, that the invocation and adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the mass, as they are now used in the church of Rome, are superstitious and idolatrous. And I do solemnly (in the presence of God) profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me, as they are commonly understood by Protestants, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever; and without any dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope, or any other authority or person whatsoever, or without believing that I am, or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, altho' the pope, or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever should dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.
And that any person, who shall practice as aforesaid before he shall have taken the said oaths, and subscribed the said declaration, contrary to the purpose and meaning of this act, shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, to be recovered by such person or person as will sue for the same in any of his Majesty's courts of record by writ, bill, plaint or information; in which no essoyn, priviledge, protection, or wager of law shall be allowed; and every person, lawfully convicted of such offence by such sute, shall from thenceforth be uncapable to be executors or administrators, or to take any benefit by any legacy, gift, grant, of any lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or chattels whatsoever.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person or persons shall, from and after the first day of March one thousand six hundred ninety eight, act as solicitor, agent, or manager in any cause or sute, that is or shall be depending in the four-courts of Dublin, or in any other courts of record, or
as seneschal, or solicitor in the said courts, or in any other of the courts or offices in this kingdom, but such person or persons only, who shall first take the said oaths, and subscribe the said declaration, and shall also educate all his children in the protestant religion.
III. Provided always, That nothing in this act, contained, shall be taken to extend to prohibit any person or persons, plaintiff or defendants, in his or their own sute or sutes only, or to any menial servant acting as such for his master in his sute or sutes only in any of his Majesty's courts of this kingdom, and for no other person whatsoever.
IV. Provided always, That nothing in this act contained shall be taken to extend to hinder any person or persons, that was or were known as professed common solicitor, manager, or agent in any cause or causes, sute or sutes, in any of the courts of this kingdom in the reign of the late King Charles the second; and that hath or have been, or shall be, adjudged to be comprehended within the articles of Limerick; made upon the surrender thereof to his Majesty's obedience; any thing in this act contained to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.