The Twenty ninth Year of George II
An Act to prohibit the Return into this Kingdom of such of his Majesty's Subjects as now are, or at any Time hereafter shall be, in the Service of the French King.
WHEREAS many of his Majesty's subjects have been induced contrary to their natural duty and allegiance to serve as officers, soldiers, and mariners, under the French King, and have of late in open defiance of the laws resorted to this kingdom with an intent to seduce others of his Majesty's subjects into that service; which practice is highly prejudicial to the safety and welfare of this kingdom: 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 the authority of the same, That every person, being a natural born subject of this kingdom, who now is , or hereafter shall be, an officer, soldier, or mariner, in the service of the French King, who shall land, or attempt to land, or shall be found in Ireland, or shall be found on board any ship, vessel, or boat, being so on board with intent to land in this kingdom; and every person and persons, who shall within this kingdom knowingly aid, abet, conceal, comfort, or succour any such officer, soldier, or mariner returning into this kingdom, shall stand and be adjudged guilty of felony without benefit of the clergy, and shall suffer and forfeit, as persons attainted of felony by the laws of the land ought to suffer and forfeit .
II. Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That any offence against this act may be tried, and the venue laid, in any county in this kingdom.
III. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any such officer, soldier, or mariner, now actually engaged in the service of the French King, shall on or before the first day of August one thousand seven hundred and fifty six return into this kingdom with intent to become a dutiful and faithful subject to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, and surrender himself to any
one or more of his Majesty's justices of the peace for any county, county of a city, or county of a town in this kingdom, such officer, soldier, or mariner, shall be committed to the common gaol of such county, county of a city, or county of a town, until the next general assizes, or general quarter-sessions of the peace, to be held in and for them respectively; unless such officer, soldier, or mariner can with good and sufficient sureties enter into a recognizance in the usual manner to appear at such general assizes, or general quarter-sessions of the peace; and if such officer, soldier, or mariner, so returning into this kingdom, shall at the said next general assizes or general quarter-sessions of the peace take and subscribe the oaths of allegiance and abjuration in open court, such officer, soldier, or mariner shall from thenceforth be exempted and freed from all offences, penalties, and forfeitures created by this act, or by any former law in this kingdom against inlisting in foreign service; any thing in this act, or in any former law to the contrary thereof, in any wise notwithstanding.
IV. Provided always, That the return of such officer, soldier, or mariner into this kingdom within the time herein before limited and appointed, and his or their compliance with the terms prescribed by this act, shall not extend to restore or intitle any such officer, soldier, or mariner to any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or any money, chattels, debts, or securities for money, or any real or personal estate, or trust estate, or interest in the same, already recovered by any protestant discoverer, or for recovery of which any suit was instituted by any protestant discoverer, by and in virtue of the statute made in this kingdom in the nineteenth year of his present Majesty's reign, intitutled, An act for the more effectual preventing his Majesty's subjects from entering into foreign service; and for publishing an act of the seventh year of King William the third, intituled, An act to prevent foreign education; but that such recovery and suit shall be and remain in such plight and condition, as if this act had never been made.