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The Second Year of Anne

A.D. 1703

Chap. VII

An Act for registering the Popish Clergy.


Whereas two acts lately made for banishing all regulars of the Popish clergy out of this kingdom, and to prevent Popish priests from coming into the same, may be wholly eluded, unless the government be truly informed of the number of such dangerous persons as still reside among us: for remedy whereof, be it enacted by the Queen'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 all and every Popish priest or priests, who are now in this kingdom, shall, at the next general quarter-sessions of the peace to be held in all the several counties, or counties of cities or towns, throughout this kingdom, next after the feast of St. John the Baptist, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and four, return his or their names and places of abode to the respective clerks of the peace in the several counties, or counties of cities or towns, in this kingdom, where the said popish priests shall dwell or reside, together with his or their age, the parish, of which he pretends to be a Popish priest, the time and place of his or their first receiving Popish orders, and from whom he or they received the same; and shall then and there enter into recognizance with two sufficient sureties, each in the penal sum of fifty pounds sterling, that every such Popish priest shall be a peaceable behaviour, and not remove out of such county, where his or their place of abode lies, into any other part of this kingdom: and all and every Popish priest or priests, who shall not make such return, and enter into such recognizance with sufficient sureties as aforesaid, and being thereof convict at the assizes or general quarter-sessions of such county, or counties of cities or towns, wherein he or they shall dwell or be apprehended,


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shall severally be committed to the common goal of the respective counties, cities, or towns, where he or they shall be so convict, there to remain without bail or mainprize till he or they be transported: and that all and every such Popish priest or priests, so convicted as aforesaid, shall be transported out of this kingdom in like manner as Popish regulars, and incur like penalties upon their return into the same, as are to be inflicted on Popish regulars by an act, intituled, An Act for banishing all Papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and all regulars of the Popish clergy out of this kingdom: and all and every the clerks of the peace are hereby required to transmit, within twenty days after every such quarter-sessions, all and every such return to the clerk of the council in this kingdom, upon the penalty to forfeit to her Majesty, her heirs and successors, the sum of ten pounds sterling for every such neglect to do the same; the said penalty to be recovered by bill, plaint, or information in any of her Majesty's courts of record; which transmitting of the said return shall be incumbent on them, the said clerks of the crown and peace, to prove by a receipt in writing under the hand of the said clerk of the council, who is hereby required without fee or reward to give such receipt on the penalty of twenty pounds sterling; which said penalty is to be recovered by bill, plaint, or information in any of her Majesty's courts of record; which return so transmitted, shall be kept by the said clerk of the council, to be viewed by any person desiring to see the same, without fee or reward.

II. And to the end that such Popish priests, as lately have been or may be convinced of the errors of the Romish church, may not suffer through want of maintenance, or other mischievous effects of resentment of bigotted Papists; be it enacted, That every such Popish priest being approved of as a convert and received into the church by the arch-bishop or bishop of the diocess, wherein he or they lived or resided, and conforming himself to the church of Ireland as by law established, and having taken the oaths, and made and subscribed the declarations in such manner; as the conformable clergy to the said church of Ireland are obliged to do, at any quarter-sessions in any county or city as aforesaid, such converted priest or priests shall have and receive the sum of twenty pounds sterling yearly and every year, during their residence in such county, for their maintenance, and till they are otherwise provided for; subject nevertheless to suspension or deprivation of the archbishop or bishop of the diocess wherein he or they shall dwell or reside, in like manner as the rest of the inferior clergy of this kingdom; the said sum of twenty pounds to be levied on the inhabitants of such county, or counties of cities or towns, where such converted priest or priests did last


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officiate or reside, in like manner as money is levied, that is charged by grand juries upon the said counties, or counties of cities or towns, and to be paid him or them by equal moieties, (viz.) one moiety at the feast of the annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary, and the other moiety at the feast of St. Michael the arch-angel in every year; and every such convert or converts shall publickly read the common prayer or liturgy in such places, and at such times, as the said archbishops or bishops shall direct or appoint.

III. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no Popish priest shall keep or have any Popish curate, assistant, or coadjutor. And that all and every Popish priest, that shall neglect to register himself pursuant to this act, shall depart out of this kingdom before the twentieth day of July, which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and four, on pain of being prosecuted as a Popish regular clergyman: and that all such Popish priest and priests, that shall neglect to register him or themselves as aforesaid, and remain in this kingdom after the said twentieth day of July, shall be esteemed a Popish regular clergyman, and prosecuted as such.

IV. Provided always, That this act shall be given in charge at every general assizes; and the list of such priests, that are registered, shall be publickly read after the charge given. This act to continue in force for five years, and until the end of the next succeeding Parliament, and no longer.


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