Whereas by an act of Parliament made in this kingdom in the tenth year of the reign of his late Majesty King William, of ever blessed memory, intituled, An act to prevent papists being sollicitors, it is enacted "That from and after the first day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and ninety eight, no person or person shall practice or act as sollicitor in any court of law or equity, or as agent or manager in any cause or suit in law or equity, or as seneschal or sollicitor in all or any of the courts or offices in this kingdom, not having first taken the oaths and subscribed the declaration in the said act mentioned; and that
any person, who shall practice as aforsaid before he shall have taken the said oaths and subscribed the said declaration, contrary to the purport and meaning of the said act, shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, and be uncapable to be executor or administrator, or to take any benefit by any legacy, gift, or grant of any lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, or chattels whatsoever:" and whereas since the making the said act several known papists of this kingdom have frequently and openly practiced and acted as sollicitors and agents in several suits and causes in law and equity, contrary to and in contempt of the said act, the penalty of one hundred pounds being too finall, in respect of the great gains they make by their practice, and the difficulties attending the prosecution thereof are such, that the mischief intended to be remedied by the said act, remains unredressed: 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 authority of the same, That no papist, or reputed papist, be permitted, suffered, or allowed to practice or act as sollicitor, agent, or manager in any suit of law or equity, in any of her Majesty's four-courts of Dublin, the county palatine of Tipperary, or in any court of record in this kingdom, or in any ecclesiastical court, or court of admiralty, or as clerk in any sheriffs office, or on any commissions issued out of any court of equity, before he shall have taken the oaths, and subscribed the declaration in the said act mentioned, as also the oath of abjuration following, in one of her Majesty's four-courts in Dublin.
I A.B. do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify, and declare in my conscience, before God and the world, That our Sovereign Lady Queen Anne is lawful and rightful Queen of this realm, and of all other her Majestie's dominions and countries thereunto belonging. And I do solemnly and sincerely declare, that I do believe in my conscience, that the person pretended to be prince of Wales, during the life of the late King James, and since his decease, pretending to be, and taking upon himself the style and title of, King of England, by the name of James the third, hath not any right or title whatsoever to the crown of this realm, or any other the dominions thereto belonging: and I do renounce, refuse and abjure, any allegiance or obedience to him. And I do swear, that I will bear faith and true allegiance to her Majesty Queen Anne; and her will defend to the utmost of my power against all traiterous conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against her person, crown, or dignity. And I will do my best endeavour to disclose and
make known to her Majesty, and her successors, all treasons and traiterous conspiracies, which I shall know to be against her or any of them. And I do faithfully promise to the utmost of my power to support, maintain, and defend the limitation and succession of the crown against him the said James, and all other persons whatsoever, as the same is and stands limited by an act, intituled, An act declaring the rights and liberties of the subject, and settling the succession of the crown to her present Majesty, and the heirs of her body, being Protestants: and as the same by one other act, intituled, An act for the further limitation of the crown, and better securing the rights and liberties of the subject, is and stands limited, after the decease of her Majesty, and for default of issue of her Majesty, to the princess Sophia, electoress and dutchess dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body being protestants. And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear, according to these express words by me spoken, and according to the plain and common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I do make this recognition, acknowledgment, abjuration, renunciation, and promise, heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian.
So help me God.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any papist or reputed papist, shall after the first day of Michaelmas term next, presume to practice or act as sollicitor, agent, or clerk, contrary to the puport and meaning of this or the said former act, every person so offending shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of two hundred pounds, to be recovered in such manner as in and by the said former act is directed, and also incur and suffer the other penalties and disabilities in the said former act mentioned.
III. And for the greater case of such person or persons as are minded to sue for the recovery of the said sum of two hundred pounds, be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the said first day of Michaelmas term next, it shall and may be lawful to and for any person or persons whatsoever, who shall see or know any papist or reputed papist to practice or act as sollicitor, agent, manager, or clerk, openly in any of the courts aforesaid, to demand and desire that the oaths and declaration herein before mentioned be forthwith tendered to him by the court; and in case the person or persons, so charged with practicing or acting as aforesaid, shall then refuse to take the said oaths, and subscribe the said declaration, and proof be made by the testimony of two or more credible witnesses upon oath, to the satisfaction of the
lord chancellor, or other judge or judges, before whom such cause depends, that the person so charged hath acted as sollicitor, agent, clerk, or manager, openly in the said court before him, then, and in such case, or upon the confession of the party accused, the lord chancellor, or such other judge or judges, shall order the person so refusing to take the said oaths, and subscribe the said declaration, to be recorded as a popish sollicitor convict of the said offence; and every such person so recorded shall from thenceforth be taken, deemed and adjudged a popish sollicitor convict of the said offence, and shall forfeit to the person or persons, at whose instance the said oaths and declaration were so tendered to him, the said sum of two hundred pounds, and shall be committed in execution until he pay the same; and shall also incur and suffer the other penalties and disabilities in the said act mentioned.
IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no barrister, attorney, officer, or other practiser in law or equity, shall be allowed to insist upon any privilege, so as to exempt, excuse, or hinder them, or any of them, from giving their evidence or testimony, and answering on oath, as to their knowledge, in any matter that shall or may come in question on any suit brought upon this or the said former act.
V. And forasmuch as the safety and prosperity of this kingdom very much depends on the due execution of such laws, as have been made for the security of the Protestant interest thereof; and that the same are in a great measure frustrated and rendered ineffectual by Papists being returned to serve on grand juries in the several counties of this kingdom, as also on petty juries for tryals of several offences committed by Papists, in breach and violation of such laws: for remedy whereof be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the said first day of Michaelmas term next, no Papist shall serve on, or be returned to serve on any grand jury in her Majesty's court of Queens's-bench, or in any court before justices of assize, oyer and terminer, or goal-delivery, or quarter-sessions, or in any court in the county Palatine of Tipperary, unless it shall appear to the justice or justices of such court, that a sufficient number of Protestants cannot be then had for that service; and that in all tryals of issues on any presentment, indictment, or information, or action on any of the said statutes, it shall and may be lawful to and for the prosecutor or plaintiff to challenge any Papist returned as juror to try the same, and assign for cause that the person so returned to serve is a Papist; which challenge the justice, judge, or judges, before whom the same shall be tryed, shall allow and adjudge the same to be a good and a loyal challenge.
VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no attorney, six-clerk, sollicitor, officer, or deputy-officer, in any of the courts aforesaid, shall after the said first day of Michaelmas term next presume to take, keep, or have any Papist, or reputed Papist, to be his apprentice or clerk; and that no officer or deputy officer shall willingly and knowingly permit, suffer, or allow any such popish sollicitor, agent, or manager as aforesaid to view, search, or inspect any of the records, pleadings, rules, orders, or entries, in his or their office or offices, or otherwise to practice or act as sollicitor or agent there, upon pain and forfeiture for every such offence fifty pounds, to be recovered by such person or persons as will sue for the same, by writ, bill, plaint, or information, in any of her Majesty's courts of Dublin; in which no essoin, privilege, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance shall be allowed.
VII. And for the better encouragement of those, who shall prosecute such as shall offend against this or the said former act; be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every person or persons, who shall be sued or prosecuted for any offence done against this ir the said former act, shall be kept and held by the court, in which he or they shall be sued or prosecuted to special bail.
VIII. 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 sollicitors, managers, or agents, in any cause or causes, suit or suits, in any of the courts of this kingdom, in the reign of King Charles the second, and that hath been adjudged to be comprehended within the articles of Limerick, made upon the surrender thereof, and hath taken the oath of abjuration before the first day of July one thousand seven hundred and seven; any thing in this act contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
IX. 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 suit or suits only, or to any menial servant, acting as such for his master in his suit or suits only, in any of her Majesty's courts of this kingdom, and for no other person whatsoever.