The seventh Year of William III
A. D. 1695
An Act to restrain foreign Education
Whereas many of the subjects of this kingdom have accustomed themselves to send their children, and other persons under
their care, into France, Spain, and other foreign parts, not under his Majesty's obedience, to be educated, instructed, and
brought up; by means and occasion whereof, the said children and other persons have in process of time engaged
themselves in foreign interests, and have been prevailed upon to forget the natural duty and allegiance due from them to
the Kings and Queens of this realm, and the affection which they owe to the established religion and laws of this their
native country, and returning so civilly disposed into this kingdom, have been, in all times past, the movers and promoters
of many dangerous seditions, and oftentimes of open rebellion: for remedy whereof, be it therefore enacted and declared 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 in case any of his Majesty's subjects of this realm of
Ireland, at any time after the end of this session of Parliament, shall pass, or go, or shall convey or send, or cause to be
conveyed or sent, any child, or other person, into any parts beyond the seas, out of his Majesty's obedience, to the intent
and purpose to enter into, or be resident, or trained up in any priory, abby, nunnery, popish university, college or school or
house of jesuits or priests; or in case any of his Majesty's subjects of this kingdom shall, after the time aforesaid, pass or
go, or be conveyed, or sent out of this kingdom, into any parts beyond the seas, out of the King's obedience, to the intent
and purpose to be resident, or trained up in any private popish family, and shall be in such parts beyond the seas by any
jesuite, seminary priest, fryar, monk, or other popish person, instructed, persuaded, or strengthened in the popish religion,
in any sort to profess the same, or shall convey or send, or cause to be conveyed or sent, by the hands or means of any
person whatsoever, any sum or sums of money, or other thing, for or towards the maintenance or support of any child or
other person already gone or sent, or shall hereafter go or be sent, and be trained and instructed as aforesaid, or under the
name or colour of any charity, benevolence, or alms towards the maintenance or support of any child or other person
already gone or sent, or that shall hereafter go or be sent, and be trained and instructed as aforesaid, or under the name or
colour of any charity, benevolence, or alms towards
the relief of any priory, abby, nunnery, college, school, or any religious house whatsoever: every person so going, sending, conveying, or causing to be sent, or conveyed or sent, as well any such child or other person, as any sum, or sums of money, or other thing, and every person passing or being sent beyond the seas, contrary to the intent and meaning of this act, and being thereof lawfully convicted in manner and form hereafter mentioned, or upon any information, presentment, or indictment, for any the offences as aforesaid, to be found by any jury of twelve men of the county, or city, or town corporate, where such person or persons so going or sending shall have any estate of inheritance, when he or they did so send or go; such person and persons so going and sending wilfully, from and after such going or sending, shall be for ever disabled, from and after such finding, to sue, bring, or prosecute any action, bill, plaint, or information in court of law, or to prosecute any suite in any court of equity, or be guardian, or executor, or administrator, to any person, or capable of any legacy, or deed of gift, or to bear any office within the realm, and shall lose and forfeit all his, her, and their goods and chattles, which he, she, or they hath, or any other person or persons have, or hath in trust for him, her, and them, and shall forfeit all his, her, and their lands, tenements, and hereditaments, rents, annuities, offices, and estate of free-hold, and all trusts, powers, and interests therein, for and during his, her, and their natural life and lives.
II . And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any information be given to any justice of the peace, that
any such child or other person, sum of money, or other thing, is or are gone, or sent away contrary to the tenor of this
act, that then every such justice of the peace, within the limits of his jurisdiction, is hereby authorized and required
forthwith to cause to be brought before him all such persons suspected, or charged, to have offended therein, and shall
examine the person or persons so inspected or accused, without oath; and also shall examine any other person or witnesses,
upon such his and their several respective corporal oaths, concerning the same; and if, upon such examination, it shall
appear probable to such justices of the peace, that such child or other person, sum of money or other thing, is or are gone
or sent away, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, then the said justices of the peace shall bind the said
suspected person or persons, with sufficient sureties, and such other persons as he shall judge fit, to give evidence, and
the said informer or informers in recognizances of the sum of two hundred
pounds, or such greater sum or sums, as to the said justice or justices of the peace shall seem reasonable, with condition to appear at the next quarter-sessions of the peace, to be held for the said county, where such offense or offenses is or are supposed to be committed, or where the offenders did last reside or were taken, and not to depart the said court without license: and the said justice of the peace shall, at the first sitting of the said court of quarter-sessions, return the said examinations and recognizances unto the clerk of the peace, in open court; who shall cause an information to be framed against such person and persons, or suspected person or persons, who shall instantly answer thereunto, and proceed to tryal thereon; and in case upon such tryal it shall by proof appear to the said court of quarter-sessions, that any person, sum of money, or other thing, was by him, her, or them sent or conveyed, or caused to be sent or conveyed, into any parts beyond the seas, out of his Majesty's obedience, and in case by such proof it shall appear probable to the said court, that such sending or conveying was contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, then he, she, or they, shall take upon him, her, or themselves, the proof where such child, or other person, so by them sent, then is, and also to what intent and purpose such sum or sums of money, or other thing, was or were sent by him or them beyond the seas; and in case, any such child or children, or other person or persons, that shall go, as aforesaid, contrary to the intent and meaning of this act, or be sent or conveyed away, as aforesaid, or any sum or sums of money, by way of exchange, or any other ways or means whatsoever, shall be sent, after the time herein limited, beyond the seas into foreign parts, as aforesaid, to any the intents and purposes aforesaid, contrary to the design or intent of this act, that such going or sending shall be adjudged, deemed, and taken to be, going or sending contrary to this act, unless the party or parties, denying the same, shall prove the contrary; or if by failure of such proof, or otherwise, upon examination it shall appear to the said court of quarter-sessions of the peace, that such offense or offenses hath or have been committed contrary to this act, the same being entered on record shall be a conviction, as well of the person or persons so being sent, as of the parties so sending, and they, and every of them, shall forfeit and incur all the pains and penalties, and disabilities before recited and mentioned: the one moiety of all such forfeitures to be his Majesty, his heirs and successors, and the other moiety to him or them that shall sue for the same, in any court of record, by any
action, bill, plaint, or information, wherein no essoyn, protection, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance, shall be allowed.
III . Provided always, That if any person or persons, against whom such judgment shall be given, or pronounced, at such general quarter-sessions of the peace as aforesaid, shall find him or herself aggrieved thereby, it shall and may be lawful to and for such person or persons respectively to appeal to the justices of assize of the said county, at the next assizes to be held for the same; which said justices of assize are hereby authorized, in the same assizes, to cause the said proceedings, in the said general quarter-sessions of the peace, to be brought before them, and there to review and examine the same, by such ways and means as to them shall seem expedient, and to reverse, alter, and confirm the same, and every part thereof, as to justice shall appertain; and all and every officer and officers, in whose custody or power such proceedings and conviction shall be at the time of such inquiry by the said judge or judges of assize, shall obey the orders and directions of the said judge or judges of assize therein.
IV. Provided always, That if any person be convicted of being sent beyond the seas contrary to this act, by the conviction of the person sending or conveying him, only, such person, upon his return into this kingdom, shall at any time within twelve months after such his or her return, or within twelve months after his or her attaining the age of one and twenty years, upon his prayer, by motion to the court of King's-bench of this kingdom, be admitted to his tryal; and the judges of the said court are hereby impowered and required forthwith upon such prayer, to cause an information to be exhibited against such person or persons, to which he or they shall plead; and thereupon the said court shall proceed to tryal of such person or persons, by jury of the county, where the said court shall then fit; and the defendant or defendants in such case shall, upon his or their tryal, be obliged to prove to what intent or purpose he, she, or they, was or were sent or conveyed beyond the seas; and unless he, she, or they shall make such proof, whereby it may appear that he, she, or they were not sent or conveyed contrary to this act, it shall be taken for granted that he was sent contrary to this act, as though the fame had been fully proved: and in case upon his, her, or their tryal, such person or persons shall be acquitted, he, she, or they, so acquitted, shall be discharged of all the disabilities, penalties, and forfeitures in this act, except his, her,
or their goods and chattels, and the profits of his, her, and their lands, incurred and received before such acquittal.
V. Provided also, That every such person sent or conveyed as aforesaid, that shall, within six months after his return into this kingdom, in the high court of Chancery, or court of King's-Bench in term-time, between the hours of eight and twelve in the morning, take the oaths, and repeat and subscribe the declaration mentioned and appointed in and by one act lately made in the Parliament of England, intituled, An Act for abrogating the oath of Supremacy in Ireland, and appointing other oaths, shall from thenceforth be discharged of all the incapacities and disabilities aforesaid; and shall, from the time of his taking such oaths, and making, repeating, and subscribing such declaration, be restored to the receipt of the future growing rents, issues, and profits of his said real estate only; but shall nevertheless lose all the past rents, issues and profits thereof, and all his personal estate; any thing before in this act to the contrary notwithstanding.
VI. Provided always, That if such person or persons at any time after his or their taking the said oaths, and making, repeating and subscribing the said declaration, profess him, her, or themselves of the popish religion, or refuse the taking of said oaths, and repeating and subscribing the said declaration, when the same shall be to him, her, or them, tendred by the justices of the peace in their open quarter-sessions of the peace for the county or place where such person or persons shall reside (which the said justices are hereby authorized and required to tender to all whom they shall suspect to have relapsed) or shall upon due summons refuse to appear at such quarter-sessions for the purpose aforesaid; in every such case, the said person or persons shall incur, forfeit, and suffer all and every the disabilities, pains, penalties and losses herein before contained, as if such person or persons had never taken the said oaths, or repeated and subscribed the said declaration.
VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every the offenses against this act may be inquired
into, heard and determined before the justices of the King's-bench, or justices of assizes, or goal-delivery, or of oyer and
terminer, of such counties where the offenders did last dwell or abide, or whence he, she, or they departed, or were sent out
of the kingdom, or where he, she, or they went, or shall be respectively taken or apprehended.
VIII. Provided always, That if any person shall upon his tryal before the justices of the peace, at the general quarter-sessions, be acquitted by the said court of any offense against the act, or upon his appeal to the judges of assize, in such manner as by this act is directed; shall by the said judges of assize be acquitted, or in case he shall upon his tryal be acquitted by the jury, upon any indictment, presentment, or information, prosecuted against him for any offense contrary to this act; such person so acquitted shall not be lyable, after such acquittal, to be prosecuted upon this act, in any other manner, for the same offense.
IX . And whereas it is found by experience that tolerating and conniving at papists keeping schools and instructing youth in literature, is one great reason of many of the natives of this kingdom continuing ignorant of the principles of true religion, and strangers to the scriptures, and of their neglecting to conform themselves to the laws and statutes of this realm, and of their not using the English habit or language, to the great prejudice of the publick weal thereof; be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person whatsoever of the popish religion shall publickly teach school, or instruct youth in learning, or in private houses teach or instruct youth in learning within this realm from henceforth, except only the children or others under the guardianship of the master or mistress of such private house or family, upon pain of twenty pounds, and also being committed to prison, without bail or mainprize, for the space of three months for every such offense.
X . And to the intent that no pretence may be made or used, that there are not sufficient numbers of schools in this realm
to instruct and inform the youth thereof in the English language, and other literature; be it further enacted by the authority
aforesaid, That one act of Parliament, made in the twenty eighth year of the reign of the late King Henry the eighth, called,
An Act for the English order, habit, and language, whereby it is among other things enacted and provided, that every
incumbent of each parish within this kingdom shall keep, or cause to be kept, within the place, territory, or parish where
he shall have preheminence, rule, benefice, or promotion, a school to learn English; and also one other act made in the
twelfth year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, intituled, An Act for the erection of free-schools, whereby it is
enacted and provided, that a publick latin free-school shall be constantly maintained and kept within each diocese of this
kingdom, which have generally maintained and kept
but have not had the desired effect, by reason of such Irish popish schools being too much connived at, and all other acts and statutes now in force in this realm concerning schools, shall from henceforth be strictly observed and put in execution, according to the good intent and design of the same; and for the more effectual doing thereof the justices of his Majesty's court of King's-bench each term, and the judges of assize in their respective circuits, and the justices of peace in their general sessions of peace, are required to give this and the said former acts in charge, from time to time, to the several grand juries to be then impannelled and charged, and to be very circumspect in seeing the same put in due execution.