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The seventh Year of William III

A.D. 1695

Chap. V

An Act for the better securing the Government, by disarming Papists.


For preserving the publick peace, and quieting the kingdom from all dangers of insurrection and rebellion for the future; 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 all Papists within this kingdom of Ireland shall, before the first day of March next ensuing, discover and deliver up to some justice or justices of the peace, or to the mayor, bayliff, or head-officer of the county, city, town corporate, or, place respectively, where such papist shall dwell and reside, all their arms, armour and ammunition, of what kind soever the same be, which are in his or their hands of possession, or in the hands of any other person or persons in trust for them, or at their disposition, notwithstanding any license or permission for keeping the same heretofore granted: and that from and after the said first day of March one thousand fix hundred ninety five, it shall and may be lawful for any two or more justices of the peace within the limits of their jurisdiction and authority, and to all mayors, sheriffs, and chief officers of cities and towns corporate in their liberties, by themselves, or by warrant or warrants under their hands and seals respectively, from time to time, to search for, seize, or cause to be searched for and seized, and take into his or their custody all such arms, armour and ammunition as shall be concealed in any house, lodging, or other places where they shall suspect any such arms, armour, or ammunition shall be concealed, and such arms, armour and ammunition


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so taken or seized, upon search and otherwise as aforesaid, shall by the person or person so receiving, taking, and seizing the same, be preserved for the use of his Majesty, his heirs and successors; and the said persons shall return a true and particular account thereof to the lord deputy, or other chief governor or governors of this kingdom, for the time being, to the end the same may be brought into his Majesty's stores of war, or be disposed of as he or they shall think fit.

II. Provided nevertheless, That no such search or searches shall be made in any such house, houses or lodgings, save only between the rising and setting of the sun, other than in cities and their suburbs, towns corporate, market towns, and houses of such cities and towns, if it shall be so thought necessary, and the warrant or warrants for that purpose do direct and appoint; and in case such justices of the peace, mayor, sovereign, bayliff, or other chief magistrate or officer of any city or town corporate, after such search made, shall find cause to suspect that any arms, armour or ammunition remain concealed, and not seized as aforesaid, they are hereby respectively impowered and required to cause such person or persons, whom he or they shall suspect to have concealed the same, to be brought before him or them, and to be examined upon his, her, or their corporal oath, concerning the same.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every such papist who shall have or keep any such arms, armour or ammunition, who shall not discover and deliver up the same by the time aforesaid; and every other person or persons, who wittingly or willingly shall have any such arms, armour, or ammunition, to the use of or in trust for any such papist, contrary to the true meaning and intent hereof, and also every such person or persons, who, upon demand or search made for such arms, armour, or ammunition as aforesaid, shall refuse to declare and manifest to the justice or justices of the peace, mayors, bayliffs, head-officers, or other persons authorized and impowered for seizing and searching for all such arms, armour, and ammunition in manner as aforesaid, what arms, armour, and ammunition they, or any other to his knowledge, or with his privity, have, or shall let, hinder or disturb the delivery thereof to any the said justices of the peace, or any other person or persons authorized by warrant as aforesaid to search for, take, and seize the same, and every other person and persons, who shall refuse to make discovery upon his, her, or their oath, to be administered by such justices of the peace, mayor, or bayliff, or other chief officer


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of any city, or town corporate, concerning the premisses, as aforesaid, or being summoned by warrant under the hands of two or more justices of the peace, whereof notice in writing to be given to him, or her, or left at his or her usual place of abode, shall, without reasonable cause, refuse or neglect to appear before such justice of the peace, mayors, sovereigns, bayliffs, or other chief magistrates, as aforesaid, to be examined as aforesaid; every such person or persons so offending, contrary to this statute in this behalf, shall forfeit in manner following (that is to say) if such person or persons be a peer or peeress of this realm, he, she, and they shall, for the first offence, forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds sterling; and if such person or persons shall offend a second time, contrary to the true intent and meaning thereof, then such person or persons shall, for the second offence, incur the penalty of a person attainted in a premunire, and being thereof convicted, shall further punishment accordingly: and if such person or persons offending herein, contrary to the true intent of this act, shall be under the degree of a peer or peeress, then he, she, or they so offending shall for the first offence, being thereof lawfully convicted upon any indictment or information to be exhibited at the assizes or general quarter-sessions of the peace, to be held for the county where such offence shall be committed, lose and forfeit the sum of thirty pounds; and shall suffer imprisonment by order of the justices of assize at the assizes, or justices of the peace in their general quarter-sessions of the peace, without bail or mainprize, for one year; and from thenceforward until he, she, or they shall pay the penalty aforesaid: and if such person or persons shall offend a second time, contrary to the true intent and meaning hereof, then such person or persons so offending shall for such second offence, being convicted of the first offence, incur and suffer all the pain and penalties of persons attainted in a premunire; the said penalties and sums of money so to be forfeit, as aforesaid, by such peer or peeress, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty's courts of record; in which said action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, no essoyne, protection, nor wager of law shall be allowed, nor more than one imparlance granted; one moiety thereof to be and go to the use of his Majesty, his heirs and successors, and the other moiety to such person or persons who shall sue for the same.

IV. Provided always, That this act, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend, or be construed to extend to hinder or restrain any noblemean or gentleman from keeping or using a


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sword, and a case of pistols, and a gun for the defence of his house, or for fowling; so as such nobleman or gentleman before the said first day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred ninety five, shall make proof, to the satisfaction of our lord deputy, or other chief governor or governors, and the privy-council of this kingdom of Ireland, that he, upon the third day of October, in the year of our lord one thousand six hundred ninety one, was an inhabitant or resident of Limerick, or some other garrison then in the possession of the Irish, or was then some officer or soldier then in arms, under a commission of the late King James, or those authorized under him, to grant the same in the counties of Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, or Mayo, or under their protection in the said counties; or was then a commissioned officer in his Majesty's quarters belonging to the Irish regiments then in being, which were treated with, not being then a prisoner of war, nor having before that time taken protection, and that he has since returned and submitted to his Majesty's obedience, and shall also prove as aforesaid, that he was upon the said third day of October, within this kingdom; and so as such nobleman or gentleman hath not any time since the said third day of October, upon tender to him, refused to take the oath of allegiance, required to be taken by an act of Parliament in England, made in the first year of the reign of his present Majesty, and of the late Queen Mary of blessed memory; and shall take the said oath when he shall be thereunto required; or shall prove as aforesaid, that he was upon the one and twentieth day of July, which was in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred ninety one, a gentleman of estate, then belonging to the town and garrison of Gallway; but that such nobleman or gentleman respectively, so making proof, and being qualified as aforesaid, may keep and make use of a sword, a case of pistols, and a gun, for defence of his house, or for fowling, in such manner as he might have done in case this act had never been made; any thing herein contained to contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

V. Provided always, That an entry shall be made of such proof, and that no gratuity , fee, or reward whatsoever, shall be taken by any person, other than the sum of one shilling for the making of such proof, or for the entry thereof.

VI. Provided always, That no person shall be convicted, or incur any penalty upon this act for any offence committed contrary thereto, upon any confession or discovery he or she shall make, being examined upon oath, unless such offence shall be made out by other proof, any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.


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VII. Provided always, That the lord deputy, or other chief governor or governors, and privy-council of this realm for the time being, may, by order of privy-council, at any time after the said first day of March one thousand six hundred ninety five, license any person or persons, as he and they shall think fit, to keep such arms as shall be particularly expressed in such license, in as full and ample manner as such chief governor or governors heretofore might have done before the passing of this present act; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding; which license shall be granted without any gratuity, fee, or reward, other than the sum of one shilling for the writing thereof.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the end of this present session of Parliament, no person whatsoever now, or at any time whatsoever, exercising or using the mystery or art of making any locks or barrels for guns, musquets, pistols, or other fire-arms, or of making swords, bayonetts, skeines, knives, or other weapons, shall take to prentice, or use, receive, or instruct as an apprentice, any person of the popish religion, on pain that every person so offending in entertaining such popish person to be an apprentice, or using, receiving, or instructing him as such, shall for every such offense forfeit the sum of twenty pounds, to be recovered by bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty's courts of record, wherein no essoyne, protection, or wager of law is to be allowed, nor more than one imparlance granted; the one moiety of all such forfeitures to be to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, and the other moiety to the informer, or him or them that shall or will sue for the same.

IX. And moreover, the indenture of apprenticeship, and all bonds and contracts to be made or entered into, by reason or occasion of any such popish person being put to be an apprentice as aforesaid, shall be void, and are hereby declared to be void; and every such person of the popish religion, who shall be hereafter put to be an apprentice, instructed contrary to the true meaning of this act, and who shall exercise the said art or mystery, shall for every such offence in using or exercising the said art or mystery, or any part thereof, forfeit the sum of twenty pounds, to be sued for and recovered as aforesaid to the uses before-mentioned; and the justices of the peace, mayors, sovereigns, and other head officers of cities, burroughs, and towns corporate respectively, are hereby authorized and required to send for all apprentices of such persons exercising the art and mystery aforesaid, whom they shall suspect, and shall tender to them


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the oaths and declaration following, to be by them respectively taken and subscribed.

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 jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence 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 any hope of any such dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever, or without believing that I am, or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved from this declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever shall dispense with, or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.

And the refusal of such person or persons to take the said oaths, or subscribe the said declaration, shall be and are hereby declared to be a conviction of such persons so refusing the same, of his being guilty, as also of the matter of such apprentice, unless such matter shall prove that such apprentice, at the time of entering his service, was known or reputed to be of the protestant religion.


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X. And be it further enacted, That no papist shall, at any time from and after the twentieth day of January, one thousand six hundred ninety five, be capable to have or keep in his possession, or in the possession of any other person to his use, or at his disposition, any horse, gelding or mare, which shall be of the value of five pounds or more; and that if any person being of the protestant religion, shall make discovery upon oath of any such horse or horses to be in the possession of such papist, or of any person in trust for him, to any two justices of the peace, or to the mayor, or other chief magistrate of any city or town corporate, that such justice of the peace, mayor, or other chief magistrate, within their respective precincts, shall from time to time, by warrant under his and their hands and seals, authorize such person, with the assistance of the constable, or his deputy, or such other person as he or they shall think fit, who are hereby required to be aiding and assisting therein, in the day time only, to search for and secure all and every such horse and horses; and in case of opposition or resistance, to break open any door, and bring such horse or horses before him or them; and such person being of the protestant religion, and making such discovery, paying or making tender before such justices, mayor, or other chief magistrate of any city or town corporate, of the sum of five pounds five shillings to the owner or possessor of such horse , or to such justice or chief magistrate in his or their absence; which the said justice or chief magistrate are hereby authorized to receive for the use of such owner or possessor; and that from and after such payment, or tender and refusal, the property of such horse or horses for which such sum or sums shall be respectively tendered or paid, shall, by authority of this present act, be deemed and adjudged to be vested in the person making such discovery and tender, as if such horse and horses had been bought and sold in market overt; and the said justices of the peace, mayor, bailiff, or other head-officer is and are hereby authorized and required, by warrant under his and their hands and seals, to cause such horse and horses to be delivered accordingly.

XI. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall conceal, or be aiding or affiliating in the concealing, any such horse or horses belonging to any papist, or suspected papist, refusing to take the oaths and subscribe the declaration aforesaid, such person or persons, being thereof duly convicted by the oaths of two or more credible witnesses, before any justice of the peace of the county where such horse or horses shall be concealed, shall be committed to the common goal, by warrant from the said justice, there to remain without bail or mainprize by the space of


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three months, and shall forfeit and lose to his Majesty, and his successors, treble the value of such horse or horses; which value is to be settled by the justices of the peace in their general-quarter-sessions of the peace in the respective counties, who are hereby authorized to continue such person in prison, until due payment of such sum of money, to use of his Majesty, his heirs and successors.

XII. And it is hereby declared, that every person shall be deemed and taken to be a papist, within the meaning of this present act, who shall refuse to take the oaths, and subscribe the declaration herein before-mentioned, when the same shall be tendered to him by any justice or justices of the peace; which said oaths and declaration the said justices of the peace and chief magistrates are hereby authorized and required to administer, if any such person or persons shall deny him or themselves to be a papist within the meaning of this act; and if any such person or persons shall take the said oaths, and subscribe the said declaration, the said justice or justices of the peace shall certify under his hand his or their taking the said oaths, and return the said declaration to the next quarter-sessions to be held for the said county, there to be recorded as in such cases is usual.

XIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any justice or justices of the peace, mayors, sovereigns, bayliffs, or chief magistrates, or officers of any county or town corporate respectively, shall neglect or refuse to execute any the powers or authorities which he or they is or are respectively required by this present act to put in execution, every such justice of the peace, mayor, sovereign, bayliff, or chief magistrate, or officer, shall for every such default or offence lose and forfeit the sum of fifty pounds, to be recovered in any of his Majesty's courts of record, by bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoyne, protection, or wager of law shall be allowed, nor more than one imparlance granted; the one moiety of such forfeiture to be to his Majesty, his heirs and successors; and the other moiety to such person as shall or will sue for the same; and the said offenders shall be moreover and are hereby disabled and made incapable, from and after his being convicted, to act as justice of the peace, mayor, sovereign, bayliff, or chief magistrate, or officer in any county, city, or town corporate in this kingdom.


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