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The Eighth Year of Anne

A.D. 1709

Chap. III.



An Act for explaining and amending an Act intituled, An Act to prevent the further

Growth of Popery.


Whereas an act made in this kingdom in the second year of the reign of her present Majesty, intituled, An act to prevent the further growth of popery, has been eluded by making of settlements on papists, by granting annuities for lives, in tail, and fee-simple, and by perfecting collateral securities, as judgments, recognizances, and statutes deseazanced, for performing the


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covenants in such deed of annuity, and for answering private trusts for the benefit of such papists, under colour and pretence that annuities, being only personal and not real inheritances, are not comprehended within that clause of the said act, whereby papists are disabled from purchasing land and tenements: for remedy whereof, and for avoiding all disputes that may arise thereon, 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, nor any other person or persons in trust for any papist, shall from and after the tenth of May one thousand seven hundred and nine, be capable to take, have, or receive, any annuity for life, or term of years determinable on any life or lives, or for any greater or lesser estate any ways chargeable on, or that may affect, any lands, tenements, or hereditaments; and that all judgements, statutes of the staple or merchant, recognizances, and all and every other security and securities whatsoever, which at any time hereafter shall be entered into, acknowledged, made, or perfected to any papist or papists, or to any other person or persons in trust for, and to the use of, such papist or papists, for the securing of any such annuity or annuities, or performance of any such trust, and every judgement or judgements obtained, had, or to be had, on such annuity, as far only as such judgement or judgements may affect any lands, tenements, or hereditaments of such papist or papists, shall be and are hereby declared to be, null and void to all intents and purposes.

II. Provided nevertheless, that any papist, to whom such annuity shall or may be granted, may upon judgement obtained, take out execution against the person or personal estate of such grantor.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That where and as often as any child or children of any popish parent or parents hath or have heretofore professed or conformed him, her, or themselves unto, or shall hereafter conform him, her, or themselves to, the protestant religion as by law established, and enrol in the high court of Chancery a certificate of the bishop of the diocess in which he, she, or they shall inhabit or reside, testifying his, her, or their being a protestant or protestants, and conforming him, her, or themselves to the church of Ireland as by law established, it shall and may be lawful for the high court of Chancery, upon a bill founded upon this act, to oblige the said popish parent or parents, to discover upon oath the full value of all his, her, or their estate, as well personal as real, clear over and above all real incumbrances and debts contracted bona fide for valuable consideration before the enrolment of such certificate, and


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thereupon to make such order for the support and maintenance of such protestant child or children, by the distribution of the said real and personal estate to and among such protestant child or children, for the present support of such protestant child or children, and also to and for the portion or portions, and future maintenance or maintenances, of such protestant child or children, after the decease of such popish parent or parents, as the said court shall judge fit; by which order the real and personal estate of such popish parent shall be charged with such portion and portions, future maintenance and maintenances, and support, from the time of the enrolment of such certificate as aforesaid, notwithstanding any fraudulent gift or sale, or voluntary disposition, or any voluntary charge or incumbrance by statute staple, judgement, bond, devise, or otherwise made, entered into, acknowledged, suffered or done, after the enrolment in the high court of Chancery of the certificate aforesaid: provided that such order and distribution among the protestant children of such popish parent shall not exceed one third part of the personal and real estate, for the maintenance and support of such protestant child or children during the life of such popish parent.

IV. And whereas such popish parents do frequently set up such fraudulent settlements and incumbrances, and make fraudulent leases at low and inconsiderable rents, to make their estate real and personal appear small and of little value, in order to deprive such of their children, as shall become protestants, of a reasonable support and maintenance, and such devices are carried on and concealed with so much subtility, that it is difficult to discover the same, so that the lord chancellor, lord keeper, or commissioners of the great seal, not having the truth of the matter laid before him or them, may often decree less portion and maintenances, than he or they otherwise would have done, if the true circumstances of such popish parent or parents had truly and fairly appeared to him or them: and whereas the estate of such popish parent or parents may encrease and become better after such portions and allowances made by the court of Chancery, and yet after such decree is made up and enrolled, it may be doubted whether the lord chancellor, lord keeper, or commissioners of the great seal, can encrease such portion and maintenances, notwithstanding it should be discovered and made appear to him or them, that the estate real or personal of such popish parent or parents was much greater, than at the time of the decree it appeared to be, or that such popish parent or parents had encreased or improved his, her, or their estate: for remedy whereof be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That notwithstanding any such decree made up or enrolled, it shall and may be lawful for the high court of Chancery


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from time to time, upon a new bill or bills founded upon this act, to encrease or augment such portion or portions, maintenance or maintenances, formerly decreed or allowed to such protestant child or children to such popish parent or parents, according to the value of the estate real or personal or such popish parent or parents at the time of such new bill or bills preferred.

V. Provided always, That if it shall appear to the said court, that such new bill or bills are groundless and vexatious, that then the said court shall dismiss the same, and award full costs to the defendant, to be levied as costs in other cases are usually levied.

VI. And forasmuch as many Irish papists of this kingdom, in order to defeat and elude the said act of Parliament to prevent the further growth of popery, did, between the first day of January one thousand seven hundred and three and the twenty fourth of March following, levy and suffer fines and recoveries of their several estates, whereof they were seized in tail, in order to bar all remainders that were then vested, or afterwards might vest, in any protestants, and likewise did make such dispositions and voluntary conveyances of the same and other their estates, whereof they were seized in fee-simple, as that the said estates might never come to any English-man or protestant, or any that should turn protestant, and qualify themselves according to the intent, purpose, and encouragement of the said act to prevent the further growth of popery: for remedy whereof, and for further explanation of the said act, be it declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every settlement and settlements, fine and fines, common recovery and recoveries, and other conveyances, had or made since the said first day of January one thousand seven hundred and three, of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in this kingdom by such papist or papists, or by any protestant or protestants who turned papist at any time since the said first day in January one thousand seven hundred and three, or by any such papist, together with his then protestant wife, who hath turned papist as aforesaid, whereby any protestant or protestants are barred of any estate in reversion or remainder, whereunto such protestant or protestants was or were intitled at the time of levying such fine or fines, or suffering such recovery or recoveries, or making such conveyances, shall, as to such protestant or protestants, be null and void; and that such protestant or protestants shall become intitled unto, and seized of, such land or tenements, according to such estate as he, she, or they had in such lands, tenements, or hereditaments, at the time of perfecting such conveyances, or levying such fines, and suffering such recoveries, as if such fine or fines, recovery or recoveries, conveyance or conveyances, had not bee levied, suffered, or made.

VII. Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend to impeach or avoid any purchase or mortgage, estate, or in-


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cumbrance, really and bona fide made for full and valuable consideration to any protestant or protestants whatsoever: subject nevertheless to all such debts and real incumbrances at the time of the decease of such papist, charging such estate, as the same would have been subject to upon the descent thereof, according to the true intent and meaning of the said act, and this present act.

VIII. Provided nevertheless, That every such protestant in remainder or reversion as aforesaid shall have the right, condition, or equity of redemption of all and every such mortgages or incumbrances.

IX. And whereas by the aforesaid act to prevent the further growth of popery, among other things it is enacted in these words: (that is to say) "And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all lands, tenements, or hereditaments, whereof any papist now is, or hereafter shall be, seized in fee-simple, or fee-tail, shall from henceforth, so long as any papist shall be seized of or intituled to the same in fee-simple or fee-tail, be of the good nature of gavel-kind; and if not sold ,aliened, or disposed of by such papist in his life-time for good and valuable consideration of money really and bona fide paid, shall for such estate from such papist descend to and be inherited by all and every the sons of such papist any way inheritable to such estate, share and share alike; and not descend on and come to the eldest of such sons only, being a papist, as heir at law; and shall in like manner from such respective sons, being papists, descend to and be inherited by all and every the sons of such sons, share and share alike, and not descend to the eldest of such sons being a papist as heir at law only. And that for want of issue-male of such papist, the same shall descend to all his daughters, any way inheritable to such estate, in equal proportions; and for want of such issue, among the collateral kindred of such papist, of the kin of his father, any way inheritable to such estate, to equal degree: and for want of such kindred, to the collateral kindred of such papist of the kin of his mother, any way inheritable to such estate, and not otherwise; notwithstanding any grant, settlement, or disposition by will or otherwise, that shall be made by such papist, other than such sale, alienation, or disposition, to be made by such papist as aforesaid: subject nevertheless to all such debts and real incumbrances, at the time of the decease of such papist charging such estate:" and whereas some doubts have arisen upon the first words of the said clause, that is to say, from what time that clause, or part of the said act, was to take effect, whether from the first day of the session of that Parliament wherein the said act was made, or from any and what other day or time; be it therefor declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the aforesaid recited clause, or part of the said act, shall


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be deemed, construed, and adjudged to take effect from the first day of that session of Parliament: and that all such settlements, and all such bargains and sales, releases, feoffments, and other conveyances whatsoever, and all fines and recoveries made, executed, levied, or suffered by any papist, of any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, since the said first day of that session of Parliament, to elude the said act, or which may any way prevent or hinder such lands, tenements, or hereditaments, from descending or going in gavel-kind, or to the eldest son of any papist, turning protestant, according to the true intent and meaning of the said act, be null, void, and of none effect.

X. Provided that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, sold ,aliened, disposed of, or settled, after the twenty first of September one thousand seven hundred and three, and before the twenty fifth of March one thousand seven hundred and four, for good and valuable considerations of marriage, or of money bona fide paid, or to such reasonable maintenances and portions for daughters and younger children, as such lands, tenements, or hereditaments were, are, or shall be charged with, according to the said act; but that such sales, dispositions, or settlements, shall stand and remain of force for the benefit of the several purchasers of such lands, tenements, or hereditaments, and of the persons parties to the said marriage or marriage-articles, and of such woman as shall have any jointure settled on her in consideration of such marriage, and of the issue of such marriage, according to the scope and intent of such marriage-settlement, and for the benefit of no other person whatsoever; any thing in this or in the said recited act to the contrary notwithstanding.

XI. Provided always, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no person or persons, who hath or have turned, or shall turn, from the popish to the protestant religion as by law established, shall be deemed or taken to be a protestant within the intention of this act, or the former act, or shall take benefit thereby, notwithstanding such person, so professing himself a protestant, shall pursuant to this or the said former act to prevent the further growth of popery, procure the certificate of the bishop of the diocess, as is herein and hereby or by the said former act directed, unless such person or persons shall within the space of six months then next after such person or person declaring himself or themselves a protestant or protestants, or within six months after such person or persons shall attain the age of eighteen years, or those who have already been converted, do before the twenty fifth of December one thousand seven hundred and nine, or within three months after he or they shall return into this kingdom, in case he or they be now out of the kingdom, take and receive the holy sacrament of


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the Lord's Supper, according to the order and usage of the said church of Ireland, and make and subscribe the declaration, pursuant to an act intituled, An act to prevent the further growth of popery; and shall also take the oath of abjuration, and shall file in the high court of Chancery, or some other of her Majesty's Four courts at Dublin, a certificate or certificates thereof, in like manner as the bishop's certificate is to be filled, for which certificate no greater fee shall be taken than six pence; any thing herein, or in the said former act against the further growth of popery, contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

XII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person, that now is or hereafter shall be converted from the popish to the protestant religion, and conform himself to the church of Ireland as by law established, and shall have, hold, or enjoy any imployment, office, or place of profit, or trust, by virtue of any commission, grant, or authority from her Majesty, her heirs or successors, or be a member of either house of Parliament, or practice as barrister at law, attorney, or sollicitor, or officiate as officer in any of her Majesty's courts of law, or any other court whatever, shall cause all his children under the age of fourteen years at the time of the conversion of such parent, to be educated in the protestant religion as by law established, and for default thereof such imployment, office, or place of profit or trust, is hereby declared null and void, and such member of Parliament shall be incapable to sit or vote in either house of Parliament, and the party offending for ever incapable to have, hold, and enjoy any imployment, office, or place of profit or trust under her Majesty, her heirs or successors; and that every such barrister, attorney, or solicitor, privately or publickly, or officiating in any of the courts aforesaid.

XIII. Provided that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to the office of high constable, petty constable, tything-man, headborough, overseer of the poor, church-wardens, surveyors of the high way, and any like inferior civil office in the kingdom.

XIV. And whereas several persons of the popish religion in this kingdom in the settlements of their several estates have power reserved or given to make and settle in jointure on any wise either particular lands or tenements therein mentioned, or by way of rent charge out the lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in such settlement or out of some part thereof, or by some other way; and after such settlement such person, to whom such power is given or reserved, hath married or may marry some woman of the popish religion, which woman after such marriage may, during the continuance thereof, be inclined to re-


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nounce the errors and superstitions of the church of Rome, and become of the protestant religion as by law established, but may be discouraged or deterred from the doing thereof, by reason that her popish husband hath not executed such power to appoint a jointure, nor will likely do the same after such wife is become a protestant as aforesaid: be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any woman, who was a papist at the time of her marriage with a popish husband, who hath any power reserved to him on any settlement, making him tenant for life, to limit or appoint any jointure on such wife, and yet hath not or shall not execute such power in his life time; if such woman shall become a protestant, and enrol a certificate thereof from the bishop of the diocess, and also receive the sacrament according to the usage and order of the church of Ireland as by law established, if such woman survive her said popish husband, she shall have and enjoy such provision as the lord chancellor, or lord keeper, or commissioners of the great seal for the time being, upon a bill grounded upon this act, shall think reasonable and fit to adjudge, not exceeding the power reserved in such settlement.

XV. And for futher encouragement of such popish wife to become a protestant as aforesaid in the life time of her popish husband; be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That such popish wife or wives of such popish husband or husbands, who is or are now become a protestant or protestants, or shall hereafter become a protestant or protestants in the life of such popish husband or husbands, shall have and receive such proportion or share, not being otherwise provided for by vertue of any agreement before marriage, or by reason of dower or jointure, or other estate, charge, or interest, out of the freehold and inheritance of such husband before or after such marriage, of the chattles real and personal of her or their popish husband or husbands, whereof he or they shall dye possessed of or intituled unto, as the high court of Chancery shall on a bill, to be preferred by such widow or widows, grounded on this act, think reasonable, not exceeding one third part after debts and funeral charges, notwithstanding any will or voluntary alienation or disposition to be made by any such popish husband or husbands to the contrary, and notwithstanding an act made in the seventh year of the late King William the third of glorious memory, intituled, An act for the better settling intestate estates, to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

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