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An Act for Burying in Woollen. [1677.]

 

Whereas an Act made in the that now is, intituled, An Act for Burying in Woollen only, was intended for the lessening the Importation of Linen from beyond the Seas, and the Encouragement of the Woollen and Paper Manufactures of this Kingdom, had the same been observed ; (2) but in respect there was not a sufficient Remedy thereby given for the Discovery and Prosecution of Offences against the said Law, the same hath hitherto not had the Effect there by intended :
II. For Remedy whereof, 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of the same, That the said Act, and all the Clauses and Provisoes therein, shall be and are hereby annulled and repealed, to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes whatsoever.
III. And it is hereby enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the first Day of August one thousand six hundred and seventy-eight, no Corps of any Person or Persons shall be buried in any Shirt, Shift; Sheet or Shroud, or any thing whatsoever made or mingled with Flax, Hemp, Silk, Hair, Gold or Silver, or in any Stuff or Thing, other than what is made of Sheeps Wool only, or be put in any Coffin lined or faced with any sort of Cloth or Stuff, or any other Thing whatsoever, that is made of any Material  but Sheeps Wool only: (2) upon pain of the Forfeiture of five Pounds of lawful Money of England, to be recovered and divided as is hereafter in this Act expressed and directed.
IV. And it is enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Persons in Holy Orders, Deans, Parsons, Deacons, Vicars, Curates and their or any of their Substitutes, do within their respective Parishes, Precincts and Places, take an exact Account, and keep a Register of all and every Person or Persons buried in his or their respective Parishes or Precincts, or in such common Burial-places as their respective Parishioners are usually buried; (2) and that some-one or more of the Relations of the Party deceased, or other credible Person, shall within eight Days next after such Interment, bring an Affidavit in Writing under the hands and Seals of two or more credible Witnesses, and under the Hand of the Magistrate or Officer before whom the same was sworn (for which nothing shall be paid) to the Minister or Parson, That the said Person was not put in, wrapt or wound up, or buried in any Shirt, Shift, Sheet or Shroud, made or min­gled with Flax, Hemp, Silk, Hair, Gold or Silver, or other than what is made of Sheeps Wool only, or in any Coffin Lined or faced with any Cloth, Stuff or any other Thing whatsoever, made or mingled with Flax, Hemp, Silk, Hair, Gold or Silver, or any other Material but Sheeps Wool only; (3) and if no Re­lation of the Party buried, or other Person, shall bring an Affidavit as aforesaid, to the Parson or Minister, within the Time aforesaid, That then the Goods and Chattels of the Party deceased shall be and are hereby made liable to the aforesaid Forfeiture of five Pounds ; (4.) to be levied by way of Distress and Sale thereof, by Warrant of the Chief Magistrate in any Town Corporate, or any Justice of the Peace, or in default thereof, by like Distress and Sale of the Goods of the Person in whose House the said Party died, or of any that had a Hand in putting such Person into any Shirt, Shift, Sheet, Shroud or Coffin, contrary to this Act, or did order or dispose the Doing thereof; (5) and in case such Person were a Servant, and that he or she died in the Family of his or her  Master or Mistress, That the same be levied on the Goods or Chattels of his or her Master or Mistress ; (6) and if such Person died in the Family of his or her Father or Mother, That then the same be levied upon the Goods and Chattels of his or her Father or Mother, in Manner and by Warrant as aforesaid ; (7) which said Forfeiture or Forfeitures shall be levied, paid and allowed out of the Estate of the said deceased Person, before any Statute, Judgment, Debt, Legacy, or any other Duty whatsoever, due, owing or payable from the said Deceased.
V. And it is hereby further enacted, That the said Affidavit shall be made or taken before some one Justice of the Peace, or Master of Chancery, Ordinary or Extraordinary, Mayor, Bailiff, or other Chief Of­ficer of the City, County, Borough, Corporation or Market-Town in the County where the said Party was buried, who are hereby authorized and required to administer the said Oath, and to attest the same un­der their Hands upon such Affidavit, gratis : (2) And in case no such Affidavit shall be brought to the Parson or Minister where the said Party was buried as aforesaid, within the said eight Days, That such Parson Minister shall forthwith give or cause Notice thereof to be given in Writing under his Hand, to the Church-warden or Overseers of the Poor of such Parish, who shall within eight Days after such Notice repair to the chief Magistrate in any Town Corporate, if such Party was. buried in such City or Town Corporate, or else to any justice of the Peace, who upon the Certificate thereof from the said Parson, Mi­nister or Curate, officiating in the said Parish, shall forthwith grant a ‘Warrant for the levying of the said Forfeiture on the Goods and Chattels of the Parties before mentioned, rendering the Overplus to the Parties whose Goods were so distrained upon, all reasonable Charges being deducted; (3) one Moiety of which Forfeitures shall be to the Use and Benefit of the Poor of the Parish where such Party shall be buried contrary to the Directions of this Act, and the other Moiety thereof to the Use of the Person that shall in­form and sue for the same, to be recovered by Warrant of the chief Magistrate or any Justice of the Peace in the City, Town Corporate or County, where such Party was buried.
VI. And in case any Parson or Minister shall neglect to give notice to the Church-wardens or Overseers of the Poor as aforesaid, or not give unto them a Note or Certificate under his Hand, testifying that such an Affidavit and Certificate was not brought to him within the Time limited by this Act, concerning the Parties being interred according to the Directions thereof; (2) or that the Church-wardens or Overseers of the, poor shall not within eight Days after the Receipt of such Certificate repair to such chief Magistrate, or to some other justice of the Peace, with such Certificate, and shew the same to him, and demand his Warrant thereupon for levying the Forfeiture by this Act before appointed; (3) and in case such chief Magistrate or Justice of the Peace shall neglect his Duty in not issuing his Warrant for the levying the said Forfeiture; (4) he or they so neglecting or offending shall forfeit for every such Offence the Sum of five Pounds of lawful Money of England; (5) to be recovered by such Person as shall sue for the same by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint or Information, wherein no Ession, Wager of Law or Protection shall be allowed, and wherein also the Prosecutor shall recover his full Costs, so as the Suit be commenced within six Months af­ter the Offence shall be committed; (6) one fourth Part of which said Forfeitures shall be to the Use of his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors; two other fourth Parts thereof shall be to the Use of the Poor of the Parish where the Person so offending or neglecting his Duty shall dwell; and one other fourth Part to the Person that shall inform and sue for the same.
VII. And it is hereby further enacted, That the Parson or Minister of every Parish shall keep a Register in a Book to be provided at the Charge of the Parish, and make a true Entry of all Burials within his Parish, and of all Affidavits brought to him as aforesaid, within the Time limited as aforesaid; (2) ‘and where no such Affidavit shall be brought to him within such Time, that he enter a Memorial thereof in the said. Registry, against the Name of the Party interred, and of the Time when he notified the same to the Church-wardens or Overseers of the Poor.
VIII. And it is hereby further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in the first Account to be given in by any Overseers of the Poor, after the first Day of August one thousand six hundred seventy-eight, they do and shall give an Account, as by this Act is hereafter directed, of all Burials within their Parishes from the said first Day of August one thousand six hundred seventy-eight to the Time of the giving in the said Ac­count; (2) and that for the future when and as often as the Overseers of the Poor do give up their Ac­counts to the Justices of the Peace at the Quarter-Sessions, or Petty-Sessions, or any two Justices of the Peace in their monthly Meetings, that they do and shall give an Account of the Name and Quality of every Person interred within their Parish, from the Time of their former Account, and of such Certificates as came to their Hands from the Parson or Minister of the said Parish, that the Persons therein mentioned. were interred contrary to the Directions and true Intent of this Act, and of their levying the Penalty on the Offenders according to this Act, and also a true Account of the Disposal of the same; (3) under the Pe­nalty of five Pounds, to be levied by Distress and Sale of the Goods of such Churchwardens or Overseers, by Warrant from the said justices of the Peace, or any two of them; (4) and that no Account of any Overseers of the Poor shall be allowed after the first Day of August one thousand six hundred seventy-eight, until they shall therein account for the Burials within the respective Parishes as is before directed.
IX. Provided, That no Penalty appointed by this Act shall be incurred for or by reason of any Person that shall die of the Plague, although such Persons shall not be buried as by this Act is directed.
X. And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the said first Day of August the said judges at their respective Assizes, and the justices of the Peace at their respective Quarter-Sessions, shall give this Act in charge; (2) and moreover that this Act shall be publickly read upon the first Sunday after the Feast of St. Bartholomew every Year for seven Years next following, presently after Divine service.
XI. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action, Bill, Plaint, Suit or Information, shall be commenced or prosecuted against any Person or Persons, for what he or they shall do in pursuance or execution of this Act, such Person or Persons so sued shall and may plead the General Issue, Not guilty, and upon Issue joined may give this Act in Evidence; and if the Plaintiff or Prosecutor shall become nonsuit or suffer Discontinuance, or if a Verdict pass against him, or if upon a Demurrer Judgment pass against him, the Defendant shall recover his treble Costs for such Molestation.

 

 

 

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First published in 2005.

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