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was to be issued against him ; this authorized the sheriff to break open his house, to attach and imprison him, or to present him at the next assizes ; an indictment was then to be framed, to which no plea, but the general issue, or conformity, was to be admitted.
If the indictment was found by the jury, a proclamation was to be made, that the recusant should surrender himself to the sheriff; if he did not appear, or confess the indictment, or if the jury found it against him, he was denominated a recusant convict; his conviction was to be certified into the exchequer; if he had not paid the forfeitures which he had incurred, process was to be awarded for levying them from his lands, goods, and chattels.
3. Having thus become a recusant convict, he was immediately to pay down the sum of 2ol. and; from this time, was to pay 2ol. a month, and be bound with sufficient sureties for his good behaviour
; if he could not pay it, he was to forfeit all his goods, and, during his recusancy, two parts of his lands : if afterwards the profits of the two parts of his lands exceeded the 20l. monthly, the king was to choose which he would have, the pol. or the two parts.
4. These penalties were accompanied by a long
4 train of disabilities. The popish recusant convict was to make no presentations, or collation, to any advowson, prebends, or hospital, either of the gift or foundation of himself, or his ancestors : he was not to be an executor, administrator, or guardian: nor practise in the common law, the civil law, the
canon law, or physic: he was not to be a judge, steward, or minister of courts, or a schoolmaster, or hold any office of public charge, or any office of arms in a ship, a castle, or fortress : his armour was to be taken from him, yet he was to be chargeable, as his majesty's other subjects, with finding the usual quotå of armour. He was to be confined within five miles of his dwelling; and if, without special licence, he passed those bounds, he was to forfeit all his goods, and all his copyhold lands might be seized: he was not to come into the court of the king or prince, or into the city of London, if he had any dwelling elsewhere, under the penalty of 100l. Finally, he was to be considered as excommunicated, in all personal actions, and therefore, (which is a necessary consequence of excommunication),—he could not either maintain or defend a personal action or suit.
5. The offence of the popish recusant convict, was dreadfully visited on his wife.
If they married according to the catholic rite, he was to forfeit 100l.; if she were convicted of recusancy, he forfeited 10l. monthly for her, or one third part out of his own remaining third part of his property; if she survived, she was disabled to be his executrix or administratrix ; she was to forfeit two parts of her jointure, or two of her dower; she might, during the marriage, be taken from her husband by a justice of peace, and confined in her house. Though the husband conformed, he was to pay iol. monthly for his recusant wife, and was
disabled, during her recusancy, from holding any public office in the community.
If she was convicted of being a popish recusant, then, if she was a baroness, she might be committed to prison by one of the privy council, or the bishop of the diocese; and if she were under that rank, she might be committed to prison by two justices of the peace, and remain there, till she conformed, unless her husband should pay to the king 107. a month, or the third part of her lands, so long as she continued a recusant and out of prison.
6. The same persecuting spirit appears in the legislative provision respecting his children.
If he christened them after the catholic rite, he forfeited 100l. At nine At nine years of age his children might be presented, and at sixteen indicted for recusancy; at sixteen, the oath of supremacy might be tendered to them. If, to educate his children at home, he kept a schoolmaster, he forfeited for every day 40s.; if he sent them abroad, he forfeited 1007.; and the child was disabled from taking lands by descent or purchase, until he conformed.
7. The same spirit extended also to his friends and servants:if he harboured, maintained, or relieved any recusant servant, sojourner, or stranger, his father and mother excepted, he forfeited for every month, 10%.
This act had a dreadful operation.-" Many serviceable men and women," says a contemporary writer, now before me, became, in conse"quence of it, absolutely destitute of succour, and
were obliged, in order to obtain employment and “ food, to travel beyond the five miles, within which “ the law confined them, under the severe penal
ties, which have been mentioned. If they had “not the means of paying the forfeitures thus in“ curred, the law enjoined them to abjure the “ realm ; if they refused, or if, having abjured it,
they returned afterwards to it without licence, they were to be adjudged felons.”
The recusants also were liable to all the severities of the ecclesiastical courts. They might be summoned, by the ecclesiastical judges, at their pleasure : if they attended, they might be fined at discretion ; if they did not attend, they were excommunicated. Attending or not, warrants were generally sent to search and seize their religious books, chalices, and every article, which served for use or ornament, in their religious worship: the search was generally made with unfeeling contumely.
9. By several acts, some of which were a pleasing, some a necessary attention to his religion, a catholic was subject to a præmunire :--as, 1. The receipt of an agnus dei, a crucifix, beads, or pious medals : 2. Aiding, abetting, taking or giving absolution by a bull from the pope: 3. Concealing an offer made to him of such a bull : 4. Sending relief to priests beyond seas: 5. Maintaining the pope's jurisdiction; and 6. The first refusal of the oath of supremacy.
10. By three acts, the catholics incurred the
penalties of felony: 1. Receiving a priest; 2. Returning from banishment; 3. Departing from the realm without taking the oath of allegiance.
11. For the oppression of the catholics five new treasons were invented : 1. The second refusal of the oath of supremacy; 2. Maintaining, a second time, the pope's spiritual authority or jurisdiction; 3. Giving or receiving absolution from the see of Rome; 4. Reconciliation or persuasion to the catholic religion; 5. Receiving holy orders beyond the seas.
12. Finally,—the law pursued them even to the grave : if a recusant convict, man or woman, not being excommunicated, was buried, in
other place than in the church, the executors of the person so buried were to forfeit 201.
13. It should be observed, that the catholics were subject, in the same manner as the protestant dissenters, to the proceedings of the high commission : how oppressive these were, and how severely the protestant dissenters suffered under them, will appear in a future part of this work; but, as the catholics were much more odious to the
and her ministers, than the protestants, there is great reason to believe, that they suffered much more severely under them.
14. Add to this,—that, even when the laws which have been mentioned were not acted upon, they had a silent but most bitter operation : they tended to make every catholic an object of odium, to lessen his few remaining comforts, and to abridge his few