The Second Year of Anne. - Chap. III.
An Act to prevent Popish Priests from coming into this kingdom.
Whereas great numbers of Popish bishops, deans, fryers, jesuits, and other regulars of the popish clergy, do daily come into this kingdom from France, Spain, and other foreign parts, under the disguise or pretence of being Popish secular priests, with intent to stir up her Majesty’s Popish subjects to rebellion; and for that sufficient proof to convict them cannot be had, they have hitherto remained in this kingdom contrary to the statute made in the seventh year of the reign of his late Majesty King William the third of glorious memory, intitutled, An Act for banishing all Papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and all regulars of the Popish clergy, out of this kingdom; to the great prejudice of her Majesty’s Protestant subjects, and to the hazard of the publick peace: for remedy whereof 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 every clergyman of the popish religion, that shall come into this kingdom at any time after the first day of January, in this present year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and three, shall be and is hereby declared to be liable to such penalties, forfeitures, and punishments, as by the said act is imposed on Popish archbishops, bishops, vicars-general, deans, jesuits, fryers, and any other Papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, who shall come into this kingdom contrary to the said act.
II. And be it further enacted, That any person, who shall knowingly harbour, relieve, conceal, or entertain any such clergyman
of the Popish religion as aforesaid, so coming into this kingdom as aforesaid, shall be liable to such penalties and forfeitures, as by the said act is imposed on the harbourers, relievers, and concealers of any Popish archbishop, bishop, vicar-general, dean, jesuit, fryer, or regular Popish clergyman; and to be levyed on them, and every of them, in the same manner as by the said act is directed: and all her Majesty’s justices of the peace, sheriffs, high and petty constables, and all other her Majesty’s loving subjects are hereby required to use their outmost diligence in apprehending all such regular or other Popish priest, who shall come into this kingdom contrary to the said act.
III. And be it further enacted, That if any mayor, justice of the peace, or other officer shall neglect doing his or their duty in execution of this act, every such mayor, justice of the peace, and other officer shall for every such neglect forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, to be recovered by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, wherein no protection, essoigne, or wager of law shall be allowed, nor more than one imparlance; one moyety thereof to the Queen’s Majesty, her heirs and successors; the other moyety to the informer, or person that shall sue for the same; and be disabled from serving as a justice of the peace during his life.
IV. And forasmuch as some doubt hath arisen, where persons returning or coming, and offending contrary to the aforementioned act, shall be indicted and tryed: be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every person and persons, who have returned, or come, and offended contrary to the said statute, or who shall at any time hereafter return or come into this kingdom contrary to the true intent and meaning of the aforementioned statute, or shall come into this kingdom contrary to this present act, shall and may be indicted and tryed for the same in such county of this kingdom, wherein he or they shall be found and taken; or in any county where her Majesty, her heirs and successors, by commission under the great seal of this kingdom, shall direct and appoint.
V. Provided, and be it enacted, That this said act shall continue and be in force for fourteen years, and to the end of the next session of Parliament after the expiration of the said fourteen years, and no longer.
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