Act Declaring what Offences shall be adjudged Treason (May 1649)
Whereas the Parliament hath Abolished the Kingly Office in England and Ireland, and in the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging, and hath Resolved and Declared, That the People shall for the future be Governed by its own Representatives, or National Meetings in Councel, Chosen and Entrusted by them for that purpose, Hath setled the Government in the way of a Commonwealth and Free State, without King or House of Lords; Be it Enacted by this present Parliament, and by the authority of the same, That if any person shall maliciously or advisedly publish by Writin, Printing, or openly Declaring, That the said Government is Tyrannical, Usurped or Unlawful; or that the Commons in Parliament assembled are not the Supreme authority of this Nation; or shall Plot, Contrive or Endeavor to stir up or raise Force against the present Government, or for the subversion or alteration of the same, and shall declare the same by any open deed, That then every such Offence shall be Taken, Deemed and Adjudged, by the authority of this Parliament, to be High Treason. And Whereas the Keepers of the Liberty of England, and the Councel of State, constituted, and to be from time to time constituted by authority of Parliament are to be under the said Representatives in Parliament, Entrusted for the maintenance of the said Government, with several Powers and Authorities limited, given and appointed unto them by the Parliament; Be it likewise Enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person shall maliciously and advisedly plot or endeavor the subversion of the said Keepers of the Liberty of England, or the Councel of State, and the same shall declare by any open deed; or shall move any person or persons for the doing thereof, or stir up the People to rise against them, or either of them, their or either of their Authorities, that then every such Offence and Offences shall be Taken, Deemed and Declared to be High Treason. And where as the Parliament, for their just and lawful Defence, hath raised and levyed the Army and Forces now under the command of Thomas Lord Fairfax, and are at present necessitated, by reason of the manifold Distractions within this Commonwealth, and Invasions threatned from abroad, to continue the same, which under God, must be the Instrumental means of preserving the well-affected people of this Nation in Peace and Safety; Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any person, not being an Officer, Soldier or Member of the Army, shall plot, contrive, or endeavor to stir up any Mutiny in the said Army, or withdraw any Soldiers or Officers from their obedience to their Superior Officers, or from the present Government as aforesaid; or shall procure, invite, ayd or assist any Forraigners or Strangers to Invade England or Ireland, or shall adhere to any Forces raised by the Enemies of the Parliament, or Commonwealth, or Keepers of the Liberty of England; or if any person shall counterfeit the Great-Seal of England (for the time being) used and appointed by authority of Parliament, That then every such Offence and Offences shall be Taken Deemed and Declared by the Authority of this Parliament to be, High Treason; and every such persons shall suffer pains of Death, and also Forfeit unto the Keepers of the Liberty of England, to and for the use of the Commonwealth, all and singular his and their Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments, Goods and Chattels, as in case of High Treason hath been used by the Laws and Statutes of this Land to be forfeit and lost. Provided always, that no persons shall be Indicted and Arraigned for any of the Offences mentioned in this Act, unless such Offenders shall be Indicted or Prosecuted for the same, within one year after the Offence committed.
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