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18 ELIZ. CAP. 14. [A.D. 1576.]
An act for reformation of jeofails.
Be it enacted by the Queen's most excellent majesty, the lords. spiritual and temporal, and the commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That if any verdict of twelve men or more shall be hereafter given in any action, suit, bill, plaint or demand, in any court of record, the judgment thereupon shall not be stayed or reversed by reason of any default in form, or lack of form, touching false Latin or variance from the register, or other defaults in form, in any writ original or judicial, count, declaration, plaint, bill, suit or demand, or for want of any writ original or judicial, or by reason of any imperfect or insufficient return of any sheriff or other officer, or for want of any warrant of attorney, or by reason of any manner of default in process, upon or after any aid prier or voucher, nor any such record or judgment after verdict to be given hereafter, shall be reversed for any the defects or causes aforesaid; any law, statute or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
II. Provided always, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this act, or anything therein contained, shall not extend to any writ, declaration or suit of appeal of felony or murder, nor to any indictment or presentment of felony, murder, treason or other matter, nor to any process upon any of them, nor to any writ, bill, action or information upon any popular or penal statute; anything aforesaid to the contrary notwithstanding.
27 ELIZ. CAP. 4. [A.D. 1585.]
An act against covinous and fraudulent conveyances.
Forasmuch as not only the Queen's most excellent majesty, but also divers of her Highness good and loving subjects, and bodies politick and corporate, after conveyances obtained, or to be obtained, and purchases made or to be made, of lands, tenements, leases, estates and hereditaments, for money or other good considerations, may have, incur and receive great loss and prejudice by reason of fraudulent and covinous conveyances, estates, gifts, grants, charges and limitations of uses heretofore made or hereafter to be made, of, in or out of lands, tenements or hereditaments so purchased or to be purchased: (2) which said gifts, grants, charges, estates, uses and conveyances
were, or hereafter shall be, meant and intended by the parties that so make the same to be fraudulent and covinous, of purpose and intent to deceive such as have purchased or shall purchase the same; (3) or else by the secret intent of the parties the same be to their own proper use, and at their free disposition, (4) coloured nevertheless by a fained countenance and show of words and sentences, as though the same were made bond fide, for good causes, and upon just and lawful considerations :
II. For remedy of which inconveniences, and for the avoiding of such fraudulent, fained and covinous conveyances, gifts, grants, charges, uses and estates, and for the maintenance of upright and just dealing in the purchasing of lands, tenements and hereditaments; (2) be it ordained and enacted by the authority of this present parliament, That all and every conveyance, grant, charge, lease, estate, incumbrance and limitation of use or uses, of, in or out of any lands, tenements or other hereditaments whatsoever, had or made any time heretofore sithence the beginning of the Queen's majesty's reign that now is, or at any time hereafter to be had or made, for the intent and of purpose to defraud and deceive such person or persons, bodies politick or corporate, as have purchased or shall afterwards purchase in fee-simple, fee-tail, for life, lives or years, the same lands, tenements and hereditaments, or any part or parcel thereof, so formerly conveyed, granted, leased, charged, incumbred or limited in use, (3) or to defraud and deceive such as have or shall purchase any rent, profit or commodity in or out of the same, or any part thereof, (4) shall be deemed and taken only as against that person and persons, bodies politick and corporate, his and their heirs, successors, executors, administrators and assigns, and against all and every other person and persons lawfully having or claming by, from or under them, or any of them, which have purchased or shall hereafter so purchase for money or other good consideration, the same lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any part or parcel thereof, or any rent, profit or commodity in or out of the same, to be utterly void, frustrate and of none effect; (5) any pretence, colour, fained consideration, or expressing of any use cr uses to the contrary notwithstanding.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every the parties to such fained, covinous and fraudulent gifts, grants, leases, charges or conveyances before expressed, or being privy and knowing of the same or any of them, which after the twentieth day of April next coming shall wittingly and willingly put in ure,
avow, maintain, justify or defend the same or any of them, as true, simple, and done, had or made, bonâ fide, or upon good consideration, to the disturbance or hindrance of the said purchaser or purchasers, lessees or grantees, or of or to the disturbance or hindrance of their heirs, successors, executors, administrators or assigns, or such as have or shall lawfully claim anything by, from or under them, or any of them shall incur the penalty and forfeiture of one year's value of the said lands, tenements and hereditaments so purchased or charged; (2) the one moiety whereof to be to the Queen's majesty, her heirs and successors, and the other moiety to the party or parties grieved by such fained and fraudulent gift, grant, lease, conveyance, incumbrance or limitation of use, to be recovered in any of the Queen's courts of record, by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoin, protection or wager of law shall be admitted for the defendant or defendants; (3) and also being thereof lawfully convicted, shall suffer imprisonment for one half year without bail or mainprize.
IV. Provided also, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this act or anything therein contained shall not extend or be construed to impeach, defeat, make void or frustrate any conveyance, assignment of lease, assurance, grant, charge, lease, estate, interest or limitation of use or uses, of, in, to or out of any lands, tenements or hereditaments heretofore at any time had or made, or hereafter to be had or made, upon or for good consideration and bonâ fide, to any person or persons, bodies politick or corporate; anything before-mentioned to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.
V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons have heretofore sithence the beginning of the Queen's majesty's reign that now is, made or hereafter shall make any conveyance, gift, grant, demise, charge, limitation of use or uses, or assurance of, in or out of any lands, tenements or hereditaments, with any clause, provision, article or condition of revocation, determination or alteration, at his or their will or pleasure, of such conveyance, assurance, grants, limitations of uses or estates of, in or out of the said lands, tenements or hereditaments, or of, in or out of any part or parcel of them, contained or mentioned in any writing, deed or indenture of such assurance, conveyance, grant or gift; (2) and after such conveyance, grant, gift, demise, charge, limitation of uses or assurance so made or had, shall or do bargain, sell, demise, grant, convey or charge, the same lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any part or parcel thereof, to any person or persons, bodies politick
and corporate, for money or other good consideration paid or given (the said first conveyance, assurance, gift, grant, demise, charge or limitation, not by him or them revoked, made void or altered, according to the power and authority reserved or expressed unto him or them in and by the said secret conveyance, assurance, gift or grant,) (3) That then the said former conveyance, assurance, gift, demise and grant, as touching the said lands, tenements and hereditaments, so after bargained, sold, conveyed, demised or charged, against the said bargainees, vendees, lessees, grantees and every of them, their heirs, successors, executors, administrators and assigns, and against all and every person and persons which have, shall or may lawfully claim anything, by, from or under them or any of them, shall be deemed, taken and adjudged to be void, frustrate, and of none effect, by virtue and force of this present act.
VI. Provided nevertheless, That no lawful mortgage made or to be made bona fide, and without fraud or covin, upon good consideration, shall be impeached or impaired by force of this act, but shall stand in the like force and effect as the same should have done if this act had never been had nor made; anything in this act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
An act for furtherance of justice, in case of demurrer and pleadings.
Forasmuch as excessive charges and expenses, and great delay and hindrance of justice hath grown in actions and suits between the subjects of this realm, by reason that upon some small mistaking or want of form in pleading, judgments are often reversed by writs of error, and oftentimes upon demurrers in law given otherwise than the matter in law and very right of the cause doth require, whereby the parties are constrained either utterly to lose their right, or else after long time and great trouble and expenses, to renew again their suits: (2) for remedy whereof, be it enacted by the Queen's most excellent majesty, the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from henceforth, after demurrer joined and entred in any action or suit in any court of record within this realm, the judges shall proceed and give judgment according as the very right of the cause and matter in law shall appear unto them, without regarding any imperfection, defect or want of form in any writ, return, plaint, declaration
or other pleading, process or course of proceeding whatsoever, except those only which the party demurring shall specially and particularly set down and express together with his demurrer; (3) and that no judgment to be given shall be reversed by any writ of error, for any such imperfection, defect or want of form as is aforesaid, except such only as is before excepted.
43 ELIZ. CAP. 2. § 7.* [A.D. 1601.]
An act for the relief of the poor.
VII. And be it further enacted, That the father and grandfather, and the mother and grandmother, and the children of every poor, old, blind, lame and impotent person, or other poor person not able to work, being of a sufficient ability, shall, at their own charges, relieve and maintain every such poor person in that manner, and according to that rate, as by the justices of peace of that county where such sufficient persons dwell, or the greater number of them, at their general quarter-sessions shall be assessed; (2) upon pain that every one of them shall forfeit twenty shillings for every month which they shall fail therein.
An act to avoid trifling and frivolous suits.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, If upon any action personal to be brought in any her Majesty's courts at Westminster, not being for any title or interest of lands, nor concerning the freehold or inheritance of any lands, nor for any battery, it shall appear to the judges for the same court, and so signified or set down by the justices before whom the same shall be tried, that the debt or damages to be recovered therein in the same court, shall not amount to the sum of forty shillings or above, That in every such case the judges and justices before whom any such action shall be pursued, shall not award for costs to the party plaintiff any greater or more costs than the sum of the debt or damages so recovered shall amount unto, but less at their discretions.
* [See 31 & 32 Vict. c. 122, §§ 35, 37.]
Poor Relief Act: § 36. Justices to make Order of Maintenance; § 37. Parents neglecting their Children liable to Punishment.
† 3 Car. I. c. 4, § 22 (7); 16 Car. I. c. 4.