William III, 1697-8
An Act to prevent the throwing or firing of Squibbs Serpents & other Fire works. [Chapter VII. Rot. Parl. 9 Gul. III. P. 1.n.7.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1820

Pages

303-304

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'William III, 1697-8: An Act to prevent the throwing or firing of Squibbs Serpents & other Fire works. [Chapter VII. Rot. Parl. 9 Gul. III. P. 1.n.7.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 7: 1695-1701 (1820), pp. 303-304. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46893 Date accessed: 21 November 2014.


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Recital that great Mischiefs have happened by throwing of Fireworks.

Making, selling, &c. Fireworks, &c.; or permitting, &c. the same to be thrown from Houses, &c.; or throwing the same,; Common Nuisance.

Whereas much Mischief hath lately happened by throwing casting and fireing of Squibbs Serpents Rocketts and other Fire-works some Persons having thereby lost their Lives others their eyes others have had their Lives in greate Danger and several other Damages have been sustained by many Persons and much more may thereby happen if not speedily prevented For Remedy whereof for the future be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That from and after the Five and twentieth Day of March One thousand six hundred ninety eight it shall not be lawfull for any Persons or Persons of what Age Sex Degree or Quality soever to make or cause to be made or to sell or utter or offer or expose to Sale any Squibbs Rocketts Serpents or other Fire-works or any Cases Moulds or other Implements for the making any such Squibbs Serpents Rocketts or other Fire-works [or for any Person or Persons to pmit or suffer any Squibbs Serpents Rocketts or other Fireworks (fn. 1) ] to be cast throwne or fired from out of or in his, her or their House or Houses Lodgings or Habitations or from out of or in any part or place thereof belonging or adjoyning into any publick Street Highway Road or Passage or for any Person or Persons of what Degree Quality or Age soever to throw cast or fire or to be aiding or assisting in the throwing casting or firing of any Squibbs Serpents Rocketts or other Fire-works in or into any public Street House Shopp River High-way Road or Passage and that every such Offence shall be and is hereby adjudged to be a co[m]mon Nusance.

II. Making, selling, &c. Fireworks, &c.

on Conviction, by Confession, or Oath of Two Witnesses,; Penalty £5.; Permitting the same to be thrown from Houses, &c.; Penalty 20s.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons of what Age Sex Degree or Quality soever from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of March shall make or cause to be made or shall sell give or utter or offer or expose to Sale any Squibbs Rocketts Serpents or other Fire-works or any Cases Moulds or other Implements for the making of any such Squibbs Rocketts Serpents or other Fire-works That then every such Person or Persons so offending and being thereof convicted before one or more Justice or Justices of the Peace of the County Limitt Division Corporation Liberty or Cheif Magistrate of the Place where such Offence shall be co[m]mitted either by the Confession of the Party or Parties so offending or the Oath of Two Witnesses (which Oath the said Justice or Justices of Peace or Chiefe Magistrate is and are hereby impowered and required to administer) shall for every such Offence forfeit the Su[m]m of Five pounds And if any Person or Persons whatsoever from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of March shall permitt or suffer any Squibbs Serpents Rocketts or other Fire-works to be cast throwne or fired from out of or in his her or their House or Houses Shopps Dwelling Lodging or Habitation or from out of or in any part thereof or place thereto belonging or adjoyning into any publick Street High-way Road or Passage or any other House or Place whatsoever That then every such Person or Persons so a s aforesaid last offending and being thereof as aforesaid convicted shall for every such Offence forfeit the Su[m]m of Twenty shillings the said several Forfeitures to be levied by Distresse and Sale of the Goods and Chattells of every such Offender by Warrant under the Hand and Seale of the said Justice or Justices of the Peace or Chief Magistrate before whom such Conviction or Convictions shall be as aforesaid made the one halfe of the said Forfeitures to be to the use of the Poor of the Parish where every such Offence shall be co[m]mitted and the other halfe to the use of him or them who shall prosecute and cause such Offender or Offenders to be as aforesaid convicted.

III. Throwing, &c. Fireworks,

Penalty 20s.; and on Non-payment, imprisoned in House of Correction, and kept to hard Labour.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons of what Age Sex Degree or Quality soever from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of March shall throw cast or fire or be aiding or assisting in the throwing casting or firing of any Squibbs Rocketts Serpents or other Fireworks in or into any publick Street House Shopp River Highway Road or Passage That then every Person so offending and being thereof as aforesaid convicted shall for every such Offence forfeit the Su[m]m of Twenty Shillings to the Uses aforesaid And if the Person or Persons so as aforesaid last offending shall not im[m]ediately (upon his her or their being thereof as aforesaid convicted) pay to the said Justice or Justices of the Peace or Chief Magistrate before whom such Conviction shall be as aforesaid made the said Forfeiture or Forfeitures for the Uses aforesaid That then every such Justice or Justices of the Peace or Chiefe Magistrate is and are hereby impowered and required by Warrant under his or their Hands and Seales to co[m]mitt every such Person or Persons so as aforesaid last offending to the House of Correction within the County Division Limit Corporation or Liberty where such Offence as is last menco[i]ed shall be co[m]mitted there to remaine to be sett and kept to hard Labour without Bail or Mainprize for any time not exceeding One Month unlesse such Offender as is last mentioned shall sooner pay such Forfeiture or Forfeitures to the said Justice or Justices of the Peace or Chief Magistrate.

IV. Proviso for Master General of the Ordnance giving Orders for making Fireworks.

Provided always and be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Master Lieutenant or Co[m]missioners of His Majesties Ordnance for the time being or any other Person or Persons to be by them or any of them authorized to give Orders and Directions for the making any sorts of Fire-works to be used and fired according to such Orders & Directions as shall be from time to time given by the said Master Lieutenant or Co[m]missioners of His Majesties Ordnance or any other Person or Persons to be by them for that purpose authorized Any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

V. Proviso for the Artillery Company and Trained Bands of London, and Militia, using Fireworks.

Provided always and be it enacted That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Artillery Company of the City of London or any other Artillery Company or Society of Persons lawfully mett together for the Use and Exercise of Arms the Trained Bands the Militia of this Kingdome respectively to make and use any sorts of Fire works in the Exercise and Practice of Arms and Warlike Exploits onely in such manner as they or any of them might lawfully have done before the making of this Act. Any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

VI. In Actions for executing Act General Issue may be pleaded.

Treble Costs.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person be att any time sued for putting in Execution this Act or any the Powers therein contained that then such Person so sued shall and may plead the General Issue of Not Guilty and give the Special Matter in Evidence and if the Plaintiffe in such Suit or Action be nonsuit or a Verdict passe for the Defendant or if such Plaintiffe discontinue his Action or if upon a Demurrer Judgement be given for the Defendant every such Defendant shall have his full treble Costs to be paid by such Plaintiffe and the like Execution for the same as in any Case where Costs are given att Law for the Defendant.

Footnotes

1 interlined on the Roll.