August 1654
An Ordinance for the better Regulating and Limiting the Jurisdiction of the High Court of Chancery.


History of Parliament Trust



C.H. Firth, R.S. Rait (eds)

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'August 1654: An Ordinance for the better Regulating and Limiting the Jurisdiction of the High Court of Chancery.', Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660 (1911), pp. 949-967. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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August, 1654

[21 August, 1654.]

For the better regulating and limiting the Jurisdiction of the High Court of Chancery, and to the end that all proceedings touching relief in Equity, to be given in that Court, may be with less trouble, expence and delay then heretofore, It is hereby Ordained by His Highness the Lord Protector, by and with the consent of his Council,


The Attorneys in Chancery, their Number, Fee and Duty.

That from and after the Two and twentieth day of October One thousand six hundred fifty and four, there shall be a certain number of Attorneys in Chancery, not exceeding Threescore, who shall be nominated by the Master of the Rolls, out of such of the present Clerks in the Six Clerks Office of the Chancery, or others, as shall be of ability and honesty (and from time to time in case of death or removal, to be supplyed by his nomination) who being approved by the Lords Commissioners, shall be by them sworn attorneys in the said Court, and shall receive the Three shillings four pence, Termly fee, which formerly the six Clerks received, and shall solicite and manage each Clients Cause without receiving any more for their pains or solicitation, then the said Fee of Three shillings four pence.


Three chief Clerks instead of six.

That from and after the time aforesaid, in stead of the six Clerks in Chancery, there shall be three chief Clerks, and no more. And that Lawrence Maidwel Matthew Pindar and Robert Hales Esquires, shall be, and are hereby made and constituted the first three chief Clerks, and that in case of death or removal of any of them, the said chief Clerks shall be nominated from time to time by the Master of the Rolls, and approved by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners for the time being; and that the persons before named to be the present chief Clerks, and such as shall hereafter be named and approved as aforesaid, being admitted in such manner as the six Clerks formerly used to have been, shall do, execute and perform all and every matter and thing which the six Clerks heretofore might and ought to have done, except intermedling in any Cause as Attorneys; and that from and after the time aforesaid, no other person or persons shall use or exercise the Office of a Six Clerk in Chancery; and that the Master of the Rolls do take care that all the Pleadings, Papers, Books, Proceedings, and all other things belonging to, or filed in the several Offices of the six Clerks, be disposed of and filed in three Offices there, and that the Attorneys aforesaid shall be distributed equally into the said three Offices.


Bills, Answers, Pleadings, shall be filed with the chief Clerk who shall have inspection into the demeanor of the Attorneys.

That all Bills, Answers, Pleadings, &c. shall be filed with the chief Clerk, in whose Office the Attorney towards the cause for the Plaintiff is; And that each of the chief Clerks shall have an inspection into the demeanor of the Attorneys in his Office, that they do their duties, both to the Court and to the Client. And where they shall finde any abuse, misdemeanor or unfaithfulness in any of them, such chief Clerk shall acquaint the Court therewith, who shall examine the same, and give reparation to the party wronged, and if they see cause, discharge such Attorney from his place.


Sub-pœna's shall be open, containing as many Defendants as the Plaintiff pleases, at 1s. 6d.

That the first Proces in Chancery be a Sub-pœna, which shall be open, and that as many Defendants as the Plaintiff shall desire, be inserted into the same, paying no more than one shilling and six pence for every Sub-pœna to be thus distributed, six pence for the Seal, and twelve pence to the Officer.


No Sub-pæna to be sued out until a Bill be filed.

That no Sub-pœna shall be sued out until a Bill be filed, and a Certificate thereof brought unto the Sub-pœna Office, under the hand of the chief Clerk or his Deputy, for which Certificate the said chief Clerk shall receive no Fee.


For nonappearance an Attachment, and how to be executed.

That in default of appearance, upon Oath made of due service, or in default of an Answer within the due time (security being put in as is hereafter provided) an Attachment with Proclamation shall issue to the Sheriff, who shall cause the same to be proclaimed at the door of the Defendants dwelling house, lodging or last abode, between the hours of ten in the forenoon, and two in the afternoon, by Bayliffs to be nominated by the Sheriff, or by special Bayliffs (which shall not be denied, if required) and the said Bayliffs shall have power for the apprehension of the party (if need shall be) to break open any house or door where the party is in the day time. Provided, That if the Warrant be to special Bayliffs, they shall not break open any house or door, but in the presence of a constable, who upon the showing of such Warrant, is hereby required to be assisting unto the said Bayliffs therein. And if the Defendant cannot be apprehended, nor shall appear by the return of the Writ, the Plaintiff may renew the Attachment as often as there shall be cause, which Attachment shall be in lieu of a Commission of Rebellion and Serjeant at Arms.


Defendant shall not be compelled to answer till Security put in to pay Costs.; Security not to be required of Paupers.

The Defendant shall not be compelled to answer until the Plaintiff with one Surety at least, hath acknowledged a Recognizance before a Master of the Chancery in Ordinary or Extraordinary (the sum not to be under Twenty Marks) conditioned to pay such costs to the Defendant in that Suit, as the Court of Chancery shall award, if they see cause to award any, for which Recognizance there shall be paid Twelve pence onely, and no more, and such Master of the Chancery shall forthwith certifie every such Recognizance into the Office of the Pettibag in Chancery, to be there filed, and the Officer there shall give a Certificate thereof to the Plaintiff or his Attorney, upon request; and for the filing such Recognizance, making such Certificate and keeping an Alphabet thereof, he shall have and receive Twelve pence and no more; but where the Plaintiff shall be admitted in forma pauperis, no such Security is to be required.


Defendant may answer before a Master in the Countrey without a Commission.

That where a Defendant might answer by Commission in the Countrey, he shall not now be inforced to take a Commission, but without taking any Commission, may answer upon Oath before a Master of the Chancery in the Countrey in like maner, and by such time as if a Commission had issued. And that the Lords Commissioners for the Great Seal do take care, that for that purpose there be in every County a convenient number of such of the Justices of the Peace resident in that County, as they shall judge to be of the greatest ability and integrity, appointed to be Masters of the Chancery Extraordinary, and that any such Master, or any Master in Ordinary, after the Answer so sworn before him, shall sign the same, and give it into Court himself, or otherwise being sealed up, deliver it to some person to deliver the same into Court, and to make Oath that he did receive the same from the hand of such Master of the Chancery, and that since the receiving thereof, the same hath not been opened or altered.


Upon delivering in the Answer, the Defendant shall be ready with Commissioners' names.

That upon delivering in the answer, the Attorney for the Defendant do take care that he be provided with names of persons for Commissioners to be given by him upon a rule given to rejoyn.


Time for Replication or Exceptions to the Answer.

When an Answer is put in, the Plaintiff shall reply within eight days, if the Answer come in in Term time, otherwise within four days after the beginning of the next Term, unless the Plaintiff shall within eight days after the Answer come in, put in Exceptions thereunto, or procure the cause to be set down for hearing on Bill and Answer, to be heard the next Term; otherwise the cause to be dismissed without motion, with costs to be taxed by the chief Clerks.


No Copies shall be given out till the Pleadings be filed.; Negligence.

That no Copies, shall be given out of any Bill, Answer or other Pleadings, until the same shall be filed with the chief Clerk; and that each of the said chief Clerks, where such pleadings shall be filed, shall by himself and such Clerk as he shall appoint, for whom he is to answer, upon delivery out of such pleading to be copied, take the name of the Attorney to whom it is delivered, subscribed in a Book to be kept for that purpose; and if any Attorney to whom any pleading is delivered to be filed, shall neglect to file the same, or after filing, if the Attorney to whom any pleading is delivered to be copied, shall neglect to bring back the same in due time, if the same be through negligence, and not voluntary, he shall make satisfaction to the party damnified thereby, as the chief Clerks, for the time being, upon examination thereof, shall award; but if upon such examination it shall be found that the same was done voluntarily, he shall not onely make satisfaction as aforesaid, but shall be expelled the Court.


How Exceptions to Answers shall be put in and determined.

That in case the Plaintiff think fit to except to the Answer for insufficiency, the Plaintiff shall deliver the Exceptions in writing to the Defendants Attorney within eight days after the Answer filed, and shall enter the cause with the Register, and in the same order as they are entred, the same shall be heard by the Master of the Rolls, who shall appoint one or more days in every week for that purpose, and at every sitting shall appoint his next day of sitting, and how many of the said Causes shall be then heard upon Exceptions in the same order as they are entred, on which days the parties shall attend at their peril, and the Master of the Rolls upon hearing thereof, shall give such costs as shall be fitting.


Time to make a better Answer.

If a Defendant doth appear and answer insufficiently, and it be so ruled, or shall plead and demur, and the same be over-ruled, then if upon a rule given he shall not answer within eight days, the Plaintiff may proceed in such sort as is before directed, ih case the Defendant had not appeared.


Bills not proper, to be dismissed.

That after an Answer, if it shall appear at any time unto the Court, that no part of the matter of the Plaintiffs Bill is then proper for relief in that Court, the Court shall dismiss the Bill with full costs upon a Bill to be allowed by the chief Clerks; but if some particular part of the Bill be thought fit by the Court to be proceeded in, the Court then shall direct the examination and proceedings upon that particular point, and the Defendant not be inforced to proceed to examination upon any other matter.


Rule to Rejoyn.; Commission ex parte.

The Plaintiff the next day after the Replication filed, or the same day if he will, shall cause a Rule to be entred for the Defendant to rejoyn and joyn in Commission, which if the Defendant shall not do within eight days, then the Plaintiff may take a Commission ex parte, and the Defendant shall have no new Commission in that cause.


How Witnesses shall be examined in Court.; No Clerk in that Office shall be a Solicitor.

That no Witness shall be examined in Court, but by one of the Examiners themselves, unless in case of sickness, and that one of the Examiners shall examine the Witnesses of the Plaintiffs part, and the other the Witnesses of the Defendants part, if any be produced to be examined in Court, and that no Clerk in that Office shall be a Solicitor upon pain of losing his place.


Commissions open

That all Commissions for examination of Witnesses shall be open.


Commissions may go into any place.

That a Commission to examine Witnesses may be issued out to be executed at any place, as well within ten miles of the City of London, as beyond it, if the party please.


Commissioners shall be sworn as also the Clerk.

That Commissioners for examination of Witnesses shall take an Oath before execution of any Commission, to execute the same faithfully and impartially, which each Commissioner is impowered to administer to the other; And the Clerk or Clerks attending such Commissioners, shall take an Oath, which is to be administered by the Commissioners, to write down the Depositions of the Witnesses truly and indifferently without partiality, and a Clause shall be inserted into the Commission for that purpose.


How Commissions shall be executed

That the Plaintiff having the carriage of the Commission shall at his peril appoint a day and place for execution thereof, at least eight days before the return of the Commission, and give due notice thereof (unless in case where the day and place shall be agreed by the Attorneys on both sides, before the Commission go forth) and shall at the day and place appointed, produce the Commission, and deliver the same to the Commissioners then present, to the end they may execute the same; or in default thereof, the Plaintiff shall be absolutely concluded from having any other Commission, or examining any more Witnesses in that Cause; but in such case the Defendant shall be at liberty to take out the then next Term, one Commission (or more) into several Counties (if he see cause) wherein the Plaintiff may joyn, but shall not examine. Nevertheless to prevent delay, the Defendant if he please, may take out a Duplicate when any Commission is sued out to examine Witnesses; and if the Plaintiff shall not give due notice to execute his Commission eight days before the return of the Commission, the Defendant may execute his Duplicate at any time before the return, giving notice of the time and place where he intends to execute the same, one day at least before the execution thereof.


How many Commissions shall be in one Cause.

That there shall be no more then two Commissions at the most for examination of Witnesses in any one Cause to be executed in England or Wales, unless where one shall be suppressed; and in case either party have any Witnesses in Scotland, or beyond the Seas to examine, setting down the names of such Witnesses, and delivering them to the Attorney of the other side, he may take out a Commission within the time before limited, wherein the adverse party may joyn, if he will, within four days after notice, otherwise the Commissions shall issue ex parte.

Provided, That the parties, or either of them (if the Court see cause) may have several Commissions into several Counties of the same date.


In what case a second Commission may be had.

That after the execution of one Commission, no second Commission shall be taken out but by Order of the Court, and upon Affidavit that some material Witnesses, whose names shall be therein expressed, have been discovered since the execution of the former Commission, or that some of the Witnesses intended to be examined at that Commission, and which are material, could not be found, or by reason of sickness, or like just cause, could not attend that Commission; in which case onely those Witnesses which shall be named, shall be examined by such second Commission, and the same shall issue, and be executed at the charge of the party praying the same, unless the other side shall also desire to examine any Witnesses by such second Commission; and then he shall likewise let down their names.


There shall be but one rule for Publication.

That after the return of a Commission executed, or Witnesses examined in Court, there shall be but one rule for Publication, within which time, if the other side do not shew unto the Court good cause to the contrary, publication shall pass accordingly.


No Order or Direction shall be given but upon motion.

That from and after the Two and twentieth day of October, One thousand six hundred fifty four, no Order or Direction concerning any Cause depending in Chancery be made or given, but upon motion in open Court; that then both parties concerned, or their Counsel, may be heard.


Chief Clerks and Attorneys shall attend the Court.

That the chief Clerks, and likewise the Attorneys, do diligently attend in Court, and do give an account touching any proceedings in any Cause depending in Court, as they shall be required.


Fees to the chief Clerk [s].

That the chief Clerks shall have and receive one moyety of the Fees for copying, and for all other matters and things contained in the Table hereunto annexed, such and so much of the Fees therein set down proportionably (with respect to the same, as they are by the said Table reduced) as the six Clerks formerly did and might receive.


Rules touching injuctions.

That no Injunction be granted, but upon motion in open Court, satisfying the Court with such matter, which may induce the Court in Justice to grant the Injunction; but the Defendants taking a Commission; or fitting an Attachment onely, shall not be a sufficient ground for an Injunction.


That no Injunction be granted, before the hearing of the Cause, to stay a Suit at Law, but upon matter confessed in the Defendants Answer, matter of Record, or in writing under hand and seal produced in Court.


That no Injunction granted after a Plea pleaded at Law, or Rules given, shall stop a Tryal at Law, or any Pleadings or Proceedings preparatory to a Tryal.


That from and after the Two and twentieth of October, One thousand six hundred fifty four, no Injunction be granted to stay the Mortgagee from his Suit at Law, till the final hearing of the Cause; but an Injunction may be granted to prevent the Mortgagees pulling down Houses, cutting Trees, or making other waste and spoyl upon the Mortgaged Land.


Irregularity in Proceedings, how to be determined.

That all differences touching Irregularities in Proceedings, or upon the Rules or course of the Court, shall be determined by the chief Clerks, or any two of them, whom the Attorneys on both sides are to attend; and in case either side shall not rest satisfied with their Judgement therein, they may appeal to the Master of the Rolls, who upon hearing the Attorneys on both sides (and the chief Clerks who made the Certificate) if he see cause shall setle the same, and give costs where he shall finde the fault


References, by whom and how to be heard.

All other References shall be determined by the Masters of the Chancery in Ordinary, which shall be onely six in number, to be now, and from time to time appointed by the Lord Protector for the time being; of which six, three shall sit daily at some certain publique place, so long as any such References depend, and shall have a sworn Register to attend them, who shall in presence of them and the Counsel, read the Notes taken in each Cause upon any Order made, or Report agreed; and the same being so read, shall be subscribed by the Masters then present, or any two of them; and afterwards the Report shall be drawn up by the said Register, and subscribed by the same Masters, and certified: And that from and after the Two and twentieth day of October, One thousand six hundred fifty four, no other person or persons shall exercise the Office of a Master of the Chancery in Ordinary.


Fees for Reports.

That for every such Report, the party desiring the same, shall pay unto the said Register Twelve pence for each side of the Report, and Ten shillings upon every such Report, to be distributed amongst the three Masters, before whom such Cause was heard, for which the said Register is to account unto them.


For Orders of Summons.

For every Order which the said Master shall make for new Appointments or Summons, or of the like nature, the said Register shall have onely Twelve pence, and no more.


References, in what order to be heard.

That all References made by the Court to the Masters, shall be set down by the Register, who draws such Order in a Book for publique view, and shall be heard in their order, as they are so referred and set down without alteration; Provided there shall onely eight be put in the paper to be heard at one time, and both parties are at their peril to attend the same at the time, or in default thereof, the Cause to be proceeded in as if they were present.


Mis-information punished in the Counsel.

If any Counsel shal mis-inform the Court of any matter contained in the Pleadings, Proofs or Evidence, whereof he may have the perusal, or of any other matter whereof his Client did not inform him, and thereupon obtain an Order, which the Court shall afterwards see cause to discharge; the Counsel so misinforming, shall be reprehended openly in Court; and before he shall be heard any more in Court, shall pay Forty shillings to the party wronged by such mis-information, and Twenty shillings to the use of the Lord Protector.


In the Client.

But if such information be of matter of Fact, whereof the Counsel cannot be otherwise certified then by the information from his Client, Attorney or Solicitor who gave such information, shall pay Forty shillings unto the party wronged, and shall stand committed by Order of the Court, till he pay the same.


Affidavits, by whom to be kept.

That from and after the said Two and twentieth day of October, One thousand six hundred fifty four, every Attorney shall keep all and every Affidavits, whereupon he shall make forth any Writ or Proces in his own custody; and shall shew the same to the Attorney of the other side, and suffer him or any other person to take a Copy thereof, if he shall require it: And that the senior Register shall appoint a Clerk of honesty and integrity to attend in Court, and at the Rolls, and at Seals, who shall take an Oath before the Lord Chancellor, Keeper or Commissioners for the Great Seal, to be faithful in this Imployment, and shall receive into his custody all and every Affidavit which shall be read in Court, or upon which any Order shall be grounded, and shall duly file the same, and keep an Alphabet thereof. And in case the party at whose instance such Affidavit was made, shall have cause to have a copy thereof, he shall pay unto the said Clerk for the same, Four pence for the filing, and Three pence for every side for a copy thereof, and the other side, or any other person desiring it, may also have a copy at the same rate; and the Register shall have for examining and signing such copy, Six pence, and no more.



That the former Rules of the Court for admission of Paupers be duly observed; and in such cases where by the rules aforesaid costs are to be paid, in case the party who ought to pay the same, be a Pauper, the Court shall give order, that unless the costs be paid, such person be whipped or sent to the House of Correction.


Causes shall be heard in order as they are published.

That all Causes shall be set down for hearing, in order as they were published, without preferring one Cause before another, and shall be so presented by the chief Clerks, without taking any Fee for the same; and the Causes being so set down, shall be heard in the same order.


Every Cause shall be heard on the day appointed.

And that every cause shall be heard the same day on which it is set down for hearing; and for that purpose, the Lords Commissioners, if there be cause, shall sit for hearing such Causes in the afternoon as well as the forenoon, except upon Saturdays.


All Causes shall be heard the next Term after publication, or after the Term.

That from and after the five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty and five, all Causes shall be heard the next Term after publication, or if they be more in number then may probably be heard that Term, they shall be set down on certain days next after the Term, and attended and be heard upon those days, as if they had been set down for that Term, and that Sub-pæna's to hear Judgement shall be made returnable upon such respective days accordingly.


No relief against a Bond onely for payment of money.

That no relief shall be given in Chancery against a Bond (which is onely for payment of money) to be entred into from and after the Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty five.



That no trust or agreement made or declared after the Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty and five, concerning Lands, or any other thing in the realty, shall be relieved in Chancery, unless it be contained in writing, and so averred in the Bill, save in such cases where the possession hath gone along with the party claiming the trust.


Averment of intentions.

That no Bill shall be admitted, nor any relief given in Chancery upon averment of any intention of the parties to a Deed to be made from and after the Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty five, other then what doth appear by the Deed itself.


Relief at Law. Act of Parliament.

That the Chancery shall not give relief in any case where the Plaintiff can have relief at Law, unless it be for the performance of the thing in kinde where it cannot be had at Law.


Act of Parliament

That no Decree shall be made in Chancery against an Act of Parliament.



That from and after the Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty and five, Legacies shall be sued for at Common Law, and not in Chancery.



That from and after the said Five and twentieth day of March, One thousand six hundred fifty and five, no relief shall be given in Chancery, on a Mortgage after Three years forfeiture, or unless the Suit be commenced within one year after the entry and possession of the Mortgage continued, except upon some new agreement between the parties themselves in writing, and except in cases of Infancy, Coverture, non sanæ memoriæ, or beyond Seas: In which cases the persons concerned shall commence their Suits within Two years after the disability removed, or in default thereof, shall be debarred from any relief afterwards; and in case of such new agreement, the like rule to be observed after the time, by such new agreement limited, shall be expired.



That in case of Mortgages to be made from and after the Five and twentieth day of March aforesaid, where the Mortgage is in possession by recovery at law, or otherwise, he shall not (except by special agreement in writing) be put to accompt for the yearly profits accrued after such his entry before the Suit for redemption be commenced, but the same shall belong to, and be retained by him without accompt, if by his Answer, or at the hearing he shall elect to take the same in satisfaction of the Interest of his money whiles he had the possession, except the Mortgager shall rather elect to be concluded by the Mortgagees examinations upon Interrogatories concerning the profits by him received.



That such Mortgagee before the Mortgager be admitted to redeem, shall be paid his whole principal money with damages, and his full costs incurred before his entry, and also after the Suit commenced, to be taxed by the Chief Clerks upon a Bill of Costs, wherein, and in all other cases of Mortgages to be made from and after the time aforesaid, the Mortgagee shall be charged (in case the Lands be letten to Tenants) with no more than what he did, or might fairly have received without fraud, or his own wilfull default; and where the Lands are unletten, and kept in his own hands, with no more then four fifth parts of the true yearly value. But if after such entry any casual profits by Fines upon Copy-holds, Wood-sales or otherwise, shall be received by the Mortgagee above the yearly revenue of the Lands mortgaged then the same shall go in abatement of Principal and Interest due before such entry. Provided, That where in the cases aforesaid an account shall be, all lawful Taxes, and necessary disburs ments and allowances shall be allowed to the Mortgagee.



That whereupon a Bill exhibited by a Mortgagee to enforce redemption, or to have the Estate absolute, a Decree passeth and is signed and enrolled, the time thereby limited for the payment of the Mortgage-money with damages, shall not be enlarged without consent of parties in writing.


Accompt upon Extents.

That where Lands shall at any time from and after the Five and twentieth day of March aforesaid, be extended upon any Statute, Recognizance or Judgment, and an account sought to be had in Chancery, the Tenant by Extent or Elegit, shall not be put to accompt for more then the extended value, unless the Suit in Chancery be commenced within one year after such extent shall be executed, and possession delivered, and enjoyment thereupon accordingly, and that the same Suit be effectually prosecuted, except in the case of Infancy, Coverture, non sanæ memoriœ, or being beyond the Seas: In which cases, one year and no more shall be allowed to demand an account in Chancery, after such disability removed.



That the Office of Register in Chancery shall not henceforth be executed by Deputies but that, there shall be four Registers of the said Court.


That the senior of them shall from time to time be Master of the said Office, and shall have the care, custody and government of the said Office, and of all the Books of Entries, Reports, Certificates, Affidavits, and other matters filed there, and also of the Clerks in the said Office; and shall take care that the business in that Office be done with faithfulness and diligence and that no Fees be taken or required, other then what is contained in the Table hereunto annexed.


That in case of death, or removal of the said senior Register the next in senority shall succeed in his room; and as often as any Registers place shall be void, the senior Register for the time being shall make choice of the most able and honest of the Clerks in that Office to supply that place, who being presented to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners for the Great Seal for the time being, and by him or them approved, shall be sworn and admitted.


That each of the said Registers shall have and retain to his own use, the Fees mentioned in the Table annexed, which shall be due for any the matters by him done, bearing his own charge, and his proportion of the Rent of the said Office.


Abuses, misdemeanors or unfaithfulness in Registers.

That the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners for the Great Seal, shall upon complaint to them made concerning any abuse, misdemeanors or unfaithfulness in any of the said Registers or their Clerks respectively, have power to hear and examine the same, and to order reparation to the party wronged, and also to discharge such Register or Clerk from his place if they finde just cause.


Orders to be read.

That the Judgment pronounced upon every hearing, and the rule given on every motion shall be truly taken, and fairly written by the Register, and openly read before another cause or motion be begun; to the end if the same be mistaken, it may be rectified by the Court, and that it be left to the Register afterwards onely to adde the inducement, or reason of such Judgment or Order, and other formalities requisite.



Where any Bill shall be dismissed by the rules of the Court or order before hearing, the Defendant shall have his full costs, upon a Bill of costs to be allowed by the chief Clerks


Costs by Plaintiff.

Every Plaintiff who shall not in all or some of the matters complained of, be relieved by the Court upon the hearing, shall pay the Defendant his full costs upon a Bill of costs to be allowed by the chief Clerks, or any two of them; and in case the Court upon the hearing shall finde the Suit to have been vexatious, the Court shall give additional costs against the Plaintiff, to be pronounced by the Court at the hearing, besides the said costs to be taxed upon the Bill.


By Defendants.

Every Defendant against whom a Decree is made shall pay the Plaintiff his full cost to be allowed as aforesaid, unless the Court shall at the said hearing see cause to mitigate or discharge the same upon some special reason to be expressed in the Order.


Appeal against Decree.

If any finde him or themselves aggrieved by any Decree which shall be made in Chancery from and after the two and twentieth day of October, One thousand six hundred fifty four, then the party or parties so aggrieved, first performing the Decree in all points (except in doing such Act which extinguisheth the parties right at the Common Law, as making of an assurance, releaes acknowledging satisfaction, cancelling bonds or evidences, or the like) and depositing the Sum of fifty pounds in the hands of the Senior Register for the time being, to answer full costs and charges in travel, attendance, and otherwise to the adverse party, in case such person be not relieved upon a Petition to be exhibited in that behalf to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners for the Great Seal for the time being, within three Moneths after the Decree made, having first performed so much of the Decree as within that time is to be performed, shall have the cause re-heard upon the proofs and evidence given at the former hearing, and no other; and that upon the preferring of such Petition in open Court, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners being first satisfied that the Decree is performed as aforesaid, and the fifty pounds deposited, shall the next day after, under their or two of their hands subscribed to the said Petition signifie their allowance of a re-hearing of such cause; and shall send notice thereof together with the said Petition to the Courts of the UpperBench, Common-Pleas, and Court of Exchequer; whereupon the said Courts shall appoint six of the Judges, that is to say, two of each Court (of which six Judges the chief Justice of one or the Benches, or chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer shall be one) and shall signifie the same to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners, who together with the said Judges, shall appoint a day for such re-hearing, at which time the said six Judges or the major number of them shall be present. And the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners, together with the said Judges, or the major number of them, shall re-hear the said cause upon the proofs and evidence read and given at the said former hearing and no other, and shall have power to make void, alter or confirm the Order or Decree made upon the former hearing, as they or the major part of them shall think fit. And such Order as shall be so by them made, shall be final in the said cause, and in case they shall not see cause to alter the Order or Decree made upon the former hearing, then they shall order to the adverse party his full costs upon a Bill thereof to be made and allowed by the chief Clerks, together with such addition of costs for his causless vexation, as they shall think fit. Provided, That if the Decree be for payment of money, the payment of the money into the Court, shall be accounted a performance of the Decree so far as to enable the party to have a re-hearing as aforesaid.


Actions by Officers.

That no Defendant who is prosecuted by an Officer, Clerk or Minister of the Court of Chancery, shall be inforced either to appear in person in the Pettibag-Office, or to put in any other Bail then he should do if he were sued in another Court at common Law by a party not priviledged.


Extortion to receive Fees other then in the Table annexed.

That the Master of the Rolls, and Masters of the Chancery respectively, shall not demand, take or receive any other Fees then what are contained in the Table annexed, and that every offence in that behalf shall be and is hereby adjudged and declared to be extortion, and shall be punished as extortion.



That no Register, Chief Clerk, Examiner, Attorney of the said Court, or Officer for making Sub-pæna's, shall either directly or indirectly demand, take or receive any other Fees, or sum of money, then what is contained in the Table annexed, for or in respect of any cause depending in the Court of Chancery, Writs or Proceedings therein, Copies of Record or other thing there filed, registred or put to the Seal; and that every such offence shall be and is hereby ordained, adjudged and declared, and shall be reputed and taken to be extortion, and shall be punished as extortion; and that every person and persons so offending and thereof convicted, shall be, and is, and are hereby disabled to bear any office of trust or profit in the Commonwealth.


No Gratuity shall be taken for nomination or admission of person to Offices.

That neither the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, Master of the Rolls, or any Officer of the said Court, shall either directly or indirectly take or receive any Sum or Sums of money, gratuity or reward, for nominating or admitting of any person or persons to any office or place within his or their disposition in the said Court, upon pain of losing his office, and paying double the sum or value of the gratuity or reward so received; the one moyety thereof to the use of His Highness the Lord Protector, and the other moyety to the use of the party who shall sue for the same, by Bill, Plaint or Information in any Court of Record.

This Ordinance to be pat in execution, and by whom.

And lastly, it is Ordained by the Authority aforesaid, That the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being, shall, according to the times and in the maner by this Ordinance prescribed, put in execution all the Rules, Laws, Orders and Directions before mentioned, and take care with all diligence and circumspection, that all the Officers, Ministers Clerks and Servants belonging to the said Court, do honestly and faithfully perform the duty of their several and respective places; and if they be found any ways faulty, that they be publiquely rebuked, displaced, or otherwise punished according to their desert, that for the future there be no more cause of just Complaints from the people.

Fees to the Master of the Rolls.

For every single Perpetuity020
For every double Perpetuity020
For every grant for life, except Wine-Licenses020
For every grant of any Office020
For every License for selling Wines010
For every Sheriffs Patent020
For the Dedimus Potestatem to take the Sheriffs Oath068
For every Exemplification068
For every Cancellation068
For every Decree and Dismission068
For the inrolling of every Deed and Recognizance020
For every Venir. fac. ad triand. &c.068
For every Writ of Extent068
For every Liberate upon an Extent0134
Fees to the Masters of the Chancery.
For an allowance for Roabs out of the Hannaper6140
For Oathes upon Affidavits, Answers, and to Witnesses to be examined in Court, for every Oath004
For Acknowledgements of Deeds and Recognizances020
For Oathes taken to Articles for granting of Supplicavits024
For examining all Records which are to be exemplified, for every skin of Parchment020
For every Cause upon a Reference to the three Masters, who shall hear the same0100
Sub-pæna Office.
For every Sub-pæna, of what nature soever, and Labels thereof010
For renewing the same006
For the Seal to each Sub-pæna006
To every Counsel under the degree of a Serjeant, for a motion0100
To every Counsel on a hearing100
To the Counsel for the Lord Protector and Serjeants at Law for every motion100
And for every hearing200
Chief Clerks and Attorneys.
For every cause to the Attorney, the Termly Fee of034
For an Attachment besides six pence for the Seal012
For copying of all Bills, Pleadings, Depositions, Records, Rolls, Evidences remaining in that Court, Certificates, &c. for every sheet containing fifteen lines, and every line ten words004
For every Commission to examine Witnesses034
For every joyning in such Commission034
For every Injunction068
For signing by the Lords Commissioners020
For signing by the Master of the Rolls010
For a Distringas034
For every special Certiorari or Procedendo034
For every Habeas Corpus034
For every Supersedeas034
For every Special Commission050
For every Writ of Execution of an Order034
For drawing and enrolling every Decree or Difmifsion, if but one skin0168
If longer, then six pence per sheet afterwards006
For every Writ of Execution upon a Decree directed to the Sheriff or Coroner068
For every Exemplification, every skin0134
The Chaft Wax004
Signing the Docquet010
For Enrolment of all Patents, Commissions, Licenses Pardons, and other Warrants whatfoever which pass the Great Seal, after the Rate of Ten shillings for every skin0100
the skin
For every Sheriffs Patent, Writ of Assistance, Writ of Discharge, Dedimus Potestatem, and the Attorneys Fee0136
For every Writ of Audita querela0100
For every Writ of Scire facias026
For a Supersedeas of Priviledge034
For every Mittimus that passeth the Seal034
For the Transcript after the Rate of every skin0134
For every Search004
For every Writ of Bastardy0 34
For three Proclamations026
For filing every Writ whereby one Oath or Acknowledgement is received, or the Transcript of any Record thereby certified010
For every Dedimus Potestatem, to take an Acknowledgement or Cancellation of any Patent, Deed Indenture or Recognizance034
For Writing of every Grant, Patent, &c. belonging formerly to the Six Clerks0134
For every Liberate, and every Allocate040
For the Enrolment thereof018
For all Writs of Discharge of Tenths and Fifteenths for every of them034
For every Writ of Supersedeas for any Parliament man or his Servant034
For every Writ of Expence, Milit. & Burgenss.034
For every Certiorari of Course010
For every Procedendo of Course010
Registers Fees.
For the Entring of an Attachment002
For Entring of a Dismission upon the general Order with costs006
For Entring of any other Bill of costs taxed by a Master002
All Ordinary Rules to make Answer, Reply, Rejoyn002
For a Rule for Publication upon a joynt Commission, or otherwise002
For the Entry of an Appearance upon an Attachment, Bond or Commandment002
For the Warden of the Fleet upon every such Appearance013
The Entry of every Commission to examine Witnesses ex parte004
If it be a joynt ordinary Commission008
The Entry of every Commission to hear and determine010
The Copy of any of these, if required006
The Entring of a day given to the Sheriff for returning an Attachment, or to bring in the body upon a Cepi return'd006
The Copy of the Rule, if required002
For Signing such Copy of any Rule002
For a Note of a day of hearing004
For the Draught of every Order, Decree or Dismission, not exceeding one side; and for Signing thereof016
For Entry of every such Order008
If such Draught exceed one side, then according to the proportion of 1s. 6d per side016
And for Entring, after the rate of three pence per side003
For any Order, Decree or Dismission not made upon motion or hearing, but by consent under the hands of the parties Counsel or Attorneys, and for the Copies thereof signed by the Register, whereof either side hath one; if it be but one side, the Plaintiff to pay one shilling six pence, and the Defendant to pay the like; and if it exceed one side, then after the same proportion each of them016
per side.
For the Entring of such Order, for every side006
For Copying of any Order entred, Report, Petition, Certificate of Referrees Accompt, Certificate of the Chief Clerks being filed003
per side
For Signing such Copy to the senior Register006
For every Search for Order, Reports or Petition for each year0 02
For a Certificate of no Cause shewed, signed, to the Register that signeth the same006
For Filing of every Report, Certificate, Accompt, or Award002
For every Decree signed by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners, to whom the same is presented by the Register026
For every Dismission which he shall procure to be signed018
For Entring of every Cause, Demurrer, or other business in the Paper of Causes to be heard by special Order or Warrant to the Register006
For Entry of any Decrees drawn up and enrolled, whereby any Lands or Lease is decreed or charged with any sum of Money, Annuity, &c.006
For a Certificate thereof006
To the Clerk that files an Affidavit, from the party at whose instance it is made (if he come for a copy) for the Accompt of the senior Register004
For the Copy of such Affidavit, for every side to the same Clerk003
For Examining and Signing such Copy to the senior Register006
Fees of the Examiners.
For the Examination of every Deponent, Defendant or Delinquent at010
For the Copies of all Depositions and Interrogatories, for every sheet containing fifteen lines unwastfully written006
For all Certificates upon Exhibits010
For all other Certificates whereunto their hands are required010
For the Exemplification of Depositions, for every skin0134
For the Examination of any Copy of Depositions, with the Record which is to be given in Evidence in any other Court034
For the Examination of every Deponent, unto whom the Examiner is required to travel out of his Office03