1729: Insolvent Debtors Relief Act

1729: 2 Geo II c.20: An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors

Whereas many Persons, by Losses, and other Misfortunes, are rendred uncapable of paying their whole Debts; and though they are willing to make the utmost Satisfaction they can, are nevertheless detained in Prison by their Creditors: And whereas such unhappy Debtors have always been deemed the proper Objects of Publick Compassion, and by several Acts of Parliament have been discharged; For the Relief therefore of insolvent Prisoners, who shall faithfully discover upon Oath, and deliver up and assign all their Estates and Effects whatsoever, for the Benefit of their Creditors, and to prevent, as far as possible, the many Frauds and Abuses, which in a great Measure have obstructed the good End of such former Acts, be it enacted by the King’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 the Authority of the same, That all and every Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler, or Keeper of any Prison or Prisons in any County, Riding, Division, City, Town, and Liberty within this Kingdom respectively, shall, and is or are hereby impowered and required to take and make a true, exact, and perfect List alphabetically of the Name or Names of all and every Person or Persons, who, upon the Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, was or were actually Prisoner or Prisoners in the Custody of any such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any Prison respectively, upon any Process whatsoever, for or by reason of any Debt, Damages, Costs, Sum, or Sums of Money, and of the Time when such Prisoner or Prisoners were charged in Custody, together with the Name or Names of the Person or Persons, at whose Suit such Prisoner or Prisoners is or are detained, and shall deliver the same to the Justices at their first General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace, to be held after the Twenty fourth Day of June, in the Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty nine, for such County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty respectively, and shall, in open Court, take an Oath to the Effect following; viz.

I A.B. do, upon my corporal Oath, in the Presence of Almighty God, solemnly swear, profess, and declare, That all and every Person and Persons, whose Name or Names are inserted and contained in the foregoing List, by me now delivered and subscribed, were, to the best of my Knowledge and Belief, upon the Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, really and truly Prisoners, in the Prison or Gaol of
at the Suit or Suits of the several Persons therein respectively mentioned, and so have continued without any Fraud or Deceit by me, or any other to my Knowledge, unto this Day, unless out of Prison, by due Course of Law, or otherwise out of Prison, not exceeding Ten Days in the whole, betwixt the said before mentioned Times; and that the said List is a true, exact, perfect, and just List of all such Persons, as were really and truly Prisoners in the said Gaol or Prison of
on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and have from that Time to this Day so continued as aforesaid.
So help me God.

II. Which Oath the Justices at the said General or Quarter Sessions, in open Court, are hereby impowered to administer; the Words of which Oath shall be entered or written at the End or Bottom of every such List, so delivered, and subscribed in open Court by every such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper respectively; which List, so subscribed and sworn unto, shall be kept by the Clerk of the Peace of every such County, Riding, Division, City, Town or Liberty respectively, for the better Satisfaction of the said Justices, and Information of all Creditors, and to be seen without Fee or Reward: And the said Justices, at the said General or Quarter Sessions, shall order Copies of the said List or Lists to be printed by the Clerk of the Peace, for each of which printed Copues he may take, according to the Quantity of the Names therein contained, what shall be ordered by the said Justices, not exceeding One shilling for each List, the same to be paid by such Person or Persons as shall desire such Copy or Copies.

III. And to the End that no such poor Prisoner may be defeated of his or her Discharge, according to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, by having his, her, or their Name or Names left out of the said Lists so to be delivered, be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any Prison, is and are hereby required to fix up in the most conspicuous Place or Places, in every such Prison, and at the most frequented and usual Gate, Door, or Entrance into every such Prison, Three or more true Copies of the List or Lists, to be delivered at the said General or Quarter Sessions, Ten Days before the said Sessions; and if any such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, Keeper or Keepers of any such Prison, shall, in any such List to be delivered in as aforesaid, neglect or refuse to insert the Name of any Prisoner or Prisoners, who was or were in Prison on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One Thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and had continued so confined as aforesaid, the Person or Persons so neglecting or refusing to insert the same, shall for every such Name or Names so omitted, incur and be subject to such Penalty or Penalties as are herein after imposed or laid on every such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, Keeper or Keepers, who shall neglect or refuse to make out, fix up, or deliver such List as aforesaid, to be recovered in the same Manner, and to be applied to such Use and Uses, as herein after directed, for the Recovery and Application of the Penalty, in case of neglect or Refusal to make out such Lists as aforesaid.

IV. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person and Persons, whose Name shall be inserted in such Lists to be delivered in as aforesaid, who upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, were actually Prisoners in the Custody of any Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any Prison respectively of this Kingdom, and from thence, as aforesaid, to the time of their being discharged in manner as herein after directed, shall continue actually Prisoners, who shall take the Oath herein after mentioned, shall and may be for ever released and discharged from their Imprisonment in such Manner as hereafter is provided; that is to say, it shall and may be lawful for any Justice or Justices of any County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty within this Kingdom (upon the Petition of such Prisoner or Prisoners) by Warrant under his or their Hands and Seals, to require the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any such Prison, within his or their respective Jurisdictions, to bring before the Justices at the next General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace, to be held nect after the Expiration of Thirty Days from the Date of the said Warrant, for such respective County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty, the Body of any Person being in the said Prison as aforesaid, with the Warrant or warrants of his or her Detainer, together with a Copy or Copies of the Cause or Causes, which he, she, or they, is or are charged with in the several Gaols and Prisons as aforesaid, at the Time aforesaid; which Warrant of the said Justice or Justices every such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper, is hereby commanded to obey; and such Prisoner coming before such Justices, at the said General or Quarter Sessions, shall in open Court subscribe and deliver in a Schedule of his or her whole Estate, and the Names of his or her several Debtors, and the several Sums of Money from them respectively secured or owing upon any Specialty, Contract, or other Account whatsoever, and the Names and Places of Abode of the several Persons, from whom such Debts are due and owing, and of the Witnesses, who can prove such Debts or Contracts (if there be any such) and make Oath, and swear to the Effect following; that is to say,

I A.B. do, upon my Corporal Oath, in the presence of Almighty God, solemnly swear, protest, and declare, That on the Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, I was a Prisoner within the Prison of
in the Custody of the Gaoler or Keeper of the said Prison of
in Suit of
without my Consent or Procurement, and without any Fraud or Collusions whatsoever, and from that Time till this Day have been in Custody, and confined, at the Suit or Suits of the Person or Persons before named (unless at such Time when I was out of Prison by due Course of Law) or otherwise out of Prison not exceeding Ten Days in the whole betwixt the Times before mentioned; and that the Schedule now delivered, and by me subscribed, doth contain, to the best of my Knowledge, Remembrance, and Belief, a full, just, true, and perfect Account and Discovery of all the Estate, Goods, and Effects unto me in any wise belonging, and such Debts as are to me owning, or to any Person or Persons in Trust for me, and of all the Securities and Contracts whereby any Money now is, or will, or may hereafter become payable, or any Benefit or Advantage accrue to me, or to my Use, or to any Person or Persons in trust for me, and the Names and Places of Abode of the several Persons from whom such Debts are due and owing, and of the Witnesses that can prove such Debts or Contracts; and that neither I, nor any other Person or Persons in Trust for me, jhave Lands, Money, Stock, or any Estate, real or personal, in Possession, Reversion, or Remainder, other than what are in the said Schedule contained (excepting Wearing Apparel, Bedding for my self and Family, Working Tools, and necessary Implements for my Occupation and Calling, and these in the whole not exceeding the Value of Ten pounds) and that I have not directly or indirectly sold, lessened, or otherwise conveyed, disposed of in Trust, or concealed, all or any part of my Land, Money, Goods, Chattels, Stocks, Debts, Securities, Contracts, or Estates, real or personal, whereby to secure the same, to receive or expect any Profit or Advantage thereof, or to defraud or deceive any Creditor or Creditors, to whom I am indebted in any wise howsoever.
So help me God.

And which said Schedule, being so subscribed in the Presence of the Justices in open Court and Sessions aforesaid, is to remain with the Clerk of the Peace for the better Information of all the Creditors of such Prisoners; and all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest, and Trust of such Prisoner, of, in, and unto such real Estate, as well Copy or Customary Hold, as Freehold, and such personal Estate, Debts, and Effects contained in such Schedule as aforesaid, shall immediately after the Discharge of such Prisoner be, and is hereby, vested in the Clerk of the Peace of and for the County, Riding, City, or Town Corporate, who is hereby directed and authorized, by Order of the Justices at their General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace, to make an Assignment of the said Estate and Effects to such of the Creditors of the said Prisoner, as the major part of the said Creditors of the said Prisoner, who shall apply for the same by any Writing under their Hands, shall direct or appoint, for which Assignment the said Clerk of the Peace shall take a fee of Two shillings, and no more, in Trust for themselves and the rest of the Creditors; which said Assignee, or Assignees, is and are hereby impowered to sure in his, her, or their own Name or Names, for , and to recover and receive the same, and to give sufficient Discharge and Discharges to each respective Debtor or Debtors, and fully to divide the said Prisoner’s Estate and Effects, or the Monies arising from the sale or Disposition thereof (such Sale or Disposition to be approved of by the major part of the said Creditors in Writing, as aforesaid) among the Creditors of such Prisoner, who, within One Month after Notice of such intended Dividend be published in the London Gazette, shall produce to such Assignee, or Assignees, an Affidavit made before One or more Justice or Justices of the Peace, who is and are hereby impowered to take the same, proving his or her Debt due from the said Prisoner so Discharged, in equal Proportions, according to their respective Debts, and after the same is recovered and received, to render the Overplus (if any shall be, their own Debts and Charges first deducted) to the Prisoner, his Executors, or Administrators.

VI. Provided always, That all and every such Assignee and Assignees of every Copyhold or Customary Estate of such Prisoner, as aforesaid, shall, before such Time as he or they, or any of them, shall enter, or take any Profit thereof, agree and compound with the Lord or Lords of the Manor or Manors, of whom the same shall be holden, for such Fine or Income upon any Surrender and Admission, as heretofore have been most usual, and accustomed to be paid; and that, upon every such Agreement of Composition, the said Lord or Lords for the time being, at the next Court to be holden for the said Manor or Manors, shall grant unto the said Assignee or Assignees the said Copyhold, or Customary Estate, by Copy of Court Roll, according to the Custom of the said Manor or Manors, for and during the Estate or Interest to him or them so assigned, as aforesaid, reserving the Rents, Duties, Heriots, Customs, and Services, to which the said Copyhold, or Customary Estate was liable, and subject to, at the Time of the said Copyhold, or Customary Estate was liable, and subject to, at the Time of the said Assignment, and shall also at the same Court admit the said Assignee or Assignees Tenant or Tenants of the same, according to the Custom of the said Manor or Manors.

VII. Provided also, That nothing herein before contained shall extend to prejudice or affect any Estate, Interest, or Right whatsoever, of any other Person or Persons, than the said Prisoner, which may be expectant upon, or subsequent unto, the Estate or Interest of the said Prisoner, hereby vested in the said Clerk of the Peace, but that the Estate, Interest, and all Rights whatsoever, of every such other Person or Persons, as aforesaid, shall remain and continue in the sam Manner, as if this Act had not been made.

VIII. Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That where any Rent, not exceeding One Year’s Rent, shall be due to any Person or Persons, from any such Prisoner or Prisoners, at the Time of his or their respective Discharges, or in respect of any Messuage, Lands, or Tenements, then in Lease to such Prisoner or Prisoners respectively, for Life or Lives, for Years at Will, or otherwise, no Goods or Chattels then lying or being in or upon the respective Tenements so in Lease, or liable to be distrained, shall be assigned by the Clerk of the Peace in manner aforesaid, but shall, by such Clerk of the Peace, be transferred to such Landlord or Landlords, or some Person or Persons instructed for him or them respectively, towards Satisfaction of the Rent then due, not exceeding One Year’s Rent, as aforesaid, unless the Person or Persons, to whom such Assignment shall be made by such Clerk or the Peace, shall, by Writing under his or their respective Hands and Seals, before such Assignment, agree to pay, or satisfy to such Landlord or Landlords, the Rent to him or them respectively due, not exceeding One Year’s Rent, as aforesaid, to the Intent that such Landlord or Landlords may be satisfied the Rent or Rents to him or them respectively due, before any Division of the Estate or Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners among his other Creditors, in like manner as he or they might be satisfied the Rent to him or them respectively due, before the Removal of such Goods or Chattels, by Virtue of an Execution, by Force of the Statute made in the Eighth Year of he late Majesty’s Reign, intituled, An Act for the better Security of Rents and to prevent Frauds committed by Tenants, any thing herein before contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

IX. Provided also, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this Act shall extend, or be construed to hinder or prevent any Mortgage or Mortgages upon the Estate of such Prisoner or Prisoners, or any Part thereof, to take Place upon the Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, comprized in such Mortgage or Mortgages respectively; nor to prevent any Statute Staple, Statute Merchant, Recognizance, or Judgement acknowledged by, or obtained against, any such Prisoner or Prisoners, to take Place upon the Lands, Tenements, or Real Estate of such Prisoner or Prisoners; and also where any Inquisition shall have been taken upon any such Statute, or Recognizance, or any Writ of Execution shall have been taken out, and delivered to the Sheriff or proper Officer, upon any such Judgment, before such Assignment made by the Clerk of the Peace, as aforesaid, upon his or their personal Estates respectively, preferably and prior to any Division of the Estate and Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners, among his other Creditor or Creditors, for so much as shall remain really due upon any such Mortgagees and Creditors by Statute, Recognizance, or Judgment, would have been preferred to other Creditors of an inferior nature, against the real or personal Estate of such Prisoner or Prisoners respectively, if this Act had not been made; any thing herein before contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

X. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the Justice or Justices, who shall grant such Warrant or Warrants, for bringing such Prisoner or Prisoners before the Justices, at the General or Quarter Sessions, shall give a Writing, importing Notice, to all the Creditors of such Prisoner or Prisoners petitioning as aforesaid, under his or their Hands and Seals, that he or they hath or have granted such Warrant, and that the said Prisoner or Prisoners have or hath petitioned to be discharged; and the said Notice shall be left for, or served upon, the Person or Persons, his or their Executors or Administrators, or some or one of them, or his or their Attorney or Agent lawfully authorized, or the same, or a true Copy, thereof, shall be left at the Dwelling-house or usual Place of Abode of the said Person or Persons, or with the Attorney, Solicitor, or Agent last imployed in the Cause or Causes by the said Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, at Whose Suit the Prisoner or Prisoners shall be imprisoned; and every Prisoner confined in Prison within the City of London, or weekly Bills of Mortality, shall cause the like Notice to be given to every other Creditor inhabiting, or otherwise residing, within the said City of weekly Bills; and also that the like Notice shall be given to every other Creditor inhabiting, or otherwise residing, within Ten Miles of the Prison, where such Prisoner shall be in Custody; which said Notice shall be left with, or served on, the Person or Persons, as before directed, Thirty Days before such General or Quarter Sessions appointed by the said Warrant; and publick Notice shall also be inserted in the London Gazette, containing the Name, Trade, or Occupation, and last Place of Abode of every Prisoner, and of the Prison wherein he or she is confined, and of his or her Intention to take the Benefit of this Act; for which there shall be paid One peny for each Name, and no more, Thirty Days before such General or Quarter Sessions, appointed, as aforesaid, by the said Warrant, so that as well all the said Creditors, as have not charged the said Prisoner or Prisoners in Custody, as those Creditors which have, shall have sufficient Notice, as aforesaid; and the said Prisoner or Prisoners may appear before the Justices at the General or Quarter Sessions, to be held for the same County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberties, as aforesaid; and in case it shall be proved upon Oath before the said Justices, that the said Notice was so served or left as aforesaid, and publick Notice inserted in the London Gazette, Thirty Days before the said General or Quarter Sessions, and that the said Person so petitioning was actually a Prisoner, as aforesaid, upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and shall have continued to the Time of such Prisoner or Prisoners Discharge, and the said Oath taken by the said Prisoner be not disproved by good Testimony of any credible Person or Persons on Oath, to be administered by the said Justices, then the said Justices, in their said General or Quarter Sessions, or the major part of them, being satisfied therewith, shall thereupon, by Order of the said Sessions, command the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any such Prison or Prisons, forthwith to set at Liberty such Prisoner, without having or taking any Fee or Reward, other than One shilling for his or their Attendance, with such Prisoner, at such General or Quarter Sessions, in order for his or her Discharge; which Sum of One shilling such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, Keeper or Keepers of such Prison, are hereby authorized and impowered to receive and take for the Purposes aforesaid, and no more, which Order shall be a sufficient Discharge to the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of such Prison or Prisons, and shall idemnify him or them against any Escape or Escapes, or Action or Actions whatsoever, which shall or may be brought, commenced, or prosecuted against him or them by reason thereof.

XI. And be it further enacted by the Authority afpresaid, That any Court of General or Quarter Sessions, which, pursuant to the true Intent and Meaning of this Act, shall make any Order for the Discharge of any Prisoner or Prisoners aforesaid, shall (if required by any Creditor or Creditors, who shall oppose such Prisoner’s Discharge) administer and give such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, Keeper or Keepers of such Prison or Prisons, wherein the said Prisoner or Prisoners is or are, an Oath to the Effect following; that is to say,

I A.B. do swear That
was really and truly my Prisoner, in my Custody, in the Prison of
to the best of my Knowledge and Belief, at or upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight; and from that Time, to the best of my Knowledge, hath till this Day so continued, unless out of Prison by the due Course of Law, or otherwise out of Prison, not exceeding Ten Days in the whole, betwixt the Times before mentioned; and the Warrant or Warrants of his or her Detainer, and the Copy or Copies of the Cause or Causes now by me brought, with the Body of the said
is the Warrant of his or her Detainer, and is or are a true Copy or Copies, without any Fraud or Deceit by me, or by any other, to the best of my Knowledge.
So help me God.

XII. Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if such Person or Persons, as was the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of such Gaol or Prison, on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, shall not happen to be the Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of such Gaol or Prison, at the Time of making such Order; that the said General or Quarter Sessions, if required, as aforesaid, shall administer and give to such Persons, as shall be Sheriffs, Gaoler, or Keeper of such Prison or Prisons, at the Time of making such Order, an Oath, touching the Commitments, or Books of Commitment, to the Effect following; that is to say,

I A.B. do swear, That I have examined the Commitments, or Books kept of or concerning the Commitment of Prisoners to the Prison of
in the County of
and I verily believe, that the said Commitments, or Books of Commitment, are really true, and not fictitious, nor calculated for this Purpose; and by them it does appear, that
was, upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, which was in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, really and truly a Prisoner in the Custody of
the then Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper of the said Prison, and from that time hath so continued, without Fraud or Deceit by me, or the said
or any other Person or Persons to my Knowledge.
So help me God.

XIII. And whereas great Numbers of Workmen, skilful in the several Trades and Manufacture of this Kingdom, and also many able Seamen and Mariners, finding themselves unable to satisfy the whole of their respective Debts, and dreading the Miseries of a Gaol, have chose to leave their Imployments, and native Country, and have entred themselves in foreign Service: And whereas their Continuance abroad must be of great Prejudice to the Trade of this Kingdom: In order therefore to induce and enable such Persons to return, be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Debtor and Debtors, having served an Apprenticeship unto, or having been for One Year imployed in, any Trade or Manufacture of this Kingdom, as a Workman or Workmen therein, or in the Sea Service as a Mariner or Mariners, and was or were actually beyond the Seas in foreign Parts on the First Day of February, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, who shall return and surrender himself or themselves unto the Gaoler or Gaolers, Keeper or Keepers of the Prisons of the King’s Bench, Marshalsea, or Fleet, or to the Prison or Prisons of such County or Counties where such Debtor or Debtors last dwelt for the Space of Six Months (which said Gaoler or Gaolers, Keeper or Keepers, are hereby required and impowered to receive and detain such Debtor or Debtors surrendring as aforesaid, in order to their Discharge, as herein after mentioned) shall, from and immediately after such Surrender as aforesaid, be deemed a Prisoner or Prisoners within, and to be all Intents and Purposes intitled to, the Benefit of this Act, and shall, upon due Proof of the said Premisses, by the Oath of such Debtor or Debtors (not disproved by any credible Witness) be discharged in the same Manner, as if he or they had been actually in Prison on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and continued therein as aforesaid; subject nevertheless to the same Restrictions and Provisions, and upon Compliance with the same Terms, Conditions, and Qualifications, herein before imposed upon the said Prisoners in actual Custody upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and also subject to the Terms and Provisions relating to the Estate and Effects of such Prisoners as aforesaid, excepting only such Particulars thereof as require the Name of a Prisoner to be inserted in the Sheriff’s, Gaoler’s, or Keeper’s List, as aforesaid, or relate to the Oaths of such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper, herein before appointed to be taken; and also so much thereof, as requires Notice to be served upon the Person or Persons, at whose Suit or Suits such Prisoner is confined (which Particulars cannot possibly be applied to the Case of Persons surrendring themselves as aforesaid) and also except the said Oath herein before appointed, to be taken by Prisoners in Custody upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight; instead whereof the said Person or Persons so surrendring shall take an Oath to the Effect following, which the said Justices, authorized to put this Act in Execution, are hereby required and impowered to administer in such Manner, as the Oaths herein before mentioned are to be administered.
I A.B. do, upon my corporal Oath, in the presence of Almighty God, solemnly swear, protest, and declare, That I have served an Apprenticeship unto, or have been imployed as a Workman in, the Trade of
or in manufacturing of
or in the Sea Service as a Mariner, and have been so imployed for the space of One Year; and that on the said First Day of February, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, I was actually beyond the Seas, in foreign Parts, viz. at
and that the Schedule now delivered, and by me subscribed, doth contain, to the best of my Knowledge, Remembrance, and Belief, a full, just, true, and perfect Account and Discovery of all the Estate, Goods, and Effects, unto me in any wise belonging, and such Debts as are to me owing, or to any Persons in Trust for me, and of all the Securities and Contracts whereby any Money now is, or will, or may hereafter become payable, or any Benefit or Advantage accrue to me, or to my Use, or to any Person or Persons in Trust for me, and the Names and Places of Abode of the several Persons from whom such Debts are due and owing, and of the Witnesses that can prove such Debts or Contracts; and that neither I, nor any other Person or Persons in Trust for me, have Land, Money, Stock, or any Estate, real or personal, in Possession, Reversion, or Remainder, other than what are in the said Schedule contained (excepting wearing Apparel, bedding for my self and Family, working Tools, and necessary Implements for my Occupation and Calling, and these in the whole not exceeding the Value of Ten Pounds) and that I have not, directly or indirectly, sold, lessened, or otherwise conveyed, disposed of in Trust, or concealed, all or any Part of my Lane, Money, Goods, Chattels, Stocks, Debts, Securities, Contracts, or Estates, real or personal, whereby to secure the same, to receive or expect any Profit or Advantage thereof, or to defraud or deceive any Creditor or Creditors, to whom I am indebted, in any wise however.
So help me God.

XIV. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any Prison, shall, without just cause be approved by the said Justices, refuse or delay to bring any such Prisoner or Prisoners, as aforesaid (although in Execution) to the said General or Quarter Sessions, in order to his or her Discharge, or shall neglect or refuse to make out and deliver such Lists as aforesaid, or take any of the said Oaths before mentioned, or shall, upon any Account or Pretence whatsoever, take or receive more than the said Sum of One shilling herein before allowed, for his or her Attendance in order to be discharged of such Prisoner or Prisoners as aforesaid, or if the Printer of the London Gazette shall neglect or refuse to insert therein the Name, Trade, Occupation, and last Place of Abode of such Prisoner, on a reasonable request to him made for that purpose, or shall take or receive any Fee or Gratuity, more than One peny, as aforesaid, for so doing, every such Sheriff, Gaoler, and Keeper of such Prison and Prisons, and such Printer of the London Gazette, shall respectively forfeit and pay to each Prisoner the Sum of One hundred Pounds, which shall and may be recovered, with treble Costs of Suit, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of the Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law, or more than One Imparlance shall be allowed.

XV. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any such Sheriff or Sheriffs, Gaoler or Gaolers, or Keeper of any Prison, shall, in taking any of the aforementioned Oaths, forswear or perjure himself, and shall be therefore lawfully convicted, such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper of such Prison or Prisons (over and above such Penalties, as may be inflicted on Persons convicted of Perjury) shall, upon every such Conviction, forfeit and pay the Sum of Five hundred pounds, to be recovered, with full Costs, by Bill, Plaint, or Information, or Action of Debt, in any of his Majesty’s Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, Wager of Law, or other Delay, to be allowed by and in the Name of such Persons, their Executors and Administrators, as shall, in pursuance of this Act, be appointed Assignees of the Estate and Effects of the Prisoner or Prisoners, for discharging of whom such Perjury shall be committed; and for want of such Assignees, in the Name or Names of any other Creditor or Creditors, who will sue for the said Penalties, to be applied, one Moiety to the Informer or Informers, and the other Moiety towards Satisfaction of the Debts of such his Creditor or Creditors.

XVI. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person, who now is, or was, on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper of any Prison, shall insert in any List or Lists delivered in, as aforesaid, the Name or Names of any Person or Persons, who was or were not Prisoner or Prisoners, actually in Custody on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and did not from that time actually continue such, to the time of making out and delivering such Lists, according to the Tenor of the said Oath, taken at the time of delivering in such Lists; every such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper, shall, for every Name so inserted, as aforesaid, forfeit and pay the Sum of Two hundred pounds, to be recovered in the same Manner, and be applied to the same Use or Uses, as is herein before directed for Recovery of the Penalty and Forfeiture, in case of Conviction of Perjury.

XVII. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Clerk of the Peace shall delay or refuse to give every or any such Prisoner so Discharged, as aforesaid, within Sixty Days after his or her Discharge, a Duplicate of his or her Discharge, on the Payment of Two shillings and six pence, or shall take more than the said Sum of Two shillings and six pence for such Duplicate, shall forfeit and pay to every such Prisoner the Sum of Twenty pounds, to be ordered to be paid by the Justices of the Peace at their General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, who are hereby impowered to levy the same by Distress and Sale of the Goods of the Person so offending.

XVIII And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Prisoner, as aforesaid, or any Person or Persons, enabled to take the Benefit of this Act, shall foreswear or perjure himself, herself, or themselves, in any of the Matters aforesaid, and shall be thereof lawfully convicted of wilful Perjury, he or she shall be adjudged a Felon, and suffer as such, without Benefit of Clergy.

XIX. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person to be discharged by this Act, shall at any time hereafter be imprisoned, by reason of any Judgement or Decree obtained, for Payment of Money only, or for any Debt, Damages, Contempts, Costs, Sum or Sums of Money contracted, incurred, occasioned, owing, or growing due, before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, with respect to the Prisoners then actually in Prison, or before the said First Day of February, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, with respect to Debtors beyond the Sea, upon the said First Day of February, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, who are intitled to the Benefit of this Act; but that upon every Arrest, upon every such judgment, or such Decree, or for such Debts, Damages, Contempts, Costs, Sum and Sums of Money, it shall and may be lawful for any Judge of the Court where the Process issued, upon shewing the Duplicate of such Prisoner’s Discharge or Discharges, to release and discharge out of Custody such Prisoner or Prisoners, as aforesaid, and the Judge is hereby impowered so to do; so as every such Prisoner or Prisoners arrested or detained upon Execution, or mesne Process, do give a Warrant of Attorney to appear to every such Action, and to plead thereunto.

XX. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action of Escape, or any Suit or Action, be brought against any Justice or Justices of the Peace, Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper of any Prison, for performing their Office, in pursuance of this Act, they may plead the General Issue, and give this Act in Evidence; and if the Plaintiff be nonsuited, or discontinue his Action, or Verdict pass against him, or Judgment upon Demurrer, the Defendant shall have treble costs.

XXI. Provided, That the Discharge of any Person, by virtue of this Act, shall not acquit any other Person from such Debt, Sum or Sums of Money, or any Part thereof, but that all others shall be answerable for the same, in such manner as they were before the passing of this act.
Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That notwithstanding the Discharge of the Person of such Prisoner or Prisoners as aforesaid, all and every Debt or debts due or owing from the said Prisoner or Prisoners, and all and every Judgment or Judgments had and taken, and Decree obtained against him or her, shall stand and be good and effectual in the Law, to all Intents and Purposes, against the Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods, and Chattels of the said Prisoners so Discharged as aforesaid, which he, she, or they, or any other Person or Persons in Trust for him, her, or them, at the time of such Discharge hath or have, or at any time hereafter shall or may be any ways seized or possessed of, interested in, or intitled to, either in Law or Equity, except his, her, or their Wearing Apparel, Bedding for his, her, or their families, and Working Tools and Implements necessary for his, her, or their Occupations, not exceeding the Value of Ten pounds in the whole; and it shall and may be lawful to and for such Creditor or Creditors, of such Prisoner or Prisoners, so discharged as aforesaid, his, her, or their Executors or Administrators, to take out a new Execution against the Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods, and Chattels of such Prisoner or Prisoners (except as are before excepted) for the Satisfaction of his, her, or their Debts, in such Sort, Manner, and Form, as he, she, or they might have done, if the Person or Persons of such Prisoner or Prisoners had never been taken in Execution, any Act, Statute, Law, or Custom to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

XXIII. Provided also, That it shall and may be lawful for any Person discharged by this Act, in case any Scire facias, or Action of Debt, shall be brought against him or her, upon any Judgment obtained against him or her, or Statute or Recognizance acknowledged by him or her before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, with respect to Prisoners in actual Custody upon the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, or before the said First Day of February, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, with respect to Debtors beyond the Sea, as aforesaid, upon the said First Day of February, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, to plead generally in Discharge of his or her Person or Persons from Execution, that he or she was actually a Prisoner in such a Prison, at such a Person’s Suit, on the said Twenty ninth day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, or was or were beyond the Seas in Foreign Parts on the said First Day of February, in the said Year One
thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and was a Person enabled and qualified, in manner herein before mentioned, to return and surrender himself, herself, or themselves, and did accordingly return and surrender himself, herself, or themselves, to such a Prison, on such a Day, and was or were duly discharged according to this Act, at the General or Quarter Sessions held at such Time and Place for such County, Riding, Division, Liberty, City, Town, or Place (as his, her, or their Case is) without pleading any Matter specially; and in case any other Action or Suit shall be commenced against him, her, or them, for any other Debt, Sum or Sums of Money, due before the said twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, to plead in Discharge of his or her Person from Execution, over and above such Matters as aforesaid, that such Debt, or Sum of Money (as the Case shall happen) was contracted or due before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, or before the said First Day of February, in the said Year One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, without pleading any other Matter specially, whereto the Plaintiff shall or may reply generally, and deny the Matters pleaded as aforesaid, or reply any other Matter or Thing, which may shew the said Defendant not to be intitled to the Benefit of this Act, or not duly discharged according to it, in the same manner as the Plaintiff might have replyed, in case the Defendant had pleaded this Act and his Discharge by virtue of this Act specially; and if the Plaintiff be non-suited, or discontinue his Action, or Verdict pass against him, or Judgment on Demurrer, the Defendant to have treble Costs.

XXIV. Provided always, That this Act shall not extend to the part of Great Britain called Scotland.

XXV. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper of any Prison, shall, and is hereby required to suffer, in the Day-time, any Person or Persons desiring the same, to see and speak within the Lodge, or some convenient Room of the said Prison, any Prisoner or Prisoners whose names are inserted in the aforementioned List or Lists, or London Gazette, or either of them, or any Persons surrendring themselves pursuant to this Act, and also to see, in the true and genuine Books of the said Prison, the Entries made of the Name or Names of such Prisoner or Prisoners, together with the Name or Names of the Person or Persons, at whose Suit or Suits he, she, or they are detained; and if any such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper, shall neglect or refuse to comply with what is here above required, such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper, shall forfeit, and pay, to the Person so refused and aggrieved, the Sum of Forty pounds, over and above all other Penalties provided by any other former Law now in being, to be recovered with full Costs of Suit, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of the Courts at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, Wager of Law, or more than one Imparlance shall be allowed.

XXVI. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Prisoner, being thereunto required by any Creditor, shall refuse to discover and declare the Tarfe or Occupation, and Habitation, or last Place of Abode of the Person or Persons, at whose Suit he or she are detained, or, being called for, shall refuse to come to the Lodge of the Prison, where he or she is detained, shall upon Proof thereof, before the Justice at the General or Quarter Sessions, be uncapable of receiving any Benefit by this Act; any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

XXVII. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper of any Prison or Prisons, shall make, or cause to be made, any false Entries in any Book or Books belonging to the said Prison, or shall prepare, or keep, or cause to be prepared and kept, any false Books in Order for such false Entries, such Sheriff, Gaoler, or Keeper, shall, over and above the Penalties which may be inflicted for such Fraud, Forgery, or Corruption, forfeit and pay the Sum of One thousand pounds, to be recovered, with treble Costs of Suit, by and in the Name of any Person or Persons, who will sue for the same, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in any of his Majesty’s courts of Record at Westminster, wherein no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law, of more than one Imparlance shall be allowed.

XXVIII. Provided also, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Prisoner and Prisoners petitioning to be discharged by this Act, shall, at the time of such petitioning, leave with the Justice or Justices petitioned, a true Copy of the Schedule containing his intended Discovery, to be sworn unto at the General or Quarter Sessions aforesaid, which Copies shall be transmitted to the respective Clerks of the Peace, and there to be seen without Fee or Reward, by any Creditor desiring the same.

XXIX. And whereas there is but one Common or County Gaol for each of the respective Counties of York and Lincoln, which Counties are each of them divided into Three several Ridings or Divisions, all which have several Commissions of the Peace, and if the Gaolers of those Gaols be obliged to carry the Debtors, Prisoners therein, to the Quarter Sessions of each Riding or Division, the same will be a very great Charge, not only to such Gaolers, but also to the Prisoners, in those large Counties: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for Two or more Justices of the Peace for each of the said Ridings and Divisions, in their respective Counties, at the Common or County Gaol thereof respectively, to assemble and meet, and to hold Sessions there by Adjournment, from their respective Quarter Sessions, from time to time, for the Discharge of the respective Prisoners therein, according to the Powers, Limitations, and Directions of this present Act.

XXX. And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all Debtors, and others, who were in Prison on or before the said Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year of Our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, in the several Gaols of this Kingdom, for want of paying their fees, Rents, Charges, or any other Demands, due to the Keeper or Gaoler of any Prison respectively, or to any other Officer (and upon no other account) shall be discharged, he, she, or they taking the Oath required by this Act to be taken by Prisoners.

XXXI. Provided always, That this Act shall not extend to discharge any Person out of Prison, who shall stand charged at the Suit of the Crown, or indebted to any One Person in the Sum of Five hundred pounds, besides Interest and Costs; if any such Creditor, to whom the Sum  of Five hundred pounds, or more, shall be owing, shall oppose the Discharge of such Prisoner, and shall insist that such Prisoner be continued in Gaol, and that then, and in such Case, such Creditor or Creditors opposing the said Prisoner’s Discharge, as aforesaid, shall at his, her, and their proper Costs and Charges, allow and pay such a weekly Maintenance to the said Prisoner, not exceeding Three shillings and six pence per Week, in such Manner as the said Justices in their General Quarter Sessions shall order and appoint, and upon Nonpayment of the same for the Space of Six Weeks, the said Prisoner, upon Application to the said Justices in their General Quarter Sessions, shall be discharged, pursuant to the Intent and Meaning of this Act.

XXXII. Provided also, That every Person or Persons intitled, or to be intitled, to the Benefit of this Act, shall obtain their respective Discharges on or before the Twenty ninth Day of September, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and thirty one, or be for ever excluded from all Benefit thereof.

XXXIII. And whereas several Persons who were confined in Prison, on the Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, may have been removed to some other Prison by Process of Law: Be it enacted, That if the Gaoler of the Prison, wherein any such Prisoner was confined on the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, shall make Affidavit of such Confinement, and the Continuance of it, until the Removal to such other Prison, as aforesaid, and shall transmit such Affidavit to be attested on Oath, at the Sessions where such Prisoner may claim to be discharged; and if the Gaoler of the Prison whereto such Prisoner may have been, or shall be removed, as aforesaid, shall make Oath in open Court at such Sessions, as aforesaid, of the Confinement of such Prisoner in the said Prison, from the Time of his or her being brought thither by Process of Law, as aforesaid, to the Time of the Sessions when such Prisoner may claim to be discharged, as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for the Justices of the Peace at such Sessions, as aforesaid, upon such Oaths as aforesaid, and upon such Prisoner’s performing all other Matters required by this Act, to discharge such Prisoner, as effectually as if he or she had been confined in one and the same Prison (such Prisoner swearing to his Confinement in Two Prisons, as aforesaid) any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.

XXXIV. And whereas the Prisons of the Fleet and King’s Bench, being the Prisons of and belonging to the Superior Courts, and for the most part containing such Prisoners, as have brought themselves thither by Habeas Corpus from other Prisons, or have surrendered themselves into Custody in Discharge of their Bail, which could not be done without their own Consent or Procurement: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That every Person so coming to either of those Prisons, either by Habeas Corpus, or voluntary Surrender in Discharge of Bail and being qualified to take the Benefit of this Act in all respects, according to the true Intent and Meaning thereof, shall be discharged, or intitled to any other Benefits arising thereby, on taking the Oath that is herein prescribed for each Prisoner to take, omitting only the Words without my Consent or Procurement, and with repect to their being a Prisoner or Prisoners in either of the Prisons above mentioned only; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

XXXV. And whereas it may happen that several Persons, who may claim and be intitled to the Benefit of this Act, are seized of an Estate Tail in any Freehold or Copyhold Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, which Intail, with the Remainders thereupon expectant, they have by Law Power to defeat and bar, either by levying a Fine or Fines, suffering a common Recovery, or common Recoveries, or by Surrender or Surrenders thereof, and thereby such Person or Persons said Freehold or Copyhold Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, should be liable to the Payment of their Debts, and be delivered up according to the Terms of this Act, for the Benefit of their Creditors: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in every such case such Person or Persons, so seized as aforesaid, and who shall be intitled unto, and claim the Benefit of, this Act, shall, to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever, in the Law be deemed and taken, and is and are hereby declared to be seized of such Lanes, Tenements, and Hereditaments, in Fee Simple, and the same shall be delivered up to the Creditor or Creditors, in the same manner as if such Person or Persons had actually levied a Fine or Fines, suffered a common Recovery or Recoveries, or made a Surrender or Surrenders thereof, and thereby had become seized in Fee Simple, any Law, or Construction of Law to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.

XXXVI. And whereas many Prisoners, who may be intitled to, and may claim the Benefit of, this Act, have been great Dealers, or other ways engaged in large Transactions, whereby they may be intitled to Equities of Redemption of Estates, subject and liable to Mortgages, Judgments, or other Incumbrances, or to Reversions, Remainders, or other contingent Estates in Lands, Tenements, or Hereditaments, or to other Trusts or Interests in Estates both real and personal, which may not be sufficiently described or discovered in the Schedule or Inventory before directed to be delivered in upon Oath by the Prisoner to be discharged, as aforesaid, or which may want his Aid or Assistance to adjust, make out, recover, or manage for the Benefit of the Creditors: Be it therefore provided and enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the respective Assignees of the Estate and Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners, who shall obtain his, her, or their Discharge in pursuance of this Act, or any other Person or Persons duly authorized by them for that purpose, from time to time to apply to any Two or more of the Justices of the Peace for the County, Riding, Division, City, Town, or Liberty, where such Prisoner or Prisoners
shall be then residing, thereby desiring, that such Prisoner or Prisoners may be further examined as to any Matters or Things relating to his, her, or their Estate or Effects; whereupon such Justices shall send for, or call before them, such Prisoner or Prisoners, by such Warrant, Summons, Ways, or Means, as they shall think fit, and upon such Prisoner;s appearing shall examine him, her, or them, as well upon Oath, as otherwise, as to such Matters and Things as such Assignees shall desire, relating to the Estate or Effects of such prisoner or Prisoners; and if any such Prisoner or Prisoners (on Payment, or Tender of Payment, of such reasonable Charges, as such Justices shall judge sufficient) shall neglect or refuse to come and appear, not having a lawful Excuse, to be made known to such Justices, and by them allowed, or, being come before them, shall refuse to be sworn, or to answer to all such Questions, as by such Justices shall be put to him or them, relating to the Discovery of his, her, or their Estate or Effects so vested, or intended to be vested, in such Clerk of the Peace, or in such Assignees as aforesaid, that then it shall and may be lawful to and for such Justices, by Warrant under their Hands and Seats, to apprehend such Prisoner or Prisoners so offending as aforesaid, and him or them to commit to the County Gaol, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, until such time as he or they shall submit him, her, or themselves to such Justices, and answer upon Oath to all such Questions as shall by such Justices be put to him, her, or them, for the Purposes aforesaid.

XXXVII. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person and Persons, who shall, within Twelve Months after the Discharge of any such Prisoner or Prisoners, voluntarily come in, and make a Discovery of any Part of such Debtor or Debtors real or personal Estate, as shall be comprized in such Schedule as aforesaid, before any such Justice or Justices aforesaid, shall be allowed after the Rate of Twenty Pounds per Centum out of the neat Produce of such Debtor or Debtors Estate, which shall be recovered on such Discovery, and which shall be paid such Person or Persons so discovering the same by the Creditor or Creditors, who shall receive, and be intitled to, any Benefit and Advantage by such Discover.

XXXVIII. And whereas great Numbers of Seamen, Sailors, Mariners, and other poor People, who have been committed for small Debts to the Marshalsea Prison, and COunty Gaol of Surrey, since the said Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and if they are detained there, their Families will become chargeable to the Parishes to which they belong, and in case they are not relieved by this Act, must perish, no Allowance being made by the said Prison, to support them therein: Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Prisoner and Prisoners, who hath or have been committed to the said Marshalsea Prison and County Gaol of Surrey, since the Twenty ninth Day of September, One thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, and on or before the Twenty fifth Day of March, One thousand seven hundred and twenty nine, for any Sum not exceeding Fifty pounds, besides Costs of Suit, shall be intitled to have the Benefit of this Act, and be discharged thereby: Provided he, she, or they conform to the Directions therein prescribed, except as to that Part of the Oath which relates to the Time of Imprisonment; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

XXXIX. Provided always, and be it enacted, That notwithstanding the Discharge of any Prisoner or Prisoners by virtue of this Act, if it shall hereafter appear the same was obtained fraudulently, the same shall be void, and of none Effect.

XL. And to the Intent and Purpose, that the Estate and Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners, as shall be discharged by virtue of this Act, may be truly and faithfully applied for the Benefit of his, her, or their real Creditors: Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful to and for the respective Courts at Westminster, from whence any Process issued, upon which such Prisoner or Prisoners was or were committed, whose Effects are so assigned, or where the Process issued out of any other Court, to and for the Judges of the Courts of King’s Bench, Common Please, and Exchequer, or any Two of them, from time to time, upon the Petition of any Creditor or Creditors of such Prisoner or Prisoners, complaining of any Insufficiency, Fraud, Mismanagement, or other Misbehaviour of all or any of the Assignees, to whom the Estate or Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners shall be assigned by such Clerk of the Peace as aforesaid, upon hearing the Parties concerned therein, to make and give such Orders and Directions therein, either for the removal or displacing of such Assignee or Assignees, and the appointing any new Assignee or Assignees, in the place or stead of the Assignee or Assignees to be removed or displaced, or for the prudent, just, and equitable Management or Distribution of the said Estates and Effects, for the Benefit of the respective ~Creditors, as the said Courts or Judges respectively shall think fit; and in case of the removal or displacing of any Assignee or Assignees, and the appointing of any such new Assignee or Assignees, the Estate and Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners shall from thenceforth be divested out of the Assignee or Assignees so removed or displaced, and be vested in, and delivered over to such new Assignee or Assignees, in the same Manner, and for the same Ends, Intents, and Purposes, as the same were before vested in the Assignee or Assignees, as aforesaid; any thing in this Act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

XLI. Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in all and every Case or Cases, where mutual Credit hath been given between any Prisoner or Prisoners to be discharged in pursuance of this Act, and any other Person or Persons, or Body Politick or Corporate, before the Delivery of such Schedule or Inventory or the Estate and Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners upon Oath, as aforesaid, than and in every such Case the respective Assignees of such Prisoner or Prisoners shall, and have hereby Power, on their part to state and allow an Account between them, and nothing more shall be deemed to be vested in such Clerk of the Peace, or such Assignees, as the Estate or Effects of such Prisoner or Prisoners, than what shall appear to be due to him, her, or them respectively, for the Balance of such Account, when truly stated.

Source: Baskett,  Statutes At Large, vol. 6, 1734, pp.104-113. via Alsatia