1706: 6 Anne c.9: Escape from Prisons

1706: 6 Anne c.9: An act for rendring more effectual an act passed in the first year of her Majesty’s reign, intituled, An act for the better preventing escapes out of the Queen’s Bench and Fleet Prisons.

[Note: Sometimes given the regnal code 6 Anne c. 12.]

WHEREAS the inheritance and custody of several county gaols are in private persons, by means whereof the good intent of a certain act made in the first year of her Majesty’s reign, intituled, An act for the better preventing escapes out of the Queen’s Bench and Fleet Prisons, may be in some counties defeated and eluded: to the end therefore that the said act may be rendred more effectual; be it enacted by the Queen’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 person and persons, who from and after the five and twentieth daiy of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seven, shall be seized or taken by virtue or authority of the said act, shall instead of being committed to the common gaol of the county wherein such person or persons shall be taken, be conveyed and committed to the prison or place where the sheriff of such county detains or keeps the debtors or prisoners for debt or damage, there to remain in the custody of the sheriff of such county, subject to the same rules and directions, and under the same restrictions, regulations, and penalties, and in such manner and form in all and every respect, as if the said person or persons had been committed to the common gaol of the county; and if any person or persons so taken and committed, as aforesaid, shall at any time make any escape out of the said prison or place to which he, she, or they be so committed, as aforesaid, the sheriff in whose custody he, she, or they was or were, shall be answerable for such escape to the party grieved, in like manner as in the case of any other escape.

II. And to the intent that the benefit of the said former act may the more easily be had, in case the person or persons escaping shall be seen in places distant from the city of London; be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful to and for any one of the judges of the respective courts in the said former act mentioned, to grant like warrant and warrants, upon oath in writing to be made before any person commissionated under the seal of the same court to take affidavits in the country, (the same oath being first duly filed) as by the said former act he is impowered to do upon like oath made before himself.

III. And be it declared and enacted, That it is and shall be lawful to apprehend and take, upon the Lord’s day, any person or persons by virtue of any warrant or warrants granted in pursuance of this or of the said former act.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, on a decree, That if any person or persons is, are or shall be in custody of any sheriff or other officer, either by virtue of the said act, or of this present act, or otherwise, for not performing any decree of the high court of Chancery, or court of Exchequer, whereby any sum or sums of money is ordered or decreed to be paid, and shall afterwards make any escape from the said sheriff or other officer, that then and in such case the person and persons, their executors or administrators, to whom the money was to be paid by the said decree, shall have the same remedy against the said sheriff, as if such person or persons so escaping had been in custody upon an execution at law, and shall and may recover the several sum and sums of money decreed to be paid to him, her, or them in and by such decree, against such sheriff or other officer, together with his, her, or their costs of suit, in any action or actions of debt, or upon the case to be brought or commenced against such sheriff or other officer in any of her Majesty’s courts of record at Westminster, wherein no protection or wager of law shall be admitted, or any more than one imparlance; any law, usage, or custom to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

V. And for the prevention of disputes touching this present act; be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the same and every clause and thing therein contained, shall be adjudged and taken to be a general law, and that it shall not be needful to set forth the same in pleading, or any part thereof.

Source: Pickering, Statutes at Large, volume 11.

Further reading: Wikipedia.