1773: 13 George 3 c. 21: British Nationality Act

1773: 13 George 3 c. 21: An Act to extend the Provisions of an Act, made in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the Second, intituled, An Act to explain a Clause in an Act made in the Seventh Year of the Reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, for naturalizing Foreign Protestants, which relates to the Children of the natural-born Subjects of the Crown of England, or of Great Britain, to the Children of such Children.

[Preamble.]

WHEREAS divers natural-born Subjects of Great Britain, who profess and exercise the Protestant Religion through various lawful Causes, especially for the better carrying on of Commerce, have been, and are, obliged to reside in several trading Cities and other Foreign Places, where they have contracted Marriages, and brought up Families: And whereas it is equally just and expedient that the Kingdom should not be deprived of such Subjects, nor lose the Benefit of the Wealth that they have acquired; and therefore that not only the Children of such natural-born Subjects, but their Children also, should continue under the Allegiance of His Majesty, and be intituled to come into this Kingdom, and to bring hither and realize, or otherwise employ, their Capital; but no Provision hath hitherto been made to extend farther than to the Children born out of the ligeance of His Majesty, whose Fathers were natural-born Subjects of the Crown of England, or of Great Britain: May it therefore please Your most Excellent Majesty that it may be enacted; and 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 Persons born, or who hereafter shall be born, out of the ligeance of the Crown of England, or of Great Britain, whose Fathers were or shall be, by virtue of a Statute made in the Fourth Year of King George the Second, to explain a Clause in an Act made in the Seventh Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Anne, for naturalizing Foreign Protestants, which relates to the natural-born Subjects of the Crown of England, or of Great Britain, intitled to all the Rights and Privileges of natural-born Subjects of the Crown of England or of Great Britain, shall and may be adjudged and taken to be, and are hereby declared and enacted to be, natural-born Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, to all Intents, Constructions, and Purposes whatsoever, as if he and they had been and were born in this Kingdom: any Thing contained in an Act of the Twelfth Year of the Reign of King William the Third, intituled, An Act for the further Limitation of the Crown, and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, to the contrary in any-wise notwithstanding.

[Provisoes, &c. of 4 Geo. 2. not repealed by this act.]

II. Provided always, and be it enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this present Act contained shall extend, or be construed, adjudged, or taken to extend, to make any Persons born, or to be born, out of the ligeance of the Crown of England, or of the Crown of Great Britain, to be natural-born Subjects of the Crown of Great Britain, contrary to all or any of the provisoes, Exceptions, Limitations, and Restrictions, contained in the aforesaid Act, made in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His said late Majesty, or to repeal, abridge, or alter the same; but all such Clauses shall be, and remain in the same State, Plight, and Condition, to all Intents, Construction, and Purposes whatsoever, as they would have been if this present Act had never been made.

[Not to abridge or alter the act 5 Geo. 1.]

III. Provided also, and be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this present Act contained shall extend, or be construed, adjudged, or taken to repeal, abridge, or any-ways alter, an Act made in the Fifth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the First, intituled, An Act to prevent the Inconveniencies arising from seducing Artificiers in the Manufactures of Great Britain,into Foreign Parts; nor to repeal, abridge, or any ways alter, any Law, Statute Custom or Usage whatsoever, now in Force, concerning Aliens, Duties, Customs, and Impositions, nor to cause any Privilege, Exemption, or Abatement relating thereto, in favour of any Person naturalized by virtue of this Act, unless such Person shall come into this Realm, and there inhabit and reside, and shall take and subscribe the Oaths, and make, repeat, and subscribe the Declaration appointed by an Act, made in the First Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the First, intituled, An Act for the further Security of His Majesty’s Person and Government, and the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the Hopes if the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret Abettors, in such Manner and Form, and at such Place and Places as are in and by the said Act directed, and also receive the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, according to the Usage of the Church of England, or in some Protestant or reformed Congregation within this Kingdom of Great Britain, within Three Months before their taking the Oaths in the said Act mentioned; and shall, at the Time and Place of taking and subscribing the said Oaths, and of the making, repeating and subscribing the said Declaration, produce a Certificate signed by the Person administering the said Sacrament, and attested by Two credible Witnesses, whereof an Entry shall be made of Record in the Court and Courts respectively wherein such Oaths shall have been taken and subscribed, without any Fee or Reward.

[Not to defeat any Right vested in another Person on the last Day of this Session.]

IV. Provided always, and be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person shall be enacted hereby to defeat Estate, Right, or Interest, which upon the last Day of this Session shall be lawfully vested in any other Person, or to claim or demand any Estate or Interest, which shall hereafter accrue, unless such Claim or Demand be made within Five Years next after the same shall accrue.

Source: Pickering, Statutes at Large, vol. 30.

Further reading: Wikipedia.