1787: 27 George 3 c.29: Competency of Witnesses

1787: 27 George 3 c.29: An Act for obviating Objections to the Competency of Witnesses in certain Cases.


‘WHEREAS by divers Acts of Parliament pecuniary Penalties inflicted for certain Offences, or Parts of such Penalties, are directed to be applied for or to the Use of the Poor of the Parishes, Townships, or Places, within which such Offences were committed: And whereas, in divers of such cases, the Parishioners or Inhabitants of such Parishes, Townships, or Places, are not admissible Witnesses to prove the Perpetration of such Offences within such Parishea, Townships, or Places, by reason whereof it has been found difficult to bring Offenders to Justice:’ 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,

[From Aug. 1, 1787, the inhabitant of any Place to be a competent Witness to prove an Offence, though the Place may be benefited by the Conviction of the Offender,]

That, from and after the first Day of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, the Inhabitants of every Parish, Township, or Place, shall be deemed and taken to be competent Witnesses for the Purpose of proving the Commission of any Offence within the Limits of such Parish, Township, or Place, notwithstanding the Penalty incurred by such Offence, or any Part thereof, is or may be given or applicable to the Poor of such Parish, Township, or Place, or otherwise, for the Benefit or Use, or in Aid or Exoneration of such Parish, Township, or Place.

[unless the Penalty exceed 20l.]

II. Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this Act contained shall extend to any Action or Proceeding in which the Penalty or Penalties to be recovered shall exceed the Sum of twenty Pounds.

Source: Ruffhead, Statutes at Large, vol. 15.