1787: 27 George 3 c.44: Frivolous suits in Ecclesiastical Courts.

1787: 27 George 3 c.44: An Act to prevent frivolous and vexatious Suits in Ecclesiastical Courts.


‘WHEREAS it is expedient to limit the Time for the Commencement of certain Suits in the Ecclesiastical Courts:’ May it therefore please your 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,

[Suits in Ecclesiastical Courts for defamatory Words to be commenced within seix Months.]

That, from and after the first Day of August one thousand seven hundred and eighty*seven, no Suit for defamatory Words shall be commenced in any of the Ecclesiastical Courts within England, Wales, or the Town of Berwick upon Tweed, unless the same shall be commenced within six Calendar Months from the Time when such defamatory Words shall have been uttered.

[Limitation of Suits in Ecclesiastical Courts.]

II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Suit shall be commenced in any Ecclesiastical Court, for Fornication, or Incontinence, or for striking or brawling in any Church or Churchyard, after the Expiration of eight Calendar Months from the Time when such Offence shall have been committed; nor shall any Prosecution be commenced or carried on for Fornication at any Time after the Parties offending shall have lawfully intermarried.

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