1813: 53 George 3 c.102: Establishing the Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors.

1813: 53 George 3 c.102: An Act for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors in England.

[10th July 1813.]

WHEREAS, notwithstanding the occasional acts which have from time to time passed for the relief of insolvent debtors, and the discharge of many prisoners for small debts by charitable donations, great numbers of persons generally remained confined for debt in different prisons in England; and it is therefore expedient to make a permanent provision for the relief of insolvent debtors in England, under certain restrictions: 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 from and after the passing of this act,

[Commissioner to ba appointed by His Majesty to preside in a Court, to be called “The Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors.” Prisoners in custody for three months, to apply to such Court by petition.]

it shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint a fit person, being a barrister at law, of six years standing at the least, to be His Majesty’s commissioner for the relief of insolvent debtors, and to preside in a Court to be called “The Court for Relief of Insolvent Debtors,” which shall be a Court of record for the purposes of this act; and that when and as soon as the appointment shall have been notified in the London such Court shall be deemed to be fully constituted and established; and thereupon it shall be lawful for every person who shall be a prisoner in any prison in that part of the United Kingdom called England, upon any process whatsoever issuing from any Court whatsoever, for or by reason of any debt, damage, costs, sum or sums of money, or contempt for non-payment of money, and who shall have been in actual custody upon some process for some or one of the said debts or demands during the space of three calendar months or more, to apply by petition in a summary way to the Court to be established by virtue of this act, for his or her discharge from such confinement, according to the provisions of this act; and in.such petition such prisoner shall state the prison wherein such prisoner shall be then confined, the time when such prisoner was first charged in custody, or received in prison upon some process on which he or she shall then be detained in prison, together with the name or napes of the person or persons at whose suit or prosecution such prisoner shall, at the time of presenting such petition, be detained in prison, and the amount of the debts or sums of money for which such prisoner shall be so detained, and shall pray to be discharged from custody upon all such process, and to have future liberty of his or her person against the demands for which such prisoner shall be then in custody, and against the demands of all other persons who shall be named or specified as creditors, or as claiming to be creditors of such prisoner in the schedule annexed to such petition; and such prisoner shall by such petition offer to convey, assign, and deliver to such person or persons as the Court shall direct, for the payment of such debts and sums of money respectively, from which such prisoner shall seek to be discharged, all such property as such prisoner shall possess or have in his or her power as herein-after expressed; the wearing apparel and bedding for such prisoner, and his or her family, and working tools and necessary implements for his or her occupation or calling, and other small necessaries, not exceeding in the whole the value of twenty pounds, only excepted; and shall also offer to engage to pay so much of all such debts and demands respectively as shall be justly due from such prisoner to such creditors, and as shall not be discharged by means of the property so to be conveyed, assigned, and delivered, in case such prisoner shall, at any time thereafter, become possessed of sufficient means for such purpose;

[Schedule of debts and effects, &c. to be annexed to such petition.]

to which petition shall be annexed a schedule, containing a full and true description of all and every the person and persons to whom such prisoner shall then be indebted, or who to his or her knowledge or belief shall claim to be a creditor or creditors of such prisoner, with the nature and amount of such debts and claims respectively, distinguishing such as shall be admitted from such as shall be disputed by such prisoner; and also a full, just, true, and perfect account and discovery of all the estates and effects, real and personal, in possession, reversion, remainder, or expectancy, of every nature and kind whatsoever, which such prisoner, or any other person or persons in trust for such prisoner, or for his or her use, benefit or advantage, in any manner whatsoever, shall have been or shall be seised or possessed of, or interested in, or entitled unto, or which such prisoner, or any person or persons in trust for him or her, or for his or her benefit, shall have had or shall have any power to dispose of or charge for the benefit or advantage of such prisoner at the time when such prisoner was first committed to prison, or charged in custody for any of the debts or sums of money for which such prisoner shall then be detained in custody, or at any time subsequent to that time, before and on the day on which the truth of such schedule shall be sworn to by such prisoner as herein directed; together with a full, just, true and perfect account of all debts at such time owing to such prisoner, or to any person or persons in trust for him or her, or for his or her benefit or advantage, either solely or jointly with any other person or persons, and the names and places of abode of the several persons from whom such debt shall be or shall have been due or owing, and of the witnesses who can prove such debts as shall remain due (if any such there shall be), so far as such prisoner can set forth the same, and in what manner any such estates or effects, real or personal, of such prisoner shall have been applied or disposed of since the time when such prisoner shall have been so first committed to prison or charged in custody as aforesaid; and which of such estates or effects, or any of them, shall have been in any manner conveyed, assigned, disposed of, charged or incumbered in any manner whatsoever, and when and in what manner, and for what consideration, and to whom, and for whose benefit, and which of such estates and effects shall, at the time of swearing to such schedule, be applicable to the discharge of the demands of his or her creditors; and such schedule shall also fully and truly describe the wearing apparel and bedding of such prisoner, and his or her family, and the working tools and implements, and other small necessaries intended to be excepted by such prisoner from the assignment proposed by the said petition to be made by such prisoner as aforesaid, together with the values of such excepted articles respectively; and such prisoner shall make oath of the truth of such petition and schedule to the following effect, or with such variations, according to special circumstances, as shall be consistent with the provisions of this act:

[Form of oath of the truth of the petition and schedule.]

I A.B. upon my corporal oath, in the presence of Almighty God, do solemnly swear and declare, that on the ________ day of ________ I was really and truly a prisoner in the actual custody of ________ in the prison or gaol of ________ at the suit of ________ for the sum of ________ [as the case may be] without any fraud or collusion whatever; and that I have ever since been and now am a prisoner in ________ in the actual custody of the keeper or gaoler of ________ [as the case may be] or within the liberties thereof, at the suit of ________ and of ________ [as the case may be] without any fraud or collusion whatever; and that I have not taken the benefit of any act of parliament made for the relief of insolvent debtors within the apace of five years now last past, and that I have not had at any time since I was committed to prison, or charged in custody by the said ________ as aforesaid, any means whatsoever of discharging the demands of the said ________ and of the other persons named or described as my creditors, or as claiming to be my creditors, in the schedule hereunto annexed, and subscribed by me, except the estates and effects mentioned in the said schedule; and that I have not now any means of discharging such demands, except so much of the said estates and effects as still remain applicable for that purpose, as expressed in the said schedule; and that all the estates and effects which I have disposed of since I was so first committed to prison, or charged in custody, have been necessarily expended by me for the maintenance of myself and family, and for law charges and other unavoidable expenses during my confinement, and in payment of just debts due and owing by me before or since the said day of when I was first committed to prison or detained in custody, at the suit of the said ________ as aforesaid; and that the said schedule doth contain, to the best of my knowledge and belief, a full, just, true, and perfect account and discovery of all the estates and effects, real and personal, in possession, reversion, remainder or expectancy, and of every nature and kind soever, which I now am, or which any person or persons in trust for me, or for my use, benefit or advantage, now is or are seised, possessed of, interested in, or entitled unto, or which was or were in my possession, custody, or power, or in the possession, custody, or power of any such person as aforesaid, or which I or any person or persons had any power of disposing of or charging for my benefit or advantage at the time I was so first committed to prison, or charged in custody by the said ________ as aforesaid, or at any time since that time, and of all debts owing to me or to any person or persons in trust for me or for my benefit, either solely or jointly with any other person or persons, and of all securities and contracts whereby any money now is or will or may hereafter become payable or any benefit or advantage may accrue or might have accrued to me or my use, or to any person or persons in trust for me or for my benefit, at the time I was so first committed to prison, or charged in custody as aforesaid, and the names and places of abode of the several persons from whom such debts are or were due and owing, and of the witnesses who can prove such debts or contracts as remain due or unperformed, so far as I am able to set forth the same; and that neither I nor any person or persons in trust for me, or for my use and benefit, to my knowledge or belief, have or has any land, money, stock, or other estate or effects whatsoever, real or personal, in possession, reversion, remainder, or expectancy, or of any nature or kind whatsoever, or any power of disposing of or of charging for my benefit or advantage any property whatsoever, other than such as are in the said schedule contained or expressed, except the wearing apparel and bedding for myself and family, working tools; and the necessary implements for my occupation and calling, and other small necessaries, not exceeding in the whole the value of twenty pounds, mentioned and described in the said schedule, and intended to be excepted from the assignment intended to be made by me; and that I have not, nor hath or have any person or persons for me directly or indirectly, sold, lessened; or otherwise conveyed or disposed of in trust, or otherwise, except as herein-before expressed, or in any manner concealed any part of my lands, money, goods, chattels, stocks, debts, securities, contracts; estates or effects, real or personal, whereby to secure the same for my own benefit, or whereby I may receive, or expect to receive any profit or advantage therefrom, or with any intent to defraud or deceive any creditor or creditors to whom I am or was indebted in anywise howsoever.

So help me GOD.

[Court, or a justice, to administer the oath.]

And the said oath shall and may be administered to such prisoner by such Court, or by any officer of such Court appointed by such Court for that purpose, or by a justice of the peace for the county, riding, division, or place in which such prisoner shall be detained in custody; and the said petition, and schedule and oath, shall be respectively subscribed by such prisoner, in the presence of the person by whom such oath shall be administered, who shall certify the subscription thereof respectively by such prisoner; and such petition, schedule, and oath shall be filed in the said Court, which Court shall thereupon name a day for hearing the matter of such petition;

[Copy of petition, schedule and oath, to be delivered to every creditor.]

and a copy of such petition, schedule, and oath shall be served on the several person or persons who shall be specified in such petition as the person or persons at whose suit such prisoner shall be then detained in custody, or on his, her or their attorney or solicitor, in the action or actions, suit or suits, in respect of which such prisoner shall be so detained, together with a copy of the order of the Court upon such petition, twenty days at the least before the day appointed for hearing the matter of such petition, by delivering such copies respectively to such person or persons respectively or leaving the same with the wife, clerk, or servant of such person or persons respectively at his, her, or their usual place of abode; and notices in writing that such petition had been presented, and such schedule and oath filed in the said Court, together with a copy of the order on such petition, shall be served in like manner on all and every the person or persons named or described in the said schedule as creditors, or as claiming to be creditors of the said prisoner, and against whose demands such prisoner shall seek to be discharged, or on the attorney or solicitor of any creditor, in any action or suit brought against such prisoner for the demand of such creditor; and such service shall, on the hearing of the matter of the said petition, be proved on oath to the satisfaction of the Court.

[But if creditors are numerous, notice inserted in the London Gazette, and in two or more newspapers, as the Court shall direct, will be sufficient.]

II. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that in case it shall be made appear to the satisfaction of the said Court, that the creditors of such prisoner, exclusive of those at whose suit such prisoner shall be then detained in custody, are so numerous, or their residence so remote, that the expense of serving such creditors with notice of the application of such prisoner for his or her discharge, would be so considerable, that such prisoner might be unable to procure such service to be duly made in manner hereinbefore directed, or that for any other reason it will be fit, in the judgment of the said Court, to dispense with such service, with respect to all or any of such creditors, it shall be lawful for the said Court to order, that notice of the petition of such prisoner for his or her discharge may, instead of being served on such creditors respectively, be inserted in the London Gazette, and in such two or more newspapers as the stud Court shall direct, and in such form of words as the said Court shall approve, twenty days at the least before the day appointed for hearing the matter of the said petition, and that such notice shall be deemed sufficient notice to the creditors named or described therein; or to substitute some other mode of notice, which in the judgment of the said Court may appear reasonable; and upon such notice so given to the satisfaction of the said Court, it shall be lawful for the said Court to proceed on such petition with respect to all such creditors as shall be named or described in such notice, in the same manner as the said Court might have done if such creditors had been respectively served with notice as herein-before directed.

[Insertion of advertisements, 3s.]

III. Provided always, and be it hereby enacted, that the sum of three shillings and no more shall be paid to any printer or proprietor of any newspaper for the insertion of any such advertisement aforesaid; and ail printers and proprietors of newspapers are hereby required to insert the same on the payment of the said sum of three shillings for the insertion thereof; and that no such advertisement shall be liable to the payment of, or be chargeable or charged with the payment of any stamp or other duty whatsoever.

[Court may proceed where notice is not given in the London Gazette, &c. if creditors cannot be found.]

IV. Provided always, and be it enacted, that in case it shall be made appear to the satisfaction of the said Court, that any of the persons required to be served with such petition, schedule, oath, order, or notice, is or are beyond the seas, or cannot be found, so as to be served with such petition, schedule, oath, and order, as required by this act, and the said Court shall not think fit to order notice to such persons to be inserted in the London Gazette, and such newspapers as aforesaid, or to substitute any other mode of notice, it shall be lawful for the said Court to proceed upon the said petition notwithstanding such defect in the service thereof; but in such case such prisoner shall not be in any manner discharged from the demands of the person or persons who shall not be so served, or with respect to whom such notice shall not be given in the London Gazette and such newspapers as aforesaid, or in such other substituted mode of notice as shall be approved of by the said Court, unless such person or persons shall appear before the said Court and oppose the discharge of such prisoner, or consent to the proceeding of the Court, notwithstanding any such defect of service.

[Previous residence out of the kingdom.]

V. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that if any prisoner seeking the benefit of this act shall within two years before, he or she shall seek the benefit of this act, have resided in any place or places out of the United Kingdom, and shall during such residence have contracted in such place or places, any debt from which he or she shall seek to be discharged by virtue of this act, such prisoner shall not be discharged under the authority of this act from any such debt, without the consent of the person or persona to whom such debt shall be due, unless such prisoner shall at the time of such application be in actual custody for such debt, or shall be actually sued, or shall have been sued in some Court of law or equity in England for the same; in any of which cases notice of the application for the discharge of such prisoner shall be given to the creditor or creditors so detaining in custody or suing or having sued such prisoner, or to the attorney or solicitor employed in the action or suit then depending for such debt or debts, or to the attorney or solicitor employed in any suit for such debt or debts before instituted but not depending, if the Court to be established by virtue of this act shall think fit to allow of service on such attorney or solicitor, instead of personal service on such creditor or creditors.

[Hearing of petitions may be deferred in case of defect of service.]

VI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that in case of any defect in the service of such petition, schedule, oath or order, it shall be lawful for the said Court from time to time to allow further time for such purpose, and to make an order or orders for adjourning the hearing of the matter of the said petition, in the whole or with respect to any particular person or persons, to give opportunity for such service; and in case the said petition, schedule, oath, and original order, together with such further order or orders, shall be duly served according to the provisions of this act, on the person or persons not before duly served, twenty days before the day appointed for hearing the matter of the said petition on any such further order, it shall be lawful for the said Court to proceed on such service, as the said Court might have done if the said petition, schedule, oath, and original order, had been duly served according to the provisions before contained in this act.

[On hearing the petition creditors may oppose it.]

VII. And be it further enacted, that upon the day appointed by the said Court for hearing the matter of the said petition, or upon such subsequently as the said Court shall appoint for such purpose, the stud Court shall cause such prisoner to be brought before the said Court, or before such person or-persons as the said Court shall direct, according to the provisions of this act, to be examined touching the truth of the matter contained in the said petition and schedule; and any of the creditors of such prisoner, and any of the persons named or described in such schedule, as claiming to be creditor’s of any such prisoner, and any person or persons not named or described in such schedule, who shall claim to be a creditor or creditors of such prisoner, shall be at liberty to oppose such petition, and for that purpose to put such questions to such prisoner as the said Court shall think fit, touching the matters contained in such petition and schedule, and touching such other matters as the said Court shall be of opinion it may be fit and proper that such questions should he put for the due execution of this act, and such prisoner shall answer all such questions upon oath;

[Court, if not satisfied, may remand the prisoner.]

and in case such prisoner shall not so answer all such questions to the satisfaction of the said Court, or in case it shall be made appear to the satisfaction of the said Court, from Such answers as shall be given by such prisoner or by evidence, that such prisoner is not entitled to the benefit of this act, then and in such case such Court shall so declare, and shall remand such prisoner to custody: Provided always, that in case such Court shall entertain any doubt touching any matter alleged against such prisoner to prevent his or her discharge, or touching the examination of such prisoner, it shall be lawful for such Court to remand such prisoner to custody, and afterwards to cause such prisoner to be again brought up for examination, as often as to such Court shall seem fit.

[Court may order prisoners to be examined by justices, either in session or out of sessions, &c. of which notice shall be given.]

VIII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that in case the said Court shall see fit, it shall be lawful for the said Court to order that any prisoner, instead of being brought before the said Court for examination, for any of the purposes of this act, shall from time to time he examined on oath, as occasion shall require, touching any matters for the purposes of this act, by one or more of His Majesty’s justices of the peace for the county, riding, division, or place within or near to which such prisoner shall be detained in custody, either at a general session of the peace, or any adjournment thereof, or out of session, who are hereby respectively empowered and required to take such examination pursuant to such order; and such notice shall be given of the time and place to be appointed for such examination as the said Court to be established by virtue of this act shall direct; and such prisoner shall, according to such order, be carried before the person or persons appointed thereby to examine such prisoner, for which such order shall be a sufficient warrant; and such prisoner shall answer upon oath all such questions as shall be put to such prisoner pursuant to such order; and the person or persons taking such examination shall certify to such Court the examination of such prisoner, and all matters relating thereto, as such Court shall direct; and such Court shall proceed upon such certificate in such manner as to such Court shall seem lust; and such examination or certificate, or either of them, shall not be liable to or charged with any stamp duty or duties whatsoever; and the clerk of the peace or other officer of such sessions, or the clerk of such justice or justices, shall be paid for every such examination after the rate of four-pence for every folio, for taking and swearing or affirming the same; and the further sum of two-pence for every folio for such certificate, and procuring the signature of the justices thereto, and fair copy; of such examination to return with such certificate, and no more and each of such folio shall contain not less than seventy-two words.

[Persons claiming to be creditors not duly served with notice, to be added to the schedule.]

IX. And be it further enacted, that In case any person or persons claiming to be a creditor or creditors of any prisoner, shall oppose the petition of such prisoner for his or her discharge, such person or persons, although not duly served with such petition, schedule, oath, or order as aforesaid, shall be considered as having had due notice thereof, and the name or names of such person or persons shall be added to the said schedule by the said Court, either as a creditor or creditors, or as claiming to be a creditor or creditors of such prisoner.

[Court so to adjudge where they are of opinion prisoners are entitled to the benefit of this act, &c.]

X. And be it further enacted, that in case the said Court shall be of opinion that such prisoner is entitled to the benefit of this act, then and in such case the said Court shall so order and adjudge, and shall in such order specify the several creditors and persons claiming to be creditors of such prisoner, who shall appear to have been duly served with notice of such proceedings, as required by this act, or with respect to whom notice shall appear to have been given In the London Gazette and other newspapers, in pursuance of the order of the said Court for that purpose, or in such other manner as the said Court shall direct, or who shall have appeared before the Bind Court, and opposed the discharge of such prisoner, or consented to the proceeding of the Court with respect to their demands, notwithstanding any defect of service of such notice; and the said Court shall in such order also specify the several persons against whose demands such prisoner shall be deemed by such Court entitled to be discharged by virtue of this act;

[Assignees to be appointed and engagements entered into for payment of debts not satisfied.]

and such Court shall appoint a proper person or proper persons to be assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of such prisoner, for the purposes of this act, and shall order proper conveyances and assignments of such estate and effects to be made by such prisoner according to this act, together with an engagement to be executed by such prisoner to pay so much of the just debts and demands of the several persons against whom such prisoner shall by such Court ba adjudged entitled to the benefit of this act, as shall not be paid out of the estate and effects to be conveyed and assigned by such prisoner for such purpose, in case he or she shall at any time thereafter be enabled to pay such debts and demands, or to pay such part or parts thereof as he or she shall be able at any time to pay;

[Books, &c. of prisoner to be delivered up.]

and shall also order all books, papers, and writings, in the custody or power of such prisoner, relating to the estate and effects of such prisoner, and the demands of his or her creditors, to be delivered on oath to such assignee or assignees, or otherwise to be disposed of as such Court shall direct;

[Prisoner then to be discharged, but judgment shall be entered against his future estate.]

and upon the due execution of all such conveyances, assignments, and engagements as aforesaid, and delivery of such books, papers, and writings as aforesaid, as such Court shall direct, such Court shall order such prisoner to be discharged from custody, and judgment shall thereupon be entered in such Court against such prisoner in pursuance of such engagements as aforesaid, which judgment shall and may, if the said Court shall so order, be executed against the future estate and effects of such prisoner, real and personal, as the said Court shall direct, and shall bind the assets of such prisoner, real and personal, in the hands of his heirs, executors, and administrators, for the full amount of the debts and demands aforesaid, which shall remain unsatisfied, or so ranch of such debts and demands as the said Court shall be of opinion ought to be satisfied; and execution shall be had upon such judgment in such and the same manner as execution may be had upon a judgment of the Court of King’s Bench, nevertheless according to the orders of the Court to be established by virtue of this act, and in conformity to the provisions in this act contained.

[Copyhold or customary estate to be surrendered to assignees.]

XI. Provided always, and be it further Enacted, that in case any prisoner who shall be discharged by virtue of this act shall be entitled to any copyhold or customary estate, the same shall be surrendered or conveyed by such prisoner according to the custom of the manor of which such estate shall be holden, either to the assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of such prisoner, or to any purchaser or purchasers of any such copyhold or customary estate from such assignee or assignees, as the said Court shall direct, and the rents and profits thereof shall be in the mean time received by such assignee or assignees for the benefit of the creditors of such prisoner, without prejudice nevertheless to the lord or lords of the manor of which any such copyhold or customary estate shall be holden.

[Sale of annuities or contingent interests may be restrained by the Court.]

XII. And whereas prisoners discharged by virtue of this act may be entitled to annuities for their own lives, or other uncertain interests, or to reversionary or contingent interests, or to property under such circumstances, that the immediate sale thereof for payment of their debts may be very prejudicial to them, and deprive them of the means of subsistence which they might otherwise have after payment of their debts; and it may be proper in some cases to authorize the raising of money by way of mortgage for payment of the debts, or part of the debts of a prisoner discharged by virtue of this act, and defraying expenses attending the execution of this act, instead of selling the property of such prisoner for such purposes; be it enacted, that in all such cases, it shall be lawful for the said Court to take into consideration all circumstances affecting the property of any prisoner who shall be discharged by virtue of this act, either at the time of the discharge of such prisoner, or at any subsequent time; and if it shall appear to the said Court, that it would be reasonable to make any special order touching the same, it shall be lawful for the said Court so to do, and to direct that such property as it may be expedient not to sell, or not to sell immediately, according to the provisions of this act, shall not be so sold, and from time to time to order and direct in what manner such property shall be managed for the benefit of the creditors of such prisoner, until the same can be properly sold, or until payment of all such creditors according to the provisions of this act, and to make such order touching the sale or disposition of such property as to the said Court shall seem reasonable, considering the rights of the creditors of such prisoner to payment of their demands, and the future benefit of such prisoner after payment of his or her debts, and upon such terms and conditions with respect to the allowance of Interest on debts not bearing interest, or other circumstances, as to the said Court shall seem just; and if it shall appear to the said Court that the debts of such prisoner can be discharged by means of money raised by way of mortgage on any property of such prisoner, instead of raising the same by sale, it shall be lawful for the said Court so to order, and to give all necessary directions for such purpose, end generally to direct all things which may be proper for the discharge of the debts of such prisoner in such manner as may be most consistent with the interests of such prisoner, in any surplus of his or her effects after payment of such debts.

[Court may on complaint of creditor, within one year, avoid the discharge of prisoner, on being satisfied that he obtained his discharge fraudulently.]

XIII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that in ease any creditor against whom any prisoner shall have obtained his or her discharge by virtue of this act, shall within one year after the .date of the order for such discharge apply to the said Court to avoid such discharge as improperly obtained, and upon such application it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Court that such prisoner has acted in any manner fraudulently in obtaining such discharge, or has wilfully concealed any of his or her estate or effects by not specifying or not properly specifying the same in such schedule as aforesaid, for the purpose of depriving the creditors against whom he shall have obtained such discharge of the benefit thereof, it shall be lawful for such Court to declare the discharge so obtained by such prisoner null and avoid; and it shall thereupon be lawful for any creditor or creditors of such prisoner against whom such discharge shall have been obtained, to proceed against such prisoner as if such discharge had not been obtained, such creditor or creditors relinquishing all benefit of the assignment of the estate or effects of such prisoner which shall remain unapplied by the assignee or assignees appointed under this act; and any of such creditors who shall have detained such prisoner in custody at the time of such discharge shall be at liberty to apply to such Court to remand such prisoner again into custody on the same process from which he or she had been so discharged; and such Court shall have power to remand such prisoner accordingly, by warrant under the hand and seal of the commissioner of the stud Court, which warrant shall be executed by an officer of the said Court to be appointed for such purpose, and shall be sufficient authority for the arrest and detention of such prisoner upon the process from which such prisoner was before discharged; and so much (if any) of the estate or effects of such prisoner as shall then remain in the hands of the assignee or assignees thereof, after paying all the just charges and expenses of such assignee or assignees to be allowed by the said Court, shall be re-conveyed or re-assigned or paid to such prisoner, as the said Court shall direct; but so much of such estates and effects as shall have been before applied in payment of the debts of such prisoner, shall be retained by the creditors who shall have received the same in part of their respective demands, excepting only the creditor or creditors who shall apply to the Court to avoid such discharge, who shall repay the dividend or dividends received by him, her, or them respectively, to the assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of such prisoner, before such order, declaring such discharge null and void, shall be delivered out by the said Court.

[When it shall appear to the Court after prisoner shall have obtained discharge that he is able to pay his debts, the Court shall revoke such discharge.]

XIV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that in case any prisoner who shall have been discharged by virtue of this act, shall become able to pay all or any part of the debts due from him or her, and against which he or she shall have obtained such discharge, after a reasonable allowance for the maintenance of such debtor, and his or her family, and payment of his or her debts, contracted after such discharge, or to which such discharge did not extend, it shall and may be lawful for any creditor or creditors against whom he or she shall have obtained such discharge, to apply to the Court for liberty to proceed against such debtor, notwithstanding such discharge; and in case it shall appear to die satisfaction of such Court, that such debtor is of ability to pay such demand, or any part thereof, it shall be lawful for such Court to revoke such discharge either wholly or upon payment of such sum or sums of money for the benefit of the persons against whom such discharge shall have been obtained, either in gross, or by several payments, as to such Court shall appear reasonable, or to permit execution to be taken out on the judgment entered up in such Court upon the engagement of such prisoner, for such sum of money as the said Court shall think fit, to be distributed rateably amongst the creditors entitled under such engagement, and such proceedings shall and may be had according to the discretion of the said Court from time to time, until the whole of the debts due to the several persons against whom such discharge shall have been obtained, shall be fully paid and satisfied, together with such costs as such Court shall think fit to award: Provided always, that in case any such application shall appear to the Court to be ill founded and vexatious, it shall be lawful for the Court not only to refuse to make any order on such application, but also to dismiss the same, with such Costs as to the Court shall appear reasonable.

[Allowance to be made for a discovery of the prisoner’s estate six months after the appointment of assignees.]

XV. And be it further enacted, that all and every person who shall, at any time after the expiration of six calendar months from the date of the appointment of any assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of any prisoner under the authority of this act, voluntarily come and make discovery of any part of such prisoner’s estate not specified in the said schedule and not before come to the knowledge of the assignee or assignees of such prisoner’s estate, either to the said assignee or assignees or the commissioner of the said Court, shall be allowed five pounds per centum, and such further and other reward as the said assignee or assignees, or the major part in value of the creditors of such prisoner present at any meeting of the said creditors, shall think fit, to be paid out of the net proceeds of such prisoner’s estate which shall be recovered on such discovery, which shall be paid to the person or persons so discovering the same by the said assignee or assignees who shall be allowed the same in his, her, or their accounts.

[Disclosure of the estate of the prisoner six months after discharge.]

XVI. And be it further enacted, that all and every person and persons who hath or have accepted or shall accept any trust or trusts, or shall be possessed of and wilfully conceal or protect any estate, real or personal, of any prisoner who shall be discharged Under the authority of this act, and knowing such discharge, shall not, within the space of six calendar months after such discharge, disclose such trust and estate in writing, either to the assignee or assignees of such prisoner’s estate, or to the commissioner of the said Court, and submit himself, herself, and themselves to be examined touching the same on oath before such commissioner, or before such person being a justice of the peace as he shall appoint, if thereunto required, and truly discover and disclose the same and all particulars thereof,

[Penalty.]

shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds of lawful money of Greet Britain, and double the value of the estate whether real or personal so concealed, to and for the use of the creditors of such prisoner, to be recovered by action of debt in any of His Majesty’s Courts of record at Westminster, in the name of the assignee or assignees of such prisoner, or of any one of his, her, or their creditors who shall first sue for the same, with full costs of suit.

[On prisoner dying leaving assets sufficient, creditors may apply to the Court to proceed on judgment entered into on his engagement to pay debts not satisfied.]

XVII. And be it further enacted, that in case any prisoner who shall have been discharged by virtue of this act, shall die, leaving assets real or personal, after payment of all his or her debts, exclusive of the debts from which such prisoner shall have obtained such discharge, it shall be lawful for the person or persons entitled to so much of such debt or debts, from which such discharge shall have been obtained as shall remain unpaid, to apply to the said Court for liberty to proceed on the judgment entered in the said Court, on the engagement of such prisoner, in order to obtain payment of so much of such debt or debts as shall then remain due as aforesaid, and such Court shall make such order thereupon as shall be just; and the heirs, executors, or administrators of such deceased prisoner shall apply the assets in his, her, or their hands according to such order, but without prejudice to the demand of any other creditor or creditors of such deceased prisoner, all of which shall be first paid or satisfied: Provided always, that in case it shall at any time be made appear to such Court, that the estate or effects of such prisoner, conveyed or assigned under the authority of this act, would have been sufficient, if carefully and properly managed, to have satisfied all the debts from which such prisoner had been discharged, or to have satisfied a larger proportion of such debts than shall have actually been paid therewith, then and in any such case such Court shall not authorize any further proceedings against such prisoner, or his or her assets, except for so much of the debts of such prisoner as could not have been satisfied out of the estate and effects so conveyed and assigned in case the same had been carefully and properly managed, and rendered productive for the discharge of such debts: Provided also, that in no case interest shall be allowed on any such debt from the time of such discharge, until the said Court shall order that interest shall again run upon debts bearing interest, which shall be wholly in the discretion of the said Court as herein-after provided.

[Estate of prisoners shall be vested in persons to whom the same by order of the Court shall be directed to be conveyed in trust for the benefit of creditors.]

XVIII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all the estate, right, title, interest, and trust of every, prisoner who shall be discharged by virtue of this act, of, in, and to all the real estate as well freehold as copyhold or customary, and of, in, and to all the personal estate, debts and effects of every such prisoner, shall, immediately from and after the order of such Court as aforesaid for the discharge of such prisoner, be and the same are hereby vested in the person or persons to whom the same shall, by the order of the said Court, be directed to be conveyed and assigned as aforesaid, in case such person or persons shall consent to accept the same; and the conveyance and assignment which shall be made in pursuance of such order shall be without stamps, and shall, together with this act, be good and effectual in law, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, to vest the estate and effects therein comprised in the person or persons to whom the same shall, by order of such Court, be directed to be conveyed and assigned as aforesaid, his, her, or their heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, according to the estate and interest which the prisoner had therein; and every such conveyance and assignment shall be in trust for the benefit of the creditor or creditors of every such prisoner against whom such prisoner shall have obtained his or her discharge by virtue of this act, in respect of and in proportion to the debts justly due to them respectively; and every person and persons to whom any such assignment and conveyance as aforesaid shall be made, is and are hereby empowered to sue from time to time, as there may be occasion, in his, her, or their own name or names, for the recovery and obtaining possession of any estate or effects of any such prisoner, and also to execute any power vested in or created for the use and benefit of any such prisoner, and to give such discharge and discharges to any person or persons who shall respectively be indebted to such prisoner, as may be requisite: Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend to prejudice or affect any estate, interest, or right whatsoever, of any person or persons, other than such prisoner, expectant upon or subject to any estate or interest of such prisoner so vested in such assignee or assignees as aforesaid, but that the estate, interest, and right whatsoever of every other person and persons shall continue and remain and foe secured to him, her, and them respectively, in the same manner as if this act had not been made.

[Assignees to get in the estate and effects of prisoner, and make dividend to the creditors at the end of three months, &c.]

XIX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that every such assignee or assignees as aforesaid shall, with all convenient speed, after his, her, or their accepting such assignment or conveyance, use his or her or their best endeavours to receive and get in the estate and effects of every such prisoner, and shall, with all convenient speed, make sale of all the estate and effects of such prisoner vested in such assignee or assignees; and if such prisoner shall be interested in or entitled to any real estate, either in possession, reversion, or expectancy, the same, within the space of two months after such assignment and conveyance, shall be sold by public auction, in such manner, and at such place or places, as the major part of the creditors of such prisoner entitled to the benefit thereof, who shall assemble together on any notice in writing published in the London Gazette, and in some daily paper printed and published in London, or within the bills of mortality, if the prisoner, before his or her going to prison, resided in London, or within the bills of mortality; and if such prisoner resided elsewhere, then in some printed newspaper which shall be published and generally circulated in or near the county, riding, division, city, town, liberty or place in which such prisoner resided before he or she was committed to prison, thirty days before any such sale shall be made, shall, under his, her, or their hand or hands, approve; and every such assignee or assignees, at the end of three months at the farthest from the time of his, her, or their accepting any such assignment or conveyance as aforesaid, and so from time to time as occasion shall require, shall make a fair and just dividend of all such prisoner’s estate and effects which shall have been then recovered amongst such creditors of such prisoner, from whose demand such prisoner, shall have obtained a discharge as before mentioned, in proportion to the just debts due to them respectively; but before any such dividends shall be made, such assignee or assignees shall make up an account of such prisoner’s estate, and make oath in writing before an officer of the said Court to be appointed for that purpose, or before one or more justice or justices of the peace of the county, riding division, city, town, liberty or place in which such assignee or assignees shall reside, that such account contains a fair and just account of the estate and effects of every such prisoner got in by or for such assignee ur assignees, and of all payments made in respect thereof, and that all payments in every such account charged were truly and bona fide made and paid, which account so sworn shall be filed with the proper officer of.the said Court; and notice of the making of every such dividend shall be published in like manner as a meeting of creditors is herein-before directed to be published, thirty days at least before such dividend shall be made; and no creditor shall be allowed to receive any share of such dividend until he shall have made due proof of his or her debt, by oath, before some such justice or justices of the peace; and if such prisoner, or his or her assignee or assignees, or any creditor of such prisoner, shall object to any debt so claimed, the same shall be examined into by the said Court, who shall have full power for that purpose to require and compel the production of all books, papers, and writings which may be necessary to be produced, as well by the person or persons claiming such debt, as by the prisoner against whom the same shall be claimed, or his or her assignee or assignees, and to examine all such persons and their witnesses on oath, as the, nature of the case may require, and to take all other measures necessary for the due investigation of such claim; and the decision of the said Court upon such, claim shall be conclusive with respect to any dividend of the effects of such prisoner under the provisions of this act.

[Court to compel assignees to give a satisfactory account of the effects of the prisoner.]

XX. And be it further enacted, that in case the prisoner so discharged, or any of his or her creditors, against whom he or she shall have obtained such discharge, shall be dissatisfied with the account of any assignee or assignees, rendered upon oath as aforesaid, or in case any such assignee or assignees shall neglect to render such account, or shall neglect to dispose of the property or collect the effects of such prisoner, or shall in any manner waste or mismanage the estate or effects of such prisoner, or neglect to make a due distribution thereof, it shall be lawful for such Court, upon the application of such prisoner, or of any such creditor as aforesaid, to require such assignee or assignees to render such account on oath as directed by this act, if not before rendered, and to examine any account so rendered, and to inquire into any waste, mismanagement, or neglect of the estate or effects of such prisoner, and direct a proper administration thereof, and ascertain the produce of such estate and effects to be divided amongst the creditors of such prisoner, and direct the distribution thereof accordingly, and to require and compel the production of all books, papers, and writings necessary for such purposes, and to examine all patties and their witnesses on oath, as the case may require, and to take all such measures as shall he necessary for the compelling the rendering of such account and the due investigation thereof and the proper disposition and distribution of the effects of such prisoner according to this act, and to award costs against any of the parties, as justice shall require; and the decisions of the said Court upon all such matters shall be final and conclusive.

[Creditors for annuities, &c. to be entitled to dividends in such manner as if prisoner had become bankrupt, &c.]

XXI. And be it further enacted, that all and every creditor and creditors of any prisoner who shall be discharged by virtue of this act for any sum or sums of money payable by, way of annuity or otherwise, at any future time or times, by virtue of any bond, covenant, or other security of any nature whatsoever, shall be entitled to be admitted a creditor or creditors, and to receive a dividend or dividends of the estate of such prisoner, in such manner; and upon such terms and conditions, as such creditor or creditors would have been entitled under such dividends by the laws now in force, if each prisoner had become bankrupt, and without prejudice in future to their respective securities, otherwise than as the same would have been affected by proof made in respect thereof by the creditor under a commission of bankrupt, and a certificate obtained by the bankrupt under such commission^ but subject nevertheless to the terms of the engagement of such prisoner for future payment of his or her debts, in case such prisoner should become able to pay the same as herein-before directed.

[Interest on debts of prisoner to cease unless his effects are sufficient to bear it.]

XXII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that from the date of any such order of discharge as aforesaid, all interest on any debt bearing interest of the prisoner so discharged, shall cease, and shall not be computed in the amount of such debt in the distribution of the estate and effects of such prisoner under the authority of this act, but if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the said Court that such estate and effects alone or together with the future estate and effects of such prisoner, are not only sufficient for payment of the principal of all the debts of such prisoner payable thereout under the authority of this act, together with all other debts of such prisoner, and to afford such prisoner competent means of future subsistence, but are so considerable as to render it fit that interest should be allowed on debts of such prisoner bearing interest from any period after the date of such order of discharge, it shall be lawful for the said Court to order such interest to be paid accordingly, and to fix the time from which such interest shall be computed, having regard always to the unproductive state of the effects of such prisoner during the administration thereof under the authority of this act.

[Assignees not to commence any suit without the consent of creditors.]

XXIII. And be it further enacted, that no suit in law or equity shall be commenced by any assignee or assignees of any such prisoner’s estate and effects without the consent of the major part in value of the creditors of such prisoner, who shall meet together pursuant to a notice for that purpose, to be given at least ten days before such meeting, in the London Gazette, or other newspaper, as herein-before required previous to the sale of any estate of such prisoner.

[Officer of the Court to produce its proceedings when required.]

XXIV. And be it further enacted, that the proper officer of the Court to be established by virtue of this act shall, on the reasonable request of such prisoner, or of any creditor or creditors of such prisoner, or his, her, or their attorney, produce and shew to such prisoner, creditor or creditors, or his, her, or their attorney, at such times as the said Court shall direct, such petition, schedule, oath, order and judgment, and all other orders and proceedings made and had in such matter;

[Copy to be evidence.]

and that a true copy of every such petition, schedule, oath, order, judgment, and other proceedings, signed by the officer in whose custody the same shall be, or his deputy, certifying the same to be a true copy of such petition, schedule, order, judgment, or other proceeding, as the case maybe, without being written on stamped paper, shall at all times be admitted in all Courts whatever, as legal evidence of the same respectively.

[Mortgages, &c. on the estate of prisoner not to be affected, &c.]

XXV. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that nothing in this act shall extend or be construed to prevent any mortgage, charge, or lien upon the estate of such prisoner, or any part thereof, made prior to the discharge of such prisoner by virtue of this act, to take place upon the lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or personal estate and effects comprised in or charged or affected by such mortgage, charge, or lien respectively, nor to prevent any statute staple, statute merchant, recognizance or judgment, acknowledged by or obtained against any such prisoner, prior to such discharge, to take place upon the lands, tenements, or real estates of such prisoner, and also, where any inquisition shall have been taken upon any statute or recognizance, or any writ or execution shall have been, taken out and delivered to the sheriff or proper officer upon any such judgment, before such prisoner shall have obtained his or her discharge as aforesaid, the personal estate of such prisoner shall be subject thereto, for so much as shall remain due upon such statute, recognizance, or judgment respectively, in like manner as the same would have been subject respectively, if this act had not been made; any thing hereinbefore contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

[Power of leasing of lands, &c. in prisoner, vested in assignees for benefit of his creditor.]

XXVI. And whereas a prisoner who may be entitled to and claim benefit of this act, may be seised and possessed of or entitled to lands, tenements, or hereditaments, to hold to such prisoner for the term of his or her life, or other limited estate, with power of granting leases either at rack rents, or taking fines and reserving small rents for one, two, or three lives, in possession or reversion, or for some number of years determinable upon life or lives, or for years absolute, or may have powers over real, or personal estate, which such prisoner could execute for his or her own advantage, and which said powers ought to be executed for the benefit of the creditors of such prisoner; be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that in every such case all and every the powers of leasing, and all such other powers as aforesaid, over real or personal estate, which are or shall be vested in any such prisoner as aforesaid, shall be and are hereby vested in the assignee or assignees of the real and personal estate of such prisoner by virtue of this act, to be by such assignee or assignees executed for the benefit of all and every the creditors of such prisoner as aforesaid.

[Pay of officer or income of any benefice not to be affected; but the assignees may obtain a sequestration of the profits of such benefice.]

XXVII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that nothing in this Act contained shall extend to entitle the assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of any prisoner being an officer of the army or navy, or beneficed clergyman or curate, to the pay of such officer, or the income of any benefice or curacy, for the purposes of this act: Provided always nevertheless, that it shall be lawful for such assignee or assignees to apply for and obtain a sequestration of the profits of any such benefice, for the payment of the debts of any such clergyman, against which such clergyman shall have obtained a discharge by virtue of this act; and the order for such discharge shall be a sufficient warrant for the granting of such sequestration, without any writ or other proceeding to authorize the same; and such sequestration shall accordingly be issued, as the same might have been issued upon any writ of Levari Facias founded upon any judgment against such clergyman: Provided also, that it shall be lawful for the said Court to order such portion of the pay or half-pay of any such officer of the army or navy, as on communication from the said Court to the secretary at war, or the lords commissioners of the admiralty or their secretary, he or they may respectively consent to by writing under the hand of the said secretary at war, or the lords commissioners or secretary of the admiralty, to be applied in payment of his debts, and for that purpose to be paid to his assignee or assignees, and such order and consent being lodged in the office of the paymaster of His Majesty’s forces, or of the treasurer of the navy, as the case shall require, such paymaster or treasurer shall give directions accordingly, and such proportion of the pay or half-pay of such officer as shall be specified in such order and consent shall be paid to his assignee or assignees, until the said Court shall make order to the contrary.

[Persons forswearing themselves guilty of perjury.]

XXVIII. And be it further enacted, that if any prisoner who shall apply for his or her discharge under the provisions of this act, or any other person taking an oath under the provisions of this act, shall wilfully forswear and perjure himself or herself in any oath to be taken under this act, and shall be lawfully convicted thereof, he or she so offending shall suffer such punishment as by law may be inflicted on persons convicted of wilful and corrupt perjury.

[Prisoner discharged not to be arrested for the same debt.]

XXIX. And be it further enacted, that no prisoner who shall have obtained his or her discharge by virtue of this act, shall at any time after such discharge, so long as the same shall remain in force, be imprisoned by reason of any judgment or decree obtained for payment of money only, or for any debt, damages, contempt for nonpayment of money, costs, or sums of money contracted, incurred, occasioned, owing or growing due, with respect to which such discharge shall have been obtained, but that upon every arrest upon any such judgment or decree, or for any such debt, damage, contempt, costs, sura and sums of money, it shall and may be lawful for any judge of the Court from which any such process shall have issued, upon shewing to such judge the copy of the order for such discharge as aforesaid, and upon affidavit that such discharge still remains in force, to release from custody such prisoner as aforesaid; and at the same time, if such judge shall in his discretion think fit, to order the plaintiff or plaintiffs in such suit or suits, or other person or persons suing out such process, to pay such prisoner the costs which he or she shall have incurred on such occasion, or so much thereof as to such judge shall seem just and reasonable, such prisoner causing a common appearance to be entered for him or her in the action or suit for any such debt as aforesaid.

[Prisoner not to be discharged of any debt incurred subsequent to his application for discharge.]

XXX. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that no prisoner shall be discharged, by virtue of this act, of any debt or other matter accrued or incurred subsequent to the application of such prisoner to be so discharged; and if it shall appear to the Court to be established by virtue of this act, that any prisoner applying to be discharged as aforesaid, stands charged in custody with any debt or other matter accrued or incurred subsequent as well as previous to such application, then and in such case it shall and may be lawful to and for such Court to discharge the person of such prisoner only from such debts or other matters as had accrued or been incurred previous to such application, and to remand him or her back to the custody of the keeper of the prison from whence he or she was brought, for all debts and other matters for which he or she shall stand charged, and which shall have accrued or been incurred subsequent to such application.

[General issue may be pleaded in actions brought for acting under this act.]

XXXI. And be it further enacted, that if any action of escape, or any suit or action be brought against any judge, justice of the peace, sheriff, gaoler, or keeper of any prison, or other person, for performing the duty of his office, in pursuance of this act, such judge, justice, sheriff, gaoler, or keeper, or other person, may plead the general issue, and give this act in evidence, and if the plaintiff be nonsuited or discontinue his or her action, or verdict shall pass against him or her, or judgment should be had upon demurrer, the defendant shall have treble costs.

[Action against prisoner discharged, how to be defended.]

XXXII. And be it further enacted, that if any scire facias, or action of debt, or upon judgment, or any other suit or action, shall be brought against any prisoner, his or her heirs, executors, or administrators, upon any judgment obtained against any such prisoner, or any statute or recognizance acknowledged by him or her, or any other cause of action from which such prisoner shall have obtained his or her discharge by virtue of this act, except under the order of Court to be established by virtue of this act, it shall and maybe lawful for any such prisoner, his or her heirs, executors, or administrators, to plead generally that such prisoner was duly discharged from such debt or demand, according to this act, by the order by which such discharge shall have been obtained, and that such discharge remains in force, without pleading any other matter specially, whereto the plaintiff or plaintiffs shall or may reply generally, and deny the matters pleaded as aforesaid, or reply any other matter or thing which may shew the defendant or defendants not to be entitled to the benefit of this act, or that such prisoner was not duly discharged according to the provisions of this act, in the same manner as the plaintiff or plaintiffs might have replied, in case the defendant or defendants had pleaded this act, and his discharge by virtue of this act specially; and if the plaintiff or plaintiffs be nonsuited, discontinue his or her action, or verdict pass against him, her, or them, or judgment shall be had on demurrer, the defendant or defendants shall have double costs.

[Prisoner wantonly wasting his effects in prison, not entitled to the benefit of this act.]

XXXIII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that in case it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Court to be established by virtue of this act, that any prisoner who shall apply for a discharge by virtue of this act, has wantonly wasted his or her estate or effects whilst in prison, or fraudulently disposed thereof, or any part thereof, with intent to deprive his or her just creditors of the benefit thereof, or has wilfully remained in prison, although entitled to be discharged therefrom by virtue of this act, or otherwise with intent to consume his or her property in prison, instead of applying the same to the discharge of his or her just debts, such prisoner shall not be entitled to the benefit of this act, unless on special circumstances the said Court shall think fit to grant such discharge.

[Attorneys, servants, or agents, &c. embezzling money, not entitled to the benefit of this act, unless the creditors consent, or the prisoner has been confined ten years.]

XXXIV. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that nothing in this act contained shall extend or be construed to extend to release or discharge any attorney at law, solicitor, or any other person acting or pretending to act as such with regard to any debt or demand for any money or other effects recovered or received by him for the use of any person or persons, bodies corporate or politic, and by any such attorney, solicitor, or other person acting as such, embezzled, concealed, or converted to his own use; or to release or to discharge any servant or other person employed or entrusted as such, with regard to any debt or demand for or on account of any money, goods, or other effects received or possessed by him or her for the use and account of his or her master or masters, or employer or employers, and by such servant or other person so embezzled, concealed, or converted to his or her own use; or to release or discharge any person with regard to any debt or demand arising from or created by any breach of trust or confidence, any thing herein contained to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding; unless the person or persons to whom such debt or demand shall be due or owing shall consent to the discharge of such prisoner by virtue of this act, or unless such prisoner shall have been confined in prison for such debt or demand for the space of ten years before the time when such prisoner shall apply for his or her discharge by virtue of this act.

[No prisoner obtaining credit by false pretences, or removing effects liable to be distrained for rent, entitled to the benefit of this act, unless the creditors consent, or prisoner has been confined five years.]

XXXV. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that no prisoner who knowingly and designedly, by false pretence or pretences, or under any fictitious name or names, assumed for the purposes of obtaining credit, or by any other fraudulent means, shall have obtained from any person or persons money, goods, wares, merchandizes, bonds, bills of exchange, promissory notes, or other securities for money, or other effects; or who shall have contracted any debt by fraudulently obtaining false credit or by any other fraudulent means, or who shall have fraudulently removed or cause to have been been removed any stock, cattle, goods, or effects of the value of thirty pounds or upwards, which were subject or liable to be distrained by his or her landlord or landlords for any rent or rents, whereby such landlord or landlords shall have lost all or some part of such rent or rents, shall have any discharge by or under this act, from the debt or demand arising from or remaining due in consequence of such fraudulent conduct; unless the person or persons who shall be entitled to such debt or demand shall consent to the discharge of such prisoner by virtue of this act, or such prisoner shall have been confined in prison for such debt or demand for the space of five years before the time when such prisoner shall apply for his or her discharge by virtue of this act.

[Prisoner suffering bail to be charged, not discharged but on certain conditions.]

XXXVI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that no prisoner who shall have suffered any person, who has become bail or surety for such prisoner, to be charged in respect of such bail or surety, shall be discharged by virtue of this act from any debt or demand conditions, arising on such account, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to such debt or demand.

[Prisoner charged in execution for damages recovered in certain actions, not entitled to discharge without consent of the person injured, or unless he shall have been confined five years.]

XXXVII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that no prisoner who shall be charged in execution for damages recovered in any action for criminal conversation with the wife of the plaintiff in such action, or in any action for seducing or carnally knowing the daughter or female servant of the plaintiff in such action, or in any action for a malicious prosecution, or in any action for any other malicious injury, shall have any discharge from such debt or damages under this act, unless the person or persons entitled to the benefit of such debt or damages shall consent to the discharge of such prisoner by virtue of this act; or unless such prisoner shall have been confined in prison, for such debt or damage, for the space of five years before the time when such prisoner shall apply for his or her discharge under this act.

[Nor any bankrupt who shall not have obtained his certificate, &c.]

XXXVIII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that no prisoner against whom any commission of bankrupt shall have issued and shall remain in force, and who shall not have obtained a certificate of his or her conformity to the several statutes concerning bankrupts under such commission, shall be entitled to be discharged by virtue of this act from any debt for which such prisoner shall be detained in custody, and which might have been proved under such commission, unless such prisoner shall have been so detained in prison for the space of five years before the time when such prisoner shall apply for his or her discharge under this act.

[Prisoner assigning his estate after his imprisonment, so that his creditors cannot have the benefit thereof, shall lose the benefit he might have claimed under this act.]

XXXIX. And whereas debtors may, with a view to defraud their creditors, sell, transfer, convey, or assign their estate and effects, or some part thereof, but it may be difficult to prove that such sale or transfer, conveyance or assignment, was made with a fraudulent design; be it enacted, that whenever it shall be proved by one or more credible witness or witnesses, or by the confession of any prisoner who shall apply for his or her discharge by virtue of this act, that such prisoner has, since the time of contracting any debt of or from which he or she shall so seek to be discharged, sold, transferred, conveyed, or assigned to any person or persons all or any part of his estate or effects subsequent to the time of his imprisonment, without just cause for so doing (to be determined by the Court to be established by virtue of this act), and such sale, transfer, conveyance, or assignment shall remain in force, so that the creditors of such prisoner cannot have the benefit of such estate or effects under this act, without suit at law or, equity, every such prisoner shall lose all the benefit and advantage that he or she ought otherwise have claimed under the authority of this act, unless all the creditors of such prisoner against whom such prisoner shall seek to be discharged by virtue of this act will consent to such discharge.

[Prisoner losing money by gaming not to have the benefit of this act, unless with consent of creditors, or unless he has been confined five years.]

XL. And whereas many prisoners squander their property by playing at cards, dice, and other unlawful games whilst in prison, to the great injury of their creditors; be it enacted, that nothing in this act shall extend or be construed to extend to discharge or release any prisoner who hath or shall have lost, since the time of his or her commitment to prison for any debt with which he or she Shall stand charged at the time when application shall be made for his or her discharge by virtue of this act, the sum or value of ten pounds in any one day, or fifty pounds in the whole, since such commitment as aforesaid, in playing at or with cards, dice, tables, tennis, bowls, billiards, or any other game or games whatsoever, or in or by bearing a share or part in the stakes, wagers, or adventures, or in or by betting on the sides or hands of such as do play as aforesaid, unless all the creditors of such prisoner against whom such prisoner shall seek to be discharged by virtue of this act shall consent to such discharge, or unless such prisoner shall have been confined in prison for the space of five years at the least, since the time when any such money was so lost as aforesaid.

[Prisoner who shall have made conveyance of his estate in trust for particular creditors not to have the benefit of this act.]

XLI. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that if any prisoner seeking the benefit of this act shall appear to the Court to whom application shall be made for such purpose, to have made, within five years before the application of such prisoner to be discharged by virtue of this act, any conveyance or assignment of all or any part of his or her estate or effects in trust or otherwise for the benefit of any particular creditor or creditors, with intent to give an undue preference to such creditor or creditors, and afterwards to obtain a discharge from the demands of any other creditor or creditors by virtue of this act, such prisoner shall have no benefit of this act, unless such person or persons for whose benefit any such conveyance or assignment shall have been made shall first relinquish the same; and all such estate and effects shall be conveyed or delivered to such person or persons as the Court shall direct, for the benefit of all the creditors of such prisoner under the provisions of this act; or unless all the creditors against whom such discharge shall be sought shall consent thereto.

[Assignees may apply to the Court to have the prisoner who has obtained his discharge, further examined.]

XLII. And whereas the estates both real and personal of any prisoner who may be discharged by virtue of this act may not be sufficiently described or discovered in the schedule before directed to be delivered upon oath by such prisoner, or the assistance of such prisoner may be necessary to adjust, make out, recover or manage his estate or effects for the benefit of his or her creditors; be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the assignee and assignees of the estate and effects of any such prisoner who shall obtain his or her discharge in pursuance of this set, from time to time to apply to the Court to be established by virtue of this act, that such prisoner may be further examined as to any matters or things relating to his or her estate and effects, either by such Court, or by any justice of the peace for the County, riding, division, or place where such prisoner shad then reside; and if such Court shall direct any such examination before any such justice, such justice shall send for or call before him such prisoner, by such warrant, summons, ways or means as he shall think fit; and if such prisoner shall appear before such justice, such justice shall examine him or her upon oath, or otherwise, as to such- matters and things as such assignee or assignees shall desire relating to the estate and effects of such prisoner; and if any such prisoner, on payment or tender of payment of such reasonable charges as such justice shall judge sufficient, shall neglect or refuse to appear before such justice, not having a lawful excuse allowed by such justice, or being come before such justice shall refuse to be sworn or to answer such questions as by such justice shall be put to him or her, relating to the discovery of his or her estate and effects vested or intended to be vested in such assignee or assignees as aforesaid, as required by the order of the said Court, such justice shall certify such default to the said Court, and thereupon, and also in case such prisoner shall neglect or refuse to appear before such Court to be examined by such Court, if the Court shall think fit so to order, or appearing before such Court shall refuse to be sworn, or to answer such questions as shall be put to him or her relating to the discovery of his or her said estate or effects, then and in any of such cases it shall be lawful for the commissioner of such Court, by warrant under his hand and seal, to commit such prisoner so offending to the common gaol of any county or place, there to remain without bail or mainprize, until such time as he or she shall submit himself or herself to such commissioner, and answer upon oath or otherwise as shall be required, to all such lawful questions as shall by such commissioner be put or ordered to be put to him or her for the purposes aforesaid.

[Assignees, with consent of majority of creditors, may take composition from the debtors of prisoner.]

XLIII. And be it further enacted, that it shall and may be lawful all times hereafter, for any assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of any prisoner discharged by virtue of this act, by and with the consent of the major part in value of the creditors of such prisoner who shall be present at a meeting to be had on twenty-one days notice being previously given for the purpose in the London Gazette, if the prisoner was in custody in or within the weekly bills of mortality, at the time of his or her discharge, and if not, then in some newspaper which shall be published and circulated in the county, city, or place in or near which such prisoner shall have been so in custody, to make composition with any person who shall be a debtor or accountant to such prisoner, where a composition shall appear necessary or reasonable, and to take such reasonable part of any debt due to such prisoner as can upon any such composition be gotten, in fair discharge of such debt, and also to submit to arbitration any difference or dispute between such assignee or assignees, and any person or persons, for or on account or by reason of any matter, cause, or thing relative to the estate or effects of such prisoner; and every such assignee or assignees is or are hereby indemnified for what he, she, or they shall fairly do in the premises, in pursuance of this act.
[Court may hear complaints against assignees, and may remove them.]

XLIV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Court to be established by virtue of this act, from time to time, upon the petition of any prisoner, or of any creditor or creditors of such prisoner, complaining of any insufficiency, fraud, or misconduct of any assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of such prisoner, to summon all parties concerned, and upon hearing the parties concerned, to make and give such orders and directions therein, either for the removal of such assignee or assignees, and appointing any new assignee or assignees in the place of such assignee or assignees so to be removed, and for the prudent, just, and equitable management and distribution of the estate and effects of any such prisoner; for the benefit of his or her creditors, as the said Court shad think fit; and in ease of the removal of any assignee or assignees, and the appointing of any new assignee or assignees, the estate and effects of such prisoner shall from thenceforth be divested out of the assignee or assignees so removed, and be vested in and delivered over to such new assignee or assignees, in the same manner and for the same intents and purposes as the same were before vested in the assignee or assign nets first appointed; any thing in this act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

[In case of death or incapacity of assignee, another to be appointed.]

XLV. And be it further enacted, that in case of the death or incapacity of any assignee of the estate and effects of any prisoner discharged by virtue of this act, or in case any assignee shall be unwilling to act as assignee, it shall and may be lawful to and for any creditor of such prisoner to apply to the said Court to appoint a new assignee or assignees, with like powers and authorities as are given by this act to the original assignee or assignees; and the said Court shall have power to appoint such new assignee or assignees, and to oblige any assignee who shall be removed, and the heirs, executors, administrators and assigns of any deceased assignee, to account for and deliver up all such estate and effects, books, papers, writings, deeds, and all other evidences relating thereto, as shall remain in his, her, or their hands, to be applied for the purposes of this act; and the decision of the said Court thereupon shall be final and conclusive.

[Assignees, &c. not paying over balance of estate in their hands to be proceeded against.]

XLVI. And be it further enacted, that in case any assignee or assignees of the estate and effects of any prisoner discharged by virtue of this act, or the heirs, executors, or administrators of any deceased assignee or assignees, shall not deliver over any part of such estate or effects, or pay the balance of the produce of any such estate or effects found to be in the hands of such deceased assignee or assignees, or of such heirs, executors, or administrators as aforesaid, according to the order of the said Court, it shall be lawful for the said Court, by warrant under the hand and seal of the said commissioner, directed to the proper officer of the said Court to be appointed for that purpose, to order the person or persons disobeying such order to be arrested, and committed to the next county gaol, there to remain, without bail or mainprize, until such person or persons shall have obeyed such order, and paid all such costs as the said Court shall award to be paid in respect thereof, or until such Court shall make other order to the contrary.

[Persons committed for contempt of Courts, in not paying costs, &c. entitled to the benefit of this act.]

XLVII. And whereas persons are often committed by the courts of law and equity for contempts in not paying money ordered or awarded to be paid, and also for not paying of costs duly and regularly taxed and allowed by the proper officer, after proper demands made for that purpose, and also upon the writ de excommunicato capiendo, or other process, for or grounded on the non-payment of money, costs or expenses, in some cause or proceeding in some ecclesiastical court, or for contempt of such court by non-payment of money, costs, or expenses; be it further enacted, that all such persons so committed shall be entitled to the benefit of this act, on and subject to the came terms, conditions, and restrictions, as are herein expressed and declared with respect to prisoners for debt only.

[Affirmation of a quaker to be taken instead of an oath.]

XLVIII. And be it further enacted, that in all cases wherein by this act an oath at required, the solemn affirmation of any person being a quaker shall and may be accepted and taken in lieu thereof; and every person making such affirmation, who shall be convicted of wilful false affirmation, shall incur and suffer such and the same penalties as are inflicted and imposed upon persons convicted of wilful and corrupt perjury.

[Proceedings in Court may be amended.]

XLIX. And whereas prisoners claiming the benefit of this act may be liable to be deprived of such benefit on account of mere mutters of form, or errors or omissions in their petitions, schedules, or other proceedings directed by this act; be it further enacted, that It shall and may be lawful to and for the Court to be established by virtue of this act, to amend matters of form, and to supply omissions, or to correct errors in the petition, schedule, or other proceedings directed by this act, in case the same shall appear to the said Court to have arisen from ignorance, mistake, or inadvertency, and not to have been wilful and fraudulent; any thing herein-before contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

[Persons taking the benefit of any Insolvent act within five years, not entitled to relief.]

L. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that no person who shall have taken the benefit of any act heretofore passed for the Belief of insolvent debtors shall have the benefit of this act, or be deemed to be within the intent and meaning thereof, so as to be discharged under the same, until the expiration of the term of five years from the time of each former discharge, any thing hereinbefore contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding; unless from special circumstances the said Court should be of opinion that It would be just and reasonable that such prisoner should be again discharged by virtue of this act.

[Crown debtors or persons committed for offences against the revenue, not entitled to the benefit of this act.

LI. Provided always,and be it farther enacted, that this act shall not extend, or be construed to extend, to discharge any prisoner seeking the benefit of this act, with respect to any debt or penalty with which he or she shall stand charged at the suit of the crown, or of any person for any offence committed against any act or acts of parliament relative to His Majesty’s revenues of customs, excise, stamp, or salt duties, or any of them, or any branches of the said public revenue, or at the suit of any sheriff or other public officer, upon any bail bond entered into for the appearance of any person prosecuted for any offence committed against any act or acts of parliament relative to His Majesty’s said revenues of customs, excise, stamps, or salt duties, or any other branches of public revenue, unless three of the lords commissioners of His Majesty’s treasury for the time being shall certify under their hands their consent to the discharge of such prisoner, upon the terms and conditions prescribed by this act.

[Prisoner discharged, not entitled to the like benefit with in five years, unless debts be necessarily incurred, &c.]

LII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that no person who shall have been at any time discharged by virtue of this act shall again be entitled to the benefit thereof within the space of five years after such discharge, unless three-fourths in number and value of the creditors against whom such person shall seek to be discharged by virtue of this act shall signify his, her, or their assent to such discharge, or it shall be made appear to the satisfaction of the Court to be established by virtue of this act, that such person has since his or her former discharge endeavoured by industry and frugality to pay all just demands upon him or her, and has incurred no unnecessary expense, and that the debts which such person has incurred, subsequent to such former discharge, have been necessarily incurred for the maintenance of such person, or his or her family, or that the insolvency of such person has arisen from misfortune, or from inability to acquire subsistence for himself or herself, and his or her family, or from debts incurred prior to such former discharge to which such discharge did not extend, or from debts incurred subsequent to such discharge in consequence of engagements entered into or acts done prior to such discharge.

[Act not to extend to foreigners, except in certain cases.]

LIII. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that no person, not being a natural-born subject of this realm, shall have the benefit of this act, except under such circumstances, and on such terms and conditions, as to the said Court to be established by virtue of this act shall seem fit and reasonable; any thing in this act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

[Time to be allowed to answer objection to the discharge of prisoner.]

LIV. Provided always and be it further enacted, that if any objection shall be made to the discharge of any prisoner on the ground of any misconduct of such prisoner, and it shall appear to the said Court that such prisoner might not have been aware of such objection so as to be able to answer the same, such Court shall allow such prisoner sufficient time to answer such objection j and shall also, if necessary, require such objection to be stated in writing to such prisoner, so that such prisoner may be fully apprized thereof.

[Court empowered to discharge notwithstanding objection on the ground of misconduct.]

LV. Provided also, and be it further enacted, that in case it shall appear to the satisfaction of the said Court, that any misconduct which shall be attributed to any prisoner to prevent his or her discharge, although strictly within the intent and meaning of this act, was nevertheless attended with such circumstances, or the injury thereby done was to so small an amount, that it may not be fit that such prisoner should on that account be deprived of the benefit of this Act, it shall be lawful for the said Court to discharge such prisoner, notwithstanding any objection founded on such misconduct, either in the same maimer as if such objection had not been made, or on such further terms and conditions as to the said Court shall appear reasonable, in consequence of such misconduct:

[Debt contracted fraudulently not to be discharged.]

Provided also, that in case it shall appear to the satisfaction of the said Court, that any debt contracted by any prisoner seeking to be discharged by virtue of this act, was contracted under any fraudulent circumstances not specially provided for by this act, it shall be lawful for the said Court to except such debt from the discharge to be granted to such prisoner, either absolutely, or upon such terms nod conditions as to the said Court shall appear to be proper; and if such prisoner shall be in actual custody for such debt, it shall be lawful for the said Court to remand such prisoner according to the determination of the said Court upon such debt.

[Proceedings to be taken in cases of prisoners of unsound mind.]

LVI. And be it further enacted, that if any person who shall at any time be a prisoner in any such prison as aforesaid, upon any such process as aforesaid, shall be or become of unsound mind, and therefore incapable of taking the benefit of this act in such manner as he or she might have done if of sound mind, the gaoler of keeper of such prison shall forthwith require oue or more justice or justices of the peace for the county, riding, division or place wherein such prison shall be, to attend at the said prison, and inquire into the slate of mind of such prisoner; and thereupon, and also in case any such justice or justices shall receive information by other means that any such prisoner is of unsound mind as aforesaid, 8uch justice or justices shall go to the said prison, and by his, her, or their own view, and bv examination on oath of such person or persons as he or they shall think fit to examine, shall inquire into the state of mind of such prisoner; and if it shall appear to such justice or justices upon such inquiry that such prisoner is Of unsound mind, and therefore incapable of taking the benefit of this get in such manner as a person of sound mind might do, such justice or justices shall forthwith make a record of the fact, and certify the same to the Court to be established by virtue of this act; and thereupon it shall be lawful for such Court, at the instance of any person or persons on behalf of 6uch prisoner, to order notice to be inserted in the London Gazette, and in two or more public newspapers usually circulated in the neighbourhood of such prison, and in the neighbourhood of the usual residence of such prisoner before he or she was committed to such prison, as the said Court shall see fit, and shall in such order specify and direct that application will be made to such Court for the discharge of such prisoner, on a day to he specified in such order, being twenty days at the least from the day of publication of such one of such gazette and newspapers containing such notice as shall be last published; which notice, together with service of the like notice on the creditor or creditors at whose suit such prisoner shall be detained in custody, or his, her, or their attorney or attorneys in such suit, shall be deemed sufficient to authorise the said Court to proceed to the discharge of such prisoner, if otherwise entitled to such discharge, according to the true intent and meaning of such act; and such Court shall proceed accordingly, and shall discharge such prisoner, in case, it shell appear that such prisoner might have obtained his or her discharge under this act, if of sound wind; and thereupon such Court shall direct a conveyance and assignment to be made of the estate and effects of such prisoner, and engagement for the payment of his or her debts, according to the provisions of this act, to be executed by the clerk of the said Court in the name and on the behalf of such prisoner; which conveyance, assignment, and engagement shall be made accordingly, unless such prisoner shall nave been found a person of unsound mind by inquisition taken under a commission in the nature of a writ de lunatico inquirendo, in which case such conveyance, assignment, and engagement shall be executed by the committee or committees of such lunatic, in such manner as shall be directed by the lord chancellor, lord keeper, or lords commissioners for the custody of the great seal of the United Kingdom, or such person or persons as shall be authorized by the royal sign manual to provide for the care and custody of the persons and estates of persons found lunatic by inquisition; and such conveyance, assignment, and engagement so made, shall be sufficient to all intents and purposes to vest the property of such prisoner in the person or persons to whom the same shall be directed by the said Court to be conveyed and assigned, and shall bind such prisoner, his or her heirs, executors, and administrators, as fully and effectually as if such conveyance, assignment, and engagement respectively had been duly executed by such prisoner.

[Commissioner of the Court to appoint officers.]

LVII. And be it further enacted, that it shall be lawful for the commissioner of the Court to be established by virtue of this act, to appoint such and so many officers of such Court for carrying into execution the purposes of this act, as the lord chancellor, lord keeper, or lords commissioners for the custody of the great seal of the United Kingdom, together with the lord chief justices of the King’s Bench and Common Pleas, and the chief baron of the Exchequer for the time being, shall from time to time deem to be necessary and expedient for such purposes; and such Court shall be always open, and shall be ordinarily holden income convenient place or places in the cities of London or Westminster, or in the county of Middlesex, within the bills of mortality.

[Court of Appeal.]

LVIII. And be it further enacted, that one of the judges of one of the Courts of King’s Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer at Westminster, shall be nominated and appointed by such Courts on the first day of every term after the passing of this act, to be a judge of a court of appeal from the Court to be established by virtue of this act; and such court of appeal shall hear and determine all appeals from any orders of the Court to be established by virtue of this act, except such orders as are herein specially directed to be final and conclusive; and such Court of appeal shall have full power to affirm, reverse, or alter any such order, except as aforesaid, as to such Court of appeal shall seem just and reasonable, with or without costs; and the decisions of such Court of appeal shall in all cases be final and conclusive.

[Continuance of act.]

LIX. And be it further enacted, that this act shall continue in force until the first day of November in the year one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and thenceforth until the end of the then next session of parliament, and no longer.

[Act may be repealed this session.]

LX. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that this act or any part thereof may be repealed or altered by any act or acts to be made in this present session of parliament.

See also: 54 George 3 c.23; 56 George 3 c.102.

Source: Nicholls, The Practice of the Court of Relief for Insolvent Debtors, 4th ed.

Further reading: Wikipedia.