39 Elizabeth c.6: An Acte to reforme Deceiptes and Breaches of Trust towching Landes given to Charitable Uses.
WHEREAS divers Colledges Hospitalles Almes Houses and other places within this Realme of Englande have bene founded and ordeyned, somme of them by the Quenes most Excellent Majesty and by other her noble Progenytors, and somme by other godly and weldisposed persons, for the Charitable Releife of pore aged and ympotent People maymed Soldyers Scholes of Learninge Orphanes and for such other good charitable and lawfull purposes and yntentes And where divers Lands Tenementes and Hereditamentes Leases Goodes and Chattels have bene given limitted and appointed for the like charitable good and lawfull Uses Intentes and Purposes, as also for Reparacion of High waies Amendmentes of Bridges and Sea Banckes, for the Maintenaunce of Fre Schooles and pore Schollers, as also for the Releife and preferment of Orphanes and fatherles Children, and such like good lawfull and charitable Uses; which Landes Tenementes and Hereditamentes Goods Leases and Chattelles have bene and are still like to be most unlawfully and uncharitably converted to the Lucre and Gayne of somme fewe greedy and covetous persons contrary to the true intente and meaning of the givers and disposers thereof: To thende such godly and charitable purposes and uses may be from henceforth observed and contynued according to the true intent and meaning of the Givers and Founders thereof and according to the true entent and meaning of any the foresaid good godly and charitable uses and intentes: Be it enacted by the Queene our Soveraigne Lady the Lordes Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parliamente assembled, and by the Auctority of the same, That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Lord Chauncellor or [Lorde] Keper of the Greate Seale of Englande for the tyme being and for the Chauncellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster, for the tyme being for Landes within the County Palantyne of Lancaster, from tyme to tyme to award Commissions under the Great Seale of Englande or the Seale of the County Palentyne, as the case shall require, into all or any parte or partes of this Realme respectively according to their severall jurisdicions as aforesaid, to the Byshop of every severall Dyoces and his Chauncellor, and to other persons of good and sounde behaviour, auctorising them thereby to enquire as well by the Oathes of Twelve lawfull men of the County, as by all other good and lawfull wayes and meanes, of all and singuler such Guiftes Lymittacions and Purposes, and of the Abuses and Misdemeanors Misimploymentes Falsityes defrauding of the Trustes Intentes and Purposes Alyenacions or Mysgovernmentes, which have bene had or at any tyme hereafter shalbe had or made, and of all and every other Matter Thing and Cause whereby or by meanes whereof the good and godly uses aforesaid cannot or may not be maynteyned executed and performed, according to the true intent and meaning of the Donours or Founders, and according to the true entent and meaning of any the foresaid good godly and charitable uses and intentes; And after such Inquiry made, uppon hearing and examyning thereof, to set downe such Orders Judgement and Decrees as the said good godly and charitable uses may be truely observed in full ample and most liberall sort, according to the true intent and meaning of the Founders or Donoures thereof; which Orders Judgementes and Decrees, not being contrary or repugnant to the Orders Statutes or Decrees of the Donoures or Founders, shall by the auctority of this present Parliament stande fyrme and good according to the teanour and purport thereof.
PROVIDED ALWAYES, That neyther this Act nor any thing therein conteyned shall in any waies extende to any Colledges Halles or Howses of Learning within the Universityes of Oxforde or Cambridge, or to the Colledges of Westminster Eaton or Wynchester, or any of them, nor to the Landes Revenues or Possessions thereunto belonging; neyther to any Cathedrall Churche within this Realme of Englande, nor to the Landes or Possessions thereunto apperteyning or belonging.
PROVIDED ALSO, That neyther this Acte nor any thing therein shall extende to any Citty or Towne Corporate, or to any the Landes or Tenementes given to the uses aforesaid within any such Citty or Towne Corporate, where there is a speciall Governor or Governors appointed to governe or direct such Landes Tenementes or Thinges disposed to any the uses aforesaid; neyther to any Colledge Hospitall or Free Schole which have specyall Vysitors Governors or Overseers appointed them by their Founders.
PROVIDED ALSO and be it enacted by the auctority aforesaid, That neyther this Acte nor any thing therein conteyned shalbe any way prejudicyall or hurtfull to the Jurisdiccion or Power of the Ordynary, but that he may lawfully in every cause execute and performe the same as thoughe this Acte had never bene had or made.
PROVIDED ALSO, That no person or persons that hath or shall have any of the Landes Tenementes or Hereditamentes Goodes or Chattels, given lymitted or appoynted to or for any the Uses Purposes or Intentes aforesaid, shall intermeddle as a Commissioner in any the Causes aforesaid.
PROVIDED ALWAYES and it is further enacted by the auctority aforesaid, That all such Orders Judgementes and Decrees as shalbe so set downe by the said Commyssioners as is aforesaid, shalbe certified under the Seales of the said Commissioners eyther into the Court of the Chauncery of Englande, or into the Court of the Chauncery within the County Palatyne of Lancaster, as the case shall require respectively according to their severall Jurisdiccions, within such convenyent tyme as shalbe lymitted in the said Commyssions; and that the said Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper, and the said Chauncellor of the Dutchy shall and may within their said severall Jurisdiccions, take such order for the due Execucion of all or any of the said Judgementes Decrees and Orders as to eyther of them shall seeme fitt and convenyent: and that yf after any such certyficatt or certyficates made any person or persons shall finde themselves greived with any of the said Orders Judgementes or Decrees, that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for them or any of them to complayne in that behalfe unto the said Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper, or to the Chauncellor of the said Dutchy of Lancaster, according to their severall Jurisdiccions, for Redresse therein: And that uppon such Complaynte the said Lord Chauncellor or Lord Keeper, or the said Chauncellor of the Duchy, may according to their said severall Jurisdiccions, procede to the examynacion hearing and determyning hereof as to eyther of them in their said severall Jurisdiccions shalbe thought to stande with Equity and good Conscyence; any Thinge in this Acte conteyned to the contrary hereof in any wyse notwithstanding.