Anno Regni
G E O R G I I II

R E G I S

Magnae Britanniae, Franciae, & Hiberniae,

VICESIMO SECUNDO.

At the Parliament begun and holden at Westminster, the Tenth Day of November, Anno Dom. 1747, in the Twenty first Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.

And from thence continued by several Prorogations to the Twenty ninth day of November, 1748, being the Second Session of this present Parliament.
[CREST]


L O N D O N:

Printed by Thomas Baskett, Printer to the King'’s most Excellent Majesty and by the Assigns of Robert Baskett 1749.

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Anno vicesimo secundo

Georgii II. Regis.

An Act for encouraging the People known by the Name of Unitas Fratrum or United Brethren, to settle in His Majesty’s Colonie in America.

[W]hereas many of the People of 1 the Church or Congregations called the Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren, are settled in His Majesty's Colonies in America, and demean themselves there as a sober, quiet, and industrious People ; and many others of the same Persuasion are desirous to transport themselves to, and make larger Settlements in the said Colonies at their own Expence, provided they may be indulged with a full Liberty of Conscience, and in the Exercise of the Religion they profess ; and several of the said Brethren do conscientiously scruple the taking of an Oath, and likewise do conscientiously scruple bearing Arms, or personally serving in any military Capacity, although they are willing and ready to contribute whatever Sums of Money shall be thought a reasonable Compensation for such Service, and which shall be necessary for the Defence and Support of His Majesty's Person and Government ; And whereas the said Congregations

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are an ancient Protestant Episcopal Church, which has been countenanced and relieved by the Kings of England, Your Majesty's Predecessors ; And whereas the Encouraging the said People to settle in America will be beneficial to the said Colonies ; therefore may it please Your Majesty, at the humble Petition of Abraham Baron of Gersdorff, Lewis Baron of Schrautenbach free Lord of Lindheim, David Nitschmann Syndic, Charles Sehachmann Baron of Hermsdorff, and Henry Cossart Agent, Deputies from the said Moravian Churches, in Behalf of themselves and their United Brethren, that it may be enacted ; and be it therefore 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, 2 That from and after the Twenty fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and forty nine, every Person being a Member of the said Protestant Episcopal Church, known by the Name of Unitas Fratrum, or the United Brethren, and which Church was formerly settled in Moravia and Bohemia, and are now in Prussia, Poland, Silesia, Lusatia, Germany, the United Provinces, and also in his Majesty's Dominions, who shall be required upon any lawful Occasion to take an Oath in any Case where by Law an Oath is or shall be required, shall, instead of the usual form, be permitted to make his or her solemn Affirmation or Declaration in there Words following:

I A. B. do declare in the Presence of the Almighty God, the Witness of the Truth of what I say.3

Which said solemn Affirmation or Declaration shall be adjudged and taken, and is hereby enacted and declared to be of the same Force and Effect, to all Intents and Purposes, in all Courts of Justice, and other Places where by Law an Oath is or shall be required within the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, and also in all and every of His Majesty's Colonies and Dominions in America, as if such Person had taken an Oath in the usual form. 4

And 5 be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That any Person making such solemn Affirmation or Declaration, who shall be lawfully convicted, wilfully, falsely, and corruptly to have affirmed or declared any Matter or Thing, which, if the same had been deposed on Oath in the usual form, would have amounted to wilful and

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corrupt Perjury, every such Person so offending shall incur the same Pains and Penalties, as by the Law and Statutes of this Realm are enacted against Persons convicted of wilful and corrupt Perjury.

Provided, and be it enacted, That no Person being of 6 the said Church or Congregation called the Moravian or United Brethren, shall by virtue of this Act be qualified to give Evidence in any Criminal Causes, or to serve on Juries ; any thing contained in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted, That every Person who is 7 a Member of the said Church or Congregation, who shall reside in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America, who shall at any Time after the said Twenty fourth Day of June, One thousand seven hundred and forty nine, be summoned to bear Arms, or do military Service, in any of His Majesty's said Colonies or Provinces of America, shall on his Application to the Governor or Commander in Chief of the said Colony or Province, or to such Officer or Person, by whom such Person shall have been summoned or required to serve, or be mustered, be discharged from such Personal Service ; provided that such 8 Person, so desiring to be discharged from such Personal Service, contribute and pay such Sum of Money as shall be rated and assessed on him in lieu of such Personal Service, so as such Sum shall be rated, assessed and levied, and be in such Proportion, as is usually rated, assessed, levied, and paid, by other Persons residing in the same Colony or Province, who are by reason of Age, Sex, or other Infirmity unable to do Personal Service, and who are possessed of Estates of the same Nature as the Persons desiring such Discharge.

And to prevent any Doubt which may arise, whether 9 any Person, pretending or claiming to be a Member of such Church or Congregation, is actually a Member thereof, be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person and Persons whatsoever, who shall, as a Member or Members of such Church or Congregation, claim the Benefit of this Act, or of any Matter or Thing herein contained, shall, at the time when he or they make such Claim, produce a Certificate signed by some Bishop of the said Church, or by the Pastor of such Church or Congregation who shall be nearest to the Place where such Claim is made ; and shall be examined concerning the Matters contained in the said Certificate, and the due Execution thereof ; and such Person so affirming to the best of his Knowledge and Belief in Manner herein before mentioned, or proving by the Testimony of the other

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legal Witnesses, that the said Certificate was duly executed by such Bishop or Pastor ; and also affirming, that he is actually a Member of the said Church, known by the Name of Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren, shall be adjudged, deemed, and taken to be actually a Member of the said Church or Congregation, and as such shall be intitled to the Benefit of this Act.

And 10 be it further enacted, That any Person who shall be lawfully convicted of having wilfully, falsely, and corruptly affirmed or declared in Manner aforesaid, that such Certificate was duly executed, or that he is a Member of such Church, when, in fact, such Affirmation is untrue, such Person so falsely Affirming, and being duly convicted thereof, shall incur the same Pains and Penalties, as by the Law and Statutes of this Realm are enacted against Persons convicted of wilful and corrupt Perjury.

And 11 that it may be known whether such Bishops and Pastors, so signing such Certificates, be of the Church known by the Name of Unitas Fratrum, or United Brethren, within the Meaning of this Act, be it further enacted, That the Advocate of the said Church or Congregation of the United Brethren for the time being, shall lay, or cause to be laid before The Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, in order that the same may remain in their Office, a List or Lists of all the Bishops of the said Church of the United Brethren, who are appointed by them to grant Certificates as aforesaid, together with their Handwriting, and usual Seal ; and that, from time to time, the said Advocate shall send to the said Commissioners for Trade and Plantations the Names, Hand-writing, and Seals of any Bishops, that shall be hereafter consecrated and appointed by them as aforesaid, and the Names of such Pastors as shall be authorized by the said Advocate or Bishops to give Certificates in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America.

And 12 be it enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid, That this act shall be deemed, adjudged, and taken to be a Publick Act ; and shall be judicially taken Notice of as such by all Judges, Justices, and other Persons whatsoever, without specially pleading the same.

F I N I S


Marginal Summaries

1 Preamble.
2 Those Brethren who scruple the taking of an Oath, allowed to make a solemn Affirmation in lieu thereof.
3 Form of Affirmation.
4 To be of the same Effect as an Oath.
5 Penalty of false Affirming.
6 Such Brethren not qualified to give evidence in Criminal Cause, or to serve on juries.
7 The Brethren summoned to do any military Service to be discharged,
8 upon Payment of the Rate assessed;
9 and producing a Certificate of the Bishop or Pastor, that they are Members of the said Church.
10 Penalty of false Affirming in any of the Matter aforesaid.
11 The Advocate to lay before The Commissioners for Trade and Plantations Lists of the Bishops appointed to grant Certificates, together with their Hand Writing, &c.
12 Declar'd to be a Publick Act.
Printed Text courtesy of Archiv der Evangelischen Brueder-Unität, Herrnhut
Please contact
Dr. Hans Rollmann at hrollman@morgan.ucs.mun.ca for more information or problems. This page maintained by David Cantwell. Last modified June 12, 1997

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