Friday, 20 January 2012

20th January 1812: Nottingham County Magistrates lobby Government for more extensive powers

At a meeting of the Justices of the Peace for the County of Nottingham held at the Shire Hall on the 20th day of January 1812.—

His Grace the Duke of Newcastle Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the County in the Chair.—

It was unanimously resolved that it appears expedient in the present disturbed state of this County that Magistrates and the Peace Officers should be invested with more extensive powers for the preservation of the Peace, and the protection of the Persons and Property of the inhabitants.—

That it would materially conduce to the public Security if more prompt and Effectual means were provided by the Legislature for Enforcing the ancient Laws relating to Watch and Ward, and that the Members for this County be requested to present immediately a Bill for this purpose to Parliament.—

That the general purport and tendency of such Bill shall be to authorize Magistrates under suitable Restrictions to establish whether this County in every Parish, Township, or Place wherein Disturbances or Outrages prevail or seem likely to arise a Watch by night and Ward by day to be regulated and proportioned according to the Extent and population of every such Parish Township, or Place.—

That every Male Inhabitant above the Age of 21 years, and paying Parish Rates, shall be liable personally to perform the Duties of so watching and warding in the Parish Township or Place wherein he resides, or to find a sufficient substitute, or to forfeit a sum of Money. But that men being 50 years of age or more, and not renting Property of the Yearly Value of Twenty Pounds may be exempted by the Magistrates.—

That the Magistrates be Empowered by the Provisions of the Bill to nominate in every Parish Township or Place Special Constables for directing and regulating all Persons so engaged in watching or warding.

That the Chief Constables in their respective Hundreds or Divisions shall once in every week or oftener if ordered by the Magistrates visit to the several Parishes Townships or Places in which Watch or Ward shall be directed to be kept, and shall diligently Examine the Conduct of all Persons enjoined to Execute these Duties, and make a faithful Report in writing upon their Behaviour, as well as upon all matters relating to the Peace of their District at such times and places as the Magistrates may appoint — and that every Chief Constable so Employed shall be paid out of the County Rates such Compensation as the Magistrates shall been reasonable for his trouble and Expenses incurred in thus discharging his Duty.—

That the Honourable Henry Sedly, the Revd John Thomas Becher, and Francis Evans Esq be appointed a Committee with William Sherbrooke Esq for carrying into Effect these Resolutions.—

This document appears at HO 42/119.

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