An Act to render more effectual an Act, passed in the Thirty-seventh Year of His present Majesty, for preventing the administering or taking Unlawful Oaths. [9th July 1812.]
WHEREAS an Act passed in the Thirty-seventh Year of the Reign of His present Majesty, instituted An Act for more effectually preventing the administering or taking of Unlawful Oaths: And whereas it is expedient that more effectual Provisions should be made as to certain Oaths; 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, that every Person who shall in any Manner or Form whatever, administer or cause to be administered, or be aiding or assisting at the administering of any Oath or Engagement, purporting or intending to bind the Person taking the same to commit any Treason or Murder, or any Felony, punishable by Law with Death, shall, on Conviction thereof by due Course of Law, be adjudged guilty of Felony, and suffer Death as a Felon without Benefit of Clergy; and every Person who shall take any such Oath or Engagement, not be compelled thereto, shall, on Conviction thereof by due Course of Law, be adjudged guilty of Felony, and shall be transported as a Felon for the Term of his natural Life, or for such Term of Years as the Court before which said Offender or Offenders shall be tried shall adjudge.
II. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That Compulsion shall not justify or excuse any Person taking such Oath or Engagement, unless he or she shall, within Fourteen Days after the taking thereof, if not prevented by actual Force or Sickness, and then within Fourteen Days after the Hindrance produced by such Force or Sickness shall cease, declare the same, together with the Whole of what he or she shall know touching the same, and the Person or Persons by whom, and in whose Presence, and when and where such Oath or Engagement was administered, or taken, by Information on Oath before One of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace, or One of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, or His Majesty's Privy Council; or in case the Person taking such Oath or Engagement shall be in actual Service in his Majesty's Forces by Sea or Land, then by such Information on Oath as aforesaid, or by Information to his Commanding Officer.
III. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That every Person who before he shall be charged with any Offence under the said recited Act or this Act, in taking any Oath or Engagement described in the said recited Act or this Act, shall, within Three Months after the passing of this Act, appear before some Justice of the Peace or Magistrate, and declare the same, and the Oath or Engagement so taken, and when and where the same was taken, and in what Manner, and who shall at the same Time take before such Justice of the Peace or Magistrate, the Oath of Allegiance to His Majesty, shall be and is hereby indemnified against any Prosecution of any Offence under the said recited Act or this Act; and no Confession so made by any such Person shall be given in Evidence against the Person making the same in any Court or in any Case whatever.
IV. And be it further enacted, that Persons aiding and assisting at the administering of such Oath or Engagement as aforesaid, and Persons causing any such Oath or Engagement to be administered, though not present at the administering thereof, shall be deemed Principal Offenders, and shall be tried as such, and on Conviction thereof by due Course of Law, shall be adjudged guilty of Felony, and shall suffer Death as Felons, without Benefit of Clergy, although the Persons or Persons who actually administered such Oath or Engagement, if any such there shall be, shall not have been tried or convicted.
V. And be it further enacted, That it shall not be necessary in Any Indictment against any Person or Persons administering or causing to be administered or taken, or taking any such Oath or Engagement as aforesaid, or aiding or assisting at, or present at and consenting to the administering or taking thereof, to set forth the Words of such Oath or Engagement, and that it shall be sufficient to set forth the Purport of such Oath or Engagement, or some material Part thereof.
VI. Provided always, be it further enacted, That any Engagement or Obligation whatsoever, in the Nature of an Oath, purporting or intending to bind the Person taking the same to commit any Treason or Murder, or any Felony punishable by Law with Death, shall be deemed an Oath within the Intent and Meaning of this Act, in whatever Form or Manner the same shall be administered or taken, and whether the same shall be actually administered by any Person or Persons to any other Person or Persons, or taken by any other Persons or Persons without any Administration thereof by any other Person or Persons.
VII. Provided also, and be it further enacted, That any Offence committed against this Act, on the High Seas or out of this Realm, or within that Part of Great Britain called England, shall and may be prosecuted, tried and determined before any Court of Oyer and Terminer or Gaol Delivery, for any County, in that Part of Great Britain called England, in such Manner and Form as if such Offence had been therein committed; and if committed in that Part of Great Britain called Scotland, shall and may be prosecuted, tried and determined, either before the Judiciary Court at Edinburgh, or in any of the Circuit Courts in that Part of the United Kingdom.
VIII. Provided also, and it is hereby declared, That any Person who shall be tried and acquitted or convicted of any Offence against this Act, shall not be liable to be indicted, prosecuted tried again for the same Offence or Fact, as High Treason or Misprision of High Treason; and that nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to extend to prohibit any Person guilty of any Offence against this Act, and who shall not be tried at the same as an Offence against this Act, from being tried for the same as High Treason on Misprision of High Treason, in such Manner as if this Act had not been made.
A copy can be found at HO 42/127 and here.