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CHAP. XXXII.

Of Bastards.

SECT. I,

Of the Statutes concerning Bastards.

WHO
Ho are bastards, and the species of evidence to establish
illegitimacy, are subjects which have been discussed in
treating of their settlement. (1)

The present investigation respects only the methods by which the parish may be exempted from the charge of maintaining them.

Any two justices, inor next to the parish where a bas

tard is born, may examine

The statutes by which they are enabled to do so are; 18 Eliz. c.3. s.2. which recites, that bastards begotten and born out of lawful matrimony, are now left to be kept at the charge of the parish where they are born, to the great burden of the same parish, and in defrauding of the relief the matter, and of the impotent and aged true poor of the same parish; make an order of bastardy. and enacts, That any justices of the peace (whereof one to be of the quorum in or next unto the limits where the parish church is, within which parish such bastard shall be born), upon examination of the cause and circumstance, shall and may, by their discretion, take order, as well for the punishment of the mother and reputed father of such bastard-child, as also for the better relief of every such parish, in part or in all.

an

Sect. 2. And the said justices shall and may likewise, The justices by like discretion, take order for the keeping of every order of mainsuch bastard child, by charging such mother or reputed tenance

(1) Ante, Vol. I. chap. xix.

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father with the payment of money weekly, or other sustentation for the relief of such child, in such wise as they shall think meet and convenient.

Sect. 2. If after the same order by them subscribed under their hands, any of the said persons, viz. mother or reputed father, upon notice thereof, shall not for their part observe and perform the said order, that then, every such party so making default in not performing of the said order to be committed to ward in the common gaol, there to remain without bail or mainprize, except he, she, or they, shall put in sufficient surety to perform the said order, or else personally to appear at the next general sessions of the peace to be holden in that county where such order shall be taken; and also, to abide such order as the said justices of the peace, or more part of them, then and there shall take in that behalf (if they then and there shall take any); and that if at the said sessions the said justices shall take no other order, then to abide and perform the order before made, as is aforesaid.

By 49 Geo.III. c.68. s.1. after reciting that the provisions of 18 Eliz. are inadequate to the purposes of indemnifying parishes against the charges and expences incurred by the apprehending and securing the reputed father, and also by obtaining the order of filiation, and that it is expedient that such charges and expences should be borne by the adjudged reputed father of such bastard child or children, at the discretion of the justices by whom such adjudication shall be made, either in the court of quarter sessions or otherwise, enacts, that every person who shall thereafter be adjudged to be the reputed father of any bastard child or children, shall be chargeable with and liable to the payment of all reasonable charges and expences incident to the birth of such bastard child or children, as also to the payment of the reasonable costs of apprehending and securing such reputed father, and also to the payment of the costs of the order of filiation, such costs of apprehending and securing the father, and of the order of filiation

not to exceed the sum of 107.; and all such charges, expences, and costs shall be duly ascertained before the justices of the peace, or the court of quarter sessions, making such order of filiation.

By 7 Jac. I. c. 4. s. 7. And because great charge ariseth upon many places within this realm by reason of bastardy, be it enacted, that every lewd woman which shall have any bastard, which may be chargeable to the parish, the justices of peace shall commit such lewd woman to the house of correction, there to be punished, and set on work during the term of one whole year; and if she shall eftsoons offend again, that then to be committed to the house of correction as aforesaid, and there to remain until she can put in good sureties for her good behaviour not to offend so again. (1)

By 3 Car. I. c. 4. s. 15. so much of the 18 Eliz. c. 2. as concerneth bastards begotten out of lawful matrimony is continued; with this, that all justices of the peace within their several limits and precincts, and at their several sessions, may do and execute all things concerning that part of the said statute, that by justices of the peace, in the several counties, are by the said statute limited to be done.

The justices may commit bastard children to the rection.

the mother of

house of cor

The sessions

shall have the same authority in cases of bastardy, as are given to justices of peace.

thers of bastard

By 13& 14 Car. II. c.12. s.19. And whereas the puta- Putative fative fathers and lewd mothers of bastard children run children, how away out of the parish, and sometimes out of the country, to be proceedand leave the said bastard children upon the parish where ed against. they are born, although such putative father and mother have estates sufficient to discharge such parish, be it enacted, that it shall and may be lawful for the churchwardens and overseers for the poor of such parish, where any bastard child shall be born, to take and seize so much of the goods and chattels, and to receive so much of the annual rents or profits of the lands of such putative father

(1) Repealed by 50 Geo. III. c. 51.

Persons sued

for matters in this act, may plead the general issue.

6 Geo.II. c.31.

or lewd mother, as shall be ordered by any two justices of peace as aforesaid, for or towards the discharge of the parish, to be confirmed at the sessions, for the bringing up and providing for such bastard child: and thereupon it shall be lawful for the sessions to make an order for the churchwardens and overseers of the poor of such parish to dispose of the goods by sale or otherwise, or so much of them, for the purposes aforesaid, as the court shall think fit, and to receive the rents and profits, or so much of them as shall be ordered by the sessions as aforesaid, of his or her lands. (1)

By 13& 14 Car. II. c. 2. s. 20. And if any person or persons shall be sued for any matter or thing which he shall do in execution of this act, he may plead the general issue, and give the special matter in evidence; and if the verdict shall pass for the defendant, or if the plaintiff be nonsuited, or discontinue his suit, the defendant shall recover treble damages.

By 6 Geo. II. c. 31. s. 1. "If any single woman shall be delivered of a bastard child, which shall be chargeable, or likely to become chargeable to any parish or extra-parochial place, or shall declare herself to be with child, and that such child is likely to be born a bastard, and to be chargeable to any parish or extra-parochial place, and shall in either of such cases, in an examination to be taken in writing upon oath before any one or more justices of the peace of any county, &c. wherein such parish or place shall lie, charge any person with having gotten her with child, it shall and may be lawful for such justice or justices, upon application made to him or them by the overseers of the poor of such parish, or any one of them, or by any substantial householder of such extraparochial place, to issue out his or their warrant or warrants for the immediate apprehension of such person so charged as aforesaid, and for bringing him before such justice or justices, or any other of His Majesty's justices of such

(1) See 5 Geo. I. c. 8. ante, 270.

county, &c.; and the justice or justices before whom such person shall be brought, is and are hereby authorized and required to commit the person so charged to the common gaol or house of correction of such county, &c. unless he shall give security to indemnify such parish or place, or shall enter into a recognizance, with sufficient surety, to appear at the next general quarter sessions of the peace to be holden for such county, and to abide and perform such order or orders as shall be made, in pursuance of an act passed in the eighteenth year of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth, concerning bastards begotten and born out of lawful matrimony."

c. 68. s. 6.

But by 49 Geo. III. c. 68. s. 6. so much of 6 Geo. II. c. 31. 49Gco. III. as authorises the justice or justices before whom the reputed father of a bastard shall be brought, in cases where the woman has not been delivered, to commit such reputed father to the common gaol or house of correction, unless he shall give security to indemnify the parish or place, or shall enter into a recognizance with sufficient surety upon condition to appear at the next general quarter sessions, or general sessions of the peace, is repealed.

By the same act, sect. 2, it is enacted, that if any single Sect. 2. woman shall declare herself with child, and that such child. is likely to be born a bastard, and to be chargeable to any parish, township, or extra-parochial place, and shall, in an examination to be taken in writing upon oath, before any justice of the peace of any county, riding, division, city, liberty, or town corporate, wherein such parish, &c. shall lie, charge any person with having gotten her with child, it shall be lawful for such justice, upon application made to him by the overseer of the poor of such parish or township, or by any substantial householder of such extraparochial place, to issue out his warrant for the immediate apprehending of such persons so charged as aforesaid, and for bringing him before such justice, or before any other justice of the peace of such county, &c.: and the justice. before whom such person shall be brought, having autho

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