Profane Oaths Act 1745

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1745 c. 21
Anno decimo nono G E O R G I I II. Regis. An Act more effectually to prevent profane Cursing and Swearing.

(19 Geo. 2) C A P. XXI.

'FORASMUCH as the horrid, impious, and execrable Vices of profane Cursing and Swearing (so highly displeasing to Almighty God, and loathsome and offensive to every Christian) are become so frequent and notorious, that unless speedily and effectually punished, they may justly provoke the Divine Vengeance to increase the many Calamities these Nations now labour under: And whereas the Laws now in Being for punishing those Crimes, have not answered the Intents for which they were designed, by Means of Difficulties attending the putting such Laws in Execution:' For Remedy whereof, may it please your most Excellent Majesty, that it may be enacted; And be it 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 from and after the first Day ofJune one thousand seven hundred and forty-six, if any Person or Persons shall profanely Curse or Swear, and be thereof convicted on the Oath of any one or more Witness or Witnesses, before any one Justice of the Peace for any County, City, Riding, Division, or Liberty, or before the Mayor, Justice, Bailiff, or other Chief Magistrate of any City or Town Corporate, or by the Confession of the Party offending, every Person or Persons so offending, shall forfeit and lose the respective Sums herein after mentioned; (that is to say)

Every Day Labourer, Common Soldier, Common Sailor, and Common Seaman, one Shilling;

And every other Person under the Degree of a Gentleman, two Shillings;

And every Person of or above the Degree of a Gentleman, five Shillings.

And in case any such Person or Persons shall, after Conviction, offend a second Time, every such Person shall forfeit and lose Double; and for every other Offence after a second Conviction, treble the Sum first forfeited by any Offender, for profane Cursing and Swearing as aforesaid.

S-II Profane Swearers in the Hearing of any Justice, &c. to be convicted without other Proof.

II Profane Swearers in the Hearing of any Justice, &c. to be convicted without other Proof.

II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any Person or Persons shall profanely Swear or Curse, in the Presence and Hearing of any Justice of the Peace for any County, Riding, Division or Liberty; or in the Presence or Hearing of any Mayor, Justice, Bailiff, or other chief Magistrate of any Town Corporate; every such Justice, Mayor, or other chief Magistrate as aforesaid, shall and is hereby authorized and required to convict every such Offender of such Offence (in the Form and Manner herein after set forth) without any other Proof whatsoever.

S-III Constable, &c. to seize Persons profanely Swearing, if unknown,

III Constable, &c. to seize Persons profanely Swearing, if unknown,

III. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That in case any Person or Persons shall profanely Swear or Curse, in the Presence and Hearing of any Constable, Petty Constable, Tythingman, or other Peace Officer, it shall and may be lawful for any and every such Constable, Petty Constable, Tythingman, or other Peace Officer, and they and each of them are hereby authorized and required (in case any such Person shall be unknown to such Constable, Petty Constable, Tythingman, or other Peace Officer) to seize, secure, and detain such Offender or Offenders, unknown to him or them as aforesaid; and such Offender or Offenders forthwith to carry before the next Justice of the Peacefor the County, Riding, Division or Liberty, or before the Mayor, Justice, Bailiff, or other chief Magistrate of the Town Corporate, wherein such Offence was committed; and the said Justice, Mayor, or other chief Magistrate, is hereby authorized and required, on the Oath of such Constable, Petty Constable, Tythingman, or other Peace Officer, to convict the Offender in Manner and Form herein after directed: And in case any such Person so profanely Swearing or Cursing, in the Presence or Hearing of any such Constable, Petty Constable, Tythingman, or other Peace Officer, shall be known to any of them, every such Constable, Petty Constable, Tythingman, or other Peace Officer, shall and is hereby required speedily to make Information before some Justice of the Peace for the County, Riding, Division or Liberty, Mayor, Justice, Bailiff, or chief Magistrate of any Town Corporate as aforesaid, in order that the Offender or Offenders may be by such Justice, Mayor, Bailiff, or other chief Magistrate convicted thereof, and punished for the same, in Manner and Form as in and by this Act is directed.

S-IV Justices, &c. upon Information, to order the Offender to appear, &c. Penalty to be paid, or Security given, or the Offender to be committed for 10 Days to the...

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