powered by google
Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Advanced Search Options
Act of the South Carolina General Assembly concerning oaths of office
South Carolina. General Assembly
May 06, 1704
Volume 02, Pages 863-867

-------------------- page 863 --------------------
[S. C. Statutes at Large. Vol. 2. P. 232.]
AN ACT FOR THE MORE EFFECTUAL PRESERVATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS PROVINCE, BY REQUIRING ALL PERSONS THAT SHALL HEREAFTER BE CHOOSEN MEMBERS OF THE COMMONS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY, AND SITT IN THE SAME, TO TAKE THE OATHS AND SUBSCRIBE THE DECLARATION APPOINTED BY THIS ACT, AND TO CONFORME TO THE RELIGIOUS WORSHIP IN THIS PROVINCE ACCORDING TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, AND TO RECEIVE THE SACRAMENT OF THE LORD'S SUPPER ACCORDING TO THE RITES AND USAGE OF THE SAID CHURCH

As nothing is more contrary to the profession of the Christian Religion, and particularly to the doctrine of the Church of England, than persecution for conscience only; nevertheless, whereas it hath been found by experience that the admitting of persons of different persuasions and interest in matters of religion to sitt and vote in the Commons House of Assembly, hath often caused great contentions and animosities in this Province, and hath very much obstructed the publick business; and whereas by the laws and usage of England, all members of Parliament are obliged to conforme to the Church of England, by receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites of the said church;

Be it therefore enacted by His Excellency John Lord Granville, Pallatine, and the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of this Province, by and with the advice and consent of the rest of the Members of the Generall Assembly now met at Charlestown for the South-west part of this Province, and by the authority of the same, That every person that after the ratification off this Act shall be choosen a Member of the Commons House of Assembly, that hath not within the space of twelve months before such his election received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites and usage of the Church of England as established by law, such person after his election, and before he be permitted to sitt and vote in the said House, shall receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the rites and usage of the Church of England, in some publick church, upon some Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, immediately after divine Service

-------------------- page 864 --------------------
and sermon; and every of the said persons, in open Assembly, in a full house, duly sitting, with their Speaker in his chair, shall deliver a certificate of such his receiving of the said sacrament as aforesaid, under the hand of the respective Minister, or shall make proof of the truth thereof by two credible witnesses at least, upon oath.

II. But whereas, some persons scruple the receiving the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, by reason they fear they are not rightly fitted and prepared to pertake of that ordinance, who do nevertheless out of real choice conforme to the Church of England as established by law, and do sincerely profess the same, and do not abstain from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper out of any dislike to the manner and forme of the administration thereof as used by the Church of England and prescribed in the Communion office in the book of Common prayer of the said Church: Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person that after the ratification of this Act shall be choosen a Member of the Commons House of Assembly in this Province, in case he hath not received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, according to the rites and usage of the Church of England, as is before prescribed by this Act, then every such person before he vote in the said Commons House of Assembly, or sit there during any debate in the said house, after their Speaker is chosen, shall upon his oath taken on the holy Evangelists, declare that he is of the profession of the Church of England, as established by law, and that he doth conform to the same, and usually frequent the said Church for the publick worship of God, and that he doth not abstain from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper out of any dislike to the manner and forme of the administration thereof, as used by the said Church of England, and as it is prescribed in the Communion office in the book of Common Prayer of the said Church, and that he is not, nor for one year past hath not been in communion with any Church or Congregation that doth not conforme to the said Church of England, nor received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in such Congregation, and that as a member of this the Commons House of Assembly, he will endeavor the good and welfare of the said Church of England, as established by law; which said oath or declaration of conformity to the Church of England, shall be in the form herein set down and prescribed, that is to say:

I, A. B. do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, profess, testify and declare, that I am of the profession of the Church of England, as established by law, and that I do conforme to the same, and usually frequent the said church for the publick worship of God; and

-------------------- page 865 --------------------
that I do not abstain from the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper out of any dislike to the manner and forme of the administration thereof, as used by the said Church of England, and as it is prescribed in the Communion office in the book of Common prayer of the said church; and that I am not, nor for one year past have not been, in communion with any church or congregation that doth not conforme to the said Church of England, nor received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in such congregation; and that, as a Member of this House of Assembly, I will endeavor the good and welfare of the said Church of England, as established by law. So help me God.

Which said oath or declaration of conformity shall be solemnly and publickly made and subscribed by every member of the Commons House of Assembly (that doth not produce a certificate or other proof of his having received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as before prescribed by this Act) between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon, at the table in the said House, and whilst a full house is sitting with their Speaker in his chair; and every such person that shall upon oath make and subscribe such declaration of Conformity to the Church of England, is hereby declared to be sufficiently qualified to be a member of the Commons House of Assembly, as if he had received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the usage of the Church of England, as is above prescribed by this Act.

III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all persons that after the ratification of this Act shall be choosen members of the Generall Assembly, before they vote in the Commons House of Assembly, or sitt there during any debate in the said House of Commons after their Speaker is chosen, shall, on the Holy Evangelists take the oaths appointed to be taken, instead of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, by one Act of Parliament, made in the first year of the reign of the late King William and Queen Mary, entituled an Act for the abregating of the Oaths of Supremacy and allegiance and appointing other Oaths; and shall make and subscribe the declaration appointed to be made and subscribed in the Act made in the thirtieth year of the reign of the late King Charles the Second, entituled an Act for the more effectual Preserving the King's person and Government, by disabling Papists from sitting in either houses of Parliament; and shall also take the oath appointed to be taken by one Act of Parliament made in the first year of the reign of her present Majesty entituled an Act to Declare the alterations in the Oath appointed to be taken by the Act intituled an Act for the further security of her Majesty's person, and the succession of the Crown in the Protestant

-------------------- page 866 --------------------
line, and for extinguishing the hopes of the Pretended Prince of Wales, and all other Pretenders, and their open and secret abettors, and for declaring the Association to be determined. Which oaths and declaration in every succeeding Assembly shall be solemnly and publickly made and subscribed, betwixt the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon by every member of the said Assembly, at the table in the said house, and whilst a full house is sitting with their Speaker in his chair.

IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person that shall hereafter be elected a member of the Commons House of Assembly, shall presume to sit and vote in the said Commons House after their Speaker is choosen, before he hath received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper according to the rites and usage of the said Church of England, or upon oath made and subscribed such declaration of corformity to the Church of England as is prescribed by this Act, and hath also taken the oaths and made and subscribed the declaration as required by this Act, every person so offending shall forfeit, for the first time he shall so sit, the sum of fifty pounds currant money of this Province; and for every day after that he shall so sit, the sum of ten pounds; the one halfe to the Palatine and the rest of the true and absolute Lords and Proprietors of this Province, to be paid to the Publick Receiver of this Province, to and for the support of the government of this Province and the contingent charges thereof, to be disposed of by ordinance of the Generall Assembly; and the other half to him or them that shall sue for the same within six months after the offence committed, by action of debt, suit, bill, plaint or information, in any Court of record in this Province, wherin no essoign, protection, priviledge, injunction, or wager of law or stay of prosecution, by non vult ulterias prosequi, or otherwise, shall be admitted or allowed.

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That in case any person shall be returned a member of the Commons House of Assembly, who shall refuse to qualify himself as required by this Act, and so cannot be permitted to sitt and vote in the said house, that then and in such case it shall be lawful for those members of Assembly that are qualified to sit and vote in the said House of Assembly, to order the Sheriff of the County to lay the poll or list of the severall Candidates, and the numbers of them that voted for each of the candidates, and admitt that person or persons that hath the greatest number of votes next to them members that were returned to sitt and vote as a member or members of the said Commons House of Assembly; Provided, they do

-------------------- page 867 --------------------
qualify themselves as is above directed by this Act; and in case there is not a sufficient number of other Candidates that are qualified as aforesaid to fill up the vacancyes, that then a new writt shall be issued out for such number as is so wanting.

Read three times and ratified in open Assembly, the sixth day of May 1704

N. JOHNSON,
THO. BROUGHTON,
JAMES MOORE,
ROBERT GIBBES,
HENRY NOBLE,
NICHOLAS TROTT.