An Act for the Naturalization of Jews in the Colonies

An Act for the Naturalization of Jews in the Colonies

from Simon W. Rosendale, An Act Allowing Naturalization of Jews in the Colonies, Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society No. 1 (1893), pp. 93-98

An Act for naturalizing such foreign Protestants, and others therein mentioned, as are settled or shall settle, in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America.
Whereas the Increase of People is a Means of advancing the Wealth and Strength of any Nation or Country; And whereas many Foreigners and Strangers from the Lenity of our Government, the Purity of our Religion, the Benefit of our Laws, the Advantages of our Trade, and the Security of our Property, might be induced to come and settle in some of His Majesty's Colonies in America, if they were made Partakers of the Advantages and Privileges which the natural born Subjects of this Realm do enjoy; 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 from and after the first Day of June in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven and forty, all persons born out of the Legiance of His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, who have inhabited and resided, or shall inhabit or reside for the Space of seven Years or more, in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America, and shall not have been absent out of some of the said Colonies for a longer Space than two Months at any one time during the said seven Years, and shall take and subscribe the Oaths, and make, repeat and subscribe the Declaration appointed by an Act made in the first Year of the Reign of His late Majesty, King George the First, intituled, An Act for the further Security of His Majesty's Person and Government, and the Succession of the Crown in the Heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants; and for extinguishing the Hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, his open and secret Abet tors; or, being of the People called Quakers, shall make and subscribe the Declaration of Fidelity, and take and affirm the Effect of the Abjuration Oath, appointed and prescribed by an Act madè in the eighth Year of the Reign of His said late Majesty, intituled, An Act for granting the People called Quakers, such Forms of Affirmation or Declaration, as may remove the Difficulties which many of them lie under; and also make and subscribe the Profession of his Christian Belief, appointed and subscribed by an Act made in the first Year of the Reign of their late Majesties King William and Queen Mary, intituled, An Act for exempting Their Majesties Protestant Subjects from the Penalties of certain Laws; before the Chief Judge, or other Judge of the Colony wherein such Persons respectively have so inhabited and resided, or shall so inhabit and reside, shall be deemed, adjudged and taken to be His Majesty's natural born Subjects of this Kingdom, to all Intents, Constructions and Purposes, as if they and every of them had been or were born within this Kingdom; which said Oath or Affirmation and Subscription of the said Declarations respectively, the Chief Judge or other Judge of every of the said Colonies is hereby enabled and impowered to administer and take; and the taking and subscribing of every such Oath or Affirmation, and the making, repeating and subscribing of every such Declaration, shall be before such Chief Judge or other Judge, in open Court, between the Hours of nine and twelve in the Forenoon; and shall be entered in the same Court, and also in the Secretary's Office of the Colony wherein such Person shall so inhabit and reside; and every Chief Judge or other Judges of every respective Colony, before whom such Oaths or Affirmation shall be taken and every such Declaration shall be made, repeated and subscribed as aforesaid, is hereby required to make a due and proper entry thereof in a Book to be kept for that Purpose in the said Court; for the doing whereof two Shillings and no more shall be paid at each respective place, under the Penalty and Forfeiture of ten Pounds of lawful Money of Great Britain for every Neglect or Omission: And in like manner every Secretary of the Colony wherein any Person shall so take the said Oaths or Affirmation, and make, repeat and subscribe the said Declarations respectively, as aforesaid, is hereby required to make a due and proper Entry thereof in a Book to be kept for that Purpose in his Office, upon Notification thereof to him by the Chief Judge or other Judges of the same Colony, under the like Penalty and Forfeiture for every such Neglect or Omission.
II. Provided always and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Person, of what Quality, Condition or Place soever, other than and except such of the People called Quakers as shall qualify themselves and be naturalized by the ways and means hereinbefore mentioned, or such who profess the Jewish Religion, shall be naturalized by virtue of this Act, unless such person shall have received the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper in some Protestant and Reformed Congregation within this Kingdom of Great Britain, or within some of the said Colonies in America, within three Months next before his taking and subscribing the said Oaths, and making, repeating and subscribing the said Declaration; and shall, at the time of his taking and subscribing the said Oaths, and making, repeating and subscribing the said Declaration, produce a Certificate signed by the Person administering the said Sacrament, and attested by two credible Witnesses, whereof an Entry shall be made in the Secretary's Office of the Colony, wherein such Person shall so inhabit and reside, as also in the Court where the said Oaths shall be so taken as aforesaid, without any Fee or Reward.
III. And whereas the following Words are contained in the latter Part of the Oath of Abjuration, videlicet , (upon the true Faith of a Christian): And whereas the People professing the Jewish Religion may thereby be prevented from receiving the Benefit of this Act; Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That whenever any Person professing the Jewish Religion shall present himself to take the said Oath of Abjuration in pursuance of this Act, the said Words (upon the true Faith of a Christian) shall be omitted out of the said Oath in administering the same to such Person, and the taking and subscribing the said Oath by such Person, professing the Jewish Religion, without the Words aforesaid, and the other Oaths appointed by the said Act in like manner as Jews were permitted to take the Oath of Abjuration, by an Act made in the tenth Year of the Reign of His late Majesty King George the First, intituled, An Act for explaining and amending an Act of the last Session of Parliament, intituled, An Act to oblige all Persons, being Papists, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, and all persons in Great Britain, refusing or neglecting to take the Oaths appointed for the Security of His Majesty's Person and Government, by several Acts herein mentioned, to reg ister their Names and real Estates; and for enlarging the time for taking the said Oaths, and making such Registers, and for allowing further time for the Inrolment of Deeds or Wills made by Papists, which have been omitted to be inrolled pursuant to an Act of the third Year of His Majesty's Reign; and also for giving Relief to Protestant Lessees, shall be deemed a sufficient taking of the said Oaths, in order to intitle such Person to the Benefit of being naturalized by virtue of this Act.

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