Ordinances Made by the Lord Chancellor Bacon for the Better and More Regular Administration of Justice in the Chancery, to be Daily Observed, Saving the Prerogative of the Court.

(1) No decree shall be reversed, altered, or explained, being once under the great seal, but upon bill of review; and no bill of review shall be admitted, except it contain either error in law, appearing in the body of the decree, without further examination of matters in fact, or some new matter which hath risen in time after the decree, and not any new proof which might have been used when the decree was made. Nevertheless, upon new proof that is come to light after the decree made, and could not possibly have been used at the time when the decree passed, a bill of reivew may be grounded by the special license of the court, and not otherwise.

(2) In case of miscasting (being a matter demonstrative), a decree may be explained and reconciled by an order without a bill of review; not understanding by miscasting any pretended misrating or misvaluing, but only error in the auditing or numbering.

(3) No bill of review shall be admitted, or any other new bill to change matter decreed, except the decree be first obeyed and performed, - as, if it be for land, that the possession be yielded; if it be for money, that the money be paid; if it be for evidences, that the evidences be brought in; and so in other cases which stand upon the strength of the decree alone.

(4) But, if any act be decreed to be done which extinguisheth the party's right at the common law, as making of assurance or release, acknowledging satisfaction, canceling of bonds or evidences, and the like, those parts of the decree are to be spared until the bill of review be determined; but such sparing is to be warranted by public order made in court.

(5) No bill of review shall be put in except the party that prefers it enters into recognizance with sureties for satisfying of costs and damages for the delay, if it be found against him.

(6) No decree shall be made upon pretense of equity against the express provision of an act of parliament. Nevertheless, if the construction of such act of parliament hath for a time gone away in general opinion and reputation, and after, by a later judgment, hath been controlled, then relief may be given upon matter of equity for cases arising before the said judgment, because the subject was in no default.

(7) Imprisonment for breach of a decree is in nature of an execution, and therefore the custody ought to be straight, and the party not to have any liberty to go abroad but by special license of the Lord Chancellor; but no close imprisonment is to be but by express order for willful and extraordinary contempts and disobedience as hath been used.

(8) In case of enormous and obstinate disobedience in breach of a decree, an injunction is to be granted sub poena of a sum; and upon affidavit or other sufficient proof of persisting in contempts, fines are to be pronounced by the Lord Chancellor in open court, and the same estreated down into the Hanaper, if cause be, by a special order.

(9) In case of a decree made for the possession of land, a writ of execution goeth forth, and, if that be disobeyed, then process of contempt, according to the course of the court against the person to commission of rebellion, and then a sergeant at arms by special warrant, and, in case the sergeant at arms cannot find him, or be resisted, upon the coming in of the party and his commitment, if he persist in disobedience, an injunction is to be granted for the possession, and, in case that also be disobeyed, then a commission to put him in possession.

(10) Where the party is committed for breach of a decree, he is not to be enlarged until the decree be fully performed in all things which are to be done presently; but if there be other parts of the decree to be performed at days or times to come, then he may be enlarged by order of court upon recognizance, with sureties, to be put in for the performance de futuro; otherwise not.

(11) Where causes come to a hearing in court, no decree bindeth any person who was not served with process ad audiendum judicium, according to the course of the court, or did appear gratis in person in court.

(12) No decree bindeth any that cometh in bona fide by conveyance from the defendant before the bill exhibited, and is made no party, neither by bill nor order; but where he comes in pendente lite, and while the suit is in full prosecution, and without any color of allowance or privity of the court, there regularly the decree bindeth; but if there were any intermission of suit, or the court made acquainted with the conveyance, the court is to give order upon the special matter according to justice.

(13) Where causes are dismissed upon full hearing, and the dismission signed by the lord chancellor, such causes shall not be retained again, nor new bill exhibited, except it be upon new matter, like to the case of the bill of review.

(14) In case of other dismissions which are not, upon hearing of the cause, if any new bill be brought, the dismission is to be pleaded; and after reference and report of the contents of both suits, and consideration taken of the causes of the former dismission, the court shall rule the retaining or dismissing of the new bill, according to justice and the nature of the case.

(15) All suits grounded upon wills nuncupative, leasee parol, or upon long leases that tend to the defeating of the king's tenures, for the establishing of perpetuities, or grounded upon remainders put in to the crown to defeat purchasers, or for brokage or rewards to make marriages, or for bargains at play and wagers, or for bargains for offices contrary to the statute of 5 & 6 Edw. VI., or for contracts upon usury or simony, are regularly to be dismissed upon motion if they be the sole effect of the bill, and, if there be no special circumstances, to move the court to allow them a proceeding, and all suits under the value of ten pounds are regularly to be dismissed.