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An Act to Restrain the Trade and Commerce of the Colonies

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An Act to restrain the Trade and Commerce of the Colonies of NEW-JERSEY, PENNSYLVANIA, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, and SOUTH CAROLINA, to GREAT BRITAIN, IRELAND, and the BRITISH Islands in the WEST INDIES, under certain conditions and limitations.

Whereas, by an Act made in the twelfth year of the reign of King Charles the Second, entituled "An Act for

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the encouraging and increasing of Shipping and Navigation;" and by several subsequent Acts of Parliament which are now in force, it is, amongst other things, enacted, that for every Ship or Vessel which shall load any commodities, in those Acts particularly enumerated, at any British Plantation, being the Growth, Product, or Manufacture thereof, Bonds shall be given, with one surety, to the value of one thousand Pounds, if the Ship be of less burthen than one hundred tons, and of the sum of two thousand Pounds, if the Ship be of greater burthen, that the same commodities shall be brought by such Ship or Vessel to some other British Plantation, or to some Port in Great Britain: And whereas, by several other Acts of Parliament, which are now in force, no Commodities of the Growth, Product, or Manufacture of Europe, (except Salt for the Fisheries, Wines, of the Madeiras and Azores, and Western Islands, and Victual and Linen Cloth from Ireland, under the restrictions in such Acts particularly mentioned,) can be imported into any Plantation, Colony, Territory, or place belonging to his Majesty, in Asia, Africa, or America, but what shall be bona fide and without fraud, laden and shipped in Great Britain, and carried directly from thence: And whereas, during the continuance of the Combinations and Disorders which at this time prevail within the Colonies of New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, to the obstruction of the Commerce of these Kingdoms, and other his Majesty' s Dominions, and in breach and violation of the laws of this Realm, it is highly unfit that the inhabitants of the said Colonies should enjoy the same privileges of Trade, and the same benefits and advantages to which his Majesty' s faithful and obedient subjects are entitled; 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 twentieth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and during the continuance of this Act, no Goods, Wares, or Merchandises, which are particularly enumerated in, and by the said Act made in the twelfth year of King Charles the Second, or any other Act, being the Growth, Product, or Manufacture of the Colonies of New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, in North America, or any or either of them, are to be brought to some other British Colony, or to Great Britain; or any such enumerated Goods, Wares, or Merchandises, which shall at any time or times have been imported or brought into the said Colonies, or any or either of them, shall be shipped, carried, conveyed, or transported, from any of the said Colonies respectively, to any Land, Island, Territory, Dominion, Port, or place whatsoever, other than to Great Britain, or some of the British Islands in the West Indies, to be laid on shore there; and that no other Goods, Wares, or Merchandises whatsoever, of the Growth, Product, or Manufacture of the Colonies hereinbefore mentioned, or which shall at any time or times have been imported or brought into the same, shall, from and after the said twentieth day of July, and during the continuance of this Act, be shipped, carried, conveyed, or transported, from any of the said Colonies respectively, to any other Land, Island, Territory, Dominion, Port, or place whatsoever, except to the Kingdoms of Great Britain or Ireland, or to some of the British Islands in the West Indies, to be laid on shore there; any law, custom, or usage, to the contrary notwithstanding.

II. And be it farther enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the said twentieth day of July, before any Ship or Vessel shall lade or take on board any Goods as aforesaid, in any or either of the Colonies before mentioned, sufficient Bond, with one surety, besides the Master of such Ship or Vessel, shall be given to the Collector or other principal Officer of the Customs at the Port or place where such Goods are intended to be laden or taken on board, in the penalty of one thousand Pounds, if the Ship be of less burthen than one hundred tons, and of the sum of two thousand Pounds, if the Ship shall be of that or any greater burthen; with condition that such enumerated Goods shall not be landed or put on shore at or upon any other Land, Island, Territory, Dominion, Port or place whatsoever, except some Port or place within the Kingdom of Great Britain, or some of the British Islands in the

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West Indies; and that all other Goods, Wares, or Merchandises so intended to be laden as aforesaid, shall not be landed or put on shore at or upon any Land, Island, Territory, Dominion, Port or place whatsoever, other than and except some Port or place within the Kingdoms of Great Britain or Ireland, or some of the British Islands in the West Indies; and with further condition to bring a Certificate in discharge thereof, within eighteen months from the date of such bond, for such of the said Goods as shall be entered for or landed in Great Britain or Ireland, respectively; and within six months for such of the said Goods as shall be entered for or landed in any of the British Islands in the West Indies; which respective Certificates shall be under the bands and seals of office of the Collector and Comptroller, or other principal Officer of the Customs, resident at the Port or place where such Goods shall be landed, testifying the landing thereof; or such Bond or Bonds shall and may be discharged by proof upon oath, made by credible persons, that the said Goods were taken by enemies, or perished in the Seas.

III. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That where any such Bond or Bonds shall be given as aforesaid, in pursuance of this Act, the Collector or other principal Officer of the Customs, to whom such Bond or Bonds shall have been given, shall deliver, under his hand and seal of office, without fee or reward, to the Master of the Ship or Vessel taking in such Goods, for the security of her navigation, a Certificate that such Bond or Bonds hath or have been given, expressing therein the quantity and species of the Goods, with the marks and numbers of the packages, and the Port or place for which they were entered; and if any such Goods shall be laden on board any such Ship or Vessel, in any of the Colonies in this Act before mentioned, before such Bond or Bonds shall be given, or shall be found on board any Ship or Vessel without the Certificate hereinbefore directed, that such Bond or Bonds hath or have been given, the Goods so laden, together with the Ship or Vessel, with her Guns, Ammunition, Tackle, Apparel, and Furniture, shall be forfeited; and if any Goods so laden as aforesaid, shall be landed or discharged at any Port or place contrary to the intent and meaning of this Act, over and above the penalty of the Bond or Bonds, the Shipper and Owner of such Goods, and the Master or person taking charge of the Vessel on board which they were laden, shall respectively forfeit the full value of the Goods so landed or discharged, to be estimated according to the highest price or value which such sort of Goods bear in the Colony where, and at the time when they were shipped and laden; which Ship and Goods may be seized and prosecuted, or the value of such Goods prosecuted for, by any Admiral, Chief Commander, or Commissioned Officer of his Majesty' s Fleet or Ships-of-War, or by any Officer of his Majesty' s Customs, in the manner hereinafter directed.

IV. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the first day of September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and during the continuance of this Act, no sort of Wines, Salt, or any Goods or Commodities whatsoever, (except Horses, Victual, and Linen Cloth, the Produce and Manufacture of Ireland, imported directly from thence) shall be imported into any of the said Colonies hereinbefore respectively mentioned, upon any pretence whatsoever, unless such Goods shall be bona fide, and without fraud, laden and shipped in Great Britain, and carried directly from thence, upon forfeiture thereof, and of the Ship or Vessel on board which such Goods shall be laden; and it shall be lawful for any Admiral, Chief Commander, or Commissioned Officer of his Majesty' s Fleet or Ships-of-War, or any Officer of his Majesty' s Customs, to seize any Ship or Vessel arriving at any of the said Colonies before mentioned, or which shall be discovered within two leagues of any shore thereof, having such Goods on board, and the Goods laden thereon, (except as before mentioned) for which the Master or other person taking charge of such Ship or Vessel, shall not produce a Cocket or Clearance from the Collector, or proper Officer of his Majesty' s Customs, certifying that the said Goods were laden on board the said Ship or Vessel in some Port of Great Britain, any law, custom, or usage, to the contrary notwithstanding.

V. Provided always, and it is hereby further enacted

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by the authority aforesaid, That this Act, or any thing herein contained, shall not extend, or be construed to extend, to prohibit the exportation or carrying out from any of the Colonies before mentioned, or the importation into the same, of any Goods or Commodities whatsoever, for the victualling or providing any of his Majesty' s Ships-of-War, or other Ships or Vessels in his Majesty' s service, or his Majesty' s Forces, Forts, or Garrisons; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

VI. And provided also, That nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to hinder or restrain the lawful importation into any or either of the said Colonies hereinbefore mentioned, from any of the British Islands in the West Indies, of any such Goods or Commodities, being the Growth or Produce thereof, as may now by law be imported from thence into the said Colonies, or any or either of them.

VII. And, in order to prevent frauds and abuses which may be committed contrary to the intention and against the provisions of this Act, by the exportation of any Goods, of the Growth, Product, or Manufacture of the Colonies of New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, from any of the Ports within the government of the Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, in North America, it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That during the continuance of this Act, no Goods or Commodities whatsoever shall be shipped, to be carried from any Port or place within the said Counties of New-Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, or either of them, to any other Land, Port, or place whatsoever, except to the Kingdoms of Great Britain, or Ireland, or to some of the British Islands in the West Indies, until the owner or exporter of such Goods shall have made oath, or being one of the people called Quakers, shall have affirmed, before the Collector, or other proper Officer of the Customs at the Port or place where the same shall be shipped, (which oath or affirmation such Collector or other Officer is hereby authorized to administer,) that such Goods are really and bona fide of the Growth, Product, or Manufacture of one or other of the said Counties, of which fact the Collector, or other proper Officer of the Customs, shall, and is hereby required to give a Certificate under his hand, to the Master of the Ship or Vessel on board which such Goods are laden, for the security of her navigation; and in failure of producing such Certificate, such Ship or Vessel, and the Goods thereon laden, shall be forfeited, and shall and may be seized and prosecuted as hereinafter directed.

VIII. And whereas, it is the intent and meaning of this Act, that the several prohibitions and restraints hereinbefore enacted, should be discontinued and cease, so soon as the Trade and Commerce of his Majesty' s subjects may be carried on without interruption within the said Colonies; be, it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That whenever it shall be made appear to the satisfaction of his Majesty' s Governour or Commander-in-Chief, and the majority of the Council of the Colonies of New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, that peace and obedience to the laws shall be so far restored within the said Colonies, or either of them, that the Trade and Commerce of his Majesty' s subjects may be carried on without interruption within the same, and that Goods, Wares, and Merchandises, have been freely imported into the said Colonies, or either of them, from Great Britain, and to expose to, sale, without any let, hindrance, or molestation, from or by reason of any unlawful combinations to prevent or obstruct the same; and that Goods, Wares, and Merchandises, have in like manner been exported from the said Colonies, or either of them respectively, to Great Britain, for and during the term of one calendar month preceding; that then, and in such case, it shall and may be lawful for the Governour or Commander-in-Chief, with the advice of the Council of such Colonies respectively, by Proclamation, under the seal of such respectively, to notify the same to the several Officers of the Customs, and all others; and after such Proclamation, this Act, with respect to such Colony, within which Proclamation or Proclamations, have been issued as aforesaid, shall be discontinued and cease, (except such as hereinafter provided;) and all Officers of his Majesty' s Customs, and all other persons having charge of the execution of this Act, having received due notice of such Proclamation, are hereby directed and required to

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yield and pay obedience to such Proclamation, and to proceed in the discharge of their respective duties, in admitting to entry, clearing, and discharging, all Ships and Vessels, and Goods, Wares, and Merchandises, into and out of such respective Colony, in like manner as if this Act had never been made; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

IX. Provided, nevertheless, and it is hereby further enacted and declared by the authority aforesaid, That such Proclamation or Proclamations shall not extend, or be construed to extend, to discharge or suspend any proceedings upon any seizure which shall have been made, or any prosecution which shall have been commenced, for any penalty or forfeiture inflicted by this Act before the issuing of such Proclamation or Proclamations.

X. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person or persons shall give or grant any false Certificate, Cocket, or Clearance, for any of the purposes required or directed by this Act, such person or persons shall forfeit the sum of five hundred Pounds, and be rendered incapable of serving his Majesty, his heirs and successors, in any office whatsoever; and if any person or persons shall counterfeit, erase, alter, or falsify any Certificate, Cocket, or Clearance, required or directed by this Act, or shall knowingly or willingly make use of any false Certificate, Cocket, or Clearance, or of any Certificate, Cocket, or Clearance, so counterfeited, erased, altered, or falsified, such person or persons shall, for every such offence, forfeit the sum of five hundred Pounds; and such Certificate, Cocket, or Clearance, shall be invalid, and of no effect.

XI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the several forfeitures and penalties inflicted by this Act, shall and may be prosecuted, sued for, and recovered, and be divided, paid, and applied, in like manner as other penalties and forfeitures, inflicted by any Act or Acts of Parliament relating to the Trade or Revenues of the British Colonies or Plantations in America, are directed to be prosecuted, sued for, or recovered, divided, paid, and applied, by two several Acts of Parliament, the one passed in the fourth year of his present Majesty, entituled "An Act for granting certain Duties in the British Colonies and Plantations in America; for continuing, amending, and making perpetual an Act passed in the sixth year of the reign of his late Majesty King George the Second, entituled ‘An Act for the better securing and encouraging the Trade of his Majesty' s Sugar Colonies in America;’ for applying the produce of such Duties, and of the Duties to arise by virtue of said Act, towards defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the said Colonies and Plantations; for explaining an Act, made in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of King Charles the Second, entituled ‘An Act for the encouragement of the Greenland and Eastland Trades; and for the better securing the Plantation Trade;’ and for altering and disallowing the several drawbacks on Exports from this Kingdom, and more effectually preventing the clandestine conveyance of Goods to and from the said Colonies and Plantations, and improving and securing the Trade between the same and Great Britain;" and the other passed in the eighth year of his present Majesty' s reign, entituled "An Act for the more easy and effectual recovery of the Penalties and Forfeitures inflicted by the Acts of Parliament, relating to the Trade or Revenues of the British Colonies and Plantations in America."

XII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any action or suit shall be commenced against any person or persons, for any thing done in pursuance of this Act of Parliament, the defendant or defendants in such action or suit may plead the general issue, and give the said fact, and the special matter, in evidence, at any trial to be had thereupon; and that the same was done in pursuance of and by the authority of this Act; and if it shall appear so to have been done, the Jury shall find for the defendant or defendants; and if the plaintiff shall be non suited, or discontinue his action, after the defendant or defendants shall have appeared, or if judgment shall be given upon any verdict or demurrer against the plaintiff, the defendant or defendants shall recover treble costs, and have the like remedy for the same, as defendants have in other cases by law.

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