126. GEORGE III: STATUTES

(A) Stamp Act (1765)

An act for granting and applying certain stamp duties and other duties in the British colonies and plantations in America towards further defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the same, and for amending such parts of the several acts of parliament relating to the trade and revenues of the said colonies and plantations as direct the manner of determining and recovering the penalties and forfeitures therein mentioned. Whereas, by an act made in the last session of parliament, several duties were granted ... towards defraying the expenses of defending ... the British colonies and plantations in America; and whereas it is just and necessary that provision be made for raising a further revenue within your majesty's dominions in America towards defraying the said expenses: we ... , the commons of Great Britain in parliament assembled, have therefore resolved to give ... unto your majesty the several rates and duties hereinafter mentioned ...; and be it enacted ... that ... there shall be raised ... and paid unto his majesty, his heirs, and successors throughout the colonies and plantations in America ..., for every skin ... of vellum ... or sheet ... of paper, on which shall be engrossed ... any declaration ... or other pleading, or any copy thereof, in any court of law within the British colonies and plantations in America, a stamp duty of 3d....[1]

And be it further enacted ... that all the moneys which shall arise by the several rates and duties hereby granted, except the necessary charges of raising ... and accounting for the same, and the necessary charges ... incurred in relation to this act and the execution thereof, shall be paid into the receipt of his majesty's exchequer, and shall be entered separate and apart from all other moneys, and shall be there reserved to be from time to time disposed of by parliament towards further defraying the necessary expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the said colonies and plantations....

Statutes at Large, XXVI, 179 f.: 5 George III, c. 12.

(B) Declaratory Act (1766)[2]

An act for the better securing the dependency of his majesty's dominions in America upon the crown and parliament of Great Britain. Whereas several of the houses of representatives in his majesty's colonies and plantations in America have of late against law claimed to themselves, or to the general assemblies of the same, the sole and exclusive right of imposing duties and taxes upon his majesty's subjects in the said colonies and plantations; and have in pursuance of such claim passed certain votes, resolutions, and orders derogatory to the legislative authority of parliament and inconsistent with the dependency of the said colonies and plantations upon the crown of Great Britain: ... be it declared 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 ... , that the said colonies in America have been, are, and of right ought to be subordinate unto and dependent upon the imperial crown and parliament of Great Britain; and that the king's majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons of Great Britain in parliament assembled, had, hath, and of right ought to have full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America, subjects of the crown of Great Britain, in all cases whatsoever. And be it further declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid that all resolutions, votes, orders, and proceedings in any of the said colonies or plantations, whereby the power and authority of the parliament of Great Britain to make laws and statutes as aforesaid is denied or drawn into question, are and are hereby declared to be utterly null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever.

Ibid., XXVII, 19 f.: 6 George III, c. 12.

(C) Townshend's Revenue Act (1767)

An act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in America ... and for more effectually preventing the clandestine running of goods in the said colonies and plantations. Whereas it is expedient that a revenue should be raised in your majesty's dominions in America for making a more certain and adequate provision for defraying the charge of the administration of justice and the support of civil government in such provinces where it shall be found necessary, and towards further defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and securing the said dominions: we, your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the commons of Great Britain in parliament assembled, have therefore resolved to give and grant unto your majesty the several rates and duties hereinafter mentioned....[3]

And, for the more effectual preventing the clandestine running of goods in the British dominions in America, be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that ... the master or other person having ... command of every ship ... arriving in any British colony or plantation in America shall, before he proceeds with his vessel to the place of unlading, come directly to the custom-house for the port or district where he arrives and make a just and true entry upon oath ... of the burden, contents, and lading of such ship ...; and ... shall likewise ... answer upon oath to such questions as shall be demanded of him by the collector or comptroller or other principal officer of the customs ... concerning such ship ... or concerning any goods or merchandise that shall or may be laden on board her, upon forfeiture of 100 sterling....

And whereas, by an act of parliament made in the fourteenth year of the reign of Charles II ... and several other acts now in force, it is lawful for any officer of his majesty's customs, authorized by writ of assistance under the seal of his majesty's court of exchequer, to take a constable ... or other public officer inhabiting near unto the place and in the daytime to enter ... any house, shop, cellar, warehouse ... , or other place and ... to seize and from thence to bring any kind of goods or merchandise whatsoever prohibited ... , and to put and secure the same in his majesty's storehouse ...: be it enacted ... that ... such writs of assistance ... shall and may be granted by the ... supreme court of justice ... within such colony or plantation....

Ibid., XXVII, 505 f,; 7 George III, c. 46.

(D) Quebec Act (1774)

An act for making more effectual provision for the government of the province of Quebec in North America. Whereas his majesty by his royal proclamation, bearing date the 7th day of October in the third year of his reign, thought fit to declare the provisions which have been made in respect to certain countries, territories, and islands in America, ceded to his majesty by the definitive treaty of peace concluded at Paris ...;[4] and whereas, by the arrangements made by the said royal proclamation, a very large extent of country, within which there were several colonies and settlements of the subjects of France who claimed to remain therein under the faith of the said treaty, was left without any provision being made for the administration of civil government therein ...: be it enacted ... that all the territories, islands, and countries in North America [as aforesaid] ...[5] be ... annexed to and made part and parcel of the province of Quebec.... Provided always that nothing herein contained relative to the boundary of the province of Quebec shall in any wise affect the boundaries of any other colony....

And whereas the provisions made by the said proclamation in respect to the civil government of the said province of Quebec ... have been found upon experience to be inapplicable to ... the said province, the inhabitants whereof amounted at the conquest to above 65,000 persons, professing the religion of the Church of Rome and enjoying an established form of constitution and system of laws ...: be it therefore further enacted ... that the said proclamation, so far as the same relates to the said province of Quebec ... , be ... hereby revoked, annulled, and made void....

And, for the more perfect security and ease of the minds of the inhabitants of the said province, it is hereby declared that his majesty's subjects professing the religion of the Church of Rome ... in the said province of Quebec may have, hold, and enjoy the free exercise of the religion of the Church of Rome, subject to the king's supremacy ...;[6] and that the clergy of the said Church may hold, receive, and enjoy their accustomed dues and rights with respect to such persons only as shall profess the said religion. Provided, nevertheless, that it shall be lawful for his majesty, his heirs, or successors to make such provision out of the rest of the said accustomed dues and rights for the encouragement of the Protestant religion and for the maintenance and support of a Protestant clergy within the said province as he or they shall ... think necessary and expedient....

And be it further enacted ... that his majesty's Canadian subjects within the province of Quebec, the religious orders and communities only excepted, may also hold and enjoy their property and possessions ... and all other their civil rights in as large, ample, and beneficial manner ... as may consist with their allegiance to his majesty and subjection to the crown and parliament of Great Britain; and that, in all matters of controversy relative to property and civil rights, resort shall be had to the laws of Canada as the rule for the decision of the same ... , until they shall be ... altered by any ordinances that shall from time to time be passed in the said province by the governor, lieutenant governor, or commander-in-chief ... by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council of the same....

And whereas the certainty and lenity of the criminal law of England and the benefits and advantages resulting from the use of it have been sensibly felt by the inhabitants from an experience of more than nine years ...: be it ... enacted ... that the same shall continue to be administered and shall be observed as law in the province of Quebec, as well in the description and quality of the offence as in the method of prosecution and trial ...; subject, nevertheless, to such alterations [as aforesaid]....

And whereas it may be necessary to ordain many regulations for the future welfare and good government of the province of Quebec, the occasions of which cannot now be foreseen nor without much delay and inconvenience be provided for, without entrusting that authority ... to persons resident there; and whereas it is at present inexpedient to call an assembly: be it therefore enacted ... that it shall and may be lawful for his majesty, his heirs, and successors ... , with the advice of the privy council, to constitute and appoint a council for the affairs of the province of Quebec, to consist of such persons resident there, not exceeding twenty-three nor less than seventeen, as his majesty, his heirs, and successors shall be pleased to appoint ...; which council ... shall have power and authority to make ordinances for the peace, welfare, and good government of the said province with the consent of his majesty's governor....

Provided always that nothing in this act contained shall extend to ... empower the said legislative council to lay any taxes or duties within the said province; such rates and taxes only excepted as the inhabitants of any town or district within the province may be authorized by the said council to assess, levy, and apply within the said town or district for the purpose of making roads, erecting and repairing public buildings, or for any other purpose respecting the local convenience and economy of such town or district. Provided also ... that every ordinance so to be made shall within six months be transmitted by the governor ... and laid before his majesty for his royal approbation. And if his majesty shall think fit to disallow thereof, the same shall cease and be void from the time that his majesty's order in council thereupon shall be promulgated at Quebec. Provided also that no ordinance touching religion, or by which any punishment may be inflicted greater than fine or imprisonment for three months, shall be of any force or effect until the same shall have received his majesty's approbation....

Provided always ... that nothing in this act contained shall ... be construed ... to repeal or make void, within the said province of Quebec, any act or acts of the parliament of Great Britain heretofore made for ... regulating the trade or commerce of his majesty's colonies and plantations in America; but that ... all acts of parliament heretofore made ... respecting the said colonies and plantations shall be ... in force within the said province of Quebec....

Ibid., XXX, 549 f.: 14 George III, c. 83.

(E) Colonial Tax Repeal Act (1778)

An act for removing all doubts and apprehensions concerning taxation by the parliament of Great Britain in any of the colonies, provinces, and plantations in North America and the West Indies.... Whereas taxation by the parliament of Great Britain for the purpose of raising a revenue in his majesty's colonies, provinces, and plantations in North America has been found by experience to occasion great uneasinesses and disorders among his majesty's faithful subjects, who may nevertheless be disposed to acknowledge the justice of contributing to the common defence of the empire, provided such contribution should be raised under the authority of the general court or general assembly of each respective colony ...: it is hereby declared and enacted ... that, from and after the passing of this act, the king and parliament of Great Britain will not impose any duty, tax, or assessment whatever, payable in any of his majesty's colonies ... in North America or the West Indies, except only such duties as it may be expedient to impose for the regulation of commerce; the net produce of such duties to be always paid and applied to and for the use of the colony ... in which the same shall be ... levied.

And be it further enacted ... that ... so much of an act made in the seventh year of his present majesty's reign ...[7] as imposes a duty on tea imported from Great Britain into any colony ... in America ... is hereby repealed....

Ibid., XXXII, 4: 18 George III, c. 12.

(F) Burke's Place Act (1782)

An act for better securing the freedom of elections of members to serve in parliament by disabling certain officers employed in the collection or management of his majesty's revenues from giving their votes at such elections. For the better securing the freedom of elections of members to serve in parliament, be it enacted ... that ... no commissioner, collector, supervisor, gauger, or other officer or person whatsoever concerned or employed in the charging, collecting, levying, or managing the duties of excise ... , the customs ... , the duties on ... parchment and paper ... , the duties on salt ... , the duties on windows or houses ... , the revenue of the post office ... , nor any captain, master, or mate of any ship ... or other vessel employed ... in conveying the mail to and from foreign ports, shall be capable of giving his vote for the election of any knight of the shire, commissioner, citizen, burgess, or baron to serve in parliament....

Ibid., XXXIV, 48 f.: 22 George III, c. 41.

(G) Irish Appeals Act (1783)

An act for removing and preventing all doubts which may have arisen or might arise concerning the exclusive rights of the parliament and courts of Ireland in matters of legislation and judicature.... Whereas, by an act of the last session of this present parliament entitled An Act to Repeal an Act Made in the Sixth Year of ... George I ... ,[8] it was enacted that the said last-mentioned act and all matters and things therein contained should be repealed ...: for removing all doubts respecting the same ... , be it declared and enacted ... that the ... right claimed by the people of Ireland to be bound only by laws enacted by his majesty and the parliament of that kingdom in all cases whatever, and to have all actions and suits at law or in equity which may be instituted in that kingdom decided in his majesty's courts therein finally and without appeal from thence, shall be and it is hereby declared to be established and ascertained forever, and shall at no time hereafter be questioned or questionable. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that no writ of error or appeal shall be received or adjudged, or any other proceeding be had, by or in any of his majesty's courts in this kingdom in any action or suit at law or in equity instituted in any of his majesty's courts in the kingdom of Ireland....

Ibid., XXXIV, 256: 23 George III, c. 28.

(H) Canadian Constitution Act (1791)

An act to repeal certain parts of an act passed in the fourteenth year of his majesty's reign ... and to make further provision for the government of the said provinces....[9]

And whereas his majesty has been pleased to signify, by his message to both houses of parliament, his royal intention to divide his province of Quebec into two separate provinces, to be called the province of Upper Canada and the province of Lower Canada: be it enacted ... that there shall be within each of the said provinces respectively a legislative council and an assembly ...; and that in each of the said provinces respectively his majesty, his heirs, or successors shall have power ... , by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council and assembly ... , to make laws for the peace, welfare, and good government thereof, such laws not being repugnant to this act; and that all such laws ... , assented to by his majesty, his heirs, or successors, or assented to in his majesty's name ... , shall be ... valid and binding....

And be it further enacted ... that, for the purpose of constituting such legislative council as aforesaid ... , it shall and may be lawful for his majesty, his heirs, or successors ... to authorize and direct the governor ... or person administering the government in each of the said provinces respectively ... to summon to the said legislative council ... a sufficient number of discreet and proper persons, being not fewer than seven ... for ... Upper Canada and not fewer than fifteen ... for ... Lower Canada ...; and ... that every member of each of the said legislative councils shall hold his seat therein for the term of his life....

And be it further enacted ... that, for the purpose of constituting such assembly as aforesaid in each of the said provinces respectively, it shall and may be lawful for his majesty, his heirs, or successors ... to authorize and direct the governor ... or person administering the government in each of the said provinces respectively ... to summon ... an assembly in and for such province. And be it further enacted ... that, for the purpose of electing the members of such assemblies respectively, it shall and may be lawful for his majesty, his heirs, or successors ... to authorize the governor ... or the person administering the government therein ... to issue a proclamation dividing such province into districts ... and towns or townships ... and declaring ... the number of representatives to be chosen by each.... Provided ... that the whole number of members to be chosen in the province of Upper Canada shall not be less than sixteen and ... in the province of Lower Canada shall not be less than fifty....

And be it further enacted ... that the members for the several districts ... shall be chosen by the majority of votes of such persons as shall severally be possessed ... of lands or tenements within such district ... of the yearly value of 40s. sterling or upwards ...;[10] and that the members for the several towns or townships ... shall be chosen by the majority of votes of such persons as either shall severally be possessed ... of a dwelling-house and lot of ground in such town or township ... of the yearly value of 5 sterling or upwards, or as, having been resident within the said town or townships for the space of twelve calendar months ... , shall ... have paid one year's rent ... at the rate of 10 sterling per annum or upwards....

And be it enacted ... that the said legislative council and assembly in each of the said provinces shall be called together once at the least in every twelve calendar months, and that every assembly shall continue for four years ... , subject, nevertheless, to be sooner prorogued or dissolved by the governor ... or person administering his majesty's government therein.... And be it further enacted ... that, whenever any bill which has been passed by the legislative council and by the house of assembly ... shall be presented for his majesty's assent ... , such governor ... shall ... declare ... that he assents to such bill in his majesty's name, or that he withholds his majesty's assent from such bill, or that he reserves such bill for the signification of his majesty's pleasure thereon. Provided always ... that, whenever any bill ... shall ... have been assented to ... , such governor ... shall ... transmit to one of his majesty's principal secretaries of state an authentic copy of such bill ...; and that it shall and may be lawful, at any time within two years ... , for his majesty, his heirs, or successors ... to declare his ... disallowance of such bill....

Be it... enacted ... that nothing in this act contained shall ... be construed to extend to prevent or affect the execution of any law ... made by his majesty, his heirs, or successors and the parliament of Great Britain ... for the regulation of the commerce ... between the said two provinces, or between either of the said provinces and any other part of his majesty's dominions, or between either of the said provinces and any foreign country.... Provided always ... that the net produce of all duties which shall be so imposed shall ... be applied to and for the use of each of the provinces respectively, and in such manner only as shall be directed ... by his majesty, his heirs, or successors by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council and assembly of such province....

Ibid., XXXVII, 294 f.: 31 George III, c. 31.

(I) Fox's Libel Act (1792)[11]

An act to remove doubts respecting the functions of juries in cases of libel. Whereas doubts have arisen whether, on the trial of an indictment or information for the making or publishing any libel ... , it be competent to the jury ... to give their verdict upon the whole matter in issue: be it therefore declared and enacted ... that on every such trial the jury sworn to try the issue may give a general verdict of guilty or not guilty upon the whole matter put in issue upon such indictment or information, and shall not be required or directed by the court or judge ... to find the defendant or defendants guilty merely on the proof of the publication by such defendant or defendants of the paper charged to be a libel and of the sense ascribed to the same in such indictment or information.

Provided always that on every such trial the court or judge ... shall, according to their or his discretion, give their or his opinion and directions to the jury on the matter in issue between the king and the defendant or defendants in like manner as in other criminal cases. Provided also that nothing herein contained shall ... be construed to extend to prevent the jury from finding a special verdict in their discretion, as in other criminal cases....

Ibid., XXXVII, 627 f.: 32 George III, c. 60.

(J) Act Suspending Habeas Corpus in Certain Cases (1794)

An act to empower his majesty to secure and detain such persons as his majesty shall suspect are conspiring against his person and government. Whereas a traitorous and detestable conspiracy has been formed for subverting the existing laws and constitution and for introducing the system of anarchy and confusion which has so fatally prevailed in France: therefore, for the better preservation of his majesty's sacred person and for securing the peace and the laws and liberties of this kingdom, be it enacted ... that every person or persons that are or shall be in prison within the kingdom of Great Britain at or upon the day on which this act shall receive his majesty's royal assent or after, by warrant of his majesty's most honourable privy council signed by six of the said privy council for high treason or suspicion of high treason or treasonable practices, or by warrant signed by any of his majesty's secretaries of state for such causes as aforesaid, may be detained in safe custody without bail or main-prise until the first day of February, 1795; and that no judge or justice of the peace shall bail or try any such person or persons so committed without order from his said majesty's privy council, signed by six of the said privy council, till the said first day of February, 1795 — any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding....

Provided always and be it enacted that nothing in this act shall be construed to extend to invalidate the ancient rights and privileges of parliament, or to the imprisonment or detaining of any member of either house of parliament, during the sitting of such parliament, until the matter of which he stands suspected be first communicated to the house of which he is a member and the consent of the said house obtained for his commitment or detaining.

Ibid., XXXIX, 556 f.: 34 George III, c. 54.

(K) Treasonable and Seditious Practices Act (1795)

An act for the safety and preservation of his majesty's person and government against treasonable and seditious practices and attempts.... Be it enacted ... that, if any person ... , during the natural life of our most gracious sovereign lord the king ... , and until the end of the next session of parliament after a demise of the crown, shall, within the realm or without, compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend death or destruction, or any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maim or wounding, imprisonment or restraint of the person of the same our sovereign lord the king, his heirs, and successors; or to deprive or depose him or them from the style, honour, or kingly name of the imperial crown of this realm, or of any other of his majesty's dominions or countries; or to levy war against his majesty, his heirs, and successors within this realm, in order by force or constraint to compel him or them to change his or their measures or counsels, or in order to put any force or constraint upon ... both houses or either house of parliament, or to move or stir any foreigner or stranger with force to invade this realm or any other his majesty's dominions or countries ...; and such ... intentions ... shall express, utter, or declare by publishing any printing or writing or by any overt act or deed, being legally convicted thereof upon the oaths of two lawful and credible witnesses upon trial, or otherwise convicted or attainted by due course of law; then every such person and persons so as aforesaid offending shall be deemed, declared, and adjudged to be a traitor and traitors, and shall suffer pains of death, and also lose and forfeit as in cases of high treason. And be it further enacted ... that, if any person ... within that part of Great Britain called England, at any time ... during three years from the day of passing this act and until the end of the then next session of parliament, shall maliciously and advisedly, by writing, printing, preaching, or other speaking ... , declare any words or sentences to excite or stir up the people to hatred or contempt of the person of his majesty, his heirs, or successors, or the government and constitution of this realm as by law established, then every such person ... , being thereof legally convicted, shall be liable to such punishment as may by law be inflicted in cases of high misdemeanours....

Ibid., XL, 561 f.: 36 George III, c. 7.

(L) Seditious Assemblies Act (1795)

An act for the more effectually preventing seditious meetings and assemblies.... Be it enacted ... that no meeting of any description of persons exceeding the number of fifty ...[12] shall be holden for the purpose or on the pretext of considering of or preparing any petition ... or other address to the king, or to both houses or either house of parliament, for alteration of matters established in church or state, or for the purpose or on the pretext of deliberating upon any grievance in church or state, unless notice[13] of the intention to hold such meeting ... shall be given in the names of seven persons at the least, being householders resident within the ... place where such meeting shall be proposed to be holden.... And be it further enacted ... that all meetings ... which shall be holden without such previous notice as foresaid ... shall be deemed and taken to be unlawful assemblies....[14]

And ... be it ... enacted ... that every house, room, field, or other place where lectures or discourses shall be delivered or public debates shall be had on or concerning any supposed public grievance, or any matters relating to the laws, constitution, government, or policy of these kingdoms, for the purpose of raising or collecting money or any other valuable thing from the persons admitted ... , or, under whatever pretence the same shall be opened or used, to which any person shall be admitted by the payment of money or by tickets sold ... , unless the opening or using ... shall have been previously licensed in manner hereinafter mentioned, shall be deemed a disorderly house or place....[15]

Provided, nevertheless, and be it enacted ... that it shall be lawful for two or more justices of the peace of the ... place where any house, room, or other building shall be, which any person shall be desirous to open for any of the purposes aforesaid, by writing under their hands and seals ... to grant a licence to any person or persons desiring the same ...; which licence it shall be lawful for the justices of the same ... place ... to revoke and declare void....

Provided also that nothing in this act contained shall be construed to extend to any lectures ... to be delivered in any of the universities of these kingdoms by any member thereof or any person authorized by the chancellor ... or other proper officers of such universities....

Ibid., XL, 564 f.: 36 George III, c. 8.

(M) Poor Relief Act (1795)

An act to amend so much of an act made in the ninth year of the reign of King George I ...[16] as prevents the distributing occasional relief to poor persons in their own houses under certain circumstances and in certain cases.... Whereas ... the act above mentioned has been found to ... be inconvenient and oppressive, inasmuch as it often prevents an industrious poor person from receiving such occasional relief as is best suited to the peculiar case of such poor person, and inasmuch as in certain cases it holds out conditions of relief injurious to the comfort and domestic situation and happiness of such poor persons: be it therefore enacted ... that ... it shall and may be lawful for the overseer or overseers of any parish ... or place, with the approbation of the parishioners ... or with the approbation in writing of any of his majesty's ... justices of the peace ... , to distribute and pay collection and relief to any industrious poor ... persons at ... their homes ... under certain circumstances of temporary illness or distress....

Provided always that the special cause ... of ordering and directing collection or relief to any poor person ... at his ... house ... be assigned and written on each order for relief given ... as aforesaid. And provided always that such order be given for ... a time not to exceed one month.... Provided also that it shall and may be lawful for any two justices as aforesaid to make any further order for the same or like purpose for any further time not exceeding one month ... , and so on from time to time....

Provided always ... that nothing in this act contained shall ... be construed ... to extend to authorize ... any ... overseers or any ... justices of the peace ... to distribute ... any collection or relief to any poor person ... at his ... house ... in any parish ... or place in or for which any house of industry or other place for the reception and provision of the poor thereof hath been ... or shall hereafter be erected or provided by and under the authority ... of an act passed in the twenty-second year of the reign of his present majesty ... or under the authority ... of any special act of parliament....[17]

Ibid., XL, 626 f.: 36 George III, c. 23.

(N) Act of Union with Ireland (1800)

An act for the union of Great Britain and Ireland. Whereas, in pursuance of his majesty's ... recommendation to the two houses of parliament in Great Britain and Ireland respectively ... , the two houses of the parliament of Great Britain and the two houses of the parliament of Ireland have severally agreed and resolved that ... it will be advisable to concur in such measures as may best tend to unite the two kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into one kingdom ...; and whereas, in furtherance of the same resolution, both houses of the said two parliaments respectively have likewise agreed upon certain articles for effectuating and establishing the said purposes in the tenor following ...:[18] be it enacted ... that the said ... articles ... be ratified, confirmed, and approved ... , and they are hereby declared to be the articles of the union of Great Britain and Ireland; and the same shall be in force and have effect forever from the first day of January which shall be in the year of our Lord 1801, provided that before that period an act shall have been passed by the parliament of Ireland for carrying into effect in the like manner the said ... articles....

[Articles of Union.] Article I.... That the said kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland shall ... be united into one kingdom by the name of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland....

Article II.... That the succession to the imperial crown of the said united kingdom and of the dominions thereunto belonging shall continue limited and settled ... according to the existing laws and to the terms of union between England and Scotland.

Article III.... That the said united kingdom be represented in one and the same parliament....

Article IV.... That four lords spiritual of Ireland by rotation of sessions, and twenty-eight lords temporal of Ireland elected for life by the peers of Ireland, shall be the number to sit and vote on the part of Ireland in the house of lords of the parliament of the united kingdom; and one hundred commoners — two for each county of Ireland, two for the city of Dublin, two for the city of Cork, one for the university of Trinity College, and one for each of the thirty-one most considerable cities, towns, and boroughs — be the number to sit and vote on the part of Ireland in the house of commons of the parliament of the united kingdom. That such act as shall be passed in the parliament of Ireland previous to the union to regulate the mode by which the lords spiritual and temporal and the commons, to serve in the parliament of the united kingdom on the part of Ireland, shall be summoned and returned to the said parliament shall be considered as forming part of the treaty of union.... That all questions touching the rotation or election of lords spiritual or temporal of Ireland to sit in the parliament of the united kingdom shall be decided by the house of lords thereof.... That all questions touching the election of members to sit on the part of Ireland in the house of commons of the united kingdom shall be heard and decided in the same manner as questions touching such elections in Great Britain now are or at any time hereafter shall by law be heard and decided.... That the qualifications in respect of property of the members elected on the part of Ireland to sit in the house of commons of the united kingdom shall be respectively the same as are now provided by law in the cases of elections for counties and cities and boroughs respectively in that part of Great Britain called England, unless any other provision shall hereafter be made in that respect by act of parliament of the united kingdom....

Article V.... That the Churches of England and Ireland, as now by law established, be united into one Protestant Episcopal Church, to be called the United Church of England and Ireland; and that the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the said United Church shall be and shall remain in full force forever as the same are now by law established for the Church of England; and that the continuance and preservation of the said United Church as the established Church of England and Ireland shall be deemed and taken to be an essential and fundamental part of the union; and that in like manner the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the Church of Scotland shall remain and be preserved as the same are now established by law and by the acts for the union of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland.

Article VI.... That his majesty's subjects of Great Britain and Ireland shall ... be entitled to the same privileges ... as to encouragements and bounties on the like articles, being the growth, produce, or manufacture of either country respectively, and generally in respect of trade and navigation in all ports and places in the united kingdom and its dependencies; and that in all treaties made by his majesty, his heirs, and successors with any foreign power his majesty's subjects of Ireland shall have the same privileges ... as his majesty's subjects of Great Britain....

Article VII.... That the charge arising from the payment of the interest and the sinking fund for the reduction of the principal of the debt incurred in either kingdom before the union shall continue to be separately defrayed by Great Britain and Ireland respectively.... That, for the space of twenty years after the union shall take place, the contribution of Great Britain and Ireland respectively towards the expenditure of the united kingdom in each year shall be defrayed in the proportion of fifteen parts for Great Britain, and two parts for Ireland, and that, at the expiration of the said twenty years, the future expenditure of the united kingdom ... shall be defrayed in such proportion as the parliament of the united kingdom shall deem just and reasonable....

Article VIII.... That all laws in force at the time of the union and all the courts of civil and ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the respective kingdoms shall remain as now by law established within the same, subject only to such alterations and regulations from time to time as circumstances may appear to the parliament of the united kingdom to require; provided that all writs of error and appeals, depending at the time of the union or hereafter to be brought, and which might now be finally decided by the house of lords of either kingdom, shall, from and after the union, be finally decided by the house of lords of the united kingdom....

Ibid., XLII, 648 f.: 40 George III, c. 67.

(O) Cotton Industry Arbitration Act (1800)

An act for settling disputes that may arise between masters and workmen engaged in the cotton manufacture in that part of Great Britain called England.... Be it enacted ... that ... , in all cases that shall or may arise ... where the masters and workmen cannot agree respecting the price or prices to be paid for work done or to be done in the said manufacture ... , and in all cases of dispute or difference arising ... out of ... such trade or manufacture which cannot be otherwise mutually adjusted and settled by and between them, it shall ... be lawful ... for such masters and workmen ... , or either of them, to demand and have an arbitration ... of such ... matters in dispute, and each of them is hereby authorized and empowered forthwith to nominate and appoint an arbitrator ... on his ... behalf.... And such arbitrators ... , after they shall have accepted ... the business of the said arbitration, are hereby authorized and required to summon before them and examine upon oath the parties and their witnesses ... , and forthwith to proceed to hear and determine the complaints of the parties and the matter or matters in dispute between them; and the award to be made by such arbitrators shall in all cases be final and conclusive between the parties. But, in case such arbitrators so appointed cannot agree to decide such ... matters in dispute ... , and do not make and sign their award within the space of three days after the signing of the said submission ... , they shall forthwith ... go before ... one of his majesty's justices of the peace ... residing nearest to the place where such dispute shall happen and be referred, and state to such justice the points in difference between them, the said arbitrators; which points in difference the said justice ... is hereby authorized ... to hear and determine. Which determination of such justice shall be made and signed within the space of three days after the expiration of the time hereby allowed the arbitrators to make and sign their award, and shall be final and conclusive between the parties so differing as aforesaid....

Ibid., XLII, 792 f.: 39-40 George III, c. 90.

(P) Combination Act (1800)

An act to repeal an act passed in the last session of parliament ... and to substitute other provisions in lieu thereof. Whereas it is expedient to explain and amend an act passed in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of his present majesty, entitled An Act to Prevent Unlawful Combinations of Workmen: be it therefore enacted ... that, from and after the passing of this act, the said act shall be repealed; and that all contracts, covenants, and agreements whatsoever, in writing or not in writing, at any time ... heretofore made ... between any journeymen, manufacturers, or other persons within this kingdom for obtaining an advance of wages ... , or for lessening or altering their ... usual hours ... of working, or for decreasing the quantity of work (save and except any contract made or to be made between any master and his journeyman or manufacturer for or on account of the work or service of such journeyman or manufacturer....), or for preventing or hindering any person ... from employing whomsoever he ... shall think proper to employ ... , or for controlling or any way affecting any person ... carrying on any ... business in the conduct or management thereof, shall be ... illegal, null, and void....

And be it further enacted that no journeyman, workman, or other person shall ... make or enter into ... any such contract, covenant, or agreement ... as is hereinbefore declared to be an illegal covenant ... , and every journeyman ... or other person who ... shall be guilty of any of the said offences, being thereof lawfully convicted ... , shall ... be committed to ... the common jail ... for any time not exceeding three calendar months; or ... to some house of correction ... , there to remain and to be kept to hard labour for any time not exceeding two calendar months.

And be it further enacted that every journeyman ... or other person who shall ... enter into any combination to obtain an advance of wages ... or for any other purpose contrary to this act; or who shall, by giving money or ... by any other means, wilfully and maliciously endeavour to prevent any ... unemployed journeyman ... or other person ... from hiring himself to any manufacturer ... or person conducting any ... business; or who shall, for the purpose of obtaining an advance of wages or for any other purpose contrary to the provisions of this act, wilfully and maliciously decoy, persuade, solicit, intimidate, influence, or prevail ... on any journeyman ... or other person ... employed in any such ... business to quit ... his work ...; or who shall wilfully and maliciously hinder ... any ... person from employing ... such journeymen ... and other persons as he ... shall think proper; or who, being ... employed, shall without any just or reasonable cause refuse to work ...; and who shall be lawfully convicted of any of the said offences ... , shall ... be committed to ... the common jail ... for any time not exceeding three calendar months; or ... to some house of correction ... , there to remain and to be kept to hard labour for any time not exceeding two calendar months....[19]

And be it further enacted ... that all contracts ... made or to be made by or between any masters or other persons for reducing the wages of workmen, or for adding to or altering the usual hours ... of working, or for increasing the quantity of work ... are hereby declared to be illegal, null, and void.... And all ... such masters, being thereof lawfully convicted ... shall forfeit ... the sum of 20....

Ibid., XLII, 847 f.: 39-40 George III, c. 106.

(Q) Factory Act (1802)

An act for the preservation of the health and morals of apprentices and others employed in cotton and other mills.... Be it enacted that ... all such mills and factories within Great Britain and Ireland, wherein three or more apprentices or twenty or more other persons shall at any time be employed, shall be subject to the several rules and regulations contained in this act ...: —

... That all and every the rooms and apartments in or belonging to any such mill or factory shall, twice at least in every year, be well and sufficiently washed with quick lime and water over every part of the walls and ceiling thereof; and that due care and attention shall be paid by the master and mistress of such mills or factories to provide a sufficient number of windows and openings in such rooms or apartments, to insure a proper supply of fresh air....

That every such master or mistress shall constantly supply every apprentice ... with two whole and complete suits of clothing ... , one new complete suit being delivered to such apprentice once at least in every year....

That no apprentice ... bound to any such master or mistress shall be employed or compelled to work for more than twelve hours in any one day ... , exclusive of the time that may be occupied by such apprentice in eating the necessary meals. Provided always that, from and after the first day of June, 1803, no apprentice shall be employed or compelled to work upon any occasion whatever between the hours of nine of the clock at night and six of the clock in the morning....

That every such apprentice shall be instructed in some part of every working day, for the first four years at least of his or her apprenticeship ... , in reading, writing, and arithmetic ...; and that the time ... allotted for such instruction ... shall be deemed ... part ... of the respective periods ... during which any such apprentice shall be employed or compelled to work....

That the room or apartment in which any male apprentice shall sleep shall be entirely separate and distinct from the room or apartment in which any female apprentice shall sleep, and that not more than two apprentices shall in any case sleep in the same bed....

That every apprentice ... shall, for the space of one hour at least every Sunday, be instructed and examined in the principles of the Christian religion ...; and such master or mistress shall send all his or her apprentices under the care of some proper person, once in a month at least, to attend during divine service in the church of the parish ... or in some licensed place of divine worship. And in case the apprentices ... cannot conveniently attend such church or chapel ... , the master or mistress ... shall cause divine service to be performed in some convenient room or place in or adjoining to the mill or factory....

And be it further enacted that the justices of the peace for every county ... shall ... appoint two persons, not interested in or in any way connected with any such mills or factories, to be visitors ...; and the said visitors, or either of them, shall have full power and authority ... to enter into and inspect any such mill or factory at any time of the day ... , and ... shall report from time to time in writing to the quarter sessions of the peace the state and condition of such mills and factories ... , and whether the same are or not conducted and regulated according to the directions of this act....

Ibid., XLIII, 632 f.: 42 George III, c. 73.


[1] Here follows an elaborate schedule of other stamp duties to be paid on legal documents, calendars, advertisements, playing cards, etc.; together with provisions for enforcement of the act and penalties for its infringement.

[2] Having repealed the Stamp Act, as being "attended with many inconveniences" and likely to be "productive of consequences greatly detrimental to the commercial interests of these kingdoms," parliament then proceeded to make the present declaration.

[3] Here follows a schedule of duties to be levied on all sorts of glass, paint, painter's colours, paper, and tea.

[4] This was the peace of 1763, ending the Seven Years' War. The royal proclamation here referred to set up tentative governments in the recently acquired provinces. See R. Coupland, The Quebec Act.

[5] The act here sets precise boundaries for the enlarged province of Quebec — to the southwest the Ohio River, to the west the Mississippi.

[6] As defined in the Act of Supremacy (no. 81a); but Roman Catholics are permitted to take an oath of allegiance in place of the oath of supremacy.

[7] No. 126C. On account of American protests, all the duties but tea had been repealed in 1770.

[8] No. 122C.

[9] The first article of this statute repeals those parts of the Quebec Act (no. 126D) relating to the legislative council.

[10] Such land had to be held by some form of free tenure other than leasehold.

[11] Cf. no. 129E, 1.

[12] Except courts of counties or towns and their subdivisions, or meetings of corporations lawfully summoned.

[13] Such notice, under a variety of legal formalities, has to be given to the local clerk of the peace or published in a local newspaper.

[14] The following articles apply the provisions of the Riot Act (no. 122A) to such assemblies, and to those of which legal notice has been given, but in which suggestions of revolutionary action are made or proposals tending to incite the people to hatred or contempt of the king or of his government. Persons interfering with the magistrates in the carrying out of this law are to be liable to the death penalty.

[15] The owners, occupiers, superintendents, etc., of such properties, as well as the managers of the meetings there held, are liable to prosecution and a fine of ?100 for each offence. The local peace officers may demand admittance to any licensed place of this sort and, if they are not admitted, it shall be considered disorderly.

[16] This was a statute of 1722 which provided that parishes or other units of local government might give the administration of poor relief to a contractor. In that case all persons desiring relief had to reside in the poorhouse maintained by such contractor.

[17] The act of 1782 had authorized owners or occupiers of land in any parish or group of parishes to substitute for the overseers of the poor (see no. 114L) paid guardians of the poor and governors of the poorhouse. Before 1782 individual parishes had gained equivalent privileges through special acts of parliament. See Bristol Record Society's Publications, vol. III, introduction by E. E. Butcher.

[18] For the sake of clarity, the articles of union are placed at the end of the present document.

[19] Persons attending any meeting for the purposes described above, or soliciting or paying any contribution for such purposes, are to be liable to the same penalties. Elaborate provisions are made for the enforcement of the act. But the settlement of labour disputes by arbitration is continued as allowed by earlier statues (e.g., the previous document) and further articles are added to improve the system.