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No. 34.

Quartering Act

April, 1765

An act to amend and render more effectual, in his Majesty’s dominions in America, an act passed in this present session of parliament, intituled, An act for punishing mutiny and desertion, and for the better payment of the army and their quarters.

WHEREAS . . . [by the Mutiny Act of 1765] . . . several regulations are made and enacted for the better government of the army, and their observing strict discipline, and for providing quarters for the army, and carriages on marches and other necessary occasions, and inflicting penalties on offenders against the same act, and for many other good purposes therein mentioned; but the same may not be sufficient for the forces that may be employed in his Majesty’s dominions in America: and whereas, during the continuance of the said act, there may be occasion for marching and quartering of regiments and companies of his Majesty’s forces in several parts of his Majesty’s dominions in America: and whereas the publick houses and barracks, in his Majesty’s dominions in America, may not be sufficient to supply quarters for such forces: and whereas it is expedient and necessary that carriages and other conveniences, upon the march of troops in his Majesty’s dominions in America, should be supplied for that purpose: be it enacted . . . , That for and during the continuance of this act, and no longer, it shall and may be lawful to and for the constables, tithingmen, magistrates, and other civil officers of villages, towns, townships, cities, districts, and other places, within his Majesty’s dominions in America, and in their default or absence, for any one justice of the peace inhabiting in or near any such village, township, city, district or place, and for no others; and such constables . . . and other civil officers as aforesaid, are hereby required to billet and quarter the officers and soldiers, in his Majesty’s service, in the barracks provided by the colonies; and if there shall not be sufficient room in the said barracks for the officers and soldiers, then and in such case only, to quarter and billet the residue . . . in inns, livery stables, ale-houses, victualling-houses, and the houses of sellers of wine by retail to be drank in their own houses or places thereunto belonging, and all houses of persons selling of rum, brandy, strong water, cyder or metheglin, by retail, to be drank in houses; and in case there shall not be sufficient room for the officers and soldiers in such barracks, inns, victualling and other publick ale-houses, that in such and no other case, and upon no other account, it shall and may be lawful for the governor and council of each respective province in his Majesty’s dominions in America, to authorize and appoint, and they are hereby directed and impowered to authorize and appoint, such proper person or persons as they shall think fit, to take, hire and make fit, and, in default of the said governor and council appointing and authorizing such person or persons, or in default of such person or persons so appointed neglecting or refusing to do their duty, in that case it shall and may be lawful for any two or more of his Majesty’s justices of the peace in or near the said villages, towns, townships, cities, districts, and other places, and they are hereby required to take, hire, and make fit for the reception of his Majesty’s forces, such and so many uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings, as shall be necessary, to quarter therein the residue of such officers and soldiers for whom there should not be room in such barracks and publick houses as aforesaid . . .

II. And it is hereby declared and enacted, That there shall be no more billets at any time ordered, than there are effective soldiers present to be quartered therein: and in order that this service may be effectually provided for, the commander in chief in America, or other officer under whose orders any regiment or company shall march, shall, from time to time, give . . . as early notice as conveniently may be, in writing, signed by such commander or officer of their march, specifying their numbers and time of marching as near as may be, to the respective governors of each province through which they are to march . . .

III. [Military officers taking upon themselves to quarter soldiers contrary to this act, or using any menace to a civil officer to deter him from his duty, to be cashiered. Persons aggrieved by having soldiers quartered upon them may complain to justices of the peace, and be relieved.]

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V. Provided nevertheless, and it is hereby enacted, That the officers and soldiers so quartered and billeted as aforesaid (except such as shall be quartered in the barracks, and hired uninhabited houses, or other buildings as aforesaid) shall be received and furnished with diet, and small beer, cyder, or rum mixed with water, by the owners of the inns, livery stables, alehouses, victualling-houses, and other houses in which they are allowed to be quartered and billeted by this act; paying and allowing for the same the several rates herein after mentioned to be payable, out of the subsistence-money, for diet and small beer, cyder, or rum mixed with water.

VI. Provided always, That in case any innholder, or other person, on whom any non-commission officers or private men shall be quartered by virtue of this act, . . . (except on a march, or employed in recruiting, and likewise except the recruits by them raised, for the space of seven days at most, for such non-commission officers and soldiers who are recruiting, and recruits by them raised) shall be desirous to furnish such non-commission officers or soldiers with candles, vinegar, and salt, and with small beer or cyder, not exceeding five pints, or half a pint of rum mixed with a quart of water, for each man per diem, gratis, and allow to such non-commission officers or soldiers the use of fire, and the necessary u[n]tensils for dressing and eating their meat, and shall give notice of such his desire to the commanding officer, and shall furnish and allow the same accordingly; then . . . the non-commission officers and soldiers so quartered shall provide their own victuals; and the officer to whom it belongs to receive, or that actually does receive, the pay and subsistence of such non-commission officers and soldiers, shall pay the several sums herein after-mentioned to be payable, out of the subsistence-money, for diet and small beer, to the non-commission officers and soldiers aforesaid . . .

VII. And whereas there are several barracks in several places in his Majesty’s said dominions in America, or some of them, provided by the colonies, for the lodging and covering of soldiers in lieu of quarters, for the ease and conveniency as well of the inhabitants of and in such colonies, as of the soldiers; it is hereby further enacted, That all such officers and soldiers, so put and placed in such barracks, or in hired uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings, shall, from time to time, be furnished and supplied there by the persons to be authorized or appointed for that purpose by the governor and council of each respective province, or upon neglect or refusal of such governor and council in any province, then by two or more justices of the peace residing in or near such place, with fire, candles, vinegar, and salt, bedding, utensils for dressing their victuals, and small beer or cyder, not exceeding five pints, or half a pint of rum mixed with a quart of water, to each man, without paying any thing for the same.

VIII. [Persons taking or hiring uninhabited houses, &c, for troops, and furnishing supplies as aforesaid, to be reimbursed by the province.]

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XI. And be it further enacted . . . , That if any constable, tythingman, magistrate, or other chief officer or person whatsoever, who, by virtue or colour of this act, shall quarter or billet, or be employed in quartering or billeting, any officers or soldiers, within his Majesty’s said dominions in America, shall neglect or refuse, for the space of two hours, to quarter or billet such officers or soldiers, when thereunto required, in such manner as is by this act directed, provided sufficient notice be given before the arrival of such forces; . . . or in case any victualler, or any other person . . . , liable by this act to have any officer or soldier billeted or quartered on him or her, shall refuse to receive or victual any such officer or soldier . . . ; or in case any person or persons shall refuse to furnish or allow, according to the directions of this act, the several things herein before directed to be furnished or allowed to officers and soldiers, so quartered or billeted on him or her, or in the barracks, and hired uninhabited houses, out-houses, barns or other buildings, as aforesaid, at the rate herein after mentioned; and shall be thereof convicted before one of the magistrates of any one of the supreme chief or principal common law courts of the colony where such offence shall be committed, . . . [every such offender shall forfeit not less than forty shillings nor more than £5.]

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XV. And be if further enacted . . . , That for the better and more regular provision of carriages for his Majesty’s forces in their marches, or for their arms, cloaths, or accoutrements, in his Majesty’s said dominions in America, all justices of the peace within their several villages . . . [&c.] . . . and places, being duly required thereunto by an order from his Majesty, or the general of his forces, or of the general commanding, or the commanding officer there shall, as often as such order is brought and shewn unto one or more or them, by the quarter-master, adjutant, or other Officer of the regiment, detachment, or company, so ordered to march, issue out his or their warrants to the constables . . . or other officers of the villages . . . and other places, from, through, near, or to which such regiment, detachment, or company, shall be ordered to march, requiring them to make such provision for carriages, with able men to drive the same, as shall be mentioned in the said warrant: allowing them reasonable time to do the same, that the neighbouring parts may not always bear the burthen: and in case sufficient carriages cannot be provided within any such village . . . or other place, then the next justice or justices of the peace of the village . . . or other place, shall, upon such order as aforesaid . . . , issue his or their warrants to the constables . . . or other officers, of such next village . . . or other place, for the purposes aforesaid, to make up such deficiency; and such constable . . . or other officer, shall order or appoint such person or persons, having carriages, within their respective villages . . . or other places, as they shall think proper, to provide and furnish such carriages and men, according to the warrant aforesaid . . .

XVI. And be it further enacted, That the pay or hire for a New York waggon, carrying twelve hundred pounds gross weight, shall be seven pence sterling for each mile; and for every other carriage in that and every other colony . . . , in the same proportion; and at or after the same rate or price for what weight every such other carriage shall carry; and that the first day’s pay or hire for every such carriage, shall be paid down by such officer to such constable . . . or other civil officer, who shall get or procure such carriages, for the use of the owner or owners thereof; and the pay or hire for every such carriage after the first day, shall be paid every day, from day to day, by such officer as aforesaid, into the hands of the driver or drivers of such carriages respectively, until such carriages shall be discharged from such service, for the use of the owner and owners thereof.

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XVIII. Provided also, That no such waggon, cart, or carriage, shall be obliged to travel more than one day’s march, if, within that time, they shall arrive at any other place where other carriages may be procured; but, in case other sufficient carriages cannot be procured, then such carriages shall be obliged to continue in the service till they shall arrive at such village . . . or other place, where proper and sufficient carriages, for the service of the forces, may be procured.

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Chicago: Pickering, ed., "Quartering Act," Statutes at Large in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. William MacDonald (1863-1938) (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 132–136. Original Sources, accessed April 26, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CPBN98KV995AYPX.

MLA: . "Quartering Act." Statutes at Large, edited by Pickering, Vol. XXVI, in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, edited by William MacDonald (1863-1938), New York, The Macmillan Company, 1916, pp. 132–136. Original Sources. 26 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CPBN98KV995AYPX.

Harvard: (ed.), 'Quartering Act' in Statutes at Large. cited in 1916, Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York, pp.132–136. Original Sources, retrieved 26 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CPBN98KV995AYPX.