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Revenue Act of 1767

Revenue Act of 1767 June 26, 1767


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; and do most humbly beseech your Majesty that it may be enacted and be it enacted . . . that from and after the twentieth day of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven, there shall be raised, levied, collected and paid, unto his Majesty, his heirs and successors, for and upon the respective goods hereinafter mentioned, which shall be imported from Great Britain into any colony or plantation in America which now is, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his Majesty, his heirs or successors, the several rates and duties following [on glass, red and white lead, painters' colours, three pence a pound on tea, and on many varieties of paper].

IV. And it is hereby further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said rates and duties, charged by this Act upon goods imported into any British American colony or plantation, shall be deemed, and are hereby declared to be, sterling money of Great Britain; and shall be collected, recovered, and paid, to the amount of the value which such nominal sums bear in Great Britain; and that such monies may be received and taken, according to the proportion and value of five shillings and sixpence the ounce in silver. . . .

V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that his Majesty and his successors shall be, and are hereby, empowered, from time to time, by any warrant or warrants under his or their royal sign manual or sign manuals, countersigned by the high treasurer, or any three or more of the commissioners of the treasury for the time being to cause such monies to be applied out of the produce of the duties granted by this Act, as his Majesty or his successors shall think proper or necessary, for defraying the charges of the administration of justice, and the support of the civil government within all or any of the said colonies or plantations. . . .

X. [Because earlier Acts to prevent frauds in trade authorized writs of assistance but did not expressly provide for any particular court to grant them to the officers of the customs in the colonies] it is doubted whether such officers can legally enter houses and other places on land, to search for and seize goods, in the manner directed by the said recited Acts: To obviate which doubts for the future, and in order to carry the intention of the said recited Acts into effectual execution, be it enacted, . . . that from and after the said twentieth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven, such writs of assistance, to authorize and empower the officers of his Majesty's customs to enter and go into any house, warehouse, shop, cellar, or other place, in the British colonies or plantations in America, to search for and seize prohibited or uncustomed goods, in the manner directed by the said recited Acts, shall and may be granted by the said superior or supreme court of justice having jurisdiction within such colony or plantation respectively.