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