|The fifth Navigation Act, gave the provincial customs officials the same powers as the officials in England possessed: they were given the authority to use forceful entry to inspect ships, and they could seize goods suspected of being unlawfully shipped. The Act also provided for merchants, accused of smuggling, to be tried in colonial courts, without a jury (who invariably would be sympathetic to the smuggler).|
| An Act for preventing Frauds and regulating Abuses in the Plantation Trade.
[Recital that notwithstanding 12 Car. II., c. 18, 15 Car. II., c. 7, 22 & 23 Car. II., c. 26, and 25 Car. II., c. 7, great abuses are committed:]
Whereas notwithstanding divers Acts made for the Encouragement of the Navigation of this Kingdome and for the better secureing and regulating the Plantation Trade more especially one Act of Parliament made in the Twelfth yeare of the Reigne of the late King Charles the Second intituled An Act for increasing of Shipping and Navigation another Act made in the Fifteenth yeare of the Reigne of His said late Majesty intituled An Act for the Incouragement of Trade another Act made in the Two and twentieth and Three and twentieth yeares of His said late Majesties Reigne intituled An Act to prevent the planting of Tobacco in England and for regulating the Plantation Trade another Act made in Twenty-fifth yeare of the Reigne of His said late Majesty intituled An Act for the Incouragement of the Greenland and Eastland Trades and for the better secureing the Plantation Trades great Abuses are daily committed to the prejudice of the English Navigation and the losse of a great part of the Plantation Trade to this Kingdome by the Artifice and Cunning of ill disposed Persons. For Remedy thereof for the future bee itt enacted and itt is hereby enacted and ordained by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That after the Five and twentieth Day of March One thousand six hundred ninety eight noe Goods or Merchandizes whatsoever shall bee imported into or exported out of any Colony or Plantation to His Majesty in Asia Africa or America belonging or in his Possession or which may hereafter belong unto or bee in the Possession of His Majesty His Heires or Successors or shall bee laden in or carried from any One Port or Place in the said Colonies or Plantations to any other Port or Place in the same, the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed in any Shipp or Bottome but what is or shall bee of the Built of England or of the Built of Ireland or the said Colonies or Plantations and wholly owned by the People thereof or any of them and navigated with the Masters and Three Fourths of the Mariners of the said Places onely (except such Shipps onely as are or shall bee taken Prize and Condemnation thereof made in one of the Courts of Admiralty in England Ireland or the said Colonies or Plantations [to bee navigated by the Master and Three Fourths of the Mariners English or of the said Plantations as aforesaid and whereof the Property doth belong to English Men And alsoe except for the space of Three Yeares such Foreigne built Shipps as shall bee employed by the Commissioners of His Majesties Navy for the tyme being or upon Contract with them in bringing onely Masts Timber and other Navall Stores for the Kings Service from His Majesties Colonies or Plantations to this Kingdome to bee navigated as aforesaid and whereof the Property doth belong to English Men) under paine of Forfeiture of Shipp and Goods one third part whereof to bee to the use of His Majesty His Heires and Successors one third part to the Governor of the said Colonies or Plantations and the other third part to the Person who shall informe and sue for the same by Bill Plaint or Information in any of His Majesties Courts of Record att Westminster or in any Court in His Majesties Plantations where such Offence shall bee committed.
II. And bee it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That (from and after the said Five and twentieth Day of March) Goods or Merchandizes may bee exported or imported to and from this Kingdome the Colonies Plantations and Places aforesaid in any such Shipps as are or shall bee taken as Prize and whereof Condemnation shall bee made in one of the Courts of Admiralty aforesaid and shall bee navigated as aforesaid by the Master Three fourths of the Mariners English and whereof the property shall belong to English Men and alsoe Masts Tymber and other Navall Stores for His Majesties Service for the space of Three Yeares may bee imported from His Majesties Colonies or Plantations to this Kingdome in such Foreigne built Shipps as shall bee imployed by the Commissioners of the Navy for the tyme being or by Contract with them Any Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding
III. And whereas by One Clause in the said Act passed in the Twelfth Yeare of the Reigne of the late King Charles the Second intituled An Act for the encourageing and increaseing of Shipping and Navigation all Governours of His Majesties Colonies or Plantations in Asia Africa or America are required to take a solemne Oath to doe theire utmost that every the Clauses therein before mencoined and all the Matters and Things therein contained shall bee punctually and bona fide observed according to the true intent and meaneing thereof soe that the said Governours are not strictly obliged by that Oath to putt in Execution the subsequent Clauses of the said Act although some of the Clauses following are of great Importance and tend greatly to the Security of the Plantation Trade And whereas divers other good Lawes have beene made for the better regulating and secureing the Plantation Trade since the said last mentioned Act bee itt further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all the present Governors or Commanders in Chiefe of any English Colonies or Plantations shall before the Five and twentieth Day of March One thousand six hundred ninety seaven and all who hereafter shall bee made Governours or Commanders in Chiefe of the said Colonies or Plantations or any of them before their Entrance into their Government shall take a solemne Oath to doe theire utmost that all the Clauses Matters and Things contained in the before recited Acts of Parliament heretofore passed and now in force relateing to the said Colonies and Plantations and that all and every the Clauses contained in this present Act bee punctually and bona fide observed according to the true intent and meaneing thereof (which Oath shall bee taken before such Person or Persons as shall bee appointed by His Majesty His Heires and Successors who are hereby authorized to administer the same) soe farr as appertaines unto the said Governours or Comanders in Chiefe respectively And upon Complaint and Proofe made before His Majesty His Heires and Successors or such as shall bee by him or them thereunto authorized and appointed by the Oath of Two or more credible Witnesses That any the said Governours or Commanders in Chiefe have neglected to take the said Oath att the Tymes aforesaid or have beene wittingly or willingly negligent in doeing theire Duety accordingly the said Governour soe neglecting or offending shall bee removed from his Government and forfeite the Summe of One thousand Pounds Sterling.
IV. And whereas by the said Act of the Fifteenth of King Charles the Second intituled An Act for the encouragement of Trade the Governours of the Plantations are impowered to appoint an Officer for the Performance of certaine things in the said Act mentioned which said Officer is there commonly knowne by the Name of the Navall Officer And whereas through the Connivance or Negligence of the Persons soe appointed by the Governours of the said Plantations divers Frauds and Abuses are or have beene committed Bee itt therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every the sd Officers already appointed shall within Two Moneths after notice of this Act in the respective Plantations or as soone as conveniently give Security to the Commissioners of the Customes in England for the Tyme being or such as shall bee appointed by them for His Majesties Use for the true and faithfull Performance of their Duty And all and every Person or Persons who shall hereafter bee appointed to the said Office or Employment shall within Two Moneths or as soone as conveniently itt may bee after his or their Entrance upon the said Office or Employmt. give sufficient Security to the Commissioners of the Customes as aforesaid for His Majesties Use for the true and faithfull Performance of his or theire Duty And in Default thereof the Person or Persons neglecting or refuseing to give such Security shall be disabled to execute the said Office or Employment And until such Security given and the Person appointed to the said Office or Employment bee approved by the Commissioners of the Customes as aforesaid the respective Governour or Governours shall bee answerable for any the Offences Neglects or Misdemeanours of the Persons soe by him or them appointed.
V. And for the more effectuall preventing of Frauds and regulating Abuses in the Plantation Trade in America Bee itt further enacted by the Authority That all Shipps comeing into or goeing out of any of the said Plantations and ladeing or unladeing any Goods or Commodities whether the same bee His Majesties Shipps of Warr or Merchants Shipps and the Masters and Commanders thereof and their Ladings shall bee subject and lyable to the same Rules Visitations Searches Penalties and Forfeitures as to the entring lading or dischargeing theire respective Shipps and Ladings as Shipps and their Ladings and the Commanders and Masters of Shipps are subject and lyable unto in this Kingdome by vertue of an Act of Parliament made in the Fourteenth Yeare of the Reigne of King Charles the Second intituled An Act for preventing Frauds and regulating Abuses in His Majesties Customes And that the Officers for collecting and manageing His Majesties Revenue and inspecting the Plantation Trade in any of the said Plantations shall have the same Powers and Authorities for visiting and searching of Shipps and takeing their Entries and for seizing and secureing or bringing on Shoare any of the Goods prohibited to bee imported or exported into or out of any the said Plantac[i]ons or for which any Duties are payable or ought to have beene paid by any of the before menc[i]oned Acts as are provided for the Officers of the Customes in England by the said last mentioned Act made in the Fourteenth Yeare of the Reigne of King Charles the Second and alsoe to enter Houses or Warehouses to search for and seize any such Goods And that all the Wharfingers and Owners of Keys and Wharfes or any Lightermen Bargemen Watermen Porters or other Persons assisting in the Conveyance Concealement or Rescue of any of the said Goods or in the hindering or resistance of any of the said Officers in the performance of their Duty and the Boates Barges Lighters or other Vessells imployed in the Conveyance of such Goods shall bee subject to the like Paines and Penalties as are provided by the same Act made in the Fourteenth Yeare of the Reigne of King Charles the Second in relation to prohibited or uncustomed Goods in this Kingdome And that the like Assistance shall bee given to the said Officers in the Execution of their Office as by the said last mentioned Act is provided for the Officers in England And alsoe that the said Officers shall bee subject to the same Penalties and Forfeitures for any Corruptions Frauds Connivances or Concealements in violation of any the before mentioned Lawes as any Officers of the Customes in England are lyable to by vertue of the said last mentioned Act And also that in case any Officer or Officers in the Plantations shall bee sued or molested for any thing done in the Execution of their Office the said Officer shall and may plead the Generall Issue and shall give this or other Custome Acts in Evidence and the Judge to allow thereof, have and enjoy the like Priviledges and Advantages as are allowed by Law to the Officers of His Majesties Customes in England.
VI. And itt is hereby further enacted That all the Penalties and Forfeitures before mentioned not in this Act particularly disposed of shall bee One third Part to the Use of His Majesty His Heires and Successors and One third Part to the Governour of the Colony or Plantation where the Offence shall bee committed and the other Third Part to such Person or Persons as shall sue for the same To bee recovered in any of His Majesties Courts att Westminster or [in the Kingdome of Ireland or in the Court of Admiralty held in His Majesties Plantations respectively where such Offence shall bee committed att the Pleasure of the Officer or Informer or in any other Plantation belonging to any Subject of England] wherein noe Essoigne Protection or Wager of Law shall bee allowed And that where any Question shall arise concerning the Importation or Exportation of any Goods into or out of the said Plantations in such Case the Proofe shall lye upon the Owner or Claymer, and the Claymer shall bee reputed the Importer or Owner thereof.
VII. And whereas in some of His Majesties American Plantations a Doubt or Misconstruction has arisen upon the before mentioned Act made in the Five and twentieth Yeare of the Reigne of King Charles the Second whereby certaine Duties are laid upon the Commodities therein enumerated (which by Law may bee transported from one Plantation to another for the Supply of each others Wants) as if the same were by the Payment of those Duties in one Plantation discharged from giveing the Securities intended by the aforesaid Acts made in the Twelfth Two and twentieth and Three and twentieth Yeares of the Reigne of King Charles the Second and consequently bee att liberty to goe to any Foreigne Markett in Europe without comeing to England Wales or Berwick Itt is hereby further enacted and declared That notwithstanding the Payment of the aforesaid Duties in any of the said Plantations none of the said Goods shall bee shipt or laden on Board untill such Security shall bee given as is required by the said Acts made in the Twelfth Two and twentieth and Three and twentieth Yeares of the Reigne of King Charles the Second to carry the same to England Wales or Berwick or to some other of His Majesties Plantations and soe toties quoties as any of the said Goods shall bee brought to bee reshipt or laden in any of the said Plantations under the Penalty and Forfeiture of Shipp and Goods to bee divided and disposed of as aforesaid
VIII. And itt is further enacted and declared by the Authority aforesaid That all Lawes By-lawes Usages or Customes att this tyme or which hereafter shall bee in practice or endeavoured or pretended to bee in force or practice in any of the said Plantations which are in any wise repugnant to the before mentioned Lawes or any of them soe far as they doe relate to the said Plantations or any of them or which are wayes repugnant to this present Act or to any other Law hereafter to bee made in this Kingdome soe farr as such Law shall relate to and mention the said Plantations are illegall null and void to all Intents and Purposes whatsoever.
IX. And whereas great Frauds and Abuses have beene committed by Scotch men and others in the Plantation Trade by obtruding false and counterfeite Certificates upon the Governour and Officers in the Plantations appointed by His Majesties Commissioners of the Customes in England of haveing given Security in this Kingdome to bring the Ladings of Plantation Goods to England Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed as alsoe Certificates of haveing discharged theire lading of Plantation Goods in this Kingdome pursuant to Securities taken in the Plantation and also Cocketts or Certificates of haveing taken in their Ladings of European Goods in England Wales or Berwick by meanes whereof they may carry the Goods of Scotland and other Places of Europe without shipping or lading the same in England Wales or Berwick to His Majesties Plantations and also carry the Goods of the Plantations directly to Scotland or to any Markett in Europe without bringing the same into England Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed Itt is hereby further enacted That in such Cases where the Governour or Officers appointed by the Commissioners of the Customes in the Plantations shall have reasonable ground of Suspition that such Certificates are false or couterfeit (that is to say) that the Certificate of having given Security in England is false In such Case the Governour or Officers appointed by the Commissioners of the Customes shall require and take sufficient Security there for the Discharge of the Plantation lading in England Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed And in such Case where there shall bee Cause to suspect that the Certificates of haveing discharged her Lading of Plantation Goods in this Kingdome is false or counterfeit the Governour or Officers aforesaid shall not cancell or vacate the Security given in the Plantation untill hee or they shall bee informed from the Commissioners of the Customes in England that the Matter of the said Certificate is true And if any Person or Persons shall counterfeite rase or falsify any Cockett Certificate Returne or Permit for any Vessell or Goods or shall knowingly or willingly make use thereof such Person or Persons shall forfeite the Summe of Five hundred Pounds to bee recovered and disposed of as aforesaid and the Cockett Certificate Returne or Permit soe counterfeited rased or falsified shall be invalid and of noe effect.
X. [And for the better executing the severall Acts of Parliament relating to the Plantation Trade bee itt enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Lord Treasurer Commissioners of the Treasury and the Commissioners of the Customes in England for the tyme being shall and may constitute and appoint such and soe many Officers of the Customes in any City Towne River Port Harbour or Creeke of or belonging to any of the Islands Tracts of Land and Proprieties when and as often as to them shall seeme needfull] Bee itt further also enacted That upon any Actions Suites and Informations that shall bee brought commenced or entred in the said Plantations upon any Law or Statute concerning His Majesties Duties or Shipps or Goods to bee forfeited by reason of any unlawfull Importations or Exportations there shall not bee any Jury but of such onely as are Natives of England or Ireland or are borne in His Majesties said Plantations And also that upon all such Actions Suits and Informations the Offences may bee laid or alleadged to bee in any Colony Province County Precinct or Division of any of the said Plantacons where such Offences are alleadged to bee committed att the pleasure of the Officer or Informer.
XI. Provided alwayes, That all Places of Trust in the Courts of Law or what relates to the Treasury of the said Islands shall from the makeing of this Act bee in the Hands of the Native borne Subjects of England or Ireland or of the said Islands.
XII. And whereas by the said Act made in the Two and twentieth and Three and Twentieth Yeares of the Reigne of His said late Majesty King Charles the Second the Bonds required to bee given in the Plantations by virtue of the said Act for incouraging and increasing of Shipping and Navigation are altered and the word Ireland to bee left out of the Condition of all such Bonds And by the said Act itt is enacted and provided That for such Shipps or Vessells comeing from other Ports or Places to any of the said Plantations which by the said Act for encourageing and increase of Shipping were permitted to trade there the Governors of such English Plantations should before the said Shipp or Vessell should bee permitted to load on Board any of the Commodities in the said Act particularly mentioned, take Bond in Manner and to the Value mentioned and directed in the above mentioned Act for encourageing and encrease of Shipping and Navigation for each respective Shipp or Vessell That such Shipp or Vessell shall carry all the aforesaid Goods that should bee laden on Board in the said Shipp to some other of His Majesties English Plantations or to England Wales or Towne of Berwick upon. Tweed But because noe Provision hath hitherto beene made for the returneing and produceing Certificates within some reasonable limitted tyme of the landing and dischargeing such Goods according to the Condition of the said Bonds and also because many tymes itt hath happened that the Sureties taken in the said Bonds have beene Persons not resident in the said Plantations but of uncertaine and unknowne Abodes, the said Bonds have proved ineffectuall to the good purposes intended by the said Acts Bee itt therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That in all such Bonds to bee hereafter given or taken in the said Plantations the Sureties therein named shall bee Persons of knowne Residence and Ability in the said Plantations for the Value mentioned in the said Bonds and that the Condition of the said Bonds shall bee within Eighteene Moneths after the Date thereof (the Danger of the Seas excepted) to produce Certificate of haveing landed and discharged the Goods therein mentioned in one of His Majesties said Plantations or in England Wales or Berwick upon Tweed otherwise such Bond or Copies thereof being attested under the Hand and Seale of the Governour or Commander in Chiefe to whom such Bonds were given shall bee in Force and allowed of in any Court in England Ireland or the Plantacons as if the Originall were produced in Court by the Prosecutor.
XIII. And whereas severall Shipps and Vessells laden with Tobacco Sugars and other Goods of the Growth and Product of His Majesties Plantations in America have beene discharged in severall Ports of the Kingdomes of Scotland and Ireland contrary to the Lawes and Statutes now in being under pretence that the said Shipps and [Vessells] were driven in thither by Stresse of Weather or for want of Provisions and other Disabilities could not proceed on their Voyage For Remedy whereof Bee itt enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the First Day of December One thousand six hundred ninety six itt shall not bee lawfull on any Pretence whatsoever to putt on Shoare in the said Kingdomes of Scotland or Ireland any Goods or Merchandize of the Growth or Product of any of His Majesties Plantations aforesaid unlesse the same have beene first landed in the Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed and paid the Rates and Duties wherewith they are chargeable by Law under the Penalty of the Forfeiture of the Shipp and Goods Three fourths without Composition to His Majesty His Heires and Successors and the other Fourth to him or them that shall sue for the same
XIV. Provided neverthelesse That if any Shipp or Vessell [laden] as aforesaid shall by Stresse of Weather bee stranded or by reason of leakynesse or other Disability shall bee driven into any Port or Place within the Kingdome of Ireland and shall not bee able to proceed on her Voyage then and in such case onely the said Goods and Merchandizes may bee permitted to bee putt on Shoare but shall bee delivered into the Custody and Possession of the Collector or Cheife Officer of the Customes of such Port or Place where the said Shipp shall bee soe stranded or driven into there to remaine untill the said Goods and Merchandize shall att the Charge of the Owner thereof bee putt on Board some other Shipp or Vessell in order to bee transported and carried to some other Port or Place within the said Kingdome of England Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed the said Officer first takeing good and sufficient Security for the Delivery of the same according to the true Intent and Meaneing of this Act.
XV. [And] bee itt further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Persons and theire Assignees claymeing any Right or [Property] in any Islands or Tracts of Land upon the Continent of America by Charter or Letters Patents shall not att any tyme hereafter alien sell or dispose of any of the said Islands Tracts of Land or Proprieties other than to the Naturall Borne Subjects of England Ireland Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwick upon Tweed without the License and Consent of His Majesty His Heires and Successors signifyed by His or Their Order in Councill first had and obtayned And all Governours nominated and appointed by any such Persons or Proprietors who shall bee intituled to make such Nominacon shall bee allowed and approved of by His Majesty His Heires and Successors as aforesaid and shall take the Oaths injoyned by this or any other Act to bee taken by the Governours or Commanders in Chiefe in other His Majesties Colonies and Plantations before their entring upon their respective Governments under the like Penalty His Majesties Governours and Commanders in Chiefe are by the said Acts lyable to.
XVI. And for a more effectuall prevention of Frauds which may bee used to elude the Intention of this Act by colouring Foreigne Shipps under English Names Bee itt further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the Five and twentieth day of March which shall bee in the Yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred ninety eight noe Shipp or Vessell whatsoever shall bee deemed or passe as a Shipp of the Built of England Ireland Wales Berwick Guernsey Jersey or of any of His Majesties Plantations in America soe as to bee qualifyed to trade to from or in any of the said Plantations untill the Person or Persons claymeing Property in such Shipp or Vessell shall register the same as followeth (that is to say) If the Shipp att the tyme of such Register doth belong to any Port in England Ireland Wales or to the Towne of Berwick upon Tweed then Proofe shall bee made upon Oath of One or more of the Owners of such Shipp or Vessell before the Collector and Comptroller of His Majesties Customes in such Port or if att the tyme of such Register the Shipp belong to any of His Majesties Plantations in America or to the Islands of Guernsey or Jersey then the like Proofe to bee made before the Governour together with the Principall Officer of His Majesties Revenue resideing on such Plantation or Island which Oath the said Governours and Officers of the Customes respectively are hereby authorized to administer in the Tenour following (vizt)
Oath, of built of Ship, &c. on registering. Jurat A. B. That the Ship Name of Port whereof Masters Name is att present Master being a Kind of Built of Burthen Tuns was built att Place where in the Yeare. Time when and that owners name of and of &c are att present Owners thereof and that noe Foreigner directly or indirectly hath any Share or Part or Interest therein.
Oath attested and registered to be delivered to the Master, and Duplicate of such Register transmitted to the Commissioners of Customs in London; Penalty on Ship not having made Proof of Built. Exception. Penalty on Ship not having made Proof of Built. Exception. Which Oath being attested by the Governour or Custome Officer who administered the same under theire Hands and Seales shall after haveing beene registred by them bee delivered to the Master of the Shipp for the Security of her Navigation a Duplicate of which Register shall bee immediately transmitted to the Commissioners of His Majesties Customes in the Port of London in order to bee entred in a generall Register to bee there kept for this purpose with Penalty upon any Shipp or Vessell tradeing to from or in any of His Majesties Plantations in America after the said Five and twentieth Day of March and not haveing made Proofe of her Built and Property as is here directed that shee shall bee lyable and shee is hereby made lyable to such Prosecution and Forfeiture as any Foreigne Shipp (except Prizes condemned in the High Court of Admiralty) would for trading with these Plantations by this Law be lyable to.
XVII. Provided alwayes That all such Shipps as have beene or shall bee taken att Sea by Letters of Mart or Reprizall and Condemnation thereof made in the High Court of Admiralty of England as lawfull Prize shall bee specially registered mentioning the capture and Condemnation instead of the Tyme and Place of Building with Proofe alsoe upon Oath that the entire Property is English before any such Prize shall bee allowed the Priviledge of an English Built Shipp according to the Meaneing of this Act.
XVIII. Provided also That nothing in this Act shall bee construed to require the registring any Fisher-Boates Hoys Lighters Barges or any open Boates or other Vessells (though of English or Plantation Built) whose Navigation is confined to the Rivers or Coasts of the same Plantation or Place where they trade respectively but onely of such of them as crosse the Seas to or from any of the Lands Islands Places or Territories in this Act before recited or from one Plantation to another.
XIX. Sale to be endorsed on Certificate of Registry. And bee itt further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That noe Shipps Name registred shall bee afterwards changed without registring such Shipp de novo which is hereby required to bee done upon any Transferr of Property to another Port and delivering upp the former Certificate to bee cancelled under the same Penalties and in the like Method as is herein before directed And that in case any Alteration of Property in the same Port by the Sale of one or more Shares in any Shipp after registring thereof such Sale shall alwayes bee acknowledged by Endorsement on the Certificate of the Register before Two Witnesses in order to prove that the entire Property in such Shipp remaines to some of the Subjects of England if any Dispute arises concerning the same.
|From Statutes Of The Realm, Volume 7, 1695-1701, 1820, pages 103-107 (Accessed from internet website, British History Online; URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/)|