London: Printed by Charles Eyre and William Strahan, 1776. 210,215-250,253-330,333-370,373-442,445- 470,473-614,617-654,657-678,681-828pp. Folio. Modern calf, spine gilt, raised bands. Each act has separate general titlepage; pagination and register are continuous. Slight shelf wear, occasional tanning, lacking one general titlepage and several blanks (see below). Very good. Item #WRCAM55508
An impressive collection of the first twenty- eight acts (out of eighty-three total) passed in the second session of the fourteenth Parliament of Great Britain, some of which address the increasing instability in the American colonies.
Most notable for the history of the early years of the American Revolution is the "Prohibitory Act" (Cap. V), which prohibited all British trade with the American colonies and removed them from royal protection. This followed and expanded on an Act from the previous year prohibiting trade with Boston alone; Britain effectively declared economic warfare on the colonies. This was addressed in Grievance 23 in the Declaration of Independence: "He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us." In a letter to Horatio Gates, John Adams wrote: "It is a compleat Dismemberment of the British Empire. It throws thirteen Colonies out of the Royal Protection, levels all Distinctions and makes us independent in Spight of all our supplications and Entreaties. It may be fortunate that the Act of Independency should come from the British Parliament, rather than the American Congress: But it is very odd that Americans should hesitate at accepting Such a Gift from them" (March 23, 1776).
Two other important acts allow the King to call out the militia in all cases of rebellion anywhere in the realm (Cap. III) and to punish desertion and mutiny among British forces in America (Cap. XI). Also of note is an Act promising a reward for anyone who discovered the Northwest Passage (Cap. VI). Parliament had already offered a reward of £20,000 for the discovery of a passage through the "Hudson Streights," but this act expands the conditions to any ship navigating a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in either direction - with a further £5000 prize for reaching within one degree of the North Pole. Other Acts show that, despite the revolution in the American colonies, there was still the rest of the realm to govern. Thus, Acts extending existing duties on malt and cider are included, as are those for rebuilding a church, improving roads and bridges, and establishing foot patrols to enhance public safety. These Acts were issued separately and collectively, but the register and pagination are continuous for both.
A complete list of the Acts included, with pagination and ESTC references, follows:
CAP. I. AN ACT FOR CONTINUING AND GRANTING TO HIS MAJESTY CERTAIN DUTIES UPON MALT, MUM, CYDER, AND PERRY.... -47pp. ESTC N57592.
CAP. II. AN ACT FOR PUNISHING MUTINY AND DESERTION; AND FOR THE BETTER PAYMENT OF THE ARMY AND THEIR QUARTERS. pp.-100. ESTC N57593.
CAP. III. AN ACT TO ENABLE HIS MAJESTY FOR A LIMITED TIME TO CALL OUT AND ASSEMBLE THE MILITIA IN ALL CASES OF REBELLION WITHIN THIS REALM OF GREAT BRITAIN, OR ANY OF THE DOMINIONS THEREUNTO BELONGING; AND TO SUMMON THE PARLIAMENT IN THE CASES AND MANNER THEREIN MENTIONED. pp.-104. ESTC N57594.
CAP. IV. AN ACT FOR GRANTING AN AID TO HIS MAJESTY BY A LAND TAX, TO BE RAISED IN GREAT BRITAIN.... pp.-210. ESTC N57595.
CAP. V. AN ACT TO PROHIBIT ALL TRADE AND INTERCOURSE WITH THE COLONIES OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, MASSACHUSET'S [sic] BAY, RHODE ISLAND, CONNECTICUT, NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, PENSYLVANIA [sic], THE THREE LOWER COUNTIES ON DELAWARE, MARYLAND, VIRGINIA, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND GEORGIA, DURING THE CONTINUANCE OF THE PRESENT REBELLION WITHIN THE SAID COLONIES RESPECTIVELY.... pp.215-244. [lacking blank and general titlepage]. ESTC N54720. [Also issued in Dublin, see ESTC N63040].
CAP. VI. AN ACT FOR GIVING A PUBLICK REWARD UNTO SUCH PERSON OR PERSONS, BEING HIS MAJESTY'S SUBJECT OR SUBJECTS, AS SHALL DISCOVER A NORTHERN PASSAGE FOR VESSELS BY SEA, BETWEEN THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC OCEANS; AND ALSO UNTO SUCH AS SHALL FIRST APPROACH BY SEA WITHIN ONE DEGREE OF THE NORTHERN POLE. pp.-250. ESTC N57597. LADA-MOCARSKI 25.
CAP. VII. AN ACT FOR THE REGULATION OF HIS MAJESTY'S MARINE FORCES WHILE ON SHORE. pp.-283. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57598.
CAP. VIII. AN ACT FOR MAKING PERPETUAL...AN ACT FOR IMPORTATION OF SALTED BEEF, PORK, BACON, AND BUTTER, FROM IRELAND...AND...FROM THE BRITISH DOMINIONS IN AMERICA...AND...AN ACT TO PERMIT THE FREE IMPORTATION OF CATTLE FROM IRELAND. pp.-288. ESTC N57599.
CAP. IX. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER RELIEF AND EMPLOYMENT OF THE POOR WITHIN THE HUNDRED OF FOREHOE, IN THE COUNTY OF NORFOLK. pp.- 324. ESTC N57600.
CAP. X. AN ACT TO ENABLE HIS MAJESTY TO MAKE LEASES, COPIES, AND GRANTS OF OFFICES, LANDS, AND HEREDITAMENTS, PARCEL OF THE DUTCHY OF CORNWALL, OR ANNEXED TO THE SAME; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREIN MENTIONED. pp.-330. ESTC N57601.
CAP. XI. AN ACT TO CONTINUE...AN ACT TO AMEND AND RENDER MORE EFFECTUAL IN HIS MAJESTY'S DOMINIONS IN AMERICA...AN ACT FOR PUNISHING MUTINY AND DESERTION, AND FOR THE BETTER PAYMENT OF THE ARMY AND THEIR QUARTERS; AND FOR EXTENDING THE PROVISIONS OF THE SAID ACT TO HIS MAJESTY'S MARINE FORCES IN AMERICA. pp.-336. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57602.
CAP. XII. AN ACT TO CONTINUE, FOR A FURTHER TIME...AN ACT TO DISCONTINUE, FOR A LIMITED TIME, THE DUTIES PAYABLE UPON THE IMPORTATION OF TALLOW, HOGS-LARD, AND GREASE. pp.- 340. ESTC N57603.
CAP. XIII. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER SECURING A FUND, BELONGING TO CERTAIN PERSONS OF THE THEATRE ROYAL IN DRURY-LANE, APPLICABLE TO CHARITABLE USES.... pp. -347. ESTC N57604.
CAP. XIV. AN ACT FOR RECTIFYING MISTAKES IN THE NAMES OF SEVERAL OF THE COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED BY...AN ACT FOR GRANTING AN AID TO HIS MAJESTY BY A LAND TAX, TO BE RAISED IN GREAT BRITAIN.... pp.-370. ESTC N57605.
CAP. XV. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER MAINTAINING, REGULATING, AND EMPLOYING THE POOR WITHIN THE PARISH OF SAINT GEORGE, IN THE COUNTY OF MIDDLESEX; AND FOR CLEANSING AND LIGHTING THE SQUARES, STREETS, LANES, ALLEYS, COURTS, YARDS, AND OTHER OPEN PASSAGES AND PLACES; AND FOR KEEPING AND REGULATING A NIGHTLY WATCH WITHIN SUCH PARTS OF THE SAID PARISH AS ARE NOT WITHIN THE LIBERTY OF THE TOWER OF LONDON. pp.-399. [lacking blank]. ESTC. N57606.
CAP. XVI. AN ACT FOR ENLARGING THE TERM AND POWERS, GRANTED BY THREE ACTS OF PARLIAMENT, FOR LAYING A DUTY OF TWO PENNIES SCOTS UPON EVERY PINT OF ALE AND BEER BREWED AND VENDED WITHIN THE TOWN OF DUNDEE, AND THE LIBERTIES AND SUBURBS THEREOF, FOR THE PURPOSES IN THE SAID ACTS MENTIONED. pp.-408. ESTC N57607.
CAP. XVII. AN ACT FOR BUILDING A BRIDGE ACROSS THE RIVER SEVERN FROM BENTHALL, IN THE COUNTY OF SALOP, TO THE OPPOSITE SHORE AT MADELEY WOOD, IN THE SAID COUNTY; AND FOR MAKING PROPER AVENUES OR ROADS TO AND FROM THE SAME. pp.-442. ESTC N57608.
CAP. XVIII. AN ACT FOR ENLARGING THE TERM OF LETTERS PATENT GRANTED BY HIS PRESENT MAJESTY TO ELIZABETH TAYLOR OF THE TOWN OF SOUTHAMPTON, WIDOW, FOR THE SOLE USE AND EXERCISE OF CERTAIN ENGINES, TOOLS, INSTRUMENTS, AND OTHER APPARATUS, FOR MAKING BLOCKS, SHEAVERS, AND PINS, USED IN THE RIGGING OF SHIPS. pp.-456. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57609.
CAP. XIX. AN ACT FOR DEFRAYING THE CHARGE OF THE PAY AND CLOATHING [sic] OF THE MILITIA IN THAT PART OF GREAT BRITAIN CALLED ENGLAND, FOR ONE YEAR, BEGINNING THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY OF MARCH, ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX. pp.-470. ESTC N57610.
CAP. XX. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER SUPPLY OF MARINERS AND SEAMEN TO SERVE IN HIS MAJESTY'S SHIPS OF WAR, AND ON BOARD MERCHANT SHIPS, AND OTHER TRADING SHIPS AND VESSELS. pp.-476. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57611.
CAP. XXI. AN ACT TO AMEND...AN ACT FOR MAKING NAVIGABLE THE RIVER STROUDWATER, IN THE COUNTY OF GLOUCESTER, FROM THE RIVER SEVERN, AT OR NEAR FRAMILOAD, TO WALLBRIDGE, NEAR THE TOWN OF STROUD, IN THE SAME COUNTY; AND FOR GIVING OTHER POWERS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A NAVIGATION FROM FRAMILOAD TO WALLBRIDGE AFORESAID. pp.[477-]539. ESTC N57612.
CAP. XXII. AN ACT FOR REBUILDING THE PARISH CHURCH OF TARDEBIGG, IN THE COUNTIES OF WORCESTER AND WARWICK. pp.-556. ESTC N57613.
CAP. XXIII. AN ACT FOR THE BETTER REGULATION AND GOVERNMENT OF THE PILOTS CONDUCTING SHIPS AND VESSELS INTO AND OUT OF THE PORT OF BOSTON, IN THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN; AND FOR AFFIXING AND SETTING DOWN MOORING- POSTS UPON THE BANKS OR HIGH MARSHES WITHIN OR ADJOINING TO THE HAVEN AND HARBOUR OF THE SAID PORT.... pp.-588. ESTC N57614.
CAP. XXIV. AN ACT FOR VESTING CERTAIN ESTATES, NOW HELD IN TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE ROYAL HOSPITAL FOR SEAMEN AT GREENWICH, IN THE COMMISSIONERS AND GOVERNORS OF THE SAID HOSPITAL, INCORPORATED BY HIS MAJESTY'S LETTERS PATENT. pp.-614. ESTC N57615.
CAP. XXV. AN ACT FOR LIGHTING AND WATCHING THE STREETS, LANES, AND OTHER PUBLICK PASSAGES AND PLACES, WITHIN THE BOROUGH OF BOSTON, IN THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN; AND FOR REMOVING AND PREVENTING NUISANCES, ANNOYANCES, AND OBSTRUCTIONS THEREIN. pp.-654. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57616.
CAP. XXVI. AN ACT FOR LIGHTING AND WATCHING THE VILLAGES OF CAMBERWELL AND PECKHAM, IN THE COUNTY OF SURREY, AND CERTAIN ROADS THEREIN MENTIONED LEADING THERETO; AND FOR ESTABLISHING A FOOT PATROLE BETWEEN PECKHAM AND BLACKMAN-STREET IN THE BOROUGH OF SOUTHWARK. pp.-678. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57617.
CAP. XXVII. AN ACT FOR BETTER CLEANSING, LIGHTING, AND WATCHING THE STREETS, LANES, AND OTHER PUBLICK PASSAGES, WITHIN THE BOROUGH OF DORCHESTER, IN THE COUNTY OF DORSET, AND IN THE TITHING OF COLLITON-ROW, IN THE TOWN OF DORCHESTER AFORESAID...AND FOR PREVENTING HOUSES OR BUILDINGS, HEREAFTER TO BE ERECTED IN THE SAID BOROUGH AND TITHING, FROM BEING THATCHED. pp.-728. [lacking blank]. ESTC N57618.
CAP. XXVIII. AN ACT FOR MAKING AND MAINTAINING A NAVIGABLE CANAL FROM OR NEAR THE TOWN OF STOURBRIDGE, IN THE COUNTY OF WORCESTER, TO JOIN THE STAFFORDSHIRE AND WORCESTERSHIRE CANAL, AT OR NEAR STOURTON, IN THE COUNTY OF STAFFORD.... pp.-828. ESTC N57619.
Many of these are quite uncommon, with only one or two copies cited in OCLC or ESTC. Collections this large are rare in the marketplace, especially those containing acts relating to the rebellious American colonies. ESTC N57659 (ref).