The Quartering Act

May 15, 1765

WHEREAS in and by and act made in the present session of parliament, intituled, An act for punishing mutiny and desertion , and for the better payment of the army and their quarters; 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 by the King’s most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, 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 … to quarter and billet 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 of such officers and soldiers, for whom there shall not be room in such barracks, 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 alehouses, 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 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, and to put and quarter the residue of such officers and soldiers therein …

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 barracks, and hired uninhabited houses, or other buildings 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 subsistencemoney, for diet and small beer, cyder, or rum mixed with water …

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 soldiers; it is hereby further enacted, That all such officers and soldiers, so put and placed in such barracks, or in hired uninhabited houses, out-houses, 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 … 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. That the respective provinces shall pay unto such person or persons all such sum or sums of money so by them paid, laid out, or expended, for the taking, hiring, and fitting up, such uninhabited houses, out-houses, barns, or other buildings, and for furnishing the officers and soldiers therein, and in the barracks, with fire, candles, vinegar, and salt, bedding, utensils for dressing victuals, and small beer, cyder, or rum, as aforesaid; and such sum or sums are hereby required to be raised, in such manner as the publick charges for the provinces respectively are raised…

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