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No. 32.

Sugar Act

April 5, 1764

An act for granting certain duties in the British colonies and plantations in America; for continuing, amending, and making perpetual . . . [the Molasses Act of 1733] . . . ; for applying the produce of such duties, and of the duties to arise by virtue of the said act, towards defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing the said colonies and plantations; for explaining . . . [the Navigation Act of 1672] . . . ; and for altering and disallowing several drawbacks on exports from this kingdom, and more effectually preventing the clandestine conveyance of goods to and from the said colonies and plantations, and improvingand securing the trade between the same and Great Britain.

WHEREAS it is expedient that new provisions and regulations should be established for improving the revenue of this Kingdom, and for extending and securing the navigation and commerce between Great Britain and your Majesty’s dominions in America, which, by the peace, have been so happily enlarged: and whereas it is just and necessary, that a revenue be raised, in your Majesty’s said dominions in America, for defraying the expences of defending, protecting, and securing the same; . . . be it enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764,] . . . there shall be raised, levied, collected, and paid, unto his Majesty . . . , for and upon all white or clayed sugars of the produce or manufacture of any colony or plantation in America, not under the dominion of his Majesty . . . ; for and upon indico, and coffee of foreign produce or manufacture; for and upon all wines (except French wine;) for and upon all wrought silks, bengals, and stuffs, mixed with silk or herba, of the manufacture of Persia, China, or East India, and all callico painted, dyed, printed, or stained there; and for and upon all foreign linen cloth called Cambrick and French Lawns, which shall be imported or brought into any colony or plantation in America, which now is, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his Majesty . . . , the several rates and duties following; that is to say,

For every hundred weight avoirdupois of such foreign white or clayed sugars, one pound two shillings, over and above all other duties imposed by any former act of parliament.

For every pound weight avoirdupois of such foreign indico, six pence.

For every hundred weight avoirdupois of such foreign coffee, which shall be imported from any place except Great Britain, two pounds, nineteen shillings, and nine pence.

For every ton of wine of the growth of the Madeiras, or of any other island or place from whence such wine may be lawfully imported, and which shall be so imported from such islands or places, the sum of seven pounds.

For every ton of Portugal, Spanish, or any other wine (except French wine) imported from Great Britain, the sum of ten shillings.

For every pound weight avoirdupois of wrought silks, bengals, and stuffs, mixed with silk or herba, of the manufacture of Persia, China, or East India, imported from Great Britain, two shillings.

For every piece of callico painted, dyed, printed, or stained, in Persia, China, or East India, imported from Great Britain, two shillings and six pence.

For every piece of foreign linen cloth, called Cambrick, imported from Great Britain, three shillings.

For every piece of French lawn imported from Great Britain three shillings. . . .

II. And it is hereby further enacted . . . That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . there shall also be raised, levied, collected, and paid, unto his Majesty . . . , for and upon all coffee and pimento of the growth and produce of any British colony or plantation in America, which shall be there laden on board any British ship or vessel, to be carried out from thence or any other place whatsoever, except Great Britain, the several rates and duties following; that is to say,

III. For every hundred weight avoirdupois of such British coffee, seven shillings.

For every pound weight avoirdupois of such British pimento, one halfpenny. . . .

[Sections V. and VI. continue the Molasses Act in force until Sept. 30, 1764, after which it is to be perpetual, subject to the changes in this present act.]

VI. And be it further enacted . . . , That in lieu and instead of the rate and duty imposed by the said act upon melasses and syrups, there shall, from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , be raised, levied, collected, and paid, unto his Majesty . . . , for and upon every gallon of melasses or syrups, being the growth, produce, or manufacture, of any colony or plantation in America, not under the dominion of his Majesty . . . , which shall be imported or brought into any colony or plantation in America, which now is, or hereafter may be, under the dominion of his Majesty . . . , the sum of three pence.

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XI. And it is hereby further enacted . . . , That all the monies which, from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , shall arise by the several rates and duties herein before granted; and also by the duties which, from and after the said [date], shall be raised upon sugars and paneles, by virtue of . . . [the Molasses Act] . . . , (except the necessary charges of raising, collecting, levying, recovering, answering, paying, and accounting for the same) shall be paid into the receipt of his Majesty’s Exchequer, and shall be entered separate and apart from all other monies paid or payable to his Majesty . . . : and shall be there reserved to be, from time to time, disposed of by parliament, towards defraying the necessary expences of defending, protecting, and securing, the British colonies and plantations in America.

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XVIII, And be it further enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , no rum or spirits of the produce or manufacture of any of the colonies or plantations in America, not in the possession or under the dominion of his Majesty . . . , shall be imported or brought into any of the colonies or plantations in America which now are, or hereafter may be, in the possession or under the dominion of his Majesty . . . , upon forfeiture of all such rum or spirits, together with the ship or vessel in which the same shall be imported, with the tackle, apparel, and furniture thereof. . . .

XIX. And it is hereby further enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , nothing in . . . [the Molasses Act,] . . . or any other act of parliament, shall extend, or be construed to extend, to give liberty to any person or persons whatsoever to import into the kingdom of Ireland, any sort of sugars, but such only as shall be fairly and bona fide loaden and shipped in Great Britain, and carried directly from thence in ships navigated according to law.

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XXVII. And it is hereby further enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , all coffee, pimento, cocoa nuts, whale fins, raw silk, hides, and skins, pot and pearl ashes, of the growth, production, or manufacture, of any British colony or plantation in America, shall be imported directly from thence into this kingdom, or some other British colony or plantation . . .

XXVIII. And it is hereby further enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , no iron, nor any sort of wood, commonly called Lumber, as specified in an act passed in the eighth year of the reign of King George the First, intituled, An act for giving further encouragement for the importation of naval stores, and for other purposes therein mentioned, of the growth, production, or manufacture, of any British colony or plantation in America, shall be there loaden on board any ship or vessel to be carried from thence, until sufficient bond shall be given, with one surety besides the master of the vessel, to the collector or other principal officer of the customs at the loading port, in a penalty of double the value of the goods, with condition, that the said goods shall not be landed in any part of Europe except Great Britain. . . .

XXIX. And, for the better preventing frauds in the importation or exportation of goods that are liable to the payment of duties, or are prohibited, in the British colonies or plantations in America, it is further enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [September 29, 1764] . . . , no goods, wares, or merchandizes, of any kind whatsoever, shall be shipped or laden on board any ship or vessel in any of the British colonies or plantations in America, to be carried from thence to any other British colony or plantation, without a sufferance or warrant first had and obtained from the collector or other proper officer of the customs at the port or place where such goods shall be intended to be put on Board. . . .

XXX. And whereas British vessels arriving from foreign parts at several of the out ports of this kingdom, fully or in part laden abroad with goods that are pretended to be destined to some foreign plantation, do frequently take on board some small parcels of goods in this kingdom which are entered outwards for some British colony or plantation, and a cocket and clearance thereupon granted for such goods, under cover of which the whole cargoes of such vessels are clandestinely landed in the British American dominions, contrary to several acts of parliament now in force, to the great prejudice of the trade and revenue of this kingdom; for remedy whereof, be it further enacted . . . , That from and after . . . [May 1, 1764,] . . . no ship or vessel shall, upon any pretence whatsoever, be cleared outwards from any port of this kingdom, for any land, island, plantation, colony, territory, or place to his Majesty belonging, or which shall hereafter belong unto or be in the possession or under the dominion of his Majesty . . . , in America, unless the whole and entire cargo of such ship or vessel shall be bona fide, and without fraud, laden and shipped in this kingdom. . . .

XXXI. Provided always, That this act shall not extend, nor be construed to extend, to forfeit, for want of such cocker or clearance, any salt laden in Europe for the fisheries in New England, Newfoundland, Pensylvania, New York, and Nova Scotia, or any other place to which salt is or shall be allowed by law to be carried; wines laden in the Madeiras, of the growth thereof; and wines of the growth of the Western Islands, or Azores, and laden there; nor any horses, victuals, or linen cloth, of and from Ireland, which may be laden on board such ships or vessels.

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Chicago: "Sugar Act," Statutes at Large in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. William MacDonald (1863-1938) (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916), 118–122. Original Sources, accessed December 6, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UYYZPKN9Q5XNX11.

MLA: . "Sugar Act." Statutes at Large, Vol. XXVI, in Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, edited by William MacDonald (1863-1938), New York, The Macmillan Company, 1916, pp. 118–122. Original Sources. 6 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UYYZPKN9Q5XNX11.

Harvard: , 'Sugar Act' in Statutes at Large. cited in 1916, Documentary Source Book of American History, 1606-1913, ed. , The Macmillan Company, New York, pp.118–122. Original Sources, retrieved 6 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=UYYZPKN9Q5XNX11.