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But not to extend to letters sent and conveyed in the manner described in the 10 Ann, viz. merchants' letters or owners of ships, &c. nor any letter sent by a private friend in his or her way of journey or trarel, nor any letter sent by a messenger. $6. Vide page 331. N.B. The like exemption has been continued by a clause in an act
passed in the year 1824.
54 Geo. III. c. 169.
An Act for making certain Regulations respecting the Postage of Ship
Letlers, and Letters of Great Britain. Persons forwarding letters to pay a rate.- His Majesty's postmastergeneral and his deputies shall receive letters and packets directed to places within his Majesty's dominions, and to kingdoms and countries bevond the seas, from any person who may bring the same to any postoffice in Great Britain, and who may be desirous to forward such letters themselves, and to affix upon each letter or packet such stamp, mark of postage, or designation, as the postmaster-general shall think proper, and thereupon to demand and receive a rate of postage of one-third part of the rates and duties payable for such respective letters, &c. if the same were conveyed by packet-boats ;—and in cases where no rate of postage is already established, then to demand rates as near as can be ascertained equal to one-third part of what is now paid for letters sent beyond the seas; and, upon payment thereof, to return such letters and packets to the person bringing the same, who may then forward them to the places to which they may be directed, by any ships or vessels that he or they may think proper, (not being packet-boats,) without incurring any penalty, and without payment of any other rate or duty of postage. $ 3.
Postmuster-general may authorize persons to collect, &c.—His Majesty's postmaster-general may license and authorize any person to collect letters and packets in Great Britain, directed to places within his Majesty's dominions, and to kingdoms and countries beyond the seas, for the purpose of being forwarded by any ships other than packetboats, provided that such person shall, previous to forwarding the same, bring them to the post-office of the town or place to have a stamp put thereon, which stamp, &c. the postmaster-general and his deputies are required to put thereon, and to demand the same rates as are payable for letters to be forwarded by persons bringing the same in manner hereinbefore provided; and, upon such payment being made, to return them to the persons so licensed, who may forward them by any vessels that he may think proper, (not being packet-boats,) without incurring any penalty, and without payment of any other rate of postage. $ 4.
55 Geo. III. c. 153.
An Act for granting certain Rates on the Postage of Letters to and
from Great Britain, the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and the East Indies; and for making certain Regulations respecting the Postage of Ship Letlers, and of Letters in Great Britain.
Postmaster-general may establish packets and mails for the East Indies, &c.—His Majesty's postmaster-general, with the consent of the lords commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, may establish vessels for the conveyance of the public despatches of government, and also mails of letters, and passengers, between this country, the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and the East Indies; and may demand for the port and conveyance of the letters and packets that shall be conveyed by such vessels from the port of London, or from any other port in Great Britain, to the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, or to any port or place within the limits of the charter of the united company of merchants of England trading to the East Indies, (save and except the dominions of the Emperor of China,) the following rates. (These were repealed by 59 Geo. III. c. 111,) and others substituted. See post. § 1.
Muils may be carried by ships of war, &c.—The postmaster-general, in his discretion, by and with the consent of the lords commissioners of the admiralty, to make up and send mails of letters to and from any port or place in the East Indies, &c., by any of his Majesty's ships of war and store-ships, or by any of the ships in the service of the said united company, or by ships employed in the private trade to and from India ; and, when mails of letters shall be so conveyed, may demand and take the same rates and duties, as if the letters were conveyed by vessels, or packet-boats, to be established under the authority of this act. $ 3.
Commanders authorized to receive mails. The commander of any such ship of war, (with the consent of the lords commissioners of the admiralty,) and the commander of any ship in the service of the said united company, or employed in the private trade, to and from India, is hereby authorized and required to receive on board his ship such mails of letters and packets, and to convey and deliver the same accordingly.
The East India company to charge only inland postage.—The said united company, or the commander of any ship in the service of the company, or private trade to and from India, shall not eharge, demand, or receive any rate of postage for any mails of letters, other and except any such postage as may be legally due to the said company for the inland postage, or conveyance of any such letters in India, or for any sealed bags, packages, or parcels of letters, which may at any time be forwarded by the postmaster-general, by the ships of the said united company, or by any such private ship. $5,
Postmaster-general to pay for conveyance of mails.— The postmastergeneral, whenever the ships of the said united company, or any private ships, are employed as packets, shall pay the said united company, and the owners of any such private ships, for the freight or conveyance of any such mails of letters, such reasonable sum, and in such manner, as shall be authorized and directed by the lords of the treasury, or any three of them. $ 6.
Goods allowed to be carried in packets. The postmaster-general, in such proportions and in such manner as the lords commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, or any three or more of them, shall by warrant in writing direct, (any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding,) may permit the exportation on freight, or on account of the owners, or of the public service, in such vessels or packet-boats navigated according to law, from the port of London, or any port or ports within the kingdom of Great Britain, or any intermediate port between Great Britain and the East Indies, to all ports and places within the limits of the charter of the said united company, and to the islands of Saint Helena and Mauritius, and the Cape of Good Hope, (save and except the dominions of the emperor of China,) any goods, wares, and merchandise, (tea
excepted,) which can now or may at any times hereafter be legally exported; and may also permit the importation on freight, or on account of the owners, or of the public service, in such vessels or packet-boats navigated according to law, from all ports and places within the limits of the said united company's charter, and from the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and the island of Saint Helena, (save and except as aforesaid,) into the port of London, or any port in Great Britain, of any goods, wares, and merchandise, which are now or may at any time or times hereafter be legally imported; subject nevertheless to the several restrictions and conditions in this act contained. $ 8.
Quantity of tea on board limited.-It shall be lawful to ship, carry, or put on board, or permit or suffer to be shipped, carried, or put on board such vessels or packet-boats, and any ships or vessels legally trading to and from the East Indies, such quantity of tea as shall be requisite for the use of the crew of any such ship, during the voyage, not erceeding two pounds for each man on board; and in case there shall be found on board any such ships or vessels as aforesaid, on their arrival at any port or place in the British islands, or within two hundred miles of the same, any tea exceeding in quantity 100 pounds weight, every commander shall incur a penalty of two pounds for every pound weight of tea exceeding such quantity. $ 9.
Vessels carrying goods. It shall not be lawful to export or import any goods, wares, or merchandise, in any vessel or packet-boat, to be employed under the authority of this act, unless such vessel or packetboat shall be of the burden of 350 tons at the least. § 10.
Delaying sailing after receiving the mail.-If any commander, having received his Majesty's mail on board, and having received his clearance, shall wilfully neglect to sail and proceed on his voyage within twenty-four hours after the time of receiving the mail on board and his clearance, (wind and weather permitting,) or shall wilfully deviate from the course of his voyage, such commander, for every such neglect, shall forfeit the sum of five hundred pounds : Provided always, that it shall be lawful for the court of directors of the said East India company to give directions to delay the sailing of any ship or vessel, belonging to and employed by the said company, for a time to be limited or specified, giving notice of such directions to the postmaster-general within twentyfour hours thereof. § 11.
Conveying letters to India illegally. If any person shall send, without authority of the postmaster-general, to the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, or the East Indies, any letter or packet, or if any commander of a ship or vessel, or any other person, shall carry or convey any letter or packet, without such authority, to the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, or the East Indies, every such person so offending shall forfeit the sum of five pounds for every letter so conveyed. (But see 59 Geo. III. c. 111, $ 6.) § 13.
Allowance for each letter.— The commanders of such vessels shall be entitled to receive on their arrival in port, either in Great Britain or in India, on delivering at the post-office all such letters and packets which they shall have on board, the sum of two-pence for every letter or packet which he or they shall so deliver. $ 15.
Section 27 repeals the fifth, and nine following sections, of the act 54 Geo. III. c. 169.
Sea-postage of letters, by vessels not packets, ercept from India, &c.The postmaster-general may demand and take for every letter which shall be brought by ships and vessels, (other than packet-boats,) from places within his Majesty's dominions, and from any places beyond the seas, into Great Britain, (except from the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and the East Indies,) a sea-postage of eight-pence for every single letter, and so in proportion for packets, in addition to any inland postage which may arise upon the inland conveyance; and, for the encouragement of the masters of such ships or vessels, the postmastergeneral may allow all such masters the sum of two-pence a letter or packet, upon all such letters and packets as they respectively, on their arrival from parts beyond the seas, shall deliver unto the deputy or deputies of the postmaster-general, for such place or post town at which they shall touch or arrive. $ 28.
Penalty on persons opening bags, &c.---If any master of a ship or vessel shall open any sealed bag, package, or parcel of letters, with which he shall have been intrusted, or shall take out of such bag, package, or parcel, any letter or letters whatsoever, or shall not duly deliver such bag, package, or parcel, with the letters, at the post-office on his arrival in port, without wilful or unavoidable delay after his arrival, every such master so offending shall forfeit the sum of two hundred pounds. § 29.
Owners, &c. sending letters on board their own vessels.* _The owners, charterers, or consignees of vessels may send their letters on board their own ships, from any port in Great Britain to the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and the East Indies, free froin the sea-postage ; provided that such letters shall be endorsed with the words "owners', or charterers', or consignees' letter," and the christian and surname, and place of abode, of the owner, charterer, or consignee, or the firm of the owners who shall be the writer of the same; and provided that the letter so sent and endorsed by any owner or owners, charterer, or consignee, or the whole number of letters, if there shall be more than one, shall not collectively exceed the weight of twenty ounces. $ 30.
Owners or shippers of goods.—The owners or shippers of goods may send letters with their goods, on board any ship or vessel, from any port in Great Britain to the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, and the East Indies, free from the ship-letter postage; provided that such letter shall be endorsed with the christian and surname of the writer, or the firm of the writers, and with the words “ owners or shippers of goods shipped on board the [state the name of the ship] bound to [state the place ;] and provided the letter or packet of any such owners or shippers, or the whole number of letters, if there shall be more than one, shall not collectively exceed the weight of six ounces. $ 31.
Owners of vessels may receive their letters by their own vessels.— The owners, charterers, or consignees of vessels, resident in Great Britain, may receive their letters by their own vessels, from any place within his Majesty's dominions, or countries beyond the seas, free from the seapostage; provided that such owners, charterers, or consignees shall be described as such in the address and superscription of such letters ; and that such letters to any one owner, charterer, or consignee shall not, if coming from any place in the East Indies, exceed collectively the weight of twenty ounces; and, if coming from any other part beyond the seas, exceed collectively the weight of six ounces. $ 32.
As also owners or consignees of goods.— The owners or consiguees of goods, on board ships arriving from abroad, may receive letters free from the sea-postage by such ships, provided that such owners or consignees shall be described as such in the address and superscription thereof; and provided it shall appear, by the ship's manifest, that such persons actually have goods on board such ships, and that the letter or letters addressed to any one such owner or consignee shall not collectively exceed the weight of six ounces. $33.
* See 59 Geo. III. c. 111, § 16, et sequent.
Owners' letters erceeding the weight allowed. In case any collector, comptroller, or other officer of his Majesty's customs, find any letter or letters superscribed as the letters of such owners, charterers, consignees, or shippers, exceeding the number or weight limited by this act, then it shall be lawful for such collector, comptroller, or other officer, to seize so many of the letters as shall reduce the remainder within the proper weight, and to take the same to the nearest post-office, and the postmaster of the place shall pay to the officer delivering the same, at the rate of 2s. 6d. for each letter or packet so seized. $ 36.
Rates of postage receivable at the post-office.-The rates of postage for the conveyance of letters and packets by packet-boats, or ships or vessels employed as packet-boats, to any part of his Majesty's dominions and countries beyond the seas, (excepting the East Indies) shall, with the consent of the lords commissioners of his Majesty's treasury, or any three of them, be received either at the post-office in Great Britain, upon forwarding the same, or by the deputy or deputies of the postmaster-general upon their delivery. § 37.
Declarations to be taken by coinmanders of vessels.*_The collector, comptroller, or other officer of his Majesty's customs, at any port or place whatsoever, is hereby authorized to require a declaration from any commander of any ship or vessel sailing to the Cape of Good Hope, the Mauritius, or the East Indies, that he has not taken, nor will take, any letters on board his ship which have not been delivered to him by authority of the postmaster-general, or which are not exempted from postage by this act; which declaration shaii de in the form or to the effect following:
“I, A. B., commander of the [state the name of the ship or ressel] bound to [state the place] do, as required by law, solemnly declare, that I have not, to the best of my knowledge and belief, on board my ship or vessel, nor will I take, any letters which have not been delivered to me by authority of the postmaster general, or which are not exempted from postage." And in case any such commander shall make a false or untrue declaration, he shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of fifty pounds. § 38.
Bags of letters to be delivered on arrival.-On the arrival of any ship or vessel in any port where there is a post-office, or at the port of its destination, the master shall immediately send to the same all the bags, packages, or parcels of letters, and all other letters, on board his ship, and shall, to the utmost of his power, procure all his crew and passengers to send any letters which may be in their possession, except such letiers as are exempted by this act; and the master shall, at the same time, or at the port or place where the ship or vessel shall report, sign a declaration in the presence of the person authorized by the postmastergeneral at the port or place, who shall also sign the same; which declaration shall be in the form or to the effect following; that is to say,
“ I, A. B., commander of the state the name of the ship or vessel] arrived from (state the place] do as required by law solemnly declare,