“An Act for granting unto His Majesty an Excise upon Wines and Spirits distilled, sold by Retail, and upon Lemmons and Limes” from Acts and Laws, Passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly of His Majesty’s Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Begun and Held at Boston upon Wednesday the Twenty-fifth Day of May 1737.

[Boston]: Printed by J. Draper, Printer to His Excellency the Governour and Council, 1737.

29.3 x 18.5, 593-598 loose pages (3 leaves). Bears the coat of arms of King George II, printed in black ink on the first page. An act of colonial legislation ruling that retailers of alcohol must keep full sales accounts and levy taxes; specifically “an excise upon all brandy, rum and other spirits distilled, and upon all wines whatsoever sold by retail’ and upon lemmon and limes taken in and used in making of punch or other liquors mixed for sale, or otherwise consumed in taverns or other licensed houses within this province to be raised, levied, collected and paid by and upon every taverner, innholder common victualler and retailer, within each respective county”. The rate of excise is twelve pence for every gallon of wine and spirit, eight shillings and four pence for every hundred lemons, and three shillings for every hundred limes (no duty due for leakage or waste). The law gives details with regard to penalties, licensure, inspections and more. Beginning June 29, 1737 the act was to be enforced for the length of three years. Prior to 1750s, the level of taxation in the colonies was low, approaching less than fifty percent of that prevailing in England and it was not until the Seven Years War that colonial taxes increased as much as two hundred-fifty percent (Edwin J. Perkins, The Economy of Colonial America, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988). Three disbound leaves, two of which are still adhered to each other, with some chipping and light soiling and minor foxing, otherwise good.

Price: $350.00