Page:Remarks on the British Quarantine Laws.djvu/14

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424

Dr. Maclean on the

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quarantine act, in March 1723, that of Queen Anne of course revived, and continues to be still in force. (Russell's Treat. p. 464.)

In May 1728, the 1st of Geo. II., an act was passed exactly under the same title as the former, excepting so far as regards the repeal of Queen Anne's act. Most of the smaller clauses relating to the quarantine of ships were the same, some nearly verbatim with those of the 7th of Geo. I. A few were however omitted; and the power of prohibiting commerce for the space of one year, which, in 1721, had been the subject of a separate act, was included in this. (Russell, p. 444.) Persons contravening this act were declared guilty of felony; ships and goods were forfeited, and the importers fined in treble their value. (Id. p. 445.)

This act, like those of 1720 and 1721, being only temporary, was permitted to expire in 1731; but, in 1733, pestilence again prevailing in some foreign places, it was renewed, and directed to be continued in force for two years from the 2d of June 1733, and from thence to the then next session of parliament. (Id. p. 445.) The title is, "An act for reviving so much of the act made in the 1st year of His Majesty's reign, intitled &c. as relates to the performing quarantine, and the preventing the spreading of infection, and to enable His Majesty to prohibit commerce with any country or place, infected with the plague, for a certain time therein limited." (Id. 445,6.)

From 1735 to 1753, the act of Queen Anne, which had no reference to the intercourse with Turkey, was the sole quarantine law in force in Great Britain. It does not, however, appear, that, during this interval, the Levant Company availed themselves of the exemption from quarantine, to which they became entitled by the expiration of the temporary laws which I have enumerated. In the mean time happened the plague of Messina, in 1743. His Majesty being abroad, the Lords of the Regency ordered all ships from the Mediterranean, bound to the river Thames, to do quarantine in Stangate Creek only. (Id. p. 446.)

In September 1743, the clerk of the Scipio fire ship was committed to the Marshalsea prison, by a special warrant from the Lords of the Admiralty, for six months, pursuant to the sentence of a court-martial, for not performing quarantine agreeably to the directions of the Lords of the Regency. The boatswain of the same ship was tried at the same court-martial, and condemned to die, for leaving the ship, and not performing quarantine. (Id. p. 446.)

In April 1753, on a proposition for enlarging the trade to the Levant seas, the subject of quarantine again came under consideration; and a bill passed the legislature, intitled, "An act to oblige