4th of July: The Quartering Act and vinegar

Reginald SmithUncategorizedLeave a Comment

The Quartering Act of 1765 was made to make the American colonists pay for local British garrisons after the debt incurred by Great Britain from the French and Indian (Seven Years’) War. As one of the intolerable acts that led to the Revolution, it imposed direct costs on colonists without their consent. In Clause VI (and some others) vinegar is mentioned as an item to  be provided free of charge.


VI. Provided always. That in case any innholder, or other person, on whom any non-commission officers or private men shall be quartered by virtue of this act, in any of his Majesty’s dominions in America (except on a march, or employed in recruiting, and likewise except the recruits by them raised, for the space of seven days at most, for such non-commission officers and soldiers who are recruiting, and recruits by them raised) shall be desirous to furnish such non-commission officers or soldiers with candles, vinegar, and salt, and with small beer or cyder, not exceeding five pints, or half a pint of rum mixed with a quart of water, for each man per diem, gratis, and allow to such non-commission officers or soldiers the use of fire, and the necessary utensils for dressing and eating their meat, and shall give notice of such his desire to the commanding officer, and shall furnish and allow the same accordingly; then, and in such case, the non-commission officers and soldiers so quartered shall provide their own victuals; and the officer to whom it belongs to receive, or that actually does receive, the pay and subsistence-money, for diet and small beer, to the non-commission officers and soldiers aforesaid, and not to the innholder or other person on whom such non-commission officers and soldiers are quartered; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

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