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Post Office Offences and Isle of Man Postage Act 1767
(7 Geo 3 c.50, 1st January 1767)

An Act for amending certain Laws relating to the Revenue of the Post Office; and for granting Rates of Postage for the Conveyance of Letters and Packets between Great Britain and the Isle of Man, and within that Island.

WHEREAS it is of the utmost Importance to the Trade and Commerce of these Kingdoms, that all Letters, Packets, Bank Notes, Bills of Exchange and other Things, may be sent and conveyed by the Post with the greatest Safety and Security; and it having been found necessary, that some further Regulations and Provisions should be made for that Purpose: May it please Your Majesty, that it may be enacted; and be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That if any Deputy, Clerk, Agent, Letter Carrier, Post Boy or Rider, or any other Officer or Person whatsoever, employed, or to be hereafter employed, in receiving, stamping, sorting, charging, carrying, conveying or delivering, Letters or Packets, or in any other Business relating to the Post Office, shall, from and after the first Day of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, secrete, embezzle or destroy, any Letter or Letters, Packet or Packets, Bag or Mail of Letters, which he, she or they, shall and may be respectively intrusted with, or which shall have come to his, her or their Hands or Possession, containing any Bank Note, Bank Post Bill, Bill of Exchange, Exchequer Bill, South Sea or East India Bond, Dividend Warrant of the Bank, South Sea, East India, or any other Company, Society or Corporation, Navy or Victualling or Transport Bill, Ordnance Debenture, Seaman's Ticket, State Lottery Ticket or Certificate, Bank Receipt for Payment on any Loan, Note of Assignment of Stock in the Funds, Letter of Attorney for receiving Annuities or Dividends, or for selling Stock in the Funds, or belonging to any Company, Society or Corporation, American Provincial Bill of Credit, Goldsmith's or Banker's Letter of Credit or Note for or relating to the Payment of Money, or other Bond or Warrant, Draught, Bill or Promissory Note whatsoever, for the Payment of Money; or shall steal and take out of any Letter or Packet that shall come to his, her or their Hands or Possession, any such Bank Note, Bank Post Bill, Bill of Exchange, Exchequer Bill, South Sea or East India Bond, Dividend, Warrant of the Bank, South Sea, East India, or any other Company, Society or Corporation, Navy or Victualling or Transport Bill, Ordnance Debenture, Seaman's Ticket, State Lottery Ticket or Certificate, Bank Receipt for Payment on any Loan, Note of Assignment of Stock in the Funds, Letter of Attorney for receiving Annuities or Dividends, or for selling Stock in the Funds, or belonging to any Company, Society or Corporation, American Provincial Bill of Credit, Goldsmith's or Banker's Letter of Credit or Note for or relating to the Payment of Money, or other Bond or Warrant, Draught, Bill or Promissory Note whatsoever, for the Payment of Money; every such Offender or Offenders, being thereof convicted in due Form of Law, shall be deemed guilty of Felony, and shall suffer Death as a Felon without Benefit of Clergy.

II. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That, from and after the said first Day of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, if any Person or Persons whatsoever shall rob any Mail or Mails, in which Letters are sent or conveyed by the Post, of any Letter or Letters, Packet or Packets, Bag or Mail of Letters; or shall steal and take from or out of any such Mail or Mails, or from or out of any Bag or Bags of Letters, sent or conveyed by the Post, or from or out of any Post Office, or House or Place for the Receipt or Delivery of Letters or Packets sent or to be sent by the Post, any Letter or Letters, Packet or Packets; although such Robbery, Stealing or Taking, shall not appear, or be proved to be a Taking from the Person, or upon the King's Highway, or to be a Robbery committed in any Dwelling-house, or any Coach-house, Stable, Barn or any Out-house belonging to a Dwelling-house; and although it should not appear that any Person or Persons were put in Fear by such Robbery, Stealing or Taking; yet such Offender or Offenders, being thereof convicted as aforesaid, shall nevertheless respectively be deemed guilty of Felony, and shall suffer Death as a Felon, without Benefit of Clergy.

III. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Deputy, Clerk, Agent, Letter Carrier, Officer or other Person whatsoever, employed or hereafter to be employed in any Business relating to the Post Office, shall take and receive into his, her or their Hands or Possession any Letter or Letters, Packet or Packets, to be forwarded by the Post, and receive any Sum or Sums of Money therewith for the Postage thereof, shall, after the said first Day of November one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, burn or otherwise destroy any Letter or Letters, Packet or Packets, by him, her or them, so taken in or received; or if any such Deputy, Clerk, Agent, Letter Carrier, Officer or other Person whatsoever, so employed, or hereafter to be so employed, shall advance the Rate or Rates of Postage upon any Letter or Letters, Packet or Packets, sent by the Post, and shall secrete, and not duly account for the Money by him, her or them received for such advanced Postage; every such Offender or Offenders, being thereof convicted as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of Felony.

IV. And whereas it hath been found necessary, for the Convenience and Improvement of Trade and Commerce, and for the more safe and speedy Conveyance of Letters and Packets between Great Britain and the Isle of Man, to establish a Packet Boat between the Port of Whitehaven in the County of Cumberland, and the Port of Douglas in the said Isle of Man; Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That, from and after the fifth Day of July one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, it shall and may be lawful to and for His Majesty's Postmaster General, and his Deputy and Deputies by him thereunto sufficiently authorized, to and for the Use of His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, to demand, have, receive and take, for the Post and Conveyance of all and every the Letters and Packets that shall be carried or conveyed by Packet Boats to or from the Port of Whitehaven aforesaid, or any other convenient Port in the Kingdom of Great Britain, from or to the Port of Douglas aforesaid, or any other convenient Port in the said Isle of Man (over and above all other Rates payable for such Letters or Packets) according to the Rates and Sums hereafter mentioned (the same being rated either by the Letter, or by the Ounce) that is to say,

For every Single Letter, two Pence.
For every Double Letter, four Pence.
For every Treble Letter, six Pence.
And for every Ounce, eight Pence.

And so in Proportion for every Packet of Deeds, Writs and other Things.

V. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That, from and after the said fifth Day of July one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, it shall and may be lawful to and for His Majesty's Postmaster General to establish Post Offices and Post Roads within the said Isle of Man, wherever it shall appear to him to be necessary and convenient for the Benefit of Trade and Correspondence so to do; and that it shall and may be lawful for such Postmaster General, and his Deputy and Deputies by him thereunto sufficiently authorized, to and for the Use of His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, to demand, have, receive and take, for the Inland Port or Conveyance of all Letters and Packets sent or conveyed by the Post within the said Isle, such Rates of Postage, in Proportion to the Number of Miles or Stages such Letters and Packets are carried or convoyed by the Post, as now are respectively settled, established and ascertained to be paid for the Inland Port or Conveyance of Letters and Packets within that Part of Great Britain called England.

VI. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That, from and after the said firth Day of July one thousand seven hundred and sixty seven, all and every the Clauses, Provisions, Powers, Privileges, Advantages, Disabilities, Penalties and Methods for the Recovery of the same, and all other Matters and Things contained in an Act made in the ninth Year of the Reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne, intituled, An Act for establishing a General Post Office for all Her Majesty's Dominions, and for settling a Weekly Sum out of the Revenues thereof for the Service of the War, and other Her Majesty's Occasions, (and not repealed or altered by any subsequent Law); as also an Act made in the sixth Year of the Reign of His Majesty King George the First, intituled, An Act for preventing Frauds and Abuses in the Publick Revenues of Excise, Customs, Stamp Duties, Post Office and House Money, so far as the said Act relates to the Post Office; as also in an Act made in the twenty sixth Year of the Reign of His Majesty King George, the Second, intituled, An Act for the more effectual preventing the fraudulent Removal of Tobacco by Land or Water, and for the Ease of the fair Trader; and for ascertaining the Rates payable for the Postage of certain Letters; and for amending and explaining the Laws relating to the Sale of Spirituous Liquors by Retail, so far as the said Act relates to the Post Office; as also in an Act made in the fourth Year of the Reign of His present Most Gracious Majesty, intituled, An Act for preventing Frauds and Abuses in relation to the sending and receiving Letters and Packets free from the Duty of Postage; as also in an Act made in the fifth Year of His present Majesty, intituled, An Act to alter certain Rates of Postage; and to amend, explain and enlarge several Provisions in an Act made in the ninth Year of the Reign of Queen Anne, and in other Acts relating to the Revenue of the Post Office; and also in this present Act, or in any other Acts relating to the Post Office, shall extend, and be deemed and construed to extend to the said Isle of Man, and to all His Majesty's Subjects within the said Isle, as fully and effectually, in every respect, as if the said Isle, and His Majesty's Subjects therein, had been expressly included in the said several Acts, or in any of them.

VII. And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all the Monies arising by the Rates aforesaid, except the Monies which shall be necessary to defray such Expences as shall be incurred in the Collection and Management of the same, and all other Expences attending the said Office, and the due Execution of the Acts relating thereto, shall be appropriated and applied to such and the same Uses so to which the present Rates of Postage are respectively now by Law appropriated and made applicable.

VIII. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Action or Suit shall be commenced against any Person or Persons for any thing done in pursuance of this Act, the same shall be commenced within six Months after the Fact committed, and not afterwards; and the Defendant or Defendants in such Action or Suit shall and may plead the General Issue, and give this Act, and the Special Matter, in Evidence, and that the same was done in pursuance and by the Authority of this Act; and if it shall appear so to be done, or that such Action or Suit shall be commenced after the time before limited for bringing the same, that then the Jury shall find for the Defendant or Defendants; and upon a Verdict for the Defendant, or if the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, shall be nonsuited, or discontinue his, her or their Action or Suit after the Defendant or Defendants shall have appeared; or if, upon Demurrer, Judgment shall be given against the Plaintiff or Plaintiffs, the Defendant or Defendants shall and may recover Treble Colts, and have the like Remedy for the same as any Defendant or Defendants hath or have in any other cases by Law.