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weight, and measure, described in the act of 1797, and where, and in whose custody, they are kept.

I herewith send you a copy of the law of 1718, and of an additional act passed the 6th of George III. upon that subject. I transcribed them from books in my library; and, as I presume you do not wish to use them in a court of law, I did not suppose it necessary to send to the Secretary of this State for official copies, especially as I doubt whether even copies remain of both those laws in that office.

I have taken measures to obtain the requisite information respecting the scale beams, weights, and measures, belonging to this state, and as soon as I obtain it will write you on the subject.

I have the honor to be,
With much respect, sir,
Your obedient servant,

WILLIAM PLUMER. Hon. JOHN QUINCY ADAMS,

Secretary of State U. S. Washington.

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Copy of an Act passed by the General Court or Assembly of the Province

of New Hampshire, in New England, begun and held at Portsmouth, on the 13th day of May, 1718.

AN ACT FOR REGULATING WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.

To the end that weights and measures may be one and the same

throughout this Province,

1. Be it enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and Repre sentatives, convened in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That the treasurer of this province shall provide one set of weights and measures as are according to the approved Winchester measures, allowed in England in the exchequer, which shall be pub. lic allowed standards throughout this province, for the proving and sealing of all weights and measures thereby : and the town clerk of every town within this province, not already supplied, shall, within three months next coming, provide, upon the town charge, one bushel, one half bushel, one peck, one ale quart, one wine quart, one ell, one yard, one set of brass weights to four pounds after sixteen ounces to the pound, with fit scales and steel beam, tried and proved by the aforesaid standard, and sealed by the treasurer, or his deputy, in his presence; which shall be kept and used only for standards in the several towns, who is hereby authorized to do the same, for which he shall receive, from the town clerks of every town, two pence for every weight and measure so tried, proved, and sealed. And the town clerk of every town shall commit the weights and measures unto the

custody of the select-men for their town, for the time being, who, with the town clerk, are enjoined to choose an able man for a sealer of all weights and measures for their own town, from time to time, and until another be chosen, who shall be presented to the next court, or some justice of the peace, to be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duty, and shall have power to send forth his warrants by the constables to all the inhabitants of each town, to bring in all such weights and measures as they make any use of, in the month of April, from year to year, at such time and place as he shall appoint, and make return to the sealer in writing of all persons so summoned; that then and there all such weights and measures may be proved and sealed, with the town soal; which is likewise to be provided by the town clerk, at each town charge, who shall have for every weight and measure, so sealed, one penny, from the owner thereof at the first sealing. And all such weights and measures as cannot be brought to their just standard, he shall deface and destroy: and, after the first sealing, he shall have nothing so long as they continue just with the standard.

2. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That, if any constable, select-men, or sealers, do not execute these laws, so far as to each and every of them appertains, shall forfeit for every neglect the space of one month, the sum of forty shillings; the half to the informer, the other half to the use of the poor of the town where such default is found; and every person neglecting to bring in their weights and measures at the time and place appointed, being only warned thereof, shall forfeit three shillings and four-pence; the onehalf thereof to the use of the poor, as aforesaid, the other half to the sealer; and the penalties herein mentioned to be levied by distress, by warrant from any justice of the peace within this province.

3. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That, in every'seaport town within this province, the town clerk is to provide, likewise, upon the town charge, one hundred weight, made of iron, to be tried, proved, and sealed, as aforesaid, and one half hundred, and one quarter of an hundred, and one fourteen pound weight, made of iron, to be tried, proved, and sealed, as aforesaid, and to be kept as standards in the said several towns, to be used as before for other weights and measures as is directed.

4. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all steel. yards that are or shall be approved of by the standards, shall be allowed of in any of the towns of the said province, and be in the liberty of both buyer and seller to weigh by which they please.

5. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all measures by which meal, fruits, and other things, usually sold by heap, shall be sold, be conformable, as to bigness, to the following dimensions, viz: The bushel not less within side than eighteen inches and half wide, the half bushel not less than thirteen inches and three quarters wide, the peck not less than ten inches and three quarters wide, and the half peck not less than nine inches wide. And if any person, at any time, from and after the first day of October next, after the publication of this act, shall sell, expose to sale, or offer any meal, fruits, or other things usually sold by heap, by any other measure than is aforementioned, as to bigness and breadth, such person being complained of and convicted before any justice of peace within this province, of so doing, shall forfeit and pay, to the use of the poor of the town where the offence is committed, the full value of the meal, fruits, or other things so sold, or offered to sale; and such justice may commit the offender to prison, until payment be made of the said forfeiture, or cause the same to be levied by warrant of distress, and paid unto the town treasurer, or overseers of the poor, to the use of the poor aforesaid; and shall also cause such measure to be defaced: any law, usage, or custom, to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

6. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the sealer appointed in each town within this province, from time to time, shall be, and hereby is, empowered to go to the houses of such of the inhabitants as, upon warning given in manner as is above appointed, shall neglect to bring or send in their beams, weights, and measures, to be proved and sealed at the place assigned for that purpose, and shall there prove and seal the same, and shall demand and receive of the owner of every beam, weight, and measure, proved and sealed, two pence, and no more: and every person that sball refuse to have their beams, weights, and measures, viewed, proved, and sealed, shall forfeit the sum of five shillings; one moiety thereof to the use of the poor of the town, and the other moiety to the sealer, to be recovered as is above provided. And if any person shall bring his beam, weights, or measures, to be proved and sealed at any other time than on the day or days set by the sealer for that purpose, he sball in like manner pay two pence for each that shall be tried and sealed.

7. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any person, from and after the first day of September next, after the publication of this act, shall sell, vend, or utter, any goods, wares, merchandises, grain, or other commodities whatsoever, by other beams, weights, or measures, than such as shall be proved and sealed as this act requires, the person so offending shall lose or forfeit the sum of five shillings for each offence of that kind ; one moiety thereof to the use of the poor of the town where the offence shall be committed, tho other moiety to the sealer or informer, who shall prosecute the same, to be heard and determined by one or more of his majesty's justices of the peace.

8. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all beams, weights, and measures, kept for standards in the several towns, shall be proved and tried by the public standard at the end of ten years, from time to time; and all town standards shall be stamped with this mark, PNH; any law, usage, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding.

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· An Act in addition to an Act, entitled " An Act for regulating Weights

and Measures.

Whereas the said act, by experience, is found ineffectual to answer the

good end thereby intended, as the penalties therein imposed are insufficient to enforce a due observance thereof: Wherefore,

1. Be it enacted by his Excellency the Governor, Council, and Representatives, convened in General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted and ordained by the authority of the same, That, from and after the passing of this act, every person who shall neglect to bring in their weights and measures at the time and place appointed, (being duly warned thereof, shall forfeit the sum of forty shillings, to be recovered and applied in the same manner as by the said act is directed, for recovering the fine therein inflicted for such neglect.

2. And it is further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That when and so often as the sealer of weights and measures, in any town or parish within this province, shall have probable cause of suspicion that any inhabitant has two sets of weights and measures, according to one, whereof, (being legal) the said inhabitant buyeth, and with the other (being lighter or smaller) he selleth, and secreteth the latter, or produceth not the same to the sealer, it shall and may be law. ful for the said sealer, verbally, to warn the said inhabitant to appear before the next justice of the peace for the said province, who is hereby authorized and required to examine the said inhabitant upon oath (without fee or reward) touching the same weights and measures, that so the fraud (if any there be) may be detected ; and if the said inhabitant, so verbally warned as aforesaid, shall refuse to attend upon the said justice as aforesaid, the said justice, upon satisfactory proof of the said warning, shall issue his warrant to apprehend such delinquent, and bring him, or her, before him, when, if the said delinquent shall refuse to answer upon oath, he, or she, shall incur and forfeit the same penalty as in the said act is inflicted on persons who shall sell, vend, or utter, any goods, wares, merchandise, grain, or other commodities, by other beams, weights, or measures, than such as shall be proved and sealed as the same act requires, and pay cost of prosecution

3. And be it further enacted, That, for the future, the selectmen of the said towns and parishes, (not already provided) shall, at the charge of the towns and parishes, respectively, procure all those weights and measures which, by the law aforesaid, are to be provided by the town clerks, and improved and used as standards for the said towns and parishes; and in default thereof, for 'the term of six months from the passing of this act, those selectmen who shall be delioquent herein shall forfeit and pay the sum of ten pounds, for the use of the poor of the town or parish where the selectmen shall be so negligent, to be levied by distress and sale of their goods and chattels, by warrant from any justice of the peaco.

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An act regulating scale beams, steelyards, weights, and measures. SBC. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court convened, That the governor, by and with the advice of council, be, and hereby is, authorized and empowered to appoint a sealer of weights and measures in each county in this state.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That each sealer of weights and measures, appointed as aforesaid, shall provide, at the expense of the state, one complete set of scale beams, weights, and measures, similar to those now owned by this state ; which shall be kept by him as standards for the use of said county. And it shall be the duty of said sealer of weights and measures to try and prove by said standards all scale beams, steelyards, weights, and measures, which shall be brought to him for that purpose by the sealers of weights and measures chosen in the respective towns in said county ; and to seal such as shall be found just, agreeable to said standards, who shall receive six cents for every scale beam, steelyard, weight, and measure, so tried, proved, and sealed.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the selectmen of every town in this state shall provide, at the proper expense of their respective towns, one complete set of weights and measures, and a scale beam as aforesaid, for the use of said town, of such materials as the town shall think proper, provided the liquid measures bo of some kind of metal.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That each town in this state shall, at their annual meeting, choose one suitable person for sealer of weights and measures in said town, who shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duty, who shall notify the inhabitants to bring in all scale beams, steelyards, weights, and measures, as they make use of, in the month of May, from year to year, at such time and place as he shall appoint, by posting up a notification at every meeting house in said town, and if there be no meeting house, then at some public place in said town, three weeks successively prior to the day appointed; and the said sealer shall try, prove, and seal, all such scale beams, steelyards, weights, and measures, as shall be brought to him, and shall be found just, agreeable to said standards: and he shall have for every scale beam, steelyard, weight, and measure, so sealed, two cents from the owner thereof at the first sealing, and after the first sealing one cent only, so long as they continue just with the standard.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That all measures by which meal, fruit, and other things usually sold by heap, shall be sold, be of the following dimensions, viz: the bushel not less within side than eighteen inches and a half wide; the half bushel not less than thirteen

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