Whereas, the defenceless state of this Province and the Accounts we have had of an intended invasion by our Enemies, the Spaniards, against the Southern Colonys makes it Highly Necessary to provide in time for our secure Defence, by having proper Magazines of Ammunition in the several Countys of this Province—
Be it Enacted by his Excellency Gabriel Johnston, Esqr., Governor, by and with the Advice and Consent of his Majesties Council and General Assembly of this Province—
That the Justices of each & every County within this Province at the next Court after the first day of June immediately Ensuing the passage of this Act, shall and are hereby impowered to lay a Tax of eight pence Proclamation on the Taxables in the several Countys to be collected and Disposed of as is hereinafter directed for Hireing a Store House, or Magazine, and buying Ammunition for each respectively with the money therein arising, by virtue of the said Tax—And the Justices of the Court neglecting to lay such a Tax within four months after the ratification of this Act shall forfeit and pay the sum of Ten Pounds Proclamation money to be recovered in the proper court of this Province by Action of Debt Bill plaint or Information.
And be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, that the Justices of every County shall and are hereby Impowered to Hire, in each of the Countys, one Store House, or Magazine wherein all Ammunition to be bought by virtue of this Act shall be Lodged.
And be it further Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, the Justices of each County shall and hereby Impowered at the first Court to be held by the several Counties, after the first day of May next, to contract with any person or persons for so much powder Swan Shot and Gun Flints as the said Tax when collected will be sure to pay for after the Sheriffs Commissions shall be deducted.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the Justices of each county within this Province, shall and hereby impowered and required to pay to any person or persons, in their respective Counties, who shall on the Public faith furnish any Quantity of Ammunition in Consequence of this Act, all such Sum or Sums of Money, as they shall so agree for as soon as the said Tax shall be collected And paid to them under the penalty of Twenty Pounds proclamation money to be Recovered by the Person or Persons who shall so contract with them as aforesaid by action of Debt bill plaint or Information in the General Court of this Province.
And be it further Enacted, That the said Justices shall be Impowered and they are hereby Impowered to appoint and agree with a proper person in each and every County to take charge of the said Magazine, who shall be allowed Five per cent for all the Ammunition he shall receive and deliver by order: and that he shall give bond with one or more suretys in the penal sum of One Hundred Pounds proclamation money to be accountable to them for the quantity received, and that he shall at all times and from time to time deliver to the Colonel of the Regiment or Commanding Officer or his Order such Quantitys of Ammunition as he may see necessary upon
And be it further enacted that the Colonel or Commanding Officer shall be Acountable to the Justices in each and every County Court for such Quantity of Ammunition as he may have ordered out of the Magazine.
And be it further enacted that the Tax or Taxes laid by such Justices in each and every County as aforesaid shall be levied by the Sheriff at the same time and in the same manner as other Taxes are now collected by Law and that he shall be accountable for the same to the Justices of the said County Courts under the penalty of Forty Pounds proclamation money to be recovered by any person or persons, who will Inform or sue for the same in the General Court of this Province, by Action of Debt bill plaint or Information and no essoin protection injunction or wager of law shall be admitted of, the one third to the person prosecuting, and the other two thirds to be applied to and for the uses of the Magazine in each and every County and for no other use whatsoever.
And whereas every person now entered or who hereafter may be entered on the Muster Rolls of this Province are equally concerned in the safety and defence of the same, Be it therefore Enacted that no taxable in this Province shall be exempted from paying the said Taxes any former Order or Resolution of the General Assembly of this Province notwithstanding.