FROM 1736 TO 1745
By 1736, sweeping changes in the law were found necessary. It was stated in the preamble to the Act passed in that year1 that ". . . notwithstanding the several laws already made to prevent the unlawful importing and clandestine landing and running of prohibited and uncustomed goods, divers wicked and evil disposed persons have of late not only carried on, and do still continue, such pernicious and illegal practices, in open defiance of the laws, to the great diminution of the public revenue, . . . and likewise seduce great numbers . . . to join with them . . . , whereby the evil is become so general, that it is necessary that some further provision should be made for effectually preventing the same. . . ."
It appears that many different kinds of liquors and tea were now being smuggled, and that small casks were being used for this purpose in order to facilitate transshipment at sea. As the correspondence between the collectors and the Board of Customs shows, larger vessels than fifty tons were being employed in the trade at this time. A new law embracing this larger craft and prohibiting this new practice was found necessary.
Section XXII of the Act of 1736 provided that where "any ship or vessel whatsoever coming or arriving from foreign parts," found at anchor or hovering within the limits of any port, or within two leagues of the shore, or____________________