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QUARANTINE is that space of time (usually forty days, as the term manifestly implies) which ships, persons, and goods are restricted from intercourse with the shore, on arriving from places infected with the plague, or other infectious disease or distemper; or having held coinmunication with ships coming from such places, or on board of which any infectious disease may have appeared during the voyage.
The public health is of the highest importance ; of such common concern, indeed, is the health of large and trading communities, that the chief magistrates (says Blackstone) have the guardianship of the public health, and are einpowered to issue such ordinances as may be deemed necessary, either to prevent the introduction of infection from neighbouring or remote countries—or for separating those actually infected by removal, or by cutting off communications with their abode.
It is with these views that the following law has been established, and great labour and pains were taken by parliament to combine the best precautions with the least oppressive and most effective regulations. Previous to the present law the expences attending the quarantine
establishments had been borne by the ship owners, and the proprietors of the goods imported; but as the subject had been taken up on public grounds, it was judged proper that the expence should be borne by the country at large, whose general security was the great point in consideration, and therefore all duties, called " Quarantine Duties,” were repealed. With the similar intention the fee of £5. 148. 6d. formerly charged for orders for releasing ships from quarantine, was directed by the Lords of the Treasury and the Privy Council to be no longer paid after the 1 January, 1832
6 Geo. IV. c. 78.
An Act to repeal the sereral laws relating to the performance of
quarantine, and to make other provisions in lieu thereof. The former acts relating to quarantine repealed.-From and after the 1st day of June, 1825, all and every act, and all parts of acts of the parliament of Great Britain and Ireland respectively, and of the parliament of the United Kingdom, relating to the performance of quarantine, or relating to the charging any duty or duties upon vessels which may be liable to, or have performed quarantine, shall be repealed. $ 1.
What vessels shall be liable to quarantine.-From and after the 1st day of June, 1823, all vessels (as well his Majesty's ships of war as others) coming from or having touched at any place from whence his Majesty, with the advice of his privy council, shall have adjudged it probable that the plague or other infectious disease highly dangerous to the health of his Majesty's subjects may be brought-and all vessels and boals receiving any person, goods, wares, and merchandise, packets, packages, baggage, wearing apparel, books, letters, or any other article whatsoever, from or out of any vessel so coming from or having touched at such infected place,-(whether such persons, goods, wares, and merchandise, packets, packages, baggage, wearing apparel, books, letters, or other articles, shall have come or been brought in such vessels, or such persons shall have gone, or articles have been put on board the same, either before or after the arrival of such vessels at any port or place in the United Kingdom, or the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, or Man, and whether such vessels were or were not bound to any port or place in the United Kingdom, or the islands aforesaid,)--and all persons, goods, wares, and merchandise, packets, packages, baggage, wearing apparel, books, letters, or any other article whatsoever on board of any vessels so coming from or having touched at such infected place, or on board of any such receiving vessels or boats,—shall be liable to quarantine within this act, and to any orders made by his Majesty, with the advice of his privy council, concerning quarantine and the prevention of infection, from the time of the departure of such vessels from such infected place, or froin the time when such persons, goods, wares, merchandise, packets, packages, baggage, wearing apparel, books, letters, or other articles, shall have been received on board ;—and all such vessels and boats, and all persons, (as well pilots as others,) goods, wares, and merchandise, and all other articles as aforesaid, whether coming or brought in such vessels or boats from such infected place, or going or being put on board the same, either before or after the arrival of such vessels or boats at any port in the United Kingdom, or islands aforesaid, and all persons, goods, wares, and merchandise, and other articles aforesaid, on board such receiving vessel or boat, shall, upon their arrival at any such port, be obliged to perform quarantine in such place, for such time, and in such manner as shall be directed by his Majesty, by his order or orders in council, notified by proclamation, or published in the London Gazette :-and until such vessels and boats, persons, goods, wares, and merchandise, and other articles aforesaid, shall have respectively performed, and shall be duly discharged from quarantine, no such person, goods, wares, or merchandise, or other articles a resaid, shall, either before or after the arrival of such vessels or boats at any port in the United Kingdom, or the islands aforesaid, come or be brought on shore, or go and be put on board any other vessel or boat, in order to come or be brought on shore in any such port, although such vessels so coming from such intected place may not be bound to any port in the United Kingdom, or the islands aforesaid, unless in such manner and in such cases, and by such licence as shall be directed or permitted by such order, made by his Majesty in council ;—and all such vessels and boats, whether coming from such infected place, or being otherwise liable to quarantine, and all persons, (as well pilots as others,) goods, wares, and merchandise, and other articles aforesaid, whether coming or brought in such vessels or boats, or going or being put board the same, either before or after the arrival of such vessels or boats at any port in the United Kingdom, or the islands aforesaid, and although such vessels or boats shall not be bound to any port in the United Kingdom, or islands aforesaid ; and all commanders, masters, or other persons, having the charge or command of any such vessels or boats, whether coming from any infected place,
or being otherwise liable to quarantine, shall be subject to all provisions, rules, regulations, and restrictions contained in this act, or in any orders made by his Majesty in council concerning quarantine and the prevention of infection, and to all the pains, penalties, forfeitures, and punishments contained in this act, for any breach or disobedience thereof, or of any orders in council. $ 2.*
Power for privy council to order vessels coming from America or the West Indies, when the yellow fever prevails there, to go to certain places without being liable to quarantine.—It shall be lawful for his Majesty, by order in council, or for the lords or others of his privy council, or any two or more of them, by their order from time to time, as often as they may see reason to apprehend that the yellow fever, or other highly infectious distemper, prevails on the continent of America, or in the West Indies, to require that every vessel coming from or having touched at any port on the continent of America or in the West Indies, shall come to an anchor at certain places to be appointed by the commissioners of customs, (who are authorized to make such appointment) for the purpose of having the state of health of the crew ascertained before such vessel shall be permitted to enter the port whereto she shall be bound, or any other port of the United Kingdom; but such vessel shall not be deemed liable to quarantine unless it shall be afterwards specially ordered under that restraint. $ 3.
* COUNCIL-Office, WHITEHALL,
March 1, 1827. SIR,—The lords of his Majesty's most honourable privy council having had under consideration a letter from Mr. Barrow, secretary to the Admiralty, dated 27th ult., enclosing a correspondence between admiral Sir James Saumarez and the collector of customs at Plymouth, relative to two of his Majesty's ships, the “ Windsor Castle” and “ Ocean,” from Lisbon, having been placed under the restraint of quaralitine; the “ Windsor Castle,” for having touched at Gibraltar before her arrival at Lisbon ; and the “ Ocean," in consequence of having had communication with the Windsor Castle : and their lordships being of opinion that the officers of customs at Plymouth have put a wrong construction upon the words of the second section of the act 6 Geo. IV. c. 78. (Lisbon having been the last port from which the Windsor Castle sailed, without touching at any place, or having had any communication to render her liable to guarantine since her departure from that port,) I am directed to state the same to you for the information of the commissioners of customs, and to desire that they may give instructions to their officers at Plymouth nut to place any men of war, in future, under the restraint of quarantine, coming from any port or place in Europe, without the Straits, at which she had heen admitted to free pratique, although she had previously come from, or touched at, any port declared liable to quarantine, by order in council, (unless from the existence of sickness among the crew, or some other sufficiently suspicious circumstances.)
I am also directed to state that the same regulation will apply to MERCHANT Vessels under the same circumstances, not having enumerated goods on board, or having enumerated goods on board with the required certificates or declarations to prove that such goods are not the produce of Turkey or Africa, or that they have performed quarantine in one of the lazarets declared competent by his Majesty's order in council.
I am, Sir,
C. C. GREVILLE,
Power to lord-lieutenant, where the urgency of the case requires, to give directions, by proclamation, where vessels shall perform quarantine, &c.—It shall be lawful for the lord-lieutenant, or other chief governor of Ireland, by his orders, made by the advice and consent of his Majesty's privy council in Ireland, and notified by proclamation, to give directions, where the urgency of the case shall require, as tu the place, and as to the time and manner in which ships and vessels arriving, and persons, goods, and merchandises coming or imported into any port in Ireland, shall make their quarantine, in pursuance of this act; and that until such ships, vessels, persons, goods, and merchandises shall have respectively performed and been discharged from such quarantine, it shall be lawful for any such persons, goods, or merchandises, to come or be brought on shore, or to go or be put on board any other ship or vessel in any place in Ireland, in such cases, and by such licence as shall be directed or permitted by any orders to be made by the lord-lieutenant, by the advice and consent of the privy council there, and notified as aforesaid; and all such ships and vessels, and the persons or goods coming or imported in, or going and being put on board such ships or vessels, and all ships, vessels, boats, and persons receiving any goods or persons out of the same, and all persons going on board any such ship or vessels, shall be subject to such orders, concerning quarantine and the preventing infection, as shall be made by the lord-lieutenant in council, and shall be notified by proclamation as aforesaid, in pursuance of the provisions in this act; and the publication in the Dublin Gazette of any orders of the lord-lieutenant and council, shall be deemed to be sufficient notice to all persons concerned, of all matters contained in such orders. $ 4.
Goods and vessels specified in any order of council subject to quarantine.—And“ as certain sorts of goods are more especially liable to retain infection, and may be brought from places infected into other countries, and from thence imported into the United Kingdom, or the islands aforesaid;" it is enacted, that all such goods and merchandise as shall be particularly specified in any orders made by his Majesty in council, which shall be brought or imported into any port in the United Kingdom, or the islands aforesaid, from any foreign country, in any vessel whatever, and the vessels in which the same shall be brought, and also all vessels which shall arrive from any port whatever, under any alarming or suspicious circumstances as to infection, shall be subject to such regulations and restrictions as shall be made by such orders in council as aforesaid. $ 5.
The privy council may make such order as they shall think necessary upon emergencies.—It shall be lawful for the lords of the privy council, or any two or more of them, to make such order as they shall see necessary upon any unforeseen emergency, or in any particular case, with respect to any vessel arriving and having any infectious disease or distemper on board, or on board of which any infectious disease or distemper may have appeared in the course of the voyage, or arriving under any other alarming or suspicious circumstances as to infection, although such vessels shall not have come from any place from which his Majesty, with the advice of his privy council, may have adjudged it probable that the plague or any such infectious disease may be brought, and also with respect to the persons, goods, wares, and merchandise, and other articles as aforesaid on board the same; and in case of any infectious disease appearing or breaking out in the United Kingilom, or islands aforesaid, to make such orders and give
such direction, in order to cut off all communication between any persons infected and the rest of his subjects, as shall appear to the said lords, or any two or more of them, to be necessary, and likewise to make such orders as they shall see fit, for shortening the time of quarantine to be performed by particular vessels or particular persons, goods, wares, merchandise, or other articles, or for absolutely or conditionally releasing them from quarantine; and all such orders shall be as effectual, as well with respect to the commander, master, or other person having the charge of any vessel, and all other persons on board, as with respect to any other person having any intercourse with them, and to the penalties, forfeitures, and punishments to which they may become liable, as any orders made by his Majesty, with the advice of his privy council, concerning quarantine, notified by proclamation or published in the London Gazette. $ 6.
Regulations for ressels in which infection shall appear within or without the Straits of Gibraltar.-If the plague, or such other infectious disease as aforesaid, shall appear on board any vessel within or without the Straits of Gibraltar, then the commander, master, or other person having the charge or command thereof, shall immediately proceed to such place as his Majesty, with the advice of his privy council, shall direct; where being arrived, he shall make known his case to some officer of the customs, who shall with all possible speed send intelligence thereof to the commissioners of customs in London, to the end that such precautions may be used to prevent the spreading of the infection, as the case shall require; and the said vessel shall there remain until directions shall be given thereto by the lords of privy council, or any two or more of them; nor shall any of the crew or passengers on board go on shore; and such master and every other person on board such vessel shall obey such directions as he shall receive from the lords of privy council, or any two or more of them; and the said commander, master, or any other person on board, who shall not act conformably to the provisions herein directed, or shall act in disobedience to such directions, shall forfeit the sum of £100. $7.
Masters of vessels, liable to quarantine, to make signals on meeting other vessels at sea.-Every commander, master, or other person having the charge of any vessel liable to quarantine, shall, at all times, when such vessel shall meet with any other vessel at sea, or shall be within two leagues of the coast of the United Kingdom, or the islands of Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, or Man, hoist a signal to denote that his vessel is liable to quarantine, which signal shall in the day time, if the vessel shall have a clean bill of health, be a large yellow flag, of six breadths of bunting, at the main topmast-head, and if such vessel shall not have a clean bill of health, then a like yellow flag, with a circular mark or ball, entirely black, in the middle thereof, whose diameter shall be equal to two breadths of bunting ; and in the night time the signal shall in both cases be a large signal lantern with a light therein, (such as is used on board his Majesty's ships of war,) at the same mast-head ; and such commander, master, or other person, shall keep such signals hoisted during such time as the said vessel shall continue within sight of such other vessel, or within two leagues of the said coast or islands, and while so in sight, or within such distance, until such vessel liable to quarantine shall have arrived at the port where it is to perform quarantine, and until it shall have been legally