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Source & Citation Info

title:“A Bill to Amend the Act Regulating Ordinaries and Tipping-Houses”
authors:George Mason
date written:1779-10-19

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Mason, George. "Letter to Amend the Act Regulating Ordinaries and Tipping-Houses." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 2. Ed. Robert A. Rutland. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 541-42. Print.
Manuscript, Virginia State Library, Richmond, Va.

A Bill to Amend the Act Regulating Ordinaries and Tipping-Houses (October 19, 1779)

[19 October 1779]
WHEREAS the number of Tippling-Houses is become a public Nuisance, encouraging Idleness, Drunkenness, and all manner of Vice and Immorality, and the Laws he[re]tofore made have proved insufficient to restrain so growing and dangerous an Evil.
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY that every person keeping a Tippling-House, or retailing Liquors, contrary to the Act entitled "An Act for regulating Ordinaries, and Restraint of Tippling-Houses" shall over and above the penalties inflicted by the said Act, forfeit and pay the Sum of fifty pounds for each and every Offence, to be recovered with Costs, by Action of Debt or Information in any Court of Record, one half to the Informer, and the other half to the Commonwealth, or the whole to the Commonwealth, where Prosecution shall be first instituted on the public behalf alone, and shall moreover be subject to the proceedings and punishment herein after directed.
Every person having been convicted of keeping a Tippling-House, or retaining Liquors as aforesaid, who shall afterwards be guilty of the same Offence, and be thereof again convicted, shall by the court before whom such Conviction shall be had, be committed to Prison, there to remain for and during the Term of six Months, without Bail, or Main prize. The presiding Justice present shall give this, and the before recited Act, in special Charge to the Grand Jury of the County, at every Grand-Jury Court; and whenever any prosecution or Suit shall be instituted thereupon, the court before whom the same shall be depending, shall proceed to speedy Trial thereof, out of Course, and without Delay. And every Justice of the Peace is hereby required and strictly enjoined to cause this and the before recited Act to be put in due Execution within his County; and if any Justice, either from Information, his own Knowledge, or other just Cause, shall suspect any Person of keeping a Tippling-House, or retailing Liquors as aforesaid, he is hereby empowered and required to summon such person to appear before him, together with such witnesses as he may judge necessary, and upon the person's appearing, or failing to appear, if the Justice, upon examining the witnesses on Oath, shall find sufficient Cause, he may and is hereby required to direct the Attorney for the Commonwealth in such County to institute a Prosecution against such Person, on the Public Behalf; which such Attorney is hereby required to institute accordingly. And such Justice may also cause the Person so suspected to give Bond, with two sufficient Securities, for his or her good Behaviour for the Term of one Year, the Principal in the Sum of fifty pounds, and the Securities in the Sum of twenty five pounds each; and upon failing to give such Bond and Security, within three Days after being thereunto required, such Person may be committed to the Goal of the County, there to remain, until he or she shall give Bond and Security accordingly; and if such Person shall afterwards, during the said Term keep a Tippling-House, or retail Liquors as aforesaid, the same shall be and is hereby declared a Breach of the good Behaviour, and of the Condition of such Bond. Provided always that nothing in this, or the before recited Act contained, shall extend, or be construed to prohibit any Person or Persons from retailing such Liquors, as shall actually have been made from the produce of such Person's own Estate, or brewed or distilled by him, her or them, or those in his her or their Employ; so as such Liquors be not drank, or intended to be drank at the House, or plantation, where the same shall be sold; but where any Dispute shall arise concerning the making such Liquours, the Burthen of Proof shall be on the Defendant.

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