The Quartering Act
In March 1765, Parliament passed the Quartering Act to address the practical concerns of such a troop deployment.
Under the terms of this legislation, each colonial assembly was directed to provide for the basic needs of soldiers stationed within its borders. Specified items included bedding, cooking utensils, firewood, beer or cider and candles. This law was expanded in 1766 and required the assemblies to billet soldiers in taverns and unoccupied houses.
Arrival of new British Soldiers British motivations for enforcing the Quartering Act were mixed. Some officials were legitimately concerned about protecting the colonies from attack and viewed this law as a logical means to do so. Also part of the calculation, however, was a desire to cut costs. If the colonies were to be protected, why should they not pay for the soldiers? In particular, the British ministry was faced with the prospect of bringing home the French and Indian War veterans and providing them with pay and pensions. If those soldiers could be kept in service in America, the colonies would pay for them and spare a tax-weary English public from additional burdens.
Lieutenant General Thomas Gage, Commander in Chief of British North American forces, and other British officers who had fought in the French and Indian War, had found it hard to persuade colonial assemblies to pay for quartering and provisioning of troops on the march and he asked Parliament to do something. Most colonies had supplied provisions during the war, but the issue was disputed in peacetime. The Province of New York assembly passed an act to provide for the quartering of British regulars, which expired on January 1, 1764.The result was the Quartering Act of 1765, which went far beyond what Gage had requested. The colonies disputed the legality of this Act since it seemed to violate the Bill of Rights 1689 which forbid taxation without representation and the raising or keeping of a standing army without the consent of Parliament. No standing army had been kept in the colonies before the French and Indian War, so the colonies asked why a standing army was needed after the French had been defeated.
This first Quartering Act (citation 5 Geo. III c. 33) was given Royal Assent on March 24, 1765, and provided that Great Britain would house its soldiers in American barracks and public houses, as by the Mutiny Act of 1765, but if its soldiers outnumbered the housing available, would quarter them "in inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualing houses, and the houses of sellers of wine and houses of persons selling of rum, brandy, strong water, cider or metheglin", and if numbers required in "uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings"... "upon neglect or refusal of such governor and council in any province", required any inhabitants (or in their absence, public officials) to provide them with food and alcohol, and providing for "fire, candles, vinegar, salt, bedding, and utensils" for the soldiers "without paying any thing for the same".
When 1,500 British troops arrived at New York City in 1766 the New York Provincial Assembly refused to comply with the Quartering Act and failed to supply billeting for the troops. The troops had to remain on their ships. For failure to comply with the Quartering Act, Parliament suspended the Province of New York's Governor and legislature in 1767 and 1769. In 1771, the New York Assembly allocated funds for the quartering of the British troops.
The Quartering Act was circumvented in all colonies other than Pennsylvania.
This act expired on March 24, 1767.