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British Passengers Act

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At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, the 7th day of January, 1864



Whereas by the "Passengers Act, 1855", it is amongst other things enacted, that it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by an Order in Council, to prescribe such rules and regulations as to Her Majesty may seem fit for preserving order, promoting health, and securing cleanliness and ventilation on board passenger ships proceeding from the United Kingdom to any port or place in Her Majesty's possessions abroad, and the said rules and regulations from time to time in like manner to alter, and revoke, as occasion may require:

And whereas it is expedient to revoke an Order in Council made at a Court held at Buckingham Palace on the twenty-fifth day of February one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six, in virtue of the provisions of the said act, and to make a new Order in Council:

Now, therefore, her Majesty doth, by and with the advice of her Privy Council, and in pursuance and exercise of the authority vested in Her by the said "Passengers Act, 1855" order, and it is hereby ordered, that the said Order in Council of the twenty-fifth day of February one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six be and the same is hereby revoked; and that the following shall henceforth be the rules for preserving order, for promoting health, and for securing cleanliness and ventilation, to be observed on board of every passenger ship proceeding from the United Kingdom to any port or place in Her Majesty's possessions abroad out of Europe, and not within the Mediterranean Sea.

  1. All passengers who shall not be prevented by sickness or other sufficient cause, to be determined by the surgeon, or in ships carrying no surgeon, by the master, shall rise not later than seven o'clock, am., at which hour the fires shall be lighted.
  2. It shall be the duty of the cook or cooks, appointed under the thirty-ninth section of the said "Passengers Act, 1855", to light the fires, and to take care that they be kept alight during the day; and also to take care that each passenger or family of passengers shall have the use of the fireplace at proper hours, in an order to be fixed by the master.
  3. When the passengers are dressed, their beds shall be rolled up.
  4. The decks, including the space under the bottom of the berths, shall be swept before breakfast, and all dirt thrown overboard.
  5. The breakfast hour shall be from eight to nine o'clock, am. Before the commencement of breakfast, all the emigrants, except as herein before excepted, are to be out of bed and dressed, and the beds rolled up, and the deck on which the emigrants live properly swept.
  6. The deck shall further be swept after every meal, and after breakfast is concluded shall be also dry holystoned or scraped. This duty, as well as that of cleaning the ladders, hospitals, round houses, and water closets, and of pumping water into the cisterns or tanks for the supply of water closets, shall be performed by a party who shall be taken in rotation from the adult males above fourteen, in the proportion of five to every one hundred emigrants, and shall be considered as sweepers for the day. But the single women shall do all the necessary acts for keeping clean and in proper state their own compartment, where a separate compartment is allotted to them, and the occupant of each berth shall see that his or her own berth is well brushed out.
  7. Dinner shall commence at one o'clock, pm., and supper at six pm.
  8. The fires shall be extinguished at seven pm., unless otherwise directed by the master or required for the use of the sick; and the emigrants shall be in their berths at 10 o'clock, pm., except under the permission or authority of the surgeon, or if there be no surgeon, the master.
  9. On each passenger deck there shall be lit at dusk, and kept burning till daylight, three safety lamps, and such further number as shall allow one to be placed at each of the hatchways used by passengers
  10. No naked light shall be allowed between the decks or in the hold at any time or any account.
  11. The scuttles and stern ports, if any, shall, weather permitting, be opened at seven o'clock, am., and kept open till ten o'clock, pm.; and the hatches shall be kept open whenever the weather permits.
  12. The coppers and cooking utensils shall be cleaned every day, and the cisterns kept filled with water.
  13. The beds shall be well shaken and aired on deck, weather permitting, at least twice a week.
  14. The bottom boards of the berths, if not fixtures, shall be removed and dry-scrubbed, and, weather permitting, taken on deck, at least twice a week.
  15. Two days in the week shall be appointed by the master as washing days; but no washing or drying of clothes shall be on any account be permitted between decks.
  16. On Sunday mornings the passengers shall be mustered at ten o'clock, am., and will be expected to appear in clean and decent apparel. The Lord's Day shall be observed as religiously as circumstances will admit.
  17. No spirits or gunpowder shall be taken on board by any passenger; and if either of those articles be discovered in the possession of a passenger, it shall be taken into the custody of the master during the voyage, and not returned to the passenger until he has landed or is on the point of landing.
  18. No loose hay or straw shall be allowed below for any purpose.
  19. No smoking shall be allowed between decks.
  20. The following kinds of misconduct are hereby strictly prohibited; that is to say, all immoral or indecent acts or conduct, taking improper liberties or using improper familiarity with the female passengers, using blasphemous, obscene, or indecent language, or language tending to a breach of the peace, swearing, gambling, drunkenness, fighting, disorderly, riotous, quarrelsome, or insubordinate conduct, also all deposits of filth or offensive acts of uncleanliness in the between decks; herein specified shall operate as a bar to any civil or criminal proceedings which may in the ordinary course of law be instituted for the same offence by any party aggrieved.
  21. Fire-arms, swords, and other offensive weapons shall, as soon as the passengers embark, be placed in the custody of the master.
  22. No sailors shall be allowed to remain on the passenger deck among the passengers, except on duty.
  23. No passenger shall go to the ship's cookhouse without special permission from the master, nor remain in the forecastle among the sailors on any account.
  24. In vessels not expressly required by the said "Passengers Act 1855", to have on board such ventilating apparatus as therein mentioned, such other provision shall be made for ventilation as shall be required by the Emigration Officer at the port of embarkation, or in his absence, by the officer of Customs.
  25. And to prevent all doubts in the construction of this Order in Council, it is hereby further ordered that the terms "United Kingdom", "Passenger", "Passenger Ship", "Passenger Deck", and "Master", shall herein have the same signification as is assigned to them respectively in the said "Passengers Act, 1855", and unless inconsistent with the context, words of one number shall import both numbers.

And the most noble the Duke of Newcastle, one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, is to give the necessary directions herein accordingly.


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