British Passengers Act 1864
Source: Journals of the Assembly of Nova Scotia, 1864
APPENDIX No. 21.
Government Emigration Board,
8, Park Street, Westminster,
25th January, 1864.
I have the honor to enclose for your information, and for the guidance of the Emigration officers in the colony, copies of an Order in Council, which was passed on the 7th inst., for preserving order, promoting health, and securing cleanliness and ventilation on board passenger ships proceeding from the United Kingdom.
This order revokes the one dated the 25th of February, 1856, and re-enacts its provisions with some additions. The principal additions are contained in the 20th article, which now embraces all immoral or indecent acts or conduct, improper familiarity with female passengers, drunkenness, and acts of uncleanliness on board---offences which were not included in the previous order.
The only other material alteration which occurs is in the 6th article, which adds to the duties of the emigrant sweepers for the day, that of pumping into tanks and cisterns for the use of water closets. But to make the amendments plain at a glance, I have in the enclosed copy of the order, underlined the new matter.
I have, &c,
The Hon. The Provincial Secretary, Nova Scotia
(transcriber note: the amendments will appear in italics)
At the Court at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, the 7th day of January, 1864;
THE QUEEN’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY IN COUNCIL.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the passengers are dressed, their beds shall be rolled
- The decks, including the space under the bottom of the berths,
shall be swept before breakfast, and all dirt thrown overboard.
- 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.
- 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
- Dinner shall commence at one o’clock, pm., and supper at six
- 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,
- 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.
- No naked light shall be allowed between the decks or in the
hold at any time or any account.
- 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.
- The coppers and cooking utensils shall be cleaned every day,
and the cisterns kept filled with water.
- The beds shall be well shaken and aired on deck, weather permitting,
at least twice a week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- No loose hay or straw shall be allowed below for any purpose.
- No smoking shall be allowed between decks.
- 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.
- Fire-arms, swords, and other offensive weapons shall, as soon
as the passengers embark, be placed in the custody of the master.
- No sailors shall be allowed to remain on the passenger deck
among the passengers, except on duty.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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