Skip to main content

The Stamp Act, 1765

In February 1765 the Chancellor of the Exchequer presented a Bill to the House of Commons which sought to impose 'stamp duties' in the American colonies and the West Indian plantations on all legal and official papers, such as deeds, wills and ship's papers, as well as on pamphlets, newspapers, and even dice and playing cards.

The Bill met with little real opposition in the Commons, and although several petitions were received against its provisions these were rejected. The Lords agreed to the Bill without amendment on 8 March, and it received Royal Assent by commission, as George III was ill and unable to attend Parliament, on 22 March 1765.