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Quartering of Soldiers

Article 27 (1780)

In time of peace, no soldier ought to be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; and in time of war, such quarters ought not to be made but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.

Precedents, Following Law, and Quotations

The Charters and General Laws of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay, edited by Nathan Dane, Joseph Storey and William Prescott (1814), Province Laws, Chapter 22, Section 25 , “An Act for Regulating of the Militia” (1693), p. 267 :

“No officer, military, or civil, or other person, shall quarter or billet any soldier or seaman upon any inhabitant within the province without his consent, other than the publick licensed houses, under the penalty of one hundred pounds, to be recovered by action, bill, plaint or information, in any court of record, one half to the majesties for the support of the government, the other half part of the party grieved that shall inform and sue for the same.  And every such inhabitant may refuse to quarter any soldier or seaman notwithstanding any order whatsoever.”


Third Amendment, United States Constitution, became law Dec. 15, 1791 when ratified by Virginia, the 10th state to approve the 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution now known as the Bill of Rights.

“No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”


David Hackett Fischer, Paul Revere’s Ride, New York: Oxford University Press, 1994:

General Thomas Gage “recommended in 1768 that two regiments of British infantry should be sent to Boston to ‘overawe’ the inhabitants. Other British leaders wanted to keep the troops at Castle William in Boston harbor, so as not to inflame the people. Gage urged that the troops be landed in the town itself and be quartered amongst the population – the act that outraged Paul Revere and many Bostonians.”



“A View of Part of the Town of Boston in New-England and Brittish [sic] Ships of War Landing their Troops!”, 1768, (1770)

Paul Revere, Jr., engraving, Boston Athenaeum



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