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Townshend Acts Timeline

Chronological events of the Townshend Acts.


Silver coins minted in the 1970’s. Historically, the burning of the Gaspee in 1772 was much removed from a reaction to the Townshend Acts of 1767.



January 1766 – New York refuses to comply with the 1765 Quartering Act.

August 1766 – Charles Townshend assumed the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer.

June 1767Townshend Acts had an overwhelming approval in parliament.

July 1767 – King George III signed the bill.

October 1767 – Boston Town Meeting under the leadership of Samuel Adams and James Ottis suggested residents and merchants to voluntarily boycott British goods. Sons of Liberty to supervise that merchants adhere to the non-importation agreement.

November 20th, 1767 – Date the Townshend Acts came into effectiveness.

December 1767 – John Dickinson, a Philadelphia lawyer, issued 12 Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania.

December 1767 – Massachusetts assembly met and a circular letter crafted by Samuel Adams was issued to the colonies urging the population to resist the acts.

January 1768 – 24 towns in Massachusetts, Newport and other Rhode Island towns, and Connecticut agreed to boycott British goods.

March 1768 – Merchants in New England agreed not to import British goods for one year except for necessities such as fish hooks, lead and wire.

April 1768 – New York joined New England in their non importation agreement which was even more restrictive.

April 1768 – 1000 troops arrived in Boston from Nova Scotia.

July  1769 – Bernard replaced Thomas Hutchinson as Governor of Massachusetts.

December 1768 – British parliament approved the use of force in Boston and proposed that ringleaders be brought to trial.

October 1769 – Boston was occupied by British troops, there were 4000 soldiers in a city with 20,000 residents.

January 1770 – Lord North became Prime Minister.

March 5th, 1770 – Violence led to the Boston Massacre where 5 people were killed. The victims were Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Coldwell, Crispus Attucks and Patrick Carr.

April 1770 – Townshend Acts were partially repealed except for the tax on tea.


Related Information


Description of the Townshend Acts

Named after Charles Townshend, the Townshend Acts taxed certain consumer goods with the purpose of raising revenue. It enforced the Navigation Acts, set the American Customs Commissioners with headquarters in Boston and new admiralty courts in Boston, Pennsylvania, Charleston in addition to the existing one in Halifax.

Townshend Acts in facts and numbers

Known and unknown facts about the Townshend Acts.

Townshend Acts crisis and resistance

Political and economical resistance that unified colonial residents and defined leaders who fought towards American independence.

Partial repeal of the Townshend Acts and the Boston Massacre

Residents were outraged that the acts had brought in new measures to keep tight control of the population. The occupation of Boston by British soldiers led to violence and to the Boston Massacre. Violence and economic pressure led to the partial repeal of the Townshend acts.


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