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New York Colonial Embossed Revenue Stamped Paper


The colony of New York imposed a tax on certain documents by the Act of December 1, 1756.  The tax was in effect from January 1, 1757 through December 31, 1760.  Each of the values features the New York colonial seal, featuring a British crown over four windmill sails, two beavers, and two flour barrels.  This design, with an eagle replacing the crown, is part of the seal of the City of New York to this day.  Stamps were issued in the following denominations: ½d, 1d, 2d, 3d, and 4d.


The applicable tax rates were as follows:


Newspapers ½d

Capias (a writ requiring the officer to take a named defendant into custody), summons or execution issued by a Justice of the Peace;

Bill of Lading

Declaration, plea, replication, rejoinder, demurrer or other pleading in any court of law2d

Capias (a writ requiring the officer to take a named defendant into custody) or other process under the seal of any court of judicature;

Rule or order made or given in any court of law;

Bill, answer, replication, rejoinder, interrogatories, depositions taken in a court of chancery;

Bail pieces;

Charter party, policy of assurance or protest;

Bond or obligation, or other sealed instrument (except original wills);

Indenture or Bill of Sale of servants of any sort.


Probate of will, copy of will and letters of administration;

License for marriage;

Civil or military commission;

Certificate under the Colony seal or the seal of a Notary Public;

Register of a ship or other vessel;

Libel, warrant, monition, deposition, answer, inventory, interrogatory, or decress of the court of vice-admirality;

Deed or mortgage of real estate;

Bill of Sale for any ship or vessel or any part of one.


 The Act provided for monetary penalties (generally £5) for failing to use stamped paper, or using stamped paper of a lower denomination.  The Act also provided that anyone convicted of forging or counterfeiting the stamps would be "fined at the discretion of the Court.  Also be set upon the Gallows with a Rope about his or her Neck for the space of one Hour and loose his or her Ears."


½ Pence typographed revenue stamp



II Pence embossed revenue stamp



III Pence embossed revenue stamp


IV Pence emobossed revenue stamp


October 16, 1758 issue of the New York Gazette or the Weekly Post-Boy.  Taxed ½d (RM9) New York colonial revenue as a newspaper.

March 3, 1757, declaration for a legal proceeding in the Mayor's Court of New York City.  Taxed 2d (RM11) New York Colonial embossed revenue stamped paper as a declaration in any court of law. 

May 20, 1757, Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, capias (a writ requiring the officer to take a named defendant into custody) for Daniel Dunham due to a debt of 28 pounds to Martin Hoffman.  Taxed 3d (RM12) New York Colonial embossed revenue stamped paper as a capias issued by the Court of Common Pleas.

May 8, 1759, Southold, Long Island, deed selling two lots of land from Isiah Tuthill and Isiah Tuthill, Jr. to David Howell, for 800 pounds.  The lots lay north and south of the North Road, with one lot on Long Island Sound.  Taxed 4d (RM13) New York Colonial embossed revenue stamped paper as a deed.