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Crewe’s Act 1782 (22 Geo. 3. c. 41), full title An Act for better securing the Freedom of Elections of Members to serve in Parliament, by disabling certain Officers, employed in the Collection or Management of his Majesty’s Revenues, from giving their votes at such Elections, was a United Kingdom Act of Parliament passed in 1782 during the reign of King George III. Those disenfranchised by the Act were employees of the departments of customs, excise, stamps, salt, windows[a]Windows were first taxed in 1690, although that was quickly repealed, but a glass taxTwo taxes on glass were introduced in England during the 1690s, the first on glass itself and the second on windows. had been reintroduced in 1746. and houses, and the post office, excluding those engaged in foreign mail services.[1]

The common name of the Act comes from John Crewe (1742–1829), first Baron Crewe, who championed its passage through parliament.[2] It was one of a number proposed by opposition groups clamouring for economic reform as a result of the increasing tax burden imposed to pay for the American War of Independence (1775–1783), such as the Rockingham group of which Crewe was a member. Others included Clerke’s Bill to exclude contractors from the House of Commons, and Burke’s Establishment Bill, which abolished many offices and sinecures, and limited the power of the monarch to grant royal pensions.[3] The primary purpose of such movements was to reduce the power of the executive in parliament, and in particular to curtail the influence of the monarch.[4]

Crewe’s Act was repealed by the Revenue Officers’ Disabilities Act 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. c. 73).