Creek

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CREEK, mar. law. Creeks are of two kinds, viz. creeks of the sea and creeks of ports. The former sorts are such little inlets of the sea whether within the precinct or extent of a, port or without, which are narrow little passages and have shore on either side of them. The latter, Viz. breaks of ports, are by a kind of civil denomination such. They are such, that though possibly for their extent and. situation they might be ports, yet they are either members of or dependent upon other ports. In England it began thus: the king, could not conveniently have a customer and comptroller in every port or haven. But these custom officers were fixed at some eminent port; and the smaller adjacent ports became by that means creeks, or appendants. of that where these custom officers were placed. 1 Chit. Com. Law, 726; Hale's Tract. de Portibus Maris, part 2, c. 1, vol. 1, p. 46; Com. Dig. Navigation, C; Callis, 34.
    2. In a more popular sense, creek signifies a small stream, less than a river. 12 Pick. R. 184,