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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,