Quay, a large wharf, or artificial bank, on a sea or river, and which is destined to facilitate the loading or unloading of merchandize from vessels.

The utility of commodious quays to a commercial nation, is obvious : hence, in all the maritime ports of Britain, they have been constructed to, a considerable extent, and furnished with capacious magazines for the reception of goods. Dwelll-ing-houses have, also, been generally erected, for greater convenience in superintending the whole: but these, we conceive, are by no means favourable to the health of their inhabitants, on account of the continual dampness that must necessarily prevail, in consequence of their moist situation. A constant residence of certain persons, on or near quays, however, has of late become absolutely necessary; in order that the wharfingers may be enabled to check the numerous de-predations committed by various descriptions of river-pirates; and other dishonest persons, who avail them's of the opportunity afforded by the night, to defraud the revenue, as well as to rob the owners of merchandize. It would exceed the limits of our plan, to devclope this system of iniquity: the inquisitive reader will therefore consult Mr. Colquhoun's Treatise on the Commerce and police of the River Thames, etc. (8vo. pp.676 , lOs.6'd. Mawman. 18OO) , in which it is f'ully detailed, and proper means of preventing such depredations are judiciously suggested. — See also Crane.