The Townshend Duties' formally known as the Townshend Acts was a tax passed by the British to pay for the Seven Years' War in 1767. It was named for Charles Townshend, who was the British Prime Minister at the time. Townsend wanted the duties to make sure the colonists knew that they were under British rule. It taxed a number of items, including paint, glass and tea. The tax was resisted in the Thirteen Colonies, including John Dickenson. A group in Boston called the Sons of Liberty was started to protest the acts. This in turn led to the Boston Massacre in 1770.