The Obscene Publications Act 1857 (20 & 21 Vict. c.83), also known as Lord Campbell's Act or Campbell's Act, was a major piece of legislation in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland dealing with obscenity. For the first time, it made the sale of obscene material a statutory offence, giving the courts power to seize and destroy offending material. The Act superseded a 1787 Royal Proclamation by George III titled Proclamation for the Discouragement of Vice. The proclamation commanded the prosecution of those guilty of "excessive drinking, blasphemy, profane swearing and cursing, lewdness, profanation of the Lord's Day, and other dissolute, immoral, or disorderly practices". Prior to this Act, the "exposure for sale" of "obscene books and prints" had been made illegal by the Vagrancy Act 1824. but the publication of obscene material was a common law misdemeanour The effective prosecution of authors and publishers was difficult even in cases where the material was clearly intended as pornography.