Letter relating to American customs duties

Scope and Content

Part of a copy of a letter, possibly a circular letter, dated at Whitehall, 9 Jul 1763, from the Secretary of State for the Southern Department to the Governor of an unidentified American colony, containing orders to execute the measures of the 'Act for the further improvement of his Majesty's Revenue of Customs and for the encouragement of officers making seizures and for the prevention of clandestine running of goods into any part of his Majesty's dominions' (3 Geo.III c.22). The writer enclosed copies - all wanting - of the act, of an order in council, and of a list of the ships stationed in America.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1764, the British government introduced various financial Acts into the American colonies, prompted by a need for greater revenue to support the growing empire. These acts forbade the importation of foreign rum; put a modest duty on molasses from all sources; and levied duties on wines, silks, coffee, and a number of other luxury items. To enforce them, customs officials were ordered to show more energy and strictness. British warships in American waters were instructed to seize smugglers, and "writs of assistance" (blanket warrants) authorized the King's officers to search suspected premises.


Single item.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Bought from E. Hall in 1967. Formerly with MS.712.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

12" x 7¼". Most of the bottom three inches of the document is wanting.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLp AIm25 Project.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Geographical Names