Treatise on the English Customs

Scope and Content

Manuscript volume containing a treatise on the organisation and management of Her Majesty's Customs, [1713-1748], giving details of the roles of officers. The manuscript was largely based on a draft by William Dickinson, formerly one of the Commissioners, which was updated, according to the Sotheby's sale catalogue, by Bryan Fairfax, Commissioner of Customs in the reigns of Kings George I and II.

Administrative / Biographical History

The term 'customs' applied to customary payments or dues of any kind, regal, episcopal or ecclesiastical until it became restricted to duties payable to the King upon export or import of certain articles of commerce. A Board of Customs for England and Wales was created in 1671.


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

Part of the Goldsmith's Library of Economic Literature, initially collected by Herbert Somerton Foxwell and presented by the Goldsmith's Company to the University of London in 1903.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Manuscript folio. Bound in calf.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

The British Library, London, holds correspondence and papers of Bryan Fairfax, 1713-1747 (Ref: Add MSS 11327, 62709).

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.

Custodial History

This manuscript was in the library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, 1st Baronet (1792-1872) as MS 779. It was bought by Herbert Somerton Foxwell at Sotheby's on 19 Jun 1893.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names