Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, 1679-1760

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Book of accounts from 1679-1760 of the gross and net produce of customs and yearly payments into the receipt of the Exchequer. A pencil note on the end of the papers reads, 'V. interesting and valuable. Specially drawn up by the Officers of the Crown for the private use of successive Chancellors of the Exchequer. Commences 1679, ends 1760, in all 81 years.'

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. By ordinance of 21 January 1643, the regulation of the collection of customs was entrusted to a parliamentary committee whose members were appointed commissioners and collectors of customs forming a Board of Customs. This and succeeding committees appointed by Parliament until 1660 and thereafter by the Crown, functioned until 1662, when those who had been serving as commissioners became lessees of a new form of customs. This continued until 1671 when negotiations for a new farm broke down and a Board of Customs for England and Wales was created by Letter Patent.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Archivist's Note

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.

Related Material

The Goldsmith's Library holds other volumes relating to the Commissioners of Customs (Ref: G.L. Cat. 11862, 16698, 19083, 19858, and 19860). University of London MS 461 also relates to the Commissioners of H.M. Customs. University of London manuscripts generally relating to customs and excise include MS 39, 40, 41, 44, 90, 134, 140, 202, 203, 204, 612, 746 and 784.

Geographical Names