6. Commission for raising Tonnage and Poundage with Impositions.

[July 26, 1626. Rymer's Fœdera, xviii. 737. See Hist. of Engl. vi. 125.]

Charles, by the grace of God [&c.], to our Lord Treasurer of England, now and for the time being, the Commissioners of our Treasury for the time being, to our Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of our Exchequer, now and for the time being, to our Chief Baron and the rest of the Barons of our Exchequer [and others], greeting.

Whereas the Lords and others of our Privy Council have taken into their serious consideration the present state of our revenue arising by customs subsidy and impost upon goods and merchandise to be exported and imported out of and into this our realm ... and finding that it hath been constanly continued for many ages, and is now a principal part of the revenue of our Crown, and is of necessity to be so continued for the supportation thereof, which in the two last Parliaments hath been thought upon, but could not be there settled by authority of Parliament ... by reason of the dissolution of those Parliaments before those things which were there treated of could be perfected, have therefore ... specially ordered, that all those duties upon goods and merchandizes, called by the several names of customs subsidy and imposts, should be levied ... in such manner as the same were levied in the time of our late dear father King James ... and forasmuch as, through the want of a parliamentary course to settle the payment of those duties, many inconveniences may arise, which would tend to the impairing of our revenue of that nature, if in convenient time some settled course should not be taken for the prevention thereof: —

Know ye therefore that we ... by the advice of the Lords and others of our Privy Council, do by these presents declare our will and pleasure to be, that all those duties ... shall be levied in such manner as the same were levied at the time of the decease of our said late father, and upon such accounts and forms as now the same are collected, or hereafter shall be by us appointed ... all which our will and pleasure is shall continue until such time as by Parliament (as in former times) it may receive an absolute settling. And if any person whatsoever shall refuse or neglect to pay the duties ... aforesaid ... then our will and pleasure is, and we do further grant by these presents unto the Lords and others of our Privy Council for the time being, or unto the Lord Treasurer of England or Chancellor of our Exchequer, now or for the time being, full power to commit every such person to prison, who shall disobey this our order and declaration, there to continue until they ... shall have conformed and submitted themselves unto due obedience concerning the premises ...

Witness ourself at Westminster, the 26th day of July [1626]. Per breve a privato concilio.

Contents | Home | Constitution Society