Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Reasons for passing this Act.
Forasmuch as the Whale-fishing is a very considerable and profitable Trade, giveing imployments to great numbers of Seamen and Shipping; And whereas neighbouring Nations doe yearely make great advantage thereby, not onely supplying themselves with that sort of Oyle and Finns, but vending into other parts great quantities thereof and particularly into this Kingdome, where the said Trade is in a manner quite decayed and lost; For remedy thereof and encouragement of such as shall be willing to employ themselves and their Estates in this Trade Bee it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the authoritie of the same That it shall and may be lawfull for all his Majestyes Subjects of this his Realme of England and Wales and Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede and for every other person or persons of what Nation soever resideing and inhabiting here dureing the time of such their Residence freely to trade into and from Greenland and those Seas, and [there (fn. 1)] to take Whales and all other sorts of Fish, and to import in this Kingdome all sorts of Oyle, Blubber and Finns thereof, and to use and exercise all other Trade to and from Greenland and those parts.
II. Natives and Foreigners may trade to Greenland, and import Oil, &c. without paying Duty for such Goods imported by English Ships; if by Shipping of the Colonies, then the several Rates therein mentioned.
And for the further encourageing of the said Trade Bee it enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That it shall be lawfull for any person or persons Native or Forreigner to importe Train-oyle or Blubber of Greenland and parts adjacent, and those Seas or of Newfoundland or of any other his Majestyes Colonies and Plantations made of Fish or of any other Creature liveing in the Seas, and Whale finns caught in any Shipps or Vessells truely and properly belonging to England or Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede and imported in such Shipps without paying any Custome or other Duty for the same;
III. Liberty given to have one Moiety of Harpiniers and one Moiety of English Mariners in an English Vessel, without paying further Duty.
And in reguard there are at present great want of Harpinieres and Seamen skilled and exercised in the Trade of Whale-fishing Bee it further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull for any Shipp or Vessell truely belonging to England Wales or the Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede, and whereof the Master shall bee an English man and inhabiting within the places aforesaid from and after the first of May which shall be in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred seaventy and three and untill the five and twentyeth [Day (fn. 2)] of March which shall be in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred eighty and three employed for the catching of Whales dureing such Voyage to bee navigated with one moyety of the Harpinieres, and one moyety of the rest of the Marriners onely English, and yet to pay noe further or other Custome for the Oyle, Blubber or Finns caught and imported in such Shipp or Vessell, then if such Shipp or Vessell had beene navigated with three fourths of the Marriners English, Any Law, Statute or Usage to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
IV. English-built Ships taking the Benefit of this Act to proceed from England to Greenland, and victualled accordingly.
Provided alwayes, and it is hereby further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That noe English built Shipp or other Shipp or Vessell belonging to England, Wales or the Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede importing Whale oyle or Blubber or other Fish, Oyle or Whale-finns of Greenland or those Seas shall enjoy any benefitt or priviledge by this Act unlesse such Shipp or Vessell did proceede on her Voyage for Greenland and those Seas from England or Wales or the Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede, and was victualled for the said Voyage in some of those places to be attested by the Collector of the Port where the said Shipp or Vessell was victualled.
V. Recital of 12 C. II. c.18. ? 18.
And whereas by one Act passed in this present Parlyament in the twelfth yeare of your Majestyes Raigne entituled An Act for ( (fn. 3)) encouragement of Shipping and Navigation, and by severall other Lawes passed since that time it is permitted to shipp, carry, convey and transport Sugar, Tobacco, Cotton-wooll, Indicoe, Ginger, Fusticke and all other Dying wood of the Growth, Production and Manufacture of any of your Majestyes Plantations in America, Asia or Africa from the places of their Growth Production and Manufacture to any other of your Majestyes Plantations in those Parts (Tangier onely excepted) and that without paying of Custome for the same either at the ladeing or unladeing of the said Commodityes by meanes whereof the Trade and Navigation in those Commodityes from one Plantation to another is greatly increased, and the Inhabitants of diverse of those Colonies not contenting themselves with being supplyed with those Commodities for their owne use free from all Customes (while the Subjects of this your Kingdome of England have paid great Customes and Impositions for what of them hath beene spent here) but contrary to the express Letter of the aforesaid Lawes have brought into diverse parts of Europe great quantities thereof, and doe alsoe [dayly (fn. 4)] vend great quantities thereof to the shipping of other Nations who bring them into diverse parts of Europe to the great hurt and diminution of your Majestyes Customes and of the Trade and Navigation of this your Kingdome; For the prevention thereof Wee your Majestyes Commons in Parliament [assembled (fn. 4)] doe pray that it may be enacted And bee it enacted by the King's most excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by authoritie of the same That from and after the first day of September which shall bee in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred seaventy and three If any Shipp or Vessell which by Law may trade in any of your Majesties Plantations shall come to any of them to shipp and take on board any of the aforesaid Commodities, and that Bond shall not be first given with one sufficient Surety to bring the same to England or Wales or the Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede and to noe other place, and there to unloade and putt the same on shoare (the danger of the Seas onely excepted) that there shall be answered and paid to your Majestie your Heires and Successors for soe much of the said Commodities as shall be laded and putt on board such Shipp or Vessell these following Rates and Dutyes, That is to say
And Browne Sugar and Muscavadoes the hundred weight containing one hundred and twelve pounds one shilling [and (fn. 4)] six pence;
And alsoe for every pound of Cacao-nutts one penny, to be leavyed, collected and paid at such places, and to such Collectors and other Officers as shall be appointed in the respective Plantations to collect, leavy and receive the same before the ladeing thereof, and under such Penalties both to the Officers and upon the Goods as for non-payment of, or defrauding his Majestie of his Customes in England.
VI. Duty to be levied by Commissioners of the Customs in England.
And for the better collection of the severall Rates and Dutyes aforesaid imposed by this Act, Bee it enacted and it is hereby further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That this whole busines shall bee ordered and mannaged, and the severall Dutyes hereby imposed shall be caused to be leavyed by the Commissioners of the Customes in England, now and for the time being by and under the authoritie and directions of the Lord Treasurer of England or Commissioners of the Treasury for the Time, being.
VII. If Party have not ready Money, Commissioners may take a Proportion of the Commodities.
And in case any person or persons lyable by this Law to pay any of the Duties aforementioned, shall not have moneyes wherewith to answere and pay the same Bee it further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That the Officers appointed to collect the same shall accept instead of such moneyes such a proporation of the Commodities to be shipped as shall amount to the Value thereof according to the currant Rate of the said Commodities in such Plantation respectively.
VIII. Free Trade to Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
( (fn. 5)) For encouragement of the Eastland Trade Bee it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the authority of the same That it shall and may be lawfull to and for every Person and persons Native or Forreigner from and after the first day of May which shall be in the yeare of our Lord One thousand six hundred seaventy and three at all times to have free liberty to trade into and from Sweden, Denmarke and Norway; Any thing in the Charter of the Governour, Assistants and Fellowship of Merchants of Eastland, or any other Charter, Grant, Act or any thing else heretofore made or done, or hereafter to be done to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
IX. Natives may be admitted into the Eastland Company, paying 40s.
And it is hereby further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid That whatsoever person or persons Subjects of this Realme shall desire to be admitted into the said Fellowshipp of Merchants of Eastland, That every such person shall bee admitted into the said Fellowshipp paying for his Admission the summe of forty shillings and noe more.