Custom House Records: Order Book, 1686-1733

Pages 368-381

Cardiff Records: Volume 2. Originally published by Cardiff Records Committee, Cardiff, 1900.

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Order Book.

[Folio paper book, without cover and in bad condition; edges much frayed by damp.]

May 4th 1686.

I John Jones Waiter & Boatman at Penarth a Creeke of the Port of Cardiff doe Sweare to be true & faithfull (to the best of my knowledge & Power) in the Execution & Discharge of the Trust & Employmt Committed to my Charge & Inspection in the Service of his Mats Customes So help me God.

John Jones

Sworne before
vs AlexrTrotter
Row Davies.

Then follow similar oaths of other persons in subsequent years: 1686 James Jenkins; 1687 Francis Phillips; 1687 Richard Gwynn.

Phillips is described as "Boatman extraordinary," and Rowland Davies signs as Collector, with Thomas Rimmar as Surveyor. In Gwynn's oath, Trotter is the Collector.

1688. John Wollvin, Boatman extraordinary.

Row. Davies, Customer and Collector.

Francis Phillips, Boatman extraordinary.

June ye 6th 1689.

I Jonathan Greenfeild Surueyor & Deputy Comptroler of the port of Cardiffe Doe Sweare to be true & ffaithfull to the best of My Knowledge & power in the Execution & Dischardge of the trust & Imployment Committed to my Chardge & Inspection in the seruice of theire Maties Customes so helpe mee God.

Jonathan Greenefild Jnr

Sworne before mee

Row. Dauies Coustomr et Collr

1712. Francis Philipps jnr., Boatman Extraordinary.

William Morgan, Collector and Customer.

Jonathan Greenefield, Comptroller.

Then follows a series of Orders (copies) from the Board of Customs in London, directed to the Comptroller of the Port of Cardiff. The first runs as follows:—


His Majesty haueing Beene pleased by an order of Councell of the 8 July to Contineue the present Embargo vpon all ships w[i]th in the seuarell ports from padstow to Carlile inclusiue & to Direct that the imbargo bee Renewed vpon all Coasters & Coale traders w[i]th in this ports you are to take Care that his Majesty said order bee effectually executed Continewing & renewing the said embargo as affore said w[i]th in your port & the limits & Districts thereof Wee Rest your Lo: ffrinds.

Rich. Temple
G: Booth
Jo. Werden
Ro: Southwell.

Custom house, London.

11th July 1689.

The next reads thus:—

Att hamton Cort the 1° August 1689.


The Kings most Excelent Majesty in Councell.

Upon reading A presentmt from the Commrs of the Customs itt is this Day ordered by his Majesty in Councell that all vessells inployed in his Majesties saruice or what shall bee taken vp by his Majesties officers for the tranceporting prouissions m[m]unitions or other Nessesaries for the army or stores of ordnaunce victualls or Nauall stores or prouissions for his Majesties Land or Nauall saruise be p'mited to proceed on their respectiue Voyadge not m[m] standing the Embargo bee taken of from all vessells what soever of any burd. not exceeding 30ts & the Right honorable the Lords Commrs of the Treasury are to assure all nessesary orders & Directions here in to the Commrs of the Customs accordingly.

Cha: Muntague.

Lett the Commrs of their Ma[jes]ties Customs take Care that his Ma[jes]ties plesure Signified in the aboue written order of Counsell bee Duly Comply'd w[i]th Dated att the Treasury Chamber in whit hall the 5th Day of August 1689.

hen: Caple
R. hamp . . . . . . . . . .

The following is the substance of subsequent Orders:—

24 Sept. 1689.

Masters of ships bound for Ireland are not to go into any port of that Kingdom but what shall be under their Majesties' obedience.

19 Nov. 1689.

"By A letter Recd this Day from mr Christopher Frith from Chestar Deputy to Captaine Shales Comissary Genl hee accquaints vs that by letters from the said Capt. Shales from Carlingford hee is Informed that the army & shiping are Remoueing from thence to Carrickfargus aduising that ships should Come to that bay only & Desiring that Notis may bee giuen there of"; masters of vessels transporting provisions to the army in Ireland are to govern themselves accordingly.

More strict care is to be used in visiting suspected vessels arriving from Ireland.

Swanzey; 9 Decr 1689.

Mr. Alexander Trotter writes ordering that all officers of the port are to produce certificates of their having taken the "Oats & test."

30 Novr 1689.

The Lords of the Treasury, upon reading a report of the officers of his Majesty's Mint, order that the officers of the "recight of the exchecar" & of their Majesties' Revenue are not to refuse in payment from his Majesty any "Cracte Money," provided the same be current coin.

4 Feby 1689.

The embargo was (by Order of Council dated 16 Jany 1689) temporarily raised upon vessels sailing out of ports from "St tiues in Cornwall to Carlile in Cumberland," in consideration of the then approaching fair at Bristol. The embargo is now reimposed, save on vessels carrying provisions for their Majesties' army in Ireland.

At the com[m]ittee for the affaires of Ireland Whithale the 10th March 1689.


Lord President
Lord Steward
Earle of Shrewsbury
Earle of Nottingham
Earle of ffalconberge
Earle of Marlborow
Vicot Lumley
Mr Comptr
Mr ViceChamberlaine
Mr Harbord

The Lords of the Comittee for the affaires of Ireland being Inform'd that seuerall Shipps haue sayled out of port & others are waitinge for an oportunity to doe the same from Bristoll & the ports adjacent Contrary to the said ordr for the Embargo on that Coast theire Lordships desire the Right Honble the Lords Comrs of the Trea'ry to giue strict Orders to the Comrs of the Customes that the Embargo at Bristoll & the westerne Coast of England be made more effectuall.

William Blathwayte.

Lett the Comrs of theire Mats Customes take Care that what is desired by the Rt Honble the Lords of the Comittee for the affaire of Ireland in the aboue written order be duly Complyed w[i]th Whitehall Trea'ry Chamber. 13th March 1689/90.


Henry Capell.

1690. Ships using the coast trade between St Ives and Carlisle may proceed, notwithstanding the embargo.

1690. "It Being Suspected that at this time great Endevores hath been [vsed by suspected] p'sons to escape out of the Kingdom wee think fitt to adtuertise you & warne you that you Doe vpon this occation vse more then ordinary [Care] & Circumspection by searching all vessells what soever going out of port [like] wise to prevent the escape of any suspected p'sons p'suant to former [orders] giuen you. Wee Rest

Your Lo: ffrinds
G. Booth
Rich. Temple
Jo. Werden
Rob. Southwell
Hen. Guy.


The late acc'te prohibiting all trade & Commerce w[i]th ffrance & the new Impossisons one tobacco Lynen & other Comodities haue occationed great art & Industry to bee vsed in Caring on the Smugling trade & priuatlie stealing on shoare Booth prohibited & vnCustomed goods to the great hinderence & prejudice of their Ma[jes]ties Reveniew of Customs & wee haue much reason to fare that goods Cold not be brought a shoare in that abundance as they are in & A bout your port as is frequently Suggested w[i]th out the neglect of some of the officers of the Customes & wee doe there fore admonish yow there of & Direct that you shall call before you all the officers of your port & members & quicken them to greater Diligence in locking out for the preuenting of fraudes in this Kind & yow are all to take Notice that if wee shall here after Know of any goods Rvne w[i]th in the Lymits or Districts of your port wee shall account itt as the Neglect of your selues & the other officers & proceed against you & them accordingly.

Custom House, London; 14th ffeby 1690.

June 17th 1693.

I David Lewis Deputy Customr Att Aberthaw A Creeke of the Port of Cardiffe Doe Sweare to be true &c.

1693. William Milles, Deputy Searcher of the port of Cardiff.

1694. Jonathan Greenfield, Deputy Searcher of Cardiff. (In 1693 he was Surveyor & Comptroller.)

1695. John Tanner "apointed weyer & meeter of the Creekes of Berry, Sully & the Districts there vnto belonging . . . for meetting & weighing of Coales & Cvlme."

1699. John Wilkins, "wayter & searcher at Sully & Barry Creeks of the port of Cardiffe."

1699. Mathew Edwards, Tidesman Extraordinary.

1701. David Seys, Deputy Searcher at Newport, a creek of the Port of Cardiff.

1702. James Jenkins, Boatman at Penarth, a creek of the Port of Cardiff (with him Francis Phillips).

1711. Alexander Pursell, Collector & D. Custr's Cler'e in the port of Cardiff.

1714. Edward Lewis, Extraordinary Assistant Officer belonging to the Salt & Customs in the Port or Cardiff.

1714. Hugh Jones, Extraordinary Boatman & Tidesman in the port of Cardiff.

Orders continued:—

1694. "Being informed That there is an intention Clandestinely to Import some quantities of Brandy vnder Covert of casks of Mellasses," the officers are to exercise all vigilance accordingly.

1695. Particulars are requested of vessels employed in the "Collerie trade."

1699. The officers' attention is called to "seu'all Remarkable ffrauds and Concealmts in Package of Goods," such as "Turfe or Trash insted w[i]th Tobacco by Certificat and prest Wooll insted of Butter in ffirkins which Instances Wee suppose will sufficiently excite you to the Carefull Exa'c'on of all manner of Caske." . . . .

"Mr. Davies. Wee haue yors of the 22th inst concerning a parcell of Red Wood w[hi]ch hath long remamned in the Custody of the Lady Basset. And if the duty thereon be paid as for Red Saunders we haue nothing further to say wee are
Yor Loueing frinds,
Customehouse, London.
26th September 1702.

Ben. Overton.
Sam. Clarke.
Robt Henty.
Will. Cullsford."

Mr. Davies,

There being in the possession of Sr Edward Stradling Certaine goods wich were salved out of the ship Scepter lately cast away in the River Severne near yor Coast vizt 37 peeces of Mulmulls & 7 peeces of Browne Bettellees which Captaing Phenney the proprietor of the goods desires to transport to Bristoll & there enter & pay Custome for the same you may giue permission for Carrying the said goods accordingly to the said port of Bristol, Takeing security for the Landing & paying the duty thereof in the said port & in the permission or transire you giue for the said goods.

Your Loueing frinds.

Customehouse, London.

20th March 1702.

1703. Postscript to a certain Order: "Send a copy of this Order to all creeks in your port vizt Newport, Penarth, Barry, Sully & Aberthaw. As for Chepstow they have had it already."


There being certaine advice yt many Priests Irish Officers & others Popish and disafected Persons come continually over from Holland & other places & in particular yt there are severall on board ye Rotterdam Fleet now expected from Holland Her MaMaj[es]tiestie has therefore thought fitt to Signifye her pleasure by ye Rt Honble Henry St John Esqre one of ye Principall Secretarys of State That Wee should give strict orders to our Officers yt they take great notice of all Persons yt come ashoar from those parts & send exact accot of their Professions business and places of Abode. And yor accordingly to take great care therein, & particularly when yo send hither an Accot of Passengers in pursuance of this & our former Ordrs We expect yt you not only express ye place yt each Person came from or their last place of residence but ye place they design to reside at.

Your Loving Friends
Custo ho, Londo Octr 12, 1710.
J. Werden.
W. Culliford.
J. Stanley.
J. Shute.

1712. A French vessel laden with wine and brandy ran ashore at Sully, and her cargo was seized by the Customs officers. The country folk assembled with guns & pistols, and endeavoured to take the brandy. Whereupon Mr Morgan, the Comptroller of Cardiff, went with some of his officers and some dependents of the Lady of the Manor of Sully, and dispersed the mob.


The Commrs having obtaind from the Exchequer an Accot of the lim[m]its of yr port acording as the Same was last sett out by virtue of a Commissn from that Court have ordered me to send you an Extract thereof w[hi]ch you have here Inclosd and for theire better Information & observation doe direct you to Cause an Exact draught or plan to be made of yr Port and transmittd to them wherein is to be noted the Boundaries thereof as the same is sett out in the said Commission together with the remarkable places on or neare the Shoare within the limmits of the said description as allsoe the p'ticular places where officrs are appointed and theire districts soe far as the same can be described. I am

Yr very hum1 Servt
Charles Carcklase.

Customho Londo,
8th July 1714.


Termino Pasch. anno Secundo Regni Regis Jacobi Secundi.

The Extents bounds & Limmitts of the Port. Cardiff.

Wee doe hereby sett downe declare & appoint the Extents Bounds & Limmits of the sd port of Cardiff & Members to Extend and be acountd from the point of Land called St Treacles point or Chappell on the East Side of the Mouth of the River Wye in a Supposd direct line South Westwards into the Sea to ye point of land calld Gold Clifft point & soe continued into the Sea to the point of land calld Sully point & Returnd & continud westwards in a Supposd direct line to Nash point and from there continud into the Sea West North Westward to Wormshead point and noe farther.

[F° 365 of the original.]

[Turn to folio 153 of the original.]

Extract of a Commission for Setting out the Port of Cardiff and Members.

We whose names are subscribed being Six of the Commrs Nominated & Appointed by the sd Commission for the doing and Executing the sev1 Matters in the sd Commission Contained relating to the Ports of Cardiff & Milfford did on the 31th day of Decemr 1685 and in the first Year of our Sovereign Lord K: James ye 2d Personally repair to the Port & Town of Cardiff and did then and there search for view and found out such open place & places and in Pursuance of the said Commission we do hereby Assign and Appoint the Sevl Place & Places for the Extents bounds & limits of the sd Port to be as foll:

All that Open Place called the Common Key of ye Town of Cardiff and of Right belonging to the sd Town Extending along the River from North to South about 53 yards and bounden on the North w[i]th the Storeho of Weletheian Hunson & on the South Open to the bank of the River And w[hi]ch sd Plaice Assign'd & Appointed aforesd is in our judgemt & direc'ons Most convenient & fit for the Uses & Purposes aforesd and are by us Limited & Appointed Accordingly And we do hereby utterly prohibit disannul make void determine and Debar all other Places within the sd Port of Cardiff from the Priviledge Right & benefit of a Place Key or Wharf for the landing discharging lading or shipping of any Goods Wares & Merchandize (Except as in the sd Commission is Excepted) And we do hereby declare and Appoint Chepstow Penarth Newport Barry Sully & Aberthaw to be within the sd Head Port of Cardiff.

And in like Manner on the 21st day of Janry 1685 We did Personally repair to the Town of Swanzey in Pursuance of the sd Commission And we hereby settle & appoint the same to be the only Member of the sd Port of Cardiff And We did then & there search find out & view such open place & places thereabouts as might be most fit and Convenient to be Appointed and Established to be places Keys & Wharfs for the shiping or lading landing or discharging of any Goods & Merchandize (Except as in ye sd Commission is Excepted) and according to our best discretions in pursuance thereof We do hereby Assign the Extents bounds & limits of ye sd Port to be as foll: Vizt That Open Place or Places Called the Common Key of the Town of Swanzey and of Right belonging to his Grace Henry Lord Duke of Beaufort Extending along the River from East to West about 188 yards & bounded on the East end by the East [lege West] side of the Key Commonly called ye old Key and on the west end by the East side of Wm Bevans's Dock Commonly Called the New Key Saving all Rights Property & Priviledge of ye sd Wharf or Ground or otherwise belonginge and Appurtaining to the sd Henry duke of Beaufort ww[hi]chch sd Place and Places Assigned and Appointed as aforesd are in our judgem[en]t & discretions most fit & convenient for ye uses & Purposes Aforesd and are by us limited and Appointed Accordingly And We do hereby Utterly Prohibit disannul make void determine & debar all other Places within ye sd Member Port of Swanzey from ye Priviledge Rt & benefit of a Place Key or Wharf for the Landing or discharging lading or shipping of any goods Wares or Merchandizes (Except as in ye same Commission is Excepted) And we do hereby declare and Appoint Newton Neath or Briton fferry & South Burry to be within ye sd Member Port of Swanzey And we do hereby declare & Appoint ye Extents bounds and limits of the sd Port of Cardiff and Members to Extend & be Accounted from ye River Wye in a Supposed direct line Southwestwards into the Sea to the Point of land called Gold Clifft Point & so continued into ye sea to ye Point of land called Sully Point and return'd & Continued Westwards in a Supposed direct line to Nash Point & from thence continued into ye Sea West Northwestward to Worms head Point & no further.

Pursuant to the Lord Treasurers Warrant Wee have Issued our Deputations to Mr Alexr Purcell to be Collr and D. Custr at your Port in the roome of Mr William Morgan preferd And he having given Security you are to admit him to the Execution of the said Employment delivering to him all books Bonds and papers relating to the Collection and putting him in mind of taking the Oaths enjoynd by Law.

London. 10 August 1714.

1715. There being Just cause to Suspect yt Some disaffected p'sons in Several parts of this Kingdome do Secretly carry on Seditious & traiterous designs against his Majesties Governmt The Commrs have therefore thought fit in a more particular Man[n]er to recommend it to you to Use your Utmost care & Diligence to detect all Secret prctices Whatsoever which may at any time be Carrying on in yr parts to ye Disturbance of ye Governmt & to give ym an Early and full accot thereof yt Due care may be taken to p'vent the Same wherein they doubt not of your ready Compliance it being ye Duty of Every Subject to do what in him lys to discover all such practices and more Especially Incumbent on Such who are in his Majesties Service and Under oath So to Do which is wt I have in Commd to Signyfy to you.

Y: H: S:

Chas Carkese, sec.

C: H: 17 7ber 1715.

Sent Copys to all ye P'ventive officers 20 7br 1715.

Alexander Purcell, Collector of Coals, Culms and "Cynders" of the Port of Cardiff and of the Members and Creeks thereto belonging.

1716. Llewelyn Trahern, Collector and Deputy Customer of his Majesty's Customs, Coals, Culm and Cinders in the Port of Cardiff.

1718. The Cardiff Collector, Mr Trahern, is to ride the coast from Redwick Pill to Nash Point, "which are the Extents of your Port."

1719. Thomas Hoskins, Customer of Cardiff.

1720. Richard Thomas, Extraordinary Man in the Port of Cardiff.

1724. Thomas Brian, Comptroller of the Port of Cardiff. Jonathan Greenfield, Deputy Comptroller.

1727. Rowland Seys, Patent Searcher of Cardiff.

1728 Sept. 12. Customhouse, London.

"We have received Your 1res of the 23d March & ye 6th of last month, informing us that some Gentlemen in Your Neighbourhood intend to bring Coals from the Port of Swanzey and land it within Your Districts of Your Port without paying any duty, and in Case any offr obstruct them to sue him, pretending that Swanzey and Cardiff are one and the same Port, And for answer thereto Swanzey tho a Member of Cardiff being by a Commission out of the Court of Excheqr (Copy whereof is inclosed) Appointed a distinct port from Cardiff w[i]th different Limits and Lawfull Landing places, You're in Case any Coals are imported into your Port from Swanzey, to insist" &c.

1729. Question arose as to certain "goods carried Coastwise from Newport & Caerleon within your port to Bristol in two Markt Boats."


We received yr Letter of the 9th Instant accquainting us on the arrivall of the ship Clothiers snow of Watchet Geo: Priest mr from Carolina with rice Indico skins & other goods for Bristoll you boarded a tidesman on sd vessell and sent him round thither in order to prevent any Goods being [landed] and for Answer We approve of yr proceedings we are yr &c.

B: Fairfax.
J: Evelyn.
Walter Younte.
John Hill.

14th May 1730.

1730. George Watkins, Surveyor, Deputy Comptroller and Deputy Searcher of the Port of Cardiff, so appointed this year in the room of Jonathan Greenfield superannuated. He was soon afterwards appointed Coal Meter also.

Repairs were done to the King's Boat at Penarth.

The Collector was to receive £40 instead of £30 per annum, "to enable him to keep a horse and to Ride the Coastt and Inspect the offrs Journals."


Gentlemen—Mr Brian the Comptroller of your Port who has been lately there having represented to us that there is no Chest at your Port to secure the King's Money in We Expect Your Answer forthwith how yo came to Certifye Every Month at the foot of your Abstract, that the Cash and Bonds were in the King's Chest under Your joynt Locks when yo had no Chest. We are &c.

Gentlemen—The Collr & Comptr of Plymouth haveing accquainted ye Board That Mr John Pyke one of the Tyde Surveyors there was murdered the 30th ulto whilest securing some Goods which were Seized by him by nine, or Ten persons armed with pick axes clubbs & other weapons and it appearing on an Examination before the Coroner yt Stephen Moon als Woon, Lewis Cock, John Moon als Woon, John Yeo, David Dollick and Benjamin Crews who is now in Custody were Concerned in the said murder you are to Cause diligent Search to be made for the sd Offendrs of whom you have a description on the back hereof in order to their being secured giveing the Board notice thereof which is what I have in Command to Signify to you and am Gentn &c.

Cha. Carkese.

Customho London. 9th Sept. 1731.

Stephen Moon als Woon of ye parish of Mevagizey in ye County of Cornwall, a short thick man, wearing his own short Black Hair.

Lewis Cock, son of — Cock of Mevagizey aforesd a short well sett man wearing a Light wigg.

John Moon als Woon of Compton in the County of Devon a Young Slight man wearing a wigg.

John Yeo of Great Torrington in Devon Late a boatman plying at north corner at Plymouth dock a stout well Sett man much pock Broken & Blind in one Eye.

David Dollick or Dollock late of ridruth in the County of Cornwall since a Labour at or abt Plymoth dock in ye County of devon a stout well sett man wearing his own brown hair."

The Commissioners of Customs ordered the Collector at Plymouth to promise a reward of £50 for the apprehension of these men.

1732. "Having Advised with our Solicitor on that part of your lre dated the 15th Ult° relating to Thomas Isaack carrying away a Cask of Brandy after it was Seized by the officers, and Staving it Youre to prosecute the sd Isaack for this offence before the Justices of the Peace reporting to us the Success."

William Richards appointed Surveyor and Deputy Comptroller (but not to act as Coal Meter), vice George Watkins resigned. He was subsequently deputed to act as Coal Meter.

William Jones, Extraordinary Boatman and Tidesman at Cardiff.

Rowland Vaughan, Boatman at Penarth, vice Edward Williams deceased.

The officers are to watch for Hugh Crouch, master of the ship Prideaux who turned two Spanish supercargos adrift in an open boat, off Barcelona, whereby one of them was drowned. Also for three valuable pictures stolen from the Royal Palace of the Old Louvre at Paris. The annexed Memorial of the French Minister gives particulars of the theft. The pictures were torn out of their frames.

The first, drawn by Titian, represented the figure of a man "Drest in Black near a Pillar Drawn to the Life."

The second, by Tintorett, was a Venetian lady "Drest in that Country habit."

The third, by Hannibal Carachi, represented Dr Boisly holding in one hand a death's head, and in the other a paper, drawn as large as life.

1733. Fourteen pounds of smuggled human hair was seized at Aberthaw.