August 1644: An Ordinance for a new Impost or Excise upon Herring.

Pages 496-497

Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.

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August 1644

[24 August, 1644.]

3s. duty on every Last of Herring, Additional 5s. for every Last sold at Sea.; If Herring landed by fishermen to dry, 5s. per Last extra duty.; Herring landed by Buyers to dry to pay 5s. per last.; Distress on refusal to pay.; Moneys to be for maintenance of Ships of War employed in defence of Fishermen. Power to Navy Committee to contract for such Ships.

Whereas divers Fisher-men now intending to set forth to Sea, for the Fishing for Herring, have been Petitioners unto the Par liament, for some Ships of Warre to be set forth to the Sea, during this Herring Season, to convey and preserve the said Fisher-men from Pyrats and other Sea-Rovers; And for the defraying the charge of the said men of War, have humbly desired, That a duty of three shillings upon every Last of Herring, containing ten thousand Herrings to every Last, may be imposed upon all Herrings which shall be taken this Season, to be paid by the taker, and five shillings upon every Last to be paid at the first Landing by the Buyer, to be imployed for and towards the maintenance, and payment of the said - men of Warre; It is Ordained by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, That every Fisher-man that shall Fish for Herrings, this Season, shall pay for every Last of Herring, each last containing ten thousand Herring by him so taken, the summe of three shillings. And for every Last of Herring such Fisher-man shall sell at Sea, he shall pay the sum of five shillings over and above the said former three shillings, & shal give a certificate under his hand in writing to such person or persons, to whom he shall sell any Herring, that he hath received the said duty of five shillings, which shall be a discharge unto every such buyer, that every Fisher-man so selling Herring at Sea, shall make an accompt therof, upon Oath at his coming on shore, of all such Herring as he hath so sold; and paying the said duty according to the, Tenure of this Ordinance. And if any Fisher-man shall bring on shore any Herring to dry or Barrell them to his own use, That then every such Fisher-man shall pay for every Last he shall so land, the summe of five shillings over and above the said former three shillings: And it is further Ordained: That every person whatsoever, who shall during this next Season of HerringFishing, buy any Herring, and land the same to Barrell, or dry, shall at the landing the said Herring, pay after the rate of five shillings for every Last by him so bought; All which severall sum or sums of Money, due by the first Taker or Buyer of such Herrings, shall pay unto Miles Corbet, Esquire, Recorder of the Towne of Yarmouth, in the County of Norfolk, and Edward Owner, Esquire, Burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament for the said Town, and Thomas Crane, and Richard Ferryers, Merchants, now Bailiffs of the said Town of Yarmouth, or to such person or persons, as they shall depute for this service, under their Hands and Seals, who are hereby authorized to give an Oath to all such Fisher-men and Takers of Herring, touching the quantity of their Herring they shall so take or sell; and for default of the payment of the severall sums in this Ordinance mentioned, Shall have power to leavy the same by way of distresse on the Goods of the party so refusing to pay the same; All which Moneys so received and collected, shall bee payed for the satisfaction of such Ships of Warre as shall be imployed for the safe conduct, preservation, and defence of the said Fishermen during the time of this Fishing Season. And it is further Ordained, That the Committee of the Navy shall have power to contract for such a convenient number of Ships for this service, as they shall think fit, not imploying above the number of three hundred Marriners in the said Service.