January 1647: An Ordinance for encouragement of Adventurers to the several Plantations of Virginia, Bermudas, Barbados, and other places of America.

Pages 912-913

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

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January, 1647

[23 January, 1646/7.]

Goods exported to these Plantations freed of all duties save excise for three years, except to Newfoundland.; Security to be given that the goods exported shall be carried thither; Liberty to transport servants.; Goods of the growth shall not be shipped for foreign parts, but in English bottomes.

Whereas the several Plantations in Virginia, Bermudas, Barbados, and other places of America have been much beneficial to this Kingdome by the increase of Navigation, and the Customs arising from the commodities of the growth of those Plantations imported into this Kingdom have been, and are beneficiall, that all such as have traded there (for their better encouragement) have used to transport from hence thither Merchandizes, Goods, and necessaries for the better carrying on of the said Plantation without paying any custom for any Goods so exported from hence thither: The Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, for the better advancement of the said Plantations, and encouragement of the Adventurers to the same, have Ordained, and be it Ordained by the said Lords and Commons, That all Merchandizes, Goods, and necessaries, which shall be for the supportation, use, and expence of the said several Plantations, shall, or may be exported thither from this Kingdome by any of the Subjects thereof, without paying or yielding any Custom, Subsidy, Taxation, Imposition, or other duty for the same; The duty of Excise excepted during the space of three years next ensuing, except unto the Plantations, in new-found Lands: provided, That from time to time, as any such Merchandize and Goods be endeavoured to be exported for the use aforesaid, security be first given to the Commissioners and Officers of the Customs where such Goods shall be laden, that the said Merchandizes and Goods so to be exported by vertue of this Ordinance shall be really transported to the said foreign Plantations, and no other places, and there to be imployed for the only use of the Plantations; and that Certificate shall be returned from thence within one year after the lading thereof, of the Ships arrival, and discharge in the said foreign Plantations. And for that there is great want of servants in the said Plantations, as well for the raising of commodities apt to be produced there, as for defence of themselves from being made a prey to the Natives, or foreign enemies; Be it further Ordained by the said Lords & Commons, That it shall be lawful for any person or persons, Subjects of this Kingdome, to entertain, and transport from hence into the said several Plantations such persons being fit to serve, or advance the Trade there, as shall be willing to serve, or to be employed in the said several foreign Plantations, provided, that the names of all such persons so to be transported to serve in the said Plantations, be first Registred in the Custom-house, and that neither force be used to take up any such servants, nor any Apprentises entised to desert their Masters, nor any Children under age admitted without express consent of their Parents. And provided also, that certificate within one year be returned from the Governour, or other chief Officer of such Plantation, where such person shall be put on shore of the arrival of the said persons there, that no fraud be used to carry any such persons to any other place: Provided alwaies, that none of the said Plantations do suffer or permit any Ship, Bark, or Vessel, to take in any goods of the growth of the said Plantations from any of their Ports, and carry them to any foreign parts and places, except in English Bottomes: And in case any of the said Plantations shall offend herein, then the Plantation so offending, shall be excluded from the benefit of this Ordinance, and shall pay custome as other Merchants do to France, Spain, Holland, and other foreign parts.