CHAPTER 8

____________________________

Corruption and Inefficiency in the Cornish Customs Service in the Later Seventeenth Century

W.B. Stephens

Between 1605 and 1671 the customs duties, which represented a significant proportion of the royal revenue, were leased to farmers, who managed the service, paid the Crown an annual rent (periodically adjusted to reflect expected levels of trade) and in return pocketed the duties. In 1671 the Crown assumed direct control of the service, placing it under a board of Customs Commissioners closely supervised by the Treasury.1 Abolition of fixed rents, however, faced the Crown with a customs revenue directly affected not only by vagaries of trade but also by the levels of probity and competence in the customs service. Corruption and inefficiency posed a particular problem in the provincial ports, which were less well staffed than the port of London and, being at a distance from the seat of government, more difficult to control.2 Moreover, unlike in London, officers in the outports were responsible for policing long stretches of coast, as every part of the English and Welsh coastline fell within the jurisdiction of one provincial custom house or another. And, though the vast bulk of the customs revenue continued to derive from the burgeoning trade of London, in absolute terms the outport trade (including that of the Cornish ports), and therefore its potential for customs revenue, was increasing.3

The Customs Commissioners, therefore, continued a policy recently begun by the ousted farmers of instituting periodic inspections of the outports. Between 1671 and 1680 at least two of these surveys, usually undertaken by specially appointed surveyors general, were experienced by west country ports, though neither of those covered Cornwall.4 In August 1683, however, the surveyor general, William Culliford, armed with instructions ‘to dismiss or suspend officers as you may judge fit’, began an investigation into the customs establishments of Plymouth and the Cornish ports.5 Not surprisingly, considering the physiography of the peninsula’s coastline and the county’s long tradition of illicit trading,6 he unearthed much evidence of unapprehended smuggling. But he also found undermanning, inefficient use of personnel and an alarming degree of incompetence, culpable negligence and downright dishonesty. He pursued his task vigorously and all the evidence supports his claim, on completing his task in March 1684, that he had not ‘Spared any Person or connived at any fraudulent practice . . . either for favour or affection’. Indeed, soon after Culliford left Cornwall a William Robinson of St Ives wrote hopefully to the Treasury seeking a customs post ‘as he understands there will suddenly be several vacancies in the customs of Devon and Cornwall’.7 And certainly, following Culliford’s report, out of an establishment of thirty-four executive officers in Cornwall8 some nineteen were dismissed, removed, suspended or allowed to resign, while others, though guilty of misconduct, were demoted or moved elsewhere, some in return for incriminating their colleagues.9 That Culliford’s name is reputed to have aroused a disgust in the west country ‘second only to that of Judge Jefferies’10 is illustrative of local attitudes to illicit trading.

image

8.1 William Culliford’s Report on the Customs Service

(The National Archives: Treasury Miscellaneous, Various, T64/140, fil. 73v.; courtesy of The National Archives)

Technically all the Cornish ports formed part of the customs headport of Plymouth, although in practice the member ports of Looe, Fowey, Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Penzance, St Ives and Padstow possessed, like Plymouth, the right to conduct overseas trade as well as coastal trade, had their own customs establishments and customs houses and (except for St Ives, which answered to Penzance) returned their duties direct to the Exchequer. Lesser ports (creeks) could normally conduct only fishing, although in the presence of an officer some might be permitted to trade coastwise. In most cases, however, officers stationed at creeks were there only to prevent smuggling and such preventive officers were also stationed at likely smuggling places.11 In addition, riding surveyors patrolled the coasts on horseback and from 1680 some ports had customs vessels for surveillance on the water.12

The port of Plymouth,13 which Culliford visited first, embraced the coast on the Cornish side of the Tamar and west to Portwrinkle, preventive officers on the Plymouth establishment being stationed at Saltash and Cawsand. Culliford found, however, that the officer at Cawsand Bay, notorious as a smuggling location,14 was ‘an ancient idle fellow that mindes his Fishing, not honest, never did any Service and never will’, while the two officers at Saltash were slack and one had absconded for debt. There was need of preventive officers at Millbrook Creek and nearby Empacombe on the Cornish side of the Hamoaze, where, he reported, the whole fleet of ships trading with northern Europe anchored for the winter, busily smuggling without much chance of detection. Similarly, customs presence was lacking at Portwrinkle, where fishing boats ‘upon Sight of any Sail at Sea, that plyes into [Whitsand] bay imediately Board them and make it their businesse to run [i.e. smuggle] great quantities of Goods both for the Merchants of Looe and those of Plymouth’. Looe itself, Culliford discovered, was supervised by only a collector and casually employed boatmen, with occasional visits from Plymouth officers. The Commissioners had cut staff there on the grounds that trade had declined, when in fact, Culliford estimated, Looe’s ‘Trade . . . does dayly increase’ so that the port was ‘insufficiently guarded’, especially as the collector, besides being dishonest, was ‘not a person capable or qualified to continue . . . any longer’.

At Fowey, too, trade was expanding and Culliford felt that revenue could be increased under better management. As it was, however, the collector was ‘an ancient man understanding little of Custom house businesse’ who turned a blind eye to many irregularities, while the surveyor, James Cottle, who neglected to inspect ships’ papers or to see that his juniors kept proper accounts, was ‘a Person in noe measure qualified for the Service’. In addition, one of the landwaiters was utterly ‘inexperienced in accounts’, a boatman was a ‘carelesse idle fellow unfit for further employment’ and the preventive officer who should have been at Polruan had moved himself to Fowey without permission and was anyway ‘fitt for nothing but to be dismissed’. More seriously, merchants were allowed to take their goods direct to their own warehouses before they had been checked at the custom house. In addition, there were no preventive officers at Lantivet or Talland bays, places notorious for illicit trading, nor at nearby Polperro, where a large fishing fleet colluded with vessels visiting Looe to indulge in a great deal of smuggling. Par and Polkerris, fishing ports to the west of Fowey, likewise lacked preventive officers and smuggling, especially of tin by merchants from Fowey, Falmouth and Penryn, regularly took place there. Tin smuggling was also encouraged by the fact that at Lostwithiel, the coinage town four miles up the river from Fowey, the post established to see that tin-exporting vessels called at Fowey to pay duty had been vacant for some time.

The port of Falmouth, which Culliford inspected next, comprised Falmouth itself and Penryn and Truro – each with its own custom house – together with the Helford River. It would have been difficult to police Falmouth Bay, the Carrick Roads, the Helford River and all their creeks with an efficient and honest establishment, but Culliford found it to be far from that. At Falmouth itself there was only a single surveyor, though such a busy port should have had both a tide surveyor to board incoming and outgoing vessels and appoint officers to inspect and guard them until they unloaded or left harbour and also a land surveyor to supervise loading and unloading of ships at the quay and to see that relevant duties had been paid. Moreover, there were not enough officers to man the customs boat at night and no preventive officers at notorious smuggling places between Falmouth and Penryn, nor at Flushing, where most windbound vessels anchored.

More seriously, and suggestive at best of gross inefficiency, vessels anchoring in the Helford River were rarely checked. Richard Upton, a serial smuggler, admitted that he often anchored there two days at a time, illegally taking on tin for Rotterdam, without ever being approached by officers, while at Helston, six miles up river, merchants ran their tin directly abroad, without taking it first to Falmouth to pay duty as the law required. At Penryn Culliford heard that at least one merchant had not paid any duty for years and many had enriched themselves through illicit trading. Some had even ‘inclosed private keys . . . built on purpose at there back Dores for Smuggling’ yet at which customs officers permitted them to land goods which should have gone through the customs quay.15

At Truro, which imported wine, linen and other goods and was Cornwall’s chief tin-exporting port, the administration was so slack that smuggling, especially of tin, was widespread. None of the junior officers there had been properly appointed and the landwaiter, though honest, was old, infirm and incapable of doing his job. More scandalously, not only was the collector, Matthew Rowett, ‘utterly incapable of dealing with customhouse businesse’ but he and two other senior officers, the deputy customer and controller, were active as traders, contrary to regulations forbidding this. They spent, Culliford alleged, more time on their own affairs than ‘the King’s business at the Customhouse’, from which they were often absent. And, remarkably, their private trading included the export of tin, the illicit trading in which was of major concern to the Commissioners.

Penzance, too, was, according to Culliford, ‘under very poor management’ and lacked a full complement of officers. One officer acted as both surveyor and landwaiter and there was no established boatman or tidesman. Preventive officers were lacking at Newlyn, where many ships anchored and smuggled goods, and at Marazion and St Michael’s Mount, where, said Culliford, ‘usually great Fleets of Shipps ride and Run what Goods they please’. Some goods went straight into the cellars of Col. John St Aubyn, who had bought the Mount in 1657.16 Indeed, so many vessels illegally discharged all their cargoes at the Mount’s pier that it was reported ‘the chiefest Smuggling place in the whole Bay’. At St Ives Culliford found a ‘once flourishing port . . . now declined’. There all junior staff were incompetent and corrupt and the collector, though honest, was inexperienced and had made many mistakes. For some reason Culliford ignored the rest of the north Cornish coast, though he had information that at Padstow, which had an establishment of four officers, there was collusion between customs men and tin smugglers.17

In addition to this catalogue of shortcomings Culliford reported that in Cornish ports many junior staff were oftentimes insubordinate, openly disobedient and commonly drunk or asleep on duty, at times absent from ships they were supposed to be attending and occasionally even absent without permission from their port altogether. But, more importantly, he found widespread corruption throughout all ranks. His investigation confirmed the allegations made to him, for instance, that the customs duties at Falmouth and Penryn ‘had been almost totally Run’ because of ‘the great Corruption of the officers’, and that bribery was so common that ‘this Port is become a Free Port [i.e. free of duty], all people Running what Goods they please’. And Falmouth was by no means unique. Almost all the Cornish officers charged by Culliford with corruption of one sort or another had taken bribes.

The most common offences were ignoring goods discovered hidden on ship or ashore, falsifying records (for instance, short entering amounts of goods imported or exported), turning a blind eye to goods smuggled ashore from ships in harbour, allowing merchants to take goods direct to their premises without examination, failing to keep proper records or to follow correct procedures and reducing duties on the spurious grounds that goods were damaged. Senior officers bullied juniors into cooperating in corrupt activities and released vessels impounded by honest officers for smuggling as well as goods seized for evasion of duties. During the period of the prohibition of the import of goods from France (1678–85)18 Andrew Cory, collector at Fowey, seized French goods but, instead of destroying them as required, sold them for his own profit. And the officers at Truro, noted above, were not alone in improperly trading on their own accounts. Peter Hill, a landwaiter at Falmouth, dealt in fish and acted as merchants’ factor, while Thomas Young, collector of Penzance, was part-owner of a ship and was heavily engaged in trade in partnership with William Pearce, mayor of the town, and with a former mayor, Henry Tremenheere, and a Richard Tremenheere.19 Young’s offence was compounded by the fact that the Tremenheeres controlled the smuggling of tin from Mount’s Bay, where Young conveniently stationed only two casually employed officers who actually helped with the smuggling.

Culliford uncovered several other instances of the involvement of senior officers with large-scale local smugglers as well as occasions where officers themselves actively engaged in smuggling. Thus, Thomas Ennis, collector at Penryn, was caught together with another officer and some merchants unloading smuggled goods from the customs boat at night. His friend Daniel Shewell, surveyor of Falmouth and Penryn, allegedly ‘Winckt at the Running of whole Shipp Loads of Goods’. Shewell was hand in glove with Robert Williams, a Falmouth tobacco importer whom he protected, and was also the most senior of a group of officers deeply involved for years with James Kemp, mayor of Penryn, in extensive smuggling. Kemp was a prominent merchant with a finger in many pies. He leased Penryn market20 and had a significant interest in the local tin industry, as well as having three ships regularly engaged in the French trade.21 Shewell and other officers (some of whom were virtually Kemp’s employees) helped Kemp smuggle in whole cargoes of brandy, wine, linen and other French goods and illegally export great quantities of tin. Yet, Culliford found Kemp, who was one of those Penryn merchants with a private quay, had paid ‘very little Customs either out or in’. The general attitude of the local community to such activity is illustrated by a witness who told Culliford that Kemp’s ‘Smuckling Trade [was] generally talkt of . . . [and was] admired by most’.

Another swindle, widespread where there were pliant officers, took advantage of coastal trade being exempt from duty. Merchants were required to give a bond for goods shipped coastwise redeemable on proof of them having been landed at another English port.22 However, not only was the bond system slackly administered but officers accepted bribes to confirm falsely that imported goods had arrived from another home port and to issue export certificates for smaller amounts than were actually shipped, the excess being transhipped at sea for foreign ports. A St Ives officer, William Pemberthy, for instance, certified four slabs of tin shipped on the Adventure of St Ives in October, 1683, weighed seven hundredweight, but when Culliford checked the officer’s books against the coinage records the true weight was found to be eleven hundredweight. In fact, Culliford discovered, Pemberthy had not bothered to weigh the tin at all.

The smuggler Richard Upton, who admitted running goods from Plymouth, Truro, Falmouth, Penzance, Mount’s Bay, Helford and Padstow, revealed to Culliford that the half-dozen ships regularly engaged ostensibly in taking tin to London (free of customs as coastal trade) normally transhipped over half their cargoes at sea for passage to Holland. The Treasury was well aware of such frauds in the Cornish tin trade23 and the Commissioners had instructed Culliford ‘to enquire by what ways and means the King is defrauded of his Duty, upon Tyn’. As a consequence he ‘took more than ordinary pains in the Severall ports . . . to inform my Selfe of the methods and practice used in [its] fraudulent Shipping’ and drew up and had displayed in all the Cornish custom houses new regulations for recording and certifying tin cargoes. These involved the use of coinage numbers to distinguish tin for overseas from that to be shipped coastwise.

The growing demand for tobacco, combined with the high duties on the commodity,24 also spawned not only connivance in straightforward smuggling but also frauds in which officers were complicit. The collector and deputy customer of Fowey, for instance, regularly recorded Abraham Stephens, master of the Olive Branch of Fowey, and a persistent tobacco smuggler (later tried and convicted in the Court of the Exchequer),25 of importing less tobacco than he did. They similarly colluded in his misuse of concessions under the Navigation Acts which allowed partial repayment of import duty on any of the tobacco re-exported.26 Dishonest officers frequently attested that more tobacco was re-exported than was the case, allowing the merchant not only to sell the excess at home but also to claim rebate on it as being shipped abroad.

Such revelations and others made in Culliford’s report demonstrate that the efficiency and general level of probity in the customs service in a port were crucially affected by the character of the senior officers there, especially the collectors and surveyors. This was particularly so of the collector, the chief executive officer in each port, who was responsible for the conduct of all his subordinates, the general administration of customs business in the port and the collection of duties and their return to the Exchequer.27 The sorry state of the service in the Cornish customs ports visited by Culliford is demonstrated by the fact that, subsequently, five of the seven Cornish collectors, as well as the collector at Plymouth, were dismissed or resigned and one, Thomas Trenwith of St Ives, was retained but admonished.28 Only the collector of Falmouth emerged unscathed – but he was a newcomer to the post and his two immediate predecessors had both suffered arrest and one imprisonment.29

Thomas Young, collector of Penzance, whose improper involvement with known smugglers has already been noted, may be taken as an example of the extent of corruption among the Cornish collectors. Against him Culliford drew up multiple charges, concluding that it seemed ‘in all things . . . as if [he] intended . . . [that Penzance] should become a free Port’ since [he] ‘could not [but] be ignorant how much his Majesty’s interest had suffered’ by his failure to report widespread instances of fraud, to have St Michael’s Mount, Mount’s Bay, Newlyn or Mousehole properly guarded or to make use of the customs boat which Culliford found lying above high water unused for at least six months instead of constantly patrolling the port.

One charge against Young provides an example of the common fraud of declaring goods damaged and so not liable to duty. This involved a shipment of tobacco from the ketch New Agreement in July 1683, part of which (nominally imported by Young’s sister, but really his) he declared ‘Damnified and Rotten’ and therefore exempt from duty, and illegally had it taken to his own warehouse without examination. Having perused the port records Culliford discovered that no record of this existed and openly in the custom house accused Young of a fraud which ‘manifests your corrupt and deceitfull dealings’. He then suspended him and recommended his dismissal, informing the Commissioners that this ‘notorious . . . cheat and fraud’ is now ‘fully detected’. The next day Young sealed his own fate by producing certificates in his defence which Culliford had no difficulty in showing to be forged.

In sum, William Culliford’s report revealed a customs service in Cornwall riddled with venality and incompetence and somewhat undermanned. It did not dwell on the difficulties faced by Cornish, and indeed all, customs officers at this time, nor on factors sometimes mitigating or explaining dishonesty, and space does not allow these matters to be explored in depth here. It is noteworthy, however, that throughout the English ports officers’ salaries were low and the fees which augmented them ill defined, while gratuities which officers were permitted to accept from merchants (for working outside normal hours, etc.) were not always distinguishable from bribes.30 Moreover, officers, particularly junior ranks, but until 1714 senior officers, too,31 were often recruited from the local maritime community, and had relations, friends and neighbours among the sailors, skippers and merchants whose activities they were employed to monitor. Senior officers had sometimes been traders themselves and oftentimes mixed socially with local merchants, shipowners and masters. Moreover, as the number of prominent citizens mentioned above illustrates, some of the most corrupt merchants were very powerful men in local communities. They and other influential individuals could make the lives of unhelpful junior customs men difficult. Furthermore, customs duties were universally deplored,32 local sentiment tended to favour the smuggler and juries were likely to be prejudiced against customs officers.33 In the boroughs magistrates were often themselves merchants, while in the countryside JPs included beneficiaries of illicit trading. In 1681, for instance, the local assizes dismissed charges against Bryan Rogers of Falmouth for evasion of duties, though he was very probably guilty;34 and in the following year Hugh Jones, a magistrate near Lands End, concealed his own and neighbours’ smuggled wine in his house and refused customs men access to search for it.35 Prosecution of offenders was indeed fraught with difficulties and, if unsuccessful, dangerous to the officer bringing the charge. If counter charges were brought against him for improper seizure of goods he might be faced with high costs,36 dismissal or even imprisonment. Thus Samuel Haynes, a Cornish riding surveyor, was subjected to malicious prosecution in 1684 after searching a smuggler’s ship.37 In such circumstances collusion with smugglers could be an easier and safer option.

The long-term effect of Culliford’s investigation is impossible to assess with any certainty. The subsequent purge of corrupt officers must have been beneficial and the potential for greater efficiency strengthened by the Commissioners’ acceptance of most of his suggestions for additional staff and increases in pay.38 The Cornish establishment thus grew from thirty-four in 1679 to fifty-five in 1685, with an increase in its salary bill from £534 per annum to £1,256,39 and this trend continued. By 1716 sixty-eight officers were receiving a total of £1,617 p.a.40

There was, however, no radical change in the organisation of the customs and, with corruption in public life endemic, it is not surprising that Culliford’s efforts did not eradicate dishonesty. Further surveys of the western ports followed his, and Treasury records continue to note corruption in and dismissals of Cornish collectors and other officers.41 No cost-effective measures could anyway have eliminated smuggling and Cornish merchants continued running tin abroad (despite Culliford’s regulations) and perpetrating tobacco and other frauds.42 Indeed, in 1686 the collector of Falmouth claimed that his efforts to eradicate smuggling had led to his malicious prosecution by merchants who had secured his wrongful dismissal.43

Yet the customs service generally, though still flawed, did become more efficient following the efforts of the Customs Commissioners and their regulatory officials, of whom Culliford was one. And this may have contributed to the increased customs revenue from the provincial ports from the 1680s onwards, even though this derived mainly from commercial expansion.44 Moreover, although by 1720 an increase in duties had made smuggling more profitable and thus more tempting, greater customs efficiency and honesty changed the nature of much illicit trading. The opportunities for painless smuggling via pliant officers were reduced.45 In the eighteenth century fraud by merchants and their collusion with officers still occurred, but large-scale smuggling was increasingly carried out by organised armed gangs in constant violent conflict with customs men, troops and naval vessels.

At all events, the Treasury was pleased with Culliford’s efforts: within six months of completing his task in Cornwall he was appointed to the Commission of the Revenue of Ireland. In 1696, by then an MP, he became the first holder of the post of Inspector-General of Imports and Exports, trusted with compiling the official annual statistics of national overseas trade, and in 1701 he himself was made one of the six Customs Commissioners.46

Notes and References

A much more detailed account of Culliford’s visit to Cornwall forms a chapter in my monograph, The Seventeenth-Century Customs Service Surveyed: William Culliford’s investigation of the Western ports, 1682–84 (Farnham: Ashgate, 2012).

1 Calendar of Treasury Books [hereafter CTB], III, pp. 935, 939; Index Vectigalium or An Abbreviated Collection of the Laws . . . Touching the Customs . . . (Cornhill: Godfrey Richards, 1674 edn); E. Hughes, Studies in Administration and Finance, 1558–1668 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1984), pp. 127–28; B.R. Leftwich, ‘The Later History and Administration of the Customs Revenue, 1671–1814’, Transactions Royal Historical Society, 4th ser. 13 (1930), pp. 190–92; C.D. Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, 1600–1688 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975), pp. 21, 25–28; H. Atton and H.H. Holland, The King’s Customs (London: Murray,1908), pp. 103–4.

2 N. Williams, Contraband Cargoes: Seven Centuries of Smuggling (London: Longmans, 1959), pp. 77–78; G.E. Aylmer, The Crown’s Servants: Government and Civil Service under Charles II, 1660–1685 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 33; Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, p. 30.; R.C. Jarvis, ‘Illegal Trading with the Isle of Man, 1671–1775’, Transactions Lancashire & Cheshire Antiquarian Society, 1945–6 58 (1947), p. 246; W.J. Ashworth, Customs and Excise: Trade Production and Consumption in England, 1640–1845 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 152, 165–66.

3 H.D. Sacks and M. Lynch, ‘Ports, 1500–1700’, in P. Clark (ed.), Cambridge Urban History of Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 400; Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, p. 39; W.E. Minchinton, The Growth of English Overseas Trade in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (London: Methuen, 1969), pp. 32–34. And compare statistics in W.B. Stephens, Seventeenth Century Exeter (Exeter: The University of Exeter, 1958), pp. 8, 162 [‘Plymouth’ includes the Cornish ports], and with those in J.C.H. Whetter, ‘Cornish Trade in the Seventeenth Century’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall 4:4 (1964), pp. 388–413.

4 CTB V, VI, VII, VIII.

5 CTB VII, pp. 282, 283, 329, 1277–78, 1312. Except where otherwise indicated the information in the following pages is based on Culliford’s report in the National Archives [hereafter TNA]: T64/140, fols 37r–125v.

6 G.D. Ramsay, ‘The Smugglers’ Trade: A Neglected Aspect of English Commercial Development’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser. 2 (1952), pp. 151–55.

7 CTB VII, p. 1210.

8 Patent officers (see n. 27 below) are not included in these figures.

9 See, e.g., CTB VII, pp. 817, 1190, 1211, 1275, 1278, 1324, 1343, 1361.

10 Williams, Contraband Cargoes, p. 83.

11 For the organisation of the outports and their establishments see W.B. Stephens, Sources for English Local History (Chichester: Phillimore, 1994, repr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 142–43 and works cited there; E.E. Hoon, The Organization of the English Customs System, 1696–1786 (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1968), pp. 167–69; R.C. Jarvis, ‘The Appointment of Ports’, Economic History Review, 2nd ser. 11 (1959), pp. 455–68; Index Vectigalium (1670 edn), pp. 50–52.

12 Williams, Contraband Cargoes, p. 78. Riding officers were attached to stretches of coast and often not on the establishment of individual ports: Aylmer, The Crown’s Servants, pp. 111–12.

13 See, e.g., H. Saxby, The British Customs (London: Thomas Baskett, 1757), p. 391. Sometimes Plymouth and Fowey were linked as a headport: N.J. Williams (ed.), P.R.O. Descriptive List of Exchequer . . . Port Books, Pt. I, 1565–1700 (London: Public Record Office, 1960); Whetter, ‘Cornish Trade’, pp. 389–90.

14 C. Gill, Plymouth: A New History: 1603 to the Present Day (Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1979), p. 66.

15 From c. 1680 Penryn officers had disputed the Commissioners’ orders not to permit the use of private quays: CTB VI, 807–8; James Whetter, Cornwall in the Seventeenth Century: An Economic History of Kernow (Padstow: Lodenek Press, 1974), pp. 153, 155.

16 M. Coate, Cornwall in the Great Civil War and Interregnum, 1642–1660 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933), pp. 294–95, 376.

17 ‘An establishment of the respective officers in the outportes . . .’, Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 15 (1965), p. 165.

18 E. Lipson, The Economic History of England, Vol. III (London: Black, 1947), , p. 104; W.C. Kennedy, English Taxation, 1640–1799 (London: G. Bell, 1913), p. 35; R. Davis, English Overseas Trade, 1500–1799 (London: Macmillan, 1973), p. 47. But the length of the prohibition has been questioned (I believe incorrectly): Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, p. 345.

19 Culliford names Richard as Henry’s brother, but he is not recorded as such in the Tremenheere genealogy in S.G. Tremenheere, The Tremenheeres (privately printed, 1925), p. 102, q.v. also (pp. 43–45) for Henry. See also for the Tremenheeres, Whetter, Cornwall in the Seventeenth Century, pp. 77, 98, 101–2, 164, 165, 166.

20 Whetter, Cornwall in the Seventeenth Century, p. 145, and see pp. 98, 164, 165.

21 See indexes to CTB VII, VIII under Kemp, James. His stannary court trial went on for years.

22 T.S. Willan, The English Coasting Trade, 1600–1750 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1938), ch. I; Hoon, English Customs System, pp. 264–69; Williams Contraband Cargoes, p. 73; N.S.B. Gras, The Early English Customs System (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1918), pp. 145, 707.

23 E.g., CTB IV, p. 722

24 Davis, English Overseas Trade, p. 46; Whetter, Cornwall in the Seventeenth Century, p. 48; Williams, Contraband Cargoes, p. 68.

25 CTB VII, p. 1312.

26 L.A. Harper, The English Navigation Laws: a Seventeenth-century Experiment in Social Engineering (New York: Columbia University Press, 1964), pp. 35–36; Hoon, English Customs System, pp. 244, 256–64.

27 Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, p. 29. Additional to the executive officers appointed by the Treasury were patent officers, appointed by the Crown as a reward or favour, who usually worked through deputies. Their limited duties included acting as a check on the collectors and their staffs: S. Baxter, The Development of the Treasury, 1660–1702 (London: Longmans, 1957), pp. 90–91; Atton and Holland, The King’s Customs, p. 105; Hoon, English Customs System, pp. 13, 173, 228.

28 CTB VII, p. 1210. By 1697 he was surveyor of Falmouth and Penryn: Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1697–1701/2, 10. A Thomas Trenwith was Mayor of Penzance in 1685: Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Feb.–Dec., 1685, no. 130.

29 CTB IV, 421, 438,520; VII, pp. 661, 665, 687–88, 695, 1141, 1405. The former collector of Truro had been dismissed in 1680: CTB VII, p. 50.

30 Hoon, English Customs System, esp. chs I and VI; Williams, Contraband Cargoes, p. 5.

31 Hoon, English Customs System, p. 206.

32 See, e.g., Francis Cradock, Wealth Discovered . . . or, an Essay upon an expedient of raising a Revenue without Taxes (London: A. Seile, 1661), and Adam Smith cited in Ashworth, Customs and Excise, p. 165.

33 Baxter, The Development of the Treasury, p. 80; Williams, Contraband Cargoes, pp. 75–76.

34 CTB VII, pp. 213, 220. For Rogers, see J.C.A. Whetter, ‘Bryan Rogers of Falmouth, merchant (1632–1692)’, Old Cornwall 6:8 (1964).

35 CTB VII, p. 475.

36 H. Crouch, A Complete Guide to the Officers of HM’s Customs in the Outports (London: privately published, 1739), p. 285; Harper, The English Navigation Laws, ch. X; Hoon, English Customs System, pp. 107, 234, 274–76, 280; CTB VIII, p. 1782.

37 CTB VII, p. 1078.

38 See, e.g., CTB VII, pp. 1140, 1190, 1211, 1212, 1275, 1276, 1360, 1361, 1371, 1376, 1481; VIII, pp. 976, 1555, 1792, 1914. Culliford’s suggestion that Penryn custom house be closed and one established at Gweek on the Helford river, was not taken up, though Gweek did acquire a custom house later: Hoon, English Customs System, pp. 108–9.

39 TNA: CUST 18/1B, pp. 18–19 (summer 1679); CUST 18/19, pp. 21–22 (summer 1685). Patent Officers are not included in these figures. S.A. Timmons, ‘The Custom Service in the West Country, 1671–1692’, Mariner’s Mirror 92:2 (2006), p. 149.

40 ‘An establishment of the respective officers . . .’; Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, p. 29; Hughes, Studies in Administration and Finance, p. 139.

41 See, e.g., CTB VIII, 45, 186, 289, 375, 817, 1365, 1555, 1556, 1599, 1754, 1792, 1827, 2034; Ashworth, Customs and Excise, p. 158.

42 Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1697–1701/2, 1524; CTB VIII, p. 2034. Further suggestions for controlling tin frauds were being considered in 1688: Calendar of Treasury Papers, 1697–1701/2, p. 26; G.R. Lewis, The Stannaries: A Story of the English Tin Miner (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1924), pp. 153–54.

43 CTB VIII, p. 1782.

44 Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, pp. 34–36.

45 Aylmer, The Crown’s Servants, pp. 123–24, 211–12; R.C. Nash. ‘The English and Scottish Tobacco Trade in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Legal and Illegal trade’, Economic History Review, 2nd ser. 35 (1982), pp. 358–59, 372; R.C. Jarvis in Introduction to Hoon, English Customs System, pp. xxi– xxv; Williams, Contraband Cargoes, pp. 63, 93ff.; Chandaman, The English Public Revenue, pp. 28–29, 31–36, 275; Harper, The English Navigation Laws, pp. 140–47; C. Wilson, England’s Apprenticeship, 1603–1763 (London: Longman,1984), pp. 216.

46 B.D. Henning (ed.), History of Parliament: the Commons, 1660–1690 (London: History of Parliament Trust, 1983), vol. III, pp. 800–3; ‘William Culliford’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004); P. Gauci, The Politics of Trade: the Overseas Merchant in State and Society, 1660–1720 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 188; Aylmer, The Crown’s Servants, p. 211; E.B. Schumpeter, English Overseas Trade Statistics, 1697–1808 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960), pp. 20–23.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at admin@erenow.org. Thank you!