That is to say, the Subsidy of Tonnage, Subsidy of Poundage, and the Subsidy of Woollen Clothes or Old-Drapery, as they are rated and agreed on by the Commons House of Parliament …

London, Edward Husbands and Thomas Newcomb, 1660.

Small folio, pp. [ii], 58, [2]; a little browned in places, very small wormhole to lower margin of the first three leaves; a good copy in 18th-century English calf over thick boards, double fillets ruled in blind; recently re-backed, front board lightly scratched.


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Printed descriptions of the import duties on wine and merchandise appeared in England as early as 1545. This later edition is one of the first editions after the lifetime of Charles I, who levied the duties without the authority of parliament. Printed at the instigation of the House of Commons, it was intended to be issued with Public General Acts of 1660 12 Cha.II.c.4. and was also issued as part of An exact Collection of all such Acts (1660). Hundreds of goods and their taxes are listed alphabetically and give a good survey of the English foreign trade.

Tonnage ‘was a duty on every ton of wine imported; poundage an ad valorem duty on every pound’s worth of merchandise imported or exported … The traditional and usual rate at which tonnage and poundage were fixed was – tonnage 3s. per ton imported, and poundage 1s. on every pound’s worth of merchandise imported or exported, alien merchants being charged an extra 3s. on every ton of sweet wine, and an extra shilling on poundage on tin … After the Restoration the ancient traditional rates were discarded, and the character of the levy was altered, tonnage and poundage being levied at whatever rate parliament considered the exigencies of the time to require’ (Palgrave, under Tonnage and Poundage).

Kress 1038; Wing E 922; not in Goldsmiths’.

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