Some general considerations concerning the alteration and improvement of publick revenues.

London, J. Roberts, 1733.

8vo, pp. 29, [1]; half-title; modern marbled boards with title in morocco label, hilt; an excellent copy in modern marbled boards, title gilt with morocco label.

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Some general considerations concerning the alteration and improvement of publick revenues.

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First edition of Walpole’s anonymous, persuasive defence of an excise to be levied by the government on tobacco and wines. Walpole urges calm in response to what he considers perfectly reasonable measures for the increase of public funds. Corrupt merchants were aghast at the threat of warehouse inspections, while the country gentry saw the bill as an affront to civil liberties at the hands of Walpole’s centralised government. The defeat of the Tobacco Excise Bill in the Commons was ‘the most serious crisis for the Walpole administration until his fall’ (DNB); he was mobbed in the court of requests and his effigy was burnt by a crowd in the City. Walpole’s premiership would nonetheless last eight more years following victory in the 1734 general election, but his grip on the Commons was never again as great as before the defeat of the Tobacco Bill.

Goldsmiths’ 7159.

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