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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from the Commissioners of the Customs of England to the Lords of the Treasury of England
England. Commissioners of the Customs
April 14, 1679
Volume 01, Pages 242-244

[B. P. R. O. Colonial Papers.]

May it Please your Lordps

In obedience to your Lordps Reference of the 11th March last Signifyed to us by Mr Guy we have Considered the Petic̄on of René Petit his Maties Agent at Rouen and Jacob Guerard of Normandy Gent. & Sr Thomas Dolmans Lr thereupon of the 14 of the same month and in answer thereunto we do humbly offer That (as we are informed) the quantity of Tobacco that groweth in Carolina and those Parts is considerable & Increaseth every yeare but it will not appear by the Customhouse bookes

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what customes have been received in England for the same for that by reason of the Badnesse of the Harbours in those parts most of the Tobaccoes of the growth of those Countreyes have been and are Carryed from thence in Sloopes and small fetches to Virginia & New England & from thence shipped hither. So that the Entries here are as from Virgina & New England although the Tobacco be of the growth of Carolina & Albemarle. And as to what is desired That his Matie would be pleased to Send the Petic̄oners two of his small ships for the Transportac̄on of about four score Protestant ffamilies to Carolina and that Two thousand pounds sterling which is to be advanced towards this undertaking may be reimbursed to the adventurers out of the first Moneyes accrewing to his Matie by bringing into England the Comodities of that same Plantac̄on; We humbly answer.

ffirst That it is not said in the Petic̄on that these ffamilies are now in parts beyond ye Seas, & would come hither on purpose to be transported for Carolina but that for ought appears they may be Protestant ffamilies that are already settled here, and we canot advise that his matie should give any Incouragement to any People who are settled in this Kingdome whether Natives or fforreigners to transport themselves from hence into any of his Maties Plantac̄ons or Ireland On the contrary we are of opinion that there are too many ffamilyes that do daylye Transport themselves both to the Plantac̄ons & to Ireland to the to the unpeopleing & ruine of this Kingdome. And we are of Opinion that means are rather to be used for the hindring then the promoting thereof but if these ffamilies are now really in parts beyond the Seas, we think that the Encouraging of them to come over to goe to Carolina is a very good Work.

2. But we do further offer that the Colony being given by his Matie in Propriety to severll Lords Proprietors We see noe reason why his Matie should be at ye charge of Peopleing that Colony but that the same ought to be borne by those to whom his Matie hath given the same in Propriety.

3. The Customes upon Tobacco are soe considerable being two pence per pound That if Carolina should be permitted to Import Tobacco Custom free It would be a very great discouragemt to his Maties other Colonyes who plant Tobacco. And besides Carolina is soe nigh to Virginia & Albemarle that in this case the Tobaccoes of those parts would in small Boats be carryed to Carolina & be shipped hither in small Ketches as Tobacco of the growth of Carolina & it would be Impossible to prevent this fraud.

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4. But whereas the Pretence of Transporting these ffamilies is for the setting up of the Trade of silkes Wines and Oyles We doe offer that in case his Majtie shall think fit to do any thing in this business That it may be by granting to the Petic̄oners a Proportion not exceeding one halfe part of such customes as shall Arive upon Wines silkes & Oyles, & due care to be taken that there be good and authentick proofs that the said Comodities are of the growth of that place & that the allowance to be made by his Matie be upon such Wines, Silkes and Oyles only as shall be imported imediately from Carolina into the Port of London for the more Exact Keeping the Accompt & preventing frauds & abuses to be put upon his Matie by importing silkes wines and oyles of other Countreyes as if from Carolina.

Custom house Londo
14th April 1679.
All wch is humbly submitted to
your Lordps Consideration.