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In a former part of this volume some improvements are suggested which would certainly be of considerable importance in the neighbourhood of the Custom House. But we think it a duty we owe to our fellow citizens, to recommend the structure of a New Custom House ; for after all that has been said of its present conveniencies, they are inefficient to the purposes of the great currency of trade, which circulates throughout this vast metropolis ; and we cannot suggest a better plan than that of Dublin, in one instance, a head without a body; but here a matter of absolute necessity. The Custom House of Dublin is an elea gant quadrangle, each side the length of Somerset House. The inattention of the citizens to Sir Christopher Wren's plan of a grand quay from the Tower to the Temple, has been severely felt; it is to be hoped that future inattention will not be productive of similar inconvenience.

GOVERNMENT OF THE CUSTOMS. The establishment of the Board of Customs is employed, “not for the purposes of revenue alone, but also for carrying into effect the laws of navigation and trade; upon which the security of the empire, and the protection and encouragement of its commerce and manufactures, essentially depend.

6. The commissioners therefore, under the authority of various acts of parliament, and also under the directions of the Treasury, exercise very extensive and important powers and functions in the general sysem, which comprises the police of the port of London.

They superintend the execution of the laws as they relate to regulations, respecting the lading and discharging of all ships and vessels frequenting the port, which particularly apply to the mode of securing, and ascertaining the amount of his majesty's revenue of customs,-the payment of drawbacks and bounties on goods exported,—the granting licenses, and taking bonds and securities from parties concerned in the importation and exportation of goods. They authorise and appoint sufficient wharfs, where goods may be landed when the business cannot be carried on at the legal quays. They empower inferior officers to enter ou LI 2

board

board of ships and vessels, arriving and discharging, as well as those that are lading outwards,-and to remain so long as they deem necessary for the protection of the revenue. They appoint, preferable, extra, and glut, officers, for this particular duty. They instruct and control the whole of the numerous officers, of all classes, belonging to the different departments of the revenue of the customs. They exercise their discretion in mitigating the severity of the law (subject to the control of the Treasury) in all cases where, from inadvertency or unavoidable causes, an innocent trader may be aggrieved, and where no injury to the revenue was contemplated.

They order prosecutions of illicit traders and others charged with frauds upon the revenue. They direct the sale of seizures, and manage the financial part of the system, with respect to salaries and expences, according to rules which have been established under the authority of parliament, and the Lords of the Treasury. In fine, they superintend all matters and things whatever, which relate to vessels in the service of the customs, or to the control, regulation, or reward of their officers, in every part of England and the colonies. ·

" The Commissioners of the Excise have a concurrent jurisdiction with the customs, with respect to the security of those branches of revenue which it is their province to collect on articles imported; but they exercise no general superintendance.

os They appoint and authorise their officers to board and to watch ships and vessels, where exciseable goods compose a part of the cargo, and they also employ revenue cutters for the detection and prevention of illicit trade.

« The Finance Committee of the House of Commons, (to whose labours the public are already so much indebted, and whose reports, on a vast variety of subjects, afford ample hints and materials for the most important legislative regulations, in matters of the highest consequence to the improvement of trade and police in this kingdom,) state that the laws respecting the Customs, are " voluminous in 2

their their bulk, and intricate in their details," filling, at present, si.x large volumes in folio, unprovided with any printed Index. They also declare, that they feel themselves warranted in stating, most decidedly, that a consolidation and simplification of the Laws of the Customs would greatly contribute to secure and increase the collection of the revenue: that by such a simplification “ the revenue officer would be enabled to execute his duty with more promptitude and safety; the merchant would better know how to transact his commercial concerns with the revenue, and the foreign trader would have the means of avoiding those errors which at present so frequently expose his property to seizure for the omission of forms, which it is almost impossible that he should know to be necessary *.”

We have in our first volume mentioned the extent of this part of the revenue in antient times : we therefore add here that in 1590, the Customs produced 50,000l. per year. At first they had been farmed at 14,0001, and afterwards raised to 42,0001. in the person of Sir Thomas Smith,

In the reign of James, the whole amount of the Customs for the port of London, was 148,0751. 7s. 8d. Previously to the commencement of the Civil Wars they amounted to 500,0001. In 1666 they were reduced to 110,0001. From 1671 to 1688, they were at a medium 555,7521.

In 1700, the imports were 5,970,1751. Is. 10d.; exports, 7,302,7161. 85. 7d.

In 1785 the official value of imports were from the East, Indies and China, 2,703,9101. 14s. id. 13,575,4781. 7s. 5d.

In 1801, 5,424,4411. 165. 4d. All other parts, 27,371,1151, 5s. 3d.

In 1785 the official value of British produce and manufactures exported were, 11,081,8101. 16s. 5d. Foreign merchandize exported, 5,035,3571. 178. 10d.

In 1802, 27,012,1081. 3s. 10d. Foreign merchandize ex. ported, 19,146,9481. 15. 10d.

All other parts,

* Fourth Report of the committee, p. 25, 26.

In

In HARP LANE was formerly the house of John Chic cheley, chamberlain of London, who was son of William Chicheley, alderman, brother to William, archdeacon of Canterbory, and nephew to Sir Robert Chicheley, lord mayor, as well as to Henry, archbishop of Canterbury.

This John Chicheley had twenty-four children, of whom Elizabeth, one of the daughters, married Sir Thomas Kiryol, and had this house as part of her portion. After passing through various descents, it was ultimately possessed by the Bakers Company, who still continue it as their hall.

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is a very plain structure, the entrance to which is under a colonade of fonic pillars; the hall or dining room, is ornamented with a screen of the Composite order, in which are two arches with handsome carving. The north end is decorated with three large paintings, the centre of which bears the arms of the company ; on the right side is Justice, with her attributes ; the painting on the left represents St. Clement, the patron of the company; they being denominated in 1380 " Fraternitas sancti Clementis Pistorum."

This is a very antient as well as useful trade; and the most general and extensive branch of it is that of making, as well as baking, IVheaten and Houshold bread, though there are several others, as

Biscuit baking, which is chiefly to prepare in a particular manner for long keeping what is commonly called sea-biscuit or bread.

Baking of French bread, so called for its peculiar delicacy; also the various sorts of the sweet as well as insipid biscuits, or bread.

Baking of gingerbread, or sweet spiced bread and cakes of several kinds; of these three last there are but few of each, not being such a general call for their produce, as for the common bread; the bakers are numerous in London and its neighbourhood, and many of them acquire handsome for. tunes. Their employment being even mentioned by Moses

(Gen.

(Gen. XI. 2.) in all probability therefore it had its first rise in the east, and they were a brotherhood in England before the year 1155, in the reign of king Henry II. though the white bakers were not incorporated till the year 1307, by Edward the Second, and the brown bakers not till 1621, in king James the First's time.

The stat. 51 of Henry III. was made for regulating the assize of bread; and bakers, not observing the assize, were to be set in the pillory.

King Henry the Fourth granted by charter, to the mayor and commonalty of London, the assize of bread, beer, ale, &c. victuals, and things saleable in the said city; which is likewise granted by several other charters.

By stat. 8 Ann, c. 18. The assize of bread is limited, in pro. portion to the price of wheat, and mayors, &c. may in the day time enter any shop, house, or bake-house of any baker or seller of bread, to search for, view, weigh and try, all or any of the bread there found; and if the bread be want. ing in the goodness, deficient in baking, under weight, or shall consist of any sort than what is allowed, the same bread shall be seized and given to the poor: also a penalty of 40s. is inflicted for want of weight, &c.

But by 1 of George I. c. 25. bakers are to pay 5s. for every ounce deficient in weight, and 25. 6d. if under an ounce.

By stat. 3 George II. c. 29. Bakers selling bread, in peck, half-peck, or quartern loaves, at a higher price than set by the Lord Mayor of London, &c. shall forfeit 10s.

By an act passed in 37 George III. it is enacted, “ That bakers are to leave at the Cocket Office every Monday, ac. counts in writing, of all such meal and flour made of wheat as shall bave been bought by them respectively in the week immediately preceding ; that at the sale or upon delivery of meal and flour, a bill of parcels thereof to be delivered therewith ; seller and buyer, in default, to forfeit 40s. that the prices of meal and flour shall be fixed at the time of sale, and before delivery; any person selling or buying in any other manner, to forfeit 201. bakers to take an oath for that

purpose;

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