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Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations in United Kingdom

For the English Board of Trade established in 1696 to examine and propose colonial legislation, see Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations

Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, also called Board of Trade, was an English governmental advisory body appointed by the crown by commission under the great seal in 1696 to replace the Lords of Trade (1675) in the supervision of colonial affairs.

It was composed of various unsalaried ex officio Commissioners who were not expected to attend the Board regularly and a certain number of paid Commissioners to whom the conduct of business was entrusted. Originally the ex officio Commissioners consisted of the holders of the offices of Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper, Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal, Lord Treasurer or First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Admiral or First Lord of the Admiralty, Secretary of State and Chancellor of the Exchequer. To these were added the Bishop of London in 1702 and the Surveyor and Auditor General of Plantations in 1721. (1)

This office was discontinued between 1768 and 1779 when the Secretary of State for the Colonies, an ex officio Commissioner, presided. (2) The Council was dismissed by the King on 2 May 1782, being abolished by act later in the same year. (3)

The Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations was to “examine colonial legislation and to recommend disallowance of those laws that conflicted with imperial trade policies, to nominate governors and other high officials for royal colonies and to write the instructions for appointed governors, to recommend laws affecting the colonies to Parliament and the Privy Council, and to hear and to make reports on complaints from the colonies regarding imperial administration. These responsibilities were more extensive than those that had been delegated to the Lords of Trade.”(4)

Trade Boards Acts

For information about the United Kingom Trade Boards Act 1918 and the Trade Boards Act 1909, see Trade Boards Acts

Notes

1 Commissions of 15 May 1696 (C 66/3386), 19 June 1702 (C 66/3430), 14 Oct. 1721 (C 66/3546). The office of Surveyor and Auditor General of Plantations, created in 1680, was held during the relevant period by Horatio Walpole (later Lord Walpole of Wolterton) 1717-57 and Hon. (later Lord) Robert Cholmondeley 1757-1804 (C. M. Andrews, Materials for American History to 1783 (Washington 1912-14), ii, 144-8).
2 The Secretaries of State presided as follows: Earl of Hillsborough 12 July 1768-15 Aug. 1772; Lord Dartmouth 15 Aug. 1772-10 Nov. 1775; Lord George Germain 10 Nov. 1775-15 Nov. 1779.
3 JCTP 1776-82, 472; 22 Geo. III, c 82.
4 Brittannica Encyclopedia

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  • Article Name: Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations
  • Author: International
  • Description: For the English Board of Trade established in 1696 to examine and propose colonial legislation, see Lords Commissioners of [...]

This entry was last updated: April 13, 2013

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