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Special Taxation of the Jews (II)

H. S. Q. Henriques

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Special Taxation of the Jews. (IL) in the west indian colonies. The system of imposing a separate tax upon Jews proposed in England in the year 1689 was already in force in the West Indian Colonies. It seems to have been first imposed in Barbados. There these taxes were levied in kind (so many pounds of sugar) for local purposes.1 In the case of Jamaica we have more precise accounts available. In that island we know that when fresh taxation was imposed in 1686 the question was put in the Legislative Assembly " Whether Jews that are shopkeepers as freeholders pay ?5 or ?3. Voted ?3." At this time, therefore, it appears that the impost took the form of a poll tax not unlike the special poll tax upon Jews in force in England in the years 1689-91; but in 1688 it took the more obnoxious form of a lump sum levied upon the Jewish community, for in March of that year an entry is disclosed, " Whether Jews pay ?200 or ?300. Voted ?200." 2 The next occasion was in 1693, after the earthquake, when an attack on the island by the French was feared. A sum of over ?4000 had to be raised, and of this the Jews were ordered to find ?750 (to be increased by another ?250 if not promptly paid), and twelve of their number were appointed to collect and pay over the money. At the end of the same year, when a sum of between nine and ten thousand pounds had to be provided, a further tax of ?1000 was laid upon the Jews.3 From this time forward the imposition of a tax of a lump sum (generally ?1000) upon the Jews in addition to the ordinary taxation became a regular feature of the Jamaican system of finance, and was the cause of continual complaints and petitions 1 Pub. American J. Hist. Soc, No. 19, pp. 173?4, giving accounts of the tax from 1666 to 1677. 2 Ibid., No. 18, p. 149. 3 Ibid., No. 5, pp. 87-89.</page><page sequence="2">54 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. by the Jews until it was finally, after a prolonged constitutional struggle, brought to an end in the year 1741.4 There was similar legislation in the Bermuda islands, but it seems to have been administered with less harshness and did not give rise to such frequent complaints.5 COMMENTS ON THE " CASE OF THE JEWS STATED." The document placed before you, though it may and probably does reproduce the substance, is by no means an authentic copy of the petition itself, for both the preamble and the final prayer are omitted. We are not even told the names of the Petitioners, but as it was pre? sented on behalf of the Jewish community as a whole, we may assume that the Petitioners were the Parnassim of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue according to the precedents of 1664, 1674 and 1685.6 We are incidentally given a large amount of information concerning the community at that time?information the more reliable because it was supplied by the Jewish leaders themselves, who, knowing that their statements would be subjected to public inquiry and criticism, had the strongest motives for speaking the truth. I have so minutely discussed the question of the origin of the Jewish community in England in The Return of the Jews to England, that it is not necessary to deal with it here, beyond remarking that the statement about six families coming here about the year 1654 is quite consistent with Carteret Webb's statement that " Nothing more was done by Cromwell than the conniving at Alvaro da Costa and five other Jew families living in England." 7 As to numbers the community, consisting of between sixty and eighty families, might comprise some 500 souls. There was thus a gradually increasing population. In 1662, when Jo. Greenhalgh visited 4 See Pub. American J. Hist. Soc, No. 2, p. 165, and No. 18, pp. 148,177 seq. 5 See Acts of the Privy Council (Colonial), vol. vi. pp. 57-58. June 12, 1707, Board of Trade representation on Acts in Bermuda passed from 1690-1704 : " (2) An Act for laying an imposition on Jews trading in the islands. In 12 years there have been no complaints against this Act; it may be left, in case just cause for repeal should hereafter be offered." 6 See The Jews and the English Law, pp. 147, 149, and 154. 7 The Question whether, &amp;c, p. 36.</page><page sequence="3">SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 55 the synagogue, he had found " about a hundred right Jews and one proselite" there,8 and these probably included many persons not permanently settled in England, whereas the Petitioners would naturally only include those who had their homes here, for on them alone the burden of the tax would fall. Nor is the statement that there were not more than eighty Jewish families in the country incon? sistent with the fact that no fewer than 103 Jews9 received patents of denization in the reigns of Charles II. and James II., because in numerous cases several members of the same family were made denizens and many of those indenized were not resident in England, but in the plantations abroad, to trade with which was the main reason for asking for a patent. In the year 1700, according to Dr. Gaster,10 the number of members of the synagogue had reached close upon 200, not including women and children ; thus at that time the community was beginning to grow more rapidly, for there had only been eighty two signatories to the third edition of the Escamot or Laws of the Synagogue published in 169f ,X1 a figure practically corroborating the numbers given in this document. As time went on the increase be? came more rapid, especially after the accession of the House of Hanover to the throne and the consequent great influx of Jews from Germany ; so that Dr. Tovey, whose book was published in 1738, says " The whole number of both sorts of Jews " (i.e. Portuguese and German) " as I have been well informed, amounts to near six thousand."12 This is evidently a rough estimate, but it is probably fairly accurate. 8 Ellis' Original Letters, 2nd Series, vol. iv., Letter cccx. This evidence is preferable to that of Tovey, who, at p. 279 of his Anglia Judaica, says : " For con? sulting the learned Rabbi Netto in this affair, he was so obliging as to search their National Registers and assured me from them that even so late as the year 1663 the whole number of Jews in London did not exceed twelve." David Nieto was Hacham from 1701 to 1728, and was not in London before that time. His state? ment is based, not on personal knowledge, but upon a register which was probably very imperfectly kept and cannot therefore be compared to the evidence of an eye-witness. 9 The number is taken from the list in the Appendix to Carteret Webb's, The Question whether, &amp;c, and that list is by no means complete, as I have shown in a note at p. 236 of The Jews and the English Law. In it my own name in its various spellings occurs fourteen times, the name of Da Costa five times, and so on. 10 The Ancient Synagogue, p. 7. 11 Ibid. p. 29. 12 Anglia Judaica, p. 302.</page><page sequence="4">56 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. The community could be roughly divided into four classes accord? ing to its wealth, each class being about the same size. Many had obtained letters of denization for which it is explicitly stated that no payment beyond the ordinary fees had been made, thus disposing of the rumours that fabulous sums had been paid by the Jews to Crom? well and the late king, for their countenance and support. A more explicit denial of these rumours is made in par. 7. The lowest class consisted of the indigent poor, but these were not allowed to become a charge upon the public funds. Thus from the earliest times it has been the custom of the Jewish community to maintain its own poor, a custom which cannot be abandoned without disastrous consequences. The statement that they serve (or fine for) all offices of their parishes is true, in the sense that they were ready to serve, or in the alternative, to pay the fines imposed upon persons appointed to an office who did not fill it, for the Corporation Act (13 Car. IT. Stat. 2, cap. 1), then in full force and vigour, made Jews ineligible for most of these offices ; and as the great majority of the Jews in the country were at that time aliens, they were on that account also incapable of holding practically all the offices to which the Corporation Act did not apply. Thus in Anthony v. Segar (1789), (2 Hag. Con. Cas. 10), Sir William Scott, afterwards Lord Stowell, laid it down that an alien, even though naturalised, could not hold a parish office such as that of churchwarden, or constable, or overseer of the poor. And he further stated that, in spite of opinions to the contrary effect, neither a Jew nor a Papist could hold such office, and, with regard to offices in a corporation, it was after some variation of judicial opinion finally held that a Dissenter need not pay a fine for refusing to serve.13 The third, fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth paragraphs refer to the commercial activities of the early Jewish community, which was undoubtedly carrying on very large business enterprises especially with the East and West Indies, from which large dues accrued to the revenue, but this trade the Jewish merchants were able to finance with a comparatively small capital, so that it would be impossible for them to raise the proposed ?100,000 out of their own property, nor could they expect that their co-religionists abroad, with whom they ia See The Jews and the English Law, pp. 258, 261.</page><page sequence="5">SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 57 did business, would furnish them with the means of payment. The result of calling upon them to do so would only be that they would break off their commercial connection with them. The Petitioners are careful to make it plain that their relations with their Jewish correspondents in other countries are of a purely commercial character, and that the idea that there is such a solidarity among the Jewish communities established in different countries that financial burdens placed by one country on its Jewish subjects will be shared by the Jewish communities of other countries is wholly erroneous?an admonition which has continually to be impressed upon Governments even at the present time. It was thought necessary to deal with the charge then made against the Jews of trading with Algiers, which at that time, though nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire, was in reality an inde? pendent State subsisting in a great part by piracy and the capture and enslavement of Christian merchants and seamen.14 This charge the Petitioners express their readiness to meet, and it is noticeable that there were no other accusations of Jewish malpractices which they find it advisable to refute. In fact so little addicted were the members of the community to ordinary crimes that the question whether a Jew was or was not entitled to the " benefit of clergy " 14 Although Algiers was at this time, while nominally a province of the Turkish Empire, by which a Bashaw (or Viceroy) was appointed from time to time, in reality a pirate State governed by its own Dey and enriched by the labour of Christian slaves, the English Government did not disdain to make treaties with it. The English interests in the Mediterranean, especially after the acquisition of Tangier and the subsequent capture of Gibraltar, made it necessary either to make these treaties or completely destroy the nest of pirates. The former method was at first adopted, but the treaties were continually broken and had to be renewed after periods of hostilities from time to time. The first treaty to this time was made in 1662 by Sir John Lawson, the English Admiral in the Mediterranean, to be found in Dumont's Corps Universel Diploma? tique, vol. vi. pt. ii. pp. 419-21. This treaty was ratified and renewed by Admiral Allen in October 1664, see Dumont, vol. vi. pt. iii. p. 31. Another treaty was made in 1672, see Dumont, vol. vii. pt. i. p. 205. Yet another treaty was made by Admiral Herbert in 1682, see Dumont, vol. vii. pt. ii. p. 20, Hertslet, vol. i. p. 58, which was ratified and confirmed by Admiral Sir William Soames in 1686, see Hertslet, i. p. 66, and Dumont, vol. vii. pt. ii. p. 126. The later renewals of this treaty and the other treaties with Algiers were all subsequent to the date of the Case of the Jews Stated.</page><page sequence="6">58 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. had never been decided, and was treated as a moot one by eminent jurists, and Tovey, writing of the reign of Charles IL, was able to say, " But though so few of them were converted in this Reign to Christianity, yet in some measure they lived up to the precepts of it, by a regular observance of all civil duties. For I find no com? plaints against them of any kind, excepting such as related to the Custom-House, from which they cleared themselves by pleading the King's Patent."15 It is further to be remarked that though they call themselves a nation?a word which at that time had not the definite meaning it has since assumed?they expressly declare that they lay claim to no country of their own, and that so long as they receive toleration and protection they intend to remain in the country which accords them these boons and accept it as their own. EXEMPTION OF THE JEWS FROM THE ALIEN DUTIES IN THE REIGNS OF JAMES II. AND WILLIAM ?ND MARY In his Anglia Judaica or the History and Antiquities oj the Jews in England, published in 1738, Dr. de Blossiers Tovey, the Principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford, devotes the whole of his account of the reigns of James II. and William and Mary to this question.16 From his account it would appear that James II. made a valuable concession to the Jews, that this was at first continued by William III. and afterwards withdrawn, to the great loss and detriment of the Jews, who are said to have been compelled to pay fines amounting to ?58,000, and further to have lost ?10,000 annually by the payment of the additional duty. Taking, however, the documents printed by Tovey, the real facts seem to be as follows : from the earliest times heavy additional taxes had been imposed upon aliens. Not only was a much heavier poll tax (when that tax was in vogue) imposed upon aliens, but an increased, generally though not invariably a double, rate of taxation was levied on the goods of aliens whether exported or imported. Nor could 15 Anglia Judaica, p. 285; The Jews and the English Law, pp. 195-198. 16 Anglia Judaica, pp. 287-295.</page><page sequence="7">SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 59 aliens escape this additional taxation by obtaining letters patent of denization from the King, because the letters patent in the ordinary form contained the following clause : " And by these presents we command the said-that he and his heirs do homage and allegiance to us our heirs and successors, and that he and they do pay and con? tribute lot and scot as other our liege subjects do pay and contribute or as they ought to pay and contribute as is just and that he and his heirs do pay to us our heirs and successors the like customs and subsidies for their goods and merchandizes as aliens do and ought to pay." 17 And statutes had from time to time been passed providing that aliens, though made denizens, should pay the same customs and subsidies as they would have had to pay if they had never received a grant of denization (see the Statutes, 1 Hen. VII. c. 2; 11 Hen. VII. c. 14, and 22 Hen. VIII. c. 8). When Charles II. was restored to the throne the system of taxation, over which there had been the bitterest dis? putes, was thoroughly revised, and by the Statute of 1660 (22 Car. II. c. 4) known as the Great Statute, all the customs and similar duties were consolidated and granted to the King for life. The system then established, with alterations and amendments made from time to time, remained in force till Pitt's great financial reform of 1787, when the Customs Consolidation Act was passed;18 three years previous to which he had, in his first budget, removed all the additional duties on aliens' goods as being " an unnecessary burden on commerce without producing any real advantage to the public revenue." 19 The taxes imposed by the Great Statute may be summarised as follows: (1) A tunnage upon wines at varying rates of from ?1 to ?4 10s., accord? ing to the nature of the wine and port of shipment, with a considerably increased duty generally amounting to 30s. to be paid by strangers and aliens, in addition to the ancient duty of butlerage of 2s. per tun. (2) A poundage of 5 per cent, or a shilling in the pound on all goods 17 Henriques' Law of Aliens, p. 98. 18 27 Geo. III. c. 13. 19 The words in the text are from the Act of Parliament (24 Geo. III. Sess. 2, c. 16). Adam Smith, of whom Pitt was a follower, says of this taxation : " This distinction between the duties upon aliens and those upon English merchants, which was begun from ignorance, has been continued from the spirit of monopoly or in order to give our own merchants an advantage both in the home and in the foreign market" (Wealth of Nations, vol. iii. p. 346, ed. 1793).</page><page sequence="8">60 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. and merchandise (with the exception of home-made woollen cloths) exported from the realm and a similar tax on all goods imported into the realm, the poundage being calculated according to the value of the goods, as ascertained by reference to the book of rates. Merchant aliens had to pay an additional poundage of one shilling (i.e. a double rate) on all commodities exported.20 (3) A duty of 3s. 4&lt;$. per length on all woollen cloth exported by natural born subjects and of 6s. Sd. per length on all such cloth exported by aliens. For non-payment of these duties the goods on which they were imposed were liable to forfeiture, half the value being paid over to the informer and half to the Crown. In the year 1672, in order to encourage the export trade, all additional duties upon the export of native commodities (except coals) and upon home manufactures were removed by Act of Parlia? ment.21 So that henceforth, so far as the export trade was concerned, aliens, whether made denizens or not, were placed on the same footing as natural born subjects. This Act was no doubt of great benefit to the Jewish merchants settled in England, but it does not appear to have been passed in their interest, but for the public good, and no serious complaints against its principle seem to have been made by the English merchants at the time.22 On the accession of James II. the revenue, which had been given 20 The main body of the Aet says nothing about an increased rate to be paid by aliens on imported goods, but clause 12 of the rules annexed to the Book of Rates provides that " The merchant stranger, who according to the rates and values in this book contained do pay double subsidy for lead, tynn, woollen cloth, shall also pay double custome for native manufactures of wool or part wool, and the said strangers are to pay for all other goods as well inwards as outwards rated to pay the subsidie of poundage, threepence in the pound or any other duty payable by Charta Mercatoria besides the subsidie." So Vaughan (C.J.) says : "All goods charged with the Duties of the Act must be proprieted by a Merchant natural born or Merchant Alien and the greater or less duty is to be paid as the Proprietor is a native or alien merchant, for so are the words of the Act in the clause for poundage of all manner of goods and merchandise of every natural bom subject, denizen and alien, to be brought into the realm of the value of every twenty shillings of the same goods according to the book of rates," in Shepherd v. Goswold(1662), Vaughan, p. 159 and p. 166. 21 25 Car. II. c. 6. 22 Macpherson's Annals of Commerce, vol. ii. p. 560. Anderson on Commerce, vol. iv. p. 519.</page><page sequence="9">SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 61 to his brother Charles, was settled upon him for life. The Act of Parliament carrying out this provision recited the various taxing Acts, including the Great Statute, and enacted that they should be of '6 full force and effect to all intents and purposes during your Majesty's life as if the same were particularly and at large recited in the body of this Act." 23 The Act of 1672 (25 Car. II. c. 6) was not mentioned, and accordingly by the letter of the law the special taxation of aliens was again in full vigour, and the additional imposts on native manu? factures exported abroad were revived. Such a result was apparently never contemplated by Parliament and was considered to be detri? mental to trade. Accordingly, upon representations made to that effect, the King issued an order on January 22, 1685, remitting the alien duty on all goods exported of the native production and manu? facture of the kingdom, in fact reviving the Act of 1672, which had only been unintentionally and accidentally repealed. Tovey says this order was made in favour of the Jews, and they no doubt were the principal gainers by it, but it was in form an indulgence to all aliens. From this time forward the intimate connection between alien legis? lation and the Jews in this country should be noted. Thereupon a number of London merchants professing an apprehension that this remission might be extended to the alien duties on imported goods, petitioned the King against all remissions of the alien duty either inwards or outwards, as being a public damage and a diminution of the revenue and the trade of the English merchants, and similar petitions were presented by the Hamburgh Company and other companies and merchants engaged in foreign trade. To his credit James II. paid no attention to these remonstrances, and the law was enforced in the same way as it had been since Parliament dealt with the subject in 1672. After the flight and abdication of James, the revenue continued to be collected in the same way as before,24 but the 23 1 Jac. II. c. 1. 24 This was confirmed by Act of Parliament (1 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 14), whereby for the preventing all disputes and questions concerning the collecting ... of the Public Revenue . . . whilst the better settling of the same is under considera? tion of Parliament, it was enacted that the Subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage and other sums of money payable upon merchandise exported and imported granted to the late Kings (Charles and James) or either of them should be paid</page><page sequence="10">62 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. settlement of the taxes on the new sovereigns was not made until the session of Parliament which began on March 20, 1690 (new style); when the old taxation was reimposed for a period of four years.25 The order made by James, which was in fact an exercise, though not an illegal exercise, of his dispensing power, was no longer in force, and the duties as settled upon Charles and James might well cover the alien duty on exported articles, so that the officials might have insisted upon its payment, pending the ultimate decision of Parliament. The law was perhaps not quite clear, because the provisional Act did not expressly confirm the Act of 1672, so that in this interval the higher duties might have been exacted. A customs officer named Penning? ton represented the matter to King William, asserting that great loss was accruing to the revenue ; and encouraged by the King's declara? tion that he would not abate threepence of what was legally due, filed informations in the Exchequer against the Jewish merchants, claiming some ?58,000, being the value of the goods exported or imported by them since the abdication of James II. without paying the alien duties. Thereupon twenty Jewish merchants26 petitioned the King in Council to William and Mary in the manner and form appointed by the Statutes made in the reigns of the said late Kings or either of them and as by law they ought to have been paid during the said reigns, and the Acts then in force concerning the Revenue were continued and confirmed. 25 The debate took place on March 27, 1690 (see Pari. Hist., vol. v. pp. 552 62). 23 Tovey gives only seven names, all of which are Jewish. " Antonio Gomez sera, Phineas Gomezsera, Andrew Lopez, Antonio de Costa, Joshua Bueno, Men asses Mendez, Antonio Correa and several others making in all twenty merchants of London." Of these names Phineas Gomes Serra (son of Antonio) and Menasseh Mendez are to be found among the signatories of the 3rd revision of the Escamot (or laws of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue) made in 5460 (a.d. 1700), see Gaster's Ancient Synagogue, p. 30 ; while Antonio Gomes Serra, Andrew Lopez and Menasseh Mendez were three of the six persons who were granted in 1699 the building lease of the land in Be vis Marks, on which the present synagogue now stands, ibid. p. 62, and were also parties to the building agreement made in February of that year, ibid. p. 68. For Antonio Gomez Serra, see Gaster, p. 89. In 1703 Antonio Gomez Serra (who had signed the first Escamot in 1664) and Andrew Lopez were two of the three signatories to the Petition on behalf of the Jews living in Jamaica against the special taxation there (Pub. Amer. J. Hist. Soc.f No. 2, p. 170). In Carteret Webb's list of Jews made denizens in the reigns of Charles II. and James IL, five of these seven names are found, Antonio Gomez Serra having been indenized in 1672, Menasses Mendez and Andrew</page><page sequence="11">SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 63 for an order to stop these prosecutions by means of a nolle prosequi}1 The petition stated that most of them had been made free denizens and were therefore not liable to pay any more customs than natural born subjects; that those who were not aliens had paid alien duties for all the goods they imported, and that alien duty outwards had been taken off by Act of Parliament. To the surprise and chagrin of the English merchants, who complained that it had been procured by bribery, the Council on February 29,1689, passed a resolution ordering the Attorney-General to enter nolle prosequis in accordance with the prayer of this petition. The English merchants continued the struggle, representing to the Commissioners of Customs that in consequence of this order the revenue would lose ?40,000 2b in respect of forfeitures already incurred and ?10,000 per annum in future duties, and making various complaints against their Jewish competitors. The Commis? sioners again brought the matter before the Privy Council, which, on October 14, 1690, made the following order : " That the said Lords Commissioners of the Treasury do forthwith give directions to the Commissioners and other the officers of their Majesties' Customs whom it may concern for levying and collecting all such duties as by law are payable for the goods of the native product or manufacture of this kingdom that shall be exported by strangers notwithstanding the said Order of the 22 of January 1685,29 or by any other direction to the contrary." Lopez in 1687, and Phineas Gomez Serra and Antonio de Costa in 1688; the other two persons are not found in the list, but that does not prove that they had not been indenized (see The Jews and the Eng. Law, p. 236 note). It is to be noted that this Petition was not presented by the authorities of the Synagogue, as were those in 1664, 1675 and 1685 (see The Jews and the Eng. Law, pp. 147, 149, and 154), when the Jews as a body were attacked, and that of 1696 hereafter mentioned, when those engaged in the Colonial trade only were menaced. That none of the names of the original founders of the Community were appended to the Petition is to be explained by the fact that they were either dead or had retired from business, and their children being born here were natural born British subjects and therefore not personally interested in the controversy. 27 The Jews and the English Law, p. 150. 28 ?j0 d0UDt a very liberal estimate, showing that the original claim for ?58,000 was grossly exaggerated. 29 I.e. the Order made by James II. remitting the alien duty outwards and so in effect reviving the Act of 1672.</page><page sequence="12">64 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. This order is said to have completely satisfied the English merchants, but it was not in reality a very substantial victory. It did not withdraw the nolle prosequis, and so enable the enforcement of the forfeitures alleged to have been incurred, but was limited to the collection in the future of the duties legally payable upon goods exported by strangers. Now at this very time the Act for the temporary collection of the customs revenue (1 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 14) was about to expire and be superseded by the later Act (3 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 4) to which the Eoyal assent had been given on May 2, 1690,30 which granted the subsidy of Tonnage and Poundage and other taxes on merchandise to the sovereigns for a period of four years, commencing from December 24, 1690, and which expressly provided that various Acts of Parliament relating to the revenue, including " one other Act made in the twenty-fifth year of the reign of the said late King Charles the Second intituled ' An Act for taking off aliens duties upon commod? ities of the growth product and manufacture of the nation,' shall be of full force and effect during the said term of four years." Consequently on and after the following Christmas Day the increased duties on goods exported by aliens were no longer payable by law, and the only effect of the Order in Council was to authorise the collection of these duties for the very short period between October 14 and December 24, 1690.31 Of course the apprehension that the aliens duty on imported goods also would be repealed might now be safely dismissed, but this was settled by the Act of Parliament, not by the Order in Council. The remission of the aliens duty outwards was continued until the time when all the aliens duties were abolished by Pitt. Thus the Act (6 Will. &amp; Mar. c. 1) which gave the sovereigns the customs revenue for a further five years, expressly confirms the Act of 1672. (See also 1 Anne, St. I. c. 7 (13 Ruff.) s. 2, &amp;c.) The question of the non-payment of import duties by the Jews who had been made denizens never seems to have been argued in the Courts.32 It was suggested that some of their patents contained a 30 Commons Journal, x. 398. 31 See the report of the Commissioners of the Customs to the Lords of the Treasury dated April 2, 1692, upon the proposal of Lord Lanesborough and Onesi phorus Albin to farm the alien duty for ?30,000 a year (Cal. Treasury Papers, 1557-1696, p. 229). 32 Anglia Judaica, p. 289.</page><page sequence="13">SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. 65 non obstante clause exempting them from the payment of those duties. It might be worth while to examine these letters of deniza tion to see whether that is so or not, but in any case such a clause could hardly have bound the successors of the sovereign who granted the patent, at any rate after the revolution and the enactment of the Bill of Rights. Probably the Jewish merchants made some compromise with the Customs Commissioners for the duties they had not paid in the past, and in the future paid the additional duties as imposed by the new statute, that is to say, on most articles import duty only, and that only at the rate of threepence in the pound. This did not prevent them from competing successfully, especially in the colonial trade, with the native merchants, who a few years later, namely in 1696, made yet another attempt to crush this competition. This took the form of increasing the stringency of the Navigation Act of 1660.33 This Act provided that " No alien or person not born within the allegiance of our sovereign lord the King, his heirs and successors, or naturalised or made a free denizen.. .shall exercise the trade or occupa? tion of a merchant or factor " in any of the lands, islands, plantations or territories belonging to the King in Asia, Africa or America upon pain of forfeiting all his goods and chattels. The Colonial trade was thus effectually closed to aliens, who could, however, gain admission to it by obtaining letters of denization. Indeed this very purpose was stated by many of the Jews in their applications for their patents.34 When new legislation dealing with the Colonial trade was proposed in 1696, the Bill which ultimately became the Act for preventing frauds and regulating abuses in the plantation trades was originally so drawn at the instance of the anti-alien party as to wholly close the Colonial trade against aliens even though naturalised or made denizens. Against this a petition was presented to the House of Commons on behalf of the Jews residing in London, and a few days later a similar petition was presented by the French Protestants residing in London on behalf of themselves and other French Protestant families settled in the English plantations in America, and in the result the Bill was so amended as not to alter the existing state of the law, the anti-alien party having to be content with a clause requiring all the governors and 33 12 Car. II. c. 18. 34 See Appendix. VOL. IX. F</page><page sequence="14">66 SPECIAL TAXATION OF THE JEWS. commanders in chief of any English colonies or plantations to take a solemn oath to do their utmost to enforce all the restrictive clauses relating to trade contained in the Navigation and other kindred Acts. This second attempt to ruin the Colonial merchants who were not English born was thus frustrated. In the proceedings on this occasion there are two important matters to be noted. (1) The opposition to the new disability was conducted by the Jewish community as a whole represented by the chief officers of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, who were the signatories to the Jewish Petition. (2) The contest was carried on in conjunction with the other alien community most nearly interested in the result, namely the French Protestants. March 3, 1919. APPENDIX. From the "Acts of the Privy Council (Colonial)" vol. ii. p. 95 [219] " 168J, Feb. 25 : The Humble Petition of Manuel Henriques of London, Merchant?? Representing That he hath for several years last past, lived and traded in the City of London, and his present affairs requiring his going over to reside in one of His Majesty's Plantations in America, where he hopes to become a useful Subject to His Majesty in promoting of Trade, He is advised that he cannot inhabite and trade there without being endenized, And therefore Praying his Majesty's Letters Patents for that purpose [was granted and the Earl of Sunderland directed to cause a warrant to be prepared authorising the Attorney General to prepare a Bill for his Majesty's signature] conteyning a Grant for making the Petitioner a free Denizen of this Kingdome, to enable him to trade and reside within his Majesty's American Plantations under such Provisos and Restrictions as are usually inserted in Grants of this nature." Manuel Henriques appears in Carteret Webb's Lists of Jews made Denizens as having been made a denizen in 1687. In vol. i. p. 886 [No. 1348] of the same publication (Acts of the Privy Council) there is an interesting petition from seven Jews praying that the clause in their patents regarding residence in England may be enlarged to residence in any other of his Majesty's dominions.</page></plain_text>