The Customs Service in the West Country, 1671-1692

By Dr Stephen A.Timmons, published May 2006


This article explores the little known world of the Customs Service as a tool of royal authority.   The role of customs at the port of Exeter until 1683 is outlined, together with the problems caused by obstinate bureaucracy. However the Customs Service was the first line of defence against agitators, as detailed in William Culliford’s report. Smugglers were turned into informants then officials. 1688 is seen as the date at which modern methods signalled the end of the old system.

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Filed under: English Channel | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Administration | Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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