Letter: 18th August 1733
(f. 17) Sir
The annual charge of the Revenue or Civill list, I observed, was Computed at £8000. per annum(?); the Income to (IW) that Expence is Estimated in the following manner, in the Act for raising a Revenue to his majesty his heirs and Successors which is made perpetuall, and has had the Royall Assent.
It is allowed by all Judges of Trade that the dutys on Commoditys that are not perishable falls on the Consumer because the importiar is not under the necessity of selling them at a bad market, and can lay them up; But, that the dutys on wine & other Commmoditys that are perishable and cannot be kept for a better market in Case it happens to below (ff. 18) falls on the Importer, this being promise it Evidently appears that the Planter pays no part of the above £8371. 12.6, the (IW) real, as hath been observed, being no Tax but an acknowledgement to the King or rather a rent as the word implys: and that Trade pays £6423.5 paid into the Revenue as will appear by the following Estimate, beside 7 or 800 value more in Gunpowder Expended and Washd yearly in the Fortification(?), Every Ship or Vessell being oblidged to pay yearly one poind(?) of Gunpowder for Every Fore she measures and which is undoubtedly a farther Tax on Trade.
An Estimate of the Dutys on Trade paid into his Majestys Revenue:
The Sum voted by the Assembly this Session to be necessary for the Current Service of the Years, was £10 000. and by computation to be raised in the following manner.
The number of negroes, I must observe, are rated to high, for tho the Imports for two years past have been much more, yet when its considered what great losses the Guinea Traders have Sustained in that time wee may reasonablly Suppose severall of them will decline the Trade, and Consequently the Imports will not Exceed 8000 negroes(?) which makes the Computation £1000 less, and in the whole not to Exceed £9,676. Out of which I shall show that the proportion of Trade and Kingston is £5105.7.6
the whole Island, Ex. Kingston 4570 2.6
An Estimate of the said Tax to be paid by the merchants & Town of Kingston
(ff. 19) An Estimate of the Proportion of the said Tax to be paid by the Planters and other Inhabitants Exclusive of Kingston
You will Observe that in the above estimate I have allowed the duty on negroes purchased by the Planter to be paid by them, but as I think it was calculated and will in fact fall on the Importer and not on the purchaser this will make a very Sensible difference no less than £1250 more to be added to the Tax on Trade and then the Estimate will stand thus.
by which it plainly appears that Trade and the Town pays above ¾ of the Income of the Revenue, and near 2/3 of the whole Tax that is raised by the Current (IW) of the years. to which may be added the charge of raising and filling out Twenty white men allotted by a late Act of the County(?) for Kingston out of the Fifthy for the whole Island to be Sent out against the Rebellious negroes; for as we have no Indented Servants, wee were under the necessity of being at the Expence of Sending poor Tradesmen from their Familys which would have been their Ruin. But, what wee have the most reason to Complain of is the Tax in gross of £800 On the Trading Inhabitants of Kingston, which is not only unprecedented but so Severe and partiall that the thing Speaks for itself and (f. 20) you have (IW) in Effort owned by sending up a new bill(?) after a short Prorogation conformable to his Majestys Interests in him of one you had sent up before Expressly (IW) to these. how the bill he gave is assent to can be called a new bill, or be said to be conformable to his Majestys interests, I cannot conceive. the Bill, in my opinion, is much the same; the (IW) laid on the masters(?) of Guinea men are indeed a little aleviated but there are greater Severitys imposed on Trade, for beside those allready mentioned, there is a Retrospective clause which is not in the former, whereby negroes that were imported 3 months before the meeting of the assembly, and kept in Expectation of the S.S Companys buying them, and others that were sickly and infirm and could not be sold, were oblidged to be Entered, and the dutys have since been paid for them.