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The Board of Trade is a British government body concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the
Department for International Trade The Department for International Trade (DIT) is a United Kingdom government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), executiv ...
. Its full title is The Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council appointed for the consideration of all matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations, but is commonly known as the Board of Trade, and formerly known as the Lords of Trade and Plantations or Lords of Trade, and it has been a committee of the
Privy Council of the United Kingdom The Privy Council of the United Kingdom, officially Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, or known simply as the Privy Council, is a privy council, formal body of advisers to the British monarchy, sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its ...
. The board has gone through several evolutions, beginning with extensive involvement in colonial matters in the 17th Century, to powerful regulatory functions in the
Victorian Era In the history of the United Kingdom The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international l ...
, to virtually being dormant in the last third of 20th century. In 2017, it was revitalised as an advisory board headed by the International Trade Secretary who has nominally held the title of
President of the Board of Trade The president of the Board of Trade is head of the Board of Trade The Board of Trade is a British government body concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade. Its full title is The Lords of the ...
, and who at present is the only privy counsellor of the board, the other members of the present board filling roles as advisers. The board was first established as a temporary committee of England's Privy Council to advise on colonial (
plantation A plantation is an agricultural estate, generally centered on a plantation houseA plantation house is the main house of a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that spe ...
) questions in the early 17th century, when these settlements were initially forming. The board would evolve gradually into a government department with considerable power and a diverse range of functions, including regulation of domestic and foreign commerce, the development, implementation and interpretation of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and the review and acceptance of legislation passed in the colonies. Between 1696 and 1782 the Board of Trade, in partnership with the various secretaries of state over that time, held responsibility for colonial affairs, particularly in
British America British America comprised the colonial territories of the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, terri ...

British America
. The newly created office of
Home Secretary The home secretary, officially the secretary of state for the Home Department, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for all Home Office business. The ...
then held colonial responsibility until 1801, when the
Secretary of State for War and the Colonies The Secretary of State for War and the Colonies was a British cabinet The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown in the government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom ...
was established. Between 1768 and 1782 while with the
Secretary of State for the Colonies The secretary of state for the colonies or colonial secretary was the British Cabinet The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown in the government of the United Kingdom The Government of ...
, whose secretaryship was held jointly with the presidency of the Board of Trade, the latter position remained largely vacant; this led to a diminished status of the board and it became an adjunct to the new department and ministry concerns. Following the loss of the
American War of Independence The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colon ...
, both the board and the short-lived secretaryship were dismissed by the king on 2 May 1782 and the board was abolished later by the
Civil List and Secret Service Money Act 1782 The Civil List and Secret Service Money Act 1782 (22 Geo. III, c. 82) was an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. The power over the expenditure in the King's household was transferred to the HM Treasury, Treasury, and branche ...
(22 Geo. III, c 82). Following the
Treaty of Paris 1783 The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an a ...
, with the continuing need to regulate trade between its remaining colonies, the independent United States and all other countries, a new Committee of Council on Trade and Plantations (later known as 'the First Committee') was established by
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
. Initially mandated by an
Order in Council An Order in Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that ...
on 5 March 1784, the committee was reconstructed and strengthened by a second order, on 23 August 1786, under which it operated for the rest of its existence. The committee has been known as the Board of Trade since 1786, but this name was only officially adopted by an act of 1861. The new board's first functions were consultative like earlier iterations, and its concern with plantations, in matters such as the approval of colonial laws, more successfully accomplished. As the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
expanded, the board's work became increasingly executive and domestic. From the 1840s, a succession of acts of parliament gave it regulatory duties, notably concerning railways, merchant shipping, and joint-stock companies. This department was merged with the
Ministry of Technology The Minister of Technology was a position in the government of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...
in 1970, to form the Department of Trade and Industry. The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (from 2009
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills The secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, also referred to as the business secretary, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility fo ...
) was also President of the Board of Trade. The full board has met only once since the mid-20th century, during commemorations of the bicentenary of the board in 1986. In 2016, the role of President of the Board of Trade was transferred to the
Secretary of State for International Trade The secretary of state for international trade, also referred to as the international trade secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom ga, Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe sco, Govrenment o the Unitit Kinric ...
. The board was reconstituted in October 2017.


History


Formation and early history

In 1622, at the end of the Dutch
Twelve Years' Truce The Twelve Years' Truce was the cessation of hostilities between the House of Habsburg, Habsburg rulers of Spain and the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic as agreed in Antwerp on 9 April 1609 (coinciding with the Royal Decree of Expulsi ...
,
King James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

King James I
directed the
Privy Council of England The Privy Council of England, also known as His (or Her) Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (), was a body of advisers to the sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borro ...
to establish a temporary committee to investigate the causes of various economic and supply problems, the decline in trade and consequent financial difficulties; detailed instructions and questions were given, with answers to be given "as fast as the several points shall be duly considered by you." This would be followed by a number of temporary committees and councils to regulate the colonies and their commerce. The board's formal title remains "The Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council appointed for the consideration of all matters relating to Trade and Foreign Plantations". In 1634,
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
appointed a new commission for regulating plantations. It was headed by the Archbishop of Canterbury with its primary goals to increase royal authority and the influence of the Church of England in the colonies, particularly with the great influx of Puritans to the New World. Soon after however, the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
s erupted and initiated a long period of political instability in England and the resultant loss of productivity for these committees. Between 1643 and 1648 the
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of ...
would establish a parliamentary Commission for Plantations to take the lead in colonial and commercial affairs. This period also saw the first regulation of royal tonnage and poundage and begin the modernization of customs and excise as growing sources of government revenue. During the
Interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin ''i ...
and
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good Common good Common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...
three acts of the
Rump Parliament The Rump Parliament was the English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gath ...

Rump Parliament
in 1650 and 1651 are notable in the historical development of England's commercial and colonial programs. These include the first Commission of Trade to be established by an Act of Parliament on 1 August 1650. The instructions to the named commissioners, headed by
Henry Vane the Younger Sir Henry Vane (baptised 26 March 161314 June 1662) (often referred to as Harry Vane and Henry Vane the Younger to distinguish him from his father, Henry Vane the Elder Sir Henry Vane, the elder (18 February 15891655) was an English politi ...

Henry Vane the Younger
, included consideration of both domestic and foreign trade, the trading companies, manufactures, free ports, customs, excise, statistics, coinage and exchange, and fisheries, as well as the plantations and the best means of promoting their welfare and rendering them useful to England. The act's statesmanlike and comprehensive instructions, along with an October act prohibiting trade with pro-royalist colonies and the Navigation Act of October 1651, formed the first definitive expression of England's commercial policy. They represent the first attempt to establish a legitimate control of commercial and colonial affairs, and the instructions indicate the beginnings of a policy which had the prosperity and wealth of England exclusively at heart. It was the Lords of Trade who, in 1675, originated the idea of transforming all of the colonies in America into Royal Colonies for the purpose of securing English trade against the French. They brought New Hampshire under the Crown, modified Penn's charter, refused a charter to the Plymouth colony, and taking advantage of the concessions of the charters of Massachusetts and New York, created the
Dominion of New England The Dominion of New England in America (1686–1689) was an administrative union of English colonies covering New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (al ...
in 1685, thereby transforming all the territory from the to the
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes i ...

Delaware
into a single crown colony. In 1696,
King William III William III (William Henry; ; 4 November 16508 March 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was the sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of County of Holland, Holland, County of Zeeland, Zeeland, Lordship of Utrecht, Utrecht, ...

King William III
appointed eight paid commissioners to promote trade in the s and elsewhere. The Lords Commissioners of Trade and Foreign Plantations, appointed in 1696 and commonly known as the Lords of Trade, did not constitute a committee of the Privy Council, but were, in fact, members of a separate body. The board carried on this work but also had long periods of inactivity, devolving into chaos after 1761 and dissolved in 1782 by an
act of Parliament Acts of parliament, sometimes referred to as primary legislation, are texts of law passed by the Legislature, legislative body of a jurisdiction (often a parliament or council). In most countries, acts of parliament begin as a Bill (law), bill, wh ...
by the
Rockingham Whigs The Rockingham Whigs (or Rockinghamites) in 18th century British politics were a faction of the Whigs led by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, (13 May 1730 – 1 July ...
.


Reestablishment and modern history

William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the st ...

William Pitt the Younger
re-established the committee in 1784, and an
Order in Council An Order in Council is a type of legislation in many countries, especially the Commonwealth realm A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state A sovereign state is a polity, political entity represented by one centralized government that ...
of 23 August 1786 provided the formal basis that still remains in force. A secretariat was established which included the president, vice president and board members. By 1793, the board still remained in its old structure, with 20 members including the
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
. After 1820 the board ceased to meet regularly and the business was carried out entirely by the secretariat. The short name of "Board of Trade" was formalised in 1861. In the 19th century the board had an advisory function on economic activity in the UK and its
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

empire
. During the second half of the 19th century it also dealt with legislation for patents, designs and trademarks, company regulation, labour and factories, merchant shipping, agriculture, transport, power etc. Colonial matters passed to the
Colonial Office The Colonial Office was a government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), executive bodies in the Machinery of governmen ...
and other functions were devolved to newly created departments, a process that continued for much of the 20th century. The original commission comprised the seven (later eight)
Great Officers of State Government in medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people o ...
, who were not required to attend meetings, and the eight paid members, who were required to attend. The board, so constituted, had little real power, and matters related to trade and the colonies were usually within the jurisdiction of the secretaries of state and the Privy Council, with the board confining itself mainly to colonial administration. From 1973, international trade policy of the United Kingdom was a competence of the
European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece ...

European Economic Community
, and later of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
. The board was reconstituted in October 2017, after the UK had voted to in June 2016. In its most recent iteration in 2017, only privy counsellors can be actual members of the board, while others are appointed as advisers.


Members

There is only 1 standing member in the Board, which is its President.


Ministers

The Board is held accountable to Parliament through ministers attached to the Board, who are not necessarily members. *
President of the Board of Trade The president of the Board of Trade is head of the Board of Trade The Board of Trade is a British government body concerned with commerce and industry, currently within the Department for International Trade. Its full title is The Lords of the ...
*
Vice-President of the Board of Trade The office of Deputy President of the Board of Trade, previously Vice-President of the Board of Trade, is a junior ministerial position in the government of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, comm ...
*
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in the United Kingdom was a member of Parliament assigned to assist the Board of Trade and its President of the Board of Trade, President with administration and liaison with Parliament. It replaced ...


Current advisers

Advisers to the Board appointed in September 2020 or sitting . * Secretary of State for Scotland * Secretary of State for Northern Ireland * Secretary of State for Wales * Minister for Trade Policy (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio) * Minister for Investment (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio) * Minister for Exports (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio) * Minister for International Trade (invited when relevant to Ministerial portfolio) *
The Hon The prefix The Honourable (or The Honorable in the United States and the Philippines), abbreviated to The Hon., Hon., or The Hon'ble, is an honorific Style (manner of address), style that is used before the names of certain classes of people ...

The Hon
Tony Abbott Anthony John Abbott (; born 4 November 1957) is an Australian former politician. He served as the 28th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the high ...

Tony Abbott
, *
Karen Betts The following is a full list of characters appearing in all eight series of '' Bad Girls''. They are listed by first appearance. Series 1 Helen Stewart *Portrayed by Simone Lahbib Simone Nicole Jean Lahbib Ould Cheikl (; born 6 February 196 ...
* Anne Boden,
MBEMBE may refer to: Academic qualifications * Master of Bioethics Bioethics is the study of the ethical issues emerging from advances in biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
* Lord Hannan of Kingsclere *
The Rt Hon The Right Honourable (abbreviation: The Rt Hon. or Rt Hon.) is an honorific Style (form of address), style traditionally applied to certain persons and collective bodies in the United Kingdom, the former British Empire and the Commonwealth of Natio ...
Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hope Hewitt (born 2 December 1948) is an Australian-born British Labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the ut ...

Patricia Hewitt
* Emma Howard Boyd www.gov.uk
/ref> * Michael Liebreich * William Russell,
Lord Mayor of London The Lord Mayor of London is the mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organi ...
* Dr
Linda Yueh Linda Yueh is a British/American economist, broadcaster, and author, born in Taiwan and of dual British and American citizenship. Yueh is an adjunct professor of economics at London Business School, and a Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, ...


See also

* Imperial Lighthouse Service


Footnotes


References


Works cited

* * *


External links

* * * * {{authority control 1622 establishments in England Economic history of the United Kingdom Government agencies of the United Kingdom Governance of the British Empire Trade in the United Kingdom Privy Council of the United Kingdom