The Case of Thomas Hammond, Merchant [caption title]
London? 1715. Broadsheet, 16 1/4 x 10 inches. p. plus printed docket title on verso. Ornamental initial. Disbound. Early folds and early stab holes in left margin. Small portion of left margin excised, with no loss to text. Mild foxing.
A petition to Parliament on behalf of Thomas Hammond, "a considerable Trader for Twenty Years last past in Wines, and other Merchandises," asking for public assistance in paying the remainder of his debts to the government. During the War of the Spanish Succession, Hammond suffered major losses to his trade and merchandise, resulting from the sinking of the ships Thomas and Elizabeth near Virginia, the capture of other ships sailing to India, the failures of various merchants, vintners and coopers to pay him, and other "Losses at Home and Abroad." Unable to pay his own debts, Hammond absconded but was caught, imprisoned, and stripped of all his assets. The present document relates this history, tabulating his losses and the amounts he had already paid to his creditors through assets and sureties, and petitions the House of Commons to pass a bill allowing the Treasury to forgive his debts due for customs. Part of the earliest British literature relating to decriminalized bankruptcy, following upon the historic bankruptcy statute of Queen Anne of 1705, which granted the first modern provisions for the release of insolvent debtors from their debts. This is also among the earliest examples of lobbying literature, which first began proliferating in the lobby of the House of Commons at the time of the accession of King George I and the British general election of 1715. ESTC locates only two copies, at the University of London and Harvard.