To the Honourable the Knights, Commissioners of Shires, Citizens and Burgesses of Great Britain, in Parliament Assembled: The Humble Petition of John Rotherham [caption title].
London? 1714. Broadsheet. p. plus printed docket title on verso. Disbound. Small folio. Early folds and early stab holes in left margin. Mild foxing.
Fraud In the Tobacco Trade
A petition to Parliament by John Rotherham, charging that massive fraud has been committed in drawbacks on tobacco imports. Rotherham, a long-time tobacco trader, states that a full quarter of the year's tobacco was falsely marked as damaged by traders in order to avoid paying duties. He recommends that to prevent this fraud, all tobacco marked damaged should be destroyed. He also recommends that a current bill for "Lessening the Draw-back on Tobacco carry'd into Ireland" be extended to include tobacco arriving in Britain and requests a "Recompense suitable to his Service." The document is among the earliest examples of lobbying literature, which first began proliferating during the major changes in British government in the mid-1710s. ESTC records four copies in Great Britain and three in the U.S., at the California State Library, New York Public Library, and the National Archives.
Goldsmiths 5124. Hanson 1990.