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[221] on tobacco;1 his commissioners were ordered to con-
Chap VI.} 1627
tract for all the product of the colonies;2 though the Spanish tobacco was not steadily excluded.3 All colonial tobacco was soon ordered to be sealed;4 nor was its importation permitted except with special license;5 and we have seen, that an attempt was made, by a direct negotiation with the Virginians, to constitute the king the sole factor of their staple.6 The measure was
defeated by the firmness of the colonists; and the monarch was left to issue a new series of proclama-
tions, constituting London the sole mart of colonial tobacco;7 till, vainly attempting to regulate the trade,8
he declared ‘his will and pleasure to have the sole
preemption of all the tobacco’ of the English plantations.9 He long adhered to his system with resolute

The measures of the Stuarts were ever unsuccessful, because they were directed against the welfare of the colonists, and were not sustained by popular interests in England. After the long-continued efforts which the enterprise of English merchants and the independent spirit of English planters had perseveringly defied, King Charles, on the appointment of Sir William Berkeley, devised the expedient which was destined to become so celebrated. No vessel, laden with colonial commodities, might sail from the harbors of Virginia for any ports but those of England, that the staple of those commodities might be made in the mother country; and all trade with foreign vessels, except in case of necessity, was forbidden.11 This system,

1 March 2, 1626. Ibid. 224—230.

2 Jan. 1627. Rymer, XVIII. 831.

3 Feb. 1627. Ibid. 848.

4 March, 1627. Ibid. 886.

5 August, 1627. Ibid. 920.

6 Hening, i. 129 and 134.

7 Jan. 1631. Rymer, XIX. 235.

8 Ibid. 474 and 522.

9 June 19. Hazard, i. 375.

10 August, 1639. Rymer, XX. 348

11 Chalmers, 132. 133.

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