Licence to Export Tea

Index: Tea Leaves - A Collection of East India Co. Letters, 1773 

After our hearty commendations. Whereas, the united company of merchants of England trading to the East Indies, have, by the annexed petition, humbly prayed us to grant them, in pursuance of an Act passed the last session of Parliament, a licence to take out of their warehouses a quantity of teas, equal in weight to one thousand seven hundred large chests of Bohea tea, which quantity will not in the whole exceed six hundred thousand pounds weight, without the same having been exposed to sale in this kingdom, and to export such tea discharged from the payment of any customs or duties whatsoever, to the British colonies or plantations in America. And it appearing to us by the annexed affidavit, that there will be left remaining in their warehouses a quantity of tea not less than ten millions of pounds weight, as by the said Act is provided and directed. Now we, having taken the said application and the several matters and things therein set forth into our consideration, do think fit to comply with the request of the said petitioners. And in pursuance of the powers given unto us by the said Act, we do hereby authorise, permit and grant licence to the said Company to take out of their warehouses the said quantity of tea, not exceeding in the whole six hundred thousand pounds weight, without the same having been exposed to sale in this kingdom, and to export such teas discharged from the payment of any customs or duties whatsoever, to any of the British colonies or plantations in America. Nevertheless, you are therein to take especial care, that all and every the rules, regulations & restrictions and orders directed by the said recited Act, relating to the exportation of such teas, or any ways concerning the same, be in all and every respect fully obeyed and observed. And for so doing, this shall be as well to you as to the said Company, and to all other officers & persons whatsoever herein concerned, a sufficient warrant.



Given under our hands and seals at the Treasury Chambers, Whitehall, the 20th day of August, one thousand seven hundred and seventy three; in the thirteenth year of the reign of our sovereign lord, George the Third, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, and so forth.

C. Townshend.
C.J. Fox.

To our very loving friends the Commissioners, for managing His Majesty's Revenues of Customs and Excise, now and for the time being, and to all other officers and persons herein concerned.

East India Company, Licence to Export Teas

Hon'ble Sirs:

We have the ship Eleanor, James Bruce, about 250 tons, (a constant trader,) which we intend for Boston, and should be much obliged for the freight of the teas you intend exporting to that place.

We have no ship bound to South Carolina, but are much obliged for the preference given us. We are, sirs,

Your most h'ble serts.

Lane, Son & Fraser.

Nicholas Lane, 6th Augst 1773.

The Hon'ble the Court of Directors, &c., &c.

John Dorrien, Esqr. recommends for Boston, the Beaver, Captn Coffin.


I wrote you under date of the 5th instt that you would be pleased to inform the Committee of Warehouses, whether you had a constant trader ready to sail for Boston or South Carolina, but should have said to Boston only. I am therefore to desire the favor of an answer whether you have a constant trader ready for that colony.

I am, &c., &c.,

Wm. Settle.

East India Ho. Augt 10, 1773.

Alex. Champion, Esqr.


In answer to your esteemed of the 5th and 10th current, am obliged by the favor intended, but at present have only one ship under my care bound to Boston, who will depart in a very few days, but she is not a constant trader. It is not, therefore, in my power to accept of the offer.

I am, sir,

Your most hum. servt.

Alexander Champion.

Bishopgate Street, Augt 10, 1773.

Mr. Wm. Settle.

Hon'ble Sir:

Being informed you have some teas to ship to America, I have now a vessel, British built, burthen about 160 tons, which should be glad to lett to your honors for the above purpose.

I am, with due regard, hon'ble sirs,

Your most obedt servtt,

Thos. Walters.

Carolina Coffee House,
  Birchen Lane, 17th Augt 1773.
  The Elizabeth, John Scott, for any part of America.

To the Hon'ble Directors of
  the East India Company.

Mr. Abraham Dupies, in Gracechurch Street, will become obligated for Richard Clarke & Sons, of Boston.


I have a vessel in this port, which will be ready to return to America in a few days, therefore take the opportunity to acquaint you that I am willing to take on board her 600 chests of tea, either for New York or Philadelphia, at the a customary freight given from hence to those places.

I am, gentln your most hum. servant,

Joseph Cabot.

Threadneedle Street, 24 Augt 1773.
To the Hon'ble Committee of Warehouses.

London, Augt 26, 1773.


We pray you to inform the Comtee of Warehouses for the Hon'ble the East India Company that we have a ship, river built, called the Nancy, commanded by Captain Colville, compleately fitted and ready to receive the tea for New York, which we beg leave to recommend to the Committee. We are, sir,

Your most obedient and humble servants,

John Blackburn.
Pigou & Booth.
Wm. Kelly & Co.

Mr. Wm. Settle.


Please to acquaint the Hon'ble Committee of Warehouses, that we have taken up the Polly, Capt Ayres, for Philadelphia, to carry the Company's tea to that port, which vessel lays at Princes Stairs, Rotherhith, and was built at Ipswich, in the year 1765. She is now ready to take in.

We are, sirs,

Your most h'ble servts.

Pigou & Booth,
For selves & George Browne,
Samuel Wharton & Gilbert Barkley.

  Mark Lane, 31st Augt 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.


Your remarks to the bond offered you, relative to the 600 chests of tea, which are to be exported to New York, have been laid before the Committee of Warehouses, and they are of opinion that the said bond is according to the agreement made with the several gentlemen for the different Colonies, and the merchants who are concerned for the tea to Boston, have executed their bonds agreeable thereto, and Messrs. Wharton, Pigou & Barkley have agreed also to execute on Thursday morning. Therefore, I am to desire you to inform me whether you will please likewise to execute the said bond.

I am, sir,

Your most h'ble servt

Wm. Settle.

East India House, 31st Augt 1773.

To John Blackburn, Esqr.
  William Kelly, Esqr.


As the several gentlemen mentioned in your polite note of this day have executed the bond, I shall with pleasure follow their example, and on Thursday next I propose waiting on you for that purpose. I am sir,

Your most h'ble servt

John Blackburn.

  Scot's Yard, 31st Augt 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.


Last evening I had the pleasure to receive your favor of yesterday, relative to the bond which I am to sign for New York, and the objections made to its draught by Mr. Blackburn, Pigou and myself, which at the time appeared resonable to us, but as others have signed in the form shewn to me, I don't mean to be particular, and therefore shall conform, relying on the honor of the Comtee in all future matters.

Tomorrow I am indispensably obliged to go out of town shall return on Saturday next, wait on you, & execute the bond. I am, sir,

Your most obedit & most hum. servt

Wm. Kelly.

  Crescent, Sep. 1st 1773.
Mr. Wm. Settle.