Catalogue description Port of London: London

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Details of CUST 102
Reference: CUST 102
Title: Port of London: London

This series contains records of the Port of London. They consist mainly of entry books of minutes and orders of the Board of Customs issued to the various departments of the port and to the controller and other officers of the Outdoor Department. There are also many miscellaneous records, mostly relating to staff, including records of service.

Date: 1671-1906
Related material:

There is a daily account of charges of collection etc, 1891 to 1892, in CUST 38/6

Separated material:

The Warehoude Keeper's Warrant and Order Book for (?) London Dock, 1825, is in the Port of London Authority Library at the Museum of London (No 2906). Nearly all pre-1814 London records were destroyed in the Custom House by a fire in that year.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 396 volume(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Board of Customs and Excise , from 1980, in 2002

Accruals: No further accruals expected
Administrative / biographical background:

The Port of London consistently served as a model for the outports and every attempt was made to bring them into conformity with established practice in London. The centre of administration was the Long Room at the London Custom House, where all business connected with entry of ships into the port, assessment of duties, registry of ships and bonds for removal of goods from warehouses there was transacted. In 1856 the offices of collector in the Port of London and chief registrar of Shipping were united, and thenceforward the Ships Registry Branch of the Long Room dealt with the registry of all ships in the Port of London and also the entry in the chief registrar's books of all returns from outport and colonial registrars of ships registered and subsequent transactions connected with ships, until this business passed in 1872 to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen under the Board of Trade. When the Receiver General's Office was abolished in 1870, the daily receipt of duty payments was transferred to the collector of London as at all outports, and he then became responsible for receipt of the London revenue and for its due transfer to the account in the name of the board at the Bank of England.

At times there was a separate office dealing with the export business of the Port of London. A Searchers' Office was formerly one of the principal departments at the Custom House, but following the abolition of export duties, the substitution of the warehousing system for allowance of drawback on exportation, and the discontinuance of bounties, its importance gradually declined and this led to its amalgamation with the general outdoor business of the port in the Long Room. In 1857 the indoor clerical work connected with exports was again separated and placed under the control of a principal searcher. His office dealt with clearing vessels, allowing stores and issuing debentures, and clerical work was transferred to it from the docks and out-stations. By Treasury minute of 20 January 1872 the jerquing of inward cargoes was transferred from the Statistical Office to the principal searcher, thereby constituting him jerquer for the entire import and export business of London. His office ceased again to be a separate department in 1885.

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