Union Between England and Scotland


Institute of Historical Research



William A. Shaw (editor)

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53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76


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'Introduction: Union Between England and Scotland', Calendar of Treasury Books, Volume 25: 1711 (1952), pp. LIII-LXXVI. URL: Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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Union Between England and Scotland

The Act of 1 Anne, c. 14, empowered Queen Anne to appoint Commissioners for an union with Scotland, and a similar Act passed in the Scottish Parliament in June 1702 conferred like power on the Queen to nominate Commissioners on the Scottish side. But in the financial storm which was then sweeping over Scotland there was no possibility of any calm approach to so complicated a problem. The inflamed state of public feeling in Scotland against England found expression in the Scottish Parliament in 1703 in the debates on the royal succession and in the Act allowing the importation of French goods into Scotland, and in the following year, 1704, the embittered debates in the Scotch Parliament on the subject of the Scotch succession and constitution and liberties produced such great heat and vehemence as fostered a national humour of being independent on England, a humour which "fermented so strongly among all sorts of people without doors that those who went not into every hot motion that was made were looked on as the betrayers of their country and they were so exposed to a popular fury that some of those who studied to stop this tide were thought to be in danger of their lives. The Presbyterians were so overawed with this that though they wished well to the settling the succession they durst not openly declare it. The Dukes of Hamilton and Athol led all those violent motions and the whole nation was strangely inflamed."
The political leaders who worked up this storm were only playing their own party game without sincerity or sense of responsibility, but the popular fury which they had inflamed was not to be allayed. The tragedy of the Worcester was the inevitable outcome of that popular fury.
In the following year, 1705, however, the debates in the English Parliament on Scotch affairs brought back a more sober sense of reality. The Act of 3–4 Anne, c. 6, authorised the Queen to name Commissioners to treat of a full union of both kingdoms so soon as the Parliament of Scotland should pass an Act to the same purpose and if this was not done by Xmas day, then non-resident Scotchmen were to be as aliens in England and a prohibition was to be put on imports of Scotch cattle and manufacture.
When the new Parliaments met in 1705 the cross currents of faction in both the English and the Scotch assemblies were less strong and the heats had somewhat abated. By management and contrivance the Scotch Parliament was induced to pass a Bill to set on foot a treaty for the Union. This Act was accompanied by a resolution that no proceedings should be taken upon it until the repeal of the English Act which had declared the Scotch to be aliens after such and such a term.
This was easily accomplished on the English side. The Act of 4–5 Anne, c. 3, repealed the obnoxious clauses of the previous Act of 3–4 Anne, c. 6, and thereupon it was in the power of the Queen to nominate Treaty Commissioners of either side. The English Commissioners were appointed by letters patent under the great seal by virtue of a privy seal dated Westminster 10 April 1706. The Scottish Commissioners were appointed under a great seal dated Kensington 27 Feb. 1706. On each side there were 30 Commissioners, James, Earl of Seafield, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and 29 others on the Scotch side, and Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, and 29 others on the English side.
No time was lost in preliminaries. The two bodies of Commissioners met on the 16th of April 1706 in the Council Chamber at the Cockpit in Whitehall, when opening speeches were made by the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England and by the Earl of Seafield, Lord High Chancellor of Scotland. Thereupon an adjournment was agreed until Monday, April 22. At that session the rules of discussion were agreed and from the 25th April the meetings proceeded methodically and without break.
The printed account of the proceedings take virtually the form of Minutes and from the 25th April onwards we have the additional advantage of Defoe's pre?cis of the Minutes interspersed with his running commentary. Forthwith at the outset at the meeting on Monday, 29 April 1706, the English Commissioners, through the Lord Keeper, proposed
that there be the same Customs, Excises and all other Taxes and the same Prohibitions, Restrictions and Regulations of Trade throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Scotch Commissioners desired that the matter be referred to a Committee of both sides and a Committee of 11 of each side was appointed and accompts of taxes &c. to be brought in. This joint Committee began to meet on Wednesday the 1st May. On the 3rd May the Lord Treasurer Godolphin reported that the accompt of the revenues and debts of England had had to be re-drawn in another method. In the re-drawn from they were ready to be presented to the Committee on the 19th May and simultaneously the Scotch Commissioners delivered to their Secretary an account of the revenue of Scotland "and the sum about which the debts of that kingdom would amount to."
At the same time and session, Thursday, 9 May 1706, the Lord Chancellor for Scotland announced the agreement of the Scotch Commissioners—
that all parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain be under the same Regulations, Prohibitions and Restrictions and liable to equal Impositions and Duties for Export and Import. But in regard that several of the funds relating to the Customs are already appropriated for the payment of Debt properly belonging to England it is proposed that an Equivalent be allowed for them.
The Lords Commissioners for Scotland do also agree that all the subjects of the United Kingdom shall be liable to equal Land Taxes or Taxes upon the Pound Rent, providing the proportion for Scotland shall only be 12,000l. when 1s. is imposed on the Pound Rent on England: so that 48,000l. in Scotland shall be reckoned equal to the 4s. Aid now imposed on England; and so proportionable and to be raised in the same manner now used in Scotland and free of all charges.
The private rights of Corporations and Companies are reserved to be considered in the course of this Treaty.
The Lord Chancellor in the name of the Lords Commissioners for Scotland delivered also to the Board the following proposal which was read: viz.: the Lords Commissioners for Scotland do propose that neither of the Kingdoms be burdened with the debts of the other, contracted before the Union.
The Land Tax valuation basis was not an attempt at a scientific evaluation of the abstract taxable capacity or population statistics of each country. It was only a rough and ready approximation based on existing tax yields. Taking a 4s. Land Tax as yielding approximately 2,000,000l., then an equivalent cess in Scotland was taken as yielding 48,000l., and this relative expectant yield was to be the permanent unchangeable basic rate for the Land Tax for both countries. Scotland was then 48/2000 of the whole and was to assess herself and collect the amount in her own way. The procedure in the Land Tax Acts was so far assimilated that specific sums were fixed on counties and burghs and the assessment Commissioners' names were usually set out in the Act. But otherwise the collection was left entirely in the hands of the Scottish Exchequer and only the final total was ultimately credited to the English Exchequer.
This was a comparatively simple matter and quickly agreed.
When, however, the Committee approached the problem of the Customs and Excise the subject bristled with difficulties. Not only were these sources of revenue divided in England between the Civil List and the General Exchequer Revenue, but also portions appertaining to the Civil List were loaded with interest obligations, some of them undertaken by the Crown with Parliamentary permission which it was possible to conceive as an implied Parliamentary guarantee, but which at the same time might be disputed as a Parliamentary liability. But quite apart from the bitter, envenomed action of party politics of the time, it would be better and safer to state that any debt on the Civil List arising not from sheer Deficiencies but from interest obligations, was considered by Whig and Tory alike as the Sovereign's own affair.
On the 9th May 1706 the English Commissioners had proposed an equality of Customs, Excises and all other Taxes throughout the United Kingdom. The Scotch Commissioners replied (May 10) agreeing to an equalisation of Import and Export Duties, but proposing an Equivalent for pre-Union debt appropriations. The English Commissioners then asked for the equalisation to cover not only the Customs but also the Excises and all other Taxes, and declared their agreement to the principle of an Equivalent to be given to Scotland "for what Scotland shall be taxed towards payment of the debts of England in all particulars whatsoever."
On the 13th May the Scotch Commissioners accepted the principle of an Equivalent and at the same time agreed the principle of equality of Excises as to all Excisable Liquors, i.e. on "ale, beer, mum, cyder, sweets, perry, low wines, aquavitae and spirits," but "for all other burthens and Excises within Scotland" they asked for an allowance of time to enable Scotch subjects to bear the "other burthens and Excises," or in other words an immunity for a term of years "from these other burthens and Excises, but they were willing at the commencement of the Union to bear equal Excises on all that is exported from Scotland to England or the Plantations."
To this the English Commissioners agreed in principle, but asked for details of the desired exemptions and at the same time gave the Scotch Commissioners details of the remaining portions of the English taxation system falling outside the category of Exciseable liquors, and expressed their willingness that the Scottish taxation system should be free of any charge for the remainder period or life of each of these Duties, viz. as follows: (1) Stamp Duties expiring on the 1st August 1710, but as to a moiety thereof it is imposed in perpetuity; (2) Duty on Births, Marriages and Deaths expiring at 1 August 1706; (3) Duty on Windows and Lights expiring 1 August 1710; (4) Duty on Coals and Culm expiring 30 Sept. 1710; (5) Duty on Malt expiring 24 June 1707.
As to all these Duties the English Commissioners readily agreed to a total exemption for Scotland.
The remaining Duty (the different Duties on Salt) presented greater difficulty. They had been granted in perpetuity, but one part thereof was appropriated to Debts only till 1 Aug. 1710, whilst the other part was appropriated to the East India Trade Annuity. Furthermore it vitally concerned the Scottish fish curing trade. The English Commissioners therefore made no difficulty about agreeing an exemption period for the Duty in Scotland so far as concerned all salt spent or used up internally in Scotland, but desired that the Duty on Salt exported from Scotland should conform to the English Duty, otherwise the Scotch salt manufacturing industry would be competing on privileged terms against the English salt manufactory.
In a very broadminded and conciliatory spirit the Scottish Commissioners agreed to the English proposal for a salt export Duty and offered, May 21, their own proposals for its collection in Scotland, on Scotch salt exported to England or the Plantations during the exemption period. The purpose of this provision was to equalise the Excise on salt which crossed the border from Scotland to England during the exemption. The Queen herself was so deeply interested in the proceedings that on this day, May 21, she came to the meeting and spoke to the Commissioners and listened to the report of their agreements.
The broad outline of the fiscal and trade and financial Treaty had thus been mutually agreed within a comparatively short period of discussion, and with an extraordinary absence of friction of any kind. To complete this section of the Treaty all that remained was to calculate the Equivalent to be allowed to Scotland and to agree the period of exemption as to the Salt Duty in Scotland. On the 5th June the English Commissioners agreed to a seven-year exemption period.
The whole of this discussion of the Salt Duty was carried on with a statesmanlike forbearance and acumen as well as dignity which reflect the highest distinction on all concerned in it. The papers on both sides are an object lesson in the art of reaching a mutually agreeable conclusion on an extraordinarily involved and difficult financial problem.
On the 25th June 1706 a joint Committee of the two sets of Commissioners announced that they had agreed a sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. as the Equivalent due to be answered to Scotland [as the immediate or present value of the contributions which the Customs and Excise in Scotland would make over a period of varying times towards the pre-Union English debts].
The Committee did not announce the principle on which they had based the calculation beyond using the words "according to the proportion which the present Customs and Excises in Scotland do bear to the Customs and Excises in England." But it seems to me almost obvious that they abandoned the rates of the Excises as being so excessively complicated and that they had adopted the rates of the Customs, 30,000l. for Scotland and 1,341,559l. for England, being the ratio of 1 to 44.7, and that they had cut the gordian knot of the sum total of English pre-Union debts, 17,763,842l. 17s. 3½d., by taking it as a single homogeneous item. In that case the ratio of the Equivalent to the total of debt is exactly the same ratio of 1 to 44.7.
The higher ratio of the Scotch Excises to the English Excises would have yielded a higher sum of Equivalent but the Scottish Commissioners probably felt that the subject of the Excise was complicated and compromised by the exemption period agreed upon for the Salt Duty and that the ratio was untrustworthy as a basis for calculating the Equivalent.
At any rate the fixing of the amount of the Equivalent was unanimous, swift and devoid of any hint of discord or chaffering. There remained in effect only one further question to be agreed. It was one on which the Scotch Commissioners appear to have laid strong emphasis. They anticipated a great outburst of Scotch trade from the Union and especially from the throwing open the Plantation trade. If that expansion of Scotch commerce should outstrip the normal of English trade growth, then the basis of 1 to 44.7 might change and Scotland might find that she was contributing more than the agreed quota towards the extinction of purely English pre-Union debt.
They therefore asked that an account of trade growth should be kept and that at the end of a period of revision any further sum of Equivalent due to Scotland by reason of a change of quota should be allowed and paid.
The English Commissioners agreed the point without difficulty, but at the same time sought to define and agree the uses to which the Equivalent sum should be applied.
The fiscal portion of the Treaty of Union ended on this point therefore with the following proceedings and agreements:
(25 June 1706.) "The Lords Commissioners for Scotland having also insisted that after the Union the Kingdom of Scotland becoming liable to the English Duties of Customs and Excises upon exciseable liquors, as well upon that account as upon the account of the increase of trade and people which will be the happy consequence of the said Union, the said two revenues will much improve, of which [improvement] no present valuation can be made; yet nevertheless for the reasons aforesaid there ought to be a proportionable Equivalent allowed to Scotland; the Lords Commissioners for England do agree that after the Union there shall be an accompt kept of the said Duties arising in Scotland to the end it may appear what ought to be allowed to Scotland as a proportionable Equivalent for such proportion of the said increase according to the calculation aforesaid as shall be applicable to the payment of the Debts of England.
The Lords Commissioners of Scotland having also by their paper delivered the 21st inst. proposed that the rights and privileges of the Company in Scotland trading to Africa and the Indies, do continue after the Union, or if the privileges of that Company be judged inconvenient for the trade of the United Kingdom [they propose] that the private rights of the said Company in Scotland be purchased from the said proprietors: the Lord Commissioners for England in answer thereto say they are of opinion that the continuance of that Company is inconsistent with the good of trade in the United Kingdom and consequently against the interest of Great Britain and therefore they insist that it ought to be determined.
But the Lords Commissioners for England being sensible that the misfortunes of that Company have been the occasion of misunderstandings and unkindnesses between the two kingdoms; and thinking it to be above all things desirable that upon the Union of the Kingdoms the subjects of both may be entirely united in affection do therefore wish that regard may be had to the expenses and losses of the particular members of the said Company in the manner hereafter mentioned; and they hope when the Lords Commissioners for Scotland have considered how generally that undertaking was entered upon in Scotland and consequently how universal the loss was, they will readily agree to the proposal.
The Lords Commissioners of England do also think it of much consequence to England that it should be agreed in this Treaty after what manner the Equivalent (which will amount to a great sum payable upon and after the Union) is to be paid and applyed, and being extremely desirous to bring the Treaty to a speedy conclusion, and in order to that as soon as may be to settle and fix the matter of the Equivalent and the application thereof do agree as follows and do also make the following proposals to the Lords Commissioners for Scotland.
The Lords Commissioners for England do agree that upon completing the Union the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. being agreed upon as the Equivalent for Scotland shall be granted to her Majesty for that use.
The Lords Commissioners for England do also agree that upon the accompt to be kept as aforesaid of the improvement of the revenue of Customs and Excises upon Exciseable liquors in Scotland there shall be answered to Scotland an Equivalent in proportion to such part of the said increase as shall be applicable to the payment of the debts of England.
The Lords Commissioners for England do also agree that an Equivalent shall be answered to Scotland for such other parts of the English Debts as that Kingdom may hereafter become liable to pay by reason of the Union.
The Lords Commissioners for England do propose for the further and more effectual answering the several ends hereafter mentioned and proposed, that from and after the Union the whole increase of the revenue of Customs and Excises upon Exciseable liquors in Scotland over and above what the said revenues do now yield shall go and be applied for the term of seven years to the uses hereafter mentioned.
And upon the said agreements and proposal the Lords Commissioners for England do further propose that her Majesty be impowered to appoint Commissioners who shall be accomptable to the Parliament of Great Britain for disposing the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. to be granted as aforesaid and also of all other moneys which shall arise upon the agreements and proposal aforesaid to the purposes following:
that out of the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. all the public debts of the Kingdom of Scotland and also the capital stock or Fund of the African and India Company of Scotland together with the interest for the said Capital Stock after the rate of 5 per cent. per annum from the respective times of payment thereof, shall be paid: and that immediately upon such payment of the said Capital Stock and interest the said Company shall be dissolved and shall cease: provided nevertheless that from the time of passing the Act for raising the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. the said Company shall neither trade nor give licence to trade.
The Lords Commissioners for England do further propose that after payment of the said Public Debts and re-founding the said Capital Stock in manner aforesaid, the overplus of the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. and also the whole improvement of the Revenue of Customs and Excises upon Exciseable liquors [in Scotland] (above the present value) which shall arise during the term of seven years from the commencement of the Union as aforesaid, together with the Equivalent which shall become due upon account of the Improvement of the Customs and Excises on Liquors in Scotland after the said seven years and all other sums which according to the agreement aforesaid may become payable to Scotland by way of Equivalent for that Kingdom shall hereafter become liable to answer for the Debts of England, may be applied in the manner following: viz.
that out of the same, what consideration shall be found necessary to be had for any losses which private persons may sustain in reducing the coin of Scotland to the standard of England (mention whereof is made in another paper delivered by the Lords Commissioners for Scotland the 21st inst.) may be made good:
and afterwards the same shall be wholly employed towards encouraging and promoting the Fisheries and such other Manufactures and Improvements in that part of Britain called Scotland as may most conduce to the general good of the United Kingdom.
To this long series of English proposals the Scotch Commissioners gave in their reply on the 28th June. Their reply forms a worthy and memorable close to the deliberations on the fiscal Union of England and Scotland.
The paper delivered by the Lords Commissioners for England on the 25th inst. concerning the Equivalent does very much contribute to the bringing this Treaty to a conclusion. And the Lords Commissioners for Scotland being ready to concur on their part do agree to the same with the following additions and explanations.
First: where the said Commissioners for both Kingdoms have agreed that the sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. is the Equivalent to be answered to Scotland according to the proportions which the present Customs and Excise of Scotland do bear to the Customs and Excises upon Exciseable liquors in England; the Lords Commissioners for Scotland do propose that the accompts and calculations which lay before the Committee, by which it does appear from whence the aforesaid sum does arise, be entered in the Journal Books of this Treaty.
And where[as] the Lords Commissioners for both Kingdoms have also agreed that an accompt be kept of the Duties in Scotland arising from the Customs and Excises upon Exciseable liquors beyond the [term of the] present Estimate, to the end it may appear what ought to be allowed to Scotland as an Equivalent to such proportion of the said increase, according to the calculation aforesaid, as shall be applicable for the payment of the Debts of England, the Lords Commissioners for Scotland do in like manner propose that the calculation of that proportion which lay before the Committee be entered in the Books of Journal of this Treaty.
And where[as] the Lords Commissioners for both Kingdoms have agreed that upon completing the Union the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. being agreed upon as the Equivalent for Scotland, shall be granted to her Majesty for that use; the Lords Commissioners for Scotland do understand it to be the meaning of the Lords Commissioners for England that the said sum be granted to her Majesty in the Parliament of England at or before ratifying the Treaty and do propose that the sum be due and payable from the time of the ratification of the Union in both Parliaments.
And whereas it is agreed on both sides that her Majesty be impowered to appoint Commissioners who shall be accountable to the Parliament of Great Britain for disposing of the said sum of 398,085l. 10s. 0d. to be granted as aforesaid and also of all other moneys that shall arise upon the agreements and proposal aforesaid, to the purposes mentioned in the said paper delivered by the Lords Commissioners for England on the 25th inst.; the Lords Commissioners for Scotland do propose that the foresaid Commissioners be not only impowered to call for, receive and dispose of the foresaid sum to the purposes mentioned in the said paper, but further that the said Commissioners be authorized and impowered to inspect the books of the several Collectors of the said Revenues of Customs and Excise and of all other Duties from whence an Equivalent may arise, and that the Collectors and Managers of the said Duties and Revenues be obliged to give to the said Commissioners subscribed, authentick abbreviats of the produce of the several Revenues and Duties arising in their respective Districts, on account whereof an Equivalent may become due to Scotland: which Commissioners shall be obliged to keep Books containing accompts of the amount of the Equivalent and how the same shall be disposed of from time to time; which Books shall be patent for inspection to all the subjects in Scotland: and the said Commissioners [to] have their Office within the limits of the said Kingdom of Scotland.
So ended the preliminary labour of fashioning a fair fiscal basis for the Union of two peoples bound by blood and speech but separated by centuries of hostility.
When it is considered that these Debates in the Cockpit opened on the first of May 1706 and closed on the 23rd July and that within the period of less than three months a Treaty was made which covered not merely a most complicated financial problem, but also the question of political representation, legal and Exchequer uniformity of Departmental administration, questions of standards and of monetary reform, equalisation and recoinage, one can only stand amazed at the speed of the procedure, the absolutely unbroken harmony of the debate, the sureness of touch with which the essentials were grasped and the inessentials dropped, but above all the lofty statesmanship which inspired the men who did this great thing. They builded better than they knew.
From this point the proceedings were relegated to Scotland. The Treaty as a finished text had to fight its way through the Scotch Parliament and the despicable play of party politics was again invoked to wreck a national benefit. On the London stage, during the Treaty proceedings, Robert Harley had not been able to produce a ripple of dissent or intrigue, but when the stage changed to Scotland there was a gaping wide open opportunity for the play of his evil genius. He despatched Defoe to Edinburgh and there Defoe played a part which now stands partially revealed to us in the Portland manuscripts. On Defoe's part it is a pitiful story of lack of moral fibre in face of dire financial distress. On Harley's part it is as usual an inscrutable enigma. But to represent Harley as a supporter of the Union is to my mind quite wrong. He desired access to all the parties in Edinburgh, he wished to know the lie of the political terrain, he wished to prepare for the advent of the Scottish members to the House of Commons, he wished to form a forecast of the disturbance in the English party system which the entry of a block of Scotch votes would make in the House. What he wanted more than this or behind and beneath all this we cannot tell. But his association with Defoe at least produce one enduring result. Defoe's History of the Union is a worthy record of a great event.
The following are the more important of the financial papers which were submitted to the Commissioners at the Cockpit. It was on the basis of these papers that the financial terms of the Union were finally agreed.
In order to make the statement of the English pre-Union Debt more easy to follow I have here presented it in blocks or categories. In the first category there existed side by side two schedules of Parliamentary Debts arising solely and entirely from Deficiency of Parliamentary Supply—that is to say loan money debts unpaid by reason that the Supply granted by Parliament to meet them had been insufficient to meet and discharge the liability. The first of these schedules was enumerated particularly in the first Deficiencies Act of 8–9 Wm. III., c. 20, and the items included totalled 5,160,459l. 14s. 9¼d. The second schedule was similarly enumerated in the second Deficiencies Act of 1 Anne, c. 7.
In both cases the purpose of the Deficiencies Act was to extinguish totally the full debt and all interest accrued on it up to the date of complete extinction.
This purpose was accomplished with heroic fortitude. A fond or fund of a composite nature, but mainly based on the Customs, was granted by Parliament and the proceeds of all the Duties so granted were paid into the Exchequer to a Sinking Fund account; and under direction of the Lord Treasurer the proceeds were distributed monthly in extinguishment of the schedule of debts on an impartial rota principle.
In this way by the time of the Committee's meetings in May 1706 the original total of 5,160,459l. 14s. 9¼d. First Deficiency debt had been reduced to less than half a million as follows:
Balance remaining unliquidated.
Debt on£s.d.
the Three Fourths Customs (anno 1690 by 2 Wm. and Mary, c. 4)21,0565
Additional Impositions (anno 1690, by 2 Wm. and Mary, Sess. 2, c. 4)112,4741910½
First 4s. Aid17,50000
Second Quarterly Poll34,565134
Stamp Duties66,9497
Third 4s. Aid53,60373
Duties on Marriages62,51640
Fourth 4s. Aid103,03908
Behind this nearly liquidated First Deficiency Debt there stood the Second Deficiency Debt of 2,384,914l. 2s. 4½d. which ranked for progressive redemption, or rather extinction, as soon as the Sinking Fund became available. The Sinking Fund itself had been kept alive by the simple process of renewing the Customs grants for a further four-year period, viz. from 10 August 1706 to the 10 August 1710.
This second Deficiencies item, so provided with its Sinking Fund, was as follows:
Exchequer Bills, principal sum (not including 230,000l. accrued interest by computation)534,06298
loans on the 3s. Aid, principal sum (not including 169,000l. accrued interest by computation)423,09818
loans on the Paper Duties anno 1696, principal sum (not including 6,160l. for accrued interest by computation)15,40000
Malt Lottery Tickets, principal sum (not including 254,554l. for six years' accrued interest)579,00000
loans transferred to the Leather Duties, principal sum (not including 105,000l. accrued interest)504,43800
loans on the Quarterly Poll, principal sum (not including 73,000l. accrued interest by computation)226,770170
loans on the 3s. Aid of 10 Wm. III, principal sum (not including 5,200l. accrued interest by computation)31,2716
the shortage at Michaelmas 1701 of the 160,000l. for the East India Company70,87211
As a second category, behind these two Deficiencies groups of debt, provided with their special Sinking Fund operative till August 1710, there stood a series of loan money debts provided with no special redemption fund other than the fund of the Duty itself as granted by Parliament for security of the respective loans. These were as follow:
Principal sum owing.
Low Wines (13 Wm. III.)6,674103
Coal Duties (2 Anne)235,72040
One Third Tonnage and Poundage (2 Anne)55,23646
Two Thirds Tonnage and Poundage (3 anne)545,9574
Low Wines (3 Anne)692,00000
This second category or sub-head of debt may be styled self-redeeming or self-extinguishing, but even on the most favourable supposition they would not reach the point of complete redemption or extinction until some date after the Union, 1706, 1708 or 1710, according to the date of expiry of the Duties; so that in so far as the Scotch Customs contributed anything on those Duty heads they would be contributing to the redemption of purely English pre-Union debt.
Behind these two categories came a third list of more miscellaneous items rather in the nature of ascertained Deficiencies not yet provided for by Parliament. These were as follows:
Principal sum.
Duties on Coals (9 Wm. III.)16,00000
Second 2s. Aid (11 Wm. III.)12,73368
Two Thirds of the 3s. Aid (12 Wm. III.)9,753120
the Sixth 4s. Aid (1 Anne, st. 2, c. 1)42,39950
Subsidies or Capitation (1 Anne, st. 2, c. 17)17,38497
the money resting unsatisfied on Debentures charged on Irish Forfeitures, about960,00000
Debts in the form of Incumbrances on the Excise.£s.d.
the 9d. per barrel Excise for 99 years from 25 Jan. 1692–3 (by 4 Wm. and Mary, c. 3) charged with 124,866l. per an. On this Act the sum of 1,492,379l. 7s. 0d. was contributed and as 13 years are expired the remaining 86 years of the term may be estimated to be a present encumbrance of1,484,57500
The same 9d. per barrel is also charged with 7,567l. per an. for annuities to the contributors of 108,100l. on the advantage of survivorship till the number of survivors be reduced to seven and then the share or seventh part of each is to revert to the Crown as they die. This estate has an uncertain termination, but may be reckoned equal to a term of 30 years and so to be an incumbrance of about104,14900
The 9d. per barrel Excise by 4–5 Wm. and Mary, c. 20, granted in perpetuity Five Sevenths part thereof is charged with 100,000l. to the Bank of England for 1,200,000l. advanced by them. This is redeemable on payment of the said principal sum1,200,00000
The remaining Two Sevenths of the said 9d. Excise is charged with 15,336l. 13s. 6d. per an. for [annuities on the principal sum of] 176,744l. 1s. 9d. contributed for those annuities which were at first purchased for one life and afterwards turned into estates certain for 98 years from 25 Jan. 1702: which by reason of the small time elapsed may still be reckoned an incumbrance of176,00000
The said Two Sevenths is also charged with the sum of 20,030l. 1s. 0d. per an. for such of the contributors of 170,917l. 2s. 3d. for annuities for two lives as are now in being; and abating out of the said contribution money so much as was paid for annuities since fallen, the rest is an incumbrance of166,91723
The abovesaid Two Sevenths 9d. Excise is also charged with 2,093l. 10s. 4d. per an. to such of the contributors of 21,235l. 4s. 0d. for annuities for three lives as are now in being; and abating out of this contribution so much as was paid for 30l. annuities as are since fallen, there remains an incumbrance of20,93540
the 9d. per barrel Excise granted by 5 Wm. and Mary, c. 7, for 16 years from 17 May 1697? this is charged with the payment of 140,000l. per an. upon tickets commonly called the Million Lottery Tickets for the residue of a term which expires at Michaelmas 1710. The said annuity being valued for the 4½ years yet to come, at a rebate of 6 per cent. per an. compound interest, is worth538,18500
the 28d. per bushel on Salt and the Additional Stamp Duties are granted in perpetuity and charged with the payment of 160,000l. per an. to the East India Traders for 2,000,000l. advanced to the public: and is redeemable by Parliament upon [re]paying the said2,000,00000
The 3,700l. per week payable out of the Hereditary and Temporary Excise is charged with 39,855l. 16s. 0½d. per an. for bankers and others who lent 1,328,526l. to Charles II. This is redeemable by Parliament upon payment of a moiety of the said principal: which is664,26300
The said 3,700l. per week out of the Hereditary and Temporary Excise is further charged with 104,745l. 10s. 6½d. per an. for 1,569,664l. 18s. 6d. contributed for Annuities for 99 years from Lady day 17041,569,664186
The said 3,700l. per week of the Hereditary and Temporary Excise is further charged with 46,000l. per an. to the contributors of 690,000l. for annuities for 99 years from Xmas 1705690,00000
The One Third Subsidy from 8 March 1706–7 and the 9d. per barrel Excise (at present applicable to the payment of the Million Lottery Tickets), together with an Additional Supply till those [two said] funds come in [course or become available] are charged with 184,242l. 14s. 0d. per an. to the contributors of 2,855,761l. 16s. 2d. for annuities for 99 years from Lady day 17062,855,761162
£11,470,451011 (fn. 1)
The following is a summation of the above series of purely English pre-Union national debts, funded and unfunded, stated as at May 1706 [not counting interest as noted in the lists above seriatim]:
First Deficiencies Act471,7041711½
Second Deficiencies Act2,384,9142
loan Deficiencies separately funded1,535,5882
miscellaneous Deficiencies not provided for by Parliament1,058,270133
funded debt charged upon the Excise11,470,451011
add interest842,91400
The English Treasury or Exchequer officials append a footnote to this statement to the effect that it does not include the debt of 17,250l. on the Earl of Kinnoul's annuity of 1,000l. out of the Four and a Half per cent. Duty in Barbados.
the Excise on ale and beer is 2s. sterling per Scotch gallon and is now farmed for 33,500l. sterling: and if exacted in the same manner as in England may amount to50,00000
the Customs have been let [farmed] at 34,000l. and are now, in time of war, let at 28,500l. [per an.], with a condition in the lease that upon a peace the Lords of the Treasury may let a new lease; and [that] may amount to50,00000
the Crown rents [are] about5,50000
the Casualty of Superiorities and Compositions at the Exchequer, communibus annis [are] about3,00000
the Post Office [is] farmed at 1,194l. [per an.], but if collected may amount to2,00000
the Impositions for Coinage1,50000
Land Tax is now 36,000l. and to make it equal with the 4s. per £ in England 'tis proposed to be48,00000
The Debts due to the Army, Civil List and other charges of the Government, about£160,00000
For the sake of comparison with the above statement of Revenue of Scotland the Treaty Commissioners append a state of the Revenues and Public Income of England. In briefest form this state yields a total as follows (but see Note on page lxxvi):
for public services5,000,5993
for the Civil List691,20400
in all£5,691,8033
for England.
An account of the neat annual produce of the Customs in England from a medium of three years ended at Michaelmas 1705.
Tonnage and Poundage (appropriated to the Civil List)253,51400
25 per cent. on French goods (appropriated to the war)10,79400
Coinage Duties (appropriated to the Mint)7,35000
Four and a Half per cent. Duty (applied to the service of Barbados and the Leeward Islands)6,45900
Plantation Duties87700
Appropriated to Debt.
Tonnage and Poundage292,13900
Wines and Vinegar113,91800
East India Goods150,89900
Additional Impositions38,54800
Whale Fins and Scotch Linen10,62900
Other Appropriate Branches.
15 per cent. on Muslins (appropriated for loans)116,47500
Two Thirds Additional Tonnage and Poundage (appropriated to ditto)160,00000
One Third ditto (appropriated to ditto)79,61900
The appropriation of the above total Customs Revenue is given as follows:
to the Civil List253,51400
appropriated to debts to 24 June 1710116,47500
appropriated to debts to 1 Aug. 1710706,47100
appropriated to debts to 30 Sept. 1710160,00000
appropriated to 98 years from 8 March 170679,61900
The Duties on Coals, though collected at the Customs House, represented only a coastal trade, not an import trade. It is not included in the above state. By a medium of three years ended 30 Sept. 1705 they produced 110,958l. per an. and the receipts were appropriated to annuities.
An account of the proportions which the present Customs of Scotland do bear to the several Branches of the Customs in England: exclusive of the increase that may arise by the higher Duties or greater importations after the Union.
English Customs1,341,559Scotch Customs30,000
appropriated to the Civil Government253,5145,669
unappropriated as to any debts25,480570
appropriated to debts till 24 June 1710116,4752,605
appropriated to debts till 1 Aug. 1710706,47115,798
appropriated to debts till 30 Sept. 1710160,0003,578
appropriated for 98 years from 8 Mar. 1706–779,6191,700
£1,341,559(sic) £30,000
(See Note on p. lxxvi.)
An account of the neat annual produce of the Excise on beer and ale in England from a medium of three years ended at Michaelmas 1705: with the times of continuance of each branch and the uses to which they are appropriated or applied.
For the Civil Government.£s.d.
2s. 6d. per barrel of beer of which 1s. 3d. is for her Majesty's life [the Temporary Excise] and 1s. 3d. is Hereditary. The neat produce thereof (over and above the 3,700l. per week appropriated to annuities)269,83700
For Annuities and other Public Debts.
3,700l. per week out of the Hereditary and Temporary Excise during her Majesty's life and afterwards out of the Hereditary part of the Excise for ever: appropriated for 39,855l. 16s. 0½d. per an. to the Bankers for Charles II.'s debt of 1,328,526l. to them.
further appropriated to 104,742l. 10s. 6½d. per an. for 99 years' annuities from Lady day 1704 on contributions of 1,569,664l. 18s. 6d.
further appropriated for 46,000l. per an. for 99 years' annuities from Xmas 1705 on 690,000l. contributions.
making in all 190,598l. 6s. 7d. appropriations and the rest for charges192,40000
9d. per barrel Excise for 99 years from 25 Jan. 1692: appropriated for 124,866l. annuities on 1,492,379l. 7s. 0d. contributions and 7,567l. annuities on 108,100l. contributions with survivorship150,10600
9d. per barrel for the Bank of England appropriated to 100,000l. annuity for 1,200,000l. lent.
further appropriated to annuities of 15,336l. 13s. 6d. on 176,744l. 1s. 9d. contributed; and 20,030l. 1s. 0d. on 170,917l. 2s. 3d. contributed; and 2,093l. 10s. 4d. on 21,235l. 4s. contributed viz:
for one, two or three lives respectively150,09400
9d. per barrel for 16 years appropriated for 140,000l. per an. for the Million Lottery to Michaelmas 1710 and afterwards towards paying 184,242l. 14s. 0d. annuities for 99 years from Lady day 1706. The neat produce of this 9d. per barrel (which contains some additional Duties on brandy not granted by the two former Acts) is159,89800
Low Wines and Spirits of the first extraction continued to 24 June 1710: appropriated to repay 700,000l. loans. The neat produce hereof by a medium is25,26700
total of Excise appropriated to Debts677,76500
out of this is to be deducted surpluses where the aforegoing neat produce will be more than sufficient to meet the annuities &c., viz.:£s.d.
a surplus on the 9d. Excise for 99 years from 25 Jan. 169217,67300
a surplus of the Bank 9d.12,63400
a surplus of the Lottery 9d. continued for annuities, with the One Third Tonnage and Poundage55,27460
and then the total of the several Branches of Excise appropriated for payment of debts is per an.£592,183140
[It should be borne in mind that this deduction of surpluses is not a lessening of the appropriation but only a change of direction. The total Excise statement should be as follows:£
appropriated to the Civil List269,837
appropriated to Debts677,765
An account of the proportions which the present Excise upon liquors in Scotland doth bear to the several Branches of that revenue in England, exclusive of the increase that may arise [in Scotland] by the higher Duties or greater consumption after the Union.
English Excise£s.d.Scotch Excise£
per an.947,60200per an.33,500
for the Civil Government269,837009,539
surplusages unappropriated "85,581603,025
appropriated for debt:
3,700l. per week for annuities192,400006,802
9d. for 99 years from 25 Jan. 1692–3132,433004,682
the Bank 9d.137,460004,860
the Lottery 9d.104,6231403,699
Low Wines25,26700893
An account [more strictly a computation or forecast] of the value of the annual sums contributed [i.e. which will be contributed] out of the Customs of Scotland (according to the present produce thereof) towards the anticipated Funds of the Customs of England.£s.d.
2,605l. per an. from 25 March 1707 to 24 June 1710, estimated in present money7,57700
15,798l. per an. from 25 March 1707 to 1 Aug. 1710, estimated [in present money]47,50600
3,578l. per an. from 25 March 1707 to 30 Sept. 1710 estimated [in present money]11,25100
1,780l. per an. from 25 March 1707 for 98 years from 8 March 1708: [estimated in present money] at 15 years and 3 months purchase27,14500
A computation of the value of the annual sums [which will be] contributed out of the Scotch Excise (estimated at 33,500l, per an.) towards the anticipated Excise Funds [Debts] in England.£s.d.
6,802l. per an. out of the Excise in Scotland towards payment of the 99 years' annuities charged on the 3,700l. out of the Hereditary and Temporary Excise [calculated] at 15 years 3 months' purchase103,730100
4,682l. per an. contributed out of the Excise in Scotland towards the 132,433l. annuities on the 9d. per barrel, whereof 124,866l. is for the remainder of a term of 99 years commencing 25 Jan. 1692–3 and 7,567l. for lives with survivorship: so that 4,415l. of the 4,682l. will be for the said Remainder term and 267l. will be for lives with survivorship: the said Remainder term being rated at 15 years 3 months' purchase (making 67,328l. 15s. 0d.); and the said lives with survivorship being deemed of equal value with a term of 30 years (making 3,675l.)71,003150
4,860l. per an. contributed out of the Excise in Scotland towards payment of 137,460l. charged in perpetuity on the Bank 9d. Excise and on annuities for 99 years or for two lives and three lives: of which 4,860l. the sum of 3,536l. will be in perpetuity and 542l. will be for 99 year annuities, 74l. for three lives, 708l. for two lives: the perpetuity and the 99 years being both rated at 15 years 3 months' purchase; the three lives at 12 years' purchase and the two lives at 11 years' purchase70,865100
3,699l. per an. contributed out of the Excise in Scotland for 99 year annuities on 9d. per barrel: rated at 15 years 3 months' purchase56,409150
893l. per an. contributed out of the Excise in Scotland for 3 years and 3 months commencing 25 March 1707 applicable [in the same way] as the Duty on Low Wines in England for that time: is computed to be worth2,59700
The following recapitulation is not printed by the Commissioners in their Report. It shows the reconciliation or the ultimate balancing of this instalment of the whole Equivalent Transaction.
forecast of the contribution to be made from the Customs in Scotland towards English pre-Union debts93,47900
forecast of the contribution to be made from the Excise in Scotland towards English pre-Union debts304,606100
combined total£398,085100
Amount of Equivalent agreed upon by the Treaty Commissioners as to be paid by England to Scotland upon the Union£398,085100
The final account appended to the Treaty Minutes by the joint Commissioners themselves is as follows. It has no immediate importance or pertinence, but it shows clearly that the Scotch Commissioners were looking forward to such an increase of Scotch trade and Customs and Excise as would be not proportionate to but beyond and above the rate of increase of the English trade and Customs and Excise. If the two systems were to move forward on an even keel and at an uniform rate of expansion then the ratio between the Scotch contribution to pre-Union Debt and the English contribution to the same would remain unchanged.
The only sense therefore in which this concluding account can be read is that its underlying assumption is that the increased 1,000l. per an. growth in the Scotch Customs and Excise is not set off by any gain or increase in the English Customs and Excise growth.
"If the Customs of Scotland, now let at 30,000l. per an., according to the stating of the Equivalent, does contribute annually:£
towards payment of the debts of England23,761
towards the Civil List5,669
towards the general expense or charge of the nation570
then every 1,000l. increase of the said Customs will contribute to the aforesaid services as follows:
towards payment of the Debts of England792
towards the Civil List189
towards the general expense or charge of the nation19
If the Excise of Scotland, now let at 33,500l. per an. according to the stating of the Equivalent, does contribute annually:
towards payment of the Debts of England20,936
towards the Civil List9,539
towards the general expense or charge of the nation3,025
then every 1,000l. increase in the said Excise will contribute to the aforesaid services as follows:
towards payment of the Debts of England625
towards the Civil List285
towards the general expense or charge of the nation90
"In pursuance of the order of the Lords Commissioners of both Kingdoms on the 22nd July inst., for signing the Books of Journals [of this Treaty] the same are accordingly signed this 25 day of July 1706 by us-David Nairne: Geo. Dodington."
NOTE. The figures given by Dr. Shaw on pages lxviii-lxxvi of this introduction correspond closely to those in Vol. XI (1702–1707) of the Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, printed by Command in 1824, pages 192 et seqq. There are some minor errors in this source which have here been corrected where possible; in other cases it is not clear where the mistake lies.
p. 192 (p. lxxi of Introduction). The total of the Revenues appropriated for the Queen's Household, etc., is given as 691,204l. but the several items add up to 791,204l.
p. 195 (p. lxx of Introduction). `Other Incumbrances' are given as totalling 11,470,451l. 11s. 0d. but the total of the several items comes to 11,470,451l. 0s. 11d.
p. 197 (p. lxxii of Introduction). The total for Scotch Customs is given as 30,000l. but the several items amount to 29,920l. only; the total for the last four items is given as 23,761l., whereas severally they amount to 23,681l.
These figures are also reproduced in Defoe's History of the Union (Chalmers's edition, printed for John Stockdale, Piccadilly, 1786, pp. 656 et seqq.). There are, however, several other errors.
Bruce's Report on the Union, Vol. II (London, 1799), Appendix LXVIII (pp. dl–dlxxxv) purports to give corrected figures; but most of Defoe's inaccuracies have been retained.


1 11,470,451l. 11s. 0d. is the figure given in the Proceedings of the Commissioners.