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HM CUSTOMS




In early medieval times the dues levied on ships entering or leaving Cardiff Quay were reserved to the Lord of the Manor. In 1275 Parliament granted to the Crown the right to levy the "Great Custom" on the export of all Staple products ie wool, hides and leather, and such goods were only to be traded from Staple Ports. In addition, in the reign of King Edward III, additional levies were introduced for payment, necessitating the reorganisation of Western Ports, which, in 1327, led to Cardiff and Carmarthen being declared Staple Ports for Wales. Within five years, however, Cardiff lost this status, as it was not then a Royal Borough, but was controlled by the Marcher Lord of Glamorgan. Early in the 15th century, though, the coast of South Wales. from Chepstow to Worm's Head, in the Gower, was detached and placed under control from Cardiff. In 1559 a full compliment of Customs Officers, under the control of the Customer & Controller, was established at Cardiff with responsibility for collecting the King's dues for the port of Cardiff and its subsidiary creeks of Chepstow, Newport, Barry, Aberthaw, Neath and Swansea. These officers were responsible for recording sailings from these ports and duties levied, in the Blanc or White Book, the Port Book. Cargos were inspected by the Searcher and weighed by the Troner (Weighman), sealed with the Seal of the Customs and were then released for shipping. Each of the sub-ports or creeks had their own deputy officers of customs, responsible to the Controller at Cardiff, who was responsible for signing off the Port Books each year.




A list of Customs & Excise Officers etc named in Cardiff &am; Vale of Glamorgan Parish Registers is Appended




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