British Empire
The rise of the British empire - North America
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Complaint about duties on sugar refining in 1691
(Catalogue ref: CO 5/1 f64,67,68)
  • This document was published in 1691 by a group of sugar refiners who were complaining that duties on sugar were too high.
  • Sugar was the most important crop grown in the West Indies. It made many of the owners of the plantations very rich indeed. It also brought in a lot of money to the Crown in taxes and duties.
  • They were making the point that the growers of sugar (the plantation owners) had recently had taxes on their business reduced. However, sugar refiners still had to pay large taxes.
  • Sugar refiners treated the raw sugar to turn it into the types of sugar that people used for tea, coffee, cooking etc. The high taxes meant that the sugar refiners had to charge a lot for the sugar once they had refined it. Some planters were sending their sugar to other European countries to have it refined.
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