“ROBBERS AND TRAITORS… NOT TO BE PERMITTED ANY MANNER OF COMMERCE OR TRAFFIQUE WITH ANY PEOPLE WHATSOEVER”: IMPORTANT 1650 PARLIAMENTARY ACT BANNING TRADE WITH VIRGINIA, BARBADOS, BERMUDA, AND ANTIGUA FOR SUPPORTING THE MONARCHY DURING THE ENGLISH CIVIL WARS
AMERICAN COLONIES. An Act Prohibiting Trade With the Barbada's, Virginia, Bermudas and Antego. London: Printed by Edward Husband and John Field, 1650. Folio, modern three-quarter brown calf, marbled boards; pp. 10 (2 unnumbered pages, followed by pages 1027 through 1034).
First edition of this rare and important 1650 Parliamentary act prohibiting trade with Virginia, Bermuda, Barbados, and Antego because of their support of the deposed English monarchy. A fascinating historical piece exposing the reach of the English Civil Wars.
"Following the death of Charles I, on the 30th of January, 1649, and the inauguration of the Commonwealth of England, Virginia, and the three West India Colonies, cited in the above most important Act, besides other parts of the American Colonies, still continued their allegiance to the Monarchy, and offered an asylum to its fugitive adherents. Three hundred and thirty of these including Colonel Henry Norwood, Major Francis Morrison and other prominent Loyalists arrived in Virginia towards the close of 1649. Norwood, early in the following year, was sent by Governor Berkeley to Holland to invite Charles II to Virginia as its ruler, but returned with a new Commission confirming Berkeley in his Governorship, and one for himself as Treasurer of the Colony, granted in approbation of their manifestation of Loyalty to the Throne. All these proceedings thoroughly alarmed the Commonwealth Parliament, so that on October 3rd, 1650, it passed this Act in consequence of: `Virginia and divers other Islands and places in America which were planted at the cost and settled by the People, and by Authority of the Nation, which are and ought to be subordinate to and dependent upon England, and hath ever since the planting thereof been, and ought to be subject to such laws, Orders, and Regulations as are or shall be made by the Parliament in England. And whereas divers Acts of Rebellion have been committed by many persons inhabiting Barbada, Antego, Bermuda and Virginia, whereby they have most trayterously by force and subtilty, usurped a Power of Government and seized the Estates of many well affected persons and banished others, and have set up themselves in opposition to, and distinct from this State and Commonwealth… The Parliament… do declare all and every the said persons to be Robbers and Traitors and such as by the Law of nations are not to be permitted any manner of Commerce or Traffique with any people whatsoever….' It was not until March, 1653, that Virginia capitulated to the Commissioners sent over by the Parliament; the terms granted were on a liberal scale, and confirmed the existing privileges of the Colonists, while at the same time granting them indemnity for all offences committed against the Commonwealth Parliament" (Stevens 1361). Printed in black letter.
Fine condition. Rare and important.