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work. Those by whom it is consulted merely for mercantile information need not, therefore, trouble themselves about the other matters embodied in it. They are not forced on their attention ; but they may easily be found, if, at any time, they should think it worth while to refer to them.
In preparing this edition we have met, as on former occasions, with every assistance from numerous official and private gentlemen. We are especially indebted to the Earl of Aberdeen for allowing us the perusal of many valuable consular Reports. To Mr. Porter, of the Board of Trade, so advantageously known by his statistical works, we owe various unpublished documents belonging to his department. Mr. Wood, the able and efficient chairman of the Board of Excise, Mr. Mayer, of the Colonial Office, and Mr. Walcott, secretary to the Emigration Commissioners, have, also, discovered on every occasion an anxious desire to add to the utility of our work, and have enriched it with various important returns. We regret our inability to notice the numerous private gentlemen who have, without regard to trouble or expense, exerted themselves to supply us with information not otherwise attainable. But, while we beg to return our best thanks to all, we cannot forbear mentioning the names of James Cook, Esq., of Mincing Lane ; Archibald Hastie, Esq., M. P.; Jacob Herbert, Esq., of the Trinity House ; Joshua Milne, Esq., of the Sun Life Assurance Office; William Ellis, Esq., of the Marine Indemnity Insurance Office ; Robert Slater, Esq., of Fore Street; John Brown, Esq., of Liverpool ; C. B. Fripp, Esq., of Bristol ; David Maitland, Esq., of New York; and William Mure, Esq., of New Orleans ; to all of whom we are under the greatest obligations. In fact, it is only by the assistance of individuals engaged in different lines of business, in different parts of the empire and of the world, that a work of this sort can be rendered of any real value. No diligence of inquiry can derive satisfactory information respecting the state of commerce from books and official returns, even when these exist and are accessible, which is frequently not the case : it can only be learned, if it is to be learned at all, from the communications of intelligent individuals engaged in and familiar with its details.
London, February, 1844.
THE SECOND EDITION.
The first impression of this Dictionary, consisting of 2,000 copies, was entirely sold off in less than nine months from the date of its publication. We feel very deeply indebted to the public for this unequivocal proof of its approbation; and we have endeavoured to evince our gratitude, by labouring to render the work less undeserving a continuance of the favour with which it has been honoured. In the prosecution of this object, we have subjected every part of it to a careful revision; have endeavoured to eradicate the errors that had escaped our notice; to improve those parts that were incomplete or defective; and to supply such articles as had been omitted. We dare not flatter ourselves with the idea that we have fully succeeded in these objects. The want of recent and accurate details as to several important subjects, has been an obstacle we have not, in all cases, been able to overcome; but those in any degree familiar with such investigations will not, perhaps, be disposed severely to censure our deficiencies in this respect.
The changes in the law bearing upon commercial transactions have been carefully specified. Copious abstracts of the late Customs Acts are contained in the articles COLONIES AND COLONY TRADE, IMPORTATION AND EXPORTATION, NAVIGATION Laws, REGISTRY, SMUGGLING, WAREHOUSING, &c.
The abolition of the East India Company's commercial monopoly, and the great and growing interest * that has in consequence been excited amongst all classes respecting the commercial capabilities and practices of India, China, and other Eastern countries, have made us bestow peculiar attention to this department. The articles BANGKOK, BATAVIA, BOMBAY, BUSHIRE, BUSsoRaH, CALCUTTA, Canton, COLUMBO, East India COMPANY AND East INDIES, INDIGO, Macao, . MADRAS, MANILLA, MAULMAIN, Mocha, Muscat, NANGASACKI, OPIUM, RANGOON, SINGAPORE, Tatta, Tea, &c. contain, it is believed, a greater mass of recent and well-authenticated details as to the commerce of the vast countries stretching from the Arabic Gulph to the Chinese Sea, than is to be found in any other English publication.
The article Banking is mostly new. Besides embodying the late act prolonging the charter of the Bank of England, and the more important details given in the Report of the Select Committee on the Renewal of the Bank Charter, this article contains some novel and important information not elsewhere to be met with. No account of the issues of the Bank of England has hitherto been published, that extends farther back than 1777. But this deficiency is now, for the first time, supplied ; the Directors having obligingly furnished us with an
* The recent events in China have added greatly to this interest, and have male ns enter, in this edition, into several additional details.
account of the issues of the Bank on the 28th of February and the 31st of August of each year, from 1698, within four years of its establishment, down to the present time. We have also procured a statement, from authority, of the mode of transacting business in the Bank of Scotland ; and have been able to supply several additional particulars, both with respect to British and to foreign banks.
We have made many additions to, and alterations in, the numerous articles descriptive of the various commodities that form the materials of commerce, and the historical notices by which some of them are accompanied. We hope they will be found more accurate and complete than formerly.
The Gazetteer department, or that embracing accounts of the principal foreign emporiums with which this country maintains a direct intercourse, was, perhaps, the most defective in the old edition. If it be no longer in this predicament, the improvement has been principally owing to official co-operation. The sort of information we desired as to the great sea-port towns could not be derived from books, nor from any sources accessible to the public; and it was necessary, therefore, to set about exploring others. In this view we drew up a series of queries, embracing an investigation of imports and exports, commercial and shipping regulations, port charges, duties, &c., that might be transmitted to any port in any part of the world. There would, however, in many instances, have been much difficulty in getting them answered with the requisite care and attention by private individuals; and the scheme would have had but a very partial success, had it not been for the friendly and effectual interference of Mr. Poulett Thomson. Alive to the importance of having the queries properly answered, he voluntarily undertook to use his influence with Lord Palmerston to get them transmitted to the Consuls. This the Noble Lord most readily did ; and answers have been received from the greater number of these functionaries. There is, of course, a considerable inequality amongst them; but they almost all embody a great deal of valuable information, and some of them are drawn up with a degree of skill and sagacity, and display an extent of research and a capacity of observation, that reflect the highest credit on their authors.*
The information thus obtained, added to what we received through other but not less authentic channels, supplied us with the means of describing twice the number of foreign sea-ports noticed in our former edition; and of enlarging, amending, and correcting the accounts of such as were noticed. Besides much fuller details than have ever been previously published of the nature and extent of the trade of many of these places, the reader will, in most instances, find a minute account of the regulations to be observed respecting the entry and clearing of ships and goods, with statements of the different public charges laid on shipping, the rates of commission and brokerage, the duties on the principal goods imported and exported, the prices of provisions, the regulations as to quarantine, the practice as to credit, banking, &c., with a variety of other particulars. We have also described the ports ; and have specified their depth of water, the course to be steered by vessels on entering, with the rules as to pilotage, and the fees on account of pilots, light-houses, &c. As it is very difficult to convey a sufficiently distinct idea of a sea-port by any description, we have given plans, taken from the latest and best authorities, of about a dozen of the principal foreign ports. Whether we have succeeded, is more than we can venture to say; but we hope we have said enough to satisfy the reader, that we have spared no pains to furnish him with authentic information in this important department.
* The returns furnished by the Consuls at Hamburg: Trieste and Venice, Naples, Dantzic, Bordeaux, Christiania, Amsterdam, Elsineur, New York, Charleston, &c. are particularly good.
The Tariff, or Table of Duties on Imports, &c., in this edition, is peculiarly valuable. It is divided into three columns: the first containing an account of the existing duties payable on the importation of foreign products for home use, as the same were fixed by the Act of last year, 3 & 4 Will. IV. cap. 56.; the next column exhibits the duties payable on the same articles in 1819, as fixed by the Act 59 Geo. III. cap. 52.; and the third and last column exhibits the duties as they were fixed in 1787 by Mr. Pitt's Consolidation Act, the 27 Geo. III. cap. 13. The duties are rated throughout in Imperial weights and measures ; and allowances have been made for differences in the mode of charging, &c. The reader has, therefore, before him, and may compare together, the present customs duties with the duties as they stood at the end of the late war, and at its commencement. No similar Table is to be met with in any other work. We are indebted for it to J. D. Hume, Esq., of the Board of Trade, at whose suggestion, and under whose direction, it has been prepared. Its compilation was a work of much labotir and difficulty; and could not have been accomplished by any one not well acquainted with the Customs Acts, and the various changes in the mode of assessing the duties.
On the whole, we trust it will be found that the work has been improved throughout, either by the correction of mistakes, or by the addition of new and useful matter. Still, however, we are well aware that it is in various respects defective; but we are not without hopes that those who look into it will be indulgent enough to believe that this has been owing as much to the extreme difficulty, or rather, perhaps, the impossibility, of obtaining accurate information respecting some of the subjects treated of, as to the want of care and attention on our part. Even as regards many important topics connected with the commerce and manufactures of Great Britain, we have had to regret the want of authentic details, and been obliged to grope our way in the dark. The condition and habits of the English and Scotch are so very different from those of the Irish, that conclusions deduced from considering the trade or consumption of the United Kingdom en masse, are frequently of little value; and may, indeed, unless carefully sifted, be the most fallacious imaginable; while, owing to the want of any account of the cross-channel trade between the two great divisions of the empire, it is not possible accurately to estimate the consumption of either, or to obtain any sure means of judging of their respective progress in wealth and industry. As respects manufactures, there is a still greater deficiency of trustworthy details. The articles relating to them in this work have been submitted to the highest practical authorities ; so that we incline to think they are about as accurate as they can well be rendered in the absence of official returns. It is far, however, from creditable to the country, that we should be obliged, in matters of such importance, to resort to private and irresponsible individuals for the means of con ing at the truth. Statistical science in Great Britain is, indeed, at a very low ebb; and we are not of the number of those who suppose that it will ever be materially improved, unless government become more sensible, than it has hitherto shown itself to be, of its importance, and set machinery in motion, adequate to procure correct and comprehensive returns.
The statistical Tables published by the Board of Trade embrace the substance of hundreds of accounts, scattered over a vast mass of Parliamentary papers. They seem to be compiled with great care and judgment, and are a very valuable acquisition. We have frequently been largely indebted to them. But their arrangement, and their constantly increasing number and bulk, make them quite
unfit for being readily or advantageously consulted by practical men. Most part of the returns relating to the principal articles given in this work, go back to a much more distant period than those published by the Board of Trade.
We have seen no reason to modify or alter any PRINCIPLE OF COMMERCIAL POLICY advanced in our former edition. In some instances, we have varied the exposition a little, but that is all. In every case, however, we have separated the practical, legal, and historical statements from those of a speculative nature; so that those most disposed to dissent from our theoretical notions will, we hope, be ready to admit that they have not been allowed to detract from the practical utility of the work.
The maps given with the former edition have been partially re-engraved, and otherwise improved. Exclusive of the plans already referred to, the present edition contains two new maps : one, of the completed and proposed canals and railroads of Great Britain and Ireland; exbibiting, also, the coal fields, the position of the different light-houses, &c.: the other map exhibits the mouths of the rivers Mersey and Dee, and the country from Liverpool to Manchester, with the various lines of communication between these two great and flourishing emporiums. Care has been taken to render them accurate.
We are under peculiar obligations to many official, mercantile, and private gentlemen in this and other countries, who have favoured us with communications. We hardly ever applied to any one, however much engaged in business, for any information coming within his department, which he did not readily furnish. We have not met with any mystery, concealment, or affectation of concealment. Every individual seemed disposed to tell us all that he knew; and several gentlemen have taken a degree of trouble with respect to various articles in this work, for which our thanks make but a poor return.