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Legislation and proposed legislation on wheat to 1815

The information is taken from Dr Boyd Hilton , Corn Cash, Commerce: the economic policies of the Tory Governments 1815-30 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1977, p. 6) with his full consent and kind permission.


The Corn Laws that have been held responsible for the economic downturn in the British economy after 1815 had a long history. This table traces the changes and proposed changes to the legislation between 1773 and 1815. Information on the currency used may be found by following this link.

Foreign wheat per quarter North American colonial wheat per quarter
1773 Corn Law Export

prohibited at or above 44/-
5/- bounty under 44/-

Import 6d duty at or above 48/-
22/- duty at and under 44/-
1804 Corn Law Export prohibited about 54/-
free at 49/- to 54/-
Import

7½d. duty at or above 66/-
3/1½ d. duty at 63/- to 65/-
30/3¾d. duty under 63/-

7½d. duty at or above 56/-
3/1½d. duty at 53/- to 55/-.
30/3¾d. duty under 53/-
This Act rarely operated until after the bumper harvest of 1813
1806 Anglo-Irish corn trade made free
1813 Parliamentary select committee (Parnell's proposals) Export prohibited above 90/2d
free at or below 90/2d
Import 6d duty above 135/2d
2/6d duty at 105/2d to 135/2d
24/3 duty below 105/2d
The preference on colonial grain to cease and the same duties to apply.
Price levels at which these duties would operate were to be reviewed annually, with reference to averages over the previous twenty years
May 1814 (Parnell's proposal) Import 6d duty above 87s.
2/6d duty at 84/- to 87/-
24/3d duty below 84/-
6d duty above 77/-
2/6d duty at 74/- to 77/-
24/3d duty below 74/-
May 1814 Corn Bill (based on Huskisson's proposal Import 1/- duty at or above 87/-
6d duty at or above 86/-
Duty to fall by 1/- for every 1/- rise in price
24/- duty at or below 64/- 12/- duty at or below 64/-
All corn to be admitted freely to warehouses
1814 all bounties and restrictions on export were repealed.
January 1815 Vansittart (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) proposed a fixed 8/- duty on imports
1815 Corn Laws Import

free at or above 80/-
prohibited below 80/-

free at or above 67/-
prohibited below 67/-
All corn to be admitted freely to warehouses
(Appropriate duties were fixed for rye, barley and oats for each of the above proposals)

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