Board of Trade
The Board of Trade, also known as the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, was a governmental advisory board, first established by William III in May 1696. The board's responsibility focused on the examination of colonial legislation, the disallowance of laws that conflicted with imperial trade policies, the nomination of governors and other high officials, and the recommendation of laws that affect the colonies to Parliament.1
After Britain lost their American colonies, the original Board of Trade was abolished in 1782. However there soon grew a need to regulate trade between Britain and its remaining colonies, as well as with France. This need led to the establishment of a new “Committee of Council on Trade and Plantations” by William Pitt in 1784.2
The name Board of Trade was associated with the new committee since 1786, but the title was not officially adopted until 1861. The board's original concern was based on plantations and colonial law; but the industrial revolution influenced a change in focus to domestic and executive affairs such as railways, merchant shipping, and joint-stock companies.3
Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the board's wide range of work was narrowed when certain responsibilities were transferred to other areas in the government. For instance, in 1919 the responsibility of fisheries was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture.4
Mentions of this organization in the documents