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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Board of Trade

by Robert J. Cain, 2006

The Board of Trade was the agency of the British government principally concerned with matters relating to the colonies. Established in 1695, the board maintained correspondence with provincial and royal governors, compiled statistics and other data, and prepared reports and recommendations regarding administration of the colonies. Although technically subordinate to the Privy Council, of which it was a committee, and to the secretary of state, who also had oversight of colonial affairs, the Board of Trade wielded much influence in the formulation and implementation of colonial policy. The board's involvement in the governing of North Carolina increased markedly with the establishment of royal government in 1731, and it remained substantial until the creation in 1768 of the position of secretary of state concerned exclusively with the colonies.

Additional Resources:

"Council of trade and plantations 1696-1782." Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 3: Officials of the Boards of Trade 1660-1870 (1974), pp. 28-37. URL: (accessed November 9, 2012).

"CSR Documents by Great Britain. Board of Trade." Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (accessed November 9, 2012).