About the project
This project explores the potential for the construction of a database of Irish international trade 1698-1829, working from a unique sets of records, the 'Customs 15' ledgers of the exports and imports of Ireland, housed in the UK National Archives. Here, we present some preliminary data, as charts and tables, from a selection of these ledgers, and one digitised sample volume. We also provide details of our project symposium, held at the Humanities Institute UCD, Friday 19th September 2014.
The project and symposium have been made possible by a 'New Foundations' grant awarded by the Irish Research Council, which we gratefully acknowledge.
Sources, sample images
The material here reflects work-in-progress on data capture of a selection of volumes from the Customs 15 records at the UK National Archives. We've made available one of the digitised volumes, that for 1764, as a pdf file:
- CUST 15 Catalogue entry at the UK National Archives
- Download sample Customs 15 Ledger for year the ended March 25th 1764 digitised volume (30MB pdf file)
Sample data, charts
The database from which charts and tables here are generated currently (as of start November 2014) has summary export and import data for 1714 to 1774 at ten-year intervals.
Each original volume typically also has a table related to tonnage and shipping. This is usually one page, showing; the total number of ships 'employed in the trade of Ireland' for year in question, the total tonnage involved, with a breakdown of tonnage by port, and a further breakdown of tonnage by (what we take to be) the country/region of origin of the ship owners. We present some sample charts from these tables below also, for the data we captured for a run of years, 1719 to 1764.
Please note that these data tables and charts are presented here for illustrative purposes only, and the data should not really be relied upon for serious analaysis at this stage. There are many things we yet need to do with the data, before it can be relied upon and/or assessed properly as to reliability, e.g.,
- some more detailed checking against originals,
- thinking through of the categorisations,
- exploration of how the data was originally put together.
Sample summary export and import data, selected years 1714-1774
- Summary tables of exports, imports, and the balance of trade
Selected years, 1714 to 1774, showing a breakdown by commodity group and trade partner. The data is in (pre-1826) Irish pounds, valued at then official prices for tax purposes -- rather than market prices.
- Commodities Charts
(For grouped commodities, this links to charts of the value of exports and imports at official prices)
(For each commodity, tables of value of exports and imports)
- Commodities (Check of Quantities)
Calculates total quantites, compares with originals in source (Added 19th September)
Tonnage and shipping charts
- Tonnage overview (chart) selected years, 1714 to 1774
- Tonnage and shipping (links to charts) totals, and for each port. [New, as of 7th November 2014.]
International trade history projects:
- The RICardo World Trade History Project (Understanding Trade Globalization 1830-2005)
- TOFLIT18 (Transformations of the French economy through the lens of international trade, 1716-1821)
- Soundtoll Registers Online Accounts of the toll levied on shipping through the strait between Sweden and Denmark, 1497 to 1857
- Ireland-Bristol Trade in the Sixteenth Century at the University of Bristol
Symposium Friday 19th September 2014, Humanities Institute, UCD
International guest speaker: Dr Beatrice Dedinger
We extend a special welcome to Dr Beatrice Dedinger, who is an adjunct researcher at the Centre for History at Paris Sciences Po where she specialises in nineteenth German trade history. Her publications include:
- 'The Franco-German trade puzzle: an analysis of the economic consequences of the Franco-Prussian War', Economic History Review (2011)
- 'From virtual free-trade to virtual protectionism. Did protectionism have any part in Germany's rise to commercial power? 1850-1913' in J-P.Dormois, P. Lains, eds. - Classical Trade Protectionism, 1815-1914, (Routledge: London, 2006).
- 'The Geographical Structure of Trade in Germany since the Late Nineteenth Century', The Journal of European Economic History, 3 (2006).