Information sheet

Customs Bills of Entry

Sheet number 6

These official publications are one of the most useful sources of information about British and Irish trade. The Maritime Archives & Library now holds the master set from HM Customs & Excise Library, originally at King’s Beam House, London. For further details on their scope for research, see separate information sheet by Graham Milne, part of the Source Guides for Researchers Series. See also the introductory essay by Professor Kenneth Morgan, which accompanies the microfilmed series of the Liverpool Bills of Entry.

Other major reference libraries hold runs of the Bills of Entry. The following is a very summary outline (i.e. there may be gaps of several years in any given datespan). Certain volumes are also in need of conservation and therefore may not be available.

Liverpool

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1820 - 1939 (not complete)
  • Liverpool Central Library: 1841 - 1879; 1917 - 1939

(From 1895 includes Manchester, Barrow; from 1897 Goole, Grimsby; from 1912 Fleetwood, Preston, Ellesmere Port and North Wales ports.)

A complete run of extant Liverpool Bills of Entry on microfilm is now available, published by Microform Academic Publishers in conjunction with the British Association for American Studies, as part of the BRRAM series. The Bills of Entry microfilm series encompasses the collections of Merseyside Maritime Museum and Liverpool Record Office. See below for full details.

Bristol

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1832 - 1917 (not complete)
  • Bristol Central Library: 1770 - 1917

Published on microfilm by Microform Academic Publishers, as part of the BRRAM series, and entitled 'Bristol Presentments' (Southampton is included in the 1847 volume).

Clyde 

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1841 - 1939 (not complete)
  • Glasgow Central Library: 1841 - 1887 (microfilms from master set)

Clyde and Forth 

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1919 - 1939 (not complete)
  • Glasgow Central Library: 1887 - 1939

Dublin 

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1850 - 1923 (not complete)
  • Colindale (London) British Newspaper Library: 1853 - 1926

Hull

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1831 - 1837, 1863, 1884 - 1939
  •  
  • Hull Central Library: 1832 - 1898, 1933 - 1939

Tyne

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1875 - 1927 (not complete)
  • Newcastle Central Library: 1861 - 1880

London

  • Maritime Archives and Library: 1660 (copy), 1779 - 1783, 1817 - 1939
  • British Newspaper Library, Colindale (London) 1827 - 1939

(Note: The London Bills also include overseas trade only for Bristol, Hull and Liverpool. At various dates other ports were included: 17 June 1854 Southampton; 28 January 1889 Harwich, Newhaven, Folkestone and Dover; 10 January 1894 Manchester; 28 June 1894 Runcorn; 25 August 1894 Fleetwood and Preston; 15 October 1894 Barrow; 23 May 1896 Goole; 26 May 1896 Grimsby. A considerable number have been microfilmed by and are held at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. From 1891, a very large number of English ports are covered, at least, for foreign imports.)

 

Please note that microfilms for Liverpool (1820 - 1939) are now available:

1820

1923 A (1 January - 10 July)

1931A (1 January - 13 September)

1825 - 1832

1923A (11 July - 18 December)

1931A (14 September - 31 December)

1834 - 1835

1923B (1 January - 31 December)

1931B (1 January - 31 December)

1837

1924A (1 January - 19 August)

1932A (1 January - 15 July)

1841 - 1897

1924A (20 August - 31 December)

1932A (16 July - 31 December)

1898 (1 January - 4 July)

1924B (1 January - 31 December)

1932B (1 January - 31 December)

1898 (5 July - 31 December)

1925A (1 January - 4 August)

1933A (2 January - 30 December)

1899 - 1915

1925A (5 August - 31 December)

1933B (2 January - 30 December)

1916 (1 January - 30 December)

1925B (1 January - 31 December)

1934A (1 January - 31 December)

1917A (1 January - 31 December)

1926A (1 January - 10 August)

1934B (1 January - 31 December)

1917B (2 July - 31 December)

1926A (11 August - 31 December)

1935A (1 January - 4 May)

1918A (1 January - 30 September)

1926B (1 January - 31 December)

1935A (7 May - 31 December)

1918A (1 October - 31 December)

1927A (1 January - 5 August)

1935B (1 January - 31 July)

1918B (1 January - 31 December)

1927A (6 August - 31 December)

1935B (1 August - 31 December)

1919 (1 January - 4 August)

1927B (1 January - 31 December)

1936A (1 January - 19 August)

1919A (5 August - 31 December)

1928A (2 January - 6 September)

1936A (20 August - 31 December)

1919B (1 January - 31 December)

1928A (7 September - 31 December)

1936B (1 January - 30 December)

1920A (1 January - 8 July)

1928B (2 January - 31 December)

1937A (1 January - 31 December)

1920A (9 July - 31 December)

1929A (1 January - 2 September)

1937B (1 January - 31 December)

1920B (1 January - 31 December)

1929A (3 September - 31 December)

1938A (1 January - 21 April)

1921A (1 January - 19 July)

1929B (1 January - 31 December)

1938A (22 April - 31 December)

1921A (20 July - 31 December)

1930A (1 January - 8 September)

1938B (1 January - 31 December)

1921B (1 January - 29 December)

1930A (9 September - 31 December)

1939A (2 January - 12 May)

1922A (2 January - 1 August)

1930B (1 January - 31 December)

1939A (13 May - 2 September)

1922A (2 August - 30 December)

1939B (2 January - 2 September)

1922B (2 January - 30 December)

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