1834 Decree of King Charles Albert of the Kingdom of Sardinia Hinting at Plans for Liberalizing the Kingdom10174
On offer is an interesting Royal Decree regarding the export of hemp seed in early 19th century Europe.
This decree was issued in July, 1834 by the Royal Office of Accounts of the Kingdom of Savoy. It deals with the export of hemp seed, a grain crop that was traded on the grain markets across Europe.
The decree says:
Manifest de la royale chambre des comptes portant permission d'exporter le chenevis moyennant le payement d'un droit de sortie de six livres le quintal.
[Translation: Manifesto of the royal chamber of accounts bearing permission to export the hemp seed by paying an exit fee of six pounds per hundredweight]
The decree goes on to say:
Sa Majeste ayant ete informee que l'exportation du Chenevis, dont la recolte dans ses Etats Royaux peut exceder la quantite necessaire pour les semailles, serait avantageuse a la agriculture, en ce qu'elle formerait un objet de commerce actif a l'etranger, a daigne, par son Billet Royal en date du 10 de ce mois, Nous communiquer ses Determination Souveraines a cet egard, et Nous charger de les porter a la connaissance du public par notre Manifeste
[Translation: His Majesty having been informed that the export of Hemp Seed, whose harvest in his Royal States may exceed the quantity necessary for sowing, would be advantageous to agriculture, in that it would form an object of active trade abroad, deigns, by his Royal Ticket dated the 10th of this month, to communicate to us his Sovereign Determinations in this regard, and to instruct us to bring them to the attention of the public by our Manifesto].
Further, it states:
L'exportation de la semence du Chanvre sera desormais permise, moyenannt le payment d'un droit de sortie de six livres la quintal…
[Translation: Export of hemp seed will now be permitted, subject to payment of an exit fee of six pounds per hundredweight].
What this document hints at is a general liberalization in the Kingdom of Sardinia. Charles Albert reigned as King of Sardinia and Duke of Savoy between 1831 and 1849. Although a very conservative person, he made efforts to modernize his Kingdom and this included reducing taxes on grain and a general liberalizing of commerce. Also at this time, Giuseppe Mazzini was beginning to organize his drive to unite the many small states on the peninsula to form the country of Italy.
The document measures 7.5 inches by 5.0 inches. It is a 4 page printed document with text printed on two pages. There is a little staining along the edges but nothing to interfere with text. The document bears the arms of the Kingdom of Sardinia.
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