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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Magna Charta and Freetrade

Magna Charta and Freetrade.

The protectionist parly put themselves forward as aristocratic! When there was an aristocracy in England, interference with traffic was a high crime and misdemeanor. When the Barons assembled in mail in the field of Runymede, and brought before them the perjured usurper of the day, they took care to bind him ere they let him go free to respect the common rights of men in reference to the exchange of commodities, stipulating that "All merchants" shall have safety and security to go out of England, and to "come into England, and to stop and travel in England," both by land and water, to buy and sell without the imposition of tariffs, according to the antient customs."

This was one of the items of that Charter which for centuries half-yearly was solemnly rehearsed in every church, and the sense and fervor maintained for the protection of the rights so secured by the denunciation of the pains and penalties of excommunication against whoever should infringe it.

(Anon. 1857.)