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Fun fact: the Livorno Chamber of Commerce institutional decree in 1801


Fun fact: the Livorno Chamber of Commerce institutional decree in 1801

The royal decress of institution dated 17 December 1801

Below is the full text of the royal decree with which the Livorno Chamber of Commerce was established, dated 17 December 1801.  Reading it, you will discover that in addition to Tuscans, French, English, Swiss and Jewish people on the first Council that governed the body, there were also representatives of several Nations that lived in harmony in the city of Livorno. Testimony to its multicultural, cosmopolitan character!     

“His MAJESTY’ the KING, knowing that Populations are happier the more frequent the exchange between them in trade of Nature's Products, superfluous on one hand, useful or necessary on the other, has made it a priority to make all those provisions in his Government that will effectively contribute to re-establishing and promoting as much activity as possible in the Commerce of his States, and especially in the Port of Livorno, whose prosperity is also an advantage to the inhabitants of the Kingdom.    

And wishing the M. S. to have a Traders’ Corps, that by its own knowledge and experience is able to indicate the provisions, according to needs, and the circumstances of the times that are of benefit to Commerce and to Livorno, and the rest of his States, has decided to create a Chamber of Commerce, and to thus enact the legal Constitution that had already been established under the previous Government to give to the current Trade Delegation.    

This Chamber of Commerce will comprise twelve Traders from different Nations, who have lived in Livorno for some time, and who have right to credit for custom duties.    

Each year, six of the Chamber members will leave their positions to make room for others, who will be appointed to succeed them.    

H. M., being fully informed that the current Deputies of the Bank of Commerce have worked so far with due dedication, and care, and also with the sacrifice of their own interests in order to attend to the needs of the State, and to distance those greater evils that dominated in past unhappy circumstances of war: and wanting to provide them with a sign of his Sovereign satisfaction, appoints the following subjects as the first twelve members of the new Chamber, who are currently members of the Delegation.   

Francesco Di Honorato Berte (Tuscan)   

Filippo Filicchi (Tuscan)    

Gio. Giacomo Rilliet Francese for the Geneva people.    

Giuseppe Huddart English.    

Alessandro Patrinò Greek.    

Ezechia di Sabato Ambron Jewish.    

Pietro Paolo Giera (Tuscan)    

Antonio Branca (Tuscan)    

Martino Daguerre French.    

Pietro Senn Svizzero.    

Gio. Costacchi Greek.    

Levì l’Ainè Jewish.    

At the end of the first year, the last six appointed members will cease to be a part of the Chamber, and the current members of the delegation who could not be included in this appointment will succeed them; and for the missing number, the twelve members from the first year will propose names to H.M. Through the Governor.    

After the first year, those six members who will have served for two year must cede their places to another six new members, who will be appointed by HIS MAJESTY.     To this effect, the twelve members who will be working will write a note to another twelve Traders from different nations before the year ends, and the six new members to succeed in the Chamber at the start of the following year will be referred to H.M.     

The chamber's main duty will be to present to H.M. through the Governor, the provisions that it believes necessary to expand, and for the prosperity of Trade in all its origin, and in all its directions.      

The Petitions, Briefs or other documents will be sent by the royal secretaries to the Chamber, that contain projects of applications for Trade or Arts innovations so that the Chambers can give its opinion, observations and ideas to the government about them.    

The Chamber will succeed this Trade Delegation in the administration of tender revenue for the entire duration of said contract, paying the fees agreed with the customs office and keeping the remaining amount to issue it via Sovereign Approval to some establishment that is useful to Commerce, as stated in the deed of concession of said revenue to the Trade Delegation.     

The new Chamber will also administer the Lottery entrusted to the Delegation, and will continue with Extractions until its completion.    

The Chamber Residence will be in the rooms adjacent to the Cashiers’ rooms, to the good order of which it must preside over, as the Trade Delegation has done thus far, and also that the Chamber will have the task of dividing necessary expenses for this establishment using the usual method, and with the sole participation and approval of the Government.      

The Chamber will choose a President and a Vice President, who will remain in the position for only two months.    

All Chamber decisions will be voted upon and will be won by the plurality of the votes: should the number of votes for and against be the same after all the members have voted, the Chamber will add another two Traders to be chosen by majority vote as above. This will also be the case for other votes that are equal.    Regarding the two percent duty established by the Notifications dated 16 and 17 November 1800, H. M. is convinced that in all times, but especially in the current circumstances where Trade is once again free, and lively and establishes it directions to those parts most easily accessed, such a cost must be extremely harmful for the Trade of Livorno. Therefore in the meantime that H.M. is busy finding the way to suppress this duty, and to also satisfy the interest of the creditors, to whom the duty was allocated, he has decided to reduce it to 1% to be collected once only on the merchandise coming from the sea, that will be unloaded or transferred in the Port of Livorno: also excluding grain, fodder and pulses, which must be free of any duty of one percent, without prejudice on the other hand to the stables, and other duties for stalling and other duties payable to Customs.    

And as the collection of this duty, that has so far been collected by ministers employed by the Trade Delegation, if now sent to the new Chamber, could give rise to some suspicion of partiality in favour of its members, H.M. Wants the reduced duty be collected at the Livorno Customs border, and is demanded under management from the customs office itself. The Director may use the same Ministers that were employed by the Trade Delegation, and they will report to him about all their operations.     

The Director will examine whether the current number of Ministers is sufficient, or higher than needed, and thus also the Provisions allocated to them, and will report to obtain approval.    

The duty has the current price of merchandise as a variable and therefore the director and two members of the new Chamber will be able to correct the fixed tariffs as many times as are necessary, maintaining the correct registrations of said corrections.     

An amount so that the proceeds of the one percent duty will be an amount that can give a consistent part to the Creditors; The director, together with two Chamber members will proceed with this operation and will make sure that each Creditor is paid in proportion to the amount of their respective credit.    

All these provisions will begin to take effect from January 1st 1802, at which time all registers will be renewed, as will all documents that have been kept so far by the delegation. And the members of the new Chamber, together with the members who have not for now been included in the Chamber will balance the books and entries of the administrations held by the Trade Delegation to the end of December 1801, to the effect that its operations and correctness thereof are prepared on 17. December 1801.”    

LODOVICO    V. G. MOZZI    Cristofano Corsi Segr.     In Florence for Gaetano Cambiagi Stampatore Reale.

Esplora l'itinerario

  • The historical seat of the Livorno Chamber of Commerce
    Camera di Commercio
  • Il Palazzo della Dogana
    • The Old Custom House
    • The first official extraction of the lottery game
  • The Elba room
    • The Elba Room: who worked here and what they did
      • Il negoziante in Banco
    • The list of presidents
  • Historical rooms
    • The Board Room
      • Sala della Consiglio:”Porticciolo di piazza Grande”
    • The President's Room and its works
      • Approfondisci l'opera: “Ferdinando II che presenta Pietro Tacca a Vittorio della Rovere”
    • The historical council room and the portraits of famous Livorniano figures
      • Approfondisci: il ritratto di Oscare Dalgas
    • A glance at the other rooms
  • The Library
    • The Library “jewels”: The Livorno edition of the Encyclopedie of D’Alembert and Diderot
    • The Library “jewels”: The Gazzettiere Americano of 1763
    • Fun fact: the Livorno Chamber of Commerce institutional decree in 1801