Order Establishing a Consumption or Excise Tax in All Towns of Electoral and Mark Brandenburg, for Three Years, Beginning June 1, 1667 (Dated April 15, 1667)
We, Frederick William, by grace of God Margrave in Brandenburg, Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Empire and Elector, etc., in Prussia, etc.:
Do hereby proclaim and give notice to all and sundry: Inasmuch as most lively representations have on various occasions been made to Us concerning the poor and needy condition of Our towns in Our Electorate and Mark of Brandenburg, and We have accordingly considered all kinds of ways and means to restore them and to save them from final ruin and complete destruction, it has seemed to Us that it would be particularly conducive to the improvement of their condition and promotion of their prosperity if the public burdens were somewhat more evenly distributed, not all laid only on the poor, nor levied exclusively on land and houses, for which purpose we can think of no means more convenient and equitable than the introduction of a fixed and moderate excise, toward which all inhabitants without distinction shall contribute, each contributing much or little, according to whether his consumption is large or small.
1. And it is therefore, firstly, Our most gracious and strict will and command that as from the first of June, by which date the Patent can be brought to the public notice in all towns of Our Electoral Mark of Brandenburg including also the Episcopal, Crown Agents’, and Knights’ towns, and in particuar also in Storchow and Beesekow, and similarly, so far as brewing is concerned, in all alehouses and breweries that engage in the sale of beer in cloisters, liberties, suburbs, villages and hamlets, the following tax shall be placed on the commodities hereafter specified and included in the contributio, but the contribution towards this excise from the Episcopal, Crown Agents’ and Knights’ towns shall count toward the quota of contributio paid by each place.