In 1 712 he was the author of the bill taxing newspapers.
His last official act was to carry out his intention by passing through parliament resolutions, which even his colleagues deprecated in the cabinet, for taxing several articles, such as glass, paper and tea, on their importation into America, which he estimated would produce the insignificant sum of L40,000 for the English treasury, and which shrewder observers prophesied would lead to the loss of the American colonies.
So large a part of the railway charge is of the nature of a tax, that there seem to be a priori reasons for leaving the taxing powers in the hands of the agents of the government.
The instrument contained a very unpopular clause taxing all mining property, unproductive as well as productive.
The Federal courts compelled a restoration of the money and pronounced the taxing law unconstitutional.