Advisory body in charge of recommending policy, law, nominees and regulations regarding trade and governance in the colonies. It had no legislative or executive power but for much of the 17th and 18th century was the primary body in charge of making policy regarding the colonies. Executive decisions were made by Royal Proclamation, through the Privy Council or by the Secretary of State for Southern Affairs. Legislative decisions were made by parliament.
Journals of the Boards of Trade provide records of the activities of the Board of Trade as well as abstracts and excerpts of documents presented to the Board. The Journals are sufficient for many research purposes. Until 1704 journal entries were placed in the Calendar of State Papers Colonial. After 1704 they were placed in a separate publication. Both are available online.