In 1696 William III agreed to the request from Parliament to establish a Board of Trade. It was argued that Britain needed a specialized department that would be able to make better provision for commerce. In 1733 William Kent was commissioned to build offices for the Board of Trade. The Treasury in Whitehall was completed in 1736. The Treasury was enlarged by Sir John Soane in 1827 and Sir Charles Barry in 1844.
The Board of Trade consists of a committee of the privy council, composed of all the great officers of state. The business is principally conducted by the president, deputy president, and the chief of the clerks. It is, properly speaking, a board of reference, to which all difficult or doubtful cases relative to trade or our colonial possessions, exclusive of the East Indies, are referred. The apartments which are occupied by this Board of Trade, are in the northern part of the old building called the Treasury, in Whitehall.