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Sir Martin Noell was an eminent London merchant, engaged in an extensive colonial trade that included the slave trade. He thrived under the Commonwealth as a tax farmer, taking up farms of the excise or customs and advancing other sums, secure in the knowledge that he would get his money back. At the Restoration of Charles II (1660) Noell was one of the four eminent London merchants— the others being Thomas Povey, Sir Nicholas Crispe and Sir Andrew Riccard— who took their seats among the courtiers on the Council for Plantations, whose restrictions on colonial trade in the interests of a mercantilist policy were resisted from the first by Virginia planters. He was knighted in 1662.
- Michael J. Braddick, "The rise of the fiscal state", The Companion to Stuart Britain, 1999.
- The distant precursor of the Board of Trade.
- Joan de Lourdes Leonard, "Operation Checkmate: The Birth and Death of a Virginia Blueprint for Progress 1660-1676", The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, 24.1 (January 1967:44-74).
- "I this day heard that Mr. Martin Noell is knighted by the King, which I much wonder at; but yet he is certainly a very useful man" (Samuel Pepys, Diary, 6 October 1662.