Front Page Titles (by Subject) [CHAPTER IX]: Of the Proportion in value, which the several Counties in Ireland do bear to each other , viz. - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
[CHAPTER IX]: Of the Proportion in value, which the several Counties in Ireland do bear to each other , viz. - Sir William Petty, The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1 
The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, together with The Observations upon Bills of Mortality, more probably by Captain John Graunt, ed. Charles Henry Hull (Cambridge University Press, 1899), 2 vols.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Of the Proportion in value, which the several Counties in Ireland do bear to each other, viz.
THE value or proportion of the several Counties in Ireland, both seem much to depend upon the number of Acres which each doth contain. And therefore, and for several other Reasons, most of the Land of Ireland hath, By Sir John Bodly1 within these last 40 years, been admeasured by the Chain and Instrument, viz. The King and Queens Counties, about the Year 1630. The County of Londonderry, when the City of London undertook the Plantation by one Mr. Raven1Connought and Tipperary, in the Earl of Strafford's time, by several hands2 , sometimes conducted by Mr. William Gilber3 .‖
The Lands belonging to Papists Ann. 1641. in the three Provinces of Munster, Lemster and Ulster, by Sir William Petty. Other Protestant Lands in the same three Provinces, in order to regulate Contributions, by the Owners of the said Lands themselves: But in so divided and separated a manner, that little Accompt can be given of them, besides what was collected by the said Sir William Petty; who at his own charge, besides those Maps of every Parish, which by his Agreement he delivered into the Surveyor-General's Office, he hath caused distinct Maps to be made of every Barony, or Hundred; as also of every County, engraven in Copper, and the like of every Province, and of the whole Kingdom. All which, could the Defects of them be supplied with the yet unmeasured Lands, would be exposed to publick view4 .
Now as to the value of these Lands, they were Ann. 1642. rated to and by the Adventurers as followeth, viz. in Lemster at 12s. per Acre; in Munster at 9s. in Connaught at 6s. and in Ulster at 4s.1 and to pay I Farthing per Ann. Quit-rent to the King out of each Shillings-worth of Land so rated, viz. 3d. or 12 Farthings for an Acre in Lemster rated at 12s. 9q. or 2¼ an Acre ‖ for Lands in Munster, rated at 9s. & sic de cæteris. Wood, Bog, and Mountain, to be cast in over and above.
Afterwards the Soldiers, who were to have the satisfaction of their Arrears at the same rate, not being willing to cast Lots upon such desperate hazards, did Ann. 1653. equalize Counties within each Province, viz. took some in Lemster, at 1l. 2s. Per Acre, some at 1l. &c. And those who were satisfied Ann. 1655. and afterwards, did equalize not only Counties, but Baronies also, valuing some Baronies in Lemster at 1l. 4s. Per Acre, and some but at 6s. and others at all rates between these two extreams. But so as that, notwithstanding all the said differences, the whole Province should be given and taken at 12s. Per Acre, according to the then Law. And the Inequality remaining after this Equalization, was to be corrected by a Lot2 .
I could here insert all the particulars of these Transactions, but conceive it impertinent to my purpose, especially since they may be seen upon Record3 . The next and best of all preceding equalization, was that which the Concernees of each County made in order to regulate the heavy Contributions paid to the Usurpers before His Majesties ‖ Restoration, and when no Quit-Rent was yet due4 . And in order to this work, not Baronies as before, but Parishes, nay, particular Farms were also equalized. What was done herein, was not publickly recorded, but collected by the curious, and too Bulky to be here inserted. Only take notice, that these Valuations were made as Parties interested could prevail upon and against one another by their Attendance, Friends, Eloquence, and Vehemence; for what other Foundation of Truth it had in Nature, I know not.
Next to this Valuation, there was, in order to a certain1 Gift presented to His Majesty, by the Adventurers and Soldiers, of a years value of all their Lands as it yielded Ann. 1659 next immediately before his Restoration. There2 issued a Commission, Ann. 1663. to enquire and settle the said Values. And about 1667. there were made two several Valuations more; the one in order to reprize such who had restored Lands to the Innocent Irish in equal value; and another was a Determination what each Land was worth Ann. 1659. (whatever it yielded): Both which, especially the latter, are upon Record most authentically. Moreover, Ann. 1653, and 1654. there were Inquisitions taken of the Values which ‖ all and every parcel of Land in Ireland yielded Ann. 1641. There have been also several Acts of the chief Powers Pro tempore, for apportioning what proportion of a certain Sum to be levied in general, should in particular be charg'd on each County, viz. Ann. 1657. there was an Act of the Usurper's Parliament to that purpose3 . Ann. 1662. There was an Act for raising 30 M.l. as a Present to his Grace the Duke of Ormond4 ; and another for raising of inaudible for several publick Uses5 . And Ann. 1672. for the equal raising of 30000l. Per Ann. upon all the Lands and Houses of the whole Nation. There be also Accompts of what was raised out of each County by way of Subsidy and Pole-money, paid Ann. 1661. All which may be of much light to those who have such designs as the same will answer. But I being assur'd1 by whom, and for what ends, and by what means every such Valuations and Inquisitions were respectively made, had rather attempt some Rule in nature, whereby to value and proportionate the Lands of Ireland: The first whereof I propose to be; That how many Men, Women and Children live in any Countrey Parish, that the Rent of that Land is near about so many times 15 s.2 be the quantity ‖ and quality of the Land what it will. 2. That in the meanest of the 160 M. Cabbins, one with another are five Souls, in the 24,000 six Souls3 . In all the other Houses Ten a piece, one with another.
The TABLE4 .
BUT to make nearer approaches to the perfection of this Work, ‘twould be expedient to know the Content of Acres of every Parish, and withal, what quantity of Butter, Cheese, Corn, and Wooll, was raised out of it for three years consequent; for thence the natural Value of the Land may be known, and by the number of People living within a Market-days Journey, and the Value of their housing, which shews the Quality and Expence of the said People; I would hope to come to the knowledg of the Value of the said Commodities, and consequently the Value of the Land, by deducting the hire of Working-People in it. And this brings me to the most important Consideration in Political Oeconomies, viz. how to make a Par and Equation between Lands and Labour, so as to express the Value of any thing by either ‖ alone. To which purpose, suppose two Acres of Pasture-land inclosed, and put thereinto a wean'd Calf, which I suppose in twelve Months will become 1 C. heavier in eatable Flesh; then 1 C. weight of such Flesh, which I suppose fifty days Food, and the Interest of the Value of the Calf, is the value or years Rent of the Land. But if a mans labour——————for a year can make the said Land to yield more than sixty days Food of the same, or of any other kind, then that overplus of days food is the Wages of the Man; both being expressed by the number of days food. That some Men will eat more than others, is not material, since by a days food we understand part of what 100 of all Sorts and Sizes will eat, so as to Live, Labour, and Generate. And that a days food of one sort, may require more labour to produce, than another sort, is also not material, since we understand the easiest-gotten food of the respective Countries of the World.
As for example, I suppose a pint of Oatmeal equal to half a pint of Rice, or a quart of Milk, or a pound of Bread, or a pound and quarter of Flesh, &c. each, in the respective place where each is the ‖ easiest gotten food. But if Rice be brought out of India into Ireland, or Oatmeal carried from Ireland thither; then in India the pint of Oatmeal must be dearer than half a pint of Rice, by the freight and hazard of Carriage, & vice-versa, & sic de cœteris. For, as for pleasant tast, I question whether there1 be any certainty, or regularity of the same in Nature, the same depending upon Novelty, opinion of Virtue, the recommendation of others, &c. Where-fore the days food of an adult Man, at a Medium, and not the days labour, is the common measure of Value, and seems to be as regular and constant as the value of fine Silver. For an ounce, suppose, of Silver in Peru is equivalent to a days food, but the same in Russia is equivalent to four days food, by reason of the Freight, and hazard in carrying the same from Peru to Russia; and in Russia the price of Silver shall grow to be worth more days labour, if a Workman can by the esteem and request of Silver Utensils earn more than he can on other materials. Wherefore I valued an Irish Cabbin at the number of days food, which the Maker spent in building of it. ‖
By the same way we must make a Par and Equation between Art and Simple Labour; for if by such Simple Labour I could dig and prepare for Seed a hundred Acres in a thousand days; suppose then, I spend a hundred days in studying a more compendious way, and in contriving Tools for the same purpose; but in all that hundred days dig nothing, but in the remaining nine hundred days I dig two hundred Acres of Ground; then I say, that the said Art which cost but one hundred days Invention is worth one Mans labour for ever; because the new Art, and one Man, perform'd as much as two Men could have done without it.
By the same way we make an Equation beween Art and Opinion. For if a Picture-maker, suppose, make Pictures at 5l. each; but then, find that more Persons would employ him at that rate than his time would extend to serve them in, it will certainly come to pass that this Artist will consider whether as many of those who apply to him at 5l each Picture, will have 6l. as will take up his whole time to accommodate and upon this Computation he pitcheth the Rate of his Work. ‖
By the same way also an Equation may be made between drudging Labour, and Favour, Acquaintance, Interest, Friends, Eloquence, Reputation, Power, Authority, &c. All which I thought not amiss to intimate as of the same kind with finding an Equation between Land and Labour, all these not very pertinent to the Proportionation of the several Counties of Ireland.
Wherefore to return to the matter in hand, I say, that the Quantity of Commodity produced, and the Quantity of the—shews the effects of the Land; and the number of People living thereupon, with the Quality of their housing, shews the Value of the Commodity: for one days delicate and exquisit Food may be worth ten of ordinary. Now the Nature of Peoples feeding may be estimated by the visible part of their Expence, which is their housing. But such helps of knowing the Value of Lands, I am not yet able to furnish. ‖
In 1616 Mr Alderman Proby and Mr Matthias Springham, sent from London to report upon the condition of Derry, “continued Mr Thomas Raven as surveyor for two years more, holding his services necessary for measuring and setting out the fortifications of Derry and Culmore.” Ordnance Survey of the County of Londonderry, i. 40. Raven accordingly directed the building of the walls of Londonderry in 1617. Hempton, The Siege and History of Londonderry, 327.
Petty's History of the Down Survey, 54–62, 325–27, 346, 393; Hardinge, “On MS. mapped and other Townland Surveys in Ireland of a public Character, embracing the Gross, Civil and Down Surveys, from 1640 to 1688,” in Trans. Roy. Irish Acad., vol. XXlV. Antiquities (1873), pp. 3–118.
See Hardinge “On MS. mapped Townland Surveys,” in Proc. R. I. A., viii. 39, 54.
On Petty's surveys and maps see Introduction, and note on p. 6; also Petty's History, Hardinge, loc. cit., and Fitzmaurice, chap. ii.
By 17 Charles I., c. 34, Scobell, I. 26.
Probably in accordance with c. 12, Acts of 1653. Scobell, ii. 240, 242.
Many of the records were destroyed by the fire in the Council office in Essex Street, 1711. Report from the Commissioners respecting the Public Records of Ireland, 1810–1815, pp. 400, 541 et passim.
Probably a reference to c. 32, Acts of 1654, which imposed upon Ireland an assessment of £10,000 per month, together with the same excise and customs as in England, and temporarily remitted quit-rents upon the lands granted to adventurers and soldiers. Scobell, II. 313.
S, ‘to ascertain a gift.’
S, ‘restoration, there.’
Acts of 1656, c. 25 laid an assessment of £9000 per month upon Ireland for three years from 24 June, 1657. Scobell, II. 491; valuations of the several counties of Ireland, pp. 496–497.
14 & 15 Charles II., c. 16, Ireland. Cf. p. 2.
Perhaps 13 Charles I., c. I, An Act for the speedy raising of money for his Majesty's service. “Search has been made for this act in the Rolls, but it is not to be found.” Irish Statutes at Large, ii. 235.
S, ‘well assur'd.’
Cox, ‘The computation of ye value of land p 15[Edidor: illegible] for every inhabitant is very strange and can have noe certainty nor pbability—for Example Typerary has not more people in it twice than the Barony of Carbury, but it is 40 times yt value p ann. & is for ye most pte kept under sheep, & therefore thinly inhabited.’
The Table was probably omitted from the original MS. and the copyist of S left no space for it.
S omits ‘there.’
Sir Josias (not John) Bodley, youngest brother of the founder of the Bodleian Library, born about 1550, was engaged in military service in Ireland before 1600, and was employed in 1605 on fortifications in Munster. In 1609 the survey for the Ulster plantation was intrusted to him, with others, and was ably performed. He died, probably, in January, 1618.