Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. I.: That a small Country and few People, by its Situation, Trade, and Policy, may be equivalent in Wealth and Strength, to a far greater People and Territory: And particularly that conveniencies for Shipping and Water-Carriage, do most E - The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty, vol. 1
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CHAP. I.: That a small Country and few People, by its Situation, Trade, and Policy, may be equivalent in Wealth and Strength, to a far greater People and Territory: And particularly that conveniencies for Shipping and Water-Carriage, do most E - 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.
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That a small Country and few People, by its Situation, Trade, and Policy, may be equivalent in Wealth and Strength, to a far greater People and Territory: And particularly that conveniencies for Shipping and Water-Carriage, do most Eminently and Fundamentally conduce thereunto.
THis first principal Conclusion by reason of its length, I consider in three Parts; whereof the first is, That a small Country and few People, may be equivalent in Wealth and Strength to a far greater People and Territory 1 How one Man by art and one Acre of Land by improvement may be equivalent to many.
This part of the first principal Conclusion needs little proof; forasmuch as one Acre of Land, may bear as much Corn, and feed as many Cattle as twenty, by the difference of the Soil; some parcel of Ground is naturally so defensible, as that an Hundred Men being possessed ‖ thereof, can resist the Invasion of Five Hundred; and bad Land may be improved and made good; Bog may by draining be made Meadow; Heath-land may (as in Flanders) be made to bear Flax and Clover-grass, so as to advance in value from one to an Hundred2 ; The same Land being built upon, may centuple the Rent which it yielded as Pasture; one Man is more nimble, or strong, and more patient of labor than another; one Man by Art may do as much work, as many without it; viz. one Man with a Mill can grind as much Corn, as twenty can pound in a Mortar; one Printer can make as many Copies, as an Hundred Men can write by hand; one Horse can carry upon Wheels, as much as Five upon their Backs; and in a Boat, or upon Ice, as Twenty1 : So that I say again, this first point of this general Position, needs little or no proof. But the second and more material part of this Conclusion is, that this difference in Land and People, arises principally from their Situation, Trade, and Policy. ‖
To clear this, I shall compare Holland and Zealand, with A comparison of Holland and Zealand with France. the Kingdom of France, viz. Holland and Zealand do not contain above one Million of English Acres, whereas the Kingdom of France contains above 80.
Now the Original and Primitive difference holds proportion as Land to Land, for it is hard to say, that when these places were first planted, whether an Acre in France was better than the like quantity in Holland and Zealand; nor is there any reason to suppose, but that therefore upon the first Plantation, the number of Planters was in Proportion to the quantity of Land; wherefore, if the People2 are not in the same proportion as the Land, the same must be attributed to the Scituation of the Land, and to the Trade and Policy of the People superstructed thereupon.
The next thing to be shewn is, that Holland and Zealand at this day, is not only an eightieth part as rich and strong as France, but that it hath advanced to one third or thereabouts, which I think will appear upon the Ballance of the following particulars, viz. ‖
As to the Wealth of France, a certain Map of that That the Lands of France, are to the Lands of Holland and Zealand, as 8 to 1 in value. Kingdom, set forth Anno 1647. represents it to be fifteen Millions, whereof six did belong to the Church, the Author thereof (as I suppose) meaning the Rents of the Lands only: And the Author of a most Judicious discourse of Husbandry (supposed to be Sir Richard Weston3 ,) doth from reason and experience shew, that Lands in the Netherlands, by bearing Flax, Turneps, Clover-grass, Madder, &c. will easily yield 10l. per Acre; so as the Territories of Holland and Zealand, should by his account yield at least Ten Millions per annum, yet I do not believe the same to be so much, nor France so little as abovesaid, but rather, that one bears to the other as about 7, or 8 to 1.
The People of Amsterdam, are one third of those in ParisThe Buildings of Amsterdam are about half in value to those at Paris. or London, which two Cities differ not in People a twentieth part from each other, as hath appeared by the Bills of Burials and Christnings for each1 . But the value of the Buildings in Amsterdam, may well be half that of Paris, by reason of the Foundations, Grafts, and Bridges, which ‖ in Amsterdam are more numerous and chargeable than at Paris. Moreover the The Housing in France above five times the value of those in Holland and Zealand. Habitations of the poorest People in Holland and Zealand are twice or thrice as good as those of France; but the People of the one to the People of the other, being but as thirteen to one, the value of the housing must be as about five to one.
The value of the Shipping of Europe, being about two The Shipping of Holland 9 times that France. Millions of Tuns, I suppose the English have Five Hundred Thousand, the Dutch Nine Hundred Thousand, the French an Hundred Thousand, the Hamburgers, and the Subjects of Denmark, Sweden, and the Town of Dansick two Hundred and Fifty Thousand, and Spain, Portugal, Italy, &c. two Hundred and Fifty Thousand; so as the Shipping in our case of France to that of Holland and Zealand, is about one to nine, which reckoned as great and small, new and old, one with another at 82l. per Tun, makes the worth to be as Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds, to Seven Millions, and Two Hundred Thousand Pounds. The Comparison of Holl. and France in the India's. The Hollanders Capital in the East-India Company, is worth above Three ‖ Millions; where the French as yet have little or nothing.
The exportations of France and Holland is as 5 to 21. The value of the Goods exported out of France into all Parts, are supposed Quadruple to what is sent to England alone; and consequently in all about Five Millions1 , but what is exported out of Holland into England is worth Three Millions; and what is exported thence into all the World besides, is sextuple to the same.
The Revenues of France. The Monies Yearly raised by the King of France, as the same appears by the Book intituled (The State of France) Dedicated to the King, Printed Anno 1669. and set forth several times by Authority2 , is 82000000 of French Livers, which is about 6½ Millions of Pounds Sterling, of which summ the Author says, that one fifth part was abated for non-valuers or Insolvencies, so (as I suppose) not above Five Millions were effectually raised: But whereas some say, that the King of France raised Eleven Millions as the ⅕ of the effects of France; I humbly affirm, that all the Land and Sea Forces, all the Buildings and Entertainments, which we have heard by common Fame, to have been ‖ set forth and made in any of these seven last Years, needed not to have cost six Millions Sterling; wherefore, I suppose he hath not raised more, especially since there were one fifth Insolvencies, when the Tax was at that pitch. But Holland and Zealand, The Taxes paid by Holl. and Zealand. paying 67 of the 100, paid by all the United Provinces, and the City of Amsterdam paying 27 of the said 67; It follows that if Amsterdam hath paid 4000 l. Flemish per diem, or about1 1400000 l. per annum, or 800000 l. Sterling; that all Holland and Zealand, have paid 2100000 l. per annum: Now the reasons why I think they pay so much, are these, viz.
1. The Author of the State of the Netherlands saith so2 .
2. Excise of Victual at Amsterdam, seems above half the Original value of the same, viz.
Ground Corn pays 20 Stivers the Bushel, or 63 Gilders the Last; Beer 113 Stivers the Barrel, Housing ⅙ of Rent3 , Fruit ⅛ of what it cost; other Commodities , ⅛, , ; Salt ad libitum, all weighed Goods pay besides the Premisses a vast summ; now if the expence of the People of Amsterdam at a medium, ‖ and without Excise were 8 l. per annum, whereas in England 'tis 7 l. then if all the several Imposts above named, raise it Five Pound more, there being 160000 Souls in Amsterdam, the summ of 800000 l. Sterling per annum will thereby be raised.
3. Though the expence of each head, should be 13 l. per annum; 'tis well known that there be few in Amsterdam, who do not earn much more than the said expence.
4. If Holland and Zealand pay p. an. 2100000 l. then all the Provinces together, must pay about 3000000 l. less than which summ per annum, perhaps is not sufficient to have maintained the Naval War with England, 72000 Land Forces, besides all other the ordinary Charges of their Government, whereof the Church is there apart1 : To conclude, it seems from the Premisses, that all France doth not raise above thrice as much from the publick charge, as The Difference of interest between Hol. & France.Holland and Zealand alone do.
5. Interest of Money in France, is 7 l. per cent. but in Holland scarce half so much. ‖
6. The Countries of Holland and Zealand; consisting as it were of Islands guarded with the Sea, Shipping, and Marshes, is defensible at one fourth of the charge, that a plain open Country is, and where the feat of War may be both Winter and Summer; whereas in the others, little2 can be done but in the Summer only.
7. The super-lucration between France and Holl. But above all the particulars hitherto considered, that of superlucration ought chiefly to be taken in; for if a Prince have never so many Subjects, and his Country be never so good, yet if either through sloth, or extravagant expences, or Oppression and Injustice, whatever is gained shall be spent as fast as gotten, that State must be accounted poor; wherefore let it be considered, how much or how many times rather, Holland and Zealand are now above what they were 100 years ago, which we must also do of France: Now if France hath scarce doubled its Wealth and Power, and that the other have decupled theirs; I shall give the preference to the latter, even although the increased by the one, should not exceed the one half gained by the other, ‖ because one has a store for Nine Years, the other but for one.
To conclude, upon the whole it seems, that though France be in People to Holland and Zealand as 13 to 1, and in quantity of good Land, as 80 to one, yet it is not 13 times richer and stronger, much less 80 times, nor much above thrice, which was to be proved.
Having thus dispatched the two first Branches of the The causes of the difference between France and Holl first Principal conclusion; it follows, to shew that this difference of Improvement in Wealth and Strength, arises from the Situation, Trade, and Policy of the places respectively; and in particular from Conveniencies for Shipping and Water Carriage.
Many Writing on this Subject do so magnifie the Hollanders1 as if they were more, and all other Nations less than Men (as to the matters of Trade and Policy) making them Angels, and others Fools, Brutes, and Sots, as to those particulars; whereas I take the Foundation of their atchievements to lie originally in the Situation of the Country, whereby they do things inimitable by others, and have advantages whereof others are incapable. ‖
First, The Soil of Holland and Zealand is low Land, Rich and Fertile; whereby it is able to feed many Men, and The reasons why rich Land is better than course Land tho of the same Rent, and consequently why Holl. is better than Fran. so as that Men may live near each other, for their mutual assistance in Trade. I say, that a Thousand Acres, that can feed 1000 Souls, is better than 10000 Acres of no more effect, for the following reasons, viz.
1. Suppose some great Fabrick were in Building by a Thousand Men, shall not much more time be spared if they lived all upon a Thousand Acres, then if they were forced to live upon ten times as large a Scope of Land.
2. The charge of the cure of their Souls, and the Ministry would be far greater in one case than in the other; as also of mutual defence in case of Invasion, and even of Thieves and Robbers: Moreover the charge of the administration of Justice would be much easier, where Witnesses and Parties may be easily Summoned, Attendance less expensive, when Mens Actions would be better known, when wrongs and injuries could not be covered, as in thin peopled places they are. ‖
Lastly, those who live in Solitary places, must be their own Soldiers, Divines, Physicians, and Lawyers; and must have their Houses stored with necessary Provisions (like a Ship going upon a long Voyage,) to the great wast, and needless expence of such Provisions. The value of this first convenience to the Dutch, I reckon or estimate1 to be about 100000 l. per annum.
The advantages from the level and windmills of Holl. 2ly. Holland is a Level Country, so as in any part thereof, a Windmill may be set up, and by its being moist and vaporous, there is always wind stirring over it, by which advantage the labor of many thousand Hands is saved, forasmuch as a Mill made by one Man in half a year, will do as much Labor, as four Men for Five Years together. This advantage is greater or less, where employment or ease of Labour is so; but in Holland 'tis eminently great, and the worth of this conveniency is near an Hundred and Fifty Thousand Pounds.
3ly. The advantages from Holl. of Manufacture & Commerce. The Situation of Holl &Zeal. upon the Mouths of three great Rivers. There is much more to be gained by Manufacture than Husbandry, and by Merchandize than Manufacture; but Hollan and Zealand, being seated at the mouths of three long great Rivers, ‖ and passing through Rich Countries, do keep all the Inhabitants upon the sides of those Rivers but as Husbandmen, whilst themselves are the Manufactors of their Commodities, and do dispence them into all Parts of the World, making returns for the same, at what prices almost they please themselves; and in short, they keep the Keys of Trade of those Countries, through which the said Rivers pass; the value of this third conveniency, I suppose to be2 200000l.
4ly. Nearness to navigable Waters. In Holland and Zealand, there is scarce any place of work, or business one Mile distant from a Navigable Water, and the charge of Water carriage is generally but or part of Land carriage; Wherefore if there be as much Trade there as in France, then, the Hollanders can out-sell the French of all the expence, of all Travelling Postage and carriage whatsoever, which even in England I take to be 300000 l. p.an. where the very Postage of Letters, costs the People perhaps 50000 l. per annum, though Farmed at much less, and all other Labour of Horses, and Porters, at least six times as much; The value of ‖ this conveniency I estimate to be above Three Hundred Thousand pounds per annum.
5. The defensibleness of the Country, by reason of its The defensibleness of Holland. Situation in the Sea upon Islands1 , and in the Marshes, Impassible ground Diked and Trenched, especially considering how that place is aimed at for its Wealth; I say the charge of defending that Country, is easier than if it were a plain Champion, at least 200000 l. per annum.
6. Holland is so considerable for keeping Ships in Harbouring of Shipping at small expence Harbour with small expence of Men, and ground Tackle, that it saves per annum 200000 l. of what must be spent in France. Now if all these natural advantages do amount to above one Million per annum Profits, and that the Trade of all Europe, nay of the whole World, with which our Europeans do Trade, is not above 45 Millions p. an. and if of the value be of the Profit, it is plain that the Hollander may Command and Govern the whole Trade.
7. Those who have their Situation thus towards the Sea, Advantages from Fishing. and abound with Fish at home, and having also the command ‖ of Shipping, have by consequence the Fishing Trade, whereof that of Herring alone, brings more yearly Profit to the Hollanders than the Trade of the West-Indies to Spain, or of the East to themselves, as many have affirmed, being as the same say2viis & modis of above three Millions per annum Profit.
8. It is not to be doubted, but those who have the Advantages by Naval Provisions. Trade of Shipping and Fishing3 , will secure themselves of the Trade of Timber for Ships, Boats, Masts, and Cask; of Hemp for Cordage, Sails, and Nets; of Salt, of Iron; as also of Pitch, Tar, Rosin, Brimstone, Oil, and Tallow, as necessary Appurtenances to Shipping and Fishing.
9 Fitness for Universal Trade. Those who predominate in Shipping, and Fishing, have more occasions than others to frequent all parts of the World, and to observe what is wanting or redundant every where, and what each People can do, and what they desire, and consequently to be the Factors, and Carriers for the whole World of Trade. Upon which ground they bring all Native Commodities to be Manufactured at home, and carry the same back, even to that Country in ‖ which they grew, all which we see.
For, do they not work the Sugars of the West-Indies? The Timber and Iron of the Baltick? The Hemp of Russia? The Lead, Tin, and Wooll of England? The Quick-silver and Silk of Italy? The Yarns, and Dying Stuffs of Turkey, &c. To be short, in all the ancient States, and Empires, those who had the Shipping, had the Wealth, and if 2 per Cent. in the price of Commodities, be perhaps 20 per Cent. in the gain: it is manifest that they who can in forty five Millions, undersel others by one Million, (upon accompt of natural1 , and intrinsick advantages only) may easily have the Trade of the World without such Angelical Wits and Judgments, as some attribute to the Hollanders.
Having thus done with their Situation, I come now to their Trade.
Artificial advantages of Trade. It is commonly seen, that each Country flourisheth in the Manufacture of its own Native Commodities, viz. England for woollen Manufacture, France for Paper, Luic-land2 for Iron Ware, Portugal for Confectures, Italy for Silks; upon which Principle it follows, that Holland and Zealand must flourish most ‖ in the Trade of Shipping, and so become Carriers and Factors of the whole World of Trade. Now the advantages of the Shipping Trade are as followeth, viz.
Husbandmen, Seamen, Soldiers, Artizans1 and Merchants, Husbandmen, Seamen, Soldiers, Artizans, and Merchants, are the very Pillars of a Common-Wealth, and a Seaman is three of them. are the very Pillars of any Common-Wealth2 ; all the other great Professions, do rise out of the infirmities, and miscarriages of these; now the Seaman is three of these four. For every Seaman of industry and ingenuity, is not only a Navigator, but a Merchant, and also a Soldier; not because he hath often occasion to fight, and handle Arms; but because he is familiarized with hardship and hazards, extending to Life and Limbs; for Training and Drilling is a small part of Soldiery, in respect of this last mentioned Qualification; the one being quickly and presently learned, the other not without many years most painful experience: wherefore to have the occasion of abounding in Seamen, is a vast conveniency.
2. The Husbandman of England earns but about 4 s. per Week, but the Seamen have as good as 12 s. in Wages, ‖ Victuals (and as it were housing) with other accommodations, so as a Seaman is in effect three Husbandmen; wherefore A Seaman equivalent to three Husbandmen. there is little Ploughing, and Sowing of Corn in Holland and Zealand, or breeding of young Cattle: but their Land is improved by building Houses, Ships, Engines, Dikes, Wharfs, Gardens of pleasure, extraordinary Flowers and Fruits; for Dairy and feeding of Cattle, for Rape, Flax, Madder, &c. The Foundations of several advantageous Manufactures.
3. Whereas the Employment of other Men is confined to their own Country, that of Seamen is free to the whole World; so as where Trade may (as they call it) be dead here or there3 , now and then, it is certain that some where or other in the World. Trade is always quick enough, and Provisions are always plentiful, the benefit whereof, those who command the Shipping enjoy, and they only.
4. The great and ultimate effect of Trade is not Wealth Silver, Gold, and Jewels, are Universal Wealth. at large, but particularly abundance of Silver, Gold, and Jewels, which are not perishable, nor so mutable as other Commodities1 , ‖ but are Wealth at all times, and all places: Whereas abundance of Wine, Corn, Fowls, Flesh, &c. are Riches but hic & nunc, so as the raising of such Commodities, and the following of such Trade, which does store the Country with Gold, Silver, Jewels, &c. is profitable before others. But the Labour of Seamen, and Freight of Ships, is always of the nature of an Exported Commodity, the overplus whereof, above what is Imported, brings home mony, &c.
5. Reasons why the Hollanders Sail for less Freight. Those who have the command of the Sea Trade, may Work at easier Freight with more profit, than others at greater: for as Cloth must be cheaper made, when one Cards, another Spins, another Weaves, another Draws, another Dresses, another Presses and Packs; than when all the Operations above-mentioned, were clumsily performed by the same hand; so those who command the Trade of Shipping, can build long slight Ships for carrying Masts, Fir-Timber, Boards, Balks, &c.And short ones for Lead, Iron, Stones &c. One sort of Vessels to Trade at Ports where they need never lie a ground, others where they must jump upon the Sand ‖ twice every twelve hours; One sort of Vessels, and way of manning in time of Peace, and2 cheap gross Goods, another for War and precious Commodities; One sort of Vessels for the turbulent Sea, another for Inland Waters and Rivers; One sort of Vessels, and Rigging, where haste is requisite for the Maidenhead of a Market, another where ⅕ or ¼ part of the time makes no matter. One sort of Masting and Rigging for long Voyages, another for Coasting. One sort of Vessels for Fishing, another for Trade. One sort for War for this or that Country, another for Burthen only. Some for Oars, some for Poles, some for Sails, and some for draught by Men or Horses, some for the Northern Navigations amongst Ice, and some for the South against Worms, &c.3 And this I take to be the chief of several Reasons, why the Hollanders can go at less Freight than their Neighbours, viz. because they can afford a particular sort of Vessels for each particular Trade.
I have shewn how Situation hath given them Shipping, and how Shipping hath given them in effect all other ‖ Trade, and how Foreign Traffick must give them as much Manufacture as they can manage themselves, and as for the overplus, make the rest of the World but as Workmen to their Shops. It now remains to shew the effects of their The Policy of Holland. Policy, superstructed upon these natural advantages, and not as some think upon the excess of their Understandings.
I have omitted to mention the Hollanders were one hundred years since, a poor and oppressed People, living in a Country naturally cold1 and unpleasant: and were withal persecuted for their Heterodoxy in Religion
From hence it necessarily follows, that this People must Labour hard, and set all hands to Work: Rich and Poor, Young and Old, must study the Art of Number, Weight, and Measure; must fare hard, provide for Impotents, and for Orphans, out of hope to make profit by their Labours: must punish the Lazy by Labour, and not by cripling them2 : I say, all these particulars, said to be the subtile excogitations of the Hollanders, seem to me, but what could not almost have been otherwise. ‖
Liberty of Conscience, Registry of Conveyances, small Customs, Banks, Lumbards, and Law Merchant, rise all from the same Spring, and tend to the same Sea; as for lowness of Interest, it is also a necessary effect of all the premisses, and not the Fruit of their contrivance.
Wherefore we shall only shew in particular the efficacy of each, and first of Liberty of Conscience; but before I enter upon these, I shall mention a Practice almost forgotten, (whether it referreth to Trade or Policy is not material,) which is, the Hollanders undermasting, and sailing such of Under-masting of Ships. their Shipping, as carry cheap and gross Goods, and whose Sale doth not depend much upon Season.
It is to be noted, that of two equal and like Vessels, if one spreads one thousand six hundred Yards of like Canvase, and the other two thousand five hundred, their speed is but as four to five, so as one brings home the same Timber in four days, as the other will in five. Now if we consider that although those Ships be but four or five days under Sail, that they are perhaps ‖ thirty upon the Voyage; so as the one is but part longer upon the whole Voyage than the other, though one fifth longer under Sail. Now if Masts, Yards, Rigging, Cables, and Anchors, do all depend upon the quantity and extent of the Sails, and consequently hands also; it follows, that the one Vessel, goes at one third less charge, losing but one thirtieth1 of the time, and of what depends thereupon.
Liberty of Conscience, and the Reasons thereof in Holland. I now come to the first Policy of the Dutch, viz. Liberty of Conscience; which I conceive they grant upon these Grounds. (But keeping up always a Force to maintain the Common Peace,) 1. They themselves broke with Spain, to avoid the imposition of the Clergy. 2. Dissenters of this kind, are for the most part, thinking, sober, and patient Men, and such as believe that Labour and Industry is their Duty towards God. (How erroneous soever their Opinions2 be.) 3. These People believing the Justice of God, and seeing the most Licentious persons, to enjoy most of the World, and its best things, will never venture to be of the same Religion and Profession with Voluptuaries, ‖ and Men of extreme Wealth and Power, who they think have their Portion in this World.
4. They cannot but know, That no Man can believe what himself pleases, and to force Men to say they believe what they do not, is vain, absurd, and without Honor to God.
5. The Hollanders knowing themselves not to be an Infallible Church, and that others had the same Scripture for Guides as themselves, and withal the same Interest to save their Souls, did not think fit to make this matter their business; not more than to take Bonds of the Seamen they employ, not to cast away their own Ships and Lives.
6. The Hollanders observe that in France and Spain, (especially the latter) the Churchmen are about one hundred for one, to what they use or need; the principal care of whom is to preserve Uniformity, and this they take to be a superfluous charge.
7. They observe where most indeavours have been used to keep Uniformity, there Heterodoxy hath most abounded.
8. They believe that if ¼ of the People were Heterodox, and that if ‖ that whole quarter should by Miracle be removed, that within a small time ¼ of the remainder would again become Heterodox some way or other, it being natural for Men to differ in Opinion in matters above Sense and Reason: and for those who have less Wealth, to think they have the more Wit and Understanding, especially of the things of God, which they think chiefly belong to the Poor.
9. They think the case of the Primitives, as it is represented in the Acts of the Apostles, looks like that of the present Dissenters, (I mean externally.) Moreover it is to be observed that Trade doth not (as some think) best The Trade of any Country is chiefly managed by the Heterodox party. flourish under Popular Governments, but rather that Trade is most vigorously carried on, in every State and Government, by the Heterodox part of the same, and such as profess Opinions different from what are publickly established: (that is to say) in India where the Mahometan Religion is Authorized, there the Banians are the most considerable Merchants. In the Turkish Empire the Jews, and Christians. At Venice, Naples, Legorn, Genoua, and Lisbone, ‖ Jews, and Non-Papist Merchant-Strangers: but to be short, in that part of Europe, where the Roman Catholick Religion now hath, or lately hath had Establishment; there three quarters of the whole Trade, is in the hands of such as have separated from the1 Church (that is to say) the Inhabitants of England, Scotland, and Ireland, as also those of the United Provinces, with Denmark, Sueden, and Norway, together with the Subjects of the German Protestant Princes, and the Hans Towns, do at this day possess three quarters of the Trade of the World; and even in France it self, the Hugonots are proportionably far the greatest Traders; Nor is it to be denied but that in Ireland, where the said Roman Religion is not Authorized, there the Professors thereof have a great part of the Trade. From whence it follows that Trade is not fixt to any All the Papists Seamen of Europe are scarce sufficient to Man the King of England's Fleet. Species of Religion as such; but rather as before hath been said to the Hetrodox part of the whole, the truth whereof appears also in all1 the particular Towns of greatest Trade in England; nor do I find reason to believe, that the Roman Catholick Seamen in the whole World, ‖ are sufficient to Man effectually a Fleet equal to what the King of England now hath; but the Non-papist Seamen, can do above thrice as much. Wherefore he whom this latter Party doth affectionately own to be their Head, cannot probably be wronged in his Sea-concernments by the other; from whence it follows, that for the advancement of Trade, (if that be a sufficient reason) Indulgence must be granted in matters of Opinion; though licentious actings as even in Holland, be restrained by force.
Firm Titles to Lands and Houses. The second Policy or help to Trade used by the Hollanders, is securing the Titles to Lands and Houses; for although Lands and Houses may be called Terra Firma & res immobilis, yet the Title unto them is no more certain, than it pleases the Lawyers and Authority to make them; wherefore the Hollanders do by Registries, and other ways of Assurance make the Title as immovable as the Lands, for there can be no incouragement to Industry, where there is no assurance of what shall be gotten by it; and where by fraud and corruption, one Man may take away with ease and by a trick, and in a moment ‖ what another has gotten by many Years2 extreme labour and pains3 .
Of the introducing Registries into England. There hath been much discourse, about introducing of Registries into England; the Lawyers for the most part object against it, alledging that Titles of Land in England are sufficiently secure already; wherefore omitting the considerations of small and oblique reasons pro & contra, it were good that enquiry were made from the Officers of several Courts, to what summ or value Purchasers have been damnified for this last ten Years, by such fraudulent conveyances as Registries would have prevented; the tenth part whereof at a Medium, is the annual loss which the People sustain for want of them, and then computation is to be made of the annual charge of Registring such extraordinary Conveyances, as would secure the Title of Lands; now by comparing these two summs, the Question so much agitated may be determined; though some think that though few are actually damnified, yet that all are hindered by fear and deterred from Dealing1 .
Their third Policy is their Bank, the use whereof is to The Banks of Holland. encrease Mony, or rather to ‖ make a small summ equivalent in Trade to a greater, for the effecting whereof these things are to be considered. 1. How much Money will drive the Trade of the Nation. 2. How much current Money there is actually in the Nation. 3. How much Money will serve to make all payments of under 50 l. or any other more convenient summ throughout the Year. 4. For what summ the keepers of the Bank are unquestionable Security: If all these four particulars be well known, then it may also be known, how much of the ready Money above mentioned may safely and profitably2 be lodged in the Bank, and to how much ready current Money the said deposited Money is equivalent. As for example, suppose a Hund. thous. Pounds will drive the Trade of the Nation, & suppose there be but Sixty thousand Pounds of ready Money in the same; suppose also that Twenty thous. Pounds will drive on and answer all Payments made of under 50 l. In this case Forty of the Sixty being put into the Bank, will be equivalent to Eighty, which eighty and twenty kept out of the Bank do make up an Hundred, (that is to say) enough to drive ‖ the Trade as was proposed; where note that the Bank keepers must be responsible for double the summ intrusted with them, and must have power to levy upon the general, what they happen to loose unto particular Men.
Upon which grounds, the Bank may freely make use of the received Forty thousand Pounds, whereby the said summ, with the like summ in Credit makes Eighty thousand Pounds, and with the Twenty reserved an Hundred.
The Hollanders are seldom Husband-men or Foot Soldiers. I might here add many more particulars, but being the same as have already been noted by others, I shall conclude only with adding one observation which I take to be of consequence, viz. That the Hollanders do rid their hands of two Trades, which are of greatest turmoil and danger, and yet of least profit; the first whereof is that of a common and private Soldier, for such they can hire from England, Scotland, and Germany, to venture their lives for Six pence a day, whilst themselves safely and quietly follow such Trades, whereby the meanest of them gain six times as much, and withal by this entertaining of Strangers for Soldiers; their Country ‖ becomes more and more peopled, forasmuch as the Children of such Strangers, are Hollanders and take to Trades, whilst new Strangers are admitted ad infinitum; besides these Soldiers at convenient intervals, do at least as much work as is equivalent to what they spend, and consequently by this way of employing of Strangers for Soldiers, they People the Country and save their own Persons from danger and misery, without any real expence, effecting by this method, what others have in vain attempted by Laws for Naturalizing of Strangers1 , as if Men could be charmed to transplant themselves from their own Native, into a Foreign Country merely by words, and for the bare leave of being called by a new Name. In Ireland Laws of Naturalization2 have had little effect, to bring in Aliens, and 'tis no wonder, since English Men will not go thither without they may have the pay of Soldiers, or some other advantage amounting to maintenance.
Having intimated the way by which the Hollanders do The Method of computing the value of Men and People. increase their People, I shall here digress to set down the way of computing the value of every Head ‖ one with another, and that by the instance of People in England, viz. Suppose the People of England be Six Millions in number, that their expence at 7 l. per Head be forty two Millions: suppose also that the Rent of the Lands be eight Millions, and the profit1 of all the Personal Estate be Eight Millions more; it must needs follow, that the Labour of the People must have supplyed the remaining Twenty Six Millions, the which multiplied by Twenty (the Mass of Mankind being worth Twenty Years purchase as well as Land) makes Five Hundred and Twenty Millions, as the value2 of the whole People: which number divided by Six Millions, makes above 80 l. Sterling, to be valued of each Head of Man, Woman, and Child, and of adult Persons twice as much; from whence we may learn to compute the loss we have sustained by the Plague, by the Slaughter of Men in War, and by the sending them abroad into the Service of Foreign Princes.3 The other Trade of which the Hollanders have rid their Hands, is the old Patriarchal Trade of being Cow-keepers, and in a great Measure of that which concerns ‖ Ploughing and Sowing of Corn, having put that Employment upon the Danes and Polanders, from whom they have their Young Cattle and Corn. Now here we may take notice, that as Trades and curious Arts increase; so the Trade of Husbandry will decrease, or else the Wages of Husbandmen must rise, and consequently the Rents of Lands must fall.
For proof whereof I dare affirm, that if all the Husband-men of England, who now earn but 8 d. a day or thereabouts, could become Tradesmen and earn 16 d. a day (which is no great Wages 2 s. and 2 s. 6 d. being usually given) that then it would be the advantage of England to throw up their Husbandry, and to make no use of their Lands, but for Grass Horses, Milch Cows, Gardens, and Orchards, &c. which if it be so, and if Trade and Manufacture have increased in England (that is to say) if a greater part of the People, apply themselves to those faculties, than there did heretofore, and if the price of Corn be no greater now, than when Husbandmen were more numerous, and Tradesmen fewer; It follows from that single ‖ reason (though others may be Reasons why Rents do fall. added) that the Rents of Land must fall: As for example, suppose the price of Wheat be 5 s. or 60 pence the Bushel; now if the Rent of the Land whereon it grows, be the third Sheaf; then of the 60 d. 20 d. is for the Land, and 40 d. for the Husbandman; But if the Husbandmans Wages, should rise one eighth part, or from 8 d. to 9 d. per Drem, then the Husbandmans share in the Bushel of Wheat, rises from 40 d. to 45 d. And consequently the Rent of the Land must fall from 20 d. to 15 d for we suppose the price of the Wheat still remains the same: Especially since we cannot raise it, for if we did attempt it, Corn would be brought in to us, (as into Holland) from Foreign Parts, where the State of Husbandry was not changed.
And thus I have done with the first principal Conclusion, that, A small Territory, and even a few People, may by Situation, Trade, and Policy, be made equivalent to a greater; and that convenience for Shipping, and Water-carriage, do most eminently and fundamentally conduce thereunto. ‖
This was a favourite idea of Petty's friend, Hartlib. Cf. note 3, p. 250.
A list of ‘Experiments to be made relating to Land-Carriage proposed by the learned Sir William Petty, Kt.,’ is in Philosophical Transactions, no. 161, 20 July, 1684, vol. XIV. pp. 666–667. These experiments, if performed, would yield data concerning traction similar to those which Petty here assumes.
S, ‘now are,’ the ‘now’ inserted by Petty.
The relations of Weston's Discourse of Husbandrie used in Brabant and Flanders, 1652, to Hartlib's Discourse, to Hartlib's Legacy, and to the Directions left by a Gentleman to his Sons for the Improvement of barren and heathy Land, 1670, are much involved. They appear to be all substantially the same book. Cf. A biographical Memoir of Hartlib with bibliographical Notices of Works published by him. By H. Dircks (1865), p. 62–87.
The Paris bills began in 1670 (see note on the subject near the end of Graunt's Observations, post) and from that time to 1676 the births in the two cities always differed more than a twentieth, and the burials differed by more than a twentieth each year save in 1672.
S, ‘9,’ altered to ‘8’ by Petty; R, ‘8.’
This estimate, again alluded to on p. 297, is much less than Fortrey's figures of English imports out of France, quoted on p. 309. The well known “Scheme of the trade at present carried on between England and France,” dated 1674, made the total English imports from France £1,136,150, as against total exports to France of only £171,021. Reprinted Somers’ Tracts, VIII. 30–31, and Parl. Hist., IV. appendix, p. cxvii. When printed in King's British Merchant, 29 November, 1674, this estimate was said to have been calculated as exactly as possible, in obedience to the commands of the commissioners for the treaty with France, by sundry London tradesmen. Merchant, 1721 ed., vol. 1. p. 181. But in vol. 11. p. 407 the same figures are said to be taken from a report of Sir George Downing, commissioner of customs, to the Privy Council, dated 9 March, 1675. Whatever their true source, the figures were known at the time when Petty wrote and may have some connection with his estimate of imports at “not above one million two hundred thousand pounds per annum” (p. 297). The Mercator alleged that the calculation as printed by the British Merchant was disingenuous, the exports being those of 1668, the year after Colbert's great increase of the French duties, while the imports were those of 1674. Taking its figures, apparently, from Davenant's Report to the Commissioners for Stating the public Accounts (Works, v. 353), the Mercator of 26–28 May, 1713 gives its own estimate for 1668–69, imports £541,584, exports £108,699.
The present State of France containing the Orders, Dignities and Charges of that Kingdom. Written in French [by Nicolas Besongne] and faithfully Englished. London. 1671. 12°. I can find no English edition of 1669, but L'état de la France, ou l’ on voit tous les Princes, Ducs & Pairs was printed at Paris by Jean Rinom in 1669. The English State says that the taxes and subsidies amount in the whole to 50,359,208 livres. “It is not to be doubted that during the late disorders there were many insolvents, for weh reason this Estimat was not of the last year, but of the years before: in the year 1648 his Majesty by his Declaration remitted the fifth part of the said taxes, but since the said declaration has been revoked, and the taxes advanced above a third.” P. 457–458. De l’ Etat present de la France [par Paul Hay du Chastelet]. À Cologne [? Amsterdam, see Weller, Falsche und fingirte Druckorte, 11. 25], 1672, was not set forth by authority.
S, ‘about’ inserted by Petty, R ‘about 1460,000 p Ann or above 800 thousand.’
“It is commonly reported that in the general contribution of the Provinces toward the War, Holland gives 57 in a 100, and Amsterdam alone gives above 27 of the 57; from whence may be inferred what are the riches of that Town. The revenue of the said City comes to above 4000 pound a day.” The present state of the United Provinces of the Low-countries…. Collected by W[illiam] A[lbigony]. The second edition. London, 1671, p. 360.
1691, ‘the rent,’ cf. errata on p. 248.
1691, ‘a part,’ cf. errata.
S, ‘nothing,’ altered to ‘little’ by Petty.
See Die Nachamung der niederlandischen Handelsbluthe in Roscher, op.cit. p.57.
S, ‘or estimat’ inserted by Petty, not in R.
S, R, ‘is,’ S altered to ‘I suppose to be’ by Petty.
S, ‘made by ye sea & Trenches’ was inserted by Petty and then stricken out, not in R.
S, R, ‘themselves, being as some say,’ S altered to ‘themselves as many have affirmed, being as the same say’ by Petty.
See John Keymour's Observations made upon the Dutch Fishing, about the year 1601, demonstrating that there is more Wealth raised out of the Herrings and other Fish in his Majesty's Seas, by the neighbouring Nations in one Year than the King of Spain hath from the Indies in four, London, 1664, 4°. Also Sir John Burroughs, The Sovereignty of the British Seas, London, 1651, 12°, p. 115; Evelyn, Navigation and Commerce in McCulloch's Select Collection of Tracts on Commerce, 95, and note 4, p. 242.
S, R, ‘mutual interest and,’ S altered to ‘natural and’ by Petty.
Luikland or Luykerland, i.e. Liege.
S, ‘Artizans’ inserted by Petty, not in R. Petty neglected to make a corresponding alteration in ‘three of these four,’ three lines further down.
Cf. P. de la Court, Aanwysing (1669), Engl. transl., p. III.
S omits ‘or there,’ R has it.
S, ‘nor so mutable as other Comodityes’ inserted by Petty.
1691, ‘and for,’ cf. errata.
On Petty's experiments in shipbuilding and his writings on the subject see Introduction, part III. and Fitzmaurice, 109–115, 256, 266, et passim.
S, R, 1691 insert ‘moist,’ cf. errata.
S, ‘& not by cripling them’ inserted by Petty.
S, ‘principles,’ altered to ‘Opinions,’ R, ‘principalls,’ altered to ‘principles.’
S omits ‘all.’
S, ‘and in a moment’ and ‘many years,’ inserted by Petty.
Petty had lost much land of which he once supposed himself the owner. Fitzmaurice, 137, 138, 151.
S, ‘though some think. from Dealing’ inserted by Petty.
S, ‘profitably,’ altered by Petty to ‘properly, which R has.
Propositions for the naturalization of aliens were laid before Parliament in 1664, 1667, 1670 and 1672. Commons’ Jour., VIII. 555, 557; IX. 22, 29, 33, 175, 250, 267, 274, 275; Parl. Hist., IV. 577. Cf. Child, New Discourse of Trade, ch. VII.; Cunningham, Engl. Industry, 11. 178, 179.
14 & 15 Charles II. c. 13, Ireland, provided that Protestant strangers, merchants, traders and artizans, who within seven years should transport their stocks and families into Ireland, there reside and take oath of allegiance, should be adjudged to all intents free and naturalized subjects, with all the rights of natives. Cf. Mountmorres, Hist. of the Irish Parliament, 1. 426.
S, 1691, ‘yearly profit,’ ‘yearly’ inserted in S by Petty, obscure, R, ‘ye Profit,’ cf. errata.
1691, ‘to be the value,’ cf. errata.
S, R, ‘The other Trade’ begins a paragraph.
S and R have no side notes.