Front Page Titles (by Subject) Thomas Mun, A DISCOVERSE OF Trade from England vnto the East-Indies: Answering to diuerse Obiections which are vsually made against the same. - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
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Thomas Mun, A DISCOVERSE OF Trade from England vnto the East-Indies: Answering to diuerse Obiections which are vsually made against the same. - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others 
A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others, with a Preface and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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Thomas Mun, A DISCOVERSE OF Trade from England vnto the East-Indies:
Brief Notes directing to the seueral parts which are handled in the Answeres made to the foure Obiections against the East-India Trade in the Dis-course following.
The Trade of Merchandize, is not onely that laudable practise whereby the entercourse of Nations is so worthily performed, but also (as I may terme it) the very Touchstone of a kingdomes prosperity, when therein some certen rules shall be diligently obserued. For, as in the estates of priuate persons, we may accompt that man to prosper and growe rich, who being possessed of reuenues more or lesse, doth accordingly proportion his expences; whereby he may yearely aduance some maintenance for his posterity. So doth it come to passe in those Kingdomes, which with great care and warinesse doe euer vent out more of their home commodities, than they import and vse of forraine wares; for so vndoubtedly the remainder must returne to them in treasure. But where a contrary course is taken, through wantonnesse and riot, to ouerwaste both forren and domesticke wares, there must the money of necessity be exported, as the meanes to helpe to furnish such excesse, and so by the corruption of mens conditions and manners, many rich countries are made exceeding poore, whilst the people thereof, too much affecting their owne enormities, doe lay the fault in something else.
Wherefore, industry to encrease, and frugalitie to maintaine, are the true watchmen of a kingdomes treasury; euen when, the force and feare of Princes prohibitions cannot possibly retaine the same.
And therefore, as it is most plaine, that proportion or quantity, must euer bee regarded in the importing of forren wares; so must there also be a great respect of quality and vse; that so, the things most necessarie bee first preferred, such as are foode, rayment, and munition for warre and trade; which great blessings, when any countrie doth sufficiently enioy; the next to bee procured are wares, fitting for health, and arts; the last, are those, which serue for our pleasures, and ornament.
Now, forasmuch, as by the prouidence of almighty God, the Kingdome of England, is endowed with such aboundance of rich commodities, that it hath long enioied, not onely great plenty of the thing before named, but also, through a superfluity, hath beene much inriched with treasure brought in from forraine parts; which hath giuen life vnto so many worthy trades, amongst which that vnto the East-India by name; the report whereof, although it is already spread so famous through the world; yet notwithstanding, heere at home, the clamorous complaints against the same, are growne so loude and generall, that (my selfe being one of the Society) it hath much troubled my priuate meditations, to conceiue the means or true grounds of this confusion. But at the last I resolued my selfe, that the greatest number of these exclaimers, are led away in ignorance; not hauing as yet, discerned the mysteries of such waighty affaires; some haue beene transported with enuy, as not participating in the said Society, or beeing thereby hindred (as they conceiue) in some other trade; and others, wholly corrupted in their affections; who whilst they willingly runne into these errors, doe also labour diligently to seduce others; that so, this good and glory of the Kingdome, might be subuerted by our selues, which by the policie and strength of Strangers, cannot so easily be abated. Wherefore, it is now a fit time to meet with such iniurious courses, by a true Narration of the passages in the said East-India Trade; answering to those seuerall obiections, which are so commonly made against the same; That so these mis-vnderstandings and errours may bee made knowne vnto the whole body of this Kingdome, which at this present time is most worthily represented in those noble assemblies of the high Court of Parliament; where I hope the worth of this rich Trade, shall be effectually inquired, and so in the end obtaine the credit of an honorable approbation.
The first Obiection.
It were a happie thing for Christendome (say many men) that the Nauigation to the East-Indies, by way of the Cape of Good hope, had neuer bene found out, For in the fleetes of shippes, which are sent thither yearely out of England, Portingall, and the Lowcountries; The gold, siluer, and Coyne of Christendome, and particularly of this Kingdome, is exhausted, to buy vnnecessarie wares.
The matter of this Obiection is very waighty, and therefore, it ought to be answered fully; the which that I may the better performe, I will diuide the same into three parts.
1. In the first, I will consider, the necessary vse of the wares, which are vsually brought out of East-India into Europe; namely, Drugs, Spices, rawsilk, Indico, & Callicoes.
2. In the second; I will intimate the manner & meanes, by which the said wares haue beene heretofore, and now are brought into Europe.
3. In the third and last; I will proue, that the treasure of England is not consumed, but rather greatly to bee increased by the performance of the said Trade.
The 1. part concerneth the vse of Indian wares.Touching the first; Who is so ignorant, in any famous commonwealth, which will not consent to the moderate vse of wholesome Drugges and comfortable Spices? Which haue beene so much desired in all times, and by so many Nations; not thereby to surfeit, or to please a lickorish taste (as it often happeneth, with many other fruites and wines) but rather as things most necessary to preserue their health, and to cure their diseases; euen as it is most notably set forth by some learned men, who haue vndertaken, to write vpon this subiect; and therefore, it shall bee altogether needlesse heere to discourse vpon their seuerall operations and vertues, seeing that, he that listeth, may be well instructed therein; if hee will peruse the volumes which are penned by the learned, for the benefit of all those, who shall make vse thereof.Sir Thomas Elyos his Castle of health. Rembert Dodoneus his history of Plants. The French Academy second part, & others.
But if peraduenture, it be yet further vrged; that diuers nations liue without the vse of Drugges and Spices: The answer is, That either such people know not their vertue; and therefore, suffer much by the want of wares so healthfull, or else, they are most miserable; being without means to obtain the things, which they so much want: but sithence I intend to be briefe, I will insist no further vpon this point; For the Obiecters might as well deny vs the vse of Sugars, Wines, Oyles, Raysons, Figgs, Prunes, and Currandes; and with farre more reason exclaime against Tobacco, Cloth of gold and Siluer, Lawnes, Cambricks, Gold & Siluer lace, Veluets, Sattens, Taffaties, and diuers other manufactures yearely brought into this Realme, for an infinite value; all which as it is most true, that whilest wee consume them, they likewise deuoure our wealth; yet neuerthelesse, the moderate vse of all these wares hath euer suted well with the riches and Maiestie of this Kingdome.
But I will come to the Raw-silks and Indico; this being so excellent for the dying of our woollen-cloathes, thereby so much esteemed in so many places of the world; that for ornament, together with the great reliefe & maintenance of so many hundreds of poore people; who are continually imployed,France and the Low countries of late yeares do make great quantities of wrought silke, of which wares they were heretofore serued from Italy. in the winding, twisting, and weauing of the same; Insomuch, that by the cherishing of this busines (as his Maiestie, for his part is graciously pleased to performe, in remitting the impost of Silke) it may well be hoped, that in short time, industry will make the art to flourish, with no lesse happinesse to this Kingdome, then it hath done (through many ages) to diuerse States in Italy, and lately also to the Kingdome of France, and to the vnited Prouinces of the Lowcountries.
Now as touching the trade of Callicoes, of many sorts, into which the English lately made an entrance; although it cannot bee truly sayd, that this commodity is profitable for the state of Christendome in generall (in respect they are the manufacture of Infidells, and in great part the weare of Christians) yet neuerthelesse, this commoditie, likewise is of singular vse, for this common wealth in particular; not onely therewith to increase the trade into forraine parts; but also thereby, greatly to abate the excessiue prices of Cambricks, Holland, and other sorts of Linnen-cloath;France, Italy, South Barbary, and other Countries. which daily are brought into this Kingdome, for a very great summe of money. And this shall suffice concerning the necessary vse of the Indian wares; In the next place, I will set forth the manner and meanes of their importing into Europe.
The 2. part Sheweth the manner & the meanes by which Indian wares haue beene and now are brought into Europe.It is an errour in those men; who thinke that the trade of the East-Indies into Europe had first entrance by the discouery of the Nauigation by the Cape of Good-hope. For many yeares before that time, the traffique of those parts, had his ordinary course by shipping from diuerse places in the Indies; yearely resorting with their wares to Mocha in the Red Sea, and Balsera in the Persian-Gulfe: From both which places, the Merchandize (with great charges) were after transported ouer land by the Turkes vpon Cammels, 50 dayes iourney, vnto Aleppo in Soria, and to Alexandria in Egypt, (which are the Mart Townes, from whence diuerse Nations, as well Turkes, as Christians, doe continually disperse the sayd wares by Sea into the partes of Europe:) by which course, the common enemie of Christendome (the Turke) was Maister of the Trade; which did greatly imploy, and inrich his Subiects, and also fill the Coffers of his owne customes, which hee exacted at very high rates;Rates vpon all sorts of Spices 22. per cent. Raw-Silkes esteemed about 2. per cent. Indico about 8. per cent. But by the prouidence of almightie God, the discouerie of that Nauigation to the East-Indies by the Cape of Good-hope (now so much frequented by the English, Portingalls, and Dutche; and also attempted, by other Christian Kingdomes) hath not onely much decayed the great commerce, betweene the Indians and the Turkes in the Red Sea; and in the Persian Gulfe (to their infinite hurt, and to the great increase of Christian trade,) but it hath also brought a further happinesse vnto Christendome in generall, and to the Realme of England in particular, for the venting of more English commodities; and for exporting of a lesse quantitie of siluer out of Europe, vnto the Infidells, by many thousand pounds yearely, then hath beene accustomed in former times; as I shall proue most plainly by that which followes.
And First, it will be necessarie to set downe the quantitie of Spices, Indico, and Persian Raw-silke (which is yearely consumed in Europe) and in them all to consider the cost with the charges to lade the same commodities cleare aboard the Shippes from Aleppo; and the like of all the selfe same wares,Such people as affect not the good of this Kingdome. as they haue beene vsually dispatched from the Portes of the East-Indies; wherein, will appeare that happinesse, which many do so much oppose; especially our owne Countrie-men, vnder the gilded tearmes of the Commonwealth; whilest being indeed either ignorant, or ill affected, they doe not onely grosly erre themselues, but also cause others to hinder as much as in them lieth, the glorie and well-fare of this Kingdome; but leauing them, I will set downe the sayd wares in their quantitie and prizes as followeth; and first,The quantitie of Spice, Indico, and Persian Raw-Silke, yearely consumed in Europe.
Now followeth the same wares both for quantitie & qualitie at their seuerall prizes as they are to be bought and laden cleare of charges.
The exportation of the value of 953543.l.sterling out of Christendome into Turkey yearely saued.So that by the substance, and summes of these accompts, it doth plainely appeare, that the buying of the sayd quantitie of Raw-silkes, Indico, and Spices, may be performed in the Indies, for neare one third part of the ready moneys, which were accustomed to bee sent into Turkey to prouide the same; So that there will bee saued euery yeare the value of 953543.l. 4s. 4d. sterling of readie moneys, that heretofore hath beene exporteth out of Christendome into Turkey; which is a matter of such note and consequence, that it may seeme incredible, before the circumstance bee dulie considered; and therefore least I should leaue the matter in doubt, it is requisite, that I doe make an explanation of some particulars.
And principallie, it must not bee conceiued, that this great aduantage, which hath beene spoken of, is onely the Merchants gaine; for the Common-wealth of Christendome, hath a very great part thereof in the cheapenes of the wares, as shall be (God willing) proued hereafter in his due place.
Secondly, the time of the Merchants forbearance, and interest, is verie long: his aduenture and assurance much dearer; his charges of shipping, victuals, Mariners, and factors their wages, far greater, then by the voyage into Turkey for the same wares; so that the former great difference must bee vnderstood in these particulars; whereby we may perceiue to our comfort, that the Materialls of the kingdome,Instance only, that ten shillings imployed in Pepper in the East-Indies, will require thirty and fiue shillings for all charges whatsoeuer to deliuer it in London. & the imployments of the subiects (in liew of readie moneys) becomes a verie great part of the price which is paid for the said Indian wares; which cannot hurt the State (as some erroniously suppose) but greatly helpe it, as I shall better proue in that which followeth.
First therefore, I shew for an vndoubted truth, That the Persians, Moores, and Indians, who trade with the Turkes, at Aleppo, Mocha, and Alexandria, for Raw-silkes, Drugs, Spices, Indico, and Callicoes; have alwaies made, and still doe make, their returnes in readie money: for other wares, there are but few which they desire from forraine partes; some Chamblets, Corrall, wrought silke, woollen-cloth, with some trifles, they doe yearely vent in all, not for aboue 40. or 50. thousand pounds sterling; which is no valuable summ in respect of that wealth which is carried from Aleppo and Constantinople into Persia for Raw-silkes, when least,The great Summes of money which the Persians and the Indians carrie yearely out of Turkey. 500000. pounds sterling Per annum: and from Mocha about 600000. pounds sterling (likewise yearely into India), for returne of Callicoes, Drugs, Sugar, Rice, Tobacco, and diuerse other things. So here is still a very great Commerce maintained betweene those Infidels; not onely for the Callicoes of many sortes, and other wares (which concerne their owne vse) but also for the Raw-silkes of Persia, which are altogether transported into Christendome.
How worthy an enterprise is it therefore in the English East-India Companie? by whose endeauours, there is now good hope to turne a great part of this wealthy Trade into England,The East-India Companie doe endeauour to bring the Raw-Silkes from Persia directly by Sea. by shipping directile from the Persian-Gulfe, whereby the imployments, traffique, and Customes of the Turkes, may be still more and more impayred; & the general Treasure of Christendome much less consumed; as is alreadie performed for the businesse of Spices and Indico.
And who shall then doubt our want of Siluer to mainetaine the Trade? if by this way wee doe obtaine the Silke, which with more aduantage & conueniencie, will draw the money to this Mart, then it hath beene heeretofore conueyed vnto those remote dominions of the Turke.
And least peraduenture it should bee thought, that the traffique in those parts by the Christians for the Persian Silke, is performed by change for other wares, or by the money which proceedeth of the sales of many rich commodities, which yearely they sell at Aleppo, Alexandria, Constantinople, and these parts:
The answere is, that neither the Venetians, French, nor Dutche, doe vent so much of their owne Country commodities in those parts, as doe prouide their necessarie wants of the proper wares of Turkes: such, as are the fine Raw-silke, made in Soria, Chamblets, Grogerans, Cotten-woolles, Cotten-yarne, Gaules, Flax, Hempe, Fleece-woolls, Rice, Hides, Waxe, & diuerse other things; so that still their raw-silkes of Persia, must be bought with ready money.Marcellis sendeth yearely to Aleppo & Alexandria at least 500000.l. sterling, and little or no wares. Venice sends about the value of 100000.l. & a great value in wares. The Low-countries sends about the value of 50000.l. sterling moneys, and little wares. Messina 25000l. in ready money. Only the English haue more aduantage then any other Nation in this kinde, for they vent so great a quantitie of broade-cloathes, Tinne, and other English commodities, that the proceed thereof, doth not onely prouide a sufficient quantitie of part of the said Turkish wares (which fit their vse,) but also a proportion of about 300. great balles of Persia Raw-silke yeerely.
And if in any yeere, they chance to buy a greater quantitie of silke, then must & do they furnish the same in ready moneys from the Portes of Marcellis, Genouay, Ligorne, Venice, or the Netherlandes. Neither are these the onely meanes, whereby the Empire of the Turke is so abundantly stored with Gold and Siluer, to the performance of the Indian-trade. For, many are the Christian shippes, which yearely lade with corne for ready moneys in the Archipelago; Great is the commerce from Poland, Hungarie, and Germany, with Gold and Dollers, for Chamblets, Grogerans, and other things: But that which is very remarkable, is the great quantitie of gold & some siluer coyned in Grand-Cairo, which by two seuerall Carrauans (in bullion) is yearely brought thither from the Abissians countrie in Ethiopia, for returne of many rich commodities,Abissians a people in Ethiopia whose influence hath made them dull, lazy, and without artes; enioying diuers Mines of Gold and one of Siluer, which doe procure their wants of forraine wares. as Veluets, Sattens, Cloth of Gold, Taffaties, Woollen cloath: polished Corrall, and other things.
Thus by the coherence of the Turkish-Trade with the Christians, Persians, and Indians, I haue shewed both the manner and the meanes, whereby the East-Indian wares haue beene heretofore, and yet are, in part, procured into Christendome. But least it should seem incredible, that the Turke would let so great a Masse of Treasure yearely to passe his Dominions, to the Indians, and to the Persians his professed enemies: I will make the matter yet more plaine.
And First, concerning the Raw-silkes, it is alreadie shewed, that hee hath the money from the Christians, besides the benefit he reapeth in their customes, with great imployments also for his Subiects.Turkey hath litle meanes for Linnen but onely from India. And for the Callicoes (his whole Empire hauing litle or no other meanes for Linnen) he can not possibly be without them, although it hath, & doth greatly exhaust his treasure; neither doth he gaine any manufacture by the same, as the Christians haue alwaies done by the Raw-silke, to the great reliefe of innumerable poore people, so much prouided for,The proceedings of some States in Italy for the maintenance of Arts. by the pollicie of all well gouerned and flourishing common-wealths: As by this occasion, and in a businesse of the like kind, I may instance the States of Genouay, Florence, and Luca; who for the maintenance of Artes and Trade, doe prouide Raw-silkes out of Sicilia for the value of 500000 pounds sterling at least yearlie; and for the payment thereof they doe vent at Naples,The ready moneys which are yearely carried from some States of Italy into Sicilia.Palermo, Messina, and those parts a certaine quantitie of Florence-Rashes and some other wares, for about 150000. pounds sterling per annum; So the rest, being 350000.l. sterling, is supplied all in readie moneys; which treasure they doe willingly forsake, to procure their Trade; for experience hath taught them that Trade is their imployment, & doth returne them treasure, for by those silkes (being wrought, transported & sould at Franckforde and other Marts) they haue the better meanes, to furnish their contracts with the King of Spaine in Flanders; and so from Spaine the Siluer must returne again to Italy. But if I should runne out in this and other particulars (fitting our purpose) it would make me too tedious, and so carrie mee beyond my ayme, which is to be briefe.
Wherefore, I will proceede to cleare some doubts, in those men, who perhaps not hauing the knowledge of occurrents in forraine partes, might thinke, that neither Venice, nor Marcellis haue the meanes or yet the mindes, to exporte such great Sommes of readie moneys, yearely out of those Dominions; especially Marcellis being a part of France, where neighbourhoode doth daily tell vs, that Gold and Siluer may not be conueied out of that Kingdome, for any valuable Somme, more then is permitted for the necessarie vse of Trauellers; Yet neuerthelesse experience hath likewise taught vs, that for the effecting of those Trades (whereof wee now speak, & which they esteeme so much) there is a free extraction out of the sayd places, of moneys both gold and siluer; whereof with them there is no want; for, the said wares do procure it abundantly.
How Marcellis and Venice are furnished with ready moneys.First, to Marcellis, it commeth not onely from Genouay, Ligorne, Cartagenia, Malliga, & many other Port townes of Spaine and Italy, but also from Paris, Roane, Sainct-Malloes, Tolouse, Rochell, Deepe, and other Cities of France; who want not meanes to haue great store of Rialls and Dollers from Spaine and Germany.
And in like manner, the Venetians dispersing the sayd Raw-silkes, and other wares into the seuerall States of Italy, Germany, & Hungarie, (who haue but few commodities fitting their barter or exchange: but onely moneys) are therewith aboundantly serued; For the mines of Hungarie and Germany affoord good quantitie of gold & siluer; And likewise the States of Italy, especially Genouay,The Italyan Merchants doe furnish the king of Spaine with money in Italy and Flanders.Florence, and Millane, haue euer store of Rialls out of Spaine in satisfaction of many great disbursments, which those Merchantes make for that King in his occasions of Italy and Flanders; of all which, I might make a large discourse, but I conceaue I haue sayd sufficient, to shew how the trade of the East-Indies hath beene, and now is brought into Christendome generally: what money is yearely sent out; by whom; & the possibilitie, or meanes which they haue to performe it. I will therefore in the next place, satisfie the Obiectors; that it is not the East-India Trade, which wasteth the Gold, and Siluer, Coyne, or other treasure of this kingdom in particular.
The third part doth shew how the East-India Trade doth enrich this Kingdome.For first, who knoweth not, that gold in the East-Indies hath no ratable price with Siluer? Neither hath the Siluer coyne of England any equall value with the Spanish Rialls according to their seuerall prices here; Besides that, his Maiestie hath not authorized the East-India Companie, to send away any part of this kingdomes Coyne, either Gold, or Siluer; but onely a certaine limited summe of forraine Siluer yearly; which as they dare not exceede, so neuer haue they as yet accomplished the same.
For it doth plainely appeare in their bookes; that from the originall and first foundation of the Trade, in Anno 1601.How much money and wares the East-India Company haue sent forth euer sithence the beinning of this Trade. vntill the moneth of Iuly, Anno 1620. they haue shipped away onely 548090.l. sterling in Spanish Rialls, and some Dollers; whereas by licence, they might haue exported in that time 720000.l. sterling.
Also they haue laden away in the same tearme of xix yeares, out of this Kingdome 292286.l. sterling in Broad clothes, Kersies, Lead, Tinne, with some other English and forraine commodities; which is a good Addition, and vent of our wares, into such remote places; where heretofore they haue had no vtterance at all.
The vent of English wares increased in the Indies.And note, I pray you, how time and industrie hath bettered this Trade, when in the last three yeares, there hath beene sent more wares to the Indies, then in the xvi. yeares before; and yet our expectation is not at the highest; for those new borne Trades within the Red Sea, and in the Persian Gulfe, doe bid vs hope for better things, as lately by letters from Spahan, we vnderstand of great quantity of Raw silke prepared by the English factors, which (by Gods assistance) wee may expect here about the moneth of August next; with encouragement also, to vent our English cloth, and Kersies in good quantities; the like of Iron, Tinne, & other things; whereof experience (of those alreadie sould) hath giuen vs sufficient approbation of their validitie.
Our stocke may be much increased by Trade from Port to Port in the Indies.And now (omitting much matter which might be written touching the discoueries of other Trades from one Kingdome or port to another, in the Indies: with the commodities thereof, whereby the imployment of our shippes, together with the stocke of money and goods which is sent out of England in them, may be much increased) I will draw to a conclusion of the point in hand; and shew, That whatsoeuer Summes of forren readie moneys are yearely sent from hence into the East-Indies,The moneys sent to the Indies is all forraine Coyne. His Maiestie in the letters Pattents granted to that Company, hath notwithstanding with singular Care prouided, that the brethren of the Company, shall yearely bring in as much siluer, as they send forth; which hath beene alwayes truly performed, with an ouerplus, to the increase of this Kingdomes treasure. Neither is it likelie, that the money which is thus contracted for, by the Companie at certaine prices,The East-India Companie are obliged to bring in as much money as they carry out of the Realme. and to be deliuered them at times appointed, would bee otherwise brought into England, but onely by vertue & for performance of the said contracts; for without this assurance of Vent together with a good price for the sayd moneys, the Merchants would vndoubtedly make their returnes in other wares; the vse and extraordinarie consume whereof, would be found lesse profittable to the Commonwealth, when the matter should be duly considered, as I shall yet further endeauour to demonstrate.Tobacco, Raysons, Oyles, and Wines, whereof there is no want, but rather too much Smoake.
And here I will suppose, That the East-India Companie may shippe out yearely 100000.l. sterling; yet it is most certain, that the Trade being thus driuen with such sums of ready moneys, it will not decay but rather much increase the treasure of the kingdom; which to proue, I will briefely set downe the substance of the English Trade vnto the East-Indies, concerning the quantitie of the seuerall sortes of wares, to be yearely bought there and sold here: with the vsual prices giuen for them in both places. And first, I will beginne with their Coste and charges laden cleare aboard the shippes in the East-Indies.A proportion of such Trade as is hoped yearely to be brought into this Realme from East-India.
All the sayd Merchandize haue beene often experienced, or bought at or about the prices aboue written; & we doe hope for our parts (besides the Trade of Raw-silkes from Persia yearely, to lade from the Indies, such quantitie of the seuerall sortes of wares as are here set downe, (if it shall please his Maiestie, to protect and defend vs concerning the Articles of agreement made with the Dutche, that they may not violate any of them to our hindrance or damage) al which wares in England will yeelde (as I doe conceaue) the prices hereafter following, Viz.
So that here would be our owne money againe;How much the kingdomes stocke may increase yearely by trading to the East-Indies. and more, the somme of 394223.l. 06.s. 08.d. aduanced towards the generall stocke of the Kingdome. For although the East-India Company shall disburse the greatest part of the sayd somme aduanced vnto his Maiestie for custome and impost; and also vnto the Factors, Officers, and Mariners, for wages, together with the cost of shipping, Victuals, Munitions, Assurance, and the like; yet all these (the Materialls of shipping onely excepted) are but transmutations, and no consumption of the Kingdomes stocke.2500. Tonnes of shipping will lade home all the wares afore written from the East-Indies. And the materialls of the said shipping (vn-wrought) is worth about 15000.l. sterling.
But if any man obiect, and say, that the sayd commodities being brought into England (as is before written) they are either consumed in the land, or being transported into forraine partes, they are changed into other wares; So that still wee want our 100000.l. in readie money:
1 The answere is; first, that in the occasion of this dispute, wee must conceaue the said wares to be of no vse for this kingdom, but onely for so much, as doe concerne the Trade thereof.
2 And secondly, in the said Trade, wee must cõsider, that although the said goods bee sent out, and returned home in other wares from forraine partes; yet still they are negotiated to the increase of the sayd stocke, & for the imployment of the subiects.
Lastly, if there bee a resolution to determine and end the businesse:India wares will bring readie moneys into the Realme. who doubteth, that the whole value may not bee presently returned hither in ready moneys? For in Italy, Turkey, and other places, where they are most vendible to profit, there likewise is the money free to bee exported at all times and by whomsoeuer.
And as it is most certain, that some other Merchandizes, sent out of this Kingdome were the meanes to bring in the 100000.l. in readic moneys, which is here supposed to be sent and imployed in the East-Indies (as aforesaid) so likewise,We haue no other meanes to procure Treasure but by Trade and Merchandize. there is the same power in these Indian wares, to procure other sums of readic moneys, to be brought into this kingdome: For let no man doubt, but that money doth attend Merchandize, for money is the price of wares, and wares are the proper vse of money; so that their coherence is vnseparable. And if the French & the Venetians made any doubt of this, they would not so willingly permit the value of 600000.l. sterling,The French & the Venetians send the value of 600000.l. sterling yearely in ready money into Turkey. or more in Spanish Rialls and Dollers, yearely to bee carried out of their Dominions into Turkey: whereof three quarter parts at least are imployed, onely for the buying of Persia Raw-silkes, which commoditie doth presently enable them with ready money from diuerse other States to performe the Trade; whereby their wealth doth much increase, and their people are greatly imployed. So to conclude this point, I will onely adde,Trade maketh some States very rich which haue little other meanes. that the East-India Trade alone (although it bee driuen in no amplier manner then is afore written) is a meanes to bring more treasure into this Realme then all the other trades of this kingdome (as they are now managed) being put together.
If the generall Trade of this Kingdome doth export a greater value in wares then it doth import yearely, then doth our treasure increase.For if the rule be true, that when the value of our commodities exported doth ouerballance the worth of all those forraine wares which are imported and consumed in this Kingdome, then the remainder of our stocke which is sent forth, must of necessity returne to vs in Treasure. I am confident that vpon a diligent and true inquiry it will bee found, that the ouerballance of all our other trades together will not amount vnto so great a summe of money as the East-India trade alone doth ouerballance in this kinde.
The trade to the East-Indies may be said to export 480000 pounds, and to import 120000.l. yearely. So the ouerballance is 360000 pounds sterling.And to make the matter yet more plaine, whereas it is already said that 100000.l. in money exported may import about the value of 500000. pounds sterling, in wares from the East-Indies, wee must vnderstand that part thereof to bee properly called our importation that this Realme doth consume, which is about the value of 120000. pounds sterling yearely. So the remainder being 380000.l. is matter exported into forraine parts in the nature of our Cloath, Lead, Tin, or any other natiue commodities, to the great increase of this Kingdomes stocke, and that also in so much treasure, so farre as the East-India Trade can bee rightly vnderstood to subsist in this particular.
Euery action ought especially to be considered in his end.For as all humane actions haue their termination and ends, so likewise there must be an end assigned vnto the affaires of the East-Indies; which are then truely said to be finished, when this Realme is serued, and the remainder of those wares which are sent from hence beyond the Seas, sold there, and conuerted into money; which likewise from thence may bee brought away freely, and without the danger of Law or prohibition.The East-Indian wares which are sent beyond the seas, are sold and haue their finall end in money, which might bee brought into this Realme in that kinde, if our other trades did not diuert the same.
Forasmuch therefore as it is well knowne to many men, that moneys are thus procured by the sales of Indian wares to profit, in the parts of Turkey, and at Ligorne, Genouay, the Netherlands, Marcellis, and other places: yet notwithstanding if all the sayd coyne, or any part thereof should bee diuerted from this Realme by some other new imployments or affaires, it must neuerthelesse be granted, that the said India wares hath their finall end in moneys. But I will cease to heape vp any more arguments, to prooue a matter which is already made so plaine; wherefore leauing this Obiection, I will endeauour to giue answer to the next.
The second Obiection.
The timber, Plancke, and other materialls, for making of shipping, is exceedinglie Wasted, and made dearer,by the building of so many great Shippes, as are yearely sent to Trade in the East-Indies; and yet the State hath no vse of any of them vpon occasion. For either they are not here; or else they come home verie weake, and vnseruiceable.
THis East-India Trade seemeth to bee borne and brought vp an Vnthrift, for it wasteth and consumeth all; Neither doth it good to any.
But the Obiection in some part is very weake: and in the rest it is mistaken.
The 1. part concerneth the folly of the Obiection.For first, concerning the weaknesse thereof; would men haue vs to keepe our woods and goodly trees to looke vpon? they might as well forbid the working of our woolls, & sending forth our cloth to forraine parts; for both are meanes alike to procure the necessarie wares, which this Kingdome wanteth. Doe they not know that trees doe liue and grow; and being great, they haue a time to dye and rot, if oportunity make no better vse of them; and what more noble or profitable vse then goodly ships for Trade and warre? are they not our barns for wealth and plenty, seruing as walles and Bulwarkes for our peace and happinesse? Do not their yearely buildings maintaine many hundred poore people, and greatly increase the number of those Artesmen which are so needfull for this common wealth?
The prouidence of the East-India company for Timber & Planke.And is not all this good performed also (with great prouidence) by bringing in yearely store of Timber, and other prouisions from Ireland? Why then, where is the great wast and dearnesse? I am sure, the East-India Company findes it not; for whereas they do onely buy their prouisions in Hampshire, Essex, Kent, and Barkeshire, in all which places they now may haue both Timber, Planks, Sheathing boards, Trenalls, and the like, both for goodnesse and price, as cheape (yea better cheape) than they haue beene this fifteene yeares;The East-India Trade hath not indeared the materialls which serue to make shippes. and likewise in all that course of time their bookes doe plainely shew that those wares haue neuer varied much; for if they haue risen any smal matter in one yeare they haue fallen as much the next. And yet I pray you obserue (besides the East-India Companies buildings) the many goodly shippes, which are daily made for other priuate Merchants (such as England neuer had before:) and that which is most remarkable, is, the continuall late buildings of his Maiestie, thereby yearely adding more strength and glory of great Ships to his Royall and matchlesse Nauy; so that heere we see this supposed wast and want is not considerable.
Yea but, say they, the East-India shippes are neuer here, to serue the Kingdome vpon occasion:The 2. part sheweth the mistaking in the Obiection. Or if they be at home, they are weake, and vnfit for seruice.
In trade of Merchandize our Ships must goe and come, they are not made to stay at home; yet neuerthelesse, the East-India company are well prepared at all times, to serue his Maiestie, and his Kingdomes, with many warlike prouisions,The warlike prouision which the East-India Company keepe in store. which they alwayes keepe in store; such as Timber, Planks, Iron-workes, Masts, Cordage, Anchors, Caske, Ordinance, Powder, Shot, Victualls ready packed, Wine, Sider, and a world of other things, fitting the present building, repairing and dispatch of Shippes to Sea: as may be plentifully seene in their yardes and storehouses at Deptforde, and more especially in those at Blackewall; which are growne so famous, that they are daily visited & viewed by strangers, as well Embassadors,His Maiesties strength in the East-India Companie alone. as others; to their great admiration of his Maiesties strength, & glory, in one onely Company of his Merchants, able at short warning to set forth a fleet of Ships of great force & power.
For it is well knowne to all men who please truely to be informed, That the East-India Company (besides their fleete of Shippes, going and comming, & also abiding in the Indies) are continually building, repairing, rigging, victualling, and furnishing to Sea, with all prouision needefull for such a long voyage, some 7. or 8. great shippes yearely; which are to bee seene at an Anchor in the Riuer of Thames in a great forwardnes some 5. or 6. moneths together, before they commonly depart for the Indies, which is about the moneth of March: & they are no sooner got off from the coast of England, but shortly after, is the season of our ships to returne from the Indies; who come not home so weake as some would haue them; for how often hath experience beene made of our shippes which haue performed two or three seuerall voyages to the East-Indies?The shippes which returne from the East-Indies home, may be repayred in a very short time. Yet at their returne, they haue beene indocked, new trimmed and lanched out againe, fitted for the like voyages, in lesse then two moneths. But it will be needles to spend any more time in shewing the errors of this 2. Obiection: therefore I will rather come to the handling of that which followeth,
The third Obiection.
The voyages to the East-Indies do greatly consume our victuals, and our Mariners: leauing many poore widdowes and children vnrelieued; Besides, that many Ships are yearely sent forth to the East-Indies, and few we see as yet returned; Also, this Trade hath greatly decaied the Traffique & shipping, which were wont to bee imployed into the Streights: And yet the said Trade of the East-Indies, is found very vnprofitable to the Aduenturers: Neither doth the Common-wealth finde any benefit by the cheapenesse of Spice and Indico, more then in times past.
Why, what a world of mischiefes haue wee heere?
A very Teame of calamities, drawing on to misery; is it not then high time to seeke a remedy? Yes verily, and it will be easily done, because these euils neuer were (as yet at least) procured by the East-India Trade, as I shall shew, by answering all the parts in order as they stand: and first of Dearth.
The first Part concerneth Dearth.It is both naturall and iust, that euery Kingdome, State, or Common-wealth, should feed and cherish vp the Natiue people of all degrees and conditions whatsoeuer, to their preseruation of life and health, with such meanes and moderation, as their plentie shall affoord; and this is not only due to them in the time of their aboad at home, but also vpon all occasions of voyages into other Countries beyond the Seas, wherein they shall be imployed for their owne maintenance, and for the good of the Common-wealth.
The manner how the East India Company do victuall their ships.Now therefore concerning the prouision of victuals (which in this Kingdome is yearely prepared for the setting forth of those Ships which saile to the East-Indies) it is well knowen to many men, that it is alwaies proportioned, for about 18. moneths; whereas commonly the voyages proue a yeare longer: so that this ouer-plus of time, is furnished with victuals of forreine parts.
And likewise for the Bread and Bisket, which is shipped from hence; hath it not alwaies bene made of French Corne, purposely brought ouer hither, (and that at a deare rate) onely to preserue the plentie of owne graine? vntill now of late daies that the Farmers here begin to cry out and say, that the cheapnesse of Corne doth disinable them to pay their deare Rents: Thus doe the East-India Company euery way accommodate their proceedings for the good of the Kingdome.
And further concerning their Drinke, is it not a very great part water? Some Wine and Sider, and but little Beere.
Also the Flesh they eate, is Beefe and Porke, and that onely for three daies in a week; the rest of their victuals is Fish, some Butter, Cheese, Pease, Oatemale, and other things; all which is proportioned into a very sparing dyet to euery man by allawance: so that heere is no excesse nor ryot, or any other meanes to make our victuals scant and deare, as is by some erroniously supposed; but rather by this course of life, our plenty is much aduanced. And so I will giue answer to the next part, which is Mortalitie, and great decay of Mariners.
The Second Part concerneth Mortality.The life of man is so precious, that it ought not lightly to be exposed to dangers; And yet we know, that the whole course of our life, is nothing but a passage vnto Death; wherein one can neither stay nor slacke his pace, but all men run in one manner, and in one celeritie; The shorter liuer runnes his course no faster then the long, both haue a like passage of time; howbeit, the first hath not so farre to runne as the later.
Now, it is this length of life which Nature seekes and States likewise endeuour to preserue in worthy men; but none are accounted so worthy in this nature, saue only they, who labour in their vocations and functions, both for the publike good, and for their priuate benefit.
Thus may wee esteeme our good Mariners, to be of no small vse vnto this Common-wealth:Good Mariners are accounted worthy men in a Commonwealth. but take them from their laudable and accustomed imployments, for want of voyages to Sea; we see what desperate courses they do then attempt, by ioyning, euen with Turkes and Infidels, to rob and spoile all Christian Nations; so that we may conclude, wee must not onely breed vp Mariners, but also seeke by Trade, to giue them a maintenance.
Well, all this is true, but (say they) the East-India Company doth neither breed nor maintaine, but destroy the wonted number of our Mariners.
How can this be, when it is most certaine, that England (besides the East India fleets) had neuer yet more shipping then at this present? neither do any of them stay at home for want of Mariners, no, not at this time, when many hundred Saylers are employed in extraordinary seruice, for his Maiestie in a royall fleete of ships, now at Sea: besides those great numbers of our best Marriners, which haue beene and daily are wasted and taken prisoners by the Turkes; so where is this want, or what is our misery more then the want of true information in those that are so ill perswaded of our Company?
The breeding of 400 Mariners yearely. Besides, that the feare of a few mens death ought not to ouerthrow or hinder the performance of honorable actions for the seruice of the King and commonwealth.Is it not certaine, that as the East India voyages are long, so likewise in Natures course many should die by length of time, although they staid at home? And to recompence the losse of those that die, doe not the East India company with great prouidence, yearly ship out at least 400. Landmen in their fleets, which in one voyage proue good Mariners to serue the Kingdome and Common-wealth, vnto which many of them were a burthen before they obtained this employment? And thus is the Kingdome purged of desperate and vnruly people, who being kept in awe by the good discipline at Sea, doe often change their former course of life, and so aduance their fortunes.
Neither indeed are these voyages so dangerous and mortall, as is reported; for how many of our Ships haue gone & come from the East Indies, without the losse of fiue men in a hundreth?Our Mariners owne disordered life, is that which killeth many of them. Others again haue had worse successe in the first beginning, when the seasons, the places, and their contagions were not so well known vnto vs; yet time hath taught vs many things, both for the preseruation of health, and speedier performance of our voyage then heretofore. But the Method of my discourse, bids me write more of this in the next part, which is destruction; and this I must diuide into two parts.
In the first I wil consider the want of diuers ships sent to the East Indies, which are wasted there.
And in the second, I will answer the supposed ouerthrow of the Turkey trade, together with much of our shipping which were wont to be employed thither.
The third Part concernes the decay of shipping which haue beene sent to the Indies.First therefore concerning the decay of our ships in the Indies, it cannot bee denyed, but there hath been great spoile of them in these three last yeares; not by the dangers of the Seas, or by the strength of enemies; but by vnkind and vnexspected quarrels with our neighbours the Hollanders, who haue taken and surprised twelue of our ships at seuerall times, and in sundry places, to our vnspeakeable losse and hinderance; together with the death of many of our worthyest Marriners, who haue beene slaine and died prisoners vnder their hands:Our troubles with the Dutch. and this hath so much the more encreased the rumour of their mortality. Neither list I here to aggrauate the fact, more then thus, briefly to giue answere to the obiection: for our late vnion with the Dutch, doth promise a double recompence of gaine in time to come.
And they who make this Trade so poore and vnprofitable, are much mistaken in the reckoning; for the present losses which causeth many aduenturers so much to despaire, is not in the substance of the Trade, but by the euill accidents which haue befalne the same: and to make this point more plain, I must yet declare some other particulars: in which I will endeuour very briefly to set down the summe of the whole businesse, which the English hath hitherto performed in the East Indies.
The summe of the affaires to the East Indies euer since the Trade began.First, therefore I doe obserue that since the beginning of this Trade, vntill the Moneth of Iuly last Anno 1620. there haue beene sent thither 79. ships in seuerall voyages, whereof 34. are already come home in safetie, richly laden. 4. haue been worne out by long seruice, from Port to Port in the Indies: two were ouerwhelmed in the trimming there: sixe haue bin cast away by the perils of the Seas: twelue haue bene taken and surprized by the Dutch, whereof diuers will be wasted, and little worth before they be restored: and twenty one good ships do stil remaine in the Indies. So this is a true account of our ships.
Account of all the money and goods which hath beene sent to the East Indies euer since the beginning of the Trade.And next concerning our stocke, it is a certaine truth, that in all in the said ships there hath beene sent out in ready money as well out of this Realme, as from all other places wheresoeuer beyond the Sea (which hath not beene landed in this Kingdome) the value of 548090. pounds sterling in forraine coine: and together with the said money, there hath beene shipped the value of 292286. pounds sterling in sundry sorts of English and forraine Commodities; all which moneys and wares amounting vnto 840376. pounds, haue been disposed, as hereafter followeth.
First, there hath been lost 31079. pounds sterling, in the six ships which are cast away: and in the 34. ships, which are returned in safety, there hath beene brought home 356288.356288.l. sterling hath beene returned from the East Indies, which did produce here towards charges 1914600.l. sterling. pounds sterling in diuers sorts of wares, which haue produced here in England towards the generall stocke there of 1914600.l. sterling; for the charges arising here, is but a change of effects from one to another, as hath beene said before in this discourse: So there ought to remaine in the Indies, to be speedily returned hither, 484088. pounds: neither can we conceiue that our charges and troubles with the Dutch, will haue wasted more then the odde 84088. pounds sterling: so that I am confident, that there yet remaineth 400000. pounds sterling of good estate, for both the ioynt stockes. And what a great value of Indian goods this sum of money may (by Gods blessing) shortly return in our ships, which are there ready to bring them, the example here doth teach vs to make vp the reckoning.There remains yet in the East Indies to be returned home from thence about 400000.l. sterling. So that notwithstanding our great charges of discoueries, our losses by danger of the Seas, our quarrels and infinite hindrance by the Dutch: yet heere the kingdome hath, and shall haue her stock againe, with a very great encrease, although the Merchants gaines concerning the two ioynt stocks, will proue but poore, in respect of the former voyages, which haue not had the like hindrance.
And thus in a few lines may be seene, much matter truly collected with some paines, out of the diuers volumes of the East Indian Bookes.
Concerning the decay of shipping and Trade into Turkey.Now concerning the decay of Trade and shipping, which were wont to be imployed into Turkey. I doubt, that in time it will likewise be affirmed, that the East India Company, haue hindred the vent of our white Cloath in the Netherlands, which to report were a very strange thing. But (praised be God) to our comfort, we see the great increase of goodly Ships, daily built and imployed, by the Turkey Merchants, with vent of more of our English Cloath (by the one third part at the least) then in times before the East India Trade began.
Yea, but (say they) we haue lost the trade of Spices, and Indico, from Aleppo into England.
Well, I grant they haue; yet the Kingdome hath found it with more profit by another way; and they likewise are recompenced with a greater Trade, by the exporting from hence of the selfe-same commodities, into Italy, Turkey, and other places: neither can it be lesse profitable for this Kingdome, to turne the Trade of Raw-silkes from Aleppo, and to bring them from the Persian gulfe, with one third part lesse money, then it doth now cost in Turkey; Besides, that by this meanes, the money proceeding of our English Cloath, Tin, and other wares in Turkey (not finding commodities fitting to returne for England) would vndoubtedly be brought home in Gold, as it hath beene performed heretofore,The Turkey Merchants can and will iustifie this truth. when by superfluitie of stocke sent from hence in Spice, together with our English wares; the Merchants (being thereby furnished with a sufficient quantity of Turkish commodities) brought home the remainder of their stock of those yeares in gold, for a great value.
Thus doth it plainely appeare, that these reuolutions of Trades, haue and doe turne to the good of the Common-wealth; neither hath the affaires of the East Indies impaired or decaied any other trade, Shipping or Mariners of this Realme; but hath mightily increased them all in it selfe. Wherefore let vs now take a view of this noble addition of the kingdomes strength and glory.
But this I must not do, by setting downe the number of our English shipping now in the Indies, or lately gone that way; for they haue beene heaped thither, these three last yeares together without returne, saue onely fiue ships in all that time; the rest haue beene kept there to oppose the furie of the Dutch: but now we are at vnion, we shall (by Gods assistance) daily expect diuers great ships with returnes.
The strength of the East India ships.And for the future time, this Trade I do conceiue, will royally maintain ten thousand tuns of shipping continually: (That is to say) going, and returning, & abiding there in the Indies: which said shipping will employ two thousand and fiue hundred Marriners at least: and the building with the repairing of the said ships, here at home, will set to worke fiue hundred men, Carpenters, Cawkers, Caruers, Ioyners, Smiths, and other labourers, besides many officers, and about 120. Factors, in seuerall places of the Indies. And so from these matters of great consequence, I must begin to write of Beggerie.
The fourth Part concernes the pouertie of widdowes, &c.The pouertie of Widdowes and Fatherlesse is matter of great compassion, and doth alwaies moue Christian hearts to commiseration and charitie; whereby many receiue reliefe & help of those whom God hath blessed with better meanes: but how this pouerty should totally be preuented, it seemeth not onely difficult, but altogether impossible: For, besides the euill accidents and miseries, which euer attend on our humanity, we see how many daily (euen through their owne folly and wilfulnesse) do as it were desperately plunge themselues into aduersity. And thus the number of those is great, who hauing the charge of Wife and Children, are notwithstanding altogether without meanes and artes to procure their maintenance; whereby some of them wanting grace, do run a desperate course, and haue vntimely ends.The East India Trade doth employ many poore men, & deboist people, which other trades refuse. Others againe, being better inspired, seeke for imployment, but find it not, or with great difficulty: for, who doth willingly entertaine a man poore and miserable, charged with a family, and peraduenture debauched in conditions? Neither do any of our other Merchants voyages to forraine parts accept of those Nouices who neuer haue beene vsed to the Sea:Wages before hand is not giuen in other Merchants voyages, neither yet so great wages as the East India company pay. So that when all the other doores of charitie are shut, the East India gates stands wide open to receiue the needy and the poore, giuing them good entertainment, with two moneths wages before hand, to make their needfull prouisions for the voyage: And in the time of their absence, there is likewise paid vnto their wiues for maintenance, two other moneths wages, vpon account of euery yeares seruice: and also if any chance to die in the voyage, the Wife receiueth all that is found due vnto her husband (if he do not otherwise dispose it by will:) and this often happeneth to be more money then euer they had of their own together in any one time.
When did any of these Widdowes beg for reliefe in our Churches, as others often doe?And likewise, are not many poore Widdowes, Wiues, and Children, of Black-wall, Lime-house, Ratcliffe, Shadwell, and Wapping, often relieued by the East India Company, with whole Hogsheads of good Beefe and Porke, Bisket, and doales of ready money? Are not diuers of their Children set on work to pick Okam, and other labours fitting their age and capacitie? What might I not say of repayring of Churches, maintenance of some young Schollers, relieuing of many poore Preachers of the Gospell yearely with good summes of money; and diuers other acts of charitie, which are by them religiously performed,The East India Company their charity. euen in the times now of their worst fortunes? for all which I hope there shall be a reward vnto them and theirs. And so I come to the fifth part of this third Obiection.
The fifth Part concerneth the cheapnesse of Spice and Indico at this present in respect of former times.And here I must intimate how much they are deceiued, who thinke that Spices and Indico are no better cheape in England now, then in times past, before the East India Trade began.
For, it is an vndoubted truth, that in those daies we often paid sixe shillings or more for a pound of Pepper, and seldome or neuer lesse then three shillings and sixe pence the pound; whereas since the Trade hath come directly from the Indies, it hath been bought commonly at seuerall prices, betweene sixteene pence and two shillings the pound. But I will make the difference of price appeare more plainly, by setting downe the quantities of Spices and Indico, which are yearely spent in the Realme of England, together with the lowest prices, which they were wont to sell at, when wee brought them from Turkey and Lixborne; and the like concerning their vsuall prices now, that wee bring them from the East Indies directly; And first as from Turkey.Prices of Spice and Indico in former times.
And the selfe same quantitie and sorts of wares, are commonly sold at the prices here vnder written now in these later times.Prices of Spice and Indico in these latter times.
So that this Trade in Spice and Indico onely, doth saue the Kingdome yearly 74966.l. 13.s. 04.d. which is a matter worthy to bee obserued; and so much the rather,Lesse than 18. thousand pounds sterling in the Indies, will buy Spice and Indico to serue this Realme for a yeare, which is not halfe so much money as it spendeth beyond the seas to buy Currans onely, or to buy Tobacco. because it is a certaine truth, that lesse than a quarter part of this sum of money which is thus saued yearely, shall buy in the Indies the full quantitie of all the seuerall sorts of wares before written, which doe serue for a yeares prouision for this Realme of England; but still it must be remembered, that the custome, impost, wages, victuals, shipping, and other charges (which are to be added) will be a greater summe then the money which is paid for these wares in the Indies; but as I haue noted before, the said charges do not consume the Kingdomes stocke, although it doth greatly abate the Merchants meanes.
And to conclude this point, I will adde vnto that which hath beene said; that the commodities onely which we now send yearely into the East Indies, and Persia, are of sufficient value there, to returne vs Indico, Spices, Drugs, and all other sorts of Indian wares, (Raw-silkes of Persia onely excepted) for one yeares consume, or more in this Kingdome;The wares onely which are sent out of this kingdome into the East Indies are of sufficient value to furnish this Realme with an ouerplus of all manner of Indian wares (Persian Raw-Silkes onely excepted.) So that now all the money which is sent forth in our Ships, doth procure an ouer-plus of the said wares, to the furtherance of Trade from India hither, and after from hence to forraine parts againe, to the great imployment of the Subiects, and inriching of this Realme, both in Stocke and Treasurie; all which is matter very worthy to be diligently obserued; And so I come to giue answer vnto the fourth and last Obiection.
The fourth Obiection.
It is generally obserued, that his Maiesties Mint hath had but little imployment euer sithence the East India Trade began; Wherefore it is manifest, that the onely remedie for this, and so many euils besides, is to put downe this Trade: For what other remedy can there bee for the good of the Common-wealth?
THis fourth obiection may be diuided into three parts:
The first Part concerneth his Maiesties Mint.And first concerning the Euill or want of Siluer, I thinke it hath beene, and is a generall disease of all Nations, and so will continue vntill the end of the world; for poore and rich complaine they neuer haue enough: but it seemeth the malady is growen mortall here with vs, and therefore it cries out for remedie:25000 pounds waight at least of Siluer yearely melted downe into Plate, besides old Plate new fashioned, as by credible report. Well, I hope it is but imagination maketh vs sicke, when all our parts be sound and strong; For who knoweth not the inestimable treasure of this Kingdome in Plate, possessed by the people thereof, almost of all degrees; in such measure, as neuer hath beene seene in former ages?
There hath beene coyned great store of Gold and Siluer in his Maiesties Mint since the East India Trade began.And for his Maiesties Mint, it is well knowne, that there hath been coyned in fiue yeares together since the East India Company began, 6214. pounds waight of Gold, and 311384. pounds waight of sterling money; all which Gold and Siluer doe amount vnto the summe of 1213850. pounds of sterling Money; How then doth this Trade turne the currant and imployment of the Mint?
There hath beene little or no Siluer coyned in some yeares, when the East India Company sent out very small sums of money.But vpon the sight of this truth, perhaps it will be said, That wee must resort vnto the present times, (the Mint being idle now.)
To which I answer, That likewise the Mint had little or no imployment for coynage of Siluer in former times, when the said Company did not export aboue fifteene or twenty thousand pounds sterling at the most per annum; no, nor yet in the yeares 1608. and 1612: when in the former they shipped out but 6000.l.-00.s.-00.d. and in the latter, but 1250.l.-00.s.-00.d. sterling. So that both waies we see, that the Mint hath had very great imployment fiue years together, since the East India Trade began; and also it hath beene without imployment diuers years, when the East India Company haue sent away but very small summes of money; wherefore of necessity there must bee some other causes and meanes whereby our Siluer is not exported only, but also it is not imported into the Realme as in former times. For we haue not had the meanes by our owne plentie, nor by the scarcity of our neighbours (for the space of the last foureteene yeares together) to send out hundreds of Ships laden with Corne, as in times past, which was returned home in Siluer;Some causes and meanes which were wont to bring Siluer into the Realme, are ceased at this present time.but rather of late yeares (as is much to be feared) a great quantity of our money hath beene carried out of the Kingdome, for that corne which hath beene brought vs from the East Countries, and other places, to supply our wants. Thus times doe change, and our fortunes change with them: neither list I to make this matter plaine, by setting downe those meanes, which heretofore brought vs store of money, euen out of France and other places, which now are ceased. But without any further medling in the Mint, I will come to the remedy which some propound, by putting downe the East India Company.
The Second Part concerneth the putting downe of the East India Trade.But heere our comfort is, that the Obiectors are not our Iudges, whose wisedome & integrity labouring for the honour of his Maiestie, and the good of his Kingdome, wil soon perceiue the mischiefes of this supposed remedie. And that the pretended euil which many with malice chase, is that great good, which other Nations seeke by pollicie and strength to keepe, and likewise to obtaine. In which proceedings, it concerneth vs, especially to obserue the diligences and practices of the Dutch;The East India Trade is greatly desired by other Christian Nations. who with more gladnesse would vndertake the whole Trade to the East Indies, then with any reason we can abandon that part therof, which we now enioy; neither can our restraint from the Indies keepe our Siluer from thence, as long as the Dutch go thither: for we know, that deuices want not to furnish such designes; and when their Ships returne from India shall not our Siluer out againe to help to pay a double price, or what they please, for all those wares which we shall want for our necessities?
The Dutch might grow strong & rich by our destruction.Thus should the Dutch increase their honour, wealth and strength, whilest we abate, grow poore and weake at Sea for want of Trade; and call you this a Remedy; no, rather tearme it Ruine, Destruction, or what you list; And so I come vnto the conclusion, or last part.
The third Part concerneth the councel which the Obiecters demand.And here I must confesse my selfe aground, for this matter is much too high for my handling: besides, my excuse is faire, hauing already done my task to cleare the East India Trade from imputation; the which, for want of learning, although I haue performed without variety of words or eloquence: yet it is done with all integrity of truth, in euery particular, as I shall be ready to make proofe vpon all occasions which may be offered.
And yet before I make an end, although I cannot satisfie euery mans desire, in such measure as is necessarie: yet I thinke it not amisse to performe the same so farre as I am able by common practise, and my obseruations in the Trade of Merchandize, which is my profession.
And first therefore, all men do know, that the riches or sufficiency of euery Kingdome, State, or Commonwealth, consisteth in the possession of those things, which are needfull for a ciuill life.
This sufficiency is of two sorts: the one is naturall, and proceedeth of the Territorie it selfe: the other is artificiall, and dependeth on the industry of the Inhabitants.
The riches of a kingdome is of two sorts.The Realme of England (praised be God) is happily possessed of them both: as first, hauing great plentie of naturall riches, both in the Sea for Fish, and on the Land for Wooll, Cattle, Corne, Lead, Tin, Iron, and many other things for Food, Rayment, & Munition; insomuch, that vpon strickt tearmes of need, this land may liue without the help of any other Nation.
This kind of industry maketh some Countries which are poor in themselues, to grow rich and strong by other Nations, who haue greater means, and are lesse industrious.But to liue well, to flourish and grow rich, wee must finde meanes by Trade, to vent our superfluities; therewith to furnish and adorne vs with the Treasure and those necessarie wares, which forraine Nations do afford: and here industry must begin to play his part, not onely to increase and guide the Trades abroad; but also to maintaine and multiply the Arts at home: for when either of these faile, or are not effected with such skill as their mysterie shall require, then doth the Common-wealth abate and growes poore; neither is this easily perceiued at first, vntill some euil accidents do stir vp our diligence to search out the true causes, that so they being remoued, the effects may cease. And this is the subiect of our discourse which we now pursue.
That which I haue hitherto deliuered, hath beene altogether Negatiue, still defending and prouing by arguments, that the East India Trade hath not hurt this Common-wealth; and now changing my stile, I must affirme as fast the true causes of those euils which we seeke to chase away.
Foure Principall Causes which carry away our Gold and Siluer.These causes then (as I conceiue) are principally foure.
1. The first is the breach of Entercourse by forraine Nations.
2. The second is the abuse of the exchanges betwixt vs and other Countries.
3. The third is neglect of dutie in some Subiects.
4. The fourth is our dammage in Commerce with Strangers.
Now concerning all these, I might make a very large discourse; but my purpose is onely to explane the meaning of euery point in order, as briefely as I can.
And first for the breach of Entercourse; by this I vnderstand those Nations,The first Cause concerneth the Standard.who haue either debased their Standard, or else ouer-valued the price of their Coynes from that equiualence which formerly they had with the Standard and Moneys of this Realme; And also doe tollerate, not onely their owne Moneys, but also the Coyne of other CountriesProceedings against entercourse. (and especially of this Kingdome) to be currant with them at higher rates, then the prizes of the Exchange; by which courses (being directly against the Entercourse) there is a greater cause giuen of exportation of the Moneys of this Realme, then otherwise there would be. For although this is done with great danger to the exporters of the same, (it being an acte against the Law of the Land:) yet notwithstanding Couetousnesse, being euer conuersant in wicked actions, thinketh nothing vnlawfull, which promiseth a certaine gaine; and how to remedie this euill practice, I finde it not easie. For the debasing of the Coyne, or raising the price thereof in this Realme, would much impouerish the estates of particular men, and yet in the conclusion, would prooue a businesse without end: for who doth not conceiue that which would follow beyond the Seas vpon any such alteration here with vs? so that still the euill will remaine, vntill we find some other remedie.
The second Cause concerneth the Exchanges of moneys with forraine Countries.And for the exchanges of money, vsed betwixt Nations, although the true vse thereof is a very lawdable and necessarie practise, for the accommodating of Merchants affaires, and furnishing of Trauellers in their occasions, without the transporting of Coyne from one State to another, with danger and losse, both to the publique and priuate wealth; yet is the abuse thereof verie preiudiciall vnto this Kingdome in particular; whilest in the Interim the benefit doth arise vnto other Countries, who diligently obseruing the prizes whereby the moneys be exchanged, may take aduantage, to carry away the Gold and Siluer of this Realme at those times,The practise of those strangers here in this Realme, who make a Trade by Exchange of moneys. when the rate of our sterling money (in Exchange) is vnder the value of that Standard, vnto which place they are conueyed. For in respect the prizes of the Exchanges doe rise and fall according to the plentie or scarcitie of money, which is to be taken vp or deliuered out, the exchange is hereby become rather a Trade for some great monyed men, then a furtherance and accomodation of reall Trade to Merchants, as it ought to bee in the true vse thereof.
And thus many times money may be made ouer hither by Strangers, to a good gaine, and presently carryed beyond the seas to a second profit, and yet the mischiefe ends not here: for by this meanes the takers vp of money in forraine Countries must necessarily driue a Trade to those places,Forraine wares brought in with our ready moneys carried out of this Realme. from whence they draw their moneys; and so doe fill vs vp with forraine commodities, without the vent of our owne wares, but for this great euill there is an easie remedie: And so I come to handle the next cause, which is neglect of Dutie.
The third Cause concerneth neglect of duties.Neither is it my intent to write of Duties in their seuerall kinds; but onely of that kind of duty which is heere thought to bee neglected by some men in their seuerall vocations. As it might peraduenture come to passe, in those who haue the working of his Maiesties Coyne, either Gold or Siluer: if diligent care be not had in the size of euery seuerall peece, to answer iustly to his weight: for howsoeuer vpon triall of many peeces altogether, the weight may bee found according to the couenants,Our heauy money is conueyed beyond the seas, and melted downe into plate here in the Realme. and within the remedies ordained in the Indentures: Yet notwithstanding many of those peeces may be sized too light, and other as much too heauy; which giueth the greater aduantage to some people, to carry away that which is ouer-weight, and to leaue vs them which are too light, if they leaue vs any.
And this mischiefe is not single; for thereby also some Goldsmiths, regarding profit more then duty, may be the more readily drawne to melt downe the heauy Coyne into Plate, & other ornaments, both of Gold and Siluer.
But what might we thinke of those men who are placed in authority and office for his Maiesty, if they should not with all dutifull care discharge their trust concerning that excellent Statute,Anno 17. Edw. 4. wherein it is ordered, that all the moneys receiued by strangers for their Merchandize, shall bee employed vpon the commodities of this Realme? the due performance whereof would not only preuent the carrying away of much Gold and Siluer, but also be a meanes of greater vent of our owne wares: whereof I purpose to write something more in the next part, which concerneth our commerce with strangers.
The fourth Cause concerneth our commerce with strangers.And now I come to the last point, which I feare is not the least amongst the Causes of our want of money (so farre as any such may be:) and let it not seem strange to any man, that Trades should hurt and impouerish a Common-wealth, since it hath beene alwaies accounted an excellent means to help and enrich the same: for, as this truth cannot be denyed with reason, so it is likewise most certaine,Vnskilfull Merchants ouerthrow our Trades. that the vnskilfull managing thereof, hath euer proued a great decay vnto those Nations who haue beene entangled with such errors. And are not the examples too frequent in many of our owne Merchants, who not onely by the perils of the Seas, and such like misfortunes, lose their goods, but also euen through want of knowledge, wisely to direct their affaires, doe ouerthrow their whole estates: neither may we properly call this their losse, but rather the Kingdomes losse in them. Wherefore it were to be wished, that this mysterie of Merchandizing might be left onely to them, who haue had education thereunto;Merchants by education are onely fit to trade in forraine parts. and not to be vndertaken by such, who leauing their proper vocations, doe for want of skill in this, both ouerthrow themselues, and others who are better practised.
But there is yet a farre greater mischiefe by our Trades beyond the Seas, when peraduenture, there might be imported yearely a greater value in forraine wares, then by any way or meanes we doe export of our owne commodities; which cannot otherwise come to passe,How rich Commonwealths may become poore. then with a manifest impouerishing of the Commonwealth. For as it is a certaine cause to make vs rich, both in stock & treasure, when we shall carry out a greater value of our owne goods then we bring in of forraine wares; so by consequence, a course contrary to this, must of necessity worke a contrary effect.
Neither is this importation meant otherwise then concerning those wares which are consumed in this Realme: for the commodities which are brought in, and after carried out vnto forraine parts againe, cannot hurt,Forraine wares brought in for Transito, cannot hurt, but greatly helpe the Commonwealth. but doe greatly helpe the Commonwealth, by encrease of his Maiesties Customes and Trades, with other imployments of the subiects: by which particulars I might yet set forth the glory of the East India Trade, which hath brought into this Realme in 15. months space, not only so much Spice as hath serued the same for the sayd time; but also, by the superfluitie thereof, there hath beene exported into forraine parts about 215000. pounds sterling.Hopes to encrease Trade, by exportation of Indian wares to forraine parts. So then let all men iudge, for what a great value wee may hope hereafter to export yearely, when vnto these Spices we may (by Gods assistance) adde the infinite worth of Rawsilkes, Indicos, Callicoes, and some other things: All which are to be issued in the nature of Cloth, Lead, Tinne, or any of our owne Merchandize, to the enriching of this Kingdome, by encrease of the Common stocke. So then, to conclude this poynt, we ought not to auoid the importation of forraine wares, but rather willingly to bridle our owne affections, to the moderate consuming of the same: for otherwise, howsoeuer the East India Trade in particular is an excellent meanes greatly to encrease the stocke of money which we send thither yearely, by returning home fiue times the value thereof in rich commodities; all which (in short time) may be conuerted into Treasure, as is plainly shewd already in Page 21. Yet notwithstanding, if these Indian wares thus brought home,The particular Trade to the East Indies will bring great store of treasure into this Realme, if the generall Trade of this Kingdome doe not hinder and consume it. cannot be spared to serue for that purpose of Treasure, but must be sent forth together with our owne natiue commodities, and yet all little enough to prouide our excesse and extraordinarie consume of forraine wares: then is it likewise as certaine, that the generall Trade of this Kingdome doth hinder and diuert the comming in of the said Treasure, by ouer-ballancing the value of our wares exported, with the importation and immoderate consume of forraine commodities.
Therefore, forasmuch as the number of the people in this Realme are thought to be greatly increased of late time (both in themselues and strangers) whereby necessarily the commodities of this Kingdome, and also forraine wares, are the more consumed and wasted (a double meanes to abate the Commonwealth) it therefore concerneth vs all in generall, and euery man in his particular, to stirre vp our minds, and diligence, to helpe the naturall commodities of this Realme by industrie, and encrease of Arts; seeing that the materials cannot bee wanting to make such Stuffes, and other things as are daily brought vnto vs from forraine parts, to the great aduantage of Strangers,The Dutch in particular, are said to reape such infinite wealth yearely by this fishing Trade, that without more certain knowledge thereof I dare not set down the sum, it seemeth so vncredible. and to our no lesse dammage. Neither should we neglect the riches which our Seas affoord, whilest other Nations by their labour doe procure themselues great Treasure from the same. And as the diligent performance of these things, would plentifully maintaine the poore, and much increase the common stocke of this Kingdome: so likewise for the better furtherance thereof, we ought religiously to auoid our common excesses of food and rayment, which is growne to such a height in most degrees of people (aboue their abilitie) that it is now beyond all example of former ages. Neither is it needfull for me to set downe the particulars of these abuses; for they are too well knowne: and I am confident, that the wisedome of our Gouernement doth endeuour to see them as well amended, to the glorie of God, the honour of the King, and the good of the Common-wealth.