Front Page Titles (by Subject) Chap. I.: The Qualities which are required in a perfect Merchant of Forraign Trade. - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
Chap. I.: The Qualities which are required in a perfect Merchant of Forraign Trade. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- A Select Collection of Early English Tracts On Commerce
- Thomas Mun, a Discoverse of Trade From England Vnto the East-indies: Answering to Diuerse Obiections Which Are Vsually Made Against the Same.
- Lewes Roberts, the Treasure of Traffike, Or a Discoourse of Forraigne Trade.
- Thomas Mun, England’s Treasure By Forraign Trade. Or. the Ballance of Our Forraign Trade Is the Rule of Our Treasure.
- Chap. I.: The Qualities Which Are Required In a Perfect Merchant of Forraign Trade.
- Chap. II.: The Means to Enrich This Kingdom, and to Encrease Our Treasure.
- Chap. III.: The Particular Ways and Means to Encrease the Exportation of Our Commodities, and to Decrease Our Consumption of Forraign Wares.
- Chap. IV.: The Exportation of Our Moneys In Trade of Merchandize Is a Means to Encrease Our Treasure.
- Chap. V.: Forraign Trade Is the Only Means to Improve the Price of Our Lands.
- Chap. VI.: The Spanish Treasure Cannot Be Kept From Other Kingdoms By Any Prohibition Made In Spain.
- Chap. VII.: The Diversity of Gain By Forraign Trade.
- Chap. VIII.: The Enhansing Or Debasing Our Moneys Cannot Enrich the Kingdom With Treasure, Nor Hinder the Exportation Thereof.
- Chap. IX.: A Toleration For Forraign Coins to Pass Currant Here At Higher Rates Then Their Value With Our Standard, Will Not Encrease Our Treasure.
- Chap. X.: The Observation of the Statute of Imployments to Be Made By Strangers, Cannot Encrease, Nor Yet Preserve Our Treasure.
- Chap. XI.: It Will Not Increase Our Treasure to Enjoyn the Merchant That Exporteth Fish, Corn Or Munition, to Return All Or Part of the Value In Money.
- Chap. XII.: The Undervaluing of Our Money Which Is Delivered Or Received By Bills of Exchange Here Or Beyond the Seas, Cannot Decrease Our Treasure.
- Chap. XIII.: The Merchant Who Is a Mere Exchanger of Money By Bills Cannot Increase Or Decrease Our Treasure.
- Chap. XIV.: The Admirable Feats Supposed to Be Done By Bankers and the Merchants Exchange.
- Chap. XV.: Of Some Excesses and Evils In the Commonwealth, Which Notwithstanding Decay Not Our Trade Nor Treasure.
- Chap. XVI.: How the Revenues and Incomes of Princes May Justly Be Raised.
- Chap. XVII.: Whether It Be Necessary For Great Princes to Lay Up Store of Treasure.
- Chap. XVIII.: How Much Treasure a Prince May Conveniently Lay Up Yearly.
- Chap. XIX.: Of Some Different Effects, Which Proceed From Naturall and Artificiall Wealth.
- Chap. XX.: The Order and Means Whereby We May Draw Up the Ballance of Our Forraign Trade.
- Chap. XXI.: The Conclusion Upon All That Hath Been Said, Concerning the Exportation Or Importation of Treasure.
- Samuel Fortrey, Englands Interest and Improvement.
- England’s Great Happiness; Or, a Dialogue Between Content and Complaint.
- Britannia Languens, Or a Discourse of Trade
- The Preface.
- The Introduction.
- Section I.: Trade National Or Private, Home Or Forreign Treasures Imported By Trade, Thence Land-rents, Populacy Increased, the Revenues of All Ranks of Men Depend Upon Trade, People and Treasure Make National Strength, Particular Advantages In Treasure,
- Sect. II.: The Several Kinds of Forreign Trade, of Trading With Home Or Forreign Navigation, Some General Application.
- Sect. III.: Of Forreign Trade Consisting In Exportation, of the Advantages of Home Manufactures, and Manufactures, Incidently Other Home Trades, and Imployments Are Considered; and Which of Them Enrich a Nation; of the Fishing-trade, and the Annual Export
- Sect. IV.: Of Forreign Trade From Port to Port, the Nature and Advantage of It, Differs From Meer Carriage, and Meer Importation; the Necessity of a Home Storehouse: the Ordinary Exporting of Money Or Bullion, of Dangerous Consequence; How to Be Avoided:
- Sect. V.: That Our Home and Forreign Market Is Incumbered, and Prejudiced By Extraordinary and Unequal Charges, and Cloggs In Our Merchandize Above What Are In Our Neighbour-nations, Viz. In the Building and Furniture of Our Ships, Victuals, Sea-mens Wa
- Sect. VI.: Other Cloggs On Our Trade, Viz. the Late Acts of Navigation, Which, With the Other Difficulties, Have Begot Monopolies; Made Our Navigation Yet Dearer, So Forreign Materials of Manufacture Cause Meer Importations, Hinder Our Forreign Vent of
- Sect. VII.: Forreigners Eased In Trade; Other Clogs and Difficulties Upon Ours; Want of Populacy, Incidently of Extream Prizes of Victuals, and How the Duration of Land-rents May Be Secured, Our People Restrained From Manufactures; the Abuse of the Act
- Sect. VIII.: That a Nation May Grow Poor By Forreign Trade, Viz. By an Excess of Meer Importations, Illustrated By Some Observations: This Facilitated By Exporting Money Or Bullion; the Fatal Consequences and Symptoms of a Consumptive Trade, Decay of Ma
- Sect. IX.: That a Consumptive Trade Must Render a Nation Still Weaker and Weaker: How Far the Meer Establishment of Absolute Power, Or Meer Liberty and Property, May Alter the Case.
- Sect. X.: Further Presumptions of Our Late National Overballance In Trade; an Account From the Mint In November 75. and Thence Our Former Ballance of Trade Estimated.
- Sect. XI.: Particular Decays In Our Exportations, and the Beneficial Parts of Our Trade; Instances In the Decay of Our Foreign-trade For Woollen Clothing, In the Several Countries and Ports We Traded To, In the Sinking of the Foreign Price of This Manufac
- Sect. XII.: Instances In Late Increases and Excesses of Our Forreign Importations, and Therein of the Decay of Some Other of Our Own Manufactures Which Supplyed Our Home Uses, Viz. In Linnens of All Sorts, More Dear Fine Linnens Used; Incidently of the
- Sect. XIII.: That a Considerable Part of Our Late Treasure Is Exhausted: Application to Our Publick and Private Revenues: Objections Answered, Viz. the Plenty of Money to Be Let On Securities, Stores of Money In London, Stocks In Merchandize, the Over
- Sect. XIV.: People and Treasure the True Pillars of the National Strength: the Odds In the Different Vse and Imployment of People. the Absoluteness of the French Monarchy No Cause of the Present French Grandure: the Late Application of the French Co
- Dudley North, Discourses Upon Trade
- The Preface.
- A Discourse Concerning the Abatement of Interest.
- A Discourse of Coyned Money.
- Postscript. Upon Farther Consideration of the Foregoing Matters, I Think Fit to Add the Following Notes.
- Considerations On the East-india Trade
- To the Reader.
- Chap. I.: The Objections Against the East-india Trade; Viz. the Exportation of Bullion For Manufactures to Be Consum’d In England; the Loss of the Labourer’s Employment; the Abatement of Rents Are Enforc’d.
- Chap. II.: The Exportation of Bullion For Indian Manufactures, Is an Exchange of Less For Greater Value.
- Chap. III.: A More Open East-india- Trade, Is More Profitable to the Kingdom.
- Chap. IV.: The East-india Trade Does Not So Much Diminish the Riches of Some Private Persons, As It Increases the Riches of the Kingdom.
- Chap. V.: The East-india Trade Is the Way to Increase Our Bullion.
- Chap. VI.: The East-india Trade Must Increase Our Exportations.
- Chap. VII.: Notwithstanding the Idleness of the Mint, the Money and the Bullion Are Increas’d.
- Chap. VIII.: The Increase of Paper Money Is to Be Ascrib’d to the Increase of Real Money, Rather Than the Apparent Plenty of Money to the Increase of Current Paper.
- Chap. IX.: The Kingdom Is Not More Impoverish’d By the Consumption of Indian Than of English Manufactures.
- Chap. X.: The East-india Trade Destroys No Imployment of the People Which Is Profitable to the Kingdom.
- Chap. XI.: The East-india Trade Is the Most Likely Way to Inlarge the Business In the Present Manufactures.
- Chap. XII.: By Being the Cause of the Invention of Arts and Engines, of Order and Regularity In Our Manufactures, the East-india Trade, Without Abating the Wages of Labourers, Abates the Price of Manufactures.
- Chap. XIII.: The East-india Trade Is the Most Likely Way to Set On Foot New Manufactures For Imployment of the People.
- Chap. XIV.: The East-india Trade Does Not Abate the Rents, By the Exportation of Bullion, By the Diminution of Consumers, By the Abatement of Wages; the Importation of Indian Manufactures Is Less Likely to Abate Rents Than the Importation of the Unwro
- Chap. XV.: The Importation of Indian Manufactures Abates Only the Price of Labour, But Raises the Price of the Produce of the Estate.
- Chap. XVI.: And This Is Confirm’d By Examples.
- Chap. XVII.: The East-india Trade Does Not Abate the Rents of the Landholder By Destroying His Monopoly.
- Chap. XVIII.: The Fishing-trade Is Not So Profitable As the Importation of Irish Cattel, Or of Indian Manufactures; and Is More Likely Than Either to Abate the Rents of England.
- Chap. XIX.: The Herring-fishery Not Practicable In the Present Circumstances of England; the Dutch Can Sell Cheaper.
- Chap. XX.: The Way to Bring England to Be Contented With As Little Profit In the Fishing-trade As Holland.
- Chap. XXI.: That the Way to Enable England to Catch and Cure Their Herrings As Cheap As Holland, Is, First to Have Materials For That Trade As Cheap: and That This Is Most Likely to Be Done, By Discharging the Customs Upon Such Things, By Making the T
- Chap. XXII.: The Way to Make English Labour In the Fishing-trade As Cheap As That of Holland; That the People Here Must Cohabit As Close Together; and the Most Probable Methods For Effecting This, Are to Erect a Free-port, to Impower Parishes to Send
The Qualities which are required in a perfect Merchant of Forraign Trade.
THe love and service of our Country consisteth not so much in the knowledge of those duties which are to be performed by others, as in the skilful practice of that which is done by our selves;As it is very commendable to know what is to be done by others in their places: So it were a great shame to be ignorant in the duties of our own Vocations. and therefore (my Son) it is now fit that I say something of the Merchant, which I hope in due time shall be thy Vocation: Yet herein are my thoughts free from all Ambition, although I rank thee in a place of so high estimation; for the Merchant is worthily called The Steward of the Kingdoms Stock, by way of Commerce with other Nations; a work of no less Reputation than Trust, which ought to be performed with great skill and conscience, that so the private gain may ever accompany the publique good. And because the nobleness of this Profession may the better stir up thy desires and endeavours to obtain those abilities which may effect it worthily, I will briefly set down the excellent qualities which are required in a perfect Merchant.
1. He ought to be a good Penman, a good Arithmetician, and a good Accomptant, by that noble order of Debtor and Creditor, which is used onely amongst Merchants; also to be expert in the order and form of Charter-parties, Bills of Lading, Invoyces, Contracts, Bills of Exchange, and Policies of Ensurance.
2. He ought to know the Measures, Weights, and Monies of all forraign Countries, especially where we have Trade, & the Monies not onely by their several denominations, but also by their intrinsique values in weight & fineness, compared with the Standard of this Kingdom, without which he cannot well direct his affaires.
3. He ought to know the Customs, Tolls, Taxes, Impositions, Conducts and other charges upon all manner of Merchandize exported or imported to and from the said Forraign Countries.
4. He ought to know in what several commodities each Country abounds, and what be the wares which they want, and how and from whence they are furnished with the same.
5. He ought to understand, and to be a diligent observer of the rates of Exchanges by Bills, from one State to another, whereby he may the better direct his affairs, and remit over and receive home his Monies to the most advantage possible.
6. He ought to know what goods are prohibited to be exported or imported in the said forraign Countreys, lest otherwise he should incur great danger and loss in the ordering of his affairs.
7. He ought to know upon what rates and conditions to fraight his Ships, and ensure his adventures from one Countrey to another, and to be well acquainted with the laws, orders and customes of the Ensurance office both here and beyond the Seas, in the many aceidents which may happen upon the damage or loss of Ships or goods, or both these.
8. He ought to have knowlege in the goodness and in the prices of all the several materials which are required for the building and repairing of Ships, and the divers workmanships of the same, as also for the Masts, Tackling, Cordage, Ordnance, Victuals, Munition, and Provisions of many kinds; together with the ordinary wages of Commanders, Officers, and Mariners, all which concern the Merchant as he is an Owner of Ships.
9. He ought (by the divers occasions which happen sometime in the buying and selling of one commodity and sometimes in another) to have indifferent if not perfect knowledge in all manner of Merchandize or wares, which is to be as it were a man of all occupations and trades.
10. He ought by his voyaging on the Seas to become skilful in the Art of Navigation.
11. He ought, as he is a Traveller, and sometimes abiding in forraign Countreys, to attain to the speaking of divers Languages, and to be a diligent observer of the ordinary Revenues and expences of forraign Princes, together with their strength both by Sea and Land, their laws, customes, policies, manners, religions, arts, and the like; to be able to give account thereof in all occasions for the good of his Countrey.
12. Lastly, although there be no necessity that such a Merchant should be a great Scholar; yet is it (at least) required, that in his youth he learn the Latine tongue, which will the better enable him in all the rest of his endeavours.
Thus have I briefly showed thee a pattern for thy diligence, the Merchant in his qualities; which in truth are such and so many, that I find no other profession which leadeth into more worldly knowledge. And it cannot be denied but that their sufficiency doth appear likewise in the excellent government of State at Venice, Luca, Genoua, Florence, the Low Countreys, and divers other places of Christendom. And in those States also where they are least esteemed, yet is their skill and knowledge often used by those who sit in the highest places of Authority: It is therefore an act beyond rashness in some, who do dis-enable their Counsel and judgment (even in books printed) making them uncapable of those ways and means, which do either enrich or empoverish a Common-wealth, when in truth this is only effected by the mystery of their trade, as I shall plainly show in that which followeth. It is true indeed that many Merchants here in England finding less encouragement given to their profession than in other Countreys, and seeing themselves not so well esteemed as their Noble Vocation requireth, and according to the great consequence of the same, do not therefore labour to attain unto the excellence of their profession, neither is it practised by the Nobility of this Kingdom, as it is in other States from the Father to the Son throughout their generations, to the great encrease of their wealth, and maintenance of their names and families:There is more honor and profit in an Industrious life, than in a great inheritance which wasteth for want of vertue. Whereas the memory of our richest Merchants is suddenly extinguished; the Son being left rich, scorneth the profession of his Father, conceiving more honor to be a Gentleman (although but in name), to consume his estate in dark ignorance and excess, than to follow the steps of his Father as an Industrious Merchant to maintain and advance his Fortunes. But now leaving the Merchants praise we will come to his practice, or at least to so much thereof as concerns the bringing of Treasure into the Kingdom.