Front Page Titles (by Subject) 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. - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
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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. - 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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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.
AS a further Evidence that our National Trade hath been Consumptive, and that I may silence the prevarications of some whose private Interest or Passions (which are but the fermentations of their Interests) teach them to affirm the contrary, I shall take notice of the following Accompt taken and Printed in November 1675. for the clearing a Debate then before a Committee of Parliament, intituled as followeth.
An Account of all the Gold and Silver Coined in his Majesties Mint within the Tower of London, from thefirst of October 1599. being the forty first year of the Reign of Queen Eliz. to November 1675. being 76 years, divided into four parts; shewing how the Coin of this Kingdom did increase in the three first parts, proportionable to the increase of Trade and Navigation, and how much it hath decreased in the fourth part.
This prodigious decrease of Coin in the last eighteen years, does undeniably evidence a vast decay in our Trade: but since, even in these latter years, there hath been somewhat above 120000l. per An’ Coined, as appears by the Account, it doth seem to administer an Objection, that still there hath been some National gain by Trade, though much less than before.
But this does not follow, for if more Money hath been exported yearly during these last eighteen years than hath been Coined, the National Treasure must be diminished: Now if we have been over-ballanced, more Money must be exported; so that it will resolve into the former Question.
It is a vain thing to say, that the exportation of Money in Specie stands still prohibited; so is the exporting of Treasure prohibited in Spain under the highest Penalties; and yet because Spain is over-ballanced by consumptive Importations, Forreigners continually carry it away; so that were it not for their Mines, there would not have been the value of a Peny left in Spain many years since; nor can their Mines so answer this mighty drain by a consumptive Trade, but that the Treasures of Spain are drawn lower than in any Nation in Europe.
And therefore though the ordinary trading with exported Money is condemnable, as that which tends to the subversion of Manufacture and People, and facilitates meer Importation; yet I cannot recommend prohibitory Laws as a means to stop the exportation of Money, unless at the same time the Methods of Trade be regulated.
’Tis now become more practicable by the Liberty given for the Exportation of Bullion; for upon any great emergency, for Bullion, (as for instance) upon the going out of an East-India Fleet, Standard-Silver hath risen from 5s. the Ounce to 5s. 4d. the Ounce; which being about 10 per Cent. must not only hinder the Coining of Bullion, but must cause our weighty Coin to be melted into Bullion, and so exported as it hath been noted before.
And upon the like occasions ’tis observable, that Guinnies rise to 22s. apiece, & broad Gold to 24s. apiece, which does evince, that those who use that Trade do not confine themselves to Bullion.
So ’tis notorious to those who understand our Northern and Eastern Trades, and our Trade to France, the Canaries, Turkey, &c. that we yearly export great quantities of Treasure to those and other Countries, and that we do not stick at Coined Money, being closely put up in Packs of Goods or Barrels, or however may be made lawful and laudable Merchandize by melting; whence it is come to be so commonly asserted a Commodity; and then if we look back and observe how little hath been Coined in the 18 years since (57) being but 121026l. per An’, it must be highly credible, that we have exported much more Money yearly than we have Coined.
But to make the over-ballance yet more evident, it will be necessary to find out, if possible, what was the yearly Treasure the Nation gained by Forreign Trade, at any time in this last Age; and in the next place, how much our Exportations and beneficial part of our Trade have since failed, and our Importations increased in quantity and value.
The increase of Home-Treasure must either be in Coined Money, or in Plate, made up for Home-uses; for all Bullion imported must either be converted into one of these at home, or else be re-exported, and then ’tis not superadded to the National Home-Treasure.
Now if we look back to the Accompt from the Mint, we may conclude, that during those 76 years, our Trade did never add more to our Coin yearly than 407027l. 9s. 1½d. for any number of 20 years together; this being the utmost Medium comprized in the Accompt.
Plate Coined by the King at Oxon, and Parliament at London.And this being in the 18 years before (57,) was not all the meer product of the Trade of these very years, for ’tis well known that during those years we had good quantities of our own Plate Coined into Money, ’tis not possible for me to ascertain how much; but if it were a Million, it ought to be deducted out of the Medium of those years.
So during those 18 years, our Trade might yet add less to our Coined Money, viz. in case our Forreign Trade did then export any of our Coined Money, the like may be said of any other of the said 18 years or Mediums in the Accompt; and then must all the Money so exported be also deducted out of the Annual Gain of those years.
I believe none will expect that I should adjust the yearly quantity of Money exported by stealth in our Forreign Trade before (57,) I shall leave it to the consideration of the indifferent Reader upon what I shall add; but ’tis evident, that our Merchants did formerly use to export Money, by the prohibitory Statutes made on that occasion.
It may be also further evident, that the yearly quantity of Money so exported before 57 was considerable; for before the 76 years mentioned in the Accompt, we must have had some stock of Money in the Nation, which supposing to be but six Millions, then adding what more was Coined during the said 76 years, we must have had near 30 Millions of Coin in the Nation before 57, had none been exported; whereas no intelligent Man will say we had then half that Sum; which if doubted I shall have occasion to enforce further; and if this be admitted, the Consequence must be, that our Forreign Trade and occasions did even before 57 carry off near half as much Money as was yearly Coined; and then our National yearly Gain in Coined Treasure would not be near to the aforesaid full Mediums Coined, nor to above half the Mediums, (taking any number of years together.)
Nor can we reckon or allow of above 50000l. per Annum for increase of Home-Plate, during any of the said 18 years, considering that much Plate is always brought back to the Mint, or turned into Bullion, as other new Plate is made; and that at this allowance for Plate, in any twenty years time there would be a Million increase of Home-Plate in the Nation.
Upon the whole the Reader may observe what our utmost National Gain in increase of Treasure possibly might be, and upon the aforesaid grounds may deduct from any of the Mediums as he shall think reasonable, wherein I shall not pretend to confine him, though in my private Judgment I cannot estimate our utmost National increase of Treasure by Trade during any of the said 76 years to be above 250000l. per Annum, or thereabouts, for any twenty years together.
Considering which, if the indifferent Reader shall reflect on what hath been said in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Sections, if he there find that our Trade hath been under such difficulties, as must necessarily work us out of all the parts of it, whilst our Neighbours are enabled to snatch it from us: If he there find undeniable Instances of it in some Particulars, he may for the same Reasons conclude the like in all others; and by Consequence that our National Trade long before this, became less beneficial than it was by 250000l. per Annum; it hath been always found most safe to be governed by the Causes and Reasons of things, but the concurrent impoverishment of our People, and other the Symptoms, Plague-sores, and Spots of a consumptive Trade do further evidence it.
It is confessed it would be of great use, if the odds in our past and present National Forreign Trade might be certainly stated; a difficult, if not impossible task: Since it requires an antient, as well as modern experience in Forreign Trade, and not of any one Trader only, but of so many as have traded into all Parts; of those that are curious, intelligent, and impartial, and have minded the publick Interest as well as their own; perhaps if a sufficient number of such as these did assemble, they might, upon debate, and with reference to their Books, bring the Compute very near the truth; but nothing of this hath been done of late; and whosoever shall promiscously consult our Traders apart, will find them various: Then for our Custom-Books old or new, though they might be useful for some things, yet they cannot ascertain us in the odds of the Forreign values of any Exported or Imported Goods, nor of the quantity of Imported prohibited or smuggled Goods, nor (as I conceive) of our former or present Fishing-Trade, (Fish paying no Custom) nor of the gain of Carriage, nor of the Trade from Port to Port; without which the certain odds in the Ballance cannot be calculated; and therefore for my own part I rest chiefly on what hath been said; believing myself secure whilst I keep my self to the rational part, which cannot be refuted but by Reason: Whereas I am apprehensive that should I descend to examine our Ballance of Trade by the particular effects of the foregoing Causes, these being matters of Fact, and very many, and most of them Forreign, and of less Notoriety, may be liable to Exceptions or Cavils of particular Men, as their different Sentiments or Interests may dictate; it being as easie to deny as affirm, and as hard for many Readers to determine the truth in these matters; whereby the sincerity of the Relator may be drawn into question; and at such times, when he shall have no opportunity to defend himself: and I am not insensible, that amongst so many Facts as the nature of this Subject hath forced me to mention, (whereof I must speak much upon the credit I give to others) ’tis impossible there may be some slips, even by the transcribing of Papers: Upon these Considerations, I had thoughts of laying aside part of the three next Sections as needless, and neglected somewhat of that Curiosity I intended, but being perused and approved by some Friends amongst the rest of these Papers, they have perswaded me to publish them as they are, upon apprehension that they will enforce what I have already said, though left so general, and will give the Reader a further useful light into the past and present nature and condition of our Trade and Nation: and since they do not bind up the Reader to precise Quantities and Values, can admit of little altercation; in which I have been the more ready to comply, upon hopes that I may awaken and spur on the virtuous emulation of others to a more compleat disquisition into the several branches of our Trade, and that the Reader will think me the more excusable in this and the rest I have undertaken, when he shall observe the present Subject so Copious, and so little laboured by other Writers, that I have no common Places or beaten Tracks to follow, as in other Studies.
This I assure the Reader, that amongst the following instances, or elsewhere, there are no wilfull or affected errors, and that I have not affirmed any thing which I do not know, but upon such Authority as I have reason to believe highly credible, and am confident that whatsoever mistakes in Fact the Curious may find out in what I have already said, or shall say, there are none such as do in the least impeach the force or reason of this Discourse, and then must be admitted immaterial.
To which I shall add, that by the following Essay, I do not pretend to that difficult work of adjusting the present Ballance of our Trade, but to evince, that the former Ballance of our Trade (as it may be computed from the aforesaid Accompt, from the Mint or otherwise) is grown consumptive in some degree; which I think will appear to the indifferent Readers satisfaction, upon consideration of some late decays and defalcations in our Trade, wherein I shall confine my self to such as have happened long after the beginning of the 76 years mentioned in the Accompt, from the Mint, many of them within 20 years last.