Front Page Titles (by Subject) 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 - A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others
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 - 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
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 Manufacture, so of exported Wooll in our foreign victualling Trades for Flesh, Butter, Cheese, &c. in our Irish Trade, and Scotch Trade for almost all sorts of Commodities: Irish Wooll increased: The Expiration of the Irish Acts will not now revest that Trade, but prejudice us more, and in what: decays in our several former and late Fishing-Trades, in our Foreign-Trade for Stockings and Hats in our exports to the Canaries, in the Foreign-Price of our exported Tyn and Lead, and the Price and quantity of exported Pewter, in our Trade from Port to Port, our former and late prejudices in our Plantation-Trade, incidently of our Navigation and other things.
I Shall begin with our Exportations, and as I shall pass from one particular to another, in this and the next Section, shall desire the indifferent Reader to put such an estimation on our losses in Trade, as he shall think reasonable; and shall first instance in our Woollen Manufactures, as being our principal Commodity, and certainly of the most general and necessary use, (and therefore in its nature the best) in the World.
Before Edward the thirds time the Flemings Manufactured our Wooll, and had the Merchandize of it, which gave the original Foundation to the former Wealth and Popularity of the Netherlands.
Edw. 3. observing the great advantages the Flemings made of our Wooll, brought over some Flemish Manufacturers, who by degrees taught the Manufacture of Cloaths of all sorts, Worsted and divers others, particularly mentioned in our Statutes of former times: and as the English more applied themselves to it, and increased ours (as soon as they did) so did that of the Flemings decay.
For first, the English had the materials cheaper than the Flemings, not only by the odds in the carriage out of England, but because the raw Woolls afterwards exported were charged with great Customs and Duties to the King, as appears by the Acts and Writings of those times.
Secondly, Because the Manufacture was continually incouraged, and taken care of by Laws for that purpose, as also appears by our Statute-Book.
Thirdly, At that time we had none of the present Clogs on our Manufactures, which have either become so by the better Methods of Trade first contrived by the Dutch States, or have been grafted upon us by private or mistaken interests long since Edw. 3ds time. I do not find that there was any absolute Prohibition of exporting Wooll till the Statute of the 12th of His now Majesty, chap. 32. yet the example of our cunning Neighbours now tell us, that Prohibitions, accompanied with a due Improvement of Trade at home, are not to be condemned.
The Flemish Cloath-trade was long since so far reduced, that we had the sole Merchandize of it, yet it cannot be denyed but the Flemings kept up a Manufacture of a sort of Stuffs and Sayes, (but of no great bulk) the make whereof the English had not been taught, till the Duke of Alva about 100 years since by his Tyranny and Persecution for Conscience, drove away their Manufacturers, whom Queen Elixabeth like her wise Predecessor Edward the third entertained, seating them in Norwich, Colchester, and Canterbury, whereby these Manufactures became incorporated into the English, to the great advantage of those parts, and of the Nation in general: they also taught us the art of making Tapestry.
Before this the English exported great quantities of our Manufacture into Flanders, but doubtless more afterwards, for which we kept a rich Staple at Antwerp, the Dutch long after they became States were ignorant of this Manufacture, whom we therefore wholly supplied, exporting vast quantities of our Cloaths thither, most Whites, which were there dyed and dressed, and from these parts transmitted into the Southern and South-east Countries of Germany, and many other Nations: we had also the sole trade up the Elbe, and thereby to the North parts of Germany, Jutland and Holsteyne.
We had the sole Trade into Denmark, Norway, Swedeland and Liefland, and to the great Territory of Poland (through Dantzick) by our Eastland Company, formerly very flourishing, and called the Royal Company.
We had also the sole Trade to the vast Empire of Muscovy.
All which Trades are sunk to a small matter, the Dutch having set up mighty Woollen Manufactures of all sorts, and the Flemings renewed or enlarged theirs, our exports to those parts are very much reduced.
Our Hamburgh Company, by whom the North parts of Germany, Jutland and Holsteyne were supplied, do not vend near half what they did, the Dutch and other Manufactures having prevailed upon us in those parts, both for the Finest and Coarsest Cloaths: what we now export to Hamburgh are a sort of Cloaths of between 3, and 7s. a Yard, and of those not near the former quantity.
Then for our Eastland Trade it is sunk more, I have heard several Estimates, all near concurring with what I find in Mr. Coke’s third Treatise of Trade,Pag. 33, 34. dedicated to Prince Rupert, viz. That this Company only heretofore usually exported above 20000 Broad Cloaths, 60000 Kerseys, and 40000 Doubles yearly; but of late years not above 4000 Broad Cloths, 5000 Kerseys, and 2000 Doubles. To give this worthy Gentleman his due, he hath written more materially on the present subject than any man in this Age, in which he hath not only demonstrated his deep Judgment,Pag. 112. but his great sedulity and sincerity in the discovery of the truth, professing himself ready to make out whatsoever he hath reported, before any Judicature. There is too much reason and fact to warrant the great decay of this Eastland Trade, when the Dutch Manufacture is arrived to such a degree, besides which the Silesian and Polonian Manufactures of Coarse Woolls are mightily increased, so that at Dantzick, our late great staple, we now sell so little that ’tis not worth the naming; we now trade thither with Treasure, whence we used to Import much; the like may be said of other Ports this Company formerly traded to.
Then for Swedeland, the Natives have lately set up a Manufacture there of their Coarse Woolls, as well as Denmark, Liefland and Norway, are very much supplied by the Dutch, imposing greater Prices and Customs upon us for what they vend, and insisting to have Treasure of us, where before they bartered for Commodity.
To which I may add, That our late great Muscovy Trade is in a manner lost; the same Mr. Coke takes notice that the Dutch send 1500 Sail of Ships into the Sound in a year, and 40 to Muscovy, we do not send above seven into the Sound in a year, of which two are laden with woollen Manufactures, the other five with Ballast, (and are therefore to buy their foreign lading) and to Muscovy we hardly send two in three years; during the late War we have sent somewhat more.
|We had also the sole trading for woollen Cloathing into France, of which we vended there to the value of 600000l. yearly; but the French having for these later years set up this Manufacture at home, do now supply themselves; and as their own hath increased, so have they laid greater Impositions upon ours, till in (67) the French King set an intolerable Tax of about 50 per Cent. on all our Cloathing imported into France, by which our Cloathing-trade to France became in a manner impracticable, nor have the French any occasion to open this Trade to us again.||000000|
|We had also the sole Cloathing-Trade into Turkey, Spain and its Dominion; and it must be confessed, that we have supported our Turkey-Trade better than any other, much occasioned by our importation of raw Silk from those parts, for which we used to barter: but of late years the Dutch are great Competitors with us in the Turkey-Trade, (though the English may have had the advantage whilst the Dutch have been engaged in the late War;) the French have been long nibling at this Trade, and both the French and Dutch largely share with us in the Spanish-Trade.||000000|
This value of our exported Cloathing to France is avouched by our Antient Traders thither and so asserted in the Printed Book in (77) in defence of our East India Company.But what is yet more grievous, we import much Fine Cloath from the Dutch yearly, and till of late great quantities of Stuffs and Druggets from the French, which French Importation (only) amounted to the value of 150000l. per Annum, as Mr. Fortrey in his Book of Trade reports; how much of these, or other French Goods may be imported for the future, may be guessed from what I shall say in the last Section concerning the late Prohibition of French Goods; in the mean time it may be observed, how far our late Monopoly of the Woollen Manufacture is vanished.
|We had also the sole Trade for Woollen Manufactures to the Kingdom of Portugal, which Trade hath been decaying several years, because of the Competition of the French and Dutch, but of late hath been worse than ever; by reason that the Government of Portugal since the year 1660 hath prohibited the wearing of English Cloath; having set up this Manufacture of their own Woolls; we still drive a Trade thither for Stuffs, in which the French and Dutch, as before, are great sharers, and of late the Portuguese have been attempting at these Manufactures, having gotten over some of our English Manufacturers.||000000|
We had also the sole Trade into Italy, in which the French and Dutch are also sharers, besides the Venetians, who Manufacture and vend much Cloath in those parts.Stat. 18, & 20 Car. 2.
|So till of later years the English had the sole Trade to Ireland for Woollen Cloathing of all sorts, but since the late Irish Acts, the Irish have set up a considerable Woollen Manufacture of their own, for Frize and Stuffs, and now make good Cloath; or if they want, are in a great measure furnished from the Dutch or French, with whom they now Commerce; these Irish Manufacturers increase very much.||000000|
|Besides which, by the late competition of Foreigners in the Trade of Woollen Manufacture, our Cloaths have gradually and generally sunk in the foreign Market from their former price and value being (according to the best estimate I can meet with) sold for near a third less than they were sold for within 30, or 40 years last past, taking the sales made in one Country with another; some say at less than a third; if at less by a fourth or fifth than before, this odds alone seems sufficient to turn the Ballance of our Trade; since our whole Woollen Manufacture lately exported hath been generally agreed to yield near two Millions per ann. Whatever it were, our gain in this our principal Commodity must be sunk in proportion, to which must be added what we fail of the former quantity.||000000|
|All which by a necessary sympathy is verified in the present condition of our English Towns and Clothiers; of which we may take one obvious instance in the Town of Reading; where the late number of Clothiers being about 160, are reduced to about 12, and the Poor so increased that they cost the Town about 1000l. per Annum; perhaps in some Towns where Provisions are cheaper, the Clothiers may bear up somewhat better; but he that will examine into any other of our Cloathing Towns, will find the Trade decayed in some greater or lesser degree, and will hear the Complaints of these Clothiers, who continue in the Manufacture.|
|I may add, that our exported Wooll is sunk to about a third of its late price||000000|
|And whereas before the said Irish Acts, Foreign Ships did use to victual themselves out of the plenties of England, the Irish being since forced to fat their own Cattle at home, and by the cheapness of their Lands being enabled to sell cheaper than the English, Foreigners do now victual their Ships out of the new stores of Ireland, and cheaper than we can in England; by which we are beat out of the Trade of Foreign Victualing: nay, what is yet harder upon us, the very English Ships do now ordinarily victual from Ireland: this Trade of Victualling is also much prejudiced by our late Act of Navigation, which does exclude much Foreign Shipping from our Ports; and of what yearly loss this must be to the English Nation, and more particularly to the English Landholders, I submit to Judgement||000000|
|Also the English, before the said Irish Acts, Exported vast quantities of Butter to France, Spain, Portugal, Flanders, Italy, and into Ireland itself, and Cheese also; but the Irish by the Stop of Importation of lean Cattle, being put to make another Rent of their Land, have set themselves to the making of Butter and Cheese, and do not only supply themselves, but by the cheapness of their Lands do under-sell us to these Foreigners, and have therefore in a manner beaten us out of this Trade; and how much this must affect the Dairies and Rents of England, and what the yearly loss to England may amount to, I also submit to Judgment||000000|
|So before the said Irish Acts, England did furnish Ireland with Hats, Stockings, Dying Stuffs, Hides, Fruit, Sugars, Tobaccoes, Silks of all sorts, Gold, Silver, and Silk Lace, and Ribbons of all sorts. And before the Act of 15 Car. 2. cap. 7. Intituled, Trade Incouraged (by which the Importation of Scotch Cattle was stopt) England did furnish Scotland with wrought Wire of all sorts, Haberdashers Ware, as Hats, Ribbons, Gloves, Buttons, Bandstrings of all sorts, Upholsterers Ware, as Hangings,Stools, Chairs, &c. all sorts of Cutlers Ware, as Knives, Scissers, Sickles, Scithes, all sorts of Slop-sellers Ware, as Stockings, Caps, course Shifts, and Frocks: By all which, the English Manufacturers and Nation made considerable Gain.|
|But the Commerce between England and Ireland, and England and Scotland, being stopt by reason of the said Acts, the Irish and Scotch do otherwise supply themselves with these Manufactures, partly by the like Manufactures set up at home, partly by such other Foreigners with whom they now Trade: And the Scots upon occasion of the said Act of 15 Car. 2. imposed a Tax of 90 per Cent. on all English Commodities Imported into Scotland.||000000|
|It is a hard matter to put a just Estimate on these yearly Losses; for the present I shall leave it to be computed by our Melancholick English Tradesmen.|
|By means of the same Irish Acts, we have also lost the Exportation of English Hops and Beer from the Eastern, Southern, and Western Parts of England into Ireland.||000000|
|And whereas before the said Irish Acts, England was the Storehouse of Ireland, and did furnish the Irish with Foreign imported Wares of all sorts, and our Irish Trade did maintain above 100 Sail of our Ships sailing between, besides what were employed outwards with Commodities of the growths of Ireland; since the said Acts, the Irish are supplied by the Dutch, or other Foreign Stores and Navigation, and are much increased in Shipping of their own.||000000|
|And as if the mischief of these Acts would never have an end, it may be further observed,|
|they were the occasion of Increase of Sheep, and thereby of a vast increase of Wool in Ireland, by which the French and Dutch Woollen Manufactures are now more plentifully supported, and rather cheaper than the English.||000000|
|And now the Irish, for the former Reasons, also furnish our Foreign Plantations, with very much of their Butter, Cheese, Clothes, and other necessaries of the growth and product of Ireland: Considering which, and that those of New England of late furnish the rest with Flower, Bisket, Salt, Flesh, Fish, &c. (all which were formerly Exported from hence) we may expect our Plantation-Trade for Sugar, Tobacco, &c. must ere long be wholly driven with Exported Money, or with foreign Goods bought with Exported Money, since by this means, by the insufficiency of our own home-Manufactures, and the growing Luxury of our Planters, we are forced to send vast quantities thither already, particularly, foreign Linnens of all sorts, Paper, Silks, and Wines of all sorts, Brandies, and other things mentioned in the next Section, besides great quantities of Wines sent from the Madera’s, paid by Bills of Exchange drawn on our Merchants in Lisbon. The consequence of the Whole is, that the loss of the Irish Trade, and the consequences thereof, have much assisted in the Impoverishment of the English, (who bear almost all the Charge of the Government) and will eat upon us more and more daily; and on the other side the Irish, who lately dealt so cruelly by us, and are a Conquered People, are made far richer on a suddain, and that the Irish Lands do much rise in Rent, whilest the English sink.||000000|
Having given this Accompt of our direct and Consequential Losses by the Irish Acts, I expect to be Answered by some, That howsoever these Acts may have prejudiced us for the time past, they are now expired, and that by Consequence we shall now be let into all the advantages we had before the Acts made. This I shall examine before I go further, and with that Impartiality as I think becomes an Englishman, without being byassed by the Situation of my Lands: which if any man does, this Consequence must appear mistaken.
For first, The Manufacturers set up in Ireland, will still Continue to the same prejudice of ours; and ’tis highly probable (if not certain) that they will Improve, by the cheapness of their Provision and Wages.
Secondly, Having now long used to fatt their Cattle (with which they do not only continually Victual all sorts of Ships, but Forreign Towns, Armies and Nations, particularly the French, and those of the United Provinces, besides the Return they make by the Vent of their Hides and Tallowes) it is not to be Imagined that they will be so mad as to give up this far more profitable Trade.
Thirdly, They will breed, manufacture, and Export as much Wooll, Butter, Cheese, &c. as before.
Fourthly, These Exportations obliging them to Commerce with the French and Dutch, as before, it must be expected that they will generally still buy such Commodities as they want of the Dutch and French; and much the rather, because the Dutch and French, for Reasons before mentioned, can and will afford them much cheaper than the English.
What Advantages shall we then have by the expiring of the Irish Acts? ’tis confessed, that their Territory being large, most Fruitful, and now plentifully stored with Cattle, they may carry on their other Trades, and yet furnish us with abundant Stores of Cattle for our Money; which they already do, sending many of their Cattle near or altogether fatt: supposing them lean, yet will not this Nation get 3d. a year by it, but will be a yearly loser.
|For the meer Importing of Irish Cattle, did never advantage this Nation otherwise, than as it secured the Irish in that base way of Trade, and from turning their National Industry into a Competition with the English in other Trades; during which time, what Money they received for their Cattle, they generally laid out in London, or elsewhere in England, for the Commodities I mentioned before, and others, by which Ireland was stored; But now I do not see how it can be avoided, but that they will carry out all or the greatest part of the Money they receive, in Specie, which may probably be little less than 100000l. per Annum, I conceive much more than double that Sum, Considering what Victuals and other Commodities we freight from thence in our Voyages Yearly; so that the Importing of these Cattle will not only greatly sink the Welch and Northern Rents, but all other Rents in a little time; which must demonstrate the further necessity of Easing and regulating our Trade equal to the Dutch or French, who will otherwise thrust us out of this Trade and all other, and will give a greater Vent to the Irish Commodities daily. In the mean time we may observe, that we ought not to be governed by such narrow Principles as the Situation of our English Lands, but by the National Interest. Lastly, I shall add, That should we suppose a Compleat restitution of our losses in and by the Irish Trade, Yet Considering our other defalcations in Trade, and our present Poverty, it would not restore the Ballance of our Trade, or not to any such degree, as to secure the Nation.||000000|
Mr. Smith cited before, reasonably computes other Nations gain, 10000000l. per annum by this Fishing Trade only, whereof the Dutch above 5000000l. Mr. Mun in 63. saith, It was found that all our Exported Fish, of all sorts, amounted to but 140000l. per annum, Pag. 184.
|Our Fishing Trade hath decayed continually of later years; we formerly supplied France,Spain, Muscovy, Portugal, and Italy, with great quantities of White Herring, Ling, and Codfish, which Trade is now lost to the Dutch, French, &c. We have only the Trade of Red Herrings, which we retain; because, before the Dutch can bring their Herrings upon their own coasts, they grow too stale to be cured for Red Herrings: and what a miserable thing is it for our poor starving Natives to see the Dutch, and other Foreigners draw such Inestimable Treasures out of our own Seas, and at our Doors? This Fishing Trade (bringing in no Custom) was insensibly lost in the pursuit of our Plantation-Trade, on which great Customs are Imposed.||000000|
|So is our Iseland Fishing very much decayed, where we have not a fourth part of the Trade we had twenty or thirty years since; the like may be said of our Newfound-Land Fishing; and our Groenland Fishing, where we had the sole Trade, is quite lost: the Dutch had far beaten us out of these Trades, but the French of later years have struck into a good share of the Whole, beating out the English more and more; And by the loss of our Fishing Trade, our National Gain must not only be vastly sunk, but our Sea Coasts are generally impoverished to a lamentable and almost incredible degree, and our Nation is deprived of this great and necessary Nursery of Seamen.||000000|
|Our Foreign Trade for Woven Silk-Stockings, and Knit Woollen Stockings, is much decayed, by reason that these Manufactures are set up in divers foreign Countries, which (though perhaps they are not, nor for Woollen Stockings can ever be so good as ours) yet they greatly hinder our Foreign Vent; and our late great Trade and Exportation of English Hats to Spain, is in a manner lost, being now mostly supplied by the French.||000000|
|Our Exportations to the Canary Islands are vastly sunk in quantity and value, from what they formerly and lately were; of which I shall speak more particularly in the next Section.||000000|
|Amongst many other Excellent Materials, we have in England great store of Tyn and Lead, capable of rich and mighty Manufactures in mixture, and otherwise, as appears by our Imported Tynned Plates from Germany, which are computed to cost England near 100000l. per Annum; and then what does that Manufacture bring into Germany from other Countreys? This Art the English were never taught, but have had a Manufacture of Pewter, made of our Tyn and Lead, of which we made and exported far greater quantities to Spain, than of late Years we have done, since the Dutch and others came to share with us in that Trade, so did we export more of it into France and Holland, in which Countreys ’tis now prohibited. We now Manufacture very little of our Tyn and Lead, but export these materials to be Manufactured in other Nations, to whom we are little better than the Miners; and though some Forreigners have lately taught us to make better Pewter than before, yet the bulk and exportation of it is much less. Our exported Tyn is sunk more than half its former forreign Price, and our exported Pewter above a third, as is also our exported Lead.||000000|
Perhaps more instances might be given of decayes in our Exportations of late Years, though it may be considered that we never had many Exportable Manufactures of very great bulk and value, nor in truth any but that of our Wooll; so that if we so much fail of our former gain in this Commodity, it must strike deep on our former Ballance; But much more if we also fail in so many other Exportations and Beneficial Trades.
And after these losses in our Exporting Trade, a further Estimate ought to be made of the decay in our Trade from Port to Port; for though the English never were, nor since the Dutch began to trade could be, considerably Masters of this kind of Trade; Yet may it be presumed, that whilst we kept the Monopoly of Cloth, our Merchants by the Barter and Vent of this Commodity had then more advantagious Opportunities of Buying and Selling Forreign Goods in Forreign Ports; and the rather, because it not only gave the English an extraordinary Reputation, but a real preference in those Parts they then principally Traded to; besides, the former Privileges the English long enjoyed in Muscovy, enabled them to so much of this kind of Trade as related to that Empire, which advantage we have lost by the resumption of those Priviledges, whereof I shall say more.
But perhaps I may be told, That all our before mentioned Defalcations in the beneficial parts of our Trade, have been made good by the Accession of the Plantation-Trade in the Reign of King James, (being within the Compass of the 76 Years mentioned in the Accompt from the Mint) and by the Increase of it since; and I the rather expect this Objection, because this Trade remaining inclosed to the Subjects of the Crown of England, who for Want of other Trade are thrust into it, it makes a great noise amongst us; I shall therefore speak more particularly to it, than yet I have, that I may leave no Holes for Starters.
It may be Alledged, and must be Confessed, That this Trade hath imployed a good number of Ships, and hath brought in great Customs; but nothing of this is to the present question, being only, Whether it hath advantaged the Nation in its Annual gain of Treasure; which I conceive this Trade hath not, if ballanced with the losses the Nation hath received by it.
All the Gain England can or ever could receive by this Trade, must be in the Return and Result of those Commodities we import from the Plantations, (viz. Sugars, Tobaccoes, Dying Stuffs, &c.) in Exchange for so much of our Butter, Cheese, Beer, Woollen Cloaths, Hats, Shoes, Iron-work, and other home-Commodities as we Export thither.
Now that the Labours of the same People in Fishing or Manufactures at home did, and would have produced a greater Profit to the Nation than these Plantation-Commodities, I think no man, considering what hath been said before, can so much as make a question. In fact our Fishing for White Herring and Cod was deserted for this Trade, and the Continual transplanting of multitudes of our Manufactures and other people, hath inevitably more and more sunk and disabled us in all Manufactures and home-Employments.
Then for the supposed advantage we have in the Vent of our home-Commodities to the Plantations, ’tis plain they are but our own People; and it must be undeniable, that had the same People stayed in England, they would have taken off a far greater Quantity; for whereas we now furnish them with some small part of their Victuals, we should then have supplyed them with All, viz. with Bread, Flesh, Fish, Roots, &c. which now we do not; and they would have taken off far more of our Butter, Cheese, Cloathing, Drink, and other home Commodities, when they had them at hand, and had been put to no other shifts.
But our infelicity is yet greater; for our Plantation-Trade (though at the best far less valuable to the Nation than the same People and their Labours at home) is yet grown much worse than it was 20 or 30 Years since, and must grow worse and worse Continually.
This must notoriously appear by what hath been said in this Section, when by means of the late Irish Acts,See before. and for other Reasons there mentioned, we are forced to Export unto, and furnish these our Plantations with so much less quantities of our own, and so much greater quantities of Forreign Goods than formerly and lately we did.
Besides which, by a further Improvidence we have lost other advantages in this Trade: Our Re-exporters being to receive back half the Customs (which in this Trade are very mighty) it hath followed, that the Dutch coming to be furnished with our Sugars and Dying Stuffs much cheaper than the English, (as being charged not with half the Customs) have been by that means able to set up and beat us out of the Forreign Trade of baked Sugars, of which they bake and vend above 20 times the quantity the English do; so do they now use far the greatest part of our Dying Stuffs, gaining near as much, if not more, by these Manufactures than the raw materials yield the English.
|Then, if this Trade did originally subvert or weaken several better Trades, and besides is now less valuable than it was, instead of an Improvement, it ought to be reckoned amongst the defalcations in our present Trade.||000000|
And though it be not so direct to the present question, I shall adde, That we have little reason to boast of our Navigation in this Trade, when it was the occasion of the loss of a more certain and beneficial Nursery of Seamen and Shipping in our Fishery, when at the same time the Strength and Business of the Nation have been so much contracted by the loss of our People, when our Planters of New England having gotten a Considerable Navigation of their own, do Trade from Port to Port in America, and have in a manner beaten us out of that kind of Imployment in those Parts; and when the Irish Shipping, together with the growing Plenties of Ireland and New England, threaten the like in the Trade of Exportation and Importation. To all which may be added, what we ought to expect in case the Dutch may retain and Cultivate Surinam as far as ’tis capable, since it will produce as good Sugars and Tobaccoes as any part of America, and as much as will serve the greatest part of the World, if not all.
Nay, these Plantations may be Considered as the true Grounds and Causes of all our present Mischiefs; for, had our Fishers been put on no other Employment, had those Millions of People which we have lost or been prevented of by the Plantations continued in England, the Government would long since have been under a necessity of Easing and regulating our Trade; the common Wants and Cryes of our People would infallibly have obliged it; but much of the Industry of the Nation being turned this way, and the Plantations affording room and hopes for Men of necessitous and uneasie Conditions, and our Lawes mentioned in the Seventh Section, posting them away, they have deserted the Nation Continually, and left us intricated and fettered in private Interests and destructive Constitutions of Trade. And thus, whilest we have been projecting the Increase of Customs, we have fed our selves with the Shadows of Trade, and suffered other Nations to run away with the Substance. I am assured, that the English at Jamaica are now near, if not fully treble what they were when Sir Thomas Muddiford was Governour there, and then they were at least 20000; whence some Conjecture may be made at the rest.