Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VI. - The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland
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CHAP. VI. - Pieter de la Court, The True Interest and Political Maxims, of the Republic of Holland 
The True Interest and Political Maxims of the Republic of Holland (London: John Campbell, Esq, 1746).
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That Holland lies very commodiously to fetch its provision out of the sea, and to provide itself by other arts and trades: and how great a means of subsistence the fisheries may prove to us.
So that the inhabitants must seek their bread out of the sea by fishing, or ashore by manufactures, and arts.HOLLAND is very well situated to procure its food out of the sea, which is a common element; it lies not only on a strand rich of fish, near the Dogger-Sand, where haddock, cod, and ling may in great abundance be taken, and cured; but also near the herring-fishery, which is only to be found on the coast of Great-Britain, viz. from St. John’s to St. James’s, about Schet-Land, Pharil, and Boekness; from St. James’s to the elevation of the cross about Boekelson or Seveniot, from the elevation of the cross to St. Katherines in the deep waters eastward of Yarmouth. And this herring fishing, which it is now 250 year ago since William Beakelson of Biervliet first learned to gill, salt, and pack them up in barrels, together with the cod-fishery, is become so effectual a means of subsistence for these lands, and especially since so many neighbouring nations, by reason of their religion, are obliged upon certain days and weeks of the year, wholly to refrain from eating of flesh; that the Hollanders alone do fish in a time of peace with more than a thousand busses, from 24 to 30 lasts burden each, and with above one hundred and seventy smaller vessels that fish for herrings at the mouth of the Texel; so that those thousand busses being set to sea for a year, wherein they make three voyages, do cost above ten millions of guilders, accounting only the buss with its tackle, at 4550 guilders, and the setting forth to sea 5500 guilders, there remaining nothing of all its victuals and furniture the second year, but the bare vessel, and that much worn and tatter’d, needing great reparation. So that if these 1000 busses do take yearly forty thousand last of herrings, counting them at least worth 200 guilders per last, they would yield in Holland more than eight millions of guilders.
And seeing that of late men have begun to make very much use of whale-oil, and whale-fins, which are taken to the northward not far from us, insomuch that with southerly winds, which are common in this country, we can sail thither within six or 8 days: the trade of fishing, and salt, may easily be fixed and settled with us;The great number of inhabitants is a powerful means to fix traffick in Holland. for to fix those fisheries, and several manufactures, and consequently the trade and returns thereof depending on navigation and ships let out to freight, we ought duly to consider, that the greatest difficulty for so innumerable a people to subsist on their own product, proves the most powerful means to attract all foreign wares into Holland, not only to store them up there, and afterwards to carry them up the country by the Mase, Waal, Yssel, and the Rhine (making together one river) to very many cities, towns, and people, lying on the sides of them (the most considerable in the world for consumption of merchandise) but also to consume the said imported goods, or to have them manufactur’d: it being well known, that no country under heaven, of so small a compass, has so many people and artificers as we have; to which may be added, that no country in the world is so wonderfully divided with rivers and canals, whereby merchandize may be carried up and down with so little charge.
Emanuel van Meteren says, that in the space of three days, in the year 1601, there sailed out of Holland to the eastward, between eight and nine hundred ships, and 1500 busses a herring fishing;How considerable the fisheries of Holland are, is mentioned by certain English writers, which is easy to believe, if we may credit what the English authors mention, viz. Gerard Malines in his Lex Mercatoria, and Sir Walter Rawleigh, and which Lievin van Aitzma, anno 1653. pag. 863. doth in some measure confirm, viz. That there are yearly taken and spent by the Hollanders more than 300,000 last of herrings, and other salt fish: and that the whale fishing to the northward, takes up above 12,000 men, which sail out of these countries. For since the Greenland company, or (to express myself better) the monopolizing grant thereof was annulled, and the whale-fishing set open in common, that fishery is increased from one to ten: so that when we reckon that all these fishing vessels are built here at home, and the ropes, sails, nets, and casks made here, and that salt is furnish’d from hence, we may easily imagine that there must be an incredible number of people that live by this means, especially when we add, that all those people must have meat, drink, clothes, and housing; and that the fish, when caught, is transported by the Hollanders in their vessels through the whole world.Who out of envy nevertheless overrate this means of our subsistence. And indeed if that be true, which Sir Walter Rawleigh (who made diligent inquiry thereinto, in the year 1618, to inform king James of it) affirms, that the Hollanders fished on the coast of Great Britain with no less than 3000 ships, and 50000 men, and that they employed and set to sea, to transport and sell the fish so taken, and to make returns thereof, nine thousand ships more, and one hundred and fifty thousand men besides: and if we hereunto add what he saith further, viz. that twenty busses do maintain eight thousand people, and that the Hollanders had in all no less than 20000 ships at sea; as also that their fishing, navigation, and traffick by sea, with its dependencies since that time, to the year 1667, is encreased to ⅓ more: I say, if that be so, we may then easily conclude, that the sea is a special means of Holland’s subsistence; seeing Holland by this means alone, yields by its own industry above three hundred thousand lasts of salt fish. So that if we add to this, the whale-fin, and whale-oil, and our Holland manufactures, with that which our own rivers afford us, it must be confessed, that no country in the world can make so many ships-lading of merchandize by their own industry, as the province of Holland alone.