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John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce from the Originals of Mun, Roberts, North, and Others [1856]

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John Ramsay McCulloch, 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). http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2000

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About this Title:

A collection of eight early English tracts on trade and commerce edited by John McCulloch for the Political Economy Club. It includes works by Thomas Mun, Lewes Roberts, Samuel Fortrey, and other anonymous authors.

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Edition: current; Page: [a]
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. MDCCCLVI.
Edition: current; Page: [b]

This Volume has been printed by the Political Economy Club of London for private distribution amongst its members and their immediate friends The Tracts contained in it are taken from the originals supplied by J. R. McCulloch, Esq., who has also been good enough to contribute the Preface.

one hundred copies printed

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CONTENTS.

  • I. A Discovrse of Trade from England vnto the East Indies. By T. M. 1621 . . . page 1
  • II. The Treasure of Traffike, or a Discourse of Forraigne Trade. By Lewes Roberts. 1641 49
  • III. England’s Treasure by Forraign Trade, or the Ballance of our Forraign Trade is the Rule of our Treasure. By Thomas Mun. 1664 . . . . . . . . 115
  • IV. England’s Interest and Improvement. By Samuel Fortrey, Esq. 1673 . . . 211
  • V. England’s Great Happiness, or a Dialogue between Content and Complaint. By a real and hearty Lover of his King and Countrey. 1677 . . . . . . . . 251
  • VI. Britannia Languens, or a Discourse of Trade. 1680 . . . . . . . . 275
  • VII. Discourses upon Trade. 1691 . . . 505
  • VIII. Considerations on the East India Trade. 1701 Index . . . . . . . . 631
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PREFACE.

Various motives have led to this publication. The Tracts of which it consists are all of great, and some of them of extraordinary rarity. And they are interesting, partly from their containing some of the earliest indications of those liberal commercial principles now so generally diffused—partly from their embodying statements and reasonings that were supposed to demonstrate the truth of theories which, however erroneous, were long universally assented to; and, further, from some of them having been much referred to by subsequent writers. They afford an epitome of the commercial knowledge of the 17th century, both in its theory and practice. And it seemed desirable, by collecting and reprinting treatises of such importance in a separate volume, to provide against the imminent risk of their being lost, and render them accessible to future inquirers.

They are as follows, viz.

  • I. A Discovrse of Trade, from England vnto the East-Indies; answering to diuerse Obiections which are vsually made against the same. By T. M. 1621.Edition: current; Page: [iv]
  • II. The Treasure of Traffike, or a Discourse of Forraigne Trade; wherein is showed the benefit and commoditie arising to a Common-Wealth or Kingdome, by the skilfull Merchant, and by a well ordered Commerce and regular Traffike. By Lewes Roberts, Merchant and Captaine of the City of London. 1641.
  • III. England’s Treasure by Forraign Trade; or, the Ballance of our Forraign Trade is the Rule of our Treasure. Written by Thomas Mun, of London, Merchant. 1664.
  • IV. England’s Interest and Improvement. Consisting in the Increase of the Store, and Trade of this Kingdom. By Samuel Fortrey, Esq. 1673.
  • V. England’s Great Happiness; or, a Dialogue between Content and Complaint, wherein is demonstrated that a great part of our Complaints are causeless. By a real and hearty Lover of his King and Countrey. 1677.
  • VI. Britannia Languens, or A Discourse of Trade: shewing the Grounds and Reasons of the Increase and Decay of Land-Rents, National Wealth and Strength; with Application to the late and present State and Condition of England, France, and the United Provinces. 1680.
  • VII. Discourses upon Trade; principally directed to the Cases of the Interest, Coynage, Clipping, and Increase of Money. 1691.
  • VIII. Considerations on the East-India Trade; wherein all the Objections to that Trade are fully answered. With a Comparison of the East-India and Fishing Trades. 1701.
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The first and third of these Tracts were written by Mr. Thomas Mun, of whom we know nothing, except that he was an eminent merchant of London, and a Director of the East India Company. Though published in 1664, the second and principal Tract had been written several years previously. Mr. Mun’s son, in the Dedication to Lord Southampton, which he prefixed to it, says: “my father was in his time famous among merchants,” a mode of expression which he would hardly have used had not a considerable period elapsed since his father’s death. And Misselden in his “Circle of Commerce,” published in 1623, (p. 36,) refers to Mun’s Tract on the East India Trade,* and speaks of its author as an accomplished and experienced merchant. Perhaps therefore, we may not be far wrong in supposing, that the “Treasure by Forraign Trade” was written as early as 1635 or 1640. Mr. Hallam is inclined to think it may have been a little earlier. The doctrines in Mun’s tracts are substantially the same; and they are also the same with those in a petition presented by the East India Company to Parliament in 1628, which was written by Mun.

Previously to the formation of this Company, in 1600, it had been the policy of England, as of other nations, to prohibit the exportation of the precious metals, which were then reckoned the only real wealth that a country could possess. But bullion being one of the most advantageous articles of export to the East, this Edition: current; Page: [vi] prohibition was relaxed, under certain conditions, in favour of the East India Company. And whatever may now be thought of it, this, when taken, was a considerable step in advance; and in no long time it was much and strenuously objected to, as being subversive of all sound principle and highly injurious to the public interests. On this occasion Mun came forward in defence of the Company. He did not, however, take his stand on the broad ground that the exportation of bullion to the East was advantageous because it was more valuable there than here. He had recourse to a more subtle theory, and tried to reconcile the interests of his clients with the opinions then generally entertained. In this view he contended that the exportation of bullion by the Company was advantageous, because they employed it to purchase commodities in India, most part of which was afterwards sent to the Continent, whence a greater amount of bullion was imported in their stead than had originally been expended upon them in India. And hence the famous doctrine of The Balance of Trade, that is, of an excess of exports over imports; the excess being, it was taken for granted, necessarily paid in gold and silver. No sophistry was ever more completely successful. Its influence was not confined to England, but extended to most other countries. The rule that in dealing with strangers, “wee must ever sell more to them yearly than wee consume of theirs in value”* was looked upon as infallible. Its merits were proclaimed alike by philosophers and merchants, while Edition: current; Page: [vii] statesmen exerted themselves to give it a practical effect. Agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, ceased to be objects of public solicitude, The “balance of trade” was regarded as the only source of national wealth, and the only measure of its increase; and all the complex machinery of premiums and bounties on the one side, and of restrictions and prohibitions on the other, was set in motion to render it favourable. It soon, however, became obvious, that customs regulations, how vigilantly soever they might be enforced, were not sufficient to make the golden current flow in the desired channels. Recourse was, consequently, had to still more stringent measures. Treaties and alliances were entered into and set aside, fleets were sent to sea, armies were embodied, and sanguinary conflicts waged in every quarter of the globe, in the vain attempt to realize an imaginary advantage, to seize a mere ignis fatuus! And such and so powerful was the delusion, that long after its fallaciousness had been fully demonstrated by North, and Hume, and Smith, and others, it continued to maintain an unimpaired ascendancy. Even in our own times Parliament was annually congratulated on the excess of the exports over the imports. The gilded image of clay and mud stood for more than a century, an object of slavish adoration, after its foundations had been rent in all directions.

The treatises, in which the theory which had such results, was first brought forward, and in which it is most skilfully defended, must always be objects of liberal curiosity and attention. Few delusions have Edition: current; Page: [viii] been so widely spread as that to which they gave rise, and of few have the consequences been so disastrous.

The second Tract in this Volume, published in 1641, is by Mr. Lewes Roberts, “merchant and captaine of the city of London.” He had previously published, in 1638, in one volume folio, a sort of encyclopædia of commercial knowledge, called the “Merchant’s Mappe of Commerce.” And it appears from some statements introductory to that work, that after having been in the employment of the Levant Company at Constantinople, he became, subsequently to his return to England, a member of that Company, and of the East India Company. He had evidently been very well informed, and master of all the mercantile knowledge of his time. It is highly to his credit that he should be found at this early period, in favour of the free exportation of gold and silver; of low customs; and of coins of the standard weight and fineness. Roberts’ Tract contains the earliest notice of Manchester as a seat of the cotton manufacture.

The fourth of the following tracts, first published in 1663, and re-printed in 1673, was written by Samuel Fortrey, Esq., a gentleman of the King’s bedchamber. It contains a forcible argument in favour of enclosures; and the author is favourable to the policy of allowing foreigners to settle in the kingdom, to hold lands, and to enjoy the other privileges of Englishmen, under such restrictions as Parliament may think fit to enact. But this tract is chiefly remarkable for its having powerfully Edition: current; Page: [ix] assisted in raising and perpetuating that prejudice against the trade with France, which resulted not long after in its almost total prohibition. Fortrey gives the substance of a statement which he alleges (but without quoting any authority for the fact) had been presented to Louis XIV, in which the value of the commodities annually exported from France to England is estimated at above 2,600,000l., and that of the commodities exported from England to France at about 1,000,000l.; “By which it appears,” says he, “that our trade with France is at least 1,600,000l. a year clear lost to this kingdom” (p. 234.) And this vague and, indeed, worthless statement, appears to have been generally acquiesced in at the time and for long after. Fortrey’s Tract has been referred to over and over again, especially during the discussions on the commercial treaty with France in 1713, in vindication of that felo-de-se policy by which we laboured to suppress what had been, and might, but for our interference, have continued to be, an extensive and advantageous branch of trade.

The fifth tract in this volume, a Dialogue by an unknown anonymous author, was published in 1677. The speakers are Content and Complaint, the last of whom dwells on what were then reckoned principal grievances, viz. the exportation of money occasioned by the supposed adverse balance in the trade with France, extravagance in living, the influx of foreigners, the inclosure of commons, the too great multiplication of traders, &c. But these and other alleged grievances are satisfactorily disposed of by Content, who shows Edition: current; Page: [x] that instead of deserving that name, they are either innocuous or advantageous. The author is at once a decided and an intelligent opponent of restraints on trade, on private expenditure, and on immigration and emigration. Were the tract to be re-written at the present moment, there would be nothing in it to amend, except, perhaps, the style; and in that there is little to object to.

The next, or sixth of the annexed tracts, a considerable treatise, intituled “Britannia Languens,” appeared in 1680. We have no certain knowledge of the author. The late Mr. George Chalmers ascribes it to Mr. William Petyt, who published some political writings; but this is doubtful.

This treatise exhibits a curious medley of truth and error, intelligence and prejudice. The aim of the author is to show that agriculture, manufactures, and trade, were at the time in a very depressed, or, as he terms it, “consumptive condition.” And that this condition was partly a consequence of the exportation of treasure, arising out of the importation of luxuries from France and elsewhere; and partly of the operation of the navigation laws, the monopolies of the East India Company and other trading associations, corporation privileges, &c.

It is certain, however, that the depressed condition of industry for which the author endeavoured to account, was wholly imaginary; that instead of falling off, all sorts of industrial occupations, wealth, and population, were very materially increased between the Restoration and the Revolution; and that the Edition: current; Page: [xi] amount of treasure in the country was considerably greater than at any former period. But notwithstanding this fundamental error, the work contains sundry statements not to be found elsewhere, of much interest in regard to various branches of our domestic resources, and of those of the United Provinces and other foreign states. And though the author erred in estimating the character and influence of some of the institutions and circumstances upon which he animadverts, his observations are, notwithstanding, for the most part, to a greater or less extent, well founded.

The seventh of the following tracts, and the most remarkable in many respects of any that appeared in the course of the century, was written by the Hon. Sir Dudley North, brother to the Lord Keeper Guildford. Having been bred a Turkey merchant, Sir Dudley resided for a considerable period in the Ottoman dominions. After his return home, he was made successively a Commissioner of the Customs, then of the Treasury, and again of the Customs. He was also Sheriff of London during the reign of James II.; and having been afterwards called upon to account for some rather questionable proceedings in that capacity, it must be admitted, that he defended himself in a way more creditable to his shrewdness than to his honesty or straightforwardness. But such conduct was then too common to incur much censure; and whatever might be his defects as a politician, they neither obscured nor perverted his views in regard to questions where party interests and prejudices were not directly affected. His acuteness and experience as a man of Edition: current; Page: [xii] business, made him peculiarly alive to the many inconveniences and disorders that were occasioned by the state of the currency, which then consisted principally of silver coins, that were so much clipped and degraded, that a guinea was ordinarily rated at from 27s. to 28s. or upwards. Having reflected maturely on the subject, he determined to bring the principles of the coinage and the state of the coin, with a view to their amendment, before the House of Commons, of which he was a member. But losing his seat in that assembly, he embodied his opinions on the subject, the importance of which it would not be easy to exaggerate, in the original, comprehensive, and admirably written tract now reprinted, which he published in 1691. It is, however, supposed, that for some reason or other he had soon after consented to its suppression. At all events it speedily became exceedingly scarce, so that, to use his brother’s expression, “it hath been ever since utterly sunk, and a copy not to be had for money.”* It was believed, indeed, to be entirely lost; but luckily this was not the case. A copy, which had belonged to the Rev. Rogers Ruding, author of the work on the coinage, was purchased at the sale of his library by a gentleman of Edinburgh, who printed a few copies for distribution among his friends; and we have since picked up three copies of the original impression, from one of which the subjoined reprint has been made.

North is an uncompromising advocate of commercial freedom. He is not, like the greater number Edition: current; Page: [xiii] of his predecessors, well-informed on one subject, and erroneous on others. An Achilles without a heel, he has no vulnerable points, no bounties, no duties, no prohibitions. His system is sound throughout, consentaneous in its parts, and complete. His reasoning in defence of a moderate seignorage is quite conclusive. Had it been acted upon, the new silver coins issued during the great recoinage of 1696-98, would not have begun, almost immediately, to disappear; and the currency of last century would, speaking generally, have been vastly improved. In commercial matters he shows that nations have the same interest as individuals. He exposes the folly of thinking that any trade advantageous to the merchant can be injurious to the public; and he ridicules the efforts to retain the precious metals in a country by dint of Customs regulations, pronouncing them to be no better than attempts to hedge-in the cuckoo! “For” as he truly observes, “no people ever yet grew rich by policies; but it is peace, and industry, and freedom, that bring trade and wealth, and nothing else.”

The last tract in this volume, “Considerations on the East India Trade,” was published in 1701; and notwithstanding the deference so justly due to North, it probably also is the ablest and most profound. A controversy was carried on for several years previously to its appearance between the home manufacturers and the importers of East Indian silks and cotton stuffs. The former did not fail to resort to the arguments invariably used on such occasions, affirming that the substitution of Indian for English goods occasioned Edition: current; Page: [xiv] the ruin of our manufactures, the exportation of the coin, and the impoverishment of the kingdom. Such arguments could not be successfully resisted without showing the hollowness of the assumptions on which they were founded, and, maintaining in opposition to them, that it is for the public advantage to buy whatever may be wanted, in the cheapest markets. And this the author has done in a very masterly manner, with great force of reasoning and variety of illustration. He has discussed the most specious objections that have been made, or that may be made, to his doctrine, and has shown that none of them are well founded; that the important practical principle which he has laid down, does not operate by fits and starts, but continuously at all times and in all places; and that it can never be departed from without loss and injury to the public. “He is, also, the first who has conclusively shown the advantage of employing machinery, and cheaper methods of production, in the manufacture of commodities; and who has proved that such employment, instead of being injurious to the labourers is advantageous to them, as well as to the other classes of the community. And in doing this, he has set the powerful influence of the division of labour in a very striking point of view, and has illustrated it with a skill and felicity which even Smith has not surpassed, but by which he most probably profited.”*

Mr. Macaulay has passed a very high eulogium on this tract: “The pamphlet on the East India Trade is excellent, first-rate. I have seen nothing of that age Edition: current; Page: [xv] equal to it. Davenant’s two tracts on the same subject are contemptible in comparison.”

It is to be regretted that we have no information in regard to the author of a treatise, which has been so commended. We have sometimes been half inclined to suppose that it might have proceeded from the pen of Mr. Henry Martin, who contributed some papers to the Spectator. But we are not disposed to lay much stress on this conjecture.

That this admirable tract should have had, when published, little or no influence, is wholly to be ascribed to the author being very far in advance of his age. It required a long series of still more powerful lights, and a far wider experience, to dissipate the prejudices which swayed his contemporaries and their successors.

It may very likely be supposed that we should have given a place in this collection to the tracts of the celebrated Sir Josiah Child, long the leader, or rather dictator, of the East India Company, and one of the greatest and most successful merchants of his age. But the statements in his tract on the Trade to India, published in 1681, are very similar to those in Mun’s tract on the same subject, which we have laid before the reader; and though his “New Discourse of Trade,” be a work of much merit, and has frequently been referred to, yet, as it has been often reprinted, the last time, perhaps, by Foulis of Glasgow, in 1751, and is of common occurrence, it was destitute of that rarity which has been a principal recommendation to a place in this volume.

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A SELECT COLLECTION OF EARLY ENGLISH TRACTS ON COMMERCE

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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.

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lf1372_figure_001.jpg
Original title page
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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 parts of the first Obiection,
Page 7.
1. IN the first part is shewed the necessary vse of Drugges, Spices, Indico, Raw-silke, and Callicoes. page 8.
2. In the second part is declared the great summes of ready monies which are yearely saued to Christendome in generall, by fetching the wares of the East-Indies directly in shipping from thence. page 10.
3. In the third part, is proued, that the Trade from England to the East-Indies doth not consume, but rather greatly increase the generall stocke and Treasure of this Realme. page 17.
The parts of the second Obiection
Page 23.
1. In the first part is set forth the noble vse of Ships; and that the timber, planke, and other Materials of this Kingdome for the building of Shipping, are neither become scant nor dearer since the East-India Trade beganne. page 24.
2. In the second part is shewed the great strength of shipping and warlike prouisions, which the East-India Company haue always in readinesse for the seruice of the Kingdome. page 25.
The parts of the third Obiection,
page 26.
1. The East-India Trade doth not make victuals deare, but is a meanes to increase our plenty. page 27.
2. It breedeth more Mariners then it doth ordinarily consume, and disburtheneth the Kingdome of very many leude people. page 28.
3. It hath not destroyed any other Trade or shipping of this Realme, but hath encreased both the one and the other; besides the great addition of it selfe vnto the strength and traffique of this Kingdome. page 30.
4. It doth not increase the number of the poore of this Realme (as is erroneously supposed) but it doth maintayne and releeue many hundreds of people by their imployments, and Charitie. page 34.
5. It doth saue the Kingdome yearely 75000.l. sterling, or thereabouts, of that which it was accustomed to spend in Spices and Indico onely, when they were brought us from Turkey and Lixborne. page 35.
The parts of the fourth Obiection,
Page 37.
1. The East-India Trade doth not hinder the imployment of his Maiesties Mint. page 38.
2. The proposition to put downe the East-India Trade is grounded vpon idle and false reports, tending to the great hurt of the King and his people. page 39.
3. A briefe Narration of a Kingdomes riches, with the foure principall causes which may decay the generall stocke and treasure of this Realme in particular. page 40.

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 Edition: current; Page: [6] 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 Edition: current; Page: [7] 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 Answere.

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 Edition: current; Page: [8] 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, Edition: current; Page: [9] 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 Edition: current; Page: [10] 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 Edition: current; Page: [11] 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.

At Aleppo.
lbs. l. s. d.
6000000. of Pepper, cost with charges at Aleppo at 2s. the lb. 600000 00 00
450000. of Cloues at 4s. 9d. the pound 106875 10 00
150000. of Mace at 4s. 9d. the pound 35626 00 00
400000. of Nutmegs, at 2s. 4d. the pound 46666 13 04
350000. of Indico at 4s. 4d. the pound 75833 06 08
1000000. of Persia raw silke at 12s. the pound 600000 00 00
1465001 10 00

Now followeth the same wares both for quantitie & qualitie at their seuerall prizes as they are to be bought and laden cleare of charges.

Edition: current; Page: [12]
In the East-Indies.
lbs. l. s. d.
6000000. of Pepper cost with charges in India 2s.d. the pound } 62500 00 00
450000. Cloues at 9d. the pound. 16875 00 00
150000. Maces at 8d. the pound 5000 00 00
400000. Nutmegs at 4d. the pound } 6666 13 04
350000. Indico at 14d. the pound 20416 12 04
1000000. Persia Raw-silke at 8s. the pound } 400000 00 00
511458 05 08

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 Edition: current; Page: [13] 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 Edition: current; Page: [14] 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 Edition: current; Page: [15] 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; Edition: current; Page: [16] 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.

Edition: current; Page: [17]

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; Edition: current; Page: [18] 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 Edition: current; Page: [19] 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.

Edition: current; Page: [20]
In the East-Indies.
l. s. d.
2500000 lbs. of Pepper at 2d. ob. the pound } 26041 13 04
150000 of Cloues at 9d. the pound } 5626 00 00
150000 of Nutmegs at 4d. the pound } 2500 00 00
50000 of Maces at 8d. the pound } 1666 13 04
200000 of Indico at 14d. the pound } 11666 13 04
107140 of China Raw silkes at 7s. the pound } 37499 00 00
50000 of Callicoes of seuerall sorts, rated at 6s. the peece one with another } 15000 00 00
100000 00 00

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.

In England.
l. s. d.
2500000 lbs. of Pepper at 20d. the pound } 208333 06 08
150000 of Cloues at 6s. the pound } 45000 00 00
150000 of Nutmegs at 2s. 6d. the pound } 18750 00 00
50000 of Mace at 6s. the pound } 15000 00 00
200000 of Indico at 5s. the pound } 50000 00 00
107140 of China Raw silkes at 20s. the pound } 107140 00 00
50000 peeces of Callicoes of seuerall sorts, rated at 20s. the peece one with another } 50000 00 00
494223 06 08
Edition: current; Page: [21]

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 Edition: current; Page: [22] 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 Edition: current; Page: [23] 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, Edition: current; Page: [24] 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.

The Answere.

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, Edition: current; Page: [25] 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.

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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.

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The Answer.

Why, what a world of mischiefes haue wee heere?

1. {Dearth.
2. {Mortality.
3. {Destruction.
4. {Beggerie.
5. {And neuer a whit the neere.

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 Edition: current; Page: [28] 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 Edition: current; Page: [29] 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.

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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 Edition: current; Page: [31] 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 Edition: current; Page: [32] 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 Edition: current; Page: [33] 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 Edition: current; Page: [34] 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 Edition: current; Page: [35] 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 Edition: current; Page: [36] 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.

400000.ll. of Pepper at 3.s. 6.d. the ll. 70000.l. 00.s. 00.d.
40000. of Cloues at 8.s. the ll.— 16000—00—00.
20000. of Maces at 9.s. the ll.— 9000—00—00.
160000. of Nutmegs at 4.s. 6.d. the ll. 36000—00—00.
150000. of Indico at 7.s. the pound. 52500—00—00.
183500—00—00.

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.

400000.ll. of Pepper at 20.d. the ll. 33333.l. 06.s. 08.d.
40000 of Cloues at 6.s. the ll.— 12000—00—00.
20000 of Maces at 6.s. the ll.— 6000—00—00.
160000 of Nutmegs at 2.s. the ll.— 20000—00—00.
150000 of Indico at 5.s. the ll.— 37000—00—00.
108333—06—08.

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 Edition: current; Page: [37] 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?

The Answer.

THis fourth obiection may be diuided into three parts:

1. {An euill declared.
2. {A remedy propounded.
3. {And counsell demanded.
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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 Edition: current; Page: [39] 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 Edition: current; Page: [40] 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, Edition: current; Page: [41] 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 Edition: current; Page: [42] 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 Edition: current; Page: [43] 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.

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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 Edition: current; Page: [45] 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 Edition: current; Page: [46] 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 Edition: current; Page: [47] 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.

Amen.

FINIS.
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LEWES ROBERTS, THE TREASURE OF TRAFFIKE, OR A DISCOOURSE OF FORRAIGNE TRADE.

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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE LORDS and COMMONS IN THE High Court of PARLAMENT now assembled.

PArdon me Right Honourable, if amongst your other more serious present affaires, I presume to dedicate to your acceptance and perusall this short discourse of forraigne Traffike: It hath ever beene accounted a branch of Englands Royall Stem, and a commoditie, that for many yeares, hath brought a wonderfull Revenue to Englands diadem; It now presseth to your presence as an agrieved weight, laden with many fetters, imposed thereon by the covetousnesse of some, and by the Envyers of our prosperous Traffike, yet seeing that like religious Pilots you guide the helme of our Kingdome with your hand, whilst your eyes are fixed on heaven, taking from thence the conduct of your earthly directions, it hopes by that Edition: current; Page: [52] your good and gracious aspect to be now freed from them all, and florish againe in its first lustre. It is now about forty yeares since it began to be ingrafted in our English Climate, and ever since found our soyle proper for its further grouth, but if it find not your Honors favourable protection and future cherishing, a few yeares more may see it withred and reduced to its first nothing. I dare not undertake in this discourse to demonstrate the burthens that cloggeth it in this Kingdome, the severall Societies of incorporated Merchants of the Citie of London being called before you, will best particularise the same, onely I have labour’d to shew, what may best gaine it in those parts of this Kingdome where it is wanting, and augment that portion thereof in those places where it is settled already. Let not then, Right Honorable, so excellent a Jem, and so hitherto profitable and eminent a revenew, for want of a little of your helpe, die in your dayes, nor yet perish in our age, but release it from those subtle Gives, that cunningly have been intruded upon its liberties, and goes about to kill the root thereof, decking it once againe as primarily, with some of those lasting and beautiful immunities that can and may make it live longer, and spred it selfe much fairer, that the times to come may deservedly attribute to your names and memory that splendor & glory it shall obtain by your benignity, so shall the King, our gracious Soveraigne, have just cause to commend your care for your preserving to Himselfe and Kingdome, this so noble a Royalty, your Honours be justly applauded for imploying your industrious hands and heads in pruning, and lopping the disordered branches of so excellent a graft, and the Merchants of this Kingdome that have hitherto sowne in Expectation, live in hope to reape a fruitfull crop of their Edition: current; Page: [53] forraigne adventures, and hartily pray for the good successe of all your other weighty affaires, and amongst the rest, so shall ever ascend the devout Orisons of

Your Humble Servant
L. R. Merchant of London.

To The Reader.

COurteous Readers, It is needlesse for mee here to tell you, how good a common wealths man a Regular merchant is, nor yet trouble you in relating the severall benefits accrewing to a Kingdome, by his adventrous paines and industry, this short discourse, though unpolished, if well considered, will I hope sufficiently speake the one, and questionlesse make good the other. My well-wishes to our Countries present Commerce, and the enlargement thereof, the great need in the encouragement to the one, and the insensible ruine and decay of the latter, was herein, and still is my greatest hope and obiect: I have lately discerned that our industrious Neighbours were ready at a deare rate to purchase that treasure by Traffike, which wee our selves, by means of the enviers of our Countreys forraigne Trade, were ready to yeeld them gratis, and as it were unsought, and for nothing; yet if it may be rightly said, as undoubtedly it may be accounted, that Englands trade is Englands treasure, why should our gracious King and his people lose that so excellent a profit in a moment, which cost his Merchants so many yeares to compasse, and so many hazards and charges to obtaine and settle, a few priviledges, and a little protection, a faire aspect, and a gentle encouragement, from both these honourable assemblies, will quickly settle this Kingdomes Traffike, and not only preserve it in its present splendour, but also easily augment and enlarge Edition: current; Page: [55] it, which will adde a wonderfull honour to our Soveraigns Name, throughout the World, and an eminent commodity and profit to the subjects of all his Dominions, which every true subiect I thinke doth earnestly wish for, and every honest Merchant doth truly pray far, as doth unfainedly,

THat we are not borne for our selves, is a saying no lesse ancient, then true:No Man is born for himselfe, but for his Countrey. the heathens as well as the Christians have held it a rule worthy to be practised, and every good man, of what quality and profession soever, that will give evidence to the world of his faire intentions, for the benefit, either of the publike or private, are daily seene to follow and observe it.

The religious Divine, that with much labour and long study, having learned himself the wayes of Godlinesse, is daily noted to take care and pains, to instruct others therein: the valiant souldier that weares his sword to defend himselfe, yet is ever ready to draw the same in defence of his Countrey; the skilfull Lawyer, that hath learned by the Lawes to make good his owne interest and right, is ever also ready to right the title of others, and the judicious Merchant, whose labour is to profit himselfe, yet in all his actions doth therewith benefit his King, Countrey, and fellow Subjects.

Politicians that have written of State Government, Edition: current; Page: [58] have observed three principall meanes,Three ways whereby a Kingdome is inriched. whereby a Kingdome may be inriched, the first whereof is by arms and conquest, but this way must be confessed to be, both chargeable, bloody, & hazardable. The second is, by planting of colonies, building of well scituated Townes, and the like, and this is also accounted uncertain, chargeable, and tedious. But the third and last is by traffike, and forraigne trade, which is held the most certain, easiest, and soonest way; money and time must bee consumed to effect the two former; but immunities, priviledges, and liberties to the Merchant, will not only assure, but perfect the latter.

The Artsman is still the best counsellor in his own profession.In the management of these, there is required an orderly proceeding, and Salomons counsell is the safest, that his advice is still to bee taken, who is best versed in the way that is prescrib’d; when our salvation is doubted, we apply our selvs to the learned Divine; when our countrey is invaded, the souldier is the best director: when lawes are to be instituted, the lawyer proves the best counsellor: so when a Countrey is properly seated for traffike, and the soveraigne willing, by forraigne Commerce to inrich his Kingdome, the Merchants advice is questionlesse best able to propagate the same.

Parents labour to inrich their posterity.To inrich a Kingdome is a worke of great excellency, and fittest the study of the Soveraigne, and where many things may concurre to effect it, that only is to bee chosen, which is most facile, and least troublesome. Many men plant trees, though they are sure never to see the fruit thereof, and thus the child oftimes enjoyes his predecessors labours.

King Henry the eight did enjoy the benefit of Henry the seventh, and other his Fathers and Predecessors prohibition of the exportation of our English wool, and the setling of cloathing here, and the drawing of Flemings hither, to make our manufacturies in Edition: current; Page: [59] England, and this turned him and his Kingdome to more profit than the suppression of so many religious houses, and the annexion of so many old rents to his Crown.Edward the sixth, his Staple of Trade. Edward the sixth, though in his infancy, yet saw how those haunse-townes flourished, where his English Staples were setled, and had he gon forward with his design, of settling the same in England, in apt and fit townes, for traffike, as he once intended, doubtlesse it had beene the most politick and surest way to inrich his Countrey, as ever had beene put in practice since the conquest, and his successors should have seene the fruits therof, in the opulency of their Towns, the riches of their Countrey, and abundance of shipping, as now Holand doth witnesse unto us.

The scope of this discourse for the benefit of England, and their Traffike.The consideration of this, and my wel-wishes to the inlarging and benefitting of my Countrey by traffike, and for the advancement of the Merchants thereof, hath drawne mee in this short Treatise to set downe in a briefe manner, the commodities, that doe arise to a Common-wealth, by skilfull Merchants and by a well ordered and regular trade, and Commerce, therewithall shewing, how this Commerce may bee facilitated, and how disturbed, how advanced, and how ruind, and how by the good government thereof, it may prove both profitable and honourable to a Countrey, and how by the ill management and irregular courses thereof, it may bee both prejudiciall and dishonourable.

No one way more conducible to inrich a Countrey, then is forraigne traffike.Statists have noted, that the Arts and Sciences are very many, that are commodious and beneficiall to a Common-Wealth, and which consequently beget abundance, wealth, and plenty, not only to the Prince in his owne particular, but also to his people and Countrey in the generall, but yet amongst all others they confesse none is more conduceable thereto, then Traffike and commerce especially when the same is Edition: current; Page: [60] governed and managed, both by well ordered rules, and by regulate and skilfull Merchants; and to the end, that the youth of this Kingdome, may be incouraged to undertake this profession, the painefull Merchant cherished in the prosecution thereof, and the Prince induced to give them imunities and protection: the particular commodities and benefits, and commodities that arise by Traffike, shall be here demonstrated, and if by my discourse the same shall be found really such, as by me and others it is conceived and here aleaged; the same may in the future be the more furthered and protected, and being found otherwise, it may as in reason it ought, bee both discountenanced and suppressed.

The riches consist in 3 things.Now the aboundance, plenty, and riches of an estate or nation, may be said, principally to consist in three things.

1. In naturall commodities or wares.

2. In artificial commodities or wares.

3. In the profitable use and distribution, of both by Commerce and Traffike.

Naturall commodities or wares, What.Vnder the title of naturall commodities, may be comprehended, such wares as are used in way of merchandizing, & are such as either the earth doth naturally & originally afford, or such as by the labor of the land is brought forth, and these I account the naturall riches, that bring plenty to a Kingdome or Countrey.

Naturall commodities of 2. sorts.Now the earth in it selfe may be said, to produce two severall sorts of naturall commodities, thence drawne from the very intrailes thereof, such as is gold, silver, copper, lead, and the like. The second are wares growing on the face thereof, such as are fruits, trees, graine, &c. and both these I terme naturall commodities, as produced either by the benefit of the Climate, soile, or temperature of the earth, where the Edition: current; Page: [61] same are taken up, planted, or found growing, and doe become thus to inrich a Countrey, as a man would say, of themselves;How they inrich a Countrey.but yet by the meanes of Commerce and Traffike, contributing thus naturally to the benefit and use of the inhabitant, and to the furtherance of universall Commerce; those things whose plenty (otherwise without Traffike, and transport to other Countries, where such is wanting) would prove altogether fruitlesse, unnecessary, and peradventure prejudiciall unto the owners and possessors, and this hath beene manifested in some parts of those rich Kingdomes of India, some years past, by their great quantity of spices, drugs, and Jemmes, which, not by the Commodity of Traffike, carried thence away, exported and vented into other parts, and to remoter Countries:Naturall Commodities are prejudiciall to a Countrey, without the helpe of Traffike. these excellencies which nature herein afforded them, would be prejudiciall to them, and their ground over-laid with sundry (though otherwise) excellent trees, and exquisite Minerals, whose fruit or worth would thus not be requested nor sought after, neither by their neighbours, nor yet by forraigne Nations, where the same are wanting, and which would consequently no way benefit a Countrey, nor yet by Commerce and commutation, supply them with those things in lieu thereof, that they in their necessities stand more in need of.

The benefits of the Earth neglected by whom, and how.Againe, the earth, though notwithstanding it yeeldeth thus naturally the richest and most precious commodities of all others, and is properly the fountaine and mother of all the riches and abundance of the world, partly as is said before, bred within its bowels, and partly nourished upon the surface thereof, yet is it observable, and found true by daily experience in many countries, that the true search and inquisition thereof, in these our dayes, is by many too much neglected and omitted, which indeed proceedeth from a liberty that every man hath to doe, with that his owne part thereof, Edition: current; Page: [62] which he possesseth what he pleaseth, proposing commonly to himselfe, a care to find out that which will bee most profitable to him for the present time, and because the rich and great of this world, and those that possesse the greatest part thereof, are seldome or never seene to reside upon their whole estate, nor yet found to husband their owne good, farther in this point (either by their servants or themselves) then by a present benefit and quickest profit, their farmers and tenants are oftnest observed to occupy the same; who like gleaners, sucke and draw thence the present profit and daily benefit thereof,The Farmers eate the marrow of the earth, to the prejudice of the owners. eating up the heart and marrow of the same, with greedy art, and continuall labour, not minding, or indeed not regarding the future interest and good of the possessor: & on the other side, where we find the owners themselves to reside upon their owne, yet tis observable, that some of them through Ignorance, some by negligence, and too many by bad husbandry, content themselves with the yearely rents thereof, or at most with the Revenues, that their predecessors drew therefrom before them; as being loath to take the paines, either by industry, improvement or care, to increase those their demesnes and estates, either by planting, cleansing, or manuring a waste or barren piece of ground, or by drayning a marshy bogge, or the like, and thus to inrich themselves by a faire advancement of their own; which in some forraine Countries, hath of late dayes taken such effect, partly by good orders, but especially by example, that Princes themselves, and States have thought it a worke worthy their owne paines,Sundry Princes have studied the advancement of their estates. and study, as the late labours of the State of Venice in Polisona de Rovigio, of the Duke of Toscany, about Leghorne: Pisa and Creso, of the Duke of Ferrara in the Valley of Comachio, of the States of Holand, in sundry and diverse parts of the Low-Countries, doe manifestly Edition: current; Page: [63] witnesse, which hath wrought such good effect, that they have thereby much benefitted themselves and subjects, and by this meanes, have quickened the diligence of the industrious, and punished the negligence of the sloathfull,No commodity can inrich a Countrey, without the helpe of Traffike. yet notwithstanding all the laborious hand, and paines of man, to plant, sowe, or bring things growing in, or upon the earth, to their perfection; the excellent temperature of Soyle or Climate, to bring forth either Jemmes, Spice, drugs, or grains, naturally produced from it, and whatsoever else the bounty and goodnesse of the Earth can naturally, or by labour yeeld or affoord to mankind; yet it must be here concluded, that all this would, neither in it selfe, inrich the inhabitants, nor yet bring abundance to a Kingdome or estate without the benefit of Commerce, and Traffike, which distributeth the same into forraigne parts, and by commutation with forraigne Nations, convert this naturall benefit of the Countrey, to the common benefit and plenty of those that are found to possesse, inhabite, and abide thereupon.

The artificiall wares and commodities of a Countrey, what.The second thing which I observed, that did inrich a Kingdome, is by artificiall commodities and wares, and these by a generall title, I may call the manufactories of all commodities.

2 Considerable points therein.In which two principall things are considerable, conducing to universall Traffike, and to the benefit of a Kingdome.

1 The number of work-men.First the number of the work-men, or Arts-masters, and this in the first place affords the aboundance of the things wrought: and secondly their sufficiency, ability, and skilfullnesse, and this is it that gives the true credit to the fabrikes and worke it selfe,2 Their abilities. and to the merchandizes so wrought and perfected.

Many unskilfull Arts-men, is hurtfull to Traffike.Now the over great number of workmen in all manufactories, would of it selfe be not onely improfitable Edition: current; Page: [64] to commerce, but also hurtfull, if they were not also as good, skilfull, and as cunning in their Art and mysterie, therefore to the end, not onely to make them such, but also to keepe them so, and multiply them. Wee see in many Countries, many societies and publike houses, erected for all sorts of manufactors, wherein some the poor and needy are instructed, the skilfull and good are cherished, incouraged, and rewarded, and in other the lasie and sluggish punished and imployed.

The excellent industry of the Germans, to set men on work.The Germans in this point, I thinke excell all other nations, who willingly admit of all skilfull Arts-men, into their societies and corporations, though otherwise strangers unto them, and of what nation and mystery so ever, incouraging them by large allowances and salaries, to practise with them, and teach and instruct their fellow townsmen. And if otherwise ignorant, yet are they then admitted to learne and practise what they see, by which course it is observed, that some of their Cities and especially their haunse Townes, flourish in all wealth,The fruits thereof. and are abounding in all riches, though otherwise peradventure, deprived of all naturall commodities, and furtherances of trade whatsoever. And to this end, was first granted and erected, the Companies,The originall of the Halls in London. Brother-hoods, Halls, and societies of these mysteries, in the City of London, many of which were at first founded with large immunities, and great priviledges, to be incouragements to the said manufactories, and to set the poore of those societies a worke, and the better to cherish these mysteries and Arts.Many Princes have been free of Halls in London. Many of our Princes have caused their names to be registred, in their societies and Corporations, for honour and incouragement to their Halls and Brother-hoods: and yet when all this is done, it must be granted, that neither the multitude of good able and skilfull worke-men, nor yet the great quantity of reall Edition: current; Page: [65] and substantiall manufactories,Artificiall commodities inrich not a Kingdome, without the helpe of Traffike. made and abounding in a Kingdome, can of it selfe either fully and throughly inrich or bring plenty to a place, without the helpe of Commerce, which is the arme and hand that must distribute, and send abroad both that store & quantity of artificiall commodities so wrought, and must export, and vent it into forraigne parts, as being otherwise a superfluity and overplus, and more indeed then the Country it selfe standeth in need of; and in lieu thereof, importeth and bringeth in by commutation and exchange, those things, and such as the place it selfe standeth in want of, and is thereby seene to be onely and properly inriched, for the worke-men by this meanes become to be incouraged, and the manufactories to be preserved, in their reall and substantiall goodnesse, worth, and value, to the honour of the Kingdome, benefit of the inhabitants, & to the furtherance and inlargement of the generall Commerce and Traffike thereof.

Traffike is only able to inrich a Country, which of it selfe is barren.These two points thus considered and granted, and that neither the naturall commodities of a Countrey, be they ner’e so rich or precious, nor yet the artificiall commodities of a Kingdome, be they never so many or excellent, can of themselves, without the assistance of Traffike, benefit a common-weale, or bring plenty or aboundance thereto; and consequently inrich the same. Come we in the next place to the third point, which is this trade it selfe, which of it selfe and by it selfe, can supply all defects,Foure considerations in the prosecution, preservation, and augmentation of trade. either of naturall or artificiall commodities, and that without the assistance and helpe of either, can yet produce both, and is alone effectuall to accomplish and perfect the same, though in a barren place, affording nether in the prosecution, preservation, and augmentation thereof; foure generall considerations, are in the next place to be noted and observed.

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1 What wares to export, and what not.The first consideration is grounded upon those wares and commodities, that a well ordered Traffike is to export or not to export to the stranger, or forraigne country and people.

2 What to receive, and what not.The second consideration is grounded upon these wares and commodities, which this trade must receive from strangers or forraigne Countries, and their Entrie or import into a Kingdome or estate, or not to receive them, and banish the Commerce thereof.

3 What may facilitate, and ease this trade.The third consideration, is grounded upon the facility and ease of this Commerce in generall, collected by practise of forraigne nations, and accompanied with the meanes of the augmentation thereof.

4 What commodity and benefit, this trade produceth to a Kingdome.The fourth and last consideration, is grounded upon the commodity and benefit of this Traffiike in generall to a Kingdome or estate, where the same is orderly and regularly practised, and that by skilfull and discreet Merchants, bred up thereunto.

First what wares are to be exported, & what not.First then it is diversly observed, and that in sundry Countries, what the commodities and wares in themselves are which a well ordered Traffike ought to export and carry, into forraigne Countries and nations with whom they have Commerce.

1 Those whereof a place hath aboundance, and how far.Where in most countries it is generally observable, that those wares are only to be carried out, by way of merchandize, whereof the place it selfe hath aboundance and plenty, of which after that the place or Country is sufficiently furnished, the exportation thereof may be admitted and allowed, as contrarywise those commodities which the place may want, or stand in need of,Those which a place may stand in need of, are not exportable. Nor those that may be used to the hurt of the place. are in no sort admitted to be exported, nor in like manner those, whereof forraigne parts may use to the hurt and prejudice of the place it selfe, where we abide and remaine, as Armes, Horses, provisions, ammunition, or things designed to Sea or war, or the like. And amongst the rest in many countries, it is noted that the exportation Edition: current; Page: [67] of gold and silver, is also forbidden and prohibited, though in many places ill observed, and in some countries againe, the same is allowed and tollerated, so that the differing lawes of sundry Princes, in divers Kingdomes upon the exportation of gold and silver,Nor gold, and silver. as in some prohibited, and in some allowed and admitted, will in this place be worth our observation, and the rather that the reasons given thereupon, may be examined, and the benefit or prejudice arising thereby observed, where the same is either granted or denyed.Gold and silver, by some exportable, and by some not.

The reason why some Princes forbid the exportation thereof.First it must be considered and granted, that silver and gold is not growing in every Region, and therefore as things in themselves scarce, and by all Princes sought after, may be accounted a forraigne commodity, and the rather, for that the same carrieth with it, the preheminence, and predominancy over all other commodities, whatsoever the worldly rich doe possesse, and therefore by reason of the excellency, power, vertue, generall use, and need of it, when once it entereth into some countries and Kingdomes; the Princes thereof forbid the exportion and carrying out of the same, upon sharpe penalties and severe punishments for feare of the want and scarcity which may arise, and come thereby, yet it must likewise bee considered,The same found of no effect, where the contrary is allowed. as a thing granted and found true by experience, that in some countries and free Townes, where the exportation thereof is freely allowed and admitted, and the carrying out openly permitted by authority; no such want or scarcity is discerned; but contrariwise, all abundance and plenty thereof is noted, so that this being granted, the exportation thereof may bee allowed without prejudice to the state or Kingdome where we abide: now forasmuch as that this point will hardly find admittance in the opinion of many of our Sage Politicians, I will a little enlarge my selfe thereupon, endeavouring by forraigne example to make good this my assertion.

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An example of both for proofe.There is two differing countries, the one a great Kingdome, where gold and Silver in the greatest plenty groweth, and the prohibition of exportation therof, strictly observed and most looked into, and the other a petty Dukedome, whose Prince is not owner, of neither silver, or gold Mines at all, yet publikely, and by authority admitteth an exportation of this commodity, shall serve here for demonstration and Example of this point.

The King of Spaine, richest in Mines, forbiddeth exportation of gold and silver,The King of Spaine then, being possessor of all the rich mines of silver and gold, in the West-Indies, found in themselves of farre greater value, then all the other mines yet discovered throughout the world, hath through all his Dominions, strictly prohibited by sharpe lawes, the exportation of his monies, out of any his Countries, and hath by sundry subtile decrees, and politicall ordinances, endeavoured to debarre all other, both neighbouring, and remote Kingdomes, and People else of partaking of his Spanish Reals, yet for all this it is observed, that the necessities of his great and ambitious undertakings, and the urgency of the Commerce of that his barren and poore Countrey,Yet finds small benefit by these restrictions. enforceth a passage and current dispersing, will he, nill he, thereof into all Countries over the face of the earth, so that in the height of all his store and plenty, and when hee was involved in the greatnesse of his greatest aboundance, his Countrey and Kingdomes, were yet notwithstanding, and still are, noted to be both scant, dry, and needy, of both silver and gold, and the common Commerce and Traffike of his most eminent and richest citties,And his countries are traded most, with blackmonies. to bee wholly performed by the use of blacke, and of Copper monies, to the great disorder and confusion of his trade, and the generall ruine and undoing of his Merchants and people, and though by this means,Turkey with whom Spain is ever in war, yet hath aboundance of Spanish Rialls.Turkey, with whom hee is, and ever hath beene, in greatest enmity, should consequently Edition: current; Page: [69] be more bare of his coynes, yet wee finde, that have either lived, or do Traffike thither, that almost throughout all the Grand Seigniors Dominions, which are both ample, large, and spacious; there is no silver coyne of note currant, but the Spanish Riols, and the same not carried thither by the hand of war, or the necessity of his designes in those parts, but by the hand of Commerce, and concurrence of Traffike, which fills all those Countries, and that in great abundance therewith.

The Duke of Florence hath no mines admits exportation, yet hath abundance of Rials.Now the Duke of Florence, which is onely the Lord of a pettie, but pretty Seigniory, barren in its selfe of mines, both of Silver and Gold, maketh contrariwise no open restriction, nor publike prohibition of exporting, of either gold or silver; and whereas in Leghorn, his only noted maritine towne of trade, a million of Ducats are freely and yearely openly laden, and shipped away, yet the Countrey wants it not, nor is found any way to be scant thereof, nor is it seene, seldom to arise, or fall in price or value; nor yet is there noted any brasse or copper monies in use amongst his Merchants in Traffique and Cōmerce, so that by this experienced demonstration, Spaine that should have most, is the most barren,Note. for all their prohibitions, and Toscany, that should have least, affords the most plenty, by reason of its liberty of exportation and freedome in the Commerce thereof. But it may be here alledged, that the naturall infertility of Spaine, and the naturall plenty of Tuscanie, may partly occasion, or else inforce the same; to which I answer and grant, this may have some concurrence, but no necessity;Spaine in its lowest ebbe, came to be the owner of the West-India. For when as Spaine in its lowest ebbe became fortunately owner of the rich West-India, that Prince then by this meanes had silver, but yet he wanted the other materials of Commerce, for the performance of that countries Traffike, which other places could best afford him, and which his monies might best, and did Edition: current; Page: [70] then procure him; and when the Portugal, by his happy discovery, had the East-India trade alone, yet he wanted Rials to purchase the commodities of East-India, which Spaine was then best able to afford him, but both these Kingdomes joyned now in one, and bowing to one and the same Scepter, it is observable that the West-India afords,West-India affords the monies to drive the East-India trade, and the East-India affords the spice, & that drives the West-India trade. now the monies to drive the East-India trade withall, and the East-India affords the rich spices, and drugs which must procure the sundrie needfull diversity of European commodities, to drive the West-India Traffike withall; so that a man would imagine Spaine as it now stands, should not at this day want any manner of thing to make it abound, either in monies, or in wares and commodities, and yet we find it to be both bare and poore in their Commerce; and notwithstanding, the so strict prohibition of the exportation of their silver and gold, and the authorizing of so much Copper-monies current amongst them, yet still his Kingdomes to remaine in great need and want thereof.Tuskanies fertility, is attributed more to the trade, then to the Country.

And as for the fertility and plenty of Tuscany, though it must needs be in some sort granted, yet its riches and aboundance is to be attributed, rather to the trade of the place, and to the excellent government of the Countrey, in matters of Commerce, then to the naturall Climate thereof, or industry of the inhabitants, for it is noted, that three well advised rules in Traffike, hath brought it to this height that now it is.Observable in 3 rules of Traffike.

1The first is the allowance of free and publike exportation of monies.

2The second is the easie duties and customes, paid upon all merchandize to the Prince.

3And the third is the goodnesse, and reall value of the Coyne current throughout the Duke dome:but this is from my purpose.

This one example then I hope will suffice, to make Edition: current; Page: [71] good the point before-going, (whereto many others might be alleadged) to prove that this tolleration of exportation of monies, makes not in it selfe the scarcity of silver and gold, nether yet the prohibition thereof makes the aboundance,Merchants must submit themselves to the Lawes of Princes, where they Traffike. but I will proceed no further in this point, save by way of caution, advise all Merchants to submit themselves, to the Lawes and ordinances of Princes, and conforme themselves to the customes of the Kingdomes and places to which they Traffike; which almost varies in every Countrey, one commodity being in one Kingdome prohibited, which in another is permitted and allowed; as we find, that Lead, a native commodity of this land, is lawfully exportable in England,Some wares transportable in some Countries, and prohibited in others. but is all counted a Contrabanda, and prohibited exportation in Spaine, and in many other Countries, when once it is imported: and we find that Woolls are prohibited also in England, yet allowed in Spaine, Iron againe allowed in Spaine, but prohibited in France, and Saile-cloth, Canvas, and the like, allowed in France, yet prohibited in Spaine; so is gold and silver, as aforesaid is mentioned, forbidden in England, Spaine, and France, yet allowed in Marsellia, Leghorne, Barbary, Turkey,Reasons for the prohibition of commodities, unpossible to be kept. and in many other places.

Divers reasons are given by States-men, for the probition of some peculiar commodities, as I said before, but indeed many of them are impossible to be observed in the execution; for that Countrey that will maintaine a free Commerce with his neighbour, makes in one Countrey, one commodity lawfull, which in an other is not lawfull, unlesse all commerce might be made by a kind of Example, and bartering of Commodities against commodities, and that also practised in regard of the merchandise or wares, which are not very necessary, and not in regard of those that are for the place of our aboade, and whereof wee cannot passe without; and in this case Merchants are forced to have recourse to Edition: current; Page: [72] their forraigne parts, and then they must take a law from them, in either giving them other merchandises, which may be as necessary for them, as theirs are for us, or in paying or contenting them with ready monies for the same, however it happen, this is found the generall Rule in this point,A generall rule observed in prohibited Commodities. that a Kingdome and State doth commonly admit of the exportation and carrying out of those commodities, and wares, which are native and growing in their Dominions, or of that whereof they have store and plenty, not regarding the lawes of other Countries, but yet some prohibitions in these very places, are made of exporting of some commodities of war-fare, as is seene of Iron Ordnance in England, and the like, for the possessing thereof by our neighbours, might at one time or other, annoy and prejudice our selves, or the place and countrey of our aboad: within the compasse of this consideration is also comprehended those artificiall commodities,Artificiall wares which are not exportable, and how far. and wares, which are not to be carried out and exported, and such are they as have not received their intire perfection at home, as is ordained by wools in England, which is not allowable, till wrought into cloath, and yet not in cloath neither, till the same hath received all necessary and fit perfection, by dressing, dying, and the like, for thus the meanes of workeman-ship is taken away from the Artist, and workman, which in some certaine workes, and fabrikes, exceedes the price of the substance, and matter it selfe, and thereby their lively-hoods deprived them, and a powerfull furtherance and helpe of Commerce is by this occasion cut off, and hindred.

The care of some Princes to set their people on worke.This point is by some Princes so narrowly watched, and so vigilantly looked into, that they are not satisfied with those materials, that grow amongst themselves, and in their owne countries, but they covet by all industry to draw others from their neighbours, or forraigne nations, to employ their subjects, and to put Edition: current; Page: [73] their people on worke, by this meanes, much enriching themselves, and honouring their Countrey; and adding a great helpe to the publike Traffike thereof; selling and venting them thus once wrought, even to those Nations, who many times have first sold and furnished them with the very first materials of the said Manufactories.

Examples of the Florentines care, in this point.Examples of this practise we find many, and that in sundry Countries and places, as the Florentine, who of all others exceeds in silk Fabrikes, yet at first provides much of his raw silke, in Valentia, in Spaine, in Naples, and other the neighbouring Countries, and having wrought and perfited the same in Toscany, returnes it to the proud and lasie Spaniard, and to other places in Damasces, Sattins, Taffeta’s, and the like; so bringing it backe wrought, to the self same place whence it first came out raw, to be sold and vented.

And of the Dutch, before their last wars with Spaine.The Dutch likewise, buyes his Woolls in Spaine, carries it home to his owne house, there spins it, weaves it, and workes it to perfection, then brings it backe into Spaine, in Sarges, Sayes, and such like stuffes: and so there againe sells the same to good profit, and vents it.

And of Manchester.The towne of Manchester in Lancashire, must be also herein remembred, and worthily, for their encouragement commended, who buy the Yarne of the Irish, in great quantity, and weaving it returne the same againe in Linen, into Ireland to sell; neither doth the industry rest here, for they buy Cotten wooll, in London, that comes first from Cyprus, and Smyrna, and at home worke the same, and perfit it into Fustians, Vermilions, Dymities, and other such Stuffes; and then returne it to London, where the same is vented and sold, and not seldome sent into forraigne parts, who have meanes at far easier termes, to provide themselves of the said first materials.

How far this is to be cherished.Now though it may be wished, that all other parts of Edition: current; Page: [74] our Countrey, could be so industrious, as thus to procure materials of Fabrikes, for the inriching of themselves, and inlarging of this Kingdomes Traffike, yet we find it in some places, an impossible thing to be performed: for where the Traffike or exportation of a native commodity, is of greater consequence to the Countrey, and over-valueth the commodity imported, it is safer then, and better to preserve the native, and to neglect the forraigne, then by too much preservation of the forraigne, to neglect and ruine the native.

Besides, the native commodity may be rich, and in its selfe, a necessary commodity, but the forraigne a meaner, and tending peradventure more to excesse, and superfluity, then to need and necessity, as the great quantity of native clothes, that are yearely shipped into Turkey, by the Levant or Turkey Company, having their full workeman-ship, and perfection in England, brings in returne thereof, great quantity of Cotten, and Cotten-yarne, Grograme-yarne, and raw silke into England, (which shewes the benefit accrewing to this Kingdome by that Company,)Staple and native commodities of a Kingdome, are in the first place to be cared for. for here the said cloth is first shipped out, and exported in its full perfection, dyed and drest, and thereby the prime native commoditie of this Kingdome, is increased, improved, and vented, and the Cotten-yarne and raw silke, that is yearely imported and brought in, is more (as experience tells us) then this Kingdome can spend, vent, or any way utter, either raw, in the same nature as it is brought in, or wrought in this Kingdome into manufactories: here the first as the most usefull, native, and excellent is to be first preferred and cared for, and the other yet so much cherished, that it may as much as possible it can, be wrought here,And the forraigne that sets the Subject on worke, in the next to be cherished. and perfited into Stuffes, partly to give a consumption to the materiall it selfe, partly to set the poore Artist here on worke, but principally to further the generall Commerce of this Kingdome and Edition: current; Page: [75] Countrey, and to helpe a valueable returne, for the English cloth exported: some States have seriously entred into consideration of this point, and have indevoured with all posible care, the furtherance thereof, where it was defective,King James, his provident care in this point. as King James of famous Memorie, inordered as I have been informed, that the white cloth shipped hence to the Netherlands, by a Nonobstante should have every tenth cloth thereof, died and dressed here, thus indeavoring by a wholesome order, to bring the whole shipping quantity, in use amongst them, that by this meanes, in time to come, all the said shipping might be drawne, to be dyed and dressed in our own Country, and not to be shipped white, as was then in use, and is still, to the great prejudice of that clothing; but had his Majesty then been pleased, to grant the lader thereof, some extraordinary priviledge, or to be free from custome, for any such cloth so shipped, in its full perfection, it would doubtlesse before this time, have wrought better effects in this point, then hitherto we see the former order hath brought to passe.

The indeavours of some other Princes in this point.Some again to further the same, have eased the native manufactories of their Countries, of all customes, imposts, and such like duties in the vent or exportation, thereby incouraging their Subjects to make them, and their Merchants, to send them abroad, and transport them, and some have againe, charged the forraigne Manufactories, which tended not immediately to need or use, with heavie taxes, thereby deterring the importation, and cherishing the native worke-man to make the same, and to indeavour the obtainement of perfection therein at home.

Some have also eased all raw materials, that have beene imported, being commodities, tending to set the poore subjects on work, as is Cotten, Hempe, Yarne, Flaxe, Woolls, raw silke, and the like; and all these practised in some places, have met with a happy successe, Edition: current; Page: [76] which hath both inriched the Subject, set the poore native artists on worke, and proved the maine furtherer of the Commerce of that Kingdome, where the same hath been daily, and industriously put in use and practised.

Second consideration what commodities are to be receaved, and what not.The first point grounded upon the considerable benefit of a well ordered Traffike, being thus handled, and having concluded what wares and commodities may be exported, and what may not, out of an estate or Kingdome, & what hath beene practised by forraigne nations with good successe; I come now to the second consideration before mentioned, declaring what wares and commodities must be receaved, and what must not be receaved into an estate, by the limitation of a well ordered trade and Commerce.

All commodities tending to riot, are to be prohibited importations.Some observing States-men have noted that a Prince should stop the entry, and importation by Commerce, unto all commodities, that tends to riot or excesse, as the principall meanes that impoverisheth a Kingdome, though many times it inrich the trader, and Merchant, amongst which precious Stones, rich Jemmes, exquisite perfumes, costly unnecessary Spices, and rich Stuffes, which serve more for pompe and show, than for need and use, are principally noted.

With their difficulties.But how difficult in an age or Kingdome of peace and plenty, this may be effected, I leave to the said statesmen to determine, yet presuppose that these commodities, such as they are, be admitted their importation, the Prince and soveraigne may notwithstanding be in his owne particular a gainer, though the subject or Countrey therein prove loosers, for if the use, or rather abuse of these commodities in a Kingdome, be so inveterate, as that the same cannot be hindred, by a moderate prohibition, yet they may be charged with such great customes and Imposts, as the Edition: current; Page: [77] merchant or importer may have no great desire to bring them in any quantity, fearing he shall not obtain the price they cost him; and the subject will likewise have no earnest desire to buy them, in regard of the dearenesse thereof, and though that sometimes this consideration will not, nor doth not restraine the rich and wealthy of a Kingdome, from procuring and purchasing such merchandises, yet the soveraignes treasure will by this meanes be augmented, and by this way it may supply in place of punishment, for the riot and excesse in private persons, and on the other side, the Subject desisting from the excesse, though the Soveraigne gaine not thereby, yet that Commonwealth will be both improved and benefitted, by this chiefe and good husbandry.

Needfull wares ever to be receaved.Now for such other commodities as may be receaved and imported, those are most welcome, which are noted to be the most needfull, & what the Countrey and inhabitants thereof wants, and such as tend to need or use, are still the most desired, Graine, Butter, Cheese, and all provisions for food, should every where be freely receaved, and that without duties or customes thereupon, as in Leghorne, in Tuskanie, in Spaine, and in many other places: The Merchants and bringers in of such, have ever a reward allowed them, to incourage them to a readinesse at all times, to bring in the same againe, at another time and season.

Needfull for wars.Also all ammunition for the defence of our Countrey, and for the offence of our enemies, as Horses, Armes, Powder, Cannons, Muskets, Bullets, Match, and all provision for Shipping, as Planks, Timber, Masts, Pitch, Cordage, Iron, Saile-cloth and the like, are ever to be receaved.

And wares that set the Subject a work, are to be receaved.Thirdly all such commodities, as may set the poore or richer sort on worke, by making of sundry sorts of Fabrikes, either of Linen, and Woollen, silke or the Edition: current; Page: [78] like, as are Cotten Wooll, and yarne, of which is made Vermillions, Fustians, Demities, & such others, also fleece-wooll, of which is made woollen-cloth, Sayes, Sarges, Perpetuanas, Bayes, and sundry other sorts, comprehended under the name of new Drapery with us, also Grograme-yarne of which is made, Iames, Grograms, Durettes, silke-mohers, and many others late new invented Stuffes, Flaxe, Hempe, and the Yarne thereof, of which is made all sort of Linens, fine and course, all Ropes, Tackles, Cables, and such like used in shipping, all raw-silke, and throwne, whereof is made all manner of Silke-Laces, Sattins, Plushes, Taffeta’s, Cally-maneos, and many others, all silver and gold in thred, and Bullion, whereof is made silver and gold Lace, Cloth of gold and silver, and many others, which may set on worke, not onely the poore industrious working Subjects, imploy the monies, and estates of the rich, but also much further Navigation and Commerce, and generally inrich the Prince and Kingdome, by the second Traffike of these Manufactories.

Yet with certaine Limitations.Yet many of these commodities and wares, are to bee receaved with some certaine restrictions, and limitations, according to the judgement and discretion of the Soveraigne; For if by incouragements or Immunities, the Merchant brings in the first materiall, as I may say, Cotten-wooll, the yarne thereof may then be prohibited, for thereby part of the poore mans labour is taken away, and so in Hemp, and Flaxe, and the like, if it be imported in good aboundance, the yarne thereof may be prohibited, for the cause before mentioned, and so may also such petty manufactories be denyed entrance, as playing Cards, gold and silver thred, and the like, whilst wee have the principall materials, whereof the same is or may be composed, & perfitted at home. And thus much Edition: current; Page: [79] shall serve to have said, concerning what wares may be receaved,3 considerations is to facilitate, & ease Trafficke. and what may not be receaved into a Kingdome, by the rules of a well ordered Traffike, the facilitating and acquisition of this Traffike, in a Countrey or place, comes in the next consideration to be handled.

The politike estate of Venetia,The practises of sundry Princes, to augment Trade. the Indicious Duke of Tuskanie, the cunning Hollanders, the industrious hauns townes, and others, that much indeavour and studie this point, have noted, and found out many particular points, which they have put in practise, as the most effectuall, operative, and efficient, conducing to the facilitating, ease, and augmentation of Traffike in generall, which gathered out of their practises, wee may put in use, and apply to our selves, for the increase of a Countries forraigne Traffike, which principally are these.

1 To further the commodious carriage of goods &c.First to further by all meanes, the commodious carriage of goods and merchandize both by Land and by water, either by Boats, Cartage, Horses, or other such conveiances, wherein is considerable as a thing necessary, that the Rivers be navigable or made so if possible, by labour, Art and industrie, then to remove all hindring Mills, Bridges, fishing weares, Bankes, Sholds, and such like impediments that may any way let or hinder the same.

2 No tolle upon Rivers, bridges &c.Secondly, that no Lord, or adjoyning commanding borderer, impose either custome, tolle, taxe, or duties upon the commodities, and wares so carried in Boates, Lighters or Barges, passing or repassing thereupon, or heavie acknowledgements, passing over Bridges, Causeyes, or the like, that may disturbe the publike Traffike, or be a charge to the generall Commerce of a Countrey.

3 To free the Seas from Pyrats.Thirdly, to keepe the Seas, and streames, free and safe from all Pyrats, theeves, and robbers, as the principall disturbers of the universall Traffike, of Kingdomes Edition: current; Page: [80] and nations, and the greatest overthrowers of the navigation, and Commerce of Cities and Countries.

4 To maintaine Boyes, Lights, and Castles, &c.Fourthly, to safeguard the Ports, Harbours, Roads, and Sea-Creekes, from them, to maintaine where is necessarie, fortified places, to defend the pursued, and to offend the pursuer, to maintaine and conserve the keyes, Peeres, molds, and other places of moredge, fastnings, anchoredge, and the like, and to set up and maintaine, Beacons, Watch-Towres, Lights by night, Sea-marks, and Boyes, for the safeguard of Mariners sayling either by night or day.

5 To keep the wayes from theeves, &c.Fiftly, to keepe the Land wayes and passages, free and safe also from Theeves and Robbers, to mend Causeys, high-wayes and decayed Bridges, to build alberges, Innes, lodgings and places of safety whare none is, in fit and commodious places, for the reposing and rest of men and beasts of carryage, where all accommodation, both for men and horses travelling, may be had at easie and reasonable rates and prises, and where all needfull things may bee obtained, for the travailer which he may ordinarily stand in need of.

6 To main taine the Posts, &c.Sixtly, to maintaine posts, and post-horses, by Land, and post barkes by Sea, also all Letter-carriers, and such like foot-posts, with priviledges, and fit stipends, for their paines and care therein.

7 To put downe Monopolies, &c.Seventhly, not to suffer any Monopolies, Pattents, and grants to private men, which may hinder the liberty, and freedome of Traffike, and if such bee discouvered, and found out, to punish the same rigorously and severely.

8 To invite industrious strangers by priviledges.Eightly, to invite by priviledges, the industrious strangers, and Merchants, to bring and import unto us, the wares and commodities, which wee cannot want, and those whereof the Countrey it selfe stands in need of, and that which may either advantage the publike, or the defence of the Countrey it selfe.

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9 To discharge all great customes.Ninthly, to discharge all great custome, heavie imposts, and duties upon all goods and merchandize, or at least wise upon the Subjects goods, and upon all needfull and usefull commodities, or if the same stand not with the commodity of the Prince, yet at least wise so much of these customes &c. as the necessity of the state will beare, and trade may well permit, without overthrowing of the generall Traffike, and Commerce of the Countrey, and the dependances thereupon.

10 To establish Sea Lawes, for Merchants & navigator.Tenthly, to establish such Lawes, and ordinances for Merchants, and merchandizing affaires, and Sea causes, as that there be not onely faith and assurance, preserved amongst all negociators, Sea-faring men, and merchants whatsoever, but also amongst all manner of buyers, and sellers, and that there be likewise severe punishments decreed for fraudulent & publike deceavers, bankerouts, and robbers of the common Traffike, of a nation or Countrey.

11 To erect a Court of Merchants.Eleventhly, that in case of differences, debates, controversies, and the like accidents, hapning in Traffike amongst Merchants, there may be a summary, and speedy Justice executed, either by a quickned law, or a Court of Merchants, as it is observed and practised in many Countries, especially in that which concernes strangers, who oftentimes are noted to forbeare their Traffike into a place, no lesse, in regard of the charge and tediousnesse of suits, then for the tretchery and falshoods of the inhabitants of the Countrey.

12 The Coynes current to be constant and good &c.Twelfthly, and forasmuch as a permutation of Commodities cannot bee well made, without a certaine price set downe upon all merchandises, and that they cannot negotiate with all sorts of people, simply by Exchange, but that it is necessarie to make use of the monies and Coynes of Princes, in their severall distinct Countries, the value, price, and estimation thereof, must be Edition: current; Page: [82] therefore certaine, constant and firme, otherwise it would bring a confusion to the generall Commerce of a Kingdome, and every commoditie must then bee governed in esteeme and value, according as the monie shall bee current in price.

Neither is this onely sufficient, but the reall goodnesse, and true value of these Coines must bee easie, to bee judged, and knowne, not onely by the waight thereof; but also by the eye, and sound of the same, if it bee possible, the which may bee the easier done, if there bee no metalls used in Coine current, but onely silver and gold, which is sufficient in themselves, to expresse all summes, and quantitie, how little and small soever, and if everie peece both of silver and gold, bee Coyned by a certaine waight, thicknesse, and greatnesse, and in forme of certaine medalles, as the Grecians, Latins, Hebrewes, Persians, and Egyptians, in old time did use, it would prove a difficult thing for a man to be deceived therewith, and it would bee facile for all strangers, and Merchants, to bee soone experienced, and acquainted with them.

13 To give honour to merchants, and why?Thirteenth, whereas some ignorant estates and forraigne nations, doe contemne Merchants, and merchandizing, and such as exercise Traffike, holding and undervaluing, the Art of merchandizing in its selfe, as base and sordid, which too often is found in many places quickly to decay the publike commerce of some Kingdomes, for thereby it commeth to passe that they which have gotten a little wealth, retire themselves speedily to embrace some other vocation, to the which the common people carry more respect and honour, then to this.

It being a thing, which in all civill and well governed Kingdomes, ought carefully to bee avoyded, and removed, for the good and furtherance of the Traffike thereof; now indeed it must be granted, that Edition: current; Page: [83] there bee certaine trades, which should bee left to the poore and common people, to inrich themselves by: but there are others, more noble, which they only can best execute, that are conversant in forraigne Countries, which is that of Merchandizing in remote parts, by the benefit and commodity of the Sea,Merchandizing is the most profitable in an estate. and that by persons qualified and versed in forraigne regions, which in it selfe is the most knowing, profitable, beneficiall, and excellent in an estate, as shall bee shewed in this following Treatise, and to these more honour and respect should be attributed, then is now done, both in France, and in some other Countries, for if in all estates, the wise, judicious, and prudent Counsellours of a Prince, have thought it fitting, and requisite to invite the Subjects by honour, to the most dangerous and hazardable attempts and actions, which may bee profitable and conduce to the benefit and profit of the publike; these two of Navigation by Traffike, and of Commerce by navigation, being of that concurrent qualitie, and united disposition, they should propound and attribute more honour to those that shall deale therein, and exercise the same, then now it is noted they doe. And if true Nobilitie should have taken its foundation,Why such should be honoured. (as the Iudicious and Learned have observed heretofore) from the courage of men, and from their Valour, there is no vocation, wherein there is so many usefull and principall parts of a man required, as in these two, for they are not onely to adventure and hazard their owne persons, but also their estates, goods, and what ever they have, amongst men of all nations, and Customes, Lawes, and Religions, wheresoever they are inhabited.

And that not onely in common casualties, mishaps, and dangers, but sometimes to wrastle and stand even against the foure Elements, combined together, to threaten their ruine, and destruction, which is the strongest and most remarkable evidence and proofe, Edition: current; Page: [84] that possibly can bee alledged or spoken, of the constant and firme resolution of a man.

This sole point and consideration, hath beene the occasion, that some States have beene of opinion, and thought that this doore should be opened, to the adventuring Merchant to attaine unto Nobility, so as the Father and the Sonne have continued successfully for some ages therein; and which is seene in some sort to be practised in some places at this day, and if those Noble-men, (the upholders of a Land or Kingdome) who are commonly the richest and greatest in an estate, should practise and addict themselves to this Commerce, and Sea-Traffike (as some beganne to doe in Queene Elizabeths daies) being a thing not prejudiciall, nor hurtfull to their honour, or to their noble condition, doubtlesse it is, and would bee more honourable unto them, then to bee Vsuerers, and Bankers, as is observed in Italy, and many other Countries as they are, or to impoverish themselves, in doing of nothing, or nought worthie of note, but neglect their owne occasions, in spending, lavishing, and wasting, when peradventure they never gather any thing to what they have, or what formerly was left unto them, by their Ancestours.

The benefit of the Trade of Nobles and rich in a kingdome.Hence would grow many advantages, both to the publike and private, for that they that thus deale in traffike, having thus meanes, courage, and sufficiencie, for this Conduct and Enterprise, the same would bee farre greater, and more eminent in it selfe, then now it is, setting thus more ships to sea, and by being consequently better armed, and better furnished; and whereof the state in time of need, might make good use of, for its safety and defence; and withall it would carry the reputation of that Nation, farre further into remote Regions; the which they cannot doe, who being poore, and having little or no stock, but of one Edition: current; Page: [85] ages gathering, or peradventure taken up at Interest, and borrowed from others, wanting both power, meanes, and courage, either to hazard themselves in great, and eminent Enterprises, or to wade through the same, being once entred thereinto.

And for other particular Interest, this Commerce being wisely managed, and discreetly handled, what hazard soever they should run, there is more to be gotten thereby, then to be lost; And if Gentlemen in generall would thus apply themselves to traffike, as some within these late yeares have beene observed to doe, and that without wasting of their estates by vast Expences, or importuning their Soveraigne by disorderly demands and gifts, they should by all likelihoods benefit themselves more in one yeare, by a well govern’d traffike at sea, then peradventure at Court by ten years waiting and solicitations.

Finally, to conclude this point, Experience hath taught, and teacheth us daily, where those of great purses, and good judgements have exercised traffike, and where such have beene backed and encouraged by a gracious and furthering Soveraigne, and by a Prince that loveth Navigation, and favoureth Traffike; it hath mightily enriched both themselves, and the Princes and Estates, under which they have liv’d; as by the late examples of the Portugal, Hollander, Spaniard, and Venetian is made knowne, and manifested unto all the world.

14. To erect an assurance office.Next to erect and settle an office of assurance, with fit and skilful Iudges, which should determine, and give speedy Execution in their Decrees and Acts, betweene Adventurers, to avoide demurs, delayes, and hindrances, that happen by tedious suites in adventures at sea amongst Merchants.

15. To erect some Companies.Fifteenth, the only meanes conceived to settle the Commerce and Traffike of a Nation into forraigne Countries by sea, in the which the best purses will not Edition: current; Page: [86] bee drawne to hazard themselves in the Enterprise, is to compell the Merchants which trade at sea, to one and the selfe certaine place and countrey, to joyn one with another in a corporation, and Company, and not to make their Traffike by themselves asunder, or apart; for although that adventuring apart, the Gaine would probably be the greater to the Adventurers, when the enterprise succeeds happily; yet it is to be considered, that the losse which may happen, would wholly ruine him that attempts the danger alone; and if in making a joynt Company, or Society, the Gaine should turne to be the lesse; yet it is ever more assured, and the disorders by Traffike by a good government is still removed; and the losse being borne by many, it is consequently the lesse to every one that is interested therein; and thus dividing the Trade of the whole, according to either the places, or coasts where the same is made, forbidding them to attempt one upon anothers priviledges; and prohibiting all other private Subjects (of what quality soever) which shall not be Members or free Brothers of those Societies, to negotiate into those parts upon great penalties, and appointing certaine Governours, or others the greatest adventurers, to order and regulate the said Traffike and Companies; which Rules have found such good successe, both in Holland, England, and else-where, that it hath beene one of the maine causes, that hath brought the traffike of London, and of Amsterdam, to that present height and greatnesse, as it is now observed to be.

16. To lend money to the Merchant out of the common Treasurie.Next, for the furtherance of the Traffike of some Kingdomes, it hath beene observed, that great summes of monies have beene lent gratis, or upon easie rates and security, to skilfull Merchants, out of the soveraigne, or common Treasurie, which hath also found such good successe, as that the customes of that Prince have beene thereby much increased, the kingdome Edition: current; Page: [87] enriched, the poore set on worke, and the native Commodities thereof, vented to all parts of the world thereby.

17. By transportation of Bils.In the next place, it hath beene noted mainely to further the traffike of a Kingdome, the transportation of bils of debt, from one man to another, in liew of monies, as is used in some Countries; for thereby many Law suits are avoyded amongst Dealers, errors in Merchants accounts cleared, the Princes customes increased, the great stocke of the Kingdome, which continually lyeth in all Negotiators hands in dead Bils and Bonds, employed, Traffike it selfe quickned, and such a benefit enjoyed thereby to the Common-wealth, as cannot expressed.

18. Example of the Prince, a maine Furtherer of Trade.In the next place it hath beene observed in some places, where the poore for want of abilities cannot trade, and where the great or rich have not will, or dare not adventure their Estates in forraigne Traffike, that the examples onely of the Prince hath throughly effected it, and proved a maine Furtherer of the generall Commerce and Traffike of his Countrey; which doth not only hold in this matter of Trade, but in all other state matters whatsoever; for then it will be impossible for the rich Subjects to forbeare, when they see their Soveraigne bend his mind, and addict himselfe therunto. For the wise have observed, that Princes cannot frame an Age unlike unto themselves; and that it is easier (as one said)Cassiod. li. 3. for Nature to erre, then that a Prince should form a Common-wealth unlike himselfe: Iust if they be wicked, regular if they be dissolute, chaste if they be immodest, and religious if they bee impious.

Neither is it thus in these our dayes; History it selfe warrants the point, and makes it good in all former ages. For, under Romulus it was found that Rome was warlike; but under their Soveraigne Numa Edition: current; Page: [88] they were religious, under the Fabritii they were continent, under the Catoes Regular, under the Gracchi seditious, under the Luculli and Antonines, intemperate and dissolute; under Constantine the Great the Empire is Christian, but under Iulian idolatrous: Therefore, for conclusion, if the Prince love the Sea, his Subjects will be all Sea-men; and if he be a Lover of trade and traffike, the rich and powerfull of his Kingdomes, will be all Merchants.

19. By erecting a staple of Trade.In the next place, it hath beene noted as an effectuall meane, whereby traffike may be obtained and settled where none is, is by erecting a staple of trade, and to indow the same with freedome of traffike, which briefly may be termed to containe some of these before recited particulars, especially those of great priviledges, and small customes; for this will gaine Trade where none is, and being gotten mightily increase the same, when this shall fall out to bee in a Countrey, where God and Industry hath blessed the Land and people with wares, that are either rich or usefull, it will soone beget, maintaine, and inlarge the Trade of the place, so made a staple, as above is said.

Now for as much as this staple is in many countries a thing unknown, and that many men are ignorant of the benefit that the same may produce, I will a little inlarge my selfe thereupon, and in few words shew how it may turne a Kingdome to profit, and by perusing the commodity it affordeth to other nations, conceive it may yeeld the like to that Prince that coveteth the same, or putteth this rule in practise:A staple of trade what. A staple of Trade is a place then, where large immunities and priviledges, are granted to all Merchants of what nation soever; sometimes extending to native commodities onely, and sometimes to forraigne, and sometimes to both, with free liberty, to export and import all manner of wares, custome free, when, whither, and by whom they please, Edition: current; Page: [89] paying a small acknowledgement onely in liew of the said custome to the Prince, and wheresoever the same hath thus been seene to be settled in a Kingdome, it hath beene noted much to encourage the inhabitants thereof, and force them in a short time to become either great Merchants, or industrious Furtherers thereof; for the same would yeeld them occasion to be sharers in the traffike of other Countries, whereof before they neither had any profit, nor yet the Prince any customes thereby,The benefit of a staple by the experience of other Countries. the benefit of this staple of Trade may be the better discerned by looking upon the practise of those Countries, where the same is put in use, and especially by our Neighbours the Netherlanders, where the same is practised with wonderfull industry, paines, care, and conducible profit, instanced by these examples.

No timber in Holland, and yet they have the staple thereof.First it is well knowne to us, and all the world, that they have there no timber, nor yet Forests of any sort, of their own growth, yet the freedome of Trade begets them such fit materials, that the same builds them yearely above a thousand sayle of ships, partly serving to their owne use, but principally to sell to others; and that the huge pales of wainscot, Claboard and Deale are in their staple Cities.

No corne there, and yet they have the staple thereof.Next, they are found to have no corn growing almost in all their countries; for it is the East Countrey that affords the same in abundance; yet wee know that the greatest Store-houses, and staple Granaries of graine, is by the freedome of their trade in the low Countries; for Amsterdam (if report may gaine credit) is continually stored with 8. in 100000. quarters, besides what is by trade daily sold away and vented.

No fish there, yet the staple therof is in Holland.The maine shooles, and massy bulke of Herrings, from whence the industry and traffike raiseth to them so many millions yearely, proceeds merely out of our English seas; but yet the great Fishery (to the shame Edition: current; Page: [90] and wonderfull dishonour of England) is in the Low-countries; wherewith not onely their owne occasions at home are plentifully supplyed, but all Christendome besides abundantly stored, it being computed, that they send forth yearely into other Countries, above one hundred thousand last, which wee may account to bee two hundred thousand tuns.

No Vineyards nor salt in Holland, yet they have the staple thereof.The large and mighty vast Vineyards, and great quantity and store of salt, is noted to be in France and Spaine, yet the great Vintages, as I may say, and staples both of Salt and Wine, is found in the Netherlands, whereby they imploy yearely above a thousand sayle of their shipping.

No Woolls there, and yet they have the staple of many Factories.The Wooll, Cloath, Lead and Tinne, and divers staple English commodities, are properly and naturally of Englands production, but yet to the dishonour and prejudice of England, the great Manufactories of Dying, Dressing, &c. of them are seene in the Low-countries, whereby they not onely imploy their poore by labour, but their Mariners by shipping, and often times undersell the English, both in their owne countries, and abroad, with these and other our owne commodities.

Light customes increase trade, and heavy ruines it.Many others in this kind may be produced; for it is to be noted, that wheresoever such a staple of trade is erected, kept and maintained, there all forraigue and native commodities doe abound, for the supply of any other countrey, that may or doth want the same; and where the customes upon Merchants goods is small, it easily draweth all nations to trade with them; and contrariwise where great impositions are laid upon Merchants goods, the traffike of the place, will be seen soone to decay, to the prejudice of that place and kingdom.

Example thereof between England and Holland.The difference thereof is made evident in any two townes of severall Princes Dominions, in the one, where customes are easie, and there Merchants doe flock Edition: current; Page: [91] together from all parts of the world, and abundance of forraigne commodities are from all countries imported thither, that benefit the Merchant, the people, and the Prince; and in the other, where the customes are heavie and burthensome to a Merchant, and heavie upon his wares, and there none comes, nor brings any commodities, but what hee knows is liable, and must pay this custome to his and the countries great prejudice; which by an example or two I shall here manifest.

In a ship of 300 tuns come from Burdeux.Two ships laden at Burdeux, of equall burthen, and of three hundred tuns, the one goeth for England, and the other for Holland; she that commeth into England, payeth for custome, Prividge, Butleredge, and other charges thereon by booke of rates,Paying in England 1260. and in Holland 60.1. one thousand two hundred pounds and upwards, before she bee discharged, and the other going for Holland is discharged there for threescore pound sterlin, or there abouts; so that after they have there nnladen their said ship, and custome being paid, and the wines sold, the buyer can transport them againe into some other countrey; and, if hee should in the second place but gaine this custome that was paid in England, yea or halfe so much, hee would thinke to have gained very well thereby: but it is not possible for any English man to pay this great custome in England, and to transport them againe into another Kingdome, but he must be a great loser by them; for the Hollander can still undersell him, and yet be a gainer thereby.

In 200. tuns of Tobacco.The like may bee alleaged of two ships, of two hundred tuns a peece, comming alike laden, with 200. tuns of Tobacco from Barmuda, Saint Christopher, or any other English Plantation: now, this 200. tuns paying custome, &c. in England, will amount unto 10000 pounds, whereas in Holland the said 200. tuns will bee cleared for 120. pounds. Now though the said 200. Edition: current; Page: [92] tuns of Tobacco should be here againe shipped out within the yeare, and the impost repaid him, yet the Merchant loseth infinitly by bringing it into the kingdome, which he would account for wonderfull gaine, might hee enjoy the same upon all the whole parcell towards all his adventure, interest and charges.

These small customes will increase the totall custome of a Kingdome.But some Princes may imagine that this will too much diminish their customes, and draw their Revenewes to a low estate: but I rather hold the same will bee a meanes to increase the same; for though a Prince should for the ease of his people, and the augmentation of the trade of his Countrey, take but a small custome upon all forraigne goods imported, and thus exported, with the reservations mentioned in the second consideration of trade; yet he may have a moderate custome to be paid him, upon all goods vented within the Kingdome, as is now used in England; and the multiplicity of trade, which will be procured by this staple, and small custome, whereof there is not otherwise accrewing to the Prince any profit at all, will much increase the same in the totall. Presuppose, that this staple of traffike, furthered with such immunities, and smalness of customes, were in some one, two, or three convenient Towns settled here in England, let us consider the good in generall, that by the former assertion would produce to us.

Benefit arising to England by a staple of trade.First the Merchants would be enabled, to export the commodities of France, Spaine, Italy, Turkey, and Barbary, and of the East and West India, into the Kingdomes of Germany, Poland, Denmarke, Swethland, Pomerland, Sprucia, and Lifeland, and the merchandize of those other countries, which are both many and usefull, will againe be transported from the said staple, to those Southerne and Westerne Countries, and hereby the Merchants would mightily flourish by this inlargement of trade.

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Secondly, divers sea-Townes, where this staple should be kept would be very much enriched.

Thirdly, the Mariners and shipping of this Kingdome, would hereby come to be very much enlarged and imployed.

Fourthly, many poore people, and other handy crafts men and labourers, would be hereby set on worke, and imployed.

Fifthly, the honour and reputation of this Kingdome will be much advanced in other countries, and much Bullion would thereby come to be imported.

Sixthly, it will keepe all sorts of graine at a reasonable price, both for the buyer and seller, and the countrey should alwayes bee well provided with corne, if dearth should happen, and thereby also retaine our coyne, which upon such an occasion is usually exported.

Lastly, the customes of England would be much increased by intercourse of trade, both by Importation and Exportation of all sorts of forraigne commodities, whereof we have no use our selves, and whereof His Majesty hath at present no custome at all, because there is no such course of trade in use.

Having thus shewed how this staple of trade is to be setled, and what benefit it brings with it to that countrey where the same is erected, and may bring to us were the same here settled; and because in all Kingdomes it is a worke of time and much difficulty, and that our ordinary States-men doe neither seriously consider, nor truly weigh the reall benefits that arise to a Kingdome and people by the hand of traffike; I will here in the last place, for conclusion of this consideration, shew that a maine Furtherer of a countries traffike, and the only way for the preservation thereof, being once acquired, is to settle by authority of the Soveraigne a selected number of able and discreet Merchants, with power and sufficient priviledge, to examine the disorders Edition: current; Page: [94] of traffike, and irregular Traders, and to reduce the same to such orders, and constitutions as may stand with the benefit and good of the Soveraigne, his countrey and subjects; and these merchants to be either sworne and admitted into the Princes counsell, or have a superintendency over the generall Commerce of the kingdom, by themselves entituled as State-merchants, or Merchant States-men; the benefit of whose endeavour, skill, judgement, and discretion thus authorised, I shall by these few rules offer to the consideration of the Iudicious.

By inlargement of traffike.It is by all Statesmen accounted a truth undeniable, that the wealth and welfare of all countries (where the subject exerciseth traffike with forraigne nations) is mainely furthered, and much advanced by the regular orders, and merchantlike rules thereof, and more especially in that of Englands, by nature commodiously seated to that end, and of purpose; the procurement of which wealth and welfare by the inlargement of Commerce, and the well ordering and regulating thereof, cannot be so fully effected, nor the hindrances fore-seene, nor the prejudices so soone avoided by a meere States-man, as the same can be by a discreet Merchant, qualified with power from the Prince to that purpose.

2. By importation and exportation of Bullion.Secondly, the importation of Bullion to the Princes Mint, or exportation of his coyne out of his countrey, cannot be so well fore-seene and prevented as by the Merchant, who by the course of traffike, knowes the impediments of the one, and the preventions of the other.

3. By under-valuing of native wares.Thirdly, the under-valuing of the home-bred, and native commodities of a Kingdome, and the over-valuing in that Kingdome of forraigne commodities, with the discommodity of both to the common wealth, nor the causes thereof, cannot be so well knowne to a Edition: current; Page: [95] States-man, nor by him be prevented, as the same can to a Merchant, qualified with power thereunto.

4. By new Plantations.Fourthly, the inlargement of trade by any new Inventions, Plantations, or Discoveries of new traffikes, cannot be by any so well furthered, as by a qualified Merchant, who best knowes by reason of his trade, what priviledges are fit to be granted, what customes inwards and outwards to be imposed, and for the incouragement of the Merchants, and Vndertakers in these said courses.

5. By rising and falling of customes.Fifthly, it is granted that the greatnesse of customes, and other duties upon Merchants goods, in all places diminisheth the trade of a Kingdome, and the smalnesse of the same inlargeth the trade thereof; now a meere States-man conceives not what commodities are fittest to be eased, and which are to be raised for the common good, and profit of the trade of that Countrey.

6. By imployment of workemen in the Manufactories.Sixthly, the generall imployment of all the poore of a kingdom in the workmanship of native, and homebred commodities, and forraigne materials imported (now too little regarded by many States-men in many Kingdomes) may with more ease and speed be put in Execution by a States-merchant then by a meere States-man, as is seene in the dying and dressing of clothes in England, and in the prosecution of the Fishing-trade, lately here set on foot by the care and industry of divers noble personages, and lost for want of experienced men in that profession to manage the same.

7. By furnishing decayed towns.Seventhly, as a matter worthy of a Princes consideration, the furnishing of decayed haven Townes, with inhabitants, Mariners, and shipping in a kingdome, and the needfull helps and furtherances thereto, with a profitable trade to maintaine both, to their, and the Prince and countries good, is better performed by a Merchant, then by a meere States-man.

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8. By providing of corne in dearth.Eighthly, the continuall furnishing of a Kingdome with corne at cheape rates, yea even in times of Dearth, the want whereof some yeares past the last great Dearth, inriched Holland for seven yeares following, and impoverished England full as long, by their exportation of two millions of pounds, as is conceived that yeare out of all ports of this Kingdome in gold, wherein a meere States-man knows not the way, neither how to provide for the one, nor yet how to prevent the other; which notwithstanding a Merchant can with ease, and better husbandry accomplish and performe.

9. By setling of a staple of trade.Ninthly, the setling of a staple, or freedome of trade in a kingdome, in commodious and fit places, with fit and advantageable priviledges, and how the same is to be governed and directed, and wherein to be restrained and limited, is onely within the knowledge of a Merchant, and fittest for his direction, which a meere States-man doth not so well understand, nor can judge of.

10. By weakning the enemies by trade.Tenthly, Salomon saith, that wisdome is better then the weapons of warre, therefore a Merchant can in times of warres with forraigne Princes, better direct how to weaken his enemies, in course of their traffike, and preiudice them in the point of their profit, and crosse their designed intentions, for provision of warfare, more then the best States-man can doe by open hostility.

11. By treatises of peace in trade.Eleventh, In concluding of a peace, or in the making of leagues, and amity with forraigne Princes, the Merchant can advise of the fitting conditions, to bee insisted upon, and obtained in the point of traffike, for the advancement of his King and Countrey, which a States-man doth not so much regard, nay many times not yet understand.

12. By forraigne intelligence.Twelfth, A Merchant that hath beene resident, many yeares in forraigne parts, and sometimes hath remained Edition: current; Page: [97] all that time in one and the same Countrey, and hath afterwards continuall advice from his Factors there resident, by reason of his daily trading thither, of all the occurrences of the place, with their provisions made there for arming of horse, foot, or shipping, must needs consequently understand thereof, and the affaires of those parts, better then those that never were there, or but cursorily to see fashions, and that peradventure many yeares before that time.

13. By suppressing of trades depending upon exportation of coyne.Thirteenth, A Merchant knowes by his observations in course of trade, that there bee some trades in a Kingdome, which cannot subsist, nor bee driven without exportation of the coyne of that kingdome and place, or which cause the diversion of Bullion from the Mint of that place, which are not to bee cherished, as those trades are which doe neither; all which a meere States-man cannot so well comprehend, and take notice of.

14. By cherishing some trades that subsist by coyne.Fourteenth, A Merchant doth know that there be some trades againe, which cannot subsist without this exportation of the coyne of a kingdome, and have a necessary dependance thereon, which yet notwithstanding are to be cherished, sometimes equall, sometimes above other trades, by reason that the same trade begets another advantageable trade, that doth more profit to the kingdome, then the exportation of that coyne doth prejudice the same, which a States-man can neither discerne, nor take notice of.

15. By acts prejudiciall to trade.Fifteenth, A Merchant doth know what decrees and ordinances made in a Kingdome, doe further and enlarge the trade thereof, and which againe in themselves doe hurt and prejudice the same: also what decrees and ordinances are enacted in forraigne states or countries, that are injurious and hurtfull to the trade and countrey where he abides, and how to meet with, and prevent the same by counter Decrees, and Regulations; Edition: current; Page: [98] which a meere States-man doth neither know, nor can of himselfe prevent or have notice of.

16. By remedying the forraigne disorders in trade.Sixteenth, A Merchant doth find by his traffike into forraigne parts, what commodities, and what nations are eased by forraigne Princes within their dominions, to the end that by charging of some, and easing of other some, they covet to benefit some nations more then other, and further the vent of some commodities more then others, redounding to the prejudice and ill consequence of the Kingdome of his aboade and residency; which the Merchant can in a short time both prevent and remedy, to the good of that Kingdome where hee lives; but the States-man cannot in a long time find out, nor yet being found out remedy it, till peradventure the remedy be worse then the disease.

17. By carrying out or in of commodities hurtfull or beneficial to a kingdome.Seventeenth, A Merchant knoweth what commodities can bee drawne out of another countrey, to the benefit of his owne, and what commodities are carried out of his owne countrey, to the prejudice (as Iron-Ordnance are in England,) or benefit of another, and can by regular orders in the course of traffike hinder the importation, and exportation of what is hurtfull, or any way dammageable to the Kingdome of his aboade, and further the importation and exportation of such commodities as are prejudiciall to the traffike of the strange and remote Countrey; which the States-man for want of knowledge in merchandising cannot effect or accomplish.

18. By importation of materials for Manufactories.Eighteenth, A Merchant can advance his Countrey by the importation of materials for Manufactories to bee wrought at home, and by this meanes set multitudes of poore on work, to the great benefit of the place of his aboade, and can by reason of his travels into forraigne parts, where hee sees the naturall and profitable commodities of other Nations, transport the same, and sometimes plant them in his owne native Edition: current; Page: [99] soyle, for his Countries good and honour; which the States-man cannot without great difficulty performe and effect.

19. Forraigne decrees that prejudice navigation and shipping.Lastly, the Merchant best knowes what Decrees are constituted in forraigne Countries, that hinder the Navigation, and diminish the shipping of the countrey of his aboade, and what orders and injunctions are imposed at home, that insensibly ruine and destroy the same, either by meanes of grants, made to private persons to the prejudice thereof: or by innovations imposed by Farmers, or other Vnder-officers, that either destroyeth the same, or tendeth to the discouragement of Sea-men; which meere States-men cannot so soone discerne, nor yet in fitting times remedy.

To conclude this point, having thus shewed the courses that are used in sundry Countries, for the setling, preserving, and augmentation of Commerce in generall, and withall considered how farre in his owne person a Merchant is able to benefit, and advance his Countrey and place of his aboade, and how a staple of trade may bee erected, settled, and priviledged with fitting liberties, to gaine an ample traffike where none is, and shewed withall the commodities that arise to the Countrey, where the same is so settled and maintained.

The endeavours of sundry Princes to gaine traffike.I will now, for conclusion of this third consideration, run through and briefly survey the marvellous care, cost and paines, that severall Princes have willingly beene at and undergone, to compasse the same.

By what hath beene saide then in this consideration, and upon this point, it may be gathered, that the obtaining and acquisition of a traffike at the first is very difficult, being as a precious Iewell which must be sought after, courted and purchased with many priviledges, liberties & immunities, and sometimes with Edition: current; Page: [100] the very example of the Prince himselfe, because that the honour, benefit, and commodity that doth still attend it (as I shall declare in the close of this discourse) extends it selfe both to the Soveraigne, his Nobles, Kingdome, and subjects in generall: and to the end that it may appeare, that all Iudicious Princes, and Politick States-men have thus judged thereof, and found the effects of the same answerable to this my assertion; I will here briefly declare, and shew the industrious paines, and painefull endeavours of sundry the wisest Princes of Europe, to acquire, purchase, and obtaine this so excellent a Iewell.

The practise of the Duke of Florence to get the trade of Leghorne.The Dukes of Toscany, being ever accounted expert Exchangers, finding that their Dukedome, by reason of the want of a Sea-port, for the receit of shipping, was very unfit to entertaine a trade by Navigation, purchased the town and Territory of Leghorne, of the Common-wealth of Genoa, at the rate (as some report) of one hundred and twenty thousand Dollers (it being then a poore Fisher-towne, capable only to receive small Barkes, and that of no considerable burthen) and did, for the inlarging of his traffike by sea, adde a faire and pretty new-built Towne to the old, fortifying the same with Wals, Ditches, Castles, a Bannia for his slaves, and a Lasseretta, or a Pest-house, to receive both the goods and persons of such as should arrive there from contagious and infected parts; then he gave a dwelling to all for seven yeares gratis, that would come to inhabit there, then hee erected a watch-Tower with a strong mould to preserve the ships that anchor there from the violence of all weathers; he gives his Merchants many priviledges, cuts a ditch for twenty miles, to convey and cary up all commodities to Pisa, and so to Florence the Metropolis of his Dukedome; to conclude, by making it a free scale, and that all manner of goods, wares, and monies may bee freely Edition: current; Page: [101] shipped inwards, and outwards, without any charge or custome; and that when commodities doe arrive, which the purses of his subjects will not, or cannot purchase, he hath himselfe bought up the same, and that sometimes to his losse and prejudice, he hath I say by these and other the like meanes within this 25. or 30. yeares, made this the greatest port of traffike in all the Mediterranean seas, to his owne great honour, and to the exceeding profit, and commodity of himselfe, and all his subjects in generall.

Of the Hollanders to support their trade.The Hollanders, who have neede of all the politike helps that can be, to support the charges of their war against a potent enemy, who is continually ready at their doores to give them the alarme, yet so well doe study this point of traffike, and make so much of Commerce in their countrey, where indeed they hold but a hand-full (as it were) of land to abide in; though, I say, they have annuall Armies afoot, which doth cost them infinite, vaste, and great sums to maintaine and nourish, and that their very bread, meate, and beere which is eaten by them, doth first pay the States an excise thereon; yet in all their extremities, dangers and debts, they have erected many staples of trade in their countries, and also raised an East-India and West-India Company of Merchants, with large priviledges, which they have prosecuted with happy & good success, wheron, notwithstanding their great disbursements, they impose little or no customes at all, their interests are easie, their Companies countenanced, and protected by the Estates, and their Fleets are ready in our Channell, to safe-guard and defend both the Merchants, Mariners, and Fisher-men from the depredation, and violence of either enemies or Robbers.

Of the Venetians.I am not able to recount how, and with what care and industry the Venetians maintaine their traffike, Edition: current; Page: [102] and the liberties of their subjects; in point of Commerce they ease them of customes, give large priviledges to their Mariners, injoyne their ancient gentlemen, and Clarissimi to use the sea, make daily sundry advantagable decrees and orders for the suppressing of forraigne traffike, and advancing of their owne, keepe a selected Court of the best experienced Merchants, to superintend other Commerce, and have a stocke ever in readinesse by the name of Cottimo to expend both in Turkey and other places, for the defence of their Merchants and their Estates, from all wrong and injuries.

Of the East Kings of Portugall.Yet none of these comes neere the care and industrious prudence, practised by Iohn and Emanuell, Kings of Portugall, in erecting, prosecuting, and setling the trade of the East India, with such provident decrees and immunities for the ordering of their returnes, Lectures for the instruction of their Pilots, and Sea-men, building of Forts and Holds to make good and preserve their traffike, to their exceeding honour and profit in getting those small Ilands of India; but of most notable consequence, Mosambike, Ormus, Dieu, Goa and Mallacca, fit Receptacles of trade and strength, and which have to this day preserved to them the Commerce of all others, the parts of India. Isabella, that famous Queene of Castile, having by her Christian Piety spent her owne estate in prosecution of the wars against the Moors of Granada, Murtia, &c. when yet she and her husband Ferdinando’s Crownes and Revenues were drawne dry, and farre ingaged in chasing those Barbarians out of their Kingdomes, then when Henry the seventh, accounted amongst the wisest of our English Kings, had unhappily refused Columbus, the Genoes his offer, for the discovery of the Westerne Continent, now termed America, then I say being laden with her greatest debts and engagements, her Edition: current; Page: [103] Coffers empty, her Church plate spent, and all drawne to the lowest ebbe by loanes and interests, then did shee for incouragement to all her subjects, and for to comply with the resolution of the brave Italian, pawne her owne wearing Iewels, to set him out in three Carvels; where how he thrived, and how that Kingdome, Prince and People have beene bettered thereby ever since, the whole Christian world may witnesse at this day, as England hath had just cause to repent of ever after.

Of Hen. the 7 of England.But Henry the seventh having now seene his errour, and apparently discerned what hee had lost by his parcimony, endeavoured to make amends to his Kingdome, and people, calling hither Sebastian Cabot, also a skilfull Pilot, Genoes giving him both encouragement, honours, and employment; but the issue of his endeavours did not answer that King’s expectation, though after his life the same was prosecuted in King Henry the eighth’s dayes with various successe.

And though Margaret Countesse of Flanders did, in envy to him, set up Perkin Werbeque to disturbe the peace of England, and that that mocke Prince came at length to bee a Scullion in his Kitchin; yet that wise Prince found another more noble revenge to himselfe, and more profitable to his people, by setling here the Manufactories of Clothing, and the strict prohibition of the Exportation of English woolls, which cost him in two yeares (as I have beene informed) neare one hundred thousand pounds, a mighty masse of monies, the Prince and times considered: but England soone found the benefit thereof; for in Anno 1515.Anno 1515. the English having removed their staple from Bridges to Antwerpe, where the aforesaid Kings of Portugall had then settled their Contractors, for the vent of their new gained East-Indian spices, it was noted by those Registers of Commerce kept in that Edition: current; Page: [104] place, and left to posterity by Guicciardin, that hath written their Chronicle, that the English Company of Merchant-adventurers did bring thither clothing to the summe of , which was in value 9. of 15. parts of all the other commodities and wares brought thither of all other the nations whatsoever.

Of Edward the 6.What a brave designe Edward the sixt his Grandchild had, for the setling of sundry staples for that and other commodities in England, and how that by reason of the then poverty of his Merchants, hee intended, upon security, to lend them out of his Treasury great summes for the effecting thereof;Of Queene Elizabeth. I have briefly touched before, and for conclusion of this point, looke a little into Queene Elizabeths dayes, who though she was ever accompanied with state affaires of mighty consequence, sometimes at home, and sometimes abroad, yet was she ever so careful to set forward traffike, and encourage Navigators, that both Earls, Lords, Knights, Gentlemen, and of every degree, willingly thrust themselves in search of new traffikes and adventures, and to her dayes are wee beholding for the trades of Barbary and Italy, and other places, and for the discoveries of Turkey, Egypt, India, Russia, Muscovia, and Greenland, and the trades setled by the English therein; which hath since found such fortunate successe, to the benefit of our now happy Soveraigne, and his Crownes, that the customes were in her time, some yeares before her death, farmed but at fourteen thousand pounds, which Smith, commonly called Customer Smith, in one yeare petitioned for reliefe, as having beene a loser thereby, and now in lesse than fifty yeares is come to five hundred thousand pounds yearely, if report gaine credit to the Kings purse; and how much more the Farmers have made thereof, His Majesties custome bookes can best manifest.Customes increased in 50. yeares in England, from 14 to 500. thousand pounds a yeare. If then Edition: current; Page: [105] Princes of all ages, and the wisest of all Princes, have made it part of their study,Princes that have gained traffike must be carefull to preserve it. and have in many occurrences prejudiced themselves, and their estates, to win this so excellent a benefit, how carefull need all Princes to be when the same is brought to perfection, to preserve and cherish it, and not to suffer the liberties of their Merchants to be incroached upon, the freedome of their traffike, to be fettered by heavy imposts, customes, and Innovations, which are like Cankers that doe insensibly eate out and ruine a trade before the Prince, or the wisest of his Counsellors, can see how to prevent or remedy it.

Townes that have lost their traffike by want of care and good order.The want of this care, and provident foresight hath lost many kings the traffike of their Kingdomes, which were the best Iewels of their Crownes, and the richest flower in their Diadems:Antwerpe.The want of good orders in the government of the trade of Antwerpe, and the imposing of heavy customes upon the Merchants there trading, hath within this fifty yeares brought that Towne to the lownesse wherein now wee see it.Lyons.Lyons in France hath suffered wonderfully by the same inconveniences;Marsilia.and Marsilia within the dayes of my knowledge had a wonderfull great traffike for many places of Turkey, Barbary, Spaine, and other kingdomes, and was then able to shew many ships imployed in merchandise, carrying thirty and forty peeces of Ordnance, and now which is not above 24. in 25. yeares past, the best of their vessels have not above ten peeces, and of those but very few neither.

English East-India trade.Here I could also particularize the fetters, Incroachments, and Intrusions that have within these late yeares been laid upon the East-India traders of England, and their liberties, and what they have suffered both abroad and at home, by the ill wishers of their prosperity; but what will it availe them, or benefit our countrey, to travell into the disturbations, Edition: current; Page: [106] crosses, and afflictions, which they have, to their prejudice, felt, and to their losse suffered? It sufficeth me here to say, that the want of due and timely protection, and incouragement from the Estate, hath reduced them to that bad point, and low passe, wherein we now observe them to bee; and that for the future erecting of such a brave society, a great deale of time, and money must be expended, and many larger immunities then formerly must be granted, ere the same can be reduced to that pristine flourishing estate we lately have beheld it to be in.

Turkey, and Moscovia Company in England.I could also here, by way of addition, say somewhat of those disturbances, that the Turkey, Moscovia, and other Companies of London have groaned under; but I trust the goodnesse of our Soveraigne, and the wisdome of his Counsellors, will rectifie the same, or remunerate them by fitting encouragements some other wayes; lest thereby the same be reduced to the present condition of the East-India Company, to His Majesties great losse and dishonour, and to the wonderfull prejudice of his people and kingdomes.

Now, having thus handled the 3. first considerations of trade, and observed that neither naturall nor artificiall commodities of a kingdom can inrich a countrey without the helpe and hand of traffike; and then shewed what commodities by a well ordered traffike, a Kingdom must suffer entrance, and what prohibit, and what againe to send out, and also what to forbid, and withall shewed the particular meanes and wayes that Princes are observed to use to gaine, settle, preserve, and augment the same with the laborious and studious courses that have beene taken by sundry late Princes to obtaine and purchase this so beneficiall a commodity:The reasons that doe move Princes to covet trade in their Kingdomes. I come now to the last point and consideration before mentioned, wherein the rest is for the most part comprehended, being the Edition: current; Page: [107] reasons and causes that move all estates, Kings and Empires to covet the same, which I may say doth extend it selfe into foure heads and principall parts.

1 Honourable.The first is, that traffike with forraigne nations is notable in respect of the honour and reputation thereof.

2 Rich.Secondly, excellent in point of riches, both to the King, his Countrey, and Subjects.

3 Strong.Thirdly, eminent in regard of strength offensive and defensive, that it brings with it to the Countrey and Princes where it is orderly managed, and regularly practised by skilfull Merchants.

Traffike is honourable to the people and country.First then, a well governed traffike, practised in a Kingdome, by judicious and expert Merchants, to forraigne and remote countries, will easily bee granted, and confessed to bee both honourable, and of singular reputation, both to the Soveraigne in his particular, and to the nation in generall. I need not seeke farre for examples, nor search much for arguments to make this good and manifest, but only looke upon this our kingdome wherein wee live.Experienced in the English. How had ever the name of the English beene knowne in India, Persia, Moscovia, or in Turkey, and in many places else-where, had not the traffike of our Nation discovered and spread abroad the fame of their Soveraigne Potency, and the renowne of that peoples valour and worth? Many parts of the world had, peradventure even to this day, lived in ignorance thereof, and never dreamt of the inhabitants of so small an Iland, had not the traffike of the Merchants by Navigation made it famous over all those remote Regions.

And in the Portugall and Hollander.Nay, the Portugals, and Hollanders, an obscure people, in comparison of the English, and enjoying but a handfull of those subjects, that are comprehended under the Scepter of great Britaine, have by this onely meanes given witnesse and good testimony, to many Edition: current; Page: [108] powerfull remote nations, of their countries worth and honour.

What brought the Portugall nation to be famoused in Affrica and Asia, or the Spanish name to bee notable in America, but her traffike and Commerce.

The commerce, and not the conquests of the English have made them famous in India.It is not our conquests, but our Commerce; it is not our swords, but our sayls, that first spred the English name in Barbary, and thence came into Turkey, Armenia, Moscovia, Arabia, Persia, India, China, and indeed over and about the world; it is the traffike of their Merchants, and the boundlesse desires of that nation to eternize the English honour and name, that hath enduced them to saile, and seek into all the corners of the earth. What part is there unsearched, what place undiscovered, or what place lyes unattempted by their endeavours, and couragious undertakings?League contracted by the English Merchants with forraigne Princes. most of which hath beene accompanied with such fortunate successe, that they have contracted Leagues and Amity with the Mogull, Persian, Turke, Moscovite, and other mighty forraigne Princes in their Soveraignes name, and to his honour; which even in our Fathers dayes was not knowne to us, either to have any such condition, or being the Merchants of England. And to speak truth of London, maintaining now at their charge an Agent in Moscovia, an Ambassadour and three Consuls in Turkey, and certaine Presidents and Agents also in India,At their own charge 100000.1. yearely. Persia, and many other places thereof, which by computation cannot cost them lesse then one hundred thousand pounds yearely (which thought it may be alledged is for their own profit, & the benefit of their traffike into these parts) yet for as much as that it is not chargeable to their Soveraigne, nor prejudiciall, but profitable to his Kingdomes, it must be granted that the same brings honour to his name, and a great benefit both to him and his subjects; and Edition: current; Page: [109] it is more then can be paralleld in all other Christian or heathen Countries now in the world.

The Danes, Sweeds and Germans not knowne in India, &c.The Danes and Swedish nations are potent, and the French are yet more powerfull in Europe; yet if you travell into India, Persia, and many of those Easterne Kingdomes of the world, they know of no such people, Kings or Countries, but hold all Europe to be inhabited by the Portugals, English and Dutch; nay the French are hardly knowne in Moscovia and Russia, save by name, but not by their worth or actions; and the Emperour of Germany, the greatest of our Christian Princes, for all his eminence and power in Christendome, is not in India, knowne, no nor yet in Persia, save for some leagues, which the Sophy would sometimes have contracted with him, to the prejudice of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.

So that by what hath beene said, the Commerce of Merchants, though many times it be accompanied with losse and prejudice to themselves, and estates, and that they are enforced to expose their fortunes to the mercy of mercilesse stormes and tempests, & be subject to the Lawes of Heathenish Princes, and groan under the heavy customes of many Soveraignes and Infidels; yet is it still attended upon with a great deale of honour to their owne Prince, and reputation to his subjects: Therefore I will conclude here this point, that a well ordered traffike managed by skilfull Merchants, hath beene, and ever will be, honourable to that Kingdome and Soveraigne, where the same is duely practised, and carefully protected, and preserved.

2. Traffike is excellect in point of Riches, two wayes.The second point is in regard of Riches, and the benefit that traffike bringeth with it, where the same is preserved with fitting priviledges, and practised with regular order and method; and this Riches extendeth itselfe two wayes.

1. To the King and his Nobles.In the first place to the Soveraigne, his Nobles and Edition: current; Page: [110] Gentry, in the particular of their owne estates and Interests.

2 To his people.Secondly to his subjects, the inhabitants in generall; As to the Sea-men, Husbandmen, Artificers, Labourers, and others.

How it inricheth the King.First for the Prince, or Soveraigne, it particularly inricheth him by his customes and imposts, imposed inwards, and outwards upon all commodities and wares, either imported or exported, in or out of his Kingdomes and Dominions, by the Merchant, and also by venting, and dispersing of such wares, and merchandises, as hee appropriateth to himselfe, either by purchase, prerogative, or by right of his Crowne; as we find it to doe by the Gabell of Bay-salt, to the King of France, by the property of silke to the King of Persia, by the Mines of Copper to the grand Signior,How the Nobility. and by the preemption of Tyn to His Majestie of England, and next it proveth beneficiall to the Nobility and Gentry, by the improvement of their lands, by the improvement of their lands, by the sale and working of their clothes, by the use of their Timber, by the vent of their Cattle, Graine, and other provisions, and in many regards, which experience daily maketh evident, both in this, and all other Kingdomes where the same is practised.

How the countrey.Secondly, it inricheth the inhabitants of a countrey in the generall, by setting Arts-men on worke, by imploying the poore, by furthering and incouraging of all professions whatsoever; for every Arts-man, Worke-man and Artificer, is conducible one way or other to traffike, and every hand is set on worke, where a well governed Commerce is observed to be driven, and exercised by judicious and skilfull Merchants, and to the whole countrey in generall it is found beneficially by venting the native commodities of that land, as experience tels us, in Persia by the vent of their raw Edition: current; Page: [111] silkes, in France by the vent of their Wines, Oyles, Lynens, Graine, &c. in Zante by the vent of their Corrence, in Spaine by the vent of their Wines, Fruits, Sugars, &c. and in England by the vent of their Tinne, Cloath, Lead, &c. as the like may be said of many other countries.

3 Traffike produceth strength two wayes.Thirdly and lastly, it produceth strength and safety to the Kingdome and people, where the same is duly and orderly practised.

That which begets wealth, also doth beget strength.Now this strength and safety may be considered two wayes; either defensive or offensive; if my former assertions be granted, That a well ordered trade doth enrich a Prince, his nobles, gentiles and Subjects, as of necessity it must, it will be easie for mee to make good this point also; for that which produceth Riches, doth consequently also beget strength and safety, so farre forth as treasure is accounted the principal nerve and sinnew of war, either offensive, or defensive; but to come to some particulars.

How traffike doth beget strengsh.It furnisheth the Prince, and his subjects, having maritime ports, with plenty of shipping, and store of Mariners, to manage and sayle the same, in all occasions of the state and countrey by sea; and it furnisheth the same with all fitting Ammunition of and for warre, as Powder, Armes, and other the like necessaries; and by land it maketh the countrey a Magazine, not only for war-like provisions, brought in for the use of the Prince, and the Kingdome it selfe, but also for all other neighbouring countries that stand in need thereof.

An excellent plot of the Hollanders to inrich themselves.I may here fitly bring in Holland to make good this point to all the world, who, though exercised in continuall warfare, and daily pressed, and sometimes oppressed by a potent Enemy; yet their industrious traffike into forraigne parts, is handled and practised with so much benefit, countenanced from the State and good Iudgement, that the same doth not onely supply their Edition: current; Page: [112] owne occasions, with what warlike provisions they want, but withall have thereof in such abundance, that from their owne states they furnish freely all other neighbouring countries whatsoever therewith; for the Arts-men that are by them employed daily, in building of ships, casting of Artillery, making of Muskets, shot, powder, swords, pikes, corslets, cordage, Canvas, and the like Habiliments of warre, doe not only supply their owne turnes, and necessities, and that both cheape and plentifull; but herein proceed so farre, contrary to the politike Rules of many countries, that they sell, and vent their over-plus; yea even to the Spaniards their very enemies conceiving it, no ill trick of thrift, nor yet small point of State-stratagem, to draw thus the monies and wealth of their greatest adversaries to be a reward to their owne labour and industry, and so sell as it may be said (for monies to their foes) the very sword, which peradventure may afterwards be imployed in the cutting of their owne throats, but being instruments considerable, and which must necessarily be had in warre, and which will be by their enemies had elsewhere for monies, if not of them, they chuse rather thus to sell them, and so by permitting an unusuall policy of state, endeavour for their monies to give them with their owne consents, and that voluntarily, and of their owne accord, what they cannot with their best of policie otherwise prevent, and what their enemies will bee furnished withall, in despight of their utmost endeavours else-where.

I need not insist further upon this point, having declared the honour, benefit, and strength, both offensive and defensive, which doth arise to a Common-wealth or Countrey by a well ordered traffike, managed by Regular and Iudicious Merchants, I could here adde to what I have said before in the behalfe of the Merchant, and shew that as hee can in many things Edition: current; Page: [113] advance his countrey before a meere States-man, so also declare the Nobility of his art, and the excellency of his profession, no one vocation in the world requiring a more generall knowledge, and inspection into all other professions then this doth; and withall make it appeare, that hee is the best of Common-wealths men, both towards his Prince, and fellow-subjects; and that for the most part all other professions live, and have their subsistence from others, hee only giving by traffike a lively-hood to others, and no way dependent, but upon himselfe, and his owne labour and endeavours; as it will easily appeare to any judicious man that shall examine his profession, and compare the same with others.

But I will conclude this discourse, and take it by what hath beene said for granted, as for a truth undeniable, That the excellency of a well ordered traffike, is such and so singular, and the effects thereof so notably beneficiall to a kingdome, and in its selfe so admirable, and the discreet and skilful Merchants endeavours so laudable, and his art so eminently honorable, that it requireth and duly challengeth.

A Royall Protection, and Reall Encouragement from all Kings and Princes, a faire respect from all Nobles, a love from all persons, and well wishes from all those their Countreymen, that tender the Profit, Advancement and Honour, both of the King and Countrey, &c.

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THOMAS MUN, ENGLAND’S TREASURE BY FORRAIGN TRADE.
OR. The Ballance of our Forraign Trade is the Rule of our Treasure.

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To the Right Honourable THOMAS EARL OF SOUTH-HAMPTON,
Lord High Treasurer of England, Lord Warden of the New Forrest, Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and one of His Majesty’s most Honourable Privy Council.

MY LORD,

I Present this ensuing Treatise to your Lordship as its proper Patron, to whom, by vertue of your great Trust (the greatest, doubtless, in this Kingdome) the management of his Majesty’s Treasure, and improvement of his Revenue, are most peculiarly committed.

The title of it (Englands Treasure by Forraign Trade) alone bespeaks your notice, the Argument (being of publick a nature) may invite your perusall, but the Tract itself will, I hope, deserve your Lordships Protection. It was left me in the nature of a Legacy by my Father, for whose sake I cannot but value it as one of my best Moveables, and as such I dedicate it to your Lordship.

He was in his time famous amongst Merchants, and well known to most men of business, for his general Edition: current; Page: [118] Experience of Affairs, and notable Insight into Trade; neither was he less observed for his Integrity to his Prince, and Zeal to the Common-wealth: the serious Discourses of such men are commonly not unprofitable.

To your Lordships judgement I submit this Treatise, and my presumption herein to your Pardon.

My Lord,
Your most faithful and obedient Servant,
John Mun.

THE ARGUMENTS.

  • CHAP. I. The knowledge and qualities, which are required to be in a perfect Merchant of forraign trade. pag. 121
  • CHAP. II. The general rule whereby this Kingdom is enriched, and our Treasure augmented. 125
  • CHAP. III. The particular ways and means to encrease the exportation of our commodities, and to decrease our consumption of forraign wares. 127
  • CHAP. IV. The Exportation of our Monies in Trade of Merchandize, is a means to encrease our Treasure. 134
  • CHAP. V. Forraign Trade is the only means to improve the price of our Lands. 141
  • CHAP. VI. The Spanish treasure cannot be kept from other Kingdoms, by any prohibition made in Spain. 143
  • CHAP. VII. The Diversity of gain by forraign Trade. 146
  • CHAP. VIII. The enhancing or debasing our moneys cannot enrich the Kingdom with treasure, nor hinder the exportation thereof. 148
  • CHAP. IX. A tolleration for forraign Coins to pass current here at higher rates than their value with our Standard, will not encrease our treasure. 152
  • CHAP. X. The observation of the Statute of Imployments to be made by Strangers cannot encrease nor yet preserve our treasure. 153 Edition: current; Page: [120]
  • CHAP. XI. It will not encrease our treasure to enjoyn the Merchant that exporteth Fish, Corn, or munition, to return all or part of the value in mony. 157
  • CHAP. XII. The undervaluation of our mony which is delivered or received by bills of Exchange here or beyond the Seas cannot decrease our treasure. 158
  • CHAP. XIII. The Merchant who is a meer Exchanger of mony by bills, cannot encrease or decrease or treasure. 162
  • CHAP. XIV. The admirable feats supposed to be done by Bankers, and the Merchants Exchange. 164
  • CHAP. XV. Of some Excesses and Evils in the Commonwealth, which notwithstanding decay not our trade, nor treasure. 178
  • CHAP. XVI. How the Revenues and In-comes of Princes may justly be raised. 181
  • CHAP. XVII. Whether it be necessary for great Princes to lay up store of treasure. 185
  • CHAP. XVIII. How much treasure a Prince may conveniently lay up yearly. 188
  • CHAP. XIX. Of some different effects which proceed from natural and artificial wealth. 191
  • CHAP. XX. The order and means whereby we may draw up the ballance of our forraign trade, which is the rule of our treasure. 204
  • CHAP. XXI. The conclusion upon all that hath been said concerning the Exportation, or Importation of treasure. 208

MY Son, In a former Discourse I have endeavoured after my manner briefly to teach thee two things: The first is Piety, how to fear God aright, according to his Works and Word. The second is Policy, how to love and serve thy Country, by instructing thee in the duties and proceedings of sundry Vocations, which either order, or else act the affairs of the Common-wealth; In which as some things doe especially tend to Preserve, and others are more apt to Enlarge the same: So am I to speak of Money, which doth indifferently serve to both those happy ends. Wherein I will observe this order, First, to show the general means whereby a Kingdom may be enriched; and then proceed to those particular courses by which Princes are accustomed to be supplied with Treasure. But first of all I will say something of the Merchant, because he must be a Principal Agent in this great business.

Chap. I.: 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 Edition: current; Page: [122] 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.

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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 Edition: current; Page: [124] 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 Edition: current; Page: [125] 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.

Chap. II.: The means to enrich this Kingdom, and to encrease our Treasure.

ALthough a Kingdom may be enriched by gifts received, or by purchase taken from some other Nations, yet these are things uncertain and of small consideration when they happen.Forraign Trade is the rule of our Treasure. The ordinary means therefore to increase our wealth and treasure is by Forraign Trade, wherein wee must ever observe this rule; to sell more to strangers yearly than wee consume of theirs in value. For suppose that when this Kingdom is plentifully served with the Cloth, Lead, Tinn, Iron, Fish and other native commodities, we doe yearly export the overplus to forraign Countreys to the value of twenty two hundred thousand pounds; by which means we are enabled beyond the Seas to buy and bring in forraign wares for our use and Consumptions, to the value of twenty hundred thousand pounds: By this order duly kept in our trading, we may rest assured that the Kingdom shall be enriched yearly two hundred thousand pounds, which must be brought to us in so much Treasure; because that part of our Edition: current; Page: [126] stock which is not returned to us in wares must necessarily be brought home in treasure.

For in this case it cometh to pass in the stock of a Kingdom, as in the estate of a private man; who is supposed to have one thousand pounds yearly revenue and two thousand pounds of ready money in his Chest: If such a man through excess shall spend one thousand five hundred pounds per annum, all his ready mony will be gone in four years; and in the like time his said money will be doubled if he take a Frugal course to spend but five hundred pounds per annum, which rule never faileth likewise in the Commonwealth, but in some cases (of no great moment) which I will hereafter declare, when I shall shew by whom and in what manner this ballance of the Kingdoms account ought to be drawn up yearly, or so often as it shall please the State to discover how much we gain or lose by trade with forraign Nations. But first I will say something concerning those ways and means which will encrease our exportations and diminish our importations of wares; which being done, I will then set down some other arguments both affirmative and negative to strengthen that which is here declared, and thereby to show that all the other means which are commonly supposed to enrich the Kingdom with Treasure are altogether insufficient and meer fallacies.

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Chap. III.: The particular ways and means to encrease the exportation of our commodities, and to decrease our Consumption of forraign wares.

THe revenue or stock of a Kingdom by which it is provided of forraign wares is either Natural or Artificial. The Natural wealth is so much only as can be spared from our own use and necessities to be exported unto strangers. The Artificial consists in our manufactures and industrious trading with forraign commodities, concerning which I will set down such particulars as may serve for the cause we have in hand.

1. First, although this Realm be already exceeding rich by nature, yet might it be much encreased by laying the waste grounds (which are infinite) into such employments as should no way hinder the present revenues of other manured lands, but hereby to supply our selves and prevent the importations of Hemp, Flax, Cordage, Tobacco, and divers other things which now we fetch from strangers to our great impoverishing.

2. We may likewise diminish our importations, if we would soberly refrain from excessive consumption of forraign wares in our diet and rayment, with such often change of fashions as is used, so much the more to encrease the waste and charge; which vices at this present are more notorious amongst us than in former ages. Yet might they easily be amended by enforcing the observation of such good laws as are strictly practised in other Countries against the said excesses; where likewise by commanding their own manufactures to be used, they prevent the coming in of others, Edition: current; Page: [128] without prohibition, or offence to strangers in their mutual commerce.

3. In our exportations we must not only regard our own superfluities, but also we must consider our neighbours necessities, that so upon the wares which they cannot want, nor yet be furnished thereof elsewhere, we may (besides the vent of the Materials) gain so much of the manufacture as we can, and also endeavour to sell them dear, so far forth as the high price cause not a less vent in the quantity. But the superfluity of our commodities which strangers use, and may also have the same from other Nations, or may abate their vent by the use of some such like wares from other places, and with little inconvenience; we must in this case strive to sell as cheap as possible we can, rather than to lose the utterance of such wares. For we have found of late years by good experience, that being able to sell our Cloth cheap in Turkey, we have greatly encreased the vent thereof, and the Venetians have lost as much in the utterance of theirs in those Countreys, because it is dearer. And on the other side a few years past, when by the excessive price of Wools our Cloth was exceeding dear, we lost at the least half our clothing for forraign parts, which since is no otherwise (well neer) recovered again than by the great fall of price for Wools and Cloth.The State in some occasions may gain most, when private men by their revenues get least. We find that twenty five in the hundred less in the price of these and some other Wares, to the loss of private mens revenues, may raise above fifty upon the hundred in the quantity vented to the benefit of the publique. For when Cloth is dear, other Nations doe presently practice clothing, and we know they want neither art nor materials to this performance. But when by cheapness we drive them from this employment, and so in time obtain our dear price again, then do they also use their former remedy. So that by these alterations we learn, that Edition: current; Page: [129] it is in vain to expect a greater revenue of our wares than their condition will afford, but rather it concerns us to apply our endeavours to the times with care and diligence to help our selves the best we may, by making our cloth and other manufactures without deceit, which will encrease their estimation and use.

4. The value of our exportations likewise may be much advanced when we perform it our selves in our own Ships, for then we get only not the price of our wares as they are worth here, but also the Merchants gains, the charges of ensurance, and fraight to carry them beyond the seas. As for example, if the Italian Merchants should come hither in their own shipping to fetch our Corn, our red Herrings or the like, in this case the Kingdom should have ordinarily but 25s. for a quarter of Wheat, and 20s. for a barrel of red herrings, whereas if we carry these wares our selves into Italy upon the said rates, it is likely that wee shall obtain fifty shillings for the first, and forty shillings for the last, which is a great difference in the utterance or vent of the Kingdoms stock. And although it is true that the commerce ought to be free to strangers to bring in and carry out at their pleasure, yet nevertheless in many places the exportation of victuals and munition are either prohibited, or at least limited to be done onely by the people and Shipping of those places where they abound.

5. The frugal expending likewise of our own natural wealth might advance much yearly to be exported unto strangers; and if in our rayment we will be prodigal, yet let this be done with our own materials and manufactures, as Cloth, Lace, Imbroderies, Cut-works and the like, where the excess of the rich may be the employment of the poor, whose labours notwithstanding of this kind, would be more profitable for the Commonwealth, if they were done to the use of strangers.

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6. The Fishing in his Majesties seas of England, Scotland, and Ireland is our natural wealth, and would cost nothing but labour, which the Dutch bestow willingly, and thereby draw yearly a very great profit to themselves by serving many places of Christendom with our Fish, for which they return and supply their wants both of forraign Wares and Mony, besides the multitude of Mariners and Shipping, which hereby are maintain’d, whereof a long discourse might be made to show the particular manage of this important business. Our fishing plantation likewise in New-England, Virginia, Groenland, the Summer Islands and the Newfound-land, are of the like nature, affording much wealth and employments to maintain a great number of poor, and to encrease our decaying trade.

How some States have been made Rich.7. A Staple or Magazin for forraign Corn, Indigo, Spices, Raw-silks, Cotton wool or any other commodity whatsoever, to be imported will encrease Shipping, Trade, Treasure, and the Kings customes, by exporting them again where need shall require, which course of Trading, hath been the chief means to raise Venice, Genoa, the low-Countreys, with some others; and for such a purpose England stands most commodiously, wanting nothing to this performance but our own diligence and endeavour.

8. Also wee ought to esteem and cherish those trades which we have in remote or far Countreys, for besides the encrease of Shipping and Mariners thereby, the wares also sent thither and receiv’d from thence are far more profitable unto the kingdom than by our trades neer at hand; As for example; suppose Pepper to be worth here two Shillings the pound constantly, if then it be brought from the Dutch at Amsterdam, the Merchant may give there twenty pence the pound, and gain well by the bargain; but if he fetch this Pepper from the East-indies, he must not give above Edition: current; Page: [131] three pence the pound at the most,The traffick to the East Indies is our most profitable trade in its proportion both for King and Kingdom. which is a mighty advantage, not only in that part which serveth for our own use, but also for that great quantity which (from hence) we transport yearly unto divers other Nations to be sold at a higher price: whereby it is plain, that we make a far greater stock by gain upon these Indian Commodities,We get more by the Indian wares than the Indians themselves. than those Nations doe where they grow, and to whom they properly appertain, being the natural wealth of their Countries. But for the better understanding of this particular, we must ever distinguish between the gain of the Kingdom,A distinction between the Kingdoms gain and the Merchants profit. and the profit of the Merchant; for although the Kingdom payeth no more for this Pepper than is before supposed, nor for any other commodity bought in forraign parts more than the stranger receiveth from us for the same, yet the Merchant payeth not only that price, but also the fraight, ensurance, customes and other charges which are exceeding great in these long voyages; but yet all these in the Kingdoms accompt are but commutations among our selves, and no Privation of the Kingdoms stock, which being duly considered, together with the support also of our other trades in our best Shipping to Italy, France, Turkey, the East Countreys and other places, by transporting and venting the wares which we bring yearly from the East Indies; It may well stir up our utmost endeavours to maintain and enlarge this great and noble business, so much importing the Publique wealth, Strength, and Happiness. Neither is there less honour and judgment by growing rich (in this manner) upon the stock of other Nations, than by an industrious encrease of our own means, especially when this later is advanced by the benefit of the former, as we have found in the East Indies by sale of much of our Tin, Cloth, Lead and other Commodities, the vent whereof doth daily Edition: current; Page: [132] encrease in those Countreys which formerly had no use of our wares.

9. It would be very beneficial to export money as well as wares, being done in trade only, it would encrease our Treasure; but of this I write more largely in the next Chapter to prove it plainly.

10. It were policie and profit for the State to suffer manufactures made of forraign Materials to be exported custome-free, as Velvets and all other wrought Silks, Fustians, thrown Silks and the like, it would employ very many poor people, and much encrease the value of our stock yearly issued into other Countreys, and it would (for this purpose) cause the more forraign Materials to be brought in, to the improvement of His Majesties Customes. I will here remember a notable increase in our manufacture of winding and twisting only of forraign raw Silk, which within 35. years to my knowledge did not employ more than 300. people in the City and suburbs of London, where at this present time it doth set on work above fourteen thousand souls, as upon diligent enquiry hath been credibly reported unto His Majesties Commissioners for Trade. And it is certain, that if the said forraign Commodities might be exported from hence, free of custome, this manufacture would yet encrease very much, and decrease as fast in Italy and in the Netherlands. But if any man allege the Dutch proverb, Live and let others live; I answer, that the Dutchmen notwithstanding their own Proverb, doe not onely in these Kingdoms, encroach upon our livings, but also in other forraign parts of our trade (where they have power) they do hinder and destroy us in our lawful course of living, hereby taking the bread out of our mouth, which we shall never prevent by plucking the pot from their nose, as of late years too many of us do practise Edition: current; Page: [133] to the great hurt and dishonour of this famous Nation; We ought rather to imitate former times in taking sober and worthy courses more pleasing to God and suitable to our ancient reputation.

11. It is needful also not to charge the native commodities with too great customes, lest by indearing them to the strangers use, it hinder their vent. And especially forraign wares brought in to be transported again should be favoured, for otherwise that manner of trading (so much importing the good of the Commonwealth) cannot prosper nor subsist. But the Consumption of such forraign wares in the Realm may be the more charged, which will turn to the profit of the kingdom in the Ballance of the Trade, and thereby also enable the King to lay up the more Treasure out of his yearly incomes, as of this particular I intend to write more fully in his proper place, where I shall shew how much money a Prince may conveniently lay up without the hurt of his subjects.

12. Lastly, in all things we must endeavour to make the most we can of our own, whether it be Natural or Artificial; And forasmuch as the people which live by the Arts are far more in number than they who are masters of the fruits, we ought the more carefully to maintain those endeavours of the multitude, in whom doth consist the greatest strength and riches both of King and Kingdom: for where the people are many, and the arts good, there the traffique must be great, and the Countrey rich. The Italians employ a greater number of people, and get more money by their industry and manufactures of the raw Silks of the Kingdom of Cicilia, than the King of Spain and his Subjects have by the revenue of this rich commodity. But what need we fetch the example so far, when we know that our own natural wares doe not yield us so much profit as our industry? For Iron oar in the Edition: current; Page: [134] Mines is of no great worth, when it is compared with the employment and advantage it yields being digged, tried, transported, bought, sold, cast into Ordnance, Muskets, and many other instruments of war for offence and defence, wrought into Anchors, bolts, spikes, nayles and the like, for the use of Ships, Houses, Carts, Coaches, Ploughs, and other instruments for Tillage. Compare our Fleece-wools with our Cloth, which requires shearing, washing, carding, spinning, Weaving, fulling, dying, dressing and other trimmings, and we shall find these Arts more profitable than the natural wealth, whereof I might instance other examples, but I will not be more tedious, for if I would amplify upon this and the other particulars before written, I might find matter sufficient to make a large volume, but my desire in all is only to prove what I propound with brevity and plainness.

Chap. IV.: The Exportation of our Moneys in Trade of Merchandize is a means to encrease our Treasure.

THis Position is so contrary to the common opinion, that it will require many and strong arguments to prove it before it can be accepted of the Multitude, who bitterly exclaim when they see any monies carried out of the Realm; affirming thereupon that wee have absolutely lost so much Treasure, and that this is an act directly against the long continued laws made and confirmed by the wisdom of this Kingdom in the High Court of Parliament, and that many places, nay Spain it self which is the Fountain of Mony, forbids the exportation thereof, some cases only excepted. To all which I might answer, that Venice, Florence, Genoa, Edition: current; Page: [135] the Low Countreys and divers other places permit it, their people applaud it, and find great benefit by it; but all this makes a noise and proves nothing, we must therefore come to those reasons which concern the business in question.

First, I will take that for granted which no man of judgment will deny, that we have no other means to get Treasure but by forraign trade, for Mines wee have none which do afford it, and how this mony is gotten in the managing of our said Trade I have already shewed, that it is done by making our commodities which are exported yearly to over ballance in value the forraign wares which we consume; so that it resteth only to shew how our moneys may be added to our commodities, and being jointly exported may so much the more encrease our Treasure.

Wee have already supposed our yearly consumptions of forraign wares to be for the value of twenty hundred thousand pounds, and our exportations to exceed that two hundred thousand pounds, which sum wee have thereupon affirmed is brought to us in treasure to ballance the accompt. But now if we add three hundred thousand pounds more in ready mony unto our former exportations in wares, what profit can we have (will some men say) although by this means we should bring in so much ready mony more than wee did before, seeing that wee have carried out the like value.

To this the answer is, that when wee have prepared our exportations of wares, and sent out as much of every thing as wee can spare or vent abroad:Money begets trade and trade encreaseth mony. It is not therefore said that then we should add our money thereunto to fetch in the more mony immediately, but rather first to enlarge our trade by enabling us to bring in more forraign wares, which being sent out again will in due time much encrease our Treasure.

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For although in this manner wee do yearly multiply our importations to the maintenance of more Shipping and Mariners, improvement of His Majesties Customs and other benefits: yet our consumption of those forraign wares is no more than it was before; so that all the said encrease of commodities brought in by the means of our ready mony sent out as is afore written, doth in the end become an exportation unto us of a far greater value than our said moneys were, which is proved by three several examples following.

1. For I suppose that 100000.l. being sent in our Shipping to the East Countreys, will buy there one hundred thousand quarters of wheat cleer aboard the Ships, which being after brought into England and housed, to export the same at the best time for vent thereof in Spain or Italy, it cannot yield less in those parts than two hundred thousand pounds to make the Merchant but a saver, yet by this reckning wee see the Kingdom hath doubled that Treasure.

Remote trades are most gainful to the Commonwealth.2. Again this profit will be far greater when wee trade thus in remote Countreys, as for example, if wee send one hundred thousand pounds into the East-Indies to buy Pepper there, and bring it hither, and from hence send it for Italy or Turkey, it must yield seven hundred thousand pounds at least in those places, in regard of the excessive charge which the Merchant disburseth in those long voyages in Shipping, Wages, Victuals, Insurance, Interest, Customes, Imposts, and the like, all which notwithstanding the King and the Kingdom gets.

3. But where the voyages are short & the wares rich, which therefore will not employ much Shipping, the profit will be far less. As when another hundred thousand pounds shall be employed in Turkey in raw Silks, and brought hither to be after transported from hence into France, the Low Countreys, or Germany, Edition: current; Page: [137] the Merchant shall have good gain, although he sell it there but for one hundred and fifty thousand pounds: and thus take the voyages altogether in their Medium, the moneys exported will be returned unto us more than Trebled. But if any man will yet object, that these returns come to us in wares, and not really in mony as they were issued out,

The answer is (keeping our first ground) that if our consumption of forraign wares be no more yearly than is already supposed, and that our exportations be so mightily encreased by this manner of Trading with ready money, as is before declared: It is not then possible but that all the over ballance or difference should return either in mony or in such wares as we must export again, which, as is already plainly shewed will be still a greater means to encrease our Treasure.

For it is in the stock of the Kingdom as in the estates of private men, who having store of wares, doe not therefore say that they will not venture out or trade with their mony (for this were ridiculous) but do also turn that into wares, whereby they multiply their Mony,The Proverb saith, He that hath ware hath mony by the year. and so by a continual and orderly change of one into the other grow rich, and when they please turn all their estates into Treasure; for they that have Wares cannot want mony.

Neither is it said that Mony is the Life of Trade, as if it could not subsist without the same; for we know that there was great trading by way of commutation or barter when there was little mony stirring in the world. The Italians and some other Nations have such remedies against this want, that it can neither decay nor hinder their trade, for they transfer bills of debt, and have Banks both publick and private, wherein they do assign their credits from one to another daily for very great sums with ease and satisfaction by writings only, whilst in the mean time the Mass of Edition: current; Page: [138] Treasure which gave foundation to these credits is employed in Forraign Trade as a Merchandize, and by the said means they have little other use of money in those countreys more than for their ordinary expences. It is not therefore the keeping of our mony in the Kingdom, but the necessity and use of our wares in forraign Countries, and our want of their commodities that causeth the vent and consumption on all sides, which makes a quick and ample Trade. If wee were once poor, and now having gained some store of mony by trade with resolution to keep it still in the Realm; shall this cause other Nations to spend more of our commodities than formerly they have done, whereby we might say that our trade is Quickned and Enlarged? no verily, it will produce no such good effect: but rather according to the alteration of times by their true causes wee may expect the contrary; for all men do consent that plenty of mony in a Kingdom doth make the native commodities dearer, which as it is to the profit of some private men in their revenues, so is it directly against the benefit of the Publique in the quantity of the trade; for as plenty of mony makes wares dearer, so dear wares decline their use and consumption, as hath been already plainly shewed in the last Chapter upon that particular of our cloth; And although this is a very hard lesson for some great landed men to learn, yet I am sure it is a true lesson for all the land to observe, lest when wee have gained some store of mony by trade, wee lose it again by not trading with our mony. I knew a Prince in Italy (of famous memory) Ferdinando the first, great Duke of Tuscanie, who being very rich in Treasure, endeavoured therewith to enlarge his trade by issuing out to his Merchants great sums of money for very small profit; I my self had forty thousand crowns of him gratis for a whole year, although he knew that Edition: current; Page: [139] I would presently send it away in Specie for the parts of Turkey to be employed in wares for his Countries, he being well assured that in this course of trade it would return again (according to the old saying) with a Duck in the mouth. This noble and industrious Prince by his care and diligence to countenance and favour Merchants in their affairs, did so encrease the practice thereof, that there is scarce a Nobleman or Gentleman in all his dominions that doth not Merchandize either by himself or in partnership with others, whereby within these thirty years the trade to his port of Leghorn is so much encreased, that of a poor little town (as I my self knew it) it is now become a fair and strong City, being one of the most famous places for trade in all Christendom. And yet it is worthy our observation, that the multitude of Ships and wares which come thither from England, the Low Countreys, and other places, have little or no means to make their returns from thence but only in ready mony, which they may and do carry away freely at all times, to the incredible advantage of the said great Duke of Tuscanie and his subjects, who are much enriched by the continual great concourse of Merchants from all the States of the neighbour Princes, bringing them plenty of mony daily to supply their wants of the said wares. And thus we see that the current of Merchandize which carries away their Treasure, becomes a flowing stream to fill them again in a greater measure with mony.

There is yet an objection or two as weak as all the rest: that is, if wee trade with our Mony wee shall issue out the less wares; as if a man should say, those Countreys which heretofore had occasion to consume our Cloth, Lead, Tin, Iron, Fish, and the like, shall now make use of our monies in the place of those necessaries, which were most absurd to affirm, or that Edition: current; Page: [140] the Merchant had not rather carry out wares by which there is ever some gains expected, than to export mony which is still but the same without any encrease.

But on the contrary there are many Countreys which may yield us very profitable trade for our mony, which otherwise afford us no trade at all, because they have no use of our wares, as namely the East Indies for one in the first beginning thereof, although since by industry in our commerce with those Nations we have brought them into the use of much of our Lead, Cloth, Tin, and other things, which is a good addition to the former vent of our commodities.

Again, some men have alleged that those Countries which permit mony to be carried out, do it because they have few or no wares to trade withall: but wee have great store of commodities, and therefore their action ought not to be our example.

To this the answer is briefly, that if we have such a quantity of wares as doth fully provide us of all things needful from beyond the seas: why should we then doubt that our monys sent out in trade, must not necessarily come back again in treasure; together with the great gains which it may procure in such manner as is before set down? And on the other side, if those Nations which send out their monies do it because they have but few wares of their own, how come they then to have so much Treasure as we ever see in those places which suffer it freely to be exported at all times and by whomsoever? I answer, Even by trading with their Moneys; for by what other means can they get it, having no Mines of Gold or Silver?

Thus may we plainly see, that when this weighty business is duly considered in his end, as all our humane actions ought well to be weighed, it is found much contrary to that which most men esteem thereof, because they search no further than the beginning of the work, Edition: current; Page: [141] which mis-informs their judgments,Our humane actions ought especially to be considered in their ends. and leads them into error: For if we only behold the actions of the husbandman in the seed-time when he casteth away much good corn into the ground, we will rather accompt him a mad man than a husbandman: but when we consider his labours in the harvest which is the end of his endeavours, we find the worth and plentiful encrease of his actions.

Chap. V.: Forraign Trade is the only means to improve the price of our Lands.

IT is a common saying, that plenty or scarcity of mony makes all things dear or good or cheap; and this mony is either gotten or lost in forraign trade by the over or under ballancing of the same, as I have already shewed. It resteth now that I distinguish the seeming plenties of mony from that which is only substantial and able to perform the work: For there are divers ways and means whereby to procure plenty of mony into a Kingdom, which do not enrich but rather empoverish the same by the several inconveniences which ever accompany such alterations.

As first, if we melt down our plate into Coyn (which suits not with the Majesty of so great a Kingdom, except in cases of great extremity) it would cause Plenty of mony for a time, yet should we be nothing the richer, but rather this treasure being thus altered is made the more apt to be carried out of the Kingdom, if we exceed our means by excess in forraign wares, or maintain a war by Sea or Land, where we do not feed and cloath the Souldier and supply the armies with our own native provisions, by which disorders our treasure will soon be exhausted.

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Again, if we think to bring in store of money by suffering forraign Coins to pass current at higher rates than their intrinsick value compared with our Standard, or by debasing or by enhancing our own moneys, all these have their several inconveniencies and difficulties, (which hereafter I will declare), but admitting that by this means plenty of money might be brought into the Realm, yet should we be nothing the richer, neither can such treasure so gotten long remain with us. For if the stranger or the English Merchants bring in this money, it must be done upon a valuable consideration, either for wares carried out already, or after to be exported, which helps us nothing except the evil occasions of excess or war aforenamed be removed which do exhaust our treasure: for otherwise, what one man bringeth for gain, another man shall be forced to carry out for necessity; because there shall ever be a necessity to ballance our Accounts with strangers, although it should be done with loss upon the rate of the money, and Confiscation also if it be intercepted by the Law.

How we must get Treasure to make it our own.The conclusion of this business is briefly thus. That as the treasure which is brought into the Realm by the ballance of our forraign trade is that money which onely doth abide with us, and by which we are enriched: so by this plenty of money thus gotten (and no otherwise) do our Lands improve. For when the Merchant hath a good dispatch beyond the Seas for his Cloth and other wares, he doth presently return to buy up the greater quantity, which raiseth the price of our Woolls and other commodities, and consequently doth improve the Landlords Rents as the Leases expire daily: And also by this means money being gained, and brought more abundantly into the Kingdom, it doth enable many men to buy Lands, which will make them the dearer. But if our forraign trade come to a Edition: current; Page: [143] stop or declination by neglect at home or injuries abroad, whereby the Merchants are impoverished, and thereby the wares of the Realm less issued, then do all the said benefits cease, and our Lands fall of price daily.

Chap. VI.: The Spanish Treasure cannot be kept from other Kingdoms by any prohibition made in Spain.

ALL the Mines of Gold and Silver which are as yet discovered in the sundry places of the world, are not of so great value as those of the West-Indies which are in the possession of the King of Spain: who thereby is enabled not onely to keep in subjection many goodly States and Provinces in Italy and elsewhere (which otherwise would soon fall from his obeisance) but also by a continual war taking his advantages doth still enlarge his Dominions, ambitiously aiming at a Monarchy by the power of his Moneys, which are the very sinews of his strength, that lies so far dispersed into so many Countreys, yet hereby united, and his wants supplied both for war and peace in a plentiful manner from all the parts of Christendom, which are therefore partakers of his treasure by a Necessity of Commerce; wherein the Spanish policy hath ever endeavoured to prevent all other Nations the most it could:The policie and benefit of Spain by the trade to the East Indies. For finding Spain to be too poor and barren to supply it self and the West-Indies with those varieties of forraign wares whereof they stand in need, they knew well that when their Native Commodities come short to this purpose, their Moneys must serve to make up the reckoning; whereupon they found an incredible advantage to adde the traffick of Edition: current; Page: [144] the East-Indies to the treasure of the West: for the last of these being employed in the first, they stored themselves infinitely with rich wares to barter with all the parts of Christendom for their Commodities, and so furnishing their own necessities, prevented others for carrying away their moneys: which in point of state they hold less dangerous to impart to the remote Indians, than to their neighbour Princes, lest it should too much enable them to resist (if not offend) their enemies. And this Spanish policy against others is the more remarkable, being done likewise so much to their own advantage; for every Ryal of Eight which they sent to the East-Indies brought home so much wares as saved them the disbursing of five Ryals of Eight here in Europe (at the least) to their neighbours, especially in those times when that trade was only in their hands: but now this great profit is failed, and the mischief removed by the English, Dutch, and others which partake in those East-India trades as ample as the Spanish Subjects.

It is further to be considered, that besides the disability of the Spaniards by their native commodities to provide forraign wares for their necessities, (whereby they are forced to supply the want with mony) they have likewise that canker of war, which doth infinitely exhaust their treasure, and disperse it into Christendom even to their enemies, part by reprisal, but especially through a necessary maintenance of those armies which are composed of strangers, and lie so far remote, that they cannot feed, clothe, or otherwise provide them out of their own native means and provisions, but must receive this relief from other Nations:The effects of different wars concerning Treasure. which kind of war is far different to that which a Prince maketh upon his own confines, or in his Navies by Sea, where the Souldier receiving money for his wages, must every day deliver it out again for his necessities, whereby Edition: current; Page: [145] the treasure remains still in the Kingdom, although it be exhausted from the King: But we see that the Spaniard (trusting in the power of his Treasure) undertakes wars in Germany, and in other remote places, which would soon begger the richest Kingdom in Christendom of all their mony; the want whereof would presently disorder and bring the armies to confusion, as it falleth out sometimes with Spain it self, who have the Fountain of mony, when either it is stopt in the passage by the force of their enemies, or drawn out faster than it flows by their own occasions; whereby also we often see that Gold and silver is so scant in Spain, that they are forced to use base copper money, to the great confusion of their Trade, and not without the undoing also of many of their own people.

But now that we have seen the occasions by which the Spanish treasure is dispersed into so many places of the world, let us likewise discover how and in what proportion each Countrey doth enjoy these Moneys, for we find that Turkey and divers other Nations have great plenty thereof, although they drive no trade with Spain, which seems to contradict the former reason, where we say that this treasure is obtained by a Necessity of Commerce. But to clear this point, we must know that all Nations (who have no Mines of their own) are enriched with Gold and Silver by one and the same means, which is already shewed to be the ballance of their forraign Trade: And this is not strictly tyed to be done in those Countries where the fountain of treasure is, but rather with such order and observations as are prescribed. For suppose England by trade with Spain may gain and bring home five hundred thousand Ryals of 8. yearly, if we lose as much by our trade in Turkey, and therefore carry the mony thither, it is not then the English but the Turks which have got this treasure, although they have no trade with Spain from Edition: current; Page: [146] whence it was first brought. Again, if England having thus lost with Turkey, do notwithstanding gain twice as much by France, Italy, and other members of her general trade, then will there remain five hundred thousand Ryals of eight cleer gains by the ballance of this trade: and this comparison holds between all other Nations, both for the manner of getting, and the proportion that is yearly gotten.

But if yet a question should be made, whether all Nations get treasure and Spain only lose it? I answer no; for some Countreys by war or by excess do lose that which they had gotten, as well as Spain by war and want of wares doth lose that which was its own.

Chap. VII.: The diversity of gain by Forraign Trade.

IN the course of forraign trade there are three sorts of gain, the first is that of the Commonwealth, which may be done when the Merchant (who is the principal Agent therein) shall lose. The second is the gain of the Merchant, which he doth sometimes justly and worthily effect, although the Commonwealth be a loser. The third is the gain of the King, whereof he is ever certain, even when the Commonwealth and the Merchant shall be both losers.

Concerning the first of these, we have already sufficiently shewed the ways and means whereby a Commonwealth may be enriched in the course of trade, whereof it is needless here to make any repetition, only I do in this place affirm, that such happiness may be in the Commonwealth, when the Merchant in his particular shall have no occasion to rejoyce. As for example, suppose the East-India Company send out Edition: current; Page: [147] one hundred thousand pounds into the East-Indies, and receive home for the same the full value of three hundred thousand pounds; Hereby it is evident that this part of the Commonwealth is trebled, and yet I may boldly say that which I can well prove, that the said Company of Merchants shall lose at least fifty thousand pounds by such an adventure if the returns be made in Spice, Indico, Callicoes, Benjamin, refined Saltpeter, and such other bulkey wares in their several proportions according to their vent and use in these parts of Europe. For the fraight of Shipping, the ensurance of the adventure, the charges of Factors abroad and Officers at home, the forbearance of the Stock, His Majesties Customs and Imposts, with other petty charges incident, cannot be less then two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, which being added to the principal produceth the said loss. And thus we see, that not only the Kingdom but also the King by his Customs and Imposts may get notoriously, even when the Merchant notwithstanding shall lose grievously; which giveth us good occasion here to consider, how much more the Realm is enriched by this noble Trade, when all things pass so happily that the Merchant is a gainer also with the King and Kingdom.

In the next place I affirm, that a Merchant by his laudable endeavours may both carry out and bring in wares to his advantage by selling them and buying them to good profit, which is the end of his labours; when nevertheless the Commonwealth shall decline and grow poor by a disorder in the people, when through Pride and other Excesses they do consume more forraign wares in value then the wealth of the Kingdom can satisfie and pay by the exportation of our own commodities, which is the very quality of an unthrift who spends beyond his means.

Lastly, the King is ever sure to get by trade, when Edition: current; Page: [148] both the Commonwealth and Merchant shall lose severally as afore-written, or joyntly, as it may and doth sometimes happen, when at one and the same time our Commodities are over-ballanced by forraign wares consumed, and that the Merchants success prove no better than is before declared.

But here we must not take the King’s gain in this large sense, for so we might say that His Majesty should get, although half the trade of the Kingdom were lost; we will rather suppose that whereas the whole trade of the Realm for Exportations and Importations is now found for to be about the yearly value of four millions and a half of pounds; it may be yet increased two hundred thousand pounds per annum more by the importation and consumption of forraign wares. By this means we know that the King shall be a gainer near twenty thousand pounds, but the Commonwealth shall lose the whole two hundred thousand pounds thus spent in excess. And the Merchant may be a loser also when the trade shall in this manner be increased to the profit of the King; who notwithstanding shall be sure in the end to have the greatest loss, if he prevent not such unthrifty courses as do impoverish his Subjects.

Chap. VIII.: The enhansing or debasing our Moneys cannot enrich the Kingdom with treasure, nor hinder the exportation thereof.

THere are three ways by which the Moneys of a Kingdom are commonly altered. The first is when the Coins in their several Denominations are made currant at more or less pounds, shillings or pence Edition: current; Page: [149] than formerly. The second is when the said Coins are altered in their weight, and yet continue currant at the former rates. The third is when the Standard is either debased or enriched in the fineness of the Gold and Silver, yet the Moneys continue in their former values.

In all occasions of want or plenty of Money in the Kingdom we do ever find divers men, who using their wits for a remedy to supply the first and preserve the last, they fall presently upon altering the moneys; for, say they, the raising of the Coins in value will cause it to be brought into the Realm from divers places in hope of the gain: and the debasing of the monies in the fineness or weight will keep it here for fear of the loss. But these men pleasing themselves with the beginning onely of this weighty business, consider not the progress and end thereof, whereunto we ought especially to direct our thoughts and endeavours.

Money is the measure of our other means.For we must know, that money is not only the true measure of all our other means in the Kingdom, but also of our forraign commerce with strangers, which therefore ought to be kept just and constant to avoid those confusions which ever accompany such alterations. For first at home, if the common measure be changed, our Lands, Leases, wares, both forraign and domestique must alter in proportion: and although this is not done without much trouble and damage also to some men, yet in short time this must necessarily come to pass; for that is not the denomination of our pounds, shillings and pence, which is respected, but the intrinsique value of our Coins; unto which we have little reason to add any further estimation or worth, if it lay in our power to do it, for this would be a special service to Spain,A notable service for Spain. and an act against ourselves to indear the commodity of another Prince. Neither can these courses which so much hurt the Subjects, Edition: current; Page: [150] any way help the King as some men have imagined: for although the debasing or lightning of all our mony should bring a present benefit (for once only) to the Mint, yet all this and more would soon be lost again in the future great In-comes of His Majesty, when by this means they must be paid yearly with mony of less intrinsique value than formerly; Nor can it be said that the whole loss of the Kingdom would be the profit of the King, they differ infinitely; for all mens estates (be it leases, lands, debts, wares or mony) must suffer in their proportions, whereas His Majesty should have the gain only upon so much ready mony as might be new Coined, which in comparison, would prove a very small matter: for although they who have other estates in mony are said to be a great number, and to be worth five or ten thousand l. per man,All the ready mony in this Kingdom is esteemed at little more than one million of pounds. more or less, which amounts to many millions in all, yet are they not possessed thereof all together or at once, for it were vanity and against their profit to keep continually in their hands above forty or fifty pounds in a family to defray necessary charges, the rest must ever run from man to man in traffique for their benefit, whereby we may conceive that a little mony (being made the measure of all our other means) doth rule and distribute great matters daily to all men in their just proportions: And we must know likewise that much of our old mony is worn light, and therefore would yield little or no profit at the Mint, and the gain upon the heavy, would cause our vigilant neighbours to carry over a great part thereof, and return it presently in pieces of the new stamp; nor do we doubt that some of our own Countrymen would turn Coiners and venter a hanging for this profit, so that His Majesty in the end should get little by such alterations.

Yea but say some men, If His Majesty raise the mony, great store of treasure would also be brought Edition: current; Page: [151] into the Mint from forraign parts, for we have seen by experience that the late raising of our Gold ten in the hundred, did bring in great store thereof, more than we were accustomed to have in the Kingdom, the which as I cannot deny, so do I likewise affirm, that this Gold carried away all or the most part of our Silver, (which was not over-worn or too light) as we may easily perceive by the present use of our Moneys in their respective qualities: and the reason of this change is, because our Silver was not raised in proportion with our Gold, which still giveth advantage to the Merchant to bring in the Kingdoms yearly gain by trade in Gold rather in Silver.

Secondly, if we be inconstant in our Coins, and thereby violate the Laws of forraign Commerce, other Princes are vigilant in these cases to alter presently in proportion with us, and then where is our hope? or if they do not alter, what can we hope for? For if the stranger-merchant bring in his wares, and find that our moneys are raised, shall not he likewise keep his Commodities untill he may sell them dearear? and shall not the price of the Merchants exchange with forraign Countries rise in proportion with our Moneys? All which being undoubtedly true, why may not our Moneys be carried out of the Kingdom as well and to as much profit after the raising thereof, as before the alteration?

But peradventure some men will yet say, that if our Moneys be raised and other Countries raise not, it will cause more Bullion and forraign Coines to be brought in than heretofore. If this be done, it must be performed either by the Merchant who hath exported wares, or by the Merchant who intends to buy off our Commodities: and it is manifest that neither of these can have more advantage or benefit by this Art now, than they might have had before the alteration of the Edition: current; Page: [152] Money. For if their said Bullion and forraign Coins be more worth than formerly in our pounds, shillings and pence, yet what shall they get by that when these moneys are baser or lighter, and that therefore they are risen in proportion? So we may plainly see that these Innovations are no good means to bring treasure into the Kingdom, nor yet to keep it here when we have it.

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.

THe discreet Merchant for the better directing of his trade and his exchanges by bills to and from the several places of the world where he is accustomed to deal,Merchants do or ought to know the weight and fineness of forraign Coins. doth carefully learn the Parity or equal value of the monies according to their weight and fineness compared with our Standard, whereby he is able to know perfectly the just profit or loss of his affairs. And I make no doubt but that we trade to divers places where we vent off our native commodities yearly, to a great value, and yet find few or no wares there fitting our use, whereby we are enforced to make our returns in ready mony, which by us is either carried into some other Countries to be converted into wares which we want, or else it is brought into the Realm in Specie; which being tolerated to pass current here in payment at higher rates then they are worth to be Coined into sterling mony; that seemeth very probable that the greater quantity will be brought in: but when all the circumstances are duly considered, this course likewise will be found as weak as the rest to encrease our Treasure.

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First, the toleration it self doth break the laws of entercourse, and would soon move other Princes to perform the same acts or worse against us, and so frustrate our hopes.

Secondly, if mony be the true measure of all our other means, and forraign Coins tollerated to pass current amongst us, at higher rates than they are worth (being compared with our Standard) it followeth that the common wealth shall not be justly distributed, when it passeth by a false measure.

Thirdly, if the advantage between ours and forraign Coins be but small, it will bring in little or no Treasure, because the Merchant will rather bring in wares upon which there is usually a competent gaine. And on the other side if we permit a great advantage to the forraign Coins, then that gain will carry away all our starling mony, and so I leave this business in a Dilemma, and fruitless, as all other courses will ever prove which seek for the gain or loss of our treasure out of the ballance of our general forraign trade, as I will endeavour yet further to demonstrate.

Chap. X.: The observation of the Statute of Imployments to be made by strangers, cannot encrease, nor yet preserve our Treasure.

TO keep our mony in the Kingdom is a work of no less skill and difficulty than to augment our Treasure: for the causes of their preservation and production are the same in nature. The statute for employment of strangers wares into our commodities seemeth at the first to be a good and a lawful way leading to those ends: but upon th’ examination of Edition: current; Page: [154] the particulars, we shall find that it cannot produce such good effects.

The use of Forraign Trade is alike to all Nations.For as the use of forraign trade is alike unto all Nations, so may we easily perceive what will be done therein by strangers, when we do but observe our own proceedings in this waighty business, by which we do not only seek with the vent of our own commodities to supply our wants of forraign wares, but also to enrich our selves with treasure: all which is done by a different manner of trading according to our own occasions and the nature of the places whereunto we do trade; as namely in some Countrys we sell our commodities and bring away their wares, or part in mony; in other Countreys we sell our goods and take their mony, because they have little or no wares that fits our turns, again in some places we have need of their commodities, but they have little use of ours; so they take our mony which we get in other Countreys: And thus by a course of traffick (which changeth according to the accurrrents of time) the particular members do accommodate each other, and all accomplish the whole body of the trade, which will ever languish if the harmony of her health be distempered by the diseases of excess at home,How forraign Trade is destroyed. violence abroad, charges and restrictions at home or abroad: but in this place I have occasion to speak only of restriction, which I will perform briefly.

There are three ways by which a Merchant may make the returns of his wares from beyond the Seas, that is to say in mony, in commodities, or by Exchange. But the Statute of employment doth not only restrain mony (in which there is a seeming providence and Justice) but also the use of the Exchange by bills, which doth violate the Law of Commerce, and is indeed an Act without example in any place of the world where we have trade, and therefore to be considered, Edition: current; Page: [155] that whatsoever (in this kind) we shall impose upon strangers here, will presently be made a Law for us in their Countreys, especially where we have our greatest trade with our vigilant neighbours, who omit no care nor occasion to support their traffique in equal privileges with other Nations. And thus in the first place we should be deprived of that freedom and means which now we have to bring Treasure into the Kingdom, and therewith likewise we should lose the vent of much wares which we carry to divers places, whereby our trade and our Treasure would decay together.

Secondly, if by the said Statute we thrust the exportation of our wares (more than ordinary) upon the stranger, we must then take it from the English, which were injurious to our Merchants, Mariners and Shipping, besides the hurt to the Commonwealth in venting the Kingdoms stock to the stranger at far lower rates here than we must do if we sold it to them in their own Countreys, as is proved in the third Chapter.

Thirdly, whereas we have already sufficiently shewed, that if our commodities be over ballanced in value by forraign wares, our mony must be carried out. How is it possible to prevent this by tying the Strangers hands, and leaving the English loose? shall not the same reasons and advantage cause that to be done by them now, that was done by the other before? or if we will make a statute (without example) to prevent both alike, shall we not then overthrow all at once? the King in his customes and the Kingdom in her profits; for such a restriction must of necessity destroy much trade, because the diversity of occasions and places which make an ample trade require that some men should both export and import wares; some export only, others import, some deliver out their monies by exchange, others take it up; some carry out mony, Edition: current; Page: [156] others bring it in, and this in a greater or lesser quantity according to the good husbandry or excess in the Kingdom, over which only if we keep a strict law, it will rule all the rest, and without this all other Statutes are no rules either to keep or procure us Treasure.

Lastly, to leave no Objection unanswered, if it should be said that a Statute comprehending the English as well as the stranger must needs keep our money in the Kingdom. What shall we get by this, if it hinder the coming in of money by the decay of that ample Trade which we enjoyed in the freedom thereof? is not the Remedy far worse than the Disease? shall we not live more like Irishmen than Englishmen, when the Kings revenues, our Merchants, Mariners, Shipping, Arts, Lands, Riches, and all decay together with our Trade?

Yea but, say some men, we have better hopes than so; for th’ intent of the Statute is, that as all the forraign wares which are brought in shall be imployed in our commodities, thereby to keep our money in the Kingdom: So we doubt not but to send out a sufficient quantity of our own wares over and above to bring in the value thereof in ready money.

Although this is absolutely denied by the reasons afore written, yet now we will grant it, because we desire to end the dispute: For if this be true, that other Nations will vent more of our commodittes than we consume of theirs in value, then I affirm that the overplus must necessarily return unto us in treasure without the use of the Statute, which is therefore not onely fruitless but hurtful, as some other like restrictions are found to be when they are fully discovered.

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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.

VIctuals and Munition for war are so pretious in a Commonwealth, that either it seemeth necessary to restrain the exportation altogether, or (if the plenty permits it) to require the return thereof in so much treasure: which appeareth to be reasonable and without difficulty, because Spain and other Countries do willingly part with their money for such wares, although in other occasions of trade they straightly prohibit the exportation thereof: all which I grant to be true, yet notwithstanding we must consider that all the ways and means which (in course of trade) force treasure into the Kingdom, do not therefore make it ours: for this can be done onely by a lawful gain, and this gain is no way to be accomplished but by the overballance of our trade,Some restrictions hinder Trade. and this overballance is made less by restrictions: therefore such restrictions do hinder the increase of our treasure. The Argument is plain, and needs no other reasons to strengthen it, except any man be so vain to think that restrictions would not cause the less wares to be exported. But if this likewise should be granted, yet to enjoyn the Merchant to bring in money for Victuals and Munition carried out, will not cause us to have one peny the more in the Kingdom at the years end; for whatsoever is forced in one way must out again another way: because onely so much will remain and abide with us as is gained and incorporated into the estate of the Kingdom by the overballance of the trade.

This may be made plain by an example taken from Edition: current; Page: [158] an Englishman, who had occasion to buy and consume the wares of divers strangers for the value of six hundred pounds, and having wares of his own for the value of one thousand pounds, he sold them to the said strangers, and presently forced all the mony from them into his own power; yet upon cleering of the reckoning between them there remained onely four hundred pounds to the said Englishman for overballance of the wares bought and sold; so the rest which he had received was returned back from whence he forced it. And this shall suffice to shew that whatsoever courses we take to force money into the Kingdom, yet so much onely will remain with us as we shall gain by the ballance of our trade.

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.

THe Merchants Exchange by Bills is a means and practice whereby they that have money in one Countrey may deliver the same to receive it again in another Countrey at certain times and rates agreed upon, whereby the lender and the borrower are accommodated without transporting of treasure from State to State.

These Exchanges thus made between man and man, are not contracted at the equal value of the moneys, according to their respective weights and fineness: First, because he that delivereth his money doth respect the venture of the debt, and the time of forbearance; but that which causeth an under or overvaluing of moneys by Exchange, is the plenty or scarcity thereof Edition: current; Page: [159] in those places where the Exchanges are made. For example, when here is plenty of money to be delivered for Amsterdam, then shall our money be undervalued in Exchange, because they who take up the money, seeing it so plentifully thrust upon them, do thereby make advantage to themselves in taking the same at an undervalue.

And contrariwise, when here is scarcity of money to be delivered for Amsterdam, the deliverer will make the same advantage by overvaluing our money which he delivereth.Plenty of Mony makes the Exchange cheap, and all other things dear. And thus we see that as plenty or scarcity of mony in a Common-wealth doth make all things dear or good cheap: so in the course of exchange it hath ever a contrary working; wherefore in the next place it is fit to set down the true causes of this effect.

As plenty or scarcity of mony do make the price of the exchange high or low, so the over or under ballance of our trade doth effectually cause the plenty or scarcity of mony: And here we must understand, that the ballance of our trade is either General or Particular. The General is, when all our yearly traffique is jointly valued, as I have formerly shewed; the particular is when our trade to Italy, France, Turkey, Spain, and other Countreys are severally considered: and by this latter course we shall perfectly find out the places where our mony is under or overvalued in Exchange: For although our general exportations of wares may be yearly more in value than that which is imported, whereby the difference is made good to us in so much treasure; nevertheless the particular trades do work diversly:What kinds of plenty or scarcity of money make the Exchange high or low. For peradventure the Low Countreys may bring us more in value than we sell them, which if it be so, then do the Low Countrey Merchants not only carry away our treasure to ballance the accompt between us, but also by this means mony being plentiful Edition: current; Page: [160] here to be delivered by exchange, it is therefore undervalued by the takers, as I have before declared; And contrariwise if we carry more wares to Spain, and other places than we consume of theirs, then do we bring away their treasure, and likewise in the Merchants exchange we overvalue our own money.

Yet still there are some who will seem to make this plain by Demonstration, that the undervaluing of our money by Exchange doth carry it out of the Kingdom: for, say they, we see daily great store of our English Coins carried over, which pass current in the Low-Countries, and there is great advantage to carry them thither, to save the loss which the Low-Countrymen have in the Exchange; for if one hundred pounds sterling delivered here, is so much undervalued, that ninty pounds of the same sterling money carried over in specie shall be sufficient to make repayment and full satisfaction of the said hundred pounds at Amsterdam: Is it not then (say they) the undervaluing of our Mony which causeth it to be carried out of the Realm?

To this objection I will make a full and plain Answer, shewing that it is not the undervaluing of our money in exchange, but the overballancing of our trade that carrieth away our treasure. For suppose that our whole trade with the Low-Countries for wares brought into this Realm be performed onely by the Dutch for the value of five hundred thousand pounds yearly; and that all our commodities transported into the said Low-Countries be performed onely by the English for four hundred thousand pounds yearly: Is it not then manifest, that the Dutch can exchange only four hundred thousand pounds with the English upon the Par pro Pari or equal value of the respective Standards? So the other hundred thousand pounds which is the over ballance of the trade, they must of necessity carry that away in mony. And the self Edition: current; Page: [161] same loss of treasure must happen if there were no exchange at all permitted: for the Dutch carrying away our money for their wares, and we bringing in their forraign Coins for their commodities, there will be still one hundred thousand pounds loss.

Now let us add another example grounded upon the aforesaid proportion of trade between us and the Low Countreys. The Dutch (as aforewritten) may exchange with the English for four hundred thousand pounds and no more upon the equal value of the monies, because the English have no further means to satisfie. But now suppose that in respect of the plenty of money, which in this case will be here in the hands of the Dutch to deliver by exchange,The undervaluing of our mony in Exchange is the Strangers loss and our gain. our mony (according to that which hath been already said) be undervalued ten per cent. then is it manifest that the Dutch must deliver four hundred and forty thousand pounds to have the Englishmans four hundred thousand pounds in the Low Countreys: so that there will then remain but 60000. pounds for the Dutch to carry out of the Realm to ballance the accompt between them and us. Whereby we may plainly perceive that the undervaluing of our money in exchange, will not carry it out of the Kingdom, as some men have supposed, but rather is a means to make a less quantity thereof to be exported, than would be done at the Par pro pari.

Further let us suppose that the English Merchant carrieth out as much wares in value as the Dutch Merchant bringeth in, whereby the means is equal between them to make their returns by exchange without carrying away of any mony to the prejudice of either State. And yet notwithstanding the Dutch Merchant for his occasions or advantage will forsake this course of exchange, and will venture to send part of his returns in ready mony.

To this the answer is, that hereupon it must follow Edition: current; Page: [162] of necessity, that the Dutch shall want just so much means in exchange with the English, who therefore shall be forced to bring in the like sum of mony from beyond the Seas, as the Dutch carried out of this Realm; so that we may plainly perceive that the monies which are carried from us within the ballance of our trade are not considerable, for they do return to us again: and we lose those monies only which are made of the over-ballance of our general trade, that is to say, That which we spend more in value in forraign wares, than we utter of our own commodities. And the contrary of this is the only means by which we get our treasure.1 The Canker of Englands Commonwealth. In vain thereforefore hath Gerard Malynes laboured so long, and in so many printed books to make the world beleeve that the undervaluing of our money in exchange doth exhaust our treasure, which is a mere fallacy of the cause,2 Free trade. attributing that to a Secondary means, whose effects are wrought by another Principal Efficient, and would also come to pass although the said Secondary means were not at all. As vainly also hath he propounded a remedy by keeping the price of Exchange by Bills at the par pro pari by publick Authority,3 Lex Mercatoria. which were a new-found Office without example in any part of the world, being not only fruitless but also hurtful, as hath been sufficiently proved in this Chapter, and therefore I will proceed to the next.4 The Centre of trade.

Chap. XIII.: The Merchant who is a mere Exchanger of money by Bills cannot increase or decrease our treasure.

THere are certain Merchants which deal onely upon all advantages in th’ Exchange, and neither Edition: current; Page: [163] export nor import wares into the Kingdom, which hath caused some men to affirm, that the money which such mere Exchangers bring in or carry out of the Realm is not comprehended in the ballance of our forraign trade; for (say they) sometimes when our sterling mony hath been undervalued and delivered here for Amsterdam at 10. per cent. less than the equal value of the respective Standards, the said mere Exchanger may take here one thousand pounds sterling, & and carry over onely nine hundred thereof in specie, which will be sufficient to pay his Bill of Exchange. And so upon a greater or a lesser summe the like gain is made in three months time.

But here we must know, that although this mere Exchanger deal not in wares, yet notwithstanding the money which he carrieth away in manner afore-written must necessarily proceed of such wares as are brought into the Kingdom by Merchants. So that still it falleth into the ballance of our forraign trade, and worketh the same effect, as if the Merchant himself had carried away that money, which he must do if our wares be overballanced, as ever they are when our money is undervalued, which is expressed more at large in the 12. Chapter.

And on the contrary, when the mere Exchanger (by the said advantages) shall bring money into the Kingdom, he doth no more than necessarily must be done by the Merchant himself when our commodities overballance forraign wares. But in these occasions some Merchants had rather lose by delivering their money at an under-value in Exchange, than undertake to hazard all by the Law; which notwithstanding these mere Exchangers will perform for them in hope of gain.

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Chap. XIV.: The admirable feats supposed to be done by Bankers and the Merchants Exchange.

ALthough I have already written something concerning the Merchants Exchange, and therein of the undervaluation of our money, and of the mere Exchanger, with their true causes and effects; Nevertheless it will not be impertinent to pursue this business yet a little further, and thereby not only to strengthen our former Arguments, but also to avoid some cunning delusions which might deceive the unskilful Reader of those books entituled, Lex Mercatoria, pag. 409. and The maintenance of free trade, pag. 16. wherein the Author Gerard Malynes setteth down the admirable feats (as he termeth them) which are to be done by Bankers and Exchangers, with the use and power of the Exchange: but how these wonders may be effected he altogether omitteth, leaving the Reader in a strange opinion of these dark mysteries, which I cannot think he did for want of knowledge, for I find him skilful in many things which he hath both written and collected concerning th’ affairs of Merchants, and in particular he discourses well of divers uses, forms and passages of the Exchange, in all which as he hath taken great pains for the good of others, so do his Works of this kind deserve much praise: but where he hath disguised his own knowledge with Sophistry to further some private ends by hurting the public good; there ought he to be discovered and prevented, unto which performance (in this discourse of treasure) I find my self obliged, and therefore I intend to effect it by shewing the true causes and means whereby these wonders are done, which Malines Edition: current; Page: [165] attributeth to the sole power of the Exchange. But first for order I think it fit to set down the particular feats as they stand in his said books.

The admirable feats to be done by Exchange.

1. To lay their mony with gain in any place of the world where any exchange lyeth.

2. To gain and wax rich, and never meddle with any Princes commodities.

3. To buy any Princes commodity, and never bring penny nor pennyworth into the Realm, but doe that with the Subjects mony.

4. To grow rich and live without adventure at Sea or travaile.

5. To do great feats having credit, and yet to be nought worth.

6. To understand whether in conjecture their mony employed on Exchange, or buying of wares, will be more profit.

7. To know certainly what the Merchants gain upon their wares they sell and buy.

8. To live and encrease upon every Princes subjects that continually take up mony by Exchange, and whether they gain or no.

9. To wind out every Princes treasure out of his ☜ Realm whose Subjects bring in more wares than they carry out of the Realm.

10. To make the Staple of money run thither where the rich Prince will have it to be brought, and pay for it.

11. To unfurnish the poor Prince of his provision of mony, that keeps his wares upon interest mony, if the enemy will seek it.

12. To furnish their need of mony that tarry the selling of their wares in any Contract untill they make them come to their price.

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13. To take up mony to engross any commodity either new come or whereof they have some store, to bring the whole trade of that commodity into their own hands to sell both at their pleasure.

14. To hide their carrying away of any Princes mony.

15. To fetch away any Princes fine money with his own or any other Princes base money.

16. To take up Princes base mony and to turn into his fine mony, and to pay the deliverer with his own, and gain too.

17. To take upon credit into their hands for a time all the Merchants mony that will be delivered, and pay them with their own, and gain too.

☞ 18. To make the Realm gain of all other Realms whose Subjects live most by their own commodities, and sell yearly the overpluss into the world, and both occupie that encrease yearly, and also their old store of treasure upon exchange.

19. To undoe Realms and Princes that look not to their Commonwealth, when the Merchants wealth is such, that the great houses conspire together so to rule the Exchange, that when they will be deliverers, they will receive in another place above the Standard of the Mint of the Princes mony delivered: and when they will be takers, they will pay the same in another place under the Standard of the Mint of the Princes money taken up.

20. To get ready mony to buy any commodity that is offered cheap.

21. To compass ready mony to get any offered bargain out of another mans hands, and so by outbidding others oftentimes to raise the wares.

22. To get a part and sometimes all his gains that employeth mony taken up by Exchange in wares, and so make others travail for their gain.

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23. To keep Princes for having any Customs, Subsidies or Taxes upon their mony, as they employ it not.

24. To value justly any Wares they carry into any Countrey by setting them at that value, as the mony that bought them was then at by Exchange in the Countrey whither they be carried.

If I had a desire to amplifie in the explanation of these wonders, they would afford me matter enough to make a large volume, but my intent is to do it as briefly as possibly I may without obscurity. And before I begin, I cannot chuse but laugh to think how a worthy Lawyer might be dejected in his laudable studies, when he should see more cunning in Lex Mercatoria by a little part of the Merchants profession, then in all the Law-cases of his learned Authors: for this Exchange goes beyond Conjuring; I think verily that neither Doctor Faustus nor Banks his Horse could ever do such admirable feats, although it is sure they had a Devil to help them; but wee Merchants deal not with such Spirits, we delight not to be thought the workers of lying wonders, and therefore I endeavour here to shew the plainness of our dealing (in these supposed feats) to be agreeable to the laudable course of Trade.

And first, To lay our Money with gaine to any place of the World where Exchange lieth. How can this be done (will some men say) for Amsterdam, when the losse by Exchange is sometimes eight or ten per cent. more or lesse for one moneths usance? The answer is, That here I must consider,The principal efficient cause of loss by Exchange. first, that the principal efficient cause of this loss, is a greater value in Wares brought from Amsterdam then we carry thither, which make more Deliverers then Takers here by Exchange, whereby the Money is undervalued to the benefit of the Edition: current; Page: [168] taker: hereupon the Deliverer, rather then he will lose by his Money, doth consider those Countreys, unto which we carry more Wares in value than we receive from them; as namely, Spain, Italy, and others; to which places he is sure (for the reasons aforesaid) that he shall ever deliver his money with profit. But now you will say, that the money is further from Amsterdam than before; How shall it be got together? yes, well enough; and the farther about will prove the nearest way home, if it come at last with good profit; the first part whereof being made (as we have supposed) in Spain, from thence I consider where to make my second gain, and finding that the Florentines send out a greater value in cloth of Gold and Silver, wrought Silks, and Rashes to Spain, than they receive in Fleece Woolls, West-India Hides, Sugar and Cochineal, I know I cannot miss of my purpose by delivering my money for Florence; where (still upon the same ground) I direct my course from thence to Venice, and there finde that my next benefit must be at Frankfort or Antwerp, untill at last I come to Amsterdam by a shorter or longer course, according to such occasions of advantage as the times and places shall afford me. And thus we see still, that the profit and loss upon the Exchange is guided and ruled by the over or under ballance of the several Trades which are Predominant and Active, making the price of Exchange high or low, which is therefore Passive, the contrary whereof is so often repeated by the said Malines.

To the second, fourth, fourteenth, and twenty-third, I say, that all these are the proper works of the meer Exchanger; and that his actions cannot work to the good or hurt of the Commonwealth, I have already sufficiently shewed in the last Chap. and therefore here I may spare that labour.

To the third. It is true, I can deliver one thousand Edition: current; Page: [169] pounds here by exchauge to receive the value in Spaine, where with this Spanish money I can buy and bring away so much Spanish wares. But all this doth not prove, but that in the end the English money or commodities must pay for the said wares: for if I deliver my thousand pounds here to an English-man, he must pay me in Spain, either by goods already sent or to be sent thither; or if I deliver it here to a Spaniard, he takes it of me, with intent to employ it in our wares; so that every way we must pay the Stranger for what we have from him: Is there any feats in all this worthy our admiration?

To the fifth, thirteenth, twentieth, and twenty first, I must answer these Wonders by heaps, where I finde them to be all one matter in divers formes, and such froth also, that every Idiot knowes them, and can say, that he who hath credit can contract, buy, sell, and take up much money by Exchange, which he may do as well also at Interest: yet in these courses they are not alwayes gainers, for sometimes they live by the losse, as well as they who have less credit.

To the sixth and seventh. Here is more poor stuff; for when I know the current price of my Wares, both here and beyond the Seas, I may easily conjecture whether the profit of the Exchange or the gain which I expect upon my Wares will be greater. And again, as every Merchant knows well what he gains upon the Wares he buyeth and selleth, so may any other man do the like that can tell how the said Merchant hath proceeded: But what is all this to make us admire the Exchange?

To the eighth and twelfth. As Bankers and Exchangers do furnish men with money for their occasions, so do they likewise who let out their money at interest with the same hopes and like advantage, Edition: current; Page: [170] which many times notwithstanding fails them, as well as the Borrowers often labour onely for the Lenders profit.

To the ninth and eighteenth. Here my Author hath some secret meaning, or being conscious of his own errours, doth mark these two Wonders with a ☞ in the Margin. For why should this great work of enriching or impoverishing of Kingdomes be attributed to the Exchange, which is done onely by those means that doe over or under-ballance our Forraign Trade, as I have already so often shewed, and as the very words of Malynes himself in these two places may intimate to a judicious Reader?

To the fifteenth and sixteenth, I confess that the Exchange may be used in turning base money into Gold or Silver, as when a stranger may coin and bring over a great quantity of Farthings, which in short time he may disperse or convert into good money, and then deliver the same here by exchange to receive the value in his own Countrey; or he may do this feat by carrying away the said good mony in specie without using the exchange at all, if he dare venture the penalty of the Law. The Spaniards know well who are the common Coiners of Christendome, that dare venture to bring them store of Copper money of the Spanish stamp, and carry away the value in good Ryals of Eight, wherein notwithstanding all their cunning devices, they are sometimes taken tardie.

To the 17. The Bankers are always ready to receive such sums of mony as are put into their hands by men of all degrees, who have no skill or good means themselves to manage the same upon the exchange to profit. It is likewise true that the Bankers do repay all men with their own, and yet reserve good gain to themselves, which they do as well deserve for their Edition: current; Page: [171] ordinary provision or allowance as those Factors do which buy or sell for Merchants by Commission: And is not this likewise both just and very common?

Lex Mercatoria, pag. 410. Maintenance of free trade p. 17.To the 11. I must confess that here is a wonder indeed, that a poor Prince should keep either his wars or wares (I take both together as the Author sets them down both ways differing in his said two books) upon interest mony; for what needs the Enemy of such a poor Prince deale with the Bankers to disapoint him or defeat him of his mony in time of want, when the interest it self will do this fast enough, and so I leave this poor stuff.

To the 19. I have lived long in Italy, where the greatest Banks and Bankers of Christendom do trade, yet could I never see nor hear, that they did, or were able to rule the price of Exchange by confederacie, but still the plenty or scarcity of mony in the course of trade did always overrule them and made the Exchanges to run at high or low rates.

Exchange hinders not Princes of their customs.To the 22. The Exchange by bills between Merchant and Merchant in the course of trade cannot hinder Princes of their Customs and Imposts: for the mony which one man delivereth, because he will not, or hath not occasion to employ it in wares, another man taketh, because he either will or hath already laid it out in Merchandize. But it is true, that when the wealth of a Kingdom consisteth much in ready mony, and that there is also good means and conveniencie in such a Kingdom to trade with the same into forraign parts, either by Sea or Land, or by both these ways; if then this trade be neglected, the King shall be defeated of those profits: and if the exchange be the cause thereof, then must we learn in what manner this is done; for we may exchange either amongst our selves, or with strangers; if amongst our selves, the Commonwealth cannot be enriched thereby; Edition: current; Page: [172] for the gain of one subject is the loss of another. And if we exchange with strangers, then our profit is the gain of the Commonwealth. Yet by none of these ways can the King receive any benefit in his customes. Let us therefore seek out the places where such exchanging is used, and set down the reasons why this practice is permitted; in search whereof we shall only find one place of note in all Christendome, which is Genoua, whereof I intend to say something as briefly as I can.

The present estate of the commonwealth of Genoua.The State of Genoua is small, and not very fertile, having little natural wealth or materials to employ the people, nor yet victuals sufficient to feed them; but nevertheless by their industry in former times by forraign trade into Ægypt, Soria, Constantinople, and all those Levant parts for Spices, Drugs, raw Silks and many other rich wares, with which they served the most places of Europe, they grew to an incredible wealth, which gave life unto the strength of their Cities, the pomp of their buildings, and other singular beauties. But after the foundation and encrease of that famous City of Venice, the said trades turned that way. And since likewise the greatest part thereof doth come into England, Spain, and the Low Countreys by navigation directly from the East Indies, which alterations in the traffique, hath forced them of Genoua to change their course of trading with wares, into exchanging of their mony; which for gain they spread not only into divers Countreys where the trade is performed with Merchandize, but more especially they do therewith serve the want of the Spaniards in Flanders and other places for their wars, whereby the private Merchants are much enriched, but the publique treasure by this course is not encreased, and the reasons why the Commonwealth of Genoua doth suffer this inconvenience, are these.

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First and principally, they are forced to leave those trades which they cannot keep from other Nations, who have better means by situation, wares, Shipping, Munition and the like, to perform these affairs with more advantage than they are able to doe.

Secondly, they proceed like a wise State, who still retain as much trade as they can, although they are not able to procure the twentieth part of that which they had. For having few or no materials of their own to employ their people, yet they supply this want by the Fleece-wools of Spain, and raw Silks of Sicilia, working them into Velvets, Damasks, Sattens, Woollen-drapery, and other manufactures.

Thirdly, whereas they find no means in their own Countrey to employ and trade their great wealth to profit, they content themselves to do it in Spain and other places, either in Merchandize, or by exchanging their monies for gain to those Merchants who trade therewith in wares. And thus wheresoever they live abroad for a time circuiting the world for gain; yet in the end the Center of this profit is in their own Native Countrey.

Lastly, the government of Genoua being Aristocracie, they are assured that although the publique get little, yet if their private Merchants gain much from strangers, they shall doe well enough, because the richest and securest Treasure of a Free State, are the riches of the Nobility (who in Genoua are Merchants) which falleth not out so in a Monarchy, where between the comings in of a Prince, and the means of Private Men, there is this distinction of meum & tuum, but in the occasions and dangers of a Republick or Commonwealth, where Liberty and Government might be changed into Servitude, there the Proper substance of private men is the publique Treasure, ready to be spent with their lives in defence of their own Soveraignty.

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To the 24. If a Merchant should buy wares here with intentions to send them for Venice, and then value them as the Exchange comes from thence to London, he may find himself far wide of his reckoning: for before his goods arrive at Venice, both the price of his Wares and the rate of the Exchange may alter very much. But if the meaning of the Author be, that this valuation may be made after the goods arrive, and are sold at Venice, and the money remitted hither by Exchange, or else the money which bought the said wares here may be valued as the Exchange passed at that time from hence to Venice; Is not all this very common and easie business, unworthy to be put into the number of Admirable feats?

To the tenth. Although a rich Prince hath great power, yet is there not power in every rich Prince to make the staple of Money run where he pleaseth: for the Staple of any thing is not where it may be had, but where the thing doth most of all abound. Whereupon we commonly say, that the Spaniard, in regard of his great treasure in the West Indies, hath the Fountain or Staple of money, which he moveth and causeth to run into Italy, Germany, the Low Countreys, or other places where his occasions doe require it, either for Peace or War. Neither is this effected by any singular Power of the Exchange, but by divers wayes and means fitting those places where the money is to be employed. For if the use thereof be upon the confines of France to maintain a War there, then may it be safely sent in specie on Carriages by Land; if in Italy, on Gallies by Sea; if in the Low Countreys, on Shipping by Sea also, but yet with more danger, in regard of his potent enemies in that passage. Wherefore in this occasion, although the Exchange is not absolutely necessary, yet is it very useful. And because the Spaniards want of Commodities from Germany and Edition: current; Page: [175] the Low Countreys is greater in value than the Spanish Wares which are carried into those parts, therefore the King of Spain cannot be furnished there from his own subjects with money by exchange, but is and hath been a long time enforc’d to carry a great part of his treasure in Gallies for Italy,How the Italians are enabled to furnish Spain with money in Flanders. where the Italians, and amongst them the Merchants of Genoua especially, do take the same, and repay the value thereof in Flanders, whereunto they are enabled by their great trade with many rich commodities which they send continually out of Italy into those countreys and the places thereabouts, from whence the Italians return no great value in wares, but deliver their money for the service of Spain, and receive the value by Exchange in Italy out of the Spanish Treasure, which is brought thither in Gallies, as is afore-written.

So that by this we plainly see, that it is not the power of Exchange that doth enforce treasure where the rich Prince will have it, but it is the money proceeding of wares in Forraigne trade that doth enforce the exchange, and rules the price thereof high or low, according to the plenty or scarcity of the said money; which in this discourse, upon all occasions, I think I have repeated neer as often as Malynes in his Books doth make the Exchange to be an essential part of trade, to be active, predominant, over-ruling the price of Wares and Moneys, life, spirit, and the worker of admirable feats. All which we have now briefly expounded; and let no man admire why he himself did not take this pains, for then he should not onely have taken away the great opinion which he laboured to maintain of the Exchange, but also by a true discovery of the right operation thereof, he should utterly have overthrown his par pro pari; which project (if it had prevailed) would have been a good business for the Dutch, and to the great hurt of Edition: current; Page: [176] this Common-wealth, as hath been sufficiently proved in the 12. chapter.

Now therefore let the learned Lawyer fall cheerfully to his books again, for the Merchant cannot put him down, if he have no more skill than is in his Exchange. Are these such admirable feats, when they may be so easily known and done in the course of trade? Well then, if by this discovery we have eased the Lawyers minde, and taken off the edge of his admiration, let him now play his part, and take out a Writ of Errour against the Par pro Pari; for this project hath misinformed many, and put us to trouble to expound these Riddles.

Nay, but stay awhile, can all this pass for current, to slight a business thus, which (the Author saith) hath been so seriously observed by that famous Council, and those worthy Merchants of Queen Elizabeth of blessed memory, and also condemned by those French Kings, Lewis the 9th. Philip the fair, and Philip de Valois, with confiscation of the Bankers goods? I must confess that all this requires an answer, which in part is already done by the Author himself. For he saith, that the wisdome of our State found out the evil, but they missed of the remedy; and yet what remedy this should be no man can tell; for there was none applyed, but all practise and use in Exchange stand still to this day in such manner and form as they did at the time when these Feats were discovered, for the State knew well that there needed no remedy where there was no disease.

Well then, how shall we be able to answer the proceedings of the French Kings who did absolutely condemn the Bankers, and confiscated their goods? Yes, well enough, for the Bankers might perhaps be condemned for something done in their exchanges against the Law, and yet their profession may still be Edition: current; Page: [177] lawful, as it is in Italy and France it self to this day. Nay we will grant likewise that the Banks were banished, when the Bankers were punished; yet all this proves nothing against Exchangers, for Kings and States enact many Statutes, and suddenly repeale them, they do and undo; Princes may err, or else Malynes is grossly mistaken,Maintenance of free trade, p. 76, 77, 78, and 79. where he setteth down 35. several Statutes and other ordinances enacted by this State in 350. years time to remedy the decay of Trade, and yet all are found defective; only his reformation of the Exchange, or Par pro pari, is effectual, if we would believe him; but we know better, and so we leave him.

I might here take occasion to say something against another project of the same brood that lately attended upon the success of this Par pro pari, as I have been credibly informed, which is, the changing and rechanging here within the Realm, of all the Plate, Bullion and Monies, Forraign or Sterling, to pass only by an office called, The Kings Royal Exchanger, or his Deputies, paying them a Peny upon the value of every Noble: which might raise much to their private good, and destroy more to the publique hurt. For it would decay the Kings Coinage, deprive the Kingdom of much Treasure, abridge the Subjects of their just liberty, and utterly overthrow the worthy trade of the Goldsmiths, all which being plain and easie to the weakest understandings, I will therefore omit to amplify upon these particulars.

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Chap. XV.: Of some Excesses and evils in the Commonwealth, which notwithstanding decay not our Trade nor Treasure.

IT is not my intent to excuse or extenuate any the least excess or evil in the Commonwealth, but rather highly to approve and commend that which by others hath been spoken and written against such abuses. Yet in this discourse of Treasure, as I have already set down affirmatively, which are the true causes that may either augment or decrease the same: so is it not impertinent to continue my negative declarations of those enormities and actions which cannot work these effects as some men have supposed. For in redress of this important business, if we mistake the nature of the Malady, we shall ever apply such cures as will at least delay, if not confound the Remedy.

Let us then begin with Usury, which if it might be turned into Charity, and that they who are Rich would lend to the poor freely; it were a work pleasing to Almighty God, and profitable to the Commonwealth. But taking it in the degree it now stands; How can we well say, That as Usury encreaseth so Trade decreaseth? For although it is true that some men give over trading, and buy Lands, or put out their Money to use when they are grown rich, or old, or for some other the like occasions; yet for all this it doth not follow, that the quantity of the trade must lessen; for this course in the rich giveth opportunity presently to the younger & poorer Merchants to rise in the world, and to enlarge their dealings; to the performance whereof, if they want means of their own, they may, and do, take it up at interest: so that our money lies not dead, it is still traded. How many Merchants, Edition: current; Page: [179] and Shop-keepers have begun with little or nothing of their own, and yet are grown very rich by trading with other mens money? do we not know, that when trading is quick and good, many men, by means of their experience, and having credit to take up money at interest, do trade for much more than they are worth of their own stock? by which diligence of the industrious, the affairs of the Common-wealth are increased, the moneys of Widows, Orphans, Lawyers, Gentlemen and others, are employed in the course of Forraign Trade, which themselves have no skill to perform. We find at this present, that notwithstanding the Poverty we are fallen into by the Excesses and Losses of late times, yet that many men have much money in their chests, and know not how to dispose thereof, because the Merchant will not take the same at interest (although at low rates) in regard there is a stop of trade in Spain and in France, whereby he cannot employ his own meanes, much lesse other mens moneys. So that for these, and some other reasons which might be alledged, we might conclude, contrary to those who affirm, that Trade decreaseth as Usury encreaseth, for they rise and fall together.

In the next place, we hear our Lawyers much condemned; the vexation and charges by multiplicity of Sutes do exceed all the other Kingdomes of Christendome, but whether this proceed from the Lawyers Covetousness, or the Peoples Perverseness, it is a great question. And let this be as it may, I will inquire no farther therein than our present discourse doth require, concerning the decay of our Trade, and impoverishing of the Kingdom: Sure I am, that Sutes in Law make many a man poor and penniless, but how it should make us trade for less by one single penny, I cannot well conceive. For although amongst the great number of them who are vexed and undone by controversies, Edition: current; Page: [180] there be ever some Merchants; yet we know, that one mans necessity becomes another mans opportunity. I never knew as yet, a decay in our Trade and Treasure for want of Merchants, or Means to employ us, but rather by excessive Consumption of Forraign Wares at home, or by a declination in the vent of our Commodities abroad, caused either by the ruinous effects of Wars, or some alterations in the times of Peace, whereof I have spoken more fully in the third Chapter. But, to conclude with the Lawyers, I say, that their noble Profession is necessary for all, and their Cases, Quillets, Delayes and Charges, are mischievous to many; these things indeed are Cankers in the Estates of particular men, but not of the Common-wealth, as some suppose, for one mans loss becomes another mans gain, it is still in the Kingdome, I wish it might as surely remain in the right places.

Lastly, all kind of Bounty and Pomp is not to be avoided, for if we should become so frugal, that we would use few or no Forraign wares, how shall we then vent our own commodities? what will become of our Ships, Mariners, Munitions, our poor Artificers, and many others? doe we hope that other Countreys will afford us money for All our wares, without buying or bartering for Some of theirs? this would prove a vain expectation; it is more safe and sure to run a middle course by spending moderately, which will purchase treasure plentifully.

Again, the pomp of Buildings, Apparel, and the like, in the Nobility, Gentry, and other able persons, cannot impoverish the Kingdome; if it be done with curious and costly works upon our Materials, and by our own people, it will maintain the poor with the purse of the rich, which is the best distribution of the Common-wealth. But if any man say, that when the people want work, then the Fishing-trade would be a better Edition: current; Page: [181] employment, and far more profitable; I subscribe willingly. For in that great business there is means enough to employ both rich and poor, whereof there hath been much said and written; It resteth only that something might be as well effected for the honour and wealth, both of the King and his Kingdoms.

Chap. XVI.: How the Revenues and Incomes of Princes may justly be raised.

NOw that we have set down the true course by which a Kingdom may be enriched with treasure; In the next place we will endeavour to shew the ways and means by which a King may justly share therein without the hurt or oppression of his Subjects. The Revenues of Princes as they differ much in quantity, according to the greatness, riches and trade of their respective dominions; so likewise is there great diversity used in procuring the same, according to the constitution of the Countreys, the government, laws and customs of the people, which no Prince can alter but with much difficulty and danger. Some Kings have their Crown Lands, the first fruits upon Ecclesiastical Livings, Customs, Tolls and Imposts upon all trade to and from forraign Countries; Lones, Donations and Subsidies upon all necessary occasions. Other Princes and States leaving the three last, do add unto the rest, a custom upon all new wares transported from one City, to be used in any other City or place of their own dominions, customs upon every alienation or sale of live Cattel, Lands, Houses, and the portions or marriage mony of women, licence mony upon all Victualling houses and Innkeepers, head mony, Custom Edition: current; Page: [182] upon all the Corn, Wine, Oyl, Salt and the like, which grow and are consumed in their own dominions, &c. All which seem to be a rabble of oppressions, serving to enrich those Princes which exact them, and to make the people poor and miserable which endure them; especially in those Countreys where these burdens are laid at heavy rates, at 4, 5, 6, and 7. per cent. But when all the circumstances and distinction of places are duly considered, they will be found not only necessary and therefore lawful to be used in some States, but also in divers respects very profitable to the Commonwealth.

First there are some States, as namely Venice, Florence, Genoua, the united Provinces of the Low Countreys, and others, which are singular for beauty, and excellent both for natural and artificial strength, having likewise rich Subjects: yet being of no very great extent, nor enjoying such wealth by ordinary revenues as might support them against the suddain and powerful invasions of those mighty Princes which do inviron them; they are therefore enforced to strengthen themselves not only with confederates and Leagues (which may often fail them in their greatest need) but also by massing up store of treasure and Munition by those extraordinary courses before written, which cannot deceive them, but will ever be ready to make a good defence, and to offend or divert their enemies.

Neither are these heavy Contributions so hurtfull to the happinesse of the people, as they are commonly esteemed: for as the food and rayment of the poor is made dear by Excise, so doth the price of their labour rise in proportion; whereby the burden (if any be) is still upon the rich, who are either idle, or at least work not in this kind, yet have they the use and are the great consumers of the poors labour; Neither do the Edition: current; Page: [183] rich neglect in their several places and callings to advance their endeavours according to those times which do exhaust their means and revenues; wherein if they should peradventure fail, and therefore be forced to abate their sinful excess and idle retainers; what is all this but happiness in a Commonwealth, when vertue, plenty and arts shall thus be advanced all together? Nor can it be truly said that a Kingdom is impoverished where the loss of the people is the gain of the King, from whom also such yearly incomes have their annual issue to the benefit of his subjects; except only that part of the treasure which is laid up for the publique good; wherein likewise they who suffer have their safety, and therefore such contributions are both just and profitable.

Yet here we must confess, that as the best things may be corrupted, so these taxes may be abused and the Commonwealth notoriously wronged when they are vainly wasted and consumed by a Prince, either upon his own excessive pleasures, or upon unworthy persons, such as deserve neither rewards nor countenance from the Majesty of a Prince: but these dangerous disorders are seldom seen, especially in such States as are aforenamed, because the disposing of the publique treasure is in the power and under the discretion of many; Neither is it unknown to all other Principalities and Governments that the end of such Excesses is ever ruinous, for they cause great want and poverty, which often drives them from all order to exorbitance, and therefore it is common policy amongst Princes to prevent such mischiefs with great care and providence, by doing nothing that may cause the Nobility to despair of their safety, nor leaving any thing undone which may gain the good will of the Commonalty to keep all in due obedience.

But now before we end this point in hand, we must Edition: current; Page: [184] remember likewise that all bodies are not of one and the same constitution, for that which is Physick to one man, is little better than poyson to another;Some States cannot subsist, but by the means of heavy taxes. The States aforewritten, and divers others like to them cannot subsist but by the help of those extraordinary contributions, whereof we have spoken, because they are not able otherwise in short time to raise sufficient treasure to defend themselves against a potent enemy, who hath power to invade them on the suddain, as is already declared. But a mighty Prince whose dominions are great and united, his Subjects many and Loyal, his Countries rich both by nature and traffique, his Victuals and warlike provisions plentiful and ready, his situation easy to offend others, and difficult to be invaded, his harbors good, his Navy strong, his alliance powerfull, and his ordinary revenues sufficient, royally to support the Majesty of his State, besides a reasonable sum which may be advanc’d to lay up yearly in treasure for future occasions:Princes, who have no just cause to lay extraordinary and heavy taxes upon their Subjects. shall not all these blessings (being well ordered) enable a Prince against the suddain invasion of any mighty enemy, without imposing those extraordinary and heavy taxes? shall not the wealthy and loyal subjects of such a great and just Prince maintain his Honour and their own Liberties with life and goods, alwayes supplying the Treasure of their Soveraign, untill by a well ordered War he may inforce a happy Peace? Yes verily, it cannot otherwise be expected. And thus shall a mighty Prince be more powerful in preserving the wealth and love of his Subjects, than by treasuring up their riches with unnecessary taxes, which cannot but alter and provoke them.

Yea, but say some men, we may easily contradict all this by example taken from some of the greatest Monarchs of Christendome, who, besides those Incomes which here are termed ordinary, they adde likewise all, Edition: current; Page: [185] or the most of the other heavy Contributions. All which we grant, and more; for they use also to sell their Offices & Places of Justice, which is an act both base & wicked, because it robbeth worthy men of their Merits, & betrayeth the cause of the innocent, whereby God is displeased, the people oppressed, and Vertue banished from such unhappy Kingdomes: Shall we then say, that these things are lawfull and necessary because they are used? God forbid, we know better, and we are well assured that these exactions are not taken for a necessary defence of their own right, but through pride and covetousness to add Kingdome to Kingdome,The sinister ends which some great Princes have in laying heavy taxes upon their subjects. and so to usurp the right of others: which actions of Impiety are ever shadowed with some fair pretence of Sanctity, as being done for the Catholic Cause, the propagation of the Church, the suppression of Hereticks, and such like delusions, serving onely to further their own ambition, whereof in this place it shall be needless to make any larger discourse.

Chap. XVII.: Whether it be necessary for great Princes to lay up store of Treasure.

BEfore we set down the quantity of Treasure which Princes may conveniently lay up yearly without hurting the Common-wealth, it will be fit to examine whether the act it self of Treasuring be necessary: for in common conference we ever find some men who do so much dote or hope upon the Liberality of Princes, that they term it baseness, and conceive it needless for them to lay up store of Treasure; accounting the honour and safety of great Princes to consist more in their Bounty, than in their Money, which they labour Edition: current; Page: [186] to confirm by the examples of Cæsar, Alexander, and others, who hating covetousness, atchieved many acts and victories by lavish gifts and liberal expences. Unto which they add also the little fruit which came by that great summ of money which King David laid up and left to his son Solomon, who notwithstanding this, and all his other rich Presents and wealthy Traffique in a quiet reign, consumed all with pomp and vain delights, excepting only that which was spent in building of the Temple. Whereupon (say they) if so much treasure gathered by so just a King, effect so little, what shall we hope for by the endeavours of this kind in other Princes? Sardanapalus left ten millions of pounds to them that slew him. Darius left twenty millions of pounds to Alexander that took him; Nero being left rich, and extorting much from his best Subjects, gave away above twelve millions of pounds to his base flatterers and such unworthy persons, which caused Galba after him to revoke those gifts. A Prince who hath store of mony hates peace, despiseth the friendship of his Neighbours and Allies, enters not only into unnecessary, but also into dangerous Wars, to the ruin and over-throw (sometimes) of his own estate: All which, with divers other weak arguments of this kind (which for brevity I omit), make nothing against the lawful gathering and massing up of Treasure by wise and provident Princes, if they be rightly understood.

For first, concerning those worthies who have obtained to the highest top of honour and dignity, by their great gifts and expences, who knows not that this hath been done rather upon the spoils of their Enemies than out of their own Cofers, which is indeed a Bounty that causeth neither loss nor peril? Whereas on the contrary, those Princes which do not providently lay up Treasure, or do imoderately consume the Edition: current; Page: [187] same when they have it,Excess and bounty brings beggery, which makes most men devise in their heads how to extort and get mony into their hands. will sodainly come to want and misery; for there is nothing doth so soon decay as Excessive Bounty, in using whereof they want the means to use it. And this was King Solomons case, notwithstanding his infinite Treasure, which made him over-burthen his Subjects in such a manner, that (for this cause) many of them rebelled against his Son Rehoboam, who thereby lost a great part of his dominions, being so grosly mis-led by his young Counsellors. Therefore a Prince that will not oppress his people, and yet be able to maintain his Estate, and defend his Right, that will not run himself into Poverty, Contempt, Hate, and Danger, must lay up treasure, and be thrifty, for further proof whereof I might yet roduce some other examples, which here I do omit as needless.

Only I will add this as a necessary rule to be observed, that when more treasure must be raised than can be received by the ordinary taxes, it ought ever to be done with equality to avoid the hate of the people, who are never pleased except their contributions be granted by general consent: For which purpose the invention of Parliaments is an excellent policie of Government, to keep a sweet concord between a King and his Subjects, by restraining the Insolency of the Nobility, and redressing the Injuries of the Commons, without engaging a Prince to adhere to either party, but indifferently to favour both. There could nothing be devised with more judgment for the common quiet of a Kingdom, or with greater care for the safety of a King, who hereby hath also good means to dispatch those things by others, which will move envy, and to execute that himself which will merit thanks.

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Chap. XVIII.: How much Treasure a Prince may conveniently lay up yearly.

THus far we have shewed the ordinary and extraordinary incomes of Princes, the conveniency thereof, and to whom only it doth necessarily and justly belong, to take the extraordinary contributions of their Subjects. It resteth now to examine what proportion of treasure each particular Prince may conveniently lay up yearly. This business doth seem at the first to be very plain and easy, for if a Prince have two millions yearly revenue, and spend but one, why should he not lay up the other? Indeed I must confess that this course is ordinary in the means and gettings of private men, but in the affairs of Princes it is far different, there are other circumstances to be considered;Forraign Trade must give proportion to a Princes treasure which is laid up yearly. for although the revenue of a King should be very great, yet if the gain of the Kingdom be but small, this latter must ever give rule and proportion to that Treasure, which may conveniently be laid up yearly, for if he should mass up more mony than is gained by the overballance of his forraign trade, he shall not Fleece, but Flea his Subjects, and so with their ruin overthrow himself for want of future sheerings. To make this plain, suppose a Kingdom to be so rich by nature and art, that it may supply it self of forraign wares by trade, and yet advance yearly 200000l. in ready mony: Next supppose all the King’s revenues to be 900000l. and his expences but 400000l. whereby he may lay up 300000l. more in his Coffers yearly than the whole Kingdom gains from strangers by forraign trade; who sees not then that all the mony in such a State, would suddenly be drawn into the Edition: current; Page: [189] Princes treasure, whereby the life of lands and arts must fail and fall to the ruin both of the publick and private wealth?A Prince whose Subjects have but little forraign Trade cannot lay up much mony. So that a King who desires to lay up much mony must endeavour by all good means to maintain and encrease his forraign trade, because it is the sole way not only to lead him to his own ends, but also to enrich his Subjects to his farther benefit: for a Prince is esteemed no less powerful by having many rich and well affected Subjects, than by possessing much treasure in his Coffers.

But here we must meet with an objection, which peradventure may be made concerning such States (whereof I have formerly spoken) which are of no great extent, and yet bordering upon mighty Princes, are therefore constrained to lay extraordinary taxes upon their subjects, whereby they procure to themselves very great incomes yearly, and are richly provided against any Forraign Invasions; yet have they no such great trade with Strangers, as that the overbalance or gain of the same may suffice to lay up the one half of that which they advance yearly, besides their own expences.

To this the answer is, that still the gain of their Forraign Trade must be the rule of laying up their treasure, the which, although it should not be much yearly, yet in the time of a long continued peace, and being well managed to advantage, it will become a great summe of money, able to make a long defence, which may end or divert the war. Neither are all the advances of Princes strictly tied to be massed up in treasure, for they have other no less necessary and profitable wayes to make them rich and powerfull, by issuing out continually a great part of the mony of their yearly Incomes to their subjects from whom it was first taken; as namely, by employing them to make Ships of War, with all the provisions thereunto Edition: current; Page: [190] belonging, to build and repair Forts, to buy and store up Corn in the Granaries of each Province for a years use (at least) aforehand, to serve in occasion of Dearth, which cannot be neglected by a State but with great danger; to erect Banks with their money for the encrease of their subjects trade, to maintain in their pay, Collonels, Captains, Souldiers, Commanders, Mariners, and others, both by Sea and Land, with good discipline, to fill their Store-housesMunition for war ought to be kept in divers places of the State, to prevent the loss of all by trechery in one place. (in sundry strong places) and to abound in Gunpowder, Brimstone, Saltpeter, Shot, Ordnance, Musquets, Swords, Pikes, Armours, Horses, and in many other such like Provisions fitting War; all which will make them to be feared abroad, and loved at home, especially if care be taken that all (as neer as possible) be made out of the Matter and Manufacture of their own subjects, which bear the burden of the yearly Contributions; for a Prince (in this case) is like the stomach in the body, which if it cease to digest and distribute to the other members, it doth no sooner corrupt them, but it destroyes it self.

Thus we have seen that a small State may lay up a great wealth in necessary provisions, which are Princes Jewels, no less precious than their Treasure, for in time of need they are ready, and cannot otherwise be had (in some places) on the suddain, whereby a State may be lost, whilest Munition is in providing: so that we may account that Prince as poor who can have no wares to buy at his need, as he that hath no money to buy wares; for although Treasure is said to be the sinews of the War, yet this is so because it doth provide, unite & move the power of men, victuals, and munition where and when the cause doth require; but if these things be wanting in due time, what shall we then do with our mony? the consideration of this, doth cause divers well-governed States to be exceeding Edition: current; Page: [191] provident and well furnished of such provisions, especially those Granaries and Storehouses with that famous Arsenal of the Venetians, are to be admired for the magnificence of the buildings, the quantity of the Munitions and Stores both for Sea and Land, the multitude of the workmen, the diversity and excellency of the Arts, with the order of the government. They are rare and worthy things for Princes to behold and imitate; for Majesty without providence of competent force, and ability of necessary provisions is unassured.

Chap. XIX.: Of some different effects, which proceed from Naturall and Artificiall Wealth.

IN the latter end of the third Chapter of this Book, I have already written something concerning Natural and Artificial Wealth, and therein shewed how much Art doth add to Nature; but it is yet needful to handle these particulars apart, that so we may the better discern their severall operations in a Commonwealth. For the effecting whereof, I might draw some comparisons from Turkey and Italy, or from some other remote Countreys, but I will not range so far, having matter sufficient here in Great Britain and the united Provinces of the Low Countreys, to make this business plain: wherefore in the first place, we will begin with England briefly, and onely in general terms, to shew the natural riches of this famous Nation, with some principal effects which they produce in the disposition of the people, and strength of the Kingdome.

If we duly consider Englands Largeness, Beauty, Fertility, Strength, both by Sea and Land, in multitude of warlike People, Horses, Ships, Ammunition, Edition: current; Page: [192] advantagious situation for Defence and Trade, number of Sea-ports and Harbours, which are of difficult access to Enemies, and of easie out-let to the Inhabitants wealth by excellent Fleece-wools, Iron, Lead, Tynn, Saffron, Corn, Victuals, Hides, Wax, and other natural Endowments; we shall find this Kingdome capable to sit as master of a Monarchy. For what greater glory and advantage can any powerful Nation have, than to be thus richly and naturally possessed of all things needful for Food, Rayment, War, and Peace, not onely for its own plentiful use, but also to supply the wants of other Nations, in such a measure, that much money may be thereby gotten yearly, to make the happiness compleat. For experience telleth us, that notwithstanding that excessive Consumption of this Kingdome alone, to say nothing of Scotland, there is exported communibus annis of our own native commodities for the value of twenty two hundred thousand pounds Sterling, or somewhat more; so that if we were not too much affected to Pride, monstrous Fashions, and Riot, above all other Nations, one million and an half of pounds might plentifully supply our unnecessary wants (as I may term them) of Silks, Sugars, Spices, Fruits, and all others; so that seven hundred thousand pounds might be yearly treasur’d up in money to make the Kingdome exceeding rich and powerful in short time. But this great plenty which we enjoy, makes us a people not only vicious and excessive, wastful of the means we have, but also improvident & careless of much other wealth that shamefully we lose, which is, the Fishing in his Majesty’s Seas of England, Scotland, and Ireland, being of no less consequence than all our other riches which we export and vent to Strangers,The fruits of idleness, which are Englands common reproches among Strangers. whilest in the mean time (through lewd idleness) great multitudes of our people cheat, roar, rob, hang, beg, cant, pine, and perish, which by this means and maintenance Edition: current; Page: [193] might be much encreased, to the further wealth and strength of these Kingdomes, especially by Sea, for our own safety, and terrour of our enemies. The endeavours of the industrious Dutch do give sufficient testimony of this truth, to our great shame, and no less perill, if it have not a timely prevention: for, whilest we leave our wonted honourable exercises and studies, following our pleasures, and of late years bestotting ourselves with pipe and pot, in a beastly manner, sucking smoak, and drinking healths, until death stares many in the face; the said Dutch have well-neer left this swinish vice, and taken up our wonted valour, which we have often so well performed both by Sea and Land,The Netherlanders ingratitude. and particularly in their defence, although they are not now so thankful as to acknowledge the same. The summ of all this is, that the general leprosie of our Piping, Potting, Feasting, Fashions, and mis-spending of our time in Idleness and Pleasure (contrary to the Law of God, and the use of other Nations) hath made us effeminate in our bodies, weak in our knowledg, poor in our Treasure, declined in our Valour, unfortunate in our Enterprises, and contemned by our Enemies. I write the more of these excesses, because they do so greatly wast our wealth, which is the main subject of this whole Books discourse: and indeed our wealth might be a rare discourse for all Christendome to admire and fear, if we would but add Art to Nature, our labour to our natural means, the neglect whereof hath given a notable advantage to other nations, & especially to the Hollanders, whereof I will briefly say something in the next place.

But first, I will deliver my opinion concerning our Clothing, which although it is the greatest Wealth and best Employment of the Poor of this Kingdome, yet neverthelesse we may peradventure employ our selves with better Safety, Plenty, and Profit in using more Edition: current; Page: [194] Tillage and Fishing, than to trust so wholly to the making of Cloth; for in times of War, or by other occasions, if some forraign Princes should prohibit the use thereof in their dominions, it might suddenly cause much poverty and dangerous uproars, especially by our poor people, when they should be deprived of their ordinary maintenance, which cannot so easily fail them when their labours should be divided into the said diversity of employment, whereby also many thousands would be the better enabled to do the Kingdom good service in occasion of war, especially by Sea; And so leaving England, wee will pass over into the United Provinces of the Netherlands.

As plenty and power doe make a nation vicious and improvident, so penury and want doe make a people wise and industrious: concerning the last of these I might instance divers Commonwealths of Christendom, who having little or nothing in their own Territories, do notwithstanding purchase great wealth and strength by their industrious commerce with strangers, amongst which the united Provinces of the Low Countreys are now of greatest note and fame:The Hollanders improvement and industry. For since they have cast off the yoke of Spanish slavery, how wonderfully are they improved in all humane policy? What great means have they obtained to defend their liberty against the power of so great an Enemy? and is not all this performed by their continual industry in the trade of Merchandize? are not their Provinces the Magazines and Storehouses of wares for most places of Christendom, whereby their Wealth, Shipping, Mariners, Arts, People, and thereby the publique Revenues and Excizes are grown to a wonderful height?Those Princes which do willingly support the Dutch, would as resolutely resist the Spaniard. If we compare the times of their subjection, to their present estate, they seem not the same people; for who knows not that the condition of those Provinces was mean and turbulent under the Spaniards government, which Edition: current; Page: [195] brought rather a greater charge than a further strength to their ambition; neither would it prove over difficult for the neighbour Princes in short time to reduce those Countreys to their former estate again, if their own safety did require the same, as certainly it would if the Spaniard were sole Lord of those Netherlands; but our discourse tends not to shew the means of those mutations, otherwise than to find out the chief foundation of the Hollanders wealth and greatness; for it seems a wonder to the world, that such a small Countrey, not fully so big as two of our best Shires, having little natural Wealth, Victuals, Timber, or other necessary amunitions, either for war or peace, should notwithstanding possess them all in such extraordinary plenty, that besides their own wants (which are very great) they can and do likewise serve and sell to other Princes, Ships, Ordnance, Cordage, Corn, Powder, Shot, and what not, which by their industrious trading they gather from all the quarters of the world:Much Policy, but little Honesty. In which courses they are not less injurious to supplant others (especially the English) than they are careful to strengthen themselves. And to effect this and more than hath been said (which is their war with Spain) they have little foundation besides the Fishing, which is permitted them in His Majesties Seas, being indeed the means of an incredible wealth and strength, both by Sea and Land, as Robert Hitchcock, Tobias Gentleman, and others have pulished at large in print to them that list to read. And the States General themselves in their proclamation have ingeniously set out the worth thereof in these words following,Part of the States Proclamation, dated in the Hague, 19. July 1624. The great Fishing and catching of Herrings is the chiefest trade and principal Gold Mine of the United Provinces, whereby many thousands of Housholds, Families, Handicrafts, Trades and Occupations are set on work, well maintained and prosper, especially the sailing and navigation, Edition: current; Page: [196] as well within as without these Countreys is kept in great estimation; Moreover many returns of mony, with the encrease of the means, Convoys, Customs and revenues of these Countreys are augmented thereby and prosper, with other words following, as is at large expressed in the said Proclamations, set forth by the States General for the preservation of the said trade of Fishing; without which it is apparent that they cannot long subsist in Soveraignty; for if this foundation perish, the whole building of their wealth and strength both by Sea and Land must fall; for the multitude of their Shipping would suddainly decay, their revenues and customs would become small, their Countreys would be depopulated for want of maintenance, whereby the Excize must fail, and all their other trades to the East Indies or elsewhere must faint. So that the glory and power of these Netherlanders consisteth in this fishing of Herrings, Ling and Cod in His Majesties Seas. It resteth therefore to know what right or title they have thereunto, and how they are able to possess and keep the same against all other Nations.

The answers to these two questions are not difficult: for first, it is not the Netherlandish Author of Mare Liberum, that can entitle them to Fish in His Majesties Seas. For besides the Justice of the cause, and examples of other Countreys, which might be alleged, I will only say, that such titles would be sooner decided by swords, than with words; I do beleeve indeed that it is free for the Fish to come thither at their pleasure, but for the Dutch to catch and carry them away from thence without His Majesties licence, I harbour no such thought. There may be good policy to connive still, and so long to permit them this fishing as they are in perfect league with England, and in war with Spain. But if the Spaniards were Masters of the United Edition: current; Page: [197] Provinces as heretofore, it would neerly concern these Kingdoms to claim their own right, and carefully to make as good use thereof for increase of their wealth and strength, to oppose that potent enemy, as now the Netherlanders do, and are thereby well enabled for the same purpose: by which particular alone they are ever bound to acknowledge their strong alliance with England, above all other Nations, for there is none that hath the like good means to lend them such a powerful maintenance.Money and fishing compared. Nor were it possible for the Spaniard (if he had those Countreys again) to make a new Foundation with the power of his money, to encrease his strength, either by Sea or Land, to offend these Kingdoms, more than he is now able to perform with the conveniency of those Provinces which he hath already in his possession; for it is not the Place, but the Employment, not the barren Netherlands, but the rich Fishing, which gives Foundation, Trade, and Subsistence to those multitude of Ships, Arts and People, whereby also the Excises and other publick Revenues are continued, and without which Employment all the said great Dependences must necessarily disbandon and fail in very short time. For although I confess, that store of money may bring them materials (which they altogether want) and Artsmen to build them Shipping, yet where are the wares to fraight and maintain them? if money then shall be the onely means to send them out in Trade, what a poor number of Ships will this employ? or if the uncertain occasions of War must support them, will not this require another Indies, and all too little to maintain the tenth part of so many Ships and Men as the Hollanders do now set on work by the Fishing and other Trades thereon depending? But if it be yet said, that the Spaniard being Lord of all those Netherlands, his expence of the present War there will cease, and so Edition: current; Page: [198] this power may be turned upon us. The answer is, that when Princes send great Forces abroad to invade others, they must likewise encrease their charge and strength at home, to defend themselves; and also we must consider, that if the Spaniard will attempt any thing upon these Kingdomes, he must consume a great part of his Tresaure in Shipping, whereby the means of his invading power of Money and Men to land will be much less than now it is in the Low Countreys: Nor should we regard them, but be ever ready to beard them, when our Wealth and Strength by Sea and Land might be so much encreased by the possession and practise of our Fishing, of which particular I will yet say something more where occasion shall be offered in that which followeth. And here in this place I will onely add, that if the Spaniard were sole Lord of all the Netherlands, he must then necessarily drive a great trade by Sea, to supply the common wants of those Countreys, whereby in occasion of war, we should have means daily to take much wealth from him; whereas now the Spaniard using little or no trade in these Seas, but imploying his Ships of warre to the uttermost of his power, he only takes, and we lose great matters continually.

Now concerning the second question, Whether the Hollanders be able to possess and keep this fishing against all other Nations. It is very probable, that although they claim now no other right than their own freedome in this Fishing, seeming to leave the like to all others; yet if the practice of any Nation should seek either to Fish with them or to supplant them, they would be both ready and able to maintain this Golden Mine, against the strongest opposition except England, whose harbours and In-lands with other daily reliefs are very needful, if not absolutely necessary for this employment, and whose Power also Edition: current; Page: [199] by Sea, is able (in short time) to give this business disturbance, and utter ruin, if the occasion should be so urgent as is afore supposed: Neither is it enough for any man to contradict all this by saying the Hollanders are very strong by Sea, when both Sea and Land encounter them with a greater power: we must observe from whence their strength doth grow, and if the root may once be spoiled, the branches soon will wither; and therefore it were an error to esteem, or value them according to the present power and wealth, which they have obtained by trade or purchase; for although this were far greater then indeed it is, yet would it soon be consumed in a chargeable war against a potent enemy, when the current of those Accidents may be stopt and turned by preventing the substance it self (which is the Fishing in His Majesties Seas) that gives Foundation, and is the very Fountain of their strength and happiness: The United Provinces (we know) are like a fair bird suited with goodly borrowed plumes; but if every Fowl should take his feather, this bird would rest neer naked: Nor have we ever seen these Netherlanders as yet in their greatest occasions to set forth neer so many ships of war at once as the English have often done without any hinderance of their ordinary traffique; It is true indeed, they have an infinite number of weak Ships to fish with, and fetch Corn, Salt, &c. for their own victualling and trading, the like to fetch Timber, Plank, Boords, Pitch, Hemp, Tar, Flax, Masts, Cordage, and other Ammunitions to make those multitudes of Ships, which unto them are as our Ploughs to us,The Netherlanders Ploughs. the which except they stir, the people starve; their Shipping therefore cannot be spared from their traffique (as ours may if occasion require) no not for a very short time, without utter ruin, because it is the daily maintenance of their great multitudes which gain their living but from hand to mouths upon which Edition: current; Page: [200] also depends the great excises, and other publique revenues, which support the State it self: Neither indeed are those Vessels strong or fit for war; and in their proper use of Fishing and trade they would become the riches, or the purchase of a potent Enemy by Sea, as they partly find by one poor town of Dunkirk, notwithstanding their great charge of Men of war, strong Convoys, and other commendable diligence, which continually they use to prevent this mischief: but if the occasion of a more powerful enemy by Sea should force them to double or treble those charges, we may well doubt the means of their continuance, especially when (by us) their fishing might nevertheless be prevented, which should procure the maintenance. These and other circumstances make me often wonder,Men who speak by affection or tradition, not from reason. when I hear the Dutch vain-gloriously to brag, and many English simply to believe, that the United Provinces are our Forts, Bulwarks, Walls, out-works, and I know not what, without which we cannot long subsist against the Spanish forces;The Hollanders main supportance is Englands good Alliance. when in truth, we are the main fountain of their happiness, both for war and peace; for trade and treasure, for Munition and Men, spending our blood in their defence; whilst their people are preserved to conquer in the Indies, and to reap the fruits of a rich traffique out of our own bosoms; which being assumed to ourselves (as we have right and power to do) would mightily encrease the breed of our people by this good means of their maintenance, and well enable us against the strongest enemy, and force likewise great multitudes of those Netherlanders themselves to seek their living here with us for want of better maintenance: whereby our many decayed Seatowns and Castles would soon be re-edified and populated in more ample manner than formerly they were in their best estate. And thus these forces being united, would be ever more ready, sure, and vigorous Edition: current; Page: [201] than a greater strength that lies divided, which is always subject to delays, diversion, and other jealousies, of all which we ought not to be ignorant, but perfectly to know, and use our own strength when we have occasion, and especially we must ever be watchful to preserve this strength, lest the subtilty of the Dutch (under some fair shews and with their mony) prevail, as peradventure they lately practised in Scotland, to have had a Patent for the possessing, inhabiting, and fortifying of that excellent Island of Lewis in the Orcades; whose scituation, harbours, fishing, fertility, largeness and other advantages, would have made them able (in short time) to offend these Kingdoms by suddain invasions, and to have defended the aforesaid Fishing against his Majesties greatest power, and also to send out and return home their Shipping prosperously that way, to and from the East and West Indies, Spain, the Straights, and other places, without passing through his Majesties narrow Seas, where in all occasions this Kingdome now hath so great advantage to take their Ships, and prevent their best Trades, which would soon bring them to ruine, whereby (as they well know) we have a greater tie and power over them than any other Nation. And howsoever the said Island of Lewis might have been obtained in the name of private men, and under the fair pretence of bringing Comerce into those remote parts of Scotland; yet in the end, when the work had been brought to any good perfection, the possession and power would no doubt have come to the Lords, the States General, even as we know they have lately gotten divers places of great Strength and Wealth in the East Indies, in the names and with the purse of their Merchants, whereby also their actions herein have been obscur’d and made less notorious unto the world, untill they had obtain’d their ends, which are of such consequence, that it doth much Edition: current; Page: [202] concern this Nation in particular, carefully to observe their proceedings, for they notoriously follow the steps of that valiant and politick Captain, Philip of Macedon, whose Maxim was,Where force fails, yet money prevails; thus hopes the Hollanders. That where force could not prevail, he always used bribes, and money to corrupt those who might advance his fortune; by which policy he gave foundation to a Monarchy; & what know we but that the Dutch may aim at some such Soveraignty, when they shall find their Indian attempts and other subtil plots succeed so prosperously? Do we not see their Lands are now become too little to contain this swelling people, whereby their Ships and Seas are made the Habitations of great multitudes? and yet, to give them further breed, are they not spared from their own wars to enrich the State and themselves by Trade and Arts? whilest by this policy many thousands of strangers are also drawn thither for performance of their martial employments, whereby the great revenue of their Excises is so much the more encreased, and all things so subtilly contrived, that although the forraign souldier be well paid, yet all must be there again expended; and thus the Wealth remains still in their own Countreys; nor are the strangers enriched which do them this great service.

I have heard some Italians wisely and worthily discourse of the natural Strength and Wealth of England, which they make to be matchless, if we should (but in part) apply ourselves to such policies and endeavours as are very commonly used in some other Countreys of Europe; and much they have admired, that our thoughts and jealousies attend only upon the Spanish and French greatness, never once suspecting, but constantly embracing the Netherlanders as our best Friends and Allies; when in truth (as they well observe) there are no people in Christendome who do more undermine, hurt, and eclipse us daily in our Edition: current; Page: [203] Navigation and Trades, both abroad and at home; and this not only in the rich Fishing in his Majesty’s Seas (whereof we have already written) but also in our Inland trades between City and City, in the Manufactures of Silk, Woolls, and the like, made here in this Kingdom, wherein they never give employment or education in their Arts to the English, but ever (according to the custome of the Jewes, where they abide in Turkey, and divers places of Christendome) they live wholly to themselves in their own Tribes. So that we may truly say of the Dutch, that although they are amongst us, yet they certainly are not of us, no not they who are born and bred here in our own Countrey, for stil they will be Dutch, not having so much as one drop of English bloud in their hearts.

More might be written of these Netherlanders pride and ambitious endeavours, whereby they hope in time to grow mighty, if they be not prevented, and much more may be said of their cruel and unjust violence used (especially to their best friends the English) in matters of bloud, trade, and other profits, where they have had advantage and power to perform it: but these things are already published in print to the view and admiration of the world; wherefore I will conclude, and the summ of all is this, that the United Provinces, which now are so great a trouble, if not a terrour to the Spaniard, were heretofore little better than a charge to them in their possession, and would be so again in the like occasion, the reasons whereof I might yet further enlarge; but they are not pertinent to this discourse, more than is already declared, to show the different effects between Natural and Artificial Wealth: The first of which, as it is most noble and advantagious, being alwayes ready and certain, so doth it make the people careless, proud, and given to all excesses; whereas the second enforceth Vigilancy, Literature, Edition: current; Page: [204] Arts and Policy. My wishes therefore are, that as England doth plentifully enjoy the one, and is fully capable of the other, that our endeavours might as worthily conjoyn them both together, to the reformation of our vicious idleness, and greater glory of these famous Kingdomes.

Chap. XX.: The order and means whereby we may draw up the ballance of our Forraign Trade.

NOw, that we have sufficiently proved the Ballance of our Forraign Trade to be the true rule of our Treasure; It resteth that we shew by whom and in what manner the said ballance may be drawn up at all times, when it shall please the State to discover how we prosper or decline in this great and weighty business, wherein the Officers of his Majesties Customes are the onely Agents to be employed, because they have the accounts of all the wares which are issued out or brought into the Kingdome; and although (it is true) they cannot exactly set down the cost and charges of other mens goods bought here or beyond the seas; yet nevertheless, if they ground themselves upon the book of Rates, they shall be able to make such an estimate as may well satisfie this enquiry; for it is not expected that such an account can possibly be drawn up to a just ballance, it will suffice onely that the difference be not over great.

How we must value our Exportations and Importations.First therefore, concerning our Exportations, when we have valued their first cost, we must add twenty-five per cent. thereunto for the charges here, for fraight of Ships, ensurance of the Adventurer, and the Merchants Gains; and for our Fishing Trades, which pay Edition: current; Page: [205] no Custome to his Majesty, the value of such Exportations may be easily esteem’d by good observations which have been made, and may continually be made, according to the increase or decrease of those affairs, the present estate of this commodity being valued at one hundred and forty thousand pounds issued yearly. Also we must add to our Exportations all the moneys which are carried out in Trade by license from his Majesty.

Secondly, for our Importations of Forraign Wares, the Custome-books serve only to direct us concerning the quantity, for we must not value them as they are rated here, but as they cost us with all charges laden into our Ships beyond the Seas, in the respective places where they are bought: for the Merchants gain, the charges of Insurance, Fraight of Ships, Customes, Imposts, and other Duties here, which doe greatly, indear them unto our use and consumption, are notwithstanding but Commutations amongst our selves, for the Stranger hath no part thereof: wherefore our said Importations ought to be valued at twenty five per cent. less than they are rated to be worth here. And although this may seem to be too great allowance upon many rich Commodities, which come but from the Low Countreys and other places neer hand, yet will it be found reasonable, when we consider it in gross Commodities, and upon Wares laden in remote Countreys, as our Pepper, which cost us, with charges, but four pence the pound in the East Indies, and it is here rated at twenty pence the pound: so that when all is brought into a medium, the valuation ought to be made as afore-written. And therefore, the order which hath been used to multiply the full rates upon wares inwards by twenty, would produce a very great errour in the Ballance, for in this manner the ten thousand bags of Pepper, which this year we have brought hither from Edition: current; Page: [206] the East Indies,The Trade to the East Indies is not onely great in it self, but it doth also make our other trades much greater than they were. should be valued at very near two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, whereas all this Pepper in the Kingdomes accompt, cost not above fifty thousand pounds, because the Indians have had no more of us, although we paid them extraordinary dear prices for the same. All the other charges (as I have said before) is but a change of effects amongst our selves, and from the Subject to the King, which cannot impoverish the Common-wealth. But it is true, that whereas nine thousand bags of the said Pepper are already shipped out for divers forraign parts; These and all other Wares, forraign or domestick, which are thus transported Outwards, ought to be cast up by the rates of his Majesties Custome-money, multiplied by twenty, or rather by twenty-five (as I conceive) which will come neerer the reckoning, when we consider all our Trades to bring them into a medium.

Thirdly, we must remember, that all Wares exported or imported by Strangers (in their shipping) be esteemed by themselves, for what they carry out, the Kingdom hath only the first cost and the custom: And what they bring in, we must rate it as it is worth here, the Custom, Impost, and pety charges only deducted.

Lastly, there must be good notice taken of all the great losses which we receive at Sea in our Shipping either outward or homeward bound: for the value of the one is to be deducted from our Exportations, and the value of the other is to be added to our Importations: for to lose and to consume doth produce one and the same reckoning. Likewise if it happen that His Majesty doth make over any great sums of mony by Exchange to maintain a forraign war, where we do not feed and clothe the Souldiers, and Provide the armies, we must deduct all this charge out of our Edition: current; Page: [207] Exportations or add it to our Importations; for this expence doth either carry out or hinder the coming in of so much Treasure. And here we must remember the great collections of mony which are supposed to be made throughout the Realm yearly from our Recusants by Priests and Jesuits, who secretly convey the same unto their Colleges, Cloysters and Nunneries beyond the Seas, from whence it never returns to us again in any kind;Two Contraries which are both pernicious. therefore if this mischief cannot be prevented, yet it must be esteemed and set down as a cleer loss to the Kingdome, except (to ballance this) we will imagine that as great a value may perhaps come in from forraign Princes to their Pensioners here for Favours of Intelligence, which some States account good Policy, to purchase with great Liberality; the receipt whereof notwithstanding is plain Treachery.

There are yet some other petty things which seem to have reference to this Ballance, of which the said Officers of His Majesties Customs can take no notice, to bring them into the accompt. As namely, the expences of travailers, the gifts to Ambassadors and Strangers, the fraud of some rich goods not entred into the Custom-house, the gain which is made here by Strangers by change and re-change, Interest of mony, ensurance upon English mens goods and their lives: which can be little when the charges of their living here is deducted; besides that the very like advantages are as amply ministred unto the English in forraign Countreys, which doth counterpoize all these things, and therefore they are not considerable in the drawing up of the said Ballance.

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Chap. XXI.: The conclusion upon all that hath been said, concerning the Exportation or Importation of Treasure.

THe sum of all that hath been spoken, concerning the enriching of the Kingdom, and th’ encrease of our treasure by commerce with strangers, is briefly thus. That it is a certain rule in our forraign trade, in those places where our commodities exported are overballanced in value by forraign wares brought into this Realm, there our mony is undervalued in exchange; and where the contrary of this is performed, there our mony is overvalued. But let the Merchants exchange be at a high rate, or at a low rate, or at the Par pro pari, or put down altogether; Let Forraign Princes enhance their Coins, or debase their Standards, and let His Majesty do the like, or keep them constant as they now stand; Let forraign Coins pass current here in all payments at higher rates than they are worth at the Mint; Let the Statute for employments by Strangers stand in force or be repealed; Let the meer Exchanger do his worst; Let Princes oppress, Lawyers extort, Usurers bite, Prodigals wast, and lastly let Merchants carry out what mony they shall have occasion to use in traffique. Yet all these actions can work no other effects in the course of trade than is declared in this discourse. For so much Treasure only will be brought in or carried out of a Commonwealth, as the Forragn Trade doth over or under ballance in value. And this must come to pass by a Necessity beyond all resistance. So that all other courses (which tend not to this end) howsoever they may seem to force mony into a Kingdom for a time, yet are they (in the end) not only fruitless but also Edition: current; Page: [209] hurtful: they are like to violent flouds which bear down their banks, and suddenly remain dry again for want of waters.

Behold then the true form and worth of forraign Trade, which is, The great Revenue of the King, The honour of the Kingdom, the Noble profession of the Merchant, The School of our Arts, The supply of our wants, The employment of our poor, The improvement of our Lands, The Nurcery of our Mariners, The Walls of the Kingdoms, The means of our Treasure, The Sinnews of our wars, The terror of our enemies. For all which great and weighty reasons, do so many well governed States highly countenance the profession, and carefully cherish the action, not only with Policy to encrease it, but also with power to protect it from all forraign injuries: because they know it is a Principal in Reason of State to maintain and defend that which doth Support them and their estates.

FINIS.
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SAMUEL FORTREY, ENGLANDS INTEREST AND IMPROVEMENT.

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To The most High and mighty MONARCH. CHARLES the II.

May it Please your most Excellent Majesty,

HAving some years since (with so great boldness) presumed to present this unworthy Treatise to your most Sacred MAJESTY; the which having received, not onely your Majesties pardon, but Favour and Countenance; I am incouraged to renew it again with the satisfaction to have had thoughts, sutable to your Majesties inclinations, as appears by your Majesties gratious approbation of many particulars contained in it; By which great success I am Edition: current; Page: [214] imboldned, once again humbly to crave your Majesties favorable Pardon and protection, having no greater ambition than, The onely being,

your Majesties most Loyal and faithful Subject and Servant,
SAMVEL FORTREY.

To the Reader.

I Have been often ashamed at my own confidence; in giving to any so much trouble, or loss of time, as the reading this undeserving paper. But it having been first Published in the year 1663. when my zeale to the Publick, more than my ability prevailed with me, to venture the hazzard of such an Undertaking; And since finding my Endeavour more acceptable, than I had reason to expect, and no more Copies remaining whereby to gratifie such friends as seemed very desirous of them: I have again renewed them without any alteration; That it may appear, how many things have hapned since, according to my wish; and how my mean thoughts have found concurrence, in the worthiest Councils. And if my endeavours herein have been any wayes successefull, or beneficiall to any, I have attained the end I aimed at.

Sam. Fortrey.

ENGLANDS Interest and Improvement consists chiefly in the increase of store and trade.

Of store and trade in general.Store comprehendeth all such commodities, as either the soil, or people of this nation are capable to produce, which are either usefull at home, or valuable abroad.

Trade is the means, by which a nation may procure what they want from abroad, and vent to the best advantage, what ever may be spared of their own increase at home.

Of store there are properly two sorts, natural and artificial.

Our natural store may also be divided into three parts.

First, the annual increase of the soil, which consists chiefly in corn of all sorts, and all the best sorts of cattel.

Secondly, the product of our Mines, of lead, tin, iron, coal, allum, and the like.

Thirdly, the great plenty of fish our seas naturally afford, of which we might reap unknown advantages, were our fishing trade rightly improved.

Our Artificial store consists in the manufacture and Industry of the people, of which the chiefest in this nation are the manufactures of woollen clothes, and all Edition: current; Page: [218] other sorts of woollen stuffs, linen cloth, silk, stuffs, ribbandings, stockings, laces, and the like.

In trade there may be likewise said to be two kinds.

The one, trade at home, one with another: the other, our trade, or traffick abroad with strangers.

And in each of these particulars, by the bounty of nature and divine providence, this nation doth not onely equal any neighbour countrey, but far excels all in the most profitable advantages.

Of the trade of France.France we know to be a nation, rich, populous and plentifull; and this onely by the increase of its own store, raised both by the fruit of the soil, and industry of the people; consisting in corn, wine, and many sorts of fruits, and great manufactures of all sorts of silks, linen clothes, laces, and many other rich commodities, which do not onely store them at home, with what they need, but by the overplus provides for all things else, they necessarily want from abroad; with plenty of money to boot.

Of the trade of Holland.Holland hath not much of its own store, especially not answerable to supply the wants of that nation; and yet by their industrious diligence in trade, they are not onely furnished with whatsoever the world affords and they want, but by the profit of their trade they excel in plenty and riches, all their neighbour nations.

Riches & People necessary to increase the greatness and power of a nation.Two things therefore appear to be chiefly necessary, to make a nation great, and powerfull; which is to be rich, and populous; and this nation enjoying together all those advantages with part whereof onely, others grow great and flourishing; and withall, a Prince, who above all things delights and glories in his peoples happiness: this nation can expect no less then to become the most great, and flourishing of all others.

The prejudice private interests often are to publick advantages.But private advantages are often impediments of publick profit; for in what any single person shall be a loser, there, endeavours will be made to hinder the Edition: current; Page: [219] publick gain, from whence proceeds the ill succes that commonly attends the endeavours for publick good; for commonly it is but coldly prosecuted, because the benefit may possibly be something remote from them that promote it; but the mischief known and certain to them that oppose it: and Interest more than reason commonly sways most mens affections.

Whereby it may appear, how necessary it is that the publick profits should be in a single power to direct, whose Interest is onely the benefit of the whole.

The greatest thing therefore that any Prince can aim at, is to make his dominions rich and populous, and by what means it may be effected in this nation, beyond all neighbour countreys, I shall endeavour to demonstrate: People and plenty are commonly the begetters the one of the other, if rightly ordered.

How to increase the people of this nation.And first, to increase the people of this nation, permission would be given to all people of foreign countreys, under such restrictions as the state shall think fit, freely to inhabit and reside within this kingdom, with liberty to buy or sell lands or goods, to import or export any commodities, with the like priviledge and freedom that English men have.

This would quickly increase the number of our people, and multiply our riches: for those people that would come from other countries to inhabit here, would also bring their riches with them, which if they laid out in the purchasing of estates, or improvement of our trade, or were onely their persons rightly employed, it might very much increase, both the riches and power of this nation.

Why foreigners desire to inhabit here.But it may be demanded why we should expect that people should leave their own native contreys to come and inhabit here, when they enjoy already as many priviledges as here are offered them.

These reasons may be given,

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The first reason.First, that this countrey in it self is as pleasant, or more pleasant, healthfull, fruitful and temperate then any other.

The second reason.Secondly, that our laws, government, and disposition of the people, I may say, are not onely as good, but much better then any other, for the ease, quiet, peace and security of a people.

The third reason.Thirdly, if our trade and manufactures were but improved to that advantage, as they are capable of, there would be no countrey in the world, where industrious people might improve their estates, and grow more rich, then in this; and the hope of gain commonly bears so great a sway amongst men, that it is alone sufficient to prevail with most.

The fourth reason.Fourthly, this being the most eminent and intire countrey of all others, that profess the Protestant Religion (which profession is very numerous in most of the other countreys of Europe, but many of them under constraint and danger, and the free liberty of mens consciences with security to their persons, being above all things most desirable) it cannot be doubted, or denied (were those impediments removed, that now may hinder) but we might be sufficiently stored with wealthy and industrious people, from all parts of Europe.

Reasons shewing the advantages the Prince of this nation hath by preferring the Protestant Religion only.And were there not so many divine reasons to prefer the Protestant Religion before all others, as being doubtless above all the most free from vain and superstitious beliefs and ceremonies, being the onely model of true piety and vertue, without those allays of pretended pious evils, that some abound with; contriving by murder, treason and mischief, to advance their opinions: I say, if there were not these reasons for it, but that the Protestant Religion wanted this unvaluable worth, to prefer it before others, and suppose it onely equal with the rest; yet in humane prudence it Edition: current; Page: [221] is most eligible, and to be preferred by the Prince of this nation before all others.

The first reason.First, because thereby, he remains the onely Supreme, under God, in these dominions; and controllable by none: whereby his power in government is much confirmed, and the peace of his people secured; when if it were otherwise (as in some it is) that mens consciences were at the dispose of others; who use their power onely to the advancement of their own wealth, pride & greatness; it cannot be avoided, but that the Princes Interest and theirs may often differ; which can never happen but to the Princes great hazard, and peoples ruine; of which truth, there have been already too many sad examples in this kingdom; so as I conceive, there needs little more to be said to perswade a Prince, to prefer his own peace, security and freedom, above the perswasions of any, that onely seek their own private Interest and advantage.

The second reason.Secondly, for the Prince of this nation, to profess the reformed Protestant Religion, is a matter of greatest policy & prudence, for the advance of his own power and greatness: For as it is said before, considering how desireable the countrey is in it self, and the only chief in Europe of this profession; and the hazardous and dangerous condition of those in other countries, & the power that the perswasions of mens consciences have to prevail with them, he may always be assured of this, that where any of this profession in other countreys, shall happen to be persecuted or injured by a stronger party of a contrary belief, their refuge will certainly be to him, either to be received as his Subjects in his own countrey, or else to offer their service to help him to become Lord of their own; or otherwise, if quarrels or differences should happen to arise between this Prince and the Prince of any other neighbour country, if they should make war upon him, he Edition: current; Page: [222] would be assured of friends abroad to help to divert them, or if he should find it fitting to attach others, he cannot want confederates and assistants in the prosecution of his design, especially if there be any thing of pretence of Religion in the case: which is seldom wanting, where it is any ways serviceable to advance a design.

But by the way it is to be observed, that as this may be of certain advantage to this Prince against others, so would it be of like mischief to himself or worse, should he suffer the Interest of any other Prince to have the like advantage against him; and in this kind there is but one profession which is so considerable, either amongst our selves at home, or in countreys abroad, that is worthy the taking notice of, and it is so Catholick as I shall not need to name it.

The danger for the prince of this nation to tolerate any other Religion.And though Christians ought not to persecute one another, and that onely for small differences in opinion, when what is right or wrong for the most part remains a doubt and uncertain; whil’st the evils are onely certain that such disputes produce.

And as it may be truly said, Morality may be short of true Religion, yet it is most certain, that no Religion can be pure that wants true morality; I shall onely therefore make this short observation, That that Religion which shall endeavour to advance it self by all immoral and wicked ways and means, must needs be in that particular much defective. And though this be commonly practised by most, yet certainly the danger is greater from that whose profest principle it is, than from such others, who (though often guilty) yet wholly disown it. And what Prince, or state is likely to escape mischief, or be secure; when opportunity is offered to those, who by ties of conscience are obliged to ruine it; and have Interest and subtilty enough to contrive the same? all which being rightly Edition: current; Page: [223] weighed and considered, it is evident, how perilous, and desperate a thing it might prove, if it were onely on account of policy, and self-preservation, for a Prince to admit or countenance such things, which have not the least shew or appearance of good, or advantage, but in all likelihood, of most certain hazard and ruine, both to Himself and State.

But granting what is said to be true, yet what can be objected against the countenancing, or at least toleration of all such other sorts of Christian professions, who pretend they have not the will, nor probably can have the power, to contrive or act any thing considerable to the damage, or disquiet of the Prince or State.

It may be answered, that the toleration of all such in it self doth not appear altogether so dangerous to the Prince, or State: But if the nature of man be rightly considered, together with the common zeal in matters of Religion, you shall finde that commonly things of the smallest consequence make the greatest differences: and, as the same faith and belief, doth very much increase love and affection, so contrariwise difference in opinions, do only beget & engender contempt, & animosities towards one another; by which means the Prince shall at no time be either quiet, or secure. For should the Prince suffer all indifferently, and not elect some one which should always be countenanced, and maintained as the chief, and most universal profession of his kingdom: the confusions would be so great, and the Princes Interest so small amongst them, for want of any dependency on him; that a kingdom so devided against it self, could not stand.

And on the other side, should the Prince first settle a government in the Church, as it is at this day, and then give toleration to all others; the mischievous consequence would not be much less: for first, all such Edition: current; Page: [224] as would withdraw, would not without grudging pay their dues to Parsons, from whom they receive no recompence, nay rather, whom they contemn and hate.

Secondly, upon all invasions from abroad, or rebellions at home, the Prince shall be sure to have all such for his enemies, as shall be so tolerated.

First, because of their certain hatred to the present Church-government: by which they conceive, that they receive many injuries, and oppressions.

Secondly, in hope every one to advance their own party, could they remove the power in being; each imagining their own opinion as the most worthy, would first take place.

And lastly, where such advantages are offered, to strengthen any discontented party, no Prince can hope, or expect to be long quiet or secure.

These mischiefs and inconveniences, having of long time been so obvious, it hath been thought by some, that a strict uniformity in Church-government, is the onely means to prevent all the aforesaid inconveniences.

What is chiefly regarded in settling a strict uniformity.I conceive it cannot well be denied, but then care would be taken, that what is so imposed, be onely such things as are barely necessary and such as may agree best with the quiet and preservation of the State. And in this also good regard would be had, to the most sober way of the same profession in other countreys; which would much advance the design aforesaid, and in all likelihood would preserve the Princes power more entire, and his people in greater fidelity, love and peace.

But to return to the cause that first moved this discourse, as a means to multiply people, and enrich the kingdom, it may be objected;

Objections against the ways and means to multiply people.First, that it doth not appear that people are wanting, but rather that we have already too many, if we consider the number of poor people that are found in Edition: current; Page: [225] every place; and it might be prudence, first, to employ these, before we endeavour to multiply more.

Secondly, that to give the like liberty and priviledge to foreiners, that English-men have, might be a means to undo the natives; for foreiners by their Correspondents abroad, and industry at home, will gain all the trade to themselves, and also by purchasing of estates, will make our land much the dearer.

The Objections answered.It is answered first; It is true considering our present condition, how trade is decayed, and the little encouragement people have to industry, we have already more people then are well employed; but I conceive, it is so much the greater damage to the Prince, to have his people both few and poor; but if the manufactures and other profitable employments of this nation, were rightly improved and encouraged, there is no doubt but the people, and riches of the kingdom might be greatly increased and multiplied, both to the profit, and honour of the Prince.

Secondly, that any Englishman, of the like ingenuity as a stranger, will have the like advantage of trade, as any stranger can have, as to the exportation or importation of any commodities, for they may have their correspondents abroad as well as the other: yet, suppose they could not, it would be no damage to the kingdom, but an advantage, if the Subjects by this means be more plentifully and cheaply provided with all forein commodities, & may gain a better price, and vent for their own, and the number and Interests that can pretend to suffer hereby, are so few, & inconsiderable that it bears no proportion with the advantage.

And further, by this liberty to foreiners, we should quickly attain to the perfection of those manufactures, which now we so highly value and purchase so dear from abroad: for many of the best Artists of other countreys, no doubt in short time would be transported Edition: current; Page: [226] hither, perhaps no less to the benefit of this nation, then the like encouragement hath been in former times, by the improvement of our art of clothing; and by which practice the Hollander at this day reaps unknown advantages. And as for raising the price and value of our lands, or of any thing else that is our own; it is of so great an advantage, that it might be wished, nothing were cheap amongst us but onely money.

Of our natural store.But to proceed in order, and first of our natural store, and annual increase of the soil, the annual profit and increase of the soil of this kingdom, consists chiefly in corn of all sorts, flax, hemp, hops, wooll, and many more such like; and also the best sorts of cattel, as bullocks, horse and sheep; and the greater our increase is of any of these commodities, the richer may we be; for, money, and all forein commodities that come hither, are onely bought by the exchange of our own commodities; wherefore by how much our own store doth exceed those necessaries we want from abroad, by so much will the plenty of money be increased amongst us.

Those things to be chiefly increased that are raised at least charge, and are of greatest value abroad.Our care should therefore be to increase chiefly those things which are of least charge at home, and greatest value abroad; and cattel may be of far greater advantage to us, then corn can be, if we might make the best profit of them; for that the profit we can make of any corn by exportation, is much hindred by the plenty that neighbour countreys afford of that commodity, as good or better than we have any. Wherefore, could we employ our lands to any thing of more worth, we could not want plenty of corn, though we had none of our own; for what we should increase in the room of it, of greater value by exportation, would not onely bring us home as much corn as that land would have yeelded, but plenty of money to boot.

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Of cattel, the most considerable are horse, sheep, and bullocks, in all which we do not onely excel in goodness all other countreys, whereby we can vent the profits of them at far greater rates, but we may also by our singular advantage, in the increase of those cattel, have the sole trade, being able so far to exceed our own wants, as to furnish all our neighbours, who must be forced to good rates, no other countrey affording the like for goodness, or scarce sufficient for their own use.

And might we freely have the liberty to export them, or so much of them as may be fitting, we should need no laws to hinder the exportation of corn; for we should find thereby a profit, so far exceeding that which might be raised out of every acre, that we might better afford to give a far greater price to buy it, than we can now sell it for. For the profit of one acre of pasture, in the flesh, hide and tallow of an Ox; or in the flesh, wooll and tallow of a sheep; or in the carcase of a horse, is of so much greater value abroad, than the like yield of the earth would be in corn; that the exportations of this nation might be at least double to what it is, if rightly disposed. Wherefore it is to be wished, that the Supreme power would so far tender the publick good, in which it is so much concerned, as to remove all impediments, and promote all endeavours, which tend to so great and publick an advantage.

The impediments of this improvement.The greatest impediments in this Improvement are chiefly these,

First, men cannot make the best of their own lands.

Secondly, when they have, they cannot sell the increase of it to the best advantage. And these may be thus amended.

How to remove them, and first by inclosure. The damage that happens for want of inclosure.First, by a liberty for every man to enjoy his lands in severalty and inclosure; one of the greatest Improvements this nation is capable of; for want whereof, we Edition: current; Page: [228] find by daily experience, that the profit of a great part of the land and stock in this kingdom, as now imployed, is wholly lost. And this appears, in that the land of the common fields, almost in all places of this nation, with all the advantages that belong unto them, will not let for above one third part so much as the same land would do inclosed, and always several. And on the great Commons, a house with commoning wil not let for one quarter so much, as it would do were its proportion several unto it. And all this by reason of the many several Interests: whence it is, that men cannot agree to employ it to its properest use, and best advantage: whereby much land is tilled with great labour, and small profit; and much land fed to the starving of the cattel, and the impoverishing the inhabitants; to the increase of nothing but beggery in this nation; all which inconveniences, would by inclosure be prevented.

Objections against inclosures.But it may be objected, that many other inconveniences would happen by inclosure; and chiefly, it would cause great depopulations and scarcity of corn, as hath been conceived by former Parliaments; which appears by their opposing, rather than advancing of it: upon this opinion, that inclosure would convert the land to pasture; one hundred acres of which, will scarce maintain a shepherd and his dog, which now maintains many families, employed in tillage; and by experience it is found, that many towns, which when their lands were in tillage had many families, now they are inclosed, have not so many inhabitants in them.

To this I answer,

The Objections answered.First, that inclosures would not have been opposed, had it not appeared, that most landlords endeavoured it; which is a greater argument of Improvement: for, did not the landlord suppose it would improve his land to a higher value, he would never have been perswaded Edition: current; Page: [229] to do it; and the reason why it would have been of greater advantage to the landlord, is, because the tenant could make more profit of it, or else we should not finde them so greedy after pasture, at so high a rate, when they may have arable enough for half the value; and this proves inclosure is profitable, since the same land is thereby raised to a far greater value.

Secondly, as for Corn, it would be nothing the scarcer by inclosure, but the rather more plentifull, though a great deal less land were tilled: for then every ingenious husband would onely plow that land that he found most fitting for it, and that no longer than he found it able to bring him profit: so as he would out of one acre, raise more corn than in the common field can be raised of two, whereby one acre would be saved for other uses, besides the charges of mens and cattels labours; whereas in the common fields, where the tenant doth not plow, the profit of the land is lost; whereby he is forced to a continual plowing, though to the ruine and damage both of the land, and of himself: so as that land, labour, and charge is lost, which otherwise might be imployed, to the profit and advantage of the kingdom.

Thirdly, as to depopulations by inclosures, granting it increaseth plenty, as cannot well be denied, How increase and plenty can depopulate, cannot well be conceived: nor surely do any imagine that the people which lived in those towns they call depopulated, were all destroyed, because they lived no longer there; when indeed they were onely removed to other places, where they might better benefit themselves, and profit the publick.

Certainly they might as well think the nation undone, should they observe how London is depopulated in a long vacation, when men are only retired into the countrey, about their private and necessary employments; Edition: current; Page: [230] and the like might they think of the countrey in the Term time, yet a man is not thereby added, or diminished to the nation.

Fourthly, as many or more families may be maintained and employed, in the manufacture of the wooll that may arise out of one hundred acres of pasture, than can be employed in a far greater quantity of arable; who perhaps do not always finde it most convenient for them to live, just on the place where the wooll groweth; by which means cities and great towns are peopled, nothing to the prejudice of the kingdom.

Wherefore then if by inclosure the land it self is raised to a greater value, and a less quantity capable of a greater increase, and if really it causeth no depopulations, but at most a removal of people thence; where without benefit to the publick, or profit to themselves, they labored and toiled, to a more convenient habitation, where they might with less pains greatly advantage both: And if the manufactures and other profitable employments of this nation are increased, by adding thereto such numbers of people, who formerly served onely to waste, not to increase the store of the nation, it cannot be denied, but the encouragement of inclosure, where every mans just right may be preserved, would infinitely conduce to the increase and plenty of this nation, and is a thing very worthy the countenance and care of a Parliament.

Of our Mines.In the next place, the product of our Mines of lead, tin, iron, coals, allum, and the like, may also be accounted amongst the annual increase of the soil, and the product of these are onely obtained by the labour and industry of the people, and are very serviceable at home and profitable abroad; and therefore the increase of them doth very well deserve all just encouragement.

Of our fishing-trade.Lastly, the great plenty of fish our seas naturally afford may be accounted amongst our other annual Edition: current; Page: [231] increases, and the profit of these onely depend on peoples labour, and that in such a kinde as it doth not onely increase the plenty and wealth of the kingdom, but also may be very serviceable to preserve and increase the honour and safety of our nation, by increasing our shipping; especially if some course were taken to prevent others from robbing us of so great a treasure, and therefore very worthy of the publick care to maintain and incourage; but the concernment of this is already so well known to every one to be so great, as it is not needfull to discourse it further.

Of our manufactures.In the next place, our manufactures are to be considered, on which chiefly depends both the wealth and prosperity of this kingdom: for by the increase and encouragement thereof, the Subjects are employed in honest and industrious callings, maintained and preserved from want, and those mischiefs which commonly attend idleness: the people furnished at home with all things both of necessity and pleasure; and by the over-plus procure from abroad, what ever for use or delight is wanting.

The chief manufactures amongst us at this day, are onely woollen clothes, woollen stuff, of all sorts, stockings, ribbandings, and perhaps some few silk stuffs, and some other small things, scarce worth naming; and these already named so decayed and adulterated, that they are almost out of esteem both at home and abroad.

Our manufacturers very much decayed. The reasons.And this, because forein commodities are grown into so great esteem amongst us, as we wholly undervalue and neglect the use of our own, whereby that great expence of treasure, that is yearly wasted in clothing, furnitures, and the like; redounds chiefly to the profit of strangers, and to the ruine of his Majesties Subjects.

And this will more plainly appear, if we examine the vast sums of money the French yearly delude us of; Edition: current; Page: [232] either by such commodities as we may as well have of our own, or else by such others, as we might as well in great part be without: whereby no doubt our treasure will be soon exhausted, and the people ruined, as this particular may make appear, which not long since was delivered in to the King of France, upon a design he had to have forbidden the trade between France and England; supposing the value of English commodities sent into France, did surmount the value of those that were transported hither.

A catalogue of French commodities yearly transported into England.1. There is transported out of France into England, great quantities of velvets plain and wrought, sattins plain and wrought, cloth of gold and silver, Armoysins and other merchandises of silk, which are made at Lions, and are valued to be yearly worth one hundred and fifty thousand pounds.

2. In silk, stuffs, taffeties, poudesoys, armoysins, clothes of gold and silver, tabbies, plain and wrought, silk-ribbands and other such like silk stuffs as are made at Tours, valued to be worth above three hundred thousand pounds by year.

3. In silk ribbands, gallowns, laces, and buttons of silk, which are made at Paris, Rouen, Chaimont, S. Estienes in Forrests, for about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds by year.

4. A great quantity of serges, which are made at Chalons, Chartres, Estamines and Rhemes, and great quantities of serges made at Amiens, Crevecoeur, Blicourt, and other towns in Picardy, for above one hundred and fifty thousand pounds a year.

5. In bever, demicastor and felt hats, made in the city and suburbs of Paris; besides many others made at Rouen, Lions, and other places, for about one hundred and twenty thousand pounds a year.

6. In feathers, belts, girdle, hatbands, fans, hoods, masks, gilt and wrought looking-glasses, cabinets, Edition: current; Page: [233] watches, pictures, cases, medals, tablets, bracelets, and other such like mercery ware, for above one hundred and fifty thousand pounds a year.

7. In pins, needles, box-combs, tortois-shell combs, and such like, for about twenty thousand pounds a year.

8. In perfumed and trimmed gloves, that are made at Paris, Rouen, Vendosme, Clermont, and other places, for about ten thousand pounds a year.

9. In papers of all sorts, which are made at Auvergne, Poictou, Limosin, Champagne and Normandy, for above one hundred thousand pounds a year.

10. In all sorts of iron-mongers wares that are made in Forrests, Auvergne, and other places, for about fourty thousand pounds a year.

11. In linen cloth that is made in Britainy and Normandy, as well course as fine, there is transported into England, for above four hundred thousand pounds a year.

12. In household-stuff, consisting of beds, matresses, coverlids, hangings, fringes of silk and other furniture, for above one hundred thousand pounds a year.

13. In wines from Gascoigne, Nantois and other places on the river of Loyer, and also from Bourdeaux, Rochel, Nante, Rouen and other places, are transported into England for above six hundred thousand pounds a year.

14. In aqua vitæ, sider, vineger, verjuice, and such like, for about one hundred thousand pounds a year.

15. In saffron, castle-sope, honey, almonds, olives, capers, prunes, and such like, for about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds a year.

16. Besides five or six hundred vessels of salt, loaden at Maron, Rochel, Bouage, the isle of Oleron, and isle of Rhee, transported into England, and Holland, of a very great value. So as by this calculation, it doth Edition: current; Page: [234] appear, that the yearly value of such commodities as are transported from France to England, amount to above six & twenty hundred thousand pounds.

And the commodities exported out of England into France, consisting chiefly of woollen clothes, serges, knit stockings, lead, pewter, allum, coals, and all else, do not amount to above ten hundred thousand pounds a year. By which it appears that our trade with France is at least sixteen hundred thousand pounds a year, clear lost to this kingdom:

Whereby the King of France, finding it would prove to his loss, to forbid the trade with England, soon laid aside the design; however raised the customs of some of our English commodities, by which means the vent of those commodities is very much lessened and hindred.

Hereby it may appear how insensibly our treasure will be exhausted, and the nation begger’d, whil’st we carelessly neglect our own Interest, and strangers abroad are diligent to make their advantages by us.

Means to redress this mischief.But most of these evils would be easily prevented, if onely his Majesty would be pleased to commend to his people, by his own example, the esteem and value he hath of his own commodities, in which the greatest Courtier may be as honourably clad, as in the best dress, Paris, or a French Taylour can put him in; besides it seems to be more honourable for a King of England, rather to become a pattern to his own people, than to conform to the humours and fancies of other nations, especially when it is so much to his prejudice.

This alone, without further trouble, would be at least ten hundred thousand pounds a year to the advantage of his people; for the Courtiers always endeavour to imitate the Prince, being desirous to obtain his favour, which they can no way better do, than by approving his actions in being of like humour: Edition: current; Page: [235] and the Court being the copy that the Gentry strive to write after, and the rest of the people commonly follow; it appears of what great consequence and advantage the good example of a Prince, is to the benefit of his people.

Expence in apparel to be countenanced under some restrictions.And whereas it sometimes hath been thought prudence in a Prince, to forbid and discountenance the excess of apparel in his Subjects; whereby many of the nobility themselves have ruined their families, and most of the Gentry have been impoverished; whereby the great expence and waste of treasure in that vanity doth appear: yet I conceive, in a convenient manner it rather ought to be maintained, and encouraged, onely observing these rules.

First, that the vanity of the expence do not depend on such commodities, as have too much of the substance of gold, silver, or silk; whereby the publick treasure is wasted and lost.

Secondly, that we impoverish not ourselves to enrich strangers, by that unnatural vanity, in preferring foreign commodities though worse, before our own, that are better.

Thirdly, that the excess of this expense consist chiefly in the art, manufacture and workmanship of the commodity made in our own countrey; whereby ingenuity would be encouraged, the people employed, and our treasure kept at home, so as the Prince would be nothing damnified by the excess: for the ruine of one would raise as much another of his Subjects; and money would thereby be more moving, which would be a great encouragement, and satisfaction to the people.

To name the particulars of such commodities as would hereby be increased, would be endless and needless, when in a word it is, whatever at present we purchase from abroad, which we might as well raise of Edition: current; Page: [236] our own at home. But some perhaps may say, that this would destroy our trade abroad, for many of our commodities are vented, by the exchange of them for other commodities we bring home in return.

I answer, it is no prejudice to lose that trade which is a loss to keep; and if our importations of forein commodities be of far greater value than our own exportations, our treasure must needs be wasted to even the balance; and so our own people remain idle & poor, for the vent of one thousand pounds worth of commodities abroad, is of little advantage to the people, if thereby they are hindred of the vent of two thousand at home.

The Interest of the Prince, to increase the manufactures and trade of his people. Concerning our trade abroad, & what is freely to be exported.Wherefore these particulars considered, it is evident of what great concernment it is to a Prince, to encourage and increase the trade, and manufacture of his own people. And so much concerning trade at home.

In the next place concerning our trade abroad with strangers: and this would also be encouraged, and increased by all means possible, and when any commodity is raised to the greatest height it is capable of, it should be free for exportation, under so reasonable customs, that the Merchant may afford his commodity abroad, as cheap as others, or else he would not be able to vent it.

What freely to be imported.Secondly, all forein commodities that are usefull, to improve our own manufactures and trade abroad, and cannot be raised here, should be brought unto us under easie customs, the better to enable us at an easie exchange, to vent our commodities abroad.

What to be hindred and prevented.Thirdly, all forein commodities whatsoever, that are only useful to be spent within the nation, & that have already all their perfection, as fruits, sugars, wines, linen cloth, laces, silks, & what else can receive no addition here, and are not to be again transported; such commodities should pay extraordinary customs, Edition: current; Page: [237] but should not be forbidden to be brought in: For by this means, these commodities will be so dear to the people, that it will much wean them from so lavish an use of them, as might otherwise be, and for such things as we are capable to raise, it will much increase it of our own; whereby the State will raise a good revenue, and the countrey save their wealth, that would be wastfully spent abroad, and so increase our own manufactures at home.

Fourthly, the increase of our land in any kinde (except sheep alive and mares) that have already all the perfection that we can add unto them, should be free for exportation,The exportation of horses of greatest advantage. under reasonable customs; and of all things this nation is capable to raise, there is not any one of so great profit, as the exportation of horses, which of all commodities is of least charge to be raised at home, and of greatest value abroad. But to this may be many objections.

Objections.First, that it will make horses dear.

Secondly, that the exportation of stone-horses may be prejudicial, by furnishing others with our breed.

Besides, it may enable our enemies who may invade us, and we shall also weaken our selves by sending away our best horses; with other such like objections.

But to these it is answered,

The Objections answered.First, as for the dearness of any thing we sell to strangers, the more money we get for it by how much the dearer it is; and the only way to be rich, is to have plenty of that commodity to vent, that is of the greatest value abroad; for what the price of any thing is amongst our selves, whether dear or cheap, it matters not; for as we pay, so we receive, and the countrey is nothing damnified by it; but the art is when we deal with strangers, to sell dear and to buy cheap; and this will increase our wealth.

Secondly, to vent stone-horses, would be of far better Edition: current; Page: [238] profit then to vent geldings; for that a stone-horse will give far more money, with the same charge to us, besides the loss of many horses in gelding; and as for any prejudice to our breed, I conceive it no danger, if mares be not transported; for one horse will cover twenty mares as well as twenty horse may do: wherefore the increase of the horses do nothing increase the breed; and in France where we should best vent our horses, they have always horses enough, and of very great value and goodness, sufficient for stallions; but they have neither mares nor conveniency to breed; for the contrey generally is all champion, corn-fields, and vineyards, and also so unsafe to venture any cattel of such worth without stone walls to guard them, that scarce all the summer, either horse or cow is left abroad in the night, without a guard; besides, if they could breed, the breed of it self would prove degenerate, and soon be lost, the countrey being naturally improper for it.

As for enabling our enemies to invade us, I conceive there is but little danger in that. At present we have amity with all those countries that desire our horses, and if at any time it should be found fitting, to forbid the transportation of them, the prejudice that might happen by those already transported, would soon be past; for of five hundred horses that should be transported, I verily beleeve in less than five years, there would scarce be five remaining.

Yet further, it doth not concern us to fear any such power in our neighbours, we having no frontiers subject to sudden incursions; but our defence consists chiefly in another strength which is our ships at sea, which should they be insufficient to guard us, I doubt the enemies want of our horses would be but small security.

And as to the weakening of our selves, by sending away our best horses, whereby we may want for our Edition: current; Page: [239] own use, this I conceive is a groundless fear, and wholly mistaken; for the good profit we should make by a free vent of this commodity, would encourage every ingenious husband, to be well provided with what is so profitable; and every man would endeavour, not onely to increase his breed but also to be curious in the goodness of them; so as it will rather be a double advantage to us; for as by the profit of those we send abroad, we shall greatly increase our wealth, and far more by this means than by any other this countrey is capable of, out of its own store; so we shall also have more choice, and plenty of this so serviceable and profitable a creature, both for use and pleasure.

Concerning the return of money by exchange.By the improvement of our trade as aforesaid, both at home and abroad, whereby our exportations of commodities would exceed our importations, a very great & signal advantage would acrue not commonly taken notice of, and it is the profit we should then make of our returning money,The prejudice at present. by bills of exchange, in which at this present we suffer an unvaluable loss: for as it is said before, our importations exceeding our exportations, our coin & treasure must needs be wasted to even the balance and consequently more money drawn by exchange out of the countrey than is returned back again; whereby we are forced to give far more than the intrinsick value of the thing, to receive our monies beyond the sea, to supply our occasions, the number being greater of those that desire to receive moneys abroad, then of those that want it at home; for it is in this as in all other commodities, Where the commodity is scarce, and the vent great, the purchase is alwaies dear;Our coin and bullion transported, and the reason. and the forein Merchant finding our necessity, makes his advantage upon us incredibly to our loss; so that by this means it also happens, that our coin and bullion is transported; it being found more profitable then returns by exchange, for the reasons aforesaid: Edition: current; Page: [240] Our gold transported and the reason. and our gold being of less value at home then it is abroad it hath been all conveyed away within these few years: and laws to prevent it shall always prove fruitlesss, when it is advantageous to do it; there being means sufficient to be found to effect it, by such as shall find it profitable.

Laws to prevent it fruitless.Wherefore to make laws to hinder the exportation of coin or bullion, I conceive altogether useless.

First, because it doth nothing prevent it where it is intended; and Secondly, in many cases it is most advantageous to do it. For in some countreys, some commodities are no way to be purchased at cheaper rates, than by money in specie: and if by the right ordering and disposing of our trade, our exportations did exceed our importations, in value; our coin and bullion would be daily increased; there being no other means to even the balance of trade.

Concerning our money and coin.And here it may not be altogether improper, to speak something concerning our money and coin, which is also a commodity as well as the rest; in which these particulars are chiefly to be respected.

How chiefly to be considered in relation to other nations.First, to consider and examine if the gold to silver, in England, be of the like proportionable value; as the gold to silver, in France, Spain, Holland, and other forein countreys.

Secondly, to consider the allay of gold, and silver, in England, to that of other countreys.

Thirdly, to consider if the coin be of equal value with the currant price of bullion, the charge of coining onely deducted.

Lastly, how to order our coin, so as may be most honourable and profitable to the nation.

To the first, it doth appear that the gold in England doth not bear so good a value to silver as it doth in France, and other forein countreys; whereby all our gold is exported, and not our silver.

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Secondly, the allay both of gold and silver in England, is finer than in other parts; which is rather a prejudice, then an advantage, it giving no more in forein countreys, than onely according to the weight by their standard, without consideration to the purenesss.

Thirdly, our coin is not equal to the true value of the silver, the coinage onely deducted; for by the imperfection of our mint, the pieces of the same value are made so various, that some shillings will weigh fourteen pence, and some not above eight pence; which afterwards, being new weighed over, and culled by the goldsmiths, through whose hands most of our bullion passeth, the heavy ones are picked out, and onely the leight ones, and those of under value, pass for currant; which is a most eminent abuse and wrong to the publick.

Wherefore lastly, in prevention to these inconveniences, First, our gold would be raised in proportion to silver, at least equal with what it bears in France, and other countreys; and if it be desired to increase, chiefly, that species, a small addition to the value will soon do it.

The imperfection of our mint and abuses at home.Secondly, the allay would be made the same, with that in other countreys of Europe, with whom we chiefly traffick.

How to order our mint, so as to prevent most of these abuses and inconveniences.Thirdly, the abuses happening by the imperfection of our mint, as light and false money in abundance; any ill-favoured and imperfect false stamp being hardly to be distinguished from the true, might easily be prevented, by a more exact and curious stamp, as may easily be made by the way of milling; whereby not only the coin will be more beautifull, but also more equal in weight, and much more difficult to be clipped and counterfeited: especially if care be taken, to make the pieces large and thin; which will not onely shew more great and noble, but will many ways be more easie to be distinguished from false, as by the sound, stiffness, weight and colour: it being both so difficult, and Edition: current; Page: [242] chargeable, to counterfeit money so formed, as few will hazard to undertake it.

Concerning our shipping and navigation.Next, in order to our trade abroad, and safety at home, our shipping and navigation is to be considered; the increase and preservation whereof, is of great concernment to the Interest, safety, and well-being of this nation; for which the late act for trade, by the late pretended Parliament, did wisely provide, by ordering that no foreiner should bring any commodity hither, but what was the growth of their own countrey; Whereby the Hamburger and Flemming, that run hackney all the world over, were a little stayed from coming hither crowding so thick, with all forein commodities as they were wont to do; whereby little, or no employment could be found for our own vessels; every thing being so plentifully brought hither by them; and at cheaper rates, than we our selves could fetch them.

Objections against it.But some perhaps may object, that, Sure it was an advantage to us, to be so cheaply and plentifully stored with forein commodities, when we cannot be so cheaply furnished by own shipping; for that we are at far greater charge, both in goodness of shipping, number of our men, and chargeable maintaining of them more than others.

The Objections answered.I answer, It is true, that the same commodity brought hither in any of our own vessels, cannot be afforded so cheap as what might be brought by others; by reason indeed, that our shipping is much more chargeable, and better manned than any other: but this being rightly considered, it is rather an advantage than a prejudice to the publick; for, if commodities be thereby any thing the dearer, here at home, yet, we buy them as cheap abroad as any other; and all that others would have gained of us by the carriage, will now be earned by our own people; and whatever it costs the dearer to the purchaser here, is no prejudice to the publick, when our own nation receives the profit of it; especially it Edition: current; Page: [243] being by the increase of that, in which consists the greatest honour and safety of the kingdom. Some might therefore think, that it might be of no less advantage, to forbid other nations to fetch any of our commodities, but to keep to our selves the benefit of the portage of them by our own shipping.

I answer, should we do this, we can expect no less, but that other nations would do the like towards us, whereby we should be very much prejudiced.

First, in that we should then lose the advantage which now we have, in bringing forein commodities home; and besides, we should perhaps, want the vent of our own commodities, which certainly will always sell best, wher most chapmen are found to buy them; so as by how much the cheaper they can transport them, so much the more they will be contented to give us here; moreover, the greatest part our Manufactures, are of so great value, and so light of carriage, that a small advantage in the price, or a little better vent, will soon compensate the loss of the portage of them; but indeed, if the Hamburger and Flemming, were prevented in the carriage of some of our more sluggish commodities, as sea-coal, lead, iron, allum, fish; or the like, where the charge of the carriage many times is greater, than the whole value of the commodity it self, this might possibly increase something our Navigation, and yet hinder nothing the vent of those commodities, which others cannot at all be without; and we shall not much need to fear their requiting us in the same kinde; for neither the Hollander, nor Hamburger, have any such commodities of their own, as we need care to fetch; who are the onely nation, that employ themselves in this kinde of trade.

Of forein plantations.It may not also be improper, to reflect a little upon the benefit this nation doth, or may receive by forein Plantations.

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What chiefly to be considered in the increasing and preserving them.I conceive, no forein Plantation should be undertaken, or prosecuted, but in such countreys that may increase the wealth and trade of this nation, either in furnishing us, with what we are otherwise forced to purchase from strangers, or else by increasing such commodities, as are vendible abroad; which may both increase our shipping, and profitably employ our people; but otherwise, it is always carefully to be avoided, especially where the charg is greater than the profit, for we want not already a countrey sufficient to double our people, were they rightly employed; and a Prince is more powerful that hath his strength and force united, then he that is weakly scattered in many places. But, To descend to particulars, viz. what commodities are most desireable and of greatest advantage, and what countreys and climates are most proper to increase them, would be too tedious to treat of here.

Concerning Merchants associating themselves in companies.There yet remains something to be said concerning Merchants, associating themselves in companies; the benefit or prejudice whereof hath been often controverted, but something difficult to determine.

Objections against it. The objections answered.It is true, It is opposed by many, conceiving the free liberty of trade would be much more advantageous in the general, because these companies, keeping the trade to themselves onely, will have what commodities are to be vented abroad at their own price, and at an under-value; none having occasion to buy them but themselves: wherby the workmen are many times discouraged, and sometimes undone. And on the contrary, what commodities are brought home in exchange, they sell at what unreasonable rates they please, the whole commodity remaining in their hands; whereby the people in general, are very much damnified, and the companies onely enriched; whereas, if the trade were free, our own commodities having more chapmen, would sell at better rates, and what is brought home Edition: current; Page: [245] in return, would be distributed at much cheaper prices amongst the people.

This is for the most part a truth, yet, rightly considering the thing, it rather seems an advantage in the whole, then the least prejudice; for indeed, as they make their profit at home, so they make no less advantage abroad; for the whole commodity being in their hands, they will make the most that can be made of it; none having the like commodities to undersell them: and the like advantage they have again in what they buy; whereby in truth, our own commodities are sold the dearer to strangers, and forein commodities bought much the cheaper; when both would happen contrary in a free trade; where each will undersel the other, to vent most; and also purchase at any rates, to prevent the rest: besides, many times the trade is wholly lost, particulars being often too weak to maintain and undergo it, and there is nothing less of a commodity vented by a Company, than by single persons: for they will always furnish, as much as the trade requires; the more they vent, the more being their profit. Whereby it may appear, that Companies both vent our own commodities to the best advantages and buy cheapest what we want from strangers; and the prejudice that may happen by them to the workmen, or homechapmen, is fully recompensed by the clear profit they return to the publick; of which they are members, as well as others. But if their particular profits be thought too great, it may be something moderated by a free liberty, that every one that please, may be admitted of the Company, on fit and reasonable terms.

What Interest most proper to be allowed for the use of money.In the last place, concerning the use of money; which being the life and sinews of trade, it hath been the opinion of some that, The greater use were allowed for money, the more would be the profit of the publick; for that strangers, finding a greater benefit to be made Edition: current; Page: [246] of their money here, then other where, would send it hither; whereby money would be much more plentifull amongst us.

Indeed, I should be of their opinion, if as soon as by this means, great sums of money were transported hither, all their money should be confiscate to the publick; but if otherwise, sure it cannot be denied, but the greater the use the more the profit to the usurer, and loss to the debter; so as in a few years, we should finde our selves so little enriched thereby, that when the principal should be again recalled, we should find but little money left; all our own being wasted in use: wherefore indeed the true benefit to the publick is, to set the use of money as low, or rather lower than in our neighbour-countryes it is; for then they would make no profit out of us, by that means; but rather we on them. And it is the clear profit that we get out of our own that will make this Nation rich; and not the great sums we are indebted to others.

Many particulars more might seasonably be discoursed of, and this already touched, possibly by some other might be more exactly and amply treated on; but these being the most material things that I could call to memory, and most conducing (in my opinion) to the emprovement and prosperity of the Nation, and consequently to my present design; I shall satisfie my self with this Essay; hoping the subject being so worthy, some other and more skilful and knowing Pen, may be provoked to enlarge it further.

FINIS.
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The Contents.

  • OF store and trade in general Pag. 217
  • Of the trade of France 218
  • Of the trade of Holland ibid.
  • Riches and People, necessary to increase the greatness and power of a Nation ibid.
  • The prejudice private Interests often are to publick advantage ibid.
  • How to increase the people of this Nation 219
  • Why foreiners desire to inhabit here ibid.
  • The first reason, the pleasantness and fruitfulness of the countrey 220
  • The second reason, the excellency of the laws and government, and the good disposition of the people ibid.
  • The third reason, the advantage of trade ibid.
  • The fourth reason, the Protestant Religion ibid.
  • Reasons shewing the advantage the Prince of this Nation hath, by preferring the Protestant Religion onely ibid.
  • The first reason, because thereby he preserves his authority more entire 221
  • The second reason, because thereby he gains an Interest in other Princes dominions ibid.
  • The danger for the Prince of this Nation to tolerate any other Religion 222
  • What is chiefly to be regarded in settling a strict uniformity 224
  • Objections against the ways and means to multiply people ibid.
  • The Objections answered 225
  • Of our natural store 226
  • Those things to be chiefly increased, that are raised at least charge, and are of greatest value abroad ibid.
  • The impediments of this improvement 227
  • How to remove them ibid. Edition: current; Page: [248]
  • First by inclosure 228
  • The damage that happens for want of inclosure ibid.
  • Objections against inclosures ibid.
  • Objections answered ibid.
  • Of our Mines 230
  • Of our fishing trade ibid.
  • Of our Manufactures 231
  • Our Manufactures very much decayed ibid.
  • The Reasons ibid.
  • A catalogue of French commodities yearly transported into England 232
  • Means to redress this mischief 234
  • Expence in apparel to be countenanced under some restrictions 235
  • The interest of the Prince to increase the manufactures and trade of his people 236
  • Concerning our trade abroad, and what is freely to be exported ibid.
  • What freely to be imported ibid.
  • What to be hindred and prevented ibid.
  • The exportation of horses, of greatest advantage 237
  • Objections ibid.
  • The objections answered ibid.
  • Concerning return of money by exchange 239
  • The prejudice at present ibid.
  • Our coin and bullion transported, and the reason ibid.
  • Our gold transported, and the reason 240
  • Laws to prevent it, fruitless ibid.
  • Concerning our money and coin ibid.
  • How chiefly to be considered in relation to other nations ibid.
  • The imperfections of our mint and abuses here at home 241
  • How to order our mint to prevent most of these abuses and inconveniences ibid.
  • Concerning our shipping and navigation 242
  • Objections against it ibid.
  • The objections answered ibid.
  • Of forein plantations 243
  • What chiefly to be considered in the increasing and preserving them 244 Edition: current; Page: [249]
  • Concerning Merchants associating themselves in Companies 244
  • Objections against it ibid.
  • The objections answered ibid.
  • What Interest most proper to be allowed for the use of money. 245
FINIS.
Edition: current; Page: [250] Edition: current; Page: [251] Edition: current; Page: [252] Edition: current; Page: [253] Edition: current; Page: [255] Edition: current; Page: [256] Edition: current; Page: [257]

ENGLAND’S Great Happiness; OR, A DIALOGUE BETWEEN Content and Complaint.

lf1372_figure_005.jpg
Original title page

THE CONTENTS OF THIS DIALOGUE.

  • TO export money our great advantage. p. 259.
  • To consume Callico more profitable for us, than other Foreign Linnen. p. 260.
  • The Norway Trade a profitable Trade. ibid.
  • The French Trade a profitable Trade. ibid.
  • Gilded Leather in a short time like to be made as cheap here, as in Holland or elsewhere. p. 261.
  • Variety of Wares for all Markets, a great advantage. ibid.
  • High living a great improvement to Arts. ibid.
  • An account of such as were great Traders formerly. 262
  • Invitation of Foreign Arts a great advantage. p. 263.
  • Multitudes of people an advantage. ibid.
  • Examples of profit by Foreign Arts. p. 264.
  • A Hearty Wish. p. 265.
  • Enclosure its advantage. ibid.
  • Horticulture a great advantage. ibid.
  • Whether lawful to enclose. p. 266.
  • Reasons for the Act call’d Trade encourag’d. p. 267.
  • A way to enclose in spite of the Rabble. p. 268. Edition: current; Page: [254]
  • Multitude of Traders a great advantage. p. 269.
  • Advantages of many Traders. p. 270.
  • A Disswasive from murmuring. p. 270.
  • The word Impossible a great discourager of Arts. p. 271.
  • Signs of Wealth. ibid.
  • A Comparison. p. 272.
  • Our present complaints. ibid.
  • A good resolution. p. 273.
  • Some Scriptures against murmuring. ibid.

The Author to his Book.

    • MY little Book, when you do look
    • Into the World that’s curious;
    • You must take care, you don’t ill fare
    • From those men that are furious.
    • Against all things that reason brings
    • To contradict their humours;
    • And scarce are pleas’d, unless they’re eas’d
    • By spreading forth false rumours.
    • But if that they ought ’gainst thee say,
    • And make it truth appear;
    • Then I’l submit and think it fit,
    • That you the blame should bear.
    • But if they will be murm’ring still,
    • Partic’larizing men, that idly spend,
    • Or fates do lend a hand to Ruine: then
    • ’Twill be but meet Poor Robin see’t,
    • And answer them with glee, because such fools
    • Are the fit tools T’employ such men as he.
Content.

HOw do you do, Mr. Complaint?

Complaint.

Your Servant Sir, I’m glad to see you well: What News?

Cont.

Why, all the talk is of the Blazing Star, and Whale that’s come to Colchester.

Compl.

God grant they forbode no ill News, I’m afraid on’t. The French King they say is at Callice.

Cont.

Well, what then, I hope he knows the way back to Paris.

Compl.

Nay he need not come hither, here are enough already to eat us up, I profess there’s no trade, I don’t know what we shall do, there is not a penny stirring, and men break like mad, if these times hold we shall be all undone.

Cont.

You Complainants are a sort of the worst condition’d people in the World, I won’t say ’tis impossible for God to please you, but I’m sure his Blessings of Peace and Plenty won’t.

Edition: current; Page: [258]
Compl.

Plenty say you! yes, here’s plenty enough of broken Merchants and Citizens.

Cont.

True, one of them of a sort is too much, but yet I dare say there is more wealth in England at this time, than ever was at any before his Majesties Happy Restauration.

Compl.

What then makes the Complaint?

Cont.

Because such as you are hardly ever well when you are doing otherwise.

Compl.

You talk strangely.

Cont.

Well, I think ’tis so easie to make out, that while we are drinking a glass of Wine, I may convince, or put you to a non-plus.

Compl.

Say’st thou so? Well I’le try, but instead of Wine let’s drink a dish of Coffee; for I profess whatsoe’re you think, I find them hard times.

Cont.

Well, a match, but I suppose you go thither because ’tis the Complaining School, and you may be entertain’d with false jealousies an hour for a penny. Come Boy give me a dish of Tee, for I’m for something that heats and wets, and by its sweet taste give some reason to be contented.

Compl.

For all this give me some Coffee.

Cont.

Well, now let’s hear your Complaints, and we’l consider them one by one.

Compl.

There are a great many at present, I’le only mention five, viz.

1. Carrying the Money out of the Nation.

2. People’s over high living.

3. The too many Foreigners.

4. The Enclosure of Commons.

5. The multitude of people that run into trade, and sell so cheap that one can’t live by another.

Cont.

Are these your great Complaints? I can hardly forbear laughing, for these rightly considered are some of our main temporal advantages. A great Edition: current; Page: [259] encrease whereof would make us so rich as to be the envy of the whole world.

Compl.

I should be glad if ’twere so, I pray let’s hear what you can say for the exportation of money. There’s law against it, and a great many wise men complain of the East India Company for that reason.

Cont.

I must not gainsay Law; there was once a law to stint the making of Malt; but some of our Gentlemen are now of other minds, witness the Act for exportation of Beer, Ale, and Mum. The complaints against the East India Company, if they were for the Nation’s happiness, would they were encouraged, and let it go as our Parliament shall in their wisdom think fit, but some wise men think it best as ’tis, however ’tis our great advantage to export Money:Our great advantage to export money. For the aforesaid Company brings in a great many more goods than we consume, the over-plus whereof is exported: By which part I suppose none will dispute a profit. Wherefore whatsoever they bring in more, must be all exported, (we being already over stockt) which undoubtedly will enrich us according to its proportion. But this they cannot do without money. For I suppose them men that very well understand their own interest (by which I am apt to judge all) and do think that if they could sell that cloth in India for two and twenty Shillings, which costs them here twenty, and sell enough, they would never carry out one penny: for they pay no freight out, and two and and twenty Shillings if it be really two and twenty Shillings, will buy more goods than twenty shillings will do. But if the Indians will not buy our goods, they must have our money, or we must knock off that Trade which the Dutch will heartily thank you for, and give you a golden god to boot.

Comp.

Ah but we consume abundance of their Commodities here.

Cont.

It is more profitable for us to consume Callico, than other foreign linnen.Best of all, for the more Callico we use, the Edition: current; Page: [260] less other linnen, and that saves abundance of wealth by being to us (at first hand especially) much cheaper; and also pulling down the price of forreign linnen, I have heard some say almost half. But about this India trade you may see more at large by ingenious Mr. Mun; and a Letter call’d The East-India trade a most profitable trade to the Kingdom, printed 1677.

Comp.

Norway trade a profitable trade.This is something, but what think you of the Norway-trade that takes away so many of our Crown pieces?

Cont.

I think well of that too, for that kind of timber we cannot be without, and I suppose our land can be better imploy’d than in great groves of such like. It also employs a great shipping, and makes us build Houses, Ships, and Cases for Merchandise, at cheap rates, and if we might have a thousand Saw-Mills, for ought I know they might do us as much kindness as Engine Looms, and for all the talk of the short sighted Rabble, employ twice the people too.

Compl.

You speak plain, but what think you of the French trade? which draws away our money by wholesale. Mr. Fortrey whom I have heard you speak well of, gives an account that they get sixteen hundred thousand pounds a year from us.

Cont.

The French Trade a profitable Trade.’Tis a great sum, but perhaps were it put to vote in a wise Council, whether for that reason the trade should be left off, ’twould go in the negative. For Paper, Wine, Linnen, Castle-Sope, Brandy, Olives, Capers, Prunes, Kid-skins, Taffaties, and such like we cannot be without; and for the rest which you are pleas’d to stile Apes and Peacocks (although wise Solomon rankt them with Gold and Ivory) they set us all a-gog, and have encreas’d among us many considerable trades: witness, the vast multitudes of Broad and Narrow silk Weavers, Makers of Points, and white and black Laces, Hats, Fanns, Looking-Glasses, and Edition: current; Page: [261] other glasses as I’m told the best in the world, Paper, Fringes, and gilded Leather, which in a short time is like to be made as cheap here, as in Holland or any other place. Wine of several fruits, Sider, Saffron, Honey, Spirits, and such like: and some cause improvements by farther Manufacture, others we export with great profit, and have a great variety to satisfie all sorts of Markets,Variety of Wares for all markets a great advantageous. causing their Neighbours that sell the like, as Salt, Wine, Linnen, &ca. to sell as much cheaper with abundance other advantages. I must confess I had rather they’d use our goods than money, but if not, I would not lose the getting of ten pound, because I can’t get a hundred; and I don’t question but when the French gets more foreign trade, they’l give more liberty to the bringing in foreign goods. And I think you’l be ashamed to deny the Canary’s a little when Spain yields you so vast quantities. I’l suppose John a Nokes to be a Butcher, Dick a Styles an Exchange man, your self a Lawyer, will you buy no Meat or Ribbands, or your wife a fine Indian Gown or Fann, because they will not truck with you for Indentures, which they have no need of? I suppose no, but if you get money enough of others, you care not though you give it away in specie for these things: I think ’tis the same case.

Compl.

’Tis well if it be as you say, but what think you of your next proposal?A general High Living a great improvement to arts. Our High Living.

Cont.

He that spends more than he is able to pay for, is either fool or knave, or in great necessity; but I suppose not this to be the Nations case; for if it were we must owe more to other Nations than they to us, though we gave them all we have to boot, which if you think, most of the Merchants that have foreign Factories in the East or West Indies, Africk, Streights, Spain, Portugal, Baltick, East Countrys, Hanse-Towns, Scotland, Ireland, with France and Holland too, will condemn you. But our height puts us all upon an Edition: current; Page: [262] industry, makes every one strive to excel his fellow, and by their ignorance of one anothers quantities, make more than our markets will presently take off; which puts them to a new industry to find a foreign Vent, and then they must make more for that market; but still having some over-plus they stretch their wits farther, and are never satisfied till they ingross the trade of the Universe. And something is return’d in lieu of our exportations, which makes a further employment and emprovement.

If it won’t do this, why do you complain of France getting our money for their trifles? if it will, why should we not encrease it as high as ever it is possible? If we make six considerable Laces and export but one, I suppose for it we may bring in more money than the first cost of them all; which is far better than to import one and let our people sit idle for want of imployment.

The former great traders.The Venetian, Spaniard, Portugeeze, Dutch, and English have drove the great trade of the world, and fetcht the gold and silver: but when they had done, they eagerly carried it to France to buy their guegawes, and thereby made them always considerable: and I had rather get a thousand pound by lace and fringes, than nine hundred by the best broad-cloth that ever I yet saw.

That honest way that finds most employment and gets most money, is sure the best for any Nation, and this fine manufacture joyn’d to our shipping will perhaps make us the most potent the Sun shines on.

Take away all our supernecessary trades, and we shall have no more than Tankard-Bearers, and Plowmen; and our City of London will in short time be like an Irish Hut, or perhaps Carthage mentioned in Virgil Travestie.

If you have reason, here’s enough to satisfie: but if Edition: current; Page: [263] not, should I bring ten thousand undeniable arguments you’d still complain.

Compl.

I meet but with very few of your mind: but I pray let’s hear your thoughts of the next proposal? which is, That ’tis our happiness to have abundance of Foreigners, for I’m sure the general cry is that they eat the bread out of our mouths, they sell their goods when we can’t, they work cheaper than we, live in holes, pay neither scot nor lot; and if we should have many more of them, sure we should have nothing to do.

Cont.

You are never well full or fasting;Invitation of Foreigners a great advantage.you cry up the Dutch to be a brave people, rich, and full of Cities, that they swarm with people as Bee-hives with Bees; if a plague come, they are fill’d up presently and such like; yet they do all this by inviting all the World to come and live among them. You complain of Spain because their Inquisition is so high, they’l let no body live among them, and that’s a main cause of their weakness and poverty. You find fault because some of our people go to Ireland and the Plantations, and say we want people at home to fill our Cities and Countrie towns, and yet you’l allow none to come and fill up their rooms.The advantages of Multitudes. Will not a multitude of people strengthen us as well as the want of them weaken Spain? sure it will. Would you not be glad if the Duke of Lorrain should destroy as many Villages in France as are destroy’d in Alsatia, and thereby destroy 100000 people? I dare say the most part of you would. I pray then would it not do as well if an hundred thousand French would run away leaving their houses to drop, and fight against the French King, or at least work for money to pay taxes to them that will? I think you won’t gainsay it. In Sr. Walter Raleigh’s observations concerning the causes of the magnificency and opulency of Cities, ’twas the best policy that old Rome Edition: current; Page: [264] had, and by it they were brought to their height. Tamerlan the great was of the same mind, and Constantinople owes its greatness to the same contrivance. Would not Foreigners living here consume our corn, cattle, cloth, coals, and all kind of things we use? and would not that cause our lands to be better till’d, and our trades increas’d? would they not bring several new trades with them,Examples of profit by Forreigners. or help to encrease those we have? witness the Flemmings in the time of Edward the third, the Colonies of Colchester, Canterbury, and Norwich, the Silk-trade in Spittle-Fields, the Tapistrey-makers in Hatton Garden, Clerkenwel, and elsewhere, Mr Todin the rare Pewterer in St. Martins Lane, the Husbandmen in the Fenns, and divers others, and doth not every Trades-man among them employ two or three English to attend them either in making tools, winding silk, or such like, besides buying all their materials here? Do you think the first rough materials of a piece of silk of six pound a yard costs twenty Shillings? is not the other five pound better earnt and spent here, than to give the whole six pound to France for’t? No man in England loves it better than I, and I love no Nation more than another, but for their vertues, or as they relate to the welfare of England: but some of our great complainers will spend a groat when they are not worth two pence, and work but two or three days in the week, therefore others out-do them.

Strangers pay neither scot nor lot, tis true, but ’tis because they are disturb’d, and are hardly suffer’d (or at least encourag’d) to take houses, but otherwise they’d quickly be like us, and the next generation would not be known from English.

You seldom hear of any disturbance they make in the State, for they are not all of one mind, and cannot agree if they would, they come for safety, quietness, Edition: current; Page: [265] and livelyhoods, for which and other good reasons, if the Parliament think fit,A hearty Wish. I could wish there would twenty thousand come in next year.

Compl.

At this rate all the World would be invited hither.

Cont.

Amen, say I; for then our King would be universal Monarch, and I’d never fear a prejudice either to Church or State if all were to be hang’d that should teach them causeless complaining principles.

Compl.

Enough of this, but if you are for Enclosures the poor will complain of you, and curse you to the pit of Hell; and a great many of the rich will give you but little thanks.

Cont.

All this signifies nothing;Enclosure and.one good reason prevails more with me than all their cries and curses, if they were ten fold: and I’m sure that God is a God of reason. As for the Gentry I respect them highly, but a great many are more rul’d by a vulgar error, and false maxims, than the dictates of their own reason. But if I thought it would not be much for the advantage both of Gentry and Commonalty I would not say a word more on’t.Its advantage. But I pray consider that inclos’d ground will sometimes yield treble to what common will, but if sow’d with Clover, Sant-foin or such like, sometimes six, eight, or tenfold, when Corn bears a good price, and ’tis for the Land’s advantage ’tis plow’d too, and after the Crop is off sow’d with Turnips or such like, and this with the help of good tillage and dung (which our good Husbandmen know now pretty well how to procure) done every year, when the other must lye wast one in three.

Horticulture a great advantage.A great deal will be turn’d into Orchards and Gardens, four or five acres of which sometimes maintains a family better, and employs more labourers than fifty acres of other shall do. Hops, Saffron, Liquorish, Onions, Potatoes, Madder, Artichocks, Aniseeds, and Edition: current; Page: [266] Coleseeds will thrive but ill in Common Fields, and I suppose none will denie an Acre of these to yield more money than so much Wheat: Whither goes it then? why, surely into the owners purse or labourers pockets.

For the cry that the poor will be starv’d, it is not worth a rush, for few of them make the benefit for lack of stock, and perhaps they spend as much time in looking after their titts, runts, and tupps, as would gain them by an indifferent Handy craft, twice the profit.

And how that parish that traded but for ten thousand pounds a year, and now for twenty thousand, should be more likely to famish, and twice or thrice the employment for the poor starve them, I confess is to me a paradox. Ever since old Tusser’s time, it has been observed that where there’s most common, there’s least good building and most poor.

Enclosure must needs encrease more great and small cattle, and an encrease of Hydes, Tallow, and Wool, with finer manufactures of them than formerly, can never either depopulate or impoverish.

Compl.

I must confess that most men yield it to be most profitable. But is it lawful to take away that we have enjoy’d time out of mind? and we must not do evil that good may come on’t.

Cont.

Whether it be lawful to enclose.I must confess this is your main argument, and I being neither Divine nor Lawyer perhaps may not give to it so good an answer as ten thousand wiser men can do. But ’tis well that I have prov’d it profitable: But I suppose this Island before it was inhabited to be all Common; which was something altered by the first Occupants, and encreas’d according to the good husbandry, populacy, and needs of the people, and why this prescription should not prevail as much as yours, I know not. It doth in America, and I believe all the world over. In China I hear there is not an Acre of Common Land.

Edition: current; Page: [267]

I must confess I know no Statute that gives full power to enclose all the Common-Fields, in the Kingdom; but in my weak judgment there are several that do much encourage it. Especially when it is for the advantage of the whole; witness the two first Acts for enclosing the Fenns, and the 4 Jac. II. for part of Herefordshire, caus’d by the good husbandry of some of the inhabitants. And I think the 3 Edw. 6. & 3. will go a great way. And the inducement and ground of the Act call’d Trade encouraged 15 Car. 2. 7. runs thus verbatim.

The reasons for the Act call’d Trade encouraged.Forasmuch as the encouraging of Tillage ought to be in an especial manner regarded and endeavoured, and the surest and effectuallest means of promoting and advancing any trade, occupation or mystery, being by rendring it profitable to the users thereof, and great quantities of Land within this Kingdom for the present lying in a manner waste, and yielding little, which might thereby be improv’d to considerable profit and advantage (if sufficient encouragement were given for the laying out of cost and labour on the same) and thereby much more Corn produced, greater numbers of People, Horses, and Cattle employed, and other Land also rendered more valuable.

How far the inducements and grounds of Acts of Parliament run, I know not, but they shew their designs; and how this can be done better than by Enclosure, my ignorance won’t reach to; but I have prov’d it most advantageous to the owner, and I think wealth and a treble labour, will quickly encrease People, Horses, and other Cattle, the plenty whereof, of necessity must quickly make other Land more valuable.

Edition: current; Page: [268]

If leave were given, all the barren land in England I suppose would soon be improv’d.

I believe you’l be asham’d to urge the 25. of Hen. 8. and 13. because the cheapness of our Corn, Cattle, Wool, Pigs, Geese, Hens, Chickens, and Eggs, are in a great part the ground of your complaint.

I chiefly aim at that we call Common Field-Land, where men claim a propriety, and can say, Thus many acres are mine; but for the other that lye always open, if the Lord of the Manor gets all in his own hand, or the Parishioners can agree, I wish ’twere all so serv’d, and I think there’s few with good reason can be against it.

As for the King’s Forests and Chaces, if they were imparkt, and kept to himself, I believe timber would thrive ne’r the worse, or the neighbouring corn, nor perhaps would there be a less breed of good Horses; But arguments are endless. Boy give me t’other dish of Tee.

Compl.

I pray do nothing rashly, but drink first. Well suppose I grant that you have law and reason enough on your side: what will you do against the beggarly multitude, that will pull down your Fences, turn Cattel in, and spoil your Corn, or what other improvements you shall make in your new Enclosure? if you sue them you know the old Proverb, Sue a Beggar, &c. and they have nothing to lose, their punishment will ne’r make you satisfaction, and except you have a large purse, and courage too you may chance be tired.

Cont.

’Tis true,A way to inclose in spite of the Rabble. this is a great impediment to the good work, but a great many have conquer’d it, and I believe had the former ages went the same way to work, which an ingenious Justice, and another of my good friends (whom you well know) have done, we Edition: current; Page: [269] should long e’r this have had more Milk and Honey. For instead of narrow Ditches and high banks, which might quickly be thrown down and fill’d with ease, they have made their Ditches, seven, eight, or ten foot wide, six foot deep, and carried away all that should make a hurtful bank, planted quick, and with Damms, stop water to fill up as high as they can or think necessary. By this means the Rabble want materials to refill, unless they’l bring it with them, or dig one ditch to fill another. But as what relates to Ryots, Trespasses, and other law tricks, the Countrey-Men I believe are wise enough.

Compl.

This is a way indeed, surely this will do or nothing, but let them inclose or do in the fields what they will, what can you say for the multitude of Trades-men?

Cont.

Say for them!Multitude of traders a great advantage. I have said enough in what I said just now of Foreigners: but however something more.

That man that gets most money over and above his expences, surely will be richest: so likewise will that trade: but suppose there were formerly twenty Linnen-Drapers, (or any other Traders) and they clear’d each five hundred pounds a year, it will amount to ten thousand pounds; but now there are forty Drapers, and by under-selling each other they clear each but four hundred pounds a year, this will make sixteen thousand pounds. I suppose this Company do plainly thrive: But should eighty get but three hundred pounds each, it would amount to four and twenty thousand pounds besides the employment of four times the Ships and Labourers, with the the like encrease of his Majesties Customs, and this is the case of most of our old trades, only besides the quantity of men, the particulars have most of them so much increas’d their quantities, that Edition: current; Page: [270] with less profit they every year spend more, and give their Children better portions.

Moreover there are a multitude of new Trades; and that variety of Arts should undo a Nation, I believe was never known in this world or in Utopia.

When you keep Bees, you are loth to suffer Drones among them. Good Bees are the seventeen Provinces, and you cry them up to the skies, and say that two or three years peace will make amends for all the Calamities they have endured this War: but the like Industry in England, added to a prodigious Plenty, will quite spoil us.

The advantages of many Traders.Do not some of our Trades-men spend one or two hundred pounds a year, whose parents never saw forty Shillings together of their own in their lives? Doth it not make the Capons and Custards go off at a good rate? Doth it not mightily encrease his Majesties revenue, by Customs, Excise, and Chimney-Money? Doth it not make a tax light, by having many Shoulders to bear the burden? And were it not for this, his Majestie must like Spain and Denmark, when he hath occasion to hire ships, from perhaps his ill-humour’d Neighbours. But God be thanked things are in a better case, and if I should live forty years longer, I hope to see London as big again, and all the Towns in England strive to imitate it.

Compl.

Well, I’l trouble you no more at present, and confess that what you say seems to have a great deal of truth in’t; but I don’t know, people do complain.

Cont.

And ever will;A disswasive from murmuring.but I prithee leave off this humour of murmuring, either disprove what I have said, or for shame blush to complain. Remember that you are a rational creature, don’t make your own and others lives uncomfortable by refusing to enjoy those Edition: current; Page: [271] Blessings Providence hath heap’d upon you: St. Paul with far less liv’d a happier life. What Comfort can his Majestie have, when for all his good Government, Care, and Protection, you reward him with a mess of Complaints? Don’t Judaize and complain more when you are fed with Manna and Quails, than when you fed on Leeks and Garlick. Murmur not like Corah and his Crew when your King is a Moses. You know that of 600000. that came from Ægypt, there went but two into the Land of Canaan. Most of the rest perished for this crime. When Moses beg’d any great Matter of God, he commemorated his former loving kindnesses, and O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was of great concern in a Jews petition. ’Tis the remembrance of the French King’s Victories makes him go on with courage:The word impossible a great discourager of Arts. And would we but consider the great things we have done, it would perhaps make us believe nothing to be impossible either in Arms or Arts. Let’s bless God for all his mercies, and particularly for our good King, whose greatest Care hath been to keep us in peace, and procure us plenty, which I think will prove better arguments to gain any needful thing, than the irksom and causeless complaints of a thousand generations. The sum of all is this; If we have great Magazines for War,Signs of Wealth. and multitudes of brave Ships; If we have a Mint employ’d with more Gold and Silver than in a considerable time they can well coin; If it be an affront to cause one to drink in any worse mettle than Silver, if great part of our utensils be of the same: if our Trade be stretcht as far as any trade is known; if we have six times the Traders and most of their Shops and Ware-houses better furnisht than in the last Age; if we have abundance of more good debts abroad than credit from thence; if many of our poor Cotagers children be turn’d Merchants and substantial Traders; Edition: current; Page: [272] if our good Lands be made much better, and our bad have a six-fold improvement; if our houses be built like Palaces, over what they were in the last Age, and abound with plenty of costly furniture; and rich Jewels be very common; and our Servants excel in finery the Great ones of some Neighbour-Nations; if we have most part of the trade of the World, and our Cities are perhaps the greatest Magazines thereof; if after a destructive plague and consuming fire, we appear much more glorious; if we have an universal Peace, and our King in such renown that he is courted by all his Neighbours, and these only the marks of poverty, then I have been under a great mistake: But if it doth otherwise appear, as certainly it doth to all rational men. Then I may still go on with my maxime and say,

We have more wealth now, than ever we had at any time before the Restauration of his Sacred Majestie.

A Comparison.The Jews were never well setled till the time of Saul, and then Wealth flow’d in like water spilt upon the ground: you might see it coming, and it being a stranger they stood gazing and cry’d ahah! witness, David’s lamentation over Saul,2 Sam. 1. 24. He clothed them in Scarlet, and put ornaments of Gold upon their apparel. But in David’s own time it grew to a pretty handsom brook; but in Solomon’s time to a profound River. But then the custom of their Wealth took away the sense of it,Our now complaints. they cry’d that times were hard, there was nothing to be got, they were the old ones that got estates, he that would get one then, must have tug’d hard for’t; and that such like talk they had, is witness Solomon’s reproof, Say not thou, the former times were better than these, for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

Just thus it hath been with England, Queen Elizabeth’s time was like Saul’s, when by taking a few Edition: current; Page: [273] Spanish Ships, and almost beginning a Navigation, made us cry ahah! In the time of King James and Charles, for want of Silver the Gold made a pretty handsom glistering, but now Gold doth much abound, and Silver is hard-any thing esteemed of. It flows in so often like a deep river, there is hardly any notice taken of it.

Compl.

I must confess I can’t answer you, but surely that which every body saith, must needs be true.

Cont.

Well if you are so wilful as not to be convinc’d, I’m sorry, but however this advantage to my self I’ll reap,A good resolution. I’l give God thanks for his great Blessings, and enjoy them while you sit murmuring and repining for what you don’t want, and like Midas starve in a monstrous plenty.

However consider what follows.

1 Cor. 10. 10.Neither murmur ye as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Jude 11.Wo unto them, for they have perished in the gainsaying of Core.

12.These are spots in your Feasts of Charity.

16.And are murmurers and complainers, walking after their own lusts.

Exod. 16. 18.Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord.

Phil. 2. 14.Do all things without murmurings.

Numb. 21. 5.And the people spake against God, and against Moses, wherefore have you brought us up out of Ægypt, to die in the Wilderness? For there is no Bread, neither is there any water, and our soul loatheth this light bread.

6.And the Lord sent Fiery Serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and much people of Israel dyed.

Ecclus. 29. 4.Many when a thing was lent them reckoned it to be found, and put them to trouble that helped them.

5.Till he hath received he will kiss a mans hand, and for Edition: current; Page: [274] his Neighbours money he will speak submisly: but when he should repay, he will prolong the time and return words of grief,Rev. 22. 11. and COMPLAIN OF THE TIMES.

He that is filthy let him be filthy still.

Come Boy take money.

However dear Friend, farewel.

FINIS.
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Britannia Languens, or A Discourse of Trade

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Original title page

The Preface.

Courteous Reader,

MY Original Design was to examine by what means our English Land-Rents, lately fallen, might be universally advanced; which I have principally pursued; but have found such a Concatenation and Sympathy between the interest of Land and Trade, and between these, and that of the Government; That I have been carried into all the Considerations you will meet with; a Task I little expected when I first began, and which I could never have supported with any Alacrity, but upon hope, that when it shall undeniably appear to every one, that these Interests are the same, there may follow that general Amity and mutual Assistance to each other, which render a Nation happy and secure.

Though my Intention be thus, Just and Innocent, yet I cannot but doubt what Approbation this Discourse may meet with from many of those who have a main suffrage in crying up a new Book; since it is upon a Subject much out of mode; so much, that the very naming it is a matter of Ridicule amongst many of our sprightly men: It is really of such a nature, that it hath not lead me to seek for Smiles, Dinners, or other more solid Gratifications, by flattering any predominant humours, Vices or Passions, or to make an Interest by espousing or canvasing any doubtful Points in Religion: As little can I hope from the Criticks, (I mean our great Masters in Expression:) Trade being a matter of business, and the business of the ordinary people, at least, equally with the Edition: current; Page: [278] rest; I have not endeavoured to dress it up with Curiosity of Phrase, by conforming myself to the Laconick or Ciceronian way, studying for Metaphors, spruce words, or the renowned Antithesis; nor do I find these flowers will very aptly mingle with the Notions of Trade; which are so unfortunate, as to have little or no Cognation with Love and Honour, or those other common Themes of Wit which denominate a man a neat Author by the Elegancies they inspire him with: But this is not all, I am afraid you will think Trade is the very Antipodes to all good breeding, when I shall further tell you, that (had I been sufficiently qualified) it hath not permitted me to gratifie the Learned with any of the niceties or finismes of our most fashionable Studies; nay it hath obliged me to hazard the very enmity of others, by impeaching many private and oppressive Interests, whose Silver-Smiths may be highly provoked; and when I thought to qualifie any Resentments of that nature, by waving all Reflections on particular persons, I am now told, that perhaps my Caution this way may disgust others; whence I cannot but be sensible that these Papers want much of those endearments which render many of our Prints so acceptable; And being under these Apprehensions, I could not but have some Compassionate thoughts of my Book-Seller; who must look very melancholly, when some of his customers shall ask for the Ancient Forreign Histories and Poets, the new Philosophical Complements, and Books of Astrology, the Treatise of the Art of Memory, or Swimming; or such like Rarities; Others for the Monstrous Leviathan, Behemoth, and Garagantua: Others for the new French Romance, the Spick and Span new Play, and the new Satyrs; Others for the new Books of Cookery, (for we are arrived to a mighty judgment in eating:) Others for the Books of the World in the Moon, Terra Incog-nita, Lues Venerea, and Westminster Drollery, &c. But upon the sight of the Title Page of this, (because it is of Trade) shall condemn it as fit only to be read by Milleners and Exchangemen.

But recollecting, that we have yet a far greater number of others, under all Characters and Professions, who bear a Edition: current; Page: [279] due affection both to our Government and People, I have adventured upon making this Discourse publick; as not dispairing of their Vindication, being assured they will never think he hath deserved ill, who hath done no more than endeavour to advance and secure the common Interests of both; in which I should be always happy to be instrumental, but especially then, when the Nation is under present difficulties and eminent dangers; For then certainly it more imports every man to seek the Common Safety, than any the most tempting Additions to his own private Fortune. Should the Mariners in a Ship stand trifling and sporting, or contending for Offices, or other gain, on the Decks, whilst a gaping Leak in the Keel lets in the Ocean, we should think them little better than phrenetical; surely in such an Exigence every man on board ought to give his utmost assistance; he that hath no share in the Cargoe hath yet a life to lose, no man would then slink back to escape the dirt, or for fear he should be lookt on as a busie-body. How far the present Condition of our Trade will bear such a Simile, I shall submit to your Consideration upon what follows; wherein I have, not knowingly, mis-represented any thing, but with my utmost application endeavoured to discover and speak the truth of as much as I have thought fit for me to meddle with.

Yet I am not so very a Jockey, nor so arrant a Tradesman in writing, as to desire your implicite belief that all I am about to utter is without Imperfection. I am assured you will least expect it upon a Subject which hath the reputation of being so Comprehensive as this, and seems to require the ascertaining of so great a variety of Facts, that no man upon his single experience can pretend to know them; The consideration whereof might have deterred me from engaging in it, and may you from the perusal, were it not that some of these Facts, which make the Constitutions of Trade, and therefore the Causes of the rest, are notorious and capable of little Controversie, whence the rest being the effects may be easily calculated; a course used and allowed in all Arts and Sciences, and I conceive with more certainty on this Subject than on any other; from whence greater and more notable Edition: current; Page: [280] Discoveries have been made, than by the most vigilant Disquisitions into all the Revolutions of Facts: Columbus found out the Indies in his Study; so did Archimedes the most stupendous Conclusions in the Mathematicks. It must be confessed many of those other Facts relating to Commerce, which are the effects, are of greater obscurity, most of them being Forreign, and are so numerous, that they branch into almost as many parts as there are humane Actions; yet of these, some are more obvious, and more important than others, whereof, as occasions offer, I have endeavoured to give you some accompt where I can speak with any good assurance; wherein, if you meet with any defect, you may please to attribute it to this, That I am neither Omniscient nor infallible; I have also the old excuse at hand, viz. Importunity of Friends, that common Midwife of Books, besides the frequent Interruptions I have really received by my own ordinary Affairs, which (’tis probable) has caused many abrupt breaks and misexpressions, which I have not had time to review and rectifie; hoping that I have however spoken Intelligibly; and professing, that I have as well considered and digested the deliberative and reasoning part as my Intellectuals will give leave: and if I do not fail in that shall be contented, since it must be admitted that I have written as becomes a man, who hath no better or more discerning faculty than that of his reason: I have no ambition to be accompted an Irrefragable, or Printed Author; being sensible the most Angelical Writers have had their failings, and that whosoever Publishes his thoughts in Print, breaks that (oftentimes profitable) reserve which cunning men affect, and exposes his quiet to the Malice and Impertinences of vulgar Reflections; which nothing but a sincere love to my Country, and the Consideration of its present Circumstances could oblige me to dispense with.

I shall be well satisfied if I have served the Public a little, or made a step towards it, which, at least, I hope I have done, if in a matter of high Consequence I have but stirred questions necessary to be cleared by abler heads; Experience hath been shown what admirable performances have ensued, when a weak Essay hath kindled a Common Emulation, for then Edition: current; Page: [281] certainly must the brightness of Truth appear (discharged from that rust and foulness which time or corruption hath brought upon it) when the Intellectuals of men are carried into a rational ferment; this I take to be the true use, and most virtuous design of writing, and is all I desire, let those men wear Bays and Lawrel, and be hum’d, and clapt, who are fonder of such Trophies than

Your humble Servant,
Philanglus.

THE Introduction.

IT hath been the Common Design and Business of Individual Men in England, as elsewhere, to obtain sufficient Revenues in Money to the end they may secure themselves from Necessities and Shifting, and live plentifully; And yet it may be undeniably and uncomfortably observed, That whilst every one hath eagerly pursued his private Interest, a kind of Common Consumption hath crawled upon us: Since our Land-Rents are generally much fallen, and our Home-Commodities sunk from their late Price and Value; our Poor are vastly increased, and the rest of our People generally more and more feel the Want of Money; This Disease having grown upon us in times of Peace, when no Forreigners have Exhausted us by War-like Depredations, may very justly amuse us; and the more, when at the same time, we observe that some of our Neighbour-Nations, lately our Equals, or much our inferiors, are become so prodigiously Rich and Powerful on a sudden, (I mean the French and Dutch:) Certainly these mighty Productions must have some great and vigorous Causes, which have been very furiously working of later years, and such as have not fallen under Common Observation: The Nations and Races of People are the same, and the Edition: current; Page: [284] Countries of England, France, and Holland, stand where they did, they are not removed an Inch; nor do the English seem to have lost their Understandings; they are as cunning in their private Contracts as ever, and appear nothing inferior to the French and Dutch in most parts of Literature; I question not but that they know all the Ancient Languages and Histories as well, that our Academicks are as subtile in all the Criticisms of Aristotle; that they have travelled as far into the most abstruse parts of his Logick, Physicks, and Metaphysicks; and yet have we still grown poorer and poorer; So have we excelled in divers necessary parts of Learning; We have had as Able, Eloquent, and Eminent Lawyers and Clergy-men as ever, and as Notable Physitians, and the Nation seems to have grown more Learned, and therefore Wiser than before, by the late vast increase of these Ranks of men.

The present Disadvantages we are under, are therefore commonly attributed to Accidents of divers kinds, as mens present particular Fancies dictate, in which the greatest part are contented to rest satisfied without farther enquiry, whilst they have some Prospects of Gain in the Imployments they are severally educated to; Some ascribe the fall of Rents to an over-great increase of Corn, by the ploughing up of Parks; Others to the modern Parsimony in Housekeeping, the lessening of Gentlemens Retinues, and leaving off the old laudable Custom of plentiful Suppers, which they suppose occasions a less Consumption of Victuals: others attribute this, and the want of Money in the Country, to the great resort of People to London, and quarrel at the New Buildings, as the Hives and Receptacles which draw them thither; others to the banking up of Treasures in the Coffers of some unknown Grandees, Church-men, Lawyers, or Citizens, of which they are highly confident, for else, they say, what is become of the money? then for the late Edition: current; Page: [285] Progress and Trophies of the French, many look upon them as the meer effects of the Despotick or Arbitrary Power of that Monarchy or of the personal cunning of some men now living in France; I remember I heard one Gentleman say, that the French Genius was up, wherewith he gave himself and others good satisfaction: Others will have it, that the late Enemies of the French wanted Valor and Conduct, but that if the French had the English to contend with, their Glory would soon be laid in the Dust: For the Dutch, there are those who will argue their Riches and Populacy to proceed from the peculiar Industry of that Nation, and that such an Eternal Toil is not supportable by any other; Others, to their small Expense in Diet and Habit, others to particular Circumstances in the time and manner of their Defection from Spain; to their Register of Titles and Contracts, and their cheap and easie decision of Law-Suits.

Of all other things we seem to be most secure in the matter of Trade; we have many who taking themselves to be born or intitled to so much a year in Land, do consider Trade as no otherwise necessary in a Nation, than to support younger Brothers, and are ready to thrust all Publique Taxes upon Trade, that they may ease the Land; Others who pretend to enquire into it, hear the Customs are much risen of late years, and then rest satisfied that we have a mightier Trade than ever: We have also some Merchants and Shopkeepers who get Estates, and buy Land on a suddain, which is lookt upon as an Argument of a good Trade; We find their mighty and numerous Shops and Warehouses, full of goods, and do not hear them complain of Trade, Or that Land is brought to 14 or 16 years purchase, or that they buy at a much abated yearly value.

Some, indeed, justly apprehending a Disease in our Trade, by the decay of our Home Manufactures, and Edition: current; Page: [286] an excess of Forreign Importations, have judiciously expressed themselves in it; these Notions whilst in Embrio, have been ralleured by our Modern Drolls, in their new Manufacture of Plays.

There are others, who with more Design and Gravity, tell us, That the Notions and Improvements of Trade, are of a dangerous tendency, because they threaten part of the present Jurisdiction of our Spiritual Courts, and the gain of many Offices, by some requisite Toleration of Conscience, and other mittigations relating to Trade, and upon this Occasion the same Objectors proceed to argue the Improvements of Trade to be of as bad Consequence to the State, by filling the Nation with Trading-Religious Dissenters, or by a necessary moderating of the present Custom-Rates: They also insinuate, that we ought not to look for such a perfection of Trade under a Monarchical Government, but to dispose of our selves otherwise as we can; We have others that say, Trade is a misterious thing, and not intelligible in any part of it, without a long Apprentiship, and therefore wholly refer themselves to the Merchants and private Traders; Others that ’tis Mechanical, and not Gentleman-like.

But if it fall out that these are all mistaken Opinions, if Trade alone hath produced the afore-mentioned Effects in England, France, and Holland, If the rise and fall of Rents absolutely depend upon it; If Liberty and Property be made valuable by Trade only, and are not valuable or safe without it; If a Nation may be made strong or weak by the meer different Operations of Trade; If the Taxing or burthening of Trade must reduce all Land-Revenues, if the easing of Trade either in the particular Custom-Rates, or otherwise, will make the whole Revenue of the Customs greater, or else much enhance all other publick as well as private Revenues; If a mighty Trade be consistent with a Monarchical Government? (where Edition: current; Page: [287] there is Property and Liberty:) If it be a false and officious Scandal to this form of Government, to affirm the contrary, if England of all other Nations, be naturally most capable of the Advantages of Trade, but yet the Trade of England of late years hath been Consumptive; If the late Policies of our Neighbour-Nations have rendered our old established Methods of Trade insufficient, if we have divers late innovated Obstructions in our Trade, if this hath caused an over-ballance of Forreign Importations, If our National Industry hath been imployed to enrich Forreigners, if our own Treasures have been exhausted by our own Trade, and will soon be swept away in the present course of it, Nay, even notwithstanding our late Prohibition of French Goods, if the Objections against the enlarging and bettering of our Trade arise from private Interests, in contradiction to the Publique, or from Passion or Humour, and if this be intelligible to every man of sense, that will take the pains to enquire into it. Then certainly it must follow,

That it does much import all English Gentlemen, Owners of Land, and others, who take themselves to be sharers in the National Interest, to examine the past and present State of our Trade, and to seek for a legal Regulation of it; And that all private Interests destructive to our Trade ought to be relaxed, and given up for the future.

Private Interest is that many-headed Monster, I am chiefly to encounter with, in which if any particular person shall take himself to be concerned, I shall desire him to consider, whether his own Condition would not be more truly honourable and safe under more open Methods of Trade? I shall pray him to look into the nature of meer private Interest, which if he do, he must confess it the same Principle that leads men into Cheats, Thefts, and all those other base mercyless and execrable Villanies, Edition: current; Page: [288] which render the Actors Criminous, and odious by the Sufferings and Injuries they bring upon others.

Then if any man’s particular way of Gain be so prejudicial to Trade, as to occasion the continual Beggery of Thousands of his Countrymen, is not this more then equally mischievous to so many thousand Thefts? But what if this Beggery must unavoidably cause many thousand actual Thefts, nay Murders and Enormities of all kinds, and as it grows more Universal, must bring the Nation into an impotent and indefenseable weakness? Have we any amongst us that will be yet tenacious of such ways of Gain? Will they tell us that they are not punishable by any Laws in force? ’tis pity they are not. So there was a time when in Old Rome, there was no direct Law against Parricide: But that they may no longer shelter themselves under this Umbrage, it were highly necessary that Laws were made to control them, and to remove all Obstructions in our Trade.

That Trade is of this National Importance and Influence, and that the Trade of England in particular, hath been and continues under these Disadvantages, will, I think, sufficiently appear to any indifferent Reader, by the following Discourse; Of which having given the Reader a tast, by way of Introduction, I shall proceed to what I have undertaken, and shall begin with some Preliminaries, of which part are self-evident, and for those that are not (being not able to say all at once) refer the Reader to the following Sections.

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, the difference between Ancient and Modern Wars, Navigation supported by Trade, this necessary for the Security of an Island, and therein the farther scope of the whole.

TRade is either National or Private: The National Trade doth influence the Wealth and Strength of a whole Nation, and therefore is not the only Concern of Merchants.

Private Trade hath regard to the particular Wealth of the Trader, and doth so far differ in the scope and design of it from the National, that a private Trade may be very beneficial to the private Trader, but of hurtful, nay of very ruinous Consequence to the whole National; as will appear.

I shall speak of National Trade, which is properly divided into Home Trade, and Forreign Trade.

The Home Trade in every Nation hath dependence on the Forreign Trade: if a Nation hath no Gold or Silver-Mines within its own Territory, there is no practicable way of bringing Treasure into it (in times of Peace) but by Forreign Trade: And if such a Nation be not enriched by Imported Treasure, its Home Edition: current; Page: [290] Trade can only be managed by Exchange of Goods for Goods.

But if Treasure be Imported, then may its Home Trade be managed by buying and selling for money.

And from hence may the Lands in such a Nation come to yield a money Rent, which is the produce or profits of Land sold for money.

In which Case the price of Home Commodities, and consequently the yearly Rent of Lands in a Nation which hath populacy and property, will hold proportion with the quantity of the National Treasure; and will rise or fall as the Treasure does increase or diminish.

For where there is an increase of Treasure in a Nation which hath property, this will ordinarily diffuse amongst the people by the necessity and succession of Contracts; and then the people having universally more money than before, the Seller will not be so necessitous for money as before, and will have a greater choice of Chapmen, who will be more able and ready to buy.

These numbers of Chapmen will inevitably raise the Market one upon the other, as is demonstrable by common and undeniable Experience and Fact; And therefore I shall lay it as a ground in Commerce, That the plenty of Chapmen, who have plenty of money, will cause a higher and quicker Market for any desireable Commodity, especially if the Seller be not so necessitous for money as to be forced to snap at the first offer.

And that on the other side, where there be fewer Chapmen, who have less money, and the Sellers themselves are more necessitous, they must and will sell lower; This must inevitably happen in a Nation where there is little money.

For instance, if there were but 500l. Sterling in England, an Ox could hardly be worth a peny, nor could the Revenue of all England be 500l. per annum, or not above;

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It follows then, that a Forreign Trade (by increasing the National Treasure) will advance home Markets, and the value of Lands in England.

I shall admit that if a Nation can be Victorious in War, and can plunder the Conquered, some Treasures may happen to be Imported this way; But certainly those who consider it, will rather desire to be enriched by Trade than by War, since in the Course of Trade, far mightier Treasures may be gotten with Peace, Innocence, Security, and Happiness to the People, who cannot be Victorious in War without Bloodsheds, Rapines, Violences, and Perpetrations of all kinds; they also must be subject to perpetual difficulties and hazards in the hardships and event of War, which will disturb or subvert the Home Trade, nor can the Treasure of a People so imployed circulate in the Markets to any advantagious degree; or should we have any such Bravoes or Knights Errant as would rather purchase Wealth by Fighting than by Industry, yet are these imaginary Conquests absolutely impracticable at this day without the assistance of Forreign Trade; as will be shewn.

But first upon the former grounds I shall add, that a Forreign Trade (if managed to the best advantage) will yet further advance the values of Lands, by necessitating a vast increase of people, since it must maintain great multitudes of people in the very business of Trade, which could not otherwise be supported, (as will also further appear): All which having the Rewards of their Labours in their hands, will still enlarge the choice of Chapmen to the Sellers, and there being so many more persons to be fed and cloathed, there must be a far greater home Consumption of all the products of Land.

And hence must arise a kind of Competition amongst the people who shall farm or purchase Land, when the Edition: current; Page: [292] Revenue of Land is certain, and grows higher daily, as the Treasure and People increase, which must cause Land to rise as well in the years’ purchase, as in the years’ value; nay, the very Earth must receive an inevitable Improvement by their Industrious numbers, whilst every one will be able and willing to possess and manure a greater or lesser part, according to his occasions; there is hardly any Land in England but may be improved to double the value, and very much to treble and more.

This necessary Improvement of Rent and Land is verified in the Forreign instance of Holland, and in such of our English Lands as lie near great and populous Corporations; And on the other side, we see that in Spain and Turkey, and also in such parts of England and Ireland, where there is little Trade, and fewer people, there lie great quantities of Land which yield little or no profit; and hence I conclude, That the Revenue and Value of Land will simpathize with the National Trade.

There are indeed certain Ranks of Men of honourable and necessary Imployments and Professions in every Nation, whose Revenues do not so immediately arise from Trade; such are Officers greater and less, Lawyers, Physicians, and such like.

But though these are not placed in the direct Channel of Trade, yet ’tis very plain they derive their Revenues from it; being supported in their Grandure and Gains at the cost of the Land-Holders and Traders; who will be more capable and willing to give them greater Gratuities and Fees, when their own pockets are fuller; and as the People, Trade, and Contracts do increase, there will be more Law-Suits and Diseases, and ordinarily more Fees and Gratuities, so will there be more Houses built, more Apparel made, and more Imployment of all sorts for Masons, Carpenters, Edition: current; Page: [293] Taylors, and men of all other middle and inferior Callings.

And from hence it also follows, That a Forreign Trade managed to the best advantage, will make a Nation vastly stronger than naturally it was, because money and people do ordinarily make National strength.

Money is necessary for the purchasing of many Provisions for War by Land or Sea, as Arms, Victuals, Ammunition, materials for Shipping and many others, which being gotten, yet neither Souldiers nor Sea-men will now adventure themselves at the mouths of Cannon and Musket without pay, whereof the further Consequence is that the Prince and Nation which hath the greatest Treasure, will finally have the Victory, and probably with little or no fighting.

For being enabled by their Treasure to keep themselves in a posture of War, they will oblige their Enemies to the like Expence, till their Enemies Treasures are exhausted, and then their Armies and also their Councils will dissipate.

This shews the difference between the ancient and present Course of War, for anciently the event of War was tried by frequent Battles, and generally succeeded as one Nation was Superior to the other in personal Strength and Roughness; But since the Wealth of the Indies came to be discovered and dispersed more and more, Wars are managed by much Treasure and little Fighting, and therefore with little hazard to the richer Nation.

And hence also doth it appear that in the present condition of the World, it is in a manner impossible for a Nation to gain Riches by Conquest and Plunder, unless it hath first store of Treasure at Home, which cannot otherwise be gotten than by Forreign Trade.

Also money will command the Service and Lives of any poorer and rougher Nation, It will purchase the Edition: current; Page: [294] Assistance of Forreign Princes, It will indear their great Ministers, open their Cabinets, engage true and close Correspondencies, and poison their Councils: It will pass unseen through Rampiers, Fortifications, and Guards, into Cities and Forts, and will surprize them without the tedious hazards of Seiges; It will purchase Governors and Generals, and like Lightning will consume the Heart of a poorer Nation, whilst its Countenance and Outside shall remain fresh.

So are people necessary to Guard the Treasures, and defend the Nation, who will be more or less true and serviceable to the National Interest, as they have a greater or lesser share in it; he that hath somewhat of his own, and lives Comfortably, will stoutly defend the Nation against Invaders; But if a People be poor and miserable, their Condition being uneasie, it will be indifferent to them who is Conqueror; nay they will hope for a better Condition by turning the Tables; so is it of dangerous Consequence that the People should become vitious, because it generally weakens their Bodies, Courages, or Faiths: In all which the excellency of a great and well regulated Forreign Trade may be discerned, since it will render the People Rich, and ordinarily Virtuous; as will also appear.

But Forreign Trade may bring a particular advantage to an Island by a great Navigation, without which its impossible for any Island long to defend it self against a Forreign Enemy potent in Shipping, for the Invaders circling an Island with their Ships, may sail from Place to Place, and Rob, Spoil, and Kill, before the Natives can, by long Land-Marches, apply their Courage and Land-Forces to resist them; which must necessarily distract and weary out the most valiant People on the Earth: this hath been evident by many Demonstrations in England, which hath been often Conquered by Forreigners for want of a sufficient Naval Force, particularly Edition: current; Page: [295] by the Romans, nay by the Saxons, Danes, and Normans; but hath more often repulsed Forreigners, whilst we have been most powerful at Sea; and therefore the constant Policies of this Kingdom have long aspired too, and enjoyed a Soveraignty of the Sea, and kept a narrow and jealous watch on Neighbour-Nations, lest they should aggrandize their Naval Strengths.

SECT. II.: The several kinds of Forreign Trade, of trading with Home or Forreign Navigation, some general Application.

IT will be then proper to consider how a Forreign Trade may be driven to most Advantage for the increase of National Treasure, People, and Navigation.

A Forreign Trade may be driven by a Nation with Forreign Navigation, or with Home Navigation.

A Forreign Trade driven with Forreign Navigation, is when a Nation sells its Commodities at Home to such Forreigners as come thither to Buy and Export them.

This sort of Forreign-Trade may enrich a Nation with Treasure more or less, as the Commodities so sold are of greater or lesser quantity and value.

But it is very plain, that if the Natives had Exported the same Commodities to the same Forreigners in Shipping of their own, the same Commodities would have yielded a greater Rate in the Forreign Ports, because the Natives must have been also paid for the Carriage; which by so much would have increased the National Gain; wherefore it is more advantagious for a Nation to Export its own Commodities by Navigation of its own.

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But it will not follow, that ’tis therefore necessary or fit to confine all Exportations to Home Navigation by Penal Laws, especially in England, as will be shewn.

Nor does it follow that a Nation which doth Export its own Commodities, shall be alwayes richer than another that sells at home; for the Commodities of one Nation sold at home may yield ten times more money at home than the Commodities exported by the other shall yield abroad, and therefore must make it ten times richer.

This may be verified in the Trade of France; whose Commodities sold at home to the Dutch, English, and others, for many years past, have brought vast quantities of money into France, perhaps more than all the Neighbour Nations have gotten by their exported Commodities, by which means, and no other, France is become the Terrour of the World, as I shall more particularly and fully shew.

A beneficial Forreign Trade, with home Navigation, may be said to be of two sorts.

The one consists in the meer Exportation of home Commodities into Forreign Nations where they may be vended, of which I have spoken before.

The other, in Trading and Huxtering from Port to Port.

The benefit of Trading or Huxtering from Port to Port consists in buying Commodities cheaper in one Forreign Port, and selling them dearer in some others; in which case the Nation Trading ordinarily gets more or less, in proportion, as the Merchants buy for less and sell for more, and as the Stock and Navigation imployed in this sort of Trade is more or less.

The Dutch being to buy much of their Victuals, Cloaths, and other necessaries from abroad, and having little Commodities of their own to Export, put themselves upon this Trading from Port to Port; which Trade Edition: current; Page: [297] they have improved to that degree, that they are become, as it were, the Common Carriers of the World, imploying near 30000 Trading-Vessels, (including those which belong to their Fishery.) In this way of Trade have this Industrious People yearly bought up vast quantities of French Manufactures and Commodities, and uttered them again for present profit in other parts of the World, not foreseeing those dangers they have been bringing upon themselves and all Europe.

The English have never attained to near so Universal Manufacture as the French, or so general a huxtering Trade as the Dutch; But yet until this last Age had a greater proportion of each then the Dutch or French; their Trade hath chiefly consisted in the Exportation of their own Commodities, and Manufactures made of their own home Materials; of which that of our Wooll being the Principal, was long thought and really still is, or might be, the greatest and richest in the World; This, with our exported Tin, Lead, Iron, Allome, Fish, and other valuable things, brought in a sufficient quantity of Forreign Commodities to serve our National Occasions, Pomp and Ornament, and left an Annual Increase of Imported Treasure, which in length of time had much enriched the Nation, though our neat Annual Gain by Forreign Trade did never bring in much above 250000l. or 300000 per annum increase of Treasure, one year with another (taking any number of 20 years together) as may be reasonably collected by what will follow; nor was that a Contemptible Gain (as the Trade of this part of the World formerly stood) since it had rendred this Kingdom as Rich and Happy at home, and as formidable abroad, as any in Europe.

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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 exporting of Corn.

THe National Gain, by Forreign Trade, consisting either in vending home Commodities to Forreigners, or in Trading from Port to Port; It may be fit to be considered how these branches of Trade may be improved to the utmost.

Home Commodities vendible and exportable to Forreigners, are either such as are Capable of little or no Manufacture, as Coals, &c.

Or else such as may be manufactured, which may be called the Principles or Materials of Manufacture; such are Wooll, Silk, Flax, Hemp, Tin, Iron, Skins, Corn, and others.

Most materials of Manufacture are of small value whilst raw and unwrought, at least in Comparison of the Manufacture, since by Manufacture they may be made of five, ten, or twenty times their first value, according to the Workmanship; which is proved by the Woollen, Silk and Linnen Manufactures, and almost infinite others; wherefore if a Nation hath naturally any Materials of Manufacture, it is far more advantagious to Export them in Manufacture, rather than the raw Materials, because the Manufacture is so much more valuable, and will make a return of five, ten, or twenty times more Treasure to the Nation than the raw Materials.

Besides, it is most dangerous to Export the Materials Edition: current; Page: [299] of Manufacture, since it may transfer the Manufacture it self into some Neighbour Nation, and with it the incident Riches and Populacy: by which means a Neighbour-Nation may become five, ten, or twenty times richer and stronger than that Nation which doth Export its Materials, and those innocent Materials may in a short time return in the shape of armed Men and Ships, to the Terror and Confusion of an unwise and lazy People.

But if Forreigners will vend their raw Materials of Manufacture, it is necessary, or highly convenient for a Nation to Import them, and put them into Manufacture at home; after which, this Manufacture may be either exported and sold for much more than the Materials cost, or being used at home, will prevent the necessity of Importing the like from abroad, by which the Nation will save to the value of the Manufacture: Thus do the French and Dutch manufacture Forreign Silk, Spanish and English Wooll, and many other Forreign Materials, which they Export and sell again with prodigious advantage.

The sorts of Manufacture are so various, and almost infinite, that there is no People so great or numerous but may be universally imployed by it; There are many which relate to Eating and Drinking, many more to Apparel of all sorts, Furniture of Houses, Equipage, Navigation, War, Literature and Science, unnecessary, but acceptable Toyes, to gratifie the humors and follies of Men, Women, and Children, under all which generals, there are so many species of Manufactures, that the very naming of them would make a Volume; some are of simple Materials, some of mixt.

The Labours of the People bestowed this way, must necessarily glomerate the Riches of the World, and must render any Nation a prodigy of Wealth; for Edition: current; Page: [300] whilst vast numbers of Manufacturers are thus continually improving the value of some Commodity or other, they work for the Nation where they live as well as for themselves; If 100000 Manufacturers get 6l. per annum a piece, the Nation must gain or save 600000l. per annum by their Labours, (supposing the Materials to be meliorated only to the value of their Wages;) If the number of the Manufacturers be greater, or if the same number gain more a piece, then is the National gain still greater and greater in proportion: All which is too evident in the present instance of France, and the contrary of that of Spain, which although supplied with the Wealth of the Indies, is, for want of home Manufactures, the poorest and weakest of all Nations, and the most dispeopled.

For by Manufactures, a Nation may support many hundred thousands of Families, besides the meer Tillers of Lands and Keepers of Cattel, which increase of people shall live well, without being a clog and vexation to the Landholders, and shall be highly beneficial to the rest of the Natives in times of Peace, as otherwise they will not be; and as the people increase, so may the kinds and quantities of Manufacture; the very Women and Children may ordinarily get good Livelihoods in Manufacture.

Hence must follow a sweet Harmony in a Nation which hath property, when every one’s Hand and Head is employed, and when there comes a reciprocation of advantage to the Landholders, and all others, as necessarily there must; And as Manufacture seems a kind of debt to the laborious part of the people, who by nature are intitled to live; so it is the highest of all Charities; as it is most substantial and universal; What signifies the distribution of a little broken meat amongst a few Wretches, in Comparison of the support of hundreds Edition: current; Page: [301] of thousands of Families? And lastly, it is attended with the promised Rewards of Charity, viz. Plenty, Glory, and Prosperity to a whole Nation.

This, and what hath been said in the last Section, may administer occasion to consider what sorts of Trades, Imployments, and Professions do add to the Riches of a Nation, and what not.

It is evident that all sorts of home Manufactures must advance or save the National Wealth, the like may be said of those who are imployed in the Fishing-Trade, so may the Trade and Profession of a Merchant add to the National Riches.

There are another sort of home-Traders, who live meerly by buying cheaper and selling dearer at home, such are Retailers of all sorts in the City and Country, whom we call Shopkeepers; of which a convenient number are necessary in every Nation to keep open Marts and Markets for the vending of Commodities; These may advance their private Stocks and Estates by buying cheaper and selling dearer, but cannot (meerly by this way of Trade) add a peny to the National Riches, so that it may truly be said of one poor Manufacturer, that he adds more in a year to the Wealth of the Nation than all such Retailers and Shop-keepers in England.

And if these Shop-keepers deal over-much in Consumptive Forreign Wares, they may assist in the beggary of the Nation; so may the Trade of a Merchant export and exhaust the National Riches, if he trade over-much in meer Consumptive Importations.

And therefore though the gain of the persons imployed be one main end and design of all Trades and Imployments, and in that respect they are all alike; Yet they differ in this; That in some of them the persons imployed do immediately or ultimately gain money from Forreigners; But in the other, they gain from the people, and from one another.

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Of the last sort, are all Imployments relating to the Law and Physick, so are Offices of all kinds (which I do not say to insinuate any of these Imployments to be useless in a Nation, or to diminish from that due respect which ought to be given to Men of Place.) There is no question but they are highly necessary for the Regulation of the Body-Politick, and the Body-Natural; so are the Clergy for the Information of Mens Consciences; and therefore in every Nation convenient numbers of the people ought to be set apart for these purposes; But as far as they are Imployments, and intended for private gain, ’tis plain they add no Treasure to the Nation, but only enable the persons so imployed to share and heap up the Treasures already Imported; The like may be said of all other ways of living by meer Literature and the Pen, and some inferior In-land Imployments mentioned before; It must therefore be of dangerous Consequence if the Trade of a Nation run into over-much Shop-keeping, or if too many of the people withdrawing themselves from Manufactures, and the beneficial parts of Trade, should throng themselves into the Clergy, Law, Physick, Literature, and such other Professions as bring no increase of National Riches; And the rather, because these Imployments and Professions are narrow, and can support but a few Families in a Nation with convenience; so that it may endanger Depopulation, and by their numbers will prejudice one another; Whereas Manufacture and a great Forreign Trade, will admit of and oblige an increase of people even to infinity: And the more the Manufacturers increase, they will the more enrich one another, and the rest of the people; It may then be proper to inquire how the Manufactures of a Nation may be increased and improved.

This may be done either by enlarging former Manufactures, or by introducing new ones.

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New Manufactures must be first taught, and then encouraged, and if made of Forreign Materials, the Materials must be Imported, after which, as the people find the sweet of their Labours, it is not to be questioned but that they will throng into the Imployment; they that want Bread, Cloathes, and other necessary Comforts, will be glad to obtain them honestly; Thus our King Edward the Third (a Wise and Victorious Prince) invited over the Flemmings to teach his Subjects the Woollen Manufacture; And thus have the French Policies invited over the most Exquisite Manufacturers into France from all parts of the World; these with their Schollars were first imployed at the Charge of the Government; but the Manufactures soon afterwards diffused into the gross Body of the people.

Without these primary Encouragements and Superintendence of the Government, it will be hard to nourish up any new Manufacture, or to enlarge any old ones, at least, suddenly, to any great degree.

See Mr. Smith of Improvements, pa. 268, 269, 270, computes the whole profit of this Fishery to be ten millions sterling per annum, in a manner, all gained by other Nations.Amongst the Exportations, the Fishing-Trade ought not to be forgotton, since according to modern Calculations, the meer Fishing-Trade for Herring and Cod on the Coasts of England and Scotland imploys above 8000 Dutch Ships or Vessels, 200000 of their Sea-men, and Fishers; And the Herrings and Cod sold by the Dutch in Forreign Countries, do bring an Annual profit of about 5000000l. per annum Sterling to that Nation: besides which, ’tis accounted that there are at least 250000 people more imployed and maintained at Home about this particular Navigation, making of Fishing-Nets, and the curing, ordering, and preparing of the Fish, &c. besides the Island, Newfound-Land, and Greenland, fishings of very great advantage.

But the ordinary Exportation of Corn out of the Edition: current; Page: [304] Annual increase, hath been accounted most dangerous, and of all others the most unprofitable, because of the possibility of a dearth; which besides the hardships of it, will give opportunity to Forreigners of drawing away vast Treasures in a trice.

But if a Nation doth store up Corn in cheap years, the people will be secure against a Dearth, and yet when Corn is excessive dear in Neighbour-Nations, may then take their time to furnish them, and by that means will make much greater Advantages than by ordinary Exportation; And for this reason have the modern Policies of some wise Nations in Trade, contrived and erected publick Storehouses or Conservatories for Corn.

I shall conclude with the words of Sir Walter Rawleigh, in his excellent Observations upon Trade, presented to King James.Amsterdam is never without 700000 quarters of Corn, a dearth in England, France, Italy, or Portugal, is truly observed to enrich Holland for seven years after; For example, the last Dearth six years past, the Hamburghers, Embdeners, and Hollanders, out of their Storehouses furnished this Kingdom, and from Southampton, Excester, and Bristol only, in a year and half, carried away near 200000l. Then what great quantities of Corn did they Transport from round about the Kingdom? from every Port-Town, from the City of London, and other Cities? it cannot be esteemed less than two Millions: to the great decay and impoverishment of the People, discredit to the Merchants, dishonour of the Land, &c.”

Suppose then a Dearth or Scarcity of Corn happen once in twenty or thirty years, the Annual Labours of the People in the produce of the exported Corn are lost; ’tis also a bulky Commodity, and makes but a small yearly return, and the Forreign price and vent of it is Edition: current; Page: [305] very casual, and incertain, for which Reasons, of latter years, the ordinary exporting of Corn is used only by some poor Nations, who have little other Trade: ’tis said the French King hath Ordered publick Stores and Conservatories of Corn.

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: The Fishing-Trade, and Trade from Port to Port, are the Nursery and Support of Sea-men, and Sea-towns; The Condition of Ours; The National Advantages of England for all sorts of Trade, yet hath the least share.

SInce the Trade from Port to Port will cause a great Navigation, and also bring in very much Treasure, and therefore if it be added to the Trade of Exportation, must render a Nation the Miracle of Riches and Power; I shall next consider what this Trade from Port to Port really consists in, and by what methods it may be driven most advantagiously to a Nation.

A Trade from Port to Port may be most properly so called, when a Merchant of one Nation buying Goods in another, the Property becomes his, and he carries them to a third Forreign Market on his own account; Edition: current; Page: [306] thus the Dutch buy up, Export and sell the French Manufactures and Commodities; But if a Dutch-man carry French Goods to be sold in a Forreign Market, on a French-man’s account, taking a certain Rate for the Hire of his Ship; this is not properly a Trade from Port to Port, but is meer Carriage; which sort of Imployment (though it may seem least reputable) may increase the National Treasure, as the Navigation used in it is more or less, and may imploy many Sea-men.

A Trade from Port to Port doth also differ from meer Importation, which is, when the Merchant does Import Consumptive Commodities, which are spent at Home, in which case, if the importations are excessive, it may truly be called The Disease of Trade, since it must cause an Exportation of the National Stock of Treasure, and thereby may soon ruine a Nation, as will be shewn; But so cannot a Trade from Port to Port, truly so called, because the Goods bought being sold or bartered off, at other Forreign Ports, must be ultimately converted into more and more money, and thereby increase the home Treasure.

This Trading from Port to Port, does not wholly consist in the Carriage of a Commodity from one Port directly to another; nor can be so driven to any great, or ordinary Advantage; for the Merchants thus Imployed, must either Trade little, or else must glut the Ports they go to with an over-great quantity of Goods of the same kind; and therefore for the full improvement of a Trade from Port to Port, it is generally necessary, That the Merchants should first unlade at Home, which will inevitably render a Nation so Trading a compleat and mighty Storehouse of all Forreign Manufactures and Commodities; and then from this infinite Miscellany of Goods (as the Merchants observe their time for a Market and the Ports they go to) they may freight their Ships with such sortible Commodities and Edition: current; Page: [307] Cargoes as are proper and vendible to advantage;See Sir William Temple’s Book of the Dutch Cap. of Trade, pag. 210, 232. Thus are the Dutch Provinces become the mighty Storehouse of the World; the Plenties of the World do grow and increase in other Countries, but there are the Stores, and thence do their Merchants furnish themselves for all sorts of Voyages; “Thus they Transport the Merchandizes of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turky, the East and West Indies to the East and North-East Countries of Pomerland, Sprusland, Muscovy, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Liefland, Swedeland, Germany; and the Merchandizes of the last mentioned Kingdoms they transport into the Southern and Western Nations,” as Sir Walter Raileigh long since noted, nor is a Trade from Port to Port practicable, or can be improved to any considerable or valuable degree, unless the Nation be made an universal Storehouse.

In the Trade from Port to Port there must be some kinds of Original Exportation, because the Merchant cannot purchase Forreign Goods in a Forreign Port for nothing.

And one would think it should hardly be a question, whether in this way of Trade it be most profitable to a Nation to Export Manufacture, or other home Commodities, or Money, or Bullion.

Stat. restraining the Exportation of Money and Bullion are 9 E. 3. Cap. 1. 2 H. 4. 5th 5 R. 2. 2 H. 6. 6th 4 H. 7. 23. 19 H. 7. 5.But of late years many of our Merchants very much contend for a Liberty to Export Money or Bullion as advantagious to the Trade of the Nation, and have gotten an Act of Parliament to Legitimate the exporting of Bullion, contrary to many other former Statutes, and now Bullion and Money also are become our usual exportable Commodities.

The Exportation of Bullion Licensed by a short Clause of 15 Car. 2, Cap. 7. intituled Trade Incouraged.But I shall oppose the ordinary Exporting of Money or Bullion in Trade, especially as the Constitution of our Trade now is, for the Reasons following:

First, I shall admit that the exporting of Treasure in the Trade from Port to Port may increase Treasure, Edition: current; Page: [308] provided that the Merchant makes wise Bargains, and his Ships return safe, neither of which is altogether certain; But supposing the Merchant be both so wise and fortunate, yet ’tis very plain that in this way of Trade the Merchant cannot bring more new Treasure to the Nation than the Merchant by his judicious and prosperous dealing and Voyage can Add to the Original Sum he carried out.

But had the Merchant taken off and exported to the same value in home Manufacture or Commodity, ’tis as plain that the very vending or bartering of that Manufacture or Commodity, would have been a farther Gain to the Nation, to the full value of the Manufacture or Commodity exported; since the Manufacture or home Commodity sold would finally resolve into Treasure, nay, though the Merchant gain but little or nothing in this case, yet the Nation must be a Gainer to the value of the Manufacture or other Commodity exported.

As suppose a Dutch or English Ship go with exported Treasure to France, where the Merchant buys French Wine for 1000l. which afterwards he carries into the Sound, and there sells it for 1300l. the Merchant hath brought but 300l. new Treasure or Credit to the Nation; But had the Merchant Exported Herrings or home Manufacture, and by Sale or Barter of his Fish or Manufacture had purchased the same quantity of Wines, which afterwards he sold for 1300l. the Nation must presently have a new Addition of Treasure or Credit for the whole 1300l. In which last Case the Nation gets a new 1000l. by the labours of the Fishers or Manufacturers, besides the 300l. got by the Merchant; if the Merchant had got nothing, yet the Nation had gained 1000l.

Secondly, In this last Case great numbers of Manufacturers, Fishers, &c. are kept and well maintained at Home, whereas the ordinary Exportation of Money Edition: current; Page: [309] must make them idle and useless; whereof the further Consequence is, that the ordinary Exportation of Money must inevitably depopulate a Nation, if it be of any great extent of Territory; so must the Exportation of Bullion be attended with the same mischiefs for the same reasons: The Exportation of Bullion does also open a way for the Exporting of Coined Treasure, without any hazards of Seizure, by melting down the most valuable Coin into Bullion.

But I expect to be told that Hamburgh and Holland, &c. do allow of and use the Exportation of Treasure.

To which I answer, That there is no parallel between such Countries as these and England; For these are little Territories, much consisting of Merchants, their Agents, Factors, and dependents, who live by meer Merchandize, that the rest of the people being but few (in Comparison of what are necessary to people so great and fertile a Nation as England) may be supported with much fewer and lesser Manufactures and home Employments; and therefore that the Exporting of Treasure must be less dangerous, and perhaps may be the more necessary there, because by the fewness of people, and consequential restraint of Manufactures, their Merchants may be confined in the bulk and variety of home Commodities to Export.

If it be said that no Nation can be so stored with home Commodities, as to answer all Forreign Ports and Markets, and therefore that it may be sometimes necessary to Export Treasure in every trading Nation; This perhaps may be true in some degree; But this is another question; and in the mean time it remains that it is most profitable to a Nation to Export home Commodities (where it may be done) rather than Money or Bullion, and therefore that the Merchants ought to be restrained from it as much as it is possible.

Then as to the other question, how far it may be Edition: current; Page: [310] necessary in a Nation to Export Money in Trade, It must depend upon the greater or lesser Improvement of the National Trade.

For as a Nation hath a more universal Manufacture and Fishery, more Drinks, Fruits, Curiosities, and Delicacies of its own, its Merchants will be more and more enabled to Fraight themselves outwards with home Commodities; These mighty Stores of home Commodities can only be had in great fertile and populous Nations.

But suppose a Nation be not, or cannot be so fully stored with home Commodities as to Answer all Forreign Markets, yet its Merchants first Exporting home Commodities to Ports where they are Vendible, may by a Barter, Sale, or Exchange of these, and an eternal Succession of Voyages and Contracts, make the Nation where they live a Storehouse to Perfection; and will then have the choice of all Merchandizes on the Earth to Export; and therefore may ordinarily and beneficially Trade to any Forreign Port without exporting Treasure; And if they may, they will, because else they will loose the benefit of the Market for the goods they may re-Export; Thus even the Dutch originally Exporting Herring, Cod, Earthen Wares, Woollen Cloth, Linnen, and of late Silks, and other home Commodities, and having by the Barter or Sale of these compleated their home Storehouse, can ordinarily buy at Foreign Markets, without Exporting Treasure; By this means are the Dutch enabled to Trade as they do to Swedeland, Liefeland, and Norway, where by selling or bartering of their own and Forreign Commodities, they provide themselves with the materials of Pitch, Tar, Hemp and Flax, necessary for Navigation, and with Timber, and other Commodities, for their use at Home, and Trade abroad, whilst the same Commodities cost the English some 100000l. per annum, since the decay of our Cloth-Trade Edition: current; Page: [311] into those Ports; which kind of Trade is doubtless advantagious to some Merchants (else they would not continue it;) But does help to drain the Nation of its Treasure.

I do not say the Dutch never Export Treasure, but that by reason of their Forreign Storehouse, they are under no such ordinary necessity to do it; and in fact Export little or none to many other Countries, where the English Trade with much: whereof I shall have occasion to say more.

I shall conclude, that where the Home and Forreign Trade of a great and populous Nation is duly Regulated, and sufficiently Improved, there will be little necessity to Export Treasure.

To which I shall add, That the Exporting of Treasure in a Nation, having ill methods of Trade, must be yet more dangerous, because it facilitates meer Importation, and in England is chiefly serviceable to it, as will appear.

If a Trade from Port to Port be Improved to any great degree, it must necessarily very much increase the National Treasure, and numbers of people, especially Sea-men.

If 20000 Trading Vessels add 300l. per annum a piece to the National Stock yearly, the yearly National Gain must amount to 6000000l. per annum, and so in any greater or lesser proportion, as the Navigation or Gain is greater or less; of which we have a plain Example in the Dutch, who in about Ninety or 100 years time have arrived to a wonderful Wealth and Strength by it, though they have been always forced to buy much of their Victuals and Materials of Clothing, all their Materials of Shipping, and many other chargeable Necessaries from Forreigners, which must be a prodigious Annual Expence.

A Fishing-Trade is one great and certain Nursery of Sea-men, and brings Wealth and Comfort to Sea-Towns; Edition: current; Page: [312] But a Flourishing Trade from Port to Port will make better and more Sea-men, inrich Sea-towns more, and will Imploy very considerable numbers of people at Land, in Building, Manufacturing, Repairing, and other ordering of the Shipping, Tackle, and Goods Imported and Exported, besides the Merchants and their more immediate Dependants; Thus do we see the Towns upon our opposite Shores abound in Riches and People, whilst our own Sea-towns languish more and more.

And from hence it may appear, that for the utmost advance of this Trade, it is necessary there should be very much Shipping in a Nation, multitudes of Seamen, great Stocks continually imployed in Merchandize, great numbers of Merchants, and lastly safe Ports and Harbours.

I shall end this with some retrospect to the last Section, by observing, that no Nation in the World is naturally so adapted for a mighty Trade of all sorts as England.

First, Because it hath more excellent Native Commodities than any one Nation in the World, as Copper, Lead, Iron, Tin, Allome, Copperas, Saffron, Fell, the mighty Commodity of Wooll, Corn, convertible into Beer, and Transportable, besides near 100 others, which are capable of near 1000 sorts of Manufactures, as Sir Walter Rawleigh observes.

That it is one of the most Fertile of Kingdoms, and therefore out of its own Stores might support almost infinite numbers of people both for Manufactures at home, and Trade abroad, especially as the Island might be improved.

That it hath more and safer Ports and Harbours than almost all the Nations in Europe put together.

That it is better scituated for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Trades than any other Nation.

That the Herring and Cod, with which the Dutch Edition: current; Page: [313] drive so mighty a Trade, are caught in our English Seas, upon our own Coasts and Shores, and may be managed with more ease and advantage by the English, than by any other Nation.

And to conclude, That our People are strong and able for Work at Home, generous and adventurous abroad, and such as all the rest of the World have most coveted to commerce with, and naturally as ingenious, industrious, and willing to labour as any part of Mankind, so long as they can have a reasonable fruit of their Labours, which hath been evidenced by many former undeniable Experiences.

Notwithstanding all which Advantages, England hath had very few considerable Manufactures, some of which are lost, and the rest decaying; nor have we any considerable remaining Trade from Port to Port, or Fishing-Trade, of which there are doubtless some Reasons and Causes very fit to be understood and regulated, since the Wealth, Strength, Happiness and Safety of England immediately depend upon it; I shall therefore in the three next ensuing Sections give an Account of such particular Obstructions in our Trade, as have fallen under my notice.

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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 Wages, Customs, Interest-Money, &c. with the Consequences in our Manufactures and Forreign Trade; more particularly of the decay of our Woollen Manufacture: our Exportations now confined to our Importations and Imported Treasure, how to be enlarged, our casual dependence on the Trade of Spain.

SUpposing this or any other Nation had all the aforesaid Grounds of Trade, viz. All sorts of Home and Forreign Materials of Manufacture, sufficient numbers of People, and those instructed in Manufacture, supposing them never so industrious, that there were no want of Ships, Sea-men, or Stocks of Money, Ports or Plenties at home, yet there is another thing necessary, which is a good and quick Vent and Market for Commodities; without which all Manufactures will decay and expire, all other Exportations must fail, and the Trade from Port to Port can be no longer practicable or valuable.

For if the Manufacturer cannot sell his Manufacture, he hath laboured to his great loss; so if a Merchant buy Goods at one Forreign Port which he cannot sell at another Forreign Port, he hath at least lost his Voyage, and the Charge of it; so if the Market be not absolutely closed up, yet if it be prejudiced and spoiled to any great degree, the Merchant or Manufacturer will either discontinue presently, or will Trade less and less, and will fling up speedily if the Market doth not Edition: current; Page: [315] mend; for if men of Trade cannot sell for reasonable profit, but will be forced to live much worse and poorer than other men of the like degree and estate in the same Nation, they will not continue long in so unprofitable a Toil.

The Home and Forreign Market bear such a Simpathy one with the other, that Obstructions in the Market at home, may arise from Obstructions in the Forreign Market, as well as immediately from Causes at home.

For if the Forreign Market for Exportable Commodities fail in any degree, there must be a less and worse Vent and Market at home for these Commodities; if the Forreign Market come to take off a lesser quantity yearly than before, or at a lesser price, the Natives must sell a lesser quantity, and at a lesser price, to their Exporters and Merchants, who will not buy more than they can Vend again, nor so dear that they cannot vend them with sufficient profit.

Now the course of our English Forreign Merchandize hath begotten an Obstruction in the Forreign Market, because our Merchants are liable to greater Charges in their way of Trade than the Merchants of our Neighbour Nations.

For all necessary Charge of the Merchant in his course of Trade is super-added to the Original Cost of his Commodity, so that the Merchant, upon sale of the Commodity Exported, is under an Obligation to pay himself his Charge, and yet to sell so, that he may make himself a reasonable gainer besides.

Then if a Forreign Merchant bring the same Manufacture or Commodity to the same Forreign Port with less charge, he will be able to under-sell the English-Merchant as much as his charge is less, and yet shall get reasonable profit.

And if the Merchants of other Nations be able to sell for less, they will, nay perhaps must, (supposing Edition: current; Page: [316] that they drive an open Trade, and upon their distinct Stock) for then being incapable of combining to Impose prizes, and desiring a quick Market (which is the life of Trade,) they will be worked down by the Forreign Buyers to take as moderate profit for their Goods as they can afford them at.

The Consequence of this is, that the English Merchant must either forbear Exporting, or else must sink his prizes on the English Manufacturers, whereby the English Manufactures must be stifled or discouraged.

’Tis true, That if a Nation hath some rich and necessary Material and Manufacture within it self, exclusive to other Nations, it hath the Monopoly of this Manufacture to the rest of the World, and therefore cannot be under-sold, but may vend it so as to pay all extraordinary Charges with sufficient gain to the Manufacturer and Merchant; which was heretofore the Case of England in the Woollen Manufacture.

But if a Manufacture or Commodity be common to England and Holland, or England and France, and the Hollanders or French can bring this Manufacture or Commodity cheaper to a third Forreign Port than the English, the Hollanders or French under-selling the English, will beat the English out of the Manufacture; It is accompted that the odds of two per cent. nay of one per cent. will produce this advantage.

An inequality of Charge on Merchandize must also influence the Trade from Port to Port; For if the English and Dutch Merchant coming to the same Port with the same Forreign Commodity, the Dutch can ordinarily under-sell the English; it must also be of the same Consequence in this Port of Trade.

This happens to be the Case between the English and Dutch, the Dutch being upon their defection from Spain, driven into great Exigencies, and therefore becoming studious and emulous how to advance their Edition: current; Page: [317] Trade, have contrived all imaginable ways how to Trade cheap, whose Example other Neighbouring-States and Kingdoms have followed in a great degree, and the French amongst the rest, whilst the English do not only proceed in their former more chargeable methods of Trade, but have clogged their Navigation and Merchants more and more, whereof I shall give some Instances, and shall leave the Computation of the odds to the Reader.

First, The Dutch have found and long used such a way of building their ordinary Trading Ships and Vessels, that they will sail with eight or ten men, when an English built Ship of about the same Burthen shall not sail without near thirty men, so that the English Merchant must ordinarily be at more Charge for Wages and Victuals by two Thirds than the Dutch.

Secondly, The English Customs for Forreign Goods Imported and Re-exported (though half the Customs paid are returned upon Re-exportation) are near twenty times greater than the Dutch Customs, and for some home Commodities Exported, if not for all, are greater than the Dutch or French Customs, which does work a further Charge on the English Merchants. For,

Thirdly, By this means our English Merchants are ordinarily forced to keep near a fourth part of their Stocks dead at home to answer Customs, so that a Dutch Merchant may drive the same Trade with a much less Stock.

Fourthly, The late Act of Navigation, and the Act of 14 Car. 2. Cap. 11. confining the English Trade to Shipping built with English Timber (which is now exceeding scarce and dear.) The Dutch, French, Danes, Hamburghers, &c. can have Ship-Timber in Germany, France and Denmark, for less than half the price of ours. So by means of the same Acts of Navigation, Edition: current; Page: [318] have the Dutch and French their Cordage, Masts, Sails, Tackle, Pitch and Tar, (being all necessary and chargeable Ingredients of Navigation) very much cheaper than the English, so that the Hollanders, or French, or Danes, nay, almost any other of our Neighbours, can build and apparel a Ship, or fit up and repair, at a less charge by half than the English can do; the reason of this is more at large Discoursed by Mr. Roger Cooke in his late Ingenious Treatises Of Trade.

18 Car. 2. Cap. 2. & 20 Car. 2. Cap.And Fifthly, By means of the late Irish Acts against Importation of Cattel the Dutch and French can and do Victual their Ships cheaper with Irish Victuals than the English can do in England, whereas before, England could Victual cheaper than any Nation in Europe.

Note, no Interest is allowed in France.Sixthly, The English pay 6 per Cent. Interest for Money, and the Dutch but 3 per Cent. or less, which is to our English Merchants of a strange ill Consequence, if we consider our extraordinary Charges in Victuals Wages, Shipping, and the money kept dead to answer Customs, besides the Interest of the Stock actually imployed in Merchandize and Wares; for the Interest, with Interest upon Interest running up continually, does still increase the Charge and Clogg upon our Merchants, but especially must disable us to make England a Storehouse of Forreign Goods, since although they should be bought and Imported as cheap as in Holland, they must yet become dearer for Re-exportation by the odds in the Interest; if the Annual Interest per Cent. were the same, yet the odds in the Stock imployed would produce a vast odds in the Interest.

Seventhly, The Act of Navigation obliging us to sail with ¼ of our English Sea-men (of which we have but a few in Comparison of the Dutch, who have at least ten times more than we) hath given occasion to our Seamen Edition: current; Page: [319] to raise their Wages: To all which may be added our present Charge of Passes, supposing that any Forreign Nation can Trade without Passes, or procure them for less money: the like may be said of our late Charge of Ballastage, &c.

Nay the Dutch are so curious, that for more cheapness and convenience, they build Ships of divers makes, sorts of Timber, and manner of Tackling, for almost every Trade: whereas the English build or use but one sort, and that the most chargeable.

Suppose then, that the English and Dutch should both Manufacture Silk, Linnen, Woollen, &c. and that an English and Dutch Merchant buying up these Manufactures at the same Rate at Home, should Export them to a third Port where they are Vendible, ’tis plain that the Dutch Merchant being at less charge by at least two thirds for Wages and Victuals, at less charge for Customs or Port-Duties, at a less charge by half in building and fitting up his Ship, and being so much eased in the Interest of money, and other the said particulars, may under-sell the English Merchant a great many times 2 per Cent.

Sir Walter Rawleigh, in his time, observes, That if an English and Holland Ship of 200 Tun a piece be at Dantzick, the Hollander should serve the Merchant cheaper by 100l. than the English, being sailed with nine or ten Mariners, but ours with thirty, yet our English Carpenters keep their old way of building to this day, and know no other.But much more will he be able to under-sell the English Merchant in the Trade from Port to Port, because of the excessive height of our Customs for Goods Imported and Re-exported, or if an English Merchant go directly from one Port to another, he will still lie under the other inequalities of Charge.

Nor are the English for the same Reason capable of any Imployment in meer Carriage for any Forreigners, unless, perhaps, during the Convulsions of a War amongst other Nations.

And for the same Reasons the English can never drive any considerable Fishing-Trade, though we pay no Custom for Fish.

This cheapness of the Dutch, and other Forreign Edition: current; Page: [320] Navigation and Trading, doth not only give advantage and preference to their own Manufactures, but to the Manufactures of all other Nations where there is an open, free and reasonable Market; as suppose the Dutch buy French, German, or Italian Manufactures as cheap as the English Merchant can buy the like Manufactures in England, he may be able to under-sell the English Merchant and Manufacture in a third Port, with gain to himself.

And hence it is that the Dutch, and other Forreign cheap Navigation, hath given rise and growth to the French, Dutch, German, Italian, and other Forreign Manufactures; which, with the difficulties on our Trade at home, hath worked us out of near all our Manufactures, except what remains to us of our Cloathing-Trade.

So the cheapness of the Dutch, and other Forreign Navigation and Trading, hath in a manner beaten us out of all the Trade from Port to Port, and Fishing-Trade; the English retaining little from Port to Port, but the East-India Trade, for Callicoes, Pepper, &c. a Trade which continues upon a particular reason, distinct from all the rest, as I shall also shew in the next Section.

And upon the former Reasons, and others mentioned in this and the two next Sections, we must expect that the Dutch and French may in a short time destroy our remaining Woollen Manufacture; the Dutch taking advantage of our mis-management of our Cloth-Trade, of which I shall give a further account, found ways of getting our fine Wooll, which mixing with fine Spanish, and by that mixture making a cheaper and more serviceable fine Cloth than with all Spanish, have been long high our Competitors in the Trade of fine Cloth, and have near actually beaten us out in the Northern Eastland and German Trades, and share with Edition: current; Page: [321] us in the Turky-Trade, both Dutch and French getting what quantities they please of our long and middling-Wooll out of England and Ireland (which they now have cheaper than the English Clothiers from Ireland) do mix it with French, Polonia, or other Forreign Woolls, (which are two thirds cheaper than ours) and therewith make vast quantities of coarse Cloths, Druggets and Stuffs, which being acceptable and Merchandizable, they Export to Spain, Portugal, Germany, and most other Parts.

Their Competition in the Cloathing-Trade, joined with some Polonian, Silesian, German, and other later Manufactures of coarse Woolls, have already sunk our Forreign Market and Vent; this hath sunk the price of our raw Wooll, as necessarily it must, and as their Manufactures increase, and ours does expire, the French and Dutch must have our Wooll for what they please; and if they cannot have it at their own Rate at one of our Ports, they will go to another, and our necessitous People having their Wooll in their hands, will sell almost at any Rate; which is so far the Case in Ireland already, that is there openly Exported at 6 or 7s. the Tod; and then if we compute what a Tod of Wooll may stand the French or Dutch in, considering their cheap mixtures of French, Polonish, and other course Woolls, we may very suddenly expect to have our English Woolls at about 4s. the Tod; for if the English Clothier gives more for his Materials than the French or Dutch, he cannot live: It is now in most parts of England at about 12s. or 13s. the Tod, in some places at 10s. where of late years it was 30 and 40s. the Tod.

The French and Dutch have long maligned this English Manufacture, and have now made a mighty progress towards its extirpation, and therein of the great support of our English Nation; (doubtless the Wooll-Sacks were placed in our House of Parliament Edition: current; Page: [322] to give us a precaution of it:) The Dutch of late have been somewhat checked in the Turky-Trade by the War; but the French are more vigilant and vigorous in the increase and vent of their Woollen Manufacture than ever; and the Dutch are now at Peace again.

I know some alledge, that these Nations may support their present Woollen Manufacture without our Wooll, which our own English Clothiers, on their own experience, deny; They say that a mixture of fine English, and fine Spanish, makes a Cloth so much cheaper and more serviceable than of all fine Spanish, That it must needs beat out any Forreign Manufacture made of all fine Spanish, (which is always near twice as dear as our finest English Wooll) and therefore have the English and Dutch near subverted the Venetian Cloth-Trade in Turkey; On the other side, They say that the German, Polonia, Silesian, and French, are so coarse of themselves, that although they may be wrought into an ill sort of Composition, perhaps fit for Sailors, or such like; yet it is not Merchandizable; but in mixture with English or Irish; good dressing and dying will make very vendible and serviceable Stuffs, Druggets, and coarse Cloths.

Nor is there any shadow of reason to believe otherwise, considering how Ravenous the French and Dutch have been after our Wooll, since they set up their Woollen Manufactures; why have they and their Agents been lurking on our Coasts and in our Creeks to filch it away for so many years? why have they given treble as much for it as for Polonia or French? shall we think the Dutch and French such Fools and mad-men as to make so laborious and dear a Purchase of an unnecessary Commodity? We are told of some fine Sclavonian Woolls which the Dutch make use of, but withall that they are not comparable to ours; nor of any considerable bulk; and are assured by those who Edition: current; Page: [323] should best understand it, that no Nation but England hath a sufficient store of Wooll to drive a Forreign Trade of any Consequence.

There is no question, but that if we did manufacture all our Wooll, we might again near Monopolize the Merchandize and Forreign Trade of Woollen-Cloathing, though perhaps some Forreign Manufactures of coarse Woolls might be kept up for the use of the ordinary poorer people at Home; at least it must be admitted, that if we did manufacture all our English and Irish Wooll, it would find vent in the World, since it is now all manufactured in England, France and Holland, and doth find vent in the aforesaid mixtures; by which the bulk of the Manufacture must be much increased.

Then if the question be how we shall arrive to the sole Manufacture of our own English and Irish Wooll, it must appear upon what hath been said, that the only safe Expedient must be by easing our Navigation and Trade equally with Forreigners, in which Case having so much advantage in the Materials, we could not fail of an answerable success in the Manufacture; long Experience hath demonstrated that the meer prohibiting of the Exportation of Wooll is but a Cobweb, the Dutch and French being constantly supplied with what quanties they please to have, and ever will be, as long as their advantages in Trade will enable them to give more for our Woolls than our English and Irish Natives: for so long the Interests of our People will teach them ways to Elude or Baffle the Prohibition; For this reason our late Act of 12 Car. 2. Cap. 22. which makes it Felony to Export Wooll, hath nothing remedied the mischief. Upon what hath been said, I may further add, That those who think to better our Trade in general by the forceable subversion of the Dutch Trade and Navigation, are as much mistaken; since the Hamburgers, and other Trading States, the French, and Edition: current; Page: [324] other Kingdoms, who have eased their Merchandize and Navigation, would then take the place of the Dutch, and would share the Trade, and exclude the English, unless our Trade were equally eased.

I shall conclude this Section with this farther Observation, That for the opening of a sufficient Forreign Vent and Market for our Home Commodities, whether Manufactures, Fish, or others; it is not only necessary to remove all unequal cloggs on meer Exportations, but also those on Imported Goods; because that whilst the English Merchant, by the Charges on Imported Goods, is ordinarily disabled to Trade from Port to Port, the value of our English Exportations must be in a manner confined to the value of the Goods Imported, and consumed at Home, and the Treasure we Import in specie yearly.

Whereas were the cloggs on our Imported Goods taken off, we might yearly vend of our own Home Commodities to the value of all the Forreign Goods we should then Import and Re-export, to serve the Occasions of all other Nations, (for these we might purchase by Barter or Sale of our own) whereby our Exported Home Commodities would then amount to much more, probably to more than ten times the value they now do yearly; All which in the course of Trade from Port to Port would resolve into more and more Treasure and Riches of all sorts.

And therefore, let the Treasure now Imported in specie be more or less, ’tis evident, that were our Merchants enabled to Trade from Port to Port, as the Dutch and others can and do, as our Manufactures, and other Home Commodities, Exported yearly, would be vastly more in quantity and value, so would the Treasure Imported yearly.

Secondly, The Exportation of English home Commodity is yet farther confined, when instead of home Edition: current; Page: [325] Commodity to answer the Imported Goods and Treasure, we Export so much Treasure as we do; In which Case if the Treasure Exported be more than is Imported yearly, this Kingdom must insensibly be beggered by meer Trade.

This may be feared to be our Case, because there are very few Forreign Nations (I think none worth the naming but Spain) where our Merchants can ordinarily sell our Commodity for ready money, or with so much advantage, that they can afford to return with the price received, but will be obliged to better their Adventures by laying out the money again on Consumptive Forreign Goods, or else apply it to satisfie Forreign Debts by Bills of Exchange; This many of our Spanish Traders do, so that our Merchants Import much less Treasure than they receive; and it may not be improper to be added here, that whilst the virtue of our whole Trade (as now managed) does still depend so much on that with Spain, our Support is very single and casual, and the Consequence must be fatal, should the Spaniard be rendred either unable or unwilling to Trade longer with us; our Case is already thus far worse than it was, that Spain is grown poor and weak, and the Dutch and French share and grow upon us in this Trade.

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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 Victuals, obliges a sudden Consumption of our remaining Ship-Timber, particular dangers and consequences thereof; Our Navigation cannot be increased whilst we are restrained in Trade: The Exhausting of our Treasure must subvert our Navigation: The advantages of Forreigners, of Trading by Companies, and the different Nature of ours, more particularly of our African and East-India Companies and Trade: divers ill Consequences of Joint-Stocks; therein more of Monopolies. Long Land Carriages to London; the Market there delayed. Odds in Interest-Money must prejudice our Manufactures: private Interest observed. Our affectation of Forreign Commodities: the prejudice of obstructing the vent of Manufactures. Our Manufacturers liable to be imposed upon by our Merchants, and by Ingrossers, a disadvantage by the Restitution of half Customs on the Re-exportation.

IT being natural, That the continuance of one inconvenience should beget many others, it hath so fallen out in England.

Our Natives discerning the odds of Charge between our own and Forreign Navigation, and being therefore tempted to Trade in Forreign Ships, or to deal with Forreign Importers, (which threatned the subversion of our English Navigation, and the Importing Trade of Edition: current; Page: [327] our English Merchants) instead of Regulating our Navigation, the late Act of Navigation was made, whereby, and by other Acts,12 Car. 2. ca. 18. 13 Car. 2 c. 14. 14 Car. 2. ca. 11. 15 Car. 2. c. 7. our English Exportations are expressly or virtually confined to our own English built Shipping, so is the Importation of Forreign Goods, or else to the Forreign Natives of whose growths or productions they are; which restraint hath begotten, or (jointly with the other cloggs on our Forreign Merchandize) hath heightned, these farther Inconveniences.

First, It hath given a Monopoly to our own Merchants upon our Manufacturers and People, for our own exportable Manufactures and Commodities.

Secondly, It hath given a Monopoly to our own Merchants upon all the people of England, for Goods Imported.

Thirdly, The said Act of Navigation obliging the English to buy Imported Goods only at those Ports, or of those Natives, of whose growths and productions they are, hath given Monopolies to all Forreigners on the English for Goods of their respective growths and productions;See Mr. Coke’s Third Treatise of Trade.the Danes (for instance) taking advantage of it, very much raised their Prizes and Customs upon us, for Pitch, Tar, and Timber, forcing us to pay near double what we did, and to pay them in money, where we used to barter with them for Commodity; the like may be said of the French, those of the Canary-Islands, and others, particularly the Leiflanders, for raw Hemp and Flax; at the best we are but at mercy.

Fourthly, this Act hath made our Navigation yet more chargeable than before, because the aforesaid Forreign Materials of Pitch, Tar, raw Hemp and Flax are thereby made very much the dearer; It doth also render English Ship-Timber still dearer and dearer, which must more and more disable and discourage us in the Edition: current; Page: [328] building of Ships for Trade, and gives a great and dangerous advantage to our Neighbours in the building of Ships of War so much cheaper than we.

Fifthly, This dearness of Shipping must the more prejudice the vent of our Manufactures made of our own Materials, and disable us in the Trade from Port to Port, for the Reasons in the last Section.

Sixthly, The same dearness of Shipping, with the other unequal charges on our Forreign Merchandize, must render all Forreign materials of Manufacture imported much dearer in England than in other Neighbour-Nations, (such are Hemp, Flax, Silk, and many others of great consequence) and then our Manufacturers buying the Materials dearer, are obliged to sell their Manufactures dearer, which must hinder their vent at home as well as their Exportation abroad, and consequently the rise and growth of all our Manufactures made of Forreign Materials, and accordingly we see our Manufactures of Linnen, Cables, Sails, Sea-Nets, and Silk of all sorts, are some of them in a manner lost, the rest much decayed; which I the rather mention, that this, and what I say elsewhere, may take off some ignorant and unreasonable Reproaches against the English Manufacturers, for not selling some Manufactures so cheap as in other Nations, since they are necessitated to it by these and some other difficulties upon them, which I shall take notice of in this and the next Section, as I shall have occasion.

Seventhly, This restraint to our dear English Navigation, and Charges on our Merchandize, does by Consequence tend to introduce the Disease of Trade, consisting in meer Importation; for as our Manufactures expire, there is a farther occasion of Importing Forreign Manufactures, especially if on this, and other Accounts, they may be sold cheaper here than our own: And hence it is, that we have a prodigious increase of Edition: current; Page: [329] Imported Linnens, Silks, &c. and that we are of late forced to buy much more of our Cables, Cordage, Sails, and divers other Manufactures from the Dutch, French, Germans, &c. than formerly we did; in all which our Merchants must be greater gainers for a time, because our occasions for Forreign Goods being greater, they Import and sell the more at home; and from more and greater Sales must get the more money of our Natives, and the rather, because of their Monopoly on the rest of the people for Imported Goods, which does enable them to sell so at home, as to reimburse themselves all their Charges, with extraordinary profit.

Eighthly, The said Restraint excluding great numbers of Forreign Ships from our Ports must hinder the vending of great proportions of our Beef, Pork, Corn, Beer, Clothing, and other Necessaries.

Ninthly, The dearness of the English Timber, arising from the scarcity of it, the said Act doth oblige us to a kind of impossibility, there being not Timber enough in England to support any considerable Navigation, at least for any continuance of time; which small remnant of Timber we are forced to spend so fast in the building or repairing of ordinary Vessels, that we shall soon see the end of it, and then in any great Exigence we must seek out for Forreign Timber to build Ships of War, for which the Timber now remaining might be reserved.

Tenthly, Whereas the increase and support of Navigation depends on the ordinary Imployment of Ships and Sea-men in Trade, of which far the greatest numbers are to be maintained in the Fishing-Trade, and Trade from Port to Port, the English being, by the Acts of Navigation, and other difficulties, disabled from those Trades, can never increase their Navigation, and upon a small increase of Shipping must be over-clogg’d.

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Eleventhly,See Mr. Coke’s Treatises Of Trade, this largely and most rationally discoursed. The Act of Navigation giving Forreigners election either to sell their Goods to the English at home, or to Import them into England, is so far from incouraging our Navigation, that it hath put it into the choice of Forreigners whether theirs or our Shipping shall be imployed, which, with the dearness of ours, hath already increased the Navigation of our Neighbours, but hath reduced ours.

And lastly, As the dearness of our Navigation and course of Merchandize established by this Act does run us into an Excess of Importations, our Treasures must be exhausted, and then the remnant of our Shipping must be becalmed, and our Sea-men will leave us, as they already do, which I shall more particularly observe in the following Sections.

In the mean time it must be apparent, that if we had disposed our selves to a cheaper way of building and sailing our Trading-Ships (being as practicable here as in Holland) and had eased our Merchandize and Trade to an equal degree, these, and all other the aforesaid Mischiefs, had been prevented, and we might have supported a more swelling and beneficial Navigation than that of the United Provinces; who are so far from making use of any Expedient of this Nature, that they allow Free Commerce to all Forreigners, and their Ships; nor can the like Expedient be found in any Nation on the Earth, who have or aspire to a great Navigation or Trade; ’Tis confessed the like Act was made by the Rump, but ’twas on the occasion of their Dutch War, and intended (as ’tis said) to exclude the Dutch from the benefit of our Trade and Ports; however it were, we are not to learn the Rump might be mistaken in their Calculations.

If the people of a Nation have free Liberty to sell at home to all Merchants, they must necessarily have Edition: current; Page: [331] the utmost choice of Chapmen for Manufactures and home Commodities, and by consequence the best and utmost Market and Vent as far as the Stocks, Treasures, Industry, Navigations and Occasions of the World will bear, and it is known that the most thrifty Merchants, and near Livers, and those that Trade most universally, and with the greatest Stocks, and cheapest, are ordinarily able to buy dearest, and sell cheapest; and if our Natives were un-confined, they would have Liberty to deal with any Forreigners on the Earth thus qualified; But our Natives being restrained to our own Merchants, and their own National Stock in Merchandize; let the particular Stocks of our Merchants be never so small, let them Trade never so dear, or so little, let them live never so high and costly, yet our Natives Manufactures and others must pay for all, by selling cheaper to our Merchants, and buying of them dearer; for the Merchants are in a capacity to buy so and sell so at home, as to satisfie themselves, and maintain the Equipage they live in, with much overplus.

But our Clothiers, and some others, have complained, that they are yet farther confined in their choice of Chapmen, since of the English Merchants they are confined to the Trading Companies and their stocks; which does first give me occasion to consider the Constitutions of our English Forreign Trading-Companies, and of what consequence they are in Trade.

This I shall do (as I think it will appear) without any partiality, protesting that I bear no malice or personal ill will against any Company, or Member of any Company, in England, but on the contrary, have an high esteem for as many of these and other Merchants as I am acquainted with, having found them very worthy men, and such as much desire the general Good, and therefore hope they will close with the Common Interest in what relates to themselves.

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Particular men have too long flattered themselves with a corrupt opinion, that they may gain by the common loss, and that it will hold out their times, which I do not say with any particular Reflection on these, or any other Traders; being the ordinary maxim or prudential of our cunning men of all kinds.

Of the first and more ancient sort are our Regulated Companies, or such as are so called, such are the Turky, Hamburgh, Muscovy, and Eastland Companies, whose Incorporations have been always accompted Legal, being intended for the better Regulation of some particular Forreign Trades, and for the raising and support of Common Charges, and for those purposes are enabled to act by Committees.

The Members of these Companies trading on their distinct stocks, seem to leave the same choice of Chapmen to our Manufacturers, wherefore I cannot observe but that such Companies might consist with a Flourishing Trade, if according to their appellations they be really Regulated, (that is) provided all English-men (according to their Right) be left at liberty to become Members, and Trade, upon Terms that are not oppressive. Secondly, That these Companies be not permitted to make such By-Laws for their private ends, as may prove advantagious to the Members of the Company, but prejudicial to the Nation; a thing very practicable, as suppose they should prolong their times of buying our home Commodities, or confine the Market to some such particular places at home as may be convenient for themselves, but injurious to our Manufacturers, or other Natives, or should Trade to few Ports where they can have extraordinary Rates and Terms, when they might Trade to more, and consequently vend more Commodity; or should endeavour to set the Dice on Forreigners, by Arbitrary prizes, or otherwise, whereby Forreigners may be disaffected with our Commerce; Edition: current; Page: [333] experience hath shown that private interest hath carryed some of them into such or the like irregularities, it would be too long to instance in particulars, I shall only say, that those of the last sort made Forreigners the more Impatient till they had set up their woollen Manufactures.

The present East-India Pattent, granted 13 July 1660. That to the Affrican Company since.Our East-India and Affrican Companies are of another kind, and of a latter creation, having gotten Pattents of the Sole Trade of great part of the World exclusive to the rest of his Majesties Subjects, which they manage upon Joynt-stocks; of which I shall shew the generall ordinary consequences, and then examine how far they are applicable to the particular Cases of these Companies.

First, in the nature of such Companies they must be as injurious as may be to all home-Manufactures made of our own materialls, and the vent of our other exports, because by trading on a Joynt-stock they make but one buyer, and therefore have a Monopoly for all exportable goods proper only for the Forreign Nations within their pattents, and must contract the choice of Chapmen for all other goods proper for these and other Countrys; now the confining of the Market and choice of Chapmen in any degree is dangerous and prejudiciall to Trade, and in a larger sence may be called a Monopoly, but it is far more mischievous when the Election is totally lost, for then those who have the Monopoly may, and therefore will, buy at their own prizes.

Secondly, for the same reason they must be yet more injurious to home-Manufactures made of forreign materialls; for first, they will sell the materialls as dear, and then buy the Manufacture as cheap as they please; which must subvert any Manufacture in a trice, especially if made of forreign materials bought cheaper by forreign Manufacturers; suppose then the East-India Company by their Commodity of Money, should so far Edition: current; Page: [334] divert the market as to beat out the Turky Company in the trade of Raw-Silks, at what rates would our Silk-weavers buy raw-silks? or will it be said a Company on a Joynt-stock, will so much value the National interest as to sell as low as the Commodity is sold for in other Nations? or if it will be said, who will believe it? was ever any such thing done either by the English, Dutch, or East-India Companies? did they ever yet endeavour to beat out one another in trade by low selling? No, this is never the effect of choice; were a third East-India Company in France on a Joynt-stock, they would hold up the prizes; the advantage got to a Nation by underselling is the effect of necessity, or high convenience; when the Sellers being infinite, some of them are ready, and all long for dispatch and a new adventure, whereby they work down one another to as low a prize as the Commodity can be afforded at; of all which we have an undenyable example in the present Affrican Company, who were no sooner Constituted, but they raised the price of imported red-wood, which before was sold at 26. and 28l. per Tun, to 80l. per Tun, which must make our exported dyed Cloaths of all sorts so much the dearer; and being an intolerable rate, put our Dyers upon finding out the use of Saunders, which they still continue; and as a farther confirmation of this, and what I said before, I shall add, that after the Erection of this Company, all goods proper for that Trade only sunk at least 15l. per Cent. nor would the 10th part of the same goods be vended to the said Company as there was before, to our Merchants driving an open Trade.

Thirdly, For the same reason such a Company must be as injurious to the Trade from port to port; For having also a Monopoly in selling, they may and will impose Arbitrary prizes on the buyers, and then the Merchants or Re-exporters who buy goods so dear, Edition: current; Page: [335] must be undersold by any other Nation which drives a free and open Trade to the same place from whence they are Imported; this is self-evident, and therefore I should not instance in Fact, but that I have it on good Authority; that even in the East-India Trade, which is Alledged to be out of the common Rules of Trade, whilst the Trade was open, viz. In the years 54, 55, and 56, our Merchants sold the Indian Commodities so low, that they furnished more parts of Europe then since we have done, nay, Holland and Amsterdam it self; and that this very much sunk the Actions of the Dutch East-India Company: a thing which stands with reason; and which therefore recommends an open Trade to India, if it may be so driven with long continuance, whereof I shall farther consider.

Fourthly, These Companies having also Monopolies on these Forreign Natives with whom they Trade, may set Arbitrary prizes upon them, for our home-Manufactures exported; and will get more, by selling a little very dear, then by selling much more at moderate profit: and though the Joynt-stock imployed be not sufficient to manage the Trade any thing near the full advantage, yet those interested in it will have reason to be satisfyed with the returns they make, since in proportion to the Stock, they may be very great; and for the same reason, may be well contented to Trade to a few Ports where they can have great rates.

5ly, The industry, courage and ingenuity of all the rest of the Natives (by which as much as by stock all Trade is improved) are shut out, which must not only be a prejudice to the Trade in general, but is a hardship put on the rest, who by their birth-rights are equally intituled to all Trade; upon all which accompts, the Legality of sole importing, sole buying, and sole vending, hath been formerly brought in question, and Edition: current; Page: [336] denyed in our greatest Judicatures;Stat. 21. Jacob. 3. 12. Hen. 7. cap. 6th. 3. Jac. cap. 6th.and should it be generally admitted, by the same reason, the rest of our Forreign Trade might be inclosed to two or three more Companys, and then we should have but three or four Chapmen or Shops for all Exported and Imported Commodities; nay the whole might be granted or reserved to one Company, or one man: in any of which Cases what would become of property? Such is the Case of the general body of our Merchants already, that having in a manner lost the Eastland and Northern Trades, they are shut out of the Affrican, Indian, and Persian, Chinese, and other mighty Trades within those Patents: since this out of the French trade, and therefore are thronged into the Streights, and other narrow remnants, and yet is this the usual preferment of most of the younger Sons of the Gentry of England.

Sixthly, Though our other Merchants on their single accompts export much treasure, yet cannot it so easily be done, or not in so great Quality, as by such a Company; whose Joint stock having a great credit, can take up as much ready money as they want; whereas those who will not trust a single trader with a 100l. in mony will trust him with 500l. worth of Commodity, as common experience shews: and ’tis affirmed, that during our trade in 54. and 55. we exported more Commodities, viz. cloth, and other things, then since we have done.

To this is Objected, that the East-India trade so far differs from others, that it cannot be supported, or not with so much advantage and security, (which I admit to be all one) without a Joynt stock, which if true, there is no doubt but it ought to be so managed. This then is one great Question, in the mean time I hear nothing of this so much as alledged for the Affrican Company: the reasons given, depend upon pretended Facts in India, viz. the necessity of great common charges in Edition: current; Page: [337] gratifying and corresponding with the Indian Princes, and keeping Forts and Forces for the defence of our Factories there, which they say could never be supported but out of a Joynt stock in Trade.

To which others answer, 1st. that it may be true, great common charges are necessary, & much greater then our Company are at, but that common charges may be rais’d by a regulated company on Goods imploy’d in Trade, or on other parts of the Traders Estates, if the Company are Impower’d to make Levies, which is no more then every Parish are enabled to do for Church-Poor and other things: and that ’tis the same thing for a man to be assubjected to Levies out of that part of his distinct stock which is not in trade, as ’tis to make good any publick charge or loss out of his Joynt-stock.

Or Secondly, they say, that if this Trade be taken into the protection of the Government, it will have the Joint stock of the Kingdom to secure it, the same by which we are all secured: they offer what we were able to do in our open Trade in 1654. 55. and 56. But as a demonstration, urge the example of the Portuguese, who in an open Trade (I do not mean in an Anarchy nor without conduct and order) made near or full as great a progress in this Trade as the Dutch, whilest their Government gave sufficient assistance, which they say, also answers what hath been objected from the supposed disorder of our Trade in those parts, should it lye open, and the capacity the Natives would be then in, of setting the dice upon the English: and as a further answer to this they say, the same thing may be objected against all other open Trade in the World.

But then those for our Company, object the example of the Dutch, who being a Nation so wise in Trade, successfully manage the East-India Trade by a Company on a Joint stock; which being matter of fact, is beyond all the Argument in the World.

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To which is answered, that this Example proves that a Company in a Joint stock may make a great progress in it, but does not disprove the like, or a greater progress under a regulated or open Trade.

2ly. That on the first constitution of this Company, and ever since, the Dutch, had most of the Trade, from Port to Port, and carriage throughout the rest of the World; and therefore might with less disadvantage to the rest of the Dutch Merchants inclose this to a Company.

See the present state of the low Countrys, Printed in 69. Written by M. A. Fellow of the Royal Society p. 154, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.3ly. That that Company was occasioned by the distinct Bands or voluntary Associations of Merchants in the several Provinces, who first undertook this Trade, which being soon after the Union, and the Provinces having Originally seperate rights, the said Associations had not so good a correspondence as was necessary, which could never fall out under a regulated Company of one Nation.

See Mandelsloe’s Travels, p. 285.4ly. That the constitution of this Company being intended for a present Reconciliation of these interests, was Originally but for 21. Years, and was afterwards continued, because the Company growing so rich and powerfull both abroad and at home, the Members were generally chosen States, and therefore above any attacque at home from the rest.

5ly. That as the Dutch Company is constituted, and have managed this Trade, it hath redownded to almost, if not fully to as general an advantage, as if managed by an open or regulated Trade: in which they say our Company is much defective; & that supposing a Joint stock necessary, or highly convenient, yet if we might manage ours to more National advantage, it were but fit it should be done.

To prove this might be done, those for a more open Trade urge, that our now East-India patent contains near or fully one third part of the World, and therefore Edition: current; Page: [339] must have many hundreds,Note the Affrican Companys Patent contains from the Streights Mouth to the Cape of good Hope. if not thousands of parts, that whereas their priviledge begins at the Cape of good Hope, it is from thence above 4000 Miles, upon the Coast of Affrick to the Red Sea, in all which they do not Trade to one Port, and very little, if any thing, in the Red Sea; which they say might be done to considerable advantage, and much more to Persia, then we now do; That in India, our Company do not Trade to above 20. or 30. Ports, nor vend our Woollen Manufactures at above 3. or 4. Ports, and there very dear, who sell again much dearer, and to Ingrossers, which hinders the vent: that in China, or Japan,Printed in (77.) pag. 21. they have no Trade at all, ‘where (to use the words of the Author of the Book in defence of the Company,) in all likelyhood more considerable quantities of our Woollen Manufactures might be vended, and from thence, in return thereof, Gold, Silver, and Copper, might be brought to supply at least, in a great measure, the Trade in other parts of India, without carrying so much out of Europe: But these Trades (he says) are not so easily gained as some fancy, great hazards of considerable stocks must be run, &c.

Whereas, they say were a greater share of the industry and vigour of the Nation now pent up, and greater stocks now worse imployed, or idle, let into this Trade, we might hope for a great Trade to the Ports now of no use to the Company, for that in fact the Dutch Company Trade to all Ports in India, China, Japan, &c. and drive a mighty Trade to Persia with the Commodities of those Countreys, viz. Spice of all sorts, &c.

2dly. They say by this our want of a sufficient Commerce in India there is a very small Navigation imployed in this mighty Trade, of what might be, being not above 20. or 30. Ships to and from India in a direct course, and in India so inconsiderable that it is Edition: current; Page: [340] not worth the noting: That for this reason, and because we there vend so little Commodity, our Company does Trade with vast quantities of exported Treasure, insomuch that upon search of the Custome books of the Port of London only, it appeared by the Entrys, that the Gold and Silver exported for India by the said Company from the 2d. of March 1673, to the 11th. of March 1674, amounted to 500. sixty odd thousand pounds Sterling; besides what might be entred in the out-ports, and without entry privately exported, which those that understand this Trade will not think a little: the Author of the aforesaid Pamphlet confesses, that from the end of the Year 1674, to the beginning of the Year 1675, was exported to India about 400000l. more, in which perhaps we have reason to be suspitious of his modesty: (It were a Nationall work to search the entrys for this and the other Years succeeding) that ’tis the exporting of this Money that endears our Company to the Indian Princes, and buys their protection, who otherwise might destroy them if they would, our Company, having not above 2 or 300 people in their fort St. George, including Factors and Agents of all sorts, and at Bombey fewer.

Whereas, that on the other side the Portuguese whilst they had the Trade of the Indys, though under no Company, supported a vast Navigation there to serve the occasions of those mighty Empires and their own; that since the Dutch have supplanted the Portuguese; they have yet a greater, having there thousands of Ships Trading from Port to Port in the Indies, Persia, &c. Besides 50, or 60, (if need be) more Men of War, and keep great Armies in pay: That they have gotten many spacious Countrys, Islands, and Populous Citys of their own, whereof Batavia is near as big and rich as Amsterdam; besides divers Tributary Kingdoms, whom they have forced into a profitable complyance, and were it Edition: current; Page: [341] not for fear of the English power at home, could dayly ruin us at their pleasure; that by the greatness of their Trade in these parts, they gain so considerably, that they can fraight home their great Fleets with the most valuable Commodities in the Indies; being the result of their industry in those parts, not of their exported Money.

3ly. That the Subscribers to our East-India Stock were originally but few, and the Stock but small, that divers of the shares being now bought in and consolidated into particular hands, there are not above 60. or 80. persons or thereabouts considerably concerned in the Joynt stock; that although the Stock be not near sufficient to manage even the present Trade, and therefore could admit of more Depositums of Money, which would let in a greater number of our people, the Company to prevent the necessity of it, do take up 4 or 500000l. at Interest at 5 per Cent. which by their dear Sales at home yields them 20 or 30 per Cent. or more; that as the Trade redounds to the benefit of few at home, so to as few in India, the Companies, Factories and imployments being few, and most lye divided amongst men of mean condition, who will depend solely on the Company, being originally Hospitall Boys or such like, and all others restrained to Traffick, Frequent or haunt the Indies, or places within their Pattent, by a Clause therein, under penaltys of Imprisonment, Seizures and Confiscations, frequently and severely exerted by the Company, how legally I leave to be examined: That upon this accompt, even those few Seamen or others whom they permit to deal for themselves, can make little profit, being charged with great Mulcts, made payable to the Company at their discretion for all the Commodities they export or import.

Whereas the original Stock of the Dutch company was 600000l. and this in the year 1602.See Mandelsloes Travils 285. State of the Low Countrys 159. 160. In 1608. the Dutch East-India Stock was made up near 3 Millions Sterling, besides great dividends. Present State of the United Provinces pa 163 our East-India Stock actually paid 1660 was but 368000l. the Trade so ill, that in 1665. our effects were sold at 70 per Cent. and farther Subscriptions refused: but the act of 15 Car. 2 Licencing the Exporting of Bullion and forreign Coyne, and the Company betaking themselves to this Commodity, hath occasioned the support of this Trade to the present degree. and the Number Edition: current; Page: [342] of the Sharers in the Dutch Company of all sorts, and of those considerably concerned, are vastly more, than in our English Company, proved by their Ordinary Councils or Chambers of Curators of this their Company in each Province; besides their Superiour Assemblies, amounting to great Numbers, all which are but Deputies of far greater Numbers; that besides their Navigation Trade, Judicature, and War in the Indies, let in Multitudes of others, into very profitable imployments, so that in effect they make up another potent Government, for the aid of their Nation in all exigencies.

I have been the more copious on this particular Subject, first, because of the apprehensions or pretences of some, that our stupendious advantage in this Trade gives us a kinde of National security, so that no sooner can others mention any defect in our Trade, but they are presently told of our Trade to the Indies, the wealth of the Indies, and our Navigation to and in the Indies.

And yet I shall admit, though with little reputation to the rest, that our East-India Trade, such as it is, seems the most flourishing branch of the whole, and therefore that the Gentlemen concerned in this Company have evidenced their conduct in the present way of Trade.

2ly. I shall not much contest but that the Indian Commodities consumed at home, and re-exported, may (as the rest of our Trade is now managed) prevent the exportation of near as much money to our Neighbouring Nations, viz. by the use of Callicoes instead of other Linnens, by a Barter of these and the rest of our Indian Commodities in France and other parts for other Consumptive goods; in which there is an advantage, because the less money we part with to our Neighbours, they will be in the less capacity to hurt us, but this does not prove the Indian goods re-exported bring in the Treasure exported to India, since the whole, or a great share Edition: current; Page: [343] of it may be, and is by the circulation of forreign contracts, finally resolved into other consumptive Importations; of so dangerous a consequence it is to export money.

But suppose the Indian goods, re-exported, bring us in more Treasure, yet is it evident from such Facts as I have mentioned before as are admitted by the Company, and such as are indisputable, that this part of our Trade (which before 1654. was managed by the like Company) was never improved to any great or considerable degree, in comparison of the progress made by all other Nations which have undertaken it: whereof there must be causes and reasons highly necessary to be examined and regulated; I shall add, that for those other Facts relating to the present debate which seem of less notoriety, they are such, as to my knowledge were affirmed by many credible witnesses, and by them intended to be proved before a Committee of the House of Commons, upon the occasion of a Petition there formerly exhibited by the Clothyers, but having attended several days, were never heard, because the Parliament was engaged in other things, and afterwards Prorogued; but I doubt not they are all ready to attest the same and more before that Judicature; which I say, that it may not be thought that I have lightly or officiously reported any of the aforesaid allegations to the same Judicature, I shall leave it to be determined by what expedients to enlarge this Trade, being in a matter of this Importance contented to have opened some questions and Facts relating to it: I am so free from any malice to the Company, or any man so much as concerned in it or envying their gains, that for a more easy Composure of things, I hartily wish there may be found some more beneficiall Nationall and comprehensive way of Managing this Trade by a Joynt stock, that thereby the present Interests of the Gent. of this Edition: current; Page: [344] Company may be secured, nay and improved; if this cannot be done, then submit it to farther consideration how just and reasonable it is that these Gent. should have compensation for what they shall really lose by the Dissolution of the Company.

I shall conclude this with remarking, First, that the Dutch East India Company Trading on a Joynt-stock, and therefore with as much disadvantage to their re-exporting Merchants as the English, hath been a means to preserve us this Limb of Trade from Port to Port in Callicoes, Pepper, &c. and probably the rather because our Trading in Money hath so far debosh’d the Indian Market, that the Dutch are not over-ready to deal for these Commodities, and therefore principally apply themselves to their richer Spice Trade, whereof they have the Monopoly.

This restraint of our Market to our own Merchants and Companies, hath yet brought a farther mischief upon our Manufactures, because our Companies being seated in London, our Natives are forced to bring their Manufactures thither by Land Carriages, some of which are so long that they are as chargeable as a Voyage to Spain or Turky, Quantity for Quantity; all which is superadded to the originall charge of the Manufacture; our Clothiers have also complained, that when they have brought their Cloaths to London, they have been frequently and long delayed before they have been able to vend them; which whether it hath proceeded from any correspondence or Intelligence between the Companies, their Committees or Agents, their want of Stocks or universall Trade, or from the dearness of our course of Merchandize, and the consequentiall obstructions in the forreign Market, or from all together, I shall not positively undertake to say: But certain it is that in this case our Clothiers for want of a quick Market lose the Interest of so much of their Stocks as Edition: current; Page: [345] lyes dead, which also is super-added to the first cost of their Manufacture; but yet being made necessitous by delay, and confined to the London Market, are forced to sell cheap: and then are the poor Manufacturers most miserable, when on the one hand the charges they are at oblige them to sell dear, but yet are confined in their just demands.

It may be remembered here that the odds in Interest of Money between England and Holland, and England and France, (where none is allowed to be taken under the highest penaltys) must as much prejudice our Manufactures as our forreign Trade, by the unequall charge it brings on our Manufacturers, which charge is still increased as they are longer delayed.

The freedom of the Market being of so great importance; it must also follow, that the like Cloggs and incumbrances put upon the Trades of Ware-house keeping and Shop-keeping, must have ill effects on the National Trade, because these Trades make up the publick Marts and Markets, as hath been said.

From the Contents of this and the last Section it may be observed, that is not only necessary to ease the course of Merchandise, but to remove all other Cloggs and restraints on the home Market; for though our Merchants should be able to Trade as cheap as forreigners, yet if it should lye in their disposition to impose on the rest of the people, (whether Manufacturers, Shop-keepers or others) the Merchants might gain much more then now they do, but our Manufacturers and other Natives might be still sufferers in some degree; ’tis too apparent that our English Clothiers have made so ill Markets at London, that they have lived poorly and got little or nothing, whilst the Merchants have lived splendidly and laid up money, the like may be said of others.

And here it may be farther observed how predominant Edition: current; Page: [346] private interest hath been amongst us, and how finely it hath spun the thread; our Land-holders have thought to ease themselves by thrusting great part of the publick Charges upon Trade, the Merchants in Exchange have gotten Monopolies on the Land-holders, and people for all goods exported and imported; and of these some Companies trading on Joint Stocks have got Monopolies exclusive to the rest; but at the same time we have given all forreign Nations Monopolies on the English, in all which we have been eagerly seeking to get advantages on one another, but have laid our selves open to Forreigners; who (whilst we scramble for the present wealth in the Nation) take it out of our fingers at their pleasure.

To which may be added as a farther obstruction to the growth of our Manufactures, that our people have gotten a vain and imoderate affection and use of forreign Manufactures and Comodities; which must necessarily sink the Market at home for our own of the same kind; for the same quantity of home Commodity wanting of its former vent, must stagnate and lye on the owners hands, who either will not be able to sell it at any rate, or must sell it much the cheaper.

This deadness and cheapness of any Manufacture, on this or any other occasion, will have a very ill Consequence; for it must presently sink the Manufacturers wages and discourage the Master of the Work; and then in case the Market doth not mend in some reasonable time, they will withdraw both their labour and Stock.

Nay this, or little better, must be the ordinary fate of all our Manufactures, by the meer want of a Forreign vent; for as any of our Manufactures which supply our National use, draws in more and more of our people till the Manufacture becomes too bulkey to receive a full vent at home, it must then equally stagnate on the hands of all that are concerned in it; at least render Edition: current; Page: [347] them necessitous, and endanger the Manufacture: the increase of imported raw-silk from Turky in barter for our Cloath, occasioned the increase of our Silk Manufacture; what is now like to become of it may be seen.

Before I go to the next Section, I shall yet observe these farther inconveniences from the aforesaid constitutions and course of our Forreign Merchandize.

First, That our Manufacturers being confined to buy of our own Merchants and Companies, are not only subject to buy Forreign materials of Manufacture at such prizes as they can and will please to afford them, but must be contented to buy worse materials than other nations make use of, in case our Merchants for their own gain, or by negligence of their Factors, import worse.

2dly, That Forreign materials of manufacture being thus straitly Imported into England, gives our Traders frequent opportunity to ingrosse Imported Commodities, (both materialls of Manufacture and others,) and thereby to impose 3 times the currant price in other Nations upon our Manufacturers or other buyers, which must not only disable our Manufactures, but hinder re-exportation; this ingrossing Trade is the daily design of a sort of Cunning men amongst us; which with stealing Customes, and importing and vending Prohibited goods, are the ordinary methods of getting an Estate on a suddain.

3dly, The seeming ease we have by a restitution of half Customes upon re-exportation, is so far from being really such, that it not only leaves the great disproportion and charge mentioned in the last Section, but in Cases where our imported materials of Manufacture are re-exported, bring a further unequall charge on our English Manufacturers; because that when re-exported and sold, the Forreign buyers are eased of about half the duties paid, especially if sold so near as Holland or Edition: current; Page: [348] France; of what consequence then must this be in the Silk-Manufacture? (Supposing Holland or France could no be otherwise provided of Raw Silk) and so in others, but more particularly in our Imported Dying Stuffs, and Raw Sugars from the West Indyes, which are materialls peculiar to the English; but by this disadvantage in re-exportation are now mostly Manufactured by Forreigners; of which I shall have occasion to say more, upon Consideration of our present Plantation-Trade, in the mean time, upon what hath been already said, and what I shall adde in the next Section, let any man Judge how causelessely our poor people are taxed with dear Selling their Manufactures, with Sloath and other inconsiderate Reproaches by such as live at ease.

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 of 43 Eliz. 2. Act of 5 Eliz. cap. 4. Meer prohibitions of no value. Freedomes and pre-emtions of Corporations, with the consequences: Free-Schools and Scholar-like Imployments: Forreign Protestants hindered from transporting hither; want of Toleration of Protestants Dissenters; the objections briefly considered: Elections in Corporations. Monopolyes of New Manufactures: delay and charge in some Law-Suits. Tyths of Hemp, Flax, and Fish, more of Customes, and incidently of Taxes.

FRom the foregoing Sections, it appears how dangerous it is to clog Trade. It is like putting a pound weight at the end of a pole, which is heavier Edition: current; Page: [349] then 20 times so much placed at the hand, for so a small impost or difficulty on Trade shall work down all Land revenues more then the sums actually paid: Nay Land-Rents will rise under greater Taxes, where home and Forreign Trade is left open and free, as experience hath shown in Holland and elsewhere.

2dly. That the charges and Clogs on Trade are to be estimated tolerable or inconvenient by Comparison, as they are more or less than the charges on Trade in other Nations, and therefore, That it is of high importance to watch the pollicies of other Nations in Trade; if other Nations Trade with as much disadvantage to their Natives as the English, they never can out-strip us; But if they ease and facilitate their Trade at home and abroad, So must we, else they will beat us out.

What then are we to expect whilest our neighbouring Forreigners continue to have the aforesaid advantages upon us in course of Forreign Merchandize, when also the home-vent of their Manufactures is not confined to the Merchants of one Nation, nor Companyes of one Town, when their Manufacturers are not obliged to the charge of long Land-carriages, nor opprest with delays, but can sell when and where they please, and to all Merchants Aliens, as well as to their own, and therefore have an unlimitted and most profitable market.

The odds in Populacy must also produce the like odds in Manufacture; plenty of people must also cause cheapnesse of wages: which will cause the cheapnesse of the Manufacture; in a scarcity of people wages must be dearer, which must cause the dearnesse of the Manufacture; But this populacy I speak of, must not be understood of those people which the Extent of Territory makes necessary for the meer tilling of the ground, keeping of Cattle, &c. for in this sence there is no doubt but the grand Seigniors or Spanish Dominions Edition: current; Page: [350] are more populous then Holland; The populacy I intend and which only can be serviceable to Manufacture, are those exuberant numbers which cannot find Imployment in husbandry, nor otherwise but in Trade;See Sir William Temples Book of the United provinces, Ch. 6.in which sence France and the United Provinces are most populous; their Trade and people have grown up together, having nourished one another; the like may be said of some parts of Germany and Italy.

But on the other side England never was so populous as it might have been,The peopling of Ireland here intended was to supply the losse by the Irish Massacre being computed at about 150000 persons besides what the growing plentys of Ireland have invited over dayly. and undenyably must now be far lesse populous then ever, having so lately peopled our vast American Plantations and Ireland; the decay of our Manufactures hath much depopulated our Inland Corporations of the Villages Adjacent; the decay of our Fishing Trade our Sea-Towns; I know this want of people is hardly credible with many who see no farther then their own ease and gain; they will tell us, we have so many people already that we know not what to do with them; which is true, and so they have in Spain, where their Villages are in a manner forsaken, and many of their great Cities and Towns lie half empty; most of their ordinary people having no employment at home, are gone to America, those that remain chiefly consisting in Gentlemen, Lawyers, Officers and Shopkeepers, with their necessary men of husbandry and servants: I must not omit Priests and beggars, since to the honour and comfort of Spain they make about a fourth or fifth part of the whole; there little or no support for other ranks of men: how near this we are in England let any man judge, or how soon we shall come to it through the decay of our Manufactures; What an uproar have we already in an English Parish if a poor young couple happen to marry, or a man with Children chance to get into a house? how they are tossed from Justice to Justice,Stat 39 Eliz. 4th 7. Jacob. 4.14 Car. 2.12. and from pillar to post, by vertue of the several Acts for settlement of Edition: current; Page: [351] poor? And what joy there is when these clogs are removed? which acts and prosecutions regularly and daily force many out of the Nation, and in effect banish them by Act of Parliament; ’Tis like, that besides the Inquisition, the proud Spaniards had some such expedients as these to be rid of this kinde of lumber; they would be now glad of those laborious drudges to encounter the populous French.

Being upon this Subject I cannot omit to observe, the bad consequences of some others of our late Laws, made to raise the prizes of Victualls, which doubtless were projected for the raising Land Rents, viz. the Acts for Transportation of Corn, and the Acts against the Importing Irish and Scotch Cattle, which had they the full effects intended, must much assist both in depopulating the Nation, and Subverting our remaining Manufactures; For if the Manufacturer buys his Victualls at excessive rates, at what rates must he sell his Manufacture, or how shall he live? especially in a time when his Manufactures fall upon his hands daily? but this will mainly dissatisfy some, who will have no Manufacture or Trade, if the price of the Victualls must not be excessive, for then say they, how can the vallue of Lands be raised? to which I answer, First, that the products of Lands do not wholly consist in Victualls, and that much Land is to be applied to many other as profitable, and (perhaps more profitable ways) than for meer Victualls, especially in a Nation abounding in Trade and People; for this I shall refer to our Copious Books of Husbandry, which then may do us much good, but little or none before.

Secondly, That though Victualls be not at a very excessive price, yet if there be a quick and great market at a midling price, it will raise and hold up the vallue of Lands, as experience hath proved of late years.

But Thirdly, it is impossible the vallue of Lands Edition: current; Page: [352] can be much raised by the meer raising of the price of Victualls, especially in a Nation but thin of people; nor would such a Revenue endure or be tollerable; perhaps the Spanish Dons did once raise the prizes of Victualls, or suppose they should do it now, what weighty effect would it have, unless to drive all the rest of the Spaniards into America; But that which will most certainly and durably raise the Revenue of Land must be the encrease of Treasure and Trading people; suppose the people of England were trebled, ’tis plain that the Land must yield treble the produce in meer Victualls, else the people must starve; but these people will not starve, especially trading people, nor will they live needily or scarcely, if they can help it, and will therefore set themselves and others to the improving of all corners of Land in the Nation, till our Lands produce more then treble the Victualls they now do, a thing very practicable, and then supposing Victualls as cheap and cheaper then now, Land will ordinarily be treble its present vallue, especially if we consider how much may be then applyed to raise Hemp, Flax, and other necessary and profitable things, with the increase of Wool,By the Maps of England it is found to contain 29568000 Acres besides that which is allowed for High-ways, all the United Provinces are hardly so big as Yorkshire. Hides, Tallow, &c. And as the people increase, so will the vallue of the Land: there is no doubt but England upon the utmost improvement might maintain 6 times its present number of people, nay 10 times, with an indifferent use of that mighty plenty of Fish our own Sea affords us; there is as little doubt but upon a great increase of people and money, Victualls will be rather too dear, and that Laws may be then requisite to restrain the price.

Such was the ancient populacy of England, that we had formerly Statutes made in restraint of the exportation of Corn, our Flesh also found vent, though our people kept Lents, Ember-weeks, and Fasting days; wherein they fed on Fish and white meats, and yet we Edition: current; Page: [353] read of Famines in those days; whereas now we finde it necessary to export all the Corn we can, we eat very little Fish, and have made Acts against the importation of Forreign Cattle (which by the way gave a Monopoly to a few English and Welch breeding Counties on all the rest of the Nation,) and yet we thought our markets over-clogged.

But England is not only prejudiced by the paucity of people, but we have another rank of Statutes which hinder very many of those we have from applying themselves to Manufacture: one is the Stat. of 43th Eliz. cap. 2. which according to the intention of it seems necessary now when we have such a vast increase of poor; but such is the Arbitrary latitude given by the Act to Over-seers and Justices, that many of our Laborious people well able to work, by clamour or favour get Parish maintenances, choosing rather to live lazily by this means, assisted with some pilfering.

Then we have the Stat. of 5th Eliz. cap. 4. which (though it gratifies the blinde avarice of some of our Corporation men) is more prejudicial, by restraining our people to work in Manufacture, unless they have served an Apprentiship full seaven years, which is so long a term of drudgery and slavery before they can reap any fruit of their labors, that Parents are deterred from putting their Children Apprentices to Manufacture; nor will many of our Youths or young men be brought to it especially the most apt and docile, and those of ripeness of years, of which many would be more perfect in 3 or 4 years then others in 10, and therefore they betake themselves to other more easy and ready Imployments, or else live Idle.

The same Act does very strangely provide that no man shall take an Apprentice for Woollen Manufacture in any Town Corporate, unlesse such Apprentice be his Son, or the Father or Mother of such Apprentice have Edition: current; Page: [354] the clear yearly vallue of 40s. Inheritance, nor in any Market-Town or Village unlesse he be his Son, or his Father or Mother have the clear yearly value of 3l. Inheritance, which clause apparently shuts out at least 5 parts of the people in 6, from the Woollen Manufacture; and by consequence tends to the depopulation of our Inland Towns, the increase of Rogues, Vagabonds and poor; These difficulties on Trade begot the Act of the 43. Eliz. and many others of the like nature, and thereby much work for our Justices.

Which by the way may give occasion to observe how vain it is to make Acts against Rogues, Vagabonds, or Poor, nay against thefts or Murthers, how little the Houses of Correction, Whipping-posts, Pillories, or Gallows can prevail, whilst our other Constitutions drive our People into necessities, nor any prohibitory or penal Law, ever have the intended effect, unless the Grounds and Causes of the mischiefs be removed; of which I shall say more when I come to speak of our late Prohibition of French Goods. Amongst the restraints on our English Trade, the inclosure of Trade to the Freemen of Corporations and Guilds, may be deservedly mentioned as one.

This Priviledge is claimed by most, or all of our ancient Corporations, and might be well intended at first by the Donors, but as now used is very prejudicial; for the Power of admitting Free-men being generally lodged in a Councel or Committee of a few Free-men, any Forreigner (and such they call all those who are not Sons or Apprentices of seven years standing to a Free-man in the same Town) must buy his Freedom before he can exercise any open Trade there; for which these Free-men are left at liberty to demand as great and arbitrary Price as they please, or if they will, may wholly refuse; whence it commonly follows, that most Beginners in Manufacture, and other Trades, being Edition: current; Page: [355] Forreigners, and having but small Stocks, can never obtain Freedom, and without it are burthened and plagued with by-Laws, Penalties, Distresses, and Seizures; nay, if a Man be exquisite in his Trade, he shall hardly get a Freedom for Money, in a Corporation where there are more free of the same Trade, for then he is lookt on as a dangerous person, and likely to eat the bread out of their mouths, (as they phrase it) in which they will gratifie, and influence one another, being the common cause, and can easily do it: The fewer Free-men there are in a Trade, they think the rest may get the more; and thus are most of our ancient Corporations and Guilds become oppressive Oligarchies, excluding or discouraging the English Subjects from Trading in our greatest and best situated Towns, where the Markets are; and which are therefore the most proper and ready Seats for Manufacture, and other Commerce: For this, and the Act of the 5th of Eliz. our Corporation-men have only this to say, That care ought to be taken, that none but persons skilful should exercise any Trade, which is true; but the Law of necessity, common sense, and experience, provides sufficiently for this, since an unskilful Artificer or Trader will not find imployment, and therefore must receive due punishment by his own Ignorance: ’Tis confessed, Manufactures may be made deceitfully, which may disgrace and prejudice our vent abroad; but this fraud is an Act of Skill, which cannot be discovered or prevented, without the daily scrutinies of Judicious Persons; for which our other former Statutes have already made some provision, but defective; it were to be wished, there was a constant Judicature of Men knowing in Trade in every County to supervise the sufficiency of Manufactures: In the mean time this Argument for the support of the Act of the 5th of Eliz. and Freedoms must appear very fallacious, since Edition: current; Page: [356] both the Act and the Freedoms serve only to exclude the English Subjects, and of those many of the most skilful, from Trade, and by inclosing Manufactures to a few, hinder their growth, and make them far dearer.

A farther inconvenience of these Freedoms is, That the pre-emption of our Manufactures, and Imported Goods, in most of our inferiour Corporations and Cities, as well as in London, is in a manner inclosed to the Number and Stocks of the Free-men, and is very much subject to their pleasures, by reason of their union and correspondence in Counsels: So that he who would escape the long Land-Carriages to London, and London Companies, must fall into the hands of these other Free-men; these Free-men have generally so brave a time of it, that they can live in ease and plenty, (every Shop resembling an Office) whilst the laborious part of our Traders are ready to perish; which Priviledges could not have survived the Statute of 21 Jac. against Monopolies, but that they are saved by a special Proviso in that Statute; so civil were the Burgesses of Corporations at that time.

Our Trade being thus clogged, and the very Avenues to Manufactures so much narrowed and choaked up, it doth not a little help to the subverting of our Manufactures, and other Trade, that the Passages to other Preferments are made so open and easie, at present I mean all those that depend upon Literature, in which our Youth are led from step to step by all manner of Incouragements; First, by the multitude of our late endowed Free Schools, where every ordinary Man’s Son is taught Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, for a small matter; and then is above Manufacture: Then we have two mighty endowed Universities, where there will, at least, be hope of preferment, let the throng be never so thick; and thence they have farther and more comfortable prospects; and in the mean time live easie, at Edition: current; Page: [357] little or no charge, as Servitors, or on small Stipends, till they become Scholars of Houses, &c. others of these Free-School-Boys grow Pen-men of all sorts; and all these are a sort of Gentlemen-like ways of living, which intitle them to be called Masters, which gives a main temptation both to parents and Children; who on the other hand, see the contemptible and miserable condition of our poor Clothworkers, and other ordinary Artificers, who at the best are called Mechanick Fellows; and what is yet farther mischievous is, that our Youth thus educated, never reading any thing of Manufacture, Exportation, or Importation, in Homer or Virgil, or their Colledge Notes, and being from thence carried to other Studies, which have no cognation with Trade, can ordinarily have no sensation of the advantages of it; like a Bowl which hath a rub at hand, the farther they go, the more they are divided from it; whence it hath unfortunately ensued, that our Men of Learning are either generally silent in this matter, or else, being inclin’d to think it the sole concern of the dirty and servile part of the People, speak of it with contempt, and some with reflection; by whom most others being influenced, we are still pretending to be more accurate in Logick and Philosophy, (which howsoever otherwise useful, do not add two-pence a year to the Riches of the Nation) we continue to squeeze all the sapless Papers and Fragments of Antiquity; we grow mighty well acquainted with the old Heathen Gods, Towns, and People; we prize our selves in fruitless Curiosities; we turn our Lice and Fleas into Bulls and Pigs by our Magnifying-glasses; we are searching for the World in the Moon with our Telescopes; we send to weigh the Air on the top of Teneriffe; we invent Pacing Saddles, and Gimcracks of all sorts; all which are voted Ingenuities, whilst the Notions of Trade are turned into Ridicule, or much out of fashion.

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In all which we are very short of the Policies of our Neighbours, the French, Dutch, and other trading and wise Nations; who on the one hand have no Laws or Constitutions to restrain or exclude their People from Manufacture, nor to Ferret them away; and on the other, do consider Trade as an Honorary and almost Sacred thing, and do highly esteem and cherish their Manufacturers, as well as their other necessary Traders.

Now should these restraints and discouragements on our own People and Trade be removed, it would doubtless much advantage our Trade in some time; but would not bring us so sudden an increase of People, Manufactures, Ships, and Riches, as is highly requisite for the carrying on of a mighty Trade, or perhaps for our National security; nor can these so suddenly be had, but from other parts of the World, where they are moving; Men, Ships, or Riches, do not grow on the Trees, nor yet drop out of the Clouds.

But we have such another rank of Laws against Forreigners,Besides the Common Law these Statutes, 1 R. 3. 9. 21 H. 8. 16. 22 H. 8. 13. 32 H. 8. 16. 25 H. 8. 9. 14 H. 8. 3. 4 H. 7. 23. and many others of former date, to which are added 12 Car. 2. 16. 14 Car. 2. 11. and 15 Car. 2. 7. that we are not to hope Forreigners will come hither; I mean those which disable Forreigners from trading in England; therefore we must first have a Law of general Naturalization of Protestant-Forreigners, though to the displeasure of many of our own self-interested ignorant Traders, nor will that do, without a Repeal of the Act of the 5th Eliz. Cap. 4. and a compleat Regulation of our Trade; for neither Manufacturers or Merchants will remove from their own Countries hither to sit idle; nor will all this bring us over any great Numbers, without some Toleration of their Consciences, no not of Forreign Protestants, who differ much from us in several Points which they think material; all which is demonstrated in Fact by the success of His Majesties Proclamation at the beginning of our last Dutch War; by which Forreigners, then under the utmost terrors, were invited to the Liberties Edition: current; Page: [359] and Plenties of England; but we see few or none of them came or stay’d with us on this incouragement: In this the Dutch have a further advantage upon us, since they allow free Ports, free Trade,See Sir William Temples Book of the Dutch, Chap. the 6th. and all other National Freedoms to Forreigners; whereby their People of all sorts, their Navigation and Stocks in Trade, have increased continually.

So are the most considerable French Ports Free, (unless for Goods prohibited, as in Holland some are;) no sooner was Dunkirke in the Hands of the French King, but he made it a Free Port; so hath he invited all Forreign Artificers into France, by granting them as great, or greater Freedoms than his own Subjects enjoy.

There are yet others of our Laws, which must prejudice our Trade of all sorts, and give a farther advantage to the Dutch and French, I mean those which inflict Penalties on Protestant Dissenters; not only because they may hinder the transplanting of Forreign Protestant Artificers or Merchants, but because they disable many of those we have in England already, from carrying on any manner of Trades; and if so, then in effect they are not People, since they cannot answer the ends of People, but are rather the Trunks and Signs of Men in a Nation, their Industries and ingenuities being lock’d up; Suppose two or 300000 of our own People disabled, it may be presumed more than a Million per Annum loss to the Nation; what then may be our loss by the shutting out a far greater number? perhaps ten times the number of Forreign Protestants, and those of the richest, the most mercantile, and the best Manufacturers of Europe.

That this is the Case of dissenting Protestants in England, must be very plain to those who shall consider the Statute of 20l. a month, and those Volumes of other Statutes made before and since the King came in against Non-Conformists; most of which were intended Edition: current; Page: [360] against Papists, and occasioned by former Popish Treasons, but reach all Protestant Dissenters, who, besides the bare Penalties, are liable to the daily charge and trouble of Informations, Actions, and Indictments in our Courts of Law, and as many or more Libels and Presentments in our Spiritual Courts; our Constables, Church-wardens, and Grand-Juries are upon their Oaths constantly bound to accuse them; if they omit, ’tis at every other Mans pleasure to inform, and some or other will not fail of it; thus are Dissenters brought into the hands of the Officers of both Courts, whose duty it is to prosecute; these may delay for a time, whilst they are paid for their favours, or until notice be taken of it, but no longer, and then must follow a Seizure of Dissenters Persons or Estates, or both; Besides all which, particular Justices of the Peace are by several late Statutes authorized and obliged to Convent, Convict, and make Levies; which sufferings being accompanied with a continual Anxiety of mind, our Protestant Dissenters cannot possibly apply themselves or their Stocks to Manufacture or other Trade.

Whilst on the other hand, both the Dutch and French,See Sir William Temple, Chap. of Religion. and most other of our neighbouring Nations, any thing famous for Trade, allow Liberty of Conscience to Protestant Dissenters, at least to such a degree, as to enable them to trade: Which is all that the Interest of Trade requires; ’tis true, that now of late we have heard the French King hath given some greater discountenance to Protestants than heretofore, (whether to gratifie the Romish Clergy, who may be otherwise very useful to his present designs, and whom he daily and visibly endears by all signal demonstrations of favour, (if we may believe our Gazets) or for what other reason, I shall not undertake to say) however not so, as to disable the French Protestants from Trade.

What farther hardships he may put upon French Edition: current; Page: [361] Protestants, or other his Trading Subjects, in case they shall have no other Asylum or Shelter to repair to, time may shew.

This being the case in the matter of Toleration between us and these our subtile and potent Neighbours, the Question is, what is to be done? A long Surfeit of experience hath demonstrated, that the Penal Laws, though accumulated and imbittered to as great a degree as hath been desired, are not a sufficient expedient to reduce Protestant Dissenters. To propose any thing which shall subvert our present Church of England, is that which I shall not do; conceiving it for the honour and safety of the Nation to support a flourishing National Church, and that the present Protestant Church of England hath in all respects the best Title to it.

On the other side, to rest under our present Disadvantages by the want of a convenient Toleration of Dissenting Protestants, must disable us from making that sudden, and full improvement of our Trade, as otherwise we might, and as perhaps may be found necessary for our support against those Forreigners who already do, and daily will more exceed us in Treasures and People, if they shall let in, and we continue to shut out, so mighty a share of each.

Here then there seems a difficulty, which deserves and requires our utmost prudentials to clear, by a Toleration of Protestant Dissenters, consistent with the preservation of our present Church of England in all its Rights; I am perswaded none of the Generous Dignitaries, or Members of our Church, would oppose such a Toleration; some there have been, who could never think themselves happy, unless others were miserable, and have loved Cruelty for Cruelty’s sake; the most infamous for this was Phalaris, who was at last brought to roar in his own Brazen Bull; nor is this a time for Men to gratifie their humours or passions this way, if Edition: current; Page: [362] it may prove perilous towards the whole; rather let our Hearts melt with a tender and charitable Commiseration to these our Fellow-Country-men, who by their Birth-right are intitled to Magna Charta equally with our selves, but are incapacitated to enjoy the advantages of it, meerly for Conscience, when by no other overt Act they have forfeited their Hereditary Claims, when their sufferings undeniably demonstrate they are no Hypocrites, and therefore that they suffer for what they cannot help; let us observe, that God never planted or propagated his Truth by Temporal Power, that he was in the small Voice, not in the Thunder, or the Whirl-wind: Let us consider the original meekness of Christians, whose Anathema’s against Dissenters were only accompanied with Admonishments, and meer Excommunications, without any Writ to take the Body, or make Levies on Mens Estates; Let us remember that we have flung off the Yoke of Papal Tyranny, founded on a pretended infallible conclusive Church Authority, superinduced upon Christians by a Conspiracy of Romish Priests, as subservient to their Ambition, Pride, Ease, and Luxury; that if persecution were then wholly unwarrantable, it is now far more incoherent. When our present Church professes it self fallible, both our Church, and all Protestant Religion it self, are derived from no other Principle than the Fallibility of all Churches, at least in their Decrees; when our first most famous Protestant Doctors carried on the Reformation in opposition to their National Churches and Laws, such were Luther, Calvin, Beza, and many others abroad,Mr. Fox. and our Martyrs at home, whose Glorious Sufferings are celebrated by one of our own former and most Learned and Pious Divines, as the chief Gemms which truly beautifie our present Church: Let it never be said, that the Interests or Temperaments of our present Church are inconsistent with our National Wealth, Edition: current; Page: [363] Happiness, and Security, or obstruct our progress towards them; this would give too great an advantage to her publick and private Enemies: Let us industriously amass all the just Considerations we can to facilitate these great ends, by some Toleration of Protestant Dissenters, being it is so important, I say of Protestant Dissenters, because these having no forreign dependance on the Pope, have reason to be endeared and knit up to the National Interest by the common protection and security of their Estates and Families, equally with the rest: As for the Popish Party, I am confident that after so many late accurate Treatises, and Authentick Narratives, of the dangerous Principles, and horrid treasonable Practises, of the Priests, and others of the same Party, none will think it necessary, or possible, that I should add one syllable to prove that Party unfit for a Toleration.

Such being the high Motives to make us wish for a Toleration of Protestant Dissenters, I shall, with all deference to Authority, and without any of those passionate reflections which usually incumber this debate, briefly endeavour to examine the dangers objected, which are,

First, an apprehension of a necessary great increase of Dissenters, and this (as some will have it) to such a degree, as to swallow up the present Church; a very strange supposition for those who have Scripture and Antiquity on their side: On the contrary, it may be justly hoped, that the Church of England may then reconcile all those whom Penalties cannot reduce; and the rather, because when the Penalties are gone, all Parties must resort to reasoning and sanctity, which are the proper and only means of making Impressions on Mens Understandings and Consciences; Penalties may bring in Atheists and Hypocrites, but can never work a real change in any Mans opinion, unless when Edition: current; Page: [364] the sufferings of Dissenters proselyte others, (being a kind of Argument of the truth of what is so asserted, at least amongst the vulgar or middle sort;) our present Protestant Church of England must therefore have an advantage this way; and yet on the other side, will retain that of being vindicated by the Government, in as much as all publick Divine Service in the Parish Churches will remain in the form now used in our present Church, and all Church preferments inclosed to the Clergy of the same Church;Dr. Heylin observes, that after the Toleration of Protestants in France, the other Party in Religion having the countenance of the State, and the Prescription and Possession of so many years to confirm the same, is in as prosperous a condition, both for Power and Patrimony, as any that acknowledgeth the Authority of the Popes of Rome. Geogr. 176.which Priviledges, being consistent with a Toleration, may continue secured to our Church by our present Penal Laws in force for that purpose, with an addition of such others as may be thought necessary; whence it will follow; first, that it will be more for the ease and convenience, nay and Interest of the Laicks to conform, rather than to seek farther for Dissenting Conventicles, whose Ministers they must help to maintain; which Convenience, with the Countenance of Authority given to the National Church, is a great matter, since it will bring in all those, who being good Christians in the main, are yet little affected with the Points in difference, which are the generality, as may be seen by their equal resort to the Parish Churches before and since His Majesties Restoration. But secondly, it will then be yet more the interest and advantage of all Clergy-men to conform, by the great and Honourable preferments they may this way hope for, which they cannot otherwise obtain.

The other grand Objection against a Toleration of Protestants, is the danger of the Temporal Government; which seems yet stranger than the other, if we consult our Reasons, which must tell us, that Men at ease will be better satisfied than when in pain; that Men who are kept innocently and profitably busie, who by their Industry can live well, support their Families, and gain Estates, will be less apt to study, or do mischief Edition: current; Page: [365] to the Publick than those, who being disabled from all such Imployments, are daily goaded with penal Laws, a condition which perhaps may be thought more grievous in England than the like hardships in Turky and Muscovy, where all suffer alike, when in England our Protestant Dissenters hear much of Magna Charta, and see others enjoy the full fruit of it, but are precluded themselves, and this for meer difference in Religious belief. But why should I labour to evince that which Experience hath demonstrated; we have the great Instance of France, and the like in the Kingdom of Poland, in Holland, Switzerland, Hamburg, and other parts of Germany; All which Nations have been at peace, at least about Religion, ever since the Tolerations given, as some of them could never be before, particularly France: which must appear to proceed from the pacifique virtue of Toleration, not from the coercive power of Standing Forces, or despotick Monarchy, as some would have it, because that of Poland is regulated, and the rest are Republicks. ’Tis notorious that before the French Toleration many of that National Church had or pretended to have as fearful Apprehensions of the effects of it; but we see what Councils did prevail even amongst the Popish Party, and what hath followed? We find France the most powerful of Nations, and the French King so confident of his Protestants, that he long intrusted his mighty Armies, in the hands of Monsieur Turenne, a Protestant till near his death: On the other side we have the Example of Spain, whose execrable and inexorable Cruelties towards dissenters hath mainly Assisted in the present poverty and weakness of that Nation: We may then conclude that Persecution is a stale piece of policy, which perhaps might have born a debate in Harry the 8th’s time, but is now tryed to our hands: And let any man judg whether the French or Spanish Church be now most flourishing, Edition: current; Page: [366] or most likely to continue; the French Church and Church-men will certainly get ground with the French Victories, for which they are as much beholding to the French Protestants as to the rest. Let us not therefore be wholly insensible that the Church of England may fall under the worst circumstances of danger, otherwise than from Protestant Dissenters; as suppose England should ever be reduced to such a condition as to be no longer able to bear up against foreign Powers, what then would become of our present Church? what sort of men would then push into our Bishopricks, Deaneries, and other Church-Preferments? a Fatality which we ought therefore to provide against by a Union of Protestant interests and affections and increase of Traders, as far as safely we may; in which Foreigners are grown so nicely vigilant, that not long ago we might observe the policies of the great French King and the great Duke of Tuscany curiously Angling for the Jews; for when the French King had made Marseilles a free Port (which was about 12 years since) the Jews planted at Leghorn, induced by an offer of protection at Marseilles, and the sweeter situation of that place, resolved to transplant, which the Great Duke discovering, applyed his utmost endeavours to prevent it; which he did by making an Edict, That if any Christian bought a Jews house, it should be forfeit. In England a Jew cannot buy a house. I am no Advocate for Dissenters or Jews, but for the Common Interest of England, by which that of the Church of England must stand or fall. And being now speaking of somewhat that concerns Religion, there occur to my memory two plain Texts of Scripture, one is, that of two evils we are to choose the least, and another that a Kingdom divided cannot stand. I shall desire the Reader to couple these considerations with what I shall say in the following Sections concerning the present posture of this and our Edition: current; Page: [367] Neighbour Nations, and then he will not accuse me of having made an unnecessary digression.

Whilst we are calculating the best expedient to bring in forreign Protestant Artificers, and forreign Manufacturers, it is fit that notice should be taken of that Clause in the Act of 21 of King James chap. 3. which leaves the Inventers of new Manufactures at liberty to obtain Patents for Monopolies for one and twenty years, which Statute being in construction extended to all Manufactures already used by Foreigners that are not used here, hinders the introducing, or growth and perfection of any new forreign Manufactures, and makes it the business of our more observant Travellers to hauk after Monopolies.

There is no question but several other obstructions to the Trade of England might be observed, particularly that the carrying on of Elections in Corporations of latter years with so much drinking, is very prejudicial to our Manufactures; for men (upon this or any other occasion) being once debauched, hardly ever retrieve themselves, and are therefore lost to Manufacture and the Nation.

Our Fishers have complained that in several parts they are forced to pay Tyth for the Fish they catch on their own Coasts, in which the Dutch, and other Fishermen have the advantage to the value of the Fish, and must therefore disable our Trade of Fishery in those parts.

It hath also been noted that the payment of Tyth out of our Hemp and Flax, does as much disable the increase of Hemp and Flax in England, the rest being made so much the dearer to the owner, that it is not vendible, as otherwise it would be; and thereby prevent our great forreign Importation of Hemp and Flax. These being things of so great Importance to the Nation, may deserve a full Examination and remedy, Edition: current; Page: [368] whatsoever the particular interests of some Incumbents of Churches may suggest to the contrary.

Lastly, we have a farther complaint from the Traders of all sorts, of the tedious and chargeable proceedings in some Courts of Justice, occasioned by Writs of Error, and Suits in Chancery, in which last Court many are hung up for seven years and more, and are forced to expend much more than the money they justly sue for; Our little Courts, especially about London, are as destructive to poor Seamen, Manufacturers and other laborious people, where in a Suit for a disputable Groat, or meer malice, they are easily led in, or forced to spend three or four pound; if but thirty or forty shillings ’tis enough to ruine such poor wretches and their Families, which hath caused many thousands to perish in Goal, or fly from their Habitations and Countrey, since the erection of several new inferior Jurisdictions.

Here again we may look back and observe the mischievous effects of private and mistaken interests, pride and humor; which I shall not recapitulate, but should here conclude this Section; but that having mentioned the greatness of our Customs amongst the incumbrances on our Trade, I am willing to clear my self from insinuating or wishing any Diminution of His Majesties Revenue; nor would the moderation of the Customs work any such effect, (at least in the Judgments of wise men who have considered it) were the other obstructions on our Trade regulated; of this Sir Walter Raleigh took notice of very early in his Observations upon Trade, presented to King James, in these words.

‘Of this their smallness of Custom, (meaning in Holland, Hamburgh, &c.) inwards and outwards, we have daily experience; for if two English Ships, or two of any other Nation, be at Burdeaux, both laden with Wine of 300 Tun apiece, the one bound for Holland, Edition: current; Page: [369] or any other of the Petit States, the other for England; the Merchant shall pay above 900l. here, and other duties, when the other in Holland, or any other Petit State shall be cleared for 50l. and so in all other Wares and Merchandizes accordingly; which draws all Nations to traffick with them; and although it seems but small duties which they receive, yet the multitudes of all kind of Commodities and Coin that is brought there, and carryed out by themselves and others, is so great, that they receive more Customs and Duties to the State by the greatness of their Commerce in one year, than England doth in two years; for the 100th part of the Commodities are not spent in Holland, but vented into other Countries; which make all the Country-Merchants to buy and sell, and increase Ships and Mariners to transport them.

‘My travels and meaning is not, neither hath been, to diminish your Majesties Revenues, but exceedingly to increase them, &c.

‘All Nations may buy and sell freely in France, and there is free Custome outwards twice a year; at which times our Merchants do there make their sales of English Commodities, and do buy and lade their Bulk with French Commodities to serve for the whole year; and in Rochel in France, and in Brittain, free Custom all the year long; except some small Toll, which makes free Traffick, and makes them flourish.’

To this he adds an Instance in Genoua, formerly the Store-house of Italy: But after they had set a Custom of 16 per Cent. all Nations left trading with them; but that on the other side, the Duke of Florence, by setting a small Custom at Leghorn, had brought all the Trade thither: Thus did this great Man of his time express himself.

But admitting, that by the moderation of our Customs Rates, our present publick Revenue in Customs Edition: current; Page: [370] should be somewhat sunk; yet how easily might this Revenue be made good by a Land-Tax, or by some Excise upon Extravagancies, and Forreign consumptive Commodities spent at home, without the least prejudice to Trade? Thus do the Dutch raise far more than the Revenue of our Customs; and if by this means the private Revenue of our Land must universally rise, and the people better be enabled to pay any other Taxes, why should the Land-holders, or any on pretence of Service to His Majesty, oppose it? Suppose His Majesty had a Custome of 5s. in the Pound on all the English Treasure exported, would any Man for the sake of the Custom, and out of zeal to His Majesties Interest, promote the Exportation of all the English Treasure? How much this is the Case of the present English Customs, doth, and more largely will appear.

Certainly it was very unfortunate for England, That when Sir Walter Raleigh wrote these and other his excellent Observations on Trade, our Councels were under an earnest pursuit of the Plantation-Trade, on which great Customs were projected; for so it hath hapned, that whilst our Neighbour Nations have been vigilant to ease and facilitate their ways of Trade, the Trade of England hath continued under the former disadvantage, and is incumbred with new charges and difficulties of later years; all which in Conjunction have worked us out in all the Particulars mentioned before, and in divers others; and in recompence of these losses, our Plantation-Trade hath robbed and prevented us of some Millions of our Poople; amongst which very many being, or might have been Manufacturers, the Nation hath also lost many more Millions of Pounds in the loss of their Manufactures.

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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 Manufactures, other ways of living over-stocked, fall of Rents, general Poverty, an increase of Criminals of all sorts, Depopulation; some Application to the present Case of England, and amongst others the occasion of the new Buildings about London; of Incontinency, Cunning, &c.

AS a Nation may grow Rich and Populous, and consequently strong by Forreign Trade; so may a Nation grow poor and dispeopled, and consequently weak by Forreign Trade; nor is there any possible or practicable way for the Treasure of a Nation in peace, to be exhausted and exported into another Nation to any considerable and sensible degree, but by Forreign Trade.

This must necessarily happen by the excess of meer Importation, viz. when the Commodities imported from abroad, and spent at home, do cost more than the National gain by Trade amounts to; as suppose such yearly Importations into England should cost two Millions, and the National gain by Exportations or otherwise should amount but to 1500000l. the Nation of England must yearly lose 500000l. of its Treasure by Trade, because so much must yearly be exported by the English Merchants to satisfie the over-ballance.

That the English Trade might fall into such a Consumption, is easily and highly credible.

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For suppose the utmost neat gain of our former English Trade amounted to but 300000l. per An’ one year with another; then if the Exportations and beneficial Merchandize of England should become worse by 400000l. per An’ one year with another than before, the Nation of England must lose 100000l. per An’ of its National Treasure, though our yearly Importations be no more in value than before; whence it appears, that by this means the same Importations may become excessive.

So though our Exportations, and the beneficial part of our Merchandize, continue as valuable as before, yet if our yearly Consumptive Importations grow to be more in value by 400000l. per An’ than before, the Nation must also in this case lose 100000l. per An’ by Trade.

But what if both the beneficial part of the Trade grow worse, and also the Importations increase? Certainly this must cut deepest on the National Stock, and must soonest grind it out; for then if the beneficial part grow worse by 400000l. and the Importing part be increased 400000l. per An’ value, the Nation must then lose 500000l. per Annum; or suppose but to half those values in each, the Nation must lose 100000l. per Annum.

To accommodate these Hypotheses to England; first, we may conclude, that the beneficial part of our Trade hath grown much less and worse yearly, by reason of the unequal cloggs and difficulties on our Home and Forreign Trade.

And that on the other side our Importations must as necessarily be increased, both by the decay of our own former Manufactures at home, and by our modern gawd’ry and affectation of foreign Goods; and as our Trade from Port to Port hath become more impracticable to any advantage, the Exporters of our remaining Edition: current; Page: [373] Manufactures and other home-Commodities, must either come back empty, or else must freight themselves homewards with such consumptive foreign Commodities, as for Gawdry, Novelty, Cheapness, or Lyquorishness, will dazle, tempt and bewitch our People to buy them; in which course of Trade our Merchants may gain considerable proportions of our remaining Treasures as long as there is any in the Nation.

Nay, rather than sit idle, they will,See Mr. Mun of Foreign Trade, Chap. 12. p. 83, to 92. and that the over ballance of Trade in any particular Country, causes the Exchange to be high, so that the exporting of money shall save the Merchant 10l. per Cent or more, as the exchange is. and do freight themselves outwards with meer Ballast and Bills of Exchange (by which the Importation of foreign Bullion or money is prevented:) or if Bills of Exchange cannot reasonably be had (as they usually cannot to those Countries where we are overballanced in Trade) then they export Mony and Bullion, and buy and import Consumptive Goods which are spent at home; which kind of Trade deserves rather to be called Foreign Pedling, than Merchandise.

It may be remembred here, how much the beneficial part of our Trade may be prejudiced by the loss of 100000 of our Manufactures, and what odds the same loss may produce in our Importations, since if they get but 6l. per Ann. a peice, it must sink the former gain by Trade no less than 600000l. per Ann.

And on the other side, that if a Million of Families or Persons in a Nation, do one with the other consume to the value of 20s. a piece more, yearly in foreign Manufactures, Drinks, &c. than before, this must increase our Importations to the value of a Million per Ann. which I observe here to shew how imperceptibly an over-ballance of Importation may creep upon a Nation; and that the Reader may with the less difficulty conjecture at the late and present ballance of Trade in England.

It must also much assist this Importing Trade, if the Merchants shall export Mony, or Bullion; especially in Edition: current; Page: [374] such a Nation as England, where a Trade from Port to Port is not ordinarily practicable to any advantage: for in that Case the Goods Imported being spent at home, the Treasure Exported must be lost to the Nation; and as long as the English Merchant can have Bullion or Mony to Export, and can have a vent for his Importations at home, his private gain will never oblige him to complain of the want of Exportable home-Manufactures, or the Clogs upon Trade, especially in England, where our Merchants have such a Monopoly of those Importations on the rest of the People.

This Consumptive Importing Trade must be of very fatal Consequence in its Nature; for first, whilest the National Stock is greater, it will exhaust the Treasure almost insensibly; but as the Treasure grows less and less, it will work more palpably and grievously, because it will consume more and more of that little which remains.

And as the National Treasure comes to be more and more diminished, the People must generally have less and less, which must cause the price of all home-Commodities, and consequently Land-Rents to fall continually, the home Manufactures must be choaked and stifled by Importations, so that both the Farmers and Manufacturers must fling up; the values of their Stocks must be contracted, and will be eaten out by Rent, Wages and other standing charges before they are aware; men cannot provide against misfortunes which have unseen Causes: and as home-trade grows worse and worse, Industry it self must be tired and foiled, to the great amazement, as well as affliction of the People.

For at the same time Liberty and Property may remain inviolated, many Merchants shall grow rich and shall be well satisfied as long as there is Vanity and Money at home; so shall their Retailers and Salesmen of foreign Wares, such are Mercers, Lacemen, Linnen-Drapers, Edition: current; Page: [375] Exchange-men, Grocers, Vintners and most others; there may seem to be the same Navigation for a time, the Customs must also necessarily much increase as the Importations increase (especially in England where the Customs on Importations are so high) and by that means may cause a reputation and sound of Trade amongst many, when indeed such a swelling of the Customs does only denounce their growing poverty and ruine.

It may be these ranks of men, who stand not in the direct Channel of Trade, may seem to flourish for a time, as Officers, Lawyers, Physitians, and others: nay perhaps some Officers may have greater opportunities of gain during the first Convulsions of a growing Poverty; since the necessities of men obliging them to be more Criminous, it may for a while occasion greater and more frequent gratuities, and a more absolute subservience; so may many Lawyers get more than ever whilst mens Estates are rending to pieces, (as doubtless did some Bricklayers get Estates by the burning of the City). So perhaps sickly men whilst they can, may strain hard to secure the Faith and Care of their Physitians with as good Fees as before, so some Clergy-men. Scriveners and Pen-men of all sorts, Usurers and such others may seem to stem the torrent better than the Landholders and Manufacturers, whose Revenues immediately depend on the home-market, and who make up the gross body and strength of a Nation; many of these former rankes of men (being at ease themselves) may seem insensible of the Common Afflictions, but must be gradually involved with the rest.

And the sooner, because as men fling up their Farms and Manufactures, and others are discouraged, multitudes of those that want Imployments, observing what other sorts of men continue to live at some ease, will naturally and inevitably throng themselves into the Edition: current; Page: [376] like, viz. importing Merchandise, Retayling, Shopkeeping, the Law, Clergy, and Priesthood of all sorts, Offices, Scrivening, Solliciting, and Physick; by which these Imployments must be so over-clogged, that they will be hardly able to live by one another; vast numbers of others must betake themselves to Inn-keeping, Ale-keeping, Victualing, &c. and those who have little or no stocks or literature, and therefore cannot crowd themselves into some of these ways of Livelihood must lye on the Parish, or being higher or worse minded must fall to Cheating, Canting, Shifting, Perjury, Forgery, Whoredom, Sherking, Chipping, Coyning, Buffooning, Tumbling, Pimping, Pilfering, Robbery, &c. for their ordinary maintenances; the more honest or industrious will transport themselves into foreign parts, as soon as they have opportunity, rather than live miserable at home, especially if they have an Ireland and Plantations to go to; nor is it possible (as I conceive) for any Laws or Penalties effectually to restrain the swelling numbers of any of the former professions, but by opening the beneficial and Comprehensive Imployments of Manufactures, Farming, &c.; nor can the daily increase of Ale-houses, or of Frauds, Perjuries and Criminals of all sorts be otherwise corrected; no Statutes, nay, or Preaching, though never so learned or florid, can prevail with necessitous men.

But the increase of these former more Gentleman-like, Scholar-like, Retailing and Shopkeeping-Imployments, must yet bring a farther inconvenience, viz. a more general affectation of Finery and Gawdery, than before; for these being sedentary and easie professions, will not only admit of, but occasion greater curiosity in Apparel, Modes, and dresses than the active and laborious ways of living by Farming or Manufactures. And as this Gawdery grows more in use it will spread amongst the rest, and the People emulating one another, Edition: current; Page: [377] will be gawdy as long as they can, though never so poor; which must support and increase Foreign Importations, whilst every one is contending who shall have the finest Foreign Livery, so will People thus at leisure most naturally fall into the habits of drinking and other ill Courses.

Too many of these symptoms of a Consumptive Trade may be generally observed in England; of late years any man who had but an indifferent Stock might have set himself to Tillage, Grazing, Daiery, Cloathing, Fulling, &c. in almost any part of England, and might not only have maintained his Family plentifully, but as his Stock and Ingenuity were more or less, might have left an Estate behind him; it was not extraordinary for a man thus employed to get an Estate of 3, or 4000l. some 10, some 20, some 30000l. whereas now, and of these later years these home-imployments have been the usual Shipwracks of mens Stocks and Estates in most parts of England, or so dull and cold that men can hardly endure to live so meanly.

Our late Wealthy Yeomanry are impoverished, or much reduced in their stocks, a man shall hardly find three in a County able to rent 3, or 400l. per Ann. they are forced to sink their Rents on the Gentry continually, or else to fling up their Farms; much Land is fallen a fifth part, some a fourth part, some a third part, some to half of the late Rent, (unless in some few Countys in whose benefit the Irish Acts were made, and there Rents are not risen and are now like to fall low enough:) by which continual contracting of Rents the very earth seems to shrink and consume under us, and whilst many of our late opulent and mighty Gentry since the general decay of their Revenues have been striving to support the antient honour and dignity of their Families, they are become immerged and fettered in inextricable debts and securities; great numbers of our Clothiers and other Edition: current; Page: [378] Manufacturers are undone, or have given up; the rest remain under a languishing hope of better Markets: and multitudes of those people, whose Labours brought Mony, Trade and Comfort to our Corporations, are now become chargeable burthens: it being computed that our Poor are increased to near ten times their late number within this last twenty years, and that their maintenance doth cost the Nation 400000l. per Ann. constant Tax.

On the other side, the increase of those sorts of men, whose Imployments either may prejudice, or else can add no increase of Treasure to the Nation, is very visible: by which increase the inconveniencies must be still the greater; for where the foreign Trade of a Nation is so much driven in importations, the increase of Merchants will oblige an increase of Importation; so an increase of Retailers dealing in foreign Goods, will open a greater vent for Importations; suppose such a Retailer sells for 10l. per Cent. profit, the Nation must lose about nine pence for every peny he gets, what then shall the Nation lose by the Trade of a Merchant or Retailer, who by vending Foreign Wares shall get an Estate of 10, or 20000l. over and besides a profuse maintenance? Or what will it signifie to the Wealth or Glory of a Nation, or City, to have many such 10000l. men as these? Have we any reason to rejoyce in such a flourishing Trade? These Retailers and Shop-keepers, gleaning the Mony, from the People, hand it up to the Importers, who export this Commodity in Trade as occasion does require; and as our Manufactures have decayed, so have Shop-keepers of all sorts increased; our Cities and Corporations are stuffed with them more and more; there being at least ten times more in the Nation than were 20, or 30 years since.

Thus also have we multitudes of more Lawyers, Attorneys, Solicitors, Scriviners, and Pen-men of all sorts, Edition: current; Page: [379] than of late years we had; which occasions more Querks, Tricks, and Cheats in the Law.Author of the grounds and reasons of the contempt of the English Clergy. We have vastly more Scholars and Clergymen, which a late Author observing, thought it necessary to export Tunns of Divines instead of Manufacture: This does cause an universal competition for Benefices; of which the needy Laity taking advantage, make Simonaical presentations,pag. 141. and thence must follow perjury in Institutions, and thence seared Consciences; but of all other Imployments we have the greatest questing after Offices; Men will almost give any thing, say any thing, or do any thing for an Office; so that some Offices which were thought hardly worth the medling with of late years, will now yield near ten years purchase for one life, which competition hath also in a manner virtually repealed the Statute against buying and selling of Offices, and obliges those who buy trusts to sell trusts. We have also far more Physitians, men of Medicine and Quacks, especially Pox-Doctors than ever, so have we (with our poverty) far more Finery and Gawdery, more Daintyness, Delicacy and Luxury.

So have we a vast increase of Inn-keepers and Ale-keepers both in City and Country, by which the common-people are debauched, made impious, poor and effeminate: all which mischiefs do in union cause the vast increase of new Buildings in and about London; for most of the Offices are in London, or there to be gotten, there is also the ready access to Church-preferment, and the best and most easie Imployments for Lawyers, Solicitors, Scriviners, Physitians, and such others, and the rather, because the publick Taxes and Importing-trade drawing the mony up to London, it will there be stirring as long as we have any in the Nation; whilst the Country is left poorer and barer every day; and therefore besides these higher ranks of men, the ordinary People who used heretofore to begin Edition: current; Page: [380] upon Farming or Manufacture, hearing of mony in London, do post from the starving Country, and apply themselves to the selling of Ale, Brandy, Tobacco, Coffee, Brokery of all sorts, letting of Lodgings in or about London, and such like Imployments, which too commonly end in Bawdery and the Gallows, by which there is room made for new Comers and Tenants; I have heard it said, that Madrid is grown much bigger and more Populous of late years.

From these and other sorts of People, both in City and Country, we have more and more Criminals of all the sorts and species mentioned before; our Gaols are fuller and fuller, great numbers of which are yearly executed or transported; vast numbers of others have betaken themselves to voluntary exile from this their Native Country, in hopes of a better condition, rather than to endure certain poverty or persecution for Conscience at home; besides those gone into Ireland, and the Plantations, there are many thousands of Protestants gone from us into the Low Countries, into France, into Germany, and into Poland, where being Woollen Manufacturers, they have taught, and set up this Manufacsure, and thereby helped to work our ruine. These being of the most strong and able part of our People, leave their Wives and Children, and other impotent and lazy People at home.

And thus shall a Nation be inevitably dispeopled, as well as impoverished by a consumptive Trade; Nay, it shall hinder the ordinary increase of People by procreation, especially in a Nation where venereal sins are become general, habitual and shameless; for the People being poor, or vicious, or both, dare not, or care not to engage in the charge or virtuous Obligations of Marriage, (unless here and there where a man gets a Catch with a Wife which shall be equal to an Office,) but will rather use unlawful promiscuous Copulation, which breeds Edition: current; Page: [381] no Children, but infinite Claps and Poxes to the common weakning of Posterity, and present scandal of a Nation: (thus have our Women also lost their choice of Chapmen for Husbands:) how many of our most beautiful Women (which might have made good and vertuous Wives, and brought forth numbers of as beautiful Children,) are for want of convenient Matches tempted, or forced for a little mony, to sell their souls to the Devil, and their delicate bodies to lust and rottenness, nay to the Gallows, when proving with Child, the remains of their natural modesty, will not in their extremities permit them to call Witnesses of their shame, whilst the Gallants which beget them go free, and glory in their great performance.

All which mischiefs of a consumptive Trade are yet more fatal, because the growing vice and poverty which attends it, will generally bring a languor and difficulty on mens understandings; as men sink in their Estates, their Spirits and Thoughts will be lower and narrower, and their Minds clouded with anxieties and cares, this (with the common disability of making advantages upon Forreigners in the course of Trade) leads them into a kind of unhappy Cunning, consisting in the over-reaching of one another at home; and he will be accounted wise, who by any means can shift himself out of the common wants, nor will he think his own happiness small, (especially if his beginnings were low) when (like one standing on the Sands) he can behold the Shipwreck of others.

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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.

FRom what hath been said in the first Section and since, it must also follow, that a Consumptive Trade must render a Nation still weaker and weaker.

First, because it must still exhaust more and more of the National Riches, and sink the value of Mens Estates.

If the value of private Stocks or Revenues are contracted, Men will be less and less able to pay publick Taxes; it is impossible for those that have no Money to pay Money, or for those that have less to pay as much as those that have more; and less Taxes must then also be more grievous than greater were before; if a Man having 100l. per An’ or 100l. Stock, sink 40l. per Cent. of his Revenue or Stock, it is equal to any direct Tax of 40l. per Cent. and then if a Tax or publick Charge of 5 or 10l. be super-added, it is equal to a former Tax of 45 or 50l. per Cent.

It must also disable a Nation to continue the Charge of a War, because the quantity of Money diffused amongst the People will sooner be drawn out of the Home-Markets; and then they can no longer raise Taxes, and when the Taxes fail, what hope or dependance can there be in the courage of Officers, Soldiers, or Sea-men? or how shall the continual Supplies of Warlike Provisions of all sorts be purchased at home or abroad?

There are yet other Concomitants of a growing Poverty, which must render any Nation much the Edition: current; Page: [383] weaker, viz. discontents, uneasiness, and heart-burnings, which when begun, are easily fermented into Convulsions, by which a Nation may be disabled to exert even its remaining strength.

2. Perfidy and Treachery amongst all sorts; needy Men are readily tempted to make a Merchandize of their own Souls and other Mens Lives and Estates, and those who will betray one another for Money at home, will be equally wrought upon by forreign Money, and then may be brought to barter of both Princes and Countries; for being once corrupted, they must, like Women, for ever remain slavishly true to the Intrigue, lest the Gallant should tell, of which Histories give us many sad Examples.

But in a Nation where the value of Land, or Home-Commodities, are risen 40 per Cent. he that had 100l. Revenue or Stock, paying 40l. Tax, retains what he had; and if the National Treasure be much greater, it will support the charge of a War much longer, and can hardly ever be totally exhausted, where there is a considerable Annual Increase of Treasure by Forreign Trade: This exuberance of a National Treasure will also generally support and secure the Spirit and Fidelity of all sorts of Men.

It must therefore be of most dangerous consequence to a Nation impoverished by Trade, if any other neighbour-Nation hath at the same time grown much richer in Treasure, since in the case of a War it will produce the like inequality of Power; nay if any such richer Nation shall think fit to keep great Armies and Navies in pay, (though in times of Peace) so must the poorer Nation, or else be devoured at pleasure; and thus may a Nation, drained by the over-ballance of Trade, be beggered, and consequently overcome without fighting, as hath been intimated before.

So if a Nation grow generally more vitious, soft, Edition: current; Page: [384] effeminate, debauched, dispeopled, and undisciplined than before, it must be much weaker than before, wherein the danger must be much greater if any neighbour Nation grow far more warlike, more populous and better disciplined than before.

In which case the better situated, more useful, strong, plentiful, and blessed the Country so impoverished naturally is, and the more it doth abound in beautiful Buildings, Women, or other delicacies, it will the more forcibly provoke the Appetite of a stronger Nation to its Conquest, the mighty Hunters of the World are for the most desirable prey; so if a Nation thus weakned hath formerly been famous and redoubted for Arms and War; those who affect glory by Conquest, must have the greater Ambition to vassalize its People.

From what hath been said it must appear; first, That a Nation must be estimated weak or strong by comparison, with the strength or weakness of Neighbour Nations; if a Neighbour Nation grow ten times as strong as before, the Nation which only retains its usual and former strength is weak; but the Case must be yet worse, if whilst the one hath grown ten times stronger, the other hath grown much weaker.

2. That in the present state of the World a Nation cannot grow poor by a consumptive Trade with any Security.

In such a Case the meer absoluteness of a Monarchy would not prevent the approaching fatality, (which I add because Hobbs and others call it a strong Government) absolute Power may suddenly force away that Treasure which the People have, but cannot create any, nor can it carry on a War, or even support it self without continual vast expences; and then when the Treasure is drawn off into the hands of Officers and Soldiers, (who pay no Taxes) it will be found, that the People (who have it not) can no more make Brick without Edition: current; Page: [385] Straw in this Age, than heretofore; and will be naturally desirous to change their Masters upon hope to be treated with less rigor.

Nor on the other side will the meer preservation of a legal Liberty and Property secure a Nation thus impoverished, without a concurrent improvement of Trade, for the Reasons before given; the Blessings which usually attend these Freedoms wholly, or very much depend upon the Riches the People are possessed of.

It must be confessed these Freedoms make a necessary step towards the improvement of Trade; where an absolute Power is exerted, the conditions of Men are little better than that of Brutes, being continually lyable to Imprisonments, Death, and Confiscations, at the Pleasure of others; nay perhaps are worse, by the fears and terrors Men must be always under, even whilst they do not actually suffer; which will take away the edge and life of Industry, and will ruine or drive away the Merchants, and those who have Stocks in Manufacture, who neither will, nor can labour all their lives for Wealth under daily expectations of losing what they painfully get, which in this last Age hath obliged the French Monarchy to permit divers Immunities to their Manufacturers, and of late to their Fishers and other Maritime Traders, which have now gotten the reputation of established Laws; at least they are such as are satisfactory to the French Natives, who cannot have, nor are acquainted with better terms, and who are of themselves so numerous, that they stand in no need of Supplies of People from abroad; and therefore of no greater invitations of this nature to bring in Forreigners, and the rather, because their Trade is otherwise so much eased and incouraged (of which I shall have occasion to say more;) so have the great Dukes of Tuscany in this last Age been curiously vigilant to provide for the Freedom of Traders, both Domestick and Forreign: Edition: current; Page: [386] The Dutch, Venetians, Hamburghers, and other Trading States do yet farther secure the Liberties and Properties of their Natives, and others, under their several Jurisdictions, by fundamental and unalterable Constitutions.

Which being admitted, it doth not follow that a Nation which hath meer Liberty and Property, without other requisite incouragements, shall drive any great Trade; we have an Example in Genoa, at this day, a Republick, where, because they set a Custom of 16 per Cent. on Goods Imported, they lost their Trade of Forreign Merchandize to Leghorne, made a free Port by the Duke of Tuscany; what then may we hope for from the meer Liberty and Property of the English, when in England the Customs are generally higher, and our other difficulties on Trade are yet more grievous than the Customs? by the Accompt we have from our first Discoverers and Planters in America, most of these poor Nations had a Home-Liberty and Property.

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.

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 the Edition: current; Page: [387] first 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.

Gold and Silver Coined. Totals by Tale. Yearly Medium.
l. s. d. l. s. d.
From the first of Octob. 1599. to the last of March 1619. was Coined four Millions seven Hundred seventy nine Thousand three Hundred and fourteen Pounds thirteen Shillings and four Pence; which was per An’ two Hundred forty five Thousand ninety two Pounds Eleven Shillings & six Pence. 4779314 13 4 245092 11 06
From the last of March 1619. to the last of March 1638. was Coined six Millions nine Hundred thousand forty two Pounds eleven Shillings and one Peny; which was per An’ three Hundred sixty three thousand one hundred & sixty Pounds two Shillings one Peny farthing 6900042 11 1 363160 02
From the last of March 1638. to May 1657. was Coined seven Millions seven Hundred thirty three Thousand five Hundred twenty one Pounds thirteen Shillings fourpence farthing; which was per An’ four Hundred and seven thousand and twenty seven Pounds nine Shillings one Peny ½ penny. 7733521 13 407027 9
From May 1657. to Nov. 75. being 18 years and a half, was Coined three Millions two hundred thirty eight thousand nine hundred ninety seven Pounds sixteen Shillings and three farthings; about one Million of which was Harp and Cross Money, and broad Gold, &c. re-coined; which deducted, there remains but 2 Millions two hundred thirty eight thousand nine hundred ninety seven Pounds 16s. three farthings; which was per An’ but one hundred twenty one thousand 26l. eighteen Shillings and four Pence. 2238997 16 ¾ 121026 18 04
The total of all Gold & Silver Coined in these 76 years from the first of Octob. 1599. to Novemb. 1675. was Coined twenty one Millions eight hundred fifty one thousand eight hundred seventy six Pounds fourteen Shillings seven Pence half-peny. 21851876 14
The Coin yearly increased in the 2d part, from the last of March 1619. to the last of March 1638. more than in the first part, one hundred and eighteen thousand sixty seven Pounds ten Shillings seven pence farthing; the Total thereof is two Millions two hundred forty three thousand two hundred eighty three Poundsone Shilling two pence. Yearly Increase. Total Increase.
118067 10 4 2243283 01 02
The Coin yearly increased in the 3d part, from the last of March 1638. to May 1657. one hundred sixty one thousand nine hundred thirty four Pounds 17s.d., the Total thereof is three Millions seventy six thousand seven hundred sixty two Pounds fourteen Shillings ten pence half-peny. 161934 17 3076762 14 10½
The Coin hath yearly decreased in the fourth part, from May 1657. to this present November 1675. being the last eighteen years and half, two hundred eighty six thousand Pounds ten Shillings nine pence half-peny; the total whereof is five Millions two hundred ninety one thousand and nine Pounds nineteen Shillings four pence farthing. 286000 10 5291009 19

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 Edition: current; Page: [391] 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; Edition: current; Page: [392] 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.d. 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.

Edition: current; Page: [393]

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 Edition: current; Page: [394] 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 Edition: current; Page: [395] 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 Edition: current; Page: [396] 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.

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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 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 Edition: current; Page: [398] 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 Edition: current; Page: [399] 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 Edition: current; Page: [400] 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.

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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 Edition: current; Page: [402] 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 Edition: current; Page: [408] 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 Edition: current; Page: [412] 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 Edition: current; Page: [413] 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, Edition: current; Page: [414] 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 Edition: current; Page: [415] 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.

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 late and present Huswifery of English Women: In Ticking, in Imported Woollen Manufactures from Holland, France, and Ireland; In Cordage, Cables, Sayls and Sea-Nets; in Iron, in Brandy, in Wines of all sorts, these risen in price; the particular odds in our former and present Canary-Trade; in Coffee, in Earthen Ware, Pitch, Tarre, Hemp, Flax, and Forreign Timber bought dearer, and far more Timber Imported: In Imported Silks of all sorts; in Laces, and many other things, and thereupon our late French Overballance Considered. To which Added, our late losses by the French Capers, and Money Exported to France by our Travellers, &c. The National Overballance inferred, this cleared by a Deduction of our Trade, with Relation to the Dutch and French, and therein of their gradual Increase, and our Decay in Trade; Whence the Growth of the French and Dutch Revenues and Strengths observed; a farther Calculation of our late and present Overballance; incidently of some further Advantages in Trade Forreigners have upon us.

IN order to take a right Measure of the Overballance, it is observed in the Eighth Section, That if the Edition: current; Page: [416] beneficial part of our Trade become worse, and the Consumptive Importations increase, it will sooner induce an Overballance, and will cut deepest on the National Stock of Treasure.

Now it will much evidence the Increase of our Importations, if any of our own Manufactures which are of necessary Use at home, are lost, or impaired in any Considerable degree of later Years, because, the People must be then supplyed by the like Forreign Goods, to a greater degree than before.

I shall first instance in Linnen, lately a Considerable Manufacture in Cheshire, Lancashire, and the Parts adjacent; it was also the Huswifery of our English Ladies, Gentlewomen and other Women; which general Employment of our Women, (although most designed for the private Uses of Families) did keep very many Thousands of Linnen Looms at work in England, and did supply the greatest part of our National occasion for Houshold and Coarse Linnens of all sorts.

But all this Manufacture of Linnen in Cheshire, Lancashire, and elsewhere, is now in a manner expired; and the Huswifely Women of England now employ themselves in making an ill sort of Lace, which serves no National or Natural Necessity; most of the rest spend their times much worse, or are idle, bringing a Scandal on themselves and their Families; so that there is hadly a working Linnen Loom left in a County: which Idleness and Unprofitable living of our Women, gives the Dutch a farther great Advantage upon us, whose Women are mainly serviceable in Trade.

And hence hath followed a great Increase of Forreign Imported Linnens from Holland and Germany, Dantzick, &c. much of which since the Decay of our Cloth-Trade into those Parts, we buy for Money, Bullion, or by Bills of Exchange, besides a prodigious Increase of Imported Linnens from France, which of later Years hath been estimated to cost the Nation at least 500000l. per Annum, which must now be supplyed from other Forreign Parts, and dearer, if our new Prohibition be observed. It hath also occasioned a far greater Home-Consumption of Indian Callicoes, &c. bought with Money; and the rather, because the English of all sorts use more Linnen than ever, in their Apparel, Beds, Curtains, Hangings, &c. 000000
This Importation of Linnen is also become far more chargeable, by the more general Use of Dear Fine Hollands, and other fine Forreign Linnens of great Value; which till of later Years were only worn by some People of Quality, and by them very sparingly 000000
Thus also is our Manufacture of Ticking in Devonshire and Somersetshire much impaired, and much more Forreign Ticking Imported: Such is our Importation of Linnen, that at this day an English Linnen-Draper who deals for 80000l. per Annum in Linnen, doth hardly sell 200l. per Annum English of all sorts 000000

Suppose all the People in England one with another bestow 5l. a piece more in Forreign Linnen Yearly, than they used to do; what a Vast Summe must this amount to? And this being of so Universal Use, how soon may the Increase of this Importation alone turn the Ballance of the English Trade? There is hardly any Nation in Europe but hath a Manufacture of Linnen, at least for Home-Uses, except England; from Scotland we have much, and in Ireland it is a growing Manufacture much encouraged.

To this may be added the New Importation of Woollen Manufactures, viz. Cloths, Stuffs, and Druggets from Holland and France, of a great yearly value, mentioned in the Eleventh Section, but proper to be remembered here 000000
And it ought not to be forgotten, that no sooner had the Irish learned to make Frize, but presently Irish Frize became a great fashion in England 000000
Our Manufactures of Cordage for Ships, Cables, and Sea-Nets, are also much decayed from what they were, much occasioned by the late dearness of Imported Hemp and Flax, as hath been intimated before, and we are therefore forced to import much more of these Commodities from the Dutch and French; the Act of Navigation not Prohibiting the Manufacture; which is worthy to be observed 000000
There hath been a great Increase of imported Iron from Swedeland, Flanders, and Spain; by this means many Iron-Works are laid down already in Kent, Sussex, and Surrey, and elsewhere; and the rest must suddainly follow (if the Importation continue,) which will bring at least 50000 Families in England on the Parish-Charge, and must sink the price of all the Woods now employed for Iron-Works to little or nothing. Imported Wire hath already beat out our home Manufacture of Wire 000000
Our English Distillations of Strong Waters of all sorts, did formerly serve the National Uses, but of late years, our people at home, and Mariners abroad, have been supplied with Imported Brandy from France and Germany, which being hardly known in England within less than 20 years, hath of late cost the Nation above 100000l. per Annum 000000
So hath the Importation of all sorts of Foreign Wines, vastly increased of later years, especially out of France. We have also bought French Wines dearer than formerly, and have bought them with our Money, Bullion, or by Bills of Exchange; but formerly with our Exported Commodity 000000
Besides which, we have vast quantities of Imported Spanish Wines, which till of later years, we also Purchased with our exported Commodities, at the rate of 10l. per Pipe, but now at about 20l. per Pipe, and mostly with Money, Bullion, or Bills of Exchange; so that ’tis Computed that of later years it hath cost England near 200000l. per Annum, in Imported Spanish Wine, over and above the value of our Commodities Exported to the Canaries 000000
So, even before the stop of French Wines, we had very much more Portugal and Rhenish Wines Imported and consumed at home than ever; besides Italian, Greek, and Smyrna Wines; if the Importation of French Wines continue prohibited, we must expect as much more of these and Spanish Wines as will answer our present General Debauchery: many of these Wines were hardly known in England of late years, and the rest far more sparingly drunk; but our Imported Wines do now in the Whole cost the Nation the greater part of a Million per Annum 000000

The Canary Wines are computed at about 13000 Pipes yearly, which at 20l. per Pipe, amounts to 260000l. per Annum; and that our Commodities Exported thither do amount to about 65000l. per Annum.Thus do we swallow and piss out inestimable Treasures, and contemn our own excellent and more wholsom Drinks, which might be improved to a much greater Perfection, both for our Use at home, and Trade abroad; and whilst every one is an Ambitious Edition: current; Page: [420] Pretender to a Critical Palate in Wine, and is ready to impeach the Guilty Drawers for Mixtures, Molossus, and Arsenick, we are contented to let our Brewers abuse our own Liquors as they please.

And as if the English could affect every thing because it is Foreign, we have also a new chargeable Importation of Coffee, which of all others seems to be most useless, since it serves neither for Nourishment nor Debauchery 000000
We have also had a vast Increase of imported earthen Ware from Holland, most of it made of our own Earth and Lead 000000
To these ought to be added such other Importations, as are now bought much dearer than formerly, spoken of before, but fit to be remembered here: Such are Pitch, Tar, Hemp, Flax, and Timber from Norway and Liefland, being also mostly bought with Money, since the decay of our Cloth-Trade into those Parts; and of these the yearly quantity of imported Timber of all sorts is vastly increased of later years, by reason of the Decay of our English Timber; so that we are over-ballanced in our Trade for these Commodities several 100000l. per Annum 000000
Nay our so much boasted Turkey Trade is so far infected by the general Disease, that we now yearly Export almost as much Treasure to Turkey, as the value of our Cloth Exported thither amounts to. Of late years we Exported little or no Treasure thither; Nay, I have heard that formerly we imported Treasure thence. In Exchange for the Treasure and Cloth now Exported, the principal Commodity we Import is raw Silk, this serves our
own Silk Manufactures most consumed at home, except Silk-Stockings, for which our chief remaining Foreign Markets are Cales and Hamburgh. This Cloth-Trade depending on the vent of Imported Silk at home, is already considerably checked by the continual Increase of Imported raw Silk from the East Indies, where our Indian Company buy it with Exported Treasure; this year they have Imported more than ever. This last Sale they exposed to be sold no less than 563 Bales of Raw Silk 000000
The English formerly wore or used little Silk in City or Countrey, only Persons of Quality pretended to it; but as our National Gaudery hath increased, it grew more and more into Mode; and is now become the Common Wear, nay the ordinary Material for Bedding, Hanging of Rooms, Carpets, Lining of Coaches, and other things: and our Women, who generally govern in this Case, must have Foreign Silks; for these have got the Name, and in truth are most curious, and perhaps better wrought, as being most encouraged. Of the same humour are their Gallants, and such as they can influence; and most others. Our ordinary People, especially the Female, will be in Silk more or less, if they can; though never so plain, stained or tattered: Whence hath followed a vastly greater Importation, and home-Consumption of the dear Silk-Manufactures from Venice, Florence, Genoa, France, and Persia, and of late from Holland; where they have improved their Silk Manufacture to a considerable bulk and perfection. This our Affectation
and Use of foreign Silks having apparently much increased, within about Twenty or Thirty years past, must produce a great Odds in the Ballance, and besides hath much contracted the home-vent of our Woollen-Stuffs and Cloths, and Beggered our own Silk-Weavers. And it may be here taken notice of, as one of the mischievous Consequences of our present Importing Trade, That our Merchants to preserve their only home-Market, must bring in such curious and serviceable Foreign Manufactures as will beat out our own. This Importing Trade agrees well with our Shop-keepers, who can get more by Foreign Commodities, (of which, few or none know the Prices but themselves, and the Merchants) 000000
We have also of late a very chargeable Importation of Laces from Venice and Genoa, but most of later years from France, all which are commonly called Points de Venice, amounting to a vast Sum yearly 000000

Of All others our late Overballance in the French Trade, hath been most Prodigious; and such have been the Arts to attain it, that it would require a particular Treatise by it self: But it will be necessary to what I have undertaken, to give some brief Accompt of it, and in what it did consist; and the rather, that something of the Variety of the French Exportable Manufactures and other Goods may Appear.In Anno (63) and (73). I shall begin with what Mr. Fortrey reports in his Book twice Printed, and Dedicated to his now Majesty, and therefore I presume of good Authority.

He tells us, That upon a Jealousie the French King had conceived of the Ballance of the English Trade, there was an Estimate thereof given in to the French Edition: current; Page: [423] King; whereby it appeared, that there was yearly Exported of French Goods by the English, to the value of 2500000l. viz.

1. In Velvets plain and wrought, Sattins plain and wrought, Cloth of Gold and Silver, Armosynes and other Merchandizes of Silk which are made at Lions, of a great value.

2. In Silk-Stuffs, Taffeties, Poudesoys, Armosyns, Clothes of Gold and Silver, Tabbies plain and wrought, Silk Ribbands and other such like Silk-Stuffs as are made at Tours.

3. In Silk Ribbands, Galloons, Laces, and Buttons of Silk, which are made at Paris, Rouen, Chaimant, S. Eslieres in Forests.

4. A great quantity of Serges, which are made at Chalons, Chartres, Estammes, and Rhemes; and great quantities of Serges made at Amiens, Crevecoeur, Blicourt, and other Towns in Picardy.

5. In Bever, Demicaster, and Felt-Hats, made in the City and Suburbs of Paris, besides many others made at Rouen, Lyons, and other places.

6. In Feathers, Belts, Girdles, Hatbands, Fans, Hoods, Masks, gilt and wrought Looking-Glasses, Cabinets, Watches, Pictures, Cases, Medals, Tablets, Bracelets, and other such like Ware.

7. In Pins, Needles, Box-Combs, Tortoiseshell-Combs, and such like.

8. In Perfumed and Trimmed Gloves, that are made at Paris, Rouen, Clendosme, Clermont, and other places.

9. In Papers of all sorts which are made at Auvergne, Poictou, Limosin, Champaigne, and Normandy.

10. In all sorts of Ironmongers Wares that are made in Forrests, Auvergne, and other places.

11. In Linnen Cloth that is made in Brittany, and Normandy, as well Course as Fine.

Edition: current; Page: [424]

12. In Houshold-stuff, consisting of Beds, Mattresses, Coverlids, Hangings, Fringes of Silk, and other Furniture.

13. In Wines from Gascoigne, Mantois, and other places on the River of Loyer, and also from Burdeaux, Rochel, Nante, Rouen, and other places.

14. In Aqua-vitæ, Cyder, Vinegar, Verjuise, and such like.

15. In Saffron, Castle-Soap, Honey, Almonds, Olives, Capers, Prunes, and such like.

16. Besides 5 or 600 Vessels of Salt loaden at Maron, Rochel, Bovage, and the Isle of Oleron, and Isle of Rhee.

But that the Commodities Imported out of England into France, consisting chiefly of Woollen Cloathes, Serges, Knit Stockings, Lead, Pewter, Allom, Coals, and all else did not amount to above a Million yearly, which left the over-ballance 1600000l.

’Tis true, that since this there was an Estimate of the French Overballance taken in England by some English Merchants, from the Entries of the Port of London, by which it was computed, that the French Overballance amounted to about a Million; This was presented by our Merchants to our Lords Commissioners upon a Treaty of Commerce with France in (74.) (which came to no conclusion) and afterwards to the Parliament; which seems to impeach the Estimate of the French Overballance reported by Mr. Fortrey, as to the Quantum.

This I need not contend, since if the French Overballance had been no more than a Million, it was enough to impoverish us, considering our Importations from other Forreign Nations; But that I may not totally desert Mr. Fortrey, I shall take notice, that this English Computation was taken from the Entries of the Port of London only, from whence there may Edition: current; Page: [425] not be any so Just a calculation for all the rest of our Ports; and that the Entries do not comprehend any of those French Commodities which were prohibited by our former Laws, and are therefore Imported without Entry, which are accompted to amount to some Hundreds of thousand pounds yearly, perhaps near to another Million. But on the other side, that the French Entries must be certain as to the Exportations from France; that Mr. Fortrey would not be willing to falsify with His Majestie of England, nor the French Ministers with the French King, in a matter so important.

Nor is it to be thought that our Importations from France decreased in quantity or value since Mr. Fortrey wrote, to the time of the Prohibition, but rather increased; whereof our Merchants then gave an instance in Wines and Brandies, from the Entries of the Port of London, as followeth:

‘From Mich. 1663 to Mich. 1664. There was Imported into the Port of London 6828 Tuns of French Wine, and then the quantity of Brandy was so small and inconsiderable, that it deserves not to be noted.

‘From Mich. (67) to Mich. (69) There was imported into the Port of London in the said two years, 17000 Tuns of French Wine, and of Brandy about 3000 Tun.

‘From Mich. (72) to Mich. (74) Was Imported into the Port of London 22500 Tuns of French Wine.

‘From Mich. (71) to Mich. (73) Was Imported to London, 7315 Tuns of Brandy.

‘From Mich. (73) to Mich. (74) Was Imported to London, as near as can be computed, 5000 Tuns of Brandy, and every Tun of Brandy consuming about 5 Tuns of Wine, makes the quantity of 25000 Tuns of Wine.

This I the rather take notice of here, because from Edition: current; Page: [426] hence it doth also appear, that the Additional Impositions on French Wines and Brandies by our Parliament in (67) did not make the Importation of them less tolerable or practicable than before, and therefore were only Impositions on the English Subject.

Nay, the French have been able to raise the Prices of their Wines and Brandies upon us, even since (67) as the same Merchants represented. For,

‘In (67) Langoon Wine in France was not above 43 Crowns per Tun, clear aboard.

In Anno (68) the price was 47 Crowns.
In Anno (69) 54 Crowns.
In Anno (70) 52 Crowns.
In Anno (71) 55 Crowns.
In Anno (72) 50 Crowns.
In Anno (73) 56 Crowns.
In Anno (74) 70 Crowns.

‘And all sorts of Clarrets are risen double the price, since the year (67).

So said the Merchants in the year (74) and whosoever will take the pains to look into the Custom-Books, will find a mighty Increase of Imported French Wine and Brandy since (74) to the time of the Prohibition; and that, for several years last past, our Importation of French Linnen, Silks, and other Commodities, have also continually grown upon us, whereof we have an infallible Evidence in the continual Rising of our Customs.

I have heard that the quantity of French Wines Imported in 1676 made about 36000 Tuns of Wine, and that about the years (50) (51) and (52) the quantity yearly Imported was about 3000 Tuns of Wine.

But on the other side, the French Policies have been as industrious to suppress our English Trade, upon which they have gradually imposed more and more Taxes, and at last so great, that it amounts to a Prohibition; Edition: current; Page: [427] as may be instanced in our Woollen Manufacture.

‘In the year 1632, the Duty on an English Broad Cloth Imported into France, was 6 Livres.

‘In Anno (44) it was raised to 9 Livres.

‘In Anno (54) to 30 Livres.

‘In Anno (64) to 40 Livres, and yet did the English continue to Export considerable quantities of our Woollen Cloathes into France.

‘But in Anno (67) being after Mr. Fortrey wrote,Mr. Fortrey first Printed his Book in (63). it was raised to 80 Livres, which is about 50 per Cent.

‘A piece of Serge in Anno (32) per 1 Livre.

‘In Anno (54) 5 Livres.

‘In (64) 6 Livres.

‘In (67) 12 Livres, which also amounting to about 50 per Cent. was equal or worse than an express Prohibition; so that all our Exportations of our home-Commodities to France in the year 1669, amounted but to 171021l. 6s. as it was Calculated from our own Entries (if my Copy be true.)

It will not be a Digression to shew how Industrious the French Polices have been to suppress our Trade to other Nations.

It is now about five years since that our Merchants,Mr. Mun of Forreign Trade pag. 149. Notes, ‘That all the great Losses we receive at Sea in our Shipping, either outward or homeward bound, ought to be considered in the Ballance; for the value of the one is to be Deducted from our Exportations; and the value of the other from our Importations. observing the Dutch & other Neighbour Nations to be in War, but ours in Peace; they had now golden hopes of driving a mightier Forreign Trade than ever; for which purpose they thought it convenient to buy many Dutch-built Ships, and somwhat the rather because they had lost many Ships in the late War: But the Act of Navigation standing in their way, they obtained His Majesties License for it.

But thereupon, there presently came out a French Edict for the seizing of all Ships bought in any Enemie’s Country, which did discourage many of our Merchants Edition: current; Page: [428] from buying any Ships, yet many were bought and escaped safe to our Ports; these and many English Ships our Merchants forthwith freighted and sent out, in prospect of a swelling Trade, and vast Returns of Treasure.

But immediately there came out swarms of French Capers, who seized on those Dutch-built ships, though they had all necessary Passes; and from thence, finding the sweetness of it, they fell to taking of our English-built Ships, on pretence they carried Enemies Goods, whereof they themselves would be the Judges, and did actually seize all sorts of English-built Ships, laden meerly on the account of English Merchants, they took meer English Coasters; nay, they retook many of our Ships which had been actually discharged in France; they plunder’d our Ships, and grievously beat and wounded our generous Seamen (who never before dream’t of any thing but the Sovereignty of the Sea) and killed many.

Then were our Ships carried into the French Ports, and our Merchants put to prove the property of their own Sh