A Select Collection of Early English Tracts on Commerce (1856)
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.
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).
The text is in the public domain.
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Table of Contents
- A SELECT COLLECTION OF EARLY ENGLISH TRACTS ON COMMERCE
- Thomas Mun, A DISCOVERSE OF Trade from England vnto the East-Indies: Answering to diuerse Obiections which are vsually made against the same.
- 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 first Obiection.
- The Answere.
- The second Obiection.
- The Answere.
- The third Obiection.
- The Answer.
- The fourth Obiection.
- The Answer.
- LEWES ROBERTS, THE TREASURE OF TRAFFIKE, OR A DISCOOURSE OF FORRAIGNE TRADE.
- TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE LORDS and COMMONS IN THE High Court of PARLAMENT now assembled.
- To The Reader.
- THOMAS MUN, ENGLAND’S TREASURE BY FORRAIGN TRADE. OR. The Ballance of our Forraign Trade is the Rule of our Treasure.
- 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.
- THE ARGUMENTS.
- Chap. I.: The Qualities which are required in a perfect Merchant of Forraign Trade.
- Chap. II.: The means to enrich this Kingdom, and to encrease our Treasure.
- Chap. III.: The particular ways and means to encrease the exportation of our commodities, and to decrease our Consumption of forraign wares.
- Chap. IV.: The Exportation of our Moneys in Trade of Merchandize is a means to encrease our Treasure.
- Chap. V.: Forraign Trade is the only means to improve the price of our Lands.
- Chap. VI.: The Spanish Treasure cannot be kept from other Kingdoms by any prohibition made in Spain.
- Chap. VII.: The diversity of gain by Forraign Trade.
- Chap. VIII.: The enhansing or debasing our Moneys cannot enrich the Kingdom with treasure, nor hinder the exportation thereof.
- Chap. IX.: A Toleration for Forraign Coins to pass currant here at higher rates then their value with our Standard, will not encrease our Treasure.
- Chap. X.: The observation of the Statute of Imployments to be made by strangers, cannot encrease, nor yet preserve our Treasure.
- Chap. XI.: It will not increase our treasure to enjoyn the Merchant that exporteth Fish, Corn or Munition, to return all or part of the value in Money.
- Chap. XII.: The undervaluing of our Money which is delivered or received by Bills of Exchange here or beyond the Seas, cannot decrease our treasure.
- Chap. XIII.: The Merchant who is a mere Exchanger of money by Bills cannot increase or decrease our treasure.
- Chap. XIV.: The admirable feats supposed to be done by Bankers and the Merchants Exchange.
- The admirable feats to be done by Exchange.
- Chap. XV.: Of some Excesses and evils in the Commonwealth, which notwithstanding decay not our Trade nor Treasure.
- Chap. XVI.: How the Revenues and Incomes of Princes may justly be raised.
- Chap. XVII.: Whether it be necessary for great Princes to lay up store of Treasure.
- Chap. XVIII.: How much Treasure a Prince may conveniently lay up yearly.
- Chap. XIX.: Of some different effects, which proceed from Naturall and Artificiall Wealth.
- Chap. XX.: The order and means whereby we may draw up the ballance of our Forraign Trade.
- Chap. XXI.: The conclusion upon all that hath been said, concerning the Exportation or Importation of Treasure.
- SAMUEL FORTREY, ENGLANDS INTEREST AND IMPROVEMENT.
- To The most High and mighty MONARCH. CHARLES the II.
- To the Reader.
- The Contents.
- ENGLAND’S Great Happiness; OR, A DIALOGUE BETWEEN Content and Complaint.
- THE CONTENTS OF THIS DIALOGUE.
- The Author to his Book.
- Britannia Languens, or A Discourse of Trade
- The Preface.
- THE Introduction.
- SECTION I.: Trade National or Private, Home or Forreign Treasures Imported by Trade, thence Land-Rents, Populacy increased, the Revenues of all Ranks of men depend upon Trade, People and Treasure make National Strength, particular Advantages in Treasure, 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.
- SECT. II.: The several kinds of Forreign Trade, of trading with Home or Forreign Navigation, some general Application.
- SECT. III.: Of Forreign Trade consisting in Exportation, of the advantages of home Manufactures, and Manufactures, incidently other home Trades, and Imployments are considered; and which of them enrich a Nation; of the Fishing-Trade, and the annual exporting 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- SECT. IX.: That a Consumptive Trade must render a Nation still weaker and weaker: How far the meer establishment of Absolute Power, or meer Liberty and Property, may alter the Case.
- SECT. X.: Further presumptions of our late National Overballance in Trade; an Account from the Mint in November 75. and thence our former Ballance of Trade estimated.
- SECT. XI.: Particular decays in our Exportations, and the beneficial parts of our Trade; Instances in the decay of our Foreign-Trade for Woollen Clothing, in the several Countries and Ports we Traded to, in the sinking of the foreign price of this 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.
- 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.
- SECT. XIII.: That a Considerable part of our late Treasure is exhausted: Application to our Publick and Private Revenues: Objections Answered, viz. The Plenty of Money to be let on Securities, Stores of Money in London, Stocks in Merchandize, the Over-weightiness of our Coin, c.
- SECT. XIV.: People and Treasure the true Pillars of the National strength: The Odds in the different Vse and imployment of people. The absoluteness of the French Monarchy no cause of the present French Grandure: The late Application of the French Councils to the Increase of Trade, People, and Treasure; and the occasion thereof. The greater excellency of the Form of our English Government. The farther necessity of Improving our Trade from the Modern Treasures and Powers of the French; of their Naval force, the Algiers Pyracy; how the French design to engross all Maritime Commerce; our dangers from France; of the present condition of the Dutch: That our late Prohibition of French Goods will not disable that Monarchy, nor better our Trade; meer Prohibitions of no value: Our great advantages in Trade above France and Holland: That a speedy Regulation of our Trade, c. would secure us against all Forreign Powers, and Dangers at home: Of Excises, and other Taxes. The certain Increase of his Majesties Revenue; hence, what occasion for a Parliament, c.
- The CONTENTS.:
- Dudley North, Discourses upon Trade
- The Preface.
- A DISCOURSE Concerning the Abatement of INTEREST.
- A Discourse of Coyned Money.
- POSTSCRIPT. Upon farther Consideration of the Foregoing Matters, I think fit to add the following Notes.
- Considerations on the East-India Trade
- To the Reader.
- The Contents.
- CHAP. I.: The Objections against the East-India Trade; viz. The Exportation of Bullion for Manufactures to be consum’d in England; the loss of the Labourer’s Employment; the Abatement of Rents are enforc’d.
- CHAP. II.: The Exportation of Bullion for Indian Manufactures, is an exchange of less for greater Value.
- CHAP. III.: A more Open East-India-Trade, is more profitable to the Kingdom.
- CHAP. IV.: The East-India Trade does not so much diminish the Riches of some private Persons, as it increases the Riches of the Kingdom.
- CHAP. V.: The East-India Trade is the way to Increase our Bullion.
- CHAP. VI.: The East-India Trade must increase our Exportations.
- CHAP. VII.: Notwithstanding the idleness of the Mint, the Money and the Bullion are increas’d.
- CHAP. VIII.: The increase of Paper Money is to be ascrib’d to the increase of real Money, rather than the apparent plenty of Money to the increase of current Paper.
- CHAP. IX.: The Kingdom is not more impoverish’d by the Consumption of Indian than of English Manufactures.
- CHAP. X.: The East-India Trade destroys no imployment of the People which is profitable to the Kingdom.
- CHAP. XI.: The East-India Trade is the most likely way to inlarge the business in the present Manufactures.
- CHAP. XII.: By being the cause of the Invention of Arts and Engines, of order and regularity in our Manufactures, the East-India Trade, without abating the Wages of Labourers, abates the price of Manufactures.
- CHAP. XIII.: The East-India Trade is the most likely way to set on foot new Manufactures for imployment of the People.
- CHAP. XIV.: The East-India Trade does not abate the Rents, by the exportation of Bullion, by the diminution of Consumers, by the abatement of Wages; the importation of Indian Manufactures is less likely to abate Rents than the importation of the unwrought Produce of India.
- CHAP. XV.: The Importation of Indian Manufactures abates only the price of Labour, but raises the price of the Produce of the Estate.
- CHAP. XVI.: And this is confirm’d by Examples.
- CHAP. XVII.: The East-India Trade does not abate the Rents of the Landholder by destroying his Monopoly.
- CHAP. XVIII.: The Fishing-Trade is not so profitable as the importation of Irish Cattel, or of Indian Manufactures; and is more likely than either to abate the Rents of England.
- CHAP. XIX.: The Herring-Fishery not practicable in the present Circumstances of England; the Dutch can sell cheaper.
- CHAP. XX.: The way to bring England to be contented with as little profit in the Fishing-Trade as Holland.
- CHAP. XXI.: That the way to enable England to catch and cure their Herrings as cheap as Holland, is, first to have Materials for that Trade as cheap: and that this is most likely to be done, by discharging the Customs upon such things, by making the Trade for them free and open, by making the Carriage of them as cheap as it is in Holland; and that the last is not to be done without reduction of the price of Shipping: And the way for effecting this.
- CHAP. XXII.: The way to make English Labour in the Fishing-Trade as cheap as that of Holland; that the People here must cohabit as close together; and the most probable Methods for effecting this, are to erect a Free-port, to impower Parishes to send their Pensioners to it, to give Privileges to such a Place; Also, all other Arts of working cheap must be allow’d.