The Propositions of Sir Anthony Thomas knight, and Iohn Worsop Esquire, for making of the bargaine with the Country, and Henry Briggs Professor of the Mathematicks in the vniuersitie of Oxford, Heldebrand Pruson, Citizen and Salter of LONDON, and Cornelius Drible Engeneere, with the rest of the Vndertakers for the dray∣ning of the Levell within the sixe Counties of Norfolke, Suffolke, Cambridge, Isle of Elie, Huntington, North-hampton and Lincolne-shire, on the South side of Gleane.
WHEREAS the Countrie have offered to Master Burrell and his Associates, for the drayning of the great Levell in the sixe Counties aforesayd, and for the maintenance of the worke, beeing done, the quantitie of 80000 Acres, of which he offereth to ingage vnto the Countrie but 10000 Acres for the maintenance of the worke.
Wee offer, that if the Countrie will or can allott the sayd proportion of 80000 Acres to us, we will undertake to drayne the sayd Levell, and will ingage 15000 Acres, and a rent of 4 d. the Acre out of the whole 80000 Acres amounting to 1333 l. per Annum, for the maintenance of our worke, and will give to every Cottager, whose house shall happen to stand upon any part of the Land allotted to us, the summe of foure pounds towards the erecting of a new house, in some other part of the Common.
But because we conceiue it very difficult (if not impossible) to apportion, and set out a certaine number of Acres, out of so many and various particulars, as must necessarily be conteined in so great a quantitie of ground, unlesse the same should be taken only out of the Commons, and the seueralls spared, which we cannot conceiue reasonable, we therefore propound as followeth.
1. FIRST, whereas by the Lawe, the Commissioners of Sewers have no power to make a bargaine for any Composition of Land, till a taxe be set, and not paid, at the day appointed: We desire that a taxe of tenne shilling be laid upon every Acre of land, that lyeth under the high-water-marke, or is annoyed with fresh or salt water, or shall receive benefit, or ease by drayning within the Levell; to which lowe demand we are descended, for the ease of the Countrie, which taxe must be paid at a day certaine, and to re∣maine in the hands of such as the Commissioners shall thinke fit to keepe it, the Vndertakers to have proportionably thereof, accor∣ding to such parts and proportions of the said surrounded grounds, as they shall from time to time drayne; PROVIDED that the sayd part be first adiudged drayned, and exceed the quantitie of 100000 Acres.
2. SECONDLY, For so much of this taxe, as shall not be paid at the day appointed; we desire of the worst Land, one halfe; Of the second sort, one third part; Of the third sort, one fourth part.
3. THIRDLY, Whosoever shall thinke fit, to redeeme such part or proportion of his owne Lands, being severall, as by the Commis∣sioners shall be allotted to the Vndertakers, shall (if he desire it) adventure seven shilling for every Acre of his Land, cha•ged with the sayd taxe of tenne shilling (the estimate being set downe under his hand, of the whole number of Acres of his sayd Land) so, as it be within 5 of 100, and 50 of 1000; and so shall not part with any Land of his at all.
4. FOVRTHLY, Whosoever shall be unable or unwilling to pay the taxe of tenne shilling the Acre, or to venture seven shilling the Acre, and yet willing to redeeme his severalls, given by the Commissioners. We therefore make this offer, that he shall, if he please, have a defeazance, or such other securitie, as by Councell shall be advised from us: That if he pay thirteen shilling foure pence for e∣every Acre of his said severalls, charged with the said taxe of tenne shilling, after they are adiudged drayned by the Commissioners, then he shall retaine all his severalls to himselfe. PROVIDED, that he demand the sayd defeazance, or other securitie, within one moneth after the Act or Decree of Sewers, whereby his Land shall be decreed to us.
5. FIFTLY, And because we desire to give all possible ease, and content to the Country, wee are content that one shilling of the taxe of tenne shillings for euery Acre be left in the hands of the owner, and one shilling of the seuen adventured, and one shilling foure pence of the mony due by the defeazance, shall remaine in the hands of the owners, 〈◊〉 urgent occasion and necessitie force vs to call, for some part, or the whole, which yet we hope we shall not need. But for the further ease of the Country, we are content that they shall pay the said seven shillings Adventure, for euery Acre of their severalls, in manner and forme following. vz. two shillings within one moneth after the taxe is set, and two shilling two moneths after, and the other two shilling two moneths after that: one shil∣ling being still left in their hands as aforesaid. And for the twelve shilling of the thirteene shilling foure pence, to be paid after the worke shall be adiudged drayned, we demand to have it paid as followeth; vz. foure shillings within one moneth, and foure shillings three moneths after that, and the other foure shilling three moneths after that.
•. SIXTHLY, If the house of any Cottager shall happen to stand in any part of any Common allotted to us, wee will build him an other in some convenient place in or upon the same Common.
If any of these three particular offers be accepted, we will undertake a generall drayning of the Fennes, and other Grounds annoyed with fresh or salt waters, within this Levell, and will expect no recompence, but out of such lands, as shalbe adiudged drayned, or such mo∣ney as the Countries shall agree to giue before hand by way of Adventure.
Wee will undertake to make good and maintaine for ever, at our owne charge, all such draynes and workes, as wee shall make, and will ingage for the performance thereof, a reasonable proportion of Land, as shall be agreed upon betweene us and the Commissioners.
That all the maine workes shall be made Nauigable, and be built for the most part, with Bricke and Stone.
That all Owners of Land and parties interessed shall haue libertie to adventure, after the rate of other adventurers.
That wee will vndertake to performe all this within foure yeeres to bee accompted from the time, the bargaine shall be fully perfected, with the Commissioners and the country. So vve receive no impediment from the Commissioners, nor the Country.
Dated the 11. of Ianuary, 1629.