The answer of the masters of the Trinitie-house, to the speciall obiections of the patentee, to the keeping of Winterton lights

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The answer of the masters of the Trinitie-house, to the speciall obiections of the patentee, to the keeping of Winterton lights
Trinity House (London, England)
[London :: W. Jones,

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Subject terms
Meldrum, John, -- Sir, d. 1645.
Erskine, William.
Lighthouses -- England.
Shipping -- Taxation -- Great Britain -- Early works to 1800.
Great Britain -- History -- James I, 1603-1625.
Broadsides -- London (England) -- 17th century.
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"The answer of the masters of the Trinitie-house, to the speciall obiections of the patentee, to the keeping of Winterton lights." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed June 16, 2024.


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The Answer of the Masters of the Trinitie-house, to the speciall Obiections of the Patentee, for the keeping of VVinterton lights.

* 1.1 WHereas it is obiected, that from the eighth of Elizabeth, we neuer set vp light-houses at Winterton vntill this time: we answer, it is true. The reason is, that vntill now, there was neuer cause, neither in the ••••••gements of our selues, nor of the Masters of shipping, trading that coast. About 2 or 3 miles from Winterton, 13 or 14 yeares since, we built 2 light-houses, and layd 2 booyes at a place called Castor: at which time we sounded all those chan∣nels, but found no cause why to set vp, or lay out any sea-marke, either for day or night at Winterton. Some 10 yeares since, or thereabouts, we made 2 other light-houses at Lowstoffe: at which time we likewise sounded all those channels on that coast, but found no cause for any sea-marke at Winterton: so good was the channell there, that we thought it not needfull; neither was it held necessary by others. Some 6 yeares since, or thereabouts, we sent six of the chiefest of our Corporation, with ketches or boates to sound all those channels vpon that coast; and to erect, and lay out such and so many sea-markes, as to them should seeme good: yet found no cause to set vp any light-house at Winterton. But now some 4 yeares since▪ or there∣abouts, in one Winter the sands altered, and the channell grew dangerous: and presently after, fell a wracke of 5 or 6 ships: yet not so much by the alteration of the channell, as by a great storme or tempest, that happened by night: which ouer-ruled the skill and cunning of the Pilots, to the losse of the foresaid ships: yet were not all the ships lost which were in this storme, and in the company of those lost ships: for the whole number of ships was 35 or 40, of which onely fiue or sixe were lost.

* 1.2Presently vpon this, we made preparation, (which was seconded by a generall petition from all the owners and Masters of ships trading New-castle, and that North coast) and began to build our Tower-light in March, and finished it in Iune fol∣lowing; which cost vs 600 pounds; and kept our lights from Iune to Aprill following, without any collection towards the charge. By which time the Patentee obtained his patent (dated the xviij of Febr. 1617.) by vertue whereof we were comman∣ded to put out our lights: which we did. And afterwards the Patentee broke open the doore of our tower-light, and kept his light in it, vntill his owne structures were erected.

* 1.3Whereas it is auerred and deliuered, that the Patentee hath bene at 25 or 30 hundred pounds vpon the charge of his stru∣ctures, or houses built at Winterton: we answer, that the like structures or houses may be built for 150 pounds, or thereabouts. And for the surplus of charges, we professe, not to vnderstand it, neither do we thinke that the Patentee can giue an account thereof.

* 1.4For the monethly or yearely charges of keeping the said lights; we answer: that it is about 11 or 12 pounds a moneth, which is 130 pounds, or thereabouts, a yeare.

* 1.5Towards this his charge in erecting, and for his maintenance of these lights, 3 yeares or thereabouts he hath receiued the collection of 2 pence vpon euery chaldron of coales: which amounteth yearely to the summe of 14 or 15 hundred pounds; besides the collection of one pennie vpon the tunne of all other ships trading that coast:* 1.6 which (being 40 pence vpon euery 20 chaldron) is neere seuen times so much as the voluntary contribution (of 6 pence vpon euery 20 chaldron) accepted by the Trinitie-house, for maintenance of their lights.

Now it resteth to answer to the difference, betweene the Patentee, and the Masters of the Trinitie-house, in point of qualitie, and care, for well keeping of the said lights.

* 1.7 Of the Patentee, we will say but this: he is no sea-man. In the nature of sea-markes, sands, channels, tides, &c. he neither doth, nor can possibly vnderstand.

* 1.8 For the Masters of the Trinitie-house, in point of qualitie, who can iustly except against vs? Are we not sea-men, bred e∣uen from our childhood, in the knowledge of marine affaires: of nauigable channels, sands, ebbing, flowing, and setting of tides: in the knowledge of setting out of sea-markes, whether for day or night? is not this knowledge within the com∣passe of our element, and of ours onely? Are we not at home, when we are in our ships, surging in those chan∣nels, and on the seas? who will or can dispute or reason with vs in this element? it is proper to vs, improper to all o∣ther.

* 1.9 In point of care, may any be equall to vs? we aduenture our liues, our estates, yea all our meanes within the compasse of these channels: our hopes in all depend vpon the knowledge of channels, sands, and the well keeping of sea-markes. His Ma∣iestie reposeth the trust, the care and charge of his Nauie royall (in point of conduction and pilotage) to vs; we say, to vs onely: neither will his Ma: repose this trust in any other Corporation or Companie in this kingdome. If all these weightie motiues be not of force, to settle more care in vs, then in any other, for the well keeping of sea-markes, let vs suffer, and be hanged at the gates of the Kings Court, for example to others.

* 1.10 In point of authoritie, making for vs: it is now 100 yeares, since we were made a Corporation: it is 55 yeares, since the Parliament made a law, to enable vs, for the setting vp, and laying out of all sea-markes: which accordingly we haue done: and neuer questioned vntill now, and that by the Patentee. The examination whereof, by vertue of two seuerall references from the King, came to full hearing, before the right honorable Lords, at the Councell boord; who, by two seuerall orders (as by the said orders at large may appeare) conferred, and confirmed the whole, and sole keeping of all sea-markes, vpon our Corporation. After this, the Patentee got a third reference to Sir Henrie Yelverton, then Attorney generall: he takes into his consideration, the legall point onely, (not medling with the point of conuenience) and finding the want of a negatiue in the statute, certified that the Patentee, by allowance from the King, might do it, as well as we. VVhereupon he obtained his Ma∣iesties grant, and enioyes the benefit: to the great griefe and discouragement of all Merchants, owners, and Masters of ships trading those Northerne coasts.

The consideration hereof, in all humilitie, we submit, to the mature wisedome and censure of this most ho∣norable Court.


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