The planters plea· Or The grounds of plantations examined, and vsuall objections answered Together with a manifestation of the causes mooving such as have lately vndertaken a plantation in Nevv-England: for the satisfaction of those that question the lawfulnesse of the action.
White, John, 1575-1648.

CHAP. VIII. A digression manifesting the successe of the Planta∣tion intended by the Westerne men.

THE first imployment then of this new raised Stocke, was in buying a small Ship of fiftie tunnes, which was with as much speed as might be dispatched towards New-England vpon a Fishing Voyag:

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Page  72 The third yeare 1625. both Ships with a small Vessell of fortie tuns which carried Kine with o∣ther prouisions, were againe set to Sea upon the same Voyage with the charge of two thousand pounds, of which summe the Company borro∣wed, & became indebted for one thousand pounds and upwards. The great Ship being commanded by a uery able Master, hauing passed on about two hundred leagues in her Voyage, found her selfe so leake by the Carpenters fault, (that looked not well to her Calking) that she bare up the Helme and returned for Waymouth, & having unladen her provisions and mended her leake, set her selfe to Sea againe; resolving to take aduice of the Windes whether to passe on her former. Voyage or to turne into New-found-land, which she did, by rea∣son that the time was so far spent, that the Master and Company dispaired of doing any good in New-England: where the Fish falls in two or three mounths sooner then at New found land. There she tooke Fish good store and much more then she could lade home: the overplus should have beene sold and deliuered to some sacke or other sent to take it in there, if the Voyage had beene well man∣naged.

But that could-not be done by reason that the Ship before she went was not certaine where to make her Fish; by this accident it fell out that a good quantitie of the Fish she tooke was cast a∣way, and some other part was brought home in another Ship. At the returne of the Ships that yeare, Fish by reason of our warres with SpainePage  73 falling to a very low rate; the Company endevoured to send the greater Ship for France: but she being taken short with a contrary Winde in the West-Country, and intelligence given in the meane time that those Markets were over-laid, they were en-Forced to bring her backe againe, and to sell her Fish at home as they might. Which they did, and with it the Fish of the smaller Ship, the New-Eng∣land Fish about ten shillings the hundred by tale or there about; the New-found-Land Fish at six shil∣lings foure pence the hundred, of which was well nigh eight pence the hundred charge raised vpon it after the Ships returne: by this reason the Fish which at a Market in all likely-hood might have yeelded well nigh two thousand pounds, amoun∣ted not with all the Provenue of the Voyage to a∣boue eleaven hundred pounds.

Vnto these losses by Fishing were added two o∣ther no small disaduantages, the one in the Coun∣try by our Land-Men, who being ill chosen and ill commanded, fell into many disorders and did the Company little seruice: The other by the fall of the price of Shipping, which was now abated to more then the one halfe, by which meanes it came to passe, that our Ships which stood vs in little lesse then twelue hundred pounds, were sold for foure hundred and eighty pounds.

The occasions and meanes then of wasting this stocke are apparently these. First, the ill choice of the place for fishing; the next, the ill carriage of our men at Land, who having stood vs in two yeares and a halfe in well nigh one thousand Page  74 pound charge, never yeelded one hundred pound profit. The last the ill sales of Fish and Shipping. By all which the Aduenturers were so far discou∣raged, that they abandoned the further prosecuti∣on of this Designe, and tooke order for the dissol∣uing of the Company on Land, and sold away their Shipping and other Provisions.

Two things withall may be intimated by the way, the first, that the very proiect it selfe of planting by the helpe of a fishing Voyage, can ne∣ver answer the successe that it seemes to promise (which experienced Fisher-men easily have fore∣seene before hand, and by that meanes haue pre∣uented divers ensuing errors) whereof amongst divers other reasons these may serue for two. First that no sure fishing place in the Land is fit for planting, nor any good place for planting found fit for fishing, at least neere the Shoare. And secondly, rarely any Fisher-men will worke at Land, neither are Husband-men fit for Fisher-men but with long vse & experience. The second thing to be obserued is, that nothing new fell out in the managing of this stocke seeing experience hath taught vs that as in building houses the first stones of the foundation are buried vnder ground, and are not seene, so in planting Colonies, the first stockes employed that way are consumed, al∣though they serue for a foundation to the worke.