AN ESSAY ON TRADE, &c.
AN ESSAY ON THE STATE OF ENGLAND, In Relation to its TRADE, Its Poor, and its Taxes, For carrying on the present War against FRANCE.
By JOHN CARY, Merchant in Bristoll.
BRISTOLL: Printed by W. Bonny, for the Author, and are to be sold in London by Sam. Crouch, at the Corner of Popes Head-Alley in Cornhill, and Tim. Goodwin, at the Queen's Head, near the Temple; also by Tho. Wall, and Rich. Gravett, near the Tol∣zey, in Bristoll, Novem. 1695.
TO THE KING's Most Excellent MAJESTY.
IT is not a Desire to appear in Print hath made me to write, or a fond Opinion of what I have written, to affix Your Great Name to these Papers, but a true Affection to my Native Country, and the Cause Your Majesty is now ng ag'd in; A War, on whose good Success depends the Securi∣ty of Religion, Liberty, and Pro∣perty, both to Your own Subjects, Page [unnumbered] and likewise to all the Protestant Interest in Europe; A War, as it is absolutely necessary, and must be carried on with Vigour, so it is like to be long and chargeable, and so much longer, as we abate in Our Vigorous Prosecution; A War, which may strain the Nerves and Sinews of our Treasure before it be ended, and therefore as in Mar∣tial Discipline great Wisdom must be used to secure those Posts where the Enemy bends most of his Forces, so here 'tis Prudence to strengthen our Treasure, by advan∣cing and securing our Trade which must bring it in; If this was done, Taxes would be easily paid, and little felt, and without it this Na∣tion will at last become Bankrupt, when its Expences exceed its Pro∣fits.
The Foundations of the Wealth of this Kingdom are, Land, Ma∣nufactures,Page [unnumbered] and Foreign Trade, these are its Pillars, which ought not to be overshaken, they have hi∣therto borne the Burthen, and felt the Smart of the War, and 'tis time now they should slide their Necks out of the Collar, other ways may be found out to raise a greater Summ annually than Your Majesty's Occasions will require, without Four Shillings per Pound on the first, Excises on the second, or a Tunnage Bill on Ships on the last, an Act which lighted heavy on the Merchant, and left no room to consider whither he gained or lost by the Voyage, or whither the Ship returned home full or empty.
The Methods for Raising Mo∣ney must be easie, when the annu∣al necessary Summs are to be so great, therefore it would be Poli∣cy in our Law-makers to make use Page [unnumbered] of those which may least hurt any part of our Vitals, such as Land and Trade are; I mean that part of Trade which is useful to the Pub∣lick God, not that which is ma∣naged only for private Men's Ad∣vantage; it may be possible to rate the Trader, and yet to spare the Trade.
There are two things which seem to be of great Importance to this Nation, and very necessary to be look'd into.
First, The better securing our Plantation Trade, so as it may more absolutely depend on this King∣dom than it hath hitherto done; this will not only encourage our Navigation, when all their Product shall be imported hither, but also much advance Your Majesty's Re∣venues, when such quantities of To∣bacco shall not be carried thence di∣rectly to foreign Markets; to prevent which, and secure Your Majesty's Page [unnumbered] Duties when Imported, plain and practicable Methods may be pro∣posed; and the Consequence there∣of would be, that this Kingdom being the Mistress of that Commo∣dity, Your Majesty's Coffers would be filled, not only from its Home Expence, but also by a Tribute raised from Foreign Nations, where it would very much lie in Your Majesty's Power to set its Price; I do not think new Imposts upon the Importer will so much advance Your Majesty's Revenue as they will discourage the Merchant, 'twould be better to take away those already laid, and instead thereof to raise a far greater Summ on the Consumer, which may be done without the Clog or Oppres∣sion of Officers, in such a manner, that it shall scarce be felt, either by the Retailer or Spender.
The next thing is the securing our Wool at Home, and making Page [unnumbered] this a Market for all the Wool of Christendom, whereby England would soon become the Queen of Europe, and flourishing in its Manufactures grow Rich by the Labour of its People, and consequently might better afford to import Commo∣dities to be spent on Luxury; I take it to be one great Reason why the Kingdom of Spain still continues poor notwithstanding its Indies, be∣cause all that the Inhabitants buy is purchased for its full Value in Treasure or Product, their Labour adding nothing to its Wealth, for want of Manufactures; I am apt to think greater Steps may be made in this than have hitherto been done, and our Wool may be kept at home, not by punishing the Ex∣porter with Death, but by apt Methods to prevent his doing it; and when a Lock is put on Ireland and Rumny-Marsh, Foreign Coun∣trys Page [unnumbered] will more easily be prevailed on to send us theirs.
These things seem worth the Consideration of the ensuing Par∣liament, a great many Members of the last to my certain Know∣ledge began to be much in Love with Trade, and have often lament∣ed the dark Notions That House had of it, for want of being put into a better Light by those who ought to have represented it truly to them.
Which hath been a great Induce∣ment to me in the writing this Tract, that I might set forth the Interest of England in Relation to its Domestick and Foreign Traffick, and how both may be better impro∣ved to the Advantage of the Nation.
King Solomon, who was pleased to encourage Trade in his Domi∣nions by his Royal Example, soon found it to be the weightiest Jew∣el Page [unnumbered] in his Dyadem, bringing him in more Treasure from abroad, than all the Tribute he received from Judea; The Trade of this Kingdom hath always been a pro∣fitable Ornament to the Crowns of Your Royal Predecessors, Kings and Queens of this Realm, and it may be still so to Your Maje∣sty's, if the Causes of its languish∣ing were inquired into, and apt Methods applyed for its Recovery.
That it may please God to make this Nation happy, by giving Your Majesty a long Life, crown'd with Victories over the Enemies of its Peace and Tranquility, is the Pray∣er of
Your Majesty's most Faithful, And most Obedient Subject, John Cary.
TO THE HONOURABLE THE Commons of England IN Parliament Assembled.
IT is the greatest Happiness of the People of England that the Laws by which they are go∣vern'd cannot be made without the Consent of their Representatives, who as they obtain good Ones from the Favour of their Prince, so 'tis their own fault if they pass such as are bad.
Amongst all our Laws none tend Page [unnumbered] more to the promoting the Wealth of this Nation than those which ad∣vance its Trade and Manufactures, by the latter we not only imploy our Poor, and so take off that Bur∣then which must otherwise lie heavy on our Lands, but also grow Rich in our Commerce with Foreign Na∣tions, to whom we thereby sell our Product at greater Prices than it would otherwise yield, and return them their own Materials when wrought up here, and encreased in their Value by the Labour of our People.
This little Tract I humbly offer to this Honourable House, not to di∣rect, but with all Humility to lay before Your Honours an Anatomy of the Trade of England, dissected and laid open so as to discover its Vitals, which have seemed to be struck through by some late Acts.
Page [unnumbered] Whatever doth Prejudice to our Manufactures, or burthens our Fo∣reign Trade above what it is well able to bear, stabs them to the Heart, and where Taxes are thus laid, they disable the Subject, and conse∣quently are so much more burthen∣some as they make him less able to pay them; But when our Manu∣factures are encouraged, and our Foreign Trade made easie, and well secured, the Lands of England will be advanced, and Taxes paid with∣out Discontent, because they will scarce be felt, especially when equally laid; and in such a Man∣ner, that every Man shall pay his Proportion in a Regular way.
If what I have written may be serviceable to this Honourable House, I shall think my Time and Labour well imployed.
Page [unnumbered] That God will direct your Coun∣cels, to the Advancement of his Glory, and the Welfare of this Nation, shall ever be the Prayer of
Your Honours most truly Devoted Servant, John Cary.
THE PREFACE TO THE READER.
THE following Treatise was the Imploy∣ment of some leisure Hours which I thought could not be better spent, than in di∣gesting so copious a Subject as Trade is, I am sure could be no way more advantageously im∣ployed to the Nation's Interest, than by proposing Methods for its Improvement; I have herein considered the State of England in respect to its Trade, its Poor, and its Taxes for car∣rying on the present War: The first I have divided into the Inland and Outland Trade; the Inland into three parts, viz. Buying and Selling, Husbandry, and Manufactures; Under the former Head I have comprehended all those Imployments whereby Men get by one another, without making any Addition to the Wealth of the Nation in general: Husban∣dry I have divided into Pasture and Tillage,Page [unnumbered] and have been the longer thereon to shew from how small Foundations the Primums or Prin∣ciples of all our Trade are derived; which indeed is wonderful, when we consider that the Lands of England according to the Act of Four Shillings in the Pound cannot come to above Eight Millions Five Hundred Thousand Pounds sterling per annum, that whole Tax with Personal Estates amounting to Nineteen Hundred and Seventy Thousand Pounds, whereof I compute about Two Hundred and Seventy Thousand Pounds to be raised on Per∣sonal Estates, so the Remainer is Seventeen Hundred thousand Pounds, which being the fifth part of the whole (if that Tax were equally and justly laid) the Computation is rightly made; but suppose they are worth Thirteen Millions per annum, 'tis a very small Summ if com∣pared with the vast Expences of this Nation, which, with the Charges of carrying on the War, maintaining the Civil List, and the Profits laid up by particular Men, cannot be less than One Hundred Millions per annum, the rest is raised by Manufactures, Trade, and Labour; the first of which (though the third in my Division) is the most profitable part of our Inland Trade, being That where∣by our Product is advanced in its value, and made fit both for our own use, and also for Foreign Markets; from whence are again Im∣ported Page [unnumbered] hither sundry other Materials, the Foun∣dations of Manufactures different in their Na∣tures from our own; these I have handled under several Heads, and likewise shew'd by what Me∣thods they may be improved, and so have closed the Inland Trade: Before I enter'd on the Out∣land, I have consider'd Navigation as the Me∣dium between both, and given my Thoughts how some Evils that attend and discourage it may be removed; I have then proceeded to our Foreign Traffick, or the Trade we drive with other Nations, which I have spo∣ken to under several Heads, viz. East-In∣dies, West-Indies and Africa, Maderas, Ireland, Scotland, Canaries, Spain, Por∣tugal, Turky, Italy, Holland, Ham∣burgh, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and France, and have endeavour'd to shew how we get or lose by each, and by what Methods they may be improved, and made more advantageous to this Kingdom.
As to the second part of this Discourse, the Poor, I have shewed how this Habit of Lazi∣ness and Begging first crept in amongst us, how it may be prevented from spreading far∣ther, how Imployments may be provided for those who are willing to work, and a force put on those that are able, and how the Impotent Poor may be maintained, and those whose La∣bour will not support their Charge assisted.
Page [unnumbered] In the last place, I have proposed general Rules for raising of Taxes to carry on the present War, and better Husbanding the Mo∣ney when raised, wherein I have rather aimed to shew that these things may be done, than published Methods for doing them, which (be∣cause they would swell this Discourse above it designed Brevity) are omitted here, as being more proper to be laid before a Committee of Parliament.Page 1
AN ESSAY ON TRADE, &c.
*THE general Notions of a Na∣tional Trade whereby it may be Discovered whither a Kingdom Gets or Looses by its Managment are things well worth our Consideration. It being possible for a Nation to grow Poor in the Main whilst pri∣vate Persons encrease their Fortunes: For as in the Body Natural, if you draw out Blood faster then the Sangu∣fying parts can suply, it must necessarily wast and decay. So where the Exports of a Nation in Product and Manufactures are outballanced by Imports fit only to be consumed at home, though one Man may get by the Luxury of another; the Page 2 Wealth of that Nation must decay, all one as a private Person whose Ex∣pences exceeds his Incomes, though he may for some time live on the Main, yet in the end he must fall to ruin.
*The Profits of England arise Origi∣nally from its Product and Manufactures at home, and from the grouths of those several Plantations it hath setled Abroad, and from the Fish taken on the Coasts, all which being Raised by the Industry of its Inhabitants are both its true Riches, and likewise the Tools whereon it Trades to other Nations, the Pro∣ducts coming from the Earth, and the Manufacturing them being an Addition to their value by the Labour of the People. Now where we Barter these Abroad only for things to be Eat and Drank, or wasted among our selves, this doth not Increase our Wealth, but it is otherwise where we change them for Bulloin, or Commodities fit to be Man∣nufactured again.
The first Original of Trade both Do∣mestick and Forreign was Barter; when one private Person having an Overplus of what his Neighbour wanted, furnish∣ed him for its Value in such Commo∣dities the other had, and he stood in Page 3 need of. The same when one Nation abounding in those Products another wanted supply'd it therewith, and recei∣ved thence things equally necessary in their Roomes, and by how much those Products exceeded the Expence, so much both the one and the other grew Richer, the remainder being sold for Bulloin, or some Staple Commodities allowed by all to have the same Intrinsick Value. And as People increased so did Commerce, this caused many to go off from Husban∣dry to Manufactures and other ways of living, for Convenience whereof they began Communities, this was the Ori∣ginal of Towns, which being found ne∣cessary for Trade, their Inhabitants were increased by expectation of Profit; this introduced Forreign Trade, or Traffick with Neighbouring Nations; this Na∣vigation, and this a desire to settle rather on some Navigable Rivers, then in re∣mote Inland Places, whereby they might be more easily supply'd with Commo∣dities from the Country, and disperse those they Imported from abroad.
* The Inland Trade of England consists either in Husbandry, Manufactures, or Buying and Selling,* the last of which is of least Advantage to the Nation, and rather to be allowed for Conveni∣ency then encouraged, whereby one Man lives on the Profits he makes by another without any Improvement to the Publick, Peoples Occasions requi∣ring Commodities to be Retailed to them by such small parcels as would fit their Necessities, they were willing to give a profit to him who bought them in greater. And as this way of Trade came more in use, so the first Buyer not only sold his Commodities to the Con∣sumer at home, but also dispersed them amongst those who were seated in the Country at a distance in order to sup∣ply the Inhabitants there, who allowed them a profit on what they bought; this begat the Ingrosing of Commodities, and thence came in skill and cunning to foresee their Rise and Falls according to their Consumption and prospect of sup∣ply; hence came the vitiating our Ma∣nufactures, every one endeavouring to under buy that he might under sell his Page 5 Neighbour; which way of living being found in time to have less of Labour and more of Profit than Husbandry and Manufactures, was the occasion so many fell into it. From these Bargains Dif∣ferences arising encreased another sort of People which were thought useful, whose business was either by their Wis∣doms to persuade, or by their Know∣ledge in the Laws to force the unjust Person to do right to his fellow Trader, an Honourable imployment at first, and is still so in those who keep to the strict Rules of its Institution, which Differ∣encies being to be Decided in the Courts of Justice (at first setled in Westminster-Hall, and afterwards for the Subjects ease carried into the Country by Itine∣rent Judges) these Orators were desired by the Complainants to present their Suites to the King in those Courts, to be heard and determined by his Judges, and to set forth the Case of the Plantiff, and Produce Evidence to prove the Truth thereof against the Defendant, who also appeared by another to make his De∣fence. But as Suites increased, it was thought necessary to confine all to one Method of Proceeding, which was cal∣led The Prastice of the Court, therefore Page 6 another sort of People called Attorneys were appointed to observe that Mecha∣nical part of the Law, and see that all was Regularly and Formally managed; hence arose Sollicitors, who were to at∣tend both, as well to represent the Mat∣ter rightly to the Orator or Council, as to see the Attorney fit things for a hear∣ing, and also to Reward them for their pains, so that this Produced another way of living seperate from Husbandry and Manufactures: And as Trade increased so Courts of Justice were Appointed in several great Towns and Cities, which be∣ing of different Natures, Multitudes of People gave Attendance, expecting to get livelihoods by them.
Trade brought Riches, and Riches Luxury, Luxury Sickness, Sickness want∣ed Physick, and Physick required some to seperate themselves to Study the Na∣tures of Plants and Simples, as also those several Diseases which bring Men to their ends, who in requital for their Advise and Medicines received Gra∣tuities from their Patients: These brought in Apothecaries and Chirurgeons as neces∣sary Attendants to their Imployments, all which were maintained by preser∣ving People in their Healths; many al∣so Page 7 of ripe Parts were fitted for the Ser∣vice of the Church, others of the State; great numbers were Imployed in pro∣viding Necessaries of Meat Drink and Apparel both for themselves and other People, such as Butchers, Bakers, Brewers, Taylors, &c. Others to fit things for their Pleasures and Delights, and by this means leaving Husbandry and Ma∣nufactures flockt off daily to Livelihoods which may seem to come under the third Head, who though useful and con∣venient in their respective Stations, yet these Men cannot be said to Augment the Riches of the Nation, only live by getting from one another, those two be∣ing the profitable Imployments out of whose Product and Improvement it ga∣thers its Wealth.
* The next part of the Inland Trade of this Kingdom is Husbandry, which An∣teceded Buying and Selling in point of time, though the other hath the Prece∣dence in this Discourse, and this con∣sists either in Feeding or Tillage, by both which we raise great Store of Cat∣tle, Corn, and Fruits, fit for the Food, Service, and Trade of the Inhabitants.
* To begin with Feeding; and here it would be endless to enumerate the va∣rious Page 8 sorts of Cattle raised and bred by the care of the Husbandman, but those of most Note as they have relation to our Trade, are
I. The Beef; which as it Transcends the whole World in the goodness of its Flesh, so it affords many Necessaries for our use and Trade, besides its Service in Tillage▪ with this we both nourish our Inhabitants at home, Victual our Ships for Forreign Voyages, and load them with the several Manufactures wherewith it doth supply us, from the Milk we make Butter and Cheese, from the Flesh Beef, from the Skin Leather, from the Fat Tallow, and of the Horns several use∣full Necessaries, of all which the over∣plus above our home Consumption we Transport and sell in Forreign Mar∣kets.
II. The Sheep; whose Golden Fleece being the Primum of our Wollen Ma∣nufactures does thereby Imploy Multitudes of our People, which being of different lengths and finenesses, makes them of different sorts, whereof they afford us a yearly Crop whilst living, and at their Deaths Bequeath us their Flesh and Skins, the first serves for our Food, and the lat∣ter we make fit to be used at home, and Traded with Abroad.
Page 9 III. Horses; whose Labour is so ne∣cessary that we could neither carry on our Husbandry or Trade without them, besides their fitness for War, being the boldest in the World, and for all these uses are Transported abroad, for the for∣mer to our Plantations in the West Indies, for the latter to some of our Neigh∣bouring Nations; but their Flesh is of no use, their Skins of little, the Leather made thereof is very ordinary, only the longest of their Hair is used in Wea∣ving.
There are many other sorts of Beasts, some whereof require no care in raising, others little, others are more tender, such are the Stag, the Dear, the Rabbit, the Hare, the Fox, the Badger, the Goat, whose Skins are necessary for our Trade, and assist in our Manufactures.
*Agriculture is that whereby we raise our Corn by turning up the Earth, the several sorts whereof are Wheat, Rye, Bar∣ly, Pease, Beans, Fetches, Oats, which not only afford nourishment to our selves and the Beasts we use in labour, but serve for Trade, as they give Imployment to our People at home, and are Transpor∣ted abroad more or less according to the overplus of onr expence, and the Page 10 want of our Neighbours, besides the great Quantities used in our Navigation.
These Products of both sorts are clear profit to the Nation as they are raised from Earth and Labour, whose Ad∣vantages arise chiefly from their being Ex∣ported either in their own kind or when Manufactered, the Remainder spent at Home tending only to supplying the use, not advancing the Wealth of the Na∣tion; now these Exports being accor∣ding to the Rates and Prizes they bear in other Countries, and those Rates ari∣sing from the Proportion their Lands hold with ours in their Yearly Rents, are not so great in specie as when workt up, Butter is the greatest, wherewith we sup∣ply many Forreign Markets, and did for∣merly more, till by making it bad and using Tricks to increase its weight, we have much lost that Trade, and are now almost beat out of it by Ireland, which every day makes better as we make worse, besides they undersell us in the Price, as they do also in Beef, occasioned by the low Rents of their Lands, and more especially by the Act of Prohibition, which put that Nation on finding out a Trade in Forreign Markets for what they were denyed to bring hither, which being Ex∣ported Page 11 thence direct yeilds them greater profit, the sweetness whereof hath encou∣raged them to take more care, and this hath raised them from a Sloathful to be an Industrious People. As for Corn, For∣reign Markets are supplyed therewith both from thence and other places in the Sound, also from the Western Islands, cheaper then the price of our Lands will admit. But our Plantations have still some Dependance on us for our Product, and would more if that Act was removed, and Ireland made a Colony on the same Terms with them.
The other Fruits of the Earth, as Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plumbs, together with the Herbs and Plants, also the Fowls and Fish taken in this Land, serve rather for our Delight and Food than Trade. Some Cider we do Export, also Spirits raised by the Distiller both from some of these, and also from many other things.
* On the Sea Coasts we catch great Quan∣tities of Herrings and Pilchards, which we save, and sell in Forreign Markets.
* Nor is this all the Product of our Earth, whose Womb being big with Treasure longs to be Delivered, and after many Throws brings forth Lead, Tin, Copper, Calamy, Coal, Culm, Iron, Allom, Coppe∣ras,Page 12 and sundry other Minerals, which re∣turn us great Treasure from Forreign Markets whither they are Exported; besides the several Shrubs and Trees that a∣dorn our Fields, among which the Oak, the Ash, and the Elm, are the chiefest, these not only serve in Building our Sips, but do also furnish us with Materials wherewith our Arificers make many things fit for Forregn Commerce, and it were much to be wisht better care were taken for preserving Timber, lest out Posterities want what we so Prodigally squander away.
* The next thing is our Manufactures, whereby we Improve the value of our Products by the Labour of our Inhabi∣tants, and make them useful in sundry manners both for our selves and others, fitting them for such Services as of their own Natures without the help of Art they would not have been proper, and those to suit the Necessities and Humours both of our own and Foreign Countries to which we Export them, where they yield a price not only according to the true value of the Materials and Labour, but an overplus likewise suitable to the Necessi∣ty and Fancy of the Buyer, and this adds to the profit of the Nation, and increases its Wealth.
Page 13 These Manufactures as they Imploy Multitudes of People in their making, so also in Transporting them, and fetching several Forreign Materials used with our own, such as Oyl, Dye-stuffe, Silk, Wool, Cotten, Barrilia, and many others, which are either Manufactured here of themselves, or wrought up with our Product.
* And first to begin with Sheeps Wool, whereof either by it self or mixt with Silk or Linnen we make various sorts of pretty things fit for all Climates, and proper for the wearing of both Sexes, wherein the Invention and Imitation of our Workmen is so great that they have no Idea represented or Pattern set before them that is not soon out done▪ from a strong heavy Cloath fit to keep out cold in Winter they turn their Hands to a fine thin sort which will scarse keep warm in Summer, Ladies may now wear Gowns thereof so light that they can hard∣ly know they have them on; from hence they fell on Perpets, Serges, Crapes, Stuffs, Says, Rattoons, Gauzes, Anthrines, and ma∣ny other sorts fit both for outward Garments and inward Linings, of various Colors Stripes and Flowers, some of them so fine and pleasant scarse to be known from Silk; besides those multitudes of courser Page 14 Clothes for the Poor, also Rugs, Blankets, and all Furniture for Houses, and such a Progress have they made in this sort of Manufactures, that a Man may have his Picture wrought in Tapestry with the same exactness both for Life and Colors as if drawn with a curious Pencil; for this I refer the Reader to those Hangings at the Custom-House in London, where he may see the several Officers so lively represent∣ed in their Stations, that want of Mo∣tion seems to be the only thing which differs them from their Originals; One Workman endeavouring to exceed another they make things to answer all the ends of Silks, Calicoes, and Linnen, of bare Sheeps Wool, which if they were by Fashion brought into wearing would then be thought as handsom; fine Flannel for Shirts; white Crape for Neckclothes, Cuffs, and Head-Dresses; besides the pretty Laces, where∣of we see various sorts used about the Dead; and Caduce of several Colours in imitation of Ribbons; also Hats, Stock∣ings, and many such things are made of Wool and other Mixtures, both worn at home and Exported abroad
* The next Material for our Manu∣factures is Cotton-Wool, which is now be∣come a great Imployment for the Poor, Page 15 and so adds to the Wealth of the Na∣tion; this being curiously pickt and spun makes Dimities, Tapes, Stockings, Gloves, besides several things wove fit for use, as Petticoats, wastcoats, and Drawers, of dif∣ferent Fancies and Stripes, and I doubt not our Workmen would exceed the East Indies for Calicoes had they Incou∣ragment; with all which we supply For∣reign Markets besides the Consumption at home.
*Hemp and Flax are the Grounds for a∣nother Manufacture, for though Weaving of Linnen is not so much used here as of Woollen, yet several Counties are main∣tained thereby, who not only supply themselves, but furnish those Bordering on them with such Cloth as answers the ends of French Linnens, besides which great Quantities of Ticking of all fine∣nesses, Incle, Tapes, Sacking, Girtwhip, are daily made thereof, also Cordage, Twine, Nets, with multitudes of other Manu∣factures which Imploy the Poor, and bring by their Exports Profit to the Nation.
*Glass is a Manufacture, lately fallen on here, and in a short time brought to a great Perfection, which keeps many at work, the Materials whereof its made being generally our own and in them∣selves of small value costs the Nation Page 16 little in Comparison of what it formerly did when fetcht from Venice▪ those noble Plate Glases of all sizes both for Coaches and Houses are things of great Ornament, and much used, which also shew forth the Genius of the English People; and for common uses what various sorts of Uten∣sils are made of Flint fit for all the oc∣casions of a Family, which look as well as Silver, and 'twould be better for the Nation they were more used in its stead; besides the ordinary Glass for Windows, and also Glass Bottles; all which find a greater expence both at home and abroad by their cheapness.
* And as for Earthen Ware, though the Progress we have made therein is not suitable to the other, yet it hath been such as may give us cause to hope that time and Industry will bring it to a per∣fection equal if not to exceed the Dutch.
*Silk is another Material for a great Manufacture, which being brought from abroad Raw we here twist, dye, and weave into different goodness, both plain, stript, and flowered, either by it self, or mix'd with Gold and Silver, so richly brocadoed that we exceed those from whom at first we had the Art; besides great Quantities of Rib∣bons, Silk Stockings, and other things Page 17 daily made not only to serve our selves but also to Export.
*Distilling is an Art so exceedingly Im∣proved in a few Years that had it not met with Discouraging Laws 'twould by this time have attained to a great height; this brings great profit to the Nation, for next to that of making something out of nothing is the making somthing of what is worth nothing, therefore this Art ought to have been Handled very chearily, to have been trained up with a great deal of gentleness, and not loaden with Taxes in its Infancy, like the Hen in the Fable, we had not Patience to expect its Treasure as Time and Nature could produce it, but by our Avarice were like to discourage it in the begin∣ning, however it hath still bore up un∣der all the weight laid upon it. 'Twas a great mistake to appoint Measures by Act of Parliament to the Distillers in their workings, Mens knowledge increases by Observation, and this is the reason why one Age exceeds another in any sort of Mistery, because they improve the No∣tions of their Predecessors, therefore con∣fining Distilling only to Corn was an Error, 'tis true other things were allow∣ed to be used, but on such Terms and Page 18 Restrictions as were next to a Prohibi∣tion, had the makers of that Law then Prohibited Coffee and Tea to be drank in Publick Houses it might more probably have answered their ends in advancing the price of Barly by a greater consump∣tion of Ale, and by degrees the Distillers would have fallen on that Commodity themselves, using it with other mixtures, and thereby drawing from it a cleaner Spirit then it doth afford of it self, which they might in time have Rectified to such a fineness as to have increased very much its use. No Nation can give more incour∣agement to the Mistery of Distilling then England, whose Plantations being many and well Peopled where those Spirits are so necessary and useful for the Inhabi∣tants, and these depending wholly on us for all things, might have been suppli∣ed with them hence only, besides the great Quantities used in our Naviga∣tion, therefore a total Prohibition of their Importation from other Nations (who make them generally of such things which are else of little value) would be very convenient: We have many Mate∣rials of our own Product to work on, such as are Melasses, Cyder, Perry, Barly, &c. all which in time they would have Page 19 used, for as the Distillers found their sales increased they would have made new Essays: It was a great discouragement both to them, and also to the Sugar Bakers and Brewers, to hinder Distilling on Mellasses, Scum, Tilts, and Wash, a fault the Dutch nor no Trading Nation besides our selves would have been guilty of, and proceeded from ill Advice given that Parliament by those who under pre∣tence of advancing Corn designed to discourage Distilling, only took it by that handle they thought would be best re∣ceived in the House, which being gene∣rally made up of Gentlemen unskilful in Trade lookt no deeper into it than as it answered that plausible pretence; where∣as were Trading Cities and Towns more careful in chusing Men well Verst in Trade〈◊〉 'twould be much better for the Na∣tion: I cannot omit what a worthy Member of the House once told me in private Discourse, says he, I have al∣ways observed that when we have meddled with Trade we have left it worse than we found it, which proceeds from want of more Traders in the House, the places we de∣pend on for them sending such Members as are able to give us but little Information, 〈◊〉 so partial that we can take no true Page 20 measures of them; The truth is great Cities are to blame in this, who ought to think none so fit to represent them in Par∣liament as those who have their Heads fill'd with good Notions of Trade, such who can speak well to it, and be heard when they speak; Trade and Land go Hand in Hand as to their Interest, if one flourish, so will the other, encourage Distilling, and it will spend Hundreds of things now thrown away.
* Refining of Sugars hath given Employ∣ment to our People, and added to their value in Foreign Parts, where we found great Sales, till the Dutch and French beat us out, and this was much to be attributed to the Duty of Two Shillings and Four Pence per Cent lately laid on Muscovado Su∣gars, whereby they were wrought up a∣broad above Twelve per Cent cheaper than at home, and though that Law is now ex∣pired, yet 'tis harder to regain a Trade when lost, than keep it when we have it.
*Tobacco also hath employed our Poor by Cutting and Rowling it, both for a home Consumption, and also for Exporta∣tion, the latter we decay in every Year, but Methods may be offered in Parliament to render those two Manufactures of Su∣gar and Tobacco more advantageous to Page 21 the Nation than ever hitherto they have been.
*Tanning of Leather is an Employment which ought to be encouraged, as it fur∣nishes us with a Commodity fit to be ma∣nufactured at home, and also to be tran∣sported into Foreign Countrys; I know the Exportation of Leather hath been much opposed by the Shooe-makers and others who cut it at home, and represented as attended with ill Consequences, one whereof is the making it dear here, but would it not be of much worse to confine and limit that Employment to an Inland Expence, on the other side would it not naturally follow that when Leather rises to a great Price the Exportation must cease because Ireland would under-sell us, and would it not seem an unreasonable Dis∣couragement to Trade if Tobacco, Sugar, and Woollen Manufactures were debarred from Exportation only because they should be sold cheaper here; for suppose the oc∣casions of the Nation could not consume all the Leather that is made, to what a low price must Hides be reduced, for no other reason but that the Shooemakers may get more by their Shooes? 'Tis true, if they could make out that those Coun∣trys must then have their Shooes from us Page 22 who now have their Leather, I should be of their Minds, but it must needs have a quite contrary effect, especially whilst Ire∣land is able to supply them: This pro∣ceeds from a very narrow Spirit, and such as ought not to be encouraged in a Trading Nation; Ireland hath already made great Progress in this Mistery, occasioned by our Imprudence, and should we give En∣couragement to other Countrys we might too late repent it. A good Export for Leather would cause a great Import of Raw Hides, which would be more Ad∣vantage to the Nation than if they were tann'd in Ireland, and sent abroad thence.
* Nor can I omit Iron, which is the great foundation of sundry Manufactures, not only used at home, but wherewith we supply our Plantations and other Places abroad, as Howes, Bills, Axes, Cases, Locks, Nailes, and a thousand such Necessaries, the Workmanship whereof adds much to their Value.
* There are many other things which may be and are daily improved amongst us; as Clockwork, wherein we sell nothing but Art and Labour, the Materials there∣of being of small value; I have seen Watches and Clocks of great Prizes made for the Courts of Foreign Princes.
Page 23*Paper-Mills are a Benefit to the Na∣tion, as they make that Commodity from things of themselves worth little; so are are Powder-Mills;* also Artificers,* who bring advantage to the Nation by sup∣plying it with things which must otherwise be had from abroad for its own use, as also with others proper to be sent thither for Sales, and when Exported are more or less profitable as the labour of the Subject adds to their value; In like man∣ner things are cheaper to us when we pay only for the first Materials whereof they are made, the rest being work done at home is divided amongst our selves, so that on the whole it appears to be the great Interest of England to advance its Manufactures,* and this I humbly conceive may be do•e these several ways.
* 1. By providing Work-houses for the Poor, and making good Laws both to force and encourage them to work; but designing to speak larger to this before I close this Tract shall referr the Reader to it.
* 2. By discharging all Customs paya∣ble on them at their Exportation, and al∣so on the Materials used in making them at their Importation; for as the one would encourage the Merchant to send more Page 24 abroad, so the other would enable the Manufacturers to afford them cheaper at home, and 'tis strange that a Nation whose Wealth depends on Manufactures, and whose Interest it is to outdo all others (especially in the Woollen) by undersel∣ling them in Foreign Markets, should load either with Taxes.
* Here I cannot but mention that of Log∣wood, a Commodity much used in Dying, which pays Five Pounds per Tun Custom in, and draws back Three Pounds Fifteen Shillings when shipt out, by which means the Dyers in Holland use it so much cheap∣er than ours; now if it was Imported Cu∣stom Free, and paid Twenty five Shil∣lings per Tun at its Export, the Dyers there would use it so much dearer than ours here,* and I think it would be well worth Inquiry, whither a Prohibition ei∣ther total or in part of Shipping out our Manufactures thither and to the Nor∣thern Kingdoms undyed or undrest might not be made, I am sure it would be of great Advantage to this Kingdom if it might be done without running into great∣er Inconveniencies, which for my part I do not foresee, the Dutch discourage their be∣ing brought in dyed or drest, that they may thereby give Employments to their own Page 25 People, and increase their Navigation by the consumption of great quantities of Dye-stuff, and the same reasons should prevail with us to dye and dress them here, But this deserves the consideration of a Committee of Parliament to hear what may be said both for and against it.
3. *By discouraging the Importation of Commodities already manufactured either from our own Plantations or other Pla∣ces, such as clay'd and refined Sugars, wrought Silks, Calicoes, Brandy, Glass, Earthen Ware, Irish Frizes, Tann'd Leather, Gloves, Lace, &c. and instead thereof we should encourage bringing in the Materi∣als whereof they are made, to be wrought up here; this may be done by Laws, and also by being in love with our Home Ma∣nufactures, and bringing their Wearing into Fashion.
* 4. By freeing the Manufactures from burthensome Excises, which do much dis∣courage small Stocks, who are not able to carry on their Trades and make Provisi∣on for such great Payments; the Distillers have long groaned under them, and I fear the Glass-makers now will, especially those in and about London, who have another load by the Duty of Coals, besides the Swarms of Officers to which we lay open Page 26 the Houses of those Men who deserve all the Encouragement we can give them, and ought to have things made as easie to them as may be; had the like Methods been used to our Wollen and Leather (as was intended) we might have repented it at Leisure; Taxes when laid on our Manu∣factures ought to be raised by such easie Methods as shall give least trouble to the Makers: Trade ought to be handled gent∣ly, and he that considers the Expences of this Nation at Five Pounds per Head comes to Forty Millions, and the Lands of England but to Twelve, will imagine easie Methods may be found out to raise a greater Tax annually then we pay, without loading either Land or Trade as now we do, a Scheme whereof may be easily drawn up.
5. *By prohibiting as much as may be the Exportation of things to the Plantati∣ons fit to be manufactured there till they are first done here, thus 'tvvas better Shooes vvere Transported to the Plantations than Leather, so things made of Iron, than Iron it self, this vvould employ our People, and add to the value of vvhat vve ship out.
Page 27 6. *By defending the Merchants in their Trades who export the Manufactures, and making it as easie to them as may be; To this end good Conveys should be allowed, and good Cruisers maintain'd to preserve their Ships, it being certain that what-ever is diminish•d out of the Merchants Stock doth so far disable him in Trade, and then conse∣quently lessen his Exports and Imports;*Courts of Merchants should be also erected for the speedy deciding all differences re∣lating to Sea Affairs, which are better ended by those who understand them, than they are in Westminster-Hall, where all things are tried by the Nice Rules of Law, to whom after much Attendance and Ex∣pence they are often referred by the Jud∣ges, by this means they would see short ends to their differences, and not be de∣tained at home to attend long Issues; but there can be no general Rules given for these Courts, which must be settled accor∣ding as they best suit the convenience of every Trading City.
I am of opinion that the Trade of this Kingdom might be secured with no greater Expence to the Government than now 'tis at, but then better Methods must be taken, and Men employed whose Inte∣rests it is to see them put in Execution: Page 28 When we first began this War the Nati∣on had many Difficulties to cope with, the French seemed to vye with us at Sea, whilst their Armies out-number'd ours at Land, but now blessed be God the Scale is turned, we force their Garrisons and storm their Castles whilst they look on unable to re∣lieve, and at the same time our Navy-Royal blocks up theirs, whilst our smaller Fleets Bombard their Sea-Port Towns, we not only ride Admirals in the British Seas but also in the Mediterranean, and yet do now suffer more Loss in our Navi∣gation than formerly we did; The French are come to a new way of fighting, they set out no Fleet, but their Privateers swarm and cover the Sea like Locusts, they hang on our Trade like Horse-Leeches, and draw from it more Blood than it is well able to spare, whilst we still go on as we did, without new Methods to countermine them; The French King breeds up a Nur∣sery of Seamen at our Charge, whilst his Subjects are made Rich by our Losses; the Act for Cruisers was well design'd had it been as well put in Execution, the Parliament thereby shewed what might secure our Trade, but left things so discre∣tionary to the Managers, that the Mer∣chant knows not when he receives the Page 29 Benefit thereof, or how to complain if he doth not, and by this means is in a worse Condition than he was before the making that Law, adventuring larger be∣cause he thinks he Trades securer; I confess for my own part I value nothing that cannot be reduced to a certainty in its practice, things seem difficult to those who do not understand them, if we are to Besiege a Town we make use of Sol∣diers, if to storm a Castle, Engineers, if to build a Ship, Carpenters, and so in lesser things, and yet Gentlemen are thought fit to sit at Helm, and steer the Ship wherein is Embarqu'd the Treasure of our Trade, who are altogether unskill'd therein, on whose good Conduct the Nation's Weale or Woe depends; Thus things do fall into Confusion, whilst Men undertake what they do not understand and set the Nation in a flame, whilst they injudici∣ously guide the Chariot of the Sun; This makes Foreign Commodities dear, and advances the Prizes of Materials used in our Manufactures, so that as Trade grows worse Expences grow greater, and at the same time no Body is a Gainer, The Merchant pays such high Fraights and In∣surances, that he gets little by Trade tho' he sells his Imports for great Prizes; and yet the Insurers complain they lose Page 30 by underwriting, and therefore advance their Premios, which is a new advance on Trade; and the Owners of Ships get no∣thing by their Fraights, because they pay great Wages to the Saylors, and meet with such Delays both at home and abroad that the length of time eats up all their Profi•s, so that Fraights must rather rise than fall; nor do the Saylors get, who gener∣ally brought home more Money to their Families in the time of Peace at three Years end when they served for Twenty-four Shillings per Month than they now do at Fifty, one lost Voyage bringing them more behind-hand than two good ones put them forward; Now if Heads well verst in Trade were set at work, Methods might be thought on to secure all with little Charge to the Government, and hereby the Kingdom might flourish, and be sup∣plyed by the Merchant with Commodities cheaper, whilst the Insurers underwrote for less Premio, Fraights let on lower terms, the Wages of Mariners fallen, and All got more than now they do; our Numbers of Seamen might then be increased, and e∣very Ship that goes abroad be a Nursery for the Fleet at home; Privateering, which is now become a Trade amongst the French, must then necessarily sink all concerned Page 31 therein, its own Weight and Charge would crush it did we prevent their ta∣king Prizes; and no doubt the Merchants of England would not oppose such Regu∣lations in their Trades as they saw were to their Advantage, or refuse to be at some Charge when they saw those Payments sav∣ed Money in their Pockets, and that the ma∣nagement of things was put into the Hands of Persons engaged in the common Interest of Trade with themselves: This seems to me of great Importance in our Manu∣factures, when the foreign Materials shall be furnished cheaper to the Maker; be∣sides if Trade were well secured the War would scarce be felt, Losses by Sea dis∣courage the City, and the ill Consequences thereof reach the Country, whereby both suffer more than by all the Taxes they pay towards carrying it on.
7. *By falling the Interest of Money; this would very much quicken Trade, and indeed is the true Measure of it, the Mer∣chant would be better able to cope with Competitors abroad in the Manufactures when his Interest did not eat so deep as now it doth, and the Maker would be enabled to sell them cheaper at Home; if Interest were fallen 'twould make all Trades flourish, for whilst we stand not on Page 32 the same Terms with our Neighbours herein we must expect to be undersold every where by them; the Dutch pay but Three per Cent, and are thereby enabled to Trade so much lower than we can; the truth is 'tis a shame Money should yield more by being put to Interest than 'twould do if laid out either in Land or Trade; the first doth not clear Four per Cent, the latter will not bring the Borrower Five for all his Pains and Industry when the User∣er is paid, whilst the other runs little Risque, and is a Drone in the Common-Wealth; as for Orphans and Widdows, (which is the main Objection against it) let their Expences be lessened suitable to its Fall, and for all other People, let them employ their Money in Trade if they think 'twill yield more; And here I judge it not amiss to mention Banks and Lumbards,* which I take to be so many Shops to let out Money, for which they re∣ceive such Security, and for such time, as stands most for the conveniency of Trade, and therefore the more the better, because every one will endeavour to underdo ano∣ther.
8. *By rectifying the Currant Coin of this Kingdom, which is now so debased that Men rather truck than sell for Money, Page 33 not knowing whither the next Man they deal with will take what they just before received for their Goods; this makes Pay∣ments precarious, and Trade uneasie, mo∣ny rising and falling on Men's Hands daily, so that now nothing is more uncertain than that which should be the Rule of certainty in the value of all other things.
I do not think it convenient to advance our Coyn, but let Bullion be of the same value when coined as it was before, else we have not the true worth of the Com∣modity we sell for it, but are deceived by the Stamp, which may be counterfeit∣ed by the Dutch and other Nations for the profit of the Overplus, besides it will seem ridiculous for a Man to give Twenty Shil∣lings worth of Silver for Eighteen Shil∣lings of the same specie, only because it is medall'd; this will necessarily be fol∣lowed by the advance of Silver suitable, the consequence whereof will be the sel∣ling our Manufactures abroad cheaper, as we receive less Bullion for them, and the whole Profit redound to the King of Spain, whose Indies by the advance of his Bullion will be worth more than they were before; nor will this hinder its being carry'd abroad, perhaps it may keep our Coin at home▪ but not our Silver, which Page 34 will be still carried out in Specie; not that I am of their Opinions who think the advance of Money would raise the price of Foreign Commodities among us, our own Experience shews it will not, we buy and sell as much for Twenty Shil∣lings in Farthings as for so much Silver Coin; nor will their comparison with the Portugal Trade hold here, for when that King advanced the value both of Peeces of Eights, and also of his own Coin, the Importer was obliged to advance the Price of his Goods, because Silver was the Specie wherein he was to make Re∣turns, which he received not as it was worth in Coin but in value by the Ounce, whereas had he laid it out in Commodi∣ties the Case had been otherwise, I make a great difference between Money as it is the Medium of Trade, and as it is the Commodity we make returns in; there are better Reasons than this why Coin should be kept up to its true value.
And for the more easie calling it in when the Parliament shall see fit, I think 'twere best to cry down all clipt Money at once, only to be received for six Months by the King in his Taxes, who may send it into the Mint, and if the Computation be allowed that we have about six Milli∣ons Page 35 of Coined Silver Money in the King∣dom, suppose four of it to be clipt, the Taxes of Customs, Excise, Aids, &c. which we pay in six Months will require near that Summ; and if there remain Two Mil∣lions unclipt, it will serve the ordinary Ex∣pence till so much new Money can come abroad, at the end of which time let all the rest be called in by the same Method; This will bring forth the Broad Money, which is now hoarded up, and during this Scarcity both the King's occasions and those of Trade will be very much answer'd by Gold and Bank Notes; and for better preserving our new-coined Money, let none for the future exceed Shillings, or at most Half Crowns, and those be made broad and thin, with the Ring on the Ex∣tent of the Circumference, which will pre∣vent both Clipping and Drilling, and if the Stamp be not deep 'twill prevent casting.
As for the Iron and Counterfeit-Money, (which is supposed to be about a Million) it must be lost to those who have it; and I suppose a Tax of about Fifteen Hundred Thousand Pounds will make good the other.
Page 36 9. *By discouraging Stockjobbing; This hath been the Bane of many good Manu∣facturies, which began well, and might have been carry'd on to Advantage if the Promoters had not fallen off to selling Parts, and slighted the first Design, wind∣ing themselves out at Advantage, and leaving the Management to those they decoyed in, who understood nothing of the thing, whereby all fell to the Ground; This may be prevented (I mean so far as concerns Corporations) by Laws framed for that end, or by Clauses in their Charters.
10. *By taking away all Priviledged Places, and making it easier for Creditors to recover of their Debtors; Men now be∣take themselves to Sanctuary, and spend what they have at defiance with those to whom they owe it; on the other side if Laws were made for the more equal Di∣stribution of the Estates of those who fall to decay, with a Reserve of some part thereof to themselves on a fair Discovery, and a force on the minor part of the Cre∣dits to agree with what Composition should be made by the major, so many Peo∣ple would not then be necessitated to such Methods, or be ruined by lying in Goals, as now there are, but be enabled to put Page 37 themselves again into ways for a future Maintenance; Misfortunes may and often do befal industrious Men, whose Trades have been very beneficial to the Nation, and to such a due Regard ought to be had; but for those who design under the shel∣ter of a Protection or Priviledge to spend all they have, and thereby cheat their Creditors, no Law can be too se∣vere.
11. *By strengthening the Laws against Exportation of Wool by such practicable Methods as may prevent its being done; and such may be thought on; for when a Nation's Interest doth so much depend thereon, no Care can be too great, or Me∣thods laid too deep; Laws concerning Trade whose sole Strength are Penalties (and espe∣cially such as end in Death) rarely reach the thing aimed at; but practicable Methods, whereby one thing answers another, and all conspire to carry on the same De∣sign, hanging like so many Links in a Chain, that you cannot reach the one with∣out stepping over the other, these are more likely to prevent Mischiefs; Its one thing to punish People when a Fact is done, and another to prevent the doing it by putting them as it were under an impos∣sibility; now where the Welfare of the Page 38 Kingdom lies so much at Stake, certainly it cannot be thought grievous to compel a submission to good Methods, though they may seem troublesom at first.
Thus there have been severe Laws made against carrying the Plantation Com∣modities directly thence to Foreign Mar∣kets, and stealing the Customs when brought home, and what effect these have had we all know, thousands of Hogsheads of To∣bacco being yearly Ship'd to Spain, Scotland, and Ireland, both from New-England, and other Places; whereas Sound and Practi∣cable Methods may and are ready to be laid down to prevent both, with few Of∣ficers, and fewer Penalties.
*And that we may better see the Mis∣chiefs which attend the carrying abroad our Wool unwrought to other Nations, let us consider the Consequences thereof in what is Shipp'd to France, whose Wool be∣ing very course of its self, and fit only for Ruggs and ordinary Cloth, is by mixture with ours and Irish used in the making of many sorts of pretty Stuffs and Druggats, whereby the Sales of our Woollen Manufactures are lessened both there and in other places whither we export them, and by this means every Pack of Wool sent thither works up two besides it self, being chief∣ly combed and combing Wool, which makes Page 39 Woofe for the French Wool, and the Pi∣nions thereof serve with their Linnen to make course Druggats like our Linsey-Wool∣sey, but the Linnen being spun fine and coloured is not easily discerned, also the finest short English Wool being mix'd with the lowest Spanish makes a middling sort of Broad Cloth, and being woven on Worsted Chains makes their best Druggats, neither of which could be done with the French Wool only, unless in Conjunction with ours or Irish, Spanish Wool is too fine and too short for Worsted Stuffs, and unfit for Combing, so that without one of those two sorts there cannot be a piece of fine Worsted Stuff or middle Broad Cloth made, no other Wool but English or Irish will mix well with Spanish for Cloth, being originally of the same kind, raised from a Stock of English Sheep, the difference in fineness coming from the nature of the Land whereon they feed; of this we have Examples in our own Nation, where we find that Lem∣ster Wool is the finest, next, part of Shropshire and Staffordshire, part of Gloce∣ster-shire, Wilts, Dorset, and Hampshire, part of Sussex, and part of Kent, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, these are most pro∣per for Cloth, some small part for Worsted; Sussex, Surry, Middlesex, Hartfordshire, and some other Counties produce Wool much Page 40 courser and cheaper; But then Barkshire, Buckingham, Warwick, Oxon, Leicester, Not∣iingham, Northampton, Lincoln, and part of Kent called Rumny-Marsh, the Wool in most of these Connties is so proper for Worsled, that all the World except Ireland cannot compare with it, therefore requires our greater Care to prevent its Exportati∣on, and more especially from Ireland, whence it is often Exported to our Neighbouring Nations, and sold as cheap as in England.
* 12. By making Bonds and Bills assigna∣ble, and being Assigned and Transferred from one to another, the Assignee to be capable in his own Name to Prosecute the Debtor whose Bond or Bill it is, with∣out using the Name of the Assignor, or any Letter of Attorney from him to require or recover the same; by this means young Men of small Stocks and Credits may on sale of their Goods and taking Bills for Payment return to Market again, and purchase with those Bills such Commodi∣ties as they want to carry on their Trades; this also will produce a great Punctuality amongst Traders, for all Men to keep up the Reputation of their Bills will endeavour to be exact in their Payments, that so they may be currant, and freely accepted in Page 41 Commerce, every One's Credit will then be esteemed according as he is punctual in the payment of his Bills; Besides, this Punctuality will produce another good ef∣fect, those Bills will be bought up by mo∣ny'd Men for the Advantage of their dis∣count, and it will by degrees lessen the Extortion of Usurers.
13. *By prohibiting Persons from follow∣ing several Trades at once, viz. The Merchant from being a Shopkeeper or Retailer, and the Shopkeeper from being a Merchant or Adventurer at the same time; hereby each Trade would be better ma∣naged, and with more Advantage to both, for whilst the Merchant employs his Stock abroad in Exporting the Commodities of the Kingdom, and supplying it with others, the Retailer would keep his at home, rea∣dy to buy up those Imports, and disperse them into the Country, and both would go on unanimously in their Trades, be∣cause neither would interfere in the others Business.
14. *By taking Care that in all Trea∣ties of Peace and other Negotiations with Foreign Princes a due Regard be had to our Trade and Manufactures; that our Merchants be respected, and not affronted by the Governments among whom they Page 42 reside; that all things be made easie to them, and both their Liberties and Pro∣perties secured; that our Manufactures be not prohibited, or burthened with unrea∣sonable Taxes, which is the same in ef∣fect; that speedy Justice be done in reco∣vering Debts contracted amongst the Na∣tives, and punishing Abuses put on our Factories by them; These are pressures our Trade hath long groaned under, whereby the Merchants abroad and Manufacturers at home have been much discouraged, and the English Nation hath been forced to truckle under the French in Foreign Parts (especi∣ally in Portugal, and the Islands belong∣ing to it only because that King sooner resented Injuries done to his Traders, and took more Care to demand Repara∣tion, than our last Reigns have done; but blessed be God we have now both Pow∣er and Opportunity to do the same, and there is no cause to doubt His Majesty's Royal Inclinations to make use of both for the Good of his Merchants when things are duely represented to him.
* I should in the last place have added Li∣berty of Conscience, but that being already set∣tled by Law I need not mention it, on∣ly this, that it were to be wisht some way might be found out to make Methods of Page 43 Trade more easie to the Quakers than now they are;* I am apt to think that he who appears in the Face of a Court to give Evi∣dence on his word if he be a Man of Cou∣science looks on himself equally obliged to speak the Truth as if he was sworn, and nothing will deter a dishonest Man like she fear of punishment.
*Nor will the prohibiting things already manufactured be any way a hindrance to Foreign Trade, but rather an Incourage∣ment; more Ships will be fraighted, and more Saylors imployed by the Importati∣on of Materials, besides the great Advan∣tage to the Nation in the ballance of its Trade, which must then be returned in Bullion by so much more as they cost less abroad than the others; and this will en∣able us to afford a greater Consumption of Foreign Commodities spent on our Pa∣lates, such as Wines, Fruit, and the like, all which fill our Ships, and are fit Sub∣jects for Trade when the Profits of a Na∣tion enable it to bear their Expence.
* And thus I have run through the seve∣ral Parts of our Inland Trade, the Profit whereof depends on our Product and Ma∣nufactures; Before I proceed to our Out∣land or Foreign Trade I shall speak some∣thing of Navigation, which is the MediumPage 44 between both; This is carried on by Ships and Saylors, the former are the Sea Wag∣gons, whereby we transport and carry Com∣modities from one Market to another, and the latter are the Waggoners which drive or manage them; these are a sort of merry unthinking People, who make all Men rich save themselves, have often more Money than is their own, but seldom so much as they know how to spend, generally brave in their Undertakings, they go through a∣ny kind of Labour in their own way with a great deal of chearfulness, are undaunt∣ed by Storms and Tempests, the Sea be∣ing as it were their Element, and are al∣lowed by all to be the best Navigators in the World; they are our Wealth in Peace, and our Defence in War, and ought to be more encouraged than they are in both, but especially in the latter, which might be done if better Methods were used to engage them in that Service, and better Treatment when there;* Now I should think if a List were taken of all the Say∣lers in England, and a Law made for every Person who enters himself on that Imploy at the Age of Years to have his Name registred, with the place of his A∣bode, and be obliged to appear on Sum∣mons left at his House, and no Man to be Page 45 forced into the King's Service till he had been at Sea three Years, nor to stay there∣in above three Years without his free consent, and then to be permitted to take a Merchant's Imploy for so much longer, and during his being in the King's Service good Provision to be made for his Family at home, and a Maintenance for them in case of his death or being disabled, This would encourage them to come willingly into the Service, which they look on now to be a Slavery whereto they are bound for their Lives, whilst their Families starve at home;* This and the manner of pressing them discourages many, and hinders very much the making of Saylors, People not caring to put their Hands to an Oar lest the next day they should be halled away to the Fleet, though they understand no∣thing of the Sea; I do not think too much Care can be taken for the well manning our Men of War, but I would have it also done with able Seamen, and not with such who will only stand in the way, and are useless when most wanted, and this must not be done by pressing, but by practicable Methods which shall draw every Man to take his turn at Helm;* I take Embargoes to be no helps to∣wards it, for many Saylors do then lie hid, who would appear to serve in Merchant's Ships, Page 46 and might be easily met with at return of their Voyages; by this means in a short time there would be a double set of Ma∣riners, enough both for the Service of the Fleet and Trade, the latter would every year breed more; let the Commanders of Merchants Ships on Arrival give in Lists of the Saylors they have brought home, for whose appearance their Wages should be Bail, and then those whose turn it is to serve in the Fleet should after due time al∣lowed for finishing their Voyages be sent thither, and a penalty on every Master of a Ship who carry'd a Saylor to Sea after his three Years Prodict was expired; such Laws and Time would bring things into regular Methods.
*This would also prevent great Mischiefs and Inconveniencies which arise from pres∣sing Saylors our of Merchants Ships whilst on their Voyages, many of them being thereby lost at Sea, and others detained in the West-Indies, to the great Discourage∣ment of Trade; whereas better ways might be found out of supply the Men of War a∣broad, all Merchants Ships bound to the places where they are might have a pro∣portionable Number of Sailors deliver'd them by the Admiralty to be carried out Gratis for their Use and Service; and this Page 47 would prevent another Mischief too often practised abroad, where Captains of Men of War press Saylors from one Merchants Ship only that they may make profit by selling them to another.
* It's supposed that no Trade raises more Seamen than that of Coals from Newcastle, which imploys many Hundreds of Ships to supply the City of London and other Ports of England, and being a home Trade doth thereby breed and encourage Saylors more than long Voyages would do.
* To come now to the Trade which En∣gland drives with Foreign Countrys; here 'tis necessary to enquire how each doth encourage our Product and Manufactures, how our Navigation, what Commodities we receive in Returns, and how the Bal∣lance of Trade stands in either; among which I esteem none to be so profitable to to us as that we manage to Africa and our own Plantations in America, and none so detrimental as that to the East-Indies.
* To begin therefore with the East-India Trade, which for many Reasons I take to be mischievous to the Kingdom.
To clear this we are to consider how a Trade may be advantageous or detrimen∣tal to a Nation, and then to draw Infe∣rences thence applicable to the above Page 48 Proposition; I shall therefore lay down such general Notions as may without dis∣pute be allowed by all unbyassed Persons, which are these:
- 1. That that Trade is advantageous to the Kingdom of England which Exports our Product and Manufactures.
- 2. Which Imports to us such Commo∣dities as may be manufactured here, or be used in making our Manufactures.
- 3. Which supplies us with such things, without which we cannot carry on our Fo∣reign Trade.
- 4. Which encourages our Navigation, and increases our Seamen.
And consequently that Trade which ex∣ports little or none of our Product or Ma∣nufactures, nor supplies us with things ne∣cessary to promote Manufactures at home, or carry on our Trade abroad, nor en∣courages Navigation, cannot be supposed to be advantageous to this Kingdom; espe∣cially when its Imports hinder the con∣sumption of our own Manufactures, and more especially when those Imports are chiefly the purchase of our Bullion or Trea∣sure.
And because I would be rightly under∣stood in my third Proposition, I mean those Commodities without which we are not Page 49 able to fit out our Ships for a Foreign Trade, such as are Pitch, Tar, Hemp, Sail-Cloth, Masts, Timber, and such like; These are so absolutely necessary, that we must have them though purchased for Bullion, as be∣ing the chief Hinges whereon Trade turns, and the Tools by which we Mechannical∣ly navigate our Ships, those Bulky Medi∣ums of Foreign Trade; but for those things which are Imported only in order to be Ex∣ported again as Commodities to trade on, these cannot be so advantageous to this Kingdom as they may be to the Dutch, who having little Land are maintained rather by Buying and Selling than Manufactu∣ring, whereas England being a large spot of Ground, and having a great Product of its own, (besides what comes from our Plantations) capable to be wrought up or manufactured here, gets by the Imploy∣ment of its People, therefore it would be the great Wisdom of our Government to regulate all Foreign Trades by such Me∣thods as may best make then useful in the promoting our Manufactures.
*Here it will not be amiss to consider a∣gain how and in what manner a Nation may be said to be enrich'd by Trade; for there must be a difference made between a Nations growing rich and particular Mens Page 50 doing so by it, and I humbly propose that it may be possible for private Men to be vastly improved in their Estates, and yet at the Years end the Wealth of the Nation not to be a whit greater than at the beginning, and this both in an Inland and an Outland Trade; for whilst the thrifty Shopkeeper buys at one Price, and sells at another to the prodigal Beaux, and the industrious Artificer vents his La∣bour to the idle Drone, and the politick Contriver outwits the unthinking Bully, one raises his Fortunes on the other's de∣cay; the same for our Outland Trade, if we Export the true Riches of the Nati∣on for that which we consume on our Luxury, tho' private Men may get by each other, yet the Wealth of the Nati∣on is not any way encreased: For sup∣pose by one Hundred Butts of Wines the Importer gets Five Hundred Pounds, yet when drank among our selves, the Nati∣on is not thereby Richer but Poorer, and so much poorer as those Wines cost at first; for if Imported by English Men in English Ships we loose but the first Purchase, the rest being Freights, Customs, and Pro∣fits, are divided amongst our selves, but if they are brought in by Foreigners, the Nation loses all but the Customs; I take Page 51 the true Profits of this Kingdom to con∣sist in that which is produced from Earth, Sea, and Labour, and such are all our Growth and Manufactures.
To apply this now to the East-India Trade, we will first consider what are its Exports and Imports, and then inquire Cui Bono? whither the Contest for this Trade doth proceed from a design to serve the Nation, or from Principles of Self-In∣terest? or whither the Members of that Company who strive so much about it, would if in other Circumstances still be of the same Mind? for Principles that are in themselves true are always so, we may change our Opinions, but they do not change their Certainty; I confess as the state of a Nation alters so must our measures in Trade, but then it must ap∣pear that the State of the Nation and not our private Interests makes us to alter them; Now when I find that it is not the true Interest of this Nation to advance the Product and Manufactures thereof I shall change my Opinion.
First then to begin with their Exports; and here I need not say much, it's gene∣rally allowed by the Traders themselves that our Product and Manufactures are the least part thereof, consisting chiefly in Gold and Silver.
Page 52 But it's alledged that in Returns they Import such Goods which being again Ex∣ported do bring from Foreign parts much more Treasure in specie; which leads me secondly to consider what those Imports are, and what becomes of them; They chiefly are, Saltpeter, Pepper, Callicoes, Druggs, Indigo, and Silks both wrought and raw, many of which Commodities are very ne∣cessary as well for our Home Expence as to export again, others vastly prejudicial to us, as they hinder the consumption of our own Manufactures both Abroad and at Home, and this latter outweighs the former; Ca∣licoes and wrought Silks are the things I chiefly aim at, and hope to make it plain∣ly appear that those two Commodities do us more prejudice in our Manufactures than all the Advantage they bring either to private Purses or to the Nation in gene∣ral, and it were to be wisht the Wisdom of our Parliament would prohibit their be∣ing worn in England, else like the ill-fa∣voured lean Kine they will destroy the use of our Manufactures, which might be fitted to answer all the ends they serve for; Nor is the lessening the wearing our own Manufactures at home all the Mischief Callicoes have done us, their Importation having thrown out the wearing of Silesia, and other German Linnens hath been Page 53 attended with as bad a Consequence from thence, where those Looms which were formerly imployed on weaving them were thereon turned to the Woollen Manufac∣tures, wherewith they not only furnish themselves but Poland, which hath made those Countrys very careful to increase and improve their breed of Sheep, whose Wool was generally brought hither be∣fore, and used in making Hatts, but is now much of it wrought up there; for when we slighted their Manufactures they fell on ours, whereas if we had encouraged the Wearing their Linnen they would have still depended on us for Woollen; This hath been a means to abate the Ex∣portation of many thousand Peeces of Cloth, which would have brought more Advantage to the Nation than all the Trade we have driven to the East-Indies, and will never be retrieved till we re∣turn again to the use of their Linnens.
He that considers how wonderfully Fa∣shions prevail on this Nation may soon satisfie himself how things of little value come to be prized, and to justle out those of greater worth; Fashion is Fancy, which as it hath of late Years brought in a dis∣use of our native Commodities by Imi∣tation, so if our Nobility and Gentry Page 54 would turn their Fancies to them again I doubt not it would have the same effect, and if our Workmen could receive En∣couragement, no question the Genius of this Kingdom would soon reach to such a pitch as to answer all the Uses of both those Commodities, even with a Thread spun out of Sheeps Wool; It was scarce thought about twenty Years since that we should ever see Calicoes the Ornaments of our greatest Gallants (for such they are, whither we call them Muslins, Shades, or any thing else) when they were then rare∣ly used save in Shrouds for the Dead, and that chiefly among the Poor, who could not go to the Price of finer Linnen, and yet were willing to imitate the Rich, but now few think themselves well drest till they are made up in Callicoes, both Men and Women, Callicoe Shirts, Neck∣cloths, Cuffs, Pocket-Hankerchiefs, for the former, Head-Dresses, Night-royls, Hoods, Sleeves, Aprons, Gowns, Petticoats, and what not, for the latter, besides India-Stoc∣kings for both Sexes; and indeed it will be a hard matter to put them out of this Fancy, nothing but an Act of Parliament or humour of the Court can do it, the latter is the most natural means, and would easier make way to introduce the former, Page 55 for besides that 'twould bring with it the Prayers of the Poor for those who have cut them out new Imployments, it would likewise wonderfully tend to advance the Gentlemen's Estates, first by expend∣ing their Wool, and next by keeping the Poor at work, who would consume more Wheat and Barly, Beef and Mutton in their Houses, and yet they need not fear ha∣ving Labourers enough in their Harvests, though perhaps at a little higher Rates, which would be abundantly made up by an Advance on the Product of their Lands, besides what would be saved in the Poor's Rates, and it hath been a constant Obser∣vation grounded on reason that this Na∣tion never thrives more than when the Labour of the Poor is at such Prises as they may live comfortably by it.
We will next consider:
- 1. How far the Manufactures of this Kingdom have been already made to an∣swer the uses of Indian Silks and Callicoes, and what did encourage it.
- 2. What farther Improvement may be made thereon, and the means to bring it about.
- 3. Why the People of England are so much against their Native Manufactures Page 56 as to be more in love with Calicoes and Indian Silks.
1. As to the first, I will go no farther than the Act for Burrying in Woollen; how averse were the People of England to it at first? as if the Dead could not rest easie in their Graves if wrapt in our Native Com∣modities, or that it would trouble them inter Hades that they had occasionally gi∣ven Imployment to their poor surviving Country-men; no, the fault was not there, Experience hath taught us that it's all one to them, and Time hath more re∣conciled us to that Statute when we saw the good effects it produced by putting our People on making so many pretty sorts of Woollen Vestments, as Ornamen∣tal to the Dead as the others formerly were thought to be, and of such different Finenesses and Prizes, that Qualities are as easily distinguished by them; and since our dead Friends were to be drest in our native Wool, we thought it most seemly to imitate them by wearing the same at their Funerals, hence it came to pass that our Mourning Attire was made of White Crape, a Garb not only Decent and Pro∣fitable, but Honourable to the Nation, as it both shew'd our Esteem for our Woollen Manufactres, and also how soon Page 57 those imployed therein could turn their Hands to any sort of Work.
2. Let us consider what farther Im∣provements may be made on the Manu∣factures of this Kingdom to answer the ends of Indian Silks and Calicoes, and the means to bring them about; Here let us see what Progresses have already been made step after step by our Manufactures to imitate, and in many things to exceed all they have seen from abroad; witness those noble rich Silks, wherein they have attained to so great a height; Our brave noble Arras or Tapestry of all Prises, not to be out-done by those very Nations from whom we at first learned the Art; And this is allow'd by all, that the En∣glish Workmen in great things outdo their Patterns, and no doubt they may soon turn their Hands to a slight Manufacture, which People do now chiefly desire, and I take to be as profitable to the Nation; How are we come from a strong and stub∣born to a slight thin Broad Cloth, from thence to Stuffs, Perpets, Sayes, Rashes, Shalloones, Gauzes, and lately to Anthe∣rines, which last look as handsome as In∣dian Silks, and serve as well in Linings for our Cloaths, also Crapes of such diffe∣rent sorts both of Silk and Wool, that not Page 58 only Cloaths for Men and Women are made thereof, but also Hatbands, Cuffs, Neckcloths, Hoods, Head Dresses, &c. Now was there a Law to encourage, or would the Nobility and Gentry of this King∣dom by their Examples promote the wear∣ing our own Manufactures, no doubt they might be soon brought to answer all the ends of Indian Silks and Calicoes, and I can∣not see what reason may be given against a total Prohibition of their being worn in England, which will be the quickest way to have them disused.
3. The third is to enquire why the People of England are so much against their Native Manufactures as to be more in love with Calicoes and Indian Silks? The chief reason is Fashion and Imitati∣on of One another, though many others are alledged, as the Ruffness and Ill Co∣lour of Woollen, which keeps it from an∣swering the ends of Calicoes, Its weight and thickness, which renders it improper for the ends of slight Silks in Linings; These are not substantial but pretended Reasons, and would as well serve against Calicoes and Indian Silks were we more used to our Native Manufactures, and they now to be introduced; for as to the Ruffness of Woollen, may not that Page 59 be helpt by its fineness? and are not course Calicoes altogether as Ruff? A fine Flan∣nen-Shirt feels soft and pleasant to him that hath been used to wear it, so strange Impressions do Custom and Fashion make on us; and as for Colour, it is only Fancy, when Yellow is in Fashion it looks as de∣cent as White, and as much Art is needful to strike it well as there is Curiosity a∣bout the other, witness when Women wore Yellow Hoods, both Men and Women Yellow Vestments, besides, no doubt ways might be found out to add to the Native Whiteness of our Woollen Manufactures, which do not therein fall shorter of Cali∣coes than they do of Hollands and Cam∣bricks and as to the ends of Silks, Thin∣ness and Lightness, I think our Workmen have given very great Instances in their Crapes Gauzes and Antherines what they could do had they Encouragement.
But if a Manufacture of Wool will not please, why may not one of Cotton, the Primum of which Calicoes are made, where∣of we have great quantities imported eve∣ry Year from our own Plantations in America, and no doubt we might in a short time attain to an excellency therein, not only to supply our selves, but also Foreign Markets; He that considers how far we Page 60 have gone in this already will have no cause to doubt a Progress, and if Encou∣ragements were proposed to that Person who should spin the finest Thread either in Cotton or Wool, to be adjudged and paid in each County, 'twould excite Industry and Ingenuity, and no doubt we might in time make Calicoes equal in their sorts with those Imported from India, and afford them as cheap as that Company now sells them, enough not only for our home Ex∣penee, but also for Exportation.
We will next see what Employment this Trade gives to Ships as it's now ma∣naged in a Company, and how far it pro∣motes Navigation by making Saylors; The Number of the first is but small, and I think far from making Seamen, long Voyages being usually their Bane, those Ships seldom bringing home so many Say∣lors as they carry'd forth, whereas shorter Voyages do more, made out of Land-Men, both the Imployers and the Imploy∣ed being desirous to make their first Try∣als on such Voyages; besides, longer re∣quire better Saylors to provide for the Ca∣sualties which attend them, and may be said rather to use Seamen than to make them; and this is one great Reason why the Page 61Dutch raise them so easily, most of their Imployments being a home Trade.
If then it appears this Trade is no more profitable to the Nation in general we will next see how it is to that Com∣pany in parricular; I do not say to the particular Members thereof, who by ill Practices have raised their private Fortunes, many of which have been lately laid open, but to the Company as such; and here we find that a former failed; the last is thought to have gotten little, considering the long time they have been a Monopoly; and what Advantage the new Fund will make Time must shew, the Tricks used to engage Men therein causes me to doubt whither 'twill answer the Expectations of the Subscribers.
On the whole let us consider what Argu∣ments can be offered to the Wisdom of the Nation to limit this Trade to an exclusive Company as was desired, or (as in truth it is) to turn it into a Monopoly by Law, a thing very contrary to the Genius of the People of England, and seems to barr the Freedom and Liberty of the Subject.
Were Monopolies to be allowed it must certainly be in One of these three Respects.
- 1. That we might put off our own Commodities to other Nations in Barter for those we received from them.
- 2. That we might keep down the Pri∣ces of their Commodities, whilst we ad∣vanced our own.
- 3. That as the Consequence of these two we might encourage our Manufactu∣rers at home, and furnish Foreign Commo∣dities cheap.
But when a Monopoly shall cause quite different Effects it's not to be allow'd on any Terms.
As for the first; the East-India Compa∣ny takes off little of our Manufactures, nor do I think the Trade will admit it, for I cannot see how that Nation can be supplied with Manufactures hence fit for their Wearing answerable in Price to their own, except they were a Luxurious Peo∣ple who cared not what they gave to please their Fancies, which I do not take them to be, but generally very Provident; for if we consider that when the East-India Company hath brought their Calicoes and Silks hither with great Charges, and sold them at an extraordinary advance, they find vent by their cheapness, how can we believe that any of our Manufa∣ctures can afford them a profit in India,Page 63 where they must be sold suitable in price to the others first cost; and therefore 'twould not be amiss if the Government were put on making a narrow Inquiry whither the Company do boná fide export so much of the Product and Manufactures of rhis Kingdom and land them in India as they are obliged to do by their Char∣ter, elfe many ways may be found out to evade it, and the Nation be deprived of the only Advantage expected from that Monopoly.
The Dutch and we deal not thither on the same Terms, their Manufactures are small, and so no Matter what they Trade on, be∣sides their Settlements in the East-Indies are so great, that what they bring thence may almost be called their own Product, whereof by monopolizing that Trade they make greater Prices in Europe, which being chiefly spent either in Foreign Markets or by Temporary Residents brings them more Profit; They have also great Advantages above us in their East-India Trade, be∣ing possest of the whole Traffick to Japan, whither they carry Cloth, Lead, and other Commodities from Holland, Calicoes, Spices, &c. from India, which they sell for Gold and Silver, increasing thereby their Bulli∣on as we diminish ours; Besides their Page 64East-India Company is not settled on such a narrow Foundation as ours, which be∣ing limited to one City exclusive of all o∣thers sells their Commodities for greater Advance than any other Traders, whither we consider their Risque, or the time they are out of their Money, which should be the stand∣ing Rules in Trade; Nor can it be other∣wise whilst they remain a Company, the Charges both abroad and at home being much more than when manag'd by private Stocks, besides the affected Gran∣deur in all which must be paid by the Na∣tion, whereon I take that Monopoly to be a Tax so far as it might be supply'd with them on cheaper Terms if the Trade were laid more open by a Regulation; I know there is much talk'd by the Company about Forts Castles and Soldiers to defend their Interests in India, but I cannot see the use of them, for either they are there∣by defended against the Natives, or the Dutch their Competitors; the former have no reason to quarrel with them, for bring∣ing them a Trade so highly their Advan∣tage as the purchasing their Product and Manufactures with Money, especially if they pay for what they buy; And as for their Competitors the Dutch, if they were not better defended against them by Page 65 our Fleets at home, and the Protection of the Princes they trade with, than by all the Force they have there, the Trade had been but ill-secured, and must have sunk long ago; Only those great Words serve to hold us amused, whilst their Guineas in the two last Reigns were the Support of their Charter.
One thing which I aim at in this Discourse is to perswade the Gentry of England to be more in Love with our own Manufac∣tures, and to encourage the wearing them by their Examples, and not of Choice to give Imployment to the Poor of ano∣ther Nation whilst ours starve at home.
* We will next proceed to the West-India and African Trades; which I esteem the most profitable of any we drive, and do joyn them together because of their de∣pendance on each other.
But before we enter farther I will consi∣der of one Objection, it having been a great question among many thoughtful Men whither our Foreign Plantations have been an advantage to this Nation; the reasons they give against them are, that they have drained us of Multitudes of our People who might have been serviceable at home, and advanced Improvements in Husban∣dry and Manufactures; That the Kingdom Page 66 of England is worse Peopled by so much as they are increased; and that Inhabitants being the Wealth of a Nation, by how much they are lessened, by so much we are poorer than when we first began to settle our Foreign Colonies; Though I al∣low the last Proposition to be true, that People are or may be made the Wealth of a Nation, yet it must be where you find Imployment for them, else they are a Burthen to it, as the Idle Drone is main∣tained by the Industry of the labourious Bee, so are all those who live by their Dependance on others, as Players, Ale-Houses-keepers, Common-Fidlers, and such like, but more particularly Beggars, who never set themselves to work; Its my Opinion that our Plantations are an Advantage to this Kingdom, and I doubt not but 'twill appear to be so by the con∣sequence of this Discourse, though not all alike, but every one more or less, as they take off our Product and Manufactures, supply us with Commodities which may be either wrought up here, or Exported again, or prevent fetching things of the same Nature from other Princes for our home Consumption, imploy our Poor, and encourage our Navigation; for I take En∣gland and all its Plantations to be one great Page 67 Body, those being so many Limbs or Coun∣ties belonging to it, therefore when we consume their Growth we do as it were spend the Fruits of our own Land, and what thereof we sell to our Neigh∣bours for Bullion, or such Commodities as we must pay for therein, brings a second Profit to the Nation.
These Plantations are either the great Continent from Hudson's Bay Northward to Florida Southward, containing New∣found-land, New-Eugland, Virginia, Mary-land, New-York, Pensilvania, Carolina, &c. and also our several Islands, the chief whereof are Barbadoes, Antigua, Nevis, St. Christophers, Montserat, and Jamaica; the Commodities they afford us are more espe∣cially Sugars, Indigo, Ginger, Cotten, Tobacco, Piamento, and Fustick, of their own growth, also Logwood, which we bring from Jamaica, (though first brought thither from the Bay of Campeacha on the Continent of Mexico belonging to the Spa∣niard, but cut by a loose sort of People, Subjects to this Kingdom, Men of desperate Fortunes, but of wonderful Courage, who by force have made small Settlements there and defend themselves by the same Means) besides great quantities of Fish ta∣ken the Coasts of Newfound-land and New-England;Page 68 These being the Product of Earth Sea and Labour are clear Profit to the Kingdom, and give a double Imployment to the People of England, first to those who raise them there, next to those who prepare Manufactures here wherewith they are supplied, besides the Advantage to Navigation, for the Commodities Expor∣ted and Imported being generally bulky do thereby imploy more Ships, and con∣sequently more Saylors, which leaves more room for other labouring People to be kept at work in Husbandry and Ma∣nufactures, whilst they consume the Pro∣duct of the one and the Effects of the other in an Imployment of a distinct Na∣ture from either.
This was the first Design of settling Plantations abroad, that the People of England might better maintain a Com∣merce and Trade among themselves, the chief Profit whereof was to redound to the Center; and therefore Laws were made to prevent the carrying their Pro∣duct to other places, or their being sup∣ply'd with Necessaries save from hence, and both to be done in our own Ships, navigated by English Saylors, except in some cases permitted by the Acts of Na∣vigation, and so much as the Reins of Page 69 those Laws are let lose, so much less profitable are the Plantations to us; The Interest therefore of this Kingdom be∣ing to prevent any practices contrary to the first Design, it would be the great Wisdom of the Parliament to frame such Laws as may more effectually do it than any yet made; I do not mean Laws whose chief Strength shall be their Pe∣nalties, but such whose plain Methods be∣ing capable to be reduced to Practice may do it without Oppression of Officers, for I esteem them so far weak as they need the Support of either the one or the other; and it were to be wisht that both our Customs and all other Taxes might be raised with less Charge and Burthen than now they are, for which ways might be sound out if it were well considered of, and then Multitudes of useless People might be sent into the Vineyards of Hus∣bandry and Manufactures.
Among these Plantations I look on that of New-England to bring least Advantage to this Kingdom, for being setled by an industrious People, and affording few Commodities proper to be transported hi∣ther, the Inhabitants imploy themselves by trading to the rest of the Plantations, whom they supply with Provisions and Page 70 other their Products, and from thence fetch their respective Growths, which they after send to Foreign Markets, and thereby in∣iure the Trade of England; Now as to the first part, it's neither convenient for them nor the Plantations that they should be de∣barr'd it, what they carry thither being for the most part Fish, Deal-Boards, Pipe-staves, Horfes, and such like, which the others cannot be well supplyed with hence, also Bread, Flower, and Pease; but then they should be obliged to make their Imports hither, I mean to bring all the Good; they load at those Plantations to this Market, and from hence let them be supply'd again with what thereof shall be necessary for their Home Expence, as they are with all European Commodites; by which means England would become the Centre of Trade, and standing like the Sun in the midst of its Plantations would not only refresh them, but also draw Profits from them; and indeed it's a mat∣ter of exact Justice it should be so, for from hence it is Fleets of Ships and Re∣giments of Soldiers are frequently sent for their Defence, at the Charge of the In∣habitants of this Kingdom, besides the equal Benefit the Inhabitants there re∣ceive with us from the Advantages ex∣pected Page 71 by the Issue of this War, the Se∣curity of Religion, Liberty, and Property, towards the Charge whereof they contri∣bute little, though a way may and ought to be found out to make them pay more, by such insensible Methods as are both rational and practicable.
*Now the means to render these Planta∣tions more profitable to this Kingdom are by making Laws.
- 1. To prevent (as much as convenient∣ly may be) the Product of either to be transported from the place of its Growth to any other place save England.
- 2. To prevent its being Imported hither after manufactured there.
- 3. To prevent (as much as may be with Conveniency) the Exporting hence any simple thing in order to be manu∣factured there, such as Iron, Leather, &c. which 'twere better for this Kingdom were first wrought up here.
- 4. In Lieu of all to lay open the Afri∣can Trade, that the Inhabitants may be supply'd with Negroes on easie Terms.
These are general Rules, but not with∣out some Exceptions; for when I say the Commodities of one Plantation should not be carried to another, I mean those on∣ly which are fit for Trade, and may be brought hither, and be hence disperst a∣gain, Page 72 as Sugars, Cotton, Indigoe, Tobacco, Ginger, and such like; but for Provisions, Timber, Horses, and things of like natures, they may and ought to be permitted, be∣cause this Nation cannot so conveniently supply them hence; and therefore the Act of Trade gave leave to transport the for∣mer from Ireland, which hath laid open a Gapp to that Peoyle, who carry the first Beef to those Markets, wherein they anti∣cipate us, and get the best Prises, besides the Charges we are at in sending our Ships thither to load, which they save; Nor is this all, for going to the Plantations with∣out giving Bonds to discharge in England what they take in there as the Law doth re∣quire, they frequently unload either all or part of their Loadings elsewhere, in oppo∣sition to the the Act of Navigation, there∣fore if a new Law was made that all Ships Trading to the Plantations from Europe should first give Bonds in England, and for default thereof be seized on their Arrival there, it would be a great Step towards preventing this abuse, and then plain and easie ways may be offered to hinder Land∣ing any part of their Cargoes elsewhere; And when things are brought to this State, that the Product of our Plantations shall necessarily be center'd here, we may put Page 73 almost what Rates we will on them to our Neighbours; it's true 'tis the Interest of England that what is consumed among our selves should be sold at reasonable Prises, but the higher they yield abroad the more Treasure they bring to the Na∣tion, provided we strain not the Staple so as to be undersold from other Markets; But there must be a Regard had to our Fisheries, that the Liberty of carrying that Commodity direct to Foreign Parts be not restrained.
Next by their being brought home un∣manufactured they would give great Im∣ployments here; Cotten Wool by being spun up and made into several sorts of pretty things; Tobacco by Cutting and Rowling; and Sugar by refining; for I would have no Tobacco brought home save in Leaf, nor Sugar above Muscovado; the last would imploy abundance of Sugar-Houses in England to clay and refine it, not only for a home Expence, but to be transported to Foreign Markets; a Trade we have been lately beat out of by the Industry of the Dutch helpt on by our own Imprudence, for no wise Nation would have given such an advantage to a Rival Trader as by Law to put their Refiners on terms of working Sugars Three Shil∣lings per Cent cheaper than our own, there∣fore Page 74 when the thing comes to be well weighed, I believe 'twill be found the Interest of this Nation to suffer all those Commodities to be Imported Custom Free, and to lay a Duty on what is Ex∣ported again unwrought, (I mean all West-India Commodities) and to raise an Excise on what is spent at Home, for which easie and practicable Methods may be proposed; and this would salve all those Disputes a∣bout running Tobacco, or drawing back Debentures after relanded; which Duty might be collected with few Officers, and little Charge, and the King might have an Account of every particular Parcel how it was transferred from Man to Man till 'twas paid.
* But if the Planter should complain at his being denied to Import wrought Sugars, it would be abundantly made up to him by opening the African Trade, that so he might be supplied with Negroes both in greater Numbers and at cheaper Rates than now he is; a Trade of the most Ad∣vantage to this Kingdom of any we drive, and as it were all Profit, the first Cost being little more than small Matters of our own Manufactures, for which we have in Return, Gold, Teeth, Wax, and Negroes, the last whereof is much better than the Page 75 first, being indeed the best Trassick the Kingdom hath, as it doth occasionally give so vast an Imployment to our People both by Sea and Land; These are the Hands whereby our Plantations are im∣proved, and 'tis by their Labours such great Quantities of Sugar, Tobacco, Cot∣ten, Ginger, and Indigo, are raised, which be∣ing bulky Commodities imploy great Numbers of our Ships for their transport∣ing hither, and the greater number of Ships imploys the greater number of Han∣decraft Trades at home, spends more of our Product and Manufactures, and makes more Saylors, who are maintained by a separate Imploy; for if every One raised the Provisions he eat, or made the Manu∣factures he wore, Trade would cease, Traf∣fique being a variety of Imployments Men have set themselves on adapted to their particular Genius's, whereby one is serviceable to another without invading each others Province; thus the Husband∣man raises Corn, the Millard grinds it, the Baker makes it into Bread, and the Citizen eats it; Thus the Grazier fats Cattle, and the Butcher kills them for the Market; Thus the Shepherd shears his Wool, the Spinster makes it into Yarn, the Weavet into Cloth, and the Page 76 Merchant exports it, and every one lives by each other: Thus the Country sup∣plies the City with Provisions, and that the Country with Manufactures; Now to ad∣vise a Government to monopolize, and consequently to lessen this Trade, by confining it to a limited Stock, is the same as to advise the People of Egypt to raise high Banks to confine the River Nilus from overflowing, lest it should thereby fertilize their Lands, or the King of Span to shut up his Mines, lest he should fill his Kingdom too full of Silver; This Trade indeed is our Silver Mines, for by the Overplus of Negroes above what will serve our Plantations we draw great Quantities thereof from the Spaniard; a Trade we are lately fallen into by a Compact of the two Natious, for which a Factory or Assiento is settled by them at Jamaica, where what their Agent buys is paid for in Pieces of Eight, besides oftentimes Thirty per Cent Cambio for running the risque to the Continent, all discharged in the same specie with great Punctuality.
Nor is this all the advantage the Na∣tion reaps thereby, it hath introduced a∣nother sort of Commerce, and given us Opportunities of selling our Manufactures Page 77 to that People, with whom we now grow into some sort of Familiarity, and may be a means in time to make way for a larger Acquaintance, whereby we may reap the best part of the Treafure of those Mines, Jamaica being now become a Magazine of Trade to New-Spain and the Terra Firma, from whence we have yearly vast Quantities of Bullion impor∣ted to this Kingdom both for the Negroes and Manufactures we send them, which as it was opened for the sake of their ha∣ving the former, so when that supply ceases, it will be removed to some other place, and our industrious Neighbours are ready to receive it, who would perhaps take more care to encourage it than we have done; for by the slow steps of the African Company, and the Hardships they have •ut on the Interlopers or private Traders, the number of Negroes imported thither hath been so small, and so much below our promises and the Spaniards Expecta∣tions, that this profitable Assiento or Facto∣ry hath for some time stood on Tiptoe, ready to waft it self to another Island, as it certainly had done long since if the Interlopers had not given a better Sup∣ply than the Company.
Page 78 We will now inquire what Reasons should perswade any Government to mo∣nopolize or limit this Trade, and what have been the Consequences thereof?
As for the first; the necessity of hav∣ing Forts Castles and Soldiers to defend the Trade, which could not be carried on without great Charge and a joynt Stock, these and such like Arguments at∣tended with a Cloud of Guineas had force enough to prevail on an easie Prince, who though of a temper not inclined to Mis∣chief, and had natural parts capable to understand both his own and the Nati∣on's Interest, yet being perswaded by those Hargyes, who like so many Horse Leach•… constantly hung upon him, and required more Treasure than his Income could afford, he was many times allured to d• things which his own Judgment would not allow, so mischievous are evil Cou•∣cellors (especially of the fair Sex) to • good-natur'd Prince.
But let us consider what these Fo•• Castles and Soldiers now settled by th• Company are, their Use, and whither 〈◊〉 good Securities for the Trade may not 〈◊〉 made by a regulated Company, out o• Stock to be raised on its Members, 〈◊〉 those to be admitted for small Fines, and 〈◊〉Page 79 pay a Duty on the Goods they Export, such as the Court of Assistants shall think fit to settle; which Stock to be imployed for Buying or Building Forts where thought necessary, and defraying all publick Char∣ges for carrying on the Trade.
I do not remember that the greatest number of Soldiers proved at the Commit∣tee appointed by the Honourable House of Commons, to enquire into that Affair did exceed one Hundred and Twenty on the whole Coast; nor did their Forts and Castles appear to be any thing else save Settle∣ments for their Factors, which (to secure their Goods from the Natives, and the sudden Insults of other Nations) they guarded both with Men and Guns, all which was proposed to be done by a re∣gulated Company; Besides, when more Factories are settled, consequently there will be more People, which will soon ex∣ceed their number of Soldiers, and be more formidable, whilst every Man fights for his own Interest, whereas those Sol∣diers (as it was there proved) were ill provided for, worse paid, and kept only by Constraint.
Page 80 It was never made out (or indeed pre∣tended) before that Honourable Com∣mittee that those Forts and Castles were to wage a National War, or to secure a∣gainst a National Invasion, the defence of their Guns could not exceed their reach, which was not above a Mile at most; nor were there any Magazines of Provisions laid up to expect a Siege from the Na∣tives; neither could they hinder Interlo∣pers who traded on the Coasts of what Nation soever; but for that end the Com∣pany had obtained Frigats from the Go∣vernment, who by illegal Commissions destroyed our own Merchants Ships (unless permitted on the payment of Forty or Fifty per Cent at home on the Goods they carried out) whilst they let others alone; This being seconded by their Factors in the several Plantations, who seized them and their Cargoes there if they escaped the former, discouraged our private Tra∣ders, who else found no Difficulties, the Natives receiving them as Friends, and choosing rather to deal with them than the Company; whose Factories also be∣ing at remote distances from each other, great part of that Coast was unguarded, and untraded too by them.
Page 81 Nor do I see what need there was to fight our way into a Trade altogether as advantageous to the Natives as to us, for whilst we supply'd them with things they wanted, and were of value amongst them, we took in exchange Slaves, which were else of little worth to the Proprie∣tors; and it cannot be thought that the People of England who have setled such large Colonies on the Continent of A∣merica (besides its several Islands) where there was no reasonable Prospect of En∣couragement, and have increased their Numbers so as to be able to defend their first Footings without the help of a Com∣pany, not only against the Natives where they found any, but likewise against all other Nations, should fall short in carrying on this Trade, which doth at the first view offer the Prospect of so great a Profit.
Let us now consider the Inconveniences that have attended this Monopoly, and consequently the Conveniencies which would come to the Nation by digesting it into an open and free, tho' a regulated Company; sure if confining the working in a Golden Mine to one day in a week which would afford the like Treasure every day to the Nation cannot be its advantage, no more can the limiting this Trade; for Page 82 if we send more Ships we fetch more Ne∣groes, and vend more Commodities for their Purchase; besides every Negro in the Plantations gives a second Imploy to the Manufacturers of this Kingdom, and had we many more to spare the Spaniard would buy them, so there can be no Ground for putting this Trade into few Men's Hands, except 'tis designed those few shall grow Rich, whilst for their sakes the Nation suffers in its Trade and Navigation; The Company have made this detrimental ad∣vantage of their Charter, that they have thereby been enabled to buy up our Ma∣nufactures cheaper at home, and to make the Planters pay dearer Rates for Negroes abroad, than could have been done if there had been more Buyers for the for∣mer, and Sellers of the latter; besides the ill Supply they gave the Plantations, and the partiality in their Lots and Dividends there, the effect whereof was that one Planter who was befriended grew Rich by having good Negroes, whilst another was ruined by having none but bad; and this drew with it another ill Consequence, their Factors as it were Monopolized Trade to themselves, by obliging the Planters to deal with them for other things if they expected favour when the NegroPage 83 Ships arrived, so that the rest of the Mer∣chants were forced to look on whilst the others had any thing to sell, and all be∣cause they were restrained by a Monopo∣ly from supplying the Planter with the same Commodity, for which likewise the Company expected ready Pay, whilst the others gave long time.
This was fully proved before the Ho∣nourable Committee at one of their Meet∣ings, to whom I heard an eminent Mer∣chant of London of an undoubted Reputa∣tion and well acquainted with the Trade to Africa affirm, That on a former little relaxation of the severity of their Char∣ter, which was then called in question by the Honourable House of Commons, some of our Woolen Manufactures fit for that Trade rose instantly Fifty per Cent to his certain knowledge, occasioned by the Multitudes of Buyers, whereof he was one; and indeed it is not to be wondered at, for whilst that Company was in power many of the English Interlopers were for∣ced to fit in Holland, where they also fur∣nished their Cargoes, it being thought cause sufficient to stop a Ship here if any part of the Goods entered out gave Suspi∣cion she was bound for the Coast of Gui∣•••, which would have made a Stander by Page 84 to have thought that the Dutch had gi∣ven Pensions in that Court as well as the French.
It is not to be doubted but that the Vend∣ding our Product and Manufactures and pro∣moting our Navigation on advantageous terms is the true Interest of this Nation, and all Foreign Commerce as it advances either is more or less profitable, now the Confine∣ment of the African Trade to a limited Stock promotes the ends of neither, and I believe 'tis one reason why we know so little of that large Continent, because the Company finding ways enough to employ their Fund among those few Factories they had setled on the Sea Coast never endeavoured a farther Inland Discovery, whereas if it was laid open, the busie Merchant that Industrious Bee of the Na∣tion would not leave one River or Creek untraded to, from whence he might hope to make Advantage.
It's to Trade and Commerce we are beholding for what Knowledge we have of Foreign Parts, and it is observable that the more remote People dwell from the Sea the less they are acquainted with Af∣fairs abroad; Africa is a large Country, and doubtless the Trade to it might be much enlarged to our Advantage, and bet∣ter Page 85 Settlements made and secured if good Methods were taken; Use and Experience make us at last Masters of every thing; and tho' the first Undertakers of a De∣sign fall short of answering their private Ends, yet they may not the Ends of the Nation, by laying open a beaten Path for Posterity to tread in with Success where they miscarry'd; when all places in En∣gland may freely send Ships, and be per∣mitted to the management of their own Affairs, this encourages Industry, and sets Peoples Heads at work how they may outdo each other by getting first into a new Place of Trade; besides, the more Traders the more Buyers at Home and Sellers Abroad, and by this means our Plantations on that large Continent of America would be better furnished with Negroes, for want of which the Inhabitants there could never arrive to those Improve∣ments they have done in the Islands, the Company having given them little or no Supply, who rather chose to send them to the latter, because they were able to make better Pay; But the Interlopers have done it, tho' under great discouragements from the Company and their Factors, who like the Dog in the Fable, would neither supply Page 86 those Plantations themselves, nor suffer others to do it.
As for the other Commodities brought in Returns from Africa, Wax and Teeth, one serves for a Foreign Trade without lessening the Expence of our own Pro∣duct, the other imploys our Manufactur∣ers at home, and is afterwards Exported to other Markets; and as for the Gold brought thence, I need not mention how much it doth advance our Wealth, all a∣gree it to be a good Barter.
On the whole I take the African Trade both for its Exports and Imports, and al∣so as it supplies our Plantations, and ad∣vances Navigation, to be very beneficial to this Kingdom, and would be made much more so, and better secured, were it laid open by being formed into a Regulated Company.
* The next thing we will enter on is the Trade driven to Maderas; and here tho' I must confess I am in my own Judgment no Friend to Monopolies, and have not yet seen any reason to alter my Opinion, yet as that destructive Element of Fire may and often is used to Advantage in its pro∣per place, and Poyson with Correction makes good Physick, so the ends of a Mo∣nopoly being truly answered, it may some∣times Page 87 be very serviceable, such as are the vending our own Manufactures at good Rates in Foreign Markets, whilst for them we receive in Barter the Product of ano∣ther Nation at reasonable Prices; And this effect cannot be produced by incor∣porating any Trade into a joynt stock so naturally as that of Maderas, where by the late ill management of our Factors things are come to such a Pass, that nothing less than this can recover it into a good Me∣thod, the Inhabitants of that Island by the others Imprudence have gotten so much Advantage of us that they take off little of our Wolen Manufactures, whilst on the other side we buy their Wines for Money, which heretofore we purchased in Truck; a Commodity loaden off thence chiefly by the English Nation, for the Dutch ship little, the French less, the re∣mainer (except what is spent on the Island, or sent to Brazile) is drank in our Plan∣tations; and yet we are treated by them, not as though they depended on us, but rather as if they thought we could not live without their Wines, prohibiting sometimes one part sometimes another of our Manufactures, instead whereof they supply themselves from Lisbon, with things tho' not so good, yet such as they content Page 88 themselves with to promote Manufactures of their own, so wise are other Nations to choose rather to wear what is made a∣mongst themselves than what is brought by Strangers, tho' better in its kind; whilst we preferr any thing that comes from abroad, only because it does so.
But then great care must be taken that the Profit of this Monopoly doth redound to the Nation, and not only to the en∣riching private Persons, and that it be continued no longer than it appears to be for the public Good, and a fair Account must be given that the quantity of Ma∣nufactures carried hence do in some mea∣sure equalize the Wines loaden thence, also that the Plantations abroad be sup∣ply'd at reasonable Rates; By this means the English being the only Buyers, and they having put the Trade into one Hand, may sell their Manufactures for better Prices, and set the Rates of the others Wines, and consequently afford them cheaper in our Islands; Thus whereas those two Monopolies of the East-India and African Companies prey only on their fellow-Subjects, this would make its Pro∣fits on a Foreign People; besides it would as it were create a new Market in a place where our Manufactures are almost disused.
Page 89 I confess could it be done any other way I should not advise this, but I know none, unless those Wines were for some time prohibited to be carry'd to the Plan∣tations, which would be very inconveni∣ent for the Inhabitants, who cannot well subsist without them; the heat of the Cli∣mate spends Nature apace, which must be supported, and nothing hath been found so agreeable to their Constitutions as the Wines brought from that Island.
* We come now to speak of Ireland; which of all the Plantations setled by the English hath proved most injurious to the Trade of this Kingdom, and so far from answering the ends of a Colony, that it doth wholly violate them; for if People be the Wealth of a Nation, then 'tis certain that a bare parting with any of them cannot be its Ad∣vantage, unless accompanied with Circum∣stances whereby they may be rendred more useful both to themselves, and also to those they left behind them, else so far as you deprive it of such who should consume its Product and improve its Manufactures you leffen its true Interest, especially when that Colony sets up a Separate, and not only provides sufficient of both for its self, but by the Overplus supplys other Mar∣kets, and thereby lessens its Sales abroad; Page 90 This to a Kingdom so much made up of Manufactures as England is must needs be attended with great Disadvantages, and yet to maintain a good Correspondence with Ireland is very convenient, I shall therefore consider what Topicks may be laid down as general Rules for the Ad∣vantage of the former, and best agreeable with the true Interest of the latter.
It was a Question once put by Pilate, what is Truth? And when he had said this he went out again unto the Jews, &c. which Question seems to me rather to arise from a Perturbation in his own Mind occasioned by the fluctuating of several Interests, than from any Desire he had to receive an answer, for we do not find he staid to expect it; and the Consequence shew'd 'twas so, for his being willing to do the Jews a pleasure, and fearing lest he should not be accounted a Friend to Caesar, made him pass Sentence against his Judg∣ment on an innocent Person, of whom he confest, he found no fault in him; In∣terest doth generally biass our Judgments in such a manner that the very supposing a thing to be so makes us uneasie under any Discourse that perswades only to en∣quire into it; but Truth is the same still, and the easiest way to discover it is by wal∣king Page 91 in the Paths of Plainness; Falshood wants Sophistry to lacker and set it off, therefore Men usually represent their pri∣vate Interests under the name of a public Good, and thereby endeavour to guild the Pill they would have go down.
The Heads I shall proceed on are these Two.
- 1. To shew that Ireland as things now stand is very destructive to the Interest of England.
- 2. That the Methods which may be used to render it more serviceable to the Inte∣rest of this Nation will also render it more serviceable to its own.
These are plain Propositions, understood by every Man, and I hope to make them out with the same plainness.
1. As to the first, that Ireland is now destructive to the Interest of England, I think it will admit of little Dispute; for as long as that People enjoy so free and open a Trade to Foreign Parts, and thereby are encouraged to advance in their Wollen Manufactures, they must conse∣quently lessen ours, than which they can∣not do us a greater Mischief, being the Tools whereon we Trade, when they sink our Navigation sinks with them.
Page 92 Now the Advantage Ireland hath above England in making the Wollen Manu∣factures will soon give them opportuni∣ties of outdoing us therein, first as it pro∣duces as good or rather better Wool, and next as it furnishes all Provisions cheaper to the Workmen, which renders them able to live on easier terms than ours can here, and this will in short time give Invitation for many more to remove thither.
2. But 'tis the second Proposition which will not be so easily allowed; how the true Interest of Ireland will be advanced by such means as shall be used to promote that of England.
Here we must consider, what is the true Interest of Ireland, and wherein it doth consist? Whither in Trade and Manu∣factures, or in Improvement of its Lands by a good Settlement? And I doubt not but on a strict Scrutiny it will appear to be the latter; for indeed till that is made, no Trade can be serviceable to any Peo∣ple farther than it doth help towards it; Nor is it the Advantage of an ill-peopled Colony whose Riches are to be the Fruits of the Earth to divert any number of the Inhabitants from its Cultivation, whilst they can find Vent for their Product, and be supply'd with conveniencies another Page 93 way; had our American Plantations done so, they had never been well setled, but much more of their Lands at this time un∣improved; and this I take to be one great Reason why the English in Ireland have always lain open to the Insults of the Natives there, the Country being slenderly peopled in the more In∣land Parts; if so, then certainly whatever hinders the Peopling, and consequently the cultivating and improving the Lands of Ireland, doth so far hinder the advanc∣ing its true Interest.
Now nothing doth this more than Trade Abroad, and Manufactures at Home.
- 1. As they divert great Numbers of People which cannot be spared from Hus∣bandry.
- 2. As they so far lessen the Strength and Security of that Island.
The true Interest then of Ireland being Husbandry, Trade and Manufactures stand diametrically opposite thereto; for Trade being of it self less laborious, and the Poor maintained thereby living more easie than such as are employed in the Field, doth invite them rather to settle in that way than the other; this is the reason why such Multitudes of People daily flock in∣to Cities from the Country, if they have Page 94 either Encouragement themselves, or can foresee any for their Children, whereas few withdraw from Trade to the Labour of a Country Life; of this we have an eminent Example in New England, which tho' it was the first peopled, and by its Trade hath drawn thither great Numbers of Inhabitants, yet that large Colony hath not cultivated so much Ground as far less Numbers have in other Plantations much later setled; for whereas in them the Product was thought to be their Wealth, and therefore the Setlers disperst themselves, and with all the Assistance they could get endeavoured to clear and fit the Ground for breaking up, these took another Course, and by keeping together chose rather to live on Buying and Selling, by which means their Improve∣ments are very small, and their Product of no value suitable to their Numbers, so that it seems at present rather a Maga∣zine of Trade, their chief Imployment being to supply the other American Plan∣tations with Fish catch'd on the Coasts, and some other things raised near the Sea∣side, and in Returns bring thence the Commodities of their Growth, which they again barter with us, or Ship to Markets themselves, and here it is to be Page 95 noted that the great Ballance of their Ttade is Ships, which (having plenty of Timber) they build on reasonable Rates, either for Sale, or to be imployed for transporting their own Commodities, which being generally bulky, such as Timber, Mackrill, Bread, Horses, for the Planta∣tions, and Codfish for Europe, great part of their value arises from their Freights; This was indeed their oversight at first, and now scarce to be retrieved; for had they then began with Planting, and fol∣lowed that closely for some time, they might in all probability long since have made themselves Masters of a greater Product, which would have laid the foun∣dations of a much larger Trade both to Europe and other places in America; they are indeed a thrifty sort of People, but want Commodities of their own Product, and the Profits of a Nations Trade being very much limited according to that, if the Parliament should think fit by new Laws to hinder the Freedom they now enjoy in our American Plantations (which I judge absolutely necessary, because so much abused by their carrying those Commodities to Foreign Markets with∣out touching first in England, to the les∣sening our Customs, and discouraging our Page 96 Merchants here) their Trade must sink, and they see their error too late.
2. And as Foreign Trade and Manufac∣tures lessen the Number of Husbandmen in Ireland, so secondly it lessens the Strength and Security of that Island, which lies in a good Number of hardy People, enured to Labour, who with it defend their own Interests, and cannot depart thence with∣out leaving their All; whereas Merchants and Traders being but Temporary Resi∣dents may and often do leave a place when it most requires their Stay for its Defence; an Instance of this we had lately, when the trading Part of the In∣habitants thereof who could remove their Effects left it soonest, whilst the Men of Land came more uneasily away, because they left their Estates behind them, and had no Methods of maintaining themselves in England but by living on what they brought with them, whereas the others soon fell into Trade here, and tho' they changed the place were still in their Em∣ployments; now the Security of the Free∣holders of Ireland is to engage as many as they can in the same Interest with them∣selves, which may be done by dividing the Lands into particular Farmes, in big∣ness suitable to the Stocks of such as un∣dertake Page 97 them; by this means they fix their Roots in the Ground, and bind them with a Band of Iron; nor would many of their People (if Trade were discouraged) re∣turn to England again, but imploy them∣selves and their Stocks in improving such Farms as they should purchase either for Lives or Years at easie Rents, or making themselves Freeholders.
And as the security of Ireland is lessen'd at Land by Trade, so likewise at Sea, for which they depend on the Kingdom of England; now can it be thought this Na∣tion will be at continual charges only to raise a People which shall vye with them in their Trade? Or that we can be able to do it when our Navigation decays? which it must do as the others increases, who afford us few Saylers towards Man∣ning our Fleet, whilst our own are harrast by continual Presses; for let them be sure if the French King could have marched an Army thither as easie as he could to Flanders, the Lands of Ireland might long since have had other Landlords, maugre all the defence they could have made.
Nor does the Profit of this Trade and Manufacture redound to the Free-holders, but only to the Traders, who as I hinted Page 98 before are a separate Interest, and remove at their Pleasures.
But if the People of Ireland think En∣gland is bound to defend them against a Foreign Invasion an Account of its own Interest and Security, they must be allow'd to be in the right, yer let them consider also that we have power to limit their Trade so as it may be least prejudicial to our own, which in my Judgment can∣not better be done than by reducing that Kingdom to the State of our other Plan∣tations, confining the Exportation of their Product only hither, and that also unma∣nufactured, and preventing their being supplied with Necessaries from other Na∣tions; this will make Ireland profitable to England, and in some measure recompence the vast Charges we have been at for its Reduction and Delivery out of the Hands of Foreign Powers and Popish Cut-throats, and that not less than twice in forty Years, all paid by the People of England, a Gvess whereat may be made by this, that the last cost above Three Hundred and Forty Thousand Pounds only in Transport Ships, for which we now pay Interest; and if the Charge of Transporting our Army thither with their Provisions and Ammu∣nition cost so much, what did the pay of Page 99 the first and Purchase of the latter a∣mount unto? Now 'tis very reasonable the Nation should some way or other receive Satisfaction for its Expences, and none seems more just and equal than this, which would only limit the Profits of a few Mer∣chants, who carry on a Trade to the Pre∣judice of England; As for the Free∣holders, they would be supply'd with Ne∣cessaries on as cheap terms as now, and find Chapmen for their Product, which would be bought up by Factories setled from England, or they might send them hither themselves if they thought fit, and by this means all would be manufactured here, and Foreign Markets must be sup∣ply'd hence as they are now thence.
This is the way to prevent transporting their Wool for other Places to the Pre∣judice of our Manufactures, and Import∣ing Tobacco with other of our Plantation Commodities directly thence to the pre∣judice of our Customs and Merchants; this also would imploy our Navigation, and by its short Voyages make Multi∣tudes of Seamen; In short, we cannot ima∣gine the Advantages it would bring to this Kingdom till Experience hath shew'd us.
Page 100*But then the Act of Prohibition must be repealed, there must be free Liberty to bring in Cattle both alive and dead, and all things else which that Land produces; and here I must again renew the Questi∣on, What is Truth? 'Twill be as difficult to perswade the Gentlemen of England that this is their true Interest, as it is those of Ireland that theirs does not consist in Trade and Manufactures, one being byassed by the breeding part of this Nation, as the others are by their Merchants, who represent their private Profits as the Nations; and it is not to be wondred they have Success there∣in when it carries so much the face of a pre∣sent advantage; but that the Gentlemen of England should be still fond of that Act after so many Years smarting under it seems to me very strange, than which I know no Law in my time hath been more pernicious to the Traffique of this Kingdom; 'twas this first put those of Ireland on that Trade which hath since almost eat out ours; 'twas this set them on Manufactures, which were so far ad∣vanced before the late troubles, that the sales of one Market as I have been in∣formed came to a Thousand Pounds per Week; for so long as they had Liberty of Importing their Product hither, and found a constant Sale when Imported, they were contented therewith, but be∣ing Page 101 put on a necessity of finding out Foreign Markets for their Provisions, this made their Merchants (who were before gener∣ally Factors to those of England, and are to give them their due an ingenious pry∣ing People) dive deeper, and since we re∣fused to take the Flesh, they chose to keep the Fleece, and either to Ship it to Fo∣reign Countrys where 'twould yield a great∣er Price, or by a Manufacture to render it fit for those Markets wherein they vended the other; 'Twas this that hath produced such great Quantities of Wool in Ireland as have at least equalled if not exceeded England, for the greatest part of the Lands of that Kingdom by reason of the thinness of its Inhabitants being turned rather to pasture than Tillage, and this Prohibition discou∣raging the raising black Cattle, put the People on stocking them with Sheep; which Overplus would again decrease if Ireland becoming better peopled in its Inland Parts by laying aside Trade fell more on Tillage, or by repealing this Act the Inhabitants received Encouragement to betake themselves again to breeding black Cattle; now if it be true that not the quantity of a Commodity at Market but the Demand when there makes it bear a Price, it will appear that the Ma∣kers Page 102 of that Law were out in their Po∣litiques, by not considering that the Pro∣duct of Ireland must be consumed some∣where, and if sent to Foreign parts for∣merly supplied hence 'twould abate the Exportation of ours, the Consequence whereof would be the lessening their Ex∣pence abroad more than it was increased at home; nor did they at the same time take care to put us on any footing equal with the others by abatement in the Cu∣stoms on Exportation, and thereby ena∣bling the Merchants of England to sell suitably with those of Ireland, but still continued Three Shillings per Barrel on Beef, and Four on Pork, whilst the others paid much less there, the same on But∣ter, Bread, Flower, and other Provisions, so that a Stander by would have thought this Law had been contrived for the Ad∣vantage of Ireland; all which proceeded from the mistaken Interest of one part of the Kingdom, which (were it true) ought not to prevail to the Detriment of a Na∣tional Trade, and the true Interest of the Remainer.
Nor will it be reasonable unless this Liberty be given to bind up Ireland from a Foreign Trade, and consequently to con∣fine the consumption of its Product to a Page 103 Home Expence, except what we shall oc∣casionally fetch from them to carry A∣broad; This as it will discourage the Free-holders there, so will it Industry here, and the Trade must be managed by great Funds, small Stocks not being able to engage in transporting the Commodities they receive in Barter to Foreign Markets, which they might in bringing them to England, be∣ing a shorter Voyage; and so consequently the Product of Ireland would have more Buyers, and the Inhabitants be supplyed with Necessaries on cheaper Terms by this free Trade, than when their whole Depen∣dance should be on those Monopolizers.
The next Question will be what effect the taking off this Prohibition will have on our native Product? Whither it will lessen its Consumption? I am of opinion it will not, because our Exports must be increased as theirs from Ireland are lessen∣ed, unless we do imagine Foreign Mar∣kets will not consume the same quanti∣ties they did before, or will find out new ways to be supplied with them from other places; besides, by how much more charges are added to the Products of Ireland (as those of Freight and other petty Expences on such bulky Commodities will be if brought hither) so much will ours be put Page 104 on the same Footing with them, and bear a better price.
It's well known that the Exporting our Wool to Foreign Markets hath by the ill Consequences thereof abated its Price at Home; This hath been observed by Cal∣culations made by considering Men, and the reason was, because those Countrys were thereby enabled to work up much larger Quantities of their own into various sorts of Manufactures, which both fitted their occasions at Home, and supplied Markets abroad where we generally vended ours; by this means our Sales growing slack, and finding new Competitors in our Trade, we were forced to sell our Manu∣factures cheap, and this was done by ma∣king them slighter, and by lessening the Prices both of Wool and Labour; where∣as had we kept our Wool at Home these Mischiefs had been prevented, and the French and other Nations could not have made such a Progress in Manufactures as they have done; their Wool being unfit to be wrought up by its self (unless mixt with English or Irish) must have sought a Market here, and been returned again to them in Manufactures, which is the true way to enrich this Kingdom; This would have drawn over great Numbers of Page 105 People to be employed in the Cloathing Trade, who would likewise have consu∣med our Product; and as these had in∣creased so also had their Imployment, which would have kept up the Price of Wool, things being of value in Markets according as they are supply'd by Nati∣on's standing in competition for Trade, and it must be allowed that it was not the Interest of England to fall its Manufactures abroad had we been the only Sellers, for according as they yielded there, so much is the Wealth of this Nation advanced; This our Fore-fathers knew when they made Laws not only to prohibit the Ex∣portation of Wool hence, but also from Ireland, which Laws cannot be too strong, on whose due observation depends our Wealth or Ruin; now if the Trade of Ire∣land was reduced to that of our other Colo∣nies, and the same Care taken about the Commodities of its growth, our danger from that Kingdom in Relation to this would be at an end, when Methods may also be used to prevent its being Ex∣ported hence.
Nor is there any reason to be offered why Ireland should have greater Liberty than our other Plantations, the Inhabi∣tants whereof have an equal Desire to a Page 106 free Trade, forgetting that the first design of their Settlement was to advance the Interest of England, against whom no Arguments can be used which will not equally hold good against Ireland.
1. As it was settled by Colonies spa∣red from England.
2. As it hath been still supported and defended at the Charge of England.
3. As it hath received equal Advantages with the other Plantations from the Ex∣pence England hath been at in carrying on Wars Abroad and Revolutions at Home; And on this last there is greater Reason against Ireland than any of the rest, we having lately paid more Money for the Purchase of that Trade than the Profits thereof may bring to us and our Posteri∣ties for many Generations; so that 'twould be a piece of great Ingratitude for the Free-holders of Ireland unwillingly to sub∣mit to any thing whereby the Interest of England may be advanced, to the Inha∣bitants whereof they are indebted for their Lands, who have laid down their Lives and spent their Treasures to reinstate them in their Possessions.
As for Corn, Fish, and Horses, whither a Liberty may not be allowed to tran∣sport them thence direct for other Mar∣kets Page 107 on Ships first entring here in England is a point worth serious Consideration.
But the main objection as to England is yet behind, a great part of the Gen∣tlemen of this Kingdom thinking it will sink the Rents of their Lands if Irish Cattle are admitted to be brought over alive, others that the Importation of Provisions thence will fall the Price of our own; and though in the former they do not so generally agree, differing according as their Lands are Scituated, and proper for Breed∣ing or Feeding, yet in the latter they more unanimously consent, and cry out, This is the great Diana of the Ephesians, the less Provisions are brought in, the more our own will be expended, where∣as if they did impartially consider, they would find it an empty Idol; Nothing will advance their Lands like Trade and Manufactures, therefore what-ever turns the Stream of these elswhere lessens the Number of Inhabitants who should con∣sume their Provisions, and when those in∣crease so do the others, which (besides a home consumption by People engaged in Imployments distinct from Husbandry) doth always invite many Foreigners hi∣ther, who being Temporary Residents spend our Product, it being a sure Maxim Page 108 that where the Carcass is there will the Eagles be gathered together.
Besides, when the Irish Provisions are broughr hither, those Markets which were supply'd with them thence before will then have them hence, tho' perhaps at dearer Rates, and with them great Quantities of our own; No Man can imagine what Ex∣pence there would be of English Cattle were we once fallen into the Trade of making Provisions here, England as well in its Beef as Manufactures exceeding all other Countrys, with this farther Advan∣tage, that the former for Goodness and Price cannot be supplied from any other place save Ireland; nor do I suppose it so much the Interest of this Kingdom when Provisions are advanced only by a Home Expence, as when 'tis done by a Foreign Export, the first makes particular Men grow Rich by preying on their Neigh∣bours, but the Nation grows Rich by the latter, when we vend them abroad at good Prices; nor would our Plantations which now take off the greatest part of the Cattle slaughter'd in Ireland spend one Barrel less if kill'd here.
All Trade had a beginning, occasioned by some lucky Accident which put Peo∣ple on new Projects, and why EnglandPage 109 which hath so many Plantations depend∣ing on it should suspect a consumption for its Cattle I cannot imagine; we might then set the Rates of Provisions there, and the Merchants afford to give better Prices for them here, when they shall load them at Home, and save the Charges of going to Ireland, without fear of having their early Markets forestall'd thence; and the Planters being now grown rich are like∣wise able to give greater Rates for them than they could at their first Settlement; England had never a fairer Opportunity of making an Entry on this Trade than now it hath, which would soon consume great Numbers of Cattle, and consequent∣ly give Encouragement to our Breeding Countrys as well as the Feeding.
But if a Manufactury is thought fit for Ireland, and its Circumstances will admit thereof, let that of Linnen be encouraged▪ this may draw over Multitudes of French Resuges, and put them upon an Imploy∣ment wherewith they were formerly ac∣quainted, which we must assist by the be∣nefit of Importation Custom free, and the Advantage of Fashion; and then these two Kingdoms encouraging different Ma∣nufactures will be serviceable to each o∣ther, for which Stocks would not be want∣ing Page 110 even from the People of England, who would delight to see Ireland thrive when their Manufactures crost not ours; This would in time alter the Ballance of our Trade with France, when we shall send thither more Woollen, and receive thence less Linnen.
If the wisdom of the Parliament shall think fit by these or any other Methods to make Ireland more serviceable to the Trade of England it will advance both the Lands and Traffick of this Kingdom, and so make us all better able to pay the Charge of this long and expensive War.
* I shall next say something to the Trade of Scotland, which hath formerly consum∣ed more of our Woollen Manufactures than now it doth, since that Nation is fal∣len on making them there, which they do out of their own Wool, with the help of what they get from us, also of Spanish, both from hence and from Holland.
But their chief Manufactures are Lin∣nen, Butter, and Herrings; 'twere to be wish'd the former was more encouraged by this Government, with Liberty to bring it hither Custom free, provided they would send us also their Wool, and then our Ma∣nufactures would not justle with each o∣ther; King James the II. limited their Page 111 Trade to his Pleasure by Act of Parlia∣ment, which I take to be a great reason why that People were so much at his Devotion, but the Liberty of a free Trade was made one of the Terms whereon his present Majesty received the Crown, who hath since given them Encouragement to settle Plantations abroad, such as they shall either plant, or buy from Foreign Princes, which he hath promised to en∣franchise with the same Rights and Privi∣ledges he doth grant in like Cases to the Subjects of his other Dominions.
They have also fallen lately on the thoughts of Codd-Fishing, whereof they have great shoals about their Coasts, which formerly they used to pickle and send away in Casks, but now intend to cure after the manner 'tis done in New∣foundland.
And doubtless these three things would much encourage Trade had they Stocks to manage them, but those they want; I have heard it discours'd that the Cash of that Kingdom amounted to One Million of Pounds Sterling, but I scarce believe it does to One Half, perhaps not one Third which properly belongs to its Inhabitants; therefore they propose to carry on the Woollen Manufactures Plantations and Page 112 Fishery by English Stocks, the two last by Companies, which will consist chiefly of Londoners, who first promoted the Designs, and will furnish Monies for ma∣naging them; Now I cannot think any Nation can settle Plantations abroad to advantage which wants Stock and Manu∣factures of its own to supply them, the great Profit of Plantations being to en∣courage Manufactures at Home, and the means to settle them is by giving long Credits to the Planters abroad, and when this is done by Money taken up at Inte∣rest from another Nation the whole Pro∣fit will redound to the Lenders, so that the Scotch may make Settlements abroad, but if neither the Stock nor Manufactures are their own, they will have only the name of being Proprietors whilst others carry away the Profits, like a Gentleman who pays as much for Interest yearly as the Rents of his Lands bring in, he may have the Pos∣session, but the Userer has the Income of his Estate; so for their Fishing, which be∣ing managed on English Stocks will bring them only so much as shall pay for the labour of those imployed about it; The same for their Woollen Manufactures.
Page 113 On the other side if the Trade to these Plantations is driven by an English Corpo∣ration, the Scotch indeed will get Imploy∣ments for their Saylors, but all the Product will be other Men's, who will take care for their own advantage to keep the Planters poor abroad, and the Inhabitants from in∣specting into it at home.
Besides, that Kingdom being now sup∣plied from England with West-India Com∣modities at cheaper Rates than they can expect to raise them, will want vent for their new Product when brought Home, unless absolutely prohibited to be import∣ed thither from hence, which will be a new Tax on the Spender, paid only to a Foreign Monopoly; neither can they Ex∣port them to sell on equal Terms with the English; so that on the whole I cannot see what advantage the Scotch can make at this time of day by setling Plantations, which if they do attempt, we must be∣sure to take care of Ireland, and by redu∣cing it to the terms of a Colony prevent their selling the Product there, which I am apt to think is the main thing they aim at.
* The Canary Trade brings us nothing but what we consume, and takes from us little of our Product or Manufactures, we chief∣ly Page 114 purchase those Wines for Money therefore if it was reduced to the same Terms I have proposed for Maderas it would do very well: By this means we should at least buy Wines cheaper there, and then their Prices must be limited at Home, both on the Importer and Re∣tailer; 'twill be convenient to regulate this Trade, but not to discourage it, for since we must drink Wines, 'twere bet∣ter we had them from the Spaniard than the French, the first takes off much of our Manufactures, the other little, and tho' perhaps the Canary Islands may not, yet I am apt to think those Wines are paid for out of what we send to the Con∣tinent of Spain.
* This brings me to the Spanish Trade, which I take to be very profitable to this Kingdom, as it vents much of our Pro∣duct and Manufactures, and supplies us with many things necessary to be used in making the latter; I shall divide it into three parts, Spain, Biscay, and Flanders.
To begin with Spain; by which I mean that part from the Bay of Cadiz Eastward into the Streights of Gibralter; whither we send all sorts of Woollen Manufac∣tures, Lead, Fish, Tin, Silk and Worsted Stockings, Butter, Tobacco, Ginger, Page 115 Leather, Bees-Wax; and in Returns we have some things fit only for Consump∣tion, such as are Fruit and Wines; others for our Manufactures, such as are Oyl, Cochineal, Indigo, Anato, Barilia; with some Salt; but the greatest part is made in Bullion, both Gold and Silver, with which this part of the Kingdom abounds, being supplied therewith from their large Empires on the Main of America, whither they again Export much of the Goods we carry thither.
The Spaniards are a Stately People, not much given to Trade or Manufactures themselves, therefore the first they drive on such Chargeable and Dilatory terms both for their Ships and Ways of Navigation, that other trading Nations, such as the En∣glish, French, Dutch, and Genoese, take advan∣tage thereby, only that to the West-Indies is on strict Penalties reserved to themselves, but having no Manufactures of their own, the Profit thereof Returns very much to those who furnish them; indeed of late they have made a small beginning on Bayes, but will not be able to hold it when the War is ended; Nor have they so well secured the West-Indies but that it is very plentifully supply'd by us with Ma∣nufactures, and many other things from Page 116Jamaica, which is accompanied with great∣er Advantage than when sent first to Ca∣diz; for whereas we generally sold them there at Twenty per Cent advance, we do by this Means make at least Cent per Cent, all paid for in Bullion, which adds to the Wealth of the Nation; this I take to be the true Reason why our Vent for them at Cadiz is lessened, because we supply New-Spain direct with those things they used to have thence before.
By Biscay I mean all that part under the Spanish Government which lies in the Bay of that Name; the Commodities we send thither are generally the same; like∣wise formerly great Quantities of Refined Sugars, till we gave the French and Dutch leave to undermine us, partly by the Ad∣vantages they had by the late Imposition on Muscovadoes, and partly by the Im∣prudence and ill Management of our Su∣gar-Bakers, who would not take Pains to comply with the humours of that People as the others did; but I hope if due care be taken, that profitable Trade may be re∣covered again.
The Commodities we have thence are very advantageous, such as Sheeps Wool, Iron, and Bullion, whereof the first is the best, as being the subject Matter of a great Page 117 Manufacture, which could we secure whol∣ly to our selves (tho' it cost all Bullion) 'twould be of great Advantage to the Nation, but both the Dutch and French come in for their Shares.
The third part of our Spanish Trade is that to Flanders, whereby I mean all that part of the low Countrys now under its Government; whither we send Commo∣dities much of the same nature with those we send to the other Parts, tho' not in so great Quantities; and among our Woollen Manufactures more course Medlys; also Coals from Newcastle; but not so much Leather, being supplied freely with raw Hides from Ireland, which are tann'd there; This might be prevent∣ed were that Kingdom reduced to the State of a Colony, and the Profit there∣of would then return hither; We have thence Linnens, Thread, and other things, which are used at home, and shipp'd off to the Plantations.
* The next is the Trade we drive to the Kingdom of Portugal; where we vend much of our Product and Manufactures, little different in their Kinds from what is sent to Spain; and from thence we have in Returns Bullion, Salt, Oyl, Woad and Wines; of the latter we have lately im∣ported Page 118 great Quantities, which as they take well with the People of England, so its more our Interest than to have them from France, whence our Imports are more than our Exports, and to this Kingdom our Exports are greater than the Pro∣duct thereof can make us Returns, espe∣cially since we have desisted from bring∣ing home their Sugars, a Commodity wherewith we are more advantageously supplyed from our own Plantations, and did before the War furnish Foreign Mar∣kets cheaper than they could.
This People were formerly the great Navigators of the World, to whom we are indebted for their many Discoveries both in the East and West-Indies, be∣sides the several Islands of the Azores, Cape de Verde, and also Maderas; to these Islands they admit us a free Trade▪ but their remoter Settlements on the Conti∣nent of America they reserve more strict∣ly to themselves, whither they Export many of the Commodities we send them, and in Returns have, Sugars, Tobacco, with some other things, which are again Transported to the European Markets, tho' little of them hither; Their Islands we supply direct from England with our Ma∣nufactures, and from the Azores load Corn, Page 119 Woad, some Sugars, Wines and Bullion, all received in Barter for them, but chiefly the first, which we carry to Made∣ras, where 'tis again Barter'd for Wines, shipp'd thence to our Plantations in Ame∣rica; in all these the Inhabitants live well, and are very rich, but those residing on the Cape de Verd Islands are generally a poor despicable People, made up of Negroes, Molattoes, and such like, who having but little Product to give in Returns are there∣fore but meanly supplyed with Commo∣dities, and those very ordinary, so that they have scarce wherewith to cover themselves, much less for Luxury; Asses Bieves and Salt being all we have from them, which we generally carry to our Plantations in America; Beife might be made very cheap there could it be saved, being purchased for little, and Salt for less, but the Climate will not admit it; the chief of which Islands is St. Jago, very rich, well governed, and a Bishops Sea, where they are well supplied, because they have Money to pay for what they buy.
The Portugueze as they are now become bad Navigators, so they are not great Ma∣nufacturers; some sorts of course Cloth they do make, and did once attempt Bayes,Page 120 for which they drew over some of our Workmen, but it soon came to an end, and they returned home again by Encou∣ragements given them hence, so prudent a thing it is to stop an Evil in the beginning.
Since this War they have had great Advantages in their Navigation, for be∣ing engaged on neither side they have by that means drawn Imployments from all; Lisbon hath also been as it were a free Port for several Commodities to be thence Transported to France, whence among o∣ther things it hath been supply'd with Lead, which occasioned once an Order of Council here for stopping all Ships bound thither with that Commodity, es∣teem'd so useful to them in carrying on the War, but on second Thoughts it was recall'd, for which Order there seem'd to be no good Ground at first, as if the French King, who doubtless would not refrain taking the Plate out of his Churches to support the Charge of his War, should out of Reverence spare the Lead that covered them if he wanted it, and could not elsewhere be supplyed with it, which was not probable, since 'twas so plenty in every part of his Kingdom, one Tun whereof according to a moderate Computation making above Thirty Thou∣sand Page 121 Bullets; I wish he were better fur∣nish'd with our Product and Manufac∣tures, and we had his Money for them, which would much more weaken him, than the other would enable him to carry on the War; Ireland supplies Portugal with tann'd Leather and Woollen Manufactures, which would be sent hence if the Trade of that Kingdom was well regulated.
* The Trade driven to Turkey is very pro∣fitable, which affords us Markets for great Quantit••s of our Woollen Manufactures and Lead, shipt hence to Constantinople, Scandaroon and Smyrna, and from thence disperst over all the Turkish Dominions, also to Persia: The Commodities we have thence in Returns are Raw Silk, Cotten Wool and Yarn, Goats-Wool, Grogram-Yarn, Cordivants, Gaules, Potashes, and some other things, which are the founda∣tions of several Manufactures different from our own, by the variety whereof we better suit Cargoes to Export again; and though it must be allowed that the Turky Merchants carry thither Bullion, and 'twas to be wish'd the Trade could be driven without it, being better for this Nation if we bought all things in Barter for our Product and Manufactures, (which above the Foreign Materials they are made off are all Profit) yet if we rightly consi∣der, Page 122 we shall find great difference between Buying for Mony Commodities already manufactured, which hinder the use of our own, such as those brought from the East-Indies, or things to be spent on our Luxu∣ry, such as Wines and Fruit, and buying therewith Commodities to keep our Poor at work, these must be had though pur∣chased with all Bullion, and therefore we ought highly to esteem that Trade where∣in we receive so great a part of them in Barter for the other.
*To the several Ports of Italy we ship great Quantities of Lead and other our Product, and many sorts of Woollen Ma∣nufactures, but chiefly those made of Wor∣sted, also Fish, and Sugars both White and Brown, the last principally to Venice, but more thereof in times of Peace than we do in this time of War, Freights be∣ing high, and the Commoditie dear at home; we bring thence Raw and Thrown Silk, and Red Wool, which are wrought up here; also Oyl and Soap, used in work∣ing our Wool; some Paper and Currants.
Both Venice and Genoua have made some Progress in a Woollen Manufacture, being furnished with Wool from Alicant and those Eastern parts of Spain; wrought Silks and Glass are not so much Imported thence as Page 123 they were, since we have fallen on ma∣king them at home.
* The Dutch do likewise buy many of our Manufactures, and some of our Pro∣duct, as Coals, Butter, Lead, Tin, be∣sides things of smaller value, such as Clay, Redding, &c. which are all Exported to Holland, not only for their own use, but being a Mart of Trade for Germany they disperse them for the Expence of those Countrys, among whom also they vent our West-India Commodities, as Sugars, Tobacco, Indigo, Logwood, Fustick, Gin∣ger, Cotten Wool, besides what they use themselves; These are an industrious Peo∣ple, but having little Land do want Pro∣duct of their own to trade on, except what they raise by their Fisheries, and bring from the East-Indies, whereof Spices and Salt-Peter are many times admitted to be brought hither, though contrary to the Act of Navigation; Indeed the Trade of the Dutch consists rather in Buying and Selling than Manufactures, most of their Profits arising from that and the Freights they make of their Ships, which (being built for Burthen) are imployed general∣ly in a Home Trade for Bulky Commo∣dities, such as Salt from St. Ubes to the Sound, Timber, Hemp, Corn, Pitch, and Page 124 such things thence to their own Country, which Ships are Sailed with few Hands, and this together with the lowness of In∣terest enables them to afford those Com∣modities at such Rates that many times they are fetch'd thence by other Nations cheaper than they could do it from the Places of their Growth, all Charges con∣sidered; 'tis strange to observe how those People buz up and down among them∣selves, the vastness of whose Numbers causes a vast Expence, and that Expence must be supply'd from abroad, so one Man gets by another, and they find by Expe∣rience that as a Multitude of People brings Profit to the Government, so it creates Im∣ployment to each other; besides, they invent new ways of Trade, by selling not only things they have, but those they have not, great quantities of Brandy be∣ing disposed of every Year, which are never intended to be delivered, only the Buyer and Seller get or lose according to the Rates it bears at the time agreed on to make good the Bargains; such a Com∣merce to England would be of little Ad∣vantage, no more than jobbing for Gui∣neas, this Nation would no way advance its Wealth thereby, whose Profits depend on our Product and Manufactures; But Page 125 that Government raising its Incomes by the Inhabitants, (who pay on all they eat, drink, or wear) cares not so much by what means each Person gets, as that they have Peo∣ple to pay, which are never wanting from all Nations, for as one goes away ano∣ther comes, and every Temporary Resi∣dent advances their Revenue; therefore to increase their Numbers they make the Terms of Trade easie; contrary to the Customs of Cities and private Corpora∣tions with us, the narrowness of whose Charters discourages Industry and Im∣provements both in Handecrafts and Ma∣nufactures, because they exclude better Artists from their Societies, unless they purchase their Freedoms at unreasonable Rates.
* Another great Market for our Manufac∣tures in Hamburgh: This City vents great Quantities of our Cloth, Sugar, Tobac∣co, and other Plantation Commodities, which are thence sent into Germany; from whence we have Linnens, Linnen Yarn, and other Commodities, very necessary both for the use of our selves and our Plan∣tations, and no way thwarting with our own Manufactures.
Page 126*Poland also takes off many of our Ma∣nufactures, wherewith it is supply'd chief∣ly from Dantzick within the Sound, whi∣ther they are first carry'd, and thence dis∣perst into all parts of that Kingdom, which hath but little Wool of its own, and that chiefly in Ukrania; but the Expence of our Cloth hath been lessened there, since Silesia and the adjoyning parts of Germany have turned their Looms to that Commodity, occasioned by our disusing their Linnens, and wearing Calicoes in their room; We have thence some Lin∣nens, also Potashes.
*Russia is likewise supplyed both from Dantzick, and also by way of St. Angelo with our Woollen Manufactures, and in Returns we have Linnen, Potashes, Hemp▪ Leather, and many other Commodities, both useful at Home, and fit to be car∣ry'd Abroad.
*Sweden and its Territories take off great quantities of our Manufactures both fine and course, besides Tobacco and Sugars; but the Sale of our Broad Cloth hath been much lessened there of late, occasi∣oned by their loading it with great Duties, on purpose to encourage a Manufacture of their own, their Wool is course, but Scot∣land sends them finer to mix with it, so Page 127 consequently the Cloth made thereof must be ordinary, however the King encourages its wearing by his own Example, and thinks it his Interest so to do, as it ad∣vances his Revenue by better enabling his People to pay it, yet this Manufacture must fall, especially if Scotland sets up any themselves, however all sorts of Ser∣ges, Stuffs, and Perpets, are carry'd thi∣ther as freely as before; whither we for∣merly sent also great Quantities of Ca∣lamy, till by a late Act its Exportation was loaden with a Duty above its value, occasioned by a wrong Information given the House of Commons, that it could not be supplyed from any other place, the smart whereof those concerned in the raising and calcining that Commodity have felt, none being Shipt off ever since, Sweden being furnished therewith from other Coun∣trys, who formerly sent it thither, tho' they could not do it on such reasonable Terms as we did, whereby we beat them out of the Trade, but by this means ha∣ving the Market wholly to themselves will thereby receive such Encouragement as to put an end to ours, unless that Act be soon repealed.
Page 128*Denmark hath no Supply of Woollen Manufactures but from us, yet takes no great Quantities, and Norway less, the People of the latter being generally ve∣ry poor are content with any thing they can get to cover themselves; some To∣bacco and Sugar is also Shipt hence, and spent amongst them.
From these Northern Kingdoms we are supply'd with Pitch, Tar, Hemp, Masts, Timber, Iron, all very useful in our Na∣vigation, and without which we cannot carry it on, Commodities which we must have though purchased with Money; I look on any thing which saves our Tim∣ber at Home to be advantageous to this Nation, which the great quantities of Baulks and Boards imported thence do.
* The French Trade hath every age grown less and less profitable to our Woollen Ma∣nufactures, not only as the Inhabitants make wherewith to supply themselves, but also other Nations, which they could not do were they not furnished with Wool from hence and Ireland, their own being unfit to work by it self; if the latter were reduced to the Terms of a Colony it would put a stop to it there, and then ways might be found out to prevent it here; nor doth France spend much of Page 129 our other Manufactures, or of the growth of this Kingdom, or Product of our Plan∣tations, some Tobacco it doth, also Coals, Butter, Calve-Skins, Bottles, and a few other things; it also furnishes us with no∣thing to be manufactured here; so that the Trade we drive thither turns rather to their Advantage than ours, which being generally for things consumed amongst us, and our Imports exceeding our Ex∣ports, must needs be loss to this King∣dom; But if Linnen Manufactures can be setled in Scotland and Ireland, Distil∣ling, Paper, and Silk Manufactures, encou∣raged here, the Ballance will soon be al∣tered, especially if the Portuguese make Improvements in their Wines, for which they now receive great Encouragement, the People of England being not so fond of the French as they were.
* And thus I have run thro' most of the Trades driven from this Kingdom, and shew'd how they advance its Interest by taking off our Product and Manufactures, and supplying us wiih Materials to be ma∣nufactured again, wherein `tis a certain Rule that so far as any Nation furnishes us with things already manufactured, or only to be spent among our selves, so much less is our Advantage by the Trade Page 130 we drive thither, especially if those Ma∣nufactures interfere with our own; there∣fore I think the East-India Trade to be unprofitable to us, hindring by its Silks and Calicoes the Consumption of more of our Manufactures in Europe than it doth take from us; the Spanish, Turky, and Por∣tugal Trades are very advantageous, as they vend great Quantities of our Pro∣duct and Manufactures, and furnish us with Materials to be wrought up here, and disperse our Commodities to other places where we could not so conveniently send them our selves; This Spain doth to all parts of its Settlements in America, Turkey to the Black Sea, Perfia, and all its Territories both in Europe and Asia; Portugal doth the same to Brazile; the Dutch, Hamburgh, and Dantzick Trades are very useful, as they supply Germany, Poland and Russia, with our Manufactures, and lit∣tle interfere with us therein; Sweden and Denmark are profitable, both in what they take from us, and what they supply us with again; Irelrnd as now managed is destructive to us; Scotland, for want of Stock is not capable of making any Ad∣vance either in Manufactures or Plantati∣ons to our Prejudice; Italy takes off great Quantities of our Worsted Manufactures, Page 131 and sends us little of its own save wrought Silks, whereof we shall every Year Im∣port less as we encrease that Manufacture here; but above all I esteem the Afri∣can and West India Trades most profita∣ble to the Nation, as they imploy more People at home, and encourage Naviga∣tion abroad, all their Product is our Wealth, and hath been a means to ballance our Losses this War, and yet they might be better improved to our Advantage; but the French Trade is certainly our Loss, France being like a Tavern, with whom we spend what we get by other Nations; 'tis strange we should be so bewitch'd to that People, as to take off their Growth which consists chiefly of things for Luxu∣ry, and receive a value only from the Esteem we put on them, whilst at the same time they prohibit our Manufactures, in order to set up the like amongst them∣selves, which we encourage by supplying them with Materials; and not only so, but they lay a Tax on our Ships for fetching away their Product, which must else perish on their Hands.
* The Ballance of that Trade is always against us, from whom we have in Goods more than we Ship them; The Ballance of Spain and Portugal is always in our Fa∣vour; Page 132 as for the Dutch, Germany, and Ham∣burgh, their Ballances in Trade are not yet agreed on, some think we ship them most, others that we receive most from them, I encline to the former, the Exchange at all times seems to confirm me therein, and tho' a Pound in Holland is now worth above a Pound sterling, yet I judge it to proceed from the great Remittances we are forced to make for our Armies, which the Exchangers know how to im∣prove to their own Advantage; the Nor∣thern Crowns supply us with more than they take from us, but the Commodi∣ties we have from them are better than Money; Turky takes Money from us, yet is very beneficial; Italy will grow more and more in its Ballance on our side eve∣ry year, as the Importation of Wrought Silks is lessened and turned into Raw and Thrown; Now considering that almost the whole World is supplyed by our la∣bour, and that our Plantations do daily bring us such Incomes, 'tis strange if this Nation should not grow Rich, which doubt∣less it would do above all its Neighbours were things well managed.
Page 133*Those who cope with us in our Ma∣nufactures are chiefly, the French, Dutch, and Ireland; as to the latter, it lies in our Power to give Rules to them; and for the French, let due care be taken to pre∣vent their being supply'd with Wool from hence and Ireland, and we shall soon see an alteration therein; 'tis true they are of more danger than the Dutch, because they have more Wool of their own, but this they cannot work without ours or Irish▪ The Commodities they make are generally pretty slight Stuffs, wherein they use a great deal of Combing Wool, and these they not only wear themselves, but send to Portugal and other Places with good Success, to countermine which we have fallen on the same by Assistance of the French Refugees; I wonder at the fancy of those who are always finding fault that we do not make our Manufac∣tures as good and as strong as formerly we did, wherein I think they are to blame, for we must fit them to the humours of the Buyers, and slight Cloth brings an equal Profit to the Nation with strong, and gives the same Imployment to our People; yet where Seals and other Marks are set I would have them be certain Evidences to the truth of what they cer∣tifie, Page 134 either to the length of the Peece, or that the inside is suitable to the out∣side, or that 'tis truly wove, and without Flaws; the same in respect to the Colour, that 'tis woaded, or madder'd, or the like; and I take it to be a great deal of diffe∣rence between this and obliging the Ma∣nufacturer to make his Cloth or Stuff to a certain weight and thickness, without any respect to the humour of the Buyer, or the Climate of the Country to which it is sent; As for the Dutch, as I take them to be no good Planters, so no good Ma∣nufacturers, their Heads are not turned that way, but rather to Navigation and Traf∣fick, they were once famous in the Art of Cloth-making, which was maintained by the Wool they fetch'd hence, but King Edward the III. considering the Advantage they made by imploying their People with our Growth whilst our own stood still, prohibited the Exportation of Wool, and the Importation of Foreign Cloth, and cunningly perswaded the Dutch Manufac∣turers by Priviledges granted them to set∣tle here; if then the prohibiting Wool to be carried out had so good an effect at a time when cloathing was the great Sup∣port of that People, why should not our greater Care to prevent it now have a far Page 135 better, when the whole Trade of that Na∣tion seems to be in the Ʋnited Provinces, and they chiefly set on Buying and Sel∣ling? We cannot hinder them from Spa∣nish Wool, but we may from our own and Irish: As for Scotland and Sweeden, their Manufactures will come to nothing, and it would be the great Wisdom of this Na∣tion to encourage them to bring all their Wool hither, though at some charge to the Publick; as for Germany, the Woollen Manufacture is not so natural to them as the Linnen, which they would soon turn to, if we gave them Encouragement by wearing it here and in our Plantations; this would be more advantageous to En∣gland than by the use of Calicoes to force a Neighbouring Nation to fence with us at our own Weapons, which they very unwillingly undertake; the Woollen Ma∣nufactures in Italy are but small, and those chiefly among the Venetians, something among the Genouese, these we cannot hin∣der, being supply'd with Wool from those parts of Spain which are near to them, ex∣cept we could promote a Contract with the Spaniard for all he hath, to which we never had a fairer Opportunity, and I do not believe the Dutch would much op∣pose it if we gave them liberty to bring it Page 136 in as Merchandize, I should be glad to see such a Barter made, tho' by relinquishing to them our part of the East-India Trade; Had we once the Command of all the Wool of Europe, we might then set what Prices we would on our Manufactures in Foreign Markets, which now we cannot do, but must sell them cheap, lest we be under∣sold by other Nations who vye with us therein, and our Manufactures selling well abroad, Wool would yield a good Price at home; But if it be doubted that too much Wool will be Imported, 'twould be better to burn the Overplus at the charge of the Pub¦lick (as the Dutch do their Spices) than to have it wrought up abroad, which there is no reason to fear, seeing all the Wool of Christendom is manufactured some where or other; and if the Act for Burying in Wool∣len did extend to our Plantations, 'twould be of great use towards the Consumption of our Wool: Thus when the Nation comes to see that the Labour of its Peo∣ple is its Wealth, 'twill put us on finding out Methods to make every one work that is able, which must be done either by hin∣dring such swarms from going off to Idle or Useless Imployments, or by preventing such Multitudes of lazy People from being maintained by Begging.
Page 137*And this is farther to be noted, that where a Nation doth fetch from us our Manufactures themselves, and Imports to us Materials, we get less by that Trade than if we did it in our own Bottoms, because that doth also encourage our Na∣vigation; thus we get more by the Spanish Trade, because we both supply them with the former, and fetch their Wool, Oyl, &c. in our own Ships; and we lose more by the French when they bring us their Wines and Brandy than when we fetch them our selves, and accordingly we must take our Measures in judging of all other Trades.
*It hath been a great Debate how the Ballance of our Foreign Trade shall be computed, and what Methods must be taken to know whither we get or lose thereby; some have thought that if we Export more than we Import we lose by Trade, others that if we Export of sub∣stantial Commodities more in value than we Import in such we then lose by it, and this seems to be the most rational Com∣putation, but I do not think there is any certainty in the Account we can have of either; our Exports indeed are better known than our Imports by the Custom-House Books, the Bullion and such things Page 138 being not entered there, and seldom pre∣sented, besides many Commodities both outward and inward are run, and never come under the Cognizance of those Of∣ficers; but suppose a more exact Account could be kept, since so great a part of the Trade of England is driven by Ex∣change, and such vast quantities of Com∣modities are imported from the West-Indies and others exported thither for Account of the Inhabitants of those Plantations, the Ballances whereof they design to lie here as foundations of a secure Settlement for themselves at home▪ which Commo∣dities are Exported 〈◊〉 to Foreign Na∣tions on the Accounts of its Inhabitants, who pay for them here by Bills of Ex∣change, I cannot see how any moderate Computation can be made thereby of our general Trade, much less of that we drive with any particular Nation, the Com∣modities which we receive at one place being often carried to another; Thus we transport to Italy the Sugars we receive for our Manufactures in Portugal, and bring thence Silks and other things to be ma∣nufactured here; thus we carry to Turky the Money we receive at Cadiz, which helps us there in the selling our Manufac∣tures, and purchasing Materials more pro∣table Page 139 to this Nation than the Money would be if Imported in Specie; and yet we must not conclude we lose by the Portugal or Spanish Trades because the Re∣turns fall short by the Custom-House Books, or that we get more by the Italian Trade because it doth not appear by them how we exported Commodities to pay for those we Import, so the thing must still remain doubtful.
*I think it would be a consideration be∣coming the wisdom of the Nation if a standing Committee of Trade were ap∣pointed at the charge thereof, made up of Men both honest and discreet, and I doubt not such may be found, whose only business should be to consider the State thereof as to its Trade; to find out ways how it may be improved both in its Husbandry, Ma∣nufactures, and Navigation; to see how the Trade with Foreign Kingdoms grows more or less profitable to us; how and by what Methods we are outdone by others in the Trades we drive, or hindred from enlarging them; what is necessary to be prohibited both in Imports and Exports, and for how long time; to hear Com∣plaints from our Factories setled in Foreign Kingdoms; to correspond with our Mini∣sters abroad about Trade, and to represent Page 140 all things rightly to the Government, with their advice what Courses are pro∣per to be taken for its Encouragement; and generally to study by what Means and Methods the Trade of this Nation may be improved both abroad and at home; if this was well setled, the good Effects there∣of would soon be seen; but then great care must be taken that these Places be not fill'd up with Courtiers, who know nothing of the Business, and so this ex∣cellent Constitution become only a Mat∣ter of Form and Expence; and herein I would propose for Pattern the Members of the Bank of England, who wisely foresaw if that project should fall into such Hands, 'twould soon come to decay; therefore the first thing they did was by fundamen∣tal Rules to shut out all from having a share in the management, who had not a good Interest in its Profits or Losses, and next to choose out of that number such for their Officers, who being bred up in Business knew how to improve it to the best advantage: The French King found this Method very useful in the Ma∣nagement of his War, and his Oppo∣nents soon saw that Monsieur Colberts Head did them more Mischief than an Army in the Field, because the latter only put in Page 141 Execution abroad what he advised at home; and I think there is not more need of Policy in War than in Trade, the cu∣rious Fibres by which it moves are so fine and thin that if strained by injudicious Hands they are soon broken, and yet our Parliaments generally handle it very course∣ly, and usually do more Hurt than Good when they meddle with it, not foresee∣ing the ill consequences of what they do will overballance the Good they intend, and that the Methods they use will not answer their ends, the reason whereof is because the Conceptions they have of it are too gross for a thing so full of Spirit as Trade is; He that will but consider the Irish Prohibition Act, the Clogg put on Distilling by the Barly Act, and on Navigation by the Tunnage Act, will soon see they are in Truth Hindrances to what that Honourable Assembly intended by them, the Advancement of Land.
* I cannot close this Discourse without saying something of Insurance, the first design whereof was to encourage the Mer∣chant to export more of our Product and Manufactures, when he knew how to ease himself in his Adventure, and to bear on∣ly such a proportion thereof as he was wil∣ling, but by the irregular Practices of some Page 142 Men (especially since this War) the first Intention is wholly obviated, who with∣out any Interest have put in early Poli∣cies, and gotten large Subscriptions on Ships, only to make advantage by selling them to others, and therefore have indus∣triously promoted false Reports, and spread Rumours on the Exchange to the Prejudice of the Ship or Master, filling all Mens Minds with Doubts, whereby the fair Trading Merchant when he comes to in∣sure his Interest either can get no one to underwrite, or at such high Rates that he finds it better to buy the others Policies at great advance; by this means these Stockjobbers of Insurance have as it were turned it into a Wager, to the great Pre∣judice of Trade; likewise many ill de∣signing Men their Policies being over-va∣lued have it's to be feared to the Dispa∣ragement of honest Traders contrived the loss of their Ships; on the other side the Underwriters when a Loss is ever so fair∣ly proved boggle in their Payments, and force the Insured to be content with less than their Agreements, only for fear of engaging themselves in long and charge∣able Sutes.
Page 143 Now if the Parliament would please to take these things into considera∣tion, they might reduce Insurance to its first Intention, by obliging the Insured to run a proportionable part of his Adven∣ture the Premio included, and the Insur∣ers to pay their full Subscriptions without abatement, and if any differences arise, to direct easie ways for adjusting them, with∣out attending long Issues at Law, or being bound up to such nice Rules in their Proofs as the Affairs of Foreign Trade will not admit; and for the better security of the Insured it will be worth consideration whi∣ther the Subscriptions of the Insurers should not be of equal force in Law with their Bonds.
* Here I intended to have made an end; but being lately present where among o∣ther Discourses the question was put by an Ingenious and Worthy Gentleman, (a true Lover of his Country) whither the labour of our Poor in England being so high does not hinder the Improvement of our Pro∣duct and Manufactures? Which having some Relation to the Subject Matter of this Dis∣course, I humbly make bold to offer my Thoughts thereon, viz. That both our Product and Manufactures may be carried Page 144 on to advantage without running down the labour of the Poor.
As for the first, our Product, I am of opinion that the running down the Labour of the Poor is no advantage to it, nor is it the Interest of England to do it, nor can the People of England live on such low Wages as they do in other Countrys; for we must consider that Wages must bear a Rate in all Nations according to the prices of Provisions, where Wheat is sold for One Shilling per Bushel, and all things suitably, a labouring Man may work for Three Pence per diem, as well as he can for Twelve Pence where it is sold for Four Shillings; and this price of Wheat must arise from the Rates of Land; it cannot be imagined that the Farmer whose annual Rent is Twenty Shillings per Acre can af∣ford it as low as he who pays but Half a Crown, and hath the same Cropp, nor can he then expect labour so cheap as the other; This is the case of England, whose Lands yielding great Rents require good Prices for their Product; and this is the Freeholders advantage, for suppose Neces∣saries were the currant Payment for La∣bour, in such case whither we call a Bu∣shel of Wheat One Shilling or Four Shillings it is all one to him for so much as he pays, Page 145 but not for the Overplus of his Cropp, which makes a great difference into his Pocket; you cannot fall Wages unless you fall Product, and if you fall Product you must necessarily fall Land.
And as for the second, our Manufactures, I am opinion that they may be carried on to advantage without running down the labour of the Poor; for which I offer,
1. Observation, or Experience of what hath been done, we have and daily do see that it is so; the Refiners of Sugars late∣ly sold for Six Pence per Pound what yieled twenty Years since Twelve Pence; The Distillers sell their Spirits for one third part of what they formerly did; Glass-Bottles, Silk-Stockings, and other Manufactures, (too many to be enumerated) are sold for half the Prices they were a few Years since, without falling the labour of the Poor, or so little as not to stand in Competion with the other.
But then the question will be, how this is done? I answer, It proceeds from the Ingenui∣ty of the Manufacturer, and the Improve∣ments he makes in his ways of working thus the Refiner of Sugars goes thro' that oper∣ation in a Month, which our Forefathers re∣quired four Months to effect; thus the Di∣stillers draw more Spirits, and in less time, Page 146 from the Simples they work on, than those formerly did who taught them the Art; the Glass-maker hath fonnd a quicker way of making it out of things which cost him littie or nothing; Silk-Stockings are wove instead of knit; Tobacco is cut by Engines instead of Knives; Books are prin∣ted instead of written; Deal-Boards are sawn with a Mill instead of Men's Labour; Lead is smelted by Wind-Furnaces, in∣stead of blowing with Bellows; all which save the labour of many Hands, so the Wages of those imployed need not be lessened.
Besides this, there is a Cunning crept into Trades; the Clockmaker hath improv∣ed his Art so high, that Labour and Mate∣rials are the least part the Buyer pays for; The variety of our Woollen Manufactures is so pretty, that Fashion makes a thing worth both at Home and Abroad twice the Price it is sold for after, the humour of the Buy∣er carrying a great sway in the value of a Commodity; Artificers by Tools and Laves fitted for different Uses make such things as would puzzle a Stander by to set a price on according to the worth of Mens Labour; The Plummer by new Inventions casts a Tun of Shott for Ten Shillings, which an indifferent Person could not guess worth less than Fifty.
Page 147 The same Art is crept into Navigation; A Tun of Sugars which cost a few Years since from Six to Eight Pounds Freight from the Plantations, was commonly brought home before the War for Four Pounds Ten Shillings, and whereas it then weighed but Twenty-five Hundred, 'taws in∣creased to Forty-five, and yet Saylors Wages were still the same; Ships are built more for Stowage, and made strong enough to carry between Decks; Wool is steeved into them by Skrews, so that three or four Baggs are put where formerly one would scarce lie; Cranes and Blocks draw up more for One Shilling than Men's La∣bour could do for Five.
New Projections are every day set on foot to render the making our Manufac∣tures easie, which are made cheap by the Heads of the Manufacturers, not by fal∣ling the Price of poor Peoples Labour; cheapness creates Expence, and Expence gives fresh Imployments, so the Poor need not stand idle if they could be perswad∣ed to work.
The same for our Product; Pits are drained and Land made Healthy by En∣gines and Aquaeducts instead of Hands; the Husband-man turns up his Soil with the Sullow, not digs it with his Spade; Page 148 fowes his Grain, not plants it; covers it with the Harrow, not with the Rake; brings home his Harvest with Carts, not on Horse-backs; and many other easie Me∣thods are used both for improving of Land, and raising its Product, which are obvious to the Eyes of Men verst therein, though do not come within the Compass of my present Thoughts; all which lessen the number of Labourers, and make room for better Wages to be given those who are imploy'd.
*Nor am I of opinion with those People who think the running down the Prises of our Growth and Product (that so they may buy Provisions cheap) is an advantage to the Inland Trade of this Kingdom, but on the contrary I think 'twould be beter for it if they were sold higher than they are, which may seem a Paradox at first, till the thing be rightly stated; suppose then the common and usual price of Beef to be Two Pence half-penny per Pound, and Wheat Three Shillings and Six Pence per Bushel, and all Flesh and Grain suitable, 'twould be better for our Inland Trade if the for∣mer yielded Four Pence, and the latter Five Shillings, and other things in Proportion.
Page 149 To prove this, let us begin with the Shop-keeper or Buyer and Seller, who is the Wheel whereon the Inland Trade turns, as he buys of the Importer and Ma∣nufacturer, and sells again to the Country; suppose such a Man spends Two Hundred Pounds per Annum in all things necessary for his Family, both Provisions, Cloaths, House-Rent, and other Expences, the Question will be what proportion of this is laid out in Flesh, Corn, Butter, Cheese, &c. barely considered according to their first cost in the Market? I presume we shall find Fifty or Sixty Pounds per Annum to be the most, and suitably the advance there∣on will be about Twenty-five to Thirty Pounds per annum, but the Consequence thereof in the Profits of his Trade will be much more; for by this Means the Farm∣er may give a better Rent to his Land∣lord, who will be enabled to keep a more Plentiful Table, spend more Wines, Fruit, Sugars, Spices, and other things wherewith he is furnished from the City, wear better Cloaths, suit himself and his Family oft∣ner, and carry on a greater Splendor in every thing: The Farmer according to his condition may do the same, and give higher Wages to the Labourers imployed in Husbandry, who might then live more Page 150 plentifully, and buy new Cloaths oftner, instead of patching up old; by this means the Manufacturer would be encouraged to give a better price for Wool, when he should find a Vent as fast as he could make; and a Flux of Wealth causing va∣riety of Fashions would add Wings to Mens Inventions, when they shall see their Manu∣factures advanced in their Values by the Buyer's Fancy; this likewise would en∣courage the Merchant to increase his Ex∣ports, when he shall have a quick Vent for his Imports; by which regular Circulati∣on Payments would be short, and all would grow rich; but when Trade stops in the Fountain, when the Gentleman and Farm∣er are kept poor, every one in his order partakes of the same fate; and this hath been a certain Rule grounded on the Ob∣servation of all Men who have spent time to look into it, that in those Countrys where Provisions are low the People are generally poor, both proceeding from the want of Trade: So that he who would give a right judgment must not always con∣sider things primâ facie, as they offer them∣selves to us at first sight, but as they ap∣pear to be in their Consequences.
And here it cannot but seem strange that England which so much abounds in Product and Manufactures, besides the Im∣ployment given in Navigation, shouldwa•• work for any of its People; the Dutch (who have little of the two former if compar'd with us, and do not exceed us in the latter) suffer no Beggars; whereas we whose Wealth consists in the labour of our Inhabitants seem to encourage them in an idle way of living, contrary both to their own and the Nation's Interest: Idleness though it cannot be called the Image of the Devil, who is a busie active Spirit, yet fits for any Impression, for whilst People neglect by some honest La∣bour to serve the publick Good, they too often fall on such Courses as render them publick Evils: Livy (that famous Histo∣riographer) observed it was the greatest Sedition that ever was in Rome, when the Citizens went about with their Hands in their Pockets, and would do nothing: Hence it is that so many die Spectacles at Tyburn, and offer themselves up Victims to Vice, no councels could perswade nor Examples fright them from those evil Habits they had contracted by Idleness: Page 152 The Curse under which Man first fell was Labour, That by the Sweat of his Brows he should eat his Bread; this is a State of Hap∣piness if compared to that which attends Idleness; he that walks the Streets of London, and observes the Fatigues used by the Beggars to make themselves seem Objects of Charity, must conclude that they take more pains than an honest Man doth at his Trade, and yet seem to me not to get Bread to eat; and I wish that was all the Encouragement they met with, I fear it is not, such swarms of idle Drones would not then fill the Streets, who are a Nursery of Vice: Beggary is now become an Art or Mystery, to which Children are educated from their Cradles; any thing which may move Compassion seems a live∣lihood, a sore Leg or Arm, or (for want thereof) a pretended one; the Tricks and Devices I have observed therein have often made me think that those parts if better imployed might be more useful to the Common-Wealth.
In handling this subject let us consider,
- 1. What hath been the cause of this Mischief of Idleness, and how it hath crept in on the Nation.
- 2. What must be done to restrain it from growing farther.
- Page 153 3. What Methods may be used to pro∣vide for those who are past their La∣bours.
As to the first; we shall find that Sloath and a Desire of Ease is the principal Cause; which appears by People's setting them∣selves on such ways of Living as our Fore-fathers would have been ashamed of; nothing but this could induce young Men in their full Strengths slavishly to attend on selling a Cup of Ale, or depreciate themselves to be Pimps to Vice, they think by these ways to be maintained in Sloth; Hereby Religion is despised, and Vice promoted, Men thinking if they should profess the first or discountenance the last they could not live on such lazy Terms; and whence doth this proceed? Truly partly from the abuse of those Laws we have, and partly from want of better: Licenses for Ale-houses were heretofore granted for good Ends, not to draw Men aside from their Labour by Games and Sports, but to support and re∣fresh them under it; And as they were then a Maintenance to the aged, so poor Families had opportunities of being sup∣plyed with a Cup of Ale from Abroad, who could not keep it at Home; great ob∣servation was also made to prevent idle Page 154 Tipling, our Forefathers considered that time so spent was a loss to the Nation, whose Interest was improved by the work of its Inhabitants; whereas now Ale-houses are encouraged principally to promote the Income of Excise, on whom there must be no Restraint, lest the King's Revenue be les∣sened; thus we live by Sence, and look only to things we see, without revolving what the Issue will be, not considering that the Labour of each Man if well imployed whilst he sits in an Ale-house would be worth more both to the King and Nation than all the Excise he pays; Industry usually brings Wealth as its Concomi∣tant, and though Success may not always accompany private Men's Labours, yet the Publick gets thereby.
Nor did we fall into this Habit of Sloath at once, but by degrees; when Luxury first crept in this was in the Embrio, but hath been cocker'd up under it to the Pitch 'tis now arrived; much proceeds from Imitation, our Gentry who have Es∣tates betaking themselves to an useless way of Living, those who had them not soon fell in love therewith, and to this much of the Misery of the Nation is ow∣ing, Men affect to be thought what they are not, and leaving honest Labour spend their Page 155 Patrimonies in fine Cloaths, and keeping Company, till being put to their shifts they are forced to betake themselves to play or begging.
Another thing which hath increased our useless People is the Nobility and Gentrys leaving the Country, and choosing to re∣side in London, whither they bring up with them Multitudes of lusty young Fellows, who might have done good Service at the Plough had they continued there, but ha∣ving now no other Imployments than to hang on their Masters Coaches forget to work, and rarely or never return again to Labour.
Add to this the great Numbers who are employed in Offices about the Revenue, Men who might have been serviceable ei∣ther in Husbandry or Manufactures, but now they and their Families are wholly taken off from both, the Fathers chief Aim being to get the Son into the same way of Living.
What Multitudes of Coffee-houses are there in London and other places, who keep lusty Servants, and breed them up to nothing whereby they may be profi∣table to the Kingdom?
Page 156 What swarms of Youth go off to the Law, who being the Sons of Yeomen and Handecrafts Trades had been more useful to the Nation if bred up in their Father's Imployments?
Besides those who live only by Buy∣ing and Selling, wherein wanting Success they have no way to maintain themselves or their Families.
But above all, our Laws to put the Poor at work are short and defective, tending rather to maintain them so, then to raise them to a better way of Living; 'tis true those Laws design well, but consisting on∣ly in generals, and not reducing things to practicable Methods, they fall short of an∣swering their Ends, and thereby render the Poor more bold, when they know the Parish Officers are bound either to pro∣vide them Work, or give them Mainte∣nance.
Now if England delighted more in improving its Manufactures, ways might be found out to imploy all its Poor, and then 'twould be a shame for any Person ca∣pable of Labour to live idle; which leads me to the second consideration, what must be done to restrain this habit of Idleness from growing farther; Here I find that nothing but good Laws can do it, such as Page 157 will provide work for those who are willing, and force them to work that are able.
To begin with Manufactures; Here I should think Work-houses very expedi∣ent, but then they must be founded on such Principles as may employ the Poor, which can never be done on any thing I have hitherto seen; nor will such Work-houses take effect till the Poor can every Week make Returns of their Stock, which might be contrived did the Geni∣us of the Nation set in earnest about it; they must be fitted for the Poor and the Poor for them; Imployments must be pro∣vided in them for all sorts of People, who must also be compelled to go thither when sent, and the Work-houses to receive them; the Stocks whereby they are main∣tained must likewise turn often, for to put the Poor on ways of Traffick is too dila∣tory for the Ends intended, they must be rather Assistants to the Manufacturers than such themselves.
Now the Materials which seem most proper for these Work-houses are Simples, such as Wool, Hemp, Cotten, and ma∣ny others, which might either be sent in by the Manufacturers on such equal Shares as the Justices should think fit, or be bought Page 158 up on a stock raised for that end, in both cases to be taken off and paid for when brought to such a perfection as the Rules of the House should direct, and that every week, or so often as the Stock should re∣quire to let the Poor have their Wages to serve their Occasions; these things would employ great Numbers of People, of both Sexes, and all Ages, either by beating and fitting the Hemp for the Ropemaker, or dressing the Flax for the Shops, or more especially by Carding and Spinning the Wool and Cotten, of different fine∣nesses, which would be used in the various sorts of Manufactures we make; and if a reward were given to that Person who should spin the finest Thread of either, to be adjudged yearly, and paid by the Coun∣ty, 'twould very much promote Industry and Ingenuity, whilst every one being prickt on by Ambition and Hopes of Profit, would endeavour to exceed the rest, by which means we should grow more excel∣lent in our Manufactures.
Nor should these Houses hinder any who desire to work at home, or the Manufactur∣ers from imploying them in their own, the design is to provide places for those who care not to work any where, and to make the Officers of Parishes industrious Page 159 to find out such Vermin, when they shall know where to send them, by which means they would be better able to maintain the Impotent.
It seems also convenient that these Work-Houses when setled in Cities and great Towns should not be Parochial only, but one or more in each place as will best suit it, which would prevent the Poor's being sent from Parish to Parish as now they are, and provided for no where.
Oakham also is a fit Material for them, which might be beat there, and for that end Old Junk be bought up, and those who caulk Ships be obliged to take it off at a certain Price.
Tobacco also would imploy multitudes of People, in picking, stripping, cutting, and rowling it, which might be wrought up either in Publick or Private Work-houses, where Boys might be imploy'd till they came to Years fit for the Sea; and when once the Poor shall come by use to be in Love with Labour, 'twill be strange to see an idle Person; then they will be so far from being a Burthen to the Nation, that they will be its Wealth, and their Lives also will become more comfortable to themselves.
Page 160 There are other things which will em∣ploy the Poor besides our Manufactures, and more proper for Men, which are also equally beneficial to the Nation, such as are Navigation, Husbandry, and Hande∣crafts, Here if these or such like Rules were observed, they might be made more Advantageous to all.
As first let every Gentleman who takes a Footboy be obliged to put him into some way for his future Livelihood, to whom he should be bound for a certain number of Years, and no Person should be permitted to continue so after such an Age.
Let every Merchant or Trader who keeps a Foot-boy be also obliged to breed him up in Business, and at a certain Age to set him to some Trade, or imploy him in Navigation, wherein he should cause him to be instructed; by this Means that which now makes lazy Beggars would then be the Nation's Advantage; I think it a comely sight when I see Commanders of Ships attended on by such Boys, because 'tis rarely seen but that they breed them up to be useful Men, and when the Pride of Living tends to the Common Good 'tis very well directed.
Another way to provide for our Youth would be by giving a Power to Justices of Page 161 the Peace to assign them to Artificers, Husbandmen, Manufacturers, and Marri∣ners, at such Ages as they shall think them fit to go on those Imployments, who should also be obliged to receive them; and tho' at first this may seem hard, as hindring their Masters from taking Servants who might bring them Money, yet after some time it would not, when those who were so bound out shall only do for others what was done for them before; and this also may now be made good to them by such an Overplus of Years in their Apprentiships as may countervail the Money.
I allow that these Methods are more pro∣per for younger People than for those of elder Years; As for such (who will rather choose to beg than work) let them be for∣ced to serve the King in his Fleet, or Mer∣chants on board their Ships; the Sea is very good to cure sore Legs and Arms, es∣pecially such as are counterfeit through Sloath, against which the Capster accom∣panied with the Taunts of the Saylors is a certain Remedy.
Next for Ale-Houses, Coffee-Houses, and such like Imployments, let them be kept only by aged People, or such who have numerous Families, and tended by Youth, before they are fit to be put abroad.
Page 162 And as for Maid-Servants, let them be restrained from Excess in Apparrel, and not permitted to leave their Services with∣out Consent, nor be entertained by others without Testimonials; this will make them more orderly and governable than now they are.
No Servant should be permitted to wear a Sword, except when Travelling; and if all People of mean Qualities were prohibited the same 'twould be of good consequence, for when once they come to this, they think themselves above Labour.
'Twould likewise be of great use to the Nation if Masters of Ships were ob∣liged to carry with them some Land-men every Voyage, which would much increase our Seamen, therefore the Justices should have power to force them to enter such as were willing, and to settle the Rates of their Wages; I mean by Land-men those who have not been above three Voyages at Sea.
Young People should be prohibited from Hawking about the Streets, and from selling Ballads; if these things must be allowed they are fitter for the Aged.
Stage-Plays, Lotteries, and Gaming, should be more strictly look'd after, Youth in this Age of Idleness and Luxury be∣ing not only drawn aside by them, but Page 163 more willing to put themselves on such easie ways of living than Labour.
These and such like Methods being im∣proved by the Wisdom of a Parliament may tend not only to the introducing a ha∣bit of Vertue amongst us, but also to the making Multitudes of People serviceable who are now useless to the Nation, there being scarce any one who is not capable of doing something towards his Mainte∣nance, and what his Labour doth fall short must be made up by Charity, but as things now are, no Man knows where 'tis rightly placed, by which means those who are truly Objects do not partake thereof; And let it be also considered, that if every Person did by his Labour get one Half Penny per diem to the Pub∣lick, 'twould bring in Six Millions Eighty Three Thousand Three Hundred Thirty Three Pounds Six Shillings and Eight Pence per Annum, (accounting Eight Mil∣lions of People to be in the Kingdom) which would pay the Charge of the War, so vast a Summ may be raised from the Labours of a Multitude, if every one paid a little.
Nor is the sending lazy People to our Plantations abroad (who can neither by good Laws be forced, or by Rewards en∣couraged Page 164 to work at Home) so Prejudi∣cial to the Nation as some do dream, they still serve it in one of its Limbs, where they must expect another sort of Treat∣ment if they will not labour; 'tis true they give no help to the Manufactures here, but that is made up in the Product they raise there, which is also Profit to the Nation; besides, the Humours and other Circumstances of People are to be inquired into, some have been very use∣ful there, who would never have been so here, and if the People of England are imployed to the advantage of the Com∣munity, no matter in what part of the King's Dominions it is; many Hundreds by going to those Plantations have be∣come profitable Members to the Common-Wealth, who had they continued here had still remained idle Drones; now they raise Sugar, Cotten, Tobacco, and other things, which imploy Saylors abroad, and Manu∣facturers at Home, all which being the Pro∣duct of Earth and Labour I take to be the Wealth of the Nation.
The Imployment of Watermen on the River Thames breeds many Saylors, and it were good to keep them still fill'd with Apprentices; also the Imployment of Barge∣men, Lighter-men, and Trow-men, both Page 165 on that and other Rivers does the same, who should be encouraged to breed up Land∣men, and fit them for the Sea.
Confining the Importation of Sugars from the Plantations to Muscovadoes would give Life to our Refining Houses at Home, so would prohibiting (as much as may be) the Shipping thither things unwrought give Encouragement to our Manufactures, both which would imploy the Poor.
Idleness is the Foundation of all those Vices which prevail amongst us, People aiming to be maintained any way rather than by Labour betake themselves to all sorts of Villanies, the ill Consequences whereof cannot be prevented but by en∣couraging Youth in an early Delight of Living by Industry, which would keep up a true English Spirit in them, and create a Desire to secure a Property in what they have; whereas a sloathful Dependance on another's Bounty makes Men slavishly give up all at the Will of their Benefactors, and having no Properties of their own to se∣cure, are easily perswaded to part with their Liberties; this a former Reign knew well, when the Ministers of that Court found an Inclination in the People to sell their Priviledges for Luxury and ease.
Page 166 And certainly nothing hath so much supported the Rights and Priviledges of the Commons of England as making so many of them Free-holders, whereby they are encouraged to make Improvements where they have Properties, and to defend them when made, Estates raised by their own Industry and Labours; which likewise stirrs up Tenants to endeavour by the same means to attain the same ends; a Spirit great where-ever it is, tho in the mean∣est Peasants, when they rather desire to live of their own than by Dependance on others; this puts them on honest En∣deavours, these get them Credit and Repu∣tation, which gives Opportunities of ad∣vancing their Fortunes, and if this Emu∣lation went through the Kingdom we should not have so many lazy Beggars or Licenti∣ous Livers as now there are; nor is God more honoured among any than He is among these industrious People, who abhor Vice on equal Principles of Religion and good Husbandry, Labour being usually a Barrier against Sin, which doth generally come in at the Doors of Idleness.
Page 167 The third Consideration is what Me∣thods may be used to provide for those who either are not able to work, or whose La∣bours cannot support their Charge▪ Here I take Alms-Houses to be good Gifts, where they are designed to relieve Impotent old Age, or educate Youth; not to main∣tain idle Beggars, or ease rich Parishes, but to provide for those who have been bred up in careful Imployments, though notable to stem the Current of a cross Fortune;* Such a one is magnificently built, and suitably endowed by a certain Gentle∣man near a great City, for which he deserves to be truly honoured, though perhaps he may scarce be imitated.
Another way to provide for those who are true Objects of Charity is by taking care that the Poor's Rates be made with more equality in Cities and Trading Towns than now they are, especially in the for∣mer, where the greatest number of Poor usually residing together in the Suburbs or Out-Parishes are very serviceable by their Labours to the Rich in carrying on their Trades, yet when Age Sickness or a numerous Family makes them desire Relief, their chief Dependance must be on People but one step above their own Conditions, by which means those Out-Parishes Page 168 are more burthened in their Pay∣ments than the In-Parishes are, tho' much Richer, and is one reason why they are so ill inhabited, no one careing to come to a certain Charge; And this is attended with another ill Consequence, the want of better Inhabitants makes way for those Disorders which easily grow among the Poor; whereas if Cities and Towns were made but one Poor's Rate, or equally di∣vided into more, these Inconveniencies might be removed, and the Poor main∣tained by a more impartial Contribution.
And that a better Provision may be made for the Relief of Saylors, (who having spent their Labours in the Service of the Nati∣on, and through Age or Disasters no longer fit for the fatique of the Sea, ought to be taken care for at home,) let a small Deduc∣tion be made from Seamen's Wages, and Freights of Ships, to be collected by a Society of honest Men in every Sea Port; This, with what addition might be made by the Gifts of worthy Benefactors, would be sufficient to raise a Fund capable to maintain them in their old Age, who in their Youth were our Walls and Bulwarks; but it must be setled by Law, and no Man left at his Liberty whither he will pay or no; These are generally the most Laborious Page 169 People we have, I do not mean those Scoundrel Rascals who often creep in a∣mongst them, but the true old Saylor, who can turn his Hand to any thing rather than Begging, and I am troubled to see the miser∣able Conditions they and their Families are many times reduced to when their La∣bours are done; Alms-Houses raised for them are as great Acts of Piety as build∣ing of Churches; Age requires Relief, especially where Youth hath been spent in Labour so profitable to the Publique as that of a Saylor, and not only themselves, but their Widows and young Children ought to be provided for; In this the Worshipful Society of the Merchants Ad∣venturers within the City of Bristoll are a Worthy Pattern.
And as for those who lose their Lives or Limbsfighting against the Enemy, themselves or Families ought to be rewarded with a bountiful Stipend, which if raised by a Tax would be chearfully paid; 'tis attended with sad Thoughts when a Woman sees her Hus∣band prest into the Service, and knows if he miscarrys her Family is undone, and she and they must come on the Parish; whereas if this Provition were made, the Fleet would be more easily mann'd, our Merchant-Ships better defended, Saylors Page 170 more ready to serve in both, and their Wives to let them go; but great care must be taken that this Charity of the Nation be not abused, nor put into the Pockets of those appointed to dispose of it, Confiscation of their Estates should be made a Penalty to detert them from such ill Practices.
* We will next consider the State of the Nation with regard to its Taxes.
When I consider the necessity of the War we are now engaged in, and the Con∣sequences of its Event, (the Liberties of Christendom, and the Security of the Pro∣testant Religion depending on the Success thereof) I think it the Duty of every good Subject to offer his advice in a matter of this Importance.
Money we know to be the Sinews of War, it is that which doth strengthen the carrying it on, and I believe there are few Men who do not by this time see, that not the longest Sword but the strong∣est. Purse is most likely to come off Victor; we are too far engaged to look back, and if we do not go on with Vigour it will encourage our Enemy, and make him think better of his own Strength; we cannot preserve at too high a Rate those inesti∣mable Jewels of Liberty and Property, Page 171 which (if we miscarry in this War) we are very likely to lose; therefore how unplea∣sant soever Taxes may seem, Money must be raised, till the French King can be brought to such Terms whereon a safe and lasting Peace may be concluded; but great Pru∣dence ought to be used in the Methods of raising it, lest the People be thereby disgusted against that happy part of our Constitution, Parliaments, when they see their only work is to find out new Me∣thods for raising Taxes; to whom every such Act seems a new Arrow levied at them, by these it is they are discon∣tented, and think themselves shot thro' and thro', because that under different names they hit the same Persons again and again; besides the great charge• the Crown is at in those small Collections, as any Man will see who considers particu∣larly that of the Hackny-Coaches, where∣of near one quarter part goes away for its management; and indeed few of the Pro∣jects I have yet seen seem to be the effects of a considering Head, or to be so weigh∣ed as to support themselves against com∣mon Objections, their greatest Foundation was Necessity; besides, many of them can∣not be renewed, their Income being anti∣cipated for many Years; so that for the Page 172 future new Projects must be thought on, and what this will at last tend to no Man can foresee.
I am apt to think most Men would agree with me in this, that if a Method could be found out whereby Four or Five Millions might be raised Yearly with little Charge and great Ease and Equality it must be much better than now it is, and this to be a Fund out of which the Parliament to appropriate what Summs they see necessary for every use, so that then they would have Leisure to spend much of their time on other Affairs, which is now wholly taken up about Ways and Means; besides, when the People knew there was no new Tax to be raised, they would more chearfully look upon the opening of a Sessions; and the French King must be exceedingly dis∣couraged, when he shall see that after so great Expences we come on with new Vi∣gour, and have provided a Fund for carry∣ing on the War till he can be brought to such Terms as will establish a safe and last∣ing Peace, which by the Means hitherto used we cannot expect, every Tax we have given being like the Gasps of a Man labouring for Life, whereby he con∣cluded we could not subsist a Year longer, Page 173 and doubtless his Emissaries in England have not failed to represent things to him in their worst Colours; but I hope both He and They will find that the People of England, to defend their Religion, Li∣berties, and Properties, neither want Mo∣ney, nor a Will to give it.
The Taxes of this Kingdom are chiefly to be raised on Land or Trade, the first must be eased, and what is laid on the lat∣ter must be done with great Caution and Consideration, things must be well weigh∣ed, and the Principles whereon we pro∣ceed must be sure and solid, and then a thinking Man may improve them by well-digested Notions; Trade like the Ca∣mel will stoop to take up its Burthen, but the weight thereof must not be greater than it can chearfully rise under, other∣wise we destroy it, and shall by our in∣considerate Covetousness lose those Gold∣en Eggs it every day would bring us.
Another thing to be consider'd in the laying a Tax is, that the Poor bear little or none of the Burthen, their Province be∣ing more properly to labour and fight than pay; He that gets his Money by the Sweat of his Bt ows parts not from it without much Remorse and Discontent, and when all is done, 'tis but a little they Page 174 pay, therefore Taxes that light heavy on them (such as Chimney-Money, and of∣tentimes a Poll) tend rather to unhinge than assist the Government, by disgusting such a number of robust and hardy Men as carry a great personal Ballance in the Kingdom, and may be apt when they think themselves opprest to joyn with any for a present Relief, not being well able to foresee the Consequences of things at a distance.
Great Care should also be taken of our Manufactures and Manufacturers, that they be not opprest.
A general Excise cannot do well, for besides the great Charge and Oppression of Officers, it shews no Respect to the Poor, but they pay more than the Wealthiest of their Neighbours suitable to what they have; for though a rich Man spends more in excisable things than a poor Man doth, yet it is not his All, whereas the other's Poverty gives him leave to lay up no∣thing, but 'tis as much as he can do to provide Necessaries for his Family, out of all which he pays his Proportion.
Much like this is a general Poll, where 'tis very difficult to tax People equally.
Page 175 But out of all these something may be taken which may be both easie and practicable, and a Project may be fram'd which may raise annually enough to car∣ry on the Charge of the War, on equal and easie Terms, with little or no Anti∣cipation.
In the well laying whereof these fol∣lowing Rules seem fit to be considered.
- 1. That what is laid on Trade be so weighed, that where the Trader pays he may see an apparent Advantage.
- 2. That the charge of Collecting be on such easie Terms as not to eat up a great part of what is raised.
- 3. That the Poor bear little or none of the Burthen.
- 4. That the Manufacturers be not dis∣couraged.
- 5. That that Summ be not raised by ma∣ny Acts which may be raised by One.
- 6. That the Consequence of a Tax be, either to remove a Publique Grieviance, or to make it pay towards the Charge of the War.
- 7. That it be chiefly laid on those who have hitherto least felt former Taxes, have least suffer'd by the War, and whose Imployments tend more to their own Pri∣vate Advantages than the Support of the Government.
- Page 176 8. That ways be found out to make all People pay their Shares for carrying on the Expence of the War who are protect∣ed by it, whither they live in England or elsewhere.
- 9. That the Lands of England be eased.
- 10. That the Revenue suffer not by Anticipations.
But after all is done, when Money is raised with Ease and Equality to the Sub∣ject, yet if great Care be not taken to see it well laid out, 'twill fall short of answer∣ing the end designed; good Methods are as necessary in this as the former, and the Nation will be more willing to give chearfully, when it shall see the Publick Treasure managed to Advantage; 'twill be no difficult Task to make its Credit e∣qual with private Merchants, and its Pen∣ny pass as far, this will be done when its Payments are as punctual; but then things must not be begun in the middle, but at the right end; we quarrel in vain with a Collonel for not paying an Hun∣dred Pounds to his Regiment, when perhaps he receives but Seventy to do it with; nor can the Captains pay their Sol∣diers to the full, when the Money grows less in every Hand through which it passes; Labour is spent to no purpose about the Page 177 Conduit Pipes, when the Water stops in the Spring; Errors in the Foundation are most fatal; when things are set right at the Fountain Head, then 'twill be time to enquire into the defects of the several Currents; Payments punctually made ac∣cording to agreement would encourage all Men to sell their Commodities cheap, and put an end to the Abuses of Agents, Cloathiers of the Army, and Ticket-Buy∣ers, who do now prey on the Publick; the King would then have his Money well laid out, and those who serve him be paid without dilatory and chargeable Atten∣dances; and when the Nation comes to be satisfied that what Money is raised for carrying on the War is justly applyed to its use, and managed with good Husban∣dry, the Parliament will give more rea∣dily, and the People pay more chearfully; this will render his Majesty the Terror of his Enemies, and the delight of his Friends, who will then strive to outdo each other in their forwardness to serve him with their Lives and Fortunes; especially when they shall see that due Care is also taken to secure their Trade, which must enable them to pay their Taxes.
Page 178*And thus I have given my thoughts of these three Subjects; I shall only add, that what I have done hath not proceeded from an Itch of Writing, but purely from the Love I bear to my Native Country, whose Good and Welfare I delight in, and should be glad to see it flourish and though per∣haps I may be thought mistaken in some particulars of this Discourse, yet I believe few will disagree with me in the Foundation, that the Interest of England doth consist in Improving its Trade, Product, and Ma∣nufactures; What I have imperfectly treat∣ed on I should be well pleased to see a better Pen undertake, great things have often risen from small Beginnings, per∣haps this may stir up some abler Head (without Reflections) to handle the Sub∣ject •uller, which, as it may be useful to the 〈◊〉, so I should read it with great De∣••••• for if the Trade of England thrives, it answers my end, and I care not who proposes the Methods.