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Title: A Discourse on Trade, and Other Matters Relative to it

Author: John Cary

Release date: June 1, 2020 [eBook #62299]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Mohammad Aboomar for the QuantiQual Project;
Project ID: COALESCE/2017/117 (Irish Research Council)


Transcriber's Note

Blank spaces within paragraphs (where apparently figures were supposed to be) were marked with the symbols ### for clarity.






Other Matters Relative to it.


Of Trade in general: Of the Trade of England: Of Husbandry, Feeding, Tillage, Corn, Fruit, Fish, Minerals, Trees, Manufactures, Sheep-Wool, Cotton-Wool, Hemp and Flax: Glass, Earthen-Ware, Silk, Distilling: The great Advantages of a universal National Bank demonstrated: Sugar-baking, Tobacco, Tanning, Clock-Work, Paper-Mills, Powder-Mills: Method to improve our Manufactures, by imploying the Poor: Of Courts of Merchants, Silver Coin: An effectual Method to prevent the Running of Wool: Of our Trade to the East and West-Indies, Africa, the Plantations, Iceland, the Canaries, Spain, Portugal Turkey, Italy, Holland, Hamburgh, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, France, South-Sea, &c. What foreign Trades are profitable, and what not. An Essay on National Credit, and the Irish Linnen Manufacture, &c. &c. &c.

Wrote at the Request of several Members of Parliament And now Published for universal Benefit.

By JOHN CARY, Esq; Merchant of Bristol.


Printed for T. OSBORNE in Gray’s-Inn,



The Right Honourable

Spencer Compton, Esq;


And to the Honourable the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, of this Present Parliament of Great-Britain, Assembled.

May it Please your Honours,

THE First Edition of this little Tract, Relating to Trade, the Poor, &c. was Humbly Dedicated to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, when Governor of the South-Sea Company, which I then thought, as I still do, might be of Service to the Nation, by alluring the Heir to the Crown, into an Early liking of Trade, and Setting before him the Advantages that Accrue from it, with the Methods whereby it may be Improved; and therefore I Contracted it into a narrow Compass to Encourage his Reading it.

THIS second Edition, whereto I have added some sure and practicable Methods, for Discharging the Public Debts of the Nation, with most Ease to the People, I humbly Present to this Honourable House; If it may be Usefull in your Debates, I shall think myself very Happy.

’TIS the Ballance of our Trade, that supplies us with Bullion; if That be in our Favour, it brings it to us, if otherwise, it must be carried away.

THIS Ballance is supported by our Manufactures, which keep our People at Work, and enable them to Maintain themselves by their own Labour, who must else stand still, and become a Charge on our Lands; and therefore I humbly conceive it to be our Interest, First, to encourage their being worn at Home, and then to give a Preference to such Things, as are Purchased for them abroad, rather than to those, which are bought for Bullion; and if our Trade was well regulated, we should soon become the Richest, and consequently the Greatest, People in Europe.

I have made some Essay at such Methods, as I doubt not, being Improved by your Wisdoms, and strengthened by your Authority, may Tend very much to the Effecting this great Work; And I humbly Offer the six Propositions following, as so many Fundamentals, necessary, for the better Ordering of our Trade, the Discharging of our public Debts, and Supporting the Credit of the Kingdom, whereby His Majesty will be rendred more Glorious, both at Home and Abroad.

THE First is, a Committee of Trade, made up of such Men as are well verst in the true Principles whereon it is Founded, and thereby enabled to make right Representations of such things, as shall be referred to them by the Parliament; who, Holding their Places, according as they are thought capable of performing them, will be careful to execute those Trusts with Judgment, Honour and Honesty.

THE second is, a due Inspection into the Affairs of the Poor, and putting an End to that Pernicious Trade of Begging, which I can assure this Honourable House, from the Experience we have had in their Regulation at Bristol, may be done, and that the Poor may be trained up to an early Delight in Labour; the Means and Methods whereby That was Accomplished, though at first Thought Impracticable, I have set forth in the Appendix. pag. 167.

THE Third is, the Keeping of our own Wool at home, and preventing the Wool of Ireland from being Transported any where else except to this Kingdom; which I am persuaded can never be done, by any other Method, but by a Register, and that That will effectually do it; towards which I have made an Essay in the following Treatise.

THE Fourth is, the Encouraging the Linnen-Manufacture of Ireland; ’Tis not easy to comprehend the Advantages that will thence arise to both Kingdoms, when each of them shall be fully employed, on a Distinct Manufacture: the Hands that are now kept at Work there, on the Spinning of Wool, might be then turned to Linnen, and a great Part of their Lands would be taken up, in raising Flax and Hemp, for which they are very proper; and then a Stop might be put to the Importation of those great Quantities of Worsted and Woollen Yarn thence, so pernicious to the Poor of this Kingdom, the Spinning whereof, if Imported in Wool, would amount to many Thousand Pounds per Annum, to be divided among them; and it is certain, that Spinning is the most profitable Part of the Woollen Manufacture, because it is done by Women and Children, who can no otherwise be employed.

IN the Year 1704, I was desired by the Ministry to give my Thoughts of such an Undertaking, which I then did, and printed some Considerations relating thereto, adapted for that Time, which I have added in the Appendix, pag. 158.

NOR can this be any Prejudice to the Linnens of North-Britain, being of quite different Sorts; which should also for many Reasons be Encouraged, by such Means and Methods, as on due Consideration may be thought proper.

THE Fifth is, the carrying on the Fishery, which deserves all the Encouragement the Legislature can give it; and I think the readiest way to do it, is, by incorporating such Societies, as are witting to set upon it with joint Stocks, but not exclusive to any others, which will promote Industry, and shut out Stock-jobbing, the Bane of so many good Undertakings.

THE sixth, and indeed the Foundation of all the rest, is, the establishing a substantial Credit, large enough to answer all the Occasions of the Nation, both public and private, which is the Wheel whereon all the rest must turn, and whereby, not only the Trade of the Kingdom, but also the Occasions of the Government may be supplied, and the public Debts gradually sunk, by a good Management; and This, I humbly Conceive, cannot be settled any other way, but on a parliamentary Foundation, any Thing less will be too narrow.

IN the Year 1696, I made some Essay towards such a Credit, which I then presented to both Houses of Parliament, and have now incerted it in the Appendix, pag. 174. But the Bank of England having about that time furnished his Majesty with a considerable Sum of Money, then very much wanted, for the present payment of the Army, which the Ministry could not otherwise have raised, tho’ they approved of the Projection, were unwilling to disoblige at that Juncture, by setting up any thing like theirs, and so that Matter slept then, as it had ever done, if I had not observed that the famous Mr. Laws had drawn a Scheme from it, for the Service of France, as near as the Constitution of that Kingdom will admit; not that I think it can be lasting, the Foundation being laid on Sand; Yet it hath served the present Occasion, to pay off the Debts of that Nation, by an incredible Stock-job, which must in all probability, end in Confusion and Discontent.

NOTHING can support a National Credit, but a steady Government, where the arbitrary Will of a Prince cannot withdraw, or lessen the Security at his Pleasure; and had such a one been then establish’d here, in all probability, we bad been several Millions less in Debt, and not felt that heavy load of Taxes, which hath opprest our Lands, and injur’d our Trade; nor do I think those Debts can be discharged by any other way, private Men now carrying off those Profits, which should sink them by degrees.

THE Advantages of a National Bank, and the good Effects it will have, in this Free Government, towards the Lessening our national Incumbrances, will plainly appear, when it is considered, that one hundred Pounds borrowed, will circulate two, besides it self, and thereby reduce the Interest, to one third Part of what is paid to the Lender; but if it circulates three, then to a Quarter, and it may be, to much less, according as a Bank hath Credit, and is found Useful.

BY this Rule, if the Public pays Four per Cent. for Interest, it may by Circulation be reduced to one, and there is no doubt, but that a Well-constituted Bank, will be soon fill’d with Money at that Rate; the great Ground of Buying and Selling Stock being, the vast Sums of Money which lie dead on Mens Hands, who hope thereby to make some Profit, but would be glad to dispose of it, on a substantial Security, at a moderate Interest; besides the Advantage it will be to Widows and Orphans, whose Money would be safely lodged, and bring them in a certain Income, for their Maintenance; and here will be no room left for Stock-jobbing, which hath now got such a Footing, even into our public Affairs, that the Parliament doth not give a Land-Tax or a Lottery, where the Subscriptions to it are not Ingrost, by those who have not Money, in order to make an Advantage, by selling them to such as have, besides the vast Charge in the management of Lotteries.

AND as to Trade, the Bank of England hath been very serviceable to this great Metropolis, by making a little Money serve the Uses of a great deal, but the Benefit thereof hath extended no farther; and why other Cities, and indeed the whole Kingdom, should not have the same Advantage, (which it will, if a National Bank be established, and Chambers settled where desired) I cannot conceive.

AND here I must refer to the Appendix, for the better Illustrating the Benefit thereof, and the manner of its Institution, as then intended, which must now admit of several Alterations.

IF such a Bank were settled, the Charge of managing it would be very little, and the Kingdom might grow richer some Millions every Year, and the Government have an Addition to its Security, by drawing the Cash of other Nations hither, whose Interest would thereby become interwoven with ours; and our Manufactures would be encouraged by a Flux of Money, which is the Life of Trade; and this, with the easiness of our Government, would bring the monied Men of Europe to settle here, which would be an Addition to our Wealth; the Trader might hence be supplied, with such Sums of Money as he shall want, and for so long time only, as he shall have Occasion to use it; whereby the Fishery, and other good Undertakings, may be encouraged, and our Wool be certainly kept at Home; and the Gentlemen of England may be hence furnished with Money at the common Interest, and be permitted to make their Payments by such Parts, as they can best spare it; the want of which is now such a Clog upon their Estates, that it destroys many good Families; who, when they are once got into the Usurers Books, can find no way to get out, till they have paid the whole Debt at once, so that their Estates are devoured, by Procuration and Continuation.

NOR is it hereby intended to put a Force upon any Man; ’twill be the Interest of the Lender to put his Money into this Bank, where he hath so certain a Security, and of the Bank to take it in; and on the other Side, it will be the Interest of the Bank to furnish Money on the Terms here mentioned, and of the Borrower to receive it; and this single thing, will in time bring so great a Profit to the Public as will very much sink the Debts of the Nation, whilst a Common Advantage is Interwoven with it.

NEITHER will this break in on the Priviledges granted to the Bank of England, by Act of Parliament; for though they are allowed to lend Money to the Government, on the Terms therein mentioned, yet the Government hath not bound up it self, from borrowing of any Others, and making their Payments in such a manner, as shall be thought most Advantagious to the Nation.

IF any Objections (not grounded on private Interest) shall be made to what I have here offered, I believe a satisfactory Answer may be given to them, if this Honourable House shall think what I have Written, worthy their Consideration.

ALL I shall further add, is, that it can scarce be Matter of Doubt, but that most Men will part with their Securities on private Funds, and rely on the General Credit of the Nation, though at a lower Interest, whereby those Funds will by degrees, become a part of the general Security, which with what new Taxes shall be given, will be so useful in Circulation, that it will be next to Impossible, for the most malicious Projectors, to lessen the Credit of such a Bank, or to make a Run upon it; and those Taxes that are heaviest on the Poor, and most Injurious to our Manufactures, may be taken off: And there will be this farther Advantage, that the several Offices, who are entrusted to buy for the Use of the Public, according to such Sums of Money, as shall from time to time be Appropriated by the Parliament, will be enabled to Purchase all things on the lowest Terms, when their Bills on this Bank, shall be as punctually discharged, at the time when they become due, as if they were Bills of Exchange, and in the mean time pass from Man to Man in Payment, which will be an Addition to the Cash of the Nation, whereby a great deal will be saved in what they lay out; and Men of Industry, but of small Stocks, will be enabled to deal with the Government, which now they cannot do; and will Endeavour who shall supply it on the best Terms, when by such Payments, they shall be Furnished, to go to Market again; and the Debts of the Nation will be so Incorporated therewith, that it will be every Man’s Interest to support its Credit; and the Eye of a Parliament, which hath Power to make Examples of Offenders, who through Fraud or Malice, shall offer Violence thereto, will be sufficient to deter any from such Evil Practices.

I am,

With all dutiful Respect,

Your Honours,

Most Obedient


John Cary.


THE following Sheets are the Work of a Gentleman, a very considerable Merchant at Bristol, whose extensive Knowledge of, and Judgment in Trade, induced some Gentlemen who were well acquainted with his Capacity, to desire him to give them his Opinion on Trade in general, and ours in particular; he did, without any Design of being an Author, or the least Intention of printing it; but having shewn his Papers to those Gentlemen, they desired he would publish them, which he at last consented to, and had a small Number printed in Bristol, at his own Expence.

The Book having met with its deserved success, he re-printed it, with some considerable Additions; but that Edition having been sold of, and himself dying soon after, it was with much Difficulty I obtained that Copy from which this is printed, nor should I as yet have thought of getting it re-printed, but,

The many Prizes taken by our Ships of War, as well as Privateers, since the Commencement of the War with France, being a sufficient Proof of the Increase of her Trade, and the Decay of ours, I imagined any Work that might tend to the promoting our Trade, would meet with due Encouragement; and I am apt to believe no Book on the Subject deserves it more than this.

There is annexed to it, the Act of Parliament made in the 7th and 8th of King William, in favour of the City of Bristol, for regulating their Poor; and by way of Appendix, the Proceedings of the Magistrates in consequence of that Act, worthy of Imitation.

Our Streets being daily infested by swarms of Beggars, perhaps the Publishing these Proceedings may furnish some Hints to those Gentlemen, who are daily seeking after a Method of preventing the many Robberies, Cruelties, and Outrages committed in our Streets every Night of late, and no doubt but many of those who are Beggars in the Day-time, are the very People who do so much Mischief at Night; could they therefore be brought under proper Regulations, it would undoubtedly in some Measure be a Remedy to that Evil, and at the same time encrease the Riches of these Kingdoms, by keeping so many idle Persons of both Sexes employed.

I shall not trouble the Reader any further concerning this Work, whose Merit will I hope speak for itself.




TRADE, &c.

Of Trade in general.IN Order to discover, whether a Nation gets or loses by its Trade, ’tis necessary first to enquire into the Principles whereon it is built; for Trade hath its Principles, as other Sciences have, and as difficult to be understood; but when they are, ’tis easy to discover whether a Nation gets or loses by its Management, and without this, we are not capable of making any true Judgment, it being possible for the Public to grow Poor, whilst private Persons encrease their Fortunes.

The Design of this little Treatise, is to dissect and lay open the Trade of this Kingdom, as it is now driven, that so those Branches that shall appear to be Profitable may be Encouraged, and those that are Otherwise may be Amended.

The Profits of this Kingdom arise from its Product and Manufactures at Home, and from the Growths of those several Plantations it hath settled Abroad, and from the Fish taken on the Coasts, all which being raised by the Industry of the People, are both its true Riches, and the Tools whereby it Trades to other Nations, the Products coming from the Earth, and the Manufacturing of them being an Addition to their Value by the Labour of the People; now where we barter these Things abroad for such as are only fit to be eat and drank, or are wasted among ourselves, though one Man may get by the Luxury of another, yet the Wealth of the Kingdom doth not encrease; but it is otherwise where we change them for Bullion, or for Commodities fit to be manufactured again.

Its Original.The first Original of Trade both Domestic and Foreign was Barter, when one private Person, having an Overplus of such Things as his Neighbour wanted, furnished him therewith for their Value in such whereof the other had plenty, but he stood in need of the same, when one Nation abounding in those Products which another wanted, supply’d it therewith, and received for them Things equally necessary in their stead; and by how much the Products of any Nation exceeds its Wants, by so much it grew richer, the Remainder being sold for Bullion, or some Staple Commodity, allowed by all to have an intrinsic Value.

And as People encreased, so did Commerce, which caused many to go off from Husbandry to Manufactures, and other Ways of Living, for Convenience whereof they began Communities: This was the Original of Towns, which being found necessary for Trade, their Inhabitants encreased by Expectation of Profit; this introduced Foreign Trade or Trafic with neighbouring Nations; and this a Desire to settle rather on some navigable Rivers, than in remote Inland Places, whereby they might be more easily supply’d from the Country with Commodities fit to export, and disperse thither those they had imported from abroad.

The Trade of this Kingdom.I shall now take the Trade of this Kingdom, as it is divided into Domestic and Foreign, and consider each, and how they are advantagious to the Nation, and may be made more so.

Inland Trade.The Domestic or Inland Trade consists either in Husbandry, Manufactures, or Buying and Selling; Buying and Selling.the last of which, whereby one Man lives by the Profit he makes by another, brings no Advantage to the Public; Peoples Occasions requiring Commodities to be retail’d to them in such small Quantities as would fit their Necessities, they were willing to allow a Profit to him who bought them in greater; and as this Sort of Traffic came more in use, so the first Buyers not only sold their Commodities to the Consumers in the Places where they dwelt, but also to others, who being seated in the Country at a distance, made an Advantage by supplying the Inhabitants there: This begat the Ingrossing Commodities, and thence arose Skill and Cunning to foresee their Rise and Falls, according to their Consumption and prospect of Supply. Hence came the Viciating our Manufactures, every one endeavouring to underbuy, that he might undersell his Neighbour; which Way of Living being found in Time to have less Labour and more Profit than Husbandry and Manufactures, was the Reason so many fell into it.

From these Bargains Differencies arising, encouraged another Sort of People, whose Business it was, either by their Wisdoms to persuade, or by their Knowledge in the Laws to compel, the unjust Persons to do Right to their Fellow-Traders (an Honourable Employment at the first, and is still so in those who keep to the strict Rules of its Institution.) Hence arose Attorneys, Sollicitors, and other Officers, which were found necessary to attend on those Suits, and other Services of the Law.

Trade brought Riches, and Riches Luxury; Luxury brought Sickness, and Sickness wanted Physic; which required some to separate themselves to study the Nature of Plants and Simples, as also of those several Diseases which bring Men to their Ends, who for their Advice received Gratuities from their Patients: These brought in Apothecaries and Surgeons, as necessary Attendants to their Employments; all which were maintained by keeping People in their Healths. Many also of ripe Parts were fitted for the Service of the Church, others of the State; great Numbers were employed in providing Necessaries of Meat, Drink, and Apparel, others in fitting Things for Delights and Pleasure, and by this Means leaving Husbandry and Manufactures, flock’d off daily to Livelihoods, which though useful and convenient in their respective Stations, yet cannot be said to encrease the Riches of this Nation, but to live by getting from one another; Husbandry and Manufactures being the profitable Employments, out of which it gathers its Wealth.

Husbandry.The next Part of the Inland Trade of this Kingdom is Husbandry, which anteceded Buying and Selling in point of Time, though the other is treated of first in this Discourse; and this consists either in Feeding or Tillage, by both which we raise great Store of Cattle, Corn, and Fruits, fit for the Food, Service, and Trade of the Inhabitants.

Feeding.To begin with Feeding: And here I might enumerate the various Sorts of Cattle raised and bred by the Care of the Husbandman; but those of most Note with respect to our Trade, are,

1. The Beef; which besides the Excellency of its Flesh for Food, affords many Necessaries for our Trade, and is very serviceable in Tillage; with this we both nourish our Inhabitants at home, victual our Ships for Foreign 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 useful Necessaries; the Overplus whereof, above our own Consumption, we export, and sell in Foreign Markets.

2. The Sheep; whose Golden Fleece being the Primum of our Woollen-Manufactures, does thereby employ Multitudes of our People; which being of different Lengths and Fineness, makes them of various Sorts; whereof they afford us a yearly Crop whilst living, and at their Deaths we have their Flesh and Skins; the first serves for our Food, and of the last we make Things, fit to be used at Home, and traded with Abroad.

3. Horses; whose Labour is so necessary, that we can neither carry on our Husbandry or Trade without them; besides their Fitness for War, being accounted the boldest in the World; and for all these Uses are transported abroad; for the first, to our Plantations in America; and for the last, to some of our Neighbouring Nations: But their Flesh is of no Use, their Skins of little, the Leather made of them being very ordinary, only the longest of their Hair is used in Weaving.

There are sundry other Sorts of Beasts, some whereof require no Care in Raising, others little, such as the Stag, the Deer, the Rabbet, the Hare, the Badger, the Goat, and many others, whose Skins are necessary for our Trade, and useful in our Manufactures.

Tillage.Tillage is that whereby we raise our Corn by turning up the Earth; the several Sorts whereof are Wheat, Rye, Barley, Pease, Beans, Vetches, Oats, &c. which not only afford Nourishment to ourselves, and the Beasts we use in Labour, but serve also for Trade; as they give Employment to our People at home, and are transported abroad, more or less, according to the Overplus of our Expence, and the Want of our Neighbours, besides the great Quantities us’d in our Navigation.

These Products are all clear Profit to the Nation, being raised from Earth and Labour; but their chief Advantages arise from their being exported, either in their own Kinds, or when wrought up, the Remainder, which is spent at home, tending rather to supply our Wants, than to advance our Wealth: Which Exports being more or less, according to the Price they bear in other Countries, and those arising from the Proportion their Lands holds with ours in their Yearly Rents, are not so great in Specie, as when wrought up. Butter is the chiefest, wherewith we supply several Foreign Markets, and did formerly more, till by making it bad, and using Tricks to encrease its Weight, we lost much of that Trade, and are now almost beaten out of it by Ireland, which every Year makes theirs better; besides, they undersell us in the Price, as they do also in Beef, occasioned by the low Rents of their Lands.

’Twas the Act of Prohibition made formerly in England, that first ushered them into a Foreign Trade, their sole Dependance before that Time being on our Markets, and from hence they were supplied with what they wanted; but being thereby prohibited from bringing hither their Cattle and other Provisions, they endeavoured to find a Vent for them in other Markets, which they did with good Success, and to more Advantage; the Sweetness whereof gave a Spring to their Industry, and put them on the Woollen-Manufactures, which they also vended where they exported their Provisions, till in time it became so great and flourishing, as to give us Apprehensions it would endanger ours.

Corn.As for Corn; foreign Markets are supplied therewith, both from thence, and from the Islands of the Azores, cheaper than the Rents of our Lands will admit; but our Plantations have still some Dependance on us for our Product, and as the Lands of Ireland rise in their yearly Value, they will have more. We also raise considerable Quantities of Hemp and Flax, both which are useful in our Trade.

Fruits.The other Fruits of the Earth, such as Apples, Pears, Cherries, Plumbs, together with the Herbs and Plants, serve rather for Food and Delight than for Trade: Some Cider we do export; also Spirits raised by the Distillers, both from some of these, and from Barly.

Fish.On the Sea-Coast both of this Kingdom, and also of Newfoundland, and New-England, are caught great Store of Cod-Fish, Herrings, and Pilchards, which are saved, and sold in foreign Markets.

Minerals.Nor is this all the Product of our Earth, whose Womb being big with Treasure, brings forth Lead, Tin, Copper, Calamy, Coal, Culm, Iron, Allom, Copperas, and sundry other Minerals, which are sold in foreign Markets, whither we send them: Besides a great Expectation we have from a much richer and more valuable Discovery, lately made in that Part of Great-Britain called Scotland.

Trees.Among the several Trees that adorn our Fields, the Oak, the Elm, and the Ash, are the chiefest; these not only serve in Building our Ships and Houses, but also furnish us with materials, wherewith our Artificers make many things fit for Commerce: And it were much to be wish’d, that better Care was taken to preserve our Timber, for the Benefit of Posterity.

Manufactures.The third Part of our Inland Trade is our Manufactures, whereby our Products are improv’d in their Values and made useful in sundry Manners, both for our selves and others, by the labour of our People; and fitted for such Services, as of their own Natures, without the help of Art, they could not have been proper; and those to suit the Necessities and Fancies, both of our own, and also of 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 according to the Necessity and Humour of the Buyers: And this adds to the Profit, and encreases the Wealth of the Kingdom.

These Manufactures, as they employ Multitudes of our People in their Making, so also in Exporting them, and importing foreign Materials to be used with our own, such as Oyl, Dye-stuff, Silk, Wooll, Cotton, Barillia and many others, which are either manufactured here by themselves, or workt up with our own Product.

Sheep's-Wool.And first to begin with Sheep’s-Wooll, whereof either by it self, or mixt with Silk or Linnen, we make Variety of pretty Things, fit for all Climates, and proper for the Wearing of both Sexes; wherein the Invention and Imitation of our Workmen have been so great, that they have out-done all that went before them. From a strong Cloth, fit to keep out Cold in Winter, they have turn’d their hands to a fine thin sort, which will scarce keep warm in Summer; from hence they fell on Perpets, Serges, Crapes, Stuffs, Sayes, Ratoons, Antherines, and many other Things, fit both for outward Garments, and inward Linings; of various Colours, Stripes, and Flowers, some of them so fine and pleasant, as scarce to be known from Silk: Besides those Multitudes of coarser Cloth for the Poor; also Rugs, Blankets, and all sorts of Furniture for Houses. And such a Progress have they made in these Manufactures, that a Man may have his Picture wrought at the Loom, with the same Exactness as if drawn with a Pencil; one Work-man vying to excell another, they make Things to answer all Occasions. And as for Arras and Tapestry, I believe it will be allowed, that they do not fall short of those from whom they first had the Art: Add to these, Hats, Stockings, and many other things, which are both worn at home, and exported abroad.

Cotton-Wool.The next material for the Manufactures is Cotton Wool, which is now become a great Imployment for the poor, and so adds to the Wealth of the Kingdom; This being curiously pickt and spun, makes Dimities, Tapes, Stockings, Gloves, besides several things Wove fit for use, as Wastcoats, Pettycoats, and Drawers, of different Stripes and Finenss; and I doubt not the Workmen would equal the East Indies for Callicoes, had they Encouragement; with all which we supply our Plantations and other foreign Markets, besides what serves for our Consumption at Home.

Hemp and Flax.Hemp and Flax are the Grounds for another Manufacture; for tho’ Weaving of Linnen is not so much used in South Britain, as of Woollen, yet in North Britain it is, and may be farther improved, not so much by Laws to direct the Workmen in their making it, as by apt Methods to encourage them; and even in South Britain several Counties are imployed thereon, 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 Finesses, Incle, Tapes, Sacking, Girtwhip, and many other Things are made thereof; also Cordage, Twine, Netts, with Multitudes of other Manufactures, which imploy the Poor, and bring by their Exports Profit to the Nation; and I can not here omit Sail-cloth, wherein we have made a wonderful Progress in a little time, at the Charge and Expence of private Stocks, who deserve to be encouraged.

Glass.Glass is a Manufacture brought to so great a Perfection, that it keeps many of our People at Work; and the Materials whereof it is made being generally our own, and in themselves of small Value, costs the Nation little, in comparison of what it formerly did, when we fetch’d it from Venice; the Noble Plate Glasses which we now make of all sorts, both for Houses and Coaches, do greatly set forth the Genius of our Workmen; besides the various Sorts of Utensils made for common use, fit for all the Occasions of a Family, which look almost as well as Silver, and it would be better for the Nation that they were more used in its stead; also the Glass for Windows, of different Beauties; and Glass Bottles; all which find a greater Vent both at Home and Abroad by their Cheapness.

Earthen-Ware.And as for earthen Ware, the Progress we have made therein is such, as may give us Hopes, that Time will bring it to such a Perfection, as to equal if not exceed the Dutch.

Silk.Silk is another Material for a great Manufacture; which being brought from abroad Raw, we here Twist, Dye, and Weave into different Goodnesses, both Plain, Striped, and Flowered, either by itself, or mixt with Gold and Silver; so Richly Brocaded, that we exceed those from whom we first had the Art; besides great Quantities of Ribbons, Silk Stockings, and other Things, not only to serve ourselves, but also to Export.

Distilling.Distilling is an Art so exceedingly improved, that had it not met with discouraging Laws, ’twould by this Time have attained to a very great Heigth, and brings great Profit to the Nation; for next to making something out of nothing, is the making something that is Valuable out of what would otherwise be worth nothing; therefore this Art ought to have been handled charily, to have been trained up with a great deal of Gentleness, and not loaded with Taxes in its Infancy, by which Means we were like to discourage it in the beginning; however it hath still bore up under 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 encreases by Observation, and this is the Reason why one Age exceeds another in any Sort of Mistery, because they improve the Notions of those who went before them; Therefore confining the Distillers to Corn only, was an Error, (’Tis true, other Things were allowed to be used, but on such Terms and Restrictions, as were next to a Prohibition) who by degrees would have made Experiments on that themselves, using it with other Mixtures, and thereby drawing from it a cleaner Spirit than it doth of itself afford, which they might in Time have rectified to such a Fineness, as to have encreased very much its Use; no Kingdom can give more Encouragement to Distilling than this, whose Plantations being many, and well Peopled, where those Spirits are so necessary, and useful for the Inhabitants, and these depending wholly on us for all things, would have caused a Consumption of very great Quantities, besides what is used in our Navigation; we have many Materials of our own to work on, such as are Molosses, Cyder, Perry, Barley, and others, all which in Time they would have used; for as they found their Sales increased, they would have made new Essays; it was a very wrong Step, to discourage Distilling from Molosses, Scum, Tilts and Wash; an Error the Dutch, nor no Trading Nation, would have been guilty of, and proceeded from ill Advice given the Parliament, by those, who under Pretence of advancing Corn, design’d to discourage Distilling, only offered it by that handle they thought it would be best received in the House; Trade and Lands go hand in hand as to their Interest, if one Flourishes so will the other; Incourage Distilling, and it will spend Hundreds of Things now thrown away.

Sugar-Baking.Refining of Sugars have given Imployment to our People, and added to their Value in foreign Markets, where we found great and profitable Sales, till the Dutch and French beat us out, occasioned by the Duty of 2 s. 4 d. per Cent. laid on Muscovado Sugars, 1 Jac. 2d. to be drawn back at Exportation, whereby they were wrought up abroad cheaper then they could be at home; but that Law being now expired, and the Parliament have since granted a draw back on refined Sugars when shipt out, hath very much helpt that Manufacture.

Tobacco.Tobacco also hath imployed our Poor by cutting and Rowling it, both for a home Consumption, and also for Exportation; but the latter is lessen’d, as the Places, to which we used to export it, work it up themselves.

Tanning.Tanning of Leather is an Employment which deserves to be encouraged, because it furnishes us with a Commodity, fit to be farther Manufactured at home, and also to be transported abroad; I know the Exportation of Leather hath been much opposed by the Shoemakers, and others who cut it at home, and represented as attended with ill Consequences, one whereof is the making it dear; 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 will undersell us? And would it not seem an unreasonable discouragement to Trade, if Tobacco, Sugar, and the Woollen Manufactures, were debarred from being exported, only because they should be sold cheaper at home? For suppose the Occasions 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 Shoemakers may get more by their Shoes; ’Tis true, if they could make out, that those Countries must then have their Shoes from us, where we now sell our Leather, I should be of their Minds; but it must needs be otherwise, seeing Ireland is able to supply them; this proceeds from a very narrow Spirit, and such as ought not to be encouraged in a trading Nation; a good export for Leather, will cause a great Import of Raw-Hides, which will be more Advantage to the Nation, then if they were tann’d in Ireland, and sent abroad thence.

Minerals.Nor can I omit the several Manufactures made of the sundry Mineral we dig, and render malleable, which would be endless to enumerate, viz. of Tin, Lead, Iron and Copper, wherewith we not only furnish enough for our own use, but supply our Plantations, and other Places Abroad, the Workmanship whereof adds much to their Value; and from the last of these we have of late made Brass and Battery; an undertaking begun by private Stocks, and carryed on without the help of a Patent for fourteen Years, and I am of Opinion, it would be much better for the Nation, if good Projections were rewarded some other way, and left open, to be improved by all who were willing to make Experiments at their own Charge; this in all Probability would be a more likely way to bring them to perfection, and in less Time, then to tye Men down like the Motions of a Clock, to be directed only by one leaden Weight; of this we have a late Instance in the Project of Beech Oyl, for if but one half of the Profit can be made thereby, that is set forth by the ingenious Patentee, in his Book written on that Subject, against which I see no Objection, if the Computations are rightly stated, I make no manner of doubt, but that private Stocks would before this Time have made a greater Progress therein, than hath been done by the present Undertakers, on the joint Stock; and therefore I think it would be very proper, where such Patents are granted, after some reasonable Time, to enquire into the Proceedings of the Patentees, least the Nation be deprived of the Advantages it expected to receive, by the granting those Patents.

Clock-work.There are many other Things which may be, and daily are improved amongst us; as Clock-work, wherein we sell little but Art and Labour, the Materials whereof they are made being but of small Value; Watches and Clocks of great Prices being sold for the Courts of foreign Princes.

Paper-Mills.Paper Mills are a Benefit to the Nation, as they make that Commodity from things of themselves worth little; so are Powder-Mills; Powder-Mills.also Handicrafts, Artificers.who supply us with things for our own use, which must otherwise be had from abroad, and also with others, which when exported, are more or less profitable, as the Labour of our People adds to their Value, Things being 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 this Kingdom to advance its Manufactures; Methods to improve our Manufactures.and this I humbly conceive may be done these several Ways.

By imploying the Poor.1. By providing Work-Houses for the Poor, and making good Laws, both to force and incourage them to work; But designing to speak larger to this in the Close of this Tract, I shall refer the Reader thereto.

By freeing our Manufactures from Customs.2. By discharging all Customs payable on our Manufactures at their Exportation, and also in the Materials used in making them at their Importation; for as one would encourage the Merchants to send more abroad, so the other would enable the Manufacturers to afford them cheaper at home; and ’tis strange that a Nation, whose Wealth depends so much on its Manufactures, and whose Interest it is to out do all others, by underselling them in foreign Markets, should load either with Taxes; but there having been something done in this since my offering it to the Consideration of the Parliament in a former Discourse, both as to the woollen manufacture exported, and also to dye Stuffs imported, which hath evidently appeared to be an Advantage to our Trade, it may be reasonably hoped, that great Council of the Nation will make a farther Progress therein, when it shall come regularly before them; because the Exportation of all our Manufacturers ought to be encouraged, and not receive a check by any Modus of raising Money, that so they may be rendred abroad on such Terms, as no other Nation may undersell us; this whole Kingdom being as one great Work-house, wherein if we keep our Poor imployed, they will advance the Value of our Lands, but if we do not, they will become a Load upon them.

Logwood.And here I cannot but mention that of Logwood, a Commodity much used in Dying, which pays five Pounds per Tun Custom when imported, and draws back three Pounds fifteen Shillings when shipt out again, by which means the dyers in Holland use it so much cheaper then ours do here; now if it was imported Custom Free, and paid twenty five Shillings per Tun at its Exportation, the Dyers there would use it so much dearer than ours; and I think it would be well worth Inquiry, whether a Prohibition, either total or in Part, of Shipping out our Manufacturers thither, and to the northern Kingdom, undy’d and undrest, might not be made, I am sure it would be a great Advantage to this Kingdom if it could be done, without running into greater Inconveniences; the Dutch discourage their being brought in dyed or drest, that they may thereby give imployment to their own People, and encrease their Navigation by the Consumption of Dye-Stuff; the same Reason should prevail with us to dye and dress them at home; but this requires the due Consideration of a Committee of Trade, to hear what may be said both for and against it, before it be offered to the Parliament.

By not importing things manufactur'd.3. By discouraging the Importation of Commodities already manufactured (unless purchased by our own, or by our Product) such as wrought Silks, Callicoes, Brandy, Glass, &c. and encouraging the bringing in the Materials whereof they are made, to be wrought up here; by which Means more Ships will be freighted, and more Sailors imploy’d, besides the great Advantage to the Nation in the Ballance of its Trade, which must be returned in Bullion, as those cost less abroad than the other; and this will enable us to afford a greater Consumption of foreign Commodities to please our Palates, such as Wine, Fruit, and the like, all which fill our Ships, and are fit Subjects for Trade, when they are purchased by our Product and Manufactures, and that the Profit of our Trade will enable the Nation to bear the Expence.

By freeing our Manufactures from Excices.4. By freeing the Manufactures from burthensome Excises, which do much discourage small Stocks, who are not able to carry on their Trades, and make Provision for such great Payments, besides the Swarms of Officers, to whom We lay open the Houses of those Men, who deserve all the Encouragement we can give them, and ought to have things made as easy to them as may be; had they been laid on our Woollen Manufactures, as was once hastily proposed, we might have repented it at Leisure; Trade ought to be handled gently, we may tax the Trader without medling with his Trade; and he that considers the Expence of this Nation at Five Pounds per Head (accounting only Eight Millions of People) comes to Forty Millions per Annum, and the Lands only to Twelve or Thirteen, which is more than they can be computed at by the Act of Four Shillings in the Pound, may see how much we are beholding to Trade.

By rendring our foreign Trade safe and easy.5. By securing the Merchants in their Trades, who export our Product and Manufactures, and making their Business, in relation to the Payment of their Customs, as easy to them as may be: To this End good Convoys should be provided in Time of War, and good Cruizers maintained to preserve their Ships, it being certain, that whatever is diminished out of the Merchants Stocks, doth so far disable them in their Trades, and consequently lessen their Exports; great Care should be taken, that the Modus of their Entries at the Custom-House Customs.made as easy to them as might be, and a due Attendance given at the loading and discharging their Goods when the Customs are paid, so that they may be dispatched without Delay, and no unnecessary Remoras put in their Way, the Loss of one Tide being many times the overthrow of a Voyage;Courts of Merchants. Courts of Merchants should be erected for the speedy deciding all Differences relating 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, and therefore after much Attendance and Expence, are often referred by the Judges to such as are conversant in Trade; by this Means the Merchants would see short Ends to their Differences; but no General Rules can be given for these Courts, which must be settled, as they suit the Conveniencies of Trading Cities.

By making the Banks more useful.6. By rendering the Bank of England more applicable to the Encouragement of our Trade than now it is, which I cannot believe the Members of that Corporation will oppose, when it shall manifestly appear, not only to be the Interest of the Nation in General, but also their own. And I humbly conceive that it may be so directed, that every Subject in his particular Station, may receive a Benefit by it.

Ease, Profit, and Security, will keep a Bank always full of Money, the first of which was formerly answered by the private Bankers, who received and paid out Money in the same Manner that the Bank now does, and their Notes generally were as current; but being founded on their own Credits, great Losses often happened, which gave great Shocks to Trade; ’tis true, this Mischief is now guarded against, by the Fund which the Bank of England hath in the Hands of the Government, yet Widows, Orphans,Widows and Orphans. and others out of Trade, are not provided for; which might be done, if the Bank did take in what Money might be tendred to them, for such People who are not able to manage it themselves, and to allow an Interest of ### per Cent. per Annum, whilst it continued in their Hands; which tho’ it may be below the common Rate, yet by Reason of the Security and Readiness of Payment, ’twould be preferrable to a greater, attended with Hazard and Uncertainties; by this Means none of the Money would lie dead and useless; and on the other Hand, the Bank might have Liberty to lend any Sums at the legal Interest, on this Condition, that the Borrower may repay it by such Parts as he can spare it, and be discharged of the Interest of what he so pays in, from the Time of its Payment, and from thenceforward be chargeable with no more, than doth arise from the Money that remains unpaid.

Remittances.Nor is there such a safe and settled Course of Remittances from Place to Place as Trade, and the other Occasions of the Nation do require; Men oftentimes paying their Money for Bills which are not punctually discharged, and sometimes never, tho’ they give a Præmio to the Drawer, which obliges the travelling with so much Money, and gives Encouragement to Robbers; but this also might be prevented, if the Bank of England (that is now settled in London) did appoint Chambers in other Places of the Kingdom, at such Distances as might best suit the Occasions of the Country, and that their Notes given out for Money, either at London, or in any one of those Chambers, should be demandable in any other; or by drawing Bills at one Chamber payable in another, the Receiver allowing for such Returns after the Rate of ### per Cent. in the Chamber where he receives his Money.

If the Bank was thus regulated, the Nation would soon see its good Effects; Trustees might place out Orphan’s Money with good Security, and Widows and others, whose Maintenance depends on their Interest, would have it duly paid to answer their Occasions; the whole Cash of the Kingdom would be in a continual Circulation, and not lie dead, as too much of it now does; the Gentry and Traders, who are obliged on many Occasions to take up great Sums at Interest, would have it made easy to them, when they might pay in by such Parts, as they could conveniently spare it; and on the other Hand, it would be no Inconvenience to the Bank to receive it, which will by this Means never want Borrowers, and their Notes passing in Payment, will circulate instead of Money.

These Methods will prevent many Cheats and Losses, which are often occasioned by fraudulent and insufficient Drawers, and abate the excessive Præmio’s which are demanded by Remitters, when they can take Advantages of Men’s Necessities; and the Taxes received in the Country might be quicker and safer paid into the Treasury. And if the Bank was likewise extended to Ireland, it would be an Advantage to both Kingdoms, which I shall speak farther to, when I come to discourse of the Trade we drive to that Kingdom.

By increasing the Silver Coin.7. By increasing the Silver Coin of this Kingdom, which are the Tools wherewith the Trader works: It may at first seem strange, that our Silver Coin should grow scarcer, at a Time when we are at Peace with all Nations, our Trade open, and vast Quantities of Bullion yearly imported; but he that considers how much thereof is carried away to the East-Indies, and how little Encouragement the Importer hath to send it to the Mint, when he can sell it for more to export, than it will come too when coined, will cease to wonder; and except some Care be taken in this Matter, we shall soon be reduc’d to such Straits, that the Manufacturers must stand still: for tho’ Gold may serve for large Payments, yet it can’t answer the Occasions of the Manufacturers, who are to make their Payments among the Poor.

Now if these, or such like Methods, were made use of, they might very much encrease our Silver Coin; as,

1. Let the East-India Company be Limited in the Quantity of Bullion they shall ship out yearly, whether the Number of Ships they send be few or many; and let them be oblig’d to carry to the Mint such a suitable Proportion according to what they send away, as to the Wisdom of the Parliament shall seem meet.

2. Let Encouragement be given to all Persons, who shall voluntarily bring Plate or Bullion to be coined.

3. Let the Plate of Orphans be brought into the Mint, which will tend to their Advantage as well as to the Nations, whereas now great Quantities lie dead, and grow out of Fashion before they come to use it, which will by this Means be turned into ready Money, and being put into the Bank, the Interest thereof may be employ’d for their better Maintenance, and the Trade of the Nation will also receive a Benefit thereby: If it be objected, that ’tis now sold to Goldsmiths, I think this make the Argument for sending it to the Mint much stronger, because it is much better that it were turn’d into the Coin of the Kingdom, then disposed of in any other Way.

As for Gold, there is no need to give Encouragement to bring it to the Mint, ’tis only a Commodity, and not the Standard, as Silver is; besides, ’tis generally worth more here than in any other Country; and ’tis apparent from the great Quantity thereof which is coined yearly more than of Silver, that it is every one’s Interest to send it thither.

By discouraging Stock-jobbing.8. By discouraging Stock-jobbing: This hath been the Bane of many good Designs, which began well, and might have been carryed on to Advantage, if the Promoters had not fallen off by selling their Parts, and slighted the first Design, winding themselves out with Advantage, and leaving the Management to those they had decoyed in, who understood nothing of the Business, whereby all fell to the Ground; which may be prevented (I mean, so far as concerns incorporated Stocks) by Laws framed for that end, or by Clauses in their Charters.

By preventing the Exportation of Wool.9. By strengthening the Laws against the Exportation of Wool, by such Practicable methods as may prevent its being done: For seeing the Nations Interest so much depends thereon, no Care can be too great, nor Methods laid too deep: Laws concerning Trade, whose sole Strength are Penalties, rarely reach the thing aimed at; but practicable Methods, whereby one thing may answer another, and all conspire to carry on the same Design, hanging like so many Links in a Chain, that you cannot reach the one, without stepping over the other, these are more likely to prevent Mischiefs: ’Tis one thing to punish People when a Fact is committed, and another to prevent their doing it, by putting them as it were under an Inability; Now where the Welfare of the Kingdom lies so much at Stake, certainly it cannot be thought grievous to compell submission to good Methods, tho’ they may seem troublesome at first.

The ill Consequences of shipping out our Wool.And that we may the better perceive the Mischiefs that attend the carrying abroad of Wool unwrought to other Nations, let us consider the Consequences thereof in what is shipt to France; whose Wool being very coarse, and fit only for Rugs and Blankets, and such ordinary Cloth, is by mixture with ours and Irish, used in the making of many Sorts of Stuffs and Druggets, 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 itself, being chiefly combed, and combing Wool, which makes Wool for the French Wool, and the Pinions thereof serve with their Linnen to make coarse Druggets, like our Linsey-Woolsey, but the Linnen being spun fine, and coloured, is not easily discerned; also our finest short Wool, being mixt with the lowest Spanish, makes a middling Sort of Broad-cloth, and being woven on Worsted Chains, makes their best Druggets, neither of which could be done with the French Wool only, unless in Conjunction with ours or Irish, Spanish Wool being 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 Worsted Stuff, or middle Broad-Cloth made; no other Wool but English or Irish will mix well with Spanish for Cloth, being originally raised from a Stock of English Sheep, the Difference, arising from the Nature of the Land whereon they are fed; of this we have Experience in our own Nation, where we find, that Lemster Wool is the finest, next, Part of Shropshire and Staffordshire, Part of Gloucestershire, Wilts, Dorset and Hampshire, Part of Sussex, Kent, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, these are proper chiefly for Cloth, some Part for Worsted; Sussex, Surry, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, and some other Counties, produce Wool much coarser and cheaper: But then Berkshire, Buckingham, Warwick, Oxon, Leicester, Nottingham, Northampton, Lincoln, and Part of Kent called Rumney Marsh, the Wool in most of these Counties is so proper for Worsted, that all the World (except Ireland) cannot compare with it, therefore requires our greater Care to prevent its Exportation; and more particularly from Ireland, whence it is exported to our Neighbouring Nations, and sold cheap.

As for the Wool of North-Britain, I am not sufficiently verst therein, to give a true Account of the Nature of it.

Methods to prevent the Exportation of Wool.I know many Methods have been thought of to prevent this pernicious Mischief, but all the Laws I have yet seen, seem to reach but half Way, they depend too much on Force and Penalties, and too little on Method; we must begin deeper, and secure the Wool from the Time of its growing, till ’tis wrought up into Manufactures, and I think nothing less Than a Register, to be kept in every County, will do it.

Nor will this be attended with so much Trouble and Charge to the Nation in general, or to private Persons in particular, as may at first be thought: The Time of Sheering being once a Year, those who keep Sheep may give Notice to the Officer appointed for that District, of the Number of Sheep they have to sheer, and the Day whereon they intend to do it, that so he may be present to see the Fleeces weighed, and to charge them therewith; which Charge must remain upon them till they sell their Wool, and give Notice thereof to the Office, when the next Buyer must be charged, and so toties quoties, till it comes into the Hands of him that works it up; and all this may be done by the Officers of the Excise, in such a manner, as may cost the Nation little.

And to prevent Frauds, let no parcel of Wool above such a Weight as the Parliament shall think fit, be carried from place to place, but in the day time, nor without a Letpass, or Cocket, setting forth from whence it came, and whither it is going; and the same Method must also be extended to Ireland, till it is either used there, or shipt thither; and if the Wool of both Kingdoms by these or any other Methods could be secured from being carried abroad, our Manufactures would find a surer Vent in foreign Markets, and yield better Prices: And the Wool of France would lye on their Hands, and become almost useless; the Credit of the Nation would be raised, and our Factories abroad courted as much as formerly they have been, because the Manufactures we ship out are such, as no Nation can be without, nor can they then be well supplied elsewhere; they are not things only for Pleasure, but for Use, and both the Rich and the Poor stand in need of them; whilst the Profit of this pernicious Practice of Shipping out the Wool, is sunk in the Pockets of private Men, who former Laws accounted Felons, and cannot be thought to deserve any favour from the Nation.

Besides ’tis well known, that the exporting our Wool hath by the ill Consequences thereof abated its Price at Home: This hath been observed by Calculations made by considerate Men; and the Reason is, because those Countries whither it is shipt; being thereby enabled to work up much larger Quantities of their own, the Sale of our Manufactures are grown slack abroad, and we have been forced to sell them cheaper, which beat down the Prices both of Wool and Labour; whereas if we had kept our Wool at Home, this had been prevented; and it must be allowed, that it was not our Interest to fall our Manufacturers, if we had been the only Sellers; for according as they yield in Price, so is the Wealth of the Nation advanced, which our Forefathers well knew, when they made Laws to prohibit the Exportation of Wool, which cannot be too much strengthned, or strongly put in Execution.

By managing Treaties of Peace to the Advantage of Trade.10. By taking Care, that in all Treaties of Peace, and other Negotiations with foreign Princes, due Regard be had to our Trade and Manufactures; that our Merchants be well treated by the Governments where they reside; that all things be made easy to them, and both their Liberties and Properties secured; that our Manufactures be not prohibited, or burthened with unreasonable Taxes, which is the same in Effect; that speedy Justice be done in recovering Debts contracted amongst the Natives, and punishing Abuses put on our Factories by them: These are Pressures our Trade hath formerly 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 some foreign Parts, only because that King sooner resented Injuries done to his trading Subjects, and took more Care to demand Reparation than some former Reigns have done; but Thanks be to God, we have both Power 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 duly represented to him.

Navigation.And thus I have run through the several Parts of our Inland Trade, and shewed, that the Profit thereof arises chiefly from our Product and Manufactures: Before I proceed to our Foreign Trade, I shall speak something of Navigation, which is the Medium between both: This is carried on by Ships and Sailors, the former are the Sea-Waggons, whereby we transport and carry Commodities from one Market to another, and the latter are the Waggoners who drive and manage them: These are a Sort of jolly Fellows, who are generally bold in their Undertakings, and go thro’ any Kind of Labour in their own way, with a great deal of Chearfulness, are undaunted by Storms and Tempests, the Sea being as it were their Element, and are allowed 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 the Service, and better Treatment when they are there: Now I should think, if no Man was forced into the King’s Ships till he had been three Years at Sea,Manning our Ships of War. nor to stay there above that Time without his free Consent, and then to be permitted to take a Merchant’s Employment so much longer, and so toties quoties, ’twould encourage them to come willingly into the Service, which they look upon now to be a Slavery, whereto they are bound for their Lives: This, and the Manner of pressing them, hinders very much the making of Sailors, Landmen not caring to put their Hands to the Oar, least the next Day they should be halled away to the Fleet, tho’ they understand nothing of the Sea: By this Means our Men of War would be mann’d with able Seamen, and not with such who only stand in the Way, and are useless, when they are most wanted; nor do I take Embargoes to be any Helps towards it, for many Sailors do then lie hid, who would appear to serve in Merchant Ships, and might be easily met with at the return of their Voyages: By these Means in a short Time three would be a double Set of Mariners, enough both for the Service of the Fleet and of Trade, the last of which would every Year breed more.

This would also prevent great Mischiefs, which arise from pressing Sailors out of Merchant Ships whilst on their Voyages, many of them being thereby lost at Sea, and others have been detained in the West-Indies, to the Discouragement of Trade; and it would also prevent another Mischief, too much practiced abroad, where Captains of Men of War press Sailors from one Merchant Ship, only to make Advantage by selling them to another.

Foreign Trade.I come now to the Trade we drive with Foreign Countries.

How this Kingdom may be said to be enriched by our Foreign Trade.Here ’tis necessary to enquire, how each encourages our Product and Manufactures, how our Navigation, what Commodities we receive in Return, and how the Ballance of our Trade stands with either, that so we may be the better able to know, which of them we ought to encourage, and which to discourage; I shall therefore lay down such general Rules, as I presume will be allowed by all Unbiassed Persons; as,

1. That Trade is an Advantage to this Kingdom, which takes off our Product and Manufactures.

2. Which supplies us with such Commodities as we use in making our Manufactures, and encreases our Bullion.

3. Which incourages Navigation, and breeds up Sailors.

And consequently, any Trade which Exports little or none of our Product or Manufactures, nor supplies us with things necessary for the latter, nor incourages Navigation, cannot be supposed to be profitable to the Kingdom in general, though perhaps it may be so to particular Persons; especially if it carries away our Bullion.

East-Indies.I shall begin with the East-India Trade, which I take to be very prejudical to us, as ’tis now driven; because it exports our Bullion, spends little of our Product or Manufactures, and brings in Commodities perfectly manufactured, which hinder the Consumption of our own, and discourage the wearing such as are purchased with them; the chief Profit thereof arising from Underselling the Labour of our Poor, because ’tis bought there cheaper, than by reason of the Value of our Lands, and the prices of Provisions, they are able to work here. But having spoken fully of this in a former Discourse, and the Parliament having since been pleased, by an Act made in the 10th and 11th Years of his late Majesty King William, to prohibit the wearing of wrought Silks, Bengals, Stuffs mixt with Silk or Herba, of the Manufacture of Persia, China, and India, and all Callicoes painted, dy’d, printed or stained there. The Reason of which, is in the said Act set forth to be, The great Detriment the Nation received as the Trade was then managed, by exhausting the Treasure thereof, and taking away the Labour of the People, whereby very many of the Manufacturers were become excessively burthensome and chargeable to their respective Parishes, and others compelled to seek for Employment in foreign Parts, I shall not now repeat what I then wrote, but will consider how far the Remedy they then provided hath answered the End.

The making this Law, gave a new Life to our Manufactures, and would have given more, if the true Intent of the Parliament had been answered: But we have since found that it has not; for it neither keeps our Treasure at home, nor prevents those Commodities from being worn here, which they design’d it should; and I very much question, whether any thing less than a total Prohibition of their Importation will do it; for though they are directed to be exported again, yet there is great Reason to believe, that they are privately brought back, both from Ireland, our Plantations, and other Places to which they are sent, to the Loss of his Majesty’s Customs, and the Prejudice of the Stainers and Painters her, besides the Injury to our Manufactures: Otherwise, how come such great Quantities to be worn and used here, when the Stock in hand hath been so long since spent?

There are other Commodities, which the Company may trade in, and the Tract of Land within their Charter is large enough to afford an advantagious Commerce there, the Profits whereof might be returned hither, in things no way injurious to our Manufactures, such as Raw-Silk, Indigo, Pepper, Salt-Peter, Spices, Drugs, China-Wares, Coffee, Tea, and many other Things, if they were industrious to make Discoveries, as private Merchants would do, if the Trade lay open; and I believe it will not be disputed, that great Quantities of Raw-Silk, have been brought thence since the Making of that Law, than were used to be done before.

I know it hath been alleadg’d, That by the Exportation of those Manufactures again, more Bullion in specie is brought into this Kingdom, than is carry’d out for the buying them in India; but this was never yet made out, and it would be much to the Satisfaction of the People, who daily see that Bullion carried away, and also for the Honour of the Company, that it was done; which if it be really so, might be set forth in this, or any other Method that the Parliament shall think fit.

1. Let them give an Account what Quantities of Bullion they export on every Ship they send abroad, and on what Commodities ’tis laid out.

2. Let them set forth, how and in what manner, these prohibited Manufactures do, on their being Exported again, bring in as much Bullion in specie, as was carry’d out to pay for them in the Indies.

And I think it a proper Work for a Committee of Trade, to receive these Accounts from time to time, and after a just Examination, to lay them before the Parliament at every Meeting, with their Opinions thereon.

But if they only mean, that the Exportation of those Manufactures is a help to us in the Ballance of our Trade, which must otherwise be paid in Bullion, I answer, that our own Product and Manufactures always have, and are still sufficent to support the Ballance of our Trade.

As for white Callicoes and Muslins, they have beat out the wearing of Lawns, Cambricks, and other thin German and Silesia Linnens, which has been the Occasion of turning many of those Looms to the Woollen Manufactures there, that were formerly employed in the weaving them, and hath abated the Exportation of great Quantities of Cloth; besides the hinderance Callicoes give to the consumption of Scots-Linnens, which being thin and soft, are as proper for dying, printing, and staining, as they are, and may be made as white.

The East-Indies is a bottomless Pit for our Bullion, which can never circulate hither again; whereas, if it was sent to any Part of Europe, there might be some hopes, by the Ballance of our Trade, to bring it back again; and when our Bullion fails, that Trade must cease of course, which it will soon do, if the Company continue to carry out yearly as much as our other Trades brings us in.

I wish the Nobility and Gentry of this Kingdom would be in Love with our own Manufactures, and those which are purchased with them, and that they would by their Examples encourage the using them, which would be attended with the Prayers of the Poor, besides the Advantage it would bring to their Estates.

And as to Navigation, I think it will not be disputed, that long Voyages rather use Sailors than make them, both the Employers, and the Employed, chusing rather to make their first Experiments on short ones.

West-India and Africa.I will next proceed to the West-India and African Trades, which I esteem the most profitable we drive, and join them together, because of their dependance on each other.

Whether Settling of Plantations hath been an Advantage.But before I enter farther thereon, I will consider of one Objection, it having been a great Question among many thoughtful Men, whether the settling our Plantations Abroad has been an Advantage to the 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 Improvement in Husbandry and Manufactures; that this Kingdom 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 those Colonies.

To all which I answer; that though I allow the last Proposition to be true, that People are the Wealth of a Nation, yet it can only be so, where we find Imployment for them, otherwise they must be a Burthen to it: ’Tis my Opinion, that our Plantations are an Advantage to this Kingdom, 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 Places for our Home Consumption, employ our Poor, and encourage our Navigation; for I take this Kingdom, and all its Plantations, to be one great Body, those being as so many Limbs or Counties 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 Neighbours, brings a second Profit to the Nation.

These Plantations are either the great Continent from Hudson’s-Bay Northward to Florida Southward, containing Nova Scotia, New-England, New-Jersy, New-York, Pensilvania, Virginia, Mary-Land, Carolina; and also our Islands, the Chief whereof are, Newfoundland, Barbadoes, Antegoa, Nevis, St. Christophers, Montserat, and Jamaica; the Commodities they afford us are more especially Sugars, Cotton, Tobacco, Piamento and Fustick, of their own Growth; also Logwood, which we bring from Jamaica (but first brought thither from the Bay of Campechia on the Continent of Mexico, belonging to the Spaniards, but cut by the Subjects of this Kingdom, who have made small settlements there) besides great Quantities of Fish, taken on the Coasts both of Newfoundland and New-England: These being the Product of Earth, Sea and Labour, are clear Profit to the Kingdom, and give a double Employment to our People, first to those who raise them there, next to those who prepare Manufactures here, wherewith they are supplied, besides the Advantage they afford to our Navigation; for the Commodities exported thither, and those imported thence hither, being generally bulky, do thereby employ more Ships, and consequently more Sailors, which leaves more Room for other labouring People to be kept at work in our Husbandry and Manufactures, whilst they consume the Product of the one, and the Effects of the other, in an Employment of a distinct Nature from either.

This was the first Design of settling Plantations abroad, that we might better maintain a Commerce and Trade among ourselves, the Profit whereof might redound to the Center: And therefore Laws were made to prevent the carrying their Product to other Places, and their being supply’d with Necessaries save from hence only, and both to be done in our own Ships, navigated by our own Sailors, except in some Cases permitted by the Act of Navigation; and so much as the Reins of those Laws are let loose, so much less profitable are the Plantations to us.

Among these Plantations, I look upon New-England to bring the least Advantage to this Kingdom; for the Inhabitants thereof employing themselves rather by trading to the others, than raising a Product proper to be transported hither, and supplying them (especially the Islands) with Fish (which they catch on their Coart) Deal-Boards, Pipe-Staves, Horses, and such like Things of their own Growth, which they cannot be so well furnished with hence, also with Bread, Flower, Pease, and other Grain; and from thence fetching the respective Products of those Islands, and sometimes Tobacco from Virginia and Mary-Land, have carried them to foreign Markets, to the great Prejudice of this Kingdom: But to prevent this, they have been by sundry Laws obliged to bring them all hither, except what is consumed among themselves: By which Means this Kingdom is become the Center of Trade, and standing like the Sun in the midst of its Plantations, doth not only refresh them, but also draws Profit from them: And indeed it is a Matter of exact Justice that it should be so, for from hence it is that Fleets of Ships, and Regiments of Soldiers are frequently sent for their Defence, at the Charge of the Inhabitants, towards which they contribute but little.

Besides the forementioned Commodities, we have from Carolina excellent Rice, and there has been Cocheneel taken, which as yet is but a Discovery, and perhaps may not meet with any considerable Improvement, till that Colony is better peopled; what I have seen thereof in the Hands of a Gentleman who brought it thence, seems by its Figure, to be much like what we call a Lady-Cow, or Lady-Bird, but is very small, and I take it to be the Fœtus of an Insect, which laying its Eggs on a Shrub called the Prickle-Pear, or something very like it, leaves them there, till Time brings them to Maturity, in the same Manner as the Caterpillar does with us in the Cabbage or Collard Leaves, wise Nature thus directing, that the Fœtus may find its Food, so soon as it wants its Sustenance. It gives a very curious Colour when bruised, but being extraordinary small, does require long Time to gather in any Quantity, and Labour being very dear there, ’twill not yet answer the Charge; but by cultivating and improving the Plant, which now grows wild, and by being better acquainted with the proper Seasons to collect them, when they are at a more mature Growth, greater Quantities may probably hereafter be procured, and at less Charge; and I think it would be a good Step towards it, if an Encouragement was given on its Importation hither, in such a Manner, as to the Wisdom of the Parliament shall seem fit and proper.

Africa.Now, that which makes these Plantations more profitable to this Kingdom, is the Trade to Africa, whereby the Planters are supplied with Negroes for their Use and Service; a Trade of the most Advantage of any we drive, and as it were all Profit, the first cost being some Things of our own Manufactures, and others generally purchased with them, for which we have in return, Gold, Teeth, Wax, and Negroes, the last whereof is indeed the best Traffic the Kingdom hath, as it occasionally gives so vast an Employment to our People both by Sea and Land. These are the Hands whereby our Plantations are improved, and it is by their Labours such great Quantities of Sugar, Tobacco, Cotton, Ginger, Fustick and Indigo, are raised, which employ great Numbers of Ships for transporting them hither; and the greater Number of Ships, employs the greater Number of Handicraft Trades at home, spends more of our Product and Manufactures, and makes more Sailors, who are maintained by a separate Employment; for if every one raised the Provisions he eat, or made the Manufactures he wore, Traffic would cease, which is a Variety of Employments Men have set themselves on, whereby one is serviceable to another, adapted to their particular Genius’s, without invading each other’s Provinces: Thus the Husbandman raises Corn, the Miller grinds it, the Baker makes it into Bread, and the Citizens eats it: Thus the Grasier fats Cattle, and the Butcher kills them for the Market: Thus the Shepherd sheers his Sheep, the Spinster turns the Wool into Yarn, the Weaver makes it into Cloth, and the Merchant exports it, and every one lives by each other: Thus the Country supplies the City with Provisions, and that the Country with Necessaries; now the advising a former Reign to monopolize this Trade, and confine it to an exclusive Company, was the same, as to advise the People of Ægypt, to raise high Banks to keep the River Nilus from overflowing, least it should fertilize their Lands; or the King of Spain to shut up his Mines, least he should fill his Kingdom too full of Silver: This Trade indeed is our Silver Mine, for by the Overplus of Negroes above what will serve our Plantations, we draw great Quantities thereof from the Spaniards, who are settled on the Continent of America, both for the Negroes we furnish from Jamaica, and also by the Assiento, lately settled by a Compact of both Nations: ’Twas these which first introduced our Commerce with that People, and gave us Opportunities of selling our Manufactures to them.

But tho’ this Trade be now laid open, yet it will not be amiss to enquire what Reasons should persuade that Government to monopolize it, and what has been the Consequences thereof, in order to obviate any future Attempts that may be made to get it done again.

As for the First; The Necessity of having Forts, Castles, and Soldiers to defend the Trade which could not be carried on without them, had then Force enough to prevail.

But let us consider what these Forts, Castles, and Soldiers were, their Use, and whither the Trade is not as well secured now it lies open.

The greatest Number of Soldiers, offered as I remember at a Committee formerly appointed by the honourable House of Commons to enquire into that Affair, did not exceed One Hundred and Twenty on the whole Coast, nor did their Forts and Castles appear to be any thing else than Settlements for their Factors, nor was it ever made out, or indeed pretended, that they were fitted to wage a National War, or to secure against a National Invasion, nor were there any Magazines laid up to expect a Siege from the Natives; nor could they hinder Interlopers from trading on the Coast of what Nation soever; but the Company having obtained Frigates from the Government, destroyed our own Merchant Ships (unless permitted on the Payment of great Mulcts at home) whilst they let others alone: This, together with the Powers given them in their Charter, to seize in the Plantations, such as had the good Fortune to escape them on the Coast, and also their Cargoes, discouraged private Traders, who else found no Difficulties, the Natives receiving them as Friends, and chusing rather to deal with them than the Company, whose Factories also being at remote Distances from each other, great Part of that Coast was untraded to.

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 supplied them with Things they wanted, and were of Value amongst them, we took in exchange Slaves, which were else of little Worth to the Proprietors; and there was no Reason to think, that the People of this Kingdom, who had settled such large Colonies on the Continent of America, (besides it several Islands) where there was at first such small Hopes of Advantage, without the Help of a Company, should fall short in securing this Trade, which carried with it the Prospect of so great a Profit.

I will next consider the Inconveniencies that have attended this Monopoly, and the Advantage the Nation reaps by the Trades being laid open; we now send more Ships, and supply the Plantations with more Negroes, and vend more of our Commodities for their Purchase: Besides, every Negro in the Plantations gives a second Employ to the Manufacturers of this Kingdom; and had we many more to spare, the Spaniards would buy them, and pay us in Bullion, so there could be no Ground for putting this Trade into few Hands, unless ’twas designed those few should grow rich, whilst for their Sakes, the Nation suffered in its Trade and Navigation, the Company having made this detrimental Use of their Charter, that they bought up our Manufactures cheaper at home, and made the Planters pay dearer for Negroes abroad, than could have been done, if there had been more Buyers for the One, and Sellers of the Other.

It is not to be doubted, whether the vending our Manufactures, and encouraging our Navigation, on advantagious Terms, are the true Interest of this Kingdom, and that all Foreign Commerce, as it advances either, is more or less profitable to us; but the confining this Trade to an exclusive Company could promote neither; and I believe ’tis one great Reason, why we know so little of that great Continent, because the Company, finding Ways enough to employ their Stock amongst those few Settlements they had made on the Sea-Coast, never endeavoured a farther Inland Discovery; whereas, now the Trade is laid open, the busy Merchant, that industrious Bee of the Nation, will not leave any Creek or River untraded to, from whence he may hope to make Advantage.

’Tis 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 Affairs abroad. Africa is a large Country, and doubtless the Trade to it, may be much enlarged to our Advantage: Use and Experience, make us by degrees, Masters of every thing, and tho’ the first Undertakers of a Design may fall short of answering their private Ends, yet they often lay open beaten Paths, wherein Posterity do tread with Success, though they miscarried: Now that all Places are permitted freely to send Ships, and to have the Management of their own Affairs, Industry is encouraged, and Peoples Heads are set at work how they may out-do 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 the large Continent of America, are better furnished with Negroes, for want of which the Inhabitants there could never arrive to those Improvements they have done on the Islands, the Company having given them little or no Supply, but chose rather to send their Negroes to the latter, because they were able to make them better Payments; but the Free-traders have since done it, to the great Advantage of those Plantations, and of the Nation in general.

As for the other Commodities brought in returns from Africa, viz. Wax and Teeth, one serves for a foreign Export, without any Disadvantage to our own Product; and the other is manufactured at home, and afterwards carried to Markets abroad: And as for the Gold brought thence, I need not mention how much it doth advance our Wealth, all allow it to be a good Barter.

On the whole, I take the African Trade, both for its Exports and Imports, and also, as it supplies our Plantations, and advances Navigation, to be very beneficial to this Kingdom, and will every Year grow more so, if it remains open.

Ireland.I come now to discourse of Ireland, and of the Trade we interchangeably drive with that Kingdom, with whom it is necessary to maintain a good Correspondence, which must be done on such Terms, as may be profitable to us both; and I think nothing is more likely to answer this End, than the encouraging the Linnen Manufacture there, which it is highly our Interest to promote, and theirs to set upon, being for the most Part of another Nature, than what is made either in the North or South-Britain; for, besides the Employment it will give to the Poor, large Tracts of Land will be taken up for raising Hemp and Flax, both which thrive well in many Parts of that Kingdom; on the other Hand, the low Labour of Ireland being employed on that Manufacture, will no way prejudice ours, but make them better able to trade with us, for such things wherewith they are supplied hence, it being undoubtedly the Interest of this Kingdom, that all those Nations we trade with should grow rich, by any Methods that do not make us Poor; and more-especially Ireland, whose Profits are generally spent here.

But then, how shall this Manufacture be carried on? Truly, the first Step must be, by furnishing Money on reasonable Interest, and receiving it again by such Payments as the Borrowers can make, and buying up the Linnens when made, and then the landed Men will encourage it, on their own Estates, and thereby enable their Tenants to pay their Rents better; which last Effect it hath already had in the North of Ireland, where by spinning the Yarn in the Winter Nights, and getting their Cloth ready, and fit for Sale, early in the Year, they provide for their May Rents, without being constrained to sell their Cattle whilst they are lean, and their November Payments do not become due, till they are fat, and their Harvest is over.

Now these Loans must be made, either by a Joint-Stock raised for that Purpose, of by the Bank of England, which will be attended with good Security; for by reason of the Register settled there by Act of Parliament, I take the Securities of Ireland, to be rather better than those in England: and this way of lending Money, must likewise be very acceptable to all those whose Estates are under different Incumbrances, which may by this means be reduced into one, and paid off, as they can spare the Money by degrees.

Nor can I see how any ill Consequences will attend the bringing the Money to Par in both Kingdoms, I know it had none when the Crown-piece was some Years since reduced from six Shillings to pass at five Shillings and five Pence, and all other Money in Proportion; it neither caused an Alteration in the Rents to the Landlords, nor in the Price of the Product to the Tenants; and I cannot see why the falling it to five Shillings (as it passes here) should carry with it any ill Effect; the Lands of Ireland would thereby be more worth to the Proprietors, who would then be more willing, and better able, to spend their Money here, when they were freed from such high Exchanges; besides the Advantage to the King in his Revenue.

The Commodities we have thence are, Wool, Hides, Tallow, and Skins, all useful in our Manufactures; as also some Herrings, which we export again; and we ship from thence for other Markets, Beef, Pork, Salmon and Butter; we likewise supply them with Tobacco, Sugar, and other Plantation Goods; also with fine Broad-Cloth, Silk Manufactures, and several other things made here; and with sundry of our Products, as Lead, Tin, Coal, &c. of which last, so great Quantities are carried thither yearly, that it will scarce be credited, how much they say there it amounts unto; besides Muslins, Callicoes, China-Ware, Tea, Coffee, and other East-India Goods: They have indeed, discouraged the Importation of Callicoes, by loading them with a great Duty, but I wonder they do not totally prohibit them, for that single Commodity doth more Injury to their Manufactures, both of Linnen and Wollen, than all the Things they import besides.

I should be very glad to see the Linnen Manufacture there brought to a good Perfection; and I am sure if the Government were at some Charge in doing it, ’twould not be ill laid out.

Canaries.I shall proceed next to the Trade we drive to the Canary-Islands, which brings us nothing but what we consume, and I believe takes from us little of our Product or Manufactures; but since we must drink Wines, ’tis better to have them from the Spaniard than the French; the first takes off much of our Manufactures, the other little; and I am apt to think, those Wines are paid for out of what we ship to Spain.

Spain.This brings me to the Spanish Trade, which I take to be very profitable to this Kingdom, as it vends much of our Product and Manufactures, and supplies us with many Things necessary to be used in making the Latter, and furnishes us with great Quantities of Bullion; 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 inclusive, Eastward into the Straits of Gibraltar, as far as Catalonia; whither we send all Sorts of Woollen Manufactures, Lead, Fish, Tin, Silk and Worsted Stockings, Butter, Tobacco, Ginger, Leather, Bees-Wax, and sundry other Things. And in Return we have thence, some Things fit only for Consumption, such as Fruit and Wines; others for our Manufactures, such as Oil, Cochineal, Indigo, Anata, Barillia, and some Salt, with a great Part in Gold and Silver, wherewith they are supplied from their large Empires on the main Land of America, whither they export much of the Goods we carry to them.

The Spaniards are a stately People, not much given to Trade or Manufactures themselves; therefore the first they carry on by such chargeable and dilatory Methods, both for their Ships and ways of Navigation, that other trading Nations, such as the English, French, Dutch, and Genoese, take Advantage of them; only their Trade to their West-Indies, hath, on strict Penalties, been reserved to themselves; but having no Manufactures of their own, the Profit thereof comes very much to be reaped by those who furnish them: Nor is it so well guarded and secured, but that the Inhabitants thereof have been plentifully supplied by us with Manufactures, and many other Things from Jamaica, and may be more, by the Liberty lately granted to the South-Sea Company, whereby we get greater Prizes for them, than when they were first shipp’d to Cadiz, and exported thence thither, 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, or adjoining to it: The Commodities we send thither are generally the same as we do to Spain, and in Return we have Wool, Iron, and some Bullion, whereof the first is the best and most profitable Commodity, which could we secure wholly to our selves, ’twould be of great Advantage to the Nation; but both the Dutch and French come in for their Shares; tho’ I am apt to think the former might be induced to bring it hither by way of Merchandize, if we did so far relax the Act of Navigation, as to give them Liberty to do it.

The third Part of our Spanish Trade is that to Flanders, whereby I mean all those Provinces that were formerly under its Government, but are now under the Emperors, whether we send Commodities much of the same Nature as those we send to the other Parts, tho’ not in so great Quantities, and among our Woollen Manufactures more coarse Medleys; also Muscovado Sugars and Coals, but not so much Leather as we have formerly done, being supplied with raw Hides from Ireland, which are tann’d there: We have thence Linnens, Thread, and other Things, which are used both at Home, and also shipp’d to our Plantations.

Portugal.The next is the Trade we drive to the Kingdom of Portugal, and its Islands, where we vend much of our Product and Manufactures, little different in their kinds from what are sent to Spain; and from thence we have in Return, Salt, Oil, Woad, Fruit, and Wines, besides Gold and Silver: We have, since the Wat with France, increased our Importation of their Wines, which is more our Interest to do, than to have them from France, whence our Imports have been always more than our Exports would pay for, and to this Kingdom our Exports are greater than their Products can make us Returns, especially since we have desisted from bringing hither their Sugars and Tobacco, Commodities wherewith we are more advantageously supplied from our Plantations in America, and are now able to furnish foreign Markets cheaper than they can.

These People were formerly the great Navigators of the World, as appears by their many Discoveries, both in the East and West-Indies, besides the several Islands os the Azores, Cape de Verd, and also Maderas, where they have settled Colonies; to these they admit us a free Trade, but reserve their remoter Settlements on the Continent of Brazil more strictly to themselves, whither they export many of the Commodities we send them, and in Return have Sugars and Tobacco, which are again exported to the European Markets, though little of them hither: Besides which, they have of late brought from thence great Quantities of Gold; their Islands we supply directly with our Manufactures, and from the Azores load Corn, Woad, and some Wines, which we receive in Barter for them, and are the Product of those Islands; the first we carry to Maderas, where ’tis again bartered for the Wines of the Growth of that Island, which are shipt thence to our Plantations in America: In these Settlements the Inhabitants live well, and are plentifully supplied, because they have wherewith to pay for what is brought them; but those residing on the Cape de Verd Islands, being generally made up of Negroes, Molattoes, and such like People, and having little Product to give in Returns, are but meanly furnished, and have scarce enough to serve their Necessities, much less to please their Luxuries, Asses, Beeves, and Salt, being all we have from them, which we generally carry to our Plantations in America: some Salt we bring home; Beef might be made there very cheap, could it be saved, being purchased for little, and Salt for less, but the Climate will not allow it; only the Island of St. Jago is rich, well governed, and a Bishop’s See, where they are well supplied with Necessaries, because they have Money to pay for what they buy.

The Portugueze, as they are now become bad Navigators, so they are not great Manufacturers; some Sorts of coarse Cloth they do make, which is often shipp’d to the Islands of Maderas and the Azores, where ’tis worn with great Delight, and preferred before any other of the like Goodness, because its made in Portugal; and they did once attempt the making Bays, for which they drew over some of our Workmen, but it soon came to an End, and they returned Home again by Encouragement given them here, so prudent a Thing it is to stop an Evil in the Beginning.

Turkey.The Trade driven to Turkey is very profitable, as it affords us Markets for great Quantities of our Woollen Manufactures, together with Lead, and other Product, shipp’d hence to Constantinople, Scandaroon, and Smyrna, and from thence disperst all over the Turkish Dominions, as also into Persia. The Commodities we have thence in Return are, Raw Silk, Cotton-Wool and Yarn, Goat’s-Wool, Grogram-Yarn, Cordivants, Gauls, Pot-Ashes, and other Things, which are the Foundations of several Manufactures different from our own, by the Variety whereof we better suit Cargoes to export again; and tho’ this Trade may require some Bullion to be carried thither, yet there is a great Difference between buying for Bullion, Commodities already manufactur’d, which hinder the Use and Consumption of our own, such as those brought from the East-Indies, or Things to be spent on Luxury, such as Wines and Fruit, buying therewith Commodities to keep our Poor at Work; these must be had, tho’ purchased with nothing else.

Italy.To the several Parts of Italy we send great Quantities of Lead and other our Product, and many Sorts of Woollen Manufactures, but chiefly those made of Worsted; also Fish, and Sugars, both white and brown, the last principally to Venice; We bring thence raw and thrown Silk, and Red-Wooll; also Oyl and Soap, (of the latter we now make a great deal in England,) both used in Working up our Wool, some Paper, Currants, and other things.

Both Venice and Genoa have made some Attempts on 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 the formerly were, since we have fallen on making them here.

Holland.The Dutch likewise Buy many of our Manufactures, and much of our Product, as Coals, Butter, Lead, Tin, besides things of smaller Value, such as Clay, Redding, &c. which are 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 Countries; among whom they also Vend our West-India Commodities, such as Sugar, Tobacco, Indigo, Logwood, Fustick, Ginger, Cotton-Wool, besides what they use themselves; they are an industrious People, but having little Land, want Product of their own to Trade on, except what they raise by their Fisheries, or bring from the East-Indies, whereof Spices and Salt-Petre are many times admitted to be brought hither, tho’ 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 generally in a Home-Trade, for bulky Commodities, such as Salt from St. Ubes to the Baltick, Timber, Hemp, Corn, Pitch, and such sorts of Goods thence to their own Country, which Ships they Sail with few Hands; and this, together with Lowness of Interest, enables them to afford those Commodities at such Rates, that they are often fetcht from them by other Nations, cheaper then they could do it from the Places of their Growth, all charges considered: ’Tis strange to see how these People Buz up and down among themselves, the Greatness of whose Numbers causes a vast Expence, and that Expence must be supplied from Abroad, so one Man gets by another, and they find by Experience, that as a Multitude of People brings Profit to the Government, so it creates Imployment 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 and other Commodities being disposed of every Year, which are never intended to be delivered, only the Buyer and Seller get or loose, according to the Rates it bears at the time agreed on to make good the Bargain; such a Commerce to this Kingdom would be of little Advantage, and would not advance its Wealth more than Stock-jobbing, our Profits depending on the improving our Product and Manufactures; but that Government raising its Income by the Multitude of its Inhabitants, who pay on all they eat, drink and wear, and almost on every thing they do, cares not so much by what Methods each Person gets, as that they have People to pay; which are never wanting from all Nations, for as one goes away, another comes, and every temporary Resident advances their Revenue; therefore to increase their Numbers, they make the Terms of Trade easy; contrary to the Customs of Cities and private Corporations with us, the Narrowness of whose Charters discourages Industry, and hinders Improvements both in Handicrafts and Manufactures, because they exclude better Artists from their Societies, unless they purchase their Freedoms at unreasonable Rates.

Hamburgh.HAMBURGH is another Market for our Manufactures; this City vends great Quantities of our Cloth, as also Tobacco, Sugars, and other Plantation Commodities, together with several of our Products, which are also thence sent into Germany; from whence we have in Return Linnens, Linnen-yarn, and other Commodities, very necessary both for the Use of our selves and of our Plantations, and little interferring with our own Manufactures.

Poland.POLAND also takes off many of our Manufacturers, wherewith it is supplied chiefly from Dantzick, whither they are first carried, and thence disperst 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 adjoining Parts of Germany, have turn’d their Looms to that Commodity, occasioned by our disusing their Linnens, and wearing Callicoes in their Room; we have thence some Linnens, also Potashes.

Russia.RUSSIA is likewise supplied by way of St. Angelo, with our Woollen Manufactures, and other Things, also with some Tobacco; but the Sale of the latter is decreased, occasioned (as I am informed) by the Indiscretion of our Merchants that imported it; who putting an excessive Price thereon, caused the Czar to encourage the Planting it in his Dominions, which being very large, and reaching from the Mare Album Northward, to the Caspian Sea Southward, besides its vast Extent from East to West, affords Climates enough proper for it; by which means, we are in danger of losing the Sale of that Commodity, so profitable to the Nation, which we might have continued, if they had not been too covetous at first: We have in Return from thence, Hemp, Potashes, Russia Hides, with some Linnen, and other Commodities, both useful at Home, and fit to be carried abroad.

Sweden.SWEDEN and its Territories, takes off great Quantities of our Manufactures, both fine and coarse, and some of our Product, besides Tobacco and Sugars, and other Plantation Goods; but the Sale of our Cloth hath been lessen’d there, occasion’d by their loading it with great Duties, on purpose to encourage a Manufacture of their own; their Wool is coarse, so consequently the Cloth made thereof must be ordinary; however, the late King encouraged the Wearing it, by his own Example, and thought it the Interest of his Kingdom so to do: Yet all sorts of Serges, Stuffs, and Perpets are carried thither, and I think as freely as before; from thence we have Copper, Iron, and some other Things.

Denmark and Norway.DENMARK is supplied from us with Woollen Manufactures, yet takes no great Quantities, and Norway less, the People of the latter being generally poor; some Tobacco and Sugar is also shipp’d hence and spent amongst them.

From these three last Northern Kingdoms we are furnished with Pitch, Tar, Hemp, Masts, Baulks, and Deal boards, all very useful to us, and without which, we can’t carry on our Navigation, and therefore we must have them, though purchas’d with Money; but the Parliament having encouraged the Importation of some of them from our Plantations on the Continent of America, our Dependence on them for those Things, will in all probability be lessened every Year: I look on any thing that saves our Timber, to be an Advantage to the Nation, which Baulks and Boards do.

France.The French Trade hath every Age grown less profitable to our Woollen Manufacturers, as the Inhabitants make wherewith to supply, both themselves and 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: Nor doth France spend much of the Growth and Product, either of this Kingdom, or of our Plantations, and furnishes us with nothing to be manufactured here, so that the Trade we drive thither, turns only to their Advantage; which being generally for Things consumed among ourselves, and our Imports exceeding our Exports, must needs be Loss to the Kingdom; but if the Linnen Manufacture can be settled in Scotland and Ireland, Paper, Distilling, and Silk Manufactures, encouraged here, the Ballance will soon be altered, especially since the Portuguese have made such Improvements in their Wines; only their Salt we shall still want for our Fisheries.

South Sea.As to the South-Sea Trade, I cannot undertake to say much to it, being but lately entered upon, and limited by Act of Parliament to an exclusive Company, according to whose Management it may prove more or less Advantagious to the Nation; only in this I believe we may be certain, that they will never carry away our Bullion, as the East-India Company does, but in all Probability, will bring us more.

What Foreign Trades are profitable to our Manufactures, and what are not.And thus I have run through the Foreign Trades driven from this Kingdom, and shew’d how they advance its Interest, by taking off our Product and Manufactures, and supplying us with Materials to be manufactured again; wherein ’tis a certain Rule, that so far as any Nation furnishes us with things already manufactured, or only to be spent amongst our selves, so much less is our Advantage by the Trade we drive with them; especially if those Manufactures interfere with our own, and are purchased with Bullion. Therefore I think the East-India Trade to be unprofitable to us, hindering by its Silks, Muslins, and Callicoes, the Consumption of more of our Manufactures in Europe, than it takes from us. The Spanish, Turkey, and Portugal Trades, are very advantagious, as they vend great Quantities of our Manufactures, and furnish us with Materials to be wrought up here, and disperse our Commodities to other Places, where we could not so well send them ourselves; this Spain doth to its Settlements in America; Turkey to all its Territories, both in Europe and Asia, and also to Persia; Portugal doth the same to Brazil. The Dutch, Hamburgh, and Dantzick Trades are very useful, as they supply Germany, Poland, and some Parts of Russia, with our Manufactures, and little interfere with us in theirs. Sweden and Denmark are profitable, both in what they take from us, and in what we have from them again. Italy takes off much of our Worsted Manufactures, and sends us little of its own, save wrought Silks, whereof we shall every Year import less, as we increase that Manufacture at home; but above all, I esteem the African and West-India Trades to be most profitable to the Nation, as they imploy more of our People at Home, and give greater Incouragement to our Navigation by their Product; but the French Trade is certainly our Loss, France being like a Tavern, with whom we spend what we get by other Nations; and ’tis strange, we should be so bewitcht to that People, as to take off their Growth, which consists chiefly of things for Luxury, and receive a Value only for the Esteem we put on them, whilst at the same Time, they prohibit our Manufactures, in order to set up the like among themselves, which we encourage, by furnishing them with Wool.

The Ballance of each Trade.The Ballance of that and the East-India Trade, is always against us, from whom we have in Goods more than we ship them, and therefore must lessen our Bullion; the Ballance of Spain and Portugal is always in our Favour, and therefore must encrease it; as for the Dutch, Germany, and Hamburgh, their Ballances are not yet agreed on; some think we ship them most, others, that we receive most from them; I incline to the former: The Northern Crowns supply us with more than they take from us, but they are Commodities we can’t be without, at least, till we can be better furnish’d with them from our Plantations in America; Turkey may require some Bullion, yet the Trade we drive thither is very beneficial to us; Italy will grow more and more in its Ballance on our Side, as the Importation of wrought Silks is lessen’d, and turn’d into raw and thrown. Now considering, that almost the whole World is supplied by our Labour, and that our Plantations do daily bring us such Incomes, ’tis strange, if this Nation should not grow rich, which doubtless it would do above all our Neighbours, were our Trade rightly looked after.

What Nations chiefly cope with us in our Manufactures.Those who cope with us in our Manufactures, are chiefly the French; but let due Care be taken to prevent their being supplied with Wool from hence, and from Ireland, and we shall soon see an Alteration therein: ’Tis true, they have Wool of their own, but they cannot work it without ours or Irish: The Commodities they make, are generally slight Stuffs, wherein they use a great deal of Combing Wool; and these they not only wear themselves, but send them to Portugal, and other Parts, with good Success; to countermine which, We have fallen on making them, by Assistance of the French Refugees; I wonder at the Fancies of those Men, who are always finding Fault, that we do not make our Manufactures as strong as formerly we did, wherein I think they are to be blamed, for we must fit them to the Humours of the Buyers, and slight Cloth brings as much Profit to the Nation as strong, and the same Employment to the Poor; yet where Seals and other Marks are set, let them be certain Evidences to the Truth of what they certify, either as to the Length of the Piece, or that the Inside is suitable to the Outside, or that ’tis truly wove, and without Flaws; the same with respect to the Colour, that ’tis woaded, or madder’d, or the like: But there is a great deal of Difference between this, and obliging the Manufacturer to make his Cloth or Stuff to a certain Weight and Thickness, without respect to the Buyer, or the Climate to which it is sent. As for the Dutch, as I take them to be no good Planters, so likewise no good Manufacturers, their Heads are not turned that Way, but rather to Traffic and Navigation. The Flanderkins were once famous in the Art of Cloth-making, which they carried on by the Wool they fetch’d hence: But King Edward the Third, by keeping our Wool at home, put a stop to that Manufacture. If therefore the prohibiting our Wool to be carried out, had at that Time so good an Effect and Consequence against those People, why should not our Care to prevent its being carried out now, have the same against the French? We cannot indeed hinder them from Spanish, but we may from our own and Irish. As for Sweden, I am apt to think their Manufactures will come to little. And as for Germany, the Woollen Manufacture is not so natural to them as the Linnen, which they would keep close to, if we gave them Encouragement, by wearing it here, and sending it to our Plantations, which would be more advantagious to us, than by the use of Muslins and Callicoes, to put them on fencing with us at our own Weapons, which they very unwillingly undertake. The Woollen Manufactures in Italy are but small, and those chiefly among the Venetians, something among the Genoese; these we cannot hinder, being supplied with Wool from those Parts of Spain which are near them, except we could promote a Contract with the Spaniard for all he hath; and if it should be objected that we should then have too much, ’tis better to burn the Overplus at the Charge of the Public (as the Dutch do their Spices) than to have it wrought up abroad, which we can’t otherwise prevent, seeing all the Wool of Europe is Manufactured somewhere; and if the Act for burying in Woollen did extend to our Plantations in America, ’twould be of great use towards the Consumption of our Wooll; thus, when the Nation comes to see, that the Labour of its People is its Wealth, ’twill put us on finding out Methods to make every one Work that is able; which must be done, by hindring such swarms from going off to idle and useless Employments, and by preventing such Multitudes of lazy People from being maintained by begging.

Difference in Employing our own Ships and those of other Nations.And this is farther to be noted in our Trade with Foreign Nations, that where they fetch from us our Product and Manufactures, and make their Imports to us, in their own Ships, we get less by the Trade we drive with them, than if we did it in ours, because that doth also encourage our Navigation; and Freights are a great and profitable Article in Trade; therefore we get more by the Spanish Trade, because we generally drive it in our own Bottoms; and we lose more by the French Trade, when they bring us their Wines and Brandy, than when we fetch them ourselves; and accordingly we may take our Measures in judging of all other Trades.

Whether a true Judgment may be made of the Ballance of Foreign Trade.It hath been a great Debate how the Ballance of our Foreign Trade shall be Computed, and what Methods we should take whereby to know it, and it has been thought, that the most proper way to make a true Judgment therein is, by taking an Account from the Custom-house Books of our Exports and Imports; but if this Method would do, yet I do not think there can be any Certainty, either of the one or the other, drawn from thence; for, as for our Imports, the Bullion, and such Things of Value, are not entered there, and seldom presented; and as to the Exports, seeing our Woollen Manufactures go out Custom-Free, the Entries there made of them cannot be depended on; but suppose a more exact Account of our Exports and Imports could be had, yet, since so great a part of the Trade of this Kingdom is driven by Exchange, and such vast Quantities of Commodities are Imported from our Plantations for Account of the Inhabitants there, the Produce whereof they leave here as a stock at Home, and that they are supply’d hence with so many Things for their own Consumption, I cannot see how any moderate Computation can be this way made of our general Trade, much less of that we drive with any particular Nation, the Commodities 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 Silk and other Things to be manufactured here, and yet we must not conclude we lose by the Portugal Trade, because the Returns thence fall short by the Custom-House Books, or that we get more by the Italian Trade, because it doth not appear by those Books how we exported Commodities to pay for what we Import thence; and as to the Profits we make by the Freights of our Ships, it doth not at all appear from them, nor at what Rates our Product and Manufactures are sold Abroad, or our Plantation Goods to Foreigners at home; so the Thing must still remain doubtful; and I know no more certain way to Judge of it, than by the Increase the Nation makes in its Bullion, which always arises from the over Ballance of our Foreign Barter and Commerce.

Committee of Trade.And for the better Encouraging the Trade of this Kingdom, I think it well worthy the Thoughts of a Parliament, whether a standing Committee, made up of Men well verst therein, should not be appointed; whose sole Business it should be to consider the State thereof, and to find out Ways to improve it; to see how the Trades we drive with Foreign Kingdoms, grow more or less profitable to us; how, and by what Means we are out-done by others in the Trades we drive, or hindered from enlarging them; what is necessary to be prohibited, both in our Exports and Imports, and for how long Time; to hear Complaints from our Factories Abroad, and to correspond with our Ministers there, in Affairs relating to our Trade, and to represent all Things rightly to the Government, with their Advice, what Courses are proper to be taken for its Encouragement; and generally to study by what means and Methods the Trade of this Kingdom may be improved, both abroad and at home.

If this was well settled, the good Effects thereof would soon be seen; but then, great Care must be taken, that these Places be not fill’d up with such who know nothing of the Business, and thereby this excellent Constitution become only a Matter of Form and Expence.

In the Management of Things of much less moment, we employ such who are supposed to understand what they undertake, and believe they cannot be carryed on without them; whilst the general Trade of the Nation (which is the support of all) lies neglected, as if the Coggs that direct its Wheels did not need skill to keep them true: Trade requires as much Policy as Matters of State, and can never be kept in a regular Motion by Accident; when the Frame of our Trade is out of Order, we know not where to begin to mend it, for want of a set of experienced Builders, ready to receive Applications, and able to judge where the Defect lies.

Such a Committee as this, will soon appear to be of great Use and Service, both to the Parliament in framing Laws relating to Trade, and also to the Government in the Treaties they make with Foreign Nations.

As to the first, it hath sometimes been thought, that when that great and glorious Assembly hath medled with Trade, they have left it worse than they found it; and the Reason is, because the Laws relating to Trade, require more time to look into their distant Consequences, than a Session will admit; whereof we have had many Instances.

To begin with the French Trade; in the 22d Car. II. a new Import was laid on Wines, viz. Eight Pounds per Ton on the French, and Twelve Pounds per Ton on Spanish and Portuguese: This Difference (with the low Subsidies put on their Linnens by former Acts, in respect to those of other Places) was a great Means of bringing the Ballance of that Trade so much against us, that the Parliament in the 7th and 8th of Gul. III. thought fit to make an Act, (and is continued by this present Parliament for a longer time) which in Effect, prohibited all Trade with that Nation for One and Twenty Years, by laying a great Duty on the Importations thence, in order to prevent a Correspondence, till the Trade should be better regulated.

In the 14th Car. II. Logwood was permitted by Act of Parliament to be imported, paying five Pounds per Ton Duty; the same Act repeals two Statutes of Queen Elizabeth against Importing and Using it in Dying here, and sets forth the Ingenuity of our Dyers, in finding out Ways to fix the Colours made with it; and yet at the same time gave a Draw-back of three Pounds fifteen Shillings per Ton on all that should be Exported, whereby Foreigners use it so much cheaper in their Manufactures than ours can here; which proceeded from a too hasty making that Law, and being advised, or rather abused, by those, who regarded more their own Interest, than that of the Nation.

By an Act made 1 Ja. II. an Impost of Two Shillings and Four Pence per Cent. was laid on Muscovado Sugars imported from the Plantations, to be drawn back at Exportation; the Traders to the Plantations stirr’d in this Matter, and set forth, That such a Duty would discourage the Refining them here, by hindering the Exportation of refined Sugars, which was then considerable, and carry that Manufacture to Holland and Flanders; but the Commissioners of the Customs prevailed against them, and the Bill past; the fatal Consequences whereof soon appear’d; for the Exporters of Muscavado Sugars, drawing back two Shillings and Four-pence per Cent. by that Act, and Nine-pence per Cent. by the Act of Tunnage and Poundage, foreign Markets were supplied with refined Sugars from other Places cheaper, by about Twelve per Cent. than we could furnish them hence, by which means we were beat out of that Trade: and though the Duty of two Shillings and Four-pence per Cent. was not continued on the Expiration of that Act, by the Parliament 2d W. and M. (as they did the Three-pence per Pound on Tobacco) the bad Effects thereof being then apparent, yet ’tis Difficult to retrieve a lost Trade, trading Nations being like expert Generals, who make Advantages of the Mistakes of each other, and take care to hold what they get.

By a Statute 4th and 5th W. and M. twenty Shillings per Ton was laid on Lapis Caliminaris dug here and Exported, on an Information given to the House of Commons, that it was not to had any where else; the Merchants concerned in exporting that Commodity, made Application, and set forth, that such a Duty would bring in nothing to the Crown, but be a total Bar to its Exportation; yet the Act past, and we were like to have made a fatal Experiment; for till the Statute of the 7th and 8th of the same King, which reduced the Duty to two Shillings per Ton, the Exportation ceased; and in the mean Time, those Places which had been discouraged from digging, and calcining it, because we undersold them, set again to work, and supplied the Markets where we vended ours.

What Injury was done by the Act made in the 9th and 10th W. III. for the more effectual preventing the Importation of Foreign Bonelace, &c. doth sufficiently appear by the Preamble of that made in the 11th and 12th of the same Reign, for repealing it three Months after the Prohibition of our Woollen Manufactures in Flanders (which was occasioned by it) should be there taken off; but I don’t understand that is yet done, and it may prove an irrecoverable Loss to the Nation.

I mention these Things with great Submission to the Judgment of that glorious Assembly, the Wisdom and Strength of the Nation; to whom I only presume with all Humility to offer my Thoughts, that it would very much tend to the putting Matters of Trade into a true Light before them, if they were first referred to a Body of Men, well versed in the true Principles thereof, and able to see through the Sophistical Arguments of contending Parties, to be by them considered, and well digested, before they received the Sanction of a Law.

And as to foreign Treaties; I do not think our Trade hath been so much bettered by them as it might have been, for want of such a Committee; the Representations made by private Merchants, (who generally differ according as their Interests clash with each other) tending rather to distract, than to inform the Government; which would not be, if their first Applications were made to an experienced Committee, who had Judgment enough to substract out of them what was proper to be offer’d; by which means, our Demands might be rendered short and comprehensive.

We have natural Advantages in Trade above other Nations, besides the Benefit of our Situation, the Foundation of our Woolen Manufactures being as it were peculiar to our own Growth, and may be retained amongst ourselves; an Advantage the French have not, whose Wealth arising chiefly from the Exportation of their Wines, Brandy, Salt, Paper, Silks, and Linnens, both we and other Nations, have made such a Progress in them all since the War began, as to render theirs less sought for; whereas, nothing but our own Neglects, and ill Managements, can let our Neighbours into our Manufactures, which we may soon put a stop to, by securing our Wool at Home.

Insurance.I cannot close this Discourse without speaking something of Insurance. The first Design whereof, was to encourage the Merchants to export more of our Product and Manufactures, when they knew how to ease themselves in their Adventures, and to bear only such a Proportion thereof as they were willing and able to do; but by the Irregular Practices of some Men, this first Intention is wholly obviated; who without any Interest, have put in early Policies, and gotten large Subscriptions on Ships, only to make Advantage by selling them to others; and therefore have industriously promoted false Reports, and spread Rumours, to the Prejudice of the Ships and Masters, filling Mens Minds with Doubts, whereby the fair Trading Merchant, when he comes to insure 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 advance; by this means these Stock-Jobbers of Insurance, have, as it were, turn’d it into a Wager, to the great Prejudice of Trade: likewise many ill-designing Men, their Policies being over-valued, have (to the Abhorence of honest Traders, and to the Scandal of Trade itself) contriv’d the Loss of their own Ships: On the other Side, the Underwriters, when a Loss is ever so fairly proved, boggle in their Payments, and force the Insured to be content with less than their Agreements, for fear of engaging themselves in long and chargeable Suits.

Now, if the Parliament would please to take these Things into their Consideration, they may reduce Insurance to its first Intention, by obliging the Insured to bear such a proportionable Part of his Adventure, (the Premio included) as to them shall seem fit, and also the Insurers, when a Loss is fully made out, to pay their Subscriptions without Abatement, which will prevent both; and if any Differences should arise, to direct easy ways for adjusting them, without 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.

Wilful casting away Ships by the Owners.I know, that by a Clause in a Statute made primo Annæ, the wilful casting away, burning, or otherwise destroying a Ship, by any Captain, Master, Mariner, or other Officer belonging to it, is made Felony, without Benefit of Clergy; but that Statute is so qualify’d, that it is difficult to convict the Offender, because the Fact must be done, to the Prejudice of the Owner, or Owners, or of any Merchant or Merchants that shall load Goods thereon, else he doth not come within its Penalty, so it doth not reach the Evil I here mention, viz. the abominable Contrivance of the Owners to have their own Ships destroyed, in order to make an Advantage by their Insurances; (a Crime so black in itself, that it cannot be mentioned without Horror.) These Men, when they frame their dark Designs, will take Care, for the Security of those they employ, that none besides themselves shall load Goods on the Ships they intend shall be thus destroyed, and it cannot be supposed that they receive Prejudice thereby themselves, so the Prosecution on that Statute is evaded; but if the Insured were bound to make out their Interests, and to bear a Proportionable Part of the Loss themselves, this would, as it were, naturally prevent such scandalous Practices.

Whether the Price of Labour is a Hindrance to Improvements in our Products and Manufactures.Before I enter on the Business of the Poor, I will consider of a Question that hath arrisen, and I have heard sometimes debated by Men of good Understanding, which is, Whether the Labour of the Poor being so high, does not hinder Improvements in our Product and Manufactures; which having some Relation to the Subject Matter of this Discourse, I shall offer my Thoughts thereon, with Submission to better Judgments, viz. That both our Product and Manufactures may be carried on to Advantage, without running down the Labour of the Poor.

As to the first, our Product, I am of Opinion, that the running down the Labour the Poor, is no advantage to it, nor is it the Interest of that part of the Kingdom called England to do it, nor can the People thereof live on so low Wages as they do in other Countries; for we must consider, that Wages must bear a Rate in all Nations according to the Price of Provisions; where Wheat is sold for one Shilling per Bushel, and all Things suitable, a labouring Man may afford to work for Three-pence a Day, as well as he can for Twelve-pence, where it is sold for four Shillings; and this Price of Wheat arises chiefly from the Value of the Land; for it cannot be imagined, that the Farmer who gives twenty Shillings per Acre, can afford it as low as he whose Lands cost him but five Shillings per Acre, and produces the same Crop, nor can Labour be expected to be so low in such a Country, as in the other; this is the Case of England, whose Lands yielding great Rents, require good Prices for the Product; and this is the Freeholders Advantage; for supposing Necessaries to be the Current Payment for Labour, in such Cases, whether we call a Bushel of Wheat one Shilling, or Four Shillings, it will be all one to him, for so much as he pays, but not for the Overplus of his Crop, 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 Lands.

And as for the second, our Manufactures, I am of 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 sell for Six-pence per Pound, what yielded formerly Twelve-pence; the Distillers sell their Spirits for one half of what they formerly did: Glass Bottles, Silk Stockings, and other Manufactures (too many to be here enumerated) are sold for not much more than half the Price they were some Years since, without falling the Poor.

But then the Question will be, how this is done? Truly it proceeds from the Ingenuity of the Manufacturer, and the Improvements he attains to in the Ways of his Working: Thus the Refiners of Sugars go through that Operation by easier Methods, and in less Time, than their Predecessors did: Thus the Distillers draw more Spirits from the Things they work on, than those formerly did who taught them the Art. The Glass-Maker hath found a quicker way of making it out of Things which cost him little. Silk Stockings are wove; Tobacco is cut by Engines; Books are printed; Deal Boards are sawn with Mills; Lead is smelted by Wind-Furnaces; all which save the Labour of many Hands, so the Wages of those employed need not be fallen.

Besides which, there is a Cunning crept into Trades: The Clock-Maker hath improved his Art to such a Degree, that Labour and Materials are the least Part the Buyer pays for. The Variety of our Woollen Manufactures is so pretty, that Fashion makes a Thing worth twice the Price it is sold for after, the Humour of the Buyer carrying a great Sway in its Value. 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 Shot for ten Shillings, which might seem to deserve forty.

The same Art is crept into Navigation; Freights are much fallen from what they formerly were at, and yet Sailors Wages are still the same: Ships are built more for Stowage, and made strong enough to be loaden between Decks, and Voyages are performed in less Time. Wool is steved into them by such proper Instruments, that three or four Bags are put, where one would not else lye; Cranes and Blocks help to draw up more for one Shilling, than Mens Labour without them would do for Five.

New Projections are every Day set on Foot to render the making our Woollen Manufactures easy, which should be rendered cheaper by the Contrivance of the Manufacturers, not by falling the Price of Labour: Cheapness creates Expence, and gives fresh Employments, whereby the Poor will be still kept at Work.

The same for our Product; Mines and Pits are drained by Engines and Aquæducts instead of Hands: The Husbandman turns up the Ground with his Sullow, not digs it with his Spade; covers his Grain with the Harrow, not with the Rake; brings home his Harvest with Carts, not on Mens Backs; and many other easier Methods are used, both for improving of Land, and raising its Product, which lessen the Number of Labourers, and make Room for better Wages to be given those that are employed.

Nor am I of their Opinion, who think the running down the Price of our Growth and Product, that so they may buy Provisions cheap, an Advantage to the inland Trade of this Kingdom, but of the contrary.

To understand this rightly, 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 Manufacturer, and sells again to the Country; suppose this Man spends two hundred Pounds per Annum, in all Things necessary for himself and Family, as Provisions, Cloaths, House-Rent, and other Expences, the Question will be, what Part of this is laid out in Flesh, Corn, Butter, Cheese, &c. barely considered according to their first cost in the Market? I presume fifty or sixty Pounds per Annum to be the most, whereon the Advance to him will not be so much, by keeping up our Product to a good Rate, as the Profits which will consequently arise in his Trade will amount unto: For by this Means the Farmer will be enabled to give a better Rent to his Landlord, who may then keep a more plentiful Table, spend more Wine, Fruit, Sugar, Spices, and other Things wherewith he is furnished from the City, suit himself and his Family oftner, and carry on a great 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 may then live better, and buy new Cloathes oftner, instead of patching up old ones; by this means the Manufacturers will be encouraged to give a better Price for Wool and Labour, when they shall find a Vent as fast as they can make; and a Flux of Wealth causing a Variety of Fashions, will add Wings to their Inventions, when they shall see their Manufactures advanced in their Values by the Buyer’s Fancy; this likewise will encourage the Merchants to encrease their Exports, when they shall find a quick Vent for their Imports; by which regular Circulation, Payments will be short, and all will grow rich; but when Trade deadens in the Fountain, when the Gentlemen and the Farmers are kept low, every one in his Order feels it: It being most certain, and grounded on the Observation of all Men who have lookt into it, that in those Countries where Provisions are Cheap, the People are generally Poor, both proceeding from the want of Trade; so that he who will give a right Judgment in this Matter, must not consider Things only as they offer themselves at the first Sight, but as they will be in their Consequences.

As to the other Part of Great Britain, called Scotland, I can say little with Relation to this Matter, my Knowledge of that part of the Kingdom being not sufficient to enable me to do it: But I am apt to believe, that the same general Maxim must hold good there also, viz. That the Rates of Labour must be according to the Prices of Provisions, and those according to the Rents of the Lands.

The Poor.Having thus gone through the State of the Nation with respect to its Trade, I will next consider it with respect to the Poor.

And here it cannot but seem strange, that this Kingdom, which so much abounds in Product and Manufactures, besides the Imployment given in Navigation, should want work for any of its People; the Dutch, who have little of the two former, if compared 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 to their own and the Nations Interest.

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 Happiness, if compared to that which attends Idleness: He that walks the Streets of London, and observes the Fatigues used by 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 not to get Bread to eat: Beggary is now become an Art or Mystery, to which Children are brought up from their Cradles; any thing that may move Compassion is made a Livelyhood, a sore Leg or Arm, or for want thereof a pretended one; the Tricks and Devices I have observed to be used by these People, have often made me think, that those Parts, if better employed, might be made useful to the Nation.

Here I will consider,

1. What hath been the Cause of this Mischief of Idleness, and how it hath crept in upon us.

2. What must be done to restrain its going farther.

3. What Methods are proper to be used, in order to make a Provision for those who are past their Labour.

As to the first, we shall find that it hath proceeded, partly from the Abuse of those Laws we have, and partly from want of better; Licences for Alehouses were at first granted for good Ends, not to draw Men aside from their Labour by Games and Sports, but to support and refresh them under it; and as they were then a Maintainance to the Aged, so poor Families had Opportunities of being supplied with a Cup of Ale from Abroad, who could not keep it at Home; great Observation was also made to prevent idle Tipling, our Fore-fathers considered, that Time so spent, was a Loss to the Nation, whose Interest was improved by the Labour of its Inhabitants; whereas, Alehouses are now encouraged, to promote the Income of Excise, on whom there must be no Restraint, lest the King’s Revenue should be lessened; thus we live by Sense, and look only at Things we see, without revolving on what the Issue will be, not considering, that the Labour of each Man, if well employ’d, whilst he sits in an Ale-house, would be worth much more to the Nation, than the Excise he pays.

But above all, our Laws to set 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 only in Generals, and not reducing Things to practicable Methods, they fall short of answering their Ends, and thereby render the Poor more bold, when they know the Parish Officers are bound, either to provide them Work, or to give them Maintenance.

Now, if we delighted more in the Encouraging our Manufactures, our Poor might be better Employed, and then ’twould be a shame, for any Person capable of Labour, to live idle; which leads me to the second Consideration, What must be done to restrain this Habit of Idleness from going farther.

Here I find, that nothing but good Laws can do it, such as may provide Work for those who arc willing, and force them to work that are able; and for this use, I think Work-houses very expedient, but they must be founded on such Principles, as may employ the Poor, for which they must be fitted, and the Poor for them; wherein Employments must be provided for all sorts of People, who must also be compelled to go thither when sent, and the Work-houses to receive them; and the Materials which seem most proper for them are Simples, such as Wool, Hemp, Cotton, and the like, which may either be sent in by the Manufacturers, or be bought up on a Stock raised for that End; these will employ great Numbers, of both Sexes, and all Ages, either by beating and fitting the Hemp, or by dressing and spinning the Flax, or by carding and Spinning the Wool and Cotton, of different Finenesses; and if a Reward was given to that Person who should spin the finest Thread of either, as they do in Ireland for their Linnen, to be adjudged Yearly, and paid by the County, or by any other manner as shall be thought fit, ’twould very much promote Industry and Ingenuity, whilst every one being stir’d up by Ambition and Hopes of Profit, would endeavour to exceed the rest; by which means we should also grow more excellent in our Manufactures.

Nor should these Houses hinder any who desire to Work at Home, or the Manufacturers from employing them, the Design being to provide Places for those who care not to Work any where, and to make the Parish Officers more Industrious to find them out, when they know whither to send them, by which means they would be better able to maintain the Impotent.

It seems also convenient, that these Work-houses, when settled in Cities and great Towns, should not be only Parochial, but one or more in each Place, as will best suit it; which would prevent the Poors being sent from Parish to Parish, and provided for no where; 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 become its Wealth, and their own Lives also will be more comfortable to them.

There are other things which will employ the Poor besides our Manufactures, and are also equally Beneficial to the Nation; such as Navigation, Husbandry, and Handicrafts; here if these or such-like Rules were observed, they might be made more advantagious to all.

As first, Let the Justices of the Peace have Power to assign Youth to Artificers, Husbandry, Manufacturers, and Mariners, and to bind them Apprentices for a Time certain, at such Ages as they shall think ’em fit to go on those Employments, who should also be obliged to receive them; and though this may at first seem hard, as hindring the Masters from taking Servants who may bring them Money, yet after some time it will not, when those who were so bound out themselves, shall only do for others, what was done for them before; and this also may be now made good to them, by such an Overplus of Years in their Apprentiships, as may be an Equivalent to the Money.

And as for those of elder Years, who will rather Beg than Work, let them be forced to serve the King in his Fleet, or the Merchants on board their Ships; the Sea is very good to cure sore Legs and Arms, especially such as are Counterfeits, against which, the Capstern, with the Taunts of the Sailors, is a certain Remedy.

Next, for Ale-houses, Coffee-houses, and such like Employments, let them be kept only by aged People, or such who have numerous Families.

Let Masters of Ships be obliged to carry with them some Landmen every Voyage, which will increase our Seamen; and let the Justices have Power to force them to receive such as are willing to enter themselves, and to settle the Rates of their Wages.

Let young People be prohibited from Hawking about the Streets, and from Singing Ballads; if these Things be allowed, they are fitter for Age.

Stage-Plays, Lotteries, and Gaming-houses should be strictly look’d after, Youth, in this Age of Idleness and Luxury, being not only drawn aside by them, but also more willing to put themselves on such easy ways of living, than on Labour.

These, and such like Methods, being Improved by the Wisdom of a Parliament, may tend, not only to the Introducing a Habit of Virtue 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 Maintenance, and what his Labour doth fall short, must be made up by Charity: but as Things now are, no Man knows where ’tis rightly plac’d, by which means those who are truly Objects do not partake thereof; and let it be consider’d, that if every Person did by his Labour add one Half-penny per diem to the Public, ’twould bring in Seven Millions six Hundred and four Thousand one Hundred Sixty-six Pounds thirteen Shillings per Annum, (accounting ten Millions of People to be in the Kingdom) so vast a sum may be raised from a Multitude, if every one adds a little.

Nor is the sending lazy People to our Plantations abroad (who can neither by good Laws be forced, or by Rewards be encourag’d to work at home) so prejudicial to the Nation as some do imagine, where they must expect another sort of Treatment, if they will not labour; ’tis true, they give no help in 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 enquir’d into, some have been very useful there, who would never have been so here: And if the People of this Kingdom be employ’d to the Advantage of the Community, no Matter in what part of the King’s Dominions it is; many hundreds by going to those Plantations, have become profitable Members to the Common-wealth, who, had they continued here, had still remain’d idle Drones; now they raise Sugar, Cotton, Tobacco, and other Things, which employ Sailors abroad, and Manufacturers at home, all which being the Product of Earth and Labour, I take to be the Wealth of the Nation.

The Employment of Watermen on the River Thames breeds many Sailors, and it were good to keep them still fill’d with Apprentices; also the Employment of Bargemen, Lightermen, and Trowmen, both on that and other Rivers, does the same, who should be encouraged to breed up Landmen, and fit them for the Sea.

Idleness is the Foundation of all those Vices which prevail among us, People aiming to be maintain’d any way rather than by Labour, betake themselves to all sorts of Villanies; the ill Consequences whereof cannot be prevented, but by encouraging Youth in an early delight of living by Industry, and on what they call their own, rather than by Dependance on others, which will keep up a true British Spirit, and put them on honest Endeavours, and will get them Credit and Reputation, and give them Opportunities of advancing their Fortunes; and if such an Emulation went through the Kingdom, we should not have so many lazy Beggars, or licentious Livers, as now there are; nor is God more honoured among any, than He is among such industrious People, who abhor Vice, on equal Principles of Religion and good Husbandry, Labour being usually a Barrier against Sin, which generally enter at the Doors of Idleness.

The third Consideration is, what Methods must be used to provide for those, who either are not able to work, or whose Labour can’t support their Charge; here I take Alms-houses to be good Gifts, where they are designed to relieve old Age, or educate Youth; not to maintain idle Beggars, or ease rich Parishes, but to provide for those who have been bred up in careful Employments, tho’ not able to stem the Current of cross Fortunes: Two such have been sumptuously founded,Mr. Edward Colson's two Almshouses in Bristol. and suitably endowed, in the City of Bristol, Edward Colson, Esq; a Merchant and Native thereof, who is still living; one of them for twenty-four Men and Women, who had formerly lived well; the other for one hundred Boys, to be educated in the Principles of Vertue, and afterwards set out to Trades, whereby they may get their Livelihoods; a Charity so great in itself, and carried on so free from Ostentation, that the like is not to be seen in any Part of this Kingdom, of the free Gift of one Gentleman in his Life-time; which he hath settled in the Society of Merchants-Adventurers within that City, of whose Care and Fidelity in the well Management thereof, he is fully satisfied.

Another way to provide for those who are true Objects of Charity, is, by taking Care that the Poors Rates be made with more equality in Cities and great Towns, especially in the former; 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, may make them desire Relief, their chief Dependance must be on People but one step above their own Conditions; by which means these Out-parishes are more burthened in their Payments, than the In-parishes are, though much richer, and is one Reason why they are so ill Inhabited, no Man caring to come to a certain Charge: And this is attended with another ill Consequence, the wanting of better Inhabitants making way for those Disorders which easily grow among the Poor; whereas, if Cities and Towns were made but one Poors Rate, or equally divided into more, these Inconveniencies would be removed, and the Poor be maintained by a more equal Contribution.

And that a better Provision may be made for the Relief of Sailors (who having spent their Labours in the Service of the Nation, and through Age and Disasters are no longer fit for the Fatigues of the Sea, ought to be taken Care of at Home) let a small Deduction be made from the Freights of Ships, and from Seamens Wages, to be collected by a Society of honest Men in every Sea-port; this, with what Additions might be made by the Gifts of worthy Benefactors, would be sufficient to raise a Fund, to maintain them in their old Age, who in their Youths were our Walls and Bulwarks; but it must be settled by Law, and no Man left at his Liberty whether he will pay or no; these are generally the most laborious People that we have; I do not mean those scoundrel Fellows, who often creep in under that Name, but the true Sailor, who can turn his Hand to any thing rather than begging, and I am many times troubled to see the miserable Conditions they and their Families are reduced to, when their Labours are done. Alms-Houses raised for them, are as great Acts of Piety as building of Churches, Age requires relief, especially where Youth hath been spent in Labour so profitable to the Public as that of a Sailor; and not only themselves, but their Widows ought to be provided for; in this,Hospital for ancient Sailors and their Widows. the Worshipful Society of the Merchants-Adventurers within the City of Bristol are a worthy Pattern.

And as for those who loose their Lives or Limbs fighting against the Enemy, themselves, or families ought to be rewarded with bountiful Stipends, which if raised by a Tax, I doubt not would be cheerfully paid: ’Tis attended with sad Thoughts, when a Woman sees her Husband prest into the Service, and knows, if he miscarries, her Family is undone, and she and they must come to the Parish; whereas, if this Provision was made, the Fleet would be more easily mann’d, our Merchants Ships better defended, Sailors more ready to serve in both, and their Wives to let them go; but great Care must be taken, that Charity be not abused, by being put into the Pockets of those who are appointed to dispose of it.

These, or such-like Heads, being laid down in a former Discourse on this Subject, the Magistrates of the City of Bristol were the first that approved of the Scheme, and desired the Substance thereof might be reduced to Particulars, suitable for that Place; whereupon the following Proposals were laid before them, viz.

1. That a spacious Work-house be erected in some vacant Place within this City, on a general Charge, large enough for the Poor who are to be employed therein, and also with Rooms for such, who being unable to work, are to be relieved by Charity.

2. That the Rules of this House be such, as may force all Persons to work, that are able, and encourage the Manufacturers of this City to supply them with Materials to work on; which they will be ready to do, having so good a Security as this will be, for their being returned to them again when wrought up.

3. That all People who are not able to maintain their Children, may put them into this Work-house or Hospital at what Ages they will, where they shall be settled till the Age of ### Years, by which means they may in the end be of no Charge to the said Work-house or Hospital: And the good Effects will be these, Children will be bred up to Labour, Principles of Virtue will be implanted in them early by the good Government thereof, and Laziness and Beggary will be discouraged.

4. That the antient People who are past their Labours, shall have Lodgings, and weekly pay, or be otherwise provided for, according to their Wants, who may still do something towards their mantenance, and the Women may look after the young Children.

5. That the Rates of the Poor of this City, being all united into one common Fund, may be enough to carry on this good Work; by which means the Magistrates will be freed from the Trouble which they daily have about the Settlement of the Poor, the Parish-Officers will be eased, the Poors Stock will not be spent in Law, but they will be provided for, without being sent from Parish to Parish, and their Children will be settled in ways of being serviceable to the Public Good, and not be bred up in all manner of Vice, as now they are.

6. That the Governors of this Hospital, or Work-House, have Power to force all poor People to work in it, who do not betake themselves to some lawful Imployment elsewhere, but spend their Time lazily and idly.

7. That the said Governors have Power to settle out the young People at such Ages as they shall think fit; the Boys to Navigation, Husbandry, and Manufactures; the Maids in Service, and to bind them Apprentices for certain Years.

8. That this will prevent Children from being Starved, by the Poverty of their Parents, and neglect of the Parish-Officers, which is now a great Loss to the Nation; forasmuch as every Person if imployed, would by his Labour add to the Wealth of the Public.

9. That this will encourage Men of Charity to make Endowments, when they shall see their Bounties so well laid out.

10. That Application be made, in order to procure an Act of Parliament, for the better carrying on this Work.

Which Proposals being considered of in several Meetings of the Citizens appointed for that Purpose, were with some Alterations made the Model for an Act of Parliament, which past Anno Septimo & Octavo Gulielmi Tertii, being the first Act of that Nature, from which sundry Acts for many other Places have taken their Frame; and though the Promoters thereof, met with more difficulties and discouragements in the Execution, than they did expect, yet to the Honour of those Gentlemen it must be said, that they never looked back, but with the utmost Application, prosecuted what they had undertaken, till they brought it to such a State, as to render it plain and practicable to their Successors; and this good Effect it hath had, that there is not a common Beggar, or disorderly Vagrant, seen in their Streets, but Charity is given in its proper Place and Manner, and the Magistrates are freed from the daily Trouble they had with the Poor, and the Parishes they lived in, and are discharged from the Invidious Fatigues of their Settlements, when a great deal of what should have maintained them, was spent in determining what Parishes were to do it.

I wish it could be said so of the two Metropolitan Cities of England and Ireland, where such Swarms of lazy Beggars pester the Streets, that they are not only troublesome, but also nauseous to the Beholders; and the Church Doors are so crouded with them, that you can scarce pass to your Devotion; nor do you know when you bestow your Charity rightly, those who do not deserve it, taking such Methods to move Compassion, that you cannot easily distinguish them from those who do.

And since I have mentioned this Act, and the well executing thereof by the first Undertakers, I think it cannot be amiss to set it forth Verbatim (being never yet printed, save only some Copies for the Use of the Corporation) together with the Steps whereby the first Guardians proceeded, and as it was laid before the Parliament Anno 1700; which I have done in the Appendix, because it may probably be of use to those, who shall be willing to take Pains in a Work of such Service, both to God and the Public.

But because this Act was adapted only for Cities and great Towns, and can’t be a Model for the Counties at large, I will here subjoin such Methods as may be proper to carry on this charitable Design throughout the whole Kingdom, if Power be given by some public Act of Parliament, for all Places to incorporate who are willing (but may not be able to be at the Charge of a private Act) and to build, or otherwise provide, Hospitals, Work-Houses, and Houses of Correction, for the better maintaining and imploying their Poor, under the Management of such Corporations; which in the Counties must be by uniting one or more Hundreds, whose Parishes must be comprehended in one Poors Rate, and each of them contribute to the Charge thereof, not by bringing them to an equal Pound Rate on their Lands and personal Estates, as in Cities and great Towns, but by Taxing every Parish according to what it paid before, there not being the same Parity of Reason for that way of raising Money in the Hundreds, as there is in Cities and Towns; because in the former, the Parishes do not receive an equal Benefit from the Labour of the Poor of other Parishes, as they do in the latter; which Hospitals, Work-Houses, and Houses of Correction, to be provided at the general Charge of the Parshies thus united, according to the Proportion that each of them pays to the Poor.

The Guardians of these Corporations to consist of all the Justices of the Peace inhabiting within the several Parishes thus united, together with a Number of Inhabitants chosen out of each Parish, in proportion to the Sum of Money it pays; which Choice to be made every Year, or once in two Years, when one half of those that were first chosen must go out, and the Remainder stay in, to instruct those who were last chosen; the Electors to be the Freeholders of ### per Annum; and on the Death of any Guardian, another to be chosen in his Room, by the Parish for which he served.

That the Guardians being thus settled, they shall have Power to choose a Governor, Deputy-Governor, Treasurer, and Assistants, Yearly, and to hold Courts, and make By-Laws, and appoint a Common Seal; and also to Summon the Inhabitants to answer to Matters relating to the Corporation; and to compel all People, who seek for Relief, to dwell in their Hospitals and Work-Houses, if they see fit; and to take in young People of both Sexes, and breed them up to work, who they shall also be obliged to teach to Write and Read, and what else shall be thought necessary, and then to bind them out Apprentices; and likewise to provide for the aged and Impotent, and to assist those whose Labours will not maintain their Charges, and to apprehend Rogues, Vagrants and Beggars, and cause them to be set at Work, and also to inflict reasonable Correction where they see it necessary, and to entertain proper Officers, and pay them out of the Stock; with a Clause to secure them from vexatious Suits; and they must be obliged once in ### at least to hold a General Court, where the Governor, Deputy-Governor, or one half of the Assistants, together with such a proportionable Number of the Guardians as they shall agree on, shall be present.

That the Court shall once in six Months agree and settle how much Money will be necessary for maintaining and imploying the Poor for the six Months next ensuing, and certify the same to the Justices inhabiting within the said Hundred or Hundreds, at a Meeting to be had for that Purpose, who shall proportion the same Regularity in each Parish, and grant out their Warrants to proper Persons to Assess the same, and afterwards, other Warrants to collect, and pay it to the Treasurer of the Corporation; with a Power to inflict Penalties on the Assessors and Collectors, if they refuse or neglect to do their Duty, in Assessing, Collecting, and paying the said Money, according to their Warrants.

That each Corporation be one Body Politic in Law, and be capable of Suing and being Sued, and be enabled to Purchase, Take and Receive, Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments, Goods and Chattles, for the Benefit of the Poor.

These, or such like Methods, being rectified by the Wisdom of Parliament, will soon appear to be of great use to the Nation, and also to the Poor who are truly Objects of Relief; and will also put a Stop to wand’ring Vagrants, against whom, every Corporation will then be a Barrier, and none will expect Charity, but from the Parishes to which they belong, and who are the most proper Judges whether they deserve it.

Conclusion.And thus I have gone through what I undertook, and have given my Thoughts of these important Subjects; wherein I have no other View than promoting the Welfare of this Kingdom, by improving its Trade and Commerce and providing for the Poor in a regular Method: Both which will tend to the Honour of His Majesty’s Government, and the advancing the Wealth and Prosperity of the Nation.




Anno Septimo & Octavo


An Act for Erecting of Hospitals and Work-Houses within the City of Bristol, for the better Employing and Maintaining the Poor thereof.

WHEREAS it is found by Experience, That the Poor in the City of Bristol do daily multiply, and Idleness and Debauchery amongst the meaner Sort, doth greatly Increase, for want of Work-houses to set them to Work, and a sufficient Authority to compel them thereto, as well as to the Charge of the Inhabitants, and Grief of the charitable and honest Citizens of the said City, as the great Distress of the Poor themselves; for which sufficient Redress hath not yet been provided: For Remedy whereof, Be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That from and after the Twelfth Day of May, which shall be in the Year of our Lord, One thousand six hundred ninety and six, there be, and shall be, a Corporation to continue for ever within the said City of Bristol, and the County thereof, consisting of the several Persons herein after-mentioned (that is to say) of the Mayor and Aldermen for the time being, and of eight and forty other Persons, to be chosen out of the honestest and discreetest Inhabitants of the City and County, by the Eleven Wards in the said City, and the Castle Precincts there, which to all Intents and Purposes, shall be from henceforth for ever a Ward within the said City, (that is to say) Four out of each Ward, and of such other charitable Persons as shall be Elected and Constituted Guardians of the Poor of the said City, in a manner as is herein after expressed: And the first eight and forty Persons shall be Elected at a Court for that purpose to be held within each Ward, by the Alderman of the same, or his Deputy, by the Votes of the Inhabitants of such Ward, paying one Penny per Week, or more, in his own Right, for and towards the Relief of the Poor of the said City, or of the major part of them then present.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that the said Eight and Forty Persons shall be chosen in manner, as aforesaid, the Twelfth Day of May next following, and shall continue in their Office until others shall be elected in their Rooms, according to the Direction herein after-mentioned; and in case any of the said Persons so Elected, or any other Person so Elected in their Room, shall, after their respective Elections, happen to die, That then it shall, and may be Lawful to and for the Alderman of the Ward, for which such Person so dying was Elected, or his Deputy, at a Court to be held within the said Ward for that purpose, within the Space of ten Days next after the Death of such Persons, to Elect others in their Place, in manner, as aforesaid; which Court and Election, such Alderman, or his Deputy, is and are hereby required to Hold and Make: Which said Mayor and Aldermen, and Forty-eight Persons, and such other Charitable Persons, so Elected and Constituted for the Time being, shall be called Guardians of the Poor of the City of Bristol.

And to the intent that the said Guardians so Elected out of the said Wards may have perpetual Succession: Be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said respective Aldermen for the Time being, or their respective Deputies, shall and may, and are hereby required, on the first Thursday in April, in every second Year, from henceforth, to hold a Court in their respective Wards, and then and there, by the Votes of the Inhabitants of such Ward, so qualified, as aforesaid, or of the Majority of them then present, to Elect and Choose two of the honestest and discreetest Persons out of the said Inhabitants of the said City, to be Guardians of the Poor of the said City for the said Ward; which Paid two Persons, so Elected, shall be Guardians, and shall succeed the two Persons before that first Elected, and then being Guardians for the said Ward; and the said two Persons so first Elected, shall immediately upon such Election, and Notice thereof given to them, cease to be Guardians.

And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Mayor, Aldermen, Eight and forty Persons, and such other Charitable Persons elected and constituted, as is herein mentioned and expressed, for the time being, shall for ever hereafter in Name and Fact, be one Body Politic and Corporate in Law, to all Intents and Purposes, and shall have a perpetual Succession, and be called by the Name of The Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistants, and Guardians of the Poor in the said City of Bristol; and that they shall be enabled to Plead and Sue, and to be Sued and Impleaded by that Name, in all Courts and Places of Judicature within this Kingdom; and by that Name shall and may, without License in Mortmain, Purchase, Take, or Receive any Lands, Tenements or Hereditaments, of the Gift, Alienation or Demise of any Person or Persons, who are hereby, without further Licence, enabled to transfer the same, and any Goods and Chattles whatsoever, for the Use and Benefit of the Corporation aforesaid. And for the better governing of the said Corporation, the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Eight and forty Persons, or the Majority of them, shall have, and hereby have Authority to meet on the Nineteenth Day of May next following, in St. George’s Chapple in the said City, or in some other convenient Place there, and shall on that Day, or any other Day or Time, that to them shall seem convenient, Elect and Constitute out of and from amongst themselves, the several Officers following (that is to say) one Governor, one Deputy-Governor, one Treasurer, and twelve Assistants, to continue in the said Office for one Year, and no longer; and from thenceforth the said Governor, Deputy-Governor, Assistants, Treasurer, and other Officers, shall Yearly, and every Year, by the said Mayor, Aldermen, Forty-eight Persons, and such other charitable Persons as shall be Elected and Constituted as is herein mentioned and expressed, or the Majority of them, be Elected and Constituted out of and from amongst themselves, on the Second Thursday in the Month of April, or any other Day or Time, as they shall think convenient, to continue in their respective Offices for one Year and no longer; and the said Mayor, Aldermen, and Forty-eight Persons, and such other Charitable Persons that shall be Elected and Constituted, as herein mentioned and expressed, for the Time being, or the Majority of them, shall have Power, in case of the Death of any such Officer so Elected and Constituted, before the said Year expired, to Elect and Constitute others in their Room, to hold the said Office for the Remainder of the said Year, and shall have Power and Authority at any Time or Times, for just Cause, to remove, displace, and put out any such Officer out of his said Office, and to Elect and Constitute another in his Room.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Governor, or in his Default, the said Deputy-Governor, or in both their Defaults, Six of the said Assistants for the Time being, shall have, and hereby have Power and Authority, and are hereby Enjoyned and Required from time to time, upon the Second Thursday in every Second Month in every Year, accounting January for the first Month, to hold and keep a Court or Assembly of the said Corporation within the said City of Bristol, of one and Twenty of the said Guardians at least, on the Days and Time, and in manner, and for the ends in this Act mentioned; (that is to say) The said Governor shall hold the said Court or Assembly between the Hours of One and Two in the Afternoon; and in his Default, the said Deputy-Governor, or any Six of the said Assistants, shall, after the Hour of Two, hold the same; and also, the said Governor for the time being, shall have, and hereby hath Power and Authority, at any such other time or times as to him shall seem meet, to Summon, Assemble and hold a Court or Assembly of the said Corporation, upon two Days Notice or Warning at the least to be given of such Court or Assembly to be held; and in case any twenty of the said Guardians, upon any Emergency, signifying it under their Hands to the Governor for the time being, That it is their Desire that an extraordinary Court or Assembly of the said Corporation may be called and held, the said Governor shall be bound, and is hereby Enjoyned and Required to call and hold such Court or Assembly at such Time as the said twenty Guardians shall so desire; and on his Refusal, the said Deputy-Governor for the Time being, on such Signification, shall be Bound, and is hereby likewise Enjoyned and Required to call and hold the said Court or Assembly, and on his Refusal, any six of the said Assistants shall have, and hereby have Authority to call and hold the said Court or Assembly; at all which Courts or Assemblies all and every Member and Members of the said Corporation for the Time being, are hereby Enjoyned to appear and be present, and not to depart from the same without the Licence of the said Court or Assembly, on pain to Forfeit such reasonable Sum and Sums of Money, not exceeding Five Shillings, to the Use of the said Corporation, as by the said Court or Assembly, or any succeeding Court or Assembly, shall be Assessed upon them, unless they can shew some reasonable Excuse to be allowed of by the said Court or Assembly; and the said Court or Assembly are hereby Impowered to Summon to appear before them any of the Inhabitants of the said City to answer to Matters relating to the said Corporation, who are hereby required to appear upon such Summons, and answer such Questions, on Forfeiture, to the Use of the said Corporation, of a Sum not exceeding two Shillings and Six-pence for every Default to be Levied as is herein after directed.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, Thar the said Corporation, at the said Court or Assembly, shall have, and hereby have Power and Authority from time to time to make and appoint a Common Seal or Seals for the Use of the said Corporation, and to make and ordain By-Laws, Rules and Ordinances for and concerning the better Governing the said Corporation, and the Poor of the said City, and shall have, and have hereby Power to Purchase, Buy or Erect an Hospital or Hospitals, Work-house or Work-houses, House or Houses of Correction, and to provide other Necessaries they shall think convenient for the setting to work the Poor of the said City, of what Sex or Age soever they be, and shall have, and hereby have Power and Authority to compel such idle or poor People begging or seeking Relief, who do not betake themselves to some lawful Imployments, and such other Poor who do or shall hereafter receive Alms of the respective Parishes or Places where they Inhabit or Seek the same, or by any of the Laws now in force ought to be maintained or provided for by any Parish or Place within the said City, to Dwell and Inhabit in such Hospital or Hospitals, Work-house or Work-houses, and to do such Work as they shall think them able and fit for; and to detain and keep in the Service of the said Corporation, until the Age of sixteen Years, any poor Child or Children of the said City, left to be maintained by the said City, or any Parish or Place in the same, or begging or seeking Relief, or which by any of the Laws now in force ought to be maintained and provided for by any Parish or Place within the said City, or the Child or Children of any other Person or Persons, that are or shall be willing or desirous to place or put their Child or Children in such Hospital or Hospitals, until their said Age of sixteen Years; and after they shall have attained their said Age of Sixteen Years or sooner, the said Corporation, by Indenture, shall have Power to Bind and Put forth such Child or Children Apprentices, to any honest Person or Persons within the Kingdom of England, for any Number of Years, not exceeding seven Years, as they shall think convenient; which Indenture shall be binding to such Child or Children.

And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Court or Assembly so constituted, as aforesaid, shall have, and hereby have Power to inflict such reasonable Correction and Punishment on any poor Person or Persons within the said Hospital or Hospitals, Work-house or Work-houses, House or Houses of Correction, that shall not conform to such Rules, Orders and Ordinances so made, as aforesaid, or misbehave themselves in the same; and that the said Court or Assembly so constituted, as aforesaid, shall have, and hereby have Power to appoint a Committee to consist of One and Twenty of the Guardians at the least, who, or any five of them, of which two shall be Assistants, shall from time to time, or at any time until the next Court, have Power to inflict such reasonable Correction and Punishment, as aforesaid, on any such poor Person or Persons offending as aforesaid.

And for the better carrying on so Pious and Charitable a Work, be it Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be Lawful for the said Corporation, in their said Courts or Assemblies, from time to time, to set down and ascertain what Sum, or Sums of Money shall be needful for the Building and Erecting of such Hospitals, Work-houses, or Houses of Correction, so that the same do not exceed the Sum of five Thousand Pounds, to be raised within the Space of three Years, or any longer Time, as to them shall seem meet, by such Quarterly or other Payments, as they in their Discretion shall think fit; and also from time to time, to set down and ascertain what Weekly, Monthly, or other Sums, shall be needful for the Maintenance of the Poor in the said Hospital or Hospitals, Work-house or Work-houses, House or Houses of Correction, or within the Care of the said Corporation, so that the same do not exceed what hath been paid in the said City towards the Maintenance of the Poor thereof, in any one of the three last Years; and shall and may, under their Common Seal, certify the same unto the Mayor and Aldermen of the said City for the time being; which said Mayor and any two of the Aldermen, or any Five of the said Aldermen without the Mayor, may, and are hereby required from time to time, to cause the same to be raised and levied by Taxation of every Inhabitant, and of all Lands, Houses, Tythes Impropriate, Appropriation of Tythes, and all Stocks and Estates in the said City and County of the same, in equal Proportion, according to their respective Worth and Values: And in order thereunto, the said Mayor and any two of the said Aldermen, or any five of the said Aldermen without the Mayor, shall have power, and are hereby required indifferently, to proportion out the said Sum and Sums upon each Parish and Precinct within the said City, and by their Warrants under their Hands and Seals to authorize and require the Church-wardens and Overseers of the Poor of each respective Parish and Precinct, to Assess the same respectively; and after such Assessment made, by like Warrant under their Hands and Seals, to authorize the said respective Church-wardens and Overfeers to Demand, Gather, and Receive the same, and for Non-payment thereof (being lawfully demanded) to Levy the same by Distress and Sale of the Goods of the Offender, restoring the Surplusage to the Party so distrained; and if no Distress can be found, then it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Mayor, and any two of the Aldermen, or any five of the said Aldermen without the Mayor, to commit such Offender to Prison, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, till the same shall be paid: And after the same shall be received, to pay the same unto the Treasurer of the said Corporation for the time being. Provided always, That if any Person or Persons, Parish or Precinct, find him or themselves to be unequally Taxed or Assessed, he or they may Appeal to the Justices of the Peace of the said City and County, at their next General Quarter-Sessions after such Assessment made and demanded, who shall and hereby have full Power and Authority, to take and make a final Order therein.

And for the Encouragement of such as shall be Benefactors to so good a Design, Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Man charitably disposed, shall give one hundred Pounds, or more, towards carrying on the said Work, It shall and may be Lawful for the said Corporation, at a Court where there shall be present three and thirty of the said Guardians at the least, to elect and constitute such charitable Person to be Guardian of the Poor of the said City, and to continue in the said Office, as long as to the said Corporation shall seem meet.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Corporation shall have the Care of, and provide for the Maintenance of all the Poor of the said City, of what Age soever they be, except such as shall be otherwise Efficiently Provided for by the charitable Gifts of other Persons, or in Hospitals or Alms-houses within the said City already erected: And in order thereunto shall have full Power to examine, search and see what poor Persons there are come into, Inhabiting and Residing within the said City or any Part thereof; and shall have Power to apprehend or cause to be apprehended any Rogues, Vagrants, or Sturdy-Beggars, or idle or disorderly Persons within the said City and the County thereof, and to cause them to be kept and set to Work in the said Work-houses, Hospitals or Houses of Correction, for the Space of three Years.

Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act, or any thing herein contained, shall not any ways extend to give the said Corporation any Power or Authority over any Alms-house or Hospital, or any other charitable Gift or Use, within the said City, already Given, Settled or Erected, but that the same shall be wholly exempted therefrom; any thing herein to the Contrary notwithstanding.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Corporation in their said Court or Assembly, shall have hereby Power to choose and entertain all such other Officers as shall be needful to be employed in and about the Premisses, and them or any of them, from time to time to remove as they shall see Cause; and upon the Death or removal of them, or any of them, to choose others in their Place, and to make and give such reasonable Allowances to them, or any of them, out of the Stock or Revenue belonging to the said Corporation or Hospitals, as they shall think fit.

Provided always, and be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That no Officer or Officers, who shall be elected, chosen, appointed or employed, in the Execution of, or by Virtue of this Act, or any of the Powers or Authorities thereby given, shall be liable for or by reason of such Office or Execution, to any of the Penalties mentioned in an Act made the Five and Twentieth Year of the Reign of King Charles the Second, for the Preventing the Dangers which may hapen from Popish Recusants.

And it is further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Treasurer for the Time being, and all other Officers belonging to the said Corporation, Hospitals, Work-houses, or Houses of Correction, shall, from time to time, before such Person or Persons as the said Corporation shall thereto appoint, account for such Moneys, Stock, and other Things belonging to the said Corporation, Hospitals, Work-houses, or Houses of Correction, as shall come to their respective Hands, or be under their respective Care, upon every reasonable Warning and Notice thereof, by the said Corporation to them respectively given; and on their Neglect or Refusal to Account, as aforesaid, shall or may be, by the said Mayor, or any two of the said Aldermen, committed to the County Goal for the said City and County of Bristol, there to remain without Bail or Mainprize, untill they shall become conformable, and Account, as aforesaid; and if upon such Account there shall appear any Thing to be in their Hands belonging to the said Corporation, Hospitals, Work-houses, or Houses of Correction, they shall pay and deliver the same, as the said Corporation shall direct, or give such Security for the same, as the said Corporation shall approve of, on pain to forfeit double the Value thereof, to be recovered by the said Corporation, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint or Information in which no Protection, Essoign, or Wager in Law, or any more than one Imparlance, shall be admitted or allowed.

And it is further enacted, That all other Pains, Penalties and Forfeitures by this Act appointed, shall be Levied by Distress and Sale of the Offenders Goods, by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of the said Treasurer for the time being, restoring to the Offender the Overplus.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons shall be sued for any Matter or Thing which he shall do in Execution of this Act, he may plead the General Issue, and give the special Matter in Evidence: And if the Verdict shall pass for the Defendant, or the Plaintiff shall be nonsuited, or discontinue his Suit, the Defendant shall recover his Treble Costs. And this Act shall be taken and be allowed in all Courts within this Kingdom as a Public Act; and all Judges and Justices are hereby required, as such, to take Notice thereof, without specially Pleading the same; and all Mayors, Justices, Sheriffs, Bayliffs, Constables, and all other Officers and Ministers of Justice, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting to the said Corporation, and to such Officers as shall be employed by them, or any of them, in Execution of this Act, or any of the Powers or Authorities hereby given.






Corporation of Bristol,

In Execution of the

Act of Parliament

For the Better

Employing and Maintaining



Of That CITY.


Right Honourable




Lords Spiritual and Temporal,


Commons in Parliament

May it please your Honours,

I HUMBLY make bold to lay before You, an Account of our Proceedings in the City of Bristol, on the Act of Parliament for Erecting Hospitals and Work-houses for the better employing and maintaining the Poor of that City, which passed in the first Sessions of the Parliament begun at Westminster the 22d of November, 1695, whereby the Power invested in the Corporation commenced from the 12th of May 1696.

The first Thing we did, was to choose four Guardians for each of our twelve Wards, as the Statute directs, which, with the Mayor and Aldermen, amounted to sixty Guardians, and made up our Court.

The Court being thus constituted, at our first Meeting we chose our Officers appointed by the said Act, viz. a Governor, a Deputy-Governor, twelve Assistants, a Treasurer, a Clerk, and a Beadle.

This being done, we order’d the Guardians who dwelt in each Parish, to bring in an Account of all the Poor in their respective Parishes, their Names, Ages, Sexes, and Qualifications. Also an Account of the Charges expended for maintaining them in each of the last three Years, that so we might bring it to a Medium. We also appointed certain standing Rules for the better governing our Debates, and ordered all Things done in the Court to be fairly enter’d in a Journal.

We likewise considered which would be most for the advantage of the Corporation, to build Work-houses, or to purchase such Houses, which being already built, might be alter’d and made fit for our purpose.

These Things spent much Time, and it was about the Month of September before we could settle the Medium of the Poor’s Rates, in order to certify to the Mayor and Aldermen what Sum was necessary to be raised on the City for the next Year.

But here we met with an unexpected Remora, Mr. Samuel Wallis was succeeded in his Majoralty by Mr. J. H. and this Change made a great Alteration in our Affairs: For whereas the former had given us all the Incouragement we could expect from him, and had done us the Honour to be our first Governor, the latter resolved to obstruct us all he could. And because the Power of raising Money was vested in him and the Aldermen, he absolutely refused to put that Power in Execution.

This, together with his other Endeavours to Brow-beat the Corporation, kept us at a stand till October (97.) only our Court met, and discourst things, and we laboured to keep up the Spirits of our Friends, who began to sink under these Discouragements, and to despair of Success, the Work seeming difficult enough in it self; our undertaking being nothing less, then to put to Work a great Number of People, many of which had been habited to Laziness and Beggary; to civilize such as had been bred up in all the Vices, that want of Education could expose them to; and to cloth, lodge, and feed them well, with the same Sum of Money which was distributed among them when they beg’d, lay in the Streets, and went almost naked.

Yet all this would not have discouraged us, could we have prevailed on Mr. Mayor to have joyned with us. We often sought it, and he as often refused us, till his time being expired, his Successor granted our Request; and then, having lost much time, we were forced to make large steps.

The first we made was, a Vote to take on us the Care of the Poor of the City; and as I remember, this Vote passed in October or November 1697, though we had then no Money raised, nor could we expect any till after our Lady-day 1698. So that from the passing that Vote to this Time is about two Years.

The next step was to appoint a Committee of Twelve to hear the Complaints of the Poor, to relieve them, and set them at work; six whereof were to go out every Month, and to be succeeded by Six more, to be chosen by Ballating.

We had formerly obtained from the Mayor and Common Council, in the Majoralty of Alderman Wallis, the Grant of a Work-house, which then lay unoccupied, and the Court had appointed a Committee to place as many Girls in it as it would conveniently contain, both as to Lodging and Working. This is that we called the New work-house.

But all things having stood still so long, we resolved now to loose no more time; yet we had no Money, nor could we expect any in less than six Months, from the Poor’s Rates; therefore we resolved to make our several Loans for twelve Months without Interest to the Corporation on the Credit of their Common Seal; in which Design many of the Citizens lent their Assistance, whereby we became soon Masters of about six Hundred Pounds Stock. Likewise our Guardians, who were appointed to pay the Poor in their several Parishes, voluntarily advanced their weekly Payments, till they could be reimburst by the Treasurer. The other Stock we employed to furnish Beds, and other Necessaries for our Children to be taken in, and Materials for their working.

We had now two Committees; one for the Poor, the other for the New Work-house.

The Committee for the Poor met twice every Week: And in this Committee we proceeded thus:

First, We voted that the Poor of the City should be visited in their respective Parishes, and that new Poor’s Rates should be made; and accordingly we ordered the Guardians of each Parish to bring together the Poor on a certain Day in some convenient Place, where the Committee met, and without Partiality endeavoured to provide for every one according to their Wants, we likewise took Notice of all the young Girls that were on our Poor’s Books, and of such whose Parents took no due Care of them: and these we recommended to the Committee of the New Work-house, to be taken in, and employed by them.

Our Poor’s Rates we made in this manner: Every one that expected Relief, came before us with their whole Families, except such as was impotent and could not come: In our Books we put down the Name of the Man, the Woman, and each Child; together with the Qualifications of all, either as to Age, Health, Civility, &c. what each Person did, or could get by the Week, and in what Employment. We likewise set down for what Reason the Charity was bestowed; that when that should cease, or we could find out any other Way to provide for it, the Charity should likewise cease.

Having thus seen the State of all our Poor, and provided for them, the Committee sat twice a Week in the Public Court, to hear and provide for all casual Complaints; which we did in this Manner: We ordered that the Poor in their respective Parishes, should first apply themselves to their Guardian or Guardians, who were to relieve them as they saw fit, till the next Sitting of the Committee, when they were to bring them up with their Complaints, if they were able to come; and this we did, lest the Committee (three whereof made a Quorum) should be deceived; who could not be supposed to know the State of all the Poor in the City, and by this Means we had the Opinion of the Guardian of each Parish; nor could he easily deceive us, because he brought the Poor with him, and thereby the Committee became Judges of the Matter laid before them. At these Meetings, Care was taken of the various Cases and Exigencies which offer’d, and in all Things there was a Regard, as much as could be, to put People on living by their own Labours.

To such as were sick, we gave Warrants to our Physician to visit them; such as wanted the Assistance of our Surgeons were directed to them, and all were reliev’d till they were able to work; by which Means the Poor having been well attended, were set at work again, who, by Neglect, might with their Families have been chargeable to the Corporation; for some we provided Cloaths, for others Work; where we found People careful, but wanted a Stock to employ themselves and Children, we either lent or gave it; where they wanted Houses, we either paid the Rent, or became Security for it; where we found them opprest, we stood by them; where Differences arose, we endeavoured to compose them; so that in a little time all the Complaints of the Poor came to this Committee, which saved our Magistrates a great deal of Trouble, and Care was taken that none went away unheard.

The Committee at first sat twice a Week, but now only once in a Fortnight; not that we grew slack in the Care of our Poor, but because their Number being so much abated, by those received into our several Work-houses, the Business not requiring their meeting oftner.

The other Committee, viz. That for the new Work-house, having first furnished it in order to receive in the young Girls, began with such as were recommended to them by the Committee for the Poor; and this Method hath been generally observed ever since, both by that Committee, and also by the Committee since chosen for our other Work-house; not that either of them depends on the other, but because the first application for Relief is made to the Committee for the Poor.

But before we took in the Girls, we first considered of proper Officers to govern them; and these consisted of a Master, whose Business was to receive in Work, and deliver it out again, and to keep the Account of the House, &c.

A Mistress, whose Business was to look after the Kitchen and Lodgings, to provide their Meals at set Times, and other Things which related to the Government of the House.

Tutresses to teach them to Spin, under each of which we put Five and Twenty Girls.

A School-Mistress, to teach them to read.

Servants in the Kitchen, and for washing, &c. but these we soon discharged, and caused our biggest Girls to take their Turns every Week.

We also appointed an old Man to keep the Door, and to carry forth and fetch in Work, and such kind of Services.

Being thus provided, we received in one hundred Girls, and set them to work at Spinning of Worsted Yarn; all which we first caused to be stript by the Mistress, washed, and new Clothed from Head to Foot; which, together with wholesome Dyet at set Hours, and good Beds to lie on, so incouraged the Children, that they willingly betook themselves to their Work.

We likewise provided for them Apparel for Sundays; they went to Church every Lord’s Day; were taught their Catechisms at home, and had Prayers twice every Day; we appointed them set Hours for working, eating, and playing; and gave them leave to walk on the Hills with their Tutresses, when their Work was over, and the Weather fair; by which means we won them into Civility, and a love to their Labour. But we had a great deal of Trouble with their Parents, and those who formerly kept them, who having lost the sweetness of their Pay, did all they could to set both their Children and others against us; but this was soon over.

Hitherto things answered above our Expectations; our Children grew sober, and worked willingly, but we very much questioned, whether their Labours at the Rates we were paid, would answer the charge of their Maintenance; and if not, our great Doubt was how we might advance it, without prejudicing the Manufactures.

To clear the first, we supposed ourselves in a fair way, having appointed their Diets to be made up of such Provisions as were very wholesome, afforded good nourishment, and were not costly in Price, viz. Beef, Pease, Potatoes, Broath, Pease-porridge, Milk-porridge, Bread and Cheese, good Beer, (such as we drank at our own Tables) Cabbage, Carrots, Turnips, &c. in which we took the Advice of our Physician, and bought the best of every Sort. They had three Meals every Day, and as I remember, it stood us (with Soap to wash) in about Sixteen-pence per Week for each of the one hundred Girls. We soon found the effect of their Change of Living, Nature being well supported, threw out a great deal of Foulness, so that we had generally twenty down at a Time, in the Measels, Small-pox, and other Distempers; but by the Care of our Physician, and the Blessing of God on his Endeavours, we never buried but Two, though we have had seldom less than one hundred in the House at any Time.

Having thus provided for their Diets, we next appointed their Times of Working; which in the Summer was ten Hours and a half every Day, and an Hour less in the Winter; by which means we answered the two Objections raised against the Poor, viz. Thar they will not work, and that they spend what they get in fine feeding.

But we soon found, that the great Cause of begging did proceed from the low Wages for Labour; for after about eight Months time, our Children could not get half so much as we expended in their Provisions. The Manufacturers, who employed us, were always complaining the Yarn was spun coarse, but would not advance above Eight-pence per Pound for Spinning, and we must either take this, or have no Work. On the other side, we were labouring to understand how we might distinguish, and put a Value on our Work, according to its Fineness. This we did by the Snap Reel, which when we were Masters of, the Committee made an Order, That the Master should buy in a Stock of Wool, and Spin it up for our own Accounts, and then proceeded to set the Price of Spinning by the Snap Reel, wherein we endeavoured to discourage coarse Work, and to endeavour fine, because we saw the latter was likely to bring more Profit, not only to the Poor, but to the Kingdom in general. We likewise ordered some Things to be made up of the several Sorts of Yarn, at the Rates we had set them; and on the whole, we found the Commodities made of fine Yarn, though they were much better than those made of Coarse, yet stood us in little more; because what the one exceeded in the Charge of Spinning, was very much made good in Abatement of the Quantity used. We therefore sent to the Manufacturers, and shewed them what Experiments we had made; but finding them still unwilling to advance above the old Rate, the Committee voted, that they would give Employment to all the Poor of the City, who would make Application to them, at the Rates we offer’d to work, and pay them ready Money for their Labour.

We soon found we had taken the right Course, for in a few Weeks we had Sale for our fine Yarn as fast as we could make it, and they gave us from Eight-pence to Two Shillings per Pound for Spinning the same Goods, for which a little before they paid but Eight-pence, and were very well pleased with it, because they were now able to distinguish between the fine and the coarse Yarn, and to apply each Sort to the Use for which it was most proper: Since which, they have given us Two Shillings and Six-pence per Pound for a great many Pounds, and we spin some worth Three Shillings and Six-pence per Pound Spinning.

By this Means we had the Pleasure of seeing the Children’s Labour advanc’d, which a little before I came up, amounted to near Six Pounds per Week, and would have been much more, but that our biggest Girls, we either settle forth, or put in the Kitchen; and those we receive in being generally small, are able to do but little for some Time after.

The Encouragement we had received on this Beginning, put us on proceeding further: The Court resolved to purchase a great Sugar-House, out of the Money directed by the Act to be raised for Building of Work-Houses, and fit it up for the receiving in the Remainder of the Poor, (viz.) ancient People, Boys, and young Children; which was accordingly done, and a Committee was appointed to manage it. This we called the Mint Work-House, because it had been hired by the Lords of the Treasury for that Use.

The Committee began to take in the Boys in August last; these we cloathed, dieted, and governed, much after the same Manner as we had done the Girls, but put them on a different Employment, (viz.) Spinning of Cotton Wool, and weaving of Fustians: We have now about one hundred of them together, who settle well to their Work, and every Day mend their Hands; they get us already six Pounds per Week; they are likewise taught to read, and we shall hereafter teach them to write.

We next took in our ancient People; and here we had principally a Regard to such as were impotent, and had no Friends to help them, and to such as we could not keep from the lazy Trade of Begging; these we cloath’d as we saw they needed, and put on such Employments as were fit for their Ages and Strengths, having our Eyes chiefly on those to which they were bred; we found it difficult at first to bend them down to good Orders, but by Degrees we have brought them under Government.

Then we called in all the Children that were on our Poor’s Books, and put them under Nurses; those who can speak and go, are carried down into the School, to learn their A, B, C, &c. As they grow up, we shall put them into the working Rooms.

The Boys are kept at a Distance from the ancient People, who do also lodge in distinct Apartments, the Men in several Chambers on one Floor, and the Women on another; all do something, though perhaps some of their Labours comes to little, yet it keeps them from Idleness: Both the Old and Young attend Prayers twice a Day, (except the Bedridden, for whom other Care is taken) and go to Church twice on Sundays.

We have now three standing Committees, (viz.) For the Poor, for the New Work-House, and for the Mint Work-House: The first gives all Directions, and makes all Allowance, for the Poor, without whose Order no Guardian can act any Thing considerable, except in Cases of absolute Necessity, which at the next Meeting of the Committee he must give an Account of, and desire their Approbation. The other two Committees have Power to act in the Affairs of that Work-House for which they are chosen: They receive in both Old and Young; they bind forth Apprentices, correct, order the Diet as they please, oversee the Working, sell the Manufactures, when made, order the Payment of all Moneys, which cannot be done unless the Note be sign’d by the Chairman; and generally direct every Thing relating to those Houses.

The Accounts are made up thus: The Treasurer’s Account is audited every Year, by a Committee chosen for that purpose; at which Time he is succeeded by another Treasurer, chosen by the Court: The Accounts of the Guardians who pay the Poor in their several Parishes are audited every three Months, by a select Committee chosen likewise by the Court, and are then paid by the Treasurer: The Accounts for each Work-house are audited by the respective Committee every Month, when the Master adjusts, not only his Account of Cash, but also of each particular Specie of Goods he hath under his Care, the Ballance whereof is still carried forward to the next, which when allowed of is signed by the Chairman: And the Account for each House is so stated, that it shews at one Sight, what the House is indebted; what Debts are out-standing, and from whom; what Goods remain in the House, and the Quantity of each Specie.

At the making up these Accounts, nothing (unless very trivial) is allowed, for which an Order is not produced, or found entered in our Books, so that ’tis very difficult to wrong the Corporation of any thing, if the Guardians should endeavour it.

These Committees keep their Journal Books, wherein all they do is fairly transcribed, and signed by the Chairman.

This is what at present occurs to my Memory touching our Work-houses at Bristol. I have been as brief as the nature of the Thing would admit: The Success hath answered our Expectation; we are freed from Beggars, our old People are comfortably provided for; our Boys and Girls are educated to Sobriety, and brought to delight in Labour; our young Children are well lookt after, and not spoiled by the neglect of ill Nurses; and the Face of our City is so changed already, that we have great reason to hope these young Plants will produce a virtuous and laborious Generation, with whom Immortality and Prophaness may find little Incouragement; nor does our hopes appear to be groundless, for among three hundred Persons now under our Charge within Doors, there is neither Cursing nor Swearing, nor prophane Language, to be heard, though many of them were bred up in all manner of Vices, which neither Bridewell nor Whippings could fright them from, because, returning to their bad Company, for want of Employment, they were rather made worse, than bettered by these Corrections; whereas, the Change we have wrought on them, is by fair means. We have a Bridewell, Stocks, and Whipping-Post, always in their Sights, but never had occasion to make use of either.

What is done in that City, I humbly hope may be carried on by the same Steps throughout the Kingdom; the Poor may be set at Work, their Wages advanced without Danger to our Manufacturers, and they thereby enabled to live on their own Labours, whereby the Charge of the Poor’s Rates may be saved, and a great many worthy Benefactors encouraged to give, when they shall see their Charity so well disposed of. This I have great reason to hope, because we have had near one Thousand Pounds freely given to us within the Compass of one Year, and much thereof by Gentlemen who dwelt at a Distance from us, only were willing to encourage a Work they saw likely to be carried on, which might be of good Example to the Nation.

I am,

Right Honourable

And Honourable,

Your Honours most

Obedient Servant,




Towards Settling a


By John Cary, Esq;

The Fifth Edition, Corrected.


Printed in the Year M.DCC.XLV.

To the Right Honourable the LORDS Spiritual and Temporal, and to the Honourable the Commons of ENGLAND in Parliament Assembled.

HAVING lately presented your Honours with An Essay on Coin and Credit, the chief Design whereof was to shew the Necessity of Settling a well-grounded Credit in this Nation, for Support of the Government, and carrying on its Trade; I do now with all Humility lay before you Proposals to answer that End, which I have not clogg’d with Compulsion to the Subject, supposing nothing of this Nature can be good, where a common Consent, grounded upon Interest, doth not make it valuable.

Banks, as I humbly conceive, ought chiefly to be calculated for the Use of Trade, and modeled so as may best content the Traders. What gives them Satisfaction, will answer all other Occasions of the Kingdom. Money passes through the Hands of the Nobility and Gentry, only as Water doth through Conduit-Pipes into the Cistern, but Centers in the Hands of Traders, where it circulates, and may be said to be used; and among these, Ease, Profit, and Security, are Arguments to keep a Bank always full: Besides, when the Streights of the Government are taken of, greater Sums will come into Trade, which are now drawn out, in order to make Advantages, above what the Profits of Trade will bring in.

The Heads whereon I propose to build this National Credit, are these which follow:

That a Bank be erected on the Credit of Parliament, the Profit or Loss thereof to redound to the Nation, whose chief Chamber shall be settled in London, but lesser Chambers in other Places of this Kingdom, at such Distances, as may best answer the Occasions of the Country, which Chambers to account with that of London, and that to Commissioners appointed by Parliament.

That this Bank shall take in what running Cash shall be offered, and shall give their Notes for it; and shall also allow Interest after the Rate of ### per Cent. per Annum, after the first ### Days, till those Notes be paid, and shall also pay it again to the Proprietors, or any Part thereof, when demanded.

That if any Man put in his Money for a Time certain, not less than ### Months, he shall receive Interest from the Time of paying it in, to the Time he is Repaid.

That this Bank shall let out any Sum again on reasonable Security, either Real, Personal, or Goods, receiving Interest after the Rate of ### per Cent. per Annum, till the Borrower shall think fit to pay it in, which he shall do, by such Parts as will best suit his Occasions, and be discharged from the Interest of what he so pays, and only pay after the Rate aforesaid, for so much as doth remain in his Hands.

That Lombards be erected to attend this Bank, for the Benefit of Traders, under Regulations, which may Encourage Trade.

That for the Benefit of Returns, the Notes given in any one Chamber of this Bank, shall be demandable in any other, together with the Interest due till Payment, the Receiver allowing for such Returns after the Rate of ### for each Hundred Pounds, in the Chamber where he receives his Money.

That to prevent Counterfeits, all Notes given out at any Chamber, shall be made payable to ### or Order, and assigned from one to another, each Assignee to be Warrantee for the Note, both to the Bank, and also to every later Assignee.

That these Notes shall be taken by the King in all Payments, which will make them current among the Subjects.

That this Bank do supply the King with all Loans at per Cent. Interest per Ann. from the Time of borrowing, to the Time the Money is paid in again, and that it hath the Taxes, or Funds settled by Act of Parliament, for its Security.

That all Debts contracted to this Bank, shall be of the same Nature with Debts contracted to the King, and be first paid out of the Estates of the Debtors; and that Extents shall lye accordingly.

That an Account be kept of Profit and Loss in each Chamber, together with the Charges of the Officers, &c. And that it be return’d up every three Months, as also Accompt Current, to the Grand Chamber in London, where the whole shall be Examined by the Commissioners, and they be liable to the inspection of the Parliament.

That Registers for Lands be erected in all Countries, &c. where desired, by Act of Parliament.

That Bills be past on the Bank by such as are appointed to buy for the Public Use of the Nation, payable at the Time of their Agreement; by which means every one will endeavour to furnish the Government cheapest, when their Payments shall be punctual; the King will save a great deal of Money, paid now for Procuration, Excessive Interest, &c. and the Fleet and Army will be well paid.

That the Commissioners do once every Year at least, make up the Accounts depending between the Public and the Bank, allowing ### per Cent. Interest as before; and make Application to the Parliament for its Reimbursement.

That Bills and Bonds be made Assignable by Law, and the Property be thereby transfer’d to the Assignee.

That Trustees may put the Money belonging to Orphans into this Bank, which shall be a Discharge to them for so much of their Trust, the Interest to be duly issued out for the Maintenance of the said Orphans; and that all Plate and Bullion belonging to the said Orphans be by the Trustees coined up at the next Mint, and the Money put into the Bank for the use of the said Orphans.

That the Money in this Bank be freed from Taxes.

Concerning which Credit I shall briefly speak to these Four Things.

I. First, Its Security.

II. Secondly, Some of those Advantages the Nation will reap by it.

III. Thirdly, I shall make some Comparison between this Credit, and the present Bank of England.

IV. Fourthly, I shall set forth the necessity of setling the Nations Credit in this present Sessions.

I. As to the First, It hath the Legislative Power of the Kingdom of England for its Foundation, a Security strong enough, and nothing else can be so, to build this Great Superstructure upon, the well modeling whereof, will keep it from being subject to the Designs of private Persons: This will last so long as the Peoples Liberties last, for no Change can weaken it, so long as the People of England have a hand in making their own Laws, whose Common Interest will be riveted and made up with the Security of this Bank, that they will in a short time become one thing, so that nothing less than a Conquest will be able to shake it: This we cannot fear from any Nation besides the French, nor from them neither, till Holland is first subdued; therefore, as those States must first truckle, so far will our Bank be more secure than theirs: France cannot erect a Bank on any sort of Security, because the Will of the Prince being his Law, alters according to his present Occasions: Nor can Spain do it; where, not only the Government but also the Profits thereof, are divided amongst its Ministers: As for Sweden, Denmark, and Portugal, the Princes of Italy and Germany, few believe their Circumstances to be such, as to render them capable of erecting a Bank, which may draw the Eyes of Europe to look towards it; England only can do it, for as an easy Government is its own Security, so that Security encourages Trade, and these two, accompanied with the Profits offered to a running Cash, will make all Europe desire to settle their Monies here.

Seeing then, that nothing but the same Power which first constituted this Bank can destroy it, (a Power with whom we intrust our Lives, Liberties, and Estates) I cannot see the least Room left for distrust; for what Advantage can any future Parliament expect by a design of seizing this Bank, when the Treasure thereof may be drawn out, whilst they are framing the Law; and the Consequence thereof will be, the Ruining their own Estates, for which they can promise nothing to themselves, save the being possest of empty Papers.

What farther Hazard the Nation can run, must proceed from the Neglect of the Managers, or the Fraud of under Officers, which, Care in the First, and Security for the Last, will prevent.

II. The next Thing is to shew the Advantages which England will reap by setling the Credit here proposed; whereof some do immediately attend it, others are consequential.

Those which immediately attend it, are,

1st, The Rate of Interest will hereby be brought lower, to the Advance of our Lands, and Encouragement of our Trade, by Methods altogether as profitable to the Usurer, who will be willing to let his Money Cheaper, when it shall never lie dead without his Consent, his Security be unquestionable, and freed from the Charges of litigious Suits, which so frequently accompany doubtful Mortgages.

2dly, Both Gentlemen and Traders will hereby be supplied with Money to serve their Occasions, on such reasonable Security as they are able to give, when that Security shall be strengthned, by having the Preheminence above all other obligations; they may also have Liberty to pay it in by such Proportions, as they can best spare it, when it shall be equally the Interest of the Bank to receive it so, which will never want new Opportunities to let it out again.

3dly, This Credit will give us an Esteem in Foreign Parts, draw their Moneys hither, and consequently their Trade, and thereby their People, all which will be an Advantage to England.

4ly, It will supply the Government with Money to carry on the War at moderate Interest, and make its Credit good; whereby the public Revenues will reach farther to serve its Occasions, and the Ministers of State be freed from many anxious Thoughts, which now make them uneasy.

5ly, It will make Returns from place to place in England, both cheap and certain, which will help our Inland Trade, and prevent Robberies, now too much encouraged by travelling with Money; It will also be profitable to our Foreign Trade, by bringing Exchanges low in our favour.

6ly, The Frauds put on the County, by Counterfeit Notes will be prevented; for though the Method of Indentures and stained Paper now used by the Bank of England, may be a Security to it self, yet it is not so to any one else, seeing Art is able to counterfeit every Thing, at least so like, as not to be easily discover’d: Now, what Satisfaction will it be to those who have received their Notes instead of Money, to be told by the Managers that they are counterfeit, when they know not where, nor from whom to get Reparation; whereas, being Assigned from Man to Man, they are taken on the Credit of the Assignor, who runs no other risque thereby, save his Warrant that they are truly what he pays them for.

7ly, This Bank will be free from Stock-Jobbing, the Bane of all good Designs, which will find no room here, because it cannot be divided into private and particular Interests.

The Consequential Advantages will be these,

1st, By this means the Taxes for carrying on the War the ensuing Year, together with the Twenty-five hundred and Sixty-four Thousand Pounds, which fell short on the Salt Fund, may be raised, by Methods, wherein the King’s Revenue, and the Peoples Profits, shall go hand in hand, without Anticipations.

2ly, The Funds now settled on our Manufactures, which discourage our Trade, and ruin our Poor, may be sunk and taken off; such as those on the Glass-makers, Tobaccopipe-makers, Distillers, and others, many whereof have yielded little to the Government, above the charge of Collecting, and the best of them have done great Mischief to our Trade; now seeing these are only so many several Modus’s of raising Money, those Methods must doubtless do best, which least injure our Trade.

3ly, The Debt due to the Transport-Ships may be paid off, and those People, to whose early Loyalty and Reduction of Ireland is very much owing, be contented.

4ly, The Mints may be kept Imployed, and the Kingdom thereby filled with Coin.

5ly, Our Wool may be kept at home, which I humbly conceive can never be done, till a good Credit be settled, any thing less will not be large enough to cover the Sore intended to be cured.

6ly, The Plantation Trade may be better secured, especially that of Tobacco, and Methods may be proposed to render it more profitable, both to the King, and also to the Subject.

7ly, The Bank of England’s Notes may be brought to Par, and Tallies of all sorts in a short time be paid off at their full Value, which I humbly conceive will be difficult to be done, any other way, the settling a Credit on either, or grafting them both together, seem improbable Methods to answer those ends.

I humbly hope to make Proposals in this present Sessions for putting these into practise, if a good Credit be timely settled.

Besides these, many other Advantages will accrue to the Nation, many of which I have set forth in my before recited Essay on Coin and Credit. Pag. 27, 28, 29.

III. The third Thing is to make some Comparison between the Credit here proposed, and the present Bank of England; which I humbly conceive is so shaken in its Reputation, as hath rendred it uncapable to be made the Foundation of a national Credit; and whilst we labour to recover it, we may run the hazard of destroying our Trade, disturbing the Government, and keeping our selves under a lingring War, whilst we encourage the French King, to try his utmost Efforts, hoping, that our Difficulties at home, will force us to accept of a dishonourable Peace.

’Tis certain, nothing can be the Support of a National Credit, which is not better, or at least so good as Money; and this is not to be found in the Bank of England, whose Notes whilst they are One per Cent. worse than Specie, will always keep their Coffers empty, because no Man will put into it a hundred Pounds in Money, when he can purchase a Note of the same Value for Ninety-nine; and the Consequence will be this, that the Lender, or rather the Jobber, will never rest till he is repaid, that so he may be making advantage by a new Purchase; and if this will be the Effect of a Credit worse only by One per Cent. than Money, what will it be when ’tis sunk to sixteen; Whereas, on the other side, when a Credit is better than Money, the Coffers will ever be full, because all Men will endeavour to put in their Money, and be impatient till ’tis done; and thus it will be, when the Lender thinks himself secure, and makes more Profit by having his Money in the Bank then in his Chest, who will therefore receive out no more at a Time, then his Necessities shall require, and for the same Reason, those to whom he pays it, will endeavour to return it thither again so soon as they can.

IV. As to the fourth Thing proposed, The Necessity the Nation lies under to have its Credit settled this present Sessions, it will appear, if we consider, how London now stands in Competition with all England besides, as to the Specie of Money, and how it will stand before another Sessions: ’Tis generally agreed, that about one Moiety of the Money of England is already Center’d in that great City, and the rest is not enough to pay the Debts owing to it, together with his Majesty’s Revenues, Bonds already entered into, and Taxes now to be given, for Six Months longer, besides the Foreign Bills, which are generally made payable there, all which must be return’d in Specie; for though by an Act of this present Sessions: Intituled, An Act for the farther Remedying the ill State of the Coin of this Kingdom, it is among other things provided, That all Money that shall be brought in upon Account of Taxes, or Revenues, or Loans, at Five Shillings and Eight Pence per Ounce, shall be carried to the next adjacent Mint, in order to be Re-coined, yet this will no way be Serviceable to the Country, unless a Credit be settled, it must otherwise be sent up to London after coined for want of Returns, the Debts due to the Country being paid there in Bank, which is Sixteen per Cent. worse than Money, and those due from the Country demanded in Specie, so that the Money of England is every Week brought up thither; and then, if it be next considered, what Methods are left to the Country to draw it back again, viz. by Provisions and some few other Things, ’twill be reasonable to believe, that seeing the supply made from that City to the Country is greater than what is made from the Country thither, all the Cash of England will center there in a short Time, to the Ruining of the other Trading Cities, and disabling of the Country to pay future Taxes; and this will make the dependence on London still greater, till by its own Bloatiness it must at last burst, when the Estates of the Traders shall consist only in Debts due from the Country, which must still lye out for want of a Specie to pay them in; so that all the Advantage London will receive, is, that it will be last ruined.

Now if a good Credit be settled out of Hand, and the Mints continued in the Country, the Money that is now there, may be still kept there, and Methods found out to increase it, and the Trade of England carried on with an equal Circulation in all places; this will keep up the Rents of the Lands of England, which must otherwise fall in their Values, suitable to the distance they stand in from that great Metropolis.

If it be objected, That the Management of this Credit will be very costly to the Nation; I humbly conceive, that the Profits thereof will not only support its Charge, but also bring in a great Overplus, which may be usefully Imployed to the Nation’s Advantage; yet were this Objection true, nothing can be termed good Husbandry which spoils our Trade, the stopping whereof but for one Month, will be many Millions lost to the Kingdom.

If by rectifying this, or any better Proposal from a more thinking Head, the Credit of the Nation may be settled in this present Sessions, I have reaped the End I aimed at, the Good and Welfare of my Native Country; which I humbly submit to your Honours great Wisdom, and shall be ready to explain any Thing that may seem doubtful, when I am thereto commanded.

Your Honours,

Most Obedient Servant,



Relating to the carrying on

The Linnen Manufacture





By John Cary, Esq;

The Fifth Edition, Corrected.


Printed in the Year M.DCC.XLV.



Relating to

The Linnen Manufacture

In the Kingdom of


THE Linnen Manufacture in Ireland, being a Subject so much discours’d of the last Sessions of Parliament, I humbly presume to offer some Thoughts how it may best be carried on.

But, before I enter upon it, I will consider the State of that Kingdom, with respect to its Foreign Trade; the Ballance whereof I take to be against them, and must therefore be supplied, by carrying out their Coin, which is already grown so scarce, that ’tis to be fear’d, in a short time there will be little left.

To explain this, I will lay down some of those Steps, by which the Ballance of Trade daily alters to their Prejudice.

1st, The great Fall of their Products, viz. Wool, Tallow, Hides, Beef, &c. which are abated in their Prices above one Third of what they yielded before the War; so that should the same Quantities of those Commodities be bought up for Exportation, as formerly there were, yet they would not amount to the Value they then did.

2ly, The Ports of Spain, France, and Flanders, which were their great Markets, being now shut against them, the Profits which they made by their Foreign Trade in the Times of Peace, over and above the first Value of the Commodities exported, are also lost to the Kingdom.

3ly, The Prohibiting the Exportation of their Woollen Manufactures, whereby their People were employed, and their Labours sold to Foreign Nations, hath very much lessened the Ballance of their Foreign Trade,

4ly, The great Sums of Money spent in this Kingdom by the Nobility and Gentry of Ireland, who come over hither for Pleasure, or necessary Attendances, on the Court, Parliament, or private Affairs, and send hither their Children for Education; the Purchases they have lately made of the Forfeited Estates; and the yearly Remittances thence for the Rents of Lands belonging to the Nobility and Gentry of this Kingdom, do all make against them.

5ly, The great Consumption of Commodities among them from this Kingdom, which, though it encreases our Trade, and makes it our Interest to Support that Kingdom, must be allowed to be a Prejudice to them.

All which being laid together, it seems apparent to me, that the Ballance of their Trade must every Year grow more against them, till their Money is drawn away, except some New Manufacture, fit for Exportation, be encouraged amongst them.

And I think none more proper than that of Linnen; which, besides the Employment it will give to their Poor, will also take up large Tracts of Land for raising of Hemp and Flax; and being a Manufacture no way Interfering with our own, we may take it from them, in Barter for what they have hence, without any Manner of Prejudice to the Trade of this Kingdom.

Besides, The People of Ireland, being employed on the Linnen Manufacture, would by degrees be taken off from making so much Worsted and Woollen Yarn as they now do, which they send hither at Cheaper Rates than we are able to make ’em: The Price of Labour in all Places being according to the Rents of Lands, the Poor can afford to work there on lower Terms than it can be expected they should do here: On the other side, if the low Labour of the Poor of Ireland, was employed on Spinning of Linnen Yarn, it would be an Advantage to the Kingdom of Ireland, to have it sent hither, because it would enable us to make our Fustions, and other Manufactures, where it is used, cheaper than now we do; whilst our own Poor might be employed on Spinning of Wool; and we might afford to give them better Wages, without fear of being beat out of our Manufactures by any other Nation, provided Care was taken to keep our Wool at Home.

The next Thing to be considered is, how this Work may be best carried on; which I am of Opinion must be done by a Corporation, with a Joint-Stock, sufficient, not only to buy up what Linnens shall be made, but also to furnish the Kingdom with Money on easy Terms; which will likewise encourage the Raising of Hemp and Flax.

If the High Rates of Interest in Ireland be considered, and the present State of the Linnen Manufacture there, ’twill not be difficult to see, how unlikely it is to be carried on by private Stocks, who can make Ten per Cent. per Annum, by letting out their Money; ’tis true, the late Act hath reduced it to Eight, but that Act having no regard to Incumbrances entred into before the 25th of March, 1704, I do not see how it will much help the People of Ireland at this Time, when the Scarcity of Money does disable them to discharge prior Engagements; so that private Men have Opportunities enough to settle theirs at Ten per Cent. which in all probability they will rather chute, than to lay it out in Linnens, unless they can be assured of a far greater Profit, than they can make by letting it out.

Besides, as Interest is now managed, ’tis both a Clog to the Gentlemen’s Estates, and a Discouragement to Traders and Manufacturers, considering, that the whole Sum borrowed must be paid in at once; by which means, being got into the Usurer’s Books, they can scarce ever find the way out; Now if the Borrower had Liberty to pay in the Principle, by such Parts as he is able to raise it, and the Interest for so much to cease from that time, this would encourage Industry, and promote Improvements, both in Product and Manufactures, which are the two Things that encrease the Wealth of a Nation.

An Infant-Manufacture must be carried on at a small Profit, and must as I may say, Fight its way through; which cannot be done, where Interest carries such a Load with it; and, therefore, I am of Opinion, that nothing less than a Joint-Stock, can make Ireland Flourish; which will in the Consequence turn likewise to the Advantage of England; the Gentlemen of Ireland, being by these Means made more easy in their Circumstances, and having their former Incumbrances brought Lower, will spend more of their Money here, and wear more of our Manufactures there.

Nor will this way of Lending out Money be any Disadvantage to a Corporation, who will find fit Opportunities of Employing their Stock, as fast as it is paid in; and the Profits thereof being returned hither in Linnens, they may afford to sell them cheaper than private Stocks can do.

But I do not think this Work can be presently brought about; ’twill not be easy to persuade the Landlords nor Tenants of Ireland, to leave off the way of Husbandry they are now upon, and to turn their Lands to Hemp and Flax, till they see some Encouragement; but when they shall find this new Product bring ready Money, they will soon Set upon it; if the Manufacturer receive ready Money for his Cioath, he will be able to pay ready Money both for Materials and Labour, which Circulation will Encourage both the Farmer and the Manufacturer; and by Degrees, Hemp and Flax-seed will be Sowed in all Lands proper for them, and the Owners will soon see the Difference, between raising Commodities, for which there is a present Demand, and such, as lye on their Hands: For though Ireland may in time produce greater Quantities of Hemp and Flax than they can work up, yet not more than England may Take off, without Prejudice to any Foreign Trade we drive; and their Number of Hands will in all Probability be encreased by the French Refugees, who will be glad to go thither, where they may be employed in a Manufacture, so natural to them as Linnen is; which will also give a fatal Blow to the Kingdom of France in that Manufacture.

The People in the North of Ireland, make good Cloth, sell it at Reasonable Rates, and would every Year make much more, had they Vent for it; and it is to be observed, that Money is not plentier, nor Rents paid better, in any Part of Ireland, than there.

The Rents of Ireland grow due at two Times of Payment, viz. 1st of May, and 1st of November, the first becomes payable whilst their Cattle are lean, which puts the Tenants under great Straits, and forces them to sell very low, if they are prest for Money; but the Second Payment is more easily made, their fat Cattle being sold, and their Harvest over: This is the State of that part of the Kingdom that depends on Feeding and Tillage; but where the Linnen Manufacture is, the Tenants are much easier; they spin in the Winter Nights, and at other leisure times, which being wove into Cloth, and whiten’d early in the Year, provides Money for their first Payment, without selling their Cattle before fatted for a Market.

It is necessary for a new Undertaking, to be attended with some lucky Accident; the Linnen Manufacture can never be begun in Ireland at a more seasonable Time than now, being imported hither Custom-Free, when all the other Linnens of Europe pay considerable Duties.

The Gentlemen of Ireland at this Time, seem to be Discontented, they find themselves Uneasy, but cannot tell where the Sore lies; therefore, sometimes they Complain of one Thing, and sometimes of another; but the true Ground of all is this: Their Exports are lessened, whilst their Imports encrease upon them, and the Specie of their Money decreases every Day; by which means their Rents come in slowly, their Products fall on their Hands, and will more, as they encrease above their Expence; so that their Improvements rather turn to their Disadvantage; and their Lands must fall (which ’tis our Interest to keep up) unless some new Product be encouraged, which may be Manufactured amongst them: If this was done, They would soon see where their Interest lay; and though I do not believe they would all fall on sowing Hemp and Flax, nor is it necessary they should, yet there would be so much Land turned that way, as might restrain their other Products, within the Compass of their Exports, and Home Consumption, and cause a Circulation of Money through all Parts of the Kingdom.

This will give a greater Employment to the Poor of Ireland, and encourage People to settle among them, without any Manner of Prejudice to England; and Create a mutual Friendship, and a profitable Correspondence, between both Kingdoms.

And as the Establishing such a Fund will be an Advantage to that Kingdom, so it will bring a considerable Profit to the Undertakers, besides the Benefit which may arise from it to the Government, during the Continuance of this War.