Deuided into three parts: Wherein the Author imitating the rule of good Phisitions,

  • First, declareth the disease.
  • Secondarily, sheweth the efficient cause thereof.
  • Lastly, a remedy for the same.


Sublata causa, tollitur effectus.

Imprinted at London by Richard Field for William Iohnes printer, dwelling in Red-crosse-streete in ship Allie. 1601.


PLato the Philosopher perceiuing that equali­ty would be the cause that euery man should haue enough, was of o­pinion and willed all things in a com­mon wealth to be common, whom sir Thomas Moore in his Vtopian com­mon weale seemeth to imitate, to the end that an infinite number of lawes already made, and the making of so many new lawes as daily are made, [Page 2] might be abolished: whereas all of them are not sufficient, for euery man to enioy, defend and know from ano­ther mans that which he calleth his owne proper and priuate goods. But this equality cannot be established, neither was there any such euer vsed in any age, or commaunded by the word of God, but that possessing these worldly goods, we should so vse them with charity towards others, as though we did not possesse them at all: Neuer­thelesse (as a commonwealth is no­thing else but a great houshold or fa­mily:) yet the Prince (being as it were the father of the family) ought to keep a certaine equality in the trade or traf­ficke betwixt his realme and other countries, not suffering an ouerbal­lancing of forreine commodities with his home commodities, or in buying more then he selleth. For thereby his treasure and the wealth of the realme doth decrease, and as it were his ex­pences [Page 3] become greater, or do sur­mount his incomes or reuenues.

This is the vnknowne disease of the politicke body of our weale publicke before mentioned: the efficient cause whereof must be found out, before any remedy can be applied or deuised.

Sublata causa, Tollitur effectus: sayth the Philosopher: which is graf­fed in euery mans iudgement, that the cause of any thing being taken away, the effect is taken away withall. Here­uppon let vs note, that properly the wealth of the realme cannot decrease but three manner of wayes, which is by the transportation of ready money, or bullion out of the same: by selling our home commodities too good cheape: or by buying the forreine commodities too deare, wherein chiefly consisteth the aforesayd ouer­ballancing, which is the cause of ine­quality, we giuing in effect both mo­ny and commodities, to haue forreine [Page 4] commodities for them.

To proue our assertion, we can hardly make this inequality appeare in the application thereof to euery mem­ber of our common-weale: albeit we do find the want of treasure and mo­nies exported for the same. For it be fal­leth vnto vs concerning monies and wealth, as it doth vnto a Generall of a campe of ten thousand supposed ar­med men, whereof muster being taken at seuerall times, and vpon seuerall dayes, yet all of them generally are found to be armed, because one len­deth his armour vnto another, whereas if they were all mustered in a day, and at one instant, a great part of them would be found to want armor, the like want of monies and wealth should we find: if the matter were duly exa­mined. Yet for an instance, let vs consi­der how much the price of lands is risen with vs of late yeares, euen within the memorie of man, and that [Page 5] this their estimation or value is in regard of money, or other things mo­ny-worth; and compare the same there­unto, and we shall very well perceiue, that we ought to ballance the value of things vpon this beame, laying the lands on the one side, and the money or things mony-worth in value on the other side, to finde out this inequa­litie.

Aristotle saith, that riches is either naturall or artificiall.

The naturall riches as lands, vines, forrests, meddowes, and such like.

The artificiall, as money, gold, sil­uer, wooles, cloth, and all other moue­ables and houshold stuffe. Nowe as this artificiall riches is procee­ding of the naturall riches, and that both these doe receiue their price and estimation by money (which is the measure and rule to set a price to euerie thing:) so reason requireth a certaine equalitie betweene the [Page 6] naturall riches of lands, and the artifi­ciall riches of commodities procee­ding of the same.

Hereupon let vs note further, that all the trade and trafficke of the realme is performed vnder three sim­ples; namely commodities, money and exchange, and examine the origi­nall beginnings of them, and their present course, seeing that God cau­sed nature to distribute her benefits, or his blessings to seuerall climates, supplying the barennesse of some things in our countrey, with the fruitfulnesse and store of other coun­tries, to the ende that enterchange­ably one common-weale should liue with another.

First we find that when commodi­ties began much to abound in the world, all manner of mettall, as gold, siluer, copper, tinne, lead and yron, grew into greater estimation, as be­ing fit and more durable to preser­uation, [Page 7] and so the purest and fi­nest mettall most esteemed: at which time the riches of men was not­withstanding described to consist of cattell, commodities and other moueables: and there was a permuta­tion of things which was very comber­some, and did require much cariage of wares vp and downe, and from one countrey into another. By reason whereof money was deuised to bee coyned of the finest and purest mettals, to be the rule or square, whereby all other things should receiue estimati­on and price, and as a measure where­by the price of all things might be set. And to maintaine a certaine euen­hood or equality in buying & selling, and the same to haue his standing va­luation onely by publicke authority: to the end that all things might equally passe by trade from one man to ano­ther.

The Standard of the starling mo­ney [Page 8] of England, was first coyned at a place so called, by Osbright a Saxon king of England, aboue seauen hundreth yeares past, at which time an ounce of that siluer was di­uided into twentie peeces, and so esteemed twentie pence, which so continued vntill King Edward the first his time, and vntill King Henry the sixt, and then by the kings pub­licke authoritie was valued at thir­tie pence, and continued vntill king Edward the fourth, and then at for­tie pence, vntill King Henrie the eight, and then at fortie fiue pence, vntill King Edward the sixt, and so vntill her Maiesties most happie raigne, at fiue shillings the sayd ounce of twelue ounces to the pound Troy weight, and twentie peny weight to euerie ounce, and twen­tie foure graines to euerie pennie weight.

Now as the finenesse of siluer is [Page 9] twelue ounces, and euery ounce also twenty peny weight in finenesse: And the finenesse of gold is twenty foure carats, and euery carat foure graines likewise in finenesse: so all monies of gold and siluer do participate of this finenesse according to their substance: and the standard starling mony of this realme is eleuen ounces, two peny weight fine siluer, and eighteene pe­ny weight of copper or allay. And our Angell gold is twenty three carats, three graines, and one halfe, and halfe a graine of allay. And the Crowne gold is twenty two carats of fine gold, and two carats of allay: and the proporti­on betweene the gold and siluer, is e­leuen of fine siluer to one of fine gold, or eleuen of starling siluer, to one of crowne gold.

Omitting now to speake of the fine­nesse, weight and proportion of the mony of other countries, let vs consi­der the property of the money, or the [Page 8] [...] [Page 9] [...] [Page 10] effects thereof; which is, that plentie of money maketh generally things deare, and scarcitie of money maketh likewise generally things good cheape. Whereas things particularly are also deare or good cheape, according to plentie or scarcitie of the things themselues, or the vse of them.

According to the plentie or scarci­tie of the monie then, generally things became dearer or good cheape, where­unto the great store or abundance of monie and bullion, which of late years is come from the west Indies into Christendom, hath made euery thing dearer according to the increase of monie, which like vnto an Ocean de­uiding her course into seuerall bran­ches in diuerse countries, hath caused a great alteration and inhauncing of the price of euery thing, and most es­pecially because the monie itselfe was altered in valuation in some countries: so that the measure being altered and [Page 11] made lesser, there went more number to make vp the tale, and of necessitie other things went accordingly. For monie must alwaies remaine to be the rule, and therefore is called Publica mensura.

Some perceiuing the forraine cōmo­dities of late yeares to be more risen in price then our home commodities, did attribute the same to the vnder valua­tion of our monie in regard of the mo­nies of other countries, and wold haue had our monies inhaunced, wherein they were so farre from the marke, that if our coines were inhaunced: all the forraine commodities and our home commodities would be inhaunced in price accordingly: and the forraine commodities most of all by the course of things as they are now vsed. The like would happen if the monie were embased by allay, as we haue seene by the sequele of things yet fresh in me­morie, during the most victorious [Page 12] raigne of king Henry the 8. Yet hereby we may perceiue that in substance of the matter, they seemed to ayme at the maine point of this ouerballancing of inequalitie. And that the Prouerbe is true: That the vnknowne disease put­teth out the Phisitions eye. This ouer­ballancing consisteth properly in the price of commodities, and not in the quantitie or qualitie: and to counter­uaile the same, our treasure must of ne­cessitie be exhausted and spent, to the great impouerishing of the Realme, and the transportation of our monies. Whereby it commeth to passe, that we find the contrary of our former ob­seruation: for as in countries where scarcitie of monie is, things are good cheape: so on the contrarie, in coun­tries where things are deare (as the forraine commodities are with vs) mo­ny should be [...]tifull; which plentie we must consider, not in comparison of a lesser quantity which was in times [Page 13] past: but according to the present a­bundance now found in all countries, which doe duely participate by the [...]urse of trafique a competent share [...] the whole, farre otherwise then we [...]e.

Neither was monie more plentie [...]retofore, whē an ounce of siluer was worth but 20. pence, iudging of mony [...] we do of commodities, either deare [...] good cheape according to the [...]ice. Whereas money must be still [...]e measure, and is valued by publike authoritie at a certaintie: whereby it doth not onely giue or set a price vn­to all other mettals: but receiued (as it were) by repercussion a price in it [...]fe, and ruled at all times the course [...] commodities. For albeit that plen­teousnesse or scarcitie of commodi­ties in particular doth alter the price [...] commodities, yet with monie it is o­therwise, notwithstanding the course [...] vsury or exchange deuised therupō: [Page 14] whose operation falleth in effect vp­pon the commodities. And the valua­tion or alteration of money, concer­neth only the soueraignty and dignity of the Prince or gouernour of euery countrey, as a thing peculiar vnto thē.

To auoide the cariage of money, a certaine exchange was deuised, groun­ded vpon the weight, finenesse and va­luation of the money of each coun­trey, according to value for value. And so is our exchange of England groun­ded vppon the weight and finenesse of our mony aforesaid, & the weight & finenes of the mony of each other con­trey. And thereupon the valuation of money maketh the price of exchange for euerie place, according to the de­nomination of the money, whereby we ought to examine and compare our weight aforesaid, with the weight of other countries, and the finenesse of our standard aforesayd, with the fine­nesse of the standards of the monies [Page 15] [...] other countries. And if we differ not with them in the proportion be­tweene the gold and siluer, then may our exchange runne at one price both for the gold and siluer, taking the de­nomination according to the valuation of the monies of each countrie. And hereby shal we find how much fine sil­uer or gold our pound starling contai­neth, and what quantitie of other mo­nies of Germany, France, the low coun­tries, the East countries, or elsewhere, we are to haue to counterualue the same in the like weight and finenesse answerable vnto ours, whether it be by the pound, crowne, ducket or dol­ [...]r, giuing alwaies value for value, which therefore was called Par. This course of exchange being abused, and of late years become as it were a trade [...] rising and falling in price, according to plentie or scarcitie of monie, and in regard of discrepance and distance of time and place, is become predomi­nant [Page 16] or doth ouer-rule the course of commodities and money, and is the very efficient cause of this ouerballan­cing of commodities before spoken of, and consequently of the decrease of our wealth, & exportation of our mo­nies, as by demonstratiue reasons shal be prooued hereafter: which efficient cause being taken away by the remedie hereafter declared, will make the ef­fects to cease, and these generall be­nefits will ensue.

Losses of at the least fiue hundreth thousand pounds, which the Realme sustaineth yearely, shall be auoided.

Transportation of ready mony shal be preuented.

The commodities of the Realme shall be aduanced in sale and price.

The forraine commodities shall be brought into the Realme better cheap.

The Queenes Customes shal much increase yearely.

Money will be imported againe vn­to [Page 17] vs in ample manner.

The Queene shall haue a great gain by the Mint, and not onely poore mo­nyers, but also all other artificers and workemen shall be set on worke, to a­uoide idlenesse which is the root of all mischief: when through plenty of mo­ney and gaines, merchants shall be en­couraged to seeke out new trades, whereby the Realme wil more flourish through Gods blessings.

Wherefore concluding with this first part of our treatise, let vs note, that the right course of exchange be­ing abused, doth ouer-rule the course of commodities and monie. And cau­seth an ouerballancing offorrain com­modities with our home commodi­ties, which consisteth in the price of commodities, and not in the quantity or qualitie of them; to the discourse whereof we are now to proceede.

THE SECOND PART, OF THE EFFICIENT cause of the disease of the body Politicke of Englands com­monweale.

WE haue alreadie said, the a­buse of the exchange for money to be the very effi­cient cause of this disease: wherewith as with a Canker the poli­tike body of our weale publike is ouer­taken; the cause therof being predomi­nant & ouerruling the course both of commodities & mony. Now we must proceed to the application therof: first for the mony, & then for commodities with their coherence in the course of traffique.

This exchange is made properly by Bils, when money is deliuered simply here in England, and bils deliuered or receiued again for the paiment there­of in some other country beyond the [Page 19] seas: or when the like is done beyond the seas, and the money receiued here in England: and that vpon a certaine price agreed vpon betweene partie & partie, which is termed the price of exchange, wherof the merchants haue the only and whole disposing, and buy and sell their commodities beyond the seas accordingly, without that few or none of them do looke into the nature of the exchange, but onely to the pre­sent obiect, which is, to know how the price thereof goeth at the time when they haue occasion to deale therewith, either in taking vp or in deliuering out mony by exchange. Whereas if they will be exchangers indeede, they must know perfectly the weight, finenesse & value of our English coine, and com­pare the same with other forrain coin. And as they bargaine with others a­brode, so they must be assured to haue somwhat more (besides their gaines. & charges) then the value of our currant [Page 20] money for things which they sell vpon a price: or else the Realme & they both shall lose in the end a matter incredi­ble in processe of time, as hereafter we will make manifest. But first it behoo­ueth vs to speak somewhat of the com­maunders or rulers of this exchaunge through all Christendom, which in ef­fect are the Bankers: & therfore shal we declare, what the nature of a Banke is, frō whence the name Bāker is deriued.

A Banke is properly a collection of all the readie monies of some Pro­uince, Citie, or commonwealth, into the handes of some persons licenced and established thereunto by publike authoritie of some Prince, erected with great solemnitie in the view of all the people and inhabitants; and with an ostentatiō in the open market place vpon a scaffold, of great store of mo­ney, of gold and siluer (as belonging vnto the persons so established) which is vnto them an attractiue matter to [Page 21] perswade & allure the common peo­ple to bring their monies into these Bankers hands, where at all times they may commaund it and haue it againe at their owne pleasure, with allowing them onely a small matter of fiue vpon euery thousand ducats or crownes, when any man will retire or draw his money into his owne hands againe: which although it be once but in twen­tie yeares, yet during all that time they are to haue no more: so that these persons or Bankers doe become (as it were) the generall seruaunts or Cassyers of that Prouince, Citie, or commonwealth.

These Bankers, as they haue their companies, factors, or correspōdency in the chiefe places of trade in Chri­stendome: so must they also keepe ac­compt with euery man, of whom they haue receiued any money into their Banke, out of which number no man of that iurisdictiō is almost exempted. [Page 22] But generally all men are desirous to please them, and to bring their readie monie into their Banke, as also such mony as they haue in forraine parts: in regard whereof these Bankers do giue them great credit: for if any man haue occasion to bestow in merchandise or to pay in money three or foure thou­sand ducats, and haue but one thou­sand ducats in the Banke, the Bankers will pay it for him more or lesse, as the partie is well known or credited, with­out taking any gaine for it, although it be for three, foure, sixe, or more mo­neths.

This seemeth to be a great commo­ditie (as no doubt it is to men in parti­cular:) but being well considered of, it will be found a small friendship, and no more in effect then if a man did participate the light of his candle vnto an other mans candle: for what is this credit? or what are the payments of the Bankes: but almost or rather alto­gether [Page 23] imaginatiue or figuratiue? As for example: Peter hath two thousand ducats in the Banke, Iohn hath three thousand, and VVilliam foure thou­sand, and so consequently others more or lesse. Peter hath occasion to pay vn­to Iohn one thousand ducats, he go­eth to the Bankers at the houres ap­pointed (which are certain both in the forenoone and afternoone) and requi­reth them to pay one thousand du­cats vnto Iohn, whereupon they pre­sently make Peter debter for one thou­sand ducats, and Iohn creditour for the same summe. So that Peter hauing assigned vnto Iohn one thousand du­cats, hath now no more but one thou­sand ducats in Banke, where he had two thousand before. And Iohn hath foure thousand ducats in the same Banke, where he had but three thou­sand before. And so in the same man­ner of assignation. Iohn doth pay vnto William and VVilliam vnto others, [Page 24] without that any mony is touched, but remaineth still in the Bankers hands, which within a short time after the e­rection of the Banke, commeth to a­mount vnto many millions. And by their industry they do incorporate the same, which may easily be vnderstood, if we do but consider what the readie monie and wealth of London would come vnto, if it were gathered in some one mans hands, much more if a great deale of riches of other countries were added thereunto, as these Bankers can cunningly compasse by the course of the exchange for monies: the ebbing and flowing whereof, is caused by their motion from time to time, as shall be declared.

But some will say or demaund, Can not a man haue any readie mo­ney out of the Bankers hands, if he haue occasion to vse it?

Yes that hee can: But before hee haue the same, they will be so [Page 25] bold, as to know for what purpose he demandeth the same, or what he will do with it.

If it be to pay any man withall, they will alwayes do that for him, as hauing accompt almost with all men, for he is accompted to be of no credite, that hath not any money in banke.

If he doe demaund it for to make ouer by exchange in some other coun­trey, they will also serue his turne in giuing him billes of exchange, for any place wheresoeuer, because they haue their companies or correspon­dency in euery place.

If he do demaund it for his charges and expences, it wil be payd him forth­with, because it is but a small sum, and in the ende the money commeth into their hands againe.

If they pay out money to any man, that hauing money in banke, will bestowe the same in purchase of landes, they will still haue an eye [Page 26] to haue it againe in banke one way or another, at the second and third hand. So that they once being possessed of monies, will hardly be dispossessed. And their payments are in effect all by assignation and imaginatiue.

And if they haue any money in banke, belonging vnto orphanes or widdowes, or any other person, that hath no occasion to vse the same, they will allow them interest after foure or fiue vpon the hundreth in the yeare at the most, and vpon especiall fauour; for euery man seeketh to please them, as in matters where Commodum priua­tum beareth the rule: for they can easi­ly please men in particular, in giuing them some credit, of that great credit which they haue obtained in gene­rall.

The mony then remaining in the bankers hands, is employed by them to other vses and purposes.

First, they do deale with great Prin­ces [Page 27] and Potentates, that haue neede of money, for the maintenance of the wars, as the Geneuoises and Germaines did with the Emperour Charles the fift during the warres in Germany, ta­king an exceeding gaine for it. And as of late yeares the Florentines and o­thers haue done with Philip the second king of Spaine, during his warres with Fraunce and the Low-countries, cau­sing him to engage the reuenues of his dominions, and territories, and of the customes, and notwithstanding to pay them exchange, rechange, and interest of 25. 30. yea, 50. vpon the hundreth, deuouring a great part of his Indian treasure, as might at large be declared.

Secondarily, they do ingrosse the commodities and marchandises of their owne countrey, and of other countries many times also: so that none can bee had but at the second hand, and at such prises as they thinke fit to sell them: and that to Englands [Page 28] great preiudice, as shall be declared.

Thirdly, whereas it is a maxime in matters of exchange, that plentie of money beyond the seas, maketh the price of the exchange to rise, and scarcitie of money likewise beyond the seas, maketh the price to fall: And so on the contrary with vs here in England, plenty of money maketh the price to fall, and scarcity of money maketh the price to rise. And that for places for the which the head of the exchange resteth with vs, and on the contrary, for places where the head re­steth with other nations; hereupon I say it is an easie matter for these ban­kers with the money to rule the same at their pleasure, from place to place, causing (as it were) ebbings and flow­ings, as shall be declared.

For the better vnderstanding here­of we must note, that the head of the exchange is taken to bee at such a place or places where the price doth [Page 29] not alter, as for example: We haue the head of the exchanges for Hamborow, Middleborough, Embden, Amster­dam, and other places, for the which we do exchange for our pound or twenty shillings sterling, as well be­yond the seas, as here in England, the mutability of the price being with them of beyond the seas, in giuing or taking still more or lesse of their money from time to time for our pound sterling.

And on the contrarie, for as much that the price of exchange for Roan, Paris, and other places in Fraunce, and for Venice, and other places in Italie or elsewhere, doth from time to time alter with vs according to their Crowne or Ducat, therefore doth the head of those exchanges rest with them: And so by a common vse according to the alteration of the price, we say the exchange is high or lowe.

[Page 30] High, when there is more mony gi­uen of the moneis of other countries for our mony, then the right exchange is of value for value, which is called Par, as before is mentioned. And that according to the discrepance of time, for places whereof we haue the head of the exchange.

Low, when there is lesse money gi­uen for our money, then the right ex­change of value for value, according to the discrepance of time (which is reckened according vnto interest after ten vpon the hundreth.) And that also for the places whereof the head of the exchange resteth with vs.

And for places whereof we haue not the head of the exchange, it is di­rectly the contrary: as when we do giue more or lesse for their crowne or ducat, then the same is worth in sub­stance, as before, according also to the discrepance of time. But as in all traf­fickes the generall doth alwayes go­uerne [Page 31] the particular: So the trade of cloth and kersies doth with vs com­mand the course of all the other trades or Fraunce and other places. And the places where this trade is vsed, are in the course of the exchange to be ruled by vs, who haue the head thereof, which may commaund and direct all the other parts and members of the body, as hereafter shall be declared.

The bankers hauing the generall course of exchanges, do therefore also command our particular exchanges of England. They deliuer at Middlebo­rough 165. pound Flemish, for to haue at London 100. pounds sterling, which [...] at 33. shillings of their money, for our pound sterling of 20. shillings pay­able at vsance which is one moneth. The hundreth pounds being here re­ceiued, is made ouer againe at 35. shillings 6. pence, or 36. shillings Fle­mish the pound, payable also at vsance, and then there is receiued at Middle­borough [Page 32] againe 177. pounds 10. shil­lings, or 180. pounds Flemish, here is now differing 3. shillings Flemish in 33. shillings, which is aboue 9. vpon the hundreth for 2. monethes, and a­boue 50. vppon the hundreth by the yeare: and in the like manner for Ham­borough, Embden and other places; and many times more, if vpon some occasion monies are made ouer, or ta­ken vp, either for the payments of sol­diers or other employments, especial­ly if the exchange returne not to the place from whence it came, as from London to Hamborough, when it came first from Midleborough: and so for Roan, Venice, Lyons and other places, according as it is deliuered out pay­able at sight, vsance or double vsance. And taking occasion vpon discrepan­ces and distances of time and place, they make through plenty or scarcitie of money, the same dearer or cheaper as it pleased them. For whereas the [Page 33] standing bankes are kept at Madril, Lyons, Ciuil, Bizanson, Florence, and other places, there the heads of euery banke do set a price and agree vpon it by common consent, at the time of the generall payments of exchanges, which are either three or foure times a yeare, and are called by the name of ferias, or faires onely for monies. So that according as the price of ex­change is there by them concluded for any place at the ending of the olde faire, presently the price of the new exchange will bee accordingly; and so with other places: in which maine sea of exchanges, our exchange of En­gland running as a riuer or branch, must needs be gouerned by the former currant, which is not perceiued of our merchants, that commonly follow this rule, if the exchange do come high from beyond the seas, presently they will make it higher here, in re­gard of discrepance and distance of [Page 34] time and place before mentioned: I say and intreat still of the generall ex­change for those places whereof we haue the head, and thereby might command, if the course thereof were not abused by the bankers, and those that haue made it become as a trade to Englands great preiudice. As by the application thereof (either here or beyond the seas) to the course of traf­ficke, may be manifested, both concer­ning monies and commodities.

If the exchange with vs here be low, so that more will bee giuen for our money being caried in specie, then by bill of exchange can be had, then our money is transported, whereas other­wise no man would aduenture the mo­ney, and stand in danger of the law to loose treble the value, if by a simple bill of exchange he might haue as much payde him beyond the seas: for in truth gaine is the cause of exportation of our monies, which gaine doth not [Page 35] consist in the substance of the money; for as the right exchange is groun­ded vpon the weight and finenesse of our money, and the weight and finenesse of the money of each other countrey, and thereupon the valua­tion of the money maketh the price of exchange: it followeth that neither difference of weight, finenesse of stan­dard, or valuation of monies, can be any true cause of transportation of our money: so long as a due course is hol­den in the exchange. But this due course being abused, causeth (as be­fore) our monies to be transported, and maketh scarsitie thereof, which a­bated the price of our home commo­dities: and on the contrary aduanceth the price of the forreine commodities beyond the seas, where our mony con­curring with the monies of other coū ­tries causeth plenty, whereby the price of forrein commodities is aduanced & so might it fare with the price of our [Page 36] home commodities, being transported to those places, were we not hindred by the tolleration of their monies to go currant far aboue their value with them, and to the greater trāsportation of ours, and hinderance of importati­on of any vnto vs.

This tolleratión of the price of mo­ny beyond the seas, must be distingui­shed from the valuation which is done by publike authority of the Prince or gouernour of euery countrey, where­as the tolleration is brought in by par­ticular men, as the marchants are, that contrary to the commaundement of Princes or states, do receiue and pay the mony at a higher rate, aduancing the price of their commodities. But if we will looke vnto the proportionable course of this tolleration, we shall easi­ly perceiue, that men of vnderstanding haue the handling thereof, and that superiours will winke at priuate mens faults for their owne benefite.

[Page 37] First, those that hold with vs in pro­portiō between the gold & siluer 11. to 1. by valuation, suffer all the gold to go currant after 12. to 1. wherby our angel is worth aboue 18. sh. flemish with thē, not being otherwise worth 17. shillings. So the 2. angels making our poūd ster­ling, wil make by exchange at the most but 34. shil. and being caried in specie, do make aboue 36. shillings, our ex­change still holding his course accor­ding to the siluer, which by the par is e­steemed at 33. shillings 4. pence, albeit therein is also an error, and so for Ham­borough at 24. shillings eight pence, or twenty fiue shillings either, or for France at sixe shillings the crowne: all which calculations are vncertaine, and preiudiciall to the realme. And yet my meaning is not to enter into these par­ticulars, as not being the efficeint cause, but onely accidentally may be meane causes, the due course of the ex­change not being obserued.

[Page 38] Secondly, for the siluer monies we shall also find a great difference, if we compare our money of 11. ounces two peny weight fine, to their Ricx dolor, esteemed at 10. ounces 12. peny weight, or the Philip dolor of 10. ounces fine, or rather 9. ounces 18. peny weight as we find the same. Much more if we do consider that our siluer mony yeelded the greatest profit, being caried to the mints beyond the seas, where of late since the East Indies trade, it hath bene made equal with the valuation of gold, and rather more, wherby in effect they held the proportion of 11. to 1. with vs. But then the par of exchange ought to be aboue 36. shillings with the Low­countries, or aboue 25. shillings with the East countries, or else the realme & euery subiect thereof looseth a great matter, & our monies both of gold and siluer, are continually exported by the meanes of a low exchange.

If the exchange with vs here be high, [Page 39] so that more money will be receiued beyond the seas by bill of exchange for our monies, then the same would yeeld if it were caried in specie: then e­uerie man is desirous to make ouer money by exchange, and that money which should be employed vpon the commodities of the realme, is deliue­red by exchange to the great hinde­rance of the vent and aduancement of our home commodities: and yet the forrein commodities not any way therefore sold the better cheape.

And herein we must consider two especial points, first that both here and beyond the seas, all commodities ge­nerally are sold payable at some short time, vnlesse it be some small part for ready mony. Secondly, that generally our merchāts are here the takers vp of mony, and the merchants strangers are the deliuerers of mony: and the con­trary is in some sort beyond the seas. So that the course of exchange hath [Page 40] an easie cōmand, still to Englands great preiudice. For the scope of our mer­chants to make returne homewards, implyeth at all times a necessity, and so it doth not with the other: for they do take their aduantage either by expor­tation of our monies, or by making of it ouer at a high exchange. And albeit that the transportation of mony is pro­hibited very straitly, yet there is al­wayes 3. wayes of exportation: namely, by cōmodities, mony, & exchange. But there is but two wayes of importation: namely, commodities and exchange, whereby commeth a notable ouerbal­lancing of forrein commodities with our home cōmodities. And whereas it might be thought that those monies taken vp by exchange at a high price, should be employed by English mer­chants vpon our home cōmodities, or that the forren cōmodities are sold ac­cordingly, it is altogether contrary; for he that taketh vp money at a high ex­change, [Page 41] doth it vpon necessitie, & must pay the same againe of the prouenue of his cloth or commodities alreadie sold, or to be sold, or must maintaine that money running vpon exchange, wherein he shall be a notable loser, & pay treble interest. If it be paid by the prouenue of commodities sold before and which is owing in debts, then is he a loser, because his commodities were not sold accordingly: and if it be payed by the prouenue of goods which are sold for the purpose, then is not he only a small gainer or a great loser, but by his rash sale he ouerthroweth another mans market, to the generall losse. And in conclusion, the gaine sought vpon money doth impeach the gaines to be sought vpon our home commodities.

And albeit that in regard therof one might inferre, that the greater gaine wold also be sought by our merchants vpon the forraine commodities, which should turne to the preiudice of the [Page 42] Realme: yet that is not so, for the for­raine commodities are generally sold payable at some short time without a­ny regard hereof: and if they be sold for readie money vpon such an occasi­on the better cheape by merchants straungers, for to enioy the benefite of exchange, it falleth still vpon our mer­chants neckes that are the takers vp of money generally with vs.

If the price of exchange be high be­yond the seas, where generally our merchants are the deliuerers of mony: then must they giue much to haue their monies made ouer, whereby the gaine of their commodities being sold formerly, is clipped. And yet they giue no more most commonly then the va­lue of our mony is, for the mony which they deliuer there, is according to the tolleratiō by them receiued at a higher rate farre aboue the value, and in the same manner payed out. But when the exchaunge goeth high, our mer­chants [Page 43] are inclined to buy forraine cō ­modities, or to barter their commo­dities for the same, which oportuni­tie is not onely obserued by the Ban­kers, but also procured. To which end they follow by the meanes of their fa­ctors, our merchants at all places, euen as the Eagle followeth her pray, be it at Stoade, Hamborough, Embden, Mid­delborough, or elsewhere: where they will haue an especiall care to be fur­nished with the commodities wherein they deale: as Veluets, Satine, Silkes, Fustians, Venice gold, or such like, and that against the arriuall of any quanti­tie of cloth and kerseis out of England. For albeit that they do not buy the greatest quantity of our English com­modities, yet they know, that when our merchants haue made sale of their cō ­modities payable at some short time, and receiued bils for the same, & that the buyers of cloathes do pay the old debts & make new debts againe: then [Page 44] the exchange riseth, wherby our mer­chants rather then to make ouer mo­nies by exchange at a high rate (the ri­sing whereof they will also increase by plentie of money deliuered by them,) will make their returne both for the money and billes of debts in forraine commodities, the price whereof is ra­ted by them at their owne pleasure. So that our merchants buying deare, must sell deare, which bringeth a wonder­full ouerballancing, and causeth vs to feede vpon our natiue soile, giuing the benefite thereof vnto other Nati­ons. Whereas we should liue by the gaines of our home commodities be­ing sold vnto other nations, and now we are driuen to seeke a gain vpon for­raine commodities, to the great preiu­dice of our owne countrey: and that is also a cause that many of our mer­chants perceiuing a small gaine, and sometimes none at all to be had vpon our home commodities, do buy & seek [Page 45] their gaines vpon forraine commodi­ties, making ouer money from hence at a high exchange for that purpose, or causing at a high exchange beyond the seas, money to be taken vp, wherein although they may be gainers, yet the Realme generally beareth the losse, and they feede still vpon their mothers belly: wherein they are the more insti­gated through the immoderate vse of forraine commodities. Albeit that we do not find so great an inconuenience in the wearing of the forraine com­modities, as we do in the price of thē, being within this fiftie yeares risen farre otherwise then our home com­modities are, the money still being with vs the selfe same: & herein consi­steth the ouerballancing aforesaid: for if the forrain commodities, which are consumed and brought as it were vnto doung, shall amount in value or cost more, then the commodities or fruite of the lande, certes that lande is [Page 46] vnprofitable in euery mans iudgment, much more if we do consider that the people of other countries doe very much enrich themselues by their in­dustrie and handiwork vpon the stuffe of other countries. And it were to be wished, that our cloth were sold at so deare a rate, & according to the price of forraine commodities, that thereby other nations would take vpon them to make our clothes themselues: which might easily be remedied, by selling our woolles the dearer whereof they must make them.

Now returning to our Bankers, let vs note againe, that vpon the sale and expedition of the greatest part of our commodities beyond the seas, & most monies being made ouer, and commo­dities returned, then the exchange be­ginneth with them to fall; which fal­ling, they can also helpe by withdraw­ing their monie for a time. And here­tofore they would make ouer monie as [Page 47] a low exchange for England, to be en­tertained here at interest after ten pro cento, vntill they could haue it made o­uer againe at a high exchange. And likewise such commodities as they could not conueniently sell, they send into England where they can affoord the same better cheape then our mer­chants, which turneth still to the losse of the Realme. And most especially if the exchange come low from beyond the seas, then is it made presently here accordingly, and then vpon the low exchange our money is transported in specie, as before is declared.

If any man will obiect, that if a low exchange is the cause of transportati­on of our monies in nature of trade: then on the contrarie a high exchange beyond the seas must haue the like o­peration, whereby money might be imported: for if (for example) in foure Philip dollers, or two hundred stiuers, I shall haue as much fine siluer as in 20. [Page 48] shil. starling, & whereas the exchange (though erroniously) is taken there­vpon at 33. shillings 4. pence to be Par or value for value, should be but at 32. shillings sixe pence, which is low, and therefore the money caried in specie wil yeeld more: so when the exchange is beyond the seas at 34. shillings sixe pence, or 35. shillings, as being high, should cause money to be brought o­uer. Hereunto we answere, that it wold be so, were it not for the tolleration of the monies to go currant farre aboue their value beyond the seas: for if this Philip doller (which in valuation ac­cording to this rate, is at 50. stiuers) be receiued by you in paiment for 52. sti­uers, who seeth not that herein you are abused? And so consequently in o­ther kinds of coines.

What shall we say to these Bankers which commonly are in league with the financiers of the low countries, and others that are as it were belonging to [Page 49] their exchequer & mints, and haue all the dealings for the coyns, with whose aduice they can hoord vp monies, whē by publike authoritie the coines are aduanced by proclamation: and on the contrarie, to pay out monies when money is proclaimed downe: and then also the price of exchange is made ac­cordingly, whereby the realme still looseth, and euery man in particular, not knowing the weight and finenesse of the money, but following the course of exchange, as being caried away with the streame?

Another will say, that when the ex­change is low beyond the seas, where our merchants are generally the deli­uerers of money, that then the lesse of that money they giue, the greater is their gaine, enioying the benefit of the exchange. But he doth not cōsider that at a low exchange there be few or no takers at all, vnlesse it be English mer­chants, that haue money to pay by ex­change [Page 50] which was here taken vp, & so stil some of them & the Realm looseth. Whereas other Nations will rather transport our monies, then to cause their friends to take vp mony at a lowe exchange, or to make ouer money at a low exchange: which otherwise might turne to our good, our merchants be­ing here the takers vp of monie, as they are generally the deliuerers beyond the seas, as is aforesaid. And on the contrarie (as I said before) here is al­waies a necessity which enforceth our merchants to buy forraine cōmodities to make returne into the Realme, ei­ther when the exchange is high, when they see a losse euidently, which is not so to be seene in the cōmodities, where­of they may expect some gaine: or else whē the exchange is low, & whē there is no takers vp of the mony, & whē they cannot bring it ouer, neither at a high exchange or low exchange, which of course enforceth a wonderful ouerbal­lancing [Page 51] of cōmodities in nature before alleadged; & is a cause of many super­fluous cōmodities which are brought into the Realme. Some that are con­tinuall takers vp of money with vs, do seeme to point at the course of the ex­change, as though the same were most cōmonly indifferent, neither too high or too low; and herein are they mighti­ly deceiued, seeing the very ground of the exchange called Par, is false both according to the valuation and tollera­tion of monies in all countries. And if they think that mony at interest is hard to come by, and that the due course of exchange would be an interruption to the traffiique, they are therein also in an error; for monie would not only be kept within the Realm for the generall good, but also more plentifully deliue­red at interest: & albeit this were not, it were better one should sit still without trade, then to become a looser. Some others hauing obserued that plentie or [Page 52] scarcitie of monie doth alter the price of commodities, doe thinke that our merchants should enioy the benefite of plentie of monie which generally maketh things deare. But first they do not consider, that our merchants most commonly do sell their commodities payable at some short time: next that the bankers keepe their commodities vpon a certaine price at their pleasure, & that although monie by their means doth abound one way for one place, it wil be scarce againe for another place: and he that taketh vp the same shal pay dearely for it: whereby the commo­dities he buieth become charged ip­so facto into his hands, and must sell them accordingly: & for the commo­dities which our merchants vpon such an occasion of plentie of monie do sel, their benefit cannot counteruaile the losse which they receiue in making their return, either by a high exchange which is caused by plentie of mony be­yond [Page 53] the seas, or by forraine commo­dities which are risen accordingly and much more. So that in conclusion, our home commodities are abated by the abuse of the exchange foure maner of wayes.

  • 1. By scarcitie of mony (which ma­keth things good cheap) caused by the exchange.
  • 2. By the gaine sought vpon mony, which otherwise would be sought v­pon the commodities.
  • 3. By a high exchāge with vs, which causeth men to deliuer that mony by exchange in nature of trade, which o­therwise by some might be employed vpon the commodities: likewise by a low exchange, which causeth exporta­tion of our monie.
  • 4. By the rash sale of our commo­dities by young merchants and others that are driuen to pay money taken vp by exchange here in England, thereby spoiling the market of others.

[Page 54] Forraine commodities on the cō ­trary are aduanced 4. manner of waies.

  • 1. Through plenty of mony in other countries, which maketh generally things deare; which plenty is increa­sed by our owne monies transported to our owne hurt euery way.
  • 2. By a high exchange beyond the seas, whereby men are inclined to buy forraine commodities, & by a low ex­change, when there are no takers vp of monie; & herin our excessiue vse of the said cōmodities doth encourage thē.
  • 3. By the tolleration of monies be­yond the seas, to go currant far aboue their value: for by the alteration of the valuation of mony, the price of cōmo­dities doth alter also; & this tolleration being a hinderance for the importatiō of mony, causeth the greater quantitie of forraine commodities to be bought and brought ouer at a dearer rate.
  • 4. For that the principall commodi­ties of silks, veluets, fustiās, & such like, [Page 55] are engrossed by the Bankers that sell thē at their pleasure, our immoderate vse giuing them the greater cause.

Hereby cometh an ouerballancing of forraine cōmodities with our home commodities, which to supply or coun­teruaile, draweth away our treasure & readie money, to the great losse of the commonweale: for let vs suppose with the least of 10. in the 100. losse vpon al our commodities going out, & the for­raine commodities comming into the Realme, & we shall find it to be aboue 500000. pounds euery yeare. So that in sum, we do giue daily both treasure & our home commodities to haue for­raine cōmodities at a deare rate. Thus we may consider how these Bankers & euery one of vs do vse, or rather abuse the exchange, & make of it a trade for monies, & therfore may aptly be called a merchandizing exchange: whereas otherwise the right vse of exchange is very needfull and conuenient for the [Page 56] maintenance & traffick of entercourse betwixt merchant and merchant, or country & countries. But the merchā ­dizing exchange which thus ouer-ru­leth the course of commodities & mo­ny, is intollerable: for we shall find in effect, that one summe of mony, of one sort and kind of coine, hath two prices, & two valuations, at one time, exchan­ged for one distance of time; differing only by the diuersitie of place & coun­trie: whereby priuate men alter as it were the valuation of coines, which is rated & valued in al countries by the Prince or gouernour of the same, as a matter concerning their dignitie and soueraigntie: & so consequently of too high presumption for subiects to step into'. And it is also against reason, to chāge the course of nature in the coin, as though a pound weight should be more weighty thē a pound, or a pound tale, more then a pound tale: wherfore our merchāts ought to haue a singular [Page 57] regard thereof, and alwayes looke ra­ther to haue somewhat more then the value of our currant money: as for ex­ample;

One buyeth a packe of clothes, which cost him 50. pound, or one hun­dreth angels the packe, to be payd in angels, which hold 24. carats fine, saue halfe a graine of allay, or 11. ounces 2. peny weight in siluer mony. The same packe of clothes is to be sold beyond the seas, and to be rated at so many peeces of plate of 8. rials or dollers, pistolets, ducats, or french crownes, as hold the same carrats and ounces in gold or siluer aforesayd. And in ma­king sale of these clothes, moreouer to take so much ouer and aboue these carrats and ounces, as both may beare the charges and a reasonable gaine.

And whereas the finenesse of gold is 24. carrats, and the finenesse of sil­uer 12. ounces, if our marchants after the rate of 4. ounces fine siluer, and 8. [Page 58] carrats fine gold, for twenty shillings sterling, did compare the value of the forrein coyne, and thus take somewhat more ouer and aboue, keeping this proportion, the realme should more flourish, and both it and they be stored with mony abundantly.

This may be vnderstood the better, if we do suppose that some merchants straungers doe come ouer into the realme, to buy such a packe of clothes, for the which we haue payd one hun­dreth Angels, holding 23. carrats 3. graines and one halfe: and these mer­chants do bring some strange coyne of gold or siluer, not knowne in the realme, and do tell vs that the same is worth so much in their countrey, or holdeth so many carrats or ounces in finenesse, and will giue the same in payment vnto vs: we neither belee­uing them, nor knowing the value of their coyne, are not contented there­with, but we will go vnto the mint to [Page 59] haue an assay made thereof, and ac­coūting what our monies do hold, to­gether with a reasonable gaine, will be contented to accept of the merchants strangers money, as it shall be found worth in substance. And then if we do compare the same to the price of the exchange, for the place whence these merchants came, we shall find whe­ther it goeth currant, and according to the valuation thereof, or whether the valuation be more or lesse then the ex­change is, especially then the mar­chandizing exchange, which is the cause of the vnnaturall alteration of the coyne.

In the like manner will other nati­ons deale with vs, if we do buy any commodities of them beyond the seas; and which is more, haue already done euen within the realm, as experi­ence hath taught vs: for albeit that with vs it was neuer conuenient or ex­pedient that our monies should be ex­ported, [Page 60] and therefore one would thinke it made no matter of what met­tall our money were made of, so long as for the same all commodities might be had within the realme: yet men will haue such stuffe as is worth so much in substance in other places elsewhere, or else they will sell their commodities accordingly: howbeit that if hauing sold their commodities, and not being desirous to export any commodities of the realme for their returne home­wards, they will not greatly weigh what the monies are made of, if they may be sure to haue the value thereof payd them by bils of exchange into their owne countrey. And then in a manner there might be dealing and negotiation without money: and the exchange will qualifie the same, for the operation thereof is wonderfull. But what is a kingdome without mo­ny, being (since the inuention thereof) rightly called Nerui bellorum? And if a­ny [Page 61] Prince wold call in al the good mo­ny, and deliuer base mony for it, which by his authority should be valued and proclaimed at such rates as the good mony was, the matter wold be of small importance, for so much as concer­neth the course of things amongst his subiects: so as by way of exchange, as aforesayd, the merchant stranger had his turne serued, and that the Prince were sure that other nations should not draw that good money from him, or deceiue him with the like base mo­ney, and that those that had the mana­ging thereof did execute their charge for his benefit. But euery thing consi­dered, we shall find that the richer the coyne of a kingdome is, the better is the estate and gouernement thereof, so long as it is not bereaued of the money.

Thus much Obiter: Now to answer vnto those that say, what needeth a man to make so neare a calculation, I [Page 62] can giue a gesse at the matter, recke­ning the exchange, charges, and a rea­sonable gaine in a Summa totalis, and make sale of my commodities accor­dingly: what losse is there in this, or wherereunto serueth this distinction?

First, we haue already shewed you, that generally this merchandizing ex­change, either being high or low, here or beyond the seas, is preiudiciall to the realme in the transportation of our monie. And next in the abating of the price of our home commodities, and aduancing of the price of the for­rein commodities. And now to an­swer this particularly; we say that in processe of time, there is a great and incredible losse, both to the realme and your selfe: for whereas you say, to haue a regard to the exchange, it is not such a regard as you ought to haue; but you do marke the exchange onely, according as the price thereof is at the time when you sell your com­modities [Page 63] or do deale therwith, or som­times according as you imagine the price thereof will be, whereas you haue a secrete losse, or might gaine more if you go neare to the reckning, as afore­sayd: whereby though at that instant you loose but little, which you might haue gotten, the realme will feele the smart of it in the end. You might as well say, the matter of exchange is but by bils, which are but paper and inke, there can be no hurt done by them, whereas if you consider how the sel­ling and buying of cōmodities is ruled according to the price of exchanges contained in the bils, you shal find the matter before spoken of; nay therealm generally doth feele it: for this can­ker of marchandising exchange, is like to the cruelty of the Planet Saturne, which maketh his sphericall course in thirty yeares with great operation, al­though we do not so sensibly perceiue his motion.

[Page 64] This may be illustrated by a simi­litude, for concerning the sale of our commodities, we do as much in effect as if some draper did sell his cloth at a certaine price the yeard, and suffered the buyer to measure out the same by the buyers owne false yeard. Or like a grocer that selleth out his pepper by the pound, at a price agreed vpon, and is contented that the buyer shall weigh it out by a weight, which (vnknowne vnto him) is false, and so looseth vna­wares, or getteth lesse then he made account of, because the fraud vsed in the weight and measure is vnknowne vnto him. Euen so is the cūning course of the exchange vnknowne vnto vs.

Hauing thus briefly and substanci­ally set downe the course of money generally, and the operation of the marchandizing exchange, and omit­ting to speake of the diuersitie of ex­changes of the like nature vsed in o­ther countries, because in handling [Page 65] them we should exceed the bounds of a treatise, and but rehearse that which by other mens writings may be seene: we must now a little consider the course of commodities in regard of bartering or permutation before mo­ney was deuised, the rather for that our merchantes beyond the seas, are much inclined thereunto, howbeit in an other manner, for it is according to the rule of money, considering that thereby euery man doth rate or value his commodities in bartering of the same, and that money being differing in weight, finenesse and valuation ac­cording to the denomination, is a­gaine ruled by the exchange founded thereupon, and commeth in effect all to the former matter, which (to a­uoide prolixitie) we do not reiterate, but do leaue to the consideration of the wise, as euery man is taken to be in his profession. And as we find other nations to be, which by the way, for the [Page 66] better vnderstanding of our subiect, shall be declared.

We haue already described riches to be either naturall or artificiall, and that both these are valued by money; and that for as much as the artificiall riches doth proceede of the naturall, therfore reason requireth a certaine e­quality in the estimation therof. Here­upon this consideration is incident, that as there are three temporal things for the behoofe of man: namely, foode, houses, and apparell; so must we ac­count all the things seruing thereunto according to the vse of them, and the scarcity or plenty of those things, ac­cording to the same vse, hauing al­wayes a regard and care, not to pay too much for the things seruing for the belly; especially, such as in some sort may be spared or forborne: and not to sell too good cheape, the things ser­uing for the backe, or in effect to barter them for superfluous things, alwayes [Page 67] admitting ciuility, which (albeit that men account that ciuill which is accor­to the manner of euery countrey, as the Prouerbe is: (Countries fashion, countries honor,) yet reason must rule herein, with a due consideration of Gods good creatures and gifts, which can­not be done without an vnfatigable in­dustrie, both in discerning the variety of them, and in obseruing their infinite number and pure creation, in which regard precious things haue their e­stimation. So that the same ciuility must be reduced to the good of the common-weale, and for the vpholding thereof, liuing together in Christian society, giuing so farre place vnto rea­son, that euery man may endeuor him­selfe to the preseruation of the weale publicke, and conceiue generally that other nations not indued with so much reason, are alwayes inferiour vnto vs in that regard, euen consi­dering all men alike in an estate of [Page 68] politicke gouernement. Who seeth not then, that without any cause of ad­miration, some men do wonder as it were at the simplicity of the West In­dians, Brasilians and other nations, in giuing the good commodities of their countries, yea, gold, siluer, and pre­cious things, for beades, bels, kniues, looking-glasses, and such toyes and trifles? Nay, that we our selues are guilty of the like simplicity, if herein (the premises considered) yet an error were committed? For giuing our good commodities, or the treasure which chiefly from the West Indies is recei­ued for our sayd commodities, vnto them of the East Indies, and paying ten or twelue for that which heretofore did not cost in the sayd Indies aboue one, as it did in the beginning of the raigne of Philip the second king of Spaine, when pepper was sold for 120. fanans, or ten French crownes the bahar, which is foure hundreth London [Page 69] weight, and is not much more then three halfe pence the pound; cloues accordingly at sixe pence the pound, cinamon three pence, and so foorth: we shall not need to speake of other dainties and delicacies of superfluous things, so long as a moderation is vsed; neither is our meaning that the mony or treasure in euery countrey should be buried: but if we will not preuent the generall transportation thereof, that at the least we should seeke to en­ioy by the course of trafficke the bene­fite thereof as other nations do, and to haue the same also imputed vnto vs.

In Poland, Lituania, Prussia, & other countries adiacent, when they abound with corne, money is very scarce, and the price of corne thereby much abated, at which time they will either tollerate or proclaime the monies to be inhaunced in price, and moreouer the same to be deliuered at interest after 15. 20. and sometimes 25. vpon [Page 70] the hundreth for a time, presently great store of ready money commeth from all places thither, which maketh the price of corne to rise, the mony al­so being risen to a great value: and yet our English commodities do rather fall with them in price, or remaine vnsold, the monies being transported thither onely for the employment of corne. And although we haue not an ordinarie exchange with any of those countries, which sometimes is made according to the Florin of thirty gros­ses: and therefore some ready money (one would thinke) might be brought ouer in returne of our commodities: yet the same is not done, for that the tolleration of monies to go currant with them farre aboue their value, hindreth the same; in regard whereof our commodities might be sold accor­dingly, and then shall we not onely with aduenture make returne in very needfull and necessarie commodities [Page 71] of pitch, tar, deales, clapboords, cables, ropes, and such like: but also in ready money, if occasion shall so serue, more profitably for the generall good then to make ouer monies by exchange, by the way of Amsterdam, Hamborough, or other places, as vpon the reforma­tion of the exchāge might effectually be found. And I dare vndertake, that in times of scarcitie, when we shall or might haue neede of corne, the same may be prouided vnto vs farre better cheape, and more commodiously then heretofore in the like occasions hath bene vsed.

In Russia, because their monies are not onely inhaunced, but also embased by allay, therefore are our monies by way of trade in nature of bullion cari­ed thither sometimes, and our com­modities sold accordingly, and their necessarie commodities brought vnto vs in returne thereof, as are the aboue named. There is no ordinary exchange [Page 72] betweene vs and them, but sometimes according to the Roble exchanges are made to our losse, when we pay aboue 13. sh. 4. pence for the roble, with consi­deration of the time after 10. vpon the hundreth, their principall mony being both small & base, as their Nouogroatcos or Copecos, whereof 20. make some 8. pence sterling. The trade being other­wise very necessary, and profitable for the vtterance of our home commodi­ties, & maintenance of nauigation; di­uers of their commodities, as tallow & hides, being by vs vented againe into France and other countries.

In Turky, where great store of for­reine coyne is currant at a high rate, commodities are sold accordingly, in so much that their base money of As­pers and Shahes cannot go currant in any quantitie, but that the commodi­ties will rise to double the price in va­lue, in regard of their price, being sold by the ducat of 40. Medines, & payd in [Page 73] Checknis or Sultaneus, as also dolors of al sorts, or roials of 8. for of late years they know perfectly the finenes of mo­nies, & can discerne the good from the counterfeit, and make their aduantage accordingly, in the sale of their cōmo­dities: so that the transporting of any thither, is not so much vsed as hereto­fore; much lesse doth any come from thēce back againe, because of their tol­leration also. And we haue no ordinary exchange with thē, especially our ships requiring stil their lading homewards, whereby their commodities do stand vs in more then otherwise they should: and so much are the gaines the grea­ter, which are procured vpon the sayd commodities, by how much our home cōmodities are sold too good cheape, which partly are abated in price by such kersies, cloth, and other commodi­ties, as some of our merchants ad­uenturers sell with a smal gaine into o­ther places, from whence they are ca­ried [Page 74] into Turky by the way of Venice, which is preiudiciall to the realme.

In Barbary, the money being also much inhanced, and we hauing no or­dinary exchange with them, albeit our merchants did sell their commodities somewhat accordingly, yet they haue made a nearer calculation, when they wanted sugars to make their returne, and haue bene constrained to their losse to bring ouer gold; in regard of which losse, they had more then reason to sell their commodities the dearer, to the good of the realme: whereas o­therwise if they had found sugars to make their returne by, they would haue brought them, were it at neuer so deare a rate, to the preiudice of the same. And surely not only these Bar­barians haue a due regard of the good­nesse and course of monies, but euen that barbarous people of Guinea and thereabouts, haue of late yeares lear­ned to esteeme their gold at a farre [Page 75] higher rate then they were wont to do, obseruing the course of trafficke. And to conclude with such places where we haue no ordinary exchange, let vs remember Spaine and Portugall, seeing that since these troubles and in­terruption of trade, we are not onely barred from the greatest importation of money, of rials of plate, and pisto­lets, which in a manner did supply our exportation, and were daily brought ouer from thence; but also that by the meanes of other nations all Spanish wares are bought so deare, and accor­dingly sold vnto vs, that the small gaines of our clothes cannot counter­uaile the same: whereas heretofore all our gaines were procured vpon our home commodities, being thither transported, and we were very well con­tented, if of their commodities we could make our principall as they co­sted vs, with some small gaine towards the aduenture and charges.

[Page 76] The summe of all is concerning all the aforesaid countries where we haue no ordinarie exchanges, that neither the exportatiō of our monies is preiu­diciall to the realme, if we bring for it againe needfull and necessary commo­dities into the same: neither is the im­portion of money beneficiall to the realme to any great purpose, if we do giue our good and necessarie commo­dities for the same, being both wayes but a kind of permutation or barter: and those countries that by inhancing the coyne, do draw money vnto them, gather but an imaginatiue wealth, con­sisting in the denomination and not in substance, whereas the abuse of the ex­chāge causeth vs, for such places where it is vsuall & ordinary to loose and giue our treasure with our home commodi­ties, to obtaine only forrein commodi­ties for it, as we haue already shewed, and will yet make more apparant.

But first, least any man should find [Page 77] fault that we do not declare what the finenesse of the standard of the monies is, which are vsed in the aforesaid coun­tries, neither their weight or proportiō which they do hold betweene the gold and siluer, we must desire him to note that we endeuor to be in al this treatise cōpendious & substātial, & that hauing no ordinary exchange for these places, the matter is of no great momēt, espe­cially also for that the most part of the coins currāt with thē, are incidently to be hādled in their proper places folow­ing. The rather when the proportiō be­weene the gold & siluer (albeit the sāe do differ in som coūtries) bringeth not any inconuenience at all, if there be no quātity of cōmodities in those coūtries to establish any traffick between thē, as betwixt Spaine & Portugal, Spaine hol­ding 12. to 1. and Portugal but 10. to. 1.

In Scotland, where they hold 12. to 1. in proportion betweene the gold & sil­uer, there is smal store of cōmodities to [Page 78] be had to make any returne by, which is the cause that although we hold but eleuen to one, yet it breedeth no in­conuenience vnto vs, that therefore our monies should be transported thi­ther in any quantity, for all the aduan­cing of the price of their coyne, and their standard of siluer being but 11. ounces fine, which is inferiour vnto ours, and likewise their weight lesser then ours by foure peny weight fully v­pon the pound troy, which otherwise would be of importance, considering that we haue not with them any ordi­nary exchange, which should qualifie the same, the rather for their copper monies vsed in abundant manner, as their Hardheads, Bodwels, Plackx, Atchisons, Nonsunts, and Turnouers, the course of such monies and the like being by diuerse taken preposterously, as though the siluer monies should take their beginning in valuation from these copper monies; which maketh [Page 79] them to incline to the imbasing of monies, whereas by the authority of Princes, these kind of coines do receiue their valuation, answerable vnto the good siluer money: as experience ma­keth manifest in Turky, with their As­pers and Shahes. Neither is there any proportion obserued betweene the copper monies and the siluer, as there is betweene the siluer and gold, as Nu­ma Pompilius the king of the Romanes did, by obseruing ten of copper for one of siluer, and ten of siluer for one of gold: but we shall find, that since that time it hath bene diuersly taken in di­uerse countries, according to the vse and quantity of the one or other met­tall, vppon all ocasions. For places where we haue ordinarie and conti­nuall exchanges, it is of great impor­tance, for either we must make 2. pri­ses of exchanges, the one for the gold, and the other for the siluer, or else our gold is continually trāsported, our ex­changes [Page 80] commonly hauing their course according to the siluer. Now if any māshal receiue beyond the seas for our gold after 12. of siluer for one of gold, we holding but 11. to one in pro­portion, who seeth not an euident gaine of one in eleuen, if the siluer mo­nies do not counteruaile the same by way of tolleration, being receiued for aboue their value beyond the seas: but those that will take this benefit of our gold, neede not to bring siluer for that purpose, hauing forrein commodities ready at hand, in returne whereof the gold is very commodious and profi­table, which is the cause of buying vp of the same, when the price of the ex­change is low, as before is declared. We haue already declared the general course of exchāges, now let vs yet enter into some particulars concerning ex­changes & monies, and of forrein cō ­modities comming from the places with whō we haue ordinary exchanges. [Page 81] For Roane, Paris, Lyons, Bourdeaux, and other places in Fraunce, we haue an ordinarie exchange made according to their crowne of 60. soulz. The stan­dard of their siluer monies being 11. ounces fine: albeit their base money, as their soulz, and other is but three oun­ces and a halfe or somewhat better. Their crowne gold 22. carrats, and the proportion betweene the gold and sil­uer is by valuation 11. to one, but by tolleration 12. to one, and many times more: the crowne of exchange being at 60. soulz, & in specie 63. 64. and 65. soulz. And here let vs note the won­derfull operation of the course of ex­change; and that whereas the tollerati­on of monies in other countries is a hinderance of the importation of mo­nie vnto vs, yet it is not so with France, because money is brought ouer some­times from thence. Albeit the same be receiued aboue the value, as the French crownes and pistolets, because [Page 82] the course of exchange is contrarie. For plenty of mony with them maketh a low exchange, and scarcitie of mony maketh a high exchange with them, and on the contrarie, a low exchange with vs: whereas for other places plen­tie of monie maketh a low exchange with vs. So that the one being a cause of importation of money: the other is a cause of exportation, yet the Realme by the course of monies receiueth not any benefite at all in the vent of our commodities as other countries do. For this French crowne being valued at 10. shillings 10. pence flemish, ma­keth the right exchange to be aboue 36. shillings for the low countries, where in specie the same is caried, and in the like maner for other places. The obseruation whereof may be applyed to the good of the Realme, & the mer­chandizing exchange being takē away will aduaunce the price of our home commodities. The rather for that we [Page 83] find that by our French merchants there is as great a quātity of our home commodities, and such as are brought vnto vs from Russia and elsewhere, sold into Fraunce, as doth counteruaile the employment of wines and other com­modities from thence, the fraight and impost of wines (redounding to her Maiesties benefite and of her subiects) not being reckened.

The like may be said concerning our exchange for Venice & other pla­ces in Italy, which particular exchan­ges are (as in all traffiques) gouerned by the vniuersall, euen in places where little or no trade of commodities is v­sed, as at Madrill, Lyons, and Bizanson, where money is made a merchandise and bereaued of the naturall course whereunto it was first deuised. This v­niuersall or generall exchange made according vnto our 20. shillings ster­ling as is supposed, hath his course in manner aforesaid, for all such places [Page 84] where most of our home commodi­ties are sold by the merchants aduen­turers, be it at Embden, Middleborough, Amstelredam, Stoade, or Hamborough, where our commodities of Clothes, Kerseis, Bayes, Tinne, Lead, or such like, are sold and bartered for such for­rain commodities as are Veluets, Sa­tine, Silkes, Venice gold, Fustians, and such like, purposely engrossed and brought to the aforesaid places, & sold by the factors of the Bankers to our merchants, at so deare a rate, that euen other nations must buy the like com­modities the dearer for our sake, which is the cause that our merchants selling the said cōmodities deare according­ly vnto vs, are notwithstanding small gainers, although generally the realm loseth greatly. All which commeth to passe by the meanes of the exchange being abused as before is shewed, both for the transportation of our monies, which for a long time we haue giuen to [Page 85] contervalue the price of the forrain cō ­modities with the price of our home commodities according to the ouer­ballancing before spoken of, which du­ring the trade with Spaine frō whence mony was continually brought ouer, could not so sensibly be felt as it is now, notwithstanding the great purchasses of reprisall goods. So that the effect of it is like vnto the barter of two mer­chants, the one deliuering commodi­tie and money, and the other commo­dities only: he that deliuereth commo­dities onely, doth ouerset the same in price, and the other that deliuereth commodities and money doth ouerset his commodities also somewhat ac­cordingly: but doth not consider that he cannot ouerset his money: whereby it commeth to passe, that he hath for­raine commodities at a deare rate for his home commodities and money: yet because he findeth through the ex­cessiue vse of those forrain commodi­ties [Page 86] present sale with a reasonable gaine, he thinketh to haue made a very good match: whereas by his meanes the Realme is not onely depriued of the ready money, but sustained a great losse besides, in paying too deare for those commodities, as we may easily perceiue, if we do consider both the prices of the aboue named forraine commodities, and our home commo­dities altered within these fiftie years.

We are like vnto him that did not ouerset his mony as aforesaid, because we do esteeme our monies by way of exchange lesse in value then they be, and doe receiue the money of other countries farre aboue their value, ac­cording to their tolleration, especially they holding the proportion between the gold and siluer thereby continual­ly twelue to one.

At Hamborough and Stoade the or­dinarie reckening is takē to be 9. marks 4. shillings, for our 20. shillings ster­ling, [Page 87] euery of their markes being six­teene shillings Lups, making 148. shil­lings, which is 24. shillings 8. pence of their mony for our poūd. The Rickx doller is 33. shillings: so that 4. Rickx dollers and one halfe make 148. shil­lings ½ or 24. shillings 9 pence, with­out reckening the discrepance of the time of 2. moneths for their vsance, the consideration is at the least taken after ten vpon the hundreth for the yeare.

At Embden this Rickx doller being currant in payment after Flemish mo­ney at 47. or 48. stiuers: and the An­gell at 11. gilderen and one halfe, what merchant is he that cannot calculate this exchange to be abused, and that 36. shillings flemish cannot answere our money?

If any man would thinke, that vpon admonition giuen to the States of the low countries this might be reformed, and the like reformation would follow in other countries, especially those of [Page 88] Hamborough and other places adioy­ning, holding their monies alwaies as it were at a stand: yet all would be to small purpose if it were by a generall consent reformed and established, so long as the exchange shall be suffered to rise and fall from time to time vpon all occasions.

The States of the vnited lowe Pro­uinces hauing made it fellony by the lawe, and deuised all the courses and meanes to effect the same, could neuer do it. Albeit that in Anno 1594. they kept their mintes without worke for the space of a veare and more. For they are not onely interrupted by the seuerall mintes of other Princes adioy­ning vnto their countrey, but also for not hauing so absolute a gouernment, the body thereof being compounded of equall parts, euery one claiming as absolute power as the other. Howbeit we shall find, that generally by them all there is a kind of proportion kept both [Page 89] betweene the gold and siluer, and in the valuation of them. Neither were it conuenient for the States to cry downe their monies, whilest the 17. low Pro­uinces are separated, albeit they haue suffered of late, and still do without a­ny alteration of their monies, that the Archduke Albertus of Austria doth va­lue certaine ducats (which he caused to be coined) at a higher rate then they be worth: as hauing occasion to vse siluer for the East Indies, which they obtained for the gold which they had from vs and elsewhere. But omitting many other particular matters, let vs conclude with the second part of our treatise, wherein we haue shewed how the course of exchange being abused, doth ouer-rule the course of commo­dities and money. Also that the trans­portation of mony for places from whence we haue necessarie commo­dities by way of permutation for our money, can not be preiudiciall to [Page 90] the Realme, as the abuse of the ex­change is, for those places where our merchants haue the vtterance of our chiefe and principall commodities, which exchange both of course and by practise is ruled by other nations, the Realme receiuing thereby an incredi­ble losse, through the ouerballancing of the forraine commodities with our home commodities in nature before alleadged: which to supply, draweth away our money and treasure; and bringeth such inequalitie between the naturall riches and the artificiall ri­ches, that husbandmē are many times, when the haruest faileth, vnable to pay their rents, and poore artificers to liue by their handy worke, as hauing no­thing but from hand to mouth. For the course of forrain commodities vpon the alteration of mony, bringeth with­all an alteration in the gouernment of a commonweale.

Euery man knoweth, that by reason [Page 91] of the base money coyned in the end of the most victorious raigne of king Henry the eight, all the forrain commo­dities were sold dearer, which made afterwards the commodities of the Realme to rise at the farmers and te­nants hands: and thereupon gentle­men did raise the rents of their lands, and take farmes to themselues, and made inclosures of groundes: and the price of euery thing being deare, was made dearer through plentie of mo­ney and bullion comming daily from the West Indies: by reason whereof, and especially for that the ounce of sil­uer was aduaunced by the said king Henry the 8. from 40. pence vnto 45. pence, and afterwards in processe of time came to be aduanced to 60. pence the price thereof could no manner of waies abate, albeit the money was af­terwards restored to her former purity and finenesse: and so would it be to small purpose, if (according to some [Page 92] mens opinions that wold haue things good cheape as heretofore) the valua­tion of anounce of siluer were reduced againe at 20. pence. For let vs consider how all these things haue driuen one another, as in a presse going in at a streight, & examine them by a retro­gradation: if we require gentlemen to abate their rents, giue ouer farmes, & breake vp inclosures, it may be they would doe so, if they might haue all their prouisions at the price hereto­fore: wherunto the farmers & tenants (as I suppose) would easily condescend if they might haue all things else at the merchant strangers hands or others, at the same rate as they were wōt to haue heretofore. And the merchant might say againe, that he will sell his wares as he was wont to do, if he may haue the like money answerable in value and finenesse, as he was wont to haue heretofore: and that with great rea­son, seeing that permutation of com­modities [Page 93] did cease with vs, and that money was now to measure or value things, and that the same must haue his value according to weight and finenesse as may go currant in most places.

Now the money being reduced to her former puritie and finenesse, had not that effect, because the valuation was altered and aduanced to sixtie pence; which if it had bene abated to twenty pence, would only haue altered the price of things by denomination, and not in effect, so long as we giue still the quantitie in weight and goodnesse in finenesse of our monies. But I pray you to what purpose would this be, and that your exchange grounded thereupon should be made according­ly, if you would suffer the price there­of to rise and fall, to the great preiu­dice of the realme, as before is allea­ged: which being reformed, will be the only way of preseruation and augmen­tation [Page 94] of the wealth of the realme, and a great qualification of the things a­boue mentioned, by bringing plenty of money within the realme, and stay­ing that which will further passe, whereby our home commodities will be aduanced in price, which will in­crease the quantitie of them, and set not onely more people on worke to make our home commodities, but also other commodities now impor­ted, hauing within the realme fit mat­ter or stuffe thereunto. The due con­sideration of all which, will make vs to imitate the custome of good citi­zens, which seeing their citie on fire, loose no time to enquire how and when the fire began, but endeuor themselues with engins, buckets of water, and other necessaries to quench the flame thereof: wherefore let vs without loosing any more time, runne to the remedy following.

THE THIRD PART: A REMEDIE AGAINST the Canker of Englands Com­mon wealth.

BY that which hath bene declared, we see how one thing driueth or en­forceth another, like as in a clocke where there be many wheels, the first wheele being stirred, driueth the next, and that the third, and so foorth, till the last that moueth the instrument that strikes the the clocke. Or like as in a presse going in at a straight (as we haue sayd) where the formost is driuen by him that is next him, and the next by him that fol­lowes him, and the third by some vio­lent and strong thing, that driues him [Page 96] forward, which is the first and princi­pall cause of putting forward all the rest afore him: if we were kept backe and stayed, all they that go afore wold stay withall: this is therefore called Causa efficiens, which not being rightly discerned from the meane causes, made that many men were neuer the neare to remedy the thing they went about.

The Chronicles do record, that to preuent the transportation of money, king Henry the eight like a politicke Prince, in the eighteenth yeare of his reigne, perceiuing the price of money continually to rise beyond the seas, caused the angell noble, being the sixt part of an ounce, and taken for two ounces of siluer, to be valued from sixe shillings eight pence vnto seuen shil­lings foure pence, and presently after vnto seuen shillings sixe pence; where­by euery ounce of siluer was worth forty fiue pence: and yet there was no­thing [Page 97] effected thereby, the money still altering beyond the seas: whereupon Cardinall Wolsey had a patent graun­ted him by the king, to alter the valua­tion of money from time to time, as he should see cause. Afterwards the sayd king in the two & twentith yeare of his raigne, perceiuing that diuers nations brought abundance of forreine com­modities into his realme, and recei­ued therefore ready mony, which mo­ney they euer deliuered to other mer­chants by exchange, and neuer em­ployed the same on the commodities of the realme, whereby his Maiesty was hindred in his customes, and the commodities of the realme were not vttered, to the great hinderance of his subiects, as it is there alleadged: his Maiestie caused a proclamation to be made, according to an olde Statute made in the time of king Richard the second: That no person should make any exchange contrary to the true [Page 96] [...] [Page 97] [...] [Page 98] meaning of the same Act and Statute, vpon paine to be taken the kings mor­tall enemy, and to forfeit all that he might forfeit: which tooke effect but for a short time, and no other was to be expected, it not being of that mo­ment nor the principall cause, as here­after shall be declared.

After all this followed the emba­sing of mony: and what happened then, we haue already declared so much as is thought conuenient.

All which notwithstanding, and as it were in derogation of the credit of experience: yet some men will attri­bute the cause of transportation to the finenesse or vnder valuation of our monies, and would haue our monies inhaunced in price, or embaced by al­lay, without that they haue any cōside­ration, that in some sort our exchange shall be made accordingly, and that the matter would remaine still in sub­stance, although it were altered in [Page 99] name, whereof the base monies daily exported out of Fraunce, and the in­hancing of monies in Turky, and Bar­bary, do giue vs an instance. And it fol­loweth that neither difference of weight, finenesse of standard, propor­tion betweene the monies or valuatiō thereof, can be any true causes of ex­portation of our monies, so long as a due course is holden in the exchange, which is founded thereupon, as before hath bene shewed.

Hauing found out the efficient cause, the remedy is easie, and most commonly great matters are cured by easie remedies: And by that which hath bene sayd, euery man of iudge­ment may easily gather, that the ex­change for all places ought to be kept at a certaintie in price, according to value for value; and that according to the value of our money, and the tolle­ration of the price of the mony in each countrey, where we find that a certaine [Page 100] proportion is obserued from time to time, to which end there must be a vi­gilant eye for the obseruation thereof vpon all alterations, and to make our price of exchange accordingly, both for the gold and siluer, either in aduan­cing our gold and making the porpor­tion to be betweene the gold and siluer 12. to 1. or else making the price of ex­change according to the gold.

If we do make our gold to be worth twelue of siluer, as is vsed in most pla­ces, then must our angels and other gold be called in, if so be that we will not thinke conuenient that the weight and price should be altered, and new angels may be coyned of crowne gold, holding still their price and weight: or else if we will alter the valuation, then our angels should bee at ten shillings ten pence, and the French crowne sixe shillings sixe pence: for there is as much difference betweene the proportion of eleuen to one, and [Page 101] twelue to one, as there is difference in the price of angell gold and crowne gold. But altering neither of these, the exchange might qualifie the same, the rather because that for places where we haue no ordinary exchange, our gold and siluer monies are trans­ported in nature of bullion, espe­cially the siluer, being more worth in some mintes beyond the seas, then by valuation, as we haue noted before.

For the keeping of the price of ex­change at a certaintie, according to value for value, some are of opinion, whereas these exchanges are most commonly made by certaine persons sworne to deale honestly betweene partie and partie, commonly called brokers, that euerie merchant ex­changing should be bound vpon a pe­nalty, not to make any exchanges with­out them, and according to their dire­ction: to which end they should haue [Page 102] a certaine prescription specified in a paire of tables, how to make these ex­changes, and should become bound with sureties to make them according­ly: in the course whereof there should be no other difference betweene the deliuerer and taker vp of monies, but after ten vpon the hundreth for the yeare, and to make them payable at some short time, to cut off the mer­chandizing of the same, both here and beyond the seas.

Others that do not like to enter into bonds, do allow of the opinion of those that do affirme the same would be more exactly done by certaine skil­full and substantiall men, thereunto authorised by her most excellent Ma­iestie, to be the generall exchangers with whom all men should be com­maunded to make their exchanges here in England; and in the like man­ner our merchants onely in the chiefe places of trafficke beyond the seas, [Page 103] with these Exchangers deputies also in manner aforesayd, wherein would be litle restraint: for he that would not deliuer his money here by ex­change, might (if he would) employ the same vpon our commodities, and rather then to transport any in specie, he would deliuer it by exchange, when vpon a simple bill he might haue as much giuen him by the meanes of the exchange, as the same would yeeld him beyond the seas, being caried in specie with great aduenture, and in danger of the losse with treble the va­lue, according to the statute. On the contrary, he that would not deliuer his money beyond the seas by ex­change, he might bring ouer forrein commodities being at a reasonable rate, or else the money in specie: proui­ded alwayes that in bringing monies there be no permission any other to be currant, but such as are already proclaimed; and all other to bee [Page 104] brought into the mint, or to these ex­changers deputies, which should giue presently other ready money for it, ac­cording to the statute 20. E. 3. where­by of course also that might be effe­cted, which heretofore was comman­ded by the statute of 8. H. 5. 2. where­by the Staplers were to bring a good part of the returne of their woolles in bullion.

The most noble kings of this realme Edward the third, Richard the second, Henry the fourth, Henry the fift, Henry the sixt, and especially Henry the se­uenth, made most noble statutes a­gainst the abuses of exchange, and for the increase of their customes; and then the right exchange (as doctor Wilson sayth) was onely vsed by the king or his exchanger, albeit there was not any such vrgent cause: so that the merchant stranger bringing his wares into the realme, did first pay his cu­stome, and hauing made sale of his [Page 105] commodities, and imploying the mo­ney that he receiued here, vpon the commodities of the Realme, ac­cording to the Statute 14. R. 2. and so paying custome againe, depar­ted home to his countrey, without carying any money at all by ex­change: for if there were not suffici­ent commoditie here in wares, he made his exchange then with the Kings exchanger, and none other: so that it was knowne vnto the ex­changer what exchange hee made, and vppon what cause. But if this matter be now a dayes duely conside­red of, it will not bee found of such importance as it is taken to be, nei­ther for the increase of the cu­stomes of the Prince, or aduance­ment of the sale and price of our home commodities, the trade where­of would best become our Eng­lish merchants, as the trade of the forreine commodities is fittest for [Page 106] the merchant strangers, leauing the due course of exchange in manner aforesayd free for both parties to make their returne by, vpon all occasions, which would proue very profitable to the realme and her maiesties cu­stomes, considering the sayd statute doth onely command the meere mer­chant stranger, and not the denisons which are the principall dealers. Our home commodities being also so needfull, and of continuall request, that at al times they are most vendible, notwithstanding some small interrup­tions, which now and then by reason of the warres and other controuersies do happen.

If the forrein commodities were for the most part imported by mer­chants strangers, which pay more cu­stome then the natiue subiect doth, her Maiesties customes would very much increase. Againe if they were bought better cheape, more would be [Page 107] vented with vs, and likewise greater quantity of our home commodities transported, especially when money doth abound. Lastly, the trade of our commodities would increase, if the trade of the marchandizing exchange did cease. And were it not that the for­rein commodities are consumed with­in the realme, it were great reason that as the price thereof is risen, so likewise the custome should be payd some­what accordingly.

The Portugals which do engrosse the spices of the East Indies, cause a great custome to be taken of twentie vpon the hundreth, vpon the arriuall of the carrickes at Lisbone, for the comming in of the spices and other commodities, and cause other nati­ons to pay the same, making the price accordingly, pleasing them a­gaine in the custome outwards, in ta­king but one vpon the hundreth for the same, making in this manner their [Page 108] countrey as it were a store-house for spices, as the Hollanders do theirs for corne comming from the East coun­tries. And the like plenty is vsed by o­ther nations, which would require a larger description, as also how they in­rich themselues by their industrie and handiworke of the stuffe of other coun­tries; and againe what commodities might be made within the realme, we hauing fit matter or stuffe thereunto; and how artificers and other worke­mens wages should be considered: and yet to this purpose we cannot omit to commend the singular good Statutes, made by King Henry the third, and could wish that the wages giuen in those dayes with so great aduisement, were now trebled according to the al­teration of the valuation of money, then an ounce of siluer being valued at twenty pence, which is now rated at 5. shillings. This is duly obserued in the city of London, for the allowance of the [Page 109] baking of a quarter of corne, the baker hauing now six shillings for the same, whereas hee had in those dayes two shillings.

But returning to the matter in hand, we say that the course of trafficke before mentioned, would be effected by the reformation of the exchaunge: for when our merchants should haue abilitie giuen them to import money, then would they bring the lesser quantitie of forreine commodities, and the merchant stran­ger would bring the more. And a­gaine on the contrarie, the more rea­die money either in specie or by ex­change, that our merchants should make their returne by, the more em­ployment would they make vpon our home commodities, aduancing the price thereof, which price would aug­ment the quantitie by setting more people on worke: and would also in­crease her maiesties customes outward. [Page 110] All which is tending to the generall good of her Maiesty, the whole realme, and euerie inhabitant there­of: and this reformation is in effect no more, but as it were the keeping of our owne weight and measure, namely our money and exchange, to sell our commodities by: seeing that trusting other nations therewith, we haue bene hitherto deceiued. Neither can any nation take hereby any of­fence at all, we receiuing value for va­lue, as they with reason do also one of another.

The remedy is easie, and yet of such moment, that as the course of things doth carry alwayes a great command: so should we find that of course diuerse statutes should be obserued or execu­ted, viz. the statutes of 9. E. 3. 25. E. 3. 5. R. 2. 2. H. 4. 2. H. 6. 4. H. 7. 5. E. 6. prohibiting the transportation of mo­ney and bullion, &c. The statutes of 9. E. 3. 15. E. 3. 14. R. 2. 3. H. 7. and [Page 111] other concerning exchanges, to haue their due course, both within the realme, and for forrein parts, hauing according to the tenor therof, exchan­gers for the monies of siluer and gold, and for the monies or bullion brought ouer, in buying the same and deliue­ring it into her maiesties mint, as may be seene by the statutes of 8. H. 5. and 20. E. 3. before mentioned, whereby her Maiestie should haue the due gaines of her mint, and poore moniers should continually worke. For the exe­cution whereof, monies were coyned in those dayes in seuerall places of the realme: howbeit all by the direction of the maister of the kings mint at Lon­don: Namely at Canterbury, at King­ston vpon Hull, Newcastle vpon Tine, at Bristow and Excester: And the exchan­ger for the king at London, did also de­pute exchangers in the most places, sa­uing that certaine merchants of Flo­rence called Friscobaldi, were the kings [Page 112] exchangers at Kingston, Newcastle, and Excester, whereby appeareth the great care had thereof. It will not be amisse to remember such benefits as will re­dound to the merchants aduenturers by the reformation hereof, when at all times they may make a sure calculatiō of their gaines and accompts accor­ding to the knowne price of the ex­change, or in setting ouer the bils obli­gatorie which they receiue of their commodities for forraine commodi­ties, or in making ouer their monies by exchange at all times, whereby they shall not be driuen to buy forraine cō ­modities, or stād in danger to become losers by the exchange, vpon the alte­ration of the price thereof, after the sale made of their commodities, and before they do receiue their money to be made ouer by exchange; and they may then altogether seeke the gaine vpon their home commodities, selling them with more reputation. When [Page 113] young merchants hauing small stocks and running for moneys vpon the ex­change, shall not through their rash sale abate the price of cōmodities, espe­cially whē more money shall be had at interest, the merchandizing exchange ceassing: whereby young merchants may be supplyed in their neede or oc­casions, and with smaller stockes and lesse aduenture haue greater gaines: for the Canker of this exchange shall not consume them, as it hath done ma­ny of them and others, and that vna­wares: for the same is like vnto the Ser­pent Aspis, which stingeth men in such sort, that they fall into a pleasant sleepe vntill they dye.

If any man shall make doubt of the execution hereof, let him but haue a due consideration of the course of the right exchange, both here and beyond the seas, and he will wonder that so great matters can be brought to passe by so easie meanes, especially whereas [Page 114] it might be thought difficult, in regard of other nations.

First, the gaine had vpon the mony deliuered by exchange here in En­gland (either really or imaginatiuely) being taken away, will cause the mer­chādizing therof to cease. We call that really, when in specie the mony is paid, and imaginatiuely, when in regard of the generall want of monies, it is in ef­fect but payd as it were by assignation. And then all such merchants, either strangers or natiue subiects, which de­liuer their mony by exchange for gain, sh all deliuer the same at interest, cau­sing plentie of mony within the realm for the generall good.

Secondly, for the course of the ex­change beyond the seas, euery man can easily vnderstand, that as the gaine of the exchange appeareth only by the returne thereof: that no merchant stranger will deliuer any money vnto our merchants, when he shall know [Page 115] the certaintie of the price of exchange which doth exclude the gaine, consi­dering that all men within the Realme shall make their exchanges at a cer­taintie, either by the meanes of Bro­kers or the generall exchangers, espe­cially our merchants beyond the seas being generally the deliuerers of mo­ney and few of them takers vp. So that this course of exchaunge shall com­mand other nations, we hauing more­ouer the heade of this principall ex­change of our 20. shillings sterling: whereupon exchanges are made, and so the head will commaund and direct the other members of the body. Nei­ther will merchants straungers take vp money by exchange at a lower price to their losse of any of our merchants, then our exchangers deputie wil giue, but will rather cause their money to be made ouer from hence: for gaine bea­reth stil the sway in the course oftrade.

Thirdly, the generall course of this [Page 116] exchange in the chiefe places of trade will gouerne the particular, as it is in al traffiques. So that any exchanges made in any places of small traffique, where the exchangers shall haue no deputies, will be of small moment. For if our merchants that do deliuer the money, must giue much to haue their money payed here in England, it will be for the good of the Realme, for they will sell their commodities accordingly v­pon this occasion. And if they do deli­uer it at a lowe rate vnder our exchan­gers price, the matter cannot be great: for those also which are the takers thereof, will rather take it of our ex­changers deputies at a better rate, by the meanes of their friends or factors dwelling in the chiefe places of traf­fique, where our merchants shall deli­uer their monies to the exchangers de­puties, euen as merchants straungers shall do here in England. And the merchandizing exchange (which cau­seth [Page 117] one summe of money to be ex­changed (for the most places) 6. times in a yeare) being taken away, the ordi­narie exchange is not of any such mo­ment, that we should doubt of the suf­ficiencie of such substantiall men as might execute the same; considering also that they shall serue euery mans turne that will take vp money by ex­change here of them: and that there shall be no constraint for any man to deliuer his money here or beyond the seas, but may employ the same vpon commodities at his pleasure.

Lastly, let vs answere to some obie­ctions, notwithstanding that the due consideration of the premises and the waightinesse of the matter might sa­tisfie vs.

To the generall obiection, that sel­ling our commodities dearer, would be an interruption to the traffique, we haue already shewed how necessarie our commodities are, & what request [Page 118] thereof is in all places: so that such controuersies as sometimes arise, are alwaies qualified or ended by the pro­curement of the aduerse parties them­selues; as it happened in the ninth yere of king Henry the 7. vpon a contention betwixt the said king and the king of Romanes, and a displeasure taken a­gainst the Flemings, and especially a­gainst the Lady Margaret Duchesse of Burgundy and sister to king Edward the fourth, in causing to be banished out of his dominions all Flemish wares and merchandizes, and restraining all English merchants from repairing & trafficking into any of the territories of the king of Romanes or the Arch­duke his sonne, & the Mart to be kept at Calis for wools and cloth: whereu­pon the king of the Romanes and the Archduke banished all English com­modities out of their dominions, which continued almost three yeares, vntill the Archduke sent ambassadours [Page 119] vnto the king to conclude a peace, and therewithall was the contract of enter­course also concluded betwixt the said king and the house of Austria and Bur­gundy: the like examples we haue more.

Againe, that young merchants or others shall not haue so much credit at the hands of the exchangers, as they haue now at diuerse mens hands, and that therefore it were better to enter into bond as aforesaid, which would be duely obserued, because the bils of exchanges should beare witnesse a­against them. Let vs consider that they should not haue such great occasions to take vp money, when mony should be plentifully here deliuered at inte­rest, which is now deliuered by ex­change, whereas also they may bring ouer monies for their returne when they see cause, and the exchangers re­ceiuing here much money at the mer­chants straungers hand by exchange, [Page 120] would be glad to giue a greater credit to haue the better meanes to repay the money beyond the seas to the mer­chant stranger.

The difference betwixt those that deliuer their money at interest or by exchange, in regard of vsurie, consi­steth onely in the name, for they haue both an intention of gaine vpon mo­ney, and do beare an aduenture for the losse of their monies, whereas the one is certaine to haue no more but ten vpon the hundred at the most, and the other doth expect at the least 15. or 20. vpon the hundreth, in regard whereof he is contented to stand in ad­uenture to lose sometimes (and that seldome) by exchange, but still the in­tention remaineth, which should be the surest guide of conscience to take away false or counterfeit pretences.

Exchanges wil be made vnderhand or secretly, notwithstanding their bonds or prescriptions: as how I pray [Page 121] you? Surely he that is the deliuerer of mony will take no lesse for our 20. shil­lings sterling then the rate of the ex­change shall be: and if the taker will giue him more, & he will take it with­out regarding his bond, the Realme looseth nothing thereby, albeit the partie doth lose, if he do not sell his commodities beyond the seas accor­dingly. Againe, beyond the seas will any merchant stranger take vp money at a lesser rate then the exchange, our merchants being there the deliuerers, what losse haue our merchants there­by or the Realme either? Whereas al­so to the generall exchanger euery merchant shall be a surueyor: so that the matter is so easily to be remedied, that vnlesse we do enter into due con­sideration, that (as we haue said in the first part of our treatise) all the trade is performed by commodities, money and exchange, we will thinke it to be impossible vntill we find out, that the [Page 122] abuse of exchange hath made the course therof to be predominant ouer the cōmodities & monies, which being found out as an efficient cause, maketh vs to find an easie remedy: & according to the rules of al Polititians, cōparing & reducing things to their original be­ginnings, we shal find how far they are digressed or decayed, which also op­positly maketh me to write in cōmen­dation of the good order of the Veneti­ans in ruling the market for their corn & victuals, imposing a certaine price, vpon due knowledge had of the quan­tity of corne monethly in any of their dominions: whereupon they appoint some graue and honest men in euery principall citie, who on euery Monday of the week, are authorised (according to the quantity of corne) to set a price thereof: according to the which also, the Baker is to make the bread of such weight as they shall & do declare that day vnder their hand writing in seueral [Page 123] publike places: wherby euē the poorest man (who hath greater reason of care) may know what he is to haue for his penny, for the which calling at the Ba­kers house, & finding any fault, he may take with the assistāce (as it were) of the Constable, al the bread then exstant at the Bakers house as forfeited, the one halfe vnto him, & the other halfe to the poore. By which meanes all engrossers & forestallers are cut off, because they are vncertaine what the price of the market will be frō time to time, which maketh them not desirous to buy. And againe, the magistrate is not troubled to see this good order executed: for euery man hath an especiall care to haue his owne. How many statutes would bee executed hereby also if the like order were established in England, let the learned in the lawe iudge, not only for engrossers and for­stallers, but also of inclosures of grounds, incorporating of farmes, de­cay [Page 124] of husbandry, conuerting arable grounds into pasture, and all good or­ders concerning corne, which being duely prouided for within the Realme, or from elsewhere, vpon occasion of scarcitie thereof, and withall hauing plentie of money, who seeth not that these are two pillars and props for the maintenance of a commonwealth, e­uen as sinceritie of religion, and the loue of the people are the two especial props or pillars of the state of a Prince?

No man would be angry with him that were in a house, and espied some fault in the beames or rafters of the same, and would insearch the default, and then certifie the goodman of the house thereof, or some other dwelling therein, aswell for his owne safegard, as for others, for it is hard to heale a sore that a man would not haue ope­ned to his Phisition, though he be ne­uer so skilfull, and of great experience. How weightie and important the stu­die [Page 125] hereof is, let all states-men and Po­lititians be iudges: for like as experi­ence doth beget wisedome as a father: so memorie nourisheth it as a mother, which both are holpen and furthered by learning: and as he cannot attaine to learning who is without the know­ledge of the seuen liberall sciences: no more can he be a right states-man, in seeking the increase of the Princes cu­stomes and reuenues, to haue the Prin­ces coffers well furnished: vnlesse he do first studie the way of preseruation & augmentation of the wealth of the Realme: for the welfare wherof, ioynt­ly with the preseruation of her Maie­sties royall person, the Authour daily prayeth vnto the Almightie, by whom al Princes do rule and states do subsist.

Qui plus expendit
Quàm rerum copia tendit,
Non admiretur
Si paupertate grauetur.

Faults escaped.

Page 69. line 15. read imported for imputed, pag. 70. lin. 5. great read greater, pag. 73. lin. 1. Checl­mis read Checkins, pag. 108. lin. 4. plenty read polli­cy, pag. 110. lin. 12. receiuing read requiring.

BEcause of the intēded trade for the East Indies, we haue added hereun­to for the better obseruation of the contents of our treatise, the prices of pretious stones, spices, and other com­modities as they were bought in the sayd Indies, vpon the lading of the last carrickes, laden by the Portugals, before the Hollanders came to trade thither, to which end we do vse many words of the Portugall tongue, for the better vn­derstanding of the commodities, and places from whence they are brought, together with their weight and good­nesse, and first for precious stones.

Diamonds the most perfect called nayfe, are foūd in the kingdōe of Decā, & other sorts in the kingdome of Nar­singa, & the Iland of Zeilan which are sold by the Mangelin at so many Par­daos of gold, as it were ducats of 360. rries or Maruedis euery Pardoa, wher­as at Lisbone a ducat is 400. rreis or Maruedis, accounting 10. Fanans for their ducat, so that one Fanan is a riall, or 6. pence starling with vs.


Diamonds of one Mangelin. 26
Of 1 ½ 30
Of 2 40
Of ¾ of one Mangelin. 22
Of 2peeces or stons the Māgelin20
Of 316
Of 413
Of 511
Of 68 ½.
Of 77
Of 85 ½
Of 95
Of 104

Al other diamonds not being nayfe or pointed on both sides, as flat dia­monds, triangles, or other fashions, & not of perfect colour, are to be bought accordingly.

Rubies are found for the most part in a riuer called Pegu, being of the best kind and finest, and are called Nuncu­plo, of a high colour, without any spots and cleane, also the hardest and coldest vpon the tongue, as the Indians do say.

[Page] They are sold by the Coreya of twentie peeces, and by a weight called Fanan.

The Ruby of one Fanan for ten Par­daos.

Of 2the Fanan euery Coreya50
Of 330
Of 418
Of 512
Of 69
Of 76
Of 85
Of 94
Of 103

If they be not perfect, the price must be considered, as in the Iland of Zeilan, where great quantities are found of a fleshly colour, esteemed but for ⅓ in value, called by the Indians Ma­necas, which being mundified by the fire, are made Carbuncles.

There is also found in Pegu another kind called Spinelle with vs, & Caropus in the Indian tongue, which they were wont to esteeme for halfe the price of [Page] the good Ruby: and in the like estima­tion were another kind found in Ba­lassia and so called, much like vnto the colour of a rose.

The weight of pretious stones.

One Fanan is somewhat more then two of our carrats, and euery carrat is 4. greines.

11 ¼ Fanans is one mitigal, and 6 ½ of them make an ounce.

Mangelin or Mangear, whereby diamons are sold, weyeth 2 tarre and ⅔, which is ⅔ of a carrat, for 4 tarres weigh one Fanan, which is aboue 2 carrats.

Saphires in the yland of Zeilan, the hardest are best, and of colour azure.

Topasies in the same yland of color like beaten gold; the hardest best, and were sold for their weight in gold in times past.

Turqueses found in Malabar, being of Turqueys color by the day time, and by night by the light greene; they grow vpon a blacke stone, where of retaining some little blacke veines, is the better.

[Page] Iacinths in the yland of Zeilan, which are tender yellow stones, com­monly hauing pimples or burbuls in them.

Emeralds or Smaragds, being hard and greene stones, found in the coun­trey of Babylon and other places of In­dia, were of great estimation before the quantity discouered in the West Indies, many of them are counterfeit. But looking on thē curiously towards the light, the counterfeitnes appeareth by certaine burbuls, like as the glasse doth, which is not in the true stones, although certaine beames appeare; which true stones being rubbed on the touch-stone leaue the color of copper.

All these stones being out of request with vs, must be bought as the buyer seeth cause for other countries.

The pearles of the East Indies are not of that color, which preposterously are called Orientall, as the pearles of the West Indies, yet let vs set downe their price.


Pearles sold by the carrat.
Of one carrat pardaos1 ½
Of 1 ½3
Of 26
Of 2 ½8
Of 312
Of 3 ½16
Of 420
Of 4 ½25
Of 530
Of 5 ½35
Of 640
Of 6 ½45
Of 750
Of 7 ½60
Of 870

Aliofar, which is small pearle, sold by the Iue­ra, or sorts which commeth from the fishing about Comorin.

The first Iuera330. rreis
The second180
The third80
The fourth18
The fift and sixt.8

Calico cloth comming fram diuerse places in the Indies, is sold by the Coreia of 20 pee­ces, according to the sorts fol­lowing.


De Cambaya.
Canequins finos60
Canequins arezoados40
Cotonias de frades24
Cotonias comun.20
Do Sinde.
Iourins finos70
Iourins de caregacaon45
Da Costa, de Canera.
Beatilhas finas26
Beatilhas de caregacaon20
De vengala de porto grande.
Cassas finas100
Cassas de caregacaon70
De porto pequen̄o.
Cassas finas60
Cassas de caregacaon50
Chantares finos40
Ambre grise the ounce13
Ambre blacke3
Muske in code.2
Seed pearle to stampe20, rreis
The price of spices sold by the quintall.
Cloues cleane of stalkes frō the Moluccos.50
Cloues of Bastao vncleane29
Mace comming from the yland of Bandan being cleane and faire coloured74
Nutmegs of the said yland14
Ginger of Beledin in Calicut9
Ginger of Mechino7
Ginger in conserue13
Cinamon of Zeilan35
Cinamon de mato10
Long pepper25
Beniamin de Boninas55
Beniamin de caregacaon48
Camphir of China.40

The pepper is sold by the Baher of 15 roues being 4. quintals of 112. poūd Lisbone weight, and is found in diuerse places, as in the kingdome of Malabar, Calicut, and the yland of Sumatra: and because the same is alwayes the kings of Portugal by contract, the price is not knowne, and is otherwise risen to a great price, being first esteemed about the third part of the price of cloues.


By this weight are sold also these wares.
Sandalo branquo de 20 paos160
Sandalo vermelho50
Pao da China bon.180
Goods sold by the case or fardle, weighing [...]le more or lesse then a quintall.
Indico carques40
Indico called Aldeas70
Indico comun called Aldeas.35
Sugar de China35
Sugar of Vengala.12
Goods sold by the Man of 24 pound.
Silke of China corrent76
Silke in peeces made vp86
Silke retros called de Lancaon40
Aquila boa35
Aquila comun26
Tartaruga de Malaca38
Lacre or hard-waxe16
Waxe of Vengala.4

All kinds of drugs are to be bought with great aduisement, according to their goodnesse.

Of the weights of Portugall and India, and some other places.

The pound of the old weight con­taineth 14. ounces.

The poūd of the new weight 16. oūces.

[Page] Euery Cantare or quintall [...] new weight, is 128 pound of 16. [...]

Euery quintall of the old weight [...] 3. quarters and one halfe of the new weight, or 128. pound of 14. ounces, which maketh 112. pound of Portugall weight of 16. ounces: so that euery 8. quintals of the old weight maketh 7. quintals of the new weight.

One Bahar is 4. quintals of the old weight of Portugall, being 112. pound of 16. ounces, and is in all 448. pound, which make that London 452. pound, at Antwerpe 438. pound, at Venice alla sotile 712. pound, and alla grossa 448. pound. One Bahar maketh 20. Faraz­uelos, euery Farazuelo 22. pound, 6. ounces of 14. ounces to the pound.

The other weight as before menti­oned.


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