A New DISCOURSE OF TRADE, Wherein is Recommended several weighty Points relating to Com­panies of Merchants. The Act of NAVIGATION. NATURALIZATION of Strangers. And our Woollen Manufactures. The BALLANCE of TRADE. And the Nature of Plantations, and their Conse­sequences in Relation to the Kingdom, are seriously Discussed. And some Proposals for erecting a Court of Mer­chants for determining Controversies, relating to Maritime Affairs, and for a Law for Trans­ferrance of Bills of Debts, are humbly Offered.

By Sir Josiah Child.

London, Printed, and Sold by Iohn Everingham, at the Star in Ludgate-Street, in the Year 1693.


Edmund Bohun.


THe following Answer to that Treatise, entituled, Interest of Money mistaken, I wrote long before the last Session of Par­liament, that began the 19th of October, 1669. but fore-seeing that that Session might be engaged in greater Debates of another Nature, and in consequence not have leisure to consider this subject, I deferred the Printing of it, since which I have seen another Treatise, wrote by Thomas Manly, Gentleman, endea­vouring to prove, That it will be for the advantage of this Kingdom, to continue the Interst of Money at 6 per Cent, but after several perusals of his Treatise, I must needs say, that either [Page] I understand nothing of this subject, or else this Gentleman is the great­est S [...]ranger to it that ever under­took to discourse it, he having writ much, but in my Opinion nothing to the purpose, more than was much better (though brieflier) said by the Author of the fore-mention­ed Treatise, out of which most of his seems to be borrowed, though the Words be varied, with some additions of Interrogations, Expo­stulations, Similes and Circumlo­cutions.

Besides, the Gentleman taking up things at random, and for want of a due understanding of the mat­ter, is very unfortunate in his In­stances of Fact, viz.

In his Preface, about the middle, his Words are, Has Abatement of Vsury, or some other sublime Policy, obliged the French of late to set upon Trade and Manufactures? And then he affirms, that I dare not touch [Page] on that String, in regard that Na­tion hath not for many Years alte­red Interest from 7 per Cent.

To his Interrogation, I answer positively, that the Abatement of Usury hath done it; and if you will not believe me, read the French E­dicts themselves, and they will tell you so (an Abstract of one whereof I have recited in the following Treatise.)

To his Affirmation, that I dare not touch upon this String, I say, I dare do it, and put the whole issue upon this, for the French in fact have brought down the Use of Mo­ney under 6 per Cent, and that to 5 per Cent lately; as I have been credibly informed, and do believe; and if they had omitted this, all their bussling in other things would signifie very little in conclusion.

The Sweeds likewise since they established their Council of Trade, and set themselves to the conside­ration [Page] of making themselves con­siderable by Trade, have reduced their Interest from 10 to 6 per Cent.

His following Words are, Do Italy and Holland owe their Trade and Riches to the lowness of Vsury, or to th [...]ir innate Frugality, wonderful Industry, and admirable Arts, &c?

I answer; low Interest is the na­tural Mother of Frugality, Indu­stry and Arts, which I hope the Gentleman's Eyes will be open e­nough to see by that time he hath read a little further, and considered two or three Years longer.

But it may be said, How can a low Interest be the natural Mother of Frugality, when, if this Gentle­man be to be believed Abatement of our Vse-Money brought in our Drinking? which he does not on­ly say, but prove, as he thinks, by an instance of Fact; for he says, we now spend usually twenty thousand Tuns of French Wine, (and he be­lieves [Page] that a far greater quantity is yearly Imported) and that the com­putation of Spanish, Rhenish and Levant Wines far exceeds the for­mer, so that by his calculate, & as he says, grounded upon a v [...]ry good authority, viz. a Report to the House of Commons, it should seem that there is about the quantity of forty five thousand Tuns of Wine of all sorts Imported annually into England.

But if it shall appear in Fact, that before the last abatement of Inte­rest from 8 to 6 per Cent, we did usually import near twice the quan­tity of Wines annually we now do, and that now in all sorts of Wines we do not import above the quan­tity of twenty thousand Tuns year­ly; then what will become of his large Structure, built upon a Sandy Foundation?

Reader! this is the Case, and the matter of Fact truly recited by me, [Page] (which many of the honourable Members of the House of Commons well know) and mistaken by him; from whence I might with much more reason infer, that the abate­ment of Interest drove out our Drinking (so pro tanto it did) but I know there were likewise other Causes for it, especially the additi­onal Duties that from time to time have been laid upon Wines.

But before I part with the Gentle­man on this point, I must note to him another monstrous mistake in Fact, or at least in his Inference, viz. he says, that twenty thousand Tuns of French Wines at 2 s. 8 d. per Gallon, amounts to 640000 l. and concludes (if I understand him) that so much is lost to England; whereas, were the matter of Fact as he supposeth, which it is not so in any measure, this inference would be strangely erroneous; for by the expence of such a quantity we can ra­tionally [Page] lose only the first cost, which is but about 6 or 7 l. per Tun, and that amounts to but 120000 l. or 140000 l. at the utmost, all the rest being Freight, Custom and Charges paid to the King, and our own Country-men, and consequent­ly not lost to England.

To conclude this Head, I do a­gree fully with the Gentleman, that Luxury and Prodigality are as well prejudicial to Kingdoms as to pri­vate Families; and that the ex­pence of foreign Commodities, espe­cially foreign Manufactures, is the worst expence a Nation can be in­clinable to, and ought to be pre­vented as much as possible, but that nothing hath or will incline this or any other Nation more to Thrifti­ness and good Husbandry, then abatement of Interest, I think I have proved in the following Dis­course, and that therefore all that this Gentleman hath said about [Page] Luxury, &c. is against himself, and for lessening of Interest.

The Gentleman at the beginning of his Preface saith, He will not en­quire into the lawfulness of Interest, but leave the scrupulous to the several Discourses made publick on that sub­ject. For my part I shall agree with him in that likewise; And to the in­tent that what hath been made publick formerly may the better be known, I would entreat those that would be throughly satis­fied therein, diligently to peruse an excellent Treatise, entituled, The Eng­lish Vsurer, or Vsury condemned, be­ing a Collection of the Opinions of many of the learned Fathers of the Church of England, and other Di­vines, Printed at London, Anno 1634▪ & now about to be Reprinted.

But upon this occasion I shall humbly presume to say, that if by the following Discourses it shall appear, that the Interest of England being higher then that of our Neigh­bour [Page] Country, it doth render our Lands (our common Mother) of vile and base esteem; doth prevent the cultivation and improvement of our Country, as otherwise it might and would be improved; doth hinder the growth of Trade and im­ployment and encrease of the Hands of our Country; doth encourage Idleness and Luxury, and discourage Navigation, Industry, Arts and In­vention; then I make no question but the taking of such an Interest as exceeds the measure of our Neigh­bours, is Malum in se, by the light of Nature, and consequently a Sin, although God had never expresly for­bid it.

But the Vsurer may say, suppose the Borrower makes 12 per cent of my Money, is it a Sin in me to take 6 per cent of him? I answer, be­tween them two there may be no commutative Injustice, according to my weak Judgment, while each re­tains a mutual Benefit, the Vsurer [Page] for his Money, the Borrower for his Industry; but in the mean time if the Rate given and taken exceed the Rate of our neighbour Nations, these fatal National evil Conse­quences will ensue to our common Country by such a practice, which therefore I conclude to be Malum in se: And peradventure therefore the Wisdom of God Almighty did prohibit the Iews from lending upon Use one to another, but allowed them to lend to Strangers for the Enrich­ing of their own Nation, and Im­provement of their own Teritory, and for the Impoverishing of others, those to whom they were permitted to lend, being such only whom they were commanded to Destroy, or at least to keep Poor and Miserable, as the Gibeonites, &c. hewers of Wood, and drawers of Water.

I purpose to do the Gentleman that right as not to omit taking no­tice of any thing he hath of novel­ty [Page] in relation to the present Contro­versie, whether it be material or no; and in order thereunto, the next thing I observe new in his Treatise, is, Page 9. It is, saith he, Dearness of Wages that spoils the English Trade, and abases our Lands, not Vsury; and therefore he propounds the making a Law to retrench the Hire of Poor mens Labour, (an honest charitable Project, and well becoming a Usurer) the Answer to this is easie.

1st, I affirm, and can prove he is mistaken in fact, for the Dutch with whom we principally contend in Trade, give generally more Wages to all their Manufacturers by at least two Pence in the Shilling, then the English.

2dly, Where-ever Wages are high universally throughout the whole World, it is an infallible evidence of the Riches of that Country; and where-ever Wages for Labour runs [Page] low, it is a proof of the Poverty of that place.

3 [...]ly, It is multitudes of People, and good Laws, such as cause an encrease of People, which princi­pally Enrich any Country; and if we retrench by Law the [...]abour of our People, we drive them from us to other Countries that give better Rates, and so the Dutch have drain­ed us of our Sea-men and woollen Manufacturers; and We, the French of their Artificers and Silk-Manu­facturers, and of many more we should, if our Laws otherwise gave them fitting encouragement, where­of more in due place.

4thly, If any particular Trades exact more here then in Holland, they are only such as do it by vertue of In­corporations, Priviledges and Char­ters, whereof the cure is easie by an Act of Naturalization, and without Compulsitory Laws.

[Page]It is true our great Great-Grand-Fathers did exercise such a Policy of endeavouring to retrench the price of Labour by a Law (although they could never effect it) but that was before Trade was introduced into this Kingdom; we are since, with the rest of the Trading World, grown Wiser in this matter, and I hope shall so continue.

The next new Objection the Gen­tleman hath, is Page 13. If we abate Interest (said he) will not the Hol­lander take the same course, while we like Children wink, and think no body sees us?

Yes, certainly the Dutch will take the same course, except they leave their old wont, for we never yet a­bated our Interest, but they soon a­bated theirs; but what if they do? We having brought our Interest to 4 per cent, shall have them against a Wall, we know the length of their Tedder, they cannot run much farther [Page] from us, so that if we wink, it is not like Children as the Gentle­man supposeth, but if we take his Advice, we shall wink like Children, while other Nations strike us by a­bating their Interest.

2. If we cannot gain all we would of them presently, we shall gain the more from other Parts of the World, that cannot suddenly abate their Interest to any proportion with ours.

3. Why shall we absolutely con­clude that other Nations will do it? May we not think that some Parts or People in the World, may be as un [...]fore-seeing as this Gentleman pretends to be, and not know it is for their Advantage to lower their Interest, though we know it to be ours?

4. Why may we not think that Corruption, Avarice and Usurers, may be so prevalent in some parts of [Page] the World, as to obstruct so good and National a Work as this?

I omit several other Errors in fact that the Gentleman is guilty of in the course of his Writing, and must needs be so, having taken up his no­tions (for want of Experience) up­on trust from others, who perhaps understand as little as himself, viz. Page 16. he saith, Our vent into Spain and Portugal is greatly lessened, and consequently he reckons them two Trades, among others lost in whole or in part, so great a mistake, that I dare affirm, and appeal to the Record of the Custom-House Books, for a judgment in this case, that those two Trades, as to our native Expor­tations are more then treebled within less then 30. years.

Page 21. he saith, that, If Wages, &c. were as cheap, and Vsury as low with us as in Holland, yet if our Mer­chants live at so great a rate as now they do, how is it possible we should [Page] thrive on as easie Gains as those who spend so much less, and Trade so much more?

I answer, there is nothing in the World will engage our Merchants to spend less and Trade more, than the Abatement of Interest, for the subduing of Interest will bring in multitudes of Traders, as it hath in Holland, to such a degree that al­most all their People of both Sexes are Traders, and the many Traders will necessitate Merchants to Trade for less Profit, and consequently be more frugal in their Expences, which is the true reason why many conside­rable Merchants are against the lessening of Interest, whereof I have said somewhat more in the following Treatise.

Page 43. he propounds another remedy f [...]r the advance of our Trade, and the keeping our Coin at Home, and enlargeth much upon it in his Appendix, which is To [Page] diminish the intrinsick value of our Coin.

If the Gentleman had understood Trade half so well, as he is said to do Mortgages, Bonds and Bills ▪ certain­ly he would not have mentioned this old thred-bare and exploded Project, which is a trick hath been tried so often in Spain, till it hath left them more black Money (as they call it) then white or yellow, notwith­standing their Silver Mines in Peru and Mexico, and that their Laws make it Death to export Gold or Silver.

This Conceit I have known three times experienced likewise in Portu­gal, within this 24 or 25 years, at first the piece of 8 Rials went at 400 Ries, after that was brought to 480, after that to 520, and now to 600 Ries, and yet still we bring their Money from them as heretofore, and sell our Commodities to them for as much Silver as ever.

The reason is evident; suppose [Page] for example, a Hat that was usually sold to them for 4 peices of 8, when the peice of 8 was at 400 Ries, we then sold such a Hat for 1600 Ries, when they raised the peice of eight, 80 Reis per peice more, we sold the same Hat at 2000 Ries, and so rising in proportion as they raised their Coin, the Merchant still observing what the intrinsick value of the Mo­ney is, not the name it is called by, and so it would be in England, or any part of the World.

I have now done with all I can find of novelty in this Gentlemans Treatise, to meddle with old and stale matter, which in other words hath been often said, and as often answered, would be but to trouble the Reader with Impertinencies; so would it likewise to use opprobrious, calumniating Reflections, as he doth covertly in a business of that serious­ness, weight and publick concern­ment as this is; I understand not [Page] the World so little as not to know, that he that will faithfully serve his Country, must be content to pass through good Report and evil Re­port, neither regard I which I meet with, a Truth I am sure at last will vindicate it self, and be found by my Country-men.

Yet before I conclude this Preface, I must needs take notice of one thing to be wondred at, viz. That some had the Confidence publickly to as­sert before the Lords, when this Con­troversie was debated before their Lordships; that when Interest was at 10 per cen [...], Land was sold at 20 years Purchase; a strange, presump­tious and incredible Assertion against Records, against Experience, and against Reason; to which I doubt not but their Lordships will be able to give a full confutation out of their own Memorials, before this be made publick.

And for the Reason of it, will any [Page] Man believe that our Fathers were so stupid, as to lay out their Money in Land, not to see it again in twenty years, when at single Interest at ten per cent they might double their Mo­ney in 10 years, at Interest upon In­terest in seven years?

I have been told by a person of ve­ry great Honour, that this Gentle­man himself in his private discourse, confesseth, that the Abatement of Interest will advance the value of Land; but he questions whether it will encrease Trade; certainly a needless scruple to any Man that shall deliberately consider the insepe­rable affinity that is in all Nations, and at all times between Land and Trade, which are Twins, and have always, and ever will wax and wane together, It cannot be ill with Trade, but Land will fall, nor ill with Lands, but Trade will feel it.

But in regard this Gentleman is so miserably mistaken in the Trades [Page] of Spain and Portugal, which he reckons as lost; I think it may be useful to inform him, and others bet­ter, what Trades are really lost, and enquire how we came to loose them? and what Trades we still retain, and why, and of both as briefly as I can? because I have said something of them in the following Treatise.

Of Trades lost.

1. The Russia Trade, where the Dutch had last year 22 Sail of great Ships, and the Engilsh but one, where­as formerly we had more of that Trade then the Dutch.

2. The Green-land Trade, where the Dutch and Hamburgers have year­ly at least 4 or 500 Sail of Ships, and the English but one the last year, and none the former.

3. The great Trade of Salt from St Vuals in Portugal, and from France, [Page] with Salt, Wine and Brandy to the East-lands.

4. All that vast and notorious Trade of Fishing for white-Herrings upon our own Coast.

5. The East-Country Trade, in which we have not half so much to do as we had formerly, and the Dutch ten times more then they had in times past.

6. A very great part of our Trade for Spanish-Woolls from Bilvao. These Tra [...]es and some more I could name, the Dutch Interest of 3 per cent, and narrow limitted Compa­nies in England have beat us out of.

7. The East-India Trade for Nut­megs, Cloves and Mace, an extra­ordinary profitable Trade, the Dutch Arms and Sleights have beat us out of; but their lower Interest gave strength to their Arms, and acute­ness to their Invention.

[Page]8. Their great Trade for China and Iapan, whereof we have no share) is an effect of their low Interest, those Trades not being to be obtained but by a long process, and great dis­burstments, d [...]stitute of present, but with expectation of future Gain, which 6 per cent cannot bear.

9. The Trades of Scotland and Ire­land ▪ two of our own Kingdoms, the Dutch have bereaved us of, and in eff [...]ct wholly engrossed to them­selves; which their low Interest hath been the principal engine, though I know other accidents have contribu­ted thereunto, whereof more hereafter.

10. The Trade for Norway is in great part lost to the Danes, Holsteners, &c. by reason of some clause in the Act of Navigation, whereof more in due place.

11. A very great part of the French Trade for Exportation is lost, by rea­son of great Impositions laid there upon our Draperies.

[Page]12. A great part of the Plate-Trade from Cadiz is lost to the Dutch, who by reason of the lowness of their Interest, can afford to let their Stocks lie before-hand at Civil and Cadiz, against the arrival of the Spanish Flo­ta, who sometimes are expected 3, 6, 9, and 12 Months before they come, especially since the late inter­ruptions that our Iamaica Capers have given them; by which means they engross the greatest part of the Silver, whereas we, in regard our Stocks run at a higher Interest, can­not so well afford to keep them so long dead. It is true, the English have yet a share in this Trade, by reason of some after recited natural advantages, viz. Woollen-Manu­factures, Tin, Lead, Fish, &c. inse­parably annexed by God's Providence to this Kingdom. It is true likewise, that the Peace at Munster hath much furthered the Dutch in that affair; [Page] but as true it is, that their lower In­terest hath enabled them to make a much greater improvement and ad­vantage in Trade by that Peace, then ever they could otherwise have done.

13. The Trade of Surranham, since the Dutch got possession of that Country in the late War, is so to­tally lost to the English, that we have now no more Commerce with that Country, then we should have if it were sunk in the Sea; so severe and exact are the Hollanders, in keep­ing the Trades of their own Planta­tions intirely to their own People

14. The trade of Menades or New-York, we should have gained instead of the former, since we got possession of that place in the late War, if the Dutch had not bin connived at there­in at first, which now I hope they are not; for if they should be, it would not only be to the intire loss of that Trade to England, but greatly to the prejudice of the English trade to Vir­ginia, [Page] because the Dutch, under pre­tence of trading to and from New-York, carry great quantities of Vir­ginia Tobacco directly for Holland.

15. The English Trade to Guiny I fear is much declined, by reason that Company have met with Dis­couragements from some of our Neighbours.

Note, That most of the afore­mentioned Trades are the greatest Trades in the World, for the em­ployment of Shiping and Sea-men.

2dly, That no Trades deserve so much care to procrue, and preserve, and encouragement to prosecute, as those that employ the most Shiping, although the Commoditities trans­ported be of small value in them­selves; For, first, they are certain­ly the most profitable; for besides the gain accrewing by the Goods, the Freight, which is in such Trades of­ten more then the value of the Goods, is all profit to the Nation; [Page] besides, they bring with them a great access of Power (Hands as well as Money) many Ships and Sea-men being justly the reputed Strength and Safety of England.

I could mention more Trades that we have lost, and are in the High-way to loose, but I shall for­bear at present, for fear this Porch should prove too big, as also for other Reasons.

The Trades we yet retain are;

1st, For Fish, the Trade of Red-Herrings at Yarmouth, Pilchards in the West-Country, and Cod-fish in New-found-land and New-England.

2dly, A good part of the Turkey, Italian, Spanish and Portugal Trades.

Our Trades to and from our own Plantations, viz. Virginia, Barba­does, New-England, Iamaica, and the Leward Islands.

If any shall here ask me, How it comes to pass that the Dutch low Interest hath not cashered u [...] of [Page] these Trades, as well as the former? I shall answer, first generally, and then particularly.

1. Generally I say, the Dutch low Interest hath miserably lessend us in all Trades of the World, not se­cured to us by Laws, or by some natu­ral advantage which over-ballanceth the disproportion of our Interest of Money, which disproportion I take to be 3 per cent.

2. Particularly the Red-Herring Trade we retain, by reason of two natural Advantages, one is, the Fish for that purpose must be brought fresh on Shore, and that the Dutch cannot do with theirs, because the Herrings swim on our Coast, and consequently at too great a distance from theirs.

The other is, those Herrings must be smoked with Wood, which can­not be done on any reasonable terms, but in a woody Country, such as England is, and Holland is not. [Page] These advantages that God hath given our Land do counterpoize, and overpoize the disproportion of Interest, viz. 3 per Cent, otherwise we might say, Farewel Red-Her­ring as well as White.

The Pilchards on the West-Coast likewise come to our Shores, and must be cured and pressed upon the Land, which is impossible for the Dutch to do.

The New-found-land Fishing is managed by West-Country-men, whose Ports are properly scituated for that Country, and the Country it self is his Majesty's; so the Dutch can have no footing there, if they could, 3 per Cent would soon send us home to keep Sheep.

As to the Turkey, Italian, Spanish and Portugal Trades, though our vent for fine Cloth, and some sorts of Stuffs be declined, yet we retain a very considerable part of those Trades, by reason of some Natural, [Page] and some Artificial or Legal Advan­tages, which preponderates 3 per cent, such as these:

1st, The Wool of which our mid­ling and course Clothes are made of, is our own, and consequently cheap­er to us then the Dutch can steal it from us, paying Freights, Com­mission, Bribes and Cousenage, and sometimes armed Guards to force it off.

2dly, Our Fewel and Victual is cheaper in remote parts from London, and consequently our Manufactu­rers can and do work cheaper then the Dutch, whatever Mr Manley erroneously affirms.

3dly, The Red-Herring, Pilchard, New-found-land and New-England Fishery, by which we carry on much of those Trades, are insepara­bly annexed to this Kingdom, as be­fore is demonstrated, and by the bounty of God Almighty, not by our own Wisdom or Industry.

[Page]4thly, Our Lead and Tin by which we carry on much of those Trades, are Natives with us.

5thly, Our Country consumes within it self more of Spanish Wines and Fruit, Zant Currans and Le­vant Oyls, then any Country in Europe.

6thly, Which is an artificial advan­tage (and due to the wisdom of the Contrivers) our Act of Navigation compels us, or at least would do, if it were justly administred, to import none of those Goods but from the proper Ports of their Imbarkation, and by English Shiping only.

The Trades to and from all our own Plantations, are likewise secu­red to us by the Act of Navigation, or would be, if that Act were truly executed, and if it were not for that, you should see forty Dutch Ships at our own Plantations for one English.

To conclude this paragraph, the [Page] Dutch low Interest, through our own supineness, hath robbed us totally of all Trade, not inseperably annexed to this Kingdom by the benevolence of divine Providence, and our Act of Navigation, which, though it have some things in it wanting amend­ment, deserves to be called our (Charta Maritima) insomuch as with shame to our selves, it may be truly said of us, as we Proverbially say to careless Persons, They have lost all that is loose.

When I think of these things, I cannot but wonder that there should be found English men who want not Bread to eat, or Clothes to wear, should be yet so unkind and hard­hearted to their Country, as stre­nuously to endeavour (for private Ends) the depriving her of so great a good, as would be the abatement of our Interest to 4 per Cent, by a Law. I have lately seen a Treatise writ about thirty Years since, by [Page] Lewis Roberts, Merchant, wherein he highly exaggerates (and with great Reason) the wonderful ad­vantage the Dutch have by the low­ness of their Customs, but seeing an exact imitation in that respect is not consistant with our Affairs at pre­sent, though much to be desired in due time. I insist not thereupon, but think it necessary by the way, to make this true Animadversion, viz. That 2 per Cent. extraordinary in Interest is worse then 4 per Cent. extraordinary in Customs, because Customs run only upon our Goods imported or exported, and that but once for all; whereas Interest runs as well upon our Ships, as Goods, and must be yearly paid on both so long as they are in being, and the Ships in many bulkey Trades, and such as are Nationally most profitable, are of four times the value of the Goods.

That old Objection about Wi­dows [Page] and Orphans, I have I think fully answered in my former Trea­tise, but because I yet sometimes meet with it, I shall say a Word more to it here, viz.

1. Widows and Orphans are not one to twenty of the whole People; and its the Wisdom of Law-makers to pro­vide for the good of the Majority of People, though a Minor part should a little suffer.

2. Of Widows and Orphans, not one in forty will suffer by the abatement of Interest for these Reasons, viz.

1st, Of Widows and Orphans nine of ten in this Kingdom have very little or nothing at all left them by their deceased Relations, and all such will have an advantage by the abatement of Interest, because such abatement will encrease Trade, and in consequence occasion more em­ployment for such necessitous Per­sons.

2dly, Many Widows and Orphans [Page] have Ioyntures, Annuities, Coppy-Holds, and other Lands left them, as well as Money; and all such will be gainers by the abatement of In­terest.

3dly, For all London Orphans the City gives not now above 5, and to some 4 per cent. Interest, so the loss to such is not worth speaking of.

4thly, Many Executors are so un­worthy as to allow Orphans no In­terest, and yet justifie themselves by Law; to such Orphans it will be all one what the legal rate of Inte­rest be.

5thly, When the Law for abate­ment of Interest is past, many more Parents will leave their Children Annuities and Estates running in Trade, as they do in Holland and Italy, whereby the abatement of In­terest will become profitable, not pre­judicial to them.

And for the few that at first may [Page] happen to suffer, whereof the num­ber will be very small (and there­fore not to be named in competition with the common good of the King­dom) they have an easie means within their own Power, to prevent their being one Farthing the worse for the abatement of Interest; it is but wearing a Lawn-Whisk instead of a Point de Venice; and for the meaner sort a Searge Petty-Coat, instead of a Silk one, and a plain pair of Shoes instead of laced ones. And that the Ladies may not be offended with me, I dare undertake that this will never spoil, but mend their Marriages; besides the grea­ter good it will bring to their Coun­try, and to their Posterities after them, whether they prove to be Noblemen, Gentlemen or Mer­chants, &c.

I have in several places of my ensu­ing Treatise, referred to some Tracts I formerly published upon this sub­ject, [Page] which being now wholly out of Print, I thought fit to Re-print and annex unto this, which at first I intended not.

Some there are who would grant that abatement of Interest, if it could be effected, would procure to the Nation all the good that I alledge it will bring with it, but say it is not practicable, or at least not now.

1. A needless scruple, and con­tradictory to experience, for first, a Law hath abated Interest in Eng­land, three times within these few Years already; and what should hinder its effect now more then formerly?

2. If a Law will not do it, why do the Vsurers raise such a dust, and engage so many Friends to oppose the passing of an Act to this purpose?

The true reason is, because they are wise enough to know that a Law will certainly do it, as it hath done already, though they would perswade others the contrary. And [Page] if it be doubted we have not Money enough in England. Besides what I have said in my former Treatise as to the encrease of our Riches in ge­neral, I shall here give some further Reasons of probability, which are the best that can be expected in this case, to prove that we have now much more Money in England then we had twenty Years past.

Notwithstanding the seeming scarcity at present, if I should look further back then twenty years, the argument would be stronger on my side, and the proportion of the en­crease of Money greater, and more perspicuous; but I shall confine my self to that time which is within most mens Memories.

1. We give generally now one third more Money with Appren­tices then we did twenty years past.

2. Notwithstanding the decay and loss of sundry Trades and Ma­nufactures, yet in the gross we Ship off now one third part more of the [Page] Manufactures, as also Lead and Tin, then we did twenty years past, which is a cause, as well as a proof of our increase of Money.

If any doubt this, if they please to consult Mr Dickins, Surveyor of his Majesties Customs, who is the best able I know living, and hath taken the most pains in these Calculations, he may be satisfactorily resolved.

3. Houses new built in London yield twice the Rent they did be­fore the Fire; and Houses generally immediately before the Fire yield­ed about one fourth part more Rent then they did twenty years past.

4. The speedy and costly build­ings of London is a convincing (and to Strangers an amazing) Argu­ment of the plenty, and late encrease of Money in England.

5. We have now more then double the quantity of Merchants Shiping we had twenty years past.

6. The course of our Trade from the increase of our Money is strange­ly [Page] altered within these twenty years, most Payments from Merchants and Shop-keepers being now made with ready Money, whereas formerly the course of our general Trade run at three, six, nine, twelve and eighteen Months time.

But if this case be so clear, some may ask me, How comes it to pass that all sorts of men complain so much of the scarcity of Money, especially in the Country?

My answers to this Query are, viz.

1. This proceeds from the Frail­ty and Corruption of humane Na­ture, it being natural for men to complain of the present, and com­mend the times past; so said they of Old, The former days were better then these; and I can say in truth, upon my own Memory, that men did complain as much of the scarcity of Money, ever since I knew the world as they do now; nay, the very same Persons that now complain of this, and commend that time.

[Page]2. And more particularly, This complaint proceeds from many mens finding themselves uneasie in the mat­ters of their Religion, it being na­tural for men, when they are dis­contented at one thing, to complain of all, and principally to utter their discontents and complaints in those things which are most popular. Those that hate a man for some one cause, will seldom allow of any thing that is good in him; and some that are angry with one person, or thing, will find fault with others that gave them no offence; like peevish Per­sons that meeting discontent abroad, coming home, quarrel with their Wifes, Children, Servants, &c.

3. And more especially this com­plaint in the Country, proceeds from the late practice of bringing up the Tax-Money in Wagons to London, which did doubtless cause a scarcity of Money in the Country.

4. And principally this seeming [Page] scarcity of Money proceeds from the Trade of Bankering, which obstructs circulation, advanceth Usury, and renders it so easie, that most Men as soon as they can make up a Sum of 50 l. or a 100 l. send it into the Gold-Smith; Which doth, and will occasion while it lasts, that fatal pressing necessity for Money, so visible through­out the whole Kingdom, both to Prince and People.

From what hath been last said, it appears the matter in England is pre­pared for the abatement of Interest which as Sr Henry Blunt, (an hon­ourable Member of his Majesties Council of Trade) well said before the Lords at the debate, is the Unum Magnum towards the pros­perity of this Kingdom: It is a generative good, and will bring ma­ny other good things with it.

I shall conclude with two or three Requests to the Reader.

1. That he would Read, and con­sider [Page] what he Reads, with an entire Love to his Country, void of pri­vate interests, and former ill ground­ed impressions received into his mind, to the prejudice of this princi­ple.

2. That he would Read all (mind­ing the matter, not the stile) before he make a judgment.

3. That in all his meditations up­on these Principles, he would wari­ly distinguish between the Profit of the Merchant and the Gain of the Kingdom, which are so far from be­ing always parallels, that frequent­ly they run counter one to the other, although most Men by their Educa­tion and Business, having fixed their eye and aim wholly upon the for­mer, do usually confound these two in their Thoughts and Discourses of Trade, or else mistake the former for the latter; from which false mea­sures have proceeded, many vulgar errors in Trade, some whereof by [Page] reason of Mens frequent mistakings, as afore-said, are become almost Proverbial, and often heard out of the Mouths, not only of the common People, but of Men that might know better, if they would duly consider the afore-said distinction.

Some of the said common Prover­bial errors are, viz.

1. Vulgar Error; We have too ma­ny Merchants already.

2. The Stock of England is too big for the Trade of England.

3. No Man should exercise two Call­ings.

4. Especially no Shop-keeper ought to be a Merchant.

5. Luxury and some Excess may be profitable.

6. We have people enough, and more then we can employ.

7. To suffer Artificers to have as many Apprentices as they will, is to de­stroy Trade.

8. The admission of Strangers is to [Page] call in others to eat the Bread out of our own Mouthes.

9. No man ought to Live and Trade in a Corporation, that is not a Free-man of the place.

10. Nor should any be Free-men, that are not the sons of Free-men, or have served seven years Appren­tiship.

11. Its better we Trade but for a hundred pound at 20 per cent. profit, then for three hundred at 10 per cent. profit, and so pro rata.

12. Our Plantations depopulate, and consequently impoverish England; with abundance more that might be na­med, but that many of them are occasionally hinted, and I hope them and others confuted in the following Discourse.

By what hath been said, and what follows, as well as by what most Men observe; It is evident that this Kingdom is wonderfully [...]itted by the bounty of God Almighty for a great [Page] Progression in Wealth and Power; and that the only means to arrive at both or either of them, is to improve and advance Trade▪ and that the way to those Improvements is not hedg­ed up with thorns, nor hidden from us in the dark, or intrigued with dif­ficulties, but very natural and facile, if we would set about them, and be­gin the right way, casting off some of our old mistaken Principles in Trade, which we inherit from our Ancestors, who were Souldiers, Hunts-men, and Herds-men, and therefore necessarily unskilful in the Mysteries of, and Methods to im­prove Trade (though their▪ natural Parts were nothing inferiour to ours) Trade being but a novel thing in England, comparatively to other parts of the World; and in my opinion not yet advanced to the one fifth part of improvement that this Land is capable of, and I think no true English-man will deny that the season [Page] [...]ries aloud to us to be up and doing, before our Fields become unoccupied, and before the Dutch get too much the whip-hand of us, whom (in such a case were they freed from their French fears which they labour under at present) I fear we should find as severe task-Masters, as ever the Athenians were to the lesser Trading Cities of Greece.

Neither are the Dutch the only Neighbours we have at this time for corrivals in Trade, but the French King and King of Sweeden are now as active, circumspect, industrious and prospective too in this Affair; and have, and are ordering things as pru­dently for promoting thereof, as the Dutch themselves.

When I began to Write this Trea­tise, I intended not to enlarge upon so many particulars, and the rather because nothing can be said for pub­lick good, but will cross the particu­lar ends, as well as the opinions of [Page] many private persons, and still the more is said, the more are disobliged, but my Duty to my Country over­coming those doubtful Considerati­ons, I have adventured this second time to expose my Conceptions to publick censure, with this confidence, that after these Principles have suf­fered the accustomary Persecution of Tongues and Pens, naturally and con­stantly accompanying all new Pro­posals for a while, they will at length the most, if not all of them, or some­thing very like them, come to be ge­nerally received and honoured with the publick Sanction, by being pas­sed into Laws (gradually not at once) concerning the time whereof I am not careful, but for my Coun­tries sake, I could wish it might be shortened.


  • First, A Discourse Concerning Trade, &c.
  • Chap. I. A short Reply to a Treatise, entituled, Interest of Money Mistaken, p. 1.
  • Chap. II. Concerning the Relief and Employ­ment of the Poor, p. 55.
  • Chap. III. Concerning Companies of Merchants, p. 80.
  • Chap. IV. Concerning the Act of Navigation, p. 90.
  • [Page]Chap. V. Concerning Transferrance of Debts, p. 106.
  • Chap. VI. Concerning a Court-Merchant, p. 112.
  • Chap. VII. Concerning Naturalization, p. 122.
  • Chap. VIII. Concerning Wool and Wollen Manu­factures, p. 127.
  • Chap. IX. Concerning the Ballance of Trade, p. 135.
  • Chap. X. Concerning Plantations, p. 164.
  • A small Treatise against Vsury, p. 205.

A DISCOURSE Concerning Trade, &c.

THE Prodigious increase of the Netherlanders in their Dome­stick and Foreign Trade, Riches, and multitude of Shipping, is the Envy of the present, and may be the wonder of all future Generations: And yet the means whereby they have thus advanced themselves, are sufficiently obvious, and in a great measure imitable by most other Nati­ons, but more easily by us of this King­dom of England, which I shall endea­vour to demonstrate in the following Discourse.

Some of the said means by which [Page 2] they have advanced their Trade, and thereby improved their Estates are these following.

First, They have in their greatest Councils of State and War, Trading-Merchants that have lived abroad in most parts of the World; who have not only the Theoretical Knowledge, but the practical Experience of Trade, by whom Laws and Orders are contri­ved, and Peaces with foreign Princes projected, to the great Advantage of their Trade.

Secondly, Their Law of Gavel-kind, whereby all their Children possess an e­qual share of their Fathers Estates after their decease, and so are not left to wrastle with the World in their youth, with inconsiderable assistance of Fortune, as most of our youngest Sons of Gen­tlemen in England are, who are bound Apprentices to Merchants.

Thirdly, Their exact making of all their Native Commodities, and pack­ing of their Herrings, Codfish, and all other Commodities, which they send a­broad in great quantities; the conse­quence whereof is, That the repute of their said Commodities abroad, conti­nues [Page 3] always good, and the Buyers will accept of them by the Marks, without opening; whereas the Fish which our English make in New-found-Land and New-England, and Herrings at Yarmouth, often prove false and deceitfully made; and our Pilchards from the West-Country false packed, seldom containing the quantity for which the Hogsheads are marked in which they are packed.

And in England the attempts which our Fore-fathers made for Regulating of Manufactures, when left to the Ex­ecution of some particular person, in a short time resolved but into a Tax up­on the Commodity, without respect to the goodness thereof; as most notori­ously appears in the business of the AULNAGE, which doubtless our Predecessors intended for a scrutiny in­to the goodness of the Commodity; and to that purpose a Seal was invented, as a signal that the Commodity was made according to the Statutes, which Seals it is said, may now be bought by Thousands, and put upon what the Buyers please.

Fourthly, Their giving great incou­ragement and immunities to the Inven­tors [Page 4] of New-Manufactures, and the Discoverers of any New Mysteries in Trade, and to those that shall bring the Commodities of other Nations first in use and practice amongst them; for which the Author never goes without his due Reward allowed him at the Pub­lick Charge.

Fifthly, Their Contriving and Build­ing of great Ships to sail with small charge, not above one third of what we are at, for Ships of the same Bur­then in England; and compelling their said Ships (being of small Force) to sail always in Fleets, to which in all time of danger they allow Convoy.

Sixthly, Their parcimonious and thrif [...]y Living, which is so extraordina­ry, that a Merchant of One hundred thousand Pound Estate with them, will scarce spend so much per annum, as one of Fifteen hundred Pounds Estate in London.

Seventhly, The Education of their Children, as well Daughters as Sons; all which, be they of never so great Quality or Estate, they always take care to bring up to write perfect good [Page 5] Hands, and to have the full knowledge and use of Arithemetick and Merchants-Accounts; the well understanding and practice whereof, doth strangely infuse into most that are the owners of that Quality, of either Sex, not only an A­bility for Commerce of all kinds, but a strong aptitude, love and delight in it; and in regard the Women are as knowing therein as the Men, it doth incourage their Husbands to hold on in their Trades to their dying days, knowing the capacity of their Wives to get in their Estates, and carry on their Trades after their Deaths: Whereas if a Merchant in England ar­rive at any considerable Estate, he com­monly with-draws his Estate from Trade, before he comes near the con­fines of old Age; reckoning that if God should call him out of the World, while the main of his Estate is engaged abroad in Trade, he must lose one third of it, through the unexperience and unaptness of his Wife to such Affairs, and so it usually falls out.

Besides, it hath been observed in the nature of Arithmetick, that like other parts of the Mathematicks, it doth not [Page 6] only improve the Rational Faculties, but inclines those that are expert in it to Thriftiness and good-Husbandry, and prevents both Husbands and Wives in some measure from running out of their Estates, when they have it always rea­dy in their Heads what their Expences do amount to, and how soon by that course their Ruin must overtake them.

Eightly, The lowness of their Customs, and the height of their Excise, which is certainly the most equal and indiffe­rent Tax in the World, and least pre­judical to any people, as might be made appear, were it the subject of this Dis­course.

Ninthly, The careful providing for, and employment of their Poor, which it is easie to demonstrate can never be done in England comparatively to what it is with them, while it's left to the care of every Parish to look after their own only.

Tenthly, Their use of BANKS, which are of so immence advantage to them, that some not without good grounds have estimated the Profit of them to the Publick, to amount to at [Page 7] least one Million of Pounds sterling per annum.

Eleventhly, Their Toleration of diffe [...]ent Opinions in matters of Religion: by rea­son whereof many industrious People of other Countries, that dissent from the E­stablished Government of their own Churches, resort to them with thetr Families and E­states, and after a few years co-habitation with them; become of the same Common in­terest.

Twelfthly, Their Law-Merchant, By which all Controversies between Mer­chants and Tradesmen are decided in three or four days time, and that not at the fortieth part (I might say in many cases not the hundredth part) of the charge they are with us.

Thirteenthly, The Law that is in use among them for Transferrence of Bills for D [...]bt from one Man to another: This is of extraordinary advantage to them in their Commerce; by means where­of, they can turn their Stocks twice or thrice in Trade, for once that we can in England; for that having sold our Foreign Goods here, we cannot buy again to advantage, till we are possest of our Money; which it may [Page 8] be we shall be six, nine, or twelve Months in recovering: And if what we sell be considerable, it is a good Man's work all the Year to be follow­ing Vintners and Shop-keepers for Mo­ney. Whereas, were the Law for Transferring Bills in practice with us, we could presently after sale of our Goods, dispose of our Bills, and close up our Accounts. To do which, the Advantage, ease, and Accommodations it would be to Trade, is so great, that none but Merchants that have lived where that custom is in use, can value to its due proportion.

Fourteenthly, Their keeping up PUB­LICK REGISTERS of all Lands and Houses, Sold or Mortgaged, where­by many chargable Law-Suits are pre­vented, and the securities of Lands and Houses rendred indeed, such as we com­monly call them, REAL SECU­RITIES.

Lastly, The lowness of Interest of Mo­ney with them, which in peaceable times exceeds not three per cent per annum; and is now during this War with England, not above four per cent at most.

[Page 9]Some more Particulars might be ad­ded, and those aforesaid further im­proved, were it my purpose to dis­course at large of Trade. But seeing most of the former Particulars are ob­served and granted by all men that make it any part of their business, to in­spect the true nature and Principles of Trade; but the last is not so much as taken notice of by the most Ingenious, to be any Cause of the great encrease of the Riches and Commerce of that people.

I shall therefore in this Paper confine my self to write principally my Ob­servations touching that, viz.

The Profit That People have received, and any other may receive, by reducing the Interest of Money to a very low rate.

This in my poor opinion, is the Cau­sa Causans of all the other causes of the Riches of that People; and that if Interest of Money were with us reduced to the same rate it is with them, it would in a short time render us as rich and considerable in Trade as they now are, and consequently be of greater damage to them, and advantage to us, then can happen by the Issue of this pre­sent [Page 10] War, though the success of it should be as good as we can wish, ex­cept it end in the [...]r total Ruin and Ex­tirpation.

To illustrate this, let us Impartial­ly search our Books, and enquire what the state and condition of this Kingdom was, as to Trade and Riches, before any Law concerning Interest of Money was made: The first whereof that I can find, was Anno 1545. and we shall be informed that the Trade of England then was Inconsiderable, and the Mer­chants very mean and few: And that afterwards, viz. Anno 1635. within ten Years after Interest was brought down to eight per Cent, there was more Merchants to be found upon the Ex­change worth each One Thousand Pounds and upwards, then were in the former dayes, viz. before the Year 1600. to be found worth One Hundred Pounds each.

And now since Interest hath been for about twenty Years at six per Cent, not­withstanding our long civil Wars, and the great complaints of the deadness of Trade, there are more men to be found upon the Exchange now worth Ten thou­sand [Page 11] Pounds Estates, then were then of One thousand Pounds.

And if this be doubted, let us ask the aged, whether five hundred pounds Portion with a Daughter sixty Years ago, were not esteemed a larger pro­portion then Two thousand pounds is now: And whether Gentlewomen in those dayes would not esteem themselves well cloathed in a Searge Gown, which a Chamber-Maid now will be ashamed to be se [...]n in: Whether our Citizens and middle sort of Gentry now are not more rich in Cloaths, Plate, Jewels, and Houshold-Goods, &c. then the best sort of Knights and Gentry were in those days. And whether our best sort of Knights and Gentry now do not exceed by much in those things the Nobility of England sixty Years past: Many of whom then would not go to the price of a whole Sattin-Doublet; the Em­broiderer being yet living, who hath as­sured me he hath made many hundreds of them for the Nobility with Canvas backs

Which way ever we take our mea­sures, to me it seems evident, that since our first abatement of Interest, the [Page 12] Riches and Splendor of this Kingdom is increased to above four (I might say above six) times so much as it was.

We have now almost One hundred Coaches for one we had formerly. We with ease can pay a greater Tax now in one Year, then our Fore fathers could in twenty.

Our Customs are very much improved, I believe above the proportion afore­said, of six to one, which is not so much in advance of the Rates of Goods, as by encrease of the bulk of Trade; for though some Foreign Commodities are advanced, others of our Native Com­modities and Manufactures are conside­rably abated, by the last Book of Rates.

I can my self remember since there were not in London used so many Wharfs or Keys for the Landing of Merchants Goods, by at least one third part as now there are; and those that were then, could scarce have Imployment for half what they could do; and now notwithstand­ing one third more used to the same purpose, they are all too little in a time of Peace, to land the Goods at, that come to London.

If we look into the Country, we shall [Page 13] find Lands as much Improved since the abatement of Interest, as Trade, &c. in Cities; that now yielding twenty Years purchase, which then would not have sold for above eight or ten at most

Besides, the Rent of Farms have been for these last thirty Years much advanced; and although they have for these th [...]ee or four last years fallen, that hath no respect at all to the lowness of Interest at present, nor to the other mistaken Reasons which are commonly assigned for it.

But principally to the vast Improve­ment of [...]reland, since a great part of it was lately possess [...]d by the Industrous English, who were Soldiers in the late A [...]my, and the late great Land-Taxes.

More might be said, but the Premi­ses being considered, I judge will suffi­ciently demonstrate how greatly this Kingdom of England hath been advanc'd in all respects for these last fifty Years: And that the abatement of Interest hath been the cause thereof, to me seems most probable; because as it appears, it hath been in England, so I find it is at this day in all Europe, and other parts of the World: Insomuch that to know whe­ther [Page 14] any Country be rich or poor, or in what proportion it is so, no other Question n [...]eds to be resolved, but this, viz. What Interest do they pay for Money? Near home we see it evidently, in Scotland and Ireland, where ten and twelve per Cent is paid for Interest, the People are poor and despicable, their Persons ill cloathed, their Houses worse provided, and Money intollerably scarce, notw [...]thstanding they have great plenty of all [...]rovisions, nor will their Land yield above eight or ten Years purchase at most.

In France where Money is at seven per Cent, their Lands will yield about eighteen Years purchase; and the Gen­try who may possess Lands, live in good condition, though the [...]easants are little better then Slaves, because they can possess nothing but at the will of others.

In Italy Money will not yield above three per Cent, to be let out upon real Security, there the People are rich, full of Trade, well attired, and their Lands will sell at thirty five to forty Years purchase; and that it is so, or better with them in Holland, is too manifest.

In Spain the usual Interest is ten and [Page 15] twelve per Cent, and there, notwith­standing they have the only Trade in the World for Gold and Silver, Money is no where more scarce; the people poor, despicable, and void of Commerce, other then such as English, Dutch, Ita­lians, Iews, and other Foreigners bring to them; who are to them in effect, but as Leeches, who suck their Blood and vital Spirits from them.

I might urge many other Inst [...]nces of this nature, not only out of Christendom, but from under the Turks Dominions, East-Ind [...]a and America: But every man by his Eperience in Foreign Countries, may eas [...]y inform himself, whether this Rule do universally hold true or not: For my own part, to satisfie my own curiosity, I have for some Years, as oc­casion offered, diligently enquired of all my acquaintance that had knowledge of foreign Countries, and I can truly say that I never found it to fail in any particular Instance.

Now if upon what hath been said, it be granted that defacto, this Kingdom be richer at least four-fold, (I might say eight-fold) then it was before any Law for Interest was made, and that all Coun­tries [Page 16] are at this day richer or poorer in an exact proportion to what they pay, and have usually paid for the I [...]terest of Mo [...]ey; it remains that we enquire carefully, whe­ther the abatement of Interest be in truth the Cause of the Riches of any Coun­try, or only the Concomitant or Effect of the Riches of a Country; in which seems to lie the Intricacy of this Que­stion.

To satisfie my self wherein, I have taken all opportunities to discourse this point, with the most ingenious men I had the Honour to be known to, and have searcht for, and read all the Books that I could ever hear were printed against the Abatement of Interest, and seriously considered all the Arguments and Objections used by them against it: All which have tended to confirm me in this opinion, which I bumbly offer to the consideration of wiser Heads, viz. That the Abatement of Interest is the Cause of the Prosperity & Riches of any Nation, and that the bringing down of Inte [...]est in this Kingdom from six to four, or three per Cent, will necessarily, in less then twenty Years time, double the Capital Stock of the Nation.

[Page 17]The most material Objections I have met with against it, are as follows:

Object. 1. To abate Interest, will cause the Dutch, and other People that have Mo­ney put out at Interest in England, by their Friends and Factors, to c [...]ll home their Estates, and consequently will occasion a great scarcity and want of Money amongst us.

To this I answer, That i [...] Interest be brought but to four pe [...] Cent, no Dutch­man will call in his Money that is out upon good Security in England, because he cannot make above three per Ce [...]t of it upon Interest at home. But if they should call home all the Money they have with us at Interest, it would be better for us than if they did it not; for the Borrower is alwayes a slave to the Lender, and shall be sure to be always kept poor, while the other is fat and full: HE THAT USETH A STOCK THAT IS NONE OF HIS OWN, BEING FORCED FOR THE UPHOLDING HIS REPUTATION TO LIVE TO THE FULL, IF NOT ABOVE THE PROPORTION OF WHAT HE DOTH SO USE, WHILE THE LEN­DER POSSESING MUCH, AND [Page 18] USING LITTLE OR NONE, LIVE ONLY AT THE CHARGE OF WHAT HE USETH, AND NOT OF WHAT HE HATH

Besides, if with this Law for abate­ment of Interest, a Law for Transfer­ring Bills of Debt should pass, we should not miss the Dutch Money, were it ten times as much as it is amongst us; for that such a Law will certainly supply the the defect of at least one half of all the ready Money we have in use in the Nation.

Object. 2. If Interest be abated, Land mus [...] [...]ise in purchase, and conseque [...]tly [...] if Rents, then the Fruits of the Land; and so all things will be dear, and how sha [...] the Poor live? &c.

Answ. To this I say, If it follow that the Fruits of our Land, in consequen [...]e of such a Law for abatement of Interest, grow generally dear, [...]t is an evident demonstration that our People grow richer; for generally, where-ever Provi­sions are for continuance of Years dear in any Country, the People are rich; and where they are most cheap throughout the World, for the most part the People are very poor.

[Page 19]And for our own Poor in England, it is observed, That they live better in the dearest Countries for Provisions, than in the cheap­est, and better in a dear year than in a cheap, (especially in relation to the publick good) for that in a cheap Year they will not work above two dayes in a Week; their humour being such, that they will not provide for a hard time; but just work so much and no more, as may maintain them in that mean condi­tion to which they have been accustomed.

Object. 3 If Interest be abated, Vsurers will call in their Money; so what shall Gentle­men do, whose Estates are Mortgaged? &c.

Answ. I answer, That when they know they can make no more of their Money by taking out of one, and putting it in another hand, they will not be so for­ward as they th [...]eaten, to alter that Se­curity they know is good, for another that may be bad: Or if they should do it, our Laws are not so severe, but that Gentlemen may take time to dispose of part of their Land, which immediately after such a Law will yield them thirty years purchase at least, and much better it is for them so to do, than to abide [Page 20] longer under that consuming Plague of Usury, which hath insensibly destroyed very many of the best Families in Eng­land, as well of our Nobility as Gen­try.

Object. 4. As Interest is now at six per cent, the Kings Majesty upon any emergency can hardly be supplied; and if it should be reduced to four per cent, how shall the King find a considerable sum of Money to be lent him by his People?

Answ. I answer, The abatement of Interest to the People, is the abatement of Interest to the King, when he hath occasion to take up Money: For what is borrowed of the City of London, or other Bodies Politick, nothing can be de­manded but the legal Interest; and if the King have occasion to take up Mo­ney of private Persons, being his Ma­jesty, according to good right, is above the common course of Law, the King must, and always hath given more then the legal Rate. As for instance: The legal Rate is now six per cent, but his Majesty, or such as have disposed of his Majesties Exchequer-Tallies, have been said to give ten and twelve in some cases; [Page 21] and if the legal Rate were ten, his Ma­jesty might probably give thirteen or fourteen: So if Interest be brought to four per cent, his Majesty in such cases as he now gives ten, must give six or seven; by which his Majesty would have a clear advantage.

Object. 5. If Interest be abated, it will be a great prejudice to Widows and Orphans, who have not Knowledge and Abilities to im­prove their Estates otherwise.

Answ. I answer, That by our Law now, Heirs and Orphans can recover no Interest from their Parents Executors, except it be left fully and absolutely to the Executors to dispose and put out Money at the discretion of the Execu­tors, for the profit and loss of the Heirs and Orphans: And if it be so left to the Exccutors discretion, they may im­prove the Monies left them in Trade, or purchase of Lands and Leases, as well as by interest: Or when not, the da­mage such Heirs and Orphans will sustain in their minority, (being but two per cent) is inconsiderable, in respect of the great advantage will accrew to the Na­tion in generel, by such abatement of [...]nterest.

[Page 22]Besides, when such a Law is made and in use, all Men will so take care in their Life to provide for, and educate their Children, and instruct their Wives, as that no prejudice can happen thereby; as we see there doth not in Holland and Italy, and other places where Interest is so low.

Having now offered my thoughts in answer to the aforesaid Objections, it will not be amiss, that we enquire who will be advantaged, and who will re­ceive prejudice, in case such a Law be made.

First, His Majesty, as hath been said in answer to that Objection, will, when he hath occasion, take up Money on better terms: Besides which, He will receive a great Augmentation to his Re­venue thereby, all his Lands being imme­diately worth, after the making such a Law, double to what they were before; his Customs will be much increas'd by the increase of Trade, which must necessa­rily insue upon the making such a Law.

The Nobility and Gentry, whose Estates lie mostly in Land, may presently upon [Page 23] all they have, instead of Fifty, write one Hundred.

The Merchants and Tradesmen, who bear the Heat and Burthen of the Day, (most of our Trade being carried on by young Men that take up Money at In­terest) will find their Yoak sit lighter upon their Shouldiers, and be incouraged to go on with greater alacrity in their Business.

Our Marriners, Shipwrights, Porters, Cloathiers, Packers, and all sorts of La­bouring People that depend on Trade, will be more constantly and fully employ­ed.

Our Farmers sell the product of their Lands at better rates. And whereas our Neighbours the Netherlanders (who in regard of the largeness of their Stocks, and Experiences, the Sons continually succeeding the Fathers in Trade to many Generations, we may not unfitly in this case term Sons of Anach, and Men of renown) against whom we sight Dwarfs and Pigmies in Stocks and Experience, be­ing younger Brothers of Gentlemen that sel­dom have above one Thousand [...]ounds, sometimes not two Hundred to begin the World with: Instead I say of such [Page 24] young Men and small Stocks (if this Law pass) we shall bring forth out Sampsons and Goliahs in Stocks, subtilty, and experience in Trade to coap with our potent Adversaries on the other side; there being to every Mans knowledge that understands the Exchange of Lon­don, divers English Merchants of large Estates, which have not much past their middle-Age, and yet have wholly left off their Trades, having found the sweetness of Interest, which if that should abate, must again set their Hands to the Plough, (which they are as able to hold and govern now as ever) and also will engage them to train up their Sons in the same way, because it will not be so easie to make them Country-Gentlemen as now it is, when Lands sell at thirty or fourty years Purchase.

For the Sufferers by such a Law, I know none but idle Persons that lives at as little Expence as Labour, Neither scat­tering by their Expences, so as the Poor may Glean any thing after them, nor Working with their Hands or Heads to bring either Wax or Honey to the common Hive of the Kingdom; but swelling their own Purses by the sweat of other Mens Brows, and the con­trivances [Page 25] of other Mens Brains: And how unprofitable it is for any Nation, to suffer Idleness to suck the Breasts of In­dustry; needs no Demonstration. And if it be granted me, that these will be the effects of an Abatement of Interest, then I think it is out of doubt, that the Abatement of Interest doth tend to the En­riching of a Nation, and consequently, hath been one great cause of the Riches of the Dutch and Italians, and the encrease of the Riches of our own Kingdom in these last fifty years.

Another Argument to prove which, we may draw from the nature of Inte­rest it self, which is of so prodigious a Multiplying nature, that it must of necessity make the Lenders monstrous Rich, (if they live at any moderate Ex­pence) and the Borrowers extream Poor: A memorial instance whereof, we have in Old Audley deceased, who did wisely observe, That one Hundred Pounds only, put out at Interest at ten per cent, doth in seventy years (which is but the Age of a Man) increase to above one Hundred Thousand Pounds: And if the Advantage be so great to the Lender, the Loss must be greater to the Bor­rower, [Page 26] who (as hath been said) lives at a much larger Expence. And as it is between private Persons, so between Nation and Nation, that have Commu­nication one with another. For whe­ther the Subjects of one Nation lend Money to Subjects of another, or Trade with them for Goods, the effect is the same. As for example, A Dutch Mer­chant that hath but four or five Thousand Pounds clear Stock of his own, can easi­ly borrow and have credit for fifteen Thousand Pounds more at three per cent at Home; with which, whether he Trade or put it to Use in England, or any Country where Interest of Money is high, he must necessarily (without very evil Accidents attend him) in a ve­ry few years, treble his own Capi­tal.

This discovers the true cause, why the Sugar-Bakers of Holland can afford to give a greater price for Barbadoes Su­gars in London, besides the second Freight and Charges upon them between England and Holland, and yet grow exceeding Rich upon their Trade: Whereas our Sugar-Bakers in London, that buy Sugars here at their own Doors, before [Page 27] such additional Freight and Charges come upon them, can scarce live upon their Callings, ours here paying for a good share of their Stocks six per cent, and few of them employ in their Sugar-works, above six to ten Thousand Pounds at most: Whereas in Holland they employ twenty, thirty, to fourty Thousand Pounds Stock in a Sugar-House, paying but three per cent at most for what they take up at Interest, to fill up their said Stocks, which is sometimes half, sometimes three quarters of their whole Stocks. And as it is with this Trade, the same Rules holds throughout all other Trades whatsoever. And for us to say, if the Dutch put their Money to Interest among us, we shall have the advantage by being full and flush of Coin at Home; it is a mear Chymera, and so far from an Advantage, that it is an extream Loss, rendring us only in the condition of a young Gallant, that hath newly Mortgaged his Land, and with the Money thereby raised, stuffes his Pockets, and looks big for a time, not considering that the draught of Cordial he hath received, though it be at present grateful to his Pallat, doth [Page 28] indeed prey upon his vital Spirits; and will in a short time render the whole body of his Estate in a deep Consumpti­on, if not wholly consumed: Besides, whatever Money the Dutch lends us, they always keep one end of the Chain at home in their own Hands; by which they can pull back when they please their Lean Kine which they send hither to be fat­ted.

This makes me conclude that Moses (that Wise Legislator) in his forbidding the Iews to lend Money at use one to an­other, and permitting them to lend their Money to Strangers, ordained that Law as much to a Political as a Religious intent; knowing that by the latter they should Enrich their own Nation, and by the former no publick Goods could insue; the consequence being only to Impove­rish one Iew to make another Rich.

This likewise takes off the wonder how the People of Israel, out of so small a Territory as they possessed, could up­on all occasions set forth such vast and numerous Armies (almost incredible) as all Histories, sacred and prophane, report they did; which is neither im­possible nor strange to any that have well [Page 29] considered the effects of their Laws con­crning Vsury, which were sufficient to make any barren Land fruitful, and a fruit­ful Land an entire Garden, which by con­sequence would maintain ten times the number of Inhabitants that the same Tract of Land would do where no such Laws were.

To conclude, it is, (I think) agreed on by all, That Merchants, Artificers, Farmers of Land, and such as depend on them, (which for brevity-sake we may here include under one of these general terms) viz. Sea-men, Fisher-men, Bree­ders of Cattel, Gardners, &c. are the three sorts of People which by their Study and Labour do principally, if not only, bring in Wealth to a Nation from abroad; other kinds of People, viz. Nobility, Gentry, Lawyers, Physicians, Scholars of all sorts, and Shop-keepers, do only hand it from one to another at Home. And if abatement of Interest (besides the general Benefit it brings to all, except the Griping Dronish Vsurer) will add new Life and Motion to those most profitable Engine [...] of the King­dom (as I humbly suppose) will be ma­nifest upon serious consideration of what [Page 30] hath been said; then I think it will be out of doubt, that Abatement of In­terest is the Cause of increase of the Trade and Riches of any Kingdom.


THE fore-going Discourse I Wrote in the Sickness-Summer at my Country-Habitation, not then intending to publish it, but only to communicate it to some Honourable and Ingenious Friends of the present Parliament, who were pleased to take Copies of it for their own deliberate consideration and digestion of the Prin­ciples therein asserted; which at first were strange to them, as I expect they will be to most others, till they have spent some time in thinking on them▪ after which, I doubt not but all Men will be convinced of the Tru [...]h of them, that have not some private Interest of heir own against them, external to the [Page 31] general Good of the Kingdom. For sure I am they have a Foundation in Nature, and that according to the excellent, Sr Wil­liam Petty's Observation in his late Dis­course, concerning Taxes, Res nolunt male Administrare: Nature must and will have its course, the matter in Eng­land is prepared for an Abatement of In­terest, and it cannot long be obstructed, and after the next Abatement, who ever lives fourty Years longer, shall see a second Abatement; for we shall never stand on even ground in Trade with the Dutch, till Interest be the same with us, as it is with them.

His Majesty was graciously pleased at the opening of the last Session of this Parliament, to propose to the Conside­ration of both Houses, the Ballancing of the Trade of the Nation; to effect which, in my opinion, the Abatement of Interest is the first and principal Engine which ought to be set on work, which notwithstanding, I should not have presumed to expose it to publick censure, on my own single Opinion, if I had not had the concurrance of much better Judgments then my own; [Page 32] having never seen any thing in Print for it (though much against it) until the latter end of Ianuary last; at which time, a Friend whom I had often dis­coursed with upon this subject, met with by accident a small Tract to the same purpose, Wrote near fifty years ago, which he gave me, and I have, for publick Good, thought fit to annex it hereunto, verbatim.

The Author of the said Tract, by the stile thereof, seems to have been a Coun­try Gentleman, and my Education hath mostly been that of a Merchant, so I hope that going together, they may in some measure, supply the defects of each other.

Another Reason that induced me to to the Printing of them together, is, because what he Wrote then, would be the consequences of the Abatement of Interest from ten to six per cent. I have, I think, fully proved to the Conviction of all Men not wilfully blind, have been the real effects thereof, a [...]d that to a greater proportion then he did premise, every Paragraph whereof was Writ by me, and Copies thereof delivered to se­veral [Page 33] worthy Members of this Parliament, many Months before ever I saw or heard of this, or any thing else Writ or Prin­ted to the like purpose.

What I have aimed at in the whole, is the good of my Native Country, o­therwise I had not busied my self about it, for I want not employment sufficient of my own, nor have reason to be out of love with that I have.

The several Particulars in the begin­ning of this Treatise, relating to Trade, I have only hinted in general terms; ho­ping that some abler Pen, will hereaf­ter be incited for the service of his King and Country, to enlarge more particular­ly upon them.

Before I conclude, though I have studi­ed brevity in the whole, I cannot omit the inserting of one Objection more, which I have lately met with, to the main design of this Treatise, viz.

Object. It is said that the lowness of Interest of Money in Holland, is not the EFFECT OF LAWS, but proceeds only FROM THEIR ABUNDANCE THEREOF, for that in Holland, [Page 34] there is no Law limitting the rate of Usury.

Answ. I answer, that it may be true, that in Holland there hath not lately been any Law, to limit Usury to the present rate it is now at, i. e. three or four per cent; although most certain it is, that many years since, there was a Law that did limit it to five or six at most: And by consequence, there would be a renew­ing of that Law to a lesser rate, were it necessary at this time; It having always been the Policy of that People to keep down the Interest of their Money, three or four per cent, under the rate of what is usual­ly paid in their Neighbouring Countries, which (being now naturally done) it is needless to use the Artificial Stratagem of a Law to Establish.

Answ. 2. Although they have no Law expresly, limitting Interest at pre­sent, yet they have other Laws which we cannot yet arrive to, which do effect the same thing among them, and would do the like among us, if we could have them: One whereof, [Page 35] is, their ascertaining REAL SE­CURITIES by their PUBLICK REGISTERS: For we see evi­dently, Money is not so much want­ing in England as Securities, which Men account Infallible; a remarkable Instance whereof is, the East-India-Company, who can and do take up what Money they please, for four per cent at any time.

Another Law is, Their constitution of BANKS and LUMBARDS, whereby private Persons that have but tollerable credit may be supplied at easie rates from the State.

A third, and very considerable one, is, Their Law for Transferring Bills of Debt, mentioned in the beginning of this Discourse.

A fourth, which is a Custom, and in effect may be here to our Purpose ac­counted as a Law, is the extraordinary Frugality used in all their Publick Affairs, which in their greatest Extreamities have been such, as not to compel them [Page 36] to give above four per cent for the loan of Money. Whereas it is said, His Ma­jesty in some Cases of exigency, when the National Supplies have not come in to answer the present Emergencies of Affairs, hath been inforced to give above the usual Rates to Gold-Smiths; and that encouraged them to take up great Sums from pri­vate Persons at the full rate of six per cent, whereas formerly they usully gave but four per cent otherwise, in humane probability, Money would have fallen of it self to four per cent.

But again, to conclude, Every Nation does proceed according to peculiar Methods of their own in the Transactions of their publick Affairs and Law-maki [...]g: And in this Kingdom it hath always been the Custom to reduce the Rate of Interest by a Law, when Nature had prepared the matter fit for such an alteration as now I say it hath. By a Law it was reduced from an unlimitted rate, to ten; and after­wards from ten to eight; after that from eight to six. And through the Blessing of Almighty God, this King­dom hath found, as I think I have ful­ly [Page 37] proved, and every Mans Experi­ence will witness, prodigious success and advantage thereby. And I doubt not, through the like Blessing of God Almighty, but this Generation will find the like great and good effects, by the reduction of it from six to four, which is now at the Birth. And that the next Generation will yet see far greater Advantage by bringing it from four to three per cent.

TRADE AND Interest of Money considered, &c.

CHAP. I. A short Reply to a Treatise, entituled, Interest of Money mistaken.

THere was never any thing pro­pounded for Publick Good, that did not meet with Oppo­sition, arising sometimes from the diffe­rent apprehensions of men, in regard of the way, who yet have the same design as to the end; sometimes from a dislike of the Person propounding, or the humor [Page 2] of such as would have nothing brought into the World but by their own Mid­wifery; and are therefore only displea­sed with a thing, because they were not the first Proposers of it themselves; sometimes from a more inveterate and corrupt Principle of wishing things worse, because they are not well, ha­ting that any thing should be reformed, because they cannot bring all things to the Figure of their own Fancies, and sometimes from other by Respects and private Interests.

Whether any, or which of these hath moved my Opposer, I will not here de­termine, because I know him not, but leaving that to the Judgment of the im­partial Reader, if the Gentleman's love to his Country be such as he professeth, and equal with mine, I shall not doubt but after a more serious Examination of the Matter, he will agree with me in the thing desired.

In the beginning of his Treatise he re­cites nineteen Obversations of mine, as mean [...] whereby the Dutch have encreased their Trade and Riches; And page 9. seems to approve of all them, saying as [Page 3] I told him, as also he doth, page 22. That more might be added, but is not so kind to his Country to let us know what they are; which if he had done, would have been more agreeable to his pre­tended Candor, and as well of Use to his Country, as an Evidence of his own Sufficiency; it being a much easier thing to cavel at what other men have done, than to present the World with any thing new and material of our own.

Page 10. (passing over many others) he quarrels at that facetious Instance of Noble-Mens wearing in former times Sattin-Doublets, with Canvas backs, which is the most inconsiderable instance of many, yet, upon the whole he concludes with me, That we are much Richer now than we were before any Law for Interest was made, and that we have grown Richer since the abate­ment of Interest from 10 to 8 per Cent, and yet more Rich since it was abated from 8 to 6 per Cent; which pag. 10. he confes­seth, and pag. 11. he implicitly confes­seth, and pag. 14. expresly, That accord­ing to the more or less Interest any Country pays for Money, the richer or poorer it is. I am glad we are thus far agreed, and that my Opposer is so well instructed, [Page 4] hoping I shall with the less difficulty persw [...]de him to a perfect understand­ing of the Principle in Controversie, wherein as yet I think it will appear he is no great Master.

But before I enter upon the matter, I must tell the Gentleman, he hath no cause to boast as to that particular Instance concerning Noble Men's former meaner Cloathing; for what I thence inferred was certainly true, as to the time I spoke of, which was of a time within the memory of a man then living, since Trade was in­troduced into this Kingdom, which he endeavours to overthrow by an instance out of those times, when Noble men kept multitudes of Retainers about 200 Years past, viz. before Henry the 7th's time, and before Trade was understood in England, which I think is nothing to this purpose. Pag. 1 [...]. the Gentleman reciting my Answer to that Objection, That if Interest be abated, the Dutch will call home their Money; to which I repli­ed, that if they should, it would be bet­ter for us, The Borrower being always a Slave to the Lender; which he saith, Is no more in the case of English and Dutch, then in that of English and English. And pag. [Page 5] 12. at the beginning, he saith, That I have discovered my design of engrossing all Trade into the Hands of a few rich Mer­chants, who have Money enough of their own to trade with, to the excluding all young men that want it.

In which two Assertions I appeal to all rational men, whether the Gentle­man be not in a very great Error, as to the very nature of the Principle he dis­courseth? For if one English-man lend to another, be the Interest high or low, between them two nothing is got or lost to the Nation; whereas if a Dutch man lend Money to an English-man, he at length carries home both Principal and Interest, which Interest, be it more or less, is a c [...]ear loss to the Nation, which is so evident, that I hope my Opposer, when he hath thought upon it again, will not upbraid me for begging the Que­stion, because I trouble not the Reader with the particular Proof of those things which I hear no man deny, and therefore conclude every man will grant: For whether Snow be white is not to be disputed.

In his second Assertion likewise, that [Page 6] the abatement of Interest tends to the engrossing of Trade into a few rich mens hands, to the excluding of young men, I appeal to the judgment of all under­standing Merchants and rational men, whether the Gentleman be not misera­bly mistaken? And whether the never­failing effect of a high Interest all the World over, be not to enrich a few greatly, and impoverish the gene­rality of Traders? So it is in Turkey, where Interest is at 20 per Cent, and up­wards, if we may believe those honest and worthy Turkey Merchants, who are now upon the Exchange, and have lived long in that Country; and so it was with us here, when Interest was at 10 per Cent, and upwards, as I have already demonstrated by the instances of Sutton, Gresliam, Craven and Spencer; so that he must be naturally blind, or put out his Eyes, who doth not see that the Abatement of Interest is a diffu­sive Principle: Hence it follows, that as few great and rich Merchants, whose Estates are Personal, (except they have also great Souls) can bear the dis­course of abating Interest with more [Page 7] patience than Usurers, well knowing that it must necessarily retrench their present Profits by encreasing the number of Traders; which though it be a small loss to Individuals, will be a vast gain to the generality of the Nation. At the lower end of pag. 12. his Words are, that in my instance of old Audley's ob­serving that 100 l. at 10 per Cent, would in 70 Years amount to 100000 l. he af­firms, I am no less mistaken than in other things.

Truly, if I have mistook no more in other things than in that, in such an untrodden Path as this, I have failed much less then I could hope for; to de­monstrate which I have here inserted a short Table, shewing that 100 l. at that rate, riseth (within a trifle) to 200 l. in seven Years, Interest upon In­terest, so that the usual accompt is and was formerly, that Money doubles once in seven Years, at 10 per Cent, accord­ing to which rule 100l. in seventy Years, amounts to 102400 l.

[Page 8]

One Hundred Pounds at Ten Pounds per Cent, per Annum, at Interest upon In­terest, encreaseth thus, viz.
AT first,1000000
At 3 Months it is1021000
At 6 Months,105103
At 9 Months,107139
At 12 Months,110077
At 1 Year [...]/4113029
At 1 Year [...]/ [...]115194
At 1 Year [...]/4118174
At 2 Years121169
At 2 Years [...]/4124178
At 2 Years [...]/2128001
At 2 Years ¾13141
At 3 Years13499
At 3 Years [...]/4137170
At 3 Years 1/ [...]141510
At 3 Years ¾144166
At 4 Years148811
At 4 Years ¼15231
At 4 Years ½155192
At 4 Years ¾159172
At 5 Years163171
At 5 Years ¼167190
At 5 Years ½17230
At 5 Years ¾17691
At 6 Years180173
At 6 Years ¼18579
At 6 Years 1/ [...]19050
At 6 Years ¼194155
At 7 Years1991210
Supposing One Hundred Pounds to double in seven Years at Interest upon Interest, as aforesaid, the encrease is, viz.
At first
At 7 Years
At 14 Years
At 21 Years
At 28 Years
At 35 Years
At 42 Years
At 49 Years
At 56 Years
At 63 Years
At 70 Years

Pag. 13. he saith, That I make use of the abuse of Interest, which no man pleads for, annexing a Discourse against Interest, writ in 1621. when it was at 10 per Cent, endeavouring thereby to impose a Belief that the Gentleman who writ tha [...] Discourse was of my mind, whereas it may be supposed the Au­thor of that Book was contented with 8 per [Page 10] Cent, because within four Years after it was brought down to that Rate, and that other­wise he would have writ further, it being pro­bable that he might live till after four Years.

I answer; That through the Mercies of Almighty God, and for the good of this Kingdom, that Patriot of his Country, Old Sr Thomas Culpepper, who I have since been assured was the Author of that Treatise, did live above twenty Years after the writing thereof, and then published a second Treatise, which was lately Re-printed by his worthy Son, which second Treatise is now to be had at Mr Wilkinson's, over against St Dunstan's Church in Fleet-street, which I would advise my Opposer to read, and then I hope he will be more modest here­after, then to mis-call the most Natural and Rational Conclusions, IMPO­SINGS.

But lest he should not meet with the said Treatise, I shall here insert a few Lines out of it to the present purpose, viz.

Old Sr Thomas speaking of the certain good Effects of the Abatement of Inte­rest from 10 to 8 per Cent, pag. 19. of his second Treatise, saith, This good suc­cess [Page 11] doth call upon us not to rest here, but that we bring the use for Money to a lower rate, which now I suppose will find no Opposition, for all Objections which before the Statute were made against it, are now answered by the Suc­cess, & most certainly the benefit will be much greater to the Common wealth, by calling the Vse for Money down from 8 to 5 or 6 per Cent, then it was from calling it down from 10 to 8 per Cent. I shall not Comment upon his Words, but only declare that in truth, I never heard of this Trea­tise, nor of any other to the like effect, when I write mine.

Pag. 13. the Gentle-man b [...]ings [...]p his Battalia, and like a stout Champion for the [...]lie and timerous heard-of-Usu­rers, plants his main Battery against that part which I confessed to be weak­est, viz. that the difficulty of this Que­stion, is, Whether the lowness of Interest be the cause or the Effect of Riches? And he positively denies that the lowness of In­terest is the Cause, & affirms it to be only the Effect thereof, which he endeavours to prove by four Arguments, which I shall particularly answer in a due place, in the mean time use my own Method to prove, That the Abatement of [Page 12] Interest by a Law in England will be a means to improve the Riches of this Kingdom: And I prove it thus;

  • 1. Whatever doth Advance the value of Land in Purchase must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.
  • 2. Whatever doth Improve the Rent of Farms, must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.
  • 3. Whatever doth Encrease the bulk of Foreign Trade, must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.
  • 4. Whatever doth Multiply domestick Artificers, must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.
  • 5. Whatever doth Encline the Nation to Thriftiness, must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.
  • 6. Whatever doth Employ the Poor, must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.
  • 7. Whatever doth Encrease the Stock of People, must be a procur [...]ng cause of Riches.

[Page 13]Now that the abatement of Interest, will advance the value of Land, I prove first by Experience, for certainly Anno 1621. the currant price of our Lands in England was twelve Years purchase; and so I have been assured by many antient Men whom I have queried par­ticularly as to this Matter; and I find it so by purchases made about that time by my own Relations and Acquaintance, and I presume that any Nobleman or Gentleman of England, by only com­manding the Stewards of their Man­nors to give them Lists out of the Records of any Mannors or Farms that their Grand-Fathers, or Fathers bought or sold fifty Years past, will find that the same Farms to be now sold, would yield (one with another) at least treble the Mo­ny, and in some cases six times the Mony they were then bought and sold for; which I submit still to the single and joynt Judgments of the honourable Members of both Houses of Parliament, who being the greatest Owners of our Territory, are in their private, as well as in their politick Capacities, the most proper and experimental Judges of [...]his [Page 14] Case; if the Antient of them will please to recollect their Memories, and the Younger will please to be informed by their Elder Servants; and if this be so, it cannot be denied, but the abatement of Interest by a Law, hath greatly advanced Lands in purchase as well as improved Rents, by meliorating the Lands themselves, those improvements by marling, lime­ing, draining, &c. having been made since Money was at 8 and 6 per cent, which 10 per cent could not bear.

And to prove that Lands were then at twelve Years purchase, I have the written Testimony of that incompara­ble worthy Person Sr Thomas Culpepper Senior, who, page 11. of his first Trea­tise, expresly affirms, That Land was then at twelve Yea [...]s Purchase; who being himself a grave and antient Parliament Man, and dedicating his Book to the then Parliament, whereof he was then a Mem­ber, cannot without horrible unchari­tableness, be presumed to impose upon his Country.

And now that our Interest is at 6 per cent, as the same worthy Author did wisely fore-see, I appeal to the Judg­ment [Page 15] and Experience of my Country Men, whether the genuine price of our Lands in England now would not be 20 Years Purchase, were it not for acci­dental Pressures, under which it labours at present, such as these;

1. Our late great Land Taxes.

2. And principally the late great Im­provement of Ireland, mentioned in my former Treatise, the consequence whereof is, that that Country now sup­plieth Foreign Markets, as well as our own Plantations in America, with Beef, Pork, Hides, Tallow, Bread, Beer, Wool and Corn, at cheaper Rates then we can afford, to the beating us out of those Trades, whereas formerly, viz. presently after the late Irish War, ma­ny Men got good Estates by Transport­ing English Cattle thither.

And that the Improvement of Ireland, is the principal cause why our Lands in purchase rise not as naturally they should, with the fall of our Interest, appears evidently from the effect the fall of In­terest hath had upon Houses in London; where the growth of Ireland could have no such destructive influence, which hath been so considerable, that whoso­ever [Page 16] will please to inform themselves by old Scriveners, or antient Deeds, shall find, that a House in London, about fifty Years past, that would sell but for 300l. at most, would readily sell within a short time after Interest was brought to 8 per cent, at 5 or 600 l. and the same Houses to be sold sometime after Interest was brought to 6 per cent, viz. before and after the late Dutch War, would have yielded without scruple 1000 or 1200l. The abatement of Interest having had a double effect upon Houses, by encreasing Trade, and consequently raising Rents, as well as encreasing the number of Years purchase.

3. A third reason why Land doth not at present bear an exact proportion to 6 per cent, which should naturally be twenty Years, is the late Plague, which did much depopulate this King­dom.

4. The late Fire in London, which hath engaged Men in Building in the City, who otherwise would have been pur­chasing in the Country.

5. The unusal plenty of Corn, which hath been for these three or four Years past in most parts of Christendom, the [Page 17] like whereof hath been seldom known, it happening most commonly that when one Country hath had great plenty, others have had great scarcity.

6. The racking up of Rents in the Years 1651. and 1652. which was presently after the last abatement of Interest.

A seventh accidental Reason why Land doth not sell at present, at the rate it naturally should, in proportion to the legal Interest, is, that innovated practice of Bankers in London, which hath more effects attending it then most I converse with have yet observed; but I shall here take notice of that only which is to my present purpose, viz.

The Gentlemen that are Bankers, ha­ving a large Interest from his Majesty, for what they advance upon his Maje­sties Revenue; can afford to give the full legal Interest to all Persons that put Money into their hands, though for never so short or long a time, which makes the trade of Usury so easie, and hitherto safe, that few, after having found the sweetness of this lasie way of emprovement (being by continuance and success grown to fancy themselves secure in it) can be lead (there being [Page 18] neither ease nor profit to invite them) to lay out their Money in Land, though at 15 Years purchase; whereas before this way of private Bankering came up, men that had Money were forced oft­times to let it lie dead by them, until they could meet with Securities to their minds; and if the like necessity were now of Money lying dead, the loss of use for the dead time being deducted from the profit of 6 l. per Cent, (commu­nibus annis) would in effect take off 1 l. per Cent per Annum of the profit of Usury, and consequently incline men more to purchase Lands, in regard the difference between Usury and Purchasing would not in point of pro­fit be so great as now it is; this new in­vention of Cashe [...]ing, having in my opinion clearly bettered the Vsurers trade 1 or 2 per Cent per Annum. And that this way of leaving Money with Gold-Smiths hath had the aforesaid effect, seems evident to me from the scarcity it makes of Money in the Country; for the Trade of Bankers being only in London, doth very much drain the rea­dy Money from all other parts of the Kingdom.

[Page 19]The second point I am to prove, is, That it will advance the Rent of Farms.

To prove that it did so in fact, de­pends on memory; and for my own part, I and most others I converse with, do perfectly remember that Rents did generally rise after the late abatement of Interest, (viz.) in the year 1651. and 1652.

The reason why they did so, was from the encouragement which that abate­ment of Interest gave to Landlords and Tenants, to improve by Draining, Mar­ling, Limeing, &c. excellently made out by the aforesaid two worthy Authors, so that I do (I think with good Reason) conclude that the present fall of Rents is not natural, but accidental, and to be ascribed principally to the fore-going Reasons, given for the present abate­ment of Land in purchase, and espe­cially to the late Improvement of Ireland.

The third thing I am to prove, is, That the abatement of Interest will en­crease the bulk of foreign Trade, which I do thus.

By evidence of fact, it hath been so in England, the encrease of our Trade hath al­ways [Page 20] followed the abatement of our Interest by Law, I say, not preceded, but fol­lowed it, and the Cause doth always go before the Effect, which I think I have evidently demonstrated in my former Treatise.

If any doubt of this, and will be at the pains to examin the Custom-house Books, they may soon be resolved.

2. By Authority; not only of that an­tient Gentleman Sr Thomas Culpepper in his second Treatise, and therein of the judgment of the French King and Court, in an Edict there recited, but likewise of a Parliament of England, King, Lords & Commons, in the Act for reducing it to 6 per Cent, in the Preamble whereof are these Words, viz. Forasmuch as the Abatement of Interest from 10 in the Hun­dred in former times, hath been found by nota [...]le Experi [...]nce beneficial to the Ad­vancement of Trade, and Improvement of Lands by good Husbandry, with many other consid [...]ra [...]le Advantages to this Nation, e­specially the reducing of it to a nearer pro­portion with foreign States, with whom we traffick: And whereas in fresh memory the like fall from 8 to 6 in the Hundred by a late constant Practice hath found the like [Page 21] success to the general contentment of this Na­tion, as is visible by several Improvements, &c.

3. By necessary consequence; when Interest is abated, they who call in their Money must either buy Land, or trade with it: If they buy Land the many Buyers will raise the price of Land: If they trade they encrease the number of Traders, and consequently the bulk of Trade; and let their Money lie dead by them, I think I have fully proved they cannot; in an addition published to my first Observations.

4. By reason; for first whilst Inte­rest is at 6 per Cent, no man will run an adventure to Sea for the gain of 8 or 9 per Cent, which the Dutch having Money at 4 or 3 per Cent at Interest are conten­ted with, and therefore can and do fol­low a vast trade in Salt from St Vuall, Rochel, and other parts to the Baltique Seas, and also their fishing Trade for Herrings and Whale-fishing, which we neglect, as being not worth our trouble and hazard, while we can make 6 per Cent of our Money sleeping. For the measure of Money employed in Trade in any Nation bears an exact proportion to th [...] [Page 22] Interest paid for Money; As for in­stance, when Money was at 10 per Cent in England, no man in his wits would follow any Trade whereby he did not promise himself 14 or 12 per Cent gain at least, when Interest was at 8, the hopes of 12 or 10 at least was necessary, as 8 or 9 per Cent is, now Interest goes at 6 per Cent, the Infallible Consequence whereof is, that the Trades before recited, as well as those of Muscovy and Greenland, and so much at least of all others, that will not afford us a clear profit of 8 or 9 per Cent, we carelesly give away to the Dutch, and must do so forever, unless we bring our Interest nearer to a Par with theirs; and hence in my poor Opinion it follows very clearly, that if our Interest were aba­ted one third part, it would occasion the employment of one third part more of Men, Shpping and Stock, in foreign and domestick Trades.

This discovers the vanity of all our Attempts for gaining of the White-Herring Fishing-Trade, of which the Dutch, as every body observes, make wonderful great advantage, though the Fish be taken upon our own Coasts; [Page 23] I wish as many did take notice of the reason of it, which theref [...]re I shall say something of now, though I have touch­ed it in my former Treatise.

The plain case is this, A Dutch-man will be content to employ a Stock of 5 or 10000 l. in Burses, materials for Fish­ing, Victuals, &c. for the carrying on of this Trade, and if at the winding up of his Accounts, he finds he hath got clear communibus annis, for his Stock and Adventure 5 per Cent per Annum, he thanks God, and tells his Neighbours he hath had a thriving Trade: Now while every sloathful ignorant man with us, that hath but wit enough to tell out his Money to a Gold Smith, can get 6 per Cent without pains or care; Is it not monstrous absurd to imagine that ever the English will do any good upon this Trade, till they begin at the right end, which must be to reduce the Interest of Money?

Secondly, The depraved nature of man affecting ease and pleasure, while use of Money runs at 6 per Cent, hath always at hand an easie expedient to in­dulge that humor, and reconcile it to another as considerable, viz. his Co­vetousness, [Page 24] by putting his Money to use; and if a Merchant through his youthful care and industry, arrive to an Estate of 20000 l. in twenty Years trading, whilst Money is so high, and Land so low, he can easily turn Coun­try Gentleman or Usurer, which were Interest of Money at 4 p [...]r Cent he could not do, and consequently must not only follow his Trade himself, but make his Children Traders also; for to leave them Money without skill to use it, would advantage little, and purchasing of Lands less, when the fall of Interest shall raise them to twenty or thi [...]ty Years purchase, which I hope yet to live to see.

Thirdly, From this necessity of Mer­chants keeping to their Trade, and Childrens succeeding their Fathers there­in, would ensue to Merchants greater skill in Trade, more exact and certain cor­respondency, surer & more trusty Factors abroad, & those better acquainted & con­catinated together by the experimental links of each others Humors, Stile, E­state and Business. And whereas it is as much as a prudent man can do in ten Years time, after his settling in Lon­don, [Page 25] to be exactly well fitted with Factors in all parts, and those by Correspon­dency brought into a mutual Ac­quaintance of each other, and honest Work-men and Masters of Ships, &c. And by that time he hath traded ten Years longer, if he succeed well, it is six to one but he leaves Trade, and turns Country Gentleman, or Vsurer, and so that profitable Engine, (the Wheels whereof by Correspondency move one another in many parts of the World) which he hath been so long a framing, within a few Years after it is brought to work well, is broken to pieces, and the benefit thereof to the Kingdom (which is ten times more then to him that made it) is lost, whereas in Holland and Italy, where Money is at 3 and 4. per Cent, and consequently Merchants forc'd to keep and trust to their Trades only, their Businesses are, and must be so ordered and carried on from the be­ginning, that when a Man dies, the Trade is no more disturbed then when the Wife dies in England.

I am ashamed of the odious Prolixity and Repetition I am (contrary to my Nature) forced to use; but my Opposer [Page 26] doth so often, and I think disingenu­ously upbraid me with begging the Question, that I am compelled to it.

The fourth thing I am to prove, is, that It multiplies Domestick Artificers.

If the former be true, that it en­creases foreign Trade, I suppose no man will have the confidence to deny this to be a necessary and infallible con­sequence of that: For we see through­out the World, where-ever there is the greatest Trade, there are the most Arti­ficers, and that since our own Trade encrease [...] in England, our Artificers of all sorts are proportionably encreased. The building of London hath made mul­titudes of Bricklayers and Carpenters, much use of Shiping will make Ships dear, and the dearness of Shiping will make many Shipwrights; much foreign Trade will encrease the vent of our Na­tive Manufactures, and much vent will make many work-men; and if we can­not get and breed them fast enough our selves, we shall draw them from foreign parts, as the Dutch draw away ours, it being a wise and true observation of (as I remember) Sr Walter Rawleigh, That no Nation can want People that hath good Laws.

[Page 27]The fifth thing to be proved, is, that It enclines a Nation to thriftiness; this is likewise consequent to the former, and by experience made good in England; for since our Trade encreased, though the generality of our Nation are grown richer, as I have shewed, and conse­quently more splended in lothes, Plate, Jewels, Houshold-stuff, and all other outward signs of Riches, yet are we not half so much given to Hospitality and good House-keeping (as it is called) as in former dayes, when our greatest Ex­pence was upon our Bellies, the most destructive Consumption that can hap­pen to a Nation, and tending only to nourish Idleness, Luxury and Beggary; whereas that other kind of Expence which follows Trade, encourageth La­bour, Arts and Invention: To which give [...]e leave to add, that The abatement of In­terest conjoynt with Excises upon our home consumption (if the later could be hit upon without disturbance to Trade, or dan­ger of continuation) are two of the most comprehensive and effectual Sum­ptuary Laws that ever were esta­blished in any Nation, and most necessita­ [...]ing and engaging any People to thrif­tiness, [Page 28] the high Road to Riches, as well for Nations as private Families.

The frugal Italians of Old, and the provident Dutch of latter times I think have given the World a sufficient proof of this Theorim; and if any shall tell me, it is the nature of those People to be thrifty; I answer, all men by na­ture are alike; it is only Laws, Custom, and Education that differ men; their Nature and Disposition, and the disposition of all Peopl [...] in the World proceed from their Laws; the French Peasantry are a slavish, cowardly People, because the Laws of their Country have made them Slaves; the French Gentry, a noble, va­liant People, because free by Law, Birth and Education: In England we are all free Subjects by our Laws, and therefore our People prove generally couragious, the Dutch and Italians are both frugal Nations, though their Cli­mates and Governments differ as much as any, because the Laws of both Na­tions encline them to Thriftiness; other Nations I could name, are generally vain & prodigal, not by Nature, nor for want of a good Country; but because their Laws, &c. dispose them so to be.

[Page 29]The sixth proof of the Proposition, is, that It employes the Poor; which is a ne­necessary Consequence likewise of the encrease of Trade in Cities, and Em­provement of Land in the Country, which is well and truly demonstrated from Experience, by the Elder and Younger Sr Thomas Culpepper, to whom to avoid Prolixity, I must refer the Reader.

Seventhly, It encreaseth the People of a Nation; this also necessarily followeth the encrease of Trade and Emprove­ment of Lands, not that it causeth mar­ried men to get more Children.

But 1st, a trading Country affording comfortable Subsistances to more Fa­milies then a Country destitute of Trade, is the reason that many do marry, who otherwise must be forc'd to live sin [...]le, which may be one reason why fewer People of either Sex are to be seen unmarried in Holland at 25 years of age, then may be found in England at 40 years old.

2dly, Where there is much Employ­ment, and good Pay, if we want Hands of our own, we shall draw them from others, as hath been said.

[Page 30]3dly, We shall keep our own People at home, which otherwise for want of Employment would be forcd to leave us, and serve other Nations, as too many of our Sea-men, Ship-wrights, and others have done.

4thly, Our Lands and Trade being improved, will render us capable not only of employing, but feeding a far greater number of People, as is manifest in that instance of the Land of Palestine.

And if these will be the effects of aba­ting Interest, then I think it is out of doubt that the Abatement of Interest is the cause of the encrease of the Riches of any Kingdom, for quicquid efficit tale est magis tale. Now to answer his four recited Reasons, viz.

First, he saith, If a low stated Interest by Law be the cause of Riches, no Country would be poor, all desiring Riches rather then Poverty, and all having it in their power to state their Interest as low as they please by Law.

I answer, first, Whatever Nation doth it gradually, for so it must be done; as it hath been hitherto in England (2 per Cent being enough to abate at one time) will find those effects I have mentioned; but [Page 31] it is a work of Ages, and cannot be done at once; For Nec natura aut lex operantur per saltum.

Secondly, It is great Imprudence to imagine that any Country understand­ing their true Interest so well, as by degrees to abate Use-Money, will not likewise by the same Wisdom be led to the instituting of many other good Laws for the encouragement of Trade, as our Parliaments have still proceeded to do, as Interest hath been abated.

His second Reason is, That if the lowness of Interest were not the [...]ffect of Riches in Holland, they might take as much Vse-Money as they could get, there being no Law against it.

I answer, There were formerly Laws in Holland that reduced Interest to 8 and 6, and afterwards to 5 per Cent, Anno 1640. and since in the Year 1655. to 4 per Cent, the Placart for which I have seen, and have been told, and do believe they have since reduced it by Placart to 3 per Cent, as to their Cantors, and all publick Receipts, which in Holland is as much in effect as if they had made a general Law for it, because the most of their Receipts and [Page 32] Payments are made in and out of the aforesaid publick Offices, or else into and out of their Banks, for which no Use-Money is allowed; which several gradual and succesful Abatements of Interest did occasion their Riches at first, and brought their People to that con­sistency of Wealth, that they have since wrought themselves into such an abun­dance, that there are more Lenders now than Borrowers, and so I doubt not but it will be with us in a few Years, after the next Abatement of Interest is made by Law; which I have good reason to conclude, not only from the visible o­perations of nature in all other things and places, but from Fact and Experience in this very case; being certain that the Gold-Smiths in London could have what Money they would upon their Servants Notes only, at 4 l. and 4 l. 10 s. per Cent, before the late Emergencies of State, which I could demonstrate, have very much obstructed the natural fall of In­terest with us; something more I have said in answer to this in the addition to my former Treatise; and this may serve likewise for an answer to his third Reason.

[Page 33] Fourthly, he saith, That which I must prove to make good my [...]ssertion, is, that any Country in the World from a poor and low condition, while Interest was at 6 per Cent, was made rich by bringing it to 4 per Cent, or 3 per Cent by a Law.

I answer, If the instance of Holland and Italy were not sufficient to satisfie him in this point, yet that having pro­ved (which he cannot den [...]) that our own Kingdom hath been enriched consequent­ly, constantly and proportionably to and after our several Abatements of In­terest by Law, from an unlimitted rate, to 10, from 10 to 3, and from 8 to 6 per Cent, I think it may rationally be concluded that another Abatement of Interest in England would cause a fur­ther encrease of Riches, a [...] it hath done in Holland.

From Italy I have endeavoured to gain a certain accompt of their legal Int [...]rest, but am advised that no taking of Use-Money is allowed by their Pon­tificial Laws, the Interest now taken there, which is generally 4 per Cent, is done only by dispensation of Pope [...]aul the fifth, and that notwith [...]nding no man can recover Interest of Money there, [Page 34] if the party who should pay it can prove he hath no gained the value of the Interest de­manded: Now let the Reader judge whether that practise of Holland, and this of Italy, where the Romish Church­men have so great power, who are to take Cognizance, and may by their Auricu­lar Confessors, of all Offences of this kind; the Laws concerning the use of Money in those Countries being Fonti­ficial, do not amount in effect to a low stated Interest by Law in England.

But to deal more ingenuously with my Opposer then he hath done with me, I will grant him that much Riches will occasion in any Kingdom a low rate of Interest, and yet t [...]at doth not hin­der but a low stated Interest by Law may be a cause of Riches: For if Trade be that which enricheth any Kingdom, and lowe [...]ing of Interest advanceth Trade (which I think is sufficiently p [...]oved) then the Abatement of Inte­rest, or more pr [...]perly restraining of Usury; which the antient Romans, and all other wise and rich People in the world did always drive at, is doubtless a primary and principal cause of the Riches of any Na [...]ion; it being not im­proper [Page 35] to say, nor absurd to conceive, that The same thing may be both a Cause and an Effect. Peace begets Plenty, and Plenty may be a means to preserve Peace: Fear begets Hatred, and Hatred Fear: The diligent Hand makes rich, and Riches makes men diligent, so true is the Proverb, Creseit amor Nummi, quantum ipsa pecunia erescit; Love we say begets Love, the fertility of a Country may cause the encrease of People, and the encrease of People may cause the further and greater fertility of a Coun­try; Liberty and Property conduce to the encrease of Trade and Emprove­ment of any Country; and the en­crease of Trade and Emprovements conduce to the procuring, as well as securing of Liberty and Pro­perty; Strength and Health conduce to a good digestion, and a good dige­stion is necessary to the preservation of Health and encrease of Strength; and as a Person of very great honour pertinently instanced at a late debate upon this Question, An Egg is the cause of a Hen, and a Hen the cause of an Egg ▪ The incomparable Lord Bacon in his History of Henry the 7th, saith, pag. 245, of that Prince as well as other men, That [Page 36] his Fortune worked upon his Nature, & his Nature upon his Fortune; the like may be said of Nations; The [...]batement of In­terest causeth an encrease of Wealth, and the encrease of Wealth may cause a further Abate­ment of Interest. But that is best done by the Midwifery of good Laws, which is what I plead for; the corrupt Nature of man being more apt to decline to Vice, then incline to Vertue.

Folio 15. he affirms, Lands are not risen in Purchase, nor Rents improved since the Abatement of Interest.

That I shall say no more to, it is mat­ter of Fact, and Gentlemen who are the Owners of Land are the best Iudges of this case, only I would entreat them not to depend upon their Memories alone, but to command particular accompts to be given them what sum or sums of Money were given 40 or 50 Years past for any intire Farms or Mannors they now know; and I doubt [...]ot but they will find that most of them will yield double the said sums of Money now, notwithstanding the present great pres­sures that Land lies under, which ought maturely to be considered of, when this judgment is made, I rather desire the [Page 37] enquiry to be made upon the gross sum of Money paid, then the Years pur­chase, as being less fallible, because many Farms have been of late Years so rackt up in Rents, that it may be they will not yield more Years purchase now, according to the present Rents, then they would many years past, and yet may yield double the Money they were then bought or sold for, because the Rents were much less then.

Fol. 15. he impertinently quarrels at my instance of Ireland, saying, I quote it sometimes to prove the benefit of a low Interest, pag. 8. And sometimes the mischief of high Interest, pag. 9. Which seems to me to be an unfriendly way of prevaricating: For pag. 8. I mention the late great improvement of Ireland only, as an accidental cause why our Rents at that present fell, and in this it appears I was not much mi­staken, for within a few Moneths after I first writ that Treatise, the Parlia­ment took notice of it. Pag. 9. I men­tion that place among others, that pay a high Interest, and are consequ [...]ntly very poor; if there be any contradicti­on in this, let the Reader judge. Pag. 16. [Page 38] the Gentleman puzleth himself about finding Mistakes in my Calculation of the encrease of Merchants Estates, but discovers none but his own; so I shall not trouble the Reader further about that, all Merchants granting me as much as I design by it, though some of them have not, or care not to observe the A­batement of Interest to have been the principal cause thereof.

Fol. 17. Because he cannot answer that large and pregnant instance of the effects of a low Interest which I gave, in the case of the Sugar-Bakers of London, and those of Holland, which was but one of a hundred, which I could have mentioned; he endeavours to set up ano­ther of a contrary effect, which is a weak rediculous Instance, and nothing to his purpose; for that Commodity that I mentioned, viz. Sugar, is a solid bulky Commodity, always in fashion, not consequent to humor, as is that of Silk-Stockings, 1000 l. worth whereof may be with less charge carried to Italy, then 30 l. worth of Barbadoes Sugar can be sent to Holland: Besides, the reason why we of late sent Silk-Stockings thi­ther, is accidental, not natural, only [Page 39] happening by means of an Engin we have to weave them, whereof they have not yet the use in Italy: Besides, wear­ing things being more este [...]med through Fancy then Judgment, the Italians may have the same Va [...]ity, which is too much amongst us, to esteem that which is none of their own making, as we do French Ribonds, and the French-men Eng­lish ones; besides, he is mistaken in say­ing we bring the Silk we make them of from Italy, for the Silk of which we make that Commodity is Turky, not Italian Silk.

Fol. 18. The Gentleman begins to be kind, and finding me out of the way, pretends to set me right▪ viz. to in­struct me, as first, what will bring down Interest.

  • 1st, Multitude of People.
  • 2dly, A full Trade.
  • 3dly, Liberty of Conscience.

I Answer; That I have I think pro­ved, that the Abatement of Interest will effect the two former, and I think my Opposer is not clear sighted, if he cannot discern that the latter, in a due and regulated proportion must be a consequent of them.

[Page 40]In the next place, the Gentleman find­ing me at a loss, as he says, for the reason of our great Trade at present, will help me as well as he can.

I answer; Those latter Words (as well as he can) were well put in, for as yet he hath told me no News, nor gi­ven any shadow of Reason, that I kn [...]w not before, and had maturely conside­red on many Years before I writ the first Treatise.

The Reasons he gives for our present greatness of Trade are;

First, Our casting off the Church of Rome.

Secondly, The Statutes in Henry the 7th's time, prohibiting Noble mens Retainers, and making their Lands liable to the pay [...]ment of Debts.

Thirdly, The discovery of the East and West-India Trade, pag. 19, 20.

To his first and second Reasons, I answer, that Those Statutes of Henry the 7th, and our casting off the Church of Rome, did long precede our being any thing in Trade; which began not until the lat­ter end of Q [...]een Elizabeth's Reign, and afterwards encreased in the time of King Iames and King Charles the first, [Page 41] as we abated our Interest, and not otherwise; there being a Person yet living, and but 77 Years of Age, viz. Captain Russel of Wapping, who assures me he can remember since we had not above three Mer­chants Ships of 300 Tuns, and upwards, belonging to England.

Secondly, That in Italy where there are no such Statutes for abridgement of Noble men's Retainers, nor casting off the Church of Rome, there is notwith­standing a very great Trade, and Land at from 35 to 40 Years purchase, which sufficiently shews that a low Interest is absolutely and principally necessary, and that the other particulars alone will not do, to the procuring of those ends, although a low Interest singly doth it in Italy.

To his third Reason, I answer, that There are some men yet living who do remem­ber a greater Trade to East-India, and a far greater Stock employed therein, then we have now; and yet we were so far from thri­ving upon it, that we lost by it, and could never see our principal Money again; Nor ever did we greatly pros­per upon it, till our Interest was much abated by Laws; nor ever shall mate the [Page 42] Dutch in it, till our Interest be as low as theirs. The like, in a great measure, is true in our West-India Trades, we never got considerable by them till our last Abatement of Interest from 8 to 6 per Cent.

Pag. 21, 22. he labours to prove, that If we would have Trade to flourish, and Lands high, we must imitate the Hollan­ders in their Practices; which in matter of Trade I know is most certain, so far as they are consistent with the Govern­ment of our own Country: And the first and readiest thing wherein we can imitate them, is to reduce our Interest of Money to a lower rate, after the manner of our Fathers, and they did it before us, which will naturally lead us to all the other advantages in Trade which they now use.

1. For, If Interest be abated to 4 per Cent who will not, that can leave his Children any competent Estate of 1000 or 2000 l. each, bring them up to Writing, Arithmetick, and Merchants Accompts, and instruct them in Trades, well knowing that the bare use of their Money, or the product of it in Land will scarce keep them.

[Page 43]2. Must not all Persons live lower in Ex­pence, when all Trades will be less gainful to Individuals, though more profitable to the Publick?

3. Will it not put us upon building a [...] bulky and cheap sailing Ships as they?

4. Will it not bring Trade to be so familiar amongst us, that our Gentlemen, who are in our greatest Councils, will come to understand it, and accordingly contrive Laws in favour of it?

5. Will not; nay, hath it not already brought us to lower our Customs upon our own na­tive Commodities and Manufactures?

6. Will it not in time bring us to trans­ferring Bills of Debt? Is not necessity the Mother of Invention, and that old Pro­verb true, facile est inventis addere? There is in my poor Opinion nothing conduceable to the good of Trade, that we shall not by one accident or other hi [...] upon, when we have attained this Fun­damental point, and are thereby neces­sitated to follow and keep to our Trades from Generation to Generation.

[Page 44]7. Do we not see that even as the World now goes, dies diem docet, scarce a Session of Parliament passeth without making some good Acts for the bettering of Trade, and pareing off the extravagancy of the Law; for which ends this last Session produced three.

  • That about the Silk-Throwsters.
  • That about Transportation of Hides, &c.
  • That about Writs of Error.

8. Will not the full understanding of Trade (acquired by Experience, and never wanting to any People that make it their constant business to follow Trade, as we must do when Interest shall be at 4 per Cent) quickly bring us to find our advantage in pe [...]mitting all Stra [...]gers to co-habit, trade and purchase Lands amongst us upon as easie terms as the Dutch do?

Will not the Consequence of this Law, by augmenting the value of Land, bring us in time to regular and just Enclosements of our Forrests, Commons and Wastes, and making our smaller Rivers navigable? the highest Improvements that this Land is capable of: And have not these last 50 Years, since the several Abatements of Interest, produced more of these [Page 45] profitable Works then 200 Years before?

Will not the Consequence of this Law dis­cover to us the vanity and opposition to [...]rade that there seems to be in m [...]ny of our Statutes yet in force, such as these following, viz.

1st, The Statutes of Bankrupt (as they are now used) in many cases more to the Prejudice of honest Dealers then the Bank­rupt himself, by compelling men often tim [...]s to refund Money [...]eceived of the Bankrupt for Wares justly sold and de­livered him, long before it was possible for the Seller to discover the Buyer to be a Brankrupt.

2dly, Such are our Laws limiting the price of Beer and Ale to one Penny per Quart, which b [...]r us from all Improve­ments and Imitation of foreign Liquors made of Corn, commonly called Mum, Spruce-Beer, Rosteker-Beer, which may, and are made in England, and would occasion the profitable Consumpti [...]n of an incredible quantity of our Grain, and prove a great a [...]dition to his Majesties Revenue of Excise, expend abun­dance of Coals in long boyling of those Commodities, imploy many Hands in th [...] Manufacture of them, as well as Ship­ping in Transportation of them, not [Page 46] only to all our own Plantations in A­merica, but to many other parts of the World.

3dly, Our Laws against engrossing Corn and other Commodities, there being no Persons more b [...]neficial to Trade in a Nation, then Engrossers, which will be a worthy Employment for our present Vsurers, and render them truly useful to their Country.

4thly, Such was our Law against Exporta­tion of Bullion lately repealed.

5thly, Such is the use of the Law at present, which takes not only a Custom, but 15 s. per Tun Excise on strong Beer ex­ported, being the same Rate it pays when spent at home, contrary to the pra­ctice of all trading Countries.

6thly, Such are our Laws which charge Sea-Coals, or any of our native Provisions exported with Custom, viz. Beef, Pork, Bread, Beer, &c. for which I think in prudence the Door should be opened wide to let them out.

7thly, Of the like nature is our Law im­posing a great duty upon our Horses, Mares and Nags exported.

8. Such in my weak Opinion, is that branch of the Statute of 5 Eliz. that none [Page 47] should use any manual Occupation, except he hath been Appretince to the same.

9thly, Such (in my Opinion) is the Law which yet prohibits the Exportation of our own Coin; for since it is now by consent of Parliament agreed and found by ex­perience of all understanding men, to be advantagious for this Kingdom to permit the free Exportation of Bullion, I think it were better for us that our own Coin might likewise be fre [...]ly exported, because by what of that went out, we should gain the Manufacture (the Coyn­ing) besides the great honour and note of Magnificency it would be to his Majesty and this Kingdom, to have his Majesty's Coin currant in all parts of the Vniverse.

10thly, Such are all by-Laws used among the Society of Coopers, & other Artificers, limi­ting Masters to keep but one Apprentice at a time; whereas it were better for the publick, they were permitted to keep ten, if they could or would maintain or employ them.

11thly, Such seem to be many of our Laws relating to the Poor, especially those against Inmates in Cities & trading Towns, and those obliging Parishes to maintain their own Poor only.

[Page 48]Page 23. and 24. the Gentleman makes a large Repetition of what he had said before, wherein I observe, nothing new but that he saith, the East-India-Company have Money at 4. per cent, only be­cause Men may have their Money out when they please, which is a mistake, though a small one, for the Company sel­dom or never take up Money but for a certain time, though I doubt not but that Generous Company will, and do at most times, accommodate any Person with his Money before due, that hath occasion to require such a kindness of them, al­though they oblige not themselves to do it.

In this tenth particular, at the latter end of page 24. he saith, I am mistaken in my Assertion of the Interest of Scot­land, which upon further enquiry a­mongst the Scotch Merchants upon the Exchange, I am told is his own mistake; So I must leave that, being matter of fact, to those that know that Country and its Laws, more and better then either of us: Lastly, he concludes, that whilst I say the matter in England is so naturally prepared for an Abatement of Interest, that it cannot be long ob­structed: [Page 49] I propound a Law to antici­pate Nature, which is against Rea­son.

I answer, it was the Wisdom of our Grand-fathers to bring it to what it would bear in their time; and our Fa­thers found the good effects of that, and brought it lower, and the benefit there­of is since manifested to us by the suc­cess; and therefore, seeing the matter will now bear further Abatement, it is reasonable for us to follow that excel­lent Example of our Ancestors; Laws against Nature I grant would be ineffectual; but I never heard before, that Laws to help Nature, were against Reason.

Touching the Gentleman's personal Reflections upon me, I shall say little, it appears sufficiently by what I have writ, and his Answer, that I am an Ad­vocate for Industry, he for Idleness: It appears likewise to those that know me in London, which are many, that I am so far from designing to engrose Trade, that I am hastening to convert what I can of my small Estate that is p [...]rsonal▪ into real, supposing it to be my Interest so to do, before th [...] Us [...] of Money falls, which I conclude cannot long suspend, [Page 50] and that then Land and Houses must rise; and I doubt it will appear, when this Gentleman is as well known as I am, that he is more an Vsurer, then an Owner of Land or Manager of Trade at pre­sent; my ends have only been to serve my Country, which I can with a sincere Heart declare, in the Presence of God and Men: And that nothing else could have engaged me into this unpleasing Controversie, wherein I have given un­willing offence to all my nearest Relati­ons, and knew at first that I must needs do so, most of them being such as Age and Wisdom hath instructed rather to be Box-keepers then Gamesters.

I have before-mentioned the Judg­ment of the French King and Court, but intended not to recite the Edict, being it is at large in Sr Thomas Culpeppers se­nior his last Treatise, yet on second thoughts, considering all Men perhaps, may not come to a sight of that, and finding the said Edict so comprehensive of the whole matter of this Controver­sie, I have here recited it.

The King by these Edicts had nothing re­lieved the necessities of the Nobility, if he had not provided for Vsuries, which have [Page 51] ruined many good and antient Houses; filled Towns with unprofitable Servants, and the Countries with Miseries and Inhumanities; he found the Rents viz. Vsuries consti [...]uted after 10 or 8 in the hundred, did ruin ma­ny good Families, hindred the Traffick and Commerce of Merchandize's, and made Til­lage and Handicrafts to be neglected, ma­ny desiring through the easiness of a deceit­ful Gain to live Idlely in good Towns of their Rents, rather then to give themselves with any pains to liberal Arts, or to till or husband their Inheritances: For this reason, mean­ing to invite his subjects to enrich themselves with more just Gain, to content themselves with more moderate profit, and to give the Nobility means to pay their Debts; he did forbid all Vsury or Constitution of Rents at an higher rate then six Pounds five Shillings in the hundred.

The Edict was verified in the Court of Parliament, which considered that it was always prejudicial to the Commonwealth, to give Money to Vsury; for it is a Ser­pent whose biteing is not apparent, and yet it is so sensible, that it peirceth the very Hearts of the best Families.

The whole of this Controversie lies narrowly in these two short Questions, [Page 52] viz. Will abatement of Interest improve Trade? Secondly, Will it advance the price of Land? The collective united Bo­dies of the Government of our own and o­ther Kingdoms, expresly say it will do both, and Experience cries aloud that so it will do, and hath done in all Ages and in all Places; and I never yet met with any private person, how much soever concerned in Interest, that had the ignorance or confidence to deny both.

For discourse with a Country Vsurer, he will affirm, and perhaps be ready to swear to it, that this abatement of In­terest is a Knavish design of the Citizens to advance themselves, who are too proud already; and that if it go forward it will undo all the Country Gentlemen in England: And if one speak with the City Vsurers, they will be as ready to af­firm, that this is a plot carried on only by Noblemen and Gentlemen, whose Estates are all in Land, for their own advantage, and that it will spoil all the Trade of the Kingdom, being a project at one instant to take off just one third of all Mens Estates that are personal, and add the same proportion to all such whose Estates are real; which in effect is to Impover­ish [Page 53] all the Younger, and Enrich all Elder Brothers in England: So that out of the Mouthes of the greatest and wisest Adversaries to this principle, it may be justly concluded, that though single­ly they deny the truth of it, yet joynt­ly they confess it.

To conclude, there is nothing that I have said, or that I think any other can say upon this occasion, but was said in substance before by old Sr Thomas Cul­pepper (tho [...]gh unknown to me) who had an ampel and clear sight into the whole na­ture of this Principle, and the true ef­fects and consequences of it, Truth be­ing always the same, though Illustrations may vary; nor can any thing now be objected against the making a Law for a further abatement of Interest, but the same that was objected in those times wherein the former Statutes past; so that why my Opposer should cavil at the doing of that by a Law in England, now (which he seems to [...]ike well, if it could be done) I know no real cause, except it be that in truth he is wise enough to know that a Law in England will certain­ly do the Work, as it hath done former­ly, [Page 54] and in consequence his own private Gain will be retrenched.

Before I concluded I think it necessa­ry, for caution to my Country-men, to let them know what effects these discourses have had on others; when I wrote my first Treatise, Interest was in the Island of Barbadoes at 15 per centum, where it is since by an Act of the Country brought down to 10 per cent (a great fall at once) and our weekly Gazets did some Months past inform us, that the Sweeds by a Law had brought down their Interest to 6 per cent; neither of which can have any good effects upon us, but certainly the contrary, except by way of emula­tion they quicken us to provide in time for our own Good and Prosperity.

I have now done with this Controver­sie, and therein discharge my Duty to my native Country, and though Igno­rance, Malice, or private Interest may yet for some time oppose it; I am confi­dent the Wisdom of my Country-men, will at length find their true and general Interest, in the Establishment of such a Law, which as to my own particular concernments, sig­nifies not two Farthings whether they do or not.

CHAP. II. Concerning the Relief and Employment of the Poor.

THis is a calm Subject, and thwarts no common or private Interest amongst us, except that of the common Enemy of Mankind (the Devil) so I hope that what shall be offered to­wards the effecting of so universally ac­ceptable a Work as this, and the re­moval of the innumerable Inconveni­ences that do now and have in all Ages at­tended this Kingdom, through defect of such provision for the Poor, will not be ill taken, although the Plaister at first essay do not exactly fit the Sore.

In the Discourse of this subject, I shall first assert some particulars, which I think are agreed by common Consent, and from thence take occasion to pro­ceed to what is more doubtful.

1. That our Poor in England have al­ways been in a most sad and wretched condi­tion, [Page 56] some Famished for want of Bread, others starved with Cold and Naked­ness, and many whole Families in all the out Parts of Cities and great Towns, commonly remain in a languishing, nasty and useless Condition, Uncomfortable to themselves, and Unprofitable to the Kingdom, this is confessed and lamented by all Men.

2. That the Children of our Poor bred up in B [...]ggery and Laziness, do by that means become not only of unhealthy Bo­dies, and more then ordinarily subject to many loathsome Diseases, whereof ve­ry many die in their tender Age, and if any of them do arrive to years and strength, they are, by their idle habits contracted in their Youth, rendered for ever after indisposed to Labour, and serve only to stock the Kingdom with Thieves and Beggars.

3. That if all our impotent Poor were provided for, and t [...]ose of both Sexes and all Ages that can do Work of any kind, employ­ed, it would redound some Hundreds of Thou­sands of Pounds per annum to the publick Advantage.

4. That it is our Duty to God and Na­ture, so to Provide for, and Employ the Poor.

[Page 57]5. That by so doing one of the great Sins (for which this Land ought to mourn) would be r [...]moved.

6. That our fore-Fathers had pious Inten­tions towards this good Work, as appears by the many Statutes made by them to this pur­pose.

7. That there are places in the VVorld▪ wherein the Poor are so provided for, and employed, as in Holland, Hambrough, New-England and others, and as I am in­formed now in the City of Paris.

Thus far we all agree: The first Question then that naturally occurs, is,

Question, How comes it to pass that in England we do not, nor ever did comforta­bly Maintain and Employ our Poor?

The common Answers to this Questi­on are, two.

1. That our Laws to this purpose are as good as any in the World, but we fail in the execution.

2. That formerly in the days of our pi­ous Ancestors the work was done, but now Charity is deceased, and that is the rea­son we see the Poor so neglected as now they are.

In both which Answers (I humbly [Page 58] conceive) the Effect is mistaken for the Cause: For though it cannot be denied, but there hath been, and is a great failure in the Execution of those Statutes which relate to the Poor; yet I say, the cause of that failure, hath been occasioned by de­fect of the Laws themselves.

For otherwise, what is the reason that in our late times of Confusion and Alteration, wherein almost every Party in the Nation, at one time or other, took their turn at the Helm, and all had that Compass (those Laws) to Stear by, and yet none of them could, or ever did, conduct the Poor into a Harbour of secu­rity to them, and profit to the King­dom, i. e. none sufficiently maintained the Impotent, and employed the Indigent a­mongst us: And if this was never done in any Age, nor by any sort of Men whatsoever in this Kingdom, who had the use of those Laws now in force, it seems to me a very strong Argument that it never could, nor ever will be done by those Laws, and that consequently the defect lies in the Laws themselves, not in the Men, i. e. those that should put them in Execution.

As to the second Answer to the afore­said [Page 59] Question, wherein want of Charity is assigned for another cause why the Poor are now so much neglected, I think it is a scandalous ungrounded Accusation of our Contemporaries (except in relation to Building of Churches, which I confess this Generation is not so prophense to as former have been) for most that I converss with, are not so much troubled to part with their Money, as how to place it, that it may do good, and not hurt to the Kingdom: For, if they give to the Beggars in the Streets, or at their Doors, they fear they may do hurt by encouraging that Lazy Unprofitable kind of Life; and if they give more th [...]n their Proportions in their respective Parishes, that (they say) is but giving to the Rich, for the Poor are not set on Work thereby, nor have the more given them; but only their Rich Neighbours pay the less. And for what was given in Churches to the visited Poor, and to such as were impoverished by the Fire; we have heard of so many and great Abuses of that kind of Charity, that most Men are under sad discourage­ments in relation thereunto.

I write not this to divert any Man from Works of Charity of any kind: [Page 60] He that gives to any in Want does well; but he that gives to Employ and Educate the Poor, so as to render them useful to the Kingdom, in my judgment does better.

And [...]here by the way, not to leave Men at a loss how to dispose of what God shall incline their Hearts to give for the Benefit of the Poor, I think it not Impertinent to propose the Hospitals of this City, and Poor Labouring People that have many Children, and make a hard shift to sustain them by their Industery, whereof there are multitudes in the out Parts of this City, as the best Objects of Charity at present.

But to return to my purpose, viz. to prove that the want of Charity like­wise that is now, and always hath been, in relation to the Poor, proceeds from a de­fect in our Laws. Ask any Charitable minded Man as he goes along the Streets of London, viewing the Poor, viz. Boyes, Girles, Men and Women of all Ages, and many in good Health, &c▪ why he and others do not take care for the setting those poor Creatures to Work? Will he not readily answer, that he wisheth heartily it could be done, though it cost him a great part of his Estate, but he is [Page 61] but one Man, and can do nothing to­wards it, giving them Money, as hath b [...]en said, being but to bring them into a liking and continuance in that way.

The second Question then is,

Question 2. Wherein lies the defect of our present Laws relati [...]g to the Poor?

I answer, that there may be many, but I shall here take notice of one only, which I think to be Fundamental, and which until altered, the Poor in Eng­land can never be well Provided for, or Employed; and that when the said fun­damental Error is well amended, it is almost impossible they should lack either Work or Maintenance.

The said radical Error I esteem to be the leaving it to the care of every Parish to Maintain their own Poor only; upon which follows the shifting off, sending or whip­ing back the poor Wanderers to the Place of their Birth, or last Abode; the practice whereof I have seen many years in London, to signifie as much as ever it will, which is just nothing of good to the Kingdom in general, or the Poor thereof, though it be sometimes by ac­cident to some of them a Punishment without effect; I say without effect, be­cause [Page 62] it reforms not the Party, nor de­sposeth the minds of others to Obedi­ence, which are the true ends of all Pun­ishment.

As for instance, a poor idle Person, that will not Work, or that no Body will Employ in the Country, comes up to Lon­don to set up the Trade of Begging, such a person probably may Begg up and down the Streets seven years, it may be seven and twenty, before any Body asketh why she doth so, and if at length she hath the ill hap in some Parish, to meet with a more vigilant Beadle then one of twenty of them are, all he does is but to lead her the length of five or six Houses into another Parish, and then concludes, as his Masters the Parishioners do, that he hath done the part of a most diligent Officer: But suppose he should yet go further to the end of his Line, which is the end of the Law; and the perfect Execution of his Off [...]ice; that is, suppose he should carry this poor wretch to a Iustice of the Peace, and he should order the Delinquent to be Whipt and sent from Parish to Parish, to the place of her Birth or last Abode, which not one Iustice of twenty (through pitty or other [Page 63] cause) will do; even this is a great charge upon the Country, and yet the business of the Nation it self wholly undone: for no sooner doth the Delinquent arrive at the place assigne [...], but for Shame or Idleness she presently deserts it, and wanders directly back, or some other way, hoping for better Fortune, whilst the Parish to which she is sent, knowing her a Lazy and perhaps a worse qualited person, is as willing to be rid of her, as she is to be gone from thence.

If it be here retorted upon me, that by my own confession, much of this mis­chief happens by the non, or ill Execu­tion of the Laws, I say, better Execu­tion then you have seen you must not ex­pect; and there was never a good Law made that was not well executed, the fault of the Law causing a failure of execution, it being natural to all Men to use the re­medy next at hand, and rest satisfied with shifting the Evil from their own Doors; which in regard they can so easi­ly do, by threatning or thrusting a poor Body out of the verge of their own Pa­rish, it is unreasonable and vain to hope that ever it will be otherwise.

[Page 64] For the Laws against Inmates, and em­powering the Parishioners to take Secu­rity before they suffer any poor Person to Inhabit amongst them; it may be they were prudent constitutions at the times they were made (and before England was a place of Trade) and may be so still in some Countries, but I am sure in Cities and great Towns of Trade they are altoge­ther improper, and contrary to the practice of other Cities and Trading Towns abroad. The Riches of a City, as of a Nation, consisting in the mul [...]itude of Inhabi­tants; and if so, you must allow Inmates, or have a City of Cottages. And if a right course be taken for the Sustentation of the Poor, and setting them on Work, you need invent no Stratagems to keep them out, but rather to bring them in. For the resort of Poor to a City or Nation well managed, is in effect, the cons [...]x of Riches to that [...]ity or Nation; and therefore the subtil Dutch ▪ receive, and relieve, or em­ploy all that come to them, not enquiring what Nation, much less what Parish they are of.

Question, 3. The third Question: If the defect be in our Laws, how shall we find a remedy that may be ra [...]ional and consistent?

[Page 65]This I confess is a hard and difficult ques [...]ion, it is one of the Ardua Regni, and may very well deserve the most deliberate consideration of our wisest Counsellors. And if a whole Session of Parliament were employed on this singu­lar concern, I think it would be time spent as much to the glory of God and good of this Nation, as in any thing that noble and worthy Patriots of their Country can be engaged in: But seeing I have adventured thus far, I shall hum­bly proceed to offer some general pro­posals that have a tendency towards the effecting this great Work, which being seriously thought of and debated by wi­ser men, may be capable of such melio­ration as may render them in a great measure effectual to the Kingdom in general, although at present, to pre­vent that common Objection, that great Mutations are dangerous; I shall only propose them to be experimented in these parts of the Kingdom, which are the Vitals of our body politick, which being once made sound, the care of the rest will not be difficult.

Proposition, 1. First then I propose, That the City of London and Westminster, [Page 66] Burrough of Southwark, and all other places within the usual Lines of Communi­cation, described in the weekly Bills of Mortality, may by Act of Parliament be associated into one Province or Line of Com­munication for relief of the Poor.

2. That there be one Assembly of men (and such as they shall from time to time appoint and deputise) entrusted with the care for, and treasure of all the Poor within the said Pale or Line of Communica­tion.

3. That the said Assembly be incorpora­ted by Act of Parliament, with perpetual Succession, by the name of Fathers of the Poor, or some other honourable and sig­nificant Title.

4. That all Constables, Church-wardens, Overseers, or other Officers in all Parishes, within the said Line, be subordinate and accomptable to the said Fathers of the Poor, and their Deputies for, and in all things re­lating to the Poor.

5. That the said Fathers of the Poor may have liberty to assess and receive into their common Treasury, for relief of their Poor, so much Money from every Parish as they yearly paid to that purpose any of the three Years preceding this Constitution, and [Page 67] to compel the Payment thereof, but not of more.

6. That the said Fathers of the Poor, and their Deputies, may have very large and sufficient power in all things relating to the Poor, and particularly to have and re­ceive the charitable benevolence of all Persons once every Lord's Day in every Parish-Church, and in any other Meet­ing of Pious Christians, and at any other time or times which they shall think fit.

7. That the said Fathers of the Poor, and such as they shall authorize, may have power to purchase Lands, erect and endow Work-houses, Hospitals, and Houses of Correction, and to exercise all other Powers relating to the Poor, that any number of Iustices of the Peace now may do, in their Quarter-Sessions or otherwise.

8. That the said Fathers of the Poor may have Power to send such Poor beyond the Seas as they shall think fit into his Majesties Plantations, taking Security for their comfortable Maintenance during their Service, and for their freedom af­terwards.

9. That the said Fathers of the Poor may have Power to erect petty Bancks and Lum­bards [Page 68] for the benefit of the Poor, if they shall find it convenient, and also to receive the one half of what is paid at all the Doors of Play-Houses, and have the Patent for Farthings, and to do whatever else his Majesty and the Parliament shall think fit to recommend to them, or leave to their discretion.

10. That the Treasure that shall be col­lected for this purpose be accounted sacred, and that it be Felony to misapply, con­ceal, lend or convert it to any other use or purpose whatsoever.

11. That there be no Oaths, or other Tests imposed upon the said Fathers of the Poor, at their admission, to bar our Non-conformists, amongst whom there will be found some excellent Instruments for this good Work, and such as will constantly attend it (for if they be kept out, the People will be cold in their Charity, and in their hopes of the success.)

12. That the said Fathers of the Poor may constantly wear some honourable Med­dal, such as the King and Parliament shall devise, besides the green Staff which is now used in London to such like pur­pose (but upon extraordinary dayes [Page 69] only) to denote their Authority and Office, at all times, and in all places▪ after the manner of the Habits in Spain, or ra­ther, as have all the Familiars of the In­quisition in most Romish Countries, with admirable effect, though to a wicked purpose; the consequence whereof will be, that the said Fathers of the Poor, be­ing numerous, and dispe [...]st b [...] their Habitations and Business, into most parts of their Province, will readily see any neglects of Officers, and as easily redress them; the Meddal which they wear about them, being a sufficient Warrant to command Obedience from all Parish Officers where-ever they come, although their Persons be not known there.

13. That the said Fathers of the Poor may have liberty to admit into their Society and all Powers and Priviledges equal with them, any Persons that are willing to serve God, their King and Country in this pious and publick Work, the Persons desiring to be so admitted, paying at their admission 100 l. or more into the Poors Treasu [...]y, as a demonstration of the Sincerity of their Intentions to labour in and cultivate this most Religious Vineyard. This I [Page 70] only offer because the number of the said Fathers of the Poor hereafter mentioned, may be thought rather too few then too many.

14. That the said Fathers of the Poor, besides the Authority now exercised by Iu­stices of the Peace, may have some less li­mitted Powers given them, in relation to the punishment of their own, and Parish Officers by pecuniary mulcts for the Poors benefit in case of neglect, and otherwise as his Ma­jesty, and the Parliament shall think fit.

15. That the said Fathers of the Poor may have freedom to set the Poor on work about whatsoever Manufacture they think fit, with a Non obstante to all Patents that have been or shall be granted to any private Person or Persons for the sole Ma­nufacture of any Commodity, the want of which priviledge, I have been told, was a prejudice to the Work-house at Clerk­enwell, in their late design of setting their poor Children about making of Hangings.

16. That all Vacancies by reason of death of any of the said Fathers of the Poor be perpe­tually supplied by election of the Survivors.

Quest. 4. The fourth Question is, who shall be the Persons entrusted with so [Page 71] great a Work, and such excess of Power?

This is a Question likewise of some difficulty, and the more in regard of our present Differences in Religion, but I shall answer it as well as I can.

In general I say, They must be such as the People must have ample satisfaction in, or else the whole Design will be lost: For if the universality of the People be not sa­tisfied with the Persons, they will never part with their Money; but if they be well satisfied therein, they will be mi­raculously charitable.

Quest. 5. This begets a fifth Question, viz. What sort of men the people will be most satisfied in?

I answer, I think in none so well as such only as a common Hall of the Livery-men of London shall make choice of, it being evident by the experience of many Ages, that the several Corporations in London are the best Administrators of what is left to charitable Vses, that have ever been in this Kingdom, which is manifest in the regular, just and prudent ma­nagement of the Hospitals of London, and was wisely observed by Doctor Collet Dean of St Paul's that prudent Ecclesia­stick, when he left the Government of [Page 72] that School, and other great Revenues assigned by him for charitable Uses, un­to the disposition of the Mercers Com­pany.

Object. But here it may be objected, That Country-Gentlemen, who have power in places of their Residences, and pay out of their large Estates con­siderable sums towards the Mainte­nance of their Poor within the afore­limited Precincts, may be ju [...]ly offen­ded if they likewise have not a share in the distribution of what shall be raised to that purpose.

Answ. I answer the force of this ob­jection may be much taken off if the City be obliged to choose but a certain number out of the City, as suppose seventy for London, ten out of Southwark for that Burrough, twenty for Westminster, this would best satisfie the People, & I think do the work: But if it be thought too much for the City to have the choice of any more then thei [...] own seventy, the Iustices of Peace in their Quarter-Sessions may nominate and appoint their own num­ber of Persons to assist for their respe­ctive Jurisdictions, and so to supply the vacancy in case of Death, &c. But [Page 73] all must be conjunctive, but one Body politick, or the work will never be done.

Quest. 6. The sixth Question is, What will be the advantage to the Kingdom in ge­neral, and to the Poor in particular, that will accrue by such a Society of men, more than is enjoyed by the Laws at present?

I answer; Innumerable and unspeak­able are the Benefits to this Kingdom that will arise from the Consultations and Debates of such a wise and honest Council, who being men so elected as aforesaid, will certainly conscionably study and labour to discharge their trust in this service of God, their King and Country.

1st, The Poor, of what quality soever, as soon as they are m [...]t with, will be imme­diately relieved or set on work where they are found, without hurrying them from place to place, and torturing their Bodies to no purpose.

2. Charitable-minded-men will know certainly where to dispose of their Charity, so as it may be employed to right purposes.

3. House-keepers will be freed from the intole [...]able incumbrance of B [...]ggars at their Doors.

[Page 74]4. The Plantations will be regularly sup­plied with Servants, and those that are sen [...] thither well provided for.

5. The said Assembly will doubtless ap­point some of their own Members to visit and relieve such as are sick, as often as there shall be occasion, together with poor labouring Families both in City and Suburbs.

6. Poor Children will be instructed in Learning and Arts, and thereby rendred serviceable to their Country, and many other worthy Acts done for publick good by the joynt delibaration of so many prudent and pious men, assisted with such a Power and Purse, more then can be fore-seen or expressed by a private Person.

Quest▪ 7. The seventh Question may be, What shall all the [...]oor of these Cities and Countries, being very numerous, be [...]m­ployed about!

This question will be answer'd be [...]t by the said Assembly themselves when they have met and consulted together, who cannot be presumed defficient of Invention to set all the Poor on work, especially since they may easily have ad­mirable Presidents from the practice of [Page 75] Holland in this particular, and have al­ready very good ones of their own, in the orders of their Hospitals of Christ-Church and Bridewell in London; the Girles may he employed in mending the Clothes of of the Aged, in Spinning, Carding and o­ther linnen Manufactures, and many in Sow­ing Linnen for the Exchange, or any House­keepers that will put out Linnen to the Ma­trons that have the Government of them.

The Boys in picking Okam, making Pins, rasping Wood, making Hangings, or any o­ther Manufacture of any kind, which whe­ther it turns to present profit or not, is not much material, the great Business of the Nation being first but to keep the Poor from Begging and Starving, and enuring such as are able to Labour and Discipline, that they may be here­after useful Members to the Kingdom: But to conclude, I say the wisest Man living, solitarily cannot propose or imagine such excellent ways and methods as will be invented by the united Wis­dom of so grave an Assembly.

The sitting of the said Assembly I hum­bly conceive, ought to be, De die in diem; the Quorum not more then thir­teen; whether they shall Yearly, Month­ly [Page 76] or Weekly▪ choose a President, how they sh [...]ll distribute thems [...]lves into the several quarters of the Communication, what Treasurers and other Officers to em­ploy, and where, and how many, will best be determined by themselves, and that without difficulty, because many that will probably be Members of the said Assembly, have already had large expe­rience of the Government of the Hos­pitals of London: The manner of E­lection of the said Fathers of the Poor, I humbly suppose, cannot possibly be bet­ter contrived, then after the same way which the East-India-Company choose their Committee, which will prevent the Con­fusion, Irregularity and Incertitude that may attend the Election of Voices, or holding up of Hands; especially because the person; to be elected at one time will be very many; the said manner propo­sed is, every Elector, viz. every Livery-Man to bring to Guild-Hall at the ap­pointed day for Elections, a List of the whole number of Persons, such as he thinks fit that are to be Elected, and de­liver the same openly unto such Persons as the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Com­mon-Council-Men shall appoint to make [Page 77] the Scrutiney; which Persons so en­trusted, with the said Scrutiney, seven, or ten days after, as shall be thought sit, at another common Hall may declare who are the Persons Elected by the Majority of Votes.

If it be here objected to the whole purpose of this Treatise, that this work may as well be done in distinct Parishes, if all Parishes were obliged to Build Work-Houses, and Employ their Poor therein; as Dorchester and some others have done with good success.

I answer, that such attempts have been made in many places to my know­ledge, with very good intents and stre­nuous endeavours, but all that ever I heard of, proved vain and ineffectual, as I fear will that of Clerken-Well, ex­cept that single instance of the Town of Dorchester, which yet signifies no­thing in relation to the Kingdom in ge­neral, because all other places cannot do the like, nor doth the Town of Dor­chester entertain any but their own Poor only, and Whip away all others; where­as that which I design is to propose such a Foundation, as shall be large, wise, honest and rich enough to maintain and [Page 78] employ all Poor that come within the Pale of their Communication, without enquiring where they were Born, or last Inhabited: Which I dare affirm with Humility, that nothing but a National, or at least such a Provincial Purse can so well do, nor any persons in this Kingdom, but such only as shall be pickt out by po­pular Election for the reason before al­ledged, viz. That in my opinion, three fourths at least of the Stock must issue from the Charity of the people; as I doubt not but it will to a greater proportion, if they be satisfied in the Managers there­of; But if otherwise, not the fortieth; I might say not the hundredth part.

I propose the Majority of the said Fa­thers of the Poor to be Citizens (though I am none my self) because I think a great share of the Money to be employed, must and will come from them, if ever the Work be well done, as also, because their Habitations are nearest the C [...]nter of their Business, and they best acquain­ted with all affairs of this nature, by their experience in the Government of the Hospitals.

Earnestly to desire and endeavour, that the Poor of England should be better [Page 79] provided for and employed, is a work that was much studdied by my deceased Father, and therefore though I be as rea­dy to confess, as any shall be to charge me with Disability to propose a Model of Laws for this great Affair, yet I hope the more Ingenuous will pardon me for endeavouring to give aim towards it, since it is so much my Duty, which in this particular I shall be careful to per­form (though I may be too remise in o­thers) as shall appear by more visible and apparent demonstrations, if ever this design, or any other (that is like to ef­fect what is desired) succeed.

Now I have adventured thus far, I shall proceed to publish my Thoughts and Observations concerning some other things that have relation to Trade, which I do without any purpose or de­sign, save only to give occasion to my Country-men, to be Discoursing and Me­ditating upon those things which have a tendancy to publick Good, from whence (though my Suggestions should be mistakes) probably some good effect may ensue, and therefore the Ingenuous, I know, though they may differ from me, will not blame me for the attempt.

CHAP. III. Concerning Companies of Merchants.

COmpanies of Merchants are of two sorts, viz. Companies in joynt Stock, such as the East-India-Company, the Morea-Company (which is a Branch of the Turkey-Company) and the Greenland-Company, which is a Branch of the Mus­covia Company; the other sort are Com­panies who trade not by a joynt Stock, but only are under a Government and Re­gulation, such are the Hambrough-Com­pany, the Turkey-Company, the Eastland-Company, the Muscovia-Company.

It hath for many Years been a moote case, whether any Encorporating of Merchants, be for publik Good or not.

For my own part I am of Opini­on.

That for Countries with which his Ma­jesty [Page 81] hath no Allieance, nor can have any by reason of their distance, or Barbari­ty, or non-Communication with the Princes of Christendom, &c. where there is a necessity of Maintaining Forces and Forts, (such as East-India and Guinia) Companies of Merchants are absolute ne­cessary.

2. It seems evident to me, that the great­est part of th [...]se two Trades ought for publick Good, to be managed by joynt Stock.

3. It's questionable to me, whether any other Company of Merchants are for publick good or hurt.

4. I conclude however, that all re­strictions of Trade are naught, and con­sequently that no Company whatsoever, whether they Trade in a joynt Stock or under Regulation, can be for publick Good, except it may be easie for all, or any of his Majesty's Subjects to be admit­ted into all, or any of the said Companies, at any time for a very inconsiderable Fine, and that if the Fine exceed 20 l. including all Charges of admission, it is too much, and that for these Rea­sons.

1. Because the Dutch who thrive best by Trade, and have the surest rules to [Page 82] thrive by, admit not only any of their own People, but even Jews and all kind of Ali­ens, to be Free of any of their Societies of Merchants, or any of their Cities or Towns Corporate.

2. Nothing in the World can enable us to coape with the Dutch in any Trade, but en­crease of Hands and Stock, which a general admission will do; many Hands and much Stock being as necessary to the Prospe­rity of any Trade, as Men and Money to warfare.

3. There is no pretence of any good to the Nation by Companies, but only O [...]der and Regulation of Trade; and if that be preserved (which the admission of all that will come in and submit to the Regulation, will not prejudice) all the good to the Nation that can be hoped for by Companies, is obtained.

4. The Eastland, besides our Native Commodities ▪ spend great quantities of Italian, Spanish, Portugal and French Com­modities, viz. Oyle, Wine, Fruit, Sugar, Succads, Shoomack, &c. Now, in regard our East-Country Merchants of England are few, compared with the Dutch, and intend principally that one Trade out and home, and consequently are not so [Page 83] conversant in the aforesaid Commodities, nor forward to adventure upon them, and seeing that by the Companies Charter our Italian, Spanish, Portugal and French Merchants, who understand those Com­modities perfectly well, are excluded those Trades, or at least, if the Compa­ny will give them leave to send out those Goods, are not permitted to bring in the Returns; it follows, that the Dutch must supply Denmark, Sweeden, and all parts of the Baltique, with most of those Commodities, and so it is in fact.

5. The Dutch who have no Eastland-Companies, yet have ten times the Trade to the Eastern parts as we have; and for Italy, Spain and Portugal, where we have no Companies, we have yet left full as much, if not more Trade, then the Dutch. And for Russia and Greenland where we have Companies (and I think Establisht by Act or Acts of Parliament) our Trade is in effect wholly lost, while the Dutch, have, without Companies, en­creased theirs to above forty times the the Bulk of what the residue of ours now is.

From whence may be inferred.

1. That restrained limitted Companies [Page 84] are not alone sufficient to preserve and encrease a Trade.

2. That limitted Companies, though Establish­ed by Act of Parliam [...]nt, may lo [...]se a Trade.

3. T [...]at Trade may be carried on to any part of Christendom, and encreased without Companies.

4. That we have declined more, at least have encreasedless, in those Trades limitted to Companies, then in others where all his Majesties Subjects have had equal freedom to Trade.

The common Objections against this easie admiss [...]on of all his Majesties Subjects into Companies of Merchants, are;

Object. 1. If all persons may come into any Company of Merchants on such easie terms, then young Gentlemen, Shop-keepers and divers others will turn Mer­chants, who through their own unskil­fulness will pay dear for our native Com­modities here, and sell them cheap abroad; and also buy Foreign Commodities dear abroad, and sell them here for less then their cost, to the Ruin of th [...]mselves, and Destruction of Trade.

I answer, first▪ c [...]veat emptor, let particular Men look to themse [...]ves, and so doubtless they will in those Trades for which there are now Companies, as [Page 85] well as they do in others for which there are no Companies.

It is the care of Law-makers first and principally, to provide for the People in gross, not particulars, and if the conse­quence of so easie an admission, should be to make our Manufactures cheap abroad, and Foreign Commodities cheap here, (as is alledged) our Nation in general would have the advantage both ways.

Object. 2. If all should be admitted, &c. Shop keepers, being the Retailors, of the same Commodities the Company Imports, would have so much the advantage of the Merchant, that he would beat the Merchant wholly out of the Trade.

I answer, first, We see no such thing in H [...]lland, nor in the open Trades, viz. France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and all our own Plantations, neither can that well be, for to drive a retail Trade to any purpose, requi [...]es a Mans full Stock, as well as his full attendence, and so doth it to drive the Trade of a Mer­chant, and therefore few can find Stock and time to attend both; from whence it follows, that of the many Hundreds which in memory have turned Mer­chants, very few continued long to fol­low both, but commonly after t [...]o or [Page 86] three Years Experience, betake them­selves wholly to Merchandizing, or re­turned to the sole Exercise of their Retail way; but whether they do, or do not▪ concerns not the Nation in general, whose common Interest is to buy cheap, whatever appellation the Seller hath, whether that of a meer Merchant, Gen­tleman, or a Shop-keeper.

Object. 3. If Shop-keepers and other unexperienced persons may turn Mer­chants, &c. they will through Ignorance neglect buying and sending out our Na­tive Manufactures, and will send out our Money, or Bills of Exchange to buy Foreign Commodities, which is an apparent National loss.

I answer, that Shop-keepers are, like all other Men (led by their profit) and if it be for their Advantage to send out Manufactures, they will do it without fo [...]cing; and if it be for their Profit [...]o send over Money or Bills of Exc [...]ange, they will do that, and so will Merchants as soon and as much as they.

Obj [...]ct. 4. If any may be admitted, &c. what do we get by our seven Years Se [...]vice, and [...]he great Sums of Money our Parents gave to bind us Apprentices to Mer­chants? [Page 87] &c. And who will hereafter bind his Son to a Merchant?

I answer, The end of Service and giving of Money with Apprentices, I have always understood to be the Learning of the Art or Science of Merchandizing, not the purchasing of an Immunity or Monopoly to the prejudice of our Country; and that it is so, is evident from the practice, there being many ge­neral Merchants that are free of no par­ticular Company, who can have as large Sums of Money with Apprentices, as any other that are free of one or more par­ticular Companies of Merchants; and many Merchants that are free of particular Com­panies, unto whom few will give any con­siderable sums of Money with Apprentices; the proportion of Money given with Ap­prentices not following the Company a Merchant is free of, but the condition the Master, as to his more or less reputed skill in his Calling, Thriving or going back­ward, greater or lesser Trade, well or ill Government of himself and Family, &c.

Obj. 5. If all should be admitted on such easie terms, will not that be manifest Injustice to the Companies of Merchants, who by themselves or Predecessors have been at great Disburstments to purchase Priviledges & Immunities abroad, as the Turkey-Company, and the Hambrough-Company have done.

I answer, That I am yet to learn that [Page 88] any Company of Merchants not trading with a joynt Stock, such as the Turkey, Hambrough▪ Muscovia and Eastland Com­panies ever purchased their Priviledges, or built and maintained Forts, Castles or Factories, or made any Wars at their own charge; but I know the Turkey Compa­ny do maintain an Embassador and two Consuls, and are sometimes necessitated to make Presents to the Grand Senior, or his great Officers; and the Hambrough Company are at some charge to main­tain their Deputy, and Minister at Ham­brough; and I think it would be great In­justice that any should trade to the places within their Charters, without paying the same Duties or Leviations towards the Companies charge as the present Ad­venturers do pay, but I know not why any should be barred from trading to those places, or forced to pay a great Fine for admition, that are willing to pay the Companies Duties, and submit to the Companies regulation and orders in other respects.

Obj. 6. If all may be admitted as aforesaid, then such numbers of Shop-keepers and others would come into the Society of Merchants, as would by the Majority of Votes so much alter the Governours, Deputy and Assistants of the respective Companies, that Ignorant Persons would come into those ruling places, to the general prejudice of those Trades.

[Page 89]I answer, Those that make this Obje­ction, if they be Merchants, know there is very little in it, for that it is not to be ex­pected that twenty Shop-keepers will come in­to any one Company in a Year; and there­fore can have no considerable influence upon the Elections; but if many more should come in, it would be the better for the Nation, and not the worse for the Company, for that all men are lead by their Interest, and it being the common Interest of all that engage in any Trade, that the Trade should be regulated and governed by wise, honest and able men, there is no doubt but most m [...]n will Vote for such as they esteem so to be, which is manifest in the East-India-Company, where neither Gentlemen nor Shop- [...]eepers were at first excluded, neither are they yet kept out; any English-man whatsoever being permitted to come into that Company that will buy an Action, paying only five Pounds to the Company for his ad­mission; and yet undeniable experience hath convinced all Gain-sayers in this matter; that Company, since its having had so large and National a Founda­tion, having likewise had a succession of much better Governours, Deputies and [Page 90] Assistants then ever it had upon that narrow bottom it stood formerly, when none could be admitted to the freedom of that Company, for less than a Fine of Fifty Pounds; and the success hath been answerable, For the first Company settled upon that narrow limitted Interest, although their Stock was larger, then this, decayed and finally came to ruin and destruction; Whereas on the contrary, this being settled on more rational, and conse­quently more just, as well as more profi­table Principles, hath through Gods Goodness thriven and encreased to the trebling of their first Stock.

CHAP. IV. Concerning the Act of Navigation.

THough this Act be by most conclu­ded a very beneficial Act for this Kingdom, especially by the Masters and Owners of Shiping, and by all Sea-men; yet some there are, both wise and ho­nest [Page 91] Gentlemen and Merchants, that doubt whether the Inconveniencies it hath brou [...]ht with it, be not greater then the Conveniencies.

For my own part, I am of Opinion that in relation to Trade, Shiping, Pro­fit and Power, it is one of the choicest and most prudent Acts that ever was made in England, and without which we had not now been Owners of one half of the Shiping, nor Trade, nor employed one half of the Sea-men which we do at present; but seeing time hath disco­vered some Inconveniencies in it, if not De­fects, which in my poor opinion do admit of an easie Amendment▪ and seeing that the whole Act is not approved by una­nimous consent, I thought fit to dis­course a little concerning it, wherein, after my plain method I shall lay down such Objections as I have met with, and subjoyn my Answers, with such Rea­sons as occur to my memory in confir­mation of my own Opinion.

The Objections against the whole Act are such as these,

Object. 1. Some have told me, That I on all occasions magnifie the Dutch [Page 92] policy in relation to their Trade, and the Dutch have no Act of Navigation, and therefore they are certainly not always in the right, as to the understanding of their true Interest in Trade, or else we are in the wrong in this.

I answer, I am yet to be informed where the Dutch have missed their pro­per Interest in Trade, but that which is fit for one Nation to do in relation to their Trade, is not fit for all, no more then the same Policy is necessary to a prevailing Army that are Masters of the Field, to an Army of less force, then to be able to encounter their Enemy at all times and places: The Dutch by reason of their great Stocks, low Interest, multi­tude of Merchants and Shiping, are Ma­sters of the Field in Trade, and therefore have no need to build Castles, Fortresses and places of Retreat; such I account Laws of limitation, and securing of particular Trades to the Natives of any Kingdom; because they, viz. the Dutch, may be well assured, That no Nation can enter in common with them in any Trade, to gain Bread by it, while their own use of Money is at 3 per Cent, and others at 6 per Cent and upwards, &c. Whereas if we should [Page 93] suffer their Shiping in common with ours in those Trades, which are secu­red to the English by Act of Navigation, they must necessarily in a few Years, for the Reasons above-said, eat us quite out of them.

Object. 2. The second Objection to the whole A [...]t is; Some will confess that as to Merchants and Owners of Ships the A [...]t of Navigation is eminently benefi­cial, but say, that Merchants and Owners are but an inconsiderable number of men in respect of the whole Nation, and that Interest of the greater number, that our Native Commodities and Manu­factures should be taken from us at the best rates, and foreign Commodities sold us at the cheapest, with admission of Dutch Merchants and Shiping in common with the English, by my own implication would effect.

My answer is, That I cannot deny but this may be true, if the present profit of the generality be barely and singly considered; but this Kingdom be­ing an Island, the defence whereof hath alwayes been our Shiping and Sea-men, it seems to me absolutely necessary that Pro­fit and Power ought joyntly to be considered, [Page 94] and if so, I think none can deny but the Act of Navigation hath and doth occasion building and employing of three times the number of Ships and Sea-men, that otherwise we should or would do, and that consequently, If our Force at Sea were so greatly impared, it would expose us to the receiving of all kind of Injuries and Affronts f [...]om our Neighbours, and in con­clusion render us a despicable and miserable People.

Objections to several Parts of the Act of Navigation.

Object. 1. The Inhabitants and Plan­ters of our Plantations in America, say, This Act will in time ruin their Plantations, if they may not be permitted, at least to carry their Sugars to the best Markets, and not be compell'd to send all to, and receive all Com­modities from England.

I answer, If they were not kept to the Rules of the Act of Navigation, the conse­quence would be, that in a few Years the benefit of them would be wholly lost to the Nation; it being agreeable to the Po­licy [Page 95] of the Dutch, Danes, French, Spa­niards, Portugals, and all Nations in the World, to keep their external Provinces and Colonies in a subjection unto, and dependency upon their Mother-King­dom; and if they should not do so, the Dutch, who as I have said, are Masters of the Field in Trade, would carry away the greatest of advantage by the Plantations, of all the Princes in Chri­stendom, leaving us and others only the trouble of breeding men, and sending them abroad to cultivate the Ground, and have Bread for their Industry.

Here by the way, with entire sub­mission to the greater Wisdom of those whom it much more concerns, give me leave to Query, Whether, instead of the late prohibition of Irish Cattle, it would not have been more for the benefit of this Kingdom of England, to suffer the Irish to bring into England not only their live Cattle, but also all other Commodities of the Growth or Ma­nufacture of that Kingdom, Custom free, or on easie Customs, and to prohibit them from Trading homeward or outward with the Dutch, or our own Plantations, or any other places, except the Kingdom of England? Most certainly such a Law would in a few [Page 96] Years wonderfully encrease the Trade, Ship­ing and Riches of this Nation.

Query 2. Would not this be a good additi­on to the Act of Navigation, and much en­crease the employment of English Shiping and Sea-men, as well in bringing from thence all the Commodities of that Country, as sup­plying that Country with Deals, Salt, and all other foreign Commodities which now they have from the Dutch?

Que. 3. Would not this be a means effectu­ally to prevent the Exportation of Irish Wool, which now goes frequently into France and Holland, to the manifest and great damage both of England and Ireland?

Que. 4 Would not this be a Fortress or Law to secure to us the whole Trade of Ireland?

Que. 5. Would not this render that which now diminisheth, and seems dangerous to the value of Lands in England, viz. the growth of Ireland advantagious, by encrease of Trade and Shiping, and consequently the power of this Kingdom?

Object. 2. The second Ojection to part of the Act of Navigation, is usually made by the Eastland and Norway Merchants, who affirm, that in effect their Trade is much declined since the passing the Act of Navigation; and the Danes, Sweeds, Holsteners, and all Easterlings, who by [Page 97] the said Act may [...]mport Timber, and other Eastern Commodities, have encreased in the number of their Shiping, imploy­ed in this Trade, since our Act of Na­vigation ▪ at least two third parts; and the English have proportionably decli­ned in the number of theirs imployed in that Trade.

I answer, That I believe the matter of Fact asserted is true, as well as the cause assigned, viz. the Act of Naviga­tion; and yet this should not make us out of love with that excellent Law, rather l [...]t it put us upon contriving the Amendment of this seeming Defect, or Inconvenience, the Cure whereof, I hope, upon mature consideration, will not be found difficult, for which I hum­bly propound to the Wisdom of Parlia­ment, viz. That a Law be made to im­pose a Custom of at least 50l. per Cent on all Eastland Commodities, Timber, Boards, Pipe-Staves and Salt imported into England and Ireland upon any Ships but English built Ships; or at least such only as are sailed with an English Maste [...], and at least three fourths English Marriners.

And that for these Reasons;

Reas. First, If this be not done, the [Page 98] Danes, Sweedes and Easterlings will cer­tainly in a few Years carry the whole Trade, by reason of the difference of the cha [...]ge of building a Ship fit for that Trade there or here, viz. a Fly-boat of 300 Tuns new built, and set to Sea for such a Voyage, may cost there 13 or 1400l. which here would cost from 22 to 2400 l. which is so vast a dispropor­tion, that it is impossible for an English man to coape with a Dane in that Na­vigation under such a discouragement; to ballance which there is nothing but the Strangers duty which the Dane now pays, which may come to 5 or 6 l per Ship per Voy [...]ge at most, one with ano­ther, which is incompitable with the dif­ference of Price between the first cost of the Ships in either Nation: And this is so evident to those who are conver­sant in those Trades, that besides the decrease of our S [...]iping and encrease of theirs that hath already happened, ours in probability had bee [...] who [...]y beaten out of the Trade, and only Danes and Easterlings freighted, had we been ne­cessitated to build English Ships, and had not been recruited on moderate P [...]ices by Fly-boats (being Ships proper for this [Page 99] Trade) taken in the late Dutch War, and by a further supply of Scotch Prizes likewise, through his Majesties permis­sion and indulgence.

Reas. 2. Because the number of Stran­gers Ships imployed in the aforesaid Trade yearly, I estimtae to be about two hundred Sail; which if such a Law were made, must unavoidably be all ex­cluded, and the Employment fall whol­ly into English Hands; which would be an excellent Nursery, and give con­stant Maintenance to a brave number of English Sea-men, more then we can or do employ at present.

Reas. 3. The Act of Navigation is now of seventeen or eighteen Years standing in England, and yet in all these Years not one English Ship hath been built fit for this Trade, the reason whereof is that before mentioned, viz. that it is cheaper freight­ing of Danes and Easterlins; and it be­ing so, and all men naturally led by their Profit, it seems to me in vain to expect that ever this Law will procure the building of one English Ship fit for that employment, till those Strangers are excluded this Trade for England, and much more improbable it is, that any [Page 100] should now be built than it was former­ly, when the Act was first made, be­cause Timber is now at almost double the price in England it was then; The consequence whereof is, That if timely Pro­vision be not made by some additional Law, when our old Stock of Flemish Prizes is worn out, as many of them are already, we shall have very few or no Ships in this Trade.

The Objections which I have heard made to this Proposition, are, viz.

Object. 1. If such an Imposition be laid on those gross Commodities imported by Strangers Ships, that will amount to the excluding all Strangers from this Trade; we shall want Ships in England to carry on the Trade, and so the Com­modity will not be had, or else will come very dear to us.

I answer, If the Commodity should be somewhat dearer for the present, it would be no loss to the Nation in gene­ral, because all Freight would be paid to English men; whereas the freight paid to Strangers (which upon those Com­modities is commonly as much or more then the value of Goods) is all clear loss to the Nation.

[Page 101]2dly, If there should be a present want of Shiping, and the Parliament shall please to enjoyn us to build English Ships for this Trade; This extraordi­nary good Effect will follow, viz.

It will engage us to do that we ne­ver yet did, viz. To fall to building of Fly-boats, (great Ships of burthen of no force, and small charge in sailing) which would be the most profitable un­dertaking that ever English men were engaged in, and that which is absolute­ly necessary to be done, if ever we in­tend to board the Dutch in their Trade and Navigation; these Fly-boats being the Milch-Cows of Holland, from which they have sucked manifoldly greater Profit than from all their Ships of force; though both I know are necessary: But if at first the Parliament shall think [...]it to en­joyn us only to Ships sailed with an En­lish Master, and three fourths English Marriners, the Danes and Easterlins be­ing by this means put out of so great an Employment for their Shiping, we shall buy Ships proper for this Trade on easie terms of them, perhaps for half their cost, which under value in purchase will be a present clear profit to England.

[Page 102] Object. 2. If this be done in England, may not other Princes account it hard and unreasonable, and consequently Reta­liate the like upon us?

To answer this Objection, its neces­ary to enquire what Kingdom and Coun­ry will be concerned in this Law.

1st, Then Italy, Spain and Portugal will be wholly unconcerned.

2dly, So will France, who if they were concerned, can take no offence, while they lay an Imposition of 50 or 60 per Cent upon our Drapery.

3dly, The Dutch and Hamburgers would not by such additional Law be more excluded then now they are, and the latter would have an advantage by it, in case the Danes should (as it may be supposed they will) lay a Tax upon our Shiping there, for the consequence thereof would be, that much of those kind of Commodities we should fetch from Hambrough, where they are plen­tifully to be had, though at a little dearer Rate, and yet not so dear, but that the Dutch fetch Yearly thence 350, or 400 Ships loading of Timber, and o­ther wooden Commodities.

4thly, The Sweedes would have an [Page 103] apparent benefit by it, by turning a great part of the Stream of our Trade for those Commodities to Gottenborrow, and divers other parts of Sweeden, that are lately opened, and now opening, where very large qu [...]ntities of Timber, Masts and Boards likewise may be had, though some sma [...]l matter dear [...]r than in Norway: Besides, if the Sweedes should expect no advantage, but rather loss by such amendment of our own Laws, they have no reason to b [...] angry, because they have lately made so many Laws for encouragement of their own Shiping and Navigation, and cons [...]quent­ly discouragement of ours, that do in effect amount to a prohibition of the English from sending their own Manu­factures to Sweeden in English Shiping, in­somuch that the English Merchants when Sweedish Shiping doth not p [...]sent, are forced many times to s [...]nd th [...]ir Goods to Elsinore, to lie there till a Sweedish Ship come by to put them aboard of, and pay their Factoridge, and other charges, becaus [...] if they should send them on English Ships, the Duties are so high in Sweeden, that it is impossible for them to make their first cost of them.

[Page 104]5thly, The Easterlins or Hans-Towns, though they were excluded this Trade for England with their Shiping, where­of they have little, (the greatest share being carried away by the Danes) would be gainers by the encrease of our Trade with them, for Boards, Timber, Spruce Deals, &c. at Dant­zick, Quinsborough, and other places, which would be very considerable in case the King of Denmark should impose any considerable extraordinary Tribute on our Shiping; which brings me to the third Objection.

Object. 3. If this be done, will not the King of Denmark lay a great Imposition upon all our Shiping that Trade into his Dominions, and also upon our Drapery, and other Native English Commo­dities.

I answer, That whatever that King may do at first, I am perswaded after he hath considered of it, he will be moderate in his Impositions, because he can hurt none but himself by making them great; for as to Drapery, and o­ther English Goods, his Country spends none worth speaking of, and that charged with about 30 or 40 per Cent [Page 105] Custom already, nine tenths of all the Timber and Boards we fetch from thence, being, in my opinion, purchased with ready Dollars sent from England and Holland; and if he should by a great Imposition totally discourage us from trading with his People, we should lay out that Money with the Sweedes, Hamburgers, Danzickers, and others, where we may have sufficient supply, while the Danes would be exceedingly burthened with the lying of their Goods upon their Hands; there being in Norway great quantities of Goods, viz. the course Hemlock, Timber, common­ly brought from Larwick, Tunsberry, Sandyford, Osk [...]strand, Hollumstrand, and many other parts, which no Nation in the World trades with them for, or will buy or use but the English only.

CHAP. V. Concerning Transfer­rance of Debts.

THE great Advantage that would accrue to this Kingdom by a Law for Transferring Bills of Debt, from one person to another, is sufficiently under­stood by most Men, especially by Mer­chants.

The difficulty seems not to be so much in making of a Law to this purpose, as reducing it to practice, because we have been so long accustomed to buy and sell Goods by verbal Contracts only, that Rich and Great Men for some time will be apt to think it a Diminution of their Reputation, to have Bills under their Hands and Seals demanded of them for Goods bought; and meaner Men will fear the loosing of their Customers, by insisting upon having such Bills for what they sell, which Inconveniency proba­bly [Page 107] may be avoided, and the Good ho­ped for fully attained, if it be en­acted,

That all and every Person and Persons Native and Foreign, Bodies Politick and Corporate, Being or Inhabiting within the Kingdom of England, or Dominion of Wales, who from and after the day of shall buy and receive any Wares, Goods, and Merchandize from any others, shall immediately on receipt thereof, (in case ready Money be not paid for the same) give unto him or them of whom such Goods, Wares and Merchandize shall be bought, or to his and their use, a Bill or Writing obligatory, under the Hand or Seal of him or them so buying the same, which shall mention the quality of the said Goods, and the neat sum af Money, with the time or times of pay­ment agreed upon.

2. That all Persons, &c. may Trans­fer the said Bills under their Hands, to any other by a short Assignation on the back side.

3. That every such Assignee may re-assign toties quoties.

4. After such Assignment it shall not be in the power of any Assignor to make void, release or discharge the Debt.

[Page 109]5. No Debts, after Assignment, to be liable to any Attachments, Execution, Statute or Commission of Bankrupt, or other Demand, as the Estate of hi [...] or them that Assigned the same.

6. That each Assignment shall absolutely vest the Property into the Assignee, to all in­tents and purposes.

7. That such Assignments being received, and Receipts or Discharges given for the same, shall be deemed good Payment.

8. That all Goods sold above the value of 10 l. after the day of for which no such Bill or Writing obligatory shall be given or tendred as aforesaid, to the seller or sel­lers thereof, or to his or their Vse, shall be deemed and construed to all Intents and Pur­poses in the Law, as if the same had been contracted for to be paid in ready Money, any Concession or verbal Agreement between the said Parties to the contrary notwith­standing.

This Clause I hope may be effectual to initiate us to a practice and obser­vance of such a Law.

6. That the first Assignment of any such Bill or Bills of Debt, be to this or tho like ffect.

[Page 108]I A. B. do engage and attest, that the Debt within mentioned is a true Debt, and no part of it paid to me or to my use, or discharged by me; and I do hereby Assign over the same to C. D. for his own Account.

10. And that the second, and all other after Assignations upon any such Bills, shall be to this or the like effect, viz.

I A. B. do attest, that no part of the within-mentioned Debt is paid to me or my use, or discharged by me, and I do hereby Transfer the same to C. D.

The Objections I have met with to the making such a Law are, viz.

Object. 1. This would be repugnant to our common Law, and some Statutes, viz. Maintenance, Champarty, Bankrupt, &c.

1. I answer, not so repugnant as at first view it seems to be, for though by our Laws at present, Bonds and Bills cannot be Assigned, Mortgages (which are but another kind of Security for Money lent) may be Assigned.

2. If any Laws at present are repug­nant to the common good of the Nation, and if the making of such a new Law [Page 110] will effectually encrease the useful Stock of the Nation, at least one third part, and greatly ease the course of Trade, as I humbly conceive this will do, I hope none will deny but it may consist with the Wisdom of Parliament to create new Laws.

3. Most of our Statutes were made in times before we understood Trade in England, and the same Policy and Laws that were good then, and may yet be good for a Country destitute of Com­merce, may not be so [...]it for us now, nor for any Nation so abounding with Trade as England doth at present.

Object. 2. May not this occasion many Cheats and Law Suites?

Answ. 1. I answer no, Experience ma­nifests the contrary, not only in other Kingdoms and Countries abroad where Transferrance of Bills of Debt is in use, but even in our own where we have for many Ages had the Experience of Indorsment on Bills of Exchange, and in this present Age of the passing of Gold-Smiths Notes from one Man to another, which two practices are very like to the designed way of Transferring Bills of [Page 111] Debt, and yet no considerable Cheats or Inconveniencies have arisen thereby.

Answ. 2. No Man can be Cheated except it be with his own consent, and we com­monly say caveat emptor, no Man is to be forced to accept anothers Bill that him­self doth not approve of, and no Man will accept of another Mans Bill except he know him, or until he hath used means to satisfie himself concerning him, no more then he will sell his Goods to a Stranger, unless he hath some reason to believe he is able to pay him.

Object. 3. Will not such a Law as this be very troubl [...]som, especially in Fairs and Markets, and also to Gentlemen and Ladies when they shall be forced for all Goods they buy above the value of 10 l. to give Bills un­der their Hand▪ and Seals?

I answer, this Law will not at all In­comode Gentlemen as to what they Buy in Shops, &c. neither those that con­verse in Fairs and Markets; for that which Gentlemen Buy in Shops, &c. and others in Fairs, &c. they either pay or promise ready Money, or else say no­thing of the time or payment, which the Law understands to be the same with [Page 112] a promise of present pay; so that if they give no Bills, there is no penalty at­tends the neglect or refusal, but only that the contract between the Buyer and Seller shall be presumed in the Law to be as if it were made for ready Mo­ney.

CHAP. VI. Concerning a Court Merchant.

I Have conceived great hope from the late most Prudent and Charita­ble Institution of that Iudicature, for determination of Differences touching Houses Burned by the late Fire in London, that this Kingdom will at length be bles­sed with a happy method, for the spee­dy, easie and cheap deciding of Dif­ferences between Merchants, Masters of Ships and Seamen, &c. by some Court or Courts of Merchants, like those which [Page 113] are established in most of the great Ci­ties and Towns in France, Holland and o­ther places; the want whereof in England, is and hath ever been a great bar to the Progress and Grandure of the Trade of this Kingdom; as for instance, if Mer­chants happen to have differences with Masters and Owners of Ships, upon Char­ter-parties or Accounts beyond [...]ea, &c. The Suite is commonly first commenced in the Admiralty Court, where, after te­dious Attendance and vast Expences, probably just before the Cause should come to Determination, it is either re­moved into the Deligates, where it may hang in suspence until the Plantiff and Defendant have empty purses and grey Heads, or else, because most Contracts for Martain Affairs, are made upon the Land (and most Accidents happen in some Rivers or Harbours here, or be­yond Sea, are not in alto mari) The De­fendant brings his Writ of Prohibition, and removes the Cause into his Majesties Court of King's-Bench, where after great Expences of Time and Money, it is well if we can make our own Council (being common Lawyers) understand one half of our Case, we being amongst them as [Page 114] in a Foreign Country, our Language strange to them, and theirs as strange to us; after all, no Attestations of Fo­reign Notaries, nor other publick Instru­ments from beyond Sea, being Eviden­ces at Law, and the Accounts depend­ing, consisting perhaps of an hundred or more several Articles, which are as so many Issues at Law, the Cause must come into the Chancery, where after ma­ny Years tedious Travels to Westminster, with black Boxes and green Bags, when the Plantiff and Defendant have tired their Bodies, distracted their Minds, and consumed their Estates, the Cause if ever it be ended, is commonly by or­der of that Court referred to Merchants, ending miserably, where it might have had at first a happy issue if it had begun right.

From whence follows these National Inconveniencies.

1. It is a vaest Expence to the Persons concerned.

2. It takes off Men from following their Callings, to the Publick loss, as well as the particular Damages of the concerned, that time being lost to the Nation that is spent in Law-Suits.

[Page 115]3. It makes Men, after they have once attained indifferent Estates, to leave Tra­ding, and for ease to turn Country-Gen [...]le­men, whereas great and experienced Men are the only Persons that must mate the Dutch in Trade, if ever we do it.

4. It is my opinion a great cause of the Pro­digality, Idleness and Injus [...]ice of many of our Masters of Ships in England, and co [...] ­sequently a wonderful bar to the growth of our English Navigation, who knowing that their Owners cannot legally eject them, especially if the Master have a part of the Ship himself, but that Re­medy to the Owners will be worse then the Disease, which occasions Masters to presume to do those things, and be guilty of such neglects as naturally they would not, if they stood more upon their good behaviour.

I could say much more of the Damage this Nation sustains by the want of a Law-Merchant, but that is so evident to all Mens Experience, that I shall not longer insist upon it, but proceed hum­bly to propose some particulars, which being duely considered, may peradven­ture [Page 116] by wiser Heads be improved to­wards the cure of this evil, viz.

1. That it be Enacted, that there shall be erected within the City of London, a standing Court-Merchant, to consist of twelve able Merchants, such as shall be cho­sen by the Livery Men of the said City in their common Hall, at the time and in the manner herein after limitted and appointed.

2. That the said twelve persons so to be Elected, or any three or more of them, sit­ting at the same time and place, and not o­therwise, shall be accounted Iudiciary Mer­chants, and Authorized to hear and de­termine all Differences and Demands what­soever, which have arisen (and are not hitherto determined) or may any ways arise between Merchants, Trades-Men, Arti­ficers, Masters and Owners of Ships, Sea-Men, Boat-Men and Freighters of Ships, or any other Persons having relation to Merchandizing, Trade or Shiping, for or concerning any Account or Accounts of Merchants, Freight of Ship, or Goods, Bill or Bills of Exchange, or Bills of Bottom­ry, or Bumery, or for Work done upon, or Materials delivered to the use of any Ship, or Money due for sale of Goods, or [Page 117] any other thing relating to Trade or Ship­ing.

3. That any three or more of them (as the Iudges lately did at Clifford's-Inn) may proceed sumarily to the hearing and determining of any such Differences, and that their Sentence shall be final, from which there shall be no Appeal or Review, other­wise then as is hereafter mentioned, nor any Writ of Error lie for the removal, or re­versal of the same.

4. That they, or any three of them may so issue ou [...] Summons for [...]vening all Persons before them, a [...] the Judges did, &c.

5. That they be a Co [...]e of Records, a [...] the Judges were, &c.

6. That they take [...]othing for their own pains, directly or indirectly, bu [...] six pe [...]ce each for Signing every final Order in every Cause, whereof the value of the Money to be paid doth not exceed 10 l. And 12 d. for all Causes not exceeding 100 l. and only 2 s. each for all Causes exceeding the value of 100 l.

The said Fees to be due and payable only to such and so many of the said Iudiciary Merchants as heard the said Cause and [Page 118] Causes, and Signed the Iudgments or final Decrees in them.

7. That for Rewards to Officers, the Iu­diciary Merchants do constitute a Table of reasonable Fees, to be confirmed by the two Lord Cheif-Justices, and Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.

8. Tha [...] in any Case determined by a less number then seven of the said Iudiciary Merchants, there may be an Appeal to se­ven or more, as was lately practised in the afore-mentioned Judicature.

9. That they may have power to levy Ex­ecutions upon Estates real or personal, with such Restrictions as the Parliament shall please to appoint.

10. That the extent of the Iurisdiction of the said Court, shall be to all Places within ten Miles of London, or only to the late Lines of Communication, as the Parlia­ment shall think fit.

11. That the said Iudiciary Merchants and their Officers, before they exercise their Aut [...]ority, take such Oathes as the Parlia­ment shall please to appoint.

12. That if any of the Iudiciary Mer­chants be Prosecuted for exercising any of the Powers that shall be committed to them, [Page 119] they may plead the general Issue, and give the Act in evidence for their De­fence.

13. That no Writ or Writs of [...]perse­deas, Certiorary, or Injunctions out of any of his Majesties Courts, shall super­ceed, or stay Execution, &c.

14. The Act to continue Probatio­narily so long as the Parliament shall think fit.

15. That the twelve [...] Mer­chants shall be chosen Yearly by [...] the Free­men, that are Livery-men of London, in the Guild-Hall of the said City, o [...] by so many of them as shall be present at such E­lections, upon every Munday Yearly, next before the Feast day of St Michael (or as the Parliament shall appoint) in man­ner following, Every Livery-man then pre­sent, to deliver unto any two such Aldermen and four Commoners, as the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen for the time be­ing, shall appoint to take the [...] or scru­teny of Election, a Paper containing the names of such twelve Persons as he thinks best to be Elected for the purposes afore-said, setting his, the said Electors, own name on the back-side of the said Paper, [Page 120] and the next Munday after, in the said Guild-Hall, the said two Aldermen, and four Commoners, or so many of them as shall have taken the Scrutin [...]y, shall publickly declare unto the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Commoners then present, who are the twelve Persons chosen by the majority of Votes, and how many Votes each of them had.

16. If it happen that any of the judicia­ry Merchants dye before the end of the Year, or refuse to undertake the Trust, it be lawful for the Livery-men to choose another or others, toties quoties. And the Lord Mayor being enjoyned to summon Common-Halls to that purpose.

17. That every Year six of the old judi­ciary Merchants go off in course, and be un­capable of being re-elected, and six now ones chose in their stead, viz. all the twelve to be re-chosen, but only six of the old ones that had the most Voices to hold next Year, although more of them should happen to be elected for the next Year.

Object. 1. The many Objections that I can fore-see will be made against this Constitution, is, that It thwarts that most excellent order of our English Iuries.

[Page 121]Answ. 1. I answer, That I hope there is no English man more in love with Iuries then my self; but it is evident that the common way of Tryals, doth not well reach the variety and strange­ness of Merchants cases, especially in relation to foreign Affairs.

Answ. 2. What better Jury can a Merchant hope for, than twelve able and honest Merchants, chose by the col­lective Body of the whole City, and such as shall all of them stand upon their Good Behaviour to be turned out with Ignominy the next Year, if they do not equal right to all men.

Object. 2. The admitting of no Appeals from a Cou [...]t-Merchant seems too arbitrary.

I answer; While we choose our Iudges our selves for Merchants cases, and may remove them our selves, in my opinion they can be no more too ar­bitrary than too much power can be given to Referees, when both parties desire an end of their Differences; be­sides, if their Power be not great, the many designs of cheap, speedy, and short issues will be lost. But if it shall please the Parliament, there may be in the Act an appeal reserved to the House [Page 122] of Lords the Money condemned, to be first paid or deposited before the Appeal be allowed.

CHAP. VII. Concerning Naturalization.

THat an Act of Naturalization of Strangers would tend to the ad­vancement of Trade, and encrease of the value of the Lands of this Kingdom, is now so generally owned and assented to, by all degrees of men amongst us, that I doubt not but a short time will produce some Act or Acts of Parliament to that purpose.

I have therefore thought it not imper­tinent to note some few Particulars, which if not warily prevented, may de­prive us of the greatest part of the Fruit hoped for by so good a design, viz.

1st, The Priviledges of encorporated Ci­ties and Towns.

2dly, More especially the Societies of Artificers and Trades-men belonging to some [Page 123] Cities and Towns Corporate, such as Wea­vers, Coopers, and many others, who by vertue of their Charters, pretend to Privi­ledge and Iurisdiction, not only to the ut­most extent of the Liberties of their respe­ctive Cities and Towns, but to the distance of ten Miles about them.

3. That branch of the Statute of 5th of Elizabeth, which enacts, That none shall use any manual Occupation that hath not served an Apprenticeship thereunto, upon which Statute it hath been usual to indict Strangers, work-men that have exercised their Callings in the out-parts of London.

Upon this point of Naturalization, many men make a great doubt, whe­ther it be for publick good to permit the Iews to be Naturalized in common with other Strangers.

Those that are against their admission, who for the most part are Merchants, urge these Reasons;

1. They say the Iews are a subtil People, prying into all kind of Trades, and thereby depriving the English Mer­chant of that Profit he would otherwise gain.

2 They are a penurious People, li­ving miserably, and therefore can, and [Page 124] do afford to trade for less profit then the English, to the prejudice of the Eng­lish Merchant.

3. They bring no Estates with them▪ but set up with their Pens and Ink on­ly; and if after some few Years they thrive and grow rich, they carry away their Riches with them to some other Country (being a People that cannot mix with us) which Riches being car­ried away) is a publick loss to this Kingdom.

Those that are for the admission of the Iews, say in answer to the aforesaid Reasons, viz.

1st, The subtiller the Iews are, and the more Trades they pry into while they live here, the more they are like to encrease Trade, and the more they do that, the better it is for the Kingdom in general, though the worse for the Eng­lish Merchant, who comparitively to the rest of the People of England is not one of a thousand.

2dly, The thriftier they live, the better Example to our people; there be­ing nothing in the World more conducing to enrich a Kingdom then thriftiness.

[Page 125]3dly, It is denyed that they bring over nothing with them; for many have brought hither very good Estates, and hundreds more would do the like, and settle here for their Lives, and their Posterities after them, if they had the same Freedom and Security here as they have in Holland and Italy, where the grand Duke of Tuscaney, and other Princes allow them not only per­fect Liberty and Security, but give them the priviledge of making Laws a­mong themselves; and that they would reside with us, is proved from the known Principles of Nature, viz.

Principle 1. All men by Nature are alike, as I have before demonstrated, and Mr Hobbs hath truly asserted, how Erroneous soever he may be in other things.

Princip. 2. Fear is the cause of Hatred and hatred of separation from, as well as evil Deeds to the Parties or Government hated, when opportunity is offered: This by the way shews the difference between a bare connivence at Dissenters in matters of Reli­gion, and a toleration by Law; the former keeps them continually in Fear, and conse­quently apt to Sedition and Rebellion, when any probable occasion of success presents: [Page 126] The latter disarms cunning, ambitious mind­ed men, who wanting a popular discontented Party to work upon, can effect little or nothing to the prejudice of the Government. And this methinks discovers clearly the Cause why the Lutherans in Germany, Prote­stants in France, Greeks in Turkey, and Sectaries in Holland are such quiet peace­able-minded-men, while our Non-Con­formists in England are said to be encli­nable to Strife, War and Bloodshed; Take away the Cause, and the Effect will cease.

While the Laws are in Force against men, they think the Sword hangs over their Heads, and are always in fear (though the Execu­tion be suspended) not knowing how soon Councils, or Counsellors, Times or Persons may change, it is only Perfect Love that casts out Fear; and all men are in love with Liberty and Security: It cannot be denyed that the industrious Bees have Stings, (though Drones have not) yet Bees sting not, except those that hurt them, or disturb their Hives.

It is said, the Iews cannot Inter­marry with us, and therefore it cannot be supposed they will reside long a­mongst us, although they were treated [Page 127] never so kindly; why not reside here as well as in Italy, Poland or Holland; they have now no Country of their own to go to, and therefore that is their Country, and must needs be so esteemed by them, where they are best used, and have the greatest Security.

CHAP. VIII. Concerning Wool and Wool­len Manufactures.

THat Wool is eminently the Founda­tion of the English Riches, I have not heard denyed by any, and that therefore all possible means ought to be used to keep it within our own Kingdom, is generally confessed, and to this pur­pose most of our modern Parliaments have strenuously endeavoured the con­triving of severe Laws to prevent its Exportation, and the last Act made it Felony to Ship out Wool, Woolfels, &c.

Notwithstanding which, we see that [Page 128] English and Irish Wool goes over so plen­tifully, that it is within a very small mat­ter as cheap in Holland as in England.

The means to prevent this Evil, by additional Penal Laws, and alterations of some of those now in being, were long under debate, by his Majesties command in the Cou [...]cil of Trade, who according to their duty, took great pains therein; and since, I have been informed the same things were under consideration in Parliament, so that I doubt not, but in due time we shall see some more effectual Laws enacted to this purpose, as well in relation to Ire­land, (from whence the greatest of this mischief proceeds) as in England, then ever yet have been; yet I do utterly despair of ever seeing this Disease per­fectly cured till the Causes thereof be re­moved, which I take to be;

1st, He [...]ghth of Interest in England, which an Abatement by Law to 4 per Cent would cure.

2dly, Want of Hands, which an Act of Naturalization would cure.

3dly, Compulsion in matters of Religion, which some relaxation of the Ecclesiasti­cal Laws, I hope would effectually cure.

[Page 129]For while our Neighbours, through the cheap valuation of their Stocks, can afford to trade, and disburse their Mo­nies for less profit then we, as hath been I think sufficiently demonstrated by the fore-going Discourse, and have more Hands to employ then we, by reason of the large Immunities and Pri­viledges they give both to Natives and Foreigners, there is no question but they will be able to give a better Price for our Wool, than we can afford our selves; and they that can give the best price for a Commodity shall never fail to have it, by one means or other, not­withstanding the opposition of any Laws, or interposition of any Power by Sea or Land; of such force, subtilty and violence is the general course of Trade.

Object. But some may say, and take it as well from what I have writ else­where, as from their own Observations, Will not the well-making of our Woollen-Manufactures, contribute much to the keeping of our Wool naturally within our own Kingdom.

I answer; Doubtless it will have a great tendency thereunto, but can ne­ver effect it, till the aforesaid Radical [Page 130] Causes of this Disease be removed, which brings me to the next Question, viz.

What will improve our Woollen-Manu­factures in quality and quantity?

This is a very great Question, and requires very deliberate and serious Consideration, but I shall write my pre­sent Thoughts concerning it, desiring those Gentlemen's pardon, from whom I may differ in Opinion, having this to say for my self, that I do it not rash­ly, this being a business that I have many Years considered of, and that not solitari­ly, but upon converse with the most skilful men in our several English Woollen Manufactures

1. Then I say, Those three fore-men­tioned Particulars which will naturally keep our Wool at home, will as naturally encrease our Woollen-Manufactures.

2. Negatively, I think that very few of our Laws now in force to this purpose (though our Statute-Books are replenished with many) have any tendency thereunto, nor any thing I have yet seen in Print; For,

1st, All our Laws relating to the Aulnegeors duty, every body knows sig­nifie nothing to the encrease, or well-making our Manufactures, but are ra­ther chargeable and prejudicial.

[Page 131]2dly, All our Laws that oblige our People to the making of strong, sub­stantial (and as we call it, Loyal) Cloth of a certain length, breadth and weight, if they were duly put in Execution, would in my opinion do more hurt than good, because the Humors and Fashions of the World change, and at sometimes in some places (as now in most) slight cheap light Cloth will sell more plenti­fully and better, than that which is hea­vier, stronger and truer wrought; and If we intend to have the Trade of the World, we must imitate the Dutch, who make the worst as well as the best of all Manufactures, that we may be in a capacity of serving all Markets, and all Humors.

3dly, I conclude all our Laws limit­ting the number of Loomes numbered, or kind of Servants, and Times of work­ing, to be certainly prejudicial to the cloathing of the Kingdom in general, though they be advantagious to some particular Men or Places, who first pro­cured those Laws of Restriction and Li­mitation.

4thly, I think all those Laws are Pre­judicial, that prohibit a Weaver from being a Fuller, Tucker or Dyar, or a Fuller or Tucker from keeping a Loome.

[Page 132]5thly, I conculde that stretching of Cloth by Tentors, though it be sometimes prejudicial to the Cloth, is yet absolute­ly necessary to the Trade of England, and that the excess of straining cannot be certainly limitted by any Law, but must be left to the Sellers or Exporters discretion, who best knows what will please his Customers beyond the Seas; besides, if we should wholly prohibit straining of Cloth, the Dutch (as they have often done) would buy our unstrained Cloth, and carry it into Holland, and there strain it to six or seven Yards per piece more in length, and make it look a little better to the Eye, and after that carry it abroad to Turkey, and other Markets, and there beat us out of Trade with our own Weapons.

But some may then ask me, Whether I think it would be for the advantage of the Trade of England, to leave all men at liberty to make what Cloth and Stuffs they please, how they will, where and when they will, of any lengths or sizes?

I answer; Yes, certainly in my judg­ment it would be so, except such Spe­cies only as his Majesty & the Parliament [Page 133] shall think fit to make Staples, as suppose Colchester Baye [...], Perpetuanoes, Cheanyes, and some other sorts of Norwich Stuffs to be allowed the honour of a pub­lick Seal, by which to be bought and sold here, and beyond Seas, as if it were upon the publick Faith of England; and where-ever such Seal is allowed, or shall be thought fit to be affixed to any Commodity, I would desire the Com­modity should be exactly made accor­ding to the Institution, and always kept to its certain length, breadth and good­ness.

But in case any shall make of the said Commodities worse then the Institution, I think it would be most for the publick advantage to impose no Penalty upon them, but only deny them the benefit and reputation of the publick Seal, to such Bayes or Stuffs as shall be so insuffi­cient; which in my opinion would be punishment enough to those that should make worse than the Standard, and ad­vantage enough to those that should keep to it.

2. For all Cloth and Stuffs not being made Staples, I think it would be of very great use that the Makers did weave [Page 134] in their Marks, and affix their own Seals, containing the length and breadth of the Pieces (as hath been provided in some Statutes) and that no Maker un­der severe Penalties shall use another Mark or Seal, with such Penalty to eve­ry marker or seller, whose Cloth or Stuffs shall not contain the length and breadth set upon the Seal, as his Majesty and the Parliament shall think fit.

3. If the makers of all Stuffs whatso­ever for Exportation, whether Staples or not (which are commonly sold by the Piece, and not by the Yard or Ell) were obliged to make them no shorter than antiently they have been made; the particular lengths of each sort whereof might be provided for, and expressed in the Act, this good effect would fol­low upon it, viz.

At all foreign Markets, where we pay a great Custom by the Piece, according to the Books of Rates, currant in the seve­ral Countries, we should pay but the same Custom abroad for a piece of full length, which now we do for one that is shorter: Notwithstanding, I conceive it would be expedient to leave it to the makers discretion, to make their pieces as much longer as they please.

CHAP. IX. Concerning the Ballance of Trade.

THat the Greatness of this Kingdom depends upon Foreign Trade, is acknowledged, and therefore the Inte­rest of Trade not unbecoming Persons of the highest Rank; and of this Study, as well as others, it may be said, there's an infinite in it, none, though of the largest Intelects and Experience, being able to fathom its utmost depth.

Among other things relating to Trade, their hath been much discourse of the Ballance of Trade; the right understanding whereof may be of sin­gular use and serve as a Compass to Stear by, in the Contemplations and Propaga­tion of Trade for publick Advantage.

The Ballance of Trade is commonly un­derstood two ways.

1. Generally, something whereby it may [Page 136] be known whether this Kingdom gaineth or loseth by Foreign Trade.

2. Particularly, something whereby we may know by what Trades this Kingdom gaines, and by what Trades it loseth.

For the first of these.

It is the most general received opinion, and that not ill grounded, that this Bal­lance is to be taken by a strict Scrutiny of what proportion the value of the Commodities exported out of this King­dom bear, to those Imported; and if the Exports exceeds the Imports, it is conclu­ded the Nation gets by the general course of its Trade, it being supposed that the over-plush is Imported in Bulloin, and so adds to the Treasure of the King­dom; Gold and Silver being taken for the measure and standard of Riches.

2. This Rule is not only commonly applyed to the general course of Fo­reign Trade, but to particular Trades to and from this Nation to any o­ther.

Now although this notion have much of truth in it, was ingeniously and worthily started by him that first pub­lished it; and much good hath accrued to the Kingdom by our Law-makers [Page 137] (Noble men and Gentlemen) resenting it, yet if the difficulty of the Scrutiny whereby to reduce it into practice, and the many Accidents that may accrue, be seriously weighed, it will appear too doubtful and uncertain as to our general Trade, and in reference to particular Trades fallible and erroneous.

That it will not hold as to Foreign Trade in general appears;

1. From the difficulty and impossi­bility of taking a true account, as well of the quantity, as of the value of Commodities Exported and Imported.

The general rule for this hath been the Custom-House-Books, but that they cannot be in any measure certain will easily be granted, for,

1. As to the quantity, if it be conside­red that many fine Commodities of small bulk and great value, as Points, Laces, Ribands, fine Lennen, Silks, Iewels, &c. are Imported by stealth; & that also in many out-Ports and Creeks of England & Wales, Com­modities of bulk are both Imported and Exported often-times by indirect means, that never are Registred, besides also of what is entered, there may be (though not considerable in London) yet in other parts [Page 138] much difference in the quantities and qualities.

2. As to the value, how shall the compute be made, seeing the rates of the Customs are in no kind proportina­ble, our own Commodities being some rated very low, as Drapery, Silk-Wares, Haberdashery, and all Manufactures of Iron: Others high, as Lead and Tin; and Fish in English Shiping nothing; and for Foreign Commodities Imported, the rates are yet more unequal, so that the value rated for the Customs cannot be a due measure.

Besides, Foreign Commodities Imported by English Shiping, should be valued only at their first Cost and Charges aboard, and those by Foreign Shiping, with the en­crease of the home-ward Freight.

2. From the many Accidents that fall out in Trade, without the true know­ledge whereof a right Ballance cannot be made, as,

1. Accidents that diminish the Stock sent out, as losses at Sea, bad Markets, Bankrupt, also Consiscations, Seisures and Arrests, which fall out often on se­veral occasions.

[Page 139]Now if by any of these or such like the original Stock comes to be impai­red, and lessened, the value of the Com­modities Imported in return, may be far less then the value of the Commodi­ties Exported, and yet may be the full product, and so the Nation no Gainer, though the Exports were more in value then the Imports.

2. Accidents whereby the Stock sent out, comes to be extraordinarily advan­ced in Sale abroad, from whence it may fall out, that the Commodities Impor­ted in return, may appear to be of a much greater value then the Commodities Ex­ported, and yet be no more then the real produce of them, and so the Nati­on no loser, but a Gainer thereby, al­though the Imports exceeds the Ex­ports.

And if the afore-cited Instances suf­fice not to prove the uncertainty (in some cases) of this Notion of the Bal­lance of Trade, the following Exam­ples of Ireland, Virginia and Barbadoes, are so pregnant to this case, as I think will convince any Man: For those three Countries do without doubt Ex­port Annually a far greater value of [Page 140] the Commodities of their native growth and product, then is Imported to them from hence, or from any Foreign Coun­try, and yet they are not such great Gainers, but continue Poor; the true reason whereof as to Ireland, is given by the most Ingenious Author of that Trea­tise of Taxes and Contributions, Page 27. where he saith, That a great part of Estates both real and personal in Ireland, are owned by Absentees, and such as draw over the Profits raised out of Ireland, re­funding nothing; so as Ireland Exporting more then it Imports, doth yet grow Poorer to a Paradox.

Here let me glaunce at my old Theme, and desire the Reader to consi­der seriously, whether it may not im­properly be said of all Kingdoms and Countries, where the Interest of Money runs higher then their Neighbours, that a part of their Estates are owned by Absentees, and consequently they shall be sure to be kept Poor, whether their Importations or their Exportations exceed.

This likewise resolves a Question that was once put to me by an Honoura­ble person concerning the County of Corn­well, [Page 141] which notwitstanding the great quantity of Tin and Pilchards, which Annually the Inhabitants are sending forth from their two Mines of Land and Sea, yet that Country still remains in a poor condition; The reason whereof to me seems clearly to be, because a great part of the Stock imployed in the aforesaid great Trade, is taken up at Interest, and consequently owned by Londoners, and other Absentees.

And though it may be hoped that this is not yet the case of England, yet it is a demonstration that the notion of take­ing the Ballance this way, is not abso­lutely, and in all places, and under all circumstances, without exception true & good; for in case the Trade of England should be carried on by Absentees, then the supposi [...]ion upon which this Noti­on is groun [...]ed, (viz. that when the Exports over Ba [...]lance the Imports, the Surplusage is returned into England in Bulloin) will prove a mistake, and the con­trary will be true, viz. that the Sur­plusage will be conveighed into Foreign parts, to the places of the residence of such Absentees.

[Page 142]2. The second thing I am to Illustrate is, that this rule (barely considered) is fallible and erroneous, as to particular and distinct Trades.

This will appear, if it be considered, that a true measure of any particular Trade, as to the profit or loss of the Nation thereby, cannot be taken by the consideration of such Trade in it self singlely, but as it stands in refe­rence, and is subservient to the general Trade of the Kingdom; for it may so fall out that there may be some places to which little of our English Manufactures are Exported, and yet the Commodi­ties we have from thence, may be so necessary to the carrying on our Trade in general, or some other parti­cular Trades, that without them the Nation would greatly decline and decay in Trade.

Now in this case, if we should mea­sure such a particular Trade by the aforesaid Notion of the Ballance, we should find the Imports abundantly ex­ceed the Exports, and so be ready to conclude against such a Trade as de­structive, whereas (notwithstanding) [Page 143] it may in truth, be a very necessary be­neficial Trade, and to the very great advantage of the Nation; as for instance,

The Trade of Denmark and Norway, the Imports from whence are certainly many times the value of our Native Commodities exported thither, and yet it cannot be denied but that Trade is advantagious to the Kingdom, not only because it gives, or would give employ­ment to two Hundred, or three Hun­dred Sail of English Shiping (if we did a little mend our Act of Navigation) but principally because the Commodities imported from thence, as Timber, Pitch, Deals and Tar, are of such ne­cessary use, in order to the building and supplying our Shiping, that without them other Trades could not be car­ried on.

It will not be denied by the honou­rable East-India Company, but they im­port much more Goods into England, than they export, & that to purchase the same, they carry out quantities of Gold & Silver annually; yet no man that under­stands any thing of the Trade of the World, will affirm, that England loseth [Page 144] by that Trade. The Dutch with good reason esteem the trade of the East-Indies more profitable to them than are the Mines of Gold and Silver in America to the King of Spain; and if the English Companies were vested by Act of Par­liament with so much Authority as the Dutch have, and thereby encouraged to drive as full a Trade thither, as the Dutch do, I doubt not but it would be so (not so much to the private gain of the Members of that Company) as the pub­lick profit of this Kingdom in general; however as it is, it will not be difficult to prove that it is the most beneficial Trade this Nation drives at present; For,

1st, That trade constantly employes twenty five to thirty Sail of the most War-like Ships in England, with Sixty to a Hundred Men in each Ship, and may in two or three Years more employ a greater Number; and in order to the carrying on that Trade, that Company hath lately (unconstrained) given con­siderable Encouragements for the building of great Ships, which hath had good effect.

[Page 145]2dly, It supplies the Nation constant­ly and fully, with that (in this Age) necessary material of Salt-Petre.

3dly, It employs the Nation for its Consumption, with Pepper, Indico, Ca­licoes, and several useful Drugs, near the value of 150000 l. to 180000 l. per An­num.

4thly, It furnished us with Pepper, Cowryes, Long-Cloth, and other Callicoes and painted Stuffs, proper for the Trade of Turkey, Italy, Spain, France and Guiny, to the amount of 2 or 300000 l. per Annum; most of which Trades we could not carry on with any conside­rable advantage; but for those supplies, and these Goods exported do produce in fo­reign parts, to be returned to England, six times the Treasure in Specie, that the Company exports from hence.

Now, if not only the aforesaid ad­vantages be seriously considered, but also what detriment the Nation would sustain, if we were deprived of those supplies, both in point of Strength and War-like Provisions, in regard of Ship­ing and Salt-Petre, but also in respect of the furtherance it gives to many other Trades before-mentioned, it will easily [Page 146] appear that this Trade, though its Im­ports exceeds its Exports, is the most advantagious Trade to England, and de­serves all encouragement; for were we to buy all our Pepper and Callicoes, &c. of the Dutch, they would raise our Pepper (which now stands the Nation but about 3 d. per pound in India) to, or near the proportion which they have advan­ced on Nutmegs, Cloves and Mace, (which cost the Dutch not much more per pound in India than Pepper) since they engrossed the Trade for those Commo­dities; and the use of Callico in England would be supplied by foreign Linnen at greater Prices; so that what may be se­cured from this Nation's consumption, would in probability cost them above 400000 l. per Annum more then now it doth; and our foreign Trades for Italy, Guiny, &c. would in part decay for want of the afore-said supplies.

There is another Notion concerning the Ballance of Trade, which I think not impertinent here to take notice of, viz. Some are of opinion, that the way to know whether the Nation gets or loseth in the general by its fore-going Trade, is to take an inspection into the course [Page 147] of the Exchange, is generally above the intrinsick value or Par of the Coins of foreign Countries, we not only lose by such Exchanges, but the same is a demonstration that we lose by the ge­neral course of our foreign Trade; and that we require more supply of Com­modities from abroad, than our exports in Goods do serve to purchase: And certain it is, that when once the Ex­change comes to be 5 or 6 per Cent above the true value of foreign Monies, our Treasure would be carried out, what­ever Laws should be made to prevent it; and on the contrary, when the Ex­change is generally below the true value of the foreign Coins, it is an evidence that our Exports do in value exceed what we require from abroad: And so if the Exchange comes to be 5 or 6 per Cent below the true value of the foreign Coins, returns will be made for England in the Coins of foreign Countries.

Now, that there is also a great deal of truth in this Notion, is not to be denied, and that the diligent observance and consideration of the course of the Exchange, may be of use, and very ne­cessary in many respects, and is a very [Page 148] ingeniuous Study for any that would dive into the myst [...]ries of Trade; yet because this is likewise subject to vary on many accidents of Emergencies of State and War, &c. & because there is no settled course of Exchange, but to and from France, Holland, Flanders, Hambrough, Venice, Legorn & Genoa, and that there are many other great and eminent Trades besides what are driven to those Coun­tries, this cannot afford a true and sa­tisfactory solution to the present Question.

Thus having demonstrated that these Notions, touching the Ballance of Trad [...] ▪ though they are in their kind useful Notions, are in some cases fal­lible and uncertain. If any shall ask, How shall we then come to be resolved of the matter in Question?

I answer; fi [...]st, The best and most certain discovery, to my apprehension, is to be made from the encrease or di­minution of our Trade and Shiping in general; for if our Trade and Shiping diminish, whatever profit particular men may make, the Nation undoubted­ly loseth; and on the contrary, if our Trade and Shiping encrease, how small or low soever the profits are to private [Page 149] men, it is an infallible Indication that the Nation in general thrives; for I dare affirm, and that Catagorically in all parts of the whole World, where­ever Trade is great, and continues so, and grows daily more great, and en­creaseth in Shiping, and that for a suc­cession not of a few Years, but of Ages, that Trade must be Nationally profitable.

As a Town where only a Fair is kept, if every Year the number of People and Commodities do augment, that Town, however the Markets are, will gain; whereas, if there comes still fewer and fewer People and Commodities, that place will decline and decay. Discour­sing once with a Noble Lord concerning this measure or method of knowing the Ballance of our Trade, or more plainly our general National gain or loss by Trade, his Lordship was pleased to oppose, by asking two very proper Questions, viz.

Quest. 1. Is there not a great simi­litude between the Affairs of a private Person, and of a Nation, the former being but a little Family, and the latter a great Family?

I answer; Yes, certainly there is.

Quest. 2. His Lordships second que­stion [Page 150] was, May not a private Mer­chant be, or seem to be owner of much Shiping, drive a great Trade, receive and send out many Goods, and yet de­cline and grow poorer, notwithstand­ing all his tumbling and busseling?

I answer; Yes, certainly he may, but this will soon appear, either while he lives, or at his Death; and his great Trade will come to be but a sm [...]ll one, or none at all: But that man who drives a great Trade, and is owner or employer of much Shiping, and doth all his dayes continue and encrease in Trade and Shiping, and his Son, or Suc­cessor after him, and after him his Grand Son, &c. this would be an in­disputable Evidence that that Person or Family did thrive by their Trade; for if they had not thriven, their Trade would not have long continued, much­less encreased: This is the case of Na­tions, and this through God's goodness is the case of England (as bad as we are at present.)

The reason of this is as evident as the first, for where a great Trade is driven, especially where much Shiping is em­ployed, whatever becomes of the poor Merchant, that drives the Trade, Mul­titudes [Page 151] of People will be certain gainers, as his Majesty and his Officers of Custom, besides Shipwrights, Butchers, Brewers, Bakers, Rope-makers, Porters, Sea-men, Manufacturers, Car-men, Lighter-men, and all other Artificers, and People that de­pend on Trade and Shiping, which indeed more or less the whole Kingdom doth.

But it may be said again, If this en­crease of Trade depend upon, and proceed from our ordinary Importations, for which our ready Money goes out, it will impoverish us.

I answer, In some cases it may be so, and in some cases (as I have already de­monstrated) it may be otherwise, but that will best be known by the effects; for if we are impoverished, our general Trade and our Shiping will necessarily and visibly grow less and less, and must rationally and unavoidably do so; for that being impoverished, we shall lose our Tools (our Stock) to drive a great Trade with; whereas on the contrary, if our Trade in the gross bulk of it (though we may decline in some) do still encrease, especially our Shiping for a long tract of Years, it is infallible proof of our thriving by our Trade, and that we are still getting more Tools (more Stock) to trade with.

[Page 152]Some there are would limit this dis­covery to the encrease and dimunition of our Coin and Bulloin, but because that is more secret and indiscernable, it cannot, I conceive, afford so clear a demonstration as the other, if any at all, for that Money seems to vulgar Obser­vers most plentiful when there is least occasion for it; and on the contrary, more scarce, as the occasions for the employment thereof are more numerous and advantagious, according to which we should seem to have most Money when we have the least Trade, and yet then certainly the Nation gets least; this is apparent to those that will ob­serve that when the East-India-Company have a great sale to make, then Money is generally found to be scarce in London, not that is so in reality more then at o­ther times, but because that extraordinary occasion engageth men to employ quan­tities, which they provide and lay aside for that purpose; from the same rea­son it is, that a high rate of Usury makes Money seems scarce, because eve­ry man then, as soon as he can make up a small sum sends it into the Goldsmiths, whereof more is said before in the Preface to this discourse.

[Page 153]I answer, that though the Study of the Ballance of Trade in this last menti­oned respect be a Study very Ingenious and Commendable, yet in my poor opi­nion, the enquiry, whether we get or lose, doth not so much deserve our greatest pains and care, as how we may be sure to get, the former being of no use but in order to the latter, and this therefore leads to the Consideration of the other Ballance of Trade, as most use­full and necessary, viz.

What is to be done in England to improve the Trade thereof to such a degree as to equalize or over-ballance our Neighbours in our National Profit by our Foreign Trade?

I answer, this is a large and ex­tensive Question, and requires to resolve it, the greatest Skill and Experience both in affairs of State and Trade, and therefore I have only made an Essay to­wards it, which the whole Discourse fore-going is, (and therefore I hope the Reader will accept of my good Affection to my Country herein, though he meet not with that full satisfaction he might expect and wish for.)

The method I propose for the further answering of this great Question, is, [Page 154] (following my own principle) that if Trade be great, and much English Ship­ing employed, it will be good for the Nation in general, whatever it may be for private Merchants) First to lay down some general Rules for the enlargement of Trade in E [...]gland, and then some ways of reducing those general Rules into Use and Practice; the general Rules for the enlargement of Trade are not many.

  • 1. Encrease Hands in Trade.
  • 2. Encrease Stock in Trade.
  • 3. Make Trade easie and ncessary, i. e. make it our Interest to Trade.
  • 4. Make it the Interest of other Nations to Trade with us.

1. To encrease Hands in Trades, the fol­lowing Particulars would much contri­bute.

1st. An Act of Naturalization before-mentioned.

2. Some enlargement of the Foundati­ons of Societies of Merchants, as before-limitted.

3. A more easie and free admission of Inhabitants, Merchants, and Artificers, to be Burgers of our Cities and Bouroughs.

4. Not to hinder any Man from keeping [Page 155] as many Servants as he can, nor Loomes, working-Tooles, &c.

5. To abate the Interest of Money, as afore-said.

6. Some Relaxation of the Ecclesiastical Laws, would keep our own People at Home, and invite others to us, and consequently encrease the number of our Hands in Trade.

7. Employ, Educate and Relieve the Poor▪ so as they may neither be Idle, nor perish for Want, or leave the Land by Reason of their Miseries.

8. Giving such Honour and Perferment to Merchants in the Affairs of the Nation, as their Experience & Education hath fitted them for, will doubtless encrease their number.

Te encrease our Stock in Trade.

1. All the six fore-going particulars, will very much contribute, especially the Abatement of Interest, because bringing in of more Stock, for that the persons engaged in Trade, must necessa­rily bring in their Stocks with them, if they have any; and for Artificers that have none, their Labour in consequence will generate Stock to the Nation, and encrease that we have already.

2. A Law for Transferrance of Bills [Page 156] of Debt, (as before-mentioned) will much and speedily augment our useful Stock.

3. The restraining of the Trades of our own Plantations wholly to England, and pre­venting all kind of abuses of that part of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, would tend much to the encrease of our Stock in Trade.

4. The securing of that great Trade for Shiping imployed for Importation of Timber, Masts, Boards and P [...]pes-Staves into these three Kingdoms, to be done only by his Majestie's Subjects, and not by any Strangers, would in a very few Years much encrease the Stock of England.

5. Prevention of the Exportation of our Wool, and encourageing our Woollen Manufactures.

6. Encourage and encrease our Fishing Trades, which how that is only to be done, is before-mentioned.

7. To set up the Linnen rather then the Woollen Manufacture in Ireland, and give extraordinary encouragement and privi­ledges to the first Undertakers.

8. To encourage those Trades most, that vent most of our Manufactures, or supply [...]n with Materials to be further Manufactu­red [Page 157] in England, or else such as furnish us with Commodities for the carrying on of other Trades, as the East-India-Company doth eminently.

9. If his Majesties Navy, Debts, &c. were all paid, and if for the future, all his Ma­jesties Payments were made with punctuality, it would much encrease the Stock of this Na­tion in Trade; such fatal stops being to the Body politick, like great obstructi­ons of the Liver and Spleen to the Body Natural, which not only procure ill Habits, but sometimes desperate and accute Diseases, as well as Croni­cal.

10. Lessening the number of our Holly-Days would encrease the days of our Work­ing, and Working more would make us Richer: Riches and Stock are the same.

11. If our Affairs would permit, that the full Custom should be paid back, &c. (& not the half only▪ for all Foreign Goods brought hither, and afterwards Exported, (as I am credibly informed the French King hath very lately done in all the parts of his Dominions) it would wonderfully en­crease our Navigation, and in consequence our People, as well as our Domestick and Foreign Trade; and in my opini­on [Page 158] be much better for the Nation in general, then particular Free Ports.

And if only such Foreign Goods as should be Loaden outwards on English Shiping, had the benefit of this Indul­gence, it would be much the more Efficatious as to our main concern, viz. the encrease and improvement of our English Navigation.

3d. General Rule, To make Trade easie and necessary, and thereby to make it our Interest to Trade.

1. To make Trade easie, a Law for Transferrance of Bills of Debt, will do much (as before)

2. To make Trade easie, a Court-Mer­chant will do much (as before in that Chap­ter.

3. Taking of the Burthen of Trade, whereof one is the great trouble and delays in receiving back our Impost at the Custom-House, and the great Charge of Fees to Searchers, Waitors, &c.

4. Reducing Interest of Money to 4 per cent, will make Trade easie to the Bor­rowers, and to make it necessary, it is the Quum Magnum (as before is said) for while we that are Merchants, [Page 159] can so easily turn Gentlemen by buying Lands for less then twenty Years pur­chase, let no Man expect that if we thrive, we will drudge all our days in Trade; or if we would, to be sure our Sons will not.

4th. General Rule, To make it the Inte­rest of other Nations to Trade with us.

1. Being in a good condition of Strength at Home, in reference to the Navy, and all other kind of Military preparations for Defence, (and Offence upon just occasion given) will render us Wise and Honourable in the esteem of other Nations, and consequently o­blige them not only to admit us the Freedom of Trade with them, but the better terms for, and countenance in the course of our Trade.

2. To make it the Interest of others to Trade with us, we must be sure to furnish them at as cheap or cheaper Rates then any other Nation can or doth, and this I affirm can never be done without subdueing Vsury especially, and doing those other things before-menti­oned, that will conduce to the encrease of our Hands and Stock, for our be­ing in a condition to sell our Neighbours [Page 160] cheaper then others, must be when it is principally an effect of many Hands and much Stock.

Object. But it may be said how shall we profit by this Rule of selling cheap to Foreigners, whereas the contrary is said to be the way to Riches, viz. to sell dear and buy cheap.

Answ. I answer, in a strict sence it may be so, for the private Merchant; but in this discourse I am designing how our publick National Trade may be so managed, that other Nations who are in Competition with us for the same, may not wrest it from us, but that ours may continue and encrease, to the di­minution of theirs; if there were no others to wage with us, we might as the Proverb saith, make our own Mar­kets; but as the case now stands, that all the World are striving to engross all the Trade they can, that other Proverb is very true and applicable, all covet, all lose.

3. The well contrivement and man­agement of Foreign Treaties, may very much contribute to the making it the Interest of other Nations to Trade with us, at least to the convincing of [Page 161] Foreign Princes wherein, and how it is their Interest to Trade with us.

4. Publick Iustice and Honesty will make it the Interest of other Nations to Trade with us, that is, that when any Commodities pass under a publick com­mon Seal (which is in a kind the pub­lick Faith of the Nation) they may be exact in length, breadth and nature, ac­cording to what they ought to be by their Seals.

The like care ought to be taken for the true packing of our Herrings and Pilchards, (formerly mentioned.)

5. If we would engage other Nati­ons to Trade with us, we must receive from them the Fruits and Commodi­ties of their Countries, as well as send them ours, but its our Interest by Exam­ple and other means (not distastful) above all kinds of Commodities to prevent as much as may be, the Importation of Foreign Ma­nufactures.

6. The Venetians being a People that take from us very little of our Manu­factures, have prohibited our English Cloth, and from whose Territories we receive great quantities of Currance, purchased with our ready Money; It [Page 162] seems to me advantagious for England, that that Importation, as well as the Im­portation of w [...]o [...]ght-Glasse, drink­ing-Glasses and other Manufactures from thence, should be discouraged; it being supposed we can now make them as well our selves in England.

The Trade for Cannary-Wines, I take to be a most pernitious Trade to England, because those Island ▪ consume very little of our Manufactures, Fish, or other English Commodities; neither do they furnish us with any Commodi­ties to be fur [...]her Manufactured here, or re-Exported, the Wines we bring from thence being for the most part purchased with ready Money; so that to my appre [...]en [...]on, somet [...]ing is ne­cessary to be done to compel those Islanders to spend more of our English Commodities, and to sell their Wines cheaper, (which every Year they ad­vance in Price) or else to lessen the Consumption of them in England.

I have in this last Discourse of the Ballance of Trade, as well as in my former, confined my self to write only general Heads and Principles that relate unto Trade in general, not this [Page 163] or that particular Trade; because the several Trades, to several Countries, may require distinct and particular con­siderations, respecting the time, place, competitors with us and other circum­stances to find out, wherein our advan­tages or disadvantages lie, and how to improve the former, and prevent the latter; but as this would be too great a Work for one Man, so I fear it would make this too great a Book to be well read and considered.

But in the Preface to this Treatise, I have briefly mentioned many particular Trades that we have lost, and are loosing, and by what means, and ma­ny Trades that we yet retain and are en­creasing, and how it happens to be so, which may give some Light to a clearer Discovery and Inspection into particular Trades, unto which Ingenious Men that have Hearts to serve their Country in this (so necessary Work at this time) may add, and further improve, by the advantage of Abilities to ex­press their Sentiments in a more In­telligible and Pausible Stile; but when I and others have said all we can, [Page 164] A low Interest is, as the Soul to the Body of Trade, it is the Sine qua non to the Prosperity and Advancement to the Lands and Trade of England.


THE Trade of our English Plantations in America, being now of as great Bulk and Employing, as much Shiping as most of the Trades of this Kingdom, it seems not unnecessary to Discourse more at large concerning the Nature of Plantations, and the good or evil consequences of them in relation to this and other Kingdoms; and the ra­ther because some Gentlemen of no mean Capacities, are of Opinion that his Majestie's Plantations abroad, have very much prejudiced this Kingdom by drain­ing [Page 165] us of our People; for the confirma­tion of which Opinion they urge the Example of Spain, which they say is al­most ruined by the Depopulation which the West-Indies hath occasioned; to the end therefore a more particular Scrutiny may be made into this matter, I shall humbly offer my Opinion in the follow­ing Propositions, and then give those Reasons of Probability which presently occur to my Memory in confirmation of each Proposition.

1. First I agree, That Lands (though excellent) without Hands proportionable will not enrich any Kingdom.

2. That whatever tends to the Depopu­lating of a Kingdom, tends to the Impove­rishment of it.

3. That most Nations in the civilized Parts of the World, are more or less Rich or Poor proportionably to the Paucity or Plen­ty of their People, and not to the Sterility or Fruitfulness of their Lands.

4. I do not agree that our People in Eng­land, are in any considerable measure aba­ted by reason of our Foreign Plantations; but propose to prove the contrary.

5. I am of Opinion, that we had imme­diately before the late Plague, many more [Page 166] People in England then we had before the Inhabiting of Virginia, New-England, Barbadoes, and the rest of our American Plantations.

6. That all Colonies or Plantations do endamage their Mother-Kingdoms, whereof the Trades of such Plantations are not confined by severe Laws, and good executions of those Laws, to the Mother-Kingdom.

7. That the Dutch will reap the greatest advantage by all Colonies issuing from any Kingdom of Europe, whereof the Trades are not so strictly confined to the proper Mo­ther-Kingdoms.

8. That the Dutch (though they thrive so exceedingly in Trade) will in probability never endamage this Kingdom by the growth of their Plantations.

9. That neither the French, Spaniard nor Portugeez are much to be feared on that ac­count, not for the same, but for other causes.

10. That it is more for the advantage of England, that New-found-Land should remain Vnplanted, then that Colonies should be sent or permitted to go thither to Inhabit, with a Governour, Laws, &c.

11. That New-England is the most pre­judicial Plantation to the Kingdom of Eng­land.

[Page 167]I. That Lands though in their Nature ex­cellently good, [...] Hand [...] proportion­able, will not enrich any Kingdom.

This first [...]roposition I suppose will readily be asse [...]ted to by all judicious per­sons, and therefore for the proof of it, I shall only alledge matter of Fact.

The Land of Palestine, once the Richest Country in the Vniverse, since it came un­der the Turks Dominion, and consequently unpeopled, is now become the Poorest.

Andaluzia and Granada, formerly wonderful Rich and full of good Towns, since dis-peopled by the Spaniard by Ex­pultion of the M [...]or [...] ▪ many of their Towns and brave Country Houses are fallen into Rubbish, and their whole Country into miserable Poverty, though their Lands naturally are prodigiously Fer­til.

A Hundred other Instances of Fact might be given to the like purpose.

II. Whatever tends to the populating of a Kingdom, tends to the emprovement of it.

The former Proposition being granted, I suppose this will not be denyed, and of the means (viz. good Laws) where­by [Page 168] any Kingdom, may be populated, and consequently enriched, is in effect the substance and design of all my fore­going Discourse, to which, for avoiding repitition I must pray the Reader's re­trospection.

III. That most Nations in the civilized parts of the World, are more or less Rich or Poor, propo [...]tionable to the paucity or plenty of their People.

This third is a consequent of the two former Propositions; and the whole World is a witness to the Truth of it: The seven united Provinces are certainly the most populous tract of Land in Christen­dom, and for their bigness, undoubtedly the richest. England for its bigness, except our Forrests, Wastes and Commons, which by our own Laws and Customs are bar­ed from Improvement, I hope is yet a more populous Country than France, and consequently richer; I say, in pro­portion to its bigness: Italy in like pro­portion more populous than France, and richer; and France more populous and rich than Spain, &c.

[Page 169]IV. I do not agree that our People in Eng­land are in any considerable measure abated, by reason of our foreign Plan­tations, but propose to prove the contrary.

This I know is a controverted Point, & do believe that where there is one man of my mind, there may be a thousand of the contrary; but I hope when the fol­lowing Grounds of my Opinion have been throughly examined, there will not be so many Dissenters.

That very many People now go, and have gone from this Kingdom, almost every Year for these sixty Years past, and have and do settle in our foreign Plantations is most certain. But the first Question will be, Whether if England, had no foreign Plantations for those People to be transported unto, they could or would have stayed and lived at home with us?

I am of Opinion they neither would nor could.

To resolve this Question, we must consider what kind of People they were, and are, that have and do transport themselves to our foreign Plantations.

New-England (as every one knows) was originally inhabitated, and hath since suc­cessively [Page 170] been replenisht by a sort of People called Puritans, which could not con­form to the Ecclesiastical Laws of England, but being wearied with Church Censures and Persecutions, were forced to quit their Fathers Land, to find out new Habitations, as many of them did in Germany and Holland, as well as at New-England; and had there not been a New-England found for some of them, Germany and Holland probably had re­ceived the rest: But Old England to be sure had lost them all.

Virginia and Barbadoes were first peopled by a sort of loose vagrant People, vicious and destitute of means to live at home, (being either unfit for labour, or such as could find none to employ themselves about, or had so mis-behaved them­selves by Whoreing, Thieving, or other Debauchery, that none would set them on work) which Merchants and Masters of Ships by their Agents (or Spi­rits, as they were called) gathered up about the Streets of London, and other places, cloathed and transported, to be employ­ed upon Plantations; and these I say were such, as had there been no English foreign Plantation in the World, could pro­bably [Page 171] never have lived at home to do Service for their Country, but must have come to be hanged or starved, or dyed untimely of some of those mise­rable Diseases, that proceed from want and Vice; or else have sold themselves for Soldiers, to be knockt on the Head or starved in the Quarrels of our Neigh­bours, as many thousands of brave English men were in the low Countries, as also in the Wars of Germany, France, and Sweeden, &c. or else if they could, by begging, or otherwise, arrive to the Stock of 2 s. 6 d. to waft them over to Holland, become Servants to the Dutch, who refuse none.

But the principal growth and encrease of the afore-said Plantations of Virginia and Barbadoes happened in, or immedi­ately after our late Civil Wars, when the worsted party, by the fate of War, being deprived of their Estates, and having some of them never been bred to labour, and other made unfit for it by the lazy habit of a Soldiers life, there wanting Means to maintain them all abroad with his Majesty, many of them betook themselves to the afore-said Plantations, and great numbers of Scotch [Page 172] Soldiers of his Majesty's Army, after Worcester Fight, were by the then pre­vailing Powers voluntarily sent in thi­ther.

Another great swarm, or accession of new Inhabitants to the afore-said Plan­tations, as also to New-England, Ia­maica, and all other his Majesties Plan­tations in the West-Indies, ensued upon his Majesties Restauration, when the for­mer prevailing party being by a divine Hand of Providence brought under, the Army disbanded, many Officers dis-placed, and all the new purcharsers of publick Titles, dispossest of their pretended Lands, Estates, &c. many became im­poverished, destitute of employ­ment; and therefore such as could find no way of living at home, and some which feared the re-establishment of the Ec­clesiastical Laws, under which they could not live, were forced to transport them­selves, or sell themselves for a few Years, to be transported by others to the foreign English Plantations: The con­stant supply that the said Plantations have since had, hath by such vagrant loose People, as I before-mentioned, picked up, especially about the Streets [Page 173] and Suburbs of London, and Westminster, and by Malefactors condemned for Crimes, for which by the Law they de­served to dye; and some of those People called Quakers, banished for Meeting on pretence of Religious Worship.

Now, if from the Premises, it be duly considered what kind of Persons those have been, by which our Planta­tions have at all times been replenished, I suppose it will appear that such they have been, and under such Circum­stances, that if his Majesty had had no foreign Plantations, to which they might have resorted, England however must have lost them.

To illustrate the truth whereof a little further, let us consider what Cap­tain Graunt the ingenious Author of the Observations upon the Bills of Mortality, saith, pag. 76. and in other places of his Book, concerning the City of Lon­don; and it is not only said, but undeni­ably proved, viz. That the City of London, let the Mortality be what it will, by Plague, or otherwise, repairs its Inhabitants once in two Years. And pag. 101. again, If there be encouragement for a hundred Persons in London (that is, a way how [Page 174] a hundred may live better then in the Country) the evacuating of a fourth or third part of that number must soon be supplied out of the Country, who in a short time remove themselves from thence hither, so long until the City for want of receipt and encouragement, re­gurgitates and sends them back.

1. What he hath proved concerning London, I say of England in general, and the same may be said of any Kingdom or Country in the World.

Such as our employment is for People, so many will our People be; and if we should imagin we have in England em­ployment but for one hundred People, and we have born and bred amongst us one hundred and fifty People; I say, the fifty must away from us, or starve, or be hanged to prevent it, whether we had any foreign Plantations or not.

2. If by reason of the accommoda­tion of living in our foreign Plantations; we have evacuated more of our People then we should have done, if we had no such Plantations, I say, with the afore­said Author in the case of London; and if that Evacuation be grown to an ex­cess (which I believe it never did barely [Page 175] on the account of the Plantations) that decrease would procure its own Reme­dy; for much want of People would pro­cure greater Wages; and greater Wa­ges, if our Laws gave encouragement, would procure us a supply of People without the charge of breeding them, as the Dutch are, and always have been supplied in their greatest Extremities.

Object. But it may be said, Is not the Facility of being transported into the Plantations, together with the enticing Methods customarily used to perswade People to go thither, and the encou­ragement of living there with a People that speak our own Language, strong Motives to draw our People from us; and do they not draw more from us, then otherwise would leave us, to go in­to foreign Countries, where they un­derstand not the Language?

I Answer; 1st, It is not much more difficult to get a passage to Holland, than it is to our Plantations.

2dly, Many of those that go to our Plantations, if they could not go thither, would and must go into foreign Coun­tries, though it were ten times more difficult to get thither then it is; or else, which is worse (as hath been said) [Page 176] would adventure to be hanged, to pre­vent begging or starving, as too many have done.

3. I do acknowledge that the facility of getting to the Planta [...]ions, may cause some more to leave us, than would do if they had none but foreign Countries for refuge: But then if it be considered that our Plantations spending mostly our English Manufactures, and those of all sorts almost imaginable, in egregious quantities, and employing near two thirds of all our English Shiping, do therein give a constant Sustenance to it, may be two hundred thousand Persons here at home; then I must needs conclude upon the whole matter, that we have not the fewer, but the more People in England, by reason of our English Plantations in America.

Object. 2. But it may be said, Is not this inferring and arguing against Sence and Experience? Doth not all the World see that the many noble King­doms of Spain in Europe, are almost de­populated and ruinated, by reason of their Peoples flocking over to the West-Indies? And do not all other Nations di­minish in people after they become pos­sessed of foreign Plantations?

[Page 177] Ans. 1. I answer, With submission to better Judgments, that in my opinion, contending for Vniformity in Religion hath contributed ten times more to the depopula­ting of Spain, then all the American Plan­tations: What was it but that which caused the expulsion of so many thou­sand Moores who had built and inhabi­ted most of the chief Cities and Towns in Andaluzia, Granada, Aragon, and o­other parts? What was it but that, and the Inquisition that hath and doth daily expel such vast numbers of rich Iews with their Families and Estates into Germany, Italy, Turkey, Holland and England? What was it but that which caused those vast and long Wars be­tween that King and the low Countries, and the effusion of so much Spanish Blood and Treasure, and the final loss of the seven Provinces, which we now see so prodigious, rich and full of People, while Spain is empty and poor, and Flan­ders thin and weak, in continual fear of being made a prey to their Neighbours.

2. I answer; We must warily distin­guish between Country & Country; for though Plantations may have drained Spain of People, it does not follow that they [Page 178] have or will drain England or Holland, because where Liberty and Property are not so well preserved, and where Interest of Money is permitted to go at 12 per Cent, there can be no consider­able Manufacturing, and no more of Tillage and Grazing, than as we Pro­verbially say, will keep Life and Soul together; and where there is little Ma­nufacturing, and as little Husbandry of Lands, the profit of Plantations, viz. the greatest part thereof will not re­dound to the Mother-Kingdom, but to other Countries wherein, there are more Manufactures and more Producti­ons from the Earth; from hence it fol­lows, Plantations thus managed prove drains of the People from their Mother-Kingdom; whereas Plantations belong­ing to Mother-Kingdoms or Countries, where Liberty and Property is better preserved, and Interest of Money re­strained to a low rate, the consequence is, that every person sent abroad with the Negroes and Utensils, he is con­strained to employ, or that are em­ployed with him; it being customary in most of our Islands in America, upon every Plantation, to employ eight or [Page 179] ten Blacks for one White Servant; I say, in this case we may reckon, that for Provisions, Clothes and Houshold-Goods, Sea-men, and all others em­ployed about Materials for build­ing, fitting and victualling of Ships, Every English man in Barbadoes or Ja­maica creates employment for four men at home.

3dly, I answer, That Holland now sends as many, and more people yearly to reside in their Plantations, Fortresses and Ships in the East-Indies (besides many into the West-Indies) than Spain, and yet is so far from declining in the Number of their people at home, that it is evident they do monstruously en­crease; and so I hope under the next Head, to prove that England hath con­stantly encreased in People at home, since our settlement upon Plantations in America, although not in so great a proportion as the Dutch.

V. I am of Opinion that we had immedi­ately, before the late Plague, more Peo­ple in England, than we had before the inhabiting of New-England, Virgi­nia, Barbadoes, &c?

The proof of this at best I know can [Page 180] but be conjectural; but in confirmation of my Opinion, I have, I think, of my mind the most industrious English Cal­culator this Age hath produced in pub­lick, viz. Captain Graunt in the fore­mentioned Treatise, pag. 88. his words are, ‘Vpon the whole matter we may there­fore conclude, that the people of the whole Nation do encrease, and consequently the decrease of Winchester, Lincoln, and o­ther like places, must be attributed to other Reasons then that of refurnishing London only.’

2. It is manifest by the afore-said worthy Author's Calculations, that the Inhabitants of London, and parts ajacent have encreased to almost double within this sixty Years, and that City hath u­sually been taken for an Index of the whole.

I know it will be said, that although London have so encreased, other parts have as much diminished, whereof some are named before; but if to answer the diminution of Inhabitants in some par­ticular places, it be considered how others are encreased, viz, Yarmouth, Hull, Scarbrough, and other Ports in the North; as also Liverpoole, Westchester [Page 181] and Bristol; Portsmouth, Lime and Pli­mouth; and withal, if it be considered what great Improvements have been made these last sixty Years upon break­ing up and enclosing of Wastes, For­rests and Parks, and draining of the Fenns, and all those places inhabited and furnished with Husbandry, &c. then I think it will appear probable that we have in England now, at least had be­fore the late Plague, more People then we had before we first entred upon fo­reign Plantations, notwithstanding like­wise the great Numbers of men which have issued from us into Ireland; which Country, as our Laws now are, I reckon not among the number of Plan­tations profitable to England, nor with­in the limits of this discourse, although peradventure something may be pickt out of these Papers, which may deserve consideration in relation to that Coun­try.

But it may be said, If we have more People now then in former Ages, how came it to pass that in the times of King Henry the fourth and fifth, and other times formerly, we could raise such great Armies, and employ them in fo­reign [Page 182] Wars, and yet retain a sufficient number to defend the Kingdom, and cultivate our Lands at home?

I answer; first, The bigness of Ar­mies is not alwayes a certain Indication of the numerousness of a Nation, but sometimes rather of the nature of the Government and Distrubation of the Lands; as for instance, Where the Prince and Lords are owners of the whole Territory, although the People be thin, the Armies upon occasion may be very great, as in East-India, Turkey, and the Kingdoms of Fesse and Morocco, where Taffelet was lately said to have an Army of one hundred and fifty, or two hundred thousand men, although every body knows that Country hath as great a scarcety of people as any in the World: But since Free-holders are so much encreased in England, & the servile Tenures altered, doubtless it is more diffi­cult, as well as more chargeable to draw great numbers of men into foreign Wars.

2. Since the Introduction of the new Artillery of Powder, Shot and Fire-Arms in the World, all War is become as much rather an expence of Money as Men, and success attends those that can [Page 183] most & longest spend Money, rather than men; and consequently Princes Armies in Europe are become more proportionable to their Purses then to the Numbers of their People.

VI. That all Colonies and foreign Planta­tions do endamage their Mother-King­doms, whereof the Trades of such Plan­tations are not confined to their said Mo­ther Kingdoms, by good Laws and severe Execution of those Laws.

1. The practice of all the Governments of Europe witness to the truth of this Pro­position. The Danes keep the Trade of Izland to themselves: The Dutch, Sur­renham, and all their Settlements in East-India: The French St Christophers, and their other Plantations in the West-Indies: The Portugeeze, Brazil, and all the Coasts thereof: The Spaniards, all their vast Terriories upon the Main in the West-Indies, and many Islands there; and our own Laws seem to design the like, as to all our Plantations in New-England, Virginia, Barbadoes, &c. al­though we have not yet arrived to a compleat and effectual Execution of those Laws.

[Page 184]2. Plantations being at first furnished, and afterwards successively supplied with People from their Mother King­doms, and people being Riches, that loss of people to the Mother Kingdoms be it more or less, is certainly a da­mage, except the employment of those People abroad, do cause the employ­ment of so many more at home in their Mother Kingdoms, and that can never be, except the Trade be restrained to their Mother Kingdom, which will not be doubted by any that understands the next Proposition, viz.

VII. That the Dutch will reap the greatest advantage by all Colonies, issuing from any Kingdom in Europe, whereof the Trades are not so strictly confined to their proper Mother Kingdoms.

This Proposition will readily be assen­ted unto by any that understand the nature of low Interest and low Customs, where the Market is free, they shall be sure to have the Trade that can sell the best penny-worths, that buy dearest and sell cheapest, (which Nationally speaking) none can do but those that Money at the lowest rate of Interest, [Page 185] and pay the least Customs, which are the Dutch; and this is the true cause why, before the Act of Navigation, there went ten Dutch Ships to Barbadoes for one English.

VIII. That the Dutch (though they thrive so exceedingly in Trade) will in pro­bability never endamage this Kingdom by the growth of their Plantations.

1. In fact the Dutch never did much thrive in planting, for I do remember they had about twenty Years past, Ta­bago, a most fruitful Island in the West-Indies, apt for the production of Sugars, and all other Commodities that are pro­pagated in Barbadoes, and as I have heard Planters affirm, better accomo­dated with Rivers for Water Mills, which are of great use for grinding of the Canes; this Island is still in their pos­session, and Corasoa, and some others, and about sixteen or seventeen Years past they were so eager upon the Improvement of it, that besides what they did in Holland they set up Bills upon the Exchange in London, proffering great Priveledges to any that would Transport themselves thither. Notwithstanding all which to [Page 186] this day, that Island is not the tenth part so well improved as Iamaica hath been by the English within these five Years; neither have the Dutch at any other time, or in any other parts of the World, made any emprovement by Planting; what they do in the East-In­dies being only by War, Trade and Building of Fortified Towns and Castles upon the Sea-Coasts, to secure the sole Commerce of the Places, and with the people, which they Conquer not, by clearing, breaking up of the Ground, and Planting as the English have done.

This I take to be a strong Argument of Fact to my present purpose.

2. The second Argument to prove this Proposition is from Reason: I have before-mentioned the several Accidents and Methods by which our Foreign Plan­tations have from time to time come to be peopled and emproved.

Now the Dutch being void of those Accidents, are destitute of the occasions to emprove Foreign Plantations by dig­ing and delving as the English have done.

For 1st. In Holland their Interest and Cus­tom being low, together with their other [Page 187] Encouragements to Trade, mentioned in the former part of this Treatise, gives Employment to all their people born and bred amongst them, and also to multi­tudes of Foreigners.

2. Their giving Liberty, or at least Con­nivance to all Religions, as well Jews and Roman-Catholicks, or Sectaries, gives security to all their Inhabitants at home, and expels none, nor puts a necessity upon any to Banish themselves upon that account.

3. Their careful and wonderful pro­viding for and employing their Poor at home, puts all their People utterly out of danger of Starving, or necessity of Stealing, and consequently out of fear of Hanging; I might add to this, that they have not for a long time had any Civil War among them, and from the whole conclude, that the Dutch as they did never, so they never can or will thrive by planting; and that our Eng­lish Plantations abroad are a good ef­fect, proceeding from many evil causes.

[Page 188]IX. That neither the French, Spaniards or Portugeeze are much to be feared on the account of Planting, not for the same, but for other Reasons.

That the French have had footing in the West-Indies almost as long as the Eng­lish is certain, and that they have made no considerable Progress in Planting is as certain; and finding it so in fact, I have been often exercising my thoughts about enquiry into the reason thereof, which I attribute especially to two.

First, because France being an abso­lute Government, hath not until very lately, given any countenance or encou­ragement to Navigation and Trade.

Secondly and principally, because the French Settlements in the West-Indies have not been upon Free-Holders as the English are, but in subjection to the French West-India Company, which Com­pany being under the French King, as Lord Proprietor of the places they settle upon, and taxing the Inhabitants at plea­sure as the King doth them, it is not probable they should make that succes­ful Progress in Planting; Propriety, Free­dom [Page 189] and Inheritance being the most effectual Spurs to Industry.

2. Though some (who have not looked far into this matter) may think the Spaniards have made great Progress in Planting, I am of opinion, that the English since the time they set upon this Work, have cleared and emproved fifty Plantations for one, and Built as many Houses for one the Spaniards have Built; this will not be very difficult to imagine, if it be consi­dered.

First, that it is not above fifty or sixty Years since the English intended the Propagating Foreign Plantati­ons.

Secondly, that the Spaniards were Possessed of the West-Indies about our King Henry the 7th's time, which is near two Hundred Years past.

Thirdly, that what the Spaniard hath done in the West-Indies, hath been ten times more by Conquest then by Plant­ing.

Fourtly, That the Spaniards found in the West-Indies most of the Cities and Towns ready Built and Inhabited, and [Page 190] much of the Ground emproved and cul­tivated before their coming thither.

Fifthly, That the Inhabitants which they found there, and subdued, were such a People with whom some of the Spaniards could and have mixed, from whence hath proceeded a Generation of People which they call Mestises; whereas the English, where they have set down and Planted, either found none, or such as were meer wild Hea­then, with whom they could not, nor ever have been known to mix.

Sixthly, That now after such a long series of time, the Spaniards are scarce so Populous in any Part of the West-Indies, as to be able to bring an Army of Ten Thousand Men together in a Months time.

From all which I conjecture;

1st. That his Majesty hath now more English Subjects in all his Foreign Planta­tions, in sixty Years, than the King of Spain hath Spaniards in all his, in two Hundred Years.

2d. That the Spaniards Progress in Planting bears [...]o Proportion to the encrease of the English Plantations.

3d. That seeing the Spaniards, in [Page 191] the time of their greatest Prosperity, and under so many Advantages, have been such indifferent Planters, and have made such slow progress in Peo­pleing those parts of the West-Indies which they possess, It is not much to be feared that ever the English will be mated by the Spaniards in their Foreign Plantati­ons, or Production of the Native Commodities of those Parts.

Now the reasons why the Spaniards are so thin of people in the West-Indies, I take to be such as these following, viz.

First and principally, because they ex­ercise the same Policy and Governments, Civil and Ecclesiastical in their Plantations, as they do in their Mother-Kingdom; from whence it follows that their People are few and thin abroad, from the same causes as they are empty and void of people at home; whereas although we in England vainely endeavour to arrive at a Vniformity of Religion at home, yet we al­low an Amsterdam Liberty in our Plan­tations.

It is true, New-England being a more independant Government from this Kingdom then any other of our Planta­tions, [Page 192] and the People that went thither more one peculiar Sort of Sect, then those that went to the rest of our Plan­tations, they did for some Years past, exercise some Severities against the Quakers, but of late they have under­stood their true Interest better, inso­much as I have not heard of any Act of that kind for these five or six Years last, notwithstanding I am well informed, that there are now amongst them many more Quakers and other Dissenters from their Forms of Religious Worship, then were at the time of their greatest Se­verity, which Severity had no other ef­fect but to encrease the New-English Non-conformists.

2d. A second reason why the Pro­ductions of the Spanish West-India Com­modities are so inconsiderable in re­spect to the English, and consequently why their Progress in Planting, hath been, and is like to be much less then the English, as also the encrease of their People, I take to be the dearness of the Freight of their Ships, which is four times more then our English Freight, and if you would know how that comes to be so, twelve per cent Interest will go [Page 193] [...] great way towards the satisfying you, although there are other concomitant lesser causes, which whosoever under­stands Spain, or shall carefully read this Treatise, may find out them­selves.

3d. A third reason I take to be the greatness of the Customs in Old-Spain, for undoubtedly high Customs do as well dwarf Plantations as Trade.

4th. The Spaniards Intense and singu­lar Industry in their Mines for Gold and Silver, the working wherein de­stroys abundance of their people, at least of their Slaves, doth cause them to neglect in great measure Cultivating of the Earth, and producing Commo­dities from the growth thereof, which might give employment to a greater Navy, as well as sustenance to a far greater number of people by Sea and Land.

5th. Their multitude of Fryers, Nuns and other reclust and Ecclesiastical Per­sons which are prohibited from Mar­riage.

3. The third sort of People I am to Discourse of, are the Portugeeze, and and them I must acknowledge to have [Page 194] been great Planters in the Brazeils and other Places; but yet if we preserve our People and Plantations by good Laws, I have reason to believe, that the Portugeeze (except they alter their Politicks, which is almost impossible for them to do) can never bear up with us, muchless prejudice our Plan­tations.

That hitherto they have not hurt us, but we them, is most apparent, for in my time we have beat their Muscovado and Paneal Sugars quite out of use in Eng­land, and their Whites we have brought down in all these Parts of Europe in price, from seven and eight pounds per l. to fifty Shillings and three Pounds per. l. and in quantity; whereas formerly their Brazeil-Fleets consisted of One hun­dred, to One hundred and twenty thou­sand Chests of Sugar, they are now re­duced to about Thirty thousand Chests, since the great encrease of Barba­does.

The reason of this decay of the Portu­geeze Productions in Brazeils, is certainly the better Policy that our English Plantati­tions are founded upon.

That which principally dwarfs the [Page 195] Portugeeze Plantations is the same before-mentioned, which hinders the Spaniards, viz. extraordinary high Customs at home, high Freights, high Interest of Money, Ecclesiastical persons, &c.

From all that hath been said concern­ing Plantations in general, I draw these two principal Conclusions.

1st. That our English Plantations may thrive beyond any other Plantations in the World, though the Trades of all of them were more severely limitted by Laws and good Execution of those Laws to their Mother-Kingdom of England, exclusive to Ireland and New-England.

2dly. That it is in his Majesties power, and the Parliaments, if they please, by taking off all Charges from Sugar, to make it more intirely an English Commodity, then white-Herrings are a Dutch Commo­dity, and to draw more profit to this King­dom thereby, then the Dutch do by that: And that in consequence thereof, all Planta­tions of other Nations must in a few Years sink to little or nothing.

X. That it is more for the Advantage of England that New found Lands should remain unplanted, then that Colonies [Page 196] should be sent or permitted to go thither to Inhabit under a Governour, Laws, &c.

I have before discoursed of Plantations in general, most of the English being in their nature much a like, except this of New-found-Land, and that of New-Eng­land, which I intend next to speak of.

The advantage New-found-Land hath brought to this Kingdom, is only by the Fishery there, and of what vast con­cernment that is, is well known to most Gentlemen and Merchants, especially those of the West parts of England, from whence especially this Trade is driven.

It is well known, upon undeniable poof, tbat in the Year, 1605. the Eng­lish employed 250. Sail of Ships small and great, in Fishin [...] upon that Coast; and it is now too apparent, that we do not so employ from all Parts, above Eighty Sail of Ships.

It is likewise generally known and confessed, that when we employed so many Ships in that Trade, the current price of our Fish in that Country, was (Communibus annis) seventeen Rials, which is eight Shillings six Pence per Quintal, and that since, as we have lessened in that Trade, the [Page 197] French have encreased in it, and that we have annually proceeded to raise our Fish from seventeen Rials to twenty four Rials, or twelve Shillings, (Com­munibus annis) as it now sells in the Country:

This being the Case of England in re­lation to this Trade, it is certainly worth the enquiery.

1st. How we came to decay in that Trade.

2dly, What means may be used to reco­ver our antient Greatness in that Trade, or at least to prevent our further diminution there­in?

The decay of that Trade I attribute.

First and principally, to the growing Liberty which is every Year more and more used in Romish Countries, as well as others, of eating Flesh in Lent and on Fish-days.

2. To a late abuse crept into that Trade, (which hath much abated the expence within these twenty Years of that Commodity) of sending over pri­vate Boat-keepers, which hath much di­minished the number of the Fishing-Ships.

3. To the great encrease of the French Fishery of Placentia and other Ports on the back-side of New-found-Land.

[Page 198]4. To the several Wars we have had at Sea within these twenty Years, which have much empoverished the Merchants of our Western Parts, and reduced them to carry on a great part of that Trade at Bottumry, viz. Money taken upon Ad­venture of the Ship at twenty per cent per Annum.

2. What means may be used to recover our antient greatness in that Trade, or at least to prevent our farther diminution therein.

For this, two contrary ways have been propounded,

1. To send a Governour to reside there, and to encourage people to Inhabit there, as well for Defence of the Country against Invasion, as to manage the Fishe­ry there by Inhabitants upon the Pl [...]ce, this hath often been propounded by the Planters and some Merchants of London.

2. The second way propounded, and which is directly contrary to the for­mer is, by the West-Country Merchants and Owners of the Fishing-Ships, and that is to have no Governour nor Inhabi­tants permitted to reside at New-found-Land, nor any Passengers, or private Boat-keepers suffered to Fish at New-found-Land.

[Page 199]This latter way propounded is most agreeable to my Proposition, and if it could be effected, I am perswaded would revive the decaied English-Fishing-Trade at New-found-Land, and be otherwise great­ly for the advantage of this Kingdom, and that for these following reasons,

1. Because most of the Provision the Planters which are settled at New-found-Land, do make use of viz. Bread, Beef, Pork, Butter, Cheese, Clothes, and Irish-Bengal Cloth, Linnen and Wool­len; Ireish-Stockings, as also Nets, Hooks and Lines, &c. they are supplied with from New-England and Ireland; and with Wine, Oyl and Linnen by the S [...]lt Ships from France and Spain, in consequence whereof the Labour, as well as the Feeding and Clothing of so many Men is lost to Eng­land.

2. The Planters settled there, be­ing mostly loose vagrant People, and without Order and Government, do keep dissolute Houses, which have De­baucht Sea-Men, and diverted them from their laborious and industrious Calling; whereas before there were settlements there, the Sea-Men had no other resort during the Fishing Season (being the [Page 200] time of their abode in that Country) but to their Ships, which afforded them con­venient Food and Repose, without the Inconveniencies of Excess.

3 If it be the Interest of all Trading Nations principally to encourage Navi­gation, and to promote especially those Trades which employ most Shiping: then which nothing is more true, nor more regarded by the wife Dutch, then certainly it is the Interest of England to discountenance and abate the number of Planters at New-found-Land, for if they should encrease, it would in a few Years happen to us, in relation to that Coun­try, as it hath to the Fishery at New-Eng­land, which many Years since was man­aged by English Ships from the Western Ports; but as Plantations there encrea­sed, fell to be the sole Employment of People settled there, and nothing of that Trade left the poor old English-Men, but the liberty of carrying now and then by courtesie or purchase, a Ship loading of Fish to Bilvoa, when their own N [...]w-English Shiping are bet­ter Employed, or not at leisure to do it.

4. It is manifest that before ther were [Page 201] Boat-keepers or Planters at New-found-land Fish was sold cheaper than now it is, by about 40 per Cent, and consequently more vent­ed, the reason whereof I take to be this; The Boat-keepers and Planters, being ge­nerally at first able Fisher-men, and being upon the place, can doubtless afford their Fish cheaper then the Fishing Ships from Old England, so doubtless they did at first as well at New-England as at New-found-land, until they had beat the Eng­lish Ships out of the Trade; after which being freed from that competition, they became Lazy as to that laborious em­ployment, having means otherwise to live and employ themselves, and there­upon enhaunced the price of their Fish to such an excess, as in effect proves the giving away of that Trade to the French, who by our aforesaid impolitick management of that Trade, have of late Years been able to under-sell us at all Markets abroad; and most certain it is, that those that can sell cheapest will have the Trade.

5. This Kingdom being an Island, it is our Interest, as well for our preservation as our profit, not only to have many Sea-men, but to have them as much as may be within call in a time of danger. Now the Fish­ing [Page 202] Ships going out in March, and re­turning home for England in the Month of September yearly, and there being em­ployed in that Trade two hundred and fifty Ships, which might carry about ten thousand Sea-men, Fisher-men and Shore men, as they usually call the youn­ger Persons, which were never before at Sea: I appeal to the Reader, whether such a yearly return of Sea-men, abiding at home with us all the Winter, and spending their Money here which they got in their Summer-Fishery, were not a great access of Wealth and Power to this Kingdom, and a ready supply for his Majesty's Navy upon all Emergencies.

6. The Fishing Ships yet are, and always have been the breeders of Sea-men; the Planters and Boat-keepers are generally such as were bred, and became expert at the cost of the Owners of Fishing Ships, which Planters and Boat-keepers enter very few new or green men.

7. By the building, fitting, victualling and repairing of Fishing-Ships, multi­tudes of English Trades-men and Arti­ficers (besides the Owners and Sea-men) gain their subsistance; whereas by the Boats, which the Planters and Boat-keepers build or use at New-found-Land, England gets nothing.

[Page 203] Object. But against all that I have said, those that contend for a Governour at New-found-Land, object;

1. That without a Governour and Go­vernment there, that Country will be alwayes exposed to the surprizal of the French, or any Foreigners that shall please to attacque it.

2. That the disorders of the Planters, which I complain of (and some others, which for brevities sake, I have not mentioned) cannot be remedied with­out a Governour.

To which I answer, first, That when we cannot preserve our Colonies by our Shiping, or so awe our Neighbours by our Fleets and Ships of War, that they dare not attempt them, our case will be sad, and our Propriety will be lost, or in eminent danger, not only abroad, but at home likewise.

2dly, All the Fish that is killed at New-found-Land in a Summer, is not sufficient to maintain strength enough on Shore to defend two Fishing Harbours against ten men of War, whereas that Country hath more Harbours to defend, than are to be found in Old England.

3dly, If a Governour be established; the next consequence will be a Tax upon [Page 204] the Fishing, and the least Tax will en­crease the price of Fish, and that una­voidably will give the Trade away wholly into the French Hands.

4thly, A Government there is already of antient Custom among the Masters of the Fishing-Ships, to which the Fisher­men are inured, and that free from Oppression, and adapted to the Trade, insomuch that although a better might be wished, I never hope to see it.

XI That New-England is the most pre­judical Plantation to this Kingdom.

I am now to write of a People, whose Fru­gality, Industry and Temperance, and the happiness of whose Laws and Institution, do promise to themselves long Life, with a won­derful encrease of People, Riches and Power: And although no men ought to envy that Vertue and Wisdom in others, which themselves either can or will not pra­ctice, but rather to commend and ad­mire it; yet I think it is the duty of eve­ry good man primarily to respect the well-fare of his Native Country; and therefore though I may offend some, whom I would not willingly displease, I cannot omit in the progress of this discourse, to take notice of some par­ticulars, wherein Old England suffers di­munition [Page 205] by the growth of those Colonies settled in New-England, and how that Plantation differs from those more Southerly, with respect to the gain or loss of this King­dom, viz.

1. All our American Plantations, except that of New-England, produce Commo­dities of different Natures from those of this Kingdom, as Sugar, Tobacco, Cocoa, Wool, Ginger, sundry sorts of dying Woods, &c. Whereas New-England produces generally the same we have here, viz. Corn and Cattle; some quantity of Fish they do likewise kill, but that is taken & saved altogether by their own Inhabi­tants, which prejudiceth our New-found-land Trade, where, as hath been said, very few are, or ought according to Prudence, to be employed in those Fisheries, but the Inhabitants of Old England.

The other Commodities we have from them, are some few great Masts, Furs, and Train-Oyl, whereof the Yearly value amounts to very little, the much grea­ter value of returns from thence, be­ing made in Sugar, Cotten, Wool, Tobacco, and such like Commodities, which they first receive from some other of his Ma­jesty's Plantations, in Barter for dry Cod-Fish, salt Mackerel, Beef, Pork, Bread, [Page 206] Beer, Flower, Pease, &c. which they sup­ply Barbadoes, Iamaica, &c. with, to the diminution of the vent of those Com­modities from this Kingdom; the great Experience whereof in our own West-India Plantations, would soon be found in the advantage of the value of our Lands in England, were it not for the vast and almost incredible supplies those Colonies have from New-England.

2. The People of New-England, by vertue of their Primitive Charters being not so strictly tied to the observation of the Laws of this Kingdom, do some­times assume a liberty of Trading, con­trary to the Act of Navigation, by reason whereof many of our American Com­modities, especially Tobacco and Sugar, are transported in New-English Shiping, directly into Spain, and other foreign Countries, without being Landed in England, or paying any Duty to his Majesty, which is not only loss to the King, and a prejudice to the Navigation of Old England; but also a total exclu­sion of the old English Merchant from the vent of those Commodities in those Ports, where the New-English Vessels trade; because, there being no Custom paid on those Commodities in New-Eng­land, [Page 207] and a great Custom paid upon them in Old England, it must necessarily fol­low that the New-English Merchant will be able to afford his Commodity much cheaper at the Market, than the Old English Merchant: And those that can sell cheapest, will infallibly engross the whole Trade sooner or later.

3. Of all the American Plntations, his Majesty hath none so apt for the build­ing of Shiping as New-England, nor none comparably so qualified for the breeding of Sea-men, not only by rea­son of the natural industry of that people but principally by reason of their Cod and Mackerel Fisheries: And in my poor opinion, there is nothing more preju­dicial, and in prospect more dangerous to any Mother Kingdom, then the en­crease of Shiping in their Colonies, Plan­tations or Provinces.

4. The People that evacuate from us to Barbadoes, and the other West-India Plantations, as was before hinted, do commonly work one English man to ten or eight Blacks; and if we kept the trade of our said Plantations intirely to Eng­land, England would have no less Inha­bitants, but rather an encrease of people by such evacuation, because that one [Page 208] English man, with the ten Blacks that work with him, accounting what they eat, use and wear, would make employment for four men in England, as was said before; whereas, peradventure of ten men that issue from us to New-England & Ireland, what we send to, or receive from them, doth not employ one man in England.

To conclude this Chapter, and to do right to that most Industirous English Colony, I must confess that though we loose by their unlimitted Trade with our Foreign Plantations, yet we are very great Gainers, by their direct Trade to and from Old-England. Our Yearly Ex­portations of English Manufactures, Mault and other Goods from hence thither, amounting in my opinion to ten times the value of what is Impor­ted from thence, which Calculation I do not make at randum, but upon mature Consideration, and peradventure upon as much Experience in this very Trade, as any other person will pretend to; and therefore, when ever a Reformation of our Correspondency in Trade with that people shall be thought on, it will in my poor Judgment require great Ten­derness & very serious Circumspection.



TO leave the proofs of the unlaw­fulness of Usury to Divines, wherein a number, as well Pro­testants as Papists, have learnedly Writ­ten; here is only set down some Argu­ments to shew how great the hurt is it doth to this Kingdom, which hath no Gold nor Silver Mines, but plenty of Commodities, and many and great Ad­vantages of Trade; to which the high rate of Usury is a great prejudice and decay.

For proof how much the high rate of Usury decays Trade; we see that gene­rally all Merchants when they have got­ten any great Wealth, leave Trading, and fall to Usury, the gain thereof be­ing [Page 206] so easie, certain, and great; where­as in other Countries, where Usury is at a lower rate, and thereby Lands dear­er to purchase, they continue Merchants from Generation to Generation, to in­rich themselves and the State.

Neither are they rich Trades-Men only, that give over Trading, but a number of Beginners are undone or dis­couraged by the high rate of Usury, their Industry serving but to Enrich o­thers, and Begger themselves.

We also see many Trades themselves much decayed, because they will not af­ford so great a gain as Ten in the Hun­dred; whereas, if the rate of Usury were not higher here then in other Coun­tries, they had still subsisted and flou­rished, and perhaps with as much Ad­vantage to the Publick, as those that do bring more to the private Adven­turers.

Yet are not those the greatest hinde­rances the high rate of Money brings to Trade; our greatest disadvantage is, that other Nations, especially our In­dustrious Neighbours the Dutch, are therein Wiser then we: For with them, and so in most Countries with whom [Page 207] we hold Commerce, there is not any Use for Money tollerated, above the rate of Six in the Hundred: Whereby it must of necessity come to pass, though they have no other Advantages of In­dustry and Frugality, that they must out-Trade us; for if they make return of ten per Cent, they almost double the Use allowed, and so make a very gain­ful Trade. But with us, where ten in the Hundred is so currant, it is other­wise; for if we make not above ten, we are loosers, and consequently the same Trade being with them and us equally good for the Publick, is to the private Adventurers lossful with us, with them very gainful. And where the good of Publick and private Mens go not together, the Publick is seldom greatly advanced.

And as they out-Trade, so they may afford to under-sell us in the Fruits of the Earth, which are equally natural to our and their Lands, as to our great shame we see our Neighbours the Dutch do, even in our own Country: For in most Commodities the Earth brings forth, the Stock imployed in Planting and managing of them, makes a great [Page 208] (in many the greatest) part of their Price; and consequently, their Stock with them, being rated at six in the Hundred, they may with great Gain under-sell us, our Stock with us being rated at ten.

And as they may out-Trade us and under-sell us, so are all Contributions to the War, works of Piety and Glory of the State, cheaper to them then to us, For the Use for Money going with us near double the rate it doth in other Countries, the giving the same Sum must needs be double the charge to us it is to them.

Amongst other things which the King, with so much Wisdom, delivered to the House of Parliament, he com­mitted to their Considerat on the Bal­lancing of Trade and Commerce, where­in there is nothing of greater conse­quence, then the rate of Usury, which holds no Proportion with us and other Nations, to our disadvantage, as by Ex­perience we see and feel.

Neither is the high rate of Usury less hurtful to Commerce within the Land, the Gain by Usury being so easie, cer­tain, and extream great, as they are [Page 209] not only Merchants and Trades-men, but Landed-men, Farmers, and men of Profession that grow Lazy in their Pro­fessions, and become Usurers; for the rate of Usury is the measure by which all men Trade, Purchase, Build, Plant, or any other ways bargain.

It hath been the Wisdom and Care of former Parliaments to provide for the preservation of Wood and Timber; for which there is nothing more avail­able then the calling down of the high rate of Usury; for as the rate of Mo­ney now goeth, no man can let his Tim­ber stand, nor his Wood grow to such years growth as is best for the Common-Wealth, but it will be very lossfull to him; The stock of the Woods after they are worth forty or fifty Shillings the Acre, growing faster at ten in the Hundred, then the Woods themselves do.

And for Shipping, which is the strength and safety of this Land; I have heard divers Merchants of good Credit say, that if they would Build a Ship, and let it to any other to im­ploy, they cannot make of their Money that way, counting all charges, tear [Page 210] and wear, above ten or twelve in the Hundred, which can be no gainful Trade, Money it self going at ten in the Hundred.

But in the Low-Countries, where Mo­ney goeth at six, the Building of Ships, and Hiring them to others, is a gain­ful Trade; and so the Stock of rich Men, and the Industry of Beginners, are well joyned for the Publick.

And yet that which is above all the rest, the greatest Sin against the Land is, that it makes the Land it self of small value, nearer the rate of new-found Lands, than of any other Coun­try, where Laws, Government, and Peace, have so long flourished; for the high rate of Usury makes Land sell so cheap; and the cheap sale of Land is the cause Men seek no more by Industry and Cost to improve them.

And this is plain both by Exam­ple, and Demonstration: For we see in other Countries, where the Use of Money is of a low rate, Lands are gene­rally sold for thirty, forty, in some for fifty Years Purchase.

And we know by the rule of Bar­gaining, that if the rate of Use were [Page 211] not greater here, then in other Coun­tries; Lands were then as good a pen­ny worth at twenty Years Purchase, as they are now at sixteen: For Lands being the best Assurance and securest Inheritance, will still b [...]ar a rate above Money.

Now if Lands were at thirty Years Purchase, or near it, there were no so cheap Purchase as the Amendment of our own Lands; for it would be much cheaper to make one Acre of Land, now worth five Shillings by the Year, to be worth ten Shillings, or being worth ten to be worth twenty Shillings, and so in Proportion; then to purchase an other Acre worth five or ten Shil­lings.

And in every Acre thus purchased to the Owner, by the amendment of his own, there were another purchased to the Common-Wealth.

And it is the Blessing of God to this Land, that there are few places of it to which he hath not given means, by reasonable Cost and. Industry, greatly to amend it, in many to double the va­lue, so as in time, if for their own good, mens Industry were compelled [Page 212] that way, the Riches and Commodities of this Land will near be doubled.

Then would all the wet Lands in this Kingdom soon be drained, the barren Lands mended by Marle, Sleech, Lime, Chalk, Sea-sand, and other means, which for their profit, mens industry would find out.

We see with how great industry and charge our Neighbours, the Dutch, do drain and maintain their Lands against the Sea, which floweth higher above them, then it doth above the lowest parts of our drown'd Lands.

I will admit a great deal to their Indu­stry, but I should very unwillingly grant, that they are so much more ingenuous and industrious then we, as that all the odds were therein.

Certainly, the main cause of it is, that with us Money is dear, and Land cheap; with them Land is dear, and Money cheap; and consequently the Improve­ment of their Lands at so great a charge with them, is gainful to the Owners, which with us would be lossful; for Usury going at ten in the Hundred, if a man borrow five Pounds, and bestow it on an Acre of Ground, the amend­ment [Page 213] stands him in ten Shillings the Year, and being amended, the Land is not worth above fifteen Years purchase.

But if the Use of Money went at no more with us, then in other places, then five Pound bestowed upon an Acre of Gound, would stand a man but in five or six Shillings a Year, and the Acre of Land so amended, would be worth, as hath been shewed, six and twenty or thirty years purchase.

Whereby it appeareth that as the rate of Use now goeth, no man (but where the Land lieth extraordinarily happily for it) can amend his Land, but to his own loss; whereas if Money were let as it is in other Countries, he might be­stow more then double so much as now he may, and yet be a great gainer there­by; and consequently, as was before re­membred, should to his own bene­fit purchase Land to the Common-wealth.

Neither would such purchase of Land to the Common-wealth, be the benefit to the Landed men only, the benefit would be as much to the poor Labou­rers of the Land: For now when Corn and other Fruits of the Land, which [Page 214] grow by labour, are cheap, the Plough and Mattock are cast into the Hedge, there is little work for poor men, and that at a low rate; whereas, if the mendment of their own Lands were the cheapest purchase to the Owners; if there were many more people then there are, they should more readily be set a work, at better rates then they now are, and none that had their Health and Limbs could be poor, but by their ex­treamest laziness.

And as the high rate of Usury doth imbase L [...]nds, so it is as great a hin­drance to Discoveries, Plantations, and all good undertakings, making it near double as chargeable to the Adventu­ [...]ers, (Money being at ten in the hun­dred) as it is in other Countries, where the Use of Money is so much lower.

Now let us see by the contrary, and conceive if Usury were tollerated at fifteen or twenty in the hundred (and I fear many Borrowers, all things con­sidered, pay above ten) what the con­dition of things would then be, and if it appear how desperate the hurt would be which that would bring; it may (at least upon good reason) perswade us [Page 215] how great the good would he of calling it down.

Certainly, it must of necessity come to pass, that all Trades would in a short time decay: For few or none (and rec­kon the hazard at nothing) yield so great a gain as twenty in the hundred; and all other Nations might with so great gain out-trade and under-sell us, that more than the Earth would of her self bring forth, we should scarce raise any thing from it, even for our own use within the Land; and Land would be so much imbased, as men might afford without loss to themselves, to carry the Compost out of their Closes, upon their next adjoyning Lands to mend them: so far should we be from Marling, Liming, Draining, Planting, and any other works of Cost or Industry, by which Lands are purchased to the Common-wealth. So far from building, making of Havens, Discoveries, new Plantations, or any other actions of Vertue and Glory to the State; for private gain is the Com­pass men generally sail by.

And since we cannot, without extra­ordinary diligence, Plant, Build, Drain, or any other way amend our Lands, but [Page 216] it will be dearer to us, than the pur­chase of others, Money being at ten in the Hundred; if Money then should go at twenty in the Hundred, the charge of mending our Land would be doubled, and the Land abased to seven or eight Years purchase; and consequently all works of Industry and Charge, for im­proving of Lands, would be quite neg­lected and given over: We should only eat upon one another with Usury, have our Commodities from other Nations, let the Land grow barren and unma­nured, and the whole State in short time come to beggary.

Against this (perhaps) may be ob­jected, That before the 37 of H. 8. there was no limitation of Vsury, and how did we then?

To this may be answered, That in those times there was a stricter Band in that point upon Mens Consciences: So far forth as Usurers were in the same case as Excommunicate Persons, they could make no Wills, nor were allowed Christian Burial.

Therefore let us, for our Fore-fathers sake, hope, that the tie upon their Con­sciences then was a greater Restraint of [Page 217] Usury, than the Statute of ten in the Hundred is now. I fear Fornication is too frequent among us; yet, thanks be to God, not so much used as where there is allowance of Curtizans and Stews.

The Objections likely to be made against the calling down of Money, are,

First, That general Objection of Ignorance against all Changes, be they never so necessary and appa­rently good, that it hath been so a long time, and been well enough; what will become of the alteration we cannot tell; why then should we make any change?

Secondly, That as in Bodies Na­tural, so in Politique, great and sudden Changes are most commonly dangerous.

Thirdly, That Money will be suddenly called in, and so all Bor­rowers greatly preju [...]iced.

[Page 218]Fourthly, That Money will be harder to come by, and thereby Commerce greatly hindred.

Lastly, That much Money of Foreigners, by Reason of the high rate of Usury, is brought over here to be managed at Interest, which would be carried away again, if the Rate of Usury should be called down.

To the First. That Money hath long gone at Ten, and things been well enough.

It is answered, That it is not long that the practice of Usury hath been so generally used, without any sence or scruple of the unlawfulness of it; for mens Consciences were hardened to it with example and custom, by degrees, and not upon the sudden.

And as the beginning of many dan­gerous Diseases in healthful Bodies, so the beginning of many Inconveniencies in a State, are not presently felt.

[Page 219]With us, after that with long Civil Wars the Land was half unpeopled, so as till of late Years, it came not to his full stock of People again, there being the same quantity of Land to half the number of People, the surplusage of our In-land Commodities must needs be so great, that though Trade were not equally ballanced with us and other Na­tions, we could not but grow rich.

Besides, [...]rance and the Low-Countries were for many Years half laid waste with Wars, and so did trade but little, nor manage their own Lands to their best advantage; whereby they did not only not take the Trade & Market from us which now they do, but they them­selves were fed and cloathed by us, and took our Commodities from us at great high great Rates.

Whereas now we see the Dutch do every where out trade us, and the French feed us with their Corn, even in plentiful Years.

So as now our Land being full stock­ed with People, our Neighbours indu­strious and subtle in Trade, if we do not more equally Ballance Trade, and bring to pass that we may afford the Fruits [Page 220] of our Land, as cheap as other Coun­tries afford the same of the same kind; we must (though we leave a number of our superfluities, as God forbid but we should) in a short time grow Poor and Beggarly.

And in this condition ten in the Hun­dred, in a little more time, will as well serve to do it, as if Money were at twenty: For (as was before remem­bred) in most of the Commodities the Earth bringeth forth, the Stock em­ployed in Planting and managing of of them, makes a great part of their Price; and consequently, they may, with great Gain to themselves, under-sell us; our Stock with us going at double the rate that theirs goes with them.

And this we see and feel too well by Experience at this present; for having a great surplusage of Corn, we can find no vent for it; the French with their own, the Dutch with the Corn of Poland, every where supplying the Markets at cheaper rates than we can afford it.

And even our Cloaths, which have hitherto been the Golden Mine in Eng­land, I have heard many Merchants say, [Page 221] That (except it be in some few of the finest sort of them, which is a Riches peculiar to this Nation) other Coun­tries begin to make them of their own Wool, and by affording them cheaper then we may, so to take our Markets from us.

And this I hope may in part serve for Answer to the next Objection; that all great and sudden Changes are com­monly dangerous; for that Rule holds true, where the Body Natural or Poli­tick is in perfect state of Health, but where there is a declining, (as I have some cause to fear there is, or may soon be with us) there to make no alteration is a certain way to Ruin.

To the Third. That Money will be suddenly called in, and so all Borrowers greatly prejudiced.

For that there may be a clause in the end of the Statute whensoever it shall be made: That it shall be lawful for all that have lent Money at ten in the Hundred, which is now forborn, and owing, to take for such Money so lent, [Page 222] and owing, during two Years after this Session of Parliament, such Use as they might have done if this Act had not been made: Whereby Borrowers shall be in less danger of sudden calling in of their Money, then now they are; for where the Lenders upon continuance of their old Security, may take ten in the Hun­dred; upon new Security they may be content with less, so the calling in of their Money will be to their own prejudice.

And if there be any Borrower to whom this giveth not sufficient Satis­faction, if such Borrower have Lands of value to pay his debt, the worst con­dition he can fear, is to have at the least twenty Years Purchase for his Land, wherewith to clear his Debts; for as I said before, Land being the best Security, and securest Inheritance, will still bear a rate above Mo­ney.

And so there being no Use allowed for Money above the rate tollerated in other Countries, Land will as readily sell at twenty Years Purchase, as it doth now at twelve. And I think there is no Borrower that hath Land of value [Page 223] to pay his Debts, doth doubt if he will now sell his Land at ten Years Purchase, he might soon be out of Debt.

To the fourth Objection. That Money will be hard to be borrow­ed, and so Commerce hindred.

I answer, That it were true, if the high rate of Usury did increase Money within this Land; but the high rate of Usury doth enrich only the Usurer, and impoverish the Kingdom, as hath been shewed; and it is the plenty of Money within the Land that maketh Money easie to be borrowed, as we see by the Examples of other Countries, where Money is easier to be borrowed then it is with us, and yet the rate tollerated for Use, is little more then half so much.

It is the high rate of Use that undo­eth so many of the Gentry of the Land, which maketh the number of Borrowers so great; and the number of Borrowers must of necessity make Money the har­der [Page 224] to be borrowed, whereas if Use for Money were at a lower rate, Land as hath been shewed, would be much quicker to be sold, and at dearer rates, and so the Nobility and Gentry would soon be out of Debt, and consequently the fewer Borrowers, and so to Trades-men and Merchants Money easie to be had.

Further, let us consider if Money were called down, what Usurers would do with their Money; they would not I suppose long be sullen, and keep it a dead stock by them; for that were not so much as the safest way of keeping it: They must then either imploy it in Trade, purchase Land, or lend for Use at such rate as the Law will tolle­rate: If it quicken Trade, that is the thing to be desired; for that will en­rich the Kingdom, and so make Money plentiful.

And yet need not any Borrower fear that Money will so be imployed in Trade, as that there will not be sufficient of Money to purchase Land; where the Purchaser may have as much, or near so much Rent by the purchase [Page 225] of Land, as he can by putting his Mo­ney to Use: For a great number of Gentlemen and other in the Country, know not how to imploy any stock in Trade, but with great uncertainty, and less satisfaction to themselves, then the letting of their Money at a lower rate, or purchasing Land at twenty Years pur­chase or upwards.

No doubt for the present there would be great buying and selling of Land, till Men had cleared them­selves, and payed their Debts: But in short time Land, as it is shewed before, would sell at so dear a rate, as Money let at a lower rate of Use, would bring in proportion as great a rate above the Rent that would be made then by the purchase of Land, as the rate of Money now is above the Rent of Land, purchased at fourteen or fif­teen Years purchase, and so by con­sequence Money would then as easily be borrowed as it is now, and so much easier, as it would be more plenti­ful, and fewer Borrowers.

To the last and weakest of Objections. That there is now much Money of Foreigners in the Land, to be managed at ten in the Hundred, which if Money should be called down, would be carried out of the Land.

There is no doubt it is true: But I desire to know, whether any man think it better for the State, that they should now carry out one hundred Pounds, or seven years hence, two; or fourteen years hence four; or one and twenty years hence eight: For so in effect up­on the multiplying of Interest they do.

It will seem incredible to such as have not considered it, but to any that will but cast it up, it is plainly manifest, that a hundred Pounds managed at ten [Page 227] in the hundred, in seventy years, multiplies it self to a hundred thousand pounds. So if there should be an hun­dred thousand pounds of Foreigners Money now managed here at ten in the hundred, (and that doth seem no great matter) that an hundred thousand pound in threescore and ten years, which is but the age of a man, would carry out ten Millions, which I believe is more then all the Coin at this pre­sent in the Land.

I know we cannot conceive how any such sum should be managed at In­terest, yet this is sufficient to make us little to joy in Foreigners Money.

Besides, we must not conceive that the Money of Foreigners which is here managed at Usury, is brought into the Land in ready Coin or Bullion: The course is, That Merchants send over Bills of Exchange to their Factors, for which they receive our Money here; and this is the Money they manage at Interest, and so they eat us out with our own Money.

The old comparison, which com­pares Usury to the Butlers Box, de­serves [Page 228] to be remembred; Whilst men are at play, they feel not what they give to the Box; but at the end of Christmass it makes all, or near all, Gamesters loosers: And I fear the com­parison hold thus much farther, That there is as few escape that continue in Usury, as that continue Gamesters; a man may play once or twice, and leave a Winner, but the use of it is seldom without ruin.

Now because I know mens private Interests doth many times blind their Judgments, and lest any may be temp­ted for their own, against the publick Good; I will desire them to remember, that if they have Lands as well as Mo­ney, that what they lose in their Mo­ney, they shall get it in their Land; for Land and Money are ever in Bal­lance one against the other; and where Money is dear, Land is cheap; and where Money is cheap, Land is dear.

And if there be any yet so hearty a well-wisher to ten in the hundred, as that he still thinks it fit to be conti­nued, my wish is, That he and his Po­sterity may have the priviledge to [Page 229] borrow, but not to lend at that rate.

In the baginning of this Treatise, I did disclaim the proofs of the unlaw­fulness of Usury, leaving them to Divines, this one only (rising from the Premises) which may serve for all, I think fit to set down:

It is agreed by all the Divines that ever were, without exception of any; yea, and by the Usurers themselves, That biting Usury is unlawful: Now since it hath been proved that ten in the hundred doth bite the Landed men, doth bite the Poor, doth bite Trade, doth bite the King in his Customs, doth bite the Fruits of the Land, and most of all the Land it self; doth bite all works of Piety, of Vertue, and Glory to the State; no man can deny but ten in the hundred is absolutely unlawful, howso­ever happily a lesser rate may be other­wise.

To the King, increase of his Cu­stoms.

To the Kingdom, increase of Land, by inriching of this.

[Page 230]To the Nobility and Gentry, delive­rance from Bondage and Debt.

To Merchants, continuance and flou­rishing in their Trades.

To young Beginners in Trade and Commerce, the fruits of their own Labours.

To Labourers, quick imployment.

To Usurers, Land for the Money.


SInce the fore-going Papers were delivered to the Press, Mr Henry Dakers Merchant, sent me a most rational and admirable Treatise concerning Trade, called ENGLAND's INTEREST AND IMPROVEMENT, writ by Samuel Fortrey, Esq one of the Gentlemen of the Majesties Privy Chamber, in which he men­tions something concerning the Interest of Money, in the follow­ing Words, pag. 42. Viz.

In the last place, concerning the Vse of Money; which being the Life and Sinews of Trade, it hath been the Opinion of some, that the grea­ter Vse were allowed for Money, the more would be the profit of the Pub­lick; [Page 232] for that Strangers finding a greater benefit to be made of their Money here, than other where, would send it hither, whereby Money would be much more plentiful amongst us.

Indeed I should be of their Opinion, if as soon as by this means great sums of Money were transported hi­ther, all their Money should be con­fiscate to the Publick: But if other­wise, sure it cannot be denied, but the greater the Vse, the more the Profit to the Vsurer, and loss to the Debtor, so as in a few Years we should find our selves so little in­riched thereby, that when the Prin­cipal should be again recalled, we should find but little Money left; all our own being wasted in Vse. Where­fore indeed the true benefit to the Publick, is, To set the Vse of Money as low, or rather lower than in our Neighbour Countries it is; for then they would make no Profit out of us [Page 233] by that means, but rather we on them. And it is the clear profit that we get of our own, that will make this Nation rich, and not the great sums we are indebted to others.

Which I have here inserted, for such like Reasons:

First, That the World may see I am not singular in this Opinion, although I thought I had been so, when first I wrote the afore-said Observations.

Secondly, For Confirmation of the Truth, by the Authority of a Person of such known Abili­ties.

Thirdly, To give the Author his due Honour of being the first Observer, &c.

[Page 234] And I am sorry I know not the ingenious Author of the former Tract, that I might do right to his Memory, Who hath done more for his Country than would have been the Gift of some Millions of Pounds Sterling, into the Publick Ex­chequer.


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