BEfore I come directly to reply to the said Answer, I shall premise a few things; First, though my Antagonist finds his Design Opposed by several Discourses under the Name of W. C. (and chiefly by one called Englands Interest) yet he hath done me the Honour to Front his Dis­course [Page 3] course with divers Propositions, allowed even by himself;

I shall therefore answerably endeavour to treat the said Author with all that Civility, that is necessary in this Case, granting to him what is true, rectifying what I conceive to be mistaken; and answering such objections, as are materi­al.

I must needs say, that I had no thoughts of appearing in Publick any more, and could not easily have been moved thereunto, had not my Zeal to the Commerce of the Nation (which is at present solely maintained by the Woollen Manufacture of it) Raised my fears so far as to believe a great Prejudice is coming upon Us, and so far as to doubt also that we may be hastning of it, by those very means we would endeavour to prevent it.

And therefore I cannot but like the dumb Child speak, when he saw a Knife at his Fa­thers Throat, I mean, when I consider the ex­tremity we are like to be in from the French Kings Vigilancy, and the great Endeavours that he hath of late used to acquire the making of the Woollen Manufacture in his own Kingdome, [Page 4] and what Artifice and vast Expence he doth use to effect his said design, both in France, and by his Agents here in England, even at this very day, notwithstanding his Mind is and cannot but be so much engaged in the present Wars: And if he doth this in the very midst of his distractions, what will he not do, or what may we not expect hereafter from him when he shall be at Peace with all his Neighbours, es­pecially having already gotten such Quantities of our Wooll, as he hath.

And to encourage the Manufacture thereof in his own Kingdom, he hath even very lately issued forth his Edict, for the erecting Hospi­tals in many Towns in France, both for the setting all sorts of Persons at work (that are able) in the Woollen Manufacture, and for the Maintenance of all Indigent Persons, and not to suffer a Begger there.

And if the French King, how fair soever he pretends a Friendship to us, be Designing by all wayes and means, to Undermine our Com­merce, and by it to prejudice us in our Trade and Strength by Sea, I may I hope be pardo­ned, if I am more than indifferently concer­ned, [Page 5] or more than ordinarily warm, to think that we our selves should endeavour to perfect His Design by delivering up our Wooll, the. Foundation of so Rich a Manufacture, into His hands; for that which is moved, is moved principally (if not solely) for the French Kings advantage, and that which is desired (if granted) tends to our own Inevitable ruine.

Nor can we hereafter think of so Vain and Idle a Vhing, as to recover our Woollen Ma­nufacture once lost, or to preserve the Kings Customs, or the Strength and Shipping of this Great Kingdom without it.

Upon all which considerations, I cannot but humbly entreat the Nobility and Gentry, (and more especially such as have the Honour to serve their Country, in Parliament) seri­ously to reflect upon the wisdom of that Great Prince, King Edward the 3d. and upon the Method which he in his Reign used, now so long since to gain the Woollen Manufacture out of Flanders into this Countrey, and withal Im­partially compare that with the present Prac­tise of the French King before mentioned.

[Page 6]And then to Consider whether, we have not Reason to do the utmost we may to Prevent his Design, or whether we have Reason to do all that we can (nay more than he himself doth ask or expect from us) by a Law to pro­mote and Incourage his Design.

We must be very short-sighted, if we under­stand not that after he hath supplyed his own Country, he will not only endeavour, but will soon be able, to supply Flanders, Portugal, Spain, and the Streights, to gain an Advantage to his own Subjects; for if he may break the Laws of Commerce, and lay what Impositions he pleaseth upon our Cloth, and all other our Native Commodities, even while we are at Peace with him, why may he not also lay an Imposition upon all our ships that pass rhe Streights, or that shall dare to Trade or bring the same Commodities that he doth in any Port of Italy, or Turkey, where the Subjects of his Greatness comes? And when our Com­merce is lost and our Manufacture gon, and our Ships imposed upon that shall pass the Seas, what shall be left to defend our selves in case we will not also receive his Codex, or what­soever [Page 7] he shall (for the greatness of his name) think fit to require of us.

All which things, whether they be conve­nient not only to be wished but to be Contri­buted to by a Law, I humbly leave to my Opponents themselves to judge. For when the Trade that not only brings such a Revenue to his Majesty, but is the Riches and Strength of this Kingdom shall be lost, as is now attempt­ed, what Way or Means may we as Rational Persons, think (on) to prevent any of those Mischiefs before mentioned.

This General being premised, I shall now enter upon the Discourse it self: the main Aim or Scope of my Antagonist divides it Self into two Parts, the one to prove that there ought to be a Limited Transportation of Wooll; the other that by a Limited Exportation of Wooll the Price of it may be Raised: and by the Raising of this, the Rents of Lands, may and will be encreased, and his Majesties Customes greatly Advanced; and if these things were Really Practicable, I should not only be so Just to my Self, and to my Opponents, but so just to the Nation, as not to put Pen to Paper to trou­ble [Page 8] my Reader, and much less to expose my self to a Stage of Contention, as I am now like to do; but for as much as the quite contrary will (if I mistake not) appear, I shall there­fore Examine and Weigh those Reasons and Grounds which my Oppnent hath brought for those Assertions.

Whereas my Opponent doth endeavour to Alarm the Nation, that for want of the vending our superfluous Wooll abroad, that the Farmer and the Landlord are so much damnified, that the one cannot pay his Rent, nor the other sustain his Taxes, and that this is the chiefest, if not the sole Reason of sinking our Rents, and throwing up Farms, and the Misery of the whole Country.

This Consiquence is not allowed, that being assigned for a General Cause, which is but one a­mongst many, and that a very small one; the true Cause of the abateing the Price of Land, and lessening the Rents, shall be given in the Answer to the next pretence in this Head; (Viz.) That it is much more the Concern of the Nation to pre­serve the Nobility, Gentry, and those that the Land of this Country belongs unto; rather than regard a few Artifficers, who are employed in the wor­king [Page 9] up of the Wooll of this Nation, or to regard the Merchant, who gains by the Exportation of our Manufacture.

I Humbly crave leave to say, that the said Argument doth wholly depend upon a Sup­position, which is no way fit to be Granted, (Viz.) as if the Interests of the Merchant, Mariner, and Artificer, were not only Oppo­site to, but wholly Inconsistent with the In­terest of the Nobility, Gentry, and Farmers, whereas there is nothing more evident than the contrary; so that the whole Argument it Self falls for want of a Foundation. For the clearing of which let us consider, that in as much as it is Imposible, that we should defend our selves, as an Island, otherwise than by the strength of our Shipping, and seeing this is much less posible to be done now, at such a Juncture of Time when our nearest Neigh­bours do (partly out of Fear, and partly out of Emulation) multiply Shipping upon us, and use all endeavours that are possible to gain the Dominion of the Sea from us, it is hence clear, that we must either say, that the Intrest of the Nobility, Gentry, and Farmer, [Page 10] is not the same with the Interest of the Nati­on, or if it be the same with the Interest of the Nation, it must be their Interest then, to uphold the Trade and Shipping of this Coun­try, and Consequently to uphold the Mer­chants.

But for as much as all that understand Trade, do well know that all the Commerce of this Nation, doth for the value and bulk of it, Intirely depend upon the Woollen-Ma­nufacture, Consequently it must be the Interest of the Nobility, Gentry, and Farmer, to up­hold the Woollen-Manufacture, as much as 'tis to uphold Trade, or to uphold the Strength of our Shipping by Sea: For what will the Lands of the Nobility and Gentry proffit them? or what will become of the Privilidges and Rights of English Men, if through the Loss of our Wollen-Manufacture, we Loose our Trade, and by the Loss of this, we want Shipping to Defend our Selves?

To this Argument let us also add, that if there be no opposition between the Interest of the Nobility and Gentry, and the Interest of the Farmer, (as no Man doth pretend [Page 11] there is) than there can be no Opposition between the Interest of the Nobility and Gen­try, and the Interest of the Artifficer, who Works up the Wooll of all he Country.

For besides the Proffit that doth arise to the Nobility and Gentry, by the Houses which are taken, and by the Lands that are Rent­ed by the Clothiers, and by the Workmen under them, it's well known, that the said Clothiers, and Workmen are Serviseable to the Farmer, not only for the buying up of his Wooll, but for the buying up all manner of Victuals also; by the which not only one, but all the parts of the Farmers Rents come to be discharged, one Clothier Imploying not only one or two Hundred Persons, but sometimes one or two Thousand; and Consequently, if we shall admit that there are in England not above five Thousand Clothiers, and that each of these (one with anothet) do main­tain but two Hundred and Fifty Workmen, the whole will amount to upward of one Mil­lion; wherefore if we allow for each of these People, but four pound Per. An. one with another; the whole will amount to between [Page 12] four and five Millions of Pounds Sterling Per. An. which Yearly Sum the Farmer doth Imme­diately receive, and Consequently the Nobility and Gentry, from the Poor and Contemptible Artificer, over and above what is further Con­tributed by them to the Shoomakers, Taylors, and other Trades, that could not live and be Maintained without them, nor the Farmer himself, if all these Trades should Fail.

And this leads us also, to take notice of a­nother mistake in my Opponent, and such as is no small one, which is, that in asmuch as it is Mat­ter of Fact, and such as may be clearly demon­strated; that there is at least if not much more than a Milion of Persons, employed in the Clothing-Trade, and hath their dependance wholly upon the said Manufacture: It's hence e­vident, how much my Opponent hath mistaken himself in supposing, that though our Cloth­ing-Trade should be lost, yet all the Persons that are now employed in it, might find work from the Farmers, foreseeing it's Matter of Fact, that the Farmer is able to supply himself with as many Labourers, and more than he hath oc­casion for, without somnch as medling with that [Page 13] of the Clothing-Trade: It must unavoydably follow; that if our Manufacture should be to­tally lost, as there will be above a Million of People; that must either Starve, or Beg, or be put to the Charge of several Parishes, ot be for­ced to Steal or Rob, or leave the Kingdom; so it's as evident, that the Farmer after all this, will not only be less able to employ Labourers, than he was before, but less able to pay his Land­lord, by Four or Five Millons every Year.

And when such an Abatement as this shall be made of the Farmers Income: I shall leaveit then to any wise Man to Consider what will become of the Price of Lands, or Value of Rents, and how much this will advantage the Grower or Breed­er of Wooll? and to make good this Computa­tion, and free it from all Suspision of Slightness, we shall further offer to Consideration, that whatsoever is the true Vallue of all the Wool­len-Manufacture of England, the Nobility, Gen­rty, and Commonalty do receive among them, near, if not more than Nine Parts of Ten. For inasmuch as all who are well acquainted with the Clothing-Trade, do know that it is not a Tenth Part of the Proffit, nor sometimes the [Page 14] Twentieth that is gained by the Clothier, or first Employer, who frequently looseth of the very Interest of his Mony; consequently it must of necessity follow, that Nine of the Ten Parts, if not Nine-teen of Twenty Parts of the whole Value of the said Manufacture must be distributed to the Nation; so that admitting the whole Wollen-Manufacture of this Nation, comprehending Cloath, Stuffs, Bays, Stokings, and all other of the said Manufacture, do amount to Four Millions of Pounds Sterling Per. An. (more or less) there will not come of that Great Sum to the Clothier, or first Employer, much above Two Hundred Thousand Pounds (if so much;) so that Three Millions and Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds Per. An. must of ne­cessity be distributed to the Nation by Virtue, of the said Clothing-Trade; whereof we can­not but suppose the Farmers, and therefore the Noblity and Gentry must receive the great­er Part.

It is well known also, that it is solely by our Trade, that not only this Great City of London it Self, but several other Large Cities of this Nation do wholly Depend; and which if our [Page 15] Trade were removed, they would soon be deserted by their respective Inhabitants.

And then we cannot but offer to Considera­tion, where the Nobility, Gentry, or Farmers, would find a Market for their Commodities, or find a Price answerable to them.

All which Particulars I have been the larger in, to remove that Mistake, which is almost as Distructive to the Nation, as the Pestilence it Self; which is that mentioned by my Opponent (Viz.) that the Interest of the Merchant, or the Interest of the Cloathier and Artifficer is not Consistent with the Interest of the Nobility and Gentry; the contrary being made sufficiently to appear.

My Opponents Third Argument is, that Wooll was at twelve pound Per Pack in the Year 1647, when Wooll was Prohibited, and that in the following Year, it was sold for six­teen pound Per Pack, but that Wooll ever since by reason of the said Prohibition, (as is pretended) is fallen of its price, and is now not worth above four or five pound Per Pack.

In which Argument, there seems to be a Failure in two Respects, one, as if the Wooll of [Page 16] the Nation hath never bore any Price since the time of the Prohibition, whereas it may be made appear, that after the Year 1650, Wooll bore a very considerable Price, from ten pound Per Pack to twenty foure Pound Per Pack, according to the goodness of the said Wooll, and continued so for some time, which shews us another mistake in his Argu­ments, as if the fall of the price of Wooll were wholly to be ascribed to the Prohibition of it, whereas indeed there are two other caus­es that are very evident.

First. From the discouragment that hath been put upon the Clothier, and upon the Vent of our Woollen-Manufacture, by the French Kings Arbitrary Impositions upon it, to the almost utter Prohibition of it; whereby now there cannot be so much wrought of it as formerly, which had otherwise certainly been, and then no such occasion or pretence as this would have been taken to complain of Su­perfluous Wooll, and therefore as this cannot be denyed to be a true cause why more of our Wooll comes to be unwrought than formerly, so 'tis clear that those very Men that are now [Page 17] pleaded for by my Opponent, (I mean the Stealers and Transporters of Wooll about Can­terbury, and the places adjacent, not for ne­cessity, but for filthy greediness of Gain and Lucre) have highly contributed to it, not­withstanding the Lawes of the Nation against it, and notwithstanding the Ruine of the Na­tion that is Dayly Jeoperdied by it, in which respect I cannot but Confess, that Rumney-Marsh hath indeed Created an Interest by it self, but it's such an Interest, which neither is, nor hath been Consistent with the Inte­rest of the Nation, nor with the Interest of the Nobility and Gentry in General, so that the said Stealers or Transporters of Wooll, have been the main and principal Cause of both these Inconveniences, (viz) both of the Loss of our Manufacture, and the Loering the Price of our Wooll.

The other Cause of the Fall of the Price of Wooll, especially of late Years, hath been the Necessitating of Ireland to stock their Pas­ture Ground with Sheep, instead of great Cat­tle, and those of the best-Breed of England, by which meanes, as Wooll hath of late Years [Page 18] been more encreased, then ever at any time before within his Majesties Dominions, so the Consequence of this Extraordinary Increase (and not any Fault in the Clothier or Manu­facturer) is that which hath not only brought down the Price, but hath occasioned so great a quantity to be sent Abroad into Forreign Parts, as it bears now almost as smale a Price beyond Sea as Here; and therefore in this Ar­gument, my Opponent hath Assigned that for a Cause; which is no Cause at all, may clear­ly Appear, because it's matter of Fact, that Wooll bore as good a Price, if not a better (after the said Prohibition as it did before) for many Years, till that breach of Commerce which was put upon us by the French King; which wee before mentioned, and until that Unfortunate Act (for so I must Humbly crave leave to call it) was made against the Impor­ting the Irish Cattle, upon supposition that it would Raise the Price of Land here in Eng­land, whereas the quite contrary Effect hath been too much Experienced (viz) that it hath Laid such a Foundation for the Impove­rishing [Page 19] England, as will not quickly (I fear) be Recovered.

The next thing Alleged by my Oppoent, is, that a Limited Exportation of Wooll, will be more for the Advantage of our Woollen Trade, and less for that beyond the Sea, than the hin­dring of it hath been.

Which Ascertion, if my Opponent had Re­ally, Sufficiently, and Effectually made good, he might justly have Merited the Name, for being the greatest Master of Reason in England.

And indeed seeing a Paradox more strange, and more hard to be Conceived, could not easily be stated, I could not but expect, that some Arguments more Remarkable than or­dinary, would Immediately have followed it, but finding (contrary to my Expectations) nothing beyond a bare Affermation, that if Strangers had a Liberty to Buy what Wooll so­ever they please, they would Pay Dearer for it, then now they do, and that our Clothiers would therefore have it the Cheaper, and by this Ad­vantage would be able to under-sel the Strangers in their Manufacture: I say finding litle or no­thing more, to be brought, either by way [Page 20] of Reason, or of Argument, to maintain this Par­radox, I was soon convinced that it remain­ed as uncapable to be proved as it was before, and a little to evidence the Improbability of the said Consequence, we shall here offer some few Reasons to the Contrary.

And First I crave leave to say, that it's no way likely that the Grower in any part of England, should not be willing to get the utmost Price for his Wooll that he can, and therefore not likely that any Grower what­soever, will sell his Wooll to the Natives of this Countrey, for a less Price than he pre­sumes he may have of Strangers: And there­fore not at all likely, that our own Manu­facturers should Buy it Cheaper than others.

Secondly. Admiting that it should be made Unlawful, for any Stranger to Buy up Wooll, till such a time or season of the Year, to the end that our Clothiers might first Provide themselves of what they need, yet it would no way follow, but Strangers may have their Agents and Factors here, that may Purchase it at the same ease, with the same conveni­ency, and at the same Rates that our Clothi­ers [Page 21] are like to do, nor can I perceive any thing propounded by my Opponent, that would be able in the least, either to Prevent it, or Obviate it.

Thirdly. And this great Omition in my Opponent, I could not but take the more no­tice of, because if no Expedient can be found out by him (which I doubt there will not) to prevent Strangers, from giving what Com­mssions they please, to Buy up what Quan­tities of Wooll soever they shall think fit, here in this Countrey; as I see not how, or by what meanes, the Exportation of our Wooll, should be any way possible to be Limmited, so neither do I see how the Clothier here, should be sufficiently; and certainly Furnished, or how the Manufacture it self should be Ca­pable of being any way preserved, and if these Mischiefs, and Inconveniencies cannot but follow, and cannot but be a Necessary Con­sequences of such a Law, as is propounded by my Opponent; and that nothing to Obvi­ate or prevent these Inconveniencies, hath been either Regarded, or so much as attemp­ted by him: I cannot but take it to be a very [Page 22] great Blot to his Judgment, barely and bold­ly to Offer at such a thing, which is atten­ded with so much Hazard.

Fourthly. Because my Opponent seemes to to put his cheifest Stress in this, (Viz.) that a large Custome may be put upon all Wooll that is Exported by Strangers, and that at least by this meanes, they may come to Pay double the Price of what our Clothiers do, and not only so, but by this means also, his Majestie may receive an Advantage by the Custome, that is Imposed upon it.

To try the weight or strength of this Ex­pedient, or rather to shew the Vanity of it. Let us suppose that 3d. or 4d. Per Pound, should by a Law, be Imposed upon all Wooll, that shall be Shipt out by Strangers; or others, as it will not follow, that the said Custome should be Paid to his Majestie, for one half of the Wooll, that shall be so Shipt out: See­ing under the Colour of one Hundred Packs, many Hundred may be Exported. So this will much the less follow, from the very Ob­servation; which my Opponent himself hath made, of the nature, of the Stealers or Transpor­ters [Page 23] of Wooll; for if as he Confesseth they will be contended with 12d. a day profit so they may play the Merchants; & if they are content to run the hazard of their Necks, and to be tryed as Fellons, for so small a matter as this a mounts to, which cannot be above 8, or 10s. upon a pack, how much more then, will they bee encouraged to steal the Custom of it when their excuse shall be fairer, and their advantage much greater, and the hazard less a hundred times then now it is? but in the fifth and last place, let us admit for Arguments sake, that if 4l. was imposed upon every Pack of VVooll that was Transported, and let us admit, that all this Custome was duely Paid, yet I see not the least Ground for my Opponents Confidence, that we shall for this Cause be able to under­sell the French, in the VVoollen-Manufacture.

For beside that the Nature of their Manu­facture being but slight; and such as takes up much less Wooll then ours doth, and a great part of their warps, being made of their fine­spun Linnen and their own course VVooll: I say besides this, the Impositions that have been of late, Arbitralily put upon all our VVoollen-Manufacture [Page 24] in France; and considering also there is no Custome at all put upon Wooll there, when Imported, both these will utterly prevent, our Selling the said Manufac­ture there, Cheaper than the French can make it, though they shall not only give double, but treble the Price, that we our Selves do give for Wooll.

The next thing Alledged by my Opponent is, that our Fore-Fathers did never Prohibit the Transportation of Wooll, unless upon some great Occasion, and for a certain Season, till of late Years, for makeing good of which, a Summa­ry of several Statutes, are brought from the Time of Edward the 3d. downwards to our Times.

For answer to all which Statute, I shall make use of no other Argument, than what my Opponent himself hath put into my Mouth, which is; that Wooll was for many Ages, by the Wisdom of the Government, at least very often Prohibited; and that whensoever the Govenment it self saw, there was a grea­ter Occasion than ordinary for it, they did alwayes Prohibit it; and Consequently, if [Page 25] the Interest of the Nation at present be such, and the circumstances relating to our Neigh­bours about us, be not only so great, but so Instant and Importune, that these two consi­dered, there will be much more Reason, and much more Necessity, for the Prohibiting of it now, than formerly.

Then all that my Opponent labours at, in producing Instances of other Kinds, and where the Circumstances are not the same, falls wholly to the Ground; for the clearing of which, let us consider, that the Circumstances peculiar to this present Time are, that we have not only been Possessed for many Ages, of the Manufacturing of our Wooll, but have of late so Improved our Trade and Commerce by it, that we have Exported it by Shipping of our own, not only into France, Portugal and Spain, but into Italy, Turkey, and to the remotests Parts of the World.

By which means, as our Wealth came greatly to Increase, so we our selves became more Powerful in Shipping than ever, which greatness of our Trade and the Strength of our Shipping being not only Observed, but forth­with [Page 26] Emulated by some of our Neighbours, and seeing it was likewise clearly discerned, that the cheifest meanes for the Maintenance of it proceeded from our Woollen-Manufacture, as the Hollander therefore first, so the French since, have by many undue Lawes and Pres­sures upon us, contrary to the ancient Trea­ties of Peace and Commerce, endeavoured to Rob the said Manufacture from us.

Nor is the state of the Contest now at pre­sent between us only, who shall have the Trade, but who is fittest to have the Strength and Dominion of the Sea.

Wherefore if my Opponent be not only an Islander, but so much an English-Man, and be so true a Subject to the Interest of his Majes­tie, which I doubt not but he is, as to think there is none so fit as his Majestie to Com­mand the Sea, then my Opponent must of ne­cessity grant, that nothing ought at this time to be done by us, that may hazard the great­ness of our Trade and Commerce, and Conse­quently, that nothing ought to be suffered by us, (so far as we are able in any wise to pre­vent it) that may either lessen or endanger [Page 27] our Woollen-Manufacture, and Consequently, if nothing can so much hazard it, and hazard the very loss of our Trade, and of the Dominion of the Sea it self through it, as the countenan­cing and contributing to the Woollen-Manufac­ture now set up in France, then this is not to be done by us, but is rather, if we will pursue the Interest of the Nation, by all means to be prevented by us.

And Consequently till my Opponent shall be able to make it appear, that the Dominion of the Sea, if lost, will be no great harm to us, or till he make it appear, that we are able to keep the Dominion of the Sea; even, not­withstanding our Trade and Commerce should be utterly lost, and notwithstanding our Wool­len-Manufacture, should be wholly carried a­way by our Neighbours.

Or till he make it appear by other Argu­ments than hitherto he hath done, that the French though they encrease their Woollen-Ma­nufacture, will neither be able to Under-sell us abroad, nor be able to prevent our Clothes and Stuffs from going into France, as formerly.

I say till my Opponent shall be able to make good all these things, I must crave leave to [Page 28] differ from him wholly, and plainly to affirm on the contrary.

1. That the Transportation of Wooll, if al­lowed by a Law, can no way be Limited. Because if the Transportation of Wooll shall be allowed by a Law, no meanes, (speaking rationally) is able to prevent the Hollanders, Flandrians, and French, to give each of them such Commissions as they please, to Buy up here what quantity of Wooll soever, they shall think fit.

2. In regard that this can no way be pre­vented, and that my Opponent himself offers not the least grain of an Expedient towards it: I therefore farther affirm, that it cannot appear that our Clothiers or Manufacturers here, shall have the least Priviledg above the Stran­ger; either in poynt of Provision, or point of Price.

3. That our Clothier, or Manufacturer here, must of necessity have a far greater disadvan­tage, with reference to the furnishng himself, than the Stranger abroad, in regard it cannot be thought, he shall be able to raise any such [Page 29] stock of Money as the Stranger can, to pre­vent the Strangers Forstaling of him; and Consequently (if it be Lawful to talk Rea­son) there can be no ground to Imagin, that our Manufacture shall not in short time be ut­terly lost, and this being lost, as our Trade and strength at Sea must be Inevitably lost with it, so not only the Honour, Wealth and Rents, but the very Priviledges, Liberty, and Property of the Nation, must be hazarded to such Strangers as shall carry away the Trade and strength from us.

As to the next Allegation, made by my Oppo­nent, (Viz.) that the Transportation of Wooll, will better his Majesties: Customs I see but little in it that may require my Answere to it, inas­much, as I have spoken already to this, under the Fourth head: Nevertheless I must crave leave to say, that my Opponent here also go­eth upon an extraordinary Mistake, it being not at all in dispute between us, whether his Majesties Customes would be bettered if a Subsidy were paid only for that Wooll that is now Exported, instead of haveing it all stol­len: But the dispute between us strictly is, what [Page 30] his Majesties Customes will hereafter amount to, Comparatively to what they at present now are, in case there should be a Law for the free and Unlimited Exportation of Wooll, and that by reason of this Law, and the Conse­quences that must follow from it, our Woollen-Manufacture shall come to be wholly and en­tirely lost: For it becomes not a wise Man (and such I must in Civility Judge my Oppo­nent to be) in making such Proposals as tend to the altering of Lawes, to look at the pre­sent only, but to look more principally at the time to come.

And therefore it is not in this case at all, to be considered what the advantage will be, that may come to his Majesties Customes for a few moneths, or a single Year, but it is to be considered, what the advantage or disadvant­age will be to his Majesties Customes for the time to come; admitting these Inconvenien­cies, which I have before mentioned to be unavoydable, from the Law which is Pro­pounded by my Opponent.

Besides my Opponent cannot doubtless be so Ignorant, as not to have Considered, that the [Page 31] greatness of his Majesties Customes (which is at this Day greater than ever) is not at all Raised Comparatively from the Export but from the Import, which is 10. if not 20. times greater than the Export, the Vallue of all which Import must proportionally fall, as the quantity of our Manufactury shall faile to be carried out, and as our raw and unwrought Wooll alone shall instead of it be Exported, and Consequently to pretend that by such a Law as is desired, his Majesties Customes would be advanced, is either greatly to betray Ig­norance, or greatly to betray the Revenues of the Customes it self.

The next thing alledged by my Opponent is, that the cause of the decay of our Clothing doth not lie in the Exportation of our Wooll, but on the contrary, (Viz.) because our Wooll is no more freely Exported than it is, and that we may be sure not to mistake his Sense, herein he fur­ther adds, that inasmuch as the decay and fall of our Manufacture, comes properly from the Pro­hibition of our Wooll, the stopping or hindring of it is but the applying to our Disease a wrong Remedy.

[Page 32]Which Argument, had it been brought by a Stranger, we should immediately have turn­ed it into Merriment, as supposing that he thought us such Children, that any thing would easily Deceive us? but being brought by a Gentleman, and an English-Man, I con­fess I could not possibly think what might be the meaning of it, unless it were, that my Oppo­nent was resolved to cross the Proverb for a while, and by a piece of Wit to make it appear, that it is not always True, that Interest cannot Lye; for that nothing can be more contrary to Truth, than what is here alledged, ot more against the Interest of the Nation, and of an English-Man than what is here Asserted, (if that be the very Interest of my Opponent) is most Cleare.

For if it be True which my Opponent saith, that the decay of our Clothing-Trade, is not from our Exportation of Wooll, but rather the Contrary, because no more of our Wooll is not Carried out Raw and Un-Manufactured, it must follow then, by how much the more our Wooll is thus Exported, by so much the more our [Page 33] Manufacture will not only be Preserved, but Encouraged, and the Reason for this must needs be, that if we are once rid of our Wooll, and have got a good Price for it, we need not trouble our heads so far as to Imagin, that they who Buy it will do any thing with it, but only will lay it up to look upon it: For if we shall Seriously Believe that they will have so much Wit as to make Use of it, and to make Use of it as becomes Rational Persons, in order to the Increase of their own Clothing by it, we cannot be so sottish as to think, that they do intend after this to Buy our Ma­nufacture any more, but do on the contrary design to prevent, and shut out the Importa­tion of it, as a thing not Expedient for them.

And if this and no other be really the intent of Buying up of our Wooll by our Neighbours, then must it not necessarily follow, that by how much the more Wooll they have, by so much the more Manufacture they will make for the Furnishing themselves, and Furnishing their Neighbours, and then by so much the less Place, or Possibility, there will be that we should be able to Furnish them, and then also [Page 34] by so much the greater stop must of necessity be put to the Vending of our Cloths: And is it not plain that by how much the less we Vend of our Manufacture, by reason of the In­crease of it abroad in other Places, by so much the more our Manufacture must decay: Not only in point of Price, but in point of its Ne­cessity and Use?

And is it not then as manifest, that by how much our Manufacture Decayes, our Trade must Decay, and our Wealth must Decay, and the Strength of our Shipping must Decay, and we our selves must be the more made a Scorn, a Prey, and a Laughing-stock by it to our Neighbours: And if all this be not for the Interest of the Nation, but the contrary whol­ly, is it not plain that my Opponent, seeing he is an English-Man, and seeing it is for the In­terest of the Nation that he Writes, doth cross the Proverb, and give us a Demonstration by his thus Arguing, that Interest may now and then Lye, though not alwayes?

But in the next place, to try whether my Opponent be in earnest, or not, let me humbly Beg of him, to tell me truly, why [Page 35] those naughty Men that Usurped the Go­vernment in the Year 1647. did upon such Penalties strictly Prohibit the Exportation of our Woolls; if he saith, it was because they were not only Rebels, but Men of no Reason, and Understood not the Interest of the Nati­on: Will he not by this brand many of the Parliament also that now sits? who though they did not Confirm the Rebels Law, did think fit at least to make a new Law to the same purpose, even soon after his Majesties most happy Restoration.

Granting then that the Laws now in force of the 12 and 14 of his Majesties Reign, were not made by other, than by the Wisest and most Loyal Persons of this Nation, the said Persons must consequently have some grounds or other for making of the said Laws, and if we may guess at their grounds by their own words in the preambles of the said Lawes, they appear mainly to be these three following, (Viz.)

  • [Page 36]1. For the setting on Work the Inhabitants of theis Realm.
  • 2. For the Improving the native Commo­dities of this Country, to its best, fullest, and utmost Ʋse.
  • 3. And that the advantage accruing here­by might Redound to the Subjects of this Kingdom, and not to the Subjects of for­reign Realms, as hitherto, and as it would, and must otherwise do.

WHerefore, either these three grounds, when the said Lawes were made, were either good and sufficient Motives for the Prohibi­ting our Wooll, and for the laying so great a Penalty upon such as should Export it, or they were not: If my Opponent shall say, they were not good and sufficient Grounds, then he must say that the Wisdom of these Honou­rable and Loyal Persons, who at that time served in Parliament, were indeed not much better than that of the Usurpers of the Go­vernment in the Year 1647. But if the said [Page 37] grounds were Good, Valid, and Sufficient, and such as did both Regard and Comprehend the True and Sincere Interest of the Nation; then my Opponent must confess, that the said Laws ought to Stand, or he must shew where­in the Case is altered now, from what it was then, with reference to the said Motives or Grounds, that the said Parliament then went upon, in making the said Laws. For,

  • 1. If my Opponent can make it appear by letters that he hath lately received, that the Hollanders have laid down their Woollen-Manufacture, and that they in France are all­together grown Sick and Weary of it, and that the French King hath wholly forbidden it, and hath released all the Impositions that he hath of late Years put upon it, then I must needs confess the Case is altered, and that the sd. Lawes ought Justly to be Repealed; or,
  • 2. If my Opponent hath received Informa­tion from sure and good Hands, that the Hol­landers make use of no other Wooll than that of their own Growth, though they breed few or no Sheep; and that he hath also received Information from good and sure Hands, that [Page 38] the French make use only of their own Wooll in all their Manufacture; or,
  • 3. If my Opponent can make it appear, that the setting on Work the Inhabitants of this Realm, is not now a thing so convenient or fit, as it was when the said Acts were made; or,
  • 4. If the Improving the Native Commo­dities of this Country to its best and utmost Use, be found by Experience to be no good Policy, but to bring many Inconveniences with it; or,
  • 5. If it be much more adviseable that For­reiners should goe away with the Gain of our Manufacture, and with the sweet of our Trade, rather than that his Majestie's Subjects should have it, in all these Cases I must confess, it must Inevitably be for the Interest of the Nation to Repeal the said Acts, and lay them aside.

But on the other hand, if none of all these Five Cases can possibly be put, and that those very Reasons and Grounds do still remain, and are the same now, which they were when the said Acts were made.

[Page 39]Then my Opponent's motion to Repeal the said Laws, must be against the Interest of the Nation, or Interest doth not alwayes speak True; which was the Paradox intended to be Argued by my Opponent.

As it is clear then, that by both these Argu­ments, my Opponent hath wholely mistaken him­self in the Cause of our Manufactures decay, to evidence yet farther the manifestness, and pal­pableness of this mistake, we affirm that it is Matter of Fact, that our Woollen Manufacture did greatly encrease after the sd. Prohibition of Wooll; and not only encreased, but bore a good Price, and that I may not be found like some others, who regard not the Credit of what they affirm (and particularly, like him who hath contracted the Arguments of my Op­ponent, and hath published them together in one Sheet of Paper) I shall to justifie what I say, appeal for the Truth of it, not only to the Custome-house Books, and to the quantity of the Woollen-Manufacture there entered; but to the Gentry themselves: And to the Price that the Land bore (and Victuals) for many Years to­gether after the sd. Prohibition.

[Page 40]Yea, as our Manufacture did encrease for ma­ny years together, after the sd. Prohibition of the Exportation of Wooll, so it had to this day still encreased, had not those accidents happen­ed, that laid so effectual a Foundation for the ruine of it, as it was neither in the Power of the Clothier, nor in the Power of the Grower to prevent: I mean those new and immoderate Taxes, which were laid upon our Manufacture by the French King, on purpose to encourage his own workmen to gain the sd. Manufacture from us; and on purpose to prevent our Cloths and Stuffs from being brought into his Country, (the Fruits of Exportation of Wooll) although we yearly take of his Commo­dities, to the value of above a Million of Pounds Sterling, and I mean in the second place, the making of that unfortunate Act against the Im­portation of Irish Cattle, which hath not on­ly tended to the ruine of the Grower, but to the ruine of the Clothier, and to ruine of the ve­ry Trade of England it self; and which if it should continue to stand un-repealed, must necessarily, and inevitably ruine more and more: [Page 41] Both the Gentry, Merchant, and Clothier every day.

And therefore as a further Proof of what I say I shall give one instance instead of many, and leave the Truth of it to be strictly examined, and judged accordingly; which is, that since the said accidents have befallen us (I mean of the French Kings Arbitrary Impossitions upon us, and that Act against the Importation of Irish Cattel) Exeter alone, hath lost of what it did formerly Vend, near, if not above three Hundered Thousand Pound Sterling every Year: And if we shall reckon Proportionably for all other Countries and Cities, we shall then ea­sily see there is a Just Ground for the Decay of our Woollen-Manufacture, and for the fall of the Price of our Wooll by it, and for the fall and ruin of our Rents, not as my Oppo­nent Allegeath by reason of the Prohibition of of Transporting our Wooll, but truly and re­ally by reason of the Multiplication and In­crease of our Wooll, to that degree, that the Exportation of it hath almost been Necessa­ry.

[Page 42]The serious consideration of which true and real cause of the decay of our Manufacture, I shall humbly leave to the Wisdom of the Par­liament. And shall likewise leave it to their Wisdom to be considered, whether in this Conjucture of Affairs, and according to the Circumstances which now attend Us, while our Neighbours do not only Emulate us, but are become actual Rivals with us, not only for our Clothing, but for our Trade it self; and for our Strength and Dominion at Sea, we shall, or ought so far to contribute towards the Design, and towards the Certainty and Effectualness of our own Ruine, as either to Repeal our Acts that Prohibite the Exportation of our Wooll, or to let that Unfortunate Act stand, which makes the Transporting absolutely ne­cessary, whether we will or no, and by this means make our Neighbours scorn the Com­merce and Trade they formrely had with us, and thanked us for it.

And whereas my Opponent doth lay a great stress upon the false makeing of our Manufac­ture, as one cause of the decay of it, I cannot but confess there hath been to much aud to [Page 43] great cause for that Complaint, we ought therefore to consider the maine reason thereof, (Viz.) that as the said Manufacture for a great part is under no manner of Regulation, yea not so much as it may not be restrain'd to an Apprentiship, by which meanes, persons Un­skilful, and Unable also in point of Estate, undertaks it, having got some credit, and when they have got a considerable Estate of other persons into their hands, in a little time Breakes, not only to the great loss of their Creditors, but to the dishonour of our Wooll­en-Manufacture, and the Nation it felf; Instan­ces to many may be given, (the like may be said of Merchandice when Irregular,) but though this Abuse hath not been Redressed, notwith­standing which, the generallity of the most Substantial Clothiers, though not tyed to it by any Law, hath for their own Repute and Ad­vantage, made such an alteration in the make­ing our said Manufacture, that neither Dutch, nor French, (whose Fancies we are apt to fol­low) doe come near us, either for the Ac­curatness and Goodness of our Workmanship, [Page 44] or for the Honesty and Integrity, that is used in makeing both of Cloth, Stuffs and Bays.

And that I may here Vindicate the Credit of what I Say, and that it may be Clear, I Speak nothing but Truth, I shall Appeal to the most considerable Dealers in all London either as Merchants, Drapers or Mercers, whe­ther there be not many Clothiers, many Stuff and Bay-Makers, who tho they be under no Check at all at present; do nevertheless so Value their Name, their Word and their Re­pute, that they dare Adventure all the Com­modity they make, to be Forfeited, if it do not prove as Long as Broad, and as truly Made and as well Quallified, yet there are many both Drapers, Mercers, and Merchants, who will trust to the private Mark of divers Clothiers, with less Scruple then they will trust to the stamp of some sorts of Coyn.

Yea I should much wrong many of the Clothiers of England, if I should not upon this occasion [Page 45] professedly declare, (and whoever denyeth it, will greatly Injure them) that such is the sense which they themselves have had for di­vers Years, how much it is for their Interest, and for the Name and Honour of the English Nation it self, to keep up an exact goodness in all the Woollen-Manufacture of this King­dom, that they have for many Years, not on­ly Solicited the Parliament, that they might be Incorporated in each County, and that none might be admited to take upon them the making of Cloth, and other Woollen-Manu­factures, but such only as have served a due num­ber of Years, to learn the profession of it, might be sufficiently Versed and Skilled in it; but they have for many Years desired also, that all and every the sorts of the Woollen-Manufacture, might be brought to such a certainty of Re­gulation for the Length and Breadth of each Manufacture, and for the true Making of it, that it may not be in the Power of any Un­skilful or Deceitful Person to Falsifie it, but that by marks of their own, as is used in Col­chester Bays, all maner of Cheats and Defects should be openly signified; than which I hum­bly [Page 46] conceive there is scarce any thing can be instanced that might, or would tend more to the general good and advantage of this Nati­on, and to the promoting and recovering of our Manufacture again, and Consequently for the Consumption and Advancing the Price of our Wooll, which is the thing mainly my Op­ponent seemes to drive at, and in thatwe shall agree.

But here my Opponent may parhaps say, that after all I cannot deny, but there is a sur­plus of Wooll which cannot be wrought up by the Clothiers, and that I offered not one word, how it should for the future be dispo­sed of: (to which I answer)

1. That it appeareth not by any thing which mp Opponent hath hitherto said, at least not by any thing that he hath hitherto proved, that the Clothier either cannot or doth not work up the Wooll of the proper growth of England to the full of it, but if a far greater quantity of Wooll be brought into England from Ireland then ever until of late Years, as the Clothier cannot be Responsible for his not Buying up all the Wooll which is sent into Eng­land [Page 47] so neither can he or ought he to be Res­ponsible for the Glut proceeding from the Im­portation of it, or for the cheapness of the said Wooll, by reason of the said Glut. Notwith­standing which Glut I may presume to say, (or at least to suppose) that if an account was taken both in Ireland and England before the time of shearing, there will not be found one quarters Gronth, or at the most 6 Months Ʋn-manufactured, in the greatest Year of plen­ty of Wooll and dulness of Trade; which duly confidered, doth require more care for a stock beforehand in England, and not to suffer it to Engrossed and Stored up in France and Hol­land as now it is: And for ought I know would there be a Peace concluded abroad, that our Trade was Revived, and our Clothiers were Incouraged, we might find a want of Wooll before the next shearing; notwithstand­ing our great complaint of a Surplus of Wooll, as it hath frequently accurd in Corn very lately, and more formerly as in St. Walter Rawly's Remains.

2. If the proper and only way for remov­ing all evil effects, be to remove their respec­tive [Page 48] causes, and that this is and must be ac­knowledgec by all rational Persons, then con­sidering what we have said before, and not only said but proved and made it appear, (Viz.) that the cause of the said Surplus of Wooll (with the Cheapness of it at present) among us, is partly from the Irish Act that Prohibiteth the bringing in of live Cattle, and puts the Kingdom upon the Breeding of Wooll whether they will or no, and partly by the Decay of our, Manufacture, through the sup­ply that we our selves do make to our Neigh­bours of our own Wooll, fur the Promoting of their Manufacture, to the Ruine of our Selves.

The proper Remedy then, for the remove­ing the Cheapness of our Wooll on the one hand, and Employing our Poor, and Reco­vering of our Trade on the other hand, must necessarily be the Stoping the Excesive Grouth of it in Ireland, and as Strictly Stopping, and Restreining the Export of it from Ireland, and from hence.

And here Imust take the Boldness to say again, what I have in part said already in my [Page 49] second Argument, (Viz.) that where a Na­tion is not Rich in Mines of Gold and Silver, it is not capable of being Enriched any other way, than by its Manufacture.

And consequently if it be from our Manu­factures alone, that the Riches of this Nation comes, and if it be from our Manufacture cheif­ly that our Shipping is Imployed, and our Marriners bred, if it be from our Trading alone, and from the Riches which our Trading brings in, that his Majesties Customes are Raised, and that our Fleet have been hitherto Built and Maintained, and the Dominion of the Seas hath been Preserved, than it is and must be from our Manufacture only that our Bullion hath been brought in, and that the Rents of our Nobility and Gentry doth Depend and are Sustained.

And therefore it must be granted me, that there is no higher Interest in the Nation, than that which preserves his Majesties Customes, and that which Sustains the Nobility and Gen­trys Rents, and that which Supports our Na­vy and Shipping.

[Page 50]Then in regard our Manufacture alone doth by all this, our Manufacture alone and the En­couragement of it must necessarily be the greater Interest of the Nation it self: And I must crave leave to say that whoever placeth it in any thing elce (as the circumstances of this Nation stands at present) must either mistake the Interest of this Nation, or can be no Freind to England.

Wherefore if it be granted by the Wisest of Layers, that a Mischeif is better than an Incon­venience, some privat Men ought to suffer ra­ther than the whole Nation: Which I humbly conceive is a sollid and sufficient answere to my Opponent, as to this part of his Objection.

Supposing also that our Manufacture and the Encourageing of it, is the main and cheif, if not the sole and only Interest of the Nation, then as no Interest besides can, or ought in reason to stand in Competition with it, so much less the Irish Act, without the Repeal­ing of which; Nevertheless it is simply Impos­sible, that either our Manufacture, or that the Trade, or Navigation of the Kingdom should be preserved: For if there be no reason to [Page 51] make a Law that they must Starve in Ireland, there can be no reason to forbid their breed­ing of Sheep, if we will not let them employ their Lands in the breeding of Cattle.

Admitting also that the pasture Lands of Ireland are proportionable to the bigness of that Kingdom, far larger than the pasture Lands of England, as they are and must ne­cessarily be, partly through the smalness of their Tillage, (their Corn being not ca­pable to be Exported) and partly through the thinness of their Inhabitants, and it must ne­cessarily follow, that these being converted mostly to the feeding of Sheep, must breed a vast quantity of Wooll, and such as must equal, if not Exceed the quantity bred in England, by our selves.

Wherefore it must needs be plain to every person, that not only the breeding of Wooll, but the disposing of it, andt he disposing of it to most Advantage, is now become the Inte­rest of the Nobility, Gentry, Yeomandry, and of all others whatsoever that have a concern in Ireland, which if it were possible to prevent, it ought to be allowed to none besides our [Page 52] Selves, whose whole proper and intire Interest it is, to be Sole Manufacturers, or Workers of it.

The Breeding, Growing, Disposing and Improving of Wooll, being now by our Selves, made the intire Interest of Ireland, who desir­ed it not of us, and would have been very well Content without it, if we cannot desire their Nobility, or Gentry, to burn their Wooll, we cannot then deny them, to take all such Lawful and Just Courses, whereby they may Improve their Wooll.

Wherefore seeing these Courses can be but two wayes, either to send it where it is most wanted, and where it will yeild the best Price, which is to our Neighbours, to Improve and Increase their Manufacture, or else to keep it themselves, and Manfacture it up in that Coun­trey.

And seeing one of these Courses are whol­ly Inevitable, and that both one and the other do not only tend, but must and will certainly, and effectually bring an utter destruction to the Trade, Commerce, Strength, Shipping and Navigation of this Kingdom, we have small [Page 53] reason to expect our Neighbours the Dutch, or our Neighbours the French should help us, or pitty us, when we do wilfully contribute to the Ruin of our Selves, and may (if we will) either prevent it, or easily remedy it.

And indeed if our All be at stake, by reason of the continuance of that Unfortunate Act; and if this All, I mean the very Interest of the Nation it self, will not move us to alter it, I think it would be very Impertinent, to insist upon lesser Arguments.

And therefore, though it would be for the Interest of the Nation greatly, to arrest this occation, I mean the cheapness of Wooll, to beat out our Neighbours, in the Forraign Trade of our Manufactures, and by Under-selling them at least Abroad.

And though this might now more easily be done then ever, seeing our Mauufacture is Im­proved of late Years in the Goodness of it, and might soon as we said before, be brought to an Absolute Perfection.

And though it be but Equal and Just, to Forbid the Commodities of those Countries that are near us, who refuse to deal with us for [Page 54] our Commodities, or by Exorbitant and Arbi­trary Impositions laid upon them, do in efect Prohibite them; and though the doing of this, is but agreable to the rules of Justice, and to the Law of Nations, and Law of Commerce.

Though also it cannot be denyed, that it must be greatly consistant with the publick good of the Nation, to make sumptuary Lawes, and to restrain the excess that is at present among Us; yet I must humbly crave leave to say, that this is but like the taking much paines, to stop the leaks of a Barrel, and let the Liquor run out at the Bung; for these are all petty things to the main Concern of the Nation which must be Ruin'd, and Ru­in'd, as I humbly Conceive Irrecoverably, if the Irish Act doth stand.


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