Truth brought to Light: OR, THE Corrupt Practices OF SOME PERSONS at COURT Laid Open. Whereby Their MAJESTIES, and the Kingdom, have been prejudiced near One hundred and fifty Thousand Pounds this Year; besides other Evils that have and do attend it.

LONDON, Printed in the Year, MDCXCIV.

TO THE Right Honourable THE LORDS Spiritual and Temporal, AND COMMONS In Parliament Assembled.

THE Happiness and Well-being of Man does no ways consist in being possess'd of much Wealth, but in a Mediocrity; and in the Enjoyment of the Purity of the Gospel, [Page iv] and of good and wholesome Laws: And of all Governments now extant in the World, the Eng­lish Monarchy is the Noblest, and comes nearest to that Native Liberty which Man first enjoy'd; and God and Nature have laid an indispensable Duty upon every Man to endeavour the Preser­vation of the Municipal Laws of his Country. But notwithstanding, Humane Frailty is such, that we have many Instances of Persons (otherways pru­dent and wise) either through Pride, Ambition, or Covetousness, that have had almost over­thrown this Noble Fabrick: but it was never in such eminent Peril as before the late Revolution; when our Religion, Laws and Liberty, were near being swallow'd up; and then God was pleas'd to make his Majesty the happy Instrument of our Deliverance. But notwithstanding, the Danger's not over-past; for we have ever since been en­gag'd in a great and dangerous War, upon the Success whereof (under God) depends our future Happiness: therefore Men would think that all Persons in Publick Trust, should with great Zeal and Affection pursue such Ways and Methods as tend to the putting a Period to the same, and no ways obstruct their Majesties and the Publick In­terest; [Page v] but scorn and slight all those little mean Thoughts of enriching themselves, at a time the Safety and Honour of their Native Country lies at stake. But through Covetousness the Under­standings of Men are darkned, and so see not the Evils they draw upon themselves and others: And those who are in the highest Orb, many times dis­cern not (having sublimer Thoughts) those things others do, who act in a lower Sphear. And as all Governments are incident and liable to Corrup­tions, so it cannot seem strange if they have crept in among us: But ours will be found to be (like some Distempers) hard to be remov'd; for there are so many link'd together by Interest, that they will not fail to support each other, and crush (if not ruin) him that opposes them. So it's not for any single Person whatever, to engage with them; and therefore for that Reason, I have here collected such of them as have come to my Knowledg: Which, with all Humility, I lay before this most August Assembly; whose peculiar Care has al­ways been to root out Corruptions, when they have appear'd formidable and inconsistent with the Safety of the Government: and that not the Greatness or Power of any that have abus'd their [Page vi] Prince's Favour, have been able to protect them from the just Resentments of the Nation. And 'tis that which hath continued this Government so long upon its Basis.

There hath been a Notion industriously spread abroad by some through the Kingdom, (and which the Nation hath too long imbib'd) which is, That to make Attempts upon the Mari­time Coast of France were altogether impractica­ble: Which seemeth strange, it being directly contrary to the received Opinion of the rest of Mankind, and the Practice of all Ages; for the Romans, Carthaginians, and many other Nati­ons, that have been strong at Sea, and even the Venetians at this day, have ship'd potent Armies both Horse and Foot, and made Descents upon their Enemies; which have been attended with good Success. And although the Circumstance of Affairs may alter and change, yet the Nature of things never will: But if Men shall land in the midst of Smoak and Fire, and where their Ene­mies lie intrench'd, it's no Wonder if they are beaten off; even at that rate may the best-laid Designs be frustrated.

[Page vii] And France hath so strong a Barrier on every Side, that notwithstanding the utmost Endeavours of the Allies for several Years past, yet we see they have not been able to break into it; and therefore with all due Submission, I humbly con­ceive (Humanely speaking) it's impossible of making any Impression on the Enemy, other­ways than by making a Descent upon their Ma­ritime Coast with a Royal Army. Certainly there's nothing can embarrass them like it: the Vicinity of their Country makes it so much the more practicable; and England has been the Ballance of Europe, and may yet, if not wanting to it self. My Design is not to embroil, but further their Majesties Affairs, and that all things may work together for the Publick Good; which hath been the only Scope and End of this my Underta­king. So doubt not but I shall meet with a fa­vourable Construction: and if a Publick and National Interest be preferable before all others, then I cannot be much out in what I have done; only must acknowledg to have handled the Mat­ter but weakly: Yet the Sincerity of my Inten­tions will plead for me, and excuse the many Defects therein; and so hope I shall not only [Page viii] find Protection, but a Reward of my Labours, and Danger I undergo, for the Honour and Safety of my Country.

I am, My Lords and Gentlemen, Your Honours most humble, faithful, and obedient Servant, ROBERT CROSFEILD.

Truth brought to Light, &c.

IT's recorded in Holy Writ, that the Children of Is­rael serv'd the Lord all the Days of Joshua, and of those Elders that surviv'd him, having a thankful Re­membrance of his Mercy and Goodness, in giving them Victory, and delivering them from the Hands of their Enemies. And we the People of this Kingdom have received as eminent and great Mercies from the Hand of God as ever did the Jews, and such as are hardly to be parallel'd in any Age; for we were brought to the very brink of Ruine, and even ready to be devour'd by our Enemies, and had no Prospect or Hope of Deliverance. Then did God raise up a Prince (unthought or unforeseen by us) to rescue and deliver us; and gave our Enemies a Spirit of Fear and Trembling, and they fled when no Man pursu'd. These things have we seen with our Eyes, and to the Astonishment of the World, were deliver'd without Blood-shed. But we are an unthankful Nation and People, and so it's no wonder that the Hand of God hath lain heavy upon us, in afflicting us with a long and tedious War: Therefore let us repent then, and not till then may we expect a Blessing and a perfect Deliverance; for whatever some Persons may think, there yet hangs a dark Cloud over our Heads: Do we not see plotting a­gainst the Government, (and that by no mean Persons)? and how far that Poison's spread, we know not, being back'd by a Potent and Great Monarch: And not only [Page 2] so, but it will appear that some of our Brethren, who probably in some Cases may have been serviceable to their Majesties, do (making the most modest Construction of their Actions) sacrifice the Publick Interest to their own Private Lucre. This, by the Blessing of God, I doubt not but evidently to make appear: And I am no ways un­sensible of the Danger I undergo by this my Undertaking; and that I run a greater Hazard than he that engages in Battel: but I know not why I should be afraid, having Truth and Justice on my Side: And in former Ages (how­ever this may be degenerated) it was ever accounted an Honour for a Man to venture his Life for the Publick Good.

At the first opening of the last Session of Parliament, I published a Book entituled, England's Glory Reviv'd; which I dedicated to their Majesties, and both Houses of Parliament; but it was never presented to the Parliament, occasion'd (I being ill) by the Timorousness of the Book­seller, who was oblig'd so to have done. There are se­veral things therein proposed, which are now put in pra­ctice, as shall be made appear in the ensuing Discourse: And that the not rewarding Persons that do things which contribute to the Publick Service, is a real Injury to the Kingdom; but at present I shall wave that, and fall upon other Matters.

I had observ'd, that the Collecting the Land Taxes, was a great Charge to the Crown; the greatest part of which I conceiv'd might be sav'd, and the Receiver-Generals wholly laid aside; so all that Poundage they were allow'd, might accrue to the Government. Upon which having made a Proposal, presented it to the Right Honourable the Lords of the Treasury, in the Month of December last: And at the same time I deliver'd it, did acquaint [Page 3] their Lordships by Letter, that I did then wait their Commands, and desired to be heard: But they took no notice thereof, which I attributed to their multiplicity of Business; so conceiv'd my self obliged to give farther Atten­dance, which I did, and humbly desir'd I might be heard upon those Proposals: This I did for many Days, and prest (as much as in Modesty was fit to do) that I might be heard, but all to no purpose; for I found it was not grateful to them, and that they were no ways inclin'd to hear me: Then conceiv'd I had no other way, but to petition his Majesty in Council; which I accordingly did, and deli­vered it to Mr. Bridgman in Secretary Trenchard's Office, (with the Proposal annexed) that so my Proposal might be read, and referred to the Lords of the Treasury, which was the Prayer of my Petition: and when Council-Day came, I was with him again, and he told me it was trans­ferred to the Council-Office, where I found it; and the Gentleman to whom I apply'd my self, promis'd me it should be carried to the Council-Chamber. And when the Council was actually sitting, I went to him; and he inform'd me, my Petition and Proposal were before the Council. And being afterwards to examine, whether I had a Reference granted, found my Petition had not been read: Upon which I asked the foresaid Person, what was the meaning that a Matter of so great Moment to the King, should be so little taken notice of? His Answer was, he knew not, and said, he had faithfully carried it to the Council, (it being all was requir'd of him) and that he should not fail to do the same next Council-Day. After this manner was I serv'd several Council-Days, and never could obtain my Petition to be read, and found all I did was but Labour in vain; and conceiv'd I had just reason to believe, that some Persons endeavour'd to stifle [Page 4] it. Upon which I addrest my self to the Earl of—,a Privy-Counsellor, to whom I presented a Copy of my Proposal, and sometime after was to wait on him; and his Lordship's Answer was, The thing he lik'd well, there could nothing be objected against it, but said, he durst not meddle in it, it would create him so many Enemies: But notwithstanding all this, I was resolv'd further to prosecute the Matter; and being acquainted with the Duke of—his Chaplain, by his means presented his Grace with a Copy of it: Whose Answer to it was, that were he a Privy-Counsellor, he would prosecute the Matter, but as he was not, he durst not meddle with it, it would create him so many Enemies.

From all which I may conclude and say, it's too evident, that there is a Corrupt Party at Court (which yet shall be more fully made out) that carry on a sepa­rate Interest from that of their Majesties and the Pub­lick; and are grown to that height, that Persons of great Honour, and known Loyalty, dare not encounter, as knowing they will not leave them till they have thrown them out of all Employments, and so for the future incapacitate them to serve their Majesties. And how­ever I may be censur'd by some for what I do, yet I have the Satisfaction in my own Breast, that I have done nothing but what my Duty obliges me to; and doubt not but I shall have the Concurrence of all true Englishmen. The Proposal is as follows.

A Proposal humbly offer'd for laying aside all the Receiver-Generals.

IT's undeniably their Majesties and the Kingdom's Inte­rest (which are inseparable) that what Money is gi­ven for Publick Uses, should be apply'd to that End; and to have all unnecessary Officers laid aside; and none are so useless as the Receiver-Generals, there being no manner of occasion for them: for the Collector of the Excise in each County is every way capable of acting the same thing, and with greater Ease to the County; and more Satisfacti­on it would be to the Subject to see the Money imploy'd to Publick Uses, to which it was primarily intended: And I shall be as brief in the Matter as possibly I can, and so shall bring but one Instance, which I humbly conceive will fully demonstrate what I assert; Viz.

The Receiver-General for the County of Hertford goes to four Places (as Hertford, &c.) and no more; and by his Circular-Letters to the High-Constables of the several Hundreds, the Collectors of the Tax meet him at the Day prefix'd, and pay in the Money: which creates much Trouble to some of them, who bring it a great Way (al­though it be a small County) which they need not under­go; which I shall evidently make appear: for the Col­lector of the Excise for the said County is oblig'd to go to all Market-towns through the whole Shire, and there are eighteen in the County: and it may with much Facility and Ease be so order'd, that at the same time he may receive the Quarterly-payment for the Land-tax, according to [Page 6] the Districts of the said Towns, as they are now settled in the Excise: But if it be found that Method will not do, they can then but take the same Measures the Receiver-Generals now do, which they will be both willing and able to perform. There can no Objection be made against this being put into practice, other than that it's a great Trust; and the Collectors have not given sufficient Secu­rity for the same: but it's probable they are capable of so doing; if not, there's never a Receiver-General but what will willingly embrace the Opportunity of having the Im­ploy, and give good Security, if his Majesty shall be pleas'd to augment the Salary fifty Pounds a Year during the War; and when all's done, it will be found his Ma­jesty will be a Saver above Forty thousand Pounds per Annum. The Receiver-General for the County of Hert­ford received in the Year 1692, Sixty odd Pounds for Tra­velling, and other contingent Charges: which Money I humbly conceive would fully satisfy the Collector of the Excise, were it given him, over and above the travelling Charge he's usually allow'd.

I have calculated what the Poundage doth amount to that the Receiver-Generals are allow'd; (which any Man may easily do, supposing the Land-tax and Poll-bill to be Three Millions of Money, as I cannot conjecture it to be less) and it will be found to be Thirty seven thousand five hundred Pounds. And I did design to have offer'd some thing more, which was this: It has always been the Custom to allow the Collectors of the Tax three Pence in the Pound for Collecting; and with Submission, I con­ceive if they were allow'd but two Pence in the Pound, it would be a full Compensation for the Trouble they un­dergo. It's no Argument to say, three Pence has always [Page 7] been allow'd: the Kingdom's in danger; and the Money was given to publick Uses; and as they receive no Detri­ment by what they do, it's but reasonable they should put forth their Helping-hand, and I think no good English-Man would grumble at it. And by the same Rule, this Penny a Pound will be found to amount to Twelve thou­sand five hundred Pounds. So that if the Lords of the Treasury had been pleas'd to have given me a Hearing, their Majesties had sav'd Fifty thousand Pounds this Year.

For the Money that the Receiver-Generals are allow'd for Travelling and other contingent Charges, would fully satisfy the Collectors of the Excise, as may be seen by the Accompts in the Exchequer. But supposing it had not been in their Lordships Power to have made the Collectors of the Excise Receiver-Generals; yet with Submission, it was their Duty to have propos'd it to the Parliament, (who would readily have received it) that an Act might have past.

And one thing I observe to be of most dangerous Con­sequence to the Government, (considering the Nature of the Quarrel we are engaged in); that is, the Selling of Imployments. It's too well known it has always been practised; so it can be no Scandal to relate it: but there are many Evils attend it; we have no Shibboleth whereby to distinguish Men, whether Friends or Foes: and there being now a Competitor for the Crown, and a dangerous Faction among us, no question but it's an Inlet to our Adversaries to all sorts of Imployments; and by this Means I conceive it may not be difficult for them to get into the Admiralty, or Navy-Office, Custom-House, &c. and so may be capable of doing much Mischief, as thus: Suppose we look back to the Time the Turky-Fleet went out, when we received that Loss by the French in the [Page 8] Straits: and when the Lords of the Admiralty issue out Or­ders for the Fleet to sail such a time, it's not difficult for any corrupt Person planted in that Office, to get a Sight of it, (or it's not improbable but it may pass through his Hands): upon which he gives his Correspondents at Pli­mouth, Falmouth, &c. notice of it; and any of them may easily corrupt a poor Fisher-man, who sails any where without suspition: So our Enemies from time to time soon have Intelligence of all our Proceedings; and no doubt we owe our Losses at that time to such like Practi­ces as these. And therefore with Submission, I conceive there ought to be great Inspection made into all that are in Publick Imploys, and to throw out such as are found to be disaffected: but then they ought to be Persons of great Integrity that are entrusted in such an Affair, other­wise it may be made use of only as an Artifice to get Mo­ney; and many an honest Man turn'd out that hath it not, or is not willing to part with it.

I shall now proceed to give some Relation of a Matter which has been offer'd to the Government by one Mr. George Everett, (which he published the last Session of Par­liament); wherein he proposes to save their Majesties an Hundred thousand Pounds a Year, in the Building and Repairing the Royal-Navy: and it hath been before the Right Honourable the Lords of the Admiralty (who are the proper Judges of it) a Year and a half; yet all this while they cannot (or will not) apprehend it, there be­ing nothing effectually done in it; nay, the Author has been brow-beaten by those whose Duty it was to have en­couraged him. It's certainly a most ingenuous Thing, and not to be confuted; and were it put in practice, would fully answer what he hath propos'd. What is writ, is not [Page 9] to cast Aspersions on the Lords of the Admiralty, but that the Nation may have Justice done: For there's no Man that reads that Book, (unless biass'd by Prejudice or Interest) but what will be of the Opinion, that the Ob­struction of that Matter hath been greatly to the Detri­ment of their Majesties and the Kingdom. It has been long since highly approv'd on by many Persons of Honour and Quality: the Names of some of which take as follows;

His Grace the Duke of Leeds Lord President, Admiral Russel, Lord Lucas, Lord Cornwallis, Sir John Lowther of Lowther, Sir Cloudsly Shovel, Sir Henry Goodrick, Sir Richard Onsloe, Sir Samuel Dashwood, Sir James Houblon, &c.

But this is not all, for there are several other Honoura­ble and Eminent Persons (that they might further so good a Work) have been pleas'd to subscribe their Names to several Certificates; and which are as followeth:

We the Lord-Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Lon­don, whose Names are here-under subscrib'd, do approve, and conceive that the Methods in this Book for the more speedy and effectual Building and Repairing their Majesties Royal Navy, will be very advantagious to their Majesties and the Govern­ment, (if the same be put in practice): And we do recommend Mr. George Everett (the Proposer hereof) as a fit Person to be aiding and assisting in the same.

William Ashhurst Mayor, John Moor, Robert Jefferies, Thomas Lane, Edward Clark, Humphrey Edwin, Richard Levet, Thomas Abney, Wil­liam Hedges, William Pritchard.

We whose Names are here-under subscrib'd, do approve and conceive the Methods in this Book, &c.

R. Delaval, Berkley, Danby, Thomas Vernon, William Williams, William Warren, William Sconing, Robert Davis, Joseph Ashton.

We the Master and Assistants of the Company of Free Ship­wrights, whose Names are here-under subscrib'd, do approve and conceive the Methods in this Book, &c.

Robert Parsons, Charles Pain, James Cutler, Richard Lucas, Jacob Crispin, Richard Wooden, John Plummer, Richard Russel, Robert Barnwell, James Haydon, Henry Farrant, John Finch, John Crow, Francis Preston.

Now all these things being summ'd up, which I have here related, there's no considerate Man can blame me, if I appear in some Heat: Has not the Kingdom stood up and vindicated it self; and by God's Blessing preserv'd its Religion and Property? And are they now less valuable than they were six Years ago? No sure, they are as much to be prized as ever: But Men are too apt to prefer their own Interest before the Publick; and Corruptions natu­rally grow, and no Place is so liable as the Courts of Prin­ces, or of so dangerous consequence. And as it's our Case at this day; yet it can be no Reflection on his Majesty's Prudence, (who hath sufficiently manifested to the World the great Care he hath of our Welfare, by the many Dangers he hath undergone for our Sakes;) for all he can do is but to make choice of such Persons as are well [Page 11] qualified for Business: And if they shall afterwards (for­getting their Duty and Obligations they lie under) pre­fer their own Interest before the Publick Good, it's not in his Majesty's Power to discover it.

O the Mischief and Evils that attend Covetousness! By it many Families, nay Kingdoms, have been ruin'd; and therefore well might St. Paul call it the Root of all Evil: And David renders such Persons no better than Cannibals; They eat up my People as they eat Bread. And he that's not wilfully blind, may see the Kingdom (and indeed almost all Europe) in a Languishing Condition: and have Men no bowels of Compassion or Regard to the Honour and Safety of their Country? Certainly a cove­tous Person (whom God abhors) can be a Friend to none: for he will sacrifice all to his own Lust; and you may as well think to wash a Blackamore white, as ever to re­claim such Men; for they are as insatiable as Death or the Grave.

And I conceive no Man will so much as doubt, but that those very Persons that have thus obstructed their Ma­jesties and the Publick Interest, have not been (nor never will be) wanting to use all Artifices whereby to prolong the War (Salamander like), that they may make a plen­tiful Harvest, while the Nation is spending its Blood and Treasure. This can be no unjust Censure, but an Infe­rence naturally following such Actions. And without all question, such Men are much more dangerous than an open Foe: and if the War continue, and these things are not inspected into and redress'd, we are like to be an unhappy People. Queen Elizabeth was happy, being all her Time serv'd with much Faith­fulness; and carried on great Wars, and was generally successful in her Undertakings: And Secretary Walsing­ham [Page 12] has left such an Example behind him, which I judg there's few will take as a Precedent for them to walk by. However, this Nation is not so far corrupted and degenerated, but that there may be found Persons of Honour and Worth capable of serving their Majesties in the highest Station, and who will discharge their Duty with Faithfulness and Loyalty.

I shall now proceed to give some account of those things I propos'd in the Book I published the last Session of Parliament; but shall only refer to such of them as are now put in practice: I had observ'd what little use we had made of our Shipping, tho being so much superiour to the Enemy in our Strength at Sea, especially the two preceding Years; one of which we could not find them out, the other they had gotten up into the Straits, when and where they destroy'd so much of our Shipping: and yet both we lay idle (as I may say) upon the Coast, and made no Attempt upon their Maritime Towns; but suffer'd them to draw their whole Strength into Flanders, to the great Dishonour of the Nation: Which I conceiv'd to be no ways parallel to the Actions of our Fore-fathers; the Apprehension of which, made me presume to write that bold Dedication I did to the Parliament; where you may see these following Words:

It astonishes me, when I consider that two Nations, who are so potent at Sea as We and the Dutch are, should not make a more advantageous use of that Strength which God hath given us: The being strong­est at Sea, was ever an unspeakable Advantage; which is apparent to the whole World that we are, notwith­standing those Losses we have had.

[Page 13] And we may plainly see that the Providence of God generally works and brings Things to pass by Natural Causes and Effects, as may evidently be seen by the late Revolution in this Kingdom: for it was by the Evil Administration of Government, under various Circum­stances of Affairs, that contributed to it, and which gave just Ground and Occasion for it; and was that which turn'd the Hearts of the People, and thereby begat a Union of Parties, and was the great outward Cause of our present Settlement.

Therefore in vain will it be for us to cry unto God for Help, and to give a Blessing to our Endeavours, when we take not apt and proper Measures.

And this Year we have seen quite different Measures taken, from what hath been the whole Course of this War, greatly to the Honour and Interest of the King­dom: And the going of Admiral Russel into the Straits, is certainly much to the Glory of this Nation, and ec­choes into all Parts of the World; and has not only sav'd an Ally from Ruin, but hath, as it were, clap'd a Hook in the Nose of our great Adversary, which makes him plunge like the Great Leviathan; and if the Blow be follow'd, it will humble him, and make him know he's but Man, and that all his Flatterers are but so many false Prophets. And whoever will but consider the strange Alteration there hath been in the Publick Affairs, in refe­rence to the Prosecution of the War against France, and read but the last recited Dedication, will be apt to con­clude, I was instrumental in it; not that I am so vain as to think, it has been done upon the Account of my writing, but am of the Opinion, that there are many worthy Ministers of State, who had long endeavoured [Page 14] to have had such Measures taken, but were not able to prevail. But Matters being laid open to the view of the World, it may no doubt, in some degree, have furthered their good Intentions.

I presented to the Right Honourable the Lords of the Admiralty, Proposals for laying aside the Press-Ketches, and for taking up the Sailers (in the several Ports) by the Custom-house Officers, it being seen by Experience, that they generally fly up into the Country, or otherway abscond, so soon as the Press-Ketches arrive in Port; which puts their Majesties to a great and unnecessary Charge: And there are many judicious Persons (who well understand these Affairs) have thought this might be put in practice in most of the out-Ports of the King­dom, and thereby prevent that great Obstruction to Trade, which is occasion'd by a continual Press. And upon the Result of the Matter, their Lordships Answer to me was, That the Fleet was out, and they could not then put my Proposition in execution; so I took it for granted, they did approve of what I had done, (having answer'd all Objections); but their Lordships have not since thought fit to put it in practice: Therefore I could heartily wish the Matter were inspected into as to the Validity of it, by those who have a Power so to do. My Zeal for the Publick, has made me transgress and break Promise, in giving a Relation of this Matter that is not put in pra­ctice; but the Importance of it being consider'd, I con­ceive I cannot be blam'd for so doing. And observing what an Injury the Nation receiv'd from the great Im­bargoes that were every Year laid upon Shipping, I did (at the same time I made the Proposals) what in me lay to remove so great an Evil, and therein prov'd to be suc­cessful; [Page 15] and so shall give some Account of the Matter, as it was offer'd to their Lordships, in a Copy of a Letter to the Lords of the Admiralty, which you may see just after the Preface to the Reader.

Upon the delivery of this Letter, I was call'd in be­fore their Lordships: where it was read; and they told me it was an easy matter to say a Thing, and ask'd me if I could give Reasons to prove what I did assert? So they put me upon answering this, If any Hardship must lie upon Shipping, it should rather be thrown upon the Coasting Trade. Which I did deliver, and endeavour'd to prove by another Letter to the Lords of the Admiralty, immediately following the foregoing Letter.

And besides these Letters, I further fully demonstrated, (as appears in the Book I published, to which I refer the Reader) that there was no manner of Occasion for laying any Imbargo, there being a sufficient Body of Sailers, to answer the End of Government, and the Necessities of Trade: And this Year we see there has been none laid, notwithstanding the King has taken several Thousands of Sailers more into his Service, than at any time during this War. And their Lordships are now so far from laying an Imbargo, that they have put forth strict Orders, that no Press-Masters presume to meddle with any Sailers on board Outward-bound Shipping.

By all which I have here related, I doubt not but it ap­pears to any impartial Man, that the Arguments I us'd was the Cause of laying aside the Imbargo; if not, why was it not done before, when there was less occasion for an Imbargo than there is now? But Solomon tells us, A poor [Page 16] Man sav'd a City, and no body remembered that poor Man: So it's no wonder at all that I go unrewarded, in an Age and Nation where Corruption so much abounds.

I likewise humbly propos'd an Act of Tunnage, for laying six Pence per Tun upon all Coasters, &c. which may be seen p. 21, &c. of my printed Book: And see­ing the Act now in force extends not to Barges, &c. I think it not amiss to repeat what I then propos'd.

PROPOSALS FOR AN Act of Tunnage.

WHEN the Kingdom is engag'd in War, it's not only requisite, but equitable, that all Persons, according to their several Degrees and Qualities, should contribute to the Emergencies of the State; all due Regard being first had to Husbandry and Trade: and wherein things do not obstruct or impede either, it's but reasonable.

And indeed there are many whose Estates and Ef­fects lie in Shipping, who have no ways yet contribu­ted any thing to the Publick, during the whole Course of this War; and who are under good Circumstances, and capable of paying Taxes proportionable to the rest of the King's Subjects, and no Injury thereby done to Trade.

They may, it's true, plead they are at great Charge to the Light-houses, and by Convoy-Money; which is no Hardship upon them, it being brought in upon the Merchants as Average.

[Page 18] Unless it fall upon Colliers; and it's well known they get a great deal of Money, notwithstanding all the Charge they are at, and the great Wages they give.

And it may further be objected by them, That they are liable to great Dangers, and many of them taken by the Enemy.

All which is no more than what the Merchants are expos'd to; whose Effects are generally of much greater Consequence than their Shipping, yet are no ways ex­empted from paying greater Duties, both Inward and Outward; notwithstanding any great Losses they have had, or may hereafter meet withal.

Therefore, it seems altogether unreasonable, that these Persons should be exempted from being Tax'd, when there may thereby be so much Money rais'd, as will be of great Importance to the Government.

But that things may be done in all due Moderation, that no good Subject shall have any just Cause of Com­plaint, and not one Tax'd more than another; it would be requisite, I humbly conceive, to have an Act of Par­liament made to lay it as a Tunnage, with due r [...] ­gard being had to the Burden and Voyage of each Ship, and to make a Distinction between Coasters and Vessels outward bound, according to these ensuing Pro­positions.

Proposition I.

That all Coasters whatever, (except Colliers) pay six Pence per Tun to the Collector of each Port where he takes his Lading, according as the Ship shall measure: but if he shall not have his full Lading, then a Deduction to be made according to what he wants; or if he shall after­wards have the Misfortune to fall into the Hands of the Enemies, then he shall have the liberty to draw back what Tunnage he paid that Voyage, and be paid upon demand, or be allow'd it by Debenter, and have twelve Months time so to do, after the loss of the said Ship: But all Colliers shall pay their Tunnage in that Port they break Bulk and Ʋnload; unless it be such of them as are out­ward bound. As to Holland, Ireland, &c. they shall pay it as the Coasters do, in that Port in which they take their Lading; but be liable to pay no greater Tunnage than they do.

Proposition II.

That all outward-bound Ships, except Colliers, bound either for Holland, Flanders, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, &c. pay twelve Pence per Tun, according as each Ship shall measure; and in case any of them shall happen to be taken by the Enemy, before they have perform'd their intended Voyage, then they shall draw back this Tun­nage, and be paid by the Collector upon demand, or be al­low'd it by Debenter.

And all inward-bound Ships, from the abovesaid Coun­tries, either English or Foreign, shall pay two Shillings [Page 20] per Tun; and in case they shall not have their full L [...] ­ding, Deduction shall be made for the same.

Proposition III.

That all outward-bound Ships that shall be bound either to the East or West-Indies, Straits, East-Coun­try, Coast of Africa, &c. shall pay two Shillings per Tun; but in case they shall fall into the Enemies Hands, and not perform their Voyage, then they shall draw back the said Tunnage, and be paid upon demand, or by Debenter.

And all inward-bound Ships, from the foresaid Coun­tries, shall pay four Shillings per Tun, and not be clear'd till the said Monies paid.

Proposition IV.

That all Western Barges, and all other Barges whatever; all Fish-Smacks, Hoys, Lighters, (except such who constantly carry Dung or Soil) shall pay twenty Shillings per Quarter, and pay the Money eve­ry Quarter to the Collector of each respective Port, within six Weeks after it becomes due; and upon default thereof, to pay double: And that they come and make Entry of them, with the Names of the Owners, at the Custom-House of that Port or Harbour they use, (but this shall be done without Fee) within six Weeks after the Act takes place.

[Page 21] This foregoing Matter I did present to several Mini­sters of State, a Month before it was published; and they were pleased to acknowledg it the first of that Na­ture that had been offer'd to the Government. And Ship­ping before was ever look'd upon to be as Sacred as Church-Lands. It's not to be denied, but that 'tis greatly improv'd, beyond what I propos'd; I always thought it might be so, and am very glad to see it brought to that Perfection it is. There is a worthy Gentleman, who up­on the Exchange was pleased to say, he was the first Man that propos'd the Tunnage Act to the King. And not unlike, (but he cannot forget that I presented him with a Book, wherein it was propos'd four Months before ever it was mov'd); and his Majesty has no ways been wanting to him, but has put him into an Honourable Station. And indeed his Goodness is such, that he never fails to recom­pence those that do him Service, if the Matter comes to his Knowledg: And if others would but imitate his Ver­tue, and follow his Example, his Majesty would be bet­ter serv'd. And whoever those Worthy Gentlemen are, that first mov'd and occasion'd the Royal Bank, ought to have their Statues set in Brass, to perpetuate their Memo­ry to future Ages: for it will appear every Day more and more, to be of great Importance to the Kingdom, (be­sides the Advantage that accrues to them who are con­cern'd in it) it being that which this Nation hath long wanted; and no Foreign Bank whatever can compare with it, or appear to be built upon so solid a Foundation. And the Tunnage is the most insensibly felt of any Tax that hath yet been levied; for altho the Merchants and Owners of Shipping disburse the Money, yet it cannot be said to be any thing out of their Pockets; for it doth consequently advance the Goods, proportionable to what's [Page 22] paid, it being general; so it doth, as it were, diffuse it self into all parts of the Kingdom: And by what has been before related, certainly there's no Man but will grant that I laid the first Foundation of the Tunnage Act, (or that I had the Gift of Prophecy, having propos'd it six Months before it was past into an Act); but the Matter's too plain to be question'd, and there are some Persons at Court (by the Station they are in) who are oblig'd in Honour and Justice to give Incouragement to Men that do any thing that contributes to the Publick Service; who notwithstanding, make but Tools of them, to the Pre­judice of their Majesties and the Kingdom, and Disho­nour of the Nation.

For Rewards and Punishment are the Support and Axis upon which all Governments move.

Therefore these things are not writ (as St. Paul says in another Case) for his sake that did the Wrong, or his that receiv'd the Wrong; but that the Nation may see.—

What is it the French King at this day owes all his vast Improvements by Sea, and Conquest by Land too, but the Faithfulness of his Ministers, and the great Rewards he never fails to give them that do him Service? (Honos alit Artes.) It's that which makes Men bold and daring, and even out-brave Death it self, and knits the Minds of Men fast to a Prince. For all Men naturally are well pleas'd to see Persons rewarded for Service done: it's that which begets a steady Loyalty, and puts Hope in every Man; and it's no other than what hath ever been the Practice of all the civilized Nations and Ages in the World.

And our Fore-fathers were always careful to see it executed: and 'tis the Method that even God himself takes with sinful Man, that so he may wean his Affections [Page 23] from these transient Things below, and have an Eye unto the Recompence of Reward.

And so thus while we neglect our Duty, we tempt Pro­vidence.

Therefore until better Measures are taken, I cannot see with what Confidence we can think to prosper: for Miracles are ceased, and God expects we use such Me­thods as conduce and have a Tendency to Peace and Hap­piness; otherwise, if we miscarry, it may truly be said, we have been the Authors of our own Ruin. But it's the Parliament, and only they, that are able to cope with, and engage this Hydra (this many-headed Monster); for they are the great Council and Physicians of the Nation, and have never been wanting to redress National Grie­vances. I shall conclude with that excellent Form of Prayer, compos'd by our Church:

Most gracious God, We humbly beseech thee, as for this Kingdom in general; so especially for the High Court of Par­liament under our most religious and gracious King and Queen at this time assembled: That thou wouldest be pleased to direct and prosper all their Consultations to the advancement of thy Glory, the good of thy Church, the safety, honour, and welfare of their Majesties and their Kingdoms; that all things may be so ordered and settled by their Endeavours upon the best and surest Foundations, that Peace and Happiness, Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, may be established among us for all Generations. These and all other Necessaries for them, for us and thy whole Church, we humbly beg in the Name and Media­tion of Jesus Christ our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.


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