AN ESSAY UPON Ways and Means.

AN ESSAY UPON Ways and Means Of Supplying the WAR.

LONDON: Printed for Jacob Tonson at the Judge's Head, near the Inner-Temple-Gate in Fleetstreet. 1695.

AN ESSAY UPON WAYS and MEANS OF Supplying the War.

IN the course of this War, we are engag'd in with France, no­thing seems more to have hurt our affairs, than an Opinion, which from year to year has been entertain'd among some People of Authority, That the War could not last; which they were brought into, by the vanity, natural to our Na­tion, of over-rating our own strength, and undervaluing that of our Ene­mies.

[Page 2] Whoever reflects upon the Ways and Means, by which we have all along supplied the King, will plainly see how much this Opinion has pre­vail'd with the People in general.

Raising Money by Land Taxes, Fonds of Interest, Polls, doubling the Excise, charging Tonnage, lay­ing new Customs, and anticipating the old ones, may be proper Expe­dients to answer a single and a short Necessity, but, perhaps, they will hardly appear to be the proper Ways and Means to carry on a great, and a long War.

At the beginning of the Confe­deracy, France seem'd to take in all its Sails, in expectation of a Storm, and in a manner sate still, while we took Mentz and Bon. This Success, and the great Names, and Mighty Kingdoms and States, that were List­ed in this Quarrel, made us flatter our selves with Extravagant hopes; The most Modest did believe the King [Page 3] of France might be easily reduced to the state he was left in by the Pyre­nean Treaty: But the more general Opinion was, That he would be sub­dued to our own Terms.

But such did not consider, that there is hardly any instance to be gi­ven in Story of a Mighty Empire over-run, that was in the full pos­session of its Military Virtue. In such an entire possession of the Art of War were the Romans during the second Punic War; the whole Peo­ple were train'd up to Arms, and continual Action had bred up and instructed many famous Captains, so that they were not to be broken by the many Victories Hannibal obtain'd, even in the heart of Italy.

And in such a Warlike posture was the Ottoman Empire, when Tam­berlain came into Asia, who in the Battel, fought in the Year 1397, took Bajazet Prisoner, and slew most of his Army; yet that People, bred to [Page 4] War under three Martial Kings, were so far from being subdu'd, that in fifty three Years after, besides many other acquisitions, they were able to Conquer all the remains of the Greek Empire.

Great Dominions are to be at­tempted with hopes of success then only, when either their own bulk makes them unweildy, or when Wealth has deprav'd their Manners, or when long Peace has made them forget their Military Skill and Ver­tue; and at such seasons have the great Monarchies of the World been Invaded and Conquer'd, not by Su­perior Virtue in others, but for want of Virtue in themselves.

It is not from hence concluded, that lesser Nations are not to make War with strong and Victorious Prin­ces, or that we in England should not with the last drop of Blood de­fend this almost only spot of ground, which seems remaining in the World to Public Liberty.

[Page 5] But from these Instances, and ma­ny others in History, it may be ar­gu'd, that we cannot presently, and with ease, pull down so Mighty an Empire as France; and that much Time, Blood, and Treasure, must, perhaps, be spent, before we can re­duce it to such Terms of Peace, as may be Safe and Honourable for the Confederates.

And since there seem very many, who think the business of this War so easie, and who wonder the Con­federates have done no more, it may not be improper to take a short view of the Affairs of France, in order to make it appear, what a powerful Ene­my we have to deal with.

That Kingdom has been growing, for these two hundred and seventy years, by slow degrees, to the height we now see it at; and from the time of Charles the Seventh, to the Reign of Francis the Second, there were al­ways upon the Throne Martial and [Page 6] Active Princes, in perpetual War, and forming their People to Disci­pline.

And if in the little Common­wealths of Greece, wherever there happen'd to be an extraordinary Man, that Man did make his City strong and powerful for a long time after; much more must a Succession of six Kings, all Men of Counsel and Action, give strength and power to such a Kingdom as France.

'Tis true, that from the time of Francis the Second, to the Peace of Vervins, which was about forty Years, the Nation was miserably torn by a long and cruel Civil War; but, as there are certain Diseases, which, when overcome, dispose the Body to a better state of health for the fu­ture; so, perhaps, it may be made appear, that even this Civil War, in its Consequences, has contributed to the present Power of that Monarchy, by pulling down the three chief ob­stacles [Page 7] that stood in the way of its Greatness; which were, the Prote­stant Interest, Spain, and the old No­bility of the Kingdom.

The Massacre of Paris gave the Protestant Interest in that Nation such a wound, as it has never since been able to recover.

Philip the Second, to procure the Crown of France for the Infanta, did furnish such vast Sums for the Maintenance of the League, as have ever since kept Spain low.

And the Houses of Lorrain, Mont­morancy, and Chastillon, were in a manner extinguish'd in that War; and the rest of the great Families so ruin'd by it, that they are now no more than the Trappings and Or­naments of the Tyranny, which were in times past so strong a part of the Constitution.

From the Peace of Vervins, Harry the Fourth employ'd his care in re­pairing the Calamities of that Civil [Page 8] War, and chiefly he set himself to bring the Treasury of his Kingdom into some order; in which he was assisted by the Duke of Sully, a fru­gal Man, who, by natural Wisdom and meer Honesty, brought the Re­venue out of infinite Debts into such a flourishing condition, that, when the French were forming their great designs against the House of Austria in 1610, they had ready four or five years Provision for a War, that was likely to be the greatest their Nation had ever undertaken.

But the foundations of the present Greatness of that Monarchy, were laid by Cardinal Richelieu; he first introduc'd that exact Method which appears in all their Affairs, that se­cresie and steadiness which is in their Councils, and that intire Obedience which all subordinate degrees pay to their Superiors; and, by exacting it severely, he first accustom'd the French to that Zeal, Diligence, and [Page 9] Honesty, to their Master, which they show in all Public business.

Cardinal Mazarin was bred up in his School; a Man, perhaps, not quite so deep, but of infinite Subtil­ty, and very fit for the Intrigues of the Cabinet, in a Minority, and un­der the Regency of a Queen Mother. What the Duke of Sully but began, Colbert brought to perfection in the Public Revenue; and both he and Louvoy, were mighty Encouragers of the Trade and Manufactures of the Kingdom.

Thus France, for a long tract of time, has had great Princes on the Throne; or, which is as good, able Men in the Ministry; and all the while they have been enlarging their Dominions.

Spain, formerly their Rival King­dom, they have reduc'd to a low condition; Arts and Sciences, Trade and Manufactures, are much improv'd among them.

[Page 10] The Art of War they have brought to a height and perfection never known in Greece, or among the Romans.

Long Action has form'd them ma­ny fit Generals, Experienc'd Officers, and a number of good Troops.

They are Skilful in Encampments, they order a Battel well; and no People contrive better for the Sub­sistance of an Army.

Their Discipline is good and se­vere, and all Nations must yield to them in the knowledge of Attacking and Defending places.

And by Art and Industry, they seem to have overcome Nature and Situation, in making themselves so powerful at Sea, with but few con­venient Ports, and but little Trade, in proportion to their Neighbours.

Their present King is undoubted­ly a Person of great Abilities, Wis­dom, and Conduct; he is well serv'd in every part of his Government; [Page 11] his Revenue is skillfully brought in, and frugally laid out; no Prince has so quick and certain Intelligence; and he has wrought into his Inte­rests a considerable Party in every State and Kingdom in Europe.

We all know too well, what large footing he has of late years got round about him, towards Spain, in Italy, near the Swiss Cantons, and in Germany, of both sides the Rhine, and in the Low Countries. Whoever carefully weighs these things, and duly considers the Strength and Po­licy of that Kingdom, will hardly think the Confederates, for the pre­sent, in a condition to give the Law, or able as yet to drive France to such a Peace, as may be now Honourable, and Safe hereafter.

They, who believe a Peace so pro­bable and near, ground their Opini­on upon the Poverty this long War must have brought upon France: And no doubt, the Subjects there [Page 12] are reduc'd to excessive want, by the Universal stop that is upon Trade, by the Dearth two unseasonable years has occasion'd, and by main­taining, for six years, a great Fleet, and such numerous Land Forces.

But the French seem to pay them­selves for all their Home Miseries, with their Fame abroad, the Majesty of their Empire, Splendor of their Court, Greatness of their Monarch, and the noise of his Victories; like a Beast, that goes merrily with a heavy Burthen, pleas'd with his fine Furni­ture, and the Bells that jingle about him.

For those vain appearances are, to that People, in the stead of Ease, Plenty, and all the other Goods of Life; tho' they truly tend but to make their Slavery more lasting.

Therefore while their King is thus Successful in his Arms, we have small reason to think the Wants and Cries of his Country will constrain him to end the War.

[Page 13] But suppose him in such streights, as that he willingly will listen to a Peace; can we modestly believe him in so low a condition, as that the Confederates may at present have such a one as will be secure and last­ing?

Is he yet so distressed by the War, as to be contented things may be put upon such a foot of Equality, that hereafter he may be compell'd to observe his Articles? for without this, any Peace we can make will be but unsound and precarious.

Perhaps he may submit to give up Lorrain, Philipsburg, and Strasburg, and his late Conquests in Savoy, Ca­talonia, and Flanders; The Pope, Venetians, and the two Northern Crowns, shall be Mediators, and af­terwards▪ Warrantees of the Treaty. The Confederacy shall still subsist, and upon stricter terms of Union: But, when we have bound Sampson with these new Ropes, may he not, [Page 14] when he pleases, break them from off his Arms like a Thread?

Indeed, we might promise our selves that a Peace would be good and durable, if we were enough Su­perior in the War, to make him Sur­render those strong places, with which, on every side, he seems to Bridle this part of the World.

Or, if he were so distress'd, as, for a Peace, to deprive himself of his Fleet, to which the Romans com­pell'd Carthage, and, afterwards, King Antiochus, then we in England might promise our selves future Safety.

But, while his Naval strength is un­broken; while he has that Chain of Fortified Towns upon the Rhine; and that formidable Barrier in Flan­ders; while on the side of Spain, Ita­ly, and Switzerland, he is left in such a condition to Invade, and so forti­fied against Invasion, we may make a Peace that shall give us present ease, and put off the Evil day for a time, [Page 15] but we cannot pretend to have se­cur'd our Liberties, or defeated his designs of Universal Monarchy.

Whoever carefully examines those general Treaties of Peace the French of late years have concluded with the House of Austria, and their other Opposites, from that of Vervin's, to that of Nimmeghen, will find they have had no effect, but to give France a legal Title to what it possest before by Conquest, or to affort it time to repair the Calamities of War, and to gather Strength for new and greater Undertakings.

We took this War in hand to as­sert the Liberties of Europe, and to encourage us to carry it on, we have Examples, ancient and modern, of Nations that have resisted great Monarchies, and who have at last worked out their Freedom by Pati­ence, Wisdom, and Courage.

In Defence of their Laws and Re­ligion, the Low-Countreys maintained [Page 16] a War with Spain from 1566 to 1648, which ended in the Peace of Munster, and in that Struggle they fixed their Government.

Great Monarchies do easily over­run and swallow up the lesser Tiran­nies and Principalities that are round about them; but they find much harder Work, and another sort of Opposition, when they come to in­vade Common-wealths, or mix'd Go­vernments, where the People have an Interest in the Laws.

Under Tirannies, where the Sub­jects only contend for the Choice of a Master, the Dispute is seldom real and haerty; but, in free Countreys, where the People fight for them­selves, and their own proper Wealth and Security, they are in earnest, and defend themselves accordingly. The Persians very easily subdued the neighbouring Monarchies that made up their large Empire; but when they came to invade the Grecians, a free [Page 17] People, we see how their numerous Armies, and great Navies were at last defeated.

That War was carried on by Confederates, of which the chief were the Lacedemonians, and the Athe­nians; one a Kingly Government li­mited by Laws, the other a Com­mon-wealth; it lasted two and twen­ty years, reckoning from the Battel of Marathon, to that Victory gain'd by Cimon, which forced the Persians to sue for Peace.

And it may not be amiss to take notice, how the Athenians laid the whole stress of this War upon their Naval force, pursuant to the Oracle, which told them they should be safe within their Walls of Wood, lea­ving Athens it self defenceless, that their Fleet might be the stronger.

Many more Instances may be gi­ven of great things perform'd in the defence of Liberty; but then they have been done, by Men who had [Page 18] laid aside their Luxury, Corruption, Self-ends, and private Ambition, and who had devoted themselves intirely to the Common Good.

If therefore we hope to get out of this War with Honour, and, at last, make a safe and durable Peace, we must show more than ordinary Vir­tue and Resolution; we must bear patiently the Public burthens; but chiefly, we must not give our Ene­mies any room to believe, either by our Actions or Councils, that we shrink and give back, as if we thought the business too weighty for us.

Many things may happen to re­ward this patience, which would put us in the Power of treating upon more equal terms.

The King of France is infirm, and in years; if he should fail, while the War is on foot, his People, perhaps, may take that time to shake off their Oppression; and his Son may not be able to carry on the great Machine [Page 19] of that Government, with the same Steadiness, Conduct, and Authority. Or, the Dauphin may dye, which would give the Princes of the Blood the prospect of a Minority, always fatal, and the occasion of disorders in that Kingdom.

Besides, notwithstanding the seem­ing health and vigour of that Go­vernment, it has within it dangerous Distempers, of which the symptoms appear not in this Prosperity of their affairs, but would be seen in any Public calamity; such as the loss of a Battel, or a total defeat at Sea, which in the course of the War may happen.

If France should receive any shock or wound of that kind, the ill hu­mours bred by Oppression, and Ar­bitrary Power, would break out, and shew themselves, in every part of the Constitution.

These, or any other accidents that might stir up Civil Commotions [Page 20] in that Kingdom, would render it uncapable of a Foreign War, and consequently, procure us more ad­vantageous Conditions of Peace.

But the most proper Season to con­clude a Peace with the French, in all appearance, will be when they are Impoverish'd, and exhausted of that Money by which they have so much prevailed, and when that sinew of War begins to slacken.

For there is a degree of Expence, which no Nation can exceed with­out utter ruin, and the Public may become a Bankrupt as well as a pri­vate Person.

And since War is grown so expen­sive, and Trade is become so extend­ed; and since Luxury has so much obtain'd in the World, no Nation can subsist of it self without Helps and Aids from other places; so that the Wealth of a Country now is the Ballance, which arises from the ex­change with other places, of its Na­tural or Artificial Product.

[Page 21] The Natural Product are the Fruits of the Earth; the Artificial are the Manufactures.

That part of Trade which consists in buying Commodities in one Na­tion, and selling them in another, is very little the Commerce of France.

And this Ballance accrues, either from Money in specie, brought home, or Foreign Commodities, or Credit, which one Country has upon ano­ther.

The Prince's Revenue, is a due proportion and share out of this Bal­lance.

Whatever Nation is at a greater expence than this Ballance admits of, will as surely be ruin'd in time, as a private Person must be, who every year spends more than the Income of his Estate.

And that Prince, who gathers more than this Ballance will natural­ly afford, must as certainly bring ruin upon his Country, because he [Page 22] lives upon the quick Stock of his People.

The ordinary Publick Revenue of France was, before this War, year­ly, about one hundred and fifty Millions of Livres, which reduc'd to our Money, is about twelve Millions Sterling.

We all know how hardly this great Sum was extorted from the People, but they were enabled to pay it by the Ballance that arose to them from the vent of their Commo­dities and Manufactures.

Their most Staple Trade was Wine, Oyl, Salt, Linnen, and Paper, their Manufactures are innumerable; and a vast profit they did constantly make by the resort of strangers to their Country, and likewise by fur­nishing all Europe with their Fineries and Vanities.

The ordinary Revenue must needs be much impair'd by the effects of the War; but this we may suppose, [Page 23] is made up to the King by extraordi­nary Means. For we cannot think he maintains his Goverment, Fleet, and Armies, at a less Expence than Twelve Millions yearly.

Now how this Expence can be long continued by the French, is hardly imaginable, when there is such an Interruption upon their Com­merce, and so little vent for their Commodities and Manufactures.

They are cut off by this War from almost all their profitable Trade, their Poor are unimploy'd, and the Growth of their Country sticks upon their hands, and their Body Politick, be­ing at a continual Expence of Spi­rits, without the usual Supplies and Reliefs, must fall into Faintness, and Decay in all its Members. The Ballance arising from Trade being wanting, which should maintain King and People, there must inevita­bly follow, at first private Want, and then publick Poverty. And if [Page 24] this Interruption of their Commerce be yet more strictly pursued, it will bring a Ruin upon them, not to be avoided by all their Oeconomy, Cou­rage and Policy.

We have maintain'd this War six years, and may hold it out much longer, if every part of the Confe­deracy would exert all its Natural Force, and apply it usefully to the common Business.

But then the Emperor must not be contending for Dominion at Home, while he is fighting for Liberty A­broad. He must give the Princes of the Empire no Jealousie that he has any Designs upon their Freedoms. He must not let the Priests divert his his Arms upon the Turks, of which the true meaning is only the Oppres­sion of the Protestants in Hungary. A good Peace on that side would give new Life to the Confederate Af­fairs.

[Page 25] A little more publick Spirit and Vigor would be necessary in the Spa­nish Councels, in which Kingdom there is great Power and Wealth re­maining, if it were rightly applied and well ordered.

The proper and natural Strength of England and Holland is at Sea. The Walls of Wood are our best de­fence, and the more we rely upon, and improve that Strength, the more we shall break the Measures of France.

But England is the main Pillar of the Confederacy; our Riches supply it; our Fleet and the Goodness of our Troops, are its chief Force and Reputation; all depend upon the Councels we take; if we are un­willing, or unable to support the War, a Peace will be concluded up­on the best Terms that can be had.

So that the whole wil result in this, how far we in England, are able to maintain such a long War with [Page 26] France, as may procure us a Peace that shall be equal and lasting.

'Tis true, a long War is but a Me­lancholy Prospect to a Luxurious People, fearful of Slavery, and yet unwilling to pay the Price of Liber­ty; which no Nation hardly ever obtained, but at a great Expence of Blood and Treasure.

Whenever this War ceases, it will not be for want of mutual Hatred in the opposite Parties, nor for want of Men to fight the Quarrel, but that side must first give out where Mo­ney is first failing.

If we in England can put our Af­fairs into such a Posture, as to be a­ble to hold out in our Expence lon­ger than France, we shall be in a con­dition to give the Peace; but if o­therwise, we must be contented to receive it.

For War is quite changed from what it was in the time of our Fore­fathers; when, in a hasty Expedition, [Page 27] and a pitch'd Field, the Matter was decided by Courage; but now the whole Art of War is in a manner reduced to Money; and now adays that Prince, who can best find Money to feed, cloath, and pay his Army, not he that has the most valiant Troops, is surest of Success and Con­quest.

So that the present Business England is engaged in, will chiefly depend upon the well contriving and order­ing the Ways and Means, by which the Government is to be maintained, and making the publick Charge easie and supportable.

By what has been said before, it may perhaps appear, that the Inter­ruption of Trade has made this War very heavy upon the People of France, from which naturally follows, that a careful and vigorous Protection of our own Trade, will make all pub­lick Burthens lighter and easier to us.

[Page 28] Trade, as it is now become the Strength of the Kingdom, by the Supply it breeds of Seamen, so it is the living Fountain from whence we draw all our Nourishment; it disperses that Blood and Spirits through all the Members, by which the Body Politick subsists.

The Price of Land, Value of Rents, and our Commodities and Manufa­ctures rise and fall, as it goes well or ill with our Foreign Trade.

'Tis not enough to have great Ex­portation, and great Importation, un­less we are Gainers upon the Bal­lance; which the Nation cannot be at the foot of the Accompt, while there are very great Losses at Sea.

For the Profit of Trade is not the Advantage the Merchant makes at Home, but what the whole Nation gets clear and Nett, upon the Bal­lance in Exchange with other Coun­treys of its Commodities and Manu­factures.

[Page 29] So that if we can protect our Trade to that degree as to be Gainers by the General Ballance, the Ex­pence and Length of the War will not so much affect us; for Trade, well secured, will bring in that Wealth by which it may be fed and maintained.

To support a long War, the Taxes should be so contriv'd, as that they may lye equally upon the Nation; and when they are equally laid, they will in Consequence be easier, and longer, and more patiently suffered. For he that is to carry a great Bur­then, should not reasonably be put to bear it upon one Arm, and that extended at length; but it ought ra­ther to be placed upon his Shoul­ders, so that every Limb may bear its due proportion of the Weight.

The Ways and Means to supply the Government, in this War, should be such, as may not too highly af­fect Trade, upon the Prosperity of [Page 30] which depends, in so great a mea­sure, the Welfare of the Nation.

What we give should be as free as possible from the Load of paying Interest-Money, which eats upon the Publick, as it ruins any private Per­son.

And, in Taxing the People, we should have regard not to create Disaffection to the Government.

We should likewise see that our present Gifts should not, in their Consequences, bring Damage to the ordinary Revenue of the Crown; for, in such cases, we give of one hand, and take away of the other.

And lastly, in our Ways and Means of Supplying the War, we should take some care not to entail upon the Kingdom too large a Debt of per­petual Interest.

Taxes, which have all these Incon­veniencies, that are laid unequally, that affect Trade, that consume us [Page 31] with Usury, that disaffect the Peo­ple, that prejudice the Crown Reve­nue, and burthen us with perpetual Interest, may be made use of now and then, to piece out, and answer a single and a short necessity; but cannot be repeated often, and made use of, as the constant Ways and Means of supplying the Government, in a business of length, without great damage and hazard to the King­dom.

For Taxes of this nature beget public and private Poverty, make the People desperate, render Go­vernment uneasie to the Rulers, and may be rather said to fight secretly against the Prince, than to give him any true assistance.

The Opinion, which from year to year has prevail'd, That the next Campagne would end the War, has made us bear with these Ways and Means of Supply, believing every such charge would be the last of [Page 32] that kind that should be laid upon the People.

Perhaps we should have ta­ken other Measures, if, at the beginning of the War, the Na­tion had been throughly con­vinc'd, that Peace was at such a di­stance from us.

Some are of Opinion, that if at first we had fallen upon Ex­cises, we had establish'd a Fond of Revenue, which would have lain equally upon the whole, been a constant and easie Supply, and tending less than other Taxes, to the damage of Foreign Trade, or ruin of the Gentry; and which, by this time, might have been so improv'd in the management, that we should have found it sing­ly of it self, sufficient for all the Expences of the War.

[Page 33] And 'tis not improbable, if the King of France had seen us open such a new vein of Treasure, we had long since had a more advan­tageous Peace than we can expect: at present.

It had given him a great Opi­nion and Awe of our strength, if he had seen we had been able to raise five Millions a year, in a way not very burthensom to the Nation; and he could have expected no good issue from a contest with so rich and powerful a People:

But if he finds we raise Mo­ney for the War, by Ways and Means heavy and destructive to our Country, he will be encou­rag'd to persue it till he has brought utter ruin upon us.

[Page 34] And tho' it appears from the Books of Hearth Money, that there are not above Thirteen hundred thousand Families in England; and, allowing six persons to a House, one with another, which is the common way of compu­ting, not quite eight Millions of People; and tho' (as likewise ap­pears from the Hearth Books) there are five hundred thousand poor Families in the Nation, li­ving in Cottages, who contri­bute little to the Common Sup­port; yet the Eight hundred thousand remaining Families, would be able to carry on the present business a great while longer, and, perhaps, till France is weary of it, if the Public Burthens could be divided a little more equally among them.

[Page 35] It seems evident enough, that the War cannot be supported by the present Revenue of the Crown; of which, as also how it stood at the beginning of the Revolu­tion, it may not be improper to give an Account.

The chief Branches of the Revenue, ac­cording to a Computation deliver'd to the House of Commons at the beginning of the Revolution, stood clear of all charges, in the Collection, as follows.
  • [Page 36]THE Tunnage and Poundage, in­cluding the Wood-Farm, Coal-Farm, and Salt-Farm, was computed at l. 600,000
  • The Excise on Beer and Ale, &c. Year ending 24th June 1689, did produce—666,383
  • The Hearth Money about—245,000
  • The Post Office about—65,000
  • The Wine Licenses about—10,000
  • New Impositions upon Wine and Vinegar granted for four Years, the year ending 29th Sept. 1688, about—172,901
  • Duty on Tobacco and Sugar, for the same time in the same year, about 148,861
  • Duty on French Linnen, Brandy, Silk, &c. which was to continue to the 1st of July 1690, for the year ending 29th of September 1688, produced—93,710
  • Total—2,001,855
The chief Branches of the Revenue at present, clear of all Charges in the Collection, stand as follows.
  • [Page 37]THE Tunnage and Poundage, including the Wood-Farm, Coal-Farm, and Salt-Farm, Year ending 29th September 1693, did produce—l. 286, 687
  • The Excise on Beer and Ale, &c. Year ending 24th June 1693, produced—391,275
  • The Hearth Money—000000
  • The Post Office, the same Year—63,517
  • The Wine Licenses, the same Year about—5000
  • New Impositions upon Wine Vine­gar, &c. Year ending 29th Sep­tember 1693, produced—133,595
  • Duty on Tobacco, &c. Year end­ing 29th September 1693, pro­duced—75,611
  • Duty on Silk, &c. Year ending 29th September 1693—148,430
  • The Additional Impositions took place from March 1. 169 2/3. and from that time to 29th September 1693, produced only—16,203
  • The Additional Duties upon Beer, Ale, &c. computed at—450,000
  • Total—1,570,318

[Page 38] But of the 1,570,318 l. which is reckon'd the present Revenue, all but 746479 l. which arises from Customs, old Excise, Post Office, and Wine Licenses, is either antici­pated by Act of Parliament for the War, or applied to the uses of it; indeed, something of the Nine­pences will come into the Crown as the Lives fall. The Salt Duty, and new Imposition upon the Tunnage of Ships, are to stand in the room of two Nine-pences, till they come to be clear of their former anticipa­tions.

The other smaller Branches of the Revenue, such as the Hereditary Customs, Fines for Writs of Cove­nant and Entries in the Alienation Office, Land Revenue, Dutchy of Cornwall, Dutchy of Lancaster, First Fruits and Tenths, Sheriffs Proffers, Compositions in the Exchequer, Fines of Leases, and Custody of Idiots, Forfeitures of Recusants, [Page 39] Fines for Misdemeanors, Post Fines and Seisures, are all inconsiderable, and so charg'd with Pensions and Salaries of Officers, that they pro­duce very little clear to the King.

The Tonnage and Poundage, &c. in time of Peace, will undoubtedly by degrees rise, but then Trade must be courted and handled gently.

The Excise on Beer and Ale, &c. has been lately under so many dis­couragements of all kinds, as that Branch will be found to mount very slowly.

The Hearth Duty is taken off by Law, as an unpopular Revenue; yet all the hardships and abuses of it, might have been corrected by Act of Parliament, and it would still have yielded about 200,000 l. per Annum, above the charge of Ma­nagement; and however the Nation disgust it, 'tis hardly so odious, if rightly examin'd, as Poll-Money, which the Turks take to be so great [Page 40] a Badge of Slavery, that they im­pose it on none but Christians.

The present Revenue being so far unable to support the War, what was wanting has been hitherto made up by other Ways and Means, of which some are thought very preju­dicial to the Nation.

Giving the King Money by Anti­cipating the Customs, or by Credit, upon distant Fonds, does apparently consume the Public with Usury: The new Fonds entail upon us a hea­vy Debt of perpetual Interest.

The Additional Nine-pences upon Beer and Ale, do manifestly hurt that Branch of the King's Revenue.

'Tis feared frequent Polls may dis­affect the People. The new Customs and Impositions upon Tunnage, are thought to prejudice Trade. And lastly, the Land Taxes by Monthly Assessment seem unequally laid; and the Pound Rate, of four Shillings in the Pound, does seem unequally [Page 41] Levied upon the Nation. But of each in their order.

Of Anticipating the Customs and Credit upon distant Fonds.

THat such Ways and Means of Supplying the Government, occasion ill Husbandry in the Pub­lic, will appear plainly to any one, that takes the pains to examin what great Sums have been paid on Ac­count of Interest-Money and Gra­tuities; and let the King be either to buy Stores, or to pay his Fleet and Army, it will be found at the long run, that 700,000 l. in ready Money, will go farther than a Mil­lion in Tallies.

Of the New Fonds for Interest.

THE Fonds for Interest were, perhaps, good expedients, for the time, to raise Money, but, if made use of frequently, may pro­duce very bad effects in the Nation; for they divert Money too much from the Chanel of Trade, where it is always best employed to the Kingdoms advantage.

There is already, paid upon these sort of Fonds, about, 400,000 l. Yearly. 'Tis true, what is out upon Lives, will by degrees wear off; but a great part of this Sum will be a lasting Rent Charge upon the Na­tion: and if we should further in­crease it by new Projects of the same nature, we shall quickly be in [Page 43] the condition of Spain, where they are undone by paying Taxes to one another; and where the Public Re­venue is so clogg'd with perpetual Interest, that apparently there is not wherewithal to supply the present Necessities of the Government.

But the principal Mischiefs these Fonds occasion, is the raising Money above the Price, which either our Foreign or Domestick Trade can af­ford to pay for it, to the great dis­couragement of both.

They who have trac'd the Effects, which lessening Interest-Money by Law in this Kingdom has produc'd, do very well observe, that when Money was brought from Ten to Eight per Cent, our Trade presently increas'd upon it, and doubled in some time after it was reduc'd from Eight to Six per Cent; and if the abatement of Interest did bring a­long with it that good Advantage, we must expect to see Trade labour [Page 44] under great difficulties, and in a short time come to Nothing, if, by the means of these Fonds, Money be restor'd to its former Rate of Eight per Cent.

They are so Inviting, and of such infinite Profit, that few now are willing to let out their Money to Traders at Six per Cent. as former­ly; so that all Merchants, who sub­sist by Credit, must in time give over, and they being the greatest part, and, perhaps, the most In­dustrious, any Man may judge what damage this will be to the King­dom.

So that these Fonds of Interest, are Ways and Means of Supplying the War, which in all appearance are to be used tenderly, and with great caution.

Of the Additional Duties upon Beer and Ale.

THE Excise upon Beer and Ale, Brandy, Strong Waters, &c. was in a gradual and constant way of Improvement from 1674 to 1689, inclusive; which year it produced, clear of all Charge, 667, 383l. 11s. 9d. [...].

Ever year since it has fallen, and by much larger steps than ever it mounted.

But because since the War there is little Brandy Imported, and Strong Waters are now charged in another manner, and at other Rates than for­merly; the Fall of this Revenue will more plainly appear, by making the Accompt up only for Beer and Ale, which produc'd as followeth.

Note, What follows is the gross Account.

[Page 46]

 l.s.d.
Year ending 24 June 1689—694,476026 ¼
Year ending 24 June 1690—633,822146 ¾
Year ending 24 June 1691—554,769106 ¼
Year ending June 24 1692—515,455083 ¾
Year ending 24 June 1693—488,442147 1/4

The Accompts of the year ending the 24th of June 1694, are not yet made up; but the Excise, by a Me­dium of four years, having fallen hitherto about 50,000 l. per Annum, 'tis probable the last Year has done the like; and, if so, it is now 250,000 l. per Annum less than it was in 1689.

This great Decrease is, by the Com­missioners of that Revenue, chiefly attributed to the new Additional Du­ties, which in the Country have [Page 47] made numbers of Victuallers, in e­very County, leave of their Trade; and in London, put many private Fa­milies to brew their own Drink.

The Three nine Pences upon Beer and Ale will not amount to much more than 420,000 l. per Annum; and if, as is alledged, they are the real Cause the old Revenue is dimi­nished yearly 250,000 l. the publick gets but 190,000 l. per Annum, by a Tax that will be a long and very grievous Burthen upon all the Barly-Land of England, and which is parti­cularly heavy upon one Trade, other­wise enough oppressed by the Quar­tering of Soldiers.

'Tis true, these Duties were a pre­sent Expedient, and did help out to­wards the Supply of the War; but for a long time hereafter they will apparently very much diminish the ordinary Revenue of the Crown.

Of Poll-Money.

THere is nothing can make it better apparent how displeas­ing Poll-Money is to the People, than the Observation how ill it is brought in, and answered to the King. For where Taxes seem hard and oppres­sive, in particular to the Poor, the Country Gentlemen proceed in the Levying of them with no Zeal nor Affection.

The first single Poll that was gi­ven in this Reign, amounted to 288, 310 l. 19 s. 6 1/ [...] 3 with which the Quarterly Poll holds no manner of Proportion. 'Tis true, the Qualifi­cations are taxed differently in the two Acts. Money is charged in the first, and not in the second, and Ti­tles are put higher in one than the other. But considering how many [Page 49] were brought in by the second Act, and at high Rates, which were not reach'd by the first, the Quadruple Poll might reasonably have produc'd near four times as much as the Sin­gle, and it yielded little more than half.

[Page 50]

Quarterly Poll.
 l.s.d.
London, Middlesex,andWestminster—97,622511
Rest of England499,89671 ¼
Total—597,518130 ¼

Single Poll.
 l.s.d.
London, Middlesex,andWestminster—80,28094 ¼
Rest of England208,030102
Total—288,310196 ¼
Total of the Quar­terly Poll597,518130 ¼
Difference—309,207135 ¾

[Page 51] The Houses in England, as appears by the Books of Hearth-Money, are about 1,300,000, of which 500,000 are Cottages, inhabited by the Poorer Sort; so that we may reckon there are not above 800,000 Families liable to the Payment of Poll-Money; and though, in the common Computati­on of the whole People, there may not be above six Persons to a House, one with another, yet, in computing the 800,000 Richer Families, we may very well allow them to contain, one with another, seven Persons, which would be 5,600,000 Heads; and reck­on but a third Part of these qualifi­ed within the Act to pay four Shil­lings per Head, the Poll Bill on that single Article, ought to have pro­duced 373,333 l.

What the one Pound per Quarter upon Gentlemen and Merchants worth 300 l. and such as belong to the Law; and what the Ten Shil­lings per Quarter upon Tradesmen, [Page 52] Shopkeepers, and Vintners worth 300 l. might have yielded, is diffi­cult to compute; but, perhaps the Commissioners Names in the Act of Parliament for the Monthly Assess­ment, Quarto & Quinto Gulielmi & Mariae may be no ill Guide in the Matter. The Commissioners then were about Ten thousand, and we may reasonably suppose (and any Gentleman may compute for his own Country, and he will find) that, one Country with another, not an Eighth Part are named Commissioners of those Persons, who in Estate, real or personal, are worth 300 l. and if so, we may reckon there are in England 80000 Persons lyable to the Pay­ment of one Pound per Quarter; by which Account, the King should have received on that Article 320,000 l.

When we reflect upon the great Number of Tradesmen, Shopkeepers, and Vintners that are in England, it cannot seem any extravagant Com­putation [Page 53] to reckon there are 40000 Persons, of that Sort, worth 300 l. and lyable to the Payment of Ten Shillings per Quarter; upon which Head the King should have received 80000 l. And allowing but 26667 l. for all other Persons charged by that Act, the Quarterly Poll ought to have yielded to the King.

  • For the Common People at 4 s. per Head—l. 373,333
  • For the Gentlemen, &c. at 4 l. per Head—l. 320,000
  • For Tradesmen, &c. at 4 l. per Head—l. 80,000
  • For other Persons charged by the Act—l. 26,667
  • In all—l. 800,000
  • But there was re­ceiv'd only—l. 597,518 s. 13 d. 0 ¼

[Page 54] The principal Articles in this Com­putation seem very much confirmed by what the first Poll yielded; for if there had not been in England about 1,867,666 Persons who paid 12 d. per Head, and about Eighty thousand of the Sort who paid one Pound per Head, that Poll could not have produced in the Country only 208,330 l. 10 s. 2 d. for Money and Titles were generally charged in London

In the Poll now in being, such are charged who are worth in Estate, real or personal, 600 l. which may make some difference in the second Article; but the third Article should now increase, considering all Per­sons, by this Act, are to pay Ten Shillings per Quarter that are worth 300 l. in Estate real or personal, which seems to take in Stock of all kinds; whereas in the former Act, only Tradesmen, Shopkeepers, and Vintners were comprehended; so [Page 55] that if the present Poll were strictly collected, it would produce about 800,000 l. and yet, as far as can be judged by the Accounts hitherto come up, it is not like to yield so much Money as the former.

When a Tax yields no more than half what in reason might be expect­ed from it, we may plainly see it grates upon all sorts of People, and such Ways and Means of raising Mo­ney should be rarely made use off by any Government.

Of the New Customs and Duty upon Tunnage.

SOme People, who contemplate the greatness of England, and the Figure it made in the World during the former part of Queen E­lizabeth's Reign, and some time be­fore, are led to think we were stronger without Trade than with it.

Perhaps Trade in General may have been hurtful to Mankind, be­cause it has introduced Luxury and Avarice, and it might be better with us if we still liv'd in the Innocence and plainness of our Fore-fathers.

But the Circumstance of Time, and and the Posture other Nations are in, may make things absolutely necessa­ry, which are not good in their own Nature.

[Page 57] War is the occasion of Cruelty, Wickedness, and Injustice, yet an unwarlike Nation can enjoy no safe­ty.

Since France, Spain, Italy, and Hol­land have addicted themselves so much of late years to Trade, with­out that Naval Force which Trade produces, we should be continually exposed to the Insults and Invasions of our Neighbours.

So that 'tis now become indispen­sably our Interest, to encourage Fo­reign Commerce, and inlarge it as much as possible.

Instead of loading that part of our Strength, we ought to court and nurse it up with all imaginable Art and Care; 'tis a coy and fantastical Lady, hard to win, and quickly lost.

With high Customs we spoil In­dustry, discourage the Merchant, and may in time drive Trade to take some other Chanel; and there is [Page 58] hardly an Instance to be given of a Nation, may be not of any single City, that having once lost Trade, could ever recover it.

War, and the Scarcity of Money, are sufficient Discouragements to Foreign Commerce, without bur­thening it with new Impositions.

And perhaps it may be worth while to consider, whither hereafter, in time of a profound Peace, if part of the Customs were taken off, and some Excises given in their room, such an Exchange might not be very beneficial to the Nation.

If the Stock of the Merchant were greater, he would be in a Condition to have a bigger Trade. If it were not for the great Duties that must be paid for Customs, the same Stock would carry on double the Trade.

'Tis true, that excises would have the appearance of affecting Land more than Customs.

[Page 59] But 'tis, because the Views of Men are short, and generally confined to their own narrow Interest; and they do not duly consider how much their private Concerns depend upon the publick Welfare of Trade, and how much the Value of Land is improv'd since our Trade has augmented, even from Twelve to Twenty four years Purchase; nor how much more of their Product and Manufactures would be exported, if Trade wore free without Clog, and in its full Prosperity.

'Tis granted that Excises would something affect the Landed Man, who is the first Seller, but if the Customs were lessened, the Price of all Foreign Goods would diminish to the Buyer; and considering how great a Part that is of every Man's Expence, the Country Gentleman would get in the Shire what he looses in the Hundred.

[Page 60] In Nations, where the Govern­ment cannot subsist without charg­ing every thing, they lay perhaps great Customs; but, wherever the Publick can otherways be maintain'd, the Customs are low, for the En­couragement of the Merchant, who deserves all Favor, as being the best, and most profitable Member of the Common-Wealth.

Of all the new Impositions, no­thing is thought to lye so heavily on Trade, as the Duties upon the Tun­nage of Ships. It seems to pull down at once a great part of what the Nation had been so carefully rearing up by the Act of Naviga­tion.

And that Tax is an Instance, how much Compassion for private Cases does more prevail in this Country, than the Sense of Publick Good. For it was once designed to raise the Money, which was wanting at the latter end of the Sessions, by laying a [Page 61] new Duty upon Wine; but be­cause that was complained of as ve­ry burthensome to the Spanish and Portugal Merchants, a Charge upon Tunnage was pitched upon, which in its Consequence may prove very per­nicious to the General Trade of all England.

Of the Monthly Assessment and Aids by a Pound Rate.

SUbsidies, Fifteenths, and Tenths, were the antient Ways and Means in this Kingdom of supplying the Government.

But what Estates, and in what man­ner Land [...] was thereby Rated, is a Matter very perplexed in our Re­cords, and would ask more time to explain, than the Brevity designed in this Essay will admit off.

Lord Cooke, Inst. 4. P. 33. and 34. values a Subsidy at 70,000 l. and Tenths and Fifteenths at 20,000 l. and says they were Four Shillings in the Pound upon Land, and 2 s. 8 d. upon personal Estates.

It seems probable, that for a long time there had been no Survey made of the Land in England till 32 Hen. 8. [Page 63] and that for some Ages they had go­verned themselves by the ancient Books. But the Affairs of that King requiring then a great Sum of Mo­ney, the Parliament charged Land with 12 d. per Pound, and personal Estates with 6 d. and the King had li­berty to name Commissioners of his own. The Assessors were to be up­on Oath, and had Power to examine upon Oath, all Persons of the true Value of their Estates, real and per­sonal.

The same thing was done 34 and and 37 Hen. 8. 2 and 3 Edw. 6. and 3 and 4 Edw. 6. and 4 and 5 Philip and Mary. And, in these times, there was in a manner a new Survey made of all the Land in the Kingdom, and thereupon the Subsidies that came af­ter, raised larger Sums than former­ly. For we find from the Accounts in the Exchequer, that from 1 Eliz. to 29, inclusive, the Subsidies, one with another, amounted to at least [Page 64] 100,000 l. but from 31 Eliz. to 18 Jac. 1. in which time we cannot find there was any regular and strict Survey made, the Subsidies fell to 70,000 l. or thereabouts; for which no reason can be assigned (Land im­proving all the while) but that, when there had been no Survey made for a long while, and the Assessors were left at large, the People naturally re­turned to the Rates in the old Books.

How ancient the Inequality is be­tween the Taxes in the North and West, and the Home Counties, so much complained of, cannot easily be traced; for in an Assessment of 400,000 l. 17 and 18 Car. 1. we find the Rates upon the Northern and Western Counties to lye just as they do in our present Assessment; and tho' there might be some reason to ease the North in that Tax, because those Parts had been great Sufferers by the Scotch Army, yet in 1642, [Page 65] when that Act passed, the Sword of Civil War was not as yet drawn; and the West and other Counties had not yet at all been harrassed; so that the Favour which the North and West have met with in Land Taxes, is a little older than the Civil War, and may be attributed to that Care, which the great Num­ber of Members they send up, have always had of their Concerns in Par­liament.

When the Civil War broke out, the Common-wealth chiefly subsist­ed by Excises, for they could gather Land-Taxes only where they were strongest.

In 1647, their Authority was ge­nerally own'd over all the Nation, and then they began to raise Land-Taxes regularly by a Monthly As­sessment.

[Page 66] When the War was over, there was real reason to ease the North and West, and accordingly the Par­liament considered what Counties had least felt the War, those in their Assessments they rated highest, and they spared such Places as had been most harrased by the Armies of ei­ther side; and this was the Distincti­on they made (and not as is vulgarly thought) that of Associated or Non­associated Counties; for most Coun­ties of England, during that War, had been some time or other associ­ated, and by Ordinance of Parlia­ment.

But still perhaps it had not fared so well with the North and West, notwithstanding their Sufferings, if their Cause had not been maintained in the House of Commons by a suf­ficient Number of Friends and Advo­cates.

[Page 67] The Places which had been least sensible of those Calamities, or were soonest rid of them, and that had been under the Wings of the Parlia­ment, and their Army, were London and Middlesex, Surry and Southwark, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridg­shire, Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Berks, Bucks, and Oxfordshire.

And they kept to the same mea­sure of favouring the distant Coun­ties, and laying the chief Burthen upon those nearest London, as long as the Authority of the Common­wealth lasted.

When King Charles the Second was restored, the Northern and Western Gentlemen were strong enough in the House of Commons to get con­tinued the Method of Assessment then in practice, which was so favourable [Page 68] to them; and in the Act 12 Car. 2. for raising 70,000 l. for one Month, 'tis particularly provided, that it shall be raised in such Proportion as the last 70,000 l. per Month was raised by Ordinance of State; since which time till now, the Counties distant from London, have continued in the constant Possession of being favourably handled in all Assess­ments.

The first Attempt of reducing As­sessments to some equality, was made in the Year 1660.

The House of Commons, as may be seen from their Journals, had then in debate the Setling 100,000 l. per Annum, in Com­pensation of the Court of Wards and Liveries; and a Committee was ordered to frame and bring in an equal Aportionment of the [Page 69] said sum upon all the Counties of England; which was done accord­ingly, and delivered to the House November the 8th, 1660, and is as followeth.

  • [Page 70]Yorkshire
    • West Riding—l. 2520
    • North Riding—l. 1930
    • East Riding—l. 1350 —l. 5800
  • Devon—l. 5000
  • Essex—l. 4800
  • Kent—l. 4800
  • Suffolk—l. 4800
  • Norfolk—l. 4800
  • Somerset—l. 4000
  • Bristol City—l. 250
  • Lincolnshire—l. 4000
  • Hampshire—l. 3000
  • Cornivall—l. 2400
  • Wiltshire—l. 2700
  • London—l. 4000
  • Middlesex—l. 3000
  • Dorset shire—l. 2000
  • Northampton—l. 2500
  • Gloucester—l. 2500
  • Hertford—l. 1800
  • Buckingham—l. 1900
  • Sussex—l. 2600
  • Surry—l. 1800
  • Cambridg and Isle of Ely—l. 1800
  • Shropshire—l. 1900
  • Berkshire—l. 1700
  • Oxfordshire—l. 1700
  • Leicester—l. 1800
  • Hereford—l. 1600
  • l. 78950
  • [Page 71] Warwick—l. 1800
  • Worcester—l. 1800
  • Bedford—l. 1400
  • Stafford—l. 1400
  • Nottingham—l. 1400
  • Darby—l. 1400
  • Lancashire—l. 1600
  • Cheshire—l. 1400
  • Rutland—l. 380
  • Huntington—l. 900
  • Northumberland—l. 700
  • Durham—l. 700
  • Cumberland—l. 400
  • Westmorland—l. 300
  • Monmouth—l. 800
  • Anglesea—l. 260
  • Brecknock—l. 450
  • Cardigan—l. 350
  • Carmarthen—l. 450
  • Carnarvan—l. 260
  • Denbigh—l. 450
  • Flint—l. 260
  • Glamorgan—l. 700
  • Merioneth—l. 220
  • Montgomery—l. 550
  • Pembroke—l. 500
  • Radnor—l. 240
  • l. 21070
  • l. 78950
  • Total is—l. 100,020

[Page 72] This Aportionment was many Months in forming, and made, no doubt, with great Deliberation and Judgment, since all the most consi­derable Men of those Times were of that Committee.

'Tis apparent, that in the Assess­ment of the Rates upon each Coun­ty, and by comparing the Sums, it may be seen, that they chiefly go­verned themselves, by the Proporti­ons which had been observed in rating the Ship-Money.

They had before them the Assess­ment of the 400,000 l. 17 and 18 Car. 1. which, because it was made in Parliament, they would, no doubt, have followed, if they had not judg­ed it Partial.

But it seems they rather chose to follow the Rates observed in Assessing the Ship-Money, as having been laid by Persons who had not the same reason and Interest to favour one Country more than another.

[Page 73] Ship-Money was an arbitrary and illegal Tax, therefore it concerned the Contrivers of it to lay it as e­qually upon the Nation as possible; for it would have been a double Grie­vance to the People, if it had been imposed, both against Law, and al­so with Partiality. On the contrary, it imported the Ministers of that time to give their new Invention all the fair Colours imaginable, and to make that, which was unjust in its Nature, at least just and equal in its Manner; and no doubt, in the Rating of it, they had duly weighed and consider­ed the Strength and Weakness, Riches and Poverty, Trade and Fertility, and every Circumstance of each par­ticular County; with some regard also to the Proportion it bore in the ancient Subsidies.

And, upon these Grounds, 'tis more than probable the Committee of the House of Commons proceed­ed in 1660, when they made the [Page 74] Ship-Money their Model and Pattern of a fair and equal Assessment.

Since the late War with France, Land has been Tax'd in different manners, by an Assessment, and by a Pound Rate; but both ways, it will perhaps appear, that the North and West have not born their due share and proportion of the Com­mon Burthen.

The first Aid given to Their Ma­jesties upon Land, was by a Month­ly Assessment of 68,820 l. 19 s. 1 d. per Month, Primo Guil. & Mariae.

The second Aid upon Land was of 12 d. per Pound. In this Act Their Majesties had power to No­minate the Commissioners under the Great Seal of England, but were ad­vis'd to put in all the same Persons again, who had been Commissioners in the Monthly assessment: The Assessors in this Act were upon Oath, Primo Guil. & Mariae.

[Page 75] The third Aid upon Land was of 2 s. in the Pound. In this Act the Assessors were upon Oath, Primo Guil. & Mariae.

The fourth Aid upon Land was by a Monthly Assessment of 137, 641 l. 18 s. 2 d. per Month, 2 Guil. & Ma­riae.

The fifth Aid upon Land was by the same Monthly Assessment, 3 Guil. & Mariae.

The sixth Aid upon Land was by a Pound Rate of 4 s. in the Pound. In this Act the Assessors are not up­on Oath, 4 Guil. & Mariae.

The seventh Aid upon Land is by the same Pound Rate, and the Asses­sors are upon Oath, 5 Guil. & Ma­riae.

In order to show what proportion each part of the Kingdom bears in the Assessment, and in the Pound Rate, here is fram'd a Table of 12 Columns, which shows,

[Page 76] 1. What each County pays in the Monthly Assessment of 137,641 l. 18 s. 2 d. per Month.

2. What each County pays in the single Poll.

3. What each County pays in the Aid of 1 s. and 2. s. per Pound.

4. What each County pays in the Quarterly Poll.

5. What each County pays in the Aid of 4 s. per Pound.

6. What each County would pay in a Tax of two Millions, according to the Aportionment of 1660.

7. What each County paid in the Assessment of Ship-Money.

8. What each County paid in the Excise on Beer and Ale, &c. for the Year 1689.

9. What number of Houses in each County, were return'd by the Hearth Books of Lady-day, 1690.

10. What number of Hearths in each County, were return'd for the same time.

[Page] [Page]

 123456789101112
A TABLE of theProduce of each County in ye• Monthly Assessmt of 137, 6 41=18=2▪ [...] Month.Produce of each County in the Poll Money 1st Gu [...]t et Mariae.Produce of each County in the Aid of 1 [...]. & 2 [...] Pound the [...].ot Guitt & MariaeProduce of each County in ye Quart [...] ly Poll 30. et 40. Gutt et MariaeProduce of each County in ye Aid of 4 Shitts: in ye Pound Quarto Guiliet et Mariae.Produce of each County for two M [...]tt [...] according to ye Appor­lionm [...] of 1660Produce of each County according to the Assessmt: of [...] Ship M [...]yProduce of County for Excise on Beer and▪ He in ye Year 1689Numbr: of Houses in each County according to ye Hearth Books of Lady day 1690Numbr: of Hearth in each County according to the Books of Lady day 1690Produce of each County according to it Assessm of 400000=17th and 18th Caro [...] [...]mi:An Elimate of the Poor Rate for one you made in latter end of the Charles if 2th Rety
Bedfordshire—21525=62618=17=421872=19=26400=11=9¾28554=15=1¼2800030005549=7=312170212804372=01= [...]6911
Berkshire—27175=184420=3=631708=2=910353=3=541054= [...]=9½3400040009105=12=9½16996375505628=14=29800
Buckinghamshire—31567=144640=5=1136670=7=6¼9550=6=247661=1=13800045007261=16=5½18688353376712=2=614800
Cambridgsh▪ and Isle of Ely▪32877=104113=4=1025535=6=19612=15=232844=16=3 ½36000350010442=7=118629364788496=11=19128
Chesshire and Chester19230=124542=3=523634=11=5 ¾8791=10= [...]28596=14= [...] ¼2800030009836=10=4 ½25592408653168=13=95796
Cornwall36981=184622= [...]=724566=2=9 ½9613=19=1031976= [...]= [...]48000550010595=12=3 ½266135458810110=15=99257
Cumberland4039=61114=12=62673=4=7 ½2116=11=63713=18=480008005746=10=41527920863633=18= [...]4988
Derbyshire20698= [...]3556=3=318198=10=7 ¼7883=14=624093=19=10 ¼28000350011960=12=4 ¼24944369012819=1=7 ½7953
Devonshire and Exon80311=1612519=6=765867=19=42 [...]821=9=382086=6=2100000900034525=7=115620213523030084=16=6
Dorsetshire and Pool32532=23900=12= [...]24878=17= [...] ¾ [...]737=3=1033116=7=94000050007568=11=7 ½17859429517782= [...]=915885
Durham Northumb [...]land & Ba [...]16718=186244=7=622344= [...]=71 [...]028=19=925146=11=1128000230021216=8=353345661692385=9=4 ½13620
Essex74362=128156=8=271642=13=9 ½2 [...]820=10=290895=14=796000800021676=4=5405458570018048=9=9373748
Gloucestershr ▪ and Gloucester44349=185755= [...]=835030=9=8 ¼13508=17=947523=13=250000550014704=8=3344766 [...]90911086=19=510600
Horefordshire27160= [...]3070=3=1014947=4=1 [...]480=12=1020409=2=63200035006256=5=9 ½1674427 [...]087146=4=68687
Hertfordshire32299=104346=2=233415=14=411054=1=1 ½42973=5=4 ¼36000400013264=2=11 ½174883906147525=10= [...]10760
Huntingtonshireo15209= [...]1605= [...]=1011598=3= [...] [...]/4 [...]4238=16=415497=5=11800020004437=27=4 ½871314 [...]2 [...]533=8=93850
Kent79846=810115=17=166912=13=1 ½24275=2=583450=3=596000800024647=15= [...] ½46674107 [...]2 [...]100=10=4 ½29875
Lancashire24160=45938=16=117214=11=2 ¾ [...]2732=15=221300= [...]= [...]32000100014501=4=4 ½4690 [...]68023 [...]53=11=37200
Leicestershire26033=23738=5=426708=5=11 ¼10002=8=7 ½35088=9=73600045008285=18=9 ½20448316067848=5= [...]11600
Lincolnshire and Lincoln61802=87683=11=858447=5=410248=1=1072265=11=10 ¼80000800015949=4=5 ½450196611913483=17=7 ½31300
Northamptonshire33933=165551=14= [...]36673=7=3 ½12348=1=848111=12=105000060009845=17=8½26904435041869=16=021516
Nottinghamshire20961=123137=17=1121690= [...]=6 ¾ [...]7085=9=827276=2=642800035005837=10=4 ¼1781830695 [...]10=4=911760
Northfol and Norrvich85214=89491=9=1064077=13=10 ¾24521=18=884729=14=10 ¼96000780026899=11=6 ¼5657910246724452=10=7 ½462 [...]
Oxfordshire27252=165328= [...]=1030903=10=5 ¾ [...]0728=13=1439038=12=8 ½34000350011804=9=619627426166418 [...]4=9795
Rutland5770=14797=16=83971=13=10 ¾1785=7=45555=3=1176008001435=8=8366159981053=14=3373 [...]
Salop28889= [...]4886=12=1022088= [...]=100783=12=829035=5=15= [...]3800045009874=9=327471455864560=5313575
Staffordshr: and Litchfield20774= [...]4210=12=1020934=5=8 ½8725=3=227082=10=528000300010927=7= [...]26278421203831=17=37350
Somersettshire and Bristl71302=168776=19=1057443=19=12295=14=3 ½73728=18=7 ¼85000900031133=9=24590010646217806=17630263
Southamptonshire52546=86209=14=742063=3=7 ¾4083=6=255188=5=260000600011160=18=7 ½285576041914691=15= [...]13173
Southfolk79164=167756=3=957667=14= [...]9865=3=1074201=18=3 ¾96000800019635=9=8 ½475378879720609=17= [...]23750
Surry and Southwark38328=48442=3=252858=5= [...]0444=12=1066984=17= [...]36000350034234=1=10 ½406108868510808=1=315600
Sussex43713=66302=15=448142=6=32924=16=11 ½60819=12= [...]5200050007730=10=1 ½234515261710914=15=918720
Warnvickshr and Coventry28618=104365=7=1030478=7=7 ¼ [...]0441=17=539864=12=936000400011639=3=1022700381485771=8=99800
Worcestershr and Worcester26626=43713=15=125824= [...]=15 ½9763=18=333144= [...]= [...]36000350012793=10=1 ½24440394556158=15=310640
Wiltshire47205=25952=19= [...]39327=2=2 ¼13771=2=3 ½51672=7=11 ½54000700010679=8=8 ½274185754211704=19 [...]18240
Westmorland2784= [...]806=5=22269=4= [...]1737=7= [...]3014=7=460006002322=16=1669120065547=1=4 ½1890
Yorkshr: wth: York and Hull83262=417441=18=769201=11=8 ½39289=9=191620=13=8 ¾1160001200052226=19=8 ½12105217420219030=16 [...]26150
Wales North and South70503=612156=9=839854=4=9 ¾ [...]1029=11= [...]51256=6=81698001050026431=18=4779211277519766=7= [...]33753
London Middx: & Westminst:175969=1280280=9=4 ½267311=16=9 ½97622=5=11307140=8=5 ¾14000020180140358=13=211121536556854831=9= [...]56380
Grand Totals1,651,702=16288,310=19=6 ½1,566,627=10=9 ½597,518=13 [...] ¼1,977,713=17=1 ¼2,000,400206,980694,476=2=5 ¾1,319,2152,563,527403,159=17=5665362
[...] home Countys Viz. Surry & Southwr• [...] Cambdg Kent Essex Norfolk Suffolk Berks Bucks & Oxon Total is529,615=269,428=16=7493,265= [...]=1 ¾167,626=18=11 ¼632,388=19=6 ½626,00057,800184,520=19=5 ¼335,543684,950134,172=12=6214,122
[...] of England excluding Lond: Middlesex [...] [...] Total is946,118=2138,601=13=7806,050=13=10 ¼33 [...],269=8=21,038,184=9=11,234,400129,000369,596=9=10 ½872,4571,513,009214,155=15=11394,860

[Page] [Page 77] 11. What each County paid in the Assessment of 400,000 l. 17 & 18 Car. 1.

12. An Estimate of the Poor Rates, upon each County, by a reasonable Medium of several Years, made to­wards the latter end of King Charles the Seconds Reign.

There is likewise summ'd up at the end of this Table in two separate Ar­ticles.

First, The amount in each parti­cular of the Eleven Home Counties, which are thought in Land Taxes to pay more than their proportion, viz. Surry with Southwark, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgshire, Kent, Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk, Berks, Bucks, and Oxfordshire.

Secondly, The amount of the o­ther Counties of England and Wales, exclusive of London, Westminster and [Page 78] Middlesex, which, because they would over ballance either side, are to re­main out of the Contest.

The Excise, and number of Hou­ses and Hearths, are no ill Measures to form a Judgment by, of the Trade, Wealth, and Abilities of a Country.

Particularly, Sir William Petty, who was esteem'd the best Computer we ever had, in all his Political Arith­metick, both for England and Ireland, did very much govern himself by the Hearth-Money.

Some light may be also had in this matter, from the late Polls which have been in the Kingdom.

The Article of Ship-Money, shows how Persons unconcern'd, did think each County ought to be Rated.

The Aportionment of 1660, makes it appear what was the Opinion of a very able Committee of the House of Commons, upon this Subject.

[Page 79] The Aid of 1 s. and 2 s. in the Pound, set down in the Table, shows that a Pound Rate has rais'd more, in proportion, than it does at pre­sent; for if 3 s. in the Pound did raise 1,566,627 l. 10 s. 9 d. ⅕. four Shillings in the Pound ought to raise 2,088,836 l. 14 s. 4 d. ¼.

The Poor Rates, set down in the Table, may be very useful to such as love Computations, and who are inquisitive into the Common Busi­ness of the Nation, and desirous to know its Strength and Weakness. It was Collected with great Labour and Expence, by Mr, Ar. Mo. a very knowing Person. He had not the Account of Wales, but according to the proportion Wales bears to the rest of the Kingdom in other Taxes, the Poor Rate there must have been about 33,753 l. So that the Poor Rate, at that time, through the whole Nation, was about 665,362 l.

[Page 80] By the comparison of all these particulars, some light, peradven­ture, may be given, and compu­tations made, that will a little help to the forming a right Judgment; how all parts of the Kingdom may be Rated in a Land Tax, with some­what more of equality.

But the Observations and Inferen­ces, which shall be made from this Table, are humbly submitted to such as take delight in Calculations of this kind; and 'tis hoped such a Scheme will set better Judgments, and abler Heads, to work, upon a matter that deserves so well to be effectually consider'd.

All substantial Merchants will ac­knowledge, that Stealing Customs, and Running Goods, is against their Common Interest, because such as have that Art, are not upon an equal foot of Trade with the rest.

[Page 81] In the same manner, where a Tax is unequally Levy'd, the Gentlemen are not upon the same foot of main­taining their Port, and providing for their Families, which cannot consist with the Public Good.

From the Table here set down, there may be made these Observa­tions.

First, That it evidently appears several ways, that the North and West, or the Counties that lye to­wards the North and West, are at least two thirds of England, reckon­ed without London, Westminster and Middlesex.

Secondly, That there is good ground to conjecture, that the North and West, or the Counties that lye towards the North and West, are near three fourths of the Kingdom, [Page 82] reckon'd without London, Westminster and Middlesex.

Thirdly, That from a General Cal­culation of the whole, there seems good reason to believe, that London, Middlesex and Westminster, are not above one tenth part of the King­dom.

  • In the Excise on Beer and Ale, the North and West, compar'd with the Ele­ven Home Counties, are As 554,117 l. is to 184,520 l. which is two full thirds.
  • In the number of Houses, the North and West, compar'd with the Ele­ven Home Counties, are As 1,208,000 are to 335,543 Houses, which, is about 3 fourths.
  • In the number of Hearths, the North and West, com­par'd with the Eleven Home Counties, are— As 2,197,959 are to 684▪950 Hearths, which is much a­bove two thirds▪
  • In the Single Poll, the North and West, com­par'd with the Eleven Home Counties, are— As 208,030 l. is to 69,428 l. which is about two thirds.
  • [Page 83] In the Quarterly Poll, the North and West, com­par'd with the Eleven Home Counties, are— As 499,896 l. is to 167,626, which is about two thirds.
  • In the Assessment of Ship-Money, the North and West, compar'd with the 11 Home Counties, are As 186,800 l. is to 57,800 l. which is two full thirds.
  • In an Assessment of two Millions, according to the Apportionment of 1660, the North and West, compar'd with the Eleven Home Coun­ties, would be— As 1,860,400 l. is to 626,000l. which is about 2 thirds.
  • In the Poor Rates, the North and West, com­par'd with the Eleven Home Counties, are— As 608,982▪ is to 214, 122, which is near two thirds.

So that it appears here plainly, by Eight different Instances, the North and West are at least two thirds of the Kingdom, reckon'd without Lon­don, Westminster and Middlesex. Ac­cording to which Calculation,

[Page 84] The Monthly Assessment Which runs thus,

  • North and Western Counties-l. 946,118
  • The Eleven Home Counties-l. 529,615
  • London, Westm. andMiddlesex-l. 175,969
  • Total—l. 1,651,702

Should run thus:

  • North and Western Counties-l. 983,822
  • The Eleven Home Counties-l. 491,911
  • London, Westm. andMiddlesex-l. 175,969
  • Total—1,651,702

So in the Pound Rate of 4 s. in the Pound, according to this Calcu­lation, [Page 85] if the Eleven Home Counties, which are but one third, Raise 632,388 l. the other two thirds should Raise 1,264,776 l. And

The Pound Rate Which runs thus,

  • North & Western Counties-l. 1,038,184
  • The Eleven Home Counties-l. 632,388
  • London, Westm. andMiddlesex-l. 307,140
  • Total—l. 1,977,712

Should run thus:

  • North & Western Counties-l. 1,264,776
  • The Eleven Home Counties-l. 632,388
  • London, Westm. andMiddlesex-l. 307,140
  • Total—l. 2,204,304

[Page 86] But, all things duly consider'd, there seem very probable reasons to believe, the North and West are three fourths of the Kingdom, rec­kon'd without London, Middlesex and Westminster.

For, as to the Excise, all who know that Revenue must grant, that in the North and West, the Country in many parts is so wild, and the Hou­ses lye so dispers'd, that the Retailers cannot be so well watch'd as in the Home Counties, where the Dealers are in a narrower compass, and have less opportunities to deceive the King's Officers. More private Fa­milies take their Drink of the Com­mon Brewers, in the Counties near London, than at a distance, which swells the Excise of the Home Coun­ties. Setting that aside, and if the Revenue could possibly be as well watch'd in the distant parts as it is near London, the Excise of the North and West would, probably, answer [Page 87] near three fourths of the whole, without London, &c.

As to the Polls, 'tis notoriously known, that the payment for De­grees and Qualities of Persons, is by no means so narrowly looked after and exacted in the North and West, as in the Home Counties; and if it were, the Poll-Money in the North and West, would in all likelihood answer three fourths of the whole, reckon'd without London, &c.

As to the North and West, bearing no higher a proportion, in the Poor Rate, than scarce two thirds with the rest of England, there is, perhaps, this to be said, That, in the distant parts, Provisions are cheaper; so they main­tain their Poor at an easier rate than in the Counties near London.

In the North and West, their Ma­nufactures afford Employment to the poorer sort; and there are not so many there, who live upon the Charity of others, as near Lon­don, [Page 88] where Luxury and Idleness abound.

As to the proportion each Coun­ty bears in the Ship-Money, and as to the Rates which would lye upon each County in an Assessment of two Millions, pursuant to the Apor­tionment of 1660, though the pro­portions are both ways laid with more equality than in our present Assessment, yet we are to consider, that in those times, when they judg'd the Eleven Home Counties to be a third part of the Kingdom, it was, in respect of the Improvements of Land, earlier known, and made use of, near the Capital City, than at a distance from it.

The Ship-Money, of which the Aportionment in 1660 is a Copy, began to be Levied in 1636; at which time we may well imagine, that near London, all sorts of ways to meliorate Land were found out, and put in practice, such as Dispark­ing [Page 89] Parks, Grubbing Woods, Inclo­sing and Dreining Fenny Ground, &c.

So that the Home Counties, which were scarce a seventh part in quantity of Acres, to the rest of England, might, in the Year 1636, be well judg'd a third part in the value of Rents.

But the various ways of Improving Land, are now of late Years got in­to the Northern and Western Coun­ties; Clover, Cinqfoin, Trefoin, Marl, and Lime, are particularly be­neficial to Countries that have great store of Barren Ground.

The North and West of late Years, have had a greater proportion of Fo­reign Trade than the Home Coun­ties.

The use of Sea-Coal in London, has more than trebled of late Years, which is a great advantage to the North.

[Page 90] The Prohibition of Irish Cattle, is wholly beneficial to the Northern and Western Counties, and has im­prov'd their Land, and is hurtful to the rest of England.

Land seems to have been almost at the height of its Improvement, and near the Rack Rerit, about the Year 1636, in the Eleven Home Coun­ties.

And in the North and West, it has been ever since Improving; so that, in all probability, those Coun­ties which were formerly rated as two thirds, may now be esteem'd and valued as three fourths of the Kingdom.

Upon the whole Matter, the Hearth-Money seems the best Mea­sure to form a Judgment by, of the Wealth of each County; and, by consequence, what proportion it ought to bear in any Land-Tax.

For, from the number of Houses, we may compute the People.

[Page 91] Where the numbers of People are, generally speaking, there are the Ma­nufactures, and Consumption of Home Commodities; there is the Wealth and Trade; and there Land improves, and Rents are highest.

In the number of Houses, the North and West, are about three fourths of the Kingdom.

From whence, upon probable grounds, may be inferr'd, that the North and West are three fourths of the Rents and Value of England, still reckoning without London, &c.

And if so, and if the Eleven Home Counties are but a fourth part, the Monthly Assessment should run thus:

 l. s.
North and Western Counties—1,106,799 18
The Eleven Home Counties—368,933 6
London, Westm. andMiddlesex.—175,969 12
Total—1,651,702 16

[Page 92] And it likewise follows, that if in the Pound Rate of 4 s. per Pound, the Eleven Home Counties, which are here reckon'd but at a fourth part of the Kingdom, produced 632,388 l. then the North and West, which are three fourths, should produce 1,897,164 l.

And a Pound Rate of 4 s. in the Pound, throughout the whole King­dom, would be,

  • North and Western Counties—l. 1,897,164
  • The Eleven Home Counties—l. 632,388
  • London, Westminster andMiddlesex-l. 307,140
  • Total—l. 2,836,692

It may be seen, in the Accompts of the Exchequer, that, in the An­cient Subsidies, the North and Western Counties have been all a­long favour'd, and the reasons for it may be easily assign'd. VVorcester­shire, [Page 93] Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Cheshire, were subject to the Incursions of the VVelsh. The four Northern Counties, and York­shire, were always to be upon their Guard, against the Inroads of the Scotch. The Western parts lay ex­posed to Descents, and Invasions of the French; so that the private and particular Charge in their Defence, which lay upon those Counties more than others, might be a sufficient Cause to give them Ease in all Pub­lic Burthens.

The Parliament, 17 & 18 Car. 1. in their Assessment of 400,000 l. plainly took their Measures from the Ancient Subsidies.

And with that Assessment, Car. 1. agree the Rates laid upon each County by the Common-wealth.

And what the North and West pay in the Pound Rate, and what is laid upon them in our present Month­ly Assessment, seem to answer it ex­actly; [Page 94] all which may be seen by comparing the Rates in the Table upon each County.

But the Equity and Reasons ceas­ing, which made our Ancestors so favourable to them, and they enjoy­ing the same common Protection, and the Publick Necessities requiring great Sums of Money; it seems but just and fair that they should neither favour themselves, nor oppose the being, in all Taxes, upon an equal Foot with the rest of the Nation.

The last Observation offered from the Table, is, that London, Westmin­ster and Middlesex are not above a Tenth Part of the Kingdom, which, if plainly made out, will clear a great many Points, and very much con­firm the Calculation that has been made of what the North and West might raise in the Pound Rate.

In London, Westminster and Middle­sex, the Pound Rate of four Shillings in the Pound seems to have been [Page 95] well and justly Levied (except in the Article of Money at Interest) and did raise 307,140 l.

Now if we could come at an ex­act Knowledge, what Proportion the Rents and Value of those Places bear to the rest of England, it would be a very good Guide to the form­ing a Computation, what the Pound Rate, fairly and Impartially levied, would raise in the whole King­dom.

  • In the Aid of 4 Shillings per Pound, London, West­minster and Middlesex, compared with the rest of England, are—As 307,140 l. is to 1,977,713 l. which is near a sixth.
  • In the Assessment of 400000 l. 17 and 18 Car. 1. London, Westmin­ster and Middlsex, com­pared with the rest of England, are—As 54,831 l. is to 403,159, which is near a Seventh.
  • [Page 96] In the present Monthly Assessment, London, West­minster and Middlesex, compared with the rest of England, are—As 175,969 l. is to 1,651,702 l. which is above a Tenth.
  • In the Single Poll, Lon­don, Westminster and Middlesex, compared with the rest of En­gland, are—As 80,280 l. is to 288,310 l. which is about a Fourth—
  • In the Quarterly Poll, London, Westminster and Middlesex, compared with the rest of En­gland, are—As 97,622 l. is to 597,518 l. which is about a Sixth.
  • In two Millions, accord­ing to the Aportion­ment of 1660, London, Westminster and Middle­sex, compared with the rest of England, are—As 140,000 l. is to 2,000,400 l, which is about a Four­teenth.
  • In the Ship-Money, Lon­don, Westminster and Middlesex, compar'd with the rest of England, are—As 20,180 l. is to 206,980 l. which is about a Tenth.
  • [Page 97] In the Excise on Beer and Ale, London, West­minster and Middlesex, compared, with the rest of England, are—As 140,358 l. is to 694,476 l. which is about a Fifth.
  • In the Number of Hou­ses, London, Westminster and Middlesex, compar­ed with the rest of En­gland; are—As 111,215 is to 1,319,215 Houses, which is near an Eleventh.
  • In the Number of Hearths, London, Westminster, and Middlesex, compar'd with the rest of England, are—As 365,568 is to 2,563,527 Hearths, which is about a Seventh.
  • In the Poor Rates, Lon­don, Westminster and Middlesex, compar'd with the rest of England, are—As 56,380 l. is to 665,362 l.

Whatever Proporation London, &c. bear to the rest of the Kingdom, 'tis plain, in the Four Shilling Aid, they pay as about a Sixth Part of the whole.

[Page 98] 'Tis true likewise, that in the As­sessment of 400,000 l. 17 and 18 Car. 1. they are valued at about a seventh Part; but we are to consider the Circumstance of that time; the Parliament wanting a present Sum to pay off the Debts they were engag­ed in, which no Place could so soon raise as London.

In the single Poll they seem about a fourth Part; and in the Quarterly Poll, much about a Sixth; and the reason of the difference is in the Sin­gle Poll, the Payment for Qualities and Degrees of Persons was strictly exacted in London, and not in the Country; which swells the Article of London. In the Quarterly Poll it was neither looked after in the Coun­try, nor in London, which we see paid little more to the Quarterly Poll than to the Single.

But in both Polls, and both for London and the Country, if we de­duct from the whole Sum, what was [Page 99] paid on the Account of Degrees and Qualities, it will be found that Lon­don, Westminster, and Middlesex an­swer about a Tenth Part of the King­dom.

In the Excise they appear to be a­bout a fifth Part; but the reason for that is obvious, because in London, almost all pay Excise for their Drink, which is not so in the Country, but in the Consumption of Malt, London, &c. will be found about a Tenth part of the whole.

In the Number of Hearths they seem about a seventh part; the rea­son of that is also apparent, for that in the Country, to save the Duty, the common People took away such Hearths, of which they had not abso­lute use.

But in Number of Houses, Lon­don, Westminster and Middlesex are not an Eleventh part of the King­dom.

[Page 100] And by the Monthly Assessment it appears, that the Parliament have judged them about a Tenth part.

In the Apportionment of 100,000 l. upon the whole Nation in the Year 1660, they are valued and rated at about a Fourteenth part.

In the Assessment of Ship-Money, at about a Tenth part.

And in an Assessment of 30,000 l. given to Harry the Seventh, in lieu for that time of the Aid, Pur fair sitz Chivaleer & pur file Marrier Rot. Parl. 19 Har. 7. No. 10. London, Westmin­ster and Middlesex are rated at but 889 l. 10 s. 2 d. which is about a thir­ty third part of that Tax.

And in the Poor Rate, they ap­peared to be about a Twelfth part of the Whole.

Upon the whole Matter, from the foregoing Instances, and many others that might be given, it seems very probable that London, Westminster and Middlesex have been generally esteem­ed, [Page 101] and are about a Tenth part of the Kingdom.

But the Instance which relates to the Number of Houses, is what we may reasonably lay most weight up­on in the present Dispute; because the 307,140 l. which they pay in the Four Shilling Aid, does most of it, without all contradiction, arise from the Rent of Houses.

If indeed Money were strictly in­quired after, and if the Charge up­on Personal Estates made up a great part of the forementioned Sum, the Comparison might not hold; be­cause the great Stocks of Money are in London; but though Money be charged in the Act, the Law has not been able, hitherto, to reach it ef­fectually.

Now, to raise the Sum of 307,140 l. the general Rental of Lon­don, Middlesex and VVestminster must be upwards of a Million and a half per Annum.

[Page 102] And if the Rental of the Eleventh (but suppose them a Tenth part of the whole) be a Million and a half, the general Rental of the Kingdom must be Fifteen Millions per Annum.

And if the general Rental of the Kingdom be Fifteen Millions per Annum, the Aid of Four Shillings in the Pound ought to raise three Mil­lions.

If 111,215 Houses in and about London, with no more Ground than what they stand upon, are, in Rent, one Million and a half per Annum, it is hardly possible but that the 1,208,000 Houses in the Country, with all the Land about them, and all the Benefits that attend Land, must be in Rent Thirteen Millions and a half per Annum.

And whoever considers this seri­ously, will perhaps be inclined to think, that the Four Shilling Aid would raise at least Three Millions, if it were levied in other Parts of [Page 103] England with the same Care and Ex­actness as it is in London, VVestminster and Middlesex, which are under the Eye and Influence of the Govern­ment.

And if the Aid could be brought to raise such a Sum, the War would almost be maintained by the Charge upon Land only.

'Tis notoriously known that a great many Persons, both in the As­sessment and Aids, pay a full Fifth part of their Estates; if the rest did so, all would be upon an equal foot; which, in Justice and Reason, the Subjects of the same Prince should be in every good Govern­ment.

But this will be very hard to com­pass in that long Possession many Countries are in, of being favou­rably handled in all Taxes.

'Tis true, in the present Aid the Assessors are upon Oath, but, in Matters of Revenue, it has been al­ways [Page 104] found that Oaths are very lit­tle regarded.

If in the Customs and Excise all Entries were to be made upon Oath of the Parties, and the King had no other hold, he might indeed save the Charge of Officers, but he would see very little from those Reve­nues.

The Officers in the Customs and Excise are upon Oath; but if there were no other Checks upon them, those Branches would turn to small account.

And we see in the present Charge upon Interest-Money, how little Scruple Men make of Swearing not to have 100 l. who are generally thought to be worth 20,000 l.

Taxes can never be equally levied where the People are left to them­selves, or with no other Check up­on them, but their own Consci­ences.

[Page 105] Therefore it was the ancient Pre­rogative of our Kings, to name their own Commissioners for the Le­vying and Collecting such Aids, Fif­teenths, and Tenths, as their Sub­jects gave them: which may be seen by the old Commissions, ad Assi­dendum & Colligendum, that were wont to accompany Grants of that Nature.

In that Aid which was granted to Harry the Third, when Magna Charta passed, there is the Form of that Commission, Vid. Rot. Pat. 39. H. 3. m. 8. Dorso.

And such Commissions passed se­veral times after, Vid. Rot. Pat. 1. Edw. 2. p. m. 3. Rot. Pat. 7. Edw. 2. p. m. 3. Rot. Pat. 3. Edw. 3. ps. 3. m. 18. Rot. Pat. 6. Edw. 3. ps. m. 19. Rot. Fin. 23. Edw. 3. m. 10. And in the other Grants that came afterwards, the King is desired to is­sue out his Commissions for the le­vying of them, as customably. Vid. Rot. Parl. 6. Rich. 2. No. 16. Rot. Parl. 2. [Page 106] Harry 4. N. 9. Rot Parl. 14. Harry 6. N. 12. where the Commissioners have Power to examine all Parties upon Oath of the true Value of their Estates.

In the Reign of Harry the Sixth, there is an Authority given to one Lord, and the two Knights of the Shire in each County, who seem to have been in the nature of Com­missioners, to see that no Wrong be done in the Distribution of 4000 l. which was to be deducted out of the Aid for decay'd Towns and Places. Vid. Rot. Parl. 11. H. 6. N. 4.

The first time we find Commissi­oners named in Parliament for the levying Tenths and Fifteenths, was in Edward the Fourth's Reign, who was a Luxurious Prince, and gave the People reason to suspect his Con­duct. Vid. Rot. Parl. 12. Edw. 4. N. 41. and 14. Edw. 4. N. 7.

[Page 107] The Records are both dark enough, but the Parliament seems there to name Commissioners, whom the King shall Authorize under the Great Seal, to Assess and Levy the Aid, and that the Money so levied, shall re­main in the Hands of the Collectors, to be appointed by the King in Chan­cery, unto the time that Proclamati­on shall be made by the King of his Musters.

The Parliament suspected an Aid was desired, and no War intended, so that their Guift seems conditional, and they name Commissioners, to see to the due Performance of the Trust.

But afterwards, in the Reign of Harry the Seventh, the occasion of naming Commissioners in Parliament, seems a great deal more apparent.

For that covetous Prince was wont to ask great Aids of his People, on pretence of Wars, that were never intended,

[Page 108] Therefore the Aids which were given him the Twelfth of his Reign were, upon this Condition, to be levied upon the People, if the War proceeded; but not to be levied if a Peace or Truce ensued before they came to be due: and it was upon the score of this Trust, that in all probability, the Parliament named Commissioners of the Shires, with the Justices of the Peace to be Asso­ciated. Vid Rot. Parl. 12. H. 7. N. 12. and N. 13.

But Commissioners have been several times since named by the King; as 34 and 37 Hen. 8. 2 and 3 Edw. 6. 3 and 4 Edw. 6. 4 and 5 Phil. and Mary, 15 and 22 Car. 2.

But there is a President for this in the first Year of Their present Maje­sties Reign; and if, pursuant to the Powers given in that Act, the King had named Commissioners of his own in every County, for levying the Aid of one Shilling in the Pound, [Page 109] there might have been a new Sur­vey made of all the Rents in Eng­land; and, in all likelihood, such Sums would have been raised upon Land only, as might have near an­swer'd all the Necessities of the Go­vernment.

The second Pound Rate did not raise so much in proportion as the first; and there is ground to think this last 4 Shiling Aid will not raise so much as the former: And there is reason to believe, the Aids by Pound Rate will every time grow less and less, (like the Subsidies in the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's, and beginning of King Iames's Reign) unless there be a new, and regular Survey made of Land.

For let the Dangers from abroad, and the Wants at home, be never so pressing; no doubt, most Men, if they are left to themselves, will be glad to save their Money; and will rather consult their private Interest than the Public Good.

[Page 110] But if the King, as was always practis'd in Ancient Times, had pow­er to name Commissioners; and if all People were bound under great Forfeitures, to give in a true Rental of their Estates, or a true Estimate of what they keep in their hands; and if the Commissioners had power to Examin any person (other than the Party himself) upon Oath, of the true value of each Man's Estate, there is hardly any doubt to be made, but that an Aid of Four Shillings in the Pound would raise Three Millions.

And if Land could raise that Sum, the Nation need not be put to such dishonorable and dangerous shifts of raising Money, as are new Projects, fresh Impositions upon Trade, and Fonds of Perpetual Interest; which, if they are made use of as the con­stant Ways and Means of Supplying the War, must in all appearance very quickly destroy our Foreign Com­merce; and, by consequence, bring [Page 111] universal Weakness and Poverty up­on the whole Kingdom. But there is nothing too hard for the Wisdom of a Parliament to bring about; which, perhaps, may find a way to Levy the Pound Rate justly and e­qually in all Counties, without gi­ving the King Power to Name Com­missioners.

The Ancient Subsidies did usually consist of a charge by Poll, a Pound Rate upon Land, and a Pound Rate upon Money, and Personal Estates; so that all sorts of people did con­tribute something in the old way of Taxing, but such as for their Pover­ty were exempted.

The Usurers, who are the true Drones of a Common-wealth, living upon the Honey without any La­bour, should, of all People, be brought in to bear their proportion of the Common Burthen. As yet, they could never be effectually reach'd, but they may be fetch'd in [Page 121] by the Wisdom of a Parliament, if the House of Commons would please resolutely to set themselves about it.

What a Pound Rate of Four Shil­lings in the Pound, upon Money, might produce, is very hard to com­pute, because, in that Matter, there is scarce any Rule or Measure to go by; but supposing Money at Inte­rest to be a sixteenth part (as some think) of the annual Value and In­come of England, there is then twenty Millions of Money at Inte­rest, (which may be, and yet not a third part of that Sum, in specie, in the Kingdom) and if there are twen­ty Millions at Interest at five per Cent. a Pound Rate of Four Shillings in the Pound, upon Money, would raise 200,000 l.

That which has made Quarterly Polls so distastful, is charging the Poorer sort; but if they were all [Page 113] exempted, a Quarterly Poll well Le­vied might raise 500,000 l.

And here it may not be amiss to take notice, that if, in the Pound Rate upon Land, one Shilling were taken off from the Landlord, and placed upon the Tenant, it would ease those who have born all the weight; nor can it seem oppressive to the Tenants, considering how well they have fared hitherto.

So that a mix'd Aid, by a Pound Rate upon Land and Money, and by a Quarterly Poll, all carefully Le­vied, might raise

  • By Four Shillings, Pound Rate, upon Land—l. 3,000,000
  • By Four Shillings, Pound Rate, upon Money—l. 200,000
  • By a Quarterly Poll—l. 500,000
  • Total—l. 3,700,000

Which, without any new Ways and means, would come very near rai­sing [Page 114] that Sum to which the Expence of the War has hitherto amounted.

If in a War that is so Expensive, and is thought so necessary for our Preservation, all people would agree to promote Equality, no doubt great Sums might be raised in this Nation, and the Country, in all Aids, would be found to answer as well as London.

That London, Westminster and Mid­dlesex, pay about a sixth part in the Aid, is very plain; and that they are not above a Tenth part of the Kingdom's general Rental, is very probable.

What Proportion in other Wealth and Substance London bears to the rest of England, is very hard to de­termine.

But some Landed Man will start up and say, 'Tis true, London bears a sixth, it ought to bear a half, it has all the Wealth; and the [Page 115] immoderate Growth of that City un­does and ruins all the Country.

It may therefore be well worth the Enquiry of thinking Men, what truth there is in this common and receiv'd Notion, that the Growth of London is pernicious to England; That the Kingdom is like a Rickety Body, with a Head too big for the other Members.

For some people, who have thought much upon this subject, are inclin'd to believe, that the Growth of that City is advantageous to the Nation, and they seem to ground their Opinion upon the following Reasons:

That no Empire was ever great, without having a great and popu­lous City.

That the Romans drew all the conquer'd Cities of Italy into Rome.

That the People of Attica were no better than a Crew of rude Herds­men; [Page 116] and neither flourish'd in War, nor in Civil Arts, till Theseus perswa­ded them to Inhabit Athens.

That the greatness of London will best preserve our Constitution, be­cause, where there is a great and powerful City, the Prince will hard­ly Enterprise upon the Liberties of that People; in the same manner, a Rich and Powerful City seldom Re­bels upon vain and slight occasions.

On these grounds, and many o­thers, some people are led to think, the Growth of London not hurtful to the Nation; but, on the contrary, to believe that there is not an Acre of Land in the Country, be it never so distant, that is not in some degree better'd by the Growth, Trade, and Riches of that City.

Perhaps, if all the Wealth and Substance of London could be truly Rated, in a Tax of four Millions, [Page 117] that City would pay a fourth part without any Hardship to it.

But, probably, there is nothing but Excises that will truly and equal­ly Rate all sort of Wealth, and Sub­stance, and bring in all sort of Per­sons, chiefly those in great Cities, to contribute in the Public Burthens.

We have now gone through the chief VVays and Means, hitherto made use of, for carrying on the present War, in which an Impartial Land-Tax is chiefly recommended, as most agreeable to the Ancient Constitution of this Kingdom.

If it shall be thought expedient to go by the way of a Monthly Assess­ment, the Aportionment of 1660, seems a more equal distribution of the Common Burthen, than has been as yet made use of: According to which, the Home Counties would pay as they do now; London, West­minster and Middlesex, may be Ra­ted [Page 118] at the Sum they have paid in the Aid of Four Shillings in the Pound.

And the Assessment would run thus:

  • Northern and Western Coun­ties—l. 1,234,400
  • The Eleven Home Counties—l. 626,000
  • London, Westminster andMid­dlesex—l. 307,14085 1/4
  • Total—l. 2,167,54085 ¾

A far larger Sum might indeed be produced by a Pound Rate, equally and impartially Levied through the whole Kingdom.

But some will object, That to Le­vy a Pound Rate strictly, by Com­missioners of the King's Naming, may occasion Oppression and Dis­contents in the Country; And that such a Method of raising Taxes, may create so many Officers among [Page 119] the best of the Gentry dependant up­on the Court, as may be dangerous to Liberty.

Besides, the Northern and Western Counties, especially such as lye most distant, will affirm, That out of the same value in Estates, they are not able to pay the same Pound Rate, be­cause their Rents are not so well Paid; their Returns, and Markets, are not so quick; and they taste not that benefit of the Trade, and great­ness of London, in the same degree as the Home Counties.

It may be likewise objected, That Land-Taxes in general (and chiefly if strictly Levied) must be very ruin­ous to the Gentry, if the War should continue for any long time.

And since, to a Wise and Ver­tuous Prince, no Sum of Money can be desirable, that is Levied with the Oppression and Discontent of his People, it may not be amiss to en­quire, what other Ways there are of [Page 120] Supplying the War, which may be more casie to the Nation.

Excises have had an ill repute with such as have not throughly weighed and compared them with other Tax­es; but, however, it may not be improper to examine a little into the nature of such a Fond of Revenue, to what degree it would supply the War, and how far it may be con­sistent with the safety of our Consti­tution.

Of Excises.

EXcises seem the most proper Ways and Means to support the Government in a long War, because they would lye equally upon the whole, and produce great Sums, proportionable to the great Wants of the Public.

[Page 121] It appears from the Books of Hearth-Money, that the Families in England are about Thirteen hundred Thousand; so that, allowing six to a Family, the People of England may be computed at above seven Millions.

Sir William Petty reckons the Com­mon Mass of Mankind to spend in their Nourishment, and living of all sorts, one with another, about se­ven Pound a Year a-piece; by which computation, there seems Yearly to be spent in England about Forty nine Millions; of which, Land and Rents in London, according to what they pay in the present Aids, appear not to be above Ten Millions; and Trade may be now esteem'd at six Millions; The other Thirty three Millions are spent from Sciences, Arts, Labour, Industry, Manufacture, Retailing of Foreign Goods, and Buying and Selling our Home Com­modities.

[Page 122] Now in Taxing the people, we have hitherto gone chiefly upon Land, and Foreign Trade, which are about one third part of the strength of England; and the other two thirds of its strength we let escape. So that Usurers, Lawyers, Tradesmen, and Retailers, with all that Troop that maintain themselves by our Vice and Luxury, and who make the easiest and most certain gain and profit in the Common­wealth, contribute little to its sup­port; all which, by Excises, would be brought to bear their proportion of the Common Burthen.

Of the Thirteen hundred thousand Houses that are in England, it ap­pears, from the Books of Hearth-Money, that Five hundred thousand are Cottages of one Chimney. Sup­pose most of these to be poor Fami­lies, and that they contribute little to any Tax, yet if the other Eight hundred thousand Families paid in [Page 123] several Excises but six pound a Year, one with another, the whole amount would be 4,800,000 l. per Annum; which shows what great Sums Exci­ses are capable of producing.

But the disproportion, between what the Rich and what the Poor consume, would make this fall easily upon the Poor, and not very heavi­ly upon the Richer sort.

The Duties upon Beer and Ale, are an Instance of the value of Exci­ses, which at 2 s. 6 d. per Barrel up­on Strong, and 6 d. per Barrel upon Small-Beer, and 16 d. per Gallon up­on Brandy, produced, in the Year ending 24 June 1689, clear of all Charges, 738,696 l. And, if one Branch of our Consumption would yield such a Sum, what would an Excise produce, laid upon several other Commodities and Manu­factures, Charging the things of Luxury high, and the Necessaries of Life but at a low rate?

[Page 124] That kind of Revenue must needs be very great, where so large a part of the people are every Minute pay­ing something towards it; and very easie, where every one, in a manner, Taxes himself, making Consumption according to his will or ability.

Venice and Holland, two Jealous Common-wealths, have not thought Excises dangerous to Liberty. They are the strength and support of our Neighbouring Monarchies, especial­ly France; And if we are to contend with that King, the Combat will be with very unequal Weapons, if we must make use only of Land-Taxes and Customs, against his Excises, and all his other ways of raising Money.

But it may be objected, That no Excise can be laid, but the Price of the Commodity will rise, which will hurt our Manufactures, hinder Consumption, and so prejudice the Landlords and Farmers of England.

[Page 125] But that objection would be quite remov'd by a good Law of Assize; without which, any new Excises may indeed be of evil conse­quence.

The Laws of Assize were made to increase Consumption, and give the Common people the benefit of Plen­ty: As the price of Corn falls, the weight of Bread should encrease; and if this were strictly look'd after, it would much augment Consump­tion among the Common people, who are the great Consumers of our Home Commodities; and who would consume more, if they might have more for the same Money. But this is no where regarded, but a little within the City of London.

By this Laws not being put in Execution, Consumption does not encrease as Plenty encreases; neither the Farmer, nor the Common Peo­ple, are the better for abundance; And the benefit of Plenty, in a man­ner, [Page 126] wholly accrues to Bakers, Corn-Chandlers, and Corn-Brokers, who make immoderate Gains by not rai­sing and lowering their Prices truly, according to the common Rate of the Market, which, by Law, they are bound to do.

As for Example, if an Excise were laid upon Wheat and Rye, and, at the same time, the Laws of Assize were revived, and inforced with higher Penalties; the Excise would not be so much felt by the Farmer, because he would find Consumption increase; nor by the common Peo­ple, because they would have more Bread for the same Money; so that, in effect, the Excise would be an­swered to the King out of the Im­moderate and Unlawful Gain made by the Baker, Corn-Chandler, and Corn-Broker.

So, if an Excise were laid upon Oats, Pease and Beans, and an As­size of the said Commodities were [Page 127] made to force the Inn-keepers and Corn-Chandlers to regulate their Prices, in a reasonable manner, by the Market Price, the Consumption would be greater, and the Farmer thereby recompenced, and the King's Duty in effect would be paid out of the immoderate Gain made by the Inn-keeper, and Corn-Chandler.

So if an Excise were laid upon Flesh, Candles, and Leather, and at the same time Provision were made by Law to regulate the Market of Smithfield, and other Markets, all Cattle would sell so much better; that the Farmer would not so much feel the Excise, which would in ef­fect be paid out of the excessive Pro­fits made by the Butcher, in retail­ing his Flesh, and selling his Tallow and Hides.

'Tis strange Oeconomy in our Go­vernment, that Plenty should make things a greater Drug to the first Seller, and very little cheaper to the [Page 128] Buyer; but so it is in Fact; and this proceeds from the want of a good Law of Assize, and from the Fraud and Corruption of those who retail these Commodities; such as Bakers, Inkeepers, and Butchers. And since there is a necessity of Money, can a­ny Tax be more reasonable, than such a one as would intercept and bring to the King, some part of that excessive Gain, which these People make upon the Publick?

And this will hold in almost all Commodities that are the proper Subjects of an Excise.

Therefore if ever new Excises are thought upon, it will be necessary, at the same time to renew the Laws of Assize now in force, and to pre­pare a new Bill of Assize, with higher Penalties, and better accommodated to present use; in which the Justices of Peace may be strictly injoyned to settle the Assize every Month, in their respective Divisions, at their Monthly Meetings.

[Page 129] The same Law may regulate the Markets of Smithfield, in which, it is said, there are Practices very hurt­ful to the Landed Men of England.

'Tis complained the Butchers of London keep great quantities of rich feeding Ground in their Hands near the Town, and are all Engrossers of Cattle; and when Beasts are brought hither for Sale, they drive theirs up to glut the Market, and by this Combination, command the Price, and set it at their own pleasure; and so make Flesh dear in the Retail, when Cattle sell for nothing in the Market.

The Remedy for this Evil can be best found out, and apply'd by the Country Gentlemen that sit in Parli­ment.

The same Law may also regulate Weights and Measures, in which, 'tis said, there are great Coruptions throughout the whole Kingdom.

It should be the Care of all Go­vernments to save and protect the [Page 130] Poor, as much as possible, from the Frauds and Combinations of the Richer sort; and if this were suffici­ently provided for, by good and wholesome Laws, well executed, all the Necessaries of Life would be thereby render'd so much cheaper to the Poor, that they might pay Excises, and yet enjoy more Ease and Plenty than they do at present.

The proper Commodities to lay Excises upon, are those, which serve meerly to Luxury; because that way the Poor would be least affected.

But things of that nature are of little bulk, easily hid, vended by a number of different Traders, and re­quire many Officers to inspect the Making, Selling, and Retailing of them.

In Holland they easily gather the Duty upon things of Luxury, where the People are shut up within a nar­row compass, and where the Execu­tion of the Laws is strict and steady; but it would be otherwise in Eng­land, [Page 131] where the People are dispersed about in a large Country, and where they have been long used to a slack and unsteady Execution of the Laws. Besides, in Holland, the Laws that se­cure such Excises to the Govern­ment, are more strict and penal than our Constitution will bear.

And yet a Duty upon all the Va­nities and Luxuries of this Kingdom may be collected, by a far less num­ber of Officers, and with less Diffi­culty, than is commonly imagined.

The Commodities with us, proper to charge Excises upon, are such as are Bulky, and not easily hid or con­vey'd away, and where as few Tra­ders as possible may be pester'd and vex'd with the Search and Inspecti­on on of the Officers, and where the re­venue may be sufficiently secured to the King by mild and gentle Laws.

Excises may be so contrived and laid, as to answer a Sum perhaps large enough for the Wants of the [Page 132] Government, without subjecting any private Families, which are not Dealers, to the Officers Search and Inspecti­on, or without charging any private Person for such Commodities as are of his own Growth or Making.

There may a Sum large enough a­rise, only from a Duty upon such things as are sold, made, or retailed in Market Towns and great Cities, to be paid only by the Seller, Maker, or Retailer.

And the Duties will be with much less Clamor gathered, where the Bu­siness lyes only between Officers and publick Dealers, than where it is be­tween the King's Officers and private Persons.

'Tis true, that a Duty upon Malt cannot be conveniently laid, or would yield little, without subject­ing private Persons to the Inspection of the Officer; but, in regard Malt-houses are in Out Yards, the Inconve­nience and Trouble would be the less.

[Page 133] And such a Sum as is wanted may be levy'd, and the things of Luxury reach'd, for the yearly Charge of about 100,000 l. and by about Four­teen hundred Officers; casting Eng­land into Eight hundred Districts, as it is laid out for inspecting the Victu­allers in the Duty upon Beer and Ale; the remaining Six hundred are sufficient to take an account of such Goods as are made, sold, and re­tail'd in great Towns and Cities.

And this is undeniably apparent to any one that is skill'd in the Man­ner of Collecting Excises, and vers'd in the Nature of such Revenues.

Nor is this a number of Officers that can be reasonably thought dan­gerous to our Liberties, or able to influence Elections in the Country, especially as they may be restrain'd by Law from intermedling in such Matters, and because the Officers made use of for the Collecting such Revenues, are generally taken out [Page 134] from the Lees of the People, and are Persons without Interest or Au­thority.

The Excise on Beer and Ale has given such Knowledge and Light in­to Revenues of that kind, and has chalk'd out so plain a way of dividing the Kingdom equally among the Of­ficers, and instructed so many Per­sons how to survey the several Makers, Sellers, and Retailers, and to obviate Frauds, that Excises will now be sooner understood, more easily col­lected, and with fewer Officers than is commonly apprehended by such as have not thought maturely upon this Subject.

And the Books of Hearth-Money, and the late Poles, have likewise gi­ven us such an Insight into the num­ber of the People, and the Abilities of the respective Families, that it would not be difficult to make some Computation, what the Excise upon any Commodity would produce; [Page 135] Political Arithmetick being a good Guide in these Matters; though it gives not demonstrative Proofs: So that the Parliament would not be quite in the Dark in laying any Im­positions of that nature.

As for Example, from the Excise of London, a Computation may be made, what a Duty of 3 d. per Bushel upon all the Malt of England would produce, in this manner.

There was brew'd in London, the Year, ending the 24th of June 1689, 1,212,550 Barrels of strong Beer and Ale, and 827,544 Barrels of Small Beer, so, of both sorts of Drink, there was brew'd 2,040,094 Barrels. To the Strong Beer and Ale, there is al­low'd three Bushels to the Barrel, and to the Small one Bushel; but much Small Beer being brew'd after the Strong, it may be a reasonable Me­dium to allow to both Drinks, one with another, two Bushels to the Barrel; at which Rate, to reckon by [Page 136] round Numbers, there is used in London 4,000,000 of Bushels of Malt.

The People of England, by the nearest Computations that can be made, are reckon'd Seven Millions; of which London is accounted a Tenth Part; so that there may be in Lon­don 700,000 People, divide the 4,000,000 by 700,000, and there will be found to each Man 5 Bushels 7 Tenths of Bushel. But the Allow­ance of two Bushels to the Barrel be­ing rather of the least, we may rea­sonably allow to each Man's Con­sumption six Bushels of Malt in a Year, which would be 4,200,000 Bushels, that is, about three Barrels a Year, which to the Mass of the Peo­ple blended together, will be about a Quart a day.

So that if London, which is a Tenth part of the Peopl, consume 4,200,000 Bushels of Malt, the whole King­dom, which are seven Millions, may [Page 137] consume 42,000,000 Bushels, which, at 3 d. per Bushel, would produce 525,000 l. per Annum.

Where the use of any Commodi­ty is pernicious to the Interest of the Nation, or prejudicial to the Health of the People, such an Excise may be there laid, as may amount to a Prohibition of the Commodity.

Particularly, such Foreign Com­modities may be highly charged, the Importation of which hinders the set­ting our own Poor to work.

And here it may not be amiss to take notice, that if the Duty upon Brandy and Spirits was so high, as to amount to a Prohibition of them, their Want in the King's Revenue would be recompenced to him in his Customs upon Wine, and Excise up­on other Liquors, which undoubt­edly they hinder.

How Brandy obtains among the common People, may be collected from this, That for a long while the [Page 138] Importation of it has every year increased considerably; so that in the Year 1689, there was as much im­ported as the Excise of it at 16 d. per Gallon amounted to about 140,000 l. besides the Strong Waters made at Home. And if, as Physcians say, it extinguishes natural Heat and A­petite, it hinders the Consumption of Flesh and Corn in a degree. 'Tis a growing Vice among the common People, and may, in time, prevail as much as Opium with the Turks, to which many attribute the Scarci­ty of People in the East. There is no way to suppress the use of it so certain, as to lay such a high Duty, as it may be worth no Man's while to make it, but for Medicine.

Excises may be made the Engine to pull down or repress several Lux­uries, of which our Laws could yet never get the better.

[Page 139] And suppose these Duties should make many Commodities so much the dearer, as to lessen their Con­sumption, if thereby Luxury in ge­neral could be kept down, and the Nation driven more to Thrift, it would perhaps, tend greatly to our publick Wealth; and that No­tion, if truly examined, will proba­bly be found false, that Riot and Ex­pence, in private Persons, is advan­tagious to the Publick.

Unless the Nation does unani­mously and freely give into Excises, upon a full Conviction that they are the best Ways and Means of Supply­ing the Government, it will not be the Interest of any King to desire such a Revenue. For if they are carryed but by a small Majority, a­gainst the Sense and Grain of a con­siderable part of the House of Com­mons, they will come so crampt in the Act of Parliament, and loaded with so many Difficulties, that they [Page 140] will only occasion great Clamors in the Kingdom, and not yield much Money.

Whenever Revenues of that Na­ture are set on foot, all possible ways must be used, that humane Wisdom can think of; to give, in other Mat­ters, Safety, Ease, Wealth, and Pro­sperity to the Nation.

But; as the Foundation of all, it must be made apparent, by every step, that the Liberties of the Peo­ple are the chiefest View, and great­est Care of the Government; for no­thing else can encourage them to trust the Court, in a Matter that ap­pears so nice and new, as a Home Excise.

All things must be done that may effectually increase the Value of Rents, and Price of Land, which will add true Strength to the Na­tion.

[Page 141] All Laws that would tend to the Relief of the Poor, and setting them to work, would make Excises, and indeed all other Taxes, easier to the Kingdom.

The Poor-Rate, as has been said before, in the latter end of King Charles the Second's Reign, came to about 665,362 l. And we have rea­son to think 'tis now much higher, because of the great Decay in our Foreign Trade, and Home Manu­facture. Besides which Sum, there is yearly given a vast deal to their Relief in voluntary Charity and Con­tributions; so, that in time of Peace, we pay near as much to the Poor, as to the Maintenance of the Go­vernment, and for our Protection.

But, as this Money is managed in most Places, instead of relieving such as are truly poor and Impotent, (which the Laws design) it serves on­ly to nourish and continue Vice and Sloath in the Nation.

[Page 142] If publick Work-houses were set up in every Town and County, and if the Works and Manufactures, proper for ever Place and Country, were fixed and established in it, the Poor would be encouraged, and in­vited to Labor and Industry; espe­cially if the Magistrate made use of his coercive Power upon such as are Vicious and Idle.

The real and true Objects of Cha­rity would cost the Nation but little to maintain; and 'tis to be doubted they have the least Share in the pub­lick Reliefs.

The Wisdom of a Parliament may, in time, find out a way to make such Persons useful and profitable to the Nation, who, at present, are a hea­vy Burthen upon it.

If all the Hands in this Kingdom that are able, were employ'd in use­ful Labour, our Manufactures would so increase, that the Common-wealth would be thereby greatly inriched, [Page 143] and the Poor, instead of being a Charge, would be a Benefit to the Kingdom.

If the Poor were always certain of Work, and Pay for it, they would be glad to quit that Nastiness which attends a begging and lazy Life.

And if the Poor were encouraged, and, where there is occasion, com­pell'd to maintain themselves; the Pound Rate would be much less in every County; and if the Nation were a little eas'd of that Burthen, we should be in some degree, abler to support the Expence of the War, and Land would be eas'd, upon which the Poor-Rate is a certain Charge.

Nothing would better enable us to pay Excises, and all other Taxes, than a publick Registry, a General Liberty of Conscience, and indeed all Laws that would effectually invite People over to us, and increase our Numbers.

[Page 144] People are the real Strength and Riches of a Country; we see how Impotent Spain is for want of Inha­bitants, with their Mines of Gold and Silver, and the best Ports and Soil in the World; and we see how powerful their Numbers make the Ʋnited Provinces, with bad Harbors, and the worst Climate upon Earth. 'Tis perhaps better that a People should want Country, than that a Country should want People. Where there are but few Inhabitants, and a large Territory, there is nothing but Sloath and Poverty; but when great Numbers are confin'd to a narrow Compass of Ground, Necessity puts them upon Invention, Frugality and Industry; which, in a Nation, are always recompenced with Power and and Riches.

And this happened to the Phoeni­cians, who were the old Inhabitants of Canaan, and elbowed out by the Hebrews, and driven into a small [Page 145] Slip of Land on the Sea Coast; who, to nourish their great Multitudes, were forced upon Trade, and so be­came the first Navigators and Mer­chants in the World that we read of and in time grew a most wealthy and powerful Nation.

Spain resisted the Romans near 200 Years, meerly by their Country be­ing then so populous; for Cicero, reckoning the Strength of several Na­tions, says, that of Spain consisted in its Numbers.

No Country can be truly ac­counted great and powerful by the Extent of its Territory, or Fertility of its Climate, but by the Multitude of its Inhabitants; and rich Soils not well peopled, have been ever a Prey to all Invaders.

Where Countries are thinly Inha­bited, the People always grow Proud, Poor, Lazy and Effeminate; Quali­ties, which never fail to prepare a Na­tion for Foreign Subjection.

[Page 146] All Men who have made any Computations of that kind, seem convinc'd, England would naturally bear, and nourish, a full third part more of Inhabitants; so that, if it [...]ere fully Peopled, the value of all Land and Rents would as certainly rise, as Land and Rents set better near a Populous City than at a di­stance from it.

There are many Laws which would invite over to us that Com­plement of Inhabitants which our Country seems to want; and tho' vve should get at first only the Poorer sort, yet those Mouths vvould consume our Home Pro­duct, and those Hands vvould help us in our Wars; and in Peace, by their Labour, over-pay the Na­tion for their keeping.

But a Public Registry, and a Ge­neral Liberty of Conscience, would bring among us from abroad the very Species of Money, real and in­trinsick [Page 147] Wealth, Substantial Men, and all sort of Manufactures.

Some People are afraid that Fo­reigners may take the Bread from the Common People, whom Stran­gers, by reason of their Industry and spare Living, are able to under-work and under-sell; And that Fo­reigners may have, in time, strength enough to awe the Natives. And others believe, That Tolerating all Religions may be hurtful to the Church. But these Opinions pro­ceed from a narrowness of Mind, not becoming Religious and Wise Men.

For God can Protect his own Cause in the middle of a thousand Errors, and variety of Heresies will but give our Church-Men a more ample Field of shewing their Learn­ing and Piety.

The same Protection, and the same Laws, will give Foreigners the same Interest, with the Natives, and [Page 148] in time, probably, the same Reli­gion.

And the Industrious Frugality of Foreign Handycrafts-Men, will be a good Correction to the Sloth and Luxury of our own Common Peo­ple.

At a time when Tyranny is so much the fashion round about us, if our Arms were open to receive all the afflicted and oppressed part of Mankind, the Goodness of our Cli­mate, Mildness of our Laws, and the Excellence of our Constitution, would invite over to us such multi­tudes, as would exceedingly add to our Power and Strength, and make us more a Ballance to the greatness of France.

And with these Additions of Strength, Excises would be less felt by any part of the Kingdom.

But there are many real Lovers of their Country, and Jealous of its Li­berties, who object against Excises, and [Page 149] say, They will be so easie and little felt, that the Ministers, some time or other, may be tempted, if such a Revenue were once afoot, to get it settled into a perpetuity, or for a long term, and so make Parliaments useless.

They say, Land-Taxes, Polls, and Customs, lye so heavy upon the Men of Interest and Figure in the Nation, that by such kind of Impo­sitions, the Gentlemen of England will never enable a King to live without a Parliament.

But Excises being an easie way of Contributing, insensibly paid, and falling chiefly upon the common sort, they apprehend our Represen­tatives may, some time or other, by the Arts and Power of the Court, be prevailed upon to let them pass into a lasting Supply to the Crown; and they think so large a Revenue would make the Prince absolutely Indepen­dant [Page 150] of his People, which would quite destroy our Constitution.

'Tis true, some of our former Princes have had designs to Enslave this Country, partly led into those Measures by the Gentries Flattery, and Corruption of their Manners, who have been all along willing enough to Traffick the peoples Rights.

However, the Nation was never yet so deprav'd, but there was a Par­ty strong enough in the House of Commons to preserve the being of Parliaments, which would cease if they should make the Crown rich enough to subsist without them.

This Party will ever, with jealous Eyes, watch the motions of the Court; some, perhaps, only to bring their Abilities and Repute with the People to the better Market; others, to wreak their Discontents, and some out of meer Love to their Country; [Page 151] though it may be feared, the Public has but few Friends that are so truly upon the score of Vertue and Ho­nesty.

These will always be ready to make a stand in the House of Com­mons, in case, hereafter, the Mini­sters should have any designs to make Kings Independant on Parliaments.

But in the present posture of Af­fairs, and in a long prospect of the future, it is not probable any thing will be Enterprised upon Liberty: For there are those, on the other side the Water, that would sufficiently improve, to their advantage, any false steps that should be made of that na­ture; and, while our fears of France and Popery continue, the side that is for keeping the Government within its ancient limits, will have always sufficient strength and credit in the Nation.

[Page 152] No King, with Despotick Power and an Army, could Levy a third part of that Money in this Country, which is now paid in a quiet and le­gal manner.

If our Kingdom had been under Arbitrary Power, when we broke with France, in all probability the Conquest of us had not been the Work of two Campagnes; For no­thing but Liberty, our Interest in the Laws, and Property, could have made us willing to endure such a heavy War, and able to bear its Expence.

The Rights and Liberties of a Free People, are chiefly what we have to oppose against the Num­bers, Wealth, Oeconomy, and Mi­litary Skill of France.

So that there seems the less rea­son to fear any breach upon our Constitution, because it is as much the Interest of the Prince, as our own, to preserve it.

[Page 153] Nor can a great Tax of any kind be laid, which will fall so easie upon the People, as that the entire Body of the Nation will not find it self concern'd to throw it off in Parlia­ment, as soon as that Necessity cea­ses which first brought it on.

All Taxes whatsoever, are in their last resort a Charge upon Land; and though Excises will affect Land in no degree like Taxes that Charge it directly, yet Excises will always lye so heavily upon the Landed Men, as to make them concern'd in Parlia­ment, to continue such Duties no lon­ger than the Necessity of the War continues.

Besides, when 'tis said Excises are easie, 'tis in respect of other Taxes, and in regard they Charge every in­dividual Man more equally than other Impositions: For all Ways and Means whatsoever, that raise great Sums, and drein the Country of Money, [Page 154] are, and ever will be, thought bur­thensome to the whole.

And though the Dangers which threaten from Abroad, have made us willing to raise such great Sums, as for these late Years have been Le­vied in England, yet all Men know, that in Times of Peace, they are far above the Value, Wealth and Power of this Country, and cannot be con­tinued, nor under any head whatso­ever paid a long space, without de­priving the People of that Stock which should carry on their Labour, Trade, and Manufacture, and con­sequently, introducing Universal Po­verty.

So that there seems little reason to fear the Gentlemen in Parliament can ever be prevail'd upon to make Ex­cises a standing Revenue.

There are other Taxes, that pro­bably, in their consequence, may prove more dangerous to Liberty than Excises.

[Page 155] The Rights of the People are safe so long as we preserve Parliaments; and while that Post is secure, and well guarded, we are out of danger; our felicity being such, That we cannot be undone, but by our selves, and by our own consent.

Those Kings who have design'd the subverting of our Laws, by force and open War, as King John, Harry the Third, Edward and Richard the 2d, could never prevail; on the contra­ry, their attempts did end in procu­ring to the Nation more ample Charters of Freedom.

But those Princes have been more likely, and nearer to compass their ends, who have had the Art to un­dermine our Priviledges by corrupt­ing Parliaments.

And nothing can sooner dispose the Gentry to that Corruption, and put them more in the power of the Court, than such heavy Taxes as will make them uneasie in their Fortunes.

[Page 156] And the Subversion of most free Governments that we read of, has happen'd when the Gentry has been Ambitious, and overwhelm'd with Debts, and press'd with too great Necessities.

If these hight Land-Taxes, are long continued in a Country so little given to Thrift as ours, the Landed Men must inevitably be driven into the Hands of Scriveners, Citizens, and Usurers, except some few of the most wary Families.

And in such a case, the Country Gentlemen would still preserve the Interest of being chosen into the Parliament for a time, because they would hold their Estates till they are evicted out of them by Law, or forc'd to sell to their Creditors, who, indeed, are the true Owners.

Now can there in the World, be a circumstance more dangerous to the Liberty of a Nation, than to have the real Right, Interest, and [Page 157] Property of Land, in one Hand, and the Power of being chosen into Par­liament in another?

To preserve the Rights of this Nation, we should be Represented by such as have the greatest share in Property.

And yet if these high Land-Taxes should last any considerable time, the real Property of Land will belong to the Bankers and Usurers, and we shall be in a great measure Repre­sented by such as have only the name and show of Estates.

And 'tis left to the Consideration of any Impartial Man, whither such a Parliament would not be entirely in the Power, and at the Devotion of the Court: And whither Liberty would not be thereby more endan­ger'd, than by making Excises a Fond of Revenue for this War.

When the People grow once so de­generate, as to surrender the Rights of the Nation, there is no ward against [Page 158] such Corruption; and a Parliament that would consent to continue Exci­ses, beyond the necessities of the War, would give up Magna Charta, or settle the present Land-Taxes into a perpe­tuity upon the Crown. But 'tis hoped there are not hands enow in this Coun­try, to help a few Flatterers in the pul­ling down the Fences of our Liber­ties, and to promote a design that would as well ruin the King as his People.

If an Honorable and Safe Peace be so much in our Power as some Men imagine, there will be no occasion of new Ways and Means of supplying the Government.

But if we are so jealous of our Trade, and Maratime Interest, as to desire the War may be continued, till the Naval Power of France be a little humbled and broken, then it vvill import us to think on the Ways and Means proper for the carrying on a business of dif­ficulty and length.

[Page 159] Upon the whole matter, it would be much for the Honour and Safety of England, if we could bring it about, to answer the Years Expence, with the Revenue that shall arise within the Year; and not to live upon Anticipations, which eat us out with Interest-Money, and run the Nation into a long Debt.

All reasonable Men must grant, that if the Government could be otherways supplied, it were expedi­ent to let Land breath a little, in or­der to give the Country Gentlemen opportunity to repair the breaches which are lately made in their For­tunes.

And in all likelihood, Excises might maintain the whole War, if they can be so settled, as the giving of them may not hazard the Con­stitution.

But if Excises are thought dan­gerous to Liberty, there seems good reason to believe, that an Aid of [Page 160] [...]ound upon Land, and Money, join'd with a Quarterly Poll, and all justly and fairly Levied through the whole Kingdom, would near supply the present Necessities.

If Aristides, Cimon, and Themisto­cles, or any of the Ancient Wor­thies, could rise from the Dead, they would be astonish'd at our proceedings, and wonder to see a Nation, that fights for the Cause of Liberty, Tax themselves partially, and not with due proportion.

'Twas not by such Measures, in their Public Assemblies, that the Grecians so long withstood the Persian Monarchy, but by observing, a­mong themselves, mutual Justice and Equality, each Man submitting his private Interest and Concerns to the Common Good of his Country; which, 'tis evident, they did in the whole course of their Affairs.

FINIS.

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