A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE Rise, Progress, and Advantages OF Dr Assheton's PROPOSAL (As now Improved and Managed by the Worshipful Company of Mercers, London) for the Benefit of Widows OF Clergymen and Others; By Settling Jointures and Annuities at the Rate of Thirty per Cent.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might: For there is no work, nor device, nor know­ledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest, Eccles. 9▪ 10.
Plead for the Widow. Isa. 1. 17.

LONDON: Printed for B. Aylmer, against the Royal-Exchange in Cornhill. 1700.

THE PREFACE.

BEfore I descend to a Particular Ex­plication of the Rise, Progress, and Advanta [...]es of this Proposal, I think it seasonable (especially in this Selfish Projecting Age) to Premise,

That as Dr. Assheton did not Project this Proposal for his own Private Advan­tage, but doth sincerely design a Publick Good: In like manner, the Worthy Mem­bers of the Mercers Company have under­taken to Manage this Proposal, not from any Prospect of Advantage to their own pri­vate Persons, but only out of a Generous Design to make the Company more capable to answer the End and Reason of their Char­ter: Which is, To Establish and Manage Publick Charities: And thereby to en­large their Capacity of Doing Good.

[Page] And having often considered the Thing, I presume to Declare,

That the Company of Mercers, by Ac­cepting and Managing this Proposal, will do a greater and more Publick Good to the whole Nation, than they could pretend to do by founding an Hospital for Widows in eve­ry County of the Kingdom. And my Reason is this; Because it is a much nobler Cha­rity so to support any Person, as to prevent him from being Poor, than it is to Relieve the same Person when he is actually Poor.

AN ACCOUNT OF Dr Assheton's PROPOSAL, &c.

TO Relieve poor Widows of the Clergy, is a truly Charitable Work. But to find out some Expedient, whereby the Poverty of such Persons may for the fu­ture be prevented, is a more desirable Un­dertaking.

In order to which good Design, the Oc­casions of such Poverty must first be inqui­red; and how it comes to pass, that the Re­licts of some Churchmen are exposed to so much Want. Which being distinctly known and considered, we shall then better be ena­bled to apply the Remedy.

[Page 2] And, First, Several Church-Livings (being Impropriate) are of so small a value, that the Incumbents are scarce able to Subsist, much less can they expect to make Provision for Posterity.

This is indeed a very sad Truth. And though there is a way to redress this Grie­vance, yet it is too big for our present Thoughts. And therefore,

Secondly, It must further be acknowledged, That some Churchmen who have competent Preferments, do not yet make over-plentiful Provision for their Wives and Children. And the cause seems to be this:

These Gentlemen, though otherwise well Descended and of good Families; yet being younger Brothers, or the Sons of such, they have seldom any Estates in Land; but ac­cording to the Custom of our Country, ei­ther a Sum of Money, or some yearly Annui­ty for their Lives: The Effects of which be­ing usually expended in a Chargeable Edu­cation, when the necessity of their Affairs doth incline them to Marry, they cannot expect considerable Portions with their Wives, because for want of real Estates, they are not in a Capacity to settle Joyntures upon them. Hence it too often comes to pass, That a free and generous Way of living, a scanted Portion, and a fruitful Wife (who brings a [Page 3] Charge without a Competency to maintain it) do so entangle his Affairs, that our ho­nest Churchman is not only disturbed in his Thoughts, diverted from his Studies with per­plexing Cares, but also is so clogged with the Necessities of a Family and other Ex­pectations, that his Widow is many times left in a very mean, if not indigent Condi­tion.

If therefore such an Expedient can be found, whereby Clergymen may, upon easy Terms, settle competent Joyntures upon their Wives; if, for instance, they may be enabled to secure them Thirty per Cent. to be yearly paid during their Natural Lives; This would not only take off the Reproach of Steeple-house Joyntures, but would also encourage that Hospitality which is an Ornament to their Profession. They may then be obliging to their Parishioners, Charitable to the Poor, and may live without Distraction. And though their Death should be sudden and unexpected, yet their Wives are competent­ly provided for. The very Thoughts of which will compose their Spirits, raise their Parts, and make the whole Course of their Lives comfortable and easy to them.

And not only Churchmen, but also all other Orders of Men may receive the Benefit of this Proposal.

[Page 4] There are several Physicians, Lawyers, Mer­chants, Traders, &c. who, during their own Lives, are either men of competent Estates, or have the Credit to be thought so: and consequently their Wives are suitably main­tained. But at their Deaths, their Wives (as well as those of the Clergy) are sometimes left in a mean, if not indigent Condi­tion.

For as a Churchman's Preferments are on­ly for his Life; so neither can a Physitian Practice, nor a Lawyer Plead in the other World. I have therefore sometimes won­der'd, why the Clergy should be upbraided with Steeple-house Joyntures: Since the Wives of other Professions are in this respect as liable to be exposed as the Clergy.

For as the Clergy (who are of a Gene­rous Disposition) do too often Live above their present preferments; so Physitians and Lawyers do sometimes yearly expend to the utmost of their Practice. In such Cases (which too often happen) it must needs be acknowledg'd a great Advantage to such Persons, to have 30, or 60, or 90 l. per Ann. or more, Setled upon their Wives, by way of Joynture or Rent-charge, in case they survive them.

Nor is this Proposal less useful to Traders, than to Men of Professions.

[Page 5] For though Trade is a Gainful, yet it is an hazardous and uncertain way of Living; Wherein the most Sober, Sagacious, and Industrious Person may without his own fault, be sunk and ruined by the miscarriage of others.

The Falseness of a Partner, or Treachery of a Correspondent, with many other Acci­dents, may blast him in a moment.

And though he may make some tolerable Shift to Trade on (as we phrase it) and may keep his Shop open, even during his Life; yet since he lives only by his Credit, it hence unavoidably follows at his Death, that his Wife (who was ignorant of his In­trigues) instead of her Thirds (the only Joynture setled for a 1000, or 1500 l.) is sadly entertained with the surprizing News, That all is seized.

Now had this Person immediately after his Marriage, when his Portion was Re­ceived, or at any other time when he flou­rished in Money, had he, I say, then Paid in Three or but Two Hundred Pounds to the Mercers Company; what a seasonable Sup­port would the Effects of it have been, to his now poor disconsolate distressed Wi­dow?

And it must not be omitted, that this Pro­posal, as now managed and improved, is [Page 6] highly useful to Country-Gentlemen, and other Landed Men; by enabling them to Settle Join­tures without clogging their Lands. As will plainly appear in the following Instance.

A. B. possess'd of an Estate in Land of 300 l. per. Ann. proposeth Marriage to C. D. whose Portion is 3000 l. For which Portion, according to the Custom of England, she expects a Jointure of 300 l. per. Ann. Which being the whole of A. B. his Estate (and which perhaps, is not only charged with the Payment of Debts, but also Portions for younger Children) cannot conveniently be All Settled as a Jointure, without the ruin of the Family in the next Generation, espe­cially should C. D. marry to a Second Hus­band.

A. B. is much perplext how to behave himself in this Case. On the one hand he is very uneasy to part with so considerable a Fortune. On the other hand, he thinks him­self obliged to consult his Family; and must not be so imprudent, as out of Kindness to a Wife to ruin Posterity.

Now with what ease are all Difficulties re­moved by this Proposal? For by paying 1000 l. to the Mercers Company, his Wife is Join­tured in 300 l. per. Ann. He hath 2000 l. to answer other Occasions. And his Land is [Page 7] cleared, to be enjoyed by his Eldest Son, even during his Mother's Life.

And as Landed-Men, so likewise Men of Professions are hereby encouraged, to get lar­ger Portions than otherwise they could expect. As for instance.

A Clergyman, whose Preferment is 200 l. per. Ann. (or a Physitian or Lawyer, whose Yearly Practice is of equal value) doth de­sign a Wife with 2000 l. Portion. But hav­ing no Estate in Land, as we suppose, to set­tle upon her for a Jointure, he is soon discou­raged in his Pretences. But this Proposal doth easily make the Match. For by paying 500 l. at Mercers-Hall, she is Jointured in 150 l. per. Ann. and 1500 l. is left, as a Provision for Children, and other Occasions.

From these Premisses it appears, That the Advantages of this Proposal (even to All Orders and Professions) are not to be doubt­ed. But the chief Question is, How these Jointures [...]an be secured? What Security shall be given to the Subscribers, That their Wi­dows shall not be Defrauded, but that the Jointures and Annuities here promised shall be punctually paid them?

[Page 8] This is that which for many years did ex­ercise Dr. Assheton's Thoughts.

For though he was encouraged by several knowing Judicious Persons (whom he had consulted, and to whom he had communi­cated his Proposal) that the Design was Pra­cticable; yet where to fix it, or how to pro­vide such a Fund as might secure the Sub­scribers, was a matter of some Difficulty, not only to himself, but also to the Under­taking.

As to Himself, He was fully convinced, not only of the Trouble and Charge in ma­naging such a Work, but also of the hazard to his Reputation if it should miscarry. For the generality of Men are very unjust in their Censures, and will allow nothing to be well Designed, that shall want Suc­cess.

However, he did resolve to go on; and if possible, to finish what he had so long Pro­jected.

His First Address was to the Corporation of the Clergy. Who indeed received him with the greatest Kindness and Respect; But withal Declared for Reasons not now to be repeated, that they were not capable to accept his Proposal.

[Page 9] His next Application was to the Royal Bank of England. Where he did not doubt of sufficient Security for the Subscribers. But for some Reasons, which are obvious to Men of Business, this Royal Bank, at pre­sent, is not so Modell'd, as to manage this Proposal.

Though thus far disappointed, yet Dr. Assheton was not Discouraged. And be­ing admonished, that a City-Company was ve­ry capable to undertake his Proposal: And that the Mercers was the Best, both for Ma­nagement and Revenue, he immediately applied himself to that Company. And ha­ving first waited upon the late Master, T. P. Esq (whose known Worth, and inclination to promote Charitable Designs, gave him great encouragement of Success) he next at­tended the Wardens, and several others of the Members.

After some time, a General Court of the said Company was held, on Friday the 11th of November 1698. Where Dr. Assheton's Proposal was read to the said Company. And the Doctor being then asked, What he had further to say; he Replyed to this Ef­fect, viz

[Page 10] HE was very sensible, that Wise men, who are not apt to be imposed on, do look upon Pro­jects, with Caution, and at a distance. And therefore he was not so vain as to expect, that this Proposal should be unanimously received, after one single Reading, at a General Court. For the Reasons of such an Undertaking are not always obvious, but require some Thought and Applicati­on of Mind. He therefore humbly moved, That a Committee might be appointed, to consider and examine the Reasons of the Proposal, together with such a Method, as should be thought most Expedient for the management of it.

Whereupon a Committee was appointed to consider of the same, and what Security the Company could give to the Subscribers.

The which Committee (after several Meetings, and Discourses with Dr. Assheton) made their Report to another General Court the 23d of December, 1698. Which Court having read the Report of the Committee, did suspend their Resolution of the same for that time. And another General Court was appointed to be held the 13th of January following, that so all the Members of the said Company might have time to consider of the said Proposal, and the Report of the Committee thereupon; that so they might the better be enabled to give their Resoluti­ons [Page 11] in the whole Affair. And at this Third General Court, the Company did accept of the said Proposal. And did Publish and Declare their Acceptance in Manner and Form fol­lowing.

By the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of the MERCERS, at Mercers-Hall in Cheapside, London, the 8th Day of Februa­ry, 1698.

THE Reverend William Assheton, Doctor in Divinity, Rector of Beckenham in Kent, and Chaplain to his Grace the Duke of Ormond, having out of a Charitable Design, for the Maintenance and Relief of Widows of the Clergy, (which very frequently are left in a poor Condition when their Husbands dye) imploy'd his Thoughts to consider of a Way for their Relief and Support; and thereupon thought of a Proposal, in which he includes also others beside Clergymen, viz. Physicians, Lawyers, Merchants, Traders, or any other Per­sons that shall Subscribe the Sum of 100 l. or more, during the Time of their joint Lives; in case the Husband shall die, and leave his [Page 12] Wife a Widow, that then there should be paid her, during her Life, the Sum of 30 l. a Year per Cent. free of all Charges; at the two usual Feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Michael the Arch­angel; and that the Sum to be Subscribed should be limited to 100000 l. And in case the Wife dye during her Husband's Life-time, the same to go to the Benefit of those that did undertake the same.

The said Reverend Dr. Assheton, considering where the said Subscription-Money might be lodged safely, and reasonable Security given for the due Payment of the Widows, did think it could not be better secured than in the Hands of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, London; and did at a General Court of the said Company, held on Friday the 11th of November 1698, make this Proposal to the said Company; who thereupon appointed a Committee to consider of the same, and what Security the Company could give; which Committee had several Meetings thereupon; and having had several Discourses with Dr. Assheton, and acquainted him what Estate they had to settle for Security, being clear Rents, 2888 l. 8 s. 10 d. per Ann. (besides the Payments by the Benefactors to be paid out of the same;) which, by a moderate Cal­culation would yield, when the Leases come [Page 13] out, above 13500 l. per Annum clear, as afore­said; And the said Dr. Assheton judging the same to be reasonable Security, the said Com­mittee made their Report to a General Court the 23d of Decemb. 1698. Which Court hav­ing read the Report of the Committee, did suspend their Resolution of the same for that time, and another General Court was appoint­ed to be held the 13th of January following; that so all the Members of the said Compa­ny might have time to consider of the said Proposal, and the Report of the Committee thereupon; that so they might the better be enabled to give their Resolutions in the whole Affair; And at the said General Court the Company did accept of the said Proposal. And do hereby publish and declare,

1. That in case 100000 l. shall be subscri­bed and paid in to the Company in such manner as is hereafter mentioned; The said Company do undertake to pay unto the Wi­dows of the Subscribers, according to the aforesaid Proposition, 30 l. per Cent. per Ann. free of Taxes and Charges, at the two usual Feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Michael the Archangel.

2. That for better Security of the Pay­ments, as soon as the said 100000 l. shall be Subscribed, the said Company will set­tle [Page 14] and convey in due Form of Law the Lands, Houses and Estate before mentioned, in Trustees, for the due payment of the said Annuities.

3. That all married Clergymen, and other married Persons, Except as hereafter is Excepted, that inhabit in the Kingdom of England, and do not exceed the Age of 60 Years at the time of the Payment of the Money, and receiving the Company's Bond, and are then in good and perfect Health, and have Subscribed any Sum not less than 50 l. nor exceeding the Sum of 300 l. in case they die in the Kingdom of England, and leave die in the Kingdom of England, and leave their Wives Widows, the said Widows shall receive, as before-mentioned, the Sum of 30 l. yearly for every 100 l. so Subscribed; and so proportionably for a greater or lesser Sum, as before-mentioned.

4. That every Person at the time of his Subscription (which shall be made in Per­son) shall express the Place of his Abode, the Name of his Wife, and his and her seve­ral Age in such manner as is hereafter men­tioned.

5. That no Person that goes to Sea, nor Soldier that goes into the Wars, shall be ad­mitted to Subscribe to have the Benefit of this Proposal, in regard of the Casualties and Ac­cidents that they are more particularly lia­ble to.

[Page 15] 6. That the Book of Subscriptions shall be laid open at Mercers-Hall on or before the First day of March 1698, and shall continue to the 24th day of June 1699, (in case the 100000 l. be not Subscribed sooner) and Members of the Company shall attend to take the said Subscriptions on Tuesdays, Wed­nesdays and Fridays every Week during that time, between the Hours of 9 and 12 in the Forenoon, and 3 and 6 in the Afternoon.

7. That as soon as the said 100000 l. is Subscribed, publick Notice shall be given in the Gazette; and all Persons that have Sub­scribed, are then, within 30 Days next follow­ing, to Pay in the Moneys by them Subscri­bed, at Mercers-Hall to the said Company; for which purpose, Members of the said Company shall attend on the Days and Times aforesaid.

8. That on the Payment of the Money, the Person shall have a Writing under the Seal of the Company, acknowledging the Receipt thereof; and engaging, That if his Wife be left a Widow, she shall receive the Moneys in proportion to his Subscription as before specified; but unless the Money be actually paid within the Time limited, the Widow to have no Benefit by the Subscrip­tion; and at the same time the said Person Subscribing, shall give a Bond to the Com­pany, [Page 16] That in case his Wife shall dye before him, to give notice to the Company thereof within one Month after her Decease.

9. That any Widow that shall have Right to receive any Annuity by this Subscription, shall give notice of the Time of her Hus­band's Death to the Company within one Month after his Decease; and when she comes to receive the Benefit of this Proposal, shall bring a Certificate, Signed by the Mi­nister, Church-Warden or Church-Wardens, and Parish-Clerk of the Place where her Husband died and was buried, if her Hus­band was not a Minister; but if her Husband was the Minister of the Parish where he was buried, then to have the Minister's Hand of the next neighbouring Parish; and the other Hands as before-mentioned.

10. In case it shall happen that any Man who has Subscribed shall voluntarily make away himself, or by any Act of his, occasion his own Death, either by Duelling, or com­mitting any Crime whereby he shall be Sen­tenced and put to Death by Justice; in any or either of those Cases his Widow to receive no Annuity, but upon delivering up the Company's Bond, to have the Subscription-money paid to her.

11. In case any Person that shall Subscribe shall not pay in his Money within the Time [Page 17] limited, such Person's Subscription shall be esteemed null and void, and the Company may admit any other Person, duly qualified, to Subscribe in his stead.

The Form of the Subscription.

12. I A. B. inhabiting in the Parish of [...] in the [...] of [...] do Sub­scribe and Promise to pay [...] Pounds on the Terms before-mentioned, for the Benefit of [...] my now Wife, Aged [...] Years, the Daugh­ter of [...] of [...] in case I dye before her.

The Obligation of the Company.

13. WE the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of the Mercers of the City of London, do acknowledge to have Received of A. B. Inhabitant in the Parish of [...] in the [...] of [...] the Sum of [...] Pounds, which he hath Subscribed for the Benefit of [...] Aged [...] Years, the Daughter of [...] of [...] his present Wife; And we do promise and oblige our Selves, and our Successors, in case the said A. B. shall Dye (Except in such manner as is Excepted in the General Proposal) before his said Wife, and leave her a Widow, to [Page 18] pay unto her, during her Life, the Sum of [...] Yearly, free of all Charges, being 30▪ l. per Cent per Annum of the said A. B. his Subscription, at the two usual Feasts of the An­nunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Michael the Archangel: The first Payment to be made on the first of the said feast-days that shall happen six Months or more after the Decease of the said A. B. she producing this Obligation and due Certificates of her Husband's Death. To the which Payment we bind our Selves and our Successors firmly by these Presents. In Testimony whereof, We have hereunto affixed the Seal of the said Company the [...] Day of [...] Anno Dom. 169 [...]

14. The Bond to be given to the Com­pany,

To be of the Penalty of the Sum Sub­scribed.

The Condition to be as followeth:

WHereas the above-bound A. B. hath Sub­scribed and Paid to the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of the Mercers of the City of London, the Sum of [...] for the Benefit of his present Wife [...] the Daughter of [...] and Received an [Page 19] Obligation from the said Company for the due Payment to his said Wife, of the sum of 30 l. per Cent. per Annum, in case she survives him, during her Life. Now the Condition of this Obligation is such, That in case his said Wife shall dye before him, if he the above-bound A. B. shall within 30 Days after his said Wife's De­cease, give Notice to the said Company of her Death, under his Hand and Seal, and deliver up the Obligation he had from the Company; and also if the said A. B. shall remove his Habitation or Dwelling-place, and shall give Notice thereof to the said Company within 30 Days of such his Re­moval, with the Name of the Place and Parish to which he is removed; And in default of No­tice to be given as aforesaid, Then, if the said A. B. his Executors, Administrators or Assigns, shall pay One Pound per Cent. of his Subscription-Money for every Month he shall delay so to do; That then this Obligation to be void, and of no effect, or else to remain in full force.

PUrsuant to this Proposal, the Subscripti­on Books were laid open March 1. 1698. and Attendance was given by several Mem­bers of the Company (appointed as Mana­gers) every Week, on Wednesdays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the Forenoon, and 3 and 6 in the After­noon. And though several Thousand Pounds [Page 20] were Subscribed, yet it being observed, that the Capital Stock of 100000 l. in all probabili­ty would not be compleated before the 24th of June (the time limited for Subscriptions,)

Therefore, that so useful an Undertaking might not be laid aside (having first Examined, what might be the Reasons why Subscriptions were not compleated, as at first was expected; and having conceived that the Chief Reason was, because there was no Settlement as yet made) at a General Court, held for the said Company, the 16th of June 1699. it was Re­solved as followeth.

1. That the said Settlement proposed in the for­mer Paper, shall be forthwith settled by able Coun­cil in the Law, in Trustees of undoubted Reputati­on and Ability, for the Benefit of the Subscribers, that so there might never be a failure. And any of the Persons that have Subscribed, may, if they desire it, have liberty to accompany the Members of the Company to go with them to the Council, to see the making of the said Settlement.

2. As soon as the said Settlement is made, Pub­lication shall be made thereof; and those Persons that have Subscribed, are to pay in their Moneys according to their Subscription.

3. The Company will take Subscriptions at any [Page 21] time hereafter till such time as the Sum of 100000 l. be subscribed; but will not exceed that Sum at any one time. And in case of the Death of any Persons, whereby the Subscriptions fall off, the Company will admit any other Person or Persons to Subscribe such Sum or Sums as will make up the said Sum of 100000 l. but never to exceed the same.

4. After the said Settlement shall be made, eve­ry Subscriber is to pay in the Money by him Sub­scribed, at the time of his Subscription.

5. The Company have thought fit also to enlarge the Sums to be Subscribed, viz. That all Married Men of the Age of Thirty Years, or under, may Subscribe any Sum not exceeding 1000 l. That all Married Men, not exceeding the Age of Forty Years, may Subscribe any Sum not exceeding 500 l. And that all Married Men, not exceeding the Age of Sixty Years, may Subscribe any Sum, not exceeding 300 l. And the Widows of all Persons Subscribing, according to these Limitations, shall receive the Benefit of 30 l. per Cent. per Ann. according to the former Proposals.

6. The Company do also Declare, That any Per­son (under the Limitations before mentioned) may Subscribe for the Use and Benefit of any Person or Persons, as such Subscriber shall by his last [...] [Page 22] and Testament direct, during the Natural Life of his Wife, in case she survives him; Declaring in his Subscription, That it is so intended; and such Person or Persons shall receive the Benefit of such Subscription accordingly.

7. That the Obligations to be given by the Com­pany, shall be made suitable to these Alterations, as well for those that have already Subscribed, as those that shall Subscribe hereafter. And the Bond to be given by the Subscribers shall be only of the Penalty of half the Sum Subscribed by any Person.

8. And whereas in the Company's Obligation, the First Payment to be made to any Widow or other Person who should be entituled to any Benefit by virtue of any Subscription, was, by the said Obligation in the former Proposal, to be on the First of the Feast-Days therein mentioned, that should happen Six Months, or more, after the Decease of the Person or Persons so Subscribing; The Compa­ny have thought fit and do hereby Declare, That such First Payment shall be made at such of the said Feast-Days which shall happen Four Months, or more, after the Decease of the Person or Persons so Subscribing; and the Obligation to be made ac­cordingly.

[Page 23] BEsides these Alterations and Improve­ments, several other Concessions have been since made, in favour of Subscribers. As

1. Several Persons, who live distant from London, being sensible of the Trouble and Charge of long Journeys, did desire the Liber­ty to Subscribe and Pay in their Money by Proxy. Which being Proposed, and debated at a Committee the 14th of July 1699, the Resolve of the said Committee was thus.

It was thought necessary by this Committee, that a General Court be moved, That whereas by the General Proposal, All Persons are obliged to be present at the Subscribing and Paying in of the Money, that the Committee may have a Pow­er to take Subscriptions by Proxy, and Certificate of the Health of the Party, in all such Cases as they shall see cause.

The which Debate of the Committee be­ing read at a General Court, the 18th of Au­gust 1699, and the Question being put, Whe­ther the Court would comply with the Proposition of the said Committee, touching taking Subscrip­tions by Proxy; it was carried in the Affirma­tive. But the Court Ordered and desired the said Committee to use all possible Care and Caution touching the same.’

Accordingly it is Ordered, That when [Page 24] any Person doth intend to Subscribe by Proxy, he shall First make the following Affida­vit upon Oath, before some Justice of the Peace in the Neighbourhood, with a Certifi­cate of the same, Subscribed by the Minister and Churchwardens of the Parish where the said intended Subscriber doth Inhabit.

A. B. of the Parish of [...] in the [...] of [...] maketh Oath, That he this Deponent is not above the Age of [...] Years, to the best of this Deponents knowledge and Belief: and this Deponent fur­ther saith, That he is now in good and perfect health.

A. B.
Jur' [...] die 169 [...] coram [...] We believe the Contents of this Affidavit to be true, and know the same to be Subscribed with the proper handwriting of the said Justice of the Peace, whose name is thereunto affixed, and likewise of the said A. B. who made the same.
[...] Rector or Vicar of [...]
  • [...]
  • [...]
Churchwardens of [...]

But if the Subscriber is a Minister, then this Certificate is to be Subscribed by the Minister and Churchwardens of the next Parish.

[Page 25] These Testimonials being brought to the Wardens by a Credible Person, will be ac­cepted; and the Person concerned will be admitted to Subscribe, and Pay in his Money by Proxy.

2. It hath been often Objected, That the Fifth Article, as it relates to Seamen, ought to be explained. The words of the Article are these, viz.

5. That no Person that goes to Sea shall be ad­mitted to Subscribe, to have the Benefit of this Proposal.

Now say the Objectors, This Article may be great disadvantage to several Persons, who are either actual Subscribers, or intend to be so. For suppose such a Person shall have some urgent extraordinary Occasion to cross the Seas, e. g. For the Recovery of a Debt; the making up an Account, &c. must such a Person either lose his Effects in these Instances, or else must his Wife be deprived the Benefit of this Proposal?

To Satisfy such Persons the Company did take this Matter into Consideration at a Ge­neral Court, August 18. 1699. And did then thus Declare, viz.

For explanation of the Fifth Article in the Ge­neral Proposal, the Company do Declare; That [Page 26] they do not thereby exclude any Person that goes to Holland, Ireland, France, or the Coasts of England, Provided they be not Seafaring Men, who follow it as their Business or Vocation.

THese Concessions being thus made, the Company then proceeded to give Di­rections for the drawing up of a Deed of Set­tlement, by the Advice of very Able and Learn­ed Council. The which Deed of Settlement was Executed by the Company and Trustees, at a General Court of the said Company, held on Wednesday the Fourth of October 1699.

The Deed of Settlement is enrolled in his Majesties High Court of Chancery: And an Authentick Copy of it, transcribed into a Book and well Attested, will constantly lye upon the Table with the Books of Subscrip­tion, to be perused on Wednesdays and Fridays every Week, between the Hours of Nine and One in the Forenoon. At which time the Wardens and Members of the Company will Attend at Mercers-Hall, to take Subscriptions, and receive the Money.

For this Reason I shall give no farther Ac­count of the Contents of the said Deed. As, What Estates are Settled, and the Value of them? Who are the Trustees, to whom these Estates are made over and Conveyed, for the Security of the [Page 27] Subscribers, and the effectual Payment of their Widows? &c.

I shall not pretend, I say, to give any Ac­count of these Matters; Since it is more for my ease, and the Satisfaction of all Persons concerned, to peruse the Deed it self.

FINIS.

The Obligation of the Company, When a Person Subscribes for the sole Benefit of his Wife.

WE the Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of the Mercers of the City of London, do acknowledge to have received of [...] Inhabitant in the Parish of [...] in the [...] of [...] the Sum of [...] Pounds, which he hath Subscribed for the benefit of [...] aged [...] Years, the Daughter of [...] [...] of [...] in the County of [...] his present Wife. And we do promise and [Page 28] Oblige our selves and our Successors, in case the said [...] shall dye (Except in such manner as is Except­ed in the General Proposal made by us for payment of Annuities to Widows) before his said Wife, and leave her a Widow, to pay unto her during her life the Sum of [...] Yearly, free of all Taxes and Charges; being af­ter the Rate of Thirty Pounds per Cent. per Ann. of the said [...] his Subscription, at the two usual Feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Michael the Arch-Angel. The first Payment to be made on the first of the said Feast-days that shall happen Four Months or more after the Decease of the said [...] she producing this Obligation and due Certificates of her Husband's Death; to the which Payment we bind our Selves and our Successors firmly by these Pre­sents. In Testimony whereof we have here­unto affixed the Seal of the said Company, the [...] day of [...] Anno Dom. [...]

The Obligation of the Company, When a Person Subscribes for the Bene­fit of such Person or Persons, as by his Last Will and Testament he shall direct and appoint.

WE the Wardens and Commonal­ty of the Mystery of the Mercers of the City of London, do acknowledge to have received of [...] Inhabitant in the Parish of [...] in the [...] of [...] the Sum of [...] which he hath Subscribed for the Benefit of such Person or Persons as he the said [...] by his Last Will and Testament shall direct and appoint, during the Natural Life of [...] his now Wife, Aged [...] Years, the Daughter of [...] of [...] in the [...] of [...] in case he dies before her. And we do [Page 30] promise and oblige our Selves and our Successors, in case the said [...] shall dye (Except in such man­ner as is excepted in the General Propo­sal made by us for Payment of Annuities to Widows) before his said Wife, and leave her a Widow, to pay unto such Person or Persons as the said [...] by his Last Will and Testament shall direct, during the Natural Life of the said [...] his said Wife, [...] Yearly, free of all Taxes and Charges, being after the Rate of Thirty Pounds per Cent. per Ann. of the said [...] his Subscription, at the Two usual Feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Michael the Archangel. The First Payment to be made on the First of the said Feast-days that shall happen Four Months or more after the Decease of the said [...] the Person or Persons being so entitled, producing such his, her, or their Title, together with [Page 31] this Obligation, and due Certificates of the Death of the said [...] and the Life of the said [...] To the which Payment we bind our Selves and our Successors firmly by these Presents. In Testimony whereof we have hereunto affixed the Seal of the said Company the [...] day of [...] in the Year of our Lord [...]

Books lately Writ by Dr. Assheton.

A Conference with an Anabaptist, Price 12 d.
A Theological Discourse of Wills. 12 d.
A Discourse of Death-Bed Repentance. 6 d.
A Vindication of the B. Trinity. 12 d.
A Discourse against Debauchery and Pro­phaneness. 2 d.
A Conference with an Atheist. 2 d.
A Discourse against Drunkenness, Cursing, and Swearing. 2d.
A Method of Daily Devotion. 2 d.
A Method of Devotion for the Lord's-Day. 2 d.
An Exhortation to the H. Communion▪ 2 d.

These are the Prices single. But cheaper to those who are so Charitable to give away Num­bers.

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