A LETTER Humbly Offer'd To the Consideration of all Gentlemen, Yeomen, Citizens, Freeholders, &c.

THAT Have Right to Elect Members to serve in PARLIAMENT.

Keep not back Councel (saith Ecclesiasticus) when it may do Good.

Take Councel of thine Heart (saith the Book of Wisdom) for there is none more faithful un­to thee than it.

Consularius nemo melior quam Tempus.

LONDON, Printed for E. Whitlock near Stationers-Hall, Anno Dom. MDCXCVI.

A LETTER Humbly offered to the Con­sideration of all Gentlemen, Yeomen, Citizens, Freehol­ders, &c.


You are the Persons I have made choice to Address, without other Design than the service of my King and Country; and shall therefore request no farther favour, than if you think it not for the Honour, Interest and Safe­ty of your selves and Government, to comply with what's Humbly offer'd, then to Reject it, and enjoy your own Opinions.

'Tis matter of Truth, too well known to you all, what general Repining and Complaints, have long been amongst you, at the decay, and almost total loss of your Trade, your scarcity of Money, the bad Credit of your Bills, abroad and at Home; the ill payment of your Rents, and the dull pro­spect [Page 4] in view of being better; the Cause of which (with almost universal consent) has been laid on those worthy Gentlemen, your Representatives in Parliament; not considering how much ye have contributed to your own Misfortunes, nor how nighly it concerns ye (especially in matters of so great moment, wherein the Happiness or Ruin of you and your posterity must inevitably follow,) to apply your selves to, and advise with your re­spective Representatives; for it is taken pro Confesso, they represent what ye would have them to Represent; for they are your Mouths, as Aaron was to Moses, but if ye are silent, how can they Divine to please ye? Their Act and Deed be­comes yours, which by the Laws of God and Man, ye are bound to observe: Therefore, when ever you are deceived in your Expectations, the blame must be your own, and not those worthy Persons that Represent ye; for 'tis humbly sup­posed that it is not, was, or ever will be believed, but the Body Corporate, can as well Judge what their true Interest, and real Wants and Grievances are, as the Members thereof, howsoever qualified: Nor can ye believe by virtue of your Choice, that ye remove Men into the Infallible Chair, or that ye can Metamorphise a School-Boy into a States-Man, or a Lawyer into an Honest Man: No, Dear Country Men, believe me, they are the very same they were before, and differ nothing from your selves, but the Honour ye do them to serve for ye in Parliament.

'Tis now presumed the Eyes of the whole Na­tion are opened, and no longer to be imposed on by the Sophistry of Dr. Lock, nor the Author of, [Page 5] Decus & Tutamen; nor the rest of that Fraternity, however Dignified or Distinguished: Qui Nigrum in Candida vertunt, who still are pursuing the Mis­chievous Contrivance they have laid, with a Cun­ning, excelling the most refined Politicks of the Je­suits, industriously insinuating the Dishonour and Loss, the Advance of our Coin would be to all' de­grees of Men in general: And this has been glibly Swallowed, and gone down like Sugar­plums that inclose a deadly Poyson, without per­ceiving the Snake and the cunning Fallacy of their Assertions, has unfortunately Influenced too many worthy Gentlemen, that notwithstanding are sincere Lovers of his Majesty and Government, whose Eyes 'tis hoped Experience has unLOCKt.

'Tis not doubted but there may be more Phylosophical and Logical Arguments, offered to your Members this Session in Parliament, to strengthen and confirm them in their former Judgment: There's the aforesaid Decus & Tuta­men ready Trumpt up, and two Letters to Mr. Lock, about the advance on Mony; and it may be, several others on the Stocks: these rub one another, and tell ye how much the Nation is obliged to Dr. Lock for his excellent Advice, and would perswade ye to believe 'tis the Honour, Safety and Welfare of the Kingdom, irrecoverably to run in Debt, to lose their Credit Abroad and at Home, to starve your selves for want of Mony and Trade, exces­sively to raise the Interest of Mony; and conse­quently, lessen the Value of your Lands: and these are the real Advantages, (whatever flourish they may put on the matter) Experience demonstrates, hath been the consequence of their pernicious Advice; [Page 6] and without offence to that Gentleman be it spoken, he has done more Mischief by his Humane Folly, (if it merit no worse Name) than Ten thousand Impressions of his Humane Reason can Compen­sate: But 'tis not an easie Task to bring Men to own an Error in Judgment tho' they know it.

Your selves, taught by your daily Experience in your respective ways of Dealing, can better Judge what is for your own good, than all the Phyloso­phers in Europe, their Heads being generally fill'd with Notions and Matters, more Speculative and Argumentative than either true or useful.

It seems to me little less than a Miracle, that any one should still presume to say, the pre­sent weight and value of our Coin, has not been a great and grievous loss and Misfortune to the Nation, and an unfortunate Disappointment to those Great & Glorious Enterprises designed by his Majesty: Since the Government has pleased to sig­nify so much; for the Act of Parliament Prohibits the Exportation of our Coin, on forfeiture of the whole Sum to his Majesty, and inflicts Six Months Imprisonment on the Melters of it down; which plainly shews the Melting and Exporting of our Coin, is known and believed to be advan­tageous, or there needed not a Law to prevent it; for assuredly no Man will do it to his loss nevertheless there are those, who with great confi­dence affirm the contrary, and will tell ye, the car­rying our Mony Abroad, or that it goes for more any where else, is a Romance, a meer Fancy and that nothing can be got by it; tho' every one knows this to be notoriously false, and is like Mr. Lock's affirming the advance on Silver, would [Page 7] not bring one Grain more into the Kingdom; and with as good assurance he might have said, the rise of Gold brought not one Guinea more into the Kingdom, nor the fall Carryed one out: But to convince these Gentlemen of their Mistake, the Goverment was further pleased to take notice, that great Sums were daily exported, and that the afor­said Act did not prevent it; and therefore thought fit in Council 25 of Iune last, to Order, viz. ‘That whereas many evil disposed Persons, to make unreasonable and unlawful Gains to themselves, do pre­sume on Breach and Violation of the said Laws, to ex­port beyond the Seas, great Sums of the Gold and Sil­ver Coins of this Kingdom; which Practices, if not time­ly prevented, may occasion a great Diminution of the Wealth of England: And for Encouragement, to Disco­ver and Seize all such Gold and Silver Coin as shall be put on Board any Ship or Vessel, in order to be Exported, or in the keeping of any person passing out of this Realm, there is the same Reward given to the Discoverers, as for the discovery of Bullion Exported, contrary to Law: That is, to have one Moiety as a Reward for their Diligence.’

You plainly see 'tis evident beyond Contradicti­on, that our Gold and Silver Coins are Exported; that the Exporters thereof make Great Unreasona­ble and Unlawful Gain to themselves; which if not timely prevented, must daily more and more Impoverish the Kingdom: So that the matter in Controversy now is, which way to prevent it.

'Tis humbly presumed this order of Council has proved as Ineffectual for prevention of this [Page 8] Grievance, as the Act before mentioned: And should another Act or Acts be made, That all Money discovered to be Exported, should be given to the Discoverers, and the Exporters to be Hanged, or Boyled in Oyl alive; or any other Torment or Pe­nalty, 'twould still be as Ineffectual as the former: For as Dr. Lock wisely Observes, the true Liberty the Hollanders have of Exporting their money, does not impoverish them; nor the severe Penalties the Spaniards impose on those that Export their Coin, does not prevent their want of Money: This is our Case, and plainly demonstrates the Folly and Fal­lacy of the Dr. for neither can the Spaniard, nor we, or any other Nation, confine their Money at Home by any law, when 'tis more advantageous to Export it: Witness the French, Dutch, and other Nations that have plenty of Money amongst them­selves, because 'tis a loss to Export it; and 'twas the same with our Clipt Money. Another Touch of the Doctors Fallacy is, That a piece of Wood or Cork divided into 12 parts, will stop no bigger hole in a Boat if made into 18 or 24 parts: This is true, where there is but one hole to stop; but if the Dr. and the Rest of that Tribe were to go a Voyage in that Boat, and had a piece of Cork divided into 12 parts, and by their own Law to be Hanged if they cut it into any more; and when they come to Sea, they find 24 holes in the Boat, would they then Argue whether 'twere necessary to Cut the Cork into 24 parts or not? But if they should, and in the mean time the Boat Sink; would not the World say they had the just Reward of their own Folly? Tho' I am apt to believe they'd venture their Necks to save Drowning, and by good fortune, [Page 9] might escape Hanging; tho' most men will judge they deserv'd it: Let them take the Moral as they please. He farther tells ye, That if a Million of Bullion, Gold or Silver, was yearly brought in­to the Kingdom, 'twould not Encrease our Wealth: 'Tis Right, for we had not a Year since a Million of Guinea's and more; but by his good advice and assistance, the Nation is not now six pence the richer for them.

But to come to the Matter, 'tis most certain there are so many ways securely to effect the Exporting of our Coin, that renders the Discovery thereof Impossible. They can, and do pack it up in Bales of Cloth, Serge &c. and many other sorts of Goods▪ They can melt it down with Lead, and Export it for Lead; and several other ways there are, that should the Officers appointed to Inspect those matters, see it; yet they cannot easily know it. Nay, I know ways how the property of ten Thou­sand pounds worth of Gold and Silver for a small Charge may be so altered, that scarcely one Gold­smith in a Thousand shall know what it is; and were I not afraid of doing more harm than good, I would here discover it: This Trick is too well known and practised by the Iews, and other Dealers the Exporters of our Coin, who for that purpose have a general Correspondence thro' the World. Therefore since none of the aforesaid Methods do or can put a stop to those pernicious practices of Melting and Exporting our Money, there remains only one Expedient, viz. To make our Coin of such Value as they shall have no advantage to do it, which will Infallibly answer the End, and requires not a Law for its Prohi­bition.

[Page 10]It was not the Terror of Hanging, nor the Re­ward for the Discovery of Clippers, that prevented one shilling from being Clipt, whilst any Advan­tage could be made thereby; nor will the Penalty of Death secure your House, your Goods, or Mo­ney, if you leave the Door open.

That the Gentlemen of the aforesaid Tribe may have some Colour for their designed Mistake, they tell ye, That the Advance of our Coin is only a new Notion, a meer Chymaera, a fairy Treasure, and that no thing can be more dishonourable and disadvantageous to the King and Kingdom, than to alter their Ancient and Lawful standard Coin of England, as they call it; tho' the standard Weight of our Silver Coin hath been no less than Nine several times altered and advanced since the 28th of Ed. the First, when the Standard Fineness was the same as now, and the Gold Coin hath many more times been Advanced without any Loss, or Dishonour to the King or Kingdom, as can be Learned; and it had been happy for this Nation, if the present undervaluing of our Gold and Silver had done no more harm. However, those Gentlemen stick so close to their Ancient Lawful standard Money of England, as if themselves believed, and would perswade others to do the same, that our Money had been of the same weight it now is ever since Noah's Flood, and that it must continue the same to the Day of Judgment, or rather till we have none left; or no Man can be pay'd in the Lawful Money of England: For say they, the Nobility in their Lands and Rents, the Clergy in their Annuities, the Souldiers in their Pay, the Merchants in their Trade and Exchange, and all persons in their private [Page 11] Deeds and Contracts, must be injured. When in short there's not one word of this true: For then all Deeds and Conveyances are illegal that were be­fore the last of Queen Elizabeth, and since the Mo­ny has been clipt; because 'twas not paid in that Species we now call the Ancient, Lawful, Standard Mony of England, tho' its Antiquity bears no longer date. For in the time of Edward the First, a Pound weight of Gold was coined into but 13 Pounds in tale, and the like weight of Silver into 20 Shillings and 3 Pence; and therefore they may as well call that unlawful which is not paid by that Standard, being the True, Ancient, Lawful Standard of England; but every Age since, (and no doubt before, if we could know it) has produ­ced sufficient Reason for altering their Coin, which hath gradually been advanced thro' the several Reigns for 300 Years, till the last of Queen Eliza­beth, when the Pound weight of Gold was coined into 33 l. 10 s. and the like weight of Silver into 3 l. 2 s. in tale, the present Standard of our Silver: But the Gold Coin hath considerably been advan­ced since; for in the 2d of King Iames the First, the Pound-weight Gold was advanced to 37 l. 4 s. in tale, and the next Year to 40 l. and in his 9th Year by Proclamation he advanced 2 Shillings on every 20, which made it 44 l. 10 s. in tale, the present Standard for Gold; and tho' Guinea's at first were, and still are coined to that standard, at 20 Shillings per Guinea, nevertheless they went not at that price; for the People, finding they were undervalued, did of themselves, by general con­sent advance them 1 Shilling and 6 Pence, which made the Pound weight of Gold current at 47 l. [Page 12] 16 s. 9 d. and with the now additional 6 d. is 48 l. 19 s. in tale, which is 15 l. 9 s. advanced on the Pound-weight of Gold since the last of Queen Eli­zabeth, and the Pound-weight Silver to this time has not been advanced a Farthing.

This Disproportion would have drained the Na­tion of the greatest part of their Coin unhoarded, had not the Clippers prevented it; who notwith­standing were great Villains, and thereby intend­ed the Nation's ruin: But as God Almighty does often turn the vilest Actions and Designs of wick­ed Men to the good of Kings and Kingdoms; so in this, tho' doubtless there have been more Iudas's and Ahitophel's than one, and the late Hellish De­signs, both open and private against His Majesty and Government, will assuredly terminate in their own Shame and Confusion.

'Tis plain, the new Coins of King Charles and Iames, were all melted down or carried away, but what was hoarded; and tho' the Government did not then advance their Silver, which would cer­tainly have been a great advantage, yet the Clip­pers did the same in effect by diminishing the quantity, with this difference only, that what the Publick ought and might have gained, served on­ly to inrich these Vermin and others their Ap­pendants, Goldsmiths, Bankers and other Dealers in Mony.

When ever the Gold and Silver Coins are not in proportion to each other, or undervalued; either one or other, or both will be exported: Of this Grievance, Sir Walter Raleigh in his time made complaint to the King, as a great and growing Loss to the Nation. And 'tis very observable, That [Page 13] in the 5th of Edward the Sixth, the Silver Coin of this Kingdom was intolerably debased, there be­ing but Three Ounces of Silver to Nine Ounces of Allay, which extravagantly advanced the Pound weight of Silver to 14 l. 8 s. in Tale, when the Pound-weight Gold was current but at 28 l. 16 s. so that two Pounds of Silver would purchase one Pound of Gold; which by stealth exported, would at that time, beyond Seas, buy more than ten Pounds of Silver; which again brought here, would purchase 5 l. of Gold, &c.

By this means the Kingdom was drained of the greatest part of their Gold, and had left only a base paultry Mony: This was a great and notori­ous Abuse on the King and Kingdom; and he, poor King, was ill served: But there were two sorts of Men of Business then, as well as now. However, this lasted not long before they felt their Error and Folly; for the next Year the King ad­vanced his Gold from 28 l. to 36 l. in Tale, and this never-failing Rule brought back the Gold a­gain, and reduced his Silver to 3 l. in Tale: This proportion, of about 1 to 12; that is, 1 Pound of Gold to equal the Value of 12 Pounds of Silver, was the proportional difference nigh 300 Years. But at this time in England 1 Pound of Gold will purchase more than 16 Pounds of Silver; so that Silver and Gold bears not true proportion to each other, and both are undervalu'd, and therefore both exported; and be assured, that Truth it self is not more true, than if our Gold and Silver will make better Market in any other part of the World than at Home, 'twill be conveyed thither, Mauger all Law and Punishment to the contrary. Whatever [Page 14] Advantage some Gentlemen may propose to them­selves by running down the Value of Gold and Silver, I can't tell; but 'tis most certain, all Coun­tries will carry their Gold and Silver to those pla­ces where 'twill yield most, or buy most Commo­dity, and not where 'tis of least value.

We have great reason to thank God, that our Laws are not like those of the Medes and Persians, who doubtless were a most sagacious People, of great reach and foresight; whose Decrees required no alteration, amendments, nor others to explain them; and, by what we can learn, they were comprised in few and significant Words, compre­hending more Solid Matter in six Lines, than we usually express in six Sides of Paper, multiplicity of Words only rendring the Sence ambiguous and sometimes contradictory: Whence proceeds so ma­ny Flaws, Mistakes, and Amendments, in Publick and Private Business; and the Growth of this Mis­fortune has been in proportion to the Encrease of the Professors of the Law, as is evident by the Disparity of Deeds, Conveyances, &c. made 3 or 400 Years ago with those now made; which re­minds me of a Story when the Morocco Embassador was here, and one day passing by the Temple, ask'd what stately Place that was; was answer'd, The Temple, formerly the Residence of the Knights Templers of Ierusalem, but now for the Professors of the Law. He called on Mahomet, and bless'd himself, and said, he did not believe there had been half so many Lawyers in the World, as to fill that great Place: But was answered, There were many more Great and Noble Places, formerly the Habitations of Persons of great Quality, that were [Page 15] now likewise fill'd with Students and Professors of the Law. Bless me! said he, what Use or Bene­fit can they be to your Country? Certainly ye must be the most Litigious People in the World, or the greatest part of them must starve! They told him, That, together with the Work they cut out for themselves, the one by finding Faults and Flaws with what the other did, kept them in that Grandure. He said, He believed as much; for that, in his Country, he remembred but of two Lawyers in his time, and they by the like Practises made such Disturbance amongst the People, that his Master was forc'd to hang them both. Not that I offer this Reflectiously on the Gentlemen of the Long Robe, but Reverence and Honour the Professors of the Law, that Honour their Profes­sion; tho' the Practice and Original Intention of the Law seems to be inverted, which was to re­lieve the Oppressed, and right the Injured, with­out delay of Time or great Charge, which now the expensive tediousness of Law-Controversies, in most Cases, redounds more to the Advantage of the Professors than the Commodity of the Inju­red, which 'tis humbly hoped Time may recti­fie.

But to return to the Matter, 'tis our Happiness, that Our Laws may, and will be altered when found Necessary for publick Good; tho' the Au­thor of a Letter about the Currency of Clipt Mo­ney in his postscript, speaking of the present Weight of our Coin, say's, ‘He need not remark to you that the Words in the Act shall remain to be, being Indefinite, imports as much, as if it had been said, shall always remain to be of the [Page 16] same weight as now.’ Which 'tis Humbly thought, can no more be in the power of any Parliament to do, than it was to have kept the Money till this time to the Standard of Ed. the first. The same Author with an unbecoming Confidence strikes at his Majesty's Prerogative, and Asserts it to be a per­nicious Doctrin publickly Vented, ‘That the King by his Prerogative might alter the Standard of our Coin;’ tho' I presume not to know the Limits of Prerogatives, or Power of Parliaments: Yet this I am sure, that His Majesty's just Prerogatives ex­tend as far as any of his Royal Predecessors, Kings of England: And Chamberlain, in his Present State of England, tells ye, ‘That anciently, by the Law­yers, the Royal Prerogative was call'd Sacra Sacro­rum, by which the Kings of England had power to appoint the Metal, Weight, Purity, and Value of the Publick Monies; and, by his Proclamation, make any Foreign Coin to be Lawful Mony of of England. And, as I am informed, there will scarce one Act of Parliament be found for the va­rious Alterations of our Coins this 400 Years; but his Majesty, of his Goodness and Clemency, was pleased to say in his Speech, Novemb. 22. 1695. This is a Matter of so very great Importance, that I have thought sit to leave it intirely to my Parliament. Let the Gentlemen Con those words, (I have thought fit) and he goes on to beg pardon for the Omission he had lik'd to have made, in not publish­ing this Impudence; but had it been in some for­mer Reigns, there had been no Omission in giving him his Just Reward, and his Book its Desert.

Gentlemen, 'Tis now time to consider what hath, and now does, occasion those General Com­plaints, [Page 17] for want of Mony and Trade, and what may be the proper Remedy.

There are many Reasons for the present Scar­city of Money, besides the Exporting of our Coin.

1. The Bulk of Guinea's, which alone carried on the whole Trade of the Kingdom for some time, and answered every Man's Bills and Occasions, without Complaint of Scarcity, Non-payment or Stock-jobbing Notes, or Bills, at 14, 16, and some­times 20 per Cent. discount, these are partly ex­ported by Foreign Dealers to their Private Advan­tage, and partly hoarded up at Home for the same end, willing to have the Advantage themselves they know others make by their Exportation. This has made what we have left, a dead and useless Cash, and the Obligation and Encouragement to Coin more is taken off by Act of Parliament, to the First of next Ianuary, excepting the Royal African Company, for their own use, and declares, That the Importation of Guinea's from beyond Seas, may prove prejudicial to the Kingdom; and there­fore enacts, That all Guinea's imported from the 2d of March last, to the 1st of next January, shall be forfeited, the one half to the King, and the other to the Informer.

There's no doubt but this Act has effectually answer'd its end, because 'tis no advantage to bring them over: And what Forfeitures there have been thereon, I know not; but, by the want of Guinea's, we may suppose the Nation wants more than a Million of its Current Cash.

2. By Recoining of about Four Millions of Clipt Mony, and supposing a Million more to Coin, will [Page 18] make something more than Two Millions and an Half, and the Loss must be nigh as much more of the Currant Cash.

3. By the Non-Currancy of Bank and Banker's Bills, Goldsmith's, and other Notes, the Nation may be deprived of nigh a Million of Current Credit more, which makes Four Millions and an Half, besides the great Sums of Money dayly ex­ported: This makes a great Hole in the necessary running Cash of the Kingdom, required to answer our Domestick Commerce and Occasions. Sir Wil­liam Petty in King Charles the Second's Time, esti­mating the whole Running Cash of the Nation at Six Millions, and Mr. Lownds computes the whole Silver Coin Clipt and Unclipt, Hoarded and Cur­rant in England, before their melting down, to be but Five Millions Six Hundred Thousand Pounds; so that, notwithstanding our Occasions are greater than ever, for Money to satisfie the National Debts, Arrears, and Desiciency of Funds; and that our Necessary Preservation calls for more large Supplies; yet we have Four Millions and an Half less Cash and Credit to do it with, than a Year since: Nor can it be believ'd, that all the Plate in the Kingdom will make good this Sum; and we are sure, at the Price 'tis now at, none will be brought in: And in their own Words we may truly say, That, Instead of real Gold and Silver we had before, we have now a Fairy Treasure in our Glo­rious New Money, that no sooner appears but va­nishes.

'Tis worth observing, That 'twas not the Quan­tity or Smalness of the Clip'd Mony, so much as the Quality, the Adulterate Baseness of the Me­tal, [Page 19] False Impression, and the Difficulty of know­ing passable from not passable, and the Trouble in receiving and paying, to distinguish Six Pences from Shillings, &c. These were Inconveniencies that loudly cryed for a Reformation; not but Ex­perience demonstrates ye could buy as much of any Commodity here for Five Shillings, that weighed not Half a Crown, as you do now for Five Shillings, that weighs as much more, and payd as much Rent, Debts, &c. as now, and equal to it for all Uses, Exportation excepted; where 'tis natural to believe an Ounce of Silver will pur­chase more than Half an Ounce; the same, if they bring their Coin hither. Now, supposing that every Man in the Kingdom had as much New Money, as they Before had of Clip'd Mo­ney, the Nation would not be one Half Penny richer than before: If ye can buy no more Land, pay no more Rents or Debts with it, nor buy more Commodities at home with it, as certainly ye can't; then 'tis neither better or worse in Va­lue, but the same, only with this Difference, that you have as much more Silver in your Coin as serv'd the same Use before, and so have but Half the Quantity of Money you might have; and before ye were assured none cou'd be carryed away to your Loss, but ye have now no Assurance but it may all; and the only Advantage is, that 'tis more commodious for Tale, and not so easily counterfeited as before, tho' too much practised already.

It will be Objected, the Damage the Merchants would sustain by their Foreign Bills and Remit­tances more than now: This is only a Mistake; [Page 20] for before our Clipt Coin in Specie was carryed be­yond Seas for Payments, and they met with such Loss and Difficulties as well as our selves, in the Receipt and Payment, they did not fall their Ex­change, tho' the greatest part of the Currant Cash in the Kingdom this 30 years, has been Clipt Mo­ny more or less: For the Exchange does not re­gard the intrinsick Value, but the extrinsick Value and Denomination it bears in the respective Coun­tries.

For if I pay here 100 l. that is, 32 l. 3 Ounces, One Penny Weight, and Two and Twenty Grains of Sterling Silver, to receive the like Value in Hol­land at 36 Dutch Skillings per Pound Sterling: If I expect to receive the same Weight of Silver there, I am mistaken; and 'tis possible I may'nt have Half that Quantity, which nevertheless is no Loss to me, because it answers my End; 'twill pay my 100 Pounds Debt there, or answer any other occasion, as well as if I had the same Quan­tity of Silver that I here payd; and this is proper­ly call'd Exchange: But if I carry my 100 l. to Holland, and exchange it but for 100 l. of their Money, I make an ill Exchange, and give them twice the Silver they give me, which cannot be expected to return again, but by the same Disad­vantage to us, as 'tis Advantage to them to keep it: Nor is it any Difference whilst the Coins of Countries are not exported, but their Commerce maintained by Bills of Exchange, whether I pay 100 Guinea's here, to receive 100 Cockle-shels in Holland; or pay 100 Guinea's in Holland, to re­ceive 100 Cockle-shels here: So I can in one Country pay or purchase as much for one, as I can [Page 21] in the other for t'other: Nor can the Advance of our Coin prejudice any Merchants, but those that Export it to the Publick Damage, who more de­serve an Halter than a Gold Chain for their Encouragement: 'Tis by such unprofitable Mer­chandizing, that the Nation has been rob'd of so great and immense Treasure, since the 1. of Q. Elizabeth, there having been Coin'd more than Twenty Two Millions of Silver Money of the same Weight Standard and Fineness as now is; and now the whole Silver Coin in the Kingdom, will scarce amount to Four Millions; and grant­ing there are Two Millions more in Plate, than was at that time in the Nation, there will be Sixteen Millions of Silver Coin, besides Gold, the People have been rob'd of, to gratifie the a­varitious self-ended Designs of unprofitable Mer­chants, within something more than an Hundred Years, for want of Raising the Value of our Coin; which growing Inconveniency to the King and Kingdom, Sir Walter Raleigh wisely foresaw, and fore-warn'd. 'Tis worth considering what we have had for this Treasure: Why, there's fine China Babies, Cabinets, Skreens, &c. with Monkey-fac'd Pictures, fine Silks, Muslins and Ca­licoes; and I can't tell ye how many Hundred Thousand Tuns of Fine and Foul French Wines into the Bargain. These are poor Remains of such a Treasure; and can any Man in his right Senses believe that the present Standard of our Coin, which 'tis plain, has already robbed the Nation of so much Money, will now be the Means to bring it in again? O Moria! Now could I wish my self a Second Erasmus to sing forth thy Encomium.

[Page 22]It is the Design of those Gentlemen to puzzle the Country with the Balance of Trade, and tell them it matters not what the Coin is, 'tis the Balance of Trade must make us rich: 'Tis true, that must, if any thing does; but, by their Methods, we can never turn the Scale. In short, the Balance is thus, If we carry out more Gold and Silver than we bring in, the Nation is so much the poorer; and you see before, which way the Balance has turned this Hundred Years; but of late, being drove by Necessity, when the Silver-Coin was so bad, that little could be taken with safety, and that most of the Gold was exhausted, and, as now, no Trade to bring in more, the People, by a good Policy of their own, with Universal Consent and Good-li­king, and to their Mutual Advantage, did Ad­vance their Gold, which was in such proportion to the Silver-Coin then, that neither could be car­ried away, without great loss to the Exporters: This soon brought over great Plenty of Gold, and put New Life into us, set all Hands at Work on our own Manufacturies and Produce, and suffi­ciently turned the Balance on our side; and for one Guinea then exported, we had more than a thousand brought in; and for one hundred Pounds of our own Manufactury now exported, there was then a thousand; and all our own Gold was coined into Guinea's: This brought us True and Real Riches, great Plenty of Mony and good Trade throughout the whole Kingdom, made all Men easie, and busily employ'd, inabled them cheerfully and willingly to pay their Taxes, Rents, their Bills and Credit, and the War with France made no more Impression on our Minds or Pockets [Page 23] than it now does on the Great Mogul. We sold them our Commodities at good Rates, and we had Gold and Trade enough amongst our selves, which was the thing we wanted; and those Clo­thiers and other Dealers on our own Manufa­cturies, that could then employ 3 or 400 Persons, have now neither Business nor Mony to employ 50, and many have quite left off Trading. This the Government was pleased to take notice of by Order of Council, May 30. 1696.

WHereas their Excellencies, the Lords Iustices, have receiv'd Information in Council, That many Persons concerned in the Woolen Manufactu­ries, in several Parts of this Kingdom, have entred into Vnlawful Confederacies and Agreements, where­by they have Engaged and Obliged each other, under Penalties, not to Employ any Persons in Making the said Manufacturies; and, in regard such Practices and Confederacies are highly Criminal; and, if not timely prevented, may put a stop to the General Trade of this Kingdom, and occasion a Disturbance of the Publick Peace, it is Order'd, That Mr. Attorney-Ge­neral do prosecute the Offenders, to the uttermost Se­verity of Law.

'Tis not the Interest of Tradesmen to leave off their Trade; and as they can't live without Trade, so they cannot Trade without Mony and Gain; nor when 100 l. Bill shall be answered with 5 l. in Specie, can they pay their poor Work-folks, and are forc'd to desist: And 'tis humbly supposed, there's scarce a Corporation in England, has not felt the Effects of this mistaken Opinion, and be­lieve [Page 24] their Lost Trade and Mony can any ways be retrieved, but by what they know brought it them before; that is, advancing the Coin: For if they have not, by undervaluing our Coin, this 7 or 8 Months, brought one Ounce in ten of Silver to the Mint, but what we drain from our selves, why should we believe, that for the time to come they can? We must consider, that we have no Mines of Gold and Silver, as the Spaniard has, yearly to replenish our exhausted Store, and there­fore merits our most serious Consideration, how we shall bring Silver from abroad to the Mint, if all the Plate in the Nation was run down and ex­ported, if we can't bring it in now without it. The Publick and Private Plate ought to be our last Shift, except we sell or pawn our Lands: And I appeal to all Men, if the Nation has not been better able this Seven Years to Maintain the War with France, without Melting down their Plate, and without knowledge of those General Com­plaints for want of Trade and Mony, as hath been only for Seven Months last past, since the under­valuing of the Coin. If they object, the Occa­sion of this Misfortune is, the Mony's not being all coined: That is no Reason; for, before any of it was coined, there was little Silver current, but Gold enough, without complaint; and, notwith­standing all that has been coined since, there's not so much Mony as was before.

Therefore, since the Design of all Trade, is the procuring of Gold and Silver, and that can only be had for our Manufacturies and Commodities; for we purchase not Gold and Silver with Gold and Silver, and the undervaluing of ours will not [Page 25] make other Countries to undervalue theirs; for then they lose the Advantage of Drawing the Sil­ver to themselves for their Commodities; nor would the advance of our Mony, have any in­fluence on them to advance theirs; because they could then have no advantage by Trading with us and Buying our Commodities: Therefore it matters not from whence we have it, or whether we go to the East or West-Indies to fetch it: If it comes Home to us, it answers our end; and they have only our Labour and Manufacture for it, of which we can never be drain'd.

But, say they, the Foreign Merchants will un­der-sell ye with your own Commodities. 'Tis false: For if I sell a Dutchman a Piece of Cloth for so much Gold or Silver, can't I fell a Spaniard or Portuguese as much for the same quantity of Gold and Silver? And when we have the Gold and Sil­ver, we may make our own Markets for our Com­modities.

Gentlemen, if ye think it more for the Honour and Safety of the Nation when your Plate is melt­ed down, and you have no more Mony than be­fore, when every paultry Ale-house could shew more Plate than a French Count, and most Ta­verns could equal those of the First Rank in France; when every Porter or Carman had more Guinea's in's Pocket, than now many Gentlemen of Estates; when the Army neither abroad nor at home is paid; when ye shall pay 16 or 20 per Cent. to dig out your own Mony that's buried in Banco; and more than that, to raise Mony on your Tallies; and that no Personal Security how good soever will be taken, and on your Lands or Plate ye must [Page 26] give more than 10 per Cent. and glad to get it so; and this will reduce your Lands to about Ten Years purchase: And those Gentlemen have a fine time on't, whose Lands are incumber'd and now compell'd to pay the Mony: For if there be but half the Mony to circulate as the Nation requires, that doubles the Interest, tho' not by Law, yet not to be procured without it, and you can have but half your former Value for your Lands; and nothing is more the Interest of landed Men, than to Multiply the Mony amongst our selves, which will advance their Lands to 25 Years Purchase, and more, proportionable to the lowering the In­terest. 'Tis mentioned in the Publick News, that the States of Holland have lately borrowed 5 Mil­lions of Florins in 14 Days time at 4 per Cent. and I wish, that Mony here for his Majesty's Service might be raised for the same Interest; but this must be the effect of plenty of Mony, which as naturally decreases Interest, as the Scarcity ad­vances it. If ye can believe these things to be for the Honour and Safety of the King and Kingdom, 'twill be no difficult matter to perswade ye to send your Leather to France, and wear Wooden Shooes.

The Continuance of these Grievances, must dis­hearten the People at home, and we shall be so far from a Terror to our Enemies abroad, that we shall be contemptible and forsaken by our Friends: For, 'Tis Mony commands all things, saith Solomon; and, as the old Proverb has it, makes the Pot boil, tho' the Devil Piss in the Fire; and 'tis like Blood in the Veins, if it stagnate, and the circulation be impeded, or let out by too great effusion, the de­struction of the whole Body must unavoidably en­sue. [Page 27] I shall not presume to prescribe a Remedy, and put a Stop to these great and growing Evils, being the Business of those Honourable Gentle­men your Representatives, and your own, in what you can assist in a Matter of so great Conse­quence, where too many can't be consulted; for that good which is most defusive, does most good and is best; and Solomon says, In the Multitude of Counsellors there is Wisdom. And possibly the grea­ter part of the Scriblers on this Subject may have private ends, different from the good of the Pub­lick: And therefore, how specious soever their Reasons may appear to ye, 'tis your own Interests and the Publick Good ye must consult, and believe, that the intention of Mony is plentifully to circu­late amongst your selves; and to encourage those profitable Merchants, that, for your Cloths and other Manufacturies, bring ye in Gold and Silver, who can receive no damage from the advance of the Coin; and for the other Merchants that have already carried away such Vast Sums; (and if not prevented) will much more, ye may be as com­plesant to as you please.

I shall only remark, That when all the Clipt Mony is recoined, if it went for as much in tale as it did before, with the addition of so much as may make an equality in Payments; that is, to make the difference of every 100 Pounds weight of Clipt Mony equal, no Man could say he was injured, since he is paid in a better Coin than he lent; and 'tis equal whether Ten Shillings he lent, be paid in Ten Pieces, or One: And the remain­der of the Twelve Hundred Thousand Pounds, to make good the Coin, may be imployed to other [Page 28] uses more advantageous to the King and King­dom, than amending the Coin. This would make us as rich as we were before, encrease Trade, and bring great quantities of Plate to the Mint from abroad and at home, and the Nation once more happy again; which may more easily be altered, when found necessary, than we can bring Silver from beyond Seas, when we want it.

The imaginary loss, in paying the Armies be­yond Seas, will vanish, for the Soldiers will have no loss thereby: For if they are to have Six-pence per day, more or less, if paid in Mony from hence, they must have so much as will make that Sum there, let the Exchange be what it will; and we had better lose Two-pence in a Shilling, than Twelve-pence; and the one, like our Clipt Mony, will be sure to come back; and the other, like our New Mony, will be sure to stay there. And his Majesty, long since, recommended to the Parlia­ment to find out Means to prevent so great a Loss to the Nation, as the carrying out Mony in Specie: But what Methods that Honourable House have taken to prevent it, I know not; nor, to the best of my remembrance, have seen any thing publick re­lating to it.

It is not impossible, but we might furnish our own Armies at least with Corn and Cheese, and many other things from hence, without sending Mony thither to but it, which would much di­minish the Charge of our Army.

It is not impossible, but we might have fur­nish'd the Duke of Savoy, when an Ally, and other Allies, that have our Assistance, instead of Mony, with Corn, if cheap, here; and with Guns, Pi­stols, [Page 29] Swords, Powder, Bombs, Ball, Clothes, Hats, Stockens, Shooes; all Furniture for Horses, and many other things, which would have done their Business as well as Mony. But it may be said, They cou'd buy them cheaper at Home: That can't be; for they can't have them cheaper, than for nothing; and the Mony would have been spent at Home, and created a Trade, and have been no loss to the Nation, if we part only with our Labour and Product.

'Tis worth observing the advantageous Policy the French King has made use of, during this War, who, from the beginning, has greatly advanced his Coin, and by that Policy chiefly, has been able to Cope with, and Baffle, the United Force of the greatest part of Europe; and yet 'tis very re­markable, that those Gentlemen who so highly extol that Monarch's other Policies, run Counter in this, and say, he is a Prince that has but little or no Trade, and may do it; but it's beneath us, that are a Trading Nation. This is a mean shift; and it had been happy for this Kingdom, if we had traded to so good advantage as he has done; he has not let the Merchants run away with his Gold and Silver, but makes it to enrich Himself and Country, and not them, but by bringing it in: He has neither Gold or Silver the Produce of his own Country, no more than we; nor has he so much as Lead or Tin of his own growth, nor many other useful Commodities, and yet he wants not any of them more than we, for ought we can learn: He maintains an Army three times as nume­rous as ours, and at prodigious Charge in Main­taining his Garisons, and great Fleets; has Ar­mies [Page 30] in all places where we have, and more, and sends great Sums to his Confederates the Turk, and the King of Poland, whil'st living; besides the great Charge in Maintaining his roguish Iacobite Emissaries and others, in most Countries in Europe, and Lords it over his Neighbours: And these are all the Inconveniences that we can know he has found this 8 Years, by the Advance of his Mony, a quite different Story to what our last 7 Months has brought us to; and 'twill easily be believed, that he would not have continued it, if it had been a disadvantage to him. And why that which is so advantageous to him, and was so to us, whil'st the Clipt Mony went, whose diminish'd Weight made us on equal Terms with him, should now be thought our loss? And 'tis well known his Gold Pistoles have been the chief Artillery that has made him Lewis l' Grand.

Now, Gentlemen, he that can tell ye of one real Benefit the Nation have had, or are like to have, to balance these Inconveniences the present Standard of our Coin has brought on the Kingdom, ought to be to you, more than the great Apollo.

I shall add, That the City of London have gi­ven ye all a good President, in their late Request to their Representatives in Parliament; wherein they make their earnest Request, That they would use their utmost and joynt Endeavours, at the first Sit­ting down of the Parliament, that the Plot may be throughly examined into; and that the Conspiratiors who have hitherto made it their business, not only to keep a Private Correspondence with our Enemies, and to deliver up the Ships, and Effects of our Merchants and Traders into their hands; but also, to betray His [Page 31] Majesty's Councils, and so destress and undermine the best of Governments, may be detected: Without which, they humbly offer it as their Opinion, That all other En­deavours for the Preservation of the King and King­dom will prove ineffectual. Therefore, if ye now omit what ye think necessary for your own Good and Safety to Offer, ye must blame your selves: Nor can ye but be truly sensible of the great Blessing we en­joy above other Nations in our Religion, and be­lov'd Liberties, under the best of Kings, whom Heaven has Crown'd with all Royal Virtues; whose Goodness has left it entirely to his People, to make themselves a Great, Rich and Happy Nation; and has pleased to Recommend it to the Consideration of his People, whether there do not still remain some Inconveniencies relating to the Coin, which ought to be remedied. Tho' after all we may too fitly be compared to the Image in Nebuchad­nezzar's Vision. We have a Golden Head, 'tis true, but Members of Brass, Clay and Iron.

That all may Unite for the Glory of God, the Honour and Preservation of His Ma­jesty and Government, the Good of the Protestant Religion in general; and may Heaven Defend them from the wicked and mischievous Designs of their Open Ene­mies, and False Friends, is the Hearty Prayer of,
Your Humble Votary.

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