THE Vintners Answer TO Some scandalous Phamphlets Published, (as is supposed) By Richard Kilvert; And abetted in some points, by his Brother Roger, and Alderman Abel. Wherein the Vintners vindicate their owne Reputations to the world, for satisfaction of all such as know not the said Kilverts Wretched and lewd conversation, or have credited his foule impudent defamations suggested against them.

Magna est veritas, & prevalebit.

London, Printed, Anno 1642.

Kilvert charges the Vintners of three things:

1. THat they were Projectors, and contrivers of that Imposition of 40 [...]. per▪ Tun, which the King set upon Wines imported in 1637.

2. That they were also actors, and prosecutors of the same, to the grievance of the Subject, by Farming the same, by ta­king 1 d. and 2 d. per quart, upon the consumtion of Wines above the due price, by obtaining other illegall things, &c.

3. That in all these things they had a covetous desire of inrich­ing themselves, and that by these means they have greatly inriched themselves.

But it is to be noted, that in these points of Accusation, Kil­vert is himself a Delinquent, and was first accused; and yet though he act but the part of a Recriminator against the Vint­ners, he takes upon him to be a competent Accuser, and takes advantage against them, to take away the validity of their te­stimony, as being by him pronounced guilty.

It is apparent also, that both Kilvert and Alderman Abel do recriminate the more confidently, because the Vintners are a confiderable body, and supposed able to make great restitution to the Common-wealth, if they can any way taint their inno­cence, and lay them open for Delinquents; yet both are no [...] equally furious.

The substance of that which Alderman Abel says, is; That that this Project was first contrived at Court, and for divers yeers urged upon the Vintners, and yet ever repulsed, and ne­ver consented too, till 1637. And then he being Master of the Vintners Company, (divers of them being then prosecuted in [Page 2] Star-chamber) was requested by them, to redeem them from ruine. And thereupon, whatsoever he undertook, was meerly to preserve his Company, and for no other ends; and that he had no benefit by it, nor aimed at any, nor did effect any thing, but with the consent, and by the authority of the generality of Vintners.

Kilvert being [...] man indued with more boldnesse, makes no scruple to alleage further, That it appears by the Acts and Or­ders of their own Court, that they were the plotters and con­trivers of that Imposition. He instances in the Act of 6 Nov. 1637. and the 22 of the same, when the Company consented to treat of, and to admit the Imposition; and he says, That from thenceforth the whole Project was managed by the Company in open Court at their Hall, and the major part of Vintners were present at those Courts, and did consent by holding up of hands. He instances in the 7 of Febr. 1637. when the Company appointed ten Contractors to seal to the King; and in the 13 of Febr. when Griffith by Letter gave instructions how to cove­nant. He says he was no Patentee, nor issued money in the bu­sinesse, nor was at the Vintners Hall, till the Project was con­cluded and petition'd for.

The substance of that which the Vintners reply hereunto, is; That the Imposition cannot be said to be contrived, or plotted in Nov. 1637. or after Nov. which was in being long before, much lesse can the Vintners be supposed to be the contrivers and plotters of that, which for divers yeers before they had opposed and withstood at their own great perill and prejudice.

That whosoever the contrivers and plotters were in the con­ception, yet if the Midwifery and Nurcery of Kilvert and Al­derman Abel had not given it birth, and growth afterwards in the world, it must needs have proved Abortive.

That in 1632. an Imposition of 4 l. per Tun was solicited by some of the Kings Ministers; and in 1633. my Lord Treasu­rer Weston was urgent to bring the same to passe; but the Vint­ners not submitting thereto, an extra judiciall Decree in Star-chamber was procured, prohibiting Vintners to dresse meat, and restraining them from divers benefits of their Trade; and this was prepared as a lash to over-awe them, and either to abate [Page 3] their courage in opposing, or to diminish their power.

That my Lord Cottington, and some other Lords did inforce the same Imposition; and that my Lord of Dorset pitying their condition, and thinking them not sufficiently knowing of their own state, was so open and plain, as to tell them, It was folly in Travellers, to deny their purses to Robbers upon the way, and to draw harm upon themselves thereby, when they had no sufficient force, either to defend their purses, or their own per­sons: And having so told them, he applyed it further, and swore it was their own case.

That this Decree being so formidable in those injurious times, and so many great men so intentive to make use of it, in 1634. The Vintners did furnish for the Kings use, 6000 l. up­on a promise to be secured from the Decree, and to have their due Priviledges confirmed in Dec: following, and they ob­tained a Warrant from the Councell-Table to that effect; and some of them being not fully satisfied with that dilatory War­rant, my Lord of Arundels words were, Will you not be satis­fied with the word of a King?

That till Dec: aforesaid, the Company remained quiet and unmolested, but then seeking the promised assurance, their an­swer from the Lords was, That the King wanted more money, which if they would supply, more then had bin promised should be performed, and the Imposition was again pressed.

That the Vintners not yet yeelding to the Imposition, the force of the Decree was inculcated, and the promised assurance was denyed, the 6000 l. lent was detained, and used onely as a bait to draw them further on, and to intice them into the Project.

That other great suits then hanging in Star-chamber to be solicited by Kilvert, the Vintners injoyed some rest till 1636. and then divers of them were vexed upon the Decree; and in April following Kilvert made his open boast, that the Bishop of Lincolns case being once ended, he would immediately set him­self to prosecute the Vintners upon the Decree.

The Alderman Abel being Sheriffe Elect of London before Midsummer, 1636. by right whereof, according to the City cu­stome, he was to be chosen Master of the Vintners, he refused [Page 4] it, pretending that he should be better able to serve the Vintners after the expiration of his Shrievalty.

That at Midsummer, 1637. Alderman Abel took upon him to be Master of the Company, his Shrievalty expiring at Mi­chaelmas following, the Bishop of Lincolns triall being end [...]d about the same time, both he and Kilvert had good leasure to joyn, and to combine about the businesse of Vintners.

That from Feb. and Hil. Term next, before the Vintners ha­ving been examined upon oath in Star-chamber, and confessed the dressing of Meat, &c. contrary to the Decree, there was neverthelesse no further proceeding in Easter, or Trin. Term against them; but in Sept. following, both Kilvert and the Al­derman being at leasure, they had meetings and conferences, as themselves confesse, and then at the Aldermans house Kilvert imparted it, that he had Warrant from the King, to solicite against all Vintners, as well those that had given over their Trade, as others, for breach of the Decree; and that Marq. Ha­milton had power from the King, to treat with some of the Com­pany touching His Majesties pleasure therein.

That upon the 25 of Octob. following, at a Court of Assi­stance Alderman Abel made this Overture known, and with great passion set forth the danger of the whole Company, where­upon some were selected to make their addresse to M. Hamilton, and to negotiate that affair.

That upon 31 Octob. they which had attended M. Hamilton, reported to the Assistants, that it was communicated to them from the Marq. that the King expected an Imposition but to be agreed upon by Committees, indifferently to be appointed both by the King and Vintners; and that in respect of the same Imposition, the Vintners should re-tail Wines dearer by espe­ciall grace, and withall obtain confirmation of former Privi­ledges, and a grant of further benefits.

That the Marq. did impart his private advice for their yeeld­ing herein, because though the Delinquents Fines were given him, yet he confidering that the ruine of divers private men, would not so much inrich the Kings coffers, was willing to at­tend the Kings favour in some other suit, so that the Imposition [Page 5] might be condiscended to, for the Kings greater profit, and the Vintners better safety.

That hereupon a generall Courts was called on Nov. 6. 1637. wherein much was laboured by Kilvert and the Alderman, both by fair promises and sharp threats, to induce to the Impo­sition: It was promised, that the King would pardon all for­mer delinquencies, that the Vintners should have His Majesties especiall favour, and by the same injoy not onely former immu­nities, but further Priviledges also, and for ever be made a glo­rious Company; That they should dresse and sell Victuals, To­bacco, Beer, Sugar, &c. That they should be free from Infor­mers, and have power to restrain the incroachments of the Coopers. On the other side, as Benefit was the bait, so Terror was the hook, and Destruction in the next place was laid before them; In case they did reject the Imposition, it was menaced, that they should be prosecuted upon the Decree, perplexed with Informers, disabled for their Trade, that the King was unaltera­bly resolved to have this Imposition, whether they assented, or no; That if the Vintners were rich, the King would not be poor; That he would as soon lose his Crown land, as this be­nefit, that Wines being a forein Commodity, the Law allowed the King to impose upon it at pleasure; that it was also in the Kings power to suppresse all but 40 Vintners in London, and that good Councell had so resolved it; And the Aldermans Conclusion was, Shall I see my Company digg'd up by the roots, my Brethren ruin'd ith' Star-chamber, and the cankerly Cooper between the bark and the tree eat up all?

That these things being so represented to the Generality in those times of violence, the main body voted rather to comply with the King by furnishing another present summe, then by this Imposition, and 10000l. was nominated; but both Kilvert and the Alderman called some of them out, and upbraided them as beggars, not able to pay what had been formerly levied for the King, and at last concluded, That the King expected, and would have more yeerly then such a summe. And so the Que­stion at last being put after long contestation, Whether they would stand out any longer against the Imposition, upon such t [...]rms, or comply with the King, in chusing and authorising a [Page 6] Committee to treat of the manner of an Imposition; the Gene­rality did chuse to comply so far, and to appoint a Com­mittee.

That this Act of Court were not so main an Evidence for Kilvert, and fit to be so often insisted upon, if it were not mis-alleaged, and mis-applyed; for if the major part of Vintners did appear, and consent, yet they were perswaded, threatned, intreated, but did neither perswade, threaten, nor intreat; and they consented to comply with the King, and did not use means that the King might comply with them, as Kilvert most mali­ciously inverts it; and their compliance was in appointing Committees to treat of an Imposition, but not absolutely to submit to it; and if they had absolutely yeelded, yet all cir­cumstances considered, it ought not to be held a voluntary yeelding, but such a violent one, as the Sea-mans is in a Tem­pest, when he submits to the weather, and chuses rather to cast away all his wares, then himself, and ship, and all.

That on 22 Nov. following at another generall Court the Committees reported what the Kings demands were, and the Generalities assent being questioned, it was assented that the Committees might yeeld to 40s. per Tun, provided that they might be assured to have from His Majestie the immunities and benefits proposed and expressed, and that all this were just and good in Law; (but indeed these words concerning legality are not entred in the Hall-book.)

That this Act of Court, if it be taken most strongly against the Vintners, though it be Kilverts prime engine, yet it evin­ces no more, but that they submitted to the Kings demands urged upon them, as hath been said; and since they had no power to hold out against it any longer, they provided for some helps to inable them to bear it, and those also no other, but such as had been proposed, and expressed to them; not such as they had gree­dily gaped after; the Book it self will justifie in that, and in­deed the benefits and immunities were inconsiderable to the Vintners, such as had no great reality in them, nor had they any beleef in the obtruders of them, nay they know they were obtruded rather to make them guilty, then to make them gainers; setting aside exemption from the rigor of Star-chamber, [Page 7] they would willingly have forgone all promised priviledges, and given great sums of money besides, to be delivered from the Im­position.

That it is extreme malice and falshood in Kilvert so to al­leadge and mis-recite this Act, as if it had no relation to former violence and constraint; or as if it amounted to a meer request, nay to a Project in the Vintner; as if his end had been to op­presse the Cooper, and to Monopolize the retayling of Wines thorow the whole Kingdom; or as if the words did testifie of the Vintners demands, and propositions, and requests, and not the direct contrary.

That the Vintners are not destitute of further answers also; For first, the major part, and better sort of drawing Vintners were not that day present at the Hall, the businesse was so farre disaffected, and they in opposing it had been so farre wearied out and worried (as it were) by Kilvert and the Alderman, that they did forbear any longer to appear, nothing being there ex­pected, but checks, affronts, and disgracefull usage, and there­fore the most part which appeared that day, was of Suburbian retaylers, poor men, and such as dealt in Rundlets, and such as faction had drawn in for a good number of them. Secondly, of such as did then appear the more loud and turbulent part, carry­ed it, rather than the major part of able and modest men. Third­ly, Those of the better sort which did give their consent, did it not with any true liking to the project, but meerly to avoid ruine in the Starre-chamber. For the shipwrack of the Sope-boylers, and others, was then fresh, and in view, and that Court had then gotten them the same repute, as a Timariots horse has in Turkey, where they say no grasse ever grows, after the impres­sion of his fatall hoof. Fourthly, the entry of that dayes Act is much to be suspected, as well as many others, for many passa­ges then intervened, to which the world is not now privy: for first, All Courts of generality were called by the Beadle, in the Kings name, a form of summons never before used, and had now been uselesse, if the generality, out of distaste to the busi­nesse, had not been unwilling to appear; and if the Alderman and Kilvert had not been very eager in obtruding upon the Company against their liking. Secondly, Divers other Courts [Page 8] were called both before and after the 6 and the 22 of Nov. wherein the generality dissenting and disavowing the Project▪ and alleaging many reasons of illegality, & inconvenience in it▪ no entrance is remaining therof, nor memory of any such Courts held; and yet if any such remembrances were now extant, they would testifie for the Vintners against the Projectors, and plain­ly discover who they were that pursued, and who that rejected the designe. Thirdly, Kilvert has no regard at all to the true reciting of such acts as are remaining in the Clerks Book, but to the perverting of justice, satisfies in all his allegations. Fourth­ly, The Acts themselves were not alwayes rightly entred. Sometimes the Clerk was checkt and over-awed, sometimes en­tries were made contrary to his liking, and without his privity, some things being omitted, and some inserted, and some wrested, and mis-sensed; so that indeed the acts are more properly Kil­verts, than the Companies. The Book sayes alwayes, that the ma­jor part of Vintners did alwayes appear, and the major part of the Apparence consent, but this was seldom so. And the major part did never consent, but with this Proviso, That the thing consented too was legall, and warranted by Counsell; but this was never entred. And upon the 25 of Oct. 1637. Committees were appointed to treat with Marquesse Hamilton; but the Book adds, Concerning the advance of the prices of Wines, and this is meerly suppositious. Fifthly, Many of the Vintners were practised and tampered withall, especially the meaner sort, and many of the better sort were over-powred, and born down by might and threats, and singled out from the rest. For example, Nov. 22. Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Mason being opposers of the Imposition, were not onely controlled in publike, as obsti­nate men, and ill-willers to the Kings servic, but it was com­manded to be entred in the Hall Book, as a great delinquence, and there is still remains registred: and this being not sufficient, the same men were the same day sent for by the Beadle, to the Ca­stle Tavern in Pater-noster Row, where Kilvert and the Alder­man dined, to receive further rebuke and insolent usage: and this was for example to disanimate the rest. For Alderman Abel, as he was an Alderman of London, and Master of the Company of Vintners, and assisted with Kilverts infinite wiles [Page 9] and impostures, and as he had to do with a distracted body of men of severall mindes and qualities, holding no perfect intel­ligence one with another; and as he was at that time of un­suspected faith, and in their good opinion, and as he had the ad­vantage of those projecting times, and influence from some great persons of honour, and above all, the Kings name to make use of in all his pretences, had strange advantages to be­tray his brethren, and bring about his own purposes. Sixthly, besides disadvantages common to other Tradesmen, the Vint­ners were divers other wayes also liable to the lash, and ob­noxious to injuries; for by the Statute, the Lords had a power to set the re-tailing prices of Wines so, as that they might undo the Vintners at pleasure, if they would not submit to the Impo­sition; and they did lay hold of this power to this purpose, causing them to sell cheaper then they could well afford, and that yeer when the Imposition was first consented too, fearing lest the Vintners should recede and retract, they set the prices lower, and raised them after, but not till all things were made sure. Moreover, to affright the Vintners further, it was repre­sented to them, that by the Law the King might suppresse all but 40 Taverns; that he had right to impose upon forein com­modities, and that dressing of Meat, selling Tobacco, &c. were not undoubtedly belonging to their Trade, so that their case would be more desperate then the Sope-boilers, or the Irish planters, and these yet in Star-chamber had faln without mercie. Seventhly, all these indirect passages notwithstanding, there is scarce above one generall Court, wherein the Imposition was consented to, most of the other passages of preparing, ripening and perfecting the Project, were translated by Courts of Assi­stance, and at such Courts it is sufficient if 12 besides the Ma­ster be present, and the major part of those 12 sufficiently in­gages the whole Company. And it is to be noted, that it sel­dom happened at those Courts, that there were present above five or six drawing Vintners, and of those also, some were the Aldermans creatures: For Example, on 27 Nov. 1637. a draught of a Petition was presented, there were then 15 Assistants, of those there were onely five drawing Vintners, all the rest had given over their Trades, or were of other Trades, though [Page 10] free of the Company, and many of them were liable to many other exceptions, and yet these referred that weighty businesse to be proceeded in by any three of the Committees, the Master being one, so that if the Alderman could procure any two to joyn with him, that junto was sufficient to dispatch all; and by this means the Aldermans house was the place, and the Alder­man himself, with some of his privadoes, was the man, where, and by whom divers important matters were expedited. And at some times the Alderman alone was sufficient, for 1000l. was given to Kilvert, and 3000l. to Marq. Hamilton out of the Companies purse; but there is no Act of Court remaining, to shew by what authority these moneys were disposed, nor does the Generality understand any thing thereof, but that the Al­dermans authority was solely effectuall in that businesse. Eightly, Kilvert, the most fatall of all false-Informers, the most mischievous of all Projectors, the most impudent of all Impo­stors, was introduced to sit at the Vintners Hall in Court, there to act the Lyons and Foxes part, and when that grew odious to many, he was by an adoption of meer formality, made free of the Company, that he might insult and insinuate the more, and by his Mercuriall trumperies prove more fruitfull in mischief. And though he denies to have been at Vintners Hall till the creation of the Proiect, yet he was there often, and that before, at, and after the 22 of Nov. for that very day it was that he so up­braided Mr Rogers and Mr Mason at the Hall, and dining after in Pater-noster Row, exprest himself in more insolent, and taunt­ing language. Ninthly, when the Generality was drawn toge­ther by the Kings command, they were caused ever to attend below divers hours till the Alderman and his party had framed and debated the businesse, the Generality had no share in the discussion of matters, it was sufficient for them to authorize and own what the privadoes had before discussed; and if any pri­vate man complained hereat, or took upon him to debate any thing by them resolved, he was singled out, and treated as an enemy to the King and his service; for example, Tho. Cox was so treated in open Court, and Mr Rowland Wilson was convented also before the Marquesse, and by him terrified, and taxed as the Kings opposite. Tenthly, when the Company did not [Page 11] appear in so full a body as was thought fit by Abel and Kilvert, the businesse it self not being more displeasing, then the carriage of it, notice was taken thereof especially about Nov. 1637. and that the absent might be known, the names of such as were pre­sent were taken upon command; and this manifests how many wished ill to the Proiect, and how few were active in the con­summating of it. Eleventhly, as Kilvert and the Alderman had too much influence in entring acts, so they had the like in sup­pressing and taking away all such papers and Notes, as might arm and inable the Vintners for a fuller and clearer defence. For example, a Petition, and a Schedule of divers unlawfull demands annexed in Nov. 1637. is charged upon the Vintners; whereas there is no copie of either remaining in the Hall-book, or in the Clerks hands, Kilvert must be the onely Register in this case against his Adversaries, and though they can prove, that they never fully agreed upon any Petition, and that which was presented to them, was by him altred in matters of perti­nence, contrary to the liking of the Vintners, yet he still char­ges them upon his own papers, by himself penned, and by himself preserved. Twelfthly, to give instances, what slavery and treachery the Vintners lived under, two onely shall serve: There was 6000l. to be repayd to the Company; out of this the Alderman would deduct 2000l. issued for the use of Mar­quesse Hamilton, and Kilvert, and so there was two thirds due to the Company; but they could never receive above 12s. in the pound, whieh is not a full thirds; the Aldermans pleasure was sufficient to discharge them of the rest, and against that they were utterly remedilesse. And next, the Alderman being in­trusted to see Counsell about the legality of the Imposition and the Farm, he pretended to be assured by Counsell, of the legali­ty of both beyond all doubt, and yet he had contrary counsell given him.

All this almost which has been hitherto related, Kilvert passes over, and as if the Imposition had never bin thought on till Nov. 1637. there he findes out the source of it, and then he makes the Vintners the first seekers and plotters of it. But because in Nov. the 6, and 22. there is no pregnant proof that the Vintners solicited for the Project, nor no mention is of any Petition, till [Page 12] Nov. 27. there he layes his principall charge; for to that Petiti­on he annexes a Schedule, containing 11 immunities; and these he entitles, The humble desires of the retaylers of Wines: and these are (as his words expresse) the very Project it self.

The Vintners hereunto answer:

That as the Imposition was before violently inforced till they did submit, so the Petition was now as subtilly obtruded, that they might seem to do more then submit.

That the Vintners at the first proposing of a Petition, did cry out against it, both as unnecessary, and unreasonable; Un­necessary, because without any Petition, the King might in ho­nour, justice, and conscience, without any Petition grant, what he had voluntarily offered for his own profit; and if he would not, the matter to them was of little importance: Unreasona­ble, because they should now seem greedy of that, which they had so long withstood, and knew to be destructive to them­selves, and would yet, if they might be permitted, at any rate possible, ransome themselves from.

That Kilvert hereupon assured them, that the Petition could not ingage them in any guilt, or besmear them in any crime, that it was onely framed as best beseeming the Majestie of a Prince, to whom no other addresse could seem congeable, and in that form wherein it was then presented, it did intimate the 40. per Tun, demanded by the King, and the other immunities offered to the Vintners without any seeking, or solicitation on their part; and the Kings promise was the ground of its prayer.

That Kilvert intending, as it seems, to pull out the hot Ches­nut out of the fire with the Monkeys paw, rather then his own, as the crafty beast did in the Fable, did neverthelesse alter the Petition to the inverting of the sense of it, and that contrary to Mr. Shaws advice, and did new transcribe it in contrary words, leaving no Act thereof in the Clerks book, to testifie the effect of it; nor do the Vintners yet know whether it was ever presented to the King or no, or what reference it had, or how far that reference was pursued.

That this Petition therefore, and its appendant Schedule, ought not to be esteemed as the act of the Vintners, but as Kil­verts, nay as Kilvert criminous act, being no lesse then Forgery, [Page 13] and that of a mischievous nature; the Vintners thereby being not onely drawn into damage, but crime also.

Another thing alleaged against the Vintners, to make them guilty of projecting this Imposition, is Griffiths Letter in Feb. following.

But to this the Vintners answer:

That Griffiths Letter giving instructions how to manage the Farm, could be no contrivance or projection of the Imposition; for Kilvert himself says, that he was not at Vintners Hall before the Project was petition'd for, and concluded; and it is mani­fest, that he was at the Hall in Nov. before, and therefore this is a meer contradiction, wherein he confounds times far distant, that he may thereby confound things as farre different. That which had been the laborious businesse of so many yeers before, and the task of so many great Councellors of State, and the de­signe of so rare an Engineer as Kilvert, and had been brought to such maturation before Feb. cannot now be attributed to Griffiths Letter, dated in Feb.

2. But Kilvert sayes, That the Vintners were not onely the inventers and projectors of the Imposition, but in the second place, they were also many wayes actors and prosecutors of the same, viz. by Farming it, by sealing the Quad: Indenture, by taking 1d. and 2d. per Quart, above the just prices, &c.

The Vintners answer; and first, as to the Farm:

That the Farm of the Imposition for 8 yeers, was obtruded upon the Vintners, nor for that it was likely to prove benefici­all to them, but for that they were the fittest men to bring in the Kings Rent, and could collect it with the least noyse and disturbance in the world, and with least opposition and vio­lence amongst the Vintners: for if the Kings Rent had been to be demanded and exacted by his own immediate Officers, or by any other Tenants and Farmors of any other Trade, the Vint­ners Cellars must have been searched by strangers, and many oc­casions of tumult and strife must have happened, whereby great clamours and troubles might have been raised in the Common­wealth, to the greater scandall of Projects. And the same was then apparent in the Sope-boylers case; for whilst that Project was managed by strangers, and the old Sope-boylers would not [Page 14] comply, the whole State almost was shaken with the out-cries and distresses of many undone Families, and the Projectors gained lesse, and vexed the subiect more.

That as the example of the Sope-boylers case thriving so ill till the old Company did submit, was a motive in Kilvert, to presse, and by force to drive the Vintner the more to a submis­sion, so the example of the Sope-boylers case, the old Compa­ny suffering so much, and groning so long under such grievous things till it did yeeld, was a motive to the Company of Vint­ners, to make them yeeld the sooner: and therefore, upon the 7 of Feb. 1637. after some contestation notwithstanding; and after it had been opened, that Sir Abraham Daws had offered above 40000 l. for it, the question being put to the Generality, Whe­ther they would farm the Imposition at 30000 l. per annum, they did consent thereto; and for the Kings further satisfaction, since he would not contract with the Generality, they did agree to nominate 10 Contractors.

That they were first advertised, notwithstanding that the meer renting of the Kings Imposition was not contrary to Law, nor could they imagine, that since the State would be lesse grieved and perturbed, if they rented it rather then any other men, it could be held any disservice, either to the Subject, or the King.

That if any miscarriage were in the manage of the Farm, that is wholly to be ascribed to Alderman Abel, and some few of his privadoes, who did ingrosse the whole power therein, and benefit thereof to his sole use, and admitting some Farmors or sub-farmors to bear the name thereof, yet they had, nor enioyed nothing else but the meer name; and if they were admitted for any purpose at all, it was to bear losse and blame, and to coun­tenance the Aldermans tyranny, or to be responsible for his in­justice, to this purpose they were more than nominall, titular Farmors, but to all purposes of benefit they were shadows, cl­phers, and meer empty Names.

That the Vintners expected no benefit from the beginning to arise to them out of the Farm, nor could hope for any other dealing from the Alderman, then what they found; for they knew well, that if Sir Abraham Daws had offered more then [Page 15] 40000 l. and was refused, it was not out of any favour to them, but out of some other end upon them. And they had some cause to fear, that if it proved a bargain of profit to the Farmors, the Rent being once setled by their compliance, the King might avoid his grant, and if it proved a bargain of losse, then their own deed should be strongly urged against themselves: and howsoever it proved, they knew the Alderman would have the shuffling, cutting and dealing, all in his own hands; and that they should have, nor Law, nor right, nor remedy, besides his meer pleasure and discretion.

That the Aldermans trains and traps from the beginning, were very grosse, and rank, and obvious to the dullest capacities; for though the Patent of the Farm were not sealed by the King, nor did commence till Midsummer after, yet he had chosen him­self Treasurer, and taken a house, and setled Officers, and salla­ries, and removed his habitation before Lady-day. And though this businesse of the Farm was no such adventure as did require any stock at all, or bank of money, yet for other sinister ends, he demanded no less then 30000l. to be undertaken for by the far­mors, and a good considerable part thereof he did gather in, and receive into his own hands, and divers men being therefore un­willing to come in as undertakers, he used extremities to draw them in: For example, Mr Leechland being fearfull, and un­willing to undertake, he was forced and hunted in by the Al­derman, and that place which he held under the King, was threat­ned to be taken away; and he had not undertaken any thing in the Farm, had it not been for fear of losing his place: And for another Example, Mr Rowland Wilson was as much solicited to come in for an adventure, but refused, and could never be won by any means whatsoever to joyn in the Farm.

That the 7 Allegations set down in the Aldermans paper, whereby he would prove the 10 Farmors, and the 27 Sub-farmors equally interessed in the Farm with himself, are not sufficient to prove the same.

For first, the Act of 29 March, 1638. does not prove, that his office of being Treasurer, and his stipend of 500l. per annum was setled by the Company of Vintners, when it is evident, that he had taken a house for that purpose, and removed from [Page 16] Billeter-lane, and setled all things before Lady-day.

Secondly, the bringing in of 100 l. for every undertaker, when the adventure required no such supply, can manifest no­thing but the Aldermans tyrannie and treachery: and for the 30000 l. he subscribed mens names as he pleased, they them­selves did neither condition to be ingaged for such sums, nor did they underwrite to such conditions, and the truth is, that money which was gleaned from the 37. though it was intended by the Alderman, as a hook to hold them in, and ingage them the faster; yet nothing was pretended, but a meer loan, and therefore the Alderman paid them Interest according to their severall proportions, although he gave no Obligations for the same.

Thirdly, the major part of Undertakers were not present, or consenting to the choise of Alderman Abel for Treasurer, and they which were present, and consenting (besides some of his own privadoes) were but lookers on, and did but onely agree to that, which they had no power to frustrate.

Fourthly, those of the Adventurers, which did ride about to settle the Imposition in the Country, and in the Out-ports, did it in obedience to Warrants from the Lords of the Councell, and to the Aldermans commands; and though they were specta­tors, or assistants, yet they did but execute the Aldermans and Kilverts Instructions, and were as meerly instrumentall to them, as they seemed to be to the King; for Example, Kilvert rode to Bristow, and other Western parts, and though he went attended with some others of the Undertakers, yet he, as from the Kings own mouth, took the boldnesse to treat with all men, and that in very imperious terms; and when all his intimations from the King would not prevail to make Bristow men, &c. sub­mit, he at last threatned them with the Star-chamber, and de­tected them of false Measures, and so as a meer Informer, redu­ced them in the end to subjection.

Fifthly, those Acquittances which some of the Adventurers signed, have words in them inserted by the Alderman, meerly to confesse a Partnership, and an equall interest in the Adven­ture, without which, the Alderman would not restore them their sums adventured, do signifie nothing but the Aldermans craft [Page 17] and injury; for it was after a Parliament summoned, and as he drew the Acquittances for his own safety, so some of the Ad­venturers perceived his aim, and would not sign the same, but chose rather to leave their money still deposited in his hands.

Sixthly, those 34 Farmors which did consent to the buying in of the Wine-licenses on 15 Nov. 1639. were drawn in, and cozned by the Alderman, for he had bought them before, and found losse in them, and now by his uncontrolable power he would force them upon his pretended Partners; and at the same time he arrogated a right to himself, of turning out all such as would not joyn therein, and did use threats to the same purpose.

Seventhly, that Petition which was drawn upon the approach­ing of this Parliament, and signed by 28 of the Undertakers, for the discharging and rendring up of the [...]arm, was framed chiefly for the Aldermans impunity, and he was the Author, and Solicitor in it to draw in others; and by his means it was also moved at the Hall to the whole Company, that they would concur in the same, and it was to this intent, that they might seem as much interested in it as he, and he as little guilty as they.

That all these shifts and wiles of the Alderman and his fa­ction make it very cleer, that the ten Farmors, and their under Farmors were not so in truth, but meerly Nominall, that they might suffer for and with the Alderman, if any hazard or que­stion were; for the Alderman made a great benefit of it: and be­ing indebted, and of weak estate before, by this Farm he hath got a great estate, and enabled himself for one purchase of 17000l. whereas the Farmors and sub-Farmors, never received one penny benefit, nor had any account given them in so long a time for it, nor had any assurance in Law, under hand or Seal, whereby to call him to account, or to recover, or claim any thing upon account. And as the Alderman did in Law keep all the power in his own hands, so in fact also he did exercise that power after an arbitrary unlimited way; at some times he open­ly told them, that they had no right nor interest in the Farm, but at his meer discretion and pleasure, and that he could turn out, or take in, as he listed; and at other times he did, upon [Page 18] private displeasures, put out, and lessen some in their shares, and, upon fancy, put in, and raise others; and all these things were transacted at his own house, by his own authority; and that was so unquestionable, and uncontrolable, that no man thought fit to stir, or move any thing against it.

That as all this and more may be maintained in defence of the Farmors, so more yet may be maintained in the behalf of the 27 sub-Farmors; for the 10 Farmors did some things without the knowledge of the 27, and have since exhibited a Bill against the 27, to make them liable to some moneyes disbursed by them, but they are over-ruled, and left remedilesse in the case; and the 10 were first drawn in and workt upon by the Aldermans craft; and they being the richest men of the Company, the Alderman could not so easily have effected his ends, nor deceived others, if he had not first deceived them.

The next thing pressed against the Vintners, to make them guilty of the Imposition, is the sealing of the Quadri: Inden­ture, and agreeing to the unlawfull covenants thereof.

The Vintners answer hereunto, is;

That they having with great reluctance yielded their backs to the sore pressure of the Imposition in Nov. 1637. conceived▪ That a sufficient consummation of that affair, and hoping that the King would thereupon provide for their delivery out of Starre-chamber, and an open liberty of their trading, did not see cause to seek for any further Deeds or Covenants to be drawn, from them to the King, or from the King to them, much lesse from either to the French and Spanish Merchants.

That it was the onely policy of Kilvert and the Alderman, to have recourse to Petitions or Indentures; for as they had taken order for their own benefit before, in drawing the Vintners to an unvoluntary submission in Nov. so now they would take or­der for their impunity, by drawing further acts of more volun­tary submissions, in shew from the Vintners; before they had en­gaged onely their tongues, now they would engage their hands and Seals, and leave them no retreit: before they had made them stoop to the Kings ends, now they should seem to intend onely their own; for it was now represented, that their grant to the King was sure and perfect, but the Kings grant to them must re­quire [Page 19] further ceremony in Law, and supplication besides. And by this means the Vintners were to be made, not onely losers, but culpable also, and the Projectors having first taken the Vint­ners bread, to put it into their own mouthes, now take out the thorn also out of their own hands, to thrust it into the Vintners.

That upon 15 March, 1637. when the Covenants concer­ning the Merchants were first proposed to the Vintners, they were cryed down as unjust, and prayed against, and were not till the 21 of Mar: setled, and that by the interposition of the Lord Treasurer, Marquesse Hamilton, and the Atturney Ge­nerall.

That notwithstanding the unapproved settlement, no draught of the Quad: Indentures were shewed at the Hall to be examined and scanned till long after, neither was the Company ever fully satisfied therein, or knew if any true copy thereof was produced, or how it was after altered; nor did they agree, till the 16 of June following, that their common Seal should be taken forth, and set thereto; nor do they know whether it was set thereto, or by whom, or when.

That the Quad: Deed, bearing date the 19 of Iune, 1638. was not sealed by any particular Members of the Company, till Sept. following, and then those which did seal it with their pri­vate Seals, were drawn ignorantly to the Atturneys chamber for that purpose, and perswaded to it by the Alderman, as a thing of meer form, and of no dangerous consequence at all: and since it had commenced, and taken effect before, they do not yet know what vigor their seals superadded to it, or to what purpose their seals were required, except it were to make them criminous, contrary to the Aldermans fearfull oathes.

That since the Quad: Indenture did not occasion or precede the Imposition, but was occasioned, and preceded by the Imposi­tion, and since it was in part compulsive, and an effect of those calamitous, irregular times; and since the Aldermans fraud was so notorious in it, hee putting in the names of whom hee pleased, and some of those also having yet never sealed, and he having the common seal of the Company in his sole custody, and kept the same a long time after Midsummer, when another Ma­ster [Page 20] was chosen in his place; The Vintners hope to be excused, it not a Toto, yet a Tanto.

That since the same Indentures were drawn also by the Kings Councell, in whose judgement and responsibility, the Vintners had reason to confide; and since they were urged upon the Vint­ners for the Kings advantage, or the Merchants, and not sought for by the Vintners for their behoof: and since the Vintners grant to the King, could not entitle him to any undue thing, or prejudiciall to any but themselves: and since the Kings grant to them, as to any unjust purpose, might be avoyded at pleasure, and was known to be voydable: and since there was no aim in the Vintners, to obtain any thing from the King but due impu­nity, and liberty of Trading: and whatsoever was thrust in further, was onely to make them guilty, and plotted and acted meerly by the Projectors: and since the Vintners never did en­joy more than a free Trade, and exemption from ruine in Starre-Chamber, but were rather hindered in their Trade, and discoun­tenanced after: and since it is manifest, That the Projectors in all those inserted illegall Covenants, had never any respect to the good of the Vinters, or intnent that they should enjoy them; They humbly, yet cheerfully, submit herein their Case to the censure of all good men.

The next thing objected by Kilvert, as an execution and pur­suance of the Proiect, is, The taking of 1d. and 2d. per quart by the Vintner, upon the consumption of Wines: and this is charged as an exaction, and iniurious to the Subject.

For answer hereunto, the Vintners say,

First, That the necessity of those times was so irresistable, that without taking 1d. and 2d. per quart, they could not Trade; and without Trading they could not subsist, for the Imposition was exacted at the Custome-house; and without paying it, they could get no wine, though they would have resisted it; and the question was onely, whether they would take the advance in the retayl, or starve themselves and their families. And the Vint­ners can make it appear, That the Shipscot was not drawn on with more violence and subtilty, nor no proiect, then this; and yet if all delinquents in all such violent and subtill proiects, [Page 21] were now questioned, it would shake the foundations of the State, and disturb the common peace.

Secondly, that they never took for their Wines, but accord­ing to the prices set by the Lords, and that such taking is justi­fiable by the Statute; for if any injury thus was done, it was done by the Lords, in setting the prices contrary to the meaning of the Statute; and to do this, the Lords were not solicited by the Vintners, nor can they conceive it to be, by so inconsiderable a Company, or to have any respect to the benefit of such a poor Incorporation. But it is manifest, that they respected the Kings benefit, and were officious therein, and that much against the Vintners will, and that thereby they had a great power to effect their ends, and did thereupon strain their power to effect the same.

Thirdly, the Vintners were not so far favoured by the Lords, though the Imposition was submitted too, but that they suffred hindrance, and losse notwithstanding, and the prices of Wines were set, as if there had been no Imposition laid upon the Vint­ners; but this point falls in with the third branch of Kil­verts Charge, and therefore is to be more fully opened, and an­swered in the next place.

3. In the third place therefore, whereas Kilverts charge is, That the Vintners did project, and seek the Imposition for their ad­vantage and profit, and did reap great profit and advantage by it.

The Vintners make answer:

That many things reckon'd up by Kilvert as immunities, and benefits of the Vintners purchased by this Project, were their Birth-rights, and legall Interests, and had been due to them without any Imposition: For Example, the Coopers incroach­ing by fraudulent brokerly Offices betwixt Merchant and Vint­ner, and Ivie-like sucking juice out of both, without any root of their own, were to be restrained of common right. So the dressing of Meat, selling of Tobacco, exemption from the ex­trajudiciall Decree of Star-chamber, the restitution of 6000l. lent to the King, &c. were appertaining to their Trade, and due by the Law of the land; and if no Imposition had been, they ought to have been injoy'd without question or molestation.

[Page 22] That the taking of the Farm, the restraining Merchants to sell to any except Vintners, the dealing in Wine-licenses, yield­ing to the Imposition of 40s. per Tun, &c. which Kilvert recites, and priviledges and benefits sued for by the Vintners, were in­deed no way beneficiall, nor sued for, nor at all obtained by the Vintners, though the contrary was pretended in all.

That whereas Kilvert affirms, that the Vintners have gained by the Project above 200000l. arising to them three severall wayes; viz. 1. By beating down the Merchants prices. 2. By the advance of 1d. and 2d. per quart, retailed. 3. By selling Malagoes and Sherries for Canaries. To each of these particu­lars; and first, as to the first they reply:

That the Vintners (to give a true relation of things) being much incited, and forced to submit to the Imposition, amongst many other Objections used this as one.

That they being loaded with the Imposition, could not sell so cheap as others, and by that means all Noblemen, Gentlemen, and others, would buy of Merchants and Coopers, and not of them, as formerly; and so a great part of their Trade and gain would fall away. To salve this, the Kings Agents answered, The Merchants and Coopers shall be bound up, and shall fell to none but you. But as this was offred to the Vintners, that without utter ruine they might submit to the Kings benefit, and not desired by the Vintners out of any covetous desire to Inrich themselves by other mens losse, so it was but onely offred, and never intended, or faithfully performed. Howsoever, the Merchants (by the advice of Roger Kilvert, Brother to our main Proiector) were so politick, as to pretend, that this restraint, or rather umbrage of restraint, was unequall to them; and therefore to ease them in this particular, a remedy was invented by obtruding a medium of 5000 Tun French Wine, and 4000 Tun Spanish yearly, upon the Vintner at such high rates set in favour of the Merchant, to the great disadvantage of the Vintner.

That on the 15 of March, 1637. at a generall Court this me­dium Project was proposed; but the out-cry of the Vintners was, that it could not take place without generall discontent, inconvenience, confusion, difficulty, and disturbance of Trade, [Page 23] and therefore they humbly prayed against it, as in the Hall-book is verbatim registred.

That the Proiect being hereupon much indangered after so fair a progression of it, upon the 20 of March the Lord Trea­surer, Marq. Hamilton, and Sir I. Banks then Atturney generall, convented some of the Merchants and Vintners before them, and then regulated the Vintners, to admit of the Medium.

That upon the 21 of March, the same was discovered to the Generality, and their consent was obtained, although their opi­nion thereof was nothing altred, for being so snafled and muz­zeled as they now were, it had little booted them to reject so potent an Order. And the Merchants could not conceal what advantage they had hereby over the Vintners: For Example, Roger Kilvert in derision to the Vintners complaints, answered; The Vintners are free from the Star-chamber, and are now the Kings white-boyes, and shall the Merchants inioy nothing?

That the Medium in it self was a great, and violent pressure, but as it was abused by craft, it grew intollerable. The incon­veniences of it self, were;

First, that it necessitated the Vintners to buy too great quan­tities of Wines from the French and Spanish Companies: for by this means the Vintners, whose Primitive undoubted right it was, to trade as Merchants, and had been in suit about the same, were now defeated of that Trade, they being now scarce able to vend, and retail so much as their Medium proportion extended to.

Secondly, that it iniured the Vintners in the prices and good­nesse of Wines, for the Merchants before were allowed to sell at such rates, but the Vintners might bargain at pleasure, they had an open and free market, and commonly they bought under the prices set, and they pleased themselves with a free choice; whereas now, the Vintner is confined to a Medium price, as well as a Medium proportion; and as the Merchant is allowed to sell, so he is constrained to buy; nay if the Merchant will needs require more, the Vintner must needs rise ac­cordingly.

That the cozenages and abuses of the Medium, were yet worse then the Medium it self; for under colour thereof, the [Page 24] Vintners were deceived in the quantities of Wine: For Exam­ple, sometimes having bought of a Medium Merchant so many Tuns, and hoping thereby to be discharged of their Medium proportion, the Merchant would neverthelesse pretend, that the Wines were none of his, that he was but intrusted to sell them as a Factor for another, and so this was no discharge for the Medium.

Secondly, other Merchants which were not of the Medium contract, would get the Mediū Merchants to patronize and sell their Wines, and so under that pretext, the Vintners were for­ced to take off small Wines at the Medium price, which other­wise they might have bought cheaper.

Thirdly, by this means there was no end of the Medium pro­portion, for whatsoever quantities the Vintner took from the Merchant, the Merchant still complained that his proportion was not taken off, and the Vintners for want of true intelli­gence, and correspondence amongst themselves, were not able to evince the contrary.

In the next place also, in the qualities of Wines, the Vintners were further damnified by this Medium contract; for no vendi­ble, merchantable Wines might be refused from the Merchant by the vertue of the contract, and all Wines almost were admit­ted good according to the contract: Whereupon it happened, that the Vintner was forced to take too great stores of course Wines to satisfie the Merchant at excessive rates, and yet in the mean time to satisfie customers with richer Wines (Wine being a matter of meer pleasure) he was of necessity to provide other store, of better Wines at an extraordinary rate.

And in the last place, though this burthen of the Medium was introduced to gratifie the Merchant for his restraint, and to ballance in the Vintner the priviledge of suppressing the Coo­pers, and some other priviledges; yet neither was the Merchant restrained, nor the Cooper suppressed, nor any other promise intirely performed; so that the very pretences of ease, proved in the end burthens; and the promises of help, troubles; for the greater load being once laid on, the staff presently which should have made it the more supportable, was taken away, or denyed. The Merchants did sell, nay (as they were able) did under-sell [Page 25] to Noblemen, Country Vintners, &c. more commonly then be­fore. The Coopers got Tickets from Alderman Abel, and there­by passed for [...]etty Merchants; and having gotten Tickets for once, they made the same serve for many times, and sometimes without Tickets at all they sold Wines by stealth, and they did not alwayes deal by whole-sale, but sometimes in Rundlets, and serve Funerals: and all this after the Vintners had taken off a great quantity of ill Wines at a great losse from their hands, up­on an agreement that they should relinquish that Trade for the future. And at all this Alderman Abel did connive, and as is probable, made a great advantage by it; being in that respect more inexcusable then Kilvert, who having a Brother of the Merchants Company, and not being himself a Vintner, as the Alderman had been, may be held lesse blameable. But to shut up this point, Kilverts own words are in print; when the Medium seemed grievous to the Vintners, he himself took a journey to Barwick for them, and there obtained order and direction from His Majestie to the Lords, to ease and discharge the Vintners of it, which was done accordingly: and hence it seems, the Vintners, if they had gotten 60000 l. in three yeers, by beating down the prices of the Merchant (as he before sug­gested) or had had any advantage against the Merchant, they had been very inconsiderate, in sending him to Barwick, and giving him 1000 l. to deliver them from such a profit.

The second gain of the Vintners (as is suggested by Kilvert) is in retailing at 1d. and 2d. per quart, dearer then the usuall price of Wines, and by this advance upon the consumtion of of them since Midsummer, 1638. when the Vintner first retailed at 7d. and 14d. he sayes the Vintner has gain'd above 130000 l.

The Vintners answer hereunto contains five things very con­siderable; but our stumbling block had need be first removed.

Kilvert in all his accounts, speaks of so many Tuns of French, and so many of Spanish, and yet the Vintners buy Spanish Wines by the Butt and Pipe, which are but half a Tun; so that a Pipe of Spanish Wine is equivalent to a Tun of French, and is commonly as long in drawing, and as much stock is imploid in the one as in the other, and setting aside that a Butt or Pipe takes not up so much room in the Cellar as a Tun, there is lit­tle [Page 26] difference to be observed: and therefore the Vintners gain ought to be alike in both, and Kilvert ought not to pretend, as if the Vintner bought of Tuns alike.

This being premised, the Vintners first answer is;

That Kilvert d [...]es most untruly compute from all Wines bought in by the Vintner, to all uttered by them, for the Vint­ner sells not by the quart above two parts of three commonly of Wines bought in grosse, and a full third he sells to the Country Vintners, and others, as he buyes in grosse, and sometimes his benefit is small, and sometimes none.

The second answer is, That the Charge of retailing Vintners, is far greater then of other Tradesmen, for in the retailing of 1000 l. or 1200 l. per annum, there is necessarily required at least 300 l. charge, and yet other Trades will retail more with half the charge. And experience in this, is a demonstration suf­ficiently convincing; for if there be in London 500 Vintners, there are not above 40 of them rich men, the greatest part by far is poor and indigent, and the Merchants themselves have at­testated this before the Lords of the Councell, and the Honorable Committee; witnesse Capt. Royden, &c. This is an Argument, wherein no errour can be, and which will admit of no answer.

The third answer is, That drawing Vintners are subject to many casualties and misadventures in their Trade, many times Wines decay upon their hands, and leak away, so that sometimes they sell to Vineger-men and Distillers, and sometimes retail at losse.

The fourth answer is, that Retailers are often constrained to give more for Wines, then the prices set by the Lords; and of late yeers they have given more for French Wines, by 3. 4. 5. 6 l. per Tun, then the rates set; and for Spanish, 10. 20. 30s. a peece extraordinary.

The fifth answer is, That since the Imposition, as the retailing price has been advanced for the Vintners benefit, so the Mer­chants price in grosse has been advanced also to the Vintners hindrance as much: so that since the Imposition, the Vintners condition has not been bettered: For Example, in 1636. and before that yeer the Vintner bought Canary at 17l. per Pipe, and sold at 12d. he bought Sacks at 15 l. per Butt, and retail'd at [Page 27] 10d. but in 1637, 1638, &c. he bought Canary at 19 l. and Sacks at 17 l. so that if no Imposition had been then levied, yet the retailing price ought to have been advanced. French Wines also have been of late more scarce and dear; and therefore in 1634, 1635, 1636, &c. the Vintner bought the best Gascoin Wine at 18 l. per Tun, and smaller Wines at 15 l. and then the selling price was 6d. per quart; but the buying price now for the best Wines, is 19 l. per Tun, and for the smallest 17 l. and yet the sel­ling price is but 7d. So the set rates have been, and yet the Merchants have often sold above those rates also: For Exam­ple, Mr Wilcox has boughe Canaries of Roger Kilvert himself (the supposed Projector of the Medium) at above 20 l. per peece, and was fain to pay down the money required above the Me­dium, as a fine before hand; and many the like Examples might be given. And whereas it is reckon'd by Kilvert, that 1d. per quart is answerable to 4 l. per Tun, this is most untrue; for by reason of want of Gage, Lees, Leakage, and other misfortunes (admitting that Wines do not change, or sour) the Vintners cannot draw above 220 gallons; so that in respect thereof, no lesse then 1 penny in 4 can be allowed the Vintner. For note, that in a Tun of French Wine there ought to be 252 gallons. And note, that though Sherries are commonly full gage, yet Malagoes and Canarries are under gage, and every Pipe wants 8 gallons of full gage, besides as much Lees, and besides the damage of Leakage, &c.

Note also, That though some rich French Wines want not of gage, yet the smaller Wines want 20 Gallons; and high Countrey Wines, which are the richest of all, want so much of gage, that a Tun is not above five Hogsheads. In this therefore Capt: Langham did ill to abet Kilvert, and he is most easily to be disproved: and all these losses also to the Vintner mentioned, are such as come along with his Wines when he first buyes them, and are over and above casualty at home in his own Celler. So then supposing 3 l. answerable in the Tun to every 1d. raised in the quart, and to give account of that 3 l. The Vintners say, that there was 1 l. new Imposition taken by the King at the Custome-house, before the srme which Sir Abraham Daws farmed; and that by this new Proiect since 1637. 2 l. more also has been taken [Page 28] by the King, besides what the Merchants have advanced in their price, partly by reason of Impositions set in Spain, and partly by the dearth of Wines in France; and so for divers yeers last past, the Vintner in very truth, has been but a meer drudge to Pro­iectors, employing himself, his servants, and estate, to supply the Common-wealth, either for losse, or no considerable profit.

The third way of gain to the Vintner, which Kilvert calls a super-project, is, By selling of Sacks and Malagoes at the pri­ces of Canaries, the gain whereof is 12l. per Tun extraordina­ry; and this way since Feb. 1637. The Vintner, as Kilvert pre­tends, has gotten 30000l. and his brother Roger in this, is his faithfull abettor.

The Vintners, in the first place, refer themselves for answer hereunto, to the competent proofs of their accusers, desiring only, That the same kennell which was once produced, and dispro­ved before the Committee, may no more be admitted.

And in the second place, if proofs fail on the other side, they shall make it appear on their side, That few Vintners in Lon­don vent any considerable quantities of Sherries or Malagoes by retayl. A great number of them may safely depose, That they scarce draw 4 Butts of Sacks in a yeer.

In the third place also they say, That those Vintners which do deal in any considerable quantity of Malagoes, and Sherries, do for the most part, buy them for the Countrey Trade, and utter them again in grosse, at a very small encrease of profit.

And fourthly they say, That such as drive a Country Trade, do not usually send down their Sacks in Butts, as they buy them, but in Graves Hogsheads; and it is very certain, That 2 Butts, viz. of Canary or Malago, will but little more than fill 3 Hogs-heads, being Rackt; and after this account, the price of a Butt of Sack, set at 17l. and a Hogshead being sold at a 11l. Two Butts are bought at 34l. yet in three Hogsheads yeeld but 33 l. so that were it not for some bargain sometimes under the prices set, the Vintners might sell at losse. For example; Tho. Dudly justifies, That from 1637. till 1640. he has sold in grosse to Countrey Vintners 250 Tun of French Wine, at 5d. per quart, and under; and 180 Tun Spanish, Canaries, not above 12d. and Sacks, not above 11d. per quart, besides many losses by trust, &c. and for [Page 29] this, his Books of yeerly Accounts, will be sufficient evidence. And many more like examples may be alleadged.

And here let it now not be omitted, That Kilvert has divers other generall wayes of blinding and puzzling such as are not knowing in the Vintners mysteries; for first, he charges all Wines imported at the Custome-house by Merchants, as bought by Vintners, although he cannot be ignorant that Coo­pers, Merchants for other Countreyes, Aqua vitae men, Gentle­men and others, do vent and buy at least a moity of Wines im­ported, the Vintners scarce compassing the other moity.

Secondly, He allows and deducts 15 per cent. for leaking at Sea, &c. but he conceals the great quantities of Lees, which, ma­ny times, the Merchant pours out of one leaky vessell into ano­ther, and sells for neat to the Vintner.

Thirdly, He makes no allowance for leakage, or other mis­haps incident to Vintners in their own Cellars.

Fourthly, He passes over want of gage, as a thing scarce worth mentioning, thinkingit sufficient to say, That the richest French Wines are commonly full-gage: but the fallacy of this hath been discovered.

Fifthly, He insists upon the late cheapnesse of Spanish Wines, and yet they were scarce ever dearer before the Impositi­on, but in the mean time passes over the great dearth of French Wines; for the truth is, Spanish Wines have not been so cheap as to make the Vintner whole for the dearth of France, but the dearth of France has been so great, as to devour all profit by Spain, and more.

And here it may be noted, That the old rates was about the beginning of K. Char: that the retayling price of French Wines were set at 8d per quart, when the Merchants prices were no higher than now, or of late, since the Imposition.

To draw now to a conclusion; since the Vintners can make it so visible to all that their Company (excepting some few of them) is poor and necessitous; and that this Project for these 3 or 4 yeers last past, has impoverisht and impayr'd them more than formerly; and since they have so satisfied the Honourable Committee therein, that Master Green has confest it to be the opinion of the whole Committee, they desire that it may be du­ly [Page 30] weighed, for the Vintners have not onely suffred much by this Project, but they knew long before that it could bring nothing but losse and hazard upon them, and that was one cause why they opposed it so long; for if it had been meerly illegall, and not very detrimentall also, it cannot be imagined that they should with so much stoutnesse and constancy, and hard endu­rance have stood out aginst the violence of it so many yeers to­gether. They desire also that their Case may be warily severed and unfolded; if they have been delinquents, let them be fined as delinquents, according to the just weight of their severall de­linquencies: if they have been gayners by the Proiect, let them make restitution according to their severall gains: but when they are not prosecuted as delinquents, nor believed to be gain­ers, let not Kilvert, without assigning what third way he will require it, challenge from them 200000 l. in grosse. Let it also be considered, That it is impossible in nature for any humane judgement exactly to descry, amongst all the Vintners, who were the greatest delinquents or gainers: and their Cases being different in both, no one indifferent sentence can justly involve all alike in both: if they have been delinquents, it shall be con­fest, that they may be punisht, though they are no gainers; and if they are gainers, restitution may be demanded, though they prove no delinquents: but let not both those tearms be blend­ed, as if in this case they were inseparable. Howsoever, if ne­cessity, and force, and fraud so extraordinary shall not excuse the Vintners, as it does almost all the Kingdom in the Shipscot, and other late projects, if the calamity of those times shall not ac­quit them which consented to the Imposition, &c. yet all did not consent alike. Some were more active, some more passive: a great part was not at the Hall, but had iust cause of absence, when any illegall thing was proposed; and a great part being present, were concluded by the maiority of other men votes, and a great part of Voters did most unwillingly vote for fear of ruine; and yet all these are not equally culpable, nor yet now possibly severable. So also if the Proiect be held gainfull, yet it could not be gainfull to all alike, for all Vintners do not trade in the same quantities; nor do all, trading in the same quantities, finde the same gains coming in by their Art and In­dustry, [Page 31] nor the same blessing of God prospering them in both: and yet in this case, justice ought to proceed with equall respect had, aswell to Geometricall, as to Arithmeticall proportion. And as for the second part of the Accusation; it cannot be doubted, but that the chiefest authors, are to be accounted the chiefest actors also in the businesse. It is not so difficult to bring a horse to any obedience, and to the endurance of any load after he is once thorowly broken, as it is at first to break him: and this Kilvert, &c. found trne in the Vintners; for after he had once prevailed, that they should not resist the Imposition any longer, by the same power (and lesse) after, he might make them beg for it, and seem desirous of it; nay, in shew, contend for it: yet still this shews them the more servile and oppressed, and him the more tyrannous and uniust.

This might suffice for the three branches of Kilverts Charge: but it is evident, That he is not an Accuser onely, but a Calum­niator also. He speaks of divers arts, whereby the Vintners sophi­sticate, and adulterate Wines; he mentions Saw-dust of Deal, Bilberries, and the like, as used by the Vintners, to corrupt and falsifie Wines, or to put off Wines corrupted and falsified: if this be true, he ought in iustice to the Common-wealth, he ought out of iustice to Justice it self (whose eyes he now seeks to blinde) to reveal the same; and the persons offending, and the times, and certainties of each offence: but if it be not true, he ought to confesse himself, to be himself; that is, a professed perverter of Justice, and enemy of Truth. Whilst the High-Commission tyrannized, there was no fitter Blood-hound than Kilvert to be officious in that Court, yet even in that Court he was found too corrupt, too libidinous, too treacherous; many Ar­ticles were exhibited against him, and at last he was reiected, as a person infamous, and scandalous to Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction. His next Scene that he entred upō, was the Star-chamber; and for a good season, he playd there the part of a rare artist; and having given admirable proof to the world of his exquisite skill in producing Deponents, and managing of Oathes; he left it at last, uncertain, Whether that Court contributed more to his prefer­ment, or he that Courts ruine: but the wonder of all is, that he dares yet appear in Parliament with any confidence, or in a time [Page 32] of Reformation, publish such accusations as he does, wherein there is no one entire, solid truth; nay, nor scarce any parcell of truth, which materially tends to his own iustification, or to the Vintners confutation. Since the depending of this Case, some witnesses have been produced by Kilvert, or his brother Roger▪ or both, to depose against Mr. Gardiner, and many other Vint­ners, that they sold all their Sherries and Malagoes at the pri­ces of Canaries. These were disproved before the Committee, and indeed by their deposition, they must have known that in the Vintners Cellars, which the Vintners themselves could not pos­sibly know. In one Pamphlet also Kilvert moving the House to retact their Votes concerning his guilt; He is bold to move them to it the rather, because of the 200000 l. which he hopes to recover out of the Vintners, as if this could be any motive to such iust Judges: and at another time he is not ashamed to rec­kon up his good services, and merits to the State. But sure, though the man forgets where he is, or to whom he speaks, his Judges cannot forget who he is, and what he alleadges. Of Ro­ger Kilvert nothing need to be said, but that betwixt him and his brother Richard there is a true resemblance, and lively naturall stamp of Brother-hood; and in the Medium Project, that his brain was the more pregnant of the two. Of Alderman Abel, sufficient is related in the story of Kilvert; he was as fit an en­gine for Kilvert, as Kilvert was for those rigorous, projecting times.

Sathans two great attributes are, that he is a Lyer, that he is a Murtherer: lying is his means, murder is his end, when he tempts into sin, and when he accuses for sin, he is false in both, but his falshood in both ever tends to destruction. The Vintners have found both these Sathanicall attributes very eminent of late in their adversaries. The same men which first assayled them to draw them into the Project, are now their greatest pro­secutors for the Proiect; and there was not more deceit in re­presenting the Proiect legall then, then now in making it so odi­ous; and it is hard to say, Whether greater ruine was contrived to them when they were to submit to it, or now, when they are to be punisht for it.


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