THE Royal Fishing REVIVED.

Wherein is Demonstrated, From what Causes the Dutch have upon the matter Engrossed the Fishing Trade in His Majesties Seas, wherein the Principles of all the Trades they drive in the World are chiefly founded: As also from what Causes the English have lost the Fish­ing Trade, to the endangering the small Remainder of the Trades they yet enjoy. Together with Expedients by which the Fishing Trade may be Redeemed by the English; and Proposals for carrying on so great a Work.

Humbly offered to the Consideration of the KING and PARLIAMENT.

LONDON, Printed in the Year 1670.

THE Royal Fishing REVIVED.

ADvantages the Dutch have in the Fishing Trade, with the Reasons of them; viz.

  • 1. Multitudes of Men, above any other Na­tion.
  • 2. Cheapness of Building all sorts of Ships for this Trade, above any other place.
  • 3. Their Convenient Building Ships for this Trade, above any other place.
  • 4. Greatness of Vent in Foreign Trade for all sorts of Commodities, returned in barter for their Fish, above any other place.
  • 5. Their excellency in Packing and Curing all [Page 2]sorts of Fish, (except Red-Herrings) above any other place.

The Reasons.

  • 1. Their multitudes of Mariners and Fishermen proceed not from the conveniency of their Coasts, for all the Fish they take are generally upon the Coasts of England, Scotland, and the Orchades; and so might be more conveniently caught by us: Nor from the conveniency of their Harbours; ours in number and excellency far exceeding theirs: But from the freedom that they give people of all Na­tions above any other place; whereby those people enjoying what they desire, and being kept in con­stant imployments, are no way subject to Sedition or Murmure against the State: to the incomparable strengthening as well as inriching thereof.
  • 2ly. The cheapness of their building Ships for this Trade, proceeds 1. From the great quantities and cheapness of Timber they have down the Rhyne and Maze, as also out of Norway, and the Baltick Sea; in return of the Fish and other Commodities vented there by them. 2ly. Cheapness of Pitch, Tarr, Hemp, and Iron, &c. above any other place, which are in great measures returned upon the pro­duct of their Fish. 3ly. Lowness for Interest of Money, above any other place.
  • 3ly. Their convenient building Ships for this Trade, is from the encouragement and freedom they give to all sorts of Builders of all Nations, whereby [Page 3]ingenuity and industry is improved, as also the Buil­ders, above any other place.
  • 4ly. The greatness of Vent of all sorts of Com­modities, returned in product of the Fish, is from the lowness of their Customs for the same, and low­ness of Interest Money; conveniency and cheapness of Shipping, above any other place.
  • 5ly. The excellency and reputation of Curing and Packing their Fish, proceeds from the carefull inspection of the States of the United Netherlands, above any other place: and their Curing on Ship­board, and then Re-packing.

These Advantages have been in process of time so well improved by the Dutch, that they have not only gained to themselves almost the sole Fishing in his Majesties Seas; but principally upon this account have very near beat us out of all our other most profitable Trades in all parts of the World. Nor have the English any reason to hope to retain the residue of those Trades, which they yet enjoy, unless they may be relieved in the Fishing Trade, from these Disadvantages and Inconveniences fol­lowing: which are,

  • 1. Scarcity of people: Although the Coast of England, with a limitation of five miles from it, will maintain more people than all the United Nether­lands.
  • 2ly. Dearness of building Ships for this Trade; so that a Dutch Ship of equal dimension, is built for half the price.
  • [Page 4] 3ly. Inconvenient building of Shipping: so as a Dutch Ship of equal bigness, is sailed with half the hands.
  • 4ly. Want of Vent for all sorts of Commo­dities, returned in Barter for the Fish in Foreign Trade.
  • 5ly. The negligent and corrupt Curing of Fish by the English, (except Red-Herrings) whereby their Reputation is far less than those that are Cured by the Dutch.

The Reasons.

  • 1. Scarcity of people upon the Coast of England, is occasioned by our peopling the American Plan­tations, the re-peopling Ireland since the great Massacre there, the late great Plague in the year 1665. and the Law against Naturalization, which permits no Foreigner to partake equal freedom with the English in this Trade; and Corporations, which restrains the freedom of this Trade, to the very few Freemen of them.
  • 2ly. Dearness of Shipping for this Trade, pro­ceeds 1. From the dearness and scarcity of Timber in England. 2ly. From the Act of Navigation, which not only restrains the Importation of Timber, Pitch, Tarr, Hemp, and Iron, to these dear built Ships, and the Ships of the Natives of the places from whence they are had, whether they have Ships or not, but also it gives freedom to the Dutch to Import all sorts of Manufactories made of these Growths, which they acquire for half the price the [Page 5] English can; whereby the English Nation have wholly lost the Trade for fitting up Ships, for this or any other Trade.
  • 3ly. The inconvenient building of Ships for this Trade, is from restraining the building of Ships to the English only, who are very few, and know no other way.
  • 4ly. The wanting of Vent for all sorts of Com­modities, returned in Barter for Fish, proceeds 1. From the greatness of the Customs upon those Commodities, which are twenty times more than in the United Netherlands. 2ly. The dearness of the Ships in which they must be vented. 3ly. The in­conveniency of those Ships, compared with the Dutch, for any Foreign Trade with those Commodi­ties. 4ly. The height of Interest of Money here in England, above the Ʋnited Netherlands; so as be­sides the height of Customs, those Ships of the English being twice so dear, and sailed with double the hands that those of the Ʋnited Netherlands are, and paying above ⅓ Interest more, the English Mer­chant is here necessarily incumbent to a threefold charge, more than the Dutch Merchant.
  • 5ly. The negligent and corrupt Curing of Fish, caught by the English, proceeds from the want of a constant Councel of Trade, which may inspect and govern the Fishing Trade.

The Expedients whereby the English may Redeem the Fishing Trade.

1. For a supply of Men upon all occasions to carry on this great Work, it is proposed, That it may be free for all sorts of Foreigners to partake and enjoy equal freedom, with the natural Subjects of England, in their Persons and Estates, in the Fishing Trade; and that all possible security and encourage­ment be given to all sorts of Foreigners who shall assist us therein.

2ly. That all Restraints by the Freedom of Cor­porations be taken away, and no person excluded in this Trade.

3ly. That all sorts of Begging persons, and all other poor people, (not sick or impotent) may be imployed therein.

4ly. That all people Condemned for less Crimes than Blood, be compelled to Redeem their Crimes, and in some measure to make Compensation by ex­traordinary labour in this Trade.

5ly. That all persons in Prison for Debt, and not able to pay, may be imployed therein.

6ly. That the Act of Navigation be Repealed, whereby all sorts of Foreign Ships may be imployed [Page 7]in this Trade: And that it be free to import Pitch, Tarr, Hemp, Iron and Timber, whereby the English may be enabled to imploy all those hands in fitting up Ships for this Trade, as well as the Dutch.

7ly. That all Customs for Commodities returned for the Fish vented in Foreign parts, be taken off, and an equal Excise to be Imposed in lieu thereof; so that as multitudes and concourse of people in­crease, and by consequence a greater Consumption, his Majesties Revenue will thereby be proportiona­bly increased, without any prejudice to this Trade.

8ly. That the Statute De Donis Conditionalibus, may stand in force, so that Fines shall be no Bar to the Heirs in Tail, nor Recoveries to those in Re­mainder; whereby a Stock as well in this Trade as others, of all those Moneys which are spent in buy­ing and Mortgaging Land, will generate into a common Bank of Trade; and those numerous com­panies of other Bankers, Usurers, Scriveners, and Sollicitors, will be necessitated to seek better means of living; and thereby the vanity of Luxurious per­sons, restrained to the bounds of their Estates: As also the Interest of Money will become as low here as in the United Netherlands.

9ly. Yet for encouraging Foreigners to inhabit and Plant, as well as Trade with us, it may be law­full for all Foreigners to Purchase Lands here, to them and their Heirs; whereby the Nation would be enriched as well as peopled; and whereby vast [Page 8]Sums of Money which are now imployed by the Dutch at Interest, to the impoverishing the Nation, might be converted to the enriching of it.

10ly. That all possible encouragement be given as well to Foreigners as Natives, for building Ships for this Trade, in Ireland, Virginia, and New-England.

11ly. That a constant Councel of Trade be erected by Parliament, which may inspect this Trade; and during the Intervals (with his Ma­jesties approbation) may make By-Laws untill the next Session of Parliament.

Proposals for carrying on this Great Work.

1. That Commissioners be impowred by Act of Parliament, to enquire into all Abuses and Deceits in the management and Government of Hospitals, and of all Concealments and Mis-conver­sions of any part of the Revenues thereof; and that care be taken for the future to improve the Revenues of the said Hospitals to the best advantage; and that all such Moneys concealed or mis-imployed, toge­ther with the Improvements and Overplus, (over and above what shall be necessarily laid out for the Maintenance and Repairs of the said Hospitals, &c.) may be brought into his Majesties Bank for carrying on the Royal Fishing.

2ly. That the said Commissioners enquire what Sums of Moneys at any time have been given to Charitable Uses, and are concealed, or have been mis-imployed by any person or persons to whose Trust the same were committed: And that all such Moneys may be brought into the Bank for carrying on the Fishing.

3ly. That one years value of the Annual Assess­ments to the Poor, may be advanced by the re­spective Parishes of England, to be imployed in buy­ing and building convenient Houses, and for a Stock in setting the Poor at Work, to carry on the Royal [Page 10]Fishing: By means whereof the charge of main­taining the Poor in all Parishes, will proportionally lessen, to the universal easement and benefit of the whole Nation.

4ly. That some Reasons for altering or repeal­ing the Statute of 43 Eliz. c. 2. intituled, Who shall be Overseers for the Poor, their Office, Duly and Accompts, may be considered, for the benefit of the Royal Fishing.

5ly. That the Children of all lazie and idle per­sons, living upon Forests, Wasts and Chaces, may be imployed in the Royal Fishing, and that those Wasts may be improved for a Publique Good, and the Revenue arising thereby imployed for carrying on the Royal Fishing.

6ly. That all Victuallers, Haglers, Badgers, &c. formerly Licensed by Mayors and Justices of the Peace, &c. may be hereafter Licensed by Com­missioners impowred by Act of Parliament, and the Fees and Profits arising thereby, be likewise im­ployed for carrying on the Royal Fishing.

7ly. Whereas there was obtained beyond Sea, a Grant from his Majesty for 31 years, of the Home­vent of Coals from the River of Tyne, upon pretence of 500 l. Fine, and 1838 l. 12 s. Annual Rent, when as the same might have been Leased out by his Majesty for near 10000 l. per annum, if his Majesty had been rightly informed of the value thereof; [Page 11]wherefore it is proposed, That by his Majesties permission the said Grant may be vacated in Parlia­ment: and his Majesty be at liberty to Let it for the best advantage. And that his Majesty will be graciously pleased, That the Improvement of the Rent thereof may go towards the support of the Royal Fishing.

8ly. That like Duties may be Imposed upon the vent of Coles from Sunderland, as are at Newcastle, to be impolyed in the Royal Fishing.

9ly. That all such Sum or Sums of Money which since his Majesties Restauration hath been raised and collected upon Subscriptions and Benevolencies for the use of the Fishery, and do still remain in the hands of the Collectors, Treasurers and others who ought to Account for the same, may be forthwith reduced into his Majesties Bank, for carrying on the Royal Fishing.

10ly. That his Majesty will be Graciously plea­sed to Grant, That all discoveries within his Maje­sties Gift, not yet discovered nor Granted away by his Majesty, (after a reasonable and fitting reward secured to the Discoveror or Discoverors out of the same) shall go towards the support of the Royal Fishing.

11ly. That all Houses built upon new Foundations within the City and Suburbs of London since the year [Page 12]1657. (except such Houses as have been Consumed by Fire) may pay a Fine to the value of one years Rent, to be imployed towards the carrying on the Royal Fishing.

12ly. That his Majesty will be pleased to Grant, that all Fines and Forfeitures not already Granted away by his Majesty, may go towards the carrying on the Royal Fishing.

It is Humbly desired, That these Proposals may be examined and debated, and if all or any of them may be found Usefull for carrying on this great and profitable Work, further means shall be Humbly offered for promoting the same.


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