A brief State of the Question Between the Printed and Painted CALLICOES, AND THE Woollen and Silk MANUFACTURE, As far as it Relates to the Wearing and Using of Printed and Painted CALLICOES in Great-Britain.

LONDON: Printed for W. BOREHAM, at the Angel in Pater-noster-Row. 1719.


WHEN Men mistake in one Thing, 'tis very usual to have the World think they mistake in every Thing; and 'tis an easy thing to find a Stone to throw at a Dog.

Had the poor Weavers, who I am now to speak of, brought their Complaints against the exorbitant Wearing of Callicoes in a regular and justifiable Manner, and before the pro­per Judges of those Things; as their Conduct could not have been reproach'd, so the Grie­vance, which now suffers by their mistake, would, perhaps, have met with more Friends.

But wise and impartial Men will learn to distinguish between the Justice of a Cause, and the Mistakes of the Managers of it; between [Page 4] the Reason of the Complaint, and the disor derly manner of Complaining: And this is all we shall have occasion to say of the poor mistaken tumul­tuous Weavers, leaving them to the Clemency and Compassion of the Government, whom they have offended, but recommending the Grie­vance under which they groan, to the serious Consideration of those in whose Power it is to redress it.

That the Weavers suffer under the general Calamity of Trade; that they, and even the whole Manufacturing part of the Nation, are oppress'd by the exorbitant growth of clande­stine Trade, and the unreasonable pouring in of East-India Wrought Goods upon us. This will admit of no Debate, at least, none that can be supported by Reason: What little can be said for it is so easily confuted and expos'd, and has so often been fully answer'd, that little will be wanting now: But according to my Ti­tle, to state the Case clearly and impartially be­tween Woollen and Silk Goods made at Home, [Page 5] and the Callicoes and Wrought Silks printed here, or clandestinely imported from Abroad.

In order to enter upon this Affair with all possible Clearness and Plainness, and, if we can, to strike at the Root of the Mischiefs we com­plain of, I shall first lay down some general Pro­positions as Fundamentals in this Question of Trade, obliging my self to give such Evidence for the proof of them, as shall take away all pos­sible Pretences to deny the Fact; and this I do at first, that we may have no stum bling at the Threshold, no cavelling at the Terms, or shuf­fling off the Question from one thing to ano­ther; but that as I may talk to Men of Busi­ness, I may talk likewise to their Understand­ing and Conviction. My Propositions are,

1. That the Woollen and Silk Manufactures of this Kingdom being the Staple of our Trade, and the most considerable and assential part of our Wealth, the Fund for our Expor­tation, the Support of our Navigation, and [Page 6] the only Means we have for the Employing and Sunsisting our Poor; it is therefore the common Interest of the whole Kingdom to dis­courage every other Manufacture, whether foreign or assum'd, so far as those Manu­factures are ruinous to, and inconsistent with the Prosperity of the said British Manufactures of Wool and Silk.

2. That the Wearing and Using Printed or Painted Callicoes, as they are now almost uni­versally worn and used in Great-Britain, is ruinous to, and inconsistent with the Pro­sperity of our English Manufactures, as well those of Wool as those of Silk.

3. That the total prohibiting the Wearing and using of Printed and Painted Callicoes in Great-Britain, is not ruinous to, or inconsi­stent with the Prosperity of the East India Trade; or, to put it into an Affirmative that may be more capable of Evidence, the East-India Trade may and would remain in a very [Page 7] thriving and flourishing Condition, and be carry'd on to the Profit and Advantage of the Adventurers, tho all the Subjects of Great-Britain and of Ireland were effectually limitted from, and prohibited the wearing and using of Printed and Painted Callicoes.

4. That the Printed and Painted Callicoes now worn and used in Great-Britain, come un­der four Denominaitons, ALL pernicious and destructive to our Trade, (viz.) such as be­ing inported by the Dutch, are either printed in the Indies or in Holland, and clandestinely run on Shoar here, in spite of former Prohi­bitions: OR such as being imported here by our own East-India Company, and prohibited to be worn because printed in India, are pre­tended to be exported, but are privately run on Shoar again and sold: OR such as being printed here, are entered and ship'd for Ex­portatian, in order to dram back the Duties on the Stamps but are re landed and sold here; and lastly, such as are Printed here, [Page 8] and legally worn and used, and under the Colour of which ALL the other Frauds are practis d and conceal'd.

5. That this clandestine Importation and Re­landing of Printed and Painted Callicoes, is no way to be prevented, neither is it in the reach of the Wit and Power of Man to put a stop to it by any other Means but by effectu­ally preventing and prohibiting the wearing, and use of them.

I have some other essential Propositions in Trade, which will come in course to be laid down for the carrying on this Argument, as we proceed in the Consideration of these; but I shall reserve them in petto till I see whether the Age is weak enough to struggle with things so selfevident as these, and till I see what it is can be offer'd, if any thing shall be mu­stred up, against these five.

A brief State of the Question Between the PRINTED and PAINTED CALLICOES, AND THE Woollen and Silk Manufacture, &c.

THAT the IMPORTATION of Wrought Silks and Printed Cal­licoes from the East-Indies, and allowing the use of them here when imported, has all along been found prejudicial to the Home Consumption of our Woollen and Silk Manufactures in Great-Britan, needs no other Proof than the late Acts of Parliament, which were obtain'd in [Page 10] Consequence of the general Application of the Manufacturers, as well Masters as Work­men, through the whole Kingdom, to pro­hibit and limit their Consumption.

In doing this, the Parliament, whose Wisdom and Justice was very conspicuous in that very Case, entred into the true Me­rits of the Cause, search'd it to the bottom, and weigh'd the Allegations on every side. The Members were neither clamour'd into it by the Weavers, byafs'd to it by Parties, or hurry'd into it by the multitude of Pe­titions from the Counties and Corporations they represented; but the Weight of the Cause supported it self; the Nature of the Thing pleaded it, and their own well­weigh'd Reason importun'd them to it: The thing was self-evident; the Humor of the People, as too often is the Fate of Nations, seem'd, at that time, possess'd against their Interest, and being hurry'd down the Stream [Page 11] of their Fancy, they ran headlong into the greatest Neglect and Contempt of the Growth and Manufactures of their own Country and People, and embrac'd, with a Violence in their Temper not to be re­sisted, the Silks and Callicoes of India, in a manner even ridiculous to themselves, as well as fatal to their Interest.

The Extravagance of that Time cannot be so entirely forgot, as that we should not reflect how the Ladies converted their Car­pets and Quilts into Gowns and Petticoats, and made the broad and uncouth Bordures of the former serve instead of the rich La­ces and Embroideries they were used to wear, and dress more like the Merry-An­drews of Bartholomew Fair, than like the Ladies and Wives of a Trading People.

The Consequence was, what any one might thave foreseen would be, (viz.) the Ruin of our Manufactures, the stagnating [Page 12] of our Trade, the stop of Employment, and the starving our Poor: The Cry was uni­versal, not the Spittle-Fields Weavers only, selt it; the Calamity was general, and the Complaint came from every Corner of the Nation.

As all Mischiefs in their Exorbitance tend naturally to their own Cure, so it was hear; seeing the thing was fatal in it self to our Trade, it was our Felicity that it run on to such Extremes as allarm'd the whole King­dom; for this awaken'd the Parliament to its Redress; Such we cannot but hope will be the Case again; for like Causes generally produce like Effects.

The Proceedings of the Legislature might pass with us all, for Reason, in a Case of much more Consequence than this; but we have yet more powerful Auxiliaries to bring in Aid of the Case before us; I'll insist upon two only, 1st, The Pattern of our [Page 13] Neighbours; 2dly, The Success of our own Prohibitions. I begin with the last.

What the Parliament did in the Cafe I just now mentioned, was abundantly justify'd in the Success: What can be more encou­raging to apply the same way, seeing the Cafe is the same?

No sooner was the Flux of foreign Manu­factures stopp'd and the East-India Goods prohibited, but the Trade reviv'd; the Face of Things chang'd; Business and Plenty succeeded to want of Employment, and want of Bread; the Numbers of Poor flock­ing to the Manufactures for Employment, and the Encrease of the Consumption of our Manufactures reviv'd the whole Nation. Nothing could be a stronger and more convincing Evidence of what had been alledg'd, (viz.) that the so general wearing and using East. India printed Callicoes, &c. had been the Ruin of our Trade, had put a [Page 14] stop to the Employment of the Weavers, and, in a word, had starv'd our Poor. I shall come to this again in its Place.

I come, in the next place, to the Exam­ple of our Neighbours, and particularly the French, a Nation but too wife in the most proper Methods for erecting and en­couraging Manufactures; of which there are such Testimonies given in the Admini­stration of Monsieur Colbert, who was just­ly call'd, The Father of the French Manu­factures, as we have felt the Consequences of in Trade for many Years past.

The French East-India Company was E­stablish'd by the enterprising Genius of the said Monsieur Colbert in the Year 1664, and the Edict pass'd the [...]th of August 1686, settling all their Privileges for 50 Years; and they begun with great Advantages, tho' they had not Success, occasioned by their own Mismanagement: However, the King [Page 15] of France, finding the using and wearing of India wrought Silks, Cottons, and Cal­licoes painted and printed, whether in In­dia or at Home, began to encroach upon the Manufactures of his Subjects, as well Silk as Wool; and fore-seeing that it would be the Ruin of both, for which he thought himself oblig'd to preserve the utmost Con­cern, as being the Fundamental of the Ri­ches of his Kingdom, he effectually prohi­bited the Wearing and Use of them, whe­ther printed at Home or Abroad, among his Subjects, by an Edict in the Year 1686, and under very severe Penalties: And the late King of France, being mov'd by his Council of Trade, from time to time, by several subsequent Edicts, confirm'd those Prohibitions, adding farther Penalties, more severe than before, for enforcing the Exe­cution: By all which it appears, of what Consequence this Matter was thought to be for the preserving the Manufactures of his own Dominions.

[Page 16] The Government of France proceeding still upon the same Maxims, of a just Policy in Trade, continue as Tenacious of their former Care for their own Manufactures as ever: And this appears by the Provision made by subsequent Edicts to continue the same Prohibitions, in the strictest manner, of all such East-India Goods as are hurtful to their Manufactures, of which the follow­ing is a flaming Instance: (viz.) We all know, that the present Government has u­nited their old East-India Company to their new West-India Company; and what great Advances of Credit that Union has made in France; yet, so far is the present Govern­ment from neglecting their own Manufa­ctures, by forgetting to prohibit the Use of the Callicoes, &c. which the said Company may import; and so far are they from ima­gining that the said Company should not flourish and thrive, notwithstanding the Prohibition of those Goods, tho' so consi­derable a Branch of their Importation, that [Page 17] those Prohibitions are all expresly renew'd, repeated and confirm'd, by the Edict of Re­union, as appears by the IXth and Xth Ar­ticles of the Grant to the said new Esta­blish'd Company, as follows:

Artic. IX. 'We permit the said Com­pany to import from the Countries within their Grant, all sorts of Stuffs of pure Silk, and of Silk and Cotton mix'd with Gold and Silver, Bark of Trees, and Callicoes dy'd, painted and strip'd. We require, that the said Merchandizes pro­hibited in this Kingdom may not be sold, but on express Conditions of being export­ed to foreign Parts, and that for this End they may be laid up in the Ware-Houses of our Farmer-Generals, under two Keys, of which the Farmer-General, or his De­puties, shall keep one, and the Directors of the Company, or their Substitutes, the o­ther; and that all other necessary Precau­tions be taken to hinder the Sale of the [Page 18] said Merchandize for Domestick Consump­tion.'’

Artic. X. 'The said Company may also import, from the Countries within their Grant, all forts of White Callicoes, Raw Silks, Coffee, Drugs, Spices, Metals, and other Things, except those prohibited by the preceeding Article, paying the Duties which are actually paid by the India Com­pany, according to the Edicts, Declara­tions, Arrets and Regulations, of the Kings our Predecessors.'’

Here we see the very Thing done in France which we want here; and for the very same Reasons for which we stand so much in need of it here; which Reasons we cannot doubt will subsist with the same Force here as there; the Foundations of Foreign Import, & Home Manufactures, being the same, and especially, because he cannot doubt, but that a British Parliament will appear inspir'd with all the [Page 19] just Principles of Care and Concern for the Good of our People, and the Prosperity of our Trade, as the Councils of the late King of France could be for his Subjects.

But I cannot forbear taking Notice here, how much stronger the Argument is on our Side for the doing this now, than it ever was before, even for this particular Reason, (viz.) Because the French have, upon their new Establishment, continued their Prohi­bitions. I explain my self thus:

The French have not only re-establish'd the Trade of India, but they have put it into Hands which are not like to neglect it, run in Debt in the Indies; or sell the Liberty of Trade to others; but they who are now entrusted with the Privilege, know very well how to make use of it, and want no Stock to carry it on: And as they are capa­ble both in Knowledge of the Business, and Stock for the managing of it, so they appear [Page 20] resolute to proceed immediately upon it, and we are told, they have already taken up four large Ships for the carrying on the Trade, and that they talk of taking up several more. The Flemmings under the Inperial Com­mission or Charter, are not only doing the same, but are actually embark'd in the East-India Trade, have several Ships now Abroad and one great Ship just arriv'd from India at Ostend, being the second that they have re­ceived since their entring upon that Trade: And we are likewise told, that the Govern­ment of the Austrian Netherlands has already resolv'd on the prohibiting the Consumption of Printed & Painted Callicoes among them; and that they will be publickly prohibited there as they are in France.

Let any impartial Person then judge, whether we have not just Reason to be allarm'd at these Measures, while we lie open to a smuggling Trade so generally carried on thro' this whole Kingdom, and [Page 21] so impossible now to be prevented: Whither must the vast Quantities of Callicoes which thess two new East-India Companies will import, I say, Whither must they go? Whither but to England, and Scotland, and Ireland, where the People are so fond of them, and where it is so easy to get them on Shore.

Our East-India Company has already shew'd themselves apprehensive of Success of the new Establish'd Imperial Company in Flanders, nor can they be justly unconcern'd at the setting up a Company in France, upon so potent a Stock as that of 50 Mil­lions: But what then have we not to fear for our Woollen and Silk Manufactures, which are so oppress'd already with clan­destine Importations of Silks and Callicoes from Abroad, as well as Printing them at Home, and when the French will not fail to bring in Quantities equal to the Opportu­nities which they have to [...]ind them?

[Page 22] We may appeal for this, to any one that is acquainted on those Shores of England which lie nearest to France; are not French Brandies, French Wines, and French Silks to be had almost in as great Plenty in our Port-Towns on that side of the Country, as in some Parts of France it self, and will it not be the same thing with India Goods? Can Rumney Marsh want French Callicoes, where all French Goods are, as it were, as familiar to them as in France? Can those People that know how to carry off whole Freights of Wool, the most bulky of all Merchan­dize, be ignorant to take on Shoar French Callicoes, French Wrought Silks, French East-India Goods of all Kinds? It cannot be doubted, but when the French come to have a Quantity of Callicoes always by them, and no consumption for them at Home, they will find Ways and Means to croud them in up­on us, with much more Ease than they do now their Wines and Brandies. What the Consequence of this will be to our Wool­len [Page 23] and Silk Manufactures, is very plain: They must be destroy'd nothing can pre­vent it.

These Things serve to let us see, that the present Debate is not the Concern of a few People in Spittle-Fields only, tho' their Po­verty and Distress happens to be nearest our View at this time, as their Complaints have been loudest: But, in a word, the whole Body is effected, the whole Interest of our Woollen and Silk Manufactures throughout the Kingdom is concern'd in it; I mean, as to those Goods which concern our Wearing Apparel and Furniture, which is the Bulk of our Manufactures; nay, the East-India Company themselves are concern'd in it; and, I believe, it might be very easy to prove, by a just Calculation, that if these Companies now set up in France and Flan­ders, prosper and thrive, as it is more than probable they will, the East-India Company of Great-Britain will suffer more by their [Page 24] Importing their Callicoes here, and thereby sharing the Trade with them, or rather taking it from them, then they will, by the general putting a stop upon the Consumpti­on, and thereby checking the Foreigners in their beginning; so that upon the whole of the two, the Prohibition seems to me to be no Evil at all, but, rather an Advan­tage to them.

It was, without question, an unaccount­able Mistake in those who sollicited the first Prohibition of India printed Callicoes, that they contented themselves with prohibiting the Use of Callicoes printed Abroad, but did not insist upon prohibiting the Wearing and Use of those printed at Home, as Things in themselves equally ruinous to our Manu­factures; they had not then left the Door open to the Printing and Painting them in England, a Trade then scarce known; under colour of which, all sorts of Callicoes, where­soever printed, have been worn here, and [Page 25] Foreigners thereby encouraged to pour them in upon us by the Arts of clandestine Trade, and our People impose upon us by re-landing their own; in which, by the way, the known and wilful Perjury that attends it, is one of the least Things in our Consideration.

But now the Work is to be done over a­gain, with this Difficulty in the Difference, (viz.) that now we have the Pretences of the Callicoe Printers to struggle with, their calling the Callicoes a Manufacture, because Painted and Printed here; tho' these are in themselves meer Trifles, like that of the Num­bers of Families employ'd in Printing, &c. I say, Trifles, when compar'd with the Ma­nufactures themselves which we plead for, and the Numbers of Families and People maintain'd by, and employ'd in them; of which I believe I am not arrogant, when I say, it is ridiculous to talk of any Proportion.

The Work has also another Difficulty in [Page 26] its way, or rather a pretended Difficulty; that is to say, I foresee that some People in­tend to call this a Difficulty, I mean, the Fund form'd upon the Stamps on Callicoes, appropriated, perhaps, to such or such Uses, or as Security for such and such Loans: But as all those Funds are, to our great Satisfaction, made redeemable by Parlia­ment, we have no more to do but to convince our Representatives of the Necessity of re­deeming them, and leave the House, which is the in exhaustible Fund of Funds, to their own Methods for finding an equivalent Se­curity to the Satisfaction of the Lenders; and yet, even in this Point, when the House shall legitimate such an Attempt, something may be said farther.

Difficulties therefore are no Discourage­ment, where absolute Neccessity is the Mo­tive: The Thing carries an apparent Neces­sity in it; it must be remedied, or our Trade must be Ruin'd, our Manufactures be at an [Page 27] End, and our poor not sent a Begging on­ly, but indeed be Starv'd. And here, were it any thing to the Purpose, I could spend some time in Exclamation, at the preposterous unthinking Humour of our People, who, upon all Occasions, run di­rectly counter to their Interest, as a Trad­ing Nation, in so visible and so evident a manner as this of wearing Printed Callicoes; or, at least, wearing them so as to make it an universal Mode. We often see Clothiers, Drugget-Makers, Sergemakers, Stuff-makers &c. dress themselves and their Families in the Cloth, or Druggets, or Serges, or Stuffs they make; and tho' they may not be so very like their Neighbours, they will give this ready Answer, (viz.) 'Tis my own Trade; 'tis my own Manufacture. And the Answer is allow'd to be very rersona­ble; Why should it not be a National An­swer, as well as a Family Answer? Why should not an English Man, or an English Lady, reject foreign and destructive Gew­gaws, [Page 28] and chusing to wear the Woollen and Silk of our own Product and Manufacture, give this for a Reason for it, Tis our own Trade; 'tis our own Manufacture.

Let us go to the Indians and the Chineses for Instruction, as Solamon sends the Sluggard to the Ant: Are they prevaild with to lay by their own Manufactures for any of Ours? No; 'tis evident, we are so far from being able to place any of our Manufactures among them, that they despise the Proposal; and refuse to sell those Goods, which we have so little need of, but for that ready Money, which we have so little need to part with.

But this is a large Field; I refer it to the Time when the Battle shall be more closely join'd; then we may find time to talk more feelingly of the Folly of carrying Money to the Indies, to buy that, which we ought rather to give Money to be without.

But I return to the Indians, who, as un­capable [Page 29] as they may be to judge of their Na­tional Interests, are yet wiser in this part, by the Strength of meer Nature, than we are, who pretend to so much Knowledge; for they wear their own Manufactures; not can we bring them to alter the manner of their Cloathing, any more than the Matter of it.

Some have alledg'd for a Reason of this, the Climate in the Indies being suited to the Manufactures they make; and that nothing can be so light, so clean, so pleasant in such hot Countries, as the Callicoes and Silks of their own making: But we might very well answer this, by giving the Patterns of our fine Stuffs; some of which, as well as the manner of wearing them in hot Coun­tries, are much Cooler, and much more suited to the Heat of the warmest Climate, than the uncouth Fassions, great Sleeves and pleated Gowns of the Indians who even load themselves, rather than dress them­selves with their Callicoes and other Manu­factures [Page 30] of their own Make. Any Traveller might be left to judge of this, who has seen the Spaniards at Peru, at Lima, at Panama Carthagena, and such-like hot Places, where they dress much cooler and lighter in British and French Stuffs and Cloth, nay, even in English Black Bayes, than the Indians on the Coast of Malabar and Coromandel, or in the Bay of Bengale, do in their Silks and Cal­licoes; but Nature dictates to these Nations to cultivate their own Produce, to con­sume their own Manufacture, and en­courage their own Commerce: And Nature would dictate the same thing to us, if we did not obstinately put out Nature's Eyes, and act against Nature, in the pursuit of the most untractable part of our Faculties, I mean, Humour and Fancy.

Certainly, if we were free from this Trade-Frenzy, and were to act by the Dictates of Common Sense, we should reflect, that the Woollen Manufacture is the Staple of our [Page 31] ginal Fountain of our Wealth, and, as I said in my Introduction, it is the most essential part of the Riches of the Rich, and the principal Means we have for the employing our Poor. Many things might be said to prove, and some to illustrate whatever is contain'd in these Generals, concerning our Woollen-Manufacture; but I am loath to suppose my self talking to any People so ignorant as not to know it, or so partial as not to acknow­ledge it. If I can meet with any Englishman so weak as to dispute it, I undertake, at Demand, to expose them, and prove my Proposition, both at once.

The Premises then being granted, my In­ference is as just, namely, that it is the com­mon Interest of the whole Kingdom to discou­rage every other Manufacture, so far as those Manufactures, ruinous to, and incon­sistent with the Prosperity of our Own.

The late King of France, who so well un­derstood [Page 32] the Interest of his Subjects in Trade, is a standing Authority for this very thing: All the Edicts publish'd in France on this Subject, such as in the Year 1686, and in 1689, and in 1697, prohibiting the Printing and Painting of Callicoes in France, and the selling Callicoes Printed or Painted in India when Imported into France, are fortified with this Reason, as sufficient to justify their Government in the said Prohibition. (viz.) that they were prejudicial to the Ma­nufactures of Wooll and Silk, already esta­blisbed in France.

And there are two things in those Edicts of the King of France which are very re­markable, and which I reserve for farther Explanation, if I find occasion to speak in this Cause hereaster; I say, two things are very remarkable in the King of France's Prohibitions and Limitation of his East-India Company's Trade, which stand as Precedents for our Practice; the same Rea­sons [Page 33] being much more strong and forcible at this time in our Circumstances, than they could then be in France.

First, That in the Edict or Arret, prohi­biting or forbidding the Painting & Print­ing of Callicoes in France, is also included a strict Prohibition of the Painting and Print­ing any kind of Linen Cloath of Hemp or Flax, tho' such Linen was the Growth and Manufacture of his own Kingdom.

Secondly, That in his Limitation of the importations of the East-India Company, there is this Clause; That whereas the Company were allow'd to import some cer­tain Wrought Silks, named in the Edict, to the value of 150000 Livers a Year, so, first, they were oblig'd to bring in no more; and, secondly, they were oblig'd, in consi­deration of that Liberty only, I say, they were obliged to export to the Indies the [Page 34] value of 500000 Livers a Year in Goods of the Growth and Manufactures of France.

And even this Condition did not continue long; for the Council of Trade there, consi­dering that the consumption of the Manu­factures, was by no means an Equivalent for the Injury those Silks, &c. tho' but to the value of 150000 Livers a Year, did to the Manufactures of France, that Grant was also revok'd and the Goods entirely prohi­bited, under the most rigorous Penalties, as they continue to be this Day.

These two Clauses are of such moment in the Case before us, and dictate so clearly not only what we have to seek, and what to complain of, with respect to our Maun­factures, and to our East-India Company, but also the Reasons of it, that I cannot but think it very much for the Publick Ser­vice to publish the sevral Edicts, in which these Clauses, and the Reason and Causes [Page 35] given for them are contain'd, accordingly they are plac'd in the Close of this Work.

Thus I have touch'd at the Heads of this Matter, and have pass'd them over without other Enlargments then such as the present Occasion makes necessary. This Essay, for it is no more, is but a Specimen of the Con­troversy, every one of these Heads having necessary Explanations attending them, and long debated Points of Commerce to speak to, in order to set the whole Affair in a clear Light; all which it may be to the pur­pose to enlarge upon hereaster.


In the mean time, I cannot dismiss this Affair, without turning a little to the Trad­ing part of Mankind, and especially the Dealers in the Woollen Manufactures in this Nation: 'Tis not a little strange to observe, [Page 36] how unconcern'd we sit, and seem to enjoy our selves in a perfect composure of Mind, and a most inimitable Tranquility; when our general Commerce, by which we all subsist, langushes, and, as it were, expires in our sight. At Home, foreign Manufactures en­croach upon us; Abroad, they are prepa­ring new Projects to attack us; and as they seem united to Undo us, so, I must say, we seem unanimous in the Resolution of being Undone.

How can we sit still and see the Bread thus taken out of our labouring Peoples Mouths, even by those very Men who ought to be equally concern'd with us to prevent it? The Wearing and Use of Callicoes, is evidently the Ruin of our Manufactures: If we can distinguish between the Manu­factures and the Manufacturers; if the Em­polyment can be lost, and the Workmen not suffer; if the Trade can die, and the Tradesmen live; then I have no Foundati­on [Page 37] for my Discourse, no Reason for this Expostulation.

Nay, if this was a particular Article of Trade only, if a few Families were to be ruin'd of this or that particular Employ­ment only, and the main of our People not be effected with it; we might be silent, and the Opposers might say, we made more Noise of it than there was occasion for.

But since the Evil is general, and the Mis­chiefs which attend it are so spreading, that the whole Nation is more or less effected, from the Gentleman of the greatest Quality and Estate, to the meanest Wool-cumber, and that we are inevitably to feel the Con­sequences of it: How can we, I say, sit un­concern'd, and see out Families impoverish'd, and the Foundation laid for the Ruin of our Posterity, and yet take no Notice of it? It is certainly our Concern, in a more particu­lar manner, to APPEAR, not in Arms, not [Page 38] in Mobs and Tumults, that neither is a lawful Way of Appearing, nor would it give the least Aid in the Matter. Trade is the Daughter of Peace, and draws its principal Nourishment from the publick Tranquillity: No Men in their Senses can propose raising Tumults and Riots for the promoting Trade, neither is it the way to engage the Government, the Parliament, or the Ministry, to redress our Grievances in Trade. Such violent Ways only arm Power against us, and engage Governors to be our Enemies. My Arguments all run another Way, and if I mistake not, have ten times more Force in them with wise Governments, than all the Clamours of a Rabble can suppose to have.

I move you first to see the Mischief: To that end, I set it in a clear Light, prove the Fact, shew you the slow degrees by which the Poison works, how insensibly it grows upon you, and yet how sensibly some [Page 39] parts of Trade feel it already, and how cer­tainly all other parts will be effected by it.

I move you then to put your Hands to all Legal Preventions; I aim at no other: I move you to joyn in all just Representa­tions, both of the Mischief and the Remedy, to those in whose Power it is to relieve you I mean, your Parliament-Men; your Re­presentatives; who, as they are most of them chosen by the several Trading Corporations of England, may be more particularly call'd the Representatives of the Trading-Part of the Nation.

These are the profest Physicians of all our Trading Maladies; I may say, 'tis their Bu­siness to heal you, and I am sure it is in their Power; represent it to them in Parliament, and represent it to them out of Parliament; let them come up to Parliament fairly ap­pris'd of the Case; fully convine'd of the Justice of your Complaints, and the abso­lute Necessity there is of relieving you: Let [Page 40] them see it; make them Witnesses, in the Countries where they live, of the Decay of the Manufactures; of the Abatement made upon the Poor in their Wages; of the Numbers of Poor that desert, and run from one Work to another for want of Employ­ment. Shew them the Rolls of your Pari­shes, which, I am satisfy'd, will discover how many Families, more than ever, are listed among your Pensioners; for whom Parish Provision is necessarily made, for want of their getting Bread by the Works they were wont to be employ'd in; shew them the languishing Circumstances of the People, as the Effect; and then lay before them the languishing Circumstances of the Trade, as the Cause; then they will come up to Par­liament convinc'd of your Distresses, fully prepar'd to receive your Petitions, and fill'd with Compassionate Thoughts for your Redress.

I must consess, this seems to me to be the most proper Method, to spirit the approach­ing [Page 41] Assembly of Parliament with Sentiments of Pity for their County, and with a just Knowledge of the Reallity of, and Reason for the Complaints you make; and if I might be allow'd to suppose, that these Sheets shall any where come to the Hands of the particular Members in the Manufactur­ing Counties and Corporations for which they serve, I would, with all possible Hu­mility, but also with the utmost Importuni­ty, petition them to look a little into the State of the Manufactures in their respective Countries where they live.

It is without doubt, the just Concern, of our Representatives, to study the Interest and the Circumstances of the People who they represent. If these Gentlemen please but to look round them, they must of Ne­cessity see that the Manufactures decline, that Trade languishes, and the Poor stretch our their Hands to them for Help. They must needs also see the Causes of it, even at [Page 42] their own Doors, while they cannot but see a wilfully-possess'd Nation, dress'd up in the Manufactures of Foreigners, and despising the Workmanship of their own People: Madly sending their Money to India and China, to feed and support Heathens and Savages; and neglecting, nay, I may say, Rejecting the Manufactures of their own Country, tho' they see the poor Families starving for want of Work.

I press the People in the Countries to lay open their Case before their Representatives and convince them of the melancholly Cir­cumstances they are in, by the Decay of Trade, and the Stop of their Manufactures; and give them a clear View of the Nature of the Grievance, and whence it proceeds; and there is no room to doubt, but the Members would be affected with it, as well as other Men.

'Tis from the same Principle, that I move [Page 43] the Gentlemen themselves to enquire into the Case, and make themselves fully Masters of both the Fact and the Reason of it: Af­ter which, I would not suffer it to be nam'd as a Doubt, but that the natural Concern every Member of Parliament must have for the Prosperity of the People he represents, will move him effectually to apply himself in Parliament to the Remedy.

'Tis a great Mistake to suggest, that Spit­tle-Fields alone Complains, or has cause to Complain; tho', as I said before, the Manu­facturers there feel the Burthen sooner; but all the Country, and almost all the Branches of the Woollen and Silk Manufactures feel it: And 'tis easy to shew, why the Town Work­men feel the stop of Trade sooner than the Country Workmen. The Case is this:

The Clothiers, and Drugget or Stuff-ma­kers in the Country, who are the head Ma­nagers of the Woollen Manufactures, are [Page 44] generally Men of Substance and good Stocks; they have often whole Towns and Villages employ'd in their particular Works; and tho' they do feel a stop of the Trade at Markets, they do not so immediately put a stop to their works, but they must keep their Markets and make their Circuits, to take in the Yarn, and put out the Wool, or their Neighbours will break in upon them, their Spinners will seek Work in other Hands, and, perhaps, not be gotten again when they may want them.

Thus they go on a great while, tho' the Goods, when made, do not sell, 'till Black­well-Hall lies piled up to the Roof with Goods, and the Wholesale-Men and Factors Ware-Houses are throng'd with them; nay, even then they go on, and are forc'd to draw upon the Factors and Wholesale Dealers for the Money, whether the Goods sell, or no: The Factors again are sometimes forced to sell them to Mony'd-Men under the Price, and perhaps to Loss; nay, and even some­times to pawn or pledge them for Money, [Page 45] in hopes of a Market to come; and still with the Money answer'd by those Bills, the Clo­thier in the Country goes on, as long as he can get Credit for a Bag of Wool to Work, or a Penny of Money to pay his VVorkmen: And this causes the Country Poor not to feel the Check and Decays of their Trade so soon as the Town Workmen. But then we must take this with us, as we go, (viz.) that when the Trade droops so long together, and the Country Manufacturer or Clothier is forced to stop, 'tis more fatal to the Poor, as above; for then as they are long before they stop, so they are longer before they recover, and the Poor are, as it were, en­tirely destitute for a great while.

But in Spittle-Fields the Case alters; here the Manufacturers, I mean, the Masters, are near the Market: They do not put out the Wool to Spinning, but generally buy it in the Yarn: As soon is the Market stops, they stop; if they cannot sell their Work, they immediately knock off their Looms, and the [Page 46] Journeymen as immediately starve and want Work. Thus as Distempers near the Heart, or in the Vital Parts, are sooner and more sensibly felt, than in the less Noble Parts of the Body; so the Disease, of Trade, the Decay and Stop of Sale, is most sensibly and sooner felt here, than in the Country, and therefore Here the Complaint is first made, and loudest.

But this on the other hand, testifies to us, that if it be not provided for forwith, if some present Remedy be not apply'd to it, the spreading malignity will soon extend it self, and the most extream Part will then feel it: And what's the Consequence? but that then the Complaint will come up louder and be more uneasy to us.

All these things urge us, if possible, to apply some speedy, some immediate Reme­dy to the Evil. What that Remedy is, and what alone can cure us, I refer to the Sea­son [Page 47] of it; the present Business is to lay down the Fundamental, (viz.) shew the Disease, awaken the Nation, open their Eyes to the Consequences of it, and guide them in their Applications to the proper Persons, who a­lone can take it in hand, and that is, as a­bove, the Parliament.

Certainly if the Members of Parliament in the several Countries would but enquire a little into the Particulars, now they are at leisure, they would come up big with a De­sire to set their helping hand to it; they would come up fill'd with Resentment at those who have been Instruments to ruin the flourishing Trade of their Country and noth­ing could influence them against the humble proposals that may be made to them for re­storing the Trade and Prosperity of the King­dom.

It is suggested, that all Applications of this King will meet with a powerfull Oppo­sition, [Page 48] and that the Manufacturers, however numerous they are, will not find Friends enough to carry their Point against the Wearing and Using the Printed Callicoes.

For my part, I cannot be of this Opinion: It is true, I have not told Noses, as they call it, or cast up the Strength on either side, or examin'd who shall be the Friends, or who the Enemnies of the VVeavers Petitions; but this I venture to say, that as I have prov'd the Grievance is National, this, I think will follow, that none of the Nation's Friends can be Enemies to the Proposals for a Remedy. It is our Satisfaction that this is no Party Cause, unless any one should vilely insinuate, that there is a Party that would not have the Manufactures thrive, or would have the Poor starv'd and perish; and I can­not have such ill Notions of any Man as to think Party can carry them that length; Trade is a perfect Neuter in all our unhappy Strife: Spinning and Weaving are neither [Page 49] Whig or Tory, but the great Articles by which we live, by which the consumption of our Produce is carry'd on, and by which the Poor are subsisted, who without it, would, in a word, eat us up all.

If this Cause Meets with Enemies; if any one Man can be found in Britan, who would not have us leave off Painted Feathers, and stick to our own Manufactures; I say if one Man can be found so prepossess'd, it must be either a Man perfectly ignorant in Matters of Trade, and so not worth talking to; or it must be some Callicoe Printer, or his Employer and Dependant, who, find­ing his Account in the Mischief, acts upon the corrupt Principle of being willing to get Money tho' at the Expence of the Ruin of his Country; something like the wretched Sexton of Cripplegate, in the Year 1665, who, being employ'd at the Pest-bouse near Old-street, would have had the Plague con­tinue, [Page 50] that his Fees might not abate, but that he might have People enough to Bury.

But let us not fright our selves with the imaginary Notion of Enemies, and a strong Opposition: Nil Desperandum, let us take but true Measures, setting the Fact in a clear light, and convincing our Representatives, in a peaceable but effectual manner, of the Weight of the Case, and how justly they are concern'd, as Representatives, to espouse the Trading Interest of their Country; I can never imagine, that any Cabals of Dra­pers, East-India-Men, Brokers, and Job­bers shall be able to byass the Members of a British Parliament against it, or to blind their Eyes in a Case so clear as this, that wearing a foreign Manufacture, and despi­sing our own, is the most preposterous, tho' the most certain Method of straving us all, that can possibly be invented.

Here follows the two Clauses in two several Arrets of the French King's Council, mentioned in this Work.

In the Arret of 3. December. 1697. (after other Clauses) as follows:

‘— His Majesty ordains, That the Arret and Re­gulations formerly made, prohibiting the Consumption and Wearing of Painted Callicoes aforesaid shall be executed according to theit full Tenor and Form, and according to the aforesaid Arret of the 14th of May, 1689. and has prohibited, and does hereby prohibit all Persons, of what Quality or Condition soever, to Print, or Paint, or cause to be Printed, or Painted, any Silks, or all Callicoes whatsoever, and all Linen Cloth, or Cloth made of Flax or Hemp, new or old, or to sell or expose the same to Sale, on pain of Confis­cation, and 3000 Livres Fine. And his Majesty like­wise ordains, That the Moulds, or other Instruments, made use of for the Printing or Painting the said Linen, shall be broken and defaced: And to this Purpose, there shall be an exact Search made through all Places in the City of Paris, by the Lieutenant-General of the Polity; and in other Provinces by the Intendants and Commissaries, respectively, whom his Majesty hereby requires to put the said Arret in Exe­cution.’

[Page 52] The other Clause is from an Arret of July 31. 1700. whereas, after other Clauses, it is expresly said THUS:

His Majesty has permitted, and does hereby permit the East-India Company, according to an Arret of Council of Jan. 22. 1695. to bring from the Indies every Year, Painted Callicoes and Stuffs to the Value of 150000 Livres, on Condition the said Company shall export to the Indies every Year, as is likewise ordain'd by the said Arret, the Value of 500000 Livres every Year, in Goods of the Growth and Ma­nufacture of France; which said Callicoes, neverthe­less, shall be sent into foreign Parts, on account of the Company, and not sold to any of the Merchants of France: And if the Company brings any greater Quantity than is limited, as above, they shall be Confiscated and Burnt.

His Majesty also strictly forbidding all Persons of Quality, or Condition soever, to make any Garments or Houshold-Stuff of the said Painted Callicoes or Stuffs, and to all Taylors and Upholders, to have any thing made of the same in their keeping, on the pain of 3000 Livres Fine, &c.

Errata. Page 31. Line first, read Original. Page 47. 1. ult. for King read Kind.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.