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Title: An Essay to the Restoring of our Decayed Trade. - Wherein is Described, the Smuglers, Lawyers, and Officers Frauds &c.
Author: Trevers, Joseph
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Essay to the Restoring of our Decayed Trade. - Wherein is Described, the Smuglers, Lawyers, and Officers Frauds &c." ***

Transcriber’s Note

In this text version of “An Essay To the Restoring of our Decayed
Trade”, words in italics are marked with _underscores_, words in plain
text within italics are marked with +plus signs+.

Sidenotes have been moved the start of paragraphs.

Variant spelling, irregular punctuation and inconsistent use of italics
are retained.

The changes that have been made are listed at the end of the book.

  To the Restoring of our Decayed
  Wherein is Described, the
  OFFICERS Frauds, _&c._



Printed for _Giles Widdowes_, at the _Green Dragon_ in St. _Pauls
Church_-Yard, _John Sims_ at the _King’s Head_ at _Sweetings Alley_ end
in _Cornhil_, near the _Royal Exchange_, and _Will. Milward_ Stationer
at _Westminster-Hall_ door in _New-Pallace-Yard_, 1678

The Contents.

1. _That no Nation hath such advantages whereby to inrich themselves,
as +England+ hath._

2. _That the private Exportation of our wooll and Fullers Earth, doth
exceedingly hinder the Trade of this Kingdom, as also doth the private
Importation of Forreign Prohibited Goods._

3. _The ignorance of our common People of the Law in such cases, and
want of incouragement to the discoverers._

4. _The great loss our Silk and Ribbon-weavers._

5. _That the Trade of Clothing is the cheifest thing in the Nation._

6. _The profit gained by working up our wooll by our own poor people,
is almost unspeakable, and influential to all degrees of persons in the

7. _That there is lost Millions +per annum+ to the King and Kingdome,
in Customes, +&c.+ by losing our Trade of Clothing._

8. _That no other Country affords wooll to make good cloth without our
+English+ wooll and Fullers Earth._

9. _A recital of several Statutes concerning wooll, and the
Transportation thereof, setling the +Aulangers+ Office, and for the
well making of Cloth, and the abuses of our good Lawes._

10. _Setting forth the industry of the +Dutch+, and other Countries,
whereby in a great measure they undermine our Trade._

11, _How the decay of Trade occasions the Poor to be so numerous,
brings Rents low, and consequently Poverty to the Kingdome._

12. _Several Quæries Propounded, by way of Remedy._


  A true friend to his Countrey,


[Illustration: Decoration]

  To the Right Honourable


SPEAKER of the Right Honourable House of COMMONS; Treasurer of His
Majesties Royal Navy, and one of His Majesties most Honourable Privy

For me to speak of the Nobility and Worth of your Ancestors, and the
Noble Family (most Honoured Sir) would be but as an Eclipse of the Sun
by the Moon, which is the Planet that moves in the lowest Orbe, but
laying a side all such thoughts, the Occasion of the Dedication of this
ensuing Treatise to your Honour, is,

First, for that you are signally Elected to be the _Speaker_ of the
Honourable the House of _Commons_, the Representative of the Kingdome,
wherein such Lawes are framed and setled, as are conducible to the
Weal, Honour, and Safety thereof.

2. Because your Honours Abilities are so publiquely manifest, as that
you are likewise singled out to be one of his Majesties most Honourable
Privy Councel.

3. And that which doth very much move me hereto is, because your
converse hath been much in, and about the Counties of _Devon._
_Summerset_, and _Wilts._ where the Trade of Clothing is very much
used, and therefore it may in all reason be deemed, that your Honours
knowledge of (and acquaintance with) Clothiers and their Imployments is
more than ordinary.

Sir the great Ambition I have to manifest my Loyalty to the King,
and my zeal to serve the Countrey, puts me upon these endeavours,
to discover not only the advantages by our Manufactures, and the
disadvantages to the Kingdome by the cessation thereof, but also the
great Fraud; and Abuses in the Out-Ports by the Custome-Officers, which
when reduced and brought into a better Method, by those cheif Officers
that are concerned therein, I hope it may prove a good Balsome to heal
our wounds, and a Cordial to our drooping spirits.

It is well known that the improvement of our Manufactures in this
Nation hath a communicative influence upon thousand of young and old
people; yea many that are now idle and loose people, have been more
numerously imploy’d formerly, than now they are, by reason of the decay
of Trade, which if it should thus continue, or grow worse, might be a
great means to depopulate the Nation, and to draw great burdens upon
many Parishes for the maintenance of their Poor, but if not timely
prevented, will cause the Trade to be driven by Foreigners, and so
exceedingly cause an abatement of Rents among us.

Sir, your publique Imployment, your generous and Courteous Deportment,
give me confidence to Dedicate these Rude and Unpolisht lines to your
view, because I know, you have Ability to judge, and Charity to pardon
the _Errata’s_ that you may find therein.

When I did first set Pen to Paper about this matter, I found my self
in a Labyrinth, and there might have suffered, had not my Education as
a Clothier given me a glimmering light to extricate my self. And yet
when I had purchased my Enlargement, by my strict enquiery into those
Mysteries, I had a great dispute with my self, whether I should put
my Abortive thoughts into Print or no, but more respecting the common
good, than my private Reputation, I resolved rather to make my wishes
publique, than to bury them in Oblivion.

Now Sir, it is not only a pleasant study for Statesmen to promote
the Publike good, but the only way to true and lasting Honour, and
Happiness; and that these poor Endeavours of mine may attain that
good effect to the King and Countrey, as I really design; (aiming at
no other,) I earnestly beg of God to direct you for the Improvement
of them, in your publique imployments, which may (like the Rain from
Heaven) break open the Springs of Trade in our dry and thirsty Land, to
revive and refresh the same, and by so doing, Sir, you will not only
do eminent service to the King, great kindness to your Countrey, but
also oblige all people to pray for your happiness both in this world,
and that which is to come, for the which also most earnestly praies,

  Your Honours most humble,

  and most devoted



To his Honoured Friend, Cap. _Joseph Trevers_, on his Book Entituled

_An Essay to the Restoring of our decayed Trade_.

    _If I a Poet were, I’de undertake,
    To write some Verses for the Authors sake.
    And give him commendation for his pains
    For I beleive, no more will be his gains.
    For such men as do mind the publique good
    Their merits are but slightly understood
    Yet unto lasting age their fame shall bud._

    _The Author of this Book who took the care
    Exactly to observe the great affair
    Of this our Kingdome, which consists in Trade,
    Of Clothes and Stuffes which of our Wooll are made,
    Hath here the profit clearly shown to us,
    And what advantage yearly cometh thus
    If we were wise to be industrious._

    _Together with the mischiefs that do come
    On the whole Kingdome by neglect of some,
    And treachery of others which is worse,
    (A heavier and more Prodigious curse
    Cannot well lighten on the English Nation)
    To send away our Wooll by Transportation,
    This if not cur’d will bring to desolation._

    _As much as in them lies for selfish ends
    Such bring destruction to their best friends,
    First to the Soveraign Majesty of the King,
    Then to the Common-wealth, for this doth bring
    The Nation to be exceeding poor
    And many Clothiers forced to give ore
    Their Trading, and follow it no more._

    _But now I hope for better things to come
    By the removal and displaceing some
    Of those that were in trust, and put in such
    As are upright, and won’t comply with +Dutch+,
      Nor any Forreign Nation to invade
      The Ancient Priviledges of our Trade
      The want hereof makes +England+ greatly fade._

  R. B.

    _Goe little Book into the world and see
      Who thou can’st find therein to welcome thee,
    I’m sure thou mean’st as well to every man
      Of all degrees and sorts as any can:
    From King to meanest, thou dost with them well
      And therefore this thy Book doth truly tell
    Of wrongs and of Abuses done to all.
      Then let them in whose compass it may fall
    Soon rectify the same, and bring on Trade
      Afresh, this is the end this Book was made._

  Incerti Authoris.

[Illustration: Decoration]

AN ESSAY To the Restoring of our decayed TRADE.

That I may proceed in as good an Order as I can, (although I cannot
pretend to Learning, or Ability to Compose a Book in a Methodical way,)
but do wish that such a task as this, had been undertaken by some
other, that might have been able abundantly better to have mannaged it,
to satisfaction of the _Reader_; Yet by reason of my former imployment
in the Trade of a Cloathier, and afterwards in the Office of Surveyor
of one of the Ports of this Kingdom, at the _Custom-House_, I am
experimentally enabled to speak to those things, which shall follow.

And if there fall not out such an Harmonious Order, in the ensuing
Discourse, by the necessary connection, or orderly introduction of
one thing to another, as might be expected, (as before in my Epistle
so again,) I do humbly beg the best and most favorable construction,
and censure of the matter; for having in my breast, the true heart,
and Spirit of an _English-Man_, for his King and Country; I cannot
bear with those dayly abuses, and evil practices, so frequently and
notoriously put upon the King and Kingdom, but that I do reckon my self
Obliged, in all duty and good conscience to my King and Country, to
make them as publiquely known and manifest as I can, and then leave the
Remedies, to be provided and answerably applied, by the Ministers of
State, which I hope in a short time will be effected.

[Sidenote: _The Advantage by the Manufacture of Wooll._]

And here I shall endeavour, First, to make it to appear, that there
is no Nation nor Kingdom in the World, that hath those advantages,
whereby to inrich themselves, as this our Kingdom of _England_, by the
Manufacture of our Wooll, and consequently to maintain our strength,
and Honor; omitting to speak of many other staple Commodities, of this
our Kingdom, though many Rich and Profitable, because I am intended
to Treat principally about the Subject of Wooll, and the Manufactures
thereof with the dependancies thereupon.

[Sidenote: _Wooll not improoved_]

Now that such advantages as might accrue to the Kingdom are not laid
hold on, and the Commodities improoved to what it might be, is too too
evident to all men, that have any feeling of the case, or that do make
any inspection into it; which may also be sufficiently confirmed to
all others, by the sad complaints, and frequent moanes, that are dayly
made concerning the miserable decay of Trade, to the great loss of many
perticuler men, and to the King, and Nation in General, and principally
in the Trade of Cloathing.

But if the Wooll of _England_, and _Ireland_ were improoved to the best
advantages, and secured from exportation to Forreigners, doubtless
_England_ would be the General Market for the whole Universe, for
matter of Cloathing, and what would soon be the Riches, greatness, and
Splendor thereof, (_by the Almighties blessing_) is not a thing very
difficult to be imagined, by any sober judicious Person, Merchant, or

[Sidenote: _No Wool so good as +English+._]

And that no Nation hath such good Wooll, for the general Trade of
Cloathing is evident, elce what makes so many Forreigners of other
Nations, so greedy of our _English_ Wooll, if they had as good, or
near as good of their own, and how highly was it formerly esteemed,
by the _Dukes_ of _Burgundy_, and what benefit and advantage did that
People under his government make of it; when they paid but sixpence the
pound for our _English_ Wooll, they returned it to us in Cloath at Ten
shillings the Yard; by which may very easily be computed, what profit
did redound to that people, in the working up the Wooll, which thing
occasioned many _English_ Families, to transport themselves into those
parts, for their profitable livelihood and subsistence.

[Sidenote: _Cloathing set up in +England+._]

But after the Victorious Conquest, made by _Edward_ the third, of
_Famous Memory_, he caused to be ordered and set up the Manufactures of
Wooll in this Kingdom, to the great increase of the Riches of his own
People; the memory of whom, for his provident care for the wellfare of
his People; is worthy to be perpetuated to all succeeding Generations.

[Sidenote: _Forreigners do covet our Wooll._]

And what now a days makes _Holland_, and _France_, so covetous of our
Wooll, and what large quantities by sinister meanes, do they procure to
serve themselves, and their Countries; and what Riches do they acquire
to themselves thereby, may in some measure be guessed at, for by having
our good _English_ Wooll, they can mix their own course Wooll with it,
and so make good Cloath, or Stuffes, which otherwise they could not do.

To instance perticulerly in the _French_, it is taken for granted, and
sufficiently known, that their Wooll is very course, and of it self fit
for little, but to make a sort of Cloath which is worn by _Sea-men_,
and _Fisher-men_, &c. But by the help of our good Wooll, they make very
good work, and send to other parts of the World their druggets, _&c._

[Sidenote: _Much +French+ Wooll wrought up by mixing with ours._]

And by having our good _English_ Wooll, they can spend two or three
Packs of their own Wooll, mixing it with ours, by which meanes they
make their Cloath and Stuffes pass very acceptably, both among
themselves, and other Nations. Yea we our selves in _England_ not being
so wise, as we should be, for our own advantage, do buy the _French_
druggets, _&c._ Made of our Wooll, mixed with theirs, and give great
Prices for them too, when we do, or at least may make better of our own.

The care then being taken for granted, that _English_ Wooll is the
best, and most fit for Cloathing, Stuffes, Stockins, _&c._

[Sidenote: _Poor to be Imploy’d._]

How necessary may it be rationally supposed then, for our own People
to be imployd in the working up our own Wooll, and how many thousands
would be imploy’d of the Poorer sort of people, about such work, who
might thereby, gain to themselves a very comfortable living, and free
the Kingdom from those great burdens in maintenance of the Poor; they
being able by their Labour, (_if Imploy’d_) comfortably to provide
for themselves; for it is not the numerous multitude of people in a
Kingdom, or Common Wealth, that makes it to be Poor, that they cannot
live one by another, but the contrary, if all were imploy’d, and set
at work, as there is imployment enough to be had, they would prove the
especial meanes, to make a Kingdom Rich; as may be clearly instanced
by the _Dutch_, how many scores of thousands of their Poor people are
imployed about the Herring Fishing, which makes them very Rich, and
brings in yearly, near two Millions of Money, or other commodities
necessary for the Land, which are equivalent to Money, besides what
they spend in the Land; this may seem to some to be a thing incredible,
but I am able to make it cleare to any intelligent Person.

[Sidenote: _Poverty for want of Imploy._]

Thus then by the neglect of our own Manufactures of our Wooll, flowes
in like an inundation, the poverty of the Land; and hence arise those
sad complaints, that fill every mans Eares, throughout the Kingdom,
Alas! What shall we do to live, we have no Imployment; for if the
Trade of the world abroad, for Cloath and Stuffes, _&c._ Be supplied
from other Lands, which make their Cloath and Stuffes of our _English_
Wooll, being _Clandestinely_ Transported into Forreign parts; our
_English_ Trade for that commodity, must answerably decay; and if the
_English_ Merchant hath not vent for that commodity abroad, to other
Nations, the Country Cloathier must strike off in a great measure,
and consequently many of the Poor work folkes, are answerably taken
off from their imployments, which formerly for many years, they had
been exercised in, and so having no work, they get no Money, and so
are reduced to a begging condition, or worse: these things are to be
discerned clearly, without the help of a Perspective-Glass, by those
that are in any measure intelligent in Politique affaires.

[Sidenote: _Profit lost._]

Thus the profit of the Poor, that they should get to themselves for
a maintenance is lost, and the profit gotten by their labour to the
Kingdom is also lost, in the General, and this is brought to pass by
the quicksightedness, and diligence of our Neighbour Nations; who
finding dayly the sweetness of the Trade, and so exceedingly enriching
themselves, by our commodity, _Viz._ Wooll; doe endeavour more and
more, to carry it on to their own advantage, whiles we in _England_, in
the mean time neglect our own opportunities, and advantages, which do
so clearely lie before us.

[Sidenote: _Loss to the Kingdom._]

From what hath been before hinted, doth necessarily follow the vast
dammage, and prejudice done to this our own Nation, and Kingdom, by the
exportation of our Wooll; for the dammage doth evidently appear, thus.

Had not the _French_ our _English_ Wooll to work withall, they could
not work up their own Wooll, into any Manufactures that should be
acceptable, or saleable in other Countries, no nor in their own Land,
but they would be ready as formerly to buy our _English_ commodities;
but now having our _English_ Wooll so frequently among them, privately
gotten from _England_, or _Ireland_; they mix their own Wooll with it,
and work up two or three Packs of their course Wooll, with one pack
of ours, so that every Pack of _English_ Wooll exported from us, and
carried to _France_ is treble loss, if not more to _England_, and on
the contrary so much profit to _France_.

[Sidenote: _Other Countries grow Rich._]

[Sidenote: _Undersel us._]

[Sidenote: _Custom Officers unfaithful._]

Thus then any man may perceive, how Rich other Countries grow by our
means, by obtaining our commodity to work upon, and there People
also do generally live at a lower rate, and work cheaper by the day
or otherwise, than our People in _England_ do, by which means they
may afford to under-sel us, as usually they do at a Forreign Market,
so that hereby they do acquire to themselves, both good credit, as
well as great profit: and this Originally as aforesaid is by our
commodity; which if it was carefully looked after, by the Officers of
the Customes, in the out-ports cheifly; there might be speedily, a
good stop put to this their Trade, for if they got not our wool from
_England_, or _Ireland_; they could not go on with this their Trade of
Cloath and Stuffes, but the great negligence, or unfaithfullness of
some Officers, belonging to the Customes, is the Principal occasion,
of the exportation of our wooll into Forreign parts, and consequently
of the loss of the Trade of the Nation, in so great a measure, in this
perticuler; from whence followes clearely, and undeniably, the poverty
of the Kingdom in general.

[Sidenote: _Cloathing Trade Failing._]

[Sidenote: _Many other Trades fail also._]

For one Trade depends upon another, as it is in the body natural, so
it is in the body politique, in the body natural, one member depends
upon another, and is serviceable to the other, by a natural Harmony
and Correspondence, even so doth one Trade, or occupation closely,
and necessarily depend upon another, here in _England_, and such a
connection there is in this point, that if one chiefe Trade fail, very
many also do fall with it, more or less, according to their proximity,
or remotenes from it, in their dependance, and this may be applied
cheifly, and principally to the Trade of Cloathing, and the Manufacture
of wooll in other respects; how many several Trades are there, that
must of necessity depend on the Cloathing Trade, as _Card-makers_,
_Spinners_, _Weavers_, _Fullers_, _Dyers_, _Cloath-workers_, _Packers_,
and those Trades which make Tooles, and instruments for these; are
not also the Farmers at work, in the mean time, to provide bread for
all these People, and their Families, and breeding up his _Oxen_,
_Sheep_, _Hogs_, &c. That they may have Meat to eate, are not the
Merchants and Sea-men, imploy’d in a great measure by this Trade, and
these last mentioned (_the Sea-men_) are the men, who principally, and
cheifly bring in the wealth of the Nation: the Gentry of the Land,
and all sorts of Shop-keepers, are the receivers of this profit,
which the Sea-men by their adventures, and industry do bring into the
Nation; all sorts of _Lawyers_, _Phisitians_, and _Clergy-men_, are
receivers, and get their Money by their Tongues, while the _Adventurous
Merchant, and undaunted Marriner, carries on the Trade of the Nation_,
exporting our native staple commodities (_of the which through Gods
abundant goodness_,) this land of ours is so well stored, in several
perticulers, as might be instanced in _Tin_, _Lead_, _Cloath_,
_Stuffes_, _Stockins_, _Herrings_, of which might be an hundred times
as many if look’t after, and Sale enough for them too, at Forreign
Markers: but the _Dutch_ run away with the profit of these goods,
making two Barrels for our one; _Pilchards_ are a very good commodity,
of which we do get good store in the _West Country_, and they do
bring in good profit to the Nation, either in Gold or Silver, or such
commodities, as the Kingdom stands in need off.

By what hath been said, it plainly appears how from the highest to the
lowest, there is a necessary dependance of one imployment upon another,
and the falling off from one general Trade, occasions the ruin of many
inferior Tradesmen, who had subsistence for themselves, and Families
thereby; and this in our Kingdom of _England_, is seated principally,
and cheifly, in the Trade of Cloathing, and the Manufacture of Wooll.

[Sidenote: _The King Looseth._]

So that upon the failing of this Trade, of which there is too great
a cessation and decay, in many parts of this Kingdom, there comes in
inevitably such a general loss, to the whole Nation, for first and
most principally the King loseth hereby, and that extreamly, not only
because his Subjects are not set at work, and so are unabled to live
comfortably, and to pay such Taxes, and impositions, as are requisite
for his Majesties support, and defence against his powerful Enemies.

Nor in that the Honor, and splendor of the Kingdom, is hereby so much
advanced and promoted, as it might be, but also because his Majesty
looseth so great a revenue, which would accrue to him in his Customes,
if the Cloathing Trade was carried on with Vigor, so that the effectual
carrying on, or desisting from the Cloathing Trade, is of very high
Concernment, and Importance to the King; in profit or loss, and so it
runs through the meaner sort of People also, as hath allready in part
been spoken to.

[Sidenote: _The Kings Customes._]

For what Customes come in yearly to his Majesty concerning the
Manufactures of Wooll, in its several, and perticular sorts, of the
Old and New Drapery, in all the Varieties of Stuffes, made now a days,
and Stockins, by being Transported to Forreign parts, and what store
of Money, and other goods, (_equivalent to Money_) being necessary
commodities for the Kingdom, do they bring in again, for our Cloath,
Stuffs, _&c._ so sold or bartered; and what Customs again do all those
imported goods bring into His Majesties Coffers, may not be difficult
to be computed, besides the imployment of so many Ships and Seamen, and
training up young Seamen, than which nothing in this age of ours, is
more necessary to be taken care about; for there is (_I believe_) the
greatest want of this sort of men in the Kingdom, for although there
may be enough found in the Kingdom, to Man His Majesties Royal _Navy_,
and it may be some to spare, yet it is believed there are not neer
enough for His Majesties Service, and for Merchants service too, which
may many times be carried on both together, as occasion may require;

[Sidenote: _The Companies of Merchants._]

And if we do but look back a little, to a few Generations past, we
may soon find what high Advantages have accrued to His Majesty in His
Customs; and to the Kingdom in general, by the Cloathing-trade, being
lively managed by the Merchants, and what worthy and noble Companies of
Merchants, have been Associated and Incorporated; whose Trading hath
for the most part, consisted in Woollen cloaths, as in the Merchant
Adventures Trading to the _East-lands_, and in what esteem their Agents
and Factors were in Forreign parts, and how Rich and great their Stock
and Treasure hath been, in so much that they have been able to lend
a very considerable supply and assistance to the _King_ or _Queen_
upon any Occasion; and Particularly and Eminently (_may it be spoken
to their Honor_) their Assistance of _Queen Elizabeth_ of most happy
Memory, in the year Eighty Eight; and since upon any Occasion of the
like nature.

[Sidenote: _East Land Company._]

Neither is here to be omitted that company which is called the
_East-land_ Company, whose principal Trading also consists in the
same commodity of Woollen-Cloaths, by which they do furnish all
those Eastern Countries about the _Baltick-Sea_, and to _Russia_, by
which means also our discoveries of those _Northern_ parts of the
World, have bin made very Evident, and well known to Us, to the great
Advancement of our _Navigation_ to the _Northward_, as far as _Green
Land_; and of late years hath given occasion of that Discovery about
_Hudson_’s Bay, commonly now called the _North-west Passage_, made by
that stout and adventurous Seaman, Captain _Zachariah Gillam_.

[Sidenote: _+Turkey+ Company._]

But the main and cheif Trades of all, are the _Turkey_ and _East-India_
Trades, and the Riches by those Companies procured, cheifly by
Woollen-cloaths, So highly Advantagious to the _King_ in His Customs,
to the Companies in particular, and to the whole Kingdom in the
general, as is not a thing easily to be known or computed.

[Sidenote: _+East-India+ Company._]

[Sidenote: _The +Dutch+ have spoiled our trade in the South seas._]

How the _Turkey_ Company in particular by their discreet management
of the Trade in those parts, with that commodity of Woollen-cloaths
chiefly, do bring into _England_, all the rich Goods from all parts
of the _Streights_, and how the _East-India_ Company, by their Trade
in the same commodity, (_in a great measure_) do purchase the Rich
commodities of _India_, _Persia_, _China_, and the _South-seas_,
with the Odoriferous Drugs of _Arabia_, and all such Goods as those
countries afford for necessary Use and Delight, although of late years
the _Dutch_ have wrought us out of a great part of the _South-Sea_
Trade, of which more might be largely spoken concerning their usage
of our _English-men_ in those parts; but that it hath bin already
sufficiently laid out in Print, to the veiw of the _English_ Nation.

[Sidenote: _Good ships built yearly._]

[Sidenote: _Seamen bred up._]

[Sidenote: _Merchants grow rich._]

[Sidenote: _Can lend the king money._]

And to add a little to what was before intimated, what excellent
Ships are annually built and prepared for the services of these two
Honorable Companies, whose imployment as aforesaid, is principally
for the Exportation of our Woollen-cloaths, and if we do look back
but to thirty years past, four or five Ships of the _Turk_’s men of
War durst not adventure upon one of our _Smirna_ Ships, and also how
worthy is it of Consideration, to take notice how many of our best
Seamen, and Artists are bred up in those imployments by the two last
worthy Companies Imployment; So that besides what Revenue is brought to
the _King_ in his Customs, by these great Sea-Trades of these worthy
Companies mentioned, both for the Exportation of their cloaths, _&c_,
and the Importation of all manner of Goods, by this Stock so purchased
abroad in Forreign parts, our Merchants are grown marvellous Rich, in
so much that they are able upon any necessary Occasion that His Majesty
hath for Money, to furnish him at a weeks warning; and that which is
worthy the noting also, our Seamen are grown of late years to be the
most famous in the world, to the great glory, honor, and safety of
His Majesty and the Kingdom, and all this is evident by what hath bin
said, to arise cheifly (_next to the blessing of Heaven_) from the
Manufacture of our Wool in _England_, by our own people, which how much
it ought to be incouraged, and of what high concernment it is to the
Honor, Wealth, and Security of the Kingdom, let the Sober and Judicious

And if I should adventure to give my opinion freely, touching the
matter in hand, I am very much induced to believe, that were it not
for the Cloathing-trade (_which imploys so many Ships and Men into
several other Countries, and for the value of our Cloaths bring their
Goods, by which means the poor also are set on work_) that a great
part of the Traffick and Commerce of the world would fail; and this
Trade as formerly intimated, is, and may be most readily, roundly,
and advantagiously driven in _England_; were we but so pollitique and
carefully, as to keep our Wooll to our selves and within the _King_’s
Dominions of _England_ and _Ireland_, and to set the people closly to
their work again.

[Sidenote: _+English+ Cloath and Stuffs serve all the world._]

And before I do leave the Argument I have ingaged in, let there be
considered the good quantities of Cloath and Stuffs that did go over
continually to _Holland_ and _Flanders_, and by them there dispersed
otherways; the large quantities of Stuffs and Bays that are sent over
to _Portugall_, and thence Transported to _Brazilia_, &c, with a very
considerable number of Cloaths and Stuffs that go to _Spain_, and by
the _Spaniards_ Transported to the _West-Indies_ all over, the good
quantities of _Perpetuanies_, and such like Stuffs that are carried
out for _Guinea_, together of late days, with the large stores of
Broad-cloaths, Kersies, Sarges Cottons, Pennistons, Duffels (_or Hogs_)
Transported to our own Plantations of _New-England_ and _Virginia_,
with what also must supply _Barbadoes_, _Jamaica_, and our other
Islands in the _West-Indies_, and forreign Plantations; all which are
the manufacture of Wooll.

[Sidenote: _Clothing more worth to England_]

[Sidenote: _than the commodity of any Country whatsoever._]

The Premises considered, I hope I may make bold to say, that setting
aside all the rest of the Rich and Staple commodities of _England_,
which nevertheless are as good as any Country can parrallel in the
world, as Tinn, Lead, Iron, _&c._ this very commodity produced from
our Wooll, is of more worth and value to _England_, (_that is to say_)
will bring in more profit to the Kingdom of _England_, than all the
Silks or rich commodities of any Country whatsoever; Yea doubtless more
than all the Spices of the _South-Seas_, yea, I do believe, and I have
reason enough to lead me so to do, than all the _Spaniards_ Gold and
Silver Mines in _America_; for none of these I am throughly perswaded,
can any way equallize that yearly Revenue, that doth, or may come into
the Kingdom of _England_ by this one commodity diversly made up of our

[Sidenote: _Encrease of Seamen._]

[Sidenote: _The King’s care for the Security of the Nation._]

Neither doth any Nation in the world get so much by any of their Goods,
as _England_ doth by this, to the great enriching and advancement of
the Merchant, and the Companies Stocks, trading and adventuring in
these goods to Sea, the enriching of His Majesty, the encrease of our
strength in Shipping, and consequently the breeding and training up
of Seamen, and increase of them, wherein as before intimated, a great
part of the welfare & safety of the Kingdom doth consist in these our
days: and the incouragement of whom is of great concernment to the
Kingdom, as the case now stands with _England_ and her neighboring
Nations; or as the case may hereafter fall out to be; for our Land is
an Island, as is known well enough, not only to its Inhabitants, but to
all _Europe_, and we have not, nor cannot have Castles and Garrisons
round about the whole kingdom by the Sea-side to beat off a forreign
Enemy, and to keep him from landing and invading our Nation; for in
fair weather in Summer time, there may be landing in hundreds of places
about the Kingdom, where there is neither Town nor Castle neer; but
such is His Majesties great prudence and care for the safety of his
Land and People, that he doth highly esteem and promote the affairs of
Shipping, more than ever any of his Royal Predecessors have done, well
knowing that his Ships and Seamen are the strength and security (_next
to the protection of the Almighty_) of his whole kingdom.

[Sidenote: _Profit by working up wooll._]

[Sidenote: _Poor idle._]

[Sidenote: _Poor get Money if Imployed_]

I shall now endeavor to give some particular account, but very briefly,
of the Profits arising to _England_, by working up our Wooll into
Cloth: every two pounds of Wooll which is worth about twenty pence,
will make a yard of Karsey, worth five or six shillings; and every
four pounds of Wooll, worth about three shillings four pence, will
make a yard of broad-cloth, worth eleven or twelve shillings: so that
two thirds, is the least profit, that doth arise by putting our Wool
into Manufactures; which doth amount to above 230 pounds sterling
profit, in every Tun of Wooll so wrought up, accounting twenty hundred
English wait to the Tun; so that if we should suppose, but an hundred
Tuns of Wooll transported, out of the Kingdome, in a year to _France_
unwrought, it will amount to 22400 _ll._ sterling, which is so much
clear loss to the Kingdome, and trebble so much profit to _France_, by
their working up three times so much of their own, with ours, as hath
been formerly intimated: besides, it is worthy of consideration, that
so many of our poor lye idle, and lose their imployment, being ready to
perish for want of necessary food, notwithstanding the great plenty in
the Land; and no Kingdome hath the like advantages, for the imployment
of the poor, in any Trade or occupation (within doors) whatsoever,
as we have for the poor in his Majesties dominion of _England_, about
the old and new Drapery: and yet those poor, that had their hands full
of work, in one kind or another, according to what they were most
accustomed, either by sorting of wooll, mixing, breaking, carding,
spinning, spoling, quilling, weaving, making of cards, picking of
Tesels, and many other imployments, concerning the working up wooll
into cloth, which have kept many thousands of men women and children
at work, who knew not how to get a penny another way; but by this way
of working, could in some comfortable manner live. When the trade of
clothing was driven roundly, one family, that doth not get twelve pence
a week now, have then received twelve, fifteen or eighteen shillings
a week, which money went round to the Farmer for provision, or to the
Shopkeeper for necessaries for their Families, and this again to the
Merchant, or to the Landlords, according to each man’s Trade, and

So that the profit arising, by the working up of our Wooll into cloth
or Stuffs here in _England_, by our own people is almost unspeakable,
and is the great and chief wheel in the Kingdome, to set all others
at work, as hath been already in several Trades mentioned, and more
do attend upon it, when it is made into cloth, as the Clothworkers,
Drawers, Dyers, Fullers, Packers, Merchants and Seamen.

[Sidenote: _Exporting wooll._]

[Sidenote: _Fall of Rents._]

[Sidenote: _The poors labor profit to the Nation._]

But then to enter into the consideration of the contrary, what an
unspeakable loss is it to the Kingdome, to have such a Trade fall to
decay, and so many thousands of poor must of necessity be multiplyed
in the Land, which must beg, steal or starve, for want of imployment.
But what think you if three or four hundred Tuns of Wooll in a year
be exported out of the Kingdome (for so I have been informed) what a
stroke doth that give, to the beating down of our Trade in _England_,
and what a vast loss comes thereby to the Kingdome; and may we not
justly be induced to believe, that the decay of our Trade in this
respect, doth occasion the fall of the rents of Lands in the Countrey,
and houses in the City of _London_ and else where; so that the
Nobility, and Gentry of the Kingdome, have a sensible feeling of the
decay of this Trade of clothing, for all that the poor do get for their
labour about this Imployment, goes from them again to others, as hath
been already intimated, and so the money goeth round according to its
figure, and passeth from one to another, according as one trade hath
dependance upon another.

[Sidenote: _Fullers Earth carried out of the Land._]

[Sidenote: _Into +Holland+._]

It may not be here unseasonable, to insert a word or two, concerning
our Fullers Earth, for cloth cannot be perfectly finished without our
Fullers Earth, to scoure and cleanse the fine clothes, that are milled
with Castle sope, and all other midling cloths that are fulled with
Sope; so that none but course clothes that are milled with Medicine
can be well done, without the assistance of our Fullers earth, except
at a greater charge, neither is there any other Countrey, besides our
King’s Dominions, that have any Fullers Earth like ours in _England_;
& it is so reported, that the _Dutch_ have gotten enough of it into
_Holland_ to serve them for many years to come, which was certainly
transported out of the River of _Medway_, (_alias Chatham_) for we
have none in _England_, but what is about _Maidstone_, on the said
River of _Medway_, that ever I could hear of, except at _Wooburn_ in
_Bedfordshire_, which is an Inland-town, and many Miles from the Sea;
yet I have been a diligent inquirer into this matter: so that if the
Transportation of this commodity, into Forrein Countries, was carefully
looked after, it could not possibly be carried out of the Land, without
a discovery of it, especially from the River of _Medway_ aforesaid,
so that forreigners must of necessity be at the greater charge, in
finishing their clothes, which could not be done, without the help
of our Fullers Earth. Now that there is a prohibition of Exportation
of our Fullers Earth, to Forreign parts, is well enough known to the
Officers of the Customehouse, but it is not looked after as it should
be, for either some of them are negligent, not regarding their duties,
and behaving themselves with that vigilance and circumspection, as
such places of Trust do necessarily call for at their hands; or else
they wink at such miscarriages, and suffer our Fullers Earth to be
carried away, as the like is commonly done concerning our Wooll.

[Sidenote: _Wooll carryed to +France+, &c._]

And although most part of our Lawes are binding enough with severe
Penalties annexed to them, if they were but duly observed and well
put into Execution, yet not one of ten thousand doth know the Lawes
of Prohibition throughout the Kingdom, and how to put them into
Execution; and although many people do certainly know that Fullers
Earth is certainly carried out of the River of _Medway_, (alias
_Chatham_,) and our Wooll commonly shipped off from _Dover-Cliffs_ by
night, from _Rumney-Marsh_, the Isle of _Wight_, _Purbeck_, and about
_Waymouth_, and in several other parts of _England_; and too much from
_Southhamton_: under the pretence of an Allowance by the Law, for
the supply of Jarsey; Yet no body doth, or dareth to prosecute the
Offenders for the breach of our good and wholesome Laws, because the
very principles of Nature in every man, teach himself Preservation, and
he that minds but that, is afraid to meddle with these offenders who
are commonly Rich men, and strengthened both with Money and Friends in
the Counties where they dwell; so that every man that is willing to
preserve himself, his Estate and Family, is afraid of appearing against
these Transgressors in the behalf of the _King_, though it be never so
much conducible to the good and welfare of the whole Kingdom; for fear
they should be dealt withal as I have been.

[Sidenote: _Tradesmen undone._]

And while I am speaking about the negligence and unfaithfulness of
the Officers of the Customs; give me leave in two or three words
for a Digression concerning the importation of Forrein prohibited
Commodities, to the utter ruine of many poor Tradesmen, with their
Families in this our Kingdom; as Ribbon Weavers, and Silk weavers, and
other such like Artificers in & about _London_, and several other parts
of the Kingdom, that they are so miserably Impoverished that they are
ready to perish, for want of necessary food, to keep life and soul
together; (as our English Proverb is) notwithstanding the great plenty
of all sorts of Provision in the Nation, (through the goodness and
bounty of God to us.)

[Sidenote: _Smugglers prosecute honest men._]

[Sidenote: _That discover them._]

But all these errours, and miscarriages, might and may easily be
prevented, by the care and vigilancy of the Custome Officers,
especially in the out-Ports: But some Officers finding a perticular,
and present profit, by being invested with a Golden Livery, do rather
choose that, than to do their King and Countrey faithful service,
although it be also running the hazard of losing their present
Imployment, and future Preferment; for things of this Nature, are now
grown to that height of perfidiousness, and confidence, (I might say
Impudence) that two or three golden Decoys are sufficient to intrap
an inclining Surveyor, and if there should chance to be a discovery,
or a surprisal, there shall be all present help at hand, if need
require, for the carrying off the matter smoothly, and Witnesses in
any case shall not be wanting, to counterfeit Truth and Justice, when
it is directly contrary; by which malicious, and unnatural courses,
those that would be just and honest in their places and Offices,
are disheartned, through the leud and deceitful practices, of these
Catterpillars; who by such indirect Courses are disobedient to the
Lawes, and the Smugglers that imploy them, do multiply great troubles,
upon such as at any time discover these Offenders, yea and do violently
prosecute them at the Law, to make them Examples and terrors to others,
that so they might drive on their cheating trade without controul; and
yet such honest well-minded men do nothing but their duty, but for
that they have this _odium_ cast upon them, they are called Informing
Knaves, &c. notwithstanding the welfare of the whole Kingdome, doth in
a great measure depend upon the discovery of such abuses.

[Sidenote: _Smugglers are befriended_]

How much necessary may it then be supposed that there should be very
good incouragement given to such honest publique spirited men, as
should diligently enquire after such sinister practices: and as it
was before touched, those Smuglers are not only well acquainted with
some Attorneys and Clerks, who will either use undue practices, or make
delaies; but they make good interest with the Under-Sheriffs, in the
Countyes where they drive their Trade; and then these Undersheriffs
also have strange tricks and delays in their returns, in which some of
them will take part with the Offenders, instead of executing the Law
against them, so that such Offenders are incouraged; and by this means
it is, that our Wooll and Fullers Earth, and other prohibited Goods,
are exported so frequently out of the Kingdom, and Forrein prohibited
Goods, and Merchandize imported; so that our Manufacture is in a great
measure gone to decay: other Countries are greatly enriched, who also
live at a lower rate, and work cheaper than our People in _England_,
whereby our Trade is much taken off in Forrein parts, and our poor live
idle, with the other inconveniences consequent thereto, as hath been
already spoken to.

[Sidenote: _Treasure is exhausted._]

By this means it is, (_in good part_) that so much of the Treasure of
the Kingdom is exhausted and drawn away to other Lands; the general
complaint now, _being what shall we do, there is no Money stirring_;
and Lands are reduced to a lower value than formerly they were.

[Sidenote: _Unfaithful Officers._]

Now, though all these Mischeifes do not flow in at one time and place,
yet it is like a Pond that is soon filled with many Springs, when
as one Spring would do it in length of time: that which may seem to
be at first but a small Evil, will in process of time with constant
Practice, destroy the happiness of the whole Kingdom; as a little Leak
if not taken notice of and amended, will in time sink the greatest Ship
or empty the greatest Cistern: even so will Offenders & unfaithful
Officers, being the only persons in trust with those affairs, fill
the Kingdom with Forrein prohibited goods and commodities, and empty
it of our Wooll and Fullers Earth, with other prohibited goods; which
evil Practices are now so frequent, that if not timely prevented by
our Ministers of State, our Kingdom will be soon filled with Poverty,
and emptied of Wealth and Happiness, by this loss of our Trade and
Manufacture, which now is in so great danger of sinking, (_and that
without all hope_) unless those that guide the Helm, do steer the great
Concernments thereof into some secure Harbor, and there amend what
may by searching be found amiss, by displacing such Officers as have
proved in the least unjust, either by conniving at the Offenders or
abetting and assisting them, to the great discouragement of those that
are faithful in their Imployments; and that care also be taken that
all due encouragement and countenance be shewed to such as are found
to be just, faithful, and exact observers of the Lawes that are extant
against such Smugglers and abusive persons.

[Sidenote: _Wooll out of +Ireland+_]

And without doubt, there is much Wooll Shipped off from _Ireland_
annually, unto forreign parts; which might be as well wrought up
in the countrey among themselves, there being no want of people,
and such as for the most part live a lazy kind of life, (as I have
credibly been informed) or elce their Wooll (if they work it not up)
might soon be transported over into _England_ in twenty four hours
time, or thereabout with a fair wind, and be wrought up in _England_,
which would turn to a treble account of profit, as hath been already
demonstrated; but this I shall refer to others, that are more knowing
in the Irish trade; but I am very apt to beleive the reports that I
have heard, concerning great quantities of Wooll carryed from thence,
both to _France_ and _Holland_; but to lay aside the informations of
others, although very well worthy of belief in all points, I shall
according to my promise, in my Epistle, speak to those things of which
I have had some large experience.

[Sidenote: _Clothiers leave off._]

I was a Clothier my self, and Apprentice to the Trade, many years,
and afterwards set up for my self, and followed my Trade many years,
thriving very well thereby, till about nineteen years agoe, that I was
burnt out of all, and put upon the adventures of fortune; and taking
notice of the occurrances of affairs, I did find large testimonies of
the decay of Trade, with the occasions thereof, but while I did keep
the Trade going, I have rode far and near, to get Spinsters, and other
work folkes, and gave great Wages, as also did all other Clothiers,
and yet could not procure half so many as we would have imploy’d: but
suddenly after our disorders, and disregard to our Lawes as aforesaid,
the Market fell, and many Clothiers were forced to leave off their
Trades, because they could not vend their commodity.

All those poor people formerly so imploy’d, were ready to starve for
want of bread, in and about those places, where the Clothiers left off
and failed; and every day it grew worse and worse, and those confusions
among us increased more & more, that very few men were of one mind, and
hardly any at all, that minded the publique good: but now some thoughts
are busied of restoring things to their Lustre, and trade to what it
was before the decay.

Some wise men have been of the opinion, that the abating the interest
of money, would greatly increase and advance trade, and very probable
it might be a good lift to it.

Others again, being out of hopes of the recovery of the former trade,
think men must imploy their wits, and knowledge, in the invention of
some new sorts of Manufacture; and some covetous wretches, have been
very ready to declare their opinion, that the increase of the interest
of money, and the abatement of Servants and Workmens wages; to which,
adding great frugality, and good husbandry, would make the Kingdome to
be happy, and flourishing again; and many there are, that make it their
business and study, to outwit and destroy other men, and under pretence
of honesty, and many by clandestine means, swallow up the good and
pious gifts, of our Ancestors, belonging to the Church and to the Poor;
for in this our Iron age, men have left off to do good, and lost their
obedience to the Lawes of the Land, and have ceased from the exercise
of those two unspeakable graces, Faith and Charity.

[Sidenote: _Kingdome flourished under King +Charles+ the first._]

And therefore truly I fear we have little hopes of happiness, or being
restored to our Pristine flourishing condition, till we do return to
our old obedience, and exercise our selves in love and good works,
fearing God and honouring the King, and not giving our minds to change,
but let every one endeavour to amend one, and strike off from the
error of his own waies, and endeavour his utmost to discharge a good
conscience, first to God, and then to mind the publique good, calling
to mind the happy condition of Trade in the Reign of King _Charles_ the
first of blessed memory, when all men dreaded his Lawes, and lived in
love one with another, which made the Kingdome flourish, in our trading
with great success, and increase of Riches; and indeed we enjoyed so
much happiness as made us proud, and forgetful of God’s mercies, and
so murdered the best King in the world, by which we stript our selves
of all but God’s just judgements upon the Nation, and left our selves
certain of nothing but of uncertainties.

[Sidenote: _Staples appointed._]

[Sidenote: _Many good Lawes made._]

I find by our good Lawes, that great care was taken about Wooll,
and all other prohibited commodities; as first in the Reign of King
_Edward_ the Third, _Cap._ 1. then wooll was wholly prohibited to be
exported, which was the first beginning of the promotion of making
Cloth in _England_, but it seems the Nation at first could not work
up all the Wooll, that was of our own growth, till the Trade was
dispersed throughout the whole Kingdome, and people instructed in the
Art. So that an Act of Parliament was made for the transportation
of Wooll into other Countries, to a Staple appointed, at first at
_Callis_, paying their due Custome first in _England_; so that those
which had our Wooll in those daies paid well for it: another Statute
was made to this purpose, that if any Forreigner would have any of
our Wooll out of _England_, and found none at the Staple, he was
to bring to the King’s Mint, an Ounce of Gold, as a duty for every
sack of Wooll; and many other good Laws I find for the prevention
of Abuses concerning Wooll and Cloath; and for the prevention of
the Transportation of Wooll, but what did first pay the King’s duty
in _England_; and was to the intent that our People might afford
their Cloaths so, as to undersel Strangers; And several Staples were
appointed in _England_ where Wooll was to be sold and bought, and not
elsewhere; and none to be carried or lodged neer to the Water-side,
nor bought nor bargained, but by _Cloathiers_ and such as wrought it
up, or by Merchants and their Factors under several Penalties: Many
other good Laws have been made since the time of King _Edward_, for the
keeping our Wooll and Fullers-earth in _England_, to imploy our own
poor People, and advance the Manufacture of the old and new Drapery,
so happily set on foot by the prudence and diligence of that King, &
then there was Obedience from all persons rendred to the good Laws of
the Land; which good Laws have been Successively ever since continued,
by almost every Parliament, with such Additions or Exemplifications
as were found to be necessary, for the prohibition of the Exportation
of Wooll and Fullers-earth; by which means we both got, and kept the
whole Manufacture of our own Wooll, and a good part of other Countries
among our selves in this Kingdom, till the time of our late unhappy

And if the Book called the _Golden Fleece_, with some of Sir _Walter
Rawleigh’_s Works, which do fully demonstrate the great blessings of
God on this Kingdom of _England_ above any other, for the imployment of
the poor people were well inspected, and answerably improved, it would
be a means to make the Kingdom happy and flourishing.

_I shall here give a brief Recital of several Statutes more concerning
Wooll and Cloath._

[Sidenote: _Stat. 15. of Ed. 3. ca. 8._]

First, that no Cloath made beyond Seas, shall be brought into the
King’s Dominions, on pain to forfeit the same, and to be further
punished at the King’s will.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 15. of Ed. 3. ca. 5._]

That all _Cloath-workers_, and Artificers in the trade of Cloathing,
that came out of other Countries into the Kingdom, had the King’s
Protection to dwell where they pleased, and convenient Franchizes and
great privilidges were at first allowed them for their incouragement;
maintained at a publique charge out of the King’s Exchequer.

[Sidenote: _Stat 18. of Ed. 3. cap. 3._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 8. Hen. 6. ca. 22._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 23. H. 8. cap. 17._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 31. Ed. 3. ca. 8._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 13. E. 3. cap. 9._]

I find there that Strangers as well as Natives, might have bought Wooll
as they could agree, and that great care was taken to avoid Deceits,
to abate and lessen the prices of wooll, and to avoid false Packing,
false Winding, and false Ballances, and to have one just Weight
throughout _England_, proved and tried by the respective Sheriffs of
every County, according to the Standard of the Exchequer: and that no
buyer of Wooll, (Stat. 13. of _Edw._ 3. cap. 2.) should make any refuse
or wast, but an equal hand should be carried between buyer and seller;
and this upon grievous Forfeitures, as Stat. 12. _Rich._ 2. cap. 9.
Also that all Wooll-felles and Leather bought in the Countries, should
be brought to the Staples which were appointed on purpose, where Wooll
and such commodities were to be sold, and should remain there fifteen
days at least, for the supply of our own people who were to have the
first choice, or as much as they would work up, and then the remainer
which could not be wrought up in _England_, were to be sent to publique
places in the day time, and from thence to the Ports appointed on
purpose for the staples to be Transported, after the Buyers had paid
their due Customs and Subsidies, (_Viz._) for every sack of Wooll,
which contained 94 Pounds, 2 pounds 10 shillings: and for every 300 of
Wooll-felles two pounds ten shillings, and for every last of Leather,
five pounds; and that no wooll vendible should be lodged, shewed or
sold, within three miles of the Staple, by any Merchant, Buyer, or
Transporter, or any others, but such as had of their own growth, and no
other: And the Chancellour, Treasurer, with the advice others of the
Kings Councel, had power to defer the Transportation of Wooll, when,
and as often as they saw it convenient.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 2. of Hen. 5._]

It was then ordered, that no Merchant of the Staple, should Transport
Wooll, Woollfells, Lead, or Tin, without the King’s Licence, until they
were brought to the Staple, on pain to forfeit the same.

[Sidenote: _27. Ed. 3. ca. 3._]

[Sidenote: _28. Ed. 3._]

[Sidenote: _8 Hen. 5. cap. 2._]

It was then made Fellony to Transport Wooll, by the Statute of the
Staples, as you may find it concerning the Transportation of Wooll, by
_English_ Merchants, but this Statute for Fellony was repealed, the 38
of _Edw._ 3. _Stat._ 1. and 6. and the forfeiture for Lands and Goods,
was still continued, and in _March_ the 37. of _Edw._ 3. the Staple for
the sale of Wooll was fixed at _Callis_.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 47. E. 3. cap. 1._]

Then the Staple aforesaid was removed from _Callis_, and clearly put
down, 43. _Edw._ 3. _Cap._ 1. and the Staples appointed and fixed in
_England_, at the places following: _Viz._ at _Newcastle_, _Kingston
+upon+ Hull_, _St. Buttolphs Boston_, _Yarmouth_, _Quinborough_,
_Westminster_, _Chester_, _Winchester_, _Exeter_, and _Bristol_, and
the Staples of _Ireland_ and _Wales_, were to be kept where first they
were ordained, and several other good clauses were added concerning the
Regulation of the Staples, as may be seen at large, in the Statute of
the Staple, 27. _Edw._ 3.

[Sidenote: _Sta. 8 Hen. 5. cap. 2_]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 8. He. 5. cap. 2._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 1. Ed. 6. cap. 6._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 2._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 3. Ed. 4. cap. 5._]

It was there appointed, that all Merchants, Strangers, that bought
wooll in _England_, to conveigh to the _West_ parts, or elsewhere, that
did not bring them to some of the Staples to be sold, were to bring to
the Master of the Kings Mint, for every sack of Wooll which contained
ninety four pounds, an ounce of Gold Bulloin, or the value in silver
Bulloin, on pain to forfeit such Wooll, or the value thereof to the
King absolutely. I also find that great care was taken that no persons
in _Norfolke_ should buy wooll there, and in divers other Countries
thereabout, for fear they should Transport it, but only those Merchants
which carried it to the Staples, or those which did convert it into
Yarn, Hats, Girdles or Cloth: And that such woolls as were bought in
_Norfolke_, and _Norwich_, and those Countries, were to be sold and
retailed in the open Market, if not carryed to the Staples: And that
those in _Hallifax_, were to sell what Wooll they bought to those poor
people in the town, or parts adjacent; who to their knowledge did work
up the same into Cloth, or Yarn: and if the Wooll driver did sell his
wooll out of _Hallifax_, or if any of the town bought to sell again,
unwrought, into yarn, or cloth, every such Offender did forfeit their
double value of the wooll, so sold, or uttered, the one half to the
King, and the other half to the Prosecutor, and the Justices of the
Peace, in their Sessions, were to determine the same. Many sorts of
wares and Merchandises were prohibited to be brought into the Realm,
ready wrought, which were wrought and made by Hand-crafts-men.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 14. cap. 121. 13._]

That all forreign Bone lace, cuttings, Embroydery, French Bandstrings,
buttons, needle-work, &c. were prohibited to be brought into this Realm.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 12. cap. 2. 32._]

None shall export any sheep, or wooll, wooll felles, Martlings, Yarn,
Fullers earth, Fulling clay, nor carry, load, nor convey the same to
be transported, upon several penalties, as well upon the owners of the
sheep, as the persons that shall convey the same. This Statute at large
is worth the perusing, and might do much good to the Kingdome, if it
was duly observed, by all the Kings Subjects; but the behaviours of our
people in _England_, are not as they were in former times, for then a
Law was no sooner made, but all men took immediate notice of it, and
did willingly yield their obedience thereto; but the people have been
so accustomed to the breach of Law, and Rebellion, that in reason,
it cannot suddenly be forgotten, and desisted from, by many people,
for men now adayes are grown so Critically wise to do evil, that let
the King, with the advice of the Lords and Commons, make use of their
best discretion, and judgements, in framing Laws for the publique
good, and wording them according to the most proper sence, by them
intended, yet some ordinary fellow, that hath store of confidence, and
a little money, (and that it may be gained by Cheating too,) one way
or another will find a hole in them, to transgress those Lawes, and if
they are called in question, then they have tricks and evil devices,
enough to torment those that do faithfully discharge their Oathes, and
Consciences for the publique good, as I my self can speak sufficiently,
concerning this and such like cases, by my sad experience.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 13 E. 3._]

It was made Fellony for any English, Welsh or Irish, to transport
Wooll, wooll felles, Leather, Lead, &c. and a second clause in the last
Act was, that no English, Welsh, or Irish-man shall transport any of
the said commodities, in any strangers name, or keep a servant beyond
the Seas, to survey the sale thereof, or to receive money therefore; a
third clause in the said Act was, that there should be no exchange of
wares for Merchandise of the Staple, but Gold or Silver, or English,
Welch or Irish Merchandise, neither shall any Merchant make any
confederacy, in fraud or deceipt to this Ordinance, upon the paines
aforesaid. A fourth Clause in the said Act was, that it should be
lawful for every man to carry his own Wooll, Wooll felles, Leather or
Lead, to the Staple, warranting the packing of this Wooll.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 4. H. 4. ca. 15._]

Merchants were prohibited the exporting the money, which they received
in _England_, for their Merchandise, and goods imported, but they were
to lay out their money again, upon some of the Merchandise of this
Realm, except their reasonable Expences.

[Sidenote: _Stat. 17 E. 4. cap. 1._]

All Merchants strangers, were enjoyned to lay out their Money, they
received for their Merchandise imported into this Realm again, in some
Merchandise of this Realm, and to prove the laying of their money
so out, and by whom it was so layd out, before the Officers of the
Port, where it was so disposed of, or laid out, upon the penalty of
forfeiting all his goods found within the Realm, and to suffer a years

[Sidenote: _Stat. 15. Hen. 4. ca._]

[Sidenote: _Stat. 1. Ric. 3. cap. 16. 9._]

All Merchants strangers were bound to give security, to the King’s
Customer and Controller, to imploy their money upon the commodities
of this Realm, their reasonable costs excepted, and Italian Merchants
were to sell their Goods where they did land them in gross, and not by
retail, and their money so received, to be laid out again in the Realm,
within the space of eight moneths.

These and such like Statutes and Lawes might do very much good, to
encrease the Tradeing of the kingdome, if they were enquired into, and
revived with such addition as might be necessary, for now we send all
our money out of the Kingdome, and vend but small quantities of our
Manufactures, but onely our native commodities, which are prohibited,
which quite ruines our Trade.

[Sidenote: _14 cap. 2. Stat. 14._]

It shall be Fellony for any that shall transport any Sheep, Wooll,
wooll fells, martlings, shorlings, yarn made of wooll, wooll flocks,
fullers earth, fulling clay, Tobacco-pipe clay, _&c._ this Act I do
beleive if not repealed, will do much injury now adaies, although it
was intended for publique good, for I fear it will hinder many people
from discovering the Offenders, and breakers of the Law, though they
were sure to have never so great a reward for it, for many men will
be very cautelous, how they touch the life of a man, though they do
deserve death, more a thousand times than the Theif that robs on
the High-way, for a Theif doth but take away part of a particular
mans Estate, but these wretches that transgress the Kings Laws in
transporting Wooll, _&c._ to forreigners, destroy as much as in
them lyes, the happiness of a whole Kingdome, and are the procuring
causes and Instruments, to bring many thousands to great miseries and
languishing deaths.

There were many good Laws made, for the setling the Aulingers Office,
and preventing frauds and deceipts in work, in all sorts of Drapery,
both old and new, which are too tedious to recite, though many of them
be very necessary to be observed, for the credit and reputation of our
Manufacture, but I shall only set forth, where they are to be found,
and refer the ingenious, and judicial, to the perusal of the Statutes
themselves, which are the Statutes concerning Wooll and clothing.
_25. of Edw. 3. Cap. 4. 27. Ed. 3. Stat. 4. 50. Ed. 3. Stat. 7. and
8. 3. Ric. 2. cap. 2. Stat. 7. Ric. 29. 13. Ri. 2. Stat. 10. 13. Ric.
2. Stat. 11. 17. Ric. 2. Stat. 2. and 13. 13 Hen. 4. Stat. 24. 9 Hen.
4. Stat. 2. 11 Hen. 4. Stat. 6. 11 Hen. 6. Stat. 9. 4 Ed. 4. Stat. 1.
7 Edw. 4. Stat. 2. 17 Edw. 4. Stat. 3. 7 Edw. 4. Stat. 5. 1 Rich. 3.
Stat. 3. and 4. 3 Hen. 7. Stat. 7. and 71. 3 Hen. 8. Stat. 7. and 8.
5 Hen. 2. Stat. 8. 1 Hen. 8. Stat. 11. 6 Hen. 8. Stat. 9. 25 Hen. 8.
Stat. 18. 27 Hen. 8. Stat. 11. 6 Hen. 8. Stat. 9. 25 Hen. 8. Stat. 18.
27 Hen. 8. and Stat. 13. 33 He. 8. Stat. 3. 33 Hen. 8. Stat. 19. 4
Eliz. 6. Stat. and 2. and 5. 3 Phil. and Mary 11. 4 and 5 Stat. 3 Phil.
and M. Stat. 4 and 5. 5 Phil. and Mary Stat. 5. and 8. 7 Eliz. Stat.
12. 33 Eliz. Stat. 9. 27 Eliz. Stat. 18. 39 Eliz. Stat. 11. 29 Eliz.
Stat. 20._

Cards for Wooll, were prohibited to be brought out of other Countries
into _England_ or _ Wales_; none were to transport sheep beyond Sea,
without the King’s Licence, there was a limitation upon keeping Sheep,
and an appointment how many sheep each man should keep, upon the
penalty of 3 Shill. 4 pence, for every sheep more than his number.

[Sidenote: _Loss by the Poor not set at work._]

And if it be as the Company of Silk-Weavers, and Ribbon-weavers say,
(as doubtless it is,) there are an hundred thousand people small and
great, that depends upon that trade in and about the City of _London_,
then how many may be supposed rationally to be in the whole Kingdome,
that have their dependance on the trade of clothing, in the old and new
Drapery, and other Trades, which have a dependence upon, or relation
unto the Trade of Clothing, and which know not how to earn a penny any
other way, since that trade is in a great measure lost, and left off;
but these poor people live idly, and go a begging for their bread,
among which also are many children from 8 years of age to 15, which can
very well get a living about the trade of clothing, for that they can
sort Wooll, mix it, Spole, Quil, Pick Teasels, prick Card-wiers, &c.
and which in the time of good trading, could constantly earn eighteen
pence, twenty pence or two shillings a week, but now very few of them,
have any imployment as aforesaid; and if I should suppose but a Million
of such poor people, throughout the Kingdome, which should every one
get his eighteen pence a week, it would amount to, Three Millions nine
hundred thousand pounds in a year, which is so much clear loss to the
Kingdome; besides I know that there are many hundred thousands more
of such people which live idly, and get nothing. Since we have left
off so much of the Clothing trade in _England_, as hath been already
intimated, the evil effects and consequents thereof, I humbly desire to
leave and commit to the consideration of those that are more judicious
in the Political affairs of the Common-wealth, to have suitable
Remedies, as to their grave wisdome and Prudence might seem to be meet
and necessary, I endeavouring only to be a layer open of the sore, and
refer to the skilful Chyrurgeon for a healing Plaister.

[Sidenote: _Lawes to be Prosecuted._]

[Sidenote: _Punishment of Offenders._]

And if our Parliament men, and Ministers of State should take into
their serious consideration, the great troubles, that are multiplyed
upon those that endeavour faithfully to prosecute the execution of
the King’s Laws, against the Offenders, (cheifly intending thereby,
a future prevention of their fraudulent dealings and threatning
practices,) and would give incouragement to such publique spirited men,
by some especial care taken, for the preservation of their Credits
and Reputations, and their persons from troublesome Arrests, and
vexatious Suits and molestations, which the Delinquents do multiply
against them, by false and feigned Actions, and those coloured over
with very specious pretences, but the truth and reality of their
intentions and designs is, to ruine and destroy the Reputations,
Estates and Families of such as shall discover them, or appear against
them. This I say (_viz._ the countenancing and encouraging of all
faithful Officers and others,) would strike a kind of terrour to these
transgressors, (Smugglers and others,) that do deceive his Majesty of
his due Customes, and be a great means to keep them in awe, and good
order, and encourage all men to be ready to discover such Offenders,
as they might any way find them out by their opportunities, being
abroad early and late; and to add to this, that there should be very
severe Prosecutions against such Offenders, and let them be abated
nothing of the Justice of the Law, which is in such cases provided, and
established throughout the Nation: for now it is a sufficient crime,
(as the case of late hath stood) to be by such branded with the ignomy
of an Informer, or an Informing Knave, though he discover nothing, but
what doth immediately concern the King’s Interest and publique good.
And by these _Smugglers_ and their Companions, he shall be reputed
and said to be, a troublesome fellow, an evil neighbour, a disturber
of the Peace among friends, _&c._ because he doth faithful service,
according to his Duty, Conscience, and Office, in labouring to prevent
their Frauds, and abuses, as frequently by them practised as they can.
And if such Officers in the Customes, Atturneys and Clerks, which do
connive or comply with such Offenders, were removed from their Places,
and Offices, and severely punished, the publique good would be much
preserved, Trading greatly advanced, and thereby Gentlemens Estates
largely augmented, in their yearly value of Rents.

[Sidenote: _Injury to the Silk-weavers._]

I shall now give a brief description of several Springs, that fill
our Kingdome with Prohibited goods, and of several Leaks, that empty
the Kingdome of other sorts of our goods, which are prohibited to be
Exported out of the Nation: As our Wooll, and Fullers Earth, formerly
spoke to, which are by stealth carryed out of the Kingdome, to the
great damage and prejudice of the Nation, and many Forreign Prohibited
goods, are brought in among us, to the great injury, and undoing of
many Tradesmen; as Silk and Ribbon Weavers, and other Artificers in
and about _London_, and several parts of the Kingdome, which occasions
the great decay and loss of our own Manufacture, with the loss of the
imployment of the Poor, to the ruine of many thousands, of men women
and children, that have had their dependance, cheifly, if not only, on
those Merchandises, which are dayly Imported from _France_, _Flanders_,
and other Sea-ports, secretly into this our Kingdome.

[Sidenote: _Wooll Shipped off._]

There are many of our Sea-Port Towns, and several Creeks, and holes
along the South-shore of _England_, besides _Dover_, _Rumney Fairlee_,
_Hastings_, _Poleston_, _Rye_, _Bredhempston_, _&c._ where these things
are practised; and indeed in the Summer time, when it is fair weather,
goods may be Landed on the Shoar, and Shipped off from the Shoar, on
Vessels all along the Coast, almost from _Dover_ to the Lands end, in
_Cornwal_; and many times there are both brought ashore, and carried
off such Goods as are Prohibited both wayes, both for coming into the
Land, and carrying out of the Land, and this done in a fair night, and
the goods brought in, lye sheltred in Countreymens houses, which can
hide and secure them till there be a convenient opportunity to dispose
otherwise of them with safety, and these Countreymen help them to
Horses, to carry them to _London_ or other Markets.

Neither do I here mention any thing of the North-Coast, because I have
hitherto been altogether unacquainted with those parts, although I have
reason to beleive, that the same Smuggling Trade is also practised in
those quarters, for their Coast lying over against _Holland_, doubtless
the people there are as ready to comply privately, in forbidden
tradeing with the _Dutch_, as along the South-Coast, they are with the
_French_, notwithstanding there is sufficient Provision made, in our
Lawes against such sinister and evil Practices: But about _Kent_ and
_Sussex_, are most frequently imported Prohibited goods from _France_
and _Flanders_, and they are goods of such value, that a single
Horseman may carry five, or six hundred pounds worth about him, and yet
it shall hardly be known that he hath any thing with him.

[Sidenote: _+Chatham+ River._]

Now if these things were well considered, what quantities of goods are
privately imported, and so as that they are seldome discovered, with
what also comes into the River of _Medway_ (alias _Chatham_) which
lies about twenty seven miles from _London_, by Land; and the most
convenient River in _England_, (I beleive) to Land goods privately: it
would easily appear, what loss it is to his Majesty in perticular, in
his Customes, which by these and such like Practices are stollen, and
in general to the Trade of the whole Kingdome.

[Sidenote: _Smugglers make many friends._]

It is also well known, that those which steal the Duties of the King’s
Customes, and do Import and Export Prohibited Goods and Commodities,
are none of the meanest persons in the places where they dwell, but
such who oftentimes have great interest with the Magistrates about
those places, and seeing they get their money so easily, by not
paying the Kings due Custome for their goods, as honest Merchants do,
and being Purse-proud, do not value what they spend, to ingratiate
themselves into the favour of such Gentlemen, as have authority as
aforesaid; and then make it their business by the assistance of such
Magistrates, and their countenance, to destroy all such as shall
discover their fraudulent dealings, or elce by some small Bribes to
stop their mouths, that so these Cheats may avoid the penalty of the
Law, and prevent others from the future from discovering their doings.

The King’s Customehouses, ought to be so many locks and Keys to the
Kingdome, to let what is warrantable and lawful to come in, and to keep
out what is forbidden its entrance, and to prevent the great abuses
that are so frequently complained of, both in the Exportation of our
Prohibited goods, and the Importation of Forreign goods forbidden by
Law; and if the Officers were but as vigilant and faithful as they
ought to be, they might easily and readily prevent these enormities
with their care and diligence, which are so dayly practised.

[Sidenote: _Blank Certificates a Cheat._]

[Sidenote: _Exchanging the Master of the Vessel._]

But it is too well known, how remiss and careless the Officers are,
and neglectful of their duties in many of the out-Ports especially,
that it is a thing very usual with Smugglers to get blank Certificates,
with the Seal of the Customehouse, to take up their Bonds that are
given for the true delivery of their goods at some other Port in
_England_; and moreover there is a great cheat in the shifting Masters
of such Vessels, as take in such goods, they will oftentimes exchange
the Master, before he goes out of the Liberty of the Port, where
the goods were Shipped; and yet if all these things fail, and their
coast Bonds come to be forfeited and put into Suit, it is not to be
exprest, the delayes, shifts and deceitful tricks that are practised
by some undersheriffs and their Deputies, in their returns, and in
the Execution of the Law, which ought to be done both with speed and
justice, but both these are by such persons omitted, and these kind of
doings do highly incourage these offenders, in their sinful practices.

[Sidenote: _Farming the King’s Customes._]

[Sidenote: _Injury to the Kingdome._]

[Sidenote: _Springs to fill us with Forreign goods._]

I have also observed that the Farming the King’s Customes hath been
an occasion of great prejudice to the trade of the Kingdome, and the
publique good; for when the weal and good of the whole Nation, comes
in competition with the present profit of the Farmers, they are apt to
resolve the question for their own advantage, permitting Prohibited
goods to be Landed, so long as the due Customes, for them come into
their Coffers, and the under-Officers, knowing what the Farmers their
Masters do, are very apt to learn the trade, to let pass our goods out
of the Land that are also prohibited: and those Smuggling Merchants
that deal in such kind of wares, can easily find out the blind side of
such Officers, & that will be bribed, to wink at such their deceitful
practises, such an unfaithful Officer shall be highly commended
among these theevish Merchants for a brave fellow, one that knows
his business, and for a very civil person, that will do a Merchant a
kindness upon occasion. Thus evil is called good, and good is stiled
evil, as I said before; those Officers that are faithful to King and
Countrey, are called Knaves, Troublesome fellowes, evil Neighbours,
_&c._ these the honest good men, &c. Good Lord! what a pass are we come
to in this Nation? people account it no sin to steal from the King,
and now a daies those that practice such things have changed the terme,
it is not (by them) called stealing Custome, but saving custome; for
my part I am of the opinion, that he that steals Custome from the King
to the value of twenty shillings, deserves to be punished as well as
he that steals so much from any other man. For as I heard a Scholler
once a reasoning, either it is this or that, &c. so I say here, either
Custome is the Kings due, or it is not, but no man dares be so impudent
as in words to deny it, but they must needs acknowledge it a truth,
that it is his due, and if so, why then do they not give to _Cæsar_ the
things that are his, according to the Commandement of our Saviour, and
the Commandement of the King, and Parliament, it being established by
Law, and constituted for the publique good, and the general advancement
of the Trade of the Nation, and such Officers as will not comply with
these sort of people to cheat the King, are called Fooles, men that do
not know their business, but if another had that Office, he would make
something of it, &c. but such men minding the faithful and conscionable
discharge of their duty to God, to the King and Kingdome; with the
blessing of God live better, and do a thousand times more good than
others, and may be principal Instruments to make the Kingdome happy and

[Sidenote: _Pattent against Transporting Wooll_]

[Sidenote: _do more harm than good._]

I have had discourse with some persons who have had the thoughts of
getting a Pattent, to put the Laws into Execution, that are against the
Transportation of Wooll, and other prohibited commodities; but I can
hardly think they would be careful and diligent in that imployment,
except they should reap a considerable profit for their labour, how
should they expect to ballance their expence. I refer to the censure
of the judicious, except it be by conniving at, (or compounding with)
the Offenders; so that by such a design as this, the transgressors
may be encouraged to sin more, and more; for if such Patentees should
too much discourage that sort of people, that carry off the Wooll,
_&c._ to other Nations, (who are the only men that must bring grists
to their Mill) it would be as ridiculous a thing, as for Lawyers to
perswade people to peace, and by that means lose their Practice; and
it is generally beleived, that there would be more Prohibited goods
transported then, than what have been before, if the care for the
putting the Lawes into Execution, were once committed to Pattentees,
for as in other cases of the same nature, the love of Money is so
natural, and money so much hunted after, that it may be acquired,
that the minding of putting the Lawes into Execution, and men doing
faithfully and uprightly their duty, is not a thing now a dayes at all
regarded, or taken into consideration as it ought to be.

But I hope that his Majesty with all the Peers of the Realm, and
all others, are made in some good measure sensible of the great
concernement of Trade, and the sad effects and consequents of exporting
our Wooll, Fullers earth, &c. as also of the idleness of our poor
people, occasioned by the loss of forreign Markets, for our woollen
Manufactures; that I think it is high time for all Loyal Subjects,
to give their utmost assistance to discover all Offenders, and make
them manifest in their kind, and for all Superiors to give their just
assistance that the Lawes may be put into a speedy and severe execution
against all Delinquents as soon as made visible.

In the dayes of King _Edward_ the third (formerly spoken of) and since,
to the times of our late unhappy confusions, the Trade of Clothing made
the Kingdome flourish for many years together, and doubtless would
do so again, if our Lawes were but put into Execution, and every one
were obliged to discover, and make manifest the Transgressors, for
this is not a business for two or three men to do, let them imploy
themselves with all endeavours imaginable, but the eyes of all men must
be about this matter, tending to such a Reformation; and the Courts
of Judicature must be expeditious and severe in the administration of
Justice against such Offenders, when once convicted, and let not one of
them be spared, who deserve to be punished without mercy: because for
a little private advantage, they do their utmost to bring ruine on the
whole kingdome: I could also declare other things that might be very
assistant to the increase of Trade, and the prosperity of the Kingdome,
which is not so convenient to be made publique, before it be debated
among the Clothiers and Tradesmen.

It hath pleased his Majesty to plant such Commissioners now, for
the management of his Customes, that it is hoped they will do much
good, especially in the regulation of the Out-Ports, concerning those
notorious evil practises, which have been continually done among them,
and for the encouraging of those Officers that are honest and faithful,
if they should be troubled at any time, or be any wayes damnified about
lawful seizures, by reason of Actions brought against them, that they
shall be releived by the Commissioners, and the charges that may arise
in such cases at the Law, to be born by the common stock.

[Sidenote: _Concerning Staplers. Quære 1._]

I could say something for the Staplers, though not much, because
I cannot find by our Lawes, that any such people were in those
dayes, when the Trade and Manufacture of Wooll was first brought
into _England_; and yet Wooll was sent to the Staples, and all the
Manufacturers thereof, had those sorts that suited best for their
trade, and we got and kept the whole trade of our _English_ wooll,
and of other Countries to our selves, in this Kingdome, and had the
command of the forreign Markets, which was the occasion of the first
setling all those Companies, as hath been formerly and briefly set
forth; and I doubt not, but that those Staplers will set a gloss upon
their business, and without question their money doth speak much for
them, lying for the most part in and about _London_, so near to the
Fountain of the Lawes; yet I do verily beleive those people have much
to answer for, as to the ruine of many poor people, occasioned by their
Exportation of Wooll beyond Sea, by which evil practice, the Trade of
the kingdome is in a great measure lost, as hath been set forth already
something largely; by reason whereof many of our poor people in the
kingdome are ready to perish for want of Bread, notwithstanding the
great plenty in the Land, and this is because they want work.

I should lose time further to complain, seeing all people are
experimentally sensible of the loss and decay of Trade, to the great
disadvantage of the Nobility, and Gentry in the Land, as also to the
great detriment of the Farmer, and Merchant; although indeed the Poor
are most pinchingly sensible hereof, throughout the King’s Dominions,
and hence ariseth the want of Money, (the thing by all men complained
of) and the fall of Rents occasioned thereby.

I shall now proceed by way of _Quæry_, to propound and insinuate
something, that may tend towards a remedy, for these Maladies, formerly
complain’d of, and to be a restorative to our decaying Trade, and to
help it to life again; for as Physitians having found out the cause
of the Distemper, know the readier how to apply what is sutable, in
order to the Cure. So here I having I hope discovered the causes, and
occasions of our lose of Trade, shall take the boldness to give in
tacitly my advice, most humbly begging pardon for such a presumption,
and in all submission, presenting my conceptions to better judgements.

Whether it would not be convenient to have a Committee of Clothiers,
some of the principal of all Counties, with Merchants of the several
Cities, and some other Tradesmen, and Artificers, to be appointed;
whose other weighty affairs might not obstruct this great design of
reviving and advancing our Trade, to its former height, and luster,
and that some of those Gentlemen sit at a certain known place, as
their occasions may permit, so that some of them may be ready at all
times, to receive Petitions, or Projections from workmen, which may
any way tend to the encrease and encouragement of Trade; and for such
Committees, to prepare and digest the same, into such a Method and
form, as might occasion the Production of such further Lawes (if so
thought necessary) for the future, as might restore and advance the
Clothing Trade, and the well making of Cloth, and all sorts of goods,
both in the old and new Drapery; and the rectifying such abuses among
all other Tradesmen, that are any way imployed about the said Draperies.

[Sidenote: _Quære 2._]

Whether all those Laws against Exportation, and Importation of
Prohibited goods, and for the punishment of unfaithful Officers of
the Customes, and others intrusted that do connive at such abuses
(to the King and Kingdome) and neglect the faithful performance of
their duty, ought not to be put into effectual Execution, and whether
all other Lawes, tending to the same matter, or have any relation to
these things, ought not once in a moneth, upon the market day to be
publiquely read and declared, especially in the Sea-Port townes, round
about the Land, that by this means all the common people, who have
the best and greatest opportunities for discovering Offenders, might
know the Law, and so consequently know how, and wherein to do the King
and Countrey service, such as might be very acceptable to them, and
should not be unprofitable to themselves, if they would be careful and
diligent to watch and look out.

[Sidenote: _Quære 3._]

Whether all people ought not to be encouraged, that shall discover such
as Transport Prohibited goods, either into the Kingdome or out of it;
and that care should be taken for them in a very special manner, that
they might be protected from vexatious Suits, and Troubles, which are
usually brought upon them that do discover such transgressors, that so
others may be terrified from such like discoveries, all-though therein,
by making known such Smugglers, that they may receive the justice of
the Law, they do the King and Kingdome the highest service that may be;
and that care may be taken how their Credits, Families and Fortunes
may be preserved against the malice of such Miscreants, whose common
practice is to multiply troubles on all such as do any way molest them
in their unjust designes.

[Sidenote: _Quære 4._]

Whether the evil presidents, on some faithful Officers (being vexed
and molested by these Smugglers and their Adhærents) for doing their
duty and being just in their places, for the publique good both of King
and Kingdome, may not give occasion to many other Officers, to take
Bribes, and comply with those Smugglers to cheat his Majesty of his due
Customes, rather than to run the hazard of such molestations, to the
utter ruine of themselves and Families.

[Sidenote: _Quære 5._]

Whether it may not be necessary to put those Laws into Execution, that
appointed Staples on purpose to sell Wooll at, and that none should
be bought, sold, or bargained for but in the publique Market, by the
Clothiers, or the Manufacturers therof, or should be carryed too or
from, any place or lodged near the water-side, under any pretence
whatsoever, without the Licences of some Officers, appointed on
purpose, except only in the day-time, by publique and open carriages
from the place of its growth, to the publique Market, so that all those
which shall carry Wooll concealed, and others who with force of armed
men in the night, transport it to the water side, in order to their
private Shipping it off, with as much obscurity as they can, might be
discovered by some honest Shepherds, Husbandmen, Porters, or Watermen,
whose occasions call them to be abroad both early and late, and so they
have more convenient opportunities to find out such evil doers, than
other people have; and that such as do give in Information of such
transgressors, shall be Protected and well rewarded.

[Sidenote: _Quære 6._]

Whether the wilful transgression of the Laws of the Land, made &
setled by the King, Lords & Commons in Parliament, & continued in, &
obstinately practised; be not the ready if not the only Introduction
to Rebellion, when such evil doers, as have been formerly spoke of, do
make it their utmost endeavour, to destroy the publique for a little
private advantage, as hath been already so much complained of, having
no respect to the Laws of the Land, that Prohibit such evil practices
as theirs, and whether this be not a high contempt of the Authority
aforesaid, that Enacted those good Lawes.

[Sidenote: _Quære 7._]

Whether it would not forward the great work of reviving our Trade,
and prevent those abuses complained of, if an Office was appointed in
every County, to be kept by some honest upright men, who have a clear
respect to the publique good, and advancing the National Trade, that
might receive all Informations of such abuses, and transgressions of
the Laws of the Land, in the case before mentioned, from any people
that should be the discoverers of the same, and that such Officers
may have power to examine Witness upon Oath, and if there be found a
real guilt, in the Accused person or persons, that such Officer shall
give to such discoverer, of his or their good service, and the matter
to be Prosecuted at Law by a publique charge; and the persons, though
never so mean, that have given the Informations, should be assured to
receive his reward, by vertue of his Certificate, without any manner of
trouble or charge to himself, as soon as the Suit shall be determined;
all which would be carryed on with much ease, and be accomplished in
a short time if such an Officer as did Prosecute for the King had the
countenance of the Courts of Judicature as they ought to have, and
the Cities and Countries made throughly sensible, that this matter is
of so great concernment to the publique good, so that all Smugglers
might be so much discountenanced, by all people both high and low, that
none should dare to presume to transgress the King’s Laws, or for the
future, endeavour a publique destruction to the Kingdome, for their
private and perticuler advantage.

[Sidenote: _Quære 8._]

Whether it may not be judged to be more convenient, upon the discovery
of such Offenders, to Prosecute them in the King’s Court of Exchequer,
rather than in any Countrey Court adjacent, where such Fact was
committed; or where the Offender dwells, least there should be some
special correspondence held thereabouts, or interest more readily made
in such Courts.

[Sidenote: _Quære 9._]

In case any publique Officer should be surprized, by the subtil
contrivance of such Smugglers, with their Atturnies and Clerks, (who
frequently use foul practices also,) and that such Officer shall be put
to great Charges, possibly beyond his Ability, before he can obtain
releif according to the rules of the Law: whether it would not be
convenient that such Rules should be made and practiced in all Courts
of Judicature, that such publique Officers for the King, should not be
exposed to so great charges, by Actions brought against them, meerly
out of malice, which are done purely out of design to terrify such
Officers, (and to prevent if possible, for the future, the due and
faithful Execution of their said Office in such cases,) wherein the
Kingdomes good is so much concerned, and that a place was appointed
where they might be speedily heard without tedious attendance.

[Sidenote: _Quære 10._]

Whether any Officer that formerly did, or now doth belong to the
Customes, or was any wayes intrusted in his Majesties Service, who hath
proved unjust, and unfaithful in his Office, either by conniving at
such Smugglers, or complying with them, or neglecting (upon complaint
made to him) to bring them to condigne punishment, according to
the Justice of the Law, ought ever to be intrusted in any publique
Imployment for the future.

[Sidenote: _Quære 11._]

Whether by our Laws, any Under Sheriff ought to continue in his Office,
more than one year, or to act as Under-Sheriff upon any pretence
whatsoever; considering they have such opportunities, to be prejudicial
to any person, according to their Interests and inclinations; and they
may delay and vex one party, and in the mean time unjustly incourage,
and heighten the other; and this is such a thing as often proves
very prejudicial to His Majesties Affairs in the Prosecution of such
Informations, as may be brought, touching the abuses here mentioned.

[Sidenote: _Quære 12._]

Whether these Officers, that are in Commission or Imployment, that do
joyn with, or countenance such as do transgress the King’s Laws, and
make it their business to defraud the King of his Dues, or are not
ready and forward to do that justice against the Delinquents that so
do, ought not to be Displaced, and some way severely Punished?

[Sidenote: _Quære 13._]

Whether those Jurors that will give up their Verdict contrary to Law,
and Evidence, ought not to be forced to give satisfaction to the party
so greived, and injured; or to be made to suffer one way or another,
as examples in such cases; without any tedious trouble to the party
greived, as may be judged requisite, and reasonable; for as our Laws
stand in that case, it is almost impossible to punish a Jury that doth
offend, and act contrary to Law; for it is too much become the custome
of many Juries, to act to the dammage of one person, out of favour and
respect to the other, so that all people are sensible of the great
abuses that are put upon one party, where the Adversary can carry a
great interest, either in Cities or Countrey.

[Sidenote: _Quære 14._]

Whether it would not be as great a renown to His Majesty, if the Trade
of Clothing was recovered to its height, as it was to King _Edward_ the
Third, of Famous Memory, by whose Providence, and Industry it was first
brought into _England_, which hath been so exceedingly advantagious to
this Kingdome, for many years, and doubtless might be revived, to as
great a strength as ever; if such things were consulted and practiced,
which might be the proper and effectual means, conducible thereunto;
and the people of the Kingdome brought to a ready observation, of the
Lawes of the Land, which would turn to his Majesties great advantage in
his Customes, &c. and put all his Subjects in general into a capacity
of paying their Taxes willingly, according as his Majesty should have
occasion, the Springs of Trade then being open and running, would bring
in supplies to all people.

[Sidenote: _Quære 15._]

Whether it would not be necessary that all those Laws not yet Repealed,
relating to the furtherance of Trade, and promiscuously scattered in
the Law Books, ought not to be revived, and re-Printed in one Volume,
that so all people might readily know those Laws, and be by Authority
strictly commanded the observance of the same, with incouragements to
the obedient, and punishments to the disobedient.

[Sidenote: _Quære 17._]

In case any Laws be wanting, or are not full enough, against the
Transportation of our Prohibited goods, or the Importation of Forreign
Prohibited goods, as new sorts of Stuffs, that may be made beyond Sea,
or any thing elce, that is not perticularly provided against, whether
it may not be very necessary to have such a defect supplyed.

[Sidenote: _Quære 16._]

Whether there ought not to be a Statute for the regulation or well
making of such Staffs, _&c._ which were not used in former times, that
so all deceits in work may be avoided, which if done, would doubtless
very much advance the credit of the _English_ goods, and greatly
further the sale of them at a Forreign Market.

[Sidenote: _Quære 18._]

Whether it is convenient that our Manufactures of Cloth and Stuffs,
should be allowed to be transported out of the Land white (or undied)
because it is a very common practice of the _Dutch_ and _English_ too,
so to do, and then they Dye them and Dress them in _Holland_, by the
which they set many people on work, and all that imployment is lost
to _England_: but this is not all, for the Dutch do so handle the
matter, as that they mak our own goods more acceptable and saleable in
Forreign Countries, than we usually do, with the same sort of goods
which we Dy in _England_, to the great profit and credit of the _Dutch_
abroad among strangers, and to the great loss and dammage of _England_,
besides the disreputation by that means to _England_, yea many times
the same goods that were carryed over to _Holland_ white, are returned
to us again, when the _Dutch_ have Dyed them and dressed them, and then
they are esteemed the best Colours, and therefore most vendible among

[Sidenote: _Quære 19._]

Whether it would not be very conducible to the publique good, that
those perticuler Statutes should be put into effectual Execution,
which do positively appoint, that all Merchants Forreigners, Tradeing
into _England_ with Commodities of their own Countrey growth, and
vending them here, should lay out their money again in our English
Manufactures, and not be permitted to carry money out of the Land,
directly nor indirectly; but lay it out in the goods, and wares of
_England_ (their necessary expences excepted) according to the true
intent and meaning of the said Statute.

[Sidenote: _Quere 20._]

Whether it be not worthy to be taken into consideration, concerning
the fineness and weight of our English Coin, above and beyond the
Coin of our neighbouring Nations, and whether that be not the cause
of its Exportation out of the Land; a broad twenty shillings peice of
Gold, being worth in _France_, _Flanders_, and _Holland_, twenty seven
shillings, and a Crown piece of silver worth six shillings; so that
I suppose we may cease wondring, what is become of the money of the
Kingdome, considering it is such profit to the Merchant to transport it
beyond Sea.

[Sidenote: _Quære 21._]

Whether it would not very much increase Trading, and be highly
advantageous to the King’s Majesty, to have money plentiful in the
Land, and greatly benefit the Common-Weale, if money in _England_ was
in some measure made sutable or equal, to the weight and fineness of
money in other Lands, and whether this would not be a great means of
bringing in money from other Lands, and then keep it in the Kingdome
being brought in; by such means the King would be sure to have a speedy
supply on all demands, for his occasions; and it is granted on all
hands, that good Treasures of Money are the principal Sinews of War.

[Sidenote: _Quere 22._]

Whether we in _England_, ought not in reason, to take the same care,
for the preservation and advancement of our Native Commodities, as
every other Kingdome and Countrey doth for theirs, as in _Spain_, the
labour of the people is in their Vineyards, for the Production of Wine
and Fruit, concerning which they take great care, that they make the
utmost, and spend little of these things themselves, that they may
make money of them to furnish their needs, with what is sutable, and
many times they will not part with these their goods, for Barter, or
Exchange for other goods, but will have ready money, and at dear rates
too, as I have heard by those that have traded into those parts; some
have given to the Spaniards, at the _Canaries_ 100 peices of Eight,
for an ordinary Pipe of Wine, in ready money; which 100 Peices of
Eight are well worth twenty two pounds Sterling, with us, and likewise
in _France_ concerning their Wines, Salt, Brandy, _&c._ what care is
by them taken to make the best of them, that may be, and what vast
quantities of French Wines, Brandy, Vinegar, _&c_, do come over into
_England_ in a year; to pay for which I doubt, there goes a great deal
of ready money: and if so in other Countries, why should not the same
care be taken in _England_, for the advancement of our Manufactures,
endeavouring thereby to imploy our Poor, and so to inrich the Kingdome,
especially considering the far greater advantages of so doing, that we
have in _England_, than any other Nation hath, as hath been already at
large set forth.

[Sidenote: _Quere 23._]

Why should the humour of our people in _England_ so far engage them
to an old custome of burying the dead in Linnen, as to contradict and
disobey so good a Law as was lately made by Act of Parliament, for the
burial of our dead in Woollen, doubtless there was reason enoug then
produced in Parliament, to sway with the King and those two Honourable
Houses for the Enacting the same, and whether it be not as decent to
cover the dead Corps in Flannel, as it is with Linnen; beside the
burial of the dead in Flannel will greatly advance the Manufacture
of the Nation, and in reason advance the prizes of all other Woollen
wares, and this Woollen Cloth is of our own production, and when we
bury our people in Linnen, that causeth so much expence (for the
generality) of the goods of other Countries; and whether it ought not
to be considered, that the Law provided in this case, ought to be

Now to draw towards an end, I have met with an Objection to this
Treatise, that it may be judged Superflous, because several Books are
extant concerning this Subject; to which I Answer.

Though I have reason to beleive them that told me so, yet I do beleive
that the Reader will find a great difference between this and any
other, if they be compared together, and that in many respects.

And again I Answer, that the more Complaints are made, of the Abuses
and great Losses to the Kingdome, so much the more ought all good
men to enquire into the truth of those Complaints, and endeavour for
sutable Remedies; in Tendency whereto, I have presented something here
by way of Quære, _&c._

And now methinks I hear some wise men say, that it is Reason that such
abuses should be punished, and that severely, if any should presume
to act such things, as are here complained of, or any waies vindicate
those that do them; to the which I answer, that I wish that I were
called to prove my knowledge of those things, without too much charge
or Attendance, before any that should be appointed, to enquire into and
to regulate the same, for I do not make it my business to set forth
in this discourse the perticuler abuses of those Countrey Atturneys,
Under-Clerks, Under-Sheriffs in their returns, and the abuses of their
Officers, and the Assistance that some great Smugglers have, from some
Magistrates and Justices of the Peace in the Countrey, together with
the affronts that have been offered to our good Lawes, of which I have
had a large and sad experience: And although our Lawes are good, and
our Judges are just, yet the corruption in the practice of the Law,
by under-Officers, is so exceeding bad and destructive to the Trade
and publique good of the Kingdome, that in case I should perticularly
recite those abuses that I my self have met with among the Practicers
of the Law, I should fill a Book many times bigger than this.

And now I shall conclude, with the true and hearty wishes of an
_Englishman_, that all our Ministers of State may so agree especially
in this juncture of time, that they may unanimously joyn together, as
one intire body, against all Intruders upon our Trade and Priveledges
both at Sea and Land; that the Walls of this Kingdome may be built up
and preserved, and our Tradeing may encrease and flourish, so that no
cunning Usurpers may rob us of our old Prerogatives of the Seas, or the
Manufacture of our native Trade upon the Land.


[Illustration: Decoration]


That these things are considerable to be looked into, and that a stock
may be raised to employ the poor out of misimployed Charity, I have
given a breif account of the abuses of Charity, in the place where I
now inhabit, with a short Description of the River of _Medway_, alias
_Chatham_, and the fraudes practised there and of some notorious
abuses put upon me for doing my duty, and endeavouring to prevent
those fraudes complained of in this Book, with the foul Practise of
some under-Clerks, and cunning devices of some other Lawyers, which I
shall Present to his most Sacred Majesty, and to the great Councels
of the Kingdome; to the end it may be known what need there is of
better encouragement to honest Officers, and those who put the Laws in
Execution against such Offenders, being also ready to prove what is
alledged in every particular clause before his Majesty in Councel.

_England_ is exceeding happy in a good and gracious King, but extreamly
unhappy in some unfaithful Officers, and divided people, we are also
happy in good Lawes, but unhappy in that they are so much corrupted, it
is nothing with some Councel to make good, bad, and bad good; and in
case they abuse a man never so much, this is sufficient, _They ought to
do what they can for their Client_: by this course, our most gracious
King, and the Honourable Courts are often misinformed, honest men
discouraged, and unjust Stewards preferred, let Attorneys and Clerks
use never so unjust practice, honest and just Lawyers will seldome
complain, or move against those of the same profession. This Nation is
puffed up with Pride, and grown idle with plenty, the meanest vie with
the greatest, and will do any unjust thing to maintain it, Playes are
more regarded then Prayers, Drunkenness than Study, the Clerks pens,
than Trades-mens hands, so that our Trade is lost, our people live
idle, Charity Robbed, our Poor starved, our Lawes not regarded, our
Consciences fast asleep.

The Scene is so much altered in 25 or 30 years, that then a man thought
his Son well provided for, if placed with a Clothier, and now nothing
will do but Law, so that they multiply like Catterpillers in a dry
Summer, insomuch that the increase of the Land cannot feed them, but
they swallow up the earth also, what I write is no Romance, I have
had sad experience of the truth of it, and according to the good old
Proverbs, _The Loser may have leave to speak, And truth may be blamed,
though not shamed_, that doth make a man as bold as a Lion, and I bless
God in all my sad Afflictions, that very thing, and God’s promises hath
kept up my spirits, and without reason I still hoped to be delivered
from those wolves, as _Daniel_ was delivered out of the Lyons Den,
which hath been done, some of my Enemies falling before me, and others
have confessed their faults, and I have as freely forgiven them, as I
hope God will forgive me, others whose actions are so foul, they blush
and hang down their heads when they see me, though they will endeavour
behind my back, & where it’s not known, to excuse themselves, I declare
I desire to be in peace with all men, though I do endeavour to get my
right, vindicate my self, and for publique good punish Offenders.


Transcriber’s Note

There are some inconsistencies with numbering in this book. There are
no pages numbered 24 to 32, and Quære 17 appears before Quære 16.

  Changes that have been made are:

    Near end of the introductory address:
             From (aiming at no other,
               To (aiming at no other,)

    Page 21: From and then to mind the pulique good,
               To and then to mind the publique good,

    Page 24 (sidenote): From 27. Ed. Ed 3. ca. 3.
                          To 27. Ed. 3. ca. 3.

    Page 37: From cheifly intending thereby,
               To (cheifly intending thereby,

    Page 40: From which by these and such like Practies are stollen,
               To which by these and such like Practices are stollen,

    Page 41: From these the honest good men ’&c.
               To these the honest good men, &c.

    Page 49: From said Office in such cases,
               To said Office in such cases,)

    Page 49: From or complying with them, or negliectng
               To or complying with them, or neglecting

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