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Seaſonable Obſervations Humbly offered to his Highneſs the Lord PROTECTOR.

IT hath been often aſſerted, that if all people under one Government did ſeek the generall good, every ſingle perſon would then receive a particular benefit thereby.

And it is obſerved in Societies, tha are in a joynt Trade, and have By-Laws and Orders among themſelves, that if an Interloper privately trade among them in the ſame way, not ſubmitting himſelf to the By-Laws and Orders of that Company, that he will receive to himſelf a greater profit for the preſent, than any particular perſon of the ſame incorporated Society, though if the undiſcovered practiſe thereof ſhould be continued, and not prevented, it would tend to the utter ruin and deſtruction of the ſaid Society and Trade for the future. Even ſo it is in a populous Common-Wealth, where part of the people, by unlawfull and deſtructive waies, ſeek their ſiniſter ends, to the generall hurt and prejudice of the well govern'd people therein.

To avoid which evills in all good Governments, neceſſary and wholſom Laws are contrived and eſtabliſhed to preſerve and protect the Property and Peace of each particular perſon, and every one living under ſuch protection is bound in duty to further the proſperity of his Countrey with all his ut­moſt endeavours; for no one is born to himſelf alone, but alſo to do good to others, and ſome way or other may be a profitable member to his Country, according to the meaſure God hath given him, to which end I have for the generall good obſerved theſe two chief waies that make a Nation rich and flouriſhing (viz.)

By Armes and Conqueſt.

By Forreign Traffick and Merchandize.

To both which no people are more apt and prone than the Engliſh Nati­on. In the former, their actions both by Sea and Land have ſufficiently ma­nifeſted2 it to all the World both at home and abroad in former and latter ages to this very day, in the latter our former Proſperity and Strength in Shipping have ſufficiently ſhew'd our aptitude therein, though then much hindred, & diſcouraged from our growing greatneſs, by the avarice of ſome, who minded their particular profits before the generall good; which hath cauſed the ſtrength of our Warlike Shipping in Trade, to be much impaired and diminiſhed, though ſmall notice is publickly taken of it, which hath put me upon the Conſiderations following.

  • 1. The Uſefullneſs and Neceſſity of increaſing the Trading-Shipping of Eng­land.
  • 2. The State and condition our Trading-Shipping were in before the late Wars in England; and the condition they are in at preſent.
  • 3. The State and condition of the Hollanders Shipping and Trade at preſent.
  • 4. The Reaſon of the Hollanders ſo great thriving in Trade in ſo ſhort a time (among others) is ſhewed their uſe of Bankes.
  • 5. The benefit they have received by Bankes.
  • 6. The prejudice and hinderance we receive by their Banks.
  • 7. The good we may do our ſelves by the uſe of Bankes in England.
  • 8. The manner of a Banke deſcribed.
  • 9. Laſtly the uſefullneſs of a Court of Merchants.

All which I ſhall treat of in their Order.

Firſt, It hath alwaies been the generall received opinion (grounded up­on uncontradicted reaſon) that the people of England need not fear any Forreign Invaſion, ſo long as they do maintain and encreaſe the Walls of their Land (Viz.) their Shipping and Marriners; which is the chiefeſt Power and Strength of the Nation againſt a Forreign Enemy; whoſe in­creaſe will not onely much ſtrengthen and inrich the Maritime and Fron­tier Towns and Countreys bordering on the Sea Coaſt, but alſo the whole Nation; and will make us alwaies capable to ballance the affairs of another State in reference,

To War.

To Trade.

By the former, we are now ſeaſonably ſeeking reparations from the Spa­niard, for the many and cruell injuries and murthers committed by them upon the Perſon and Goods of the people of England, in the Weſt Indies and other places; For which, ſince no reaſonable ſatisfaction could be ten­dered in a peaceable way, do hope by Gods bleſſing will be obtayned by a juſt War: And therefore it's neceſſary upon this occaſion, as againſt all others, for the Engliſh Nation to ſtrengthen themſelves what they can, and to uſe all good endeavours thereunto.

For the latter, in reference to Trade, we may well ſuſpect the ſtudious in­duſtry of our Neighbours the Hollanders, will ſoone over-ballance us, if not timely prevented, they at preſent making a great advantage to them­ſelves to our great prejudice by the War between us and Spain, whoſe King hath lately prohibited wearing the Manufacture of England, of which kind the Hollanders will furniſh them with of their own making, and if they want work-folkes, will eaſily entice over Engliſh, wanting employment, to worke for them, and teach their people, by which means much increaſing their Trade, and when they know themſelves, thereby to grow rich by increaſe of Trade, and conſequently ſtrong by increaſe of Ship­ping and Marryners, and another Nation poor by decreaſe of Trade, and3 alſo weake by decay of Shipping and Marryners; how forward will they then be to preſcribe Laws to ſuch a decayed Nation: For it hath been long obſerved, that as the Spaniard aymes to get the univerſall Monarchy of Chriſtendom, ſo the Hollander the univerſall Trade, not only of Chriſtendom, but of all the known World, from which they have been termed the Carryers of the World through their multitude of Shipping, ſending them out to all Nations that have any Trade by Sea, and ſometimes for Men of War, and untill the late incouraging Act for increaſing the Navigation of this Land; The Engliſh Merchants themſelves, ſince the beginning of the late Wars in England, uſually freighted Holland Ships to fetch home their own Goods, becauſe they would go for leſs freight than the Eng­liſh Ships could, having leſs charge by carrying fewer men than an Engliſh Ship of the ſame burden, and leſs Proviſion, which Ships were uſually enſured in Lon­don; and it is the Hollanders cuſtome to this day, that when they ſend any ſingle Ship to the Southward for their own Accounts, oftentimes enſure them in Eng­land, and if they miſcarry, then the Engliſh make good their loſſes, as too often it ſo falls out; and if ſuch Ship comes well home, they ſave the premium in ſayling ſuch Shipping with leſs charges than the Engliſh do theirs of the ſame burthen; and being ſo weakly mann'd, if they at any time chance to meet a Turkes man of War (they ſeldom fight with them as the Engliſh do, and ſo oftentimes honou­rably acquit themſelves) but deliver up their Shipping without firing a Gun to ſave the Sea mans Liberty, and what belongs unto them, and ſo arme the Turkes againſt all Chriſtendom, but when they ſend unarm'd Fleets into any Countrey at the fit ſeaſons of the year, when Merchandize is to be had in ſuch Countrey, they are bound for; then if there be danger, they ſend a ſquadron of Men of War to convey them at the publick charge, and theſe are ſeldom enſured; But if any Engliſh Ship of force go the ſame voyage ſuch ſingle Dutch Ship went, ſeldom any inſurance is made (except ſhe be miſſing, or her ſafety doubted) becauſe they uſually go ſafer, being better provided of men and other neceſſaries for de­fence againſt the danger of Enemies and bad Weather, and alſo before the ſaid Act, the Hollanders ſerved us with the Commodityes of other Nations in their own Ships, both in England and in our Weſtern Plantations, while our Engliſh Ships lay in harbour for want of employment, till they were inſerviceable, and our Marryners took employment of the Hollanders to ſaile their Ships to get their lively hoods, to the great loſs and diſhonour of the Engliſh Nation; and ſince the ſaid late Act, how diligent the Hollanders have been, notwithſtanding the ſame, that to their coſt a whole Fleet of them together were ſurprized, trading at the Barbadoes, and forfeited according to the penalty of the ſaid Act, which ſhews how well they like Trading with us with forreign Goods in their own Ships; that though they dared not bring any for England, fearing the penalty of the ſaid Act, yet they would run ſo great an hazard to ſerve our Plantations, peradventure in­tending to over-awe the penalty of Confiſcation, by continually having a greater power in Shipping there than we had, that if a ſeizure had been attempted by the Engliſh there, they might have over-powered them, and made ſuch an attempt of no effect, not once dreaming that a Fleet of Men of War would ſtop there to ſeize them in their way to Sancta Domingo and Jamaica. Now although the ſaid Act hath breathed ſome refreſhing to the decaying Trade of the Engliſh Nation, yet it hath not altogether cured her of her diſeaſe, as will be ſhewn hereafter; be­ſides the preſent abuſe not look't into, as ought to be, in entring Strangers Ships in Engliſh mens names in the Cuſtome houſe.

It hath been alſo obſerved how induſtrious the Engliſh Nation are and have been, not only in contriving and building convenient and ſtrong Ships for bur­then, ſwift ſayling, and of force, but alſo in mannaging the ſame as well in ſingle fights in Trade for defence againſt Pyrats, and in Fleets in publick Wars with a4 forreign Enemy, to their perpetuall honour and terrour of their Adverſaries: Witneſs the many ſingle fights at Sea againſt the Turks, to whom it is beleived the Dutch loſe ten Ships for our one, and the remarkable Sea-fights againſt the Hollanders themſelves in the late Wars, wherein many Merchants Ships from about 300. Tuns, to about 500. Tuns did engage againſt the Enemy with the States Ships and Frigots to our great advantage, which at that time would have been much wanted, if they had not been built; The Enemy notwithſtanding much overnumbring us every fight in Ships and Tunnage, and yet ſupplyed their loſs of Ships daily taken and deſtroyed by us, aſſiſting their Men of War ſtill with their Merchant Men of equall force and burthen, and ſome bigger, ſuch as they uſually ſend to the Eaſt Indies, which foregoing paſſages ſhew the excellent uſe of Engliſh Shipping, and the neceſſity of increaſing them, which cannot be done no way ſo well as by Trade, for War is known to be chargeable, hazardous and bloody; therefore how ought Trade to be cheriſhed, maintained and increaſed with all power, diligence and invention that can be contrived.

Secondly, If we take into conſideration the ſtate and condition our Trading-Shipping were in before the late Wars in England, we may find by the Eaſt India Companies account, that they alone did employ, in that trade, at once 15000 Tunns of Shipping, which were accounted to be of the beſt ſort of Tra­ding-Shipps belonging to England, of the burthen of about 300 Tunns, to about 600 Tunns: But the old Company were at laſt ſo decayed in their ſhipping, through the diſcouragement of Trade, and undermining of the Dutch, and other caſualties, that they had hardly one good Shipp remaining at their giving over; So the laſt new Company thought it better to freight ſhipps for their em­ployment, which they alwayes did, rather than build any: But now if the new eſta­bliſhed Company will freight Ships alſo, & not build, they will finde very few of force and burthen fitting for that employment; For I cannot hear, for about theſe ten years paſt, that a Trading-ſhip of about 400 Tunns hath been built in Eng­land, & thoſe few that have been built within that time, ſeldom were ſo big as 200 Tuns, but I believe ten for one of leſs burden, which with other ſlight Ships, that are uſually enſured, do ſupply that little Trade the Dutch have left the Engliſh Nation in the Straits, which in former times uſed to employ, by eſtimation, not leſs than about 80. or 100 ſale of good Ships of about 3. and 400. Tunns burthen each Ship and upwards; but now the Engliſh Trade will not maintain and employ Ships of ſuch burthen and defence, which is the reaſon ſo many ſmall ones have been taken by the Spaniards of St. Sebaſtians, Majorca and other places: And I have formerly known many Ships of the like burthen built, and equipped in England, purpoſely to ſend to Venice to let out to that State for Men of War to ſerve them againſt the Turks, but the Hollanders ſoone eate us out of that em­ployment alſo, by ſerving them with Ships of equall burthen with ours for leſs freight than we could with our Ships, which they might afford to do for the rea­ſons hereafter declared.

And whereas the Company of Merchant Adventurers trading for Hamburgh, uſed yearly to ſend about twenty good Ships thither, chiefly laden with the Ma­nufactures of England, the Vent whereof gave great employment to many Tradeſ­men, beſides the poor; but this year they have ſent onely one Ship from Lon­don, the laſt ſhipping, and the Goods of that Ship will not go off neither, and the Wooll that makes theſe Manufactures, that uſually ſold for about 10 d. per pound, is ſold now, as I heare, for 6 d. or 7 d. which ſhews a great alteration and deadneſs of Trade, which at this time is the generall and daily compliant of all Tradeſmen of what profeſſion ſoever; the like might be inſtanced in our ſhipping-Trading for the Eaſt Countrey and other places, where we ſend one now, former­ly we ſent ten at leaſt, the continuance whereof will much decreaſe the ſtrength of5 the Engliſh ſhipping, and is an apparent ſigne of the generall decay of the forreign Trade of England, which ought to be ſo well mannaged and incouraged without delay, as that we ſhould equall, if not exceede all other our Neighbour Nations: ſo if any one Nation grow greater in power than another, ſo as the weaker be­come ſubject to the conditions of that one greater Nation, either in State-affairs or government of Trade, how ready then will other Nations be to endeavour to make their own termes? or to be ready to make a prey of ſuch a declined people, and if the caſe were ours, would it not be ſo with us? other Nations bear­ing a kind of envy to our former happyneſs in good Succeſſes and noble. At­chievements, both at home and abroad, for what corner of the World hath not been ſearch'd by us to find out Trade? the profit whereof, (the reward of induſtry,) gave firſt boldneſs to venture to paſs the maine Ocean, and make new diſcoveryes in forreign parts round about the World, and hath inlarged our Nation with many new and large Plantations, to the inriching, cheriſhing and employing of many thouſands of our people, by which may be diſcerned the flouriſhing and proſperous condition the Engliſh-ſhipping were in, which without doubt will ſoon increaſe again with the increaſe of Trade.

But it may be objected there is no ſuch need of great Shipps now, as hath been for the defence of the Seas, ſeeing we have ſo great and gallant a Fleet of men of Warre, which are more ſerviceable upon occaſion than Merchant-men, taken into warlike employment.

It is anſwered, That admit a very ſtrong Fleet of men of warre were allwayes maintayned, ſuch a one as, in any mans judgement did equall any Fleet of men of War of any neighbour-Nations, and that we ſhould have Warre with any ſuch Nation, and in fight part of the Fleet ſhould be loſt, or ſo battered that they could not be ſo ſuddenly recruited, or made ſerviceable as there might be occaſion for them to ſupply the place and ſervice of thoſe Shipps that might be ſo loſt, or de­fective, but by Merchants Ships; As in the late Warre with Holland, it was ob­ſerved what gallant ſervice every Merchants ſhip performed, when each Captain was ſhifted out of his own ſhip into another, when at the firſt, every Captain continuing in his own Shipp was not ſo adventurous, not out of cowardice, as dreading what might happen to his perſon, but out of deſire to prevent the da­mage that might happen to his own Ship, which might turne to the loſſe of his Owners, the Captain well knowing the charge in repairing them again, or buil­ding others, and peradventure, if their old ones had been loſt, it might have been a hard thing for him that loſt his ſhip to get friends to joyn together to build him another; For now ſhipping is eſteemed the worſt commodity this day in Eng­land, every one that hath any, being willing to ſell, becauſe they loſe by them, through want of Trade and employment for them, whereas if trade were quick, and any proffit came by them, every one would be deſirous to be intereſſed in them.

Moreover, if a ſtanding Fleet of men of Warre, as aforeſaid, ſhould be main­tained, and having a Warre with another Nation, that Fleet ſhould hold all­waies good, ſo as there were no need of Merchants Ships to joyne with them, yet it muſt be conſidered that infallibly the want of Trade will much impoveriſh the people of England, which otherwiſe know not how to ſubſiiſt, they increaſing ſo much notwithſtanding the late Wars, and the Land (though full of plenty) not increaſing with them being an Iſland, witneſs the many entertained for Soul­diers, either for want of Trades, or by decay of their Trades, and the many dai­ly going for Ireland and the Plantations, and yet there is no miſs of them, for in any Town or Pariſh where any Houſe or Farme is to be let, (notwithſtanding the improvement of the late Kings and Biſhops Lands &c.) how many ſtrive for it till the Rent thereby is ſo raiſed upon the Landlord by out-bidding each other, till6 at laſt he that taketh it, is either undone or weakened in his eſtate, with over­renting it; and ſo the peoples eſtates are too often impaired in defraying their reſpective charge for want of Trade; And conſidering that ſuch a ſtanding Fleet of men of Warre will be a great charge and burthen to the people to maintain it, which will help to impoveriſh them more and more; But on the contrary the preſervation & increaſe of Trade, will not onely maintain a gallant Fleet of warlike Shipps and Marriners, ſuch as all thè known World will not onely admire, but ſtand in fear of, and will alſo enrich and ſtrengthen the whole Nation.

Thirdly, the condition and number of the Hollanders remaining ſhipping in Trade is ſuch, that they are beholding to the Engliſh for them, in that not onely their ſhipping, but their people too were not deſtroyed in the late Warres with them, which in probability might have come to paſs, had the Warre continued till this time, with the like ſucceſs, that it pleaſed God then daily to give to the Eng­liſh Nation; but if the ſame ſucceſs had happened to them, their former cruel­tyes to the Engliſh in Amboyna, and preſent practiſes in Eaſt-India, would make it queſtionable, whether they would have granted ſuch good conditions to the Engliſh, as they did to them at the concluding of the Peace between both partyes; For who knowes but that their beſiedging Bantam (which is ſuppoſed to be ta­ken by them) is onely a Deſign upon the Natives, contrived purpoſely to enable them by the gayning of it wholly to remove the Engliſh from that Factory, to prevent them of Trade in India, now the Engliſh Company trading thither had ſo much diſcontinued it: and if they could do as much by Surratt alſo; then how eaſie will it be for them to command the Coaſt? they being ſo powerfull in Shipping there, may deny any Nation trading thither, without danger, but whom they pleaſe, and then if we will have any Commodityes from thence, it muſt be with their good liking and conſent: But it is not often known that they eaſily yeild to any thing that hinders their advantage, or the increaſe of their Traf­fick and Navigation. And if they ſhould gain that trade to themſelves, as is doubted is their deſires and deſign, & is feared they will effect without a Bank in England, & then it is beleived it will be more profitable to them by Trade than all the Weſt-Indies is any way to the King of Spain, and if the Engliſh ſhould loſe that trade, as it hath been in great danger, then what need have we of Merchants ſhipps of burthen & force? & who would build any, having no imployment for them? & if no employment for ſuch ſhipping of force through decay of Trade, then in a ſhort time what will become of the Maritime Power and Strength of the Engliſh Nati­on? For beſides the many advantages the Dutch will accrue to themſelves by having the ſole trade of Eaſt India, inriching their people many ſundry waies,

This great prejudice they will do us,

We ſhall be weaker by ſo much Shipping, and ſo many marriners as we might imploy thither.

It will hinder thoſe Tradeſmen, in their ſeverall profeſſion, that furniſh thoſe ſhipps that go to Sea, as Shipwrights, Smiths, Maſt-makers, Sayl-makers, Ropemakers, &c. and diminiſh the trade of thoſe Materialls.

It will hinder the vent of our Native Comodityes, which thoſe Shipping would carry thither, which will impoveriſh our people that made thoſe Commodityes.

It will hinder us of thoſe commodityes which that Countrey doth afford, that we may have great need of, as in time of Warre; of Salt-Peter to make Gun­powder; ſo as we ſhall have no commodity from thence but what the Dutch will ſpare us at their own prizes: which makes me remember a notable paſſage I have heard of the Durch in India, where a Ship of theirs arriving at a trading-Port in that Countrey, laden with one onely commodity, which they knew the place wanted, therefore ſet what price on it they pleaſed, which the Townſemen refu­ſed to give them, and on the contrary held off buying the ſame, preſuming7 they would take their offer for the Commodity, rather than go to another Mar­ket, or lye in Port with a great charge of Men, Victualls, and Wages, to expect more, which the Dutch perceiving, reſolved to prevent the Townſemen of their delaying them, and yet alſo have their price, therefore immediately cauſed the one half of the commodity to be carryed aſhore, and there burnt in the ſight of the Townſemen, and then demanded as much for the remaining half as the whole would have come to at the price they made, which the Inhabitants were forced to give for the ſaid half part, rather than want the ſaid Commodity, fear­ing leaſt half the remaining part ſhould be burnt alſo, and then muſt give as much for one quarter of it, as they might have had the whole parcell for before any of it was burnt; Such is the force and power of trade where a uſefull commodity is wanting, and when engroſſed into one hand.

But beſides the Trade of India, it is too much felt how the Engliſh Trade in Turkey is at this preſent; alſo, in the Eaſt Countrey, and at Hamburgh, to ſerve all Germany, and in all the Streights over, where the Dutch not onely under-ſell us in their own, but in our Native Commodities, as Cloath, Tyn, Lead, &c. they buying theſe Commodities of the Engliſh at the beſt hand, and cheapeſt ſeaſon of the year; as, Cloath carried over to them rough and white, they die and dreſs, and ſell it before we can ours dreſt and ſhip'd from hence; beſides that, they ſell made in Suffolk, and of their own making of Engliſh and Spaniſh Wool mixt together; alſo, they may buy our Lead here, when the Engliſh Merchants ſhip out leaſt, at that time it is cheapeſt, and commonly riſeth at the going out of Turkey Ships, or at any Herring ſeaſon, which I have often known to my coſt, to riſe from 11 or 12 l. per Fodder, to 14 or 15 l. per Fodder, and upwards, as at this day, which is about 20 l. per cent. difference; which with the cheapneſs of Freight in their own ſhips, to what is paid in Engliſh ſhips, and ſaving inſurance by ſending Convoys with their Fleets, enables them to underſel us abroad, and o have the preemption of Foreign Goods for Returns, and raiſe the price of tthem upon us, ſo have they advantage of us every way, to the great diſcourage­ment of the Engliſh Trade, and inſenſible weakning of the Engliſh power, which courſes the Engliſh cannot take for want of ſtock, much of it lying dead, ſometimes two or three years, and in danger oftentimes in a remote Countrey, in unſold Commodities, as at this day: And ſhould they take up moneys at inte­reſt, to proſecute ſuch a Trade, as the caſe now ſtands, it would ſuddenly and in­ſenſibly eat them out of their Eſtates, which oftentimes is gained with long and toilſome labour, and great hazard. On the contrary, the Dutch are herein ena­bled to raiſe good profit by the quickneſs of their Returns, the largeneſs of their Stock, which is encreaſed by Banks, and the continuance of their Trades, from one generation to another, and partly by lowneſs of money at intereſt, which is occaſioned as I ſhall ſhew hereafter.

The like may be ſaid of the Trade in Ruſsia, the Eaſt Countrey, and other places, where the Dutch and we have trading together, they finde ways to under­mine us, to our great loſs and diſcouragement, though few old Traders conſider the cauſe in all their lives. But I inſtance onely in the two former Trades, be­cauſe they chiefly give employment to our Warlike ſhipping Trade.

Fourthly, touching the reaſon of the Hollanders ſo great thriving in Trade be­fore us, may be theſe:

Their Stateſmen ſitting at the Helm, ſteering the affairs of their Government, are many of them Merchants in preſent trade, or have been bred ſo in their mino­rities, or by travel in other Countreys, or well grounded experience at home, have well underſtood the courſe of Trade, whereby they are enabled the better (making the encreaſe, Protection, and encouragement of Trade their chiefeſt care) to further it in their intereſt of State with other Nations in all Treaties, and8 therein make ſuch proviſion for the furtherance thereof in their own behalfs, as may make moſt for their benefit and advantage, and prejudice and inconvenience of the other State, whom they can moſt prevail with and over-rule; ſo that their good management in foreſeeing the benefits and inconveniences that may hap­pen, is one main cauſe of their ſo admired flouriſhing condition, from ſo ſmall beginnings: For who can give better advice in any Trade, than he that ſtudies it, or is bred up in the ſame.

They have a cuſtom, that when any of their Tradeſmen dye, they divide their eſtates equally among their children, whereby the youngeſt having equall educa­tion with the eldeſt, is with his ſtock capable of driving as good a trade as the eldeſt; by which means, their eſtates in trade deſcend to their poſterities, and alſo the rules, inſtructions, and many years experience and obſervations, that gained their Parents their eſtates, and oftentimes the very ſame trades alſo, they having no lands to purchaſe, as other Nations have.

But on the contrary, it is the uſual cuſtom in England, when a Tradeſman dies that hath children, having raiſed his eſtate, to give mean portions to his younger ſons, and make the eldeſt poſſeſſor of the greateſt part of his eſtate, who addicts himſelf oftentimes to the pleaſures of Hunting, Hawking, and ſuch like paſtimes, betaking himſelf wholly to a Countrey life, were either by encreaſe of his charge, ill husbandry, or want of skill to manage his eſtate, which peradven­ture is thereby much impaired, therefore is uſually deſirous, if he have ſo much money left, to put his ſons apprentice to learn trades to get their livelihoods: And when they are made Freemen (if they did not miſcarry before) are oftentimes as far to ſeek for a way to get their livings by, for want of ſtock to ſet up their Trades, as their Grandfather was, before he gained their fathers eſtate. But if the Grandfather, who knew how to get that eſtate he left his eldeſt ſon, had alſo bred him up in his own trade, or in ſome other, he had been capable to inſtruct and inrich his children by it alſo; ſo as inſtead of weakning the eſtate, it would have mightily increaſed on him, and have augmented the ſtock of the Nation.

Their true and faithfull making their Manufactures without deceipt, as Cloth, Sayes, Serges, Perpetuanaes, &c. and giving them their due contents, makes them the more ſerviceable, and their ſeverall goodneſs (by experience) being known abroad, cauſeth them to ſell before thoſe of the Manufacture of England, that are mode ſlight and unſervicable, wanting their due contents and goodneſs; which is not ſo well look't into as ought to be, according to the good Laws provided in that behalf, which not onely brings the Engliſh Commodityes into diſgrace at market abroad, but is a great prejudice to the Nation in generall by wanting Vent for them, the makers ſtriving daily to exceed each other in ſlight making, as Cloth made of flocks mingled with Wooll, &c. that they may the ſooner ſell and afford them at the Engliſh Merchants low price, to which he is tyed to buy, being guided by the Dutch mans low rate he ſells of the ſame kind at market, contenting themſelves, and thriving with the leſs profit by ſelling much greater quantities abroad of ſeverall ſorts of Goods, and having quicker returns and greater Stocks than the Engliſh, and ſo the Dutch have the preheminence in the ſale of their Ma­nufactures before us, by their true making to their very files and needles.

Their care and vigilancy over their traffick in taking off and laying on Impo­ſitions on ſundry Commodities to quicken or dull them in their ſale and price, as they ſee occaſion to incourage their own Manufactures, or hinder thoſe of a for­reign Nation, for the better imployment of their ſhipping and people, beſides each Merchants particular correſpondence with their reſpective Factors or Ser­vants in the Countreys where they Trade, in which they are alſo very dextrous in communicating certain and early advice, as well of the publick, as of their own private occurrences.


Their giving countenance and incouragement to new deſighes propounded to them for publick good, which whets the invention, and ocaſions new diſcoveries, and the bringing in of many profitable and delightfull Arts and Myſteries among them, the Author never wanting his due reward, which is made good to him out of the Publick Stock, none feeling the charge thereof, & is alſo preferr'd to ſuch em­ployment as his genius and capacity leads him unto, wherein he may be more pro­fitable to himſelf and them, preferring ſuch for their merit and encouragement, rather than others leſs deſerving, for favour or ſiniſter ends.

But their chief and moſt conſiderable way, by which they have brought them­ſelves, to what they are, is their profitable uſe of Bankes.

Fifthly, the benefit they have received by Banks, are theſe:

By the help thereof they have raiſed themſelves from Poor, Diſtreſſed, to High and mighty States.

They have encreaſed the Generall Stock of their Country ſo much, that they can, when they pleaſe, ingroſſe the particular Commodity of one Country, and ſell it again at their own price, in the ſame, or another that wants it.

They maintained Wars many years with the King of Spain, and hired foreign Souldiers, to ſave their own people in that War, and received in ready money (with which they payd their Armies) the proceed of their Utenſis of War, and other Commodities they fold their Enimies, which they bought with imaginary money in Banks, and ſo furniſhed the Spaniard with thoſe things he wanted, for their own profit, which otherwiſe they knew another Nation would elſe have done.

They have encreaſed their Trade, and thereby grown ſo rich and ſtrong in Shipping and Mariners, that they forced the King of Spain to a Peace with them.

To make their own terms with the King of Denmark.

To hold the King of France to ſuch conditions as have not always pleaſed him.

To make War with the Engliſh at Sea. to whom they there always yielded & acknowledged obedience and ſubmiſſion.

To rule over many petty Kings and Principalities in the Eaſt Indies, and other places, where they have power to overcome them.

Theſe are ſome of the benefits the Hollanders have received by encreaſe of Trade; occaſioned by Banks.

Sixthly, the prejudice we receive by their Banks are theſe:

It brings down their Intereſt of money to 3 or 4 l. per cent. (at which rate. I know at preſent many thouſand pounds there let out, in a parcel, in ready money, which the Dutch do often deliver by Exchange for London, and there the ſame Takers at Intereſt out of the Banks, may let it out again in England at 6 per cent. formerly at 8 l. per cent. and when the money is come into them again, it may be more than ſuſpected, that it is privately ſent into Holland, both in Silver and Gold, ſome profit ariſing thereby, the latter being grown ſo dear, and both far more ſcarce in England than formerly (little being of late imported to Coyn, for ſun­dry reaſons, and ſo plentifull in Holland, that great payments have been made there in Sterling money onely, beſides that concealed in their Bank, which is a great hinderance to Trade in England, by wanting ſo much ſtock as is ſo tranſport­ed, and doth alſo impoveriſh this Land.

Alſo, by their Banks, they may be furniſhed in England by Exchange, with ready money to buy the Native Commodities of the Maker, at the firſt hand, and at the cheapeſt ſeaſons of the year, as Lead, Tyn, Cloath, Bays, Sayes, Serges, Perpetuanaes, Stockings, &c. having, as is ſuſpected, their Engliſh Packers at London, to buy ſuch Goods there for their Accompts, and their Agents reſiding in the Countreys and Towns in England, where ſuch Manufactures are made, and there buy them cheaper of the Maker himſelf for ready money, by10 about 10 per cent. than the Engliſh Merchants can do at London, of ſuch Makers Factors to whom elſe he ſends them, to ſell for his Account, the Maker thereby ſaving Factorage, and other charges and Adventures, and making bad debts in ſending ſuch Goods to ſell at London, beſides uncertainty in ſelling them for time, or ready money, and other troubles and caſualities in returning the money into the Countrey; for which reaſons, the Maker had rather ſell a better bargain by himſelf at home, receiving his ready money there, to ſerve his occaſions, than run the former uncertainties, by which help of Banks, having money there at a low rate, the Dutch are enabled, and do underſel the Engliſh Merchants at Market in their own Native Commodities, to their great loſs and diſcredit; and it is doubted, that many Engliſh Merchants alſo do colour ſuch Goods for them at the Cuſtom Houſe, having alſo, underſtood that at this time Engliſh Wool and Fullers Earth, is too often carried from hence into Holland, in the Engliſh Men of War, ſuch ſhips being never viſited by the Officers of the Cuſtom houſe, which ought ſuddenly to be prevented, the Dutch being too well ſtored with thoſe Commodities, moſt of the Wool of this years growth in Kent, being doubted already to be tranſported from, or neer Dover, Rocheſter, &c. which are the back doors out of which ſuch Commodities are ſuſpected to be too often conveyed, through connivance.

But if it be objected, That the Engliſh may alſo buy of the Maker on the ſame terms: It may be anſwered, They want ſtock, through deadneſs and decay of Trade. But if it be replied, That they may then take up money at Intereſt to do it: To which is anſwered, That if they have ſo much credit to do ſo, they muſt then give 6 l. per cent. for it, beſides procuring and continuance, and the Dutch hath it for about 3 l. per cent. or under, which with the cheapneſs of freight in their own ſhips, &c. doth enable them notwithſtanding, to ſell our Native Com­modies for us abroad, cheaper than we can afford to ſell them our ſelves, and ſo ſecretly eat the bread out of our own mouthes, and undermine, and work us out of Trade, and employment of our own ſhips all the world over, being in the Eaſt Indies accounted much inferior to them.

By the help of Banks, they ſo much augment their Stocks, that they ſet out ſo many hundred of Buſſes, and other Fiſher boats yearly, to catch Herring and Cod fiſh in our Seas, with which they ſerve all Chriſtendome, to their incredible gains, and formerly our own Nation, to our great loſs, decay of our Fiſhery, and many Fiſhing Towns on the Sea Coaſt.

Theſe inconveniences we receive by their Banks, and many other, there being none in England to countermine them, by which it may appear, it is not altoge­ther the raiſing of Exciſe, or laying on Impoſitions upon the Commodities retail­ed and ſpent within our ſelves, as is often ſuggeſted to be the cauſe of the preſent deadneſs of Trade, but the meer advantage and undermining of the Dutch, with their great Stocks, who always have alſo had a great Exciſe charged upon the moſt part of the Commodities ſpent within themſelves, which cauſeth the ſpender of ſuch Goods to pay dearer for them, they being enabled ſo to do, by cheriſhing their Foreign Trade for the general Good, in laying on ſmall duties on the com­modities tranſported, with other priviledges and good orders to puniſh miſde­meanors in Trade, wherein they are as unmercifully juſt, in the executing them without reſpect of perſons, for the Publike good, as the Engliſh are too often unjuſtly merciful, in ſparing each other for private ends, to the general hurt.

Seventhly, the good we may do our ſelves by Banks, if ſettled in England, are many; for no Nation yet ever made uſe of them, but they flouriſhed and thrived enceedingly.

Firſt, they will by well ordering them, bring back the Gold and Silver, which11 hath been drained out of this Land by the Hollanders Banks, and by other Princes raiſing the value thereof in their Dominions.

They will much encreaſe the Stock of this Land, which will wonderfully en­creaſe all manner of Trade, and will bring in that excellent tranſporting Trade, and make England the Staple of all Foreign Commodities, as Holland is at this time, and hath been ſince they had the uſe of Banks, who have nothing conſider­able of their own growth and Manufactures, yet have the Staple of all Com­merce as a rich Treaſure, in Money and Jewels, all Materials for Shipping and War, all manner of Cloathing, and the Granary and Vineyard of Europe, with which Commodities they furniſh moſt Countreys, which England may alſo do, with much eaſe and profit, and make this Land the Staple for Trade, for by experience our people are known to be as tractable in Trade as any other Nation, had they but Stock, which is thought to be the onely thing wanting, beſides a few priviledges in Ports, to carry on that ſo much deſited and profitable Trade, and our Land lies more convenient for it than any other, having the Sea open on eve­ry ſide, and ſo many ſafe Harbours to ſhelter Shipping in foul weather, and ſo many convenient Ports for landing of Goods, from whence they may be tran­ſported with all winds, at all ſeaſons of the year, and the Engliſh Mariners are as good as any be in the known world, and may have as good ſhipping to carry goods for as little freight, and may victual them as cheap as any other Nation.

They will encreaſe, and much encourage the Fiſhery of this Nation, and breed up in that employment many thouſand of Seamen, which will finde employment in the Eaſt-Indies, Streights, and other Voyages into other parts of the world, and will alſo encreaſe and ſtrengthen the decayed Fiſher Towns, and all other Ports and Havens along the Sea Coaſt.

They will encreaſe the Warlike Trading Shipping, and Mariners of this Na­tion, which will much ſtrengthen us againſt all our Enemies.

They will alſo encreaſe the Revenues and Cuſtoms of this Land by encreaſe of Trade.

They will wonderfully employ the poor of this Land, and encreaſe the natu­ral Mannfactures thereof, and make us capable to buy or ſell at home or abroad, with as much advantage as any other Nation; whereas now, if any Engliſh Mer­chant buy any Foreigh Goods abroad, with the proceed of Engliſh goods there, and tranſport them for any place but England, he is in danger to loſe by the Voyage.

They will make the Engliſh capable to engroſs the Commodity of any Coun­trey, and withold it from another that may be at enmity with us, to whom the ſaid Commodity may be uſeful to our prejudice, and alſo make our own price of it.

They will encreaſe Trade in our Plantations; and cauſe ſhips to be built in New England, as good, or better than any be built in Holland, to carry goods for as little freight, and will alſo encourage the mking materials for ſhipping there, and will ſave our own timber here until a time of need, which ſhould be pre­ſerved and encreaſed as much as could be, having of late been much decayed and ſold into Holland, as is much ſuſpected.

They will furniſh Factors in England with credit to pay Cuſtom, and charges of a great Cargo of goods, which may on a ſudden be conſigned to them: for many times ſuch Engliſh Factors may be of a good eſtate and credit, yet have not always a great Caſh lying by them for ſuch uſes (though the Dutch are ſel­dom without it) therefore may oftentimes be forced to ſtrain their credit, to take up money at intereſt, or fell all, or part of ſuch goods at under rate for want thereof, which may be a great prejudice to themſelves, and loſs to their princi­ples; and is believed, cauſeth many ſuch great Commiſſions to be carried from12 the Engliſh, and Conſigners to the Dutch reſiding in England, to their great benefit and advantage, and loſs and prejudice of the Engliſh Nation.

They will encreaſe trade in Ireland, which will people that Iſland, and encreaſe the revenues thereof.

They will furniſh many young men with Stock, that have by their induſtry and well ſpent time and travels in their Apprentiſhips, gained good experience in Foreign Traffick, but when they are come to be for themſelves, wanting ſtock, friends, or credit to begin to trade with (being commonly younger brothers) are thereby much diſcouraged, and thinking to drive away ſuch diſcontent, do often­times fall into bad Company, and take ill courſes, to the utter ruine of their hopes and fortunes, which otherwiſe might have made good Commonwealths men, which is the greateſt reaſon, why ſo few young men, among ſo many en­tertained, do come to good.

They will preſerve many good men from failing and loſing their credit; for in­ſtead of loſing by trade, they will by the well regulating of it, be more certain of profit, and the quick and ſure ſatisfaction of a debt by Aſſignment in Bank, will preſerve many a good mans credit, which many times is impaired, though he may have a good eſtate out in Trade beyond the Seas, and cannot command it, ment where it is due. It being ſeldom ſeen, that any of the Dutch Nation fail, and if any of them by loſſes do miſcarry, being known to be induſtrious, are ſoon credited again with ſtock out of Bank, or otherwiſe to recover themſelves again by trade.

And many others, which trial and experience will daily diſcover, as quick and eaſie, paying Bills of Exchange, Foreign or Domeſtick, and all other pyments, preventing fraudulent payments in counterfeit and clipt Coyn, or mil-telling money, rectifying errours in Accounts, which occaſion Law-ſuits, preventing theft, and breaking open houſes, where money is ſuſpected to lie, and robbing on the high-ways Graziers, Carriers, or others that uſe to carry money from Fairs, or other places, which may be returned by Aſſignment in Bank, whereas now the ſeveral Hundreds in many places are forced to guard ſuch as carry money, for fear of their being robb'd, and ſuch Hundred paying them the money the loſt, as it hath often fallen out of late times, &c.

Eighthly, a Bank is a certain number of ſufficient men of eſtates and credit joyned together in a joynt ſtock, being, as it were, the general Caſh-keepers or Treaſurers of that place where they are ſettled, letting out imaginary money at Intereſt at 2 and ½ or 3 l. per cent. to Tradeſmen, or others, that agree with them for the ſame, and making payment thereof by Aſſignation, and paſſing each mans Account from one to another, with much facility and eaſe, and ſaving much trouble in receiving and paying of money, beſides many ſuits in Law, and other loſſes and inconveniences, which do much hinder trade; for oftentimes a Mer­chant hath goods come from ſome place beyond the Sea, which he is not willing to ſell at the price currant, knowing either that he ſhall loſe by them, or that he hopes they will yield more in England, or ſome other Countrey, when there will be more need of them, therefore is deſirous to keep them, and yet drive on his trade, which peradventure he cannot well do, wanting ſtock, ſo much of it lying dead in the ſaid Commodity, therefore procures credit in the Bank for ſo much as he ſhall have occaſion for, at the rates aforeſaid, and receives and makes payment thereof where he hath occaſion for it, by Aſſignment in Bank; as for example, the ſaid Merchant buys Cloath of a Cloathier, for 100 l. value more or leſs, and goes with him to the Bank, where he is Debtor ſo much money as he takes up, and the Clothier is made Creditor in Account for ſo much as he ſold for to the ſaid Merchant, then ſuch Cloathier having occaſion to pay13 money to a Stapler or Woolmonger for Wool, he doth buy of him, ſo the ſaid Clothier is made Debtor, and the Woolmonger Creditor in Account: the ſaid Woolmonger hath bought his Wool of a Countrey Farmer, and muſt pay him for it, ſo the Woolmonger is made Debtor, and the Farmer Creditor: the Far­mer muſt pay his Rent to his Landlord, with the proceed of the ſaid Wool; ſo the Farmer is made Debtor, and ſuch Landlord Creditor: the Landlord for his occaſion, buys goods of a Mercer, Grocer, Vintner, or the like, then he is made Debtor, and ſuch Mercer, or other Tradeſman Creditor: then peradventure ſuch Mercer, or other Tradeſman, buys goods of the ſame Merchant that took up the firſt credit in Bank, and ſtands yet Debtor there, but upon ſale of goods to the Mercer, or other Tradeſman, both clear their Account in Bank, and ſuch Mercer, or other Tradeſman is made Debtor, and the ſaid Merchant Creditor: thus every mans Account is cleared, and ſo in all trades, as occaſion preſents, which way, if it be thought fit to be ſettled for a trial at London, I verily believe will be found ſo convenient, and ſuch an incouragement to Trade by increaſe of the Stock of the Land, and be ſuch an eaſe to the people, that it will be ſoone deſired that others might be alſo ſetled at Edinburgh for Scotland, at Dublin for Ireland, and in ſome other chief Cities and Shire Towns in England, as York, Briſtoll, and Exceter, &c. for the furtherance of Trade, by holding correſpondence with each other, than which I do not apprehend or know any way better to equall the Dutch in Trade both at home and abroad in buying and ſelling all ſorts of Com­modityes, and making quick returns, and alſo ſo much exceede them, as by far this Land lies more convenient for Trade than theirs doth, and will alſo ſuddenly inrich the people, and increaſe and maintain the maritime power and ſtrength thereof.

Laſtly, To which may be added a Court of Merchants to be choſen every year, to end and determine all controverſies ariſing from one Merchant to ano­ther; for although ſuch Suites may be determined in the reſpective Courts already eſtabliſhed in England, yet the guilty Adverſary takes ſuch advantage by appeals from one Court to another, having oftentimes a conſiderable Eſtate in his hand, the profit whereof in Trade making him unwilling to part with it, therefore with the Intereſt of it wageth Law with the parties to whom it is truely due to his great charge, wrong and prejudice, if not utter undoing, and then at laſt it is oftentimes referred to good men that are Merchants and underſtand ſuch matters and Ac­counts better than many worthy Lawyers do; but in caſe ſuch a Court be not ap­proved to be ſetled, then the Court of Inſurance ſitting in the Inſurance Office, who are yearly choſen, may have power to determine all ſuch matters as they do cauſes of Inſurance, which will much quicken and incourage Trade to the inrich­ing and ſtrengthning the Engliſh Nation.

And ſeeing a Court of Merchants is ſo neceſſary, what a glorious and honou­rable profeſſion would it be, if your Highneſs Court were all Merchants, and alſo your domeſtick Servants every one adventuring ſo much Stock as he could ſpare into other parts of the World, as well as to the Eaſt-Indies (your Highneſs ha­ving been pleaſed lately to give ſo great countenance and incouragement to that Company) which may be eaſily effected: for thoſe that know not the way of Trade may joyne in a Stock, or come in a ſhare with the experienced untill the ingenuous have learn'd it themſelves, for it is preſumed there is but few but may ſpare ſomething to venter, which may be a means to inrich themſelves and their Poſterity; for it is well known that many Servants of both Sexes to private men in Holland do improve their Eſtates by having Adventures in Trade, which all your Highneſs Court would be ſoone in invited unto by the profits they know any one hath received by firſt adventuring, which will alſo cauſe theſe benefits to enſue.


It will be an high example to the Gentry of the Land aſwell the Elder as the younger Brothers, and their domeſticks to do the ſame, therein employing their minds, which oftentimes are buſied in contentious Suits in Law, or unnaturall contriving how to over-reach and deceive one another.

It may make your Highneſs Court and domeſticks the moſt rich and flouriſh­ing of any Potentates in the World, and loath and hate unhandſome and diſho­nourable waies, to maintain and inrich themſelves, whereas in other Princes Courts their neceſſities and covetouſneſs doth inforce and induce them to buy and ſell Offices and Places of truſt, and making uſe of the time preſent (doubting their continuance, length of life, or change of affairs) to raiſe and inrich themſelves by bribes, to beg or obtain Suits of their Prince, which may be to the generall hurt, diſhonourable for him to grant, or loſs of the affections or good opinions of his people.

It will adde to the reputation of the Engliſh, and cauſe them to be better e­ſteemed and reſpected of the Princes and Subjects in the forreign Countreys where they reſide and Trade, and will increaſe the maritime power and ſtrength of this Nation by ſo much ſhipping as they will employ.

It may cauſe Grievances in Trade to be ſooner heard, and redreſſed which is oftentimes hindered by a particular perſon to the generall hurt, when the Courti­er as well as the private Tradeſ-man feeles the evill thereof, which oftentimes for want of being heard in due time may continue unremedied or deferr'd till it be too late.

And divers other tending much to the tranquility of your Hghneſs and the welfare of the Engliſh Nation, which with your Highneſs favourable encourage­ment I ſhalin all humility be ready to make known unto you, and remove any objections as can be alledged in the premiſſes, and propound a way, how it may be effected, and the evills remedied and prevented, being unwilling to bury the Talent in a Napkin which it hath pleaſed the giver of all Bleſſings in his great goodneſs and mercye, to beſtow upon me, hoping I ſhall not offend in tendring this with my beſt ſervices to your Highneſs.


Certain propoſalls for eſtabliſhing a Banke at London, humbly offered (by Samuel Lambe of London Merchant.)

THat the Society of good men or Governours that ſhall mannage the Banke, be choſen by the ſeverall Companies of Merchants of London (viz.) Eaſt India Turky, Merchant Adventurers, Eaſt Countrey, Muſcovia, Greenland & Guynne Companies, each Company chooſing out of themſelves two or more of the moſt under­ſtanding and ableſt members of each reſpective Company, and when any of the ſaid members, ſo choſen, do happen to dye, then the ſaid Company of which he was that dyed to chooſe another in the roome and ſtead of the deceaſed from time to time, and when ſuch members are choſen and met together, then they to chooſe to themſelves two or more of the ableſt Merchants that Trade chiefly or altogether for Spain, and the like who Trade for France, Italy, and the Weſt Indies, for each place two or more, as ſhall be thought fitting; and when any of them choſen that Trade for the Countreys laſt named do dye then the major part of all the members together, choſen as before preſcribed, may chooſe others from time to time trading to the ſaid Countreys which he did that dyed, and when all theſe ſo choſen meet together, they may have power to make orders of their own approving or contriving for the carrying on and manna­ging of the Worke, and ſuch a Society, ſo dealing into all parts of the World, will well know moſt Engliſh Merchants that Trade into any part thereof, and thereby know whom to credit that have occaſion, and by their knowledge will well underſtand how to govern the Banke, and by the help thereof countermine the Dutch in their deſignes in any port of the World, where they prejudice the Engliſh by their Bankes; for in any place where there is Exchanges or Trade, they may lay a great ſtock to furniſh the Engliſh with credit and ability to carry on their laborious and honeſt deſignes, and by this means may be carryed on any great and notable Enterprize, for which purpoſe, and that they may performe with every perſon that hath money in Banke and preſerve the credit thereof inviolable, and without the leaſt blemiſh, they muſt keep their Caſh in a ſafe place from the danger of fire, and other accidents, as the Armie Treaſure is in Guild-Hall, and ſo are the generall Treaſurers and Caſh keepers of moſt of the ſpare money of the place, where they are ſetled, and moſt men will deſire to have money there that they may have credit in Banke two or three times the value thereof, for he will not be to be of any Eſtate or worth that hath not ſome money in Banke to procure credit there without trouble againſt he have occaſion for it.

That all be at Liberty to bring in any money into Banke or not, and if any, that have money there, deſire to have it again in kind ſhould have it at demand, the Dutch had rather have their money in Banke than in their own keeping, accounting pay­ment in Banke better than any other by ½ per Cent by their good and punctuall payment.

That they allow ſuch Intereſt to the Aged and Widdows that deſire to have their money in Banke, as ſhall be agreed unto for and towards their maintenance.

That they let out Imaginary money or credit upon Ticket at 2. ½ and 3. l. per cent. at the moſt.

That all Bills of Exchange be received and paid in Banke.

That the ſaid choſen men do take a houſe near the Exchange for convenience of Merchants reſorting thither, and ſit there ſuch certain houres of the day to be ap­pointed.

That the good men, who mannage the Banke, do make up their Accounts at leaſt once in every year.


That the profits of the Banke go to the good men that manage the ſame, in lieu of their great care and pains, and defraying Banke charges, and Officers Sallaries, or ſo much as ſhall be thought fitting to be reſerved toward the increaſe of the Stock, and as the Banke increaſeth in credit, ſo the reſervation to increaſe to augment the Stock, but the Stock alwaies to remain whole and entire.

Or any other, or ſo many more that ſhall be thought fitting to be ſetled by Act of Par­liament, therein declaring in what manner, and by whom the ſame ſhall be mannaged and governed, granting power to ſuch Governours to chooſe Officers, and make Orders to carry on the Worke, and thereby alſo to be enacted that none ſeize, moleſt, or di­ſturbe the Banke, or violate the credit thereof upon ſuch great penalties as ſhall be thought fitting.

That the ſame Banke may alſo furniſh another Banke with a competent Stock, to let out any ſumme of money under five or ten l. at reaſonable rates upon pawns or other Security; whereas now many poore people, to raiſe a ſmall Stock to get a living by, are forced to give intolerable rates, as about 6 d. per Weeke for the uſe of 20 s.

And convenient Orders would ſoone be contrived to carry on ſuch a charitable worke, if it be approved after tryall made of the former Banke deſcribed.

And ſuch a Society to be choſen every year, as is before propoſed, with an able Ci­vilian joyned with them, would be an excellent knowing Committee, or Court of Mer­chants to regulate and advance Trade, and determine Controverſies therein ariſing, having incomparable correſpondence together with all the World, by communicating every ones advice, knowledge and experience to each other, having thereby knowledge of the tranſactions and occurrences of every Country, and ſo knowing moſt mens dealings, and the Accounts and Trade of all places, and ſo the better enabled to judge of any matter coming before them, and contrive Remedies for all grievances in Trade for the advantage of the Engliſh Nation.

Here follow the Remedies againſt the evills obſerved in the Booke.

A Banke will hinder importing of goods in Strangers Ships contrary to the Act for increaſe of Navigation, and dayly entring ſuch Ships in Engliſh mens names.

A Banke will increaſe the generall Stock and trade, which will cauſe Ships to be built for the Engliſh as cheap as any other Nation can build any, to carry goods for as little freight into any Country, which will cauſe them to be employed as ſoone or before any Strangers Ships by all Nations that have occaſion, and then we need not fear entring their Ships in Engliſh mens names, ſo few in likelyhood to come then for England.

A Banke will prevent Packers, or others that buy Goods in England for Dutch­mens Accounts, and colouring them under Engliſh mens names at the Cuſtome-Houſe, by cunning and fraudulent pretences, ſuſpected to be now practiſed, notwith­ſtanding the Lawes and penalties in force, and lately revived againſt ſuch evills.

A Bank will encreaſe the generall ſtock ſo much, that it will enable the Engliſh to buy for ready money, as good cheap of the maker or otherwiſe, as any agents for any Strangers can doe, by which meanes the Engliſh will be enabled to ſell abroad for as much profit, and at as low a price as any other Nation can of the like ſort of goods, and Cheaper, by ſaving Strangers Cuſtome outwards, if ſuch goods be fairly entred, and when they know the Engliſh have found the way to underſell them, and gain bt it too, they will have but ſmall encouragement to contrive wayes to employ Agents oy buy any Engliſh goods in England, and Ship them out for them: and when the ma­ers of Engliſh manufactures find ſuch quick vent for them, they will then ſtrive ma13 much to excell each other in true making, as now in Slight making, this will bring Engliſh Manufactures in good requeſt again at market, and will cauſe the Engliſh to have the ſame advantage of the Dutch, as the Dutch now have of them in buying forraigne Commodities, as in ſelling our own abroad, they growing ſo populous, their Shipping ſo numerous, their Stock and credit of their Banke ſo great.

A Banke in England will hinder tranſporting of Engliſh Wooll, and Fullers earth out of England.

A Banke will increaſe the generall Stock and Trade ſo much, that it will encourage and encreaſe making the woollen Manufactures in England, and imploy not onely the makers thereof now here, but invite thoſe out of Holland that are gone thither allready; for the great quantities that will be made at home, and afforded at eaſier rates than the Dutch can theirs of the ſame goodneſe, which will diſcourage the ma­king any in Holland, ſo they will have no occaſion for our Wooll and Fullers earth, which is chargeable for them to obtain againſt a ſtrict Law, and the greater uſe there is of Wooll in England, will cauſe it to be dearer, ſo as it will be impoſſible for the Dutch then to make any woollen Manufactures, without great probability to looſe by them; the Engliſh being ſo enabled to make Cheaper of equall goodneſs, ſo if they have no uſe for wool, they will need but little Fullers earth.

By which it may be plainly diſcerned that the meer advantage the Dutch have of a Banke, is the cauſe of the aforeſaid and other evills, and of their gaining ſo much by our Loſs, and of all other Nations that have not a Banke; which I believe cauſed the King of France to raiſe the value of his Coyns, to hinder them carrying it out of his Dominions: For in any place that hath no Banke where they carry any Com­modityes and ſell them for ready money, how eaſily may they carry back the ſame mo­ney for a returne, and put it into their own Banke, and with a Ticket of credit there buy other Goods at home or abroad by exchange, and ſtill make returnes in money, or prohibited Goods, and ſo ſecretly begger or impoveriſh any Nation they ſo deal withall. and ſo by exchange they may charge vaſt ſummes in any Country by credit in Banke, and on a ſuddain, or by degrees, inſenſibly ſweep away all the Treaſure out of any Countrey and then may eaſily overcome them, wanting ſtock to carry on ſuch a Warre, and to buy ſuch materialls for Warre as may be wanted within themſelves, which muſt be had from another Country; But in a Country where a Banke is ſetled, and tranſportation of Money forbidden, a Law may be made to prevent this dange­rous evill; For by ſo much as their generall ſtock and ſhipping is greater than any other Nation, ſo much more advantage have they of any ſuch Nation as have not a Banke; to ruin them with greater expedition, and may ſecretly lay a Plot to do it at pleaſure; And may it not be ſo with England, when her Marriners and Shipping are decayed, by permiting Goods to be imported daily in ſtrangers Shipps as now are, con­trary to the Act for increaſe of Navigation.

It may be objected that rich men will not bring their Money into Banke for theſe two Reaſons,

  • Firſt, becauſe they will not diſcover their eſtate ſo much, which will cauſe great Taxes to be laid on them.
  • Secondly, that in a Monarchicall Government, the Supream Governour may ſeize or borrow the mony in Banke, to carry on that publike Deſigne, ſo the mony may not be returned again into the Banke, which will ruin the credit thereof, and undo ſuch as have eſtates therein.

To the firſt, it is anſwered that if rich men will not bring in their mony into Banke, then thoſe that deſire to be rich will for their conveniencie and eaſe to attain riches.

Alſo thoſe that would be thought to be rich, will for the ſame reaſons, and both to gaine, ſupport and increaſe their credit.

To the ſecond it is hoped that his Highneſs the Lord Protector (to further ſo good a Worke) will be pleaſed to conſent to a Law to be made as aforeſaid, that no ſu­pream Governour may ſeize, moleſt or diſturbe the Bank upon any occaſion whatſoever under a great penalty.

That till a Bank be ſetled and take ſuch effect as is hoped it may, to remedye the evills before mentioned, that a capable honeſt perſon be appointed by his Highneſs the Lord Protector to reſide at London, to take Account of the entryes of all Ships there, and alſo to take care that no ſtrangers Ships be entred (as now dayly are) contrary to the Act for increaſe of Navigation; and that the ſaid Officer do over-ſee and keep account of all the entryes of all ſhips in all other Ports throughout England, And alſo prevent as much as may be tranſporting Engliſh wool, and Fullers earth, and entring Strangers Goods in Engliſh mens names, which is a great prejudice to the Engliſh Nation, and the ſaid Officer to have ſuch fitting Sallary allowed him by the Commiſſioners of the Cuſtome houſe as ſhall be appointed, or ſuch other allow­ance to be paid by the Maſter of each Ship (as formerly they did, and do now deſire to do without charge to the State) according to a Table of Fees as was uſually paid by them before Colonell Harvy was a Commiſſioner.


IT is objected that the Eaſt-India Company trading into the Eaſt-Indies is unprofitable to the Engliſh Nation, becauſe they ſend out of England ſo much money thither to drive that trade, that it hath waſted the Engliſh coins, and impoveriſhed the Land.

It is anſwered, that if the Dutch do not diſturb the Engliſh in that trade, it is pro­bable they may be furniſhed from their Factory at Cormanteen on the gold coaſt in Guienne, and from China with gold enough, alſo from Japan with ſilver to carry on that trade, as the Dutch themſelves do, and then there will be no occaſion to ſend any out of England to the prejudice thereof.

But admit the ſaid Company ſhould have occaſion yearly to tranſport forreign coins thither out of England, they ſhould but imitate the painful husband-man, who ſowes his ſeed in the ground, that he may reap it again with advantage in the harveſt, when the earth liberally returns her grateful crop; For admit they ſend out of England into Eaſt-India to the value of 1000 l. in ſilver, gold, or both, which there they inveſt into the Commodities of that Countrey, as Indicoe, Spice, Cal­licoes, Salt-peter, Drugs, &c. And when the ſaid Commodities do arrive in Eng­land, which coſt the Company the ſaid 1000 l. in probability they may yield here about 2000 l. clear of all charges, which the ſaid Company or other Merchants that buy that Commodity of them do ſend into Spain (in time of Peace,) Italy or other Countries, (for England cannot ſpend all that they bring in,) and when the ſaid Commodities are there ſold; peradventure the ſaid 2000 l. worth may yield about 3000 l. ready money, which from thence hath been uſually brought into England for returns in ſpecie, ſo that inſtead of the 1000 l. tranſported about 3000 l. is im­ported, and ſo proportionably for a greater or leſſer ſumme, to the great profit and advantage of England, beſides the imployment of ſo much war-like ſhipping as they ſend thither, maintaining many trades belonging thereunto, the increaſe of ſo many Marriners as they breed up and imploy in that ſhipping, and the vending Engliſh Manufactures and return of others imploying many trades here, and increaſe of the revenues and cuſtoms. For,

It is preſumed that that Nation which hath moſt warlike ſhipping and Marriners, will command in chief at Sea, and he that commands the Sea, may command trade, and he that hath the greateſt trade will have the moſt money, which is of ſuch value, that it doth command all worldly things, both in War and Peace.

In the former, beſides the procuring all neceſſaries thereunto, how many Garriſons hath it opened and relieved? how many battails hath it helpt to win? and what ſe­crets hath it not diſcovered out of the inwardeſt counſels of great Prin­ces.


In the latter, as it doth maintain Commerce, ſo the want of it doth decay it, as ſad experience doth manifeſt in England ſince there hath been ſo little left, and ſo much tranſported, as may appear by the great payments in Holland in half crowns, and there, and in France in 20. and 22 s. pieces, that now at London 20 s. in gold will coſt 22 s. in ſilver, and that little ſilver that is remaining and paſſing in the Coun­treys ſo clipt and fil'd, that moſt of it wants near a fift penny in weight.

And as money is the ſinew of War, ſo doth it appear to be the life of trade, all Commodities being valued by it, and in both as uſeful in the body Politick as blood in the veins of the body natural, diſperſing it ſelf and giving life and motion to every part thereof, ſo that the preſervation and increaſe thereof doth ſpeedily deſerve the ſerious and grave conſideration of the higheſt Authority in England; for as the caſe now ſtands, who will import any bullion into England to coin, when they may have a better price for it in another Countrey? and if any be imported, who will ſell it to the Mint while it is lawfull for the Gold-ſmiths, or any other to give a better price for it than the Mint can, and when the Gold-ſmiths have bought it, do they not ſell it again to Tranſporters, or others to work into Manufactures, as gold and ſilver ſpangles, wyre, &c. which is no ſmall conſumption yearly in ſuch trades, ſo that little is Minted to increaſe the coins, but on the contrary it is ſuſpected to be dimini­niſhed by culling out the heavieſt money to work into plate and the like Manufa­ctures above mentioned.

By which it may appear that the Eaſt-India Company have not waſted, but rather increaſed the Engliſh coins, for they uſe none of it to tranſport in any Manufactures, and if they had ſent any ſo far off, it would not have been had again ſo plentifully in the ſame kind in our Neighbour Countreys, as now it is.

But it may be ſuſpected that the common Tranſporters of Bullion out of England, do raiſe this report to keep themſelves from ſuſpition while they ſecretly make it their trade to ſend it away, till it be ſo near conſumed through want of a fitting courſe to cauſe the bringing of it in, and good Laws to prevent carrying it out, and care in executing them; for how eaſily may the intent of many of our Laws of light pe­nalty be abuſed by any that is reſolved to break them, without they were made more ſevere, eſpecially in matters of ſo great concernment; It being accounted a great ſcandal to any of credit to inform againſt any that breaketh them, though it be never ſo much to the prejudice of the whole Nation, and if a needy perſon do it, a ſmall bribe in hand, with a few fair promiſes of friendſhip will eaſily take him off the troubleſome and chargeable proſecuting for his proportion due to him by the Law ſo broken.

And to avoid this charge and danger, how many do purpoſely imploy their con­fidents, (who may peradventure be concerned in the ſame breach) to make or enter an Information of the matter only, and there ceaſe, reſolving not to proſecute any further, leaſt he indanger his own or his friends ſafety, and this may be done be­fore hand only to prevent any that ſhall really attempt to inform of it afterwards: Beſides the practice ſuſpected to be now uſed to imploy Dutch ſhipping, as much as ever to bring home Spaniſh goods, by colourably making bills of ſale of them in truſt to the Freighters, to ſecure them againſt the Act for increaſe of Navigation.

But in a good government of trade theſe inconveniences may be prevented accor­ding as occaſion requireth, and reſtrain that too much freedom in trade by ſome de­ſired, which is the way to deſtroy all trade, and bring in confuſion. For,

As Diſcipline in Arms, ſo Government in Trade preſerves good Orders, and pre­vents confuſion, for which purpoſe Armies are divided into Regiments, Troups and Companies, Squadrons and Diviſions, and to keep them in better order, they have By-laws diſtinct and apart from the ſtanding Laws of the Countrey, for which they ſerve; So in Trade, the Merchants of London trading in ſeveral parts of the World, are divided into ſeveral Companies, who reſpectively have By-laws and Orders among themſelves for their better Government, in which capacity they are beſt able to underſtand what quantities of Commodities are ſent to the place where they trade, and knowing how much will vent, may accordingly ſupply the market at rea­ſonable rates, and modeſt profit, with ſo much as is neceſſary, That neither by ſen­ding too little of Engliſh Manufactures, as by their ſcarcity to advance the price at too dear a rate, thereby cauſing the buyers to learn and indeavour to make them­ſelves of the ſame kind at a lower price, or have them from another Countrey, which3 may in the end hinder making them in England, if not totally ruine the trade to that place, Nor by ſending more than can be uttered to clog the market, as in for­mer ages, till prevented, and ſo diſparage and undervalue the Engliſh Manufactures to the Merchants loſs by diſhonourably offering them to ſale in ſhops at an under rate, as hath lately hapned in Holland, with other inconveniences, ſince ſome have taken too much liberty to interlope in the trade of the Merchant Adventurers Company, And as their ancient continuance in a thriving condition commends their good Or­ders and Government; ſo the ratifications and confirmations of their priviledges by ſeveral Princes and Authorities ſince their firſt inſtitution, (not without much op­poſition) declares the neceſſity of their incorporation for their better Government and venting Engliſh Draperies.

But as for forreign Commodities tranſported, or ſuch native Commodities as are no where elſe to be had of the ſame kind but from England; the more is gained by them, the more the Merchants are inriched in recompence of their painful labours, and dangerous adventures, and conſequently the whole Nation, for beſides the dan­ger of the Seas, they many waies run great adventures by bad debts, imbargoes, &c. giving more credit generally in goods to other Nations than they do to us.

In this the Dutch are a good example to us, who have ſerved almoſt all Europe with Eaſt-India Commodities to their great profit and advantage, having much of them cheifly in their own hands, as Nutts, Cloves, Mace and Cinamon, bringing ſuch quantities home, as by their experience they gueſſe will yearly ſerve this Quarter of the World, and feed the Market therewith as their ruling price: And by their late practice at Bantam, in ſeizing three Engliſh Ships there, with their loading, peaceably trading thither: It may be ſuſpected they intend to get all the Pepper alſo into their own hands, if not the whole Eaſt-India Trade, and then we may be weakened by ſo many Ships and Marriners as may be employed thither, they well knowing how advantageous that trade may be to us, being ſo prudently managed as now it is, that thereby we may be able, not only to ſerve our ſelves with thoſe Commodities, but other Nations alſo, on as good tearms as themſelves.

Moreover the orderly management of Trade by Companies, will make an eaſi­er diſcovery yearly, which exceeds the Import or Export; which in a confuſed trade, nor incorporated, is not ſo ſoon diſcerned; as in the Trade with Spain at this time, by importing ſuch great quantities of Fruits and Wines at a dear rate, to the enriching of our Enemies, and exporting ſo few Engliſh Manufactures (and thoſe ſold at a low rate, and which the Spaniards have prohibited ſince the Wars) that inſtead of bringing Bullion thence for returnes from Cales and St. Lucar, it is carryed thither, as is ſuſpected, into his Dominions, to pay for part of thoſe Com­modities at Malaga, &c. to the impoveriſhment of our ſelves.

For where the forreign goods imported exceed the native expotted, the ballance muſt be made up with money tranſported, or by exchange, which is a loſs to the Nation, not only by the money ſo tranſported, but by the want of vent of ſo much native Comodities, as ſhould be exported to anſwer the value of thoſe imported, which may be compared to a man having an Eſtate of 1000 l. per annum, and ſpends yearly above it.

As the affairs of Princes do alter and change according to time and advantage, ſo doth the courſe of trade, and the better to inſpect the courſe of trade; ſome Princes in tender care thereof have an Officer reſiding in their Courts to give an accompt yearly thereof, as hath been done formerly in England, or ſo often as called thee­unto, and as occaſion requireth, and alſo to hear complaints, and move for redreſſe in the Merchants juſt grievances, making it his buſineſſe to intercede for them at convenient opportunities, without making way by a favourite with a chargeable reward, for where many men are intereſſed in one matter, it is often times known to miſcarry through neglect, which makes good the ſaying, that every mans buſineſs, is no man's buſineſs.

Beſides which, if it be thought fitting that ſuch a Council for trade of Merchants exerciſed therein with ſome Statesmen or Civillians conjoyned, as in my foregoing propoſals is deſcribed, they may with Gods bleſſing on their endeavours regulate and reſtore trade by preparing and ſetling (if impowered thereunto) ſuch fitting reme­dies for all grievances therein, as may exceedingly enrich and advantage the whole Nation.


By ſetling and managing a Bank, not only for the uſefulneſſe, but rather neceſſity thereof, as is before related, and alſo to countermine the Dutch in their governing the price of Exchanges by the power of their Banks, to the great prejudice of the Eng­liſh, who with a Bank may rule it as well as they.

To hear and have power to determine controverſies ariſing among Merchants in matters of trade.

To report their opinions whether it be needfull to raiſe the value of the Engliſh coins, equal or above the rate of what they are in our Neighbour Countreys, or con­trive other waies to encourage the bringing of them in again, and ſet the Mint to work.

To conſult about ſtrengthening the Laws againſt tranſporting Bullion, Engliſh wool, and Fullers earth, the Law for increaſe of Navigation, and all other Laws con­cerning trade, and put them in effectual execution.

To ſtrengthen the priviledges of the reſpective Companies of Merchants already eſtabliſhed, and if it be thought fit, to incorporate the Merchants trading reſpectively into ſeveral Countries not yet incorporated.

To find out a way for better vent of raw ſilk and other Commodities imported, which much imployes many people beſides Silk-weavers, whoſe Families are much impoveriſhed for want of imployment by the importation of much riboning out of France ſince the Peace.

And many other for encouragement of Trade, beſides what is before mentioned, which they may diſcover to be advantageous to the whole Nation, and do deſerve to be enlarged by a more skilful hand.

Printed at the Authors charge, for the uſe and benefit of the Engliſh Nation, and to be conſidered of, and put in execution, as the High Court of Parliament, in their great wiſ­doms, ſhall think meet.


PAge,. l. 6. r. that, p. 3. l. 14. r. it, p. 7. l. 45. r. in trade, p. 10. l. 46, r. unmercifully, p. 12. l. 1, r. conſigned, p. 13. l. 21. r. cauſed, l. 45. r. a publick.

About this transcription

TextSeasonable observations humbly offered to his highness the Lord Protector By Samuel Lambe of London, merchant.
AuthorLambe, Samuel..
Extent Approx. 84 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 14 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A88298)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 154022)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2393:30)

About the source text

Bibliographic informationSeasonable observations humbly offered to his highness the Lord Protector By Samuel Lambe of London, merchant. Lambe, Samuel.. 18, 4 p. Printed at the authors charge, for the use and benefit of the English nation, and to be considered of, and put in execution, as the high court of Parliament, in their great wisdoms, shall think meet;[London :January 27. 1657]. (Caption title.) (Imprint from colophon.) (Place of publication from Wing (CD-ROM edition).) (The second sequence of pagination begins with caption title: A Post-script.) (In this editon, the colophon does not include the bookseller's name William Hope. Wing reports edition with "to be sold by William Hope" in colophon.) (Reproduction of original in the Folger Shakespeare Library.)
  • Foreign trade promotion -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- Commerce -- Early works to 1800.

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Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A88298
  • STC Wing L229
  • STC ESTC R225308
  • EEBO-CITATION 99896138
  • PROQUEST 99896138
  • VID 154022

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