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do give an account to the said officer, who may be impowered to make enquiry therein ; and whosoever of the said company, shipped outward or homeward, appeareth not in person to receive his wages, at such time and place prefixed (without some lawful cause or let shewed to the contrary, being such as may be allowed by the directors of such office, or officers) shall lose and forego his whole wages, one half to the use of their Majesties, and the other to the chest at Chatham, or otherwise, as may be thought convenient.'
** And the said officers, being impowered to make enquiry, as aforesaid, will cause masters to be more cautious how they do imprison and pack their seamen off in foreign countries ; an abuse too much practised, even to the ruin of many families, which bring much poverty on the nation, especially about rivers and sea-port towns.
Proposal 4.' And, if it should happen, that any of the said ships, or vessels, should deliver, or unlade at any other port within this kingdom, that then the officer of such port may, by the master's duplicate (be being obliged to produce the same, or otherwise by a copy of the register from the other first officer) be enabled to proceed, in all respects, as aforesaid.'
*** For conveniency, a copy of all registers may be transmitted from all ports to Yarmouth and Portsmouth, for the ready dispatch of all such affairs; but more especially to the port-office of London.
Prop. 5. 'And that every officer, in his respective place (at the time of paying such seamen, as aforesaid) shall then cause all such, as are fit for their Majesties service, to be forthwith sent on board some ship belonging to the fleet, as occasion shall require; the charge thereof to be paid by their majesties : and all such, as are so sent on board their majesties ships, shall have equal benefit with those seamen who do, or shall enter themselves as voluntiers.'
By such means, there will be a constant supplying of the royal navy
with able seamen; and, by this means, sucb, who use to steal a voyage or two, will unavoidably be brought into their Majesties service, without prejudice to any ; which will be an encouragement to others belonging to the fleet, and will prevent the pressing of tradesmen from their business.
Prop. 6. • And, as every merchant-ship, or vessel hath a carpenter or two belonging unto it, who for great wages go voluntarily to sea, their Majesties ships may, by the means aforesaid, be plentifully supplied with able shipwrights, the most experienced and fittest for sea-service.
Prop. 7. ' And, at the end of every year, the said officers shall present their Majesties with a general list of all seamen and shipwrights, so sent on board of every particular ship; and, if thought convenient, shall have an additional allowance from their Majesties of two shillings and sixpence per head, as an encouragement and maintenance for such their service.
Prop. 8. 'And whatsoever officer or shipmaster offendeth herein, contrary to the true intent and meaning thereof, shall forfeit
pounds to the use of their majesties, pounds whereof may be allowed to the informer.'
This charge cannot be accounted great; for, by this means; the prodigious expence of hiring smacks and ketches to attend the press will determine; and one thousand men and boys, commonly employed therein, may be at liberty to serve their majesties on board the fleet, besides the charge allowed and expended by captains and lieutenants, on such occasions,
* And the seamen and shipwrights belonging to merchant ships, being so secured for their majesties service, may enjoy the benefit of selling and disposing of what they have, as an adventure on board their respective ships, together with the happiness of receiving their wages, and providing themselves with apparel and other necessaries fit for sea service, and be sent on board the fleet like men; who otherwise, after a long and tedious voyage, without recruit or money, are forced on board their majesties ships in a poor and ragged condition, which is one main occasion of sick. ness and distempers on board the fleet; and for such reasons many refuse to go to sea, and others forsake their ships, in foreign nations.
And by such means, as aforesaid, merchant ships at sea, and under convoy, may be secure from the rage and ill usage of some commanders; who, if denied their unreasonable demands for light or convoy money, do often cause the seamen to be impressed; whereby such ships or vessels are too often disabled, and the ships and goods, with the small and helpless number of men left on board, do often miscarry, or perish at sea ; whereby the merchants lose their goods, their majesties lose their customs, the subjects lose their lives, the owners their ship, or vessel, and many become widows and fatherless thereby; which brings great complaints and poverty throughout the nation.
PART II. Proposal 1. 'And, as the honour and glory of the English nation doth so much depend upon the strength and good conduct of the royal navy, so it may be highly necessary at such time, when the common enemy is so potent and powerful, that all due encouragement be given to seamen and mariners; and, to that end, it is most humbly proposed, that no offices belonging to the fleet be bought or sold, but that every person may be preferred according to his deserts and merits.
Prop. 2. • That the said seamen be allowed their full share of all prizes that shall be taken, and that some law be passed to prevent embezzlements therein; and that those. persons, in what station soever, that shall endeavour to defraud them of such parts and shares, as have by custom, or may hereafter be allowed, shall (being convicted thereof) forfeit his said office, or employment.
Prop. 3. • That, if any seamen be dismembered in their majesties service, such smart-money, as hath been formerly allowed,
may be advanced, and be forthwith duly paid. And further, that there may
be an additional allowance made for all such pensioners, as shall be dismembered in their majesties service.
Prop. 4. “That, if any seamen be killed in their majesties service, that the bounty-money, generally allowed on such occasions, be forthwith paid to those who shall produce a just right to receive the same.
Prop. 5. “That all profaneness, which having, by long custom, gotten the ascendant on board the fleet, be forthwith suppressed and abolished; and all offenders, being officers, may be displaced, and others receive such punishment, as may be appointed by authority of parliament.
Prop. 6. • And that no seaman or mariner, that bath served twelve months in any of their majesties ships, shall be turned over, to serve on board any other of their majesties ships, before he be paid all wages due to that time.
Prop. 7. That when, and so often as their majesties, by their royal proclamation, sball require the service of such seamen, on board the royal navy, by such a day or time prefixed; that all able seamen, wbo shall, in obedience thereunto, voluntarily enter themselves, by applying to the next port-officer, or officers, shall be allowed, during the whole voyage, twenty-eight shillings per month, according to the course of the navy; and that so often as any of their majesties ships shall arrive into any harbour, to lay up for any time, that then the seamen and mariners, thereunto belonging, shall be forthwith discharged; and that all wages, to them then due for such service, be fully paid, not in tickets, but in money : and, if the voyage be long, that then their wives or friends, having a lawful power to receive the same, may be paid six months wages out of every nine months, that such ship shall be abroad.
Prop. 8. “That all such seamen, now belonging to the royal navy, as shall be continued on board the fleet, at such time as the service of others shall be required by proclamation as aforesaid, may have and receive the full benefit of sucb, as shall then enter themselves voluntiers.
Prop. 9. That there be one clerk at the navy-office, to attend all accidental business that may happen touching the premises, and that he be allowed, by their majesties, fifty pounds per annum, to answer and receive money for all such persons, as shall employ him on such occasion; and that he may be allowed six-pence or twelve-pence per pound, as shall be thought fit, for all such money as he shall so receive; and the said clerk, making default therein, to be displaced, and suffer such fine, or other punishment, as the parliament shall think fit.'
** By such payments, as aforesaid, seamen may be inabled to provide for themselves and families, and to pay their debts; which is one means to make money plenty, throughout the nation, and will encourage them, when occasion shall require, freely and gladly to enter themselves into their majesties service, without the charge of being pressed, or continued in pay for the whole year. And being certain of such provision, made for the maintenance of thema
selves and families, it will make them bold and daring, not being afraid to look death in the very face of their enemies.
* It is to be observed, that, for want of such payment as aforesaid, the seamen are greatly injured and discouraged ; first, especially, when, instead of money, they are put off with tickets, whilst many of them, and their families, wanting food and raiment, are compelled to sell such tickets at one-third part, and, sometimes, one-half loss; so that, thereby, the seamen's pay is very small and insignificant; who, after having exposed themselves to the greatest dangers, are so cut off, being but as slaves and drudges to the common ticket-buyers, and their upholders; who, for supplying them so with money, do carry away the greatest part of their labour, when many of their poor families are ready to perish. Secondly, the paying such their wages' on board the fleet, at such time as they are ready to sail, is very injurious both to seamen and others; for, by such means, they have not the opportunity to serve themselves or families, but are obliged to buy all their necessaries on board the common biglers or boomboats, and they not many, who, making it their business to atteud the fleet, do, by their extortion, bring away the greatest part of the seamen's wages. So that a great part of the treasure of the nation, which ought to be divided amongst all, falls into the hands of a few private persons; whereas, if such payment were to be made on shore, as aforesaid, they may have the benefit to buy all they want at the best hand, to pay their debts, and relieve their families. And, by this means, all such money would, as from a fountain, pleasantly distil itself into so many silver streams, until it returns again to its first rise; which would be a great encouragement to seamen, and all other their majesties good subjects, who, being now obliged to give them, and their families, credit, are forced to sit down by loss, which is one great cause of the decay and detriment of trade.
*** If it should be objected, that paying the seamen their wages on shore, upon the discharge of their service, as aforesaid, will cause them to desert their majesties service, it is bumbly answered, that, there being, in England, a sufficient number, to serve both their majesties royal navy and merchants ships, at one time, as, by sufficient iestimony, did appear this last summer, it is impossible to believe the royal fleet should ever want seamen, if good payment was to be made, and encouragement given, as aforesaid, for these reasons following: First, they, being in such service, are more secure from the enemy, than in merchants ships. Secondly, being allowed thirteen months to the year, without after-claps, or paying damages, which, in merchants ships, often cuts off one month's pay in three. Thirdly, if a ship of their majesties happen to be lost, the seamen's wages stand good. Fourthly, being out of all danger of being impressed, during the whole voyage ; by means whereof, in merchants ships, they often lose both their wages and adventure. Fifthly, having a prospect in making advantage, by taking of prizes. Sixthly, if loss of members happen, omart-money is allowed, with a yearly
pension, during life. Seventhly, if killed in fight, a considerable bounty-gift is bestowed on their families, according to the greatness thereof; when seamen, in merchants ships, running all risques, as aforesaid, fall short of these so great advantages.
Prop. 10. ' Furthermore it is proposed, that if any difference should happen, within the term of the said voyage, between the master of such merchants ship, or vessel, and any of the seamen, belonging thereunto, for, or by reason of any wages due, or goods damaged, by leekage of the ship, or vessel, such differences may be determined by such officer, as aforesaid, who may be impowered to call to his assistance two, three, or more, honest and indifferent men, being sufficient house-keepers, who may have power to hear and determine all such differences, as aforesaid, which would be of great advantage to poor seamen; who, by reason of poverty and the press, being not in a capacity to maintain or attend a suit of law, are often ruined and undune.
** If it should be objected, that this may prove prejudicial to the government, it is humbly answered, that the seamen in general, by such injuries, and for such reasons, as aforesaid, are not in a capacity to go to law; so that, where nothing is, nothing can be expected.
*** So that by thus civilly impressing of some, and paying and encouraging of others, as aforesaid, it may be presumed, their majesties royal navy may, at all times, be readily and plentifully provided, with the most able seamen and mariners, on all occasions, and all extraordinary charge of impressing and maintaining them on board the fleet, in the winter-season (which, by Captain St. Lo, was computed at five-hundred and four-thousand pounds for one winter-season, besides sixty-thousand pounds, expended for conduct, bounty, and impress-money) avoided and saved, as well now as in former times. *And, to this, all the seamen, and faithful people of England, will say Amen.
*** If any objection should be made, that, in manning the royal navy, according to the methods of this second proposition, their majesties affairs may be prolonged or prejudiced thereby, then it is humbly proposed, that a recourse may be had to the aforesaid register, as followeth.
Prop. 11. That the right honourable the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, calling to the port-officers of London for a general list of all seamen in each county, taken as aforesaid, may
direct their warrants to the several sheriffs of the counties aforesaid, requiring them to direct their precepts to the several constables of each parish, as aforesaid, who, with the assistance of the churchwardens and overseers of the poor, shall forthwith, to the utmost of their power, cause such, and so many as are required, by an equal quota, to appear before the next port-officer, who shall dispose of them on board their majesties ships, as shall be most meet and convenient for their majesties service;. and such as press men, to be allowed but twenty-four shillings per month. And what sea. men soever shall abscond from their habitation, or usual place of