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being, at such time as the service of their majesties shall require them on board the fleet, shall suffer imprisonment, or as the parliament shall think fit. And that the port-officer do then forthwith pay unto the said constables, for travelling, and other necessary charges, the sum of two shillings and six-pence per head, for every person by them delivered, or produced as aforesaid; and that the said port-officer be allowed the same (with other necessary charges), for sending such on board the fleet, out of their majesties treasury.'
By what hath been proposed, I hope, it will appear, that the impressing of seamcn, and others, by sea-officers, may be wholly laid aside, which hath, hitherto, been very chargeable to their majesties, and injurious to the subjects, as is briefly summed up as followeth.
1. That several vessels, employed in that service, after having laid twelve or fourteen days in the river of Thames, on that occasion, have, by the ill management of some lieutenants, thereunto belonging, been sent on board their majesties ships with twenty or thirty men at one time, who, being not fit or useful in such sera vice, have been often discharged, and turned ashore; by which means, their majesties treasure hath been vainly expended, and many landmen and tradesmen have been often carried from their habitations to the Downs, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, to their great charge and prejudice.
2. That the impressing and detaining seamen in their majesties service, on such hard terms as before specified, causeth many to defer their majesties service, who, by such means, come to an untimely exit. And many seamen there be, who, having families, will rather expose themselves to such vile and shameful ends, than leave their families to perish for want of food and raiment.
3. Many other inconveniencies there be attending the present discipline of the navy; as, paying the fleet at Portsmouth, &c. whereby their majesties affairs are often retarded, and the seamen, whose wives or friends are very populous about the river of Thames, do, by travelling and attending at such remote parts, often expend more than they receive, whereby many families are ruined and undone: and many others there be, who, for want of money, are obliged to take up all they want upon trust, paying one shilling for the value of nine-pence, losing thereby 25l. per cent. and, by selling their tickets, as aforesaid, they generally lose 30, 40, or 501. per cent. so that, by a modest computation, their whole loss amounts to 60l. per cent. out of their small wages.
4. The turning of seamen over from one ship to another, after having been in such service, one, two, or three years, without money, produceth the same effect as the former.
5. For the aforesaid reasons, the seamen, their wives and friends, are at a great charge and trouble, by petitioning and attending the admiralty and navy-board, on such occasions, who spend great part of their time in hearing and examining these and such like grievances
6. Whereas if scamen were paid and encouraged, as aforesaid, these mischiefs and disorders, with many others, occasioned by several indirect practices of clerks of the navy, &c. would soon cease and be abolished.
7. And, for promoting the same, it is further proposed, that a suitable fund of money be raised and set a-part for such uses and purposes : and if the same should fail, or fall short of what is intended, that then they may be supplied with such funds as shall be appropriated to pay merchant-dealers and tradesmen, who, being under no compulsion in making agreement for their commodities, are in a capacity to help themselves.
8. And if a sufficiency of money cannot be raised, as aforesaid, that then it may be borrowed; and suppose at 10l. per cent. per annum, yet will be of so great use in answering these ends, that it is presumed their majesties will thereby save 200,000l. per annum, or more : but if the late ingenious proposals to supply their majesties with money, at 31. per cent. per anoum, be put into practice, the advantages accruing to their majesties by this proposed method will be much greater, and the doubts and objections that may arise touching the insufficiency of making such orderly payments, as aforesaid, will be removed.
9. Thus, by preferring frugality, and abolishing extravagancy, their majesties, with the usual funds generally raised and allowed for such occasions, will soon be in a capacity of paying and providing, with ready money, all things necessary for the carrying on the war; and the enemy, taking notice of our industry and abilities, the usual forerunners of great actions, will be thereby discouraged, as they are certain presages of their approaching downfall.
10. And that, by such means, the general trade of the nation will be better supplied at home, and secured abroad; and the subjects thereby inabled and encouraged to give supplies to carry on the war, and their majesties thereby be the better supported to prosecute and continue the same.
11. Thus having, as I humbly conceive, proposed a sure and certain method to prevent those evils occasioned by the sea press, which, if put in practice, I dare affirm, will be a useful instrument to vanquish and overcome all our enenies, both foreign and domestick; it being observable, that, since my former proposals made for performing of shipwrights work, the impressing of workmen for that service hath been little practised.
In all that hath been most humbly offered, I have studied brevity more than curiosity, my design being to serve my country, rather than to shew my skill in learning; and therefore do present the same, not as the labour of my spare minutes, but as the fruit of a laborious brain, that hath and will be always ready to serve their majesties and the government upon all occasions. I shall only offer these following queries, most humbly praying they may be considered :
1. Whether the nation, under the present circumstances of
war, can long continue a suitable supply of money to carry on the same, under the pernicious effects of extravagancy?
2. Whether money raised in parliament with care, collected with trouble, and paid with tears, requires not the most serious thoughts and endeavours of all its disposers, for converting the same, in all circumstances, to the most useful and advantageous purposes?
3. Whether the king exposing his royal person, in so many dangers abroad, for promoting the happiness and well-being of the nation, doth not expect the due assistance of all other his officers and subjects, indispensably to use their ulmost endeavours for the full accomplishing his royal purposes?
4. Whether the saying those immense sums of money, as aforesaid, will not settle the minds of their majesties good subjects, and stop the mouths of the most disloyal and restless spirits, who raise aniniosities amongst us, and instil wicked notions into the minds of their majesties subjects, representing the government as under an unsettled condition, and groaning under oppression, by reason of great taxes, and a lingring and expensive war, and a want of trade, and raising their expectations of a speedy change, who finding their hopes defeated, by an unanimous resolution of rooting out the evils occasioning the same, can have no future pretence to sueh calumniating reflexions on the government for bringing to pass their evil purposes ?
5. Whether the buying and selling of publiek places be not an undoubted inlet to bring their majesties enemies into such stations, being of dangerous consequence to the government ?
6. Whether it will not be for their majesties, and the nation's interest, to advance persons to places of trust according to their merits, and not permit those to be discountenanced, and to labour under difficulties, who expose frauds and extravagancies, and propose proper remedies for the cure of those evils ? And whether the brow beating and discouraging those, who endeavour to make such discoveries, is not an effectual means to prevent all others from appearing in such like cases ? Much more might be added, which, for brevity-sake, is omitted. I shall humbly conclude with the following admonition of king Henry the Fourth, who, upon his death bed, spoke to his son as followeth: So long as Englishmen have wealth, so long shalt thou have obedience from them; but, when they are poor, they are then ready for commotions and rebellions.' From which, and all other evils, good Lord deliver us, both now and for evermore,
SOME PARTICULAR MATTERS OF FACT
RELATING TO THE
ADMINISTRATION OF AFFAIRS IN SCOTLAND,
UNDER THE DUKE OF LAUDERDALE.
Polio, containing one sheet.
Humbly offered to your Majesty's Consideration, in Obedience to your
HE duke of Lauderdale did grosly misrepresent to your
majesty the condition of the western countries, as if they had been in a state of rebellion, though there had never been any opposition made to your majesty's authority, nor any resistance offered to your forces, nor to the execution of the laws.
But he, purposing to abuse your majesty, that so he might carry on his sinister designs by your authority, advised your majesty to raise an army against your peaceable subjects; at least, did frame a letter, which he sent to your majesty to be signed by your royal hand, to that effect; which being sent down to your council, orders were thereupon given out for raising an army of eight or nine-thousand men, the greatest part whereof were Highlanders; and, notwithstanding that, to avert this threatening, the nobility and gentry of that country did send to Edinburgh, and, for the security of the peace, did offer to engage, that whatsoever should be sent to put the laws in execution, should meet with no affront, and that they would become hostages for their safety: yet this army was marched and led into a peaceable country, and did take free quarters, according to their commissions; and, in most places, levied great sums of money, under the notion of dry quarters, and did plunder and rob your subjects; of which no redress could be obtained, though complaints were frequently made; all which were expresly contrary to the laws of the kingdom.
II. In their quarters, it was apparent, that regard was only bad to the duke's private animosities; for the greatest part of those places, that were most quartered on and destroyed, had not been guilty of any of the field-conventicles complained of; and many of the places, that were most guilty, were spared upon private considerations.
III. The subjects, at that time, were required to subscribe an exorbitant and illegal bond, which was impossible to be performed
by them: that they, their wives and children, and servants, should live orderly according to law, not go to conventicles, nor entertain vagrant preachers, with several other particulars; by which bond, those that signed it were made liable for every man's fault, that lived upon their ground.
IV. Your majesty's subjects were charged with laborrows, denounced rebels, and captions were issued out for seizing their persons, upon their refusing to sign the aforesaid bond; and the nobility and gentry there, who have ever been faithful to your majesty, and had appeared in arms for suppressing the last rebellion,
disarmed upon oath. A proclamation was also issued, forbidding them, upon a great penalty, to keep any horses above four pounds ten groats price.
V. The nobility and gentry of the shire of Aire were also indicted, at the instance of your majesty's advocate, of very high crimes and misdemeanors, whereof some did import treason. These indictments were delivered them in the evening, to be answered by them the next morning upon oath ; and, when they did demand two or three days to consider of their indictments, and craved the benefit of lawyers, to advise with in matters of so high concernment, and also excepted to their being put to swear against themselves, in matters that were capital (which was contrary to all law and justice) those their desires were rejected, though the like had never been done to the greatest malefactor in the kingdom: and it was told them, they must either swear instantly, or they would repute them guilty, and proceed accordingly:
VI. The noblemen and gentlemen, knowing themselves innocent of all that had been surmised against them, did purge themselves, by oath, of all the particulars that were objected to them, and were thereupon acquitted : and, though the committee of the council used the severest manner of inquiry to discover any seditions, or treasonable designs, which were pretended as the grounds of leading in that army into those countries, yet nothing could ever be proved : so false was that suggestion concerning a rebellion then designed, that was offered to your majesty, and prevailed with you for sending the aforementioned letter.
VII. The oppressions and quarterings still continued. The noblemen and gentry of those countries went to Edinburgh to represent to your council the heavy pressure, that they and their people lay under, and were ready to offer to them all, that in law or reason could be required of them, for securing the peace. The council did immediately, upon their appearing there, set forth a proclamation, requiring them to depart the town within three days, upon all highest pains; and, when the duke of Hamilton did petition for leave to stay two or three days longer, for some very urgent affairs, that was refused him.
VIII. When some persons of quality had declared to the duke of Lauderdale, that they would represent their condition to your majesty, if they could not bave justice from your ministers, for preventing that, a proclamation was set forth, forbidding all the