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shall find, upon a serious examination, that the increasing of his taxes can bardly make amends for the loss of his customs, and, consequently, that his revenue is much about what it was at the time I speak of.
But, perhaps, somebody will say, how can the French king keep such great armies in pay, if his yearly revenue be no more? The answer to this objection is very easy to any one, who knows, that twenty-thousand horse stand this nation in more, than an hundred thousand cost the French king. Our single troopers have near two shillings and sixpence a day, and the French have hardly five pence; our foot foot-soldiers have eight-pence, or, at least, sixpence in the field, and the French have only six farthings and the ammunition-bread.
Here I could very well put an end to this discourse, but that I think myself obliged to remove one objection more, which, I know, some people will be apt to make against me, viz. That, if the French pay yearly but ten millions, and England five, we lie under harder circumstances, than they do, since France is twice as big as England, at least.
This, I confess, seems, at first, to be a very specious and consi. derable objection; but, in answering of it, I would desire my reader to make, with me, these following remarks: First, it is a truth beyond contradiction, that the taxes laid in England, how heavy soever they may seem to be, are but for one year, and these, too, laid on as by our own consent; but those in France have been made perpetual, by the grand imposer on his subjects estates, and liberties, for above these twenty years. This is a very notable differ. ence. Secondly, it must be observed, that all taxes in France, except the taille, are let to farm, whereby it is manifest, that they must produce more than what the king receives: for, as a farm, in any country, must not only produce enough to make the farmer able to pay his landlord his rent, but also to repay bis expences, and maintain himself and his family: even just so it is, in relation to the taxes that are laid on the French, but with a far more comfortable difference to the farmers of the French king's revenues, I mean, to those who have the least finger in them: for they, in a short time, become so vastly rich, that the greatest lords in France, as the Marsbal de Lorges, and several others, have thought themselves happy in marrying their daughters.
These farmers advance money to the king, and then they repay themselves out of the people's pockets, and God knoweth with wbat vexations and tyrannical oppressions, for they are impowered to do whatever they please. Those, who have computed, as near as possible they could, how many men are employed in the levying the king's revenues, do assure us, that they are above eighty thousand who are kept at the people's charges, the keeping of whom is dearer by far, than the barely maintaining of an hundred thousand soldiers: but a man must have seen this to believe it.
Now, whosoever will consider these things, will, no doubt, agree
with me, that the French nation groans under a very slavish and worse than Egyptian bondage, and that they pay a great deal more, than what appears in the books of the royal treasury. I was, one day, discoursing in France upon this point with a very learned man, and one that very well understood this business; and he told me, that, upon a very modest computation, he had found, that the kingdom of France paid yearly above two hundred thousand millions, upon account of the king's taxes, that is, above fifteen millions, three hundred eighty-four thousand, six hundred fifteen pounds, seven shillings, and six-pence sterling. Tho' I will not absolutely rely on my friend's account, yet this small treatise, I hope, will be enough to convince any unprejudiced person, that it is not altogether improbable.
I will only now desire my readers to peruse this little book with care, and then to consider how much they are obliged to those, who are indefatigable in their labour and industry to bring this nation under the dreadful tyranny of France.
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR SEAMEN AND MARINERS.
IN TWO PARTS.
Being a proposed Method for the more speedy and effectual furnishing their
Majesty's Royal Navy with able Seamen and Mariners: And for saving those immense Sums of Money, yearly expended in attended the Sea Press. In order to prevent those many Mischiefs and Abuse3 daily committed, by disorderly Press-Masters, both at Sea and Land, to the great Prejudice of their Majesties, and Injury of the subject. By George Everett, Shipwright. London, Printed in the Year 1695. Quarto. Containing twenty-four Pages.
To the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and
Commons of England, assembled in Parliament.
With Submisssion, N humble respect to his Majesty's most gracious speech, I do
most humbly offer these following proposals, for the encouraging of seamen, in order to furnish their Majesties Royal Navy on all occasions: Wherein is briefly set forth the great hardships and sufferings of those employed in the sea-service, together with proper remedies to prevent the same; whereby their Majesties, and the publick, may save those immense sums of money yearly expended on such occasions; the seamen be happy and easy in such service; the merchants enjoy a free trade, without interruption; the whole nation be happy under the present influence of a war, many grievances attending thereon be redressed, vice punished, virtue promoted, our enemies terrified, and ourselves encouraged, by the blessing of the Almighty, to prosecute this so great and glorious undertaking, and thereby regain our former honour of being master of the British seas, to the glory of their Majesties, and the peace and happiness of the whole nation : most humbly begging your honours to pardon this my undertaking, to pass by my errors with patience, and to correct all that is amiss with pru-' dence, and to consider my former proposals, humbly offered for the saving one hundred thousand pounds per annum in building and repairing the royal navy; which, by his Majesty's order of the 22d of March last, was referred to the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, and, at the writing hereof, is yet lying under their lordships consideration. All which, out of a hearty and zealous inclination of serving their Majesties, and the publick, I do most humbly recommend to your honours consideration, as the only physicians under God, from whom a redress of our grievances is desired and expected, in hopes of your favourable acceptance and encouragement thereof," for the service of their Majesties, the benefit of the subject, and the good and welfare of the whole nation ; most humbly praying, that a committee may be appointed to examine and consider the same ; and that I may be admitted to give reasons, and answer to all objections. I humbly submit myself. Your honours most faithful and obedient servant,
PART I. FORASMUCH as it is altogether needless
to give an account of the particular charge of the nation, in impressing seamen for their Majesties service, that being already performed by others; and it being well known, that, after all the charge and trouble therein, many of the most able and fitting for sea-service, do lie lurking and concealed, taking an opportunity to make a voyage or two to Newcastle, or otherwise, as they see most convenient for their own advantage, to the great hindrance of their Majesties service, the discouragement of others belonging to the fleet, and great prejudice of many, who, being unfit for sea service, are forced to supply in such case.
Proposal 1. For remedy thereof, upon the especial approbation of the honourable Admiral Russel, and several other eminent persons of known experience in maritime affairs, it is humbly proposed, * That in every sea-port town, according to the greatness thereof, an officer or officers, being persons of known integrity, and good repute, may be erected and settled, for taking and keeping a register of seamen and mariners : and, to that end, the churchwardens and overseers of the poor
of every parish, within ten miles of any sea-coast, or navigable river, within this kingdom, shall, within fourteen days after notice given by proclamation, be sworn duly to enquire and take a list of all seamen and mariners, inhabiting and residing within their respective parishes, being between the ages of sixteen and sixty, whether at home or abroad, and shall de liver the same, under their hands, to the sheriff of the county to which they do belong; which said sheriff shall, within twelve
days after the receipt thereof, transmit a copy of the same to the next port-office, where the same sball be carefully entered alphabetically, for every parish and county distinctly, in a book or books for that purpose to be provided.'
*** This cannot be accounted any great trouble, there being in, every parish four or six such officers at least, who, dividing themselves, with their beadle, who is generally acquainted with all the parishioners, may perform the same effectually in one day.
** Neither can it be accounted troublesome to the sheriffs, it being not expected to be more than once a year at most ; and may, by their directions, be performed by their servants : And, being a national concern, ought to have a national assistance, which will partly be effected by such officers changing places every year.
Proposal 2. ' And that all masters of ships, and other vessels, using the sea, or trading from port to port coast-wise (except such vessels as are, or hall be employed in he home trade of fishery, for supplying the several markets of this kingdom) shall, at the beginning of their voyage, and before they depart the first port, give into that port office a true list of the names of all seamen and mariners retained to serve on board their said ships, or vessels, together with their age, and what outward marks may be found, as also their place of residence, or habitation, if any such they have; which being performed, the said masters, if not restrained by embargo, or other order, may, with their company, have liberty to proceed on their intended voyage, both out and home, without danger of being impressed ; one of the said officers first giving a certificate under his hand and seal, as a protection, for the use of every seaman thereunto belonging, being between the age of sixteen and sixty years, as aforesaid; and also a duplicate thereof to the master, for which he shall pay unto the said officer, if a coaster, two shillings and sixpence, and, if a trader to foreign parts, five shillings per head for every person therein nominated; which said monies may be allowed for and towards the maintenance and encouragement of such officers.'
* By the aforesaid means it may be possible to obtain a full register of all the seamen of England, and thereby know who is in service, and who is not; whereby the royal navy, upon all occasions, may be readily manned with able seamen, and no hidingplace left for deserters, or others; and the head-money proposed will be gladly paid, to avoid those great perils, and losses, which too often happen, to the great prejudice of their Majesties, and all others concerned at sea, by means of the sea-press.
Proposal 3. And, upon return of the said ship, or vessel, to her port of delivery, or unlading, that then the said master thereof shall be further obliged (if belonging to a ship or vessel using the coast-trade) within four days; or, if a merchant-ship trading to foreign parts, within ten days, or more, as may be thought convenient, to pay such his ship's company, in the presence of one of the aforesaid officers, at a place and day prefixed. And, if it bappen that any change or alteration hath been made amongst the said company, during the said voyage, that then the said master
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 sbewed 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 (he 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 seainen 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, such, 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 plen. tifully 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