London 1650 [first publication]
Transcription R.A.Barker, 2002
Modernised text © R.A.Barker, 2002
A DISCOURSE OF THE INVENTION OF SHIPPING
Ralegh 1552?-1618. Written between limits of 1603 and 1618; probably
about 1615, based on the reference to the book "Trades Increase", by Robert
Kayll, dated 1615.
Capitals not followed; original marginal notes and minor comments in [..].
A discourse of the invention of ships, anchors, compass, etc. The first natural war, the several uses, defects, and supplies of shipping, the strength and defects of the Sea forces of England, France, Spain, and Venice, together with the five manifest causes of the sudden appearing of the Hollanders, written by Sir Walter Raleigh.
That the Ark of Noah was the first ship, because it was the invention of God himself, although some men have believed that, yet it is certain that the world, being colonised before the Flood, the same could not be performed without some transporting vessels. It is true, and the success proves it, that there was not any so capacious nor so strong to defend itself against so violent, and so continued a pouring down of rain, as the Ark Noah, the invention of God himself, or of what fashion or fabric soever, the rest with all mankind perished, according to the ordinance of God, and it is probable that the anchors, of which Ovid made mention, found on high mountains: Et inventa est in montibus anchora summis; were remains of ships wrecked at the general flood.
After the Flood, it is said, Minos, who lived two descents before the War of Troy, sent out ships to free the Grecian seas of pirates, which shows that there had been either trade, or war, upon the waters before his time also.
The expedition of the Argonauts was after Minos [Pindar], and so was the plantation of Tyre in Africa, by Battus, who was one of Jason's companions. And Homer tells us that the Tyrians had trade by sea, before the War of Troy.
Others [D:Sic.lib.6] give the first dominion upon the waters to Neptune, who, for the great exploits he did in the service of Saturn, was, by after ages, called the God of the Seas. But the Corinthians ascribe the invention of rowing vessels to a citizen of their own called Amaenocles, and that the first Naval War, was made between the Samiens [of Samos] and Corcyriens [of Corcyra=Corfu] [Lib Ger.1.Cap.1].
Ithicus' History changed into Latin by St.Jerome, affirms that Griphon the Scythian was the inventor of long boats, or gallies, in the Northern Seas; and Strabo gives the devising of the anchor, with two hooks, to the Scythian Anacharsis, but the Greeks to Eupolemus.
It is also said that Icarus invented the sail, and others other pieces, and parts of the ships and boats, the certain knowledge of which is of no great moment. This is certain, that the sons and nephews of Noah, who peopled the Isles of the Gentiles, and gave their own names to many of them, had vessels to transport themselves, long before the days of Minos. And for my own opinion, I do not think that any one nation (the Syrian excepted) to whom the knowledge of the Ark came, as the story of the creation did, soon after Moses, did find out at once, the device either of ship or boat, in which they dared venture themselves upon the seas. But being forced by necessity to pass over rivers, or lakes, they first bound together certain reeds or canes, by which they transported themselves: Calamorum falces (saith D.Siculus) admodum ingentes inter se conjungunt.
Other made rafts of wood, and others devised the boat of one tree called the canoa, which the Gauls used upon the river Rhone in assisting the transportation of Hannibal's army in his enterprise of Italy: primum galli inchoantes cavabant arbores (says Livie) [Livie 1, Lib.Dec][the Gauls first began to hollow out trees]. But Polydor Virgil gives the invention of those canoas, to the Germans [Polydor Lib.3], inhabiting about the River Danube, which kind of hollow trees, Isidor calls carabes.
The Britons had boats, made of willow twigs and covered on the outside with bullock hides, and so had the Venetians; of which Lucan primum canna salix, [first willow canes] etc, Malefacto, etc. And Julius Solinus Navigant autem Vimineis alveis quos circundant ambitione tergorum Bubalorum: The Germans had the same kind of boats (says Isidor), who in his time committed many robberies in them: [Isidor Orig.9 de Navig.Cap.1]. But whoever devised the canoa among the Danubians, or among the Gauls, sure I am, that the Indians of America, never had any trade with either of these nations. And yet from Frobisher's Straits to the Straits of Magallen, those boats are found, and in some parts of that length, as I have seen them, they are rowed with twenty oars a side.
The truth is, that all nations, however remote, being all reasonable creatures, and enjoying one and the same imagination and fantasy, having devised according to their means and materials the same things.
The Eastern people, who have had from all antiquity, the use of iron, have found out the saw, and with the saw they have sundered trees, into boards and planks, and have joined them together with nails, and so made boats and gallies safe and portable. So have they built cities and towns of timber and the like in all else.
On the contrary, the West-Indies and many nations of the Africans, lacking means and materials, have been taught by their own necessities to pass rivers in a boat of one tree, and to tie unsquared poles together, on the top for their houses, which they cover with large leaves. Yea the same boats, and the same buildings, are found in countries two thousand miles distant, debarred from all commerce, by impassable mountains, lakes and deserts. Nature has taught them all to choose kings and captains for their leaders, and judges. They have all lighted on the invention of bows and arrows, all have targets and wooden swords; all have instruments to encourage them to fight; all that have corn beat it in morters, and make cakes, baking them upon slatestones; all devised laws without any grounds had from the scriptures, or from Aristotle's Politiques, by which they are governed; all that dwell near enemies impale their villages to save themselves from surprise. Yea, besides the same inventions, all have the same natural impulsions, they follow nature in the choice of many wives, and there are everywhere among them, those who out of a kind of wolvish ferocity eat man's flesh. Yea most of them believe in a second life, and they are all of them idolaters in one kind or other.
For the Northern parts of the world, it was long before they grew to any perfection in shipping. For we read that Hengist and Horsa came over into this land in long boats, in which, for the first time being called in by the Britons, they transported five thousand soldiers. And that after they came with a supply of ten thousand more shipped in thirty vessels, which the Saxons called keels, and our old historians cogiones, and in Caesar's time, the French Brittains who were then esteemed the best Brittain seamen, had very untoward tubs in which they made war against him. For they took the winds in sails of leather, heavy and unpliable, And they fastened their ships to the ground, and rode at anchor with cables of iron chains, having neither canvas, nor cordage. In so much as the best of them which were from Vannes [S.Brittany], are described with high heads raised up deformedly above the rest of the buildings, to which kind of form they were constrained, the reason is manifest. For had their cables of iron chains held any great length, they had been unportable, and being short, the ships must have sunk at an anchor, in any stream of weather, or counter-tide, And such was their simplicity in those days, that instead of accommodating their furniture to their ships, they formed their ships to their furniture; not unlike the courtiers of this age who fit their bodies and feet to their doublets and shoes, and not their doublets and shoes to their bodies, and feet.
The Pomerlanders inhabiting the south part of the Baltic, or Eastland Sea, used a kind of boat, with a prow at both ends, so that they need not turn them or hold water, but went forward and returned indifferently, of which: Tacitus Suionum hinc civitates ipso in orceano praeter viros armaque classibus valent; forma navium, eo differt, quod utrinque prora paratam semper appulsui frontem agit: nec velis ministrantur; nec remos in ordinem lateribus adiungant. Solutum ut in quibusdam fluminum & mutabile ut res possit hinc vel illinc remigium. [Tacitus de moribus German:]
Next are the cities of the Suionum [modern Sweden] which are mighty at sea, not only in men and arms, but in fleets. The form of their vessels differ in this, that a prow at each end enables them to row forward either way alike: neither do they use sails, nor place their oars in order upon the sides, but carrying the oar loose, they shift it hither and thither at pleasure, as is the manner in some rivers. Yea, at this time both the Turks and Christians use these kinds of boat upon the River Danube, and call them nacerne.
True it is, that before Caesar's invading of this land, we do find that the Britons had no shipping at all, other than their boats of twigs covered with hides as said above.
The Saxons when they were drawn in by the Britons, came here by sea. And after that time, finding that without shipping they could neither defend themselves nor exercise any trade, they began to make some provision for a Navy, such as it was, which being first considered of by Egbert, Alfred, Edgar and Etheldred, augmented it, and how true it is, I know not, but it is written of Edgar, that he increased the fleet he found, by two thousand six hundred sail. After whom Etheldred made a law, that whoever was Lord of three hundred and ten hides of land, should build and furnish one ship for the defence of their country.
Notwithstanding all these provisions, the Danes invaded them, and having better ships than they had, made their way for a new conquest.
The Normans grew better shipwrights then either of these, and made the last conquest of this land, a land which can never be conquered, whilst its Kings keep Dominion of the Seas, which Dominion was never absolute, I do find, till the time of Henry the Eighth; but that we fought sometimes with good, sometimes with ill success, as we shall show hereafter more particularly.
But omitting the dispute of the first navigators, it is certain that the invention of the compass was had from our northern nations, whether it was from the Germans, Norwegians, Britons, or Danes, for even to this day, the old northern words are used for the division of the winds upon the quarter of the compass, not only by the Danes, Germans, Swedes, Britons, and all in the ocean, that understand the terms and names of the winds in their own language. But the French and Spanish called the sun rising winds, East or East (sic), and the sun setting winds West, the rest North and South, and so by the same terms, in all the divisions of Southeast, Northeast, Southwest, Northwest, and the rest.
And if we compare the marvellous great transportations of people by the Saxons, Angles, Danes, Goths, Swedes, Norwegians, especially and others. And how many fleets for supplies have been sent out by them, with the swarms of Danes, both in our seas, and when they invaded and conquered Sicily, together with the colonies planted by the Tyrians in Africa, as elsewhere, and of the Carthaginians, the sons of the Tyrians in Spain.
It is hard to judge which of these nations have most commanded the seas, though for priority Tribullus, and Ovid, give it to the Tyrians. [Tribull.Eleg: Strab:Lib:16].
Prima ratam ventis credere docta Tyros. And Ovid, magna minorque fere quarum regis altera Gratias; altera Sydonius uterque sicca rates.
And it is true, that the first good ships were among the Tyrians, and they were good and great ships, not long after the War of Troy, and in Solomon's time, they were of such account that Solomon invited Hiram King of Tyre, to join with him in his journey into the East-Indies, for the Israelites till then never traded by sea, and seldom if ever after it. And it appears that the Tyrians were the chief in that enterprise, in that they were called nautas peritos maris [seamen skilled at sea], in the Hebrew (says Junius) homines navium [lit: men of ships; seamen], and in our English mariners. [Junius.I.King.Cap.9]
It is also written in the second of Chronicles the eighth [2 Chron.ch8.v17] that Hiram sent Solomon ships, et servos peritos maris, and servants skilful at sea, from which it is probable that the Tyrians had used the Trade of East-India before the days of Solomon, or before the reign of David, when they themselves commanded the Ports of the Red Sea. But the Edumaeans being beaten by David, and the port of Enzion-Geber now subject to Solomon, the Tyrians were forced to make Solomon the chief of that expedition, and to join with him in the enterprise. For the Tyrian had no pass to the Red Sea, except through the territory of Solomon, and by his sufferance.
Whoever were the inventers, we find that every age had added somewhat to ships, and to all things else. And in my own time the shape of our English ships has been greatly bettered. It is not long since the striking of the top-mast (a wonderful great ease to great ships both at sea and in harbour) has been devised, together with the chain pump, which takes up twice as much water as the ordinary did. We have lately added the bonnet and the drabbler. To the courses we have devised studding sails, topgallant sails; sprit sails, topsails. The weighing of anchors by the capstan is also new. We have fallen into consideration of the length of cables, and by it we resist the malice of the greatest winds that can blow, witness our small Milbrook-men of Cornwall, that ride it out at anchor, half seas over between England and Ireland, all the winter quarter. And witness the Hollanders that were used to ride before Dunkirk, with the wind at northwest, making a lee shore in all weathers. For it is true, that the length of the cable is the life of the ship in all extremities, and the reason is, because it makes so many bendings and waves, that the ship riding at that length is not able to stretch it, and nothing breaks that is not stretched. In extremity, we carry our ordnance outboard better then we used to, because our lower orlops are raised commonly from the water, to wit, between the lower part of the port and the sea.
In King Henry the Eighth's time, and in this present, at Portsmouth, the Mary Rose, by a little sway of the ship in casting about, her ports being within sixteen inches of the waters, was overset and lost, and in her that worthy Knight Sir George Carew, cousin germain to the Lord Carew, and with him (besides many other Gentlemen), the father of the late renowned Sir Richard Grenville.
We have also raised our second decks, and given more vent thereby to our ordnance, lying on our lower orlop.
We have added cross pillars in our Royal ships to strengthen them, which are fastened from the keelson to the beams of the second deck, to keep them from settling or from giving way in all distresses.
We have given larger floors to our ships, than in older times, and better bearing under water, by which they never fall into the sea after the head and shake the whole body, nor sink astern, nor stoop upon a wind, by which the breaking loose of our ordnance, or not being able to use them, with many other incoveniences, are avoided.
And to say the truth, a miserable shame and dishonour it would be for our shipwrights, if they did not exceed all other, in the setting up of our Royal ships, the errors of other nations being far more excusable than ours. For the Kings of England have for many years been at the charge [expense] to build and furnish a Navy of powerful ships, for their own defence, and for the wars only.
Whereas the French, the Spaniards, the Portuguese, and the Hollanders (till of late) have had no proper fleet belonging to their Princes or States.
Only the Venetians for a long time have maintained their Arsenal of gallies, and the Kings of Denmark, and Sweden, have had good ships for these last fifty years. I say that the kings named above, especially the Spaniards and Portuguese, have ships of great bulk, but fitter for the merchant than for the man of war, for burthen than for battle. But as Popelinire well observes, the forces of Princes by sea, are Marquess de Grandeux d'Estate, are marks of the greatness of a State: for whoever commands the sea, commands the trade; whoever commands the trade of the world commands the richs of the world, and consequently the world itself. Yet I cannot deny, but that the Spaniards, being afraid for their Indian fleets, have built some few very good ships, but they have no ships in garrison, as his Majesty has, and to say the truth, no sure place to keep them in. But in all invasions he is driven to take up ships of all nations, which come into his ports for trade.
The Venetians while they attended their fleets, and employed themselves in their Eastern conquest, were great and powerful Princes, and commanded the maritimate parts of Croatia, Dalmatia, Albania, and Epirus [SW Greece], were Lords of the Peleponnese, and the Islands adjoining, of Cyprus, Candia [Crete], and many other places, but after they sought to greaten themselves in Italy itself, using strangers for the commanders of their armies; the Turks by degrees beat them out of all their goodly countries, and have now confined them (Candia excepted) to a few small Grecian islands, which with great difficulty they enjoy.
The first honour they obtained, was by making war upon the Istrii by sea, and had they been true to their spouse, that is, the Seas, which once a year they marry, the Turks would never have prevailed against them, nor ever been able to besiege any place of theirs, to which he must have transported his armies by his gallies.
The Genoese were also exceeding powerful by sea, and held many places in the East, and contended often with the Venetians for superiority, destroying each other in a long continued sea war. Yea, the Genoese were the most famous mercenaries of all Europe, both by sea and land for many years.
The French assisted themselves by land with the crossbowers of Genoa against the English, namely at the Battle of Cressy, the French had 12,000 Genoese crossbowers by sea. With their great ships called the carracks of Genoa, they always strengthened their fleets against the English. But after Mahomet the second had taken Constantinople, they lost Cassa [Caffa ?], and all Taurica, Chersonesus [both Crimean] with the whole trade of the Euxine [Black] Sea, and although they sent many supplies by the Hellespont, yet having often felt the smart of the Turks' cannon, they began to slacken their succours, and were soon after supplanted: yet do the Venetians to this day, well maintain their State by their Sea forces, and a great loss it is to the Christian Commonwealth in general, that they are less than they were. And a precipitate counsel it was of those Christian Kings, their neighbours, when they joined in League against them, seeing they then were, and they yet are, the strongest ramparts of Europe against the Turks.
But the Genoese have now but a few gallies, being altogether degenerate, and become merchants of money, and the Spanish Kings' bankers.
But all the States and Kingdoms of the world have changed form and policy.
The Empire itself, which gave light to all principalities, like a Pharos, or high tower to seamen, is now sunk down to the level of the soil. The greatness which it gave to the Church of Rome, as before proved, was that which made it little in haste. And therefore it is truly said; Imperium amore Religionis seipsum, exhausisse [an empire that loves religion shall exhaust itself]. The Empire being also elective and not successive, the Emperors in being made profit in their own times, and sold from the Empire many Signiories depending on it, and at so easy a rate, that Lucca freed itself for ten thousand crowns; and Florence for six thousand crowns. The rest, the Popes, then the Houses [? Hanses - type unclear], and lastly the Turks have in effect ruined. And in which several inundations many pieces have been recovered by other Princes and States. As Basel, Zurich, and Bern, by the Switzers (omitting many others); Metz, Toulouse, Verdun, by the French; Groigne [Groningen?], Aix la Chapelle, Zutphen, Deventer, Newengen [?Nijmegen], in Gelderland, Wesel, Antwerp, and many other places by the Spaniards, and by the States; Dantzig and other towns of importance by the Poles. Insomuch as it is now become, the most confused estate of the world, "consisting of an empire in title with territory, who can ordaine nothing of importance but by a dyet or assembly of the Estates of many free Princes, Ecclesiastical and Temporal; in effect of equal force, diverse in religion and faction, and of free cities and Hansetowns, whom the Princes do not more desire to command, than they scorn to obey," [precise extent of quotation unclear] Notwithstanding being by far less than they were in number and less in force and reputation, as they are not greatly able to offend others, so have they enough to do (being seated far asunder) to defend themselves, of whom hereafter more particularly.
The Castillians, in the meanwhile are grown great, and by mistake are esteemed the greatest, having by marriage, conquest, practice, and purchase, devoured all kingdoms within Spain, with Naples, Sicily, Milan, and the Netherlands, and many places belonging to the Empire and its Princes. Besides the Indies East and West, the Islands of the West Ocean, and many places in Barbary Guinea, Congo, and elsewhere.
France has also enlarged itself by the one half, and reduced Normandy, Brittany, and Aquitaine, with all that the English had on that side the sea, together with Languedoc, Foix, Armignac, Beerne [Bern, not Béarn ?], and Dolphine [Dauphiné].
For this kingdom of great Britain: it has had from his Majesty a strong addition [Scotland], the postern by which we were so often before entered and surprised, is now made up: and we shall not hereafter need the double face of Janus to look North and South at once.
But there is no State grown in [more] haste than that of the United Provinces, and especially in their Sea forces, and by a contrary way to that of France, or Spain, the latter by invasion, the former by oppression. For I myself may remember when one ship of her Majesty's, would have made forty Hollanders strike sail, and to come to anchor. They did not then dispute De mari libero [the high seas], but readily acknowledged the English to be Domini Maris Brittanici [Masters of the British Sea]: That we are less powerful than we were, I do hardly believe it, for although we have not at this time 135 ships, belonging to the subjects, of 500 tons each ship, as it is said we had in the 24th year of Queen Elizabeth , at which time also upon a general view and muster, there were found in England of all men, fit to bear arms, eleven hundred and seventy two thousand, yet are our merchant ships now far more warlike and better appointed than they were, and the Navy Royal double as strong as then it was. For these were the ships of her Majesty's Navy at that time:
1 The Triumph
2 The Elizabeth Jonas
3 The White Bear
4 The Phillip and Mary
5 The Bonaventure
6 The Golden Lion
7 The Victory
8 The Revenge
9 The Hope
10 The Mary Rose
11 The Dreadnought
12 The Minion
13 The Swiftsure
to which have been added
14 The Antelope
15 The Foresight
16 The Swallow
17 The Handmaid
18 The Gennett
19 The Barque of Bullen
20 The Aid
21 The Achates
22 The Falcon
23 The Tiger
24 The Bull
We have not therefore less force then we had, the fashion and furnishing of our ships considered: for there are in England at this time 400 sail of merchants fit for the wars, which the Spaniards would call gallions; to which we may add 200 sail of cromsters, or hoys of Newcastle, which each of them will bear six demiculverins, and four sakers, needing no other addition of building, than a slight spar deck, fore and aft as the seamen call it, which is a slight deck throughout. The 200, which may be chosen out of 400, by reason of their ready staying and turning, by reason of their windwardness, and by reason of their drawing little water, are of extreme advantage near the shore, and in all bays and rivers, to turn in and out. These, I say, alone, well manned, and well conducted, would trouble the greatest Prince of Europe to encounter them in our seas, for they stay and turn so readily, as, ordering them into small squadrons, three of them at once, may give their broadsides, upon any one great ship, or upon any angle or side of an enemy's fleet. They shall be able to continue a perpetual volley of demiculverins without intermission, and either sink or slaughter the men, or utterly disorder any fleet of cross sails, with which they encounter.
I say then, if a Vanguard be ordained of these hoys, which will easily recover the wind of any other ships, with a Battle of 400 other warlike ships, and a Rear of thirty of his Majesty's ships to sustain, relieve and give countenance to the rest (if God beat them not) I know not what strength can be gathered in all Europe to beat them. And if it be objected, that the States can furnish a far greater number, I answer that his Majesty's 40 ships, added to 600 before named, are of incomparably greater force, than all that Holland and Zeeland, can furnish for the wars. As also that a greater number would breed the same confusion, that was found in Xerxes' land army of seventeen hundred thousand soldiers: for there is a certain proportion both by sea and land, beyond which the excess brings nothing but disorders and amazement.
Of those hoys, carvels, or cromsters, call them what you will, there was a notable experience made in the year 1574 in the river of Antwerp, near Rummerswaell, where the Admiral Boysett with his cromsters overthrew the Spanish fleet of great ships conducted by Julian Romero, so contrary to the expectation of Don Lewis, the great Commander and Lieutenant of the Netherlands for the King of Spain, that he had come to the banks of Bergen [52.40N] to behold the slaughter of the Zeelanders. But contrary to his expectation, he beheld his Armada, some of them sunk, some of them thrust on the shore, and most of the rest mastered and possessed by his enemies. Insomuch, as his great Captain Romero, with great difficulty, some say in a skiff, some say by swimming, saved himself.
The like success had Captain Werst of Zeeland, against the fleet which transported the Duke of Medina Coeli, who was sent out of Spain by sea, to govern the Netherlands, in place of the Duke of Alva, for with twelve cromsters or hoys, of the first troop of 21 sail he took all but three, and he forced the second (being twelve great ships filled with 2000 soldiers) to run under the Ramakins, being then in the Spaniards' possession.
But whence comes this dispute ? Not from the increase of numbers. Not because our neighbours breed more mariners then we do. Nor from the greatness of their Trade in all parts of the world, for the French creep into all corners of America, and Africa, as they do, and the Spaniards, and Portuguese employ more ships by many (fishing trades excepted) then the Netherlands do. But it comes from the detestable covetousness of such private persons as have obtained licences, and given way to the transporting of the English ordnance. Fuit haec sapientia quondam, publica privatis secernere, sacra profanis. And that in so great abundance, that not only have our good friends the Hollanders and Zealanders furnished themselves, and have them lying on their wharves to sell to others; but all other nations have had it from us, not only to furnish their fleets, but to garnish all their forts and other places, fortifying their coasts; without which the Spanish King dared not have dismounted so many pieces of brass in Naples and elsewhere, with which to arm his great fleet in 1588. But it was directly proved in the Lower House of Parliament, anno - of Queen Elizabeth, that there were landed in Naples above 140 culverins English; since which time also, and not long since, it is lamentable that so many have been transported into Spain. But those that belike [probably] then determined it, and the transporters, have now forsaken the country, and though the procurers remain, I am resolved that they also have forsaken the care of his Majesty's State, and the honour of this nation. I do not urge this point as thinking it unfit to furnish his Majesty's good friends and allies, who have had with us one common enemy for many years; but all politic States have well observed this precept: ut sic tractarent amicum; tanquam inimicum futurum [and thus they deal with friends as though future enemies]. For what are all the ships in the world to be valued at, other than a company of floating tubs, were they not furnished with ordnance, either to offend others, or to defend themselves ? If a ship of a thousand tons had in her a thousand musketeers, and never a great gun; with one cromster, carrying ten or thirteen culverins, she may be beaten to pieces, and her men slaughtered. Certainly the advantage which the English had by their bows and arrows in former times was never so great, as we might now have had by our iron ordnance, if we had either kept it within the land, kept it from our enemies, or imparted it to our friends, moderately. For, as by the former we obtained many notable victories, and made ourselves masters of many parts of France, so by the latter we might have commanded the seas, and thereby the trade of the world itself. But we have now to our future prejudice, and how far to our prejudice I know not, forged hammers and delivered them out of our hands, to break our own bones with.
For the conclusion of this dispute, there are five manifest causes of the upgrowing of the Hollanders and Zeelanders.
1. The first is, the favour and assistance of Queen Elizabeth, and the King's Majesty, which the late worthy and famous Prince of Orange, did always acknowledge. And in the year 1582, when I took my leave of him at Antwerp, after the return of the Earl of Leicester into England, and Monsieur's arrival there, when he delivered me his letters to her Majesty, he prayed me to say to the Queen from him, sub umbra alarum tuarum protegimur [protected under the shadow of your wing]: for certainly they had withered in the bud, and sunk in the beginning of their Navigation, if her Majesty had not assisted them.
2. The second cause was, the employing of their own people in their trades and fishings, and the entertaining of strangers, to serve them in their armies by land.
3. The third is, the fidelity of the house of Nassau, and their services done them, especially by that renowned Prince Maurice, now living.
4. The fourth, the withdrawing of the Duke of Parma twice into France, while in his absence he recovered those strong places of Zealand, and Friesland, as Deventer, Zutphen etc.
5. And the fifth, the imbargoing and confiscating of their ships in Spain, which constrained them and gave them courage to trade by force into the East and West Indies, and in Africa, in which they employ 180 ships, and 8,700 mariners.
The success of a counsel so contrary to their wisdom that gave it, as all the wit, and all the force the Spaniards have, will hardly (if ever) recover the damage thereby received.
For to repair that ruin of the Hollanders' trade into both Indies the Spaniards did not only labour the truce: but the King was content to quit the sovereignty, of the United Provinces, and to acknowledge them for free States, neither holding nor depending on the Crown of Spain. But be their estates what it will, let them not deceive themselves in believing that they can make themselves masters of the sea. For certainly the shipping of England, with the great squadron of his Majesty's Navy Royal, are able in despite of any Prince or State in Europe, to command the great and large Field of the Ocean. But as I shall never think him a lover of this land, or of the King, that shall persuade his Majesty from embracing the amity of the States of the United Provinces (for his Majesty is no less safe from them, than they are invincible by him): so I would wish them, (because after my duty to my own Sovereign, and the love of my country, I honour them most), that they remember and consider it, that seeing their passage and re-passage, lies through the British Seas, that there is no port in France, from Calais to Flushing, that can receive their ships, that many times outward by Westerly winds, and ordinarily homewards, not only from the East Indies, but from the Straits, and from Spain, all Southerly winds (the breezes of our climate) thrust them of necessity into the King's ports, how much his Majesty's favour does concern them. For if (as they themselves confess in their last treaty of Truce with the Spaniards) they subsist by their trades, the disturbance of their trades (which England can only disturb) will also disturb their subsistence. The rest I will omit, because I can never doubt, either their gratitudes or their wisdoms. For our Newcastle trade, (from which I have digressed) I refer the reader to the author of the trades increase, a gentleman to me unknown. But so far as I can judge, he has many things very considerable, in that short treaty of his. Yea, both considerable and praiseworthy, and among the rest, the advice which he has given for the maintenance of our hoys, and carvels of Newcastle, which may serve us, besides the breeding of mariners for good ships of war, and of exceeding advantage, and certainly I cannot but admire, why the Impositions of five shillings should in any way dishearten them, seeing there is but one Company in England, upon whose trade any new payment are laid, but that they on whom it is laid raise profit by it. The Silkmen, if they pay his Majesty twelve pence upon a yard of satin, they not only raise that twelve pence, but they impose twelve pence or two shillings more upon the subject. So do they upon all they sell of whatever kind: as all other retailers do, of whatever quality or profession. And seeing that all the maritimate provinces of France, and Flanders, all Holland and Zeeland, Emden and Breame [?], etc, cannot go without our Newcastle, or our Welsh coals, the Imposition cannot impoverish the transporter; but that the buyer must make payment accordingly. And if the Impositions laid on these things, of which this Kingdom has no necessary use, as upon silks, velvets, gold and silver lace, and cloths of gold, and silver, cut works, cambrics, and a world of other trumperies, does in no way hinder their sale here; but rather they are more used than ever they were, to the utter impoverishing of the land in general, and of those poppinjays that value themselves by their outsides, and by their Players' coats. Certainly the imposing upon coals, which other nations cannot do without, can be no hindrance at all to the Newcastle men, but that they may raise it again upon the French and other Nations, as those Nations themselves do, which fetch them from us with their own shipping.
For conclusion of this Chapter, I say that it is exceedingly lamentable,
that for any respect in the world, seeing the preservation of the State
and Monarchy does surmount all other respects, that strangers should be
permitted to eat us out, by exporting and importing both our own commodities,
and those of foreign nations: for it is no wonder we are overtopped in
all the trades we have abroad and far off, seeing that we have the grass
cut from under our feet in our fields and pastures. FINIS.