Strype, Survey of London(1720), [online] (hriOnline, Sheffield). Available from:
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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
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[Eastland] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Merchants.]264

[Eastland] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Merchants.]

"sole Trade of carrying Tobacco to Russia, and selling of it there. A Privilege it is of that vast advantage to this Nation, that it would take up too much of your Lordships time to set it forth in its several Cranches. For, besides the venting of so great a Quantity of our own Growth and Manufactures (for I look upon the Growth of our Plantations to be equally such as what grows here in England) it will contribute to the enlarging of our Navigation; both as to the importing from one Plantation, so great a Quantity over and above what is now imported for England, as the large Extent of Russia will take off; so likewise by consequence, the bringing of a much greater Quantity of Goods from Russia, as the Produce of it: which being, as we call them, Gruff Goods, will take up a very great Quantity of Shipping to bring them hither: and thereby very much enlarge our Navigation. Which renders it in every respect very advantageous to this Nation."

"To which may be added, the Manner how this great Advantage to the Nation was obtained. In which may be observed, that what in all probability could not have been obtained by an industrious Application, in a splendid Embassy to a great Expence, was flung into our Laps be a Capricio of Fortune. For may we not well stile it such, to see an Emperor of Russia here in England; and that what was endeavoured by our Neighbours with great Application, while he was with them, and was denyed them, was by the means of his Personal Estimation and Respect to one present, * graciously conceded to us."

*A Noble Lord.

" My Lords, when our late King Charles II. sent the Earl of Carlile thither in a splendid Embassy, but to regain the Privileges the English Nation had formerly there; notwithstanding all the Expence and the wise Conduct of that Noble Lord, he was forced to come away Re infecta. By which it appeareth that the Russes, are not so easy in their Concessions, as some may think. So that it may be truly said in this as in another Case, what Art could not, Chance hath obtained. And if by the slinging out of this Bill, this opportunity should be now lost, in all probability the greatest Industry and Application would never re-obtain it."

" To which may be added the danger thereby of losing our whole Trade for Russia. For the Czar by his Actions seemeth to be a Person of Humour, (if we may have leave to speak so of so great an Emperor) and we all know his Power is Despotic: His Will is his Law. So that should he be disappointed in what he believeth is so fully agreed upon, he would look upon it as a Breach of Faith. And he who values himself so much upon his Word, would thereby be so far distasted, as to forbid the whole Commerce of England with Russia. Which would not only be a great Advantage to our Neighbours, but an irreparable loss to England in general; but in a more particular manner to those Gentlemen, who now labour so much to have the Bill flung out; but, as we humbly conceive, do not sufficiently apprehend the consequence thereof."

The he proceded to Arguments, drawn from the Advantages arising to our Navigation by the opening and enlargement of this Trade.

"That the Wealth and Strength of this Kingdom is supported by our Navigation, no Man will deny: and consequently that whatsoever doth contribute to the rendring that most secure and easy, is our National Interest. That the opening and enlarging this Trade (which is the Purport of the Bill) doth contribute to the securing our Navigation, and rendring it most secure and easy, will appear in what followeth."

Arguments from the advantages to our Navigation.

" That we have not those Commodities, of Hemp, Pitch, Tarr, Masts and Plank, (which are absolutely necessary to the carrying on of our Navigation) or our own Growth, no Man will deny. That we are at present supplyed with them from Sweden and Denmark, is evident: And that the same Commodities may be had, both in greater Quantities, and at easier Rates from the Empire of Russia, if there were need, we are ready to make out by Proofs."

" That the present Russia Company, doth not bring home these Commodities (some little Quantity of Hemp excepted) is likewise clear by their Entries at the Custom-House: Whereas the Hollanders and Hamburgers bring home every Year great Quantities, both of Masts, Pitch and Tarr."

" The last Year, the Dutch had in their first Shipping, two Ships laden of Tarr: and their second Shipping, Masts: But we none at all."

" Whereas our Merchants, being but ten or twelve, having other Commodities, which yield them more certain Profit, and are of themselves sufficient to employ all their Stock, do wholly neglect the bringing home of these necessary Commodities for the support of our Navigation. And by such their neglect, have given our Neighbours opportunity to engross them: and to make Contracts with the Russes for the sole Trade in them. Which as it is at present very detrimental to this Nation, so in time may become fatal to it."

" For these necessary Commodities of Pitch, Tarr, Hemp, Masts and Plank, being to be had only from Denmark, Sweden, and Russia, if there should at any time happen to be a War between the two Northern Crowns and this Kingdom; that by Consequence must necessarily obstruct our being supplied with them from thence. And then we have no place left us, to be supplied with those Commodities, but Russia. In which exigency, if this Bill doth not pass, we are clearly in the Hands of ten or twelve Persons for the said Supplies; who have already, by the the neglect of Trade in those necessary Commodities, given our Neighbours Opportunities of engrossing them; and if they would then bring them home, could not. But were that Obstacle removed, if such an Exigence should happen, as a Difference with the Northern Crowns; could it be expected, that so few Persons, as are at present in that Trade, with their small Stocks, should supply this Kingdom with Naval Stores, sufficient to support our Navigation. So that it appeareth, it is absolutely necessary for our self-preservation, that the Bill pass, and the said Trade be opened and enlarged: thereby to secure us of those necessary Provisions for the supply of our Navy, in Case of any War with the Northern Crowns."

" To which Necessity, I shall add one Word more of Conveniency, as to this Part of the argument, and then conclude it."

" We at present labour under several difficulties in our Commerce with Sweden. [Here the Paper of Grievances was read.] And we are now upon a Commercial Treaty with that Crown. If they come to understand, that by the passing of this Bill, and opening the Russia Trade, we are not under the same dependencies upon them for our Naval Stores, as we hitherto have been, but that we can fetch them from Russia, and upon easier Terms than we do from them, they will then court our Friendship, and give us much easier Terms of Trade in our Commer-"


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY