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The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Merchants Strangers.]296

The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Merchants Strangers.]

That which gave a great Occasion to these Matters against the Foreigners, was a Supplication made to the Lord Treasurer by one John Fabian, a Citizen, in the Year 1571, that he might be constituted the Broker for Strangers Goods. He shewed in a long Paper, the Access of Aliens and Strangers coming out of Foreign Realms and Countries into the Realm, and especially London, where for the most part they made their Dwelling; that it had been now of late Years far greater than in any Age or Time heretofore past, and so yet continued. That their Numbers daily encreased in that measure that it surmounted all Memory, which said Strangers for the most and greatest part of them, used the Trade of Merchandize, but that they did not, nor would set on Work, as Brokers in the Sales and Buying of their Goods, any English or Freemen of the City, but only Foreigners and Strangers, and that for the most part such as were of their proper Nation and native Country; to the great and unspeakable Gains of themselves, and Loss and Hindrance of the Commonwealth of the City. Now Fabian supplicated for the Reformation hereof, that in consideration of his Industry and Willingness, his Skill and Ability to do and execute the same, and for the Profit to redound thereby unto the Queen, the whole City, and the Freemen thereof, to grant unto him and his Assigns, to be the principal, sole and only Broker for, and to all Merchants Strangers that should bring in, or convey out of the Realm any Wares, Goods, or Merchandizes whatsoever, into, or out of the Port of London; for which he would pay certain sums of Money in annual Rent, or ready Money: And finally, that he being the first Deviser and Inventer of this Suit, might be first preferred in it.

One John Fabian endeavours to be Broker to the Merchants Strangers.

But this the Strangers by no means liking of, endeavoured that they might have Brokers of their own, and one Stephen John, and Nichol de Franays, Italians, were nominated by them; the latter sued to Acerbo and Spinola, two chief Italian Merchants, to be admitted by the Lord Treasurer.

They sue for Brokers of their own.

In the Year 1573, Orders were made by the Lord Treasurer for the Employment of Money growing by Wares brought into the Realm by Strangers, upon Wares of the Realm to be carried outward, to avoid thereby the continual carrying and stealing out of the Realm our Gold and Silver; and that Employment to be within Six Months, &c.

Orders for Employment made by the Treasurer.

This Order, touching so hard upon all the Strangers, Denizons, as well as all others, awaked them to seek for some Remedy and Favour in this matter; which they did so vigorously, that it was a thing that depended many a Year after. The Denizons, they petitioned to be discharged of this Order, and that they ought to be so by a Statute of the Third of Henry VII. they urged that they might enjoy the anicent Privileges of the Laws and Customs of this Realm, and all the Grants of her Majesty's Letters Patents, and other of her Ancestors; and particularly the Limitations of the ancient Intercourse between the House of Burgundy and us. And further, they declared themselves content to be bound in reasonable Bonds, not to carry out of the Realm any Money, Plate or Gold. They shewed moreover, that in these present days they could not sell the hundredth part of their Commodities but at Three or Four Months, Five and Six Months, and often Eight, and also at Twelve-months Day Payment, according to the Nature and Quality of the Merchandize; and a great many did not pay till Three or Four Months after the Day, and some, for want of Ability, paid not at all. That when there came a Glut of Merchandize, their said Wares could not be sold for lack of Vent. And for such Wares as could not tarry, they gave very long days of Payment. That Commodities brought in by Strangers, sometimes the most part of them were bought upon Credit beyond Sea, and to pay for the same, they must deliver their Money here received by Exchange to English Merchant Adventurers, and others, who do ship Cloth and other Commodities, to be paid beyond the Seas, or else pay here such Bills of Exchange, as by their Creditors are directed for the Payment of the said Merchandizes. That the Commodities coming from beyond the Seas is oftentimes the Return of the Commodities taken up likewise upon Credit here, and shipped over the Sea to be answered there with the Money of the said Return brought in, &c.

The Denizons and Strangers endeavour for favour.

In the Year 1584. Andreas de Loo, and divers Strangers of the Low-Countries, and others, were Suitors to the Lord Treasurer, to have this matter qualified according to the Law. They urged for themselves, that at the Colloquy at Bruges by Dr. Wotton, Dr. Haddon and Dr. Aubrey, it was accorded, that no such Servitude of Valuation of Merchandize, should be upon the Low-Country Men; and that Bills of Exchange should be counted for Employment. And that in the Year 1567. Haddon wrote a Letter to the Customers of London, to allow Bills of Exchange for Employment. They further shewed, that the Employment out of the Realm of English Commodities, was so great now by the English Merchants, that the Companies of the Merchant Adventurers, the Spanish Merchants, the Moscovian Merchants, and the Eastland Merchants, were fain to stint themselves, what every Merchant should ship out of the Realm, according to the Antienty of Continuance, Place and Freedom; every body being ready to carry out more than could be bought. So as there lacked no Employment. And the whole Transportation by Strangers of their Commodities, was now taken out of their hands by Englishmens Trade and Importation; the false Suggestion of the lack thereof, being one of the Causes of making those Orders.

The Low-Country Merchants Plea.

But Fabian before-mentioned, in the Year 1588. was very hard against the Strangers. He asserted, that at the Conference had with the House of Burgundy at Burborough in Flanders, concerning the Intercourse, not any Charter or Monument could be produced to impugn or prejudice this Action for Employment. And that the Parliament then at hand might, if any thing were wanting, make it strong and in force. He urged the fruit it would bring. First, the great Augmentations of the Queen's Customs. Secondly, the Vent of the Commodities of the Realm. Thirdly, the only stay of our Money and Bullion from Transportation; and the reducing and bringing back that which had been conveyed and carried out. Fourthly, the Let that the Realm should not be indebted, as now it was, to foreign Nations, by bringing in and consuming more of their Wares, than was carried away of our Commodities. Fifthly, it would yield a Rent to the Queen of good value, to be paid yearly, where and how the Lord Treasurer should appoint. Sixthly, it would discover other things worthy of understanding, not to be omitted, to serve the Lord Treasurer, and the State; which without, it could not so come to light.

The Advantages this Employment would bring to the Kingdom.

The said Fabian stood now to be Surveyor upon the Statute of Employment; that is, to be privy to all Stangers Entries in the Custom-house, and to the Sale of their foreign Wares, and the Employments made upon the same. He, besides the Arguments already made use of, shewed moreover, that it would bring in all the Trade, outwards and inwards, unto our own Nation,

This the way to bring all the Trade from the Foreigners unto the English.

and

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