[Strangers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Their Plea.]302

[Strangers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Their Plea.]

Wares, by secret combining with Merchants beyond the Seas, Wares being then by one half dearer than they were before they reailed. They alledged, that they were dangerous to the State, in respect of their exceeding Wealth, by using two or three several Trades; in respect of their great Numbers planted in the chiefest Cities and Coast Towns of this Land; in respect of their readiness to fly from us upon report of Danger; and in respect that many of them were of no Church or apparent Profession. Lastly, they alledged, that they kept a Commonwealth among themselves, for that they had Men of all Trades among themselves, and they would not teach any of our People their Trades, nor bring up any Children of our Nation in their Trade under them. Upon these Reasons they endeavoured to get an Act of Parliament against them.

The Foreigners on the other side argued for themselves, that such an Act was against Charity, in that it debarred Strangers from their Livings; that the Strangers Retailers sold Wares better cheap than the English Retailers did; that it was against the Freedom of their Denizations; that it was against the Queen's Benefit, in that Strangers paid double Customs and Subsidies; that they had done much good to divers Cities and Towns within this Realm; and lastly, that if they were restrained from retailing, the English Retailers would raise the Prices among themselves. The Number of these Strangers within London and the Liberties (according to the abovesaid Complaint against them) were, reckoning both Denizons, and no Denizons, 1062.

Their Plea.

This Bill against Aliens selling by way of Retail, was brought into the Parliament An. Eliz. 35 1593. and Counsil was held for the Strangers, and for the City against them. Sir John Wolley, (Secretary for the Latin Tongue to the Queen) was against the Bill, and said in the House, "That such a Restraint upon Strangers would be ill for London it self; for the Riches and Renown of the City came by the entertaining of Strangers, and giving Liberty unto them. That Antwerp and Venice could never have been so rich and famous but by entertaining of Strangers; and by that means had gained all the Intercourse of the World."

The Bill against the Aliens trading by Retail brought into Parliament.

But Sir Walter Raleigh took the other Side, and spake against the Strangers, and that with great Bitterness, and said to this Tenor, "That whereas it was pretended that it was against Charity, against Honour, and against Profit to expel them; in my Opinion, said he, it is no Matter of Charity to relieve them, for first, such as fly hither have forsaken their own King. Our Religion is no Pretext for them; for we have no Dutchmen here, but such as come from those Princes where the Gospel is preached, &c. As for Honour, it is Honour to use Strangers as we be used by them. But it is a Lightness in a Commonwealth, yea, a Baseness in a Nation, to give a Nation a Liberty, which we cannot receive again. In Antwerp, where our Intercourse was most, we were never suffered to have a Tayler or a Shoemaker to dwell there. Nay, at Milain, where there are Three Hundred Pound Englishmen, they cannot have so much as a Barber among them. And then as for Profit, they are all of the House of Almaine, * who pay nothing; yet eat our Profits, and supplant our own Nations, &c. And therefore he saw no reason so much Respect shold be given unto them. And so he concluded, that he saw no matter of Honour, no matter of Charity, no matter of Profit, in relieving of them."

Sir Walter Raleigh's Speech against them.


Let me add the Observation that the Reverend Dr. Kennet, in late Tract of his, makes upon this Speech by Sir Walter Raleigh: "This was a severe Speech against the poor foreign Strangers, delivered by him, who could not foresee his own Misfortunes of being first ruined in a Voyage to foreign Parts; and after his Return, of being hunted to Death by a foreign Minister."

A Reflection upon this Speech.

But Sir Robert Cecil, (one of the Secretaries of State) a Man of a better Spirit, by his Wisdom and Temper, took off this Invective. Who spake after this sort, "That he could not but own it a matter of Charity to relieve Strangers, and especially such as do not grieve our Eyes. And as to the Point of Honour, this Entertainment of them had brought great Honour to our Kingdom, in that it was accounted the Refuge of distressed Nations. For our Arms have been open to them, to cast themselves into our Bosoms. And yet, (added he, to moderate matters) our Charity must not hinder or injure our selves. That as the Bill was, it was not sufficient for this Purpose. That for his own Conscience, if the Question were then made, he was not resolved to give his Voice. That if it were not for the Gravity of the House, nor for the Credit of the Committees to have it rejected upon the sudden; that as it was then, it was not fit to pass, in his Credit. He saw, the Citizens themselves would be well assenting unto the reforming of the same. For that Mr. Recorder yesterday speaking with them for the City, yet with good regard thought the Bill might receive great moderation." And upon this Motion and Discourse of Cecil, the House was well pleased to stay the Bill, and commit it again to the former Committee. The Bill afterwards pass'd the House of Commons with a good Majority; but went no further before the Dissolution: When the Strangers here residing, were left in Possession of all Indulgence that the Laws of the Kingdom did allow, and the Laws of Hospitality could bestow upon them.

Sir Robert Cecil speaks in favour of them.

Again, Anno 1593, did one Edward Dymock sue for a View of Aliens and Strangers throughout the Realm; and to keep a Roll and a Book of the Names and Numbers of them. The like Suit did Sir Thomas Mildmay make: Petitioning for the erecting an Office to keep a Register yearly of the Names, Ages, Abilities of Body, Countries, Callings, Arts, Sciences, Places of Habitation, Causes of Repair hither, and Times of Departure hence, of all Foreigners and Strangers, now being and inhabiting within the Realm; and of all others that should from time to time come into the Realm to inhabit, or pass out of the same; allowing 6d. for every Poll at their first Entry into the Register, and yearly after 4d. of such as were Housholders, and 2d. for Children and Servants; and 4d. for every one that should depart the Realm.

A Roll to be kept of all Strangers.

It was commonly urged against the Strangers, that a greater Number might repair hither, than with good Policy were fit to be endured. That very many might justly be supposed to resort hither, not so much out of Zeal to Religion, or Love to the Queen, as to practise against her, and her State, and to rob the English of their Commodities, to enrich themselves. That they placing themselves in London, Norwich, Canterbury, or in Port-Towns, as Southampton, Sandwich, Colchester, might be more ready to do Mischief, or lie fittest to engross our Commodities into their Hands, and transport the same to their own private Benefit. That the Artisans and mechanical Persons might be impoverished by the great multitude of Strangers being of their Trades and Faculties. That there were many rich Men among them, that lived obscurely, to benefit themselves by Usury and Exchange of Money, without doing good to the Comonwealth. That many

Objections against the Strangers.