Trinity House of Deptford Transactions, 1609-35. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1983.
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Last year their lighthouses were taxed towards the setting forth of the sea army: 10s for the 2 lighthouses in Suffolk, and £10 for the 2 in Norfolk. Such an assessment was never known before, but they forbore to trouble the privy council because they had been taxed before they had knowledge of it. But now being informed that the sheriffs will, or already have, taxed the lighthouses again, they crave exemption. No gain is made from the 4 lighthouses and 3 buoys because receipts are only £164 a year, and costs are £147, the remaining £17 being used with a greater sum to relieve the poor of the corporation.
With regard to the enclosed petition , although lighthouses should not be exempted from assessment for ship money when there is private benefit, in this case it appears by examination that the public charge for the common good equals the profit from the lighthouses in Norfolk and Suffolk and the remaining £17 is employed for charitable uses. Therefore, the lighthouses should not be assessed unless it can be shown that there is a private benefit.
Such is the work of the addressee that any man who is a lover of the navigation of the kingdom, and especially themselves, will further the business. Their ships trading to the river of Bordeaux will contribute proportionately as do other ships when the business (fn. 1) is effected.
The enclosed petition by the parishioners of 'Margarett' [St Margaret at Cliffe] (fn. 2) maligns Trinity House which they take ill although they intend to further the business by all possible means. The petitioners have charged them with giving an assurance of success or that Trinity House would bear the cost but although they have encouragement no such assurance was possible. Let the parishioners do their part and Trinity House will not fail in theirs. First let them send the justices' certificate which the parishioners formerly sent, and which the man whom they employed, 'or you Mr Prindle', carried home or left with Mr Tompson, (fn. 3) my lord's secretary; nothing can be done without it. Also they must send a man or 2 to accompany them to the lords [privy council or admiralty commissioners] with money in their purses to pay charges, not those of Trinity House who will pay their own and doubt not but to prevail. Pringle should show the parishioners this letter to let them know that they are accused of slackness in having slept so long in repairing the house of God. He is entreated to set them forward and especially to obtain a certificate like the previous one subscribed by as many justices and gentlemen as possible. Trinity House will reimburse him. He is asked to reply soon. John Totten.
About a month ago, Capt. Bushell [? the elder brother] and Capt. Driver referred their differences to Trinity House for settlement. After hearing allegations and witnesses they order that Driver pay Bushell £6 13s 4d in full settlement.
Peter Leonard wishes to erect a new wharf at St Saviour's mill on the south side of the Thames, straight eastwards from a jetty head on the west side of the mill-dam to his new wharf lately erected. At his request, Trinity House have surveyed the place and certify that it would be very useful for shipping and likewise for the land provided that it extends no more than 20 ft into the Thames 'from the old wharf, and so to be carried straight from the aforesaid wharf to the westward of the mill-dam to the new wharf already erected to the eastward'. [ff. 77v and 78 are blank]
503. [f. 79. Before 29 Sept. 1630] Trinity House to the privy council about exports of fish in strangers' ships [Cf APC 1630–1, 83–4; SP 16/257/29; CSPD 1633–4, 367, where it is incorrectly ascribed to 1633.]
The privy council order of 29 Sept. 1630  prohibited the export in strangers' ships of herrings from Yarmouth and of pilchards and Newfoundland fish* from the western parts, requesting the lord treasurer to take notice and to give directions accordingly to the officers and farmers of the customs and others concerned. The petitioners ask for letters to that effect addressed to the officers of the customs at Yarmouth, Dartmouth, Plymouth and other western parts. Otherwise they seek his permission to petition the privy council for these letters.
On their petition of Sept. 1630, the privy council prohibited the export of herrings from Yarmouth and of pilchards and Newfoundland fish* from the western parts except in native ships  and wrote with a copy of the order to the bailiffs of Yarmouth. Despite receipt of the order, 6 or 8 strangers' ships were freighted with herrings at Yarmouth, and divers strangers' ships were laden with pilchards and Newfoundland fish in the western parts. The privy council are asked to ensure the execution of the order.
508. 28 July 1631. R. [lord] Weston [lord treasurer] to the officers of the customs at Plymouth, Yarmouth, Exeter, Poole, Southampton and their members concerning the implementation of the privy council order of 29 Sept. 1630  against the export of fish in strangers' ships [Cf SP 16/197/44; CSPD 1631–3, 123.]
(a) A ton of pilchards exported by strangers in strangers' ships produces only 5s customs and nothing on return.(b) A ton of pilchards exported by native merchants in native ships yields no customs outwards but 40s on return, (c) Similarly herrings and Newfoundland fish* produce 8 and often 9 or 10 times as much. (d) Besides, subjects enjoy great gain by carrying fish. (e) A ton of pilchards laden in strangers' ships pays 5s customs but if transported by native ships the proceeds will be £20 per ton which employed on Italian commodities will yield 40s customs, 8 for one in 6 or 8 months, and if laden at Zante, Zephalonia or Candy will yield at least 20 nobles customs in 10 months. (f) Every ton of Newfoundland fish laden by strangers pays 10s customs. If transported by natives, the proceeds in Spain will normally buy 2 butts of wine, which pays. £3 customs.
Shipowners and other subjects using the fishing trade in the western parts have petitioned that the officers of the western ports be authorised to permit strangers to buy and transport pilchards and other fish in their own ships as they had done time out of mind, despite the privy council order of 29 Sept. last . The petitioners conceive that it was not the privy council's intention to hinder customs and the fishing trade in those ports. It is ordered that 3 of the western merchants who are here about the Spanish business, (fn. 4) together with 3 from Trinity House, should attend the next meeting of the privy council so that further order may be given.
Present: lord keeper, lord privy seal, earl marshal, lord chamberlain, earls of Dorset, Exeter and Kellie, viscount Falkland, bishop of London, lord Newburgh, lord Cottington, Mr treasurer, Mr vice chamberlain, Mr Secretary Coke.
The board today considered the petition of the bailiffs and burgesses of Yarmouth in Norfolk showing that herrings were so plentiful this year that they had on their hands 2,000 lasts* more than were needed for the provisioning of the kingdom, which will perish unless exported in strangers' bottoms because the Turkey company who trade in that commodity have not taken them up within the time set down in former orders. The board, knowing the importance of the herring fisheries for the town and for the maintenance of many thousands of persons, as a nursery for seamen and for the increase of navigation, license the export of 1,000 lasts in strangers' bottoms. This favour is not to be expected hereafter. The lord treasurer is asked to give directions accordingly.
512. [f.83] 4 Nov. 1631. Whitehall. Order of the privy council (fn. 5)
Present: lord keeper, lord treasurer, lord privy seal, lord high chamberlain, earls of Salisbury, Exeter and Bridgewater, viscounts Dorchester and Falkland, lord Newburgh, lord Cottington, bishop of London, Mr treasurer, Mr vice chamberlain, Mr Secretary Coke.
They certify him upon the petition of Mr Wilde, merchant of London. Because of the want of words in the brief, Thomas Scott, master of the ship, and John Bonner, his mate, are not to benefit from the collection but Trinity House consider that the intention was that Scott and Bonner should benefit like the others who were taken with them. Were it not that the town of Poole was associated with Trinity House in the brief, they would have ordered that Scott and Bonner should receive their part. The lord keeper is asked to order Trinity House to that effect.
514. [f.84] 7 March 1632. Ratcliff. Trinity House to the privy council (fn. 6)
According to the privy council's order of 29 Feb. 1632 they have considered the business. The petitioner has misunderstood the business and misinformed the board. Only part of the collection has been received. Whereas he pretends that Trinity House have received more than enough to meet his demand, the truth is that others will have nothing if he has all, which would not answer the trust which the lord keeper has reposed in Trinity House and the town of Poole. When the whole collection is in, both corporations must agree on how to provide for the redemption of 41 men (22 from Poole and only 19 from London). The 2 corporations agreed at the outset on the areas in which each would collect, with the proviso that when the money was collected, it should be put together and then shared out in accordance with the tenor of the brief. Trinity House therefore cannot meet the demands of the petitioner. They will pay him for the 5 men whom he redeemed when the business is concluded.
The trees which they, on behalf of seamen trading to Newcastle etc., wish to be kept as seamarks stand in Shotley and belong to the heir of Sir Henry Felton, whose lady recently married Mr William Brookes. She has the wardship of her son. The trees are of great consequence for the safety of ships and men and the addressee is asked to take such course as is necessary for their preservation.
Mr Secretary Cooke and the other commissioners for the king's service request Trinity House to consider the following questions and give their answers in writing before 15 Apr.: (a) How many ships should be employed against the pirates of Algiers? (b) What burdens should the ships be, and what ordnance should they carry? (c) What crews should the ships have, and what will be the charge of wages, victuals and munitions? (d) Should the ships be bought here or built for the service, and what will be the charge? (e) What will be the monthly charge for these ships, employed for one year?
In answer to 516: (a) For the expedition against Algiers, 8 ships are required, 4 of 500 tons, 4 of 400 tons. The ships of 500 tons should be 100 ft long by the keel, 33 ft at the beam, 33 ft rake fore and aft, and the depth from the beam to the ceiling* should be 12½ ft. The ships of 400 tons should have proportionable dimensions. (b) 'Either of these ships' fully furnished will cost £6,000. (c) Each ship should have a crew of 140. The monthly cost of wages, at 24s a man, will be £168, and that of victuals at 22s will be £154, a total of £322, or £3,864 a year. (d) Each ship should have 28 pieces of ordnance (10 whole culverins*, 10 demi-culverins*, and 8 sakers*) and 40 muskets. The cost of these will come within the £6,000. (e) Their opinion is to build, not buy.
518. [f.86. ? 1634] A plan for the disposition of 250 men in a king's ship having 40 pieces of great ordnance (fn. 7)
Disposition of the crew: captain and lieutenant, 2; master and his mate, 2; surgeon and his mate, 2; carpenter and his company, 6; steward and his mate, 2; cook and his mate, 2; trumpeters, 4; steerage and 'condidge' [see 403], 4; boatswain and his company, 40; gunner and his company for the great ordnance and the powder room, 136; 'muskets constant' [small arms company], 50; total, 250. Besides the 50 'muskets constant', the boatswain's company and trumpeters will employ 20 or 25 more, making a total of 70 'small shots'.
|Pieces of ordnance||Men|
|From thence to the mast||6||20|
|From thence to the 'bittes' (fn. 8)||8||24|
|The 'chase below' [chase-ports*]||4||16|
|The half deck||6||16|
|The powder room||6|
519. [f. 86v. Before 3 Nov. 1632. Proposals presented by Capt. Kirk (fn. 9) to Trinity House. See 520.]
The charges for a ship of 250 tons, victualled for 7 months and manned by 70 men to bring home 100 soldiers from the fort at Quebec in the river of Canada, are calculated as follows: victuals for 70 men for 7 months at 20s a man per month, £490; harbour wages, half wages, and victuals in the Thames, £120; master's cabin, £10; 2½ months victuals for 100 soldiers, £250; customs on goods and other charges at Customs House and in the Thames, viz. lighterage, wharfage, cartage, warehouse room, etc., £100; insurance of the ship and goods, and interest paid, being all spent for Monsieur Decane, (fn. 10) £150; powder, shot and munitions of war, £30; wages for 70 men and officers for 7 months, £700; ship's freight at £100 a month, £700; total, £2,550.
Capt. Kirk presented this estimate  and said that the lord treasurer required their opinion upon it. The charges for the ship, men and victuals are fair. With regard to the amounts provided for customs on goods, petty charges, insurance of the ship and goods, and interest, since these are affirmed by Capt. Kirk, Trinity House will not dispute them.
Eight ships of about 400 or 500 tons, each with a crew of 140, making a total of 1,120 men are required. The cost of wages and victuals, together with the charges of the ship at £3 10s a month per man, amount to £3, 920 a month or £47,040 a year. The cost of each ship per month at £168 and that of the men at 46s a month apiece would come to £2,576, making [an annual] total of £47,040. The cost of 1,120 men at 50s a month for wages and victuals would be £2,800. Eight ships at the rate of £140 a month per ship would cost £1,120, making a total monthly charge of £3,920 or £47,040 annually.
Eight ships of 400 or 500 tons, each having a crew of 140, makes a total of 1,120 required. Their cost at 50s a man per month for wages and victuals would be £2,800. The freight of 8 ships at £140 apiece per month would be £1,120. The total monthly cost would be £3,920, and the annual cost £47,040. Two small pinnaces of about 80 tons, each with 60 men at 50s per man for wages and victuals, would cost £150 a month. Pay for 2 vessels is £50 a month. The total monthly cost would be £200, or £2,400 annually. The total cost of the ships and the pinnaces would be £49,440.
Eight ships of about 400 tons, each with about 140 men, will need 1,120 men. Wages and victuals at 45s each will cost £2,520 a month. Freight of the ships at £160 a month will cost £1,280 for the 8 ships. Total cost per month will be £3,800 and per year £45,600.