Historical Collections of Private Passages of State: Volume 8, 1640-41. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721.
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The Twelfth Article.
12. That the said Earl being Lord Deputy of Ireland, on the Ninth Day of January, in the Thirteenth Year of His now Majesty's Reign, did then. under the colour to Regulate the Importation of Tobacco into the said Realm of Ireland, Issue a Proclamation in His Majesty's Name, Prohibiting the Importation of Tobacco without Licence of him and the Council, there from and after the first Day of May Anno, Dom. 1638. after which Restraint, the said Earl, notwithstanding the said Restraint, caused divers great Quantities of Tobacco to be Imported to his own Use, and fraughted divers Sips with Tobacco, which he Imported to his own Use: and that it any Sip brought Tobacco into any Port there, the said Earl and his Agents used to Buy the same to his own Use, at their own Price; and if that the Owners refused to let him have the same at Under values, then they were not permitted to Sent the same there: By which undue Means the said Earl having gotten the whole Trade of Tobacco into his own Hands, he sold it at great and excessive Prizes, such as he list to impose for his own Profit.
And the more to assure the said Monopoly of Tobacco, he the said Earl, on the Three and Twentieth Day of February, in the Thirteenth Year aforesaid, Did Issue another Proclamation, Commanding, that none should put to Sale any Tobacco by whole sale, from and after the last Day of May, then next following but what should be made up into Rolls, and the same Sealed with to Seals by himself appointed, one at each End of the Roll. And, such as was not Sealed, to be seized, appointing Six Pence the Pound for a Reward to such Persons as should seize the same: and the Persons in whole custody the Unsealed Tobacco should be found to be Committed to Goal, which last Proclamation was coloured by a Presence, for the restraining of the Sale of unwholesome Tobacco, but it was truly to advance the said Monopoly.
Which Proclamation the said Earl did rigorously put in Execution, by Seizing the Goods, Fining, Imprisoning, Whipping, and putting the Offenders against the same Proclamation on the Pillozy, as Namely Barnaby Hubbard, Edward Cavana, John Tumen, and divers others: and made the Officers of State, and Injustice of Peace, and other Officers, to serve him in the Compassing, and Executing these unjust and undue Courses; by which Cruelties, and unjust Monopolies the said Earl, raised 100000 l. Per Annum Gain to himself. And yet the said Earl, though the Enhanced the Customs, where it concerned the Merchants in general, yet drew down the Impost formerly taken on Tobacco from Six pence the Pound to Three pence the Pound, it being for his own Profit so to do.
And the said Earl, by the same, and other Rigorous and undue Means, raised several other Monopolies, and unlawful Exactions for his own Gain, viz. on Starch, Iron-pots, Glasses, Tobacco pipes, and several other Commodities.
Mr. Maynard did begin to open the 12th Article, which was Read.
That he did Impost Tobacco himself, and restrained others: forced the Subjects to Sell their Commodity at Low and Under-values, because they could not Import it without Licence; and when himself had Bought it at low Rates; so that he hath made near 100000 l. Profit by his Monopoly.
That when his Proclamation is made, and Oppression put upon the People, he doth the 23d of Feb 13 Car. Ordain, That none should Sell Tobacco within the Kingdom, but such as was Sealed by his Appointment; and, they that Sold otherwise, their Goods should be Sold
That, by Occasion hereof, the Kings Subjects have been grievously Punish'd by Fining, Imprisoning, Pilloring, Whipping, and the like.
To prove the Restraint, the Proclamation on the 9th of January, the 13th Car. was first Read.
By the Lord-Deputy and Council.
A PROCLAMATION concerning the Importing of TOBACCO.
By which Proclamation, is set forth in substance as followeth.
That whereas unfound Tobacco is brought in, &c. by the unlimited Liberty of divers to Import, &c. and being no usual Commodity; &c a first Charge is given, That none presume from the First of May next, to Import any Tobacco without Special License from Us, on pain of incurring His Majesty's high Displeasure, and the punishments due for such Contempts.
The Proclamation concerning Sealing of Tobacco was next Read, the 23d of Feb. 13 Car.
By the Deputy and Council.
The former Proclamation is Recited: And, to prevent Secret Ways of Importation, Charge is given from the last of May next, no Tobacco be put to Whole-sale, unless it be in compleat Rolls, which may be conveniently Seal'd, and to be Sold with two Seals, one to be affixed at each End, which Seal order is taken to be Provided for that Purpose. That what Tobacco shall be found without those Seals, the Kings Officers may search for, and seize, and convey to the next Port, which Course shall be taken, that every Seizor shall have 6d for every Pound, as an Encouragement; and, that the Officers shall commit the Persons of such in whose Hands Such Tobacco shall be found, till Security shall be given to appear before the Deputy and Council, and not to depart without Leave &c.
Mr. Maynard Observed, That John Carpenter, &c.
who are imployed in this Business, are all Servants to my Lord of Strafford, but Little, who is Sir George Ratcliff's Servant, who did accordingly make Seizure.
And he farther Observed, That my Lord of Strafford had several Magazines of Tobacco, and that, from time to time brought in, was bestowed there. And, on the First Day of his Defence, my Lord of Strafford said, 40000 l. of his Tobacco was Seized.
To Prove the Execution of these Proclamations.
Timothy Crosby Sworn, and Asked, Whether Ships have not been Prohibited to Land their Tobacco?
He Answered, Yes: Since the 11th of November, 1637. and he Instanced in Governour Briskett of Montserrat, Mr. Arundel.
Being Asked, if any Ship Perish'd upon the Restraint?
He Answered, The John of Kingsale: It came into Lymerick, and being not there suffered to Sell, was forced to Galloway, and was cast away going into another Harbour: And this, because She was not one of the Magazine.
Being Asked, What Rates the Merchants sold their Tobacco for before this Restraint, and what since?
He Answered, Before the Restrains, for 6 d, or 7 d the Pound: and other times for 14 d, and 16 d on Shipboard; and since, some at 9 d a Pound, and others at 6 d Ob.
Being Asked, Why the Ships were not permitted to Land?
He Answered, Because they would not Pay 2 Shillings a Pound, 18 d Custom, and 6 d Impost.
Whence Mr. Maynard Observed; That if they come for the Use of my Lord of Strafford, and his Party, they must pay 3 d; if for others, 18 d, and Impost.
Mr. Allen. Witness.
Patrick Allen Sworn: Being Asked to the Matter of Restraint.
He Answered, That a Ship of 80 Tun was not admitted to Land at Yoghall, but forced to carry her Lading of Tobacco to St. Mallis in France, where he believes it is.
That a Proclamation was out in 1638, That no Merchant should Land any Tobacco without special Licence of the Patentees.
That before the Proclamation he bought Tobacco for 6d and 7d a Pound, a great Quantity, of one of Dartmouth: and since they Pay 2 Shillings, 7 Groats, 8 Groats, and 3 Shillings. That the Patentees pay the Merchant 6d or 7d a Pound, which is the most he hath heard of.
Mr. Welsh a Witness.
John Welsh Sworn, and Interrogated to the same Matter.
It was not granted, they sold as much as would Pay for their Provisions, for which they had 6d a Pound; but would not give way to Land any more of it.
That one Arundell of Excester put into Waterford, and he the Depoponent was in Company with him to Dublin; and desired, that if the said Arundell could get off his Tobacco, he would fell it him the Deponent, who would give him 2 Shillings a Pound for it: That he could not get it off, and sold it to Joseph Carpenter for 6d a Pound. That he paid for some Landed at Waterford by one Wells, 16d a Pound ready Money. That the Patentees do usually Buy at 6d, Only there was a Bargain made with one Arundell, to take it at 8d or 9d; but, how far they went he knows not. That one White of Waterford put into Lymerick, and told him the Deponent, That he got but 4d a Pound for his Tobacco.
Being Asked, What Quantities he conceives is brought in Annually?
He Answered, That he hath Estimated it with Advice of others, that Ireland cannot consume less then 500 Tun a Year; Others say, It doth far exceed: and 500 Tun is near 140000 l. at 2 s. 6 d a Pound.
Being asked, Whether he knew any Sentenced on these Pretences ?
He Answered, He saw Patrick Wells, Merchant, of Waterford, stand on the Pillory for having Unsealed Tobacco, and exposing it to Sale. Richard Whitwick for the like Offence Pillory'd at Waterford, That he hath heard of divers others. And, he thinks the Book of Censures is here under the Hand of the Farmers Sollicitor, and sent to the Committee out of Ireland by a Messenger Express.
Mr. Gough Witness.
Patrick Gough being required to Answer truly, Whether the Book produced, containing an Abstract of the Sentences made in the Castle-Chamber, was delivered him by the Committee in Ireland?
He Answers, That he believes it was among other things delivered him by the House of Commons, to be brought to the Committee, Sealed up in a Box.
But. the Committee not thinking sit to offer the Book in Evidence.
Patrick Gough. Witness.
Patrick Gough was examined, whether he heard of any Sentenced in the Proclamations for Tobacco?
He Answered, He knew divers, and there were Three or Fourscore from Time to Time attending in the Council Chamber, committed to the Marshalsea, and Prosecuted by Hunt, and these were, (as he remembers) in Easter Term last. And Michaelmas Term before, and every Year for three Years past: That he hath heard of 60 at a Time Committed, and they were Sentenced for having Tobacco unsealed.
E. of Strafford.
Being asked on my Lord of Strafford's Motion, whether my Lord of Strafford was a Party to them?
He Answered, That as he remembers, in Michaelmas Term last was 12 Months, there were three Waterford Men Sentenced, whereof one was for 9l. of Tobacco.
One of them Fined 100l. and Loss of his Office, being Waiter. The other 100l. and the Merchant 100l. and both Committed, and their Fines reduced after to 20l. That they were Fined before the Council, at the Council-Table; and as he remembred, my Lord of Strafford was then there.
Mr. Maynard did then produce a Sentence, under my Lord of Strafford's Hand (as he himself conceived it to be) wherein divers Persons were Sentenced.
Mr. Glyn desired a Proof concerning the Value, for which a Witness should have attended, but is withdrawn; but the Remonstrance of Ireland Speaks particularly to it.
That the Value of it, exceeds all the Kings certain and uncertain Revenue in the Kingdom of Ireland.
Mr. Plunkett Witness.
Mr. Plunkett bein Sworn, being examined touching the Truth of the Copy. Answered, That he had the Copy from the Clerk himself being a Member of the House. That he hath looked on the Article of Tobacco, and as it is in Substance with that which was Voted.
E. of Strafford.
My Lord of Strafford desired he might be asked what Proofs were there offered.
But Mr. Glyn opposed that, hoping there was no Question to be made of the Proof of a thing that was done by all the Commons of Ireland, to whom perhaps, their own Knowledge is the Proof.
The Remonstrance read as to the 6th Article.
That the Tobacco bought at low Rate, is sold at excessive Rates, whereby thousands of His Majesty's Subjects are destroyed, and most Part of the Coin of this Kingdom ingrossed into particular Hands; insomuch, that the Profits arising thereby, surmount His Majesty's Revenue, Certain or Casual within this Kingdom, and yet His Majesty receives very little Profit by the same.
Timothy Crosby being interrogated how much Tobacco comes into the Port of Kingsale for three Years last past.
He Answered, 60 Tun in three Years.
Whence Mr. Maynard Observed, if one Port brings 200 Tun, the rest will go to a great height.
Being questioned what the Patentees give, and what they require for such as is refuse Tabacco upon the forting of it.
He Answered, that for the Refuse, the Owner had not above 1 d. and the Patentees sold none of that under 2 s.
And so Mr. Maynard closed this Article, observing that they have proved the Restraint and the Execution of it. That it is turned into a Monopoly; That none must be Imported without their Licence; That they Buy what is brought in at low Rates, at 6 d. a Pound, when others will give 2 s. That 4 s. 8 d. or 9 d. is the highest they give, so that they sell for three or four times the Value of what they Pay: That by an Estimate, 500 Tun is imported: That Punishments are inflicted; The Kings free Subjects Whip'd, Pilloryed, Fined; And so my Lord of Strafford's Answer was expected.
After a little Respit his Lordship made his Defence to this Article, in Substance as followeth.
That he conceives he hath very little Crime to Answer, as to this Charge, especially as unto Treason.
That he wisheth with all his Heart he hath so much Profit to Answer for, as is pretended that he gained by this Business.
His Lordship presented in the first Place a Petition presented by the Commons House of Parliament in Ireland; in the Parliament preceding this, wherein they desired, that this Lease of the Impost of Tobacco might be taken in, and compounded for, and converted to the Kings Benefit: That the Revenue might be able to bear the Charge, and the Subjects eased from demand of Contribution, and supply for this Purpose; so that this was Originally ordained by themselves, on their own Petition, to be settled as a Revenue of the Crown.
The Petition being affirmed by Mr. Gibson, to be a true Copy, being examined by him before Sir Paul Davis in Ireland, was read as to that Point, and imports.
Lastly, They do humbly advise, that the six Subsidies, chearfully granted in this Parliament, may be imployed for the buying of the Leases and Farms, that the same may be able to supply the necessary Charge of this Kingdom in the first Place. And in the second Place, to satisfie and discharge the Debts and Incumbrances aforesaid, as in manner aforesaid, and for the other not included. The House would not enter into Consideration thereof, but are confident, that when others justly due, shall appear pear, your Lordships will take a Course that shall stand with your Honor and Profit.
My Lord of Strafford offered a Witness to prove, that the Tobacco is one of the Things that goes under the name of Leases.
Mr. Slingsby being examined to that Point.
Answered, That he was a Member of the House of Commons the first Parliament, and Debate was offered, how the Kings Revenue might be supplied, to maintain the Charge; several Grants and Leases, applyed to particular Men, were thought sit to be brought in, to be applyed to the Kings Advantage there; there was the Custom, Wine, and Aquavitæ Licenses; there was Tobacco, and in the Kingdom.
E. of Strafford
My Lord of Strafford desired Liberty to reserve Sir Adam Loftus, whom he conceived a material Witness for him, but was now absent.
Lord Robert Dillon.
Lord Robert Dillon being asked whether he was of the Parliament House when these Leases were advised to be brought in, and whether the Lease of Tobacco was not one that was advised to be brought in, and applyed to the Crown; and that Part of the Subsidies should be imployed to that End.
His Lordship Answered, That he did serve in the House of Commons that Parliament, that they were upon the Kings Revenue, and they wished that the Charge might be Answered by the coming in of the Rents. He remembers, that on Debate in the House, a Committee was appointed to consider of the disposing of Part of the Kings Revenue, to take off the Incumbrances then of His Majesty's Revenue, to the End, the Rent of His Majesty being raised, they might be able to Answer the ordinary and standing Charge of the Kingdom, and so divers Things were to be brought in; but for the very particular of Tobacco, he doth not remember it by name, though he remembers Wine and Aquavitæ, and the Incumbrances on the Customs.
E. of Strafford.
My Lord of Strafford in the second Place, shews the Grant of the Imposition on Tobacco, as they were Lett June 13. Jac. and at that Time were Lett for 10 l. a Year Rent.
Which being attested by Mr. Gibson to be a true Copy, and to be by him examined at the Rolls in Ireland, was read, as to this Point purporting,
That the King appoints, That from the Date thereof, there shall be received by way of Imposition Money 18 d. currant, upon every Pound of Tobacco, which is demised to William Massan and John Pitt for 7 Years, under the Yearly Rent of 10l. Dat. 6 June, 13 Jac.
Next he offered a Lease of the said Impositions to Mr. Lyn for 21 Years, at 20 l. Per. Ann. Dat. 8. Feb. 19 Jac.
But Mr. Maynard admitting it, the reading thereof was forborn.
Next, He offers the Kings Letter 18 July, 12 Car. whereby His Majesty directs the settling of this Business, and is a Warrant for issuing of the Proclamation where with he is Charged.
Which being affirmed by Mr. Gibson to be a true Copy, was read, whereby is imported.
That His Majesty being given to understand, that the pre-emption of Tobacco may be rightly assumed, had resolved to lay hold of the present Opportunity, requiring my Lord of Strafford, to advise with such of the Council there, as he should think fit, or by what Limitations and Conditions the pre-emption may be settled; and afterwards, to direct a Course for licencing the Sale thereof, to the best Improvement.
Yet so as a Care may be had as near as may be, to prevent the bringing in of unsound Tobacco, leaving to his Judgment, all necessary Provisions to be determined about this Business, Dat. 18 July 12 Car.
My Lord of Strafford Observed, that this Letter was sent upon the like Course taken here in England, it being thought fit to be alike in both Kingdoms; but the Business of England preceded it, and was the Occasion of the Letter.
The next Thing observed was the Proclamation in England, to prohibit the Planting of Tobacco in England and Wales, and the landing of Tobacco in any Part of England or Ireland, but only at London, other than such, and so much Spanish Tobacco, and Plantation Tobacco, as should be allowed and determined to be Competent, upon Pain of Confiscation: A Moyety to the King, a Moyety to the Discoverer.
Which was read, being dated 14 Mar. 13 Car.
Which my Lord of Strafford Observed to be the same with that wherewith himself is Charged; and that the Letter directing him to take this Business into consideration, bears Date July 12. Car. and the first Proclamation issued out ult, Jan.13 Car. So that he made no haste.
The next Thing his Lordship offered, was the Contract itself, Dat. 7 Nov. 3 Car. which being affirmed by Mr. Gibson, to be a true Copy, was read, being Signed by the Deputy and Council, and Imports.
That Carpenter, Bartholomew Peatly and others had made an humble Proposition, thereby setting forth, That no Order hath been taken for the due bringing in of good and sufficient Tobacco, or Quantities proportionable to the Consumption thereof, whereby the Price is too much Inhaunced, or the Market glutted, and desiring that they may have the Renting of the Tobacco Business for 11 Years, paying Yearly 5000l. for the first five Years, 10000l. for the six last Years freed from Custom, and only paying 3d. Impost, and the Custom not to be advanced; that, they, and such as they shall Contract with, may be free to return, and enter, in London or Ireland: That in case of War, they may Account only for the Profits, in lieu of the Rent.
That upon my Lord of Strafford's leaving the Government, they may be free to surrender their Grant, and not stand charged.
That Tobacco may be folely Imported, and the Sale licensed by them.
That no Tobacco be Planted in Ireland, during the Term.
Whereupon, a Warrant was issued for the Paying of a Grant to them of the sole Importation, and Licensing the Sale of Tobacco for 11 Years, Paying 5000l. Yearly for the first five Years, 10000l. for the last six Years, above the Custom of 3 d. Per Pound, with all the Customs received for His Majesty since Michaelmas last, and all Impositions to be laid down during that Term, &c. Dat. 7 Nov. 1637.
And such security to be given for the Rents, as to the Court of Exchequer should be thought meet.
Where my Lord of Strafford Observed, that he did nothing therein, without the assistance of the Principal of the Council there.
And further, That before this was resolved, advertisement was sent His Majesty, that His direction might be given, and the Letter from the Council of Ireland, to Secretary Cook, being affirmed by Mr. Gibson, to be a true Copy, was read, importing the substance of the said Treaty, and the conditions thereof recited, Dat. ult. May, 1638.
The next thing offered is the Grant it self, Dat. 22. June, 14 Car. And an Act of Parliament for the confirmation of it, according to the Petition and the King's Letter.
The Clerk of the Crown did now inform their Lordships, That there is a Bill concerning Importation of Tobacco, transmitted out of Ireland in July last, and it was sent back at Michaelmas last, with a Commission to the Lieutenant, to give Royal Assent, but whether it was given or no, he cannot tell.
But my Lord of Strafford, said, it was only transmitted from the Deputy and Council, and sent back under the Great Seal, but did not pass the Parliament there; and he desired it might be read only as to the Title: But that was laid aside.
And then his Lordship added, That as for the Proclamation, he with the rest of the Council, did set his Hand thereunto; and that he conceived then, and trusts it will appear now to be upon very good Warrant, and justifiable; he having the Kings Command in the Point, and it being only Temporary till an Act of Parliament might make final in it, that it might remain in the Crown for after-times, and a Proclamation thus issued till an Act of Parliament comes, he conceives very Justifiable; if it be an Error, it is an Error he hath been always misguided by. That the King may make a Proclamation till a Parliament comes to make it more lasting.
And whereas some Transgressors against these Proclamations, are Sentenced, yet he is Charged with none of them, and so on the Matter is not Charged with their Sentence; though he conceives the same very justifiable, there appearing to be Perjury in some of them; and if they be poor, and Men of no great fortunes, he knows not what is more proper or deserved, than to see Men taken in so soul a Crime, on the Pillory, as being a fair and moderate punishment; and the Fines were in Terrorem, there being little or nothing of them Paid. And this point of Jurisdiction for punishing Transgressors of Act of State and Proclamations, he conceives fully provided before in the former Articles.
And whereas 'tis said, the Tobacco was not sold at Reasonable Rates as formerly, he desired their Lordships to observe, that the Contract was made 22 June, 14 Car. and in September was Twelve Months, he was not privy to it.
And on this the Contractors stand on their Justification, and hope to make it appear, if they may have time, that the Planters have in no Part of Christendom, so good a Value as here; and that they Sell at as moderate Rates, as ever was Sold heretofore, and better conditioned Commodity.
His Lordship further Observed, That the proof which makes the great Cry in Point of Value, is weak enough.
That there should be near 100000l. profit a Year, is a wonderful estimate, and admirable to him. That during his being there, which was one Year, it shall appear they were loosers by it; which he speaks confidently, thinking those intrusted with it, would not abuse him; they having protested, the Country was so abused, that they could get very little by their Office.
That how it is since he knows not, for the Contractors, one of them is laid up in Prison, and the Tobacco seized on, under pretence that he is impeached of Treason; But they profess (and he believeth them) That when Sir George Ratcliffe came out of Ireland, they had received in Money 80000l. and they had layed forth in Rent, buying Tobacco, Stock, and Charges, 86000l. so that they had not in their Money by 6000l. And Sir George Ratcliffe (who is now in Town, and though his misfortunes are heavy and sad enough, yet is known to be a person of Honesty and Worth) he dare say, will take his Oath on it, and they that know him, know he would not take a false Oath, to gain all the World; That there be indeed some Debts which are not gathered, and some Collected, and paid into the Exchequer: and this he said, is to the Value of the Bargain; and where he hears the Gentleman say, the Customs have been worth to him and his Partners 300000l. Surely the Informations have been much mistaken from them that gave the notice out of Ireland; for it is to be understood, that whatsoever the Profits are, the Kings Rent must be taken out, which is 15500 l. of the rest the King hath 5/8 Parts, and himself but ¼ Part; so that on the matter, he thinks they have been worth to him, 4 or 5 or 6000 l. A Year better than the Rent, though the Value is not considerable in his Charge against him of Treason.
That their Lordships might see the Reasons why he could not prepare a particular Account of these things, His Majesty had had a particular Account, had not the Ministers been so dealt withal, laid into Prison, and abused; If you will speak of a Tyrannical and Arbitrary way of Government (the Commons expressing some distaste at this Egression; my Lord of Strafford faith he complains of Ireland, not of things here) and desires leave to read two Orders of the Commons House, who have seized on all, given Order for sale of them, taken the Contractors, imployed and Imprisoned them, and he thereby rendred altogether unable to clear things, as otherwise he might have done; and these things they do, he knows not how, but to his undoing indeed.
Mr. Maynard did here interpose and desire to know, to what Purpose he would have them read; and whereas he speaks of a Tyrannical usage, he desires to know whom he presses, whether the House of Commons there or here
And Mr. Whitlock added, That my Lord of Strafford in his Defence of the last Article, let fall some things that were an Aspersion on the whole State of Ireland, the Lords and Commons there Assembled; for he said Their Lordships might perceive the Truth of the Remonstrance, presented from thence on a former occasion, and now he speaks of a Tyrannical Government, on his making of Orders, which himself mentions to be made by the House of Commons in Ireland. And therefore their Lordships were desired to Vindicate the Honour of the Kingdom of Ireland, which suffers by those Aspersions.
Sir John Clotworthy further insisted on it, That their Lordships are witnesses of the many Commendations my Lord of Strafford hath formerly issued, concerning the People of Ireland, as long as they were Subservient to his Courses, and could not find a way to extricate themselves from his Lordships Yoke, they were cryed up, to be numbred amongst the best of His Majesty's Subjects. Now when they are seeking to vindicate and relieve themselves from his heavy Yoke, they must be called a People, he knows not how bad, and therefore beseeches their Lordships that they may be set right in their Lordships Opinions.
The reading of the Order being opposed by the Committee, as tending nothing to the Cause; Mr. Maynard alledging that my Lord would have them ready to give their Lordships Satisfaction, why they should not be read, for he imports, they be Tyrannical, and something he would deduce out of them, to the Aspersion of others.
Whence my Lord of Strafford added only on the Execution of them; And Mr. Maynard replyed, prove them on the Execution, they were at last permitted to be read.
One Dated 27 Feb. 1640. importing,
That whereas great sums of Money have been raised by Customs, above the Rent, and my Lord of Strafford, and Sir George Ratcliff are impeached of High Treason, therefore it is Ordered, That all Persons that have Money of His Majesty's in their Hands, concerning the Monopolies, shall forthwith bring the same into his Highness Receipt; and the Commissioners appointed to oversee the Ports, shall bring in their Letters Patents to be considered of; and because the Customs of Dublin amount to ⅓ of Ireland, and the now Collector is not responsible for his great Charge, if he should miscarry; therefore Sir Edw. Bagshaw, Kt. now Customer and Collector, shall Collect all the Customs, and pay the same into the Receipt. That the Magazine-keeper of Tobacco shall forthwith return a true List of all Tobacco remaining in his Hands, and what was sold since Michaelmas 1637. and to what Account, and what Moneys are received, and to whom the same is paid, and what Money, Bonds, Bills, and other Debts remain unpaid of the Premisses, and in whose Hands they be; And that all Customers, and Officers in the Ports and Creeks, do deliver into this House within two Months, a true List of all such Seizures of Money, Tobacco, and other Commodities, that they, or any of them have made or compounded for, or what remains in their Hands; and likewise all forfeited Bonds for Goods transported into England, etc. and of all Fees they have received, and their Warrants, and a Note of all such Persons as re-receive Fees, and are no Officers, and what Fees, &c. for seven Years last past.
The Second Order was Dated 3 Mar. 1640. importing in Effect, That,
Forasmuch as much Tobacco lies in the Magazines, which is perished, It is Ordered, that certain Persons in the Order named, shall make sale thereof to the best Advantage; and the Contractors are required to make Weekly Accounts of all the Moneys they shall receive, or which shall accrue out of the Tobacco by them sold, and deliver the Money to certain Persons therein named, or any two of them, who are required to take the Burden on them, and receive the Account Weekly due, &c. and to be answerable to His Majesty, &c.
My Lord of Strafford observed, that these he shewed, to justifie, that he could not give particular Satisfaction, those imployed being in Prison.
And further, that in the whole Proceeding of this, he had done nothing but what's warrantable, and howsoever it proves a good or a bad Bargain, that's not in Question; for he never knew the goodness of a Bargain could make a Treason: If every one that makes a bad Bargain with the King, should be a Traitor, it were hard, but at that time none would be a Partner with them, among them all that say, it was so great a Bargain.
That in fine, the worst of this can but be, that it is a Monopolie, a sole Buying and Selling of Tobacco; and he hath knonwn in his little poor Experience many Menopolies overthrown by Sentence of the Commons House; but under favour, never heard it to be judged Treason before this Time.
For the Port of Kinsale, it is the Port wherein in a manner, all the Tobacco of the Kingdom comes to be Landed, and thence transported again; and that the Value of the Tobacco is worth 100000l. is but an estimate, and no Consideration herein had of the Price, the Customs, the Losses and Charges, and the Remonstrance of the Commons, is only that they conceive it to be so; And this is all the Testimony to the Value.
And so his Lordship concluded his Defence.
And Mr. Maynard made Reply in Substance as followeth.
And First he Observed, That whereas it was said, the Orders of the Commons House were Rigid, indeed Tyrannical, when they be heard, there's no such thing in them; they appoint two of my Lord of Strafford's Agents, at least one of them is his Agent, and the other Patentee to account the Money: That they shall only bring in a List, without taking away the Books, or any thing conducing to his Defence.
That he knows not for what Purpose my Lord of Strafford objected the Lease 10 Jac. for that concerned Imposition on Tobacco, but the Question here is, That none must sell Tobacco without Licence of the Patentee.
Here my Lord of Strafford interposed, That any Man that will pay Imposition and Custom, may bring in what Tobacco he pleases. But Mr. Maynard Answers, That that's more than the Tobacco is worth, and if the Patentees may sell without Imposition and Custom at their own Prizes, they are 2 s. a Pound before any Man.
Mr. Maynard proceeded to Answer, That of the Commons Petitioning for regulating the King's Debts, and observed, That it was only that the Incumbrances on the Kings Revenue might be taken off; and this is no Ground that the Subject must not have his Goods, because the Kings Debts must be regulated, nor a good Service done His Majesty, that when the Commons shall desire something may be done, therefore this is an Argument, and Justification, that any thing may be done; this being to stop the issues of the Affections of the Kings People, when what they propound, shall be so far beyond their Intention; besides, some have been Whipp'd, Pillory'd, and, Was that the Intention of the Commons House, to put such Severity, pardon him if he say Cruelty, upon the Subject?
That the Letter from His Majesty was on a Minsinformation; for it says, His Majesty is given to understand the Preemption of Tobacco may be rightfully assumed; Yet the known Law in England, or Ireland, being, that any Preemption may be put upon a Commodity, to take it from the Subject; so they have the more to Answer for it that did inform it: and, if the Question be, Who? Surely out of my Lord of Straffords own Defence, lie himself appears to be the Man; for, he makes the Proposition of the Commons-House the ground of his Proceeding: So it was an Arrow out of his Quiver. Besides, though it was to be assumed to His Majesty, yet the Question is, Who had the Profit? The King had little in Proportion to what hath been raised.
For the Proclamation, March 13 Car. Whereas my Lord makes that in England the Example of that Issued in Ireland; if that which follows may be an Example to that which goes before, it may be true: But, the Proclamation in Ireland was in January, and the Proclamation here is in March, the same Year; Therefore that's a great Mistake.
Besides, if there be a Monopoly set up in England, Shall that Justifie another? A Crime being aggravated, when it becomes an Example; for, when they go to the other, one strengthens another; and there is more Mischief to the Common-wealth.
And, in Parliament, they must be bold to say, when Ill Ministers shall take on them to Vouch the Sacred Names of His Majesty to Justifie a Monopoly; His Majesty is Innocent, but they liable to great Punishment; and the more Punishable, because they Justifie it under such a Colour.
As to the Advertisement of it hither by the Deputy and Counsel; Shall their Advertisement, of what was done Unjustly, make it Just?
Besides, my Lord of Strafford takes on him the Encouragement of the Contracts; for, there is one Proportion that (in case we remove) they may have Liberty to surrender their Patents, which is a strong Relish of my Lord of Strafford: For else, Why should they desire no longer to continue the Grant, then they may have his Protection to Whip, and Pillory Men? And, the Truth is, he is the sole Man that hath the Benefit of it, and the rest are his Servants; And, they will desire Mr. Little may be examined to that Point by and by.
He added, That his Lordship had a Weak Defence, else he would not have fled to such a Buckler, as an Act of Parliament, certified from Sir Christopher Wainsford the Deputy of Ireland; that he thinks it fit to pass, who was one of them that Acted at the Councel-Table, so far as his Part came; but, it was never propounded to either of the Houses. And, where my Lord says, A Proclamation may be made, till an Act of Parliament make it more lasting; Mr. Maynard said, Yet he hoped, by no Law in England, a Proclamation may take away the Goods of the Subject: That there is a Right in Proclamation he will never speak against; but, it is no Temporary Law to raise a Monopoly.
And, whereas he says, Tobacco yields no where so good a Value as in Ireland, that's nothing to the Point of Buying; that when the Subject may have 2 Shillings, my Lord of Straffords Agent shall have it for 64 and fell it again for 2 or 3 Shillings.
My Lord says, The Contractors are out of Purse 6000l. and 'tis but said; and that will not abate the Testimony.
For Kinsale, the Witness being an understanding Man, says, That in that one Port there comes in 200 Tun; and whereas it is said, There comes none, in a Manner, in any other Port, Why then hath my Lord Five Magazines of Tobacco at several Places? Nothing is offered by way of Defence: And he that shall Justifie such things by the Commands he hath produced, doth exceedingly Justifie our Complaint in that Point; for, were it not that by Misinformation, the Subject is left Remediless at Law, he might be holpen there: but, when my Lord of Strafford, and other Great Officers there shall use the King's Name, That's our Trouble, therefore their Profit: And, therefore, though my Lord makes light of it, it will come heavy at the last, and is a great breach on the Property of the Subject, Sole-emption may be made of all things else.
Mr. Glyn desiring to add a Word, Observed, That Two things my Lord of Strafford mainly insists on, to Justifie his Actions. First, That the House of Commons desired the Revenue might be unfettered, by taking off the Leases in being; And Urges, That they intended the Lease of Tobacco among the rest, which appears not: But admit it, their Intention was to take off the Fetters and Ingagements from the Kings Revenue, that the King might make the best of it; not that others should feed on what was His, and he in the mean Time want.
Now their Lordships may observe, how my Lord of Strafford executes these Intentions; he gets a Lease of it, but doth not he retain the Kings Revenue, being worth 100000l. a Year to himself for 5000l. if the Witness spreaks Truth? So it falls on his own Head, and is a plain deceiving of the King. There is a Letter, which Answer is made to; but, if their Lordships recall to Memory what the Letter was, it was as just as could be, to take a Course for Preemption of Tobacco; no, they afterwards enter into Consultation, and Advice, what should be done: And, What do they? They lay a Restraint that no Man should Import unless they would Sell unto my Lord of Strafford, at his Rate, and so it is executed to Tyranny over the People.
There is another thing my Lord Insists on: Is the making of a good Bargain Treason? But, out of the making of this Bargain, if their Lordships well consider it, They shall find a double Treason to result; First, Exercising an Arbitrary Power, by laying what Tax he will, for he may lay 19 Shillings as well as 6 d. Secondly. His depriving the King of His Estate, under Colour of Advancing His Revenue, which is to deprive the King of his Government: For, if one takes away my Means of Livelihood, and Defence against an Enemy, it is a killing of me round about, though it were a more immediate killing of me to run me through.
If he take away the Kings Livelihood and Just Revenue, whereby He is enabled to Govern and Protect His People, Is it not to take away the Government out of his Hand?
And one Word Mr. Glyn desired to add from something that fell from my Lord of Strafford, by way of Prevention, concerning the Parliament of Ireland: We live under one King, and one Government, and no doubt ought to be sensible of one anothers Honour, the Parliament of England, and the Parliament of Ireland.
Here is an Article against my Lord of Strafford, for endeavouring to put Him out of Opinion of Parliaments: In this Assembly, where the Commons and Peers are Assembled he hath endeavoured to blast a Parliament: In the next Kingdom he talks of a Tyrannical Government, an Arbitrary Power: (these were his Words in effect.) Is not this as much as in his Power to cast a Blast and Ill Affection (in any Man that hears him) on the Parliament of Ireland? And he that will do it in the presence of a Parliament, in England, What will he do of a Parliament of this Kingdom, in the absence of a Parliament, and when there is no Parliament Sitting?
And so Concluded the Twelfth Article, and the House was ADJOURNED.