Analytical Index to the Series of Records Known as the Remembrancia 1579-1664. Originally published by EJ Francis, London, 1878.

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'Fisheries', in Analytical Index to the Series of Records Known as the Remembrancia 1579-1664, (London, 1878) pp. 143-144. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]


IX. 4. Letter signed Edward Nicholas, by command of the King (Charles the Second), to the Lord Mayor, stating that the late King, in the year 1632, established a Society of Fishers, and that Philip, late Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery and his associates caused sundry fishing-vessels to be provided, which employed many families, in making nets. &c., and taught the country youths to be serviceable mariners, as by the book (fn. 1) called the Royal Herring Buss Fishing, presented to him, plainly appeared. That being informed there were a number of poor families and vagrants who, for want of employment, were likely to perish, unless some speedy care were taken for their relief, and that the several wards and suburbs of the City were burdened with a multitude of poor people, he recommended the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to cause the Wardmote Inquests to give in particulars of all the poor inhabitants within each Ward, and to raise by a free subscription a stock to buy hemp and clapboard to make nets, barrels, &c., for the furnishing and fitting out of one buss or fishing-vessel for each Ward; and that store-houses should be built in commodious places about the River Thames, fitted with nets, casks, salt, and all things in readiness. The busses might all go forth to the Island of Shetland, to the fishing grounds, according to certain prescribed Orders in the aforesaid Book. He would recommend the same to all cities and towns throughout the kingdom, so as to make it a national employment.
23rd July, 1660.


  • 1. The Dutch carried on the principal trade in fishing. Sir Walter Raleigh said, in 1603, that the four great towns on the Baltic in one year realised 620,000l. for herrings, while England did not send a boat. In 1614, Tobias, a fisherman of some repute, published a pamphlet, entitled 'The best Way to make England the Richest and Wealthiest Kingdom in Europe,' in which he recommended the construction of 1,000 busses upon a "national design," each ward in London to provide one, also each of the civic companies and parishes. He estimated that a busse measuring sixty to eighty tons, complete with all her fishing implements and appurtenances, would cost about 500l. In 1662 Charles the Second promised a reward of 200l. to any person who would set out a busse.