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army of 20,000 English; which, together with their trulls, their bastards, and their horse-boys, will by a gross computation, very near double the count, and be very sufficient for the defence and grazing of the kingdom, as well as to enrich our neighbors, expel popery, and keep out the pretender. And, lest the army should be at a loss for business, I think it would be very prudent to employ them in collecting the public taxes for paying themselves and the civil list.
I advise that all our owners of these lands should live constantly in England, in order to learn politeness, and qualify themselves for employments; but, for fear of increasing the natives in this island, that an annual draught, according to the number born every year, be exported to whatever place will bear the carriage, or transplanted to the English dominions on the American continent, as a screen between his majesty's English subjects and the savage Indians.
I advise likewise, that no commodity whatsoever of this nation's growth should be sent to any other country except England, under the penalty of high treason; and that all the said commodities shall be sent in their natural state; and the hides raw, the wool uncombed, the flax in the stub; excepting only fish, butter, tallow, and whatever else will be spoiled in the carriage. On the contrary, that no goods whatsoever shall be imported hither except from England, under the same penalty: that England should be forced, at their own rates, to send us over clothes ready made, as well as shirts and smocks to the soldiers and their trulls; all iron, wooden, and earthenware, and whatever furniture may be necessary for the cabins of graziers; with a sufficient quantity of gin and other spirits for those who can afford to get drunk on holidays.
As to the civil and ecclesiastical administration, which I have not yet fully considered, I can say little : only with regard to the latter, it is plain that the article of paying tithe for supporting speculative opinions in religion, which is so insupportable a burden to all true protestants and to most churchmen, will be very much lessened by this expedient; because dry cattle pay nothing to the spiritual hireling, any more than imported corn; so that the industrious shepherd and cowherd may sit every man under his own blackberrybush and on his own potato-bed, whereby this happy island will become a new Arcadia.
I do likewise propose, that no money shall be used in Ireland except what is made of leather, which likewise shall be coined in England and imported; and that the taxes shall be levied out of the commodities we export for England, and there turned into money
for his majesty's use; and the rents to landlords discharged in the same manner. This will be no manner of grievance, for we already see it very practicable to live without money and shall be more convinced of it every day. But whether paper shall continue to supply that defect, or whether we shall hang up all those who profess the trade of bankers (which latter I am rather inclined to), must be left to the consideration of wiser politicians.
That which makes me more zealously bent upon this scheme is my desire of living in amity with our neighboring brethren; for we have already tried all other means without effect to that blessed end; and by the course of measures taken for some years past it should seem that we are all agreed in the point.
This expedient will be of great advantage to both kingdoms, upon several accounts: for as to England, they have a just claim to the balance of trade on their side with the whole world : and therefore our ancestors and we who conquered this kingdom for them ought, in duty and gratitude, to let them have the whole benefit of that conquest to themselves; especially when the conquest was amicably made without bloodshed, by stipulation between the Irish princes and Henry II. ; by which they paid him, indeed, not equal homage with what the electors of Germany do to the emperor, but very near the same that he did to the king of France for his French dominions.
In consequence of this claim from England, that kingdom may 'very reasonably demand the benefit of all our commodities in their natural growth, to be manufactured by their people, and a sufficient quantity of them for our use to be returned hither fully manufactured.
This, on the other side, will be of great benefit to our inhabitants the graziers; whose time and labor will be too much taken up in manuring their ground, feeding their cattle, shearing their sheep, and sending over their oxen fit for slaughter; to which employments they are turned by nature, as descended from the Scythians, whose diet they are still so fond of. So Virgil describes it:
Et lac concretum cum sanguine bibit equino;' Which, in English, is bonnyclabber [buttermilk] mingled with the blood of horses, as they formerly did until about the beginning of the last century; when luxury under the form of politeness bega to creep in, they changed the blood of horses for that of their black cattle, and by consequence became less warlike than their ancestors.
“ For drink and food,
Although I proposed that the army should be collectors of the public revenues, yet I did not thereby intend that those taxes should be paid in gold or silver; but in kind, as all other rent: for the custom of tenants making their payments in money is a new thing in the world, little known in former ages, nor generally practised in any nation at present, except this island and the southern parts of Britain. But to my great satisfaction, I foresee better times; the ancient manner begins to be now practised in many parts of Connaught, as well as in the county of Cork, where the squires turn tenants to themselves, divide so many cattle to their slaves, who are to provide such a quantity of butter, hides, or tallow, still keeping up their number of cattle; and carry the goods to Cork, or other port towns, and then sell them to merchants. By which invention there is no such thing as a ruined farmer to be seen; but the people
; live with comfort on potatoes and bonnyclabber, neither of which are vendible commodities abroad.
FOR AN ACT OF PARLIAMENT TO PAY OFF THE DEBT OF THE
NATION WITHOUT TAXING THE SUBJECT:
By which the number of landed gentry and substantial farmers will be consider
ably increased, and no person will be the poorer, or contribute one farthing to the charge. 1732.
The debts contracted some years past for the service and safety of the nation are grown so great, that under our present distressed condition by the want of trade, the great remittances to pay absentees, regiments serving abroad, and many other drains of
money well enough known and felt, the kingdom seems altogether unable to discharge them by the common methods of payment; and either a poll or land-tax would be too odious to think of, especially the latter; because the lands which have been left for these ten or dozen years past were raised so high, that the owner can at present hardly receive any rent at all. For it is the usual practice of an Irish tenant, rather than want land, to offer more for a farm than he knows he can be ever able to pay: and in that case he grows desperate, and pays nothing at all. So that a land-tax upon a racked estate would be a burden wholly insupportable.
The question would then be, how these national debts can be paid, and how I can make good the several particulars of my proposal; which I shall now lay open to the public. The revenues of their
graces and lordships the archbishops and bishops of this kingdom (excluding the fines) do amount by a moderate computation to £36,800 per annum: I mean the rents which the bishops receive from their tenants. But the real value of those lands is, at a full rent, taking the several sees one with another, reckoned to be at least three-fourths more: so that multiplying £36,800 by 4, the full rent of all the bishops' lands will amount to £147,200 per annum; from which subtracting the present rent received by their lordships, that is £36,800, the profits of the lands received by the first and second tenants (who both have great bargains) will rise to the sum of £110,400 per annum; which lands, if they were to be sold at 22 years' purchase, would raise a sum of £2,428,800, reserving to the bishops their present rents, only excluding fines.
Of this sum I propose that out of the one-half, which amounts to £1,214,400, so much be applied as will entirely discharge the debts of the nation; and the remainder be laid up in the treasury, to supply contingencies as well as to discharge some of our heavy taxes, until the kingdom shall be in a better condition.
But, whereas the present set of bishops would be greater losers by this scheme for want of their fines, which would be a hard treatment to such religious, loyal, and deserving personages; I have therefore set apart the other half to supply that defect, which it will more than sufficiently do.
A bishop's lease for the full term is reckoned to be worth eleven years' purchase; but if we take the bishops round, I suppose there
I may be four years of each lease elapsed; and many of the bishops being well stricken in years, I cannot think their lives round to be worth more than seven years' purchase; so that the purchasers may very well afford 15 years' purchase for the reversion, especially by one great additional advantage which I shall soon mention.
This sum of £2,428,800 must likewise be sunk very considerably, because the lands are to be sold only at 15 years' purchase; and this lessens the sum to about £1,656,000, of which I propose £1,200,000 to be applied partly for the payment of the national debt and partly as a fund for future exigencies; and the remaining £456,000 I propose as a fund for paying the present set of bishops their fines; which it will abundantly do, and a great part remain as an addition to the public stock
Although the bishops round do not in reality receive three fines a-piece, which take up 21 years, yet I allow it to be so; but then I will suppose
them to take but one year's rent, in recompense of giving them so large a term of life: and thus multiplying 36,8001. by 3, the product will be only 110,4001., so that above three-fourths will remain to be applied to public use. If I have made wrong computations I hope to be excused, as a
Ι stranger to the kingdom; which I never saw till I was called to an employment, and yet where I intend to pass the rest of my days; but I took care to get the best informations I could and from the most proper persons. However, the mistakes I may have been guilty of will very little affect the main of my proposal, although they should cause a difference of 100,0001. more or less.
These fines are only to be paid to the bishop during his incumbency in the same see. If he change it for a better, the purchasers of the vacant see lands are to come immediately into possession of the see he has left; and both the bishop who is removed and he who comes into his place are to have no more fines; for the removed bishop will find his account by a larger revenue, and the other see will find candidates enough. For the law maxim will here have place: caveat emptor;
choose whether they will accept or not.
As to the purchasers, they will probably be tenants to the see, who are already in possession and can afford to give more than any other bidder.
I will further explain myself. If a person already a bishop be removed into a richer see, he must be content with the bare revenues without any fines; and so must he who comes into a bishopric vacant by death: and this will bring the matter sooner to bear, which if the crown shall think fit to countenance will soon change the present set of bishops, and consequently encourage purchasers of their lands. For example: if a primate should die, and the gradation be wisely made, almost the whole set of bishops might be changed in a month, each to his great advantage, although no fines were to be got, and thereby save a great part of that sum which I have appropriated toward supplying the deficiency of fines.
I have valued the bishops' lands two years' purchase above the usual computed rate, because those lands will have a sanction from the king and council in England and be confirmed by an act of parliament here: besides, it is well known, that higher prices are given every day for worse lands at the remotest distances and at rack rents,