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ders to draw their own conclusions on the ment and extension of the trade, and in a abstract principle. By the 6th Anne, ch. ix. general way point out the results of their it was enacted that," whosoever shall import labours. Were we inclined to act the cenor cause to be imported into this kingdom, sor, we would, no doubt, find many partiany good and sound hempseed, of the growth culars wherein they have erred; but it is of Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, and certain that, under their management, a rapid the East country, shall receive for every progress was made, whereby the national hogshead of such hempseed, as a premium, weal was advanced, and with us this “ covers the sum of five shillings sterling; and be a multitude of sins.” it likewise enacted, that, for the better en- We propose, however, before entering on couraging and making of good sail-cloth in these topics, to enquire, first, whether the this kingdom, the exporters of such sail Lords and Commons of England gave cloth, well and sufficienily made, shall receive their “utmost assistance to encourage the as a premium for every yard of top-sail can- linen and hempen manufactures of Ireland.” vass made of sound and good hemp, of 10d. and secondly, whether England set up or per yard value, and under 14d. so exported, encouraged a rival manufacture in direct the sum of ld. and for every yard of sail- opposition to the terms of the treaty.
It canvass made of Holland duck of the value is manifest that England allowed seven of 14d. per yard, the sum of 2d."*
years to elapse before she did anything toIn 1709, an act was passed reciting the wards the completion of the bargain ; and 6th Anne, whereby a bounty of five shillings even then the small pittance of justice which per hogshead was granted on the importa- she doled out with niggard hand, was of tion of flaxseed; and the bounties on the such limited duration, that we had after a export of sail-cloth were increased to 2d. for lapse of a few years to petition for a conthe cheaper, and to 4d. per yard for the tinuance of her favour.* dearer canvass.t
And in the following year, By the English act of 1705,+ it was by the 9th Anne, ch. iii, so well known as made lawful to lade“ in English built ships, the act under which the “ trustees of the navigated according to law, any white or linen and hempen manufactures," (more fa- brown cloth, and no other, of the manufacmiliarly termed " The Linen Board,") were ture of Ireland, and to transport the same to appointed, a duty of sixpence per yard was de- her Majesty's plantations." This act was clared, over and above those imposed by so framed as to enable them to exclude all the 14th and 15th Charles II. chapters 8 and linens not coming under the denomination 9, on all linens imported into this king- of white or brown; and we find that a condom.”This act gave to the Trustees the struction was put on it," excluding all management of the several duties thus le linens chequered, or striped, or painted, or vied, which it was expressly stated should be coloured, although such chequered and all expended in the improvement of the na- striped linens were principally in demand tive manufacture. By a clause in the act, in the plantations." I The term during they were “required to apply annually, dur- which we were permitted, by the provisions ing the continuance of the said duties, one of this act, to trade with the colonies, was moiety of the money so arising from them, eleven years; but it was "graciously exto the advancement and carrying on of the tended” for one year more by the 1st hempen manufacture;" $ and the other moiety George I. chap. 26. to the advancement of the flax trade. To point The much vaunted encouragement, thereout the different steps taken by the “ T'rus- fore, which England gave to our linen trade tees” to attain the end for which they were by this statute, (and, be it remembered, that appointed, would fill a goodly volume. any encouragement she afterwards afforded We cannot, therefore, be expected, in such was little more than a renewal of this act,) a sketch as the present, to do more than re- amounted to this—a permission to export to fer, by way of illustration, to soine of the her plantations for a limited period one class means adopted by them for the improve- of our linens, whereas she excluded that employment. But even in this temporary | whom the several petitions were referred, encouragement, monopoly shewed its cloven together with the representation of our foot; for “ English built ships” only could Linen Board, the purport of which was to be used in the trade: and even these should shew that “there being no prospect of any be “ navigated according to law," which other market for those linens which were then means not by Irishmen.*
description of linens which would have * Statutes, vol. iv, p. 132.
afforded most profit, as being principally 8th Anne, ch. xii.
in demand, being of higher value, and affordThe duties referred to amounted to 128. per ing a greater and more varied amount of hundred ells ; but having been imposed for the purpose of raising money for the crown rather than to protect the home market; they were not intro- See Commons Journal, vol. ii. p. 668. duced at an earlier period of this sketch.
† 3 and 4 Anne, chap. viii. England. § Statutes, vol. 4, p. 254.
I Commons Journal, vol. xvi. 390.
stained, in case the use of them should be Thus was it that England evinced her prohibited in Great Britain, the hands emanxiety to give to Ireland "all the advan- ployed in them must stand idle."* The tage” of the linen trade. But we find in committee, after some deliberation, resolved her statute book more direct evidence of her that the use of all“ printed, painted, stained, want of faith, than this negative breach of and dyed linens, except such as are of the the treaty would imply. By a bill passed growth and manufacture of Great Britain by her Commons in 1711,+ a duty of £15 and Ireland, be prohibited.” But we find per cent. was levied“ upon all chequered that this resolution was not unanimous, for and striped linens, and upon all linens some of the members of that august body, printed, painted, stained, or dyed, after the more English than the rest, proposed as an manufacture, or in the thread or yarn before amendment, that the word" IRELAND be the inanufacture, in any foreign parts, which omitted; the amendment was, however, neat any time shall be imported into Great Bri- gatived.+ tain. This act had a very injurious effect This was not the practical interpretation upon Ireland; “ for depending on the assur- England adopted for the word encourageances of King, Lords, and Commons, the ment, when applied to her woollen manufacIrish people betook themselves to the ture. In that instance she interpreted it as linen manufacture, and their linens being meaning the putting a stop to all rivalry on for the most part proper for staining, stamp- the part of Ireland, by prohibiting the iming, and printing, a great part of them were port of Irish woollens, and making it penal employed in that way.”+ And though Irish io export them to foreign countries. But linens were not named in the bill, they were when Irish trade was to be legislated fornevertheless subjected to the duty under the another, and, as we have seen, a far different statute: thus were “the people of this interpretation was given. Encouragement, kingdom, in this particular, considered as applied to Ireland, if interpreted by the foreigners and aliens."
English Statute Book, means toleration. Mr. Dobbs, speaking of the gain Eng- Neither did England observe more scruland enjoyed by not allowing us to export pulously the other condition of the compact, our painted and striped linens either to her io wit, her undertaking not to encourage a colonies, or to her hoine markets, thus linen manufacture at home, to rival us. writes :—“The profit England gains upon On the contrary, she used every means in the linen and linen-yarn, as it is improved her power to increase and extend her linen there by working and stamping, since we trade to the prejudice of ours. Anderson, cannot export it striped or stained with with reference to this, says,—" But, howcolours, or with any other mixture, is so ever solemnly this compact might be obfar a monopoly. Úpon the Irish linens, served by Ireland, the truth was, that Engthat they stamp or stain, they gain 10d. per land carried on the linen manufacture to yard profit at least, when stamped or stained: full as great an extent as Ireland, while the iheir gain upon it then is £147,500 yearly."$ monopoly of the woollens remained totally
One would have imagined that the people with England.” | By an act of her parliaof England had, by this act, sufficiently re- ment, in 1716,5 purporting to be another stricted our trade" and enriched" themselves; “ gracious encouragement,” it was such, however, was not their opinion, and nanted that we might continue to export our they accordingly petitioned parliament, coin, white and browu linens to the plantations, plaining of the continued use of printed and under the former restrictions, “ so long as stained linens, and praying for their total the merchants and other persons of Great disuse. A committee was appointed, to Britain were permitted to import into IreBritish linen cloth as should be made and ate rapidity; and that England's extending manufactured in Great Britain.” Thus, be- the bounty to our produce is no palliation of fore nineteen years from the completion of her guilt in thus violating what an honourthe contract, we find England excluding able nation would look upon as the most sasome of our linens from her markets, and cred of obligations. demanding free admission to ours, for an ar- The first bounty was granted in 1743, ticle which she was bound not to rival us in, and the quantity of Irish linen, exported by the terms of an agreement proposed, from England, which received bounty in that drawn
land, free of all duties, such white and brown * Anderson's History of Commerce, vol. xi. p. 551.
| 10th Anne, c. 18. See Statutes of the Realm, English Commons Journal, vol. xix. p. 237. vol. ix. p. 610.
| Ibid, p. 263, see Commons Journal, vol. xv. p. | Representation of Trustees to George I. 393. 1719.
History of Commerce, vol. v. p, 383. $ Essay on the Trade of Ireland, p. 69-3.
3rd. George I., chap. 26, England
up, and forced upon us by herself. year, was 40,907 yards. From year to year Our parliament was, however, constrained the quantity increased, till, in 1773, it to acquiesce in these exactions, and, in 1717, amounted to 2,832,246 yards. But the stapassed an act, throwing open our markets to tistics of the export of English linens during the white and brown linens of England, free the same period, give the following very from all duties whatsoever.* And by a different ratio of increase : subsequent act, English cambrics, lawas, English linens which received bounty yds. towelling," and all linens painted or stained in 1743.....
52,779 in England,” even if of foreign manufac
Do. in 1773........
5,235,266 ture, were admitted duty free.t By the Thus we find that, to use the words of 15th and 16th George 11. chapter 29, the English Board of trade, this “system bounties were granted on the export of Eng- of linen bounties had been the ineans of lish linens, which were increased to nearly forwarding an extensive linen manufacture double their original amount by the 18th of in England."* In perfect keeping with this George II. chap. 25. In both cases they
was the chartering of the British Linen were extended to Irish linens, if exported Company, for the express purpose of supfrom England. The available bounty, how- plying - British linens" to the plantations. ever, on Irish linens, though nominally the This company had their charter signed ou same as that on English, was on an average the 5th July, 1746, and through its instru£8 per cent., the remainder being absorbed mentality the rival manufacture in Scotland, by the expense of freight, commission, &c.; as well as England, was greatly advanced.t whereas, that on English linens was about
Let us now enquire whether better faith £12, from which there were no deductions.
was kept, with regard to the encourageThe granting a bounty on the export of
ment of the hempen manufacture. The English linens was, we contend, a most fla- proposal made in the speech of the Lords grant violation of the treaty; nay, more, the Justices in 1698, concludes with the asexporting them at all was a breach of that clause which reciprocally bound the two na- “ not only be encouraged as consistent with
surance, that the hempen manufacture would tions--the one to refrain from the woollen, the trade of England;" but that its being the other from the linen manufacture. And established here as the staple would “renwhen we remember, that on represen- der the trade of this kingdom both useful tation having been made to the English and necessary to England.” More explicit house, by the woollen manufacturers of Eng; they could not well be: not only is the asland, that some Irish speculators continued
surance of to export woollens illicitly, an act was passed of self-interest, on the part of England, are
encouragement given, but motives placing under commission eleven armed urged, as arguments against the probability ships, to cruise off our coast, and “take, burn, of her at any future period breaking through or otherwise destroy,” any ships which were the treaty. Relying upon this, the Irish found carrying Irish woollens: what Parliament passed several bills for the enterms, sufficiently strong, can we find where couragement of the hempen manufacture, with to characterise the utter want of faith and expended large sums in its improvewhich England evinced on this occasion. That the extension of the bounty to Irish
ment. It is important to observe that whenlinens had a beneficial effect on our trade of either the linen or hemper manufacture,
ever a bill was brought in for the improvement we mean not to deny; while at the same time we affirm, that had the bounty not been incidentally shewing that they were both
they were both included in its title—thus granted on the linens of either country, we considered as included in the terms of the would have advanced with more proportion- compact. We have seen that in legislating 4th George I., chap, 6.
Report to Lord's Committee, 1781. † 17th George II., chap. I.
† Anderson's History of Commerce, vol. ii. pp. # 5th George II. chap. 21, England.
for these manufactures, premiums were to feel that when the trade flourished, it did granted on the import of hemp-seed two so in opposition to her rivalry, and that years prior to their being granted on the though in striving to retain it we maintained import of flax-seed—that the manufacture against her a long and expensive struggle, of sailcloth was encouraged by a bounty England finally triumphed in its overthrow. being granted on its export at so early a By the 12th Anne, chap. xii. which was period as 1707 : that the trustees were re- entitled "an act for the better encouragequired by the act of incorporation to expend ment of the making of sail-cloth in Great one-half the sum placed at their disposal Britain,” one penny bounty was granted in the improvement of the hempen manu- on every ell “of British made sail cloth or facture, shewing clearly the great importance canvass fit for or made into sails, which after attached to it, and that it was considered to the 21st July, 1713, shall be exported out of possess equal claims on the legislature. Great Britain:"*
By another bill it was The bounty given on the export of sail- enacted, “that every ship or vessel which cloth by the 6th Anne, chap. ix.,* was in- shall be built in Great Britain, and in creased to twice its former amount by the his majesty's plantations in America, shall, 8th Anne, chap. xii., f and was extended by before her first setting out or being first 1st George II. chap. ii. " to all sail-cloth navigated, have or be furnished with one used in ship furniture,” and by 9th George full and complete set of new sails, made of II, chap. iv.s to sail-cloth made for home sail-cloth manufactured in Great Britain, consumption. We do not refer to those under the penalty of £50 on the master of acts with the intent of detailing all that has the ship or vessel.”+ been done with a view to its increase. It This act affords a fair sample of the manwould be both tedious and unprofitable as ner in which England redeemed the pledge regards our object to refer seriatim to the she had given to encourage the hempen manu. many enactments which the trustees had re- facture of Ireland, and not to foster a rival source to : enough has been done to shew one. By it a severe check was given to that great sums of money must have been our sail-cloth manufacture ; but the final spent in the improvement and extension of blow was struck in 1750 by the English this trade, on the faith of its being protected act, 23rd George II, chap. — whereby a and encouraged by England. The sum ex- duty of four pence per yard was imposed pended on it and the linen manufacture from on the import of Irish sail-cloth of the ihe appointment of the Linen Board to the value of fourteen pence per yard, and two year 1750 is computed at half a million ;|| pence per yard for any under that value. being a quarter of a million for the hempen. “In consequence of which," to use the We learn from the report of the committee words of the report already referred to, " the of 1772, that under the encouragement thus Irish, apprehensive of new discouragement, afforded, " the hempen manufacture so far did totally abandon the culture of hemp, flourished that the inhabitants of this king- and are thereby obliged now (1772) to imdom did in a great measure supply them- port annually at a medium to the amount of selves with hemp of their own growth, and £21,777 value (of sail-cloth) instead of were enabled to export great quantities of supplying themselves, which they formerly sail-cloth from this kingdom."
did.” These were the “ dragon's teeth,” the This was the condition of the hempen sowing of which England so bitterly remanufacture of Ireland. Let us now see pented of when their unexpected fruit had how much truth is in the assertion, that we ripened. are indebted to the encouragement of Eng- So much has been said and written to land for the progress which it made. She prove that the prosperity which the linen promised us encouragement 'tis true; but trade of Ireland had enjoyed, was owing to we do not anticipate much difficulty in con- the “liberal encouragement” it met from vincing the candid enquirer, that instead of the English legislature during the period owing aught to England for the extent that intervened between the sealing of that which this trade attained, the very reverse is treaty, whereby the nation's wealth was the case, and that we have too much reason handed over to the stranger by an aristoour history, whose brilliancy but serves to of facts, (who, ever willing to use statistics make the “ darkness visible,"—that we when they find them to suit, are as ready deemed it of the last importance to investi- when they are found not to suit, to fling them gate that portion of its history with the ut- overboard, as “mere figures which prove most care. We have now laid before our nothing,") we will give the results of an readers the results of our enquiry, and we average of years, as our space will not perdoubt not but a careful consideration of the mit of our giving the resulis of each year. facts we have placed before their view, will From the returns made, we find, by takforce upon them as it has on us, the convic- ing the average of the seven years, comtion that to England we owe nothing of that mencing 1747, and ending 1703, that the prosperity.
cratic and irresponsible parliament, constiStatutes, vol. iv., p. 132.
tuted not of Irish representatives, but of Ibid. vol. iv. p. 240.
English nominees, and that bright spot in Ibid. vol. v. p. 233. Ibid. vol. iv. p. 187. Commons' Journal, vol. xv. 430.
Statutes of the Realm, vol. ix. p. 781. Commons' Journal, vol. xyi. p. 392.
† 19th George II, chap. 27, Eng:
quantity of linen exported from Ireland in Those to whose ears “British honour" and 1750 may be stated at 10,427,4949 yards ; the like imposing phrases are familiar, may by a like computation the quantity exported have rested satisfied on seeing that England in 1780 was 19,318,654. This would bound herself by solemn compact to encourage give an actual increase in the export, of our linen and hempen manufacture; relying 8,891,159, during the thirty years which inon her assumed title to “ integrity,” they tervened; whereas the actual amount at the may have deceived themselves into the terinination of fifteen years from the declabelief that it must have been so, since British ration of independence, taking the average faith was pledged thereto. But let such of seven years, was 43,524,2111, being an credulous admirers look to the few facts we increase of 24,205,5564. It thus appears have adduced ; let them look to that compact that when left to ourselves we increased the unheeded for seven years; our people forced trade threefold more in fifteen, than “the eninto idleness, or driven from their native couragement of England had done in land to seek in exile that permission “ to thirty years. labour for their bread in that state of Jife unto There is another point connected with which it had pleased God to call them," this period, worthy of attention. It is the which English laws deprived them of at difference in the duties which were deterhome; let them look to ihe manner in which mined in 1784, on linen goods reciprocally England affected to fulfil her treaty; let imported from Ireland and England. them see her after a few short years, ut
Duty payable in Ireland on terly disregarding that treaty, setting up a British linen and cotton 9 18 5 rival manufacture, and by prohibitory laws, mixed, per £100 value putting down that which she voluntarily
Do. on British linens printed?
9 18 5
or stained bound herself to protect; let them do this,
Duty on Irish linen and cotand then talk of British honour.
ton, mixed, imported into 29 15 10 In endeavouring to give the details con- England nected with this period, with a degree of
Do. on Irish linen printed or
stained fulness which though far from being com
65 10 10 mensurate with its importance, is somewhat
From these duties it would rather appear greater than perhaps we should have done, that Ireland was bound not to rival the linen had we in time measured our space, we have manufacture of England, than that England left ourselves very little room for the details was bound to promote and encourage hers. of its subsequent history. We cannot, how- Still we have seen, that notwithstanding ever, omit to notice the unanswerable argu
these fearful odds, our trade increased durment which the statistics of our exports fur- ing the years of independence, with a rapinish, that the extension of the manufacture dity almost unprecedented. was attributable to the domestic-not the
We did not, however, long enjoy the adforeign legislation.
vantages which the unanimity of '82 had In referring to statistical evidence, we
won for our long enthralled country. The do not accidentally select that year which national enthusiasm of the day suppressed has placed opposite to it the precise amount for a time the sectarian strife, which the of figures, which would best suit a purpose. policy of party so assiduously fostered and Truth, not púrpose, being our object, we inflamed." The master spirits of the age might take any year, or every year, included aroused the public mind; and, public attenwithin the respective periods, and find in tion being directed towards the attainment the comparative value of each, sufficient data of national rights, the Catholics of Ireland whereon to maintain the position we uphold. generously forgot their individual wrongs, That we may not, however, give any cause of complaint to those querulous gainsayers * Newenham's View, p. 107.