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CXXXI.—LORD CONWAY TO THE EARL OF ESSEX. MAY IT PLEASE Yoo ExcFL", Ragley, 31st March, 1674. 3: # + + +

I told yo' Excel", in my last from London of the 24th instant, that I had sent away my Character into these parts, yet I suppose my relations will not be prevented by others. In my Letter of the 28th past, I acquainted Yoo Excel" that the project of all Affaires at Court depended upon the Regulation of Expenses. When this was searcht into, it appeared that every yeare since the King came in, he had exceeded his constant Revenue a Million of Money, except one yeare that it was but halfe so much. Treasurer, who took much paines to see through the bottome of the cheat, desired King that the Fleet might, in the first place, be pay’d off, and that the King might be moved to put a stop to all Sallaryes and Pentions till the Seamen were pay’d, and all Mony taken up upon Credit to have them repay’d, for that the King was at 1500" a day charge extraordinary till this was donne. Great perplexityes ensued for some days. It was given out in the City that there was a generall stop put upon the Exchequer, and many Bankiers who were known or suspected to lend mony to the Court, had all their mony cal’d in, and this was by the Art of those that labor'd to break the Regulation. On the other side, the Courtiers were enraged, and Anglosey swore he knew not how to goe to Markett. Keeper grumbled as much as any, and Arlington, I heard, took it ill his private intelligence mony should not be reckoned upon as an indispensable thing. The Dutchesse of Portsmouth was advised by King to make a friendship with Trear. She had bought a Necklasse of Pearle, 8000" price, of a Marchant, and a payre of Diamond Pendants, 3000 Guynyes, of Elder Lady Northumberland, but neither of them would part with them without ready mony. I left Trear. and the afores" person in treaty, and I suppose they are both able to make their bargains. The intentions of Ormond to goe into Ireland made his followers give it out that Esser was to be recalled. This alarmed me so much that I had little rest till Trear. spoke with King, who assured him of the vanity of it, and say’d much more concerning Ormond and Orrery then I need to repeat. I am sure King is very

glad of the departure of Ormond.
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MR. HARBORD, Dublin Castle, March 28, 1674.

On ye 13th of Octob" last I reëd a Lie from my Lord of Shaftes. bury, then L' Chancell', a copy whereof is here enclosed, by wo you will finde y' his Ma" did then designe some inspection into yo disposition wo" hath bin made of lands here ; & I am also thereby directed ye holding correspondence upon this subject w" his LP, & none other. I have taken care to employ some persons wo great secrecie about y' worke, & doe not finde y' any are allarmd woo it, or in yo least suspect what is doeing. Do Gorge, so much commended in my Lo Shaftesbury's Lie as a man very skilfull in ye whole compass of Irish Affairs, appears to me no very extraordinary person, & as for his knowledge in matters of this Kingdome, here are severall infinitely beyond him, only they have not yo luck to be known on y” other side; so as this D′ being better able to speake upon subjects of this sort than others who appear there, is, I believe, yo ground of putting so much value upon him.

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His Mao's designe by this search, I presume, was to bring all these Lands so discoverd into a Cofiñon Stocke, to yo intent they might be applied to y ends of yo Act, & y Remainder to be an additionall revenue to y” Crowne ; but now, whilst I was thus far

advanced, there came severall Lies under ye Signett, for ye grant of Lands to persons who shall discover them : one Lie for my Ld. Kingstown, bearing date 23" Feb. ; two on ye behalfe of Coll. Dillon, of ye 29th Jan. & 2" of March ; & one for my Lord Mount Alexand' of ye 29" Jan. 73. Many others, I hear, are ready, & no doubt of it will be gained ; & I cannot but say that by this course ye King hath brought, as our English proverb is, “An old House on his head,” for here are abundance of men preparing to goe into England upon these designs, & I finde severall of them have already bin advising w” Councill to frame Lies to this purpose, so as his Ma" must expect disquiet enough by these sollicitations. These Lies being utterly incompatible with yo other designe, I desire you will get a Time to speake privately woo his Malie & know his pleasure what He will have done, for if his intentions continue to prosecute these discoverys in yo manner my Ld. of Shaftesbury’s Lie directs, & to proceed to an orderly disposition of such Lands as shall be found out, there must be one Lie drawn to suspend all these Grants, & all others of y" like kind that shall be obtained ; but if his Ma" shall rather thinke fitt y' every man who hath a pretention gett what he can, 'Tis necessary I should herein know his pleasure, that so I may desist from yo other worke, & putt his Ma" to no further unnecessary charge upon the enquiry. The Truth is, y' Lands of Ireland have bin a meer scramble, & y" least done by way of orderly distribution of them as perhaps hath ever been known, wo" makes all men soe unsettled in their Estates & soe unquiet in their possessions. And this hath been a ground for projectors to worke upon ; wo", considering Ireland as a plantation (for in reallitie it is litle other), cannot but be so great a discouragem' to all people from coming hither, & to those who are here from laying out moneys on Improvemen", as this alone is obstacle enough to yo flourishing of it. I could heartily wish that one way or other there were an end of these discoverys, for better were it for ye Crowne to be cheated of its Right to divers parcells of Lands, than by perpetuall Inquisitions so to harass men's CAMD. SOC. 2 D WOL. I

Estates, and disparage their Titles to them, as all men are afraid to deale, and, consequently, both yo Increase of people and Improvem' of Trade, to yo greater damage of y" publick revenue, is hereby most notoriously hinderd. Therefore I doe humbly propose, that w" way soever his Ma" shall take for yo clearing these doubtfull Titles, there may at length be an End; and that after a year or two, or such other Time as his Ma” shall thinke fitt, there may be no further vexation of this kind upon y people. All this I would have you discourse wo y King, but not communicate it to any other person whatever, and return me an Answer as speedily as may be. In case his Ma" approve yo satisfying private men's pretentions separately, I have herew" sent you one, being as just as any, and exactly pursuant to yo Acts of Settlement.

This I desire you would get signed. Here is a province in this Kingdome, I mean yo province of Cofiaght and County Clare, y” new Estates whereof are as yet wholly unsettled. I have sent over yo case to my Lord of Arlington, and desire you will sollicite y” dispatch of it, Summer being y' Time most proper to send out Com" for such an Affair.


MR. HARBORD, Dublin Castle, March 31, '74. + + + -k- + The discours you tell me you had w” his Mao concerning my administračán of Affairs" here gives me great satisfaction. 'Tis very strange that this country cannot be furnished won small money, but still one obstruction or other intervenes to hinder it. I have been above a year labouring to gett some here. At first we were told that some of those made for England should be sent over, wth I approvd & desired might come; afterwards these were refused. Then, as you know, I proposed that if they would not serve us out of England, it might be left to me to provide yo Country woo them, wo" (as you best understand) I intended to doe w" litle profitt to my selfe, & most advantage that could be to y” publick. Now that this is almost consented to (as this last Lie of yo tells me) a Patent of St Thomas Armstrong's is started up to obstruct it. I am certaine y” poor Kingdome suffers extremely for want of small money, & are miserably cheated by every fellow that coynes what he pleaseth, & I wish yo King would putt it in some way, that y” Country might be supplied. But then it must . be considered that if it falls into yo hand of this Patentee, or any other of mean fortune, if he be not tied strictly to Rules of what value to make them, He and his partners will only intend their owne profitt, & y people be much abused by that coyne. .

* See Letter CXXIX.

I confess I have a great desire to doe some publick thing here for ye advantage of y" Kingdome, & have bin often much troubled to see how every of these intentions for y” cofion good are so strongly hedgå up by patents, Grants, and other Incumbrances, as 'tis almost impossible to breake through them.

You may observe an instance hereof even in these Farthings, but there is a greater, & such as no man almost can guess at yo value, & that is yo Mines of this Kingdome, woo I am confid for Lead, Copper, nay, and perhaps Silver, may be equall to any in yo World. The working of all wo" are discouraged, & indeed totally suppressd, by a Patent of St George Hamilton's for Mine Royall. So as no man that hath any Mines but useth his utmost endeavours to conceale them. This I only mention by y” by, but perhaps on some further enquiry I shall make a more serious representa&n of it.

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