« AnteriorContinuar »
be other then apprehensive of their failure, since I see so litle advances in ye discharge of their debt undertaking, now more then halfe their Time is spent, & probably (as hath already bin said) all most all ye solvent money of extraordinarys is by this Time collected.
I know my Lord Ranelagh will object yt ye Farm" are short in their Paymts to him, but having enquired into that matter I doe not perceive that of this Quarter there is above nine or ten thousand pås, or very neer there abouts, due to them, wch tho' I acknowledge this too great a summ for ye Farm's so long to deteine, yet ye Excuse of these Farm"s is (wch we must all allow to be true), that ye weather hath of late bin so very bad as their Collectis could not travaile to gette ye money together; yet, however, they will not faile to answer ye whole within ten days' Time, & this they have engaged to doe, tho' they borrow ye money. All wch when performed will not, I am confident, more then answer (nay, I wish it will answer) ye large bills drawn out of England upon ye Comts of ye Treãry, so as I doe not see how their condition will be at all amended when these moneys are payd, nor they enabled to goe through wth yo great debt they have Undertaken. The Acct between ye Com" & Farm's to Midsuñer last is stated & passed in ye Excheq', & my L4 Chief Baron tells me (for I have not yet perused ye Acct it selfe) yt ye Farm's are found to have overpayd twelve hund pås. Thus much I thought fitt to adde, because I fear there is none in England to represent y case, & all may be taken for granted that my L4 Ranelagh shall assert.
When Mr. Harbord went over, I instructed him yt, in case my Ld Ranelagh's Undertaking should be questioned in ye House of Coñons there, He should be ready to speake favourably of it, & to give my sense therein to this effect, That however this method of ye revenue might seem to be a diminution to y powr of ye Lieut, & (to such who had conscience large enough to reap irregular advantages) a lessening to his profitt, yet I was fully of Opinion yt if these men went through wth their business, ye Undertaking would be much to
ye King's service, both in regard it would clear him of a great debt & reduce yê receipt of ye publick mony into a good method for ye future. That these men were so dextrous & industrious in their way, as they would bring in many summs impossible to have bin collected, had this, as formerly, bin under ye charge of ye Lieu. That I did not look upon their project to be so wild a Thing as many men imagined. That this War hath bin a great hindrance to them, & in case they should break, I could not but attribute ye hastning at least, if not ye reason, of this their failure, in a great measure to this misfortune. All wch, as I am told, Mr. Harbord hath performed there, not a litle to ye creditt & advantage of these Undertakers. This I did, both because I was unwilling for his Majesties sake yt this business should be too far looked into by ye House of Comons, but chiefly in complyance to ye Coñands I rečd from his Matie when I left England, that I should by no means be wanting on my part to countenance & support this Affaire, & as I have not failed in giving ye utmost of my assistance towards it hitherto, so neither can I answer it in duty to him I serve, if I should not truly acquaint his Mafie wth ye apprehensions I have of them.
Since I writt this Lře, I also find ye Farm's are in Arrear four thousand pås upon ye Customs.
CXXIII.—THE EARL OF ESSEX TO THE EARL OF
Dublin Castle, March 20th, 7%. The Unquiet Temper, wherein you have bin during ye last Sessions of Parliamt in England, hath not wanted its influences here, for in this Citty (wch seemed before reasonably well disposed
& quiet under ye Rules that were established by my selfe & Councell) several of their factious & troublesome men, encouraged as I believe by ye forwardness of ye House of Coñons to harken unto any complaints, began to stir agen, & were making a party to represent their grievances (as they call them to ye House of Coñons. The principall thing they then fixed upon in their litle Caballsa was agt that Rule of admitting others as well as Protestants to a freedome of Trade here. This they thought would be a gratefull complaint to those to whom they intended their Adress, but after yt ye Parlmt was prorogued, having gain’d a good number to their party, they chang’d their course & designed ye making their application to his Matie. Soe far had these men prevailed among ye Citizens, yt divers petitions have bin exhibited to my La Mayor from severall of ye Corporacions, a Copy of one of them is here enclosed (in substance they being all ye same), by wch you their intention was to apply to his Matie for vacating ye Rules. The whole number of ye Corporacions are twenty, of weh five had petitioned, and a Coñittee of ye Citty did meet on Tuesday last upon these Petitions, &, as I hear, many of them, in a most tumultuous manner, clamord out for a generall Assembly to be called on Fryday ; afterward five more Corporacions came in & petitioned. Upon notice of this, I thought it was full Time for me to interpose, & truly I conceive Petitions from great numbers of men in any Govermt are of dangerous consequence, & can only tend to ye disturbance of it. But especially as this case stands, I apprehended it more particularly my duty to shield his Matie from such complaints, for should they be permitted to exhibite the intended Petition, his Matie, if he denied their request, would take upon himselfe ye disobligacón, wch I think is much fitter, if it should raise
ill will, to have it rest upon me, his Minister, then himselfe, & if his Mafie should graciously please to grant their Adress, He would then (ye Rules being, by ye express words of ye Act, made as good
* Essex had been uniformly indulgent to the Catholics. On Feb. 21 he wrote to Harbord stating that he had refused to disarm them.
& effectuall, to all intents and purposes, as if ye same had bin specially & particularly established by authoritie of that present Parlimt) by his owne powr vacate a Clause in this Law ; & how this would be resented & sound at ye meeting of ye Parlmt in Eng. land, Yr LP, who was an Eye Witness of ye Exceptions taken agt ye Comittee of Inspection in ye late Sessions of Parlmt, only upon suspicion that that Comišs" was intended to infringe this Act, can best judge. Besides, should these Rules come to a particular debate, that Clause of them of admitting as well others as Protestants into Corporacions would be discused, & then it would appear that ye word (Others) was inserted by his Matie's particular directions. All wch I fear would be an occasion of breeding no good bloud among ye people of England, so as Take it either way, whether his Matie granteth or refuseth their Adress, it could not, in my
humble opinion, prove other then inconvenient to him; nay, perhaps 'twas so designed by yo Promoters of these petions.
For these reasons, therefore, it seemed best to me to stay y progress of this matter, at least in ye way it was now sett on foot. And to this end I this day sent for ye La Mayor, Aldermen, & Masters of ye severall Corporacions, & spake to them, as is express'd in the enclosed paper, wherein y? LP will finde I have not alltogether precluded them of all manner of application.
I am very apt to believe yt some of these men have encouragem out of England, & have more then probability to suspect yi my Lord Privy Seale doth underhand animate them; a litle time will shew us what Temper they will be in, & in case they should persist in their former practices, ye persons who are ye principall movers, being not above three or four, I desire to know whether his Matie would be willing I should send them over into England to answer their faults at ye Councell board there, for I am confid', were they putt to y charge of a journey & some attendance, & returned but wth a reprooff, they being poor men, it would quiett all for ever after. This I shall not doe without necessitie inforceth me, & in ye
mean Time I shall be glad of an intimation how his Majestie would like such a course, as also how he approves of what I have done hitherto.
From Sligo I hear yt Francis Bodkin is convict & condemned for Pyracy, ye evidence being very full & clear agt him; ye Comts are there proceeding agt others of his Accomplices.
That wch 1 writt to y' LP in mine of ye 17th, concerning my La Ranelagh's Undertaking, is not at all intended either to disparage it or bring any discreditt upon the undertakers, but only truly to represent ye case to his Matie as I finde it here. His LP residing at London, & being alwaies neer ye Court, hath ye opportunitie to urge ye slackness of paymts on ye Farm's part, & to procure
FarmLřes to press them to a more speedy performance, all wch I conceive doth not a litle further his Majesties business; but there being none except my selfe to observe his & his partner's failings, who indeed require some quickning, I have taken upon me in that Lie to make known their present state, wth my conjectures thereupon, yt his Matie being thus informed may give such Orders in relation to this Affair as his Matie shall thinke fitt.
CXXIV.-SPEECH OF THE EARL OF Essex TO THE
March 200, 1671. I hear yt Petitions have bin lately proferr’d by some of ye Corporacons of ye Citty to y La Mayor to have Liberty to petition agt ye Rules wch bave bin established for regulating this Corporacón. Copies of ye Petitions themselves have bin scattered up & downe in severall mens' hands, & read at Coffee houses, by wch means I came to be informed of them.
'Tis well known that these Rules were made by virtue & Powr given by Act of Parliamt to ye Lieut & Councell, & that they are now by virtue of that Act of ye same force as an Act of Parliam'.