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endowed us with sundry other means to continue and maintain trade of merchandising and fishing beyond them all, whereby we might prevent the deceivers, engross the commodities of the engrossers, enrich ourselves, and increase our navigation, shipping, and mariners, so as it would make all nations to vail the bonnet to England, if we would not be still wanting to ourselves in employment of our people.
Which people being divided into three parts, two parts of them are mere spenders and consumers of a commonwealth, therefore I aim at these points following:
To allure and encourage the people for their private gain, to be all workers and erectors of a commonwealth.
To enrich and fill your majesty's coffers by a continual coming in, and making your people wealthy, by means of their great and profitable trading and employment.
To vend our homebred commodities to far more reputation, and much more profit to the king, the merchant, and the kingdom.
To return the merchandises of other countries at far cheaper rates than now they are, to the great good of the realm in general.
To make the land powerful by increasing of ships and mariners.
To make your people's takings in general to be much more every day than now they are, which, by God's help, will grow continually more and more, by the great concourse and commerce that will come by settled constitutions and convenient privileges, as in other parts they do by this their great freedom of trade.
All this, and much more, is done in other countries where nothing groweth ; so that of nothing they make great things.
Then how much more mighty things might we make, where so great abundance and variety of homebred commodities and rich materials grow for your people to work upon, and other plentiful means to do that withal, which other nations neither have nor cannot want, but of necessity must be furnished from hence ? and now,
merchandising is wild, utterly confused, and out of frame, as at large appeareth, a state-merchant will roundly and effectually bring all the premises to pass, fill your havens with ships, those ships with mariners, your kingdom full of merchants, their houses full of outlandish commodities, and your coffers full of coin, as in other places they do, and your people shall have just cause to hold in happy memory, that your majesty was the beginner of so profitable, praiseworthy, and renowned a work, being the true philosopher's stone to make your majesty a rich and potent king, and your subjects happy people, only by settling of a state-merchant, whereby your people may have fulness of trade and manufactory, and yet hold both honourable and profitable government, without breaking of companies.
And for that in the settling of so weighty a business, many things of great consequence must necessarily fall into consideration, I humbly pray that your majesty may be pleased (for the bringing of this great service to light) to give me leave to nominate the commissioners, and your majesty to give them power to call before them such men as they shall think fit to confer with upon oath, or otherwise, as occasion shall offer; that the said commissioners, with all speed, for the better advancement of this honourable and profitable work, may prepare and report the same unto your majesty. Your majesty's most loyal and true-hearted subject,
THE RIGHT HON. MY SINGULAR GOOD LORD AND KINSMAN,
KNIGHT OF THE GARTER, BARON AND COUNSELLOR, AND OF THE
ADMIRALS OF ENGLAND THE MOST RENOWNED.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
SIR ROBERT CECIL, KNT.
COUNSELLOR IN HER HIGHNESS'S PRIVY-COUNCILS.
your Honour's many honourable and friendly parts, I have hitherto only returned promises ; and now, for answer of both your adventures, I have sent you a bundle of papers which I have divided between your lordship and sir Robert Cecil, in these two respects chiefly: first, for that it is reason that wasteful factors, when they have consumed such stocks as they had in trust, do yield some colour for the same in their account. Secondly, for that I am assured that whatsoever shall be done or written by me shall need a double protection and defence. The trial that I had of both
your loves, when I was left of all, but of malice and revenge, makes me still presume that you will be pleased (knowing what little power I had to perform ought, and
great advantage of forewarned enemies) to answer that out of knowledge, which others shall but object out of ma
my more happy times, as I did especially honour you both, so I found that your loves sought me out in the darkest shadow of adversity, and that the same affection