A Discourse of Western Planting, by Richard Hakluyt

Chap. XVI.

Meanes to kepe this enterprise from overthrowe, and the enterprisers from shame and dishonour.

Euery newe enterprise is in the begynnyinge burdenous, chardgeable, and heavie, and moste comonly hath many greate enemies; which is the cause that many goodd men, much affected to their contrie in wittie excellent enterprises, sincke and fainte under their burden. And because that this enterprise which wee have in hande or in purpose (besides that it is much maliced, specially by our mightie faction of the Papistes), is an enterprize that requireth, beside the favour of the Prince, no small chardge; therefore wee are to devise howe the burden may leste tyme reste on the backe of the bearer of the same, that he sincke not under the same, but that he maye stande upp in full strengthe, and goe throughe with ease, fame, and profitt, withoute shame of all the bymedlers and fauters of the same. And entred into consideration hereof, this cometh to mynde: that the firste chardge of the navye to be admitted as for the present deade chardge for the tyme, howe supply of the chardges followinge may be mayneteyned and borne; for in that standeth one greate matter that ymporteth honour, credite, profite, and the whole sequele of the enterprize.

Wee are induced by late plaine examples of the Frenche, that have traficqued in those partes with greate profite, to beleve that upon our plantinge wee shall as yt were defraye as well the firste chardges as the chardges followinge, by the comodities in trafficque that wee shall receave by passinge into the inland by river and otherwise. But admittinge the worse, that the people will neither receave our comodities nor yelde us theirs againe, then wee are to devise of ourselves howe wee may otherwise at the firste countervaile our chardges, and become greate gayners, will or nill the naturall inhabitantes of those regions or others; and that is, by enjoyinge certaine naturall comodities of the landes infinitely aboundinge, in no accompts with them and with us of greate price, which is this way to be broughte aboute.

The soiles there upon the seacoaste, and all alonge the tracte of the greate broade mightie ryvers, all alonge many hundreth miles into the inland, are infinitely full fraughte with swete wooddes of ffyrr, cedars, cypres, and with divers other kindes of Sawe milles. goodly trees; and settynge upp mylles to sawe them, suche as be common in Poland and in all the north easte regions, wee may with spede possesse infinite masses of boordes of these swete kindes, and these frame and make ready to be turned into goodly chestes, cupboordes, stooles, tables, deskes, &c., upon the returne. And consideringe the present wante of tymber in the realme, and howe derely the cipres chestes are solde that come from the ilandes of the Levant seas, and lately from the Azores, to Bristoll and the westerne havens, these may be bothe amply and derely vented in all the portes of the realme and of the realmes adjoyninge, consideringe that in this age every man desireth to fill his house with all manner of goodd furniture. So that were there no other peculiar comodities, this onely, I say, were ynoughe to defraye all the chardges of all the begynnynge of the enterprize, and that oute of hande; for suche mylwrightes may easely be procured from suche places where they abounde, and some suche (possible) be in England; for I have herde of a frende of myne, that one suche mill within these xxx yeres was sett upp in Worcestshere by a knighte of that contrie. And one man onely were able to directe a thousande of our common milwrightes in that trade; and carpinters and joyners, the realme may spare thousandes for a nede.

And with like ease and shortenes of time wee may make of the woodes there pitch and tarr, which are thinges fitt for our navie, and marchandizes of goodd vente and of comon neede.

And with like ease wee may make of the wooddes there plentie of sope asshes, a comoditie very dere and of greate and ample vente with us, and elsewhere in forren kingdomes of Europe. Also wee may there prepare for pikes, chasinge staves, oares, halberts, and the like for cullen cleftes for sundry uses, &c. And also wee may there, withoute payeng for the same, have tymber to builde greate navies, and may bringe them into this realme, and have goodd sale of the same.

All this, I say, may be broughte to passe if wee wisely plante, upon our arryvall, aboute the mouthes of greate rivers and in the ilandes of the same; and so wee shall have the starte before the Frenche and all others; and our people, sente thither for the purposes aforesaide, shall be ready to man our shippes to give repulse at the firste to all suche as shall come thither to sett foote to our annoye.

Thus all thinges removed that mighte bringe discouragemente, the firste that tooke the enterprise in hande have wonne greate honour and highe estymation with all degrees in England, and, havinge by these former meanes wonne to defraye all the chardges of the brunte off the enterprise, they stande full able to followe the same withoute cravinge aide of the lingringe marchaunte, and have the possibilitie onely to themselves of the trades of traficque with the people, which they may bringe aboute eyther with curtesie, or by pollicie and force, as by joyninge now with this petite kinge, and nowe with that, &c.

And this once plainely founde and noted in England, what noble man, what gentleman, what marchante, what citezen or contryman, will not offer of himselfe to contribute and joyne in the action, forseeinge that the same tendeth to the ample vent of our clothes, to the purchasinge of riche comodities, to the plantinge of younger brethren, to the employment of our idle people, and to so many noble endes? And greate joyninge in contribution upon so happy begynnynges geveth abilitie to fortifie, to defende all forren force in divers comodious places even at the firste.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:00