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by nature and situation, both to gratify friends and annoy enemies, as this your Majesty's town of Dover.
No place or town of Christendom is so settled to receive and deliver intelligence for all matters and actions in Europe, from time to time.
No town of all the Low Countries, though by their industry they have a great number excessive populous, fair, and rich, is by nature so settled, either to allure intercourse by sea, or train inhabitants by land, to make it great, fair, rich, and populous.
For alluring intercourse by sea, there is already sufficient said.
By land, it hath better air and water, two chief elements, than all the rich towns in Holland and Zealand.
For fire, the country round about is far better wooded than theirs, and the whole shire wherein it standeth, and round about the town itself, the soil is so well sorted for arable and pasture of all sorts, for marsh and meadows sufficiently furnished, as heart of man cannot wish or desire it better.
A quarry of stone at hand sufficient to build both town and haven in a niost sufficient, large, and beautiful manner. There wanteth nothing by land, sea, or air that can be wished. And, if those industrious people of the Low Countries had in all their provinces such a seat with like commodities, they would make it a spectacle to the world without respect of charge whatsoever,
There wanteth nothing but a harbour, which when compassed, all other parts of peopling, wealth, and strength will follow of itself.
A marvellous number of poor people both by this work, till the haven is made, and after by the shipping, fishing, &c. will be employed, who now for want of work are whipped, marked, and hanged.
The quick uttering of commodities, which always followeth by increase of intercourse, will cause all the coast and shire to be notably manured and peopled, not with poor, idle, but painful, industrious, and rich persons, a great ornament and commodity in peace, and sure defence in war, the same being the frontier nearest coast to a most dangerous, puissant, active, and aspiring neighbour.
The increase of navigation, fishing, and traffick that hereby will graw, and the great wealth and commodity thereof arising, will not be contained in one shire alone, but poured forth into all parts of the realm, to the great relief of the poor, and contentation of all degrees, increasing of arts and occupations, a pattern whereof we may behold even in our next neighbours the Low-Countries; not feigned in imagination, but actually by them put in execution; and great shame it were for us, to despair attaining that, which we see others our neighbours have atchieved before us.
As the whole realm in general, so your Majesty also in respect of your particular revenue shall reap great profit by increase of subsidies, which always will grow greater, together with the wealth of the land, besides the increase of customs, and such other revenues as shall be there made of the soil there gained from the
The shire of Kent, being within few years grown marvellous in. dustrious in tilling and manuring their grounds, when they shall see so convenient a port to vend their superfluous commodities, will not only increase in wealth and people, but also yield to your Majesty's coffers, for transportation of their excise in wheat, barley, and beer, great increase of revenues; and all other shires, taking example by them, will likewise grow in labour, industry, wealth, and people.
There can be no pitch,, tar, masts, cables, or other tackle for shipping, passed from Dantzick, Denmark, or other northern parts to France, Spain, or Italy, but your Majesty, having a strong hand of shipping at Dover, may command for money the choice thereof before any king in Christendom in time of peace; and in time of war thereby also disable enemies and content friends; besides the infinite commodity that may happily grow to the whole nation in general, and to your Majesty's coffers also by a staple, that, in time, with good policy may be erected there, to serve both south and north countries with tbeir mutual conimodities.
In time of war, how dangerous attempts may be made with small frigates of fire, or otherwise, to indanger your Majesty's navy where it now lieth, with hope sufficient to escape and return again, before any shipping can be made out of the Thames to rescue or revenge, the expertest soldiers and seamen best know. But this harbour being made and furnished with good shipping, as always it will be, no such attempt will ever be made, the enemy being assured, however the wind blows, upon any alarm either from London or Dover, to be surprised, and no hope left to escape.
Your Majesty, having shipping at Dover, may also upon all suddenness, with lesser charge, set forth to scour the seas of pirates, whereby your navy of merchants will marvellously increase and flourish, both in the great strength and wealth of the realm, and to the great increase of your Majesty's customs.
In like sort, your fishing-navies may be maintained and protected from pilfering pirates, or other violence of strangers, and thereby reap the benefit of your seas; whereby our strength by sea will marvellously increase, and great number of poor people be employed, as well on land, in knitting nets, and making and mending both ships and tackle, as also in getting of fish, a food greatly to relieve the poverty of the realm, and excessively to increase your Majesty's revenue, by custom of such commodities, as shall be brought in abundantly for exchanging of those our fish.
The fishing-Davies being, by this means, both protected and greatly increased, all laws for punishment, and taxes for relieving idle and poor people, will then cease; for there shall be no person, for age or sickness, almost so impotent, but shall find hereby some trade, whereby to get their living; as, by example of the LowCountries, we may plainly behold.
What greater honour to your Majesty, than, like as you are, in right of inheritance, lady of the narrow seas, so to be able indeed to maintain that seigniory, and to put the same in execution at all times, so far forth as your Highness shall find convenient?
What greater honour to your Majesty, than to be the founder of so notable a monument, lying in the eye of almost all the shipping of Europe ? A thing, to which your Majesty's father aspired, with the expence of so great a mass of his own treasure.
What greater honour, than to be able, in time of peace, or war, to protect friends, and offend enemies, more than any other prince in Europe ?
Seeing, then, it hath pleased God to leave unto this realm such a situation for a port anet town, as all Christendom bath not the like; and endowed the same with all commodities by land and sea, that can be wished to make the harbour allure intercourse, and maintain inhabitants ; and that the same, once performed (in all probable discourse of reason) shall bring such increase of commodity, not only for augmentation of your Majesty's particular revenues, but also of welfare and riches to the whole realm in general, the same also being a thing so needful, or rather of necessity, as well for succouring and protecting friends, as annoying and offending enemies, both in war and peace; and that it hath pleased God, in his providence, to reserve the same, as an ornament of your time, to be now performed by your Majesty, and left, as an honourable monument of your lappy reign, to all posterity : Methinks, there remaineth no other deliberation in this case, but how most sufficiently, and with greatest perfection possible, most speedily the same may be accomplished.
And, in discharge of some part of my bounden duty to the advancement of your Majesty's service, having not only heard, by the examination of the most ancient and skilful mariners and inhabitants in Dover, the true estate of all alterations there, for these forty years past; but also myself seen and sounded all the channels, shelves, and roads there, and set them down exactly in plat: Having also conferred the sundry opinions of strangers, and also of our own nation, for the repairing, or making a new haven there; and comparing the same with what myself have seen put in execution, in sundry places of the Low-Countries, for making havens artificial, I have, in the end, resolved upon one form of plat, which, of all others (as well for the use and commodity, when it is finished, as for the possibility, or rather for the facility in making; for the probability, or ratber assured certainty of continuance; for avoiding great waste of timber, and saving a great mass of treasure) I find and judge of most perfection. And, albeit the Flemish plat, in former conference of commissioners, was adjudged, of all others then offered, the most probable; yet, upon due consideration, this plat, I presume, will appear in all respects more commodious, more feisable, more assured to continue, of far less \cost in maintenance, and at least twenty-thousand pounds lesser charge in making, as by the articles of explanation and charges
more evidently may appear. This, which I humbly present to your Majesty's gracious consideration, as a matter of great moment, both in peace and war, for your Highness's service; for the great comfort of all the navy of your realm; and a monument most honourable, and none of the least, to all posterity, of your Majesty's most gracious, prosperous, and happy reign.
The foregoing discourse was part of a memorial, drawn up either by Sir Walter Raleigh, or Sir Dudley Diggs, which I found among the rubbish of old papers, while I had the houour to serve in the office of the ordnance, and was searching after light into the ancient history and services of Dover; to which curiosity I had divers motives, viz. I had made several essays to awaken his late Majesty, King Charles, out of the lethargy he seemed to me to be under, upon the French King's so loudly alarming us by the profuse expence, he had been at, in fortifying his coast, making artificial ports, and sparing no cost, where he had the least prospect of compassing harbour and defence for shipping, and improving his naval strength and projects; which, to me, appeared as so many comets, whose malevolence was calculated, and could not fail, one time or other, to fall on us. I had, in those days, frequent occasions of privacy with the King in his closet, where I improved every opportunity to warm his jealousy of the growing naval power of France; and albeit he gave me many a gracious bearing, and seemed to take pleasure in my discourse on that subject, and would often himself reason, with great sagacity, on naval matters ; yet I grew at length convinced, that I laboured in vain, and had been all the while blowing a dead coal, as by this short following account may appear.
In the year 1682, waiting one day on the King in his closet, after some general discourse, his Majesty was pleased to tell me, • That I had often binted to him, how busy the French King was on his coast, and what vast designs he had conceived for the improvement of his naval power; which was visible by his fortifying of Dunkirk in a most expensive manner, and projecting ex. traordinary works there; making piers, channels, basons, and every provision that art can suggest, and money compass, to render that place easy of access, and make it a safe, capacious, and commodious barbour for shipping.' I told his Majesty, That not only at Dunkirk, Brest, and other places, where nature and situation had given them some help and encouragement to prosecute their maritime projects; but even every where else upon his coast, in every creek, cove, or inlet, where they can make depth of water, and give the least harbour and retreat for shipping, they are, and have been, on that article, equally industrious; which, as I had often told his Majesty, seemed to me to have a very evil aspect on ail the maritime states of Europe, but more especially his Majesty : That nothing (humanly speaking) could prevent and defeat the mighty purposes of that ambitious monarch, so much as his want of natural aid towards the increase of his naval
strength, his coast not yielding him one good port, on all that frontier which regards us; wbich he, most providently weighing, had, from an barbourless, inhospitable shore, by art, industry, and a most lavish expence of treasure, in a very great degree repaired; insomuch that there are hardly five leagues of distance, upon that line, of their coast fronting ours, that does not yield marks of their care and application. Bars, rocks, and shelves are removed, and channels opened and deepened, to give safe and easy entrance to such small ports, as they have by nature. And, in other places, where art could be thought to avail, they have spared no pains, or treasure, to compass artificial havens, piers, and provisions of succour for shipping. They have also built fortresses, raised batteries, and planted cannons innumerable all along their coast, and performed every wise and needful work towards the attaining their ends of becoming formidable by sea ; and all this against the grain, and, as it were, in despight of nature, which yields them little or no encouragement: Whilst we, on our coast, where Providence is so bountiful, have been so very little on our guard, that, though navigation be the prime jewel of the crown, and is the fountain and foundation of both our wealth and safety, and without which we should be a contemptible nation, have not only omitted to improve the tenders, which nature makes us, for the increase and cultivating of our naval power; but have, in this last age, consented to see many of our useful ports run to decay, and at length to ruin, and to become totally lost to the nation; which a very little foresight, and as little charge, might have prevented, while the evil was growing, which, at a long run, becomes incurable.' Among which ports, I instanced Sandwich, Dover, Rye, Winchelsea, &c. which were reckoned heretofore, as so many bulwarks against our ambitious neighbour. The king hereupon replied, “That he confessed he laid a little to heart the loss of the haven of Dover, because it has fallen to decay mostly in his reign; bad yielded him good service in the first Dutch war; and, in that, which was made by the Parliament with that nation, he was well assured, that we had a squadron of cruisers, which sailed out of that place, where they fitted, cleaned, and victualled, which did the enemy more damage, than any in the whole channel beside. That, therefore, if he thought that haven could be recovered by any tolerable charge, he was then, more than ever, disposed to engage in such a work, inasmuch as he was well assured, that not only all, that I had said, was true, but that the French King (to whom, though he had already signified, by bis ambassador, . That the great bustie, he had made upon the coast, bad given jealousy and distaste to tbe nation, and was not very pleasing to him,') had nevertheless engaged very lately in a new expensive work, of the same nature with those I had mentioned, in the neighbourhood of Calais, where great numbers of men were then actually employed in fortifying the coast, and making an harbour and bason for reception of shipping, &c. which being just under his nose, he said he had so much the more reason to resent it, and which he could