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infant manufactures to take root; and it will not be easy to make our people abandon them in future, even should a connection more cordial than ever succeed the present troubles. I have indeed no doubt, that the parliament of England will finally abandon its present pretensions, and leave us to the peaceable enjoyment of our rights and privileges.
A Prussian Edict, assuming Claims over Britain.
Dantzick, Sept. 5, 1773,
WE have long wondered here at the supineness of the English nation, under the Prussian impositions upon its trade entering our port. We did not, till lately, know the claims, ancient and modern, that hang over that nation, and therefore could not suspect, that it might submit to those impositions from a sense of duty, or from principles of equity. The following edict, just made public, may, if serious, throw some light upon this matter:
“ FREDERICK, by the grace of God, king of Prussia, &c. &c. &c. to all present and to come,t health. The peace now enjoyed throughout our dominions, having afforded no leisure to apply ourselves to the regulation of commerce, the improvement of our finances, and at the same time the easing our domestic
* This intelligence extruordinary, I believe, first appeared in the Public Advertiser. I have reprinted it from a copy which I found in the Gentle. man's Magazine. B. V. A tous presens et à venir. ORIGINAL. X 4
subjects in their taxes; for these causes, and other good considerations as thereunto moving, we hereby make known, that, after having deliberated these affairs in our council, present our dear brothers, and other great officers of the state, members of the same; we, of our certain knowledge, full power, and authority royal, have made and issued this present edict, viz.
“ Whereas it is well known to all the world, that the first German setilements made in the island of Britain, were by colonies of people, subjects to our renowned ducal ancestors, and drawn from their dominions, under the conduct of Hengist, Horsa, Hella, Uffa, Cerdicus, Ida, and others; and that the said colonies have flourished under the protection of our august house, for ages past, have never been emancipated therefrom, and yet have hitherto yielded little profit to the same: and whereas we ourself have in the last war fought for and defended the said colonies, against the power of France, and thereby enabled them to make conquests from the said power in America, for which we have not yet received adequate compensation : and whereas it is just and expedient that a revenue should be raised from the said colonies in Britain towards our indemnification; and that those who are descendants of our ancient subjects, and thence still owe us due obedience, should contribute to the replenishing of our royal coffers: (as they must have done, had their ancestors remained in the territories now to us appertaining) *e do therefore hereby ordain and command, that, from and after the date of these presents, there shall be levied and paid to our officers of the customs, on all goods, wares, and merchandizes, and on all grain and other produce of the earth, exported from the said island of Britain, and
on all goods of whatever kind imported into the same, a duty of four and a half per cent ad valorem, for the use of us and our successors. And that the said duty may more effectually be collected, we do hereby ordain, that all ships or vessels bound from Great Britain to any other part of the world, or from any other part of the world to Great Britain, shall in their respective voyages touch at our port of Koningsberg, there to be unladen, searched, and charged with the said duties.
“And whereas there have been from time to time discovered in the said island of Great Britain, by our colonists there, many mines or beds of iron-stone; and sundry subjects of our ancient dominion, skilful in converting the said stone into metal, have in time past transported themselves thither, carrying with them and communicating that art ; and the inhabitants of the said island, presuming that they had a natural right to make the best use they could of the natural productions of their country, for their own benefit, have not only built furnaces for smelling the said stone into iron, but have erected plating-forges, slitting-mills, and steelfurnaces, for the more convenient manufacturing of the same, thereby endangering a diminution of the said manufacture in our ancient dominion; we do therefore hereby farther ordain, that, from and after the date hereof, no mill or other engine for slitting or rolling of iron, or any plating-forge to work with a tilt-hammer; or any furnace for making steel, shall be erected or continued in the said island of Great Britain : and the lord lieutenant of every county in the said island is hereby commanded, on information of any such erection within his county, to order, and by force to cause the same to be abated and destroyed, as he shall answer
the neglect thereof to us at his peril. But we are nevertheless graciously pleased to perinit the inhabitants of the said island to transport their iron into Prussia, there to be manufactured, and to them returned, they paying our Prussian subjects for the workmanship, with all the costs of commission, freight, and risk, coming and returning; any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
« We do not, however, think fit to extend this our indulgence to the art:cle of wool; but meaning to encourage not only the manufacturing of woollen cloth, but also the raising of wool in our ancient dominions, and to prevent both, as much as may be, in our said island, we do hereby absolutely forbid the transportation of wool from thence even to the mother-country, Prussia : and that those islanders may be farther and more effectually restrained in making any advantage of their own wool, in the way of manufacture, we command, that none shall be carried out of one country into another; nor shall any worsted, hay, or woollenyarn, cloth, says, bays, kerseys, serges, frizes, druggets, cloth-serges, shalloons, or any other drapery stuffs or woollen manufactures whatsoever, made up or mixed with wool in any of the said counties, be carried into any other country, or be water-borne even across the smallest river or creek, on penalty of forfeiture of the saine, together with the boats, carriages, horses, &c. that shall be employed in removing them.- Nevertheless, our loving subjects there are hereby permitted (if they think proper) to use all their wool as manure, for the improvement of their lands.
“ And whereas the art and mystery of making hats liath arrived at great perfection in Prussia, and the
making of hats by our remoter subjects ought to be as much as possible restrained: and forasmuch as the islanders before mentioned, being in possession of wool, beaver, and other furs, have presumptuously conceived they had a right to make some advantage thereof, by manufacturing the same into hats, to the prejudice of our domestic manufacture; we do therefore hereby strictly command and ordain, that no hats or felts whatsoever, dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished, shall be loaden or put into or upon any vessel, cart, carriage, or horse, to be transported or conveyed out of one county in the said island into another county, or to any other place whatsoever, by any person or persons whatsoever, on pain of forfeiting the same, with a penalty of five hundred pounds sterling for every offence. Nor shall any hat-maker in any of the said counties employ more than two apprentices on penalty of five pounds sterling per month: we intending hereby that such bat-makers, being so restained, both in the production and sale of their commodity, may find no advantage in continuing their business, But, lest the said islanders should suffer inconveniency by the want of hats, we are farther graciously pleased to permit them to send their beaver furs to Prussia, and we also permit hats made thereof to be exported from Prussia to Britain; the people thus favored to pay all costs and charges of manufacturing, interest, commission 10 our merchants, insurance and freight going and return. ing, as in the case of iron.
“ And lastly, being willing farther to favour our said colonies in Britain, we do hereby also ordain and com. mand, that all the thieves, highway and street robbers, housebreakers, forgerers, murderers, s-d-tes, and