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Precursor to Forest Trees and Timber, Petty, Dr. Hook, and Silva Evelyn,
&c. addressed to His Royal High- to this subject, the valuable Works ness WILLIAM Duke of CLARENCE, published by the latter excited such Admiral of the British Fleet, &c. spirit for planting, as to have been SIR,
the means of pricipally farnishing S the Admiral of a Fleet indis- the supply of oak timber for the distinguished officers and seainen the the French Revolutionary War in world has hitherto produced, I hum. 1793, when the neglect of the judibly presume to address your Royal cious measure pursued by James Highness on the means of supporting began to be seriously felt; and has the Navy ; the subject matter of put the means of supporting our which, being mostly drawn from offi- maritime strength in such jeopardy, cial documents and actual experi- that, without the speedy and effective ments, will shew that policy, econo- exertions of the Royal Power and of my, and the safety of the State, re- Parliament in directing the good sense quire the adoption of efficient mea- and spirit of the Nation, our Navy sures to ensure a supply of good is in danger ere long of becoming imships for the present; and a permanent becile, and the personal skill and succession of durable timber in fu• bravery of our seamen rendered aborture, as well as more skilful manage- tive, from a defeciive and rapid decay ment in the preparation and appro- of the material.-In such dilemma, I priation of it for use: trusting that, venture with great deference to exashould your Royal Highness conde- mine the cause, and with humble scend to investigate the matter, and duty to suggest a remedy; earnestly submit the result to your august hoping that, through the exertion of Brother, the Prince Regent, such a your Royal Highness, the formation vigorous and wise system would be es- and construction of our ships of war tablished for the permanent support with more durable materials, and the of the Navy, that the Nation may have providing of an adequate permanent cause to feel that gratitude towardsyou future supply of Timber within our which is justly due to James Duke of selves will be fully established; and York, who, supported by his brother that William Duke of rence will Charles II. not only regenerated our be entitled to that merit and applause naval power after the Restoration,, of his country for improving the but, as Lord High Admiral, directed Navy, which his illustrious Brother the principal officers and commission. Frederick Duke of York has justly ers of the Navy to apply to the then obtained for bettering the Army. most scientific and intelligent body of I have the honour to be, with great men in Europe, respecting a supply respect, Sir, your Royal Highof timber for the Navy, which pro- ness's most obedient and very duced the most beneficial effect. The humble servant, Royal Society having directed the
W. LAYMAN. attention of those able men Sir Wm. January 1.
“ The great decrease in Naval Timber is the more alarming, and calls the more for the attention of Government, from its being occasioned not by any temporary causes, but by such as must inevitably render it every day more general and rapid. There is no reflecting person in the kingdom who does not feel and acknowledge that the existence of every thing valuable to us as a Nation depends upon maintaining our naval superiority; and yet for more than forty years we have remained in a state of apparent insensibility, although it has been demonstrated, that the article most essential to the preservation of our Navy bas been gradually diminishing, and that the causes of that dimination are of a nature not to afford the smallest prospect of a probable change, unless the most vigorous exertions are made to provide a substitute for those resources on which we have hitherto relied, and which we know are in a progress of rapid decay and ultimate failure at no very distant period. During the short time I remained at the head of our Naval concerns, I suggested the appointment of the Commission of Naval Revision, under a deep impression, that the state of Naval Timber, and other matters of essential importance to the Naval service of the Country, required an immediate and radical investigation. If there are any parts of the 14th Report of that Commission which it is
expedient to conceal, still much useful information might be given to Parliament and the publick, consistently with such reserve. I am not aware that any good can result from such a determined concealment. If there is just cause of alarm from the increased decay and scarcity of an article so essentially necessary to the existence of the Empire, the knowledge of such an impending danger would be the strongest incitement to the publick at large cordially to concur in every measure which Government may think necessary to ward off so serious a calamity,
“If an example be wanting of the benefits to be produced by the diffusion of a kriowledge of the state of timber in the kingdom, a very strong proof is to be found in the effect which was produced by the writings of Evelyn.—The vast quantities of great timber consumed by our Navy during the present reign were chiefly the produce of the plantations made between the Restoration and the end of the 16th century on private property, in almost every part of England, as well as in the Royal Forests, particularly the Forest of Dean; and which had been occasioned hy the publication of the state of timber in this kingdom, and by looking at the danger of a scarcity boldly in the face.
“Thus it appears, that while at this time we are experiencing the practical good effect, and reaping the very fruit produced by the system of promulgating the extent of the wants of the Navy in former times, a line of policy is adopted (that of concealment) the very reverse of that which past experience has proved to have been so eminently beneficial.
“ It would seem as if the successive Governments of this Country hat invariably become disheartened, and had therefore abandoned all attempts to place this important branch of our naval resources upon a permanent basis, hecause the members of it could not hope to live to see the success of their own measures. But, if this course of policy is to govern all our actions,-if, because we may struggle through the immediate difficulties we have to encounter, and are able to ward off any imminent danger in our own lives,—we are therefore to pursue the narrow policy uf neglecting to provide for posterity,— with what reproaches will after-generations load our memory! shall we not be certain of drawing down upon us the execration instead of the praises of posterity?
“ It is evident, that some general system ought to be adopted for securing a sufficient and permanent supply to our Navy; and in promoting such an object, I think we ought all to agree, whatever be our differences of opinion in other points.”-Henry Viscount Melville to Mr. Perceval, June, 1810.
SUPPORT OF THE NAVY. ance of such policy being at present a It is a truth universally admitted, great chain upon our finances; it is a that the power, wealth, and existence duty incumbent on us to investigate of the British Empire depend on our resources, and establish within maritine superiority. The support ourselves permanent means for supof its Navy is, therefore, an object of porting our Navy: the greatest national importance ; The home supply of oak timber has and to have the means of it within hitherto been derived either from ourselves, must ensure our safety in private property, or the Royal Fothe 'same degree, as to rely on fo- rests; but it appears by papers prereign powers for that which is essen- sented to Parliament, that the Comptial to our strength and prosperity troller of the Navy stated to the First must be supine and dangerous. Lord of the Admiralty, by letter dated
Towards this support, timber must 23d March 1802, that “ the consumpbe considered the most essential ar- tion is now so much more than the ticle; and as, from misapplication in growth, that the article will soon use, and the immense increase in con- cease to be supplied, if the same syssumption, with the neglect of home tem is allowed to go on.” And by supply, Great Britain has fallen into other papers, dated ihe 24th and 29th the hazardous policy of depending on of March 1804, that the Navy Board other countries for precarious and recommended to the Admiralty the expensive supplies of perishable ma- appointment of “ some competent terials to prop her Marine; by which person or persons as Purveyors-geneour ships of war have been defective, ral in the purchase of Timber for the and are now going rapidly to decay, Navy, and that the purchases might be and millions have been added to the mude apparently on account of the public debt, as well as the continu- agent.” But this knowing trick,
which without such authority could and not feel our necessties till it is
The supply to be expected from slated, that the execution of a plan the profit arising from plantations of
private property must depend upon which may have in view any further oak trees being greater than the prodependence on the timber-merchants, fit to be derived from the produce of cannot fail in the end to increase your the land in cultivation, or the annual difficulties in procuring timber, and to put the supplies entirely into the rent added to the accumulated interest hands of the contractors, who will thereon, from the time of planting thereby have the publick completely until the trees are felled ; which indi at their mercy."
viduals, planting with a view to profit, However, the Navy Board having, increase in the value of a tree by its
will naturally do, when the annual potwithstanding this remonstrance, and the pointed directions of the growth is less than the annual interest Lord High Admiral in 1661 *, thought
of the money it would sell for. And
as trees, like animals, are thrifty in it expedient to confine the supply of timber for the Navy to two timber youth, healthy and vigorous ; young merchants only, to the exclusion of oaks, until they contain about a all others, and to furnish advances of quarter of a load of timber, will pas
71. per cent. per annum by their the public money; it becoines a public question, without any intention growth, and some may pay 51. per
ceni. until they arrive at half a load ; whatever of reflecting upon the individual members of that Board (for but if left growing till they arrive at many of whom I have great personal increase will not be equal to 31. per
a load of 50 cubical feet per tree, the respect),or upon the timber merchants
cent.; and if allowed to stand till they who happen to be particularly en
reach 80 feet, the most thriving oak ployed. My object is to examine the
will only pay 36s. per cent. for standprinciple as to a home supply of timber, and effective good ships for the ing, at the price hitherto given for
timber. To yield a profit equal to support of our Navy, without
the anpual rent of land during the gard to persons.
last century, taking 8s. 3d. for the Home Supply of Timber.
average rate in the year 1700, and This measure, by doing away com- progressively increasing to 20s. 6d. petitors, will certainly keep down in 1800, amounting, with the accu
, the price of the present stuck of tin- mulated interest in that period, to ber; but it will be the means of pre- 14101. for one acre, the price of vaval venting future supplies, as the price oak timber requires to be upwards of of the production will be forced be- 201. per load. And if the average low its real value. But, though the value of the rent of land taken at immediate demand be answered, we present at 338. per acre per annum may be in danger of future want, should only increase from the year 1800
* “ As to the management of affairs among yourselves, that which I shall principally recommend to you is, that there be due and timely information gotten of the quantity of each sort of goods needful in the Navy, which are to be bought, and of the prices ; in both which I desire you not to rely wholly on the information of Purveyors, or any person; but to use all means to be fully informed, to make your contracts at your public meetings in the Navy-office; and in contracts of great value, to give yourselves some days for enquiring, before concluding the contracts; that so you may not be misguided by a supposed necessity of buying of any one merchant, when possibly others might furnish cheaper and better; and by this method, as the King's contracts may probably be made with better husbandry, so will it be no small advantage to his Majesty, in that it will take away all occasion of calumniating his officers, it being impossible but the least reproach, however unjust, upon officers so highly intrusted as yourselves, should, by the diminution of your authority towards your inferiors, redound very much to the disservice of his Majesty.
JAMES. * Whitehall, January 14, 1661. To the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy."
tributed to Zechariah were not writ- Lord's-day and other seasons of devoten by that Prophet. If many parts tion and leisure, by Daniel Turner, of the Old Testament were written in A. M.” who, I believe, was a Bapverse, as they certainly were, and tist Minister at Abingdon in Berkthat versification were a guide to shire, and died some years since. In those who divided thein into verses, his preface the author says that“most how does this militate against the idea of them are the substance and chief that they might be divided into verses branches, (or, in fashionable lanand chapters in modern times ? guage, the skeletons) of serions
P. 510. Biographicus may be as- preached from the several texts at sured that the Lady he speaks of has the respective heads of them ;” and at an undoubted right to quarter the the end of it he adds, that these arms of Compton, and to transmit “ Considerations were communicated them, though not those of Berkeley, to him by a particular friend, from a to her heirs; inasmuch as, for want of very pious and worthy Clergyman of male heirs, she is heiress of a branch the Established Church *, with a desire of the Compton family. His obser- that they might be published with vations about several new peerages the Meditations, as particularly agreeare very just: but there is no greater able to the design of them.” The absurdity in any of the new creations whole of the first paragraph, as far than to see persons created Peers of as the Qu. is printed in ltalicks, as Ireland with titles taken from places being introductory to the rest ; and in England; for instance, Auckland, at the word • Injunction,' about the Kensington, Teignmouth, Hood of Ca- middle of p. 515. col. i.' is inserted therington, Rendleshan, Milford, &c. the following note: The sons of the younger sons of Dukes
“ The merciful and benevolent and Marquisses both in England and Creator intended the Sabbath as a Scotland have the title of Honourable day of rest for the Cattle, as well as given them by courtesy, their fa- for Men: and it is a degree of cruthers having been titular Lords. I elty, as well as a breach of the divine do not conceive that either Scots or Commandment, to use our Cattle on Irish Peers are privileged from arrest, Sundays, except in cases of absolute quatenus tales, unless they be of the necessity. And that we may not dea number of Representative Peers, or, ceive ourselves by calling those cases in the latter case, Members of the of necessity which are not so, let House of Commons: they have no every one when he is going to use duty to perform in Parliament which his cattle on a Sunday, ask himself, would be prevented by their being ar- as in the presence of God, whether rested. Surely your
“ Occasional he really think it is a case of such neCorrespondent" charges Mr. Arch. cessity as will justify his doing it at dall, the Continuator of Lodge, with the day of judgement." impropriety, without reason : if Ri- P.557. b, line 10. For five, read six. chard Jones were third Viscount (and Will any of your intelligent Coronly Earl) of Ranelagh, surely Charles respondents, Mr. Urban, do me the Jones, his next successor, at what honour to inform me, what. Baronet, time soever he succeeded to the title, existing in 1683, bore for his arms, could be no other than fourth Vis- Ermine, a Lion rampant, and Cancount.--For “ William Baker, Mem- ton, Sable, with the arms of Ulster in ber for Staffordshire," read “ late an Inescutcheon on the body of the Member for Hertfordshire."
Lion ? The gentleman may very P. 512. There is some mistake in probably have been connected with the bill for curing the broken head: Hertfordshire, or one of the adjacent either the Surgeon charged for his counties.
J. B. servant 2s. or else the whole amount of the bill is but 10s. 6d.
Errata in Vol. LXXXII. Part ii. P.514. The pious and just “ Con
Page 321, a. line 1, for “ place” read siderations on the custom of Visiting “places." --line 6, forman” read “men.” on Sundays" were first published in
Page 327, a, line 43, for: “ 1 Sam. xii. 1771, as au Appendix to "Short Medi: 3),” read “ 2 Sam. xii. 31." tations on select Portions of Scrip- ' readdescendants."
Page 549,b, line 25, for“ dependants'' ture, designed to assist the serious Christian in the improvement of the
* See p. 20.