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clamation; which how convenient it may seem at this time we leave to your Lps consideration.1
Upon the other project for improving the income of the Crown by "conversion of its revenue of land into a multiplied present revenue of rent," Bacon drew up a separate report of his own; of which also there is a copy among the Cotton manuscripts, though it has never been printed. About this there can be no doubt that it belongs properly to this collection, and that its proper place is here.
A PROPOSITION CONCERNING THE AUGMENTATION OF THE KING'S
This proposition is of great consideration; for it trencheth into the substance and gross of the King's estate, and being done can be but once done. Deliberandum est diu quod statuendum est semel.
To consider thereof exactly, as the weight of the matter requireth, it cannot be but by considering of it in order.
1. First, of the rate of augmentation that is probable will
2. Secondly, of the profit that will redound to the King, if
3. Thirdly, of the exceptions which are convenient to be
5. Fifthly, of the security.
6. Lastly, what may be said for and against it.
Concerning the rates, they will be variable, chiefly according Rate of Augmen
1 No signature, nor date, nor docket. The heading is in the hand of the person tation. who arranged the papers in the volume (Sir R. Cotton himself, I think); but there is pasted upon the first leaf (as if it had belonged to the original paper) a patch with these words-"Report by the Com. to the Heads of Profitt."
2 Cott. MSS. Cleo. F., vi. p. 119. Copy in the hand of one of Bacon's scribes. In the margin, opposite the title, is written (in the hand, I suppose, of the collector) "Sir Francis Bacon's discourse," and at the end, "by Sr Francis Bacon in his owne hand." Which is a mistake.
Profit arising to the
as the land is charged more or less with estates and leases, and as the possessions consist more or less in demesne or rents, and those rents free or copy, and those copies upon arbitrable fines or upon fines certain, and somewhat likewise upon the conceit and customs of several countries. But to make a temperate medium by way of estimate, leaving the particulars to their proper value: :
It is not unlike that where the possession is charged with estates and leases of 30 years and under, or 3 lives or fewer lives, it will yield 4 for one. As if the manor or farm of Dale be now demised at 1007. per annum, the King may reserve 400, including the 100. And if the estates out be between 30 and 50 years, or upon years and after lives that may be esteemed to the like continuance, it will yield 3 for one, and if the estates be above 50 years and so upwards, it will yield 2 for one. This is to be understood of a medium of the gross, taking the better and richer to help the worse.
Now there appeareth to be remaining in the King at this time manor or farin land which was part of the annexation, to the annual value of 267211. per annum, also land assigned to the Queen to the value of 42431. per annum, upon which it will be more difficult to set a rate, because of the liberty the Queen hath to make leases, which she hath executed in part and not in all, and may from time to time execute in all as well as in part. There is other land out of the annexation both in the Exchequer and the Duchy, and also ancient custody land which may hereafter be added to this account.
But the total of the annexation land to be wrought upon, is 309741. per annum. This trebled, which is the middle rate between 4 and 2, doth produce a total revenue of new and old to 929221. The augmentation of new revenue besides the present revenue 619487.
For the profit, it is to be considered in two kinds. That is, 1. by this simpliciter; et rebus sic stantibus. For the profit simply, conaugmen sidering it as if it were in the hand of a subject, the soundest course to discern and make judgment of it is to turn the land as it now stands into a sum in gross, as if it were upon a sale, and the rents likewise with the augmentation into a sum in gross, as if it were upon a sale, and to collate those two sums,
tation of rent simpliciter.
whether is the better; for that is the true and direct rule of values, Tanti res vere valet quanti vendi potest.
First therefore, as we made three degrees of values when we spake of the annual rent, viz. according as the land was charged with estates more or less, so let us make the like of the value in gross, as upon a sale, viz. that the land charged with estates of 30 years and under, or three lives or fewer, may be sold in a medium for 50 years purchase. The lands charged with estates between 50 years and 30 may be sold for 40 years purchase. The lands charged with estates above 50 years may be sold for 30 years purchase. Of these likewise take the middle rate (as we did in the annual value) which is 40 years purchase; Then turn the annual rents likewise into a price, esteeming the fee farm rents at 15 years purchase.
For example, Let the manor of Dale be of the rent of 100%. per annum. This sold at 40 years' purchase will yield 40007. Now treble the rent of 100l. which makes 3007., that sold at 15 years purchase yields 45007., whereupon it is manifest that in a 1007. land, there is 5001. gain in the sale of the rents above the sale of the lands. Therefore let no man say that this course of turning land into rent, though it may be good for the annual receipt, will hinder the Crown in succession, if at any time there were occasion of sale, for it bears his advantage as well in the gross by way of sale as in the annual by way of
It is true that these rates of sale which I have set down, I ground somewhat upon the contracts which have been made of 3 degrees, viz. 45, 30, and 22. But because sales at large do ever exceed sales by contract, for that in contract the ready payments gain upon the pennyworth, and secondly because the lands that remain in the annexation, I suppose is of the best sort and therefore will bear a better price than that which is sold, I have given them a better rate in the purchase. And if it be thought they may bear yet a better rate than I have given them, it may be as probably thought they may also bear a better rate in the improvement of the rent, so as that will make no error. And thus much touching the profit upon the exact and simple value.
1 In MS. that' has been struck out and the lands' written over it. I think the corrector meant only to turn 'land' (as it stood originally) into 'lands;' but struck out the wrong word.
Profit arising to the K. rebus
Exceptions of things not
to be comprised.
But now, rebus sic stantibus, as the K. makes of it, the profit is far greater.
For the profit that the K. makes of his lands over and besides the rents is of 2 natures.
Fines upon the renew of leases upon expiration or surrender, wh is proper unto the demesne lands;
Perquisites of Courts, wh are proper unto the services or royalties.
For the former, let some years be chosen in Q. Elizabeth's time, when leases were suffered to wear out towards an end, and so an ordinary profit was made by commission of leases for 21 years and 3 lives upon surrenders, and take a medium of those years, and it will be found to come nothing near the sum which would have risen of those things for which fines were taken, if their rents had been trebled as is now propounded. But take it as the case now stands, and that profit is so suffocated with length of leases and estates upon estates, as little profit of that nature will be taken for many years.
And for perquisites of Courts, they may be set on the left hand for cankers of revenue and not feeders of revenue; for there hath been made a computation of 40 years of Elizabeth viz: a primo ad 40m, by which it doth appear that the rewards, wages, and allowances, for the gathering of profits of that nature, did not only drink up all the profit but cast a decrement upon the Crown of 250007.; and the case is not much better now since his Maty's time.
For the exceptions, I take it in reason they must be
All his Maty's houses of access, with some scope and countenance of demesne about them.
All great wastes and commons.
These two exceptions of forests and wastes I hold necessary not only in point of honour or his Matys pleasure, but because hereafter great improvements may be made. of them, and because they cannot properly belong to this proposition, if a man observe it right, for that they are things not valued in the rents which are now answered;
and this project extendeth to no more than to improve
All timber trees whatsoever are to be reserved, but yet to
For the manage of this business I will divide it into 3 parts. Manage The Publication; the Treaty and Bargain; and the Cautions and Limitations.
For the Publication, proclamations in matter of revenue and profit, I think the King hath reason to be weary of. They are tion and grown to be taken as mendicant offers, whereas this ought to be so carried as rather men should be suitors for it than have it put upon them, it being so much for their own good; and therefore notice ought to suffice, without any special show of invitation.
On the other side, it is not without difficulty, how this intention of the King shall be published without a proclamation, but either the publication will be too slow or to disadvantage; for if it be only by a commission here above granted to principal commissioners and no more, the notice will be somewhat slow; if publishing and signification of it be committed to Auditors in their Circuits or Stewards at their Courts, they are men not to be trusted, for to them it is fundi calamitas, it pulls them down, and therefore they will poison it what they can.
Again, to write letters to every particular farmer of land I think not so convenient; for first it descends too low, and then it doth give them a little too much hold, as if the K. could or would deal with none but them.
Therefore I hold the most convenient course of notice to be, that after the commission is granted here above, letters be written from the commissioners to some two or three particular sufficient gentlemen in every county, with a note enclosed of the farmers and tenants of the King's lands in that county, requiring them to give notice of the King's intention and commission, as well to the farmers and tenants as to gentlemen that have livings adjacent, and otherwise as they shall think fit.