« AnteriorContinuar »
certain English ships with merchan- by Henry VI. were not altogether dize for those prohibited places, and unselfish. The last and worst of there to take fish and other goods the Lancastrian kings, more extrain return.' And Canning's ships vagant and not less needy than his were about the largest hitherto predecessors, followed their fashion known in England. Under date of exacting aid from wealthy sub1460, we read that during eight jects and paying them by conferring years he employed on an average special privileges connected with eight hundred mariners in the navi- trade. There is no record of paygation of ten vessels, with an aggre- ments made by Canning to Henry, gate burthen of 2,930 tons. The but that they were made is hardly names of these ships were the to be doubted. We know that he Mary and John,' of 900 tons, the was a zealous Lancastrian, and Mary Redcliffe, of 500, and the served his king by all the means • Mary Canning,' of 400, which cost in his power, having been made him in all 4,000 marks, worth con- bailiff of Bristol in 1431, sheriff in siderably more than 25,000l. in our 1438, and mayor in 1441 and 1449. money; the ‘Mary Bat,' and the In the latter year—the same year in * Katherine of Boston,' of 220 tons which he was recommended to the burthen apiece; the Margaret of Prussian and Dantzic authoritiesTylney,' of 200 tons; the ‘Kathe- he used his influence with the Comrine,' and the ‘Littlo Nicholas,' of mon Council towards putting the 140 leach; and the 'Galiot,' of 50; town in a proper state of defence besides one of about 160 tons bur- against the threatened attacks of then, which was lost in Iceland. the Yorkist party, rapidly gaining
It was not alone to Iceland that ground in the west of England. Canning sent his great ships. In In 1450, 151. were spent in repair1449 Henry VI. addressed letters of ing the walls of Bristol, and 40. in commendation to the master-general the purchase of 'certyn gonnes and of Prussia and the magistrates of other stuffe necessarie for the Dantzic, inviting their favour to- fence of the said town,' being 20 wards his factors established within botefull of warpestones, all the their ,jurisdictions, and especially saltpetre that may be founde in the towards William Canning, his be- towne, and a dozen brasyn gonnes, loved and eminent merchant of to be made shetying (shooting) Bristol.' In going to these parts, peletts as grate as a Parys ball or Canning was opening up a branch less, and every gonne with 4 chamof commerce almost new to English- bers.' men, and treading ground hitherto In 1451, Canning was sent to all but monopolized by the Flemish Westminster as M.P. for Bristol, merchants. In 'The Libel of Eng- two shillings a day being allowed by lish Policy,' written in 1436, we the city authorities for his expenses; read:
and while there he took part in
some memorable business. The *Now beer and bacon are from Prussia brought Into Flaunders, as loved and dearly sought;
business most concerning us at preIron, copper, bow-staves, steel, and wax,
sent was the voting of 1,000!. to be Boars' bides and badgers', pitch, tar, wood, and levied from the more important flax,
seaport towns, and used in equipAnd Cologne thread, and fustian, and canvas,
ping a fleet · for the protection of And card and buckram,-of old time thus it was. Also the Prussians make their adventure
trade.' The money was to be made Of silver plate, of wedges good and sure
up of subsidies on all wine imIn greatë plenty, which they bring and buy ported at 38. a ton from native Out of Bohemia and of Hungary ;
merchants, and 68. a ton from Which is increase full great unto their land,
foreigners, and of 18. in the pound And they be laden, as I understand,
on the value of all other merchanWith woollen cloths, all manner of colours, By dyers' crafts full diverse, that be ours;'
dize, with the exception of cloth,
imported or exported during three That is, with dyed cloths exported years from April, 1454. The profrom England by the Flemings. portions in which the 1,000l. was
The favours shown to Canning to be levied give us some clue to
the relative importance of English the other Bristol men, or what trading towns in the middle of the were the benevolences exacted from fifteenth century. London was to them. But the royal purse must contribute 300l., and Bristol, next have been tolerably full before Edin importance, had to furnish 150l. ward left the town. Canning was Southampton was assessed at 100l., only the foremost of a crowd of York and Hull at rool. between merchant princes then living in them, while another rool. was to be Bristol. One of the chief was Rocollected at Norwich and Yarmouth, bert Sturmy, mayor in 1450, and and another at Ipswich, Colchester, some years older than Canning. and Maldon. The contribution of He lived in princely style, we are Lynn was reckoned at 50l., while told, keeping open house for the 50l. more was to come from Salis- traders of all lands. His principal bury, Poole, and Weymouth, 301. dealings were with the Levant. from Boston, and pol. from New- In his younger days he had gone castle-on-Tyne.
to Jerusalem, taking a hundred and Parliament dissolved in 1455, and sixty pilgrims thither in his good on the summons for a new one, ship ' Anne,' and finding room also Canning was at once re-elected by for some rare articles of commerce the Bristol men. In 1456 he served which would more than pay the as mayor for the third time; and in cost of the journey. But on his this year we find him entertaining return, he was shipwrecked near Margaret of Anjou, coming to Navarino, on the Greek coast, and Bristol to try and quicken the in- thirty-seven of his companions were terest of the western people in the drowned. He himself lived to run dying cause of her husband. He other risks. In 1458, we read, as himself was not slack in his alle- the fame ran that he had gotten giance. • A stately vessel, only for some green pepper and other spices the war,' we read under date of to have set and sown in England, 1457, ‘ is made new at Bristol, and therefore the Genoese waited him the said town, with the west coasts, upon the sea and spoiled his ship will do their part.'
and another;' but for this offence These efforts, however, were not the Genoese merchants resident in successful. Having been again London were arrested and imprimade mayor in the autumn of 1460, soned until they consented to make Canning had in the following spring good the value of the lost property, to entertain the new king, Edward estimated at 9,000 marks. Other IV., when he came on a visit to merchants contemporary with Canthose parts. The entertainment ning were the Jays, a large and was in princely style, and a quaint influential family, famous in two pageant, illustrating Edward's generations. One of them was baimany virtues and great generosity, liff of Bristol in 1456, another was was prepared for his amusement. sheriff in 1472. In 1480, we read But the king did not come to be in a contemporary narrative which amused. His chief business in it is hard to disbelieve, although Bristol was to inquire into the there is evidently some mistake in wealth of its various merchants and the record, “A ship of John Jay the see what benevolences could be younger, of 800 tons, and another, obtained from them. Canning, the began their voyage from King'srichest of the number, and doubt- road to the Island of Brazil, to the less the most zealous supporter of coast of Ireland, ploughing their the Lancastrian party, was found way through the sea. And Thlyde to possess the nine ships already was the pilot of the ships, the most named, and had, in consequence, to scientific mariner in all England; pay no less a sum than 3,000 marks, and news came to Bristol that the representing about 20,00ol. of money said ships sailed about the sea at its present value, 'for the making during nine months, and did not
find the island, but, driven by temUnfortunately, we are not told pests, 'they returned to a port on what was the estimated wealth of the coast of Ireland for the repose
of his peace.
of themselves and their mariners, mass of traders in the middle ages, and there, for aught we know, they either for their special virtues or for repose to this day.
their special skill in commerce; but Other merchants mustered round we do not know them. We can Canning and worked with him in learn nothing of the merchants who making Bristol rich and famous made such towns as Winchester during the disastrous period of the and Yarmouth, Boston and Lincoln, Wars of the Roses. The most im- Beverley and Newcastle famous portant act of his last mayoralty, in marts and centres of industry. A 1466, was the forming them into a few names besides those that we sort of guild, for mutual protection have already mentioned have come in regulating the prices of various down to us, but it is impossible to articles of trade and mutual help gather round them even the slenin misfortune. Such an association derest materials for orderly sketches would ill agree with the free-trade of their lives. Concerning John principles of modern times; but by Taverner of Hull, doubtless a worthy this means Bristol was doubtless successor to the De la Poles, for saved from much misery under the instance, nearly all we know is conlater Plantagenets, and enabled to tained in a single statement to the prosper beyond all precedent under effect that in 1449 he, by the help the earlier Tudors.
of God and some of the king's subBut Canning, now sixty-seven jects,' had built a great ship, the years old, did not seek for winning largest ever seen in English waters, any of the benefits to be obtained which, because of its greatness, by the guild. After many years of Taverner was allowed to call the married life, he had become a 'Henry Grace à Dieu,' and to use widower in 1460, and it is probable in conveying wools, woolfels, tin, that all his children, if indeed any and all other merchandize, regardof them passed out of infancy, were less of the rule of the staple, from dead before this time. He had London, Hull, Sandwich, or Southgrown rich, and had now no further ampton, to Italy, and in bringing need for riches. Much of his wealth thence bow-staves, wax, and any. he spent in the restoration of the other produce of the country. Of noble church of St. Mary Redcliff, Taverner's great Scotch contemand tradition makes him the founder porary, William Elphinstone, father of many charities. But he was not of the bishop who built the univerwilling to let it go into the purse of sity of Aberdeen, we learn only that, the king, to whose cause he was by carrying on a large export trade opposed. The story goes that a in pickled salmon, he laid the founproject of Edward IV.'s for finding dation of the commerce of Glasgow; him a second wife, and of course and about two other most famous exacting a large sum of money in Scottish merchants of the fifteenth honour of the marriage, forced him century, George Faulau and John to retire suddenly from the business Dalrymple, all we can discover is of this life. At any rate, for some that they were frequently employed reason or other, in 1467 ' he gave by James II. on embassies and other up the world, and in all haste took
public business. orders upon him, and in the year Though the men who did the following was made priest and rang work are almost forgotten, however, his first mass at our Lady of Red- there is abundant evidence of the cliff. He was made Dean of West- ever-increasing commercial prosbury in or near 1468, and died in perity of our country.
The miseNovember, 1475.
rable civil wars which brought the With William Canning ends the Plantagenet rule to a close offered a short series of men who must serve serious hindrance to the progress of to us as representatives of the great trade, and doubtless drove many body of English merchant princes men, as they drove William Canunder the Plantagenets. Other ning, to abandon it altogether. But men there were and must have been
ten years after Canning's death, worth singling out from the great Henry VII. became king of England,
and before another ten years were prise. In speaking hereafter of the
H. R. F. B.
THE ORDEAL FOR WIVES.
A Story of London Life.
keep up & handsome not like seeing people eat. But giving. Mrs. Tudor knew her geneMrs. Tudor, in spite of this little ration, and was wise with its wispeculiarity, and several others of a dom. Every one said Mrs. Tudor like nature, was not a mean woman. was a charming old woman: I She was too intensely selfish, too think every one, except her family avid of the good opinion of others, and dependents, really liked her. to be essentially mean. In what she When she stabbed your absent could be stingy, unseen, she was friends she did it with a delicacy stingy; in liberality that showed that belongs only to long and reshe was liberal, liberal, occasionally, fined experience. The coarse blow to excess.
of a common assassin for ever re'I have too much feeling for my minds you that if you, too, have a own happiness,' Mrs. Tudor would purse, and take your eye from him, say, when a handsome parson or you shall fall. Mrs. Tudor always fashionable physician pleaded some performed her cruel office out of the case of misery to her. 'I have depth of her regard for her immealways been led away by my heart diate listener. With your dear - too much for my own good, per- girls visiting at her house, should haps.' And then, notwithstanding I do right to conceal it from you?' her threescore years and ten, the "As the pastor and guardian of your recollection of so much self-sacrifice flock, ought you not to be told ?' and vicarious suffering would make With your back garden close upon Mrs. Tudor weep-veritable tears, their area, should I-should I be a but promptly dried-with the deli- friend if I remained silent? And cacy of a woman who, though she all the slaughtered characters forthfeels, does not mean to parade that with rose up in the light of necesfeeling to the world; and who re- sary victims offered up by Mrs. members whereof the bloom of her Tudor at the altar of Spartan prin. cheeks is made!
ciple and friendship. She never subscribed to publio Her flattery was as good as her charities even with the seductions scandal. The same delicate flavour of standing in print among lords of well-bred discrimination made it and marchionesses. The widow's palatable, even in inordinately large mite should be given in secret' was doses. To tell a woman of forty one of Mrs. Tudor's axioms. Let that she is young and charming the great and rich give away in would be simply gross; but to say, high places. Enough for me to 'My dear friend, I have something cast my poor offering into the trea- I really grieve to talk to you about: sury unseen;' with only the hand- I don't know how you will take it, some parson or fashionable doctor but as an old woman who had done to act as recording angel.
with life before you began it, I feel What will you have? Twenty that I must speak. All the world pounds a year among printed dona- is talking of that poor fellow's evitions of twice, thrice, four times dent infatuation for you. He is but that amount go for nothing in the a boy-spare him! tell his mother charitable city where Mrs. Tudor to send him to London-anything. lived. But twenty pounds a year You are not offended, now, are you? divided into widows' mites in pri- No; I knew you could not be!'