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1838. government &c. as might be convenient, but also the
whole territory and country between them, which was Skinners' above twenty miles in length, bounded by the sea on Company
the north, the river Bann on the east, and the river of The Irish Derry or Lough Foyle on the west; out of which, 1000 Society.
acres more might be allotted to each of the towns for their commons, rent free; the rest to be planted with such undertakers as the city of London should think good for their best profit, paying only for the same the easy rent of the undertakers. The “motives and reasons” further set forth, that His Majesty might be pleased to grant to those towns the benefit of all the customs of imports and exports for twenty-one years, paying only a yearly rent of 6s. 8d., and would be pleased to buy the salmon fishing in the rivers of Bann and Lough Foyle, and bestow the same on the towns for their better encouragement ; and likewise to grant them licences to transport all prohibited wares growing on their own lands, and the admiralty on the coasts of Tyrconnell and Coleraine ; and then were specified “ the land commodities” which the north of Ireland produced, “ the sea commodities,” and “ the profits which London should receiveby the plantation;" and the profits which were described were of a public nature, affecting the general welfare of the city.
These “ motives and reasons” were intended to be, and afterwards became, the subject of conference between certain persons authorized to act for the city, and certain members of the King's council, and precepts were issued by the lord mayor to induce the companies of the city of London to appoint persons to act for them; and the first answer having been given and disliked, because given before any conference had with the King's council for Ireland, persons were afterwards appointed committees for such conference by the city, and such committees" had (as is stated in the precept dated the 24th of July 1609), re
ceived such satisfaction, as well of the honour of the action and the good that might come to the kingdom and city by the same, as the profit that was likely to redound to particular adventurers as had given good encouragement to the committee and others to become adventurers therein, and liberty was also given for further satisfaction, that all things should be answerable to that which was reported, that certain men should be chosen and sent by the city to view the place, and make return to the city, so that, if it proved not answerable to that which was reported, and profitable for the undertakers, the city might be at liberty to leave the undertaking, any thing then done notwithstanding.” Under these circumstances, the court of aldermen ordered precepts to be sent to the several companies of the city, requiring them to call their companies together, to understand what every particular man would willingly adventure to the same, so that the committees might be fully instructed to give answer to the council of Ireland on Friday then next, the 28th.
Precepts were accordingly issued. It does not appear, however, that this course was pursued; for an order of the court of common council, dated the 1st of August following, was made, which, without taking notice of any willing adventurers, or any offers of contribution, recites, that the privy council had, theretofore, signified His Majesty's pleasure to divers aldermen and commoners concerning the intended plantation, and that divers aldermen and commoners, elected by that court, had had conference with the council for Ireland about the same, and then proceeded as follows:“ It is this day, therefore, upon the motion and commandment of the lords of His Majesty's privy council, signified to divers aldermen and commoners of this city, upon Sunday last, (the 30th July) at the council table, concluded and agreed, that four wise, grave, and discreet Rr 4
citizens of this city, should be presently sent to view the place for the intended plantation in Ireland," and it was thereupon ordered, that four persons therein named, John Broad, Hugh Hammersley, Robert Treswell, and John Rowley, “should forthwith, at the city's charges, undertake the voyage into Ireland, and survey and view the place and grounds intended for the new plantation there, and make report to the city, at their return from thence, of their opinion and doings touching the same.” The persons appointed to be viewers received from the city 3001. for their expences, and then proceeded on their mission to Ireland.
It appears, therefore, that at this time, the King's government was in treaty with the city of London, to undertake some portion of his plantation, and that the city, before entering into any engagement, proceeded, by commissioners or agents of their own and at their own expence, to ascertain the facts necessary for their consideration.
By an order of the court of aldermen dated 28th November 1609, it appears that the commissioners had then returned and made their report, and an additional sum of 1001. was ordered to be paid to them, and on 2d December 1609, the court of common council, after noticing that the lords of the council expected presently to hear the resolution of the city touching the plantation, it was ordered, that Sir Stephen Soame and others, “ calling unto them the four commissioners or viewers, should meet together, to advise and consider of all circumstances and matters fit to be remembered about the plantation," and they were to be ready to make report to the next common council, in writing, of their opinions touching the same, " whereby the city's resolute answer concerning the said intended plantation might be made and delivered to the lords of the council" the 16th of December next.
On the 15th of December, the report of the committee 1838. was made, and it recommended, in substance, that the sum of money to be expended should only be 15,0001., Skinsers' and that the same should be raised by way of com
of om Company
Con panies, and in companies by the poll, according to the The Irisu rate of corn set upon every company; but some of the
Society. inferior companies were thought fit to be spared; yet that such as were known able men in those companies should şet proportionably with men of like ability in other companies; and for this levy it was proposed, that an act should be passed in the court of common council.
After this statement as to the sum and the mode of raising it, the committee claimed, that the Derry and the town of Coleraine should be the places where two cities should be erected; that unto Derry 4000, and unto Coleraine 3000 acres of land should be laid, and that the rest of the territory and county of Coleraine, estimated at 16,000 acres of temporal lands, should be undertaken. Various privileges, varying from those mentioned in the first project, were proposed to be claimed, and it was suggested, that, seven years' time should be asked for, “ to make such other reasonable demands, as time should show to be needful but could not presently be foreseen.” The report then stated what was proposed to be done, and finally suggested, that all things should be managed and ruled as follows: “ It is thought best that a company be constituted here in London of persons to be selected for that purpose, and corporations to be carried on in the two cities of Derry and Coleraine, but all things concerning this plantation and undertaking to be managed and performed in Ireland by advice and direction from the company here in London.” The report, containing this suggestion, which was the first germ of the Irish Society, was approved by the common council, and Mr. Recorder and others were
The SKINNERS' Company The Irish Society.
appointed to present the same, as the city's answer, to the lords of the council. This was done, and the lords of the council, having objected that 15,000l. was too small a sum, did not accept the offer; in consequence of which, the court of common council, on the 22nd December, ordered that the sum of 50001. should be added to their former report, in respect of buying in of private interests and other charges, and the committees formerly appointed were required to deliver the former report, with that sum added, as their answer to the lords of the council. With this answer the lords of the council appeared to have been satisfied, and in contemplation of a final agreement, measures were very soon adopted by the city, for carrying the project into execution, on their part. On the 8th of January 1609-10, at a common council then held, it was enacted, granted, and agreed, that Sir Thomas Bennett and twenty-two other persons then named, and the four commissioners or viewers that were sent from the city into Ireland to view the intended place for plantation should, from time to time, meet and have conference, as well amongst themselves as with such commissioners as should be appointed by the lords of the council, touching the intended plantation in Ulster ; and the said committees before named were to take advised care and consideration of all matters whatsoever, that to them, in their discretion, should be thought fit to be propounded, moved, or done on the behalf of the city, touching the same plantation, as the matter itself, being of that consequence and importance, did merit, and Sir Thomas Bennett was appointed to be the president of the said committees.
And it was further enacted, for the better expediting of the service, that a present taxation should be made of the said sum of 20,0001., and a present levy made of one-fourth part thereof, and that the sum of 50001.