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securities carefully taken, which are by law required, before any li. cense be granted.

3. That no parish church or chapel be put into the license for the place of celebrating the marriage, but those only where one of the parties, that are to be married, dwells. And if the archbishops have authority so to do (which I think they have, all licenses in this kind being only ex gratiâ) that they limit it to the parish church or chapel where the woman dwells.

4. That a severe prosecution be enjoined against all those that transgress in any of the premisses.

If the bill pass against clandestine marriages, which I hear is now before the parliament, I confess it will be too late for the church to meddle with this matter; but in case the bill be cast out (as perhaps it may) I think it will then be very proper for the church to under. take the business, and employ all the authority it hath to reform so great an abuse. And if the archbishops and bishops would be pleased so to do, to whom the cognisance of this matter doth most properly belong, I know no way can be more effectual for it, than the putting the canons in execution in the particulars I have mentioned. And if this be done as soon as the bill is cast out, by a publick order from the two archbishops, to their respective provinces, and the bishops be hearty and zealous in the executing of it, I doubt not there will be these following good effects thereof.

1. A speedy remedy will thereby be put to this great abuse, which hath raised the clamour of the nation so loud against us, and made so many disaffected to the church, by reason of the injuries that some of their families have suffered by our tolerating so unjustifiable a prac. tice among us.

2. Full satisfaction will be given to those who so earnestly call for a reformation in this particular; which will be the most effectual method of preventing the ill designs of those who endeavour the bring. ing of sanguinary laws upon us for this purpose; which, if effected, will be a great severity, and may prove a constant snare to their lives, whenever the people have malice enough to raise a prosecution against them.

3. It will stop the mouths of those who are too often heard to re. proach the bishops with this whole abuse, as if the whole reason of it were from this, that they sold their chancellors, commissaries, and registers places, and therefore were bound to tolerate those officers under them in all their illegal practices, that they may thereby the better raise the money that they exacted from them, for their admis. sion to those employments.

And thus far having stated to your lordship this whole case, and shewn you therein from whence the great abuse of clandestine mar. riages ariseth, the manner how the practice of it is grown so frequent, and the means whereby it may be prevented, I earnestly beseech your lordship to make use of that opportunity which God hath given you, in putting to your helping hand for the reformation of this corruption, that the reputation of our church, and the interest of so many families that are members of it, may not thus continually be sacrificed to the raising and screwing of people is a harsh and odious business, and goes against the hair, so that it will be found extremely difficult.

But the design of the proposal, here offered, is not to raise any body; but only to ease those that are overcharged, and who pay above their portion. Which is a thing so equitable and so favourable, that there is good reason to hope that no man will be so inhuman to oppose it.

Considering withal, that none are to have this easement, unless they make their case .so plain that no doubt can be made of it.

The proposal hath been briefly mentioned already in the Project of a Descent upon France, and more at large it is this:

I. That a land-tax be granted, the same with that which was granted this last year (the amount whereof is, we know, about seventeen-hun. dred thousand pounds) and that the same proportions be laid upon the several counties, and upon each particular man.

II. Provided, nevertheless, that no man be obliged to pay above two shillings in the pound, of the true and full yearly value of his land.

III. That, in order hereunto, all persons aggrieved, that is, all that are to pay above that proportion, may complain to such commis. sioners as the parliament shall please to nominate for each county.

IV. That these commissioners, upon clear proofs in writing of the true value of the land, shall make just abatements, and shall settle the complainants tax at the said proportion of two shillings in the pound.

V. That the commissioners cause all these depositions, and their orders upon them, to be fairly transcribed into a book, and so trans. mit them to the committee, which the parliament shall please to appoint for this service.

VI. That this committee of parliament shall inspect the said de. positions and orders, and shall disallow the orders, if the evidence seem not clear, or alter them as they see cause.

VII. All orders and abatements made by the commissioners to stand good, unless, and until they are disallowed by the committee of parliament.

VIII. No proof to be admitted, but by written depositions; even the quality and credit of the witnesses, there be occasion for it, to be proved in writing. Thus I have laid open the

whole design ; which aims at nothing but to relieve the oppressed. Here will be good store of informers, but, of all that ever were, they will be the most innocent; for every man must inform for himself. And he may easily do it with effect; for there is nothing more easy, than for any man to shew plainly the true value of his land.

If the land be let, or have been lately, at a rack-rent, it is easy to shew what that rent is or was; and the tenant's own oath will be good evidence, if he can also swear, that the whole tax must be al. lowed by the landlord, which the law directs, if there be no cove. nants to the contrary. Also the same thing may be proved by the

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If the land be let for lives or years, and at an under-rent; it may be shewed what the rent is, and, likewise, what fine was paid, and for what term.

But, if the land be a man's own, and was never let, there must be more ado, though even then the thing will not be greatly difficult. It will give a great light, if a surveyor swear to the quantity ; shewing also how much of it is common field, an: how much inclosure; like. wise, how much is meadow, arable, pasture, ard wood. Then others must prove the common rate of those sorts of land, in that place and neighbourhood. And substantial neighbours may make oath, what they believe and judge to be the true value of the particular land in question. Also the party may shew, at what rate he bought the land, if he hath lately bought it; or at what rate he hath offered it to be let or sold. In short, there are many ways to make out a thing of this nature, if it be true. But to palliate a false value is very difficult, so as to give clear and full satisfaction ; without which, there must no relief be expected by the complainants.

I must now answer a question concerning this matter; and like. wise two objections.

The question that may be asked is this:

What is the meaning of this committee of parliament, which, according to these proposals, must controul the commissioners of the counties?

And I answer, that the meaning is :

That the commissioners may take greater care to do equal and righteous things, when they find that their proceedings must be seen and examined by others; whereas they would be apt to take too much liberty, if it should be only known to themselves, what methods they follow, and upon what grounds they go. But yet, in all likeli. hood, the committee will not much alter what the commissioners have done.

The first of the objections is :
That the thing here proposed is exceeding laborious.
I answer :

That the bringing taxes to an equality is so glorious an atchiere. ment, that we ought to spare for no pains to compass it. Nor is it only noble and beneficial, but also of absolute necessity. If the equal dividing the common booty be necessary to pirates and buc. caneers, the equal distribution of the publick burdens is much more to a state ;' saith a late author. But, moreover, as this work is great; so there will be many hands to do it. The country commissioners will divide themselves, as they used to do in the case of assessments. And the committee of parliament, which will be numerous, will name several sub-committees out of their own number, and share the work to them, who, amongst them, must peruse the books sent from the counties;

and report to the whole committee, what they disallow and what they doubt of. The transcribing the depositions into these books may seem a tedious business, and of too much time. But even here so many hands may be employed, as will make quick work. For several men may be at the same time transcribing upon

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raising and screwing of people is a harsh and odious business, and goes against the hair, so that it will be found extremely difficult.

But the design of the proposal, here offered, is not to raise any body ; but only to eage those that are overcharged, and who pay above their portion. Which is a thing so equitable and so favourable, that there is good reason to hope that no man will be so inhuman to oppose it. Considering withal, that none are to have this easement, unless they make their case .so plain that no doubt can be made of it.

The proposal hath been briefly mentioned already in the Project of a Descent upon France, and more at large it is this:

I. That a land-tax begranted, the same with that which was granted this last year (the amount whereof is, we know, about seventeen-hun. dred thousand pounds) and that the same proportions be laid upon the several counties, and upon each particular man.

II. Provided, nevertheless, that no man be obliged to pay above two shillings in the pound, of the true and full yearly value of his land.

III. That, in order hereunto, all persons aggrieved, that is, all that are to pay above that proportion, may complain to such commis. sioners as the parliament shall please to nominate for each county.

IV. That these commissioners, upon clear proofs in writing of the true value of the land, shall make just abatements, and shall settle the complainants tax at the said proportion of two shillings in the pound.

V. That the commissioners cause all these depositions, and their orders upon them, to be fairly transcribed into a book, and so trans. mit them to the committee, which the parliament shall please to appoint for this service.

VI. That this committee of parliament shall inspect the said de. positions and orders, and shall disallow the orders, if the evidence seem not clear, or alter them as they see cause.

VII. All orders and abatements made by the commissioners to stand good, unless, and until they are disallowed by the committee of parliament.

VIII. No proof to be admitted, but by written depositions ; even the quality and credit of the witnesses, there be occasion for it, to be proved in writing.

Thus I have laid open the whole design; which aims at nothing but to relieve the oppressed. Here will be good store of informers, but, of all that ever were, they will be the most innocent; for every man must inform for himself. And he may easily do it with effect; for there is nothing more easy, than for any man to shew plainly the true value of his land.

If the land be let, or have been lately, at a rack-rent, it is easy to shew what that rent is or was; and the tenant's own oath will be good evidence, if he can also swear, that the whole tax must be al. lowed by the landlord, which the law directs, if there be no cove. nants to the contrary. Also the same thing may be proved by the

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method to have it equally assessed. This tax may, by the good old word, be called a subsidy; and the parliament, now, and at other times, may please to grant either one subsidy, or part of one, or a subsidy and a half, or two or three subsidies or more, according as the publick occasions require.

But still, after all hath been done, the taxes will not yet be exactly equal. For there are divers, as I am well informed, that do not pay six.pence a pound to the great tax* now upon us. I leave these to be further considered, and, in the mean time, though they do not pay to the full, yet they will pay three times as much in proportion, as they did formerly.

I have all this while been driving at equality; but there is an equality so unequal, that I cannot but declare my sense against it; and that is, that houses should bear equal proportion with lands, for which there is no reason, as every man's reason will tell him. They ought, therefore, to be abated a fourth or a fifth part.

If the parliament shall not think fit to enter upon this great work at present (though it is every man's work, and would be soon done) they may however, by a shorter way, give some relief (if they please) to those that are oppressed in the land-tax; that is, to those that pay plainly above their proportion. And this may be done, by making the sum of the tax, next granted, to be something less than the last, and then distributing this abatement among the counties, that are now notoriously overcharged, the other counties continuing as they are. Thus, whereas the last tax was for about seventeen hundred thousand pounds, the next may be for fifteen or fourteen hundred thousand; which is iwo or three hundred thousand pounds less. And then the oppressed counties, which counties are well known, may have their monthly payments abated, in such proportions as the parliament shall find meet. The raising either of men, or counties, is such a noli me tangere, that there is no meddling with it; but there is great reason to hope, that the giving just ease, to those who want it, will meet with no opposition. For my own part, I have no particular concern in this matter. I am in a county that is not like to be eased; and I pay about three shillings in the pound, which is near the true propor. tion : But I wonder the counties, that are concerned, have not peti. tioned all this while. In such a case as this, even clamorous peti. tions would be excusable.

There is another consideration about taxes, which I recommend to those worthy persons who have a hand in granting them; and that is, that the payments be not made too quick. We know that the present great tax (to say nothing of those precedents) is paid with exceed. ing difficulty. And such another tax in the neck of it, to be paid like. wise forthwith, it is doubted would occasion extreme distresses. When a man hath bled much, if you go to take a further great quantity from him, at once, and presently, it may prove fatal, his body cannot bear it: But, after a while, his blood being recruited, and supplied, you may take more without hurt or danger; especially if you do it by de.

* Three shillings in the pound.

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