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Title: John Foster, [Location?] to Sir Richard Heron, [Location?]
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileFoster, John/73
SenderFoster, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationpolitician
Sender Religionunknown
RecipientSir Richard Heron
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD.562/8321: Presented by Viscount Massereene and Ferrand, Clotworthy House, Antrim, County Antrim.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N.Ireland.
Doc. No.9510046
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 12:10:95.
Word Count975
TranscriptDr. [Dear?] Sir
I enclose you what occurred to me upon the papers you sent me
on Friday. Those books which might be useful to me on such a
subject are mostly in town & therefore there may be many
inaccuracies & misrecollections in what I have written, but it
will however show that the Circumstances of the Treasury will
not require Part: to meet before the usual time.
I will also show too truly, that this Kingdom is in a very
bad Situation & that upon the system pursued since 1757 it
cannot longer exist. In the 2 Yrs [years?] ending L [last?] day
1755 the Revenues exceeded the Expences in 224,000œ [œ224,000]
but in 1757 the Expences exceeded the Revenues
in 1757 222,000œ
in 1758 183,000
in 1761 268,000
in 1763 304,000
in 1764 17,000
in 1767 105,000
in 1769 95,000
in 1771 221,000
in 1773 201,000
in 1775 278,000
in 1777 87,000
& will in 1779 nearly 558,000 not withstanding
large taxes were added in 1773 & 1775, which will continue,
calculated to produce above 140,000œ [œ140,000] yearly
In such a state, the only means that occur is to me for our
valuation are
1. a Reduction of Expence
2. a more effectual & cheaper collection of the Revenue
3. Such Indulgences in our trade as may by giving Wealth,
give ability to us to bear further taxes, at least under those
already imposed more productive.
As to the 1st it lies within your immediate knowledge
therefore I shall only say to it, that I fear, the gradual
practicable reduction is not adequate to our necessities.
As to the second I am no judge of the cause of the present
expensive mode nor of the practicability of allowing it, but I
will state to you a few facts from my recollection. Our revenue
has been collected from 1750 to 1761 at from 9 to 10 1/2 per
Cent thence to 1771 is varied from 11 to 19, but in 1774 it rose
to 14 & in 1775 was 16 per Cent - The Revenues of England are
collected I understand at 6, or 6 1/2 pr.œ [pence per pound?] œ
tho [although?] it could not be expected that ours which is so
much smaller should be collected as cheaply yet these facts
show, it was long collected at less Expence, than now, & the
saving between 9 the lowest & 16 the highest rate would on a
million be œ70,000 a year.
I need not mention to you the immoderate sale of the Stamp
Collection nor that our [____?] only a yearly tax, as early
levied as any private rents costs about 12 pr.œ [pence per
In respect of the third point- The effect of the Taxes
imposed in 1773 & 1775 would alone, if other circumstances are
wanting, show our inability to raise larger annual supplies - &
that new Taxes, tho [although?] they may change the object of
Revenue will not increase its amount. This want of ability is in
other words a want of wealth and there is no probable means of
increasing that wealth but by an almost total freedom of trade a
freedom which I think I could easily demonstrate would benefit
not injure Britain It might be vain to expect any of these
three matters to operate separately for our relief by itself,
but if the three could be set in motion & by all working
together, each contribute a little, we might hope to flourish
Will you give me leave to trouble you further on this subject
& to suggest to you further reasons for the enlargement of our
trade, peculiar to this season & why England ought immediately
to extend to us the fullest benefit she ever extends? The moment
American troubles cease, Emigration from hence will probably
begin. Thousands will leave a Country sinking into ruin, where
Industry is cramped & the natural means of wealth cut off. But
if the strongest Prospect of every commercial Benefit, by a
Certainty of being allowed to make full use of every natural
advantage of their island be given to us before that time, those
thousands may be induced to stay at home & assist themselves and
their Mother Country in their native soil. The times are such
that an Enlargement of our trade is not only necessary in the
general, but is now essential to prevent that Dispondency in the
kingdom which would extend itself even into the Linen Country &
sink that manufacture by Emigration.
Gr. [Great?] Britain must one day or other for her own sake
of herself open our trade, my thoughts run not so much in the
general for her doing, as for her doing it now while it yet may
save us.
If the popular dependences will not allow the whole of the
woollen trade to be opened- the liberty of exposing Lurgan,
singly, mixed goods such as Poplins, Cheques &c with Glasses &
stockings would ____[instigate?] the jealousies of a much
smaller part of Great Britain than what the cloathing
[clothing?] trade would & the more immediately beneficial to us,
as we do not produce cloathing [clothing] wool enough for our
I have taken the liberty of troubling you with a very long
letter & if I did not restrain myself I should make it yet
longer. This is a time in which most essential service is
wanting & might be done to this country, & I will truly say,
that we never had a lordlieu [Lord Lieutenant] & secretary more
sincerely anxious to promote its welfare, none within my
knowledge so much so, therefore I may hope this letter long as
it is will be excused from its subject
I am &c.

Copy of my letter to Sir R [Richard?] Heron Oct.[October] 26