Petition to Parliament from Ca. 1750

It was never thought the Interest of England to en courage the Colonies to Manufacture any Thing that was Manufactured in England; and the Iron Manufacture is the second in the Kingdom, which maintains at least 200,000 People; and, if lost, those People must he an heavy Burthen to their Parishes, particularly in the coun ties of Worcester, Stafford, Warwick, Salop, Lancaster, York, great Part of Wales, and other Places, and consider ably lessen the Value of the Land and Rents in those counties.

Should Encouragement be given to the Colonies, especially to Virginia, `twould not encourage our Navigation; for there's no Ship that comes from thence, but will bring a considerable Quantity of Iron, and her full Quantity of Tobacco also; and therefore not employ many more Ships in the Virginia Trade. And the Making of Iron in any other Parts of America, will occasion a larger Fleet to convoy the Ships from thence than from Sweden, should we have a War with any Nation whatever.

There is no Iron yet known proper for Steel made here, but the best Swedish; and the Steel Manufacture is very advantageous to England, at least Fifty per cent in Manufacturing.

There are Collieries in NewEngland, and the Smiths there buy Coals as cheap as a Smith in London; and by that and other Advantages, the People of NewEngland did Manufacture considerably; which being laid before the Honourable the House of Commons, they took off the Drawback from unmanufactured Iron and Steel Exported to America in the year 1711, being the Ninth of Queen Anne.

The Encouraging the Making of Iron in America, will put them upon Manufacturing, and they will supply them selves first, and all the Colonies; so that the Manufacturers here must starve. America cannot supply England with any Iron for many Years; and the Want of Iron is already sufficiently known to all Traders, Handicrafts, Husband men, Shipwrights, Merchants, and others.

The Americans have the Advantage of 5l. per Tun and upwards, in Making of Iron in their Wood, and Oar, more than the English have; which will over and above pay the great Wages in America, and the Freight to England.

When there was an open Trade with Sweden, the Swedish Iron Imported into England paid annually 40,000l. Custom, which will be so much Loss to the Revenue if the Americans Import Iron free, and much more if a Bounty be given them, could they supply us.