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to the celebrated “ Hanseatic league," for its protection In the following reign, a considerable advance seems to and advancement-a treaty to which seventy-two cities are have been made in the size of merchant-ships, for according said to have been parties, but which, properly speaking, i to the inscription on the tomb of that princely merchant, has ceased to exist for more than two centuries, and is now William Canning of Bristol, in Redcliffe church in that confined to the cities of Lubec, Hamburg, and Bremen. city, (date 1474,) we learn, that in consequence of his
The discovery of the Mariner's Compass *, which is gene- having forfeited the king's peace," he was ordered to pay rally attributed to Flavio Gioia, a citizen of the once 3000 marks, in lieu of which, Edward the Fourth took celebrated maritime republic of Amalfi, about the year 2470 tons of shipping, amongst which there was a ship of 1302, gave, as it has been truly said, to man the dominion 900 tons, another of 500 tons, and one of 400 tons; but of the sea, and marked the commencement of a new era these vessels must clearly have been built by Canning in the history of commerce and navigation. The use of expressly for the Royal service, if we consider the the compass rapidly spread, but notwithstanding the diminutive size of merchant-ships which prevailed during advantages which it afforded, navigation, during the re- the greater part of the following century. mainder of the fourteenth century, continued at a low ebb. At the commencement of the reign of Henry VII. (1485) “A voyage from the Mediterranean to the Baltic," we are English merchants first sent their ships to trade regularly told, was in those days “so formidable an undertaking, that with the ports of Italy, and a consul was thereupon apseafaring men accounted it too long to be performed out pointed at Florence, for the protection of their interests. and home in one season, and gladly embraced the oppor The progress of the Portuguese along the coast of tunity afforded by the warehouses of Bruges, in the Africa, their discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1487, Netherlands, (which owed its increase to its adoption as an and their accomplishment of the first regular voyage to intermediate port for vessels from the north and south of India by that route twelve years after, with the still more Europe,) for landing their cargo from the south, and taking important discoveries of Columbus, opened a new and on board another from the north, without the delay of a boundless field for the extension of navigation, commerce, passage through the Sound. This plan of dividing the and manufactures. The subsequent discoveries of our own voyages to the north, ceased, in a great measure, in the countrymen, in their pursuit after a North-west passage to fifteenth century, because the improvement in seamanship India (, of the whole coast of North America, had, however, made it easy for vessels to proceed direct to Hamburg, then the most powerful effect on British commerce, and led Copenhagen, and other northern ports."
to the formation of the whale-fisheries of Spitzbergen and On the nature and extent of the British commerce Greenland ; yet it has been stated, on the authority of Sir in the fourteenth century, a gleam of light is thrown William Cecil, a London merchant, that, previously to this, by a record of the exports and imports in the twenty- there were not above four merchant-vessels exceeding the eighth year of Edward the Third (1355), from which it burden of 120 tons belonging to the Thames early in the reign appears, that the former consisted of wool, coarse cloths, of Henry VIII., and that there was not a city in Europe, and leather, which were valued at 294,1841. 175. 2d., having the occupying that London had, that was so slenderly including a custom-duty of 215l. 13s. 7d. The imports provided with ships." It appears from a record in the Excomprised fine cloths, 'linen, mercery, wine, wax, and chequer, that, in 1534, the exports of all England did not groceries, of the trifling value of 38,9701. 3$. 6d., including exceed 900,0001., and that the imports only amounted to a custom-duty of 2851. Edward the Third, perceiving the 700,0001.§ An act was passed in this reign, to encourage real cause of the prosperity and opulence of Flanders, merchants to build ships for their service fit for the purmade various efforts during his reign, to excite a commer poses of war; such ships being exempted from certain cial spirit amongst his subjects, but in despite of his duties, their owners receiving from the government twelve endeavours, navigation and industry continued to slumber; shillings per ton per month for their use when occasion and it was not until the reign of Henry the Seventh, nearly needed. This must have caused a considerable increase in a century and a half after, that the advantages arising the burden of merchant-vessels. from our extent of coast and abundance of fuel began to But it was in the reign of Elizabeth, that British combe brought into profitable operation in England.
merce began to assume any great degree of importance. During this interval, however, various efforts were made in the first year of this reign, (1559,) in consequence of by our kings to foster the growth of the mercantile marine, the irregular manner in which the Customs-duties were on the aid of which, as we have explained in our account collected in the Port of London, an Act was passed to of the Royal Navyt, they were almost solely dependent in compel all persons to land their goods at certain places: time of war. For the promotion of this object, in 1449, and, about the same time, a new Custom-house was erected Henry the Sixth granted several privileges to one John near the western boundary of the Tower. This structure, Traverner of Hull, who had built, according to the old of which we give an Engraving, (page 161,) presents a record, the largest ship yet seen in England, which the curious contrast to the immense building || now devoted to king was pleased to call, the Grace Dieu Carrack. A the same purposes : it was totally destroyed by the great licence was granted to this individual to export therein, fire of 1666, a calamity which befes two subsequent custom“wool, tin, skins, leather, and other merchandise, from the houses which were erected on the same site. ports of London, Southampton, Hull, and Sandwich, In 1575 the number of merchant-vessels in England, belonging either to English or foreign merchants; and above 100 tons burden, was only 135, and 696 between 40 freely to carry the said merchandise through the Straits of and 100 tons. About this time the passage to Archangel Marocco into Italy, he paying aliens' duty on the same, was discovered, and a trade opened with Russia, a region and upon firm expectation that he would, in return, bring which had previously been literally a terra incognita in some such merchandise of other nations as were most this country. Companies were also incorporated under wanted in England, as bow-staves, wax, &c., whereby a Royal Charter, to extend the intercourse with Turkey, great increase of the duties and customs to the crown and with Guinea, and other places on the coast of Africa. would ensue, and much gain to the subject.” Previously The old historian, Harrison says, that “there were then to this, according to Hakluyt, from a valuation of some few merchant-ships of the first and second sort, being Spanish prizes, we find that the highest value of com apparelled and made ready to sail, that were not worth mercial shipping, was then 30s. sterling per ton, including 10001., or 3000 ducats at the least." Such was the entertheir “furniture." In this reign, a company of London prise of the English merchants in this reign, that numermerchants sent several ships laden with wool, cloth, and ous privateers were fitted out to harass the Spaniards; one other merchandise, valued at 24,0001. (then a very large of which was of the burden of 800 tons, the largest ship, sum), to trade to the western parts of Marocco, but they not of the Royal navy, which had, up to that period (1997), were intercepted and taken by the Genoese, who were been built. At the death of the Queen, however, in 1603, jealous of our interference with their commerce. The
it is asserted by many writers, that there were only four owners were authorized to make reprisals upon the aggres- merchant-ships in England of the burden of 400 tons. sors whenever they had an opportunity, but no steps were The reign of Elizabeth was, perhaps, most distinguished taken by the English government in the matter.
by the formation of the East India Company, and the British merchant-vessels seem then very rarely to have opening of a commercial intercourse between Great Britain exceeded the burden of 200 tons. We read, however, in and the East. The first association for this purpose, which 1455, of a Swedish ship of 1000 tons, with a crew of 120 was formed in London in 1599, possessed a capital of men, having a licence to trade to English ports; but the computation of tonnage must have been extremely vague.
# See Saturday Magasine, Vol. III., p. 209.
Ibid. Vol. II., p. 185.
|| For an account of the progressive rise of the Customs in Great + Ibid Vol. IV., p. 73.
Britain, see Vol. II. page 187.
30,0001., divided into 101 shares. On the 31st of Decem was then very far astern. The position was critical, but ber, in the following year, the Company obtained a charter the British officer, with great presence of mind, formed his of privileges for fifteen years, constituting it a body corpo- determination, and running up alongside the enemy with rate and politic, under the name of “ The Governor and all his ports up, he commanded him to surrender to a Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East superior force. With this order, supposing himself under Indies.". On the 2nd of May, 1601, their first adventure, the guns of a ship of the line, the French captain instantly consisting of five vessels, measuring, collectively, 1330 tons, complied. Meriton gave him no time for deliberation, but of the value of 27,0001., sailed from Torbay, with cargoes sent an officer who brought him on board; and he delivered of bullion and merchandise to the amount of 58,0001. more, his sword to the English captain, in due form, on the most of which had been advanced by other parties. The quarter-deck. The Bombay Castle was still at a great expedition proved very successful, and the clear average distance, but on that vessel coming up, the prisoners were profits, for many years, amounted to about 150 per cent. quickly taken out and divided. By this time the French upon the capital engaged.
captain began to recover from his surprise, and, looking We should far exceed our limits were we even very very attentively at the little guns on the quarter-deck, briefly to trace the progress of the Company, which rapidly asked Captain Meriton what ship it was to which he had extended in importance and magnitude. In 1642, 15,000 surrendered? Meriton drily answered, “To a merchanttons of shipping were employed in the trade to the East ship." The indignant Frenchman begged to be allowed to Indies. The ships were from 300 to 600 tons each, and return with his people to the frigate, and fight the battle were accounted the best trading-vessels belonging to again; this humble request was refused. The French England. The China-trade, afterwards the most lucrative frigate mounted 36 guns, 12 pounders, and had 350 men, source of revenue the Company possessed, was then carried In November, 1800, the Company's ship Phænir capon on a very limited scale; for tea, the great object of com- tured a French privateer of 16 guns, of heavy metal, and mercial intercourse with that country, was imported in such 132 men, which had had the hardihood to chase her. small quantities in 1660, as not to be thought of sufficient But, perhaps, the most memorable affair in which the consequence to be subjected to a duty !
Company's ships were engaged, was that off Pulo d'Or in Several unsuccessful attempts were made to establish 1804. On the evening of the 14th of February, a valuable similar associations between this period and 1693; but in fleet of homeward-bound vessels, consisting of sixteen of that year the dislike to the monopoly enjoyed by the Com the Company's ships, and eleven sail of country traders, pany had become so general, that an extensive association fell in with the French squadron, under the command of of merchants was formed, which, in consequence of an Admiral Linois, comprising the Marengo 74, two 44-gun offer of a loan of 2,000,000l. to government, obtained a frigates, a corvette of 28 guns, and a brig, which had been charter, under the designation of The English Company sent expressly into the eastern seas, for the purpose of Trading to the East Indies." The large amount of the harassing our commerce. Captain Dance, of the Comloan, combined with the rivalry of the old association, led, pany's ship Camden, who commanded the teet, instead of however, to so mueh inconvenience, that, in 1701, a union ordering his ships to separate, and seek their safety in was effected, and on the 22nd of July, in the following year, flight, wisely formed them, during the night, in line-ofthey were incorporated under the well-known name of battle, and resolved to resist the attack of the enemy. “ The United Company of Merchants of England Trading As soon as day-light arrived, Captain Dance ordered his to the East Indies. In 1708, in consideration of a further ships to hoist British colours and offer battle. loan to the government, they obtained the exclusive privi After a good deal of manœuvring, in which the French lege of trading eastward of the Cape of Good Hope to the had great advantage from their superior sailing, although Straits of Magellan, which was continued, from time to they seemed extremely reluctant to engage, they at last time, until 1794. Such was the origin of this far-famed opened their fire upon the Royal George, our headmost Association, whose commercial functions, in consequence ship, which was received with the utmost coolness, and of the Act of last Session, wholly expired on the 1st of not returned until she was enabled to get closer to her this present month, (April.)
opponents. She then engaged, and bore the brunt of the The ships which the Company_have employed to convey action, until the Camden and Ganges joined her: but before the valuable productions of the East to Great Britain, are any of the other ships could get up, the French Admiral not only by far the most splendid vessels ever built for hauled his wind and stood away to the eastward, under all mercantile purposes, but have frequently been greatly the sail he could set. Captain Dance immediately made a distinguished in time of war. Most of these noble ships signal for a general chase, but, after a pursuit of two are equal in burden to third-rate men-of-war, and carry hours, finding the enemy gained on him, he very properly from thirty-two to thirty-six guns. Several very interesting desisted. The conduct of the Company's officers and men passages occurred, during the late war, between the French on this memorable occasion, displayed a wonderful instance and our China traders, some account of the more remark of our national character. The enemy's squadron might, able of which, for which we are indebted to Captain according to the fair calculation of sea-fighting, have taken BRENTON'S Naval History, may not be unacceptable or destroyed half the British fleet. None of the latter
On the 17th of January, 1794, when there was not a had more than one hundred men-their heariest metal British_ship of war in the Indian seas, the Company's 18-pounders. The Marengo had at least 700 men, with a ship, Pigot, Captain George Ballantyne, lying in Rat weight of metal on her lower deck which rendered her an Island basin, near Bencoolen, signally defeated two French overmatch for all the ships of that fleet, that could, at one privateers, Le Vengeur of 32 guns and 350 men, and La time, have brought their guns to bear on her; and the two Résolue of 28 guns and 160 men. The Pigot mounted frigates were also very powerful wpssels. 32 guns, but her decks were in confusion from her state Captain Dance, whose conduct is deserving of the of equipment, and she had only 102 men on board. The highest praise that can be bestowed on a sea-officer, was French ships were captured a few days afterwards, by knighted by His Majesty on his return. The East India four sail of Indiamen, under the command of Captain Company presented him with £2000, and a magnificent Charles Mitchell, who, on his return to England, received piece of plate, besides giving him a pension of £500 a the honour of knighthood from His Majesty, and was year for life, and the Bombay Insurance Company presented presented by the East India Company with 80001., in him with £5000. All the other officers and seamen in the testimony of his gallant conduct. On the 24th of Janu- fleet were also liberally rewarded by the company. ary, the same ships were attacked by a French squadron In March, 1805, the most valuable fleet that ever sailed of four vessels, two of which carried 40, and 44 guns, but from the East, reached the Downs in safety, under the after a severe action, the French found themselves over convoy of Admiral Rainier. It consisted of 39 ships, and powered, and only escaped being taken in consequence was estimated in value at fifteen millions sterling. of their superior sailing.
In a few years, the country will no longer have to boast In September 1799, a French frigate was captured by of these “princely merchant-men.” About 45 ships, of the the Exeter, East Indiaman, commanded by Captain collective burden of 70,000 tons, were, previously to the Meriton, under very remarkable circumstances. That late Act of Parliament for opening the trade to China, emvessel formed part of a fleet under convoy, which had ployed in that capacity by the company; but only seven of accidentally fallen in with a French squadron, to which they the old ships have sailed from London this season. The gave chase. In the course of the pursuit, the British ships value of an East India ship was formerly about £50,000, were widely scattered, and the captain of the Exeter at but is now reduced to £10,000, or £12,000. The shipping last found that he was nearing a French frigate, the only that will henceforth be employed in our eastern trade, other vessel in sight being the Bombay Indiaman, which will be from 400 to 800 tons burden.
But we must revert to our sketch of the progress of | This is double the extent of the shipping of the United navigation in the seventeenth century.
States, and nearly triple that of France. In the sea-fights with Holland, during the time of the Of the enormous extent of our coasting-trade, some idea Commonwealth, our mercantile navy was greatly distin- may be formed, when we state, that during the year 1833, guished, as well as in single actions with the Barbary pirates. 130,706 vessels, of the burden of 10,302,500 tons, cleared
“ About the middle of the century," remarks Anderson, outwards in the different ports of the United Kingdom. “it had been observed with concern, that the merchants of During the same period 12,982 ships, of the registered England, for several years past, had usually freighted the burden of 2,167,797 tons, cleared outwards for foreign Hollanders' shipping, for bringing home their own mer parts from the various ports of the United Kingdom. chandise, because their freight was at a lower rate than The total official value of our exports, in the year 1832, that of English ships. The Dutch shipping were, therefore, was 76,071,5721.; the imports from foreign countries during made use of even for importing our own American products, the same period, being 44,586,2411. whilst our own shipping lay rotting in our harbours; our mariners also, for want of employment at home, went into
THE PORT OF LONDON. the service of the Hollanders." In order to remedy this PROBABLY, the most interesting view in the metropolis to disastrous state of things, the first Navigation Law was passed by the long Parliament in 1651, which gave rise, bridge. The “landsman" especially, gazes with feelings
a stranger, is that from the eastern parapet of London shortly after the Restoration in 1660, to the celebrated
of wonder on the vast, and apparently interminable, forest Navigation Act, which remained in force, with only a
of masts, which rise with an effect indescribably picturesque partial deviation, until 1823, when the present “ Reciprocity and imposing on the broad and tide-rippled haven of the system" was brought into operation.
majestic Thames. Few things, perhaps, are better calcuIn 1660, only 140,000 tons of shipping belonged to all lated to impress the mind with a sense of our commercial the ports of Great Britain; and 95,266 tons cleared greatness, than an inspection of this immense Port. outwards; but the adoption of the restrictive system proved | There may be seen the flags of almost every civilized so beneficial, that at the period of the Revolution in 1688; nation on the globe. The clumsy and grotesque, though our mercantile marine had nearly doubled, and 190,533 bright and gaudy craft of the “lubberly Dutchman; tons of shipping cleared outwards. In 1694, the suburbs to the east of the Tower, in consequence of the increase of lugger; the smart Frenchman; the rakish and suspicious
the taut-rigged Yankee; the piratical-looking Spanish commerce and navigation, had become so populous, (not- Mediterranean trader; the dingy collier; the dashing withstanding the fearful ravages of the Great Plague in
steamer; the Kentish Hoy; the splendid “free trader;" and that district.) that a new parish was constituted, under the the stately Indiaman; with a host of other vessels of various name of St. John Wapping. In 1700, the imports into countries and classes, compose a scene, which for variety and Great Britain were valued at £5,970,175, whilst our exports extent, is unequalled in the world. And then the human in the same year were £7,302,716.
inhabitants of this vast floating city ::.. all indeed, comThe first accurate account of the extent of our .com
bine to afford an almost boundless field for reflection to a mercial navy was obtained in 1702, by the commissioners contemplative mind. We are led to remember, that our of the Customs, from which it appears, that there then country's greatness has arisen from her being the Ocean belonged to all the ports in England and Wales, 3281 Queen, and whilst we reflect that each ship has a history, vessels, of the estimated burden of 261,222 tons, employing 27,196 men, and carrying 5660 guns. Of these there and adventure, in which our countrymen, perhaps, our
we are mentally carried to the far-distant scenes of peril belonged to
friends, have borne so distinguished a part. London . 560
The scene on the river extends for a space of more than Bristol 165 17,338 2,359
four miles, comprising what are called the Upper, Middle, Liverpool 102 ... 8,619 . 1,101
and Lower Pools, and a portion of Limehouse Reach. The peace of Utrecht gave fresh vigour to trade; and, These divisions are generally crowded with shipping; the in 1713, our shipping had increased to 421,000 tons, after Middle and Lower Pools being principally devoted to the which its progress was very gradual, for in 1739 it coal trade. Both banks of the river, as far as the termihad only augmented one-seventh. The increase of our nation of the Lower Pool, exhibit one continued range of exports during this period was much more rapid, being warehouses, and other buildings appropriated to commermore than one-fourth, viz. from 7,300,0001. to 10,000,0001.cial purposes; but the chief seat of business lies on the In the year 1729, 8889 vessels entered the Port of London, northern side. The most interesting objects on that side, of which number 1839 British, and 213 Foreign vessels, are the immense pile of the Custom House; the Tower, were from foreign parts, the rest being coasters.
associated with so much that is memorable in British At the accession of George III., in 1760, the ton- history; and the principal Docks and Building-yards. On nage of merchant-vessels cleared outwards was, English the southern side, at Rotherhithe, are situated most of the 640,241, Foreign 107,237. In the same year our exports granaries for the supply of the vast population of the were valued at 15,781,175l., and our imports at 9,832,8021. metropolis, one of which, belonging to Messrs. Scott & Co., The increase during the remainder of the century was from its immense magnitude, forms a very conspicuous extremely great. In 1789 the amount of British tonnage object, and is called on the river “ the granary;" in this had trebled since 1760; our imports had nearly doubled, neighbourhood is the entrance to the Tunnel, and several but our exports had increased little more than a fifth. In Docks. The extensive space on the southern side of 1802, when 'Mr. Addington pronounced “ the commerce Limehouse Reach, extending to the Royal Yard at of the country to be in a state of unexampled prosperity," | Deptford, which during the war was a busy scene of the official value* of our imports amounted to about thirty- human industry—at Deptford especially, many thousand one millions, and our exports were more than forty-one persons were employed—is now almost deserted and millions sterling! So amazing an increase, in the space of desolate. forty years, was never paralleled in the history of any nation. A short distance above the unrivalled national Hospital,
In 1805, the number of vessels belonging to the several at Greenwich, are moored two large ships, respectively ports of Great Britain and Ireland, was 19,027, which were appropriated to the purposes of a nursery and a floating of an aggregate burden of 2,086,489 tons, and navigated hospital for seamen, viz., the “Marine Society*," on board by 142,245 men and boys; besides 3014 ships, of the bur- the Iphigenia frigate, and the“ Seamen's Hospital, for den of 190,953 tons, belonging to the Colonies.
sailors of all nations," on board the Dreadnought 104. On the 31st of December, 1832, according to a Parliamentary Return, our commercial navy was as follows:
• MARINE SOCIETY. This admirable and patriotic institution has now become of national importance. It rears up the children of
the poor, and destitute orphans, in habits of virtue and active United Kingdom . . 19,143 . . 2,225,980 . . 134,588 industry, and thousands, who, if they had not thus been rescued Isles of Guernsey,
521 Jersey, and Man,
35,880 . 3,844
from destitution, ignorance and vice, would probably have followed
the paths of idleness and infamy, have by its means been made British Plantations. 4,771 356,208 .. 23,202
useful and worthy members of society. Since the Society originated
in 1756, it has trained ap 78,595 individuals for the sea-service, some Total . . 24,435 . . 2,618,068 . . 161,634
of whom we are told, “have risen to rank and considerable esti
mation.” A certain number of widows of captains and lieutenants The official value generally differs widely from the real value, in the navy, whose indigent circumstances justify an application to being computed upon a scale laid down for the regulation of the the Committee, are also annually relieved. officers of the customs, more than a century ago; it, however, affords + SeAMEN'S HOSPITAL. This institution, since its estabiishment a means of comparison between different periods.
in 1821, has afforded medical and surgical relief to 21,000 mariners
No. of Vessels.
a relic of Trafalgar. Both these national institutions craft; 4000 labourers in lading and unlading ships; and are chiefly supported by voluntary contributions. On 12,000 revenue officers are always on duty on the river. the opposite side of the river, is the low ground, called The annual value of the exports and imports, from and the Isle of Dogs, anciently, the Isle of Ducks, from the into the port, is computed to amount to between sixty and great numbers of wild fowl which formerly resorted to it, seventy millions sterling:-in 1806, they were little more which is considered one of the richest spots of ground in than half that amount; and in 1825, they were nearly England. Immediately below this point of land, is ninety-seven millions ! situated Blackwall, which in consequence of the winding An idea has gone abroad, that the commerce with other of the river, is nearly eight miles from the city, although parts of the world, has, for some years, been leaving less than half that distance by land. Here the business London for Liverpool. This idea is wholly fallacious; for, of the Port of London virtually ends, and the Thames although the trade of Liverpool is augmenting much more after a further course of about forty miles, falls into the rapidly than that of the metropolis, yet the trade of the ocean at the Nore.
latter has been gradually increasing for many years, as The Conservancy of the Thames has, since the reign will' be seen by the subjoined return of the amount of of Richard the First, been claimed by the city of London, British and Foreign tonnage, that has entered the respective whose charter was confirmed and extended by James the ports in the years 1821 and 1831:First. The Lord Mayor holds a Court of Conservancy eight times in the year; and once in every seven years,
Foreign. traverses the whole limits of his jurisdiction, (commencing 1821 . . 585,994 89,073 242,322
. . 149,151 at Staines bridge,) on the Thames and Medway. The 1831 . . 780,988 269,159 . . 413,928 265,037 tide ascends about fifteen miles above London Bridge, and the river is navigable for nearly 130 miles further. In
The coasting tonnage of London is more than double its course through the metropolis, it varies in breadth from the extent of the foreign: in 1826, it consisted of 20,439 800 to 1500 feet, gradually expanding as it approaches the vessels, of the aggregate burden of 2,441,776 tons; a large Nore, where it is seven miles broad.
portion of this amount arises from the coal-trade; no less An estimate of the vast extent of the SHIPPING AND
than 2,139,078 tons of that important necessary of life COMMERCE of the Port of London, may be formed from the having been imported into the Thames in 1832. following particulars.
Many of the colliers are of great age and remarkable The average number of British ships and vessels, of all build; at page 168, we have given an engraving of the classes, in the river and docks, has been calculated at after a service of a century and a half, was wrecked on a
most celebrated of these vessels*, the Betsy Cains, which, 13,444; of which the craft and lighters engaged in lading and reef of rocks in entering the Tyne, near the Spanish unlading, amount to nearly 4000. About 3000 wherries are employed in the conveyance of passengers; and nearly battery under Tynemouth, on the 18th of February, 1827. About 12,000 watermen (two-thirds of whom are free of of any other ship on record, was originally a Royal Yacht, 3000 barges and lighters are engaged in the inland trade. This venerable ship, which was built of oak, 'whose
changeful existence extended for a longer period than that the city,) are occupied in navigating the small boats and called the Princess Mary, and is popularly believed to besides 6000 out-patients. Sick seamen, of every nation, on pre
have conveyed the Prince of Orange to this country at the senting themselves alongside the Dreadnought, are immerliately Revolution of 1688. Nearly sixty years ago she was sold their own apparent condition being suficient to obtain their admis- her build, which was considered particularly excellent, was received, without the necessity of any recommendatory letters; by Government, and employed as a West Indiaman, when sion. It may be interesting to subjoin a statement of the number of materially altered. She was subsequently employed as a affords an illustration of the fact, that almost all the varieties of the collier, and excited much interest, particularly from a human race may be seen in the Port of London; Englishmen 11,878; popular saying, “ that the Catholics would never get the Scotchmen 2551 ; Irishmen 2220 ; Frenchmen 88; Germans 304; better whilst the Betsy Cains was afloat !" It is thought Russians 182; Prussians 409; Dutchmen 83; Danes 359;. Swedes that she was Thames-built. and Norwegians 582; Italians 127; Portuguese 182; Spaniards 72;
According to official returns, about 2700 ships, of the East Indians 148; West Indians 402; British Americans 253; United States 405 ; South Americans 55; Africans 130; Turks 7; * For the subject of our engraving, we are indebted to a lithoGreeks 13; New Zealanders 18; New South Wales 9; South Sea graphic sketch, made from a painting by Mr. James Ferguson of Islanders 79; Chinese 12; born at Sea 50; total, including 171 North Shields, by Mr. W. Davison of Sunderland-both eminent relieved previously to the ship being ready, 20,789.
artists in the north of England,
collective burden of 573,000 tons, now belong to London, no less than 2200 culprits were convicted of misdemeanours exclusive of the immense number of craft and other unre on the river during the same period. gistered vessels previously enumerated.
The West India Docks, which were commenced in Of the value and extent of the fishing-trade, the follow- February, 1800, and partially opened on the 3rd of August, ing interesting particulars have been given in the Ency- | 1802, were the first, and are still the most extensive docks, clopædia Britannica:—“No city in the world is better and not only in this port but in the world. They extend across more plentifully supplied with fish, than London. Turbot the northern extremity of the Isle of Dogs, from Blackwall and brill are carried there from the coast of Holland; to Limehouse, having a communication with the river by salmon from the rivers in Scotland and Ireland,
,-a few, | spacious basins at either extremity. This great public however, are caught in the Thames,--at the mouth of establishment originally consisted of an export and import which, mackerel and cod-fish are taken.
dock; but, in 1829, the south dock, a spacious canol for . In 1828, the following calculation was made of the shipping of the largest class, which had originally been quantity of fish sold at Billingsgate.
constructed to facilitate the navigation of the Thames, was Plaice and skates
50,754 bushels. purchased by the West India Dock Company for 120,0001. Turbot
The north, or Import Dock, contains nearly thirty acres Fresh cod.
under water, being 870 yards long by 166 wide. The Herrings
3,336,407 ditto. Export Dock is of the same length, but only 135 yards in Haddocks.
width, and comprises an area of about 25 aeres. The South Mackerel
Dock is 1183 yards (nearly three-quarters of a mile) long; Fresh salmon.
it runs parallel to the others, and its lock-gates are 45 feet Lobsters . .
in width. The three docks are capable of admitting 650
véssels, of from 250 to 500 tons. The entire area occupied “To supply the actual demands of the people with this by the docks and warehouses consists of more than 295 food, it required 3827 vessels; the number of fishermen,
acres, enclosed (with the exception of the South Dock,) by therefore, exclusively devoted to this particular business,
a lofty wall, five feet thick. When originally opened, such and subservient to that metropolis alone, is truly immense."
is the extent of the Import Dock, that although the water The Customs-duty collected in the port of London,
was admitted at an average rate of 800 gallons per second, amounts to more than half the entire customs of the the space was not filled to the required depth, about 24 United Kingdom-exceeding ten millions annually. In a
feet, for 10 hours. recent publication, it has been calculated that “above
The immense ranges of warehouses which divide the 40,000 waggons, and other carriages, including their Import and Export Docks are not less deserving of repeated journeys, arrive and depart from the metropolis, notice than the latter; they are chiefly illed with rum, laden in both instances with articles of domestic or foreign brandy, and colonial produce, and in the warehouses merchandise; occasioning a transit, including cattle and provisions sent for the consumption of the inhabitants, of partly surrounding the Import Dock, there is stowagemore than 50,000,0001. worth of goods, to and from the quantity of coffee, &c. In these warehouses, and under
room for 160,000 hogsheads of sugar, besides a large inland markets; making with the imports, a sum of the spacious sheds surrounding the quays, 148,563 casks 120,000,0001. worth of property annually moving to and of sugar, 70,875 barrels and 433,648 bags of coffee, 35,158 from the metropolis."
pipes of rum and Madeira wine, 14,021 logs of mahogany, THE DOCKS
and 21,350 tons of logwood, besides other merchandise,
have been deposited at one time. The West India Dock And Warehousing Establižhments of the Port of London, Company's capital is 1,380,0001., and, in consequence of in point of capacity and convenience, are unequalled. all West India ships trading to the Port of London, having Notwithstanding the vast and increasing commerce of been compelled to frequent these docks for twenty years the metropolis, however, it was not until towards the end after their formation, the profits during that period were of the last century, that the idea of forming wet-docks immense. seems to have been seriously entertained. This is the The LONDON Docks, at Wapping, which were first more remarkable, as a wet-dock had been formed at the opened in 1805, are another splendid instance of commerthen insignificant port of Liverpool, so early as the year cial enterprise. They were originally intended for vessels 1708. In 1793, the West India Docks were first pro- laden with wine, brandy, tobacco, and rice, respecting jected, and in the following year, at a general meeting of which they possessed exclusive privileges for a period of the merchants and ship-owners of London, the construc- twenty years, but they are now not appropriated to any tion of wet-docks was finally resolved upon. But such partieular trade. It was found necessary to remove more was the opposition the project experienced from the cor than 1300 houses in constructing these docks, which em. poration of London, and private interests, that it was brace within the walls an area of 71 acres, about 25 of not until 1798, that an Act of Parliament was obtained. which are under water. The vaults and warehouses here Previously to that period, the losses sustained in conse are of extraordinary dimensions. The largest, or, as it is quence of the inadequate accommodation, and unprotected called, the “Great Tobacco Warehouse," is calculated to state of the port, were exceedingly serious. At certain contain 24,000 hogsheads of tobacco, and covers nearly seasons, the river was absolutely blocked up with vessels, five acres of ground. This enormous structure is wholly most of which had to discharge their cargoes into lighters; under the control of the officers of Government, the Dock and the annual loss sustained from robberies alone, was Company merely receiving the warchouse charges. There computed to amount to half a million sterling. The are also other warehouses of immense extent. The vaults marine depredators, who were as numerous as they were which extend under these buildings have long been classed daring, were divided into various classes, as "river-pirates," amongst the “
sights” of the metropolis,-more than "light and heavy-horsemen," “mud-larks,” “ copemen, 65,000 pipes of wine and spirits can be stowed in these “scutlle-hunters," &c. The river or night pirates seem to vast cellars. The London Docks have accommodation for have conducted their operations with the most reckless more than 200 merchantmen at one time. A new entrance, daring. They have been frequently known to weigh a on a very improved plan, with a spacious basin and locks, ship's anchor, hoist it with the cable into a boat, and when 1200 feet in length, has recently been opened, nearly a mile discovered, to hail the captain, tell him of his loss, coolly lower down the river than the original entrance. This very bid him good night, and row away. They also cut small important improvement was effected at a cost of 180,0001.; craft and lighters adrift, following them till they ran the capital of the Company exceeds 3,250,0001. ashore, when they generally succeeded in carrying off the The East India Docks, at Blackwall, were next conwhole of the freight. Many of the “light-horsemen" structed. This establishment, which was chiefly underregularly made five-guineas a night, and an apprentice to taken for the convenience of the East India Company's what was called a “game-waterman," is said to have been ships, was completed in 1806, at a cost of 500,0001. It known to keep a country-house and a saddle-horse! In consists of an export and import dock, which, with the these days of security and improvement, it appears quite entrance-basin, contain nearly 30 acres under water. The incredible that such a state of things should have been entrance-lock is 210 feet long, and the dock-gates 48 feet submitted to so long. In 1797, a strong check was put to wide. An extensive cast iron wharf, 750 feet in length, the proceedings of these marauders, by the establishment has just been completed along the river-front of the Docks, of a system of marine police, which was so successful, that for the accommodation of steam-vessels of all classes, at all during the first year, the saving to the West India mer states of the tide: more than 900 tons of iron have been chants alone was computed to amount to 100,0001.; and used in this novel and interesting work.