History of the Down Survey (Petty 1851)/2

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Dr Petty shews the mistake in the present survey.NOW, in process of time, Dr Petty, finding that way of survey, which the State was uppon, to be a mistake, he soe undeceived severall sober and judiciouse persons in the business, that they, communicating their satisfaction concerning what Dr Petty offered as a remedy, did procure, from those then in authority, the following order, viz.:

By the Commissioners of the Commonwealth of England, for the Affaires of Ireland.


Order to consider how the survey may most expeditiously and cheaply be done.That it be referred to Sr Hardress Waller, Collonell Hewson, Collonell Lawrence, Adjutant-Generall Allen, Dr Cartret, Lieut.-Collonell Arnopp, Mr Benjamin Worsely, Mr James Standish, Captain Salt, and Captain Shaw, or any three of them, together with Mr Roberts and Dr Petty, forthwith to consider how the business of surveys may be carryed on with most exspedition, and least charge to the Commonwealth, and certifie what they thinke fit therein. Dublin, September 8th 1654. Signed in the name and by the appointment of the said Commissioners,

Tho. Herbert, Secretary.


Whereuppon was considered the charge, usefullness, and dispatch of the Survey then allready in hand, grounded uppon and made in pursuance of the following report of a Committee of Survey, instituted by the generall councell of the army, held in April, 1654, and for bettering of another way of survey before that time propounded by Mr Worsly, which the said report doeth mention and correct.

The Report of the said Committee of Survey, viz.:

The 11th of May, 1654.

Report of the Committee of Survey, on which Mr Worsly's instructions were grounded.By the Committee appointed by the generall councill of officers, to have a view and consideration of such instructions as are to be sent out for the surveying of lands.

To the Right Honourable the Commissioners of the Commonwealth.

It is humbly shewed,

That the Comittee, having conferred with the Surveyor-Generall, and viewed certaine instructions prepared by him to be issued to such persons as are to be imployed in the surveying and admeasuring of land, and considering of how great import it is (as they humbly conceive), as well to the interest of the Commonwealth as to that of the army, that the souldiery should, with what exspedition is possible, be put into possession of their lands; and how much it would contribute to that end, and to the facilitating the subdivision among themselfs, if the quantity of forfeited lands may in each place be ascertained, and that the survey alsoe may not be unnessessarily clogged with any such instructions as doe not immediately relate to the said forfeited land, they doe, for these reasons, humbly tender the ensueing proposalls:—First, that to every of those ten counties which are allready divided betweene the adventurer and souldier, and now to be surveyed, two or more surveyors may be forthwith appointed for the surveying and admeasuring the forfeited lands in each county, which shall lye only in those barronies that are fallen by lot to the soldiery.2dly. That for the better enquiry and finding out of the said forfeited land in each county, the said surveyors may have power to sit in such and soe many parts of the counties as they shall conceive requisite, there to call the inhabitants of the countrey, to summon juries, to keep courts of survey, and to administer oath to such persons as they shall find necessary, for the better and fuller information of themselfs of the particulars of each man's estate which is forfeited.3dly. That, for the better performance and exspedition of the said court of survey, such instructions may be issued to the Commissioners of Revenue uppon the place, or other able and knowing men in the countrey, as to your Honors shall be thought fit, for their asistants of the respective surveyors in the execution of that part of their commission. That for the better distinguishing and ascertaining of lands forfeited from lands not forfeited, or from what is at present excepted from being sett out to the souldry, ffor the better ascertaining and distinguishing likewise of all lands profitable from barren mountaines, or such lands as are unprofitable, which are to be cast in,—Its humbly propounded:Ffirst, that where any estate forfeited lyeth wholly surrounded or meared with lands not forfeited, or excepted, that there every such estate be surrounded or admeasured exactly with an instrument by itselfe, whether the said estate be little or great, or whether it doe consist of more or less number of acres.2dly. That where any forfeited estate is meared partly by lands not forfeited, and partly by some mountaine, logh, bog, or the like unprofitable land, that there the said profitable land be surrounded and admeasured by the instrument, and the said unprofitable land excluded.3dly. That where any large parcell of land forfeited shall lye together in any county, though containing the estate of severall persons who have forfeited the same, if within the said parcell there shall not be mixed any barren mountaine, or land unprofitable, nor any church land, or lands excepted, that in all such cases the said surveyors doe admeasure with his instrument exactly the outline or bounds of the said parcell, and accordingly cast up the contents of the whole, distinguishing and setting down the severall estates of each person within the said parcell only, by a gross estimate.4thly. That where any large parcell of lands forfeited shall lye together, in which shall be contained some smaller parcell of land not forfeited, or excepted, or of lands barren and unprofitable, that in all such cases the surveyor, besides his admeasurement of the outline of the said forfeited land, shall exactly admeasure by his instrument as well all such parcells of lands by themselves as are excepted and not forfeited, as all that are barren and unprofitable.5thly. That in the surveying of the lands forfeited in any of the said counties, the surveyors be instructed not to spend time in the admeasurement of the meares or bounds of the severall barronies within the respective counties, but in the meares and bounds only of the lands forfeited, as they chance to run within the same.6thly. That in surveying the said lands, where any doubt may arise concerning the quality of the land, whether the said land is to be judged profitable or unprofitable, forasmuch as the Act hath not prescribed or waranted any rule to be set in the said case, that therefore the surveyors be required to determine the same as oft as it shall be presented to them, according to their oaths and the best of their judgements and conscience; and the said determination given by them to be conclusive, as well to the Commonwealth as to the soldiery.7thly. That the said surveyor may have five and fourty shillings for every thousand acres surveyed according to these aforesaid instructions; and that a sufficient number of clerks and of men to shew the bounds and the meares of the said forfeited lands be further allowed them. Its humbly propounded:5thly. That noe bishopps' lands, crown lands, or lands not forfeited, be at present surveyed, if the said lands lye not within any parcell of lands that are forfeited as aforesaid.6thly. That the survey or enquiry of all lands in controversie, whether appertaining to the Commonwealth or not, as alsoe of whatsoever may belong to the Commonwealth out of such estates as are claimed by English proprietors, may be made by commissioners for that purpose authorized (if thought necessary), and not by the present surveyors. Lastly, according to these proposalls, if approved by your Honours, the Surveyor-Generall be ordered to issue out his instructions.

Signed in the name and by appointment of
the Committee,
An. Morgan.


By the Commissioners of the Commonwealth of England, for the Affaires of Ireland.


A Committee to consider how the survey may most expeditiously and cheaply be done.That it be referred to Sir Hardress Waller, Collonell Hewson, Collonell Lawrence, Adjutant-Generall Allen, Dr Carterette, Lieutenant-Collonell Arnopp, Mr Benjamin Worsly, Mr James Standish, Captain Salt, and Captain Shaw, or any three of them, together with Mr Roberts and Dr Petty, forthwith to consider how the busines of surveys may be carried on with most exspedition and least charge to the Commonwealth, and certifie what they thinke fit therein. Dublin, the 8 September, 1654.

Signed in the name and by appointment of
the said Commissioners,
Tho. Herbert, Secretary.

By which report appeared,—1st. That the new instructions brought in by Mr Worsly were clogged with unnecessary impositions, things done pro virili, and to make amends for his extravagancy in what went before.2dly. That notwithstanding he had seen the vanity of his said former instructions given for the admeasurement of the lands set out A. D. 1653, and had brought in a set of more chergeticall contrivances, as himselfe called them, yet the Committee thinke fit to propound rules wholly different from what he had presented.3dly. They ingeniousely acknowledged that the Act had not prescribed or warranted any rule for the distinguishment of profitable from unprofitable.4thly. The said Committee did not restraine the surveyor's payment to profitable land only; but, consequently, the invention of biassing and tempting the surveyors to wrong the army by unequall allowance of profitable and unprofitable had its rise elsewhere; the which is likewise confirmed by the same difference betweene the heads of the agreement made between the officers and Dr Petty, and the contract between him and Mr Worstly to the same purpose, as may appeare by the copies of both hereafter inserted, the same having been industriousely avoided by Dr Petty, who, 1st, made this byas one of the objections against the survey preceeding him.2dly, propounded, for the same reason, to undertake the whole for 30000li, or at six pounds per thousand, without distinction.3dly, agreed with as many of his under surveyors as he could to work by the mile and in length, by the thousand acres of profitable or profitable, all which will apeare by the said agreement hereafter incerted, and the next following report made in answer to the last mentioned order.


Report of the Committee on the said order of 8 September, 1654.In obedience to your Honours reference of the eighth instant, whereby wee are ordered to consider how the business of the surveys might be carried on with most exspedition and least charge to the Commonwealth, wee, having met severall times about the same, together with many other officers of the army, called in for their assistance and councill, did then peruse and consider as well what hath been formerly done in this affaire, as what is at present in doeing. And doe finde—

That allthough the way of surrounding each parcell of forfeited lands, with deduction both of the unprofitable and unforfeited land, and of paying fourty-five shillings per thousand acres for the neat forfeited and profitable land only, doeth much excell the preceeding way of surrounding whole barronyes at forty shillings per thousand, both in respect of rate and usefullness of such admeasurement, yet there hath been exhibited unto us against the said present way of survey, severall defects and inconveniences: the heads whereof are briefly as followeth:

1st. The admeasurement by surround of great parcells is more uncertaine and nice than that of small, and the proof or examination of the one is much more difficult and chargeable then the other.

2dly. The not paying for the measuring of included unprofitable land will be such a byas to the surveyor's judgement, as may tempt him to returne the same for profitable.

3rdly. This survey contributes nothing to preserve the memory of the ancient bounds of barronies, parishes, &c., nor to order and regulate the intended plantations. Besides these there are some others which we think more materiall to be insisted uppon, namely,

4thly. That when great parcells, such only as the present surveyes are like to returne, shall be delivered out unto whole troopes or companyes, such wrongs or shortness as shall happen unto any particular members of them uppon the finall subdivision will be without any visible remedy or reliefe.

5thly. It will be hard for any particular person to pass a grant even for what he shall receive, without the true knowledge of the quantity, quality, and bounds of the same, which the present survey cannot aford.

6thly. That the grossness of this survey will cause the subdivision to be very tediouse, litigiouse, and unsatisfactory; all which three last inconveniencies wee humbly conceive may be summed up into this one, vizt.:

That notwithstanding the present survey at fourty-five shillings per thousand, all the forfeited lands disposed of as aforesaid, before they can be quietly and securely planted and enjoyed, must be admeasured over againe into such small parcells as will satisfie the ends and purposes aforementioned, the which, allthough it should be done privately by the owners at their owne proper cost, yet as it will be (as is alleadged) four times the charge unto them then as now it is unto the State, soe it will prove noe authentique record, neither unto themselves nor unto the State, in case of any future controversies.

Wee have likewise received certaine proposalls of Dr. Petty, wherein he undertakes,

Dr. Petty's proposalls.1st. To admeasure all the forfeited lands within the three provinces, according to the naturall, artificiall, and civill bounds thereoff, and whereby the said land is distinguished into wood, bog, mountaine, arable, meadow, and pasture; moreover to add and sett out such auxiliary lines and lymits as may facillitate and ascertaine the intended finall subdivision without any readmeasurement.

2dly. To performe the same by the last of October, 1655, if the Lord give seasonable weather, and due provision bee made against tories, and that his instruments be not forced to stand still for want of bounders.

3dly. To give good security both of the time of performing the same and the exactness of the measure; both to be judged of by indifferent persons chosen on the behalfe of the State and undertaker: the which measure, being to be made into small parcells, wee judge to be very examinable.

4thly. In case the present way shall be thought useless and insufficient, he offers, as an exspedient to compound with the present surveyors, to give them, for soe much as they have allready done (provided it endure the examination whereunto himselfe shall be obliged), either the best rates he shall hereafter give unto others, or within a small matter of what he shall receive for the same himselfe.

5thly. He demands for performance of premisses either thirty thousand pounds for the whole, or else six pounds per thousand acres, to be paid by portions hereafter to be agreed on.

Now, touching all these severall propositions, wee have forborne to undertake any particular debate untill wee shall receive your honors' sence concerning the defects of the present way, and concerning fitt exspedients for supplying and amending the same, as alsoe concerning the manner of defraying the surcharge accrewing from Dr Petty's proposalls, in case they should, uppon declining the other as irreparable, be admitted to consideration. All which wee humbly submitt.

Signed in the name and by appointment
of the rest of the referrees,

September 24°, 1654.
Har. Waller.

By which report it appeares that, from the eighth to the 24th of September, not only the referrees named, but alsoe such other officers as were fittest to give advice in this business, and indeed as many others as would come, either as curiouse to see, or else to carpe, did consider of all former methods and projections for the management of the survey.

2dly. They report that the survey then in being propounded by the above mentioned committee, much excelled the former managed by Mr Worsely.

3dly. They are pleased ingenuously to acknowledge the perplexities and difficulties wherein that affaire was involved before the Doctor appeared in it.

4thly . What the substance of Dr Petty's proposalls were, that the said Dr as was before limitted, desired to deale by the lump, or at least by the thousand acres, without distinction of quality; and that he did not introduce his proposition out of any designe to demnifie or prejudice those that went before him.

Mr. Worsly secretly labours to oppose the Drs proposals.Now from the said 24th of September the said Mr Worsely secretly laboures with severall chief officers of the army, and particularly Sir Charles Coot, and such of the members of the councill as he had most interest with, to obstruct the further consideration of the Drs proposalls; writes animadversions uppon them, though such as he would never openly produce, though openly called uppon for them: the substance and end whereoff were,

1st. By sophystry making all admeasurement, and even his owne, impossible, to prove that propounded by Dr Petty impracticable

2dly. Shewing that measuring into small parcells was noe more certaine and examinable then that of wild vast surrounds, by shewing that admeasurements were subject to many kind of errors.

3dly. He confest himselfe gravelled as to his objecting against the performance of soe vast a worke in thirteene moneths, because he allways tooke it for a business of as many yeares.

4thly. He argues against the price, laughing att the Dr ffor offering to admeasure whole barronyes by their out lines for eight shillings per thousand, which the Dr says now is not worth eight groats, when as he made the State pay fourty shillings for the same the year before, and by saying his most exsperienced advisers affirmed it was worth twenty shillings at least; whereas indeed he durst advise with none that were able to tell him, least such should seeme better Surveyor-Generall then himselfe!

So that all his argument being grounded uppon pedantique comparisons of the mistaken number, eight shillings and twenty, without understanding that twenty shillings for barrony lines hold noe proportion to three pound for particular estates, as he calls them, nor that distinctions into the lowest denominations, proprieties, and with subdivisions, to be better worth ten pounds then that into particular estates only is worth three pounds: his pretty inferences are worth no further notice.

Lastly, he further sayth, if it be the right of the State to survey the lands only into such surrounds as whereby they may bee at a certainty what they sett out between the Commonwealth and the souldiery, and that a survey into parcells of one hundred acres hath noe other argument then this to commend it, then, for as much as the said premises are true, the proposalls made by Dr [Petty] is insignificant.

To which the Doctor answered:

1st. Let the Act of the 26th of September, 1653, be consulted, where it will appeare that it prescribes a survey noe less exact then what is propounded.

2dly. Looke backe uppon the report of the 24th September, 1654, to see what other arguments there are to recommend what the Surveyor-Generall knew not how to value. These animadversions were soe clandestinely made use of, the Doctor never seing them till above three moneths after, that they produced the following order, and the addition of Sr Charles Coot and Commissary-Generall Reynolds to the committee, in whom, by the business of Carricke, &c., Mr Worsly thought he had wrought an extraordinary interest for this purpose.


By the Lord Deputy and Councill.

New order to farther consider the managing the surveys, 10 October, 1654.It is ordered, that Sir Charles Coot, Knight and Barronet, Sir Hardross Waller, Knight, Commissary-Generall Reynolds, Collonell Hewson, Collonell Lawrence, Lieutenant-Colonell Arnopp, and Captain Shaw, or any three or more of them, doe take into their further consideration the matter formerly recommended unto them, concerning the managing of the surveys of the forfeited lands in Ireland; and to propose some exspedients unto us how the same may be carried on with most dispatch and advantage to the Commonwealth. Dublin, the 10th October, 1654.

Tho. Herbert, Clerke of the Councill.


The which order, maugre all the sinister practices that were used, produced but the following report:

Report on the said order, 16 October, 1654.In obedience to your honors reference, dated the 10th instant, wee have taken into consideration the business concerning the management of the surveys, and, after a full debate thereuppon, doe humbly offer, uppon the reason mentioned in our first report, that the lands to be sett out for the payment of the armyes arreares and other publicke debts, be surveyed downe as is proposed by Dr Petty.

And as to the security of performance of conditions on his part, and alsoe as to the rates to be paid for the worke, wee doe humbly offer that it be referred to Sir Hardress Waller, Sir Charles Coot, Collonell Chidley Coot, Collonel Lawrence, Major Symner, and Captain Mullinex, or any three of them, to perfect and conclude the same with the Dr. Dated the 16th of October, 1654.

Signed in the name and by the appointment of
the rest of the referrees,
Cha. Coot.


Hee then soe wrought with the Lord Deputy and Councill, that they issued noe order in pursuance of the above report untill the whole business had been debated anew all over before themselves, the which, as severall times before being done, the following order was granted:


By the Lord Deputy and Councill.


Order to consider Dr Petty's proposall and the rates. 27 October, 1654.That the proposalls of Dr Petty, touching surveys, and the report allready made by the Committee of officers thereuppon, be further referred to Sir H. Waller, Sir Charles Coot, Collonell Chidley Coot, Collonell Lawrence, Benjamin Worsely, Esq., Surveyor-Generall, Major Symner, and Captain Mullineux, or any three or more of them, who are forthwith to consider of the rate to be allowed for the worke, and to proceed to some conclusion, both as to the said rate, and the rules and instructions by which the said Dr is to undertake the performance thereof, as may be most for the advantage of the Commonwealth, and to certifie the same with all convenient speed. Dublyn, the 27th of October, 1654.

Tho. Herbert, Clerk of the Councill.


Uppon receipt whereof the Committee, the same day, sitting late at night, draw up the following heads of an agreement:

Proceedings of the Committee for Surveyes, the 27th of October, 1654.


Proceedings on the said order.This day, in pursuance of a reference from the Right Honourable the Lord Deputy and Councill, the said Committee tooke into consideration the business of Dr Pettye's proposalls of the forfeited lands in Ireland, and did proceed thereon as followeth:

Articles made, had, and concluded, betweene, ......... in the Name and Behalfe of the Commonwealth, and Dr William Petty on the Behalfe of Himselfe.


A draft of articles between the Commonwealth and Dr Petty.1st. That it is the opinion of this Committee that the Doctor be contracted with, for the surveying of all the forfeited lands within the three provinces of Leinster, Munster, and Ulster, allotted for the satisfaction of the souldiery.

2dly. That the said Dr shall exactly survey and distinguish in .... lands between all lands as is profitable and all lands which is unprofitable, to the end the said profitable forfeited land may be exactly knowne; which profitable land he is again to distinguish into arable, meadow, and pasture, according to the instructions of the Act, and the unprofitable into wood, bog, and mountaine, &c.

3dly. That the said Dr shall survey and admeasure with the instrument all such forfeited profitable lands into the smallest and lowest denominations that are, and according to the knowne bounds of each of them.

4thly. That where any the said surveys or distinctions shall exceed the number of acres due to any officer or soldier for their respective arreares, that the said survey shall be againe subdivided Into soe many other small parcells as may exactly satisfie each man his respective arreares.

5thly. That, unless in the aforesaid case, for the setting out a just number of acres for answearing the arreares of any particular officer or souldier, or for the admeasurement of some islands in any river, logh, or bog, the said Dr is not to be obliged to make any surround less then of forty acres. And provided that noe surround doe exceed forty acres, where any knowne bounds, naturall, civill, or artificiall, may conduce to the making of the same.

6thly. That mapps, plotts, and books of reference of all the said parcells and subdivisions surveyed and set out to any particular person, be returned into the Surveyor-Generall his office, for the use of the Commonwealth. The said plotts to be laid downe by a scale of fourty perches to an inch.

Lastly, that besides such mapps, plotts, and books of reference, returned into the State as aforesaid, the said Doctor shall be imployed to deliver soe many other mapps, plotts, and books of reference belonging to them, as may give satisfaction to each officer and souldier, of the severall proportions of lands due to them, provided that noe mapp be given of any that are less then a thousand acres.

And soon after make the following report relating to the said agreement, with their opinion of the rate, advance money, and defalcation for the grosse surveys then in hand:


Report of the Committee of their proceedings on Dr Petty's proposalls. 31st October, 1654.In obedience to the reference of your Lordshipps and Councill, dated the 27th of October instant, having further considered of the proposalls of Dr Petty as to a down survey of the forfeited profitable lands assigned for the armyes satisfaction, wee have proceeded to a consideration of the rules for the practise of the worke on his part, uppon which wee have agreed and annexed a copie of the said agreement hereunto; finding noe obstruction untill wee came to consider how the charge allready exspended in the present defective survey should be refunded, wherein there appearing much difficulty, wee offered the consideration thereof to some persons skillful in the art of surveying to give us their opinion of what use the same will be to the new undertaking, whose return thereuppon was, that it would be nothing or very little usefull: soe that the whole charge allready exspended must be borne either by the State or purchaser. In consideration whereoff wee have further condescended in the armye's behalfe, that they shall bear the charge, by making up the rate on their parts one penny an acre, which makes up the three pounds per thousand formerly proposed to be 4li 3s 4d from the State, makes up in all seaven pounds three 7li 3s 4d per 1000 acres.shillings and four pence per thousand acres, at which rate the Dr hath agreed to measure all the profitable forfeited lands as aforesaid.

And to return in mapps, plotts, and books of reference according to the said annexed heads of agreement, for which consideration he doeth alsoe undertake to reimburse the State of all the disbursements allready made for measuring any of those lands he shall againe survey.

For drawing up the contracts and other matters, in order to a finishing of the agreement, wee humbly offer it may be referred to the Surveyor-General to perfect and finish the same on the State's behalfe.

And wee further humbly mind your honors that the State is to disburse the money to the Dr from time to time, till the souldier is in possession; whereuppon the souldier is then to pay his part aforesaid, or to have it deducted out of his pay, for reimbursing the same unto the State.

And to the end the Dr may be the better enabled to exspedite the worke, wee humbly offer that hee may have three thousand pounds advance, and soe, from time to time, to receive more, as he finisheth his worke by parts, the said advance to be still part of the pay for the worke performed. Dated the 31th of October, 1654.

Signed in the name and by appointment of
the rest of the referrees,
Har. Waller.