THE PROJECT- a satirical poem, c1716
In addition to the broadsheet "The Miserable Case of the Poor Inhabitants of Parton" mentioned in the book, the 1716 harbour crisis inspired the publication of this poem, as a pocket-sized handbill (Thanx Mike 4 the lend). To what extent the Lowther family gave direct support to the printing of such works we may never know, but a close study of their financial records for the period might be enlightening.
NB: All __ gaps in this transcript are as in the original.
RISE and FALL of Parton
Of poor Parton Town a Story I'll tell,
'Tis but of Ten Years, some know it full well,
As soon as Act past, Trustees gave the Groats
To one that great Projects had in his Thoughts;
Who Agreed for Sixteen Hundred Pounds clear,
On Four-pence a Tun, for Eleven Year,
To make a good Harbour, and buid a fine Peer.
He did as he list; and who cou'd say Nay?
For he was to build, the Ships were to Pay.
No Reason there was, he shou'd be Controll'd;
For he was to Build, Repair and Uphold.
The Works are now made, in Part, not All;
And they so Weak, they are ready to Fall:
The Term's near an End, and the Money near Paid,
All, All that was Due, by the Contract was made:
No, No, says Tom, my Friends, the Trustees,
Will still maintain, I may do what I please:
My Neighbours still of their Money I'll ease,
Years Twenty-one more their Pockets I'll fleece.
Their Houses they've built, like a parcel of Fools,
Trustees are my Friends, the Masters my Tools,
To raise my Estate, for my Daughters provide
Do you think that for Nought I would live by Sea-side?
What's Four-pence a Tun, when Coals bear a Price?
'Tis nothing, when coals at Dublin do rise:
But whether they Rise, or whether they Fall,
As sure as I live, for the Groats I will Call:
Three Seven Years more I'll manage Par-ton,
And, sitting in State, the Peer I will F__t on;
Tho' not as I us'd, the Harbour to build;
But Groats to receive, 'till my Pockets are fill'd:
I've little left there, then let them that have;
Contrive what I Built, from Falling to save:
So Fare-ye-all-well; while I get the Groats,
When ye ask my Advice, I'll tell ye my Thoughts.
The Trustees then rising, some few their Heads shook,
The major-part far Tom La____gh's Part took:
For he put them in, then what could they say?
But he must Rule all, and they would Obey.
They got or lost nothing by poor Parton Town,
Should the Works be maintain'd, or should they fall down.
Then down tumbles Peer, as Houses will next,
And now I'll draw near to finish my text:
The Masters and Owners will then look like Fools,
The Trustees themselves be thought L______h's Tools,
The Twenty-two Hundred Pounds, he was to get,
Will turn to Two Cyphers, and teach him more wit,
The Coal-Trade at last must Pay the Reckning
The farther the Leaders the Coals are to bring.