Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 1, April 1704 - January 1709. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1920.
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Journal, June 1704
A letter from Captain Bennet, Lieutenant Governor of Bermuda, to the Board, dated the 19th of October last, was read, and directions given for preparing an answer thereunto. The papers therein refer'd to were as follows, viz.:—
A deposition of William Bilton and Samuel Gilbert relating to vessells anchoring in St. George's harbour before they go up into the country, sworn December the 1st, 1703, and a deposition of the said Bilton relating to the kind usage he received from Captain Bennet, when his vessell laden with logwood was cast away at Bermuda, sworn December 1st, 1703, were read.
Mr. Delafaye attending [fo. 54], Mr. Attorney General's report upon the petition of Mr. Peter Van Bell, was read, and directions given for preparing a representation [fo. 61] to her Majesty thereupon.
Mr. Edward Hyde, Provost Marshall of Jamaica, presented to their lordships a memorial praying their assistance in recovering his dues from those who have acted as his deputies there, was read. Whereupon he was desired to bring a full state of his case, in order to their lordships writing to the Governour of Jamaica thereupon.
The Lord Bishop of London communicated to the Board a copy of the proceedings of the Governour and Councill of the Massachusets Bay, upon a petition to them relating to the execution of An Act for the settlement and support of ministers &c., which was read, and ordered to be taken into consideration with the said Act the first opportunity.
His lordship further communicated to the Board an abstract of letters from Mr. Jackson, minister at Newfoundland, which was read; and thereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Burchet [fo. 63] to desire that instructions be given to the Commodore that he give countenance to the said minister, and that he endeavour to perswade the captain and soldiers and the inhabitants there to be kind to him and to live in friendship and amity with him.
The Virginia gentlemen attending, [fo. 49, 62, 63], Mr. Blair and Mr. Beverly presented to their lordships their affidavits containing particular instances of mal-administration of Colonel Nicholson; whereupon their lordships gave directions for preparing a representation offering [fo. 59] to her Majesty that the complaints against Colonel Nicholson be sent to Mr. Bird, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Custis, Mr. Basset, Mr. Duke and Mr. Diggs, and that they be impowered to examin thereinto, and to receive the Governour's defence by affidavits or otherwise as he shall think fit, and such affidavits as shall be offered against him, as also that, if the (sic) find it necessary for his justification, he have leave to come home, and that Colonel Seymour have a commission as Commander in Cheif of Virginia, either upon Colonel Nicholson's death or during his absence.
Mr. Wallace, one of the said complainants, acquainting their lordships that being obliged to return to his parish in Virginia, he was under great dread of the Governour's resentment; whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Colonel Nicholson [fo. 67] directing him not to molest or disturb the said Wallace, but to permit him to execute his ministry in a peaceable manner.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Hedges of the 2nd instant, upon a report of the Boards, to a committee of the Councill [fo. 43, 75] of the 18th of the last month, relating to naval stores, requiring their lordships to consider of a premium to be allowed upon the importation of pitch and tar from the plantations, was read; and thereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Sansom [fo. 70] to be informed of the duties upon pitch, tar and rozin imported in the different sorts of shipping from Sweden, Denmark and the Baltick. And further ordered that Mr. Bridger and Mr. Partridge [fo. 65] be desired to attend the Board on Monday next in the afternoon. And their lordships agreed to offer, in answer to Mr. Secretary Hedges's letter, that a premium of 3l. per ton be allowed upon the importation of pitch and tar from Carolina and Virginia, and 2l. per ton upon the said commodities from any other of the plantations for three years; and further that the Parliament be moved to take off the duties of pitch, tar and rozin imported as aforesaid.
A representation [fo. 56, 65] upon the Order of Councill of the 9th of March last, on the petition of Peter Van Belle [fo. 38] relating to some negroes of his seized at St. Christophers, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter from Mr. Thurston [fo. 63] acquainting their lordships with the difficulties he had in procuring the money for the soldiers in Newfoundland, was read; and thereupon a clerk was sent to the Pay Office to speak with the cashier there, who returning brought answer that the money would be paid either to-morrow or on Monday next.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Hedges of the 3rd instant, about the method of transmitting letters from the plantations, so as that the French, in case they should take any of the plantation ships, may not have intelligence of the state of the plantations, was read, and thereupon ordered that Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu [fo. 64] be desired to attend the Board on Tuesday next in the morning.
A paper entituled, part of Governour Nicholson's letter to Mr. Micajah Perry [fo. 58], July 30th, 1703, being sent into the Board from Mr. Robert Beverly, containing orders to the said Perry for distributing money to several persons on the behalf of Colonel Nicholson, was read, and Mr. Perry attending, he was asked whether he had received any such letter, but he declined giving any direct answer, but said he might perhaps have orders that in case Mr. Thrale or Mr. Povey should negotiate any affaires for Colonel Nicholson to pay them the charge thereof.
Mr. Perry and Mr. Beverley were asked what premium to be allowed by her Majesty upon the importation of naval stores here they thought might be fitting incouragement for the bringing the said stores from the plantations. They said they would consider of it, and bring their answer in a few days.
A letter from Mr. Thurston [fo. 61, 97] signifying that he had now received the money for the soldiers at Newfoundland, and praying that a letter be writ to the Secretary at War for two horse granadiers to conduct the said money to Deal, in order to be put on board the convoy there, and that a letter be writ to Mr. Burchet to desire that the sailing orders for the said convoy be not sent down till Thursday next, was read, and the said letters ordered to be writ accordingly.
Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu attending [fo. 62] according to the minutes of the 9th instant, Mr. Secretary Hedges's letter relating to intelligences had in France from letters taken upon her Majesty's subjects who are made prisoners coming from the plantations, was read, whereupon they said they would write to their friends at Jamaica, that they do not send over any accounts of the state of that island, and desired that directions might be sent to the Governors of all the plantations that orders be given to the masters of ships coming for England that they throw over the packets in case of danger. Upon which occasion they further offered that a greater naval strength than is now at Jamaica, and that the recruits for the companies there be forthwith dispatched thither [fo. 66]. Whereupon their lordships gave directions for preparing a letter to Mr. Secretary Hedges accordingly.
Mr. Partridge attending according to order [fo. 60] and being asked several questions relating to naval stores, he said that few masts or little timber was to be expected from New England, unless the country to the eastward of New Hampshire be seated and secured, and promised to draw up proposals relating thereunto. And as for pitch and tar, he said he would ingage to import 10,000 barrells in a year, and he thourght that a premium of forty shillings per ton to be allowed upon the importation here might be a reasonable incouragement; but he promised to consider of it, and to bring his proposals on Fryday next [fo. 68].
Mr. Bridger attending also and being asked what premium upon the importation of pitch and tar here might be a sufficient incouragement for the bringing in of those commodities, he said that he thought 4l. per ton would not be too much, and promised to bring his further answer [fo. 69] in writing in a few days.
A memorial from Mr. Drift, and another from Mr. Estwick relating to a difference between them in reference to their precedency in the business of this office, were read; and thereupon ordered that the clerks do continue and be advanced according to their graduation, as mentioned in the minutes of the 13th May, 1703 [H. fo. 111], unless their lordships shall at any time see cause to make any alteration herein. And further ordered that the secretary distribute the business of the office among the clerks, as he shall find most for the service of the Board.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Hedges [fo. 65, 70] in answer to his of the 3rd instant relating to intelligence had in France by letters taken on board plantation ships, as ordered in yesterday's minutes, was signed.
The draught of a letter to Colonel Nicholson [fo. 59, 97] in favour of Mr. James Wallace, one of the complainants against the said Colonel Nicholson, recommending to him not to discourage or any ways molest the said Wallace upon that account, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
An Order of Councill of the 15th [fo. 66] upon a representation. of the 13th instant, relating to the complaints against Colonel Nicholson, directing that the said complaints be transmitted to Colonel Nicholson, and that he return an answer thereunto, was read. And thereupon the draught of a letter [fo. 73] for transmitting the said order and copies of the complaints to Colonel Nicholson, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Mr. Partridge presented to the Board [fo. 65] his proposals for the importation of 10,000 barrells of tar annually for such term of years as shall be thought fit, upon contract at forty shillings per barrell, and demanding one quarter part of the money beforehand and a premium of 3l. per ton upon the importation, offering also to give security for performance thereof, was read; whereupon ordered that a letter be prepared to inclose the said proposals to Mr. Secretary Hedges.
Mr. Perry attending, [fo. 40, 85] and being asked some questions upon the same subject, he said that he and others had written to their friends in Virginia for incouraging the production of pitch and tar there, and were sending a ship thither to bring home samples of what is made in the country, but he thought that a premium of 3l. per ton would be too small an incouragement for the begining that undertaking and settling the importation of pitch and tar as a trade from the plantations.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Hedges [H. fo. 443; fo. 71] of the 16th instant upon the petition of Captain Gardner in the behalf of the heire at law of the late Major General Selwyn, Governour of Jamaica, praying for her Majesty's leave to receive a present of 2,000l. given by the Assembly of Jamaica to the said heir, was read, and directions given [fo. 71] to prepare a representation accordingly.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Hedges of the 16th in answer to one writ him the 14th instant, relating to intelligence [fo. 66, 76] had in France, by letters taken in ships coming from Jamaica &c. and requiring this Board to represent to her Majesty [fo. 71] the danger of Jamaica for want of a greater naval strength and land force, and what increase of both may be needfull, was read; and thereupon ordered that Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu have notice to attend the Board on Thursday next.
A representation [fo. 70, 89] upon the reference from Mr. Secretary Hedges, mentioned in yesterday's minutes, relating to a present of 2,000l. to the heir at law of the late Major General Selwyn, was signed.
Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu and Dr. Sloan attending, Mr. Secretary Hedges's letter mentioned in the minutes of the 20th instant, was read; [fo. 70] and they being asked several questions relating to the present state of Jamaica [fo. 76], they said that there were four men of war remaining during the winter at Jamaica as a guard for that Island, one whereof was lost; that four others sailed with Sir Cloudsly Shovell's fleet in order to relieve those now there; that by letters received from their friends and correspondents they had accounts that the inhabitants thought themselves in great danger, being in daily expectation of attempts from the enemy, and not being in any state of defence to receive them; that these apprehensions had made several of the most considerable planters think of coming away; that with less than ten or twelve men of war (three whereof to be 4th rates, the rest 5th and 6th rates) with two fire ships, they could not think themselves secure; that with this assistance they might not only be safe themselves, but also in a condition to annoy the French and prevent their trading with the Spaniards. And they desired that the ships of war that shall be sent may go out full manned, and that the captains of the said ships may have strict orders not to press men there, otherwise they shall lose all their seafaring men, twelve hundred having been frightened away by Admiral Graydon's pressing men there. They further said that powder and shot might be wanting, but they could not tell the quantity; and being desired, they promised to draw up a memorial upon these heads and present it accordingly. As for recruits and additional companies to be sent, they refer'd themselves to Captain Gardner, agent for the soldiers there. Whereupon ordered that Captain Gardner have notice to attend the Board on Tuesday morning next.
A letter to Colonel Nicholson [fo. 68, 95] to transmit to him copies of all the complaints that have been exhibited against him, was signed and ordered to be inclosed to the Lord Cornbury, and then sent to Mr. Wilcox to be forwarded by a New Yorke ship that goes along with the Newfoundland convoy.
A letter from Mr. Jeronomy Clifford [fo. 54, 117] of the 20th instant, signifying that Mr. Shepherd, Mr. Gardner and Mr. Oosterland had not yet finished the examination of his accounts, and praying that their lordships would please to hasten them therein, was read; and thereupon ordered that a letter be writ to those gentlemen to desire them to dispatch that affaire as soon as conveniently they can, which was inclosed in another letter to Mr. Clifford, that he may have it delivered as he sees fitting.
Mr. Newton presented to their lordships [fo. 50, 51] a table of the weight and intrinsic value of foreign coines in England, [M. fo. 15] with a computation for proportioning all the said coines to a Sevill piece of eight, which is to be raised from 4s. 6d. (its real value) to six shillings in the plantations, which was read.
An Order of Councill of the 15th instant directing the Board to transmit to the several Governors in America copies of her Majesty's proclamation [fo. 51] for settling and ascertaining the current rates of foreign coines in the plantations, was read; and ordered that draughts of letters be prepared [fo. 77] accordingly; and further ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Lowndes to desire that the Board may have 400 copies of the said proclamations.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Hedges in answer to his of the 2nd instant relating to a premium proposed [fo. 60, 68, 69] to be allowed by her Majesty upon the importation of pitch and tar from the plantations, was signed.
A memorial from Sir Gilbert Heathcote [fo. 71] and Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu, relating to the present state of Jamaica with reference to a naval strength and land force, was read; and thereupon ordered that they be desired to attend the Board to-morrow morning [v. infra].
Mr. Bennet presented to their lordships the duplicate of an address to her Majesty in favour of Captain Bennet from the Councill, justices and other officers, civil and military, and other inhabitants of Bermuda, the original whereof he said he intended to lay before her Majesty.
The draught of a circular letter [fo. 70, 77] to the several Governours in America relating to intelligence had in France, by letters taken on board of ships coming from the plantations, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Sir Bartholomew Gracedieu attending [v. supra], they were desired to explain some things in their memorial mentioned in yesterday's minutes, and to add thereunto the number of ships of war they thought necessary for the defence of the Island of Jamaica, and the said memorial being returned to them [fo. 78] they promised to make those additions accordingly.
The draught of a circular letter [fo. 74, 78] to all the Governours in America for transmitting her Majesty's proclamation for settling and ascertaining the rates of foreign coines in the plantations, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Circular letters to all her Majesty's Governours and proprietors in America [fo. 77; K. fo. 2] enclosing her Majesty's proclamation [M. fo. 15] for settling and ascertaining the rates of foreign coines in the plantations, were signed.