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 of the proceedings of Her Majesty's Commissioners for promoting the trade of this Kingdom, and for inspecting and improving her plantations in America and elsewhere, from the second of December, 1706, to the [thirty-first of December, 1707].
Journal, December 1706
Their lordships took again into consideration the papers lately received from Mr. Secretary Hedges relating to the trade with Flanders [K. fo. 427; fo. 2], and gave directions for preparing a representation offering to her Majesty that the Acts which prohibit the importation of Flanders bone-lace be repealed.
A memorial from Mr. Butler, Mr. Ashton and other proposers [K. fo. 427; fo. 288] for an annual consumption of woollen manufactures in the plantations, was read, and a representation upon their said proposal, as agreed the 29th of the last month, was signed.
The draught of a representation [fo. 1, 3] relating to the trade of Flanders, as directed the last meeting, as also a letter to Mr. Secretary Harley inclosing the same, were agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter to the Earl of Sunderland, signifying that he, as Principal Secretary of State, is one of the Commissioners of this Board, and that the Board would be glad of his presence and assistance, when his other affairs will permit, was signed.
A letter from Colonel Parke, dated at Antigua the 22nd of
September last, together with the papers therein referr'd to, were
read. The said papers are as follows:—
Papers therein referr'd to.
An Act for the payment of the value of 1,000l. current money annually to his Excellency Daniel Parke, esquire, in lieu and satisfaction for the rent of a house for his said Excellency's accommodation during his residence and abode in this island, past at Antigua the 26th July, 1706.
An Act for raising the quantity of one hundred thousand pounds of good Muscovado sugar per annum for discharging the rent of a house for the accommodation of his Excellency Daniel Park, esquire, during the continuance of his government as Captain-General of these islands, past at St. Christopher's the 4th of September, 1706.
Naval officers' list of imports and exports &c. from the 25th December, 1705, to the 25th June, 1706.
Naval officers' list of imports and exports &c. from the 18th May, 1706, to the 18th of August following inclusive.
Another letter from the Lord Cornbury, dated the 3rd of October last, inclosing an account of the invasion made by the French and Spaniards upon Carolina, in which attempt the French were defeated, and most of them taken prisoners, was read; whereupon their lordships agreed to take paragraph C. of the said letter [fo. 6], relating to letters of administration on wills into consideration at their next meeting; and further ordered that paragraph H. of the same letter, relating to the commanders of the two frigats attending New Yorke, be sent to Mr. Burchet [fo. 10], to be laid before his Royal Highness the Lord High Admiral's Councill for their information.
Ordered that a copy of paragraph C. of the Lord Cornbury's letter of the 3rd of October last, relating to letters of administration [fo. 5] (read at the last meeting), as also a copy of the clause in his lordship's instructions upon the same subject, be sent to Mr. Attorney General [fo. 119] for his opinion thereupon.
A letter from Mr. Lowndes, inclosing a letter from Mr. Bridger to my Lord Treasurer relating to naval stores, and desiring the Board to send for the Commissioners of the Navy [fo. 10] to confer with them thereupon, was read; and a letter to the Navy Board was immediatly drawn up and signed.
An Order of Councill of the 14th November last, upon a representation [K. fo. 358] of the 15th of July foregoing, for repealing an Act past in Jamaica to provide an additional subsistence for her Majesty's officers and soldiers, and for other uses, was read; and thereupon ordered that the same be sent to Colonel Handasyd, together with their lordships' reasons for repealing the said Act.
Colonel Jory, Mr. Martin, and other Leeward Island merchants attending, presented to their lordships a reference from Mr. Secretary Hedges of the 2nd instant, upon a memorial of the inhabitants and traders in and to the Island of Nevis to her Majesty, recommending Colonel Smith to her Majesty as a person fitly qualifyed to be Lieutenant Governor of that island, in the room of Colonel Johnson, deceased, which was read; and their lordships communicated to those gentlemen what Colonel Park has writ about his having made Colonel Hamilton Lieutenant Governor of Nevis, and Colonel Lambert, President of the Council of St. Christopher's, Lieutenant Governor of the said island in the room of Colonel Hamilton.
Mr. Duport, also attending, presented to their lordships a memorial praying that the Board would be pleased to report to her Majesty that the said Colonel Michael Lambert, appointed Lieutenant Governor of St. Christopher's by Colonel Parke, may receive her Majesty's commission to confirm him in the said post, which was read; whereupon their lordships gave directions for preparing a report [fo. 10] for confirming Colonel Hamilton and Colonel Lambert, the one Lieutenant Governor of Nevis, the other Lieutenant Governor of St. Christopher's; and at the same time that Colonel Smith be recommended to her Majesty as a fit person to succeed Colonel Hamilton upon his death or removal from that government.
A letter from the Earl of Sunderland of the 6th instant, inclosing a deduction of the duties charged in England upon the goods and manufactures of Flanders imported hither [fo. 3], as also a memorial from the merchants and manufacturers of linnen in the provinces of Holland and Overyssell [fo. 11], complaining of the duties laid upon the importation of their commodities in England, was read; and their lordships gave directions for preparing a letter to the Earl of Sunderland thereupon [infra].
Mr. Wilcocks presented to their lordships an affidavit of Benjamin Vander-Werff, late of Pennsylvania, relating to the passing of An Act there for directing the qualifications of magistrates &c. [K. fo. 394; 425], which was read; and their lordships agreed to take that matter into consideration at the first opportunity [fo. 26].
The draught of a representation [fo. 8, 11] proposing that Colonel Walter Hamilton be confirmed Lieutenant Governor of St. Christopher's, as directed at the last meeting, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter from the Commissioners of the Navy, containing their observations upon a letter from Mr. Bridger to the Lord Treasurer, sent them in a letter from the Board the 6th instant [fo. 6, 12], was read.
Sir Charles Hobby presented to their lordships a memorial desiring copies of such complaints as Colonel Dudley has or shall transmit over against him, which was read. Whereupon he was told that, if any such complaints came to the Board, he should be acquainted with them.
A letter from Mr. Burchet, in answer to one writ him the 6th instant [fo. 5], upon a complaint of the Lord Cornbury against Captain Miles, commander of the Tryton prize at New Yorke, signifying that he had writ to the said captain thereupon, and inclosing a copy of his letter, was read; whereupon ordered that a copy of Mr. Burchet's letter to Captain Miles be sent in the next letter to the Lord Cornbury.
A representation for the confirming Colonel Hamilton, Lieutenant Governor of Nevis, and Colonel Lambert, Lieutenant Governor of St. Christopher's [fo. 10, 297], as agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
Their lordships then took into consideration a memorial of the merchants and manufacturers of linnen in the provinces of Holland and Overyssell [fo. 9, 12], complaining of the high duties payable here upon the importation of the commodities of those provinces &c., referr'd to the Board by the Earl of Sunderland's letter of the 6th and read the 9th instant, and made a progress therein.
Their lordships made a further progress in considering the memorial of the merchants and manufacturers of linnen in Holland and Overyssell [fo. 11], and ordered that notice be given to the merchants concerned in that trade that their lordships desire to speak with them on Monday next in the morning. [fo. 14].
Upon consideration of the letter from the Navy Board mentioned in the minutes of the 10th instant [fo. 10], their lordships signed a letter to the Commissioners of the Navy to desire a meeting with them [fo. 17] any time next week, after Tuesday.
Mr. Foulerton presented to the Board a memorial in favour of Mr. Skene, secretary of Barbados [K. fo. 419; fo. 20], praying their lordships to report to her Majesty that the said Skene has been legally acquitted of the misdemeanors alledged against him; or, if they doubt of the legality of his tryal, that they would order Colonel Crow to make inquiry therein at his arrival in that island, and transmit his report thereon to this Board.
Mr. Waller, Mr. Hillarsdon and other merchants trading to Holland and Flanders attending [fo. 12, 15], the memorial of the merchants and manufacturers of Holland and Overyssell, complaining of the duties paid here upon the importation of their commodities, was communicated to them; whereupon they said that the Germany linnens do pay one-third of their value, so that there is no disproportion in the duties upon those and Holland linnen. But as to the proposal of having all linnens to pay according to their value, which is to be declared by the importer, and of having the Commissioners of the Customes take the said linnens according to the values declared in case they suspect the said linnens to be under-rated with a surplus of 5 per cent. They said it would be attended with so many difficulties that it would be impracticable; besides that, it might happen that her Majesty would frequently have great quantities of those linnens upon her hands.
They then presented to their lordships their thoughts in relation to the duties on Flanders linnen, which was read; and directions were given for preparing a letter to the Earl of Sunderland upon that subject.
Mr. Beck, a Flanders merchant, presented to the Board a memorial containing his proposals for opening a trade with that country; which was read; and their lordships then delivered to him the memorial of the merchants and manufacturers of Overyssell &c [fo. 14, 16], for his opinion thereupon [fo. 22], which he promis'd to give the Board in a few days.
Mr. Dorpere and Mr. Jeremiah Powell attending, presented to the Board a memorial, enumerating the particular hardships the Flanders trade lies under [fo. 14, 16], with their proposals for a remedy thereof, which was read; and their lordships resolved to take both the foresaid memorials into consideration at their first opportunity.
A letter from Colonel Sharpe, President of the Councill of Barbados, acknowledging the receipt of the Board's letters of the 30th and 31st of May last, as also signifying his having taken upon him the Presidentship of that island at the departure of Sir Beville Granville, dated the 19th of September last, was read.
A letter from Colonel Parke, Governor of the Leeward Islands, giving an account of the death of Colonel Johnson, Lieutenant Governor of Nevis, who was killed by Mr. Pogson, one of the Council of St. Christopher's, dated the 15th of September last, was read.
Sir William Gore and other gentlemen of the Hambourgh Company attending, their lordships communicated to them the memorial of the merchants and manufacturers of Holland and Overyssell [fo. 15, 21], complaining of the duties paid here upon the importation of their commodities; and a translation of the said memorial was at the same time delivered to them for their observations thereupon [fo. 25], which they promised to bring their lordships in writing as soon as possible.
Mr. Sergison, Mr. Lyddall and Mr. Tollet, Commissioners of the
Navy, attending [fo. 13], their letter of the 9th, read the 10th instant,
was again read; whereupon they explained themselves upon several
particulars as follows, viz.:—
Explanation of their letter upon one from Mr. Bridger to the Lord Treasurer.
That they desired the Board to look upon them as Commissioners of the Navy, and to distinguish between the interest of the navy and the interest of England.
That they are bound up by their instructions to buy naval stores wherever they find them cheapest, without inquiring whence they come; which is the reason why they have frequently preferr'd that of Sweden before that of America.
That they are of opinion that the importation of naval stores from America will be a national advantage, and ought therefore by all possible means to be incouraged, and that they would do all that in them lies in order thereunto, could they buy the American stores as cheap as those that come from the northern crowns.
That they were of opinion if the northern trades be opened the pitch and tar imported from thence will be sold cheaper than that imported from New England, and that they understand there are great quantities of those commodities in Sweden, Norway, Muscovy and Russia, now ready to be shipp'd for England.
That the importation of pitch and tar from the plantations (though it be not quite so good as that from Sweden) yet it will be a means of lowering the price of that commodity from other places.
That the more places pitch and tar is imported from, the cheaper it will be sold here, and so the better for the nation in general.
That they have already made use of the plantation tar, which they have found to be as good as any, could it be had as cheap.
That they did last year contract for a considerable quantity of New England tar, which they expect will soon arrive.
As to Mr. Bridger, they said that considering he is to travell such a large tract of land, he might deserve an increase of salary.
And whereas the naval stores upon which a præmium is to be allow'd, are required to be good and merchantable, they thought it might be convenient that the reasons for allowing the præmium upon the pitch and tar now imported from New England, be signifyed to the Commissioners of her Majesty's Customes, lest they should make any difficulty therein.
Then their lordships desired their observations upon the goodness of the pitch and tar now imported from New England, in order to the Board's giving directions for the improving that commodity for the future, in case this be not so good as it ought to be.
Colonel Blakiston attending, presented to their lordships a reference from Mr. Secretary Hedges of the 27th of November last, upon the address of the Governor, Councill and Assembly of Maryland to her Majesty, setting forth the inconveniencies they lye under, for want of coin in that province, and praying that her Majesty will be pleased to grant them a species of small copper coin to the value of seven hundred pounds [fo. 78], including the coinage, and that the same may be only current there &c., which was read.
The draught of a representation upon the complaints made here against Mr. Skene [fo. 13, 140], secretary of Barbados, for misdemeanors in his office, and for which he is under suspension, was agreed; but, before their lordships sign the same, they resolved to speak with Mr. Foulerton, agent for the said Skene; and thereupon order'd that he have notice to attend the Board on Monday next come sevenight.
A letter from the Board of Ordnance of the 17th instant, in answer to one writ them the 16th ditto, for an account of the Ordnance stores [fo. 13] that have been sent to the Leeward Islands within six months last past, was read; whereupon a letter to Colonel Park, inclosing a copy of the said account, was drawn up and signed.
Their lordships then took into consideration the draught of a letter to the Lord Treasurer [fo. 6, 17, 21] relating to naval stores imported from her Majesty's plantations in America, and made some progress therein.
A memorial from Mr. Charles Ardesoif, relating to the use of American tar with a composition of his own in sheathing of ships to preserve them against the worm, was read; and, he making mention of several of Mr. Dummer's packet boats that have made use thereof, ordered that inquiry be made of Mr. Dummer of the goodness of the said sheathing.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Harley, of yesterday's date, referring to the Board a memorial from Monsieur Vryberge [fo. 16, 28], Envoy of the States General to her Majesty, relating to the duties laid upon the Dutch linnens here, was read; whereupon a letter was immediatly writ to Mr. Secretary, signifying that their lordships had already that matter under their consideration by a letter from the Earl of Sunderland, and were conferring with the merchants in order to a report to her Majesty thereupon.
A letter from Colonel Seymour, Governor of Maryland [fo. 73],
dated the 21st of August last, with the papers therein referr'd to,
were laid before the Board. The said papers are as follows, viz.:—
Papers therein referr'd to.
Copy of an intercepted letter from Monsieur De Paty, imployed in building Fort Louis at St. Domingo, to Monsieur Du Cass, dated 6th of September, 1705.
Copy of an intercepted letter from the Governor of St. Domingo to Monsieur Boulay, counsellor to the French King, dated the 18th of September, 1705.
Copy of the journal of the Committee of Accounts in Aprill, 1706.
Minutes of Councill in Assembly from the 2nd of Aprill to the 19th ditto, 1706, inclusive.
Journal of the House of Delegates from the 2nd to the 19th of Aprill, 1706, inclusive.
Fourteen Acts past the 19th of Aprill, 1706.
And their lordships observing that the originials of the foremention'd intercepted letters are mention'd by Colonel Seymour to be sent to Mr. Secretary Hedges, the secretary was sent to the Earl of Sunderland's office, to inquire if the said letters were there; and being returned, he acquainted their lordships that they were, and that Mr. Hopkins told him that he would lay them before the Earl of Sunderland.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Lowndes, inclosing one of the foregoing Acts, intituled An Act for advancement of trade and erecting of ports and towns in the province of Maryland, for the opinion of the Commissioners of the Customes thereupon.
Their lordships read the Act lately pass'd in Maryland, intituled An Act for advancement of trade and erecting ports and towns in the province of Maryland [supra, and fo. 24], and ordered that Colonel Blakiston, agent for that province [infra], have notice to attend the Board on Thursday morning next.