Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 11, January 1759 - December 1763. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1935.
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Journal, February 1763
This day being appointed for the consideration of the memorial of the merchants of London trading to Virginia, complaining of the ill effect of the large quantitys of paper bills of credit issued in that colony, and many of the said merchants attending, together with Mr. Montague, agent for the colony, and Mr. Abercrombie, agent for the Governor and Council, they were called in; and the said memorial having been read, as also a memorial to the same effect of the merchants of Glasgow, delivered by Mr. Athawes, and a like memorial of the merchants of Liverpool, delivered by Sir Ellis Cunliffe, who likewise attended upon this occasion, several of the merchants present were heard in what they had to offer in support of the said memorials, and the agent for the colony having been likewise heard, in what he had to offer in support of the laws for emitting paper bills of credit, and of the conduct of the legislature of Virginia, several merchants were heard by way of reply, and then the parties present were ordered to withdraw; and, after some time spent in the consideration of this matter, their lordships agreed to take up the further consideration of it tomorrow morning.
That the creating and issuing paper bills of credit in the American colonies, and declaring them to be legal tender in all payments, is destructive of the publick credit of those colonies, injurious to the commerce of Great Britain, inconsistent with the interest of the Crown, and contrary to the sense of the Parliament of Great Britain, expressed in the Act passed in the 24th year of his late Majesty, for restraining such paper bills in the New England colonies.
That the large quantitys of such paper bills issued in the Colony of Virginia, upon insufficient and uncertain funds for the sinking and discharging them, and the declaring them by law to be a legal tender, have been the principal causes of the great rise, and uncertain and fluctuating state of the exchange between Great Britain and that colony, which has manifestly operated to the prejudice of the publick credit of the province, and of the trade of Great Britain, and to the great injury of the merchants who have dealings there, and of his Majesty's Revenue.
That the merchants have just cause of complaint upon this head, and that the Act passed in Virginia in the 28th year of his late Majesty's reign, for amending an Act entituled an Act declaring the law concerning executions and for the relief of insolvent debtors and for other purposes, does not give security to the said merchants, in the recovery of sterling debts due to them from that colony, nor is their property amply or fully secured thereby; and that the legislature of Virginia have been wanting, not only in a proper respect to the Crown, but also in justice to the said merchants, in refusing to comply with what was recommended in his late Majesty's additional instruction of the 31st of July, 1759, which appears to their lordships to have been founded in reason, justice and equity.
That the foregoing resolutions be communicated to the merchants, and also to the agent, and that he be directed forthwith to transmit them to his constituents, and to assure them, that if they shall any longer persist to deny that justice to the merchants, which is recommended in the aforesaid additional instruction of his late Majesty, of the 31st of July, 1759, and shall also neglect to pass a proper law, for amending the several laws for emitting paper bills of credit, in such manner, that sufficient taxes be imposed for finally sinking the said bills at the period fixed in the said Acts, and for declaring, that the said bills shall not be current after the expiration of such periods respectively, their lordships shall think it their indispensible duty, humbly to propose to his Majesty, that application be made to Parliament for an Act to be passed, for abolishing the said bills of credit, and compelling the Government of Virginia to make good to the possessors of them their nominal value, and for extending to that colony the provisions of the Act of Parliament of the 24th of his late Majesty, for restraining paper bills of credit in the New England governments, or that his Majesty would take such other measures, as he shall think most adviseable, for the support of the publick credit of the colony, and the relief of the merchants.
The Governor of the Russia Company, with two of the Court
of Assistants, and two other gentlemen concerned in the trade,
attending without, were called in, and the Governor laid before
their lordships the following resolution of the Court of Assistants
of the Russia Company, upon the several points contained in
the Earl of Halifax's letter to the Board, of the 19th of January,
That it is the opinion of this Court, that the four Articles, mentioned in our former memorial to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, of the 19th day of November last, in relation to the intended Treaty of Commerce with the Court of St. Petersburgh, are very material and necessary for the benefit of our trade with Russia; but that the first point, which is the 4th Article of that additional part of the proposed plan of the new Treaty of Commerce, relating to the privilege of one British merchant selling to another, is so essential and important, that it ought to be insisted upon.
By Order of the Governor, Consuls and
Court of Assistants of the Russia Company.
Whereupon the gentlemen being asked, whether it was the sense of the Court of Assistants in their resolution, that the additional proposition, that one British subject should be at liberty to sell to another in Russia, should be insisted upon at all events, and at the risque of a renewal of the expired treaty, concluded between the two Crowns in 1734, they refused to explain themselves upon this point, but said, that the Court of Assistants, in forming this resolution, did not apprehend that Lord Halifax's letter had reference to a simple renewal of the Treaty of 1734, but to a renewal of it, under all the restrictions and limitations contained in the project, offerred on the part of the late Empress.
Whereupon their lordships marked out to them, that the Earl of Halifax's letter was explicit upon this point, and could not admit of such a construction, and therefore proposed to them to reconsider their resolution, which they refused to do, one of them declaring at the same time, as an individual, that he considered the proposition, of one British subject having liberty to sell to another, as so essential to the freedom of trade, that they thought it would be better to have no treaty at all, than that such a stipulation should not be made, the others however did not concur in that opinion in the full extent of it.
Some discourse having arisen in their lordships' proceedings upon this business, concerning the liberty of trading to Persia through Russia, Mr. Mierop, one of the gentlemen who attended upon this occasion, delivered to the Board a copy of a letter from himself to Mr. Swallow, the British Consul in Russia, upon this subject, which copy of the letter was read.
Several of the merchants of London trading to Virginia, attending as desired, with Mr. Montague, agent for the colony, they were called in, and the minutes of their lordships' proceedings of the 1st and 2nd instant, relating to the paper currency in Virginia, having been read to them, Mr. Athawes, for himself and the rest of the gentlemen, thanked their lordships for the great care and attention they had shewn to their interests on this occasion, and moved their lordships for leave to have a copy of the said minutes, which was granted, and a copy was accordingly ordered to be made out for the merchants, and another copy for the agent, who promised to transmit it to his constituents, by the opportunity of a vessell bound to that colony, which, one of the merchants present, acquainted their lordships was ready to fall down the river on Monday or Tuesday.
The gentlemen being withdrawn, their lordships took into consideration an Act passed in 1761, for continuing and securing the credit of the paper currency in Virginia, which Act appeared to have a clause suspending its execution, until his Majesty's pleasure should be known; and it appearing, after full deliberation, to be liable to great objection, and to contradict the tenure of their lordships' resolutions on the 2nd instant, it was agreed to be laid aside.
The draught of a letter to the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, with a copy of the minutes of the 1st and 2nd instant, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.
Ordered, that the Secretary do transmit to the Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, a copy of the minutes of the proceedings of the Board on the 1st and 2nd instant, relating to the paper currency in Virginia.
The draught of a letter to the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, with a copy of the minutes of the Board's proceedings on the 1st and 2nd instant, relating to the paper currency in that colony, having been transcribed pursuant to order, was signed.
Read a letter from Francis Fauquier, Esquire, Lieutenant
Governor of Virginia, dated November 27th, 1762, containing an
account of an outrageous insult and violence committed by a
riotous mob of sailors upon Don Pedro Bermudez, a Spanish
officer, his family and corps, who, in their passage from the
Havanna to Cadiz in an English transport, were forced, by distress of the vessell, to put into the colony, and inclosing,
Copy of a letter from Don Pedro Bermudez to Lieutenant Governor Fauquier, dated 23rd November, 1762.
Copy of a letter from Mr. Steuart to Lieutenant Governor Fauquier, dated the 23rd of November, 1762, respecting the insult offered to Don Pedro Bermudez.
Copy of a letter from Lieutenant Governor Fauquier to Mr. Steuart, dated 26th November, 1762.
Copy of a letter from Don Pedro Bermudez to Lieutenant Governor Fauquier.
Copy of a letter from Lieutenant Governor Fauquier to Don Pedro Bermudez, 26th November, 1762.
Copy of a letter from Lieutenant Governor Fauquier to the Mayor of Norfolk, respecting the riot at Portsmouth.
Whereupon it was ordered, that copies should be forthwith made of the said letter and papers, to be communicated to Lord Egremont, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, and a letter to his Lordship thereupon was signed.
Their lordships took into consideration the Earl of Halifax's letter of the 19th of January last, relating to the state of the negotiation with the Court of St. Petersburgh for the renewal of a Treaty of Commerce, and also the several papers relating thereto and proceedings had thereupon; and, after mature deliberation, it was ordered, that the draught of a letter to the Earl of Halifax, in answer to his, should be prepared, to be laid before the Board on Thursday morning.
The draught of a letter to the Earl of Halifax, in answer to one from him of the 19th of January last, relating to the state of the negotiation with the Court of St. Petersburgh for the renewal of a Treaty of Commerce, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of a letter to the Earl of Halifax, in answer to one from him of the 19th of January last, relating to the state of the negotiation with the Court of St. Petersburgh for the renewal of a Treaty of Commerce, having been transcribed pursuant to order, was signed.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following letters and
papers received from the Governor of Jamaica, viz.
Two letters from William Henry Lyttelton, Esquire, dated the 13th and 24th of October, 1762, relating to the extraordinary proceedings of the Council and House of Representatives of that island, in consequence of his having laid before them his Majesty's Order in Council of the 15th of February, 1762, repealing several Acts passed in that island, together with a copy of the representation of this Board, upon which that order was grounded, and inclosing Governor Lyttelton's speech to the Council and House of Representatives, with their addresses in answer thereto.
Message from the Governor to the Assembly, accompanied with his Majesty's Order in Council of the 15th of February, 1762, and the representation of this Board, on which that order was grounded.
The Assembly's answer.
Message from the Governor to the Assembly, expressing his surprize at the behaviour of that House in declining to prepare a Bill for re-enacting the law passed in 1756, for the regulation of prizes.
The Assembly's answer thereto, setting forth their attachment to his Majesty's person, and the sense they have of this Board's representation to the King on 27th January, 1762.
Governor Lyttelton's speech to the Council and Assembly when he prorogued them.
Governor's speech to the Council and Assembly, requiring the usual aids, and their answer.
Copy of the minutes of Council of the 23rd of October, 1762, containing their several resolutions.
The said letters and papers having been read and fully considered, it was ordered, that copies of them should be made, to be laid before his Majesty in Council, and that the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon should be prepared.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, upon the letters and papers received from the Governor of Jamaica, mentioned in the preceding minutes, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following letters and
papers received from Nova Scotia, viz.
Letter from Mr. Belcher, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, to Mr. Pownall, dated the 28th of October, 1762, acknowledging the receipt of the Act of Parliament, allowing the importation of salt into that colony directly from Europe, and also the order of his Majesty in Council, repealing an Act passed there for establishing the rate of Spanish dollars, and inclosing,
Proclamation of the repeal of the Act for establishing the rate of Spanish dollars.
Letter from Mr. Belcher, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, to Mr. Pownall, dated the 12th of November, 1762, recommending the case of Mr. Monk, the Sollicitor General of that province, and inclosing,
Letter from Mr. Monk to Mr. Pownall, dated the 7th of November, 1762, relating to the hardships of his case in acting as Sollicitor General of Nova Scotia without any allowance.
Memorial of Mr. Monk, Sollicitor General of Nova Scotia, to the Lords Commissioners of Trade, praying for an allowance upon the establishment, as Sollicitor General of Nova Scotia.
Copy of a memorial of Mr. Monk presented to the Council of Nova Scotia, for an allowance as Sollicitor General, and the Council's opinion thereupon.
Minutes of Council from the 11th to the 18th of October, 1762.
Minutes of Council relative to the granting lands, from the 29th of July to the 18th of October, 1762.
Read two letters from Mr. Martin, Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, to Mr. Pownall, dated the 14th of February, 1763, signifying his Majesty's pleasure that this Board do prepare and lay before the House of Commons estimates of the expence of supporting the civil establishments of the Colonies of Nova Scotia and Georgia, the former for the year 1763, the other from Midsummer, 1762, to Midsummer, 1763.
That there be laid before this House an account of the money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of his Majesty's Colony of Nova Scotia from the 1st of January, 1760, to the 31st of December following.
That there be laid before this House an account of the money paid and charges incurred by supporting and maintaining the settlement of his Majesty's Colony of Nova Scotia from the 1st of January, 1761, to the 31st of December following.
Cl. Dom. Com.