Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 12, January 1764 - December 1767. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.
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Journal, February 1764
This day being appointed for hearing what the makers and venders of hats had further to offer in support of their petition, and also the importers and exporters of beaver skins, and the Governor and other members of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the several parties attending, they were called in, and being severally and respectively heard, it was agreed on all hands, that it would be highly beneficial and expedient to take off the duties upon the importation of beaver skins, and that a reasonable duty, not exceeding the said import duty, laid upon the exportation, would not operate to the prejudice of such exportation or the trade in general; but Sir William Baker, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, appeared to be of opinion, that it would be more adviseable not to make any alteration at all, until the further effect of our acquisition of Canada should be known, and regulations of more general import could be fallen upon.
This day being appointed for the further consideration of the state of the paper currency in the American colonies, and the present and late Governors of New York and the late Governor of New Jersey, the Proprietor of Pennsylvania, the late Governors of Massachusets Bay, South Carolina and Nova Scotia, the late Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, and the agent and Chief Justice of Pennsylvania attending as desired, they were severally heard in what they had to offer, and it was agreed on all hands, that the putting a stop, by Act of Parliament, to all further emission of paper bills of credit as a legal tender, the declaring all bills now existing not to be a legal tender, after the periods fixed for their redemption, and the fixing a period for the legality of the tender of such as have no fixed period of redemption, would be highly expedient and proper, but the Proprietor of Pennsylvania and Mr. Jackson, representing the said colony, appeared to be desirous, that such Act should not pass until the next session, in order to give the provinces an opportunity of transmitting their sentiments upon it.
A letter to the Lords of the Treasury desiring payment of the incidental charges of this office from the 5th of July to the 10th of October, 1763, amounting to £449. 9. 0, and of the salaries due to the Secretary and under officers, was signed; it appearing that the accounts for the above quarter had been irregularly sent to the Treasury without a letter, it was ordered, that no account should for the future be sent to the Treasury until the same had been examined by the Board.
Their lordships took into further consideration the state of the paper currency in the American colonies, and the agents of New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia attending, they were called in, and severally heard in what they had to offer upon this subject, and they expressed a desire that, if it was intended to bring the consideration of this matter before Parliament, their lordships' sentiments upon it might be previously communicated to the colonies, in order that the agents might receive further instructions from their constituents upon it, but their lordships, having urged the inconveniences which would arise from any further delay, desired to be informed, whether the agents would or would not give opposition to any bill, which might be moved for in Parliament upon this subject, and they severally desired a few days to consult together and consider thereof.
Read a letter from Samuel Touchet, esquire, to the Secretary, dated February 2nd, 1764, acquainting him that he will not trouble the Board with hearing counsel on his petition, and desiring their lordships to make their report thereupon.
Their lordships thereupon took into consideration Mr. Touchet's petition to his Majesty, referred to the Board by the Earl of Egremont's letter of the 23rd of July, 1762, as also the several proceedings upon it, and after some deliberation, ordered the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon to be prepared.
Read a memorial of the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, setting forth that, if the Fort of Senegal and its dependencies were by Act of Parliament vested in the present Africa Company, it would be of great publick utility, and desiring the Board's consent and approbation to their applying to Parliament for that purpose.
Read a letter from Mr. Poirier to the Secretary, dated the
21st of December, 1763, in answer to his letter of the 6th, containing the sentiments of the African Committee on the expediency
of an establishment at or near Cape Apollonia, and on a petition
from the merchants of Lancaster complaining of contracts
made with the French to sell and deliver them slaves on the
Coast of Africa, inclosing,
Copy of a letter from Mr. Francis Gildart to the Secretary of the African Committee, dated Liverpool, the 22nd of November, 1763.
Copy of a letter from the Master of Merchants' Hall, Bristol, also of the resolutions of the African merchants there, relative to Cape Apollonia, and the contracts with the French for negroes, December 17th, 1763.
Copy of a letter from Nassau Senior, esquire (late Governor of Cape Coast Castle) to the African Committee, November 7th, 1763.
Copy of a letter from the African Committee to the Governor and Council of James Fort, Gambia, dated 7th December, 1763.
Copy of a letter from the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, to the Governor and Council of Cape Coast Castle, dated the 15th December, 1763.
Read a letter from Mr. Poirier, Secretary to the African
Committee, dated 7th of January, 1764, inclosing,
Copy of a letter from Charles Bell, esquire, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, to the African Committee, dated the 7th August, 1763.
Read a letter from the merchants of Liverpool to Mr. Pownall, dated the 31st of January, 1764, setting forth their concern for not answering his letter of the 2nd of January respecting the rock salt trade, it not having been communicated to them until the 30th.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to the merchants of Liverpool by this night's post, acquainting them, that their lordships are very desirous of receiving their sentiments upon the papers under consideration, relative to the duties upon British rock salt in the Austrian Netherlands, either in writing, or by the attendance at this Board of any person they may think proper to appoint.
Read the following memorials, vizt.,
Memorial of the agent for the Province of Nova Scotia to the Board, praying their lordships to take into consideration from what fund the balance of the exceedings upon the year 1763, may be paid.
Memorial of Sir Alexander Grant, dated November 18th, 1763, desiring payment of a sum of money advanced by Mr. Alexander Grant to the Province of Nova Scotia, and inclosing,
Account of the money due to Mr. Alexander Grant from the Province of Nova Scotia.
Memorial of Mr. Joshua Mauger to the Board, dated the 8th of December, 1763, stating that several bills of exchange drawn on the agent of the Province of Nova Scotia for money due to him, have been refused, and praying relief from their lordships.
Read a letter from Thomas Whately, esquire, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, to Mr. Pownall, dated the 4th of February, 1764, desiring him to acquaint the Board, that the Lords of the Treasury approve of the estimates of the charges of the civil establishments of Nova Scotia, Georgia, East and West Florida, and of the expence of making surveys of his Majesty's dominions in North America for the year 1764.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty upon Mr. Touchet's petition, requesting a grant of the exclusive trade to the River Senegal, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed, as was also a letter to the Earl of Halifax, inclosing the said representation.
Their lordships took into further consideration the several propositions and memorials, concerning a bounty upon hemp, the regulation of the duties upon beaver skins, and the state of the paper currency in America, and made some progress therein.
Mr. Howard, from the Earl of Egmont, attending, was called in, and desired, in Lord Egmont's name, to know when his memorial concerning the settlement of the Island of St. John could be considered and reported upon, and he was desired to acquaint his Lordship, that it would be considered and reported upon as soon as the great quantity of publick business now before the Board, and necessary to be prepared for the consideration of Parliament, would allow.
Their lordships took into further consideration the memorial of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, mentioned in the minutes of the 4th instant, and several members of the Committee attending, they were called in and acquainted, that their lordships had no objection to their applying to Parliament for an Act to invest them with the property and direction of the trade and settlement at Senegal.
Their lordships then took into consideration the memorials of Sir Alexander Grant, Mr. Mauger and Mr. Cumberland, relating to the demands and arrears on account of the service of Nova Scotia, and they were severally acquainted that their lordships could give no directions therein, and it was recommended to them to apply to the Lords of the Treasury.
The agents for New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia, attending, Mr. Charles, agent for New York, acquainted their lordships in behalf of himself and the rest of the agents, that upon full consideration of the plan for the further regulation of the paper currency in America proposed by the Board, they could not agree thereto; that it was their unanimous opinion, that a certain quantity of paper currency ought to be allowed of in each colony, to be a legal tender in all contracts and dealings within the colonies, and that time should be allowed for each colony to consider and report what that sum should be.
Read a letter from Mr. Jenkinson, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, to Mr. Pownall, dated February 6th, 1764, signifying the King's command to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Board should lay before the House of Commons estimates of expence for Georgia, East and West Florida and Nova Scotia, and of surveys of his Majesty's Dominions in America for 1764.
Their lordships took into consideration a memorial, presented to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury by the merchants of New England and of London trading to New England, desiring their approbation to an application intended to be made to Parliament, for taking off the duty upon fins of whale caught in the American seas, and imported from thence into England, and several of the gentlemen interested in this memorial attending, they were called in, and presented a memorial to the Board stating their case, and desiring the Board's concurrence to their request, and, their lordships having heard what they had to offer upon it, they withdrew.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following accounts
received from the Commissioners of the Customs, vizt.,
An account of the quantity of hatts exported from England to foreign parts from Christmas 1735 to Christmas 1738, distinguishing each year, and to what places exported.
Ditto: from Christmas 1750 to Christmas 1753, distinguishing each year, and to what places exported.
Ditto: from Christmas 1759 to Christmas 1762, distinguishing each year, and to what places exported.
An account of the quantity of beaver skins imported into and exported from England between Christmas 1735 and Christmas 1738, distinguishing each year, and the places from which imported and to which exported, with the amount of the duties paid, and drawbacks allowed thereon.
Ditto: between Christmas 1750 and Christmas 1753, distinguishing each year, and the places from which imported and to which exported, with the amount of the duties paid, and drawbacks allowed thereon.
Ditto: between Christmas 1759 and Christmas 1762.
An account of the quantity of beaver wool exported from England from Christmas 1735 to Christmas 1738, distinguishing each year, and the places to which exported.
Ditto: from Christmas 1750 to Christmas 1753.
Ditto: from Christmas 1759 to Christmas 1762.
Their lordships took into further consideration the several propositions concerning the revival of the bounties upon hemp, the paper currency in the American colonies, and the duties upon beaver skins; and a representation to his Majesty thereupon, and upon the application of the New England merchants, concerning the duty upon whale fins, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Read a letter from Charles Pinfold, esquire, Governor of
Barbados, to the Board, dated December 15th, 1763, relative
to the Reverend Mr. Barnard, Rector of St. Michael's, contumaciously absenting himself from his said parish, and requesting
the Board's directions.
The Attorney General of Barbados's opinion on the case of the Reverend Mr. Barnard's continuing absent after the time allowed him by the Governor's licence expired.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to the Lord Bishop of London, to signify to him, that their lordships desire his advice and assistance upon the above case, and will appoint any day for the consideration of it, when it shall be convenient to his Lordship to attend.
Their lordships took into consideration the Earl of Egmont's memorial to his Majesty, praying for a grant of the Island of St. John's in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, and it was ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon should be prepared.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, upon the Earl of Egmont's memorial, desiring a grant of the Island of St. John, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.
Mr. Stanhope, agent for the Island of Jamaica, attending, acquainted their lordships, that he should be ready to be heard by his counsel upon the petition of the planters of Jamaica, concerning the law for double taxing absentees, any day in the week after next that their lordships should appoint, whereupon their lordships agreed to take this matter into consideration on Tuesday, the 21st instant, and the Secretary was ordered to give notice thereof to the several parties interested.
A memorial of Mr. Mauger was presented to the Board and read, setting forth that the memorialist's agent having paid into the hands of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia certain quantities of dollars for the use of the publick, for which he received bills of exchange drawn by the Lieutenant Governor upon Mr. Cumberland the agent, but that the agent had refused payment of the said bills, alleging he had not effects in his hands to answer the same, and therefore praying their lordships' orders upon it; it was recommended to Mr. Mauger to apply to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, within whose department it was to give directions in this case, and as to the proposals of Mr. Mauger formerly made to the Board, for supplying the publick of Nova Scotia with dollars and the Board's minute upon them, which proposals were referred to in Mr. Mauger's memorial, their lordships directed copies of the said proposals and minute to be delivered to Mr. Mauger.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty upon the Earl of Egmont's memorial, desiring a grant of the Island of St. John, having been transcribed pursuant to order, was signed; as was also a letter to the Earl of Halifax inclosing it, and desiring him to lay it before his Majesty.
Their lordships took into consideration the state of the silk
culture in Georgia, and the agents for the province attending,
their lordships had some conversation with them upon this
subject, after which Mr. Knox, as provincial agent for the Province of Georgia, and Mr. Garth, as provincial agent for the
Province of South Carolina, submitted to their lordships' consideration the following propositions, relative to a paper currency
in the American colonies, as applicable to the state of the paper
currency in those provinces, vizt.,
That no paper bill of credit issued and made current in any of his Majesty's colonies in America by virtue of any Act of Assembly, shall be deemed or taken to be a lawful tender in discharge of any debt which shall appear to have been contracted with any person or persons, who at the time such debt was contracted, were residing, dwelling or inhabiting within the Kingdoms of Great Britain or Ireland.
That no paper bills of credit, which shall hereafter be issued by virtue of any Act of Assembly of any of his Majesty's colonies in America under any denomination whatsoever, shall be deemed or taken to be a lawful tender in discharge of any debt whatsoever, until such Act of Assembly shall have received his Majesty's royal approbation and allowance.
Read a letter from Dr. Burton, Secretary to the Society for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts, to the Secretary, dated February 11th, 1764, desiring the Board's directions to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia for providing a place of worship, and an augmentation of salary to Mr. Wood, their missionary at Annapolis, and an allowance to Mr. Bennet in lieu of a house.
Ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint Dr. Burton, that the sum allowed by Parliament for the service of Nova Scotia, is too small to enable their lordships to defray so large an expense, as that of providing a place for divine worship, but that they will take proper measures for an enlargement of the salary of Mr. Wood, and for an allowance to Mr. Bennet for house rent.
Read a letter from Mr. Gregson, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, to the Secretary, dated February 8th, 1764, acquainting him that Mr. Richard Kent is deputed to attend their lordships' Board on the subject of rock salt exported to the Netherlands.
Their lordships took into consideration the memorial of the agents for South Carolina and Georgia, respecting an application to Parliament for liberty to export rice directly from those provinces to the American and African islands, and the Secretary was directed to acquaint the agents that, as far as their lordships were at present informed upon this question, they could not approve such a measure, but should be glad to receive any further lights or information that could be brought before them.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that he was desired by Mr. Hansen, agent for Mr. Renslaer of New York, to ask their lordships' permission to search for some papers supposed to be on record on their office, touching the property and estate of the said Renslaer in New York, and it was ordered, that Mr. Hansen have liberty according to his request upon specifying what the papers are.
The Secretary also moved the Board, at the request of Mr. Reynolds, Member for Lancaster, for an extract of so much of a report, lately made by the Committee of the African Company to this Board, as relates to the complaints of the practice of selling negroes to the French; and it was ordered, that the said extract should be made and delivered to Mr. Reynolds.
The Board was also moved in behalf of Mr. Fuller of Jamaica, for copies of two petitions presented in 1746 and 1764, relative to the Acts of that island for double taxing absentees; it was ordered, that the said petition should be copied and delivered to Mr. Fuller.
Their lordships took into consideration the letter from the Governor of Barbados, and the case and opinion therein referred to, relative to the conduct of Mr. Thomas Barnard, Rector of St. Michael's, Bridge Town in that island, in contumaciously absenting himself from his duty without leave, and it was ordered, that the said letter and case should be copied to be laid before the Lord Bishop of London, for his Lordship's further consideration of and sentiments upon this case.
Ordered, that the consideration of the petition of the planters of Jamaica, complaining of the practice in that island of double taxing absentees, which was appointed for Tuesday next, be postponed to Tuesday sennight, and that notice thereof be given to the parties.
A letter to the Bishop of London, inclosing copies of the letter from the Governor of Barbados and the case therein referred to, relating to the conduct of the Reverend Mr. Thomas Barnard, was agreed to and signed.
Read and considered an Order in Council, dated February 10th, 1764, requiring the Board to prepare and lay before his Majesty the draught of a plan for the settlement of the Islands of Grenada, etc., and the disposal of his lands there, agreable to what is proposed in the annexed report of the Lords of the Treasury, and likewise the draught of a proclamation for promulging such parts of the said plan as they shall judge necessary.
Mr. Richard Kent, the person mentioned in Mr. Gregson's letter to the Secretary, (which was read on the 14th instant) to be deputed from the exporters of rock salt and proprietors of salt pits near Liverpool, to lay before the Board their sentiments with respect to that trade, attended, and the state of the trade and what passed relative to it having been fully considered, Mr. Kent declared it to be the sense of his constituents, that his Majesty's Minister at Brussells should be instructed to use his utmost endeavours to procure the weight of the razier to be restored to what it was before the late alteration, allowing a free and open importation to all persons, but that they would rather the trade should remain as it is, or even risque the total loss of it, than that there should be an exclusive importation to any one person.
Read a letter from Mr. Gregg, a merchant concerned in the trade to South Carolina, dated this day, containing the substance of some information he has received from that province concerning a purchase made of the Spaniards by Mr. Gordon of Charles Town, of a tract of land in East Florida, containing one thousand square leagues.
Read a letter from Messrs. Alexander, Robert and William Grant, merchants trading to Canada, to the Secretary, dated February 22nd, 1764, representing the expediency of extending to that country the liberty of importing salt directly from foreign parts.
It appearing to their lordships, upon consideration of this matter, that such a liberty would greatly promote the valuable and extensive fishery carried on from that province, Mr. Eliot was desired to move the House of Commons for leave to bring in a Bill to allow, that salt might be imported into the Colony of Quebec directly from foreign parts, for three years, in the same manner and upon the same foot it has been allowed to the Province of Nova Scotia.
The Board having been greatly incommoded by offensive smells, occasioned by some defect in the water closets used in the several apartments of the building, the Secretary was ordered to write to the Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, to desire he would move their lordships to give directions to the Board of Works to inspect and remedy such defects.
Mr. Kent, deputed from the exporters of salt and proprietors of salt works at and near Liverpool, attended, and presented a memorial drawn up pursuant to their lordships' request on Tuesday last, but the said memorial appearing not to be sufficiently exact and precise, as to the facts he had stated, he withdrew it, and the lordships acquainted him, that the Board wish to exert every effort to increase the razier to its former measure, and to keep the trade open; a proposition which admits of no doubt, if it may be attained.
That the questions which the Board desire to be resolved in, are whether the merchants of Liverpool and the rock salt proprietors would rather chuse, that the trade should remain upon its present foot, or have the razier increased to its former measure, with a monopoly of importation to Ringault for seven years.
Whether, in case upon any consideration the gentlemen should be of opinion the monopoly of importation should take place in favor of Ringault, they can suggest any method of keeping the benefit of exportation open to every body, as it appears to the Board, that very unbecoming attempts have been made by particular persons to obtain exclusive advantages in this part of the trade.
Whereupon Mr. Kent desired to have their lordships' sentiments and directions in writing, to the end that he might return to Liverpool and take the sense of his constituents upon the whole, and it was ordered, that an extract of so much of their lordships' proceedings on this day, as relates to this affair, should be made and delivered to Mr. Kent.
Ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint the principal officers of the Board of Ordnance, that there is no minute of this Board of any application made to the Board of Ordnance, for a draughtsman to be employed in this office, that no such draughtsman was employed, any plans copied, or any of the original plans they mention left here.
Their lordships took into further consideration the Order of Council, mentioned in the minutes of the 20th instant, directing the Board to prepare a plan for the disposal of the lands in the Islands of Grenada, the Grenadines, Tobago, St. Vincent's and Dominica, and also a proclamation for promulging such parts of the said plan as should be thought proper, and a draught of such plan, and also of the proclamation, having been prepared, were read, considered and ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, upon the intelligence received from Mr. Gregg of the purchase of lands in East Florida made of the Spaniards by Mr. Gordon of Charles Town, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Ordered, that the hearing upon the petition of the planters of Jamaica, complaining of the practice of double taxing absentees, which was appointed for tomorrow, be, at the request of the counsel for the agent, postponed to Saturday next, the 3rd of March, and that the Secretary do give notice thereof to the parties.
Their lordships took into consideration the state of the gum trade in the River Senegal, and Colonel Worge, late Governor of that settlement, attended, and upon conversation with him upon the subject of the regulations, which it might be expedient to make for the advantage of the trade, he gave it as his opinion, "that the merchants, who trade for gum in the River Senegal, do give a security to the Governor of Fort Lewis (in said river), that all the gum exported from that place shall be landed in Britain, and that it shall be duty free, and on the exportation to foreign markets a duty to be laid on, which will enable us to carry on our manufacturies (where the gum is used), cheaper than our neighbours."
"That the ships of war that visit the Coast of Africa, touch at Portenderick to see that there are no foreign traders there; if there should, to drive them off, or take them, as this was the practice of the French, when they were in possession of Senegal."
Read a letter from the Earl of Halifax to the Board, dated
the 25th of February, 1764, referring, for their consideration
and report, the copy of some articles of regulations, proposed
by the French Ambassador to be established by the two Sovereigns
for the prevention of disputes between their subjects in carrying
on the fishery on the Coast of Newfoundland.
Extrait d'un projet d'arrangemens, etc.
Ordered, that the Secretary do transmit copies of the said
project to his Majesty's Advocate, Attorney and Sollicitor
General for their opinion, with all possible dispatch, upon the
following questions, vizt.,
Whether the articles of this project are consistent with the Act of Parliament of the 10th and 11th of William the Third, Cap. 25th, to encourage the trade to Newfoundland.
Whether the Crown can legally enter into, and has any power to enforce such regulations as are contained in the several articles of this project, so far as they relate to the subjects of Great Britain, either in the substance of the said articles, or in the mode of carrying them into execution.
Read a letter from the Lord Bishop of London to the Board, dated February 27th, containing his sentiments on the case of the Reverend Mr. Barnard, and the measures proper to be pursued in that matter.