Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 13, January 1768 - December 1775. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.
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Journal, March 1772
Their lordships read and considered a private Act passed in the colony of Virginia in June, 1770, "for docking the intail of certain lands, whereof Richard Johnson, gentleman, is seised, and for settling other lands and slaves to the same uses"; together with Mr. Jackson's report thereupon, stating that he has no objection thereto in point of law, and it appearing, that the said Act had passed through all the forms prescribed by his Majesty's instructions, it was ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty should be prepared, proposing that the said Act should be confirmed.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council upon the Massachusets laws, mentioned in the minutes of the 27th ult., having been prepared pursuant to order, was approved, transcribed and signed; as was also a letter to the Governor upon the subject of two of the said laws.
Read a memorial of the merchants of London trading to North America, and interested in the importation of timber, deals and oak staves from thence, representing the propriety of a revival, continuance and alteration of the bounties on those articles, and requesting the assistance of the Board in obtaining the same.
The Secretary laid before the Board a paper intitled "the proposal of Adam Drummond, Esquire, for a lease of the Magdalene Islands, and the sea cow and seal fishery in the environs of and on the said islands, in behalf of his brother Colin Drummond of Quebec."
Read a memorial of Samuel Gridley of the city of Bristol, merchant, stating the services of his father Colonel Gridley, and praying, that, in consideration of the great expence that both himself and his father have been at, and the losses they have sustained, in making establishments and carrying on these a cow fishery in the Magdalene Islands, the said islands may be granted to him in preference to any other person, or that the person, to whom they may be granted, shall be obliged to reimburse him for the very usefull and necessary buildings and improvements erected and made there.
Their lordships, pursuant to the minutes of the 13th ult., took into consideration the memorial of the Earl of Rochford, praying for a grant of the islands in the bay and river of Delaware, and Mr. Fielde, the solicitor in behalf of the Earl of Rochford, attending, with Mr. Sergeant Leigh, his counsel, and Mr. Wilmot, agent to and solicitor for the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, attending also, with Mr. Dunning and Mr. Lockhard, his counsel, and each party having been respectively heard in what they had to offer upon the subject matter of the proposition now under consideration, they were ordered to withdraw, and the further consideration thereof was postponed.
Read a letter from the Earl of Suffolk, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, to the Board, dated March 3rd, 1772, transmitting, for their consideration and report, an extract of a letter from Colonel Keith, his Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Copenhagen, relative to an order issued there respecting the trade of the American Colonies.
Read a letter from the Earl of Suffolk, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, to the Board, dated March 3rd, 1772, transmitting, for their consideration and report, a ministerial note delivered by Monsieur Osten to Colonel Keith concerning an additional duty claimed by the King of Denmark from ships of all nations passing the Sound after the 1st of April, 1772, in consideration of some newly established light houses, together with a translation of the ordinance imposing the said duty.
The Governor of the Russia Company attending, with several other merchants concerned in the trade to the Baltic, their lordships had some discourse with them upon the subject matter of the Danish order for increasing the toll upon ships passing the Sound, and the merchants having desired that time might be allowed for calling a general Court of the Russia Company, in order more fully to collect the sentiments of the gentlemen concerned in the trade to the Baltic, it was agreed, that the further consideration of this business should be put off until Wednesday next, upon the assurance of the gentlemen present, that they should then be able to lay before the Board the result of their deliberations.
The Secretary moved the Board in behalf of Dr. Richard Williams (upon whose memorial, stating the discovery of an improvement in the art of dyeing, a representation was made to his Majesty by this Board on the 13th of July, 1770), that he may have a copy of the said representation, to be made use of as an evidence to the Lords of the Treasury of this Board's opinion upon his case, and it was ordered, that a copy of the said representation should be made and delivered to Dr. Williams for that purpose.
Their lordships read and considered the draught of a representation to his Majesty upon the Earl of Rochford's petition for a grant of the islands in the bay and river of Delaware, and the said draught having been approved, it was ordered, that it should be transcribed.
Their lordships took into further consideration the draught of a representation to his Majesty upon the memorial of the Court of France, claiming a right to a fishery upon the coasts of Miquelon and St. Pierre, and the said draught having been approved, was transcribed and signed; as was also a letter to the Earl of Rochford, inclosing the said representation, and desiring him to lay it before his Majesty.
Read an Order of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated February 25th, 1772, referring to this Board, for their consideration and report, a petition of Major Robert Rogers to his Majesty, stating his services, and praying that he may be directed forthwith to attempt by land the discovery of a navigable passage by the north west from the Atlantick into the Great Pacifick Ocean, according to the route and estimate thereto subjoined.
Read a petition of the merchants of London trading to Africa, stating several irregularities and abuses in the manner of electing Freemen into the Company established by the Act of the 23rd of George the Second, charging three of the Committee men of the said Company with misbehaviour, contrary to the true intent and meaning of the Act, and praying that their lordships would remove them out of the said Committee.
Mr. Jackson, one of his Majesty's counsel at law, attending, their lordships took the said petition into consideration, together with the statute of the 23rd of George the Second for extending and improving the trade to Africa, and it was ordered, that a copy of the said petition should be referred to Mr. Jackson, to the end that he may report to their lordships his opinion in writing, whether the provisions contained in the twenty first section of the said statute, by which this Board is impowered to remove any of the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, who shall be guilty of any misbehaviour, contrary to the true intent and meaning of the said Act, do apply to the case of the complaint exhibited in the said petition against the Committee men named therein.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council upon the petition of Major Rogers, mentioned in the minutes of yesterday, having been prepared pursuant to order, was approved, transcribed and signed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, proposing the confirmation of an Act passed in the colony of Virginia in June, 1770, "for docking the intail of certain lands, whereof Richard Johnson, gentleman, is seised, and for settling other lands and slaves to the same uses," having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Their lordships read and considered an application of Adrien Couchon, interested in a lease of land in the island of Dominica, for their lordships' approbation and allowance of an assignment of the said lease to any British subject, and it was ordered, that the Secretary should certify their approbation of such assignment.
The Secretary laid before the Board a report of the Governor, Consuls and Court of Assistants of the Russia Company, dated the 17th instant, containing their sentiments upon the proposition of the Court of Denmark for imposing an additional duty upon ships passing the Sound for the support of some additional lights lately erected there.
Their lordships took the said report into consideration, together with the Earl of Suffolk's letter upon that subject of the 3rd instant, and it was ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon should be prepared.
Their lordships took into consideration the propositions of the merchants of London trading to North America, respecting a revival and alteration of the bounties upon timber, deals and oak staves, and it was agreed to consider further thereof on this day sennight, and that the merchants should be desired to attend.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to the Commissioners of the Customs for "an account of the quantity of timber, deals, planks and boards imported into England from America, from Michaelmas, 1765, to Michaelmas, 1771, distinguishing each year, with the amount of the bounties paid thereon."
The Secretary laid before the Board a memorial, presented to the Lords of the Treasury by Louis de St. Pierre, setting forth that he had, at his own expence, established and brought to perfection the growing of silk, the culture of vines and the making of wine at New Bourdeaux in South Carolina: that he had now 100,000 vine plants and above twenty families of French Protestants, all vine dressers, ready to embark with him for that colony, but not being able to accomplish his design without some publick encouragement, he therefore prays, that their lordships would recommend to his Majesty to bestow such encouragement upon him and his infant colony as shall be thought meet.
The Secretary also laid before the Board a minute of the Treasury Board of the 27th of February upon reading the above memorial, by which it appears, that their lordships declined taking it into consideration, unless it came recommended by this Board; whereupon this Board came to a resolution, that it appeared to them, that the settlement made in South Carolina by Mr. de St. Pierre had been undertaken and carried on with great spirit and activity, and could not fail of being usefull to this kingdom in the production of those articles of necessary consumption, which are now principally imported from foreign parts.
The Secretary laid before the Board a draught of general instructions for the Governor of Newfoundland, prepared pursuant to order, and the said draught having been approved, a representation to his Majesty thereupon was signed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty upon the proposition of the Court of Denmark for imposing an additional duty upon ships passing the Sound for the support of some additional light houses lately erected there, having been prepared pursuant to order, was approved, transcribed and signed; as was also a letter to the Earl of Suffolk inclosing the same.
Tuesday, March 25. (fn. 1) Present:—Mr. Roberts, Mr. Gascoyne, Lord Robert Spencer.
Their lordships took into further consideration the proposition of the merchants of London trading to North America, respecting a revival and alteration of the bounties upon timber, deals and oak staves, and several of the merchants attending, their lordships had some discourse with them upon the subject matter of those propositions; after which, it was agreed to proceed further in this business on Friday next, when the gentlemen were desired to attend again.
Read a petition of Nicholas Darby of London, merchant, stating that he had obtained a judgement in the Court of King's Bench against Samuel Davis for dispossessing him of a fishing post on the coast of Labradore, with an award of six hundred and fifty pounds damages; that he conceives such damages to be inadequate to the loss he sustained, and that moreover he was not able to recover the said damage, the said Samuel Davis being abroad; and therefore praying, that this Board would grant him such relief as the case shall appear to merit.
Their lordships, upon consideration of the said petition, were of opinion that the matter complained of by Mr. Darby was not properly cognizable at this Board, and the petitioner attending, was called in and acquainted therewith.
The Earl of Hillsborough, by his Majesty's command, laid before the Board copy of a letter, and several papers inclosed therein, received by his Lordship from William Nelson, Esquire, late President of the Council of Virginia, containing the remarks made by the said President and the said Council of Virginia upon the application of Messrs. Walpole, Wharton and others, for a grant of lands upon the Ohio.
His Lordship also laid before the Board a paper communicated to him by Mr. Walpole, containing the observations and answers by Mr. Walpole and his associates upon the remarks contained in the above mentioned letter from Mr. Nelson, together with extracts from Lieutenant General Gage and the Earl of Dunmore, containing their sentiments with regard to settlements in the interior country.
Their lordships took the said papers into consideration, together with the memorial of Mr. Walpole and his associates, referred to this Board by order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated May the 25th, 1770, and it appearing, that this Board had, on the 15th of June, 1770, come to a resolution, that the subject matter of the said memorial was of too great importance for them to give an opinion upon without the advice and assistance of the Great Officers, who are members of the Board, it was agreed, that the said minute should be discharged, and that the said memorial should be taken into consideration on Friday next.
Ordered, that notice thereof be given to Mr. Walpole, and that he be acquainted that, if the gentlemen interested in that application have anything further to offer, their lordships would be glad to see them on Friday at two o'clock.
Read a memorial of the merchants of London trading to Georgia, containing their sentiments and opinion upon the proposition submitted to this Board by Governor Wright, for purchasing from the Indians a tract of land upon the frontiers of that colony.
There being a vacancy in the Council of Jamaica by the death of Thomas Gordon, Esquire, a representation to his Majesty was agreed to and signed, recommending Brian Edwards, Esquire, to be appointed of the said Council in the room of Mr. Gordon.
Read a letter from the Post Master General, dated the 4th day of March, 1772, containing observations upon an Act passed in North Carolina, relative to the Post Office, mentioned in the minutes of the 19th ult.
Read a memorial of John Daniel Roux, citizen of Lausanne in Switzerland, stating his intentions to settle a colony of Swiss in East Florida, and praying for a grant of twelve thousand acres of land for that purpose.
The memorialist attending, their lordships had some discourse with him upon the subject matter of his memorial, and he was desired to attend again upon some other day, and, in the meantime to inform himself more fully with regard to the advantages or disadvantages that would attend the carrying his design into execution.
Read a letter from John Robinson, Esquire, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, to the Secretary to this Board, dated March 4th, 1772, desiring him to lay before their lordships, for their opinion, a copy of a petition of the proprietors of the island of St. John, praying some assistance in making publick roads in the said island.
Ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint Mr. Robinson by letter, that this Board was of opinion, that the sum inserted in the estimate for Nova Scotia for the year 1772, for the service of the island of St. John, was all that was necessary to be given by the publick to that colony, and therefore that the present request for a further allowance for publick roads must be intirely submitted to the determination of the Lords of the Treasury.
Friday, March 28. (fn. 1) Present:—Mr. Eliot, Mr. Gascoyne, Mr. Roberts, Lord Greville, Mr. Jolliffe.
Their lordships took into further consideration the propositions of the merchants of London trading to North America, respecting a revival and alteration of the bounties upon timber, deals and oak staves, and the merchants attending as desired, their lordships had further discourse with them upon this subject.
Read a letter from James Wright, Esquire, Governor of Georgia, to the Board, dated December 27th, 1771, relative to the inexpediency of making grants of large tracts of land in the interior parts of America.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that he had received a letter from Mr. Walpole, signifying that the gentlemen, interested in the application for a grant of lands upon the Ohio, had nothing further to offer upon that subject, but to request the copy of such report as their lordships should think fit to make upon it; whereupon their lordships took the memorial of Mr. Walpole and his associates into further consideration and made some progress therein.