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, May 1769
The draughts of representations to his Majesty upon the paper Currency Bill of New Jersey, and upon the memorial of the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, having been transcribed pursuant to order, were signed.
Their lordships took into consideration the applications of Thomas Wynne, Esquire, H. Strachey, Esquire, and Thomas Astle, Esquire, for lands in East Florida, and ordered representations thereupon to his Majesty to be prepared.
Read an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated the 24th of April, 1769, directing that this Board should prepare, and lay before the Committee, draughts of instructions to the Governors of the several colonies and Plantations in America, for regulating their conduct in respect to Bills for raising money by way of lottery, conformable to what is proposed in the Board's report of the 7th of March last, upon several laws passed in the province of Pennsylvania.
The Earl of Hillsborough, by his Majesty's command, laid before the Board, for their consideration, a letter from the Governor of New York, on the subject of establishing a new town at or near Crown Point on Lake Champlain, together with a plan of the said town, as proposed, annexed to the said letter.
The order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, mentioned in the minutes of yesterday, was further considered, and it was ordered, that draughts of additional instructions to the Governors of his Majesty's colonies and Plantations in America, conformable thereto, should be prepared.
Their lordships took into consideration an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, mentioned in the minutes of the 2nd of March last, referring to this Board, for their consideration and report, a petition of Major General Phineas Lyman, praying for himself and in behalf of sundry other persons therein mentioned, to have lands granted to them in the country westward of the Alleghany mountains, and that the said country may be erected into a separate government.
General Lyman attending, was heard in what he had to offer in support of his petition, and was acquainted by the Board, that, in the present state of the country to which his petition refers, their lordships were not of opinion to advise his Majesty to erect it into a separate government, and that they could form no resolution with regard to any proposition for making grants of lands therein, until the boundary line with the Indians, now in negotiation, was finally ratified.
That for these reasons, as well as from the very vague and general terms in which his propositions were stated, they could not report in favour thereof, but that if he had any proposition to make in respect to his own services, unmixed with the claims and pretensions of persons unknown, he might be assured the Board would consider it with all the regard and attention due to the merit of those services.
Read an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated March 9th, 1769, referring to this Board, for their consideration and report, a memorial of sundry inhabitants of Great Britain, Virginia and Maryland to the King, praying that his Majesty would grant to them, being fifty in number, by the name of the Mississippi Company, two millions five hundred thousand acres of land, between the 38th and 42nd degree of north latitude, to the westward of the Allegany mountains, upon the conditions specified in the said memorial.
Their lordships agreed to take the said order of reference into consideration on Tuesday next, and it was ordered, that notice should be given to Dr. Lee, agent for, and one of the petitioners, to attend.
Their lordships took into further consideration the draught of a representation to his Majesty upon the Treasury Bill of Dominica, and some doubts arising thereupon, it was ordered, that the Secretary should write to the Auditor General of the Plantations to desire his advice and assistance at the Board in this business on Tuesday next.
Their lordships took into further consideration the petition of Dr. Lee and others, his associates, for a grant of two millions five hundred thousand acres of land in Virginia, referred by order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, mentioned in the minutes of the 4th instant, and Dr. Lee attending stated to the Board, that he was in daily expectation of further instructions and information touching the said petition from Virginia, and therefore prayed that any decision or further proceedings upon it might be postponed, which having been consented to, he withdrew.
The Auditor General of his Majesty's Revenue in America attending as desired, took his place at the Board, and their lordships made a further progress in the consideration of the Dominica Treasury Bill, and the report thereupon having been approved, was ordered to be transcribed.
The report upon General Lyman's petition for lands in the western frontiers of Virginia, having been prepared, was approved and ordered to be transcribed; as were also representations to his Majesty upon Mr. Wynne and Mr. Astle's petitions for land in East Florida.
The draughts of additional instructions to the Governors of his Majesty's colonies in America, respecting laws for establishing lotteries, having been prepared pursuant to order, were approved, and a report thereupon to the Lords of the Committee of Council was ordered to be prepared.
Representations to his Majesty, recommending Patrick Brown and Thomas Gordon, Esquires, to be appointed of the Council of Jamaica; and John Dasent and John Pinney, Esquires, to be of the Council of Nevis.
Read a memorial of James Cusack, Esquire, late Captain of Foot in his Majesty's service, stating his services and praying for a grant of lands in East Florida; and the memorialist attending, was heard in what he had to offer in support of his petition, and it appearing, that he had taken his passage on board a vessell for that colony, with a design of becoming a settler therein, a representation to his Majesty, recommending the prayer of his petition, was ordered, prepared and signed.
Read a memorial of Clotworthy Upton, Esquire, stating the difficulties he has met with in locating a grant of twenty thousand acres of land in New York, and praying that instructions may be given for locating said grant upon the land ceded to his Majesty by the Indians in preference to all other posterior applications.
Read a petition of several eminent Tanners in the borough of Southwark, stating certain proceedings of the Dublin Society for the encouragement of arts and manufactures, and also of the Guild of Merchants of that city, respecting a discovery made by Dr. McBride in the art of tanning leather, and praying that proper measures may be taken for making experiment in this kingdom of the said discovery.
Ordered, that this petition be taken into consideration on Tuesday, the 23rd instant, and that notice be given to the petitioners to attend; as also to Mr. Gifford, a tanner at Brentford, who appears by a publication in the papers to be in use of an advantageous method of tanning leather, discovered by some other person.
The Secretary laid before the Board several papers received
from the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to
Africa, entituled as follows, vizt.
Letter from Samuel Poirier, Esquire, Secretary to the African Committee, to the Secretary, May 4th, 1769, inclosing,
Copy of a letter from Gilbert Petrie, Esquire, Governor of Cape Coast Castle, to the Committee of Merchants trading to Africa, August 27th, 1768.
Ditto: from the same, October 21st, 1768.
The Secretary laid before the Board a memorial, and other papers thereto annexed, from the proprietors of the lots of land in the island of St. John, explanatory of their propositions made on the 5th of August, 1768, for raising a fund for defraying the expence of a separate civil government for the said island.
The Secretary laid before the Board memorials prepared by the agents for the affairs of Nova Scotia, Georgia and East Florida, and also by the agents for the two Surveyors General of lands in America, praying that the sums of money respectively granted by Parliament for those services for the ensuing year may be issued to them, and their lordships approved of the said memorials being presented to the Lords of the Treasury, for their lordships' directions thereupon.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following papers,
Letter from Joseph Shippen, junior, Esquire, Secretary of Pennsylvania, to the Secretary to this Board, dated February 6th, 1769, transmitting,
Certificate of foreigners naturalized in the Supream Court of Pennsylvania, September Term, 1766.
Ditto: April Term, 1767.
Ditto: September Term, 1767.
Ditto: April Term, 1768.
Ditto: May, 1768, in the counties of Berks and York.
Letter from James Wright, Esquire, Governor of Georgia, to the Board, November 24th, 1768, acquainting their lordships with the flourishing state of that province, and transmitting,
Minutes of Council from April 5th, 1768, to September 6th following.
Abstracts of grants of land from the 25th of March to 25th of September, 1768.
Read a petition of the Cordwainers of London, to the same effect as that presented by the Tanners respecting Dr. McBride's discovery of an art of tanning leather in a method more advantageous and beneficial than that now commonly used.
Their lordships took the said petition, together with that from the Tanners, into consideration, and the petitioners were heard thereupon, but Dr. McBride's agent, who also attended, having declined to submit the discovery to the examination proposed by the Tanners, without further instructions from the Doctor, their lordships did not think fit to proceed any further upon this business for the present.
Their lordships then examined Mr. Gifford touching the method used by him in tanning leather, and a petition from Mr. Marchant of Twickenham, claiming to be the discoverer and inventer of that method, was read and he was heard upon it; but it having been asserted by Mr. Taylor, an eminent Tanner present, that it was no new discovery, and that it had been practised by him long before Mr. Marchant obtained a patent for the sole use of it, as a discovery of his own, their lordships declined entering any further into the merits of Mr. Marchant's petition.
Read a letter from Mr. Bradshaw, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, to the Secretary to this Board, dated May 17th, 1769, transmitting an account of several articles of expence, for which Lieutenant Governor Francklin has drawn bills upon the agent of Nova Scotia on account of the island of St. John; and desiring him to lay the same before the Board, and acquaint the Lords of the Treasury with their opinion, whether the several articles are agreeable to the rates, at which services of the like nature have been performed in North America under the direction of this Board.
Mr. Francklin attending was examined touching several articles in his account, referred from the Treasury, after which the Secretary was ordered to acquaint Mr. Bradshaw by letter, for the information of the Lords of the Treasury:
That this account appears upon inspection to consist of two parts; the one, on account of expences incurred for stores and materials; the other, on account of salaries and allowances to such officers as the Lieutenant Governor thought fit to appoint for the service of St. John's.
That with regard to the several articles of charge under the first head of account, the reasonableness of the price of such articles depends upon circumstances that can only be known and judged of upon the spot, and has in all cases of the like nature rested upon the integrity of the persons appointed to audit the accounts.
That with regard to the salaries and allowances to officers, they do not appear to exceed what has been or might be reasonably allowed on services of the like nature, but that their lordships do not take upon them to give any opinion, either as to the necessity or propriety of such establishments in the present case.
Read an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated May 8th, 1769, referring back a representation of this Board on an Act passed in New Hampshire in 1767 for the relief of idiots and distracted persons, for their reconsideration of that part thereof, which is founded upon the opinion of Mr. West on a former Act of the same nature, passed in that province in the 13th year of the reign of Queen Anne.
Their lordships, pursuant to their resolution on the 11th instant, took into further consideration the memorial, and papers thereto annexed, of the proprietors of the island of St. John, respecting the establishment of a separate government, and a Committee of the proprietors attending, they acquainted the Board, that, after several consultations had, the whole of the proprietors, except about eight, had consented to take out fresh grants for their lots, subject to the payment of a moiety of the quit rent from the 1st of May, 1769, provided his Majesty would be graciously pleased to accept the said moiety as a fund for defraying the expence of a separate government, and to consent that the other moiety should not be payable till after the expiration of twenty years from the date of their grants.
Upon this occasion it was fully explained to them, that their lordships should not think themselves justified in laying this proposition before the Council, unless it was understood and acquiesced in by them, that this appropriation of a moiety of his Majesty's quit rents to the support of the civil establishment, under the conditions proposed, should be only for a limited time, that is to say, not to exceed the space of ten years; and that, in case the amount of them should fall short of the intended establishment, either by a failure of consent in any number of the proprietors to the alteration now proposed in the conditions of their grants, or hereafter by any other accident or defect whatever, the salaries and allowances to the officers should be diminished in proportion, and no demand whatever brought either upon Parliament or upon the Treasury, to make good such deficiency.
The Committee having fully acquiesced in this explanation, their lordships entered into a consideration of the necessary establishments for the island of St. John, and of an estimate of the expence thereof, and it was ordered, that the draught of a report thereupon to the Lords of the Committee of Council should be prepared.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council upon the proposals for erecting a government in St. John's, separate from that of Nova Scotia, having been prepared pursuant to order, was approved, transcribed and signed.
Read an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated May 8th, 1769, referring to this Board, for their consideration and report, a petition of Sir Thomas Mackworth, Baronet, relative to an estate formerly granted to James Smith, Esquire, deceased, which he states to have since reverted to his Majesty, and to remain uncultivated, and praying that a grant thereof may be made to him and his heirs, agreeable to the intention of the said James Smith.