Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 14, January 1776 - May 1782. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1938.
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Journal, December 1778
Read a memorial of George Suckling,esquire, Chief Justice of the Virgin Islands, to the Board, setting forth, amongst other things, the anarchy and confusion which prevail in those Islands, for want of a proper Court Act. and other Acts necessary and preparatory to the opening a Court of Legal Judicature; and stating, that the memorialist had offered to contribute his assistance in preparing such Acts: but that having received an answer which clearly shewed the disinclination of the Legislature to pass any such Acts, until an Act for quieting possessions, etc., should be confirmed to them, the memorialist, at the request of some gentlemen there, did prepare the rough sketch of a Bill for confirming titles to lands and quieting possessions, adapted, according to the best of his judgement, to the peculiar circumstances of the country, in order that the same should be laid before the Legislature; but the Assembly refusing to attend, and the memorialist finding it impossible, from the dissensions which prevailed, to enter upon the execution of his office, either with credit to himself, or service to the community, he took his passage to England to lay the state of that Government, and his own case, before this Board.
Upon which, the Secretary having acquainted the Board that Mr. Suckling had submitted the draught of the intended Bill beforementioned for quieting possessions, etc., in the Virgin Islands to Mr. Jackson for his opinion, their Lordships recommended to Mr. Jackson, who attended, to advise with Mr. Suckling, and maturely deliberate upon the said draught, in order, that by rendering it as complete as possible for the purpose intended, it may, when approved and confirmed, serve as the foundation of such other Acts as are necessary to give a more perfect Legislation to those Islands.
Read a letter from John Robinson, esquire, Secretary to the
Lords of the Treasury, to Mr. Cumberland, dated November,
1778, acquainting him, for the information of the Lords of
Trade, that the Lords of the Treasury had resumed the consideration of the contingent accounts of Matthias McNamara,
esquire, late Lieutenant Governor of Senegambia, together with
several memorials relative thereto; and desiring that he will
move this Board to take the same into consideration, and
examine the grounds of the several charges and disbursements
contained in the said papers, which he herewith transmits,
Memorial of Matthias McNamara, esquire, to the Lords of the Treasury, dated March 31st, 1778, desiring to be heard in vindication of his conduct.
Memorial of Francis McNamara, esquire, to the Lords of the Treasury, dated April 14th, 1778, stating the indisposition of his brother, and his incapacity to attend that Board.
Memorial of Matthias McNamara, esquire, to the Lords of the Treasury, dated May 14th, 1778, praying a speedy settlement of his accounts.
A book, intituled An Account of monies disbursed for his Majesty's service by Matthias McNamara, esquire, Lieutenant Governor Commanding in Chief in the Province of Senegambia, between the first day of August, 1776, and the seventh day of April, 1777, both days inclusive.
Read also a memorial of Matthias McNamara, esquire, to this Board, praying to be heard by their Lordships to explain any doubt or difficulty which may happen to appear in his accounts referred by the Treasury.
Their Lordships, having taken the letter from Mr. Robinson, beforementioned. together with the several memorials and accounts therewith transmitted into their consideration, it was ordered, that, the Secretary do write to Mr. Robinson in answer, and acquaint him, for the information of the Lords of the Treasury, with the opinion of the Board upon the said papers: and that there [be] transmitted to Mr. Robinson such copies and extracts of papers as may tend to elucidate the same. It was likewise ordered, that, previous to the said letter being communicated to Mr. Robinson, a copy thereof be given to Mr. McNamara for his information.
Their Lordships having referred to Mr. Livius' memorial, and to the letter written by order of the Board to Sir Guy Carleton. mentioned in the minutes of the 25th of September and 8th of October. 1778. the Secretary laid before their Lordships a letter to him from Sir Guy Carleton, in answer to the above, dated Bath. October 9th. 1778. desiring that the Board may be informed of his having stated, in one of his letters to Lord George Germain, the reasons which induced him to remove Mr. Livius from his Office of Chief Justice of the Province of Quebec: and also of his having referred his Lordship, for sufficient proof of the necessity of the measure, to the Minutes of the Legislative Council of Quebec during their last sessions.
The Secretary laid before the Board a letter he had received from Henry Wilmot, esquire, dated November 26th. 1778. requesting. as agent to the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, a copy of the Treaty at Fort Stanwix in 1768. and also of the Deed of Purchase then made, by the Crown, of the Six Nations.
Their Lordships directed the Secretary to decline complying with Mr. Wilmot's request for copies of the said papers, as it did not appear to the Board that the Proprietors, on whose behalf the application was made, were either parties to the Deed in question, or had any such claim under it as intitled them to a communication of the said papers.
Read an order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated November 27th. 1778. referring to this Board the petition of Jukes Coulson and Company, praying leave to export to Lisbon, on board the ship Tagus. sundry iron cannon and shot, for the use of a Brazil ship.
Their Lordships, upon consideration of the above petition. were of opinion, that the exportation prayed for should be allowed: and the draught of a report to the Lords of the Privy Council thereupon, having been prepared, was approved, transcribed and signed.
Mr. Ambrose Serle. of whose departure for America mention is made in the minutes of the 7th of May. 1776, having returned to England, it was ordered, that he be desired to attend the Board on Tuesday next, the 8th instant.
Read the following orders of the Lords of the Privy Council,
Order, dated December 4th, 1778, referring to this Board, the petition of Messieurs Eade, Wilton and Allen, praying leave to export to Jamaica, on board the ship Lady Juliana, sundry military stores, for the use of private ships of war.
Order, dated December 7th, 1778, referring to this Board, the petition of William Richards, praying leave to export to New York, on board the ship London, sundry military stores, for the use of privateers fitting out there.
Their Lordships, upon consideration of the two foregoing petitions, were of opinion, that the exportation prayed for should be allowed; and the draughts of two reports to the Lords of the Privy Council thereupon, having been prepared, were approved, transcribed and signed.
Their Lordships being informed, that Matthias McNamara, esquire, late Lieutenant Governor of Senegambia, attended and desired to be heared, he was called in, when he acquainted the Board, that having by their order received a copy of a letter intended to be sent to Treasury, relative to his Account of Disbursements referred by that Board for the consideration of their Lordships, he wished to be allowed to make some observations to explain several charges therein contained, and would submit such explanations and proofs as he was possessed of in support of the said charges.
Their Lordships recommended to him to reduce to writing such remarks on the said Accounts as he might think necessary, and lay them before the Board; which when done the Board would take them into consideration, and if the said remarks should contain anything which may tend to elucidate the said Accounts, he might be assured their Lordships would direct their answer to Treasury accordingly.
Mr. Francis McNamara desired to be heard by the Board in respect to the insecurity of his property in the Province of Senegambia, if Mr. Morse should be continued Chief Justice; and requested to be informed what their Lordships had determined in that particular.
Resolved, that the Board will, at their next meeting, take into their consideration the draught of a representation to his Majesty upon the hearing against Mr. Chief Justice Morse, prepared pursuant to order by the minute of the 20th of August last; and it was at the same time ordered, that when the Board have determined on that matter, Mr. Francis McNamara shall be acquainted therewith for his information.
Read a memorial of John Peter Demarin. esquire, Secretary and Clerk of the Council in the Province of Senegambia, stating. that in consequence of the offices which he holds, it will be necessary for him to have a proper place for the transaction of his business, and the security of his books and papers; and praying that an allowance may be made to him for a house there, and for the purchase of such books and stationery as are absolutely necessary in both his offices.
Read a letter from William Knox, esquire, to Mr. Cumberland,
dated December 8th, 1778, transmitting, by direction of Lord
George Germain, sundry papers relative to the removal of Peter
Livius. esquire, from the Office of Chief Justice of the Province
of Quebec by Sir Guy Carleton. late Governor of that Province, to
be laid before the Lords of Trade for their consideration, vizt.:
Extract of a letter from Sir Guy Carleton to Lord George Germain, dated Quebec. June 25th. 1778, stating some reasons which induced him to dismiss Mr. Livius.
Letter from Sir Guy Carleton to Lord George Germain, dated Quebec. June 30th, 1778, acquainting his Lordship of the arrival of General Haldimand: of his dismission of Mr. Livius from the Office of Chief Justice; and his appointment of Messieurs Mabane. Dunn and Williams, Commissioners for executing the Office of Chief Justice.
Copy of the minutes of the Legislative Council of Quebec in their session commencing the 23rd of March, and ending on the 25th day of April. 1778.
Copy of the minutes of the Board of Council from the 21st of October. 1777. exclusive, to the 27th of June. 1778, inclusive.
Letter from Frederick Haldimand, esquire. Governor of Quebec, to Lord George Germain, dated Quebec, July 29th, 1778, acquainting his Lordship with his having been solicited by Mr. Livius to enquire into the matter of his dismission from the Office of Chief Justice; and of Mr. Livius' request to have admittance to the publick records. This letter inclosed.
Copy of a memorial from Peter Livius, esquire, Judge of the Court of Vice Admiralty, to his Excellency, Governor Haldimand. dated Quebec, July 3rd, 1778.
Copy of a letter from his Excellency. Governor Haldimand to Peter Livius. esquire, dated Quebec. July 11th. 1778.
Copy of a letter from Peter Livius. esquire, to his Excellency. Governor Haldimand. dated Quebec, July 12th. 1778.
Copy of a letter from his Excellency, Governor Haldimand to Peter Livius. esquire, dated Quebec, July 14th. 1778.
Letter from Peter Livius, esquire, to Lord George Germain, dated Quebec, July 3rd, 1778, inclosing,
Copy of his letter to his Lordship of the 9th May, 1778, concerning Sir Guy Carleton's conduct toward him.
Copy of his letter to Sir Guy Carleton, dated Quebec, May 1st, 1778, upon the signification, by the Secretary of the Province, of his dismission from the Office of Chief Justice.
Their Lordships having read and considered the foregoing papers, and being informed that Mr. Livius attended, he was called in, and upon his requesting to know the cause of his being displaced, was acquainted by their Lordships with the purport of Sir Guy Carleton's letter to the Secretary, for the information of the Board, referring to certain papers, in the list beforementioned as containing the reasons for his displacing him; and upon Mr. Livius requesting a communication of those papers, whereupon to ground his answer in justification of his conduct, it was ordered,
The minutes of the last Board having been read, Mr. Livius who attended was called in, and delivered a paper as his answer to the charges contained in the papers mentioned in the last minutes, as referred to by Sir Guy Carleton's letter of the 9th of October last; whereupon Mr. Livius was acquainted by their Lordships, that they would be ready on Tuesday next, the 22nd instant, to take the said paper into their consideration, and to hear him in any matter he might think fit, to offer in further vindication of his conduct.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to Sir Guy Carleton, and acquaint him, that Mr. Livius having delivered to the Board a paper, as an answer to the reasons for his having been displaced from the Office of Chief Justice of Quebec, the said paper is ready, either for inspection of Sir Guy Carleton or to be transcribed for his use; and further, that the Board having appointed Tuesday next to hear Mr. Livius, their Lordships will be ready to receive anything Sir Guy Carleton may wish further to offer on the matter under consideration.
Matthias McNamara, esquire, late Lieutenant Governor of Senegambia, attended, and having delivered in a paper, dated December 14th, 1778, containing remarks and observations on his accounts referred by Treasury to the consideration of this Board, he was acquainted by their Lordships, that they will take some future opportunity to consider the said paper.
Read an order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated December 10th. 1778. referring to this Board, the petition of Messieurs Hibbert and Company, praying leave to export gunpowder to Jamaica, on board the ship West Indian.
Their Lordships, upon consideration of the above petition, were of opinion, that the exportation prayed for should be allowed: and the draught of a report to the Lords of the Privy Council, having been prepared, was approved, transcribed and signed.
The Secretary having acquainted their Lordships, that pursuant to order, a letter had been written to Sir Guy Carleton on the 15th instant, he laid before the Board a letter from Sir Guy Carleton, dated the 17th instant, in answer to that beforementioned, desiring that their Lordships might be informed, that he had no wish to be present when their Lordships intended to take Mr. Livius's memorial into further consideration, unless it was their Lordships' desire he should be present.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to Sir Guy Carleton, and acquaint him. that as Mr. Livius has not particularly requested that Sir Guy Carleton should be present on Tuesday next, the Board had no other intention in requesting their Secretary to inform him of the day they had fixed upon to hear Mr. Livius. than to leave it to Sir Guy Carleton whether he chose to be present or not; as he does not, their Lordships by no means wish to give him the trouble of attending.
Read an order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated December 18th. 1778. referring to this Board, the petition of Richard Buller and Company, praying leave to export to Lisbon. on board the ship Helen, sundry iron guns and ball, for the use of a ship in the Brazil trade.
Their Lordships, on consideration of the foregoing petition, were of opinion, that the exportation prayed for should be allowed; and the draught of a report to the Lords of the Privy Council thereupon, having been prepared, was approved, transcribed and signed.
The Board resumed the consideration of the draught of the representation on the hearing against Edward Morse, esquire, Chief Justice of the Province of Senegambia, and having made some further progress therein, they deferred coming to any final determination, until some particulars relative to the said hearing are again considered.
Their Lordships being informed, that Matthias McNamara, esquire, attended, he was called in, and the paper mentioned in the minutes of the 15th instant having been read, he was acquainted by their Lordships, that they should take some other opportunity of considering the same; and if necessary he should be called upon to explain any thing further in his accounts, before an answer thereupon was given to Treasury.
Read a letter from John Frederick Wallet Des Barres, esquire, to Mr. Cumberland, desiring that he will lay before the Board sundry books therein mentioned, containing charts and surveys of several parts of North America, as specimens of the progress he has made in his work intituled Atlantic Neptune.
Read a letter from Edward Stanley, esquire, Secretary to the
Commissioners of the Customs, to Mr. Cumberland, dated
December 8th, 1778, transmitting,
Copy of the Custom house Ledger for the year 1772.
Mr. Livius, attending pursuant to the minute of the 15th instant, was called in, and their Lordships having taken into their consideration the matters contained in the paper delivered in to the Board on the 15th instant by Mr. Livius, and several gentlemen interested in the Province of Quebec being present, he was heard by their Lordships in what he had to offer in support of the said paper, and in further vindication of his conduct.