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, April 1779
Wednesday. April 1st. Present:—Mr. de Grey.
Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. attends.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated March 31st. 1779, referring the petition of Messieurs Watson and Rashleigh, praying leave to export to Halifax in Nova Scotia, on board the ship Adamant, sundry ordnance and military stores, for trade, and for fitting out armed vessels in that province.
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.
Tuesday, April 13th. Present:—Mr. Jenyns. Mr. Gascoyne, Mr. Greville. Mr. de Grey.
Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, attends.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated April 7th, 1779. referring to this Board, the petition of the Carron Company, praying leave to export from Port Glasgow to New York, on board the brigantine Hazard, sundry ordnance and shot therein specified, for the use of privateers and armed vessels fitting out there.
Mr. Lowe, agent for the above petitioners, attending, was called in, and their Lordships having questioned him as to such particulars as they thought fit, he was desired to give in a further specification of the quantity of ordnance and shot intended to be exported, with the weight of each, and to attend the Board on Tuesday next at twelve o'clock.
Lord George Germain signified to the Board, that the King had been pleased to appoint Major General James Robertson to be Governor of the Province of New York, in the room of William Tryon, esquire; and that it was his Majesty's commands, that this Board do prepare and lay before his Majesty in Council, draughts of a Commission and instructions for the said Governor.
Ordered that the draughts of a Commission and instructions be prepared accordingly, and laid before the Board with all convenient dispatch.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that it had been signified to him by Major General Robertson, Governor of New York, that it was to be apprehended the Great Seal of that province was in the hands of the rebels, and that difficulties might arise in fulfilling the directions of his Majesty's Commission touching the custody and application of that Seal; whereupon their Lordships ordered, that a copy of the article in the King's Commission to the Governor of New York respecting the Great Seal of that province, should be sent to Mr. Jackson, and his opinion asked, what directions would be adviseable to be given in the case, upon presumption of the fact apprehended by the Governor.
Read a letter from Sir Grey Cooper to Mr. Cumberland, dated April 5th, 1779, transmitting, by direction of the Lords of the Treasury, "A memorial of his Majesty's subjects, inhabitants of the Mosquito Shore, to the Lords of the Treasury, stating that the sugars and rums of the growth, produce and manufacture of the said Shore have been obliged to pay foreign duties, and to be re-exported, and praying relief;" which memorial Sir Grey Cooper desires may be laid before the Board, for their Lordships' opinion what may be fit to be done therein.
Ordered, that the memorial abovementioned be taken into consideration on Tuesday next, and that Mr. White, agent for the memorialists, be desired to attend on that day.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following papers, vizt.,
Letter from Lieutenant Governor Gambier, dated June 15th, 1778, to the Board, acquainting their Lordships with the state of publick affairs in the Bahama Islands, and desiring the Acts relating to the trade of the colonies may be sent to him.
Letter from Lieutenant Governor Gambier, dated June 16th,
1778, to the Board, transmitting,
The minutes of the Council of the Bahama Islands for the 27th of January, 1778.
Address of his Majesty's Council to the Lieutenant Governor.
Address of the Assembly to the Lieutenant Governor. Return of ordnance and military wanting for Fort Nassau, dated June 9th, 1778.
Return of ordnance and military stores wanting for Fort Montague, dated June 9th. 1778.
Letter from Lieutenant Governor Gambier and four members of the Council for the Bahama Islands, to the Board, dated 10th of February, 1779, acquainting their lordships, that Governor Browne had attempted to introduce a Mr. Robert Gumming to a seat at the Council Board, and that it was opposed by the Council, not only as it appeared to them that Mr. Cumming was an improper person, but as the Board was compleat according to his Majesty's royal Commission, by which the number is limited to seven, and all the members on the island.
Ordered, that copies of two of the papers beforementioned, intituled, Returns of Ordnance and Military stores wanting for Forts Nassau and Montague, be transmitted to Mr. de Grey, for the information of Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State.
Read a letter from Mr. Knox to Mr. Cumberland, dated April
13th, 1779, transmitting, by directions of Lord George Germain,
the following papers for the consideration of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, vizt.,
Letter from John Dalling, esquire, Governor of the Island of Jamaica, to Lord George Germain, dated January 12th, 1779, acquainting his Lordship, that he had prorogued the Assembly: and stating their proceedings, together with his observations upon several Bills and Acts for regulating the militia of that island, and upon two Bills rejected by him for limiting the duration of the Assembly, and for continuing the judges during good behaviour, etc., and transmitting.
The humble address of the Assembly to his Majesty.
Governor Dalling's speech to the Council and Assembly, 23rd December, 1778.
Copy of an Act for the better regulating, training and disciplining the militia, and for rendering more effectual an Act for settling the militia, passed in November, 1771.
Copy of a Bill intituled, an Act for regulating, training and disciplining the Militia, passed the Assembly in December, 1778.
Copy of a Bill intituled, An Act to repeal an Act intituled an Act for settling the militia, passed the Assembly in December. 1778.
Authenticated copy of an Act for establishing and declaring rules and articles of war, assented to by the Governor in December, 1778.
Authenticated copy of an Act for ascertaining who shall compose future Councils of War, and regulating their proceedings, assented to by the Governor in December, 1778.
Authenticated copy of an Act for reviving and continuing an Act of this island, intituled an Act for the better regulating, training and disciplining the militia, and for enforcing and rendering more effectual an Act intituled an Act for settling the militia, assented to by the Governor in December, 1778.
Copy of a Bill intituled an Act limiting the duration of the Assembly of this island, passed the Council and Assembly in November, 1778, but rejected by the Governor.
Copy of a Bill intituled an Act to continue the judges of the supreme Courts of Judicature, and the judges of assize, oyer and terminer, and goal delivery, of the several counties in the island in their offices during their good behaviour, passed the Council and Assembly in November, 1778, but rejected by the Governor.
Estimate of expences of government for 1779.
A memorial of the merchants and traders engaged in the Newfoundland fishery, to Lord George Germain, stating many inconveniences and hardships, which have arisen to that trade from an Act passed in the 15th year of his present Majesty, for the encouragement of the fisheries carried on from Great Britain, etc., and praying, that his Lordship will take the said memorial into his consideration, and lay it under his patronage and protection before the honourable Parliament of Great Britain for such relief as in their wisdom shall seem necessary.
Tuesday, April 20th. Present:—Mr. Jenyns, Lord Robert Spencer, Mr. Jolliffe, Mr. Eden, Mr. de Grey.
Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, attends.
Their Lordships having resumed the consideration of the memorial of the inhabitants and traders to the Mosquito Shore, transmitted from the Treasury, and mentioned in the last minutes, and Mr. White attending on behalf of the memorialist, pursuant to order, was called in; when their Lordships observing to him, that a compliance with the prayer of the memorial might possibly occasion the clandestine introduction of French sugars to the detriment of the British trade, he stated, in answer to the observation, that as the French traders had no communication with the Mosquito Shore, he did not apprehend any objection of that sort could bear against the measure; however, that the memorialists were consenting and desirous on their parts, that every adviseable measure should be taken to prevent the running in of French sugars, by inspecting and registering the sugars of the growth of the Mosquito Shore, or by such other modes of precaution as should be judged necessary for the purpose.
Mr. White further contending that sugars and rum of the growth and manufacture of the Mosquito Shore did not fall under the description of such as by the Act of Parliament of the 6th year of his present Majesty are made subject to pay foreign duties and to be re-exported. their Lordships thought it adviseable that the said memorial should be more fully considered, and it was ordered. that the said memorial be taken into further consideration at some other meeting.
Their Lordships read and considered a report of Mr. Jackson's, in consequence of the question which was referred to him pursuant to order of the last Board day, touching the Great Seal of New York.
Ordered that the Secretary do write to Mr. de Grey, for the information of Lord George Germain, signifying the alteration proposed to be made in the Commission to be given to Major General James Robertson, in consequence of Mr. Jackson's opinion respecting the use and custody of a publick Seal for the Province of New York.
The draught of a Commission appointing Major General James Robertson to be Governor of the Province of New York, having been prepared pursuant to order, with the alteration respecting the publick Seal as beforementioned. was approved, and a representation to his Majesty thereupon was signed.
The Secretary laid before the Board a letter he had received from Mr. Lowe. agent to the Carron Company, whose petition is mentioned in the last minutes; and their Lordships being informed that Mr. Lowe also attended, he was called in, and after some conversation. Mr. Lowe being withdrawn. their lordships upon mature consideration ordered. that the draught of a report to the Lords of the Privy Council should be prepared. recommending the prayer of the petition. upon express condition that the brigantine Hazard do sail with convey: and the draught of a report having been prepared. was approved, transcribed and signed.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following papers, vizt.,
Reply of the Assembly of the Island of St. Vincent's to the remarks of Governor Morris on their petition.
Letter from Lieutenant General Melville to Mr. Keane, containing his sentiments of the conduct of the inhabitants of St. Vincent's whilst under his government.
Tuesday. April 27th. Present:—Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Gascoyne. Mr. Jolliffe. Mr. Greville. Mr. Eden.
Lord George Germain. one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. attended and acquainted the Board. that having in conversation with the Chief Justice of Quebec, and one of the judges of the Montreal District, discovered that the Chief Justice was not considered as a member of the Court of Common Pleas in either of the districts of that province, but that his function was confined to the cognizance of criminal causes, and the province thereby deprived of his judgment in matters of property, unless in cases of appeal; his Lordship had thought it his duty to lay the matter before the King, and in consequence thereof had been commanded to signify to the Board his Majesty's pleasure, that they do take into consideration his Majesty's instructions to the Governor of Quebec respecting the establishment of Courts of Justice, and the ordinances passed by the legislative council in consequence of the said instructions; and having informed themselves of the subsisting practice of the courts, report to his Majesty what amendment appears to them necessary to be made in the constitution of the said courts, so that the inhabitants and traders may enjoy all the advantages which his Majesty was graciously pleased to intend they should enjoy, by granting to a Chief Justice a salary sufficiently ample to induce an able and upright lawyer to preside in their courts on the tryal of all causes of importance, whether of a civil or criminal nature.
Their lordships having taken the said message into their consideration, and made some progress therein, resolved, that the subject of it should be further considered at another meeting; in the meantime, that they might be better enabled to comply with his Majesty's commands in a matter of so much importance, their lordships directed the Secretary to communicate to Mr. Jackson the substance of his Majesty's said message, and take his opinion in point of law upon the several regulations deducible therefrom.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that he had received a letter from Mr. Jackson, in answer to a letter he had written to him on the 24th instant, stating his further opinion respecting the Great Seal of New York, and that in consequence of the said letter, and in pursuance of their lordships' order, he had formed a letter to Mr. de Grey, for the information of Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, respecting the use and custody of a publick Seal for that province; which letter having been approved, was ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of instructions for Richard Edwards, esquire, Governor of Newfoundland, having been prepared pursuant to order was approved, and a representation to his Majesty thereupon was signed.
Their lordships having taken into consideration the memorial of the merchants and traders to Newfoundland, mentioned in the minutes of the 13th instant, were of opinion, that as it lies with Parliament to grant the relief prayed for, by amending the Act therein mentioned, if that should be thought proper, the Board having nothing to observe on the merits of the petition, unless his Majesty upon the Address of the House of Commons shall be pleased to command their opinion upon the case; it was therefore, ordered, that the Secretary do write to Mr. Knox, by whom, under the direction of Lord George Germain the said memorial was referred, to acquaint him with the opinion of the Board thereupon, and to return the memorial.
Their lordships took into their consideration the letter from John Dalling. esquire. Governor of Jamaica, to Lord George Germain, together with the several Acts and papers therewith transmitted, and which are mentioned in the minutes of the 13th instant.
Ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty be prepared, proposing the disallowance of the Act passed in the Island of Jamaica in December, 1778, for ascertaining who shall compose future Councils of War, etc.
Ordered, that the three Acts in operation relative to the militia, and the two Bills rejected by the Governor of Jamaica, relative to the Assemblies and the Judges, be sent to Mr. Jackson, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
Ordered, that a copy of so much of the letter from Governor Dalling, as relates to the several Acts and Bills transmitted therewith, be made to be preserved amongst the records in the Office; and that the Secretary do write to Mr. Knox, and transmit to him Governor Dalling's letter, with such other of the papers sent therewith, as are proper for the information of Lord George Germain.
Agreable to the resolution of the 20th instant, their lordships having again resumed the consideration of the memorial of the inhabitants of the Mosquito Shore, and having also read and considered a second memorial of the said inhabitants upon the like subject, referred by Sir Grey Cooper, under the direction of the Lords of the Treasury; and likewise a letter from Mr. Jackson, stating his opinion upon the Act mentioned in the said memorials, they were of opinion, that though the Mosquito Shore is indisputably part of the great American Continent, it cannot be considered as one or any part of one of the British colonies or plantations thereupon, in the sense and spirit of the Act of the sixth of his present Majesty, but superintended dependently on the Island of Jamaica; and therefore that the produce of that shore should not be made subject to the restrictions of the clause in question.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to Sir Grey Cooper, baronet, and acquaint him, for the information of the Lords of the Treasury, with the opinion of this Board upon the subject of the said memorials.
Read a letter from Mr. Knox to Mr. Cumberland, dated
April 20th, 1779, transmitting, by direction of Lord George
Germain, to be laid before the Board,
A memorial of Robert Hodgson, esquire, late Superintendant, agent and Commander in Chief of the Mosquito Shore, stating that after twenty seven years faithful service, he was from groundless representations of his having left the Mosquito Shore, dismissed from his offices, while in actual continuance of his duty, and the person who fabricated the reports against him, appointed in his room; that the said person then was and had long been in such rebellion, as to render a Royal Proclamation against him and his partizans necessary; that the memorialist conceives the said person, Mr. James Lawrie, will be favoured, if he is suffered silently to retire; and prays, that if his character is found to be unspotted, and the injuries which he has sustained, unmerited, that he may receive so much redress as to be restored to his post.
Ordered, that Mr. Hodgson be desired to prepare and lay before the Board the proofs necessary to support the allegations contained in his memorial, and that a copy there of be given to Mr. White on behalf of Mr. Lawrie.
Read a memorial of Mr. Nathaniel Coffin, agent to Phillips Callbeck, esquire, stating that the said Phillips Callbeck had for two years officiated as Secretary and Register of the Island of St. John's, a moiety of the salary for which he humbly conceives to be due to the said Phillips Callbeck; and praying, that, as Mr. Samuel Smith, agent for that island, hath refused to pay him the moiety for the two years' salary abovementioned, viz. from January, 1777, to January, 1779, their lordships will give directions to the said agent for the payment of the same.
Governor Patterson who attended, having signified to their lordships his appointment of Mr. Callbeck to officiate as Secretary and Register of the said island, in the absence of Mr. Desbrisay, agreable to what is set forth in the memorial of Mr. Coffin, their lordships ordered, that it should be recommended to the agent for the Island of St. John, to pay Mr. Coffin for account of Mr. Callbeck, one moiety of the salary as Secretary and Register of the said island from January, 1777, to January, 1779, in conformity to the minute of the 24th of July, 1777, respecting the proportion of the salaries to be paid to persons doing the duty of offices in the absence of the principals.
Governor Patterson at the same time requested that the Board would be pleased to give directions to the agent for the Island of St. John's, that the salary for a schoolmaster now and for some time past lying unpaid in the hands of the said agent, may be applied for the purpose of fitting out a person whom he had appointed to that office.
Their lordships having received full satisfaction from Governor Patterson that the person he had appointed to the place of schoolmaster was duly qualified; that he was preparing for his departure; and that the principal condition of his appointment was actual residence, they directed that it should be recommended to the agent for the Island of St. John's, to pay such person, appointed by Governor Patterson to the above office, whatever arrears may be in his hands as a salary to a schoolmaster, agreable to the estimate of the civil establishment of that island.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated April 22nd. 1779. referring to this Board, the petition of James Baillie, praying leave to export to Grenada, on board the ship Richmond, sundry military stores therein mentioned, for the use and defence of that island. and of the droghers employed in carrying goods to the shipping.
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.