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, July 1779
Thursday, July 1st. Present:—Mr. Greville, Mr. Eden, Mr. de Grey.
Lord George Germain. one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State. attends.
Their lordships being informed that Major General James Robertson. Governor of New York, attended, he was called in, and the draught of the instructions prepared for him having been read. he was acquainted by the Board with the reasons which had induced them to recommend to his Majesty the present reduced draught. containing such part only of the former collection as respects his assumption of the government. and his conduct and authorities with regard to the Council and civil officers of the province: and being desired to peruse the said draught, he accordingly did. expressing to their lordships his entire satisfaction in the same; and having signified that he was preparing for his departure for New York. their lordships informed him. that upon his representation and report from thence, they should not neglect to prepare such further instructions under his Majesty's approbation for his further guidance, as the situation of the province, and the exigencies of the[m] might render fit and expedient.
Their lordships resumed the consideration of the matter referred to them respecting the Courts of Judicature in the Province of Quebec: and having after due deliberation agreed to the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon, it was transcribed and signed.
Read a memorial of Walter Patterson. esquire. Governor of the Island of St. John's. to the Board. stating the great attention which he had given ever since his appointment in the year 1769. to the improvement and advantage of that island, to the great detriment of his private fortune: the inconveniences he has suffered by a long stay in England on the publick business of the said island. and the hardship it will be to him. if the rule laid down in instructions to Governors, whereby it is directed, that a moiety of the salary only shall be received by absent Governors, should be applied to his case: and praying, that their lordships will take the premises into their consideration and give him such relief as in their wisdom shall seem meet.
Read a letter from Mr. Knox to Mr. Cumberland, dated
June 18th. 1779, transmitting by direction of Lord George
A memorial of Robert Hodgson, esquire, late his Majesty's Superintendant. agent and Commander in Chief on the Mosquito Shore. to Lord George Germain, praying, for the reasons therein stated, that he may be heard in his justification by counsel, in answer to the two memorials exhibited against him by Mr. Robert White, on the 11th of November, 1773, and the 14th of June. 1775. having as yet set up no regular defence against the charges contained in the said memorials, notwithstanding what has been alledged by his accusers.
Their lordships having taken the said memorial into consideration, directed the Secretary to acquaint Mr. Hodgson, that in consideration of his long attendance, and anxious solicitations to be heard in his justification; and that there might be no proof wanting on their part of the readiness to admit all parties soliciting for a hearing before the Board, they would so far depart from their resolutions contained in the minutes of the 28th of April, and the 29th of May, 1778, as to comply with the prayer of his present memorial, and would appoint a day for hearing him, provided he would confine himself and his counsel to the charges that are actually exhibited against him in the two memorials presented by Mr. Robert White beforementioned.
The Secretary having accordingly communicated the above message to Mr. Hodgson, acquainted the Board, that he thankfully accepted their lordships' offer with the conditions accompanying it, and would be ready to attend their lordships' Board with his counsel, whenever they should be pleased to signify their commands; and with respect to the Board's Order of the 15th of June last, Mr. Hodgson had desired him to say, that in consequence of the liberty given to support the charges contained in his memorial against Mr. James Lawrie, mentioned in the minutes of the 27th of April last, he now begged leave to inform their lordships, that he continued firmly in the mind to support the said charges.
Upon which their lordships directed, that the order made on the 4th of May last, should be complied with, and the draught of a letter to James Lawrie, esquire, was accordingly prepared, approved, transcribed and signed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, recommending the prayer of the petition of the Reverend Mr. de la Roche for lands in Nova Scotia; the draught of a letter to Lieutenant Governor Hughes, stating the observations of the Board on an Act passed in that province in June, 1778, for appointing sheriffs, etc., and also an Act to prevent the monopolizing cord wood; and transmitting a copy of the memorial of Jonathan Binney, esquire, mentioned in the minutes of the 9th of February last; the draught of a letter to Lord Macartney, Governor of the Island of Grenada, stating the observations which occur to their lordships, on the several Acts passed in that island in October, 1778, having been prepared pursuant to order by the several minutes of the 19th of January, 9th of February, and the 1st and 15th of June last, were all approved, transcribed and signed.
The Secretary laid before the Board the following papers
received from the Committee of the Company of Merchants
trading to Africa, vizt.,
Three letters from the Governor and Council at Cape Coast Castle to the Committee of the Company of Merchants Africa.
trading to Africa, dated 25th June and 25th September, 1778, and 14th January 1779.
Correspondence on the Mumford business.
Further correspondence on the Mumford business.
Reply of the Governor and Council at Cape Coast Castle to the return of the Board of Trade.
Nova Scotia, Georgia, East Florida, St. John's, Plantations General.
Read four memorials of the agents of Nova Scotia, Georgia. East Florida and St. John's: also three memorials of the agents for general Surveys. to the Lords of his Majesty's Treasury, paying that the money granted by Parliament for the support of the civil establishment of the said colonies, and for general Surveys for the year 1779, may be issued as usual into their hands: and the Secretary was directed to certify their lordships' approbation of the said memorials being presented accordingly.
Thursday, July 15th. Present:—Mr. Greville, Mr. Eden, Mr. de Grey, Mr. Gibbon.
Lord George Germain. one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, attends.
A new Commission under the Great Seal of Great Britain, bearing date the 14th instant. constituting the Great Officers of State. together with Soame Jenyns, esquire, Robert Spencer, commonly called Lord Robert Spencer, the Honourable Charles Greville William Eden, Thomas de Grey, esquires, together with Andrew Stuart and Edward Gibbon, esquires, in the room of Bamber Gascoyne and William Jolliffe. esquires, to be his Majesty's Commissioners for promoting the trade of this Kingdom and for inspecting and improving his Majesty's Plantations in America and elsewhere, was read. and Mr. Gibbon took his seat at the Board.
Lord George Germain acquainted the Board. that his Majesty, in pursuance of an humble address of the House of Commons, had been pleased to signify to him his commands, that this Board do take into their consideration the manner in which the money granted by Parliament, for repairing, maintaining and supporting the British forts and settlements on the Coast of Africa for the year 1780. may be applied to the purposes only for which it was granted: and that they do give directions to the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa accordingly.
Read a memorial of the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa. to the Board. praying. that their lordships will be pleased to give such directions as they may think proper to the Committee, respecting the manner in which the money granted by Parliament may be applied to the purposes only for which it was granted, agreable to an Address of the House of Commons to his Majesty of the 16th of last month: and in consequence of the commands given by his Majesty to this Board in acquiescence with the said Address.
Their lordships having taken his Majesty's message, together with the memorial beforementioned into their consideration, it was resolved, that the sum of £13,000 granted by Parliament shall be invested in supplies for repairing, maintaining and supporting the British forts and settlements on the Coast of Africa for the year 1780; and the said investments shall be sent out by some safe and proper conveyance, so as to arrive in Africa before the beginning of the year 1780.
That the said supplies, on their arrival in Africa, shall be applied to pay every charge and expence which shall accrue after the 1st of January 1780; and that a sufficient part thereof shall be reserved in the warehouses to pay all the salaries to the officers and servants, and every other probable disbursement for that year; and no part thereof to satisfy any debts or demands incurred, or alledged to be incurred except within that period.
That the Committee shall take into their consideration, and report to the Board, after what mode, and under what orders and restrictions it will be most likely the above regulations may be carried into execution on the Coast; and as it appears by the resolutions of the Committee, of the 18th of December last, that no vouchers of the expenditure of the supplies have for several years been transmitted by their officers and servants on the Coast, but that orders for that purpose have been (and of course may probably for the future be) evaded and neglected, they are further required to consider and report whether or not it would be adviseable, that an agent or agents should be specially appointed to repair to the spot to superintend and control the expenditure of the publick supplies, and to collect and transmit proper vouchers from all such persons as may be entrusted therewith; and for such other necessary matters as shall be given him or them in charge.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, and transmit to them a copy of the several resolutions beforementioned, made in obedience to his Majesty's commands, in consequence of the Address of the House of Commons of the 16th of last month.
Read a letter from Mr. Robinson to Mr. Cumberland, dated July 10th, 1779, transmitting "A memorial of the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, to the Lords of the Treasury, praying an issue of the sum of £13,000 to be employed in repairing, maintaining and supporting the British forts and settlements on the Coast of Africa for the year 1780"; and desiring that he will move the Lords of Trade to acquaint the Lords of the Treasury whether there is any objection to their complying with the prayer of the said memorial.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to Mr. Robinson, transmitting to him a copy of the several resolutions of this Board in consequence of his Majesty's message, mentioned in the proceedings of this day, and acquainting him, for the information of the Lords of the Treasury, that when the African Committee shall have made answer and report upon the said resolutions. the Lords of the Treasury shall be informed of their deliberations, and likewise of the opinion of this Board respecting the issue of the grant.
Read a letter from Mr. Robinson to Mr. Cumberland, dated
July 8th. 1779. desiring the opinion of the Board, for the information of the Lords of the Treasury upon two memorials of Joseph
Bullock esquire, late agent for Senegambia. stating that there is
due to him £697 8s, 4¾d. on his account passed before the auditor;
and praying payment of the same out of the grant of Parliament
for Senegambia for the year 1776. now remaining unissued, and
Copy of a minute of the Treasury Board of the 2nd of February. 1779. upon one of the said memorials.
Ordered, that the Secretary do write to Mr. Robinson in answer to the said letter, and acquaint him for the information of the Lords of the Treasury that this Board has no objection to state against payment of the said balance out of the grant abovementioned.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Committee of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council. dated July 8th. 1779. referring to this Board for their consideration and report, a memorial of John Nesbitt. esquire. of Aldermanbury to his Majesty, setting forth. amongst other things, that the French having lost their settlements on the Banks of Newfoundland, and being thereby deprived of a sufficient supply of cod fish, the French Minister will grant passports to English ships to come into the ports of France with cargoes of fish from Newfoundland or from Great Britain, discharge the same, and return in safety to a stipulated harbour in the British Empire: and that if this plan should be approved of by his Majesty, and his Majesty shall be pleased to grant the necessary protections, the memorialist will undertake it, and flatters himself that the nation in general will be benefitted thereby.
Their lordships having taken the said order and memorial into their consideration, and having questioned the memorialist, who attended, as to the several matters they thought necessary, in particular, whether he had any documents to produce in support of the proposition, to which he answered in the negative, he was desired to withdraw: and it was ordered, that the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council should be prepared, in compliance with the Order in Council beforementioned.
Read a memorial of Thomas Hutchins. esquire. Captain of his Majesty's 69th Regiment of Foot, stating his various services in America, annexing several certificates of such services: and praying, that in consideration of the equity of his case, he may be recommended to obtain a grant of ten thousand acres of vacant and unappropriated land in West Florida.
Read an Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated July 8th, 1779, referring the humble petition of Charles Edwards, praying leave to export to St. Augustine and Georgia, sundry military stores therein mentioned, on board the ship Crown Galley, for the purpose of fitting out privateers.
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.
Read a letter from Lieutenant Governor Gambier and four
members of the Council of the Bahama Islands, to the Board,
dated May 10th, 1779, stating several new complaints against
Governor Browne, and transmitting, vizt.,
Copy of a memorial of the inhabitants of New Providence to Governor Browne.
Copy of Governor Browne's answer to the above memorial.
Deposition of Captain Henry Johnson, dated April 7th, 1779.
Deposition of Captain John Young, dated April 19th, 1779.
Friday, July 16th. Present: — Mr. Greville, Mr. de Grey, Mr. Gibbon.
Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, attends.
Read an Order of the Right Honourable the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated July 15th, 1779, directing this Board to prepare and lay before the Committee of Council, a draught of an additional instruction to the Governor of Quebec, for framing an ordinance to amend and explain certain ordinances passed in that province in the year 1777, for establishing Courts of Civil and Criminal Judicature, and for regulating the proceedings therein, conformable to what is proposed in the representation made by the Board to his Majesty on the 1st instant.
The draught of an additional instruction to the Governor of Quebec having been prepared, conformable to the Order beforementioned, was approved; and a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs thereupon, was signed.
The Secretary acquainted their lordships, that he had, pursuant to order, written to the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, transmitting a copy of the resolutions of the Board, of the 15th instant, respecting the measures which may be necessary to be observed by them in the application of the grant of Parliament for the year 1780; and to Mr. Robinson, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, transmitting to him also a copy of the said resolutions; likewise a letter to Mr. Robinson, acquainting him, for the information of the Lords of the Treasury, with the opinion of the Board on the memorial of Joseph Bullock, esquire, late agent for the Province of Senegambia, transmitted by Mr. Robinson's letter of the 8th instant.
A report upon Mr. Nesbitt's petition was signed.
Friday, July 30th. Present:—Mr. Greville, Mr. de Grey, Mr. Gibbon.
Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State attends.
His Lordship having informed the Board of a vacancy in the Council of Quebec, by the death of Alexander Johnstone, esquire, and that Samuel Holland, esquire, was recommended by the Governor to fill that vacancy, the draught of a representation to his Majesty, proposing that the said Samuel Holland may be appointed of the Council for the Province of Quebec was prepared. approved transcribed and signed.
Read a letter from the Secretary of the Committee of the
Company of Merchants trading to Africa, to Mr. Cumberland,
dated 19th July. 1779, transmitting.
Copy of the resolution of the Committee, dated July 19th, 1779, in answer to the requisition of the Board of the 16th instant.
Their lordships having taken the resolution of the Committee into consideration. resolved. that the orders and regulations proposed by the Committee to be sent to Africa relative to the money granted by Parliament for the ensuing year, are proper. and should be carried into execution.
That as the orders heretofore sent out by the Committee to the Governor and Council on the Coast, have been disobeyed or evaded: and as the Committee for this reason advise the appointment of an agent or agents in commission with some other person or persons already in the service in Africa, to whom to entrust the dispensing the supplies for next year, and other services, their lordships are of opinion, this may be expedient: but as it seems to be the express intention of Parliament, that the money granted should be strictly applied to the specific purposes of the grant, it is required of the Committee to consider and report to the Board, for their information.
Whether there should be one, or more than one new officer appointed to this Commission?
What salary and allowance ought to be appropriated to such officer or officers: and, whether it occurs to the Committee to propose any mode or fund for defraying the charge of the said new Commission, without applying any part of the Parliamentary grant to that purpose: likewise whether the Committee have in view any person or persons to recommend as fit and proper to be entrusted with that Commission.
Ordered, that a copy of the above resolutions be sent to the Committee.