Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 2, February 1709 - March 1715. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
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Journal, March 1712
An anonymous letter to their lordships, dated the 28th of the last month, subscribed J.B., giving an account that there are two small friggats, from 10 to 18 guns a peice, loading bale goods at Newport and Dunkirk for Cadiz, and that they have got some friends at Ostend to write to their correspondence here, to procure her Majesty's passes for the said ships as going from Ostend; that a sham sale has been made of a Flemish built ship of 10 or 12 guns now in the river, lately come from Ostend, in order to obtain her Majesty's pass to go to Ostend, and from thence to Cadiz; that there is another ship of 16 or 18 guns a coming over from Ostend on the same design; was read; whereupon an advertisement to be put into the Gazette was agreed, that if the person who wrote the said letter will come any morning to their lordships’ office in the Cockpit, Whitehall, and give them some further information about that matter, he shall have all fitting incouragement and protection.
Sir John St. Leger, with Colonel Thomas and Mr. Anthony Foy, attending in relation to the Act passed at Antego the 4th August, 1711, entituled An Act appropriating the duty and impost on liquors to the sole use of the Governor in Chief after the sum of 540l. lent by Mr. Perry shall be repaid to purchase a house for his residence, and being asked what the value of the duty of liquors might amount to, Colonel Thomas said that he had been five years together of a Committee of the Assembly appointed to examine the accounts of that island, and that during that time the amount of the said duty never was above 800l. per annum, mony of that island, and he added that he beleived from what he has heard that the said duty is considerably decreased. Mr. Foy said that he had spoke to Peter Biggs, when he was here in England about three months ago, who informed him that he had been clerk to the treasurer three years; that the said duty for the two first years did not amount to 500l. per annum Antego money, and the last not to 400l., and Sir John produced the affidavit of Mr. Martin of Antego, now in this kingdom, setting forth that by the best enquiry he was able to make at Antego the amount of the said duty did not exceed 600l. money of that island per annum.
Then their lordships inquiring how Major Douglas had executed his commission [fo. 107, 156], in relation to the sending over the criminals, and particularly why he did not seize Mr. Trant, who appears by the affidavit of Serjeant Bows to be one of the ringleaders, when he came to him to Nevis, Sir John St. Leger called in the said serjeant who, being examined, said that he did see the said Trant amongst the people who came to Colonel Park's house, but that he was not armed, and that the said Trant saved the life of his captain, Captain Nowel, who had been wounded in the Governor's defence, and kept him at his own house about a fortnight; that when Major Douglas arrived at Antego, there were but 130 of the Queen's soldiers there, of which not above 30 were armed, the inhabitants having, upon the murder of Colonel Parke, taken the arms from the rest; that the said inhabitants, to the number of about 700, were all armed, so that Major Douglas durst not attempt the seizing any of them.
Sir John St. Leger added that Major Douglas had writ to him that he had restored the arms to the soldiers, and given orders for their being mended; that not daring to depend upon these soldiers that he found at Antego, he had sent them to the other islands in his Government, and brought others to Antego, and that he would send over six of the principal offenders.
Mr. Morris and Mr. Harris, in behalf of the separate traders, attending [fo. 112, 117], as they had been directed on Thursday last, presented to their lordships a scheme of rules and provisions, which they thought necessary for the better carrying on, improving and increasing the trade to Africa; which was read; to which they added that the case of the Turkey Company, and the African Company were the same, for that till the year 1605 the said Turkey Company was exclusive; that the Russian Company was likewise exclusive till of late years, since which the trade to Russia has been very considerably increased. Then being asked whether they intended, after they had deposited in the bank as proposed by them, that any person should come in upon paying 5l. only without contributing their share to the said deposite, they said they intended it so.
Mr. Pindar, with several of the Royal African Company, attending [fo. 116, 118], he presented to their lordships an account of eight years’ exports of the said Company, and eight years’ exports of the separate traders; which was read.
Their lordships again took into consideration the draught of a representation relating to the settlement of the trade to Africa [fo. 117, 119, 124], and made a progress therein, and ordered that copies of the said draught be sent to the Great Lords for their information, and that they be acquainted that their lordships will meet again on Fryday next upon that matter.
Mr. Pindar attending, and being asked whether by his proposal of 500,000l., for a joint stock, he included the value of their forts and settlements on the coast of Africa, he said he did not, and then withdrew.
Mr. Harris and Mr. Morice also attending [vide supra, fo. 122], and being asked whether the deposite they had proposed to put in the bank was a security that they would annually export to Africa 100,000l., and keep a sufficient quantity of goods in the forts and settlements; they said that, if no other security would be accepted, they would do it, but they hoped it would not be required of them; and they added that they chose rather to abide by the 4th article in their proposals, read the 28th of the last month, vizt., to give such security touching the management of the African trade as shall be thought fit by Parliament.
Two memorials from several merchants trading to Maryland [fo. 98, vide infra], praying that a Governor may be sent to that province, mentioned in the minutes of the 15th of the last month, were again read; and directions given for preparing a representation thereupon, proposing that Mr. Tobias Bowles, mentioned in one of the said memorials, may be appointed Governor of that province, and further ordered that Mr. Bowles have notice to attend the Board on Monday morning next.
Mr. Bowles attending [vide supra], as he had been directed, was acquainted that he had been recommended to their lordships by several merchants for the government of Maryland, and being asked whether he had any knowledge of the affairs of that province, he said that he had been there often, and was very well apprized of the nature of the trade and constitution of that place; that he hoped, if he was honoured with her Majesty's commission for that government, to be able to redress a great many abuses committed there in the curing and packing of tobacco; and to get good laws passed for the incouragement of the merchants residing here and trading thither, and for facilitating the recovery of their just debts. And he being withdrawn, their lordships agreed the draught of a representation recommending him to her Majesty for that government, and ordered the same to be transcribed.
March 12. Present:—Lord High Treasurer, Earl of Dartmouth, Mr. Secretary St. John, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Earl of Winchilsea, Sir Philip Meadows, Mr. Monckton, Sir Charles Turner, Mr. Baillie, Mr. Moore, Mr. Gwyn.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, of the 29th of the last month, referring to the Board the extract of a letter from Mr. Jeffrys, her Majesty's Minister with the King of Sweden, relating to our trade to the Baltick, was read; and their lordships agreed to take the same into consideration on Fryday morning next.
Sir Robert Davers, Mr. Heysham, Mr. Lawson, Mr. Onslow, Mr. Lowther, with several of the separate traders to Africa, attending [fo. 119], acquainted their lordships that there was a report on the Exchange, as if they had come into an exclusive joint stock, which was never their intention; and therefore, if Mr. Harris and Mr. Morris had agreed to anything of that nature, it was without their knowledge and consent; and they desire to explain themselves upon three articles, to wit, the price of negroes to be sold in the plantations, the necessity of enlarging the forts and settlements, and the necessity of maintaining and increasing the alliances.
As to the price of negro's, they said it was impossible to settle the same here, for that would always depend upon the quantity and goodness of the negro's imported, so that they could not submit to any regulation to be made here in relation to the price of negro's in the plantations.
In relation to the necessity of enlarging the forts and settlements, they said that they never were of opinion that forts and settlements were necessary for carrying on of that trade; that they did indeed, to avoid dispute, agree that the forts and settlements not on the coast should be maintain'd; but they did not think it necessary others should be erected, for that they carry on their trade chiefly where there are no forts at all.
As to the necessity of maintaining and increasing of alliances, they said that, as the charge thereof was very inconsiderable, they would not make any objection thereunto, though they did not agree they were necessary.
A letter to the Lord High Treasurer on the petition of the Earl of Orkney [fo. 108], relating to house-rent for Colonel Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, of the 8th instant, inclosing the extract of a resolution of the States General, about the raising a fund for maintaining the Imperial troops in Flanders, was read; whereupon ordered [fo. 132, 133] that a copy of the said extract be sent to Mr. Dorpere, Mr. London and Mr. Josiah Diston, for their opinion in writing thereupon.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, of the 12th instant, referring to their lordships a petition from the city of Exeter, relating to the importation of our woollen manufacture into the Emperor's dominions, was read; whereupon ordered [fo. 126] that Mr. Snel, member of Parliament for that city, be desired to come to the Board on Wednesday morning next.
Mr. Snell, member of Parliament for Exeter, attending, as he had been desired [fo. 125, 128], their lordships communicated to him the petition from Exeter to the House of Commons, relating to the importation of British woollen manufactures into the Emperor's hereditary dominions; whereupon he said that petition had been sent to him, as several former petitions had been, and all that they desir'd was, that her Majesty would be graciously pleased, by her minister at the Emperor's Court, to use her endeavours that the limitation of the quantities of crown rash and other woollen manufactures, to be imported into the Emperor's hereditary dominions, and of the time of importation thereof (which amounts to a prohibition) be taken off. Whereupon he was told that their lordships would consider the same, and lay it before her Majesty at a convenient opportunity.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John [fo. 162, 177], signifying that Mr. Jackson, her Majesty's Resident at Stockholm, had hopes of removing the obstructions to the British commerce in that country, and desiring an account of the ships and cargo's belonging to her Majesty's subjects that have been taken by the Danes and Swedes and carry'd into their ports, with an estimate of the damage received, was read; whereupon ordered [fo. 158] that letters be writ to the Eastland Company and to Mr. Joy, to desire to know what they may have to offer on the first part of the said letter, and that they would give their lordships an account of British ships taken as above.
Mr. Duport attending, his petition to their lordships in behalf of Mr. Willet, praying that he may be appointed a member of the Council of St. Christopher's in the room of Mr. Peters, deceased, was read; whereupon ordered that the said Willet's name be put on the list of persons recommended to fill up vacancies in the Council of that island.
Their lordships, taking into consideration the petition of the city of Exeter [fo. 126], mentioned in yesterday's minutes, relating to the importation of the British woollen manufactures into the Emperour's hereditary dominions, ordered [fo. 143] that a letter be writ to Mr. Palmes (formerly her Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary to that Court), to desire to speak with him on Thursday morning next, or on any other day convenient to him.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, inclosing a copy of the address from the House of Commons to her Majesty, of 20th instant, desiring that a copy of a letter from the Governor of the Leeward Islands to this Board, touching the regiment there, may be laid before that House, was read; and the following papers being laid before their lordships, Mr. Gwyn was desired to present them to the House, which he promised to do accordingly.
The said papers are as follows:—
Extract of a letter from Colonel Park, late Governor of the Leeward Islands, dated the 4th May, 1709, relating to the regiment there.
Copy of a letter from the late Colonel Park to Colonel Jones, upon the same subject, dated 8th April, 1709.
Copy of another letter from Colonel Park, dated 24th April, 1710, about hardships the soldiers there lye under.
Copy of a petition of the soldiers to Colonel Park upon the same subject.
February 12th, 1711/12.
Extract of a letter from Major Douglas of 28th November, 1711, touching the regiment.
Extract of the minutes of this Board of 3rd March, 1711, relating to the account given by Serjeant Bows.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, inclosing the Address from the House of Commons to her Majesty of the 21st instant, wherein they desire a copy of that from Jamaica, relating to the trade to Africa, was read; and a copy of the said address being laid before their lordships, Mr. Gwyn was desired to present the same to the House, which he promised to do accordingly.
A letter from Sir Edward Gold, of 21st instant [fo. 4], promising to lay before their lordships a state of the Italian trade, was read; and order'd that Sir Edward have notice that their lordships will be ready to receive the same on Fryday morning next.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, of 18th instant [fo. 51, 131], inclosing the draught of a Treaty of Marine and Commerce with France, was read; and their lordships gave directions that all the papers in this office relating thereto be laid before them at their next meeting.
Their lordships took into consideration the draught of a Treaty Marine and of Commerce with France [fo. 130, 134], mentioned in the minutes of the 24th instant, and read 15 of the articles thereof, and ordered [fo. 144] that letters be writ to Sir John Lambert, Mr. Stephen Seignoret, Mr. Samuel Shephard, Mr. Samuel Lock, Mr. Laurence Galdie, Sir Patrick Johnson, Sir William Johnson and Mr. Thomas Smith, to desire them to consult with such gentlemen as they should think proper, and to let their lordships have, as soon as they could conveniently, what they may have to offer in relation to the said Treaty.
Colonel Scot, Mr. Tryon and several other Barbadoes merchants, and planters, attending, Colonel Scot presented to their lordships a memorial setting forth that he had been formerly a member of that Council, was now going over thither again, and praying that he may have a mandamus to be restored to his place and precedency in the said Council on the first vacancy that shall happen therein, was read, and some of the said planters alledging [fo. 150] that there were several precedents of cases of the like nature, Colonel Scot was directed to lay before their lordships some of the said precedents, and their lordships would then take the same into consideration.
Mr. Dorpere attending, as he had been desired the 17th instant [fo. 125], in relation to the resolution of the States General, proposing the raising of five hundred and fifty thousand guilders for maintaining the Imperial troops, which are to serve the next campaign in Flanders, he presented to their lordships a memorial, setting forth that it is his opinion that the raising the said 550,000 gilders cannot be of any prejudice to the commerce of Great Britain, which was read; and directions were given for preparing the draught of an answer to Mr. Secretary St. John's letter of the 8th instant on that subject.
A letter to Mr. Secretary St. John (directed at the last meeting), in answer to his of the 8th instant [fo. 125], relating to the proposal of the States General for raising 550,000 guilders in the Low Countries to maintain the Imperial troops which are to serve the next campaign in Flanders &c., was signed.