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, April 1712
Their lordships took into consideration the project of a Treaty of Commerce with France [fo. 131], mentioned in the minutes of 26th of last month, and made a progress therein. And thereupon order'd that a letter be writ to Mr. Carkess to desire that the Commissioners of the Customs would send one or two of the most experienced of their officers to the Board on Friday morning next; that a letter be writ to Sir Charles Hedges to desire to speak with him and the rest of the gentlemen who sign'd the report to her Majesty upon the said project; that a letter be writ to Mr. Ben. Woodnorth [fo. 141], secretary to the Turkey Company, to know if the 9th article of the Treaty of Commerce between the Dutch and the French concluded at Ryswick in 1697, be inserted mutatis mutandis in the present Treaty, will answer the desire of the said Company.
|The secretary's account of petty expences, from Christmas, 1711, to Lady Day, 1712, amounting to||29||12||7|
|The stationer's account for the same time, amounting to||18||19||4|
|The post officer's account for the same time, amounting to||3||16||7|
A letter to Mr. Burchet, inclosing the usual heads of enquiry and additional instructions to be given to the Commodore of the Newfoundland squadron for such answers as he shal be able to make thereunto, was agreed, and order'd to be sent.
A letter from Mr. Secretary St. John, of the second instant [fo. 141], desiring the opinion of the Board upon the two following queries, was read, vizt.:
First. What the consequence may be of allowing the French a general right to fish in the sea of Newfoundland and to dry their fish on that coast, as they have hitherto done, together with the liberty of settling and fortifying on the Island Cape Briton; they, on the other hand, making an absolute cession to her Majesty of Nova Scotia, with Annapolis Royal, and of the Island of Newfoundland with Placentia.
Secondly. Whether it may be for the advantage of Great Britain, Nova Scotia and Annapolis Royal remaining in her Majesty's hands, that all the fortifications in Newfoundland be demolish'd, and that no others be suffered to be erected there, or in any of the adjacent islands.
And Colonel Nicholson, Captain Moody, Mr. Campbel, and Mr. Cummings having been summond and attending, and the said two queries having been read to them, and they being asked several questions thereupon, they said in substance:
That the French never had any just right to fish at Newfoundland, except by leave from the Government here or those in authority under the Government at Newfoundland; that they paid as an acknowledgment for such liberty sometimes three quintals of fish per boat, sometimes ten per cent. upon their fish.
That if the French make a cession of the land, and yet have a priviledge of fishing there, and drying on the shoar, that will be a greater disadvantage to our trade than we now lye under; by their having the liberty of our ports and harbours, under pretence of drying their fish, they will supply Newfoundland (and even several parts of the Continent of America) by that means with European commodities much cheaper than we can, for they sail at less charge both with respect to the seamen's wages, and to the victualling their ships (fn. 1) than we.
Another inconvenience that will accrue by allowing the French the liberty of fishing and drying upon the shoar is, that the fish coming about six weeks sooner to Placentia than it does to the other parts of Newfoundland, and the French bringing with them salt from France, cheaper than we can have it elsewhere, and their navigation from France being shorter than ours, they will be earlier on that coast, and about a month sooner at the markets in the Streights than we. If they are not confined to Placentia for drying their fish, but have liberty to go to other parts of the coast as far northward as the Island Petit Nord (where their greatest ships from St. Maloes go), they will yet, however, for the reasons aforesaid, be able to under-sell us, and to beat us out of that trade, so that their making a cession of the land and keeping a right of drying on the shore is so far from being an advantage to us, that it puts us in a worse condition than we are in at present.
As to their settling and fortifying Cape Breton, if that were allowed, the fort would be a continual check to Newfoundland, and even to Annapolis Royal itself. Besides, they might at any time bring their Canada Indians to the Isle Breton, from whence they may easily annoy and ravage (as they have formerly done) our settlements in Newfoundland.
A fort upon Cape Breton wou'd further be of ill consequence to our trade; the harbour is large and convenient, and the natural situation of the place proper for a fortification, so that they wou'd by this means, not only be in a condition to secure and protect their own trade to and from Canada, but also to establish a fishery for dry fish, which are to be had there in plenty, and earlier than in Newfoundland; and the scituation of that island being between New England and Newfoundland, they may, whenever they think fit, disturb us in our fishery on either of those coasts.
Cape Breton is well stored with trees for masts, and other naval stores, and is part of Nova Scotia, and was included in the commission of the French Governor when Colonel Nicholson took Annapolis Royal; and the bounds of Nova Scotia ought to be from the River St. Croix on the west to Canada River, the sea on the south and east, and Canada River on the north; so that what cession they make of this country to her Majesty, of which she is now in possession, ought to be within the bounds aforesaid.
If there be a fort on Cape Breton, and those in Newfoundland demolish'd, then the French may be masters of Newfoundland whenever they please, upon any rupture between Great Britain and France. The harbour at Cape Breton is so commodious for privateers that the French may, upon a rupture, as aforesaid, incommode and disturb our trade and fishery as much from thence as they did from Annapolis Royal before it was taken. And therefore it is not advisable to allow the French so much as a settlement there, even though they build no fort, for the reasons aforesaid, vizt.: that Cape Breton is part of Nova Scotia, and that they may establish a good fishery for drying fish there.
If the forts on Newfoundland were to be demolished, it would be of very ill consequence, for that island might be a receptable for pirates. Besides which, the forts there will be necessary, not only for defending our settlements and fishery from the French, but for preventing other European nations from coming to fish there, and a great security to our ships coming from the South Seas, as the French have often experienced it.
A memorial from Solomon Merret, relating to the trade and fishery of Newfoundland, and to the permitting the French to dry their fish on the shore, and to their fortifying Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, was read; and a letter to Mr. Secretary St. John, in answer to his of the 2nd instant, as directed yesterday [fo. 136], was signed.
Sir Richard Onslow, with several members of the Turkey Company attending [fo. 134, 142], presented to their lordships a memorial, in answer to a letter writ them the 2nd instant, relating to a clause to be incerted in a Treaty of Commerce with France, was read. Whereupon their lordships communicated to them the 13th article of a project of a Treaty of Commerce, as amended by their lordships, relating to the taking off the 20 per cent. in France on Turkey goods, which they thought wou'd answer their desire.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Sir Nathaniel Floyd, to desire that he and some of the civilians who have sign'd a report to her Majesty upon a Treaty of Commerce with France [fo. 141, 144], wou'd come to the Board any morning next week, that their lordships may conferr with them thereupon.
A reference from Mr. Secretary St. John, of the 29th of the last month [fo. 166], upon the petition of William and Francis Fagan, of Waterford, merchants, praying for a pass for the ship Mary galley, burthen 180 tuns, carrying ten guns and 30 men, Richard Geohegan master, to sail from Ostend to Cadiz, and from thence back again to Ostend &c., was read; and Mr. Moller and the said master attending, they were acquainted that the affidavit they had brought to the office, in relation to the property of the said ship and her loading, was not full enough, for that it did not appear thereby that the goods were English property, as they ought to be.
The secretary acquainting their lordships that Mr. Palms had been to wait on their lordships last week [fo. 128, 148], in relation to the impositions laid on the woollen manufacture in Germany, ordered that he be acquainted that their lordships would speak with him upon that subject on Thursday morning next.
Sir William Johnstone and Mr. Smith attending in behalf of North Britain [fo. 131; Q. fo. 122], presented to their lordships a memorial, in answer to a letter writ them the 26th of the last month, relating to a Treaty of Commerce with France, which was read.
Then their lordships took into consideration the project of a Treaty of Commerce with France [fo. 131, 150], mentioned in the minutes of the 26th of the last month, and made a further progress therein.
Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Signoret, Sir Nathaniel Lloyd, Doctor Newton, and Dr. Hinchman attending [fo. 142], and Sir Nathaniel and the other civilians being asked why they proposed that several articles in the Treaty of Commerce with France should be omitted, they gave their opinion upon the said articles as follows, vizt.:
Article 6th. That this is more proper for a Treaty of Peace than a Treaty of Commerce, least it should discharge any acquest, publick or private, acquired by conquest or right of war.
Article 10th. That the law has fully provided in this case.
20th. That it is impracticable for a magistrate in one kingdom to take security from a person to appear and be answerable in another kingdom.
21. That the first part of this article is provided for by laws; the latter part, directing that only such articles in books or accounts which relates to the evidence of property in question and not the whole books, be exhibited upon disputes or tryals, is not a good provision; for extracts of books of accounts are not sufficient evidence, unless they be verifyed by the regularity of keeping the books, or by comparing the said extracts with other parts of the said books.
22nd. That the law has better provided in these cases; besides, a certificate from a magistrate is no proper proof of the property of goods that shall have been taken by pirates.
24th. That the law has provided for this case. Prizes by law may be carried into the proper port to be condemned; but, if they go into any other port, they are subject to arrests from persons there having a property in them.
25th. That the latter part of this article destroys the instance of the first Court in bringing the case immediately before the Council.
36th. That this article is much better provided for by the laws.
40th. That this is better provided for by the laws.
46th. The law has provided in that case, and any person who thinks himself injured may have right done by applying to the proper Courts. Besides, shou'd this article stand, if any person shall think himself injured in the sentence given against him, the State will be obliged to make him satisfaction, which is not reasonable.
47th. That the law is very full in this case.
48th. That this article may contradict leagues with other States, with whom we may be in amity, and France at war.
51st. That we have but one Court of Admiralty here, and therefore it is to no purpose to lodge copies of the Treaty of Commerce in the several ports, for it will be of no use to have the Treaty without a jurisdiction to quiet controversy.
52. That the law provides in this case fully.
Mr. James Campbell attending [fo. 47], an Order of Council of the third instant, upon the petition of several merchants, agents for the sufferers at Nevis and St. Christopher's, directing their lordships to lay the said petition and the representation of this Board, of the third of December last, touching the issuing debentures, pursuant to an Act of Parliament before the House of Commons, was read; and Mr. Campbell was desired to get the opinion of Mr. Attorny General [fo. 159] in relation to a clause he had to offer to the House, to be inserted in an Act for the relief of the sufferers aforementioned, which he promised to do accordingly.
Lieutenant-General Palmes attending, their lordships communicated to him the petition from Exeter, relating to the impositions laid upon British woollen manufactures in the Emperor's hereditary dominions, mentioned in the minutes of the 17th of the last month. Whereupon he said, that in regard to Bohemia, they had done there in favour of our woollen manufacture all that could be expected, as did appear by the answer of the Chancery of Bohemia to his memorial (which was read the 5th December, 1710); that Austria and the other parts of the hereditary dominions have not indeed done so much as Bohemia, nor could it be expected they should, for it was but reasonable that they should prefer their own manufacture at Lintz to that of a foreign nation. However, they have laid no new duty upon ours, and have only obliged the merchants in those dominions to take off a certain quantity of the Lintz crown rash before ours is permitted to be sold. And he observ'd that this was not an annual quantity to continue for ever, but only till the rashes already made at Lintz should be all taken off. He added that at present we undersell the Lintz crown rash, and that the manufacture at Lintz will soon fall.
Their lordships again took into consideration the project of a Treaty of Commerce with France [fo. 144, 151], and went through the same; and a letter to Mr. Secretary St. John, with their observations upon the said project, was agreed.
Mr. Tryon, with Colonel Scot and Mr. Chester, attending, in relation to the said Scot's memorial, mentioned in the minutes of the 27th last month [fo. 132], desiring to be admitted a member of her Majesty's Council in Barbadoes on the first vacancy that may happen therein, Colonel Scot presented to their lordships presidents of dormant warrants for such admissions, and of persons having been restored to their precedency in Council, which presidents are as follows:—
Copy of her Majesty's warrant for admitting Mr. Long into the Council of Jamaica, on the first vacancy.
Copy of her Majesty's warrant for admitting Mr. Downs to be a counsellor of Barbadoes on the first vacancy.
Copy of an Order of Council, of the 18th of December, 1709, directing Mr. Tobias Frere to be restored to his place of counsellor of Barbadoes, and to his precedency therein.
A letter from Mr. James Cullen, captain of the Cullen galley [fo. 152, 176], dated at Ostend the 21st instant, new stile, giving an account of several ships being at Ostend with her Majesty's passes to go to Cales, was read; whereupon ordered that a copy of the said letter be sent to the Earl of Dartmouth.
Mr. Thomas Andrews and Mr. Thomas Walker, attending from the Commissioners of the Customs, their lordships communicated to them the 15, 17, 26 and 32 articles of the project of a Treaty of Commerce with France [fo. 149, 152]; whereupon they had no objection to the first article as amended by their lordships. To the second article, they proposed an amendment, vizt., to add after the word again and before the word only, provided such entry or declaration does not appear to be fraudulent; and they said they had no objection to the two last mention'd articles.
A letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of yesterday's date [fo. 154], inclosing the extract of a letter from Colonel Spotswood, relating to the want of small arms, powder and tents, was read; and a letter in answer thereunto was immediately prepared and signed.
Their lordships having read some letters lately receiv'd from Colonel Hunter, gave directions [vide infra] for preparing a letter to Mr. Secretary St. John upon that part which relates to the difficulty Colonel Hunter has met with in procuring the settlement of a revenue at New York.
A letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of 22nd instant [fo. 152, 155, 161], upon what Colonel Spotswood writes in his letter of the 8th February last, concerning a supply of ammunition and other necessaries for putting Virginia in a better condition of defence, was read; whereupon order'd that Colonel Nicholson have notice to attend the Board to-morrow morning.
A letter from Mr. Taylour [fo. 174], inclosing by my Lord Treasurer's order, the draught of a Bill for preserving the right of British built ships, and desiring to know if their lordships have any objections thereto, was read; whereupon ordered that a copy of the said draught be sent to Sir Charles Hedges for his observations and opinion thereupon.
Colonel Nicholson attending [fo. 154], the letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, mentioned in yesterday's minutes, relating to a supply of arms, ammunition and other necessaries for putting Virginia in a better state of defence, was communicated to him; whereupon he said that he was of opinion that when any stores or ammunition are sent, the Governor shou'd be directed to keep the same in a publick storehouse, and not deliver them out but when necessary occasions require, and then to take security from the officers of the militia that they be redelivered to the Governor when the service intended is over, or that they who receive the arms and ammunition do pay for the same, which money may be made good to the Office of Ordnance.
A letter from Sir Christopher Musgrave, one of the Clerks of the Council, of the 8th instant, signifying the desire of the Privy Council that all such papers and letters as are in this office relating to the late disorders at Antego [fo. 115], may be transmitted to them, in order to their being put into a method of examination, was read; and directions were given for sending to him the said papers accordingly, which are as follows, vizt.:
Minutes of Council and Assembly of Antego.
Letter from Colonel Yeamans, Lieutenant Governor of Antego, without date, giving an account of the occasion of the inhabitants rising in arms, and of the death of Colonel Parke.
The speech of Mr. Yeamans, Lieutenant Governor of Antego, to those who rose up in arms against Colonel Parke.
Mr. Yeamans’ speech to the Lieutenant General and Council of Antego, before he sign'd the address from himself and the said Council to her Majesty, relating to the death of Colonel Parke.
List of the persons that were killed and wounded the day that Colonel Parke was kill'd, December 7th, 1711.
Letter from Mr. Hamilton, Lieutenant General of the Leeward Islands, dated 23rd of February, 1710/11, giving an account of the state of the islands and of the death of Colonel Parke.
Letter from Mr. Thomas Morris, a member of the Council at Antego, dated the 27th February, 1710/11, relating to the rebellion and murder of Colonel Parke in that island.
Letter from Mr. Morris, one of the members of the Council of Antego, dated the — April, 1711, giving an account of some proceedings there since the murder of Colonel Parke.
Memorial from Mr. Pepper, with copies of three affidavits, relating to the murther of Colonel Parke, late Governor of the Leeward Islands.
Extract of Major Douglas's letter to Mr. Lewis, one of the Lord Dartmouth's secretary's, about Captain Norbury &c.
Letter from Major Douglas, Governor of the Leeward Islands, dated the 28th November, 1711.
A letter from Mr. Lowndes, of the 11th March last, referring to the Board, by order of my Lord Treasurer, a petition from Robert Lee, executor in trust for the younger children of the late Earl of Sterling, relating to a pension in lieu of his surrender of part of New York and Long Island to the Duke of York, was read; and directions given [fo. 172] for preparing the draught of an answer to the said letter.
A memorial from the Eastland merchants in answer to a letter writ them the 20th of the last month [fo. 127, 160], giving an account of the British ships taken by the Danes and Swedes in the Baltic, and proposing the opening a trade to Riga, Revel &c., was read; whereupon ordered that an answer be prepared to the letter from Mr. Secretary St. Johns upon that subject, read the 20th of the last month.
Mr. Tryon attending [fo. 102], in relation to his memorial in behalf of Mr. Millikin, praying that he might be restored to his place in the Council of Nevis, mentioned in the minutes of the 19th of February last, he was acquainted that their lordships would take that matter into consideration at a convenient opportunity.
Ordered that an answer be prepared to the last letter from Major Douglas, Governor of the Leeward Islands [vide infra], and that another letter be prepared, acknowledging the receipt of one from Mr. Lowther, Governor of Barbadoes.