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, August 1712
Ordered that Mr. Onslow have notice [fo. 188, 197] that their lordships intend, on Thursday the 14th instant, to take into consideration the petition of some Jamaica merchants (L. 58) relating to a debt due to them from the factors of the Assiento.
A letter from Colonel Hunter, dated at New York, the 1st of March last, with the address therein referr'd to, were read; where-upon ordered that paragraph A of the said letter, which relates to the building a galley there, and to the furnishing her Majesty's ships with rigging and other naval stores at easy rates, be sent to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty; and their lordships agreed to take into consideration at the first opportunity the Act mention'd in the foresaid letter to be pass'd in New Jersey for the currency of bills of credit.
Another letter from Colonel Hunter, dated at New York, the 23rd of June last, was read; and the papers therein referr'd to were laid before the Board, and are as follows:
Papers of publick proceedings.
Two Acts pass'd at New York the 6th of June, 1712.
Account of Courts and Offices in the Province of New York.
Account of arms and ammunition in the forts at New York.
An account of what stores are wanting in the garrison at New York.
Minutes of the Council of New York, from January 3rd, 17 11/12, to the 21st June following.
The present state of the Courts of Judicature in New Jersey.
Whereupon ordered that paragraphs G and H, and the papers therein referr'd to, which relate to the arms and ordnance stores at New York and New Jersey, be laid before her Majesty for her pleasure thereupon; and that a letter be prepar'd [fo. 207] to the Earl of Dartmouth upon paragraph L of the said letter, concerning the conspiracy of the negro's at New York, proposing that her Majesty be graciously pleased to pardon those the Governor had repriev'd.
Their lordships agreed to hear on Thursday, the 14th instant [fo. 177, 194], what Mr. Skene has to offer upon his petition against Mr. Lowther for suspending him from the office of secretary of Barbadoes; and also to hear the owners of the ship Oxford, upon their petition against Mr. Lowther, for having seiz'd the said ship at Barbadoes; and that those concern'd for the Governor as well as those against him, have notice thereof.
Mr. Skeen and Mr. Tilden attending [fo. 193], in relation to the controversy between Mr. Lowther, Governor of Barbadoes, and the said Mr. Skeen, mentioned in the minutes at the last meeting, they were acquainted that their lordships would hear that matter on Monday morning next, the 18th instant, as likewise the complaint relating to the ship Oxford.
A letter from Mr. Robert Cuningham, dated at St. Christopher's, April the 30th, and 3rd and 30th May, 1712 [fo. 208], and the papers therein referr'd to, relating to the proceedings of Mr. Douglas, Governor of the Leeward Islands, against him, were read.
A letter from Mr. Attorney General, containing the form of an oath to be required for proof of a re-settlement [fo. 211], according to the Act of Parliament relating to the sufferers at Nevis and St. Christopher's, was read.
A letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of the 11th instant [fo. 205], desiring to have an account of such informations as their lordships may have received, relating to a clandestine trade carried on by one David Creagh in the West Indies, was read; and the secretary laid before their lordships a letter from the Lord Archibald Hamilton, dated the 15th of May last, together with the case of the said Creagh referr'd to therein; whereupon ordered that paragraph I of the said letter and a copy of the said case be sent to the Earl of Dartmouth, and a letter to his lordship, inclosing the same, was signed.
Mr. Duport, Mr. Merrywether and Mr. Campbell attending, in relation to the sufferers at Nevis and St. Christopher's, and desiring to know when their lordships would be ready to administer the oath required by the Act of Parliament to prove the re-settlements &c.; they were acquainted their lordships wou'd be ready in a short time to do the same; and these gentlemen being withdrawn, their lordships agreed to the form of the said oath prepared by Mr. Attorney General, mentioned in yesterday's minutes, and ordered that the same be printed. Their lordships likewise agreed to an advertizement to be inserted in the Gazette, signifying the claims that have been made before their lordships in behalf of the several sufferers in each respective island, and that if any person has any objection why debentures should not be issued to them, or any of them, pursuant to a late Act of Parliament, they are to exhibit such objections at this Board on or before a certain day to be fixt; and further ordered that their lordships’ resolutions herein be communicated to the said claimers.
Mr. Campbell, Mr. Duport and Mr. Merriwether, with other Leeward Island merchants attending, in relation to the sufferers at Nevis and St. Christopher's, and desiring to know the nature of the advertizement their lordships design'd to publish in the Gazette (mentioned in yesterday's minutes), they were acquainted therewith, and their lordships agreed that the time for any persons making objections should be 40 days after the oaths of any of the persons that appeared for the said sufferers.
Mr. Onslow and Mr. Broughton attending [fo. 191, 218], the Order of Council of the 2nd of April, 1696, upon the petition of Charles Knight and others, relating to a debt due to them from the Assiento, with other papers thereunto belonging, as also a petition from Mr. Onslow and other Jamaica merchants on the same subject (mentioned in the minutes of the 6th instant), and a letter from his late Majesty, to the Earl of Insiquin, Governor of Jamaica, dated the 12th of February, 16 89/90, about the said Assiento (Jamaica Entries, volume 4, folio 286), were all read; whereupon directions were given for searching the books in the Council Office for the representation mention'd in the said letter to have been made by the Ambassador of Spain touching the Assiento, and that the draught of a representation be prepared for laying the whole matter before her Majesty.
Mr. Dockminique attending [fo. 184, 208], in relation to the alterations proposed by Colonel Hunter to be made in the Council of New Jersey, their lordships agreed to sign a representation for making such alterations as the Governor and the Proprietors had desired, in case the Bishop of London had no objections to the principles of the persons recommended; and Mr. Dockminique being withdrawn, a letter to the Bishop of London upon this matter was agreed and sent.
This day having been appointed for the hearing of the complaint of Mr. Skeen, secretary of Barbadoes [fo. 185, 214], against Mr. Lowther, Governor of that island, and the said Skeen attending on the one side, with Sir Thomas Powys and Mr. Williams his counsel, and Mr. Tilden in behalf of the said Governor on the other side, with Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Darnel his counsel; the letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of the first of May last, together with the petition of the said Skeen (referr'd to therein), complaining of the Governor's having suspended him from the execution of his office, mentioned in the minutes of the 27th of May, were read; as also an Order of Council of the 23rd same month, with the petition of Mr. Lowther, Governor of Barbadoes, referr'd to therein, relating to a controversy between him and the said Skeen about their rights to several fees &c, mentioned in the minutes of the 19th of June last.
Then Sir Thomas Powys open'd the matter, and stated the said Skeen's case as follows:—
That Mr. Skeen has a patent from her Majesty, dated the 8th May, in the first year of her Majesty's reign, by which he is made secretary of Barbadoes, secretary to the Governor of that island for the time being, secretary to the Governor and Council for the time being, secretary to the Council in the absence of the Governor and Clerk of the several Courts in the said island. Notwithstanding which patent, Mr. Crow, when he was Governor of that island, did exact, from the said Skeen, 400l. per annum for permission to act as secretary to him the Governor, which he paid for one year, untill upon his petition to her Majesty and a full hearing of that matter at this Board, and their lordships’ representation thereupon to her Majesty, her Majesty was pleased to order that the said Skeen be restored to the full enjoyment of all fees, profits &c., belonging to his said places, pursuant to his patent.
That Mr. Crow refused to comply with her Majesty's order in this matter, and being soon after recalled, Mr. Lowther was appointed Governor in his place, and by her Majesty's commands an instruction was prepared for him, directing him to admit the said Skene to the several offices granted him by his patent, and to the full enjoyment of all the rights, profits, advantages, fees &c., thereto belonging; notwithstanding which instruction, and the proceedings in Mr. Crow's case, which Mr. Skene laid before Mr. Lowther, he did, soon after his arrival at Barbadoes, demand of the said Skene the summe of 400l. per annum, as belonging of right to him for his perquisite from the secretary's office.
That the said Skene not complying herewith, the Governor set up an inquisition, consisting of three of the members of the Council and three of the Assembly, to inquire whether the perquisites of the said office, or some part of them, did not belong to him, the Governor.
That the said members did report their inquiry to the Governor and Council, in which report they inserted several articles of complaint against the said Skene, and though the Council were equally divided in their opinion upon it, yet the Governor proceeded to suspend the said Skene from the execution of all his offices.
Then Mr. Williams, on the same side, spoke much to the same purpose as Sir Thomas had done, adding that though the Governor had been several times apply'd to in behalf of the said Skene, for a copy of the said report against him, he could not obtain the same.
Then in proof of what had been alledged by him and Sir Thomas Powys the following papers were read, vizt.:
Mr. Skene's patent aforementiond. [Barbadoes, F., fo. 439.]
An Order of Council of 31st March, 1709 [ditto, fo. 435], referring to this Board a petition from the said Skene, complaining of Mr. Crow for incroachments upon his office.
The representation of this Board of 18th April, 1709 thereupon [ditto, fo. 444].
The Order of Council of 28th said month, upon the same representation, directing the Earl of Sunderland to signify her Majesty's pleasure as aforesaid. [Bar. G., fo. 28.]
Mr. Skene's petition and reference [ditto, fo. 104] upon Mr. Crow's not complying with her Majesty's said commands.
The Lord Dartmouth's letter of 28th July, 1710 [ditto, fo. 132], directing the Board to prepare an instruction to Mr. Lowther, in behalf of the said Skene, as aforesaid.
And the said instruction [ditto, fo. 159].
They also produced to their lordships the Governor's speech to the Assembly, on the 22nd January, 17 11/12, whereby he recommended to them to enquire into the difference between him and Mr. Skene aforesaid, as also Mr. Lowther's suspension of Mr. Skene, dated 12th February, 17 11/12, and in proof of the Governor's having refused to give Mr. Skene a copy of the report of the foresaid members, notwithstanding it had been ordered by himself in Council, February the 5th, 1712, they referr'd to Mr. Belgrove, who acquainted their lordships that he waited on the Governor with the petition from Mr. Skene for that purpose, but cou'd get no answer; that he went to him several times after with letters, but without effect, till the night before that Mr.Skene came away; that he had a promise of having a copy, which was then impossible to be done.
Then Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Darnel, in behalf of Mr. Lowther, said that Mr. Skene was not suspended upon account of the fees claimed by him, but for crimes and misdemeanors set forth in the report from the members of the Council and Assembly aforementioned; part of which was read, relating to his taking unwarrantable fees; in proof of which they read an affidavit of Arthur Upton, taken before the said members of Council and Assembly; but Sir Thomas Powys objecting that this affidavit, being taken by the foresaid members of the Council and Assembly appointed by the Governor, ought not to be allowed as sufficient evidence against the said Skene, they read no more to that purpose.
Then they read the 20th article of the Governor's instructions, relating to the salary and perquisites to the Comander in Chief, in the absence of the Governor, as also the 86th article of the said instructions, whereby her Majesty reserves to the Governor the colating to benefices, the granting licences for marriages and probate of wills, from whence they inferr'd that the fees for those several services did of right belong to the Governor, and hoped that their lordships wou'd accordingly represent it.
Then Sir Thomas Powys, in his reply, took notice that in the last-mention'd instruction there is no notice taken of fees, but only that the Governor was authorized to grant licences of marriages &c.; and he produced an Act past in Barbadoes, the 21st of October, 1670, for regulating and appointing the fees of the secretary of that island, in which the fees for a licence for marriage, for letters of administration and probate of wills are particularly mention'd.
A letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of the 21st instant, directing this Board, by her Majesty's order, to write to the Governors of the plantations not to send over any persons for crimes and misdemeanors, without full proof of their guilt, was read; and an answer thereto, signifying that their lordships would immediately write such letters, and inclosing the extract of a letter from the Lord Archibald Hamilton [fo. 195], relating to Mr. Creagh, mentioned in the minutes of the 13th instant, was signed; and the secretary then laying before their lordships the draught of such a letter to the said Governors, the same was agreed, and order'd to be transcrib'd.
Colonel Cleland and Colonel Nicholson, from the Society for Propogating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, attending [fo. 219], an Order of Council, of the 28th July, 1712, upon the petition of Mr. Poyer, clerk in New York, relating to the Governor's instructions about appeals to her Majesty in Council, praying that in causes relating immediately to the Church, an appeal may lye to the Governor and Council there, and to her Majesty and Privy Council here, without any restriction or limitation of the value or summe appealed for, was read; and Colonel Nicholson there-upon said that he thought it would be no disadvantage if that clause of the Governor's instructions relating to appeals were left at large, and not limited in matters which relate to the Crown or to the rights of the Church; and after some further discourse with him thereupon, their lordships agreed to take that matter into consideration at another opportunity.
A referrence from the Lord High Treasurer, upon the petition of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts [fo. 183, 219], and of William Codrington, esquire, praying for the reversion of the island of Barbuda &c., read the 12th June last, was again read, and also several papers relating thereunto, and their lordships resolved to reconsider that matter.
A memorial from Mr. Micajah Perry and Richard Perry, praying the confirmation of an Act past in Virginia the 7th day of November, 1711, entituled An Act to enable John Custis and Frances his wife to sell a mill with certain lands and negroes, which are entailed on the said Frances by the last will and testament of Daniel Parke, esquire, deceased, for payment of the debts and legacies of the said Daniel (Book of Virginia Laws, No. 4, folio 29), was read; whereupon ordered [fo. 211] that the said Act, as also the said memorial, be sent to Mr. Attorney General for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
The draught of a letter to the Earl of Dartmouth [fo. 192, 209], upon what Colonel Hunter, Governor of New York, writes in his letter of the 23rd of June last, read the 6th instant, relating to the conspiracy of the negroes there, to a pardon for some of them, and to ordnance stores wanting, was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of a representation upon an Act past in Barbadoes the 8th of August, 1706 [fo. 177, 208], entituled An Act for the better enabling the executors of Christopher Estwick, esquire, to pay the debts of the said Christopher Estwick, proposing her Majesty's disapprobation and disallowance thereof, was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter from the Lord Bishop of London, of the 17th instant [fo. 198, 209], approving of the persons recommended to be counsellors of the province of New Jersey, was read; and the draught of a representation, proposing the said persons to be of the said Council of New Jersey, being laid before their lordships, the same was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter from Mr. Robert Cunningham, dated at St. Christopher's the 2nd July, 1712 [fo. 194, 210], relating to his imprisonment there, and to proceedings of Major Douglas, was read; and directions given for preparing an answer thereunto, and that an abstract of his said letter, as also of his former letter, mentioned in the minutes of the 12th instant, be transmitted to the Earl of Dartmouth.
A representation, proposing the repeal of an Act past in Barbadoes [fo. 207, 217], for the better enabling the executors of Christopher Estwick, esquire, to pay the debts of the said Estwick, agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
A representation, proposing the removal of several persons to be members of the Council of New Jersey [fo. 208; R. fo. 143], and of the additions of others in their stead, agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
Circular letters to all her Majesty's Governors in the plantations, directing them not to send over any persons as prisoners, without proof of the crime &c., agreed at the last meeting, were signed, as also one to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, upon the same subject.
A letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of the 26th instant, directing the Board to prepare the project of a Treaty of Commerce between Great Britain and the State of Venice, and to transmit the same to his lordship, was read; whereupon ordered [fo. 214] that the draught of such a Treaty be prepared accordingly.
Another letter from the Earl of Dartmouth, of the 25th of the last month, desiring to know if the Board have any objections to Mr. Broderick and Mr. Totterdale's being of the Council of Jamaica, was read.
An Order of Council, of the 17th July last, upon the petition of Mr. Edlyn and Mr. Mumby, members of the Council of Jamaica, praying leave to stay some time longer in England, was also read, and their lordships agreed to take both these matters into consideration at their first meeting.
A letter to the Lord Dartmouth [fo. 208], upon what Mr. Robert Cunningham, of St. Christopher's, had writ to their lordships in his late letters, mention'd in the minutes of the 12th and 27th instant, was signed.