Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 3, March 1715 - October 1718. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.
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Journal, January 1716
A memorial from Mr. Oldmixon [fo. 249] in behalf of Mr. Miles relating to the Consulship of Madera, praying that the said Miles may be appointed Vice Consul there, was read, and directions given for acquainting the said Oldmixon that since the report of this Board, upon the first reference of that matter there has been nothing relating thereunto before their Lordships.
Upon further consideration of Brigadier Hunters letter to the Secry. of the 10th of October which was read the 28th of the last month [fo. 309, 312]; ordered that the several papers relating to the imploying of several Palatines at New York in the production of Naval Stores be looked out.
Ordered likewise that the several letters &c. lately recd, from divers of His Majesty's Consuls abroad be inspected and extracts of such parts thereof made [fo. 312] as relate to the increase or decay of our Woollen Trade, and laid before the Board tomorrow morning.
A letter from Mr. Martyn Inspector General of His Majesty's Customs, dated the 29th of the last month, representing the difficulty of furnishing their Lordships with the accounts last desired from him [fo. 307, 314] of the Woollen Manufactures exported was read; whereupon ordered that he be acquainted that the Board did not intend to give him so great a work as he mentions, and therefore only desire at present the quarterly accounts of the quantities of the long, short and Spanish cloths exported from London and the out Ports in the year 1714.
Ordered that the Secry. write to Mr. Lowndes to move the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury, that this Board may have the use of the several books made up by the Inspector General of the Imports and Exports of the Customs [fo. 322.]
Then the extracts ordered yesterday to be prepared of the letters from several British Consuls in foreign parts [fo. 310] relating to our Woollen Trade were read, and a progress made in the consideraion thereof.
Several papers [fo. 310, 315] relating to the Palatines designed to be employed in producing naval stores at New York, as mentioned in the minutes of the last meeting being laid before the Board directions were given for preparing the draught of a repn. upon that subject.
A letter from the Mayor of Bydeford of the 13th of Decr, past with the proposals of the merchants &c. of that place [fo. 296], in answer to the Circular Letter writ to him and the Mayors of other Western Ports, the 3rd of the same month, relating to the Trade and Fishery of Newfoundland, were read; as likewise a letter from the Mayor of Barnstable, dated the 27th of Decr., 1715, signifying the concurrence of the merchants and others there, with the forementioned proposals from Bydeford, and their Lordships resolved to take the same into further consideration with the answers that shall be received from the other ports.
Ordered that letters be writ [fo. 307, 314] to Sir John Ward Govr. of the Hamburgh Company, Sir Benjamin Ayloffe, Govr. of the Muscovia Company, and to the Deputy Govr. of the Turkey Company, to remind them of the Boards desire of an account of the present state of the Woollen Cloth Trade, and the reasons of the decay thereof, as also further to signifye their Lordships desire of the several answers from the said gentlemen in writing on Tuesday or Wednesday morning next, or in case they cannot be ready so soon, that they will please to inform the Board when the said answers may be expected.
A letter from Sir Gerard Conyers Deputy Govr. of the Turkey Company in answer to those writ him the 23rd of Decr. and 5th instant [fo. 313] for an acct. of the Woollen Cloth Trade, and the reasons for the decay thereof, was read.
Ordered that letters be prepared to the Mayors of such of the Out Ports as have not returned answers to the letters writ them the 3rd of the last month [fo. 296] relating to the Trade and Fishery of Newfoundland to remind them of the said letters and desire their respective answers with all dispatch; whereupon letters being accordingly prepared to the Mayors of Exeter, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Weymouth, Poole, Foway and Bristol, the same were agreed and ordered to be sent.
An account from Mr. Martyn [fo. 311], (Inspector General of the Customs) of the long, short and Spanish cloths exported quarterly in the year 1714, as had been desired of him the 4th instant, was laid before the Board and read, as likewise his letter dated this day transmitting the same.
Ordered that the Secry. write to Mr. Martyn Inspector General of the Customs [fo. 335], to desire that of his acct. of pitch tar and masts imported into this Kingdom from Christmas, 1706, to Christmas, 1714, he will distinguish to the Board what part of the said species were imported to London, what to Bristol, and what to the other Out Ports from the plantations.
Captain Taverner, who has been imployed in surveying the late French part of Newfoundland [fo. 80] attending, communicated to the Board the draught he has made of the harbours and sevl. islands there, upon which their Lordships desiring to receive from him what information he could give concerning the Trade and Fishery of those parts and putting several questions to him, he acquainted ym. that he himself had taken possession of all the late French part of Newfoundland, except Placentia, where Lieut. Govr. Moody now resides—that the French inhabitants mostly removing to Cape Breton, there were but few of them remaining about Newfoundland—that notwithstanding those who remained had taken the Oaths of Fidelity to His Majesty King George, they had not only their goods but servants and fresh men to imploy in the Fishery from France, and that His Majesty's subjects of Guernsey, who use the Newfoundland Trade, have likewise all their lines and fishing tackle from St. Malo, on account of the neighbourhood of that place, and those things being somewhat cheaper there than ours; tho' he added, that he did not doubt but the people of Guernsey were likewise concerned with the merchants of St. Malo in their loadings of fish—that the French come and fetch furs from Newfoundland; and so many of their ships fish within the limits prohibited them by the late Treaty, that had he had authority, he could have seized twenty five or more of them, whilst our men of war were chiefly about the ancient English part of the Island—and he said further in relation to the French, that he understood the Fishery had been but bad at Cape Briton this last year, and that many people, who had settled there were removed to Canada—being then particularly asked if great numbers of our own fishermen and seamen were not debauched and carried away to New England without returning to Great Britain as required by Act of Parliament, and in relation to the selling or hiring of cook rooms and stages &c. at Placentia, as also concerning the manner of carrying on the Trade to Newfoundland from the western ports of England and what abuses he knew therein; he said that near one third part of the fishing ships men go to New England, whereby the masters of those ships save the charge of their passage back and the men get greater wages—and as to Placentia, he said he was there in August last, that he understood Col. Moody had bought some of the French plantations there by vertue of the Queens letter allowing the French to sell their immoveable effects—that there were in that harbour last year a great many vacant stages, and not such a number of ships, as to occasion their hiring any stages or rooms; but being further pressed to let the Board know whether the merchants or others did not pay for conveniences there, he answered he believed some of them might —that Col. Moody had four boats himself last year.
Their Lordships then asking his opinion touching the benefit or disadvantage to the publick by having or not having any number of inhabitants at Newfoundland, he declared that he thought the having inhabitants there was a benefit, for that they were cloathed and chiefly supported with all necessaries from this Kingdom—that none of the ships belonging to the western ports of England, except Bydeford and Barnstable, trading to Newfoundland, depend intirely upon fishing, but take as many passengers and what freight they could with some goods of their own, and relied on the chance of the Fishery to make good their voyage, carrying as few seamen or fresh men at their own charge as they can—that Bydeford and Barnstable carry indeed their complement both of seamen and fresh men but generally return with few, and depending altogether on the Fishery they carry little besides their tackle and butter—but that the ships of these two last mentioned ports afford their fish cheaper by reason of their method of hiring their men by shares of fish and not by wages in money, as has been the practice with others since the late wars with France—that the price of fish last year at St. Peters was 35 rials per quintal and at St. Johns from 38 to 28—that there were few of our ships had yet gone to those parts of Newfoundland lately possessed by the French, the ships of Poole commonly frequenting the north part, those of Bristol about Carbonier, of Dartmouth about the Bay of Bulls, of Bydeford and Barnstable about Renouse and Fermouse, to which places they return an account of utensils they leave there—that a great grievance to the Fishery at Newfoundland is the Fishing Admiral taking no case to redress irregularities or prevent the depredations frequently committed, and he referred their Lordships to some former remarks relating to the English settlements there, and the heads of an Act drawn up by him for incouraging that Trade and Fishery delivered to the Board in 1713–14, whereupon their Lordships ordered him a copy thereof, and desired he would add or alter what he thought necessary therein, and bring to the Board on Friday morning next in writing [fo. 322] the substance of what he had now said with his particular observations upon the places yielded to us by the French, what abuses are committed there if any, and his opinion what may be done to make those places of benefit to this Kingdom.
Captain Taverner being withdrawn, their Lordships upon consideration of some matters relating to the production of naval stores in His Majesty's Plantations and the importation thereof from thence, gave directions for writing to Joseph Pace Esqr., Mr. John Lloyd, Mr. Samuel Baker, Mr. Joseph Lowe, Mr. Andrew Funnel, Mr. Richd. Hackshaw, and Mr. Thomas Sandford [fo. 324], to acquaint them that the Board desire to speak with them upon that subject at ten of the clock on Wednesday morning next.
A new commn. from His Majesty dated the 5th day of this instant January, 17 15/16 was opened and read, whereby (besides the great officers of State, as in the last commn. for this Board) the Rt. Honble. the Earl of Suffolk and Bindon, Sir Jacob Astley knight and Bart. John Cokburne, John Chetwynd, Charles Cooke, Paul Docminique, Joseph Addison, and John Molesworth Esqrs. are appointed Commrs. for promoting the Trade of this kingdom, and for inspecting and improving His Majesty's Plantations in America, and Mr. Addison and Mr. Molesworth being present took their places at the Board accordingly.
A letter from Capt. Taverner to the Secry. desiring the several particulars to which the Board expect his answers concerning the Trade and Fishery of Newfoundland [fo. 320, 353], was read, and an answer to the said letter, being prepared the same was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, Secry. to the Commrs. of His Majesty's Customs, of the 12th instant [fo. 311], with an account from the Searchers Office of the Woollen Manufactures exported in the years 1711 and 1712, was read.
A letter from Major Caulfield Lieut. Govr. of Annapolis Royal
in Nova Scotia, to the Board dated the 1st of November last, was
read, and the papers therewith transmitted, laid before the Board,
Copy of a letter from the savages of Penobscot and St. Johns, written by their priest, to Major Caulfield, Lt. Govr. of Annapolis Royal, with his answers.
Draught of the Bay of Fundy.
Draught of Cape Breton.
The copy of an Order of Council of the 5th of Decr. upon a repn. from this Board of the 30th of Novr., 1715 [fo. 287], for confirming An Act of Antigua, to enable Baptist Looby &c. to sell lands in that Island, was read.
Mr. Pace with several other merchants [fo. 321] trading to New England, and other His Majesty's plantations where naval stores are produced, attending, as they had been desired, the 13th instant, their Lordships had some discourse with them concerning the quality &c. of the species of stores undermentioned, in which the said gentlemen acquainted the Board, that the tar made in New England is not so good for ropes as that from Carolina and Virginia; in New England they make a great deal from knots and roots of wood, but that which they make from trees, is very good, the difference of which may be easily known in the barrils—that the New England tar being more watery than the Swedish is less worth by 20 per cent., tho' New Engld. improves in that manufacture, which is seldom kept long when imported here, the Navy Board having bought some of it—that for masts those from Riga and Gottenburgh are esteemed the best in the World, and those from New England next, but that in New England there are trees called Apple pines whereof mast might be made equal in goodness to the very best, but because of the great weight of them are not brought hither—that the turpentine made in New England, is better than that from France, and the importation of it into this kingdom is much increased; they added that the price of freight from Gottenburgh to Great Britain was about fifteen and from New England about forty five shillings per tun for Boards and plank.
Mr. Pace and the other gentlemen were then desired to let their Lordships have as soon as they could in writing what they had now mentioned on the subject of naval stores, together with what they judged proper for facilitating and incouraging the importation of the said stores into this Kingdom from His Majesty's Plantations, which they accordingly promised.
Mr. Mills attending, and his Powers of Attorney from several of the sufferers by the French Invasion of Nevis being examined at the Board, the Seven Debentures numbered as follows were delivered to him vizt., 487, 523, 530, 534, 552, 566, 573.
Mr. Bridger Surveyor General of His Majesty's Woods on the Continent of America, attending [fo. 236], presented to their Lordships a petition setting forth that there is a stop put to the payment of his salary at the Navy Board, by Order from the Lords of the Admiralty, who have sent their reasons to the Lords of His Majesty's Treasury against the continuance of any Commission for a Surveyor of the Woods as aforesaid, and praying the interposition of this Board, that he the said Bridger may be enabled to pursue the intent of his Commission which their Lordships have thought necessary, was read; whereupon a letter to Mr. Lowndes [fo. 330], desiring him to move the Lords of the Treasury for copies of the said reasons, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
Sir Gerard Conyers Deputy Govr. and several members of the Levant or Turkey Company attending, presented to their Lordships a memorial in answer to the letter writ to the said Deputy Govr. the 20th of the last month [fo. 307], for an account of the present state of the Woollen Cloth Trade, and the reasons of the decay thereof, which was read and the said gentlemen being withdrawn ordered that a letter be writ to Sir Gerard Conyers [fo. 330], to desire he will let this Board have on Tuesday next an account of the cloth exported by the Turkey Company annually for three years ending at Christmas last.
Ordered likewise that Mr. Martyn [fo. 329] Inspector General of His Majestys Customs be desired to give their Lordships on Tuesday next if possible, an account of the raw silk imported from Leghorn annually in three years ending at Christmas last.
A memorial from the Muscovia Company, relating to the decay of our Woollen Trade, in answer to the letter writ to their Govr. [fo. 307] the 23rd of the last month, and concerning the abuses in packing of hemp in the Czar's Dominions was read.
Mr. Gaudy attending [fo. 286], presented to their Lordships two printed maps from the draughts he made last year, the one describing Placentia, and the other the Coast of Newfoundland, from the Bay of Bulls to little Placentia, as likewise the Harbour of Trepassey, which were ordered to be kept with the draughts and other maps in this office.
An account [fo. 328] from the office of the Inspector General of the Customs, shewing the quantity of raw silk annually imported from Leghorn in three years, ending at Christmas last, as had been desired of Mr. Martyn the 20th instant, was read.
A letter [fo. 328] from Sir Gerard Conyers, Deputy Govr. of the Turkey Company, dated this day, with an account of the cloth exported by them in three years, ending at Christmas last as desired the 20th instant, was likewise read; whereupon ordered, that the Secry. further desire to know of him, what proofs there are of any quantities of Turkey raw silks [fo. 335] being exported from Marseilles to Leghorn, and from thence to this Kingdom, as set forth in the memorial received from him, and other members of the Company on Friday last.
A letter from Mr. Kelsall [fo. 326] of the 21st instant, transmitting by order of the Lords of the Treasury, the copy of a letter from the Admiralty, relating to the reasons for not continuing a Surveyor of His Majesty's Woods on the Continent of America, was read, together with the said copy.
A letter from Sir Matthew Dudley, dated this day, relating to the preservation and production of masts and ship timber in New England, and other parts of His Majesty's Plantations in America, together with the copy of a letter to Mr. Usher late Lieut. Govr. of New Hampshire dated the 2nd of November last, relating to the waste committed in the Woods in those parts, were read; whereupon directions were given for preparing a letter to the Lords of His Majesty's Treasury [fo. 335] relating to that matter.
Ordered that a letter [fo. 336] be writ to Mr. Attorney General for his opinion as soon as may be, whether to remedy the abuses committed against the Act of Parliamt. past in the 10th and 11th years of the reign of His late Majesty King William, to incourage the Trade to Newfoundland, it may be necessary that a New Act of Parliament be passed with penalties. Whether His Majesty's Proclamation may be sufficient in this case, or what other method he can propose to remedy the said evils.
Mr. Lechmere and Mr. Banister, with several New England merchants, as likewise Captain Jones and others concerned in masting of ships &c. attending, they presented to their Lordships a memorial for further incouraging the production of Naval stores [fo. 233, 334], in His Majesty's Plantations, and importing the same into Great Britain, which was read, as likewise three certificates of the goodness of masts, and in discourse these gentlemen said, that as to the raising of hemp, there was little land fit for it, in the province of the Massachusets Bay; but that the province of Main, which is yet unsettled, was very proper for it, and that if the inhabitants were obliged to pay their taxes in that commodity, they would the readier be induced to set about it—that the chief difference between the Naval stores from America, and those from the Northern Crowns, was in the price of freight, and that the premium or incouragement for Naval Stores to be brought from His Majesty's Dominions, ought to be proportioned according to the difference of freight from thence and the Baltick, and for plank and deals regard ought to be had to their fineness—Captain Jones, a mast maker, also presented to the Board a certificate from himself, relating to the goodness of masts from New England, in comparison with those from Denmark and Norway, &c. which was read; and he further said, that from twenty inches diameter and upwards, he would give a better price for New England masts than any other— that the countries of Gottenburgh, and about Riga, where he formerly resided, were near exhausted of masts, and that among forty which grew there, he had found not above five fit for service, but that he had known masts of New England bear three East India voyages [fo. 341]—Capt. Jones then offering to add something to his forementioned certificate, the same was delivered to him, which he promised to return in a few days.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Stanhope, of the 26th instant, desiring the thoughts of this Board in relation to such directions as His Majesty's service may require to be given about the Isle of May, Newfoundland and Annapolis Royal [fo. 288, 338, 371], was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Attorney Genl. be desired to give his answer tomorrow morning, if possible, to the letter writ him the 25th of this month, concerning abuses committed at Newfoundland contrary to Act of Parliament.
The draught of a letter [fo. 331, 339] to the Lords Commrs. of His Majesty's Treasury, relating to the Office of Surveyor of His Majesty's Woods on the Continent of America, directed to be pre pared the 25th instant, was read, and a progress made in the consideration thereof.
An account from the Office of the Inspector General of His Majesty's Customs [fo. 315] shewing the quantities of pitch, tar and masts imported from His Majesty's Plantations to London, Bristol, and the other Out Ports from Christmas, 1706 to Christmas, 1714, as desired, the 12th instant was laid before the Board.