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, July 1716
Upon consideration of the petition of several merchants trading to New England, that Mr. John Roe [fos. 35, 43] may be appointed his Majesty's agent at the port of St. Ander in Spain, which was read the 28th past, ordered that Mr. Roe be acquainted with the desire of the Board to speak with him tomorrow morning.
Mr. Cary [fos. 8, 53], agent for the Virginia Indian Company, attending, presented to their lordships an answer to the reasons against the law for monopolizing the Indian trade in Virginia, which was read; and Mr. Cary being asked how soon he could be ready to be heard at the Board with Mr. Offley and the other merchants, who appear against the said Act, he named this day se'night; whereupon ordered that a copy of the above mentioned answer be sent to Mr. Offley, and that he be acquainted that the Board have appointed this day se'night for hearing what may be further offered, as to the conveniencies or inconveniencies of the said Act.
Mr. Offley afterwards also attending, presented to the Board a replication of several merchants, trading to Virginia etc. to the meml. of Robert Cary, which was read, and directions given for transmitting a copy thereof to the said Mr. Cary.
A letter from Mr. Secry. Stanhope [fos. 36, 47], of the 29th of the last month, referring to the Board a letter from the Assembly of South Carolina to their agents in London, was read; whereupon ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared to the lords proprietors of Carolina, to desire an account of the present state of that province, what their lordships have done towards suppressing the present Indian war there, and what provision is made for the future security of the said country.
Mr. John Roe, [fos. 41, 47] attending as he had been desired, their lordships had some discourse with him relating to his Majesty's appointing an agent at the port of St. Ander in Spain, and the service such an officer would be of to the trade of his Majesty's subjects ' whereupon he said, that there being no factory yet settled there, the Biscayners have in a manner all the navigation from St. Ander. That if he were sent thither as publick agent, it would contribute towards the settling a factory at that port, many of his friends having already engaged to send him ships with fish &c., and that several eminent merchants had petitioned in his behalf with that view; that his being settled there would probably draw down to St. Ander several chapmen from the inland parts of Spain with wool and other commodities for our purpose; and as for the charge of this office, he said the merchants would be willing to defray it, by a voluntary duty of an half per cent. upon the imports and exports, as the comissarys at Bilboa have without any expence to the crown; that this office would not interfere with that of Mr. Franklyn, under whose Consulship it was, together with Bilboa and St. Sebastian; but Mr. Roe declared his opinion that if an agent were appointed at St. Ander, there would be no need of a Consul at that place. Mr. Roe being asked, if he desired authority to levy the half per cent., demanded by him in case any ship should refuse it, he said, he believed that would not be disputed but he thought however such a power necessary; he was then desired to put what he had to offer upon this subject in writing, and bring it to the Board tomorrow or next day, as well with regard to the advantages of the said office, to the publick, as to his own demands, and particularly his reasons why the consulship of Bilboa &c. should not extend to St. Ander.
A letter from Mr. Secry. Stanhope of the 22nd of the last month, referring to the Board a proposal from Col. Charles Douglas [fos. 49, 47], relating to the settlement of the late French part of St. Christophers, was read; whereupon ordered that Col. Douglas be desired to bring with him tomorrow morning the scheme mentioned in his said proposal.
A reference from Mr. Secry. Stanhope of the 28th of the last month, upon the petition [fo. 49] of the secry. of this Board to his Majesty. relating to a plantation in the late French part of St. Christophers, was read; and their lordships agreed to take the said reference again into consideration, when their further report relating to the settlement of the said island shall be made.
Mr. Rowland Tryon attending presented to their lordships a memorial in behalf of William Dottin, of Barbadoes, esqr., praying that he may be recommended to his Majesty, for supplying the present vacancy in the Council of that island by the death of Mr. Hallet, which was read; and Mr. Dottin's name ordered to be accordingly entered in the list of persons recommended to supply vacancies in the Council.
The secry. acquainted their lordships, that the Muscovia Company [fos. 36, 50], had sent yesterday after the Board was up, to inform their lordships, that the said company could not be ready till the begining of the next week with their observations upon the project of a treaty of commerce with Muscovy, whereof a copy was sent them the 29th of the last month, whereupon ordered that Mr. Stanyan be desired to acquaint the Lord Visct. Townshend therewith, and that so soon as the company's observations are received, this Board will lose no time in transmitting their report to his lordship.
Further ordered that the secretary write to Sir Benjamin Ayloffe, to acquaint him that, the Board being pressed for their report upon the said project of a treaty, they desire the Muscovy Company will lose no time in preparing and transmitting to their lordships, what they may have to offer thereupon.
The draught of a letter [fos. 42, 64], ordered yesterday to be prepared, to the lords proprietors of Carolina, relating to the state of that province, and what they have done towards suppressing the Indian war there, and for the future security of the country, was agreed and signed [fo. 248].
Col. Charles Douglas [fos. 45, 49], attending, and their lordships desiring to see the scheme, referred to in his proposal for settling the late French part of St. Christophers, mentioned in yesterday's minutes, he said, he had it not at present with him, but promised to bring it tomorrow.
A letter from the Lord Viscount Townshend, dated yesterday, [fo. 18, 48], with an extract of a letter from Mr. Wich, and the copy of an instrument, whereby the Senate of Hamburgh admit herrings caught before midsummer to be imported there, was read, whereupon directions were given for preparing an answer to his lordship.
Mr. John Roe [fo. 43, 49], attending as he had been desired, presented to the Board a meml., relating to the appointing an agent at the port of St. Ander in Spain, which was read; after which their lordships desiring that Mr. Roe would bring to the Board any two or more of the merchants, who Mr. Roe said, had signed a certificate in his favour; a letter was writ at his request to the following gentlemen, signifying the Board's desire to speak with them or any two of them, at ten of the clock tomorrow morning viz.:—Sir Joseph Hodges, Peter Godfrey esqr., Messrs. John and Herman Olmius, Mr. Peter Reneu, and Mr. Nathaniel Torriano.
The draught of a letter to the Lord Viscount Townshend in answer to his lordships of the 4th instant [fos. 47, 165], mentioned in yesterday's minutes, relating to the Senate of Hamburgh's admitting herrings caught before midsummer, to be imported into that city &c., was agreed and signed.
Colonel Douglas [fos. 47, 66], attending, presented to their lordships the scheme he had promised to lay before the Board for settling and improving that part of the island of St. Christophers formerly belonging to the French, which was read; and their lordships gave directions for preparing the draught of a repn. upon that subject; and ordered that the references upon the petitions of Mr. Popple and Capt. Thauvet (fn. 1) [fo. 45], be taken into consideration with the said draught.
A letter from the Lord Visct. Townshend, of the 6th instant, transmitting to the Board the extracts of two letters from Mr. Jackson, resident at Stockholm, and the translation of a tariff published in Sweden in 1715, was read; whereupon ordered that the said tariff be compared with such former tariffs or treaties with Sweden, as are in this office.
Mr. John Roe [fos. 47, 51], attending, acquainted their lordships that the gentlemen whom he was desired to bring to the Board this morning in order to some discourse with them, concerning the appointing an agent at St. Ander in Spain, were severally so very much ingaged in business, that they desired to be excused from attending, but had all declared to him their opinion that a British agent there was very necessary for settling and incouraging our trade thither. And Mr. Roe being withdrawn, directions were given for preparing a letter to a secretary of state upon the New England Merchants petition [fo. 35], mentioned in the minutes of the 28th of last month relating to such an officer.
Mr. Hawys, secretary to the Muscovy Company [fos. 46, 63], attending, returned to their lordships the copy of the project of a treaty of commerce between Great Britain and Muscovy (sent them the 29th as ordered the 28th of the last month) with the company's observations added in the margin, which said project and observations being severally read, Mr. Hawys was desired to acquaint the said company, that the Board would be glad to speak with them upon the same subject at ten of the clock on Wednesday morning next.
The draught of a letter to Mr. Secry. Methuen, which was ordered to be prepared the 6th instant, upon the petition of several merchants trading to New England, relating to Mr. Roe's [fo. 49] being appointed agent at the port of St. Ander in Spain, was agreed and signed.
The accounts of the incidental charges of this Commn. from Lady Day to Midsummer last, being laid before the Board, together with copys of the accounts, which were sent the 31st of May last, to the Lords Commrs. of his Majesty's Treasury, for the preceding quarter; a letter was signed for transmitting the whole to their lordships, and to desire payment of the salaries due to this office; the said six months accounts amounting in the whole to two hundred thirty five pounds, fourteen shillings and seven pence, as follows vizt.:—
|Account of petty expenses from Christmas, 1715, to Lady day, 1716, amounting to||92||19||6|
|The like account from Lady day to Midsummer, 1716||28||15||6|
|The stationers account from Christmas, 1715, to Lady day, 1716, amounting to||29||12||3|
|The like account from Lady day to Midsummer, 1716||26||7||9|
|The postman's account from Christmas, 1715, to Lady day, 1716, amounting to||13||12||7|
|The like account from Lady day to Midsummer, 1716||11||13||1|
|Samuel Clark's account of wood and coals amounting to||32||13||2|
Their Lordships taking into further consideration the act passed in Virginia in 1714, intituled, an Act for the better regulation of the Indian Trade [fos. 41, 62], the letter from Colonel Spotswood, Lieut. Govr. of that colony, dated the 9th of May last, upon the same subject, was read, together with the memorial from the Virginia Indian Company, therein referred to.
After which, Mr. Offley, who with several other merchants, has petitioned against the said act, attending on the one side, and Mr. Cary, agent for the forementioned company with Mr. William and Mr. John Randall and Mr. Tho. Booth, lately arrived from Virginia as also John Lloyd esqr., captain Francis Willis, and Mr. William Williamson, together with Mr. Henry Daniel, and Mr. John Hughes, which two last are particular traders in skyns, attending on the other; Colonel Blakiston agent for the colony, and Mr. Byrd, one of the Council there, being likewise present, the petition of Mr. Offley, and other merchants (mentioned in the minutes of the 10th of May), Mr. Cary's answer to the petition and Mr. Offley's reasons against the Act, (mentioned in the minutes of the 12th of June) as also Mr. Cary's answer to the said reasons against the Act, and Mr. Offley's replication (mentioned in the minutes of the 3rd instant) were severally read; whereupon Mr. Cary observed to their lordships that the petition presented by Mr. Offley was not signed by any inhabitants of Virginia, nor by above one Virginia merchant besides himself, the rest being most traders to Maryland, and Mr. Offley admitted that the gentlemen who signed the said petition, were not so much concerned in Virginia as Maryland; but that the petition was intended to be offered for signing to several merchants who chiefly trade to Virginia, and that it was accordingly offered to some of them who declined signing it, only for fear of disobliging their correspondents in Virginia that had an interest in the Act; that the Govr. had writ to some of the merchants here in favour of it and that they declined signing the petition for no other reason, than lest the Govr. should prejudice their affairs in the colony; that other gentlemen here, who are in opinion against the Act, having relations concerned in it in Virginia, would not on that account appear against it; and Mr. Offley affirmed that he had advice that the Govr. had threatened him, the said Offley, for what he had done in this matter. As to the Maryland merchants, Mr. Offley did not deny but that province might receive some advantage by this act; but he said they signed the petition as they thought the Act a prejudice to trade in general, and might be a precedent for passing the like in Maryland and other Plantations. Mr. Cary then desired Mr. Offley would produce some proof to the Board that the petition was refused to be signed by any merchants for the reasons alledged and particularly that the Govr. had used any threats &c., whereupon Mr. Offley said, he had information of it, but did not offer any proof, tho' as to the Govrs. threats towards himself, he said he had advice thereof from a member of the Council of Virginia; Mr. Cary alledged that before this Act, the trade with the Indians in Virginia, was much declined, ¾ of it, he said, being owned by all sides to be lost, and he produced several accounts extracted from the custom house books to support this allegation; that formerly there were 10,000 skins yearly imported from Virginia, and if a regulated company be established, that number might be augmented; that the reason why so few were now imported was not the duty, as suggested by Mr. Offley, but the decay of trade which is not to be retrieved by private hands, who before the Act, were not above 4 or 5 in number, who sold their goods to the meaner sort of people, and they without any regard to the publick welfare, imposed upon the Indians by making them drunk &c., and were the occasion of most of the Indian wars and disorders that have happened in the colony, whereas the Company consists at present of above twenty substantial persons, whose factors must be accountable for their behaviour; that the Act was passed by the most considerable dealers and with great applause in Virginia, where the interest of the colony must be supposed to be best known.
Mr. Offley, in answer to Mr. Cary, said that the duty on skins had in great measure lessened the trade in that comodity, but was not the only reason of its falling off of late years, there having been unavoidable interruptions of trade with the Indians; and Mr. Byrd observed that the government of Virginia had been obliged to stop all trade with them for two years on account of a massacre that happened in North Carolina about four years ago, and afterwards the Indian war broke out in South Carolina, so that we could have but few or no skins from the Indians and for the same reason Mr. Byrd allowed that the trade might not be above the value of 300l. a year of late; that before that time when the trade was open to everyone, there might be six or eight the most considerable merchants that sent large cargoes, besides others, and very great quantities of skins were imported from Virginia to this kingdom, he having himself sent hither 50 or 60 hhds. of skins in a year. That they traded for more than 4000l. yearly, (the Company's present stock) and Mr. Byrd being asked what the value of the annual exports of English manufactures &c., to Virginia was before the abovementioned prohibition of trade with the Indians he said, between 4 or 5000l. Mr. Offley alledged further, that the merchants concerned particularly in the Indian trade in Virginia were about 30 in number; that the trade was chiefly carried on by 4 or 5 of the most considerable of them, and that this company would be obliged to imploy the same persons for their agents and factors, as the other merchants had formerly done, to which it was answered, that the same persons would as factors or servants be under more restraint and obliged, as well as inclined to use the Indians better than when they traded for themselves.
Mr. Cary then referred himself to Capt. Randal abovementioned for his opinion upon this Act, who said he believed it would be no prejudice to the exports here, and that there might be a greater trade carried on with a company than without, they having been at the expence of discovering a new passage for trade with foreign Indians, with whom we have hitherto had no intercourse; that the abuses formerly committed by making the Indians drunk and imposing upon them, will now be prevented; that the traders who went up among the Indians before this company was established, took goods on their own risque, and could not allow them so cheap to the Indians as the Company may who have ym. at the first cost; that the Company are men of honor and will have a strict care of the behaviour of their factors, and since this law was made, he said that no injury has been done to the Indians nor any disorders happened; that before the books for subscriptions were shut, all the former traders except Mr. Byrd, as he believed, were invited to subscribe to this Company, which Mr. Byrd said he did not take amiss, it being known he was then leaving the country; that the said Randal himself had declined subscribing for no other reason than that he thought the charges too great which the Company were to be at, and he believed it was the same reason which prevailed with others not to do it. As to the objection, that the Act gave the Govr. a power to shut up the trade at his pleasure, it was observed he was obliged by the Act to have the advice of the Council thereupon, besides that the Act gave him no more power than he really had without it; that formerly there was a law obliging all who traded with the Indians to take a licence, which the Govr. granted by the advice of the Council, the intent whereof was that traders should go out in numbers and not so few as to be murdered by the Indians, as sometimes had formerly happened. Mr. Randal being then asked, if he knew of any complaints offered to the Assembly against this bill before it passed into an act, he said there were grievances presented by the meaner sort of people from several countrys remote from the Indians, and not concerned in that trade; and as to any members of the Assemblys being concerned in the Company, he declared he knew of none; that it was long after the books were opened, before there was any subscription, and that nobody was refused.
The gentlemen attending being asked what expence the Company made have been at already, they said it could not be exactly computed, but they all agreed it might not be less than 500l. in a magazine and other charges; and Mr. Randal was of opinion that the trade either of Maryland or Carolina would not be affected by the Act, and being further severally asked except Mr. Offley and Mr. Byrd, if they concurred in what Mr. Cary and Mr. Randal had now offered to their lordships in relation to the forementioned Act, they said, they did, and added that several advantages would attend the colony by this Act, as securing the frontiers by the fort at Christiana; the promoting Christianity as well as an interest with the Indians by means of the school to be maintained for so many of their children, and the providing a stock of better stores of war by the magazine which the Company have erected.
Mr. Offley was desired to inform the Board how the constituting this Company, would discourage the woollen manufacture, who answered, by an exclusive trade; that if there was no Company, the value of 8000l. in manufactures of this kingdom would be sent for Virginia, whereas the Company's stock extends but to 4000l. In answer to which Mr. Cary said 4000l. was as much as the trade will bear at present, besides the Act gives a liberty for subscribing 6000l. more, when it shall be proper. He added that there were effects already sent for the Company's account to the value of 2500l., the first whereof were dispatched but at Christmas last.
Upon the whole, their lordships resolved to leave the said Act [fos. 53, 98], as probationary, and in the meantime, gave directions for preparing copies of all the papers that have been laid before them against the said Act, in order to be transmitted to the Lieutenant Govr. of Virginia, for the opinion of himself, the Council and Assembly of that colony thereupon.
Col. Shute [fos. 11, 67] appointed Govr. of his Majesty's provinces of the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, attending, presented to their lordships a list of persons fit to be appointed of his Majesty's Council in New Hampshire, which their lordships resolved to take into consideration the first opportunity.
Mr. Pitt [fos. 18, 108] appointed Govr. of his Majesty's island of Jamaica, attending and desiring a copy of the instructions to be given him for his perusal; their lordships gave directions for preparing a copy thereof for him accordingly, as likewise of the letter from this Board to the Lord Archibald Hamilton of the 25th of April, 1715, and an extract of the representation of the same date, relating to the better settlement of that island with white people, as likewise of the letter from this Board to Mr. Secretary Stanhope of the 15th of March foregoing, with the answer thereto concerning directions to be given by the Admiralty for promoting a good understanding between the Govrs. of his Majesty's Plantations and the Commanders of ships of war there.
Furthered ordered that Mr. Pitt have the Lord Archibald Hamilton's letter [fo. 11] of the 5th of March 17 15/16, and the minutes of the Council and Assembly for Jamaica referred therein for his perusal.
Mr. Boon and Mr. Beresford, agents for South Carolina [fos. 47, 76], presented to their lordships a copy of Mr. Craven's (the late Govrs.) speech to the Assembly there, relating to the state of the province and his design of returning to England, as also a copy of the Assembly's answer.
Sir Joseph Martin, Sir Randolph Knipe, Mr. Dawson, Mr. Nathaniel Gould, Mr. Goodfellow, and Mr. Godfrey, members of the Muscovy Company, attending, their lordships had some discourse with them, relating to several of the articles of the project of a treaty of commerce [fos. 63, 68] with Muscovy upon which they had made some observations as mentioned in the minutes of the 7th instant [fo. 50], and as to the 5th article, where they desire the words now in being may be added after the word laws; their lordships took notice of the inconvenience which might attend such addition by the Czars ministers insisting to have it reciprocal, which would seem to preclude any subsequent act of parliament; to which these gentlemen replied, that the Czar had power to stipulate and bind himself to any future laws to be made by him and they believe the Czar may be prevailed with to consent to it on his part only; as to the 12th article they were asked whether the Dutch were upon the same foot with us, in paying their customs in the Czars dominions in dollars at the same rate as our merchants do; to which they answered, that hitherto the Dutch had been on the same foot with us in that point, that the making use of the word crowns instead of dollars might be dangerous. The said gentlemen upon this occasion, informed the Board, that by advice from Holland, there is now a treaty on foot between the Czar and ye Dutch, which they said, they should be very glad to see, before the treaty with his Majesty were concluded. Upon the 18th article, being asked, whether they meant to have cloathing in the piece, or made up for soldiers, excepted out of the list of contraband goods, they said, they meant both and believed the Czar would not object against it, for that pitch, tar, timber and other naval stores might otherwise be as well esteemed contraband. As to the 23rd article, relating to the Braak at Riga &c., they were satisfied it should be expressed, according to the ancient method used there; they added that as there is reason to believe some foreigners with particular views to their own advantage, have set the Czar upon proposing this treaty with Great Britain; the Company were of opinion it would be better for us to continue as we are at present, than conclude a new treaty less beneficial or favourable to the British subjects than what was proposed in the observations abovementioned.
The draught of two letters to Mr. Secretary Methuen, upon Colonel Douglas's proposal [fo. 49], for settling ye late French lands at St. Christophers and upon Mr. Popple's petition relating to a plantation there, were signed.
Col. Shute [fos. 62, 68], Govr. of the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, attending with Mr. Dummer and Mr. Belcher, Col. Shute presented to their lordships a list of persons recommended to be of the Council of New Hampshire, which was read; and these gentlemen being asked if they had objections against any of the present Council, they said, they had not, and declared they did not insist upon the list now given in.
An Order of Council of the 6th instant, referring to the Board a petition from Sir John Lambert bart. to his Majesty, relating to a vessell seized by some Bermuda sloops, was read; whereupon ordered that a copy of the said petition be sent to Sir John Bennet and that he be acquainted the Board desire to speak with him in relation to that matter on Thursday morning next.
The draughts of instructions for Col. Shute [fo. 67] for the governments of the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire together with the usual instructions for the observation of the Acts of trade and navigation, in those provinces, being laid before the Board, a letter for transmitting the same to Mr. Secry. Methuen, was signed.
Then their lordships took again into consideration the project of a treaty of commerce [fos. 64, 71], with Muscovy and the observations of the Company thereupon, as likewise the draught of a letter to the Lord Viscount Townshend, ordered to be prepared the 13th instant, and made a progress therein.
Mr. Samuel Streater attending, and his powers of attorney from Elizabeth, Josia, and George Webb, three of the sufferers by the French invasion at Nevis being examined, the debenture numbered 485 was delivered to him.
Sir John Bennet, attending, as he had been desired, in relation to the petition of Sir John Lambert, concerning a ship seized near the island—Henegua by some Bermuda sloops; he said, he had heard nothing of it before he received a copy of the said petition from their lordships, and the fact being alledged to be committed so long ago he had reason to think, if it had any ways concerned his brother, the Lieut. Govr. of Bermuda, Sir John should have had some account of it; Sir John Bennet observed that the peace being proclaimed in Bermuda, the 27th of August, 1713, it could hardly be known at Henegua, when the suggested seizure was made, and supposing it were then known, it was impossible Captain Bennet could be a confederate with the masters of the sloops, in making the said seizure as suggested; which could not be known to him at the time it was done. And as to the erecting a special court for trying this cause as the petitioner desires, the same would be very extraordinary upon bare insinuations, especially since there is a legal remedy in the usual course of justice, and an appeal will lie before his Majesty in Council, in case the petitioner after suing in Bermuda, should think himself aggrieved. Sir John Bennet concluded that he looked upon this complaint to be stirred up by some malicious persons only to bring reflections on his brother.
Their lordships then gave directions for writing to Sir John Lambert, to acquaint him ye Board desire to speak with him on the subject of his said petition, at ten of the clock on Wednesday morning next.
A letter from Mr. Secry. Methuen, dated this day with a memorial from Mr. Micklethwaite in behalf of Col. Francis Bond, who is recommended to be of his Majesty's Council in Barbadoes, was read, and an answer thereto drawn up and signed.
Mr. Samuel and Mr. Joseph Travers attending, and their powers of attorney from Mary Gurnay, executrix of the last will and testament of Joseph Gurnay, uncle and heir at law to Hugh Gurnay, one of the sufferers by the French invasion at Nevis, being examined, the debenture in the name of the said Hugh Gurnay numbered 462 was delivered to the said Samuel and Joseph Travers.
Col. Wm. Partridge, Mr. Dummer and Mr. Belcher attending, Col. Partridge presented to their lordships an Order of Council of the 6th instant, referring to this Board his petition praying his Majesty's confirmation of some lands by patent which ye said Partridge purchased in New England, in order to the settlement thereof, which order and petition were read, and their lordships resolved to take that matter into consideration the first opportunity.
An Order of Council of the 19th instant, referring to the Board a report from the principal officers of his Majesty's Ordnance, relating to a supply of warlike stores for the Leeward Islands, was read, together with the copy of the said report. Whereupon the draught of a letter from the secry. to Mr. Lowndes, desiring him to move the Rt. Honble the Lords Commrs. of his Majesty's Treasury, that this Board may have as soon as conveniently may be, an account of the annual produce of the duty of 4½ per cent. in the Leeward Islands since the year 1702, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
An Order of Council of the 6th instant, referring to the Board the petition of Capt. Priswick in behalf of Joshua Jones esqr. to be of his Majtys. Council in one of the Leeward Islands, was read, whereupon ordered that Capt. Priswick be acquainted that their lordships desire to speak with him on Tuesday next.
Mr. Henry Thompson, attending, presented to their lordships an Order of Council of the 6th instant, referring to this Board his petition in behalf of the Lord Archibald Hamilton, praying that Samuel Page and Walter Adlington who have accused the said Lord Hamilton of being concerned in several piracies and robberies committed on the Spaniards, may be obliged to give security for their appearance at the examination of the said accusations, which order and petition were read; whereupon the draught of a letter from the secry. to Mr. Attorney General was immediately drawn up and agreed, transmitting to Mr. Attorney copies of the said petition and reference, as also of the affidavits of the said Page and Adlington, which were received from Mr. Secry. Stanhope, the 19th of May last, for Mr. Attorney's opinion tomorrow morning at ten of the clock, whether what is desired by the petitioner may be granted, and what is the proper method of doing it according to law.
A letter from Sir John Lambert dated the 24th instant, signifying that being at present indisposed himself, he had appointed Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye his solicitor to attend their lordships to make good the allegations set forth in his petition, relating to a ship called the Count de Paix, seized by some Bermuda sloops, as mentioned in the minutes of the 17th instant, was read, and the said Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye attending, they were called in, and being asked several questions, they said, that the said ship was run ashore by fraud of the master, and at last broke to pieces, who run away with part of the loading, but that five or six of the men continued on board. That one Richardson and Peniston, and other masters of Bermuda sloops had seized most of the cargo; that part of the loading of the said ship being carried to Virginia, had been secured there by Col. Spotswood, the Lieutenant Govr. upon application of John de la Croix, pilot of the said ship the Count de Paix as appeared by Col. Spotswood's decree now produced; that Capt. Bennet, Lieutenant Govr. of Bermuda, and Col. Outerbridge and others of the Council there, confederated with the said masters of sloops, to prove which, the said gentlemen produced two affidavits, one of Michael Alpha and Adam Urquhart, the other of Edward Jones, which were read; the substance of which being only hear say, and what the deponents believe, Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye were asked, whether any application had been made in this affair at Bermuda, who answered no, and assigned as a reason, that there is a law in Bermuda whereby no person who is not an inhabitant of those islands, is admitted to file a bill of chancery without security given in Bermuda in 3 times the value in question, to answer the condemnation; being then asked why this application was not sooner made, they said, they had not sufficient authority till lately from France by letters from the French Senegal Company, the owners of the said ship the Count de Paix, to Sir John Lambert, whereof they produced a translation. Being then asked if Sir John Lambert had any share in the said ship, they said he had no share in it. Their lordships hereupon inquiring whether application had been made concerning this ship and cargo to the court of France, or to any minister or ambassador by the said company, Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye said, they knew of none; these gentlemen were then desired to acquaint Sir John Lambert that the Board would be glad to speak with him this day fortnight, upon the subject of his said petition, and that he would please to bring with him what original papers or further proofs he has to support it.
Mr. Gandin attending [fo. 64 vide infra], produced to their lordships two patterns of scarlet cloth, the one dyed with a Spanish cochineal, and the other with cochineal from Carolina, the colours appearing equally good, but that it took 3 times the quantity of Carolina cochineal to dye an equal colour with the Spanish. Upon which he said, that the cochineal gathered in Carolina grew wild in the woods, and might without doubt come near to, if not equal any other, were it improved and cultivated in gardens as the Spaniards do; their cochineal being at first no better than this first essay from Carolina.
Mr. Gandin [fo. 96 vide supra], then presented to the Board a memorial relating to misfeazances of Carolina and other proprietary governments, whereby they forfeit their charters, which was read, and he said in discourse, that in Carolina they have burthened his Majesty's subjects residing in this kingdom with duties to which the inhabitants of that province are not subject; in particular to incourage their own manufactures they have laid a duty of 3 per cent. on our woollen and other manufactures imported there; that Madera wines (purchased with our woollen manufactures) imported into Carolina by persons not inhabiting there, pay double what the same wines imported into Carolina by an inhabitant pay, and that ships built here, pay large port charges in Carolina, whereas the ships built in that province pay little or nothing, of which particulars and others of the like nature, he said Capt. Michael Cole could better inform their lordships.
Upon consideration of the petition of Col. Wm. Partridge, referred to this Board by the Order in Council of the 6th instant, mentioned in yesterday's minutes, ordered that he be acquainted their lordships desire to speak with him, Mr. Dummer and Mr. Belcher at ten of the clock on Tuesday morning next, and that Col. Partridge then come prepared to make good the several allegations of his said petition, and produce to their lordships what power he has from Mr. Toppan to make this proposal, as likewise that he present to the Board a scheme of the manner of his intended settlement in New England, and how he intends to put the same in execution.
Mr. Attorney General's report in answer to the letter writ him the 25th instant, upon the petition of Mr. Thompson, in behalf of the Lord Archibald Hamilton, late Govr. of Jamaica, relating to security to be given by Mr. Page and Adlington, for appearing at the examination of the accusations against his lordship was read, and a representation to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, was thereupon drawn up, and signed.
Col. Partridge and Mr. Dummer, attending according to appointment, the former presented to the Board a memorial and produced several originals and copies of deeds and other papers in support of the allegations of his petition, mentioned in the minutes of the 26th instant, relating to the settling a tract of ground to the eastward of New England, which memorial was read; and upon some discourse with Mr. Dummer upon this subject, he acquainted their lordships that the people of the Massachusets Bay, would not obstruct the settlement proposed by Col. Partridge.
Upon further consideration of the Commrs. of the Customs observations [fo. 20], on the draught of a bill for preserving the right of British built ships mentioned in the minutes of the 19th of the last month, ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Carkesse to move the said Commrs. for their opinion, whether the forfeitures on foreign built ships according to the Act of Navigation are by the Act for preventing frauds and regulating abuses in the customs, passed in the 14th year of King Charles the 2nd, commuted into an aliens duty on such foreign ships as are of English property, and practised in the Custom House accordingly.
Captain Priswick attending, according to appointment, their lordships enquired of him what vacancies there were in the Councils in the Leeward Islands, as suggested in his petition in behalf of Mr. Jones, mentioned in the minutes of the 25th instant, whereupon he said, he heard that Mr. Barry Tankard had refused to act as a member of the Council of Antigua, whereupon Col. Hamilton had appointed Mr. Cochram in his room. That Mr. Oliver and Mr. Morris who are of the said Council, were very ill and not like to recover according to the advices he had received from thence, whereby there would be two vacancies in the Council of that Island.
Mr. Bridger, surveyor general of his Majesty's woods in America attending, their lordships had some discourse with him in relation to the better preserving such trees as are fit for masts in America, he said that there is a reservation to the crown in the charter of the Massachusets Bay, of such masts as are 24 inches diameter, but that if trees of a smaller size were not reserved, we should in time have few or none of that dimention; that the best way to preserve the timber would be to allow no trees to be cut, but such as should be marked by the surveyor, and that his Majesty's service in surveying the woods would be easier performed, and be of great advantage, if certain tracts of woods in any new grants to be made of land, were intirely reserved to the Crown, and no part thereof allowed to be cut without particular leave; and being asked in relation to the masts and timber at and near Kennebeck River, he said, there was very good of all sorts, and promised to bring their lordships the journal of his survey in those parts.