Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 3, March 1715 - October 1718. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
Journal, August 1716
A letter from Mr. Dodd, of the 31st past, signifying Mr. Blathwayts desire to have a copy of the complaints, which he hears, are made by the Govr, of Virginia against Col. Ludwell, his deputy-auditor there, was read; and Mr. Byrd and Mr. Bampfeild attending, Mr. Byrd desired likewise copies of the complaints, which he said he was informed by letters from Virginia, Col. Spotswood the Lieut. Govr. has made against him as also of the proofs thereof, and Mr. Bampfeild desired the same with relation to the abovementioned complaints against Col. Ludwell; these gentlemen were acquainted that the last letters from Col. Spotswood were not yet under their lordships consideration, but that so soon as they were, they should have notice.
Col. Partridge, Mr. Dummer and Mr. Belcher attending, Col. Partridge presented to their lordships a memorial relating to the settlement he desires to make upon some lands between Kennebeck and Pemaquid in New England, giving an account of what incouragement has already been given by the government of the Massachusets Bay to persons that would undertake to make settlements on their waste lands, and by the French king to those that would settle at Cape Breton; which memorial was read; and being thereupon asked how they knew the particulars mentioned in relation to Cape Breton, Mr. Belcher said, that he had been informed of it by several masters of ships, who had been there several times since the peace, and particularly that the French had begun to build four several forts there; that they had indeed abandoned one or two of them upon account of the want of fresh water; that some of the inhabitants had returned again to Minas in Nova Scotia, but were soon after recalled back to the said intended settlements, the French having either found fresh water there, or some way to procure it; that there is an extraordinary fishery at Cape Breton, the French having taken there, the last year, from 700 to 1,000 quintals per boat.
These gentlemen being withdrawn, a letter to Mr. Dummer, desiring to know, whether he, as agent of the Massachusets Bay, has any objection to the grant, which Col. Partridge desires of the forementioned lands, was agreed.
Mr. John Roe attending with Mr. George Jackson, Mr. Seale and Capt. John Laming, Mr. Roe presented to the Board a petition from himself, relating to his being appointed agent for commerce at St. Ander in Spain, together with a certificate from several merchants of London in his favour, and the copies of another certificate and petition from Bydeford and the island of Jersey, referred to in Mr. Roe's foresaid petn. which were read. And Mr. Roe said in discourse that at Bilboa the factors had always charged 4½ per cent. upon the sale of all goods and nothing upon returns; that he should be content with 4 per cent. without any charge to the Crown as agent, by which means the commerce will save ½ per cent. That all he desires as agent at St. Ander, is the ½ per cent. paid now at Bilboa as commissary-duties upon imports and exports; whereupon at their lordships desire, he promised to explain himself in writing, and bring a memorial thereof tomorrow morning; in the meantime, their lordships inquiring of Mr. Jackson (who acquainted the Board that he came from Bilboa about a year ago) and the other gentlemen abovementioned, concerning the British trade in Bilboa, and the hardships our merchants labour under there, they said, that the Biscayners lay duties among themselves on the English, who have no more favour now than before the present peace; that at Bilboa an English ship is not permitted to load whilst there is any Spanish vessell lading in that port, for the same place, tho' it was far otherwise formerly, when our trade to that place twenty years ago, was all in English bottoms, and in English hands, the Spaniards there not having then above two or three small ships, as coasters, whereas they have now upwards of 80, with many of which they drive a trade to foreign parts, and the commerce chiefly in the hands of Spaniards, our factors who formerly resided at Bilboa, being returned to this kingdom, and the few survivors of them, trading for account of Spaniards; that when we had a factory there of about fifty five, it was by most of them thought best for us to remove our trade from Bilboa to St. Ander, as these gentlemen declared it was their own opinion. And as to the appointment of an agent, they believed it would be a publick benefit, and that the merchants would agree to Mr. Roe's proposal, till the commerce should be settled; they further said, as to the factors of Bilboa, they used to charge the merchants with 4½ per cent. on sales and returns, whether remitted or invested in goods, and a quarter per cent. national duties among themselves.
Capt. Laming presented to their lordships a draught of the port, river and town of St. Ander, and said he had been 22 voyages to Bilboa and those parts; that about eighteen years ago, when he began, the English had all the trade there, but that he had found the great alteration abovementioned since the peace, his ship being after that postponed in her lading, whenever the Spaniards had any vessel of that nation unloaden in port; that he had lately carried 450 bales of goods thither, but not above ten of them for account of British merchants.
Mr. Attorney General's report upon an Act passed at Nevis, entituled, an Act to settle the estate of Thomas Herbert, eldest son of Mr. Thomas Herbert deceased, on him and his heirs and assigns for ever, being read, the draught of a repn. for laying the said Act before his Royal Highness in order to be confirmed, was agreed and signed.
Sir John Lambert attending with Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye, his agent and solicitor, Sir John produced to their lordships several letters written to him from France, in order to prove his being authorized by the French Senegal Company, to endeavour the obtaining restitution or satisfaction for the ship and cargo mentioned in the petition presented to his Majesty in the name of Sir John Lambert &c. to be seized by some Bermuda sloops which is referred to this Board by Order of Council of the 6th mentioned in the minutes of the 17th of last month; but it being observed to Sir John, that it did not appear by those papers, that he was any part-owner of the said ship, as alledged in the petition; he declared he never pretended to be immediately concerned therein himself, otherwise than as his correspondents of the French Senegal Company, to whom the ship belonged, had desired and authorized him to sollicit in their behalf, that being indisposed himself, he had left the management of this affair in general to his agent and sollicitor abovementioned, who drew and presented the said petition without his having seen it. Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye were then asked what proof they had to support the allegation of Capt. Bennet, the Lieut. Govr. of Bermuda's confederating with the masters of the sloops, said to have seized the said ship; they owned they had no direct proof, but affidavits by hearsay, and they said, they did not insist upon what was urged against the said Lieut. Govr. but desired to waive that part; upon which, since no partiality was proved against the said Lieut. Govr. they were asked, what foundation they had for the prayer of the petition, which prays for a special court of justice in this case; but Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye made no other answer, than that several of the Council of Bermuda, who with the Lieut. Govr. compose the Court of Chancery there, are parties concerned in this matter. They were then desired to mention ym. particularly, whereupon they named Mr. Joel, Mr. Tynes, Mr. Penniston, Mr. Richardson and Mr. Wm. Outerbridge, but it did not appear that any of ye said gentlemen are of the Council, except Mr. Outerbridge; and Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye being pressed to produce any proofs against him, they said they could not charge him particularly. On the whole it appearing that Sir John Lambert had been much imposed upon, he desired to withdraw his petition, which he was acquainted was proper to be done at the Council Office, which if Sir John obtained there, the Board agreed to let him have the Order of Reference and to make no report upon this matter; but in the meantime acquainted him, that complaints of this nature where the reputation of his Majesty's Govrs. or other gentlemen may be prejudiced, ought to be well grounded, and on such occasions their lordships should be ready to do Sir John or others any service, consistent with justice; and Mr. Moller and Mr. Pye were reproved by the Board for imposing on Sir John Lambert, and desired to be more cautious in their proceedings for the future.
Sir John Lambert etc. being withdrawn, their lordships gave directions for writing to Sir John Bennet, upon what has past relating to the abovementioned complaints, against his brother, the Lieut. Govr. of Bermuda.
Col. Partridge attending, desired that he might be allowed 2 years from the month of May next for the settlement of a town to the eastward of New England, proposed by his petn. to his Majesty, to which their lordships did not object.
A letter from Mr. Dummer, late agent of the Massachusets Bay, in answer to that writ him yesterday, relating to the grant of land desired by Col. Partridge to the eastward of New England, was read, and directions given for preparing the draught of a repn. upon the order referring the said Partridges petition.
Mr. Nathaniel Carpenter attending, produced to their lordships a letter of attorney to him from Christian Reams, widow and administratrix of Richard Reams, late of St. Christophers, one of the sufferers by the French invasion of that island, impowering the said Mr. Carpenter to receive such debenture as should be made out for the loss of the said Reams; whereupon their lordships inquiring of Mr. Carpenter for the letters of administration to shew her authority, he said, that having writ to Mrs. Reams for an attested copy thereof, she returned him answer that the charge of it would be more than the advantage of the debenture, and that if the same could not be otherwise received, she must be content without it; Mr. Carpenter added, that himself as well as others had paid her money due to her late husband, and that she was left without children, their lordships considering the debenture for the loss of Richard Reams to be for no more than 9l. 9s. ld. gave directions for delivering the same to Mr. Carpenter upon his receipt.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Martyn, Inspector General of his Majesty's Customs, for an account of the hemp annually imported from all parts into this kingdom, from Christmas, 1706, to Christmas last.
Mr. John Roe attending, presented to their lordships a certificate, from several merchants of London, relating to the necessity of an agent at St. Ander in Spain, and to Mr. Roe's allowance for that service, which was read; and thereupon directions were given for preparing another letter to Mr. Secry. Methuen concerning that affair.
The draught of a letter to Mr. Secry. Methuen, which was ordered to be prepared the 10th instant, relating to Mr. John Roe's being appointed agent at the port of St. Ander in Spain, was agreed and signed.
A letter from Mr. Secry. Methuen of the 9th instant, referring to the Board a memorial from the Portugal Ambassador, relating to the trade to the Brazils, was read, together with the said meml.; whereupon ordered, that Sir John Ward, Sir Peter Delme, Mr. James Milner, Mr. Samuel Clark and Mr. John Lordell, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them at ten of the clock on Thursday morning next.
Col. Partridge attending, and it being proposed to him, that in the grant which he desires, of the lands to the eastward of New England, a clause be inserted to oblige him to sow a certain quantity of hemp annually; he said he did not doubt but the people would come to the sowing of hemp in time, but that if it were obligatory upon them to do it, he believed he should be able to get few or no settlers; as to the carrying any deals, masts, planks, or other ship timber, or hemp, pitch, tar or other naval stores whatsoever to any foreign parts not in his Majesty's dominions, Col. Partridge agreed to be restrained in that point, and he being withdrawn, the draught of a repn. to his Royal Highness, ordered to be prepared, the 9th instant, upon the subject of the said Partridge's petition, was agreed and signed.
An Order of Council of the 6th of the last month, referring to the Board a petition from George Liddall and Robert Clayton esqrs. in behalf of themselves and several others planters in the late French part of St. Christophers, praying they may be ascertained in their tenure till his Majesty's further pleasure relating to the disposition of the said lands, shall be signified was read, together with the said petition, and likewise a memorial in the name of the said Liddall and Clayton &c., upon the same subject; whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of a repn. to his Royal Highness relating to that matter.
An Order of Council of the 29th of August, 1715, upon the petition of Mr. Duport on behalf of Captain Thauvet, relating to the grant of a plantation in the late French part of St. Christophers, was read.
An account of hemp annually imported from all parts into this kingdom, from Christmas, 1706, to Christmas, 1715, being recd. from Mr. Martin, Inspector General of his Majesty's Customs, the same was laid before the Board.
The Portugal merchants, mentioned in the minutes of the 14th
instant, not coming to the Board as expected this day; ordered
that the same gentlemen be acquainted that their lordships desire to speak with them at ten of the clock on Tuesday morning next; or if that time be inconvenient to them, that they will in the interim let the secry. know when they can attend.
The draught of a representation to his Royal Highness ordered yesterday to be prepared upon the petition of Mr. Liddall, Mr. Clayton, and others possessed of lands in the late French part of St. Christophers, was agreed and signed, and directions given to prepare a copy of the said representation, and a letter to transmit the same to Mr. Secry. Methuen for his information.
A letter from Col. Spotswood Lieut. Govr. of Virginia, dated the 23rd of May, 1716, being read, and the copy of the address therein referred to, laid before the Board, some directions were given for preparing an answer to the said letter. In the meantime, ordered that an extract thereof, wherein Col. Spotswood complains that the government of Carolina [fos. 76, 152], had not yet done justice to the forces sent to their assistance in the late Indian war, be sent to Mr. Shelton to be laid before the lords proprietors of Carolina, and the draught of a letter to Mr. Shelton for that purpose being immediately prepared, the same was agreed.
Another letter from Col. Spotswood, dated the 24th of May, 1716,
was read, and the following papers therein referred to, were laid
before the Board, vizt.:—
Papers referred to.
The Lieut. Govrs. charge against the Deputy Auditor of that colony.
State of the case between the king and Philip Ludwell esqr. in relation to the Govrs. land &c.
Report of the officers of the revenue to Col. Spotswood, touching the funds out of which the said revenue arises, and the manner of keeping the accounts, and auditing the same, with remarks therein.
Proclamation about the repeal of an Act, declaring who shall not bear office.
Naval officer's account of the revenue of 2sh. per hogshead, for the upper part of James river, and the auditor's certificate thereupon.
Minute of Council, relating to the method of collecting the revenues, the 8th Decr., 1714.
The Receiver Genls. account of the revenue of 2sh. per hogshead from 25th April, 1715, to 25th Octr. following.
Quit rent roll for Isle of Wight county for 1714, with the auditor's certificate approving the same.
The Receiver General's account of quit rents, from the 25th of April, 1714, to the 25th April, 1715.
Minutes of Council, from the 18th of October, to the 22nd of Febry., 1715.
The draught of a letter, ordered to be prepared at the last meeting, wherewith to inclose to Mr. Secry. Methuen a copy of the board's report to his Royal Highness on the petition of Mr. Liddal and Mr. Clayton, relating to the lands possessed by them and others in the late French part of St. Christophers, was agreed and signed.
The copy of an Order of Council of the 30th of April, 1715, on a report from the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury upon one from the Board dated the 5th of May, 1714, relating to the settlement of the late French part of St. Christophers, was read.
Then their lordships proceeded in the further consideration of the letter from Col. Spotswood, Lieut. Govr. of Virginia, dated the 24th of May last, mentioned in the minutes of the 17th instant, and ordered that Doctor Cock be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him at ten of the clock tomorrow morning.
Sir Peter Delme, Mr. Samuel Clarke and Mr. Watts, lately arrived
from Lisbon, attending as desired, the following queries relating
to the Brazils, were read to them, and their opinion desired thereupon vizt.—
The Dutch by their treaty with the crown of Portugal in 1661, and the French by their treaty of 1667, having the same privilege of settling families in the Brazils, as we have by the marriage treaty of King Charles the 2nd.
Q: Whether it would be more for the advantage of the trade of England to give up that privilege, provided the French and Dutch whose privilege is grounded upon ours, be deprived of it.
Or, whether it would be more for the advantage of our trade, to insist upon this privilege, notwithstanding the French and Dutch by the enjoyment of the same (especially the former) may probably reap greater advantage by it, than we can hope to do?
Whether, if this privilege should be insisted upon, on our part, it be possible to prevent the French, (they having the same privilege) from trading directly to the Brazils ? And how far our trade will be affected thereby?
How far has our trade been affected since the treaty of Utrecht by the French having made use of this privilege ?
Upon which these gentlemen said, that this was a matter of very great moment and required to be well considered and other persons consulted, especially some lately come from Portugal, before any opinion could be given upon it. However in further discourse with these gentlemen, they said, that the privilege of settling English houses in the Brazils, was of very great advantage to us; that we have two at the Reiho, and three at the Byhea; that if we should give up this privilege the Portuguese who are willing enough to abridge us as much as possible, may attempt to deprive us of others; that they conceived if the French were prohibited from going to the Brazils, it would be no great advantage to us, for that they would undoubtedly carry on a clandestine trade, as they have hitherto done, and which the Portuguese Govrs. cannot prevent. They added, that the French, having houses in the Brazils (and Mr. Clark said, that to his knowledge they have had some for thirty years past) did not any ways favour their clandestine trade, which they carried on by sloops and otherwise on the coasts from some islands that lye off it; that tho' they could be prevented thither directly, yet they might carry on a trade by the way of Portugal, for they have for several years past had a very considerable trade to that kingdom; that they believed the chief reason why the Portuguese desired to have all nations excluded from the Brazils was this, that at St. Pauls, there is a sort of Banditti from all nations settled there, who are become so formidable that they are able to bring into the field 20 or 30,000 men; that the king of Portugal was fearfull least they should rise and be joined by the French, and then attempt to seize the mines, which they did not see, how it could be prevented but by the Portuguese having strong forts and good garrisons there, that if all nations were prevented trading thither it would be a greater prejudice to us than to the French or Dutch, for we export thither one year with another between 30 and 40,000l. per annum; that the Dutch have few if any settlements there; but the Hamburghers have several through whose channel the Dutch carry on their trade thither, and that in case it should be thought proper to exclude all foreigners from the Brazils, they know of no way to prevent a clandestine trade but by prevailing with the church of Portugal to excommunicate all such, as should be concerned in it; and tho' the French and others would not be affected by it, yet the Portuguese are so begotted it would be a restraint upon them. They further proposed that the foresaid queries be sent to the consul general at Lisbon, and that he be directed to consult with the factory there, and let their lordships have their opinion thereupon.
After some further discourse with these gentlemen, the foresaid queries were delivered to Mr. Watts and he desired to communicate the same to the most eminent traders here, and such as are lately come from Portugal for their answers thereunto, as soon as conveniently may be, which he promised to do accordingly.
After these gentlemen were withdrawn, a letter to Mr. Secry. Methuen, giving account of what proceedings the Board have had upon his letter of the 9th instant, mentioned in the minutes of the 14th was drawn up and signed.
The copy of an Order of Council of the 30th April, 1715, upon the repn. of the 24th of Febry., 17 14/15, on the petition of Mrs. Salenave relating to a plantation in the late French part of St. Christophers, was read.
The copy of another Order of Council, of the same date, upon the repn. of the 5th May, 1714, relating to the settling the said late French part of St. Christophers, and to the particular case of Mrs. Renoult and other French protestant refugees, &c. was read.
A letter from Major Caulfield, Lieut. Govr. of Annapolis Royal
to ye Board, dated the 16th of May last, was read, and the following
papers therein referred to, laid before the Board vizt.:—
Papers referred to.
A copy of Major Caulfield's letter to the Board of Ordnance.
Memorial from Mr. Skeen surgeon to the garrison of Annapolis Royal, praying an augmentation of his pay.
Their lordships taking again into consideration the letter from Mr. Dodd, mentioned in the minutes of the 8th instant, desiring a copy of ye complaints made by the Lieut. Govr. of Virginia against Col. Ludwell deputy to Mr. Blathwayt (Auditor General of ye Planns.) in yt. colony; ordered that copies of the said complaints be accordingly given him, and that Mr. Blathwayt be acquainted therewith, and desired to let the Board have copies of his deputation and instructions to the said Col. Ludwell.
Don Lowis D' Acunha, ambassador from the king of Portugal coming to the Board, accompanied by Col. Bladen, his excellency acquainted their lordships that he was informed by some merchants that this Board had given them a copy of the said ambassador's late meml. and that it was to be sent to Lisbon for the opinion of the factory there; whereupon he was told, that the Board had only given them some queries framed upon it, and that it was proposed by the merchants to have the said queries sent to Lisbon, and not by the Board; his excellency then said he was in hopes, when he first moved in this matter, that it might have been dispatched without being made so publick as to come to the knowledge of France before it be perfected, who would undoubtedly make all opposition imaginable to it, and therefore he desired if possible that it might be put into such a method as to receive a determination upon the opinion of the merchants here, for that it is of such a nature, that otherwise the king of Portugal would think it convenient to drop it, rather than break with France.
He added, that hitherto there had been but little of the manufactures of France carried to the Brazils, and that the French merchants at Lisbon, whatever their number might be, were inconsiderable with respect to the trade they carried on, compared with that of our merchants there, and that at Oporto there were not above two French merchants and little or no French trade.
His excellency being withdrawn, a letter to Mr. Secry. Methuen, upon this subject, was immediately drawn up and signed, and the Col. having desired a copy of the foresaid queries for the said ambassador; ordered that a copy thereof be sent to him accordingly.
A letter from Mr. Pye, solicitor for Sir John Lambert, desiring that Sir John's late petition and other papers relating to a ship seized by some sloops from Bermuda may be returned, was read, whereupon ordered that such of the said papers as may be of use to Sir John in that affair, be returned him.
Mr. Roos attending, presented to their lordships four small silver single seals for the provinces of New Hampshire, the Massachusets Bay and New Jersey, and the Bermuda Islands, engraven pursuant to the warrant from this Board of the 20th July, 1715, whereupon ordered that the Secry. give him a receipt for the same.