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, November 1716
Mr. Nevin attending, presented to their lordships two Acts
passed in Antigua in July and August, 1716, the one intituled
an Act for incouraging the importation of white servants to this island,
the other an Act for the appointing an agent to negociate the affairs
of this island, naming him for that employment, and desired their
lordships would take them into consideration, as soon as possible,
together with the other Acts of that island lately transmitted by
General Hamilton, which they promised to do accordingly, and the
following list of Acts passed in the said island, being read, vizt.:—
1. An Act for raising a tax of twelve thousand pounds, money for defraying publick debts and charges, passed 25th Febry., 1715/16.
2. An Act for establishing a Court of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Errors for the better regulating and settling due methods for the administration of justice, and limited a time for issuing executions out of the Court of Chancery in this island, passed 2nd March, 1715/16.
3. And Act to prevent the increase of papists and nonjurors in this island, and for the better governing those who are already settled there, passed 2nd March, 1715/16.
4. An Act for constituting a Court of Chancery in this island, passed 10th March, 1715/16.
5. An Act to indemnify Anthony Brown and John Elliot of the aforesaid island, gentlemen, from a certain bond and articles of agreement by them entered into with George Pulleyn, carpenter, for the building a church in the parish of St. Philips in the said island, and to charge the said parish with the same, passed 10th March, 1715/16.
6. An Act for re-inforcing a certain Act of this island, intituled an Act for repairing the fortifications on Monks Hill, and mounting guns thereon and on other the fortifications and platforms of this island, and carrying on other publick works for the defence of the same, passed 14th April, 1716.
7. An Act to prohibit the importation of French and other foreign sugar, rum, cotton, or melosses into this island, passed 19th June, 1716.
Ordered that the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Acts of the said list be sent to Mr. Attorney General for his opinion thereupon in point of law, and that the 3rd be abstracted, as also the first of those abovementioned presented by Mr. Nevin.
A letter from Mr. Byrd, late Receiver General of Virginia, dated the 1st instant, with an account of money advanced by him for the publick use of that colony, was read, and Mr. Byrd attending, acquainted their lordships, he had several persons to be examined in his behalf upon the subject of Colonel Spotswood's charge against him, but they designing to return by the first opportunity to Virginia, he desired their examination might be as soon as possible; whereupon Mr. Byrd was directed to draw up in writing and bring to the Board, the heads upon which he proposed to have the said persons examined, which he promised accordingly.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse Secry. to the Honble. the Commrs. of the Customs, dated the 20th of Septr., 1716, pursuant to one writ to Mr. Lowndes, the 25th July last, was read, with the Comptroller General's inclosed account of the annual produce of the duty of 4½ per cent. in Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, since the year 1702; whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Carkesse to acquaint him, the account desired, and which the Board have at present occasion to look into, is only that for the Leeward Islands, which their lordships will be glad to receive from him as soon as possibly may be, if such accounts have been kept separately from those of Barbadoes.
The memorandums etc. from Mr. Pitt [fos. 114, 126], relating to the present ill state of Jamaica, which was communicated to the Board by Mr. Secry. Methuen the 16th of last month, being taken again into consideration, ordered that the secretary write to Mr. Pitt, desiring he will inform the Board, as soon as may be, of the particular instances he has received of the Assembly of Jamaica having in a manner assumed the executive part of the Govnt. there as mentioned in the first article of his said memorandums, and that he will please to name any of the particular Acts of that island not yet laid before the king, or his Royal Highness, which according to Mr. Pitt's 14th article of remedies in the said memorandums, he would have immediately confirmed or disapproved.
Mr. Edwards, Mr. Pierce, Mr. Benson and another gentleman, attending from the African Company, pursuant to the directions of the 31st of the last month, they said, that they had made a subscription of 100,000l. and were now sending out six ships to Africa with ammunition, stores and goods to the value of between 60 and 70,000l. part thereof. That the rest would be dispatched away in about three months after; that as to their apprehension of their meeting with pirates or Salley Men they referred to the article from Whitehal in the Gazette of the 27th Octr. last; as to incroachments made upon them particularly at Whydah, by the natives, they referred to the extract of letters presented by them to the Board in Novr. or Deer, last, and to the extract of a letter from Messrs. Gerrard Gore, James Phipps, and Robert Blean, dated at Cape Coast Castle the 7th June, 1716, now delivered; and to prove that they did not intend to exclude the separate traders from their settlements, they produced the extract of a letter from the Company dated the 28th Febry., 1715, to the said Messrs. Gore, Phipps, and Blean, their chief merchants at Cape Coast Castle, directing them to purchase goods from any English ships that came thither for negroes, but especially from those that came directly from the Plantations.
Afterwards these gentlemen added in discourse, that if his Majty. should not think fit to let a ship of war remain with them upon the coast, they then desired that they might at least have the protection of a ship of war till they were got beyond the Cape de Verd Islands.
Mr. Secry. Methuen's letter of the 24th Septr., upon a meml. from Mr. Pitt Govr. of Jamaica [fos. 126, 136], mentioned in the minutes of the 16th Octr. last, was again read, and Mr. Pitt's memorandums mentioned in the same minutes, and several other papers relating to the affairs of that island being likewise read, their lordships made a progress in the consideration thereof.
Mr. Byrd, late Receiver Genl. of Virginia, attending, with Col.
Edward Hill, collector of the 1d. per lb. on tobacco in that colony,
Mr. Thomas Read, and Mr. William Stanheard, clerk of one of the
County Courts, Mr. Byrd presented to their lordships in writing,
several questions, which he desired might now be put to these
gentlemen, because of their intention, to imbark very soon for
Virginia again, the said questions were severally proposed to them,
which with their answers are as follow, vizt.:—
1st. Whether several persons in Virginia have not taken nineteen penny weight of Spanish silver for five shillings, where any small sum was due to them in sterling ?
And Mr. Stanheard said he had heard the same.
Q. 2. Whether Spanish money before Decr., 1710, was not taken commonly by the piece and went at a par with sterling, and then an Act of Assembly passed settling current money at 16 penny weight for five shillings.
To this Col. Hill answered that a few years ago, Spanish money went at par in Virginia, and when he wanted money had taken it so himself and upon his being further asked by the Board, whether those who changed with him, had not an advantage in it ? He said, he made no difference.
Mr. Read and Mr. Stanheard likewise said it passed so.
Q. 3. Whether from the year 1705, till the year 1714, exclusive, publick tobacco was ever sold in Virginia for so much as one penny per pound sterling and most of those years for not near so much ?
But Mr. Stanheard said, he had sometimes received a particular
hogshead for his own publick dues, and such as he had culled, not
the quit rent tobacco, which he sold for more.
Qu. 4. Whether the hands of the witnesses proving John Chaney's certificate, be not genuine ?
Upon which Mr. Byrd acquainted their lordships, that the gentlemen, who could answer this question, were not at present here.
Qu. 5. What inconveniences were found in selling the quit rents of Virginia by inch of candle which was the cause of altering that method ?
But Mr. Byrd himself explained it to the Board; that when the
quit rent tobacco, was sold by publick outcry, there was frequently
a combination among the buyers, so that the tobacco was sold at
under rates, till the Govr. and Council altered that method, and
Mr. Read, said, he had bought a lot of it for 3s. the cent.
Qu. 6. Who is it that appointed the sheriffs to receive the quit rents of each county? Did not the Govr. under his own hand appoint them every year to receive them, and not the Receiver General or the Auditor.
Mr. Humphry Morice and Mr. Richard Harris attending, as desired, and Mr. Thomas Mitchel, they were acquainted with the substance of the several papers, referred to this Board by Mr. Secry. Methuen's letter of the 17th Septr., 1716, mentioned in the minutes of the 31st of last month, relating to some naval assistance now desired by the Royal African Company; and these gentlemen being asked several questions thereupon, they said, that as to a man of war to remain on the coast of Africa they saw no necessity of it for as to pirates there, they had no news of any since the peace, tho' a ship was lately come from thence, nor did they apprehend any; that the separate traders have had no molestation at Whydah, and if the Company have had any there, it must have been from the natives, against whom a ship of war, would be of no service; that the obtaining a ship from his Majesty, they believe, is chiefly aimed at to promote the stock jobbing of some particular persons here, and tho' they do not judge such a ship to be absolutely necessary, yet if a man of war of 20 guns were ordered to cruize between the Cape de Verde Islands and the mouth of the river Gambia, for the protection of the British trade in general, it might be of service, the French African Company having taken some ships in the north part of the coast of Africa; that the Salley Rovers cruize about the western islands, but such ships as will take the trouble to sail further westward may avoid them; that as to the correspondence at present between the Royal African Company and the separate traders, the Company having brought home their effects from Africa, give leave to their factors to deal with the latter, but give no preference to the British subjects where they find greater interest with Portuguese and others.
The draught of an answer ordered yesterday to be prepared to Mr. Secry. Methuen's letter of the 17th Septr. last, upon several papers recd, from the Royal African Company, relating to some naval assistance and protection desired by them of his Majty. against the Salley Rovers and other pirates on the coast of Africa, as well against the natives and others who intercept their trade, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter from Mr. Pitt [fo. 129, vide infra], Govr. of Jamaica, dated this day, in answer to that writ him by the secry. of this Board the 3rd instant, relating to the Assembly of Jamaica's assuming in a manner the executive power there, and to the Acts of that island not yet reported upon, was read; whereupon directions were given for preparing another letter to Mr. Pitt upon that subject.
Several letters from Major Genl. Handasyd and the Lord Archibald Hamilton late Govr. of Jamaica, as also minutes of Council and other papers, relating to the differences [Jos. 136, 140] between the Council and Assembly there &c., being read, their lordships made a further progress in considering that and other matters referred to in Mr. Pitt's meml. and memorandums, mentioned In the minutes of the 3rd instant, and gave directions for preparing a letter to Mr. Secry. Methuen thereupon.
Mr. Attorney General's report upon two Acts passed at Nevis in December, 1714, and April, 1715, the one about giving lists of negroes and other slaves upon oath, the other relating to the fortifying of Saddle Hill, was read; and the draught of a repn. to his Royal Highness for the confirmation of the said Acts, was agreed and signed.
A letter from Mr. Archibald Cummings Surveyor of his Majesty's
Customs &c., searcher at Boston in New England dated 2nd of
August last, being read, and the papers therein referred to laid
before the Board vizt.:—
Copy of an Act stating the fees of the Custom House officers in the province of the Massachusets Bay.
Copy of a memorial from Col. Heathcote Surveyor General of the Customs in North America, to the General Court of the Massachusets Bay, for a regulation of fees in the Surveyor's office at Boston, with copy of fees established at New York for that officer.
Ordered that an extract of so much of the said letter, as relates to the importation of melosses, rum, and sugar from Surinam, St. Thomas, and other foreign colonies into his Majesty's Plantations, and to the settling the Custom house officers fees, be sent to Mr. Carkesse, with a copy of the said last mentioned Act and memorial from Col. Heathcote, and that as to what relates to the said goods brought from foreign into British plantations, Mr. Carkesse be desired to inform this Board, whether there be any law, which prohibits the said goods being imported into any of the British Plantations; and as to what relates to Mr. Cummings and other Custom House officers fees, Mr. Carkesse be further desired to move the Commrs. of the Customs for their opinion, as to the reasonableness of the said Act, and Mr. Cummings proposal relating to his own fees, and how the regulation here, of all the Custom House officers fees in America, is practicable or may be of publick advantage.
Further ordered that an extract of that part of Mr. Cummings said letter, which relates to the Acts about wool and the recovery of forfeitures thereupon, be sent to Mr. Attorney General to know what Act Mr. Cummings refers to, and to desire Mr. Attorney's opinion as to the right, which the Courts of Common Law in New England may have, to prohibit the proceedings in the Court of Admiralty, relating to such forfeitures, and whether any and what explanation is necessary upon any of our Acts of parliament in that particular, relating to wool.
Their lordships again took into consideration several papers in this office relating to the disputes [fo. 137, vide infra] between the Govr. Council and Assembly at Jamaica, mentioned in the minutes of the 8th, as also Mr. Pitt's memorial and memorandums, mentioned the 3rd instant, and made a progress therein.
Their lordships took again into consideration several papers relating to the disputes [vide supra, fo. 142], between the Govr. Council and Assembly at Jamaica and Mr. Pitt's memorial and memorandums mentioned in yesterday's minutes and made a further progress therein.
An Order of Council of the 12th instant, upon the petition of Mr. Henry Thompson, in behalf of the Lord Archibald Hamilton, late Govr. of Jamaica, requiring this Board to prepare an instruction for his Majesty's Govr. now going thither or to the commander in chief of the said island for the time being to cause Mr. Samuel Page and Walter Arlington (fn. 1) to be examined upon the matters of which they accuse the Lord Archibald Hamilton, and to be bound in a recognizance for their appearance at the King's Bench Bar, Westminster, &c. was read, and directions given for preparing the draught of an instruction for that purpose.
Another Order of Council of the same date, referring to this Board a petition of the said Henry Thompson in behalf of the Lord Archibald Hamilton, relating to money due to his lordship for salary and sums advanced by him for the publick service in Jamaica was read.
A letter from Mr. Secry. Methuen of the 15th instant, inclosing the copy of a report from the British factory at Lisbon, on the queries, which were transmitted some time ago to his Majesty's Consul there in relation to the trade and interest of his Majesty's subjects in the Brazils, was read.
The Order of Council, of the 12th instant [fos. 140, 145], (mentioned in the minutes of the 16th) on Mr. Thompson's petition in behalf of the Lord Arch. Hamilton late Govr. of Jamaica, and the draught of an instruction directed to be thereupon prepared for the Govr. now going thither, being taken into consideration, as likewise an Act passed in that island intituled an Act for settling the militia [Jamaica printed laws. vol. 1, page 64], their lordships gave directions for sending a copy of the said Order of Council to Mr. Attorney General, together with the said Act for his opinion whether the last proviso thereof does any ways interfere with the design and direction of the forementioned Order and whether it be not legal in such a case to take such recognizances for appearances in Westminster Hall.
The Order in Council of the same date (mentioned likewise in the minutes of the 16th instant) upon the said Thompson's petition, relating to arrears of salary, and several sums advanced by the Lord Archibald Hamilton, for the public service in Jamaica, being taken into consideration, directions were given for preparing the draught of a repn. to his Royal Highness thereupon.
An Order of Council of the 12th instant upon the repn. of this Board of the 16th ult. relating to Mr. Penn's nomination of Wm. Keith to be deputy Govr. of Pennsylvania, was read; the said Order approving the nomination and directing their lordships to take care, that security be given for Mr. Keith's observation of the Acts of Trade &c. as likewise that Mr. Penn renew the declaration made by him relating to his Majty's. right to the three lower counties; the draught of a letter to Mr. Lowndes Secry. to the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury with the form of ye bond in like cases, and the names of Mr. Micajah Perry and Mr. John Hyde of London, merchants, who offer to be sureties for Mr. Keith [vide minutes of 27th Septr., 1716], was agreed and ordered to be sent, that security may be accordingly taken in his Majesty's exchequer.
An Order of Council [fo. 145] of the 12th instant, referring to the Board a memorial from the lords proprietors of Carolina, praying his Royal Highness's approbation of Robert Johnson esqr. nominated by their lordships to be govr. of that province in the room of Charles Craven esqr. was read, and the draught of a repn. to his Royal Highness thereupon was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse Secry. to the Commrs. of the Customs dated yesterday, in answer to that writ him the 15th instant, upon Mr. Cumming's letter, relating to the goods of foreign plantations brought to Boston &c. and about settling the fees of custom house officers in America was read; whereupon their lordships resolved to take the same into further consideration the first opportunity.
A repn. upon an Order of Council [fos. 144, 152], of the 12th instant, referring to this Board a memorial from the lords proprietors of Carolina, praying his Royal Highness's approbation of Robert Johnson esqr. nominated by their lordships to be govr. of that province in the room of Charles Craven esqr. as agreed yesterday was signed.
A repn. upon an Order of Council [fos. 142, 146], of the 12th instant (mentioned in the minutes of the 16th) upon Mr. Thompson's petition, relating to arrears of salary, and several sums advanced by the Lord Archibald Hamilton for the publick service in Jamaica being directed to be prepared yesterday, was signed.
Mr. Penn's declaration of his Majesty's claim of right to the three lower counties upon Delaware river, in the province of Pennsylvania, under his hand and seal, dated the 25th of October, 1716, was read.
A letter to Mr. Lowndes Secry. to the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury with the form of a bond, wherein Mr. Micajah Perry, and Mr. John Hyde are to be security for Mr. Keith's observation of the Acts of trade in Pennsylvania as agreed yesterday, was ordered to be sent.
Their lordships had again under consideration several papers relating to the disputes [fos. 145, 147], between the Govr. Council and Assembly at Jamaica, and Mr. Pitt's memorial and memorandums (mentioned in the minutes of the 16th instant) and made a further progress therein.
Several minutes of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica relating to the disputes [fos. 146, 149, 151], between them, together with Mr. Pitt's memorial and memorandams mentioned in the last minutes of this Board, being taken again into consideration, their lordships made a further progress therein.
A letter from Mr. Kelsal of the 21st instant, signifying the Lord's of the Treasury's desire to have a copy of this Board's repn. of the 3rd of May, 1715, relating to the lands in St. Christophers, was read; whereupon ordered that a copy of the said repn. as likewise of those of the 4th of May, 1715; 13th of July and 17th of August, 1716, be sent to Mr. Kelsal for the information of the Lords of the Treasury.
Mr. Stephen Duport attending, his powers of attorney from several of the sufferers at St. Christophers by the French invasion there &c. were examined, and Mr. Brisac lately arrived from thence attending and acquainting their lordships, that he knew Sarah Cooke (in whose name the debenture No. 209 is made) to be married to John Gillard, who signed the letter of attorney for the said debenture; their lordships directed the three debentures numbered 55, 209, and 633 to be delivered to Mr. Duport.
Mr. Attorney General's report in answer to the letter writ him the 21st upon the Order in Council of the 12th instant, relating to Mr. Page and Adlington's giving security to appear at Westminster to prosecute and maintain their accusation against the Lord Archibald Hamilton late Govr. of Jamaica, was read, together with Mr. Attorney's amendments to the said order; whereupon their lordships gave directions that Mr. Attorney be acquainted with this Board's desire of speaking with him tomorrow morning.
Mr. Attorney General, attending, as he had been desired, the draught of an instruction directed to be prepared the 16th inst. for his Majesty's Govr. now going to Jamaica, pursuant to the Order of Council of the 12th of this month, relating to Mr. Page and Adlington's entering into recognizances to appear at Westminster to prosecute and maintain their accusation against the Lord Archibald Hamilton late Govr. of that island, was read, and several alterations being made therein by Mr. Attorney's advice the same was agreed, and a letter signed for transmitting the said Dr. of instruction to Mr. Secry. Methuen for his Royal Highness's pleasure thereupon.
Mr. Attorney General's report in answer to the letter writ him the 15th instant, upon the extract of one from Mr. Cumings surveyor of the customs etc. at Boston, relating to the Acts about wool in the Plantations, and the recovery of penalties thereupon was read, and directions given to the secretary for preparing an answer to Mr. Cumings's said letter.
A letter from Mr. Pitt [fos. 147, 160], appointed Govr. of Jamaica of the 21st in answer to one writ him the 8th instant relating to such Acts of Jamaica as require to be more immediately reported upon, was read.