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 1717
Ordered that the draught of instructions for the Governor of Jamaica, relating to the Acts of trade and navigation, be sent to Mr. Carkesse for such additions or alterations as the Commissrs. of his Majesty's Customs may think convenient to make therein.
Mr. Attorney General's report upon an Act passed at St. Christophers in November, 1716, entituled, An Act to enable William Matthew Esqr. an infant, under the age of twenty one years, to convey a certain parcel of land in the Island of St. Christophers, called Brimstone Hill, &c. was read; and the draught of a representation to his Majesty, agreed and signed, in order to the confirmation of the said Act.
Two letters from Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York and New Jersey, to the secretary, the one dated the 3rd of May, 1717, (transmitting the minutes of Council of New Jersey, from 27th November, 1716, to the 26th of January following) the other the 13th May, 1717, were read; whereupon a letter for inclosing to Mr. Secretary Addison, a copy of paragraph B of Brigadier Hunter's last mentioned letter, relating to some ill practices made use of to keep up divisions and foment disorders in New Jersey, was signed.
The draught of a commission for Col. Lawes to be Governor of Jamaica, being laid before the Board, and agreed; a letter for transmitting the same to Mr. Secretary Addison, in order to be laid before his Majesty in Council, was signed.
A letter from the Lord Marquis of Winchester, of the 26th of last month, desiring a copy of the late Earl of Carberry's resignation of certain lands in Jamaica, was read: whereupon a letter to the Lords of the Treasury desiring to know if their lordships have any objection thereto, was signed.
A letter from General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands,
dated at Antigua, the 15th of May last, was read; and the following
papers therein referred to were laid before the Board, vizt.:—
Papers referred to.
Copy of a letter from General Hamilton Governor of the Leeward Islands to Monsr. la Varenne, General of the French Islands, relating to Mr. Roe and Looby seized with their vessels at Martinico, for calling there, to water; as also a copy of Monsr. la Varenne's answer.
Copy of a letter from General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to Monsr. Ricouart, Intendant of the French Islands, relating to Mr. Roe and Looby seized with their Vessels at Martinico, for calling there, to water. As also, a copy of Monsr. Ricouart's answer.
Whereupon ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared to Mr. Secretary Addison, upon what General Hamilton writes in his said letter, relating to an intended settlement by the French upon the Island of Sta. Lucia, and to the seizure of a New England ship at Martinico. And further ordered that a letter be prepared to Mr. Burchett, for transmitting to him an extract of that part of the said letter from General Hamilton which relates to his Majesty's ships of war attending the Leeward Islands, to be laid before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
Mr. Solicitor General's report upon an Act passed at Antigua, the 29th of March, 1717, to enable Giles Watkins and Saml. Watkins to alien, grant or devise a plantation, &c. was read, and a representation signed, in order to his Majesty's Royal approbation thereof.
Mr. Attorney General's report upon three other Acts passed at
Antigua in March, 1715, entituled,
An Act for establishing a court of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Errors, and for the better regulating and settling due methods for the administration of justice, and limiting a time for the issuing executions out of the Court of Chancery in this island.
An Act for constituting a Court of Chancery in this island.
An Act to indemnify Anthony Brown and John Elliott 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.
was read; and some difficulties arising upon reading the said Act relating to a Court of Chancery; ordered that Mr. Nivine, Agent for ye Island of Antigua, be desired to attend the Board on Wednesday morning next.
A letter to Mr. Burchett as ordered at the same time, for transmitting to the Admiralty another extract of General Hamilton's said letter, relating to the ships of war attending the Leeward Islands, was agreed.
A representation from several merchants, traders to Virginia, complaining of Mr. Daniel McCartey, collector of South Potomack, being concerned himself in trade, contrary to law, and to the prejudice of other merchants, was read; whereupon ordered that the same be transmitted to Mr. Carkesse, to be laid before the Commissioners of his Majesty's Customs, for such directions as may be fit to be given therein.
A letter from Mr. Burchett, Secretary to the lords of the Admiralty, dated yesterday, in answer to the letter writ him the 8th instant, upon what General Hamilton writes relating to the man of war attending the Leeward Islands, and to the Governor's wearing a flag when on board, was read.
A letter from Mr. Lowndes, of yesterday's date, referring to the Board. by order of the Lords of the Treasury, the petition of Mr. Kennedy, relating to his disbursements and services in going from Virginia to Carolina, on account of the insurrection of Indians there, &c. was read, together with the said petition.
Sir Nicholas Lawes attending, as desired, their lordships communicated to him the draught of his instructions for the Government of Jamaica, as likewise the letter from this Board to the Ld. Archibald Hamilton of the 25th of April, 1715, and two acts passed in that Island in the year 1716, both relating to the encouragement of white men to go and settle there; upon all which their lordships desired what he might have to offer, in writing.
Mr. Rowland Tryon and Mr. Eyles, attending, produced several letters from Barbadoes, relating to the death of Brigadr. Thomas Alleyne, late of his Majesty's Council there, particularly from his son Mr. Abel Alleyne; whereupon these gentlemen desiring their lordships would present Mr. John Colleton to his Majesty, for supplying this vacancy, pursuant to the Order in Council, of the 28th June, 1716, (mentioned in the minutes of ye 16th of May last) they were acquainted that their lordships expected advice of Mr. Alleyne's death from the Governor, which if they did not receive in a short time, they would report in favour of the said Mr. Colleton.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Methuen, of the 15th November last, referring to the consideration of this Board, the translation of a letter from the Spanish Ambassador, relating to the British subjects settling and cutting logwood at Campechy was read, together with the said translation; and their lordships made a progress in considering the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon.
A new Commission from his Majesty under the Great Seal, dated the 13th instant, was opened, and read; whereby (besides the Great Officers of State, &c. as in the last Commission, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the time being) the Right Honourable the Earl of Suffolk and Bindon, John Chetwynd, Esqr., Sir Charles Cooke, knight, Paul Docminique, John Molesworth, Thomas Pelham, Daniel Pulteney and Martin Bladen, Esqrs. are appointed Commissioners for promoting the trade of this kingdom, and for inspecting and improving his Majesty's plantations in America, and elsewhere.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Addison, of the 12th instant, requiring the Board to remind the respective Governors of his Majesty's plantations, of their instructions about transmitting accounts of his Majesty's revenue there, from time to time, and desiring at present to know how the revenue of quit-rents in Virginia stands, as to any appropriation thereof, and whether it be absolutely in the disposal of the Crown, was read, as also a state of the said quit-rents by Mr. Byrd, late Receiver-General of Virginia and Mr. Micajah Perry; and the said state being compared with the said Receiver-General's account of quit-rents, from the 25th of April, 1714, to the 25th of April, 1715 (Virginia, Bun. P. No. 89) transmitted with the letter from Col. Spotswood LieutenantGovernor of that colony of the 24th May, 1716; ordered that Mr. Byrd and Mr. Perry be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them at ten of the clock on Monday morning next. In the mean time, some directions were given for preparing an answer to Mr. Secretary Addison's said letter, and circular letters to his Majesty's several Governors in America, pursuant thereto.
A letter from the Lord Guilford, Guardian to the Lord Baltemore, proprietor, &c. of Maryland, dated the 17th, in answer to that writ his lordship the 10th instant, relating to illegal trade between his Majesty's plantations and the French settlements in America, was read.
An Order of Council, of the 15th instant, referring to the Board a petition from Col. Long relating to an Act passed in Jamaica, entituled, an Act for the more effectual relief of the freeholders and inhabitants of the town of Kingston was read; and their lordships resolved to take the same into consideration on Monday next.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Addison of ye 15th instant, referring to the Board the copy of a memorial from the Marquis de Monteleon, Ambassador of Spain, relating to the trade between the Canary Islands and his Majesty's Dominions, was read; and a progress made in considering the copy of the said memorial.
Mr. Byrd and Mr. Perry attending as desired, they explained their state of the quit-rents of Virginia, mentioned in the minutes of the 19th instant, acquainting the Board, that the 360l. for the salaries of the Lord Bishop of London's Commissary, the Attorney General and Solicitor of the Virginia affairs in this kingdom, is annually deducted out of the 1400l., to which sum they computed the nett produce of the said quit-rents might amount one year with another. They added, that the proprietors of lands in Virginia were obliged by their patents to pay two shillings per hundred acres. or 24 lb. of tobacco at one penny per pound as a quit-rent, that the same was paid in money, or at the election of the patentee.
Their lordships took again into consideration the Order of Council of the 15th mentioned in the minutes of the 19th instant, with the petition of Col. Long, relating to an Act passed in Jamaica, entituled, an Act for the more effectual relief of the freeholders and inhabitants of Kingston, and the representation of this Board, dated the 16th of July, 1714, as also the copy of his Majesty's Order in Council, of the 22nd November last, upon a report of the Lords in the Committee for Appeals, upon the same subject, were read; whereupon Col. Long attending, was acquainted, that the Board would be glad to speak with him and any other persons concerned for and against the said Act, on Thursday next.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Addison, of the 19th instant, upon the petition of Captain Woodes Rogers, and other papers, relating to the settlement of the Bahama Islands, was read, together with the said papers; and their lordships resolved to proceed in the further consideration thereof tomorrow morning.
Mr. Kennedy, attending, his account of charges in going, to Carolina, &c. to solicit the affairs of Virginia, relating to ye assistance given to Carolina against the Indians, was read (the said account being sworn to by Mr. Kennedy, before Sir Richard Holford, a Master in Chancery, the 15th instant) whereupon ordered that a copy be taken of the said account and that a letter be writ to Mr. Lowndes, for inclosing to him the said original account, and a copy of Col. Spotswood's letter to this Board, of the 30th of April (mentioned in the minutes of ye 22nd June) last, in order to be laid before the Lords of his Majesty's Treasury.
Ordered that in the draught of a circular letter, directed the 19th instant to be prepared, to his Majesty's several Governors in America, relating to his Majesty's revenue of quit-rents, a clause be prepared, directing them to transmit an account of the lands taken up in their respective Governments, as well as of the quit-rents reserved in the patents or paid by the patentees.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Addison, of the 15th instant, relating to a proclamation to be issued concerning the pirates in the West Indies, was read: and the secretary acquainting the Board that Mr. Attorney General had sent to know what directions the Board had to give him upon that subject, ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Attorney, to let him know that if he will send ye Board the draught of the proclamation, when he has prepared it, their lordships will then give him what assistance they can.
A letter from Mr. Lowndes, of the 17th instant, by order of the Lords of the Treasury, for copies of several papers, relating to the late French part of St. Christophers, and the opinion of this Board about disposing thereof, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Daniel Smith, Lieut. Governor of Nevis, Mr. Rowland Tryon, Mr. Nivine and Mr. Stephen Duport, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on Friday morning next, with any other gentlemen they think capable of giving their lordships information, relating to the said late French part of St. Christophers.
Two letters from Mr. Mulford, of ye 17th and 23rd instant, about his complaints relating to the whale fishery at New York, &c. being read; ordered that he be desired to bring in writing, as soon as he can, what proofs he has to support his allegations concerning that matter.
Col. Long and Mr. Samuel Bernard attending, as desired, in relation to the Act passed at Jamaica in February, 17 13/14, entituled, an Act for the more effectual relief of the freeholders and inhabitants of Kingston, the said Act was read, as likewise the Order of Council of the 15th instant, and petition of Col. Long, mentioned in the minutes of the 19th, praying the said Act may be repealed; and Mr. Bernard being asked what he knew of any proceedings in Jamaica, pursuant to his Majesty's Order in Council of the 22nd Novbr., 1714, concerning this Act; he said, he had not heard from the gentlemen concerned thereupon, which he attributed to the misunderstandings between the late Governor and the Assemblies of Jamaica, and Mr. Bernard desiring a copy of the first mentioned Order of Council, and of Col. Long's petition therein referred to, directions were given that he have copies thereof accordingly; these gentlemen being asked, if they desired to be heard by their council, relating to the subject of Col. Long's said petition, Mr. Bernard desired, he might, but Col. Long declined concerning himself any further in this matter, more than to move for their lordships speedy report thereupon.
Col. Long and Mr. Bernard being withdrawn, their lordships appointed Monday the 12th of August next, at ten of the clock in the morning, for hearing what the said Col. Long and Mr. Bernard have to offer by their respective council, relating to the said Act, if they think fit; and ordered that they be acquainted therewith accordingly.
The letter, ordered at the last meeting to be writ to Mr. Lowndes, for laying before the Lords of the Treasury Mr. Kennedy's account, and a copy of a letter from Col. Spotswood, Lieut. Governor of Virginia. relating to the said Kennedy's disbursements and services about the assistance given by Virginia to Carolina, against the invasion of the Indians, was agreed, and ordered to be sent.
The draught of a representation upon the petition and proposals of Captain Woodes Rogers, referred to this Board, as mentioned in the minutes of the 22nd instant, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Col. Daniel Smith, Lieutenant Govr. of Nevis, Mr. Rowland Tryon, Mr. Nivine, Mr. Stephen Duport, Mr. Fenton, Capt. Brissac, Major Buer and Mr. Mills, attending, as desired, they were asked what number of acres the late French part of the Island of St. Christophers might contain, whether manurable and to be improved, or otherwise, and what might be the present value thereof; whereupon Mr. Fenton, to whom the other gentlemen referred their lordships, as being lately arrived from those parts, said, that the survey thereof was not yet finished, but that Mr. Revell, the surveyor, told him some months ago, that he thought, the said late French part might not contain above thirteen thousand acres of manurable lands, besides the land about the Salt-Ponds, tho' the said lands had formerly been computed at 15 or 16,000 acres; but Mr. Fenton said, he had since heard from the persons to whom Mr. Revell had declared it, upon a further progress in the survey, that there would not be found above 11,000 acres, those lands which have been granted to several of the French Protestants included; that the Salt-Ponds were about three miles round, the grounds hilly about them, fit only for cattle and small stock: that when the French were in possession of it, the said land about the Salt-Ponds maintained 100 men, able to bear arms, besides double that number of women and children; that about a fourth part of the late French lands in the said island were unprofitable, including the hills about the Salt-Ponds; that the greatest part of the whole were at present possessed by persons having grants during pleasure, or temporary, and were cultivated by several poor people, that came down from Nevis and Montserrat, who took small parcels under larger grants. In relation to the value, Mr. Fenton said, the manurable lands might in his judgment be worth 10l. sterling per acre, one with another; Major Buer said, he knew of none sold in the English part of St. Christophers for more than 7l., but he owned, as was objected to him, that that was when the French were possessed of one half of ye island, which was a reason why the English land was not worth more at that time; however, he affirmed, that some land had been sold at the rate of 5l.sterling per acre, even since the French protestants had had their grants from his Majesty. Mr. Nivine said, that some of the best part of the land in the English part of the Islands, had been sold for 5l. sterling per acre, some at 3l., some at 40 shillings, and that, till of late, he never heard of above 5l. sterling per acre. Mr. Fenton being asked whether he thought such persons, as should purchase the manurable lands in St. Christophers at 10l. per acre, would contribute to the rebuilding or erecting such fortifications as may be necessary; he said, no; and in relation to the remaining lands which are barren and unimprovable, he said, such purchasers might expect and very well deserve to have them given into the bargain. Mr. Mills thereupon acquainted their lordships, that he had reason to believe, two thirds of the present inhabitants upon the late French part of St. Christophers, would be obliged to leave the island, if the said land was not to be sold under 10l. sterling an acre, tho' they now employed 3000 or 3500 negroes upon it, and Mr. Duport added, that at that rate there would not be 50 of the present inhabitants upon the said lands able to purchase. Mr. Fenton and other gentlemen further said, that the neighbouring Island of St. Martin had drained Saint Christophers of many inhabitants, the latter not having more than 1200 men and many of them leaving it, whereas that island required 1600 or 2000 to defend it: that there was sugar made at St. Martin's and sent thence to the Dutch and other foreigners, to the prejudice of the trade of Great Britain; that most of the people at present settled at St. Martins, would return upon having six or seven acres of land per head given them at St. Christophers near the sea-side, which method would very much strengthen the island, and probably draw people both from the French and Dutch, besides our own men at Anguilla, and 200 lying ready at Spanish Town, expecting the disposal of the late French lands: that it would be of advantage to the publick, to have each patentee for any of the said lands, obliged to keep a white man for each 40 or 50 acres thereby granted, which if they were obliged to do, besides repairing or raising of fortifications; Mr. Mills observed that purchasers must expect better bargains than at the price Mr. Fenton first mentioned, to which Mr. Fenton agreed: Mr. Nivine further declared his opinion, that if any inhabitants of the other three principal Leeward Islands, vizt. Antigua, Nevis and Montserrat, were admitted to be purchasers of his Majesty's lands at St. Christophers, it might be of dangerous consequence to the said three islands, Montserrat especially being already very much impoverished; upon which Mr. Fenton took notice of the strength of the French at Martinique, and said, there were 5 or 6000 men in arms, when they lately rose against their Governor, and sent him away.
Their lordships inquiring of these gentlemen what the charge of the Government of St. Christophers may be, one year with another, and what money is usually levied for that purpose; they said, it was very uncertain, there being raised from 5 to 14 shillings, the island money per poll upon negroes; and Mr. Fenton said, the tax this year was 12 shillings per poll, and the number of negroes about 7000, the produce of which tax was intended towards repair of the fortifications in the English part.
The gentlemen abovementioned then withdrew, and Mr. Mills returning, acquainted the Board, that he being concerned for more of the merchants and inhabitants of St. Christophers than any other person here, was desirous the said inhabitants, &c. might have the preference in purchasing his Majesty's lands there; that after 2 or 3000 acres were given to the poor, he was willing to engage for purchasing the remainder, and give as much for the lands as any other, and enter into security for payment of what should be agreed on for the purchase; whereupon their lordships desiring him to make his proposals in writing, he promised to prepare and bring them on this day sevennight.
The draught of a representation upon the petition and proposals of Capt. Woodes Rogers, relating, to the Bahama Islands, agreed at the last meeting, was signed, as likewise a letter for transmitting the same to Mr. Secretary Addison.
An Act passed in Barbadoes, the 18th of December, 1716, entituled, An Act to dock the intail limited on a certain plantation situate in the parishes of St. Peter's and St. Andrew's, in this island, and to enable George Nicholas Esqr. and Susannah his wife, to mortgage or sell the same, with the negroes thereto belonging, being laid before the Board; ordered that the said Act be sent to Mr. Attorney General, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
Mr. Attorney General's report upon an Act passed in Barbadoes, the 18th December, 1716, to dock the intail of an estate belonging to George Nicholas Esqr. mentioned in the last minutes, was read; and the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon, signed.
Don Bernardo de Guardia and Mr. Diharce attending, with Mr. Cobb their solicitor, Mr. Secretary Addison's letter upon their petition, and other annexed papers, as mentioned in the minutes of the 19th of the last month, relating to a Spanish Belandra brought into Jamaica, and condemned there, was read, together with the said petition and papers, as also some of the minutes of the Council of Jamaica, and a representation from the said de Guardia and Diharce upon the same subject; to which Mr. Diharce added in discourse, that Capt. Fernando, of the sloop Bennett, sent some of his men with the prize he had taken, into Jamaica, with a small part of her lading, which were condemned, the said Fernando having first taken the richest goods out of her, and landed some of them in a creek of Jamaica, as reported; but that they have no certain account where those goods were made away with; that one Mr. Bendysh, now in this kingdom, was concerned for the owners of the sloop Bennett, and can give their lordships some light into this matter.
The secretary acquainting the Board, that the Lord Archibald Hamilton desired an opportunity of being heard before their lordships, if anything in this application reflected on him. Ordered that his lordship be acquainted that the Board will be ready to speak with him, if his Lordship thinks fit, on Friday come sevennight.