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, December 1717
A letter from Mr. Stanhope, one of the Secretaries to the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury in answer to one writ him the 19th of last month, by order of this Board, relating to the poor inhabitants of the Leeward Islands [fo. 89] dispersing themselves into other settlements, was read; and directions given for acquainting General Hamilton with the substance thereof, in the next letter to be prepared from their Lordships to him.
Mr. Christopher Stoddard attending, according to appointment [fo. 5, 18], as likewise Col. Daniel Smith and Mr. Fenton, their Lordships had some discourse with them on the subject of Mr. Stoddard's petition, mentioned in the minutes of the 20th and 27th of the last month, relating to the said Stoddard's being dispossessed of a plantation in the late French part of St. Christophers; and Col. Smith being asked whether, upon Mr. Stoddard's application to him for a new grant of the said plantation, he had promised that the said Stoddard should not be molested in his possession, till the pleasure of the Crown should be known, concerning the said French lands;—he said, he had told Mr. Stoddard, he would neither make any new grant, nor dispossess him, it being at a time when General Hamilton, His Majesty's Governor in Chief of those islands, was soon expected, and that they had an account the late French lands were shortly to be disposed of. Col. Smith further acquainted their Lordships, that upon the expiration of temporary grants, as this under which Mr. Stoddard had possessed the plantation, mentioned in his petition, new grants were usually given to the possessors for a further term, as having an equitable claim thereto; but in case of the removal of the last possessor, allowances were generally made for buildings and conveniences erected at the expence of the persons leaving a plantation;—that he has been informed, Mr. Stoddard has built, and been at considerable charge on the said plantation, but never heard, he had any allowance for the same; and Mr. Fenton affirmed, that he knew, the said Stoddard had built a mill and other necessaries for sugar-works on the said plantation; that he had his house formerly burnt, and was outed of another plantation some time ago by Col. Parke; Mr. Fenton further added, that he remembered no instance of the change of a grantee for lands in St. Christophers, except one who died, without leaving a wife or any relation there.
Mr. Samuel Shepheard, Senr. Deputy–Governor, and Sir William Chapman, and Mr. William Astell, Directors of the South Sea Company attending, according to appointment [fo. 8, 18], in relation to the duty laid by An Act of Assembly at Jamaica, on negroes, which they complain of; they were asked what objection they had to the payment of duties for negroes bought in the island, or exchanged there; to which these gentlemen answered, that there was not so much reason against this, since the island suffers therein, together with the Company, as against laying a duty on such negroes, as come only for refreshment, and to prevent diseases in their ships, it being the same thing as touching only to wood and water, a privilege which even any foreigner may claim in our plantations, or any of His Majesty's dominions. But these gentlemen urged that this imposition on negroes at Jamaica, was the effect of a prejudiced party, led by a gentleman whom the Company, upon his application did not think fit to employ in their service:—that some of that party in Jamaica, upon being informed that application would be made to His Majesty, for his disallowance of the said Act, answered, that before the repeal of it could arrive, they would pass another, and so from time to time. Mr. Shepheard and the said Directors were likewise asked, if they had any grant or authority, with which the laying such a duty interfered; whereupon they said, they had no other authority than the contract which is between the two Crowns of Great Britain and Spain, at the time of making whereof, there was no duty on negroes at Jamaica; and that they looked upon the duty above-mentioned to be derogatory to that contract.—That though there had formerly been such a duty in that island, yet as they were informed, it had not been laid for eight or nine years, the same having been found inconvenient to the island itself.—They further added, that the Company had already ordered some of their ships to touch at Barbadoes instead of Jamaica, and if the duty continued to be levied at Jamaica, they should be obliged to send all their ships to Barbadoes, or elsewhere: and Sir William Chapman added, that Jamaica might reap many advantages by the Company's ordering their ships to touch there rather than any other place; which he instanced in the following particulars, vizt. by the expence of the Company's seamen, (whom they pay at Jamaica) and on account of their negroes; by causing greater numbers of vessels to come thither from His Majesty's plantations on the continent of America, with provisions, for which the Company would occasion a greater demand at Jamaica to refresh and support their negroes; by those provisions consequently growing cheaper to the inhabitants, from having a greater supply of them, which usually increases upon a certain demand; by imploying several sloops of the island in carrying negroes to the Spaniards; by more vessels that would return light to Jamaica, and be glad to carry the product of that island for Great Britain at a cheaper Freight, &c.
Sir William Chapman, then acquainting the Board, that the South Sea Company had advice from some of their factors, of the trade and growing strength of the French on the River Mississippi, and their communication with Mexico; he promised to send their Lordships extracts thereof.
Ordered that Don Bernardo de Guardia [fo. 29] and Mr. Diharce be desired to bring the proofs they promised the 15th of last month, or what else they may have to offer in relation to their petition as soon as may be.
Their Lordships taking into further consideration the petition and other papers from the South Sea Company [fos. 15, 50], complaining of a duty in Jamaica on their negroes, some directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation thereupon, as also upon the Act whereby the said duty is laid.
The petition of Mr. Stoddard [fo. 13, 21], mentioned in yesterdays minutes, relating to a plantation in St. Christophers, being likewise further considered; ordered that Mr. Cuningham, a gentleman of that island, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him on Friday morning next.
The draught of a letter, ordered the 22nd of last month, to be prepared, to the Earl of Sunderland [fo. 11] relating to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General's denying they had given any opinion upon the laws of Antigua and St. Christophers, mentioned in the representation of this Board, dated the 16th of October last, was agreed and signed.
The petition of John Plowman [fo. 25], of London, fishmonger, and Robert Shard, merchant, praying for a patent for taking and curing sturgeon in His Majesty's dominions in America, &c., being read, with Mr. Secretary Addison's reference thereupon, dated the 22nd of the last month; ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Wachter, who is concerned for Mrs. Low, a petitioner for a like patent, for some answer from her on the subject of her said petition, on Tuesday morning next.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Solicitor General [fo. 25] to put him in mind of one writ him the 7th of June last, on the petition of several disbanded officers and soldiers, relating to a tract of land adjoining to Nova Scotia, and to desire his opinion thereupon as soon as possible.
Their Lordships taking into consideration an Act passed in New Jersey in January, 1716/17, entituled, an Act to repeal a former Act of General Assembly of this Province, entituled, an Act for the ascertaining the place of the sitting of the representatives to meet in General Assembly:—gave directions for sending the same to Mr. Solicitor-General, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
Mr. Cunyngham [fo. 18, 32] attending, as desired, he was asked what he knew, in relation to the plantation in the late French part of St. Christophers, whereof Mr. Stoddard complains, that his family is dispossessed; whereupon the said Mr. Cunyngham, first offering to have been sworn, declared to their Lordships, that Captain Mitchell, commander of a man-of-war in the late reign, had a temporary grant of the said plantation from Major Douglas, then Governor in Chief of the Leeward Islands:—that Captain Mitchell, upon a verbal agreement, took Mr. Stoddard into partnership with him and received him into the plantation, before their agreement was reduced into writing:—that Mr. Stoddard having drawn up an agreement in writing, Captain Mitchell found it to be contrary to what he said, was verbally agreed on; he asked the said Mr. Cunyngham's opinion therein; whereupon Captain Mitchell drew off his negroes, which were employed in conjunction with those of the said Stoddard, and resolved to turn him off the plantation:—that soon after Captain Mitchell died, and his widow desired Mr. Cunyngham to give Mr. Stoddard notice to leave the plantation, which he the said Mr. Cunyngham accordingly did, tho' the said Stoddard had no regard thereto, but continued to hold the said plantation:—that Mrs. Mitchell designing then for England, made an offer to dispose of her right to the said plantation to Mr. Cunyngham, who did not presently accept the same, but desired Mr. Vanbell, who had formerly possessed the said plantation, might have the refusal of it:—that Mr. Vanbell being accordingly writ to by him the said Mr. Cunyngham, did, on account of his age and infirmities, decline the offer above-mentioned, and upon Mr. Cunyngham's request, resigned to him what interest he had in the said plantation; whereupon Mr. Cunyngham did himself agree with Mrs. Mitchell, for her right and interest therein, and that of her daughter, as appeared by a written assignment produced to the Board, dated the 26th of April, 1715, in which assignment the said plantation is said to consist of 200 acres:—that he the said Mr. Cunyngham had thereupon possession of Captain Mitchell's grant, but did not disturb Mr. Stoddard:—that upon his application to General Hamilton for a new grant, the said General demanded and took from Mr. Cunyngham the said grant to Mitchell, and has ever since detained it; but whether the said grant to Mitchell was expired or no, when General Hamilton took it, Mr. Cunyngham said he did not know:—that there were two houses built upon the said plantation, one at the sole charge of Captain Mitchell, and the other between Mitchell and Stoddard; that no particular part of the plantation had been set aside for Stoddard, who, he believed, had not cultivated above twenty acres:—Mr. Cunyngham further said, that a tenant in possession was looked upon to have an equitable right to a new grant, preferable to another; and that it was esteemed injustice to dispossess any person without reason, who was in possession of a plantation: —that as to the plantation in question, Mr. Cunyngham said, he had paid Mrs. Mitchell for her improvements, and was to give her one hundred guineas, if he held the plantation:—and the said Mrs. Mitchell being now in London, he promised to endeavour to bring her to the Board.
Sir William Chapman, [fo. 17, 31] having left at the office an extract of a letter from Mr. Bedell to the Directors of the South Sea Company, dated at Mexico the 21st of September last, relating to the trade and growing strength of the French in those parts, the same was read; and a letter signed, inclosing a copy thereof to Mr. Secretary Addison.
A letter from Mr. Cumyng, Surveyor of the Customs at Boston in New England, dated the 17th September last, was read; whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, for an account of all imports and exports to and from New England, for three years last past, according to the returns they have received from the Naval Officers there.
A letter from Don Bernardo de Guardia and Mr. Diharce, of the 6th instant, promising to wait on the Board on Tuesday next, with the proofs in the allegations of their petition, relating to a Spanish Belandra condemned at Jamaica, was read.
A letter from Mrs. Anne Low, dated the 6th instant, signifying that she quits her pretension to the having a patent [fo. 19, 35] for catching and curing sturgeon in North America, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Plowman and Mr. Shard, who petition for a like patent, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on Thursday morning next.
A letter from Mr. Solicitor-General to the Secretary, dated the 5th instant, relating to his report [fo. 20, 49] upon the petition of several disbanded soldiers and others for a settlement upon some lands between Nova Scotia and the Province of Main, was read.
The Secretary acquainting the Board, that Mr. Cunyngham signified he had met with Mrs. Mitchell, and that they were both ready to attend in relation to Mr. Stoddard's petition concerning a plantation in St. Christophers, as mentioned in the last minutes; ordered that they be desired to attend on Thursday morning next.
The Secretary laid before the Board an account of petty expences
and incidental charges in their office, from Lady-day, 1717, to
Michaelmas following, amounting to 266l.1s.4d.; which is as follows;
A letter from Mr. Clayton to the Secretary, dated this day, relating to the deed of surrender [fo. 30] of the Government of the Bahama Islands, signed by four of the Lords Proprietors, and transmitted to Mr. Attorney-General, the 21st of last month, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Attorney be acquainted that the Board desire his immediate opinion whether the surrender executed only by four out of six of the said Proprietors, be valid and effectual.
Mr. Solicitor-General's report upon an Act [fo. 125] passed in New Jersey in 1716–17 entituled, an Act to repeal a former Act of General Assembly of this Province, entituled, an Act for the ascertaining the place of the sitting of the representatives to meet in General Assembly, was read; whereupon ordered that the draught of a representation be prepared to His Majesty, in order to the confirmation of the said Act.
Ordered that the Act undermentioned passed in New Jersey in
1713 and 1716-17, be sent to Mr. Solicitor-General, for his opinion
thereupon in point of law, vizt.:—
An Act to lay a duty upon wheat exported out of the Eastern Division of this Province, to any of Her Majesty's Colonies on the Continent of America.
An Act that the solemn affirmation and declaration of the people called Quakers, shall be accepted instead of an oath, &c.
An act inforcing the observation of the ordinance for establishing fees within this Province.
An Act for the better inforcing an ordinance of his Excellency, Robert Hunter, Esqr., Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of New Jersey, New York, &c. Entituled, an Ordinance for the further establishing of fees and ferryages.
Don Bernardo de Guardia [fo. 18, 69] and Mr. Diharce attending, presented to the Board a representation, with several annexed papers of proofs to support the allegations of their petition, relating to the capture and condemnation at Jamaica, of the Spanish belandra called the Nostra Signora de Bethleem; whereupon their Lordships resolved to take the same into consideration the first opportunity.
Mr. Attorney-General's report [fo. 27, 144] in answer to the letters writ him the 21st of November and 10th instant, relating to the surrender of the Government of the Bahama Islands, by four of the Lords Proprietors thereof, was read; whereupon a letter to Mr. Secretary Addison, acquainting him with Mr. Attorney's opinion in that matter, and desiring the draughts of a commission and instructions for Captain Rogers, for the government of the said Islands, may be laid before His Majesty, was signed.
The draught of an instruction, ordered the 4th of September last, to be prepared for General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, relating to his allowance for house-rent by Act of the Assembly of Antigua, and against his receiving gifts and presents from the Assemblies of the Islands under his government, being read, the same was agreed and ordered to be transcribed, and a letter directed to be prepared for inclosing the said draught of instruction to Mr. Secretary Addison, for His Majesty's signature.
A memorial from Mr. Beresford, one of the agents for Carolina, relating to the progress [fo. 24, 103] the French have made in finding out a passage from St. Laurence or Canada River to their new settlement called Louisiana, and down the River Mississippi, in the Bay of Mexico; which they have effected, and have built forts all along that tract of land near 3000 miles, to secure that communication, and to the establishment of the Western Company in France, was read; whereupon directions were given for preparing circular letters to His Majesty's Governors of the Massachusets Bay, New York and Virginia, in order to transmit to them copies of the said memorial, and to know their opinion what may be proper to be done for preventing the inconveniencies mentioned in the said memorial; and in the mean time, a letter inclosing a copy thereof to Mr. Secretary Addison, for his information, was signed.
A letter from Mr. Keith [fo. 92], Deputy-Governor of Pennsylvania, dated the 24th of September last, was read, together with the minutes therewith transmitted, relating to his negotiations with the Indians, which are under the protection of that Government;— Mr. Keith's speech to the Assembly of Pennsylvania, the 20th of August last;—their address to him thereupon; and his answer to the said Address.
Mr. Cunyngham [fo. 21, 42] attending, with Mrs. Mitchell, according to appointment, they were asked several questions concerning the plantation in St. Christophers, which Mr. Stoddard complains in his petition, of his being dispossessed of; whereupon Mrs. Mitchell said, that her late husband Captain Mitchell had a grant in 1712, from General Douglas (then Governor in Chief of the Leeward Islands) of the said plantation for three years:—that after two years and more of the said term were expired, Captain Mitchell verbally agreed with Mr. Stoddard to cultivate the said plantation in partnership:—that the said Stoddard was on the plantation about five months under Captain Mitchell, in which time about ten acres, as Mr. Cunyngham alledged, were cleared, and a house built, as Mr. Cunyngham and Mrs. Mitchell both agreed, for the use of Mr. Stoddard and his family:—they further acquainted the Board, that the clearing of the ground, and building the said habitation for Mr. Stoddard, was done by the joint-labor of the negroes of Captain Mitchell and Mr. Stoddard, they having each of them six negroes employed therein, and that the charge of building the said house, was chiefly by the labour of the said slaves; most of the materials for such slight buildings being had upon the plantation itself, or adjacent mountains;—that Stoddard having drawn up an agreement in writing, Captain Mitchell refused signing it, as being contrary to what he said, was verbally agreed on; and Mrs. Mitchell instanced one particular which her husband alledged to be their bargain, though omitted in the writing drawn by Mr. Stoddard, vizt.:—that the grant being to Captain Mitchell, the said Stoddard was at his sole charge to have furnished all necessary utensils for making sugar, etc., besides an equal number of slaves:— that Captain Mitchell thereupon forbid his slaves working with those of Mr. Stoddard, and warned him off the plantation; though Mr. Stoddard continued, without taking notice thereof:—that Captain Mitchell died in February, 1714/15, and that the term of his said grant was to expire about November following:—that in May, 1715, Mrs. Mitchell came for England, having assigned all her interest in the foresaid plantation to Mr. Cunyngham, who being asked with Mrs. Mitchell, if any, and what ground was cleared by Stoddard, after Captain Mitchell's slaves were taken away, they said, they could not tell. And Mrs. Mitchell being further asked, if she could attest upon oath the accounts she had given their Lordships in this matter; she said, she should be ready to do it.
Mr. Cunyngham then acquainted the Board, that after General Hamilton's arrival in the Leeward Islands as Captain-General, he applied to him for a new grant of the plantation abovementioned, but that General Hamilton took the old grant from him, and declined renewing it, and soon after granted it to Mr. Milliken. Mr. Cunyngham and Mrs. Mitchell being withdrawn, ordered that Mr. Stoddard and Mr. Cunyngham have notice to attend the Board on Tuesday morning next.
Mr. Borland attending in relation to his petition mentioned in the minutes of the 6th November, for a patent [fo. 19, 25, 39] to catch and cure sturgeon in North America; he was asked, whether he knew Mr. Plowman, (who, with Mr. Shard, petitions for a like patent), whereupon he said, he had been once in company with him, and was jealous the said Mr. Plowman has had a correspondence with one Mr. George Wensley, whom Mr. Borland has sent to New England, and who has now a salary from him for curing of sturgeon; and he added, (as he had formerly acquainted the Board) that he the said Mr. Borland is now in contract as well with some fishmongers here, as with the said Wensley, (the contract with Wensley being dated the 19th December last) from bringing sturgeon from New England to this kingdom, and that his contract for the fishmongers, is for seven years.
Mr. Borland being ordered to withdraw, and Mr. Plowman and Mr. Shard attending, were called in, and desired to acquaint the Board what proofs they had to support the allegations of their petition for a patent to catch and cure sturgeon in North America, which petition was read the 4th instant, and they were asked several other questions; whereupon they said, they had in September last, received a keg of sturgeon from New England, from one Harris, a person employed by them for catching and curing the said fish;— that the said Harris is an inhabitant in New England, and resides there; but went from this kingdom about a year and a half ago, upon his own private affairs, and not by commission from Mr. Plowman;—and Mr. Plowman said, he some time after sent Harris the receipt for curing the said sturgeon; Mr. Plowman being then particularly asked if he did not know one Mr. Wensley, who is concerned in taking and curing sturgeon; Mr. Plowman said, he knew him very well; and upon further questions concerning Wensley, Mr. Plowman likewise said, that he said Wensley, having the secret of curing and pickling sturgeon, had two or three years ago agreed with him to enter into partnership for catching and curing sturgeon at New England, and bringing the same to Great Britain;—that one Edwards, (who, he said was now in London) was to have been their factor or agent;—that the said Plowman and Wensley were to advance 50l. a piece for the undertaking; that Plowman accordingly paid to Edwards and Wensley his 50l. and 5l. odd money towards Edwards's salary; but the said Wensley pretending his money was in Holland, the said Plowman parted with them in London, expecting they would have gone for Holland, to get there the 50l. Wensley was to pay for his share, and afterwards have taken the first opportunity of going to New England; but instead of going to Holland, the said Wensley and Edwards went directly for Bristol;—that at Bristol they bought coppers and utensils necessary for curing the said fish, but continuing there five or six months, they sold the said utensils, and he believed, spent the money; Mr. Plowman being asked, if he did not know of their being at Bristol, or correspond with them whilst they were there, he said, he did not. Mr. Plowman being asked, whether he knew of Wensley's being now in New England; Mr.Shard and he said, that they had an account from New England the 15th of June last, that they had an account from New England the 15th of June last, that Wensley was not then known to be there; and Mr. Plowman added, that Wensley's son, whom he lately saw, told him, his father was in England, as Mr. Plowman said, he believed him to be.—Mr. Plowman being particularly asked, if he had the receipt from the said Wensley, for curing sturgeon; he said, he had it not from Wensley, but from Hamburgh, which, Mr. Shard as well as Mr. Plowman said, had been the greatest part of their expence in this undertaking.—Mr. Shard and Mr. Plowman being further asked, if they had seen any of the sturgeon imported from New England for Mr. Borland's account; they said, the same ship which brought their sturgeon, had likewise brought some for Mr. Borland, but that it was poor fish, and prepared after the old manner, and they thought, would hardly be sold for more than five shillings a keg, if at all:—Mr. Shard and Mr. Plowman added, that the sturgeon, which was sent them, as before mentioned, proved as fat, large and good as any from the East Country, and sold at 24 shillings the keg, which was the best price; and that they expected fifty kegs of the same sort from New England in the spring.
They being withdrawn, Mr. Borland was called in again, and asked what certainty he had of Mr. Wensley's being now in New England, upon which he promised to bring to their Lordships some of Wensley's letters from thence, and to produce other proofs of Wensley's being in New England; and Mr. Borland acquainted the Board, that he understood from Mr. Wachter, that Mr. Plowman above-mentioned had got his receipt to cure sturgeon from Wensley; whereupon their Lordships desired Mr. Borland to attend the Board again on Monday morning next, with the said Mr. Wachter, and to bring at the same time, what letters and proofs he had of Mr. Wensley's being in New England, which Mr. Borland accordingly promised.
The draught of a letter, directed at the last meeting to be prepared, for transmitting to Mr. Secretary Addison the draught of an instruction for His Majesty's signature, to General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, relating to his allowance for house rent by an Act of Antigua, and against his receiving presents, was agreed and signed.
Mr. Borland [fo. 35, 83] attending, according to appointment, as also Mr. Wachter; Mr. Borland produced to their Lordships three several letters from Mr. George Wensley, dated at Boston, the 22nd and 27th of May, and 12th of June, 1717, relating to their undertaking to catch and cure sturgeon and other fish on the coast of New England, and sending the same to this kingdom; which letters were read, as likewise part of two other letters produced by Mr. Borland, from his son, dated also at Boston, one the 25th of September, the other the 16th of October last, relating to a house building for the said Wensley, and his preparations for the fishery; all which Mr. Borland offered as concurring proofs that Wensley was actually in New England; and that Mr. Borland his son had lately given credit to Wensley for several necessaries taken up in New England. Mr. Borland also laid before the Board his contract with several fishmongers in London, and directions were given for taking an abstract thereof. Mr. Borland being asked, if he had not yet received from Wensley any proof or sample of what he could perform in New England, and whether others had not likewise the receipt here, for pickling and curing sturgeon as well as Wensley; he said, that he had not yet received any samples of sturgeon cured by Wensley in New England; and as to the receipt, he believed, the fishmongers in London might have one, but different from that of Wensley. Mr. Wachter was then asked what he knew concerning Mrs. Low's pretensions to obtain a patent for catching and curing sturgeon in New England; he said, he was a stranger to it, otherwise than as she had informed him; but he said, he since understood there was a difference between the said Mrs. Low, Mrs. Wensley and the said George Wensley, father of Mrs. Low, and husband to the said Mrs. Wensley;—that he apprehended there was some underhand management amongst them, which he had not yet discovered:—that Mrs. Low said, she had heard among the fishmongers, that the keg mentioned to be imported by Mr. Plowman from New England, was really made in New England, but sent to Hamburgh, and there filled with fish;—that Mrs. Wensley told the said Mr. Wachter this morning, that her husband had given Plowman his receipt; and Mr. Wachter being desired to communicate to the Board what further information and proofs he could get of this matter; he promised to do it, and to endeavour to bring Mrs. Wensley with him.
Mr. Rogers and Mr. Thomas, two of the fishmongers who have contracted with Mr. Borland, attending, they were called in, and asked what certainty they had of Mr. Wensley's ability and skill in the management of sturgeon: they said, that Wensley was bred a fishmonger, and upon a general complaint some years ago of the badness of sturgeon from the East Country, he had been sent to Hamburgh, to supervise and take care of sending that fish home in better condition. That they had seen sturgeon sent by him much better than formerly; wherefore they were of opinion Wensley was capable of performing what he had undertaken; though another person had been sent to Hamburgh since Mr. Wensley, and further improvements made there of late in the curing of sturgeon since Wensley's time. Mr. Wachter and Borland did likewise say, in case Wensley should not behave himself honestly, they had other persons well skilled in curing sturgeon ready to send to New England. And the said fishmongers added, that having seen some sturgeon from New England, though not rightly managed, they judged from the goodness of the fish that with skill it might be had thence in as great perfection as from the Baltic; and might be disposed of at much easier rates.
Mr. Cunyngham [fo. 32, 50] and Mr. Stoddard attending, according to appointment, Mr. Stoddard, in answer to several questions that were asked him, relating to the plantation in St. Christophers, which he complains of being dispossessed of, said, that he drew up the agreement in writing between Captain Mitchell and himself, as the same had been verbally concluded between them, and left it with the Captain for his perusal, but that he never heard the said Captain Mitchell say, he would not sign the said agreement, or had any signification from him of his dislike of it, nor did the Captain send any message to warn him off the plantation, though his widow afterwards did; on the contrary, Mr. Stoddard said, he believed, Captain Mitchell would have signed the said agreement, had he lived;—that the Captain was to keep on the said plantation ten negroes, four horses, four cattle, and to be at an equal part of the expence for coppers and other utensils;—that he the said Stoddard was upon the plantation two or three months before Captain Mitchell's death, in which time he built himself a house, and cleared about two acres of ground;—that at first, he the said Stoddard brought ten negroes to the plantation, and afterwards all that he had, being 15 or 16.—That he did not know but some of Captain Mitchell's negroes might be assistant in bringing materials for his building:—that Captain Mitchell had indeed withdrawn his negroes from the plantation, during his illness, which he believed, were few enough to attend him and his family in that condition:— that the grant from General Douglas was expired before Captain Mitchell died, and that the Captain sent him, the said Stoddard, to Col. Smith, then Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, with the said grant in order to have it renewed; for the truth of which he appealed to Mr. Fenton, who was called in, and being asked, if he had seen the said grant from General Douglas to Capt. Mitchell, and whether he knew when it expired; he said, that he saw the said Grant in the beginning of the year 1715, when Mr. Stoddard applied to Col. Smith, to have it renewed, but that he could not tell when it expired. Mr. Stoddard then alledging that Mr. Cunyngham had the grant in his custody, and he believed, might produce it; Mr. Cunyngham answered, that he carried it to General Hamilton, in order to the obtaining a new grant, but that the General, upon it's being shewn to him, put it up among his papers, and did not return it.—Mr. Cunyngham being asked, whether Captain Mitchell did not send him to acquaint Mr. Stoddard, that he would not sign the agreement as drawn up in writing, and whether the said grant was expired or no, at the time of his putting it into General Hamilton's hands; he said, the widow, not Captain Mitchell, sent him to Stoddard, to warn him off the plantation, but that the Captain had declared to the said Mr. Cunyngham; that he would not sign the written agreement, as Stoddard had drawn it;—that as to the expiration of the grant, Mr. Cunyngham said, he did not know whether the same was expired or no, when he carried it to General Hamilton.—Mr. Stoddard then acquainted their lordships that upon Captain Mitchell's death, he, the said Stoddard, applied to Col. Smith abovementioned, for a new grant, who declined giving any, but told him, he might go on in the Plantation;—and Mr. Fenton likewise said, he had been with Col. Smith, to desire a grant for Stoddard, upon Captain Mitchell's death;—Mr. Stoddard further said, that neither the said Col. Smith, not Lieutenant General Matthew, the succeeding Commander in Chief, ever made any grant of this plantation, though others had applied to them on that account; that indeed Mr. Cunyngham had forbid his continuance upon the plantation, but that he thought Mr. Cunyngham had no right so to do;—and Mr. Fenton likewise said, it was the common opinion in St. Christophers, that the widow Mitchell had no right at all to the plantation; Mr. Stoddard, added that before he came away from the Leeward Islands, he was threatened to be sued;—that Mr. Milliken, who has obtained General Hamilton's grant, took possession by force of all the plantation, except the 30 acres improved, and has since, by virtue of a sentence in some of the courts there, seized of the said remaining thirty acres, and every thing upon the premises.
Col. Codrington attending with Captain Prissick, they desired their Lordships to appoint a day for hearing Col. Codrington by Council on the subject of his petition, mentioned in the minutes of the 4th September last, relating to a plantation in the French part of St. Christophers; whereupon they were acquainted that the Board would appoint a day for that purpose, and acquaint Col. Codrington therewith.
Upon consideration of Col. Codrington's desire of being heard by his Council on his petition, mentioned in yesterday's minutes, relating to a plantation [fo. 73] in the late French part of St. Christophers; ordered that the Secretary write to Mr. Charles Stanhope, to desire him to move the Lords of the Treasury, that Mr. Crachrode may have directions to attend Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General, with such papers as this Board shall furnish him with, in behalf of His Majesty, in this affair.
Mr. Attorney General's report upon several acts passed in Barbadoes, relating to the establishment of fees, mentioned in the memorial of Mr. Micklethwaite, Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Crachrode, the Secretary, Provost-Marshall, and Register in Chancery of that island; which with the said Acts were sent to Mr. Attorney-General, the 26th of last month, was read; whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation to His Majesty, relating to the said Acts.
Ordered that the Acts passed in Virginia [fo. 78] in 1663, entituled, an Act prohibiting the unlawful assembling of Quakers, and an Act concerning foreign debts, be sent to Mr. Attorney General, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
A letter from Col. Spotswood [fo. 93], Lieutenant Governor of
Virginia, dated the 29th August, 1717, was read, and the papers
therein referred to, as undermentioned, were laid before the Board,
Remarks on the present state of the Treasury-Rights in Virginia, with proposals relating to that part of the revenue there.
Minutes of the Council of Virginia, from the 20th of April, 1716, to the 13th of August, 1717.
Monsieur Wignacourt, with Mr. Coram and some of the disbanded officers and others [fo. 25, 51, 53] who desire a settlement between Nova Scotia and New England, attending; Mr. Solicitor-General's report upon the several claims and pretensions to that country, was read; and Mr. Coram desiring that he may be heard upon that matter as soon as their Lordships conveniently could; ordered that Mr. Hamilton in behalf of Duke Hamilton; Mr. Turner, who appears for Sir Bybye Lake, and Mr. Dummer, Agent for the Massachusets Bay, have notice to attend the Board tomorrow morning.
The draught of a representation upon the memorial of the Marquis de Monteleone, [Journal S. fo. 305; vide infra fo. 66], Ambassador from Spain, relating to the commerce between the British dominions and the Canary Islands, was read, and a progress made in the consideration thereof.
Col. Smith [fo. 42, 52], late Lieutenant-Governor of Nevis, attending, as desired, in relation to Mr. Stoddard's plantation at St. Christophers, mentioned in the minutes of the 17th instant; he acquainted the Board, that Mr. Stoddard had once or twice made application to him for a grant of the said plantation, which he declined to give him, but told him, he would not molest him; and that the reason of his refusing to make him the grant he desired, was, because it was probable, part of that plantation might be included in other grants, as it often happens, on which account he was unwilling to do it.
A letter from Mr. Wescomb [fo. 18, 52], of the 20th instant, inclosing extracts of letters from Jamaica to the South Sea Company, dated the 19th of October last, and the copy of an Act passed there in August last, which lays 40s. per head upon all negroes re-exported from Jamaica by the South Sea Company, though they be only landed there for refreshment, or come within sight of the island;— which said letter, extracts and act were read; and their Lordships agreed to take the same into further consideration to-morrow morning.
Mr. Hamilton [fo. 49, 53], in behalf of the Duchess of Hamilton; and Mr. Dummer, Agent for the Massachusets Bay, attending, as appointed yesterday, in relation to a settlement of disbanded soldiers between Nova Scotia and New England, their Lordships desired, they would prepare themselves to make good their respective claims in bar of that settlement, against a day to be appointed after the holidays, of which they should have due notice; which they promised to do accordingly.
Mr. Coram attending on the same subject, was informed what the Board had desired from Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Dummer above-mentioned; at the same time, he presented to their lordships a memorial, with his remarks on Mr. Solicitor-General's report upon the several claims and pretensions to that country, mentioned in yesterday's minutes.
A memorial from Mr. Joseph Micklethwaite, Mr. Crachrode and Mr. Reynolds, praying leave to withdraw their former memorial mentioned in the minutes of the 18th November last, against some laws of Barbadoes, with respect to their several offices there; was read, which their Lordships resolved to consider at another opportunity.
Upon further consideration of the letter and papers from Mr. Wescomb [fo. 50, 58], mentioned in yesterday's minutes, the draught of a representation upon the petition of the Directors of the South Sea Company, referred to this Board by His Majesty's Order in Council, of the 31st October last, relating to a duty laid by Act of Assembly at Jamaica, on negroes exported, was agreed and signed.
Some directions were then given for preparing the draught of a representation upon Mr. Stoddard's petition [fo. 50, 81], relating to a plantation in St. Christophers, mentioned likewise in yesterday's minutes.
Ordered that Mr. Coram [fo. 49, 51, 61] be acquainted that the Board have appointed to-morrow sevennight for hearing what the disbanded officers and soldiers, and others have to offer in support of their petition for a settlement near Nova Scotia; and that Mr. Hamilton, who appears for Duke Hamilton, Mr. Dummer, Agent for the province of the Massachusets Bay, and Mr. Turner, who appears in behalf of Sir Biby Lake, be likewise acquainted that their Lordships will be ready at the same time to hear what they may have severally to offer against the said settlement.
Mr. Attorney-General's report [fo. 93, 99] upon several queries sent him the 19th of November last, relating to the appointing Commissrs. of Oyer and Terminer in Virginia, was read; whereupon ordered that a copy of the said report be sent with the next letter to Col. Spotswood, Lieut. Governor of that Colony.
A letter from Mr. Burchett [fo. 57], of the 27th instant, relating to a complaint made to the Lords of the Admiralty by Mr. Nicholas Coleman, that the present Governor of Jamaica hath taken from him the keys of His Majesty's naval store house there, was read, as likewise the papers inclosed; whereupon ordered that Sir Nicholas Lawes be desired to acquaint the Board what he knows of that matter.