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, August 1718
A letter from Mr. Tigh [fo. 368], Consul at Elsinore, dated the 30th July, 1718 N.S. in answer to the Secretary's letter of the 2nd of last month, relating to an Account of Vessels that passed the Sound, was read.
A letter from Col. Shute, Govr. of the Massachusets Bay, dated
the 26th June last, was read, and the papers therein referred. to
were laid before the Board.
The Tryal of Eight Pirates at Boston.
Lists of the Militia of the Provinces of Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire.
A letter from Col. Spotswood, Lieut. Govr. of Virginia, dated the
7th March, 1717/18, with a Postcript of the 26th of April, 1718, was
read, and the papers undermentioned, which are therein referred
to, were laid before the Board vizt.:—
Annual produce of the Quit Rents in Virginia with the Establishment thereon.
Annual produce of His Majesty's Revenue for the support of the Government of Virginia with the Establishment thereon.
Another letter from Col. Spotswood [fo. 400] dated the 20th March, 1717/18 relating to the dispute between him and the Council of Virginia concerning Courts of Oyer and Terminer, was read, and the Minute of Council of the 12th of the same month, referred to in the said letter was laid before the Board.
A letter from the Secretary to Mr. Carkesse [fo. 357, 381, 383], desiring him to move the Commissioners of the Customs, that their Officers in the Out Ports may give this Board an Account of the quantities of Salt that is necessary and used in curing several species of Fish, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
Ordered that a letter be likewise writ to Mr. Carkesse to move the Commissioners of the Customs for an account of the gross produce of the Customs, Subsidies, Drawbacks &c. from Christmas, 1714, to Christmas, 1717; as also an account for the same time of the number of ships cleared from England, specifying from and to what Ports; the tonnage, and distinguishing between British and foreign ships, and to desire like Accounts annually for the future.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Sir Isaac Newton [fo. 443], Master Worker of the Mint, for an Account of Gold and Silver coined from November, 1710, to Midsummer, 1711, from thence to Midsummer last, and to desire Annual Accounts of the coinage for the future.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Lowndes to move the Lords of the Treasury for directions that this Board may have an Account of the Gross Produce of the duties on Calicoes from Midsummer, 1715, to Midsummer last, and that the like Accounts may be transmitted yearly.
Mr. West attending, their Lordships proceeded in considering
the Acts undermentioned, passed at New York in 1714, which were
severally read, and their Lordships directed to be noted on the
said Acts, as expressed under the respective Titles thereof, vizt.:—
An Act for the Treasurers paying the monies therein mentioned.
Has had its effect.
An Act for the Treasurers paying the arrears due to the Clerk and Door Keepers to the General Assembly of this Colony and paying the Printer's salary.
Had had its effect.
An Act to entitle Garret de Graeuw and his Assigns to the Fishery and Purposes during the term of seven years.
To lye by.
An Act for appointing Commissioners to let to farm the Excise throughout this Colony.
To lye by.
Upon further consideration of what Col. Shute writes in his letter [fo. 375, 393, 399] mentioned in the Minutes of the 5th inst., relating to the Tryal of some pirates in the province of the Massachusets Bay, ordered, that the Judge of the Court of Admiralty be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him at eleven o'clock on Tuesday morning next.
A memorial from Mr. Nivine [fo. 347] praying their Lordships report upon An Act of Antigua, entituled, An Act to inable Arthur Freeman and Dorothy his wife, to sell and convey a certain Plantation &c., was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Nivine be acquainted that their Lordships desire to speak with him in relation to the said Act.
A letter from Col. Spotswood, Lieut. Govr. of Virginia, dated the
24th June, 1718, was read, together with the papers undermentioned
therein referred to, vizt.:—
Copy of a Paper dispersed through Virginia, entituled, Advice to Freeholders.
Copy of the Governor's Speech at the opening of the Assembly of Virginia the 24th April, 1718.
Copy of the Burgesses' Address, in answer to the Governor's Speech.
Copy of the Assembly of Virginia's Address to the King.
Copy of the Assembly's Instructions to Mr. Byrd, their Agent.
Whereupon ordered that a Copy of paragraph E of the said letter be sent to the Post Office for the information of the Postmaster General.
Their Lordships taking into further consideration Mr. Lowndes's letter [fo. 377, 381, 397], which was read the 17th of the last month, relating to the duty on Salt and Drawback on Fish exported, a paper of observations concerning the manner of saving several kinds of Fish for exportation in the Western parts of England, mentioned in the Minutes of the 27th May, 1700, was read.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse [fo. 377] Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, dated the 7th inst., relating to some Accounts desired by this Board from the Officers of the Customs, at the Out Ports, relating to the quantities of Salt used in curing Fish, was likewise read, and an answer to the said letter agreed and ordered to be sent.
A letter to Mr. Holdip, Secretary to the Commissioners for the Duties on Salt, on the same subject, was agreed and ordered to be sent with a postcript, signifying the desire of this Board to speak with some of the Commissioners at eleven of the clock on Tuesday morning next.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse [fo. 381, 383, 398], Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, dated the 8th instant, inclosing an Account of Fish exported, from Christmas, 1714, to Christmas, 1717, was read.
Mr. Conolly, who is concerned in the Pilchard and Herring Fishery in Cornwall, attending, pursuant to the desire of the Board signified to Capt. Taverner, their Lordships had some discourse with him and made several enquiries, concerning the said Fishery, wherein, after some hesitation and acknowledging his fear of some ill consequences to himself and family, if he should discover all he knew of that matter which might affect the interest of fifty or sixty Gentlemen, who are engaged therein, he declared in substance as follows, vizt.:—
That Pilchards are cured with Foreign Salt only, and after salted are sold at about £4 a hhd., and the Buyer has the Drawback; that White Herrings are cured with one third part English Salt and the rest Foreign, and that of Foreign salt, the French is best.—That about 84lb. of Foreign salt makes a Bushel and two Bushels a cwt. which comes to about fifteen shillings, reckoning Freight, first Cost and Duty.—That he never paid more than 6s. 8d. per Bushel for Duty on Foreign Salt, and he said the first Cost was about 14d. per bushel.—That in curing Meat, a barrel of Beef might in hot weather require a bushel of Foreign Salt and Pork something more.—That the Salt of Guernsey and Jersey is as good as French.—That as to the manner of curing Pilchards, they are heaped up in bulk and strewed with Salt 48 hours after they are taken, till which time they are too hard to take Salt. That a moderate weight is put upon them, and great quantities of Oil drained by a gentle pressure. That Pilchards would be too fat to eat with the Oil in them. That upon drawing a Pilchard from the middle of the heap and finding it red at the Bone, they wash them all clean with Brine and pack them in hhds. which may contain 7 or 800 Fish, or if shotten, 900. That holes are left at the bottom of the hhds. for the Brine &c., to drain. But this Person being particularly asked, what use was made of the Brine after curing the Fish, he declined giving any account of it at present, but promised to consider of it and give their Lordships a full account of the Management of this Fishery provided he might have an allowance for the same, since he had been threatened by some persons, if he presumed to give any information thereof; whereupon he was desired to state his demands; and their Lordships asking him some further questions relating to the Fishery, he said that about, 6,000 hhds. of Pilchards had been taken in a season about Penzance, Mousehole and parts adjacent near the Lands End, which is the chief place for Pilchards. That after Michaelmas in the Winter Season the Fish is never so Oily and good as in the Summer. That some hundred thousand people live there by the Fishery and that their manner is for the Gentlemen to buy the Fish from the poor as soon as taken and then to cure and sell them to the Merchants: but being particularly asked, how much more than 6,000 hhds. of Pilchards were usually taken in a year, he said, some years they might have taken and made 20,000 hhds. That all their Pilchards are sent to the Streights and are a much better fish than Herrings. That as to Herrings, those taken in the West of England are not so large as those taken on the coast of Scotland, and few Herrings have been caught these ten years past on the coast of Ireland. That there are some Sprats cured in the West of England in like manner as Anchovies and prove very good. And in conclusion this person being asked concerning the running of Foreign Salt, he said it was impossible to prevent it, there being so many convenient places near the Lands End for that purpose, and that Salt was often delivered to their Fishing Boats at sea.
Mr. Mildmay, Mr. Cardonel, and Mr. Dent, three of the Commissioners of the duties on Salt, coming to the Board as desired, their Lordships had some discourse with them concerning the said duties, and whether the Account delivered in comprehended the whole amount of those duties, there appearing a considerable balance not accounted for; to which they answered that part of the said balance was the charge of Management, which however did not amount to more than £25,000 per annum, and they promised to send their Lordships an Account of the remainder. That the duties of 3s. 4d. on English and 6s. 8d. per bushel on Foreign Salt was all the duty under their care, but that there might probably be something paid as a Custom on Foreign Salt only, under the Management of the Officers of the Customs. That all Salt passes by weight and none by measure and whatever Salt is re-exported is shipped at the same rate it was imported. But that there are Frauds of many kinds in the Drawback on Salt, which in their opinion was too great incouragement for persons not to cure their Fish so well as they ought. That there is no Officer present when they cure, and where an Officer has dis-allowed the Debenture for such Fish as he had discovered not to be good, the Owners have taken such Fish to some other port and putting them among large Quantities of other Fish, where it was impossible to examine the whole, the bad have by those fraudulent means obtained the Drawback. That the method prescribed by Act of Parliament is the only means of obtaining the Debenture. That the Casks when examined as to the goodness of the Fish are gauged and Oath made by the exporter according to the said Act, but no Bond taken, as is directed for salt carried to Ireland, nor indeed did they think, it could so well be practised in the Mediterranean whither Our Fish is chiefly carried. That Guernsey Salt being looked upon as English, the Revenue thereby suffers at least ten thousand pounds per ann. And that there being now according to information 30,000 Bushels of Foreign Salt in the Island of Guernsey the said Commissioners apprehended it would be imported to this Kingdom as Guernsey Salt. That they find more allowed for Drawbacks on Pilchards than the Duty on Foreign Salt for the same time, vizt.: £100,000 allowed for Drawbacks on Pilchards and not £40,000 for the Duty on Salt. That they have been informed Fish is often spoiled before it reaches the Mediterranean. That they were of opinion the reducing the Drawbacks would in some measure cure these evils. These Gentlemen added, that great quantities of Salt were carried from Leverpoole to the Isle of Man, intended, as was suspected, to be run into Wales.
In further relation to the Fishery, these Gentlemen said, that the Cures of Pilchards gave Eight or Ten shillings per barrel at a Medium for Pilchards, cask and all, the price being from six to ten shillings according as the Fishery proves and demands are made. That Fish taken by (fn. 1) Sane being better than that by Drift, the barrels are marked Sane or Drift and the Curers names added.
Mr. Mildmay then left with their Lordships a particular Account of the several allowances made on the Exportation of Fish, and of what quantities of Salt are used in curing the same and Frauds discovered, which was read.
A letter from Sir Henry Penrice [fo. 380, 399] Judge of the Court of Admiralty, dated at Offley Place in Hertfordshire, the 12th inst., relating to his attendance on the Board, was read; whereupon a letter to him was drawn up, and agreed upon the subject of the Tryal of some Pirates by Col. Shute, Governor of the Massachusets Bay.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs, [fo. 338, 351, 395] dated this day, desiring this Board to re-consider their Report of the 16th of the last month upon the Petition of several Merchants trading to Barbary, relating to their Factors and Effects in the Dominions of Morocco, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Winder, one of the said petitioners, be acquainted that their Lordships desire to speak with him and any other of the Merchants trading to Barbary at eleven of the clock to-morrow morning.
Then their Lordships made a progress in considering several Accounts before them relating to the Duties on Salt and Drawbacks on Fish exported, and gave some directions for preparing a letter to the Lords of the Treasury in answer to that from Mr. Lowndes, which was read the 17th of the last month on that subject.
A letter from Mr. Tilson to the Secretary, [fo. 385, 409] dated yesterday, together with an inclosed extract of one from Mr. Wich, resident at Hamburgh, relating to an essay to be made of the Goodness of Herrings caught on the Coast of Scotland before Midsummer day and a cargo of them to be sent to Hamburgh, were read, whereupon ordered that a copy of the said extract be sent to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh to be communicated to the Royal Boroughs in Scotland.
Messrs. Samuel and Beake Winder with Mr. John Adams and Mr. Humphrey Chetham [fo. 393, 394, 401] all Traders to Barbary, attending as desired, and being asked whether any others of His Majesty's subjects were concerned in the trade from Great Britain to Barbary, besides the Gentleman who signed the petition some time since referred to this Board, and which Mr. Secretary Craggs desires may be reconsidered, they said they knew of none but the Subscribers of the said petition, and they presented to their Lordships a Memorial to the same effect, which was read.
Their Lordships took this occasion of enquiring of Mr. Samuel Winder, who trades likewise to Leghorn, what reputation our fish has there, and what price it bears, to which he answered, that the ill usage the Merchants had at Falmouth by the not curing their Pilchards as they ought to be, has occasioned the price to be very low at Leghorn. That formerly Pilchards were bought from 40 to 50.9. per hhd. and being well cured have been sold at Leghorn for about 22 dollars per hhd., but lately he said our Fishermen took of that Fish in the Winter and not giving it a due quantity of Salt it would not keep, tho' it looked as well as the Fish taken in Summer and better salted. That he had several cargoes of Pilchards thrown into the sea for want of being well cured, whereby they are now in such discredit, that the price abroad is lowered from 25 dollars, which they have sometimes been sold at, to 8 dollars per hhd. And Mr. Chetham, who concurred in what Mr. Winder had said as above, added that another prejudice to our markets in the Mediterranean for Fish, is that the persons concerned in the Fishery here often send their Fish at unseasonable times.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the several accounts and papers before them relating to the Duty on Salt and the Drawback on Fish [fo. 383, 398] exported. Whereupon a letter to the Lords of the Treasury upon that from Mr. Lowndes mentioned in the Minutes of the 17th of the last month, was agreed and signed.
A letter from the Commissioners [fo. 397] for the Duties on Salt, dated the 15th inst., with an Account of the said Duties from Lady Day, 1710, to Lady Day, 1717, was read, and the said Account laid before the Board.
A letter from Mr. Stanhope, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, dated the 13th inst., inclosing an Account of Tobacco imported into Scotland with the amount of the Drawbacks from Michaelmas, 1714, to Michaelmas, 1717, was read, and the said Account laid before the Board.
Their Lordships then agreed the draught of a letter to be writ by the Secretary to Mr. Lowndes, desiring the Lords of the Treasury will please to direct that this Board may have from the Commissioners of the Customs in Scotland Accounts of the Exports and Imports there since the Union and of the produce of the Customs.
A letter from Sir Henry Penrice, Judge of the Admiralty [fo. 380, 393, 409] in Answer to that from the Secretary of the 14th inst., relating to the trying of some pirates by Col. Shute in the province of the Massachusets Bay, was read, whereupon a letter from the Secretary to Mr. Burchet, desiring him to move the Lords of the Admiralty that this Board may be informed what has passed at the Admiralty concerning this matter, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
The Earl of Orkney, Govr. of Virginia, [fo. 377] coming to the Board, acquainted their Lordships that he was informed by letters from thence, that great disputes have arisen there between Col. Spotswood Lieut. Govr. of that Colony and the Council there, which his Lordship said he understood were first occasioned by the manner in which Col. Spotswood had put the Receiver General, Mr. Byrd's Accounts into examination, conformable to Directions from this Board. That his Lordship had not only received some years ago a very good character of Col. Spotswood, but knew his personal good behaviour—that the Government of Virginia had been put on a much better foot, by him than it had formerly been, and that his Lordship saw no essential complaint against him. That his Lordship had endeavoured to compose their differences, but in vain; and therefore he desired the Board to examine into them and represent to His Majesty wherever the fault might lye, that the Lieut. Govr., if he had misbehaved himself might be removed, or the Council changed if they were to blame, which seemed the only remedy to restore a good understanding and agreement between the Members of that Government, since the present disputes have come to such a height, in which last case his Lordship desired to recommend some Gentlemen to be Members of the said Council. Whereupon the Board promised to take that matter into consideration at the first opportunity.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs [fo. 395, 402], dated this day, inclosing the petition of Mr. Stephen Godin, one of the Merchants trading to Barbary, relating to the ships appointed to bring off the said Merchants, Factors and Effects from the Dominions of Morocco, was read, together with the said Petition, whereupon ordered that Mr. Winder, Mr. Adams and the rest of the Barbary Merchants be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them between ten and eleven of the clock to-morrow morning, and the said Mr. Godin attending, he was acquainted therewith.
Mr. Samuel Winder, Mr. Adams, and Mr. Godin [fo. 401, 406] who are concerned in the Trade to Barbary, attending as desired, their Lordships had some discourse with them on the subject of Mr. Godin's Petition, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes: whereupon their Lordships upon full examination of the matter of the said Petition, thought it reasonable that Mr. Godin's ship should be one of the three allowed to fetch off the Merchants Effects from Barbary, and that if passes were issued out for the said three ships, one might be recalled, and a new one issued in favour of the said Godin, and gave directions for preparing a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs thereupon accordingly.
A Memorial from Mr. Miranda [fo. 412] relating to an Act of New York, whereby a duty of 3s. per ton is laid on English Shipping and the Ships of that Province excused the duty, praying direction may be sent to New York that the said Duty be discontinued, was read; whereupon directions were given for preparing a letter to Brigadier Hunter on that subject.
Nine Commissions under the Great Seal of Great Britian [fo. 364, 366, 409] for pardoning pirates in several of His Majesty's Colonies and Plantations in America having been sent yesterday to this Office from Mr. Cracherode, all dated the 18th inst. August and of the like Tenour mutatis mutandis were laid before the Board, vizt.:—
Ordered that the Secretary write to Sir Henry Penrice to thank him for his letter mentioned in the minutes of the 19th inst. and acquaint him that their Lordships have sent to the Admiralty for copies of the papers he refers to.
Their Lordships having agreed the alterations [fo. 350] to be made in the instructions to the rest of His Majesty's several Governors in America, conformable to those for Jamaica, a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs for enclosing a Draught of the said alterations for each Government, was signed.
A Memorial from Mr. Godin [fo. 401, 470] relating to his having the Nomination of one of the three ships appointed to fetch the British Factors and Effects from the Dominions of Morocco was read, and the letter directed yesterday to be prepared to Mr. Secretary Craggs, upon the said Godin's Petition, was signed.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the proposal &c. of Col. Kane [fo. 374, 419] mentioned in the minutes of the 22nd of the last month, relating to the Island of Minorca and gave directions for preparing an answer upon several Articles of the said Proposals.
Mr. Jos. Pemberton attending, and his powers of Attorney from several of the sufferers by the French Invasion of Nevis being examined at the Board, the five Debentures numbered 473, 498, 507, 554 and 578, were delivered to him.
Sir Edward Gould attending [fo. 407, 416] according to appointment, their Lordships after some discourse with him, concerning the trade to Leghorn, desired he would give them a particular Account of the Constitution of that Free Port vizt.:—What Duties are paid there upon Shipping and Goods Inwards and Outwards, including the Lazaretto and Port Charges; their Lordships at the same time desired him to consult with some of the Merchants trading to Leghorn, and then inform the Board in what reputation our fish is, or has been there of late years, particularly our home Fishery of Herrings and Pilchards; he then desired their Lordships that he might have the same in writing and he would give an answer thereto, whereupon a letter to the purport above-mentioned was immediately drawn up and sent to him.
A letter from Mr. Burchet [fo. 399] Secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty dated the 22nd inst. inclosing the copy of Sir Henry Penrice, Judge of the Admiralty's opinion, relating to the Governor's power of trying pirates in New England, as desired by the Secretary's letter of the 19th, was read.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, dated the 21st instant, in answer to one writ him the 7th, relating to some accounts sent from New England of the Exports of the Western and Madera Islands, was read.
A letter from Mr. Conoly, [fo. 395, 469] dated the 22nd inst. relating to the curing of Pilchards and the advantage of that Fishery by some discoveries he can make, if he may have a reward for the same, was read.
Then the Secretary acquainted their Lordships, that he had disposed of the Commissions under the Great Seal of Great Britain [fo. 404, 414] for pardoning of Pirates, mentioned in the Minutes of the 21st instant, as follows, vizt.:—
A letter from Mr. Johnson, Govr. of South Carolina, to the Board, dated the 18th of June last, giving an account of the increase of Pirates in those Seas and of the captures they daily make, was read, as were also at the same time extracts of several letters from Carolina relating to an Act, increasing the duty on Goods imported, to the Pirates, and to the ill state of that Province. Whereupon a letter for enclosing to Mr. Secretary Craggs a copy of Mr. Johnson's said letter, as also part of the above mentioned extract of letters from Carolina, was immediately drawn up and signed.
Ordered that a copy of that part of Mr. Johnson's Azores letter relating to Pirates in those Seas, be sent to Mr. Burchet, for the information of the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
A copy of Mr. Secretary Stanhope's letter [fo. 414] to several Consuls, dated the 21st April 1715, upon a letter from this Board for Accounts of the state of Trade, within their Consulships, was read, whereupon their Lordships agreed the Draught of a Circular letter to several of His Majesty's Consuls, desiring they would communicate to their Lordships such matters and observations as shall appear to them of consequence to the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain in the parts where they reside.