Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 4, November 1718 - December 1722. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
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Journal, December 1719
The draught of a representation upon the Weavers' Petition, relating to the prejudice their Trade receives from the wear of calicoes and painted or stained linnens &c., being laid before the Board, a progress was made in the consideration thereof, and their Lordships agreed to proceed thereupon again to-morrow morning.
A letter from Mr. Pulteney, one of His Majesty's Commissaries in France, dated the 5th of December, 1719, N.S., relating to the French Settlements on the river Mississippi &c., was read, and an answer thereto agreed and signed.
Mr. Samuel Buck attending, presented to the Board a petition in behalf of himself and other the undertakers for settling the Bahama Islands, praying the Board will represent to His Majesty the importance of the said Islands, and necessity of securing them, so that another independant Company may be sent thither, with such provisions and stores as are absolutely necessary, and that the Petitioners may be reimbursed what the Governor has expended in building forts, maintaining the inhabitants and pirates that surrendered, and fitting out vessels to take the pirates executed there, and several sent to England and condemned, which petition was read, and their Lordships inquiring of Mr. Buck, whether he had any particular accounts of the present state of those Islands and the fortifications, and of the disbursements already made on the several heads above mentioned, or an estimate of what is further desired, he said, he had not any with him at present, but promised to lay the said accounts and estimate before their Lordships in a few days. In the meantime he laid before the Board a plan of the designed fortifications and of what is already finished.
Mr. Gurney, Mr. Hale, Mr. Churchman and Mr. Meadows, who are concerned in the Weaving trade at Norwich, attending, together with Mr. Eader of Spittlefields, they presented to the Board some computations they had made of the quantity of printed calicoes and linnens annually consumed in this kingdom, the frauds in the duties thereupon, and the prejudice the woollen manufacture receives by the wear of the said calicoes and linnen, which computations were read: And their Lordships, in discourse with the said gentlemen, making several queries on the subject of the said computations, the petition of the weavers of London, and the memorial lately received from Norwich relating thereto; The gentleman present answered particularly as to the price of wool and the augmentation of its value by manufacturing. That a pound of wool, which out of the pack costs one shilling when made into a stuff of wool only, is worth six shillings, taking one species of stuff with another, not reckoning Druggets. That of Camlettee five pounds of wool makes a piece of 30 yards, and twelve pounds a piece of Calimanco of 32 yards. As to the weaver's wages in London, Mr. Eader said it was at present lessened 25 per cent. And the gentlemen of Norwich assured their Lordships it was as much abated there. That as to the number of apprentices taken by the weavers at Norwich, upon an exact scrutiny very lately made, it did not appear that, taking Masters and Journeymen weavers together, more than one in eight of them had an apprentice. And in relation to the present vent of stuffs made or mixed with wool, they all agreed that, since the late Damp on calicoes &c., they had sold more of the said stuffs in one month than formerly in four; their Lordships then desired them to make and bring to the Board on Tuesday morning next a computation of the weight of several woollen stuffs &c., and quantity of wool used in a piece of each sort, which they promised accordingly.
Mr. Buck, one of the undertakers for settling the Bahama Islands, attending with Mr. Beauchamp, lately arrived from thence, Mr. Buck presented to their Lordships a memorial of the state of the said Islands, which was read.
And their Lordships inquiring whether the said undertakers would be at the charge of transporting another independent company, now desired for defence of the said Islands, Mr. Buck said it would be hard for them to be at such expence, after the great disbursements they have already made in this undertaking. The said Mr. Beauchamp, being desired to inform the Board of the condition of the said Islands, he said, that before the arrival of Capt. Rogers, the pirates destroyed all the inhabitants had. That as to the present number of inhabitants, there are 3 or 400 people, men, women and children, exclusive of seafaring men. That the Governor had commissioned nine ships for reducing the pirates, whereof several had been taken, some executed upon the place, and others sent to England. That the island of Providence is now in a pretty good posture of defence, but in want of people.
Mr. Buck and Beauchamp being withdrawn, a letter from Capt. Rogers, Governor of the Bahama Islands, without date, was read; and the minutes of Council from the 19th May to the 9th July, 1719 inclusive, referred to in the said letter, were laid before the Board. And their Lordships then gave directions for preparing the draught of a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon the petition of Mr. Buck, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, relating to another independent company &c., desired by the undertakers for settling the said Islands.
The draught of a letter ordered yesterday to be prepared to Mr. Secretary Craggs, upon the petition and representation of Mr. Buck, in behalf of himself and the rest of the undertakers for settling the Bahama Islands, relating to the disbursements of the said undertakers and the Independent Company of Soldiers &c. for them, was agreed and signed.
The draught of a representation ordered the 19th past to be prepared, upon the reference from M. Delafaye of the Lord Archibald Hamilton's memorial relating to a sum of money advanced by His Lordship, whilst Governor of Jamaica, for the subsistence of the soldiers there &c., was agreed and signed.
A letter from Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York &c., dated the 29th of the last month, and another from Mr. Philips, Agent for the said Province, dated the 2nd inst., both to the Secretary of this Board, relating to the death of Killian Van Renslaer, Esqr., one of the Council of New York, and desiring that Francis Harrison, Esqr., may succeed in that station, were read, and a representation to His Majesty in order to the said Mr. Harrison's being constituted of the said Council was agreed and signed.
Mr. West attending, and their Lordships inquiring what proofs were produced to him upon considering the Act passed in Pennsylvania in 1718, for vesting the house and lot of Ground lying in Philadelphia, late the estate and inheritance of Wm. Clarke of Lewis in the County of Sussex, deceased, in Trustees, to be sold for the payment of his debts &c., that the wife of Zachariah Richardson, who appears against the said Act, or her children, have a right to the said house and ground; Mr. West acquainted the Board, that he had received the best information he could get from persons trading to or concerned in Pennsylvania, and that as the case is recited in the Act itself, he is of opinion it ought to be repealed for the injustice of it, if neither the said Richardson nor any other person had ever complained thereof. Whereupon the draught of a representation, directed the 26th of the last month to be drawn, for repealing the said Act, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
The copy of an Order in Council of the 4th of May, 1670, upon the proposals of the Company of Weavers London, relating to the admitting Foreign weavers into their Society and upon the proposals of the French to the said Company, was read.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse of 6th of the last month, with an account of the gross receipt of the Customs, from Michaelmas, 1685, to Michaelmas, 1688, distinguishing the amount of the duties inwards from those outwards, was read, and the said account laid before the Board.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Carkesse, to desire him to move the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, that this Board may have an account of calicoes imported and re-exported from Christmas, 1718, to Midsummer, 1719, as soon as may be.
Further ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Nailor, Secretary to the Commissioners of the Excise, to move them that this Board may have, as soon as may be, an account of the gross produce of the duties and of the drawbacks on printed calicoes, linnens and stuffs, from Midsummer, 1718, to Midsummer, 1719.
A letter from Mr. Pulteney, one of His Majesty's Commissaries in France, dated 15th of December, 1719, N.S., relating to the Edicts and Arrests published there, concerning the Mississippi Company, and to their mint, coin &c. as also the management of their Board, was read.
A representation, agreed at the last meeting in order to the repeal of an Act passed in Pennsylvania in 1718, for vesting the house and lot of ground, lying in Philadelphia, late the estate and inheritance of William Clarke &c. for payment of debts &c., was signed.
A letter from the Commissioners of the Excise, dated the 8th inst., together with an account of the gross produce of the duties on printed calicoes, linnen and stuffs, from the 24th of June, 1718, to the 24th June, 1719, and the drawbacks on those sorts of goods, exported in the same time, were read.
A letter from Capt. Ogle, Commander of the Newfoundland
Convoy, dated the 16th of October last, relating to the Fishery and
Fur trade at Newfoundland, the seizing a ship there for illegal
trade &c., was read, and the papers undermentioned, therein referred
to, were laid before the board, viz.
Scheme of the fishery for the year 1719, and
Copy of Bonds taken of several New England masters of vessels for preventing the carrying away the fishermen from Newfoundland.
A letter from Mr. Keen, dated in Newfoundland the 30th of October last, relating to several irregularities committed by the New England men at Newfoundland after the departure of the Man or War, was read.
A letter from Mr. Pulteney, one of His Majesty's Commissaries in France, dated the 22nd instant, N.S., relating to the fitting out of several ships by the French Indian Company, and their transporting a number of people for settling on the River Mississippi, was read.
Several Edicts and Arrests &c., published lately in France, relating to the India or Mississippi Company and to the alteration in the value of coin in that kingdom, which were brought to the office on Friday last from Mr. Pulteney by Sir Biby Lake, Governor of the Hudsons Bay Company, were laid before the Board with a list thereof.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, dated the 18th instant, together with an account of the quantity of calicoes imported and exported, from Christmas, 1718, to Midsummer, 1719, were read.
Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York, attending, presented to their Lordships a memorial relating to the President of the Council there declining to follow the directions left him by the said Brigadier for the management of Public Affairs, and contrary to such his directions changing several of the principal magistrates of the province, which it is apprehended may be followed by a change of the present most dutiful and well affected Assembly, and desiring their Lordships to propose that His Majesty's pleasure should be as soon as possible signified to the said President by a Secretary of State, that no alteration should be made of any Officers in the Government of New York, from what they were at the Governor's departure, and particularly that the present Assembly should not be dissolved, the said memorial was read, and directions were given to the Secretary to prepare the draught of a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon this subject.
The Secretary acquainting the Board, that the persons who have entered a Caveat against the Act passed at Antigua in 1715, intituled An Act to idemnify Anthony Brown and John Elliot &c. from a certain Bond and Articles of Agreement for building a Church &c. had signified that they were now ready to attend their Lordships with their objections and proofs against confirming the same. Ordered that the parties appearing for and against the said Act have notice to attend on Friday the 8th of January next.
Ordered that the Secretary write to Sir George Mertins, Treasurer of Christs Hospital, London, to desire he will certify to this Board, what number of cloths of all sorts has been annually brought into Blackwell Hall, from Christmas, 1712, to Christmas last, and to Christmas, 1719, as soon as it can conveniently be done, as likewise that he will obtain from the proper Officer, and transmit to the Board an account what cloths of all sorts are now remaining at Blackwell Hall.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs, dated yesterday, signifying His Majesty's pleasure that this Board lay before the House of Commons the several papers mentioned in their inclosed resolutions of the 14th inst., relating to printed calicoes and linnens &c., was read, and directions given for preparing copies of the said papers accordingly.
Sir Isaac Newton, Master Worker of His Majesty's Mint, communicating to their Lordships an account of coynage of gold and silver at the Tower of London, from Christmas, 1717, to Christmas, 1719, the same was read.
The draught of a letter directed yesterday to be prepared to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon the memorial of Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York, relating to the President of the Council there being forbid to make any other alterations in the Magistracy or Assembly of that province, than such as may be absolutely necessary, was agreed, transcribed and signed.