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, February 1720
Mr. Marsh attending with several gentlemen and Sir Edward Northey, their counsel, against an Act passed in Antego in 1715, entituled An Act to indemnify Anthony Brown and John Elliot of the aforesaid Island, gentlemen, from a certain Bond and Articles of Agreement by them entered into with George Pullen, carpenter, for the building of a Church in the parish of St. Phillips in the said Island and to charge the said parish with the same. And Mr. Nivine likewise attending with several other gentlemen and Mr. York, their counsel, in behalf of the said Act, which was read with the order of reference to the Board of the 9th of February, 1717, on the petition of the parishioners of the said parish against the above said Act, mentioned in the Minutes of February, 24th, 1717/18.
Sir Edward Northey said in substance as follows; that the said Act was made to enforce a former Act of Antego in 1692 for dividing the Island into parishes and maintaining of Ministers, the poor and erecting and repairing of Churches, but as there were already a Church and a Chappel of Ease, both in very good repair, he thought that the building a new Church was against Law. That the Church Wardens could not by virtue of that act build a new Church, and therefore they were obliged to have a new Act.
That the new Church was so far from being in the centre of the parish as is alledged in the Act, that it is within ¾ of a mile of the utmost extent of it; by which means it would be very incommodious for the greater part of the parishioners to go to Church, the parish being nine miles long and three broad, especially it appearing upon the face of the Act, that the old Church and Chappel of Ease are not intended to be kept up, and that the way to the new Church was often overflowed, so that there was no coming at it for some part of the parish till the floods were gone. For proof of which he produced a deposition of James Welsh, which was read. He added that there was no occasion for a new Church, since the old one in Willoughby Bay and the Chappel in Bellfast are large enough to contain the whole of the parishioners. To prove which, he produced a deposition of William Steele and several others, which was read, importing besides that, that the new one was not in the centre of the parish but within ¾ of a mile of the extent of it, and ¾ of the inhabitants of the said parish were against building it.
Upon the whole he desired their Lordships would represent to His Majesty the inconveniences that would be occasioned by the said Act in order to His Majesty's disallowance and disapprobation of the same.
Mr. York then said that these people who were the most against the Act were the least concerned in the money to be raised for the building the Church, being the meanest of the parishioners, and referred himself to Mr. Field, Minister of St. Johns Town in Antego, who being present, confirmed the same. That the order of the vestry for building the new Church pursuant to the Act of 1692, was legal, and that there would have been no need of the Act complained of, had it not been that some persons there had unreasonably endeavoured to obstruct the building the same. That if this Act were repealed, Brown and Elliot, who had, pursuant to the order of the vestry, contracted with and given Bonds to Pullen, must be ruined for having acted in pursuance of a former law confirmed by Their Majesties King William and Queen Mary. That the old Church and Chappel were at considerable distance from each other, and not capable to hold all the parishioners, very old and out of repair, being built of wood, whereas the new church is nearer to the old one than the Chappel, and is built of stone, and sufficient to contain all the parishioners, which the foresaid Mr. Field further confirmed; and added that the gentlemen of the parish had made a subscription among themselves amounting to £900, so that there remained only £200 for the rest of the inhabitants, £100 of which another gentleman had offered to pay; Mr. York added that several persons had applied themselves to the Assembly and Council against the passing this Act, which nevertheless was done upon full consideration of the matter, and that he hoped their Lordships would think that the Legislature there were better judges of what is proper to be done than any others. Mr. Field being called upon said, that he was at the town of St. John's when the Act was passed, and had heard that there had been opposition made to it, but that he did not know it of his own knowledge.
The Secretary acquainted the Board that having received a letter from Mr. Dudley Woodbridge of Barbadoes, now in England, relating to St. Lucia, he had sent a copy of it to Mr. Pulteney at Paris, the said letter was read.
Ordered that letters be writ to Mr. Attorney General and Mr. Solicitor General for their opinion upon the same query, relating to Spanish ships trading to the plantations, that was delivered to Mr. West at the Board 26th of last month.
Mr. Bampfield attending, presented to the Board his and Mr. Stevenson's answers, as agents of Barbadoes, to the two complaints against Mr. Lowther in relation to a Spanish sloop's trading there and to receiving money, which was read. And ordered that the gentlemen, who appear against Mr. Lowther, have notice to attend the Board on Friday morning next, in order to enquire of them whether they have any other proofs to support the two abovementioned complaints against Mr. Lowther, than what they have already acquainted the Board with.
Mr. Buck attending, presented to their Lordships a memorial in answer to the extracts of letters from the Bahama Islands, which were delivered to him the 28th of last month, and their Lordships agreed to take the same into consideration to-morrow morning.
A letter from Earl Stanhope of the 25th January, 1719—20, with
extract of one from Mr. Jeffereys, His Majesty's Resident at Dantzick, and
Treaty of Commerce.
Copy of the Treaty of Commerce between Great Britain and Dantzick in October, 1706, was read.
A letter from the Governor and Council of South Carolina to the Board, dated at Charlestown, the 6th November, 1719, transmitting copy of two letters to the Governor with an account of the miserable state of that Province, was likewise read; and their Lordships agreed to take that matter into further consideration at the first opportunity.
Sir Robert Davers, Sir Charles Cox, Mr. Walters, and Mr. Thomas Tryon attending, as they had been desired, in relation to the complaints against Mr. Lowther, viz. his permitting a Spanish sloop on 19th December, 1718, to unload and trade there, and his receiving several large sums of money; and their Lordships asking them whether they had anything further to offer in relation to the foresaid complaints; they said that any foreign ship or vessel coming to Barbadoes is seized and condemned, if they stay but 24 hours without the Governor's permit, whereas the aforesaid Spanish sloop stayed 10 days, it not appearing by the Minutes of Council that she had unloaded and sold her cargo, but that only she had leave from the Governor and Council so to do. Their Lordships asked these gentlemen what they could say to it, they answered that indeed nobody here could swear she had unloaded, but that it was confidently reported she had, and sold her goods. In relation to the money Mr. Lowther has received, they said they thought that there wanted no other proof of his having received it than his owning it himself in his declaration in answer to Mr. Gordon's book, entituled The Miserable State of Barbadoes, but that Mr. Woodbridge, who is now sick and cannot attend, could give their Lordships some light into that matter. Whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to him to desire him to give their Lordships what information he can, in relation to the said Spanish ships.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs of 13th inst., upon the petition of Francis Sitwell and Francis Chamberlayne, merchants, relating to some negroes seized at Barbadoes &c., was read; whereupon ordered that they be directed to attend the Board on Tuesday morning next.
Mr. Solicitor General's and Mr. West's reports about Spanish ships coming from Spanish ports in America with the product of those countries and trading with the British American Plantations and loading again there, was read.
Ordered that letters be writ to Mr. Attorney, Mr. Solicitor General and Mr. West for their opinion whether the Board by their Commission are impowered to administer an oath upon examinations that may come before them.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Sir Edward Gould, to desire he would bring in writing what he and the Neapolitan merchants may have further to offer in relation to the grievances the British trade lyes under at Naples.
Two letters from Mr. Pulteney, dated at Paris 10th and 14th February, 1720, N.S., relating to the Mississippi Company, and enclosing the order of Council Marine, directing the intendant and Governor of Martinique to give up St. Lucia to the English, in the same condition it was in, before the French made this late settlement there, were read.
Mr. Solicitor General's opinion, that the Board is impowered by their Commission under the Great Seal to administer an oath in matters that come before them, in answer to the letter writ him the 5th inst., was read.
Mr. Francis Chamberlain attending upon his and Mr. Sitwell's petition, in relation to some negroes seized at Barbadoes &c., mentioned in the Minutes of the 5th inst., their Lordships asked him what he had to prove that the said negroes were taken from them by a pirate, as alleged by their petition, and put on board the Charlotte, carried to Barbadoes, there sold, and the money put into Mr. Lascell's hand; he said he was informed of it by letters from the mate of the said ship. That he also had advice from his correspondents in Barbadoes that they had made application for the same, but could not be redressed without an order from the King. Their Lordships then desired he would bring the said letters, together with such further proofs as might be necessary, to ascertain the allegations in his petition, on Friday morning next, when they resolved to take that matter into further consideration.
A letter from Mr. Woodbridge relating to the complaint against Mr. Lowther for permitting a Spanish sloop to trade at Barbadoes was read; and the Secretary acquainting the Board that the said Mr. Woodbridge's clerk was in Barbadoes at the same time; ordered that he be desired to attend the Board on Thursday morning next, with Mr. Woodbridge, if he be well enough.
Ordered that Sir Robert Davers and Mr. Walters be desired to come once more to the Board on Thursday morning next, upon their complaint against Mr. Lowther, and that the agent be desired to attend at the same time.
Mr. Nivine attending, in relation to the Act passed in Antigua for the building a new Church &c., their Lordships asked him the place where the new Church stands, and whether any subscription had been made there for the building of the same. As for the first question, he said, he did not know, nor the 2nd to his certain knowledge, but had heard it confirmed by gentlemen of the best credit of the Island, who had subscribed themselves.
After he was withdrawn, their Lordships took this matter into
further consideration and resolved not to lay the Act before His
Majesty, till they could be fully informed on the following queries
1st.—On which side of Willoughby Bay does the old Church stand?
2nd.—In what part of Bellfast district does the Chappel of Ease stand?
3rd.—In what place does the new Church stand, that is to say, on which side of Ayres Creek?
4th.—Whether does the old Church or the Chappel of Ease stand nearer to the new Church?
5th.—On which side of Ayres Creek do the majority of the inhabitants of the parish of St. Philip live?
6th.—In case the Act be confirmed, will it not be necessary for the ease of the inhabitants, that there be a Chappel of Ease on that side of the Creek where the Church does not stand?
7th.—Whether the gentlemen of that parish have made any voluntary subscriptions towards the building the new Church? What the sum is? And what remains to be levied on the parishioners?
8th.—What number of the parishioners are for the new Church, and what against it?
Sir Robert Davers, Sir Charles Cox, Mr. Walter, Mr. Walker, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Randolph, Mr. Thomas Tryon attending upon the complaints against Mr. Lowther, their Lordships asked them what they had further to offer upon that matter; they said that Mr. Randolph, (Mr. Woodbridge's clerk), who was upon the Island at the time, could give their Lordships a particular account of that matter; whereupon he said,
That the Spanish Master of the vessel came to Mr. Woodbridge's house, the 18th December, 1718, and told him of his arrival; that he was told it was contrary to Law, upon which he sent down the mate of his vessel to hinder her coming into Carlisle Bay, but that was too late, she being then at anchor. That the Spaniard had a pass from the Governor of Cumaná; that he heard he had entered and cleared at the Secretary's office, and that he had sold several parcels of his loading, that he himself had seen several goods unloaded, and had seen and translated his invoice of goods, bought to carry away from the Island, amongst which was flower and provisions. Upon the whole he was desired to put into writing what he had to offer upon that matter as soon as conveniently he could.
Mr. Gordon, acquainting their Lordships that he could give them an account of Mr. Lowther's having traded to the value of several thousand pounds with the French, he was desired also to put in writing what he had to offer upon that subject.
Mr. Lascells, collector of the Customs in Barbadoes, the agents of that Island, with Mr. Newport and Mr. Ramsey attending, their Lordships asked Mr. Lascells whether foreign ships could unload at Barbadoes by the Governor's permit? He said, they could not, and that he had never heard of any that did; that if any foreign vessel was forced in by distress, or to wood and water, the Governor then directed an order to him to permit such ship to dispose of so much of her cargo, as would pay the charges of her refitting and no more; and that he received the goods in the King's warehouse. Their Lordships further asked him whether foreign ships coming to Barbadoes could enter in the Secretary's office; he said that, in such case, he was obliged to seize her.
Mr. Chamberlain attending in relation to some negroes seized and sold at Barbadoes, as alleged in his petition, (mentioned in the Minutes of 29th last month), presented to the Board a letter from Mr. Wm. Wieker, the first mate of the ship that was taken with the negroes, and two letters from Mr. William Raimond and Robert Harper, his correspondents at Barbadoes, importing their having been sold and the money put into Mr. Lascell's hands, who, being called in, said that there were 13 men and one boy brought into Barbadoes by Capt. Hoalson, who had received them from the pirates. That they were sold. That he had the money, (an account of which he had sent to the Treasury), and that he was ready to deliver up the same upon an order from the Treasury. That the seven slaves belonging to Mr. Chamberlain were never claimed either from Mr. Lowther or from him by any of Mr. Chamberlain's correspondents. That Capt. Hoalson had declared that he did not know to whom the slaves belonged, that the said Hoalson's declaration is now at the Treasury.
Their Lordships then desired that he would put in writing what he had further to offer upon that subject, but upon further discourse with the said persons, their Lordships were of opinion that, since Mr. Lascells had delivered into the Treasury the accounts of the sale of several pirates' effects, amongst which the said negroes are included, it would be more proper for Mr. Chamberlain to make his application to the Treasury.
An affidavit of Mr. Gordon relating to Mr. Lowther's having traded to the French Islands jointly with Mr. Newport and himself etc., was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Newport be acquainted that the board desire to speak with him on Tuesday at ten o'clock in the morning.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs, (of 14th of December, 1719), of Capt. Evans' petition to His Majesty relating to a large tract of land granted him by the Governor of New York in the reign of the late King William, was read, whereupon ordered that Mr. Evans be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him on Wednesday seven-night in the morning.
Two letters from Mr. Pulteney, dated 20th February, 1720, N.S., relating to the British Trade, the Mississippi Company, and inclosing an arret relating to Flower sent to the French colonies: and 22nd ditto, relating to the Mississippi Company, were read.
Mr. Gordon's affidavit, relating to Mr. Lowther's trading to the French Islands, jointly with Mr. Newport and himself, and a letter from Mr. Newport in answer to the said affidavit of Mr. Gordon, were also read, and directions given for preparing the draught of a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon the complaints against Mr. Lowther.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, inclosing the copy of one from Mr. Rhett, Surveyor of the Customs in Carolina, relating to the Governor and the officers under him being deposed, and new ones set up by the people, was read: and ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon that matter.
A memorial from Mr. Lascells, relating to the sale of some negroes, which were given by the pirates to Capt. Oulson, and by him delivered to the Governor of Barbadoes, and since claimed by Mr. Harper and others, was read.
Their Lordships taking into further consideration Colonel Moody's petition, (mentioned in the Minutes of the 15th of last month), relating to some houses and lands belonging to him at Placentia in Newfoundland that are seized to build a fort upon &c., gave directions to desire Colonel Moody would bring that officer he mentioned to be lately come from Placentia, with what other proofs he may have, to support the allegations in his petition on Friday morning next.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon the copy of one from Mr. Rhett, Surveyor of the Customs in Carolina, relating to the peoples having deposed their Governor and other officers, and having set up others in their stead, was agreed and signed.
Letter from Mr. Evans, Deputy Secretary to the Royal African Company, with a representation from them in answer to the letter writ to Mr. Pery the 17th of September, relating to the British Plantations being supplied with negroes by the Dutch.
A letter from the new pretended Council and Assembly of Carolina, dated at Charlestown, the 24th December, 1719, relating to their having deposed their Governor &c., was read. Whereupon a letter inclosing a copy of the same to Mr. Secretary Craggs was immediately drawn up and signed.
Colonel Moody attending with Major Bellenden, upon the Colonel's petition in relation to some land and houses he has at Placentia in Newfoundland, that are seized for the use of the Crown to build a fort upon; their Lordships asked the Major what he knew of that matter, who presented to the Board a certificate from himself importing that he had left Placentia in October last, and that he had seen before his departure, stone, brick and other materials sent from the Board of Ordnance lodged in Colonel Moody's store houses, and upon his ground; and that several of his other houses were ordered to be taken up for the use of the workmen.
Copy of a report from the Board of Ordnance to Mr. Secretary Craggs of 10th July, 1718, upon a representation of this Board, (dated 30th of May, 1718), relating to the building of Forts &c. in Nova Scotia and Placentia, was read.
Captain Evans attending, with Mr. West and Mr. York, counsel for him, upon his petition in relation to the grant of a tract of land in New York, vacated by an Act of Assembly there in 1698; they stated his case as in his petition and desired their Lordships would make a favourable report upon his petition, especially considering that he was absent when the Queen's order came thither for allowing 2000 acres out of each grant so vacated, and that as the matter now stands, he must not only lose £500 paid for the said grant to Colonel Fletcher, the then Governor, but also what other charges he had been at in clearing and cultivating the same.
Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York, attending at the same time, their Lordships asked him what he knew of that matter, who said that Captain Evans's grant was both made and vacated before his time and granted in parcels to several other persons, except the high lands, which are of no value.
The Secretary informing the Board that Colonel Sharpe, late president of the Council of Barbadoes, could inform their Lordships of several matters in relation to St. Lucia; ordered that he be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him to-morrow morning.
Reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs, of 23rd February, 1719–20, upon the petition of Mr. George Skeffington, praying to be protected in the improvement he has made in the Salmon Fishery of Newfoundland, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Skeffington and Mr. Gee be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on Thursday morning next.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Carkesse for an account of the gross produce of the old subsidy payable on goods imported and exported in the seven last years, from Christmas, 1712, to Christmas, 1719, according to the Act of 12 Car. 2 Cap. 10, distinguishing from each other the amount of the subsidy outward, of the subsidy of tonnage and poundage inwards and of the additional duties on Wines, Tobacco, Linnens and Wrought Silks, as payable by the said Act.
Colonel Sharpe attending, as he had been desired, in relation to St. Lucia; their Lordships asked them whether any English or French were settled on that Island from 1664 to 1668. They said, that in those years there were several English settled on that Island but no French; and being asked whether any English or French were settled there at the time of the Treaty of Ryswick, or during the last War, from 1701 to the Treaty of Utrecht, or at the time of making that Treaty; they said, that both English and French came sometimes there to cut wood and to fish, and that they then built little huts, which were always destroyed at their leaving the Island, but that they had made no settlement. These gentlemen were then asked whether the French Commissioners appointed by the Governor of Martinique to treat with those appointed by Sir Thomas Wheeler and Colonel Stapleton, concerning St. Christophers and other matters, in consequence of the Treaty of Breda, did make any demand about St. Lucia, they said that they believed they had never made any. Their Lordships then desired they would put in writing what they had further to offer on that subject.