Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 4, November 1718 - December 1722. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
Journal, March 1720
Sir Edward Gould and several other Neapolitan merchants attending, presented to the Board a memorial in relation to some innovations on the British Trade at Naples, which was read, and their Lordships asking them several questions relating thereunto, they said, that the 7 per cent. duty, complained of in their memorial, was not laid on British commodities consigned to the natives, but only on those that were consigned to British merchants there. These merchants were then desired to take back their memorial, and add what they had further to offer upon that subject and sign it, and bring it to the Board on Thursday morning next, which they promised to do accordingly.
Their Lordships taking into further consideration Colonel Moody's petition and papers, mentioned in the Minutes of 19th of last month; ordered that he be desired to attend the Board on Wednesday morning next, and that a letter be writ to the Board of Ordnance to know whether they continue their resolutions to build a new fort opposite to the old one at Placentia.
Colonel Sharpe attending, presented to the Board a memorial in answer to several queries sent him in relation to St. Lucia; which was read, and after some discourse with him upon it, he desired their Lordships would add to his aforesaid memorial, that St. Lucia has the best harbour of all the Charibee Islands.
Mr. West's report upon Mr. Skeffington's petition, relating to a Salmon Fishery at Newfoundland, was read. And Mr. Gee attending, and their Lordships asking him several questions in relation to that matter, he said, that Mr. Skeffington had been about 12 years finding out methods to bring that Fishery to perfection. That he had set up about 8 or 10 Waires. That he was encouraged by everybody, except one person, who would have entered into partnership with him, which he, not being willing to do, was threatened to have all his Waires disturbed, and that he only desired to be protected in what he had done. Their Lordships then desired that Mr. Gee would bring to the Board the names, an account of the situation of the Creeks and Rivers where the said Mr. Skeffington had placed his Waires, and an affidavit that he had been so many years employed in that matter, which he promised to do accordingly.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of
the Customs, dated the 16th of January last, (in answer to one writ
him the 15th of the same month), was read, together with the papers
therein referred to viz:—
Scheme of the Trade between England and France, from Michaelmas, 1668, to Michaelmas, 1779.
Copy of the Commissioners of the Customs' return to an Order of the House of Commons, dated 13 June, 1713.
Copy of a return of the Commissioners of the Customs to an Order to the House of Peers, dated 15th of June, 1713.
Several accounts from Sir George Mertins of the number of cloths and other woollen goods annually brought into Blackwell Hall, London, for the last seven years ending at Christmas, 1719, in answer to the letter writ him the 23rd of December last, were laid before the Board.
A letter from Mr. Bampfield, dated the 14th inst., desiring the Act, passed in Barbadoes in August last, intituled:— An Act for docking the intail of a certain plantation situated in the Parish of St. Lucy in this Island, and of certain negro slaves, and for settling the same in fee simple on Elisha Goulding of the said Parish, gentleman, may be laid before His Majesty for confirmation as soon as may be, was read; whereupon ordered that the said Act be sent to Mr. West, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
Some merchants trading to Naples attending, presented to the Board a memorial they had signed relating to the hardships put upon the British Traders in that kingdom, which the said merchants desire may be provided against, when a Treaty of Commerce shall be settled with His Imperial Majesty; whereupon the said memorial was read, and their Lordships agreed to represent the subject matter thereof, when opportunity shall offer.
Ordered that Mr. Jones, Secretary to the Board of Ordnance, be reminded of the letter writ him by order of this Board the 4th inst., for an answer to some queries relating to a Fort to be built at Placentia in Newfoundland.
A letter from Colonel Moody to the Secretary, inclosing a state of his case relating to some lands late belonging to the French at Placentia in Newfoundland and now possessed by him, as also the opinion of Mr. West, one of His Majesty's Council at Law thereupon, were read.
A letter from the Board of Ordnance, dated 16th, in answer to Mr. Popple's of 4th inst., relating to the new Fort to be built at Placentia aforesaid, where Colonel Moody claims some land, was also read: and their Lordships agreed to take that matter into further consideration on Wednesday morning next.
Their Lordships further agreed to take into consideration on Thursday morning next the Order of Council of the 8th of January past, upon the petition of Capt. Gookin praying a grant of some lands on Delaware River. As also
Their Lordships, taking again into consideration the Order of Council of the 8th, mentioned in the Minutes of the 15th of January last, upon Colonel Moody's petition relating to some lands &c. which he claims at Placentia in Newfoundland; ordered that Colonel Moody, who is indisposed, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him as soon as his health will permit. In the meantime, several queries on the subject of his said petition were agreed to be proposed to him, when he attends for his answers.
An Order of Council of the 22nd inst., referring to the Board a petition from Sir Charles Cox, in behalf of his brother Samuel Cox, Esq., eldest member of His Majesty's Council of Barbadoes, praying that the Governor of that Island, who, as suggested in the said petition, has conceived some prejudice against him, may be directed not to suspend Mr. Cox from the Council, and in case of suspension to restore him until the said Governor's reasons for suspending him be sent over and His Majesty's pleasure thereupon known, was read; whereupon their Lordships agreed to take the said petition into further consideration at the next meeting, as also His Majesty's instructions to the Governor of Barbadoes relating to the suspension of Councillors.
Their Lordships, taking into further consideration the petition of Sir Charles Cox, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, relating to his apprehension of Mr. Lowther, the Governor of Barbadoes, his suspending Mr. Cox from the Council of that Island; the clauses in His Majesty's Instructions to Mr. Lowther, touching the suspension of Councillors, were read, as likewise the Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes of the 13th of May, 1718, concerning a complaint from the Officers of the Customs in the said Island against the said Mr. Cox. And Sir Charles Cox attending, and being asked what proofs he had of the allegations of his petition, he laid before their Lordships an extract of a letter from Mr. Cox, his brother, intimating the Governor's intention of suspending him from the Council, as also a paper, intituled, Mr. Samuel Cox's reason to apprehend his suspension from the Council, which their Lordships agreed to take into consideration at the next meeting: and in the meantime, ordered that Mr. Lascells, mentioned in the Minutes of Council of Barbadoes of the 13th of May, be acquainted that this Board desire to speak with him at eleven of the clock on Thursday morning next.
The extract of a letter from Mr. Samuel Cox to his brother Sir Charles Cox, dated the 13th of April last, relating to Mr. Lowther the Governor of Barbadoes' intention to suspend the said Mr. Cox from His Majesty's Council of that Island, as also a paper intituled, Mr. Samuel Cox's reason to apprehend his suspension from the Council, both mentioned in the Minutes of the last meeting, were read.
A letter from Sir Charles Cox, dated yesterday, relating to Mr. Blenman and Mr. Hope's being able to give an account of what passed before the Council of Barbadoes, upon a complaint against Mr. Cox, was likewise read; whereupon ordered that Sir Charles Cox be desired to attend with the said Mr. Blenman and Hope at eleven of the clock to-morrow morning.
A memorial from Mr. Dummer, Agent for the Province of the Massachusets Bay, relating to the cutting of logwood at Campeachy and Honduras by the British subjects, and the fetching of salt from the Island of Tertuda, in both which they have been interrupted by the Spaniards, was read.
The undermentioned depositions and other papers, referred to in
Mr. Dummer's said memorial, were laid before the Board and those
relating to the practise of some French Priests amongst our Indians,
were read, viz:—
Depositions of Lewis Bane, Esq., and John Minot, merchant, taken at Boston in November and December, 1719, in relation to a French Fryar, Sebastian Raylees, stirring up the Kennebeck Indians to revolt from His Majesty and disturb the neighbouring English settlements.
Several affidavits and other papers, ten in number, relating to the difference between Mr. Bridger, late Surveyor General of the Woods in North America, and Mr. Elisha Cooke, formerly one of the Council for that province.
Whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs upon that part of Mr. Dummer's said memorial, which relates to the cutting logwood at Campeachy and Honduras, and to the fetching salt from Tertuda, as also concerning the practices of the French Popish Priests among the Kennebeck Indians &c.
Sir Charles Cox attending, as desired, as also Mr. Blenman and Mr. Hope, lately arrived from Barbadoes, Colonel Sharpe, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Tryon; their Lordships enquired of Mr. Blenman what he knew concerning a complaint exhibited some time ago, by the Custom House Officers of Barbadoes, against Mr. Cox, a member of His Majesty's Council there; whereupon the said Mr. Blenman acquainted the Board that there being such a complaint about two years ago, he was of Counsel for Mr. Cox at the hearing before the Governor on that occasion. That the ground of the accusation was Mr. Cox's endeavouring, as was suggested, to discourage a seizure of goods illegally imported into Barbadoes, to which Mr. Cox answered in writing, and the same being entered in the Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes, of the 13th of May, 1718, Mr. Blenman referred thereto. And he added that the seizure above mentioned, being tryed in the Court of Admiralty at Barbadoes, was adjudged there not to be good; that the main turn of the complaint against Mr. Cox was upon a question to one, Mr. Nichols, at the said hearing, who being asked whether he went by Mr. Cox's order to Mr. Lascells, the Custom House Officer, to pursuade him to relinquish the seizure, the said Nichols answered upon oath, that he did not, which question and answer the Governor refused to have minuted down, and did not allow Mr. Cox fair usage in the examination of the said Nichols, as Mr. Blenman offered to testify on oath.
The gentlemen present then being asked what they could say of their own knowledge of any threats used by the Governor, Mr. Lowther, as suggested by Sir Charles Cox, that the said Governor would dismiss or suspend Mr. Cox from the Council of Barbadoes, upon which they referred to the Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes of the 17th of February, 1718/19, and said it was the general expectation in the Island that Mr. Cox would be out of the Council at the next meeting. It being observed to these gentlemen that it is alleged in behalf of Mr. Cox that there is no law requiring the entry of Annata or Indigo at Barbadoes, or landing the same in the presence of a Custom House Officer, and that the granting permits is a new method lately brought into practice, they were asked what the usage was in Barbadoes in this point: to which Colonel Sharpe answered that the granting of such permits in Barbadoes was introduced within these three years, and that any one might have a permit for the fee, that there is no duty paid to His Majesty on goods imported there, but that a Custom House Officer must be present at all exportations. And Mr. Gordon acquainted the Board as to the said permits, the Custom House Officer demanding a fee of 7/6 for a permit for each separate consignment of goods. Mr. Heysham some time ago, upon contesting the matter with Mr. Lascells, had paid for a single permit for his whole ship.
Sir Charles Cox and the other gentlemen above mentioned being withdrawn, Mr. Lascells was called in and desired to give the Board an account of his said complaint against Mr. Cox, whereupon he delivered to their Lordships a copy of a petition signed by Mr. Lenoir, now Judge of the Admiralty Court of Barbadoes, and himself, to Mr. Lowther, Governor of the Island, setting forth the whole state of the matter, which he said was before the High Court of Admiralty at Doctors Commons, to the allegations of which petition he offered to make oath. And Mr. Lascells being asked several particular questions in relation to his dispute with Mr. Cox, he said, that Mr. Cox was concerned as an owner of the sloop which imported the Annata or Indigo in question, and never entered with the Naval Officer, that he is a person guilty of underhand trade. That by an Act of the 7th and 8th of King William the 3rd, all goods ought to be entered in the presence of an Officer. That French and other foreign Indigo &c., when imported into Great Britain, pays a double duty, which goods might be sent as the produce of our plantations, if not inspected upon importation into His Majesty's Colonies. That the practice of landing goods by permit had been before his, the said Mr. Lascells' time, which was above these 5 years. And as to the fee for a permit it is no more than five shillings, and that there is not one vessel in twenty that have more than one permit.