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, May 1720
A letter from Mr. Burchet of the 28th past, signifying the desire of the Lords of the Admiralty that this Board would dispatch their representation upon two memorials from the Admiralty, concerning an article in the instructions to His Majesty's Governors in America, touching Pirates' effects, referred to their Lordships by order in Council of the 6th of February, 1718–19, was read, and directions given for laying the several papers on that subject before the Board to-morrow morning.
A letter from Mr. Tickell, of the 30th of April past, was read, desiring a duplicate of the Board's report of the 12th of the same month on Captain Evans's petition, relating to a grant of land in New York, (the original being mislaid), whereupon a duplicate thereof was signed.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs, dated the 24th of March last, upon the petition of Richard Pearse and others, for confirmation of an Indian grant of lands in New England, was read, together with the said petition; whereupon ordered that the petitioners or those concerned for them, as likewise Mr. Dummer, Agent for the province of the Massachuset Bay, have notice to attend at eleven of the clock on Tuesday morning next.
A letter from Colonel Johnson, Governor of Carolina, dated the 27th of December last, relating to the people of that province having assumed Government thereof, in opposition to the authority of the Lords proprietors, was read.
A letter from Sir William Chapman and Mr. Christopher Haynes, dated this day, relating to what they, and the other gentlemen concerned in the Trade with the Dominions of Spain, have to offer with regard to the hardships His Majesty's subjects suffer in that Trade, was read; and an answer being immediately drawn up by order of the Board, the same was agreed and directed to be sent.
The draughts of Commissions, directed the 19th of the last month to be prepared, for William Burnet, Esq., to be Governor of His Majesty's provinces of New York and New Jersey in America, being laid before the Board, a letter was signed wherewith to transmit the same to Mr. Secretary Craggs.
The Order of Council of the 6th of February, 1718–19, referring to the Board two memorials from the Lords of the Admiralty, relating to an Article in the Instructions to His Majesty's Governors in America concerning pirates' effects, and about incroachments on the jurisdiction of the Admiralty Courts, as mentioned in the Minutes of the 25th of the same month, was laid before the Board, with several papers relating to both those subjects; whereupon directions were given for writing to Mr. West to be informed how far the request of the Board of Admiralty may be complied with, in respect to the Commons Statute of Law of this realm, and to desire he will be very explicit on these subjects and make what dispatch he conveniently can.
Their Lordships made a further progress in considering several heads prepared for instructions relating to trade, for Colonel Stanhope, appointed to go His Majesty's Minister and Plenipotentary to the Court of Madrid.
A memorial from Mr. J. Smith, Secretary of the Province of New Jersey, relating to several Acts of the Assembly of the said Province, which have very much reduced the Fees of his office, was read; and directions given for looking out the said Acts and several papers concerning the same, to be laid before the Board at the next meeting.
A letter from Mr. Stanhope, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, dated the 6th inst., signifying their Lordships' desire to know if any and what cases have been referred by this Board to Mr. Attorney or Mr. Solicitor General since the appointment of Mr. West to be their Counsel, was read; and an answer drawn up, agreed and ordered to be sent.
A letter from Mr. Dummer, Agent for the Province of the Massachusets Bay, dated this day, upon the subject of the petition of Richard Pearse and others, relating to a tract of land in New England, mentioned in the Minutes of the 3rd inst., was read; and the said Pearse and others concerned for the petitioners attending; their Lordships had some discourse with them relating to the said land, whereupon they were directed to bring a map or draught of the bounds and situation of it, which they promised.
The Heads of a Bill for the encouragement of the Importation of several species of Naval Stores from the Plantations into this kingdom, having the last year been considered and agreed to by this Board, which were afterwards drawn up into a Bill and laid before the House of Commons, and there being now a Bill of the like nature depending in that House, Mr. Hampden, Treasurer, and Mr. Ackworth, Surveyor of the Navy, came to the Board, to know whether their Lordships might have anything to offer, that might make the said Bill more effectual and serviceable to this kingdom. And after some discourse thereupon, their Lordships agreed that it was necessary some further encouragement should be given for the importation of Hemp from the plantations, by lengthening the term, and adding to the premium, or taking off the duty, and that it should be further considered whether the importation of Lumber should be restrained to this kingdom only.
The memorial of Mr. James Smith, mentioned in the Minutes of the 6th inst., relating to several Acts of New Jersey whereby the Fees of the Secretary's office of that Province are reduced, being again read, and the Acts, therein referred to, considered, directions were given to the Secretary for writing to him to let the Board know to-morrow, if he can, what the Secretary's fees in New Jersey were before the passing of these Acts, how they were established and wherein they differ from those appointed by the said Acts.
A letter from Mr. Wyche, His Majesty's Resident at Hamburgh, dated the 16th January, 1619–20, inclosing an account of the British and Dutch manufactures entered at Brunshausen near Stade, in the year 1717, was read; and the said accounts laid before the Board.
Another letter from Mr. Wyche, dated at Hamburgh, the 9th
February, 1720, was read; and the accounts therewith transmitted
were laid before the Board, viz.:—
Account of Woollen manufactures entered at Brunshausen, 1717, 1718 and 1719 from England and Holland.
A letter from Colonel Philips, Governor of Nova Scotia, dated at Boston in New England, the 26th February, 1719–20, was read; and a petition of several inhabitants of Mary Town desiring a person may be impowered to administer justice among them, was laid before the Board, which their Lordships agreed to take into further consideration with the other letters from Colonel Philips.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, dated yesterday, relating to an Act of Barbadoes, for regulating the gauge of Sugar Casks, was read; and an answer from the Secretary of this Board immediately drawn up and sent.
Their Lordships taking again into consideration what Mr. Wyche, His Majesty's Resident at Hamburgh, writes in his letters of the 9th of February last, and mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, relating to a gratuity or present to be made to the proper officer at Hamburgh for several accounts transmitted to this Board of the Woollen manufactures entered at Brunshausen from England and Holland; directions were given for preparing the draught of a letter to the Earl Stanhope thereupon.
A letter from Mr. Crosse, His Majesty's Consul in the Canaries, dated at Teneriffe, the 30th of March, 1720, was read, as likewise a copy of the said Mr. Cross's petition to His Majesty, and an account of his losses upon the rupture with Spain; whereupon their Lordships agreed to take the said Account of Losses into further consideration with the like accounts expected from other merchants trading to the Dominions of Spain.
Mr. Dumaresq attending with another gentleman, in relation to Mr. Pearse's petition desiring the confirmation of an Indian grant of some land in New England, presented to the Board a map of that tract which they desire, and being asked several questions thereupon, they said it was about nine miles in length and three in breadth.—That it was all covered with small wood.—That the land towards the bottom of the Bay was marshy, but that towards the Cape and the Islands were rocky; and being further asked in what year they had purchased it from the Indians, they produced a copy of the original Indian Grant in 1641, recorded in Pemaquid.
Colonel Vetch and Mr. Dummer attending, as desired, Colonel Vetch was called in and being asked several questions relating to the tract of land near Pemaquid in New England, which Mr. Pearse and others petitioned to have confirmed to them, as likewise concerning the manner of granting lands in those parts; he acquainted their Lordships that he had been on shore at Pemaquid. That a few years since there were no inhabitants on that Coast, but he observed the ruins of those Settlements from which the English had been driven by the French in the late War. That there is some land in and about the tract petitioned for, that is a rich fertile soil for pasturage, the whole being within the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay. And as to masts and timber, he said the largest trees for masts grow in the swamps, which require great expence to draw them to the navigable rivers. That the Oak is best, the further one goes northward. That as to the method of obtaining grants of lands there, he said the Indians being deemed the proprietors, people purchase of them first, and then get the land surveyed and registered, without which, by a law of the Massachusets Bay, no grant from the Indians is valid.
Mr. Dummer being called in, was in like manner asked several questions concerning the land Mr. Pearse and others petition for; whereupon he confirmed what Colonel Vetch had said, and added that the said land is within the tract, where all grants made there by the Government of the Massachusets, require His Majesty's confirmation before they are valid by their last Charter. And Mr. Dummer being particularly asked whether he had any objection to the request of Mr. Pearse &c., he said he had none, but that on the contrary, the Massachusets Colony, to whom he is agent, would be glad those unimproved parts were peopled and settled.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs of the 18th inst., upon the petition of John Plowman of London, Fishmonger, and Robert Shard, Merchant, praying for His Majesty's letters patent for the sole use and benefit of curing Sturgeon, and making Caviare and Isinglass for 14 years, was read, together with the said petition, and Mr. Shard attending, he was acquainted that Mr. Borland having some time ago engaged in the curing of Sturgeon and importing it from America, it would be proper to hear him before any determination be made on this petition; Mr. Shard said that Mr. Borland and his agents were unacquainted with the true method of curing Sturgeon, and meeting with great losses therein, they now declined the undertaking. Mr. Shard being withdrawn, ordered that Mr. Borland have notice to attend this Board on Tuesday morning next.
Brigadier Hunter, late Governor of New York and New Jersey, attending with Mr. Burnet, whom His Majesty has appointed to succeed him in those Governments, Brigadier Hunter presented to their Lordships a memorial relating to the settlement of a Revenue for the support of the said Governments, which was read; and their Lordships agreed to take the same into further consideration at another opportunity.
Their Lordships then acquainting Brigadier Hunter with the substance of Mr. Smith's memorial, mentioned in the Minutes of the 6th inst., relating to several Acts of New Jersey, which lessen the Fees of the Secretaries' office there; he said the Fees were reduced in that manner as a punishment to Mr. Basse, then Secretary, a man of notorious ill character, and also had committed several irregularities in his office. That he would have displaced Basse, had he not been a Patent Officer. And that several gentlemen of the Assembly of New Jersey had declared their willingness and intention to take off the hardships, which by those Acts might be upon a succeeding Secretary.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs of the 20th inst., signifying His Majesty's pleasure upon an address of the House of Commons about preventing the running of Wool from Great Britain and Ireland, was read, as likewise a copy of the said Address, whereupon their Lordships agreed to take the same into consideration the first opportunity, and in the meantime ordered the several papers upon that subject to be looked out, to be laid before the Board.
Mr. Borland attending, in relation to the petition of Mr. Plowman and Mr. Shard, praying for a petition to cure and vend Sturgeon, he was asked why he had not, as he promised sometime ago, produced a specimen or proof that himself or agents had the art of curing Sturgeon, and if he had any objection to Mr. Plowman and Shard's having a patent, as desired, since they offered and were ready to show Sturgeon, cured in America, as good as that from Hamburgh, to which he answered, that he had imported several quantities which had not proved good, but now he was engaging with a person better versed in that business, and doubted not of making as good as the Sturgeon imported from Hamburgh; that he hoped, in consideration of his great charge and losses in this undertaking of importing Sturgeon from America, an exclusive patent would not be granted to another; but being asked what further assurance he had of the person, with whom he is now in treaty, having better skill in curing Sturgeon, he owned that it was only by report and the recommendation of his friends. Mr. Borland being withdrawn, their Lordships agreed to consider further of the said petition of Mr. Plowman and Shard at another opportunity.
The draught of a letter, ordered the 13th to be prepared, to the Right Honourable the Earl Stanhope, relating to a gratuity to be given by Mr. Wyche at Hamburgh, to the proper officer who furnished him with accounts of the British and Dutch goods entered at Brunshausen, near Staad, was agreed and signed.
Mr. John Plowman and Mr. Robert Shard, who petition for a patent for the sole curing and importing Sturgeon from America, attending, they produced to the Board a sample of the Sturgeon taken and cured in New England, which appeared and proved very good, though rather of the saltest, whereupon Mr. Plowman said that fault should be amended in the next parcel to be cured; but their Lordships desiring to know what proof they had that the Sturgeon now produced, was really taken and cured in America, Mr. Plowman presented to the Board his affidavit taken this day before Sir Richard Holford, and Bills of Lading showing that several quantities of Sturgeon were shipped there for the Port of London; and being particularly asked whether he could swear that this is the very same Sturgeon, he said he could; and accordingly made oath before the Board that the Sturgeon, now produced, is the very same mentioned in the Bill of Lading, shewn to their Lordships, shipped at Boston in New England about the 26th December, 1719, on board a vessel called the Rose, Captain John Howard, Commander, and that he had other parcels of the like fish from New England by other ships, for which he likewise shewed Bills of Lading.
Mr. Shard then presented to the Board his affidavit relating to what lately passed between the said Mr. Shard and Mr. Borland on the subject of the patent desired for curing and importing Sturgeon from America, which was read.
An order of Council of 19th inst., declaring His Majesty's approbation of Captain Calvert, nominated by the Lord Baltemore by his guardian. the Lord Guilford, for Governor of Maryland, and requiring this Board to take care that security be given for the said Captain Calvert's observing the several Acts of Trade and Navigation, and for his obeying such instructions, as shall from time to time be sent to him from His Majesty or any acting under His Majesty's authority, was read; and their Lordships agreed to take the same into further consideration when sureties shall be offered for Captain Calvert.
A letter from Colonel Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, dated 5th March last, relating to the death of Colonel Smith, a member of the Council of that Colony; to the conduct of Mr. Byrd and Mr. Ludwell, and to persons fit to supply vacancies in the said Council, was read; as also a letter from the Earl of Orkney, dated 3rd inst., recommending Mr. Peter Beverley to be of the Council of Virginia; whereupon a representation proposing the said Mr. Beverley to be of the said Council, was agreed and signed.
The draughts of the general instructions for Mr. Burnet for the Governments of New York and New Jersey, and of those which particularly relate to the Acts of Trade and Navigation being laid before the Board, a representation wherewith to lay the same before His Majesty and a letter inclosing the said representation and instructions to Mr. Secretary Craggs, were signed.