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, June 1720
A letter from Lord Guilford and the Lord Baltemore, proposing Mr. John Hyde of Poplar and Mr. Charles Lowe of Westminster, to be sureties for Capt. Calvert's observing the Acts of Trade &c. in the Government of Maryland, was read; whereupon a letter from the Secretary of this Board to Mr. Lowndes, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, with the draught of a bond to be entered into by the said Mr. Hyde and Mr. Lowe, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A memorial from Colonel Vetch, Mr. Borland and Mr. James Douglas, relating to losses sustained by them from the Spaniards, was read; and Colonel Vetch attending, their Lordships had some discourse with him on the subject of the said memorial, in which being particularly asked what proofs they had of the facts and suggestions therein set forth; he said, Mr. Borland is ready to make oath as to the fitting out the vessel from Boston, that they have the parole of honour of Don Carlos, Marquis de Sucre, now Governor of Carthagena, to whom they were willing to refer themselves for the proof of what they assert.
A letter from Mr. Borland, signifying his having agreed to join with Mr. Shard and Plowman, (in relation to a patent for bringing Sturgeon from America), was read; and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same with the said Mr. Shard and Plowman's petition on that subject.
A reference from Mr. Secretary Craggs, dated the 27th of the last month, upon a petition of Capt. Evans for a grant of the Island of St. Lucia, as an equivalent for a tract of land formerly granted to him at New York, was read; and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same at another opportunity.
Ordered that Sir William Chapman, Mr. Thomas Bowles, Mr. Edward Rudge and Mr. Christopher Haynes be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them and any other gentlemen concerned in the Spanish trade on Friday morning next, at eleven of the clock precisely.
The board having considered the usefulness of a seal for this office, and a draught of such a seal having been prepared by the direction of the Earl of Westmorland by His Majesty's Ingraver; his Lordship acquainted the Board that he had communicated the said draught to the Earl of Sunderland, First Lord of the Treasury, who thought it very proper; and having afterwards laid the same before His Majesty, was graciously pleased to approve thereof, and to order it to be ingraved and the expence to be placed to the incident charges of this Board.
A list of ships belonging to several merchants of Bideford, which were seized with their cargoes in Spain, by way of reprisal for the action of Sir George Byng, before the war was proclaimed, and for which the said merchants hope for satisfaction at the approaching peace, being laid before the Board, was read; and a copy thereof ordered to be prepared for His Majesty's Minister at Madrid.
Their Lordships then made a further progress in considering heads of instructions for His Majesty's Minister and Plenipotentary at Madrid, relating to the trade and commerce of His Majesty's subjects with Spain.
And Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Wescombe, Secretary to the South Sea Company, to desire he will acquaint the Court of Directors, that the Board have the said heads of instructions under consideration, and shall be glad to receive as soon as possible what the Company may have to offer on this occasion.
A letter from Mr. William Crosse, brother to His Majesty's Consul at the Canary Islands, dated yesterday, relating to the trade of His Majesty's subjects to those Islands, and several grievances to be redressed by a future treaty with Spain, was read; whereupon ordered that the said Mr. William Crosse, who mentions his present indisposition, be acquainted that this Board will be glad to speak with him, as soon as his health shall permit.
Mr. Haynes and Mr. Pitt, two of the merchants trading to Spain, attending as desired, they were asked if they had prepared anything in writing to offer to the Board concerning the trade with Spain, to which Mr. Haynes answered, that the merchants had met several times, but had not yet compleated what they had to represent. That they were collecting several claims and demands of the British merchants upon the Spaniards, and hoped to be ready to attend their Lordships therewith the next week.
These gentlemen being then asked several questions on the subjects of the British commerce with Spain, and the duties paid there; they said, as to the Tarif that was made some time since at Cadiz, when some of the factors of each nation were summoned, a hardship had been put on us in the valuation of British cloth and other goods. That they only desired to be on a par with other nations both as to the valuations and duties upon their goods. In relation to the Gratias, those of the farmer were uncertain, but the 25 per cent. á la Tabla, or the King's Gracia was ascertained in the recudimento of the farmer, though not by any Cedula as they knew of. That as to the goods brought to Cadiz paying duties over again at Seville, they said they knew of no other duties paid at Seville than the City duties, after the same goods had paid the king's duties at Cadiz, but no duties were paid at Cadiz if the goods were not landed there. That there is at present an additional duty on our goods landed at Cadiz over and above what was paid in King Charles' 2nd's time. That as for visiting British ships at Cadiz, there is only 3 dollars per ship paid to the inquisition and commonly no formal visit paid. That the port charges there amount to about 38 reales per ship besides Consulage. Being particularly asked whether they knew anything of the duties or imposition on corn at the Canaries, they said they did not; but at Cadiz there was no duty for corn imported, except in Mr. Pitt's particular case, who in 1715 was obliged to pay Alcavalos and Cientos, contrary to the Hansiatic Treaty. That five of the Spanish measures for corn (called a Tanega) contain an English quarter and about a fifth part more. Their Lordships then discoursing with these gentlemen concerning the Treaty made between the English merchants and the inhabitants of the town of Santander; Mr. Haynes, said he had a copy of it in Spanish, and should be willing to have the translation of it examined and published, when the same shall be enforced by a new treaty. That one occasion of that agreement with the inhabitants of Santander was the partiality at Bilboa in favour of the inhabitants, who paid less duties by 2 per cent. on comestibles and combustibles than the English. Mr. Haynes and Mr. Pitt, being desired to dispatch what they had to offer in writing on the subject of the Spanish trade, they promised to do it and then withdrew.
A letter from the Earl Stanhope of the 10th inst., desiring dispatch of the Board's report upon the Treaty of Commerce with Dantzick and the amendments proposed, which were transmitted with the Lord's letter of the 25th of January last, was read; and the said letter of 25th January with the copy of the said Treaty and an extract of a letter from Mr. Jefferies, His Majesty's Resident at Dantzick, were again read and considered; whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to the Governor of the Eastland Company, to desire that some of their members will attend this Board on Thursday morning next.
The several letters and papers therein referred to, as undermentioned, which have been received from Virginia, were laid before,
the Board viz.:—
Letter from Colonel Spotswood.
A letter from Colonel Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, dated 26th May, 1719.
Minutes of Council from 2nd of September, 1718, to 9th of December following.
Minutes of Council from 11th March, 1718/19, to 2nd of May, following.
Minutes of Council in Assembly, from 11th November, 1718, to 1st December, following.
Minutes of Assembly from 11th November to 1st December, following.
Account of the Quit Rent Revenue from April, 1718, to April, 1719.
Account of the Tonnage and Hogshead Revenue from 25th April to 25th October, 1718, as also from 25th October, 1718, to 25th April, 1719.
Account of the duties on Liquors and Slaves from December, 1710, to December, 1718.
Account of the Public Tobacco Levy from September, 1715, to November, 1718.
Imports from the Western Islands and Maderas to Lady Day, 1719.
Addresses from several counties of Virginia; from the Clergy in Convention; The Grand Jury for the Colony; and the Masters of William and Mary College; and to Colonel Spotswood, occasioned by the Burgesses' charge against him: also an address from the Grand Jury to the King upon that occasion, and an address from North Carolina with a letter of thanks from the Governor and Council of Maryland to Colonel Spotswood upon destroying the pirates in Carolina.
Letter from Mr. Robertson, Clerk of the Assembly of Virginia,
to the Secretary of this Board, dated the 2nd of March, 1718, with
three Acts passed in 1718, as likewise:—
Minutes of Assembly, from 23rd April to 1st December, 1718, inclusive.
Minutes of Council in Assembly, from 11th November to 1st December, 1718, inclusive.
Addresses from several counties of Virginia to Colonel Spotswood, protesting against the proceedings of the Burgesses in 1718.
A letter from Colonel Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, dated 5th of May, 1720, and another from the Council of that Colony of the same date, both signifying that there is a reconciliation of the differences which have happened between the said Lieutenant Governor and Council.
A letter from Messrs. Plowman, Borland, and Shard, signifying their having agreed to proceed jointly together in the undertaking of curing Sturgeon in America, and desiring a patent may be granted in their names, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. West, His Majesty's Counsel, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him on Tuesday morning next.
Mr. James Smith, Secretary of the Province of New Jersey, attending, and praying their Lordships' representation for the repeal of some Acts of that Province, which have reduced the fees of the Secretary's office there, as mentioned in his memorial, read the 6th of the last month; Mr. West's report upon the said Acts, (New Jersey, Bundle D. No. 8), was again read and considered; whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation in order to the repeal of the said Acts.
Mr. Boon, one of the Agents for Carolina, attending, communicated to the Board a printed paper intituled A true state of the case between the inhabitants of South Carolina and the lords proprietors of that province, containing an account of the grievances under which they labour.
Their Lordships then proceeded in the consideration of Earl Stanhope's letters and of the Treaty of commerce with Dantzick, mentioned in the Minutes of the 14th inst., and the Eastland merchants, who were expected, not attending; ordered that a letter be writ to Sir Randolph Knipe, to signify the Board's desire to speak with him at eleven of the clock on Tuesday morning next, and with such other gentlemen concerned in the trade to Dantzick, as they shall think fit, in relation to the said Treaty and the alterations proposed to be made therein.
Mr. Porten and two other merchants trading to Sicily attending, presented to the Board a memorial signed by themselves and others, relating to several hardships and losses sustained by them and their factors in that kingdom, which was read; and the Board agreed to reconsider the same with the other papers before them, relating to the trade between Great Britain and Sicily. In the meantime their Lordships discoursing with these gentlemen on the subject of their said memorial, they said, the petition to His Majesty, therein mentioned, relates only to their losses, and not to the grievances which they desire to have redressed in the trade. And being particularly asked whether the subjects of other nations do not pay the same duties and impositions, they said, they believed all other nations did except the Genoese, who paid less than others by three per cent. for some time at least, though these gentlemen said, they were not certain whether that abatement was continued, and in relation to the losses sustained by the British merchants in Sicily these gentlemen agreed that the easiest way of obtaining satisfation would be by a temporary abatement of duties. In conclusion, being asked, how the affairs of their commerce stood whilst the present King of Sardinia was in quiet possession of Sicily, they said, instead of redressing any of their grievances, he rather made them more uneasy; but they hoped by a future Treaty with the Emperor to be put on a better foot.
Mr. West, one of His Majesty's Counsel at Law attending, their Lordships had some discourse with him on the subject of a patent desired by Mr. Shard, Mr. Plowman and Mr. Borland, for curing and importing Sturgeon from America, and the preventing its being made a stock jobbing business, wherein Mr. West acquainted the Board, that one effectual method to prevent numerous and frequent transfers would be to limit the number of the patentees' assigns, and the sum of money or stock to be employed in the under-taking, but if their Lordships pleased to refer this matter to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General and himself, their Lordships would have reports in writing: whereupon their Lordships agreed to refer the same as Mr. West proposed.
Sir Randolph Knipe and some other gentlemen trading to Dantzick attending, as desired, their Lordships had some discourse with them in relation to the trade between Great Britain and that City, and being particularly asked whether His Majesty's subjects residing at Dantzick enjoy the same privileges as they do at Koningsberg, Riga and other places in those parts, and as other Nations enjoy at Dantzick; they said, that since the Treaty made by the present Bishop of London, there is a particular duty on House Keepers, which is not paid by British subjects who are only lodgers in that City, and the same is likewise paid in some other Cities, but that each City has its particular Customs. That at Koningsberg, which is under the Dominion of the King of Prussia, British House Keepers and others are free from those particular duties; but that a foreigner there as well as at Dantzick can only sell to a Burgher. That at Riga, British subjects are not allowed at all to be House Keepers there—that the English subjects house keepers at Dantzick, who are not at present above 7 or 8 families, (though there are many of Scotch and Scotch extraction), are taxed according to their estates besides about 5 per cent. on the rent of their houses; that as to the liberty desired by our merchants of trading from Dantzick up into the country, these gentlemen said, they believed it would never be granted, and at present the Citizens are so strict in the prosecution of such of our merchants who trade with strangers, that the persons prosecuted are obliged to attend their Court sometimes for half a year together without any determination, which is a grievance they wish to have redressed. That as to the lighters or boats which all merchants and masters of ships are obliged to use, as they stand in course, of the same burthen in the unloading of their ships, the said lighters are the property of particular men, but in a company; that many of the said lighters, though surveyed annually, are decayed and very unsafe, for which in case of loss or damage, (the lighters being put into the possession and management of the ships' crew), they are obliged to pay more than the value of the lighter or damage sustained; and, to avoid the danger of using a decayed boat, they used to take one of greater burthen and pay more freight than they had occasion for. And these gentlemen being asked what they had to offer for remedying this inconvenience, particularly whether the adding a number of disinterested persons to those who now survey the said lighters, or the master of the ships having liberty to set aside any lighter upon his oath that he believes the same to be unserviceable, they declared their opinion that those expedients would assist them. They were then further asked what grievances in general they had to complain of in relation to the commerce of Great Britain with Dantzick, to which they answered that His Majesty's subjects being as easy there as other strangers, they had no grievances at present which they can hope to have redressed, but Sir Randolph Knipe desiring to review the memorials formerly laid before this Board from the Eastland Company, whereof he was a member, relating to the trade of those parts, in order to offer to their Lordships what may appear necessary to be added thereto; directions were given for looking out the said memorials, and for communicating them to Sir Randolph, as desired.
Sir Randolph Knipe and the other gentlemen with him being withdrawn, directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation to their Excellencies the Lords Justices upon the Earl Stanhope's letters, relating to the Treaty of Commerce with Dantzick, mentioned in the Minutes of the 16th inst.
A memorial from Mr. Burnet, Governor of New York, desiring an additional instruction for the settlement of a revenue in that province, was read; and their Lordships agreed to consider the same with Brigadier Hunter's memorial, mentioned in the Minutes of the 20th of the last month.
A certificate from the Remembrancer's Office at the Exchequer of security being given by Capt. Calvert for the due execution of his imployment of Governor of Maryland, was read; whereupon a representation to the Lords Justices with a draught of instructions for the said Captain Calvert, relating particularly to the Acts of Trade and Navigation to be observed in the said Province, was signed.
The draught of a letter to Mr. Attorney, Mr. Solicitor General and Mr. West for their opinions in what manner a patent may be granted to Mr. Shard and others for the sole curing of Sturgeon in America, and importing the same into this Kingdom, without being made a stock jobbing business, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
Their Lordships taking into consideration the Acts passed in New Jersey in 1713/14, which Mr. Smith, Secretary of that Province, complains of in his memorial, read the 6th of the last month, as reducing the fees of his Office, one of those Acts entituled, An Act for shortening of law suits, was read, as likewise the report of Sir Edward Northey. His Majesty's late Attorney General, dated 2nd of January, 1717/18, upon an Act of New York with the same title and to the like purpose; whereupon ordered that instead of the representation, directed the 16th inst. to be prepared, upon the said Acts of New Jersey, a letter be drawn to inform Mr. Burnet, Governor of that Province, of the Board's opinion concerning the said Acts.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs to Mr. Lowther, Governor of Barbadoes, dated the 11th inst., relating to the said Governor's leaving Mr. Cox in the administration of that Government in his absence, being sent under an open seal to this office for conveyance, directions were given for taking a copy thereof and sending the letter by the first opportunity.
The draught of a representation, ordered the 21st inst. to be prepared, to their Excellencies, the Lords Justices, upon Earl Stanhope's letters relating to the Treaty of Commerce with Dantzick, was agreed, transcribed and signed.
Mr. Thomas Thomas attending, and his power of attorney from Edward Warner, Senr., one of the sufferers of the French Invasion of the Island of St. Christophers, being examined at the Board, the debenture No. 598, was delivered to him.
Mr. Stephen Duport attending, a memorial from him relating to General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, delaying the proceedings of the said Mr. Duport's attorney at St. Christophers against his daughter-in-law, who is now possessed of his plantation there, as likewise relating to the charge of sending some stores of war to the Leeward Islands which he desires to be reimbursed, was read, and after some discourse with Mr. Duport thereupon, their Lordships gave directions for preparing a letter to General Hamilton as desired on this occasion.
A letter from Mr. Delafaye, Secretary to their Excellencies the Lords Justices, dated 24th inst., inclosing, by their Excellencies' order, the copy of an address of the House of Peers to His Majesty, and of His Majesty's answer, relating to a scheme to be prepared by this Board for preventing the wearing and using painted, stained and dyed calicoes, and to the difficulties the East India Company at present lye under in carrying on their trade &c., was read, as also the said copy of the address and answer; whereupon directions were given for writing to the East India Company for a state of the difficulties in their trade, and what else they have to offer on the subject of the said address.
Their Lordships taking again into consideration the address of the House of Commons, mentioned in the Minutes of the 25th of the last month, about preventing the running of Wool from Great Britain and Ireland, directions were given for preparing a letter to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, to acquaint them that this Board desire to discourse with some of them or their Secretary on Wednesday morning next on the subject of the said address.
Mr. William Coleman attending, and his powers of attorney from John Howard, administrator to Ambrose Howard, one of the sufferers by the French invasion of Nevis, being examined at the Board, the debenture, numbered 476, was delivered to the said Mr. Coleman.
The draughts of letters ordered yesterday to be prepared to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs and to Mr. Pulteney, His Majesty's Commissary in France, upon the address of the House of Commons about preventing the running of Wool, were agreed, transcribed and signed.