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, April 1721
A petition to this Board from the inhabitants of Petty Harbour in Newfoundland, relating to a murder committed there, and the malefactors with evidences against them being sent to Great Britain, was read; as also a letter from Mr. Keen to the secretary on the same subject, dated at St. Johns in Newfoundland, the 24th of December last; whereupon their Lordships agreed and signed a letter to the Right Honourable the Lord Carteret, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, inclosing copies of the said petition and letter, that orders may be given for the prosecution of the malefactors.
A letter from Mr. Gordon, dated the 31st of the last month, was read, as likewise a memorial from him, mentioned in the Minutes of the 2nd of November last, relating to two Acts passed in Barbadoes, February, 1719—20, One, for the better regulating the power of vestries, the other for depriving the said Mr. Gordon of his benefice; whereupon ordered that Mr. Gordon, and the agents for the said island of Barbadoes, be acquainted that this Board desire to speak with them, in relation to the said acts, on Thursday morning next.
A recommendation from the Earl of Harborough for James Lawes, Esq., to supply a vacancy in the Council of Jamaica, was read, and ordered to be Minuted on the list of persons recommended to be of the Council of that island.
Their Lordships made a further progress in considering the draught of instructions for the Lord Viscount Irwin, appointed Governor of Barbadoes, and gave directions for sending to Mr. Carkesse the draught of the usual instructions, which particularly relate to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, with the desire of this Board to know whether the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs think any further additions or alterations therein may be necessary at this time.
The Reverend Mr. Gordon, and Mr. Bampfield, one of the agents of Barbadoes, attending, according to appointment, as also Mr. Lowther, late Governor of that island, their Lordships had some discourse with the said Mr. Lowther and Mr. Gordon, in relation to the two acts passed there in February, 17 19/20; one, for the better regulating the power of vestries, the other, for depriving the said Mr. Gordon of his benefice; and Mr. Lowther desiring a copy of Mr. Gordon's memorial on the subject of the said acts, which was read the 2nd of November last, as also copies of the acts themselves, in order to his laying before the Board, in writing, his reasons for passing the same, and answering Mr. Gordon's objections to them, ordered that he have copies as desired.
Mr. la Rose, agent from Spain, attending, and desiring their Lordships to take into consideration, a letter and memorial from the Marquiss de Pozzo-Bueno, the Spanish Ambassador, relating to the trade of the Canaries, lately transmitted to this Board by the Lord Carteret; their Lordships appointed this day sevennight for that purpose, and ordered that the several papers in the office on that subject, be looked out, and laid before the Board.
A letter from Mr. Burchett, of the 12th instant, to the secretary of this Board, signifying the desire of the Lords of the Admiralty, to have any affidavits or other proofs, that may particularly set forth the complaints, which were transmitted to the Admiralty, from this office the 17th November last, against the Commander of His Majesty's ship the Flambrough, on the station of Carolina, was read; whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Boon, agent for that province, for such proofs as he may have to support the said complaint.
Mr. Boon, agent for Carolina, attending, was asked if he had any affidavits or other proofs to support the complaint laid before this Board, in November last, by himself and Colonel Barnwell, against Captain Hildersley, commander of His Majesty's ship the Flambrough, for supplying the Spaniards at St. Augustine with arms and ammunition; whereupon he said, he had received no affidavits nor other proofs than the letter from a gentleman in Carolina, whereof he then laid an extract before their Lordships, but that he was persuaded of the truth of the fact.
Mr. Boon then presented to their Lordships the copy of a letter to him from Colonel James Moore and others, who took upon themselves the government of that province, dated the 19th January last, relating to the character and behaviour of Colonel Rhett, Surveyor of the customs there, as also the extract of a letter from the said Colonel Rhett to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, with the remarks of Colonel Moore and his council thereupon, all which were read.
Their Lordships then gave the secretary directions to acquaint Mr. Burchett with Mr. Boon's answer, as above, and that there are no other papers in this office, than what had been transmitted to him, relating to the said complaint.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, dated yesterday, signifying His Majesty's having been pleased to appoint the Lord Belhaven Governor of Barbadoes, and desiring this Board to direct the draughts of his commission and instructions to be prepared, was read; and the draught of a commission being accordingly prepared, a letter transmitting the same to the Lord Carteret was agreed and signed.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, dated yesterday, with the copy of an agreement lately made with the republic of Venice, by Mr. Burges, His Majesty's resident there, relating to the decree for visiting British ships in that port; as also an extract of a letter from Mr. Burges, on the same subject, were read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Cole, late resident at Venice, and Messrs. Williams and Jamineau, who are concerned in the trade thither, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on Tuesday morning next.
Ordered that Mr. La Rose, consul for the Spanish nation, be acquainted that the Board have adjourned the consideration of the letter and memorial from the Marquiss de Pozzo-Bueno ambassador from Spain, relating to the trade of the Canaries, till Wednesday morning next.
A letter from Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, dated the 15th, in answer to Mr. Gordon's memorial, mentioned in the Minutes of the 6th inst., against two Acts passed in that island in February, 1719/20. One, for the better regulating the power of vestries, and the other, for depriving the said Mr. Gordon of his benefice, was read; and their Lordships, taking the said Acts into further consideration, gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation to His Majesty, in order to the repeal of them.
Mr. Oxenford, first clerk to the late Inspector-General of the imports and exports, attending, presented to the Board a memorial, praying to be recommended by their Lordships for assistant to the next Inspector-General, was read, as likewise the certificates and other papers annexed; and their Lordships having some discourse with Mr. Oxenford on the subject of his said memorial, directions were given for preparing the draught of a letter to Mr. Walpole, Secretary of the Treasury thereupon.
Mr. Cole, late Resident at Venice, on the part of Great Britain, as also Mr. Williams and Mr. Jamineau, who are concerned in trade to those parts, attending, as desired, the copy of an agreement lately made by Mr. Burges, the present British Resident at Venice, with that republic, about visiting our ships, which was transmitted to this Board, with the Lord Carteret's letter of the 20th inst., was communicated to them; and they being severally asked what they had to offer concerning the said agreement, Mr. Cole said, it would be very much for the benefit of our merchants, and contained all we can desire on that subject, the island of Poveggia being commodious for careening and repairing ships and vessells which could not be done in the channel of Malamocho, and both Mr. Williams and Jamineau declared, they thought the said agreement very sufficient, and that they were fully satisfied with it, whereupon directions were given for preparing an answer to the Lord Carteret's letter of the 20th instant.
Mr. Samuel Baker, and Mr. Samuel Storke, with Mr. Archibald Cummings, attending, presented to the Board a petition in behalf of themselves and several other merchants trading to New England, praying that an act passed in the province of the Massachusets Bay in 1718, entituled, An Act for the better regulating the culling of fish, may be repealed, which petition was read; and these gentlemen being asked several questions on this subject, Mr. Cummings particularly said, it was a great imposition on the merchant to restrain the purchasers from culling their own fish; that they have always had the liberty of doing it at Newfoundland; and in the province of the Massachusets Bay, before this act. (in dealings for fish), a culler was chosen as well by the buyer as seller, and no penalty on any merchant, or other person, for culling the fish they bought. It was further alledged, that the cullers of fish in the Massachusets Bay were fishermen, or the dependants upon them, and this act obtained by their influence. The petitioners being further asked, whether application was not made in the country against the said Act, and why they had not sooner complained of it here, the Act having been passed near 3 years, and near excluding His Majesty's repeal, without the consent of the Assembly, according to the Massachusets' Charter. They said, there would be no probability of redress in the Massachusets Bay; and though it was a grievance known by many merchants here for some time, it was so general, that particular persons had not taken upon them to apply against it, and they hoped it would not now be too late to repeal it.
The petitioners were then acquainted, that the Board intended to take the said Act, and their petition, into further consideration on Thursday morning next; and notice was ordered to be given to Mr. Dummer, agent for the province of the Massachusets Bay, to attend at the same time.
The draught of a letter to the Lord Carteret, ordered yesterday to be prepared, in answer to his Lordship's of the 20th instant, relating to an agreement concluded with the republic of Venice by Mr. Burges, His Majesty's resident there, concerning the visiting of British ships in that port, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Mr. La Rose, consul for the Spanish nation, attending in relation to the letter and memorial from the Marquiss de Pozzo-Bueno, minister of his Catholic Majesty, concerning the trade of the Canary Islands, with respect to this kingdom and the British plantations, which are referred to the consideration of this Board, by the Lord Carteret's letter of the 29th of March last; the said letters and memorial were read; and Mr. La Rose was asked what he had to offer on that subject, to which he answered, that the said memorial being to the same purpose as one formerly presented by the Marquiss de Monteleon, the late Spanish Ambassador here, and the request of those memorials being, (as he alledged), more for the benefit of England than Spain, he had nothing to add thereto, but desired their Lordship's opinion and answer; whereupon he was acquainted that the Board would reconsider their report upon the said memorial of the Marquiss de Monteleon, together with the said letter and memorial from the Marquiss de Pozzo-Bueno, and return an answer to the Lord Carteret, with all convenient dispatch.
Mr. La Rose being withdrawn, their Lordships took into consideration the Marquiss de Monteleon's memorial, as also their report, of the 3rd of February, 1717–18 thereupon, which were severally read; and their Lordships agreed to re-consider the same at another opportunity, with several other papers relating to the Canary Islands, which were ordered to be collected and laid before the Board.
Mr. Storke, Mr. Cumings and other merchants, who signed the memorial, read the 25th inst., against an Act passed in the province of the Massachusets Bay, in 1718, entituled, An Act for the better regulating the culling of fish, attending, as also Mr. Dummer, agent for that province; the said act was read, and Mr. Dummer being acquainted with the substance of the said memorial, he was asked what he had to offer in favour of the act; whereupon he said, he had not seen it before, but observed that the cullers are thereby under the obligation of an oath for the faithful and impartial performance of their duty; that there is the like inspection for pitch, tar, turpentine, and several other commodities, all of which were intended to advance the credit of the commodity, but that fishermen at New England, who are of the poorer people, entering into articles with merchants for quantities of fish, it might sometimes be impossible for those fishermen to comply with their articles if the cullers were too nice: to which Mr. Storke answered, that the persons who sell the fish are some of the richest and greatest traders, and procure their servants to be appointed cullers; that these cullers have not performed their duty impartially, and he produced two letters from his correspondents at Oporto and Alicant, complaining of the badness of some cargoes of fish from New England. Whereupon Mr. Dummer replied, that sometimes when there were great demands for fish at New England, the masters, and others who came to buy, would bid one upon another, and take fish not altogether so good; and if merchantable fish were not loaden in proper weather, it would spoil; and Colonel Taylor, one of the Council of the Massachusets Bay, being present, was asked several questions concerning the said act, particularly whether he thought the merchants had not suffered as they complain, to which he answered, that the act was never designed to allow any bad fish to pass for merchantable, though he believed it had not been so well put in execution, but that some merchants may have suffered by that neglect.
A letter to the Lord Carteret, as agreed at the last meeting, in answer to his Lordship's of the 20th instant, relating to an agreement lately concluded by Mr. Burges, His Majesty's resident at Venice, concerning the visiting of British ships there, was signed.
The draught of a letter from the secretary of this Board, to Mr. Horatio Walpole, one of the secretaries of the Treasury, upon the memorial of Mr. Oxenford, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, relating to his assisting the Inspector General of the imports and exports, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A petition of Anthony Cracherode to His Majesty complaining of an act lately passed in Barbadoes, intituled, An Act appointing security to be given by appellees, with a reference thereupon from the Lord Carteret, of the 25th instant, was read, as also the said Act, and the report of Mr. West, one of His Majesty's Counsel at Law, relating thereto, and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same when Mr. Cracherode shall attend, of which their Lordships ordered notice to be given him.
Their Lordships took into consideration the acts undermentioned,
passed in Barbadoes, viz.
An Act for the relief of William Harris and others, touching several country-orders, which have been accidentally destroyed at sea.
Passed the 16th June, 1719.
An Act to ascertain the quantity of liquors, that shall be contained in any glass-bottles imported to this island for sale.
Passed the 15th August, 1719.
A supplemental Act to an Act to oblige the casual receiver to pay the sum of £100 current money, towards defraying the charges of the several Courts of Grand Sessions held for the body of this island.
Passed the 15th August, 1719.
An Act to impower the Treasurer to defray the expences of the late Grand Sessions, held 8th, 9th and 10th of December, 1719, as also the expences occasioned by the late examination of witnesses, touching the character of William Gordon, clerk, pursuant to an order of the Right Honourable the Lords of the Committee for hearing appeals.
Passed 15th of March, 1719—20.
Which acts were severally read; whereupon their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same on Tuesday morning next, and ordered that Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, be acquainted that their Lordships desire to speak with him at the same time.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 19th instant, for the Board's opinion upon an inclosed memorial from the copartners, for settling and improving the Bahama Islands, praying to have a charter or letters of incorporation for the better completing that settlement, was read, together with the said memorial; whereupon ordered that the late reports concerning those islands be forthwith looked out and laid before the Board.