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 1721
The several reports, made of late years by this Board, concerning the Bahama Islands, and other papers relating thereunto, being laid before their Lordships, as directed at the last meeting; ordered that the copartners for settling those islands have notice that the Board desire to speak with them at 10 of the clock on Thursday morning next, on the subject of their memorial for a charter or letters of incorporation.
Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, attending, as desired,
their Lordships had some discourse with him in relation to the
following Acts of that island, which were read at the last meeting,
and ordered a note on each Act, as minuted under the respective
title in the list of Acts.
An Act for the relief of William Harris and others, touching several country-orders, which have been accidentally destroyed at sea.
Passed the 16th of June. 1719.
An Act to ascertain the quantity of liquors that shall be contained in any glass bottles imported 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.
An Act to impower the Treasurer to defray the expences of the late Grand Sessions, held the 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 the 15th March, 1719–20.
The draught of a representation, directed the 27th of the last month to be prepared, in order to the repeal of an Act passed in the province of the Massachusets Bay, in 1718, intituled, An Act for the better regulating the culling of fish, was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
Upon further consideration of the letter, (mentioned in yesterday's Minutes), from Mr. Burnet, dated the 9th of March last, wherein he acquaints their Lordships with the death of Mr. Heathcote, one of His Majesty's Council of that province, and recommends Lewis Morris, junior, to supply the said Mr. Heathcote's room as a Councillor there, ordered that the draught of a representation be prepared, humbly to propose to His Majesty that the said Mr. Morris be appointed of the Council of New York, as Mr. Burnet desires.
A memorial and petition of Mr. Newman, agent for His Majesty's province of New Hampshire, in New England, representing the importance of preserving and supporting Fort William and Mary in that province, the necessity of a supply of gunpowder for that purpose, and praying the Board to recommend that His Majesty may be graciously pleased to appoint a sufficient supply of ammunition stores, or that the government of New Hampshire may be permitted to revive the powder impost on all ships and vessels trading to that province, or otherways as the Board shall think fit to recommend, was read; and some directions were given for writing on this subject, in their Lordships' next letter to Colonel Shute, Governor of the said province.
A representation for the repeal of an Act passed in the province, of the Massachusets Bay in 1718, entituled, An Act for the better regulating the culling of fish, as agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
The draught of a representation ordered yesterday to be prepared, humbly to propose to His Majesty that Lewis Morris, junior, Esq., he appointed of the Council of New York, in the room of Caleb Heathcote, Esq., deceased, was agreed, transcribed and signed.
Captain Hyde and Richard Harris, Mr. Samuel Buck, and Mr.
Newport attending the Board, in behalf of themselves and the
rest of the co-partners for settling and improving the Bahama
Islands; their Lordships had some discourse with them on the
subject of their memorial, mentioned in the Minutes of the 2nd
instant, praying to have a charter or letters of incorporation, in order
to the better completing that settlement. Whereupon these gentlemen were desired to give an account in writing
What they have already done, towards settling the island of Providence, and establishing a trade there ?
What numbers of men they have sent, soldiers or others ?
What forts have they built; and in general, what expences they have been at ?
What inconveniences they suffer for want of sufficient powers, with respect to their factors and other persons employed by them ?
What powers they desire ?
In case the charter be granted, what do they propose, and what will they oblige themselves to do, for settling the island and establishing a trade beneficial to this kingdom ?
What regulations and limitations are they willing to be under, that the government may be assured this charter is not to serve for views of stock-jobbing?
Will they desire any further assistance from the Crown, besides this charter ?
To explain, why the trade cannot be carried on, without a joint-stock, and a charter of incorporation ?
To which they promised to return answers with all convenient speed.
A letter from Lieut. Benjamin Young, of 29th of the last month, praying in consideration of his long services in the Navy, and the draughts he took and some time since presented to this Board, of the coast of Nova Scotia, and the Gut of Canso, that their Lordships would recommend him to the Lords of the Admiralty, for the command of one of the small vessels now building to intercept the smugglers, was read; and directions thereupon given for preparing a letter for that purpose from the secretary of this Board, to Mr. Burchet, Secretary of the Admiralty.
Mr. West's report upon the three Acts undermentioned, passed
in Virginia in November, 1720, intituled,
An Act for erecting the counties of Spotsylvania and Brunswick, and granting certain exemptions and benefits to the inhabitants thereof.
An Act explaining and further declaring what shall be accounted a sufficient seating and improvement to save lands from lapsing, and for the better recovery of lands lapsed from persons living out of the country.
An Act for the better discovery and security of His Majesty's quit rents.
was read; as likewise the last mentioned Act, and their Lordships agreed to proceed in the further consideration thereof at the next meeting.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 22nd of March, 1720—21, inclosing an address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to His Majesty, on the subject of the said Acts, was likewise read, and their Lordships also agreed to reconsider the same at the next meeting.
Their Lordships took into consideration the undermentioned
Acts, passed at Barbadoes, in the year 1717, together with the
report of Mr. West thereupon, which were severally read, viz.
An Act to dock the intail limited on a certain plantation or parcel of land in the parish of St. James, and the negroe slaves thereunto belonging, and to vest the fee simple thereof in William Thorpe, gent., youngest son of Robert Thorpe, late of this island, gent., deceased.
An Act enabling the representatives of the parish of Christ Church, to sell six acres and 30 perches of land, in the said parish, formerly the land of Philip Trowell, deceased.
An Act to dock the intails limited on certain plantations in the parish of St. Thomas and St. James, in this island, and to vest the same Joseph Gibbs, Esq., in fee.
After the reading of which Acts, their Lordships agreed to prepare a clause to be offered to His Majesty, as an instruction for the future to all his Governors in America, relating to private Acts of the Assemblies there; and ordered that Mr. West be reminded of the Saving clause in private Acts.
Board's desire that he would prepare the draught of a clause to be inserted in all private Acts in the plantations, according to their Lordship's intention signified to him, when he attended the 15th of March last, for a saving of the rights of all persons except those mentioned in such Acts.
Ordered that Mr. Oxenford, of the Inspector General's office, be desired to let this Board have an account of the total value of all goods and merchandize, imported and exported to and from Flanders and Germany, from Christmas, 1715, to Christmas, 1716.
A memorial of several merchants and traders in general, who have signed the same, praying the Board to represent the inconveniences, therein complained of, in relation to the creditors of bankrupts, whose notes for goods delivered before the bankruptcy may not be due at the time of the party's becoming bankrupt, and that the same may be remedied by a clause in some Bill now depending in Parliament, was read; whereupon the Earl of Westmorland, being desired to move the House of Lords for adding a clause in some Bill for that purpose, his Lordship was pleased to promise he would do it.
Their Lordships then took into further consideration the address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia, referred to the Board by the Lord Carteret's letter, mentioned in the Minutes of the 4th inst., as also the three Acts of that colony, mentioned in the same Minutes, and gave directions for preparing an answer to his Lordship's said letter.
The Earl of Orkney, Governor of Virginia, with Colonel Blakiston, agent for that Colony, coming to the Board, and desiring their Lordships would, as soon as conveniently may be, report upon the forementioned address and Acts, they were acquainted the Board had the same under consideration.
Colonel Hart, late Governor of Maryland, attending, presented to the Board a letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 9th inst., signifying that His Majesty has been pleased to appoint him Governor of the Leeward Islands, and desiring this Board to direct the draughts of a commission and instructions to be prepared for him, which was read, and directions given for preparing the said draughts accordingly.
The Lord Archibald Hamilton, late Governor of Jamaica, attending, communicated to the Board a letter his Lordship received from Mr. James Rigby, Provost Marshall of that island, dated the 12th August last, relating to an Act attempted to be passed in the Assembly there, designed to affect the deposit made by his Lordship in the hands of the said Mr. Rigby, being his Lordship's share of a prize taken from the Spaniards, as mentioned in his memorial, which was read the 15th of May, 1719, and his Lordship praying this Board's report upon his said memorial, he was acquainted the same should be dispatched with all convenient speed.
Mr. Oxenford, from the Office of the Inspector General of the Exports and Imports, attending, and being asked if he had prepared the account desired by the secretary's letter of the 23rd of February last, of the prime cost of East India goods imported and re-exported, he said, he had not yet been able to prepare them, but would dispatch the same as soon as possible, according to the valuations in the Custom House books.
Mr. Oxenford then presented to their Lordships an account, as desired, of the total value of all goods and merchandizes, imported and exported to and from Flanders and Germany, from Christmas, 1715, to Christmas, 1716, which was read.
Their Lordships took into consideration the Acts of Barbadoes
undermentioned, which were severally read, viz.
A supplemental Act to an Act, intituled An Act laying a duty on all sugar, molosses, rum, cotton and ginger imported this island, which are not the natural product, growth and manufacture of some of His Majesty's colonies.
Passed in May, 1717.
An Act to prohibit masters of ships or other vessels from landing aliens or foreigners in this island, without a licence from the Governor or Commander in Chief for the time being.
Passed 26th June, 1717.
An Act for providing a recompence for Thomas Whaley, attorney at law, clerk to the Honourable the Commissioners of Contracts for repairing the fortifications of this island, for his drawing several articles and other writing for the country service, and also for satisfaction of some charges and expences he has laid out for the service aforesaid.
Passed 9th July, 1717.
An Act the better to enable the Committee of Public Accounts to settle the accounts of Richard Downes, late Treasurer of this island, deceased.
Passed 15th October, 1717.
An Act to dock the intail limited on two certain messuages and three pieces of land in the town of St. Michael, and on certain negro slaves, and to vest the fee simple thereof in Martha Lenoir, wife of John Lenoir, Esq., and daughter and heir of William Cragg, late of the said town of St. Michael, merchant, deceased.
Passed 15th October, 1717.
An Act to render more effectual certain legacies given by Captain John Williams, deceased, to the parish of Christ Church.
Passed 15th March, 1719.
An Act to oblige churchwardens to account for money received by them, and for regulating the sale of lands and houses for payment of parochial duties in arrear.
Passed 7th June, 1720.
and ordered to be noted thereon as in the list of Barbadoes Acts.
Mr. Lekeux and several others merchants attending, in relation to their memorial, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, concerning bankrupts, they were acquainted that the Board had put the same in a way to be offered to the consideration of Parliament.
The draught of a commission for John Hart, Esq., to be Governor of the Leeward Islands, being prepared, according to order, and laid before the Board, a letter, for transmitting the same to the Lord Carteret, was signed.
Their Lordships took into consideration the two undermentioned
Acts, passed in Barbadoes, in 1720, which were read, viz.
An Act to repeal a clause of an Act, intituled, An additional Act, to an Act, intituled An Act to keep inviolate and preserve the freedom of elections, and appointing who shall be deemed freeholders and capable of electing or being elected representatives, vestrymen, or to serve as jurors to try real actions within this island.
An Act appointing the persons executing the office of Secretary of this island for the time being, to act as notaries public in mercantile cases.
and their Lordships ordered to be noted thereupon, as in the list of Barbadoes Acts.
Mr. Erle, Member of Parliament for Bristol, coming to the Board, represented to their Lordships that much of our tobacco from Virginia, being fit only for the making of snuff, had heretofore been carried from this kingdom to Bilboa, and other free ports in the provinces of Biscay and Guipuscoa, duty free, by which our merchants carried on a considerable trade, and praying that in the ensuing treaty with Spain at Cambray, care may be taken to secure our trade to the said free ports and provinces in the manner heretofore enjoyed by the British merchants, without being obliged to send their goods to the Stank; he was desired to give their Lordships a memorial in writing of what he had to offer on that subject; whereupon he acquainted the Board that he had presented to His Majesty a petition from the City of Bristol relating thereto, which may probably be referred to their Lordships.
Their Lordships took into consideration the draught of an answer to the Lord Carteret's letter of the 22nd of March last, upon an address from the Council and Burgesses of Virginia, relating to the better securing that, and the neighbouring colonies, by extending our settlements and erecting forts in the passes of the mountains, and the same was ordered to be transcribed for further consideration.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 4th instant, referring to the Board a petition and representation of several merchants and others, complaining of an unwarrantable proceeding of the Governor of Jamaica, in ordering some of their ships to be searched, and part of their loading taken out, was read, together with the said petition and representation, as also several papers annexed; whereupon ordered that the secretary write to Mr. Burchet, secretary of the Right Honourable the Lord Commissioners of the Admiralty, to desire that if their Lordships have received any letters in relation to this matter, they would please to communicate the same to this Board.
Their Lordships then took into consideration, the undermentioned Acts, passed in Barbadoes in June, 1720, which were
severally read, viz.
An Act for discharging Joseph Pilgrim, Esq., and Mary his wife, and others, from certain articles of agreement, made and concluded upon the marriage of the said Joseph and Mary, and also to enable the said Joseph and Mary his wife to make sale of certain plantations, lands, negroes, hereditaments in this island, comprised in the said articles of Agreement.
An Act for confirming and making more effectual a Decree or Decretal Order made in the High Court of Chancery in this island, on the 11th day of May, 1720, in a certain cause then depending, wherein the Honourable John Frere, Esq., and others, were complainants, and John Price, an infant, by his guardian, was defendant.
An Act appointing how several sums of money due and belonging to the public of this island shall be applied.
An Act to ascertain and fix the bounds of the several parishes in this island.
and directions were given for noting thereon, as in the list of Barbadoes Acts.
Upon further consideration of the letter from Mr. Carkesse, secretary to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, dated the 16th of May, 1720, relating to an act of Barbadoes, about the gauge of sugar casks; directions were given for preparing an answer thereto.
A letter from the said Mr. Frere, dated the 15th August, 1720, was read, and the Minutes of Council, thereing referred to, upon the late Mr. Secretary Craggs's letter in favour of Mr. Cox to be President of Barbadoes, were laid before the Board.
Another letter from Mr. Frere, dated the 31st of October last,
was read, and the papers, therein referred to, were laid before the
A list of papers sent with Mr. Frere's aforesaid letter.
Minutes of Council, from the 30th June, to the 25th October, 1720, inclusive.
Copy of Minutes of Council of the 25th October, 1720.
Minutes of Assembly, from 30th June, to 18th October, 1720.
Naval-office list, from the 25th June, to 25th October, 1720, inclusive.
Their Lordships then took into further consideration an Act passed at Barbadoes in July, 1718, intituled, An Act granting a free liberty to the inhabitants of this island in general to load or unload to and from any the bays, creeks or harbours in and about this island, and Mr. Carkesse's letter of the 29th of March, 1720, signifying the opinion of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs thereon, was read.
Their Lordships, on occasion of the said Act, took into further consideration Mr. Humphreys's letter of the 2nd of January, 1718—19, which was read the 15th of the same month, signifying the desire of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, to be heard against the making the Bay of Conset a public bay, and ordered the secretary to write to the said Mr. Humphreys, to acquaint the said Society that the Board have the forementioned Act under consideration, and to desire they will lay before their Lordships in writing, as soon as possible, what objections they may have to the said Act.
An Act passed in Barbadoes in June, 1718, intituled, An Act for the better ordering, and regulating His Majesty's High and Honourable Court of Exchequer and Pleas of the Crown in this island, was again read, and Mr. Gordon's objections to that Act were likewise read; whereupon their Lordships agreed, as noted against the title of the said Act, in the list of the Acts of that island.
An Act passed in the same island, in June, 1718, intituled An Act for the better ordering and regulating the proceedings of His Majesty's Courts of Common Pleas within this island, was again read, as likewise several reasons contained in and annexed to Mr. West's report, (mentioned in the Minutes of 5th July last), against the said Act, together with a letter from Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, dated the 27th of March last, containing his answer to the said reasons; whereupon their Lordships agreed to reconsider the said Act, reasons and answer on Tuesday morning next, and directed the secretary to acquaint the absent members of the Board therewith, and to desire their being present at that time.
The draught of a letter to the Lord Carteret, in answer to his Lordship's of the 22nd of March last, upon an address from the Council and Burgesses of Virginia, relating to the better securing that and the neighbouring colonies, by extending our settlement and erecting forts in the passes of the mountains, was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
Captain Hyde and Mr. Samuel Buck attending, presented to their Lordships a memorial in behalf of themselves and the rest of the copartners for carrying on a trade to, and settling the Bahama Islands, in answer to the queries, mentioned in the Minutes of the 4th inst., which memorial was read; and their Lordships having some discourse with these gentlemen thereupon, they were desired to bring a supplement to the said memorial, which they promised accordingly.
An Order of Council of the 8th January, 1719—20, referring to this Board the petition of Captain Charles Gookin, late Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania, praying a grant of some small islands in the River Delaware, between Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, which, as the petitioner sets forth, are not included in any grant to the proprietors either of Pennsylvania or New Jersey, was read.
An extract of the grant of New Jersey to the late duke of York, and of the grant of the province of Pennsylvania, relating to the bounds of those provinces, with Mr. West's opinion that the said islands are not comprehended in either of them, were likewise read, as also two recommendatory letters in favour of the said Captain Gookin, one from the Generals Erle, Wills and Pepper, and the other from the earl of Cadogan.
Whereupon their Lordships agreed to hear the said Captain Gookin and the proprietors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, or such persons as are concerned for them by counsel, on this day sevennight, in the morning, and ordered that Captain Gookin, Mr. Joshua Gee for Pennsylvania, and Mr. Richier for New Jersey, be acquainted therewith.
Mr. Oxenford, from the office of the Inspector General of the Exports and Imports, attending, presented to the Board an account of the total value of all goods and merchandizes exported and imported to and from Flanders and Germany, from Christmas, 1717, to Christmas, 1719, which was read.
The draught of a representation, ordered the 10th inst. to be prepared, upon the memorial of the Lord Archibald Hamilton, late Governor of Jamaica, concerning a deposit made by his Lordship in the hands of Mr. Rigby, Provost Marshall of that island, of his Lordship's share of a prize taken from the Spaniards, as mentioned in the said memorial, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Their Lordships took into further consideration some additions to be made to the instructions for His Majesty's Governor of Barbadoes, and other his Governors and Commanders in Chief of his colonies in America, relating to the passing of private Acts there, and made a progress therein.
Their Lordships took into further consideration the draught of a letter to the Lord Carteret, (mentioned in the last Minutes), upon an address from the Council and Burgesses of Virginia, relating to the better securing that and the neighbouring colonies by extending our settlements and erecting forts in the passes of the mountains, as likewise what Colonel Spotswood, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, writes on that subject; whereupon their Lordships agreed to advise Colonel Spotswood in the next letter to him, that when His Majesty's orders shall be signified to him concerning the said address and the Act therein mentioned, if His Majesty shall be graciously pleased to comply therewith, he take care to prevent any detriment to His Majesty's quit rents by persons removing from those counties, which are already settled and pay quit rents, into the new erected counties, where they may for some time be exempt from them, as likewise that in the grants for land in the new counties, too great a quantity of land be not granted to any one person.
Mr. Horatio Walpole, Auditor of the plantations, coming to the Board, acquainted their Lordships, that His Majesty's revenue of two shillings per hogshead on tobacco in Virginia, (appropriated for the support of that Government), had of late years fully answered or rather exceeded the usual amount of that revenue, and that the Lords of the Treasury had made no report upon the representation of this Board, of the 2nd September, 1715, on an address from Virginia, relating to the deficiency of the said duty, and applying the quit rents of that colony for supply thereof; that it is a standing rule for the quit rents in Virginia, to be issued only by order from the Crown, and whenever the revenue of two shillings per hogshead there had fallen short, the Treasury here, upon application, have issued an order for supplying the deficiency out of His Majesty's quit rents; that he understood that by an address and some Acts lately transmitted from Virginia, there is a proposal for erecting some new counties and making settlements near the mountains at a great distance from the present out-settlements of that colony, and for incouragement of the same, an exemption from quit rents for a certain time, and other advantages are proposed, which he apprehended would be a prejudice to His Majesty's revenue, without any benefit to the colony; there being reason to suspect that particular private persons were endeavouring to possess themselves of large tracts of land in these new counties, for the sake of the exemption of quit-rents, and that the other counties, where the quit rents are paid, might be left by many of the present inhabitants; that the quit rents in Virginia are now in an extraordinary good method, and increasing in value, and that he did not doubt but people would take up lands in the new settlements on the former conditions.
Their Lordships then, according to appointment, taking into consideration the Act of Barbadoes, relating to the Court of Common Pleas, together with the reasons for and objections against it; gave directions that copies of the said reasons and objections be delivered to the Lord Belhaven, for his Lordship's opinion upon the said Act, after his arrival in Barbadoes, till which time their Lordships agreed to let the same lye by.
A letter from Colonel Frere, late President of the Council of
Barbadoes, dated the 31st of October, 1720, was again read, and the
papers, therein referred to, were laid before the Board, viz.
List of papers, transmitted.
Minutes of Council, from the 30th of June to 25th of October, 1720, inclusive.
Minutes of Assembly, from the 30th of June to 18th of October, 1720, inclusive.
Naval Office list, from the 25th of June to 25th of October, 1720, inclusive.
A letter from Mr. Gordon, of Barbadoes, dated the 19th inst., relating to Mr. Gibbons, who has lately offered some reasons on behalf of Mary and Elizabeth Williams, of Barbadoes, against An Act, passed in that island, the 15th of March, 1719–20, for rendering more effectual certain legacies given and bequeathed by Captain John Williams to the parish of Christ Church, was read, together with the said reasons, as likewise a representation of the Board of Trade, dated the 19th of February, 1711–12, for repealing a former Act of Barbadoes, with the like title; whereupon ordered that the first mentioned Act, together with copies of the several objections to each of the said Acts, be sent to Mr. West, for his opinion in point of law upon the present Act.
Their Lordships took into further consideration the letter from the Lord Carteret of the 4th inst., with the several papers therein referred to, mentioned in the Minutes of the 17th inst., relating to a dispute between Sir Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, and Commadore Vernon, concerning the searching of some merchant ships, and part of their loading being taken out there, which were again read.
A letter from Mr. Burchet, Secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty of the 18th inst., inclosing copies of several papers sent to that office by Commadore Vernon, upon the same subject, was also read, together with the papers inclosed, as was likewise paragraph D. of Sir Nicholas Lawes's letter to this Board, of the 28th of December last, and the Act passed in Jamaica the 5th of January, 1715–16, entituled, An Act to prevent all fraudulent trade to Hispaniola and other foreign parts, all which their Lordships agreed to reconsider the first opportunity.
This day being appointed for hearing by counsel Captain Gookin, late Deputy-Governor of Pennsylvania, as likewise the Proprietors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, or such as are concerned for them in relation to the petition of the said captain, praying for a grant of some small islands in the River Delaware, between Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, (as mentioned in the Minutes of the 19th instant), Captain Gookin attended with Mr. West and Sir William Thompson, his counsel; as did likewise Colonel Cox, one of the Proprietors of New Jersey; and Mr. Joshua Gee, and Mr. Clement, in behalf of the widow of the late Mr. Penn, for Pennsylvania; but Colonel Cox and the two latter without any counsel; whereupon the order of reference as likewise the said petition, and such part of the Patent from King Charles the 2nd, dated the 12th March, 1664, (Proprieties A. fol. 113), to the then Duke of York, for the province of New Jersey; and of the Patent from His said Majesty to William Penn, Esq., (Pennsylvania; rough bound entries, fol. 2.), dated the 4th March, 1680–81, for the province of Pennsylvania, as relate to the limits and bounds of those respective provinces, were read; and
Mr. West observed to their Lordships, that neither the Proprietors of one or the other province, have, by any express words in those Patents, any legal title to the islands, whereof the petitioner prays to have a grant; that nothing could be granted to them by implycation, and the property of the said islands being consequently in the Crown. His Majesty might dispose of them as he should think fit; that Captain Gookin having good testimonials of his services and merit, and proposing to make improvement on the said islands, as set forth in the petition; he hoped their Lordships would please to consider thereof, and recommend him to His Majesty's favour on this occasion; to which he added, that in case His Majesty should be graciously pleased to comply with the petitioner's request, it might be more proper to annex the government thereof to that of New Jersey, being a Royal government, rather than to the Proprietary government of Pennsylvania.
Then Sir William Thompson, on the same side, enlarged upon the
subject of the Captain Gookin's petition, and particularly took notice
of his services, and the good character and recommendation given him
under the hand of several General Officers of the Army, as an object
of His Majesty's regard. That the islands he prays a grant of, are at
present useless and waste, and not comprehended within the grants either of New Jersey or Pennsylvania, as appeared by those parts of the said grants, relating to the boundaries, which were now read: that neither side have claimed the said islands, nor has any particular right been set up for them, though there may have been some instances of persons both from New Jersey and Pennsylvania tending cattle thither at some seasons; that if any person can make out, that the islands, now petitioned for, are already granted, they desired to hear what could be offered on that subject; but as they conceived, no such thing could appear, and for as much as the petitioner prays a grant under such quit rents and restrictions as His Majesty shall think fit, and proposes to be at labour and expence in planting and improving the said islands, and erecting a sturgeon fishery there, which may be of public advantage; Sir William concluded that he hoped for these considerations their Lordships would please to report to His Majesty in favour of the petitioner.
Colonel Cox, one of the Proprietors of New Jersey, being thereupon asked, what he had to offer in relation to the prayer of Captain Gookin's petition aforementioned, he said, that having discoursed with Mr. Richier, one of the other Proprietors of New Jersey, he understood that the gentlemen concerned in that province, were willing, if His Majesty shall think fit, that a grant should be made of the said islands in Delaware River, as far as the falls up the said river, provided the navigation be reserved free, and that the place whereon Burlington, the chief town of West Jersey, stands, which sometimes is called, and by the overflowing of the river appears as an island, be particularly excepted out of such grant.
Mr. Gee, being asked the like question, acquainted their Lordships that there were several islands in Delaware River, off of Philadelphia, which the people thereabout on the side of the Pennsylvania have drained, and are the only places they have for hay and herbage for their cattle, being common and enjoyed by the first that come; that the Propriety of Pennsylvania being in the widow of the late Mr. Penn, he could not be at this time prepared to offer such objections as might be made in behalf of Mrs. Penn, against a grant being now made of the said islands, but promised to prepare himself in fourteen days; in the meantime, Mr. Gee observed that if a grant was made of the islands in the mouth of the said river, it might be a prejudice to the navigation and trade there, by restraints or impositions being laid on the passage of ships and vessels, and interruptions in the fishery, by that which the petitioner proposes to set up; to which Mr. West and Sir William Thompson answered, that the petitioner was willing there should be a saving clause in the proposed grant, reserving to all parties the right and freedom of the navigation of the said river, as likewise of the fishery, that none might be excluded therefrom, and that there might likewise be a particular exception for the town of Burlington.
Colonel Cox, in answer to what Mr. Gee had said, represented to
their Lordships, that he had seen the islands near Philadelphia, and
that Mr. Gee was mistaken concerning them, they being of no great
consequence, and not inhabitable some parts of the year; that in
dry weather, people may go there to fish; and Captain Gookin said,
Colonel Cox, his caveat.
that during the time of his being in the Government of Pennsylvania, he never saw any of the said islands mowed. But Colonel Cox added, that the islands in the River Delaware having been sometimes made use of, by the inhabitants of Pennsylvania, and sometimes by those of New Jersey, which latter claimed them in opposition to the former; and since the gentlemen, concerned for Pennsylvania, reserve their right to the said islands to be argued at another opportunity, he desired that what he had now said might not prejudice the claim of New Jersey.
Their Lordships then appointed Wednesday come sevenight, for hearing those concerned for Mrs. Penn, in relation to the islands abovementioned, and the other parties had notice to attend at the same time.
A letter to the Lord Carteret, upon a memorial from the Lord Archibald Hamilton, late Governor of Jamaica, relating to a deposit made by his lordship of his share of a prize taken from the Spaniards, as mentioned in the Minutes of the 10th instant, was signed.