Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 4, November 1718 - December 1722. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
Journal, June 1721
A letter from Colonel Bennet, Lieutenant Governor of Bermuda,
dated the 25th of April last, was read, and the undermentioned papers,
therein referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
List of His Majesty's Council in Bermuda, and of persons recommended to supply vacancies.
Account of the number of the inhabitants, whites and blacks.
News from Barbados, Antego and Jamaica, relating to the robberies and cruelties committed by two pirates, (Roberts and Nicholaus).
Whereupon a letter to the Lord Carteret, for inclosing a copy of the said account of the pirates, to be laid before His Majesty, was signed, and directions given to transmit another copy thereof to Mr. Burchet, for the information of the Lords of the Admiralty.
Ordered that the draught of a representation be prepared, humbly to propose to His Majesty that Captain Henry Tucker, Captain John Jennings and Captain Richard Jennings, be constituted of His Majesty's Council of Bermuda, to supply three vacancies therein.
Copy of an Order of Council, of 14th April, 1721, referring to the Lords of the Committee for hearing Appeals, etc., a letter to the Lord Carteret of the 30th March last, with a representation from this Board relating to the suspended Councillors of Barbadoes.
Copy of an Order of Council, of 28th May, 1721, repealing An Act passed in Barbadoes, the 7th June, 1720, for the better preserving the peace and tranquillity of this island; and directions were given for noting upon the list of Acts of the Massachusets Bay and Barbadoes, the repeal of the respective Acts abovementioned.
A memorial from Colonel Vetch, praying that Mr. Philip Livingston may have a commission to succeed his father Robert Livingston, in the places of Secretary for Indian Affairs at New York, Town Clerk, Clerk of the Peace and Common Pleas at Albany, was read; as likewise Par. G. of the letter from Mr. Burnet, Governor of New York, dated the 26th of November last, wherein he recommends the said Philip Livingston for those imployments; and directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation to His Majesty thereupon.
A letter from Mr. Blechynden, collector, surveyor and naval officer in New England, dated at Salem, the 5th of April last, relating to a clandestine trade carried on from those parts to the French at Cape Breton, was read; whereupon, ordered that in the next letter to Colonel Shute, Governor of the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, he be desired to use the best means he can with the Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, to prevent such illegal trade.
The draught of a representation, directed yesterday to be prepared, relating to Mr. Philip Livingston's succeeding his father in the imployments of Secretary for Indian Affairs, in the Province of New York, Town Clerk. Clerk of the Peace and Common Pleas, at Albany, in the said province, was agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
A representation relating to Mr. Philip Livingston's succeeding his father in the employments of Secretary for Indian Affairs in the province of New York, Town Clerk, Clerk of the Peace and Common Pleas at Albany, in the said province, as agreed at the last meeting, was signed. As also a letter for inclosing the same to the Lord Carteret, to be laid before His Majesty.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 12th instant, signifying His Majesty's having appointed George Phenney, Esq., to be Governor of the Bahama Islands, in the room of Woodes Rogers, Esq., and desiring this Board to direct his commission and instructions to be prepared, was read; whereupon directions were given for preparing the same accordingly.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, of the 10th instant, inclosing the copy of a letter from Mr. Harrison, Surveyor at New York, to the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, relating to the carrying copper ore from New Jersey to Holland, was read, together with the said copy; and directions thereupon given for preparing a letter from the Secretary of this Board to Mr. Lowndes, one of the Secretaries to the Lords of the Treasury, concerning that matter.
A letter from Mr. Burchet, Secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty,
of the 13th instant, with extracts, and other papers from Captain
Vernon, relating to a dispute between him and Sir Nicholas
Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, about searching some ships there, was
read, and the papers, therein referred to, laid before the Board, viz:
Papers about Captain Vernon.
Copies of several letters from Captain Vernon to Mr. Burchet, relating to searching several ships and seizing French indigo.
Copies of three letters from Captain Vernon to Sir Nicholas Lawes, dated the 11th, 15th and 25th of February, 1720–21, relating to his sailing and his dispute about searching ships, and seizing French indigo, etc.
Copy of the Governor of Jamaica's two letters to Captain Vernon, dated the 14th and 22nd of February, 1720–21.
Copy of an extract of Sir Nicholas Lawes's letter to the Board of Trade, dated the 28th of December, 1720, about his difference with Captain Vernon.
A clause in the Revenue Act relating to seizing run goods.
The Address of the Assembly, to Sir Nicholas Lawes.
Copy of the Receiver General's warrant to Robert Hall, for seizing contraband goods.
Copy of Sir Nicholas Lawes's order to Captain Thomas Brooke, dated 1st November, 1720, relating to the seizing some French indigo.
Copy of the Assembly's preamble for fitting out sloops or other vessels for guarding the sea coast of Jamaica.
The depositions of Leopold de Stapleton, and four others, relating to the searching some ships, and seizing some French indigo.
Copy of Daniel Williams's and several other depositions, relating to the searching of ships and seizing of some French indigo.
Copies of several depositions relating to searching ships and seizing French indigo.
Advertisement for apprehending Daniel Williams for forging Captain Brookes' note.
Copy of Captain Vernon's orders to Captain Davers, Commander of the Adventure, dated 14th February, 1720-21, to go a cruising.
Captain Vernon's letter to the Governor of St. Iago on Cuba, two letters to the Marquiss de Serel, Governor of Hispaniola, with the Marquiss's answer to the first, and Captain Chamberlaine's letter, signifying his verbal answer to the second. Lieut. Lawes's letter to Captain Vernon, signifying that Rancum has committed piracy. Captain Chamberlaine's letter, that Dunks and Dennis were at liberty with bail.
His Majesty's letter to the Governor of Jamaica, to pay out of the revenue, the monies disbursed by Lord Hamilton, with the resolutions of the Assembly against it; the Governor's speech, 4th October, 1720; Ditto, 25th October, 1720; The Governor's message to the Assembly, with their answer, dated 31st October.
Their Lordships taking again into consideration Captain Gookin's petition for some islands in Delaware River in Pennsylvania; ordered that the several parties concerned, have notice to attend on Wednesday next, at 9 o'th clock in the morning.
A letter to the Lord Carteret, in relation to several memorials and petitions from Mr. Elias Barnes, about several discoveries he has made of the ways and methods of the owlers and smugglers in carrying on their illegal trade from Great Britain, and Ireland to France, and from thence back again, was agreed and signed.
The draught of a letter, ordered the 14th instant to be prepared, from the Secretary of this Board, to Mr. Lowndes, one of the Secretarys to the Lords of the Treasury, relating to copper ore being carried from the province of New Jersey to Holland, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
The draughts of a commission and instructions for George Phenney, Esq., to be Governor of the Bahama Islands, being agreed; a letter for inclosing the same to the Lord Carteret, to be laid before His Majesty, was signed.
Mr. Page, solicitor for Mr. Penn, attending, acquainted their Lordships, that Mr. Bootle, one of the counsel, whom he had retained for the intended hearing at this Board to-morrow morning, upon Captain Gookin's petition for a grant of some islands in the River Delaware, cannot attend at that time, and prayed their Lordships to put off the said hearing to another day; whereupon Mr. Bampfield and Mr. Sharpe, solicitors for the Proprietors of New Jersey, and for the said Captain Gookin, were sent for, and after some discourse with them and the said Mr. Page, their Lordships appointed Thursday sevenight peremptorily, for hearing all parties touching the said petition of Captain Gookin.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, of the 14th instant, inclosing the observations of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs upon the draught of instructions prepared for the Lord Belhaven, appointed Governor of Barbados, in relation to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was read, together with the said observations; and directions were given for altering the said instructions, and those which shall be hereafter prepared for other governors, according to the observations abovementioned; and further that a clause be likewise prepared to be added to the said instructions, for exempting the Custom House officers in America from serving on juries and in the militia, unless in cases of absolute necessity, as desired by Mr. Carkesse's said letter.
A letter from Mr. Humphreys, Secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, dated the 14th instant, and enclosing a representation from the said Society, containing their objections against an Act of Barbadoes, intituled, An Act granting a free liberty to the inhabitants of this island in general, to load and unload to and from any the bays, creeks or harbours in and about this island; was read, together with the said representation; whereupon their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same on Friday morning next, and ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Humphries to acquaint the Society therewith.
Ordered that Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, be acquainted with the Board's having appointed Friday morning next, for re-considering the Act of Barbadoes, intituled, An Act for granting a free liberty to the inhabitants of this island in general, to load and unload to and from any the bays, creeks or harbours in and about this island, together with the representation of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts against the said Act, that if he thinks fit, he may be present at the same time.
Their Lordships then took into consideration, an Act of the same island, passed there in August, 1719, intituled, An Act to quiet the minds of the inhabitants against the terrors and apprehensions they lie under of a spiritual Court, and to provide that no Ecclesiastical law, or jurisdiction, shall have power to inforce, confirm or establish any penal mulct or punishment in any case whatsoever within this island, together with Mr. West's report relating thereto; whereupon their Lordships agreed to represent the said Act to His Majesty for confirmation.
A letter from the Reverend Mr. Gordon, of the 15th instant, desiring their Lordships would please to report upon two Acts of Barbados relating to himself, was read; and their Lordships gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation upon several Acts of that island, which have been lately under the consideration of the Board, wherein the said Acts relating to Mr. Gordon are to be included.
Ordered that the secretary write to Mr. Carkesse, to desire him to move the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, that this Board may have, as soon as conveniently may be, an account of the quantity of Canary wines imported annually into London and the out-ports, since Christmas, 1717.
A supplemental memorial from the Co-partners for settling the Bahama Islands, as likewise their late memorial in answer to several queries relating to their being incorporated by Letters Patent, were read; and directions given for preparing the draught of a representation upon that subject.
Mr. Lewis Piers attending, presented to the Board a petition from himself and Cecilia his wife, praying the Board to consider, and report upon a former petition from them to His Majesty, concerning a plantation in Mountserrat, was read; and directions given for laying the said former petition and other papers relating thereto, before their Lordships at the next meeting.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, dated yesterday, signifying the desire of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs, to know if this Board have received any account of the proceedings at Barbados, relating to a ship, which lately put in there from the East Indies, bound to Ostend; and to have copies thereof, if their Lordships have any such account, was read; thereupon ordered that Mr. Carkesse be desired to acquaint the Commissioners of the Customs, that this Board have not received any such account, but that in case they shall receive it, a copy thereof shall be transmitted to the said Commissioners.
Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, as also the Revd. Mr. Gordon, Mr. Moore, and Mr. Humphreys, Secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, attending in relation to the Act passed in Barbadoes in July, 1718, intituled, An Act granting a free liberty to the inhabitants of this island in general, to load and unload to and from any the bays, creeks or harbours in and about this island; Mr. Humphreys acquainted the Board, that the gentlemen, whom the said Society had appointed to explain their reasons against the said Act, being out of town, he had desired Mr. Gordon to wait on their Lordships on this occasion; whereupon the said Act was read, as likewise the Society's representation mentioned in the Minutes of the 20th instant, against the same; and a plan or map of that part of the island of Barbados, towards Conset Bay, where the Society have a plantation, was produced by the said Mr. Moore.
The gentlemen who appear against the said Act, being then asked what they had further to offer in relation thereto, Mr. Gordon and Mr. Humphreys desired the Society might have a particular exemption in their favour against the making any new roads through their plantation, they being apprehensive that by means of the said Act, as it now stands, many roads might be made through it to Conset Bay, if demanded, and great damage thereby done to their plantation; but Mr. Gordon acknowledged that while Colonel Codrington, who gave the said plantation to the Society, was possessed thereof, there was a road through the same to Conset Bay and that he knew of nobody being denied the use of the bay, who desired the same either in Colonel Codrington's time, or since; that there are but about 4 principal bays affected by this Act, whereof Conset Bay is one, though the rise of the said Act was probably from some gentlemen purchasing land near a bay in another part of the island, and half a crown per hogshead exacted on all sugar shipped off there.
Mr. Lowther hereupon acquainted their Lordships that the Act abovementioned was intended for the good of the island in general, to which private convenience or property ought to submit; that the roads to be laid out by virtue of this Act, are to be done at the public expence of the parish where such conveniences lye, and by a jury who are to govern themselves by a former Act relating to the highways to church and market; to which Mr. Gordon answered, that by the said Act under consideration, ways may be made from each of the adjacent plantations through that of the Society, to the said bay and creeks; that there were no roads through any other plantation to the said bay from any market town; and that the way or road already made through the Society's plantation, which he said, was but 12 feet broad, may be enlarged to the prejudice of the said plantation, for all which he urged, that they ought to have a valuable consideration; in reply whereto, Mr. Lowther observed that there are several instances here in England, of Acts of Parliament passing for a general benefit for the public, where private persons have not been considered for their particular properties; and he instanced a public harbour being established near Whitehaven, whereby Sir John Lowther's estate there was considerably prejudiced, without any recompence being made for the same; that by this Act of Barbadoes, the occupiers of the Society's said plantation, would have in their turn the benefit of the roads through the plantations of others to other bays and creeks; that there are eight or ten families of consideration who used to have the benefit of a passage from their plantations through that of the Society, to Conset Bay, without which those plantations would be reduced to a much less value.
Mr. Gordon being asked whether the Society's agent at Barbados had opposed the passing of this Act in the Assembly there, whether there would be any particular prejudice to the Society's plantation above others; and if they had heard of any complaints thereof since the Act had been in force. Mr. Gordon answered, that he believed the Society's agent had not opposed its passing; that as to the particular prejudice to this plantation above others, he knew no other plantation likely to suffer so much by its situation; though he owned he had heard of no complaint against the said Act; Mr. Lowther on this occasion further said, that only two new roads at most could be made upon the Society's plantation, which could not be above ten pounds damage to them.
In conclusion Mr. Humphreys declared that the Society had no objection to the one road or way already made; and Mr. Lowther thereupon gave his opinion, that if the public was secure of that one road to the bay, without being at the will of the Society or their agents, it might be sufficient; their Lordships upon hearing the gentlemen abovementioned, and observing that the danger of prejudice and inconvenience by the said Act was only apprehended, agreed that it seemed to be a good law, but that it was fit the same should lye by probationary.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 24th inst., referring to the Board a memorial from the Lord Belhaven, appointed Governor of Barbados, praying that the Assembly of that island may be permitted to settle an allowance upon him, during his continuance in that government, in lieu of presents usually made for supportring the dignity of Governors, was read, together with the said memorial; whereupon ordered that the several representations formerly made by this Board, with the orders and instructions to Governors thereupon, and other papers in this office, relating to the inconvenience of presents being made to governors of the plantations in America, be laid before the Board to-morrow morning.
A letter from Captain Rogers, Governor of the Bahama Islands, dated the 28th of July, 1720, relating to the state of those islands, but particularly to a difference between him and Captain Wingate Gale, commander of the guard ship there, was read, and several affidavits, therein referred to, were laid before the Board.
Upon further consideration of the letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 4th May last, with several papers therein referred to, as also of Mr. Burchet's letter of the 18th of the same month, with copies of several other papers, all relating to a dispute between Sir Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, and Commadore Vernon, concerning the searching some merchant ships, and part of their loading being taken out there; the draught of a letter to Mr. Carkesse, for the opinion of the Commissioners of His Majesty's Customs upon some points relating to that matter, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A memorial from Mr. Bernard, in behalf of Sir Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica, praying to have copies of the complaints against the said Governor, to be transmitted to him for his answer, was read; whereupon ordered that he have copies, accordingly.
The Order of Council of the 11th June, 1719, referring to this Board the petition of Lewis Piers, praying Letters Patent to confirm his title to a plantation in Mountserrat, having been laid before their Lordships, as directed the 22nd instant, together with the proceedings of the Board thereupon; ordered that the said Mr. Piers have notice to attend the Board the first opportunity.
The undermentioned letters from General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, were severally read, and the papers, therein respectively referred to, were laid before the Board, and some directions given thereupon.
A letter from him, dated the 20th July, 1719, relating to a vessel seized upon the 6th clause of the Statute of the 15 Charles 2nd for importing into Antegoa some Irish tallow directly from that Kingdom; whereupon ordered that inquiry be made of the agent of the said island, concerning the state of that affair, and what proceedings have been had relating thereto.
Whereupon ordered that directions be given to Colonel Hart, appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands, to send such publick accounts as General Hamilton cannot get completed, if he send not the same before his return, or do not bring them with him; and their Lordships agreed to take the said Acts into consideration the first opportunity.
A letter from General Hamilton, dated at Antegoa, the 14th of
June, 1720, transmitting a
List of papers received with general Hamilton's letter of 14th June, 1720.
Minutes of Council, from 5th January, 1718–19, to 7th December, 1719.
Minutes of Assembly, from the 5th January, 1718–19, to the 24th of March, 1719–20.
Copy of a letter to the President of St. Christophers, dated the
3rd of November, 1719, thereupon.
Copy of a paragraph of a letter from Lieut. General Matthew, dated 19th July, 1720, to General Hamilton, with three Acts for approbation.
A list of the particular laws in force in Antegoa, 1720.
The Treasurer's account to the 6th of February, 1718–19.
The Treasurer's account, from the 6th of February, 1718–19, to the 10th March, 1719–20.
The Treasurer's account, from the 27th November. 1716, to the 25th January, 1717–18.
The Treasurer's account, from the day of to the 10th of November, 1719.
Publick accounts, from the 1st of May, 1713, to the 1st January, 1716, inclusive.
An account of collections and disbursements, from the 1st January, 1716, to the 1st of January, 1717.
Minutes of Council, from the 6th January, 1718–19, to the 12th of November, 1719.
Minutes of Council, from the 30th of December, 1718, to the 11th of June, 1719.
Minutes of Assembly, from the 23rd of April, 1719, to the 27th of November, 1719.
Minutes of Council, from the 3rd of January, 1718, to the 19th March, 1719–20.
Minutes of Assembly, from the 27th April, 1713, to the 2nd of June, 1720.
Account of what vessels arrived here from the Madera and Western Islands, with their cargoe, from the 3rd of March, 1717.
A list of all officers in the Leeward Islands.
Lists of fees taken in the several public offices in all the Leeward Islands.
A list of inhabitants, free and unfree, etc., taken in July, 1720.
An account of the christenings and burials in the Leeward Islands, from the 6th of February, 1715–16, to the 18th day of July, 1720.
State of the fortifications and stores of war, in the year 1720.
Copy of petitions and grants for land.
Naval Officer's lists of imports and exports, from the 25th of March, 1719, to the 25th of March, 1720.
Representation of the Council and Assembly of Nevis, dated 11th of July, 1720, in answer to the memorial of Monsieur D'Iberville.
A list of all ships and other vessels belonging to Antegoa, from the 8th August, 1718, to the 8th of May, 1720, together with the number of sailors in the said island.
Account of the growth and produce of all the Leeward Islands, from 25th June, 1719, to 25th June, 1720.
John Yeamans, Esq., his licence for 6 months absence from Antigua. Dated the 10th August, 1720.
Copy of Colonel Morris's further licence of absence from Antigua. Dated 29th February, 1719–20.
Copy of Colonel Warner's licence for 6 months absence from Antigua. Dated 10th June, 1720.
Further ordered that Colonel Hart have the like directions as General Hamilton, to send the accounts mentioned in Paragraph D. of General Hamilton's said letter, relating to the French, Spanish and other foreign plantations, in case General Hamilton should not in the meantime send them or bring them with him at his return.
A letter from General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands,
dated at Antegoa, the 11th November, 1720, relating to a complaint
against him, by Mr. Duport, concerning a law-suit depending in
St. Christophers, and to his expenses in sending stores of ware there,
was read, and the papers therein.
Certificate from the practicers at the Bar, of the Court of Chancery at St. Christophers, recommending the conduct of General Hamilton as Chancellor there. Dated the 15th December, 1720.
Minutes of Council of St. Christophers, relating to Mr. Duport's law-suit depending in the Court of Chancery there.
Their Lordships taking again into consideration the several papers and memorials from Mr. Whitworth and Mr. Cracherode, in relation to an Act passed in Barbadoes, appointing security to be given by appellees; ordered that both parties have notice to attend this day seven night, to lay before the Board what they may have to offer for, and against, the said Act.
The letter from the Lord Carteret, of 24th instant, (mentioned in yesterday's Minutes), upon the Lord Belhaven's memorial, praying that the Assembly of Barbadoes may be permitted to settle an allowance upon him as Governor in lieu of presents, being again read, and several representations of this Board and other papers in relation to presents to Governors from the Assembly, ordered that the draught of a representation be prepared upon that matter.
This day being appointed for hearing Captain Gookin, late Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania, and the Proprietors of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and such as are concerned for them, in relation to the said Gookin's petition. (mentioned in the Minutes of the 19th of the last month), praying for a grant of some small islands in the River Delaware, which parts Pennsylvania from the Jerseys. Captain Gookin attended with Mr. West and Sir William Thompson, his counsel; as did also Colonel Cox, one of the Proprietors of New Jersey, Mr. Joshua Gee and Mr. Page, with Mr. Hamilton, counsel for Mrs. Penn for Pennsylvania; the order of reference, as likewise the said petition, and such part of the patent from King Charles 2nd, dated the 12th March, 1664, to the then Duke of York, for the Province of New Jersey; and of the patent from His said Majesty to William Penn, Esq., dated the 4th of March, 1680–81, for the Province of Pennsylvania, as relate to the limits and bounds of those respective provinces, were read; and
Sir William Thompson, council for the said Gookin, acquainting their Lordships that the last time he attended the Board, Mr. Gee had desired time, in behalf of Mrs. Penn, to prepare what he had to lay before their Lordships against the said Gookin's petition.
Mr. Hamilton, Counsel for the said Mrs. Penn, said, that those islands, petitioned for, were included in the Pennsylvania Charter, by being in Delaware River, which is the boundary prescribed by that charter; that he understood the limits of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to extend to the middle of the river, and that therefore the islands in the said river must of right belong to that province to which they lye nearest; that some of those islands had been settled by several, both from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, supposing them included in their respective charters; and that they had laid out on some of them several £ 1000 in draining them and making settlements, and that they made use of them for hay and herbage for their cattle; that considering the improvement made there by the said inhabitants, he submitted it whether it would not be a hardship upon them, to gratify the petitioner in his request; that at present, as ships were sometimes obliged to winter near those islands, he feared that if such a grant was made as the Captain desired, it might be a prejudice to the navigation and trade, thereby laying restraints and impositions on the passage of ships and vessels, and interruption in the fishery, by that which the petitioner proposed to set up. He said further, that he thought this was a very improper time to apply for the said grant, since there was a bargain still depending between the Crown and the Proprietors, and Mortgagees, for the province of Pennsylvania; and that when that was concluded, he might then properly apply for the said grant.
Sir William Thompson then acquainted their Lordships, that he thought what Mr. Hamilton had said in relation to this being an improper time, for the Captain to apply for the said grant, was a very improper objection, since they were about disposing of what they had no title to; for that the bargain between the Crown and Mr. Penn was only for the government and not for the soil. That as to that grant being a restraint upon the fishery there, and a hardship upon those who had already settled them, Sir William observed, that the Captain did not desire to exclude any of His Majesty's subjects from the navigation of the river, from the fishing, or from the necessary use of the islands, and that he desired to be entirely dependent on the Crown, and would make any reasonable allowance for the improvements made upon any of the said islands; though, at the same time he observed, that an improvement made upon any lands belonging to the Crown did not give them a title to the possession of them.
Mr. West, counsel on the same side, said, that the middle of the river could not by any means be construed to be the bounds of either province, because by the words of each charter the banks of the river can only be the boundary; and what is beyond that can never be reckoned as part of the grant, except in cases between sovereign and sovereign, in which case indeed, the law of nations would take place, and the river be divided between them; but that in the present case, where one and the same sovereign made the river, that separated the two provinces, granted to two different subjects, and boundary; he could no ways understand, each grantee to have a title to half the river, since it was their very limit, and no way expressed in their charter, but as a boundary.
Mr. Cox then said, that his father was Governor of New Jersey at the same time that Mr. Penn was Governor of Pennsylvania, during which time Mr. Penn proposed to Mr. Cox to make a division of the islands in the river, and that those where the channel run to the eastward, should belong to New Jersey, and those where it run to the westward, should belong to Pennsylvania; but not agreeing, that matter dropped; that some time after King James 2nd had taken both the provinces into the hands of the Crown, and sent thither Governors; his father petitioned King William to have the government of New Jersey restored to him; that upon a hearing in Council, New Jersey was restored to him; that if the Captain obtained the grant of those islands, he thought it would be more advisable to annex them to the government of New Jersey than to that of Pennsylvania, being a proprietary government. Mr. Cox further said, that if the island opposite to Burlington should be included in the grant petitioned for by the Captain, it would be a great prejudice to the town, that island being made use of by them for grass for their cattle, which is of great conveniencey to them.
Mr. Hamilton then called upon Mr. John Ascue, Mr. John and Mr. Robert Davids, to acquaint the Board what they knew in relation to those islands being already settled and improved. Who agreed that the island Tenicum was settled by one Israel Taylor, that he had built there a large house; that he made about £100 per annum in cyder from the fruit trees he had planted there; that he had cleared meadows sufficient for 40 or 50 head of cattle; and that he had made a bank to keep out the tide; that on the next island to Tenicum, he had laid out about £ 1,600 in building mills, houses and banks as aforesaid, and in making a bridge from the main land to the island.
Sir William Thompson then acquainted their Lordships, that these islands were not included in Captain Gookin's petition; and further observed, that none of the islands petitioned for, were inhabited or settled, but that if they were, the Captain agreed to make allowances for them.
Whereupon Mr. Gee acquainted the Board, that he only desired the
islands already improved might be excepted out of the grant petitioned for, viz:
Carpenters Island and
But that he had no objection to the inserting the following islands,
A little island next the falls
Pensbury or Stacy Island
Two little islands opposite to Pennsylvania
Three islands near Tenicum
Tenicum island in the middle of the river
Two islands on the Eastern shore opposite to Chester.
These gentlemen, being withdrawn, and the Board observing what was insisted on, concerning the islands, which are petitioned for, being included in the charters of Pennsylvania and New Jersey; ordered that extracts of the said charters of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, so far as relate to the boundaries, be sent to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General for their opinion, whether Delaware River or any part thereof, or the islands therein lying, are by the said clauses conveyed to either of the said provinces, or whether the right thereunto, doth still remain in the Crown.
A representation, directed the 28th instant to be prepared, upon the Lord Belhaven's memorial, relating to the Assembly of Barbadoes being permitted to settle an allowance on him as Governor, in lieu of presents, was agreed and signed, with a letter to inclose the same to the Lord Carteret.
A representation, directed the 22nd instant to be prepared, upon the memorial from the co-partners for settling and improving the Bahama Islands, praying to have a charter of incorporation, was agreed and signed, with a letter to inclose the same to the Lord Carteret.
A letter to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General, to inclose extracts of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey charters, relating to the bounds of those provinces, for their opinion relating to the right to Delaware River and the islands therein, was agreed and ordered to be sent.