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, July 1721
This day being appointed for hearing Mr. Cracherode, Chief Clerk, register and examiner in Chancery in the island of Barbadoes, and Mr. Whitworth, Secretary of the same island, in relation to an Act passed in May, 1720, intituled, An Act appointing security to be given by appelless: Mr. West with Mr. Simpson attended as counsel for Mr. Cracherode, as likewise Mr. Whalley, deputy register in Chancery of the said island; and on the other side, Mr. Whitworth with Mr. Hales, as counsel for him, and Mr. Clayton his solicitor; Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, who passed the said Act, being present; whereupon the said Act, Mr. Cracherode's petition referred to the Board by the Lord Carteret's letter of the 5th of April last, as mentioned in the Minutes of the 27th of the same month, and Mr. Whitworth's memorial against the said petition, were severally read; and it appearing to their Lordships upon a full hearing of the parties on both sides, and of Mr. Lowther, that the practice of giving security in Barbadoes by appellees, was entirely new, and not in use before the passing this Act there, and that the same does not take away from the clerk or register in Chancery any fee or perquisite before established, but that the legislation there, might properly direct and appoint whom they thought fit to take the security to be given by appellees, and their Lordships being of opinion that the said Act is useful, and for the public service in other respects; directions were given, (after the gentlemen above mentioned were withdrawn), for preparing the draught of representation to His Majesty in order to the confirmation thereof.
Ordered that the extract of General Hamilton's letter of 20th of July, 1719, relating to a vessel seized, upon the 6th clause of the statute of the 15th Charles 2nd, for importing into Antegoa some Irish tallow directly from that kingdom, be sent to Mr. Carkesse, for the opinion of the Commissioners of the Customs thereupon.
A letter from General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands,
dated the 13th September, 1720, was read, transmitting
The several answers of the parishioners of St. Phillip's, to the queries of the Lords of Trade, relating to the new church.
Representation and address of several parishioners of St. Phillip's.
Minute of the Council, relating to the answer given by the parishioners of St. Phillip's to the 6th and 7th query from the Board of Trade.
Plan of St. Phillip's parish, with notes from the surveyor, explaning the same.
Chart received from the Board of Trade, corrected and explained.
Remark of errors in the abovesaid chart.
List of papers transmitted with General Hamilton's said letter.
A letter from the Agents for taxes, dated the 4th inst., inclosing five copies of an extract and inquisition thereupon, against Mr. Benjamin Blundell, late Receiver General for Leicestershire, desiring this Board to transmit the same to the respective Governors of the Plantations, when debts were due to the said Blundell, that a stop may be put to his receiving any of the money, was read; whereupon the secretary was directed to speak with some of the said agents, in order to an explanation upon that affair.
A letter from the Lord Carteret, of the 5th inst., signifying His Majesty's pleasure that this Board prepare an instruction conformable to their report of the 30th of the last month, relating to the appointments for the Lord Belhaven as Governor of Barbadoes, was read, and directions given for preparing the draught of such an instruction accordingly.
The secretary laid before the Board the draught of an instruction, directed at the last meeting to be prepared, for the Lord Belhaven, relating to his appointment as Governor of Barbadoes, which was agreed and ordered to be inserted in the draught of the general instructions prepared for his Lordship for the government of that island.
Colonel Hart, late Governor of Maryland, and now appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands, attending, their Lordships had some discourse with him relating to the two counties erected in Virginia, and particularly concerning the proportion of land which may be fit to be allowed to each person or family who shall settle there, and several questions being asked of him on that subject, he said, that one thousand acres might be sufficient for one family, though some few might be allowed two thousand, and for the poorer sort of people one hundred acres; that the lands already settled in Virginia, are almost worn out by planting, which might be one inducement to the erecting these new counties, and extending their settlements; that tobacco will grow but three years on any land; that he did not apprehend, the proprietors of the old lands in Virginia would quit them to remove to the new counties, but would probably send their factors and servants to make new settlements; that he believed, the two counties might contain more land than Yorkshire, and he observed that in Virginia the further the land was from the sea, it was commonly found the richer; that in his opinion, it might be more for the public service, if the quit rents of these new counties were collected and applied to encourage the new settlements, than if they were remitted; that there has been an ill practice in that colony, of taking out warrants in order to patents for land, (thereby precluding others), and neglecting to take out the patents, to evade the payment of quit rents; that he thought, the security of the two passes through the great ridge of mountains on the back of that colony is very necessary, and of great consequence to His Majesty's service; that those mountains are about six days journey from Williamsburg, the only town of consequence in Virginia; that he has heard, one of the passes, which Colonel Spotswood, the Lieut. Governor, proposes to secure, is so narrow that not above two men abreast can go through it, and may be defended by ten men; that when those passes are secured, the frontiers of Virginia will be protected from the insults of the Indians in time of peace, (the five nations of New York having lately attacked Colonel Spotswood himself at Fort Christianna), and from any attacks of the French, in case of a war.
Colonel Blakiston, agent for Virginia, attending, as desired, their Lordships had some discourse with him relating to the two new counties erected in that colony, and particularly concerning the proportion of land which may be fit to be allowed to each person or family who shall settle there, and several questions being asked him on that subject, he said, that the granting very large tracts of lands to particular persons, more than they could improve, had been a great prejudice to plantations; that one thousand acres might do very well for a grant to each of the wealthier degree of planters and their families, but not above twelve hundred acres at the most; that he believed the considerable families in Virginia would not remove from their old settlements, but send overseers with servants and negroes to make small settlements, which they call quarters in the remote parts of the colony; that the settling the frontiers is absolutely necessary, and that some privileges or exemptions should be granted to induce people to settle those frontiers, where he observed the new plantations would be liable to some inconveniences, by the planters being obliged to roll their hogsheads of tobacco several miles, in some places, before they came to water carriage; that the quit rents of these new counties would amount to no great sum in the ten years, during which they propose to be exempted from them, but that the exemption from quit rents would be a great encouragement to them; that as the colony has at present some money in bank, he believed, if they had assurance of some soldiers from hence, they might be induced to lay out a thousand or fifteen hundred pounds towards erecting stockaded forts and other necessary dispositions for the defence and settlement of the frontiers, till better fortifications can be erected; that no cannon can be brought through the passes of the mountains, and stockaded forts there would be a good defence, without great charge; Colonel Blakiston was thereupon desired to recommend to the gentlemen of Virginia the contributing in the best manner they can, towards the defence and security of their said frontiers; which he promised to do accordingly.
A memorial from Mr. Nivine, agent for Antigua, desiring the Board to take into consideration several Acts of the Leeward Islands, was read; and their Lordships appointed Tuesday morning next for that purpose.
Captain Webbe attending, in relation to his petitions concerning Terra Australis, he was acquainted that the Board had appointed Monday morning next, for hearing what he had further to offer thereupon.
Mr. William Crosse, Mr. George Fitzgerald and Mr. George Smith, traders to the Canary Islands, attending as desired; as likewise Mr. Francis Melmoth, Mr. John Miles and Mr. Samuel Baker, who trade to the Maderas; their Lordships had some discourse with these gentlemen concerning those respective trades; and they were particularly acquainted with the desire of the Spanish Minister, that the duties here on Canary wines may be reduced, and those wines admitted into His Majesty's plantations in English shipping, on the same foot as the wines of the Maderas are; whereupon being asked several questions, the gentlemen trading to the Canaries said, as to the reducing the duties on Canary wines, that, though the trade of His Majesty's subjects with the Canaries, is not so good as formerly, they did not attribute the decay of it to the high duties here upon the wines of those islands, but to the falling off of the use or demand of such wines, and to other wines obtaining here in their stead; that those islands produce less wine than formerly, the people being grown very poor, so as not to be able, in many places, to cultivate their vineyards.
In relation to the admitting Canary wines into His Majesty's plantations, in the same manner as those of the Maderas are, they said, that they did not believe there would be any considerable demand for Canary wines in the plantations, but if there should, it would raise the price of the wines in the Canaries, which might lessen the demand for them in this Kingdom, and consequently that trade might lose one way as much as it could gain the others; that as to the Spanish Minister's assertion, that the Canary Islands are in Africa, these gentlemen said, the natives of the Canaries esteem themselves Europeans, and would be affronted to be called Africans.
The gentlemen above mentioned, concerned in the Madera trade, being then asked several questions on the same subject; they said, that the islands of Madera take off a considerable quantity of our woollen manufactuers, that the wines carried from those islands to His Majesty's plantations are paid for, two thirds in the said woollen goods, and one third by bills of exchange; that if Canary wines were allowed to be carried to the plantations, it would be a prejudice to their trade, without any advantage to the public; for that as the importation of Canary wines there increased, the importation of those from Madera would proportionably decrease, and probably more be lost by the want of vent for our woollen manufactures at Madera, than gained by such manufactures as might be carried to the Canaries.
Upon the whole, the Canary merchants did not think that what is desired in the Spanish Ambassador's memorial, would be of any great advantage to them, if it could be obtained, and observed that the Spaniards desire those advantages for those islands, whilst the British traders, residing there, have many hardships put upon them by the Governors of those islands.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, dated the 30th of June, 1721, with an account of Canary wines imported from Christmas, 1717, to Christmas, 1719, was read, as were likewise two letters from Mr. Crosse, Consul at the Canaries, dated the 14th of January and 26th of April last.
And directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation to His Majesty upon the letter and memorial from the Marquis de Pozobueno, the Spanish Minister, as mentioned in the Minutes of 26th of April last, relating to the high duties on Canary wines, and to their being admitted into His Majesty's plantations in like manner as the wines of Madera.
A letter to the Lord Carteret, in answer to his Lordship's of the 23rd of March last, upon an address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia, about securing the passes in the great ridge of mountains on the back of that Colony, and the erecting two new counties there, was signed.
A representation, directed the 5th inst. to be prepared, in order to the confirmation of the Act passed in Barbadoes, in May, 1720, entituled, An Act appointing security to be given by appellees, was signed, as likewise a letter for inclosing the same to the Lord Carteret, to be laid before His Majesty.
Captain Webbe attending, according to appointment, the Order of Council of the 14th of December last, mentioned in the Minutes of 23rd of January following, referring to this Board a petition, in behalf of himself and several others, touching the establishing a Company by Charter for carrying on a trade to Terra Australis, and making very advantageous discoveries there, was read, together with the said petition and papers annexed, as also two other petitions from him to this Board on the same subject, one whereof is mentioned in the Minutes of the 6th inst., and their Lordships having some discourse with Capt Webbe thereupon, wherein he signified to them that the Charters of the East India and South Sea companies, with the Acts of Parliament relating thereto, were an obstruction to his making the discoveries, which he only desires permission to make at the expence of such persons who shall be disposed to contribute to this undertaking, and for which purpose he desired a conditional charter; the said Capt. Webbe was acquainted that the Board could give him no encouragement, as to the Charter desired, and he was told that to obviate his apprehension of being interrupted in his proceedings, he might move the East India and South Sea Companies for licences, under their respective seals, which might protect the undertakers of these proposed new discoveries, in passing through the limits of the said companies in India or the South Seas.
An Order of Council, of the 9th inst., referring to this Board a report from Sir Robert Raymond, His Majesty's Attorney General and Robert Dundass, Esqr., His Majesty's Advocate of Scotland, on the petition of Sir Robert Sinclair, Bart., and others, on behalf of themselves and many others, freeman burgesses of the Royal Burghs in North Britain, relating to their being incorporated for their good government in carrying on the fishing trade, was read, as also the several papers thereunto annexed, and some heads proposed by the petitioners, for the Charter desired; whereupon their Lordships made a progress in the consideration thereof.
Mr. Campbell, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Mr. Campbell, Member of Parliament for Glascow, Mr. Wightman and Mr. Steward, coming to the Board, in relation to the petition of Sir Robert Sinclair, Bart., and others, freemen of the Royal Burghs in North Britain, for a Charter of Incorporation, for carrying on the fishery, as mentioned in the Minutes of yesterday, their Lordships had some discourse with them on that subject, and agreed to proceed in the further consideration thereof on Friday morning next, and the gentlemen abovementioned were desired to bring then with them a list of the present managers for the co-partnership some time since entered into, for carrying on the said fishery, as likewise to prepare what they might have further to offer, to prevent the practice of stock jobbing, and other inconveniences, upon the granting such a charter.
Their Lordships then took into consideration an Act passed in the Island of Antigua, the 12th of February, 1718–19, entituled, An Act for declaring the qualifications of those who shall vote for Assembly or vestrymen in this island, or serve as such, and for ascertaining the rules, rights and privileges of Assemblies, which was read, as likewise the report of Mr. West, one of His Majesty's Counsel at Law, thereupon; and their Lordships agreed to represent the said Act to His Majesty as fit to be repealed.
Mr. Nivine, agent for Antigua, attending, as desired, as also Colonel Hart, appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands, their Lordships took into consideration the Act passed at Antigua in February, 1718– 19, entituled, An Act for establishing a Court of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Errors, for the better regulating and settling due methods for the administration of Justice and limiting a time for issuing execution out of the Court of Chancery in this island, and Mr. West's report thereon, was read, together with several annexed answers from Mr. Nivine to Mr. West's objections to the said Act, as also a report from Sir Edward Northey, late Attorney General, upon an Act with the like title, passed in the same island in 1715–16, (Leeward Island Papers, Bundle P. Nr. 6). And part of the first mentioned Act was likewise read; whereupon some questions being asked Mr. Nivine concerning the said Act, he desired time to answer the same, and that he might have them in writing, which their Lordships were pleased to direct.
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Mr. Wightman, Mr. Steward and Mr. Hamilton attending, according to appointment, in relation to a charter for carrying on a fishery in North Britain, they presented to the Board a list of the present managers of the co-partnery for the said fishery, as likewise the draught of a clause to prevent stockjobbing, proposed to be inserted in the charter they desire, which were read, as likewise the heads of a charter, mentioned in the Minutes of the 18th inst.; and their Lordships made some observations on the said heads, which were, at the request of the Lord Provost and the other gentlemen present, returned to them to be amended, and to be laid before the Board with the clause abovementioned concerning stock jobbing.
A letter from General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands,
dated the 19th of May last, was read; and the Acts of Antigua, Nevis
and St. Christophers, and other papers therewith received, as undermentioned, were laid before the Board, viz:
List of Acts transmitted with the said letter.
Six Acts passed at Antigua, in 1720 and 1721.
Two Acts passed at St. Christophers in 1720.
Two Acts passed at Nevis in 1721.
Address from the Council of Antigua relating to the passing a powder act there.
Deposition of Christian Franquebar, relating to the pirates, taken the 18th of May, 1721.
Whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of a letter to the Lord Carteret in relation to what General Hamilton writes in his said letter about the Danish settlement at the island of St. John, one of the Virgin Islands.
Directions were further given to the Secretary, for writing to Mr. Lowndes, upon Paragraph E of General Hamilton's said letter, and to desire he will remind the Lords of the Treasury, of what this Board have formerly represented concerning the inhabitants of the Virgin Islands, with regard to their being settled in the late French part of the island of St. Christophers.
A letter from Mr. Macburny, dated yesterday, inclosing a copy of the petition of the Company of the Royal Fishery of England to His Majesty, as also of the order referring the same to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General, and praying this Board will postpone their report upon the petition of Sir Robert Sinclair and other Freemen of the Royal Burghs of Scotland, for a charter to carry on the fishery, referred to their Lordships, till the report from Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General can be had upon the first mentioned petition, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Macburny be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him on Friday morning next.
Mr. Wightman and Mr. Stewart attending, Mr. Wightman presented to their Lordships some heads of a patent for the co-partnery of Freeman Burgesses of the Royal Boroughs of Scotland, for carrying on a fishing trade, as amended by the gentlemen concerned in the petition for such a patent, which heads were severally read; and their Lordships having some discourse with these gentlemen thereupon, who admitted that on default of the Governors and Directors of the intended corporation, any nine or more members having each £300, or more stock, should have power to summon a general court for all purposes, the 11th article of the said heads was agreed to be left out, as unnecessary, and so much of the 17th article as relates to the said Corporation disposing of more money than they may have use for in the fishery, or any securities, or for any other purposes than the fishery, was disagreed to by the Board; the rest of the said heads their Lordships ordered to be copied, and sent to His Majesty's Attorney General, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
The draught of a letter, as ordered at the last meeting to be prepared, to the Lord Carteret, upon what General Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands, writes in his letter of the 19th of May last, relating to the Danish settlement at St. Johns, one of the Virgin Islands, was agreed and signed.
The draught of a letter for transmitting to the Lord Carteret the draughts of general instructions to the Lord Belhaven, for the government of Barbadoes, and of those which particularly relate to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, was laid before the Board, and a progress made in the consideration thereof.
Their Lordships took into consideration several Acts passed at Antigua, 1714, 1717, 1718 and 1719, and resolved, as is noted, on each
respective title, viz:
An act for laying a duty of one pound of pistol powder or two shillings in money per ton on all vessels trading to or from this island.
Passed in October, 1714.
Objections in Mr. West's report to be given to Colonel Hart.
An Act to revive An Act for laying a duty of powder on trading vessels.
Passed in November, 1717. Expired.
An Act for raising a tax of £1000 towards repairing Monk's Hill and the other forts and fortifications of this island.
Passed in June, 1719. Has had its effect.
An Act for repairing the fortifications on Monk's Hill and mounting guns thereon, and other fortifications and platforms of this island, and carrying on other public works necessary for the defence of the same.
Passed in June, 1719. Has had its effect.
An Act to alter and amend An Act for constituting a court merchant.
Passed in July, 1719. To lye by.
An Act for raising a tax of £5000, current and lawful money of this island, for paying public debts and charges, over and above the duties already laid on liquors and lands by certain Acts of this island.
Passed in 1718.
Objections in Mr. West's report, to be given to Colonel Hart.
An Act to alter and amend an Act for raising a tax of £5000 current money for paying public debts and charges over and above the duties already laid on liquors and lands.
Passed in 1719. Has had its effect.
Mr. Heysham, Mr. Eyles, Mr. Lowther, late Governor, and Mr. Frere, late President of the Council of Barbadoes, with several other gentlemen concerned in that island, attending, communicated to their Lordships several letters with copies of other papers they had lately received from thence, complaining of the arbitrary and illegal behaviour of Mr. Cox, now President and Commander in Chief there, in the calling a new Assembly, and his ill-usage of several members of the said Assembly after their election, which letters and papers were read, and the said gentlemen desired the Board to represent to His Majesty the present great disorder and confusion in Barbadoes and unwarrantable proceedings of the said President, in order to the speedy remedying the ill-consequences thereof, whereupon, they being withdrawn, the draught of a letter to the Lord Carteret upon that subject was prepared, agreed, and ordered to be transcribed.
Mr. Macburny attending, as desired, their Lordships had some discourse with him upon the subject of his letter to the Secretary of this Board, mentioned in the Minutes of the 25th instant, desiring their Lordships to postpone their report upon the petition of Sir Robert Sinclair and others, Freemen of the Royal Burghs of Scotland, for a charter of incorporation to carry on the fishery, until the Company of the Royal Fishery of England can have a report relating to their charter from Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General, whereupon the said Mr. Macburny was acquainted that the petition of the Royal Fishery of England, mentioned in his said letter, being depending before the King in Council, and not referred to this Board, their Lordships could not defer making their report as soon as conveniently might be, upon the said petition of Sir Robert Sinclair and others, which His Majesty had been pleased to refer to them.
A letter to the Lord Carteret, ordered yesterday to be prepared, for inclosing to his Lordship copies of several letters and other papers lately received from Barbadoes, laid yesterday before the Board by Mr. Heysham, Mr. Eyles and other gentlemen concerned in the trade of that island, complaining of the arbitrary and illegal behaviour of Mr. Cox, now President and Commander in Chief there, in the calling a new Assembly, and his ill-usage of several members of the said Assembly after their election, was signed.
Their Lordships then took again into consideration several Acts
passed in Antego and Montserrat, and resolved, as is expressed under
each respective title, viz:
An Act to quiet present possessors of lands to limit actions, and avoid suits at law.
Passed 8th February, 1718. To lye by.
Ordered that Mr. Nivine be acquainted that the Board are
now ready to hear what he may have to offer thereupon.
An Act for better securing and confirming the title of Geo. Thomas, nephew and heir to Wm. Thomas, late of this island, esquire, deceased, to certain lands and negroes purchased of John Barnes, gent, by the said Wm. Thomas, (Jour. Dd: 227).
Passed in July, 1719.
An Act for raising a levy or poll tax and assessment upon trading men, etc. to pay off the public debts of this island.
Passed in 1778.
An Act for the prohibiting levying of executions from the last of August to the 1st of March.
Passed in 1718.
Minutes of Council, from 26th of January, 1720–21, to 31st of
March, 1721, inclusive.
Journal of Council in Assembly, from 19th of January, 1720–21, to 30th March, 1721, inclusive.
Minutes of Assembly, from 4th October, 1720, to the 30th March, 1721, inclusive.
Two Acts passed in February, 1720–21.
His Majesty's account current, to the 29th September, 1720.
Account of fortifications, to 29th September, 1720.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Moore and Mr. Ayscough, (the two Jamaica Councillors that Sir Nicholas mentions to be in town), to know whether they intend to repair to Jamaica, or that otherwise two new councillors will be appointed to their room.