Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 5, January 1723 - December 1728. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1928.
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Journal, May 1724
The draught of a representation, directed yesterday to be prepared, for repealing the Act, passed in the Massachusetts Bay in 1723, entituled, An Act for apportioning and assessing a tax of six thousand two hundred and five pounds, sixteen shillings and seven pence halfpenny, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
A petition from Mr. Sanderson praying the Board would give him leave to act as agent to the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay, till the dispute between them and the Governor be determined, was read; and their Lordships taking into consideration the Minute made yesterday, forbidding any clerk in their service, to act as agent to any of the Plantations in America, did not see cause to alter the same.
Mr. Oxenford attending, as he had been desired, their Lordships, after some discourse with him upon those two braches of trade, ordered that a letter should be writ to Mr. Balam, Inspector General of the Customs, for an account of the imports and exports of sugar and tobacco, to and from all parts, from 1702 to 1722.
A report from the Mr. West upon an Act, passed in Barbadoes in 1723, entituled, An Act to raise a levy on the inhabitants of this Island, and to establish a method to supply the want of cash for the payment of the public debts, was read.
Whereupon ordered that the agents for the said Island, and the merchants, who complain against the said Act, be acquainted that their Lordships intend to take the same into consideration on Thursday morning next.
The representation for repealing the Act, passed in the Massachusett Bay in 1723, entituled, An Act for apportioning and assessing a tax of six thousand two hundred and five pounds, sixteen shillings and seven pence halfpenny, mentioned in the Minutes of the 1st instant, was signed.
Their Lordships then took into consideration the Order in Council of 30th of last month, referring to the consideration of this Board the state of the sugar and tobacco trade, read yesterday, and made a progress therein.
Ordered that the merchants, trading in sugar, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them on Tuesday next; the tobacco merchants on Wednesday; the Portugal and Spanish merchants on Thursday and the Dutch Hamburgh, East Country and French merchants on Friday at 11 o'clock in the morning.
Mr. Worseley, Mr. Huggins and Mr. Sharpe, agents for Barbadoes, attending, as they had been desired, in behalf of an Act passed there in 1723, entituled, An Act to raise a levy on the Inhabitants of this Island, and to establish a method to supply the want of cash for the payment of the public debts, as also Mr. Harris, Mr. Tryon and his son, Mr. Curtis and Mr. Sommers, against the said Act; Mr. Harris presented to the Board a memorial in behalf of themselves and several other merchants, praying their Lordships would please to represent the said Act to His Majesty as not fit for his royal confirmation; and their Lordships, after some discourse with the said agents and merchants in relation to the said Act, were pleased to defer the consideration of the same to Wednesday the 3rd of next month, it being represented to their Lordships, that several merchants, who had many objections to the said Act, were not in town.
A letter from Mr. Worseley, Governor of Barbadoes, dated the
3rd of March, 1723–4, was read; and the papers, therein referred
to, were laid before the Board, viz.:—
Papers therein referred to.
Minutes of Council, from the 31st of December, 1723, to the 28th January following, both days inclusive.
Extract about Mr. Cooper sent to the Assembly.
Copy of a letter from Mr. Lightfoot to the Governor.
The secretary's letter to the Captain of His Majesty's ship the Lynn, with his answer thereto.
Proceedings upon His Majesty's ship the Salisbury, coming there from the East Indies for provisions; as also Captain Braithwaite's receipt for several goods received on board.
Ordered that an extract of so much of Mr. Worsley's letter, as relates to the behaviour of Captain Cooper, Commander of His Majesty's ship the Lynn, be sent to Mr. Burchet, for the information of the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.
A letter to the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, in relation to the necessity there will be, of having a porter constantly to attend at the new office for the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations [v. infra, fol. 191], and desiring their Lordships would please to move His Majesty, that such an officer may be added to the present establishment, with a salary of £40 per annum, was signed.
Their Lordships then took again into consideration the several letters from Colonel Hope, Governor of Bermuda, dated the 30th July, 2nd and 11th of November, 1723; one to the Board and the other to the secretary, and of the 14th January last, (mentioned in the Minutes of the 21st January, 4th of February and 2nd of April last), and resolved to consider further thereof to-morrow morning.
Their Lordships then took into further consideration the letters from Colonel Hope, Governor of Bermuda, (mentioned in yesterday's Minutes), and ordered the draught of an answer to be prepared thereto.
Mr. Harris, Mr. Newport, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Tryon, Mr. Gee, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Oldfield, Mr. Gerrish, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Truman and Mr. Mitchell attending, as they had been desired, the Order of Council, (mentioned in the Minutes of the 5th inst.), relating to the sugar and tobacco trade, was again read; and these gentlemen desired that they might be allowed copies of the queries in the said order mentioned; and that their Lordships would please to allow them till this day fortnight, at which time they should be able to give their Lordships a satisfactory account of the sugar trade; whereupon their Lordships were pleased to order that three copies of the said queries be made, and that one be sent to Mr. Harris, that he may consult with the planters and merchants trading to Jamaica, in order to give their Lordships an account of the Jamaica sugar trade; that another copy be given to Mr. Newport and Mr. Tryon, that they may in like manner give their Lordships an account of the Barbadoes sugar trade, and the other copy to Mr. Gerrish, that he may give their Lordships likewise a state of the Leeward Islands sugar trade.
An Order of a Committee of Council, dated 17th April, 1724, referring a petition of several officers and soldiers for settling a tract of land between New England and Nova Scotia, to the Board, to consider of proper methods for peopling the said tract of land, was read; and Mr. Coram and several other officers, attending, presented to the Board their proposals for settling and planting the said tract of land, which was likewise read; and these gentlemen desired their Lordships would please to appoint a day to hear what they might have further to offer on this subject; whereupon their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof to-morrow seven night.
Their Lordships then took into further consideration the two letters from Major Drysdale, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, dated the 16th of May and 29th June, 1723, (mentioned in the Minutes of 12th November last), and agreed to consider further thereof to-morrow morning.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, dated the 5th inst., inclosing the extract of a letter from Mr. Henshaw, Consul at Genoa, in relation to a decree passed there, laying a duty of 10 per cent. on all goods imported thither from Leghorn, was read; whereupon ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Delafaye, to desire he would move His Grace the Duke of Newcastle for copies of all treaties of commerce, that have been made between Great Britain and that Republic, since the year 1714.
A letter from the Lord Viscount Townsend, dated the 12th inst., inclosing the extracts of several letters from Mr. Daniel, secretary to Mr. Leathes, His Majesty's Resident at Brussels, in relation to a new tax laid on all merchandize passing between Ostend and Bruges, towards deepening that Canal, was read; and their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof [fo. 161] at another opportunity.
Captain Hyde, Mr. Byrd, Mr. Perry and Mr. Bradley, attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships took again into consideration the Order of Council, mentioned in the Minutes of the 5th inst., relating to the sugar and tobacco trade; and enquiring of these gentlemen whether they had anything to offer in relation thereto; they desired their Lordships would please to allow them some further time, to which their Lordships agreed, and desired they would put in writing what observations they had to make in relation thereto, and lay them before the Board, as soon as possibly they could.
An Order of a Committee in Council of the 17th April, directing the Board to report what conditions, restrictions and limitations are proper to be contained in the grant of land, petitioned for by Colonel Vetch and the other officers, who were in actual service at the reduction of Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal, and the country and places adjacent in Nova Scotia, was read; as also
A petition from Colonel Vetch, in behalf of himself and the above said petitioners, praying the Board would be pleased to appoint a day to hear what they may have to offer in behalf of their said petition, and their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof at another opportunity.
An Order in Council of the 30th April for repealing An Act, passed in New York in 1722, entituled, An Act to lay a duty of two pounds on every hundred pound value prime cost of all European goods imported into this colony; and directing the Board to prepare an additional instruction to all His Majesty's Governors in America, forbidding them to pass any Act, upon any pretence whatsoever, for laying a duty upon the importation of any European commodities, was read; whereupon ordered that the draught of an instruction be prepared accordingly.
Order in Council, approving a representation of this Board, for confirming an Act, passed in Barbadoes in 1723, entituled, An Act that the solemn affirmation or declaration of the people called Quakers, should be accepted instead of an oath.
A letter from Major Drysdale, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia,
dated at Williamsburgh, the 14th February, 1723–4, was read;
and the papers, therein referred to, were laid before the Board,
Papers therein referred to.
Minutes of Council, from the 19th October, 1723, to the 18th January, 1723–4, both days inclusive.
Account of the 2 shill. per hogshead on tobacco.
Two proclamations of Major Drysdale, the one proroguing the General Assembly, the other upon an order from the late Lords Justices for the repeal of An Act, passed in Virginia in 1720, for the better government of convicts.
Mr. Delaporte, attending, as he had been desired, their Lordships took again into consideration the Order in Council, mentioned in the Minutes of the 5th inst., relating to the sugar and tobacco trade, and desired he would consult with the other merchants trading to Portugal and let their Lordships have in writing, what they may have to offer in relation to the extract of the said Order, which their Lordships were pleased to give him.
Several Dutch, Hamburgh French and Spanish merchants [Mr. Hankel, Mr. Bulwork, Mr. Lequesne, Mr. Toriano, Mr. Godin, Mr. Roe], attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships were pleased to give them copies of the several queries, mentioned in the Order in Council, relating to the sugar and tobacco trades, and at the same time desired they would put into writing what they had to offer in relation thereto, which they promised to do accordingly.
Mr. Lisle, Mr. Tomlinson and Mr. Nisbet, attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships took again into consideration the Lord Townsend's letter of the 9th of March last, mentioned in the Minutes of the 10th, inclosing several papers relating to the admeasurement of ships in Sweden, as also the letter from Mr. Jackson, Resident there, upon the same subject, read the 13th inst., and asked these gentlemen what they had to offer thereupon; upon which they said, that as they did not find that the King of Sweden had laid any penalty upon those ships, who did not bring with them a bill of measurement, and as the charge of having a ship measured in Sweden was but 10 shillings, they thought it more safe to be measured there, than run the risk of paying a penalty of 50 dollars for a difference in their measurement, supposing they were measured at home, there being a difference of about half an inch between an English and Swedish foot. They therefore acquainted their Lordships, that they had no objection thereto; whereupon ordered that the draught of an answer be prepared to the Lord Townsend's said letter.
Their Lordships then took this opportunity of acquainting these gentlemen of the aforementioned Order in Council, relating to sugar and tobacco, and desired they would put their thoughts in writing upon this subject, which they promised to do accordingly.
A letter to the Lord President, desiring his Lordship would give directions that all Orders in Council for the confirmation or repeal of Acts of Assembly in any of His Majesty's Colonies in America, may be sent to this office, in order to be transmitted to the respective Plantations, was agreed, transcribed and signed.
The draught of a letter to the Lord Viscount Townsend, in answer to one from His Lordship of the 9th of March last, relating to the admeasurement of ships in Sweden, ordered to be prepared the 15th inst., was agreed.
Mr. Sharpe attending, desired their Lordships would please to appoint a day for hearing what the several merchants, trading to the Bermuda Islands, have to offer against the Act passed there in 1723, entituled, An Act to supply the deficiency of the several funds in these Islands, and for the immediate support of the Government and for repairing the fortifications. Their Lordships then took into consideration the said Act, and read Mr. West's report thereupon, and appointed next Thursday at eleven o'clock in the morning, and
Mr. Coram and the several gentlemen, who petition for a tract of land between Nova Scotia and New England, attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships took again into consideration the Order in Council referring their petition to this Board, as also their proposals for settling the same, both mentioned in the Minutes of the 12th inst., and after some discourse with these gentlemen thereupon, resolved to consider further thereof at another opportunity.
An Order in Council, of the 30th April, 1724, referring to the Board a petition and representation of several merchants against an Act, passed at New York in 1720, entituled, An Act for the encouragement of the Indian trade and rendering of it more beneficial to the inhabitants of this province, and for prohibiting the selling of Indian goods to the French, was read; and Mr. Sharpe, attending with several New York merchants, desired their Lordships would please to appoint a day for hearing the several merchants upon this subject; but their Lordships acquainted him that they would take this matter again into consideration, and let him know the day that should then be appointed.
Mr. Sharpe, attending again, as he had been desired, with several merchants trading to the Bermuda Islands against the Act passed there in 1723, entituled, An Act to supply the deficiency of the several funds in these Islands and for the immediate support of the Government and for the repairing the Fortifications, as also Mr. Prevereau, agent for the said Islands, their Lordships took again into consideration the said Act, and Mr. West's report thereupon, (mentioned in the Minutes of the 19th inst.).
Mr. Sharpe, in behalf of the merchants, who appeared against the said Act, acquainted their Lordships that he conceived the duties, laid by this Act upon European goods, did affect the trade of Great Britain in so heavy a manner that it almost amounted to a prohibition; that the unequal manner, in which the duties were laid, was a great discouragement to the merchants from trading there, there being 4 per cent. laid on the English merchants and but 2 per cent. on the inhabitants; that as the Board had represented the Act, passed in Bermuda in 1721, for the like purpose, as not fit to receive His Majesty's approbation, he submitted it to their Lordships, whether the Act in question was not equally lyable to objection. He further observed to their Lordships, that the money to be raised by this Act was not given by way of grant to His Majesty, as it ought to have been, pursuant to His Majesty's instructions in this behalf.
Mr. Prevereau, agent for the Island, then presented to the Board a memorial containing reasons in defence of the aid Act, which was read; and he observed to the Board, that the duties hereby laid were not upon the importation, as the merchants seemed to object, but were raised by way of Excise upon goods imported, so that it was the consumer that paid the duty, and consequently the merchants could have not reason to complain. He further said that this was the only way that could be found, to raise money in those Island, for the support of the Government.
Mr. Sharpe then produced to the Board an account of the Revenue of the said Islands, and of their disbursements; and acquainted their Lordships, that it did not appear thereby that the expence of the Government was as great as the income, and that as there was no occasion for laying any new duties, he hoped, their Lordships would not think to advise His Majesty to confirm the said Act.
Ordered that the several merchants trading in sugar, who were appointed to attend the Board on Tuesday next, be acquainted that the Board desire they will then send to this office, what they may then have to offer upon the queries given them the 12th inst., in relation to the sugar trade, but that they need not attend, till they should receive further notice from the secretary.