Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 6, January 1729 - December 1734. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1928.
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Journal, March 1729
The representation for confirming the Act, passed at Antigua in September last, for making a settlement on the Earl of Londonderry, Governor of the Leeward Islands, during his government and personal residence there, etc., agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
An Order from the House of Commons, dated the 28th of the last month, directing the Board to lay before them the complaints of several merchants touching their losses sustained in the West Indies, was read; whereupon ordered that an account of the said losses be made out accordingly.
Mr. Thomas Burnet attending, desired the Board would please to appoint a day for hearing what may be offered on behalf of his brother, the Governor of the Massachusets Bay, and the people of that province, in relation to the settlement of a salary on the said Governor; and their Lordships were pleased to appoint Saturday sennight, at 11 o'clock in the morning.
A schedule of such losses as have been sustained by British subjects in their shipping and effects taken from them in America from the Treaty of Utrecht to the Treaty of Hannover; and from the Treaty of Hannover to the present time, so far as they have come to the knowledge of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, being prepared, in answer to an Order from the House of Commons, dated the 28th of the last month; Mr. Pelham was desired to lay the same before the House, which he promised to do accordingly.
An Order from the House of Commons, dated yesterday, directing the Board to lay before the House copies of such reports as they have laid before His Majesty, or before His late Majesty, relating to the right of the subjects of Great Britain to cut logwood in the Bay of Campeachy, was read. Whereupon ordered that copies be made out accordingly.
A memorial of Tobias Wall, in behalf of John Gallway of St. Christophers, relating to his sloop and cargo taken by a Spanish privateer near Santa Cruz, and condemned at Porto Rico, value five hundred and thirty pounds sterling, was read. Whereupon ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared, for inclosing the same to the Duke of Newcastle.
The copy of a representation, dated the 25th of September, 1717, in relation to the right of the British subjects to cut logwood in the Bay of Campeachy, being laid before the Board, Mr. Docminique was desired to present the same to the House of Commons, pursuant to their Order, which was read yesterday.
An account of what duties have been paid at the Custom House, London, for foreign spirits and brandy imported from Dunkirk, from the 25th of December, 1721, to the 25th of December, 1727, distinguishing the amount of each year, was read.
A memorial from Mr. Partridge, agent for New Jersey, praying the confirmation of several Acts passed there, one in 1714, and five others in 1727–28, was read; whereupon ordered that those Acts, upon which Mr. Fane has not reported, be sent to him, for his opinion in point of law.
An account of a loss sustained by Messrs. Raphe and Denn on board the Princess Snow, Edward Lyde, master, bound from New England to Bilboa, taken by the Spaniards with a cargo of fish in December, 1718, and carried into Port St. Antonio, value £435 12s. 6d., was read; and the Secretary laying before the Board the draught of a letter for inclosing to the Duke of Newcastle a copy of the memorial from Mr. Tobias Wall, in relation to a sloop of Mr. John Gallway's being taken by a Spanish privateer, ordered to be prepared the 12th instant, their Lordships gave directions for annexing a copy of the above mentioned account thereto, which being accordingly done, the said letter was signed.
A letter from Colonel Dunbar, Surveyor General of His Majesty's Woods in America, of this day's date, inclosing two letters and a copy of a memorial to the Governor of the Massachusets Bay, in relation to His Majesty's woods and to a seizure made of masts, was read; and Colonel Dunbar attending, their Lordships acquainted him, that he ought to lay an account of this matter before the Lords of the Admiralty.
The Secretary then acquainting the Board that Mr. Paxton, solicitor for Mr. Burnet, Governor of the Massachusets Bay, desired their Lordships would please to defer the hearing between the Governor and Assembly of that province, which was appointed for to-morrow morning, till some other day, because Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General could not then attend; the Board agreed thereto and ordered that all parties should have notice thereof.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, of yesterday's date, inclosing a memorial from Mr. Dunbar, Surveyor General of the Woods in America, in relation to the settling some families of Irish and Palatines in Nova Scotia, was read: and their Lordships gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation thereupon.
A letter from him to their Lordships, dated the 24th of January
last, was likewise read, and the papers, therein referred to, were
laid before the Board, viz:—
The Governor's answer to the Assembly's memorial.
Votes of the Assembly, from the 19th of November, 1728, to the 20th of December following.
Their Lordships then appointed Saturday next, at 10 in the morning, for hearing counsel upon the dispute between the Governor and Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, and ordered that all parties should have notice thereof.
A letter from Mr. Dunbar in relation to the settling some families of Irish and Palatines in Nova Scotia, was read. And the Secretary laying before the Board the draught of a representation, ordered yesterday to be prepared, upon Mr. Dunbar's memorial upon this subject, then read, their Lordships made a progress in the consideration thereof.
The draught of a representation upon Mr. Dunbar's memorial, in relation to the settlement of some Irish families in Nova Scotia, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Their Lordships then considered the draught of a representation, ordered to be prepared the 28th of January last, upon some letters from Mr. Dunbar, then read, and resolved to proceed no further therein, the draught of a Naval Store Bill being ordered to be laid before the House of Commons, wherein the chief complaints in relation to the destruction committed in the woods are provided for.
The Secretary then laid before the Board an account of several species of naval stores imported into this kingdom from all parts, from Christmas, 1722. to Christmas, 1727. which he had received from the Custom House, and the abstract of an account of the like nature, from Christmas, 1717, to Christmas, 1722, which were severally considered by the Board.
Ordered that Mr. Leheup, agent for Virginia, be directed to attend the Board to-morrow morning. Their Lordships having resolved to consider the Act, passed there in 1705, declaring how long judgements, bonds, obligations and accounts shall be in force for the assignment of bonds and obligations, directing what proof shall be sufficient in such cases, and ascertaining the damage upon protested bills of exchange.
A copy of an Order in Council, of the 1st of February, 1728-9, upon a report from this Board, relating to Colonel Spotswood's petition for a confirmation of his right to several tracts of land in Virginia, was read.
A copy of an Order of a Committee of Council, of the 1st of February, 1728–9, directing that a copy of the articles of complaint against Mr. Middleton. President and Commander in Chief of South Carolina, be transmitted to him for his answer in writing, was read.
An Act declaring how long judgements, bonds, obligations and accounts shall be in force for the assignment of bonds and obligations, directing what proof shall be sufficient in such cases, and ascertaining the damage upon protested bills of exchange.
As also the memorial from the Virginia merchants, read the 11th of the last month, desiring the first of these Acts may be repealed; and Mr. Leheup offering no reasons against the same, Mr. Fane's report upon these two Acts, was read. And their Lordships gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation for repealing the first mentioned Act and for confirming the last.
An Act for providing an house for his Excellency Thomas, Earl of Londonderry, Captain General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Leeward Charribbee Islands in America; and for settling £500 per annum upon his Excellency during his government, and for laying a tax upon all sugar and molasses shipped from the island of Nevis, passed the 28th of October, 1728.
An Act for the settling the sum of £2000 per annum of current money of the island of Saint Christophers, during the term therein mentioned, upon his Excellency the Right Honourable Thomas Earl of Londonderry, the present Chief Governor of all His Majesty's Leeward Charribbee Islands in America, for the more honourable support of the said Governor and the dignity of this His Majesty's Government, passed the 13th of November, 1728.
The representation upon Mr. Dunbar's memorial, in relation to the settling some Irish families in Nova Scotia, agreed yesterday, was signed: as also a letter, for inclosing the same to the Duke of Newcastle.
This day being appointed for hearing the several parties upon the dispute between Mr. Burnet, Governor of the Massachusets Bay, and the Assembly, in relation to his 23rd instruction requiring the Assembly to settle a fixed salary upon him.
And Mr. Thomas Burnet attending, with Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General, counsel in behalf of the Governor and Mr. Paxton the solicitor, as also Dr. Sayer and Mr. Fitzakerly, counsel on behalf of the Assembly and Mr. Sharp the solicitor; their Lordships took again into consideration the letter from the Duke of Newcastle, read the 30th of January last, signifying the King's pleasure that the Board should consider the several letters from Mr. Burnet upon this subject, and report their opinion what may be a proper expedient for supporting the King's authority in that province; as also an Order of the Committee of Council, read the 4th of February last, referring to the Board the copy of an address from the General Assembly of that province, offering the reasons and grounds of their proceedings and conclusions concerning the settling a fixed salary on the Governor of that province according to His Majesty's instructions.
The council for the Assembly then acquainted the Board that, as the 23rd instruction had been obtained without the privity of the people, they had no opportunity of laying their reasons against it before His Majesty, which had they done, they believed His Majesty would never have granted it, in as much as they conceived it was contrary to the charter granted to the Massachusets Bay, which gave them a free liberty of passing laws for raising money for the defence and support of the Government. And as they enjoyed thereby a right of giving their consent to those laws which they thought necessary; they conceived they had an equal right of refusing those which they thought not so. That as the fixing a salary on the Governor would be making him independent of the people, so on the contrary they thought that paying him an annual sum to be raised by the Assembly, would, by joyning his interest to theirs, render him more careful of the good of the province, and that the charter nowhere directed the settling a fixed salary on him, giving them power only in general terms to raise money for the support and defence of the Government.
That at the Governor's arrival they had received him with the greatest satisfaction and immediately took the speech, which he soon after made them upon the aforementioned instruction into their consideration, but as they found they could not comply therewith in settling a fixed salary, they had sent him their reasons for so doing, and at the same time made a vote for giving him £400 their money, to which soon after they added £1600 of their money more, which they desired he would accept of instead of the salary, as prescribed by his said instruction, assuring him at the same time that they did not doubt but that according to the ability of the province future Assemblies would come into as ample and honorable a support. That the Governor would not accept thereof, and kept them sitting for many months for no other purpose, but by distressing them to force them to comply. That for the same reason he had adjourned them to Salem, a town twenty miles distant from Boston, and not in the least proper or convenient for the meeting of the General Assembly. That they owned the Governor had an undoubted power to adjourn the Assembly from time to time or to call them together for the service of the province, but they thought that keeping them sitting so many months without letting them return home upon their private affairs, after those of the province had been dispatched, for no other view but to obtain his salary, was using the power vested in him in a very absolute way.
The council for the Assembly further observed that they had voted the Governor a sum at least equal to that prescribed by the instruction, although they had not given it in the manner thereby laid out, and therefore desired the Board would please to represent their case in such manner to His Majesty as to induce him not to insist upon the words of the aforesaid instruction, so long as they complyed in the main therewith.
Mr. James Alford was then called upon, who being sworn, informed the Board, that he was lately at Salem: that there were about three or four hundred houses therein: that the Court House was but small, and that in his opinion the town of Salem was not so fit to receive the General Assembly as Boston.
The council then in behalf of the Governor observed to the Board, that the province of the Massachusets Bay, being a colony belonging to this kingdom, was dependent thereon, and that notwithstanding they enjoyed the privilege of making laws for the defence and support of the Government, yet as the interest of that province was to be considered consistent with the interest of Great Britain, if they considered one without the other, the legislature of Great Britain had an undoubted right to oblige them to a complyance with what is conclusive to both. That defending and supporting the Government implies defraying the necessary charges attending the same, and providing for the proper officers therein imployed, according to their honour and dignity. That as the Governor was the most necessary officer, there being no Government without him, it was absolutely necessary that he should have a salary, and a fixed one, in order to make him independent of the people for his support, that he may at all times be free in acting as he thought the most conducive to the interest of the province and that of Great Britain. That the Assembly had at all times thought this so reasonable with respect to themselves, that they had passed there several Acts for fixing the salary of the Council and Assembly in 1692, in 1714, and in 1726. That they conceived the same reason would hold good with respect to the fixing a salary on the Governor. That as by virtue of the charter this Government consisted of three branches, viz: Governor, Council and Assembly, and as the Council and Assembly had rendered themselves independent and free in their determinations by having their salaries fixed, it would be destroying the intent of their charter to keep the Governor dependent on either of them. That this had been the case, appeared from the Assembly's having in the year adjourned the consideration of raising the annual support of the Governor, upon his refusing to give his assent to an Act for creating paper money, which he judged contrary to his instructions, and from their having immediately voted him the annual supply upon giving afterwards his assent thereto. That the Governor's duty was to support the welfare of the province and the honour of His Majesty, and therefore, as he was not left to judge whether the King had done right to grant the said instruction, he had done well to follow the same, although it plainly appears it had been for his interest to have given it up.
The council for the Governor further observed, that as the making a Governor dependent upon the Assembly was destroying the Government intended by the charter, they thought His Majesty's 23rd instruction was perfectly justified, and therefore desired the Board would please to report their opinion to His Majesty that the said instruction was proper to be enforced.
An Act for providing an house for his Excellency Thomas, Earl of Londonderry, Captain General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Leeward Charribbee Islands in America, and for settling £500 per annum upon his Excellency during his Government and for laying a tax upon all sugar and molasses shipped from the island of Nevis. Passed in October, 1728.
An Act for the settling the sum of £2000 per annum of current money of the island of Saint Christophers, during the term therein mentioned, upon his Excellency the Right Honorable Thomas Earl of Londonderry, the present Chief Governor of all His Majesty's Leeward Charribbee Islands in America, for the more honourable support of the said Governor and the dignity of this His Majesty's Government. Passed in November, 1728, ordered to be prepared the 21st instant, was agreed and signed; as also
An Act declaring how long judgements, bonds, obligations and accounts shall be in force for the assignment of bonds and obligations directing what proof shall be sufficient in such cases and ascertaining the damage upon protested bills of exchange.
The Secretary then laid before the Board the draught of a representation, ordered to be prepared the 22nd instant, upon the dispute between Mr. Burnet and the Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, in relation to the settling a fixed salary upon him. And their Lordships made a progress in the consideration thereof.
The draught of a representation, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes, upon the dispute between the Governor and the Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, in relation to the settling a fixed salary upon him, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
|Account of petty expences, from Christmas, 1728, to Lady Day, 1729||107||17||6½|
|The stationer's account for the same time||76||1||0|
|The postman's account for the same time||22||4||6|
|Account of wood and coals||25||10||10|
A letter from him, dated the 25th of March, 1728.
With papers and Acts.
An Act for increasing the salary of the present agent for this island, and for appointing how long time he shall continue in his office. Passed at Antigua.
A letter from him, dated the 20th of May, 1728.
An Act for laying a duty of powder and money on all vessels trading to or from this island for the defence of the island and the protection of the trade to and from the same. Passed at Antigua in March, 1727–8.
An Act for raising a tax for paying public debts and charges and particularly applying the said tax. Passed at Antigua in May, 1728.
A letter from him, dated the 17th of July, 1728.
Five affidavits, relating to General Hart's renouncing the £2000 additional salary settled on him at St. Christophers before he left that Government.
A letter from the Earl of Londonderry, Governor of the Leeward Islands, dated at Nevis the 26th of December, 1728, containing observations on the Act of St. Christophers for ascertaining the number of the Assembly men for the French part of that Island, and also some remarks on the Act for regulating vestries, etc., in that island, was read.
A letter from Mr. Smith, Secretary of the Leeward Islands, upon the same subject; and their Lordships agreed that the said Acts should lye by unrepealed, till the Lord Londonderry could have an opportunity of passing others, not lyable to the same objections. In the mean time ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared for acquainting the Lord Londonderry with the Board's objections thereto.
A letter from Mr. Soulegre, one of the Council of St. Christophers, desiring the Board to appoint another in his room, was read. Whereupon ordered that the Secretary do remind the Board of this letter when the Lord Londonderry shall send a state of this Council to the Board.
Their Lordships then considered the above-mentioned Powder Act of Antigua and finding the same not lyable to the objections mentioned in the Secretary's letter of the to General Mathew against a former Act of this nature, agreed that this Act should lye by.