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, February 1731
A letter from Mr. Sharpe, one of the Clerks of the Council, enclosing the copies of two petitions to His Majesty; one from the merchants of Dublin, desiring to be heard upon the petition of the several merchants and planters and others interested in and trading to His Majesty's sugar colonies; and the other from the mayor, aldermen and merchants of Liverpool, complaining of a trade carried on between the French sugar colonies and Ireland, was read, and their Lordships agreed to attend the Lords of the Committee thereupon this evening.
A letter from Mr. Coleman, acquainting the Board that the merchants, who desire the confirmation of the Chancery Act of Antigua, cannot attend the Board on Thursday next, and desiring the Board will please to appoint another day, was read, and their Lordships appointed Thursday seven-night, of which, ordered that the merchants have notice.
The draught of a representation, ordered to be prepared the 28th of the last month, proposing an alteration in the instructions to Col. Phillips and Col. Dunbar, in relation to the granting of lands, was agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
The Board then considering the Order of the House of Commons of Friday last, directing all members to attend in their places on Thursday, deferred the consideration of the Chancery Act of Antigua, appointed for that day, till Tuesday next, of which, ordered that all parties have notice.
A letter from Colonel Dunbar, giving an account of several transactions, concerning the settlements he is about making, etc., from the 17th of November to the 2nd of December last, was read, and their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof at another opportunity.
The House of Commons having by their votes of yesterday ordered all the members to attend on Tuesday next, the Board agreed to defer the hearing, which was appointed for that day at this office upon the Chancery Act of Antigua till the next day, and ordered that Mr. Yeamans, agent for Antigua, have notice thereof.
A letter from Mr. Belcher, Governor of New England, dated the
10th of December, 1730, was read, and the papers, therein referred
to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
A bill assented to by the Council and Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay for providing the more sure support of His Majesty's Governor.
Journal of the House of Representatives, from the 9th of September, 1730, to the 28th of October following.
Mr. Coleman and the several merchants and planters, who desire the confirmation of the Chancery Act of Antigua, attending, as they had been desired, with Mr. Brown and Mr. Forster, their counsel, and Mr. Sharpe, their solicitor, they acquainted the Board that this Act had been passed to supply several defects that were found in a former Act of that Island, passed in 1715 and confirmed in 1717, entituled, An Act for constituting a Court of Chancery in this Island: that as the Capt. General had other Islands than Antigua under his care, it was not possible for him to attend the Chancery of Antigua so often as the business of that Court required, and that, therefore, if the Lieutenant General, Lieutenant Governor or President of the Council, was not impowered to hold Courts of Chancery in his absence, the persons, who had causes depending or causes to commence in that Court, were liable to great delays or great expenses and hazard in following the Governor to the other islands of his Government; that by the Act of 1715 no Court of Chancery could be held, but in the presence of the Governor; and therefore, if he should ever prove not disposed to have a cause determined, he had an absolute power vested in him of stopping the course of justice in Chancery by calling no Court: that this was a power the King of England himself did not pretend to, and the merchants and planters were apprehensive might sometimes be attended with very ill consequences; and that as the persons to preside in the Governor's absence, by virtue of this new Act, were equally appointed by the Crown and were subject to the King's directions, it was hoped the King's prerogative could in no way be understood to be affected: that by the law of 1715, the Governor had a power of granting and dissolving injunctions, although he was in another Island, and as the King had already confirmed that law, the only way left to remedy that inconvenience, was by passing the present law, because no instruction from the Crown could alter any law in being: that by a clause in this Act it is directed, that in case of suits for lands, tenements, hereditaments, when the interest or thing sued for shall lye in Antigua, or in case of personal demands, where the person of the defendant is in Antigua as resident, no decree or order touching the right thereof, or against such person, shall be made in any other place but Antigua, saving appeals to His Majesty; that the Board was pleased to object thereto as an attempt to exclude the jurisdiction of all the Courts of Judicature in Great Britain, except that of His Majesty in Council upon appeals. To this Mr. Brown desired leave to answer, that as the only two cases in which any Judicature was restrained by this clause, was where the lands or the persons were in Antigua, the Courts of Judicature of this Kingdom could not be affected, because no Court of Great Britain claimed or had any jurisdiction, but in cases where the lands or persons were here; but that supposing the Courts of this Kingdom had a real jurisdiction, no law of Antigua could take it away, and therefore he hoped the Board would think their objection answered, more especially, considering that the words, Decree or Order, mentioned in this clause, related only to Decrees or Orders mentioned in the former part of this law, and could be understood to restrain the Governor, whilst at St. Christophers or of any other Islands, from making any Decree or Order concerning lands or persons lying in or resident in Antigua. The counsel for this Act then enlarged upon and explained every clause thereof, and concluded by acquainting the Board that all the merchants and planters concerned in the trade to this Island were convinced of the advantage this Act would be of to them, and as they could not see that either the King's prerogative, the authority or profits of the Governor, were anyways affected thereby, they hoped the Board would please to lay the said Act before His Majesty for His royal confirmation.
The Secretary then acquainted the Board, that Mr. Leheup, agent of Virginia, had desired their Lordships would please to appoint a day for considering the Virginia Act, passed in 1730, for amending the staple of tobacco, and for preventing frauds in His Majesty's Customs, with the report of the Commissioners of the Customs thereupon, read the 20th of the last month, their Lordships were pleased to appoint Tuesday morning next, and to order that the agent and all persons concerned, have notice thereof.
A petition of Jacob Stauber and Ezekiel Harlan, desiring a grant of some land to the westward of Virginia, was read; [Mem., this petition was withdrawn, and another to the same effect was read the 30th of March following] and their Lordships desired them to bring a correct draught of the said tract, and how the same lyes with respect to Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The Secretary then laying before the Board the accounts of
the following persons' losses, sustained by the subjects of Great
Britain from the Spaniards, which accounts have been authenticated at Doctors Commons.
Of William Snelling on board the Betty.
Of Mrs. Jane Minshall.
Of William Snelling on board the Parthenope.
Of Messrs Solomon and Elias de Paz.
Of John Williams.
Of William Wanton, Sen., and Jun.
Of Captain William Walton.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the Chancery Act of Antigua, mentioned in the Minutes of the 19th inst., but some doubt arising whether His Majesty may not, by an instruction to the Governor of the Leeward Islands, prevent his granting or dissolving injunctions in causes depending in Antigua whilst he resides in any other Island, notwithstanding a clause in the Chancery Act of 1715; their Lordships gave directions for referring this matter to Mr. Fane, for his opinion thereon in point of law.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, dated the 19th inst.,
signifying His Majesty's orders that the Board should lay before
the House of Commons such matters as have passed this office,
relating to the progress made by the Commissioners appointed,
pursuant to the treaty of Seville, for adjusting the demands and
Account to be prepared.
reparations due to the merchants of Great Britain in the matters to them referred, was read; and their Lordships gave directions for preparing an account thereof accordingly.
A letter from Mr. Parminter, dated at Bilboa, the 15th of September, 1730, relating to the extent of the British seas, and grievances of trade at Bilboa, was read, and directions were given for enclosing a copy thereof to the Commissaries.
Mr. Carey, Mr. Randall, merchants, trading to Virginia, Mr. Leheup, agent for that Colony, and Mr. Fitzwilliams, Surveyor General of the Customs there, attending, as they had been desired, a memorial from Mr. Leheup, in answer to the objections of the Commissioners of the Customs to the Act of that Colony for amending the staple of tobacco, etc, was read; and the merchants acquainting the Board, that they thought the Act would be of advantage to the tobacco trade, their Lordships made a progress in the consideration thereof, and ordered that a copy of Mr. Leheup's memorial should be given to Mr. Fitzwilliams for his observations thereupon, which he was desired to give in writing, as soon as may be.
The letter, ordered to be prepared the 22nd inst., for enclosing to the Commissaries a copy of the letter from Mr. Parminter, relating to the extent of the British seas, and grievances of trade at Bilboa, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
The circular letter, for enclosing to all the Governors copies of Mr. Attorney and Solicitor General's opinion, that fines and recoveries levied and suffered here cannot cut off the intail of lands in the plantations, ordered to be prepared the 29th of December last, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, dated yesterday, was
read, and the papers, therewith transmitted, were laid before
the Board, viz:—
Copy of my Lord Carteret's representation upon the Dublin merchants' petition.
The humble memorial of the merchants and traders of the city of Dublin, in behalf of themselves and several other merchants and traders of the kingdom of Ireland.
Copy of a letter from the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to the Duke of Newcastle, dated the 11th inst.
Copy of the memorial of the master, wardens and brethren of Trinity Guild in Dublin to Lord Carteret.
Copy of a report of the Commissioners of His Majesty's revenues in Ireland.