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, August 1731
Mr. Richard Harris, Mr. Bradley, Mr. Gerrish, Mr. Bethell and Mr. William Wood attending, as also Major Ayscough, late President of the Council of Jamaica, and Mr. John Sharpe in behalf of Mr. Delafaye, agent for the said Island, the three several orders of reference from the Lords of the Committee of Council, to this Board, upon the petitions of the merchants of London, Bristol and Liverpool, mentioned in the Minutes of the 20th of the last month, against an Act lately passed in Jamaica, whereby certain duties are laid on negroes imported and exported, were again read, together with the said petitions; whereupon Mr. Sharpe prayed their Lordships would defer the consideration of this affair for a week or ten days, in regard the agent was not acquainted with the appointment of this intended hearing, and that he himself had received too short notice to be prepared, as he ought, for offering his reasons in support of an Act, on which he conceived the wellfare of the Island very much depended. And their Lordships, after some discourse with the merchants present, agreed to adjourn the hearing of the petitioners till to-morrow seven-night, the 11th inst., when these gentlemen were desired to attend, and directions were given for acquainting Mr. Delafaye that the Board will then be ready likewise to hear what he may have to offer concerning the said Act.
Their Lordships went this day and attended the Lords of the Committee of Council, as had been desired by Mr. Vernon's letter of the 27th of the last month, in relation to a salary for the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, and the Bills, lately passed by the Council and Assembly there, for the support of Mr. Belcher, the said Governor; and their Lordships being returned
The undermentioned letters from Mr. Belcher were severally
read and the papers, therein referred to, laid before the Board,
A letter from him, dated the 1st of June, 1731.
Five Acts, passed in the Province of New Hampshire in 1731.
Journal of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, from the 26th to the 29th of May, 1731.
A letter from him, dated the 12th of June, 1731.
Copy of a bill, passed by the Council and Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay in June, 1731, for granting the sum of £5,400 for and towards the support of His Majesty's Governor.
Printed votes of the House of Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay, from the 3rd to the 9th of June, 1731, inclusive.
A letter from Mr. Chetwynd, appointed Governor of Barbadoes, dated at Grendon in Warwickshire, the 1st inst., desiring, on account of the distance he is at, and his being engaged in settling his affairs for his going to Barbadoes, their Lordships will excuse his not attending the Board before the 17th of this month, was read.
A letter from Mr. North, solicitor for the gentlemen, merchants and planters, who petition against continuing an instruction to the future Governors of Barbadoes, relating to any addition which the Assembly of that Island may make to the salary of £2,000 per annum to the said Governors, was read, signifying that, by several of the petitioners being out of town, and others indisposed, he could not get any proper persons to wait on the Board, to make out the allegations of the said petition, but would endeavour to attend himself this day according to appointment.
An Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation affairs, dated yesterday, referring to this Board a memorial from Jonathan Belcher, jun., in behalf of Mr. Belcher, his father, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, praying the said Governor may have leave to give his assent to a Bill, passed by the Council and Representatives of that Province in June last, for paying his salary to May, 1732, was read, and directions were given for preparing the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee thereupon.
A letter from the Lord Harrington, dated the 20th of the last
month, was read, referring to this Board
The copy of a letter from Mr. Finch, His Majesty's minister to Stockholm, to the Lord Harrington, dated the 3rd of June, 1731.
Observations upon the several branches of trade carried on between Great Britain and Sweden, dated at Stockholm, in March, 1731.
Table of the exports of iron from Sweden for eleven years, from 1720 to 1730, both inclusive.
Translation of the patent for erecting an East India Company in Sweden, dated the 14th of June, 1731.
Mr. North, solicitor for the petitioners, above mentioned, against the continuance of an instruction to the future Governors of Barbadoes, relating to an additional salary to the said Governors, then attending, he acquainted the Board again with the substance of his foresaid letter, and praying their Lordships would please to appoint some other time for hearing the matter of the said petition, the Board agreed upon Wednesday the 25th inst., at eleven of the clock.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council, directed at the last meeting to be prepared, pursuant to their Order upon the memorial of Mr. Belcher, jun., in behalf of Mr. Belcher, his father, relating to his salary as Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, was agreed, as also the draught of an additional instruction to him on the same subject, and the said draught of a report being transcribed, was signed.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, dated the 3rd inst., signifying His Majesty's pleasure that this Board explain their report concerning the use or necessity of continuing at Jamaica the two regiments there, particularly what incouragement would be proper for soldiers to settle there, was read. And Major Ayscough, one of His Majesty's Council of that Island, attending, presented to the Board a memorial, relating to the disposition and settlement of the men belonging to those two regiments, in case His Majesty should think fit to disband them there, which memorial was read. And Major Ayscough being asked several questions on this subject, he acquainted the Board, that, according to the advices he had lately received from Jamaica, the rebellious negroes had been beaten from one of their towns, adjacent whereto they had about a mile square, or 640 acres, planted with provisions: that he thought that place would be very proper for a new settlement, where a good number of people might be together for their mutual security, upon ground ready planted for their immediate subsistence; and in case a settlement there should be approved and agreed upon, the land should be allotted out in proportion to the number of men: that he was of opinion, five acres of such provision of land would be more than necessary for each man: that the negroes had other little towns, with which, as soon as they should be expelled, and white people placed in their room, communication should be cut through the woods: that the present charge of the Government of Jamaica, on account of the additional subsistence of the said two regiments, and for parties against the rebellious negroes, was about £16,000 a year, Jamaica money; about £6,000 whereof was a standing tax annually, for parties against those negroes, and about £10,000 for the additional subsistence of the regiments: that if the people of Jamaica would apply one year's income of that revenue for the forming and incouraging of such a settlement, they would in a very great measure, if not totally, be eased of this charge for the future, and acquire an additional strength. Major Ayscough added, that in case the said soldiers should be disbanded at Jamaica, it would be necessary they should have their arms; and being asked what particular incouragement was given by the island for white men to come and settle there, and what the charge of a man's passage from this kingdom to Jamaica might be, he said, there was no particular encouragement of any effect to new settlers, and that at present the price was £7 sterling a head for a passage to that Island.
Major Ayscough being withdrawn, their Lordships gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation to His Majesty, relating to the manner of putting in execution what was proposed in their report of the 15th of the last month, relating to the said two regiments at Jamaica.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, dated the 3rd inst., referring to the Board the petition of Sir Wm. Keith and others, praying to have a grant of a tract of land to the West of the ridge of mountains behind Virginia, in order to be settled by several protestant families from Switzerland, was read, together with the said petition, and the map therein referred to, was laid before the Board, and their Lordships agreed to reconsider the same on Tuesday the 24th inst.
Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated the 23rd of November, 1730, referring to the Attorney and Solicitor General this Board's representation upon, together with the Act, passed at Jamaica in 1729, to prevent dangers that may arise from disguised as well as declared papists, for their consideration.
An Order in Council, dated the 14th of December, 1730, directing the Governor of Jamaica to issue a grant under the seal of that Island, of 20 acres of land in Lynch's Island, for the use of His Majesty's navy, to such person as shall be nominated by the Commissioners of the Admiralty.
An Order in Council, dated the 14th of December, 1730, directing the Master General of the Ordnance to prepare an estimate of the charge of building a fort on Lynch's Island, in the Island of Jamaica, and of supplying that island with guns and other Ordnance stores.
An Order in Council, dated the 7th of January, 1730–1, confirming an Act, passed at Jamaica in 1724, for vesting the equity of redemption of certain lands in the parish of St. Thomas in the Vale, late the estate of Mr. Thomas King, deceased, in Andrew Arcedekne and Alexander Henderson, Esqs., and their heirs, etc.
An Order in Council, of the 8th of April, 1731, giving leave to the planters and others of the Island of Barbadoes, to the merchants trading to the sugar colonies in America, and to the mayor, aldermen and merchants of Liverpool, to withdraw their several petitions presented to His Majesty, complaining of a trade carried on between the sugar colonies and Ireland.
An Order in Council, dated the 7th of January, 1730–1, confirming an Act, passed at Antigua in 1729–30, for cutting off the intail of certain lands formerly of John Bradshaw, deceased, and settling the same upon Francis Delap of the Island of Antigua, merchant, etc.
An Order in Council, dated the 28th of January, 1730–1, directing the Attorney and Solicitor General to prepare the draught of a charter, upon the petition of the Lord Viscount Percival and others, praying for a grant of land in South Carolina to settle poor families there.
An Order in Council, dated the 8th of April, 1731, directing a grant to be passed under the Great Seal of Great Britain to Sir John Eyles and others, of 62,000 acres of land in New York, according to the prayer of their petition.
An Order in Council, dated the 10th of March, 1730–1, dismissing the petition of Laurence Armstrong, Esq., Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, praying for an allowance of half the salary of Colonel Richard Phillips, Governor of the said Province, during the time he, the said Colonel Armstrong, acted as Governor there.
An Order in Council, dated the 11th of May, 1731, approving the draughts of instructions for Colonel Richard Phillips, Governor of Nova Scotia, and David Dunbar, Esq., Surveyor General of the Woods in America, empowering them to grant lands to such persons as shall settle in that province.
The draught of a representation to His Majesty, ordered yesterday to be prepared, relating to the manner of putting in execution what was proposed in the report of this Board of the 15th of the last month, relating to the two regiments of soldiers now at Jamaica, was agreed and signed, together with a letter, for enclosing the same to His Grace the Duke of Newcastle.
Mr. Alderman Perry, Mr. Richard Harris, Mr. Bradley, Mr. Gerrish, Mr. Scrope, member of Parliament for Bristol, and Mr. Wood, their solicitor, as also Major Ayscough, one of His Majesty's Council of Jamaica, and Mr. John Sharpe, solicitor in behalf of the Island, attending, according to appointment, in relation to an Act, passed there in February, 1730–1, for raising several sums of money and applying the same to several uses, whereby duties are laid upon the importation and exportation of negroes; the three several Orders of the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated the 7th of the last month, and mentioned in the Minutes of the 20th following, upon the petitions of the merchants of London, Bristol and Liverpool against the said Act, were again severally read, together with the said petitions. Whereupon the Board proceeded to hear what the petitioners and the gentlemen, who appeared in their behalf, had to object to the said Act, particularly in respect to the burthen imposed on the British merchants, in consequence of the duties thereby laid on negroes, the immediate ill effect those duties had on our African trade; the said Act being contrary to the Governor's instructions concerning any duty on negroes, and the high duties on convicts transported from Great Britain being equal to a prohibition, by which the Government of Jamaica had, in effect, assumed a power of repealing an Act of Parliament. Their Lordships likewise heard what Major Ayscough and Mr. Sharpe had to offer in support of the Act, wherein they urged the necessitous circumstances of the Island of Jamaica, and the great charges they were at for the additional subsistence of the two regiments now there, besides parties constantly kept against their rebellious negroes; the great difficulties and inconvenience there would be to support the said two regiments, in case this Act complained of should be immediately repealed; the danger to which the Island might be exposed from a number of convict felons, in case they should join the negroes in the mountains, which Major Ayscough and Mr. Sharpe urged as reasons for laying the said duty on them, though not as a prohibition, and consequently not pretending to repeal the Act of Parliament concerning convicts.
On this occasion, mention having been made of the instructions given by His Majesty to Colonel Johnson, Governor of South Carolina, in relation to duties to be raised there on negroes, the said instruction No. 114, was read; whereupon the merchants present declared they should be satisfied with the like for Jamaica.
The gentlemen, who attended, being withdrawn, their Lordships, upon consideration of what had been offered on both sides, and the reading Mr. Fane's report upon this Act, gave directions for preparing the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council, in answer to their three several orders aforementioned.
An Order in Council, dated the 12th inst., was read, referring to this Board a petition of several merchants of London, in behalf of themselves and others, complaining that, as the laws now stand, in some of His Majesty's colonies and Plantations, His Majesty's subjects residing in this kingdom are left without any remedy for recovery of their just debts, or have such remedy only, as is very partial and precarious; and further that in several of the said colonies greater and higher duties are laid on goods and ships belonging to the petitioners and others residing here, than on those belonging to persons inhabiting there. Whereupon directions were given for preparing a letter to some of the principal of the petitioners, to desire they should lay before this Board as particular an account as may be, of the facts complained of, as likewise of the Acts whereby the plantations favour themselves in prejudice of this kingdom.
The undermentioned letters from Mr. Worseley, Governor of
Barbadoes, were read, and the papers, therein referred to, laid
before the Board, viz.:—
A letter from him, dated the 19th of October, 1730.
A letter from him to the Secretary, dated the 19th of October, 1730.
A letter from him, dated the 20th of November, 1730.
Mr. Worseley's speech to the Council and Assembly.
Copy of the address of the General Assembly of Barbadoes to the Governor for accounts of money due to the Lord Micklethwait, Mr. Whitworth, and Mr. Webster, Secretaries of the Island.
Whereupon directions were given for preparing a letter to Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, to desire to be informed, whether any application has been made to them for a ship to be registered, which was built and fitted at Santa Lucia, of materials carried thither from Barbadoes, except the timber, as mentioned in Mr. Worseley's said letter of the 20th of November, 1730, and what has been done in that affair.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the letter from the Duke of Newcastle of the 3rd inst., with the petition of Sir Wm. Keith and others, relating to a settlement proposed to be made by several Swiss Protestants behind the mountains of Virginia, as mentioned in the Minutes of the 10th inst., and agreed to discourse with the petitioners thereupon, on Thursday morning next, wherewith they were ordered to be acquainted.
Mr. William Tryon and several other merchants attending, according to appointment, who signed the petition referred to this Board by Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated the 27th, and read the 28th of the last month, against continuing an instruction to the future Governors of Barbadoes, whereby they may be permitted to receive such sums, as they can prevail with the first Assembly after their arrival in that Island to settle upon them, in addition to the salary of £2000 per annum. And Mr. Richard Harris being also present, as also Mr. Forster, of counsel for the petitioners, and Mr. North their solicitor, the said order and petition were again read. Whereupon Mr. Forster represented to the Board, that this petition did not proceed from any personal dislike to Mr. Chetwynd, whom His Majesty has lately been graciously pleased to appoint Governor of Barbadoes, but, as an ill use had been made of the liberty granted by the said instruction to the late Governor, the petitioners humbly hoped it might be discontinued: that Sir Beville Granville, when Governor of the said Island, was strictly forbid taking any presents from the Assembly or others, and to make him easy as to his support with dignity in that Government, Her late Majesty was graciously pleased to add to his salary and make it up£2,000 sterling per annum out of the duty of 4½ per cent.: that the colonies are far from being richer at present than in Her late Majesty's reign, the trade of Barbadoes being much fallen off and the land worn out, and Governors, it is presumed, might now live as well upon £2,000 a year as they could then: that the powers wherewith Governors are invested, such as the calling and dissolving of Assemblies, their authorities in the Court of Chancery and upon appeals, the disposal of several preferments, etc., give them great influence over the people, and may prevail with them, contrary to the interest of the Island and even their abilities, to settle too large an income upon their Governors, as has been done upon Mr. Worseley: that our trade is thereby greatly loaded, and other nations by that means have been enabled to undersell us, especially in sugar, the principal produce of the Island: that if the present salary of the Governor of Barbadoes, with the usual perquisites, be not judged sufficient, His Majesty may make such further addition as he shall think fit, out of the duty of 4½ per cent., which he said by the Act of Assembly of Barbadoes for raising it, seems appropriated to the expences of the Government and other public services; but it being here observed by the Board that the legislature of this kingdom did not judge it to be so appropriated, having formerly assigned the said duty of 4½ per cent. as part of the Civil List Funds, Mr. Forster referred to the said Act of Barbadoes, which was read. Their Lordships further took notice that the foresaid Order of Committee upon the merchants' petition does not refer to the consideration of this Board, whether any addition at all should be made to the present salary of the Governor of Barbadoes, but what sum will be sufficient to be raised for support of His Majesty's Governor of Barbadoes with dignity, in addition to the salary of £2,000 per annum allowed from hence, and to the known perquisites arising to the Governor of that Island. Wherefore their Lordships desired to know what the petitioners had to offer upon that point, and what they computed the Governor's perquisites might annually amount to, to which it was answered, that the perquisites of the Governor of Barbadoes, who presides in the Court of Chancery and is ordinary Vice-Admiral, etc., were computed at about £2,000 per annum, though the precise sum could not be ascertained, which, together with the said salary of £2,000 per annum, as settled upon Sir Beville Granville, and £500 a year for the supply of the Governor's cellars, the merchants would be content with.
Mr. Harris observed, that the Governor's salary having been formerly increased out of the duty of 4½ per cent. on sugar and other dead commodities of the produce of the Island, might reasonably be further augmented out of the same fund, if His Majesty should think it necessary, especially considering that when the Governor's salary was first settled, the sugar trade was one third less than at present.
And Mr. Tryon added, in relation to the said duty, that he believed there was an Order of Council, whereby it was appropriated to the use of the fortifications of the Island, and further took notice that notwithstanding greater quantities of sugar have been produced of late years than formerly in our plantations, yet the French chiefly supply the European markets with that commodity, and little is shipped off from hence, so that the greatest part of our imports is consumed here at home, and the price thereby reduced so low.
The gentlemen above mentioned then withdrew, and directions were given for writing to Mr. Lowther, late Governor of Barbadoes, to desire to be informed, what the value of the perquisites arising to the Governors of that Island may be, one with another.
A report, as directed to be prepared the 11th inst., to the Lords of the Committee of Council, in answer to the three several orders of the 7th of the last month, upon the petitions of the merchants of London, Bristol and Liverpool, against an Act, passed at Jamaica, whereby duties are laid upon negroes and convicts, was signed.
His Majesty's Order in Council, together with a duplicate thereof, dated the 12th inst., upon the representation of the 19 May (fn. 1) date added in pencil. for repealing an Act, passed in Virginia in July, 1730, entituled, An Act for continuing part of an Act laying a duty on liquors, with some alterations, being brought by Mr. Wm. Wood, a letter was ordered to be writ, to inclose the said order to Major Gooch, Lieutenant Governor of that Colony, by a ship now bound thither; and directions were given for acknowledging the receipt of his letter, dated the 10th of May last, together with the map therewith transmitted; as likewise for sending to Major Gooch the duplicate of the said Order by the next opportunity.
Sir William Keith, Mr. Stauber and Mr. Ochs attending, their Lordships had some discourse with them on the subject of their petition for a grant of a tract of land to the westward of the mountains of Virginia, in order to be settled by several protestants from Switzerland. Whereupon several objections being made as to the manner, in which the petitioners propose the grant should be made, they were desired to consider further thereof, and let the Board have in writing what they had further to offer on that subject.
Mr. Yeamans, agent for the Island of Antigua, attending, presented to their Lordships a manuscript book under the seal of the Leeward Islands, containing a copy of the General Acts of the four principal Leeward Charribbee Islands, and of the Acts of Antigua, as collected by the Order of the Legislature of the said Island. And being withdrawn, a letter from him on the subject of the said Acts, was read, whereupon it was agreed to proceed in considering the said Acts at another opportunity; in the interim a private Act of Antigua, passed there in 1731, entituled, An Act to enable Henry Lyons of the Island of Antigua, gentleman, to sell and dispose of certain lands hereinafter mentioned, being laid before the Board, directions were given for sending the same to Mr. Fane, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
An Order in Council, dated the 12th inst., upon a report of the Lords of the Committee for Plantation affairs, as also one from the Board of Trade for repealing an Act, passed at Antigua in 1728, concerning the Court of Chancery there, requiring instructions to be prepared for the Governor of the Leeward Island agreeable to the said reports, was read; whereupon directions were given for preparing clauses according to the said order, to be inserted in the draughts of instructions for Col. Cosby, appointed Governor of His Majesty's Leeward Charribbee Islands.
An Order in Council, dated the 12th inst., referring to this Board eighteen Acts, passed in His Majesty's province of the Massachusetts Bay, in February, March and April last, was read, and it being observed that copies of the said Acts under the seal of the province have been already referred to Mr. Fane, one of His Majesty's counsel at law, their Lordships agreed to consider the same, as soon as Mr. Fane shall have made his report thereupon to the Board.
Another Order in Council, of the same date, upon the petition of Mr. Popple, Secretary to this Board, as likewise upon a report of the Lords of the Committee of Council, and another of this Board, relating to the fees to be taken for business done in this office, with a schedule thereof, were read, whereupon directions were given for hanging up the said schedule of fees in some public place in the office.
Capt. Davers, one of His Majesty's Council of Barbadoes, now in this kingdom, having been writ to in relation to his return to that Island; Mr. Brudenell communicated to the Board a letter he had received from Capt. Davers, of the 28th inst., signifying his intention of returning, and desiring to be continued in the said Council, which was read.
A letter from the Lord Harrington, dated the 28th inst., referring to this Board the extracts of two letters from Mr. Finch, His Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary at Stockholm, relating to a trade intended to be carried on from Gothenburg to the West Indies, and to an offer made by the Duke of Courland to sell the Island of Tobago to the Swedes, was read, together with the said extracts; whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation in support of His Majesty's title to the said Island of Tobago, against the said pretentions of the Duke of Courland; and in the meantime, ordered that Mr. Jackson, His Majesty's late Minister in Sweden, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him at eleven of the clock to-morrow morning.
Colonel Cosby, appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands, attending, their Lordships had some discourse with him relating to Ordnance and other stores of war, necessary for the fort built at English Harbour in the Island of Antigua, and Colonel Cosby being withdrawn, the representation, mentioned in the Minutes of the 29th of the last month, upon that subject, was signed.