Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 6, January 1729 - December 1734. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1928.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
Journal, June 1729
A letter from Major Gooch, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia,
dated the 26th of March, 1729, was read, and the papers, therein
referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
Minutes of Council, from the 13th of June, 1728, to 11th December, 1728.
Copy of a letter from Major Gooch, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, to the Duke of Newcastle, dated the 28th of February, 1728–9, giving reasons for repealing that clause of an Act of Parliament, which prohibits the importation of tobacco stripped from the stalk.
Copies of three proclamations published in Virginia for proroguing the Assembly and permitting the exportation of wheat, flower, corn and grain.
Affidavit of John Batting, who had been taken by a pirate sloop and plundered.
The Treasurer's account of the revenue of 2s. per hogshead on tobacco, from the 25th of April, 1728, to the 25th of October following.
Journal of the proceedings of the Surveyor for determining the bounds between Virginia and Carolina.
Protest of the Commissioners of North Carolina against proceeding on the division line between the two Governments, and the Virginia Commissioners' answer thereto.
Two plans of the division line between Virginia and Carolina, run in 1728 by the Commissioners and Surveyors of the two Governments.
Ordered that an extract of that part of Major Gooch's letter, which relates to the payment of the Virginia Commissioners for running the division line between that colony and Carolina, be sent to the Treasury for their directions therein.
A letter from Mr. Worseley, Governor of Barbadoes, dated the
7th of April, 1729, was read, and the papers, therein referred to,
were laid before the Board, viz:—
Minutes of the Council of Barbadoes, from the 17th of December, 1728, to the 19th of February following.
Account of orders passed by the Governor and Council, for which there is at present no fund.
Account of money due from the island of Barbadoes to Colonel Durousseau, store keeper there, the 6th of November, 1728.
Copy of the report of the committee appointed to examine the stores of war in the forts and magazines in Barbadoes in December, 1728.
State of the public debts, of the 19th of January, 1728–9. The Treasurer of Barbadoes, his account for the seven pence half penny levy for the years 1726 and 1727.
Account as Treasurer settled by the Committee of Accounts, from the 8th of February, 1726, exclusive, to the 8th of August, 1727, inclusive. Account of the 2s. 6d. levy for the year ending 30th September, 1727. Account as Treasurer, from the 8th of August, 1727, exclusive, to the 8th of February following, inclusive. Account as Treasurer, from the 8th February, 1727, exclusive, to the 8th of August, 1728, inclusive. Account of the 2s. 6d. levy, for the year ending 30th September, 1728. Account as Treasurer not settled by the Committee, from the 13th August, 1728, to 27th November following.
An Act for supplying a defect in an Act passed in the present year of His Majesty's reign, entituled, An Act for laying of certain duties upon sugars, molasses and other goods of the growth and manufacture of the island of St. Christophers to be exported out of the said island, was read; and Mr. Beake, agent for St. Christophers, and Mr. Yeamans, agent for Antigua, as also Mr. Sharpe as solicitor for the said merchants, attending, they desired their Lordships would please to defer the hearing upon the said Acts, which was to have been next Thursday till Tuesday next at eleven of the clock, which was agreed to accordingly, and Mr. Beake desiring their Lordships that Colonel Hart might be desired to attend at the same time, it was ordered accordingly.
The representation for appointing Thomas Davers and William Leslie, Esqs., of the Council of Barbadoes, in the room of Mr. Lightfoot and Mr. Bond, ordered yesterday to be prepared, was agreed and signed.
A letter for inclosing an extract of Mr. Gooch's letter, read yesterday, in relation to the payment of the charge of running the division line between Virginia and North Carolina to Mr. Scrope, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A letter for inclosing to the Duke of Newcastle the copy of a deposition of the master of a ship, read yesterday, relating to his having been taken by a pirate in his voyage to Virginia, was agreed and signed.
Ordered that Mr. Leheup, agent for Virginia, be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with him to-morrow morning in relation to the list of Councillors recommended to supply vacancies by Mr. Gooch's said letter.
Mr. Leheup, agent for Virginia, attending, as he had been desired, their Lordships acquainted him that the Governor had objected in his said letter, read the 3rd instant, to Mr. Thomas Corbin's being appointed of the Council of Virginia, and desiring to know whether the Governor had given him any instructions upon this subject, he said, he had received none, but to desire their Lordships would please to recommend Mr. Harrison to supply a vacancy in that Council, occasioned by the death of Mr. Beverley.
Mr. Leheup being withdrawn, their Lordships gave directions for inserting a paragraph in the draught of a letter, ordered yesterday to be prepared, to Major Gooch, to desire him to transmit his objections against the said Thomas Corbin.
Their Lordships then took again into consideration the letters from Mr. Worseley, Governor of Barbadoes, and Captain Pitt, Lieutenant Governor of Bermuda, and gave directions for preparing draughts of answers thereto.
Mr. Fane's report upon an Act, passed at St. Christophers in 1727, to subject all goods and commodities of the growth and produce of the late French part of St. Christophers, which are or shall be shipped off from the said island to the payment of the 4½ per cent, duty, and to ascertain at what places all the duties of 4½ per cent. shall be received, was read; and their Lordships, taking the said Act into consideration, gave directions for preparing the draught of a representation for confirming the same.
Mr. Morice and Mr. Harris attending, with several other merchants trading to the Leeward Islands, and Mr. Sharpe their solicitor, as also Mr. Beake and Mr. Yeamans, agents for St. Christophers and Antigua, and Colonel Hart, the late Governor of those islands, with several other gentlemen with Mr. Rider, their counsel, their Lordships took again into consideration and read an Order of the Committee of Council, dated the 30th of April, and mentioned in the Minutes of the 21st of the last month, referring back the representation of this Board for confirming three Acts passed in Antigua, St. Christophers, and Nevis, relating to some settlements of additional salary on the Earl of Londonderry, Governor in Chief of these islands; as also a petition of the merchants trading to St. Christophers against two Acts passed there, for laying a duty on sugars, etc., mentioned in the Minutes of the 3rd instant.
Mr. Sharpe then acquainted their Lordships, in behalf of the merchants, that the duties raised by the Acts of Antigua, St. Christophers and Nevis on the produce of those islands is made payable by the shipper thereof, and therefore affects the trade of this kingdom. That the trade of this kingdom is equally affected by a duty laid upon the exportation of the produce of those islands hither, as by a duty laid upon the importation of British manufactures into those islands. That the merchants buy our manufactures and export them to the coast of Africa, for which they receive negroes in exchange. That these negroes being afterwards carried to the Leeward Islands, the merchants are obliged to take the produce thereof for the said negroes, so that a duty laid upon their produce is in fact a duty upon the importation of negroes, and that the Board had ever shewed their dislike to Acts of this nature. That these duties must greatly affect the sugar trade, as in consequence they must raise the price of sugar. That these Acts being to take place from the dates thereof the merchants here were greatly affected thereby without an opportunity of making their objections thereto, the masters of their ships being obliged to pay these duties without any directions from their principals for that purpose. That they conceived these Acts to be contrary to the Governor's 24th instruction as being of an extraordinary nature, whereby not only the trade and navigation of this kingdom, but also the property of the subject is greatly affected. That the Treasurer by these Acts has a power to administer an oath, but that there is no form of an oath thereby prescribed. That no provision is made in this Act for masters of ships who are Quakers, and that there are many such. That the masters of ships there are obliged to have a double clearance, one from the Treasurer and one from the Naval Officer, and are thereby lyable to be delayed in their voyages. That this had already occasioned the loss of some of their ships, a hurricane having happened at the time the masters were on shore obtaining their clearances, and as these islands are subject to hurricanes, they had reason to fear the like misfortunes might happen again, if these Acts should be confirmed. That the merchants already paid their proportion of the duty of 41/2 per cent. collected in these islands, and therefore they conceived ought not to be taxed for supporting the Governor. That they were not against the peoples giving an additional salary to their Governor, but they thought it very unreasonable that their generosity should be a tax upon the British merchants. That it appeared plainly from the Antigua Act itself, that this was the case, there being a clause inserted therein for exempting the Crown sugars from paying this duty, for which there could have been no occasion, had this duty been made payable by the planters. That these Acts were contrary to the Governor's 37th instruction, there being no direction therein for the Treasurer's keeping any account at all. They that are likewise contrary to the Governor's 38th instruction, there being no care taken therein, that no money be issued but by order from the Governor and Council. That these Acts being, as they apprehend, contrary to several of the Governor's instructions, there should have been clauses inserted therein for suspending the execution of them, till His Majesty's pleasure could be known. That the merchants, who have debts due to them in those islands payable in sugar, would be greatly affected by these Acts, these duties being an abatement of so much of their debt.
As to the Nevis Act they conceived that lyable to particular objections. That £300 is thereby given for defraying the expence of the Governor's table whilst resident on that island, and therefore is contrary to his 33rd instruction in not being given to him as an additional salary. That there is no exception in this Act for the King's sugars, so that his revenue of 41/2 per cent. is thereby affected and consequently is contrary to the Governor's 19th instruction.
That the St. Christophers Act is likewise lyable to particular objections. That the masters of ships are to be examined by the Treasurer upon oath before they can be cleared, and if any goods are found on board after clearance the master is to forfeit £30. That this case may happen by a sailor's taking on board one gallon of rum, and then the ship must stay until the prosecution be over, to the great loss of the merchants. That the St. Christophers Act gives the Governor £2000 a year, but makes no provision how the surplus shall be applied, although no directions are given for paying any part of such money to any person but the Governor.
Mr. Rider in behalf of the Earl of Londonderry, said, that his Lordship being instructed to receive no presents from any of the Assemblies, had leave given him to accept of an additional salary under certain conditions, and that all the said conditions had been complied with. That supposing the merchants' objections true that the duty imposed by the Lord Londonderry's Acts did affect the British merchants, yet it could be but in a very small degree, since about 8–10ths of the sugar exported from thence was upon the risque and account of the planters. That laying a duty upon the produce of these islands for the salary of their Governor was neither new nor extraordinary, Colonel Hart's additional salary being raised by Acts of this nature, which were confirmed by His late Majesty, and that it seemed odd that the merchants should now complain of a duty of 2s., when they acquiesced under Colonel Hart's aforementioned Act, which imposed a duty of 3s. without making any objections thereto. That the merchants could not be more affected by a duty upon the produce of the islands, than if the duty had been laid upon the land itself. That this duty was very small, and would not amount to one fiftieth part of a penny per pound. That although this small duty should raise the price of the sugars, yet as the merchants must sell them again, the duty would be paid by the consumer, so that the merchants could have no reason to complain.
As to the objection against these Acts that they affect private property, as his Lordship had an instruction to accept of an additional salary, it was impossible to find any fund for this use that would not in some measure affect private property.
As to their objection that there is no form of an oath prescribed for the Treasurer to administer, he said, had that been done it would have given people an opportunity to have contrived how to evade it, and that it seems more prudent to give the Treasurer a power at large to examine upon oath. That although there was no particular provision in these Acts for Quakers, yet there being general Acts in those islands subsisting, which allow their affirmation to be taken instead of an oath, he conceived this objection was ill grounded, as he did that of the masters having a double clearance, the master being only obliged to produce to the Naval Officer a certificate from the Treasurer of his having made up his accounts there. That the debts due to the merchants from the planters of St. Christophers could not be affected by this duty, unless they were contracted before the year 1721, there having been ever since that time Acts subsisting there, which laid a larger duty than this now complained of; and as to their debts in Nevis and Antigua, as they must be paid in sugar and those sugars sold at market, this duty must be paid by the consumer, and consequently cannot affect the merchant in his debts.
As to their particular objection against the Nevis Act that it gives £500 per annum for the expences of the Governor's table, and not for his additional salary, he conceived it was an indifferent matter under what name an addition to his salary was given.
Mr. Rider then observed to their Lordships, that their objections against the St. Christophers Act for making the master lyable to a £50 forfeiture, in case he does not comply therewith, seems of no weight, as no Act can have any force unless there are proper penalties to enforce the same.
Mr. Rider then submitted to their Lordships whether any objections raised by the merchants, to which he had not returned an answer, were sufficient to induce the Board to lay these Acts before His Majesty for his disapprobation.
The merchants being then asked whether, if the planters paid these duties, the navigation and trade of Great Britain could be affected thereby, Mr. Harris said, that it was his and the merchants' opinion that any duties imposed upon the produce of the islands, provided the said duties be paid before such produce ceases being the property of the planters, would not affect the navigation and trade of Great Britain.
The representation for confirming the Act, passed at St. Christophers in 1727, to subject all goods and commodities of the growth and produce of the late French part of St. Christophers, which are or shall be shipped off from the said island for the payment of the 4½ per cent. duty and to ascertain at what places all the duties of 4½ per cent. shall be raised, ordered to be prepared at the last meeting, was signed.
Their Lordships taking again into consideration the Acts for settling the Lord Londonderry's additional salary and the other papers on this subject, mentioned in the Minutes of the last meeting, their Lordships made a progress therein, and resolved to consider further thereof on Tuesday morning next.
A letter from the Lord Londonderry, dated at Antigua the
5th of April, 1729, was read, and the following Acts, therewith
transmitted, were laid before the Board:—
An Act for laying a duty on all transient factors or traders, who sell or dispose of any goods, wares or merchandize in this island and for exempting them from paying the duty upon the commodities of this island by them exported as laid by an Act hereinafter recited.
Passed March 1, 1728–9.
An Act to enable the freeholders of the Parish of St. Paul, Falmouth, to chose a, vestry for the year 1729.
Passed 31st March, 1729.
An Act for the banishment of several negro slaves concerned in the late conspiracy.
Passed March 8th, 1728–9.
An Act for raising a tax for paying public debts and charges and particularly applying the said tax.
Passed March 29th, 1728–9.
Ordered that an extract of so much of Lord Londonderry's said letter, as relates to the Pink Pheasant having been taken by a Spanish privateer in her voyage from Barbadoes to South Carolina, be sent to the Duke of Newcastle to be laid before His Majesty.
Ordered that Mr. Carkesse be reminded of the letter wrote to him the 20th of the last month, desiring to know why duties are levied upon Newfoundland oil, which seems exempted by the Act for the encouragement of the trade to Newfoundland.
The Board taking again into consideration the Acts for settling the Lord Londonderry's additional salaries, and the other papers upon this subject, mentioned in the Minutes of the last meeting, gave directions for preparing the draught of a report thereupon, and to propose that these Acts may lye by, but that the Lord Londonderry may be directed to endeavour to get other Acts passed for repealing these, and for laying the same duties on the planters.
The representation for confirming an Act, passed at St. Christophers in 1724, for building a court house or public hall, Secretary's and other offices, at the town of Old Road in the island of St. Christophers, and to oblige the Secretary and other officers to keep their respective offices in the said town, ordered to be prepared the 23rd of April last, was agreed and signed.
The letter for inclosing to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, the extract of a letter from the Earl of Londonderry in relation to the Pink Pheasant taken by a Spanish privateer, ordered to be prepared at the last meeting, was agreed and signed.
Order in Council, of the 22nd of May, for calling home Colonel Gledhill, Lieutentant Governor of Placentia, ordering the chaplains and other staff officers in the military service in America to repair to their posts, and ordering the Secretary at War to report whether the garrison at Placentia in Newfoundland may notconveniently be relieved by an independant company.
Order in Council, of the 22nd of May, 1729, approving the draught of instrauctions for the Lord Vere Beauclerk, Commodore of the Newfoundland Convoy and the draught of a commission and instructions for a Governor of Newfoundland.
Order in Council, of the 22nd May, 1729, approving a report of this Board for directing the captains of the men of war stationed at New England to protect the mast cutters for the use of the navy at Casco Bay.
An Order in Council, dated the 22nd of May, 1729, referring to the Board a petition of the Lord Micklethwait for a sum of money due to him from the Island of Barbadoes for making out copies of public papers when he was Secretary of that Island, was read; whereupon ordered that the Lord Micklethwait be acquainted with the Board's desire of speaking with him on Tuesday sennight.
A letter from Mr. Worseley, Governor of Barbadoes, dated
20th of April, 1729, was read, and the papers, therein referred to,
were laid before the Board, viz:—
Copy of the returns made by the provost marshal on His Majesty's proclamation for continuing all officers, and to His Majesty's 28th instruction to the Governor.
Mr. Peers's, the Speaker of the Assembly, letter to the absent members of the Assembly, inclosing the opinions of Mr. Reeves and Lutwich, relating to the determination of the Act for supporting the honour and dignity of the Government.
The Attorney General, Mr. Blenman's opinion in relation to the said Act.
Mr. Price, who attended the Board the 21st of the last month in behalf of the Assembly of Barbadoes, being called in, he desired the Board would please to appoint a day for hearing what he had to offer upon the petition of the said Assembly against Mr. Worseley, read the 25th of February last. And their Lordships taking into consideration the Minutes of the 21st of last month, wherein they had agreed to defer this matter for some time, Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Worseley's agent, having then acquainted the Board that he expected Mr. Worseley's answer by the first ships; ordered that Mr. Sharpe be acquainted that the Board desires to speak with him on Tuesday sennight.
The report to the Lords of the Committee, ordered to be prepared the 17th instant, upon three Acts passed at St. Christophers, Antigua and Nevis, for settling additional salaries on the Earl of Londonderry, Governor of these islands, was agreed and signed.