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, November 1734
November 4. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Brudenell.
Report, with an additional instruction to Belcher to receive £3000 for a year's salary, signed.
An Order of the Committee of Council, of November 1st, 1734, requiring the Board to prepare the draught of an instruction to Mr. Belcher, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, empowering him to pass a bill giving him £3000 current money for his support, was read; and the Secretary laying before the Board a draught of the said instructions, which was agreed, a representation, inclosing the same to the Lords of the Committee, was agreed and signed.
November 6. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Brudenell.
Shelton's petition for a barony considered.
An Order of the Committee of Council, of November 1st, 1734, referring to the Board Mr. Shelton's petition, and a warrant from the late Lords Proprietors, granting him a barony in South Carolina, and praying a confirmation of the same, was read, and directions were given for preparing a draught of a report in favour thereof [fos. 123, 185].
Governor desires leave to lay a duty on import of negroes.
An Order of the Committee of Council, of 1st November, 1734, referring to this Board the Governor of Jamaica's memorial, desiring leave to lay a small duty upon the import and export of negroes to and from that island, was read, and directions were given desiring Mr. Cunningham to attend the Board next Tuesday morning thereupon.
Mr. Hume's petition about grants of land heard.
Mr. Hume and Mr. Furie attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships took again into consideration Mr. Hume's petition, mentioned in the Minutes of the 31st of the last month; and asking Mr. Furie whether he had anything to observe upon the subject of the said petition, he informed the Board, that not knowing thereof, he had never had an opportunity of attending the Attorney General before he made his said report thereupon; Mr. Hume's petition with the Attorney's report thereupon, as also Mr. Scrope's letter inclosing the same, were therefore now read; and their Lordships, after having fully discoursed this matter over with Mr. Furie and Mr. Hume, were of opinion that all disputed titles to land in South Carolina ought to be heard and determined before the Court of Exchequer in that province, before the King should be advised to confirm any of them, and the rather because any person aggrieved will have an opportunity of appealing in his particular case to His Majesty in Council; whereas were His Majesty to comply with the prayer of Mr. Hume's petition, many grants of land might be confirmed without hearing what might be objected thereto [fo. 179].
Report ordered on the petition.
These gentlemen being withdrawn, directions were given for preparing a draught of a report accordingly.
November 7. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Sir O. Bridgeman.
Imports and exports, their state and trade considered.
A letter from Mr. Oxenford, Assistant Inspector General of the exports and imports, inclosing an account of the amount of the imports and exports to and from England and Jamaica, Barbadoes, Leeward Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda, from Christmas, 1728, to Christmas, 1732, was read; and their Lordships taking again into consideration the draught of a report to the House of Lords upon the state of the British islands in America, mentioned in the Minutes of the 27th of August last, they made a progress therein [fo. 146].
November 12. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Sir O. Bridgeman.
Impost on negroes considered.
Mr. Cunningham attending, as he had been desired, their Lordships, after some discourse with him upon the subject of his petition, mentioned in the Minutes of the 6th instant, appointed next Tuesday for the further consideration thereof, and gave directions for desiring some of the directors of the South Sea Company, and the several merchants of London and Bristol trading to Jamaica, to attend the Board at the same time.
November 14. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Sir O. Bridgeman.
Report on Mr. Shelton's petition.
Their Lordships, taking into consideration the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council, upon Mr. Shelton's petition, praying for the confirmation of a grant of 12,000 acres of land made him by the late Lords Proprietors of South Carolina, ordered to be prepared the 6th instant, the same was agreed [fos. 181, 187].
November 19. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Sir O. Bridgeman, Sir A. Croft.
Impost on negroes considered.
Mr. Cunningham, Governor of Jamaica, attending, as he had been desired, as also Sir Richard Hopkins and some other of the directors of the South Sea Company, with several merchants and planters of Jamaica, Mr. Wood, in behalf of the merchants of Bristol, and Mr. Sharpe, agent for the Island of Jamaica, their Lordships took again into consideration Mr. Cunningham's petition, desiring leave to lay a small duty upon the import and export of negroes in that island, as mentioned in the Minutes of the 6th and 12th instant; and desiring the South Sea Company would inform the Board what they had to offer upon the subject of the said petition, Sir Richard Hopkins in their behalf acquainted the Board, that they were not ready to lay their objections before their Lordships, and for that reason desired another day might be appointed; their Lordships therefore appointed Tuesday next, and desired all parties would then attend again.
Report on Shelton's petition, signed.
The report to the Lords of the Committee of Council upon Mr. Shelton's petition, praying for a confirmation of a grant of 12,000 acres of land in South Carolina, agreed at the last meeting, was signed.
November 21. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham.
Ochs and Stauber petition for land beyond the mountains, consideration postponed.
Mr. Ochs, who formerly petitioned the Board with Mr. Stauber for a large tract of land beyond the Appalachian Mountains, attending, presented to the Board a petition from himself, desiring that a tract of land on this side of the said mountains, but contiguous to them, situated part in Virginia and part in North Carolina, might be granted unto him, in order to settle thereon about 200 Switzers, whom he daily expected in England; this petition being read, the Board desired he would bring in writing what proposals he had to make for settling the said Switzers there, and acquainting him that the Board would then take the whole affair into consideration.
Destruction of the woods.
The Secretary then laid before the Board a letter he had received from Colonel Bladen, inclosing extracts of some letters, relating to the destruction of the woods in New England, and to a riot at Exeter in New Hampshire; and the same being read, ordered that Mr. Gulston, contractor for the King's masts in America, and Mr. Fane be desired to attend the Board on Wednesday next.
November 26. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Sir O. Bridgeman.
Hearing against impost on negroes.
Mr. Cunningham, appointed Governor of Jamaica, attending, as he had been desired, with Mr. Sharpe, his solicitor, as also Mr. Gambiere and Mr. North, in behalf of the South Sea Company, Mr. Wood, in behalf of the merchants of London, Bristol and Liverpool, as also several planters and merchants trading to that island, their Lordships resumed the consideration of Mr. Cunningham's petition, mentioned in the Minutes of the 19th instant, desiring leave to lay a small duty upon the import and export of negroes to and from that island.
Mr. North then presented to the Board a memorial, signed by the Secretary of the South Sea Company, containing that Company's objections to the laying of any duty upon the import and export of negroes, which was read.
Mr. Wood presented likewise to the Board a letter from himself, in behalf of the traders of London, Bristol and Liverpool, containing a long detail of what had passed upon this subject since the year 1717, both at the Council Office and at this Board, in answer to Mr. Cunningham's said petition, which was likewise read; but the Board observing to the gentlemen present that Mr. Cunningham's petition, desiring the liberty to lay a small duty upon the import and export of negroes, was founded upon a supposition that the condition of Jamaica was at present worse, since the year 1732, when His Majesty gave his last instruction to Mr. Hunter, prohibiting the said duty, than it had been before, the Board desired these gentlemen would confine themselves in what they had to say to the condition of Jamaica since the year 1732.
Mr. Guy, a planter of Jamaica, being then called upon, he informed the Board, that the condition of the island was in his opinion much worse since the year 1732, in many respects, than at any time before; that the rebelious negroes are grown much stronger, not only from the additional number of plantation slaves that have annually deserted to them, but from the acquisition of arms and ammunition from the parties sent out against them; that the rebellious negroes have almost constantly defeated those parties; that to defray the charge of those parties, there has been an annual poll tax upon negroes and cattle, which, with the taxes annually laid, is become so heavy a burthen upon the planters in general, that many of them are going to leave the island.
Captain Dowglass informed the Board, that he was lately come from that island, having been there since the year 1729, and that in his opinion the condition of the island was much worse since the year 1732; that many parties had been sent out against the rebellious negroes from Port Antonio, and that they had been constantly defeated; that upon an application to Sir Challoner Ogle for a party of sailors to join a party to be raised by the island, 200 of the sailors were sent out against them; that the whole party amounted to 5 or 600 men; that each sailor received £4 a month, besides the ship's pay, as an encouragement to do their duty against the said negroes, but that this party was also defeated, which gave the negroes in rebellion so much encouragement that the inhabitants of Portland, St. George's and St. Antonio dare not punish any of their own negroes, for fear of their deserting to those in rebellion; that the rebellious negroes were now much better armed than formerly, and were become so much the more formidable, that whereas five white men would formerly have frightened 15 blacks, it was now quite the reverse, and that even in March last no man durst stir out of the town of St. Antonio.
Mr. Milward informed the Board likewise, that the condition of the island was much worse, not only in the respects abovementioned, but with regard to their credit; that the poll tax upon negroes and cattle, with the other common taxes of the island, were very heavy upon the middling sort of people; that the constables were daily about seizing goods for non-payment of the said taxes; and that many of the inhabitants designed leaving the island, because they were no longer able to bear the heavy impositions laid on them.
Mr. Campbell, another inhabitant of the said island, being called upon, informed the Board, that the condition thereof was much worse than in the year 1732, especially of the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Cabaritta and Hanover; that the rebellious negroes molest them so much there, that they are obliged to keep a constant watch in their plantations, and to erect barracks for their defence; that besides the ordinary taxes of the island, and the poll tax upon negroes and cattle, they had been at a very great charge in cutting of roads from one town to another to prevent the ambushes laid by the said negroes; that the many successes they have lately had against the country parties sent out to quell them, had made them much more troublesome than they formerly used to be; that their plantation negroes deserted to those in rebellion much more than they formerly used to do; that their credit was so much worse, that the Receiver General had often offered 12½ per cent., but without success, to raise money to pay the parties sent out against the said negroes; that in his opinion the taxes were already too heavy in the island, that many would be obliged to desert it.
Captain Hodges and Mr. Bowerman confirmed what was before offered.
Mr. Bendish then informed the Board, that for these three years past the letters from his agent and friends in Jamaica were filled with little else than complaints of the same nature; that several of his negroes had been taken from off his own plantation by those in rebellion; that in the parishes near Port Antonio the rebellious negroes were become so flushed with their late successes, and for the same reason the plantation negroes were become so very insolent, that their owners did not dare to punish them; that as for himself he had lately resolved, if nothing was done for the preservation of the island, to sell what stock and slaves he had there, and leave his plantation to those who would please to take it.
Mr. Sharpe, agent for the island, then presented to the Board the copy of an address to His Majesty from the Governor, Council and Assembly, which at present lay before the King, confirming all that had been offered, and imploring His Majesty's assistance, which was read.
Hearing against impost on negroes, to be further considered.
These gentlemen being withdrawn, the Board resolved to consider further on this matter on Thursday morning next.
November 27. Present:—Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Sir O. Bridgeman.
Waste in the woods, and the contractor with the Navy obstructed.
Mr. Fane attending, as he had been desired, as also Mr. Gulston, contractor for the King's masts in America, the Board took again into consideration the letter from Colonel Bladen to the Secretary, relating to the destruction of the woods in New England, etc., as mentioned in the Minutes of the 21st instant, and then read the following letters from Mr. Scrope, Mr. Belcher and Colonel Dunbar, viz:—
Papers, relating to the destruction of the woods, and a riot at Exeter.
Letter from Mr. Scrope, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury,
dated the 25th of September, 1734, referring to this Board:—
Copy of Mr. Slade's letter to the Commissioners of the Navy about Colonel Dunbar, Surveyor of the Woods in New England.
Letter from Colonel Dunbar to the Treasury, dated May 8th, 1734, complaining of interruptions he meets with in doing his duty as Surveyor of the Woods.
Letter from Mr. Shirley to Colonel Dunbar, on the Exeter riots, and the proceedings thereon.
Copy of Governor Belcher's warrant and proclamation for a general fast on a church festival, and Lieut. Governor Dunbar's answer, with his letters to the Governor upon the riot at Exeter, and Minutes of the Council thereon.
Governor Belcher's original letters in answer to Lieut. Governor Dunbar's account of the riot at Exeter, his refusing the proclamation for a fast on a church festival, etc.
Justice Penhallow's justification of Lieut. Governor Dunbar from aspersions of Governor Belcher about the examinations at Exeter, with copies of the said examinations, and the Deputy Marshal's affidavit.
Lieut. Governor Dunbar's letter to Mr. Gillman, at Exeter with imprest men.
Copy of a proclamation about the riot at Exeter.
Letter from Mr. Belcher, Governor of New England, dated
July 1st, 1734, with papers chiefly relating to Lieut. Governor
What passed in the Council of New Hampshire in April and May, 1734, about the riot, attested by the Province Secretary.
Copies of several letters between Governor Belcher and Lieut. Governor Dunbar, and the Governor's orders to the President of the Council.
Complaints of the inhabitants of Exeter against Colonel Dunbar, with sundry affidavits.
Complaints of Daniel Batchelor and others against Colonel Dunbar.
Governor Belcher's letter to Lieut. Governor Dunbar, with the latter's answer.
Three printed Boston newspapers, in May, 1743, in which are inserted the proclamation, relating to a riot at Exeter.
Letter from Colonel Dunbar to the Secretary, dated May 9th, 1734, complaining of one of his deputies, whom he has dismissed.
Letter from Colonel Dunbar to the Secretary, dated May 11th,
1734, complaining of the people who destroy the woods, and of
Governor Belcher for using him ill.
Proclamation about the riot at Exeter, and copies of several other papers relating to that affair.
Copy of a letter from Mr. Dunbar to Mr. Secretary Scrope, dated May 8th, 1734.
Mr. Gorwood's letter about Mr. Slade, one of Mr. Dunbar's deputies, and reasons for dismissing him.
Mr. Levermore, the King's Attorney's account of proceedings against the undertakers for masts, etc., for the Royal Navy, at York Court in the Province of Maine, and copy of a libel exhibited by Mr. Dunbar against a parcel of loggers.
Letter from Colonel Dunbar, Lieut. Governor of New Hampshire,
to the Secretary, dated June 28th, 1734, complaining of waste
made in the woods, and of Governor Belcher's ill usage of him.
Copy of a letter from Colonel Dunbar to Mr. Scrope, of May 8th, 1734.
Copy of a letter from Mr. Atkinson to Colonel Dunbar, giving an account of proceedings at York Court against the undertakers for masts, etc., for the Navy.
Copy of a petition from Exeter to Governor Belcher, in May, 1734.
Colonel Dunbar's answer to the said petition.
Mr. Atkinson's affidavit, taken June 19th, 1734, relating to the riot at Exeter, and several examinations about the said riot.
And after some discourse with Mr. Fane and Mr. Gulston thereupon, the Board resolved to consider further thereof tomorrow morning.
November 28. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Sir O. Bridgeman.
Complaint against the Governor by the Lieut. Governor.
Act for removing Courts objected to.
Captain Tomlinson, agent for the Assembly of New Hampshire, attending, presented to the Board a memorial complaining of Governor Belcher for ill-treatment of Lieut. Governor Dunbar, and of the defenceless condition of the Province of New Hampshire, which was read; and Captain Tomlinson acquainting the Board, that he was instructed by many of the inhabitants of New Hampshire to desire the repeal of an Act, passed in that province, for removing three of the Courts of general quarter sessions of the peace and inferior Court of common pleas from Portsmouth, to Exeter, Hampton and Dover; the removal of the said Courts from Portsmouth, (the capital town of the said province, and by much the most populous), to Exeter, Hampton and Dover, where most of the saw mills are, was an encouragement to the destruction of His Majesty's woods, from the difficulty of obtaining a jury in those towns where the loggers live, to determine impartially in any cause, relating to the destruction of the King's woods; their Lordships took the said Act into consideration, and read Mr. Fane's report thereupon, and there not appearing to their Lordships any reason at all for removing the Courts from Portsmouth, ordered that Mr. Partridge be desired to attend the Board on Thursday morning next, to shew cause why the said Act should not be repealed [fo. 212].
South Sea Company complain of an Act for raising money.
Mr. North, solicitor for the South Sea Company, attending, desired their Lordships, in behalf of the Court of Directors, that they would please to appoint a day for hearing the said directors against an Act of Jamaica, which took place there in July last, for raising several sums of money, and applying the same to several uses, for subsisting the officers and soldiers of the two independant companies, and preventing the exportation of several commodities into the French and Spanish islands; their Lordships then read an Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated November 1st, 1734, referring to this Board the petition of the South Sea Company against the said Act, and appointed Wednesday morning next for that purpose.
Ordered that Mr. Sharpe, agent for Jamaica, have notice thereof.
Letter about duties on negroes, etc., read.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Jeffries, of Bristol, to Mr. Wood, relating to duties on negroes, and paper currencies in Carolina, etc., was read [fo. 13, and in Journal for 1735].