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 1729
Mr. Belcher and Mr. Wilks, agents for the Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships, in pursuance of an Order from a Committee of the Lords of His Majesty's most honourable Privy Council, dated the 23rd of October last, mentioned in the Minutes of the 28th of the same month, relating to the manner of raising and issuing public money in this province, to certain fees to be taken by the Governors for let passes, and to the settlement of a fixed salary on the Governor, did again take the affairs of that colony into consideration, and demanded of the said agents what steps had been taken by the said Assembly in complyance with His Majesty's instruction for providing a fixed salary for their Governor, or intended to be taken for that purpose.
For answer to this question, the said agents referred to the last proceedings of their Assembly upon that head, and added that they knew not of any intention the said Assembly had to vary from their last resolution.
Whereupon their Lordships told them, that as they were desirous that this dispute between the Crown and the said Assembly might, if possible, be determined in an easy manner, and that His Majesty might not be under a necessity of laying their behaviour before the legislature of Great Britain, since the said agents had nothing new to propose to them, their Lordships would make them a proposal, wherein they would not insist upon forms, provided the substance might be obtained, and that the Governor might be made by any means independent of the people, and not lye under the temptation of retailing the prerogative of the Crown or the interest of Great Britain to the said Assembly for his daily bread, which proposal was: that since it seemed to be a point undisputed on all hands that the people of the Massachusets Bay are by the terms of their charter obliged to provide for their Governor; since the sum of one thousand pound is on all hands agreed to be a reasonable provision; and since the Assembly of the Massachusets have already by several Acts provided stated salaries for their Council and Assembly men; that they should make the like provision of one thousand pounds sterling per annum in the same manner for their Governor for the time being. To which the said agents at first answered, that without all doubt the Assembly would look upon this proposal as an Act of great condescension and goodness in the Government here, and would most certainly comply with it. But upon further discourse and explanation, it appeared that what the said agents intended was, that as the Acts providing salaries for their Council and Assembly are near expiring, that when the same should expire the Assembly would for the future provide for the Council, Assembly and Governor in the same manner, that is by an annual resolve every session only, and not by Act of Assembly nor for any fixed term whatsoever, for to their knowledge Mr. Burnet had endeavoured to persuade the people to come into a three year's provision only, which they had absolutely refused, and the said agents declared it to be their fixed and positive opinion that the Assembly would never make their Governor independent of them.
A letter from Mr. Dummer, Lieutenant Governor of the Massachusets Bay, dated the 15th of September, 1729, signifying his
taking upon himself the government since Mr. Burnet's death,
his having dropped the let passes, the paying for which the people
disputed in Mr. Burnet's time, and his little hopes of getting
a settled salary, was read, and the paper, therein referred to,
laid before the Board, viz:—
Journal of the House of Representatives, from the 28th of May, 1729, to the 6th of September following.
Mr. Coram and Mr. Hintz attending, as they had been desired, their Lordships took again into consideration the Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, about settling some Irish families now in New England at Nova Scotia, read the 28th of October last, and desired these gentlemen would let the Board have their thoughts in writing about the method of settling the said families, as soon as possible, which they promised accordingly.
Mr. Shelton, Secretary to the lords proprietors of the Bahama Islands, not attending, as he had been desired, ordered that he be acquainted with the Board's desire of speaking with him on Tuesday next.
His Majesty's warrants under his royal sign manual, impowering the Governors of Barbadoes, Jamaica, Virginia and South Carolina to use the new seals prepared for those colonies, being received from his Grace the Duke of Newcastle's office, a circular letter to the Governors or Commanders in Chief of those colonies, wherewith to transmit the said respective seals and warrants, pursuant to Her Majesty's Order in Council of the 18th of August last, was agreed and signed.
The Secretary acquainting the Board, that Mr. Wilks and Mr. Belcher, agents for the Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, had something to offer, and desired to be admitted to the Board, they were called in, and acquainted their Lordships, that having reflected upon what passed when they attended the Board the 6th instant, having reconsidered their letters, and apprehending that the death of Mr. Burnet might have abated the animosity of the dispute between him and the Assembly, and have made some alteration in the temper of that province, they were ready to transmit any proposition to the Assembly that this Board should make to them and would, as far as was compatible with their stations, enforce the success thereof.
The Board then acquainted them that they would apply to His Majesty for leave to make them a proposition in writing, and would humbly entreat His Majesty to suspend his just resentment against the province, until such time as the effect of the said proposition should be known.
These gentlemen being withdrawn, and their Lordships taking again into consideration the Order of the Committee of Council about settling a fixed salary on the Governor of the Massachusets Bay, etc., mentioned in the Minutes of the 28th of the last month, agreed upon the heads of a proposition to be made to the Assembly there, and gave directions for preparing a draught thereof, as also of a report thereupon to the Lords of the Committee.
Ordered likewise that the draught of instructions, as directed by the aforementioned order, be prepared for the Commander in Chief of the Massachusets Bay, relating to the new method of raising money by resolves instead of Acts of Assembly, and to the exacting of unusual fees for registering and let passes for ships.
Mr. Coram and Mr. Hintz attending, presented to the Board a proposal for settling some Palatines in Nova Scotia, as mentioned in the Minutes of the last meeting, which was read, and their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof at another opportunity.
Mr. Shelton, Secretary to the lords proprietors of Carolina, attending, as he had been desired, their Lordships acquainted him with the purport of the Order of the Committee, read the 31st of the last month, directing the Board to consider the value of the lands of the Bahama Islands, and what sums may be proper to be given for them, etc., and desired he would let the Board know, as soon as conveniently may be, whether the lords proprietors are willing to dispose of the said islands, and for what sum, which he promised to do accordingly.
The draught of instructions to the Commander in Chief of the Massachusets Bay, relating to the new method of raising money by resolves instead of Acts of Assembly, and to the exacting of unusual fees for registering and let passes for ships, ordered yesterday to be prepared, as also the draught of a proposition to be made to the Assembly, in relation to the settling the Governor's salary, being agreed, their Lordships signed the report to the Committee of Council thereupon.
An Order of the Committee of Council, dated yesterday, directing the Board to report their opinion upon several New York Acts, in relation to the Indian trade, was read; and their Lordships resolved to consider further thereof on Tuesday morning next.
A letter from Colonel Montgomerie, Governor of New York and
New Jersey, dated the 29th of August, 1729, was read, and the
papers, therein referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
Minutes of Council, from the 10th of March, 1728–9, to the 12th of July, 1729.
Printed votes and proceedings of the Assembly, from the 13th of May, 1729, to the 12th of July following.
Printed Acts, passed in 1729.
Twelve public Acts and a private one, passed in July, 1729.
A letter from Mr. Scrope, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, desiring the opinion of the Board upon a petition from the Governor, Council and Assembly of New York for permitting the importation thither of salt from Europe, for encouragement of their fishery, was read: and the Board, taking the same into consideration, gave directions for preparing the draught of a letter to Mr. Scrope thereupon.
The Board, taking again into consideration the Order of the Committee of Council directing the Board to report their opinion upon several New York Acts in relation to the Indian trade, read at the last meeting, as also the said Acts, to which the said Order refers, Mr. Fane's reports upon the said Acts in 1725, 1726, 1727 and 1729, were read.
The Secretary then laid before the Board an account taken from the Custom House leidgers in this office of the annual amount of the imports and exports to and from New York, from Christmas, 1717, to Christmas, 1722. And their Lordships, taking at the same time into consideration the like account from Mr. Oxenford, from Christmas, 1722, to Christmas, 1728, gave directions for preparing the draught of a return to the aforementioned order.
The letter to Mr. Scrope, directed to be prepared the 13th instant, in answer to one from him then read, in relation to a petition from the Governor, Council and Assembly of New York for permitting the importation of salt thither from Europe, was agreed and ordered to be sent.
A letter from Lieutenant General Mathew, Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, signifying the death of the Earl of Londonderry, was read, and a letter for inclosing a copy thereof to the Duke of Newcastle, was agreed and signed.
Colonel Bladen then communicated to the Board a paper he had received from Mr. Belcher, agent to the Assembly of the Massachusets Bay, in relation to the method of erecting townships in that province, and the same was read.
A letter from Colonel Dunbar, Surveyor General of His Majesty's
woods in America, dated the 9th October, 1729, was read, and the
papers, therein referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
Copy of the claim of Christopher Toppan to lands to the eastward of Kennebeck.
Copy of the grant of lands from the Council of Plymouth.
The copy of a report from the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated the 17th of December, 1720, upon the petition of William West and others, praying to be heard upon a report from the Board of Trade, of the 21st of May, 1718, on a former petition of theirs, praying for a settlement upon some lands lying waste and uninhabited between Nova Scotia and the province of Maine, and upon hearing counsel for Duke Hamilton as also of Mr. Dummer, agent for the province of the Massachusets Bay, was read.
A letter from his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, of the 20th instant, inclosing the copy of one from Colonel Dunbar, Surveyor General of His Majesty's Woods in the continent of America, relating to the settlement proposed to be made between Kennebeck and St. Croix, and signifying His Majesty's pleasure that this Board consider thereof, together with what Colonel Dunbar has written to their Lordships on the same subject, and report their opinion what directions are proper to be sent to him thereupon, was read.
Mr. Coram and Mr. Hintz attending, as desired, their Lordships, after some discourse with them on the subject of the settlements now proposed to be made in and near the province of Nova Scotia, gave directions for preparing the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council, pursuant to their Lordships Order of the 23rd, mentioned in the Minutes of the 28th of October last, referring back the representations of this Board, dated the 21st of March and 14th of May last, relating to the said settlements.
An Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated the 20th instant, requiring this Board to attend them on Thursday the 4th of December next, in relation to the draught of a charter of incorporation prepared for Gibraltar, was read.
An Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council, dated the 31st of the last month, referring to this Board the extracts of several letters from Major General Hunter, Governor of Jamaica, to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Delafaye, his Grace's Secretary, relating to the making a settlement at Port Antonio and a fort in the mouth of the harbour there, and requiring the Board to consider, whether any and what further incouragement is necessary to complete the said settlement, besides what is contained in the Acts passed and transmitted from Jamaica relating thereto, was read, together with the said extracts.
A letter from his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, of the 12th
instant, referring to the Board several papers as undermentioned,
relating to Jamaica, North Carolina and Newfoundland, and
particularly requiring their Lordships to examine and report
upon the Acts of Assembly lying before them, for encouraging the
new settlement at Port Antonio, was also read, and the said
several papers were laid before the Board, viz:—
Copy of Governor Hunter's letter.
Copy of a letter from Governor Hunter to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle relating to the imbargo and state of defence of Jamaica, dated the 6th September, 1729.
Copy of Governor Everard's letter to his Grace and Duke of Newcastle, dated 18th June, 1729.
Copy of Governor Everard's charge to the Council, in his letter of 18th June, 1729.
Copy of a letter from Mr. Porter to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, dated 24th January, 1728–9.
Copy of a letter from Mr. Porter to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, dated 15th of June, 1729.
Copy of a letter from Captain Osborn to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, dated 14th October, 1729.
Places where the Magistrates reside in Newfoundland.
Copy of Captain Osborn's commission appointing Justices of the Peace.
Whereupon their Lordships proceeded to take into consideration the Acts of Jamaica, intituled as follows, and Mr. Fane's reports of the 14th of December, 1726, and 30th of July last, being read, their Lordships agreed to propose upon each of them not already confirmed, as noted under the respective titles, viz:—
An Act for encouraging white people to come over and become
settlers in this island, and for the more easy and speedy settling
the north east part thereof. Passed in 1723.
Confirmed by His Majesty, the 20th of September, 1727.
Their Lordships then gave directions for preparing the draughts of representations to His Majesty and the Lords of the Committee upon the aforementioned references and Acts concerning the settlement of the north east part of the island of Jamaica.
Their Lordships made a progress in considering the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee, directed the 25th instant, relating to the settlements proposed to be made in and near Nova Scotia.