Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 7, January 1735 - December 1741. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.
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Journal of the proceedings of His Majesty's Commissioners for Trade and Plantations for the year 1737–8.
Journal, January 1738
Colonel Dunbar, Lieutenant Governor of New Hampshire, attending, acquainted the Board of the death of Benjamin Gamblin, a Councillor of New Hampshire; and at the same time recommended John Rindge, Esqr., to succeed him; and the Board, approving Mr. Rindge, ordered a report to be prepared in his favour, and the said report was accordingly prepared, and signed.
Mr. Fury, agent for South Carolina, and also Mr. Wood, agent for the merchants of London and Bristol, attending, desired a day might be appointed for the hearing of the matter, relating to an Act, passed in South Carolina in May, 1736, concerning Paper Currency, and their lordships were pleased to name Thursday sennight for the said hearing. [Thursday, 19th].
Mr. Sharpe, agent for Chaloner Jackson, in the complaint exhibited by him against Governor Fitzwilliams, attending, prayed that the hearing of the cause might be deferred to this day sennight, on account of the illness of one of the material evidences. And their Lordships were pleased to postpone the said hearing to this day sennight. [Wednesday, 18th].
An Order of the Committee of Council, dated December 23rd, 1737, referring Mr. Zouberbuhler's petition to a grant of land in South Carolina, was read, and the Board ordered a letter to be writ to him, desiring his attendance to-morrow.
Ordered that a letter be written to Mr. Trelawney, desiring his attendance at the Board to-morrow, in relation to his memorial about granting Royal mines in Jamaica, their Lordships intending to take it then into consideration.
Mr. Trelawney attending, as desired, their lordships, after having taken his memorial, mentioned in the minutes of yesterday, into consideration, ordered the draught of a report and instructions to be prepared, in answer to the reference of the Committee of Council on Mr. Trelawney's petition for a power to grant Royal mines in Jamaica.
Read an Order of Committee of Council, dated January 13, 1737, referring the petition of Benjamin Johnson and William, alias Billy, Johnson, against a Bill of Attainder, passed against them in Antigua, and their lordships agreed to take the same into consideration Friday next, and ordered the Secretary to write letters to Henry Lyons, Esqr., and Colonel James Park, to desire their attendance that day upon that subject.
Letter from the Duke of Newcastle, signifying his Majesty's having appointed Lewis Morris, Senior, Governor of New Jersey in America, and directing his Commission and instructions to be prepared, was read, and draughts of the Commission and Instructions were accordingly ordered to be prepared.
Colonel Dunbar attending, on account of a letter he received sometime since from this Board, relating to the produce of hemp and flax and the progress of the linen manufacture in New Hampshire, their Lordships desired him to put his answer thereto in writing.
Mr. Paris, Solicitor to the agent for Rhode Island, and Mr. Sharpe, Solicitor to the agent for Massachusets Bay, attending about the dispute between the two colonies, concerning boundaries, the former prayed a short day might be appointed for the hearing, to which the latter made some objections, but the Board overruled them, and ordered the said hearing to be on this day four weeks.
Mr. Chaloner Jackson, Collector of the Customs at Providence, attending, according to appointment, with Mr. Murray, his Counsel, and Mr. John Sharpe, his Solicitor; Mr. Henry Popple, agent for Mr. Fitzwilliams, Governor of the Bahamas, attending likewise, with Mr. Solicitor General and Mr. Connel his Counsel, and Mr. Joshua Sharpe, his Solicitor, the Board took into consideration and read Mr. Jackson's petition presented to the Board the 28th of October, 1736, complaining of Mr. Fitzwilliam, Governor of the Bahama Islands. In support of which several facts Mr. Murray referred to the following affidavits, and likewise to some part of the Governor's instructions, which were read, vizt.
Mr. Fury, agent for South Carolina, and Mr. Wood, agent for the merchants of London and Bristol, attending (as appointed in the minutes of Wednesday the 11th), and Mr. Wood having given in his objections in writing to the Bill, the Board had some discourse with them, and agreed to take the matter into consideration Thursday, January 26th, this day sennight.
The draught of a report in answer to a Committee of Council, dated December 23rd, 1737, referring Mr. Zouberbuhler's petition, mentioned in the minutes of Wednesday, January 11th, was read, and agreed to.
Mr. Lyons attending, gave a good character of the two Blacks, mentioned in the minutes of January 17th, particularly that one of them, vizt. Benjamin, was a man of good substance, had a shop and a great many slaves, that he did not apprehend them any ways concerned in the conspiracy, and that he saw them do their duty during the time of the conspiracy, as the white men did; and that he does not believe they were to have any post or place of office, that they were not accused till three months or thereabouts after the conspiracy was discovered, and that they did not fly or absent themselves upon the said accusation.
Mr. Solicitor General, then attending, in behalf of Governor Fitzwilliam, spoke very largely in his defence, and endeavoured to clear him from the facts laid to his charge; in order to which he desired the following affidavits might be read, which accordingly were, vizt:
Nicholas Rowland, Samuel Lawford, Thomas Petty, James How, James Scott, John Howell, Benjamin Pitman, the Reverend Mr. Smith, William Simma, John Howell, William Stuart, William Spatches, Mary Anne Clealand, Mary Smith, Catherine Cockran, John Jennings, John Thompson, the presentment to the Grand Jury of Chaloner Jackson for insulting the Governor, James Shirly, David Griffith, William Hogg, Clement Hodson, Samuel Frith, William Hilton, William Ross, John Keowin.
Mr. Connel, Counsel for Governor Fitzwilliam, desired that the following papers and affidavits might be read, in order to shew their lordships, that the inhabitants of the Islands were ignorant of the complaints, exhibited against their Governor; as likewise to shew the characters of three of the witnesses, vizt. Cox, Yerworth and Colebrooke; and they were read accordingly; vizt. narrative of the Council with regard to the Governor's character on a complaint of Cuthbert Jackson—address of Council and Assembly—address of Grand Jury to the Governor—resolution of Assembly—affidavits of Nicholas Rowland, late Chief Justice, John Keowin, George Raddon, Jonathan Skinner, John Bennet, a presentment of John Colebrooke for barratry and other misdemeanours during the Government of Woodes Rogers; a letter of December 2nd, 1735, with regard to the ill state of the stores and provisions for the soldiers.
Mr. Murray then replied to the several answers that had been made, and produced the certificate from the Custom House relating to the goods on board the Falconbridge, which occasioned the dispute between the Governor and Jackson, and likewise an Order of Council for reversing the judgement against Colebrooke; and concluded by saying he doubted not, but it would appear to their Lordships from the whole, that the Governor had traded both by wholesale and retail, that he had perverted the course of justice, had put in creatures of his own, had been guilty of many acts of tyranny and oppression, and particularly had ruined the Complainant; then the Counsel being retired, their lordships came to a resolution, and ordered the draught of a report to be prepared.
A representation to his Majesty, relating to a private Act, passed in Virginia, to dock the entail of certain lands whereof Lewis Burnwell was seized, and for settling other lands to the same uses, was agreed to, and to be transcribed.
Colonel Dunbar attending, presented a letter from himself, directed to the Board, which with other letters inclosed in it, were read, and their Lordships having had some discourse with him, the further consideration thereof was deferred to another opportunity.
Mr. McCulloch attending, read a paper relating to the blank Patents in North Carolina, and their lordships having had some talk with him, agreed to take that affair into consideration, as soon as the same shall be reduced into a proper state of the case for the opinion of the Attorney General.
Read a letter from the Duke of Newcastle, signifying his Majesty's pleasure that this Board do prepare an Instruction for Alured Popple, Esqr., Capt. General and Governor in Chief of the Bermuda Islands, relating to his appointment, agreeable to that, which was prepared for John Pitt, Esqr., late Lieutenant Governor of the said Islands, and the same was ordered to be prepared accordingly.
A letter from the Duke of Newcastle, dated January 25th, was read, together with the extract of a letter from Mr. Keene, and other papers, relative to the visiting of British ships in the ports of Spain by Custom House Officers, whereupon the Board directed letters to be writ to the chief merchants trading to Spain, desiring their attendance next Thursday, when they propose to take that matter further into consideration.
Mr. Thomas Trueman of London, merchant, attended this Board, with letters of attorney from the persons interested in two Debentures of St. Christophers, No. 567 and 665, which by their lordships' orders were delivered to him.