Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 9, January 1750 - December 1753. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.
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Journal, March 1751
Mr. John Sharpe, agent for the Island of Jamaica, attending, as desired by the minutes of the 22nd of February, their lordships acquainted him with the contents of Mr. Trelawney's letter relating to the application made to him by Mr. Price for a grant of land; whereupon Mr. Sharpe informed their lordships that he had no instructions relative to this affair, but would make enquiry and give their lordships further information concerning it.
Mr. Mathew, Governor of the Leeward Islands, attending, as desired, their lordships, after some conversation with him upon the subject of Mr. Aldworth's letter referring the French Ambassador's note relative to the Island of St. Martin's, ordered the draught of a report thereupon to the Duke of Bedford to be prepared.
Mr. Verelst, Secretary to the Trustees for the Colony of Georgia, attending, as desired, their lordships had some conversation with him upon the subject of the bill prepared by the said trustees relative to the importation and government of negro slaves, and some difficulties arising thereupon, the Sollicitor and Clerk of the Reports was ordered to prepare a state of his observations upon the said bill and lay them before the Board as soon as possible.
Several members of the Royal African Company of England
attending were called in and presented to the Board:—
A memorial of the Royal African Company of England to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, dated the 4th instant, relating to a dispute with the new company concerning the appointment and regulation of officers upon the Coast and desiring the Board's determination thereupon.
Copy of a letter sent from the Royal African Company to the new company, dated 19th February, 1750.
Copy of the new company's letter to the old company, dated 27th February, 1750.
Names of four persons now at Cape Coast.
Whereupon their lordships acquainted them that as the Act passed in the last session of Parliament relative to the African trade could not take effect as to that part of it, which gives this Board a power over the officers of the company thereby established untill the old company should be dissolved, it was not possible for them to give them any advice in what manner to conduct themselves with regard to their officers.
The draught of a report to his Grace the Duke of Bedford, relating to the Island of St. Martin's, having been prepared pursuant to the preceding day's minutes, was laid before the Board, agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.
Several merchants trading to Cadiz attending, as desired, upon the reference from the Duke of Bedford relating to the factory at Cadiz, were called in, and being acquainted that some unexpected business of great importance prevented their lordships from fully hearing at present what they might have to offer relative to this affair, they were desired to attend again on Tuesday next.
Their lordships took into consideration the present state of his Majesty's Province of Nova Scotia and being unanimously of opinion that it would be greatly for his Majesty's service and the security of that province that two large ships of war of fifty or forty guns should be stationed there, and the draught of a letter to his Grace the Duke of Bedford, proposing this measure, having been prepared, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
The draught of a report to his Grace the Duke of Bedford, relating to the Island of St. Martin's, having been transcribed pursuant to the preceding day's minutes, was laid before the Board and signed.
Several of the merchants trading to Cadiz attending, as desired, their lordships took into consideration the letter from the Duke of Bedford relating to the complaints of the consul at Cadiz of the difficulties he meets with in collecting and distributing the national duties there, and having heard what they had to offer thereupon, they were desired to consult the body of merchants trading to Cadiz, and agree upon some proposal for remedying the difficulties complained of.
Read a letter from the Duke of Bedford to the Board, dated the 25th of February, 1750–1, referring to them by the king's command a memorial of the French Commissaries relating to the Island of Santa Lucia, and also two papers, therein referred to, together with a memorial of his Majesty's Commissaries in answer thereto, for the Board's observations thereupon.
Read the following letters and papers from Mr. Clinton,
Governor of New York, viz.:—
Letter from Mr. Clinton, Governor of New York, to the Board, dated the 17th of January, 1750–1, transmitting the two following papers, viz.:—
Copy of a speech of a Cayuga Sachem to Colonel William Johnson and of his answer to it December 4th, 1750.
Copy of the superscription on a leaden plate Colonel Johnson lately got from the French, being a pretended claim of theirs to lands near the River Ohio, bearing date the 29th July, 1749.
Duplicate letter from Mr. Clinton to Mr. Hill, dated the 18th of December, 1750, transmitting:—
Minutes of Council beginning the 8th September, 1749, and ending the 5th of November, 1750.
Printed votes of the General Assembly of New York from the 4th of September to the 24th of November, 1750.
Read the following letters and papers from Lieutenant-General
Fleming, Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands for the
Letter from Lieutenant-General Fleming, Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, to the Secretary of this Board, dated the 13th of November, 1750, signifying that there are no iron mills or engines in that government.
Letter from Gilbert Fleming, Esquire, Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, to the Board, dated at St. Christopher's, the 22nd of December, 1750, relating to his proceedings in the recovery of some Spanish money stolen from the Spaniards in North Carolina and secreted within his government.
Lieutenant-General Fleming's speech to the Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's, 1750.
The address of the Council of St. Christopher's to LieutenantGeneral Fleming on the 20th of December, 1750.
The Assembly's address to Lieutenant-General Fleming, December 20th, 1750.
Lieutenant-General Fleming's account of dollars delivered to him at Tortola and supposed to belong to the Spaniards.
Memorial of the Lieutenant-General and Commander in Chief, the Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's to the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, dated the 20th of December, 1750, relating to negroes imported into that island from Africa.
Memorial of the Lieutenant-General and Commander in Chief, the Council and Assembly of St. Christopher's to the Lords Commissioners of Trade, dated the 20th of December, 1750, relating to the clandestine trade carried on by the inhabitants of the British colonies in North America with the French, Dutch and Danes.
An Act to prevent the escapes of Negroes.
Ordered that the last mentioned letter and the paper relating to dollars delivered to him at Tortola be copied and the draught of a letter to his Grace the Duke of Bedford prepared for transmitting the same.
Read a letter from General Mathew, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to the Board, dated the 8th of March, 1750–1, relating to the intentions of the Crown of France to sell their part of St. Martin's to the Dutch and to the illegal trade carried on by the inhabitants of St. Thomas and St. Cruz.
Ordered that two copies be made of the said letter to be transmitted to his Grace the Duke of Bedford and to the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury and that the draught of a letter be accordingly prepared.
Read a petition of Mr. Abercromby, agent for North Carolina, to the Board, praying to be heard against the Attorney and Sollicitor General's report on the Act, passed in North Carolina in 1746, for the better ascertaining the number of members to be chosen for the several counties, etc.
The Secretary at the same time acquainted their lordships that he was desired by Mr. Abercromby to inform them that Wednesday next was agreed upon by both parties to be heard upon the petition of the northern counties; whereupon their lordships ordered him to write to them to desire their attendance at 10 o'clock.
Read a letter from James Crokatt, Esquire, to the Board, dated the 16th of January, 1750–1, inclosing reasons for the proposals to encourage the making of pot-ashes, pearl-ashes and all other wood or weed ashes in the British colonies in America.
Their lordships at the same time took into consideration the memorial of Mr. Thomas Stevens upon this subject mentioned in the minutes of the 15th of January, and Mr. Crokatt and Mr. Stevens attending, their lordships had some conversation with them thereupon, and being withdrawn, ordered the draught of a letter to the Lords of the Treasury thereupon to be prepared.
Read a letter from Mr. Clevland, Secretary to the Lords of the Admiralty, dated the 7th of February, 1750, inclosing some papers (in addition to those sent in his letter of the 3rd of December last) relating to the forts and settlements on the coast of Africa.
Read a letter from Mr. Greene, Governor of Rhode Island, dated at Newport the 15th of December, 1750, in answer to a letter from Mr. Hill with a printed copy of an Act of Parliament to encourage the importation of pig and bar iron from his Majesty's colonies in America and to prevent the erection of any mill or other engine for slitting or rolling of iron etc., acquainting the Board that there is no such mill or engine in that colony, as mentioned in the aforesaid Act of Parliament.
The draught of a letter to the Duke of Bedford and to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, inclosing the copy of one from General Mathew relating to the Island of St. Martin's, having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of the 13th instant, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
The draught of a letter to the Duke of Bedford inclosing the copies of a letter and two papers from Mr. Clinton, Governor of New York, having been prepared pursuant to the said minutes was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
The Sollicitor and Clerk of the Reports laid before the Board pursuant to their order his observations upon the Act prepared by the Trustees of Georgia for the importation and regulation of slaves in that colony, and the said observations having been approved of the Secretary was directed to transmit a copy of them to Mr. Verelst to be laid before the Trustees for their answer.
The Secretary also laid before the Board a book entitled:—
The hand writing and usual seals of the Lord Advocate and other bishops and pastors of the Unitas Fratrum for the use of the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations pursuant to an Act passed in the twenty-second year of his present Majesty.
Mr. Abercromby with his counsel, Mr. Hume Campbell, and his
sollicitor, Mr. Joshua Sharpe, in support of the Act for ascertaining
the number of members to be chosen in North Carolina, and Mr.
McCulloch with his counsel, Mr. Joddrell, and his sollicitor, Mr.
John Sharpe, in support of the petition against the said Act,
attending, as desired by the minutes of the 13th instant, the
following papers were read, viz.:—
Order in Council, dated the 15th of January, 1747, referring the petition of certain persons inhabitants of several precincts and counties in North Carolina against the above mentioned Act.
The petition annexed thereto.
Mr. Attorney and Sollicitor General's report, dated the 1st December, 1750, upon two Acts passed in the province of North Carolina in 1746 referred to them in April and May last.
The petition of the agent of North Carolina praying to be heard against the said report, read the 13th instant.
Mr. Hume Campbell then observed to their lordships that the Attorney and Sollicitor General had in their said report admitted that the Governor had the right to judge of the place of meeting the Assembly and that a majority of that house is not necessary to make a quorum, but had reported the Act to have been passed by management, precipitation and surprize (few members being then present) and to be of such a nature and tendency as that the Governor ought not to have assented it, although it had been deliberately enacted by the Assembly. In answer to which objections he begged leave to state to their lordships the manner in which it was passed and the nature and subject matter of it; that as to the first, the Act was passed at an Assembly held at Wilmington, in November, 1746, in pursuance of a prorogation in the preceding June, whereby the time and place had been fixed four months before; that no certain space of time is pretended to be necessary by the constitution of the province for the meeting of the Assembly, and much less than four months is sufficient for the meeting of the Parliament; that the Assembly being duly prorogued and the place of meeting declared, it was not necessary to give special notice of any Act intended to be passed. For which reasons he apprehended this Act could not properly be said to have been passed by surprize; that as to management there was none on the side of the Governor, but a great deal on the part of those members of the Assembly who strove to engross power: that precipitation was not applicable to the time taken up in passing this Act, it having never been read twice in one day in either house (although there is no rule or custom to the contrary, as in this kingdom) but was brought in on the 21st of November and passed on the 25th; that if it be objected that but fifteen members were present at Wilmington and the Governor should have waited for more, the answers which are many are ready; that the Attorney and Sollicitor should have given their opinion in point of law that fifteen members were not a quorum, and what number does constitute a quorum; that if there were but fifteen the Governor was not in fault, he had given proper notice by prorogation and had no compulsory power; but the truth is, he had no reason to expect a greater number, the petitioners having combined together to make a secession, which they would now make a reason against passing the Act; that if this be allowed, 'twill be a dangerous precedent to Assemblies in America; that the true motive of the petitioners was a contest between some of the Assembly to vest themselves with independance and attain a power superior to that of the Crown; that these men had got a majority, and being in a remote northern part of the province, insisted that a majority of the whole number was necessary for the transaction of business and that nothing should be done, unless they were present; that he should make it appear by evidence that in June there was an attempt in the Lower House to defeat every measure of the Governor, and that there being but fifteen members present was but a consequence of that design; that it might have been imprudent in the Governor to have passed this Act, had there been hopes of more members coming; but when there were no such hopes, it would be dangerous to say no Act shall pass; that fifteen is a larger proportion of fifty-four (the number of the Assembly) than forty is of 558, the number of the House of Commons, and that secessions have been made in England, but no Act is thereby invalidated; that the petition is framed to support that superiority over the Crown which the Assembly aim at, and is meant to draw the Crown into an indirect acknowledgment that twenty-six men of Albemarle County are superior to the Crown itself; that the two points contained in the petition, are, the fixed indefeasible right of each district to send five members, and that a majority of the Assembly is necessary to form a quorum; that the Attorney and Sollicitor General have reported against one of these propositions, as not being made out to their satisfaction and have passed over the other in silence; that he hoped their lordships would not be insidiously drawn in to countenance a right, which if it takes place will put an end to the subjection of this colony to the mother country; that if the Act is found to be prudent and expedient and that it was fitting to take any opportunity of passing it, as a means to check an attempt to gain ascendance over the Governor, that the province has enjoyed tranquillity and that eighteen good laws have been made since the passing it, he was persuaded their lordships would not countenance such attempts in Assemblies and throw the colony back into confusion by disapproving this Act; that there was nothing in the nature and tendency of this Act which raise an objection; that the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, who had power to make a constitution, did make none, and if they had, it must have varied as the colony increased; that this Act establishes such a constitution as it appears now reasonable to make, and if the petitioners would compare it with the former constitution of Carolina, they must define what the former constitution was; that to make out such a one as will avail them, they must prove it to have been a constitution, binding on the Crown itself, and so fixed and certain as to be absolutely unalterable, they must prove that by that constitution the Governor has no power to prorogue, that fifteen members have not power to pass an Act, or that if all had concurred they could not have altered the number of representatives; that if a governor obtains an Act beneficial to his Majesty's interest, he might justly be blamed for not adhering strictly to his instructions, but such an Act ought not to be repealed; that upon the whole, if the Act should still appear to their lordships to be liable to objections, he was persuaded they would be cautious how they gave direct advice for the repeal of it; that they would consider what directions were proper to be sent to the Governor previous to a declaration against the Act, without which a repeal of it must necessarily involve the province in confusion.
The following papers were then read in evidence of the several
facts stated as above by Mr. Hume Campbell, viz.:—
Act for ascertaining the number of members to be chosen in North Carolina.
Minutes of Assembly of North Carolina in June and November, 1746, relating to the progress of the Act through the House.
Mr. Lamb's report, dated 25th September, 1747, on the Act for ascertaining the number of members.
Mr. Johnston's letter of March 9th, 1746–7, to the Board on the said Act.
Memorial of the Council to Governor Johnston entered in the minutes of Assembly from 15th March, 1742, to February, 1743.
The Biennial Law passed in 1715.
Report of the Board of Trade, dated 21st April, 1737, proposing the repeal of the said Act.
proposing the repeal of the said Act.
Deposition of Thomas Lovick, a member and collector for Beaufort, setting forth that application had been made to him not to attend but to keep out of the way that no business might be done.
Do. of George Johnson, bricklayer, who heard a consultation amongst certain members not to attend session of Assembly.
Do. of Benjamin Fordham, messenger of the Assembly held at Newbern, who heard certain members agree not to go to the Assembly, by which there would not be a house.
Do. of Nicholas Routledge, late of Newbern, victualler, heard northern members talk that if the Assembly was to meet at Wilmington they would not go, for nothing could be done without them.
Do. of John Berry, sweareth that two members declared to the same effect at a publick house kept by him.
Bridget Arthur, whose husband kept a publick house, to same effect; members would not go because they knew nothing could be done without them.
Their lordships having been informed that the contractors for supplying his Majesty's troops in Nova Scotia with provisions, charge the publick for the whole number of non-commissioned officers and private men according to the full establishment of each regiment, without making any deductions for the noneffectives, ordered the draught of a letter to his Majesty's Secretary at War; and the same having been prepared, was laid before the Board, agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Read a letter from the Duke of Bedford, dated the 19th instant, inclosing copy of a letter from Sir James Gray, dated 26th February last, relating to a new tariff the magistrates of Venice have published and is to take place in July next, inclosing likewise copy of a letter from Mr. Smith, his Majesty's Counsul at Venice, upon the same subject, for the consideration of this Board.
Read a letter from Mr. Dick, merchant at Rotterdam, dated the 23rd of March, N.S., 1750–1, relating to the opposition he meets with in his attempts to engage persons to go to Nova Scotia, with a paper of Mr. Van Atzenheim, relating thereto, annexed.
Mr. Morris, Chief Justice of New Jersey, attending, as desired, acquainted their lordships that Mr. Samuel Smith, recommended by Mr. Belcher and by the above mentioned memorial to supply a vacancy in the Council of New Jersey, was an encourager of and well wisher to the rioters, and that his family were the most active persons concerned in that faction.
Whereupon their lordships ordered the draught of a representation proposing Lewis Ashfield, Esquire, a gentleman recommended by Mr. Morris, to supply the vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr. Richard Smith.
Ordered that the draught of a letter to Mr. Belcher be prepared, reprimanding him for recommending persons concerned in or inclined towards the rioters as proper to be appointed of the Council, this being the second instance of that sort.
The Secretary acquainted the Board that Mr. McCulloch, attending without, had desired him to inform their lordships that Mr. Joddrell could not possibly attend to-morrow, but that he and Mr. Hume Campbell would attend on Friday next, if convenient to the Board, and their lordships were pleased to appoint Friday accordingly.
Read the following letters from Colonel Burwell, President of
the Council and Commander in Chief of Virginia, viz.:—
Letter from Colonel Burwell to the Board, dated the 24th of November, 1750, acquainting their lordships that upon the decease of Colonel Lee, late President of the Council and Commander in Chief of Virginia, he, being eldest councillor, had taken upon him the administration of that government now devolved upon him.
Letter from Colonel Burwell to the Board, dated the 17th of January, 1750–1, acquainting their lordships that there is not in that colony any mill or engine for slitting or rolling iron.
Ordered that an extract be made of so much of the first letter as relates to the expediency of Mr. Ludwell's meeting the Assembly, in order to renew the Act for laying a duty on slaves, and that the draught of a letter be prepared, for inclosing the same to his Grace the Duke of Bedford.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, proposing Lewis Ashfield, Esquire, to be of the Council of New Jersey in the room of Richard Smith, Esquire, deceased, having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of yesterday, was agreed to and signed.
Ordered that the draught of a letter to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle be prepared, desiring his Grace to direct Monsieur Van Atzenheim, his Majesty's Resident at Frankfort, to endeavour to take off the bad impressions that may have been made to the disparagement of Nova Scotia by the misrepresentations of one Erellius or any other person and to be assisting to Mr. Dick and his agents in their endeavours for the service of that colony.
Read a letter from Mr. Aldworth by direction of the Duke of Bedford to Mr. Hill, dated the 26th of March, 1751, signifying his Majesty's pleasure that this Board do attend a Cabinet Council at the Cockpit on Thursday night, the 28th instant, upon some points in their letter to the Duke of Bedford of the 7th instant relating to the affairs of Nova Scotia.
The draught of a letter to the Duke of Bedford inclosing the extract of one from Mr. Lewis Burwell, President of the Council and Commander in Chief of Virginia, having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of the 26th instant was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Their lordships took into consideration Mr. Consul Colebrooke's letter and the opinion of Mr. Attorney General upon the matters therein contained mentioned in the minutes of the 12th instant and ordered the draught of a report thereupon to be prepared.
Their lordships took into consideration the state of his Majesty's province of New York mentioned in the minutes of the 11th of December last and ordered the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council thereupon to be prepared.
The parties attending, pursuant to the minutes of Monday last, Mr. Joddrell, counsel for the petitioners against the Act for ascertaining the number of members to be chosen in North Carolina, observed to their lordships, that by the charter granted by King Charles the Second to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, power was given them to make and publish any laws whatsoever, either appertaining to the publick estate of the province or to the private utility of particular persons with the advice and approbation of the freemen or the greatest part of them or their delegates; that on the 30th of November, 1693, the Lords Proprietors impowered their Governor, Thomas Smith, Esquire, in case he should find it impracticable for the inhabitants of Albemarle County to send delegates to the Assembly of South Carolina, to issue writs for electing seven members for each of the Counties of Berkley and Colleton and six for Craven County, and also to appoint a deputy Governor of North Carolina; that in consequence of this instruction the Carolinas became distinct provinces and had distinct assemblies; that John Archdale, Esquire, who succeeded Mr. Smith, was on the 31st August, 1694, appointed Governor of both the Carolinas with power to appoint a deputy Governor of either province, and with the advice and consent of the Council and General Assembly, to alter former laws and enact new ones, as should seem most expedient, provided they were not repugnant to the charter, but as near as possibly agreeable to the fundamental constitutions; that Mr. Archdale on the 9th December, 1696, held a general Palatine Court at Edenton, which was the seat of government; that this court directed writs to be issued for electing five members for each of the four precincts of Albemar[l]e County; that by these orders the Assembly received its' original form, and that the number five for each precinct thus established was not arbitrary but the privilege those precincts enjoyed before the charter of King Charles the Second; that at this court the rest of North Carolina lying on Pimlico River was erected into a county by the name of Bath County, and being a new one, was empowered to elect only two members; that out of the four precincts of Albemarle County, two others have been made by the names of Bertie and Tyrrel, each of which had power to choose five members; that these again have been subdivided, Northampton having been taken out of Bertie, and Edgcumbe out of Tyrrel, the two new counties being impowered to elect two each and the two old ones to elect each three members; that Bath having been subdivided into eleven counties, each of which sends two members (besides which the towns of Edenton, Bath, Newburn and Wilmington send one each) now returns twenty-six members instead of two, the number established by the Palatine Court; that before the passing of this Act there was never any doubt about the constitution or number of members to be elected, the writs having been constantly issued in conformity to the facts above stated; that if the petitioners insist that a majority of the Assembly is necessary to constitute a quorum, the Governor's proclamations have authorized that opinion, he having frequently adjourned the Assembly, when there was not a majority of the whole, and even when a majority of the burgesses were present, adjournments had often been made for want of a majority of the Council; that from the original constitution of 1736 the writs have directed each of the precincts to chuse five members, that although the form of the writ was altered in 1736 and has since only directed in general forms that representatives should be chose, the number of members has remained the same till this Act was passed; that Governor Johnston has frequently dismissed the house when twenty-two members were present, though fifty-two is the whole number; that this Act was attempted at a time when it was impossible for the northern members to attend, Wilmington being 200 miles distant from the seat of government in the southern extremity of the province, there being many ferries seven miles in breadth to pass, and the season being not only the most inclement but the most disadvantageous, as 'tis the time when they kill their beef and pork; that this Assembly at Wilmington was the latest that ever was held; that the Governor's right to prorogue to what time and place he pleases must be allowed, but that this was a great abuse of power; that the two laws in question, which are very extensive, were the only ones he offered at that session; that there was neither a majority of the Assembly upon the old constitution, nor even upon the new model; that he insisted they were passed by management and surprize as set forth by Mr. Attorney and Sollicitor General, as people could not expect that such business would be done at such time and place, and they they were also precipitately passed, as five days cannot be called a reasonable time for passing laws, and as these are so long they cannot be drawn or copied in that time; that the Governor had no power to pass such a law, he being enjoined by his instructions to call Assemblies agreeable to laws and usages of the provinces, and to pass laws with a majority of the Council and Assembly, and forbid to pass laws of an unusual or extraordinary nature, or to repeal Acts in general terms, without a suspending clause; that this Assembly had no power to pass this law, because the original right founded in the Palatine Court cannot be set aside by any power acting under that constitution, nor had this Assembly power to pass any Act, because it is the rule of law that when a charter is given to a fixed number of persons, a majority of them is necessary to constitute a legal Assembly; that even if they had such a power, this Act is illegal; that franchises once given cannot be resumed, but upon forfeiture; the Assembly therefore acting under the authority of the charter, could not legally take away the franchise of sending five members from those counties to which the charter gave that franchise; that as to the Act itself, it is absurd and founded on absolute falsehoods; that there is a clause in it which repeals all Acts or customs whereby the rights which this Act takes away are established, although the preamble asserts that there is no such law nor usage; that no evidence has been given that this Act is either proper or reasonable; that the tendency and operation of it are to throw people into confusion and its effect, to destroy the privileges of the constitution; that there is no partiality in the petitioners; they did not secede, but could not attend; that the evidence of their secession is false and every part of the petition and of the report of the Attorney and Solicitor General is justified.
The following papers were then read in evidence, viz.:—
A clause in the charter granted by King Charles the Second to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina relating to the passing of laws.
Additional instruction from the Lords Proprietors to Governor Smith, dated 30th November, 1690.
Instruction given by the Lords Proprietors to John Archdale, Esquire, Governor of Carolina, dated 31st August, 1694.
Act for erecting the upper part of Bertie County into a county by the name of Northampton County, passed in 1741.
An Act to appoint part of Albemarle County to be a precinct by the name of Tyrrel precinct, passed by the Lords Proprietors.
Order to Lords Proprietors in 1705 for dividing the County of Bath into three precincts.
Proclamation by Governor Johnston, dated 8th March, 1742, for proroguing the Assembly for want of a sufficient number of the Council.
Another Do., dated 9th March, 1742.
Another Do., dated 11th June, 1746, for proroguing the Assembly for want of a majority being assembled.
Deposition of Francis Foster, dated at Edenton, 14th April, 1749.
Do. of John Wynns, dated at Edenton, 13th April, 1749.
Do. of Luke Sumner, dated at Edenton, 15th April, 1749.
Do. of Abraham Blackhall, dated at Edenton, 13th April, 1749.
Do. of William Herritage, dated at Newburn, 5th April, 1749.
Do. of Richard Loveit, dated at Newburn, 5th April, 1749.
Do. of James Craven, dated at Edenton, 12th April, 1749.
List of the members present at the Assembly held at Wilmington on the 21st November, 1746.
Deposition of Joseph Blunt, dated at Edenton, 19th May, 1749.
Do. of Benjamin Hill, of the same date.
Do. of John Benbury, of the 20th May, 1749.
Part of the commission given to Gabriel Johnston, Esquire, dated…
And the 15, 20, 22 and 24th articles of his instructions.
Mr. Hume Campbell in reply to what had been offered by Mr. Joddrell, observed to their lordships that the matter to be considered seemed reducible to three heads: first, the right of sending members as claimed by the petitioners, or in other words, the existence of the constitution they contend for; second, the necessity of a majority to constitute a quorum of the Assembly; third, the expedience and propriety of the Act; that as to the first, the power given by the charter to the Lords Proprietors could not be delegated to other men, nor is any law valid under the charter, unless it be under the hands and seals of the Lords Proprietors; that the number of members to be chosen as settled in the instructions to Mr. Smith could not be intended for a fixed rule, but was only a temporary order proportioned to the then present state of the colony; that the instruction to Mr. Archdale is not a legal delegation of the powers contained in the charter, and the charter itself contains no power to pass Acts under the seal of the province; that the Palatine Court could have no authority to make laws, because the Lords Proprietors could not delegate that authority; that notwithstanding the order of that court for the election of five members, the Lords Proprietors might have passed a law that those counties should send only two members to the next general assembly; that as to the usage of sending five members as mentioned upon the writs, if none of the Acts under which it began were legal, the usage must be void. Secondly, that as to the necessity of a majority of the Assembly to constitute a quorum the foundation of it should be found in the charter, but no number of delegates is there mentioned; that although all records have been ransacked, not the least colour has been made out for the constitution or pretended right; thirdly, that as to the objections to the Act, the instructions to the Governor have not indeed been punctually obeyed, but as they were not intended to hinder him from doing a beneficial thing for his master, this should be no objection; that as the pretended constitution is without law, the recital is not false; and if the constitution does not exist, the Assembly had power to pass it; that if with regard to the instructions, it should be thought improper to confirm this Act, he hoped their lordships would give such directions as may put an end to this arrogated right, this pretended constitution.
The draught of a letter to the Duke of Bedford upon Mr. Colebrooke's letters and the Attorney General's opinion thereupon having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of the 28th instant, was agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.
Read the following letters and papers from Mr. Clinton,
Governor of New York, viz.:—
Letter from Mr. Clinton to the Board, dated the 20th of January, 1750–, transmitting the following Acts, viz.:—
Acts of Assembly passed in a session at New York begun the 4th of September and ended the 24th November, 1750.
Letter from Mr. Clinton, Governor of New York to the Board, dated 29th of January, 1750–1, transmitting the following papers, viz.:—
Copy of a letter from Governor Clinton to the President of Virginia inviting him to a treaty with the Indians at Albany in June next or to send commissioners, dated 18th December, 1750.
Copy of a letter from Governor Clinton to Governor Glen inviting him to the treaty with the Indians, dated the 18th December, 1750.
Copy of a circular letter from Governor Clinton inviting his Majesty's other Governors on the continent to the treaty with the Indians, dated the 18th December, 1750.
List of persons naturalized in New York according to Act of Parliament from 28th July, 1749, to the 23rd October, 1750.
Ordered that an extract of Mr. Clinton's first letter and a copy of the second and of the papers therein inclosed be transmitted to his Grace the Duke of Bedford and that the draught of a letter for inclosing the same be prepared.
Their lordships took into consideration the letter from the Duke of Bedford, mentioned in the minutes of the 22nd instant, and ordered the Secretary to write to the principal merchants trading to Venice to desire their attendance at the Board on Tuesday next upon the subject of the said letter.
Ordered that the Secretary do write to the Secretary of the Commissioners of the Customs to desire that an account of the exports and imports to and from Venice for two years to Christmas, 1750, distinguishing each year, may be made out and transmitted to their lordships as soon as conveniently may be.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council upon the state of New York having been prepared, pursuant to the minutes of Thursday last, was agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.