Journal, January 1778
Volume 85

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

K. H. Ledward (editor)

Year published

1938

Pages

147-156

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'Journal, January 1778: Volume 85', Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations, Volume 14: January 1776 - May 1782 (1938), pp. 147-156. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=77777 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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Journal, January 1778

fo. 1.

At a meeting of his Majesty's Commissioners for trade and Plantations.

Tuesday, January 6th. Present:—Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Eden, Mr. Greville, Mr. de Grey.

Lord George Germain, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, attends.

Plantations General.

fo. 2.

Their lordships having taken into consideration the paper mentioned in the minutes of the 2nd of December last, delivered in by Mr. Hodgson as his defence against a writing called "An Answer delivered to Lord George Germain by Robert White on the 30th of January, 1776," were of opinion, that the reasons therein given, why the said Mr. Hodgson did not sooner obey his Majesty's commands for repairing to England from the Mosquito Shore, where he then acted as Superintendant, are satisfactory for his exculpation in that particular: that with respect to the representation of the 3rd June, 1776, their lordships grounded their opinion upon the evidence then before them, contained in the papers referred to them by his Majesty's commands, being at that time unacquainted with the delays which unavoidably detained Mr. Hodgson from appearing in his defence; and the recommendation of another Superintendant was in consequence of the repeated applications of the merchants, who were apprehensive their concerns on that Shore would suffer if such an appointment was any longer delayed.

Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia.

fo. 3.

The Board having resumed the consideration of the memorial of Sir Herbert Mackworth, Baronet, and his associates, mentioned in the minutes of the 16th of December last, Mr. Des Barres who attended, according to order, was called in, and acquainted the Board, that the Islands called les Isles de Madame consisted of about 25,000 acres; that they were not inhabited except during the fishing season, neither were they cultivated; and being asked whether it appeared to him, that a grant made agreable to the prayer of the memorial would affect the interest of individuals, he replied, that it did not appear to him that it would be injurious to any individual, and would be a publick benefit.

Resolved, that the Board will again take the said memorial into their consideration on some future day; in the mean time it was ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint the Governor of Nova Scotia with the application made for the aforesaid grant, and take his sentiments thereupon.

Senegambia.

fo. 4.

Their lordships reconsidered an Ordinance passed by the Governor and Council of the Province of Senegambia in July, 1777, to prevent the sale and delivery of Negroes etc. as mentioned in the minutes of the 9th of December last; and Mr. Morse, the Chief Justice, together with Mr. Demain, one of the Council of the said Province, attending, were called in, and being questioned by the Board respecting the motives which induced the Governor and Council to pass the said Ordinance, they replied, that according to their opinion the chief inducement was the great importation of French goods from Goree, that trade having been found highly prejudicial to that of Senegambia; and that, if this Ordinance should in any part of it be thought so improper that the Board should recommend the disallowance of it, it would, in their opinion, be highly necessary, that some effectual steps be taken to suppress that practice in future.

Ordered, that the Governor of Senegambia be required to acquaint the Board with the state of the trade carried on with the French settlements of Goree.

fo. 5.

Lieutenant Governor McNamara attending, was called in and acquainted by the Board, that the Merchants and Adventurers of London trading to Senegal, who presented a memorial to the Board complaining of his conduct, as mentioned in the minutes of the 8th of November, 1776, a copy of which had been transmitted to him, were desirous to be heard in support of the allegations therein contained; that the Board had deferred hearing the merchants from time to time, on account of his ill state of health, and would yet defer it, if his indisposition rendered it inconvenient to him to attend. Mr. McNamara replied, that he hoped in a few days to be able to attend their lordships: upon which Fryday, the 16th instant, was appointed for the said hearing with his consent, provided, that day should be convenient to the merchants.

Ordered, that Mr. Dowding, agent to the memorialists, be acquainted that Fryday, the 16th instant, is appointed to hear the merchants in support of the several charges contained in their memorial of the 4th of November, 1776, against Lieutenant Governor McNamara.

Africa.

fo. 6.

Read a letter from Mr. Robinson, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, to Mr. Cumberland, dated November 28th, 1777. acquainting him, for the information of the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, that the Lords of the Treasury had taken into their consideration his letter of the 28th of August last, relative to the restrictions under which it will be adviseable the money granted by Parliament should be issued to the African Committee: and that the Lords of the Treasury, having read and considered the several inclosures in the said letter, agree in opinion with the Board of Trade thereupon; but that it does not sufficiently appear to the Lords of the Treasury, that it would be agreable to the intention of Parliament, that an agent or agents should be appointed and stationed on that Coast to superintend the application of the several consignments in which the publick money may be invested.

St. John's.

fo. 7.

Their lordships, agreable to the minute of the 20th of August last, took into their consideration six Acts passed in the Island of St. John's in July, 1776, together with the extracts of two letters from Mr. President Callbeck, the one, dated July 12th, 1776, containing his observations on the said Acts; the other, dated July 15th, 1776, on the state of the Council for that Island; and Governor Patterson, attending, was acquainted, that on the renewal of the Road Act, it would be proper that some alterations should be made therein, by empowering the Commissioners to direct the course and breadth of the roads; and it appearing by Mr. Callbeck's letter of the 15th of July, that there were not seven members of his Majesty's Council for that Island, Governor Patterson was asked if he had any persons to recommend, which for the present he declined.

Grenada.

fo. 8.

The draught of a letter to Lord Macartney, Governor of the Island of Grenada, stating the observations of the Board, on an Act passed in that Island for the regulating markets, having been prepared pursuant to order by the minutes of the 9th of December last, was approved, transcribed and signed.

Leeward Islands.

Read a letter from William Mathew Burt, esquire, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to the Board, dated Antigua, September 16th, 1777, stating, that by the absence of several members of his Majesty's Council for the Island of St. Christopher's, the number residing in that Island is reduced to five, and in the Virgin Islands to six members; that he has therefore appointed William Leslie Hamilton and Joseph Rawlins, esquires, members of the Council for the Island of St. Christopher's, and Harry Webb, esquire, one of the Council for the Virgin Islands; and that on a vacancy, by absence, in the Court of Common Pleas, he had appointed Baptiste Looby, esquire, to that seat; he also acquaints the Board, that he had laid before the Legislature of Antigua the remarks made by the Board on the Militia Act.

fo. 9.

Read a letter from Mr. Knox to Mr. Cumberland, dated January 5th, 1778, transmitting, by directions of Lord George Germain,
An extract of a letter to his Lordships from Governor Burt, dated Antigua, September 16th, 1776, on the state of the Council of St. Christopher's, and of the Virgin Islands.

St. Christopher's

Virgin Islands.

fo. 10.

Leeward Islands, Antigua.

Ordered, that the draughts of two representations to his Majesty be prepared, recommending William Leslie Hamilton and Joseph Rawlins, esquires, to be of the Council for the Island of St. Christopher's, and Harry Webb, esquire, to be of the Council for the Virgin Islands; which draughts having been prepared accordingly were approved, transcribed and signed; as likewise a representation for the confirmation of five Acts passed in the Virgin Islands; and a representation for disallowance of an Act passed in the Island of Antigua, for the regulation of forts and fortifications, both prepared pursuant to order by the minutes of the 16th of December last; and also a letter to Governor Burt, prepared pursuant to order by the minutes of the 25th of November, and the 16th of December last.

Their lordships read and considered the following Acts, together with Mr. Jackson's reports thereupon, viz.
Montserrat.
Three Acts passed in the Island of Montserrat in March and May, 1777.
Nevis.
Three Acts passed in the Island of Nevis in February, June and July. 1777.
St. Vincent's.
Four Acts passed in the Island of St. Vincent's in October and December, 1776, and February, 1777.

fo. 11.

The Secretary laid before the Board the following publick papers, vizt.
Jamaica.
Minutes of Council for the Island of Jamaica from the 6th of April to the 29th of August, 1776.
Journal of Council in Assembly from the 22nd of October to the 21st of December, 1776.
Minutes of Assembly from the 22nd of October to the 21st of December, 1776.
List of ships and vessels that have entered inwards and cleared outwards in the Island of Jamaica, between the 29th of December, 1775 and the 29th of December, 1776.
Virgin Islands.
Minutes of Council of the Virgin Islands from the 6th of April to the 29th of August, 1776.
Bermuda.
Minutes of the Council of the Island of Bermuda, commencing the 4th day of May, 1775, and ending the 11th of July, 1776.
fo. 12.
Minutes of Council in Assembly, commencing the 1st day of May, 1775, and ending the 13th day of July, 1776.
Minutes of Council in Assembly, commencing the 14th day of October, 1776, and ending the 10th day of October. 1777.
Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly, commencing the 1st day of May, 1776 and ending the 13th day of July, 1776.
Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly, commencing the 14th day of October, 1776 and ending the 10th day of October. 1777.

fo. 13.

Friday, January 16. Present:—Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Greville, Mr. Eden, Mr. de Grey.

Trade.

Read the following Orders of the Lords of the Privy Council, vizt.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of William Todd and Company, praying leave to export to the Island of Grenada, certain military stores therein mentioned, on board the ship Reward.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778. referring the petition of William Todd and Company, praying leave to export to the Island of Tobago, certain military stores therein specified, on board the ship Governor Campbell.
fo. 14.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of Thomas Scott and Company, praying leave to export to the Island of Antigua, certain military stores therein specified, on board the ship Nancy.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of Samuel Scott, for leave to export gunpowder to Barbados, for the use of the forts and fortifications, on board the ship Phillippa Harbian.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of French and Hobson, praying leave to export to Dunkirk, for the French African Trade, certain military stores therein mentioned, on board the ship Mary.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of Arthur Morris, praying leave to export certain sword blades to the East Indies, for private trade, on board the ship Colebrooke.
fo. 15.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of Bartlet Goodriche, for leave to export sundry military stores to New York, on board the ship Bellona.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 13th, 1778, referring the petition of Matthews and Barton, praying leave to export to New York, sundry military stores therein specified, on board the ship Martha.

Their lordships, on consideration of the eight foregoing petitions, were of opinion, that the exportation therein prayed for should be allowed; and the draughts of eight reports to the Lords of the Privy Council, having been prepared, were approved, transcribed and signed.

Leeward Islands

fo. 16.

Read a letter from William Mathew Burt, esquire, Governor of the Leeward Islands, to the Board, dated Antigua, November 1st, 1777, transcribing sundry Acts, with his observations thereupon; and informing the Board, that on his return to Antigua, finding his Majesty's Council for that Island consisted but of five members, he had, agreable to the 6th and 7th articles of his instructions, called up two gentlemen, properly qualified, to that Board, vizt. James Athill and John Duer, esquires, who he hopes will meet with their Lordships' approbation, and recommendation to his Majesty. Mr. Burt also acquaints the Board with a particular circumstance relative to a Mr. Brooke, formerly a member of the Council, and desired their lordships' opinion and direction what they think proper to be done therein.
St. Christopher's.
Three Acts passed in the Island of St. Christopher's in September, 1777.
Antigua.
Three Acts passed in the Island of Antigua in August, September and October, 1777.

Ordered, that the abovementioned Acts be sent to Mr. Jackson, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.

Leeward Islands, Antigua.

fo. 17.

Ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty be prepared, proposing that James Athill and John Duer, esquires, may be appointed of the Council for the Island of Antigua.

Senegambia.

Read a petition of Matthias McNamara, esquire, Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Senegambia, setting forth, that by the intervention of the holidays, he had been prevented from preparing himself for his defence, against certain charges presented to the Board, in which his conduct as Lieutenant Governor of the said Province is arraigned; and praying that the Board will postpone the hearing appointed for this day by the minutes of the 6th instant, until Fryday, the 23rd instant, when he, together with those persons, whose assistance is so essential to him, will attend.

fo. 18.

Their lordships took the said memorial into their consideration and, being informed that Mr. Dowding, agent for the complainants against Mr. McNamara, together with Mr. Mansfield, Counsel for the said complainants, attended, they were called in; and being acquainted by the Board with the application made by Mr. McNamara to defer the hearing until Fryday, the 23rd instant, they alledged, that if the said hearing should be any longer deferred, it would be highly inconvenient to them, if not impracticable to support the charges contained in the memorial of the merchants, as the principal witnesses in support of the said charges were merchants and masters of vessels in the Senegal trade who were on the point of leaving England: and they hoped that if the Board should be pleased, after their repeated indulgences to Mr. McNamara, to give him further time for his defence, that in justice to their clients, the witnesses who attended, in consequence of their lordships order, might be examined, especially as the memorial containing the charges against Mr. McNamara had now been before the Board above twelve months.

fo. 19.

Mr. Mansfield and Mr. Dowding being desired to withdraw, their lordships after some conversation determined, that the memorialists should be heard by their Counsel in support of the complaints alledged against Mr. McNamara, provided Counsel on his part was present: and their lordships being informed that Mr. Macdonald attended as Counsel for Mr. McNamara, he was called in, together with Mr. Mansfield, Mr. Dowding and the several witnesses: and the memorial of the Merchants and Adventurers of London trading to Senegal, mentioned in the minute of the 8th of November, 1776, having been read, Mr. Mansfield was heard in support of the charges therein contained, and the following papers having also been read vizt.:
Affidavit of George Nicholson, late of the Island of Senegal, merchant, and John Kinghorne, master of the Polly, in the trade to Senegal.
fo. 20.
Affidavit of Robert Turner, late of the Island of Senegal, merchant, and Thomas Love, master of the ship Catherine, in the Senegal trade.
Affidavit of James Wilcox, master of the ship Hope, and Morgan Jenkins, master of the ship Mary, in the trade to Senegal.
Letter from Mr. McNamara to Mr. Parkin, dated Fort Lewis, December 14th, 1776, marked private.

Mr. Mansfield proceeded to examine the several witnesses on behalf of the complainants, and the said witnesses having been cross-examined by Mr. Macdonald, on the part of Mr. McNamara, who attended in person during part of the proceedings, the Board, at the particular request of Mr. McNamara, adjourned the further hearing on the matters before mentioned, until Wednesday morning next at ten o'clock.

fo. 21.

Wednesday, January 21st. Present:—Mr. Jenyns, Lord Robert Spencer, Mr. Jolliffe, Mr. Greville, Mr. Eden, Mr. de Grey.

Trade.

Read an order of the Lords of the Privy Council, dated January 16th, 1778, referring the petition of Edmund Hill, praying leave to export gunpowder to Lisbon, on board the ship Friendship.

Their lordships, upon consideration of the foregoing petition, were of opinion, that the exportation prayed for should be allowed; and it was ordered that the draught of a Report to the Lords of the Privy Council thereupon should be prepared.

Senegambia.

fo. 22.

Their lordships, pursuant to their adjournment of the 16th instant, resumed the consideration of the memorial of the Merchants and Adventurers of London trading to Senegal, and the several parties mentioned in the preceding minute, attending, were called in, when Mr. Mansfield, counsel for the Complainants, moved, that the 4th Article of the instructions to the Superintendent of Trade at Senegambia might be read, which being done Mr. Macdonald was heard on the part of Lieutenant Governor McNamara, and proceeded to examine several witnesses, who were cross-examined by Mr. Mansfield, and in the course of the evidence the following papers were read and returned, vizt.:
Deposition of Dour Cumbu, head linguist at Senegal.
Copies of several letters and extracts of letters from Lieut.
Governor McNamara to Lord Dartmouth and Lord George Germain.
Several Returns of the state of Forts and Stores.
Valuation of the ship Lord Dartmouth.
fo. 23.
Condemnation of the sloop Fort Lewis.
Survey of the brig Industry.

Senegambia.

Mr. Mansfield having replied to Mr. Macdonald, and the parties having nothing further to offer, they were desired to withdraw: and the Board adjourned to Tuesday next, the 27th instant.

fo. 24.

Tuesday, January 27th. Present:—Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Gascoyne. Lord Robert Spencer, Mr. Jolliffe, Mr. Greville, Mr. Eden.

Newfoundland.

The Secretary laid before the Board certain papers relating to a grant, to John Agnew, esquire, and others, of mines which they shall discover and work within the Island of Newfoundland, and such parts of the sea coast of Labrador as lie within sixty miles of the low water mark, between the river St. John and the southern limits of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company. vizt.:
Copy of the grant to John Agnew, esquire, and others for 14 years, dated December 19th, 1774.
Report of the state of the copper mine at Shoal Bay, dated October 22nd, 1776.
Letter from Mr. Dunn to Governor Montagu, dated October 3rd. 1777, respecting the King's Tenth.

fo. 25.

Their lordships having considered the said papers, were of opinion, that as the matters therein contained related to Royal Rights, the sense of the Treasury should be taken, as to the mode of paying the Tenths, before any instruction was prepared for his Majesty's Governor of Newfoundland.

Trade.

Read the following orders of the Lords of the Privy Council, vizt.:
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council dated January 16th, 1778, referring the petition of Robert Hunter, praying leave to export to Canada, sundry military stores therein specified, for the Indian trade, on board the ships Quebec. Betsy and Nancy.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council dated January 27th, 1778, referring to this Board the petition of Richard Morland, praying leave to export to Quebec, sundry military stores therein mentioned, for the Indian trade, on board the ship Montreal.
fo. 28.
Order of the Lords of the Privy Council dated January 27th, 1778, referring to this Board the petition of Messieurs de Gruchy and Fiott, praying leave to export to the Island of Jersey, sundry military stores therein mentioned, on board the ship Beazley, for the use of vessels trading to Newfoundland.

Their lordships, on consideration of the three foregoing petitions, were of opinion, that the exportation prayed for should be allowed: and Mr. Hunter, one of the petitioners, attending, it was recommended to him by the Board to proportion the several stores to be exported by him on board the vessels mentioned in his petition, as nearly as convenient, according to their respective tonnage; after which it was ordered, that the draughts of reports to the Lords of the Privy Council, upon the said petitions, should be prepared.

fo. 27.

Leeward Islands.

The draught of a report to the Lords of the Privy Council upon the petition of Edmund Hill, prepared pursuant to order, was approved, transcribed and signed; and also a representation to his Majesty, recommending James Athill and John Duer, esquires, to be of the Council for the Island of Antigua.

Senegambia.

The Secretary laid before the Board the following papers, vizt.:
Petition of Matthias McNamara, esquire, Lieut. Governor of the Province of Senegambia, stating the peculiar circumstances under which both Nicholson and Stevenson stood at the time they gave their testimony before the Board, relative to charges which the petitioner was not prepared to answer, not being included in the complaints against him, then before the Board; and praying, that he may be heard on some future day in answer to those charges, which he conceives he could intirely obviate by the testimony of witnesses from Senegal and vouchers now before the Board of Treasury.
fo. 28.
Memorial of Matthias McNamara, esquire, Lieut. Governor of the Province of Senegambia, stating under several articles certain complaints against the conduct of John Clark, esquire, Governor of the Province of Senegambia, and praying, that the said Governor may be made to answer the said charges, and that the petitioner may have such relief as to the Board shall seem just.
Memorial of Matthias McNamara, esquire, Lieut. Governor of the Province of Senegambia, stating under several articles certain complaints against Edward Morse, esquire, Chief Justice of the said Province; and praying, that the said Chief Justice, who is now in England, may be ordered to answer the said charges as soon as their Lordships shall think proper; and that the Board will give redress to the memorialist and to the inhabitants of Senegambia who are exposed to the ill conduct of the said Chief Justice.
fo. 29.
Petition of Thomas Wallace, esquire, stating certain complaints against John Clark, esquire, Governor of the Province of Senegambia, and praying that the Board will call home the said Governor, to answer the complaints contained in the said memorial.

Senegambia.

fo. 30.

Lieutenant Governor McNamara attending, was called in, and acquainted that with respect to his petition for a further investigation of certain matters which appeared in evidence, upon the hearing of the 21st instant, their lordships did not think it agreable to the consistency of their proceedings, to go into any questions foreign to the charges contained in the memorial of the merchants; and therefore that his proposal of sending for witnesses from Senegambia, to elucidate articles and transactions relative to the state of his publick accompts, now under consideration of the proper Department, was altogether unnecessary with respect to the present enquiry: that with respect to the two memorials against Governor Clark and Mr. Morse, copies of the said memorials would be sent to them, and they would be directed to prepare their answers thereto, in the mode usual in such cases; and he was desired to acquaint Mr. Wallace, that the like steps would be taken with his memorial against Governor Clark.

Ordered, that a letter be wrote to John Clark, esquire, Governor of the Province of Senegambia, transmitting copies of the memorials of Lieut, Governor McNamara and Mr. Wallace, and directing him to lose no time in preparing his answers to the several charges therein contained.

fo. 31.

Ordered, that a copy of the memorial of Lieut. Governor McNamara against Edward Morse, esquire, Chief Justice of the Province of Senegambia, be sent to him, and that he be directed to prepare his answer to the charges therein contained.

Massachusetts, New York.

Read a letter from Mr. Robinson, Secretary to the Lords of the Treasury, to Mr. Cumberland, dated January 26th, 1778. desiring him to transmit, for the information of Lord North, a copy of the resolution of the Assembly of Massachusetts Bay, and of the Assembly of New York, which were, by the Board of Trade, laid before the Privy Council some time in the month of December. 1764.

It appearing on enquiry, that papers mentioned in the foregoing letter, except the representations of this Board of the 12th of December, 1764, and the 17th of January, 1765, were not in the office, the originals having been sent to the Council with the representatives before mentioned, it was ordered, that application be made to the Council Office for such papers as are mentioned in the said representations.