Journal, May 1718
May 1. Present;—Earl of Holdernesse, Mr. Docminique, Mr.
Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Captain Priswick. Colonel Codrington in Holland.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that Capt. Priswick [vide
supra] had been at the Office, and desired their Lordships might
be informed of Col. Codrington's being at present in Holland, till
whose return, which he said would be in six weeks, the Captain
prayed the Board would suspend the further consideration of Col.
Codrington's petition for some lands in St. Christophers, as mentioned in yesterday's minutes, to which their Lordships agreed.
Letter to Mr.Secretary Craggs. Treaty of commerce, Venice.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs, relating to the project of a
treaty of commerce [fo. 213, 226] between His Majesty and the
Republick of Venice, at present under consideration of the Board,
Act licentiate lawyers.
Mr. Micklethwaite and Mr. Bampfield, agents for Barbadoes,
attending, communicated to their Lordships the copy of a letter
from the Committee of Correspondence in that island to the said
agents, relating to an Act [fo. 214, 223] passed there in 1715, concerning licentiate lawyers; and their Lordships resolved to consider
the same with the said Act.
Charter insuring ships. Papers.
The following papers, relating to a charter [fo. 187, 239] proposed
for insuring ships at sea, were read, vizt.:—
Reasons of the Bristol merchants against the charter for
insuring ships, &c.
Letter to the Secretary from the petitioners for a charter of
incorporation for insuring ships and merchandizes, dated
24 April, 1718, inclosing the following papers, vizt.:—
Answers to the reasons given against incorporating a number of
persons for insuring ships and merchandizes at sea.
Thirteen certificates from the most eminent merchants and
traders in the principal trading ports in G. Britain and
Ireland in favour of a corporation for insuring ships and
An Account of some losses by private insurers.
List of Private insurers and office keepers who have proved
Whereupon their Lordships agreed to hear by counsel, the petitioners
for and against the said charter on Wednesday the 14th instant at
eleven of the clock in the morning, and ordered that the solicitors
on both sides be acquainted therewith; as like wise that they have
copies of such papers on that subject as they shall desire.
Act 10 per cent. duty.
A representation, directed to be prepared at the last meeting,
relating to an Act [fo. 216, 227, 308] passed in Carolina, whereby
a duty of 10 per cent. is laid on all British goods, was agreed and
Mr. Marsh, against an Act, Anthony Brown, etc.
The Secretary acquainting the Board, that Mr. Marsh [fo. 212,
229] had signified he should be ready to attend their Lordships in
behalf of the petitioners against an Act of Antigua, entituled, an
Act to indemnify Anthony Brown and John Elliot of the aforesaid
island gent. &c. when their Lordships should appoint, their Lordships
agreed to hear the said petitioners on Wednesday morning next,
and ordered that Mr. Marsh have notice there of accordingly.
May 2. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham,
Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Mr. West. Acts.
Mr. West attending, according to appointment, their Lordships
proceeded in considering several Acts of Antigua, whereof, those
entituled as follows, were read, vizt.:—
An Act for raising 5 per cent, on dry goods, and laying an additional duty on wines, &c. imported.
An Act to revive an Act for laying a duty of powder on trading
An Act for repairing the fortifications on Monks Hill &c. and
other fortifications and platforms—all three passed in 1715.
An Act for raising a tax of 12,000l. money for defraying publick
debts and charges—passed in 1715/16.
Attorney-General's report. Observations to be sent the Governor.
The Act, entituled, an Act for encouraging the importation of
white servants, was likewise read, together with Mr. AttorneyGeneral's report thereupon, and several observations were made on
the said Acts, and agreed to be transmitted to the Governor of the
Mr. West. Governors instructions passing laws, etc.
Ordered that Mr. West [fo. 213] have the copy of such of the
Governor's instructions as relate to the passing of laws, and that
he have liberty at any time to peruse such papers in this Office as
relate to any of the Acts of the Plantations, or about any Acts
whatsoever which concern the trade of this Kingdom.
Ordered that the Acts of Antigua, entituled.
An Act to indemnify Anthony Brown &c. from a certain bond
and articles of agreement for building a church &c. passed
An Act to prohibit the importation of French or other foreign
sugars, rum, &c. passed in 1716.
to Mr. West.
An Act for constituting a court merchant—passed be
sent to Mr. West for his perusal.
Mr. Walker. Act. licencials lawyers.
Mr. Walker [fo. 218, 288] attending, as desired, he was acquainted
that their Lordships understood he had something to offer concerning the Barbados Act, entituled, an Act impowering licentiate
lawyers to practise as barristers in this island, passed in September,
1715, and being asked, what he had to say on that subject, he
informed the Board, that for his own part he had nothing to offer,
but that the Attorney-General of Barbados had writ to him, to
move for a hearing, relating to the said Act; whereupon Mr. Walker
was directed to bring to their Lordships in writing, a memorial
of what he shall think fit to represent in this matter.
Letter to the agents.
The copy of a letter from the Committee of Correspondence in
Barbadoes to the agents of that island, relating to the last received
Act, as mentioned in yesterday's minutes, was read.
Mr. Lodwick. Order of Council Merchants petition against an act about province debts.
Mr. Lodwick, with several other merchants trading to New York
[fo. 202, 205], attending, presented to their Lordships an Order of
Council of the 23rd of the last month, referring to the Board a
petition from the said merchants against an Act, passed in that
province in December, 1717 for paying and discharging several debts
of the said province, and putting several quantities of plate into the
hands of the Treasurer, to be applied to publick uses, and for making
bills of credit, &c. together with a representation from themselves to
the Board, containing reasons for stopping all proceedings at New
York upon the said Act till his Majesty's pleasure be known,
which Order, petition and representation, their Lordships resolved
to take into consideration at the first opportunity.
Tract of land.
Mr. Solicitor-General's report, upon the printed representation
of the Marquis de Wignacourt [fo. 207, 272] &c. relating to the
tract of land between New England and Nova Scotia, was read.
Representation. Act against papists.
A representation, upon the Act of Antigua relating to papists
[fo. 271, 362], mentioned in the minutes of the 30th of the last
month, was agreed and signed.
May 6. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Mr. Chetwynd, Mr.
Pelham, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Order of the Lords of the Council.
Merchants petition, against Act.
Letter to Brigadier Hunter.
An Order of the Lords of the Council, dated the 23rd of last month,
referring to this Board the petition of several merchants, trading
to New York [fo. 224], against an Act passed in that province in
December, 1717 for paying and discharging several debts of that
province, and putting several quantities of plate into the hands of
the Treasurer to be applied to publick uses, and for making bills
of credit &c., as mentioned in the minutes of the last meeting, was
read, together with the copy of the said petition; as likewise a
representation from the said merchants, containing their reasons
for stopping all proceedings upon the said Act; whereupon a letter
to Brigadier Hunter Governor of New York for inclosing copies of
the said, Order, petition and representation, in order to his immediate
transmitting the said Act to this Board for their Lordships consideration, was drawn up, agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
Letter to Lords of the Council.
A letter to the Lords of the Council, to acquaint their Lordships
with the proceedings of this Board upon the Order abovementioned,
was agreed and signed.
Sir Nathaniel Lloyd's report.
Treaty of commerce.
Sir Nathaniel Lloyd's report, in answer to the Secretary's letter
of the 30th of last month, upon the 16th article of the project of
a treaty of commerce [fo. 218, 235] with Venice, was read.
Letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs, on that subject.
A letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs, dated this day, signifying
the King's pleasure, that this Board forthwith lay before His Majesty
the said project of a treaty of commerce with Venice, with such
observations as they shall judge proper, was read; whereupon their
Lordships resolved to take the same into further consideration
on Thursday morning next.
Mr. Weston [fo. 132, 173, 290], Solr. for the lords, and others who
petition for a charter of incorporation for carrying on the fishery,
attending, and desiring the Board would soon report upon the order,
referring the said petition, he was acquainted, that the Board would
give that matter all necessary dispatch; in order to which, he would
do well to hasten Mr. Solicitor-General's report upon the heads of
such a charter, received from the petitioners, and referred to him.
Miserable state of that province.
Mr. Boon, agent for Carolina, attending, presented to the Board
the copy of a letter he had received from that province, by order
of the Assembly there, dated the 8th of March last, relating to their
miserable condition [fo. 220, 237] and apprehensions from the
Indians, which was read; and Mr. Boon was desired to prepare and
bring to the Board, as soon as he could, a memorial of what informations he has concerning the conditions of the said province
which he accordingly promised.
Letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs.
Mr. Boon being withdrawn, their Lordships agreed and signed a
letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs, for inclosing to him the said copy of
a letter from Carolina, in order to receive His Majesty's directions
Letter to the Secretary.
Two anonymous letters to the Secretary of this Board, dated the
26th and 28th of April last, relating to some laws of Pennsylvania
[fo. 232, 334], the surrender of the government of that province &c.
by Mr. Penn, were read; and their Lordships agreed to reconsider
the same at another opportunity.
Letter from Mr. Marsh, Colonel Morris's suspension.
Copy of the minutes.
A letter from Mr. Marsh [fo. 196, 316], solicitor in behalf of Col.
Morris of Antigua, lately suspended by the Governor from the Council of that island, desiring to have a copy of the minutes of the said
council, which were read at this Board when Doctor Wickham
attended upon that affair, was read; whereupon their Lordships
agreed that he should have a copy of the said minutes accordingly.
May 7. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham,
Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Their Lordships proceeding in the consideration of the Acts of
the Island of Antigua, the Act passed there in 1716, intituled, an
Act for reinforcing an Act for repairing the fortifications on Monks
Hill &c. was read, and found to be expired.
Mr. Marsh, Dr. Wickham, Sir Edward Northey.
Act, Anthony Brown.
Mr. Marsh [fo. 220], Doctor Wickham and others, attending with
Sir Edward Northey as council for the petitioners against the Act,
passed in the said island of Antigua in 1715/16 to indemnify Anthony
Brown and John Elliot from a certain bond and articles of agreement
for building a church &c. Sir Edward moved their Lordships for
further time to prove the allegations of the petition, referred to
this Board by Order of Council of the 9th of February last, to which
their Lordships agreed, Mr. Marsh promised to inform their Lordships
as soon as he should be ready to lay the proofs, expected from the
said island, before the Board.
Mr. West attending, the Acts of Antigua as undermentioned
were severally read, vizt.:—
An Act to prohibit the importation of French or other foreign
sugars, rum, &c.
An Act to revive an Act for laying a duty of powder on trading
An Act for laying an additional duty on wines, &c. imported.
An Act for raising a tax of 13,000l. money and to defray publick
debts and charges.
An Act for erecting and building a new church in the town of
St. Johns in the room of the present parochial church there,
and for raising a yearly tax for maintaining the same.
An Act to quiet present possessors of lands to limit actions
and avoid suits in law, and
An Act for constituting a Court Merchant.
All passed in 1716, 1716/17 and 1717.
Importation of foreign sugar.
And in relation to the said Act to prohibit the importation of
foreign sugars [fo. 328], the extract of Mr. Dunbar's letter, mentioned
in the minutes of the 22nd of last month, on that subject, was again
read; and the draught of a representation directed to be prepared,
in order to the repeal of the said Act.
The three Acts next that abovementioned, were found to be
expired or to have had their effect.
Mr. West, observations on acts.
And Mr. West being desired to put into writing what observations
he may have to offer on these or any other Acts of the plantations,
he promised to do it from time to time accordingly.
As to the said Act for erecting and building a new church &c.
passed in 1716, and that for erecting a court merchant passed in
1717, their Lordships having no objections thereto agreed to let
them lye by probationary.
Act to quiet possessors.
Letter to General Hamilton.
Upon the Act to quiet present possessors, Mr. Attorney-General's
report relating to it was again read; and their Lordships gave
directions for preparing a letter to General Hamilton, Governor
of the Leeward Islands, to inclose to him a copy of the said report,
with orders to endeavour the passing, by the first opportunity, a
new Act conformable to Mr. Attorney's opinion, and to signify
to him that the Board should otherwise be obliged to lay the present
Act as soon as possible before His Majesty for repeal thereof.
Mr. Gee summoned.
Ordered that Mr. Joshua Gee be acquainted that the Board
desire to speak with him on Friday morning next, in relation to
the Acts of Pennsylvania [fo. 228, 234].
Mr. Solicitor-General's report.
Ordered that Mr. Solicitor-General be desired to hasten his
report upon the petition [fo. 201] and heads of a charter referred to
him by the Secretary's letter of the 23rd of the last month, relating
to the fishery of this kingdom.
Letter to Brigadier Hunter.
A letter to Brigadier Hunter, Governor of New York, mentioned
in yesterday's minutes, was signed.
May 8. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse. Mr. Chetwynd, Sir
Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Mr. Cracherode, Lords Proprietors surrender.
Mr. Cracherode bringing to the Office the original surrender
[fo. 144] of the government of the Bahama Islands by the Lords
Proprietors, which he had got inrolled, the same was laid before
the Board, and ordered to be entered in the books, kept for the
Letter to General Hamilton.
Act quieting possessors.
A letter, ordered yesterday to be prepared, to General Hamilton,
Governor of the Leeward Islands, relating to the Act of Antigua,
about quieting present possessors of lands, was signed.
May 9. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Mr. Chetwynd, Sir
Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Letter from Earl Stanhope.
Czar's Minister, Acts of trade.
A letter from Earl Stanhope [fo. 267], dated yesterday, referring
to the Board the extract of one from the Czar's Minister, relating
to the Acts of trade and navigation which affect the subjects of
the Czar here, was read, together with the said extract, and a copy
of Mr. Solicitor-General's report thereupon; and directions were
given for collecting the several papers in this Office which were
last under their Lordships consideration relating to Muscovy.
Mr. Penn's surrender.
Mr. Joshua Gee [fo. 232, 344], one of Mr. Penn's trustees, attending, the two anonymous letters, mentioned in the minutes of the
6th instant, relating to several Acts of Pennsylvania, Mr. Penn's
surrender &c. were communicated to him; whereupon he desired
copies thereof, which were accordingly ordered him, and he promised
an answer in writing in a few days; in the meantime, he said, some
Acts had been transmitted from Pennsylvania, which he believes
are in the hands of another of Mr. Penn's trustees.
Treaty of Commerce, Venice.
Their Lordships made a progress in reconsidering the project
of a treaty of commerce [fo. 226, 238] with Venice.
Letter to Mr. Carkesse.
Foreign ships unlading cargo.
And ordered that Mr. Carkesse [fo. 237], Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, be desired to acquaint this Board, whether
foreign ships, arriving in any ports of this kingdom, may unlade
part of their cargo, without being subject to unlade the whole, or
pay duty for that part not unladen.
and for account of port-charges, London.
Further ordered, that Mr. Carkesse be desired to move the Commissioners of the Customs, that this Board may have an account
of the amount of port charges paid in the port of London, including
light-money and all other charges.
The Secretary laid before the Board the accounts of the incidental
charges of this Office from Michaelmas, 1717 to Lady Day, 1718,
|Account of petty expences from Michaelmas, 1717,
to Christmas following, amounting to||65||3||9¾|
|The like account from Christmas, 1717, to Lady
Day following, amounting to||49||18||3½|
|The stationers account from Michaelmas, 1717, to
Christmas following, amounting to||37||18||6|
|The like account from Christmas, 1717, to Lady
Day, 1718, amounting to||35||4||6|
|The postman's account from Michaelmas, 1717, to
Christmas following, amounting to||21||15||7|
|The like account from Christmas, 1717, to Lady
Day, 1718, amounting to||10||1||7|
|Amounting in the whole to||220||2||3¼|
Letter to Lords of Treasury.
Whereupon a letter for transmitting the said accounts to the
Lords of the Treasury, and desiring payment thereof, as likewise
of the salary due to the Secretary, and under-officers in the service
of this Commission, was signed.
May 13. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Letter from Mr. Carkesse, port-charges, unloading cargo, etc.
Two letters from Mr. Carkesse [fo. 235], Secretary to the Commissioners of the Customs, both dated the 10th, in answer to those
writ him the 9th inst. relating to port-charges and light money, and
to ships unloading part of their cargo, and carrying the rest away,
without paying duty for more than the goods unladen, were read.
Mr. Boon, memorial, letter, Assembly's address, sad state, Indian war.
Mr. Boon [fo. 216, 220, 227], agent for South Carolina, attending,
presented to their Lordships a memorial, as likewise the copy of
a letter from that province, dated the 8th of March last, and of an
address from the Assembly there to his Majesty, all relating to the
miserable condition of his Majesty's subjects in those parts, on
account of the Indian War, which memorial was read, and Mr.
Boon at the same time acquainted their Lordships that he had presented the original address, whereof the abovementioned is a copy,
to Mr. Secretary Craggs, to be laid before his Majesty.
Treaty of commerce.
Their Lordships then made a further progress in reconsidering
the project of a treaty of commerce [fo. 235, 268] with Venice, and
gave directions for transcribing part thereof with their Lordships
Mr. Nivine summoned.
Ordered that Mr. Nivine [fo. 267], agent for Antigua, be acquainted
that the Board desire to speak with him on Thursday morning next.
May 14. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Mr. Chetwynd, Sir
Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney.
Lord Onslow, Sir Alexander Cairnes and others.
Mr. Reeves and Serjeant Pingelly, for a charter insuring ships, etc.
Mr. Serjeant Page, Mr. Talbot, for merchants of London.
Mr. Serjeant Erle, Mr. Hungerford, for merchants of Bristol, against the charter.
Order of Council.
Merchants petition for a charter;
London and Bristol merchants petition against it.
The Lord Onslow, Sir Alexr. Cairnes, Sir Justus Beck, Mr. Cole,
Mr. George Jackson, Mr. John Emmett and several other gentlemen
and merchants together with Mr. Reeves and Mr. Serjeant Pingelly,
their counsel, attended, according to appointment, in behalf of the
petitioners for a charter of incorporation for insuring ships and
goods at sea [fo. 218, 269]; and several of the petitioners for a
charter of incorporation for insuring ships and goods at sea; and
several of the petitioners against such a charter, attended likewise
with Mr. Serjeant Page and Mr. Talbot, as counsel for the merchants
of London; and Mr. Serjeant Erle and Mr. Hungerford, as counsel
for the merchants of Bristol, who petition against the said charter.
His Majesty's Order in Council of the 2nd of February last, referring
to this Board, and to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor-General the petition
of several merchants for an incorporation to insure ships and goods
at sea, was read, with a copy of the said petition; as also his
Majesty's two other Orders in Council of the same date, referring
in like manner to this Board and to Mr. Attorney and Solicitor
General the petitions of several merchants of London and Bristol,
praying to be heard against such charter of incorporation, were
read, with the annexed copies of the said petitions.
Mr. Reeves for a charter.
Mr. Reeves thereupon opened the petition for a charter, in substance as follows, vizt.:—That such a charter would be for the
benefit of trade, by increasing navigation and commerce, and
that for carrying on this undertaking, considerable sums have been
subscribed; he said it was not to be controverted—that there is
no objection in law against a corporation in the manner this is
proposed—and that it was plain that by it merchants would have
the advantage of safe, easy, cheap and expeditious insurances for
their ships and goods—and as to the reasons which had been offered
against the charter, Mr. Reeves alledged, that they were either
contradictory or inconsistent, or that they were imaginary, and not
such as must necessarily follow upon the erecting such a company—
that it must be allowed there would be greater security to the
insured from a corporation than from any private insurers, the
fund of a million of £sterl. being sufficient to answer all losses—and
if there should be such difficulties as in some of the papers before
the Board it is suggested there would arise, upon settling losses and
making up averages with a company, or if the company should not
in other respects answer what is proposed, nobody would insure
with them, but would continue to insure with the present insurers,
and by consequence such a charter would not affect the petitioners
against it—on the contrary, if the company should adjust accounts
and dispatch business to the satisfaction of those who insure with
them, as it would be the interest of the company to do; the private
office keepers here in London might indeed suffer by not having so
much imployment as at present; but if the company should prove
of such a general advantage to the publick as 'tis presumed it will,
the interest of ten or twelve office-keepers ought not to be put in
balance with a greater good—that as this charter is not intended
to be exclusive, such a considerable number of merchants as have
signed the petitions from London and Bristol against the charter
may if they think fit imploy the office keepers and follow the present
method of insurance; and as above a thousand other merchants
have either petitioned for or shewed their approbation of the company proposed they will undoubtedly insure with the company,
so that both methods may be practised.—As to the objection that
the present under-writers of policies of insurance will quit the
business after a company is established, and such persons being
then diverted to some other imployment would not resume their
former practice of insuring, and the publick would consequently
be left to the mercy of the company, Mr. Reeves said, that the
underwriting policies of insurance is an accidental and not the sole
business of the merchants, and therefore it would not be reasonable
to say that the erecting this company could oblige such merchants
to quit the trade they were engaged in.—Upon the suggestion that
there is no occasion for such a company and that insurances of
ships &c. cannot be upon a better foot than they are at present,
Mr. Reeves observed, that at some particular seasons of the year,
and for some particular voyages, such as to the West Indies or the
Baltic, it is not easy to get immediately insurances; and that for
great sums in any voyages whatsoever it was always difficult and
required time to procure good insurance, which the company would
constantly be ready to supply.—That as to the good opinion
foreigners have of our present insurances, whereby merchants
abroad are engaged to make use of them, and as to their being
made now so cheap that those foreigners are able to allow, as they
actually do, one or two per cent. for insuring the insurers, it was to
be considered, that if our insurances came into greater credit as
they would probably do by the good management of the company,
foreigners would be the more encouraged to insure with us, especially
if by the great security they would find in so large a fund as the
company's stock, the premiums now allowed for insuring insurers
should become unnecessary.—That if it be an advantage to have
more places to go to than one for insurances, it is an argument in
favour of the company, which not excluding those who at present
carry on that business would be another place for merchants to insure
at.—That in the late war the losses by insolvencies upon insurances
were very great, and the whole sum insured was hardly paid in any
one considerable loss; that our merchants formerly insured at
Hamburgh and Amsterdam, which it would be an advantage to
this Kingdom to prevent by safe insurances at home such as might
be most effectually depended upon from a company.—In conclusion,
Mr. Reeves said, that the two chief objections to the company are
vizt.:—1st. That a company by low premiums at first would
beat the present subscribers of policies of insurance out of the
business, and then raise the price of insurances as high as they
pleased, and secondly, That upon any dispute with a company it
would be much more chargeable and difficult to recover what might
be justly due from them having so great a stock and consequently
power."—In answer to the first of these objections, he said, that the
company being not proposed to be exclusive, it would be against
their interest not to insure as cheap, as particular persons with
whom merchants would still be as much at liberty to insure as
before.—And in relation to the difficulties supposed to be in case of
dispute, to recover any just dues from the company, Mr. Reeves
referred to the heads of a charter, where the method proposed for
the company's answering any demands would appear as quick as
could reasonably be desired; and therefore he said, he hoped their
Lordships would please to report to his Majesty in favour of the
petitioners for the company abovementioned.
Mr. Serjeant Pingelly, for the charter.
Mr. Serjeant Pingelly then proceeded on the same side, and laid
before their Lordships the inconveniences of the present management of insurances; and the advantages likely to accrue to the
publick from the charter proposed.—As to the inconveniences, he
said, that for long and hazardous voyages or for large sums to be
insured, they go about to collect hands to subscribe the policies of
insurance, and such large sums being divided into several parts,
because the subscribers are unwilling to risk too much upon one
bottom, it is not only difficult, but takes up much time to procure
insurances, which is an impediment to trade.—That after the
premiums for insurances are paid to private persons, if the ship or
goods comes to misfortune, a great part if not the whole insurance
is often lost, in cases of dispute, for that as many different actions
at law are required as there are particular subscribers, who stand
each on their own bottoms; that such multiplicity of law suits
occasions great expence as well as loss of time; and he referred to
the list of insolvencies, which has been laid before the Board, whereby it would appear, how ill the merchants have been served by
private insurers.—In relation to the advantages to the publick
from the charter proposed, Mr. Serjeant Pingelly urged as a great
benefit to the publick, the safety and security there will be to the
insured from the sufficiency of the fund deposited, and which has
been proposed to be made unalienable.—That there will be greater
dispatch by the company in the issuing policies, and distributing
of losses than can be expected from private persons; and if it be
apprehended, tho' there is no room for such fear, that payments may
be neglected by the company, a clause of limitation may be inserted
in the charter, whereby it shall cease upon such neglects.—That as
this will tend to quicken trade, it will of consequence be of more
profit to the merchant and benefit to seamen.—That foreigners
will be the more induced to insure with us when they find they may
save the premiums sometimes given for insuring the insurers.—
That the constituting this corporation is just and lawful, the intended charter not excluding any persons who are not of the society,
and not being within the description of a monopoly.—That private
insurers may as well be expected to continue that business, as we
see particular bankers continue at the same time with the Bank of
England.—Mr. Serjeant Pingelly further added that this charter
would effectually remedy the inconveniences mentioned in the
statute of the 43rd of Queen Elizabeth concerning insurances and
averages, and which were not sufficiently provided against by that
Act.—That if the largeness of the fund only be alledged as an objection to the company, the same argument would hold against any man
that had a greater stock than his neighbour or against co-partner
ships.—That if this undertaking by a company succeeds, it must be
by the satisfaction they give to those who deal with them, and self
interest will ingage them to preserve than destroy themselves, in
which last case the company only will sustain the loss.
Mr. Serjeant Page against a charter.
Mr. Serjeant Page, in behalf of the merchants of London who
petition against a charter for insuring ships &c. then proceeded to
answer what had been offered by Mr. Reeves and Mr. Serjeant
Pingelly as abovementioned for such a charter and said, that the
adverse party did not complain of any grievance or inconvenience
in the present method of insurance, but are projectors of what they
imagine may be a benefit to trade, and which more probably will
be a great prejudice to it, besides that he must contend that such a
charter would not be according to law, for that not only all monopolies are against law but even whatever tends to a monopoly,
which he alledged such a charter would to.—That a stock of 100,000l.
would more than answer all the insurances to be made in England,
whereas the projected company say they have a million subscribed,
and if that be so, no single person would be able to contend with
them when incorporated.—That by such a stock they may afford
to lose in the beginning by insuring cheaper than particular persons
can afford to do, till after a little time there will remain none but
the company acquainted with the business, and if it prove a monopoly in effect, tho' not in words, it will be the same thing.—That
merchants who at present imploy their money to answer the insurances they subscribe, will imploy it otherwise when the company
shall be erected, and will not be ready to return again to the business
of insurance, tho' the company should fail of performing what they
pretend to, and use the publick ill; that such inconveniences from
a company are not so much to be expected at first as when the present insurers have left off that business.—And supposing the establishment of such a company were a matter indifferent in itself,
Mr. Serjeant Page said, he presumed the Board would not advise
the trying an experiment only for the sake of a project, when the
insurances for ships were already upon so good a foot.—That it
would not be prudent to put trade into hazard, where there was no
apparent necessity; and he urged that the people already in an
imployment ought not to be deprived of it without due proof of
some inconvenience to the publick from their management.—In
answer to what had been suggested on the other side concerning
law suits, and the better dispatch of business, by a company than
by particular persons, Mr. Serjeant Page observed, that there is a
great difference between law suits against a company and those
against private persons, the former being more able by the power
of a large stock to answer the expence, to protract time and avoid
justice.—That as private men must answer for themselves separately
it is easier to prosecute one suit against a company who will be more
likely to create disputes, than particular men, and in case of a war,
wherein any considerable losses should happen, it would be worth a
company's while to use shifts and evasions to avoid the payment
of those losses.—That when a corporation is once settled, it is difficult
to dissolve them, tho' they should not answer the ends of their
charter, and after such dissolution it is not easy to determine, what
method, if any, would be left for their creditors to recover their
just debts.—As to the dispatch of business, the difficulty, he said,
would be the same to get policies executed by the company as by
private insurers, for that the company would have a committee to
approve of policies to be signed, and have stated hours, whereas
the present offices for insurances are open at all times, and if persons
are absent at one office there are others constantly to go to.—That
if a merchant fits out a ship at a season of the year, or for such a
voyage, as the governors or officers of the company do not approve,
they may think it their interest to be absent, and when other offices
are laid down their merchant has no opportunity of insuring at all.
Mr. Serjeant Page further observed that tho' the merchants of
London are divided upon the subject of this charter, yet those who
petition against it are the most in number and such as are most
considerable for fortunes and estates, and that those who are
solicitous for a company are such as probably think to share the
profits of such company and tho' some of them are men of repute
and good business, yet most of them are inconsiderable for estate
or trade.—That several are known not to be merchants, and that
the certificates produced in favour of a charter, are chiefly from
inland places not much concerned in foreign trade.—That one great
advantage which attends the present insurance offices and cannot
be expected from a company, is, that in case of dispute and when
there is occasion to make proof of a policy, the servants of the office
keepers being witnesses to the policies signed by particular persons,
it is much easier to prove such policies, than it would be to prove
the policies of a corporation whose officers, it may be, dare not
prove the policies that may be contested with their superiors.—And,
in relation to foreigners, he said their commissions for attending
a company for insurances, would be as chargeable as now, for procuring insurances from private offices.—That there is no such
company abroad.—But that this would very much affect foreign
trade, which when once fixed it is not easily to be altered, and that
no change of trade ought to be attempted, where no inconvenience
appears in the present method.—That in the course of nineteen
years, and most of them time of war, the petitioners for a charter
have been able to make appear no more than 6000l. loss by private
insurers which is but inconsiderable, considering the time and circumstances.—And Mr. Serjeant Page concluded, that Mr. Attorney
and Mr. Solicitor-General having been attended by council on both
sides on this subject, and the matter having been fully heard, they
had reported to His Majesty their humble opinion "That the
making an experiment in a thing of this nature, if it should prove
amiss, would be of the utmost consequence to the trade of this
nation, and that it so highly concerns trade and commerce, that it
will be proper for the consideration of Parliament," and Mr. Serjeant
said, he hoped their Lordships would not for the considerations
abovementioned, advise His Majesty to grant such a charter.
Mr. Talbot, against a charter.
Mr. Talbot proceeding likewise, in behalf of the Merchants of
London, petitioning against a charter for insuring ships, said, they
were happy in having their petition referred to this Board, who
have the trade of the kingdom more immediately under their
consideration.—That the petitioners for a charter, made specious
pretences indeed, such as the improvement of trade, incouragement
of seamen and advantages to the publick, which if they could be
made appear, the merchants of London who at present oppose it,
would rather join to promote it.—That hitherto there had been no
such company, yet many and great insurances had been made to
the satisfaction of merchants both at home and abroad, and that at
this time the insurances made in the method hitherto practised
with so much success are no more ineffectual than formerly, no
more dilatory, but in good credit and the insurers ready to pay
when losses happen of which good performance of the present
insurers the nation feels the effect.—That there is no complaint
of the insufficiency of the present insurers, and as there is no occasion
for such charter the inconveniences that would attend the granting
it ought with more reason to be avoided.—That it would destroy
the present insurers, and if granted in terms exclusive would be
against law.—That as it has been alledged, that the company
will follow their interest in giving satisfaction by their insurances,
so their interest will likewise lead them to exclude all private insurers.
—After which Mr. Talbot enlarged to the same effect as Mr. Serjeant
Page had done upon the following heads, vizt.:—The companies
being able by their stock to lose at first, and after beating out the
private insurers, retrieve upon the publick such loss; the private
insurers not resuming their business when once dispossessed of it;
the turning persons out of their present imployments, and the
advantage of having actions against several single persons rather
than against a corporation.—And Mr. Talbot further added, in
relation to the 6,000l. loss, with the petitioners for a charter have
found in nineteen years from private insurers, that the sum was
inconsiderable, and that corporations were not exempt from failing,
in which case much greater losses might be apprehended to the
persons insured—that the generality of the merchants here were
easy in the present method of insurance as well as strangers abroad,
and that there being a great deal of difficulty and prejudice apprehended, to trade by a corporation, he hoped their Lordships would
not advise so dangerous an experiment.
Mr. Serjeant Erle, against a charter.
Mr. Serjeant Erle, in behalf of the merchants of Bristol, who
petition against the said charter, objected that it was far from being
agreed on both sides, as had been suggested, that such a charter as
proposed is consistent with law, it tending apparently to a monopoly.
That before such a charter be granted some mismanagement of the
present undertakers of insurances ought to be proved, or incontestable advantages arising from the charter made out.—That he
knew of no difficulties in getting insurances from substantial persons
for as large sums as have been hitherto required, nor have the
council for the charter named any person that wanted a larger
insurance than could be procured there.—And as to what had been
observed relating to multiplicity of law suits and charges in cases
of dispute where several particular persons underwrite policies of
insurance, Mr. Serjeant Erle said, that the determination of a suit
with any single subscribers for the most part concluded all the
rest, but that a suit with a corporation was quite a different thing.—
That the statute above quoted of Queen Elizabeth left the business
of insurance at liberty.—And that the gentlemen concerned for a
company, have not, as it might be expected they should, applied
to the legislature in an affair of such importance to the trade of
this kingdom.—He then inlarged, in substance, as Mr. Serjeant Page
and Mr. Talbot had done in relation to the ruin of the present
insurers, who, he added were men of integrity, and no malepractice
laid to their charge.—The advantage of having many offices of
insurance to go to, which a charter would effectually soon prevent.—
The difficulty of obtaining dispatch in insuring with a company,
as great, if not more than by attending private persons, since any
one member of a committee of the company by raising doubts
may obstruct what business he thinks fit.—That foreigners rather
than contend with a company will pay more than the presentsmall præmiums given for insuring insurers.—And as to the differences taken notice of in the Act of Parliament abovementioned
which impowers the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London to decide
them,—Those matters were generally made up privately by merchants and application seldom made to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen on account of the delay and tediousness and several inconveniencies to persons concerned which Mr. Serjeant Erle alledged
would be the like case to persons who should be obliged to attend
a company or committee of a company to adjust accounts upon
losses.—And in conclusion, he referred to Mr. Attorney and Mr.
Solicitor General's report with whom he hoped their Lordships
would concur, and not advise the present experiment that may
prove so dangerous to trade, which he said was of too nice a nature
to be constrained.—And if such a company could be thought
reasonable, it would be a hardship that London should have such a
privilege, exclusive of the out ports of the kingdom.—And that he
hoped their Lordships would consider the worth of the petitioners
both of London and Bristol against the charter, the petition from
Bristol being signed by the mayor and eleven of the aldermen of
Mr. Hungerford, against a charter.
Mr. Hungerford. who appeared with Mr. Serjeant Erle in behalf
of the merchants of Bristol, represented to the Board, that it was
agreed on all sides, if the intended charter for insuring ships imployed
a monopoly, it ought to go on no further, and he declared he was of
opinion it would center in a monopoly in effect, he urged that power
seldom keeps its bounds.—And instanced the new East India
Company, who, by Act of Parliament were not to be exclusive of
others.—That there were two persons who then traded separately to
India, whom the Company at last found means to bring into their
body when other methods failed; and as the Company imposed an
oath on their members, as other companies may, those separate
traders were soon swallowed up by the Company, and so the trade
became in effect exclusive.—He likewise instanced the Bank of
England which by its influence had rendered a land bank abortive.—
That it is best judging of what may be expected from what we have
found by experience.—And tho' such a charter as is now proposed
should provide that any others besides the company may insure
ships, yet the number of the present insurers would probably be
much abridged by their coming into the company which at last
would ingross the whole business.—In relation to the clause proposed
to be in the charter to inforce the company's appearance to suits
in four days the sooner to determine differences with them, Mr.
Hungerford objected that notwithstanding such a clause, if they
should decline appearing, it would be difficult and tedious to compel
them to it, or to vacate their charter.—And he instanced that the
African Company in a particular case had not been brought to an
appearance in four years.—But on the contrary he observed that
arrest more immediately affect private persons than any process
can do a company so that the latter cannot so easily be compelled
to what is just.—And touching upon some of the points abovementioned to the same purpose as the other gentlemen against
the charter, Mr. Hungerford concluded that the people who keep
the present insurance offices should be considered as persons in
an honest and fair livelihood and not to be deprived of it without
some reasonable objection against them—which he conceived such
a charter would effectually do, it tending in its nature to a monopoly
and stockjobbing which he could not think their Lordships would
Mr. Reeves's reply for the charter.
In reply to what was answered as above by the counsel for the
petitioners against a charter, Mr. Reeves, in behalf of the petitioners
for it, referred to the petition it self for the names of the subscribers,
who were men of substance and consideration and not such projectors
as represented by their adversaries—That they desire not to exclude
any others from the business of insurance, but only to erect an
additional office of insurance whereby greater advantage might
accrue to the public—That as to the legality of the charter proposed,
he said, that in the report of Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor-General,
no notice is taken of its being illegal or tending to a monopoly—
That if the objections be true that the generality of merchants are
resolved to follow their former method of insurance, the charter
desired will not tend to a monopoly—That the argument of there
never having been such a corporation will extend against everything,
tho' never so good in itself, if the same has not been done before—
That foreigners are not so unacquainted with our Corporations,
but that they will understand, a million of pounds sterling to be a
good security for their insurances, and as for stockjobbing, the fund
proposed for this company being fixed and not imaginary, it is not
adapted for stockjobbing—That the objection concerning the proof
of policies, in order to put the same in suit is, groundless, for that the
company can only act under their common seal, which will be less
trouble to prove than in the present method of insuring where there
is occasion for witnesses—That the 6,000l. loss by the failure of
private insurers was only a specimen of such losses, and much less
than the whole of what might have been proved—That many
insurances are now made abroad, even for some of our own merchants, which it would be of advantage to the kingdom to have
made here—In support of which, Mr. Reeves proposing to have the
affidavit of Mr. Emmet read, Mr. Serjeant Page and Mr. Serjeant
Erle objected thereto, as being irregular, and what ought to have
been mentioned before the council for a charter came to their reply,
besides, that Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor-General had declined
the reading of that affidavit on the hearing before them; whereupon
the gentlemen on both sides were acquainted by the Board that
they were not confined to the strict rules of proceedings in the
courts of justice, but that their Lordships should at any time
receive what information might be offered them from either side—
Mr. Reeves then proceeded and said he was not instructed concerning
what had been mentioned about a land bank, and the management
of the East India Company &c. but that the African Company was
an instance where a company and separate traders carried on the
same commerce, and the separate traders had much the advantage
of the company, so that it is not a necessary consequence, that
companies tho' not exclusive do in the end destroy a separate trade—
And as to the objection raised that the certificates before the Board
from several cities and towns in favour of a company are not from
places concerned in foreign trade, Mr. Reeves observed that Leverpoole, Chester, Plymouth, Biddeford, Yarmouth, Falmouth, New
Castle upon Tine, Dublin and Cork, from whence certificates of the
most considerable merchants there, had been sent in favour of the
company, could not be said to be inland towns, or denied to be
places engaged in foreign trade.
Mr. Serjeant Pingelly for the charter.
Mr. Serjeant Pingelly subjoined and insisted that the certificates
abovementioned were from the most proper places—That the
petitioners for a company, desire only that such persons as are
willing may come to insure with them—That insurances by a company will not extinguish other insurances, but afford another
market for insurance—And the objections to the oppressions that
might be occasioned by the power and large stock of the company
proposed, would be an objection against all companies whatever—
That if any particular inconveniences have been found in charters
already granted they may be provided against by proper clauses
to be inserted in this—That the expence of a suit at law with a
company is very little more than that with a private person, and
that in case of a dispute with the company, there will be occasion
but for one action—That if the company should fail answering the
payments expected, their credit and business would consequently
fail—And he concluded, in reply to what had been said of its being
proper to make application to the Legislature before such a charter
be granted, that the granting of charters according to law is the
prerogative of the Crown, and that therefore he hoped, the Board
would recommend to His Majesty the granting such a charter
as desired, which he was of opinion would not only be lawful, but
greatly tend to the improvement of trade, and produce the other
advantages thereby proposed to the public.
May 15. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Letter from Mr. Nivine, excusing attendance.
A letter from Mr. Nivine [fos. 238, 269, 270, 275], signifying his
not being able to attend the Board this day, as he had been desired,
and praying their Lordships would give him time till the middle
of next week, was read; whereupon ordered that he have notice
to attend on Wednesday next accordingly.
Letter to Lord Stanhope.
Laws of trade.
A letter to the Lord Stanhope [fo. 234], in answer to his of the
8th inst: relating to the laws of trade and navigation which affect
the Czar's subjects, was agreed and signed.
Letter from Colonel Bennett.
A letter from Col. Bennet, Govr. of Bermuda, dated 29th of
March, 1718, relating to some doubts that have occurred to the
pirates, [fo. 181, 328] which have obstructed their surrendering
upon His Majesty's proclamation, was read, and a letter inclosing
an extract of the said letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs, was agreed
and ordered to be transcribed.
Treaty of commerce.
Their Lordships went thro' the consideration of the project
of a treaty of commerce [fo. 238, 273] with Venice and ordered it
to be transcribed.
May 16. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs.
Extract of Colonel Bennett's.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs, ordered yesterday, to be prepared,
for inclosing the extract of a letter from Col. Bennet, Govr. of Bermuda, dated 29th of March, 1718, relating to some doubts, that
have occurred to the pirates, which have hindered several of them
from surrendering upon His Majesty's proclamation, as also a former
report to the Lords of the Council of 20th February last, relating
to commissions to be prepared for impowering the Governor to
pardon them, was agreed and signed.
Three affidavits from some merchants, in favour of a corporation
[fo. 239, 299] for insuring ships, &c. at sea were read; and ordered
that copies of the said affidavits be given to those who petition
against the said corporation.
Mr. West attending, their Lordships proceeded in considering
several Acts of the Leeward Islands, vizt.:—
An Act for the good government of negroes and other slaves
in this Island.
An Act for laying on French sugars [fo. 267, 275], rum and
melosses imported, both passed at Nevis, 1717.
Mr. Solicitor-General's report.
Letter from Colonel Jory.
Which Acts with Mr. Solicitor-General's report upon them,
and a letter from Col. Jory, desiring the said Acts may be confirmed,
were read; whereupon ordered that a representation [fo. 273] be
prepared to his Majesty for his Royal Approbation of the first mentioned Act; and their Lordships agreed that the latter should lye
by probationary [fo. 267, 275].
Then the Acts of St. Christophers undermentioned, were severally
read, and the notes, as expressed, under the title of each Act, were
agreed to by Board, vizt.:—
An Act to ascertain the bounds of possessions in the late French
ground, passed in 1715.
No objection, expired.
Additional Act to an Act to ascertain the bounds of possessions
in the late French ground, passed in 1715. No objection.
An Act for the settlement of the militia, passed in 1715. To lay
An Act to explain part of the Militia Act, past in 1716. Expires
An Act laying a duty on sugars exported to any other island
in this Government for the use of the fortifications, passed
To lay by.
An Act regulating fees of the several offices and courts, passed
To lay by.
An Act for raising a levy to discharge the publick debts, passed
An Act to repeal a clause in the common law suit, passed in 1715.
An Act raising a tax on trade to defray the publick charges,
passed in 1715.
Act sent to Mr. West.
Ordered that the Act for the good government of servants &c.,
and for incouraging the importation of servants, be sent to Mr. West
for his perusal.
May 20. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham,
Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Letter from Colonel Spotswood.
Account of revenue.
A letter from Col. Spotswood [fo. 49, 93, 283] Lieut. Govr. of
Virginia, dated the 27th of February last, was read, and the accounts
of the revenue of 2s. per hogshead in Virginia from the 25th October,
1717, therein referred to, was laid before the Board.
Don Bernardo de Guardia.
A memorial from Don Bernardo de Guardia and Mr. Diharce,
[fo. 99] praying copies of the several papers before this Board relating
to the Spanish belandra seized, and some time ago condemned at
Jamaica, was read, and the said gentlemen were acquainted that
their Lordships would consider thereof, and give them an answer
in a few days.
The draught of a representation upon the petitions, memorials
and other papers received from the Marquis de Wignacourt [fo.
224, 274], Mr. Coram and others, who desire a settlement between
New England and Nova Scotia, was agreed and ordered to be
A representation upon an Act passed at Nevis in 1717 [fo. 270,
362], intituled, an Act for the good government of negroes and
other slaves in this island, was agreed and signed.
Letter to Mr. Craggs.
Treaty with Venice.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs [fo. 268], transmitting to him
the project of a treaty of commerce with Venice, with observations
thereon, was signed.
May 21. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr.
Pelham, Mr. Pulteney.
Their Lordships proceeded in considering the two Acts of Jamaica
passed there the 31st of August, 1717, entituled,
An Act for relief of widows and orphans in relation to deficiencies, and
An Act for the more effectual punishing of crimes committed
read with Mr. Attorney-General's report.
which Acts were read, as likewise Mr. Attorney General's report
thereupon; and their Lordships had no objection against either
of the said Acts, but observed, that the first mentioned Act would be
of no further use, the Act to which it refers being repealed; and as
to the Act for the more effectual punishment of crimes committed
by slaves, their Lordships agreed to let it lye by as probationary.
A representation upon the petitions, memorials and other papers
received from the Marquis de Wignacourt [fo. 272], Mr. Coram,
Armstrong and others, who desire a settlement between New
England and Nova Scotia, as agreed at the last meeting, was
Caveat against new charter.
Mr. Mackburney, Secretary to the Company for the Royal Fishery,
attending, as desired, their Lordships had some discourse with him,
concerning the charter granted for such a company in the reign of
King Charles the 2nd and the charter for a fishery company which
several lords and others have lately petitioned for; and being
particularly asked, what the said company had done for promoting
the fishery; he said the Board of Trade had formerly required an
account thereof from him, which, upon changes in the ministry,
he had not completed; whereupon their Lordships desired the
said account as soon as he could perfect the same; as likewise a
copy of the said charter, for which he promised to move the company,
and added, that he believed the said company would put in a
caveat against any new charter.
Mr. Nivine [fo. 267, 269, 270, 328], Agent for Antigua, attending,
their Lordships had some discourse with him concerning the Act,
passed at that island in 1716, to prohibit the importation of French
or other foreign sugars, rum, &c. Whereupon he was directed to
bring to their Lordships in writing what he had offered in favour
of the said Act.
Mr. West attending, their Lordships then took into consideration
the two Acts undermentioned, passed at Montserrat in 1715, which
were read vizt.:—
An Act to repeal the Acts entituled, the six pound Act, and
An Act for raising a levy or tax.
To which their Lordships had no objection, but observed, that the
former Act not reciting the title of that, which was thereby intended
to be repealed, it actually repealed nothing, and that the latter
Act has had its effect.
And upon the Act passed in the said Island of Montserrat in 1704/5,
entituled, an Act for quieting possessions and better securing the
title of land [fo. 292], Mr. West was desired to consider the same,
and to compare it with the Act passed in 1702, for quieting men's
estates &c. which is repealed.
to lie by.
The Act passed at St. Christophers the 10th of January, 1715/16,
entituled, an Act for the good governing of servants, ordering the
rights between masters and servants and to encourage the importation of servants, was read; and their Lordships agreed to let the
same lye by probationary.
Letter from Mr. Tailer.
Their Lordships proceeded to consider several Acts of the Massachusets Bay, and the letter from Mr. Tailer of the 21st July, 1716,
then Lieut. Governor of that province, transmitting the said Acts,
was read; as were likewise the Acts passed there in 1715, whereof
the titles are undermentioned; the notes agreed by their Lordships
upon each Act being expressed under each particular title, vizt.:—
An Act in addition to an Act for erecting of a powder house in
No objection, to lye by.
An Act to prevent the oppression of debtors.
No objection, to lye by.
An Act for preventing damage to the housing and other estate,
within the several towns of this province.
To lye by.
An Act in addition to the Act, entituled, an Act against counterfeiting the bills of credit of this province, passed in the 3rd
year of Her late Majesty Queen Anne.
No other objection, but remark to the Govr. the instruction
about fines and forfeitures being granted to the Crown.
An Act in further addition to the Act for encouraging the
killing of wolves, made in the 5th year of the reign of King
William and Queen Mary.
No other objection, but remark instructions as above.
An Act for maintaining and propagating of religion.
No objection to it.
An Act for reviving and further continuing of an Act entituled,
an Act to inable creditors to receive their just debts out of
the effects of their absent and absconding debtors, made
and passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly at
their session upon the 26th day of May, 1708 in the 7th year
of the reign of Her late Majesty Queen Anne.
An Act for the encouraging the raising hemp within this province.
An Act for holding and keeping a Superior Court of Judicature
Court of Assize and General Gaol Delivery, within and for
the County of Hampshire.
Qr. any such Act repealed.
An Act to prevent the unnecessary journeying of the representatives.
An Act for the better regulating of town and proprietary
An Act in addition to the Act, entituled, an Act for the regulating of townships, choice of town officers, and setting forth
their power made and passed in the fourth of William and
An Act in addition to an Act, entituled, An Act for the settlement and distribution of the estates of intestates, made and
passed in the fourth year of the reign of King William and
May 22. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles
Cooke, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham. Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Letter from Colonel Heywood.
A letter from Col. Heywood, Commander in Chief of Jamaica,
dated the 17th of March, 1717/18 relating to the surrender of several
pirates there, was read.
Letter from Mr. Lowndes.
Answer to be prepared.
Upon consideration of Mr. Lowndes's letter [fo. 211, 290],
mentioned in the minutes of the 29th of the last month, relating
to Captain Taverner, who has been imployed in the survey of Newfoundland; directions were given for preparing an answer to the
Letters from Captain Doucet.
The letters undermentioned from Capt. Doucet, Lieut. Govr. of
Annapolis Royal, to the Board, as likewise one to the Secretary,
were read, and the papers therein severally referred to laid before
their Lordships vizt.:—
A letter from Capt. Doucet, to the Board, dated the 6th of November, 1717.
1st. Form of an oath proposed to the French inhabitants.
2nd. Answer of the said French inhabitants.
Another letter from him to their Lordships, dated 1st of February, 1717/18.
A second letter from Captain Doucet to the Board, dated 1st
Copy of an address of officers and British inhabitants of Annapolis to the King.
A third letter from him to the Board, of the 6th February, 1717/18.
1st. Copy of Capt. Southack's letter to the Lieut. Govr. of
2nd. Representation of the inhabitants and merchants of
Annapolis Royal to the Lieut. Governor.
A letter from him of the same date, to the Secretary.
A fourth letter from Capt. Doucet to the Board of 10th February,
1st. Mr. Doucet's letter to Mr. Melanson at Minos, dated
December 5th, 1717.
2nd. Mr. Doucet's letter to Father Felix, Priest at Minos,
dated December 5th, 1717.
3rd. Mr. Melanson's answer, dated 25th January, 1717/18.
4th. Answer of several French inhabitants.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Burchal.
Crabb Island destroyed by Spaniards.
The extract of a letter from Mr. Burchal to Mr. Cuningham, dated
at St. Christophers the 10th of March last, signifying that the
English settlement at Crabb Island has been destroyed by the
Spaniards [fo. 301.]
Letter from Colonel Spotswood.
Answer to be prepared.
Upon further consideration of Col. Spotswood's letter [fo. 272,
337] of the 27th of February last, mentioned in the minutes of the
20th inst., directions were given for preparing an answer thereto.
May 23. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Draught of representation.
Their Lordships made a progress in considering the draught of a
representation upon Col. Philips' memorials [fo. 211, 291], relating
to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Memorial from General Carpenter, etc.
Mr. de Soulies.
Lieut. General Carpenter, Govr. and Col. Kane, Lieut. Governor
of Minorca [fo. 211, 295], attending, General Carpenter presented
to their Lordships a memorial concerning the making of salt in that
island, which was read; and it being observed to them, that Mr.
de Soulies was the first that appeared to the Board to have proposed
the setting up salt works there, Col. Kane said, he had writ to the
Government here some years ago upon that subject, but that no
resolution had been taken thereupon; and General Carpenter
acquainted the Board, that the said De Soulies' application to
Parliament, and representing the making salt at Minorca so much
more considerable a thing than he looks upon it to be, had prevented
him from addressing His Majesty or this Board concerning it, but
that he was willing with the other officers upon that island to make
Mr. West being present, their Lordships then proceeded in considering several Acts passed in the province of the Massachusets
Bay in 1716; and upon reading nine of the said Acts, and no objections arising thereupon their Lordships agreed to let them lye by
An Act for granting unto His Majesty an excise upon wines,
liquor and other strong drink sold by retail.
An Act for the more effectual discovering of the rateable estates
within this Province for a just and true valuation thereof.
An Act relating to the Great Bridge in Billerica.
An Act stating the fees of the Custom House officers within
An Act in addition to the Act for regulating fees, made and
passed in the 4th of King William and Queen Mary, taking
the fees of the officers of the Court of Admiralty.
An Act in further addition to an Act relating to sureties upon
mean process in civil actions made and passed at a session
of the Genl. Court or Assembly the 8th November, 1693,
in the 5th of King William and Queen Mary.
An Act for further continuing an Act for the better regulation
of swine going at large, in addition to the Act for the regulating of fences, cattle, &c. and for the explanation thereof
made and passed by the Great and General Court or Assembly
at their session upon Wednesday the 10th of February, 1713
in the 12th of her late Majesty Queen Anne.
An Act for the change or alteration of the surname of Spencer
Bennet, alias Phipps, of Cambridge, Esqr.
An Act for appointing and assessing a tax of 11051l. 13s. 10d.
upon polls and estates.
The Acts passed at the same time, whereof the titles are undermentioned, were likewise read, and Mr. West was desired to consider
the Act in further addition to the Act for making lands and tenements
liable to the payments of debts, made and passed in the 8th of King
William, wherewith Mr. Dummer, agent for that province, was
ordered to be acquainted.
The Act for reviving and further continuing, an Act directing
how rates and taxes to be granted by the General Assembly shall
be assessed and collected made and passed upon the 31st of May,
1699 in the 12th of King William the 3rd, was found to have expired
in 1717; as likewise the Act for granting to His Majesty several
rates and duties of impost and tonnage of shipping.
Governor to be writ to.
And upon reading the Act for the further continuing of an Act,
entituled, an Act against hawkers, pedlars and petty chapmen,
made and passed by the great and general Court or Assembly at
their session, upon Wednesday 27th May, 1713, in the 12th of her
late Majesty Queen Anne, with the said Act, entituled an Act
against hawkers, pedlars and petty chapmen. Ordered that the
Govr. of the Massachusets Bay be writ to for the reasons for passing
the last mentioned Act.
Mr. Walker, and agents.
The Act passed at Barbados in 1715, entituled, an Act impowering licentiate lawyers to practise as barristers in this Island [fo.
223, 346], being delivered to Mr. West for his consideration and
opinion thereupon, ordered that Mr. Walker, who has made application to the Board in relation to the said Act, as also the Barbados
agents, be acquainted therewith.
May 27. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Molesworth, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Capt. Taverner [fo. 281, 290], Surveyor of Newfoundland
attending, the papers undermentioned, which have been lately
received from him, were laid before the Board, vizt.:—
Copies of letters from Mr. Secretary Stanhope (now Lord
Stanhope) to Capt. Taverner and to the Lords of the Treasury.
Copy of Capt. Taverner's 2nd report relating to Newfoundland.
Account of French ships and inhabitants at St. Peters, &c.
Capt. Taverner's remarks upon some proceedings at Placentia.
Copies of Col. Moody's orders to Capt. Taverner with the
French declaration and oath to be administered to the
A new chart or a new map of Newfoundland from Cape St.
Marys to Cape Lahun, surveyed by Capt. Taverner,
and the said copies of letters from the Lord Stanhope were read;
Capt. Taverner being particularly asked about printing the chart
abovementioned, he said he had no objection to its being printed
at the publick charge.
Draught of a letter to Mr. Lowndes.
Capt. Taverner being withdrawn, their Lordships agreed the
draught of a letter from the Secretary to Mr. Lowndes [fo. 281] in
answer to his of the 24th, which was mentioned in the minutes of
the 29th of the last month, relating to the said Taverner.
Mr. Mackburney fishery charter.
Draught of representation.
Mr. Mackburney [fo. 226, 291], Secretary to the Fishery Company,
attending, presented to the Board a copy of the charter granted to
the said company by King Charles the 2nd in the 29th year of his
reign; and the said Mr. Mackburney being withdrawn, their Lordships agreed the draught of a representation to his Majesty upon
the petition of several lords and others for a new patent for carrying
on the fishery, referred to this Board by Order of Council, mentioned
in the minutes of the 24th of February last, and directed the said
draught of a representation to be transcribed.
Draught of representation.
The draught of a representation upon Col. Philips's memorials
[fo. 284, 292] mentioned in the minutes of the last meeting relating
to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, was agreed and ordered to be
May 30. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen.
The representation agreed at the last meeting upon the petition
[fo. 290] of several lords and others for a new patent for carrying
on the fishery, was signed.
The representation agreed likewise the last meeting, upon Col.
Philips's memorials [fo. 291] relating to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, was signed.
Mr. West attending, his report upon an Act passed at Montserrat
[fo. 276, 347] in the 4th year of her late Majesty's reign, entituled,
an Act for quieting possessions and for the better securing and
confirming the titles of land in this Island, was laid before the Board.