Journal, January 1719
January 2. Present:—Mr. Secretary Craggs, Mr. Chancellor of
Exchequer, Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen.
Letter from Mr. Tickell.
A letter from Mr. Tickel, of the 30th, inclosing a copy of Mr.
Secretary Craggs's circular letter, of the 24th of the last month, to
the Governours of His Majestie's several plantations, relating to the
declaration of war against Spain and to His Majestie's proclamation,
and commissions concerning the tryal and pardon of pirates in
America, was read, as likewise the said copy of Mr. Secretary's
letter; and their Lordships were acquainted that the ten commissions
for trying pirates in several parts of America, mentioned in the said
circular letter, as likewise in Mr. Secretary Craggs' letter of the 3rd
of July, 1718, being yesterday sent for to his office, were accordingly
delivered to Mr. Jones.
Mr. Smith, one of the Tellers of His Majesty's Exchequer, then
came to the Board, as he had been desired.
Petition of Mr. Gohier and Mr. Buck.
Security of Bahamas.
A petition from Mr. Gohier and Mr. Buck, praying that another
independant company of soldiers may be sent for the security of the
Bahama Islands, was read, and the said Mr. Gohier and Mr. Buck
attending, they were called in, and their Lordships having some discourse with them on the subject of the said petition, a letter to Mr.
Secretary Craggs thereupon was agreed and signed.
Mr. Gee and Mr. Astell.
Mr. Astell about Naval stores.
Mr. Gee attended again and Mr. Astell, who is concerned in the
trade for Naval stores, attending likewise; their Lordships according
to appointment took into further consideration Mr. Gee's memorial,
mentioned in the Minutes of the 31st of last month, relating to some
encouragement to be given for importing iron and timber etc.,
from His Majesties plantations in America; whereupon their Lordships had some discourse with Mr. Astell as well as Mr. Gee,
on the subject of the said memorial, and Mr. Astell, who said he had
seen a copy of the memorial, acquainted the Board that he agreed
the main design thereof, if attained, would be advantage to this
kingdom. That iron and potashes are bought from the dominions
of the Northern Crowns with ready money, and the high duties on
our goods in Denmark and Norway occasioning the running of
them clandestinely in those parts, is a great discouragement to the
fair trader, and that laying a duty on timber, boards, etc., ad valorem,
in this kingdom, is another, because the importer is left to act
herein according to his conscience, and all men have not equal
regard to their oaths, whereupon Mr. Astell proposed that wood
and timber from all parts should pay a certain equal duty, and as an
encouragement to bring the same from His Majesty's plantations,
that a premium equal to the duty should be allowed for all
such timber as shall be imported from those parts. And to
encourage the making in His Majestie's plantations, Mr. Astell
likewise proposed that a bounty or prœmium equal to the duty on
the said iron should be allowed on that commodity made there,
and imported into this kingdom, as also according to what Mr.
Gee desired, to engage persons in an undertaking so expensive and
tedious before it comes to answer the charge, that a term of 31
years should be granted by Parliament wherein the duty on plantation iron should not be augmented, not the prœmium diminished,
and the said duty and bounty to determine together, as likewise
that the undertakers for iron should be vested with the full power of
the Crown with regard to mines and the digging of ore. And as to
potashes, it was in like manner proposed to their Lordships that a
prœmium equal to the duty should be allowed for postashes made,
and brought hither from His Majesties plantations.
Mr. Astell about Naval stores.
For answering the said several prœmiums, or bounties, without
any further charge to the publick, Mr. Astell offered to their Lordships, that one moiety of the prœmiums, at present allowed on the
importation of pitch and tar imported from the plantations, should
be taken off those commodities, being now arrived to a perfection
equal to the same sorts from Sweden, etc. And that the other moiety
should remain to ballance the freight. But it was observed by
Mr. Gee and Mr. Astell, that the method now taken in the navy
office for paying the debentures on naval stores from America,
occasions a considerable discount; to prevent which, it was proposed
that the duties on the several species now under consideration should
be assigned for payment of the prœmiums. Mr. Gee on this occasion
acquainted their Lordships, that the ill-reports spread of our plantation pitch and tar as to their quality, proceeded in a great measure
from particular persons, who had monopolized all the pitch and
tar from Sweden, and whose interest it was to depreciate that from
the plantations; though as for tar, Mr. Gee owned there had come
some bad from America, being made with less care, probably for
the sake of the debentures, which, being reduced, will oblige the
persons concerned therein to take more care; but as for pitch the
American was as good as the best. And Mr. Astell affirmed that
Russia tar, which had formerly been preferred to that from our
plantations, is now refused: that since the importation of pitch
and tar from our plantations, the prices of those commodities from
other places had been greatly reduced: that turpentine, which had
been formerly 17l. a ton, was now brought to 11l. or 12l.
In relation to hemp, Mr. Astell said, it was bought with our
manufactures and was not therefore so necessary to be meddled
with at present: and Mr. Gee said, that the hempseed sent lately
to America for a tryal, being carried between decks from the air,
would not grow, which misfortune he hoped would be prevented in
the next essay.
Mr. Astell was then desired to putt into writing the whole of
what he had now said to their Lordships in relation to iron and
potashes, and what might further occur to him in relation thereto,
and to bring the same to the Board at nine of the clock on Monday
morning next, at which time Mr. Gee was likewise desired to attend,
which they accordingly promised.
Sir Charles Wager, Mr. Ackworth and Mr. Lowndes summoned.
Ordered that Sir Charles Wager, one of the Lords of the Admiralty
and Mr. Acworth, Commissioner of the Navy, and Mr. Lowndes
be desired to meet this Board, at 9 of the clock on Monday morning
Letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs.
A letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs, inclosing the two representations
of this Board relating to the Newfoundland fishery, dated 19th and
24th of the last month, in order to be laid before His Majesty, was
Sir Charles Wager, Mr. Astell, Mr. Ackworth, Mr. Gee. Memorial.
January 5. Present:—Mr. Secretary Craggs, Mr. Chancellor
of the Exchequer, Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr.
Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen.
Sir Charles Wager, one of the Lords of the Admiralty and Mr.
Ackworth, surveyor of the navy, coming to this Board as desired,
Mr. Astell, with Mr. Gee who attended, were called in, and presented
to their Lordships a memorial relating to the encouragement to be
given for the importation of iron, masts, timber, boards, and other
wood, as also potashes from His Majestie's plantations in America,
which memorial was read; and Mr. Ackworth acquainted the Board
that in his opinion it would be for the publick advantage to have
the prœmium on hemp prolonged for a larger term, as so to answer
the freight of it from His Majestie's plantations: that there now
comes from the said plantations as good pitch as from anywhere,
and that the tar from thence is much amended in its quality, the
last importation being the best that has come: that it would be
well if possible to fix the prœmium on neat and good tar only so as
not to allow the same for dross or water which has often come with
the tar; and he offered that one half of the present prœmium for
plantation pitch and ¼ of the like prœmium for tar, be taken off:
that as to turpentine from the plantations the navy had lately
made and experiment of it, and find it very good and proper for
their use, and Sir Charles Wager observed, that the carrying our
turpentine to Holland is a publick advantage, but Mr. Astell on this
occasion gave his opinion that that commodity might be sold here
for 10 or 11l. per ton without the prœmium, so that he as likewise
Mr. Gee concluded the trade in that commodity would support
itself, though the prœmium should be taken off. In relation to
rozin Mr. Ackworth said he thought it needed no bounty.
Upon the whole their Lordships agreed to represent as follows,
viz:—That half the prœmium be taken off the pitch, and likewise
half off the tar; but such tar as the navy shall buy, to keep ¾ths. of
the prœmiums. That the prœmium on rosin be taken off entirely.
That two thirds of the prœmium on turpentine be likewise taken
off; that hemp remain with the old prœmium, but the term be prolonged; that iron in bars, pigs and sowns and potashes be imported
duty free for — years; that the encouragement for measts continue
as it is.
And their Lordships further agreed to take Mr. Astell and Mr.
Gee's memorial into consideration again at nine of the clock on
Thursday morning next, and ordered that the Secry. write to Mr.
Carkesse, to signifye the desire of the Board, that some of the commissioners of His Majesty's Customs would please to meet them at
the same time.
January 7. Present:— Sir Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen.
Mr. Perry and others.
Consul at Madera.
Independent at Lisbon.
Letter to Mr. Secretary Stanhope in September, 1715.
Governor of Madera arbitrary.
Mr. Micajah Perry, Mr. Richard Harris, Mr. Godin, Mr. Lowe and
other merchants, who have signed the petition mentioned in the
Minutes of the 31st of the last month in favour of Mr. Rider, praying
that he may be constituted Consul at Madera, independent from
the Consul at Lisbon, attending with the said Mr. Rider and other
gentlemen, their Lordships had some discourse with them on the
subject of the said petition, and the letter from this Board to Mr.
Secretary Stanhope (now Earl Stanhope) of the 9th of September,
1715, relating to the Consulship of Madera, was read; whereupon,
among other arguments in favour of an independent Consul at
Madera, they said, the trade from this kingdom to that island was
much augmented within these few years, and Mr. Rider produced a
letter dated at Madera, the 27th of October last, from Mr. Batchelor
and company to Mr. Lowe, informing the said Mr. Lowe, that the
Governour of Madera assumed a power of doing what he pleased
with all ships that were not consigned to some particular person,
and Mr. Rider added that it was chiefly to prevent the arbitrary
proceedings of the said Governours, that a Consul, appointed by
His Majestie's immediate commission, was necessary, and not for
the prosecution of law-suits or appeals at Lisbon. He further observes that as to any charge of prosecution, there is a Treasury
maintained by the factory at Lisbon for any publick expense
which may regard the nation in general, and that the expenses of
private law-suits or appeals are born by the particular persons
concerned: that the reason why several other merchants concerned
in the trade to the Maderas have not signed the petition, is not
because they are against the constituting an independent Consul
at Madera, but that they are engaged in favour of another person.
To bring their thoughts in writing.
These gentlemen were then desired to put into writing what they
had said, or might have further to offer in this affair, and bring
it to the Board as soon as they could, which they accordingly
January 8. Present:—Mr. Secretary Craggs, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen.
Commissioners of Customs.
Duties on naval stores.
Letters to Mr. Carkesse.
Sir Mathew Dudley and Mr. Pulteney, two of the Commissioners
of His Majestie's Customes, coming to this Board as desired, their
Lordships had some discourse with them relating to the duties on
timber, iron, pitch, tar and other naval stores and to the encouragement to be given for bringing those commodities from His Majestie's
plantations in America: whereupon their Lordships agreed to take
the same into consideration at 10 of the clock on Tuesday morning
next, and in the meantime ordered that the secretary write to Mr.
Carkesse to move the Commissioners of the Customs for an account
of the quantity of iron imported into this kingdom from Christmas,
1712, to Christmas, 1717, distinguishing from what countries and the
duties paid thereupon, as also an account of the quantities and
several species of timber imported, the place whence, and duty paid
thereupon for the like term.
Commissioners of the Customs summoned.
Further ordered that Mr. Carkesse be desired to acquaint the
Commissioners of His Majestie's Customs that this Board desire
some of them will please to be here again at 10 of the clock on
Tuesday morning next.
Chancellor of the Exchequer etc. summoned.
And that Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Smith, Sir Chas.
Wager, Mr. Ackworth, Mr. Astell and Mr. Gee, be desired to be
present at the same time.
January 13. Present:—Mr. Secretary Craggs, Mr. Chetwynd,
Sir Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Sir Charles Wager.
Letter from Mr. Carkesse.
Sir Charles Wager, one of the Lords of the Admiralty, Mr. Pultney
one of the Commissioners of His Majestie's Customes, as also Mr.
Ackworth, Surveyor of the navy, coming to this Board, as desired,
a letter from Mr. Carkesse, secretary to the Commissioners of the
Customes, dated the 12th instant was read, and the account inclosed
therein of iron imported for five years, and the duties paid thereon,
was laid before their lordships, as likewise three other accounts
received from the Custom-house, viz:—
An account shewing the quantity of the several sorts of timber,
and other wood (for which no bounty is granted) imported from
the continent of America in 10 years from Christmas, 1707, to Christmas, 1717, with the amount of the duties thereon.
Pearl and postashes imported in five years, distinguishing the
countries from Christmas, 1712, to Christmas, 1717, and of
Iron wrought exported to the British plantations in America in
And their Lordships taking the said accounts into consideration,
with the several papers before the Board relating to the proelig;mium
at present allowed for the importation of several species of naval
stores from His Majestie's plantations in America; and to the
encouragement to be given for importing other species of the said
stores from thence.
Merchants' memorial and petition.
Mr. Perry, Mr. Baron, Mr. Crane.
A memorial and petition was presented to the Board from several
merchants, praying that the premiums or bounties already granted
by Parliament for a term of years for naval stores imported from the
plantations, may not be taken off; which petition was read, and
Mr. Richard Perry, Mr. Baron, Mr. Crane and others, who signed the
said petition attending, they were called in, and being acquainted
that as the sums paid by the navy for premiums on the importation
of naval stores from America had annually increased, and amounted
the last year to above 50 thousand pounds, and there having been
several quantities of pitch and tar imported of very ill quality,
whereby it seemed that the makers depended on the prœmium
more than the goodness of those commodities for their proffitt;
it was proposed to the said gentlemen to consent to the taking off
one half of the prœmiums on pitch and tar, which might be applied
for the encouragement of some other species of naval stores or
commodities for the advantage of the trade of this kingdom, which
would be no prejudice to the interest of any particular merchant
dealing in pitch and tar, in as much as what should be abated in
the prœmium would be advanced in the price, when their goodness
should be improved by the manufacturers, depending chiefly on that
for their disposal of them, and though, as it was further observed
to the petitioners, the greatest regard would be had to the faith of
an Act of Parliament, which had granted the said prœmiums for a
term at present unexpired, yet the said Act seemed to want some
explanation, since it was thought to intend a prœmium only for
naval stores for the use of this kingdom, and not for such stores as
should be re-exported to foreign parts as were not good in their
kind; to which it was answered by Mr. Perry that it was true some
bad pitch and tar had been imported from the plantations soon
after those productions were first sett about, but that they have
annually grown better, and are now near arrived to a perfection:
that since the importation of pitch and tar from the plantations,
that navy has gained by the reduction of the price of those goods, of
which he said he had at present by him some quantities and offered
them to the navy at a very low rate. And Mr. Crane said he had
had a contract with the navy for tar which he furnished, and was
approved: that he was once present at the tryal of some ropes
dipped in Russia and Carolina tar, when four of the ropes dipped
in Russia broke, to two dipped in Carolina: that Russia tar is now
refused; and as for pitch he assured the Board that great quantities
of very good from the plantations had been sold to the government.
But as to lessening the prœmiums on pitch and tar, he said the trade
for those commodities would revert again to Sweden and the east
countrys, if the least abatement were made in the said prœmiums.
Mr. Dummer, Agent for the Massachusets Bay, attending with the
said petitioners, and Mr. Astell and Mr. Gee being present as they
had been desired, Mr. Dummer acquainted the Board that the
people of New England would be willing to submitt to any proof
of the goodness of the pitch and tar made there, but that it was
to be considered, that not only the difference of freight from the
plantations and the northern crowns, but likewise the dearness
of labour in our plantations in respect to what it is in Sweden and
Denmark, is to be ballanced by the prœmiums for plantation stores.
Then Mr. Astell being desired to give his opinion in this affair, he
represented to the Board that he knew not whether it would be safe
for him so to do, for that he had been very much abused and insulted
upon the Royal Exchange by two persons now present, viz:—Mr.
Baron and Mr. Dummer, for having given his thoughts to this
Board in relation to naval stores imported from the plantations,
to prove which outrage, he said he could produce many witnesses,
and, naming Mr. Gee as a person who saw what passed, Mr. Gee
acquainted the Board that he saw Mr. Astell surrounded with a
great crowd, and that he drew Mr. Astell from it, that he did not
hear what particular expressions passed between Mr. Baron, Mr.
Dummer and Mr. Astell, but was told by others that the two former
had given the latter very ill language. Hereupon Mr. Dummer
denined his giving the said Mr. Astell any ill language, as alledged,
but Mr. Astell continuing to affirm it and Mr. Baron not disproving
what Mr. Astell asserted, the said Mr. Dummer and Mr. Baron
with the other petitioners, as likewise Mr. Astell and Mr. Gee, were
directed to withdraw; which being done accordingly; their Lordships
took into consideration the ill consequence of such discouragement
of merchants or other gentlemen from whom the Board may desire
information for the publick service, and thereupon agreed that it
would be necessary to express some resentment of Mr. Baron's
behaviour, to prevent the like for the future; and as to Mr. Dummer,
their Lordships resolved to receive no application from him, after
the Governour of the Massachusets Bay shall have had an opportunity to chuse another agent, and that the Governour should
be writ to, that they appoint one accordingly.
Then Mr. Astell, Mr. Gee and Mr. Crane and the other gentlemen
above mentioned (except Mr. Dummer and Mr. Baron) were called
in again, and Mr. Ackworth said that being present at the tryal of
the ropes above mentioned by Mr. Crane, there was apparent
difference in that tryal between the ropes dipped in Russia tar and
those dipped in the tar from Carolina, but that the Russia hemp,
on which the experiment was made, being bad, no exact judgement
could be made, but though Carolina tar is much improved, it never
yet came up to the goodness of tar from the east country. Mr.
Pulteney, of the Custom-house, then observed to their Lordships,
that such methods are taken by their officers in examining the
tar imported from the plantations that no certificate is given for a
prœmium on any bad; and Mr. Crane again alledged that he was
an owner of shipping, upon which plantation tar was used, and no
defect found, but that there is hardly a ropemaker in or near London,
that does not make use of it, but that not less than the whole bounty
now allowed would be necessary to be continued on account of the
dearness of labour in the plantations, it being done partly by negroes
and partly by white people: that this trade with our plantations is
of great importance, our manufacturers being exported thither to
purchase naval stores, whereas they are bought in Denmark and
Sweden with ready money, the trade with our plantations having
likewise brought up and employed many seamen, 100 ships being
loaden last year in Carolina only, and that without this trade it
would have been difficult to fitt out a fleet from this kingdom:
that was last year sold at 30sh., he offered lately at 10sh. and 6d.
per barrell: and as for the re-exportation of pitch and tar from
hence, he looked upon it as an advantage to the publick, which
ought to be encouraged: and as a further argument for continuing
the prœmium, Mr. Crane said: the merchants were at present
losers by the trade. Mr. Astell said, he could engage for tar at
5sh. per barrell and for pitch at 7sh. and 6d. sterling per barrell in
Carolina, though the merchants who brought tar there with negroes
might give their value a greater denomination, but no more real
worth: and he further represented to the Board, that though plantation tar be much improved and better than it has been, yet it is not
altogether so good as Russia tar, and this he said, appeared by the
difference of the price in Holland, between the tar from Russia
and that from our plantations: that the bounty on our tar was
designed to encourage the manufacturers to make it good, tho' it
was too apparent, notwithstanding the strict directions to the
Custom-house officers, that some indifferent tar has been imported
for the sake of the prœmium only. He added that 2,000 lasts of
tar would be sufficient for the consumption of the whole nation, but
the charge of prœmiums was like to encrease by the importation of
much more than that quantity. Mr. Crane, in answer to what
Mr. Astell had advanced, as above, concerning the refusal of our
tar in Holland, said, Mr. Astell was much mistaken; for that he
the said Mr. Crane had sent many hundred barrells of tar thither:
that indeed the Dutch have an interest to support the Baltick
trade: and that it is not easy to drive people out of a settled opinion,
though the difference in that, is more than the goods themselves.
But as to all our ropemakers using plantation tar as above mentioned
by Mr. Crane, it was observed by Mr. Ackworth, that the ropemakers
had an interest in so doing; their cordage being sold by weight, the
plantation tar, which as yet is the thickest and heaviest, is consequently most for their proffitt, in which Mr. Astell agreed; and
Mr. Ackworth further said, that adding the prœmium to the price
paid by the navy for plantation tar, made that amount to an equal
rate with east country tar: that the bills issued this last year by
the navy for prœmiums on naval stores from the plantations,
amounted to above 50,000l. of which pitch and tar had abundance
the greatest share; whereas, were prœmiums to be paid only for the
naval stores used by the navy, the said prœmiums would not amount
to above 4,500l. a year, it being then desired that the difference of
freight and labour, and all other pointes relating to the bringing
naval stores from our plantations and from the east country, should
be considered and ballanced: Mr. Astell said, that as to freight, the
difference was about the proportion, as 8 for the former is to 3 or
4 for the latter, and drew up a sketch thereof.
Their Lordships then agreed to proceed again in the consideration
of this matter at ten o'clock in the morning on this day sevennight and ordered that Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr.
Smith be desired to meet the Board at that time.
January 15. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr.
Docminique, Mr. Pulteney.
Mr. Duport's petition.
A petition from Mr. Stephen Duport setting forth that by the
death of his son, who was one of His Majestie's Council in the said
island of St. Christophers, there is a vacancy in the said Council,
and praying that since he is obliged to return to that island to
take care of his estate there, where he had himself been formerly
of the Council, he may, in consideration of his known stedfast
adherence to the protestant succession, be recommended by the
board to His Majesty, in order to supply the said vacancy, was
read; and their Lordships agreed to recommend him to His Majesty
Colonel Matthew's memorial.
Their Lordships then taking again into consideration the memorial
from Col. Matthew, Lieut. General of the Leeward Islands, etc.,
relating to councillors for the island of St. Christophers, mentioned
in the minutes of the 19th of June last, and being informed that Col.
Matthew desired to be heard thereupon: ordered that he be acquainted that the Board will be ready to hear what he may have to
offer on that subject, to-morrow morning.
Letter from Mr. Humphreys.
A letter from Mr. Humphreys, secretary to the Society for the
propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, dated the 2nd instant,
relating to an Act lately passed in Barbadoes, concerning the making
Consett Bay a publick bay, where the Society may have a plantation
and desiring that the said Society may lay their reasons before
the Board against confirming the said Act. was read; whereupon
ordered that Mr. Humphreys be desired to let the Board have what
the Society think fitt to offer on that subject in writing.
Letter to Captain Rogers.
The draught of a letter from the secretary of the Board to Capt.
Rogers, Governour of the Bahama Islands, was agreed and ordered
to be sent.
Letters from Mr. Paris.
Minutes of the council.
A letter from Mr. Paris, desiring an authentick copy of the minutes
of the proceedings of the Council of New Jersey, of the 18th of
Dec., 1713, to be made use of before a committee of His Majestie's
Privy Council, was read; whereupon ordered that Mr. Paris be
acquainted that those minutes shall be ready to be laid before the
lords of the committee, if their Lordships call for the same.
January 16. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr.
Pelham, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Colonel Matthew relating to new councillors.
Colonel Mathew, Lieutenant General of the Leeward Charibee
Islands, attending, their Lordships had some discourse with him
concerning the persons he has recommended to be of His Majestie's
Council in the island of St. Christophers, whereof he is Lieutenant
Governor: and Colonel Matthew desired that Wm. Macdowal, Esq.,
might supply one of the present vacancies in the said Council instead
of Benjamin Estridge, Esq., whom he formerly recommended, to
which their lordships agreed, and Col. Matthew being withdrawn,
directions were given for preparing the draught of a representation
humbly to propose to His Majesty that Stephen Duport, Charles
Payne, John Garnett and Wm. Macdowal, Esqrs., be constituted
to His Majestie's said Council of St. Christophers to supply the
present vacancies therein.
Letter from Earl Stanhope.
A letter from the Earl Stanhope, of the 3rd instant, inclosing the
extract of a letter from Mr. Wyck, resident at Hamburgh, giving
a state of his negotiations with the senate there concerning a new
convention for our herring trade, was read, together with the said
extract; whereupon the draught of a letter to his lordship on that
subject was agreed and signed.
Letter to Mr. West.
Ordered that the two parcells of Pennsylvania Acts past there,
the first between the 4th of October, 1712, and 27th of March, 1713,
the other between the 14th of October, 1714, and the 28th of May,
1715, which were lately received from Mr. Gee, be sent to Mr.
West, for his opinion thereupon, as soon as conveniently may be.
Mr. Milner, etc., summoned.
Ordered that James Milner, Esq., Sir Samuel Clark and Mr. John
Lordell be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them at
10 of the clock on Wednesday morning next and with any other
gentlemen they shall think fit to bring with them, who are concerned
in the trade to Lisbon.
Mr. Robert Heysham summoned.
Further ordered that Mr. Robert Heysham, Mr. Samuel Clark,
Mr. Wm. Brooking, Mr. Edward Bridger and Mr. David Lovegrove
be acquainted that the Board desire to speak with them at 10 o'clock
on Thursday morning next and with any other gentlemen that they
shall think fitt to bring with them who are concerned in the trade
January 20. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr.
Docminique, Mr. Molesworth, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Letter from Mr. Caswell.
A letter from Mr. Caswell with a memorial relating to copper
mines in New England and the want of returns from thence to
this kingdom, were read, and their Lordships resolved to take the
same into further consideration at another opportunity.
Mr. Smith, etc.
Then Mr. Smith, one of the Tellers of the Exchequer, Sir Matthew
Dudley and Mr. Pulteney, two of the Commissioners of His Majestie's
Customs, as also Mr. Lowndes, Secretary to the Treasury and Mr.
Ackworth, Surveyor of the Navy, coming to the Board, a further
progress was made in considering what encouragements is fitt to be
given for bringing iron in pigs and bars, as likewise other naval
stores, from His Majesty's plantations in America; and it was proposed that no alteration should be attempted with respect to the
prœmiums already allowed on the importation of pitch and tar from
thence, in regard that the said prœmiums are granted by Act of
Parliament for a certain term of years yet unexpired, but that a
clause might be inserted in the Bill, now depending in the House of
Commons, relating to frauds in the Customes, whereby pitch and
tar should undergoe a stricter examination as to their being merchantable and good, before the importer shall have a certificate
entituling him to the aforesaid prœmiums. And Mr. Ackworth
being desired to prepare such a clause, he immediately communicated to their Lordships the heads of a clause for that purpose. In
relation to hemp from the plantations, it was proposed to take off
some of the duty and to extend the present term for which it has a
prœmium; and as to timber, that the duty on that from His Majestie's
dominions in America be entirely taken off; all which their Lordships
resolved to consider further on Thursday morning next.
January 21. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr.
Docminique, Mr. Molesworth, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Consul at Madera.
Mr. Godin's memorial.
Consul at Madera.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the petition of
several merchants trading to Madera, relating to the constituting
a Consul at that island independent of the Consul at Lisbon, as
mentioned in the Minutes of the 31st of the last month, and the
reasons offered in writing from several of the said merchants for
separating the Consulship of Lisbon and Madera, were read, as also
a memorial from Mr. Stephen Godin on the same subject, and Mr.
Milner attending as had been desired, their Lordships had some
discourse with him, relating to this affair, wherein Mr. Milner declared his opinion that the constituting an independent Consul at
Madera was against the interest of our trade thither, as he said
appeared upon a full hearing before Her late Majesty in Council
on a dispute of this kind, and he further said, that the Consul
General at Lisbon is not allowed to be a trader, having only the
salary, and usual perquisites for his support, and to bear all the
charges of disputes with the Crown of Portugal, as Mr. Milner said
it was, during the time his brother was Consul General at Lisbon,
though the charges of suits between man and man were born by the
respective persons themselves: that as to the treasury maintained
by the factory at Lisbon, it was applied for distressed seamen and
other publick services of our nation. That His Brittannick Majesty's
commission to the Consul General at Lisbon is registered in the
Chancery of Portugal, and thereby becomes a law of the country.
That there is not the same reason for independent Consuls in the
dominion of Portugal, as to have such Consuls in several ports of
Spain, all appeals in the former being made to Lisbon, whereas
appeals in Spain are to the capitals of the several kingdoms and
not to Madrid only. That the Consulship at Oporto had formerly
been attempted to be made independent of that at Lisbon, and with
more reason than can be alledged for the Consulship at Madera,
inasmuch as Oporto is on the Continent, and the Consul there can
easily go himself to Lisbon, when occasion requires, but that it has
not been thought fitt of late to separate even the consulship at
Oporto from the Consul General at Lisbon; and as to what is urged
that a person with an independent commission for Consul at Madera,
would be more respected than a deputy appointed by the Consul
General at Lisbon; Mr. Milner acquainted their Lordships, it was
so far otherwise when Mr. Hemming was independent consul at
Madera that the said Hemming himself with all the other merchants
there were imprisoned and oblidged to the Consul General at Lisbon
for their being sett at liberty, which upon their application to him,
he procured, but Mr. Milner represented his opinion that the Vice
Consul at Madera ought to have a greater allowance than had
formerly been made him; and being asked what consulage was paid
at Madera, and the value of that duty at Madera, and at Oporto:
Mr. Milner said it was 12 milreis per ship at Madera, let her bulk or
loading be more or less, though it would be much more equal among
the merchants and owners of ships, if the consulage were paid
upon the goods instead of so much per ship; that the consulship at
Madera which before the revolution was worth little, is now of the
value of about 400l. per annum, and the consulship at Oporto 600l.
Letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs.
Danish envoy's memorial.
Mr. Milner being withdrawn, a letter from Mr. Secretary Craggs,
of the 31st of the last month, referring to this Board a memorial
from the Danish envoy, relating to the island of St. Thomas in
America, was read, and directions given for preparing an answer
to Mr. Secretary Craggs' said letter.
Letter from General Hamilton.
A letter from Genl. Hamilton, Governor of the Leeward Islands,
dated the 26th of October, 1718, was read, and the papers therein
referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
Copy of Col. Valentine Morris's licence of absence from the
Councill for 18 months, dated at Antigua the 15th October,
Copy of General Hamilton's order to the secretaries and clerks
of assemblies for preparing copies of minutes to be transferred
to Great Britain.
Letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs.
Whereupon directions were given for preparing the draught of
a letter to Mr. Secretary Craggs, in relation to what Genl. Hamilton
writes in his said letter concerning the Danish settlement at the
island of St. John.
Madera merchants summoned.
Ordered that the merchants trading to Madera, who were desired
to attend the Board to-morrow, have notice that their Lordships
desire to speak with them on Friday morning next instead of tomorrow.
January 22. Present:—Mr. Secretary Craggs, Mr. Chetwynd,
Sir Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney,
Letter from Earl Stanhope.
A letter from the Earl Stanhope, dated yesterday, referring to the
Board the undermentioned extracts of letters from Mr. Wych, His
Majestie's resident at Hamburgh, and inclosing the copy of a new
project of a convention with that city relating to our herring trade
etc. there, was read, together with the said extracts etc., viz:—
Extract of a letter from Mr. Wych to my Lord Stanhope, dated
at Hamburgh, Jan. the 17th, 1719.
Extract of a letter from Mr. Wych to my Lord Stanhope, dated
at Hamburgh, 24th Jan., 1719, N.S.
Copy of the project of a convention with Hamburgh to be
enlarged in the year 1719.
Whereupon a postscript was prepared and added to the letter to
his Lordship signed by the Board on the 16th instant on the subject
of the said convention.
Sir Matthew Dudley, etc.
Pitch and tar.
Sir Matthew Dudley and Mr. Pulteney, Commissioners of the
Customes, Mr. Ackworth, Surveyor of the Navy and Mr. Lowndes,
Secretary to the Treasury, coming to the Board, the draught of a
clause prepared by Mr. Lowndes (to be offered to the bill depending
in the House of Commons relating to the frauds in the Customes)
according to the heads delivered by Mr. Ackworth for the more
strict examination of pitch and tar from the plantations to be
certified for prœmiums, was read, and some amendment made
Mr. Lowndes on this occasion acquainted their Lordships, that he
had another clause to be offered to Parliament to supply a defect
in an Act relating to wool found to be clandestinely brought near
the seashore on the coasts of Ireland, the Act directing the said
wool to be seized, but omitting the forfeiture; and Mr. Lowndes
desiring to know if the Board had any objection to the forfeiting
of such wool, he was acquainted they had not.
Encouragement in naval stores.
Mr. Astell, etc.
Then their Lordships resuming the consideration of the encouragement to be allowed for bringing naval stores from His Majestie's
plantations in America, particularly iron, hemp and timber, Mr.
Ackworth observed that hemp has not at present an equal encouragement with pitch and tar, the former being more bulky in proportion
to the weight, and accordingly requiring more stowage so that there
will be 30 shield or more per ton difference in the freight from the
continent of America: that the merchants would have greater
proffit and the publick be at very little more expense, if the present
duty on hemp were taken off, and no more than 4l. per ton allowed
for prœmium, and he further proposed that the term for the said
prœmium be prolonged for a competent time. Mr. Astell, Mr. Gee
and Mr. Joye attending, they were called in; and their Lordships
having some discourse with them on this subject of naval stores,
Mr. Astell and Mr. Gee agreed with what was before observed by
Mr. Ackworth, that 4l. per ton prœmium for hemp, clear of all duty
for 20 years after the expiration of the present term for the prœmium,
would be a sufficient encouragement, or if that could not be effected
without difficulty, that the present duty and prœmium of 6l. per
ton be extended for 20 years more as desired. In relation to iron,
Mr. Gee suggested that it would be necessary that work should go
along with hemp, the iron requiring wood for the forges and hemp
requiring the ground to be cleared before it can be sown: that to
prevent iron being manufactured into small wares in America, a
duty may be laid on rough iron at the forges and a drawback on
the exportation of it from the plantations to this kingdom, and to
make unwrought iron as dear as may be to the people in America, as
likewise to make it their interest to bring it hither to be manufactured, the persons concerned in forges in America should be
prohibited employing any negroes in any other iron works than in
making rough iron and gross barrs.
Their Lordships then agreed to take into consideration, at 9 o'clock
on Saturday morning next, some heads for a bill for encouraging
the importation of hemp, timber, iron, etc., from America.
Difference between Mr. Dummer and Mr. Astell.
Mr. Astell informing the Board that Mr. Dummer and Mr. Baron,
of whom he had complained to this Board, the 13th instant, for their
behaviour to him on the Royal Exchange, had submitted and made
him satisfaction, and the said Mr. Astell praying their Lordships
would please to excuse them on that account, the Board agreed
thereto, and countermanded the direction then given for writing
to Col. Shute, relating to Mr. Dummer.
January 23. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Sir Charles Cooke, Mr.
Docminique, Mr. Molesworth, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney.
A representation to His Majesty, proposing Stephen Duport,
Charles Paine, John Garnett and Wm. Mackdowell, Esqr., to be
constituted of His Majesties' Council in the island of St. Christophers, was signed.
Mr. Clarke, etc.
Lisbon and Madera Consul.
Mr. Samuel Clarke, Mr. Brooking and Mr. Bridger attending, as
desired, their Lordships had some discourse with them concerning
the consulships at Lisbon and Madera being separated and independant or being united, wherein Mr. Clarke declared they were entirely
of opinion, that it would be most for the publick service that the
British Consul at Madera should be dependent on our Consul General
at Lisbon: that whilst Mr. Hemming was independent consul at
Madera the Governor of Madera had so little regard to the said Mr.
Hemming's independent commission, that the English merchants
and consul too were imprisoned and obtained their releasement by
means of the Consul General at Lisbon: that our merchants seldom
obtain justice in the courts at Madera, and appeals lying from thence
to the courts at Lisbon, the British ambassadors or envoys do not
concern themselves in those matters, it being below their characters
to apply to the judges of any of the said courts but only to the king
and his ministers of state in the last resort; as Mr. Clarke gave an
instance in a case of his own, which he prosecuted at Lisbon in person,
whilst the late Mr. Methuen was ambassador there, to whom Mr.
Clarke addressing himself as being not only well known to him, but
having the favour of his friendship, Mr. Methuen desired to be
excused for the reasons abovementioned, and Mr. Clarke was
obliged to make use of the Consul Generall upon the delay, and
obstructions he mett with in his cause, so that a consul at Madera,
who cannot upon any occasion go to Lisbon, is oblidged to employ
some particular person there, as Mr. Hemming did in his time a Portugueze priest. And as to the employing any particular person
besides the Consul General, Mr. Clarke acquainted the Board that,
besides the little weight any such person's sollicitation would have,
he might probably run some risk even of his life, the Governors of
Madera and the judges at Lisbon, from some of whom our grievances
for the most part arise, being generally either noblemen themselves
or allied to them, if any private person employed in such affairs
should be sent to in the name of any nobleman and desired not to
interest himself therein, it would be very dangersous for such person
afterwards to proceed, there being many murders committed at Lisbon in the night time and not to be discovered. Whereas the like
attempts would not be made against our Consul Generall there, who
has his patent under the Great Seal of Great Britain, registered in
the Chancery of Portugal and carrying the force of a law there,
and it is not so easy to escape punishment for injuries done to
persons of a publick character. As to further argument that the
consulship at Madera should depend on the Consul Generall at Lisbon
as it had always done, except in the case of Mr. Hemming, Mr.
Clarke said, that the Consul Generall is oblidged by his patent to be
at the expense of all appeals relating to the Publick, whether they
come from Madera, or other the dominions of Portugal. That he
is restrained from trading and is at great expence in entertaining
British masters of ships and others arriving there. That if the
consulship of Madera were made independent there were some
gentlemen who had an eye to the consulship at Fayal, and others
perhaps to that at Oporto, which after such a precedent they might
hope to obtain independent, and these would reduce the proffit of
the consul at Lisbon to one third of what it is at present, the whole
being never computed at more than one thousand pounds per annum,
on a medium, reckoning five shillings and six pence per mill ree,
as usually valued; it being but about twelve hundred pounds per
annum in time of war, when Portugal was in great want of corn, and
many ships arrived there from North America as well as Ireland,
besides the transports with soldiers which likewise paid consulage
if they loaded back. Upon the whole Mr. Clarke said, he was not
now so well prepared as he could be by papers, both from Madera
and Lisbon, against the separating the said consulships, but referred
himself to the memorial presented to this Board on the same subject
in the year 1715: that the reason why the late Sir Jeffry Jeffryes
appeared formerly in favour of the said Mr. Hemming's being
independent consul at Madera, was Sir Jeffry's nephew being partner
with Mr. Hemming. That the petition, now before this Board in
behalf of Mr. Rider, is signed by persons who have not the greatest
trade at Madera, but upon enquiry Mr. Clarke owned that our trade
there had encreased as our plantations in America had improved;
for his own part he thought the making the said consulship independent so prejudicial to the publick, that he had dissuaded a
relation of his own from attempting it, as he had for the same reason
opposed Mr. Miles in the like case. And Mr. Bridger acquainted
the Board that Mr. Lovegrove, who had resided in Madera and
formerly endeavoured to obtain that consulship for himself, independent of that at Lisbon, had declared to the said Mr. Bridger
that such independency would be inconvenient to the publick.
Their Lordships enquiring particularly of Mr. Clarke, whether he
knew of the governors of Madera claiming the management of all
ships not consigned to any particular person; he said he had heard
the governors pretended so to do, but that those grievances have
been formerly complained of and redressed.
The gentlemen above mentioned being withdrawn, Mr. Richard
Perry, Mr. Harris, and others of the petitioners for an independent
consul at Madera attending, they acquainted the Board that the
Governour of Madera had arbitrarily taken upon him the disposal
of a ship's loading and made such persons as were of very little
value: that in their opinion it required a person of a superior character to that of a vice consul to reside at Madera, and prevent such
disorders; and Mr. Rider, who was present, saying that they could
have proffen oath of the above mentioned proceeding of the
governor, he was desired to bring the same in writing.
January 24. Missing.
January 27. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Sir Charles Cooke,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Molesworth, Mr. Pelham. Mr. Pulteney,
Letter from Sir Alexander Cairnes.
Grant of land.
A letter from Sir Alexander Cairnes, desiring to be heard before
their Lordships come to any determination on the reference from the
Committee of Council, mentioned in the Minutes of the 18th of the
last month, relating to the grant of lands in Nova Scotia, which
Sir Alexander Cairnes and others apply for, was read: whereupon
ordered that the said Sir Alexander Cairnes and Mr. Dummer,
agent for the province of the Massachusets Bay, be acquainted that
the Board desire to speak with them at ten of the clock on Thursday
January 28. Present:—Earl of Holdernesse, Mr. Pulteney.
Letter from Mr. Carkesse.
Pines and forfeitures.
A letter from Mr. Carkesse of the 7th instant, in answer to one
writ him the 17th of the last month, and inclosing the extract of a
presentment of the Commissioners of the Customs relating to His
Majestie's share of fines and forfeitures in the plantations, was read,
and directions given for preparing an answer to Mr. Carkesse, and
to inclose to him a copy of His Majestie's instructions to the Governor
of Jamaica on that subject, as likewise the collector's account,
referred to in Sir Nicholas Lawes's letter of the 1st of September
last, for the information of the said Commissioners of the Customes.
Mr. Drantgate's memorial. Act.
Letter to him.
A memorial from Mr. Draftgate against an Act passed in Pennsylvania in 1717, concerning feme sole traders, was read, and directions
given to let Mr. Draftgate know that if he calls at the office any
morning, the secretary will have orders to speak with him on the
subject of his said memorial.
January 29. Present:—Sir Charles Cooke, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Pulteney, Mr. Bladen.
Letter from Mr. Tigh.
Account of ships, etc.
Letter to Mr. Carkesse.
A letter from Mr. Tigh, Consul at Elsinore, dated 28th January,
1719, N.S. inclosing accounts of all ships that have passed the
Sound in five years ending in December, 1718, was read, and the
said accounts laid before the Board: whereupon directions were
given for preparing an extract of the said letter to be transmitted
to Mr. Carkesse for the opinion of the Commissioners of His Majestie's
Customes, relating to the certificates therein mentioned to be
necessary for such British ships as pass the Sound.
Letter to Mr. Tigh.
Further ordered that the secry write to Mr. Tigh, to acknowledge
the receipt of his said letter, and to desire such large packetts may
for the future be sent directly to this kingdom by shipping, and not
by the post through Holland.
Letter from Earl Stanhope.
A letter from Earl Stanhope, dated the 23rd instant, referring to
the Board the extract of a letter from the Lord Polwarth, and
other papers relating to the grievances in the British trade with
Denmark, was read, and the said extract and papers laid before
the Board, the titles whereof are after mentioned, viz:—
Extract of a letter from Lord Polwarth to Earl Stanhope
dated at Copenhagen the 21st of Jan., 1718—19.
Abstract of abuses of the British trade to Denmark.
Memorie touchant le traitte de commerce entre la Grande
Bretagne et le Denmark.
Whereupon their Lordships agreed to take the same into further
consideration on Wednesday morning next.
Sir Alexander Cairnes.
Grant of land.
Sir Alexander Cairnes coming to the Board, according to appointment, and Mr. Douglas, as also Mr. Dummer, agent for the province
of the Massachustes Bay: their Lordships had some discourse with
Sir Alexander and Mr. Dummer on the subject of the Order in Council, which was read the 18th of the last month, relating to an acknowledgement or duty which Sir Alexander Cairnes and those, who apply
with him for a tract of land on the coast of Nova Scotia, desire
may be paid for drying and curing fish on the coast within the limits
of the said grant, in consideration of the protection which strangers
will have at the patentees' expense for curing the said fish, and Mr.
Dummer alledging that he was not prepared to speak fully to the
Board concerning that affair, and that he could bring several merchants, whom he desired might be heard in relation thereto; Sir
Alexander was desired to attend again this day sevennight, and
Mr. Dummer to bring at the same time such merchants and others
as he should think fit. Sir Alexander having in the meantime
moved that Mr. Capon, a person acquainted with the management
of the fishery on the coast of New England, might be examined
concerning what is paid by the people of New England to the
proprietors of land on their own coast for curing their fish, the
said Mr. Capon was called in, and upon enquiry of him into that
matter, he said, he had paid 12d. per quintal himself to Capt.
Southack and that it was the common rate there for curing fish on
the said proprietors of land, the proprietor finding a stage, etc.,
as likewise one servant, to assist in curing the fish.
Letter from Mr. Willard.
A letter from Mr. Willard, secty. of the province of the Massachusets Bay to the secretary of this Board, dated 6th of December
last, was read, and the minutes of Council and Assembly, as also
the acts therein referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:—
Minutes of Council from the 6th of September, 1717, to 29th
Minutes of Assembly from 28th of May to the 5th July, 1718.
Thirteen Acts passed at an Assembly begun the 28th of May,
Order about lending books and papers.
Ordered that the secretary deliver no book or papers, belonging
to this office, to any member of the Board, before their signing a
receipt for the same in a book to be kept for that purpose, and that
this continue a standing rule of the Board.