Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations: Volume 11, January 1759 - December 1763. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1935.
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Journal, January 1763
At a Meeting of his Majesty's Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon.
A Commission under the Great Seal of Great Britain, bearing date the 5th of January, 1763, constituting and appointing the Lord Chancellor or the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and other great officers of State, now and for the time being, and also Samuel, Lord Sandys, Soame Jenyns, Edward Eliot, Edward Bacon, John Yorke, Esquires, Sir Edmond Thomas, baronet, George Rice, Esquire, together with Francis, Baron Orwell of the Kingdom of Ireland, his Majesty's Commissioners for promoting and encouraging the trade, manufactures and colonies of Great Britain, was opened and read.
The Secretary laid before the Board, a letter to him from Mr. Eyre, sollicitor to Mr. Touchet, dated the 7th of January, 1763, desiring, in Mr. Touchet's behalf, that the hearing upon his petition, appointed for the 13th instant, may be postponed, Mr. Touchet not being yet sufficiently prepared.
Their lordships took the said letter into consideration, and the Secretary having acquainted them, that the merchants and others, who had presented petitions upon this affair, had signified to him, that they had no objection to the hearing being put off, they agreed that it should be accordingly postponed, until Mr. Touchet should signify that he is prepared; and the Secretary was ordered to give notice thereof to Mr. Eyre, to the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, for the information of the merchants of London, Bristol and Liverpoole, and to the representatives for Lancaster, for the information of the merchants of that place.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that he was desired by the sollicitor to the Committee of the Company of Merchants trading to Africa, to move their lordships for a copy of the letter from Lord Egremont, referring Mr. Touchet's petition; whereupon their lordships agreed in opinion, that it was not proper to comply with this request; but the Secretary was directed to acquaint the sollicitor, what was the particular point referred to the Board for their consideration.
Read a letter from Jeremiah Dyson, Esquire, Secretary to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, to Mr. Pownall, dated December 29th, 1762, signifying the desire of that Board to be informed, what salary the Lords Commissioners for Trade think expedient to be allowed to the Chief Justice of New York out of the quit rents, in case such an establishment should be made.
Their lordships, upon consideration of the said letter, were of opinion, that the allowance in that case should be five hundred pounds per annum, being the same as has been settled upon the Chief Justices of Nova Scotia and Georgia, and not being more, consideration being had to the alteration of circumstances, than what was originally allowed to the Chief Justice of New York by the Legislature of that province.
Ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint Mr. Dyson by letter with their lordships' opinion in this case.
Read a letter from the Secretary to the directors of the United Company of Merchants trading to the East Indies, to Mr. Pownall, dated the 7th of January, 1763, containing an answer to one from Mr. Pownall to the said directors, dated the 23rd of December last, desiring information upon some particulars in the state of their exports.
Their lordships took the said letter into consideration, together with the accounts of the exports of the said company for the eight years last past, and after some time spent therein, ordered the draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council thereupon to be prepared.
The Secretary laid before the Board a letter from the Senior Bailliff of Poole, dated the 5th of January, 1763, containing observations upon some points relative to the Newfoundland fishery, and the measures proper to be pursued for the security and protecting of it.
Read a memorial of Messrs. Thomas Curlett and Alexander Clunie, containing a plan for the settlement of the Islands Tobago, Dominica, St. Vincent and Grenadoes.
Ordered, that the Secretary do acquaint the memorialists, that their lordships will have a due regard to their proposition, when they shall receive his Majesty's commands to enter upon the consideration of the matter therein referred to.
Thursday, January 13. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, with copies of the papers relative to Sir William Johnson's proceedings with the Delaware Indians, in settling the dispute between them and the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, in consequence of his Majesty's order, having been prepared pursuant to the minutes of the 19th of November last, was approved and ordered to be transcribed.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council, upon a comparative state of the East India Company's exports for the 8 years last past, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Read an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated the 31st of December, 1762, referring to the Board, for their consideration and opinion, a petition of Admiral Knowles, heretofore Governor of Jamaica, praying his Majesty's interposition to prevent Philip Pinnock, Esquire, one of the Council of that island, whom the petitioner alleges to be legally indebted to him, from using his privilege as a councillor, to screen him from the payment of his lawfull debts.
Read a letter from Captain Alexander Johnson, dated Bremen, December 27th, 1762, setting forth his services in America, and praying for a grant of lands upon certain rivers in the Bay of Chignecto in Nova Scotia.
Ordered, that a copy be made of the said letter to be laid before his Majesty, and that the draught of a letter to the Earl of Egremont, to accompany the said copy, be prepared, and that the Secretary do acquaint Captain Johnson with what their lordships have agreed to, and desire a further explanation of his proposition for their information, in case his Majesty shall think proper to refer the consideration of his case to this Board.
Read the following letters and papers, received from the
Governor of Bermuda, viz.
Letter from William Popple, Esquire, Governor of Bermuda, dated the 3rd of November, 1762, relative to several affairs in his administration of that government, and transmitting,
A schedule of his Majesty's Revenue from the sale of lands.
Account of the expences attending the valuation of the lands.
Copy of a memorial from William Popple, Esquire, to the Lords of the Treasury, setting forth the losses he has sustained since his appointment as Governor, from being deprived of his common salary and other perquisites.
Copy of a letter from Governor Popple to the Lords of the Treasury upon the subject of the foregoing memorial, and transmitting.
List of the tenants holding his Majesty's land, what land each tenant holds, and what rent per annum, in the year 1747.
Letter from the Commissioners appointed to treat for the sale of the king's lands, to Governor Popple.
Schedule of particulars of what the Governor should have received (and of what he has received), from the Government of Bermuda, upon the common footing of the profits other Governors enjoyed.
Letter from William Popple, Esquire, Governor of Bermuda, dated the 3rd of November, 1762, giving an account of the behaviour of the Assembly, and of the defenceless state of those islands; also inclosing,
Votes and proceedings of the General Assembly from the 14th to the 17th of July, 1762, inclusive.
An Act for preventing damages by straying of cattle.
The Secretary having acquainted the Board, that the Governor of Bermuda had obtained his Majesty's leave to come to England, the further consideration of his letters and papers was postponed.
Friday, January 14. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas.
The Secretary laid before the Board an account of the petty expences and incidental charges of this office from the 10th of October, 1762, to the 5th of January, 1763, amounting in the whole to four hundred and six pounds, one shilling; and a letter to the Lords of the Treasury, desiring payment thereof, and of the salaries due to the Secretary and under officers in the service of this Board, was signed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, with copies of the papers relating to Sir William Johnson's proceedings with the Delaware Indians, in settling the disputes between them and the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, in consequence of his Majesty's order, having been transcribed pursuant to order, was signed; as was also a letter to the Earl of Egremont, with a copy of Captain Alexander Johnson's letter, proposing to make a settlement in the district of Chignecto in Nova Scotia.
Read an order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, dated December 31st, 1762, referring to this Board, for their consideration and report, a petition of Captain Richard Gridly, a reduced officer of General Shirley's regiment of foot, setting forth his services in America, and praying for a grant of the Islands of Magdalene in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty be prepared, proposing that Theodore Atkinson, junior, and Nathaniel Barrel, Esquires, may be appointed of the Council of New Hampshire, in the room of Samuel Smith and Henry Apthorpe, Esquires, deceased.
Read a letter from the Mayor of Dartmouth to Mr. Pownall, dated the 21st of December, 1762, containing the sentiments of the merchants of that place, trading to Newfoundland, upon the propositions of Admiral Graves for the security of that island and the protection of the fishery.
Monday, January 17. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas, Lord Orwell.
Lord Orwell took his seat at the Board.
The Secretary laid before the Board a letter to him from Mr. Montague, agent for Virginia, dated this day, signifying that he is confined by sickness and unable to attend the Board on Thursday, the day appointed for the consideration of the memorial of the merchants of Virginia, respecting the paper currency in that colony.
Ordered, that the consideration of the said memorial be postponed until the agent is able to attend, and that the Secretary do give notice thereof to him and to the merchants.
The Secretary acquainted the Board, that his Majesty's Attorney General had signified to him this day, that in the matter of Mr. Touchet's petition, he directed the sollicitors on both sides to attend him the beginning of last week, and informed them both of the opinion which had been given by Sir Charles Pratt and himself, in the year 1759, on a reference made by Mr. Pitt, of the like petition, presented by Mr. Touchet at that time.
That the opinion was, that the legislature having, by the Statute of 23rd George 2nd, enacted a freedom of trade in Africa to all his Majesty's subjects to all places within the limits mentioned in that Act, the King could not make an exclusive grant of the trade to Senegal, which is a place lying within those limits; although his Majesty might either retain the soil, forts and dependencies of that new conquered settlement in his own possession, or grant them at his pleasure to Parliamentary trustees, of the old forts and settlements, or to others, as he should think most proper; the Act not vesting any subsequent conquests or acquisitions in the trustees, in prejudice of the King's right; that the agents being informed of this fact, Mr. Touchet's sollicitor desired that no particular day might be appointed for hearing the matter of the petition, as to the point of law before the Attorney and Sollicitor General, in order that his client might have an opportunity to consider further of it.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, proposing that Theodore Atkinson, junior, and Nathaniel Barrell, Esquires, may be appointed of the Council of New Hampshire, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Read a letter from Jonathan Belcher, Esquire, Lieutenant
Governor of Nova Scotia, dated 21st October, 1762, containing
an account of the present state of affairs in that province, and
transmitting the following papers, viz.
Resolutions of the Council of Nova Scotia, upon the Acadians being sent back from the Province of Massachusets Bay to Nova Scotia, with several papers annexed.
Copy of a Bill entitled, an Act for altering and amending several Acts of this province relating to the duties of impost upon wines, beer, rum and other distilled spirituous liquors.
Copy of a Bill entitled an Act for altering and amending several Acts of this province relating to the duties of excise on wines, rum and other distilled spirituous liquors sold within this province.
Copy of a Bill entitled an Act for the relief of insolvent debtors.
The case of Archbald Hinshelwood, Esquire, with relation to the Office of Collector of the Impost Duties at Halifax.
Minutes of Council relative to the granting lands, from the 24th of November, 1761, to 1st July, 1762.
Votes of Assembly from the 1st of July, 1761, to the 17th of March, 1762.
Minutes of Council from the 30th of January to the 9th of October, 1762.
Journals of Council in General Assembly, from the 17th of March to the 28th of August, 1762.
Their lordships, upon consideration of that part of Mr. Belcher's letter of the 21st of October, 1762, which relates to the removal of the Acadians, were of opinion, that the whole of this measure, both in respect to the refusal of the Governor of Massachusets Bay to admit the said Acadians into that province, and to the future disposition of them, is entirely within the department of the Secretary of State, for such directions as he shall think proper to give; their lordships, however, could not but be of opinion, that, however expedient it might have been to have removed them at a time, when the enterprizes of the enemy threatened danger to the province, and it was weakened by the employment of a great part of the troops stationed there upon another service, yet as that danger is now over, and hostilities between the two nations have ceased, it was neither necessary nor politick to remove them, as they might, by a proper disposition, promote the interest of the colony, and be made usfull members of society, agreable to what appears to be the sentiments of General Amherst, in his letters to the Lieutenant Governor, entered upon the minutes of Council.
Their lordships, upon consideration of the other parts of Mr. Belcher's letter, were of opinion, that the measures taken by him to obstruct the passing the Insolvency, Impost and Excise Bills, by publickly delivering his sentiments upon them, before they came to him in a regular course of proceeding, was imprudent and unconstitutional.
That his reasons against the Insolvency Bill did appear to be well founded, but as it was a point of law, it was ordered, that the Bill, together with Mr. Belcher's objections to it, should be referred to Sir Mathew Lamb.
That the reasons assigned for opposing the Impost and Excise Bills, drawn from the instruction, which declares that no law, which repeals or alters another, shall be passed without a suspending clause, and from the supposed case that the former laws were then under consideration at home, are not well founded, inasmuch as the instruction he refers to does not, either in spirit or practice in other colonies, apply itself to the case of temporary annual money bills, nor was it ever considered, that pending the consideration of temporary Acts of the Plantations at home, the legislature of the colonies were tyed up from making such alterations and amendments, as should appear to be necessary.
That the objection stated to the Impost Bill, as to its not having a saving clause for the manufactures and produce of Great Britain, is a misrepresentation of the Bill, which has expressly such a clause, and that it was never understood, that the instruction, against laying duties upon the importation of the produce and manufactures of Great Britain, extended to prevent their being excised in common with the produce of other places, either as a mode of raising money, or a necessary regulation of police. (fn. 1)
That as to the other objections stated to lye against both Impost and Excise Bills, in respect to the rate of duties, power of search, penalties, seizures and drawbacks, etc., it is impossible for their lordships to form any judgement upon them from bare assertion only, and that it was the duty of the Lieutenant Governor to have transmitted such an explanation, as would have marked out in what instances the Bills were liable to objection, upon the general provisions of them.
That the propriety or impropriety of objects of taxation in the mode of raising money for the publick service, was a point which ought to be left to the free determination of the representatives of the people, and in which the Lieutenant Governor ought not to interfere, provided, that in the mode of taxation there was nothing oppressive to the people, inconsistent with the rights of the Crown, and contrary to the laws of England.
Wednesday, January 19. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas, Lord Orwell.
Read a memorial of Mr. Alexander McNutt, containing a narrative of his proceedings in consequence of the engagements entered into with his Board in February, 1761, for introducing settlers into Nova Scotia, setting forth the loss and damages he has sustained from those engagements not having been confirmed by Government, and praying such relief and compensation as the Board shall think proper.
Their lordships, upon consideration of the said memorial, agreed to lay a copy of it before his Majesty in Council, and the draught of a representation to his Majesty thereupon was ordered to be prepared.
Their lordships took into consideration the Acts passed by the legislature of Nova Scotia in 1761, and 1762, together with Sir Mathew Lamb's reports thereupon; and the said reports and Acts having been severally read and considered, it was ordered, that the draught of a representation to his Majesty should be prepared, proposing the confirmation of the Act passed in 1761, for amending the Act concerning divorces passed in 1759, and also for confirming the said Act so amended.
No objections or observations occurring upon any other of the Acts, it was ordered, that such of them as have not expired by their own limitation, or have not had their full force and effect, should lye by, until the further operation of them should be known.
Ordered, that the Secretary do transmit to the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia copies of their lordships' several resolutions on the 6th December, 1762, and the 17th instant, upon the letters and papers received from him, for his guidance and direction in the Administration of the government of that province, until the arrival of the Governor in Chief.
Friday, January 20. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas, Mr. Rice.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, with a copy of Mr. Alexander McNutt's memorial, relative to his proceedings in the introduction of settlers into Nova Scotia from the North of Ireland, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed; as was also a representation to his Majesty, proposing the confirmation of two Acts passed in Nova Scotia in 1759, relating to divorces.
Read a letter from the Earl of Halifax, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, dated the 19th instant, stating that his Majesty's Ambassador at Moscow meets with difficulties in obtaining the acquiescence of that Court to the additions proposed to be made to the Treaty of Commerce between the two Crowns, and signifying the King's commands, that this Board should report their opinion with all expedition, whether a simple renewal of the Treaty of 1734 may not be adviseable, or, if there are any of the new propositions necessary to be adhered to at all events, that they will distinguish what those propositions are.
Ordered, that the Secretary do transmit a copy of the said letter to the Governor of the Russia Company, for the information of the members thereof, and desire that himself, and such of the members as shall be thought proper, would attend the Board on Tuesday next, the 25th instant, that the Board may know their final sentiments upon the several points contained in the said alterations.
Read a report of his Majesty's Attorney General upon the case and questions referred to him in March last, concerning the appointment of the judges in New Jersey during good behaviour.
It appearing from a letter, some time ago received from the late Governor of that province, that the judges so appointed had consented to resign their Commissions, it was agreed to suspend any proceedings upon the said case, until their lordships shall be informed, whether the judges have or have not made such resignation.
The Secretary laid before the Board, a memorial prepared by his Majesty's agent for the affairs of Georgia, to be presented to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, praying that he may be impowered to defray the charges of the exceedings upon the bounty for the silk culture out of the ballance remaining in his hands from the sale of silk here; and the said memorial having been approved, it was ordered, that the agent should present it to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, for their lordships' directions upon it.
Tuesday, January 25. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Sir Edmond Thomas, Mr. Rice, Lord Orwell.
The Secretary laid before the Board a letter to him from the agent for Virginia, signifying that he is now able to attend their lordships on any day they shall be pleased to appoint, for the consideration of the memorial of the Virginia merchants, relative to the paper currency in that colony; whereupon their lordships agreed to take this matter into consideration on Tuesday, the 1st of February, and the Secretary was ordered to give notice thereof to the agent and also to the merchants.
The Secretary laid before the Board, the draught of a Bill for the tryal and punishment in the Plantations of persons guilty of murther within the Admiralty jurisdiction, which had been prepared by him, and approved by the Advocate, Attorney and Sollicitor General; and the said Bill having been read, it was ordered, that a copy of it should be made to be laid before his Majesty in Council, and a representation to his Majesty thereupon was agreed to and signed.
Read a memorial of the agent for South Carolina, stating that he had received directions from his constituents to apply to Parliament for liberty to carry rice directly from Carolina to any foreign port or place in Europe or America, and praying their lordships' concurrence and assistance in promoting such application.
Ordered, that the said memorial do lye by for further consideration.
Thursday, January 27. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas, Mr. Rice, Lord Orwell.
Their lordships took into consideration forty eight Acts, passed in the Massachusets Bay in November, 1761, and February, March, April, May and June, 1762, together with Sir Mathew Lamb's report thereupon; and the said report having been read, as also several of the said Acts, their lordships agreed to postpone the further consideration of them until tomorrow.
Their lordships then took into consideration the Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, mentioned in the minutes of the 13th instant, referring a petition of Admiral Knowles, respecting the difficulty he meets with in recovering a debt, due to him from one of the Council of the Island of Jamaica, who shelters himself under the privilege of protection as a councillor.
Admiral Knowles attending was called in, and their lordships had some conversation with him upon the subject matter of his petition; and it appearing, that his case was nearly similar to that of Peter Furnell of the said Island of Jamaica, in a petition of the same nature presented by him to his Majesty and referred to this Board in June, 1760, their lordships agreed to report the same opinion, as was reported by the then Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, upon the case of the said Peter Furnell, and the draught of a report was accordingly ordered to be prepared.
The Governor and one other of the Court of Assistants of the Russia Company attending, in consequence of the Secretary's letter to the said Governor of the 20th instant, they were called in, and the Governor acquainted their lordships, that it was not in their power to attend the Board on the day appointed, as the Secretary's letter to him did not come to hand till the evening of that day, he having been in the country, when it was left at his house; that he had, in obedience to their lordships' commands, called a Court of Assistants this day, and that they were of opinion, that as they had so fully explained themselves with respect to the additions proposed to be made to the new Treaty of Commerce with Russia, in the memorial delivered to this Board on the 25th of November last, they could not add any thing further, unanimously agreeing, that the liberty proposed, of one Englishman selling to another, was a point of the greatest consequence to the trade, but being sensible that the agitating it in negotiation, if it could not be obtained, might be attended with great prejudice and inconvenience.
Their lordships then explained to the gentlemen, what appeared to them to be the precise meaning and intention of the Earl of Halifax's letter to them, and marked out the particular points upon which their opinion was asked, whereupon they desired leave to summon another Court of Assistants, in order to take this matter into further consideration, and promised to attend the Board again with their final resolution on Thursday next, the 3rd of February.
Friday, January 28. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Jenyns, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas, Mr. Rice, Lord Orwell.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, upon the petition of Admiral Knowles, concerning the difficulty he meets with in the recovery of a sum of money due to him from one of the Council of Jamaica, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to and ordered to be transcribed.
Their lordships then took into further consideration, the Acts passed in the Massachusets Bay in 1761 and 1762, together with Sir Mathew Lamb's report thereupon, and after some time spent therein, came to the following resolution:
That such of the said Acts, as constitute new towns with all the privileges of other towns, should lye by for further consideration, when their lordships shall have been fully informed of the precise constitution of the colony, in respect to the number of places, which now send representatives to the General Court, the particular times when, and the manner in which such right of representation has been established; and it was ordered, that the draught of a letter to the Governor for information upon these points, should be prepared.
That the draught of a representation to his Majesty should be prepared, proposing that the Act for enabling Mary Hunt to sell and dispose of an estate, should be repealed, it appearing to be contrary to law, and to have been passed without any clause suspending its execution, until his Majesty's pleasure might have been known.
That the Act for incorporation a Society for propagating Christian knowledge amongst the Indians of North America, should be taken into consideration on Friday next, the 4th February, and that the agent for the colony should have notice to attend.
Monday, January 31. Present:—Lord Sandys, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Yorke, Sir Edmond Thomas, Mr. Rice, Lord Orwell.
The draught of a report to the Lords of the Committee of Council for Plantation Affairs, upon the petition of Admiral Knowles, concerning the difficulty he meets with in the recovery of a sum of money due to him from a member of the Council of Jamaica, having been transcribed pursuant to order, was signed.
The draught of a representation to his Majesty, proposing the repeal of an Act passed in the Massachusets Bay, for enabling Mary Hunt to sell and dispose of some lands, having been prepared pursuant to order, was agreed to, transcribed and signed.
Their lordships read and took into consideration, several Acts and other papers relative to the memorial of the merchants of London trading to Virginia, in which they set forth and complain of the ill effects of paper currency.