Journal, May 1726
May 3. Present:—Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir
Letter from Mr. Tilson.
Lords of Treasury's approbation of report about Revenue Bill.
A letter from Mr. Tilson, in the absence of the Secretaries to
the Lords of the Treasury, dated this day, signifying that their
Lordships do approve the draught of a report to be made by the
Board on the Revenue Bill of Jamaica, to the Lords of the
Committee of the Privy Council, as also the draught of the said
Bill was read. Whereupon the draught of the said report was
ordered to be transcribed.
Representation upon an Act.
A representation upon an Act, passed at Barbadoes in May,
1722, entituled, An Act to prevent the vessels that trade here to and
from Martinico or elsewhere, from carrying off any Negro, Indian
or Mulatto slaves, persons indebted or contracted servants, ordered
to be transcribed the 29th of last month, was signed.
Letter to Mr. Fane upon Mr. Worseley's letter about persons detained on suspicion of piracy.
Ordered that a letter be writ to Mr. Fane, one of His Majesty's
counsel at law, inclosing a copy of one from Mr. Worseley, Governor
of Barbadoes, dated the 14th of November, 1725, mentioned in
the Minutes of the 29th of last month, for his opinion in point of
law, how far Mr. Worseley is to be justified in detaining the two
persons in prison upon suspicion of piracy, which he sends an
account of in that letter.
Colonel Armstrong's letter and papers considered.
Colonel Philipps, Governor of Nova Scotia, attending, their
Lordships took again into consideration the last letter from
Colonel Armstrong, Lieut. Governor of that province, mentioned
in the Minutes of the 28th of April last, with the papers, therein
referred to, and had some discourse with him thereupon.
May 4. Present:—Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen,
Letter to Duke of Newcastle with copy of one from Mr. Worseley.
Ordered that the draught of a letter be prepared to the Duke of
Newcastle, for inclosing a copy of that from Mr. Worseley,
Governor of Barbadoes, mentioned in yesterday's Minutes.
Representation with draught of Revenue Bill.
A representation of the Lords of the Committee of His Majesty's
Privy Council, with the draught of a Bill to be passed in Jamaica,
relating to the settlement of a revenue, and perpetuating the laws
of that island, was signed.
Present:—The Duke of Newcastle, Lord Viscount Townshend,
Sir Robert Walpole, Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr.
Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Mr. Beacher of Bristol, his observations on the African Company's petition, etc.
Mr. Fazackerly for the separate traders.
Sir Robert Sutton and several other members of the Royal
African Company, with Mr. Attorney General and Mr. Wills, their
counsel, Mr. Humphry Morice and Mr. Richard Harris, with
several other merchants of London in behalf of themselves and
several other separate traders to Africa, as likewise Mr. Elton, Mr.
Bootle, Mr. Brereton, Mr. Beacher and other gentlemen, who are
concerned for the traders of Bristol and Liverpool, with Mr.
Serjeant Darnell and Mr. Fazackerly their counsel, attending
according to appointment, Mr. Beacher of Bristol read to their
Lordships a paper containing his answer and observations upon
the petition and representation of the Royal African Company,
referred to this Board by His Grace the Duke of Newcastle's letter,
mentioned in the Minutes of the 14th of the last month, which
paper he left with the Board.
Methods for preserving the trade.
Mr. Fazackerly then proceeded in behalf of the separate traders
from Bristol and Liverpool to Africa, and represented to their
Lordships, that the said separate traders have an equal and
natural right to trade to those parts. That by our constitution
no one should be constrained in his right, unless it were for a
public good. That the question is at present, whether the benefit
of this trade should be dispersed over all the kingdom, or monopolised by a few of His Majesty's subjects. That when it is in many
hands, every particular person imploys his thoughts for the
improvement of it, and that it has been considerably advanced,
appears by the great number of ships of late employed, and
manufactures exported from Bristol, Liverpool and other parts
of this kingdom. That the trade to Africa is very beneficial,
is agreed on all hands, and Mr. Fazackerly particularized several
branches of the Plantation trade, which depended upon it.
Observing that ingrossing the African trade, would be in effect
to ingross the Plantations, which he thought highly unreasonable,
especially by a Company who, according to their own state of their
affairs, seem to be in a broken condition, and therefore, as he
thinks, they are not fit to be trusted with further priviledges.
Mr. Fazackerly then took notice, that there were four material
parts of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle's forementioned letter
of reference to be considered, viz: His Majesty's pleasure that
this Board should give due attention to a matter of so great
weight and consequence, as the subject of the Royal African
Company's petition; the hardships the Company lye under;
the decay of the trade for negroes, and the causes of it; and that
their Lordships should report their opinion what methods are
proper to be taken, for the preserving so considerable a branch of
the trade of His Majesty's subjects. As to the first, Mr. Fazackerly
said, it was not to be doubted but the Board would give all possible
attention to an affair of such consequence. In relation to the
second, he said, the Company could not pretend to have any
hardship done them, without first shewing some merit on their
side, or some right, of which they had been deprived. That the
right, they pretend to, is founded on the Charter granted them in
1672, which he opened, and alledged that the grants therein
contained were against law, and that the said Charter was therefore void. That by our constitition the King had not a power,
without consent of Parliament, to exclude any of his subjects
from trading to any parts of Africa. That there had been a like
charter for the trade to the Canary Islands, which in King Charles
the Second's time had been adjudged to be void. That the
Company are no legal body or corporation, and have therefore no
right even to the forts; and if there be no right in any corporation,
the right is properly in the Crown. In relation to the merit of the
Company, as is pretended by their purchasing and maintaining
of forts and settlements on the coast of Africa, he said, it did not
appear the thirty four thousand pounds paid by the Company
to their predecessors, the Royal Adventurers, was for anything
besides their effects and debts due to them; though by their
accounts they would have it believed the last mentioned sum was
disbursed for their forts and settlements. That the effects and
sums employed in this trade by the separate traders did very
much surmount those of the Company, and that, if the Company
had made an ill bargain, the separate traders ought not to bear
it. That, if the Company had suffered any real hardships, they
were recompensed by the duty of 10 per cent. laid for a time upon
the separate traders, which amounted in the whole to almost
one hundred thousand pounds, and was a good over–balance to
what the Company had laid out on any public account. In relation to the decay of the trade for negroes, Mr. Fazackerly observed,
that the Company had given no evidence to that purpose, and that
it was so far from being true, that there had been an improvement
of the trade in general. That the increase of negroes in the
Plantations was a benefit to the trade of the Kingdom, and
increased the Revenue of the Crown. That during the continuance of the duty of 10 per cent., the number of negroes carried
to the Plantations were much less than of late years; they being
increased to thirty, forty, and sometimes fifty thousand negroes
per annum. That as to the dearness of negroes, a greater demand
than usual will always raise the price. That, since the said duty
of 10 per cent., the number of ships employed in the African
trade, had increased at Bristol from seven or eight to sixty three
sail, and at Liverpool from one or two to twenty two, or twenty
three. That this benefit of the increase of ships, employed in the
African trade only, has been very extensive, occasioning likewise
a greater number of ships to be employed in the Plantation trade.
In relation to the fourth head of the reference, as to the methods
for preserving so considerable a branch of the trade of His
Majesty's subjects, Mr. Fazackerly observed, in answer to what
had been urged from the preamble to the Act of Parliament, which
gave the 10 per cent. duty, and from the representation in 1711–12
of the then Board of Trade, whereby forts and settlements were
declared necessary for carrying on and preserving the trade to
Africa, that experience ought to be our guide rather than the
precedents now mentioned; and that when the said 10 per cent.
Act was made, it might then seem reasonable to have forts
and settlements in Africa for the purposes beforementioned,
when we had not known so much the advantages of an open and
free trade, as we since have done by above 13 years' experience.
That the shore of Africa is six or seven thousand miles in length,
and that the greatest trade is where the Company have no forts.
That two or three ships of war would be a better security to the
trade than all the Company's forts; the charge of which ships he
said would be sufficiently compensated by the increase of His
Majesty's duties on the produce of the Plantations.
Number of negroes imported.
As to the number of negroes imported of late years into His
Majesty's several Plantations, Mr. Humphry Morice acquainted
their Lordships that there had not been time, since the Company's
petition was communicated to the separate traders, for procuring
Mr. Serjeant Darnell then called upon several witnesses
present, who were respectively sworn and examined viz:
Mr. Samuel Wragg, who informed their Lordships that he
had been a trader to Carolina seventeen or eighteen years. That
that country formerly had but very few negroes, but that now they
employ near 40,000. That they now usually import 1,000 per
annum, whereas they formerly imported none, and sometime 2
or 300. That the Company never supplied the Province with any
on their own account, except by a particular contract with him,
when they supplied him with 300 instead of 900. That the
Province has been regularly supplied with what negroes they
want, by the separate traders. That the rice trade is increased
from 1,500 to 25,000 barrels a year, and that the price is fallen
from 45 shillings to 22 shillings per cwt. That the price of pitch
and tar is likewise fallen from 50 shillings and £3 to 10 shillings or
11 shillings per barrel.
Mr. Splatt being likewise sworn, acquainted their Lordships,
that he was lately come from Carolina, and that the Province was
then very well supplied with negroes. That he never knew of any
negroes brought into that country by the Company, excepting
those contracted for with Mr. Wragg. That the Province annually
takes about 1,000 per annum, and that they sell at about £30 or
£35 sterling per head. That a negro can make £10 per annum
clear profit to his master, and that he thinks the Colonies would be
cheaper and better supplied by the separate traders than the
Mr. Perry, a Virginia merchant, being sworn, acquainted their
Lordships, that by his accounts, that province is very plentifully
supplied with negroes, and that there has been but very few of the
Company's ships at Virginia since he has been concerned in trade,
which is about three or four years.
Mr. Bradley being sworn, acquainted their Lordships, that he
has been in the trade to Virginia above 20 years, and that the
Province has been well supplied with negroes by the separate
traders. That the labour of a negro produces about £15 annual
duty to the Crown. That he believes negroes are cheaper now
than they were formerly, but admits that there was formerly a
duty of 5 per cent. laid on negroes, which made them dearer.
Mr. Hunt, a trader to Maryland, being sworn, acquainted their
Lordships, that of late years there are annually imported into
Maryland between 500 and 1,000 negroes. That the produce of
a negro is about 4 hogsheads of tobacco per annum, and that
the duty of 4 hogsheads is about £40 or £50. That the Province
would take off more negroes, if they could get them, and that they
would increase their trade. That Gambia, the Northern coast,
and Angola, are the chief parts of Africa from whence Maryland
is supplied. That he believes, if the trade was confined to a
Company, negroes would be dearer, and the Province worse
supplied. That the price of negroes had formerly been £30 or
£40, but are now sold at £18, £20 and £25.
Mr. Byam, a trader to Antigua, being sworn, acquainted their
Lordships, that he has traded to that island about twelve years,
and that during that time the island has been well supplied with
negroes by the separate traders. That without them they could
not make their produce of sugar, cotton, ginger, etc. That there
was made 19,000 hogsheads of sugar in that island last year.
That negroes has been brought thither so plentifully by the
separate traders that they have been forced to carry some away
unsold. That they pay less sugar for negroes now than they did
formerly, and that he apprehends the Plantations would be in a
very bad condition, if the trade of Africa were restrained to a
Mr. Gerrish being sworn, acquainted their Lordships, that he
had lived at Montserrat many years. That the island had been
supplied with negroes, 3 to 1 better since the duty of 10 per cent.
ceased than before. That they had as many brought by the
separate traders as the planters could pay for, and that they never
had the like supplies from the Company. That the planters sometimes sent ships themselves to Africa for slaves. That during the
duty of 10 per cent. they made about 2,000, but now they make
3,000 hogsheads of sugar annually, and that a less quantity of
sugar is now paid for negroes than formerly.
Mr. Day, being sworn, acquainted their Lordships, that he lived
in Jamaica in 1708, 1709 and 1710, and that the island was then
well supplied with negroes by the private traders. That as he
lived there with the naval officer, he had an opportunity of knowing the quantity of negroes bought. That the separate traders
imported seven to the Company's one, even when the 10 per cent.
was paid. That in 1723, there was twenty three thousand hogsheads of sugar shipped off, each containing fourteen or fifteen
hundred weight, whereas formerly there was only about twelve
thousand exported, each hogshead containing eleven or twelve
hundred weight. He further said that, if the Company
should have an exclusive trade for negroes, he apprehended it
would ruin the Plantations.
Witnesses to lists of the ships employed by the separate traders.
Then Mr. Timms, Mr. John Ketcher and Mr. Ogden, being
severally sworn, were examined to prove the respective lists of
the ships employed by the separate traders of London, Bristol
and Liverpool in the African trade.
May 5. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr.
Mr. Gee Acts considered.
Mr. Gee attending, as he had been desired, their Lordships
took again into consideration the following Acts, passed in
An Act for the emitting and making current £15,000 in Bills
of Credit.. Passed the 2nd March, 1722–3.
A supplementary Act to an Act, entituled, An Act for emitting
and making current £15,000 in Bills of Credit. Passed
the 30th March, 1723.
An Act for the better and more effectual putting in execution
an Act of Assembly of this Province, entituled, An Act
for emitting and making current £15,000 in Bills of Credit
Passed 11th May, 1723.
An Act for emitting and making current £30,000 in Bills of
Mr. Gee about the said Acts.
Their Lordships then desired Mr. Gee would inform the Board
what he had to offer concerning the said Acts. Whereupon he
said, that he feared several ill consequences might attend
the repeal of these Acts, as the Bills, thereby directed to be
made current, were already issued, and at present circulating
in the trade of that province. He therefore, desired their
Lordships would please to let the said Acts lye by, and, in order to
prevent the increase of paper money for the future, that their
Lordships would signify to Major Gordon, Governor of Pennsylvania, their disapprobation of Acts of this nature.
Letter to Major Gordon thereupon.
Their Lordships then gave directions for preparing the draught
of a letter accordingly.
Mr. Clement, agent for Mrs. Penn praying the repeal of 3 Acts.
Mr. Clement, agent for Mrs. Penn, attending, as he had been
desired, their Lordships took again into consideration his memorial,
mentioned in the Minutes of the 26th of last month, desiring the
repeal of the 3 following Acts, viz:—
An Act to rectify proceedings upon attachments.
An Act directing the process of summons against freeholders.
An Act for regulating and establishing fees.
All passed in March 1722–3 and 1723.
And their Lordships desiring to know what objections he had
thereto, he said, that if they should be confirmed, they might
prove very injurious to the trading people and other inhabitants
of that province, the two first tending to obstruct the course of
justice by restraining creditors from proceeding in the usual and
effectual method for recovering their debts, and the last by
reducing of fees, more especially of the practicers of law, so low
as to discourage men of capacity from acting in that profession.
Acts to be further considered.
Mr. Clement being withdrawn, their Lordships resolved to take
these Acts into further consideration at their next meeting.
May 6. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Pelham.
Their Lordships taking into further consideration the following
Acts, passed at Pennsylvania in March, 1722–3, and 1723, agreed,
as is expressed under each respective title, viz:
An Act to rectify proceedings upon attachments.
To lye by probationary.
An Act directing the process of summons against freeholders.
To be repealed.
An Act for regulating and establishing fees.
To lye by probationary.
Representation upon an Act.
Whereupon ordered that the draught of a representation be
prepared for repealing the second of the said Acts.
May 10. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Bladen, Mr.
The draught of a representation, ordered to be prepared at the
last meeting, for repealing an Act, passed in Pennsylvania in March,
1723, directing the process of summons against freeholders, was
agreed and ordered to be transcribed.
May 11. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Bladen, Mr.
Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Letter from Lord Townshend.
Memorial from Dutch Envoy.
Duty on English cloths.
Summons to some of the Turkey Company.
A letter from the Lord Viscount Townshend, inclosing a
memorial from Monsieur Hopp, Envoy Extraordinary from the
States General, complaining of an imposition of 20 per cent.,
procured to be laid upon English cloths in Turkey, if imported
by Dutch, French or Jews, was read. Whereupon ordered that
the Turkey Company be acquainted that the Board desire to
speak with some of them on Friday morning next.
Representation on an Act signed.
The representation for repealing the Act, passed in Pennsylvania,
directing the process of summons against freeholders, agreed
yesterday, was signed.
Letter to Major Gordon.
A letter to Major Gordon, Deputy Governor of Pennsylvania,
directed to be prepared the 5th inst., was agreed and ordered to be
Letter to Duke of Newcastle with extract from Mr. Worseley.
A letter to the Duke of Newcastle, inclosing the extract of a
letter from Mr. Worseley, Governor of Barbadoes, dated the 14th
of November, 1725, ordered to be prepared the 4th inst., was
agreed and signed.
Present:—Lord Townshend, Earl of Westmorland, Mr.
Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr.
Plummer, Sir John Hobart, Bart.
Sir Robert Sutton and several other members of the Royal
African Company, with Mr. Wills, one of their counsel, Mr.
Humphry Morice and Mr. Richard Harris, with several other
merchants of London, in behalf of themselves and several other
separate traders to Africa, as likewise Mr. Elton, Mr. Bootle, Mr.
Brereton, Mr. Beacher and other gentlemen, who are concerned
for the traders of Bristol and Liverpool, with Mr. Serjeant Darnell
and Mr. Fazackerly, their counsel, attending, according to
appointment, Mr. Morice desired of their Lordships that Mr.
Newport, a considerable trader to Barbadoes, and Mr. Knight, of
Jamaica, who were present, might be examined as to the supply of
negroes, with which those islands had been served, during their
being acquainted with that trade. Whereupon Mr. Newport,
being sworn, and several questions asked him, he said, that he had
lived six years in Barbados, to the year 1706. That during that
time of his own knowledge, and since, according to his advice from
thence, the negro trade to that island was chiefly carried on by
the private traders. That there are now as many negroes in
Barbados as in the year 1700, and at present as cheap as formerly,
and that many are sent off the island and disposed of to advantage
at the Leeward Islands, Virginia, and other His Majesty's Plantations, which he observed, was a proof they had no want in
Barbados. And upon Mr. Newport's being particularly asked
whether the ships, which came with negroes to Barbados, and did
not dispose of them there, were not under orders not to sell under
such and such a price, Mr. Newport said, he had known some
masters of ships limited to sell their negroes at £22 a head.
Mr. Knight, being likewise sworn, and examined, said he had
lived several years as a factor in Jamaica, and having been
Receiver-General for some time, had an opportunity of knowing
the numbers of negroes brought thither. That in six years time
he did not remember above 3 or 4 ships coming to Jamaica with
negroes on account of the Company, though the separate traders
had 30 ships with slaves there in one year. That whilst he
remained in Jamaica, the island was very well supplied with
negroes. That since that time, the price of them was advanced
£7 or £8 a head, which he said was occasioned by the advance of
the commodities of that island. And that there is less got now
by negroes at Jamaica than formerly. Mr. Knight being
particularly asked, whether he has not heard the planters of the
said island complain of the want of negroes, he acknowledged
that he had heard some, but that they were generally such persons
as could not pay for them.
Mr. Serjeant Darnell.
Captain Bonhan about mean condition of the forts, etc.
Then Mr. Serjeant Darnell, in behalf of the separate traders,
observed to their Lordships, in answer to the evidence, which Mr.
Snow had given, of the strength and usefulness of the Company's
forts on the coast of Africa, that they had proof of the said Mr.
Snow's declaring that with one ship of strength he could beat
down all the said Company's forts. And, as to the protection
pretended to be given to ships belonging to the separate traders
against an enemy, it was by advising them to cut their cables and
get away. So that in truth these forts were no better than sheds
or warehouses for goods. And to prove in what mean condition,
and of what little consequence the Company's forts and settlements on the coast of Africa were, Captain Bonham being called,
was sworn, and upon examination declared, that he had been
acquainted with the coast of Africa about twenty four years, for
13 or 14 whereof he was master of several ships in that trade.
And being desired to give their Lordships an account of the
several forts belonging to the Company, and the places of trade
between the same, from Gambia to Whidah, he said, that he had
been at Gambia in 1710. That the factory was demolished,
and that he had heard the fort was formerly taken without any
resistance. That it is impossible to maintain any fort settled in
James Island, the place where the former one was, there being no
provisions or fresh water upon the island. Mr. Hayes, one of the
African Company, then desired Captain Bonham would give
their Lordships an answer to the following question, whether, if the
French should settle and fortify James Island, it would be in
their power to prevent the English and all other nations trading
there. To which he said, that the charge of building and maintaining a fort strong enough for this purpose, would be greater
than the trade could bear.
That from Gambia to Sierraleone, is about 150 leagues. That
the Company have no forts there, though they formerly had one,
which was of no use, because ships could not come within 15 or
16 miles of it. That it was taken the last war by 3 or 4 open
boats. That from Sierraleone to Sherborough is thirty leagues.
That he had been there 15 or 16 years ago, and imployed by the
Company, and that in the late French war the forts there had
been taken by a small vessel of about 8 or 10 guns. That all
nations trade to that place, and if well fortified, it could not
hinder them from so doing. That from Sherborough to Dicky's
Cove is about 300 leagues, that ships commonly get slaves before
they come there, and that even without going ashore. That he
never had been ashore there. That there is a small factory, which
can be of no service to shipping. That the only use of Dicky's
Cove, is to supply ships with wood, water, etc. The next place,
belonging to the Company, is Seccundee, where he had been
ashore. That there is a factory, and some guns, with about 6
men to defend it, but that it can only be of use against the negroes.
That there is a Dutch factory very near it, and that ships cannot
come near enough to lye under the protection of the guns. From
Seccundee to Commenda, there is about half a mile's distance.
That he had never been ashore there, but did not believe it
capable of protecting ships. That Cape Coast Castle is the metropolis of all the coast. That there is a battery of guns mounted,
but that he does not think this place capable of protecting any
ships in the road, because by reason of foul ground, there runs
such a sea at full and change that ships cannot ride safely there.
Being asked if he had never heard of any ships being protected
by the guns at Cape Coast Castle, he said, he had heard but of
two small ones, the reason of which he conceived to be, because
no ship of burthen would venture after them. That there is no
trade there at present, but that the trade is now carried on at
Anamaboo, where all nations trade without interruption. That
there was a little factory there, but it is now demolished, and the
natives will not as yet suffer the Company to rebuild the same.
That all nations trade there promiscuously. That he believes
there are 10 negroes bought there to one to any other part of that
coast. That it is a very large town, near a mile long. That he
has some times anchored in the main road, and has bought
negroes there of the Dutch. That any one may trade freely
where the English fort is at Anamaboo, but not with the same
freedom where the Dutch forts are. That slaves are bought at
many other parts of the Gold Coast and, cheaper than at Anamaboo.
Being asked the price of negroes at that place, he said that about
twenty years ago they were sold at about £10 or £12 per head.
That he is not certain of the price now, but that he believes them
to be dearer than they were thirteen years ago, when they were
sold at £13 or £14 per head, and according to the best of his
advices, they are sold now at about £24 per head. Being asked
the reason of the increase of their price, he said, he believed it
to be owing to the great demand there is for them. As to Winnebah, he said, he had never been on shore there, but that he had
been in the road. That there was a small factory much like the
others, which he did not believe was capable of defence. That
he had been on shore at Accra, and that the fort there was much
like the others, neither capable of protecting the traders, nor
preventing any persons trading there. That the Danes and the
Dutch had forts near Accra. And being asked whether, if the
English had no fort there, the Danes or the Dutch could prevent
our trading there, he said, he believed it was impossible to hinder
the natives bringing off their negroes. As to Whydah, he
said, he had known it to have been a neutral port for 20 years
past. That he believes there are as many negroes carryed off
from thence, as from any other part of the coast. That he believes
forts and settlements are of no manner of use, but that two or
three men of war would be the only security. Being asked how
long the French have had settlements there, he said, during his
time, which was upwards of twenty two years, And being asked
whether the English do not trade where the French have forts
northward of Senegal, he said, he has known ships trade there,
and not taken, but that he believes the French in general do not
admit the English to trade there. And being asked whether
the Dutch, where they have settlements, allow the English openly
to trade, he said, that he had traded at some places, where the
Dutch and Danes have settlements, both with the natives and the
Dutch, particularly at the Dutch settlement of St. George del Mina.
Being further asked, what was the difference between the price of
negroes at Whydah, before it was made a free port and now, he said,
about six pounds sterling, negroes being then at £4 and now at £10.
Captain Gordon examined.
Captain Gordon was next called, and being sworn, upon
examination he gave the following account of his knowledge, and
what he had been informed relating to the Company's forts and
settlements, and the trade on the Coast of Africa, viz: That
he had used that trade from the year 1702 to 1715, it being now
eleven years since he was upon the coast. That he had been
often at the Company's forts and settlements from Gambia all
along the Gold Coast. That in the year 1708, the fort at Gambia
had been taken by three or four men from a sloop, about 3 weeks
before his, the said Captain Gordon's, arrival at that place, Mr.
Snow being then chief there, and not so much as one shot made.
That the said sloop afterwards left it. And whilst he, the said
Captain Gordon, was there, a French vessel belonging to the
Governor of Goree came in, assigned to the said Mr. Snow, which
he, the said Captain Gordon, took. That he knows no one fort
the Company have, which is capable of protecting a ship. And
that in the year 1704, upon advice of some French men of war
being upon the coast, Sir Dalby Thomas gave orders for one of
the Company's ships to put to sea, as knowing he was not in a
condition to protect her. That he did not remember above one
of the Company's ships protected, which was by getting under the
fort at Cape Coast. Being asked whether he did not think Cape
Coast Castle capable of protecting ships there, he said, he believed
it might some times, but that upon the change of the moon there
runs such a sea, it was not safe for ships to lye at anchor near it.
Captain Gordon being particularly asked, whether he thought the
English forts and settlements on the coast of Africa would
not be of advantage against the Dutch, French or other foreign
settlements there, he said, that the Company always opposed the
separate traders according to what strength they had, and that
an enemy could do no more.
Captain Snelgrove examined.
Captain Snelgrove, being likewise called and sworn, he said upon
examination, that he had been acquainted with the African trade
these two and twenty years, and was upon that coast about
fifteen months ago. That it is about 250 leagues from Sherboro'
to Ancobra, between which settlements there are several good
places of trade, the natives coming off to the ships in canoes.
That since the duty of 10 per cent. ceased, the trade has greatly
increased in those parts, where the Company have no forts or
settlements, and to the windward of all the said settlements, the
trade is carried on chiefly by our separate traders, and no others
of any foreign nation. That our separate traders have been
obstructed by armed canoes from the forts. That he, the said
Captain Snelgrove, was at Dicky's Cove in the year 1723, when
there were but five white men of the guard, and that he was
informed by the factors, the trade there was so little, the place
was not worth keeping, besides that, the water there is not good,
and the place incapable of receiving vessels to careen, bigger than
long boats. At Seccundee, which is about ten leagues distant
from Dicky's Cove, Captain Snelgrove said, he was on shore in
October, 1724, there being then four white men to guard it, and
that the trade was so inconsiderable, the Dutch had shut up their
factory there on that account. At the same time Commenda,
seven leagues distant from Seccundee, had only five men to guard
it, which he said, was a place like His Majesty's powder magazine
near Greenwich. That he was at Cape Coast Castle in October,
1724, which is about six leagues from Commenda, in the former of
which places he saw but 20 white men, where they had upwards of
40 guns, but not of use. That the Castle was out of repair, and
the trade there inconsiderable, being drawn away to Anamaboo,
which is not above 5 leagues distant. That ships cannot be
protected in the road, and if they come nearer the shore, are in
danger of shipwreck, the ground there being foul and rocky.
That Phipps's Tower and Fort Royal, which are appendices
to Cape Coast, are usefull against the natives only. That as to
Queen Ann's Point, he was never there, but believed it of no use,
Anamaboo being so near it, which last place, he said, he was at
in November, 1724. That it is a neutral port. That the
Company's fort was fallen down, and that the natives would
never permit them to repair it. That he was at Tantumquerry, (a
small settlement 6 leagues from Anamaboo), in February, 1722,
and saw but two white men to guard it. That it is of no use.
That he was at Winnebah, (a settlement about 6 leagues from
Tantumquerry), in January, 1722, and saw but 5 men to guard it,
and the river near that place is brackish, so that fresh water is
very scarce. That in November, 1724, there were five white
men at Accra, (distant ten leagues from Winnebah). That the
Dutch have likewise another factory within half a gun shot of it,
and the Danes another within about a mile, but that all three
are not capable of commanding the trade, the far greater part
being carryed on at Shado, a free place 7 leagues above them, and
at Statia and Labadie, 3 leagues below them. That from Accra
to Taquin is about 60 leagues without any settlement between
them, except Whidah, but that there are several places of good
trade for negroes and elephants' teeth. That the trade at Whidah
is free for all nations, being carried on at the town of Sabee, 7
miles from the sea side, where the English, French, Dutch and
Portuguese trade in their houses. That the African Company's
factory here is about 3 miles from the sea side, has a dry ditch
with walls made of the earth taken out of it. That he was there
in January, 1724–5, and saw but six white men to protect it.
That from Taquin to Cape Lopez is about 300 leagues, between
which places that is no settlement of any nation, but many places
of trade, though other nations than the English are very little
concerned therein. That in his opinion the settlements on the
coast of Africa are of no protection or service to the trade in
general, but have been an obstruction to himself and others.
That ships of war will be the only proper and effectual protection
to the trade, particularly against pirates. Captain Snelgrove
being particularly asked, whether he had ever traded with the
Dutch on the coast of Africa, he said, he had often done it with
them and the natives near the Dutch settlements, and once with
the Dutch General himself. That the Dutch, having fewer
plantations in America than we have, do not regard slaves so
much. That there are other places where a free trade is carryed
on in Africa besides Anamaboo, and the natives often come along
the coast to the places where shipping arrive. That in conversation with the General for the Dutch at the Mine, the said
General complained that their forts were burthensome, and if the
English Company were inclined to make the Dutch a present of
their forts, he would not advise the Dutch to accept them, though
he owned the Dutch had given thirty thousand florins, or about
three thousand pounds sterling, for Cape Three Points and a fort
at Arguin. But upon further examination, he said, that any
nation, which had not yet traded to Africa, instancing the people
of Ostend, might send their ships and trade there without being
hindered by any forts of what nation soever. Captain Snelgrove
being asked, if, besides the white men, which he said were at
Dicky's Cove, there were not several blacks, and whether there
might not be more white men there than he saw. He said,
there were four or five blacks, and it might be more, which he
did not see; and did not deny but they might be of service in
defending the place, but said, the white men were principally to
be depended upon, and as to the number of the latter, he said he
did not believe there were more than he saw, because the chiefs
at each settlement always make the best shew they can of white
people when they receive any stranger on shore. Mr. Wills
then asking Captain Snelgrove whether the Dutch could not
hinder any ships or traders within the reach of the guns of their
forts; and if forts and settlements were not of service, for what
reason he thought the Dutch gave the value of three thousand
pounds for Cape Three Points and Arguin, and were at expense
upon other forts. He said, as to the first, that he believed they
might hinder any other ships or traders that should come within
the reach of their guns. That as to the purchase made by the
Dutch, of Cape Three Points and Arguin, it was about the year
1720, in the Bubbling time, when pretences were made of mighty
advantages from some mines, said to be discovered in those parts.
That the Dutch West India Company bought those places of the
King of Prussia, though the fort is since fallen into the hands of
the natives of Africa, who answered when the Dutch demanded
it again, that they might have the materials, but not the place.
And the Captain further said, he had been at most of the Dutch
settlements, whereof they have about ten at different places, and
the greatest part of them in the same ill state of repair as those
belonging to the English Company.
May 12. Present:—Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Letter from Mr. Burnet.
Papers therein referred to.
A letter from Mr. Burnet, Governor of New Jersey and New
York, dated the 12th of May, 1724, was read, and the papers,
therein referred to, were laid before the Board, viz:
Minutes of Assembly of New Jersey, from the 27th September,
1723, to the 30th of November following, both days inclusive.
An Act for an additional support of this government and
making current £40,000 in Bills of Credit for that and
other purposes therein mentioned.
Passed 30th November, 1723, with 4 other Acts, passed
in New Jersey at the same time.
Further reasons for the said Act for an additional support,
Scheme of the method of issuing, applying and sinking
£40,000 Bills of Credit made current in New Jersey by
the foresaid Act.
Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd, Mr. Docminique, Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Hearing Mr. Smith against Colonel Hart.
This evening being appointed for hearing Colonel Hart's
counsel, in his defence against the petition and complaint of
Wavel Smith and Savil Cust, Esquires, patent secretaries of the
Leeward Islands, against him, upon which their Lordships had
heard Mr. Smith's counsel the 3rd of March last, and the said
Wavel Smith attending, with Dr. Henchman and Mr. Common
Serjeant Lingard, his counsel, and Mr. North, his solicitor, on the
one side, and Mr. Wills and Mr. Bootle, counsel for Colonel Hart,
with Mr. Sharpe, his solicitor attending also, on the other side.
Mr. Wills acquainted their Lordships, that he conceives Mr.
Smith's complaint is confined to four heads, viz:
1st. That he was not admitted to be Register of the Admiralty
2nd. That though he was admitted into the other offices he
claims by virtue of his Patent, yet he is obliged to hold them by
commission from the Governor.
3rd. That Colonel Hart's private secretary transacted business,
and received those fees that belonged to the public secretary.
4th. That an Act had been passed at St. Christophers in 1724,
entituled, An Act for establishing a Court of King's Bench and
Common Pleas and for the better advancement of justice in the
Island of St. Christophers and for settling certain fees, etc., whereby
several fees belonging to him as public secretary were given to
a new officer thereby made, called judges' clerk.
Mr. Wills observed to their Lordships that the 1st and 2nd of
these complaints do intirely depend on his right to the several
offices and to the custom of the Leeward Islands, they not being
named expressly in his patent. That the office of Clerk of the
Crown was particularly expressed in his patent, wherefore he
conceived that, if it had been intended that Mr. Smith should have
enjoyed the several other offices, that they would have likewise
been particularly named. That the Acts Mr. Smith had produced at the last hearing, as a proof of his right to the several
offices claimed by him, could not be so, as they were only temporary
and are expired, but even supposing them perpetual, they could
be only taken as a declaration of the sense of the people. That
the copy of the commission from the Lord Willoughby of Parham,
Governor of Barbadoes and the rest of the Charribbee Leeward
Islands, dated the 5th of May, 1668, appointing Francis Sampson,
Esquire, Secretary of the Island of Antego, which had been
produced by Mr. Smith at the last hearing as an evidence of what
offices the Public Secretary then enjoyed, was an evidence rather
against him than for him, because the person thereby appointed
secretary claimed the other offices only by virtue of his grant from
Lord Willoughby as Governor, and not immediately from the
Crown. That in 1702 General Codrington appointed Cabel
Rawleigh Register in Chancery at St. Christophers. That
Colonel Parke, when he succeeded in the Government, not only
continued the said Rawleigh as Register in Chancery, but likewise
appointed him Register of the Admiralty. In 1708 Colonel
Parke appointed John Helden to be Clerk of the Ordinary of the
Island of St. Christophers, at a time when he had a distinct
deputation for Deputy Secretary. That General Douglas
appointed John Esdale, the then Deputy Secretary, to be Clerk
of the Ordinary and of the Admiralty, and that he continued in
those two places nine years after he had been turned out from
being Deputy Secretary.
Mr. Wills observed to their Lordships that as to the 3rd Article
of Mr. Smith's complaint in relation to Colonel Hart's private
secretary having taken fees that properly belonged to him, that
if this had been the case, he should have proceeded against him
according to the law of those islands. As to the last Article of
his complaint, relating to the Act, passed at St. Christophers in
1724, Mr. Wills submitted to their Lordships whether this was
not an extraordinary complaint against Colonel Hart for giving
his assent to an Act passed by both the Council and Assembly
for reducing those officers' fees, which, according to the opinion of
the legislature, were exorbitant.
Mr. Bootle, counsel of the same side, acquainted their Lordships
that he conceived Mr. Smith could not pretend to any offices but
to those mentioned in his patent, viz: Public Secretary and
Clerk of the Crown, and as they are the only offices named there,
he could not set up any right by prescription against the Crown.
As to the office of Register of the Admiralty, it was not in the
power of the King to grant it, the Crown having already given
that power to the Lords of the Admiralty. And as Colonel Hart
had received a Vice Admiralty commission from them, he conceived Colonel Hart to be the proper person to grant the said office.
Mr. Brown sworn.
To prove this, Mr. Bootle desired Mr. Brown might be examined,
who being sworn, acquainted their Lordships, that he was deputy
to the Register of the Court of Admiralty in England, and that he
had brought with him two books of that office, wherein were
entered all Admiralty commissions; he then read to their Lordships some clauses of a commission under the Great Seal, whereby
the King gives to the Lords of the Admiralty the power of
disposing of the several places belonging thereto. He also read
to their Lordships an extract of Colonel Hart's commission,
dated the 8th of June, 1721, whereby he was appointed Vice
Admiral of the Leeward Islands.
Mr. Bootle then desired their Lordships would please to have
read the affidavits of John Helden, William Lyddell and John
Esdale, senior, in order to prove that they, as Deputy Secretaries
to the Island of St. Christophers, had never acted in the offices
of Clerk to the Ordinary, Register in Chancery or Register of the
Admiralty, by virtue of any power from the Patent Secretary,
but that they, and the other persons, mentioned in Mr. Esdale's
affidavit, who exercised the said offices, had always acted by
virtue of powers from the Chief Governor, which were read
Mr. Fleming being sworn, Mr. Bootle desired he would give their
Lordships an account of what he knew in relation to the
Secretary's Office in Antego, whereupon he said, that he resided
in Antego from 1719 till June last. That he acted as Deputy
Secretary till Mr. Smith succeeded Mr. Knight, that he never
executed the Office of Register to the Admiralty there, that
indeed he laid claim to it, and brought his action against Mr.
Kirby, the then Register, but that it was given against him
by the courts of law there; that after this suit, General Hamilton
gave the said office to Mr. Warner. That during the time he
acted as Deputy Secretary, there had been no entries made in his
office in relation to the Admiralty.
Dr. Henchman, counsel for Mr. Smith, desired their Lordships
would please to read a letter from Mr. Fleming, dated at Antego,
the 26th October, 1719, to Mr. Knight, as also a memorial from
the said Fleming to General Hamilton, giving an account of the
several branches belonging to the Secretary's Office, as also a
letter from Mr. Lyddell, which were severally read. And Dr.
Henchman desired leave to observe by way of reply to what Mr.
Bootle had said, with respect to the Governor's power of appointing
a Register of Admiralty, that the Vice Admiralty commission,
given to Colonel Hart, did not impower him to appoint officers,
or give him any other power than to be Vice Admiral there.
Mr. Common Serjeant also said, by way of reply, that he did
agree nothing was granted to Mr. Smith by virtue of his Patent,
but the Office of Secretary to the Leeward Islands and Clerk of
the Crown, but then, as that office of Secretary was granted
with all the rights, profits, etc., thereunto belonging in as full and
ample a manner as any former Secretary had enjoyed the same,
and, as His Majesty's pleasure had been further signified by the
Lord Carteret's letter of the 6th day of May, 1723, that Mr.
Smith should enjoy the same in as full a manner as Mr. Hedges
particularly had done, and as Mr. Hedges had given their Lordships an account upon oath that he had received the profits of the
said offices during the time he was Patent Secretary there, Mr.
Common Serjeant said he hoped their Lordships would be of
opinion that Mr. Smith had fully made out the allegations of his
petition, and that their Lordships would be pleased to report in
These gentlemen being withdrawn, their Lordships gave
directions for preparing the draught of a representation thereupon.
May 13. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Plummer.
Members of the Company upon the subject of the Dutch Envoy's memorial.
Mr. Dunster, Mr. Snelling and Mr. Townley, three of the
members of the Turkey Company, attending, as they had been
desired, their Lordships took again into consideration a letter
from the Lord Townshend, dated the 7th, and mentioned in the
Minutes of the 11th inst., referring to the Board a memorial from
Monsieur Hopp, Envoy Extraordinary from the States General,
in relation to the imposition of 20 per cent. procured to be laid
upon English cloths in Turkey, if imported by Dutch, French or
Jews, which was again read. And their Lordships, after some
discourse with these gentlemen thereupon, gave directions that
they should have a copy of the said memorial, and desired they
would lay before the Board in writing, what they have to offer
upon this subject.
May 17. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir John Hobart.
Letter from Mr. Smith, profits of Secretary's office.
A letter from Mr. Smith, Secretary to the Leeward Islands, in
relation to the profits of his office, was read.
Representation on Mr. Smith's petition considered.
The draught of a representation upon Mr. Smith's petition,
ordered to be prepared the 12th inst., was considered and a
progress made therein.
May 18. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Pelham, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir John Hobart.
The same again considered.
Their Lordships took again into consideration the draught
of a report upon Mr. Smith's petition, mentioned in yesterday's
Minutes, and made a progress therein.
Acts to be sent to Mr. Fane for his opinion.
Ordered that all the public Acts passed in the several Plantations [Journal Dd. folio 44], not yet reported upon by Mr. Fane,
be sent to him, for his opinion thereupon in point of law.
May 19. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Bladen, Mr.
Ashe, Mr. Plummer, Sir John Hobart.
Representation on Mr. Smith's petition and letter to Duke of Newcastle.
The representation upon Mr. Smith's petition, mentioned in
yesterday's Minutes, was agreed and signed, as also a letter for
inclosing the same to the Duke of Newcastle.
Letter to Mr. Carkesse, duty of 4½ per cent.
Ordered that Mr. Carkesse, Secretary to the Commissioners of
the Customs, be reminded of the latter writ him by the Secretary
of this Board, the 9th of March last, desiring an account of the
produce of the duty of 4½ per cent. in Barbadoes for nine years
Letter to Mr. Woolley, exports of Woollen manufacturers.
Ordered that Mr. Woolley, Secretary to the East India
Company, be likewise reminded of the letter writ him by the
Secretary, the 28th of last month, for the reason of the diminution
of the exportation of the woollen manufacturers of this kingdom,
by that Company.
Present:—The Duke of Newcastle, Lord Viscount Townshend,
Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Chetwynd,
Mr. Docminique, Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Sir Robert Sutton, Sir Thomas Sanderson and several other of
the Directors of the Royal African Company, with Mr. Attorney
General and Mr. Wills, their counsel, attending, as they had been
desired; as also Mr. Morice and Mr. Harris and several other
separate traders from London, Bristol and Liverpool, with Mr.
Serjeant Darnell and Mr. Fazackerly, their counsel, their Lordships
resumed the consideration of the African trade; and Mr. Attorney
General desired leave, in behalf of the African Company, to
observe to their Lordships, by way of reply to what the counsel
for the separate traders had represented to their Lordships,
that the only answer the separate traders had offered, with
respect to the hardships the Company labour under, was that
they had neither right nor merit, though at the same time, he said,
he had not observed that the other side had advanced anything
against the Company's right, that was consistent with common
law. That it had been alledged that the Company's Charter
being for an exclusive trade, was against law; Mr. Attorney
General observed that was no reason against their being a corporation, because supposing that part of the Charter, which grants
anything not within the prorogative of the Crown, to be void in
law, yet as it is the undoubted right of the Crown to create a
corporation, he hoped the counsel on the other side would admit
that part of the Charter to be in force. And as to the Company's
right to their forts and settlements, he submitted to their Lordships, whether they had not made it appear that the present
Company had purchased them from the old Company that had
been subsisting before the year 1672, and that the Company had
been in quiet possession of them ever since.
As to the other allegation of the separate traders, that the
Company had no merit; he said, that would depend upon the
forts and settlements being usefull or not. That if they had
been usefull, it was meritorious in the Company to have erected
them, and to have maintained them ever since. That the erecting
these forts had preserved the coast of Africa from falling into
the hands of the Dutch in the first Dutch War in 1674; and he
further submitted to their Lordships, whether it was no merit
to have borne this labour and expences at a time when he did not
observe there had been any proof offered, of any one separate
trader being concerned in that trade, and that, if the Company
had not then traded to the Coast of Africa, the Plantations must
have been ruined.
In answer to some questions that had been asked, with respect
to what methods were necessary for preserving and supporting
this trade, and to the cause of its decay, Mr. Attorney observed,
that the Company had been at a great charge in maintaining
their forts and settlements, and that as the separate traders,
after the 10 per cent. ceased, had no other charge laid on their
trade, towards the maintaining these forts, they could consequently trade upon easier terms; and this Mr. Attorney said, he
conceived to be the cause of the decay of the Company's trade.
Mr. Attorney General further said, that he had not observed
any evidence produced that forts and settlements were not
useful. That from experience no trade could be carried on to
advantage without some settlements, as appears by the separate
traders themselves sending their ships to those places where the
negroes are brought down for them, and allowing those places
only to warehouses, yet these warehouses could not be protected
on the coast of Africa, even from the insults of the natives, without
That forts and settlements were further necessary for extending
the trade up the country, without which there will be fewer
slaves exported to the Plantations, than if the settlements were
extended, and the negroes for that reason will be dearer. As to
the proposal of the private traders, that two or three men of war
should be appointed on the coast, to protect the trade, Mr.
Attorney observed, that they might indeed be of service in
defending ships from pirates, but could be of no use to extend the
trade into the country, which could only be done by a force at
land. That the Dutch, French and Portuguese were so sensible
of the necessity of forts and settlements on the coast of Africa,
that they were at great charge in maintaining them. That
the Portuguese particularly were so jealous of the African
Company's increasing their strength, that they sent some ships of
war from Lisbon, on purpose to destroy the forts erecting by that
Company at Cabinda. That forts and settlements, if of no
service in protecting this trade, were absolutely necessary to
preserve possession, and to create an evidence of the property of
Great Britain on that coast. That as this trade had never been
carried on without forts and settlements, Mr. Attorney said he
feared it would be of dangerous consequence to make such an
experiment. That should they be deserted and fall into the hands
of a foreign power, all the evidence of our possession would
cease, and we should be excluded from any trade there. As to
the bad condition of the present forts and settlements, the great
disadvantages the Company have traded under are sufficient
reasons for it; however, if they have strength enough to resist
the natives, they are sufficient to answer the Company's purpose.
As to the manner how these forts and settlements may be
supported, Mr. Attorney observed to their Lordships, that they
had already proved the Company's property in them, and that
he conceived they ought to have the sole use of them, or else the
liberty of parting with them. That as the Company had purchased them and been at the charge of maintaining them, it could
hardly be thought the Company would have been at this charge,
without a sufficient title to this trade, and that supposing the
Company had been under a misapprehension of their right, he
submitted to their Lordships, how unreasonable it would be, that
separate traders should have all the advantage, and the Company
be at the whole charge.
Mr. Attorney, then in behalf of the Company, made the following proposition to the Board; and said that, whereas the private
traders have represented to their Lordships, that the chief trade
for negroes was carried on on that part of the coast of Africa, where
the Company have no settlements, the said Company were willing
to be confined to that part of the coast where their own settlements
were, which was only a space of 300 leagues, and leave the rest
of the coast, which is about 1,700 leagues, to the separate traders.
That, if this was not approved of, he conceived it might be worth
the Government's while to buy them. But if they did not care
to do this, and the Company should desire leave to dispose of
them, he did not see how this liberty could be denied to the
Company. He further said, if it was worth while for any other
nation to buy them, it might as well be worth the while of Great
Britain to do it. And if it was the interest of Great Britain to
refuse the Company the liberty of selling, it must be for the interest
of this nation to purchase them.
Mr. Wills, counsel on the same side, then enlarged upon what
Mr. Attorney had offered, and submitted to the Board whether
Mr. Snow's evidence had not fully proved that forts and settlements were absolutely necessary for protecting the trade upon the
African coast. As to the proposal of the private traders, to send
ships of war to protect this trade, Mr. Wills observed to their
Lordships, that the private traders having already represented,
that ships could not come near the coast; that they could be of
no service but against pirates at sea; whereas it is necessary to
have some settlements to protect the traders against the insults
of the natives.
Mr. Wills likewise acquainted the Board, that the African
Company would not insist upon the whole extent of their Charter,
provided they might enjoy the trade exclusive of all others, at
Gambia, Sierraleone, Sherborough, and from Cape Palmas to Cape
Formosa, which is about 250 leagues, and where the chief of their
settlements are; and that they would leave the rest of the coast
free to the private traders. That in consequence there would be
a greater number of slaves exported, as this proposal would
create an emulation between the Company and the separate
traders. That the Company were willing to oblige themselves
to maintain their settlements upon that part of the coast which
they desire, for ever, or during a term of years, and to lay before the
Board annual accounts of their whole proceedings, provided
they might enjoy this exclusive trade as before proposed. That
the only reason why the separate traders would not allow the forts
and settlements to be necessary was, because as it is highly
reasonable that those, who reap the benefit, should share the
charge, they were apprehensive of this additional expense. As
to the African Company's property and right thereto, Mr. Wills
observed that a quiet and uninterrupted possession for upwards
of 50 years was a sufficient demonstration. As to the Cape Coast
Castle, the property of which the separate traders had insisted
was in the Crown, by reason of its having been taken from the
Dutch, Mr. Wills said the Crown had given up that property, by
granting the Charter. And as to the Company's being a subsisting
corporation, he said that several Acts of Parliament had taken
notice of them as such.
May 25. present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Their Lordships took again into their consideration the several
papers relating to the African Trade, mentioned in the Minutes
since the 23rd February last, and made a progress therein.
May 26. Present:—Earl of Westmorland, Mr. Docminique,
Mr. Bladen, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Plummer.
Their Lordships took again into their consideration the several
papers relating to the African trade, mentioned in the Minutes
since the 23rd of February last, and made a progress therein.