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REPORTS OF THE BRITISH BOARD OF TRADE AND PLANTATIONS WHILE MARYLAND
WAS A ROYAL PROVINCE.
BERNARD C. STEINER.
The Board of Trade and Plantations made a report in November, 1702, to the “Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual & Temporal in Parliament assembled,” in response to a request from that august body to transmit an "account of the trade" of Great Britain since the last session of Parliament. The war of the Spanish Succession had then begun and, while the report chiefly deals with trade between England and other portions of the world, we find one paragraph of particular interest to Maryland :-“That upon Representations made of the great importance of the Tobacco Trade from Virginia and Maryland, Her Majestie was pleased to appoint five men of War, under whose Convoy the Shipping from those provinces consisting of about 150 Sail, have arrived Safe in England. An[d], as we find by accounts from Virginia, there were exported from that Province from the 10th of November 1701, to the 10th of July 1702, 37205 hhds. of Tobacco, being the last Crop : And from Maryland for the same tyme 32000 hhds. or Thereabouts, which exceeds the Exports of former years.” 1
In response to a similar request in the following year the Board submitted a very full report on December 16, 1703.? This second report is much more replete with Maryland material. William Penn had asked for the surrender of his Province of
* This report was transcribed probably for the Earl of Buite about the middle of the 18th century and printed from the transcript by the New York Public Library in May, 1907. (x, Bulletin, pp. 271 and fl.)
Printed from transcript in xı, New York Public Library Bulletin, pp. 468 and ff. The Maryland portions of the report are found on pp. 472, 474-476, 489.
Pennsylvania, which had been administered for some years directly by the Crown, and that “a Patent pass to me and my Heirs for the three Lower Counties ... according to a Grant begun by the late King James ; and had been finished had he stayed one week Longer at Whytehall.” To the territory of Delaware, the Board report : “We do not find he has any good title, tho he has a long time Exercised the same authority there as in the Province of Pennsylvania.'
The matters of convoys for the tobacco ships, of the appointment of Seymour as Governor and of the religious establishment in the Province of Maryland are discussed at length. “In relation to Convoys for those important Trades, We have several times heard the Trading thither, as lykewise divers planters and others who had been Inhabitants of those Colonies and settled the times most proper for their Convoys, And being informed by the said merchts that at least 80 ships were then (vizt in december 1702) lyeing in the Rivers of Virginia & Maryland; and that the lyke number would be ready to go out from the severall parts of this Kingdom in January following with the manufactures of England, for the present supply of those Colonys; We offered it as highly necessary that a Convoy of good Strength Should be appointed to Sail from the Downs by the End of January aforsaid, with directions that they should Call at the chief ports between the Isle of Wight and the Lands End, for the merchants Ships bound to Virginia and Maryland, and that the said Convoy should be ordered to return from the Capes of Virginia by the 1st or 30th day of July at the furthest, bringing with them such merchant ships as should be then ready to saile : Whereupon it haveing been ordered that the Said Ships be Convoyed by two fourth Rates to be Joyned by two others from Vice admiral Benbows [sic] squadron then in the west Indies part of that fleet being lately arrived in the ports of England, We have understood that the Quantity of Tobacco then Imported into the ports of London from September 1702 to november 1703 amounted to 59036 hhds. since which Another fleet being allso arrived, We are informed that the Quantity therein Shipt from Virginia and Mary Land for the port of London is 11440 hhds. But the quantitys
arrived this year or yet expected at Whytehaven, Leverpool, Bristol, Briddiford, and other out ports, We have not receaved a particular account. Upon a general Calculation we esteem it may amount to one third of what we have mentioned to be imported into the port of London, so that the whole quantity may be about 93968 hhds.
“It haveing been Represented to us by some merchants of London as necessary that another Convoy of good force should be sent to those parts about the beginning of July following with a fleet of Merchant Ships intended to Saile at that time, for the further supplyeing of those Colonies with those necessaries and bringing from thence the product of the year, We lykewise humbly reported such a Convoy to be requisite to saile at that time, or at the latest about the beginning of august and to return from thence the beginning of aprile nixt, which Convoy might have directions either to remain in the Rivers of Virginia and Mary Land, or to be ordered to Cruise dureing the winter Season, off of Barbadoes and the Leward Islands, or else where within the Tropicks, for the Security of the Trade of those parts; and accordingly 2 fourth Rate ffrigats were appointed for that Service.
“We have further Represented the necessity of a due care in makeing the lyke seasonable provision of Convoys for furnishing those Colonies with the manufactures of England and bringing away the product of those parts which without such encouragement for the safety of their Trade might be necessited during the War to turn their industry from the planting of Tobacco (so beneficial to England) to the producing European manufactures.
“Upon information that all the Ships of War which last sailed from Virginia, are ordered to come away with the Trade and none other appointed for that Station, We humbly offered that one of those intended thither should Remain there as a winter Guard, whatever Service the other might be ordered upon till the return of the fleet.
“ And in further relation to Convoys for those parts, haveing considered the ill consequence of ships comeing away from thence without Convoy Dureing this time of War, whereby many of them have been taken and other wayes exposed to great hazards,
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We humbly offered to Her majesty the draught of letters to the Governor of Virginia, and to the president and Council of Maryland, in the absence of the Governor strictly requireing them to take especial care that dureing this time of War no Ships do Saile from those Colonys otherwise than with Convoy, such only excepted as shall have particular Licence from Her maty or from His Royal Highness the Lord high admiral to that effect.
“And whereas the Government of Maryland became vacant by the return of Colonel Blakiston from thence, We prepared a Commission and Instructions for Colonel John Seymour appointed by Her Majesty to be Governor of that province, inserting therein such clauses as were proper for the Conjuncture who availed himself of the opportunity of those Convoys for the Transporting himself and family to that province.
“We add upon this head, that some defects haveing been found in divers acts transmitted from Mary-Land relateing to the establishment of Religion and maintainance of ministers in that province, We prepared a new draught of a bill on that Subject in which we had the assistance of his Grace the Lord Arch Bishop of Canterbury, the Lord Bishop of London and their principal officers of the Crown, and accordingly Laid the said draught before his Majestie who was graciously pleased, after haveing heard the Quakers in Behalf of their brethern in that province against the draught of the said Bill, as lykewise the reasons offered for the passing it, to Direct by Order of Council, that we should transmitt the Said draught to the Governor and Council of Maryland to be by them offered to the General assembly, In order to the passing it Into an act in the usual maner, which act haveing been accordingly passed there, and receaved her majestys Royal approbation, was again transmitted to Mary Land, and has had as we are assured those good effects, which were proposed, and designed by that Law."
The revenue of Maryland from the tobacco exportation tax and the maintenance of the governor are the other subjects treated in the report :-“As to the Government of Maryland We found the constant Revenue ariseing by the 2 Shillings P. hhd. upon Tobacco Exported To have amounted in the year 1701 to about
3200£ one moiety whereof Belonging to the Lord Proprietor, and the other moiety being for the Support of the Government one fourth part thereof is by Act of assembly to be applyed to the buying of Arms and the other famounting to 1200£ Is applicable to the Governors Salary, Besides which an Act was past upon the arrival of the Last Governor in Mary Land for raising a Revenue of 3 pence per Hhd as an additional allowance to him for his better maintainance dureing his Government, which may amount to 500£ Sterling per annum more, And there being no house in Mary Land for his reception, We humbly Conceaved Her majesty might allowe the assembly to Repass the lyke act for the better maintainance of the present Governor, provyded the same were for an unlimited time, or dureing his Government, and that the said Governor might not be permitted to Receave any present or gratification from the assembly upon any one whatsoever."
THE BALTIMORE ARTIFICERS COMPANY.
FROM THE ORIGINAL IN THE COLLECTION OF THE MARYLAND
We the Subscribers, being desirous to pay due Obedience to the Directions of the Continental and Provincial Congress, and being Convinced that it is a duty Incumbent on each Member of a free state to Qualify himself for the Defence thereof, have assembled and join Ourselves into a Company to be called by the name of the Baltimore Artificers Company of Militia for the Purpose of Acquiring and Accustoming Ourselves to Military Knowledge and Discipline, and we do hereby bind ourselves to Each other by all the Ties of Honour Strictly to adhere to and Obey all such Rules of Conduct as may be by a Majority of the Company at this or any Subsequent Meeting be deemed Necessary for our Good Government and Regulation.