The American Historical Review/Volume 23/The Lords of Trade and Plantations, 1675–1696
THE LORDS OF TRADE AND PLANTATIONS, 1675–1696
Much has been done by writers and students to explain the long-neglected rôle of the old colonies in the unfolding of Britain's first empire; much remains to be done before Anglo-colonial relations are fully known and appreciated. The field itself is broad, the angle of vision is new, and the great mass of available material has not yet been made to shed its full light on the subject. The history of the central organs of imperial control, a subject of essential importance, has been presented in late years in studies of a scholarly and exhaustive nature, but they have left out of account, except in an incidental way, the history of the full score of years fixed by this paper. To fill this gap, if only to make the account continuous, is a desideratum. There is, however, a more striking reason. The period itself is significant because of the marked trend toward administrative dominance in all that had to do with the advancement of the interests and ideals of the empire. This paper proposes to deal with the machinery of imperial control as evidenced in organization, personnel, methods, and spirit.
When the home government first assumed the cares and functions of governing a wide empire there was no thought of separating matters chiefly external in character from those wholly or mainly domestic. Traditionally the outlying portions of the realm, "the Scotch borders, the Welsh marches, the Channel Islands, and Ireland were in a special sense" the care of the Privy Council. By custom, therefore, colonies across the sea became subject to its particular direction. The council was a body of the personal and responsible advisers of the king, embracing the chief ministers of state, officials of the royal household, a few bishops, and some not otherwise holding office. In Tudor days, when the council was small in size and its area of competence did not include the sweep of empire, it worked as a unit with a good measure of efficiency and responsibility. In Stuart days the increased membership, averaging thirty-five under the earlier and forty-five under the later kings, made the council an unwieldy body at a time when it was subjected to the pressure of an expanding business. To meet this situation, to insure care and despatch in the transaction of affairs, the committee system was adopted. A division of labor was even more necessary in the Restoration era to enable the council to keep pace and cope with the manifold problems and interests brought into play by the rapid and striking expansion of empire. In May, 1660, within two months after his return from exile, Charles II. appointed a "Committee for Foreign Plantations" to deal with exigent colonial questions, and such a committee continued to be one of the important standing divisions of the council. Also from time to time temporary committees were named to handle oversea problems of special note and difficulty. These committees were charged with the duties of originating, hearing, planning, deciding, and reporting to the king and council for final action.
This arrangement involved the grave danger that the council's circle of interests, filled with the numerous and undifferentiated concerns of domestic, foreign, and imperial issues, would prove altogether too vast and complex to permit a full and intelligent conduct of all. The danger was rooted in the very nature of the pre-Restoration period, when the conflict of rival groups distracted the state and left the ruling authorities little time available for imperial guidance. During the confusion of the Puritan experiments in government the administration of colonies and commerce was conducted in a cumbersome. indifferent, and amateur manner. The result was that the colonies, strongly predisposed to self-direction, promptly seized the opportunity to take their own way without hindrance. But the English merchants, whose commercial interests were especially imperilled by the drift, were provoked to deplore the lack of political unity and strength in the empire. They felt, and justly so, that inexperience in the intricate problems of commerce and colonies and preoccupation with domestic politics and foreign affairs made it impossible for the Privy Council to be an alert, constant, and competent colonial department. They urged as a remedy the erection of a special board of skilled personnel, to sit continuously and aloof from politics, to advise the king and council on the affairs of trade and plantations.
In 1660 the king gave heed to the desires of the merchants and for fifteen years a series of separate councils performed the greater share of the functions of examination and report. But their varying history fell far short of the hopes entertained for them. Indeed it was almost inevitable that the administration of empire should proceed with slow and halting steps in the first years of the Restoration. The greater and necessarily prior problems of founding an assured empire and of framing the essential principles upon which it was to be regulated engrossed the thought and force of expansionists and overshadowed administration. The planting of new and the conquest of foreign colonies, the incorporation of new and the strengthening of old trading companies, the passage of the acts of trade, and the attendant wars with the Dutch are the notable events which bear witness to the emergence of England as an imperial power. In addition imperial control was perplexed by the persistence of domestic political instability. The feverish but slow readjustments of internal balances, seriously shattered by the Puritan Revolt, bred political discord that weakened the force of the state. And further, the ruling class was without experience or precedent in dealing with the questions involved in the control of remote colonies. In view of the novelty of the problem it is small wonder that mistakes, experiment, and change entered into the creation of the machinery and practices of imperial control. And so it was that the select councils of trade and plantations worked under the heavy handicaps of frequent change, domestic difficulties, and political caprice that broke the force and continuity of their labors.
On December 21, 1674, the king abolished the Council for Trade and Plantations, and on February 9, 1675, appointed a committee of the Privy Council to take up the threads of business "left loose and at large" for seven weeks. Various reasons have been assigned for the change. The dismissal of Shaftesbury from power in the summer of 1673 may account for the fall of the board of which he was sponsor and leader. On account of the depletion of the royal exchequer Danby, the new lord treasurer, began a policy of retrenchment. It may be that the saving of £5400 by substituting unpaid privy councillors for a salaried board was attractive. These reasons are largely conjectural and, whatever their immediate force, they do not account in full for the abolition of a select board. By 1675 the disjointed nature of the imperial structure was realized and the conviction arose that successful management was more urgent than any further extension of the boundaries of empire. It was recognized that the essential defect was the absence of vigorous, responsible, and continuous central administration. The failure of select councils suggested as a remedy that the control of imperial relations should be given outright into the hands of a committee of the immediate royal councillors.
Merchants who were interested in the empire might well have questioned whether a council committee would be sufficiently free and skilled to give to commerce and colonies that measure of attentive and intelligent treatment which their growing importance and complexity deserved. The change was experimental; results alone could determine whether it was a wise measure. In fact the council committee, known as the Lords of Trade and Plantations, assumed its duties in 1675 with a high sense of loyalty and a display of energy that ended a period of drift and opened a decade of unified and forceful conduct in imperial control. The conditions were favorable to imperial centralization. The dominance of Charles II. over the forces of opposition created a brief period of internal stability, and the close of the Dutch wars in 1675 brought years of peace abroad. By these two causes the council was enabled, more freely than in the first years after the Restoration, to bend its energies toward the administrative aspects of empire. The royal order to sit once a week was not followed with regularity, yet the committee averaged fifty sessions a year for the first decade. The greatest attention to colonial and commercial questions was manifested in the years 1676 and 1677, when the number of sittings reached the high figures of eighty-nine and seventy-one respectively.
The passions of politics were not without their distracting influence on the committee. During the mad times of the Popish Plot in 1678 the sessions for the year fell to the low figure of twenty-nine. The Lords of Trade frankly confessed that "the multiplicity of affairs in Parliament and the prosecution of the Plot" forced them for the moment to suspend action on pressing colonial matters. Colonial autonomy, imperilled by aggressive central control, now as before found temporary relief in the turn of English politics. Massachusetts, defiant in spirit and conduct, took full advantage of the situation to thwart the attacks on her precious charter. But if political mutations worked to the benefit of colonial self-direction, imperial control suffered thereby. Governors in the royal colonies of the West Indies, anxiously awaiting instructions, wrote home in complaint of the sacrifice of the urgent needs of remote provinces to domestic politics. And during the next six years, when the Test Act and the Exclusion Bill raised political and social issues that bred factious discontent, the sessions ranged from thirty-five to forty-five a year, marking a significant decline from the good record of the first few years. After all, in the first decade the committee met with a frequency and displayed an enthusiasm that apparently justified the wisdom of entrusting it with full supervision of colonial-commercial relations.
Measured by the tests of experience and interests, the Lords of Trade were qualified for their tasks. The plantation committee, whose origin has been stated above, had had an almost unbroken existence since 1660. Even in the days when limited by the activity of the select councils, it exercised a certain measure of direction, and it assumed complete charge during 1665–1670 when the special boards lived only in name. Of greater significance is the striking continuity in the membership of the committee for twentyfive years. When the king in 1675 appointed a large committee of twenty-one "for Matters relating to Trade and his Forrain Plantations", he wisely preserved the line of competent personnel by designating an inner group of nine to "have the immediate Care and Intendency of those AfTaires in regard they had been formerly conversant and acquainted therewith".
The most attentive members of the committee during the first decade were those who had served an apprenticeship in the council committees and select boards of trade and plantations during 1660–1675. This small group of active, reliable, and trained councillors included Sir George Carteret, Arthur Annesley, earl of Anglesey, John Robartes, earl of Radnor, William, earl of Craven, John Egerton, second earl of Bridgewater, and Prince Rupert. All attended the sessions of the Lords of Trade with commendable regularity. Anglesey's knowledge of certain aspects of expansion was recognized by the committee and his influence was sought by certain colonial governors and proprietors. Equally noteworthy was the intimate relationship of the statesmen and officials of the day in the various enterprises of empire building. Charles II., the Duke of York, and Prince Rupert, of the royal family, were either shareholders or high in the councils of the East India, Hudson's Bay, Royal African, and Royal Fishery companies. York and Rupert were prominent in the direction of the navy, a cardinal factor in the development of empire. Carteret, Craven, and Anglesey, with Shaftesbury, Arlington, and other statesmen of the day, were patentees of the various colonial and commercial ventures in the period. It was a remarkable group of the chief personalities of the court and council, whose interest, experience, and length of service aided substantially in giving impulse to external growth as well as continuity and force to imperial control under Charles II.
Within this active circle, after 1679, are to be included the rising and capable young statesmen, Henry Hyde, earl of Clarendon, and Laurence, earl of Rochester, sons of the first Clarendon, himself a zealous expansionist, and  Sir Francis North, brother of Sir Dudley, the great merchant aristocrat, was very active in colonial control both as chief justice and as a lord of trade. Henry Compton, translated to the see of London in 1675, exhibited as head of the diocese, whose colonial jurisdiction was recognized, and as a member of the plantation committee, an intelligent and earnest care for the moral and spiritual welfare of the colonists., viscount Halifax, with previous experience in maritime affairs.
The part played by the office of secretary of state in imperial control deserves brief treatment. It had not yet risen to the dignity of an independent department of state, but in an age when government was royal and personal, it was subject to the executive dominance of king and council. The two secretaries, nominally equal in position and sharing the duties of the office, were executive agents. The influence they exercised was a matter of personality and ability, resting on the initiative and force they exhibited as members of the committee which debated and planned foreign and colonial affairs and as officials in carrying out instructions and orders. Sir Joseph Williamson, 1674–1679, and Sir Henry Coventry, 1672–1680, brought to the office rich experience and knowledge of imperial relations. Coventry no doubt acquired an interest in the colonial world as brother-in-law of Shaftesbury, the enthusiastic imperialist, and was well equipped to handle foreign intercourse by his services on important diplomatic missions abroad. Williamson's career in the central imperial service lasted through a score of years. He began as clerk to Sir Edward Nicholas, secretary 1660–1662, and was continued in the employ of Sir Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, secretary 1662–1674. Arlington was deeply interested in expansion; he was a colonial proprietor and a patentee of several commercial companies, and as secretary made the advancement of commerce the key-note of his foreign policy. His superior influence drew most of the colonial and foreign business into his hands and so by long years of service Williamson came into constant and direct touch with oversea affairs. John Evelyn, a keen observer of official life from the inside, recorded that Arlington "loving his ease more than business … remitted all to his man Williamson". Arlington was probably more interested in the fixing of policy than the drudgery of routine. Be that as it may, Williamson followed his master as one of the principal secretaries well versed in colonial information and the technique of imperial control. His detailed notes on colonies, commerce, and fisheries, begun in the days of minor service and laboriously kept up as secretary, attest to a full knowledge and a keen interest in these matters.
Colonial business passed through the hands of both secretaries. During their incumbency a well-defined division of the colonial territory grew up, placing the southern mainland and island colonies under Coventry and the northern area under Williamson. It was an unequal division, for the southern colonies by reason of their greater economic value and weaker social structure received the major share of attention. The statement of the secretary to the plantation committee that Williamson "was not very attentive to the business of Plantations" may account for the heavier burden assumed by his colleague. Williamson, however, carried on a frequent correspondence with colonial governors and others in letters of a mixed private and public nature, offering his patronage and soliciting information for official needs and the satisfaction of a personal curiosity about the colonies. In fine, their prior experience, their close and continuous application to the administrative functions of the office, and the information they acquired gave the two secretaries a superior place on the plantation committee and conduced in no small degree to the cohesion and force of colonial control during their time. They attended the committee assiduously and in turn it occasionally suspended debates during the absence, or altered reports to suit the wishes, of one or the other. Sir Leoline Jenkins, secretary 1680–1684, also came to the office qualified by training in maritime and foreign affairs and showed himself to be an official of the same faithful type.
The method of working through a board of expert advisers was not discontinued. Indeed the increase of imperial business and the rise of new and complex situations in the control of trade and plantations made it very necessary that there should be some body to lighten the labors of the busy Privy Council and to furnish it with authentic information. A special board for this purpose was done away with, but its place was filled in part in another way. The Board of Customs was created in 1671 as a treasury division to manage the customs revenues. Its functions were imperial in sweep, including the enforcement of the acts of trade and the collection of duties through its own agents at home and in America. Its intimate and constant contact with colonies and commerce made it an especially well-informed body, which the Lords of Trade were prompt to utilize in an advisory way. In the years of its greater vigor before 1685 the committee summoned the members of the Customs Board into frequent conference, and repeatedly called upon it to submit itemized accounts of foreign and colonial trade and to report upon a wide variety of problems, such as commerce, coinage, customs service, emigration, fisheries, and finances. The board prepared the trade instructions for the colonial governors, and rendered valuable service in the review of colonial laws, going to much trouble in getting at the facts by consulting merchants, planters, colonial agents, and others. In all these matters the board's opinions were given high credit by the committee, which usually made them the basis of its final report to the king and council.
The Board of Customs embraced in its membership during the first quarter-century a noteworthy group of merchant princes, diplomats, economists, and expansionists of prestige. Indeed the close connection of the merchants with the statesmen and officials in the dual tasks of building and governing the empire is a striking factor in British expansion. The directors of the privileged trading companies were frequently consulted and their interests supported by the government. They were employed in the offices of national administration, where they exerted a directive influence in imperial control, and they ruled the city and port of London to their own advantage. On the Board of Customs were Sir Dudley North, Sir John Buckworth, Sir Patience Ward, and Sir Robert Clayton, great in the directorates of trading and merchant companies and in the municipality of London. The board included also such able and active officials as Sir George Downing and Sir Richard Temple, members of former select boards of trade. Sir John Werden, for a long time agent for the Duke of York's colony on the Hudson, and Sir Robert Southwell, the first industrious secretary to the plantation committee. Clayton was a factor in the colony of Bermuda. Downing, Werden, and Southwell were experienced diplomats. Temple and North were the authors of notable economic tracts. Above all rises the strong personality of Downing, abiding through nearly a quarter-century. Although educated at Harvard and a nephew of John Winthrop, the elder, he became a thorough imperialist. He was an active agent in the drafting and passage of the acts of trade; as a diplomat he was influential in shaping Anglo-Dutch relations in the interest of English merchants; and as a member of the Board of Customs and in frequent conference with the Lords of Trade he was a determining force in imperial administration. In conclusion, its powers as an administrative body, its place as an advisory board, and the political and commercial weight of its important members, enabled the Board of Customs to mold and guide imperial relations in the interest of the mother-country and to the advantage of the privileged companies.
After all, the changes effected in imperial administration after 1675 lay rather in the infusion of a sharper tone and the perfecting of the functions of colonial control than in any radical alterations in the processes of doing things. The Lords of Trade took up their assigned tasks, not only qualified by apprenticeship and assisted by a competent board, but with many precedents to point the way. The select councils, even though they had been impotent in conduct, were not without a considerable value in fixing lines of practice and principles of colonial control that promised a better order and served as guides for the future. The Lords of Trade simply took in hand the loosely co-ordinated policies initiated by the separate councils and carried them out more vigorously and more intelligently. In the matter of the systematic handling of business, previous efforts to create a bureau and methods had fallen short of good order because of the frequent changes through which the select councils had passed. The Lords of Trade took prompt steps to secure an orderly procedure. The king detailed Sir Robert Southwell, one of the clerks of the Privy Council and an official of good ability, to act as constant secretary to the committee. To his patient toil was due the initial organization of an office, a clerical staff, and routine methods. He labored hard. The preparation of business for the committee and waiting upon it, making detailed reports, abstracting long documents from the colonies, answering letters, bringing completeness into the keeping of records, and directing routine matters in general formed the 'burden of his work. He complained of the lack of assistance and his health broke under the strain. In March, 1676, his request for leave to resign as permanent secretary was granted, with merited praise for his "extraordinary paines and diligence". The plantation bureau was then placed on a regular footing. The four clerks of the council were to serve as secretaries, each in,turn for six months, and to share £400 a year; William Blathwayt was continued "as a very fit person" to be assistant to the secretary at a yearly salary of £150; and three clerks were employed at £50 a year each. The committee sat in the Council Chamber, Whitehall, attended by the secretary, a messenger, and assistant at £50 a year, the two keepers of the chamber and the underkeeper of council records at two shillings a day each. A plantation office was opened in 1676 in two rooms leased in Scotland Yard at £30 a year, and in 1678 two more were added, doubling the rent, to meet the demands of a growing business. They were altered and equipped for office purposes at a cost of £170, and £20 a year was allowed for an officekeeper and charwoman. By 1677 the salary list reached about £980 a year and the average annual outlay for salaries, rent, stationery, fuel, light, postage, and fees, as the items of usual expense, was about £1145. The committee was quite conscious of the fact that trade and plantation affairs were now administered with better results at a lower cost than formerly, and this seemed to justify the abolition of special boards of paid experts.
It is obvious that semi-annual, and occasional quarterly, changes in the secretaryship were little likely to secure continuity and stability of practice. The Lords of Trade were well aware of this defect when Blathwayt was made assistant. Waiting until he had shown himself fitted for the place, the committee in 1677 expressed satisfaction with his "ability, diligence, and fidelity" and he received £100 a year additional salary as permanent assistant. In a few years the clerks of the council enjoyed the fruits of the secretary's office as a sinecure and Blathwayt's abiding presence made him the chief man of all work. He was a young man of about twenty-six when he began, in the humble position of assistant, the career in the colonial service which, successfully weathering all political vicissitudes, lasted through a generation. He inherited a familiarity and interest in the colonial sphere as a nephew of Thomas Povey, the prominent London merchant, whose political and commercial connections at home and in the colonies were intimate and influential. Southwell remained a force in the colonial bureau until 1679, when he laid down his clerkship. Then Blathwayt began to be an important person in the colonial service. His official relations with the colonies were enlarged by long service as the first incumbent of the office of auditor-general of royal revenues in America, created in 1680. But it was especially after 1685, when the secretaries of state no longer play an active part in colonial administration, that Blathwayt became a prominent figure. Williamson, Coventry, and Jenkins, of the industrious administrative type, were followed by Sunderland, Shrewsbury, and Nottingham, whose attention to the colonies was overshadowed by the feverish politics peculiar to the decade after 1685. They came into office with less experience and they attended the plantation committee with much less regularity. Colonial governors continued to recognize the authority of one or other of the principal secretaries, but a perfunctory and briefer correspondence marked the waning influence of the office. As one governor said, " I have written to the Lords of Trade and Mr. Blathwayt that I shall be brief. Blathwayt thus became, in fact if not in name, colonial under-secretary. He was endowed with an ability fitted to routine administration. John Evelyn described him as "very dexterous in business" and as one who had "raised himself by his industry from very moderate circumstances". William III., speaking from a close observation of him as secretary-at-war, said he was "dull, though hee had a good method". Blathwayt applied himself with vigor and persistence to his duties as under-secretary and as auditorgeneral. He is to be counted in that group of minor officials whose length of service, knowledge, and strict attention to business brought consistency of practice and efficiency into a system which subjected the holders of high office to the distractions and changing fortunes of politics.
The belief was current in the colonies that ministers at home were either too busy with other matters to give heed to the urgent needs of distant communities or else were little disposed to be bothered with the tedious reports on colonial conditions. Above all it was felt that their ignorance of the unrelated life of the colonies rendered them unfit to pass judgment on American affairs. Indeed it was this situation that led the colonies to appoint their own agents, at first temporary and in time permanent, to act as vehicles of sound information and advice on matters involving the interests or the privileges of the particular colony. Belief and action were justified. The members of the plantation committee, not only occupied with the many problems and aspects of colonies and commerce, but as privy councillors engrossed in immediate local and foreign issues, and as Englishmen largely ignorant of the genius of colonial existence, were perforce dependent upon the Board of Customs and Blathwayt as skilled, reliable, and informed servants. Blathwayt's influence at home and in the colonies was always an important factor. Colonies without London agents besought him to present their petitions to the king and occasionally employed and paid him to attend to special matters. Colonial governors wrote to him in letters of a semi-public nature, seeking his advice in their perplexities, his favor to procure and hasten needed orders, or his support on behalf of their official conduct.
The nature of conciliar organization calls for a brief discussion, that the course of imperial control after 1685 may be understood. As noted above, the unwieldy size of the council and the pressure of added business destroyed its efficiency as a collective body and called the committee system into use. In practice, before 1675, responsibility was secured by creating committees of limited number and select personnel and by appointing the ablest and most dependable councillors to two or more divisions. The result was to throw the labors of the council upon an active inner group. But after 1675 the committee system was altered. The naming of certain persons to the plantation committee did not at all signify a select and definite membership. The records plainly show that any member of the council was free to attend and take part and that there were very few of a numerous body who did not come to one session at least. This procedure became general and it meant that the whole council had become the one standing committee for all purposes. In 1688 James II. ordered the whole council to be a standing committee for plantations, and in 1694 William III. directed that "Upon summoning Committees all the Lords of the Councell are to have notice". Substitution of the cumbrous whole for its parts seemed to restore the council to its older position of dignity and to silence the repeated charge of government by a secret inner ring, but it detracted from the unity and accountability inherent in small select groups. The quorum of the committee, at first fixed at five, was soon reduced to three to expedite business, and for twenty years the average attendance per session was about six, occasionally running to ten, or even fifteen at one time. There was not merely the danger of an erratic attendance and a fluctuating complexion of opinion from day to day, when everybody's business was likely to be nobody's, but also the danger that, if there were but one committee of the whole council for all purposes, its time and thought would be absorbed by the most striking and exigent needs to the neglect of other matters. Although these imperfections existed, they worked no great injury to the force and leadership in imperial control prior to 1685. This was due to a condition of domestic and foreign peace which permitted that small number deeply interested in the progress of imperial measures to act with the vigor and unity of an independent department.
The reversal of these conditioning factors in the decade after 1685 threw into bold relief the potential faults of conciliar organization and control. When James II. violated the deepest traditions and instincts of the people he involved the council in a storm of disorder that destroyed the progress toward imperial coherence. The average of fifty sessions a year for the plantation committee under Charles II. fell to the mean number of twenty under James, and in the shadows of impending revolt the committee almost ceased to gather. The Revolution was imperial in sweep, overturning royal absolutism at home and inciting to successful revolt against narrow executive rule in New England, New York, and Maryland. The committee of the whole council under William III. faced not only the immediate and delicate tasks of restoring injured political balances at home, but of preparing instruments of government for the many colonies as a result of the changes. In addition and in the midst of temporary confusion, peace abroad was shattered by the impact of a wide conflict with France for supremacy in Europe and in the colonial world. The committee was burdened with the heavy cares of protecting a rich and varied commerce along many ocean highways and of numerous colonies stretching from Newfoundland to the Leeward Islands. The problems of imperial defense, of a breadth and import without precedent, were assumed under the heavy odds of a singular state of unpreparedness in the sinews of war, organization, and experience. The central administrative system was a cumbersome structure, the result of a multiple division of functions, fraught with overlapping authority and consequent friction, extremely unfitted to grapple with the realities of a world war.
In this situation the Lords of Trade were forced to act as a single, integrating, and energizing force. But the plantation committee met neither with a frequency nor a regularity sufficient to give an adequate protection to colonies and commerce. It averaged forty sessions a year during 1689–1696, a record below that of 1675–1685, yet the demands were far greater. The sittings ranged from twenty-six to fifty-five a year; they were held at the irregular intervals of from one to six a month, sometimes more and occasionally none. This was not altogether due to indifference; the committee of the whole council worked hard, but the scope of its undifferentiated business overtaxed its capacities. It has been said that William of Holland borrowed England on his way to Versailles. Be this as it may, the immediate necessity of restoring order at home and redressing the balance of power in Europe so occupied the committee that commerce and colonies inevitably suffered from inadequate attention. What measure of defense they did receive was due in no small degree to the ceaseless activity of the merchants and colonial agents in pleading and urging their claims and dangers.
No less serious was the break in the line of competent personnel and the loss of cohesion in the plantation committee. There appeared around the plantation board after 1685 few of the older group that had been actively engaged in the work of expansion and had given momentum to imperial political centralization. Death had taken Anglesey, Bridgewater, Carteret, Downing, Francis North, Radnor, and Rupert. The attentive Craven ceased to come. But it was an unwise king who soon removed the active and skilled Clarendon, Compton, Halifax, and Rochester to make way for the crafty, time-serving Earl of Sunderland, the brutal Jeffreys, and others whose servility to an arbitrary domestic policy was of greater moment than the advancement of the best interests of the empire. As in the time of George III., so in that of James II., the advent of a ruler and personal advisers of narrow vision and small experience in the statesmanship of empire provoked relations which the colonies refused to endure. Again, it was natural for William III. to draw his ministers and officials from, the supporters of the Revolution and not from the adherents of the old order. With the exception of Halifax for a short period, the work fell upon new councillors who had little of that interest and training in matters imperial so distinctive of the advisers of Charles II. Division in the councils of the king was the outcome of William's first policy, like that of a century later, of seeking support from all factions temporarily united by the Revolution. It was a policy destined to fail; once the crisis was passed, Whig and Tory, like Federalist and Republican, became too jealous to co-operate. Halifax, lord privy seal, and Carmarthen, lord president, were at odds, Shrewsbury and Nottingham, secretaries, tried to persuade the king to different courses, and Nottingham and Admiral Russell quarrelled over the direction of the fleet.
Unity was not attained until the king recognized the utility of party support, but in the meantime administration was crippled by faction and by frequent changes in personnel. The fluctuating membership in the council was reflected in the changing personnel of the plantation committee of the whole council. This fault of instability became a striking and serious condition after 1689, when defense loudly demanded cohesion and constancy of power. Some indication of the violent fluctuations in the plantation committee at this time may be gathered from the fact that fifty-nine different councillors attended its meetings at very irregular intervals and uncertain times. Those present at one sitting were likely to be absent or in the minority at the next. A small degree of continuity and balance was lent to the working of the committee during 1689-1696 by the fairly regular attendance of Carmarthen, Sir Henry Goodricke, lieutenant-general of ordnance, Hugh Boscawen, one of the admiralty board, and John Egerton, third earl of Bridgewater. Incompetence, factionalism, and change worked their weakening effects throughout the executive government, from the council to the departments and offices of administration.
Colonial protection was poor enough, but commerce on the high seas suffered disastrously. Large and constant were the losses of ships and cargoes by capture and destruction because of the inadequacy of the navy and the incompetency of administration. Oversea trade fell off to the advantage of foreign merchants because of the want of convoy protection. Merchants risked their vessels and goods without protection rather than to wait upon deficient and delayed convoys, only to increase the chances of capture. The losses of 1695–1696 were especially severe and dissatisfaction reached a white heat. The merchants, stung to anger by their own losses as well as by the injuries done to the vital interests of a mercantile nation, were convinced that these evils were the fruits of unskilled and defective administration.
Various remedies were proposed. One looked to strengthening the plantation committee, which directed the convoy service in conjunction with the admiralty and customs boards. The Earl of Mulgrave in 1694 urged the king to revert to a "select number for all Committees, instead of all the Councell, as it now is; because everybody's business is nobody's, whereas the other way such will be charged with it who are capable of attending and understanding it". He proposed specifically a plantation committee of select and knowing personnel, in which regular attendance should be required and regular meetings should be held "two mornings in a week on fixed dayes, and not according to the leasure or humour of a President of the Councell". Merited as were these criticisms and proposals, they did not conform to the wishes of the merchants. Now, as before under like conditions in the time of Cromwell, they expressed a brusque impatience with the lack of skill, efficiency, and despatch in the care of transmarine interests. They moved for a reversion to a special board of experts. The creation of a "Council of Trade" was "the Common Theam of Men of all Understandings, on which so much is said and writ", declared Sir Francis Brewster in 1695 in support of the idea. The Bristol merchants earnestly hoped that the "Places be not fill'd up with Courtiers, who know nothing of the Business". John Evelyn voiced the general desire that the proposed board be composed of "sober, industrious, dexterous men, and of consummate experience in rebus agendis".
The incapacities of imperial administration were keenly discussed within and without the doors of Parliament. There was hardly a session of the legislature in which the miscarriages of the navy and the losses of the merchants were not the subjects of loud complaint. The House of Commons, smarting under the severe injuries to the economic and maritime interests of the nation and incited to action by the influence of the merchants, closely examined into the whole matter, and, as Bishop Burnet records, "when all the errors, with relation to the protection of our trade, were set out and much aggravated, a motion was made to create by act of parliament, a council of trade". On December 12, 1695, the very day on which this decision was reached, the king countered it by announcing his purpose to establish by royal authority a council composed of "some of the Greatest Quality, and others of Lesser Rank, and acquainted with trade". Thus was the constitutional issue joined. The attempt of the Commons to erect a council,, not only drawn from the legislature but clothed by it with powers of administration, raised the significant question, "how far the government should continue on its ancient bottom of monarchy, as to the executive part, or how far it should turn to a commonwealth". Embraced in the movement were the efforts of the unprivileged merchants, persisting through many years, to break down the political and commercial dominance of the monopolistic London companies in favor of a more open trade and free ports. Bristol and the outports, unconcerned by what authority a council was established, royal or parliamentary, worked to secure one so modelled that it should be representative and non-partizan as well as expert.
William III., jealous of the traditional prerogatives of the crown and anxious to thwart a step fraught with serious portent to their integrity, was driven to set up a Board of Trade and Plantations by commission of May 15, 1696. This step marks the close of the constant activities of the Lords of Trade as the directors of trade and plantation affairs and a return, in almost exact lines of organization, functions, and position, to the select council abolished in 1674. The Board of Trade lived through a varied experience of nearly ninety years. It was not however till 1768 that American affairs were finally differentiated from foreign and domestic relations and entrusted to the care of a separate department of state. But the recognition of the peculiar importance and character of colonial interests came too late to be of any advantage.
- Andrews, British Committees, Commissions, and Councils of Trade and Plantations (Johns Hopkins Studies, XXVI.), for the period prior to 1675. Andrews, Guide to Materials for American History in the Public Record Office, I. 82–100; Dickerson, American Colonial Government; Clarke, "Board of Trade at Work", American Historical Review, XVII. 17 (1911); Root, Relations of Pennsylvania with the British Government, ch. II., for the period 1696–1783, Osgood, The American Colonies, III. 147–154, 280–282; Beer, Old Colonial System, pt. I., vol. I., ch. IV., for incidental and collateral treatment of the subject for 1660–1689.
- Cheyney, History of England, 1588–1603, I. 69–70.
- Ibid., pp. 65–80.
- Carlyle, "Committees of Council under the Earlier Stuarts", English Historical Review, XXI. 673–675 (1906); Turner, "Committees of Council and the Cabinet, 1660–1688", Am. Hist. Rev., XIX. 772–776 (1914). For lists of the councillors consult Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial (cited as A. P. C., Col.), V., addendum.
- A. P. C., Col., vol. I., §§ 484, 515, 572, 693, 717, 747; Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 61–63, 79–80, 87–91.
- For the special committees on Jamaica, New England, Newfoundland, etc., see A. P. C., Col., vol. I., §§ 491, 508, 513, 522, 529, 536, 539, 585, 625, 725, 735.
- For example, the committee of 1660 was directed "to receive, heare, examine, and deliberate upon any Petitions, propositions, Memorialls, or other Addresses which shalbee presented or brought in by any person or persons concerninge the Plantations … and from tyme to tyme make their Report to this Bord [king and council] of their proceedinges". Ibid., § 484.
- Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 25–48. In Cromwell's time the governor and council of Virginia were informed by London friends that "the more pressing Affairs heere, have hitherto hindred these our Endeavors" to secure a commission of government for the colony. Add. MSS. 11411, f. 19.
- Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 49–60.
- Osgood, Am. Cols., III. 192, for the influence of political change on Massachusetts affairs. In 1668 the governor of Jamaica complained that the laws sent home three years before for royal review "have been neglected to this day"; and in 1671 he declared that the report on the laws was not returned by reason of the fall of Clarendon. Calendar of Stale Papers, Colonial, 1661–1668, § 1702; 1669–1674, § 704, p. 302.
- The history of these boards has been fully and ably discussed by Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 61–111.
- A. P. C., Col., vol. I., § 1021; Cal. St. P., Col., 1669–1674, § 1412; 1675–1676, §§ 460–464, 648, 649; Lords of Trade Journals (8 vols., transcribed from the originals in the London Public Record Office for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, cited as L. T. J.), I. 1–2, 8–9.
- Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 111–114; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., pp. 250–255.
- March, 1675, the committee appointed for its "constant dayes of sitting Thursdayes in the forenoone, and oftener as the occasion shall require". L. T. J., I. 8.
- This record compares very favorably with that of the active Council of Plantations of 1670–1674. Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 101, 110.
- Cal. St. P., Col., 1677–1680, §§ 912, 1014, 1028.
- Massachusetts gave as one reason for not sending agents in response to the royal demand that "we understand His Majesty and Privy Council are taken up with matters of greater importance". Ibid., 1677–1680, § 1388; 1681–1685, § 126.
- Ibid., 1677–1680, §§ 894, 974, 975.
- In 1682 the lieutenant-governor of Virginia wrote home complaining that "Nothing has been concluded here for near two years, which one could think was time enough to give notice to this poor Colony"; and the governor of Jamaica in 1683 declared that he had sent home frequent reports but had received no reply. Ibid., 1681–1685, §§ 550, 1065.
- Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 61–63, 79–80.
- L. T. J., I. 8–9; A. P. C., Col., vol. I., § 1021.
- Dictionary of National Biography, II. 1 (Annesley); IX. 208 (Carteret); XIII. 43 (Craven); XVII. 156 (Egerton); XLVIII. 339 (Robartes); XLIX. 405 (Rupert). Annesley, Carteret, and Robartes had been members of the council committees and select councils since 1660, and Craven and Bridgewater since 1668. A. P. C., Col., vol. I., §§ 484, 491, 513, 522, 529, 536, 572, 576, 610, 693, 747.
- Craven attended seventy-five per cent. of the total sessions 1675–1685, Bridgewater forty per cent., Sir John Ernie, chancellor of the exchequer, and Thomas Belasyse, viscount Fauconberg, each about twenty-six per cent. Anglesey, lord privy seal, was present at sixty per cent. of the sessions 1675–1682, Carteret, vice chamberlain, thirty-nine per cent. 1675–1679, Radnor, lord president, sixty-four per cent. 1679–1684, Rupert thirty-five per cent. 1679–1682.
- Cal. St. P., Col., 1675–1676, §§ 662, 916, 1106; 1677–1680, § 91; 1681–1685, §§ 129, 180; L. T. J., I. 240–242. Radnor as a member of the old Providence Company linked the pre-revolutionary and Restoration periods of expansion. Newton, Colonising Activities of the English Puritans, pp. 75–76.
- Hunter, History of British India, II. 182; Scott, Joint Stock Companies, II. 17, 20, 148, 149; III. 535, 536; Willson, The Great Company, p. 50; Carr, Select Charters of Trading Companies (Selden Soc. Pubs., XXVIII.), pp. 173, 178, 182, 187, 197.
- Tedder, Navy of the Restoration. Anglesey, Arlington, Carteret, Craven, and Shaftesbury were patentees and stockholders of the Royal African Company, 1672; Arlington, Craven, and Carteret were patentees of the Royal Fishery Company, 1664; and Arlington, Craven, and Shaftesbury of the Hudson's Bay Company, 1670. Arlington, Carteret, Craven, Shaftesbury, and the Duke of York were colonial proprietors and promoters. Ward, Christopher Monck, Duke of Albemarle, p. 285; Carr, Select Charters, pp. 173, 179, 182, 188; Willson, The Great Company, p. 50; MacDonald, Select Charters, pp. 121, 136, 139, 149; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. II., pp. 131, 181, 341.
- Dict. Nat. Biog., XXVIII. 389, 394; L. 356. Rochester, Clarendon, and Halifax each attended about forty-five per cent, of the sessions 1679–1685. For the previous experience of Halifax in trade affairs, see Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 93, 106.
- Dict. Nat. Biog., XLI. 155. North attended forty-seven per cent. of the sessions 1 679-1 684, but with special regularity 1683–1684 as lord keeper. For North's activity as a member of the committee see L. T. J., III. 217, 218, 219–221, 248, 249–250; IV. 93–94; Cal. St. P., Col., 1677-1680, §§ 1551, 1567, 1592; 1681–1685, §§ 8, 542. 560, 857, 859.
- Cross, Anglican Episcopate and the American Colonies, ch. II.; Dict. Nat. Biog., XI. 443. For his activities in the colonial field see Cal. St. P.. Col., vols. for 1675–1696, index under Compton.
- Andrews, Guide, I. 18–22; Barbour, Earl of Arlington, pp. 57-59; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., p. 230; Andrews, Colonial Period, pp. 121–131.
- Dict. Nat. Biog., XII. 357.
- Dict. Nat. Biog., LXII. 2; Osgood, Am. Cols., III. 146–147; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., p. 9; Barbour, Earl of Arlington, pp. 58, 74; John Evelyn, Diary, July 22, 1674. For Williamson's notes see Cal. St. P., Col., 1661–1668, §§ 623–625, 894, 1157, 1158, 1660, 1661; 1675–1676, §§ 405, 430, 449, 900, 1053, 1100, 1171; 1677–1680, §§ 192, 201.
- Williamson said that no Virginia affairs passed his office. Ibid., 1675–1676, § 1082; 1677–1680, § 81.
- Ibid., 1677–1680, § 1266.
- Ibid., 1675–1676, §§ 420, 505, 575, 734, 846; 1677–1680, §§ 197, 456, 543.
- Ibid., 1675–1676, §§ 445, 452, 701, 834, 924; 1677–1680, §§ 260, 425, 627, 917, 966, pp. 235–236; L. T. J., I. 4–5, 42, 83, 117; II. 45, 128–129, 224, 319, 326. Williamson attended seventy-five per cent. of the plantation committee meetings during his term of office after 1675, and Coventry fifty-six per cent.
- Dict. Nat. Biog., XXIX. 302. Jenkins attended seventy-eight per cent. of the meetings 1680–1684.
- Atton and Holland, The King's Customs, I. 103 ff.; Andrews, Guide, II. 111–113; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., pp. 262–264, 276–288.
- Cal. St. P., Col., vols, for 1675–1696, passim; L. T. J., I. 165–167; III. 37, 46. 210, 211, 302, 309, 337–338.
- Cal. St. P., Col., 1685–1688, §§ 292, 312, 317, 573, 589, 917, 1015, 1124.
- Ibid., 1677–1680, § 521; 1681–1685, §§ 318, 1336, 1602, 1626, 1874, 1875; 16S5–1688, § 1337; 1689–1692, § 2124; 1693–1696, §§ 892, 1947, 2127.
- For instance, of the eight persons common to the Royal African Company, Council of Trade, and Council of Plantations of 1660, two were of the royal circle, five were prominent London merchants, and one a colonial planter. Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 67–68. The history of the interlocking directorates in the companies of expansion and in the political control of empire may be traced in the careers of such great merchants as Thomas Povey, Martin Noell, Child); XLI. 152 (North); Fox Bourne, English Merchants, ch. XIII. , and Dudley North. Ibid., ch. III.; Dict. Nat. Biog., X. 244 (
- L. T. J., I.–III., passim. Sir Edward Deering, subgovernor of the Hudson's Bay Company, and Sir Dudley North, a director of the Royal African and Levant companies, were commissioners of the treasury; Sir John Houblon (Dict. Nat. Biog., XXVII. 417), master of the Grocers Company, first governor of the Bank of England, was a commissioner of the Admiralty, 1694–1699. For North's influence in colonial control, see Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., p. 160.
- Buckworth was high in the councils of the Royal African and Levant companies; Clayton was a member of the Royal African and Drapers' companies, and a director of the Bank of England (Dict. Nat. Biog., XI. 17); [Ward was master of the Merchant Taylors Company of London (ibid., LIX. 329).
- Ibid., LVI. 37 (Temple); LIII. 299 (Southwell); LX. 295 (Werden). Downing, Buckworth, and Temple had served as members of former select councils of trade. Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 93, 97. For Warden's activities as agent for New York, see Cal. St. P., Col., vols. for 1675–1685, index under his name.
- The governor of Bermuda declared that the colonists believed Clayton "orders and disposes of everything here, even to the putting in and turning out of Governors". Cal. St. P., Col., 1689–1692, § 1843.
- North, Discourses on Trade (1691); Temple, Essay on Taxes (1693).
- Dict. Nat. Biog., XV. 401; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., pp. 9–11; Andrews, Col. Self-Govt., pp. 14–17, 312; L. T. J., I. 84, 116, 249, 258–260, 277–278; III. 118, 119, 128–130, 149–150. 302, 317, 324–325.
- Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 108, 111.
- The records of the former special councils were found in a very scattered and disordered state. Andrews, Guide, I. 103; L. T. J., I. 9, 10, 35; Cal. St. P., Col., 1675–1676, §§ 464, 472; 1677–1680, §§ 768, 796, 801, 802.
- L. T. J., I. 8–9; A. P. C., Col., vol. I., § 1021.
- For the detailed reports prepared by Southwell, Cal. St. P., Col., 1675–1676, §§ 524, 594–596, 608, 615, 738; 1677–1680, passim; L. T. J., I. 19, 25, 28, 29–30, 31, 59, 61, 270–275; II. 137. For the order and completeness brought into the keeping of records, see Andrews, Guide, I. 104.
- L. T. J., I. 39, 112–113; II. 8–9; Cal. St. P.. Col., 1675–1676, §§ 681, 983; A. P. C., Col., vol. I., § 1081.
- L. T. J., I. 10, 162–163, 171, 177; II. 8–9, 11, 14; A. P. C., Col., vol. I, § 1129.
- The itemized accounts for the whole period are found in British Museum, Add. MSS. 9767, 9768, and for the first years in L. T. J., I. 162–163, 224–225; II. 11–13, 84–85, 162–163, 192–194.
- A. P. C., Col., vol. I, § 1175.
- L. T. J., II, 84–85, 148–149.
- Dict. Nat. Biog., V, 206; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I, vol. I, p. 11; Channing, History of the United States, II. 218; Andrews, Brit. Comm., pp. 53. In 1674 Blathwayt petitioned for the post of secretary of Jamaica, declaring himself qualified by his knowledge of the island. Cal. St. P., Col., 1669–1674, § 1205.
- Andrews, Guide, II. 142–147; Beer, Old Col. System, pt. I., vol. I., p. 220.
- Sunderland, Shrewsbury, and Nottingham, as secretaries, each attended from forty-five to fifty per cent. of the sessions of the Lords of Trade.
- Cal. St. P., Col., 1677–1680, §§ 1443, 1466; 1681–1685, §§ 281, 1829, 1882; 1689–1692, § 1584.
- Ibid., 1681–1685, §§ 187, 669; 1685–1688, §576; 1689–1692, § 2552; 1693–1696, §§ 499, 831.
- Evelyn, Diary, June 18, 1687; Foxcroft, Life and Letters of Halifax, II. 81, 226. For Blathwayt's work as secretary-at-war, see Andrews, Guide, II. 270–271.
- "I know ministers and statesmen so hate impertinence and tedious letters, that I durst not address this to our Lords or Mr. Secretary. You can best garble it and lay … the needful before them", so wrote Governor Lynch of Jamaica to Blathwayt in 1683. Cal. St. P., Col., 1681–1685, pp. 395–396.
- Lynch, and Vaughan his successor, declared to the home government that it was not qualified to pass proper judgment on the concerns of remote and strange provinces. Ibid., 1669–1674, § 1130; 1675–1676, §§ 801, 802.
- Dongan, governor of New York, in 1688 wrote in complaint of the little attention paid to the defenseless state of the colony, saying, "it is the misfortune of this Government that it cannot keep a solicitor at Court like other Colonies". Ibid., 1685–1688, § 1638, p. 499.
- Ibid., 1685–1688, § 369; 1689–1692, §§ 2199, 2200, 2202, 2204; 1693–1696, §§ 1833, 1863, 2091.
- Ibid., 1677–1680, §§ 565, 603; 1681–1685, § 1348; 16S5-1688, §§315, 1340; 1693–1696, §§84, 500; Goodrick, Edward Randolph (Prince Soc. Pubs.), VI. 16, 146, 161, 162, passim. See Kimball, Public Life of Joseph Dudley, pp. 57–59.
- The committee system has been carefully and ably explained by Turner, Am. Hist. Rev., XVIII. 751 (1913); XIX. 27 (1913); XIX. 772 (1914); and Andrews, ibid., XVI. 119–121 (1910). Also in the Eng. Hist. Rev., by Carlyle, XXI. 673 (1906); Temperley, XXVII. 682 (1912); and Anson, XXIX. 56 (1914).
- In 1675 twenty-one were appointed a plantation committee and others were added from time to time. The usual size of committees was thus increased, but part of the older order was kept, as described above, by naming an inner group to have special charge by reason of their experience. In 1679 twenty-two were appointed with no reference to an inner circle. L. T. J., III. 1–2, 81, 122, 216; A. P. C., Col., I. 620, 703, 819; Cal. St. P., Col., 1677–1680, § 977.
- Turner, Am. Hist. Rev., XVIII. 758–762; Andrews, ibid., XVI. 119–121.
- L. T. J., VI. 1–3, 123–124; VII. 307; A. P. C., Col., vol. II., § 249; Cal. St. P., Col., 1685–1688, § 1607.
- L. T. J., II. 5; A. P. C., Col., I. 620. The attendance ranged from ten to fifteen inclusive at 92 sessions, six to nine at 420, and two to five at 338, of the total number of sittings 1675–1696.
- For instance, Sir John Ernle was the only person common to the successive sittings of July 9, 26, 1677; Craven the one common attendant at the successive meetings of August 9, 30, and again December 18, 20, 1677.
- During the eleven months, March 1, 1688–February 1, 1689, ten sessions in all were held, and none during five months of the period.
- Osgood, Am. Cols., III. 415–422, 444–463, 477–500.
- William III. appointed a plantation committee of twelve on February 16, 1689, adding others subsequently. L. T. J., VI. 195–196, 295; A. P. C., Col., vol. II., § 275; Cal. St. P., Col., 1689–1692, § 17.
- Andrews, Guide, II. 1–5. 136–142, 270–274; Fortescue, History of the British Army, I. 308–329, 381–393.
- A memorialist declared that if the war so employed every agency of government that the concerns of trade were neglected, if the ministry "is taken up with higher Business", it became the wisdom of Parliament to make timely provision for the protection of commerce. Br. Mus., Harleian MSS. 1223, no. 9, ff. 184–188.
- For the activities of the colonial agents, see Cal. St. P., Col., 1689–1692, 1693–1696, passim.
- Evelyn, Diary, September 8, 1686; Burnet, Hist. of his Own Time (1857), pp. 419, 434, 436; Foxcroft, Halifax, I. 451 ff. The chief members of the plantation committee under James II. were Sunderland, Jeffreys, Middleton, Godolphin, Powis, Huntingdon.
- Burnet, Hist. Own Time, pp. 550–551, 580, 585; Evelyn, Diary, January 3, February 4, November 12, 1693; Foxcroft, Halifax, vol. 11., ch. XII.
- Under James II., out of thirty-four different councillors who attended the plantation committee, only three were present at more than fifty per cent. of the total number of meetings. Under William III., forty-nine attended with records varying from two to fifty sessions, six from fifty to ninety sessions; while Goodricke was present at seventy-two per cent. of the total sessions, Carmarthen sixty per cent., Bridgewater forty per cent., and Boscawen thirty-six.
- Cal. St. P., Col., 1689–1692, pp. xxvii–xxxvi; 1693–1696, pp. viii–xii. xxix–xliv, for a résumé of colonial protection.
- Burnet, Hist. Own Time, pp. 555, 570, 592–593, 599, 616–617.
- L. T. J., VI. 347; VII. 14, 118, 120–121.
- House of Lords MSS., n. s. (1695–1697), II. viii.
- Ibid., II. vii–xii, 64–117.
- L. T. J., VI. 329–336, 340–350; VII., passim; A.P.C., Col., vol. II., §§ 369, 379, 385, passim.
- Turner, Am. Hist. Rev., XVIII. 759, note.
- Brewster, Essays on Trade (London, 1695), pp. 37–40; Gary, Essay on State of England in Relation to Trade (Bristol, 1695), pp. 139–141; Evelyn, Diary (ed. Bray), III. 355–356; Davenant, Discourses on the Publick Revenues and on the Trade of England (London, 1698), II. 126–135; "Memoriall concerning a Council of Trade", Br. Mus., Harleian MSS. 1223, no. 9, ff. 184–188; Letters of the merchants of Bristol to the city's representatives in the Commons, Br. Mus., Add. MSS. 5540, ff. 83–96.
- House of Lords MSS., n. s. (1693–1695), I. i–xix.
- House of Commons Journal, XI. 359, 376, 398; House of Lords Journal, XV. 606, 608–609, 611–612; Luttrell, Brief Historical Relation, III. 560–561; Burnet, Hist. Own Time, p. 621.
- "Heads of his Majesty's commission for a Council of Trade". 1696, Br. Mus., Add. MSS. 9764, f. 101; Fox Bourne, Life of John Locke, II. 348; Luttrell, Brief Historical Relation, III. 562; Bristol representatives to merchants, December 19, 1695, Add. MSS. 5540; Cat. St. P., Col., 1693–1696, § 2207.
- Cobbett, Parl. Hist., V. 977; Commons Journ., XI. 423–424, 440, 454; Luttrell, Brief Hist. Rel., III. 568; IV. 7, 19; Burnet, Hist. Own Time, p. 621.
- The Bristol merchants declared that if the proposed council of trade "be made up of Courtiers unexperienced in Trade, twill become only a matter of charge to the Nation; if of Londoners, They will endeavour to overrule things so as they shall best conduce to bringing all Trade to that great City, without respect to other Ports"; it was urged that the body be composed of "Men well verst" in trade, chosen from "all the parts thereof, as well the countys, as some particular Trading Citys and ports". Add. MSS. 5540, December 16, 1695; Andrews, Brit. Comm., p. 113.
- Dickerson, Am. Colonial Govt., pp. 20–22.