BARBADOS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CRISIS 1709
Board of Trade and the Plantations. Letter signed Stamford, Ph.Meadows, J.Pulteney and Cha.Turner to the Earl of Sunderland, 2 sides folio plus integral blank, docketed on reverse, Whitehall, January 24th 1708/9, informing Sunderland that since their letter to him of the 21st they have received a letter from Mr Crow, Governor of Barbados “wherein he aquaints us that upon his Suspending Col. Sharp, Mr Walker, and Mr Beresford from the Council, there were then but 5 of the Council resident upon the Island for whch reason he had sworn in Mr Berwick and Mr Aynsworth, so that in that respect he has pursued his Instructions ……. by the same Packet we have received the Governor’s reasons for his Suspending the said three Councillors, which reason we shall consider …. had we received this Packet sooner we had not troubled you with our Last letter”. Signs of mounting to rear blank edge. An attractive document.
A letter from Sharp, Walker and Beresford, dated 2 November 1708 giving an account of their suspension came before the Board of Trade and the Plantations on January 19th 1708/9, and the following day the Earl of Stamford communicated another letter to the Board 'from Major John Pilgrim, one of the members of Councill in Barbadoes, to his lordship, of the 2nd of November, 1708, complaining of Mr. Crow's proceeding, which was read, and directions were given for preparing the draught of a letter to the Earl of Sunderland, relating to the suspension of Colonel Sharp, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Beresford, from the Council in that island’' [from ‘Journal, January 1709: Journal Book M’, Journals of the Board of Trade and Plantations] . The resulting letter to the Earl of Sunderland was signed on January 21st. The Board met again on January 24th to consider a letter received from Governor Crow dated 23 September, together with a packet of related documents in Crow’s defence, and as a result drew up this letter.
Mitford Crow (1669-1719) was appointed governor of Barbados in 1706, arriving on 8 May 1707 finding the island's government ‘in the last distraction, nothing but corruption and parties’. His high-handed treatment (and eventual suspension) of several of his councillors, his dismissal of several justices and militia officers, and his attempts to end the monopoly of a small group of barristers made him many enemies, who accused him of siding with factions, possessing an arbitrary attitude, and acting as the supreme legal authority of the island. The council of trade reprimanded him twice in 1708, and in July 1709 Queen Anne sent him a letter stating her resentment of his disrespect in disobeying her order to restore the councillors. In October 1709 he was ordered to return to England to defend himself before the privy council, and left Barbados in May 1710.(ODNB)
Charles Spencer, third earl of Sunderland (1675–1722), was appointed to the cabinet as Secretary of State for the Southern Department holding office from 1706-1710. The signatories of the letter were:
Thomas Grey, second earl of Stamford (1653/4–1720), conspirator and politician. Queen Anne dismissed Stamford from his offices in 1702, but he returned to serve as first lord of the Board of Trade from 1707 to June 1711.
Sir Philip Meadows (1626-1718), diplomat. Meadows was a skilled and experienced diplomat under Cromwell’s Protectorate. He became a commissioner for the Board of Trade in 1695 and remained in office to1715 in his eighties.
John Pulteney (d.1726), politician. MP for Hastings, commissioner of customs, and member of the Board of Trade from 1706 until 1710.
Sir Charles Turner (1666-1738), politician. Teller of the Exchequer, and Member of the Board of Trade from 1708 to 1712.