Governor Jonathan Belcher's Proclamation

Concerning International Peace Treaty (1730)



Jonathan Belcher, Esq;

Captain General and GOVERNOR in Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of New Hampshire in New England.

A Proclamation.

    WHEREAS a treaty of peace, union, friendship, and mutual defense between the Crowns of Great Britain, France, and Spain was concluded at Seville on the ninth day of November, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty-nine, Wherein it was Agreed, That there should be from that time and forever a solid peace, a strict union, and a sincere friendship between the most Serene King of Great Britain, the most Serene, most Christian King, and the most Serene King of Spain, their heirs and successors, as also between their kingdoms and subjects, for the mutual assistance and defense of their dominions and interests, and likewise an oblivion of all that is past; And whereas in the articles preliminary to the said treaty, it is particularly stipulated, That the commerce of the English nation, as well in Europe, as in the Indies, shall be re-established on the foot of the treaties and conventions antecedent to the year 1725; As also that all hostilities shall cease on both sides; And that if any troubles or hostilities should happen between the subjects of the contracting parties, either in Europe or in the Indies, the contracting powers should concur for the reparation of the damages sustained by their respective subjects; And in conformity thereunto, It is agreed in the said treaty, That His Catholic Majesty should forthwith make reparation for the damages which have been suffered in Europe since the time prescribed in the said Preliminary Articles for the Cessation of Hostilities, as also for the damages suffered in America since the arrival of his orders at Carthagena, viz. On the eleventh day of June 1728, Old Style, Their Britannic and most Christian Majesties promising on their part to cause reparation to be made for what damages may have been suffered by the subjects of His Catholic Majesty; For the stating and adjusting whereof, It is likewise agreed in the said treaty, That commissaries shall be appointed with sufficient powers from their Britannic and Catholic Majesties, to assemble at the Court of Spain within four months after the exchange of the ratifications of the said treaty, or sooner if it might be, to examine and decide what concerns the ships and effects taken at sea on either side to the times before specified, as likewise to examine and decide, according to the treaties, the respective pretensions which relate to the abuses which are supposed to have been committed in commerce as well in the Indies as in Europe; And that after they have examined and decided the abovesaid points and pretensions, the said commissaries shall make report of their proceedings to their Britannic and Catholic Majesties, who promise that within the space of six months, after the making of the said report, they will cause to be executed punctually and exactly what shall have been so decided by the said commissaries; And whereas by separate Articles in the said Treaty, It is further Agreed, That all ships, merchandise, and effects, which shall not have been taken or seized on account of unlawful commerce, and which shall now be proved by authentic proofs and documents to have been detained, seized, or confiscated in the ports of Spain, either in Europe or the Indies, If they have not been restored already, shall be immediately restored in the same kind as to those things which shall be found still remaining in that condition, or in default thereof, their just and true value according to their valuation, which if not made at the time, shall be regulated by the authentic informations, which the proprietors shall exhibit to the magistrates of the places and towns where the seizures were made; His Britannic Majesty promising the like on his part as to all seizures, confiscations, or detentions which may have been made contrary to the tenor of the said Treaties; And that as to such seizures and confiscations on either side, the validity of which may not as yet have been sufficiently made out, the discussion and decision of them shall be referred to the examination of the commissaries, to do therein according to right, upon the foot of the treaties now subsisting between the said Crowns. And for rendering more effectual the said Agreement for a Restitution of the said ships and effects seized and detained as above-mentioned, His Catholic Majesty hath issued his cedulas to his viceroys of Peru and New Spain, and to the governors and royal officers of the ports within the same, commanding them to see that restitution be made accordingly, as also reparation for any damage that may have been sustained by the delay thereof.

    I HAVE therefore thought fit to issue this Proclamation, to the intent that all His Majesty's good subjects within this Province may be fully apprized and informed of the said Treaty, so far as it concerns the inhabitants of these His Majesty's American dominions, that so those more immediately interested may reap the fruits and benefits thereof; hereby requiring all persons whatsoever punctually to conform themselves thereunto.

    And in pursuance of His Majesty's Commands signified in His Royal Letter to me directed, I do hereby strictly enjoin all His Majesty's good subjects within the Province aforesaid, to forbear and abstain from all acts of hostility against the subjects of the King of Spain; And that if any prize or prizes have been or shall be taken from His said Catholic Majesty's subjects since the eleventh day of June 1728, full restitution be made of such prize or prizes, or in default thereof, of the just value of the said prize and their cargos at the time when they were taken, according to the authentic proofs and vouchers of such valuation, that have been or shall be produced by the respective owners of such prizes and cargos who shall claim the same; And that reparation be given according to justice for any further damage occasioned by the detention of such prizes till the time of their being delivered up. Excepting always any seizures that may have been or may be made on account of any illegal trade carried on contrary to the Laws and Treaties of peace and commerce; And that the owners of the prizes to be restored, do in pursuance hereof freely enjoy the same, and their effects, and carry them at their pleasure to their own ports. And all and singular His Majesty's officers and ministers within this Province, and all others whom it may concern, are required to use their utmost endeavors that His Majesty's commands herein be strictly executed and obeyed.

    Given at the Council Chamber in Boston the [twenty-sixth] day of August 1730. In the fourth year of the reign of Our Sovereign Lord GEORGE the Second, by the Grace of GOD of Great Britain, France and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith, and etc.

By His Excellency's Command,                     J. BELCHER.

            GOD save the King.

BOSTON: Printed by B. Green, Printer to His Excellency the Governor and Council. 1730.

Home - Policy Analysis - Christian Law Library - Christian History Library

Historical Biographies - Belcher Bulletin - Publications - Belcher History Center

About Governor Jonathan Belcher - About the Belcher Foundation - Copyright/Disclaimer - Site Index