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Report by the Board of Trade of Great Britain concerning a petition from James McDonald and Normand McDonald for land grants in North Carolina
Great Britain. Board of Trade
June 21, 1771
Volume 08, Pages 621-622

[B. P. R. O. B. T. No. Carolina Vol. 24. P. 183.]
To the Right Honble the Lords of the Committee of his Majesty's
most Honble Privy Council for Plantation Affairs.

Whitehall 21st June 1771.

My Lords,

In obedience to His Majesty's Order in Council, dated June 14th, 1771, We have taken into consideration, the humble Petition of James Macdonald, Merchant in Porterie in the Isle of Sky and Normand Macdonald of Slate in the said Island for themselves and on behalf of Hugh Macdonald, Edmund Macqueen, John Belton and Alexander Macqueen of Slate the Reverend Mr William Macqueen and Alexander Macdonald of the said Isle of Sky and County of Inverness, setting forth that the Petitioners having had in view to form a Settlement to themselves and their Families in His Majesty's province of North Carolina, have for some time been making dispositions for that purpose by engaging servants and disposing of their effects in this Country and being now ready to embark and carry their said intention into execution, the Petitioners humbly pray, that His Majesty will be pleased to grant them forty thousand Acres of Land in the said Province upon the terms and conditions it hath been usual to grant such Lands. Whereupon We beg leave to report to your Lordships,

-------------------- page 622 --------------------

That the emigration of the inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland to the American Colonies is a circumstance which in our opinion cannot fail to lessen the strength and security and to prejudice the landed Interest and Manufactures of these Kingdoms and the great extent to which this emigration hath of late years prevailed renders it an object well deserving the serious attention of government.

Upon the ground of this opinion We have thought it necessary in Cases where we have recommended Grants of Land in America, to be made to persons of substance and ability in this Kingdom, to propose amongst other conditions, that they should be settled by foreign Protestants; and therefore We can on no account recommend to your Lordships to advise His Majesty to comply with the prayer of a Petition, founded on a resolution taken by a number of considerable persons to abandon their settlements in this Kingdom and to pass over into America, with their Families and Dependants in a large Body and which therefore holds out a Plan that we think, instead of meriting the Encouragement, ought rather to receive the discountenance of government.

We are My Lords & c.
HILLSBOROUGH,
ED: ELIOT
JOHN ROBERTS
Wm. FITZHERBERT.