[From Atholl Papers - AP 40B-10]

[Letter from Arthur Onslow, 22 August 1764]


Having by my letter of the 23rd November 1762 represented to the Honble Board, the iniquitous practices carried to, and from the Isle of Man, and how practicable it was to put the 7th G: 1st into execution : I received their order of the 11th of December following to get if possible visible positive proof of the landing tea or any other East India goods at the Isle of Man from foreign parts, and persuant to the said order, I sent over the 21st of December 1762, to the said Island, discreet persons with proper instructions and furnished with money, who, staid there till the 20th August following, during which stay their arrived seven vessels laden with tea &c from foreign parts but only three of them arrived at this port which were immediately seized.

It was not incumbent on me, to keep witnesses at the Isle of Man constantly, and indeed as the expence was very great it was not very convenient, but notwithstanding I had no particular directions from the Honble Board nor the fate of the three vessels seized determined ; I did out of zeal for the service early in spring, send over judicious people to the Isle of Man furnished with money and instructions to observe and attend the discharge of all foreign vessels and in consequence of their informations, I had the Honble Board's order of the 8th of May last, to seize a Swede and a Rotterdamer, but neither of the said vessels did arrive in this; or the adjacent ports.

Unfortunately the Lady Catherine, Jacob Boagrett from Rotterdam, chiefly laden with tea, arrived at Douglas in the Isle of Man and discharged her said cargo somedays before my witness got there and the said vessel afterwards came here in ballast, and upon my interrogating the mariners who did not suspect me, they told me they had landed tea at the Isle of Man but such a declaration would not be sufficient to support a seizure ; as the Honble Board is pleased to observe to me in their letter of the 3d of May 1763 with respect to the Friendship who discharged tea at the Isle of Man from foreign parts, " that as the witnesses who saw the chests landed, could not prove the contents ; but by the declaration of the mariners, it would not be sufficient to support seizure;" The Lady Catherine in all probability may be coming from Rotterdam to the Isle of Man, and if I can procure positive proof of her landing any East India goods there I will seize her ; and if Messrs Hopes or any other persons, will procure me evidence of the xxxxxxx transactions of her former voyage; I will give them a handsome reward.

I have laid before the Hoble Board what I purpose doing relative to the Isle of Man, and if I get an encouraging answer I will again at my own expence, without craving the least assistance send over proper persons to the Isle of Man, to observe their transactions. I am

with the utmost respect
Your oblidged & obedient humble servant

Arthur Onslow

Custom He Leverpoole
22 August 1764

See letter from Dutch house re 1763 seizures


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