[From Atholl Papers - AP 40B-23]

[Reply from Secretaries of Customs to Treasury re instructions on seizures in Manx ports, 18 December 1764]

May it please your Lordships

Your Lordships having been pleased to transmit to us by Mr Mr Whately's letter of the 12th instant, a copy of one from Mr Stephens secretary to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, inclosing the copy of a letter from Lieutenant Mathews of the Lurcher Cutter in Douglas pier, in the Isle of Man, in relation to a vessel which he had information, had a quantity of tea on board, which was intended to be landed there, together with a copy of a letter from the Governor of that Island on this occasion and to direct us to give Lieutenant Mathews the necessary instructions upon the points he desires, with the utmost dispatch.

We beg leave to observe to your Lordships, that in consequence of the opinion of his Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General, dated the 18th July last, with respect to the powers, persons acting under our authority have to make seizures on board any vessel, in the ports of the Isle of Man ; some instructions were prepared for the conduct of such officers, and were transmitted to Mr Jenkinson, by our secretary's letter of 27th of September last, to be laid before your Lordships ; but a doubt having arose thereon with respect to any goods which were not prohibited to be imported into the said Island, and which might be found on board any vessels liable to seizure, a further question was laid before the Attorney and Solicitor General, and as their opinion is not yet obtained no instructions have been yet given by us to any commanders of the admiralty cruizers ; but with respect to the obstruction Lieutenant Mathews is apprehensive he may meet with on this occasion :- we beg leave to remind your Lordships of the beforementioned opinion of his Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General, who therein recommend that the commanders of those vessels, who are employed to watch the illicit trade carried on to the Isle of Man, and make seizures in proper cases, ought to be extremely cautious in executing this duty, and if possible avoid bloodshed

Which is humbly submitted

J Frederick
F Mead
H Pelham
W Musgrave

Customhouse London
18th December 1764


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