Reported 280 Years Ago (August 21 1739): ‘Do not dock your boats in Belfast without paying our fees’

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From the Belfast News Letter of August 10 1739 (which is August 21 in the modern calendar):

This is to give NOTICE<

THAT Arthur Rainey Maxwell, and William Macartney having heretofore given publick notice of their Intentions to hinder any Persons whatsoever, from loading or discharging any Goods or Merchandize, or m aking any Shops fast to their Keys, commonly called the George and Hanover Keys in Belfast, without such Person or Persons Proprietors of such Ships or Goods, paying unto them six Pence sterling per Ton, for such Liberty of Loading and Discharging, which Notices have hitherto been neglected by some of the Merchants, tho’ repeated offers have been made to them, by the said Rainey Maxwell and Macartney, of referring their Right to such Demand to the noble Family of Donegall, to two Lawyers, or otherwise to any such legal Determination therefor, as would avoid multiplicity of Lawm claim, and [word unclear] the Points in Difference, all which have been res0lved by the said Merchants.

THESE are therefore to give Notice to all Persons concerned, that we the said Arthur Rainey Maxwell and William Macartney, will not suffer any Goods to be loaded or Discharged, or any Ships made fast at any of said Keys, after the twelfth of this instant August, unless six Pence per Ton be paid to share for such Liberty of Loading or Discharging at all Goods and Merchandizes, Coals only excepted, for which no more shall be demanded than four Pence.

Dated, August 10, 1739

Letter from Liverpool, dated July 19.

This post the embargo is taken off but by all accounts from London, war is as good as declared, letters of marque to sink, burn, and take all Spanish ships, being granted to every body that will be at the cost of them.

Some private letters mention ,that we have three squadrons of men of war out, one before Cadiz, another cruising off the Western Islands, and a third before the Grayne, to keep the French from joining the Spaniards, and all three to intercept the Galleons, so that matters seems now to be at a crisis, and a little time like enough to produce great events, if the French suffer themselves to be pent up, we shall soon bring the Dons to reason.