Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 22, 1704-1705. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.
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The War.; Trade reopened with Spain.
There was little fighting in America or the West Indies during the years 1704 and 1705. But the victories of the Allies in Europe, and the success of British arms in Catalonia, strengthened the candidature of their nominee, the Archduke Charles, for the throne of Spain. In these circumstances, upon the initiative of the States General, trade with the Spaniards in the West Indies was re-opened in the name of Charles III (50, 116, 160, 1353, 1485). It was a measure desirable as a stroke of policy intended to alienate Spain from her French allies and to put an end to friction between English and Dutch in the West Indies; and it was almost imperative as a means of preserving the prosperity of some of the Colonies. The loss of the trade with Spain is, for instance, mentioned by Col. Quary as one of the chief causes of the great impoverishment of New York (p. 140). But permission to engage in this commerce was not extended to the Charter and Proprietary Governments, for fear that it would be used as a cloak for carrying on illegal trade (50).
Col. Handasyd, the Governor of Jamaica, who evidently enjoyed the confidence of Ministers at home, was instructed to carry on negociations with the Spanish Governors. The Spaniards were ready enough to re-open trade with the English, and Rear-Admiral Whetstone represents them as weary of the yoke and tyranny of France (1264). But they continued meanwhile to treat their English prisoners with such barbarity (1236), that it was necessary to make threats of reprisal, should such treatment be continued (1329, 1330, 1358).
Thanksgivings for Blenheim. etc.
Proclamations were issued for Days of Thanksgiving throughout the Colonies for Marlborough's victories on the Danube and in the Spanish Netherlands (538, 1282).
Collusive trade with the Dutch and Danes.
Questions of trade with the Dutch from the Plantations, contrary to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and of collusive trade with the French in provisions from New England and the Northern Colonies, through the Danes at St. Thomas, were raised (12, 50, 677.i., 914). The Council of Trade suggested that Danish ships carrying goods from that island to the French were liable to confiscation, and that the Crown of Denmark should be pressed to refuse to allow French ships of war and privateers to harbour themselves in that port, assuming that the treaties in force with regard to European ports applied equally to St. Thomas (12, 677.i., 914).
The Council of Trade.
The general account of trade and the administration of the Plantations for 1704, which the Council of Trade rendered to the House of Lords, has been printed in the Calendar of the House of Lords MSS. (682).
Convoys.; Losses to Trade and Shipping.
Much of the time of the Commissioners was taken up by their endeavours to arrange convoys and to make up the merchant fleets so as to satisfy the conflicting convenience of the Colonies, the English merchants and the Admiralty. Some English merchants were anxious to steal a march on others; some to delay the sailing of a fleet in order to catch the Colonists short of English goods; many secured licences not to be obliged to await the convoys, if their ships were warranted good sailers and well armed. The Council of Trade did their best to check the issue of these permits, pointing out that in case of capture such ships would endanger the whole fleet that was to follow (1510). In order to prevent the leakage of information, whether of a commercial or a political nature, they further pressed Governors and merchants to instruct masters of ships to sink any letters they might be carrying, in case they should find themselves in imminent danger of capture (426). But in this matter, too, neither merchants nor colonists were always ready to sacrifice private advantage for the public weal (p. 626). Further confusion and loss was caused by the failure of the Admiralty to provide men-of-war when the fleets were ready, for such unpunctuality involved the missing of the markets. A good deal of mismanagement on the one hand, and of greedy individualism on the other, resulted in many ships being caught and trade being severely handicapped. No less than 43 ships are reported captured or missing, out of the fleet of 108, which sailed from Barbados and the Leeward Islands in 1704 (794). By the middle of 1705 the Province of the Massachusetts Bay alone had lost 140 ships (954). A prisoner at Martinique says that 163 prizes had been brought in there since the war began, and that 30 French privateers had been commissioned from that port, where there was confident talk of a French fleet coming to take all the West Indies (348, 420).
Prizes and Admiralty.; Relaxation of Navigation Act.
The captures, of course, were not all one way. And since there was a general tendency in the Plantations to chafe against the rights of the Admiralty, orders were sent to the various Governors to support the Agents of the Crown in cases where prizes were brought into their ports (39, 45, 53, 103, 128, 174.ii.). But on one point the Navigation Acts were relaxed. The proportion of English seamen required in each ship's crew was reduced from three-fourths to one-half "during the present war" by an Act of Parliament (465).
Bill for encouraging the importation of Naval Stores from the Plantations.
Hitherto the efforts of the Council of Trade to encourage the production of Naval Stores in America, in order to break the monopoly of the "Eastern" merchants, had resulted in an almost negligible export of pitch and tar (750). As the result of their efforts in the previous year, they recommended Thomas Byfield and Co. for a charter to import these articles (143, 234, 899). They proposed that this embryo trade should be encouraged by granting a premium on Colonial produce, which should also be admitted Custom-free (327. i., 413). An Act of Parliament, to encourage the importation of Naval Stores from the Plantations, prepared by the Board, was passed to this effect at the end of 1704 (742), and Mr. Bridger was presently appointed Surveyor General of the Woods, with the function, amongst other duties, of instructing the Colonists in the art of preparing pitch and tar (1517.i.).
Proposal to build men-of-war in America.
In this connection may be mentioned a proposal for setting up a ship-yard and building men-of-war at Patuxent (363).
Mr. Secretary Hedges and Mr. Secretary Harley.; Absentee Patent Officers.
Thwarted in their plans for the active prosecution of the war by the extreme Tories, Marlborough and Godolphin obtained the dismissal of the Earl of Nottingham and his followers in the spring of 1704. Sir Charles Hedges succeeded him as Secretary of State, "with the care of the Plantation affairs" (291). At the same time, Mr. Secretary Harley and Henry St. John appear on the scene in these pages (328). Indications will be found of an increasing tendency to send Ministers' protégés in Governors' trains with the view of a post being found for them (1351). And, in spite of the past efforts of the Council of Trade, and symptoms of restiveness on the part of the Colonists, the system of absentee-holders of Patent Offices grows, and is encouraged (1487, p. 284).
Supervision and Repeal of Laws.
The Council of Trade continued to remind Governors to send over bodies of the Laws in force in their several Governments, and copies of the new Laws as soon as possible after they were passed (536, 540). The careful consideration given to Colonial legislation, and the reasons given for repealing some of the laws, are very instructive. Sometimes, for instance, approbation is refused upon grounds of infringing the prerogative of the Crown or the rights and liberties of the subject, sometimes in order to prevent inhumane punishments, as in the cases of Bermuda and Pennsylvania (496, 498, 1076, 1081).
Coinage. The Proclamation disregarded.
Instead of being welcomed as a step towards commercial stability, the Proclamation issued in June, 1703, fixing the rate of exchange for foreign coins throughout the Plantations (392, 424), was received in the Colonies generally in the same spirit as similar legislation had recently met with in England. Thanks, as the Lieut.Governor of Pennsylvania remarks, to the liberty which trading men will always take in their own bargains, but also to the advantage which the several Colonies sought to derive by shifting the value of the coinage, the Proclamation remained practically a dead letter on the Continent (864). It was observed in Barbados, but not in the Leeward Islands, to the great irritation of the former (1018, 1376). Dudley could not persuade the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay to enforce it (p. 590); it was ignored in Virginia, where trade in cash, instead of kind, is mentioned as a new feature (924, p. 412); in Pennsylvania the merchants decided to make for the future "particular bargains," and to wait on the example of New York (864, 1442); and in New York the merchants regarded the innovation as certain to bring utter ruin (635). As the neighbouring Colonies were determined to ignore H.M. injunctions and to continue the practice of clipping coins and passing money at the old rates, or even higher, as the Bostoners intended, Cornbury decided to delay putting the Proclamation into execution (876). At home, whilst Penn urged that the regulation should either be dropped or enforced (1209), and the Agents of Barbados demanded the infliction of the severest penalties on those who did not obey it (1376), the Attorney General advised the Council of Trade that probably in the Plantations, as before in England, an Act of Parliament would be required, imposing penalties on those who received money at other values than those which had been fixed (1217, 1382).
Lord Cornbury's dual with the Assembly of New York.
The Colonial Assemblies tended, in many instances, to regard themselves as modelled upon the House of Commons, and, therefore, as entitled to all the prerogatives of the English Assembly (p. 386). Lord Cornbury explained to the Representatives of New York that the holding of Assemblies was "purely by the grace and favour of the Crown," and that their claim to all the privileges of the Commons was an encroachment upon the prerogative of the Queen and an infringement of the powers of the Governor (p. 308). The Council of Trade supported this view. The occasion of Cornbury's strictures was the determined endeavour of the Representatives to obtain some control over the expenditure they sanctioned.
Alarms at New York and Albany.
On the alarm of an advance of French and Indians, Cornbury had gone up to Albany. The alarm proved false, but it gave occasion to show that the Militia was ready and serviceable, and that the Five Nations were friendly and alert. Another alarm of an attack upon New York by the French from sea recalled Cornbury thither, but, by the time he arrived, the rumoured ten menof-war had resolved themselves into one actual privateer. Some of the Militia are said to have behaved well on this occasion, "but very many of the Dutchmen ran away into the woods" (p. 307).
The Dutch party.; The Council and money Bills.
It was, Cornbury asserts, in hopes of forcing him to dissolve the Assembly, that the Representatives refused to pass a measure for the defence of the frontiers, save with such provisoes as infringed the prerogative. By this manæuvre, the "Dutch party," headed by the old leaders, Gouverneur and Staats, expected to gain a majority in the New Assembly. Cornbury, therefore, only adjourned the House from the summer till the autumn of 1704 (427, 428, p. 187). But the passing of summer did not cool the determination of the Assembly not to pass the Bill save on their own terms, and they declined to admit any amendments made by the Council to Money Bills. Cornbury accordingly dissolved them (p. 309).
A New Assembly and the old spirit.
When the new Assembly met, in June, 1705, it was found, in general, that the people had chosen the same Representatives. The Representatives chose the same Speaker (p. 559). The same spirit naturally animated them. They prepared a Bill for raising 1,700l. for the defence of the frontiers, but insisted on nominating a Treasurer who should be accountable to the Assembly. They refused to admit any amendments to this Money Bill from the Council, on the analogy of the Lords and Commons in England (pp. 560, 561). They were adjourned to September, but "continued in the same obstinate way" with regard to their Money Bill (1462), in spite of a pronouncement by the Council of Trade that the Council had a perfect right to amend such Bills (1462. vii., p. 460).
The Assembly complain of misappropriations.
The explanation of their insistence appears in the Assembly's reply to the Council (1462.i.–v.). They complain that they have in practice been left hitherto in the dark as to the disposal of public monies, and that sums already raised for the defence of Albany and the frontiers had been misapplied. Whereupon they were prorogued till the following May.
Bayard and Hutchins.
Past events still threw their shadows. An Act to reverse the proceedings against Bayard and Hutchins was repealed upon the suggestion of the Attorney General, and another Act was passed to the same effect, but providing against the bringing of vindictive actions against persons who had taken an innocent part in the proceedings now reversed (545, 736, 741, 1499, p. 705).
Cornbury, Nanfan and Lady Bellomont.; Grant of stores of war and a present to the Indians.
Lord Cornbury devoted much of his time to a prolonged and controversial investigation of the accounts of Lady Bellomont and the ex-Lieutenant-Governor, Nanfan. He claimed to make out that both Nanfan and the late Governor, Bellomont, were much in debt to the State, a position not at all admitted by Nanfan or Mr. Champante (398, 406, etc.). Both Lady Bellomont and Nanfan escaped to England, the latter, as he says, after a severe experience of prison and from a series of malicious prosecutions (415). The Council of Trade wrote on their behalf to Cornbury, who appeared to be making a partisan use of his great powers as Governor. They also advised him to streighten, as far as possible, his expenses on fortification and stores of war in these times of stress, and warned him that no more stores were likely to be granted until an account was rendered of those he had taken with them. Cornbury's answers are plausible enough, but from these hints by the Council of Trade, and by their observation that if the money granted by the Assembly had been spent on raising a battery at the Narrows, that would induce the Assembly to grant the remainder necessary, it would appear that some suggestion of malversation had already reached them (184, 530). A further request, however, for stores of war, a present to the Indians, and a man-of-war to save the trade of the Province in provisions with the West Indies from extinction by French privateers, met with a more gracious response (643). Three hundred pounds were granted for a present to the Indians (891); two men-of-war were appointed to guard New York (1493, p. 460); and since Cornbury had represented that he had not 120 barrels of powder left and no spare small arms at all, it was proposed that some stores captured by the French should be made good, and 50 barrels of powder sent, to be paid for by the Assembly (889–892).
Lord Cornbury and Mr. Byerley.
A charge was laid against Lord Cornbury by Mr. Byerley, the Collector, of lax administration of the Acts of Trade and Navigation in favour of Col. Wenham, one of the Council (379). Cornbury replied (416, 422), and presently retorted further by suspending Byerley for countenancing illegal trade (1172).
Smuggling trade at Sandy Hook.
The smuggling trade carried on at Sandy Hook leads Col. Quary to suggest the building of a battery and the stationing of a Collector there (353. i.).
An Assembly Room to be provided.
Amongst the domestic legislation of 1704 was an Act to provide a room for the Assembly, which had hitherto been obliged to sit in a tavern (p. 191).
Mr. Livingstone restored.
Mr. Livingstone was restored to his office of Secretary for Indian affairs, and his advice bore fruit in the appointment of two ministers by the Society for Promoting the Gospel in Foreign Parts as missionaries to the Five Nations (55, 799, 800, 1357.)
The industries of New York.; The state of parties.
Lord Cornbury's report to Mr. Secretary Hedges throws light upon the industries and economic condition of the Province, and gives a valuable sketch of the political views of the inhabitants. He offers his own opinion that "all these Colloneys, which are but twigs belonging to the main Tree, ought to be kept intirely dependent and subservient to England, and that can never be if they are suffered to goe on in the notions they have that, as they are Englishmen, soe they may set up the same manufactures here as people may doe in England, for the consequence will be that, if once they see they can cloath themselves, not only comfortably, but handsomely too, without the help of England, they would soon think of putting in execution" the anti-Anglican, anti-monarchical designs they had long harboured in their breasts. He indicates again the cleavage between the Dutch and the English and French, and, again, between New York City and the rest of the Province: "Among the English in this City there are a great many good men, but in the countrey, espetially in Long Island, most of the English are Dissenters, being for the most part people who have removed from New England and Connecticut, who are in noe wise fond of Monarchy," etc. Hence, he concludes, their desire to extend the powers of the Assembly (1250).
New Jersey. The Revenue Act. The "Proprietors' Bill."; Opposition of Lewis Morris, etc.
The Assembly of New Jersey made it clear that they did not intend to grant a Revenue until the "Proprietors' Bill," which they had brought in in the previous year, was passed (27, 641, pp. 283, 284, and see Calendar, 1703, p. xv.). Lord Cornbury accordingly dissolved them in September. The new Assembly, in spite of the opposition of the Quakers, granted a revenue of 2,000l. to the Governor for two years, and, amongst others, Bills for settling the Militia and for altering the qualifications of electors and elected. Lewis Morris led the opposition to the latter Act, declaring that the Properietors had only surrendered their right of government upon terms, and that one of the conditions they insisted upon was the qualification of electors and members as laid down in the original Constitution. His opposition ended in his being suspended from the Council by Lord Cornbury (878). Amongst his arguments, as reported by Cornbury, was the claim for Colonial Assemblies to have the same powers as the House of Commons, referred to above, and that, if they were not allowed to send Representatives to the House of Commons at home, the Colonies ought to be governed by laws of their own making (p. 386). The Proprietors of West Jersey soon entered their protest against the Act, insisting on the conditions on which, they alleged, they had surrendered their Charter (952, 1040). They assert that the country was not duly represented when the obnoxious Acts were passed, and that they therefore ought not to be confirmed. For a majority of one had been obtained by two members of the Council challenging the qualifications of three members of the newly elected Assembly, and the Governor had refused to admit them even after their cases had been considered and they had been approved by the Representatives. This, as they pointed out, was to claim a veto on any election. They object, too, to the tax upon uncultivated lands, included in the Revenue Bill, which was passed, it is suggested, in return for the Governor's dissolution of the last Assembly and his exclusion of the three members. Objection was also made to the Bill about the Indian lands (1703) and to other actions of Lord Cornbury contrary to his instructions (48, 1040, 1449). Cornbury's version of the affair is given (1476). The Council of Trade did not admit the suggestion that the surrender of the Proprietors had been conditional. They had already approved the alteration in the methods of election, and proposed that the Governor's Instruction should be altered to that effect, before the results of this Session reached them (1055). They directed Cornbury to get the Revenue settled for 21 years, and bade him be content with 1,500l. for his first year and 1,000l. for subsequent years, and not to intermeddle in the election of Representatives (1057). And they offered other advice which certainly amounted to a severe reprimand. When the Assembly met in May, 1705, the Quakers, who represented the Western Division, did not attend, in the hopes, it was said, of forcing a dissolution. Cornbury, however, merely adjourned the House till October, and in October again to May, as soon as the question of the three excluded members was raised again, and he saw, as he says, that they were resolved to do nothing (1476).
The Massachusetts Bay. Governor's salary and the Quota.
The Council of Trade confessed themselves defeated by the refusal of Col. Dudley's Governments to settle a salary upon him and the other officials. They pointed out that it was unreasonable for them to expect to be supplied with munitions of war, whilst they refused to obey H.M. commands in this matter (110, 349). Those commands were renewed (491) in August, 1704, and again, a few months later, on the occasion of a grant of cannon for Castle Island, which was now finished (3). The Governor was instructed to inform the Council and Assembly of her Majesty's sense of their great neglect of their duty and of their own security. If they did not comply immediately with H.M. commands to rebuild the Fort at Pemaquid, contribute to the cost of fortifying Piscataqua, and settle the salaries of the administration, they were warned that they must not expect any further grants or favours from the Crown (349, 645, 693, 807.i.).
The Reply of the Representatives to H.M. commands.
In September, 1705, Dudley called a special Session of the Assembly to consider this Order, and demanded their "positive and direct answer" (1422). Their answer ignored his blandishments, and, since the Council of Trade had expressed their disapproval of their previous method of sending over an Address to the Queen without the knowledge or consent of the Governor (349), they now pursued the more correct method of addressing the Crown through the Governor. They had already, in begging for a grant of cannon and small arms, and for two frigates to guard the coast, urged that the neighbouring Governments ought to contribute towards their heavy burden of defence (451), but they refused to vote their own quota towards the help of New York in case of need (p. 217); and whilst they commended Governor Dudley's careful management of affairs, and readily raised men and money to carry out his precautionary measures of defence on the frontiers, they again refused to settle a salary upon him, or even to vote an annual sum adequate for his support (p. 217). As to Pemaquid and Piscataqua, they repeat the reasons formerly given for refusing to obey H.M. commands (Calendar, 1703, No. 1266) and add some new ones (1435.ii.), which Dudley declares to be mistaken (p. 656). The Addresses and letters sent home with Mr. Cary were thrown overboard when the vessel conveying them was captured by the French (594).
Opposition to Church and Crown.; Policy of Starvation.
Dudley explains the difficulty of his position in the course of an appeal for the support of the Minister in charge of the Plantations. So long as he enforces the Acts of Parliament, the New Englanders, "who can hardly bear the Government nor Church of England amongst them," were determined to make him as uneasy as possible (679). The privilege of electing Councillors was used by the Assembly to exclude "every loyall and good man that loves the Church of England and dependance upon H.M. Government" (p. 215). The policy of starving the Governor was applied also to other public officers. The Lieutenant-Governor, the Chief Justice and other Judges were being compelled to resign for want of an adequate salary, and the Council would not consent to fill their places with Dudley's nominees, "the best qualifyed men for estates and loyalty" (pp. 446, 447).
Choice of a Speaker.
An incident in the same struggle was the choice of a Speaker in May, 1705. Dudley refused to accept Oakes as being a pauper and a "known Common-wealth's man." The Council denied his power of rejection, and he was obliged to waive it in order to save the Revenue (p. 588).
Successful Measures of Defence.
On the other hand, as we have seen, the Assembly did not hesitate to support their Governor in his energetic measures of defence, although they involved an expenditure of over 20,000l. per annum (954). For it was clearly a case of self-preservation (p. 446):
English Raid upon Nova Scotia.; Quebec and Port Royal in difficulties.
The precautions taken achieved their object. During the winter of 1704 the frontiers were kept clear of Indians by parties of rangers on snowshoes, save for a raid from Montreal upon the towns of Connecticut River, which was quickly repulsed (159.i., 260). Only one man-of-war was appointed to guard the coast from privateers and to keep the French fleet out of Boston Harbour or Piscataqua, should it pay a rumoured visit to that place. But a privateer from Port Royal, which chanced to be driven ashore, gave warning of an expedition in force, "drawn together from Quebeck, Port Royall and our own Indians," intended against Piscataqua in May (p. 100). Dudley prepared to receive them, and at the same time organised a counter-attack on the Eastern Indians during their absence. Actually in July a concerted movement of French from Quebec and Eastern Indians was made upon the Piscataqua and Connecticut Rivers. It was broken up by Dudley's frontier forces (455), which were ordered to follow up their success by an advance into the enemy's country (p. 214). In co-operation with a fleet of sloops and two men-of-war an expedition under Col. Church advanced into Nova Scotia and plundered and burned the French settlements (455, 600). Dudley, indeed, declares that, if he had been granted the extra 4th rate man-of-war, for which he had applied, they could easily have reduced Port Royal, for that that place, like Quebec, was short of provisions (p. 214). The capture of their provision ships this year and the next did, in fact, reduce the French at Quebec to great straits (680, p. 587). Confirmation of this is to be found in the proposals of neutrality made by M. Vaudreville to Dudley in October, 1705 (1423.iii., p. 587). These proposals prompted Dudley, like Cornbury, to press for an invasion of Canada (679, 680, 1274, p. 308).
Destruction of Noridgewock.
The effects of the expedition to the Bay of Fundy were very salutary. The Indians caused no trouble in the winter, which had previously been the season when they had done most mischief. But Dudley did not relax his vigilance. Besides keeping a strong guard upon the frontiers to repel a threatened attack, he sent an expedition to Noridgewock in the following spring (p. 445). They found the place deserted, and destroyed the fort, "in which they found a large Church and School and lodgeing for a couple of fryers" (966, 968).
Births and Settlers.
A Register of births, April, 1704–1705, and a list of causes for the year October, 1704–1705, are referred to (1422.iv.–x.). The former, giving the number of births as over 2,000, was rendered imperfect by Quaker principles and inefficient officials. But against this element of increase in the population Dudley notes elsewhere a decline in immigration—not ten families of settlers had come in ten years—whilst hundreds had fled across the border to the Charter Governments, in order to escape the burdens of taxation and military service (p. 447).
Dudley seized and hanged some privateers who had turned pirates, though, as he says, it was regarded as a new and harsh thing to hang people that brought gold into the Province (p. 216). Whilst he petitioned for the balance of this money for his pains, the Agent of the Province solicited for a grant of it towards the purchase of arms (954).
Mr. Usher's Accounts.
The moneys long due to Mr. Usher as Treasurer in the time of Sir E. Andros remained unpaid, although his accounts were passed by a Committee of Council, and the Assembly could make no clear objection to them (No. 417, pp. 446, 453).
He retires to Boston from New Hampshire.
That unfortunate gentleman found himself no better off as Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire. After some differences with his chief, Col. Dudley, after reiterated complaints against his predecessor, Partridge, and his faction, and a total failure to obtain an allowance from home or any grant from the Assembly for his services, he retired in dudgeon to Boston (34, 35, 982). He complains that H.M. Commission was treated with disrespect; and the people of New Hampshire are reported by Sampson Sheafe to be against monarchical government. No jury, he says, would convict in a case of transgressing the Acts of Trade, were Admiralty cases left to them (141). A petition came before the Queen in Council against a protective duty imposed in New Hampshire which penalized English owners of ships (543.i.).
He is rebuked by the Council of Trade.
Exasperated, not unnaturally, by the obscure style and repetitions of the Lieutenant-Governor's letters, the Council of Trade beg him to write plain matter of fact in an intelligible manner.
Governors and Lieutenant-Governors.
As to his differences with Col. Dudley, they remind him that Dudley is not out of his Government when he is in the province of Massachusetts Bay, and that therefore the Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire must take his orders and not dissolve Assemblies contrary to his directions, as had been done (338, Calendar, 1703, p. 917). The same question of administration arose in the case of Lieut.-Governor Ingoldesby and Lord Cornbury in relation to New Jersey a little later (1443).
Dudley and the Assembly of New Hampshire.
Dudley met the Assembly of New Hampshire in February, 1704. They pleaded poverty as their reason for not doing more than raising 500l. for the Fort at Newcastle, which was repaired by Col. Romer (417), and keeping men ready for emergencies against Indian raids (159.iii.). In spite of their experiences of that danger, the settlers on the frontiers continued to live in their scattered houses rather than in garrisons on the defensive (p. 51).
Mr. Allen's Claims.
Mr. Allen's claim to the "waste lands" continued to agitate the Province (120). His case against Waldron was tried in March, 1705, and resulted in a verdict for the defendant, as, says Usher, was to be expected, the judges and jurors being persons who gave Waldron money to carry on his case. The judges refused to obey the Queen's Orders to direct the jury to find specially in this case (982, cf. Calendar, 1703, No. 580). Allen appealed.
The Assembly's Offer to Allen.
On Dudley's arrival in May he took up the case and persuaded the Assembly not only to grant a salary and revenue for the administration in obedience to H.M. commands (Calendar, 1703, 601), but also to make an offer which he thought Allen would have done well to accept, even though it were short of justice (1108, 1109, 1432.i.). Allen, however, died at that moment. His claim was taken up by his son (1367.i.).
List of Causes.
A list of recent causes is indicated (1).
Pennsylvania. Division of the Province and Three Lower Counties.
The new Lieutenant-Governor, Evans, did not arrive in Pennsylvania until February, 1704 (175). In spite of his efforts to promote unity, the division foreshadowed in Penn's Charter of 1701 (1429), crystallised when the Representatives of the Province and Three Lower Counties met in Assembly in April (353, 359.ii.–vi., 605.vii.). The Representatives of Pennsylvania refused to sit with those of the Three Countries, who, "finding themselves thrown off by the Quakers," retired to their own country to shift for themselves in a separate Assembly at Newcastle (353).
Militia.; The Quota.
One of Evans' first steps was to issue a Proclamation requiring all those "whose perswasions will on any account permit them" to arm themselves and enlist in the Militia (359.i., 599). By the end of the period under review he reports that he has succeeded in settling as regular a Militia as he could induce the Representatives to see the necessity of. The Quakers, of course, were exempt, and the Lieutenant-Governor suggests that many who were not Quakers by conviction, but were disaffected to H.M. Government, availed themselves of this exemption (1441). He had pressed, but pressed in vain, for the Assembly at Philadelphia to grant the sums they were enjoined by the Queen's commands to contribute towards the defence of the New York frontier (359, p. 273). The Assembly referred to their former refusal, and proceeded to challenge the Lieutenant-Governor's power of proroguing or dissolving them (599). Col. Quary suggests that the evil example of Pennsylvania in this matter of the Quota corrupts the good manners of the Jerseys, and nothing more is to be expected so long as the present Constitution is allowed to remain in force (p. 141).
Judicial Oaths.; Penn, Father and Son.
The old antagonism continued between Quakers who wished to be judges, but would not take or administer an oath, and non-Quakers who might wish to be tried, but thought an oath more binding than a mere affirmation (605.ix., p. 282). There was a further division of Quaker against Quaker, a large party being strongly opposed to the Proprietor's interest. The quarrel came to a head over the Militia, the officers of which were indicted by the Quakers, who did not spare young Mr. Penn himself, who was "presented for abusing the Constable and Watch" (605.xi.). The Lieutenant-Governor retorted by declaring the proceedings of the Court against one of the Militia void, in accordance with the Order in Council of January, 1703, since the Court had refused to administer an oath to a witness (p. 283, No. 605.ii.). Incensed with Penn and his son, the Quakers refused to grant a penny to them or to Evans, and young Penn, who had come over in pursuance of an agreement, by which, if father or son should settle in Pennsylvania, a sum was to be raised for them, was so incensed that he publicly renounced the Quakers, put on his sword, and shook the dust of the province from off his shoes, resolved to persuade his father to resign the Government (p. 283).
Penn's proposals for surrendering the Government.; Exports of Pennsylvania.
These events are reflected in the negotiations for surrendering his Government which continued to take place between Penn and the Council of Trade. After returning to the charge against Col. Quary in 1704 (176), Penn, in the beginning of 1705, renewed his proposals for resigning the Government, waiving the conditions which had rendered his previous offer impracticable, and stipulating, in general, only for entire liberty of conscience for the inhabitants, the reservation of his Proprietary privileges, and exemption for himself and his successors from troublesome offices and public taxes (786). These generals were gradually extended to the particulars from which Penn constitutionally shrank, and a draught of a surrender was framed before the end of the year (788, 809, 810, 946, 1156, 1158, 1331). With a view to compensation, and to support his claim that his recent visit to Pennsylvania had produced a very large increase in the Customs paid, Penn supplied valuable lists of exports since 1699 (788, 1446).
Laws of Pennsylvania.
In considering the 105 Laws of 1700 and 1701 passed by Penn, the Council of Trade took great care to enquire into the Proprietor's legal position as well as into the desirability of the particular laws. The Attorney-General's report upon them is a good instance of the careful scrutiny to which the Laws of the Colonies were submitted by the Law Officers of the Crown, and of the reasons for which they were repealed, if repealed they were. Some were rejected as tending to the prejudice of Englishmen, or as contrary to the laws of England, or as encroaching on the prerogative of the Crown; but the larger number because they threatened the liberty or security of the subject, or because the punishments proposed were inhumane or too severe (604). Penn's reply to these objections is characteristic. He must submit to lawyers, and pleads that the "simplicity of the times in that wilderness should excuse inexpertness," and so forth (1278.i., 1324, 1372, 1383, 1463). In response to the objection to an Act that might encourage the making of shoes in the Plantations, to the disadvantage of English manufacturers, he argues that reason of State cannot "in prudence or justice put one man's commodity, as this will, upon another at ye seller's price" (pp. 598, 612).
Connecticut. The Mohican Indians.
In response to the complaint of the Mohican Indians, that certain lands had been taken from them by the Government of Connecticut, contrary to agreement (11), a Commission of Enquiry was appointed (171, 172, 207), after the opinion of the Attorney General had been ascertained as to the power of the Crown to erect such a Court (146). The Commission, presided over by Governor Dudley, sat in August, 1705, but the Commissioners appointed to represent the Colony first flouted the Queen's directions and challenged the power of the Court, and then withdrew (181.i., 1312, 1422). The Commission reported unanimously in favour of Owaneco and the Mohegans (1312.i.), but indicated that the Government of Connecticut would refuse to carry out the award and to restore the lands in question without further pressure from the Crown (1422).
Repeal of the Heretics Act.
On the petition of the Quakers, an Act "entituled Hereticks," and directed against "Quakers, Ranters, Adamites and such like" was repealed (1060, 1153, 1356, 1362, 1370).
Charges against Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The Governments of Connecticut and Rhode Island remained obdurate in their refusal to contribute towards the defence of the frontiers, a burden which lay very heavily upon the Massachusetts Bay. The Council of Trade more than once recommended that the Queen should appoint a Governor over their heads, and were backed by the opinions of the Law Officers of the Crown (23, 448, 659).
Orders were once more issued from St. James's requiring these Colonies to send aid to the Massachusetts Bay, but once more without result (109, 132, 205). As the result of H.M. reiterated commands, Dudley reported at the end of the period under review that he had not received one soldier or one penny from these Charter Governments towards defence (1422). Rhode Island put the matter off, first by promising to take a muster of the inhabitants, and then by proposing to discuss the details with Col. Dudley through Commissioners (1274.xi.–xiii., pp. 445, 587). The Governor and Council, in obedience to the royal commands (105, 127), renounced their pretensions to Admiralty jurisdiction, the obnoxious Act having been repealed (23, 51, 52, 105, 107). But a Commission recently granted to Capt. Halsey was soon causing further trouble (p. 445, Nos. 1274, 1274.xv., xvi.). Their defence of their assumption of the rights of Admiralty is given (1407.i.). It is intermingled with many pious protestations and the most unctuous prayers for the forgiveness of their accusers. The charges against the two Governments continued, indeed, to accumulate (701). Lord Cornbury forwarded evidence against Connecticut, which he described as a Nest of Thieves and a Government "peopled with the spawn of rebellion" (861, 1475ff.), and Dudley sent evidence against Rhode Island (1274, 1424). The Proprietors of the mortgaged lands in the Narraganset Country join the chorus of complaint against the injustice and oppression of the Rhode Islanders (1451.i.). In general, it is complained, these Governments acted "as if they thought themselves out of ye dominions of the Queen," and pirates there were in less danger than their prosecutors. Anti-monarchical principles and opposition to the Church of England were, indeed, reported to be increasing daily in the Proprietary Governments and the Massachusetts Bay, some of the leading men, as Mompesson writes, talking of shaking off their subjection to the Crown (436).
The consideration of the case against Connecticut and Rhode Island, after having been frequently deferred, came before the Privy Council in February, 1705. It was ordered that the charges should be formulated, and that the answers of the two Governments should be returned within six months (856, 862, 975.i., 976.i).
The time allowed had, however, elapsed before the Order reached the hands of the Government of Rhode Island (1408). But, upon the report of the Council of Trade, a general statement of the misfeazances of the Charter and Propritary Governments, and of the desirabilty of reassuming them to the Crown was ordered to be laid before the Queen in Council (1525).
"Will and Doom."
Gershom Bulkley's Will and Doom, a pamphlet relating to grievances in the Colony of Connecticut, of which I merely give the title, has been printed by the Conn. Hist. Soc. (Coll. III, 80) (644).
Virginia. Complaints against Governor Nicholson.; Nicholson and the College of William and Mary.; Nicholson's Reply. He is recalled.
Governor Nicholson refers to the habit of complaining against their Governors, which had lately come into vogue in the Colonies (930). In the spring of 1704 his own turn came, in the shape of a petition to the Queen, signed by six members of Council in May, 1703, against his "arbitrary government and scandalous example" (226, 247). Mr. Commissary Blair and Robert Beverley were the leading spirits of the opposition, which Nicholson and Col. Quary describe as small, factious, and discredited by their own malice (p. 144). The charges brought against Nicholson bear a strong resemblance to those which had been levelled against him in Maryland (508). He is accused of acting arbitrarily, contrary to or without the advice of the Council, whom he publicly abuses; of browbeating all opposed to his views in the Assembly, of using "Billingsgate language," and interposing to promote ill-feeling between the Houses, when he makes violent speeches, which are not recorded in the Minutes. In the Courts he hectors the judges, shows gross partiality to his friends, and tampers with the Grand Juries and witnesses. His "haughty, furious and insolent behaviour" towards gentlemen of the country is said to be on a par with his profanity and gross immorality with women, but he has so bribed and terrified the Clergy and Grand Juries into signing flattering Addresses on his behalf that he relies upon clearing himself with their aid. He has invaded the Bishop of London's jurisdiction, and abused the ecclesiastical jurisdiction entrusted to the Governor (247, 270–284, 371). In the course of substantiating these charges, Blair tells a very curious story in connection with the College of William and Mary, a story which throws light upon the official, as well as the College manners and customs of the day. The form of barring out the Schoolmaster in order to wrest a holiday from him, was a custom which remained in vogue in some parts of England within living memory (p. 112). Nicholson was ordered to reply, and sternly recommended not to visit his personal resentment upon those who were concerned in the complaints (388, 507, 508). His answers began to come in, voluble and indignant. Many of the charges were, as he asserted, obviously petty, malicious and self-contradictory (915, 921, 924, 930). But others were of a kind which called for enquiry at close quarters. His defence was cut short by a command to answer his accusers at home. The Order was accompanied by an assurance that he had not forfeited H.M. favour (1015, 1023, 1039). Nicholson could justly say that he had found Virginia as he had found Maryland, in debt and torn by faction; he could proudly point to proofs that he left Virginia, as he had left Maryland, prosperous, solvent, and at peace. The people, except for a small and noisy faction, he describes as dutiful and loyal (930).
The Assembly and Col. Quary.
The opposition had been much encouraged by Robert Beverley's letters from England (628ff.). The Assembly was led by a garbled version sent by him of a report by Col. Quary—always an echo of Nicholson in matters Virginian—to make an Address to the Queen upon it, without giving that officer an opportunity of explanation or denial (1277.i., 1399).
Governor Nott succeeds Governor Nicholson.; His Instructions.
Rumour was rife first that Col. Parke, then that Lord Orkney was appointed to succeed Governor Nicholson (p. 432). Actually, Col. Edward Nott received the post. With commendable rapidity, he sailed in April, 1705 (1004, 1034). His Instructions cover a good deal of new ground since Nicholson received his. They included careful regulations for the taking up and settling of land, calculated to encourage genuine planters rather than land-speculators. He was also specially directed to consult with the Assembly, Planters and Custom House Officers with a view to settling ports for the exclusive lading and unlading of vessels, similar instructions being given to the Governor of Maryland (1013, 1016, 1051.i., 1065, 1210, 1210.i., 1316).
Nott and the Assembly.
Nott arrived at Williamsburgh on Aug. 12. He vainly endeavoured to compose the differences of the clergy, and summoned the Assembly to meet on Oct. 23 (1350, 1351).
The Clergy Bill etc.; William and Mary College destroyed.
A Revenue Bill was passed, and then the Laws, which had been carefully considered and revised at home, and which had been brought back by the Governor, were discussed (978, 1513, 1533–1535). Some were passed, but others, including the Clergy Bill, which had been much amended, were altered back, the Assembly making it clear that they would only be content with the original forms. After a short session, they were adjourned till the following April. The session had been inaugurated by a disaster. On October 29 the College of William and Mary was burnt to the ground, library, furniture and all (1534).
Emigrants from Berne.
A proposal was made by some Protestants from Berne to follow the example of the Huguenots of Manikin Town, and to settle in Virginia or Pennsylvania (633).
Amongst the records sent home by Governor Nicholson is a copy of the Rent-rolls of Virginia in 1704 (1277.viii.).
Maryland.; Quakers and the Militia.
Col. Seymour sailed for Maryland in September, 1703, in H.M.S. Dreadnought, but he did not reach his government until April in the following year (343). He set himself to improve the Militia, which he found in a "very unserviceable state," and dissolved the long-standing Assembly as soon as they had renewed the Revenue Act (p. 142). The Council of Trade instructed him to see to it that the Quakers who would not bear arms, should, as elsewhere, contribute money or substitutes instead (525). These instructions were repeated by Order in Council, December 18, 1705, upon further complaints from Governor Nott as to their refusal to bear any share in the defence of the Province, "which divers persons who have no foundation of Religion perceiving, have thereby been induced to profess themselves Quakers" (p. 265).
The New Assembly. Revisal of Laws.; Jesuits restrained.
When the new Assembly met in September, 1704, they applied themselves to a revisal of the laws (585, 1210). Seymour reports that he has checked the activities of some proselytising Jesuits, who, said to be encouraged by the agents and relatives of the Lord Proprietor, were causing "greate offence and scandall … by their slye and assiduous endeavours to promote their superstition" (p. 264).
Position of Roman Catholics.
After an interview with the Council of Trade, Lord Baltimore wrote to curb the zeal of William Hunter and his Society (1508). Their proselytising had already led to the passing of laws to prevent the growth of Popery, against which the Roman Catholic community protested (1530), and which was then modified by another law granting them liberty of private worship (p. 552). The Attorney General states the legal position of Romish priests (1378), and also of Roman Catholics in the matter of holding lands in the Colonies (403).
Burning of the Court House and Records.; Richard Clarke's Conspiracy.
In his account of this Session, Governor Seymour refers to a series of misfortunes:—the burning of the Court House with the Council Records (1210), repeated disturbances from the neighbouring Indians, and, lastly, to a plot laid by some rebellious malcontents to join hands with the Indians and seize the government. The ringleader, Richard Clarke, was outlawed, but escaped in a sloop, to turn pirate, it was thought, along with "severall other loose idle persons, who are much indebted on account of protested Bills of Exchange, the epidemicall distemper this Country now labours under" (1210). Of the other conspirators, the "Petit Jury, like true Americans, acquitted all but two." Those two the Governor "consented to sell to some of the Islands for the country's good," a surprising form of punishment (1316).
An Act directed against the profits of the Secretaryship, indicates the growing feeling against the appointment of Patent Officers by the Crown, to which Col. Quary refers (785, 1030, p. 284).
A stirring episode of the sea.
A thrilling episode of the sea is told in the narrative of Capt. Richard Johnson (585.iii.). Captured by the French and carried into Martinique, he was presently put on board a ship bound for France. Roused by the taunts of the master, he, with one other English prisoner and a boy, rose, surprised the crew, threw the commander overboard, and brought the vessel into Chesapeke Bay a prize.
Census of Maryland.
A census of Maryland is given (1210.iii.).
Impoverishment of the Tobacco Colonies.
The reference just made to protested Bills of Exchange is only one indication of the impoverishment of the Colonies due to the war, and, in the tobacco Colonies, to the low price of tobacco, arising from the resulting loss of markets and restriction of trade. The condition of the tobacco trade was, indeed, causing much searching of heart, more especially as the low prices, restricted markets and irregular supplies from home were inducing the planters to turn to other crops and manufactures, which seemed to threaten the English monopolies. Col. Quary analyses the situation (pp. 142, 143). For fear the demand for Colonial tobacco should be still further checked, steps were taken to prevent the establishment of tobaccomanufacture in Russia by English merchants (1047, 1069, 1134).
In these circumstances, both Col. Quary and Governor Nicholson, as well as the Agent of Maryland, suggest that it would be well to abstain from pressing the Tobacco Colonies at present to make their required contribution to the defence of the New York frontier. The Virginian and Pennsylvanian Assemblies were less inclined than ever to contribute their Quota, and the 300l. voted by Maryland had been in some sort conditional on the contributions of the other Provinces (361, 519, pp. 144, 148).
The claim of Jeronimy Clifford against the States General in connection with his estates in Surinam etc., still remained unsettled. At the beginning of 1704 his accounts were referred by Order of Council to a committee of merchants (78). But it was not till over a year later that the unfortunate claimant obtained from them a report in his favour, confirming his assertions of barbarous treatment and of substantial sums due to him (1111, 1127, 1128). These reports were approved at the Privy Council, and there for the time the matter rests (1231). In the meanwhile the resources of the unhappy planter had been exhausted; he was arrested for debt and lay in Fleet prison, and would have starved (1082, 1086) but for an allowance from the Treasury.
II. WEST INDIES.
Barbados. The Absenting Members.; And the Suspended Councillors.
In Barbados a peculiar constitutional crisis had arisen, seven members of the Assembly having absented themselves from the House with the intention of bringing all legislative business to a standstill for lack of a quorum, and so forcing a dissolution. In their Address to the Queen they state their case and demand a Commission of Enquiry. They charge the Governor with receiving presents contrary to his Instructions, and with other minor offences, which they fail to substantiate, such as favouring the Jews and disaffected Scots (570.i., 674, 923, 1063). Nor was this all. The Governor, Sir Bevil Granville, suspended four of the Council, whom he accused of fomenting faction by encouraging the absenting members of the Assembly. The four Councillors, on the contrary, asserted that they unanimously condemned such conduct; that the whole difficulty arose from the introduction of the Bill for raising standing forces, which not only involved a great tax upon the inhabitants' time, but was also a device for putting 3,000l. a year into the Governor's pocket, to compensate him for the loss of presents from the Assembly by the recent rule. He was determined, they allege, to find any excuse for suspending them, in order to pass that Bill through the Council. And they complain of his arbitrary and tyrannical procedure, and accuse him of transgressing his Instructions (431). Sir Bevil, however, and his Agents represent the matter as the outcome of factious opposition on the part of a greedy minority who had seized the management of affairs and used it to repair their own broken fortunes, when the Government was being administered by the President and Council, and when Council, Assembly and the rest of the people were "employed in quarreling and tearing one another to pieces" (432, 568). The trick of absence had been used frequently before the present Governor's arrival (p. 467); on this occasion it was resorted to when the absenting members had failed to secure the re-appointment of the Treasurer, and were therefore afraid that the peculations in which they had been concerned might be brought to light (656, 839, 1542).
The Governor explained that he had been at length obliged to make an example of the ringleaders, and that his action had certainly been justified by events, for both in the Assembly and the Courts of Justice business was at last being dispatched smoothly and rapidly (568, 839, 1120). An abstract of cases in the Courts provides a mine of names of litigants in those days (668.i., ii.). After weighing the evidence, the Council of Trade report, on the whole, in favour of the Governor; most of the charges brought against him are dismissed as not proven; but he is blamed for accepting certain sums from the Assembly in defiance of his Instructions (992). The Secretary, Alexander Skene, is found guilty of great irregularities and of exacting extortionate fees, and is ordered to be prosecuted and suspended from his office till his defence is made known (591, 657, 658, 1268, 1306, p. 469). The four suspended Councillors, on making their submission to the Governor, are to be restored (No. 1267, p. 472).
As to the absenting Assemblymen, the question of punishing them was raised at the Privy Council (624), but was dismissed on grounds of general policy (840, 984). The Council of Trade suggest, as a preventive measure, the return to a smaller quorum—the number having been raised to 15 by an Order of Assembly, which was declared by the Law Officers of the Crown to be irregular (623, 840). It was left to the Government of Barbados to provide a remedy against a repetition of similar obstruction (1267).
Administration of Justice.
Meantime complaints had continued to come to hand as to delays in the administration of justice in cases where Members of Council or Judges were themselves concerned (134, 180). Directions were sent to the Governor to suspend any Judge or Councillor who should cause such obstruction (169, 170, 185), directions which were presently repeated upon the occasion of similar complaints (441, 623, 1029). The Council of Trade drew attention to the growing abuse by which the place of Councillor in the Plantations was being sought at home as a means of escape from justice, and in the Instructions drawn up for the Governor of Virginia, special directions are given in order that Members of Council should not shelter themselves behind their privileges (623, p. 492).
Amongst the ringleaders, of whom Sir Bevil had made an example, were Chilton, the Attorney General, and Lillington, one of the suspended Councillors. They were tried by a packed jury, as was said, and found "guilty of high misdemeanours" (1196, 1368.i.). Upon the latter's appeal, his heavy fine was remitted, and enquiry ordered to be made into his case (1387.i., 1405). This Order was annulled in December, when he was granted leave to make a fresh appeal (1483, 1484).
Defence.; Depressed state of the Planters.; Hurricane.
Col. Lilley's trenchant criticism of the defences of the island (1167, 1167.i.) bear out Sir Bevil's statement that the President and Council had been so occupied with party faction that the fortifications had been allowed to go to ruin (1167.i.). To the same cause is ascribed one of the reasons alleged by Codrington for the failure of the expedition to Guadeloupe, the omission of the Government of Barbados to send him timely notice of the arrival of Commodore Walker's fleet (74, 299, 300, 568). But whilst Militia service was unpopular and inadequate, and the island lay open to invasion, French privateers infested the seas. Once more the request was made for more and better men-of-war to protect trade (1167.i., 348, p. 254), whilst a petition was forwarded for some regular troops to relieve the planters from the necessity of self-defence (756). They urge that the island is being depopulated and that the inhabitants are in a fair way to be ruined, thanks to the war and the heavy duties upon sugar. Furthermore, great damage was done to the shipping by a violent hurricane in September, 1705 (1343).
Demand for Schools and free Education for the Poor.
A Grand Jury deplores the lack of good schools, and proposes that an Act should be passed to provide free education for the poor (p. 577).
The Bahamas still lay desolate. But further details are reported of the revolting cruelty practised by the Spaniards upon their prisoners when Providence was taken (1330).
Bermuda. Revenue and Habeas Corpus Acts.
In Bermuda, as elsewhere, the Colonists were unwilling to settle a permanent Revenue, and the Lieutenant-Governor dissolved the Assembly when they insisted that it was their right to appoint a Collector (16, 253). However, the disputed Revenue Act, which had been passed in Col. Day's time, and which some of the Assembly declared to have been for two years only, now received the Royal Assent as a perpetual Law, no such clause of limitation appearing upon record (16, 457, 490). On the other hand an Act which extended the Habeas Corpus Act to the inhabitants of Bermuda was repealed as infringing the prerogatives of the Crown, but at the same time Instructions were given to the Lieutenant-Governor with a view to securing the liberty of the subject, as had been done in a like case in Barbados (475, 487, 509.i.). An Act to prevent outrages by negroes was also repealed, on the grounds that the punishment provided was "inhumane and contrary to all Christian Laws" (1081).
Unfortunately for the internal peace of the Island, the charges brought against the Secretary and Provost Marshal, Edward Jones, in 1701, were regarded as not sufficiently proved, and he was restored to his offices upon making his submission to Col. Bennett (41, 139, 235, 258). His return was the signal for another outburst of dissension, and it was not long before he had brought all the business of the Courts and administration to a standstill, his claim to act as Clerk of the Council, Assizes and Court of Chancery, by virtue of his Commission as Secretary, being met by a flat refusal on the part of the Judges and Councillors to sit (501, 999, 1009, 1155, 1363, 1365).
An enquiry into the causes of the decrease in the amount of tobacco that was now being grown, produced an interesting account of the changes in the economic conditions of the Island (1205.iii.).
Jamaica, Kingston and Port Royal.; Handasyd rewarded.; Defence.
As regards Jamaica, the three Kingston Acts, which had caused so much searching of heart in 1703, were repealed, and Kingston and Port Royal set once more on an equal footing (63, 83). For his services in securing the passing of the Revenue Bill, Handasyd was rewarded with the full Governorship (25, 63, 96). He was instructed to press the Assembly for absolute provision for quartering the two Regiments, under penalty of their being recalled (107, 151, 152). Jamaica, however, was not likely to be left defenceless. A demand for a further increase of naval strength and of the garrison was at once sympathetically considered (390, 394, 440). In pressing this demand, the Agents for Jamaica stated that the evil system of pressing, added to the devastation of the great earthquake and recent sickness, had so sorely reduced the white population, that they were scarcely sufficient to defend themselves against their own negroes (437). The Governor also declared that they were more apprehensive of their own negroes, who had made a small insurrection, than of the foreign enemy (p. 224). The Council of Trade recommended that the frigates despatched to that station should be fully manned, in order to avoid pressing (440).
The rumour of an intended attack in force by the French fleet did not, however, terrify Handasyd, who was confident of giving the enemy a hot reception (348, 739). Frequent raids by privateers were met with spirit and success by soldiers and planters, who were determined, in the event of a greater emergency, not to part with their "beef and pudding without bloody noses" (71, 164, 400). H.M.S. Seahorse was lost on the rocks in securing a privateer (295).
Quartering the Soldiers.
Mr. St. John, in a letter to Robert Harley, calls attention to the hardships of the soldiers serving in Jamaica (547, 554, 557). Governor Handasyd describes his regiment at Port Royal and Spanish Town as exposed to the tropical heat and rains, left to lie upon the guns for beds and with the "Heavens for their Canopee" (902). The Assembly, in spite of all pressure, seemed determined to discourage their defenders. First (April, 1704) they passed an Act for their subsistence, but with a clause debarring soldiers from sitting in Assembly (p. 172); then, in September, after denouncing their Governor as arbitrary, they proposed to make no allowance at all for the officers, declaring that they had no need of them, whilst they resolved that no Councillor, Judge, Justice or Assemblyman should serve in the Militia. This, as Governor Handasyd observes, would mean that very shortly they would be officered by Jews and Blacks alone (739, 754).
Irregularities of the Assembly.
As in New York, the Assembly declared that the Council had no power to amend Money Bills; they endeavoured to make all officials accountable to the Assembly, and committed themselves to other proposals, such as voting by ballot in the Assembly, to which the Council of Trade took exception, urging men of influence at home to write to their friends and bid them cease from such irregularities (929.i.).
Mr. Totterdell and his party.; Exports and need of Settlers.
The fire-brand Totterdell, who led the opposition to the Government, was proceeded against for using seditious language, and was expelled from the Assembly (356, p. 172). But he continued to prove troublesome, and the Governor confesses that his party is a strong one (902, 903). When the Assembly met again in July, 1705, Handasyd hoped that he had broken "the factious knott" (1262, 1303), but the Quartering Act again proved a stumbling block. Handasyd was obliged to pass it in order to save the soldiers' lives, although it contained such clauses tacked on to it as compelled him to recommend its repeal. One such clause excluded all foreigners from serving in civil employments or the Militia, "by which severall Scotch, Dutch and French gentlemen, who have served in both capacities these 20 years, and are as substantiall men as any in the island, and as good subjects to H.M., are made incapable of both services, which is a great discouragement to Forreigners settling here, where white people are so much wanted" (1459). The need of settlers is again referred to in an estimate of the exports from Jamaica in 1704, which sets their value at over half a million—a sum which might be increased "to at least five times this value, if there were a sufficient number of white men to carry on the planting" (36).
Gulf of Campeche.
The idea of appointing a Governor over the English settlers and logwood-cutters in the Gulf of Campeche, in order to claim that territory when peace should be negotiated, was advanced by Handasyd (164.ii.), but was not regarded as feasible during the stress of Marlborough's campaigns on the Continent (293).
The Leeward Islands. Col. Codrington.
Writing from Antigua, Col. Codrington enlarged further upon the failure of the expedition to Guadeloupe (74) [see C.S.P., 1703]. He plumed himself much on his services in obtaining an Act for settling the Courts in Antigua, of which he says that "it is a much better Act of Courts than is anywhere in the Indys, or perhaps anywhere else" (135, 148, 158, 296). It was not, however, thought fit to be confirmed (1420).
Sir William Mathew.; Col. Parke.; Lieut.-Governor Johnson fortifies Nevis.
His successor, Sir William Mathew, had hardly time to do more than send a review of the islands and to ask for some guns and another frigate, before he died (544, 874). Codrington at once applied to be reappointed to the Government, and his application was supported by the Council of Trade (95, 705, 933, 942). Unfortunately, as events were to prove, Col. Parke was appointed, as a reward for bringing the good tidings of Blenheim to his Sovereign (980, 1113). He had been spoken of as the new Governor for Virginia, but had asked for it some hours too late (p. 432). In the meantime the Government devolved upon the Lieut.-Governor, Johnson, who turned his attention with great zeal to the defences of Nevis (711, 1344). But at St. Kitts he could not persuade "the unaccountable people" of that island either to make new fortifications or to repair the old (1215).
Yet the proper defence of the islands was urgent. Col. Parke insisted that the number of soldiers ought to be made up to at least 500, and the Council of Trade gave their opinion that the islands could not be safe with less (1141, 1157). But here as elsewhere the soldiers of the garrison were treated as pawns in the game of local politics, and St. Kitts refused to provide them with quarters (1281). As in the case of Jamaica, the Council of Trade threatened their withdrawal (1419). Not that the presence of the enemy was unfelt. No less than 36 privateers were reported to windward, so that it "was morally impossible for any ship to escape them" (969).
The French part of St. Kitts.
Echoes of the capture of the French part of St. Kitts occur in references to the question as to the legality of levying the 4½ per cent. on exports from that territory. An order to levy that duty was issued under the Great Seal (4, 24, 26, 54). When the Lieutenant-Governor refused to pass an Act of the Assembly which subjected the inhabitants of the newly conquered territory to taxation without representation, and at the same time infringed the prerogative of the Crown, the Assembly immediately retorted by turning the soldiers of the garrison out of their quarters (1345, 1346). By a court martial at Martinique M. de Gennes was found guilty of flagrant cowardice in having surrendered to Col. Codrington without striking a blow (1025.i.).
Newfoundland. Decay of the Fishery.
Although, owing to the capture of H.M.S. Coventry and some of the ships under her convoy by the French, the Board of Trade received no replies to their enquiries from the Commodore of the Fishery (292.i., 511, 719), the history of Newfoundland is fuller these years than in many previous ones. It is mainly a history of successful French raids and of the decay of the fishing industry. This decay was due, according to some practical observers, in part to French aggression and hostile tariffs, but in part also to Scotch competition and the debauching of the inhabitants by the Americans (1373).
Mutiny of the Garrison.; Capt. Lloyd suspended.; Projected expedition against Placentia.; The French surprise St. Johns.; Project for a Militia.
Goaded to desperation by their long hardships and the ill-treatment and impositions of their Captain, Thomas Lloyd, the garrison at St. Johns petitioned the Commodore to suspend him and send him home with their petition to be relieved, under threats of wholesale desertion (596.i.). Capt. Bridge consented, and appointed in his stead Lieut. Moody, who had also signed the petition (596. vii., 598). The complaints of the soldiers were supported by a petition from some of the inhabitants (606). Lloyd in his defence ascribed the mutiny to the intrigues of Lieut. Moody and the bibulous Minister, Mr. Jackson. Capt. Bridge supported him (704, 753). The Council of Trade found the charges not proven, and recommended the relief of the garrison and the recall of Mr. Jackson (812, 790, 907, 1373). Whatever the truth as to Lloyd's behaviour may have been,—and it is rendered more difficult to extract it, owing to the readiness of many of the inhabitants to sign and to recant affidavits when in a state of terror or intoxication—Lloyd soon gained the ear of Ministers at home. He and others eagerly represented that Placentia must be taken: that Admiral Grayden, if he had assaulted it last year, would certainly have succeeded; and that with 500 soldiers Lloyd himself would easily reduce it, provided they were despatched with secrecy and by July, 1705 (69, 626, 967). The idea was taken up. But whilst preparations were being made, news arrived that the French had struck the blow, which had long been dreaded (2, 1056). A combined force of French and Canadian Indians, under M. Subercasse, had surprised the harbour of St. Johns and laid siege to the Fort. It is evident that no watch was kept either in the Fort or the Harbour, partly owing to a squabble between Lieut. Moody and the inhabitants as to their doing duty, partly owing to such want of discipline as is indicated by the fact that the guns were covered with snow and that the enemy were discovered by a tippling soldier. But, however lax in taking precautions, Moody proved brave in action, and after a half-hearted siege of five weeks the enemy retired with loss, the Canadians and Indians continuing their march of devastation and bloodshed as far north as Bonavista (1056, 1206, 1242). There was some suspicion of treachery on the part of some of the inhabitants, who, in their turn, accused Moody of extorting extravagant prices from them for provisions supplied to them in the Fort during the siege (1185, 1187, 1192, 1242). Fresh raids were made in the summer and autumn on the remaining English settlements by the French and Indians from Canada. Prisoners were barbarously murdered, hostages carried off from Bonavista as security for a ransom, and the country generally was reduced to a deplorable condition (1379, 1472). Meanwhile the merchants concerned had at once petitioned for reinforcements to be sent (1207), and the wise project of establishing a Militia was mooted among other proposals (1218.i.), and backed by the Council of Trade (1241).
Expedition against Placentia.
It was determined to retaliate by sending an expedition of 460 men against the French settlements and especially Placentia. It was decided that the Commodore should no longer command the land forces when at Newfoundland (1032.i., 1147). Capt. Lloyd was appointed to the command, and he received his instructions in August (1228, 1326). The expedition was to be conducted with all imaginable secrecy (1328). But owing to great delay in starting, Lloyd did not arrive at Newfoundland till November, a delay which he had warned Ministers might be fatal to his projects (1339, p. 640). His arrival with reinforcements was at any rate welcome to the inhabitants, who received him with joy, and explained in an Address of thanks to the Queen that a previous petition in favour of Lieut. Moody had been forced from them (1457).
A French prisoner mentions incidentally that the French explorers had found their way from Canada to the South Sea (315.i.).
Tobago, Trinidad and the Virgin Islands.
A "Professor of Phisick and Chemistry" applied for a Charter to settle Tobago, Trinidad and the Virgin Islands, offering as a quid pro quo to endow a college on the former, and to found a hospital near London for infants and men invalided in the service (123).
Terms and Phrases.
"Lords of the Cabinet Council" is used apparently to indicate the Committee of the Privy Council (1218.i.).—The "several Colonies in the Plantations" is a phrase which shows how dominant was the term "Plantations" in the sense in which we should now use "Colonies" or "Empire" (1322). "I will endeavour to do some for him" might be mistaken for a modern Americanism (1351).
Amongst Governor Nicholson's correspondence are to be found early instances of two Indian terms, matchicomico, an Indian durbar (p. 416), and huskanared, a word used in connection with the native ceremonies of initiation into manhood (p. 432).
Travelling in the xviiith century.
That the difficulties of travelling experienced by many Governors were not confined to the Plantations, is shown by Mr. Jenings of Virginia, who, in the depths of winter, was obliged to wait for over a fortnight before he could secure a place in a coach from London to York (124).
Keeping of Records.
In his Instructions, Governor Nott is directed to see to it that the Records of Virginia are well and carefully kept. The instruction was necessary, if we may judge by Mr. Usher's account of the destruction of records in New Hampshire, and the confession from the Leeward Islands that "wee cannot preserve our Records so authentick as wee would, by reason of the vermine and other casualties" (pp. 53, 523).
These natural drawbacks were added to by the difficulty of getting clerical and official work done by poorly paid Deputy-Secretaries in the absence of the holders of Patent Offices (316, 860). An instance of the haphazard way in which justice was sometimes administered in the Colonial Courts is supplied by Lord Cornbury, who, in applying for a Statute-book, confesses that his own copy carried him no further than the reign of Charles II. In any case confusion was likely to occur when no record was kept in the Secretary's Office or the Council Books as to whether Acts had been confirmed or repealed (pp. 193, 387). Such lapses added to the inconvenience of primitive postal arrangements, and the hazards of the sea (343, 427, 523, 1458, p. 589). Mr. Dummer's service of packet-boats had, indeed, in spite of occasional captures by the French, proved successful beyond expectation; but, in spite of that, Lord Cornbury had to complain that he had not heard a syllable from England for seven months (1049, 1374, p. 564).
A proposal to extend the packet-boat service to Newfoundland was dismissed as impracticable (1379, 1395, 1409).
Journal of Council of Trade.
The Journal of the Council of Trade is now being issued
as a separate publication. I have, therefore, omitted
the signatures of members to their letters and representations, their attendances being sufficiently indicated in