America and West Indies: October 1706, 12-18

Pages 262-276

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 23, 1706-1708. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1706, 12-18

Oct. 12.
St. Johns in Newfoundland.
533. Major Lloyd to Mr. Secretary Hedges. I received yours of June 6, and give you my humble thanks for your kiend caution to me of my behaviour, etc. As soon as ye shypps departed this land last year, I thought it my duty to view Platientia, which accordingly I did, and to all outward appearance it seemed to me to be in a very weake and careless condition which oppinion was soon after confirmed by a party of French we took att Ferryland, who gave out that there was not above 350 inhabitants and soldiers that wintered there. This spring I made ye inclosed proposall to ye inhabitants of St. Johns, for attempting Platientia, which had they condescended to, I do not question but we should have succeeded; 42 masters of families signed for it, but could not prevaile with ye majority. The 10 of May last I went agen towards Platientia, on ye 14th I took a strict view of it, and on ye 17th do. arrived back att St. Johns. Haveing had a report here this summer of a squadron of men of warr being intended for this land, in order to reduce ye French, I take leave to offer my oppinion. Every one yt. knows Platientia must allow ye entrance of ye harbour to be in breadth not above 50 fathom, cross which there is a strong chaine yt. runs slanting on ye Lower Fort, which has in it 36 pieces of canon, ye muzzles of which may almost be said to touch ye shypps in goeing in, and if one be sunk (which to me is almost impossible to be otherwise) ye rest cannot pass; neither can they returne, by reason of ye strong tides there; Further, suppose they do get into ye harbour, they are of no further use then landing men in order to attack ye Forts by land; therefore I humbly conceive ye sending of men of warr to Newfoundland in order to ye reduceing Platientia are of no further use then ye transporting of land forces, which must be considerable, if in ye summer time, in consideration yt. ye French generally have about 3,000 men att Platientia dureing theire fishing season. Ye reduceing Platientia is best to be effected by 4 or 500 men, who shall depart England ye middle of August, and make the best of their way to a harbour called Capelin Bay, being 13 leagues to ye southard of St. Johns, giveing ye commanding officer of the garryson of St. Johns (and none else) an acct. of theire arrivall; If att any time H.M. approve of this my proposall, I do engage to effect ye service; and would without dispute have done it last year, had ye troops, intended, arrived. After we took a party of French att Ferryland last winter, they have not since molested any part to ye southard of St. Johns. March 2nd. I pursued a party of French of 27, who were in Consumption Bay, tooke some of theire Indians prisoners, but could not come up with ye rest, since which that Bay has not been disturbed; dureing my absence this time, 5 French and 2 Indians came to St. Johns and burnt an empty house, and did no other damage. Repeats part of Sept. 13. So that all ye damage ye English in this country received since my last comeing is ye burning an empty house att St. Johns, and ye carrying away one boat load of fish from Trinity Harbour, and I am not under ye least apprehension of any damage the French can do us this winter, etc. Signed, Tho. Lloyd. Endorsed, R. Nov. 26. Recd. (by the Board of Trade) Dec. 3, 1706, Read Jan. 17, 1706/7. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
533. i. Major Lloyd's Proposal to the Inhabitants of St. Johns. The English in Newfoundland are 3 times the number of the French, and I think the surprising of Placentia very feasable. I can have from Carbonier, Little and Great Bell Isles between 2 and 300 men, if you at St. Johns will agree that one half of your men should goe, I will lead them etc. Same endorsement. 1¼ pp.
533. ii. Stores of war proposed by Major Lloyd to be sent next year, if his proposal for taking Placentia be approved. Signed, Tho. Lloyd. Same endorsement. 1 p.
533. iii., iv. Captains of H.M. ships of war at Newfoundland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The Addresses to H.M. and your Lordships were signed voluntarily. Signed, Jon. Underdown and four others. 2 pp.
533. v. Traders and Inhabitants of St. Johns to the Queen, Sept. 24, 1706. Return thanks for "the late great instance of your Majesty's Royal favour of leave to form ourselves into a Militia, the only means that cou'd have inabled us to be serviceable," etc. Praise Major Lloyd's unwearied bravery. Pray that he be continued in his command and that his pay be increased etc. 95 signatures. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 3, 1706. 1 large p.
533. vi. Commanders of Merchant-ships at Newfoundland to the Queen. In praise of Major Lloyd etc. as preceding. He supplied necessary provisions to the inhabitants at reasonable rates etc. 59 signatures. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
533. vii. Inhabitants of Newfoundland to Mr. Secretary Hedges. Pray that their appreciation of Major Lloyd and his officers may be laid before H.M. 85 signatures. Subscribed,
533. vii (a). Commanders of ships at Newfoundland to same. The above was signed voluntarily. 36 signatures. Same endorsement. 1 large p.
533. viii. Inhabitants of Consumption Bay to the Queen. Major Lloyd has scoured the country and secured us from the enemie, to whome by ill management and misbehaviour of our late Officer we lay most miserably open. Pray that he may be continued in command etc. 39 signatures. 1 large p. [C.O. 194, 4. Nos. 2–9 (not including No. vii); and (not including No. ii.) 194, 22. Nos. 70, 70. i.-vii.]
Oct. 12. 534. Affidavits sworn before Commodore Underdown, Newfoundland, Oct. 12, 1706. Repeat Nos. 173–189. 16 pp. [C.O. 194, 24. No. 1.]
Oct. 12.
535. Paul Dudley to Mr. Secretary Hedges. I troubled your Honour some time since with an Address referring to proper ffees for our Court of Admiralty. Acknowledges receipt of table of fees, to which we shall in all things conform ourselves, altho it can't be thought that our proceedings can in all things answer and come up to what they are at home, but are in a more summary way, and yet convenient enough for our present circumstances. The table of fees relates to prizes of the Crown only; our difference has been hitherto only with privateers or their owners of whom we have hitherto demanded 5 p.c. upon the value, to be divided one half to the Judge, and so in proportion to the other officers of the Court, and have thought it very moderate, considering that the poorest ffactor in this country makes as much of his business, and especially when the Courts of Admiralty in Virginia and Maryland have constantly taken, and do still take, some 15, some 18 p.c. for fees on such prizes. We have not had above 8 or 10 prizes this warr, and indeed the whole business of the Admiralty is so very small, and the Court itself, being by commission from the Crown, so obnoxious to some of our Gentlemen, that it will be much for H.M. service and interest to have the several officers encouraged with a handsome allowance in the matter of prizes. Refers to the case of the Charles lately condemned in this Court. I hope as soon as may be we shall have your Honour's final determination and direction. The Gentlemen concern'd kept your Honour's Inhibition in their pockett near 18 months before ever they serv'd it upon the Judge or officers of the Court. Signed, Paul Dudley. Endorsed, R. Nov. 26, 1706. Recd. (by the Council of Trade) Dec. 3, 1706, Read Feb. 21, 1706/7. Addressed. Holograph. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 864. No. 86.]
Oct. 13.
536. Lt. Governor Usher to the Council of Trade and Plantations. From time to time by severall conveyances I gave your Lordps. an account of the state of this Province [? New Hampshire], at all times made it my business to follow and put in execution all orders and directions from H.E., by reason no provision made for lodging and dyett by the Province I have bin more absent from the same than otherwise should. As to H.E., has taken care for repairing the Fort, and is now in good posture of defence, tho' when I arived could not fire three guns to doe service, the command of the Fort in good hands, and due care taken. The French and Indian enemy last sumer quiett, this sumer about 300 from Canada disperst themselves in small parties on frontier places of the Massathusets Government, by H.E. prudent care, next under God, the enemy met with such a repulce wherever they made an assault, went of with greater loss then gaine. Wee expect no peace untill the French at Port Royall and St. Johns be subdued, wch. by command of a good souldier, may easily be effected, must say we have not any here fitt for service. H.E. hath admitted Major Vauhan to be of the Councill, with humble submission did here him say the King ought not to have the Govermt., but the People. I charged him with imbezeling the Books of Records, and especially the booke in 83, 84, 85, wch. Booke there is 23 leaves cutt out, which was the judgements Mason obtained against the People, are all cout out, and still keepes the Records by H.E. order. Also when Vauaghn was Treasurer, disposed of the money contrary to the grants, all wch. I am ready to prove. Repeats charge against Partridge. As to the Massathusets Govermt., there were sundry persons traded with the French and Indjan enemy, supplying them with armes, ammunition, provisions and clothing. It is supposed the Indjans made use of some to destroy H.M. subjects, both in New England and Newfoundland. They were tryed by Governor and Councill and Assembly, for heigh misdemeanors, had mults lain on them, all wch. I judge H.E. will give you an account of. If the Records of tryall should be sent over, their will appeare very great villany, and had the matter bin strictly examined, severall great persons would have bin found concern'd. As to lumber, pitch, tar, etc., I humbly offer, in case the Laws made by the Govermt. here were put in execution, would answer the end, with an order to the Governor here to take care of the same, may salve the charge the Crowne is now at. As to any orders from your Lordps. H.E. has not thought to commuicate the same to me, soe not capable to answer. I have serv'd the Crowne many years, in which I have spent my time and estate in H.M. service, yet never had lodging nor dyett allowed me to this day. I value my reputation to be true to the trust reposed in me, hope your Lordps. will take the same into consideration. Signed, John Usher. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 25, 1706, Read March 28, 1706/7. Addressed. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 864. No. 176; and 5, 912. pp. 340–342.]
Oct. 14.
Virga., Williamsburg.
537. Mr. Jenings to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The convoy with our great ffleet of mercht. ships sayled Sept. 17, etc. Altho nothing of moment hath since occurred I think itt my duty not to omitt any oppertunity of acquainting your Lordps. of the quiet state of the country, and yt. our incourageing cropps as well in quality as quantity are gott well into the houses, where in probability they may for some time lye, here being but five small ships in the Govermt., and little expectation of any from England, the consigneing Planters being more desirous to lett their tobacco for some time lye, than transport itt after soe large a ffleet, yett ships with goods would bee welcome, being soe great a want that some parts of the country are promoteing and applying themselves for the makeing of linnen and woolen, wch. an early and good supply in some measure would dash. I have transmitted a list of such Patents that are prepared to bee signed att the usual time in Oct. for your Lordps.' consideration. The stop that must bee putt to them I am doubtfull may cause a murmuring, and itt would bee very satisfactory to have your Lordps.' resolutions and commands therein. Signed, E. Jenings. Endorsed, Recd. 20th, Read 24th Jan., 1706/7. Holograph. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1315. No. 38; and 5, 1362. pp. 90, 91.]
Oct. 14.
New York.
538. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On Jan. 17, 1705/6, a man of this town, one Jackson, came to acquaint me that two Ministers were come to town, one from Virginia, and one from Maryland, and desired to speak with me. I said they should be wellcome to come to dine with me, and then I found by their answers that one, whose name is Francis Mackensie, is a Presbyterian preacher setled in Virginia, the other, John Hampton, is a young Presbyterian Minister lately come to settle in Maryland. They talked of indifferent things, they pretended they were goeing towards Boston, they did not say one syllable to me of preaching here, nor did not ask leave to doe it, they applyed themselves to the Dutch minister for leave to preach in the Dutch Church in this town, who told them he was very willing provided they could gett my consent, they never came to me for it, they went likewise to the Elders of the French Church, they gave the same answer, all this while they never applyed themselves to me for leave, nor did they offerr to quallify themselves as the Law directs, but on the Monday following I was informed that Mackensie had preached on the day before at the house of one Jackson, a shoemaker in this town, and that Hampton had preached on Long Island, and that Mackensie after having preached here on Sunday was gone over to Long Island with intent to preach in all the towns in that Island, having spread a report there that they had a Commission from the Queen to preach all along this Continent. I was informed on the same day from New Jersey that the same men had preached in severall places in that Province, and had ordained after their manner some young men who had preached without it among the Dissenters, and that when they were asked if they had leave from the Government, they said they had noe need of leave from any Governour, they had the Queen's authority for what they did. These reports induced me to send an order to the Sherriff of Queen's County on Long Island to bring them to this place, which he did Jan. 23 in the evening the Attorney Generall was with me, I asked Mackensie how he came to preach in this Government without acquainting me with it, and without quallifying himself as the Law requires, he told me he had quallified himself according to Law in Virginia, and that having so done he would preach in any part of the Queen's Dominions as well as Virginia, and that the licence he had obteined there, was as good as he could obtein here, I told him that Virginia was part of the Queen's Dominions as well as this Province, but that they are two different Governmts., that no order or law of that Province can take place in this etc. He told me he understood the Law as well as any man, and that he was satisfyed he had not offended against the Law, that the penall laws of England did not extend to and were not in force in America, to which the Attorney Generall replyed that if the penall Laws did not take place in America, neither did the Act of Toleration, nor is it proper, said he, that it should, since the latter is noe more then a suspension of the former, Mackensie said that the Queen granted liberty of conscience to all her subjects without reserve. I told him he was soe farr in the right that the Queen was gratiously pleased to grant liberty of conscience to all her subjects except papists, that he might be a papistt for all that I knew, under the pretence of being of another perswasion, that therefore it was necessary he should have satisfyed the Governmt. what he was before he ventured to preach, upon that he told me that he would quallifye himself in any manner, and would settle in this Province. I told him whenever any of the people of either of the Provinces under my Governmt. had desired leave to call a Minister of their own perswasion, they had never been denied it, but that I should be very cautious how I allow'd a man so prone to bid defiance to Governmt. as I found he was, he said that he had done nothing that he could not answer, soe I ordered the high Sherriff of this City to take them into his custody, and I directed the Attorney Generall to proceed against them acording as the Law directs, which he has done by preferring an indictment against Mackensie for preaching in this City without quallifying himself as the Act of Tolleration directs, the Grand Jury found the Bill, but the Petty Jury acquitted him, soe he is gone towards New England uttering many severe threats against me. As I hope that I have done nothing in this matter but what I was in duty obliged to doe, espetially since I think it is very plain by the Act of Tolleration it was not intended to tollerate or allow strowling Preachers, but only that those persons who dissent from the Church of England should be at liberty to serve God after their own way in the severall places of their abode without being liable to the penaltys of certain Laws, soe I intreat your Lordships' protection against this malicious man, who is well known in Virginia and Maryland to be a disturber of the peace and quiet of all the places he comes into, he is Jack of all Trades, he is a preacher, a Doctor of Physick, a Merchant, an Attorney, a Councellor at Law, and which is worst of all a Disturber of Governmts. I should have sent this account sooner but that I was willing to see the issue of the Tryall. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. July 31, Read Aug. 17, 1708. Copy. 3 pp. [This duplicate was enclosed in Lord Cornbury's letter of Feb. 10, 1708.] [C.O. 5. 1049. No. 92; and 5, 1121. pp. 319–323.]
Oct. 15. 539. F. Duport to [? the Board of Ordnance]. When the merchants etc. concerned in St. Kitts and Nevis made their last application for relief, Mr. Sec. Hedges replied that H.M. had ordered such care shou'd be taken of them as to satisfye all reasonable persons etc. I find that no small arms or fire-locks have been ordered for St. Kitts amongst the divers stores shipt on two transport ships for the use of both Islands, this particular being what the people there want most for the defence of their forts, several of their own having burst in the late French invasion. 400 small arms and 6 barrels fine powder, screws etc. the least. Signed, F. Duport. [C.O. 239, 1. No. 14.]
Oct. 15. 540. Merchants trading to Barbados to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Your Lordships having been pleased to communicate to us an Act of Barbados for establishing a method of credit there, and required our opinion of it, we thankfully acknowledge your Lordships' favour, etc. We are apprehensive that it will prove of very pernicious consequence, not only to particular persons, but also to the whole Island in generall, will introduce greater necessitys than it pretends to relieve, and can be of noe reall advantage to any other than the person appointed by the Act to issue out the Bills of Credit, and to his clerks and under-officers, which our opinion is grounded upon the reasons following. (1) This Act compelling an acceptance of these Bills under a large penalty, all creditors by mortgage, judgements, bonds or other securitys, who lent their money at interest, and perhaps would continue that credit untill the debtors are better able to pay than they are at present, will be oblig'd to accept these Bills which carry no interest to the creditors, and must either part with them at a large discount, or keep them till the 5 years appointed for the continuance of this Act expires, which will be 50l. loss upon everv 100l., and destroy credit in that Island for the future. (2) Absent creditors, to whose Agents or Attorneys any Bills shall be tenderd in payment, may loose a great part or the whole of their debts; for if the Agent or Attorney refuses these Bills, he forfeits half the value of 'em, and if he takes 'em and does not present them to the Treasurer within 20 days after the year from the date of 'em expires, the Bills are to be voyd, and the Treasurer discharged from receiving 'em. This gives encouragement to the corrupting of Attorneys and Agents, and leaves the principall creditor without money. (3) This Act likewise compelling an acceptance of these Bills in satisfaction of contracts, ffew, if any, persons will import provisions or other necessarys for life into this Island; or if they doe, will raise the price of 'em proportionable to the losse they must sustain by keeping such Bills till the Act expires, or by the discount they must make upon tendering them in payment. This consequence will affect all the inhabitants equally, and make those who have Reall Estates, tho' under no pressure of debts, to take up Bills of Credit in their own defence, and such who have no Reall Estates, and therefore cannot take up Bills of Credit, must eat, drink and be clothed at greater expence than before, and be thereby reduced to poverty. (4) The discount that will attend these Bills, and the rise of provisions thereby will occasion the rise of sugars and other product of the Island; the consequence of wch. will be that the sugars, etc. sent from Barbadoes hither, must either not be sold at all, or at a greater losse than that Trade can bear, unlesse all our sugar-plantations were under the same circumstances. (5) Though the Bills issue from the publick, the ffunds out of which they are to be paid are private or very uncertain ones, and such as are not so sufficient a security as persons under a necessity of receiving them ought to have. For the ffunds are the Estates of such as take up the Bills of Credit upon their obligations, which are therefore to be given to the person issuing out these Bills, and to be in the nature of Judgments at Law, and in case of insolvency of the obligers, the 3l. per cent interest payable on those obligations is to be applyed to the payment of the Bills issued to such insolvents, or those Bills are to be made good by the publick out of the first ffunds that shall arise, by a warrant from the Governor for the time being, with the consent of the Councill. This provision is neither safe nor sufficient, and depends too much upon the single understanding and integrity of one man, viz. the person issuing out these Bills. For he is sole judge of the titles of the Estates to be charged, tho perhaps not skilled in the Law, and may issue Bills to persons upon insufficient titles. The obligations are to be made to him and kept in his custody, and are not ordered to be recorded and if they should be stolen, lost, destroyd, or carryed from the Island, or if he should refuse to issue out warrants upon 'em, the debts are lost, or the publick must bear the burthen: for the security of 20,000l., which such person gives for ye due execution of his trust, is not adequate to the great trust repos'd in him, and that security may likewise prove defective. Negroes which are declared part of the security for the Bills to be issued, and are the only Reall Estate some persons have, are subject to so many contingencys as render them a very slender security, and not fit to be forced upon any man. The provision against counterfeiting Bills, by ordering them to be endorsed by all persons tendering them in payment, extends only to Bills of 11l. value, and to none under that summe, which leave encouragement to counterfeit Bills of less value, and the Forgers may goe off from the Island before they are discover'd. If any considerable losse should happen by any of the accidents abovementioned, or through the insolvency of the obligers, which the 3l. per cent will not satisfy, future Assemblys may refuse to raise any fund to make good such losse. But if none of the accidents abovementioned should happen, there is not sufficient encouragement for purchasing the lands of such persons who will not or cannot pay the money due on their obligations when the Act expires. For the sale is to be made without any judiciall proceeding of Record upon the bare warrant under the hand and seal of the person issuing out ye Bills, and by a Bill of Sale from the officer to whom it is directed, without any return to be made by him on record, and if the warrant for the sale shall happen to be lost or destroyed, or the officer who executes it makes any mistake by deviating from or exceeding his warrant, the sale may be impeached, and the purchaser lyable to be evicted, and if there should not be purchasers, or sufficient money in the Island to pay for the lands expos'd to sale, this Act must be repeated [? repealed] or the Island depopulated. The allowance to the person issuing the Bills is very extravagant, ffor if Bills of Credit to the value of 200,000l. should be issued (as 'tis probable there will) and continue soe for 5 years, that person will have actually received 50,000l. down for his trouble and for the salarys of his clerks and officers, and the creditor who us'd to have interest for his money will have none, and have paper only for his principall to be answered by a precarious ffund. Pray that the Act may not have H.M. approbation. Signed, George Lillington, E. Chilton, Rich. Bate, Guy Ball, Rd. Scott, James Gohier, David Miln, Edward Alanson, Thomas Ward, John Saile, Jonath. Leigh, John Dersley, Edward Lascelles, Matthew Matson, Abrah. Mendez, R. Hallett, Richard Haynes, Jno. Donaldson. Endorsed, Recd. Read Oct. 15, 1706. 6¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 9. No. 56; and 29, 10. pp. 134–142.]
Oct. 16.
New York.
541. Governor Lord Cornbury to Sir Charles Hedges. Your letter of July 13, 1705, was delivered to me by Capt. Budge at a time when my wife lay at the point of death, which made me desire him to have a little patience, which he was easy enough in, after some time, I found that that ship and cargoe had been appraised at 1,503l. 7s. 1d. York money, and was sold for 1,441l. 0s. 0¾d. the same money at publick vendue, Capt. Budge himself being present, soe that the charges which amounted to 494l. 16s. 3¼d. being deducted, my thirds amounted to 315l. 7s. 111/6d. I told Capt. Budge that upon what you had been pleased to write to me, I was willing to pay him what my third part amounted to, and though I had not ready money to doe it with, I would give him warrants upon my sallary as Governor of this Province, which is the same thing as money, because they are always paid quarterly etc., but this he refused, saying he would have money etc. I hope you will be of opinion that noe more ought to be required of me. There was not above 142 tuns of logwood on board, though in his petition there was 168 tuns, and it was sold at 8l. 10s. a tun, though I am informed that at that time it was not worth above 6l. in England. If he had more on board when he came into Amboy, it will follow that he had landed some of his logwood at Amboy, which would have been sufficient to have forfeited his ship and cargoe. At the time his ship was seized Col. Hamilton was Governor, not I as he falsely declares, and the ship was sold, not by my order by Peter Fauconier, a creature of mine, as he says, but by order of the Court of Vice-Admiralty at public vendue etc. I will make oath, if required, that I never medled with the seizure nor condemnation of that ship. All the money was paid in the Court and there distributed according to the Laws of Trade. I never promised to pay Stephen Stokes 6 months wages due to him. I told 4 or 5 sailors who came to me for their wages that they must apply to the Court. If any fault has been committed in this proceeding, I have had noe manner of concern in it, etc. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, R. Nov. 28. Recd. (by the Board of Trade) Dec. 3, 1706, Read Feb. 21, 1706/7. 3 closely written pp. Holograph. Enclosed,
541. i.–iii. Certificates as to the appraisement and sale of the pink Hope, New York, April 20, 1703, as above. Signed, John Tuder, Register of the Admiralty Court, New Jersey. Oct. 16, 1706. Endorsed as preceding. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 970. Nos. 43, 43. i.–iii.]
Oct. 17.
542. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Sec. Hedges. Enclose following to be laid before H.M. Annexed,
542. i. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Queen. Having received from Governor Sir B. Granville, an Act of Barbadoes to supply the want of cash etc., and finding several matters therein contained, of an unusual and extraordinary nature and importance, which if put in practice by a continuance of the Act, will, we fear, involve that Island in new and multiplyed inconveniences, we therefore thought it our duty, without any delay, to report to your Majesty our sence and opinion upon the said Act, together with the grounds and reasons for such opinion, that so by opening the merits of the cause, and by putting things in their proper light, we might the better prepare and fit them for your Majesties determination. The principal matter contained in the Act is briefly this; that every person inhabiting and having an Estate of Inheritance in Barbadoes, may have a Bill or Bills of Credit, signed and sealed by John Holder, Esq., nominated in the Act for that purpose, to the value of the fourth part of his real Estate; the Bills to pass in all parts of the Island as ready money to the full value of the sum therein mentioned, and no person to refuse the same under the penalty of forfeiting a full moiety of the summ contained in the Bill; the Bills to pass but for one year, but renewable from year to year till the last year before the expiration of the said Act, which is to continue 5 years and no longer. The end or intent of the Act is declared in the Preamble, to remedy or supply the want of cash in the Island and to help creditors to pay their debts. Upon this we take leave to observe, that the Act proceeds in an improper and indirect course for attaining the end it proposes. The proper method for supplying the deficiency of cash, is to promote the increase of it by incouraging a quicker importation of silver, but to put a disuse upon money in common payments, and to render it less needfull by setting up Bills of Credit, or anything else to serve instead of it, tends to slacken the industry of the merchant in procuring it. By which method tis justly to be feared that the Island at the expiration of the Act will labour under a greater scarcity of money than it did before. The Act admits any person having an inheritance in the Island to take out Bills of Credit upon the fourth part of his Real Estate, but then he must pay 8 in the 100 every year for his Bills, not for 100l. which he borrows and receives in money, but for a Bill of Credit upon his land for 100l. to be signed and sealed by the said Holder. And yet the Act makes no provision, neither during the continuance nor after the expiration of it, at 5 years end, for turning those Bills into money when required. Had the Act, instead of compelling men by severe penalties to accept of Bills instead of money, invited them so to do by establishing certain funds for converting those Bills into money when required, it might have prevented many inconveniences, wch. for want of such provision will inevitably insue; for by the Act as it now stands, every first taker up of a Bill of Credit for 100l., must pay 108l. for such Bill, which, when he turns into money [will] never yeild him more than the summ of 100l. mentioned in the Bill, so that he must necessarily lose 8 in the 100 by turning his Bills into money, but if he turns his Bills into goods and commodities, tho' the Act compells the merchant of whom he buyes them to accept of Bills instead of money, yet it does not compell him to sell his goods at what price the buyer pleases, but the merchant will consider the charge, risque, trouble and other accidents to which Bills are more liable than money, and will rate his goods accordingly, so that this Act will alter the price of all commodities to the great confusion and disturbance of trade. The Act imposes an intollerable hardship upon creditors who have already lent their monies under covenants and obligations of receiving the like sums in currant money; but this Act calls a Bill signed and sealed by Holder current money, and imposes a necessity on the creditor to receive it as such. From whence arises a double inconveniency. First, the creditor who has already lent his moneys upon good securities, such as mortgages, judgements and the like, which in Barbadoes carry with them 10 in the 100, must surrender up these securities, and take Bills for them, wch. carry no interest, and also change an unquestionable security into Bills, the title whereof neither he nor his Counsell were ever acquainted with. And as to future lenders, no man in Barbadoes, during the continuance of this Act, will lend any more money, because of the hardships to which Creditors are exposed by the Act, to ye manifest disadvantage of trade, which in great measure depends upon borrowing and lending. The Act requires the Treasurer of the Island to accept these Bills in payment for excise, taxes and all other impositions, whereby your Majesty's Revenue will be greatly damnifyed, for Bills will never defray the publick charges with that advantage as ready money does, besides if the Treasurer of the Island allows of Bills for good payment, the Treasury there will never be possessed of any summs in ready money, which how dangerous it may prove in many sudden exigencies, is not easy to determine. It is further provided by the Act that in case any persons who have entered into obligations to Holder, on account of these Bills, shall prove insolvent, by means whereof Holder shall be rendred incapable to answer the demands arising by these Bills, then such summs or Bills shall be made good out of the publick funds, which will likewise be prejudicial to your Majesty's Revenue, by charging it with the insolvencies of particular persons. The inhabitants of Barbadoes employing their lands to the production of sugars and other beneficial commodities, do thereby often need corn, beef, pork and other provisions to be imported thither from New England, New York and other Plantations on the Continent; but this invention of Bills will be a generall obstruction to this trade, for the importers from those parts have not always occasion to take sugars or other the commodities of the Island in exchange for provisions, and Bills they will not take, which by the Act are only to have a currency in the Island, and the currency of Bills in the Island will prevent the currency of money there, for particular traders receiving nothing but Bills in all payments, will not be furnished with a sufficient quantity of cash to buy those provisions. This new erected office, in nature of a Land Bank, will be very chargeable to the people, without any benefit. If a man has lands in Barbadoes, and his title be good, and he willing to give a satisfactory interest, his lands will always be a credit for money, and there is no need of giving 8 in the 100 to have a credit upon his own land; But in case he will take up credit as this Act appoints, he shall have a Bill from the office, which by force of Law shall pass as ready money, he paying 8 in the 100 for such Bill, so that the Act continuing for 5 years every person who takes up Bills to the value of 100l., must pay 40l. for the currency only and circulation of such Bills during yt. terme. We further observe that 5l., part of the 8 per cent., are applyed to him who issues out the Bills, his Clerks and Cashiers, which is the 20th part of all credit; By means whereof the persons concerned in the office will be sure to be gainers, who ever else may be losers. There are many objections may be made to severall paragraphs in the Act relating to the manner of ordering and regulating the Bills, the examination of the titles of lands, the sales of those lands upon not satisfying the obligations etc., but we omit them, because, if the principal part of the Act making Bills to pass as ready money be rejected, all the rest falls in course. Having duly considered the whole Act and consulted the Barbadoes merchants and African Company, and others concerned in the trade of the Island, we are humbly of opinion that this Act is hurtfull to trade, injurious to creditors, prejudiciall to the Revenue and safety of the Island, and an unnecessary charge upon the inhabitants, and that therefore your Majesty be pleased to signify your disallowance and disapprobation thereof. [C.O. 29, 10. pp. 142–152.]
Oct. 17.
543. Governor and Council of Rhode Island to the Council of Trade and Plantations. This morning came to our hands your Lordships' letter of May 31. We will speedily appoint a day of Thanksgiving. A page of prayers for H.M. and their Lordships' health as Sept. 14. Signed, West. Clarke, Secretary. Endorsed, Recd. Nov. 25, 1706. Read Feb. 28, 1706/7. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1263. No. 141; and 5, 1291. pp. 457, 458.]
Oct. 18.
544. Mr. Bridger to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to my Instructions I am to give your Lordshipps an account of my proceedings from time to time. After a passage of 73 days I arrived at Boston Sept. 15. … i am now at Piscataqua, the mast shipps with sayle being cheifly laden wth. Naval Stores being now bound for England under convoy of H.M.S. Dover, and have on board in tarr 5615 (fn. 1) barrell, in pitch 614 barrells, rozin 90 barrells, in turpentine 836 barrells, wch. is the first year's produce. Those stores were made by the people without any instructions how to make them, but are all made of old knotts, therefore I hope your Lordshipps will favour them so farr as not to hinder theire receiving the premium given them, and if they do not rise to eaquall goodness with the East Countrey now, I will engage those for the future, if they will follow my advice, shall be as good as any ever imported into England. That in 2 years, for the trees must stand 2 years after they are prepared, and I hope the Navy will buy this and give the people incouragment to proceed, for should they meet with any disapointment as to the reward or premium I feare they would not venter a second attempt, but return to theire spinning wch. they have made a very great progress in, and every farmer or planter have now entered on rasing of sheep, wch. will be the loose of this designe wholly. This beginning shews the people's present inclinations, and they all here express a generall liking to the same, and hope to go forward, but they all depend on this tryall, and as they now succed, so they will proseed. The whole depends on this very fleet, for every one is at a full stop, till they heare of the success of this tryall, but I hope all will be well, and theire expectations answered, and in my humble opinion [that] H.M. ware better give more for this than twice the value, than have the people here baulk'd etc. Prays to be allowed traviling charges. I cannott live with my servant and two horses under 15s. a day, when I travile, wch. is all the yeare, for in the summer I must instruct the people, and in the winter survey the woods, etc. My salary is not more than 200l. a year, by which I shall be 200l. more out of pocket etc. Then I have no allowance for pens, paper etc., nor for postage of letters, etc. I have a large correspondence 900 miles distance. A letter from Virginia 2s. 6d., more very often, allways 1s. 6d. from Philadelphia, 1s. from New York and none under 8d. Neither have I any clerk, wch. 'tis impossible for me to be without and doe all the buisness I am obliged to, on all wch. I most humbly pray your Lordshipps' representation to my Lord Treasurer, having writ to him on the same account, etc. The people must be humour'd and flatter'd and showed their own interest, and it would be of good consequence had I mony to make the experiment of tarr in the proper places etc., and if I might buy any of those stores here produced on commission for H.M., which if imported by me as H.M. would save the premiums to H.M., which would be 30,000l. per annum saved to H.M., etc. I can buy tar for 8s. or 9s. sterling, the freight may be had and is now in this fleet at 5l. per tun in barrells, and I can give timely notice for insurance if thought proper. I desire no money in hand, but have credit to draw by bill for so much as is bought, which may be examined by any if my fidelity should be suspected, and am willing to be on my oath as to the quantity and price I give, and am very certain I shall buy the best. This I have proposed to the Lord High Treasurer, who I am sensible will refer it to your Lordships for your report, etc. The ships being ready to sail prevents my giving an account of the state of the woods, which is very bad, and severall other affaires I must refer till my next.
If your Lordships fix on a sum for traviling charges, I will get the Governor to certify that I went out such a day and return'd such a time. Proposes 15s. per diem allowance. Coll. Quarry have 20s. per diem. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. 25th, Read 27th Nov., 1706. Addressed. Holograph. 3½ pp. [C.O. 5, 864. No. 75; and 5, 912. pp. 196–202.]


  • 1. The numbers, left blank in this document, are supplied from duplicate enclosure. Nov. 30.—Ed.