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.
§ 1. GENERAL.
This volume has been compiled and edited in the intervals of other work more closely connected with the World-war which began in August, 1914. The events recorded in it are over two hundred years old. But many of them have an interest which has been redoubled by recent occurrences. At that time, too, a world-war was being waged on land and sea. England, with her Allies, was fighting on the Continent, on the self-same terrain in Flanders as now, and elsewhere throughout the globe. She was struggling then to obtain that complete mastery of the seas, which in this war she, with her Allies, has established and held from the beginning. The foundations of International Law were being laid. For many of the same problems of trade, of the rights of neutrals, of contraband, prizes, and of losses at sea, of treatment and exchange of prisoners, and so forth, arose at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and became the subjects of discussion, or petition, couched in some cases in language startlingly similar to that which has been used of late.
The grant in aid of Nevis and St. Christopher's, voted by Parliament on the occasion of Iberville's raid on the Leeward Islands in 1706, formed a precedent for the compensation granted to the sufferers from the Scarborough raid of 1915. For the British Empire, the important problem of what contribution the Colonies should make towards Imperial Defence had not been then so happily solved.
By a curious coincidence, upon the very day on which England declared war upon Germany for her violation of Belgium, the Editor happened to transcribe the words in which the Secretary of State announced to the Governors of the American and West Indian Colonies the good news of Marlborough's wonderful victories in Flanders, and prophesied that the arms of England and her Allies would be completely victorious (501).
Act of Union.
Not less important than Marlborough's military achievements abroad, was an act of legislative wisdom performed at this time at home. For the pre-eminent event in domestic affairs during the two and a half years now under review, was the passing of the Act of Union. It was destined to have far-reaching consequences in the development of the Colonies. For the Act of Union admitted Scotsmen to a share in the heritage of the British Empire. They were not slow to make abundant and loyal use of an opportunity for which the enterprise of the Darien scheme and other incidents recorded in previous volumes of this Calendar had shown that they were ripe. The question of the status of Scotch traders and settlers in the Plantations was laid for ever. Governors were instructed to publish the Act in the most solemn manner, and to look upon "Scotchmen for the future as Englishmen to all intents and purposes whatsoever" (883, 889, 905). Apart from the disabilities in point of trade and otherwise from which Scotsmen had suffered before the Kingdoms were united, the attitude of some unthinking Englishmen towards them is curiously exemplified by a proposal which emanated from the Governor of the Leeward Islands whilst the delicate negotiations for the Union were in progress. Col. Parke, anxious to lead an expedition against Martinique, asked for "10,000 Scotch with otemeal enough to keep them for 3 or 4 months." He proposed to settle them there, if successful, and, if not, to get those knocked on the head "who are so zealous to maintain the Kerke" (123). The Secretary of State disapproved of this ill-timed scheme, and informed the gallant officer that her Majesty looked upon Scotchmen as "good subjects and good Christians, too good to be knock'd on the head upon so wild a project" (834).
The Earl of Sunderland Secretary of State.
The Statesman who administered this salutary snub was the Earl of Sunderland. He had succeeded Sir Charles Hedges in the office of "Secretary of State in the Southern Province," as he informed the Governors of Plantations in December, 1706 (658). He soon took an opportunity of asserting himself with the Council of Trade. He insisted that all business connected with his province should be submitted to him before being brought before the Privy Council and the Queen (703). Six months later the Commissioners of Trade were uneasily aware of a tendency on the part of the Minister to decide matters relating to the Colonies over their heads and without reference to them. They took occasion to request his Lordship that "when anything is ordered by H.M. which relates to the business of the Board, we may from time to time be acquainted therewith" (1067). It cannot be said that the decisions of the Minister, when they were made contrary to the advice of the Board, were either wise or fortunate. The contrary was notably the case in the affairs of Newfoundland at this period.
Meanwhile the evil system of Patent Offices, against which the Board had so often protested, grew and struck deeper roots. The misuse of the Plantations for providing sinecure posts for the relatives and supporters of Ministers is frequently indicated (559, 591, 604 etc.). The consequent evils of absentee officials, absentee officers, absentee landlords and Councillors, and underpaid deputies became increasingly apparent (559, 591, 604, 1220, 1380).
The War of the Spanish Succession.; The Spanish in the West Indies.
But matters of more vital importance than the multiplication of sinecures might well have absorbed all the energies of Ministers, and did naturally employ them to a large extent. The varying fortunes of the Allies in Flanders, Italy and Spain are reflected in the despatches of the Minister "for the Southern Province." The war was prosecuted with spasmodic energy in the Western hemisphere. Raids were carried out by one side or the other in Carolina, the Bahamas, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Leeward Islands. But the fate of the English, French and Spanish Colonies was being decided by Marlborough's armies and the English high sea fleets. Successes by the Allies on the Continent were immediately communicated to the Governors of the Plantations by flying packets (325, 403, 417, 454, 486, 501). Thanksgiving Days were ordered to be celebrated in the Colonies (343, 354, 357.i.). Great pains were taken to keep the Spaniards in the West Indies fully apprised of Marlborough's victories and the successes of the Allies in Catalonia and Italy. Every effort was made to induce the Governors of Cartagena and Havanna to declare for Charles III (33.i.). Under the impression produced by the fall of Barcelona, the success of the Allies on the Portuguese frontier, and the victory of Ramillies (17, 313, 325), the Spanish Governors appeared to incline that way. But when the balance began to swing in favour of Philip V, the influence of France, backed by French men-of-war, quickly reasserted itself.
Admiral Whetstone in the Spanish West Indies.
Rear-Admiral Whetstone sailed from Jamaica with "a noble squadron" for the Spanish Main in the summer of 1706, and, acting under instructions from Mr. Secretary Hedges, endeavoured to induce the Spanish Governors to throw off the French yoke by the promise of the aid of British arms (33, 33.i., ii., 68, 461, 493.i.).
He was able to report that the majority of the Spaniards had a good inclination to Charles III, if they dared but show it. They were overawed, however, by the French forces. For Ducasse had recently arrived with a squadron off the Spanish coast, with the intention of convoying the galleons home (376, 377).
General Handasyd and the Spaniards.
Whetstone's efforts were seconded by the diplomacy of General Handasyd. In letters addressed to the Governor of Cartagena, he insinuated that the French intended to seize Cartagena and the Havanna, and promised, in the name of the Queen, that those Spanish Governors would be rewarded who should "declare for King Charles III, shakeing off that avaricious and devouring French Batt" [=Vampire] (221, 221.iii., iv.). As a result of these representations he was able to report a rebuff to the French interest on the part of the Governor of Cartagena (458). The Spaniards refused to allow any French men-of-war or merchant ships to enter their ports. And when they endeavoured to force their way ashore at Havanna, the Spanish guard fell on them and killed some ninety of the Frenchmen. Handasyd concluded that the Spaniards in general, except such as were mere pensioners of the French, were zealous for the interest of the House of Austria (554).
The French, on the other hand, wooed the Spaniards by boasting that, whilst we were amusing ourselves at Catalonia, they would sweep the English Colonies, and prove more useful to the Spaniards than we could be, by furnishing them with negroes from our Islands (337, 338, 443).
The reaction came when the news of the failure of the Allies reached the Spanish in the West Indies, at the beginning of 1707 (735). The French party triumphed in New Spain in proportion to the success of the Duc d'Anjou in Old Spain. Governors who were reputed to be in the interest of Charles III were turned out and their places filled by those whose loyalty to France was above suspicion (793). Admiral Sir John Jennings, arriving on the Spanish coast, met with but a cold reception. He found that those who had dallied with the proposals of Sir William Whetstone and General Handasyd, when Charles III was proclaimed King, were now suddenly converted again to the cause of Philip V, when it was known that his Catholic Majesty was restored to the Court of Madrid. In his defence they were prepared to spill the last drop of their blood. So the Governor of Cartagena replied to the blandishments of the English Admiral (735.i.). In vain did the Earl of Sunderland insist upon the desperate situation of France, and the vigour of the effort which was being prepared by the Allies (837).
Capture of Spanish galleons.
The energies of the English Fleet in those parts were now mainly directed towards the capture of the Spanish galleons, when they should sail for Old Spain, laden with the treasure of Philip V (752, 793, 797). Their movements had long been carefully watched. At the end of November, 1707, Commodore Wager sailed from Jamaica for the Spanish coast, with the object of intercepting them (1223). Here he received intelligence of the arrival of a strong French squadron at Martinique under M. Ducasse (1223, 1223.i.). Prudence compelled him to return to Jamaica, after losing one ship through bad weather (1250, 1379.i.). The presence of Ducasse caused some apprehension of an attack upon Jamaica, Barbados, or the Leeward Islands. His real business, however, was to escort the Spanish galleons to Europe (838, 961, 1087, 1201). They had refused to trust themselves to the care of Iberville two years before (499). Ducasse proceeded to Havanna, and there awaited the arrival of a fleet of Spanish merchant ships and galleons, which had sailed from Cartagena for Porto Bello in January. Commodore Wager thereupon came out from Jamaica and lay in wait in the passage between Porto Bello and Havanna, in order to intercept them on their voyage to join Ducasse. His weakened squadron was partly manned by soldiers drafted from the regiment at Jamaica. If he could lie there undiscovered, he would have the Spanish treasureships at his mercy, for the French squadron would be prevented from coming to their rescue, owing to the great distance and contrary currents (1339, 1487, p. 714). His long watch was at length rewarded. In the beginning of June, unaware of his presence, the Spanish galleons came out. Commodore Wager engaged the Spanish Admiral, and blew up his ship. He then captured one galleon; another escaped from the Kingston into Cartagena; a fourth was forced ashore, where her crew only partly succeeded in destroying her.
The value of the treasure in the three ships so captured and destroyed was said to amount to some fifteen millions sterling. But, like Benbow, Commodore Wager was badly supported by the other ships under his command. The commanders of the two men-of-war and the fireship, which completed his squadron, left their chief to do the fighting (1551, 1551.i.).
Trade with the Spaniards.; Complaint against Commodore Kerr.
We have seen, in the previous volume, that trade had been re-opened with the Spaniards. The importance of it was emphasised by Sir Charles Hedges when he sent the Queen's Instructions to General Handasyd to win over the Spanish Governors. He explained that the French were working themselves into the Spanish West India Trade, and were endeavouring to monopolise it, through the agency of M. Ducasse and the Assiento (33, 33.i., ii., 68). The trade was accordingly pushed from Jamaica and Barbados, with results which fluctuated, naturally, as the progress of the Allies and the influence of the French waxed and waned (735, 777, 998, 1223, 1250, 1339, 1591). Its development was retarded by the behaviour of the English Commodore, William Kerr. Jamaica merchants complained that he exacted large sums from them as the price of providing them with a convoy of H.M. ships. When they refused to pay the extortionate sums demanded, they lost their ships to privateers. When they paid, their profits ceased to be proportionate to their risks. On returning from their voyage, their sloops and their cargoes were liable to be seized by the Commodore on frivolous charges of illegal trade. These matters were made the subject of investigation by a Committee of the House of Lords. There was some complaint also of the piratical behaviour of certain Jamaican sloops in those latitudes (1180, 1199, 1204, 1277).
When a Commodore was capable of such blackmailing tactics, it is not surprising to find that great abuses were common in the Plantations in the matter of prizes. It was deemed necessary to instruct Governors to interpose with their authority and advice in all differences between the Agents for Prizes and the Captains of ships of war (59, 1330.viii., 1482.iii.–vi.).
Rights of Neutrals.
An attempt on the part of some Swedish merchants to cut into this coveted trade with the Spanish West Indies under the ægis of the British flag, was not encouraged by the Council of Trade. But whilst not deeming it desirable to foster any such efforts on the part of foreign countries, they stated clearly enough that the Swedes, being neuters, could not be prohibited from trading to the Spanish West Indies with goods not contraband (1172, 1188, 1234).
The damage wrought by French privateers continued to be very great. Five out of eleven Virginia merchantmen, for instance, were taken off the Canaries (323). But the biter was sometimes bit. The master of an Irish vessel, attacked by a sloop of greatly superior force, captured his aggressor and brought her in. He had himself already been taken three times during the war (432). Another instance of pluck upon the part of the mercantile marine was the feat of one Coleby, the commander of a trading sloop, who fell in with a French privateer of superior equipment, which had taken many of our trading sloops off the coast of Cartagena. Coleby gave fight, and, after repelling three attempts at boarding him, turned the tables by capturing the privateer (17).
With the seas so infested by enemy privateers, the question of convoys for the merchant fleets became increasingly a matter for concern. Moreover, the French raid upon the Leeward Islands, to which we shall refer more particularly when dealing with the West Indies, created something like a panic in all the American Colonies. The Council of Trade recommended the despatch of convoys at regular periods, adapted so far as possible to suit the occasions of all traders in the Colonies concerned, so that the homeward-bound ships might all sail together under convoy (72). Great losses had been incurred by the Virginia and Maryland fleets coming away so late the year before (672.i.). Orders were given to this effect (772). A report by Col. Quary emphasises the disastrous results of "the late distractive and irregular way of fleets" upon the tobacco market (130.i.). It was not, however, so easy to reconcile the divergent views and interests of the trader at the various home ports. When they consulted them, the Council of Trade found that the problem of the London merchants differed from those of the Liverpool, Whitehaven and Bristol shippers. The Whitehaven men wished to sail later than the London, agreeing with the Liverpool men that Col. Quary's proposal of one convoy a year to Virginia and Maryland was not to be desired, and that all ships should have liberty to sail as they got ready (159, 242, 295.i.). Contrary to the recommendations of the Board, permits were granted in increasing numbers for ships to sail without convoy, much to the benefit of the enemy's privateers and to the loss of H.M. Revenue (63.i., etc.). The whole matter was presently brought before the House of Commons (1214.i., see below, § 3, Newfoundland).
The Tobacco Trade.
The tobacco trade, especially, was affected by the insecurity of the seas. Maryland and Virginia, the chief tobacco Colonies, suffered severely in consequence. No trade, the Surveyor General of the Customs reported in the memorial already referred to, was worse managed. Apart from the irregular sailings of the convoys, and the capture of tobacco-laden runners, two causes are suggested as contributing to the dislocation of the tobacco market, and the consequent ruin of planters and merchants. One is, that the Continental trade in American tobacco was being cut into by the growth of tobacco in Holland and Germany; the other, that certain English merchants had obtained a concession from the Czar for setting up the manufacture of tobacco in Russia, and were endeavouring to obtain a monopoly of importing it (130, 131.i., 225). Besides this, the markets of France, Spain, Flanders, Portugal and the Baltic were now, in whole or in part, closed to the English exporters. To remedy these evils, the merchants made several proposals. The opening of the markets of Spain, Portugal, Russia and Sweden, and liberty for H.M. subjects to export tobacco from England to France in neutral bottoms, were amongst the remedies proposed by them, and recommended by the Board of Trade. The suggestion that all tobacco used by our soldiers and sailors abroad should be manufactured in England, and allowed the same drawback as for foreign exportation, did not, however, meet with their approval (130.i., 200, 201, 225, 250, 293, 295.i., 684, 990, 992). A report upon the whole matter was presented by the Council of Trade in July, 1707 (1024.i.).
The Woollen Trade and the Plantations.
The use of the word Plantations indicates very suggestively the attitude of England upon the whole theory of colonisation at this time. "The Plantations," observed Mr. Secretary Hedges, "are to be valued as they are more or less valuable to England" (71). Economically, at this stage of their development, Colonies and MotherCountry could be mutually most beneficial to each other, if the Plantations produced raw material to be worked up in the factories at home. So applied, the manufactures of England could be produced for the Colonial market much better and more cheaply than similar goods could be made there. Towards the development of this end, the English Government applied all its influence. Any tendency to manufacture woollen goods, articles of dress, or to build ships, was actively discouraged. Every effort was made to concentrate the energies of the Colonists within their proper sphere, the production of rice, tobacco, sugar, flax, hemp, potash, timber, pitch and tar (71, 127, 157, 232, 233, 423, 523, 641). The Council of Trade, however, did not support the extravagant proposal of the English wool-merchants, who were capable of ignoring the consumer's point of view so far as to suggest that the planters should be obliged by an Act of Parliament to clothe their servants and slaves with English woollen goods at fixed prices. They also made other proposals for taxing imports into the American and West Indian Colonies, pleading that the planters had paid no taxes towards the war, whilst England was put to vast expense to defend them (365.ii.). In negativing the proposal, the Council of Trade pointed out that those branches of trade, which were proposed to be taxed, were, in fact, already in great measure subject to taxation, and they laid down the principle that, "the wares and merchandises of any sort to be sent from England for the supply of the Plantations, ought rather to be recommended to H.M. subjects there by their proper goodness, usefulness and cheapness than be imposed upon them by a rated price, by the power and compulsion of Laws, which would be the greatest discouragement to trade" (641).
The production of Naval Stores—pitch, tar, hemp and timber for the use of the Navy—had long been encouraged in the Plantations by the Government. The growth of this trade, stimulated as it was by the Act which granted a premium to the importers, is indicated by Custom House returns, and Mr. Bridger's reports (363.i., 544, 641, 691, 788, 1186, 1384, 1395). Adopting the suggestion of the latter, who had been sent to superintend this industry and to instruct the planters in the manufacture of pitch and tar, it was decided not to apply too stringent a test to the quality of the goods sent over, for fear lest traders, if they failed to receive the premium, might be inclined to turn their energies into other channels (631, 673, 1218.i.).
New Acts of Parliament.
Apart from the Act of Union, three Acts of Parliament were passed during 1707 and 1708 directly concerning the Plantations. The first was an Act " for the more effectual suppression of piracy," of which, however, very much less has lately been heard in these pages (872). The others were "for the encouragement of trade to America" and "for ascertaining the rates of foreign coins in H.M. Plantations" (1440, 1477). The latter Act, which was prepared by the Council of Trade, was rendered necessary by the refusal of many Colonies to obey the Proclamation of 1704 (976.i., 1157, 1260, 1261, 1268, 1274, 1278, 1289, 1309, 1318). The unsatisfactory state of the currency, and its evil effects upon trade are indicated in Lord Cornbury's despatch in 1706 (463). The Council of Trade had already enunciated some plain principles of political economy for the benefit of the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay (85). But in vain. The Propriety and Charter Governments in particular clung to their old bad ways of clipping coinage, and altering the value of the currency. In the Islands, the Proclamation had been obeyed in some cases, but not in others. The result was that money flowed to those places where the price of the currency was enhanced. Barbados, which had obediently adopted the lower rates prescribed by the Proclamation, found itself drained of cash. To supply the deficiency, it passed the disastrous Paper Act, to which we shall presently refer, § 3 (976.i.).
Propriety and Charter Governments.
The disobedience of the Propriety and Charter Governments in this matter was urged by the Council of Trade as yet another proof of the desirability of resuming them to the Crown. A Bill for their better regulation had already been prepared (18, 88,120, 121). It was introduced into the House of Commons by Mr. Blathwayt, the former Commissioner of Trade, February 23, 1706, but it was thrown out on the first reading, March 2. (fn. 1) (See below, s. Carolina, § 2.)
New Instructions for Governors.
The passing of these and other new Acts and the development of the produce of the Plantations involved certain alterations in the Instructions of Governors. The Council of Trade took the opportunity offered by the appointment of a new Governor of New York to introduce these alterations. By the recent Act, for granting a subsidy, rice, molasses, pitch and tar were included in the "enumerated commodities" (1496, 1599.ii.).
Councils in the Colonies.
The unhappy consequences of the Paper Act in Barbados gave occasion for a new Instruction to Governors forbidding them to pass any Acts of an extraordinary nature or importance, without having first received the Royal sanction (546, 566, 583). The crisis arising in the same Island from the same cause led to the issue of an Order that members of Councils in the Colonies who persisted in absenting themselves from their duties were to be suspended (948, 1153.i., 1203). The Council of Trade pointed out to the Earl of Sunderland that the granting of leave to Councillors to remain in England without their knowledge was likely to nullify the object aimed at by this Order (220). It is to be observed that, whilst the position of Councillor was coveted in some Colonies, whether as a post of honour and influence, or a source of perquisites, or a refuge from judicial proceedings and the recovery of debt, in others, as for instance, in New Hampshire and the Leeward Islands, the office was regarded as a liturgy without profit, involving much labour and expense, with little or no return. In the latter case, Councillors were, not unnaturally, little inclined to pay fees for the honour of serving their Queen and Country. They took exception, therefore, to the new method of appointment by warrant, of which some indications occur in this volume, and which involved the payment of fees by those appointed (789, 1077, 1085, 1396, 1504).
The position of the President of the Council, in case of the death of a Governor, was liable to be called in question, and had, within the last few years given rise to serious controversies in New York, Virginia, and Barbados. Upon the occasion of the appointment of a new Governor of Virginia, the Council of Trade therefore secured the issue of a new Instruction to all Governors appointed by the Crown, that, in the case of the death or absence of Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, the President, or eldest member of the Council, was in future to act as Governor for the time being (859.i., 860, 861, 874.ii.).
Changes in the Council of Trade.; African Negro Trade.
These and other matters kept the Council of Trade fully occupied. When, in 1707, some changes were made in the Board, they added to their labours by addressing a series of questions to the Governors, and reiterated former injunctions as to returns of accounts, Acts, and Minutes, which had been but very irregularly observed hitherto (896, 904, 1006). Amongst these was an enquiry as to the working of the African negro trade (1434).
The new Commission consisted of Lords Stamford, Dartmouth and Herbert of Chirbury, Sir Philip Meadows, John Pulteney and Robert Monckton. With them, apparently, George Stepney was associated (904, 1284). As Secretary, already a Popple to a Popple had succeeded. For upon the retirement of William Popple, his son, of the same name, who had been acting as Deputy Secretary, was appointed (933). An interesting little example of the compliments which passed between him and some of the men of position in the Colonies is preserved in the note from the President of the Council of Virginia:—"Mirtle wax was not to be had . . . . Birds are difficult to be got or kept alive. … I hope to send you some squirrels" (485). This myrtle wax, it may be observed, was made out of myrtle-berries and used for making green wax candles. The new Commissioners drew attention to the increasing business of the Office, and, upon the occasion of the new Privy Seal, demanded the addition of a new clerk (1147, 1147.i.). The underofficers of the Department were reduced to great straits, owing to the long delay in settling the arrears of their salaries (1065, 1066).
A Commercial Agent.
The appointment of a Commercial Agent to the Board was suggested. His reports, as he said, would contribute to a sort of Trade History of England. The Council of Trade replied that they were already sufficiently well served. Their answer furnishes a valuable sidelight upon the methods of the Office, and the relations of the Board with prominent merchants at home and abroad (967, 1192).
Mr. Dummer's Packet-boats continued to provide an improved channel of communication with the Colonies, and also to collect intelligence for the use of the Board (386, etc.). But, even so, means of communication with the mainland were still so imperfect that Governor Dudley complains, in 1706, that he has had no letter from the Board for nine months, and hardly any opportunity of writing to them (443). Lord Cornbury received no letter from them for a whole year. Proposals for extending Mr. Dummer's mail-service to the mainland appear to have hung fire.
A thin stream of Protestant Refugees from the Continent continued to flow through England to the Plantations (30, 144.i., 172). Two groups in particular, of Protestant Refugees from High Germany, after being entertained and naturalised at the expense of the Government, were despatched to New York, and provided for. Their trades, and their names—somewhat obscured in the process of naturalisation—are given (1442.i., 1445, 1456.i., 1506, 1565.i., 1594).
§ 2. THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
The Massachusetts Bay, Dudley's complaints.; A question of Prerogative.; Admiralty Jurisdiction.
At the beginning of the period under review, Governor Dudley is still loud in his complaints as to his scurvy treatment at the hands of the Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay. His only offence is asserted to be his "care and attendance on the Church of England, and the strict pursuit of H.M. commands" (97.i.). But the Assembly still refused to vote supplies for the support of the Government (511). The Judges were still miserably underpaid. The Lieutenant-Governor, Povey, was starved into throwing up his post (p. 31, No. 76). And, in face of the persistent refusal of the Assembly to comply with the demands of the Crown, the Council of Trade were obliged to confess themselves unable to remedy matters. They commended Dudley's action, however, in regard to the Speaker, and reasserted the Queen's right to veto the choice of a Speaker or of Members of Council (85). Dudley reiterates his old complaint that, in spite of all H.M. commands, he had not received the assistance of one man or one penny from Connecticut or Rhode Island towards the present war, and he sends home another instance of the infringement of the Admiralty jurisdiction by New England justices—an infringement described by the Advocate-General as "very irregular" (69, 815).
As the result of his precautions in keeping a large force on the frontiers, Dudley had the satisfaction of being able to announce that the enemy Indians had been driven starving into Canada. He was in a position to refuse to purchase the release of prisoners, and to reject the truce proposed by M. Vandreuil, Governor of Canada (456, 511). Nay, more. Given four ships of war and some mortars, he once more undertakes to "remove all the French from Canada and Port Royal" (69, 69.ii., 511). His proposal was submitted to the Admiralty (70), and the success of his frontier policy praised by the Council of Trade (434).
The Vetch Case.
Before long, however, a noticeable change comes over the tone of his correspondence. Whilst he insists more than ever upon the success of his measures against the Indians and his defence of the frontiers, he drops his complaints against Connecticut and Rhode Island, and, waiving the grievance as to his salary, confines himself to emphasizing the satisfaction of the Assembly and the people in the success of his measures (305, 443, 511, 947, 1135, 1186). The reason for this change of tone is evidently to be found in the scandal of the Vetch case, and the use made of it by Dudley's enemies.
It appears that Dudley had employed one William Rouse to carry some French prisoners to Port Royal, there to be exchanged for an equal number of New England and Virginian prisoners. He was also to ransom some English ships (525, 530.i.). He was forbidden to trade (530). But in company with some other masters of sloops—including an old adventurer from Darien, Samuel Vetch—he took the opportunity of trading with the Indians and French in the course of the voyage along the coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The people of Boston, smarting under the frontier raids of the enemy, which had cost them so dear, were furious when they heard that they had been supplying the enemy with arms and ammunition, as well as provisions and clothing (536). There was a great outburst of popular indignation. The Governor yielded to the storm. He allowed the General Assembly, which was sitting at the time of their return, to take cognizance of the case, "as the Charter doth admit." Acts were passed inflicting heavy fines upon the persons involved. The fines were so far beyond the means of the defendants, that they were equivalent to condemnation to prison for life. Dudley recommended that they should be remitted in part (525, 525.ii.).
Vetch and his companions in misfortune appealed against this judgment, stating their case, and claiming that the Assembly had acted ultra vires, and that, in any case, yielding to the pressure of the mob, they had inflicted fines that were extravagant (773.i., ii., 774.i.).
When the case was submitted to the Attorney-General, he gave it as his opinion that the Governor, Council and Representatives, composing the General Assembly, had by the Charter no judicial powers, and that the passing of these Acts would, if confirmed by the Crown, form a dangerous precedent in depriving H.M. subjects of their birthright as Englishmen, trial by a jury upon oath (787, 832).
Acts v. Vetch, etc. repealed.
Upon these grounds the Acts in question were repealed, the offenders being ordered to stand a new trial in the ordinary course of Law (873, 1121, 1122, 1504).
Indictment of Dudley.; "Philopolites."
The matter, however, was not allowed to rest there. These men, it was rumoured, were only scapegoats. Great persons, it was asserted, were involved in this unsavoury matter (536, 637). It is probable that Paul Dudley was in it. But there is no evidence at all that the Governor was. His enemies, however, seized the opportunity of making an elaborate indictment of the whole administration of Joseph Dudley before the Privy Council (1100). In a pamphlet published by "Philopolites," which has been re-printed in the Sewall Papers, Vol. II, and in which the influence of Cotton and Increase Mather is clearly traceable, the case against the Governor and his son is stated with the utmost venom, but not proven. The venom of the attack defeated its object. Dudley was charged with trading with the enemy, and the sporadic outrages of the Indians were laid to his charge (1100). He was able, in reply, to point to the success of his policy of frontier defence. His answer was effective (1186, 1186.ii.). And even Vetch's guilt, if he was guilty, was quickly condoned. For we shall presently find him promoted to the rank of Colonel, and consulted upon the proposed expedition against Canada.
Expedition v. Port Royal.
Dudley had continued, meanwhile, to press his project of an attack upon Quebec and Port Royal (69, 70, 511, 526, 1186.i.). These places, he urges, might easily be reduced. Either of them would be "a very fair settlement for a Scotch Province" (p. 240).
Presently, in May, 1707, he despatched an expedition of a thousand musqueteers, in a score of sloops and brigantines from Boston, to ravage the French settlements in Nova Scotia. This force included a contingent from Rhode Island. They landed in the same month upon the Port Royal headland (947, 1135, 1186).
Reasons of its failure.
The Expedition was a failure, so far as its objective was the capture of Port Royal. Col. Redknap, who sailed with it as H.M. Engineer, puts the best face on the matter by insisting upon the damage wrought amongst the cattle and habitations, which were burnt up to the very gates of the Fort, the number of prisoners brought back, and the insignificant losses of the expeditionary force (1347). Dudley echoes him. But he admits that our forces retired sooner than he had intended, and that he compelled them to return to Port Royal, though without avail. The strength of the Fort and garrison, and the lack of heavy artillery are alleged as their excuse (1135, 1186). The fact remains that having come up to the gates of Port Royal, the Expedition retired almost without having fired a shot. Col. Quary, who emphasises the importance of Port Royal, hints at a black story of cowardice and illconduct. He asserts that, in spite of "all the misery that hath happened, and still threatens New England from the settlement of the French at Port Royall, yett there hath been and still is a trade carried on with that place by some of the topping men of that Government, under the colour of sending and receiving Flaggs of Truce" (1273).
Lt.-Governor Usher (who, it must be remembered, had no love for his Chief) speaks of a "horible, shamfull miscariage," due to the lack of a good soldier to manage the war (1592). In a diary of the Expedition, which is indeed anonymous, but which I attribute confidently to Usher, as being unmistakably in his handwriting, spelling and style, he gives an exceedingly vivid and illuminating account of the bungling of this business, whether at first or second hand. Both Paul Dudley and Col. Redknap are directly blamed for cowardice and incompetence, if not worse (1592.ii.).
Prospect of Reprisals.
The failure of the attempt upon Port Royal gave rise to fear of reprisals on the part of the French. Complaint was lodged at home that the Colonists of New York, so far from taking their share in the task of fighting the common enemy, were actually trading with the Canadian and Eastern Indians, and that the Governor of that Province had refused to urge the Five Nations to take up arms against the French. Once more a request was made to England for assistance from the Navy in order to reduce Port Royal (1511).
The Charles galley.; Saco Fort.; Republican attitude of the General Assembly.
Dudley makes his defence in the case of the Charles galley (511). In the same despatch he announces that Saco Fort has been abandoned in favour of a site lower down the River. And once again he draws attention to the Republican attitude of the Council and Assembly, who have pointedly refused to return thanks to the Queen for the gift of Her portrait, which had been set up in the Council Chamber (p. 239).
Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving.
A Day of Thanksgiving was observed for Marlborough's victories and a bountiful harvest, and a Day of Fasting in the hopes of a remission of sins and the success of the Port Royal adventure (525.iii., 1186.ix.).
List of Causes.; Court of Chancery.
A list of causes tried in 1706 and 1707 is indicated (1186.iv.). A petition was proffered for the establishment of a Court of Chancery (215).
Boston News-Letter and the Quakers.
The Editor of the "Boston News-Letter" was taken to task for representing that the Quakers at home had unjustly complained against severe laws of the Province penalising them "for their conscientious dissent from the National way."Dudley, at the instance of the Council of Trade, reprimanded the writer, and "required him to tell his news without any reflection for the future." There was no Law, he declared, which was grievous to the Friends, saving the Military Laws (510, 510.i., ii., 511).
Effects of the war on Boston.
Col. Quary calls attention to the ruinous effect of the war upon the trade of Boston, now reduced to a third of what it had been, in spite of infringements of the Acts of Trade and Navigation. The fishery and mercantile marine of the Province was in a fair way to be ruined by the French settlement at Port Royal "just under their noses" (1273).
Woollen Trade in New England.
Although, as has already been pointed out, the manufacture of their own woollen goods by the planters was discouraged so far as possible, the suggestion that the importation of wool-combs into New England for the purposes of that "growing, thriving trade" was illegal, was not upheld (157, 232, 423).
Export of Naval Stores.
The Act for the encouragement of the production of Naval Stores had, however, begun to bear fruit. The attention of the Colonists was being turned from the working up of wool to the production of raw material (673). In the autumn of 1706 the mast fleet sailed from Piscataqua with 10,000 barrels of pitch and tar (550, 552, 552.i., and see supra). In the following year the contract of Mr. Collins for cutting masts for the Navy Board led to some confusion with Mr. Bridger and Governor Dudley (1186, etc.).
New Hampshire Act to prevent waste of trees.
In New Hampshire an Act was at length passed for the better preservation of mast trees, and the Governor endeavoured, but in vain, to induce the Representatives of the Massachusetts Bay to follow suit (1560).
Lt.-Gov. Usher.; Charges v. Vaughan, Waldron, etc.
Mr. Usher, the Lt.-Governor, found his position increasingly unpleasant. The Council of Trade warned him that he ought to reside in the Province, in spite of the slights which had driven him to retire to Boston (846). Usher, not being able to obtain any grant towards his expenses or salary, then applied to be relieved of his office. At the same time he repeated a direct charge of embezzling and misapplying the Revenue and of mutilating the Records against his enemies, Waldron and Vaughan (536, 1592, 1592.ii.).
George vaughan appointed Agent.
To his great indignation, this very Vaughan, this Republican who had urged that Usher's expenses in visiting his Government should not be paid by the Province, was, in his absence, appointed by the Representatives to go to England as their Agent. This was done with Governor Dudley's assent and approval (1186, 1363, 1381). On his arrival at home, Vaughan laid before the Secretary of State an account of the "poverty and distressing circumstances of New England," with a request for a man-of-war and arms and munitions to protect New Hampshire (1514). The unsatisfactory state of the currency, the large profits exacted by the English manufacturers and merchants, and the expenses of the war were, indeed, as Usher explains, pressing heavily upon the New England Colonies (1592).
Case of Thomas Allen.
The inheritance of the Law-suit of the Proprietor, Samuel Allen, passed to his son, Thomas. In spite of the Queen's commands and the Governor's endeavours in accordance therewith, the New Hampshire Courts refused to find a special verdict in the trials concerning the property of the soil of the country. In 1708 the papers in the case were sent home to be laid before H.M. in Council on appeal (16, 204, 1186).
Acts of New Hampshire.
The Attorney General reported upon the Acts of New Hampshire in use in 1703. He took exception to some sixteen of them upon the various grounds of inexpediency, unreasonableness, bad draughtsmanship, infringement of the Queen's prerogative or the liberty of subject, excessive severity of the penalties inflicted or inconsistency with the English Law, etc. (369).
On the occasion of the Bill for raising 1,700l., the Assembly of New York had claimed the sole right of framing Money-bills, and had denied the Council's right to amend them. This claim the Council of Trade flatly disallowed (86).
New York. Council of Trade on the claims of the Assembly.
No Assembly in the Plantations, so it was now plainly stated, ought to pretend to all the privileges of the House of Commons, "which will be no more allowed them than it would be to the Councils, if they should pretend to all the priviledges of ye House of Lords here." Apart from this, the Assembly was blamed for other irregularities in the Bill for raising 1,700l., whereby the royal prerogative was directly infringed. On the other hand, Cornbury was instructed that the appointment of a Treasurer by the Assembly in the case of extraordinary grants by them earmarked for particular purposes, was to be permitted.
Cornbury warned.; Defence of the Colony
Whilst blaming the Assembly for what was amiss, the Council of Trade did not refrain from a broad hint to the Governor. They expressed the hope that no occasion had been given for the Assembly's distrust of the Government, and that "your Lordship has and will lay before them an account of all monies raised by Acts of Assembly, whenever they shall desire the same" (p. 45). If the Assembly were satisfied that the money they voted was rightly applied, they would be encouraged, it is suggested, to raise further supplies for the defence of their country, instead of making demands upon the Crown. For it was thought reasonable that each Colony should themselves make due provision for their own protection (86). Cornbury was urged, therefore, to press the Assembly to appropriate a fund for the purchase of arms, as was done in other Plantations. Meantime he was warned that his demands for further supplies of stores of war from home would not be granted, until a full account was received of those which had been sent in former years (304, 438).
Panic on account of Iberville's raid.
Something like a panic reigned in New York when it was rumoured that Iberville, after his raid on the Leeward Islands, intended to destroy that city on his way home. It was remembered how, five years ago, he had lain off Staten Island, and made himself familiar with the soundings of the harbour. The Militia was called out and concentrated about the city. The Fort received some badly needed repairs, and some batteries were erected with feverish haste in order to defend the place, which, it was at last recognised, lay quite open to the attacks of an enemy (pp. 246, 247).
Vacating Act confirmed.
In 1707 the Council of Trade reviewed the question of those extravagant grants of land made by Governor Fletcher, and vacated under Lord Bellomont's administration. The Act, passed by Cornbury, repealing Bellomont's Act of Repeal was then in turn annulled, and the original Vacating Act confirmed (June, 1708), on the ground that such exorbitant grants as those made by Fletcher were highly prejudicial to the Province. A regrant of 2,000 acres only was made to each grantee, under certain conditions (1068.i., 1585, 1586).
Act concerning Bayard and Hutchins.
At the beginning of the same year, the necessary recognizances having been entered into, the Act of 1704, declaring the illegality of the proceedings against Col. Bayard and Alderman Hutchins, was at length confirmed, and that of 1705 was repealed (1175.i., 1264, 1265).
Probate of wills, etc.
A question of general interest to the Plantations was raised by Cornbury with regard to the granting of letters of administration and the probate of wills in England. The problem is stated (517), and the Attorney General's opinion, afterwards issued as an instruction, appears (842; cf. 646, 1593).
Col. Ingoldesby's Commission revoked.
The position of Col. Ingoldesby, as Lt.–Governor of New York and of New Jersey, having led to some friction, his commission for the former office was revoked, which was, indeed, stated to be one no longer needed (248, 256).
Settlement of German Protestant Refugees.
The immigration of a party of Protestant Refugees from the Palatinate has been referred to above (§ 1, 1506 etc.).
Cornbury and Vice-Admiralty.
As Vice-Admiral, Cornbury had occasion to complain of the conduct of Capt. Miles, who used his powers of pressing seamen as a means of money–making, by disposing of the men he pressed to merchantmen, for a consideration (p. 245). Miles died shortly afterwards. A dispute then arose between Cornbury and Capt. Fane, the former claiming the right, as Vice–Admiral, of appointing Miles' successor, until H.M. pleasure should be known, the latter refusing to recognise Cornbury's jurisdiction, and insisting upon the appointment of his own nominee (666, 666. i.–v., p. 246).
In this Fane was upheld by the Admiralty, who made it clear that Cornbury had no manner of right to appoint officers to ships. His doing so was, indeed, "such an infringement of the known rights and authority of the office of Admiral as cannot in the least degree be dispensed with" (882).
Lord Cornbury and Thomas Byerley.
In the beginning of 1706 Thomas Byerley, the Collector at New York, complained that the Governor, by an Order in Council, had directed the costs of prosecutions, in cases of seizures for irregular trade, to be paid, not out of the gross sum forfeited, but out of the Queen's third when the proceeds had been divided. The Governor's third was thereby freed of costs (90. i., 124). The Council of Trade reported that this arrangement was scarcely desirable. Byerley, whom Cornbury had suspended, was ordered to be restored to his office by the Lord High Treasurer, on the ground, amongst other reasons, that Cornbury had exceeded his powers in suspending him without first receiving instructions (304). Cornbury obeyed, so far as restoring Byerley to his office was concerned. But Byerley soon had occasion for further complaint. Lord Cornbury's nominee, Mr. Fauconnier, who had acted as Commissioner during his suspension, refused to restore the records of his office, and the Governor continued to persecute him (1231.i.–iii.).
Recall of Cornbury.
Cornbury, indeed, was treated with over-much patience. But at length the scandal of his arbitrary and avaricious conduct, and his neglect of public business save for his own ends, was recognised as intolerable. The immediate occasion of his recall, judging by the dates on which the several complaints against him were received and read, would appear to have been the serious charges contained in the "Remonstrance" of the Assembly of New Jersey (see infra). This complaint from New Jersey arrived very shortly after censure had been passed upon him in reference to the case of Richard Budge.
Case of the Hope.
Cornbury's conduct in seizing and confiscating the Hope in 1702, had been declared on appeal to be illegal and arbitrary. A direct order from the Crown was issued, bidding him to make restitution to the unhappy owner and master, one Budge. This order Cornbury ignored. In October, 1707, the Council of Trade asked for H.M. censure upon his behaviour in this connection. The judgment on the appeal was then once more ordered to be put in execution (541, 1033. i., 1152. i., 1266).
New Jersey. Council of Trade to Lord Cornbury.; Prisons and salaries.
In the beginning of 1706 the Council of Trade had written to Lord Cornbury, delivering judgment upon the matters then in controversy in New Jersey (80). Col. Morris was to be restored to the Council, on making his submission to the Governor. It was left to the discreation of the Governor to get the qualification of electors and representatives altered, if need be. Cornbury was commended for having maintained that the surrender of the Government of New Jersey by the Proprietors had been absolute. But, even apart from the restoration of Col. Morris, he received a plain hint that his conduct was not regarded with unmixed approval or confidence. In reference to the complaints about the elections, he was warned not to infringe the privileges of the Assembly. He was advised to be careful not to grant commissions to "mean and contemptible" persons. He was reminded that he had sent home on transcripts of the Minutes of the Council or Assembly. The records relating to the proprietorship of the soil were ordered to be returned to the custody of the Proprietors' Agents. And the money voted by the Militia Bill, instead of being placed at the discretion of the Governor, ought, so it was laid down, to be paid only into the Receiver's hands, for purposes which should be plainly specified in the Act (80, 1593; cf. 1325.iv.). He was recommended to urge upon the Assembly the need of building some prisons, and was informed as to the proper interpretations to be put upon the clause in his Instructions as to the salaries of Members of Council and Assembly.
On the whole, this despatch amounted to no less than a severe reprimand in the guise of a warning. It had little effect, however, upon the recipient's behaviour.
The Assembly's remonstrance against Lord Cornbury.; Charges against Cornbury. His reply.
He replied in September (488). But when, after an adjournment in November, followed by a dissolution (608), the Assembly met at Burlington in April, 1707, they refused to transact any of the business recommended to them by the Governor, and proceeded to draw up a statement of their grievances against him. They formulated a long list of charges against his administration, some more and some less serious and reasonable than others. These they presented to him in the form of a "Remonstrance." The authors of this Remonstrance were Mr. Jennings, a Quaker who had resigned from the Council in order to become Speaker of the Assembly, and Lewis Morris, who had also become a Member of the Assembly rather than make his submission to Cornbury and take his place again in the Council. The circumstances in which, according to Cornbury, the Remonstrance was drawn up, are described by him (963). It contained, amongst other complaints of more or less importance, a direct accusation of bribery against the Governor. He had, so it was alleged, received sums raised in the Province in order to procure the dissolution of the first Assembly. The proceedings on this occasion are too long and important to abstract here. The charges were definite, and damning, if true. Cornbury could do no less, and apparently he could do little more, than profess indignation, and ride off on side issues (963, 963.i., ii.). The peevish brain of Morris, and the forward, grasping nature of the Quakers, he declared, were to blame. No good Militia Act, for instance, could be hoped for, so long as any Quakers were allowed to hold office or serve in the Assembly, as witness Pennsylvania (pp. 449–451). In this view he was supported by Col. Quary, who usually echoed him. Here, he declares, as in New York and Pennsylvania, they were determined to make no laws save such as impair the Queen's prerogative and suit their own humours, to grant no money in support of the Government, and to pay no attention to the Laws of England, save when it serves their turn, or unless their Representatives be allowed to sit in the Parliament of Great Britain (1016, 1213).
Morris on Cornbury.; Recall of Cornbury and appointment of Lord Lovelace.
Cornbury put an end to the Session in May. When the Representatives re-assembled in October at Amboy, he found them no less determined than before to transact no business and to grant no Revenue for the Government, until their grievances against him had been fully answered and redressed (1213, 1213.i.). Cornbury's reply was to adjourn them for another six months. He observes that he has received no letter from the Commissioners of Trade for a twelvemonth. Possibly this apparent absence of control from home increased his sense of irresponsibility. Before the Assembly met again, however, he forwarded an address by the Lt.–Governor and Council in his favour (1329.ii.). But, under almost the same date, Lewis Morris despatched a remarkable indictment of Cornbury and all his works, covering the protests of the Assembly, and their direct appeal to the Crown against a corrupt and degenerate Governor (1325, 1325. i.–vii.). There could be no reply to such an indictment except the recall of Cornbury. Lord Lovelace, his successor, had indeed already been appointed a couple of months after the receipt of the Assembly's first Remonstrance, March, 1708 (913.ii., 1417). Nearly a month later a letter was despatched to him granting him "leave of absence for some time upon his private affairs," nominally at humble suit made in his behalf (1441). But a letter from the Earl of Sunderland in June, announcing the appointment of his successor, leaves no room for doubt that his recall was in the nature of a disgrace, was definite, and was made in the interest of his Province rather than of himself (1548, 1558).
Lord Lovelace's Instructions.
Upon the appointment of Lord Lovelace to the Governments of New York and New Jersey, besides the usual Instructions of Governors (1508.iii., 1509.ii.), and the new General Instructions relating to the Act of Union, the new Acts concerning trade, etc. (1599. ii.), and the probate of wills, to which reference has been made above, he was given other particular instructions by the Council of Trade (1593). Amendments to some Acts of New Jersey, including that for elections, were committed to him to be laid before the Assembly (cf. 1325.iv.). The objection, which had recently been raised to the Governor's sending orders to one of the Provinces under his jurisdiction whilst he himself was residing in another (1213), was dismissed as "a very trifling and extravagant opinion," the analogy of the procedure of the Lords Lieutenants of Ireland and the English counties being instanced. Lord Cornbury's omission to send any Minutes of Council or Assembly of either Province, or any accounts of Revenue or shipping was ordered to be made good by the new Governor. And an opinion was expressed upon some of the matters in controversy between him and the Assembly of New Jersey (1593). The Councillors Revell and Leeds were displaced for their share in past "arbitrary proceedings" (1508.i.).
Peter Sonmans and the Council.
Appointments to the Council, especially that of Peter Sonmans, Agent for the Proprietors of the Eastern Division, remained a subject of acute contention amongst the Proprietors throughout this stormy period (105, 608, 909, 1475, 1484, 1519, 1530, 1557).
Report against Proprietary Colonies.
At the beginning of 1706 the Council of Trade made their report upon the "misfeazances of the Proprietary and Charter Colonies," once more urging that they should be resumed to the Crown. The reasons for doing so, and the charges against these Governments, have been rendered familiar by the previous volumes of this Calendar (18; cf. § 1).
Reply of Rhode Island.
About the same time the Governor and Company of Rhode Island were formulating a detailed reply to the charges which had been exhibited against that Government in the preceding year. The charges they denied, and they appealed to their Charter. As to the Quota, they declared that they were not legally obliged to furnish it, nor was there any need for it (73). On the same day as this reply was read, Sir Charles Hedges wrote to Dudley giving a plain hint that, if the Quota continued to be refused, a remedy would have to be applied by Parliament (70). A few months later the Rhode Island Government submitted an account of the steps they had taken to secure themselves from invasion, of which apprehension arose after the raid upon the Leeward Islands (490).
The Quakers of Connecticut appealed against several Laws, which, they said, were inconsistent with the Laws of England and their Charter. In answer, the Agent stated that there were not above seven of them in the Colony (730, 790). This was shortly after the Boston News-Letter had been rebuked for criticising their opposition to the Act of Hereticks, etc. (85).
The Case of the Mohicans.
Upon the appeal of Sir H. Ashhurst, the sentence of costs in the case of the Mohican Indians was reversed, and a Commission of Review was granted for determining their claim. No Commissioner was to have any interest in the lands in dispute (368, 430). The new Commission of Review consisted of Lord Cornbury and eleven Councillors of New York (391, 392, 732, 733). Meantime, Owaneco and the Mohicans had acknowledged the Queen's favour by volunteering to fight against the Eastern Indians. Governor Dudley accepted their offer, and thereby gave offence to the Governor of Connecticut (p. 239).
Death of Governor Winthrop.
At the end of 1707 Governor Winthrop died, and Mr. Saltonstall was chosen in his place (1213).
Quary's account of Connecticut and Illegal Trade.
Before Winthrop's death, Col. Quary had visited Connecticut. The Governor had begged him not to look too narrowly into the mistakes of that Government. The need for this caution was revealed upon an examination of the Custom-house. There he found "nothing but confusion and roguery." Everyone connived at illegal trade, and the example was set by the Collector, "one Mr. Withred, a Pillar of their Church, but a great Rogue." Col. Quary made a clean sweep of the Collectors, and put others in their places, but confessed that he had no hopes of preventing illegal trade so long as the Government remained in the same hands. And so with Rhode Island (1273).
In Pennsylvania, as in New Jersey, Col. Quary saw signs unmistakable that Quaker principles were inconsistent with Government. The Assemblies in the Colonies, which were influenced by their teaching, were, so he warned the Council of Trade, increasingly determined to engross all the powers of Government, judicial and executive, in their own hands. They were equally ready to infringe the Queen's Prerogative and to flout the rights and authority of Proprietors, even of William Penn himself (pp. 490, 639).
Currency Proclamation ignored.; Act for Qualification of Officers.
The Assembly of Pennsylvania demonstrated their recalcitrant spirit in several ways. They refused to put into operation H.M. Proclamation fixing the value of foreign coin, until New York and other Provinces should have led the way. In the meantime they passed an Act of their own for regulating values (40, 40.iii.). Another Act, which roused much indignation in Anglican circles, was that for the qualification of officers. It provided a remedy, by admitting affirmation, for cases when there was no magistrate present in Court who would administer an oath. For the administration of an oath to another was as offensive to the Friends' consciences as taking one themselves. The Bishop of London fulminated against this Act as "a new instance of Mr. Pence insolence . . . . for it seems to control H.M. former Instructions, and to tell us no man shall take an oath where he governs" (415, 415.i.). The Attorney General, however, took the matter more calmly. It was a provision reasonable enough in a country where the greater part of the inhabitants were Quakers (422). The case for and against the Law was argued with spirit by Mr. Willcocks and Mr. Penn (569, 628, 1098, 1098.i., 1227).
The Act was, in the end, repealed upon other grounds. For, as the Attorney General had pointed out, this Law allowed the deposition of a person sick or going out of the Province to be taken and accepted as good evidence—a practice wholly contrary to English criminal law, and seldom allowed even in civil cases (1247.i., 1267).
The Lieutenant Governor, John Evans, also found himself exposed to what he describes as the "ill–grounded fury of a people drunk, with wide notions of privileges." Like Col. Quary, he complains that the Assembly is arrogating to itself "the most exorbitant authorities" (1126, p. 490). The resentment of the country against the Proprietor and his Deputy Governor had, at any rate, reached a high pitch. The leader of the movement was the notorious David Lloyd, now Speaker of the Assembly (1126).
The Militia.; Penn appoints Capt. Gookin Lt. Governor.; Is compelled to renew his Declaration as to the Three Lower Counties.
Apart from the offence of having beaten "an ill-mannerly Dutch Constable," the chief difference between the Lieutenant-Governor and the people was upon the fundamental question of the self-defence, of the Province. Upon the scare of a raid by D'Iberville's squadron, Evans gave an alarm in Philadelphia, in order to test the strength of the Militia. Three hundred men responded to the call, "a poor number indeed in a place where are near as many thousand men." Evans' endeavours to regulate the Militia raised such a storm, that William Penn presently thought fit to supersede him. His successor, it is to be noted, was a retired soldier—Capt. Charles Gookin, "late of Lieut.–General Erle's Regiment" (1495.i.). Penn applied in due course for the Queen's approbation of his new Deputy. But before this necessary approbation was forthcoming, he was compelled, very much against his will, to renew his Declaration as to the Queen's right to the Three Lower Counties (1515, 1516, 1600, 1601).
Pennsylvania and the Three Lower Counties: "a state of war."
The division of Pennsylvania and the Three Lower Counties into two distinct Governments had now resulted in what Col. Quary calls a state of war. For by virtue of a Fort at Newcastle, Evans and the Assembly had laid a heavy powder-tax upon the ships using the River. The merchants and inhabitants of Pennsylvania refused to submit to this imposition. Then the Fort fired upon ships that tried to run the gauntlet. If they missed, they chased the ships in boats. On one occasion the Lieut.Governor, in the ardour of the chase, pursued a vessel, belonging to some of the chief Quakers in Philadelphia, into New Jersey waters, until Lord Cornbury brought him to a stop. "It is impossible," says Quary, "to represent the confusion that is between these two Governments on this occasion, Mr. Penn's authority fighting against himself" (963, 1016).
Penn's surrender of the Government.; Question of Compensation.; Pennsylvania, exports and imports. John Keble and Potash.
On February 5th, 1707, the Council of Trade and Plantations reported to the Earl of Sunderland upon the long-delayed surrender of his Proprietary Government by William Penn. They fully recognised the great task which he had accomplished, at great cost to himself, and that there had not yet been time for him to reap the rewards of his charge and labour. They advised that he should be recompensed, but that his surrender should be "absolute and unconditional, including a renunciation of all right, claim, and pretension as well to the Government of Pennsylvania, as to that of New Castle and the two Lower Counties" (734, 745). In order to arrive at some just measure of compensation, the Council of Trade, to whom the question had been referred, entered into further correspondence with Penn. He displayed his usual restiveness at their interrogations. But in the course of the argument several interesting statistics emerge as to the growth of the export and import trade of Pennsylvania (806, 855, 857.i., 903, 914, 1026). In order to increase the exports, he recommended the petition of John Keble for encouragement to develop "a noble staple, potash" (1502, 1503).
Virginia: the Assembly and Virginia.
The complaint of the Assembly of Virginia against Col. Quary was answered by the Council of Trade in the beginning of 1706. They rebuked the malicious misrepresentations of Robert Beverly, and, at their instance, the new Governor, Nott, was directed to discourage similar groundless complaints, "which tend only to the fomenting divisions" (45. i., 66).
Crisis in the Tobacco Trade.
Discontent in Virginia was probably accentuated by the crisis in the tobacco trade, referred to in § 1. In August, 1706, the greatest fleet "that ever went from the tobacco Plantations" sailed for England, 300 strong (p. 215). A glut of tobacco in the restricted market was the result. Two years later the Governor had to report a falling off in the crops (1573). The great fall in the prices of tobacco, combined with the shortness of supplies of clothing from home, had here, as elsewhere, turned the Planters' attention to the growing of flax, cotton and wool (149, 477, 537, 775, 1573).
Although the country was thrown into great consternation by the news of the French raid upon the Leeward Islands, the Assembly could not be persuaded to undertake any works of defence. In response to Nott's exhortations, they petitioned for the application of the whole of the Crown revenue from quit-rents to that purpose (p. 206). Subsequently, the activity of privateers off the Capes led to a further appeal for a "guardship of good force" (1010, 1573).
Murder by Tuscoruro Indians.
A murder by Tuscoruro Indians is reported (1573).
Grants of Lands.; Act repealed.; List of Grants.
The recent Instructions for a new method of patenting lands and for preventing grants of large tracts of lands were not well received. Nor was the stopping of grants of land on the South side of Blackwater Swamp more popular. A petition was forwarded praying for a reversion to the old scheme (149, 478.i., 484). An Act was passed which, whilst restricting each grant to 4,000 acres, allowed one person to have several patents. The result of this and other provisions would be that the remainder of the unoccupied land would fall into the hands of a few rich men, without imposing on them any obligation to cultivate and develop an adequate proportion of it, thus hindering the healthy settlement of the Colony. For these reasons it was repealed (149, 827). In relation to this subject, a list of the grants of lands on the South side of Blackwater Swamp, put in by Col. Nicholson, supplies a valuable record of Virginia land-holders at this period (756).
Death of Governor Nott.; Government by President and Council.
Governor Nott died of fever on August 23rd, 1706. His administration, inspired by a conciliatory and impartial temper, was said to have already gone far towards composing the internal differences of the Province. "A Gentleman of a very happy temper to cure our Divisions," so the President and Council framed his epitaph (476, 484, 722.i.). Nott was the first Governor to die in Virginia. Doubts at once arose here, as formerly in Barbados and New York, as to the powers of the President of the Council. And the notion that the Assembly was dissolved upon the death of a Governor cropped up here also. This doubt was answered by the Council of Trade, who explained that the continuity of the Assembly was derived, not from the particular Commander-in-Chief, but from the Royal Power, which persisted. It rested, therefore, with a Governor's successors in the Administration to decide whether it was desirable to dissolve an Assembly, or not (484, 824).
Col. Hunter appointed.; His salary.; Absentee Governors.
Seven months after Nott's death, Col. Robert Hunter was appointed to succeed him. He at once suggested that his salary should be paid to him from the day of the late Governor's death, after deducting the moiety allowed to the President of the Council (849, 849.i.). The Council of Trade, however, pointed out that the rule that a Governor's salary should not commence till his arrival in his Government was probably intended to hasten his departure thither. If it were relaxed, the consequences would not be happy, "it being reasonable to think that any Governor will be glad as long as he can to avoid the expence and charge of living there, if his salary shal run on while he continues in England." This was, in fact, yet one more move in the direction of that pernicious system of absentee officers and deputies, against the growth of which the Council of Trade had long struggled in vain (1047; cf. § 1). It was four months later—almost exactly a year after Col. Nott's death—that Col. Hunter took ship for Virginia—only to be driven back to Torbay by a gale (1096).
Revenue Act.; Admeasurement of Ships.
The Revenue Act of 1705 came in for much criticism. One clause restricted the payment of Members of Council to those who had resided in the Colony for three years. This was resented by Col. Quary, who regarded it as aimed directly at him, besides being an infringement of the Prerogative of the Queen to dispose of Crown revenues as she thought best. A similar measure designed to dock the Secretary's Office of the long-established perquisite of appointing County Court Clerks was complained of by Mr. Jennings as being directed against himself for having attended the Council of Trade and brought back the amended Laws, including the Church Bill, which was still distasteful to the Burgesses (483, 484, p. 204). We may, however, see in these measures yet another symptom of the growing desire in the Colonies for local control of expenditure, and the reservation of Colonial appointments for the country–born (cf. § 1). Another clause in the Revenue Act for readjusting the admeasurement of ships with a view to taxation, led to a strong protest from merchants and ship-owners, and to a good deal of correspondence as to an equitable method of measuring tonnage for Customs (917, 1059).
Revenue and other Acts repealed.
After consulting with the Law Officers of the Crown, the Council of Trade obtained the repeal of the Revenue Act, mainly on the grounds that it taxed Virginia traders and ship-owners of the United Kingdom more heavily than Virginian owners, and also because, as Quary had urged, it encroached upon the Royal Prerogative (1226, 1242, 1259, 1304, 1305, 1324.i.). Other Acts infringing the Prerogative were repealed (824), and the Marriage Act met with the disapproval of the Bishop of London (922, 949, 958). One Act was objected to by the Attorney General as lacking in justice towards negro offenders (951).
Progress was reported in the building of the Governor's House (1573).
Boundaries of Virginia and Carolina.
Disputed boundaries had long been a cause of friction between Virginia and Carolina. A fresh encroachment by the latter gave ground for complaint by Virginia in 1706, the Surveyor of Carolina having proceeded on his own account to draw the boundary line within the reputed limits of Virginia (478, 555). The Council of Trade urged the prompt settlement of this dispute, but the Assembly of Virginia waited for the expenses to be paid by the Crown (824, 1573).
Troubles in Maryland.
These were troublous times for Maryland. Her export trade was almost wholly confirmed to tobacco (1570), and that market, as we have seen above (§ 1), was severely affected by the war, and the question of convoys and shipping. There was no guardship to protect her coasts and shipping, which were exposed to the depredations of any rascally pirate or enterprising privateer. The Province was deeply in debt; the Plantations heavily mortgaged. These factors tended to curtail the supply of clothing from the manufacturers at home, and to send up the price of manufactured commodities to an almost intolerable figure (pp. 197, 472). Imports, Governor Seymour declared, were practically confined to protested Bills of Exchange! And he advocated an Act of Bankruptcy (1570). The Colonists were, therefore, forced to turn to the cultivation and manufacture of whole and linen goods for themselves, which it was the whole object of the Plantation theory to discourage (1113, 1570; see § 1).
Demand for Coinage.; Clarke's rebellion.; Execultion of Clarke.
The absence of a small currency in the country was severely felt, and a petition was sent home for a supply of copper coins (630, 825). Meantime, Richard Clarke and his confederates had endeavoured to satisfy this want by issuing a whole series of counterfeit dollars and pieces of eight (p. 471). These were the rebels who had been concerned in a plot for a rising against the Government, in concert with the Indians, and for burning Annapolis and turning pirates. A worse crime is hardly conceivable. But the Council of Trade would not for that reason condone Governor Seymour's procedure in selling two of the ringleaders, Benjamin Celie and Humphrey Hernaman, to Barbados, "for the country's good." They at once called for an explanation (84, 975). Seymour replied that they had been sold into servitude for a period of seven years, or until they should be reprieved. And this had been done in accordance with an Act and a petition of Assembly, in order to reimburse the Province for the expense incurred by their trial, and to avoid putting into execution sentences of death or prolonged imprisonment (792). The Council of Trade, however, could not accept this reason. Criminals, they stated, should be punished according to Law; and they know of no Law which authorized the sale of H.M. Christian subjects in the Plantations, though criminals (1113). Celie and Hernaman were then released and worked at their trades in Pennsylvania (1570). Clarke himself, after escaping to Carolina, which proved too hot for him, returned to Maryland. There for a while he eluded arrest for some time, posing as a Quaker. Repudiated by the Friends, he was protected by his relatives, native-born sympathisers, malcontents and bankrupts. He was taken at last, and executed for high treason (1101, 1570, p. 469).
It is in the support which he received, according to Seymour's own testimony, from "the countrie-born," that the chief interest of Richard Clarke and his rebellion lies. Just as in Jamaica there was a strong feeling for reserving Jamaica for the Creoles, so in Maryland the Act of 1694 for the encouragement of learning, which reserved offices of trust or profit to those who had resided at least three years in the Province, pointed to a growing sense of local patriotism in the native-born. But this point of view, however admirable as one indication of genuine and successful colonisation, was not yet fully justified by the educational standard of the Colonists. The Act deterred men of ability from coming from England "to starve so long a terme," whilst the absence of any Grammar School in the Province, in spite of the Act, left the natives very ignorant and unfit for office (975).
Probably, feeling on this subject was created and accentuated by the growing abuse of Patent Offices and their absentee holders (cf. § 1). The Act for depriving that absentee Patent Officer, Sir Thomas Laurence, of some of the emoluments of his Secretaryship, may be regarded as the outcome of such feeling. The details of the controversy betwixt him and the Assembly, which had taken away from his office the perquisite of granting Ordinary Licences, are long and intricate, but not without significance, if this be accepted as the key to the struggle. Sir T. Laurence's rights were upheld at home (84, 731, 792.i., 1072, 1113, 1151.i., 1269, 1280, 1570). Nor indeed could it easily be maintained that the Act which deprived him of his profits was just and equitable. Laurence then petitioned for the recovery of arrears due to him (1292.i.).
Act concerning Lord Baltimore's Agents.
To rectify another grievance in connection with the incompetent and indigent Deputy Surveyors appointed by Lord Baltimore's Agents, an Act was passed, which was intended to establish greater control over them (975). The Lord Proprietor of course complained (1346, 1464). But the Solicitor General bluntly declared that the provisions of this Act might be of service to the public and do a great deal of good (1522ff.). In the case of another Law, to enable Lord Baltimore's Agents to recover arrears of rent, he observes that the makers of Laws in the Colonies are the best judges of the conveniency of their own Acts, although they might be open to objection in England (1522ff.).
Zeal of the Jesuits.
Owing to the connection with Lord Baltimore, the Roman Catholic and Jacobite propaganda was particularly active in Maryland, and called for repression.
Although Lord Baltimore had written to the leading Jesuits calling upon them to moderate their zeal, further news came to hand of their unabated energy in proselytising and abusing the Government. Whereupon the Assembly prepared a Bill "to curb their extravagancy" (9, 10, 84, pp. 195, 196), and the Council of Trade made enquiries as to whether it would be lawful to expel the leading Jesuits from the Colony (783). At the same time, whilst orders were given that the Quakers should be made to bear their share of the expense of defending the country, the Governor was directed to take care they should be protected in case of distresses levied upon them.
English Law in the Plantations.; Acts of Maryland.
In Maryland, as elsewhere, doubt prevailed as to whether English Laws were valid in the Colonies, unless it were expressly stated that they applied to the Plantations. The doubt involved a dilemma. If the Laws of England were not to be regarded as generally in force, then, the Statute books of the Colonies being as yet very incomplete, many criminals would escape for want of a particular Act, as, in Maryland, in the case of "conventicles, rape, bigamy, Jesuits and other felons." If they were held to be in force, then there was a danger of infringing the Prerogative of the Crown, or of involving the Colonists in awkward consequences, such as being haled to Westminster on trivial occasions (p. 67). The Attorney General's view, as regards the Common Law, is given in a review of the Acts of the Leeward Islands (164). The same Officer reported upon the Acts of Maryland, passed in 1704, 1705. He recommended the repeal of several, on the grounds that they were unreasonable, ill-penned, contrary to common justice, or repugnant to the Laws of England (1117).
Another Law passed during this period was the long delayed Act for Ports (470, 975).
In order to encourage the production of Naval Stores, and at the same time to relieve the land exhausted by tobacco crops, a Law was passed to make hemp and flax currency, like tobacco, for part-payment of debts (470).
Two Acts for regulating the size of hogsheads were repealed, and Instructions given for the passing of a new Act conformable to a Virginian Law now confirmed (1224.i., 1398, 1398.i., 1404.i., 1425, 1427, 1428).
The Census.; Competitions of North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
In answer to the enquiries of the Council of Trade, a rough census of the inhabitants and the Militia was returned. It showed that, since the Crown had resumed the administration of the Province, the number of taxables had increased by about 50 per cent. But economic difficulties brought about by the war, and invidious legislation had led to an exodus of the planters to the neighbouring Colonies. For North Carolina had passed an Act inviting debtors to settle there, under a guaranteed exemption from paying their debts for five years. Needy planters naturally welcomed such an extension of credit by crossing the borders (1101, 1101.ii., 1570, p. 472).
Maryland and Pennsylvania.
And Pennsylvania, by raising the value of the coinage contrary to the Queen's Proclamation, and by encouraging sailors and artificers to work within her boundaries, had further contributed to drain Maryland of her proper settlers (1570).
The bounds of these two Provinces had long been in dispute. Uncertainty rendered the ownership of estates on the confines very precarious. The Assembly of Maryland therefore petitioned the Queen that the Proprietors should be compelled to settle their controversy and define the boundaries forthwith (p. 470, No. 1115.i.).
William Penn under restraint.
The question was therefore re-opened, and Lord Baltimore and Mr. Penn were called upon to submit their evidence to the Council of Trade (1322.i., 1352, 1354, 1367, 1369). Delay was caused by Penn "being under restraint" (1419, 1421).
Carolina Acts repealed.; Proposal to revoke Charter.; Killigrew on Carolina Products.; Process begun.
Upon an Address of the House of Lords to the Queen, issuing out of a petition by Joseph Boone and others against two Acts of Carolina, for establishing religious worship and for the better preservation of the Government, these Laws were repealed (158, and see House of Lords' Journal, xviii., pp. 150–3, and House of Lords MSS., vi., pp. 406–8, 411). The passing of them, if they had indeed been confirmed by the Lords Proprietors, was declared by the Law Officers of the Crown to amount to so great an abuse of the power granted them under their Charter as to constitute good grounds for revoking it (328, 336.i., 367). In the course of a discussion as to the best method of procedure with a view to this end, Mr. Killigrew contributed a very interesting description of Carolina and its products, amongst which he included peach-fed hams (287; cf. 940). His scheme for raising a fund to buy out the Proprietors of Carolina and the Bahamas was based on a renewal of licences to Hackney Coachmen (449.i.). Process was at length begun in the form of Quo warranto in 1707. But the Solicitor for the Treasurer had to report, a year later, that he had been baulked by the Privilege of Parliament enjoyed by the Defendants (1535).
Act to encourage settlement repealed.
Meantime, another Act, the Act to encourage the settlement of Carolina, so obnoxious to Maryland, had been repealed (1448). The passing of this Law, with its inducement to debtors to desert other plantations and settle in Carolina under a guarantee of protection from their creditors for five years, was represented by the Council of Trade as yet another breach of trust, amounting to a forfeiture of the Charter (1189, 1349). But the Lords Proprietors disclaimed any responsibility for it. They had neither seen nor sanctioned it (1448).
Dispute with Virginia as to Indian trade.
Carolina was involved in yet another dispute with her neighbours. Virginia protested against her interference with the trade long carried on by Virginian traders with the Western Indians, and seizure of their goods (1573).
French and Spanish raid on Charlestown.; Spirited defence by Sir N. Johnson.
The most interesting episode in the history of Carolina at this period was the gallant repulse of an enemy raid upon Charlestown. Encouraged by the news that the town had been much weakened by an outbreak of pestilence, a combined force of French and Spaniards from Havana and St. Augustine made an attempt upon the place in August, 1706. Gallantly led by the aged Governor, Sir Nathaniel Johnson, the Militia companies proved equal to the occasion. Given an hour's time to decide whether he would yield to a summons to surrender, the Governor replied that he needed not a minute. Not waiting to be attacked, the Colonists with their Indians took the offensive, and put the enemy's landing-parties to flight. Then, taking to their ships, they chased the enemy fleet over the bar and out of sight. The same evening a belated transport arrived. She was attacked and made prisoner in the same vigorous fashion. In spite of their courageous motto, the enemy showed little stomach for fighting or desire to die "pour les deux Rois" (517.i., 526, 576).
Disposal of the Prisoners.
Being at a loss how to deal with their some 250 prisoners, the Carolinans shipped them off to Virginia, in hopes of getting them conveyed thence to England. But should conveyance be lacking, the Master was instructed to give them his ship and turn them loose on the sea. This simple method of shifting the burden on to their neighbours' shoulders, with the alternative of having a new privateer off their coasts, was not unnaturally resented by the Virginians (555, 755, 824).
§ 3. THE WEST INDIES.
Barbados and the Raid on the Leeward Islands.; The 4½ p.c.; Defences.
The most important event connected with the West Indies during this period was the French raid upon Nevis and St. Kitts. It naturally caused something of a panic in Barbados. Attention was paid then to the longneglected entrenchments and redoubts, which, it was hoped, might atone for the increasing lack of men (245, 427). Little, however, was accomplished. In the impoverished state of the Island, the Assembly soon ceased to vote funds for fortifications, which, they held, ought to be built out of a special grant from the 4½ p.c. duty (383, 482, 589, 613.i., 719.i., 961, 1090, 1099, 1256, 1364). Nor was the Militia more efficient than the forts (1131, 1364). A further alarm of invasion towards the end of 1707, combined with the efforts of Governor Crowe, produced some improvement (1176, 1225ff., 1379.i.). The Council of Trade urged the Governor to press the Assembly to build magazines, complete Fort St. Anne's and to maintain the matrosses. The sending of a regiment of regular troops there, as desired, was, they hinted, to some extent contingent upon the Colonists' own efforts towards self-defence (613.i., 1316, 1566, 1578).
Recall of Governor Sir B. Granville.; Paper Act repealed.
Lillington's appeal was allowed and his fine remitted at the beginning of 1706 (36, 37). Complaints against Sir B. Granville were reiterated, Lesley, Kirton and Maxwell petitioning the House of Lords for redress (11, 51, 351-3, 600, 618, 619, 623, 695). A few months later he was recalled. He died on his way home. Mitford Crowe was appointed in his stead (324, 500, 506.i., 580.i., 682). He sailed at the end of January, 1707, with instructions to remove those Members of Council who were guilty of having promoted the Paper Act and of other misdemeanours (612, 693.ii., 739). That disastrous Act was repealed, its effects having been clearly set forth by the merchants and others concerned (529, 540, 542.i., 545, 1256, 1257). The Governor was directed to procure the passing of a new Act to indemnify those who held the new paper (582).
Triennial Bill repealed.
This had already been attempted by Col. Sharpe, as President of the Council. He had been one of the promoters of the Paper Act. But as soon as he realised its evil effects, he endeavoured to remedy it. A cabal was at once formed against him in the Council and Assembly, composed of those who stood to gain by the Act, and headed by Col. Holder (632.ii., 644). Meantime, at home, petitions to the Queen and the House of Lords had flowed in for the repeal of the Act by which the Assembly had continued itself and, incidentally, those who had passed the Paper Act, for two years. The Act was annulled (567, 572–4, 598.i., 599.iv., 624, 696). But before he was aware of this, Sharpe dissolved the Assembly. Holder and his supporters, Cleland and Colleton, did their utmost to prevent this step, by absenting themselves from Council, protesting, refusing to publish the writs, creating a riot in Court, and attempting to overawe the Assembly (697, 697.iv., 752, 809, 830.i., 900, 900.i., 981.i., 1177).
Cleland and Holder suspended.; Act amending Paper Act.; Crowe restores Holder.; Suspends Sharpe, Milles, Cox and Walker.; They are restored.; Crowe dispenses Holder.
The President and other Councillors thereupon suspended Cleland and Holder. This action was upheld at home (831.i., 835, 836, 948, 974.i., 1006, 1079, 1080). The new Assembly was inclined to continue rather than to amend the Paper Act. This, however, they were at length induced to do (752, 817, 961, 1056.i., 1064). They addressed Crowe upon his arrival with a long list of grievances against the recent administration (927, 961.i.; cf. 697.i., ii., 1090.iv., v.). Unhappily, his first step was so to interpret Lord Sunderland's instructions as to restore Holder to the Council (961, 1069, 1163), and the next, to suspend Cols. Sharpe, Cox, Milles, and A. Walker, as having been promoters of the Paper Bill (1090.i., 1133, 1136). He identified himself, in fact, with Col. Cleland and the party which had done so much to disturb the Island and had profited so largely by the pernicious Paper Act (740, 1145). He was promptly rebuked by the Council of Trade (1163, 1167, 1482). But he rapidly multiplied his errors. Whilst orders were being issued for the restoration of the four Councillors (1290, 1303), he was busy revising the Commission of Peace and dispensing on his own authority Col. Holder from the effects of the Act for ascertaining the payment of the Bills, etc., which would have had the effect of making him disgorge some of his extravagant gains as Manager of the Paper Bank (1092.i., 1140.i.–iii., 1156, 1176.iff., 1177, 1308, 1316, 1355).
Barbados Credit ruined.; Bill to raise the rates of currency.
These, and similar proceedings, which cannot be referred to at greater length here, plunged the Island into greater distraction than ever. The credit of Barbados had been shattered by the Paper Act, itself designed to remedy the evil of the withdrawal of the currency, due to their adoption of the Currency Proclamation whilst other Plantations ignored it (1131, 1141, 1256, 1257, 1364). An attempt by the Assembly to pass an Act for raising the rates of foreign coins, led the Council of Trade to press once more for an Act of Parliament to enforce the recent Proclamation (961, 1157, 1167; cf. § 1).
New Assembly.; Imperfect Minutes.; Crowe sits as sole Judge.
A new Assembly at the beginning of 1708 consisted of practically the same Members as the old, and proceeded on the same lines, pressing for the redress of the same grievances, and tacking on to an Excise Bill' a clause appointing their own Agent (1131, 1364, 1482.ii., x.). The Council of Trade had occasion to complain that they were left very much in the dark owing to the imperfect state of the Minutes transmitted to them (1413). One cause of complaint against Crowe was that he sat as sole Judge, even in a cause concerning himself. Sunderland had commended his proposal to do so, which the Council of Trade had more wisely condemned (961, 1089, 1099, 1167, 1300).
The Cartel arranged with the French at Martinique by Col. Sharpe was the subject of some discussion, Governor Crowe representing it as only serving to promote French trade and spying, the Council of Trade commending its use with caution (817, 961, 1006, 1131, 1176, 1316).
Act for Governor's house-rent repealed.
An Act allowing the Governor house-rent was repealed on the grounds that Pilgrim's House, already provided, was a suitable residence (1372.i., 1375).
Trade of Barbados.
The course and progress of the trade of Barbados with England and the Plantations is indicated by returns (44.i., 1090.xxi., 1591. v.).
Presentments of Grand Juries.
Presentments of Grand Juries (1090.iv.–vi., 1591.ii., iv.) are of interest as showing to some extent the needs and feelings of the country.
Governor Crowe exposed himself to rebuke by arrogating to himself the right of appointing the Naval Officer—a perquisite claimed by the Crown (1145, 1167, 1291.i., 1539, 1546).
St. Vincents and Dominica.
The appointment of a new Governor of Barbados gave occasion for further attention being paid to the Caribs of St. Vincents and Dominica. Granville had already been in negotiation with them (405). The British claims were re-asserted, and endeavours made to counteract French influence amongst the Carib chiefs (502, 693.ii., 1090, 1131, 1194, 1225.vi.).
The Bahamas.; House of Lords' Address.; Question of a Governor.
The Bahamas lay practically derelict. Byrche, finding but a cool welcome, had gone to Carolina (277.i.). Left without a Governor or any organised force, the settlers were exposed to savage raids by French and Spanish marauders, against whom they scarce raised a finger in self-defence (1116, 1119, 1422). A fresh account of the raid of 1703 attributes its success in part to the hospitality of Ellis Lightwood, who appears as a sort of Udaller of the Islands(277). Upon a petition from the inhabitants presented by John Graves, the House of Lords addressed the Queen, praying that the Bahamas should be resumed to the Crown. The Lords Proprietors had by their neglect clearly forfeited their rights (231.i., 277.ii., 327). Correspondence ensued as to ways and means, and the cost of resettling and fortifying these important Islands (264, 336.ii., 362, 393, 396, 449.i.). The problem merged into that of Carolina (see § 2), and, as in that case, was the occasion of some interesting statistics as to the state and products of the Islands (287, 1128). The Lords Proprietors appointed Robert Holden to be Governor in 1707 (939). But the Council of Trade, whilst offering no objection to him, again and yet again recommended that the Crown, in view of the neglected state of the Bahamas, should resume the Islands, and in the meantime send over a Governor of its own appointing (993.i., 1155, 1424).
Bermuda: Lt.–Governor Bennett and Mr. Jones.
In Bermuda the quarrel between the placeman, Jones, and the Lieut.-Governor dragged its slow length along. Business in the Courts was at a standstill owing to the refusal of the Judges and Council to allow Jones to act as he claimed. The Council, Assembly and Judges supported Lieut.-Governor Bennett sturdily against Jones, Starr and their clique, who hoped to get him removed (1330). Jones, recalled to answer for his behaviour to the Lieut.-Governor, countered with numerous charges against him, including one, which if it had been true, might have formed the basis of a story from Boccaccio (197, 371, 381, 424, 606, 785).
The Case of the Rose.
Further complaints were made by Matthew Newnam and by the Rev. Robert Baron, to the letter of whom Capt. Bennett replied effectively (1559, 1562, 1562.ii.). The case of the prize Rose is of interest, as another instance of the blackmailing tactics by some members of the Royal Navy, referred to in § 1 (1330, 1330.viii.).
Trade of Bermuda.; Ports.
In the course of one of his despatches, Capt. Bennett describes the trade of Bermuda (1330). The Assembly petitioned against the order as to ports, which, they declared, would ruin the Island (761.i.).
Several Acts were repealed (1351), after careful consideration (996, 997, 1015.i.).
Jamaica: Creolian party.
It is frequently to be observed that the same political ideas find expression in several Colonies at. once. As in Maryland and Virginia, for instance, there was a party of the "country-born," so in Jamaica the Creoles were now an important section of the community. Moreover, the democratic doctrines of Sir Harry Vane, the Puritan Idealist and late Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, had spread to the Island, and had been adopted by the Creolian party, who were opposed to English and Kingly Government alike. Governor Handasyd, therefore, found himself in constant antagonism with an Assembly in which the majority held such views and endeavoured at once to infringe the Royal Prerogative and to debar Englishmen from holding office (616, 678, 793, 1423, 1423.i., 1551).
Tacking and Money Bills.; Quartering Act repealed and repeated.; Assembly rebuked.; Defence.
In order to pass Bills after their own mind, they adopted the device of "tacking" Bills on to such necessary Acts as the new Quartering Act, whilst they insisted that this was a Money Bill, in which the Council should not have any part (297, 503, 678, 735, 793). The previous Act for quartering and subsisting the officers and soldiers had been repealed because it contained an unkind clause forbidding any person to benefit by it who married an inhabitant of the Island, and also because it disabled any officer or soldier from holding any civil or Militia commission in the Islands, and penalised any but natural-born subjects of England, Ireland or the Plantations from holding office, civil or military, except in the regular forces. The re-enacting of a repealed Law was in itself forbidden. But to reject the new Act would have been to subject the unfortunate regular soldiers to even greater hardships than they had already to bear. The Act was therefore allowed to run on till it had nearly expired, before being repealed. But meantime the Assembly was severely rebuked by the Crown (319, 426, 433, 601, 793, 898, 968.i., 1076, 1219, 1237). A new Assembly passed a new Act in accordance with H.M. Letter. They had ample reason to be grateful to the soldiers, who, besides frequently repelling enemy raids and preventing the kidnapping of negroes, were also used to man the ships of Commodore Wager, whose complements were sadly depleted by sickness (678, 735, 868, 1180, 1339, 1577).
Throughout this period there were rumours of coming attacks by the French. Martial Law was proclaimed, and other preparations were made to give Monsieur a warm reception should he come (116, 116.ii., 221, 319, 377, 385, 445, 458, 493, 1379.i.).
Pains were taken to foster the trade between Jamaica and the Spanish coast (493, 926, 936, 1166, 1250), which was, however, interfered with by certain privateers from Jamaica itself (1073).
Quit-rents and escheats.
A Bill for quieting possessions and dealing with quitrents was rejected by Handasyd, upon grounds which were approved of at home (554, 1339, 1423.ii., iii., 1547, 1577). Great complaints were presently heard against him on account of a campaign of escheats which he had inaugurated. He issued a proclamation that holders of lands without patents were to pay the quit-rents due and would then have patents granted them; if not, they would be prosecuted, and the informer would be rewarded with the escheated lands. There were nearly a million acres, he said, not paying the quit-rents due, and H.M. Revenue would benefit accordingly. But by thus hastily granting escheats to informers he gravely exceeded his Instructions and laid himself open to rebuke and suspicion (1307, 1390, 1429, 1435.i., 1436.i., 1454.i., 1513, 1545, 1551, 1551. ii., 1581).
Iberville's Raid on the Leeward Islands.
At the end of 1705 and the beginning of 1706 we learn from various Governors in the West Indies that a strong French squadron was expected at Martinique, whence an attack on Jamaica or some other of the Islands was expected (24, 44, 221). Other French ships and troops made rendezvous at Tobago (116). Parke's proposal to wipe out the French base by an expedition against Martinique and Porto Rico was sound strategy, but could not be put into execution at the moment (431, 474, 591, 733, 834, 994). What happened was something in the nature of a surprise. It was supposed in England that the French navy was sufficiently engaged nearer home (278, 279). But at the beginning of February a considerable force of French ships and men appeared off Nevis. The forts and platforms erected by Lieut.-Governor Johnson made a good defence, whilst troops and guardships were hurried up from Antigua and Barbados to defend the back of the Island. Failing to make a landing here, the French threw the weight of their attack upon St. Kitts. The inhabitants, ill-prepared for defence, retreated to Brimstone Hill, whilst the French plundered their mills and plantations, until, upon a sudden scare of approaching English ships, they left hurriedly for Martinique (152, 167.ii., 168, 195.i., 431.ii.).
Nevis at once petitioned for help from home, pointing out that the regiment quartered there was very weak and the arms supplied from the Tower had proved very defective. Col. Parke's demand for a regiment had, it will be remembered, been supported by the Board of Trade (28, 167). In St. Kitts, where the people had obstinately refused to believe in the possibility of an attack or to prepare for it, until an hour before the French arrived, trenches were now dug and court-martials held upon delinquents (195, 195.i., 281, 653).
This raid was conducted by the Comte de Chavagnac. Upon the arrival of M. D'Iberville at Martinique a fresh expedition sailed in March, consisting of some 50 sail, including 12 men-of-war, as well as privateers and transports (244, 318). A surprise landing was made in Nevis at Green Bay, taking the forts in the rear, thanks to the failure of Col. Burt and Lieut.-Col. Butler to make a fight of it. The Englishmen retreated to their stronghold in the mountains, the Deodand, where they might have made a proper stand. But they surrendered almost without a blow, upon terms which indicated Iberville's contempt for their courage. The surrender, indeed, by all accounts, from that of the Paris Gazette to that of Col. Parke and the inhabitants themselves, was a discreditable affair. If the armed negroes succeeded in beating off the enemy, their white masters might well have maintained themselves for some time in the mountains (270, 274, 275, 282, 284, 318, 338, 357.ii., 406, 431, 519, 653, 654, 1200).
Iberville's harsh terms.
Iberville, not content with an immense booty, behaved with barbarous ferocity and the most dishonourable lack of good faith (357.ii.–ix.). Besides carrying off large numbers of slaves and much shipping, Iberville extorted from the inhabitants, by force majeure, an undertaking to bring 1,400 negroes to Martinique in three months' time, and took four hostages to ensure payment (357.vi., 385).
Nature of the Raid.
When the news reached London, Mr. Secretary Hedges at once wrote to re-assure the Colonists and to promise relief. The terms of the capitulation need not be observed. They had been extorted by force, contrary to the Laws of Nations, from a few persons who had no right to make them, and after all the articles of the capitulation had been barbarously violated by Iberville himself (398, 417, 591, 723). The British fleet would prevent a renewal of the attack. So it proved. The French from Martinique demanded the fulfilment of the terms. But for fear of the English fleet and an expeditionary force they did not come back to enforce them, any more than they could carry out their projected attack upon Jamaica. Iberville's expedition was, in fact, merely a raid undertaken with the object of plundering and damaging his enemy, without any hope of conquering the Leeward Islands (431.ii., 455, 560, 652, p. 329). In that object he had undoubtedly succeeded, although some of the booty was recaptured by Massachusetts privateers on the way back to Martinique (445, 448, 452, 455, 526).
Grant in aid voted.; Help from home and Massachusetts Bay.; Defence.
The damage inflicted was estimated at half a million sterling. Nevis was reduced to the utmost misery and disorder (455). In response to an appeal for help and various remedial measures, and upon an address of the House of Commons, a grant in aid was made and a Commission sent out to distribute it (341, 342, 355, 804, 804.i., 1048, 1063). Some French ships recently captured off the Irish coast were dispatched with provisions and stores of war (417, 591). And before long Commodore Kerr, Commodore Wager and Sir John Jennings arrived with help from the Navy (427, 606, 723, 776, 961, 973). The proceeds of a relief "brief" issued in Massachusetts Bay were laid out in provisions for the relief of St. Kitts (526). Subsequently, the Council of Trade urged once more the despatch of good cruisers and more regular forces to guard the Leeward Islands, as had been recommended continually for the last ten years (499, 597, 1031.i., 1102, 1187, 1201, 1238, 1313). The soldiers already there had fared wretchedly, partly through the neglect of their absenteeofficers, partly through the refusal of the Colonists to vote them quarters. This, they now represented, they were quite unable to do, and begged for the remission of the 4½ p.c.
Nor did Col. Parke, on his arrival, find it easy to persuade the Colonists to continued and concentrated efforts at self-defence. In Antigua he proceeded with the fortification of Monk's Hill. In St. Kitts they worked hard at the defences, though the blowing up of the magazine on Brimstone Hill put them at a further disadvantage. At Nevis, the people waited for everything to be done for them by the Crown (520, 560, 620, 653, 763, 764, 838, 973, 1146, 1148, 1187, 1201, 1251).
Pestilence succeeded the raid. And no sooner had the Islands begun to recover from the devastating effects of these disasters, than a terrible hurricane burst upon them, destroying every green thing in its course, and inflicting even greater damage than Iberville. Antigua alone was reported to have suffered loss to the amount of half a million (1132,1200,1293, p. 329). H.M.S. Winchelsea and Child's Play were lost in the storm (1132, 1200).
Death of Col. Johnson.
There are some hints as to collusion between Lieut.Governor Johnson, and other leading men, and Iberville. Into this and other matters Col. Parke was ordered to inquire (472, 591). He gives what is probably an exaggerated account of Col. Johnson's incompetence (653). He criticised his strategy. But it is to be observed that when there were rumours of a fresh attack, he copied it, concentrating his troops, with himself at their head, at Antigua, as being "the richest and most likely to be attacked first" (763, 765).
At all events, Johnson's account was settled soon afterwards by Mr. Pogson, one of the Council of St. Kitts. For he was slain in a duel, which was little, if anything, short of murder. Pogson was acquitted by a jury composed of Justices. But he fled the Islands in order to avoid a further trial by Col. Parke. "A hangman," the latter observes laconically, "is like to have but little business in these Islands." The Attorney General pointed out that a man could not be tried twice for his life on the some count. Pogson was ordered to be turned out of the Council and deprived of all public employment. In spite of this, however, he was presently recommended for the Council, on the grounds that "his misfortune of killing a man may befall ye best of men" (491, 559, 559.i., ii., 653, 757, 833, 848.i., 862, 1465).
Parke and Codrington.; The rich Planters.
Upon his arrival Parke at once fell foul of Codrington, whom he accused of thwarting him at every turn (473, 519, 712, 839, 1380, 1447.i.). His despatches are those of a peevish and disappointed man (597, 1077). But in one particular they are noteworthy. For he explains the depopulation of the Islands as being largely due to the oppression of the rich and absentee-landowners, who bought up small estates and left them to be worked by slaves under one white overseer. The rich planters themselves he represents as independent and lawless, combining to oppress the poor and acquit each other in the Courts. Every rich man, he declares, is a Bashaw, who can commit even murder with impunity. In view of the experiences of Codrington, the death of Johnson, and the subsequent fate of Parke himself, these accusations cannot be regarded as devoid of foundation (519, 559, 1168, p. 521). Parke represents that his championship of justice cost him his salary and house-rent, which was not paid him (138).
Laws repealed.; Militia Act.
The Act for establishing Courts was repealed, the Council of Trade recommending the passing of a Law for the better administration of justice (663, 1576). Several other Acts were disallowed for reasons stated by the Attorney General (302, 306, 307; cf. 1380). One of his objections to the Militia Act is curious. A clause in it provided that a soldier blaspheming a second time should be bored through the tongue. Seeing that these were the times when, according to "my Uncle Toby," our army swore so terribly in Flanders, it is not surprising that the Attorney General viewed with alarm a punishment likely to incapacitate the delinquents (164).
The Islands had been drained of cash by the action of the recent Proclamation, and the need of money was sorely felt (499, 710). Indications of the course of trade are given (171.vi., vii., 1184.i., 1590), and of the names of numbers of the inhabitants (1383.ii., 1396. iv.–vii.).
Parke's Residence.; Antigua.
Parke had been ordered to reside at Nevis. But he preferred to establish himself at Antigua for six months in the year (519, 741, 1178, 1272). He was soon at loggerheads with the Assembly of that Island, of which he gives an account (1383.i., ii., 1388).
Capt. Kidd's Crew.
A curious information is laid, describing how members of Capt. Kidd's crews were now settled in St. Thomas' and the Leeward Islands, and continued to carry on a profitable trade in piratical and illegal goods (53).
House of Commons' Enquiry concerning Newfoundland.
The whole question of the French raids upon Newfoundland fishing stations and the decay of the fishery was considered by the House of Commons (Journal, Feb. 12 and 16, 1706) (32.i.). Upon an Address of the House, orders were given, directed mainly towards obviating the "uncertain and unseasonable sailing of convoys," to which the decrease of the fishery and the consequent lack of English seamen were largely due (41, 56, 104, 108, 115, 133, 716, 720, 721, 736, 743, 751, 1233, 1279, 1281, 1331).
Much evidence was given as to abuses and irregularity in the trade and fishery. The project of establishing a permanent civil government there was mooted, but opposed. The need of a "minister not given to drink" was also insisted upon (101). The establishment of a Militia was also urged and presently carried into effect (101, 110, 155, 253, 254). Fishing Admirals were reminded to keep records and to send copies of their journals to the Privy Council (126). The Act to encourage trade to Newfoundland was to be more rigorously applied (726, 1353, 1463.i., 1468, 1488.i.).
Complaints against Lloyd and Moodv.; Loss of H.M.S. Loos.
A Committee of the House was appointed to enquire into the complaints against Capt. Moody and Major Lloyd (50, 57, 65). The charges against the latter, of forcing the soldiers under his command to trade with him, and of mulcting them of their pay, could not be ignored. His patron, Sir C. Hedges, wrote to caution him (114, 138, 216, 360). Evidence as to the embezzlement of stores was, however, damaged by the ravages of the French and by the loss of H.M.S. Loos off the Needles, with many documents relating to Newfoundland on board (4, 25.i., 26ff., 29, 52, 74).
Inspection of Stores.
It was only after long insistence that the Council of Trade secured that an inspection and return of Government stores should be made by the Commodore, restored to the position of C. in C. from which he had been unhappily removed in favour of Lloyd (252, 254, 1362, 1377, 1393.i., 1512.ii., iii.).
Capt. Underdown's Reports. His Raid upon the French.
Capt. Underdown's reports are given (588.i., ii., 1211.i.). Whilst in Newfoundland in the summer of 1707, he undertook a successful raid upon the French harbours and fishing ships, in which Lloyd bore his share (1109, 1110).
The Council of Trade cleared Moody of some of the charges against him. He seems to have been a brave soldier in action, but something of a rascal in barracks (52, 173ff., 228).
Placentia.; French Raids.; Further complaints v. Lloyd.
Placentia, it was again urged, must be wiped out (139). But Major Lloyd did no more than view the place, declaring that without the support of the inhabitants of St. John's and without the forces he had been promised from home he could not accomplish the task of taking the place (19, 419.i., 446.i., 533, 751). He showed some activity in checking French raids (453, 489, 1109). Before long, however, serious complaints came to hand against Major Lloyd, completely justifying the Council of Trade's estimate of his character. He was said to be hiring out the soldiers, bullying and taxing civilians, and entertaining the enemy at Fort St. John's, instead of fighting him. Whilst these accusations were being examined, a severe letter of reprimand in H.M. name was despatched to call him to account (1286.i., 1377, 1378, 1416, 1426.i., 1488.i., 1494, 1512.iii.).
Some words used in an obsolete sense remain to be noted. Hurry=disturbance ; amuzement= bewilderment, occurs frequently at this date; workhouse= factory, as opposed to its modern specialised sense (310). A parson in Bermuda offended his parishioners by calling them porgey-headed dogs, a term of abuse presumably derived from porgy, the fish, which has a black head (1562). The word "deodand" =a stronghold in the mountains, recurs.