America and West Indies: October 1708

Pages 104-123

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 24, 1708-1709. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1922.

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October 1708

Oct 1.
149. Governor Parke to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses accounts of imports and exports. Signed, Daniel Parke. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 18, Read Feb. 7, 1708/9. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 8. No. 8.; and 153, 10. p. 285.]
Oct. 1.
150. Same to Same. Recieving noe commands from your Lordshipps by this packett I have nothing elce to send but duplicates of what sent by the last except a account from Montserrat of what negroes have been imported by the Company and private trade, and the imports and exports of this Island. I don't doubt but your Lordshipps before this comes have seen one Nr. Nevine, who as I hear is gone home wth. articles against me, he went of in a clandestine manner, though I sent him word by the Secretary that I heard he was going of privately, that if he would give in security as the Law directs for the payment of his debts, I promised I would not stopp him, but on the contrary, if he would lett me know the articles, I would send home my answer at the same time, but he tooke noe notice of my messuage, for that would not answer'd his end, for it will sound better to say he was afraid of being stopped, and had I knowne the Articles, my answers would have prevented theyr makeing any impression. What these Articles are, neither myselfe nor Councill can guess, they manner of getting people to subscribe them has been very extraordinary, they made severall feasts, and got people to subscribe when drunke. The Agent of the Affrican Company, Mr. Chester, made most that were in the Company's debt subscribe; promiseing them to trust them for more negroes, and those that would not were threatened, there is not one in tenn knows any one Article, and those that doe were sworne to secrecy, a deposition of one of the Assembly relateing thereto I sent by the last packett, etc. Your Lordshipps had not had this trouble, notwithstanding Col. Codrington's private intriegues, had I not for this five or six months past been very industrious in supressing a clandestine trade that has, it seems, though I did not know it, been all along carryed on between these Islands and the French and Dutch Islands, all theyr brandy, clarrat, white sugar, cocoa and other French goods they gett from Guardaloupe for beef, which serves to fitt out theyr privateers; this trade is drove chiefly from Montserat, which is in sight of Guardaloupe. Col. Hodges, theyr Lt. Governour, and the Colle[c]tour, are unkle and nephew, and they absolutely governe that litle Island, there comes every year tenn times as much beefe as that Island expends, yet noe body knows what becomes of it, the most of it comes to the Lt. Governour, and in a few years he has got a greate estate by Trade. I can gett noe proof against him, they are soe linked together, either by relation or by intrest, but this I have found out, that there is two Danish sloopes, that used constantly to goe and come. I ordered my privateers to search these sloopes, if they found them at anchor, but they were good saylors, and as soon as they made a privateer, run from them as from an enemy. Mr. George Sherrard, that lives in Princess Court, Westminster, can informe your Lordshipps how I sent him after a Dane, and how one Mr. Blake told him to tell me, if I would lett them trade quietly as before, it should be worth me more then my sallary. The same offer'd me 100 pistoles to lett a Dane's sloop sayle from St. Johns unsearched, and upon my refuseall told me noe Governor could gett anything here except he winked at that trade, and that old Coll. Codrington got all his estate that way, and that if I resolved to be soe strickt, the merchants by one means or other would make me very uneasy; I have found his words true, most of the people on Montserratt are Papists, and they have an Irish priest with them, and notwithstanding I have severall times gave orders for takeing him up, yett I cannot get it done. I have severall packetts that have been taken out of sloops by my privateers that plainly discovers a considerable trade is carryed on, but they are not proof, for false names are made use of, but the invoyces for beef etc., plainly discovers it, about 5 or 6 weeks agoe my privateers landed on Guardaloupe, and took of some negroes. Among them there was a very remarkable fellow, he had a monstrous great knob of flesh grew from his ear to his shoulder, he was presently knowne being a negroe that came in Mr. Chester's sloope from Guinea, about 10 or 12 months before, if they got pieces of eight in returne for theyr beef and negroes, there would be some excuse, but it is quite contrary, they bring great quantitys of dry goods, which may be had from England. I have been informed that lutestrings have been sent from Montserrat to Bristoll, and vast profitts got by them, the London merchants have noe profitt of this trade, nor know anything of it, it is theyr factors here that makes use of theyr effects, to carry on this trade, and pretend in theyr letters that they have trusted the planters, and cant gett in theyr debts, as Mr. Chester, Agent for the Affrican Company, writes the Company, when the truth is he makes use of theyr effects to carry on his trade. I bought some negroes of him, he was very earnest with me, and I paid him in 3 or 4 months, other people tells me the same thing, and yett the Company (as I am informed) has due to them from this Island £30,000, a privateer about 4 or 5 months agoe, seeing a sloope of Mr. Chester's, putting on shore some goods in a private bay, took her and brought her downe to St. Kitts, where the Collector seized her, and she was condemned, she came from Curacoa, and had great quantity of Holland and other manifactures of Europe on board, as much as was apraised at near £600, though the privateers had plundered her of the better halfe, if this clandestine trade is permitted, these Islands will have noe occasion to send for England for goods, which will be a great loss to the English nation, and worth your Lordships' consideration. I have put a good stopp to it, in a litle time doubt not but wholy to prevent it. This has provoked the merchants, and this has been the cause of Mr. Nevin's being sent home with articles, lett them pretend what elce they please. Nor doe they depend upon theyr articles, for had they been true, they would not have been less true after I had knowne them. And as a proof they doe not depend upon theyr articles, they have raised £5000, this must be with an intent to bribe, for £100 would [a] have been suffitient to fee Councill; I hear Coll. Hodges has subscribed £300, it is worth his while, for rather then lose this profitable trade, he had better give £3000, and I believe he would, and yet he is sworne to the Acts of Trade, as well as myselfe, this is a plaine demonstration my preventing this trade is the great grievance; for till that time Col. Hodges I thought was my very good friend, and severall other merchants, whoe I have very much obliged, have now given money to gett me out, that used to raile against Codrington, and have declared I was the best Generall they ever had. Chester himselfe said the same to Capt. Saml. Byam but two days before his sloope was seized, but when he heard the sloop was seized, he swore I was the worst Generall they ever had, and that he would be revenged of me, thus your Lordships may see what I have got by doeing my duty; my salary they would not pay me by reason I would not pass unreasonable laws, and [and] give the negative voice to the Speaker, and now for preventing a clandestine trade, they have raised £5000 to gett me out, theyr articles are all forged, and but made use of to throw dirt, and to make an impression on your Lordships, knowing it will be 3 or 4 months before they can be sent me and my answers returned, and in that time they hope to bribe me out. I have noe doubt but your Lordships will be soe good to me as by your last you promised me, that if there comes over any articles, they shall be sent me, and have time allowed me to answer them, I desire noe more, for I am very sure I have been soe carefull that neither in my publick nor private capacity, I have done any one thing but what I can justifie before the stricktest Judges, for my part I am weary of being with them, and whenever I have cleared myselfe I shall desire the Duke to provide for me some other way. There is one other reason for theyr being angry with me, which is, my takeing care to have the Courts kept, for last year I had much adoe to have the Courts kept, and my holding a Court of Chancery every weeke, and amongst others I made a decree against the Chiefe Justice, for which he did me all the mischief he could underhand for some months, and when I found him out, he layd down his place, it is a constant maxim not to doe justice to any one but of the Island; there is hardly an instance of any one in England that ever recovered his right here. Some of the best Gentlemen that have been summonsed upon a jury have declared they would bring it in for such a one because he was theyr neighbour right or wrong, as in the case of Mr. Dumma last year: Mr. Baron, and others, can hardly gett soe much as anyone to prosecute for them, for it is looked upon as a very great crime for anyone to accept a power to prosecute an inhabitent; and by theyr law noe freeholder can be arrested, but you must proceed against him with the same respect as with a peer in England, and after you have judgement, it is a year and a halfe before you can levvy an execution to doe them any service, these evills I have endeavoured to have remedied, but to no purpose, by which I have created myselfe many enemies, and nothing can remedy those abuses but an Act of Parliament to repeale theyr Court Law, and put the Common Law of England in force, and someone that understands the law sent over as Chiefe Justice. I find my enemys that have articled does not thinke theyr articles will be suffitient to turn me out, therefore they give out they will affront me soe as to make me leave them, accordingly upon all occasions where I have been ever since Mr. Nevine went, they would come in partys and say rude things, and have committed severall disorders in the Towne under my nose, when I have sent to them they have affronted the Messengers, though magistrates, and Mr. Chester made a feast the 18th past, and it was given out some time before that that night they would affront the Generall, and they should see fine worke. I thinke they gott nothing by that project, soe I believe I shall be easy from affronts for the future, they imprisoned all the civill magistrates of the Towne, so that I was forced to call for a guard to prevent mischiefe, I bid the Justices bind them to theyr good behaviour, but they committed and fined them as for a riot on view, those that are fined above the sum limmitted in my instructions for apeales, I offered them to release them on security to prosecute the apeal at home, but they refused, and sent me word one and all would come out, or else lye there. I know not what to doe. I have asked the opinion of the Attorney Generall, and the Queen's Councill at Law, they tell me they must pay theyr fines, or be discharged from home, for by theyr law there being noe Court of Queen's bench in the Island there can be noe writt of error brought, or they tell me I may grant them a pardon, which I have offered them, but they had rather lye in prison then acept of of a pardon, though I thinke before I gave them a pardon I would have security that in case the Queen did not thinke fitt to remitt theyr fines, that they should pay them, for it is not in my power to remitt fines, the fines may seem extravagant at first sight, but if your Lordshipp [s] will consider the difference of money is 50 p.c., there is two are over fined. I asked the Justices their reason, they told me they were sett on by rich people, and they ought to pay theyr fines, and they themselves are worth more then they are fined. I here send your Lordships severall depositions which will informe your Lordships better then anything I can say. I could send forty more to the same purpose, people that were awaked out of theyr sleep, their neighbors that heard and saw what past, but I think soe many is as good as a thousand. I had notice given me what was designed, and tooke all the care imaginable to prevent it. I hear they have taken some depositions to make apear theyr innocency for now they begin to thinke themselves in the wronge, for at first they outbraved it, but those depositions are from people that were in the riot, that the Justices did not thinke fitt to commit, haveing done enough for example and to prevent the like for the future. P.S. Just as I had finished this, I had a petition brought me from the rioters desireing a writt of error to be brought before me and Councill. I answered that I would lay it before the nixt Councill, and should act as they, the Attorney Generall, the Queen's Councill at Law, advised me. The Packett sail'd within an hour after this, and notwithstanding I had given this answer, and had given orders for calling a Council the next day, yett that night they broke the prison; I would have had them taken, but the Council advised me to make them give good securety for the payment of their fines in case the Queen did not remit them to lett them alone, wch. I did. I hope the Queen will think them better bestowed on some charitable case then remitted. I will take care to have them received and sent home. Signed, Daniel Parke. Endorsed, Recd. 18th Jan., Read 7th Feb., 1708/9. 7 pp. Enclosed,
150. i. Address of the Council of Antigua to Governor Parke. Duplicate of Aug. 24. q.v. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p.
150. ii. Council of Antigua to Richard Carey, Agent for Antigua. If a paper of complaints against H.E., is laid before the Council of Trade, this is to let you know that they are not formed by the Representative body of this Island, but concerted by some particular disgusted and disaffected persons, etc. Signed, John Yeamans, John Hamilton, Edward Byam, Will. Codrington, Tho. Morris, Law. Crabb, Will Byam. Aug. 24, 1708. Same endorsement. Copy. 3 pp.
150. iii. Account of the Riot at the house of Mr. Edward Chester, senr., at St. Johns, Antigua, Sept. 18, 1708. That morning General Parke received information of a riotous meeting the night before in the street before the goale, supposed to be occasioned by the comittment of Mr. John Barnes, the evening before, for wounding of a person, who desired leave to sea [r]ch his negro houses for things stolen from him, and also at the same time speaking very scurrilously and disdainfully of the General, etc. The Generall desired the Constables to prevent any such doeings the next night. Returning after dinner to towne about 7 p.m. and passing Mr. Chester's house, a great deale of company immediately fell a singing and makeing a noise in a very scoffing and rude manner, but the Generall tooke noe notice, but walked on to the Coffee-house. There Mr. Chester senr., Bastian Otto Byar, Edward Chester jr., Joseph Adams and others came by him in a very rude manner, and had like to have justled him, and fell upon abuseing the mistress of the house, and swearing and makeing a noise, on purpose to affront him. The Generall advised Mr. Otto Byar to goe home and behave himself for his father's sake. Some tyme after, the Generall was walking againe by Mr. Chester's house, and the company there againe fell a singing and makeing a noise very rudely. The Generall sent constables into them to require them not to keep such a noise, but they continued drinking there, and said 'twas time enough to go home. Presently the Generall ordered Col. Thomas Morris (one of the Council and a J.P.) and the Provost Marshall to tell them to be more civill or else to disperse, whereupon the company fell abuseing them, and immediately the doors and windows were shut up, and Col. Morris, the Provost Marshall and severall of the constables were in a riotous manner made prisoners. Mr. Byar had his sword drawn. One of the constables jumped out of a window for fear, and another was wounded in the leg. Mr. Justice Gateward in a loud voice commanded all persons in the Queen's name to keep the peace and goe to their severall habitations, and then went in, where severall of the Company behaved themselves very insolently towards him and the other Justice of the Peace, and thereupon they and the Marshall committed several to the goale for a ryott, as being convicted thereof by their view, and accordingly a record is made thereof, and the persons fined. The Attorney General and Queen's Council approve of above proceeding. Oct. 1, 1708. Signed, H. Pember, J. Brady. Endorsed as preceding. 1½ pp.
150. iv. Copy of the Record of the Riot described in preceding. Same endorsement. 1 p.
150. v.–xix. Depositions of Tho. Gateward, Michael Ayon, Saml. Wickham, John Bermingham, Thomas Morris, James Robinson, Jacob Thibon, Samll. Walker, Alexander Dunn, Jason Martin, William Harrox, Capt. Thomas Newell, in support of No. iii. Same endorsement. 30 pp. [C.O. 152, 8. Nos. 9, 9. i.–xix.; and (without enclosures) 153, 10. pp. 288–300.]
Oct. 1.
Boston, New England.
151. Governor Dudley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Your Lordships' commands of April 15, referring to the Affrican trade, came to my hand from Barbados on Sept. 28. And I have used all possible application to make my letters ready from this Province, as I hope to do from the Province of New Hampshire, and this is the first conveyance since. And that I might perfectly satisfy your Lordships what negro's have been imported into this Province from June 24, 1698—Dec. 25, 1707, I have caused ye Officers of the Revenue to attend me, and have had conference with the principal merchants and planters referring to the number and prices of negro's brought in. And I find by the best computation that I can make (which cannot faile me to any degree) that there are in Boston negro servants to the number of 400, above half of them born here; in 100 towns and villages in this Province 150. That in the 9½ years last past of the abovesaid number, arrived 200. That none of these were brought in by any ships of the Affrican Company, nor seperate traders directly from any part of Affrica, but from the West Indies. That is to say, Barbados, Jamaica, the Leward Islands, etc. Nor can I learn from any the merchants or planters here, that before this time the Affrican Company had any ship or factory here; but some traders on their own accompts, a long time since, have been upon the coast of Guinea[n] and brought slaves, the last was Thomas Windsor in the year 1700, who brought in 25 negroes, copy of the dutys paid to the Affrican Company is inclosed. Since which here is an Officer, Mr. Benja. Alford, impowred to receive the 10 p.c. as by Act of Parliamt. given for the Affrican Company, whose commission is dated Feb. 25, 170 0/1. Everybody is sensible of the absolute necessity and great benefit of that trade for the West Indies, but it is not so serviceable for these Northern Plantations. Because the winter halfe year admits of little service from them, but demands a great deal of clotheing, which is very dear in these Provinces. The negroes so brought in from the West Indies are usually the worst servants they have, which are therefore sent to be solde. The prizes are usually between £15 and £25 per head. These Plantations being upon the Continent admit of their running from their masters, whereas upon the Islands they are soon recovered. Upon all which accounts they have been found so little profitable, and the planters here do so much prefer white servants from Great Britain, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey, who are serviceable in the war presently, and after become planters, that they have set, by a Law three years since, £4 per head upon all Blacks imported, to encourage the bringing in of white servants, etc. P.S. I have prepar'd 4 copy's of this letter, which I shall dispatch all way's possible that it may arrive seasonably, as yr. Lordsps. have commanded. Signed, J. Dudley. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 3rd Jan., 1708/9. 2 pp. Enclosed,
151. i. List of vessels cleared at Boston for Africa, June 25, 1698–Dec. 25, 1707. Total, 2. (1699, and 1700). Signed, John Jekyll, Collector. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 865. Nos. 8, 8. i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 913. pp. 37–40.]
Oct. 4–20. 152. List of soldiers enlisted at Newfoundland by Major Lloyd. Signed, Jno. Mitchell, Danl. Snagg, Charles Davis, Danl. Maddox, Tymy. Mackarlye, Jno. Arnold, Matthew Walker. Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Thurston, Read Jan. 5th, 1708/9. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 4. No. 78.]
Oct. 9.
153. H.M. Warrant, addressed to Governor Crowe, granting leave of absence to George Gordon, Provost Marshal, of Barbados, on appointing a Deputy, "in regard to his being employed in the Office of our Admiralty and to some private affairs of his own" etc. Countersigned, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 120.]
Oct. 9. 154. Lord Baltimore to Mr. Popple. Haveing by your favour Sr., had ye peruseall of a report made by Mr. Solicitor Genll. upon ye two Acts lately sent from Maryland; I desire you'] please to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of Trade that I humbly petition to be heard by Council before their Lordpps., before that report be sent to the Queen. Herein you'l add to the favours you have shewne to, Signed, C. Baltemore. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read 26th Oct., 1708. Addressed. Sealed. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 716. No. 52; and 5, 727. pp. 54, 55.]
Oct. 10
New Hampshire.
155. Governor Dudley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Same as Oct. 1. "There are in New Hampshire negro servants to the number of 70. And about 20 of them in nine years past have been brought in." etc. Signed, J. Dudley. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 3rd Jan., 1708/9. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 865. No. 9; and 5, 913. pp. 41–43.]
Oct. 11.
156. Messrs. Sharpe, Walker and Beresford to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We enclose a copy of the Assembly's Address against us by the instigation of Mr. Crowe, together with some remarks upon the same, which were prepared to have gone by ye Cotton pacquet, Sept. 23, but it haveing been thought she would not sail till the 24th in the morning, our letters came too late for that conveyance. Since that, we find a Faction in the Assembly resolving not to depart from their darling project of paper mony, which they so much condemn in others, have prevail'd to bring a Bill into the House for that purpose; and altho' a petition herewith sent your Lordships was presented against that design, sign'd by the most considerable Traders of ye place, yet they have voted a Bill to be brought in for that end. We observe these Gentlemen think they answere all clamours, when they say they do not design to force their Paper Bills on any person, but this is a weak as well as unpardonable fallacy, for they declare the Country in debt above £20,000; they declare also, they raise this tax, and frame this Paper notion to discharge those debts. With what face then can they tell ye world they don't design a force? For if ye Creditor of ye Publick must take these paper Bills in discharg of his debt or have nothing, it is plain they are forc't upon him. But there is yet a greater injustice hid under this pretence of no force; for as it already appears, the creditor being effectually forc't to take these paper Bills, because unless he dos, he must go without his mony, he is under ye greatest hardship in ye world, if he can't force them from him upon those he is indebted to. As to what may be said, that these Bills are made currant in ye payment of ye taxes and excise, this can be no relief, for ye grand creditors of this Island are mattrosses and other guardsmen of our fforts, who can hardly be supposed to trade in excisable liquors, or to be able to wait for their pay five years, the time limited for sinking these Paper Bills. So that it is plain, this is only a project to mortgage the Country for 5 years for £30,000 payable £6000 annually reckoning interest, by which means all future Governours will be embarrast. But which is worse, the Governour, Treasurer, and others let into the secret will undoubtedly buy up these Bills from ye poor creditors for a trifle, which we have reason to believe was the view intended, in not adding a force and makeing them currant; by which means they will receive to themselves ye greatest part of ye tax of £6000 a year: a new method of evadeing H.M. Instructions against takeing presents, and of retrieving the lost fortunes of these unhappy men at the expense of the publick. We are prepareing full proofs to be transmitted to your Lordships by ye next opportunity of all the particulars we have charged Mr. Crowe with in our late Representation, which we were so cautious as to communicate to no person in this Island but himself, and that personally and privately; notwithstanding which he thought fit to suspend us from H.M. Council for the same on Sept. 25, immediately after the pacquet sail'd. We are satisfy'd we have done nothing but our duty. We lye under great hardships in obtaining the Minutes of common matters, and persons willing to prove his illegal and arbitrary practices are deterr'd from doeing the same by ye apprehensions they lye under of his power, which alone hinder us from doeing ourselves the honour of transmitting them by this vessel privately dispatch't, and of whose sailing we had but a few hours' notice. We gladly submit ourselves to your Lordships, beseeching you to exert not only your reason, but your authority in censureing effectually the dispensing power assumed by Mr. Crowe, which has highly incensed all true Englishmen, which has subjected him to ye influence of a faction, who now resolve to make a tool, instead of complaining of him; which they once resolv'd with all ye violence imaginable; and which will render us, without your Lordship's interposition, the only sacrifices to Mr. Crowe's violence and obstinacy, tho' we are neither guilty of them, nor of ye wicked arts of the Faction, but have, and do still continue to declare for steady, legal and moderate measures, by which only Barbados can be saved, which we beg leave to assure your Lordships is upon ye very brink of ruine. Signed, Wm. Sharpe, Alexander Walker, Saml. Beresford. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 15th Dec., 1708. 2 pp. Enclosed,
156. i. Copy of petition of several merchants in Barbados to the Assembly against a proposed Bill for issuing a great sum in notes from 2/6 to 10/s. 49 signatures. Endorsed as preceding. 2 pp.
156. ii. Copy of heads of proposed Paper Act. 1¼ pp.
156. iii. Copy of Governor Crowe's Message to the Assembly, and their Address to him upon the Representation of Messrs. Sharpe, Walker and Beresford to him. Sept. 4, 1708. Same endorsement. 3 pp.
156. iv. Answer of Messrs. Sharpe, Walker and Beresford to the [preceding] Address of the Assembly. Same endorsement. 5 pp. [C.O. 28, 11. Nos. 42, 42. i.–iv.; and (without enclosures) 29, 11. pp. 357–361.]
Oct. 18.
New York.
157. Governor Lord Cornbury to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I trouble your Lordshipps with these few lines to acquaint you that the great abuses committed in the neighbouring Collonys upon the Spanish coin allowed to be current here; to that degree that it is generally diminished above one third of the vallue, have obliged the Assembly now sitting to passe an Act for regulating and preventing the corruption of the currant coin, which I herewith send you, and intreat your Lordshipps to use your best endeavours to obtain the Royall assent for this Act, which I know to be of the utmost consequence to this Province, and without which it must be ruined; I likewise send your Lordshipps an Addresse signed by my self, all the Gentlemen of the Councill that were in towne, and all the Members of the Assembly that were in towne. I am desired by them all to desire your Lordshipps to lay it before H.M., with the Act to which it relates. I am obliged in justice to the people of this place, to assure your Lordshipps that the Addresse contains the truth, and that the inconveniencys therein mentioned will most certainly attend this Province, unless H.M. is gratiously pleased to confirm the Act passed here. I beg the favour of your Lordshipps that I may hear what H.M. pleasure is as soon as possible, because the Act of Parliament of Great Brittain is to take place in these parts the first of May next. Signed, Cornbury. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 26, Read Feb. 18, 1708/9. Holograph. 2 pp. Enclosed,
157. i. Address of the Governor, Council and Assembly of New York to the Queen. Wee your Majesty's most dutifull and loyall subjects, being highly sencible of the great disadvantages this Province has already and must still labour under by the great abuse of the forreign coin allowed to be currant in these parts, to the great decay and even almost the intire ruine of trade, unless timely prevented, for the currant coin of this your Majesty's Province has of late been clipped and diminished at least one third part of its real value and great quantitys thereof for want of some good Law to prevent the same daily imported, whereby we are subject not only to the abuse of all evill practices of this kind here; but in apparent danger of being the receptacle of all the clipt money in this part of America; And having seen an Act of Parliament for ascertaining the rates of foreign coins in H.M. Plantations; which is to take effect in these American parts on May 1st next, doe with all humility acquaint your Majesty, that if that Act is to take place according to the letter of it, this Province in particular, and some of the neighbouring Provinces upon this vast Continent must unavoidably be ruined, for if the coin allowed to be current in these parts (which is cheifly the Spanish coin and some Lyon dollars) is to be upon the same foot here as it is in the West Indies, we shall not have money to support the Government to pay the four company's of fuzileers, which your Majesty is graciously pleased to allow for the defence of this Country, nor to carry on any trade, and our ships must lye and rott by the walls, for it is an undoubted truth that nothing brings money into this Province, but the trade to your Majesty's Islands in the West Indies and to those subject to the States Generall of the United Provinces; from the latter of which we bring nothing but heavy money. The cheif returns from this Province to Great Britain are made in heavy money. And if the money must pass here at the same rate it does at Jamaica and other Islands of the West Indies, as by the said Act is directed, it will not be worth the merchants' while to bring money, but will rather bring the produce of those Islands in return for the produce of these parts, which they carry thither, and so leave this Province without money, for want whereof the merchants here will not be able to make such returns to Great Britain as they used to doe, and consequently this Province will not be able to take off, by a great deal, so much of the manufactures of that your Majesty's Kingdom as it has hitherto done, to the great damage of this Province, as well as the manufactures of Great Britain. In the last clause of the Act your Majesty is left at liberty to alter the regulation of the coin made by the said Act, either by your Majesty's Royal Proclamation, or by assenting to any Act of Assembly to be past in any of your Majesty's Plantations in America for that purpose. The certain knowledge wee have of the consequences that will attend the execution of that Act in these parts, and the duty we owe to your Majesty, and the desire wee have to promote the good and wellfare of your Majesties subjects of this Province, have made us think it an indispensible duty upon us, not only to represent the circumstances of this Province to your Majesty, but likewise in most humble manner to lay at your Majesty's Royall feet an Act passed this present Sessions of Assembly, "for the regulating and preventing the corruption of the currant coin," in the passing of which wee have taken care to observe the directions your Majesty has been pleased to give the Governor in your Royall Instructions to him, in which your Majesty is pleased to direct him not to suffer any Act to pass by which the value of the silver coin allowed to be currant in this Province may be diminished without your Majesty's leave first obteined; the rates contained in this Act are the same which the money now goes at in the Provinces of Connecticut, Massachusets Bay, New Hampshire, Rode Island and New Jersey, and has gone at the same rate in this Province upwards of 20 years past. This being the Truth, wee humbly beseech your Majesty will be graciously pleased to favour this Province with the Royall Assent etc., and to beleive wee should not have presumed to have passed the said Act without first obteinning your Majesties' leave for soe doeing, were it not for the shortness of time, between this and the first of May, that the Act of Parliament is to take place here, and the very great incertainty of hearing from Great Britain during this time of warr, it being sometimes 14 or 15 months' before wee can have any answers to the letters wee write from these parts, so that before wee could have humbly pray'd for and obteined your Majesty's leave to pass such an Act all the inconveniencies which wee apprehend from the execution of the Act of Parliament would have fallen upon this Province before wee could have obtained a remedy, which wee now humbly hope for from your Majesty's great goodness to us etc. Signed, Cornbury, P. Schuyler, Rip van Dam, Tho. Wenham, John Barbarie, J. Beckman, Adr. Philiptes, W. Nicholl, Steph. Delanedy, J. v. Cortlandt, Tho. Codrington, Law. Read, Edmund Ward, Jona. Whitehead, Wm. Willett, Josiah Hunt, Jno. Stillwell, Cornels. van Brunt, Abrah. Lakeman, Hen. Handen, Cornels. Seberingh, Mich. Hawdon. Endorsed, Recd. Jan. 26, Read 18 Feb., 1708/9. Copy. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 1049. Nos. 99, 99.i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 1121. pp. 357, 358.]
Oct 22
St. John's.
158. Major Lloyd to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I every year since my comeing to this countrey gave your Lordshipps a particular acct. of this land; it is my misfortune to fiend they have been intercepted, by what meanes I know not, but can produce ye coppies and prove my sending of them; I hereby send an acct. and state of ye fishery of this countrey etc. I went myselfe or sent an officer to all ye harbours for a just information that nothing might come from me to your Lordshipps but what I co[u]ld justifie to be true. If hereafter your Lordshipps thinks fitt to signifie your pleasure to me in relation to that, or ye yearly Instructions to ye Commodores, I shall be proud of your commands etc. I have sent to Mr. Thurston, ye Agent, an acct. of ye men listed by me, etc. It is H.M. commands to me to send that acct. to ye Capt. Generall of ye Army, wch. I have from time to time done, and occasioned my not sending that acct. of late years to your Lordshipps. The malitious and false complaint of my enemies laid before yr. Lordshipps, I refer to ye papers ye Commodore has in answer thereto. I know my innocence, and humbly pray your Lordshipps to suspend your thoughts untill I am admitted a faire tryall in England or here. The Garrison is in as good a condition as I desire it for this winter, ye Company being full and good men, and ye inhabitants nere 800 that will winter at St. Johns, if ye enemy hurt us this year, I'le allow ye fault to be laid to my charge. Signed, Tho. Lloyd. Endorsed, Recd. Dec. 22, 1708, Read Jan. 5, 1708/9. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
158. i. Schedule of following papers. 2 pp.
158. ii. Inhabitants of Newfoundland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. (i., ii.) It was to their unspeakable grief that Capt. Moody was recalled, etc. (iii.) Since Major Lloyd's return, the people are worse used than before. They are compelled like slaves to goe into ye woods on Sundays to cutt timber for his service, and spitt upon, kickt, beaten, wounded, overladen with unequall quartering of soldiers and are dispossessed of their properties. Taxes are made without laws, raised with partiality, and whoever dared to complain are immediately either miserablely abused in their persons or oppressed in theire trade. The soldiers are lett out to hire and robbed of their wages when earned; many (to be delivered from ye depressure of theire calamityes) have been forced secretly to escape and desert theire Plantations, especially in ye winter season when ye Comodores are absent, at whose returne some come back again, in hopes to finde shelter under ye small remaines of power left in the Comodore. (iv.) Major Lloyd boasts his power and interest in England, and threatens some and bribes others to subscribe a good character of himself and an accusation of Capt. Moody. (v.) The present subscribers dare not returne to their families, if theire humble representation be known and their supplication for the removeall of Major Lloyd prove abortive. Copy. 1½ pp.
158. iii. Inhabitants of Newfoundland to [? Commodore Mitchell]. Pray that their affidavits may be taken in refutation of preceding representation. Major Lloyd has by his courage and diligence baffled the enemy, and by his continuall good behaviour highly encouraged ye industry of all people in theire fishery. St. Johns. July 3, 1708. 63 signatures. 1½ pp.
158. iv. Reply of some Inhabitants of Newfoundland to above Representation (No. ii). (i). Capt. Moody behaved very well during the French invasion, 1704, but afterwards plundered and arbitrarily imprisoned some of the inhabitants. (ii). Major Lloyd has behaved very well, to the general content of everybody. (iii). False in every particular. (iv). Their testimony is true. (v.) This charge is false. July 6, 1708. 74 signatures. 3 pp.
158. v. Masters of ships and merchants of Newfoundland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The allegations (No. ii.) against Major Lloyd are wholly false. Pray that his services may be represented to H.M. 38 signatures. 1 p.
158. vi. Commodore Mitchell to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The replies of the inhabitants above (iii.–v.) were made of their own free will. All merchants and masters trading here unaminously agree that Major Lloyd has behaved well, etc. Signed, Jno. Mitchell. 1 p.
158. vii. Examination of Abraham Taverner. He knew nothing of his own knowledge as to the allegations which he signed against Major Lloyd (No. ii.) Signed, Robt. Harland, Admiral of St. Johns Harbour. Oct. 1, 1708. 1 p.
158. viii. Deposition of John Fletcher and Griffith Russell. Reply to petition of Mrs. Benger. We rented Poole Plantation from Mrs. Benger and her husband for £48 a year in 1707. Major Lloyde never concerned himself directly or indirectly with us about the said plantation or rent. Sept. 15, 1708. Signed, John Fletcher (mark), Griffith Russell (mark). 1 p.
158. ix. Opinion of 14 Admirals of the Harbour and Masters of ships at Ferryland, that the fishing rooms known as Pool Plantation belong by right to Phillip Kirke. Sept. 17, 1707. Signed, Rich. Hartnoth, James Cradock, John Wickley, Wm. Meddon, Thomas Netheway, Willm. Tetherly, John Tucker, John Piffton of ye Kingsale, Henery Pearden, Vice-Admll., Wm. Hodder, Rear Admll., Christopher Browning, George Stephens, Nichos. Andrews, Phillip Rowstiffe. 1 p.
158. x. Judgment of Commodore Mitchell and other Commanders of H.M. ships of war upon the complaints against Major Lloyd. At a Court held at St. Johns, Oct. 18, 1708. Major Lloyd has not traded, directly or indirectly, nor let soldiers out to hire and taken the profits, but [h]is condescention to the entreatys of some masters of ships hath been the saving of otherwise lost voyages, without any damage to the Queen's service, care being taken that such was not to be without call of drum. He hath not levied any taxes as alledged but that three quintalls complained of was a voluntary subscription for the maintenance of the Minister, and to be a bank for their own particular services in order the better to defend themselves from the enemy, which hath not amounted in the whole to above £160 per annum. All these complaints have been contrived by some few disaffected persons, etc. Signed, Jno. Mitchell, S (?). Chamberlen, Rt. Harland, J. Percy, Covill Mayne, W. Ockman, Richard Prius, Admiral, Arthur Holdsworth, Vice-Admiral, Abra. Passmor, Rear Admiral. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 194, 4. Nos. 77, 77. i.–x.; and (without enclosures) 195, 5. pp. 68, 69.]
[Oct. 25.] 159. Petty Expenses of the Board of Trade, Midsummer to Michaelmas, 1708. See B. of T. Journal. 5 pp. [C.O. 388, 76. Nos. 41–44.]
[Oct. 25.] 160. Copy of Patent from K. William III., constituting Samuel Cox Naval Officer in Barbados. Westminster, Dec. 13, 1701. Endorsed, Recd. from Charles Cox, Oct. 25, 1708. ¾ p. [C.O. 28, 11. No. 16.]
Oct. 25.
161. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lord High Treasurer. Enclose account of Office expenses, MidsummerMichaelmas, 1708. [C.O. 389, 6. pp. 369–371.]
Oct. 26.
162. W. Popple to Mr. Savage. Encloses papers as desired Aug. 26. I do not find the affidavit of Mr. Wiberd in this Office. [C.O. 5, 913. pp. 7, 8.]
Oct. 26.
163. The Earl of Sunderland to Lt. Governor Bennettt. Acknowledges letters of Feb. 10. You need not doubt that H.R.H. will do you justice upon your complaints of Lieut. Wilcox's behaviour to you and the Attorney General of your Island. Signed, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 121.]
Oct. 26.
164. Same to Governor Crowe. I have received yours of May 18 and June 7. I am sorry you should differ in opinion from the Council of Trade, but can assure you that they have nothing personal against you, and that there is no ground for your suspicion that they are none of your Friends. I presume they will return you full answers to what you write to them, and must therefore refer you thereto. Signed, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 122.]
Oct. 26.
165. Same to Mr. Jennings. I am to acknowledge yours of June 24. I have sent to the Admiralty what you write of the necessity of a guard ship along your coast, and to the Council of Trade what you mention of the attempts from South Carolina to disturb your Indians trading with the West Indians; as also what you hint of the advantage it would be for our merchants to supply your plantation with European goods to prevent the Planters running upon manufactures of their own. Signed, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 122.]
Oct. 26.
166. Same to Governor Parke. I thank you for the information you give me (July 1) of a trade carryed on from Ireland and Barbadoes to Martinico, which I have communicated to the Council of Trade, that they may enquire into the matter and consider of methods for preventing that unlawfull trade. Signed, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 123.]
Oct. 26.
167. Same to Governor Handasyd. I have received yours of June 17 and July 20. You may imagine how very welcome was the news of the good success of Rear Admiral Wager's Expedition, your readiness to assist him with men is certainly very much to be commended, and the good agreement between you, as it must needs be a great pleasure to yourselves, must undoubtedly be a mighty advantage to H.M. service. You are very right in not passing the Bill which the Assembly were preparing, especially since you could not get the two clauses inserted for the preserving H.M. Prerogative and the due payment of the Quit-Rents, and the Proclamation you have issued concerning that matter may prove of good service to H.M. Revenue in your Island. Your recommendation of Capt. Oldfield to be one of the Council there was referr'd to the Commissioners of Trade as is usual in the like cases; from whom I have received an answer that the Council of Jamaica is at present full, but that he stands the first upon the list of persons for supplying the vacancys there. H.M. is not yet come to any determination in the affair of Mr. Norris whom you recommend to be a Naval Officer, nor as to what you propose of the sending a Chief Justice to Jamaica. Signed, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 95.]
Oct. 26.
168. Same to Governor Seymour. Acknowledges letters of Oct. 13, 1707 and June 23 last past. I have transmitted to the Admiralty what you write of the necessity of a guardship on your coast, and of your letters being detained which are sent by the men of warr, and to the Council of Trade what you mention concerning the bounds between Maryland and Pensilvania, that they may consider of a method to put a speedy end to that dispute. Signed, Sunderland. [C.O. 5, 210. p. 96.]
Oct. 26.
169. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney [? Solicitor] General. According to your desire, I send you a copy of the objections that have been made to the Council of Trade and Plantations against the Act of Nevis for establishing Courts, etc. (cf. Aug. 11, 24). [C.O. 153, 10. pp. 194, 195.]
Oct 26.
170. Same to Mr. Solicitor General. Upon Mr. Pindar's petition [see Sept. 14], the Council of Trade and Plantations, apprehending that such passports and trade [as desired by him] are inconsistant with the Act of Navigation, whereby no goods may be imported into or exported out of any of H.M. Plantations in any vessels but such as do truly belong to the subjects of this Kingdom or of Ireland etc., desire your opinion whether such passes may be lawfully granted. [C.O. 29, 11. pp. 303, 304.]
Oct. 26.
Treasury Chambers.
171. W. Lowndes to W. Popple. Encloses following. My Lord Treasurer desires the opinion of the Council of Trade and Plantations, what may be a reasonable bounty for the petitioner's subsistence etc. Signed, Wm. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd., Read Oct. 27, 1708. Addressed. ½ p. Enclosed,
171. i. Melchior Gilles to the Queen. Petitions for a charitable allowance till his wife has recovered and they are able to join the other German Refugees in New York. Signed, Melchior Hilg. [naturalised Guich]. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1049. Nos. 95, 95. i.; and 5, 1121. pp. 325, 326.]
Oct. 26.
172. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Reply to Sept. 20. The Councill of Jamaica is at present full. Mr. Oldfield, of whom we have had a good character, does stand first upon the list of persons for supplying vacancys there. [C.O. 138, 12. p. 332.]
Oct. 27.
173. W. Popple to Mr. Attorney Generall. Refers to Lord Baltimore's letter, Oct. 9th, that you may be present on Nov. 8 to hear what he may have to offer," etc. [C.O. 5, 727. pp. 55, 56.]
Oct. 27.
174. Governor Handasyd to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have not received any letter from your Lops. by this packett. What occurrences have happened here since my last, by the Resolution packett boat and Fleet that sailed from hence the last month, I shall now inform your Lops. of. Two of our privateers have sent in 2 Spanish vessells loaden with cocoa and other goods, they took severall more off Campeachy, but were not able to bring them up to windward, and have either burnt or sold them. It is reported these they have brought in are very valuable, but the truth of that I am not certain of. H.M.S. Severn has retaken from the French an English ship bound from Barbadoes to Virginia, and sent her into port. I send your Lops. here enclosed the contract made between the French King and the Duke of Anjou and Councill of Spain, for the transporting goods from Old France, and likewise Spanish goods to the West Indies, which was found in one of the prizes, and I hope may be of service to us, when, it please God King Charles is settled on the throne of Spain. There are lately arrived at Lavera Cruz 12 ships from Cadiz, but most of them are French vessells under convoy of two men of war, one of 70 guns, the other of 50, the prisoners that are come from thence say they are all loaden with Spanish and French goods. Our sloops are not yet returned from the coast, and trade there seems to be very indifferent, they pretending that mony is scarce. In my last I acquainted your Lops. of the seizure of a Spanish brigantine that was taken by one Scrivener, without a commission, since which, the enclosed paper will inform you of the proceedings of the Court of Admiralty and Navall Officer in that affair. I have now writt to H.R.H. Secretary to acquaint H.R.H. of the same, that I may know what shall be further done. A French privateer sloop being supposed to be one of our traders, has taken from the North side of this Island one of our sloops loaden with furstick and 10 or 12 negroes that were at work, which is owing altogether to the carelessness of the people there. The men of war here are healthy, but are in great want of sailors, to supply which the soldiers of H.M. Regiment under my command are almost ffatigu'd out of their lives, for there cannot 2 ships go to sea unless a fifth part of their men are soldiers. I have received 20 recruits by this packet boat, and the Officer at Plymouth writes me word he has 60 more ready to send. The Councellors that are Factors to the Guinea Company and Judges of Courts, by which are incapable to sitt upon Appeals, I have shewn your Lops.' letter to, and told them the hazard they run of incurring the penalty of the Act of Parliament, but they all seem to think themselves very secure, except Col. Beckford, who says he will be no longer Factor to the Guinea Company; I therefore desire to know your Lops.' further opinion, since I shall not be able to make up a Councill for Appeals. The Quartering Act being near expired, I shall be obliged to call an Assembly, but am mighty apprehensive of their stubborness in relation to the allowance to the Officers, who will not be able to live without it, for their common discourse is, they do not want Officers, but private men. The Revenue is not able to support the contingent charges, and I cannot find out a method to oblige the Assembly to enable it, notwithstanding I have moved it to every Assembly, and must desire your Lops.' advice in this matter as well as others. The Island is healthy, etc. P.S. Since my concluding this letter we have had the ill news of the loss of H.M.S. Dunkirk's prize, which in pursuit of a French ship off Cape Francis, run upon a rock and broke to pieces, the French ship at the same time run upon a sand, and after some little dispute surrender'd to the Captain and men of the Dunkirk's prize, who got her off the sand and have brought her into port: she is an outward bound ship from France, laden with wine, brandy and dry goods, some of her cargo was disposed of at Port Rico, some they put a shore upon Hispaniola, before we had possession. Signed, Tho. Handasyd. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Jan., Read Feb. 22, 1708/9. 3 pp. Enclosed,
174. i. Copy of Contract between the French King and the Duke of Anjou for transporting French and Spanish goods to the West Indies. Endorsed as preceding. Printed. Spanish. 15½ pp.
174. ii. Copy of proceedings of the Court of Admiralty, Jamaica, in relation to the periago Kingston Galley. John Bill sailed with her for the Spanish coast in June, in order to dive on the galleon Admirall Wager blew up. Bill fell sick, and Benj. Scrivener taking command hoisted the privateer Jack without any commission. A Spanish brigantine taken by him was brought in to Kingston by some of Scrivener's men and there seized by the Naval Office. The Judges were of opinion that the seizure did not lie properly before them, by reason it was within the Harbour, and cognizable at law, and so dismiss'd the monition. The goods being perishable were sold by the Navall Officer at publick outcry for £1300 Jamaica mony. Same endorsement. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 8. Nos. 27, 27. i, ii.; and (without enclosures) 138, 12. pp. 355–359.]
Oct. 28.
175. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Earl of Sunderland. Enclose Address to H.M. from St. Kitts. (See July 7, 1708). [C.O. 153, 10. pp. 210, 211.]
Oct. 29.
176. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of Aug. 4, etc. Inclosed are the Navall Officers' lists of vessells entering and clearing from April 4, 1706, to Oct. 5, 1708, soe that I presume, with what has been before transmitted, those accounts are stated to that day. Also is inclosed the condemnation of the sloop Margarett for clandestine tradeing, but the owners being much dissatisfied att the loss of their vessell for soe small a matter, have endeavoured many ways to reflect and blame the prosecution, pretending that the tobacco found on board was loose and in the sailors' chests and designed by them for their own use, and that the Master nor owners knew nothing of it. But with the tryal is the searcher's affidavit, which explains that matter. Capt. Brooke, H.M. Collector here of the Customes, has transmitted the whole proceedings to the Commissioners, whom I presume will appear to justify their Officer if further applycation is made concerning the same. Mr. Daffy haveing taken copys out of the Office of the proceedings against him at the Court of Assize, holden in Dec., 1706 for promoteing and getting subscriptions to a libellous paper, of which he was found guilty and fined £50, and being in hopes to prevail to gett that fine remitted, I have therefor now again transmitted a copy of that tryall. By the inclosed affidavits your Lordships will be informed of the cruelties the French have been guilty of among the Bahama Islands. The Justice of the Peace who took the examinations told me, that when he was interrogateing Mrs. Strode, she desired to be excused for that she was asham'd to declare what she saw and heard of their brutalities. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd. June 29, Read July 1st, 1709. Holograph. 2½ pp. Enclosed,
176. i. Deposition of Elizabeth Stroude, of the Bahama Islands, as to the beating and torturing of women etc., at Exhuma and Illethera, by french privateers July, 1708, in order to make them divulge their hidden wealth. Signed, Eliz. Stroude. Copy. 1 p.
176. ii. Deposition of Samuel Harvey. To same effect as preceding. Endorsed, Recd. June 29, Read July 1, 1709. Copy. 1 p.
176. iii. Copy of Proceedings of Court of Assize, Bermuda, Dec. 2, 1706, against Mr. Daffy. Referred to supra. Endorsed, Recd. June 29, 1709. 4 pp.
176. iv. Deposition of D. Ubanks, Searcher in the Custom House, Bermuda, as to tobacco found on board the sloop Margaret. Sept. 29, 1708. Signed, Daniel Ubanks. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 large p.
176. v. Copy of Proceedings at a Court of Admiralty, Bermuda, March 12 and 15, 1708. The Margarett was condemned, and Appeal granted to the Lord High Admiral, etc. Same endorsement. 8 pp. [C.O. 37, 8. Nos. 82, 82. i.–v.; and (without enclosures) 38, 6. pp. 456–458.]
Oct. 29. 177. Mr. Solicitor General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Oct. 26. I humbly conceive that the granting of the passes desir'd will be illegal, and directly contrary to the Act of Navigation. Signed, R. Eyre. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 9th Nov., 1708. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
177. i. Copy of Mr. Popple's letter, Oct. 26, 1708. Addressed. Sealed. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 11. Nos. 20, 20. i.; and (without enclosure) 29, 11. p. 311.]