Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 27, 1712-1714. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.
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§ 1. General.
The announcement of the Truce, and, presently, of the Treaty of Utrecht and its terms was received in the Colonies with a chorus of welcome (50, 66, 339, 396). The addresses no doubt bear witness to relief at the end of a long and expensive war (94 xii., 145 ii., 153, 231, 453, 453 i., 464, 468, 496 i.). If the weak points of the Treaty were realised, they were not yet openly expressed. Only the Jamaicans, disappointed of their hope of regaining the Asiento trade, and anxious lest the monopoly of the Royal African Company should be renewed, bewailed their lot and refused to sign a congratulatory address (612 i.). As to Cape Breton, the Council of Trade were asked for and gave the grounds for their statement that it had always been esteemed part of Nova Scotia by the French themselves (162, 166). No sooner was the Treaty signed, than the French began to settle and fortify that island, diverting to it all the energy and funds which had hitherto been spent on Acadie and Placentia, and placing it under the Government of the late Governor and Lt. Governor of Placentia (521, 522). Their schemes for settling on the Mississippi also caused apprehension (295).
Petitions were presently submitted by the Hudson's Bay Company and the planters of Montserrat for the settlement of the reparation to be made to them for damages inflicted by the French in time of peace or armistice (v. § 3). Steps were accordingly taken for the appointment on both sides of the Commissaries who, by the 10th, 11th, and 15th Articles of the Treaty, were to settle these matters (638, 638 i., ii., 667, 674, 675, 691, 727, 736). Among the terms not in the bond was an arrangement by which, in return for the release of prisoners who had been sent to the galleys on account of their religious belief, it was agreed to make some concessions in favour of French inhabitants of the Plantations now ceded to Great Britain. Governor Nicholson was instructed to allow the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia and Placentia to continue to enjoy their estates until H.M. pleasure was further known (343, 386).
The Articles of Peace and Commerce with Spain were circulated to Governors in April, 1714 (632). Already since the Truce the old question of the Spanish claim to Salt Tertudas had been raised again. Spanish privateers seized British vessels raking salt on that barren and uninhabitable island, on the grounds that it belonged to the Crown of Spain. New Englanders, on the contrary, asserted that the Spaniards had no occupancy there; that it was "free and common as the ocean"; and that the right of raking salt there, established by long usage and by Treaty, was essential to their fishery and of no value to anybody else (478 i., 484, 484 i.–vii., 504, 513, 513 ii.). This view was supported by the Council of Trade in their report on the subject (554 i.).
The prospect of the conclusion of the war with France made the Eastern Indians anxious to come to terms with the New Englanders against whom they had rebelled. The terms of their submission are reported by Dudley (464, 466, 467).
Many problems, the natural aftermath of a long war, now called for decision. Among these was the establishment of troops necessary in times of peace, and the further question as to how far the Colonies could be induced to pay for their quartering and subsistence (275, 309, 413, 637, etc.). In view of the cost of supplying the Plantations with ordnance and stores of war, the Lord High Treasurer instituted enquiries as to how the Colonies could be made to pay for the whole charge of their governments (349, 574).
Amongst other advice and petitions as to the terms of the Treaties of Peace and Commerce (205, 206, 247), is a petition from West Indian merchants and planters against prohibitory duties being laid on British sugar and other West Indian commodities imported into France and French dominions (188, 247, 248). On the other hand, came a petition from Barbados against the importation into the Northern Colonies of rum, sugar, and molasses from Surinam, which was able to undersell the British Sugar Islands (482). After interviewing the agents for Barbados and Massachusetts, the Council of Trade decided to recommend that the trade between the Plantations on the Northern continent and foreign Plantations should be prohibited by law here (577). A bill was ordered to be brought in accordingly (589). Thus we find that in three particulars there was initiated after the Treaty of Utrecht the policy which was to be pursued with such singular infelicity after the Peace of Paris. This point has not, I think, hitherto been appreciated by historians.
The problem of settling soldiers on the land always arises after a war. The Empire had new land to be settled and disbanded soldiers in plenty, but after so exhausting a war little enough of the capital necessary for financing such projects. We have, then, petitions from a group of disbanded officers and soldiers for a grant of vacant land between New England and Nova Scotia (357, 366, 379 i.). They asked for a free passage and full pay for two years, amounting to some fifteen thousand pounds (385). The Council of Trade in reporting upon this proposal as desirable but expensive, suggested Nova Scotia as more suitable for such an experiment. Their suggestion was adopted (366, 390, 448 i.–iii., 459, 460 i.). It is interesting to observe that the original promoter of the scheme was Thomas Coram, whose name is familiar to Londoners as the Founder of the Foundling Hospital, and the eponymous hero of Coram Street and Dickens's Tatty Coram. In pressing the proposal put forward by him both as a means of saving starving ex-soldiers and of developing the Empire, he gives some interesting details of his own career (460 i.), with which his biographers do not seem to be acquainted (v. D.N.B. and authorities there quoted).
Expense proving a stumbling-block, a new scheme was next proposed for settling a Colony to be named Nova Anna on the site originally suggested. Settlers were to receive a grant of the lands, and a patent for coining 1500 tons of copper half-pence and farthings for England and the Colonies was to provide them with the necessary capital of £105,000. The report of the Master of the Mint, Sir Isaac Newton, exposed the weak point in these calculations (618 ii., 629, 633–640 i.), whilst the Council of Trade called attention to the rights of Massachusetts in the lands mentioned. They added that none of the other Colonies had been settled at the charge of the Public and in so burthensome a manner as this appeared to be (659).
A complaint was made by the French of illegal trade carried on between Barbados and Martinique, and shared in and protected by Capt. Vanbrugh of H.M.S. Sorlings in defiance of the French Governor, his own Instructions and the provisions of the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality (716 i., 733, 733 i., 735, 737).
The consideration of a batch of Acts from Pennsylvania drew attention to an anomaly in the matter of temporary laws enacted there and elsewhere. The device of reenacting an expiring temporary law before it was repealed provided a loop-hole whereby the right of repeal vested in the Crown might be evaded (553, 689, 689 i., 692). The Attorney General pointed out that in other than Proprietary Governments the case was already provided against by Instructions to Governors. But an Act of Parliament was needed to remedy the mischief in the case of Chartered Colonies. He remarked upon the absence of any obligation in the Charters of Rhode Island and Connecticut for the submission of laws for the approval of the Crown (728).
In response to urgent petitions and reports from Maryland and Virginia as to the condition of the tobacco trade and the necessity of reducing the several duties upon that article, and in pursuance of previous representations by the Council of Trade upon that subject, a bill for encouraging the tobacco trade was brought in. In Virginia an Act was past intended to restore the prestige of the Dominion tobacco (473, 473 i., ii., 684, 684 i., 686, 688).
In August, 1713, Lord Dartmouth announced to the several Governors that he had been succeeded by Lord Bolingbroke as Secretary of State for the Southern Department (455, 456, 487, 489). In spite of the enormous amount of business in which he was involved by the negotiation of the Treaties and home politics, Bolingbroke gives many indications of his grasp of the numerous important problems in Colonial affairs, which were now calling for solution, notably in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Jamaica (699, etc.). In one of the earliest instructions issued by him, he insisted upon the rights of Patent Officers being maintained (487). At the same time the abuse of Patent Offices was growing apace. Erasmus Lewis, for instance, was appointed Provost Marshal General of Barbados and allowed to exercise his office by Deputy on the ground that he was Lord Dartmouth's Secretary. His patent was revoked when Dartmouth was dismissed (96, 98, 111, 452). This, however, may not have been a case of post hoc, propter hoc. For Bolingboke some months later was apparently ignorant of the change, and wrote to recommend Lewis and his Deputy to the particular protection of the Governor of Barbados. Possibly Lewis, in view of the uncertainty of the political situation, may have thought it wiser to strike a bargain and to sell the reversion of his place to his successor. Certainly the activities of the Jacobite party were increasing at this time, and are reflected in the changes which were taking place or being prepared in official life both at home and abroad. The appointments of General Nicholson, of Major Lloyd, of Lt. Governor Pulleyne and of William Sharpe, as well as the neglect of Col. Hunter and Col. Vetch and the recall of Governor Lowther and Lt. Governor Bennett must be considered in this light. Even that excellent servant, William Popple, the Secretary of the Board of Trade, was now threatened with dismissal as the reward for his sturdy Protestantism and support of Governor Hunter and the Whig party. According to his own official statement made in June, 1716, he would have been turned out had Queen Anne lived a few days longer, for his place was "already promised to another." (C.O. 152, 11. No. 11.).
One of Bolingbroke's notions was to send Commissioners to enquire into the disorders and confusions in Jamaica, Barbados and the Leeward Islands and other Colonies in those parts, with a view to taking steps to put an end to them (612). This was an extension of the idea which had prompted the sending out of General Nicholson with a large Commission of enquiry into the affairs of the Northern Colonies (97). This Commission was primarily to enquire into the disposal of stores of war and funds granted to the Colonies since 1701 for various purposes; into the state of H.M. forces, woods, fisheries, settlements and into clandestine trade; and to treat with the Indians. Nicholson was empowered to dispose of superfluous stores remaining over there from the Canada Expedition, etc., and also to take back to America those which had been returned (97, 242, 259). The Lords Proprietors of Carolina were also permitted to commission him to enquire into and report upon the disorders in North Carolina (154, 264). He was also instructed to recover arrears of prize money due to the Crown. For there were good grounds for suspecting that there had been embezzlement or fraudulent concealment of considerable sums of this nature in the Plantations (267 i.–iii., 301, 301 i.–iii., 312 i.). Nicholson was further directed to report upon the delay in fixing the boundaries between Virginia and Carolina and between Pennsylvania and Maryland (311 i.). In addition to all these trusts, he was appointed Governor and Commander in Chief of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland (104, 105). His departure was delayed by bad weather. He did not arrive at Boston until the end of the year, when he immediately began to prosecute his enquiries into the affairs of the Northern Plantations (407, 443, 524 ff.). With Dartmouth's approval he took over with him some printed copies of the Queen's speech of 16th July and had 3,000 more printed in Boston, to be circulated as propaganda to counteract "the traitorous factious and ill-natured pamphlets," which were being sent over and "industriously spread abroad amongst the people" (425, 432, 523, 731).
Several instances occur of prisoners being sent home for trial—from Jamaica, the Leeward Islands and Virginia—under the statute of Henry VIII. referred to in former volumes. Such procedure does not appear to have been regarded as a grievance in the Colonies then as it was in Massachusetts some 60 years later. The objection came from England. For one reason or another, the witnesses and evidence in these cases lagged behind the accused. Lord Dartmouth therefore gave directions that Governors should be instructed not to transmit any prisoners without sending full proofs of their guilt at the same time (34, 49, 62, 135, 233).
In response to the repeated requests of the Board of Trade, a considerable number of accounts of Revenue came in from various Colonies (420, 421). The Board again drew attention to the inconvenience caused by absentee Councillors (486). Their own salaries were seven quarters in arrear in Jan., 1713 (254). The Assistant Secretary, Adrian Drift, was sent to Paris to help Mat. Prior in the negotiations of the Treaty.
The unfortunate Jeronimy Clifford, still languishing in Fleet Prison for debt owing to the refusal of the Dutch to compensate him for his property in Surinam, now saw reason to fear that he was in danger of losing his lands in Jamaica (369).
§ II. The American Colonies.
Robert Johnson was appointed Governor of Carolina in April, 1713 (316), and Charles Eden Lt. Governor of North Carolina, in succession to Edward Hyde, who died in Sept., 1712 (99, 331 i.). The death of the latter rendered confusion more confounded in that distracted Government. Political divisions paralysed attempts at defence against the Indians and even caused failure to fulfil the obligations undertaken on account of forces from Virginia sent to relieve the country (25, 99). A fresh outbreak of the Tuscaroras followed close upon the peace hastily patched up by Col. Barnwell. They were exasperated by his conduct in carrying off captives on his retirement to South Carolina, and encouraged by promises of help from the Senecas. These irregular proceedings, the Lt. Governor of Virginia declared, "discourage and disenable me to assist" the Carolinans (25). Before long, however, in response to a despairing appeal from the Assembly of North Carolina, he managed to extract from the very unwilling Burgesses of Virginia a grant of £1,000 for their assistance. The Assembly not without reason looked upon their neighbours as largely responsible for their own misfortunes, as well as for the danger which threatened the Virginian frontiers "by the continued disorders in the Government and the disorders of the people." But Spotswood remarks that the sum thus voted, though inadequate for the task of subduing the enemy, was the greatest donation ever made there to be spent out of the country. The Assembly of North Carolina had offered to supply provisions and the cost of transport for Virginian troops. But it soon became clear that they could neither keep this promise nor supply more than one hundred men for an expedition against the Indians, even though a gift of clothing for them was voted by Virginia. For some of the inhabitants deserted the country to avoid military service in its defence, and others sheltered themselves under the cloak of Quakerism. In the meantime a force of 850 Indians and 33 white men under Col. Moore was marching from South Carolina to their relief (272, 272 i., 273). Moore's expedition met with unexpected success. He inflicted a thousand casualties upon the Tuscaroras and captured their only fort (272, 355). As the Government of Carolina was incapable of continuing the war, and it was now certain that the Tuscaroras were being assisted not only by the Senecas, but also by the Mohawks and others of the Five Nations, Spotswood intervened to make peace (355, 524 iii. (a). The Tuscaroras, after their defeat, had come down to the Virginian frontier, and Spotswood endeavoured to raise a force to deal with them. He completely failed, however, to enlist even the small number of two hundred volunteers which he proposed to raise for that service. He decided, therefore, to make a Treaty with the Tuscaroras, and this, fortunately, they were ready enough to enter into (473, 502). The details of it are given (603, 603 i.–iii.).
Maryland was still suffering from the low price of tobacco, but the hopes of the planters rose as it gave signs of improving (11). We have seen (§ 1), that attention was paid to their petitions for a reduction of the duties upon that commodity (319, 503, etc.).
A new Governor was at last appointed in the person of John Hart (539). Very shortly after his arrival (695), he reported that the impoverishment of the planters had been increased by a serious drought, and that for want of satisfactory prices, they were abandoning the cultivation of tobacco and taking to raise cattle and grain. They were being compelled to manufacture clothing themselves, much to the detriment of the British woollen manufacturers (717).
The claims of the absentee Secretary were still ignored by the Assembly. In spite of a Royal letter mandatory, they refused to pass an Act for regulating ordinaries as directed, which should appropriate the benefit of the licences to that office as heretofore, and compensate Sir Thomas Laurence for his losses since 1704 (112, 586). They stated their case at length in an address to the Crown (567).
We have already referred to the Lords Proprietors' Commission to General Nicholson to enquire into the disorders in North Carolina and to appoint Deputies to the Council on their behalf (154, 264). He was also instructed to investigate the delay in fixing the boundaires with Virginia (311 i.). Although an Order in Council in Jan., 1713, directed the appointment of Commissioners to settle this long-vexed question, Spotswood in July, 1714, reported that Mr. Eden, the new Governor, had arrived without any instructions to that effect from the Lords Proprietors. He explained the advantage they drew from this delay and the steps he intended to take (178, 245, 726).
The Lords Proprietors sent out the draft of an Act, drawn by the Chief Justice Trott, and approved and amended by them, for securing quit-rents and settling titles to lands (302, 303). They withdrew their order that grants for new lands should only be issued by order of the Board in London, but fixed the rates, quitrents and limit of each grant (462, 469). On complaint from Virginia, an Act imposing duties on Virginian traders with the Western Indians, contrary to previous instructions, was repealed (178, 245).
Col. Carey and those of his supporters who had been caught and sent home from Virginia for trial, were permitted to return to Carolina, no evidence against them having been forthcoming to support a prosecution (135, 233; v. § 1).
To Bolingbroke, on his succeeding Dartmouth, Governor Dudley described the steps he had taken to defend the frontiers of New England and the difficulties he experienced in obtaining the release of English prisoners in Canada (116, etc.). The Council and Assembly of Massachusetts Bay addressed the Crown for a further preference to enable New England to compete successfully with the East Country in supplying the English market with Naval Stores (592). In response to an enquiry from the Board of Trade, Dudley gave an account of the issues and provisions for paper money in New England (384, 509). The question had been raised by the Postmasters General. For bills of credit having been made current as specie and standing at a heavy discount, the collection of postage on letters involved considerable risk, as well as immediate difficulty owing to the fact that the lowest denomination of the paper currency was for the nominal value of five shillings (340, 340 i., 378, 384).
The close of the war brought with it the submission of the rebellious Eastern Indians (464, 466, 467). Dudley was also able to announce the conclusion of an agreement with Connecticut over the long-standing boundary dispute (464, 464 i.).
Throughout this period the position of Governor Hunter in New York was one of great and increasing difficulty. The Council of Trade, indeed, supported him loyally at home (313, 324, 409, etc.). But the sinister opposition of Lord Clarendon was plainly revealed in an attempt to prevent the pardon of the negro conspirators whom Hunter had reprieved (293). As the danger of a Jacobite revolution grew more pronounced, the prospect of his being left in the lurch or superseded added to his anxieties and difficulties (404, 665). No notice having been taken of his continual applications for funds to carry on the settlement of German Protestant Refugees until the production of Naval Stores should have begun to pay their way, he was at last compelled to throw them upon their own resources. Many of them at once proceeded to settle on the lands at Schoharee. They had long desired to do so, but Hunter had done his best to prevent them. There they were soon starving (122, 404).
The long constitutional struggle with the Assembly of New York now reached a very critical stage. Hunter appealed again and again to the Board of Trade, to Dartmouth and Bolingbroke, assuring them that nothing now remained but for measures to be taken by Ministers at home (123, 124, 169, 171, 293, etc.). It is significant that he who had acted with so much forbearance and moderation felt compelled to ask for an increase of troops to support the Government (100, 338). The Assembly still insisted that the Council had no right to amend money bills, and received the ruling of the Board of Trade on that point with "indecent heats and undutifull expressions" (7, 122). They assumed the right of adjourning themselves; denied the right of the Governor and Council to erect Courts of Judicature; challenged the right of the Crown to appoint officers or to dispose of public money, and persistently refused to vote an adequate revenue for the support of the Government (126, 169, 293). No question of economy was involved in this refusal, for their own frequent sessions cost more than the money they saved by not voting a revenue (122, 293, 293 i., 362). These and other infringements of the Royal prerogative could only be part of a policy intended to place the whole control of government entirely in the hands of the Representatives. On these grounds the Council of Trade recommended the passing of the Act which had been prepared in 1711 for settling the Revenue of New York over their heads (313). It was ordered to be introduced, but the close of the Sessions being at hand, it was not laid before Parliament (330, 409, 412). The threat of it, however, was sufficient to induce the Assembly to make a show of passing a Revenue Act. It was for one year only, and quite inadequate (404, 665). In pursuance of his Instructions, Hunter had begun to enquire into the quit-rents. He found that the planters had entirely ceased to pay them, relying upon the "sence and strength of a country jury, if they should be sued." The interest of the Crown had been badly served by former extravagant grants and renewals which reduced the original quit-rents. Hunter called attention to the insignificance of the sum due from so important a Province, and raised the question of the validity of such grants (293).
Hunter reported the building of the two forts in the Mohawks' and Onondages' country (122), and also gave a curious account of the social and political customs of the Five Nations (295). He mentions that great apprehension was felt on account of French plans for making settlements on the Mississippi, "all along the backs of our settlements" (295).
Affairs in New Jersey were at a standstill whilst Hunter awaited a decision upon his application for the dismissal of the obnoxious Councillors. In the meantime Mr. Sonmans absconded with the Records (122, 296). At last an order was passed for making those changes in the Council which Hunter had declared to be necessary for the peaceful government of the country (65, 315). Harmony being thus restored, he was soon able to report the passing of many acts, and the settlement of the revenue for two years (404, 665).
General Nicholson was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia in Oct., 1712 (97, 104, 105). Col. Vetch had continually represented the great difficulty he was experiencing in victualling the garrison at Annapolis Royal, their credit being exhausted and bills of exchange unpaid (31, 255). Nicholson did not visit his government, but, from Boston, accused Vetch of fraud and maladministration, on the reports of Sir Charles Hobby (652, 731). In pursuance of an arrangement with the French Court, by which English prisoners condemned to the galleys on account of their religion were to be released if some favour were shown to French inhabitants of the ceded territories, General Nicholson was instructed to permit the French settlers in Nova Scotia to retain their lands and tenements till H.M. "pleasure be further known," or to sell the same, if they preferred to quit the country (343, 370).
The consideration of a batch of Acts from Pennsylvania (434, 525), raised a problem of considerable importance. By the terms of Penn's Charter, he was allowed five years after the making of a law in which to submit it for H.M. approbation, but it could only be repealed within six months of its being delivered to the Privy Council. The Council of Trade represented that six months was too short a period for the proper consideration of a large number of acts if submitted at a time of great pressure of business. Moreover, this provision opened the door to the passing of temporary acts, possibly of an objectionable character, which would expire before the date at which it was necessary for them to be laid before the Privy Council. Supposing such an act were disallowed, it could be re-enacted before any intimation of repeal could arrive in Pennsylvania. By refraining from submitting the new temporary act until near the time of its expiration, the same process could be repeated, and thus the prerogative of the Crown of approving or disapproving acts might be evaded. A case in point was an act laying a duty upon incoming shipping other than that owned by the inhabitants of Pennsylvania (553).
It was decided that the agreement with William Penn for the surrender of his propriety should be proceeded with. As he was now incapable of attending to business, an Act of Parliament was ordered to be prepared, for supplying his incapacity and altering the method complained of as to temporary laws and the time limited for transmitting and approving laws. The Attorney General reported that "during the last session of Parliament a bill for that purpose could not be settled, in regard of some difficulties between the mortgagees and family of Mr. Penn." In other than Proprietary Governments the case of temporary laws was provided against by the Governors' Instructions. But enquiry into the subject drew attention to the fact that there was no obligation by charter for Rhode Island and Connecticut to transmit their laws for H.M. approbation at all, and an Act of Parliament would be necessary to introduce any change in such charters (689, 689 i., 728).
We have already referred to the delay in fixing the boundaries of Virginia and the aid given to Carolina against the Indians. It was only with great difficulty that Lt. Governor Spotswood induced the Assembly to sanction those measures. They were unwilling to take any steps for the defence of the country, and the Militia was allowed to remain practically useless, although the danger of negro insurrections and Indian risings remained, even after the conclusion of the Peace. Spotswood devised a scheme for strengthening the frontier by settling parties of the Tributary Indians and some of Baron de Graffenried's Palatines along it (99, 726, p. 278). Spotswood managed to persuade the Burgesses to pay the debt incurred for previous measures of defence sanctioned by them, but they refused to pay for the spy-boat he had commissioned (272, 325, 410). So serious was the position, that the Council of Trade recommended that a grant of arms and ammunition should be made, but under strict regulations to prevent the recurrence of loss and embezzlement (25, 260, 261). A frigate was appointed to protect the coast from pirates (375).
Spotswood was anxious to make it plain that the Assembly acted through no lack of confidence in himself, but that they were committed to a policy of economy at all hazards. They had pledged themselves to their constituents to raise no taxes, "let the occasion be what it will." He attributed this attitude to the wide franchise by which the purchaser of only half an acre of land was entitled to a vote (99, p. 278). The Council of Trade thereupon recommended the passing of an act for the qualification of electors and representatives, threatening an Act of Parliament to that effect, if the Burgesses should refuse (325).
The Assembly rejected a bill embodying H.M. Instructions as to the method of granting lands (272, 272 vi., 410); but Spotswood proceeded to put the Instructions into force (272, 453, 473). By the end of 1713, however, he was able to announce that the Assembly had concluded their session satisfactorily by passing the Act declaring what shall be accounted a sufficient seating, etc., as well as an important act for preventing frauds in tobacco payments, calculated to improve the position of the tobacco trade. It is a curious commentary on the political morality of this age of placemen, that he quite unblushingly observes, with regard to this act, that it will have the additional advantage of enabling a Governor for the future to carry "any reasonable point in the House of Burgesses; for he will have in his disposal about forty agencys, likely to yield nigh £250 per annum each; these my intentions are to dispose of among the most considerable men of the Colony, and principally to gratify with a place all the members of Assembly who were for the bill' (502, 530, 530 i., 531).
In the course of replies to the enquiries of the Board of Trade in which he made returns of the revenue, negroes, and neighbouring Indians, etc., Spotswood explained that the taking of a census was impossible owing to the fear of the inhabitants that it would be used for imposing a capitation tax. As elsewhere, the registration of births, christenings and burials was very imperfectly observed (25, 25 i.–iii., 272, 272 iii.–v., 603).
Spotswood was profoundly interested in the exploration of the mountains on the frontier and the development of mines reported to have been discovered there, a project in which he engaged the services of Baron de Graffenried. He pressed for a declaration of the royalties which would be claimed by the Crown. Without this, prospectors would not proceed. The Council of Trade recommended that the Crown should demand a fifth part of all gold and silver ore mined, a figure suggested by the charter of Massachusetts Bay (25, 287, 599 ii., 671).
§ 3. The West Indies.
The appearance of a French fleet off the Leeward Islands (v. infra) occasioned an appeal for the help of the Barbados guardships. Governor Lowther seems to have done his best to send them. But unfortunately the Naval officers in command chose to take umbrage at his manner and to waste time over the question of his right to give them orders rather than to seek out the enemy and protect the Leeward Islands (69, etc., v. Leeward Islands).
In Barbados the Assembly were having the same dispute with the Council over the amendment of money bills as was being fought out at New York. Lowther Plainly describes it as part of a move towards making themselves independent of the Crown (45). The Council of Trade agreed, and stated their view of the matter, making pointed reference to the revenue act intended for New York (412). Lowther had, however, by that time nearly reached the end of his tether. Complaints against his choleric and high-handed actions, notably in the case of Alexander Skene, whom he had been ordered to restore to his places, ended in his recall (143 i., 150, 172, 333, 333 i. ff., 344, 412, 475, 487, 545, 571, 571 i.–vi., 576). He was commanded to hand over the administration of the Government to the President of the Council, William Sharpe (576). It was Sharpe who had brought out the order for the Governor's return. Lowther refused to surrender the government to him until the eve of his departure (654, 657). Sharpe, after duly lodging his complaint against this procedure, reported that the condition of the fortifications was deplorable and the "public credit 60 or 70 per cent. discount." He describes his endeavours to remedy this state of things, and complains that he was obstructed by Lowther's party in the Assembly (696, 711). His first steps were directed to reviewing the Militia and re-appointing those officers whom Lowther had turned out, replacing them by his own creatures (711). He wished to deal with the Council in a similar fashion. As Sharpe was reputed to be a Jacobite, and was appointed by Bolingbroke's Ministry at this juncture, these proceedings may perhaps have been tendencious. It is interesting to note that of twelve men of the best estates submitted by him as suitable for Councillors, no fewer than four had been educated at English Universities (711 i.).
The Board of Ordnance having represented that a large sum was owing for the establishment of gunners at Barbados, and that there was no money forthcoming to pay it, it was decided that they should be dismissed, and their places filled by matrosses to be paid by the Assembly (275 i., 679 i., 680, 682).
Lieutenant Governor Bennett received information in the spring of 1712 that the French were preparing to attack Bermuda. The expedition, however, was confined to the Leeward Islands (44, 44 i.–iii.). But in the autumn the island was visited by a disaster almost as ruinous, "the most severest hurricane that has been known here." This was on Sept. 8th, eleven days after that which devastated part of Jamaica (77, 94, 540). Shortly afterwards Henry Pulleyne was appointed to succeed Bennett (147). His instructions permitted him to accept provision for a house or house-rent from the Assembly, provided it were made in the first sessions after his arrival and for the full term of his office. His salary was increased by the addition of £100 from the Exchequer, but he was forbidden to accept any present from the Assembly. It was hoped that in acknowledgement of this relief the Assembly would be the more ready to provide for the defence of the island (339 i., 540). Pulleyne reported that the Treasury was in debt to the extent of a thousand pounds or so, and that the poverty of the island was so great that it could not raise even this small sum and pay the usual expenses of the Government. The fortifications and public buildings were in a ruinous condition. After voting a small sum of money which had been used in the prosecution of Jones, the Assembly refused to raise another penny (540, 651).
Complaints were lodged against Spanish privateers which, after the peace, by virtue of alledged commissions from Havana, etc., were seizing any British vessel which had on board Spanish money, logwood, salt, hides or cocoa. It was recommended that reparation should be demanded from the Court of Madrid (544, 544 i., ii., 590, 596, 600, 601, 651).
Whilst Jamaica was preparing to resist a possible attack by the French, a terrible hurricane swept across the island (28 Aug., 1712), devastating a large tract and dashing the hopes of the planters who had begun to look for a prosperous season. As much damage was done, it was said, as by the great earthquake. Terrible havoc was wrought among the shipping in the harbour. The long list of wrecks is given by the Governor (92, 94, 94 xv., 492). On receiving news of the Truce, Governor Lord Archibald Hamilton opened communications with the Governor of Petit Guavas with a view to the observance and possible extension of it, the exchange of prisoners, and, in accordance with his instructions, to the establishing of trade relations. His proceedings were hindered by a violent quarrel with Rear-Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker, Commodore of the Jamaican Squadron. The truculent behaviour of the Admiral, combined with a direct charge against him of using H.M. ships for purposes of trade, led to his recall (148, 148 xii., xiv., 149, 149 i. ff., 167, 167 i.–v., 176, 238, 239, 277 i. ff., 292, 413). It is noted that he was on terms of intimacy with the extreme members of the Assembly, whom we have met in previous years, and who conducted a campaign of opposition against the Government not unlike that which was in progress in New York (149). Lord Archibald, however, reported that they represented only a small and noisy faction, and that the generality of the country was well disposed both towards himself and the Queen's service. The Assembly made a satisfactory provision for the revenue (149, 492).
The next sessions of the Assembly, however, was attended with so much heat and altercation that the Governor dissolved it, Oct., 1713 (492). But the same violent dissension broke out in the new House (Nov., Dec.). The chief point of dispute was the provision for the subsistence and quartering of the Regiment, much clamour being raised against the maintenance of a standing army, although by the peace establishment the Regiment had been reduced, after very careful consideration, to 300 men. The presence of some such force was necessary to cope with the danger of negro insurrections, if nothing else (94, 290, 413, 492, 527, 580, 606, 612 ii., 637, 642, 701). When the act for providing quartering and subsistence expired, the Governor and Council were obliged to advance the money for that purpose out of their own pockets (664), the Assembly having been dissolved after a short sessions on account of their "violent and unwarrantable proceedings" (527, 615). These are enumerated by Lord Archibald. They adjourned themselves without the Governor's leave, as in New York and Barbados; they denied the right of the Council to amend money bills; they attempted to arrogate to themselves the right of reviewing H.M. Regiment without consulting the Governor, and in other points endeavoured to infringe the prerogative of the Crown (615). The Council supported the Governor in his resistance to these encroachments (701). But it was complained that he had received little encouragement from Ministers at home, and that the consequences might prove very unfortunate (612 ii.). The Board of Trade, however, did not fail to express their opinion of the Assembly's pretentions. They clearly stated that the claim that the Council had no right to amend money bills was groundless and would receive no countenance at home. The Assembly, as well as the Council, it was laid down, only sat as part of the Legislature by virtue of the Governor's Commission. Consequently, the Assembly's "assuming a right in no ways inherent in them is a violation of the Constitution of Jamaica, and is derogatory to H.M. royal prerogative." They must not persist in assuming the rights and privileges of the House of Commons; if they did, measures would be taken to assert H.M. undoubted prerogative. Their adjourning themselves without the Governor's leave was another instance of their undutifulness and disrespect to the Crown, and unless the next reports from Jamaica showed that they had changed their tune, proper remedies would be applied (701). Another cause of offence was the refusal of the Assembly to join in an Address of congratulation upon the Peace, and then transmitting through their Speaker an Address in which they stated their dissatisfaction in the matters of the Asiento and the African trade (527, 612 i., 615). These proceedings were accompanied by scenes and measures of great violence in the Chamber and the country. Bolingbroke wrote to Lord Archibald in June, 1714, explaining that great pressure of affairs had prevented him from examining the disordered circumstances of Jamaica, but that he hoped shortly to be able to devote his attention to it (612 ii., 699). This letter was written two days before the despatch of the Board of Trade already quoted (701). He had already informed the Board of Trade that no answer was to be made to the Address from Jamaica referred to above, but that the "disorders and confusions" in Jamaica, Barbados and the Leeward Islands seemed to call for some speedy remedy, and that it was therefore proposed to send to those parts a Commissioner, with instructions similar to those given to General Nicholson on his mission to the Northern Colonies and Carolina. These instructions the Board was instructed to prepare (612).
Two of the Acts passed at this time were repealed. The first, for preventing any one person holding two or more offices by deputy, was objected to as directed against a particular individual. It was alledged, but also denied, that there were abuses resulting from the uniting of two offices in the case of the Secretary and Provost Marshal (278, 399, 422, 429–431, 437, 440, 444). The Act for the relief of the inhabitants of Kingston was annulled as misrepresenting facts and infringing the property rights of the late Governor, Sir William Beeston (681, 690, 702, 723). The Attorney General having pointed out several objections in law to the Act for further quieting possessions, which was otherwise desirable in the interests of the island, the Council of Trade decided to accept the proposal of "several gentlemen on behalf of Jamaica," and withhold their report upon it until the Assembly should have had an opportunity of passing another law free from those objections (394, 413). There was a good deal of discussion over the disposal of escheats, a question raised by the Governor (441, 441 i.).
This volume opens with one of a series of complaints by Robert Cunynghame against the Governor of the Leeward Islands for harsh and arbitrary conduct in St. Christopher's (1). Douglas replied to these charges as well as that of feathering his nest by compounding with the rebels in Antigua (127, 678, 678 i. ff). He was recalled in the following year, and Walter Hamilton appointed to succeed him (447, 449, etc.). His commission was prepared, but not signed (461). Douglas did not leave his Government till four months after he received his letter of recall, and then left Daniel Smith, Lieut. Governor of Nevis, in command (605).
Before this, Barbados and the Leeward Islands had suffered much alarm, and Montserrat great damage, from the French expeditions that were abroad under MM. Duguay-Torin and Cassart. Early in the morning of July 6th, 1712, a powerful squadron, including seven men of war, appeared off Antigua. They endeavoured to effect a landing at Willoughby Bay, but abandoned the attempt, according to one account because they saw a few horse and foot ready to receive them (38), according to another, because of a heavy sea (33 ii., 38, 95 i.). This was Cassart's "private robbing expedition," which, after plundering Santiago and making an attempt upon Surinam, had been reinforced from Martinique and Guadeloupe (33 ii., 38). Cassart proceeded to Montserrat. There he effected landings at Plymouth and Carr's Bay, putting ashore over three thousand men, who plundered and ravaged the island for twelve days (6, 8, 17, 33 ii., 57). The islanders, though ill-prepared for defence and suffering from the absence of their Lieut. Governor, appear to have acted on the whole with bravery and determination. Retiring to their "deodand," or strong place of refuge, they disputed the advance of the enemy, and refused to capitulate, in spite of the offer of easy terms. They were thus able to boast that a small force of 400 men had, against such odds, succeeded in maintaining H.M. sovereignty (38, 57 vii.). As soon as the French had left the coast of Antigua, Douglas had sent to Barbados for the assistance of the six men of war there. Rear-Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker, outward-bound for Jamaica with the London Trade fleet, had left instructions with Capt. Hamilton, who was in command of them, to go to the aid of the Leeward Islands in any emergency. Capts. Constable and Clark were ordered to prepare to convoy the homeward fleet. But without informing the Governor they went for a cruize and did not return from it till July 14th (38, 69). There was an unfortunate delay in responding to Douglas' appeal. The causes of it are clearly exposed in the despatches of the Governor of Barbados, and in the formal complaint to the Admiralty by the Governor. Lieut. Governor, Council and Assembly of Antigua. They do no credit to the fighting spirit of the Naval officers concerned (45, 45 vii., 57 iii., iv., 69, 95 i.). After waiting in vain for some days for the arrival of these men of war, Douglas set sail from Antigua with the four small and partly disabled guardships of the Leeward Islands (8, 33 ii., 38). Heavy weather prevented him from landing on Montserrat, though the islanders made a sortie from their deodand to aid him. But his appearance off Plymouth Road alarmed the raiders, who hastily re-embarked after setting fire to the town. They returned to Guadeloupe (33 ii., 38, 95 i.), carrying with them 1,200 out of 5,000 negroes upon the island, besides other plunder (38, 69). By this raid all the records and laws of Montserrat were destroyed (C.O. 152, 15. f. 34 v.). Douglas had returned to Antigua, after causing some alarm at Guadeloupe. On 20th July the six men of war from Barbados at last arrived at Antigua. Douglas immediately reinforced them with 400 soldiers, sailors and volunteers. Capts. Hamilton and Constable, however, decided not to attack the enemy if they should prove to be of equal force with themselves. Two days after their arrival they went out to reconnoitre in the direction of Montserrat, but returned on learning that the enemy had retired with his booty to Guadeloupe. They had thus missed an excellent opportunity of catching Cassart's ships in Plymouth Road with his men ashore. For the French landed on Montserrat on July 8th, and stayed there till the 19th, whilst Douglas' appeal for help reached Barbados on the 13th, but, owing to the unreadiness of Capt. Constable and the unwillingness of Capt. Hamilton to sail without him, the men of war did not leave Barbados till the 17th. Ignoring the appeals of the Antiguans to stay for a fortnight and protect them from the further raid which was plainly threatened, or to attack with their aid the inferior French force now at Guadeloupe, they returned to Barbados on 26th and 27th July (38, 69, 95 i.).
Hasty preparations for defence previously neglected were made at Antigua (6, 38, 57). For, although the Governor of Martinique gave out that he was not rendering them any assistance, yet according to information from Martinique, Duguay-Torin was daily expected "with fifteen men of war to attack Barbados," whilst Cassart was still intending to raid Antigua and the rest of the Leeward Islands and hoping to intercept the homeward-bound Trade fleet (57, 69).
At the beginning of August a spy-boat reported that the two French squadrons had joined forces at Guadeloupe and were preparing for a descent upon Antigua. Their force now amounted to 16 ships and 32 sloops (33 i.). In these circumstances Governor Douglas again appealed to Barbados for the succour of the six men of war, who might then join the Leeward Islands convoys and conduct both their Trade fleet and that of Barbados on their homeward voyage (57, 69, 95 i.). In view of the enemy's strength the Governor of Barbados had already urged upon the Commanders the advisability of concentrating all available naval forces at Antigua (Aug. 8). But Capts. Constable and Hamilton were entirely concerned with resenting any orders or interference from the Governor. On the 21st Aug. came another urgent appeal from Governor Douglas, dated on the 13th, and stating that he expected Antigua to be attacked within a few hours. After wasting several days quarrelling with the Governor and Council who urged their departure, the two Naval officers announced on the 24th that they were going to leeward to discover the enemy's motions, but that they must first be supplied with men and powder. So they continued to delay. It was not until Capt. Constable had received an impetus in the shape of £400 from some gentlemen of Barbados and a promise of an indemnity in case the Admiralty objected to his not sailing at that moment with the Trade fleet, that they finally consented to sail in the direction of the enemy. Nor would they approach Antigua until they had ascertained that there was no danger (38, 69, 95 i.). The Antiguans represent that had they joined forces as proposed, the ten English ships might well have destroyed the six Frenchmen, who carried 130 fewer guns (95 i.). Cassart, however, passed on to Surinam and Curacao, which places he held to ransom (180, 291, 305, 307). His reported return to Martinique led the Governor of Barbados to enter into negotiations with M. Phelypeaux for the continuance of the Truce after its expiration on Dec. 11th, until further orders should arrive from home (180, 180 i.–iii.). About the same time Ducasse was reported at Martinique with an immense cargo of Spanish treasure, and the Barbados guardships were ordered to join the Diamond from the Leeward Islands and to endeavour to intercept him (181). The damage inflicted upon Montserrat was estimated at £180,000, and it was stipulated by the XIth Article of the Treaty of Utrecht that Commissaries should be appointed to enquire into them. The inhabitants of Montserrat petitioned for their appointment, and their Instructions were ordered to be drawn up (638 ii., 727, 736).
The Lieut. Governor Pearne, returning from England with H.M. Commission, found his post at Montserrat occupied by Capt. Marshall, appointed in his absence by Governor Douglas. Marshall refused to give place, until Lt. Governor Smith suspended him. Neither of them seems to have been a very desirable representative of the Crown (38, 494, 494 i., ii., 605, 678, 678 i., ff.).
Further evidence for and against Governor Parke and his murderers came to hand, whilst his relatives were active in pressing for the prosecution of the prisoners sent home for trial (141, 232, 304, 304 i., 532). Douglas gives a further account of his proceedings in this affair to Lord Dartmouth's Secretary (6). After dissolving the Assembly on account of their factious behaviour and refusal to provide for the Regiment or defence of the island, he issued a warrant for the arrest of two ringleaders, Dr. Mackinnen and Samuel Watkins, the late Speaker. They promptly sought refuge on board H.M.S. Diamond, the Captain of which had previously shown his sympathy with the insurgents (2, 6). On arriving in England, they managed to lie hid for some time, but were ultimately discovered by Parke's relatives and committed to Newgate (6, 81, 232), in company with Thomas Kerby. All three applied for bail, the evidence against them being delayed (6, 81, 93, 113, 129, 136, 141, 232, 265, 306).
Progress was made with the payment of the bounty to the sufferers from the invasion of Nevis and St. Kitts. Many preliminary points had first to be decided. What constituted the re-settlement of a plantation, which was a condition of the bounty? Was a planter who re-settled on a different one of the islands, or a parish Church which had been destroyed, entitled to the benefit of the grant (165, 173, 177, 185)? What was to be the form of the debentures and what was to be the form of the oath of re-settlement and powers of attorney? The answers to these problems show why some claimants for the bounty failed to make good their title both then and since. The record of the debentures issued gives valuable lists of the inhabitants of both islands at that time (20, 21, 190–204, 209–229, 535, 536). Recipients of the debentures petitioned to have them converted into South Sea stock (493). Meanwhile the unfortunate hostages whom Iberville had carried off from Nevis were still detained at Martinique where they suffered severely (605, 720, 720 i., ii.).
With the conclusion of the war, which resulted in the retention of the French part of St. Kitts, the question of the disposal of the lands there came up for consideration. A plea was put in on behalf of the poorer inhabitants of the island (320, 373 i.). Many points, too, arose in connection with the temporary grants which had been made during the war (630, 662, etc.). The Council of Trade was instructed to report upon the whole subject (476, 476 i., ii.). They recommended that the late French lands should be sold to the highest bidder, with a preference for those already in possession, who had improved their plantations. A quit-rent should be reserved, and no one family should be allowed more than two or three hundred acres, purchasers being obliged to keep a definite number of white servants per 40 acres. Free grants of the worst land near the sea should, it was suggested, be made to the poorer inhabitants, up to ten acres per family, and Commissioners be appointed from home to supervise the distribution without interference by the Governor (662).
In July, 1713, Col. Moody was directed to sail for Newfoundland and there to take over Placentia from the French. He was instructed to permit the French subjects, who were willing to remain and become British subjects, to retain their immoveable effects, or to sell them, if they chose to leave (343, 386). Later, owing to a delay in sending orders from Paris to the French Governor there, Moody was ordered to allow the French garrison and inhabitants to remain at Placentia till the following spring, when they were to be moved to Cape Breton. But he was to take immediate possession of the forts (470, 480, 480 i.–v., 521). Moody, however, got no further than Lisbon that winter. He occupied his leisure in framing some proposals for new powers for himself as Lieut. Governor of Placentia, some of which were approved, but the suggestion that he should be empowered to employ the inhabitants out of the fishing season in felling timber and working on the fortifications was rejected as placing them too much at the mercy of the commanding officer (511, 565, 594). On his arrival in the spring he announced that he had taken possession of the town and fort on 5th June, N.S. He reported on the Fishery, recommended the establishment of a permanent civil Government, and enquired how he was to deal with French ships which were still fishing in the neighbourhood (483, 707, 713). Attention was naturally turned to the taking over and development of the Fishery which had now passed into British hands. Several reports and memorials were presented upon it (205, 206, 521, 698) both before and after the signing of the Peace. With the same object in view, Capt. Taverner was appointed to survey the late French coast and islands (415–417, 581, 582). Reports on the English Fishery, with some notes upon the abuses connected with it, are given (110, 115 i., ii., 310 i., 614).
At the beginning of 1713 the Spanish Ambassador presented a memorial in which a claim was advanced on behalf of the Guipuscoans" and the other subjects of His Christian Majesty" to navigate, trade and fish on the coast of Newfoundland" (237, 237 i.). The Council of Trade in their report denied any such right (252). The claim was to be raised on many future occasions.
The word "deodand" ("dodand" or "Do Dun") occurs several times in connection with the raid on Montserrat (8, 38, 44, 57). We have had instances of it before (v. C.S.P., 1699, etc.) It is used to designate a strong, prepared place of retreat, to which the inhabitants of an island could retire before invaders.