Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 28, 1714-1715. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1928.
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§ 1. GENERAL.
On the 5th of August Lord Bolingbroke wrote to the Governors of Plantations announcing the death of Queen Anne and the appointment of Lords Justices, and enclosing a Proclamation of the accession of King George I. (Nos.5–7 i., 14, 16, 17, 20). At the suggestion of the Board of Trade, two naval sloops were appointed to convey these papers to the Colonies (8, 14–16, 18, 22). But it was not till the 12th of November that H.M.S. Hazard, which had left Deal three months before, reached the coast of the Continent, and then only to be dashed to pieces on the rocks of Massachusetts Bay. Not a soul escaped. But among the wreckage driven ashore and recovered from the sand and snow, were the letters and proclamations intended for the several Governors. Intelligence had, however, already been brought to Governor Dudley by merchantmen nearly two months before, and he had proclaimed the King and communicated the news to the Governors along the coast (86, 95, 188). General Nicholson stated that the contents of the Hazard were "embezzled by the people of those parts," (568 iii. (a)), and Thomas Bannister adds that she was lost for lack of that lighthouse which the Massachusetts Assembly stubbornly refused to build (508).
The accession of King George was welcomed in the Colonies as a guarantee of their religion, rights, and liberties, and they expressed in addresses to the King their loyalty and sense of relief (Nos. 55, 61, 62, 67, 67 i.–iii., 68, 70, 83, 83 i., 88, 107, 107 i.–iii., 109, 112 i., 141, 350, 476 i., ii., 629 vii.). The preparations made in the interest of the Pretender came to nothing. In the presence of the fait accompli, and in lands where every political and religious instinct was opposed to Papistry, the Jacobites were silent, or, as in New York, dared only to raise "a few awkward huzzas" (68, 476 ii., 645, 645 ii., 663).
A Proclamation was issued for continuing officers in their posts after the expiration of the six months following upon the demise of the Crown provided by the Act for securing the Protestant Succession (20, 99—106). But this proclamation arrived too late to prevent some trouble in the cases of Massachusetts and Jamaica (v. 2 and 3).
Immediately upon hearing of the death of Queen Anne, General Nicholson hastened home, without further regard to the large roving commission of supervision and enquiry upon which he had been sent by Bolingbroke (122 ii., 312, 601, 645 ii.). Both Colonel Hunter and Col. Vetch, who suffered from him, represent this "Governor of Governors" as a Jacobite schemer, acting and talking like a madman (122 ii., 312). Governor Dudley, too, had reason to resent the imperious tone of his letters. Hunter says he intrigued with the Jacobite clergy against him, and expected to succeed to his Government (312, 645 ii., 663). Vetch exhibits his actions with regard to Nova Scotia in a very curious light. Making no concealment of his intention to serve the cause of the Pretender and the French, he informed Vetch, whom he had superseded, that his greatest crime in the eyes of the Tory Government was his endeavour to preserve the garrison of Annapolis Royal. He ought, he said, to have understood that the silence of Ministers in answer to his appeals for its support meant that they intended to abandon it (122 ii.). Nicholson's own treatment of the garrison and of the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia was interpreted as being designed to carry out that policy (601, 602, 659; cf. Journal of Board of Trade, Jan. 4, 1715).
Nicholson had been entrusted with the distribution of the surplus clothing and stores which had been accumulated for the abortive expedition against Canada. One general cause of complaint against him was that he forced this clothing upon the garrisons of New York, Nova Scotia, and Placentia. For the clothing in question was of very inferior quality, and quite unsuited to the rigours of a northern winter. Soldiers were ready to mutiny or desert rather than accept it (397–401, 411–413, 423, 427, 645, 645 ii.).
The beginning of a new reign involved the appointment or re-appointment of a large number of officers, including Governors and holders of patent offices in the Plantations. For the most part the Commissions of the existing Governors and Lt. Governors were renewed. But where Whigs had recently been supplanted by Tories suspected of Jacobite sympathies, the former were restored, as in Barbados and Bermuda.
One new appointment of literary interest is that of William Congreve to the Secretaryship of Jamaica (90). The reversion of patent-places now began to be granted. A notable instance is that of Horatio Walpole, who was appointed Auditor General of the Plantations on the death, surrender or forfeiture of William Blathwayt (638, 640). His Commission empowered him to execute this office by Deputy. In the case of the Attorney General of New York, the Board of Trade once more call attention to the Order in Council of Feb. 16, 1698, obliging patentees to actual residence. A clause to that effect was in fact usually introduced into patents. But its object was defeated by the licences to be absent and act by deputy which could generally be obtained, no doubt at some cost (292, 640 etc.). Many such patents and licences occur in this volume. The procedure by which patents and commissions were granted and issued was exceedingly intricate and cumbersome. Each step in the complicated and varied processes was marked by a document of a particular form. They are described in this Calendar, indiscriminately and unscientifically, as "H.M. Warrants appointing etc.," as though they were all of one species. But it should be understood that this is merely a device to save the large amount of space which would be required to indicate to what particular stage in the procedure each of these documents happens to belong. It may, however, be of service to state very briefly here the several stages which marked the issue of Letters Patent for places in the Colonies. They were, normally, as follows: —(i) A warrant under the signmanual was issued from the Signet Office and addressed to the Attorney General and/or Solicitor General, directing him to prepare a bill for granting some office or commission. (ii) This bill, when signed by the King became a "King's bill," and was substantially in its final form, except for the date. It was addressed to the grantee thus:—" George I., to Our trusty and wellbeloved . . . . . . We hereby appoint etc." (iii) The King's bill, after being signed, was sent back to the Signet Office, where it remained. But its contents were now transmitted in the form of a writ under the Signet addressed to the Keeper of the Privy Seal in this form:— "Trusty and well-beloved We greet you well and will and command that under Our Privy Seal (remaining in your custody) ye cause these Our Letters Patent to be directed to Our Chancellor … commanding him that under Our Great Seal … he cause these Our Letters Patent to be made forth patent in the form following ":— The King's bill (ii) is then quoted. The document concludes "Given under Our Signet." (iv) This document under the Signet was sent to the Privy Seal Office, and was retained by the Privy Seal, who on its authority sent a writ of Privy Seal addressed to the Chancellor, and bidding him issue Letters Patent in that form. (v) The system of dating was determined by an Act of Parliament of 1439. By this statute the date on which the writ of Privy Seal arrived in the Chancery had to be noted on the face of the document. Towards the close of the XVIth century it became customary for the Chancellor to add to this memorandum his signature, together with the word Recepi and the date. The date of the recepi is the date borne by the final instrument, namely the Letters Patent issued by the Lord Chancellor, in accordance with the instructions of the writ of Privy Seal. (fn. 1)
Colonel Vetch on being consulted as to the boundaries of Hudson's Bay and Nova Scotia, took the opportunity to call attention to the "imaginary settlement or pretended line" behind the British Colonies, which the French had run "by some small forts at several hundred miles distance one from another as farr as the mouth of the River Misasipy" (No. 12). Jamaica merchants a few months later explained the importance of these settlements and of New Orleans as well as of the French occupation of Hispaniola and Cayenne. They regarded them as parts of the "great schemes formed by France for founding a universall power in America as well as in Europe." The French method of encouraging intermarriage with the natives led them to look forward with apprehension to the time when there would be ten Papists to one Protestant on the Continent, and the French in a position "to drive us down to the sea coast againe and thence back to Old England, our native hive" (271, 271 viii.). In the meantime Cape Breton was being strongly fortified and garrisoned, the fishery developed and the inhabitants increased by the removal of French families from Nova Scotia and Placentia (293 i.). The French also put in a claim that Port St. Peter—now called Port Toulouse—being a part of the French coast, the British ships were not entitled to fish off its banks. To this the Council of Trade replied that they did not find by the Treaty that "the subjects of Great Britain were restrained from fishing in any part of the sea whatsoever" (442 i., 446). Although Cape Breton was not likely to prove very profitable as a place of trade, its importance was recognised as a port of call for ships bound to Quebec, and also, in times of war, as a rendezvous for privateers which would paralyse the coast trade and traffic between the West Indies and the Continent (201, 202, 341 viii., 356, 636 i., 685). All these developments were, of course, legitimate forms of expansion, although they rendered inevitable a future struggle for supremacy, westwards and at sea. But more serious, as being direct infringements of the Treaty of Utrecht, were the endeavours made by the French to seduce the Five Nations of Indians from their allegiance to the British, and their intrigues with the Eastern Indians. They were suspected, too, of instigating the rising of the Yamassees in South Carolina (497, 537, 537 i., 538, 568 i.–x.). Governor Hunter wrote from New York to remonstrate with the Governor of Canada against the attempts to "debauch our Five Nations" (497). But, taking advantage of the rising of the '15, the French presently obtained leave to erect a trading house in the Onondage Country (578), and then marched a considerable force thither to erect the fort for which it was the cloak (599 i.–iii.). To counteract the advances of the French, Governor Hunter repeatedly urged the necessity of making the present to the Indians, which was usual on an accession to the Throne, and which they now regarded almost as a tribute, but which the Assembly of New York refused to provide (34). In this he was seconded by representations from the Board of Trade (538, 572, 574, 629, 662 i., 664, 673, 681).
The outbreak of the Southern Indians on the borders of Carolina provoked fears of a general rising of Indians intended to drive the British into the sea. Hunter, however, held two successful conferences with the Five Nations at Albany in Sept., 1714, and Aug., 1715, and was able to report that he had succeeded in his scheme of persuading them to intervene against the Carolina Indians, and that very few had yielded to the blandish ments of the French (34, 83, 83 ii., 629 i.–vi., 664, 673). As a reply he proposed that the garrison of New York should be increased by two companies, and that a fort should be built "up Hudson's River upon the entry to the Lakes . . . . for £500, which in a little time would be many thousands in value for H.M. service." His proposals were strongly recommended by the Board of Trade (662 i., 664, 681).
Complaints having been made from the Court of France that trade was carried on between the British and French West Indies, instructions were sent to Governors to put a stop to it, in accordance with the Treaty of Peace and Neutrality, particular reference being made to the case of Captain Vanbrugh of H.M.S. Sorlings. Areminder was added that H.M. ships were not allowed to carry merchandise (24, 25, 31, 32). Over a year later, however, the Governor of Martinique complained to the Governor of Barbados that "our coasts and roads are filled every day with your ships coming to trade," whilst Governor Lowther professed ignorance of any law or instructions to prevent it (439 vi., 440, 654, 654 iii.). To check the development of the French sugar trade, he proposed that the export of horses from the Continent to their islands should be forbidden. For whilst in the British sugar islands the canes were ground by windmills, the French and Dutch mills were worked by horses and cattle (654).
The French were now endeavouring to monopolise the trade with the Spanish Colonies. Diverting the old channel of trade from the North to the South, they supplied the wants of the Spaniards by way of Panama and the South Sea, behaving, as Governor Lowther says, "like Lords paramount in this part of the world and treating the Spaniards just as they think fit" (654, 691 i.; cf. B.T. Journal, Aug. 12, 1714). Jamaica was the emporium from which British goods were re-shipped to the Spanish West Indies and the Spanish main (76 i.). A complaint was laid by the French Court as to this trade. It was alleged that the negligence of foreign Governments in not putting into force the terms of the 6th Article of the Treaty would render futile the intention of the King of France to issue a declaration prohibiting under the severest penalties French merchants sailing to or trading with the Spanish West Indies. The French Ambassador was directed to press the British Government for a similar prohibition (76 i.). This communication was examined by British merchants concerned. They stated that if such trade were prevented, the result would be that British merchants would transfer their vessels and merchandize to the Dutch part of Curacoa or the Danish port of St. Thomas. The French could well afford to make such a proposal, because they were now sending their goods to Spain, and had begun a constant regular trade from Spain itself direct to all the ports in the Spanish West Indies under licences granted in Spanish names to the subjects of France only. Their proposal relating to clandestine trade was partly directed against the cutting of logwood, which was essential to the prosperity of the woollen trade. If that right were parted with, the control of the three essential dyes, logwood, cochineal and indigo, would be in the hands of France. It was absolutely necessary, the merchants declared, "to support this pretended clandestine trade and our logwood cutters" (129 i.–iii.). Working together, the French and Spaniards did their utmost to stop it. The Spanish coasts were patrolled by "guarda costas."These were, in many cases, French ships holding Spanish commissions. British West Indian vessels were seized on any and every pretext (271 i., 508). Jamaica suffered severely (362), and New York, which had been wont to rely upon the Spanish market for the disposal of its overplus of provisions raised there, soon felt the loss of trade (673).
The whole question of trade with Old Spain and the Spanish West Indies by France and Great Britain in the light of the new Treaty was carefully considered by the Board of Trade in conference with the Spanish merchants and with particular reference to the preparation of Instructions for Mr. Methuen, the newly appointed Ambassador to Spain (v. B.T. Journal, Dec. 24, 1714, Jan. 10 and 14, 1715.)
In the autumn of 1715 the Spanish Plate Fleet was wrecked in the Gulf of Florida. Ten out of eleven richly laden vessels were lost off St. Augustine, and a barcolongo sent from Havana to save the passengers and salve the plate was likewise cast away (651).
James Stanhope succeeded Bolingbroke as Secretary of State for the Southern Department. Lord Townshend, who acted for him during his absence abroad, announced in November, 1714, that a complete change had been made in the Council of Trade and Plantations (99—106). The new commission was dated Dec. 13 (219). William Popple retained the post of Secretary, whilst Bryan Wheelock succeeded Adrian Drift as Deputy-Secretary (121, 219).
The occasion of all these changes seems to have prompted several of those who were interested in the administration and development of the Colonies to submit their proposals to the Secretary of State. One anonymous writer, amongst other suggestions, urged that the Board of Trade should be strengthened by Commissioners with a personal knowledge of the Plantations, and proposed the inclusion of two merchants and two exGovernors (236 i.). George Vaughan, of New Hampshire, similarly hinted at the Board's lack of understanding of the "constitutions, circumstances and abillities" of the Plantations, and suggested that Commissioners should be appointed to inspect and report upon each Colony with a view to the development of its trade. He also proposed that a general scheme of taxation should be imposed upon the Colonies, in order to form a fund for their defence and the support of the civil Governments. Both Governors Spotswood and Hunter recognised the desirability of uniting the divided strength of the several Provinces for the defence of the whole (p. 273). But Vaughan was led to make his suggestion by the unequal way in which some large and rich colonies, like New York, had been assigned substantial grants of stores of war from the Crown, whilst a poor, small and frontier plantation like New Hampshire was neglected. He proposed that a general name should be given to the British settlements in America, and that a Congress of Governors should be held every three years, with a Commissioner appointed to preside and report upon their proceedings to the Board of Trade (389 i.). The idea of a Congress of Governors also figured among the several schemes put forward by Caleb Heathcote from New York, and the encouragement of the production of naval stores was urged by them both, as by Governor Hunter of New York (599 iii., 673), and Thomas Bannister of New England (508). Amongst Vaughan's other suggestions was a proposal that, in view of the shortage of currency, limited issues of paper bills should be permitted (389 i.).
Thomas Bannister in his Essay on the Trade of New England (508), makes some very interesting observations. That essay was the outcome of his attendance upon the Board of Trade at their request (B.T. Journal, 6th July, 1715). Bannister finds fault with the Treaty of Utrecht for not having secured the logwood trade and the right to rake salt at Saltertudos for the New England fishery. He defends the New England trade with Surinam and the foreign sugar islands against the "Gentlemen of Barbados" who had already "desired an Act of Parliament to prevent it," and shows the importance of that trade to New England in terms that remained equally true in 1733 and 1764. To make good the adverse balance of trade and to prevent other manufactures being set up, he insists on the necessity of encouraging the industry of Naval Stores, and of a paper currency. But he concludes that the "notion is wild and unfounded of the Plantations ever setting up for themselves. Different schemes, interests, notions, religions, customes, and manners, will forever divide them from one another and unite them to the Crown. He that will be at the trouble of reviewing only the Religions of the Continent, and consider how tenacious each sect is, will never form any idea of a combination to the prejudice of the Land of our Forefathers" (508). Later he has some bitter things to say of the treatment of the Indians both by the early and the present Colonists (521). He reckoned the numbers of New Englanders at 160,000, of whom 14,000 resided in Boston.
Whilst receiving all this advice, the new Board took steps to acquire further information by circulating a list of queries to Governors (477, 548, 549). They requested the Secretary of State to inform them as soon as possible of any appointments that were made and of any Orders of Council issued (352, 478). They protested against the evil of granting licences for leave of absence to Councillors (292), and proposed that Captains of guardships on Colonial stations should be placed, as formerly, under the orders of the respective Governors, in view of the frequent differences that arose between them, as at Barbados, the Leeward Islands and Jamaica (283). This suggestion met with flat opposition from the Admiralty (315 i.).
Whilst calling for a return upon the finances of each Colony, the Council of Trade issued an instruction to Governors that the public accounts should not only be inspected by a Committee of the Council and Assembly, but also laid before both Houses etc. (548, 549). In pursuance of suggestions from the Colonies, they also recommended that the encouragement of the importation of Naval Stores should be extended. It was suggested that, in addition to the bounty upon exports of pitch and tar, the Plantations should be exempted from the duty on boards, plank, and timber (389 i., 422, 424). The grounds for recommending this scheme were that it would "increase our navigation, occasion a great exportation of our woollen manufactures to pay for the said timber and other naval stores, instead of exporting bullion to the Northern Crowns . . . . . . and free this Kingdom from a dependance on the said Northern Crowns for Naval Stores, which has often proved expensive and precarious, especially in time of war" (505 i., 546).
The old Board, on the strength of the report of the Law Officers of the Crown relating to temporary Acts, calendared in the previous volume (June 5), recommended the passing of an Act of Parliament to oblige the Proprietary governments of Carolina, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to submit their laws for confirmation by the Crown (42). A bill for the better regulating the Charter and Proprietary Governments was introduced and committed (573). But the new regime inaugurated a new policy of non-interference and laissez-faire in Colonial affairs. The insecurity of the new dynasty and the need for avoiding any action which might provoke political resentment or disturbance was emphasised by the rising of the '15. The first indication of this new orientation is supplied by the case of Maryland. A new Governor was appointed by the Crown in Jan., 1715 (190). But this appointment was revoked upon the petition of Benedict Leonard Calvert, the Protestant son and heir of the Roman Catholic Proprietor, Lord Baltimore. The latter had reduced his son's allowance when he was received into the Church of England. But when, in circumstances that have been recorded, the Crown took the appointment of a Governor out of the hands of the Roman Catholic Proprietor, and the choice fell upon Captain Hart, a compact had been made by which the Governor assigned £500 a year out of his salary and perquisites to Benedict Calvert. Lord Baltimore died a few days after Benedict Calvert's petition for the renewal of Captain Hart's Commission had been granted. On his succession to the title and Proprietorship of Maryland, he promptly petitioned for the King's approbation of Hart, "nominated by him Governor of Maryland." In other words he resumed the right of the Proprietor to nominate a Governor, and, as this nomination was accepted, his resumption of the full rights of Proprietorship was sanctioned. This was a definite reversal of the policy of abolishing Chartered and Proprietary governments and establishing a universal and homogeneous form of colonial administration under the direct control of the Crown, for which the Council of Trade and Plantations had so long been working (200, 200 i., 238 i., 322).
New seals for the Colonies were ordered at the suggestion of the Board of Trade (445, 466), who also requested Governors to furnish them with maps and surveys. They also proposed that the Ambassador at the Court of France should be instructed to collect for them the best maps obtainable there of European settlements in America (518, 574, 575).
On the conclusion of the Peace, the Commissioners of the Navy dismissed the Surveyor General of H.M. Woods in North America (336 i.). In applying to be reinstated, Mr. Bridger insisted upon the necessity for such an officer. He was supported by the Board of Trade who, after enquiry, dismissed the charges brought against him by Governors Hunter and Burges, Mr. Vaughan and Thomas Coram, and he was re-appointed (451, 451 i., ii., 460, 470, 474, 475, 481 i., 503, 503 i.–v., 546, 561). In making his application Mr. Bridger drew attention to the need for a new Act for preserving the woods, and in this he was supported by Captain Coram (450, 546, 584).
George Vaughan having been appointed Lt. Governor of New Hampshire without the knowledge of the Board of Trade, who complained that they only knew of his appointment from the Gazette, they drew the attention of the Secretary of State to his connection with several saw-mills in that province. As the log trade was the cause of the great destruction of the woods, they protested that the owner of saw-mills was not a proper person to be entrusted with the care of them and the duty of preventing the cutting down of trees fitted for the use of the Royal Navy. They quoted the aphorism of Lord Bellomont in relation to Lt. Governor Partridge, that "to set a carpenter to preserve woods, is like setting a wolf to keep sheep" (547).
Backed by Thomas Coram, the disbanded officers and soldiers "now begging in the streets of London" renewed their petition for a grant of lands for settling between the rivers Kenebec and St. Croix, and also for the right to coin a thousand tons of halfpence and farthings, alleging that the late Lord Treasurer had slighted their former scheme and designed to appropriate the profits to himself (65, 110 i., 212, 212 i., 224).
Col. Vetch, on being consulted, suggested Nova Scotia as a more suitable and advantageous country for settlers. After a conference with Nicholson, Coram, Sir C. Hobby and the representatives of New England at the Board of Trade, new proposals were made on their behalf, but a preference for Kenebec River was still maintained. (B.T. Journal, Dec. 30, 1714, Feb. 8 and 15, 1715).
The Governors of Jamaica, New York, and Massachusetts and Virginia make mention of plants and seeds which they are sending Mr. Popple, the Secretary of the Council of Trade "for the Garden" (29, 96, 98, 312). The Secretary of State forwarded on behalf of the Royal Gardener a list of trees and plants "to be sent to England from the Colonies and Islands in America," together with instructions how they should be collected and preserved (419, 419 i., ii.).
§ 2. THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
Just before Easter, 1715, it was rumoured in South Carolina that the Yamassee Indians, who had recently settled near Port Royal, were showing signs of discontent, and were about to rise. The Governor, who was at Charleston, was informed. Through the mediation of several Indian traders, satisfaction was offered to them "for the wrong which had been done to them." They were apparently pacified, and the embassy of traders retired for the night. "But next morning at dawn their horrible war-whoop was heard, and a great multitude was seen . . . . . painted with red and black streaks . . . . . . .," the red indicating war, and the black death without mercy to their enemies. The traders were shot down and tortured to death. One, though severely wounded, succeeded in escaping by swimming the river. He gave the alarm to the inhabitants of Port Royal and the neighbouring planters. They took refuge on board a vessel which had been seized for illegal trading. The Indians advanced plundering and ravaging the houses and plantations, firing on the ship, and burning and torturing every man and woman on whom they could lay hands (384, 509 ii., 520). Governor Craven appears to have acted with bravery and promptitude (511). After repulsing an attack upon his entrenchments, he took the offensive, and advancing by land and river defeated a second attempt upon his camp. From North and South, news was brought that everywhere the Indians, Cherokees, Apalatchees, and Yamassees, had risen and massacred the white traders who happened to be with them (384). The plot had long been maturing. The Indians, encouraged by the Spaniards at St. Augustine, and the French at Mobile, had formed a federation and were determined to drive the English out of the Continent (384, 509 ii., 511, 520, 523, 537). Ill treatment by the traders was evidently the chief cause of their discontent (384, 520, 521, 524, 540; cf. B.T. Journal, July 15 and 16, 1715). The first successes gained by Governor Craven gave the Colonists a breathing space, during which fortifications were thrown up and measures taken to organise some sort of defence. The number of enemy Indians was variously estimated at 8, 10, 12, and 15,000. As the number of white men in the Province was at this time no more than 1,500 or 2,000, Craven armed and enlisted 200 negroes, and the Assembly presently took steps towards raising a "standing army" of 600 white men and 400 negroes (509 ii., 511, 523, 540, 642 ii., iii., 691 i.). Panic had spread at the horrible massacres by the barbarous enemy, and many of the inhabitants were anxious to quit the Province. Strong measures were taken to prevent this. It was made a capital offence to quit the country without permission (384, 509 ii., 642, 642 iii., 652 i. (d)).
The success which had at first attended the arms of the Carolinians was short-lived. Exhausted by the warfare in the woods, they were presently defeated in two engagements. Charleston was hemmed in by the enemy, who ravaged the country, "burning, murdering and torturing all before them" (523). Further disasters ensued, but the Carolinians were presently able to take the offensive. Reverses were inflicted upon the marauding Indians, and Governor Craven marched to join hands with Col. Moore, who was advancing with a relief force from North Carolina. It was hoped to engage the Cherokees to fall on the other Southern Indians. By October the situation was in hand (642, 642 i., ii., iii., 651).
The Colony had been in urgent need of arms and ammunition. On the first outbreak, Governor Craven had appealed to Virginia for assistance. Lt. Governor Spotswood, recognising the possibility of a general rising of the Indians, and the danger that threatened all the Southern Colonies, made haste to comply, dispatching H.M.S. Valeur with stores of war. He also wrote to the Governors of the Northern Provinces urging them to contribute out of H.M. stores to the need of Carolina, and to send guardships to Charleston (449, 509 i., 520, 642 i.). But although it might have been expected that the fear of a general rising of the Indians would stir the Colonists to take some general and united action, the Northern Governments showed no inclination to help the Carolinians. Massachusetts only very grudgingly allowed their Commissioners to purchase some arms (642 iii.). The Assembly of New York would do nothing to help them, but Governor Hunter sent them some arms and ammunition from H.M. stores and at once began to persuade the Five Nations to attack the rebellious Indians (497, 569, 642 i.). He held conferences with them, supplied them with arms for that purpose, and was confident that this was the only means possible of putting an end to the Carolina war (629, 629 i.–vi., 673, 673 iv., v.).
Spotswood was not content with contributing arms. In response to a further appeal from Carolina, he hastily raised and dispatched by sea, with the consent of the Council, several bodies of men from Virginia, "in hopes to extinguish the flames before it reached hither" (520, 642 i., iii.). The Virginians rendered good service by defeating a large body of Indians who had attacked the southern parts of Carolina, and were already close to Charleston, whilst the Governor was on his expedition to the north-west (651, 652). Unfortunately the Carolinians did not fulfil the conditions upon which they had obtained this timely succour. Not only were the men not paid and clothed, as had been promised, or kept in one unit, but not one slave was sent to work on their plantations, whereas the loan of a number equal to the relief force had been stipulated. The result was that, when Commissioners arrived in Virginia to ask for further assistance, Spotswood declared that not a man in the Dominion would enlist, and concluded, "as this is the first assistance of that kind . . . . given by any of H.M. Plantations here to the other, so I am afraid the great discouragements this hath met with will make it the last" (651, 652). But in the meantime the sky had cleared. Two of the northern nations of Indians applied to Spotswood for terms of peace (558). With characteristic jealousy, the Assembly of Carolina sent messengers to Virginia, begging the Lt. Governor not to make a treaty with these Indians, until they had submitted themselves to the Government of Carolina. They explained their reason for doing so in a letter to their agents in England. They were afraid that the Virginians would take the opportunity of securing to themselves all the trade with the Indians concerned (642 iii., 651, 652).
The first news of the Yamassee rising received at home concluded with an urgent appeal for the dispatch of men, ships and munitions of war, and for an Order of Council to all the Plantations on the Continent to render aid, together with a Proclamation forbidding the sale of arms and ammunition to the Indians (384). This was followed by similar appeals from the Governors, the Lords Proprietors, the agents, Abel Ketelbey, Joseph Boone and Richard Beresford, and other merchants and planters (509 ii., 511, 523, 622). Presently came an Address from the Assembly to the King, praying him to take the Colony under his immediate Government and protection, since the Lords Proprietors were unable to support them in such a war (595, 642 iii.). On the receipt of the news, the Board of Trade was at once directed to report upon the state of the Province and the most proper and speedy method of rendering it assistance (509). They immediately summoned the Lords Proprietors to a Conference (510, 514). On the same day the Lords Proprietors wrote to the Board, informing them of the outbreak. Declaring themselves unable to afford suitable assistance, they applied to the Crown to send men, arms and ammunition (511). Lord Carteret had succeeded the late Duke of Beaufort as Palatine (13). Both the young duke and Lord Craven were minors, and it was therefore represented that the Lords Proprietors could not bind themselves to repay to the Government the cost of such assistance (511). The situation was discussed by the "Lords of H.M. Cabinet Council"—the Privy Council —, attended by the Commissioners of Trade (v. Journal of Council of Trade, July 14, 1715). The latter were instructed to enquire of the Lords Proprietors what steps were being taken for the defence of the Colony, what they intended to do, how they proposed to repay the Government for any money advanced to them, and whether those who were not minors would consent to surrender their Government to the Crown etc. (516, 516 i.). Their reply is given (517; cf. B.T. Journal, July 15, 1715). The Board of Trade reported upon it and the other information they had received, that speedy and effectual relief was necessary; that the Lords Proprietors were not able, or at least not inclined, to furnish it at their own expense, or to surrender their Government unless it were purchased; and that therefore it was expedient for the Crown to assume the protection of this valuable province, which bade fair to be lost, like the Bahamas, through the neglect of the Proprietors. They concluded with a statement of the amount of succour needed (524). The case was then laid before Parliament (553, 554, 576). The House of Commons addressed the Crown to send such supplies as were deemed necessary. The Jacobite rising of 1715, however, prevented the dispatch of any men from England. Only some arms and ammunition were sent (622; cf. C.O. 5, 1265. No. 30).
In the autumn of 1714, the Lord Proprietors had warned the Governor and Council that exception was being taken by the London merchants to the Bank Act which had recently been passed (47). The heavy expenses of the Yamassee war were met by an issue of paper bills (642 iii.).
Towards the end of the year information was received that the Marquis de Navarres, a Spanish Governor on his way home, had been robbed by the master of an English brigantine, and that Governor Craven had not only connived at the escape of the master, but also himself detained some of the Marquis' possessions. The Secretary of State commanded the Lords Proprietors to call Craven to account and to remedy this barbarous injustice (665—667). It was noted that the French at Mobile were cutting into the trade of Carolina with the Spaniards (691 i.).
The Hudson's Bay Company announced that they had sent a ship in June, 1714, with a Governor and Deputy Governor, to take possession of the Bay and Straits etc., in accordance with the 10th Article of the Treaty. This ship, by the request of the Canada Company, was to transport the French who were settled there, together with their effects. The Company once more submitted their claim for damages inflicted by the French (3, 4).
Capt. John Hart, who had been re-appointed Governor of Maryland in the important circumstances described above (§ 1), submitted a transcript of the laws in force in the Colony, revised, amended, or re-enacted (541). Amongst them may be noted those for increasing the penalties for swearing and drunkenness, and restricting the number of lashes that a master could lay upon his white servants without orders by a magistrate.
From Boston, Governor Dudley reported that, in order to counteract French intrigues with the Eastern Indians, he had held a conference with their Sachems at Portsmouth and there obtained the ratification of the pacification by those who had not signed it in the preceding year (28, 28 i., ii.). A year later, on the rumour of an outbreak of war with France, Indians of Cape Sable seized some New England vessels. Dudley promptly dispatched H.M.S. Rose and two armed sloops to recover them, and bring the Indians to account. The incident closed with the surrender of the vessels and prisoners by the Indians, who offered to pay damages (568, 568 i. ff., 601, 642). Reference has been made (§ 1) to his proclamation of King. George. At the expiration of the six months after the demise of the Crown, no further instructions had been received from England for the extension of the period decreed by the statute of 6th Anne for continuing officers in the Government. The Council, therefore, felt themselves "obliged to undertake the administration," and on the 2nd of March wrote to the Council of Trade informing them of their action (248, 248 i.).A little over a fortnight later, however, Dudley received the proclamation continuing officers until the King's pleasure was further known. The cost of the defence of the frontiers during the war, which Dudley had so ably conducted, had been very heavy. It was said to amount to £30,000 a year. To meet it and the shortage of currency, issues and re-issues of bills of credit continued to be made by the Government. The project of a Land Bank, conducted by private individuals, who should be empowered to issue bills on the security of land, was now revived. It had been mooted in the XVIIth century and also in 1701. (fn. 2) The projectors published their scheme, which immediately provoked a protest from the Attorney General, Paul Dudley, the Governor's son. He presented a memorial to the Council. Acting upon his advice they forbade the issuing of the scheme to the public until it had obtained the sanction of the General Assembly with a view to obtaining the assent of the Crown (61, 61 i., ii.). The promoters next presented their petition to the Crown to be incorporated by Royal Charter as a Joint Stock Company (458, 458 i., ii.). The scheme was supported by Thomas Bannister (508, 521). But the agent, Mr. Dummer, was instructed by the Governor, Council, and Assembly, to oppose any such project, and to desire that it might be referred to them (543, 579 i.). The Board of Trade reported in this sense. Whilst agreeing that it was absolutely necessary for the encouragement of trade that bills of credit should be issued, they represented that it was difficult to determine whether it would be better for them to be issued by Acts of Assembly or by a private bank, and that the Government of the Massachusetts Bay ought to be consulted upon the proposal. They remarked that the want of a sufficient medium for carrying on trade was" a great obstruction to navigation and the improvement of naval stores," and that the promoters of the private bank had agreed to assign one half of the profits arising from it to the public service for raising naval stores in New England (582). This attitude is contrary to the account given by Prof. Osgood, who states that" there was not the slightest chance that the Board of Trade would give it an approval." (American Colonies in the XVIIIth century, II. pp. 137, 158). With the accession of the Whigs to office, Dudley had lost his friends at Court. Prof. Osgood (ib.) states that it was in consequence of his opposition to the Land Bank schemes that he was removed from office, and that the Bank party induced Elezeus Burges, who had served with Stanhope in Spain, to accept office, and promise not to interfere with their plan (162, 163). But, in fact, Burges very strongly opposed it, on the same grounds as the late Governor, the General Assembly, and Dummer (550 i., 579 i.).
The suggestions of George Vaughan with relation to New England and especially New Hampshire (of which province he was presently appointed Lt. Governor), are referred to in § 1 (389 i.). The settlement of the long disputed Proprietors' title to the soil, now passed from Thomas Allen to Sir Mathew Dudley, was again urged (383, 393).
The necessity for issuing new commissions at the beginning of a new reign gave Governor Hunter's enemies an opportunity of renewing their opposition. Dr. Daniel Coxe and his son Samuel, father and brother of the leader of the opposition in New Jersey, petitioned directly for his removal (164, 229). They were called upon by the Board to substantiate and define the general charges they brought against him (435, 437, 569; Journal of B. of T., Feb. 21, 1715). The Earl of Clarendon endeavoured to prevent the confirmation of the Act of New York for the payment of the public debts, and the Act of New Jersey for the support of the Government. With consummate impudence he claimed that these Acts deprived him of monies still due to him for his disbursements on behalf of those Governments (181, 207). This action called forth from Hunter a bitter revelation of the meanness and maladministration of his opponent. He stated that the opposition to himself was largely stimulated by Clarendon's agents, and that the people were frightened by rumours of his being restored (311). It was to his misapplication of the public funds that these debts and the refusal of the Assembly to settle a revenue were largely due. He himself had hitherto endeavoured to spare Clarendon's reputation, whilst the noble Earl had borrowed money from him at his departure. He had hitherto suppressed a representation by the Assembly of New Jersey, relating to the late Governor's maladministration. This he now forwarded, together with a copy of part of a paper presented by the late Chief Justice Mompesson to Governor Lord Lovelace, "a small part of a very long representation of misgovernment" (435, 435 ii.–iv., 436, 437). The Council and Assembly of New York declared that they knew of no money due to Lord Clarendon. To remove any doubts, they passed an explanatory Act of the Act of 1714 (435 i.). It is not surprising that Clarendon's caveat failed, and that the Board of Trade reported that they had no objection to the Act for discharging the public debts of New York (382; cf. Journal of B. of T. Feb. 8, 1715). It was accordingly confirmed (471). Hunter was re-appointed (183, 184), and Lord Townshend lost no time in assuring him of the sympathy and support of the Whig Ministry (104).
In New Jersey, Coxe and Basse had revived the opposition to Hunter. Acting with the Attorney General as agents of Clarendon, they were supported by the S.P.G. Missionary, Talbot, and the Jacobite and High Church Party, especially in the Western Division. At the election of a new Assembly a majority adverse to Hunter was returned, a result partly secured by the rumour that he was to be superseded (311, 337, 435, 530, 531, 532, 574, 645). Hunter suspended the Attorney General (311, 337), and owing to the prolonged session of the Assembly at New York adjourned that of the Jerseys till September (p. 243).
Of the Acts passed in 1714 the most important was the one for permitting the solemn affirmation of Quakers, whom Hunter describes as being "by far the most numerous and wealthy in the Western Division … and the most dutyfull" (35). Another Act, laying a duty on slaves, was intended to encourage the importation of white servants, a similar law in Pennsylvania having had that effect (35).
In New York, these were the critical years in the struggle for a settlement of a revenue. At the beginning of this period Hunter was only able to announce that the Assembly had renewed the Act for the support of the Government for the ensuing year and that support was intentionally deceptive. For though the duty on wine devoted to that object was continued, the country was already overstocked with wine. As on the other hand, the duty on rum was dropped by the new Act, it was regarded as certain that adequate funds would not be realised. In the next year, Hunter foresaw, the duties would be reversed, when stores of rum had been laid in, and those of wine had run low. Thus with an appearance of providing a revenue, the Assembly were making sure that the Government would once more have to provide for itself, and to apply for relief at the end of the year. Hunter was already admittedly owed £5,000. The process of starving or bribing the officers of State into submission to the will and control of the Assembly seemed well on the way to accomplishment (34, 435). "Some men," the sorely tried Governor remarked, "in my station, would have made concessions of any kind how prejudicial soever to the interest of the Crown, rather than be reduced to that misery I have groaned under these past five years" (311, 530). But the death of Queen Anne wrought a swift and welcome change. The patience, the uprightness, the diplomacy of Hunter had already prepared the way for some compromise on the part of the Assembly. The threat that a fixed revenue would be imposed by Parliament had long been held over their heads. A bill had indeed been introduced for that purpose. They probably knew as well as Hunter, that the Tory Ministry had not been at all anxious to proceed with it (82, 645 ii.). But they did not know what line might be taken by the Whigs, and they did know that Hunter's friends and supporters were once more in office. Within a fortnight of writing the report first mentioned, he added a postscript to it, stating that the Assembly had accepted all the Council's amendments to the Act for discharging the public debts including the money owed to him,—in other words an Act for the past support of Government. The money arising from the duties laid by this Act was, indeed, to be lodged in the hands of the country's Treasurer instead of those of the Receiver General. But this point Hunter was now inclined to concede, as having been permitted in other Provinces, and he pressed for the confirmation of this Act. If the Royal assent were withheld, his own position would be more deplorable than his worst enemies could wish (34, 82, 83, 95). In spite of their opposition however, the Act, as we have seen, was ratified (181, 207, 471).
In the spring Hunter reported that the Assembly was postponing all business to the passing of an Act for general naturalization and an Agency Act. The latter, which excluded the Governor and Council from having anything to do with the Agent or from making representations through him, could never pass; and its rejection would be taken as an excuse for letting the support of the Government lapse for another year (435). Shortly afterwards, however, a bargain was struck. In return for passing the Naturalization Act, Hunter obtained from the Assembly an Act for settling the Revenue for the support of H.M. revenue for five years. After "struggling hard for bread itself for five years," Hunter was now able to declare, with a sigh of relief, that he had at last "laid a foundation for a lasting settlement in this hitherto unsettled and ungovernable Province" (530). Exception might be taken to the provisions by which the Assemblymen's allowances were to be paid out of the revenue, and by which the money raised was to be lodged in the hands of the country's Treasurer instead of those of the Receiver General. But it was necessary that the former should receive the money allotted as a sinking fund against bills for £6,000 ordered to be issued. An Agency Act was also passed, by which John Champante, who had long been agent for the four Independent Companies, was appointed by the joint action of the Governor, Council and Assembly to act as Agent for the country in London. The Naturalization Act, which was ardently desired by the French and Dutch of the province, declared that all who were resident in 1683 and had since died seized of lands should be deemed to have been naturalized, and further naturalized all Protestants of foreign birth resident in 1715. It was largely through the mediation of Lewis Morris that this compromise was finally achieved and the long dispute over the Revenue set at rest for a generation. Hunter rewarded him by appointing him Chief Justice, an appointment upheld by the Council of Trade (311, 530, 592).
At the beginning of this period Hunter reported that the Palatines were scattered, but that the trees which they had been brought to prepare were now ready for the manufacture of tar. If money was forthcoming, he could set them to work (34, 673, 673 i.). He submitted his accounts for their subsistence, and again begged for a settlement of the large sum due to him (34). Later, when his position was assured, he wrote to Mr. Popple and Lord Stair accounts of all that he had had to endure from the hostility of the late Lord Treasurer, Nicholson, Clarendon and the rest (311, 530, 645, 645 i.–iii.). But in the matter of the Palatines he received no redress, whilst Jean Conrad Weizer went to England to act as spokesman for those who had settled in the Mohawks' country, contrary to Hunter's instructions (530).
Another source of irritation and anxiety had been the behaviour of the Rev. Mr. Vesey, the Rector of Trinity Church, New York, and the Rev. Mr. Talbot, the S.P.G. Missionary in New Jersey. Encouraged by the patronage of Nicholson and the Bishop of London, these two clergymen, professed Jacobites, Hunter declares, had begun to raise the cry of the Church in danger, and to organise the opposition to the Whig Governor. Vesey went to England on this quest, and returned as the Bishop's Commissary with the news that Hunter had neither friends nor interest. Events proved otherwise, and the Jacobite faction "though few in number yet strong in malice" was doomed to bitter disappointment. In view of Hunter's representations, the Council of Trade called the attention of the Bishop to the "necessity of missionaries being men of unspotted characters," and gave a plain hint that Talbot was unfitted to be appointed as his Commissary (479, 569, 629 vii., 645, 645 ii., 663, 674, 677; B.T. Journal, Aug. 24, 1715).
In pursuit of their quest for information and statistics, the Board of Trade put a series of queries to Hunter (477), to which he replied in full (673). Although it was impossible to obtain a satisfactory census, owing to the "insurmountable superstition " of the people, the number of inhabitants was clearly increasing. But want of lands, owing to the large grants of undeveloped estates, acted as a check upon the population and caused many to emigrate into neighbouring Colonies. Trade, since the Peace, had decreased owing to the attitude of the Spaniards. Provisions were the chief staple of trade: manufactures were of little account, for only those who could not afford English cloth wore homespun. The encouragement of the export of Naval Stores was essential to the prosperity of the country, for which Hunter submitted a proposal (673, 673 vi.). Caleb Heathcote's similar proposals also indicate an increasing activity in shipbuilding (165 i.–xxvi., 673, 673 vii.). A copper mine was being worked, from which the Governor suggested that copper farthings should be minted, the lack of small coins being a serious handicap (673). Hunter again drew attention to the cruelty of some of the provisions of the Act for preventing negro conspiracies etc. (673). His proposal for the appointment of supernumerary Councillors was rejected by the Council of Trade (629).
Col. Vetch applied for re-appointment as Governor of Annapolis Royal. His references to the attitude of General Nicholson have already been mentioned (122 i., ii.; and see § 1). He urged the speedy settling of Nova Scotia, and extolled the richness of its natural resources and the Fishery (124). In response to enquiries from the Board of Trade, Lt. Governor Caulfield also sent in an interesting account of the condition and resources of the country (527, 658, 659). The Council of Trade reported in favour of Vetch's petition, emphasising his services and the hardships and harsh treatment he had suffered (173). The complaints against him were countered by strong testimonials to his character, ability and knowledge of North America, and to the violence of Nicholson's proceedings against him. (Cf. B.T. Journal, Jan. 17 and 18, 1715). He was accordingly appointed "Governor of Nova Scotia and of the town and garrison of Annapolis Royal" (178). The question of reducing this garrison and that of Placentia was considered, but the Council of Trade reported that this was hardly a suitable moment (498, 506). In the mean time the plight of the soldiers was deplorable. Their pay was in arrears; they were wretchedly clad in the shoddy clothing provided for the Canada expedition,— "Mr. Moore's clothing,"—and the despatch of provisions was so long delayed and inadequate that they were on the verge of starvation (142, 142 i., 397, 399, 411, 411 i., 412, 412 i., 413, 423, 491, 601, 602).
In March, 1715, the Council of Trade made a report upon the condition and prospects of Nova Scotia, drawn from information supplied from various sources (286, 293 i., 294, etc.). The question of the French inhabitants was the subject of much discussion. It was represented that they had at first been willing to remain, but that, moved by the threats of two French officers and the pressure put upon them by Nicholson, they were now preparing to remove to Cape Breton, and were demanding the term of a year in which to transport themselves, their corn and cattle and other moveables. The result of this exodus would be to denude the whole country of inhabitants, Indian as well as French, and much needed cattle, and to strengthen Cape Breton proportionately. It was urged that they were no longer entitled to exercise that option (85 i., 94, 142, 142 i.–x., 159, 159 i.–xiv, 293 i., 439 iii., 440, 442 ii., 491, 571, 601, 602, 685; cf. B.T. Journal, Aug. 13, Nov. 23, Dec. 22, 1714, and March 15, 1715).
The Council of Trade state that the ancient boundaries of Accadie included Cape Breton, and a document is given showing that the French Government of Nova Scotia claimed to extend from Cape Rozieres to the western bank of Kenebec River (293 i.). On the other hand, a memorial was lodged with the Secretary of State representing that Nova Scotia was included in the charter of Massachusetts Bay, and urging the advantage of its being placed under that government (416 i.).
Before coming to a decision upon the method of settling and defending the country, the Board of Trade represented the need of a survey being made, both of the coast and of the woods and inland country (293 i., 491).
The aid rendered to Carolina by the Virginians is referred to in § 1. Lt. Governor Spotswood took the opportunity to urge the necessity of a grant of arms from home, especially as the Assembly could not be induced to improve the Militia (520). He suggested that a sufficient supply should be sent by the Crown for Virginia to serve as a store-house from which other Colonies could draw in case of need (449, 520). The Council of Trade supported the first part of his request (625). Spotswood drew from the present emergency an additional argument in favour of making good by a grant from the quit-rents the deficiency of the revenue of 2s. per hhd. upon exported tobacco, which was appropriated to the support of the Government, and which had fallen short owing to depression in the tobacco trade. He was able to point out that the quit-rent fund had been largely increased under his stewardship. So far he supported a petition of the Council and Assembly; but he dissociated himself from their request that none of the quit-rents should be remitted to the Treasury, and that the whole sum should be devoted to the expences of the administration (188, 188 i.–iv., 449, 529 i., 651). The Council of Trade reported in favour of leaving the quit-rents in bank in Virginia, making good the deficiency of the revenue out of that fund, and empowering the Governor and Council to draw upon it in case of a great and sudden emergency, such as invasion by Indians or other enemies (600).
In the autumn of 1714 Spotswood returned from a six weeks expedition to the frontier where he developed his policy of expansion. Some of the German Protestants who had been brought over by Baron de Graffenried were settled on the Rappahannock frontier. The Assembly expressed its approval in an address and granted the German settlers immunity from taxation for seven years (70, 107 iii., 188). A more controversial side of Spotswood's frontier policy was embodied in an Act for the better regulation of the Indian trade. A monopoly of this trade was henceforth to be in the hands of a company. By this means it was hoped to eliminate the abuses practised by independent traders with such disastrous consequences in the past. The trade was to be carried on at Christanna, the new settlement made by Spotswood on the frontier. He expected thereby to concentrate the Tributary Indians in that vicinity, and that they would form a barrier against the enemy, and at the same time be kept from too close an intimacy with the Virginian settlers, and from tempting knowledge of the weakness and isolation of the frontier plantations. Control of the trade and of the supply of arms and ammunition to the Indians would now be in the power of the Government. The Indians were to be educated and taught Christianity. The scheme naturally met with a good deal of opposition. Spotswood remarked that the Virginians in general were " supine favourers of all new attempts," and made a second journey to the frontier to push forward his plans. He finished the fortifications at Christanna, settled a body of 300 "Saponies " there, and himself paid the salary of a schoolmaster to teach the Indian boys and girls he selected. At the same time he fixed the boundaries of the hunting grounds of the Tuscarora and other Indians (188, 320, 449).
Spotswood summoned a new Assembly to meet on 3rd Aug., 1715, and deal with the menace of a general rising of the Indians and the question of aid for South Carolina. He describes the representatives chosen in this crisis as persons "of the meanest capacitys and most indifferent circumstances," pledged to raise no taxes whatsoever. Their sole object was the repeal of the recent Acts for preventing fraudulent practices in the tobacco trade, although that Act had already exercised a strikingly good effect upon public credit (188, 320, 558, 652). Spotswood summed up the result of their five weeks' session in a Speech of the most outspoken and withering contempt, and then dissolved them. He was able to report, however, that the country was for the most part disgusted with them and that the frontiers "however left unguarded by their perverse humour" were still undisturbed. The bills sent up by them involved such obvious encroachments upon the prerogative of the Crown and injustice to their fellow subjects that they were promptly rejected by the Council. Spotswood commented upon the evil effect of payment of members, as encouraging a class of "mobbish candidates who always outbid the gentlemen of sense and principles," and he devised a scheme for lessening the temptation of such "mean necessitous fellows" to serve as Burgesses (651, 652).
Several Acts, chiefly of a purely domestic character, passed by the former Assembly, are described (188). The Act declaring who shall not bear office etc. was repealed for reasons given (504), but permission was granted to the Assembly to pass a new Act of similar intent, if it avoided the objections now made to it (591).
§ 3. THE WEST INDIES.
From the Bahamas, left derelict by the Lords Proprietors, came news of piratical onslaughts committed upon the Spaniards off the coast of Cuba by pirates like Daniel Stillwell and Benjamin Hornigold, who made their headquarters at Islathera and Harbour Island. Captain Thomas Walker gallantly endeavoured to maintain law and order from New Providence in the absence of a Governor, and on the strength of an old commission as Judge of the Vice-Admiralty. He arrested some of the pirates and sent Stillwell for trial to Jamaica. Hearing that the Spaniards had sent some ships to take vengeance on the inhabitants of New Providence, Walker hurried off to Havana and succeeded in pacifying the Governor by explaining the action he had taken. Stillwell, however, escaped on the voyage to Jamaica and it was feared that the Spaniards would make reprisals (276, 276 i.–v., 459, 459 i.). In these circumstances John Graves renewed his campaign for the establishment of a garrison and government under the Crown (459, 459 ii., 502). The Lords Proprietors, whose right to retain their Charter was being challenged by events in Carolina, now made a move to revive the responsibilities they had abandoned in the Bahamas. They appointed a Governor, Roger Mostyn, and asked for the approbation of the Crown (594 i.). The Council of Trade, on the contrary, recommended the resumption of the Government by the Crown (710).
The turn of the political wheel brought about the dismissal of William Sharpe, Alexander Walker, and Samuel Beresford from the Council of Barbados (231), and the re-appointment of Governor Lowther (84, 231 i.). Sharpe, whilst President of the Council, had been busy making changes in the Commissions of the Peace, the Militia, and the judiciary, and had suspended Col. Frere from the Council (97, 654; B.T. Journal, Sept., 7, 1714). Lowther represents that Sharpe's Jacobite and Francophil policy— for he had fraternised with the French on Martinique, allowing them to view the fortifications and sound the roads and bays— had caused great dissatisfaction and uneasiness. He discreetly left the Island on the day of Lowther's arrival (434). The latter, of course, at once replaced the officers who had been removed, and reported that the spirit of contention and faction which had raged for so many years was now entirely assuaged (654). But the island was suffering from a severe outbreak of disease amongst sheep, cattle, and horses, and from the effects of a drought (434). Lowther prevailed upon the Assembly to provide money for the repair of the fortifications and artillery, and the payment of the gunners and of the public debts. He also obtained an Act for the appointment of six Commissioners to supervise the work on the fortifications and the expenditure thereon. He explains the old system by which the money voted for that purpose had been wasted or embezzled (654). He had been instructed by the Council of Trade to enquire into this matter, and also to see that the law obliging planters to keep a number of white servants for the militia in proportion to the acreage of their lands, was properly executed or amended if necessary (534, 654). As to their instruction with regard to the inspection of the public accounts (534), he replied that a recent Act empowered a Committee of the Council and Assembly to audit and settle such accounts, and that the Governor was thereby excluded from any share in that matter (654).
A noteworthy petition of some Barbados merchants was presented in July, 1715. It alleged that the custom by which the Assembly chose one of their number to be Treasurer was open to grave objection. That office being of great trust and profit was the cause of keen contention between the parties, both at the time of the elections and the choice of a Treasurer. The merchants therefore proposed that the Treasurer should, in future, be appointed by the Crown, and obliged to pass his accounts before the Assembly and transmit them to the Board of Trade. The Governor was not to be empowered to suspend him, except by order of the Board. This unsolicited testimonial in favour of the system of Patent Offices is interesting (533).
In reply to a complaint by the Governor of Martinique that French wood cutters had been interfered with by H.M. ships of war at Sta. Lucia, and to his assertion of the French claim to Tobago (244, 244 i.), the British title to those islands was asserted by the acting Governor of Barbados, and reiterated by the Board of Trade's report, quoting their representation of 1709 (244 ii., 378).
Benjamin Bennett was re-appointed to the Governorship of Bermuda (235). Before the news of his appointment arrived, Henry Pulleine, who had superseded him, died of an epidemic which had broken out, and the Council petitioned for the return of Bennett.
A decrease in the number of white inhabitants fit to bear arms was noted in Jamaica as in Barbados and the Leeward Islands. This was due partly to the increase of large estates and the number of negroes employed on them, partly to the war and the loss of trade on the Spanish coast (358 i., 588). The Governor of Jamaica, Lord Archibald Hamilton, attributed it in great measure to the Assembly having allowed the "Deficiency" Act to lapse (358 i., 362, 675 v.). The renewal of that Act, which obliged planters to keep a certain number of white men in proportion to their negroes, and the passing of some measure for encouraging settlers had been urged both by the Governor and by responsible planters and merchants (303, 588). But there was at this time an irreconcileable party in Jamaica represented both in the Council and the Assembly, whose principle of action was factious opposition to everything proposed by a royal Governor (112, 302 ii., iii., 362, 588). In this connection Lord Archibald mentions a tendency which did undoubtedly prove a failing in West Indian colonization. The political and social sense of the community was weakened by the "general inclination of the inhabitants, natives as well as others, sooner or later to go home, as their fraise is. . . .Their present interest is cheefly considered the better to enable the prosecution of that design" (p. 275). The new Assembly met in the back end of the year, and after it had sat for three days, Lord Archibald prorogued it till Jan. 18. The dissatisfied or Country party, as it was called, having by hook or crook obtained a small majority, encouraged and fomented by a party in the Council and by the report of the Governor's removal, refused to vote an adequate revenue (112, 302 ii., iii., 362). The close resemblance of affairs to those of New York continues to be remarkable. Lord Archibald represents their whole procedure as being part of a scheme for securing the abolition of a royal Governor, on the grounds that the country could not afford his salary, and as a device for obtaining a Lieutenant Governor appointed from one of themselves, according to the desire expressed in the year 1692 (112, 302 iii.). In the meantime he was left to provide the subsistence of the two Independent Companies of regular troops out of his own pocket. He prorogued the Assembly because they refused to allow him to join in their address of congratulation to the new King (112, 302 ii.). Members of the opposing faction, when questioned by the Council of Trade, admitted that the actions of the Assembly did not arise from any personal feeling against Lord Archibald, and that, whilst they asked for the removal of the troops, the island would not be safe without them. (B. T. Journal, March 18—23, 1715).
An awkward situation arose at the end of January, 1715. The Attorney General of the Island gave it as his opinion that the six months mentioned in the Statute for continuing officers after the demise of the Crown were to be computed as lunar months. The Proclamation extending that period not having yet reached Jamaica, it was decided that all public bussiness must come to a standstill. Proclamations were issued dissolving the Assembly, but at the same time calling upon all persons in office, civil or military, to continue the preservation of public peace. No disorder ensued (191, 191 i.).
Lord Archibald re-appointed Governor. Attitude of the new Board of Trade.; New Instructions.; Conciliatory policy. Acts for quicting possessions and regulating fees confirmed.; Royal Letter to Governor.
Lord Archibald was re-appointed Governor. The new Council of Trade concurred with the old Board in approving his conduct towards the Assembly, and in their strong pronouncement upon its claims to adjourn itself and its denial of the right of the Council to amend money bills (v. C. S. P. 1714, No. 701). They expressed their disapproval of the Assembly's refusal to allow the Governor to join in their address, but, in view of "the good dispositions which are shown here for the support of Jamaica," they hoped it would mend its ways in the future (359). In submitting a draft of Lord Archibald's new instructions, the Board called attention to the "weak and dangerous condition of the island, being in a manner environed by the French and Spaniards, especially the French at Hispaniola" (358). They recounted the claims of the Assembly and the obstruction the Governor had met with from the Assembly and part of the Council, and in accordance with his request made certain changes in the Councillors (302 iii., 358 i.). At the same time they introduced a clause restraining the Governor from suspending Councillors without the consent of the majority of the Council. The Governor was instructed to promote legislation for dealing with the abuse of large undeveloped estates, and an alteration was made in the manner of dealing with escheats, which was to be henceforward in accordance with the law of the island for preventing of lawsuits. The dangerous disproportion of white to black inhabitants was to be countered by putting the laws for encouraging the importation of white servants and the settlement of the island into execution. The necessity of retaining the two Independent Companies of soldiers was strongly insisted upon, and it was proposed that the Governor should be instructed to press the Assembly to provide for their subsistence as formerly, with a promise that if they would pass effectual laws for peopling the island, the soldiers would be recalled when it was in a reasonable state of defence. The Board concluded with the suggestion that the weak condition of the island rendered some help from home advisable (358 i., ii.). They were ordered to report further upon this latter point (467). At the same time the Board wrote to Lord Archibald explaining what they "had done for the advantage of Jamaica and the making your Lordship easy in your Government" (359). Whilst criticising the Acts for encouraging the importation of white servants and the settlement of the island, they very wisely suggested that a fine of £6 per annum for every deficiency in the number of white servants required to be kept, should be used, not as revenue, but to form a fund for paying the passages and providing lands for new settlers. Negroes were to be prohibited from being trained to handicrafts (359). These suggestions were prompted by a memorial signed by Nicholas Lawes, Richard Rigby, and other planters in answer to queries put to them at an interview with the Council of Trade (303; B. T. Journal, March 18, 1715). The Council concluded by assuring the Governor that they were both inclined and willing to do all they could for the advantage of the island. He might assure the Council and Assembly that nothing would be wanting on their parts, that could be desired in reason and justice, to make the people easy. Their proposals were only meant as suggestions for their own good, which the Assembly might embody in a law. As a practical demonstration of this policy of reconciliation and good will, they referred back to the Attorney General his adverse report upon the Act for quieting possessions (C.S.P. 1713. No, 394), on the grounds that its not being confirmed was one of the chief sources of discontent, and that it was absolutely necessary that some favours should be granted from the Crown for quieting the minds of the people (351, 359, 588). In reply, Sir Edward Northey waived some of his objections, but added sourly that it would be a bad precedent to "doe unreasonable things for the satisfaction of persons, who, contrary to their duty to the Crown, would endeavour to put difficultyes upon the Government if their unreasonable demands be not granted." The matter, he hinted, could have been set at rest more reasonably, if the country had acted on the proposals of 1713 (355). This Act, and the Act for regulating fees were, for the above reasons, now confirmed (366, 371). In accordance with the above representation by the Board of Trade, a royal letter was written to the Governor, announcing the confirmation of these Acts " so long and so earnestly desired," and promising assistance and protection to the inhabitants in very gracious terms. Regret was expressed that in these times of trouble and danger there had been dissensions in the Assemblies. In return for the passing of these laws, it was expected that provision should be made for an adequate revenue and the payment of the public debts, and subsistence for the soldiers, "till by the good laws which shall be made for encouraging the increase of inhabitants there may be no further occasion for them." A cheerful compliance in such proceedings for the public good, the Assembly was to be assured, would always prove the most effectual recommendation for the continuance of the King's favour and protection (402). Lord Archibald acknowledged these "extraordinary marks of H.M. most gracious condescension" (588, 675 v.). Certainly, in these early stages in the battle for a permanent revenue the Home Government was acting, in accordance with the recommendations of the Council of Trade, with great prudence and moderation. Accounts of the revenue are given (Nos. 362 i., 675 ii.).
The new Assembly, however, showed not the slightest sign of accepting the olive branch which had been held out to it. Their first move was to declare that no Councillor or Colonel of militia had a right to take part in the election of Assemblymen. They refused to pay the money due to the Governor for the subsistence of the two Companies, and complained that it was due to his representations that the whole regiment had not been disbanded. Subsistence for the soldiers was voted, but only for a year, and that only in case, before its expiration, 200 white men had not been brought over by the Act for encouraging white settlers. Upon this revelation of their determination to continue their encroachments upon the powers of the Council and the prerogatives of the Crown, Lord Archibald frankly despaired of inducing them to act in accordance with his instructions. He suggested that he should be empowered to draw the money advanced by him out of the Revenue, and proposed, if the Assembly refused to vote supplies, to carry on the administration by calling in outstanding debts (690).
Colonel William Codrington was appointed Governor of the Leeward Islands in the beginning of 1715 (148). But upon representations made to the King, this appointment was revoked, and Colonel Walter Hamilton was commissioned in his stead (192). Both were closely connected with the Leeward Islands. The charges which had been brought against Hamilton by the relatives of Governor Parke were dismissed as frivolous, and he was ordered to repair to his government (661). During his absence the administration of the islands was carried on by the Lt. Governor, William Mathew (500, 653). In St. Kitts he secured the passing of an Act for regulating the Militia, which he represented as an improvement upon its "very lame and insufficient" predecessors (653). Another Act prohibited the importation of sugar from Nevis. Hitherto Nevis had served as a port for St. Christopher's. Goods were unloaded there and transshipped to the neighbouring island. Now that St. Kitts was wholly English shipping could come to Basseterre, where Mathew had raised a battery for their protection, and by the direct trade encouraged by this Act, the inhabitants would be saved the 6 or 8 p.c. extra cost on the transported goods (653).
Another law made was for ascertaining the bounds of settlements already made in the former French part of the island. This was only intended to be a temporary Act until a decision was arrived at as to the final disposal of the French lands (653). For the settlement of the former French part of St. Kitts and the restoration of French Protestant Refugees to the lands which they had been forced to abandon were questions still under discussion (73, 74, 74, i.–vii., 161, 500). It was represented by Governor Hamilton, as by others before him, that the decrease of the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands was mainly due to the freezing out of poor planters of small estates by the rich owners of large plantations (348 i., 500). He therefore proposed that 2,500 acres near the sea should be granted to poor settlers in lots of six acres gratis, with a proviso that they were not to be sold to any other holder of lands in St. Kitts. Each holding was to furnish a white man for the militia, and the 4½ p.c. duty was to be extended to the French part of the island etc. (348 i.).
In a memorial of uncertain date, William Penn's family applied for a grant of the French lands (140). In pursuance of the recommendation of the Board of Trade (C.S.P. 1714. No. 662), Commissioners were appointed for the sale of the French lands (373). A subsequent representation by the Board amplified and modified their recommendations of May 5, 1714, largely in the directions suggested by Hamilton (377 i.).
Apart from the adjustment of damages for the raid on Montserrat, for which Commissioners were to be appointed under the Treaty (1, 1 i.–v., 653), the coming of Peace gave occasion for raising once more the old-standing grievance of the hostages carried off by M. d'Iberville from Nevis and kept at Martinique ever since 1706. It was urged that the French had committed breaches of the capitulation and that these, together with the methods used to force the inhabitants to sign the second agreement, acquitted them from all obligation to fulfill it; also, that the so-called hostages had been taken by force and were neither more nor less than prisoners of war, who under the XXIIIrd article of the Treaty were due to be discharged (1, 10, 455, 456, 507, 539). On these grounds petitions were submitted for their release (10, 455, 456, 507, 539). The reply of the French Governor of Martinique, approved by the Court of France, was that their release must await the decision of the Commissioners to be appointed under Article XI. of the Treaty (86 i.). In a pathetic appeal the remaining hostages described their miserable condition, and taxed the people of Nevis with failing to fulfill their promise to relieve them by other hostages and to pay for their maintenance. It was, however, stated in reply that what was due on the latter account had been paid (10, 357 i., 455). Queries upon the points raised in the petitions were put by the Board of Trade to the Advocate General (539). The answer of Sir Nathaniel Lloyd must have been a bombshell for the petitioners. He found on all points in favour of the actions of the French (545). It may be noted that an analogous situation arose half a century later over the famous "Manila ransom."
The Virgin Islands were included in the Commissions of Governors of the Leeward Islands. Captain Walton, who had received a Commission as Lt. Governor of these islands in 1707 (668), renewed his request for their settlement under his separate government (464 i., 586). With the exaggeration of an enthusiast he described them as "much superior to the Leeward Islands," but gave expression to a general truth as to the jealousy of planters of the development of other sugar islands, when he said that the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands had always been against their settlement, fearing for their private interest (586, 587, 613; cf. C.S.P. 1710, 1711). His proposals presently crystallised into a request for a patent to settle Spanish Town (606). In reply to the enquiries of the Board of Trade, he undertook to settle fifty families there within seven years, but demanded a salary as Lt. Governor (606, 613). The Board reported that nothing had been done upon the representation of the former Commissioners, and proposed that a Captain of a man of war should be directed to visit the Virgin Islands and report upon them (614). This proposal was accepted by an Order in Council, and Captain Walton's petition to accompany the ship and to receive some emolument for his services was referred to the Board of Trade (648, 648 i.). At the same time they instructed Hamilton to transmit an account of the condition and resources of the Islands and his opinion upon the advisability of making a settlement there (620).
The evacuation of Placentia by the French was completed in the beginning of September (49). Lt. Governor Moody, however, permitted them to continue fishing there, and to trade in salt, in the absence of English fishing vessels, under certain restrictions (49, 179 vii., 646 ii.). This gave rise to complaints (288 i., 323, etc.). Moody had raised the question of the disposal of the estates and fishing stages of the French inhabitants who refused to take the oath of allegiance and quitted Placentia in order to settle at Cape Breton. He also enquired how far Placentia and its fishing grounds, of which he had been appointed military Governor, was to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodore of the Fishing Convoy and the Fishing Admirals. Bolingbroke, writing in the name of the Lords Justices, called for a report upon these points, and also upon Moody's request for an Admiralty sloop to attend his government (21). In the meantime, Capt. Taverner was instructed to continue his survey of the Fishery (22, 23). This instruction was repeated and confirmed after considerable investigation, and his charts ordered to be printed. He was also directed to survey Placentia with a view to a decision as to its fortifications (39—41, 267, 404—406). French encroachments on the fishery were ordered to be prevented by force if necessary (22), as had been done (69 i., iv., 288 i., 323). The retaining of any French inhabitants at Placentia was reported by the Board of Trade as undesirable. They instanced the experience of Nova Scotia, where those who had taken the oath were absolved by a priest and had risen in arms against the British garrison (26). Colonel Moody's suggestion of allotting lands to the garrison was not acceptable. Jurisdiction remained with the Commodore or Captain of the men of war and fishing admirals, in accordance with the Act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland, whilst it was undesirable that officers of the garrison should have anything to do with the Fishery or the distribution of beaches and stages left by the French. A sloop was not so good as men of war (26).
Much time and consideration were devoted to the problems of the settlement of Newfoundland and the organisation of the fishery. Reports were called for by the Ministry, House of Commons, and the Council of Trade, and were returned by the latter, by the fishing ports concerned, and men closely connected with the fishery, such as Archibald Cumings, Solomon Merrett, and the Commodores of the Convoy. But in the meantime the garrison at Placentia was on the verge of starvation. The hardships to which they were exposed provoked a mutiny, which was quelled by Moody. At length steps were taken to dispatch food, stores, and pay (194 vii.–ix., xiii., 245, 267, 404, 489, 646 ii.).
From the reports received, it was evident that the system by which justice was administered by Fishing Admirals had broken down. Their authority was too often either abused or ignored. Captain Kempthorn bluntly declared that they had become a nuisance to the country (64 i., 146, 179 i., 636 i., 646 ii.). Only the presence of the Commodore preserved the Fishery and inhabitants from anarchy. In the winter—indeed for six months of the year—there was no government at all, and the inhabitants lived like barbarians (202, 646 ii.). The establishment of some permanent civil authority began, therefore, to be urged (202, 546 ii.). The settlement of the Placentia district by disbanded soldiers was proposed by Merrett (201). Both schemes were opposed by the West Country merchants, who declared that the more Governors, the more their fishermen would be oppressed, and that the inhabitants were increasing too fast already. For this reason they did not wish to see them encouraged by the building of forts. "Floating castles" were the only suitable protection for their vessels which fished in scattered harbours (146, 323). Capt. Wade was also opposed to settlement (B. T. Journal, March 8, 1715).
The decrease of the fishery during the last three years caused concern (64 i., 146, 193, 202, 334, 441, 441 i., 636 ii., 646 ii.). A return was called for by the House of Commons (326, 340). But since the coming of Peace sailings from the Western ports were being resumed (193).
As a means of reviving the fishery the re-introduction of the old co-operative system of sharing a third of the catch with the men was recommended from several quarters (289 i., ii., 441 i., 636 i., 646 ii.). Many abuses in the trade were pointed out in the reports, and the need of amending the Act for the encouragement of the trade to Newfoundland by providing penalties for infringements of its regulations was again insisted upon (179 i., 650).
Lt. Governor Moody's new instructions on his reappointment as military Governor of Placentia embodied several of the suggestions made, besides directing him not to encourage any of the French to remain or to permit them to trade with France or the French settlements (395, 403, 404). A further report on the abuses connected with the Fishery was required from the Board of Trade, who awaited fresh information from Commodore Kempthorn and the out-ports (646, 650). Complaints continued to be made against the New Englanders who debauched the English fishermen with rum, involved them in debt, and carried them off to America. Commodore Kempthorn endeavoured to stop this practice by obliging masters of New England vessels to enter into bonds not to take men out of the country beyond their complement (146, 441, 646 ii.), and he was instructed to warn masters of British vessels that they would be prosecuted unless they returned with their full complement of men. For apart from the profits of the trade, the Newfoundland fishery was valued as a nursery of British sailors (390, 391).
Information was laid that the Spaniards were fitting out vessels to fish at Newfoundland on the pretext of the XVth article of the Treaty. If permitted, there was little doubt that they would enable the French to fish under their flag (277). Orders were therefore given to the Commodore of the Convoy and to Lt. Governor Moody not to allow it (404). Two Spanish vessels were accordingly refused permission to fish and turned out of Placentia (636 i.).
A touch of humour was supplied by the Lord Provost
of Edinburgh who, when his opinion was invited upon
the desirability of making a survey of Newfoundland,
cannily took the opportunity to recommend a survey of
the Scottish coast, and concluded "this being the
needfull" (39, 44, 60).