America and West Indies: January 1716

Pages 1-9

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 29, 1716-1717. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.

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January 1716

Jan. 2.
1. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Governor of the Leeward Islands. Col. John Panton is to remain in the quiet enjoyment of his plantation till H.M. shall think fit how to dispose of that part of St. Christophers which was the French Settlement, etc. Signed, James Stanhope. [C.O. 5, 190. p. 328.]
Jan. 5. 2. H.M. Commissions for Joseph Addison and John Molesworth to be Commissioners for Trade and Plantations. Signed, Wrighte. Copy. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 98–115.]
Jan. 9.
3. Mayor of Dartmouth to Mr. Popple. The Newfoundland traders agree that the Newfoundland trade labours under these difficulties; (1) The New England ships frequent Newfoundland in such numbers, laden with rum, mellases, sugar and tobacco, which they sell in every creek and cove, whereby the labourers are debauched, become sottish and idle, and are seduced to purloyne their masters' stores, etc. In the end of the fishing season, under pretence of great wages, they carry our men to New England, etc. (2) The fishery from these parts is cheifly managed by boat keepers, who seldom conform to the Act by carrying one third of their company green men, and the few green men they doe carry they seldom take care to bring home again, but incourage them to go to New England, on purpose to save themselves the charge of their passages home. (3) The planters for the most part sell strong liquors and tobacco, whereby their servants as well as ours are debauched. (4) Our English fishery is discouraged from being extended to Placentia by Col. Moody, etc. v. following. Signed, Anth. Holdsworth, Mayor. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Jan., Read 1st Feb., 1715/16. Addressed. 2 pp. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 4.]
[Jan. 10.] 4. Merchants and owners of ships trading from Poole to Newfoundland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. (1) By the great quantitys of liquors and tobacco (wch. pays no duty) imported into Newfoundland by ye New England ships and from other parts our fishermen are debauched and the fishery thereby much hindered, and the New England ships have opportunity to carry of our fishermen to New England, as allso by an encouragemt. yt. Governmt. gives ym. of £2 per head to all such as shall go thither. Pray for a total prohibition of liquor and tobacco from all parts except Great Britain. (2) Contrary to the Act, that ship's rooms should not be taken by planters, they build storehouses, stages and cook rooms and dwelling houses over the sea before ship's rooms to the great prejudice of the fishing ships. Pray that the fishing Admirals may inspect the same and enforce the Act under a penalty, etc. (3) Many ships belonging to aliens have used the fishery and trade of Newfoundland, to the great prejudice of the fair English trader. Pray that the master and one of the owners of every ship trading to Newfoundland be obliged to make oath before the collector of the Customhouse where she clears out that her cargo and fishery belongs to H.M. subjects of Great Britain and Ireland and no alien owns any part, etc. (4) The Newfoundland owners of the fishing ships had reason to believe they might enlarge their territorys and might go to any harbour wch. was quitted by the French to the Crown of England etc. But Governor Moody and others have pretended to have bought the French plantations and fishing rooms etc. Moody hath sold several and let out some to hier and taken others to his own use, to the great discouragement and prejudice of our fishing ships, etc. Moody hath permitted the French ships directly from France to come and fish and trade there and allso have taken the power out of the fishing Admirall's hands. (5) To prevent any oppression to poor labouring fishermen by any millitary or publick officer, pray that no millitary person under any pretence wtsoever do intermeddle with the fishery or fishermen inhabitants or others, nor keep any fishing boat by himself or company etc., nor let any soldier out to hier, nor any soldier be imployed in catching, cureing or makeing fish, nor shall use any manner of merchandize or trade, nor have any suttling house, without the lines of the fortifications, nor shall any officer or soldier have any house without the lines of the fortifications, nor take up any gardens for private use to themselves that have served or may serve for fishing room, according to the judgment of the fishing Admirals. (6) And whereas of late years the Commodores in Newfoundland have [? held Courts] and sent their warrants to remote harbours for commanders of fishing ships in the higth of fishing season upon the frivelous complaints of idle debauched men and others without the complaint being first heard by the fishing Admirals according to the Act, to the great prejudice of our fishery, pray that all complaints may be decided by the fishing Admirals in the several harbours where any complaint ly's, and that no Commodore shall presume to intermeddle wth. debts between merchts., masters and planters, and fishermen as they have lately done to our great prejudice. And wee pray that those men of warr that are sent to Newfoundland to protect the trade may have orders, that in case of any piracys upon that coast or mutinys in any of the harbours upon notice given may be obliged to come to their assistance. (7) That no persons retail wine, brandy or any other liquors in the fishing season to any fisherman or others concerned in the fishing but to his own servts. That all goods of the growth, manufacture and product of Great Britain, may be exported from hence duty free for the benefit of the Fishery, and that all oyls, blubber, furrs and fish taken or made in Newfoundland by the subjects of Great Britain, may be imported into Great Britain duty free, etc. (8) That all fishermen belonging to ships or planters shall fish till the last day of August, if required, (for several years past the fish have come in later than formerly when they only fished till the 20th). That all fishing Admiralls shall have power to give corporal punishment to all of wt. degree soever that shall prophane the Lord's Day called Sunday and to all common drunkards, swearers and lewd persons. (9) Since the true worship of Almighty God is the glory of all lands a sufficient number of ministers of the Church of England may be sent to reside in the principal harbours etc., the country being very poor, that they may have a maintenance from England. Signed, Wm. Skinner, Mayor and 23 others. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Jan., Read 1st Feb., 1715/16. 3 large pp. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 3.]
Jan. 10.
Admty. Office.
5. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Captain Falkingham, H.M.S. Gibraltar, being arrived with her in the Downes, he has sent me the enclosed scheme, etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 11th Jan., Read 1st Feb., 1715/16. 1 p. Enclosed,
5. i. Capt. Falkingham's scheme of the Newfoundland Fishery for 1715. Duplicate of C.S.P., 1715, No. 636 ii., q.v. [C.O. 194, 6. Nos. 9, 9 i.; and (without enclosure) 195, 6. p. 182.]
Jan. 10.
6. Circular letter from Mr. Popple to the Mayors of Byddeford, Exeter, Plymouth, Dartmouth, Weymouth, Poole, Foway, Bristol. The Parliament being now sitting, the Council of Trade and Plantations desire your answer to my letter of Dec. 3rd, 1715, with all dispatch. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 157, 158.]
Jan. 12.
St. James's.
7. Order of King in Council. Referring representations of the Council of Trade and Plantations, (i) for approving the Act of Barbados docking the entaile of Mount Lucie Plantation, (ii) on the settlement of the Bahamas, and (iii) on the petition of the African Company to be allowed shipping for the encouragement of that trade, to the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council, for their report. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 16th Jan., 1716/17. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 14. No. 61; and 29, 13. pp. 349, 350.]
[Jan. 16.] 8. Capt. Taverner to Mr. Popple. So many things talkt yesterday by the Lords wch. they desired me to inform them off, part of which I have forgot. Desires particulars. Signed, Wm. Taverner. Endorsed, Recd. 16th, Read 17th Jan., 1715/16. Addressed. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 5. No. 109; and 195, 6. p. 159.]
Jan. 17.
9. Mr. Popple to Capt. Taverner. What the Board desired of you on Friday last, was, that if you had any thing to add to your Remarks on Newfoundland etc., March, 1713/14, you would draw it up in writing and lay it before them, adding likewise an account of such towns as send ships on fishing voyages, and such as send to trade, as also your particular observations upon the places yielded to us by the French, what abuses are committed there if any; what stages, and fishing rooms there are, by whom possessed, and what advantage is made of them: and your opinion what may be done to make those places of benefit to this kingdom. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 160, 161.]
Jan. 19.
10. Mayor of Fowey to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to 3rd Dec., 1715. This port are intirely onacquainted with the Newfoundland trade, etc. Signed, Wm. Toller, Mayor. Addressed. Seal. ½ p. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 7.]
Jan. 19. 11. Petition of Mr. Bridger to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. has been graciously pleased to renew petitioner's commission, but there is now a stop put to the payment of his salary at the Navy Board, by an order from the Lords of the Admiralty, who have sent their reasons to the Treasury why his commission should not be continued. Prays for their Lordships' intervention, etc. Endorsed, Recd. Read 19th Jan., 1715/16. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 72; and 5, 914. p. 302.]
Jan. 19.
12. Mr. Popple to Mr. Lowndes. Desires copies of reasons referred to in preceding. [C.O. 5, 914. p. 303.]
Jan. 21.
Treary. Chambers.
13. Mr. Kelsall to Mr. Popple. In reply to 19th Jan., encloses following. Signed, Henry Kelsall. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 25th Jan., 1715/16. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
13. i. Mr. Burchett to [? the Secretary of the Treasury]. Admiralty Office, 12th Jan., 1715/16. The Navy Board have again represented, as formerly, the uselessness of Mr. Bridger's office, which has been renewed to him. A Committee of the House of Commons upon the Navy estimates, recommended the discontinuance of his salary, which was ordered by H.M. in Council 16th Dec., 1714. If the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury think proper to discontinue this expence on the Navy to Mr. Bridger, the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury think it may be very much for the King's service to recommend it to the Governour of New England to cause H.M. woods in that country to be with all possible care preserved, especially those large trees which are fitting for masts for capitall ships, and that none of them be permitted to be cutt without leave from H.M. Signed, J. Burchett. Copy. 2 pp.
13. ii. Order of King in Council, 16th Dec., 1714, discontinuing Mr. Bridger's salary. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. Nos. 73, 73 i., ii.; and 5, 914. pp. 304–308.]
Jan. 23.
14. Certificate by Mr. Whinnell, mast maker, as to the excellence of New England masts. Signed, George Whinnell, ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 77.]
Jan. 24.
15. Mayor of Plymouth to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Dec. 3rd, 1715. Our merchants concerned in the trade and fishery of Newfoundland know of noe regulation that trade labours under save only foreigners encroaching on the libertyes of this Kingdom, the which I hope care may be taken to prevent, etc. Signed, John Crabb, Mayor. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Jan., Read 1st Feb., 1715/16;. Addressed. Postmark. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 8.]
Jan. 25.
16. Mr. Popple to Sir Edward Northey, Attorney Generall. The Council of Trade and Plantations having under consideration the state of the Newfoundland trade, and finding that there are several abuses committed therein contrary to the Act for incouraging that trade, particularly that the masters of ships do not take care of carrying over the complement of green or fresh men which the Act obliges them to do, nor do the Admirals of Harbours observe the regulations therein prescribed, besides several other things of the like nature, and their Lordships apprehending that these abuses proceed from the want of penalties in the foresaid Act, desire your opinion whether in order to remedie the said abuses it be necessary that a new Act of Parliament be pass'd with penalties, or whether H.M. Proclamation will be sufficient in this case or what other method you can propose to remedy the said evils, as soon as maybe, the ships being upon their departure for that place. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 161, 162.]
Jan. 25.
17. Certificate of Tho. Hollams, late Commander of the Lusitania, New England built and masted, as to the sound condition of her masts and timber after ten years. Signed, Tho. Hollams. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 76.]
[Jan. 25.] 18. Certificate of Francis Sheldon. I am now breaking up the Lusitania. Like other New England built ships I have broken up, her timber and masts have answered in duration as well as that of any other nation etc. Signed, Francis Sheldon, his mark. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 78.]
Jan. 25. 19. Sir Matthew Dudley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. The contents seem to be of such moment that I assure myselfe your utmost care will not be wanting to put a stop to the practices therein complained of, your Lordps. I know are not straingers to the great service that part of the world may under a good and strict care be to this Kingdome by furnishing us with Navall Stores particularly masts, such as are not now to be had, at least with so much ease, in any known part of the globe, my lords, I cannot but think that since the great distruction of Navall Timbers in the Northern countryes of Europe the maritime world must in a few years be wholly furnished from America and what advantage it will be to Great Britain to have allmost the sole command of them needs not be mentioned. Proposes that the woods and wast lands in and about Newhampshire as soon as possible be gott by purchase or otherwise into the hands of the Crown, and the country divided into districts for cutting in rotation, etc. Signed, M. Dudley. Endorsed, Recd. Read 25th Jan., 1715/16;. 1¼ pp. Enclosed,
19. i. Jos. Smith to Lt. Governor Usher at Charles Town. Hampton, 2nd Nov., 1715. Describes the great waste of the woods in New Hampshire, "there being every winter great number of men and teams (chiefly) from Exeter sent up into the woods above the bounds and heads of the towns, where they cutt 1500 large pine trees and hale them in loggs into the river called Lampereale, and ye great flowing of that river, with great rains bring them down to ye river's mouth; out of wch. they saw at least 2,000,000 pine boards, besides oak planks; and as to masts and extraordinary oak timber, there is constantly transported to Spain and Portugal yearly great quantities. There is one Capt. Macfrederick who hath made some voyages from hence with the abovesaid loading to Spain and Portugal, and is now ready to sail with two ships from Piscataqua etc., his owners are two French merchants," etc. Signed, Jos. Smith. Endorsed, Rd. Jan., 1715. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. Nos. 74, 74 i.; and 5, 914. pp 308–312.]
Jan. 26.
20. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The season of the year approaching in which it may be proper to send such directions to the Isle of May, Newfoundland and Annapolis Royal, as H.M. service in those parts may require, I must desire you to have this matter under your consideration, and to suggest to me your thoughts upon it, that so I may receive H.M. orders in due time. Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. 30th, Read 31st Jan., 1715/16;. 1 p. [C.O. 194, 5. No. 110; and 195, 6. pp. 162, 163.]
Jan. 26. 21. Merchants trading to New England to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Propose, for the encouragement of the importation of naval stores from America, that the inward duties on timber be taken off, ships convoyed, and seamen exempt from being pressed on such voyages, etc. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26th Jan., 1715/16;. Torn. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 75; and 5, 914. pp. 312–314.]
Jan. 26. 22. John Bridger to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Proposals for the improvement of Naval Stores. Hemp seed to be sent over and distributed gratis. The inhabitants of New England to pay their taxes in tar, etc. Signed, J. Bridger. Endorsed, Recd. Read 26th Jan., 1715/16;. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 79; and 5, 914. pp. 315–318.]
Jan. 28.
Custom ho.
23. An account of pitch, tar and masts imported from the Plantations, Christmas, 1706–1714. Signed, Jo. Bicknell. Endorsed, Recd. Read 31st Jan., 1715/16;. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 63.]
[Jan. 30.] 24. Mayor and merchants of Weymouth trading to Newfoundland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Grievances as to the Newfoundland Fishery identical with those of Dartmouth, Jan. 10. Signed, Jno. Hardy, Mayor, and 40 others. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Jan., Read 1st Feb., 1715/16;. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 5.]
[Jan. 30.] 25. Mayor of Exeter to Mr. Popple. States grievances of the Newfoundland Fishery and proposes penalties to be added to the Act to encourage trade, etc. Cf. Jan. 10. Endorsed as preceding. Postmark. Seal. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 6.]
Jan. 30. 26. Certificate by Thomas Jones, mast maker, that New England masts from 20 inches upwards are much better than those brought from Norway, Dantzig, etc. Signed, Tho. Jones. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 3rd Feb., 1715/16;. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 80.]
Jan. 30.
27. Mr. Secretary Stanhope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers following for their report. Continues:—The Assembly of Jamaica has voted an Address to H.M., and design to transmit it some other way than by the Governor. I must therefore desire your opinion how far you find this method precedented, and how far you judge it regular and proper. Signed, James Stanhope. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 2nd Feb., 1715/16;. 1 p. Enclosed,
27. i. Governor Lord A. Hamilton to Mr. Secretary Stanhope. Jamaica, 14th Nov., 1715. I acquainted you, 8th Aug., with the reason of the Assembly's not being to meet sooner than the end of October. I am now to give you some accot. of their proceedings since that time, but before I enter thereon, I cannot but acqt. you with some extraordinary and unwarrantable practices in order to the carrying the Elections in the manner they have gone, by making many new freeholders in several parishes for that particular end, of wch. I shall but trouble you with one instance amongst many. A member of this present Assembly having 19 acres of land in the parish of Port Royal in consideration of £10, conveyed the sd. land to 20 several persons in order to multiply votes, by wch. and many other indirect means too long to be here mentioned, the Elections at Port Royal and several other places were influenced and carried; however I was in great hopes what I had to say to the Assembly by H.M. immediate commands by his most gracious letter could not possibly fail bringing them into such a temper, and to abate all former heats and animosities so as to have brought this Sessions to a happy conclusion, wch. I am sorry to say, has begun very untowardly. Refers to Minutes of Council and Assembly, "by which you will at one view see the unreasonableness of the proceedings of the latter, and particularly in relation to the Companies." Continues:— Their resolutions of Nov. ye5th I thought so extraordinary, and inconsistent even with their own Address to H.M. that I conceived it necessary to communicate the same to the Council, to have their advice and opinion thereon, by wch. I am desired to represent the whole matter home, in order to it's being laid before H.M. as well to know his further pleasure and direction thereupon, as to have H.M. orders in the like cases for the future. The necessity of this, Sir, will plainly appear to you from the Assembly's not only refusing to pay the debt contracted for subsisting the soldiers hitherto, but from the manner of their providing for them for six months, and in case 200 men do not come to the Island by the encouragement of a Bill wch. is still under their consideration, in that case they are to be provided wth. salt beef and flower for six months longer, by all wch. it is evident they only intend to provide for them till that number of men arrive; it is with concern and indignation I see so much obstinacy and undutyfulness to H.M. after the extraordinary marks of grace and favour H.M. has already been pleased to confer on this Island, having therefore no hopes of obtaining any further subsistance from hence for these Companys, which the Council unanimously, and a considerable part even of this Assembly, are of opinion to be absolutely necessary for the safety of the Island. And if H.M. shall still judge so, it will be necessary that other measures be taken for their subsistance, which I shall not presume to point out, but give me leave to assure you, that should these Companies be recalled or broke, I shall not think my self safe where I am from the negroes, and even from insults otherwise; I must therefore intreat you to lay this matter before H.M., that his further pleasure therein may be signified as the exigency of this affair requires. As to the discharge of the debt (an accot. of wch. is herewith inclosed, the ballance being allowed by the Assembly to be just) I can propose no other method for it's payment from hence, other than by H.M. being pleased to give particular order for it's being paid out of the first and readyest of his Revenue here if H.M. shall approve thereof. I intreat the favour of your countenance to the inclosed Address from my self and the Council that it may receive a favorable reception from H.M. The Assembly having thought fit to address separately, and not to intrust me with the forwarding of it, I think it my duty to send you a copy thereof. Upon the news we received of an intended invasion mentioned in H.M. speech to his Parliament, I did with the unanimous advice of the Council cause the inclosed Proclamation to be published here. H.M. sloop the Jamaica having in sight of this Island lost her mast in a late storm was obliged to bear away to the Great Caimanas off Cuba where endeavouring to harbour, she was stranded on the rocks, but the men are all saved. Many of our trading vessels have of late been attacked and taken by Spaniards, pretending to have Commissions for guarding the coast, whereby our merchants are so discouraged that I look on our trade to Cartagena and Porto Bello to be now entirely over. I doubt not but before this you will have had an accot. of the great loss the Spaniards have sustained in these parts by the shipwreck of their galleons homeward bound with a vast treasure on board, some at Vera Cruse, others in their passage thro' the Gulf of Florida. If I am imperfect or short in this accot., I hope it may be excused from the multiplicity of business and the hurry I am in to save this conveyance. Signed, A. Hamilton. Copy. 3¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 11. Nos. 2, 2 i.; and 138, 14. pp. 350–356.]
Jan. 31.
28. Mr. Popple to Sir E. Northey. The Council of Trade and Plantations having been pressed by H.M. for their immediate report upon Newfoundland, desire your answer to Jan. 25, to-morrow morning if possible. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 163, 164.]
Jan. 31. 29. Mr. Attorney General to Mr. Popple. Reply to Jan. 25 (quoted). I am of opinion it will be necessary to oblidge the observation of ye rules in ye Act of ye 10th and 11th of K. William, that a new Act be made laying penalties for not observing the same, and directing how and where such penaltyes shall be recovered, and yt. a proclamation requireing the observing the rules in yt. Act will have noe effect. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. Read. 1st Feb., 1715/16;. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 194, 6. No. 1; and 195, 6. p. 164.]