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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§ 1 GENERAL.
Secretaries of State.
After the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion was assured, Mr. Stanhope accompanied the King to Hanover (July, 1716). Negotiations were there begun with the Regent Orleans, and were concluded in the following January by the signing of a Triple Alliance between Great Britain, France, and Holland. It guaranteed those clauses of the Treaty of Utrecht which referred to the Protestant Succession in England, the French Succession, and the renunciation by the Spanish King of his claims on the French throne. This compact, and a defensive alliance with Austria, involved the antagonism of Spain, which issued in the war of 1718. In 1717 Charles XII of Sweden, having formed an alliance with Spain, joined with Alberoni in a projected invasion of Scotland on behalf of the Pretender. The plot was discovered in England and averted. In Stanhope's absence the conduct of colonial affairs was entrusted to Paul Methuen. Lord Townshend remained at the head of the Ministry at home, whilst the Prince of Wales acted as "Guardian of the Realm and Lieutenant" (263, 265, etc.). Townshend's opposition to the foreign policy of the King and Stanhope, combined with his championship of the claims of the Prince of Wales as Regent, and his resistance to the demands of greedy German courtiers, led to his dismissal. In announcing the safe return of the King (January, 1717), Methuen informed the Governors of the Plantations that Stanhope had been appointed Secretary of State for the Northern Provinces, whilst he himself succeeded to the direction of the affairs of the Southern Province (454). Three months later, when Walpole and Townshend passed into opposition, Stanhope succeeded the former as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sunderland took his place as Secretary of State for the Northern Province, and Addison succeeded Methuen (535, 536).
The famous Whig writer had already served for over a year as a Commissioner for Trade and Plantations, long enough, that is, to make him well acquainted with the problems of the Colonies, and also with the working of the office of the Council of Trade (2). It will be seen that, as the result of that experience, he lent a ready ear, as Secretary of State, to suggestions from that Board. One of his first steps was to direct the Board to remind Governors once more of their Instructions to transmit regular accounts of the Revenue in the Plantations (646, 662).
Addison had been Chief Secretary of Ireland in 1708, and Secretary to the Lords Justices on the accession of George I. There is a traditional story that when he was promoted to the latter office, this accomplished and versatile essayist and pamphleteer found himself quite incapable of composing a letter to the King without the assistance of a clerk. The routine of each office has, of course, as Macaulay observed "some little mysteries which the dullest man may learn with a little attention, and which the greatest man cannot possibly know by intuition." (fn. 1) On such points Addison might well require some prompting. But with his experience of previous offices, and the knowledge drawn from over a year's work at the Board of Trade, a man of Addison's literary ability cannot now at any rate have needed any clerk at his elbow to help him in drawing up a State Paper. Certainly the documents here printed, many of them written in his own hand, exhibit just that lucidity and simplicity and that easy adoption of appropriate official directness, without any attempt at literary ornament, which one would naturally expect from such a master of style. The wit and humour of the Spectator would be as out of place in the dispatches of a Secretary of State as the eloquence of Cato. Instead we find simple and straightforward statements of policy and facts with no trace of fastidiousness.
Congratulations on failure of the '15.
All these events and changes had their repercussions over-seas. Loyal addresses came from Jamaica and the Leeward Islands, from Carolina, New England, New York, New Jersey and Virginia, congratulating the King on the failure of the Jacobite Rebellion, the success of his foreign policy, and his safe return (97 i., 118 x.–xii., xiv., 165 i., 192, 192 ii., iv., v., 203 iv., v., 589, 607, 626). The "Friends of Popery and arbitrary power" were denounced (118 xii.), and the Ministers of New England, assembled in their annual convention at Boston, with Cotton Mather for Moderator, expressed their "detestation of the late new hellish plot." They acknowledged the "King's goodness and justice to the Protestant dissenters," and hailed him as the "light of the Morning and the breath of their nostrils" (589). Associations in support of the Crown and the Government against "the horrid and detestable conspiracy of Papists" had been formed in Jamaica (27 i., 203 iii., iv.), and New York (133, 133 ii.).
Rebel Prisoners transported to the Plantations.
A large number of the rebels who had been taken prisoners at Preston were transported to the Plantations. Directions were given by the Secretary of State to the several Governors for securing them on their arrival and seeing that they were disposed of as indented labourers, bound to serve their masters for seven years, according to the terms of their pardon (128, 129, 144, 145). The Council of Jamaica particularly requested that some of these prisoners should be sent thither immediately (203 i.). They were sent to Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, St. Kitts and Jamaica. Lists of these prisoners, numbering 639 in all, are given (309–314). Some, on arriving in Maryland, refused to indent or ran away from their masters, and a Proclamation had to be issued by the Governor for their arrest (543, 543 i., ii.). One or two favoured individuals, after being assigned as indented servants to Lord Carteret, were immediately granted their liberty and recommended to the friendly offices of the Governor of South Carolina (202, 215, 222, 223).
Everywhere the problem of increasing the white population by means of the import of indentured labour was coming to the fore (651 etc.). Joshua Gee represented that the supply of white servants had decreased of late owing to an abuse of the Statutes for preventing persons being sent beyond seas without licence. The abuse of kidnapping or "spiriting away" to the Plantations of persons to be sold as indentured servants is well-known. But Gee reveals a trick by which merchants and shippers were being prosecuted for transporting genuine unemployed servants who wished to go to the Colonies, and were thus being prevented, by fear of falling into the hands of rogues, from "assisting thousands of people that are industriously inclined." He proposed that persons transporting servants directly to the Plantations should be exempted from prosecution under those statutes, and that "six governors of Bridewell or the Workhouse" should be empowered to sign warrants for the exportation of youthful pickpockets (505).
Petitions in French.
It will be noticed that petitions to the King began now to be written in French. The Hanoverian King could not speak English, and his Secretary, the Robethon to whom Walpole so strongly objected, was a Frenchman (544 i.).
Relations with the French.
The French continued their fortification of Cape Breton and their fishing along the coast of Nova Scotia (51, 154). On the mainland they were pressing forward with the new colony of Louisiana, and their extension from Quebec down the Mississippi to Mobile "on the back of all the most valuable British Plantations" continued to excite apprehension, particularly in Carolina, where they were suspected of having stirred up several of the Indian nations to take part in the war (230). The Governor of New York once more urged the Assembly to take measures for defence "against the evil day to come," in view of "the vast preparations in France for settlements behind you along the Messasipi and the neighbourhood of a very considerable garrison and sea-port at Cape Breton" (192 iv.).
Effect of the New Alliance. Revolt at Martinique.
On the other hand the effect of the alliance with France was soon felt. When a revolt broke out in Martinique as the result of an attempt by the new Governor to collect arrears of taxes, orders were sent to British Governors, at the request of the Regent Orleans, that they should not only prevent any assistance being given to the rebels but should even "pursue such further methods for discountenancing and discouraging the revolt, as may be consistent with your authority, and without prejudice to His Majesty's service" (640, 677). The new alliance was also expected to put an end to French interference with British trade with the Spaniards, of which bitter complaints had come from Jamaica, for the French were now prohibited from trading to the Spanish Dominions in America (572). A similar prohibition was extended to the commerce of French settlements with those of any other nation. British vessels, suspected of trading at Martinique, were seized by the new Governor General, a proceeding which provoked a protest from the Governor of the Leeward Islands (568, 568 i.–iv.).
Foreign trade prohibited by the French.
The prohibition of trade between the French and English Plantations was in accordance with the Treaty of Neutrality of 1686. The Governor of Barbados had declared himself at a loss in the matter, not finding any law to forbid such trade. When Archibald Cumings, the Custom House Officer at Boston, drew attention to the large importations of Dutch, French, and Danish sugar, rum, and molasses into that port, the Council of Trade enquired of the Commissioners of Customs whether there was any such law (297, 389, 486, 486 i.). Being assured that there was not, they then raised the question whether the Treaty of Neutrality was still regarded as being in force (393, 463). They were instructed that it was, and ordered to remind the Governors of Plantations that it was their duty to prevent such illegal trade in accordance with the 5th and 6th Articles of that Treaty (524, 571).
Mr. Cumings' proposals.; A tax on foreign imports and a Stamp tax.
Mr. Cumings, in his above-mentioned report, made two proposals, the adoption of which at a later date was destined to have very far-reaching results. Observing that imports from foreign Plantations into New England paid no duty, whilst the products of the British Sugar Islands (except Jamaica) were handicapped by the 4½ per cent. export duty, he suggested that foreign commodities should pay an import duty of that amount. A revenue of £1,000 a year might thus be raised (297) for defraying the expenses of the Civil Establishment, and this revenue might be increased by setting up a Stamp Office (297, 486). He submitted a return of imports from foreign plantations. Cumings was commended for his accounts and suggestions, and invited to continue them, whilst the Council of Trade, on taking the matter into consideration, presently requested a return of foreign imports and exports for the last three years from the Governor of New England (486 i., 578, 579).
Resumption of Charter Governments urged.
Cumings urged the resumption of the Charter Governments as being "all enemies to the prerogative" and opposed to the Admiralty Courts. All officers appointed by the Crown were looked upon as a burden and imposition upon them, and it was only in the Admiralty Courts that the revenue officers could expect justice in putting the acts of trade in execution. The act relating to wool in the Plantations required amending on this point. As for Providence Plantation in Rhode Island Government, "no notice was taken of the Sabbath, but employed in revelling" (297, 486).
All this, be it observed, was written in 1716 and 1717. It shows how long those seeds had lain in the ground which came to fruition half a century later.
The Wool Act.; Jurisdiction of the Admiralty Courts denied.
Cumings' complaint with regard to the Act to prevent the exportation of wool, etc. was, that the Courts of Common Law denied the jurisdiction of the Admiralty Courts in the recovery of forfeitures under that act, which prohibited the exportation of wool or woollen goods manufactured in the Plantations. But the Attorney General, on being consulted by the Council of Trade, upheld the action of the colonial Courts of Common Law as being in accordance with the provisions of the Act (297, 390, 399).
Charter Governments.; Gaudin's indictment.
As to the Proprietary Governments, whilst the inhabitants of South Carolina were again and again urging the resumption of their Charter to the Crown (v. §2), vested interests had brought their influence to bear upon the Committee appointed by Parliament to prepare a bill to resume the grants of Proprietary Governments. Stephen Gaudin, therefore, writing as a British merchant, with whom, "as with all lovers of their country, the improvement of the Navigation and encouragement of the manufactures of Great Britain" weighed most heavily, offered as the strongest reason for such action, "the unequal taxes laid upon the manufactures, trade, and shipping of Great Britain." British merchants, he complained, were treated by Proprietary Governments as foreigners in their own Colonies. This was an infringement of their Charters, and unless they were forfeited, "they may truely be termed Independents of the Crown and Laws of Great Britain, as is often asserted in those Assemblys" (285).
Relations with Spain.; Piracies and reprisals on the Spaniards.; Seizure of Logwood cutters by the Spaniards.; Spaniards and Indians at St. Augustine.
Relations with Spain were less happy than with France. The Fleet of homeward-bound galleons was wrecked off Vera Cruz in the Gulf of Florida (27 i., 308). Vessels were immediately fitted out from Jamaica and other Colonies to fish upon the sunken wrecks for the vast treasure they contained. Some of these vessels sailed under commissions for the suppression of pirates, and being heavily armed, proceeded themselves to commit acts of piracy upon the Spaniards on the coast of Florida and Cuba (158, 158 i.–vii., ix., 175 i., 203, 240, 240 i.–iii., 300, 308, 308 i., ii., 357 (h), 408 ii., iii., 409 i., and see Jamaica). These acts, however, were represented as being to some extent reprisals for the great losses caused by the seizure of British vessels by the Spaniards (203, 357 (h), 359 i., 677). Spanish ships, whether with or without commissions as guarda costas, had for some time been seizing British vessels passing on their lawful occasions, either on the grounds that they were attempting to trade with the Spanish settlements, or on the pretext that they had on board some Spanish coins, which were, of course, the current money of the Plantations. No satisfaction could be obtained when restitution was demanded, until, towards the end of 1716, a new Governor of Havana promised redress (27 i., 118, 203, 240, 308, 308 i., 339, 339 ii., 357 (h), 409 i., 595, 595 iv.). About the same time the Spanish Ambassador presented to the Secretary of State a memorial demanding the withdrawal of the British from the Laguna de Terminos, which they frequented for the purpose of cutting and exporting logwood. Their right to do so in that and other places not occupied in the Province of Yucatan had long been upheld, and by "right sufferance or indulgence" seemed clearly established by the Treaties of 1670 and 1713. Spain now declared that unless they withdrew within eight months from that time they would be treated as pirates (388 i.). But within a month of the presentation of this memorial, a Spanish squadron acting under the orders of the Viceroy of Mexico, sailed into the Bay of Campeachy and seized twenty-four ships and sloops (five of them Dutch) which were loading or about to load logwood in the harbour of Triste (del Carmen). This port and the Laguna de Terminos the Spaniards proceeded to settle and fortify. The British masters of ships, after protesting against being treated as pirates and asserting that they had lawful clearances, demanded the release of their ships and goods, but were only granted a pass for themselves and crews in a small ship (Nov., 1716). Their account of the affair was placed before the Secretary of State (484 i.–x., 546, 570), together with other complaints against the Spaniards (429, 429 i.–vi.). For the Carolinians complained bitterly that both the Spaniards at St. Augustine and the French had not only stirred up the Yamassee Indians to attack the British and provided them with arms, but also protected them when they sought refuge in Florida, and refused to deliver up the prisoners, slaves and cattle brought in by rebel Indians. This, it was urged, was a direct breach of the first article of the Treaty of Utrecht (239 iii., 413, 413 i., iv., 601). The Spanish Governor, however, denied the sale of arms to the Indians, and as for protecting refugees, he regarded them as Spanish subjects returning to their old allegiance to the Catholic King (545 i.).
Seizure of Virginian privateer.; Increase of pirates.; Action by H.M.S. Scarborough.; Admiralty Instructions.
But perhaps the most high-handed action was the seizure upon the high seas by a Spanish man-of-war of the Virginian privateer commissioned by Lt.-Governor Spotswood to investigate the settlement of pirates in the Bahamas (595, 595 i.–iv., v. infra, p. xv.) Apart from the piratical or semi-piratical activities of privateers, whether British, Spanish, French or French with Spanish commissions (95), the increase of pirates in the West Indies had become a grave problem (308, 518, 518 i.–v., 595, 595 iv., 596, 661). The losses of the merchant service were severe, and the dislocation of trade no less so. Trading vessels could not leave Jamaica and the other islands without convoy. The Governor of the Leeward Islands was prevented from visiting the various parts of his government for lack of a man-of-war of sufficient strength to face the pirates who hovered off his coasts and Barbados. The American coast from Florida to New England was similarly infested (66 i., 68, 118, 118 ii., 203, 213, 224, 240, 240 i.–iii., 267, 308, 308 i.–iv., 350, 352, 359 i., 411, 411 i., 419, 425, 425 i.–iii., v., 476, 484, 526, 527, 546, 548, 568, 570, 595, 595 i.–iv., 629, 658 iv., 661, 666, 677, 690). Some of these gentry, indeed, professed not to attack British vessels, but to confine their attention to foreigners (240, 240 i., ii., 635). Others for the most part stood in little fear of the King's ships on the West Indian stations, which were often partially disabled for lack of men or by foul bottoms. The Governor of Barbados, indeed, reported that the King's ships were commonly confined to harbour for two-thirds of the year owing to sickness, death and desertion of their seamen. Their Captains could not compete with the merchant service in obtaining recruits, nor were they permitted by the late act to press mariners in the West Indies. Lowther therefore proposed that they should be given "a legal regulated power" for impressing in emergencies (661). In spite of these handicaps, however, Scarborough, reinforced by a detachment of soldiers from the regiment in the Leeward Islands, succeeded in bringing some of the pirates to book in the harbour of Sta. Cruz (411, 425, 425 i., iii., v., 484, 568, 595, 661). But he had only been able to sail after the Governor and his friends had put up a purse to help him to engage sufficient seamen to navigate his ship. The attention of the Admiralty was called to the demands for an increase in the strength of guardships (203, 411, 474, 484, 568, 595). The Council of Trade was informed of the dispatch of men-of-war, and of the instructions issued to their Commanders to co-operate with Governors in the quest and destruction of pirates (489). None the less, the Captain of H.M.S. Swift, when asked to cruise against pirates, had informed the Governor of Jamaica that he dared not stir without orders from home (411).
Pirates' haunts and rendezvous in the Bahamas.
A description of the chief haunts of the pirates, their characters, nationalities, and some of their brutalities, is given by the acting Governor of Jamaica (411, 411 i.). Their principal place of rendezvous was in the Bahamas. Fortifying Harbour Island, they proposed to make it a second Madagascar (240 i., 595, 677). Here came such notorious pirates as Hornigold, Stillwell, Barrow, Jenings, Fernandez, Burgiss, White, and Thatch, either to settle or to divide their booty, whilst Ham chose Beef Island for his headquarters. They terrorised the inhabitants of Providence Island, Barrow and Hornigold proclaiming themselves Governors of the place and protectors of pirates (240, 240 i., iii., 425, 425 i., iii., v., 595, 596, 635, 639 i.). Captain Thomas Walker and many of the inhabitants were forced to leave Providence (240 i., iii., 596, 635). The number of the pirates was increased by those Jamaican privateersmen who, having committed acts of piracy against the French and Spaniards, fled thither when proceedings were begun against them (203, 240, 240 i., 359 i., 408 iii., 411).
Samuel Bellamy commanded a ship of 26 guns, a Bristol merchantman which he had captured off the Bahamas when homeward bound from Jamaica. He had also a sloop of 14 guns, a force too great for the "small bauble" of a guardship at the Leeward Islands to tackle. After visiting the Virgin Islands, he was cast away off Cape Cod. Only two out of a crew of 120 were saved. The Madeira wine found on board a ship they had just taken proved their undoing. Bellamy had taken all the crew, with the exception of one man and a boy, out of the prize, and put seven of the pirates on board. But, according to the story told in Boston, "the pirates in both vessells regaled themselves so liberally with madera that they all got drunk and ran their own vessel on shoar" at Nossetts Bay. The man and boy on board the captured ship, seeing the seven men drunk and asleep on deck, seized the opportunity to run the vessel ashore. The seven pirates were secured and taken prisoners to Boston (425 iii., 484, 568, 595 i., 629, 639 i., 666, 677).
Trials of Pirates.
Governors were much exercised by the problem of what was to be done with these "rovers" when captured, for their Commissions for trying them under the Act for the more effectual suppression of pirates, had expired. Revival of the Act was suggested (411, 661, 677, 678, 690). Hunter plainly declared that a New York jury was unlikely to convict, "be the evidence ever so plain and clear" (690). Writing from Virginia, Colonel Spotswood urged the dispatch of a sufficient force to protect the trade and dislodge the pirates from the Bahamas, and also the offer of pardon to those who should make their submission (240, 595). He himself, as holding a Commission of Vice-Admiralty for the Bahamas, on receiving information of the state of those islands, commissioned a sloop to sail thither and make enquiries as to the strength and designs of the pirates who were congregating there (240, 240 i.–iii.). This sloop was seized by a Spanish man-of-war off Bermuda, its goods sold and its crew made prisoners without trial and without any attention being paid to the instructions and credentials of its commander (595, 595 i.–iv.).
An affray in Carolina.
A commission issued to a privateer in South Carolina led to a clash between the Governor and Colonel Rhett, Surveyor-General of Customs, and the Commander of H.M.S. Shoreham over the contents of a prize, the Lt.-Governor firing at Captain Howard, a Lieutenant offering to shoot the Governor, and Col. Rhett and other officials giving a remarkable display of rough manners and language (267, 268, 273).
Report upon measures for suppressing pirates.; Proclamation of pardon.
In December, 1716, the Council of Trade was commanded to consider the best course for dislodging the pirates from the island of Providence. In the following February they answered by referring to their former representations and the need of settling the Bahamas. The problem of dislodging the pirates was rather one for the Admiralty (408, 408 i.–iii., 418). In February they again called the attention of the Secretary of State to the reports of the settlements of pirates in the Bahamas and Virgin Islands (473). Mr. Addison presently repeated Methuen's demand for a report from them upon what measures should be taken for suppressing pirates in the West Indies, moved thereto by a petition from the merchants of Bristol (587, 587 i.). The Board, after consulting with the merchants (v. Journal, 31st May, 1717), recommended the immediate despatch of a sufficient naval force, and that Governors of Plantations should be empowered to issue Proclamations granting a general pardon to all pirates who should surrender before a given date (596). A Proclamation to this effect was ordered to be drawn up (649).
Naval Stores.; Proposal for encouraging.
The encouragement of the production and export of Naval Stores continued to be the subject of anxious consideration (19). Many interviews at the Board of Trade are recorded in the Journal. Merchants trading to New England proposed that the import duty on timber should be removed, ships be convoyed, and seamen engaged in this traffic be exempt from pressing (21). A bounty on imported timber was also suggested (487). Another proposal was that hemp seed should be distributed gratis and taxes in New England be payable in tar (22, 472, 510 i.). On behalf of South Carolina it was suggested that all naval stores should be admitted duty free, and that the importer should be allowed a bounty (488). For Virginia, the payment of quit-rents in naval stores was proposed, and the prompt payment of the premiums allowed, which should be extended for twenty years (506, 507).
Certificates of quality.
Certificates as to the excellence of New England masts were submitted, in one case of a ship named the Lusitania; and of New England iron and Carolina tar (14, 17, 18, 26, 33, 478, 487, 508 i.). Bounties upon Plantation hemp and iron were also suggested (505, 508 i.).
Board of Trade Report.
In January, 1717, a report upon the whole subject was called for. Accounts of imports were collected (23, 459, 460, 461 i., ii., 464 i.–iv., 465, 487), and after considering the views of the merchants, Colonial agents, and the Navy Board, who objected to the payment of the premiums by the Navy, the Board of Trade presented a comprehensive survey of the problem on 28th March (515 i., iii.). Their recommendations followed in general the suggestions indicated above, and included the granting of a premium on imported tar and cast iron. They concluded by proposing that the several Assemblies should be recommended to take steps for the encouragement of these industries.
Waste of Woods.
In the meantime, complaints continued as to the waste in H.M. woods in New England of masts fit for the Navy and their export to Spain and Portugal (19 i., 33).
Mr. Bridger re-appointed.
Mr. Bridger, Surveyor-General of the Woods, proposed an amendment of the Act for the preservation of pine trees so as to cover the waste of young trees (510 i.). His commission had been renewed, but a stop had been put to his salary through the intervention of the Admiralty, which represented his office as being a useless expense to the Navy. At the same time, however, they recommended that the Governor of New England should stop the waste of woods (13 i., ii.). The Council of Trade pointed out the weakness of this suggestion and emphasised the necessity of a Surveyor-General, and Bridger's fitness for the office (33). Their representation had its effect, and the Secretary of State, in announcing his re-appointment to the Governors of New England, New York and Virginia, reminded them that it was their duty to support him in the execution of his office (436, 436 i.).
Settlement of disbanded soldiers.
The production of Naval Stores was one of the inducements offered by the disbanded officers and soldiers when they renewed their application for a grant of lands for settlement between Nova Scotia and Maine. They estimated the cost of settling such a Colony at about £30,000 and proposed to repay this sum, if advanced by the Crown, in Naval Stores (485 i., 495). Subsequently they offered to transport themselves at their own expense (528). They admitted that this region lying between the St. Croix and Maine, had been included in the charter of New England, with a reservation to the Crown of the right of granting lands. But they argued that by the surrender of Pemaquid to the French, its reconquest by the British in 1710, and the neglect of Massachusetts to rebuild that fort, their right had lapsed to the Crown (509).
Claim of Massachusetts to the tract between Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers. Other claims and petitions for grants.; Capt. Coram's proposal for Georgia.
The Massachusetts Government, however, asserted its claim to the tract between Penobscot, Sagadehoc and Kennebec rivers, and demanded that in any grants of land in the Eastern part of New England, it should be expressly reserved to the proprietors (412, 576, 583, 584, 593). Other claims were advanced by the Duchess of Hamilton, on behalf of the Duke (594), Sir Bibye Lake (591), and Col. William Partridge. The request of the latter for permission to make a settlement, and for the confirmation of a purchase of lands made by him was regarded with favour by the Massachusetts Government. It was granted, on the conditions proposed by the Board of Trade, providing for the reservation of mast-trees for the Navy, forbidding the export of naval stores to foreign parts, and requiring the completion of the settlement within a stated time (249, 249 i., 286, 291, 291 i.–ix., 301–303, 305, 340, 592). These claims were answered by Capt. Thomas Coram (599), who had previously supported the scheme of the disbanded soldiers, and now submitted a proposal on behalf of himself and the Marquis de Wignacourt, and other French gentlemen. Twelve hundred families, it was represented, were ready to sail as soon as a patent should be granted, and to found a colony between Nova Scotia and Maine to be called "the Royall province of Georgeia." The patent was to be vested in trustees, one of whom, the Earl of Berkeley, was to be the Governor. He was to nominate a Patentee as Lt.-Governor, who with the rest of the Court of Patentees, was to form the Council. The Assembly was to be annually chosen by freeholders and other inhabitants (567, 577, 582). The opinion of the Solicitor-General was invited as to what were the rights of the Crown in the lands in question (600). The scheme, it will be noticed, as well as the name bears a close resemblance to the subsequent foundation of Georgia in which Coram was associated with Oglethorpe.
Patent Offices; grants of reversions.
The Council of Trade continued their endeavours to secure the proper execution of patent offices (123). But the system of deputies grew in spite of them. Leave of absence was freely granted to the patentees (59, 191, 307), and offices were bestowed in reversion and for two lives (168, 189).
The Governor of the Leeward Islands complained that the Admiralty had issued orders forbidding the hoisting a Governor's flag when on board H.M. ships. Apart from his dignity as Governor in Chief and Vice-Admiral, he represented that the flag was of service as a warning of the Governor's approach to the several islands under his administration. The Admiralty, however, refused to withdraw their prohibition (541, 638, 641).
New Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
Some important new Commissioners were appointed to the Board of Trade in January, 1716, and in July, 1717, when Thomas Pelham, Daniel Pulteney, and Martin Bladen succeeded Sir Jacob Astley, John Cokburne, and Joseph Addison (2, 647).
Scrutiny of Acts and Sessional papers.
An indication of the close scrutiny to which the acts and sessional papers of the several Colonies were subjected is given by the instructions issued to Governors that all such papers should be abstracted in the margins (177).
Mr. Popple's petition.; Alured Popple.
The insecurity which the intrusion of politics into the Civil Service brought to its officers, is demonstrated by the petition of William Popple. As a reward for his services as Secretary of the Board of Trade, he asked for a grant of a plantation which formed part of the quarter of St. Kitts recently won from the French. Among his merits he mentions his staunch adhesion to the cause of the Protestant Succession, a devotion which had nearly cost him his place. For when the Jacobite coup d' état was being prepared, just before the death of Queen Anne, his place had actually been offered to another. The Council of Trade in supporting his petition gave their Secretary a strong testimonial. He prides himself upon having resisted the temptation of receiving voluntary gratuities, and having contented himself with the bare income of his salary (236 i., 266). His son, Alured Popple, was appointed a junior Clerk in the Office in March, 1717, and William Byrd in June (v. Journal, March 22, June 5).
§ 2 THE AMERICAN COLONIES.
South Carolina. Governor Craven.
Governor Craven having returned from S. Carolina, he was promptly called upon to account to the Secretary of State for the property of the Marquis de Navarres, taken by a pirate and alleged to have been detained by him (34, 34 i., ii., 40, 41, 53, 56, 208, 304, cf. C.S.P., 1715).
Robert Johnson appointed.
Robert Johnson, son of Sir Nathaniel Johnson, was appointed to succeed him, and his appointment was approved by the Crown (372, 414, 500).
The Assembly request protection of the Crown.
The Assembly, after congratulating the King on the failure of the rising of the 'Fifteen, again petitioned that the colony should be taken under the immediate protection of the Crown (97 i.). On the eve of his departure Craven declared that the clouds, which had threatened the destruction of their land, had blown away. The position had, indeed, improved. For peace had been made with the Cherokees, who after being nearly persuaded to join the Creeks and Yamassees, had finally decided to keep to their engagement, and had fallen upon the members of those tribes who were in their towns and massacred them (97, 239 iii., 287). But the Carolinians remained at war with fifteen other nations, whilst the French at Mobile and the Spaniards at St. Augustine continued to arm and incite the Creeks and Yamassees against them (97, 230, 239 iii., 413, 413 i.–iv., 545 i., v. § 1).
Causes of the Indian war.
But as to the general causes of the Indian war, Lt.-Governor Spotswood makes the significant comment that "the Indians have rarely broken with the English, except when they have received some notorious injury" from traders, etc. (146); and again, "It is a very general observation, both here and in the neighbouring Provinces, that no murders or hostilitys have ever been committed by the Indians except where the English have given the first provocation" (522).
Reply of Assembly to Lords Proprietors.
The Assembly therefore continued to insist upon the necessity of men and money being sent to their relief, and hastened to express their dissent from the optimistic statement of Governor Eden, giving their reasons (239 ii., iii.). At the same time they answered in detail the statements made to the Council of Trade by the Lords Proprietors, who, they declared, had given them no assistance and were, indeed, "the sole bar" to their relief (239 i., C.S.P., 1715, Nos. 516 i., 517). They again repeated their request to be taken under the protection of the Crown (239 iii.). These papers make it clear that the resumption of Carolina to the Crown was not due to the initiative of the Board of Trade and Plantations, as is frequently stated, but to the repeated and urgent demands of the people of Carolina.
The Agents and the Board of Trade.; Resources of Carolina.
In pursuance of these petitions of the Assembly, their agents Messrs. Boone & Beresford (with the former of whom the Lords Proprietors had fallen foul) emphasised the importance of South Carolina both as producing commodities "suitable and necessary to the occasions of Great Britain," and as constituting a South Western frontier against the French, Spaniards and Indians. They also submitted a return of the imports and exports of the Colony (71, 226, 226 i., 230, 284, 407). In another memorial they presented a survey of the state of the province, its importance, possibilities, and valuation, as well as the cost of the war.
Answer of Lords Proprietors.; Repeated petitions by the Assembly, etc.; Grants of Yamassee lands.; Margravate of Azilia.
Incidentally they urged the re-settlement of the Bahama Islands. The Board of Trade examined them on these points, and obtained returns of exports of skins and furs from Carolina and Virginia (207, 210, 211, 219–221, 229, 230, 230 i., 259, 413 i.–v., cf. Journal, 28th June, 1716). The Board then asked the Lords Proprietors for an account of the state of the Province and of what steps, if any, they had taken for its security (245). Their reply was in the optimistic vein of Craven's speech, to whom they referred the Board. They added that they had spent several hundred pounds on some arms and ammunition, which had been sent out (239 ii., 287, 597). But in August and November, 1716, the Assembly reported that the war still continued, and that they were threatened with a new eruption of Indian tribes, which had already committed outrages in the neighbourhood of Port Royal. They complained that Virginian Indian traders as well as the French and Spaniards were supplying their enemies with munitions of war, and stated that they had only 1,400 Englishmen capable of bearing arms to resist many thousands of Indians. They asked permission to attack those enemy Indians who had taken refuge at St. Augustine and were there protected by the Spaniards. A shipload of prisoners from Preston had, indeed, arrived to swell their man power, and the Cherokees had compelled the Cuttabas and some other small nations near to them to make peace. But the cost of the war and devastation and abandonment of plantations were bringing the Colony to the verge of ruin. Once more they besought the intervention of the Crown, disclaiming the imputation of the Lords Proprietors that such a demand was made by a mere faction (128, 407, 407 i., 413, 413 i.–v., 462, 517, 601). In January, 1717, the Lt.-Governor and Council again appealed to the Lords Proprietors for succour, representing the situation as critical (456), and a further petition from the inhabitants to the King for men was referred in April. The Board of Trade repeated their enquiries to the Lords Proprietors, who once more declared that the war was over and minimised the seriousness of the danger (544, 544 i., 569, 597, 601). Lord Carteret's statement in this sense appears in the Journal (31st May). But throughout the Spring frontier raids were reported, and Charlestown was said to be on the verge of starvation. The Creeks, however, were making overtures for peace. But as they were mortal foes of the Cherokees, it was a nice problem how far it would be possible to keep friendship with both, whilst "assisting them in cutting one another's throats" (462, 517, 541, 542, 601). But shortly afterwards it was announced that the Senecas or Mohawks were about to join the Creeks and, in conjunction with the French Indians, to attack the Cherokees and Cuttabas, and that the Creeks had deferred their negotiations for peace (601). About the same time the case for the resumption of the Colony to the Crown as prepared by the agents was offered for the consideration of Parliament (557). As soon as they heard that the Cherokees were about to make peace, the Lords Proprietors, hoping that the Yamassee Indians would soon be driven out and dispersed, withdrew the prohibition on the settlement of their lands between the Cambahee and Savannah rivers which had hitherto been reserves for the exclusive use of the Indians, so that they might form a buffer between the white settlers and hostile Indians to the South under Spanish influence. They stated the terms on which these lands might be granted, and the Assembly presently passed an act to encourage the settlement of the Yamassee lands (72, 413 i.). Later on, the Lords Proprietors granted "all that tract of land between the rivers Allatamaha and Savannah" to Sir Robert Montgomery for the establishment of a new province, independent of South Carolina, to be known as the Margravate of Azilia (608, 609). In response to the representations of the Assembly, who objected to the Chief Justice being on the Council and having in his gift the office of Provost Marshall, Nicholas Trott was deprived of his powers (73).
Relations with Virginia.
Apart from their complaints against the Virginian Indian traders for supplying arms to the Indians (413, 413 i.–iv., 462, etc.), the Carolinians displayed an intense jealousy of the Virginians. It was even suggested that their policy was to "have us in a continual war with our Southern Indians that they may have the whole trade with the Northern" (413 ii.). This suggestion was based on Lt.-Governor Spotswood's endeavour to make peace with the Northern Indians. The aid rendered to Carolina by the Virginians was belittled, and the terms on which their troops had been sent were represented as onerous (413, 413 i.–iii.). They began to negotiate over the fulfilment of their contract (97), whilst Spotswood appealed to the Board of Trade to compel "that Government to keep their publick faith" (165, 545). This the Board urged the Lords Proprietors to insist upon (319, 619. See also § 1, Pirates).
North Carolina.; Lords Proprietors and sale of lands, etc.; Creation of a seaport at Bath.
The Governors of Virginia and North Carolina arrived at an agreement for the settlement of the disputed boundary, which was approved by the Lords Proprietors and awaited the assent of the Crown (45, 45 i., 186, 452 i.). On receiving the recently revised acts of the Province, the Lords Proprietors expressed their strong resentment at the interference of the Council and Assembly by an act relating to the sale of lands and payment of quitrents. They insisted that the purchase money for lands should be paid in sterling or equivalent produce, instead of in Province bills as that act provided, and that tenants must be held to payment of their quit-rents. They forbade any further sale of lands in North Carolina. All future sales were to be conducted at the Board in London. Assent was given to the creation of a seaport at Bath. By this development the North Carolina planters would acquire a much needed port from which to ship their tobacco crops direct to England. It was a vital necessity for the prosperity of North Carolina. For without it, seeing that Virginia prohibited the importation of tobacco from that province, the North Carolina planters were entirely at the mercy of New England shippers (293, 294).
A diving machine.
The grant of a patent for a diving machine is mentioned (124).
From Maryland a petition to the Guardian of the Lord Proprietor is recorded, praying for the repeal of two acts directed against the Roman Catholic inhabitants, one excluding them from election to the Magistracy or Assembly, and the other prohibiting the exercise of their religion (444, 445, and see § 1, Transported prisoners).
New England. Appointment of Governor Shute.
Joseph Dudley accepted his retirement from the government of New England with a graceful gesture, returning thanks for the appointment of his son-in-law, Mr. Dummer, as Lt.-Governor, and welcoming that of Governor Shute who took the place of the recently appointed Elizeus Burges (126, 127, 391).
Command of Rhode Island Militia.; Instructions concerning Oaths.
In the new Governor's Instructions an alteration was made in the long standing clause which gave him, in general terms, the power of commanding the Militia of Rhode Island. That colony had protested against being deprived of the command of their own Militia, which was vested in the Governor and Company by their Charter. The Attorney-General upheld their right, and the alteration now introduced restricted the power of the Governor of New England to times of war or imminent danger only (112, 131 i., 139, 149, 149 i., 157). Another change in the Instructions was in the clause relating to the taking and administering of oaths, so as to include the oath mentioned in the recent Act for the further security of His Majesty's person (199, 200, 270).
Custom House Officers' fees.
On the occasion of an act of Massachusetts stating the fees of Custom House officers, Mr. Cumings drew attention to the discrepancy between them and those of New York, and suggested that a general scale of fees for all such officers in the several colonies should be fixed at home (297, 297 i.–iii.). This suggestion was approved by the Commissioners of Customs (389, 393).
Lighthouse Act.; Shute's Report.; Lt.-Gov. Vaughan.; Dispute as to powers of Lt.-Governor.
Captain Coram entered a protest against the Act for building a lighthouse on the coast, as laying a tax upon British shipping, and failing to provide for pilots (172, cf. Journal, June 15). Colonel Shute announced that he had "found all things quiet" on his arrival, and that the Indians whom he met at Piscataqua in January, 1717, were very well disposed (482). George Vaughan, however, his Lieutenant Governor in New Hampshire, was not so well satisfied. In the first place he was surprised and disgusted to find that the paper of suggestions which he had put before the Board whilst in England, and which he thought "very conducive to ye benefitt of this country," had aroused much ill-feeling in that Colony (316, cf. C.S.P., 1714–15. No. 389 i.). Then, "after having governed this little Province a year with all the serenity imaginable," he reports that "civil and intestine broils" had commenced in New Hampshire. These, he said, so far as he was concerned, were due to Governor Shute's reception of the recommendation by the Council and Assembly of their Lt.-Governor for some office of profit. Shute apparently regarded this as an attempt on their part to dictate the choice of their Lt.Governor, and after asking whether they expected to be treated like Charter Governments, replied to their recommendation by docking Vaughan of customary perquisites and powers. The tension between the Governor and Lt.-Governor was increased by the claim put forward by Vaughan that during the former's absence from the Province, the Lt.-Governor was empowered by Shute's Commission to act with the full powers of a Governor.
Fast on occasion of drought in New England.
Shute, on the contrary, would not allow that the Lt.-Governor had any independent power by virtue of the King's Commission, so long as the Governor was present in any part of America. Accordingly he gave orders that no public instrument should be issued in the Lt.-Governor's name, as Vaughan found when he tried to alter the wording of a proclamation of a General Fast on account of a drought in New England. Vaughan very reasonably protested that he was thus left without power to take any action in any emergency, however desperate or urgent, "which is not Latin per my grammar." He applied for leave to return home in order to represent these and other grievances (658, 658 i.–iv.).
New York Association.
In New York whilst the majority of the inhabitants welcomed, as we have seen, the accession of King George, and joined the Association formed by Governor Hunter on receipt of the news of the 'Fifteen (133, 133 ii., 192, 192 iv., v., 626), bills of indictment found by the Grand Jury indicate the activities of some of the minority (133, 133 iii., iv.).
The Assembly.; Act for resuming extravagant grants proposed.
After the storms of the preceding years, Hunter had piloted the State into smoother waters. When the Assembly met in June, 1716, he was able to announce that he could look forward to "nothing but what is dutiful and fair in their sessions" (192). In the autumn he assured the Board that the Province was grateful for the interest and care shown by them in dealing with the Naturalisation Act of 1715, and that the New Assembly, the best he had seen there, would pass another act not liable to the objections raised to the former one (96, 348). In writing to the Governor in March, 1716, the Board informed him that decisions upon his proposals concerning the erection of a new fort, presents to the Indians, and an increase of soldiers etc., had been delayed by the disorder arising from the Rebellion (86, 95, 96). In reply to his report upon the lack of lands for new settlers, they suggested that another act for resuming past extravagant grants of land might have the effect of releasing the desired territory (96). Hunter answered that such an act was not likely to be carried in the Assembly.
He forwarded a map of the country about the great Lakes, to explain his proposed erection of a fort "at the great carrying place or Fort Nicholson." This would prepare the way for building another "at the entry of the Lakes" (348).
Opposition to Hunter's policy in this and other matters was voiced chiefly by Samuel Mulford, whom he represents as one who was always "agin the Government" (348, 348 i.). Mulford had been prosecuted and bound over for printing and publishing a libellous and seditious speech delivered by him in the Assembly. He set up as the champion of Long Island and the country districts, which, he maintained, were under-represented in the Assembly. He had himself an axe to grind in the matter of the Crown rights in the whale fishery, as the Governor was claiming a royalty on each whale killed. Mulford went to England in order to air this grievance (348), and on arrival presented his petitions (348, 605, 686, 686 i.–iii.).
Conference with the Five Nations.
In June, 1717, Hunter held a conference with the Five Nations at Albany, when he induced them to make amends for having attacked one of the tribes of Indians which had been at war with Carolina, but had just concluded peace (133, 565, 690, 690 i.) This was done at the instance of Lt-Governor Spotswood, who also proposed that the Five Nations should send deputies to Virginia to renew the covenants made in 1685. But, though Hunter pressed them to do so, the Five Nations refused to treat anywhere but at Albany. Hunter then advised Lt.-Governor Spotswood to send deputies to Albany for that purpose (133, 565, 690, 690 i.–viii.; and Spotswood Papers II., 257).
Governor Hunter's Leave of Absence.; The Palatines.; Huter's claim laid before Parliament.; Charles Delafaye.; Ambrose Philips.
In response to an application on his behalf, Hunter was granted leave of absence to attend to his private affairs in England, but he did not at present feel justified in availing himself of it (353, 353 i., 469, 690). He answered an enquiry as to the reason for the failure of the trees prepared to produce pitch and tar, by attributing it to the "unruly and unskilful multitude" of Palatines who had disobeyed their instructions for tapping them. After his disappointing experience with them, he was not inclined to advise a renewal of the project, at least until they could be instructed by some person skilled in the methods used in Norway and Sweden (96, 348). He was more concerned with recovering the large expense to which he had been committed on their behalf. Papers relating to them were laid before Parliament (110, 117), and, though for the reason above stated Hunter was not himself able to attend, his claim for payment was submitted to the House by his friends (383, 548). On the other hand, his enemies were hoping that it would prove his ruin (634 i.), and candidates were suggested as successors in his Government. The sister and brother-in-law of Charles Delafaye, the capable Secretary of the Lords Justices, urged their "dear Bro." to obtain it for himself, representing, no doubt with imaginations fired by lively expectations of favours to come, that Hunter had made a fortune, and that the government with its perquisites was worth many thousands a year. They paint the Governor's lot in colours so bright that Hunter would scarcely have recognised it, though his own hopes for the future were high (405, 405 i., 469, 561, 642). Hunter was a man of literary tastes and the friend of men of letters of the day. Ambrose Philips, "a good Whig and middling poet" as Macaulay dubs him, whose insipid pastorals gave rise to the term "namby-pamby," acted for him as Agent in the troublesome affairs of New Jersey (176 i., 523, 580, 634).
Agents for the Province and for private acts required.
The Council of Trade insisted upon the necessity of appointing Agents not only to solicit the affairs of both Provinces, but also to watch the progress and pay the fees of private acts and Councillors' warrants (103, 121).
New York Juries and Pirates.
The attitude of New York juries towards pirates is mentioned in § 1.
A list of ships trading to New York from the year 1705 to 1716 is indicated (470).
New Jersey. Agitation for separation from New York.; Union with Pennsylvania mooted. Quakers and Cox's party.; Confirmation of Act qualifying Quakers requested.; The Assembly at Perth Amboy.; Coxe expelled.; Flight of Coxe and his friends.; The Assembly meets at Chesterfield.; The Burlington Plot.
An agitation had been begun for separating the government of New York from that of New Jersey. This was the work of Daniel Coxe, and followed on the passing of an act in Lt.-Governor Ingoldsby's time for better qualifying Representatives, which aimed at excluding residents in New York from exercising the share in the government of New Jersey to which their estates entitled them. Hunter, who writes in no measured terms of the violent partisanship of Coxe, asked for the repeal of this act, as well as that for explaining an act for the support of H.M. Government, also passed by Ingoldsby. The demand for a separate government he dismissed as merely a device for causing trouble (135, 565, 634 i.). But it is significant that the idea of uniting the Jerseys with Pennsylvania, if that province were resumed to the Crown, was mooted by the Quaker party (138 i.). The Quakers, who spoke highly of Hunter's efforts for moderation and good government, were firm supporters of his government (135, 138, 138 i., ii.), whilst Coxe and his party were closely identified with the traditions of Lord Cornbury and the efforts of the Jacobite and High Church party, especially in the Western Division (135, 138, 138 i., ii., 585, 624). There Coxe, after being dismissed from the Council, had got himself elected to the Assembly, in which he was chosen Speaker. He started an agitation for the non-payment of taxes and the exclusion of the Quakers from serving on juries in criminal cases. The refusal to pay taxes was based on the view that the acts of the last Assembly, which continued for over three years, were void by reason of the Triennial act. The exclusion of Quakers was based on the Act of 1st George I., which was said to repeal the New Jersey Act allowing them to qualify by affirmation. Coxe, Basse, and their friends proceeded to indict the Chief Justice, David Jamison, and Lewis Morris, the President of the Council, and Thomas Gordon, the Attorney-General, for directing the qualification of Quakers for a Grand Jury, on their interpretation of that act. In order to spike their guns, Hunter begged for the speedy confirmation of the new Act for the solemn affirmation of Quakers (135, 135 i., ii., 195 i.). In the new Assembly a majority adverse to Hunter had been returned, by means, as he says, "of false suggestions, fraudulent conveyances and the rum bottle." He promptly dissolved it, and a second election proved rather more favourable to the Government, the Quakers carrying the County of Burlington against Coxe. They met at Perth Amboy. The right of the Governor to summon them to meet there was at once challenged. Coxe having tried in vain to dissuade the members of the Western Division from coming to Amboy, succeeded in carrying an Address for the removal of the Assembly to Burlington. The Act passed under Ingoldsby and confirmed by the Crown had fixed all sessions at Burlington. But by Hunter's Instructions the holding of alternate sessions there and at Perth Amboy had been restored, following the arrangement made at the surrender of the Government by the Proprietors. Hunter, who knew that Burlington was a hot-bed of the Opposition, declared that he should abide by his Instructions, and that the appointing the time and place of sessions of Assemblies was an undisputed prerogative of the Crown (135). This attempt by Coxe's party to make Burlington the sole meeting place of the Assembly indicates not only a survival of the division between East and West Jersey, but also that it was the centre of the extreme Anglican party. Under the leadership of Coxe and the Rev. John Talbot, they hoped to see that place the seat of a Colonial Bishop (176). Finding himself unable to carry his points, Coxe and some of his friends absented themselves from the Assembly. The House, being reduced to twelve members, requested the Governor to order them to attend. Some obeyed, and a quorum was formed, a new Speaker elected, and the Serjeant-at-arms was instructed to compel the attendance of the absent members. When it was found that they had fled to Pennsylvania, they were expelled from the House, and writs issued for new elections to fill their places. The Assembly thus constituted addressed the Governor, praising his continued justice and moderation, and promising to vote a handsome support for the Government. Hunter was now able to look forward to a period when the Province would be "as easy and happy as" New York. The power of Coxe and Talbot, and "the skulking disaffected few" who had sought refuge at Bristol, was rapidly dwindling, though they talked of appealing to the House of Commons (176, 176 i., 192, 192 i., iii., 195). Their flight from New Jersey, Hunter explained, was to avoid arrest, which had been ordered "on information that he and his emissaries were carrying papers privately round the Provinces for subscriptions." Coxe and his friend Mr. Bustall then sailed for England to make their complaint there. Hunter suggested that before they were listened to, both Coxe and Mr. Sonmans, who had also escaped from justice, should first be sent back to be tried in New Jersey (349, 690). The lines of Coxe's intrigues, and the hopes on which they were founded, are indicated by two letters of his and Mr. Bustall's which were intercepted by Hunter (392 i., 634 i.). In the absence of this "Boute-feu," Hunter looked forward to a good session when the Assembly met. Indeed, the defeat of the Cornbury party was complete. The places of the absent members were filled by new elections, and formed a house in favour of Hunter and the Proprietary party. It was now the turn of Burlington for the meeting of the Assembly. But small-pox was raging there, and Hunter shrank from calling another session at Amboy. He therefore summoned them to meet at Chesterfield. It was fortunate that he did so. For Mr. Talbot revealed the existence of what Hunter describes as "a most hellish contrivance," a plot to create a riot against the Quakers there, and to burn down their meeting house and dwelling houses. Talbot then made his submission to the Governor, and represented that he had done good service to the Government by preventing the outbreak (469, 523, 580 i., ii., 585 v., vii., 675 xii.–xiv.).
Quiet restored.; Acts passed.; Coxe's charges against Hunter. Reply to the petition.
Having eliminated Coxe and his supporters, Hunter was at length able to report (January, 1717), that New Jersey, which "a year ago was the most tumultuous" was now "the most quiet and satisfied of His Majesty's Provinces" (469). The New Assembly made good its promises, and Hunter returning to New York in February, could look back upon "a very happy sessions." Acts were passed for repealing the act for ascertaining the place of the Assembly (at Burlington), and to enforce the payment of taxes (349, 469, 523, 585 iii.). £2,000 were voted for the support of the Government and the payment of the outstanding bills for the Canada Expedition (585, 585 vi.). But a few weeks later Hunter received the petition of the "several traders and inhabitants and Proprietors of New Jersey," in which Coxe embodied his complaints against the Governor. He immediately sailed for New Jersey to communicate these charges to the Council. The Council dismissed them as for the most part false in fact, whilst those which had any colour of truth arose out of actions justified by the need for preserving the public peace (585, 588 i.). Hunter himself replied in detail, and, claiming that he had shown these accusations to be "false and infamous," asked for a public declaration of the opinion of the Council of Trade upon the whole matter. The petition, he averred, was signed only by insignificant persons, many of whom, as their depositions showed, were tricked into signing it. Not content with this reply, he carried the war into the enemy's camp. Whilst expressing his dislike of "exculpation by recrimination" he plainly stated that if the Province was not in arms and rebellion, it was not the fault of Coxe and his friends, who during the last year of Queen Anne had "rung the peal of the Church in danger louder than ever it had been rung in England." He offered evidence of Coxe's close connection with the Jacobite rebellion, and of the mischievous dealings of some of his party with the Indians, which the Government had succeeded in counteracting (469, 469 iii.–vi., 588 i., 674, 675 i.–lxiii., 690).
Nova Scotia. Governor Vetch's Report.; French inhabitants.; Hardships of the Garrison.; Report of Comptrollers of Accounts.; Need of port and naval protection.
At the request of the Board of Trade, Governor Vetch presented another report upon the fortification, fishery, and fur trade of Nova Scotia (51). In spite of the pressure put upon them to move to Cape Breton, the French inhabitants were anxious to remain on their plantations, though their loyalty might be doubtful (51, 154, 615). Incidentally, Vetch drew attention once more to the hardships endured by the garrison, who were left without pay, clothing, or provisions, whilst the temptation to desert was heightened by the good wages obtainable in the neighbouring Colonies (43, 51, 62, 63). Letters from Lt.-Governor Caulfield emphasised their wretched condition (154, 154 i.). In reply to enquiries by the Board of Trade the Secretary at War stated in March, 1716, that no orders had been issued since last August for providing their subsistence, owing to the want of regular muster-rolls. Steps, however, were being taken to deal with the situation (35, 57, 60, 64, 75, 75 i.). The dispatch of provisions was ordered and accounts demanded from the Lt.-Governor (185). Shortly afterwards the Comptrollers of the accounts of the Army presented a report upon the whole question (615). They proposed amongst other things, that the Commodore of the Newfoundland Convoy should visit Annapolis Royal and be commissioned to examine the state of the garrison and their accounts and complaints. To prevent desertion to New England ships, it was suggested that the Governor of New England should issue a proclamation restraining the inhabitants from harbouring deserters. Turning to the question of the settlement of Nova Scotia, the Commissioners, acknowledging the assistance of the Board of Trade, recommended the development of the fishery and that care should be taken "to make and keep it absolutely dependent upon Great Britain, and not to suffer it to be annexed to New England," as had been proposed (C.S.P., 1714–15, No. 416 i.). The reason advanced is notable, "For by the manufactures and other improvements lately made at New England, they not only consume much less of the products of Great Britain than they did formerly, but have taken away great part of the profits of the fishing trade from us, and become dayly less dependent upon Great Britain, to which a watchful eye should always be had not only in regard to New England but all the other Plantations." They pointed out that the Fishery needed for its protection a good port and naval force. They therefore proposed that instead of the large and expensive garrison at Annapolis Royal, which was too far up the river to afford protection to the Fishery, a small fort should be erected at Placentia and smaller ones built and garrisoned at the entrance to the British river and at Chebucto. They proposed that an Engineer should be sent to choose sites for such forts, and that a survey of the timber suitable for masts, ships' timber, and naval stores should be made by the Admiralty. Till these steps were completed, they were of opinion that the present garrison must be maintained, in order to secure the country against recapture by the French. A sufficient encouragement for a resident Governor of Nova Scotia was desirable, in order that he might win over the French and Indian inhabitants to be loyal subjects of the Crown, and thus direct their fur trade into British channels and lead to the firm settlement of the country without the expense of sending British settlers thither. Lastly, they recommended that all such distant garrisons should be relieved every two or three years (615).
John Doucet succeeds Lt.-Gov. Caulfield. Pennsylvania.
Lt.-Governor Caulfield having died in March, 1717, John Doucet was appointed to succeed him (496, 586).
William Keith succeeds Lt.-Gov. Gookin.
In Pennsylvania Lt.-Governor Gookin had come to loggerheads with the Quakers and Assembly over matters not indicated here. (fn. 2) Governor Hunter reported that he was going home as Daniel Coxe's "Ambassador" (176 i.). William Keith was appointed by the Penn family to succeed him, and the approbation of the Crown was solicited. This was granted upon condition that good security should be given for his observance of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, and that William Penn should renew his declaration that such approbation should not be construed as diminishing the claim of the Crown to the Three Lower Counties (337, 337 i., 338, 356, 360, 381, 428, 430). Keith had formerly succeeded Robert Quary as Surveyor-General of Customs in America, but had been superceded after the death of Queen Anne. He had been recommended by Logan and other members of the Council of Pennsylvania and "a considerable body of the people called Quakers," to the trustees of William Penn (344). His appointment was fervently welcomed (630 i.).
The Three Lower Counties. Petition of the Earl of Sutherland.; Protest by Bristol Naval Stores Company, etc.; Iron mines and bounty.
Whilst the declaration of William Penn concerning the Three Lower Counties was thus being renewed, a petition was presented to the King by the Earl of Sutherland for a grant of those lands on Delaware Bay in lieu of a large sum of money said to be due to him since the Revolution. He declared himself ready to prove the right of the Crown to these Three Lower Counties, and, in referring his petition to the consideration of the Council of Trade, Stanhope mentioned that the King was favourably inclined to his Lordship's request (434, 434 i.). The Law Officers of the Crown were consulted (434 ii., 514). As soon as it was known that this petition had been lodged, the Representatives of the Three Lower Counties protested strongly in an address to the Lt.-Governor against being separated from Penn's proprietary jurisdiction, with whose interests their own were identified (620, 620 i., 621). A similar protest came, through Joshua Gee, from the Naval Stores Company of Bristol, which had recently purchased of Penn 3,120 acres in the county of Kent for the purpose of raising hemp. Encouraged by the bounties offered by recent acts, this Quaker Company had already expended a considerable sum on that project. Gee explained that whilst the inhabitants were contented with the present administration, they would be well satisfied also if the surrender of the Government to the Crown were completed, "knowing the tender regard H.M. has for all his subjects immediately under the Crown, of which Barbados and the other islands are testimonies." But if a new Proprietor were introduced, it would "frighten away great part of the present inhabitants, who came there purely to enjoy liberty of conscience under a Governor of their own persuasion." He mentioned the great quantities of iron mines there, and the hope of encouragement from the Government for the erection of iron works (505, 552, 552 i.).
Virginia. Passage across the Blue Ridge discovered.; Spotswood and the Indian Company Act.; Education of Indian children.; Spotswood on intercourse with Indians.
In May, 1716, Lt.-Governor Spotswood announced that a passage had been discovered through the mountains, "which have always been looked upon as unpassable" (146). It is this exploration of the Blue Ridge which marks Spotswood as the pioneer in the Westward movement. It was a necessary step in the development of his policy of defence, and of pushing a trade with the Indians beyond, as a countermove to the French advance from the North-west. This policy was bound up with the Virginian Indian Company which he had sponsored. At the beginning of this period he was able to report that the most considerable nation of the Tributary Indians was settling on the frontier about the fort he had built at Christanna, which was to be maintained by the Indian Company, and where all the Indian trade of the Colony was to be concentrated and carried on by it. The Indians were being encouraged to permit their children to be educated in the Christian religion, for which purpose Spotswood had provided a schoolmaster at his own expense, who had already had one hundred Indian children under his tuition (45). In reply, the Council of Trade commended his care for the education of the Indian children, but expressed their dissent from his policy of keeping the Friend Indians away from the British settlements. For they knew "by experience that the French living amongst the Indians and intermarrying with them has been one great reason of the Canadian and Eastern Indians adhering so steadily to the interest of the French." They commended him for the aid he had rendered to South Carolina, but reprimanded him for the tone of his Speech to the Assembly, as being calculated to cause exasperation, even supposing it were merited (186). Spotswood's reply is enlightening. He painted in dark colours the treatment meted out to the Indians by the settlers on the frontier (cf. § 1), and insisted on the advantage of regulating intercourse between them. This advantage had already been demonstrated. For, apart from establishing control over the supply of arms and ammunition to the Indians, it had caused a cessation of Indian outrages on the frontier settlements. As to intermarriage, he knew of no instance of it, and drew the correct inference that the racial instinct of the British was against it (146, 522).
Objections to act for better regulating the Indian trade.; Hearing at the Board.; Indian Trade act. Repeal.; Additional Instruction for suspensory clause in acts affecting British trade and shipping.
Objections to this act for the better regulating the Indian Trade. were, of course, entered by the traders in England and Virginia whose hands were tied by it (143, 179, 179 ii., 242, 258, 413, 533). Spirited replies to them were made by Spotswood and the Council (146, 146 i., 166, 206, 241, 522, 530, 530 i., 540). The arguments of both sides were fully discussed before the Commissioners of Trade in July, 1716, who decided to leave the act probationary whilst awaiting a further reply from Spotswood (v. Journal, 10th July). But in forwarding to him the papers on the subject, the Board censured the Lt.-Governor for not having followed his instructions and having passed an act of this kind without a suspensory clause until H.M. pleasure should be known (318). After further representations from the merchants, the Act was referred to the Law Officers in the following Spring. The Solicitor-General reported that it was contrary to law in several particulars, and that the chief part of it, which excluded persons not of the Company from trading, was contrary to several Acts of Parliament which preserved the right of British subjects to trade to the Plantations. The Act was accordingly repealed. But in recommending this course, the Board of Trade admitted the necessity of regulating the Indian trade. They therefore proposed that the Governor should be instructed to submit the question to the Assembly, and also to recommend that the Indian Company should be reimbursed for such expenses as they should appear to have been at for the public benefit (559, 610, 625, 687, cf. Journal, 10th May, 1717, etc.). They also proposed, on the occasion of reporting upon this act and that for preventing frauds in tobacco payments, that in view of several acts having been passed by Governors "that have either restrained the trade or laid burthens upon the shipping of British subjects, which do immediately take place and are in force before your Majesty's pleasure is known," that an additional Instruction should be prepared for all Governors "that they do not pass any Act which may any ways affect the trade or shipping of this Kingdom, without a clause declaring that the said acts shall not be in force until they be approved and confirmed by your Majesty" (625). This Instruction was approved by the King in Council, July 31, 1717 (687).
Act for preventing frauds in tobacco payments.
Very careful consideration was given to the Act for preventing frauds in tobacco payments. Opposition to it was strong. It was objected that the quality of tobacco exported had not been improved by it, as had been promised, and that it gave excessive powers to the Governor (179 i., 533, 660 i., and Journal, May 8 and 15). The Solicitor-General reported adversely upon it. For it introduced innovations of so striking a character that, according to the Governor's Instructions, it ought not to have been passed by him without first consulting the Home Government, or without a suspensory clause. The Council of Trade concurred, and the act was repealed (559, 603, 606, 610, 625, 687).
Acts transscribed for printing.; Act concerning foreign debts.
The body of Laws, which had been transcribed, was now sent home to be printed (165, 452 i., 559, 603, 606). Attention was then called to an act passed in 1663 concerning foreign debts. It was represented that its purport was to bar creditors in Great Britain from recovering debts due to them from emigrants, unless they had brought to the Colony property equivalent to the value of such debts. The act was described as notoriously unjust, unfair to Great Britain and infamous to Virginia, and it was stated that it had recently been pleaded "in bar of very just actions" (140–142, 534).
Accounts of quit-rents and revenue.; The Opposition.
Spotswood pursued his policy of reform in the collection of quit-rents and the keeping of accounts so as to control returns. He found that in the Offices of the Deputy Auditor and Receiver General no detailed accounts of receipts were kept, and therefore it was impossible for the Council and Assembly to audit the revenue. There was no satisfactory account of escheats, fines, forfeitures or sales of Crown lands. Spotswood therefore gladly took advantage of orders from the Council of Trade for a statement of the revenue and the laying of accounts before the Assembly, and called for a report from the Deputy Auditor and Receiver-General. These innovations increased the hostility of Philip Ludwell, the Deputy Auditor, who was one of the leaders of the political opposition. This party, "which set up as patriots"—an interesting anticipation of a future nomenclature—and whose stock in trade was opposition to the Lt.-Governor, accused him of stretching the prerogative of the Crown in the matter of the new act for enforcing payment of quit-rents. "They envy His Majesty the profits of his own revenues" Spotswood declares, "and look upon all persons not born in the country as foreigners, and seem to allow no jurisdiction but what is established by laws of their own making." There were, added Spotswood, "few persons of figure" in this party. But it is an interesting indication of the growth of a significant political sentiment among the native born (171).
Suspension of Philip Ludwell.
Spotswood suspended Ludwell from his office of Deputy Auditor for fraud and mismanagement of the Revenue, and would have liked to suspend him from the Council too, for his malignant opposition. But the new Instruction, by which a majority of the Council was required for the suspension of a Councillor, rendered such a step impossible. For as there were no fewer than seven of Ludwell's relatives in the Council, it was hopeless to expect to get a majority to consent to his suspension or that of any of his kindred. Spotswood protested against this transference of power to the Council (171, 171 i.–iv., vi.–xi., 240, 545, 550, 590, 590 i., ii., 646, 662).
Council's claim to be sole judges.
This preponderance of Councillors who were members of one influential family of planters figured in Spotswood's dispute with the Council over their claim to be sole judges in cases of Oyer and Terminer. He explained that when there were so many members of the Council who were related, it was essential that he should have the power of nominating judges from outside the Council. Otherwise, when a case arose in which a member of the family was concerned and Councillors related had, in accordance with the law, to retire from the Bench, it would be impossible to hold a Court. The Council of Trade agreed with him and referred the point to the Attorney-General. The Assembly, however, associated themselves with the contention of the Councillors, who represented Spotswood's appointment of special Commissioners to sit with them as an endeavour to reduce the judicial powers of the Council, and appointed William Byrd as Agent to present their case. Spotswood maintained that his action was strictly in accordance with the act of 1710, and also with the Instruction which empowered Governors to establish Courts (186, 240, 522, 522 i., 550).
Councillors acting in different capacities.
The Council of Trade did not appreciate Spotswood's objection to the claim put forward by Councillors that they were entitled to take different views when acting in their legislative and advisory capacities. But they asked for further explanation (186, 522).
Complaints against Spotswood. His replies.
A report upon Spotswood's enterprises, written from Carolina in a grudging and parochial spirit, admits that he is "a very politick and ingenious gentleman" (243). But his reforms and forward policy, combined with his outspoken and contemptuous criticism of the Assembly naturally created enemies (522, 550). Grievances were submitted by anonymous complainants (36 i., 136). His reply was trenchant and sufficient, and was accompanied by complimentary addresses from the Grand Jury (452, 452 i., ix.).
Punishment of negroes.
One of the grounds of opposition to Spotswood was his attitude towards the brutal punishment of slaves. He had countenanced "the prosecution of a woman for whipping her slave to death," although it was urged in her defence, that as the law stood, she was not liable. Spotswood answered that however unpopular the doctrine might be, he would stand by his charge to the Grand Jury that slaves were subjects of the King and their owners must be called to account if they killed them. He further quoted his 116th Instruction, directing him to endeavour to get a law passed enacting that the wilful killing of Indians and negroes should be punished with death (452, 452 i., iv.–vi.). The humane attitude of the Governor in this matter was in harmony with his policy of educating the Indians at Christanna and instructing them in Christianity and lends weight to his observation as to the cause of Indian outrages and hostilities quoted above (Nos. 146, 522 and p. xx. supra).
The increase and depredations of pirates off the Capes led Spotswood to ask for an additional guardship from the Admiralty (240, 527), and also to despatch a sloop to the Bahamas, whose fortunes have been referred to (§1).
The questions of the boundary with N. Carolina and the payment of aid by S. Carolina are mentioned above (p. xxiii.).
A smaller Seal required.
One suggestion made by Spotswood was that the new seal should be smaller, and so more suited to the needs of the country, for "many things pass under the present seal, scarcely smaller than the Great Seal of England, for a fee of 20s., which hardly pays for the wax" (165).
§ 3 THE WEST INDIES.
Pirates in the Bahamas.
We have seen that the Bahamas, left derelict by the Lords Proprietors, had become a regular nest and rendezvous of pirates (v. § 1), and that they had driven out the acting Governor, Captain Thomas Walker, from Providence, which they had begun to fortify (230, 240, 240 i.–iii., 328, 328 i.–iii., 595, 635, 677, etc.).
Resumption of Charter urged.
At the beginning of 1716, the Committee of the Privy Council reported their concurrence with the recommendation of the Council of Trade that the Charter of the Lords Proprietors should be resumed to the Crown. They also proposed that Roger Mostyn, whose appointment as Governor was approved by the Crown, should receive a commission and instructions from the King, and be ordered to proceed at once to this Government (7, 58, 87). An Order of Council was issued to this effect. The Council of Trade at once pointed out that this decision did not cover the ground of their Representation which had been referred to that Committee. They had proposed a scheme for settling and fortifying Providence, and they insisted that unless provision were made for fortifying and garrisoning it, no settlement could be made, and that it was useless to hurry a Governor thither. Nor was it easy to see how a Commission and Instructions could be prepared for the Governor of a place wherein were only a dozen scattered families. They evidently perceived that this appointment of a Governor was merely a device of the Lords Proprietors to maintain their rights in the Charter. They asked for a decision (108), and maintained the same note when required to report the best method of dislodging the pirates (408, 408 i.–iii., 587); and took every opportunity of reiterating the derelict state of the Islands, the importance of their situation, and the danger of allowing them to fall into the hands of foreigners or pirates (331, 418, 453, 596, 671 i.).
Lord Carteret on surrender of government.; Captain Woodes Rogers' proposals.; A favourable report.
At length in May, 1717, Lord Carteret, at an interview with the Council of Trade, expressed himself as willing to surrender the government of the Bahamas as the Proprietors of New Jersey had done, whilst retaining their rights to the quit-rents and the soil. He mentioned that several proposals had been submitted to the Lords Proprietors for re-settling the islands, but none had hitherto been deemed practicable (v. Journal, 31st May, 1717). Shortly afterwards the proposals of Captain Woodes Rogers were referred by the Secretary of State for the consideration of the Board, together with several petitions from merchants of Bristol and other traders urging the necessity of securing the islands. Woodes Rogers, that stout sea captain, petitioned the King for a commission as Governor, and the command of a company to be sent as garrison. He explained that the Lords Proprietors were awaiting the interposition of the Crown before concluding the arrangement which he and "some gentlemen concerned with me" had submitted to them. The proposal of his company was to finance an expedition with the object of dislodging the pirates and re-settling the Bahamas, in return for the rights in the soil, or of a lease for their lands and royalties for twenty-one years (657, 657 i.–vii.). The Council of Trade reported favourably upon this proposal and upon the qualifications of Capt. Woodes Rogers. His scheme, they held, would be "not only of great advantage to the public, but also to the Lords Proprietors" (671, 671 i.).
Barbados and Sta.Lucia.; The Colleton case.
The history of Barbados was uneventful, save for pirates (473, 661 and § 1), and the report of an intended settlement by the French on Sta. Lucia, which was included in that government (568, 637). The long standing case of the Colletons, a private matter except that it involved the question of a councillor sitting in his own case, was argued before the Board, and at last brought to a settlement, when the objection to John Colleton's appointment to the Council was withdrawn (131 i., 147, 151, 152, 233, 234, 238, 255, 539, and Journal 16th June, 1716).
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction.; Character of the Commissary.
One subject of controversy, however, had arisen over the attempt by the Commissary to erect an Ecclesiastical Court. The Governor, Robert Lowther, refused to recognise the Bishop of London's commission to his Commissary, Mr. Gordon, on the grounds that it was "very extensive," until he knew what powers had been granted to the Bishop. Strong objection was taken by him and the Assembly to the Ecclesiastical Court which Gordon was attempting to erect. The Royalist party had always been strong in Barbados. Lowther accused Gordon of being not only a factious incendiary, openly spreading the Jacobite cause, but also of being of low moral character and neglecting his duties as a parish priest for trading enterprises in the Leeward Islands and Martinique, where he was known as the "wandering apostle" and "le marchand spirituel." Two other clergymen, whom the Bishop of London had recommended for benefices, Lowther describes also as "monstrous Tories" and "only fit to officiate in the Pretender's Chapel" (573, 573 i., ii.).
In marked contrast to Cromwellian days, only one prisoner from Preston was "Barbadosed" (310 vi.), though the recent act to oblige planters to keep a certain proportion of white servants showed that the need of increasing the white population was recognised. Possibly it may have been thought impolitic to add to the numbers of the Royalists, concerning whom the Board of Trade warned the Governor that his vigilance could not be too great (572).
Census and returns.
A census of the inhabitants in 1715, and lists of christenings, burials, and causes tried or depending are indicated (276, 661 i.–xiv.).
The 4½ percent. duty.
An account of the 4½ p.c. duty, and a report concerning it, were given in connection with a demand for stores of war from the Leeward Islands (341 i., 424), whilst its effect upon competition with foreign sugar was referred to by Mr. Cumings as a reason for taxing the latter when imported to the American continent (297).
Bermuda. Charge against Lt.-Governor.
An unfounded charge of screening an act of piracy was brought against the Lt.-Governor and Council of Bermuda, and being found to be engineered by Bennett's enemies, was withdrawn (247 i., 280, 306, 672). Bennett also protested against the charge that Bermuda men were concerned with the Jamaican privateers in the matter of the Spanish galleons (300, 677). The fortifications were reported to have been damaged by a hurricane (300).
Act for breaking an entail.
The careful report of the Solicitor-General upon a private act for permitting the sale of some lands to pay the debts of a tenant in tail is typical of the care with which such acts were considered. As there was no procedure by fines and recoveries in the Plantations, and such permission was not repugnant to the laws of Great Britain, it was thought reasonable to leave the decision to the direction of the Assembly, which was best able to examine the facts and rights of such a case (49, 104, 566, 574, 581, 684. See also § 1, Pirates).
Jamaica.; The Assembly continues its campaign against Governor, Council and Regiment. Address not transmitted through Governor.; Report by Council of Trade.
This was an eventful period in the history of Jamaica. A great deal of time was spent by the Council of Trade and Plantations on the consideration of its affairs. Whilst thanking the new Board for the passing of the two acts which had been intended to inaugurate a period of conciliation (39), the Assembly gave no sign of wavering in their campaign against the Governor and Council and the retention of the two companies of solidiers (v. C.S.P. 1715, pp. xxxvii.–xli.). When their Address was brought to Mr. Secretary Stanhope by Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Francis March, and Richard Harris, the question of their right to present an Address to the King through their Agents, without awaiting the co-operation of the Governor and Council, and without requesting the Governor to transmit it, was referred to the Council of Trade. In their report the Board quoted the precedent of 1702 and 1705, when the Commissioners for Trade had held that such procedure was only permissible when the Address contained complaints against Governors, or when they refused to transmit or represent what was desired (48, cf. Journal, 8th February, 1716). In this case no such complaint had yet been made, and the Governor appeared to have followed his Instructions very strictly. The Board were therefore of opinion that such a method of presenting Addresses ought to be discountenanced. They took the opportunity of observing that not only the Assembly of Jamaica, but also those of other Colonies were "pretending to assume new privileges and powers, which if not prevented, may lead to the weakening of H.M. prerogative in those parts." They explained the position with regard to the inadequate provision made for the two Companies, and the refusal of the Assembly to pay off the debt to the Governor and Council for the money advanced by them for the subsistence of the soldiers. They recommended that the Governor should be instructed, as he had proposed, to discharge this debt out of H.M. revenue. A warrant to this effect was issued. It also empowered the Governor to supplement the allowance for the soldiers from the same source (27 i., 48, 116). As to the two Independent Companies, the Board insisted on the absolute necessity of retaining them as a protection against rebellious negroes or foreign enemies, at least until there were sufficient white settlers to render the island safe. The Governor had complained of an abuse practised in the elections by Assemblymen, who, by splitting up holdings of land, had multiplied the votes of their supporters. Into this abuse they intended to enquire (27 i., 48). Two months later they reminded the Secretary of State of the urgency of these matters (122), and informed the Governor of the views expressed above (123). At the same time they forwarded, for further information, a protest from the South Sea Company against a duty of 40s. per head said to have been recently imposed on negroes exported from the island, a duty which would be prohibitive in the case of slaves landed for refreshment en route from Africa to the Spanish settlements (50, 67, 67 i., 85, 123).
Memorial and Address in defence of Assembly.
They also forwarded for Lord Archibald's reply a memorial in defence of the proceedings of the Assembly which had been presented to them by Jamaica merchants, assuring him that such complaints would be given no credit until he had been allowed an opportunity of answering (50, 123). The case of the Assembly was further set out in their Address to the King, in which the Governor was accused of Jacobitism, of replacing those who in the Council and civil and military posts were loyal to the present government, and of opening a trade with the French (which he had definite instructions from Ministers to do). Further, the right of the Assembly to adjourn itself was claimed, and it was very disingenuously asserted that they had used their best endeavours to comply with the Royal recommendation to grant a sufficient revenue, and to provide the necessary subsistence for the two Companies, but had been prevented by frequent dissolutions (50, 78, 158 viii., xi., 357 c.). The grievances of the Assembly against Lord Archibald Hamilton, many of them transparently malicious, were summarised under ten heads, and concluded with an appeal to the Crown to interpose (158 xii.). About the same time Mr. Peter Heywood, who had been dismissed from the Council and from his office of Chief Justice with the unanimous consent of the rest of the councillors, was writing to the Secretary of State and calling attention to his own merits (78, 158 xiii.–xv.).
Proceedings of the Assembly.; Assembly dissolved.; Subscriptions for an Agent.
Meanwhile, the attempt to conciliate the Assembly had proved futile (27 i., 78). The contest over the right of the Council to amend money bills, and over the method of granting money and issuing it, was resumed. As the Assembly rejected the Council's amendment to most bills for these reasons, only three were passed. One of these was described by the Governor as little better than a Schism Act. At last, when all business had practically been brought to a standstill, a message from the House throwing aspersions on the Governor's loyalty, roused him to throw it back at the members who brought it and to dissolve the Assembly (78, 203 iii., iv.). Among the bills rejected by the Council was one for raising money for an agent of the Assembly in England. On its rejection, steps were taken in the Assembly for raising subscriptions for that purpose in the country. Funds were presently forwarded to Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Mr. March in London (78, 203, 357 c.).
Fund used for support of the Government.
The revenue was now exhausted, the country was heavily in debt, and the soldiers unprovided for. Lord Archibald had no hope that a new Assembly would prove more amenable than the last. He therefore decided to carry on by taking a sum of £8,000, the surplus of the Additional Duty Act of 1712, out of the hands of a Commissioner appointed by the Assembly, and transferring it to the Receiver-General. This sum, with the unanimous consent of the Council, was to be applied to the most pressing requirements of the Government (78).
The Council's Memorial.
In memorials to the Council of Trade, the Council gave their version of the controversy with the Assembly, as well as their own policy for providing a revenue and increasing the population of the island. They wished to enforce the already existing acts for encouraging the importation of white settlers, and believed that the Additional Duty Bill, as they had amended it, would have provided a sufficient revenue as well as a fund for bringing over and settling emigrants. They asked that prisoners from Preston should be sent to Jamaica, and described their policy as aiming at the encouragement of new settlers and small settlements, and the throwing of the burden of taxation chiefly upon those best able to bear it. The Governor expressed his agreement with their proposals, but confessed that he had little hope that the new Assembly would consent to them (203, 203 i., ii.). Unless they did so, he confessed himself practically at an end of his resources. He would not recommend the "making of laws for them in Britain," as that would be resented by all parties, but suggested that the Governor and Council might be empowered to pass an Additional Duty Act embodying the views of the Council, if the Assembly refused to join in it. He also proposed an increase in the number of Councillors, from twelve to fifteen. He concluded by affirming that the encroachments of the Assembly upon the authority of the Crown and the necessity of measures for providing a revenue and peopling the island called for the immediate intervention of the Crown (203, 357 c.).
Lord A. Hamilton recalled and arrested.
Suddenly the situation underwent a dramatic change. Lord Archibald was dismissed from his government and sent home under arrest. On 19th May, Mr. Secretary Stanhope came down to the Board of Trade, and, laying before them a bundle of complaints against the Governor, directed them to propose a Commission and Instructions for Peter Heywood, the eldest Councillor, to assume the government as Commander in Chief. He, with the Council, was to enquire into piracies alleged to have been perpetrated against the Spaniards by persons commissioned by Lord Archibald, of which complaint had been made to the Spanish Ambassador. He was to send home for trial the principal persons involved, together with their effects and the evidence against them, and also to arrest Lord Archibald, seize his effects and send them over with him, if he should appear to be in any way responsible (158, 158 i.–xv., 175, 175 i., Journal, 19th May, 1716). These instructions were subsequently modified. A precedent for sending a Governor home under arrest had been found in the case of Sir Thomas Modyford in 1671 (158 x.). But it was now explained that only the Governor and those who were guilty of piracies at sea were to be sent home for trial. Accessories on land must be tried upon the place. Nor were any effects to be sent home; they were only to be seized and held in case of conviction (201, 201 i., 283).
The allegations against him.
The complaint made to the Spanish Ambassador was supported by an English naval officer, the Captain of H.M.S. Diamond, some Jamaica merchants, and Samuel Page, whom Lord Archibald had at first refused to accept as Deputy Secretary, and who, at the instigation of the Assembly, had sailed with the funds subscribed by the Assembly in the Diamond without a permit from the Governor. It was to the effect that certain privateers, commissioned by the Governor, had perpetrated gross acts of piracy upon the Spaniards in the gulf of Florida and off Havana, and others by fishing on the wrecks of ships which the Spaniards had not abandoned. Lord Archibald himself was alleged to be part owner of some of these vessels, to have shared in their plunder, and to have refused restitution (158, 158 i.–vii., 604 i.–iii.).
Stay of proceedings requested.; Page and Addington bound to appear.
Lord Archibald's friends were not idle. As soon as they heard of these proceedings, they entered a strong protest at the Board of Trade, complaining that they, planters and merchants of Jamaica now in England, and many of the most considerable gentlemen of that island were not advised with, nor consenting to what had been done. They asked for a stay of proceedings for the further examination of the charges, stating that "the complaints against the Governor were not well founded, but were carried on by persons of small credit in Jamaica." They expressed great nervousness as to what might be done by the new government and urged that, if Lord Archibald must be recalled, his place should be filled at once by a person "of honour, ability, and integrity" (182, 182 i., ii., 203 i., ii., v.). On enquiry, however, the Board was informed by Mr. Stanhope that Mr. Heywood's Commission and Instructions had already gone (Journal, 31st May). Lord Archibald's agent also intervened. He declared that the Governor was entirely innocent of the crimes against the Spaniards, and that the affidavits of Samuel Page and William Addington were "in a great measure groundless and malicious," and therefore asked that they should be required to give securities for their appearance at Lord Archibald's trial. Page had returned to Jamaica, where he complained that he had not been sufficiently rewarded out of the subscriptions raised by the Assembly. After consultation with the Attorney-General, the newly appointed Governor was instructed to cause these witnesses to be examined and to give their recognizances for their appearance at the King's Bench bar, when Lord Archibald should be brought to trial under the act of King William III. (246 i., 282, 283, 377, 395, 403, 403 i., 406 i.). In view of the nature and source of the evidence, it would appear that Stanhope acted with curious precipitancy in taking so strong a measure, without waiting to hear the other side.
Lord Archibald's explanation.
Lord Archibald's explanation of the affair, written within a fortnight of the despatch of Stanhope's hurried instructions for his recall, was simple and apparently straight-forward (203, 357 c.) Ever since the conclusion of peace there had been complaints against Spanish guarda costas and French ships with Spanish commissions, which, under pretence of guarding the coasts of the Spanish settlements, had been attacking British traders. In some cases they had justified their seizures by the presence of Spanish pistoles on board—the current money of the West Indies—and in others they detained them without proof or trial. Lord Archibald's demands for restitution had been everywhere ignored, although he had himself set the example by restoring Spanish goods captured before the cessation of arms was known (27 i., 95, 203, 357 h). Combined with the increase of pirates, this condition of affairs had rendered navigation more dangerous than it had been in times of open warfare. H.M. ships on the station were of little use, as they were not allowed to clean abroad, and were in any case almost useless for chasing "clean, light, and nimble vessels." In these circumstances, the Governor had yielded "to the clamours of the trading people" and had commissioned privateers to cruise against pirates. Unfortunately the wreck of the Spanish galleons in the Gulf of Florida proved too great a temptation to the Jamaica privateersmen. Not only did they go to "fish upon the wrecks" without drawing any nice distinctions as to whether they had been abandoned by the Spaniards or not, but one party, landing on the coast of Florida, attacked a Spanish camp and carried off 120,000 pieces of eight besides wrought silver, which the Spaniards themselves had recovered from the sunken flota. One privateer, the Bennet, " commanded by a tawny Moor called Fernando Fernandez" seized a Spanish sloop, which had formerly belonged to some Jamaica merchants and had been taken by the Spaniards, but never condemned in any Spanish port. This sloop, after first taking out the money and jewels in her, and communicating with the Governor, he sent into Port Royal. There she was condemned with her cargo in the Admiralty Court as having been piratically taken. An appeal was intended, and the Governor stated that he would see justice done. But he omitted to mention that he had one share in the Bennet. The Governor of the Havana sent a representative, one Don Juan del Valle, to demand restitution of all monies and effects taken out of the flota, the punishment of the pirates, and the prohibition of any such enterprise for the future. Lord Archibald agreed that such piracies ought to be punished and restitution made, whilst holding that wrecks left derelict belonged to the first occupant, and he presently issued a Proclamation recalling the privateers and prohibiting fishing or diving on the wrecks. But as to restitutions, he informed the Governor of Havana that they must be reciprocal, and that the Spaniards having been the first aggressors ought to be the first to give satisfaction. In fact, he represented to the Council of Trade, "the buckaneering and seafareing people" were exasperated by the losses they had suffered at the hands of the Spanish guarda costas, and were tempted by the riches of the wrecks to make reprisals. He was afraid that too rigorous prosecutions would drive away the sea-faring population and force them to turn pirates, to the great weakening of the island. Moreover, the temper of the people had been shown recently by two incidents. One one occasion a man condemned to be hanged for robbing a Spanish boat was rescued from the gibbet by a mob at Port Royal. On another a vessel seized by the King's Officers in Port Royal harbour was boarded by armed men and the goods carried away (158 i.–vii., 203, 308, 357 h., 604 i.–iv.).
Reconstruction of the Council.; Object of the Assembly achieved.; Obtain control of the Executive.
Stanhope had no sooner given orders for the Governor's recall, than he began to reconstruct the Council, the majority of which, since its reconstitution, had stood by Lord Archibald in his struggle with the Assembly (164. v. Journal, 23rd May). To the new Council were appointed some of those who had been displaced at Lord Archibald's request, John Blair and Charles Chaplin, and others who had been leaders of the Opposition in the Assembly, Thomas Beckford, James Risby and George Bennet. Thus in spite of a protest on behalf of some of those who were to be dismissed, a new Council was constituted containing an equal number of partisans of either side (104, 169, 175 i., 178). The Assembly had thus achieved their object. They had obtained the recall of the Governor, and in his place was installed a Lt.-Governor who was a strong supporter of their policy, a native of the island, and practically their nominee. The Council was so nicely balanced as to be almost neutralised, but with a Lt.-Governor thus inclined and the partisans of the late Governor thus discouraged, it might be expected in practice to be on their side. The control of the Executive was, for the time at least, in their hands, Heywood, however, was warned in his Instructions that he was not, in his temporary capacity as Governor, to pass any acts except such as were immediately necessary for the peace and welfare of the island, without particular orders (163 i.). The Council of Trade took the opportunity of urging him to a conciliatory policy with a view to the safety and welfare of the island and provision of subsistence of the troops, assuring him at the same time of their "readiness to second whatever might be offered by the gentlemen of Jamaica, that may promote their true interest and H.M. service" (187).
The enquiry into Lord Archibald's conduct.; His defence.
On receipt of his Instructions, Peter Heywood, according to his meagre account, sat daily with the Council to enquire into Lord Archibald's late conduct (308). But instead of examining him and sending him home under arrest with the witnesses against him, in case he was found guilty of being concerned in the piracies, they refused to communicate to him a copy of the charge against him, so that there could be no proper examination or cross-examination of witnesses. They arrested him under a warrant which did not specify the cause of commitment, and sent him home post haste without any witnesses for the prosecution (cf. Minutes of Council of Jamaica, and B.T. Journal, 2nd October, 1717). Heywood explained that there were only two individuals, Thomas Bendysh, part owner of the Bennet, and Jonathan Barnet, one of the privatersmen, whom they thought fit to send home to give evidence, and that they were both unable to leave the island on account of writs out against them for debts (387). Whilst the Council was deliberating whether they should be justified in arresting the Governor, the Chief Justice and Attorney-General made oath to the following facts, which, they declared, in their opinion were sufficient proof that he was not concerned in the piracy. It was admitted that Lord Archibald had a share in the Bennet privateer. But, learning that the Commander, Fernandez, had exceeded his commission and instructions by seizing Spanish goods, and before complaint against that ship had been lodged by Don Juan del Valle, he had consulted the Chief Justice and Attorney-General. It was decided, that, in order to secure as many as possible of the effects taken from the Spaniards and return them to the owners, he should "temporize with Bendysh," and himself receive his own share. This he had done and deposited it in the hands of the Provost Marshall, to await H.M. orders. By an Order in Council of 9th June, Bendysh, who had brought in the Governor's share of the capture, had been required to give security for the return of such part of the Spanish effects as had come into his hands. As for Don Juan del Valle, the Governor had consulted with him as to the desirability of prosecuting the privateersmen complained of, and this the former had declined, lest such procedure and issue of a proclamation at that moment might deter others, then at sea, from returning to Jamaica. The Governor had gone out of his way to further the appeal in the case of the Nuestra Senora de Bethlehem, although it was not made in proper form, so anxious was he to do justice to the Spaniards (203, 357 h). All this evidence was ignored, and by a majority of one, the Council decided to arrest Lord Archibald. It was suggested that their proceedings exposed the whole manœuvre, which was to get rid of the Governor and to screen from prosecution or restitution all those concerned in the many privateers. Heywood, at any rate, made no further reference to the affair, but began at once to echo Lord Archibald's complaints of the seizure of Jamaican vessels by the French and Spaniards, and to demand reparation therefor (308, 308 i.–iv., 339, 339 i., ii., 409, 409 i.). And, as Lord Archibald had foretold, enquiries into the further misbehaviour of the privateers, and the arrest of a few principals and accessories in the case of a French ship taken in the Bay of Hondo, occasioned a general stampede of the seafaring population, who feared prosecution (308, 308 i.–iv., 359 i., 411, 411 i.). They increased the swarm of pirates who were infesting those seas, and some of whose brutalities are described. The guardships were incapable of dealing with them, and, if arrested, the Commander in Chief had no commission for trying them (352, 352 i., 411, 411 i.). The Council of Trade represented the necessity of dealing promptly with this dangerous situation (518, cf. §1 Pirates).
The Council and Assembly.
Heywood at once found himself in difficulties with the Council. The question of the subsistence of the two companies was acute, and the soldiers were pressing for payment and clothing long overdue. This "standing army," of which the Assembly was so anxious to be rid, was now reduced to 61 men (339 iii., 411, 519). The majority of the Council voted that they should be subsisted out of the Treasury, as had recently been done. The minority, with Heywood, considered that as there was no law to sanction this, it should not be done, but that an Assembly should be called, which, they thought would deal with the situation. On the expediency of calling an Assembly the Council was equally divided. Such were the first fruits of appointing a nicely balanced Council, intended to represent both parties in the island. Those who had supported Lord Archibald, continued to support the policy for which they had voted under him, whilst the remainder voted with Heywood (308, 359 i.). But the Treasury was empty. Heywood therefore determined to summon an Assembly. In the meantime he was obliged, as Lord Archibald Hamilton had been obliged, to subsist the soldiers out of his own pocket. The new Assembly he described as good (352). He did nothing to disturb their equanimity. Ignoring his instructions, he informed them that he would pass what bills they liked. He was, in fact merely their instrument. The Assembly promptly brought in all the bills which had been rejected during the existence of the last Assembly, including one which had already been annulled by the Crown (451 e). Lord Archibald's party continued their opposition to bills which encroached upon the Governor's powers. Their opposition was strenuous but vain. For Heywood was prepared to do the Assembly's bidding, and the Assembly would accept no amendments by the Council to their money bills. The opposition in the Council had by this time been reduced to two. For William Broderick, the Attorney-General, had gone home with the Governor, and Peake and Mumby were dead. Francis Rose and Thomas Bernard, the Chief Justice, remained. The latter the Assembly addressed the Commander in Chief to remove, on account of his having opposed the summoning of a new Assembly. They further requested the removal of Anthony Swymmer from the Bench, as being of "too loose and atheistical principles," and hinted at the removal of the opposing Councillors (387, 387 i.). They also proceeded to punish the Deputy-Receiver, who, in obedience to an order of the Governor and Council, had received from the Commissioner appointed to collect the Additional Duty of 1712, the money arising therefrom, and had issued it for the payment of the soldiers' subsistence and the exigencies of the Government. By a clause in their new Additional Duty Act, they now required him to make good this sum and pay it over again to their Commissioner. The Council of Trade represented that this was a great injustice, and offered that orders should be sent to stop proceedings against the Receiver on that account (387, 446, 446 i., 450, 451). The Assembly then reduced its claim on the ReceiverGeneral to the amount issued by him for the subsistence of the soldiers (659, 659 i.). Yet to Heywood they repaid the money advanced by him for that purpose, and repaid it with interest at generous rate (652 i.). The principle involved was precisely the same as that in the case of the money advanced by Lord Archibald Hamilton and his Council, which they had so long refused to refund (48, 50, 158 xi. a). In a petition on behalf of Lord Archibald it was asked that the newly appointed Governor should be instructed to recommend to the Assembly the discharge of this debt. An order to this effect was made (378 i., 415). Later, on the appointment of another Governor, Lord Archibald renewed this petition, with a request that he should be allowed ordinary interest, seeing that the Assembly had allowed Mr. Heywood "his principall with an extraordinary interest" (652, 652 i.).
Thomas Pitt appointed Governor. His proposals.; Claims of the Assembly.
Thomas Pitt was appointed to succeed Lord Archibald in June (216). Three months later he asked for instructions for remedying the state of danger and disorder in which the island was reported to be (343, 343 i.). On 16th October Mr. Secretary Methuen conferred with the Board of Trade (Journal, 16th October), and discussed a memorandum by Mr. Pitt, in which he enumerated the matters in dispute with the Assembly, and asked for instructions concerning them. He also requested that the Acts of Jamaica which had not yet been confirmed by the Crown should be either confirmed or annulled before his departure (357). As he had attributed the disorders and defenceless condition of the island in large measure to the Assembly's "in a manner assuming the executive part of the Government" (357), he was asked to be more explicit on that point (370). His reply was that the whole drift of their proceedings, to which the late Governor and Council had taken objection, was in this direction, and recapitulated their claims and actions (370, 375).
As to the Acts not yet confirmed, the Council of Trade pointed out that they remained in force until disapproved by the Crown. To await decisions upon them all would delay the Governor's departure to an extent that would be inconsistent with the public service. But they offered to report immediately upon any to which he had objections, or which he thought it would be for the advantage of the island or acceptable to the inhabitants to take with him confirmed (376). Mr. Pitt referred them to the acts mentioned by the Council of Jamaica in their memorial (203 i., ii., 396).
Decisions upon rights and claims of the Assembly.
Upon the points raised by him in relation to the claims and privileges of the Assembly, the Council of Trade submitted a careful record of precedents from the records of the island. These they offered as material for a decision by the King in Council, not presuming to give any opinion of their own in matters which so nearly concerned the prerogative of the Crown and were so essential to the Constitution and Government of that island. They again drew attention to the fact that disputes of the like nature had lately arisen in other Governments in America (435, 435 i.). Four months later (April 12th, 1717), after mature consideration, decisions were made upon the thirteen points raised by Mr. Pitt, and directions were given by Mr. Stanhope for drawing his Instructions in accordance with them (526). The right of the Council to amend money bills was affirmed; that of the Assembly to adjourn without the Governor's leave, except de die in diem, denied. The Receiver-General was appointed by patent under the Great Seal, and the naming of the Receiver by the Assembly was undesirable. Provision of a revenue equal to the expenses of the Government (£6,000), and for the subsistence of the soldiers was to be recommended to the Assembly, who were to be promised that the two companies would be withdrawn as soon as it was deemed safe to do so. Other minor points were dealt with, and the suggestion that the Governor should appoint the Clerk and other officers of the Assembly was over-ruled by precedent (526).
Colonel Lawes appointed in place of Mr. Pitt.
Mr. Pitt, however, did not receive these instructions. For some reason, which does not appear here, he did not go to Jamaica (217). Col. Nicholas Lawes was appointed Governor in his stead (614). The Commissioners of Customs, on being consulted as to their views for the new Instructions, desired that officers of the Customs should be excused from serving in the Militia or upon juries, or any parochial offices, since such services interfered with the execution of their duties (630, 680).
Private Acts. Evidence of negroes.
Two private acts were confirmed, one of considerable interest being to disqualify negroes from giving evidence against the family of John Williams, a free negro who had been converted to Christianity and amassed considerable property in the island (387, 521, 554, 683). This, as the Attorney-General observed, admitted Williams to the same privileges as other freemen, since by the law of Jamaica the evidence of one slave against another who was or had been a slave was admitted, but not against any other (531).
The act for the relief of the inhabitants of Kingston was repealed (648 i., 670, 681, 682).
The island in general was reported to "continue very sickly" (409).
Leeward Islands.; Antigua.; Pirates.; Additional guardships required.; Request for grant of stores of war.; Intervention of the Board of Ordnance.; Council of Trade on the 4½ p.c. duty.
Addresses from the four chief Leeward Islands expressed appreciation of the appointment of Governor Hamilton, who arrived at Antigua in April, 1716 (68, 118 vii.–xv.). There he recommended the Assembly to amend their law for the recovery of debts and to take measures for defence, and this, he reports, they set about with great good will (68). But a severe drought, which afflicted all the islands, interfered with the realisation of their good intentions (651). For want of a suitable man of war, and by reason of the numerous and powerful pirate ships which infested these seas, Hamilton found great difficulty in visiting the other islands (68, 68 i., 118, 118 i., 173, 425, 425 i.–iii., v., 466, 484, 568; and see §1, Pirates). The need of a stronger guardship was represented by the Council of Trade, and also the defenceless condition of the islands owing to the want of munitions of war (224, 224 i., 473, 474, 570). The need of a grant of supplies of this nature was repeatedly emphasised by Hamilton, who represented that the heavy taxes borne during the late war and the high prices then ruling for necessaries of life had reduced the capacity of the planters to provide these on their own account (118, 651). The Board of Ordnance, however, interposed. Over £10,000 was due to their office for munitions supplied by them for the Leeward Islands since 1702. Parliament had granted no money to the office for these stores, which were ordered to be paid out of the 4½ p.c. duty. They thought, therefore, that, before a new grant was made, an account of past expenditure of stores should be demanded, and details of what were required, more especially as the request of the Leeward Islands exceeded in proportion those of other Dominions, and the supplies sent appeared to them to have been fully sufficient if due care had been taken of them. To this the Council of Trade replied by reviewing the situation with regard to the 4½ p.c. duty, which in 1702 had been ordered to be devoted to the fortifications and other public uses of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, to which it had originally been appropriated. Since 1702 that duty had amounted to over £78,000, whilst the Leeward Islands had only been supplied with stores of war valued at £15,241 4s. 10d. How the balance had been spent was a question for the Treasury. But as Nevis, St. Christopher, and Montserrat had been plundered by the French and as the account of what stores were wanting and what were remaining was quite explicit, they thought an immediate dispatch of stores was necessary (198, 204 ii.–vii., 274, 341 i., 398 i., 424). The matter was then referred to the Treasury, to whom the Board of Ordnance explained that they had received little more than £9,000 out of the 4½ p.c. for stores of war to the value of £30,000 odd supplied by them to the Leeward Islands and Barbados. They asked to be reimbursed out of the balance of the 4½ p.c. since 1702. They repeated their opinion that the further demand from the Leeward Islands required explanation (433, 475, 475 i.). In answer to this the Council of Trade repeated their former statement (476, 476 i.).
Antigua. Acts.; Agent appointed.
One or two acts of Antigua were confirmed. But the Attorney General entered strong objections to the Act for establishing a Court of King's Bench, etc., as it was drawn, whilst approving the provision that the Court of Chancery should be held before the Governor and Council instead of the Governor alone (368, 384, 422, 688). An important act for prohibiting the importation of foreign sugar, rum, cotton, or molasses was passed in 1716 (261). An act to encourage the importation of Protestant white servants was also passed, and recommended by the Governor as the best and only expedient for increasing the population, which had suffered from the effects of the taxation and invasions of the late war (323, 651), and also from the development of large plantations at the expense of small holders (118). Upon the reiterated recommendation of the Governor, Mr. William Nevine was appointed to act as Agent for the island (323).
Governor's presents and house rent. Sugar and prices.; Nevis.; The case of the Hostages at Martinique.
The Assembly settled £1,000 a year upon the Governor for his house rent. This sum was in excess of the sum allowed by his Instructions. But it was pointed out that it was £1,000 current money, and current money was sugar. When realised in London, it would produce little more than £400. House rents were very dear, and prices had risen to such an extent that the Governor's salary of £2,000 was less than the £1,200 from which it had been raised a few years ago. Moreover, neither Nevis nor Montserrat had ever contributed to the Governor's house rent, and St. Kitts only once. Nor could they now do so, as Assemblies had been already held by each of them since his arrival, and they were therefore precluded from voting him any present. In these circumstances, the Council proposed that Hamilton should be permitted to receive the house rent voted to him, but that the act should not be confirmed by the Crown, so that, if any ill results appeared, it would still be feasible to annul it. They also expressed the view that some alteration in the Instructions regulating the Governor's house rent was desirable (120, 483, 532). In Nevis, an act for fortifying Saddle Hill was passed. This and an act for a return of negroes were confirmed (66 ii., 365, 373, 417). A request was made for an engineer and munitions of war (66 ii.). The case of the hostages, who were detained at Martinique against the payment of the ransom demanded by Iberville in 1706, was raised again, in the hope of relief through the Commissaries to be appointed under the Treaty of Utrecht. It was again pleaded that the Capitulation was extorted by force, and that the terms of it had been broken by the French. The condition of the two hostages who had refused to make their escape from Martinique was pitiable, and the sum claimed by Iberville was ruinous (66 iii.,–xv.). They refuted the suggestion that they had neglected to provide for the maintenance of the hostages (66 iii., iv.). The addresses and petitions from Nevis were submitted to the Advocate-General for reconsideration of his opinion of August 2, 1715 (82). Sir Nathaniel Lloyd advised the Board to await the report of the Commissaries (91).
St. Christopher. Brimstone Hill.
In St. Kitts, an act was passed and subsequently confirmed, for acquiring Brimstone Hill with a view to fortifying it (555, 622, 622 i., 628, 689).
The disposal of the former French lands.; Col. Douglass' offer.
There was some correspondence over the question of the ownership of plantations and the confirmation of grants of returned French Protestant planters on the former French quarter of the island (173 etc.). The amount of workable land available for distribution was estimated by the Surveyor at 15,000 acres (68). Col. Douglass now came forward with a proposal to purchase 10,000 acres for £16,000, the remainder, after allowing for the grants to French refugees and salt pans, to be assigned gratis to the poor settlers. On this offer being referred to the Council of Trade, they reported, that, whilst they could not deal with its merits until directions were given as to the disposal of the lands, they now thought that, instead of appointing Commissaries for arranging the sale of them, as they had previously suggested, it would be more to the advantage of the Crown to put them up for sale in England, since their value was now better known. They presently repeated their opinion as to the urgency of settling the matter, both from the point of view of the Treasury and of peopling the island (225, 225 i., 251, 265, 320 i.).
Resolution of the House of Commons.
The House of Commons then passed a resolution for the sale of the lands yielded by France, and the Treasury invited the Council of Trade to give them all the information on the subject in their possession (653, 665; and see § 1, Relations with French; Governors' flags).
In response to the enquiries of the Board of Trade, which were repeated in June, 1716 (213), Hamilton explained that he was unable to visit the Virgin Islands for lack of a man of war, but he sent in the reports from the Lt.-Governors of Anguilla and Spanish Town (68, 118, 118 iv.–vii., 350 i.–iii.). The soil of Anguilla was said to be exhausted, and the inhabitants, suffering from the drought, were anxious to remove to Sta. Cruz. They were petitioning for grants of land there. Spanish Town, Tortola, and Beef Island were sparsely inhabited. Such inhabitants as there were gained a wretched livelihood. Hamilton thought it would be an advantage if they were all removed to St. Kitts and given grants of the former French lands there (118, 350, 425, 651). The Lt.-Governors of Anguilla and Spanish Town received their commissions and instructions from the Governor of the Leeward Islands, but had no salaries, and it was not easy to find anyone suitable for the office (213, 350). Later, Hamilton reported that some settlers had left the Leeward Islands for Tortola, but he repeated his view that Captain Walton had exaggerated the richness of this group (425, 651).
Captain Walton's petition.
The Council of Trade had meanwhile reported favourably upon Capt. Walton's petition, recommending that he should accompany the ship appointed to visit the Virgin Islands, and that he should be granted an allowance for his present undertaking and some recompense for his past services (153). This matter was then referred to the Treasury (334). In May, 1717, Captain Candler of H.M.S. Winchelsea sent in the result of his survey of the Virgin Islands. It agreed with the opinion of Governor Hamilton, and emphasised that they were a nest of pirates and likely to remain so, and that it would not be worth while for the Government to go to any expense on their account (425, 425 ii.–iv., 639 i.).
Danish claim to St. John and Crab Island.
These activities in the Virgin Islands roused the apprehension of the Danes, who claimed for their West India Company not only St. Thomas (of which Capt. Candler gave an uncomplimentary description as inhabited by "rogues and pirates"), but also Crab Island and St. John, which they announced their intention to settle. They asked that instructions should be sent forbidding the interference threatened by the English (562, 562 i., ii., 639 i.).
Newfoundland.; New Act proposed.; Report by the Council of Trade.; Commodore's Instructions.; Increase of sailings.
The enquiries of the Council of Trade (C.S.P. 1715, p. xlvi.) elicited several complaints from the out-ports interested in the Newfoundland fishery. The New Englanders and the inhabitants were debauching the fishermen with rum, and the former inticing them away to the Continent. Total prohibition of the sale of liquor and tobacco was demanded. Alien ships were trading with Newfoundland and using the fishery. Lt.-Governor Moody by taking part in the fishery and permitting the French to share in trade, and engrossing the French plantations at Placentia, was preventing the development of the fishery there. It was suggested that the Military should be forbidden to take any part in trade or the fishery. Also that the observance of the Sabbath, which was at present "as it were an universall day of drunkeness and debauchery," should be inculcated by ministers supported from home, and enforced by corporal punishment. Infringements of the act to encourage the trade to Newfoundland were noted (3, 4, 15, 24, 25, 439 i.). Captain Taverner, in his report, confirmed these observations, and added that trading by the French and their encroachments at St. Peters were preventing the expected development of the newly acquired Fishery (44 ii.). It had been recognised that some penalties must be provided for infringements of the above Act. The Attorney-General gave his opinion that a new act would be necessary for this purpose, and that a Proclamation would not suffice (15, 25, 29). Capt. Taverner submitted a draft for a new act (44 iii.) From the information thus acquired, the Council of Trade compiled a long and careful report (70 i.), describing the abuses in the fishery, and proposing a new law laying penalties and directing where and how they were to be recovered. They further proposed that the Commodore and Fishing Admirals should make a survey and record of the rights and ownership of the various cook-rooms, stages, and beaches, which had been the source of many disputes. To fill the gap when, in the winter and in the absence of the Commodore and Fishing Admirals, there was "a sort of respite from all observance of law or government," they recommended that two judges should be appointed for each of the principal harbours, and that they should be elected by the inhabitants before the departure of the fishing fleet. These magistrates were to hold a Court once a month, and appeals were to lie from their decision to the Commodore of the ensuing season. To counter the tactics of the New Englanders, who debauched the fishermen with their rum, and of the British traders who, sailing direct from Europe to the fishery, took advantage of the inhabitants' need of salt for their fish to oblige them to buy one butt of wine and a quarter cask of brandy with every ten hogsheads of salt, they proposed that no wine or brandy (except from Madeira, etc.), no tobacco, and no rum, except from the West Indies, should be allowed to be imported into Newfoundland except from Great Britain. Sellers of alcoholic liquor were to be licensed. To prevent enticing away of seamen, it was proposed that masters of New England ships should be compelled to enter into bonds not to sail with more than their complement. Masters were to be obliged by penalty and a bond to carry their full complement of sailors and "green" men according to law. The revival of the system of paying wages by shares in the fishery was recommended. The French ought to be stopped bringing their fishing tackle and goods to St. Peters and Placentia annually from France, and also from leaving their boats at Petit Nore, and the inhabitants of Cape Breton and French Indians from hunting and furring at Cape Ray. The military must be prohibited from concerning themselves in the fishery. These regulations, with penalties for infringements, to be embodied in a new act (70 i.). In the meantime the Commodore of the Convoys of the Fishing Fleets in 1716 and 1717 received additional Instructions for putting several of these suggestions into practice (183 i., 558 ii.). A petition from Bideford for further protection from pirates for the fishing ships, revealed a gratifying increase in the sailings for the fishery in 1717 (479, 480).
Reports by the Commodore.; Garrison and fortifications at Placentia.; Report by the Comptrollers of the accounts of the Army.
A report by the Commodore for 1716 gave returns of the fishery and repeated the need of reforms (402 i., ii.). The value of Isle of May as a source of salt for the fishery was emphasised, and its need of protection by a man of war (69, 69 i.). Mr. Secretary Stanhope wrote to Lt.-Governor Moody rebuking him for the confusion of the accounts and lack of muster rolls of the garrison in May, 1716 (184). But this was no relief to the unfortunate soldiers who remained in the most deplorable condition for lack of provisions, clothes, and pay (351, 366, 538, 538 i.). Charges were brought against Moody of trading and profiteering in their supplies (560). He applied for leave to return and answer them (538, 538 i., 676). As a reduction of the garrison had been contemplated, the Council of Trade suggested that the surplus of men should be sent to strengthen the garrison on the frontiers of New York. Estimates were submitted for the construction of a new fort instead of repairing the old fortification at much greater expense (100, 100 i.–iii., 102). It was not until the end of July, 1717, that the Comptrollers of the accounts of the Army announced that they had ordered the dispatch of clothing and provisions. At the same time they recommended the recall of Moody to answer the charges against him and state the accounts. Whilst approving the proposals of the Board of Ordnance for reducing the garrison and building a new and small fort, the Comptrollers gave their views upon the residents of Newfoundland, to whom they attributed the greater part of the responsibility for the disorders in the fishery. They recommended the removal of "these miserable bankrupts," who could not be brought to order by any regulations, in order that there might be no inducements for any merchants but those who were "truly intent upon the Fishery" (676).
Case of M. Tulon.; Report by the Council of Trade.
The case of one M. Tulon caused much controversy. This Frenchman, having taken the oaths of allegiance and bought a plantation in Newfoundland, brought a ship and supplies from St. Malo, acting for the original French owner of the plantation in question. Some Fishing Admirals, who objected to the competition of the French with their own cargoes of salt, prohibited his landing, and appealed to Lt.-Governor Moody, who interposed on behalf of His Majesty's new subjects and the fishermen who needed supplies (44 ii., 46, 47 i.–iii., 76, 439 i., ii., 468 v.). On his next voyage, some fish caught by Tulon and his French servants, was seized by the Fishing Admirals and shipped in a Guernsey vessel, with instructions to the master to render an account of their proceedings to the Privy Council. On his arrival at Bilboa, however, the master was thrown into prison, and the fish seized at the instance of a French merchant representing Tulon. Stanhope ordered a very strong representation to be made to the Court of Madrid upon this "violence and injustice of the Biscayners" in a thing "they have no right to meddle with" (439, 439 i.–ix., 468, 468 i., ii., 492–494, 502). The Attorney-General gave his opinion that if Tulon was qualified as a British subject, his fishing with the aid of foreign servants was no infringement of the act (481 i., 491, 491 i.–xi.). But the Council of Trade repeated their opinion that the employment of foreign fishermen, and fishing with tackle brought from foreign countries ought to be prohibited. Tulon was not a naturalised British subject and therefore, according to the Attorney-General, had no right to fish at Newfoundland. The bringing of servants, tackle, and goods from France, and such action as that of the Bilboans must be firmly discouraged. But since Tulon had taken the oath of allegiance, he might be entitled to some consideration. These ends would best be served by remitting the value of the fish to Tulon, after it had first been returned to the Crown (551).
Words and phrases.
One or two words and phrases are worth noting. The pirates' Daudorus (Deuchandorus), or farewell greeting, to a small boy who wished to leave them, took the form of a good whipping (p. 212). Two "maroon periaguas" are mentioned (411 i.). Colonel Rhett, abusing the Lt.-Governor of S. Carolina, called him a "Lurkenburg dog" (268 h.).
The most important representations printed in this volume are those on Naval Stores (515 i.), and Newfoundland (70 i.).