BHO

America and West Indies: March 1718, 16-31

Pages 215-227

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 30, 1717-1718. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1930.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Citation:

March 1718, 16-31

March 16.
St. James's.
445. Order of King in Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their opinion thereupon. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th June, 1718. 1 p. Enclosed,
445. i. Petition of inhabitants and traders of New Jersey to the King. Pray to be heard before the Order in Council confirming the Act of New Jersey allowing the affirmation of Quakers etc. be issued. (v. Feb. 13). The Act is repugnant to the laws of this Realm, contrary to the Governor's Instructions, and tends to the great damage of petitioners. It was sent up for H.M. approbation by the Council of Trade without first hearing objections to it etc. Set out, N.J. Archives, 1st Ser. iv., 341, 342. Signed, Chris. Billope, Saml. Mulford, Cha. Huddy, Saml. Bustill, Thos. Clarke, Peter Hambly, J. Barkstead, Charles Lodwick, Jo. Lloyd, Joseph Lowe, Joseph Paice, Moses Levy. Copy. 3½ pp.
445. ii. Notes on signatories of preceding. Billop, of Staten Island; Mulford, of Long Island; Huddy, his father was of the Jerseys, he was Lt. in the Companies at N. York, but lives here; Tho. Clarke, was here very lately, a very young lad; Hambly, a hatter who lives here; Lodwick, a factor here for some N. York merchts.; Lloyd, of Long Island; Levy, a Jew here. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 971. Nos. 73, 73 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 995. p. 439.]
March 17.
Whitehall.
446. Mr. Secretary Craggs to Governor Sir Nicholas Lawes. Mr. Addison having humbly represented to the King, that the bad state of his health, will not permit him to attend the business of his Office, as Secretary of State, H.M. has been pleased to honour me with the Seals, and has assigned to my care the affairs of the Southern Province. I take the first opportunity of giving you notice thereof, that you may for the future address to me, whatever shall occurr to you for H.M. service. I have at present only to add, that I shall very readily embrace all occasions of shewing you how much I am etc. Signed, J. Craggs.
Similar letters were sent to all Governors of Plantations. [C.O. 324, 33. pp. 162, 163.]
March 17. 447. Peter Heywood, C. in C. of Jamaica, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to Feb. 7th. Concludes:— A considerable no. of the pyrates have come in and surrendred upon H.M. proclamation and more they assure me will as they find opportunities of vessels. H.M.S. Diamond is upon our coast being return'd from La Vera Crux. Signed, Peter Heywood. Endorsed, Recd., Read 22nd May, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 8; and 138, 16. p. 113.]
[March 18.] 448. Richard Lightfoot to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Intending to go in a short time for Barbadoes, where the has a considerable estate, prays to be appointed to the Council there. Recommendations by the Duke of Newcastle and Bishop of Salisbury. Signed, T. Holles Newcastle, W. Sarum. Endorsed, Recd., Read 18th March, 1717/18. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 32.]
March 18.
Kingston in Jamaica.
449. Mr. Hoy to Mr. Delafay. I wrote about Xmas under cover to my sister Hoy who I hope has attended you with it, and others to Ltd. Derby etc. Continues:— I am conscious to myself Mr. Congreve has much more merit, and a more extensive interest than myself, wch. makes me justly fear, least the proposalls in my last, to my only remaining and most honoured patron, may have wanted effect. This was not really in my thoughts, at that time, and I do syncerely ask Mr. Congreve's pardon; tho if an equivalent could have been thought on for him, I flatter myself this Island would have been satisfyed in the change, wth. respect to a Deputy he has here not very agreeable to them, and who I believe has given him some trouble, etc.
P.S. Please to put my sister's into the penny-post: and having perused 'em forward both to Ld. Derby. Signed, (?) J. Hoy. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 46. No. 31.]
March 19.
Whitehall.
450. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lieut. Governor Keith. We have received your letters of 24th Sepr. and 25th Novr. last and thank you for them. We agree with you in opinion that there ought to be a much higher duty laid in all the British Plantations upon the importation of all commodities of foreign Plantations, than is or may be laid on any commodities, which are of the growth or product of this Kingdom, and the Dominions thereunto belonging so as to encourage as much as possible ye commodities of our own Plantations, preferably to those of all foreign Plantations. We have not had any proposals offer'd to us relating to iron ore, since the receipt of your letters. But last year having had that matter under consideration we represented to H.M., that iron ore is to be found in great plenty and very good, in all the Provinces on the Continent and recommended a prœmium might be allow'd by Parliament to encourage ye importation of iron from the Plantations. Mr. Gee and several other merchants apply'd this year to Parliament for obtaining a prœmium upon the importation of iron from the Plantations, but nothing was done in it however it may perhaps be obtained next year, and you may be assured that we shall give all proper encouragement towards it. We send you here inclosed the copy of a Memorial lately laid before us concerning the progress the French have made in finding out and securing a passage from St. Lawrence or Canada River to their new settlemt. called Louisiana and down ye River Missisipi in the Bay of Mexico; whereupon we must desire you to inform yourself as particularly as you can of the facts therein mentioned to acquaint us therewith as soon as possible and give us your sentiments, what methods may be most proper to be taken for preventing the inconveniencies to which H.M. Plantations on the continent of America and the trade of this Kingdom may be subject by such a communication between the French settlements. Instructions for an account of imports from the Maderas and Western Islands in same terms as No. 408. We are obliged to you for the accot. you have sent us of your transactions with the Indians, and shall be glad of hearing from you as often as you can. [C.O. 5, 1293. pp. 138–141.]
March 19.
Whitehall.
451. Mr. Popple to Sir E. Northey, late Attorney General. Asks for opinions on references already made, and return of other papers etc. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 268, 269.]
March 20.
Custom House, London.
452. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. Encloses following to be laid before the Council of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Cha. Carkess Endorsed, Recd. 22nd, Read 25th March, 1718. Addressed. ¾ p. Enclosed,
452. i. Extract of letter from Col. William Rhett, Surveyor of Customs in Carolina, to the Commissioners of Customs. South Carolina, 31st Dec., 1717. An Act is lately passed by the Assembly and ratifyed about a week since that lays a duty 10 p.c. upon all manner of goods of the Brittish Manufactory imported into this Province from Great Brittain, which I take to be of a dangerous consequence etc. There is not less than £150,000 imported from Great Brittain yearly to this Collony and cheifly woolen manufactory, but such a duty will undoubtedly prevent that quantity of goods being imported for the future and greatly discourage our Brittish merchts. Your Honrs. are too well apprised of the mischeifs that must necessaryly follow if the Collonys are allow'd to make laws that tends so much to the prejudice of the Brittish trade, and the lessening H.M. Revenues, and not only discourage the fair trader, but will undoubtedly putt the illegal traders upon supplying these parts with all manner of forreign goods from Holland, Portugall etc. and if the clandestine traders are under the temptation of running of goods, to save an extravagant custom, they can with as much ease run forn. goods, which they purchase att a far cheaper rate. Soe mischeiveous a law etc. will most certainly putt the inhabitants upon going on a manufactory of their owne which is what they have for some time past aim'd att, and endeavoured to effect and are capable to do, having wool in great plenty. The Assembly have made severall other laws very prejudiciall to trade, and this they do purely, because they will not tax their own estates, to discharge the debts of the Province occasioned by our unhappy Indian war, though to my knowledge they have not raised more than one or two years taxes for this 24 years past, but by laying prodigious duties upon the importation of all sorts of goods in this Collony, has by those methods exempted themselves from paying taxes and has throwne the whole charges and burden upon trade and Brittish merchants, wch. deals to these parts, who have and do bear the burden of our Indian war, etc. Signed, Wm. Rhett. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. Nos. 94, 94 i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 1293. p. 141.]
March 20.
Whitehall.
453. Order of Committee of Council. The Committee for hearing appeals, complaints from the Plantations defer the consideration of the petition of Samuel Mulford, until their first meeting in May, Governor Hunter's answer being daily expected. Upon its arrival, the answer is to be transmitted to Mr. Mulford and this Board. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed, Recd., Read 1st April, 1718. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. No. 62; and 5, 1124. pp. 14, 15.]
March 20.
Whitehall.
454. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Hunter. Enclose Order of 13th Feb. confirming two Acts of New Jersey, to be published and entred in the Council Books as usual. [C.O. 5, 995. p. 438.]
March 20/30.
Rio Essequebe, opt Huys naa By.
455. Commander Van der Heyden Rézen to the Directors of the Dutch West India Company. Signed, Pr. Van der Heyden Rézen. Endorsed, Read 23rd June (N.S.), 1718. Dutch. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
455. i. Duplicate of No. 443.
455. ii.–vii. Orders, inventories etc. Dutch. 17 pp. [C.O. 116, 21. Nos. 158, 158 i.–viii.]
March 20.
Virginia.
456. Lt. Governor Spotswood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to recent letters etc. Having just come to the knowledge of a letter sign'd by eight of the Council of this Colony, and delivered at Whitehall by their associate, Mr. Byrd, together with a remonstrance, against the Courts of Oyer and Terminer etc., I find myself under the necessity of giving yor. Lordps. the trouble of this etc. Replies to their arguments that H.M. Commission and Instructions concerning the Judges of those Courts are contrary to the laws, to the Charter and to the constant practice of the Colony etc.; also to their complaint that he misrepresents their case, and their address about the quit-rents etc. v.supra. Continues:— The secret I am to unfold is, that these Gentlemen have been projecting for 10 or 12 years past to procure a sallary of £100 pr. annum to each Councelor, and the King's quitt rentt was the fund they built upon etc. The first step was to get that revenue appropriated to the use of this Government, and then afterwards they might the more easily have it granted to the Council. Now when Mr. Ludwell returned from England in 1714, he gave his brethren of the Council such hopes of success, that they thought their design ripe for execution; and upon trying to engage me to second their measures, Mr. Ludwell opened the affair so far as to tell me that he knew a person in England, who had interest enough at Court to obtain the quitt rents for the service of this countrey, and who would for a bribe of £300 undertake to get that Revenue so settled. Here my Lords, is the key that unlocks all the causes of their late behaviour about the quitt rents: This explains how it comes to pass that I have greatly incurrd their displeasure, since I would not second their Address; and this shews why they would not be contented with my applications (to the Treasury as well as to yor. Lordps. Board) for no more than such a donation as might suffice to clear the present deficiencys in this countrys revenue. And seing I could not convince these Gentlemen, that it was most fitt the Government here, should have a continual dependance on H.M. favour, and that to secure the people's affections to a Prince they never behold, we ought to contrive that they should from time to time become humble suitors for his Royal bounty: since, I say, they would not relish this sort of Policy, but would send over Mr. Byrd, to insist on King Charles's letter, and to get the quitt rents lodged where there should need no application to the Sovereign at home, I cannot but still think that they meant nothing less by their Address, than a surrender of H.M. quitt rents: and I dare answer for every Member of the House of Burgesses, that they will say they made a surrender of the 2s. per hhd., when they past an Act to leave it in the disposal of the Crown, notwithstanding they appropriated that duty to some certain services of Government; Whereas the Assemblys Address to the King did not ask the quitt rents under such limitations; They wanted them to answer all sudden emergencys; That is to say to be disposed of by these Gentlemen whenever they pleased; for they can so serve a turn, feign an emergency, and tell of an Insurrection that is not in being; as may be observed by a parenthesis in their letter, where they informe yor. Lordps. that when they join'd in the Address, they were under some apprehensions of an invasion at that time from the general Insurrection of the Indians against Carolina: whereas the revolt of the Indians did not happen till the year following, and then broke out so unexpectedly, that the English of Carolina were under but few hours apprehensions of mischief before they felt their enemys fury: and if these Gentlemen knew of the heathen design as long before as they pretend, what part may they be said to have acted for their countrey, when they agreed in Assembly to lessen the guard of their frontiers, at the very time they apprehended they might be invaded ? for the same Session of their Address an establishment was made, whereby the 132 men wch. had for the three preceding years been paid as Rangers, were reduced to 41 men for the two succeeding years. The next matter, these Gentlemen are offended at, is the stile of my observations upon the Revenue, wherein I have said that I had obtain'd some laws, and new regulations, which I had proposed to be made for improving H.M. Revenue: This is what I still maintain to be truly set forth etc. It is very hard measure these remonstrants would mete out to me, that while they and their party are endeavouring to blacken me with the people here, as the main contriver and promoter of the land-law, and of all orders of Government for encreasing the Revenue, they at the same time are aiming to discredit me with yor. Lordps. at home, as if I had the least hand in all the measures taken for advancing the King's interests, and as if they had been the chief projectors of whatever good laws or orders have been made for the service of the Crown etc. What follows next in their letter, I have no occasion to answer, untill they will shew me where I have accused them of factious tampering with the last Assembly: and whoever reads the Council's Message to the Burgesses wch. they sent to that House the last day of their Session, must conclude that I could not be capable of making such a Representation against persons who appeared then so heartily to vindicate me, and so fully to justify my conduct with that Assembly. Yet still I don't intend to clear them all from the imputation of tampering; for I cannot but think that one of these Remonstrants acted such a factious part as could never pass for a design to heal differences. Nor can I make any answer to what these Gentlemen lay next to my charge in the general terms of new measures. Refers to Journal of Council etc. But I must not pass by in silence one part of the same paragraph, where they say they have always paid the utmost deference to me etc.: for I am but too sensible their behaviour here, is to lessen me in the eyes of the people: yet all the slights and affronts they can offer, I receive with unconcern, well knowing I am sent hither to keep the people loyal and just, rather than to teach a rude sett of men manners, etc. As to their desire that no Governor may exercise the Prerogative of the Crown contrary to former practice, without express Instructions so to do; This is a very modest request to be made by men who are sworn to assist and defend the King's Prerogative: and if the ancient and legal rights of the Crown, must give place to the later customs of an infant Colony, and especially if the practice and usage which these men would introduce shal be of the greater force, the Princes power and authority must daily lose ground in these parts; and tho they would seem to admitt express Instructions from H.M. to recover it, yet such concession is but to guild over their demand: for they are sensible that they have endless shifts to oppose a Governor, whenever he would put them in execution, and they know that I have been contending here near seven years for a due observance of the 29th Article of the King's Instructions, without having hitherto obtain'd what is therein required under pain of H.M. highest displeasure. And I submitt to yor. Lordps. whether these Gentn. ever designed to assist the Governor in supporting the Prerogative of the Crown, when in passing the General Court Law in 1705 they struck out a clause of the Judge's oath wch. had been approved by yor. Lordps. Board, in these words [you shal not know or suffer any hurt or disherison of the King, but you shal make known the same to the Governor etc.]. Thus they are dispensed with, from advising the Governor in any case where the legal rights of the Crown come to interfere with the pretended usages of the country; and unless a Governor is present on the Bench and finds out of himself that the King's interest is encroached on, he is not to expect and information etc. Their next request to yor. Lordps. for communicating to the party accused a copy of his accusation before it be suffered to make any impression to his prejudice, carrys with it a shew of so much reason, that I shal readily agree with them; if yor. Lordps. think it for H.M. Service, that every misbehaviour of a Councelor or officer, wch. a Governor finds himself obliged to informe yor. Lordps. of, in the course of his correspondence, should be immediatly sent to the party in order to his framing an excuse, and getting a knott of relations in the Council to vindicate him therein, a favour which any man in the Government may readily obtain of them: for it is become a standing rule that whoever is either punished for his crimes, or disappointed of his expectations or has a man of more merit preferred to him in the distribution of the Governors favours, he is presently caressd and adopted one of that party, and may depend on their service purely for his disaffection to the Government. For my own part I could wish that not only all accusations sent to yor. Lordps. Board, but the accusers also were made publick. But tho these Gentlemen are very desirous to have it so, when anything is laid to their charge, yet they dont allow a Governor the same priviledge; for when I required Collo. Ludwell's answer to my charge agt. him as Auditor, he positively denyed it, and to this hour, I know not what it contains, except that by the intimation of some of my friends, I have come to understand it is stuffd with virulent invectives agt. me; and I shal always acknowledge yor. Lordps. great justice that it has hitherto made no impression to my prejudice, etc. etc. Their last request, is indeed extraordinary and calculated meerly for clamour. All the Instructions wch. relate to the Administration have been communicated to them. Refers to Journal of Council, 5th July, 1710. Continues:—I shal only add on this head, that as I have communicated more of my Instructions than any Governor that ever went before me, so I have often left the whole body of them on the Council Table for their inspection if they thought fitt, declaring that H.M. had given me no Instructions that were to be kept a secret. But if these Gentlemen are so very desirous to guide their judgments in Councill and Assembly according to H.M. Instructions, how came it to pass, that in the Assembly of 1714, they would re-enact a temporary law contrary to the express words of an Instruction then lying before them, and the next day declare their opinion in Council, that it was unfitt for me to pass; as if H.M. Instructions were only binding to the Governor and not to the Council. After having answered the material parts of their letter, I humbly submitt to yor. Lordps. whether their conclusion be consistent with the premises sett forth therein? Whether the transmitting to yor. Lordps. such arguments for supporting their pretensions to be the sole Judges in pleas of the Crown, as were never insisted on, or mentioned here, could be with a sincere design to keep up a good understanding between the Governor and Council ? And whether their taxing me with subverting the fundamental Constitution of the Government, misrepresenting the Council to yor. Lordps. Board, arrogating to myself the sole praise of what belonged in a greater degree to them, and pressing them into new and inconvenient measures of Governmt. be without the least intent to accuse any person whatsoever ? etc. As a Governor cannot be under a more afflicting circumstance, than to have to do with men who labour indefatigably to blast his reputation etc., so it is still more aggravating when attempted in a clandestine manner etc. I have had a sufficient share of obloquy in anonymous letters sent to yor. Lordps. Board, and to other persons of honour with whom it was most necessary to blacken my character in order to accomplish the design of a party who by their success in removing former Governors are so far encouraged that they are resolved no one ever shal sitt easy here, that doth not entirely submitt to their dictates, and resign his duty, his reason and his honour to be governed by their maxims and interests. This is the case at present in Virginia, and is like to continue so, unless yor. Lordps. put a stop to the growing power of a party, to whom not any one particular Governor but Government itself is equally disagreable. Signed, A. Spotswood. Endorsed, Recd. 28th July, Read 6th Aug., 1718. 18 pp. Enclosed,
456. i. Copy of Minutes of Council of Virginia, 12th March, 1717 (18). Same endorsement. Copy. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1318. Nos. 48, 48 i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 1365. pp. 82–117.]
March 20. 457. Wm. Wood to Mr. Popple. Presses for a report upon the petition of John Beswick etc. Signed, Wm. Wood. Endorsed, Recd. 20th, Read 25th March, 1718. Postmark. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 1.]
March 21. 458. Mr. Dummer to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, Jer. Dummer. Endorsed, Recd., Read 21st March, 1717/18. l p. Enclosed,
458. i. Petition of Jeremiah Dummer, Agent for the Massachusett's Bay, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Whereas several persons have petition'd H.M. for a grant of all the lands lying between the rivers of Kennebek and St. Croix to the Eastward of New England; and whereas it has been pleaded in behalfe of H.M. Province aforesd. that the sd. lands are already granted to the sd. Province, petitioner humbly proposes a division of these lands in the manner following: That the land from Kennebeck to ye River of Penobscot shall be annext both as to soil and Government to the Province of the Massachusetts Bay; and that the remainder of the land, vizt. the land between Penobscot and St. Croix be given back to the Crown to dispose of it as H.M. shall think fit. And accordingly your Petitioner does in the name and behalfe of the sd. Province by vertue of particular instructions agree to this division. Signed, Jer. Dummer. ¾ p.
458. ii. Copy of Minutes of Council and Assembly of New Hampshire, Oct. 12, 1717. £20 sterl. voted for Agency to forward the resolution of a grievance against Mr. Bridger to be laid before H.M. (v. No. 428). 1 p. [C.O. 5, 866. Nos. 143, 143 i., ii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 915. p. 105.]
March 22. 459. Sir E. Northey to they Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to 10th March. Quotes Charter of Carolina and lease and release to Sir R. Montgomery (v. 8th and 9th June, 1717), and continues:— I do not see anything in the said lease and release that may be prejudicial to the right of the Crown, if H.M. shall think fit to approve of a Govr. for life which is all that is desired of H.M.: But I am very doubtful whether the power of Governmt. granted to the Proprietors of Carolina for the Governmt. thereof can be divided, as proposed by the release, much less, whether the present Lords Proprietors alone can exempt the new intended Province from being lyable to the present laws of South Carolina, which were made for the whole Province and whether the erecting new Proprietary Governments will be for the publick benefit is submitted to your Lordships. But if the Proprietors will surrender their powers of Government to H.M. in the places intended to be erected into a new Province (which I think most proper) reserving to themselves the property of the lands there, they may lease the same on such terms, as they think fit, and H.M. may create a new Government on such terms as he shall think proper. And I do not observe if this new Province shall enact laws, that any provision is made for their being subject to the approbation of H.M., his heirs and successours. The reasons given by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina for settling the land the benefit of H.M. Plantation, if legally made and with proper powers: And therefore if the tract granted be sufficient for a separate Government there may be reason to encourage such settlement. Signed, Edw. Northey. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 4th April, 1718. 5½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 95.]
March 25. 460. Office expences of the Board of Trade, Dec. 25, 1717—March 25, 1718. [C.O. 388, 77. Nos. 41, 43, 45.]
March 26.
Whitehall.
461. Mr. Popple to Sir W. Thompson, Sollicitor-General. Encloses, for his opinion thereon, two Acts of Nevis, 1717, for the good government of negroes and other slaves, and for laying a duty upon French sugars, rum and molosses imported etc. [C.O. 153, 13. p. 269.]
March 27. 462. Stephen Brown to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Objections urged against the Act of Antigua to prevent the increase of Papists etc. (v. Jan. 4th). Signed, Ste. Brown. Endorsed, Recd. 27th March, Read 8th April, 1718. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 73.]
March 27.
Whitehall.
463. Mr. Popple to Mr. Solicitor General. Encloses copy of Col. Rhett's letter, 20th March. Continues:— The Council of Trade and Plantations command me to observe that by ye Charters of Carolina to the Proprietors, to make laws with the assent and approbation of the freemen there inhabiting: provided the said Laws be consonant to reason, and as near as may be conveniently, agreable to the laws and customs of England. Whereupon, I am to desire your opinion whether the laws complain'd of by Col. Rhett come within the meaning of the abovesaid genl. words, so as to be in anyways contrary to the powers granted to the Proprietors by their Charter and what H.M. may do to remedy the inconveniencies of such laws, and prevent the like for the future, etc. [C.O. 5, 1293. p. 142.]
March 27. 464. Governor Phillipps to Mr. Popple. Refers to a letter which he has not received. "I am now better and will not faile to attend the Board," etc. Signed, R. Phillipps. Endorsed, Recd., Read 27th March, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 2. No. 45.]
March 27.
Whitehall.
465. Mr. Popple to Lt. Governor Bennett. Acknowledges letters of 30th July, neither of which require any particular answer. The Council of Trade and Plantations desire you to send them annually an account of the imports from the Maderas and Western Islands and for 3 years past etc. in same terms as to other Governors, v. No. 40s. P.S. Since the signing of this the Board have recd. your letter of 3rd Feb., and have laid before H.M. what you write concerning the coming in of the pirates, upon which their Lordps. will write to you more fully themselves. [C.O. 38, 7. pp. 335, 336.]
March 27.
Whitehall.
466. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. By the enclosed from Mr. Bennett Governor of Bermuda you will perceive the good effect H.M. gracious promise of pardon to the pirates has had, and that the most considerable of them have resolved to lay hold of this oportunity to surrender themselves, which we thought fit to acquaint you of without loss of time. But upon this occasion we must observe to you that as H.M. in his Proclamation dos not actually pardon the pirates that shall surrender themselves, but only promises they shall be pardoned, it will be absolutely necessary that sufficient powers under the Great Seal should be forthwith dispatched to the several Governments of the Plantations, to authorize them to pardon such pirates as shall come in upon ye faith of H.M. Proclamation; upon which subject we did make a representation to the Lords of H.M. Councel on 20th Feb. last, a copy whereof is hereunto annexd. [C.O. 38, 7. pp. 338, 339.]
March 28.
Whitehall.
467. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extract of Lt. Governor Bennett's letter as preceding, for the information of the Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty. [C.O. 38, 7. pp. 339, 340.]
March 28.
Whitehall.
468. Same to Mr. Solicitor-General. The Governors of New York have for many years past granted licences to fish for whales etc.; But a person of that Province having lately refused to take out such a licence, has complained of the present Governor for putting a restriction upon that trade. The Council of Trade and Plantations therefore desire your opinion whether by the Act of the 2nd and 3rd of Edward VI, cap. 6th, or the Act of 25 K.C. II. for the encouragement of the Greenland Trade or by any other Act relating to the Fishery, H.M. subjects may fish for whales at New York without licence. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 12.]
March 28. 469. John Baskett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to yor. Lordships command, I have made the nearest computation of the charge of printing the Plantation Laws; and find it cannot be done for less than five farthings pr. sheet; if yor. Lordpps. will be pleas'd to consider, that what is printed for H.M. service at a peny pr. sheet, are H.M. Speeches, Acts of Parliament, and Proclamations, wch. paper bears but little more than half the price of that, on wch. those laws must be printed etc. Signed, John Baskett. Endorsed, Recd. 28th March, Read 1st April, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 323, 7. No. 126.]
March 28. 470. Stephen Brown to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays for a speedy order for the relief of the Popish inhabitants of Antigua, who now lye under all the disabilitys and hardships expressed in the Act to prevent the increase of Papists and with uttmost impatience expect your Lordspps. determination in this affair etc. (v. March 27, and 4th Jan.) Signed, Ste. Brown. Endorsed, Recd. 28th March, Read 8th April, 1718. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 74.]
March 28.
Whitehall.
471. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Lowther. Acknowledge letter etc. of 20th July. The publick papers enclosed we find to have been kept in good order: But for the future we must desire that in addition to your general accounts of exports and imports, you would add a very particular one of the state of the trade between Barbados and the Maderas and Western Islands; for the reasons mentioned in a circular letter etc. We are very much concerned that H.M. subjects in the West Indies have been so great sufferers by the depredations of the pirates, but all possible care has been used on this side to cure so great an evil, H.M. having been graciously pleased to issue a Proclamation of free pardon to such as shall surrender themselves within the time prefixed, which we understand has had a very good effect, and to dislodge such of them as shall prove obstinate from their old retreat at the Bahama Islands, a regular Government and force is now established there under the care of Captain Rogers who will shortly set out for that place, attended by a competent number of men of war to destroy the remainder of these common enemies to mankind. The Act for trying of pirates in the West Indies has been revived and proper commissions for the execution of it are now passing the seals in order to be sent to the several Govrs. of the Plantations. That for Barbado's may probably accompany this letter. We have considered of what you propose relating to an alteration in the Act for the encouragement of the trade to America, which relates to the impressing of seamen in the West Indies and tho we are convinced by the instances you have given, that great inconvences do attend that law, yet undoubtedly the same were weighed at the passing of that Act, and much clamour would certainly attend any attempt to repeal it. However we have laid an extract of that part of your letter before H.M. Council and when any resolution shall be taken thereupon, we will acquaint you with it. Meantime we must commend your zeal for the publick in having as far as in you laid, obviated the difficulties the service layd under from this Act by fitting out the man of war upon your station to cruise with such success upon the pirates. We observe with much satisfaction from the Minutes of your Council and Assembly the great harmony and good understanding there is between you and H.M. subjects in Barbado's of which the great presents the Assembly have made you for the two last years are convincing proofs, but they are proofs of such a nature as are directly contrary to your Instructions, and therefore we must admonish you not to break in upon H.M. Order in this particular for the future. We have perused the several laws past in your Island since H.M. accession, and our Secry. has directions to send you an account of what has been done upon them etc. [C.O. 29, 13. pp. 454–457.]
March 28. 472. Mr. Solicitor General to Mr. Popple. Has no objection to Acts of Nevis for the good government of negroes and for laying a duty on French sugars etc. Signed, Wm. Thomson. Endorsed, Recd. 28th March, Read 16th May, 1718. ¾ p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 82; and. 153, 13. pp. 293, 294.]
March 29.
Whitehall.
473. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Encloses extract of letter from Governor Lowther (20th July, 1717), to be laid before the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. [C.O. 29, 13. p. 458.]
March 29.
Bermuda.
474. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicate of 16th Feb. Continues:—Only four [more pirates from Providence] have come in. More intended by what they say but were afraid of bringing their effects with them for fear of being seized, and doe declare they will never surrender without the assurance of enjoying what they have gotten, for otherwise say they we have ventured our necks for nothing etc. This notion of the pirates I fear will occasion many of them goeing out again if speedy care be not taken, therefore intreat yr. Lordps.' directions therein. Those that have surrendered to me (being but twenty) brought not their effects with them but left all att Providence, but if liberty be given to bring them hither some will settle here. Pardon me my Lord if any pirates should arrive here in order to surrender and bring their effects with them, I should not directly seize their goods till I received orders soe to doe; presumeing on my construction of H.M. Proclamation that as upon surrender their crimes are remitted, etc., their effects are not seizeable but subject to the King's duties etc. My Lords I am endeavouring all I can to answer with satisfaction yr. Lordps.' duplicates of letters (the originals not comeing to my hands) dated 4th Aug., 1715, and 30th May, 1716, but I meet with soe many difficulties and obstructions occasioned by my predicessour in his time of Govermt., that I must intreat yr. Lordps.' patience, and beg leave to assure that noe care has been wanting in me since I was restored to the Govermt. to put the fortifications and militia in a condition for the defence of the country therefore humbly hope that reflection makes noe impression. Having proceed thus far etc. a sloop arrived from Providence in [which] came eight surrenderers etc., but none brought any effects for fear of seizure etc. They left att Providence the Phenex man of war Capt. Pierce Comander who had been there three weeks, and by his prudent managemt. and conduct had occasioned a great m[an]y of the pirates to surrender upon which he gives them certificates of their soe doeing, they all tell me that there is not above 200 men (I mean pirates) att Providence and Harbour Island who are all very quiet and respectful to Capt. Pierce, and therefore hope will come in etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15th May, 1718. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 37, 10. No. 9; and (abstract) 37, 24. No. 6.]