America and West Indies: May 1718

Pages 242-264

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

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May 1718

May 1.
514. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Quote Col. Rhett, 20th March. Continue:— Althô we do not find the said Law [of Carolina] has hitherto been transmitted to the Lords Proprietors for their approbation, yet considering the ill consequence of such an Act, and that it is of force till repealed, we thought it necessary to have the opinion of your Majesty's Solr. Genl. in relation to the said Act quoted (v. April 5th). Agreeable to this likewise was the opinion of Sir E. Northy and Sir Simn. Harcourt in 1706 quoted. [v. C.S.P. 1706. Nos. 328, 366.] Considering therefore that this Law is in force till it shall be repealed, we most humbly offer, that your Majesty's pleasure be signify'd to the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, that they immediately send over to that Province their disallowance of the same, with directions to their Govr. there never to give his assent to any law of the like nature for the future. [C.O. 5, 1293. pp. 148, 149.]
May 2.
515. Same to Same. We have received a Representation of several Roman Catholick inhabitants of your Majesty's Island of Antegoa against an Act to prevent the increase of Papists and Nonjurors etc. Quote its provisions and effects from 4th Jan. Conclude:— We beg leave to represent to your Majesty that tho' the Assembly might have reason to make an Act to prevent the increase of Papists in that Island, and to lay some restraint on those already setled there, yet we cannot but think it very unjust to banish them all out of the Island as is intended by this Act, without charging them with any crimes, by which they might have deserved such a punishment; And it seems to us that it would have been more proper, only to subject the Papists who were already setled in that Island to such penalties as might effectually prevent their being hurtfull to the Governmt. there, but to leave them the liberty of exercising their trades and enjoying their estates, provided they take the oaths of Allegiance and Abjuration and behave themselves with duty to the Government; And we are the more inclined to be of this opinion by observing in the Minutes of the Council of Antegoa, that the Lieut. Governor of that Island a Gentleman of very good character and of unquestioned zeal for your Majesty's Governmt., as well as another Member of the Council, refused their consent to the passing this Act, and that the whole Council did recommend to the Assembly to insert in it a clause in favour of some particular Roman Catholicks in consideration of their good services to the Island which was not complyed with; Wherefore we are humbly of opinion, that your Majesty may declare your disallowance of the aforesaid Act. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 287–290.]
[May 2.] 516. Merchants trading to New York to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In behalf of themselves and others inhabiting said Province, petition as April 23rd, concerning Act for paying debts etc. Great care was taken by the Assembly not to print the proceedings on the same as usual. The Grand Inquest for the City and County of New York, addressed the Governor by setting forth how prejudicial the passing of the bill would be to the trade and credit of the Province. To their great surprise their Address was laid before the Assembly by the Governour, and the Assembly ordered their Sergeant at armes to take the Grand Jury into custody and bring them to the barr of their House. The Grand Jury was charged with many perticulars read to them by the Speaker, they desired a copy of the same but it was refused them this prosecution was carryed on with a great deal of violence in the Assembly by Lewis Morris Esq. sole Judge of the Supream Court etc. The law is detrimental to the trade of the inhabitants because (i.) most of the sums to be paid are for claims not thought to have sufficient grounds to be brought forward 5 years ago, when Commissioners were appointed for that purpose, or then rejected. (ii.) One third of the moneys to be paid is to the Governour Councill and Assembly couched under the terms of incidents and services etc. (iii.) It will give a handle ever after for designing men to introduce presents to themselves etc. (iv.) It will render the support of the Government very precarious by a further appropriation and anticipation of the Excise which is the most solid part of H.M. Revenue. (v.) It will sink the credit of the Province by issuing bills of credit for such considerable sumes upon a fund already anticipated 21 years by a former Act, merchants being forct to take the same in payment when they are of little worth. (vi.) It will incourage designing men to enter into such measures again and set up new claimes and lay further dutys on trade which they seem inclinable to do. (vii.) The multiplying of paper money prevents the currency of silver and gold for whilst the former is in being the other is kept up so that the traders cannot remitt in gold or silver as usuall, neither is it to be gott under 10 p.c. more than usuall whilst paper money is circulating. (viii.) Part of the paper money to be struck is appropriated for uses in future and part to remain as a stock in the Treasurer's hands, neither of which falls under the title of the Act, part of the latter is intended to run lines between New York and New Jerseys. If so, it is humbly hop'd due care may be taken that no part of New York province be laid to that of the New Jerseys, the merchants of Great Britain preferring the trade of a Collony under the Crown to that under Proprietors, (ix.) and unless due care be taken that H.M. Dominions in the sd. Province be preservd, and that Richmond County and Minnesincks and other places in Orange County, esteemed as part of New York upwards of 50 years, great quitt rents will be lost to the Crown etc. Signed, Charles Lodwick, John Lloyd, and six others. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 6th May, 1718. 4¾ pp. Enclosed,
516. i. Representation of the Grand Jury of the City and County of New York to Governor Hunter. Nov. 29, 1717. Pray H. E. to withhold his consent to the Act for paying debts etc., it being offered upon terms of issuing bills of credit, upon so precarious a fund, which will weaken credit "and be attended with the worst of consequences to this now thriving Colloney, and which has been so destructive to some other of H.M. Plantations" etc. Signed, Stephen De Lancey, Henry Lane, Phillip Cortlandt, William Smith, Barent Reynders, Jos. Robinson, Geo. Emott, John Read, Samll. Provoost, John Moore, Phillip Schuyler, Henry Cuyler, Augustus Jay, John Rolland, William Walton, Robt. Lurting, H. V. D. Spiegel, Robt. Watts.
On 5th Dec. the above were brought to the Bar of the House etc. ut supra. They replied: "Wee are humbly of opinion that the bill being passed this honourable House wee could not more properly apply than to H.E. etc. without the imputation of contempt to the other two parts of the Legislature." Endorsed, Recd. from Mr. Lodwick, 2nd, Read 6th May, 1718. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 67, 68.]
[May 2.] 517. Extract of a letter from the Committee of Correspondence at Barbados to the Agents in England. Arguments in favour of confirmation of the law (1715) impowering licentiate lawyers to practice as barristers etc. v. 18th June. Endorsed, Read 2nd May, 1718. 3½ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 33.]
May 3. 518. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Minutes of Council and Acts of Assembly of New York, "of which one only wants observation that is the act for payments of the remainder of the publick debts of this Province." Continues:—those who on your side clamoured against the last gave for their reasons this amongst the rest that many were left out who had just claims, now that all such are paid I can without the help of the second sight foretell that the same persons will say that now many are paid who ought not to have been so, for in the first place I must inform your Ldships that a great part of the sum given by that act is for the payment of what is due to such persons (or their heirs) as appeared and continued for a considerable time under arms in favour of the happy Revolution here and at Albany for which service til now they never could receive any consideration tho' it was apparent that they zealously underwent that service to their great loss and danger as also by this act all such are paid as had at that time any good arms or ammunition or provisions taken from them for the uses of the several Garrisons, there are also given certain sums for publick uses which were absolutely and immediately requisite such as repairing the Custom house, the Secretary's office, Agent's salary, running the division lines twixt this and the adjacent Provinces, and allowance for the past extraordinay and incidental expences of Govt. for which nothing had been given in any former act, (they must be wrought upon by degrees, he that thinks he can doe everything at once knows little of popular Assemblys) and many more your Lordships will observe in the perusal of the act its self, the Excise by that is continued five years longer as a fund for sinking the bills of credit struck on this occasion or rather as a farther security for their being sunk for it is apparent that the Excise its self in the term for which it is given in the former act with the other funds given in this will goe near to sink these bills without the help of that five years continuation. I have formerly troubled yr. Ldships. about a Commission for trial of pirates that of King William's expireing with the Act upon which it was founded these pirates are still in prison here and since the promulgation of H.M. gracious pardon there are but four of that band come into this Province and as far as we have learned very few to any other. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 25th June, 1718. 3 pp. Enclosed,
518. i. List of 14 Acts passed at New York. Same endorsement. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1051. Nos. 69, 69 i.; and (without enclosure) 5, 1124. pp. 26–28.]
May 3.
New York.
519. Extract of letter from Governor Hunter to Mr. Philips. Describes opposition to Act for paying debts etc. and its provisions. Concludes:—If any mention should be made of my artticle in that Bill; it is really for what is there named; that is, the extraordinary's or incidents of Government, for which there has not been one farthing allowed in their former bills: and every man of them is sensible, that the allowance is much short of the real expence. These bills, however, are now current all over these Provinces; and without a general ruin cannot be damned. Endorsed, Recd. —, 1718, Read 16th Aug., 1720. Copy. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1052. ff. 36, 37.]
May 3.
N. York.
520. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The New Jersey affairs require but little room, in the main all is easy and like to continue so, in spite of the continued endeavours of these restless men who had missled the people, of which they are now sensible. I mett the Assembly, but it being their busy seed time I let them adjourn til the fall etc. They have given me all possible assurances of settling a Revenue for a longer term at their next meeting. Has appointed John Johnston junr. and John Parker Councillors for the Eastern Division, and Peter Tretwell and John Hugg, Quakers both, for the Western, etc. Set out, N.J. Archives, 1st Ser. IV., 363. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 24th, Read 26th June, 1718. 2 pp. Enclosed,
520. i. Message of Governor Hunter to the Assembly of New Jersey, Amboy, 19th April, 1718. Copy. 1¾ pp.
250. ii. Speech of Same to Same. Endorsed as covering letter. Copy. 1 p.
250. iii. Address of Assembly of New Jersey to Governor Hunter. Request for adjournment. It is highly grateful to us that H.M. has expressed himself well pleased with your Excies. administration etc. Copy. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 971. Nos. 74, 74 i.–iii.; and (without enclosures) 5, 995. pp. 442, 443.]
May 3.
Haberdashers Hall.
521. Mr. Marsh to Mr. Popple. Prays for coppy of Minutes of Council of Antigua relateing to the suspension of Mr. Morris etc. Signed, Jo. Marsh. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 6th May, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 80.]
May 3.
522. Governor Sir N. Lawes to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have the honour by this first opertunity since my arrival to acquiant yor. Lordship, that after a very agreeable passage, I had my Commission publish'd on the 26th past at the usual places, which was perform'd with great solemnity, and a general satisfaction appear'd among the inhabitants. Your Lordps. will be sensible, the ceremony and hurry, usual on the like occasions has prevented as yet my near inspection into the civil affairs and circumstances of my Government, in which for the future I shall not be wanting etc. I have had several informations given me of pyrates, who lye lurking in and about the windward passage, and, as the merchants tell me, have lately plunder'd and taken upwards of 30 sail of ships and vessells, trading to and from this Island. I shall not trouble your Lordsps. at this time with any further particulars, but to desire that during our correspondence, your Lordps. will always put the most favourable and candid interpretation upon every thing I shall write to you etc. Signed, Nicholas Lawes. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 22nd July, 1718. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 10; and 138, 16. pp. 117, 118.]
May 4.
523. Memorandum of H.M. Commission to William Sheriff to be Commissary of the Musters of the Garrison at Annapolis Royal. [C.O. 324, 33. p. 181.]
May 5.
Boston in New England.
524. Joseph Willard to Mr. Peopple. Encloses Journal of Assembly and Acts 1717 etc. Concludes: I have been told that paper and other stationary ware is allow'd by the Lords Commissioners to the Secretaries Offices in the Plantations; if it be so, you'll please to send us a supply, and it will be very acceptable. Signed, Josiah Willard. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 9th July, 1718. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 866. No. 170; and 5, 915. pp. 160, 161.]
May 6.
525. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Having received the annex'd copy of a letter (v. No. 423,) from the Agent of Carolina, we thought it proper to lose no time in communicating the same to you, that you might receive H.M. orders thereupon. Upon this occasion we cannot help repeating an advice which has frequently been given by this Board, that the proper methods should be taken for resuming of this and all other Proprietary Governmts. into the hands of H.M., since it is evident they cannot support or protect themselves, and that any misfortune happening to them must in consequence affect the rest of H.M. Dominions on the Continent of America. You will be pleased to observe from the inclosed that the people of Carolina seem to think their enemies are too much encouraged by the Spaniards, and this part of the grievance may possible be redressed upon settling affairs with Spain. We expect very shortly a memorial at large from the Agent of Carolina etc. [C.O. 5, 1293. pp. 150, 151.]
May 6.
St. Christophers.
526. Governor Hamilton to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Begins with duplicate of April 10th. Continues:—Since the foregoing I have received a letter from Capt. Francis Hume Commander of H.M.S. Scarborough etc. Refer to enclosures, by all which your Lordship's will perceive that the Danes persist in going on with theire Setlement upon the Island of St. Johns, which by my ninety ninth Instruction I should obstruct and hinder them from going forward, but as this can not be done but by force, and by my hundred and six't Instruction I am forbid in these express words Provided always that you do not by colour of any power or authority hereby given you commence or declare war without knowledge and particular command's therein, I therefore think it my duty first to informe your Lordship's in order to lay this matter before H.M. that I may receive his Royal command's and your Lordship's directions how far then to proceed. I also sent a letter to the Governour of St. Juan de Porto Rico etc. (v. April 10th), but Capt. Hume not being permitted to com into theire harbour I had no answer and shall waite yor. Lordship's farther direction's etc. Encloses old Seal broken, etc. Signed, W. Hamilton. Endorsed, Recd. 25th, Read 26th June, 1718. Holograph. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
526. i. Capt. Hume to Governor Hamilton. Scarborough. Off the City of St. Juan's de Porto Rico. April 15, 1718. Refers to following. Continues:—This affair of St. Johns gives them no little concern; The truest accounts are that they are building a fort Craul Bay and are mounting 12 guns, they have 8 men and 24 negroes. I have not nor would not converse with any of them since have been there—only with the Governour about this affair, and Mr. Phillips who I found much puzled, they have arrested his effects pretending he was in debt which will appear to the contrary if they go on as they have done for two days last week in settling his accounts by arbitration but as I could not help my sailing with all expedition for this place, I doubt they may return to their old way of delaying etc. Sunday morning I sailed from thence and got before this place yesterday morning. I sent my officer (before I attempted to go in) to desire leave, and a pilott but would not admit him to come on shoar. I sent him a second time with a flag of truce, and they fired at him. To-day Mr. Ottley with his sloop attempted to go in, and admitted himself and boat to come on shoar, conferred with the Governour tendered him my letter which he would not peruse, said he had orders eight days past from the King of Spain to admit of no conference with any English. Signed, Fra. Hume. Copy. 1 p.
526. ii. Capt. Hume to the Governor of St. Thomas. H.M.S. Scarborough at St. Thomas, April 11, 1718. I have delivered you H.E. General Hamilton's letter, and verbally conferred with you this morning etc. You owned and declared it [the settlement by Danes upon St. Johns] was by vertue of an order from his Danish Majesty to yourself etc. I here on behalf of his Brittanick Majesty, and by directions of H.E. General Hamilton, H.M. Captain General and Commander in Chief in and over all the Leeward Carribbee Islands to Windward of Porto Rico to demand in writing why you presume to make a Settlement on any Island to which his Brittanick Majesty has an undoubted title etc. (as No. 494 ii.) Demands answer in writing. Signed, Fra. Hume. Copy. 1 p.
526. iii. M. Bredal, Governor of St. Thomas, to Governor Hamiton. St. Thomas, 23rd April, 1718. You will understand that it would ill become one as a loyal subject of the King of Denmark to abate in any degree the claims of H.M. upon the island of St. Johns, and in such cases it is for me to obey orders etc. To the King I owe my life etc. As to the measures that you will take, I do not think the Danes have deserved to be treated by you, Sir, otherwise than as friends etc. I have no doubt but that the Island of St. Thomas is held by the King of Denmark by virtue of a good title etc. Besides, the legitimate occupation of a deserted island, and peaceable possession of it for so many years evidently justify it. Signed, E. Bredal. French. Copy. 1 p.
526. iv. Same to Same. St. Thomas, 23rd April, 1718. Since the occupation of the Island of St. Johns is authorised by this Majesty of Denmark, as well as founded on good right, I cannot desist, without injuring justice and failing in my duty, which consists in the execution of the orders of my Sovereign etc. Concludes as preceding. Nos. i.–iv. endorsed as covering letter. Copy. ½ p. Signed, E. Bredall.
526. v. Governor Hamilton to Capt. Hume. Antigua. April 5, 1718. Instructions to Capt. Hume for delivery of letters to Governors of St. Thomas and Porto Rico. of. Nos. 494 ii., iii. 1½ pp.
526. vi. Duplicate of No. 494 ii.
526. vii. Duplicate of No. 494 iii. Nos. v.–vii. endorsed as covering letter. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 97, 97 i.–vii.; and (without enclosures) 153, 13. pp. 331–333; and 152, 39. No. 130.]
May 6.
527. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Reply to Dec. 21st and Feb. 12th last. Quote charges against, and defence of Gallantry, alias Tulon, a native of France, as to trading with French goods and fishing at Newfoundland. Quote their Representation of 2nd March, 1716. Continue:— We are still humbly of opinion, since the imployment of foreign fishermen must in a great measure hinder the nursery of our seamen, that your Royal orders to the Govr. of Placentia in Newfoundland, and the Commanders of your Majesty's ships of war attending that service, requiring them not to permit any persons whatsoever to fish there, who are not your Majesty's subjects, or who bring their tackle or utensils for fishing from France, or any other foreign dominions, may effectually reform these abuses. And as it do's not appear that Tulon is naturaliz'd a subject of Great Britain, in which case, according to Mr. Attorney General's opinion, neither Tulon nor any person in his circumstance, has a right to fish at Newfoundland, and the proceedings of Weston and Cleeves, in securing the fish taken by Tulon there, are not only justifyable by Law, but agreeable to their duty; we humbly submit it to your Majesty, how far in consideration, that the said Tulonl, who among others remaining at St. Peters, took the oaths to your Majesty and ingag'd in the Fishery in confidence of her may compassionate his case, in restoring to him the produce of the fish taken by him at St. Peters and sent to Bilboa; But we humbly conceive it to be for your Majesty's service, that a practice be discourag'd so evidently tending to lessen our Trade and Fishery at Newfoundland, and the promoting that of the French, as the bringing thither and imploying French servants, fishing tackle and other goods from France; We therefore humbly offer, that if your Majesty should be graciously inclin'd to shew your Royal favour to the said Tulon, no part of the produce or value of the said fish, remaining or dispos'd of at Bilboa, be remitted to him, till after the whole has been return'd to your Majesty, since we have reason to believe, that nothing less will effectually incourage the fishing Admirals to exert themselves in the performance of their duty according to law, or restrain such unprecedented and partial proceedings of the Biscayneers in seizing the fish at Bilboa. Autograph Signatures. Endorsed, R. 7th May, 1717/18. Read at the Committee. Tulon to remit the produce of the fish to H.M. and then to have it restored to him. Autograph signatures. 5½ pp. [C.O. 194, 23. No. 29.]
May 6.
528. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of H.M. Privy Council. Reply to 23rd April. We have not yet received the Act of New York for paying several debts etc., but have writ to H.M. Governor to transmit it to us by the very first opportunity etc. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 24; and (corrected draft) 5, 1079. No. 102.]
May 7.
529. Same to Governor Hunter. Enclose order in Council and representation of merchants April 9th, May 2nd, "that you may without loss of time cause the said Act to be laid before us together with your observations thereupon." [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 25; and 5, 1079. No. 103.]
May 7. 530. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reports against Act of Antigua to prohibit the importation of French and other foreign sugars etc. Objections in detail. Has no objection to the Act to constutute a Court Merchant. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 9th May, Read 1st July, 1718. 4 pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 99; and 153, 13. pp. 334–337.]
May 8.
531. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Encloses clauses in the Governor of the Leeward Islands' Commission and Instructions relating to the passing of laws, as desired. You need not attend the Board till Wednesday morning, but in the mean time the Council of Trade and Plantations desire your opinion in writing upon the Act of Antigua to prohibit the importation of foreign sugars etc. [C.O. 153, 13. p. 291.]
May 8.
532. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Hamilton. We have had under consideration an Act passed at Antegoa, 1717, to quiet present possessors of lands etc. and have taken the opinion of H.M. Attorney General thereupon (a copy whereof is here inclosed), whereby you will perceive that the said Act as it now stands, is not fit for H.M. Royal approbation; But as it is possible there may be some purchasers under this Act, who might be sufferers, if the same should be immediately repealed on this side, we are willing to give the Assembly an opportunity of passing a new Act or Acts, conformable to the Attorney Genls. opinion; You are therefore immediately upon the receipt of this letter to acquaint the Assembly that if they will at their first meeting repeal the present Act and pass a new Act or Acts in the stead thereof which shall not be liable to the objections made by the Attorney Genl. to the present law and transmitt the same to us by the first ships, we will defer laying this Act before H.M. for his disallowance, till such time as we may reasonably expect a return to this letter. But in case of any neglect, refusal or delay, we shall be obliged to advise H.M. to repeal the present law as derogatory to H.M. right and prerogative. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 291, 292.]
May 9.
533. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose Office accounts from Michaelmas, 1717, to Lady day, 1718. There was at Lady day a quarter's salary due to our Secretary and other officers of this Commission. Accounts annexed. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 152–154.]
May 9.
534. Governor Lowther to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I should not have so long deferred answering your Lordship's letters of the 16th of May, and of the 4th and 11th of October, 1717, had I been able to have transmitted such authentick informations of the state of the publick accountes here as you require; but as your Lordship's are sensible, that such accountes are only to be had from the Committee who are appointed by law to adjust and state 'em; so I hope the copy of the inclosed order will convince your Lordshipes that I've used my best endeavours to procure 'em, and that I shall lay 'em before you, so soon as I receive 'em. The Revenue which properly and immediately belongs to the Crown here, is, first, the duty of 4½ per cent. that's laid on all the country's produce which is exported: and secondly, that which is called the Casual Revenue; both which are managed and collected by particular officers appointed by the Lords Commissioners of H.M. Treasury. I perceive that your Lordship's do conjecture that a great number of acres of land here has been granted by the Crown to the inhabitantes on certain reserved rents: I do assure your Lordship's, I know of no such grantes, and that all the information I can give you touching this matter, is, that King Charles the first granted the propriety of this Island in the 2nd year of his reign to James Earl of Carlisle, and that King Charles the 2nd purchased the sd. propriety in 1661 etc. The grantes that have since been made here, has been only of some waste land next the sea which people have inclosed or built upon for the conveniency of the landing and shipping of goods, and all that hath been reserved on such grantes is only a pepper corn. Your Lordshipes seem to apprehend that if the French at Martinique, Guardeloupe and Hispaniola, and the Dutch at Surinam are deprived of horses etc., that they will erect windmills and consequently make their sugars cheaper than they do at present. There's no question to be made, but that both the French and Dutch will erect windmills so soon as they can get a sufficient stock of silver money or credit to effect it, but I humbly conceive, if a Law was made in England to restrain H.M. subjects from having any trade or commerce with 'em, that they would never be able to get either mony or credit to compass it: for the French could never vend their Europian commondities without such a trade, nor could they produce any considerable quantity of sugar if the King's subjectes did not supply 'em with corn, flour, fish, beefe, in return of which, they receive wine, brandy, sugar and mollosses; and the ballance is very considerably on the French side, so that, this pernitious trade will in all probability inable 'em (in some years) to erect mills, cureing-houses, stillhouses, and all other necessary buildings for the better carrying on the sugar manufacture; now as they do already undersel us, and have so much advantage in the extent and goodness of land, such an improvement upon it, will inable 'em to make so large a quantity of sugar, mollosses, and rum, and to undersel us to so great a degree, that (in a little time) it will be impossible for H.M. subjectes here to continue the making of sugar. The fortifications are not yet quite compleated, but I hope I shall be able in a little time to give your Lordshipes such an account of 'em as will be to your satisfaction. The Honourable Colonel Brome the bearer hereof intending to return hither so soon as His Lady and he have recovered their health: I take the liberty to desire your Lordship's to recommend him to H.M. as a very deserving and fit person to serve in the Council here; there being few Gentlemen belonging to this place that's possessed of a better fortune, that have received a more liberal education, that hath made so good use of it; and none that's more cordially affected to H.M. and His Royal Family, etc. Signed, Rob. Lowther. Endorsed, Recd. 26th June, 1718, Read 30th Sept., 1719. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
534. i. List of publick papers prepared to be sent for Great Brittaine. Endorsed as preceding. 2 pp.
534. ii. Minute of Council of Barbados, 25th April, 1718. The Committee of Public accounts are to settle the public accounts, sitting de die in diem from 15th May. etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 2½ pp. [C.O. 28, 15. Nos. 51, 51 i., ii.; and (without enclosures), 29, 13. pp. 506–512.]
May 9.
Lincolns Inn.
535. William Walker to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Objections to Act of Barbados impowering licentiate lawyers to practice etc. v. 2nd May, 25th June. Concludes:— The Plantations are already unhappy enough, in a scituation so remote from the Fountain of Justice; let them not be yet more so, in estranging them from the Fountain of Knowledge, Knowledge of our Laws, which alone can keep them in inclinations, manners and affections, united with their Mother Country. Signed, Wm. Walker. Endorsed, Recd. 9th May, Read 16th July, 1718. 7 pp. [C.O. 28, 15. No. 35; and 29, 13. pp. 470–478.]
May 13. 536. Joseph Boone to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to former Memorials from South Carolina and encloses following, "signed by the Assembly and 568 other of the inhabitants (which is more then one halfe of the inhabitants)" etc. Prays their "Lordships once more to represent to H.M. the miseries and distresses of H.M. subjects and the certain inevitable ruin that must attend those that continue to remaine there unless H.M. will be graciously pleased to take them into his own imediate protection and care." Signed, Joseph Boone. Endorsed, Recd., Read 13th May, 1718. 1 p. Enclosed,
536. i. Duplicate of No. 423.
536. ii. Address of the Representatives and Inhabitants of South Carolina to the King. Out of the extreme grief we are under to see our country still harassed and our fellow subjects dayly killed and carried away by our savage Indian enemies, are obliged again etc. to lay before your Majesty the estate of this yr. afflicted Colony. Refer to previous Address. Our troubles (instead of coming to a period) dayly encrease upon us and now wee see ourselves reduced to such a dismall extremity that nothing but yr. Majesties royall and most gracious protection (under God) can preserve us from ruin. Our Indians continue comitting so many hostilities and infest our settlemts. and plantations to such a degree that not only those estates which were deserted att the breaking out of the war cannot be resetled but others are likewise dayly thrown up to the mercy of the enemy to the ruin and impoverishmt. of severall numerous families, etc. Notwithstanding all these our miseries the Lords Proprietors instead of using any endeavours for our relief and assistance are pleas'd to term all our endeavours to procure yr. Majesties Royall protection the business of a faction and party. We most humbly assure your Majesty that 'tis so far from anything of that nature that all the inhabitants of this Province (in generall) are not only convinced that no human power but that of yr. Majestie can protect them but earnestly and fervently desire that this once flourishing Province may be added to those already under yr. happy protection, etc. Signed by the Assembly and five [hundred and sixty-eight other of the inhabitants]. Endorsed as preceding. Torn. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1265. Nos. 102, 102 i., ii.]
May 14.
537. Order of King in Council. Repealing Act of Carolina laying a duty of 10 p.c. upon all goods of British manufactory imported into that Province etc. (v. 1st May). The Proprietors and the Assembly are strictly enjoyned and required not to permit the said law or any part of it to be henceforward put in execution, but that they do forthwith declare the same to be null and void to all intents and purposes, as they will answer the contrary; And likewise that the said Proprietors do reprimand their Governour for having given his assent to so illegall an Act; And that they do give strict orders to the Governors of that Province, for the time being, not to pass any law of the like nature, for the future, the same not being consonant to reason but repugnant to the laws of Great Brittain and no ways warranted by the Charter granted to the Proprietors. Signed, Robert Hales. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th June, 1718. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1265. No. 103; and 5, 1293. pp. 152, 153.]
May 15. 538. Mr. Nivine to Mr. Popple. Asks that the hearing of the Act of Antigua against importation of foreign sugar may be postponed, owing to his indisposition etc. Signed, Will. Nivine. Endorsed, Recd., Read 15th May, 1718. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 81; and 153, 13. p. 293.]
May 16.
539. Council of Trade and Plantations to Mr. Secretary Craggs. Having received a letter from Lt. Governor Bennet relating to some doubts that have occurred to the pirates, and which hinder several of them from surrendring upon H.M. Proclamation, we thought fit to transmit an extract thereof to you without loss of time, that you may receive H.M. Orders thereupon, as likewise on a former report of ours to the Lords of the Council of 20th Feb. last, relating to Commissions to be prepared for pardoning of pirates, whereby we may be enabled not only to return an answer to the said Mr. Bennet but also to give the other Governors the necessary directions in cases of the like nature. [C.O. 38, 7. p. 342.]
May 20.
540. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend Act of Nevis for the good government of negroes etc. for H.M. approbation. [C.O. 153, 13. pp. 294, 295.]
[May 20.] 541. Petition of Bernardo de Guardia and Peter Diharce to the Council of Trade and Plantations. With a view to an appeal in the case of the N.S. de Bethlehem·(v. 5th Feb., 1718), pray for copies of papers relating thereto, etc. Signed, Bernardo de Guardia, P. Diharce. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th May, 1718. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 6.]
[May 20.] 542. Copies of papers relating to Capt. Taverner's services.
(a) Mr. Secretary Stanhope to Capt. Taverner, 13th May, 1715. 1 p.
(b) (c) Same to the Lords of the Treasury, 30th May and 22nd Nov., 1715. 1 p.
(d) Certificate by Same that Capt. Taverner returned 8th March, 1716. ¼ p.
(e) (f) Copy of Capt. Taverner's Second report and survey upon Newfoundland, with Capt. Dehaldy's information. 30 pp.
(g) Capt. Taverner's list of French ships at St. Peters, Aug., 1714. 2 pp.
(h) Capt. Taverner's account of Col. Moody's proceedings at Placentia, 1714. 6 pp.
(i) (j) Copies of Col. Moody's Orders and Proclamations, 6th July, 1714. 2½ pp. The whole endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 27th May, 1718. [C.O. 194, 6. Nos. 48, 48 i.–ix.]
May 21.
543. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. In obedience to your Majesty's Order in Council of 2nd March, 1716, we have considered the petition of William Armstrong, and several other officers and soldiers late in the service of the Crown, praying for a tract of land lying between Nova Scotia and the Province of Maine etc., and have been many times attended by the petitioners etc. Quote Solicitor General's opinion, 15th Feb., and the proposal of Mr. Dummer, 21st March, for the surrender of the lands "between Penobscot and the River St. Croix (which last is the boundary of Nova Scotia) to be disposed of as your Majesty shall think fit." Continue:— This last tract of land, we humbly conceive would be spacious enough to contain many hundred families, and might be equally convenient for the petrs. with that particular tract upon which they have fixed their views, and which alone as they alledge can engage them to pursue their project which might probably be of great advantage to the publick. But how far it might be adviseable for your Majty. to enter into any contracts of this nature with the Massachusets Company, or to do anything that may further confirm their claims, we shall not pretend to say, being daily more and more convinced that great inconveniences do arise from the erecting of Proprietary Governmts., who generally are not able to defend their own lands, and thô there be less to object upon this head to the Messachusets Bay, then to some other Propritary Governments, yet we cannot but observe that the people of New England do in many occasions interfere with the trade and benefit that should only accrue to the Mother Kingdom. But if the Petrs. could be induced to settle in any part of Nova Scotia not already granted to any other persons, they might be made very usefull to your Majesty. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 115–118.]
May 23.
Boston in New England.
544. Josiah Willard to Mr. Popple. Refers to previous letter etc. Three days agoe H.E. communicated to the Council H.M. Warrant for using a new Province Seal etc., together with his Instructions relating to the passing of Acts etc. and Orders concerning the Revenue and some intended settlements of the French, which two last H.E. will answer very particularly as soon as the Assembly, who are to meet in a few days, shall rise: He orders me to inform you that in Dec. last he sent home the accounts of the three years exports that were behind. The former Seal was broken in Council; the parts of it I now send you etc. Signed, Josiah Willard. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 22nd July, 1718. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 867. No. 3; and 5, 915. pp. 176, 177.]
May 27. 545. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of Mountserrat, 1705, for quieting possessions and for the better secureing and confirming the titles of land in this Island. By which Act it is enacted that all persons who themselves or whose ancestors had been in the possion of any lands, tenemts. or hereditamts. for the space of ten years before the date of the said Act should be adjudged to be the lawful Proprietors of the said lands as much as if their respective ancestores had been seized thereof by a lawful and indefeizable estate in fee simple. Which Act I conceive to be lyable to these objections. By the said Act the rights of all persons are concluded excepting only infants, femes convert or their barons claiming in their rights, tents, in dower, persons non compos mentis and persons out of the Governmt. of the said Island and such persons who have any title or claim to any estate, which at the time of makeing the said Act is held in fee tail generall or speciall or after possibility of issue extinct for life or years or a tent. at will or sufferance to which severall persons the terme of five years is given by ye said Act to prosecute their respective titles after such time as they shall accrue. So that all persons within ye Governmt. of the said Island who may have any title or claim to any lands etc. other than is beforementioned are imediatly concluded and have no time given them to prosecute their claims. (ii.) By the said Act it is also proposed to confirm to the present possessors of any lands etc. their respective possessions against any claims which might be made upon their lands in behalf of the Crown. Notwithstanding which there is no time fixed in which those persons who serve the King in his Law affaris in that Island should make or trye such legal claims or demands as the Crown may have on any lands in that Island so that the Crown is imediatly barr'd by ye said Act. Whereas on the contrary I am of opinion that the Crown ought not to be put upon the same foot with subjects, but that a longer time ought to have been allotted for the makeing its demands than is given to private persons. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 30th May, Read 11th July, 1718. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 104; and 153, 13. pp. 347–349.]
May 27.
546. Mr. Popple to Mr. Lowndes. In reply to April 24th recounts Capt. Taverner's services. Concludes:—The Council of Trade and Plantations are still of opinion it is necessary the survey [of Newfoundland] should be compleated. They have no objection against Cap. Taverner, etc. [C.O. 195, 6. pp. 394–397.]
[May 27.] 547. Mr. Nivine to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Argues in favour of the Act of Antigua prohibiting the importation of foreign sugars. An effectual restraint of importation is highly necessary in the present condition of that Colony etc. "The said Island did not last year make above one halfe of its usual quantitys of sugars, this year their will hardly be made 1,000 hogsheads, which is about a 15th part of its usual complement and have not any prospect of making much more the next year, and as this has been occasioned by a very great excess of dry weather so the same has produced such a scaricity of ground provissions that they are forced to send off numbers of their negroes to be sold for want of food, and put them in as bad a condition by the loss of a great part of their working cattle"; these misfortunes have been so hard upon the inhabitants of that Island that many of them have deserted it already and numbers of the most considerable planters begin to entertaine thoughts of retreating with their negroes and most valuable effects to the Northern Continent, nor has the low prices of sugars in the markets of Europe affected that Island lightly etc. The inhabitants, especially the planters, are neither in a temper nor condition to grapple with any more discouragements. It is apparent that the continuance of such importation is considered by several other of the Sugar Colonies as well as Antegoa to be noe slight disadvantage to them by the very laws made by them to prevent it for the future, some of which have been already confirmed by H.M. etc. The Council and Assembly of Antegoa are so anxious about the fate of this bill that if the same is rejected in such a manner as to cutt off all hopes of haveing any law confirmed which they shall make for remedying this mischeife it will make impressions upon the minds of that people very capable of produceing fatal consequences to that Colony, especially considering that an Act of Barbado's (amounting to an effectual prohibition of that trade) has already been approved of by H.M. etc. Suggests that if this Act be thought not proper to be approved of by H.M., the repeal of it be suspended till another can be made not liable to the objections urged against it etc. Signed, Will. Nivine. Endorsed, Recd. 27th May, Read 1st July, 1718. 2½ pp. [C.O. 152, 12. No. 100.]
May 28. 548. Don Saura to Lord Stanhope. The favours which your Excy's generosity has conferred upon me emboldens me etc. to acquaint your Excy. the miserable condition of our Island; for the people are so heavy burdened they have not even wherewithal to pay the ordinary expences of H.M. service, yet is there deputed a Sindico to goe to Court, whereas what they have to request might be done in the method General Carpenter our Chief Governor directed to acquaint them of, which would save the vast expense the Deputys journey must come too upon which account they have taken up money, to the very great prejudice of the people, but what is still more sensible, the Sindico is of a faction and kidney I presume your Excy. has been advised, and it's four or five illminded men that have brought this about, converning their wicked designes with the cloak of zeal, and not only for deviding and sowing dissention in the Island, but at Court too, which I have thought it my duty to acquaint your Excy. of, as the Patron of our Island etc. Cittdadela, (fn. 1) May 28, 1718. Signed, Don Juan Miguel Saura. 1 p. [C.O. 253, 1. No. 3.]
May 28.
549. Peter Heywood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Minutes of Council of Jamaica to the close of his administration of the Government. Signed, Peter Heywood. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 23rd Sept., 1718. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 13. No. 14; and 138, 16. pp. 128, 129.]
May 30.
550. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representation upon Governor Philips' Memorial, 21st Feb., etc. The trade to Newfoundland and the Government thereof, so far forth as the same relates to the Fishery, being at present establish'd and regulated by Act of Parliament, it might be of ill consequence to attempt any alteration from the ancient usages practis'd there, without very mature consideration; and in our humble opinion, it wou'd be adviseable to use all proper methods for inducing the present inhabitants of Newfoundland to remove to your Majesty's neighbouring Province of Nova Scotia, as well for the better settlement and strengthening thereof, as for improving the Fishery in those parts. [Minister's note in margin: Let this recommendation be part of ye instruction to Govr. Philips.] The inconveniences in the Newfoundland trade, arising from several ill practices of the inhabitants there, but more particularly from the trade they drive with the people of New England, in prejudice of their Mother Kingdom, is a further reason why all settlements in Newfoundland shou'd be discourag'd; which may in a proper season be worthy your Majesty's animadversion; and as we have the general state of the trade to Newfoundland at present under our consideration, we hope in some time to be able to offer our humble advice more particularly to your Majesty thereupon. The second article of Col. Philips's Memorial, relating to the garrison and fortifications of Placentia, occasion'd our looking back to a Report on this subject from the Board of Ordnance, and to a Representation from Major General Richards, which were formerly considered by this Board; at which time they had the assistance of some of your Majesty's Ministers, who were of opinion with them, "That Newfoundland was a very inconvenient place for building" etc. quoted. [Note by Minister in margin: See ye reports of Board of Ordnance upon this subject, and let it be part of Govr. Philip's instructions to protect ye Offrs. of yt. Board and assist them in the execution of ye schemes wch. shall be pursured for ye fortifications according to yt. report and according to ye summs granted for yt. purpose by Parliamt.] Continue: —These were the former sentiments of the Board upon this subject, nor have we any reason to vary from them; since the Old Fortifications, if repair'd wou'd not be able to make any long defence, and the smaller now propos'd wou'd certainly be sufficient to protect the harbour and fishery from being surpriz'd; and if the few inhabitants now remaining in Newfoundland cou'd be induc'd to remove, it wou'd be less worth the enemies while, upon any rupture to attack the Island. But we think it is highly necessary for ye preservation of ye Fishery, that the Garrison of Placentia should be strictly enjoyned not to concern themselves therein, or to interrupt the fishermen in the curing of their fish upon any pretence whatsoever. [Note by Minister: Let this be a strict article of ye instruction.] Upon discourse with Major General Richards, we are informed that the barracks and magazinces at Plancentia, are so far out of repair, that it is absolutely necessary, immediate care should be taken for converning them, at as reasonable an expence as may be, so as to preserve the men and provisions from the severity of the weather, till such time as the scheme above proposed shall be put in execution. For which purpose Col. Philips, appointed your Majesty's Governor there, should be supply'd with money, workmen and materials from hence. [Note by Minister: Let Col. Philips either receive such a summe as ye board of ordnance shall allot him out of ye Parliamy. provision, or be assistant and protect such as ye board shall employ to this effect.] For our further information in matters relating to the pay, cloathing and provisions of the said Garrison, as well as of the forces at Annapolis Royal, we had recourse to two Representations, which we understood had been made thereupon to your Majesty by the Comptrollers of the Accounts of the Army, 22nd June and 29th July last, whereunto we most humbly take leave to refer, and do concur with the said Comptrollers etc., to which we shall add only that by some letters lately received from Annapolis, we have reason to believe the soldiers there have been so ill-treated, particularly with respect to their cloathing, that unless they have speedy redress therein, they will all desert your Majesty's service. In the 3rd Article of Col. Philips' Memorial, he represents that all the inhabitants of Nova Scotia (except those of the Garrison of Annapolis) are French that remained there after the surrender of that Country, to the number of six or seven thousand, who never took the oath of fidelity to your Majesty: and that when the Lieut. Governor summoned them for that purpose, answered, that they would not do it, till they should see your Majesty's Governmt. in those parts in condition to protect them against the natives of the country, who, they pretend, are very numerous, and entirely devoted to France, and that even in that case the said French inhabitants do likewise insist that they shall not be obliged to take arms upon a rupture either against the subjects of France or against the Indians. We have but too much reason to believe, that this may be the true state of Nova Scotia, and it is with some concern that we reflect how precarious your Majesty's possession may be thereby rendered in a country, that might be made very useful to your Majesty's European Dominions, by its Fishery and Naval Stores: But notwithstanding this, it might be adviseable, at least, till more British inhabitants shall be settled there, and the Indians brought over intirely to your Majesty's interest, that the French should not be treated in the manner they deserve for so undutiful a behaviour. And for the present, it may be sufficient that your Majesty's Governor there, should have a discretionary power to debar the French from those advantages your Majesty's other subjects enjoy, particularly that of the Fishery, till they shall have taken an oath of allegiance: But when he shall find himself in condition to compel them to it, he may then take the proper measures to oblige them either to pay due acknowledgmts. to your Majesty's Govermt., or to quit ye country. In the 4th Article of the Cols'. Memorial, he proposes, that annual presents should be made to the Indians, to engage them in your Majesty's intrest, and to secure the fur trade to your Majesty's subjects there. This, it seems, was the custom of ye French whilst they possest that country, and had a good effect in their favour: But we presume Mr. Phillips will be better able to judge whether it be necessary to continue this custom, after he shall have spent some time in that country, and if he shall then be of opinion, that ye Indians may be thereby effectually brought over to your Majesty's intrest, ye money may be well bestowed. But we humbly conceive it may be necessary to settle the limits between your Majesty's said Province, and the territories of France there, as is desired in the 5th Article of the said Memorial, because we apprehend the French are daily incroaching in those parts from the sides of the River of Canada and from Cape Breton; Wherefore we would propose that a Commissary, subject to the Governor's direction, should be sent thither as soon as possible, to view the boundaries, and make his report thereupon to your Majesty; And in order to prevent effectually any such incroachments for the future, as well as to protect your Majesty's subjects in the fishing trade in those parts, we are humbly of opinion, that the advice offer'd upon this subject to your Majesty by the Comptrollers of the Army, in their report abovemention'd, may be much for your Majesty's service, that if to say, that no more expence shou'd be made in the fortifications of Annapolis Royal, than what shall be thought absolutely necessary for securing the necessary stores and provisions, and for protecting the garrison and inhabitants from surprize; But that a small for shou'd be built for securing the harbour of Annapolis Royal, that one other lesser fort shou'd be erected at Jenny's Streight, the entrance into the British River, going up to Annapolis Royal, and the great Bason, etc. Quote Comptrollers' ReportContinue: —And in addition to these it may likewise be necessary for your Majesty's service, that a fort shou'd be erected at the Gut of Canço, to protect your Majesty's subjects from the incroachments of the French on that side; all which forts may be garrison'd by detachments from Annapolis. In case your Majesty shou'd approve of this proposal, it may be necessary that an Engineer shou'd be sent to view the harbours and coasts, in order to report to your Majesty the most convenient places and means for erecting the said small forts; who may likewise be imploy'd as Commissary to settle the boundaries of Nova Scotia. It will also be for your Majesty's service, that another person well skill'd in Naval Stores, shou'd be appointed to survey the woods and inland country, that your Majesty may have a perfect account, what trees there are proper for timber, masts and making of tar and what land there is proper for raising of hemp. Col. Philips proposes, in the 8th Article of his Memorial, that a small vessel shou'd be appointed to attend the service of the Government there, and that all your Majesty's subjects, who may come to fish there, shou'd have liberty to cure their fish upon the coasts, which we conceive to be highly reasonable, such a vessel being necessary for carrying orders, and keeping a communication with the several forts and settlements in his Government. And we humbly offer for the better advancement of the Fishery, that in all grants to be made of land, in your Majesty's said Province, a reservation be made of a certain space of ground from high water mark, to be kept free for any of your Mejesty's subjects to erect stages and other necessary conveniences for managing and cruing of their fish. But we beg leave to lay before your Majesty, the necessity and consequence of giving all possible encouragement to such persons as shall be inclin'd to settle in this Province, for which purpose it may be proper, that Col. Philips shou'd have a Commission under the Great Seal, and all the same powers and Instructions for his conduct there, more particularly relating to the disposal of lands, with other Governors of your Majesty's Plantations, so far as the same may be practicable in so young a Colony, wch. we are persuaded may be render'd very useful to Great Britain, tho', we have reason to believe, the French do at present, notwithstanding their cession of that country, continue to reap much greater advantages from thence than your Majesty's own subjects. Autograph signatures. Endorsed, R. 10th June, 1718. 12 pp. Enclosed,
550. i. Copy of Col. Philip's Memorial. [C.O. 194, 23. Nos. 30, 30 i.; and (without enclusure), 218, 1. pp. 362–375.]
May 31.
551. Lt. Governor Bennett to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats part of letter of 29th March, etc. Continues:—Since that, I understand [the pirates at Providence] have altered their treatment and sent threatningly to the Capt. [of H.M.S. Phœnix], whose ship lay att anchor in the harbour, to be gone, or it should be worse for him, soe that I conclude all have surrendred that intends, and the inclosed affidts. demonstrates several again are gone out on the account and proves more cruel than formerly: I fear they will soon multiply for to many are willing to joyn with them when taken, and with submission if some speedy care by not used to suppress them the trade into and out of the West Indies will greatly suffer, besides the miserable consequences of their inhumanities: As for the circumstance of the inhabitants of this country, we are much worse than any other place, for our general way of begining voyages is to goe to the Bahama Islands or Turks Islands for a load of salt, which many of the pirates well know, and consequently when they want a sloop or provision can tell where to meet Bermudeans: and before H.M. Proclamation to encourage them to come in and surrender, they often sent me word by masters of vessels they had taken, that if a pardon did not come out very soon they were resolved to attack this Island and make a new Madagascar of it, and now they give out, that when the men of war cruses upon them amongst the Bahama Island, they will joyn all the forces they can and come and take this country: and before those pirate vessels that went lately out from Providence there were several others att sea (vizt.) one Tatch with whom is Major Bonnett of Barbados in a ship of 36 guns and 300 men, also in company with them a sloop of 12 guns and 115 men, and two other ships, in all which, it is computed there are 700 men or thereabt., one Coudon in a sloop of 12 guns, 6 pattireroes, 12 brass bases and 130 men, a French ship of 30 guns and 350 men most of that Nation, a French sloop of 6 guns and 40 men, one Vaine in a sloop of 6 guns and 60 men, and several others may be out that I have not been inform'd off, but if what is known should joyn together they will be much superior to what force we can make to oppose them, as yor. Lordps. may be pleased to see by the account of the number of inhabitants I lately transmitted, and one third of them att least must always be supposed to be att sea, for without employing our navigation we must starve, this country not produceing sufficient for a quarter part of the people that lives in it, and as for the negro men they are grown soe very impudent and insulting of late that we have reason to suspect their riseing, soe that we can have noe dependence on their assistance but to the contrary on occasion should fear their joyning with the pirates. What I would humbly propose to put this country (in all opinion) under a circumstance of security both agt. the pirates, and negroes, would be, to make up the complemt. of the Independent Company now here to 100 men, 4 serjts., 4 corporals, and two drumrs.; also that another company consisting of the like number with officers be sent over, both the additional men and the other company to be young fellows and breed to handycraft trades, which would be a great benifit and advantage to the Island in general: Also with submission it would be absolutely necessary that one fourth rate man of war or two fifth rates be ordered here, the pirates haveing frequently made, some few leagues to the westward of us their cruseing ground. As for the number of Militia we have, they are (as I have heard many say) as good as any in the West Indies, and are always ready on occasion, and the fortifications in a very good condition, soe that if any attempt be made i'le do what possibly I can with the few men I have to defend this important place in respect to trade both into and out of the West Indies, for were it in an enemys hands it lies soe very much in the way few vessels would escape, if the most advantage should be made of it's scituation. If it be concluded on to send the souldiers desired, subsistance must be constantly supplied, it not being possible to quarter and put them on credit, the inhabitants being generally soe poor that they can neither lodge nor provide for them. On 1st April arrived here a sloop called the Elizabeth that belonged to several persons of these Islands, which was taken att Turks Islands on 15th Jan. by one Capt. Fife, who was mate of a sloop belonging to St. Christophers, and being att anchor in St. Johns harbour att Antigua, on 11th Nov. last, in the night five of his own men with two others surprised him in his cabbin and told him they were resolved to run away with the sloop a pirateing, and he their mate must take the comand of her, which he refuseing (as he says) they put a pistol to his brest and swore if he would not take up the sword he should have that (meaning as he supposed they would shoot him) and finding them resolute he was obliged for preservation of life to doe as they would have him etc. They forced several of the Elizabeth's men to goe along with them, and obliged Fife to continue the comand, and soe proceeded a pirateing in the Elizabeth, and took several vessels some men voluntarily joyning; On 14th March last in the evening the sloop being att anchor near Portorico (an Island belonging to the Spaniards) a conao was espied near the shoar, whereupon their boat was got ready and all the profest pirates but three went on board and put off and stood for the conao. Upon which Capt. Fife and the rest of the forced men took the opportunity and secured the three pirates and cut the cable with the intention of standing out to sea, but the sloop falling off the wrong way and the pirates in the boat judging what they in [the] vessel were about turn'd and stood back again, and came soe near the sloop before they could get under sail, that they fired over them with their small arms, but the gale springing up the sloop got away and went to Turks Islands, and from thence brought her hither and surrendred themselves to me being in number fourteen: but I could not give them certificates of such surrender because the piracies committed were after the 5th of Jan. last, therefore doe detain them till I hear from yor. Lordps. or the Rt. Hon. Mr. Secretary Addison to whom I have now wrote to the same effect for orders etc. Considering the whole circumstances and their bringing the sloop hither knowing it was the port she belonged to, I presume it may be reasonably concluded they were all actually forced men, and took the first opportunity to relieve themselves: This may be the case of others, should therefore be glad to receive Instructions as soon as conveniently may be etc. Signed, Ben. Bennett. Endorsed, Recd., Read 1st July, 1718. Holograph. 4 pp. Enclosed,
551. i. Deposition of Samuel Cooper, Mariner, of Bermuda, 24th May, 1718. Deponent was on board the Diamond sloop, Capt. Tibby, when she was captured off Rum Key, one of the Bahama Islands, by Charles Vain, Commander of the pirate sloop, Ranger. The pirates robbed and beat Tibby and the rest of the company. They had taken 12 vessels on their cruise, 7 belonging to Bermuda, including Edward North, Daniel Styles and James Basden. They beat the Bermudians and cut away their masts upon account of one Thomas Brown who was (some time) detain'd in these Islands upon suspicion of piracy etc. Brown, they said, had subscriptions of hands to the number of 70 to go out under his command upon the account of piracy and would give no quarters to Bermudians etc. Their expressions at drinking were Danmacon to King George and that they designed to be with us (meaning the inhabitants of these Islands) this summer etc. Signed, Samuel Cooper. Copy. 1½ pp.
551. ii. Deposition of Edward North, Commander of the William and Martha sloop, 22nd May, 1718. Captured 14th April, and maltreated by Vain as preceding. One of the company they bound hands and feet and ty'd (upon his back) down to the bowspritt with matches to his eyes burning and a pistol loaded with the muzzle into his mouth, thereby to oblige him to confess what money was on board etc. Corroborates preceding. On 23rd April lying at anchor at Exuma, together with John Peniston Commander of a sloop of this Island, he was again captured and robbed by Vain etc. They informed deponent that they had taken a ship belonging to New England, two sloops of Jamaica, one of these Islands, some of whom they acknowledged to have used very barbarously by beating them etc., and that they had increased 20 in their number of men in about 9 days. About 1st April deponent met with a New England ship which had been taken by a French pirate sloop of the coast of Spaniola, who beat him with all his company, and forced the mate and others to proceed with them. Signed, Edward North. Copy. 2 pp.
551. iii. The above are true copies etc. Signed, B. Bennett.
551. iv. Deposition of James Mack-Culle, mariner, of Bermuda, 16th May, 1718. About 15th April, Daniel Styles at Ilethera informed deponent that Vain had taken and robbed him and James Basden etc. When deponent departed from Providence there was about 200 men remaining there etc. Signed, James Mack-Culle. Copy. 1½ pp.
551. v. Deposition of Nathaniel Catling, Mariner, of Bermuda, 17th May, 1718. One of the crew of the Diamond. Confirms No. 1. After beating them all, the pirates of the Ranger hanged up deponent by the neck untill they thought he was dead. Perceiving he began to revive, one of them cut him with a cutlass over the collar-bone, till one of their own gang contradicted it etc. Signed, Nathl. Catling. Copy. 2 pp.
551. vi. Deposition of Joseph Besea, Mariner, of Bermuda. 28th May, 1718. On 19th April, being in command of a sloop called the Samuel, deponent was taken nigh Crooked Island one of the Bahama Ilds. by Cha. Vain, who robbed and cruelly beat him and the major part of his company. Confirms Nos. i. and ii. Signed, Joseph Besea. Copy. 1 p.
551. vii. Deposition of Nathaniel North, mariner, of Bermuda. 22nd May, 1718. Confirms Nos. i. and ii. etc. Copy. 2 pp.
551. viii. Deposition of John Tibby, of Bermuda, Commander of the Diamond sloop etc. Confirms Nos. i., ii., vi., etc. Signed, John Tibby. Copy. 2½ pp.
551. ix. Deposition of Lewis Middleton, mariner, of Bermuda. 28th May, 1718. Commander of the sloop Fortune he picked up three men among the Baham Islands, who said they had been turned adrift by pirates. They presently seized his sloop and went to cruize upon the account of piracy etc. Signed, Lewis Middleton. Copy. 1½ pp.
551. x. Deposition of William Hall, Master of the Penzance of Bermuda, captured and robbed by Vain etc. Confirms Nos. i., ii. Signed, Wm. Hall. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 37, 10. Nos. 10, 10 i.–x.]


  • 1. Among papers relating to Sta. Lucia.