America and West Indies: January 1727

Pages 205-214

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 35, 1726-1727. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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January 1727

Jan. 3.
407. Mr. Popple to Lt. Govr. Wentworth and Mr. Armstrong. Encloses opinion of Attorney and Solicitor General upon Crown rights to the woods. [C.O. 5, 915. p. 483.]
Jan. 5.
408. President Carter to the Duke of Newcastle. Acknowledges letter etc. of Sept. A sickly indisposition for most of the year has interfered with his attendance at the seat of Government, but he hopes nothing has been omitted within the duty of his place etc. Signed, Robert Carter. Endorsed, Rd. Feb. 25th. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1337. No. 32.]
Jan. 7. 409. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to 14 Dec. 1726, describes provisions of Act of New York to vest in Thomas Hicks in fee simple certain lands etc. Continues :—It is merely intended to cut off the entail created by the will of Daniel Whitehead. This is the method constantly made use of to barr entails in this Colony, and they have no other way of doing it, for it cannot be supposed that fines and recoveries of lands in the Plantations levied and suffered here could have any effect there etc. Reccommends the confirming of the Act. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 10th, Read 11th Jan., 1726/7. 2½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 71–72v.]
Jan. 10. 410. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to the Act of Virginia to confirm the title of Richard Randolph to certain lands, it being garded with the utmost care and all parties interested having consented to it. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd., Read 11th Jan., 1726/7. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1320. ff. 103–104v.]
Jan. 10.
411. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose Office accounts from Midsummer to Christmas, 1726. There was then six months salary due to the Secretary and other Officers etc. Accounts, certified, annexed. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 268–271.]
Jan. 11.
412. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. It has always been esteem'd a matter of great consequence to the British intrest in America, to preserve the alliance and dependance of the five Indian Nations bordering upon New York, and to prevent their affections from being alienated from us by the French, who have made frequent attempts for that purpose, and have lately prevailed upon some of them by surprize, to allow the French to build a fort at Niagara, which if not speedily removed will be very detrimental to the five Nations, and consequently to us. Enclose extracts of Governor Burnet's letter, 4th Dec, 1726, and Conference with the Indians etc. Continue:—Your Grace will perceive by them, that the Indians think themselves unjustly treated upon this occasion, and expect redress therein from H.M. interposition in their behalf. In our humble opinion it is highly necessary for H.M. service, that these Indians should be convinced, that they may expect to be protected by Great Britain so long as they continue firm in their attachment to us, and it may be necessary to acquaint your Grace, that the French have, in this proceeding, acted contrary to the 15th Article of the Treaty of Utrecht. Wherefore we must intreat your Grace to obtain H.M. orders for his Minister at the French Court, to make application for redress, which cannot be effectual, unless the said fort be demolished. Autograph signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
412. i. Extract from letter from Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade. C. S. P. 4th Dec., 1726.
412. ii. Copies of No. 362, iii, iv.
412. iv. Extract from Conference with Six Nations, No. 362, i.
412. v. Copy of Indians' deed of surrender, No. 362, ii.
412. vi. Map of the Country of the Five Nations etc., "Taken from the map of Louisiane done by Mr. De Lisle in 1718." [C.O. 5, 1085. Nos. 59, 59. i–vi; and (without enclosures) 5, 1124. pp. 399–401.]
Jan. 12. 413. Mr. Leheup to Mr. Popple. Presses for representation in favour of Mr. Hicks' act, on Mr. Fane's report etc. (v. 7th Jan.). Signed, Peter Leheup. Endorsed, Recd., Read 12th Jan., 1726/7. Addressed. ½ p. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 73, 74v.]
Jan. 13.
414. Duke of Newcastle to Deputy Governor Gordon. Encloses following and desires he will endeavour to procure the boy's liberty, "which I suppose will not be very difficult upon the repayment of the money, which he was sold for." Acknowledges letter of 22nd Oct. and thanks him for what he has done concerning the children of Col. Bonar. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Annexed,
414. i. Petition of Edward Busby of Symond's Inn in Chancery Lane, Victualler. His son George, 14, was taken away a year ago by Capt. Sparkes of Bristol to Philadelphia and there sold for 7 years to David Evans for 16 pounds paper money. Prays for order for his return, petitioner being willing to pay the £16 etc. Signed, Edward Busby. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 296, 297.]
Jan. 14.
415. President Carter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter to Governor Drysdale of 30th June and hopes to transmit returns of negroes imported etc. by next conveyance. Has sent Minutes of Council up to 14th Dec. Refers to account of 2s. pr. hhd. Continues :—From the large demand of rights for taking up new lands, as well as the crop of tobacco now ready to be ship'd, and which 'tis believed will near equal that of the preceding year, there is reason to expect a good addition to that revenue. Herewith your Lordsps. will also receive the Naval Officer's accots. of the imports and exports from Lady Day to Christmas, whereby your Lordps. will have a view of the trade of this Colony for that time. The General Assembly which was under prorogation at the death of the late Governor, has been since further prorogued to 15th Feb., and since the publick affairs do not require any convening it; I intend at next Council a further prorogation, that whosoever H.M. is pleased to appoint Governor here may find an Assembly subsisting at his arrival, etc. Colo. Ludwell, who for many years worthily served as a Member of H.M. Council dyed on the 10th of this month. P.S. I send this by the Exchange of Biddiford, being unwilling to delay it till an opportunity offers for London etc. Signed, Robert Carter. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 28th April, 1727. 4 pp. Enclosed,
415. i. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2s. per hhd. 25th April—25th Oct., 1726. Totals: Receipts (including balance of £2922 3s. l0d.) £6475 7s. l0d. Expenditure, £1935 2s. 6d. Signed and sworn to in Council, John Grymes Recr. Genll. Audited by, Nathl. Harrison, Depty. Audr. Endorsed, Reed. 3rd April, 1727. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1320. ff 129, 130–131v., 132v.–133v., 134v.]
Jan. 18. 416. List of Negroes imported into S. Carolina, 30th May, 1721,—29th Sept., 1726. Total, 3632, of which 1751 were imported Sept. 29, 1725—1726. Port of Charles Town. Sworn to in Council by, Wm. Hammerton, Naval Officer, ¾p. [C.O. 5, 387. No. 69.]
[Jan. 20.] 417. Traders in tobacco to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Criticise Mr. Nicholl's proposals, which are impracticable and the outcome of ignorance. His proposal to lessen the duty on tobacco by ½d. pr. lb. to the importer upon destroying the stalks, will not increase the revenue, but will amount to increasing the duty by 1d. pr. lb. It will not encourage either planters or shippers etc. 49 signatures. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th Jan., 1726/7. 5 ¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1320. ff. 105–107v., 108v.]
Jan. 20.
418. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose extract of Governor Phenney's letter received since their representation of 10th Nov., showing what great want he is in of stores of war, and what the Spaniards are now doing at the Havana. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
418. i. Extract from Governor Phenney's letter, 10th Nov., 1726. l ¼pp. [C.O. 23, 12. No. 88; and (without enclosure) 24, i. p. 94.]
Jan. 22.
419. John Carter to Duke of Newcastle. Expresses gratification of those who advised the suspension of Mr. Jenings, that H.M. has shown approval by confirming Col. Carter in the Government etc. Continues :—I now humbly lay before your Grace a state of my office of Secretary of Virginia, which I have drawn up with all the truth and exactness I could furnish myself with, from the records of the country and the Council Journals. And if anything do's not appear in the clear light it ought to do, it is because the original instruments cannot be found, but must be supposed to have been lost many years ago in the fire at James Town. The small value of my place, by reason of the low price of tobacco our staple commodity at this time will make it the more excusable in me to endeavour to obtain all the privileges and perquisites of it, which have been enjoyed by former Secretaries etc. Only desires the profits " that have always gone along with the office, except where the Secretary, either holding the place by the Governor's appointment or recommendation, has thought fit to compliment him with what of right belonged to himself " etc. Has desired Mr. Leheup to intercede with his Grace for a favourable recommendation to H.M. etc. As to the power of appointing the County Court Clerks, which is the most considerable privilege belonging to his office, he has never sold any of these places, but has filled vacancies with great care with the best qualified persons, taking every year from each a small inconsiderable sum, the same to a penny which has always been paid by them to the Secretary. Continues :—I cannot learn on what account it was that the Secretaries at first claimed this from the Clerks, but as I found it an ancient perquisite in the office, I hope I am justified in receiving it. The fees for the Seal, by all that I can learn, were always paid to the Secretary till Governour Spotswood took them from Dr. Cocke then Secretary and gave them to him again as Physician to his family. At his death they were given to Dr. Brown, and upon Mr. Drysdale's arrival to Dr. Blair, etc. Signed, John Carter. Endorsed, Rd. July 20th. 4 pp. Enclosed,
419. i. Case of the Secretary of Virginia. A County Court is established by law in every County. Of late some inhabitants upon the frontiers have complained of the great length of their counties, in regard to their being situated remote from the place where their County Court is held etc., and application being made to the last General Assembly, for a division of the counties, Mr. Drysdale, supposing the Assembly would gratifie those people, was pleased to promise the office of County Clerk of those intended new counties to some of his friends. Nothing more was done, but the Secretary thinks it incumbent on him to shew the grounds upon which the Secretary of the Colony has ever claimed the appointment of that officer etc. Argues that, as keeper of all the Records, the Secretary must naturally appoint the Clerk of the Court in whose actual possession they would be. Examines two instances to the contrary, 1701, 1721, etc. The Great Seal has always remained in the custody of the Secretary, since in his office all patents and Commissions of the Peace and Oyer and Terminer are prepared and sealed. " For sealing them, neither Governor nor Secretary hath ever been allowed to take any fee ; because the people might not be thereby discouraged from suing out patents for the King's lands, and that Justice might be administered as cheap as possible. Yet it being very usual for the Secretary by the Governor's orders to make out exemplifications of patents, deeds, etc. and to affix the seal to the same, it hath been alwaies customary for him to take a fee of 20s. for the same, until Col. Spotswood claimed that fee as his right, but gave it to Dr. Cocke then Secretary as he was Physician to his family." Prays that this fee may be restored, and that a seal may be granted to his office, for want of which the Great seal is upon many occasions improperly used etc. 10 pp. [C.O. 5, 1337. Nos. 33, 33. i.].
Jan. 23.
st. James's.
420. H.M. Commission to William Gooch to be Lt. Governor of Virginia, " in case of the death or absence of George Earle of Orkney, etc." Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [5, 1365. pp. 308, 309 ; and 324, 35. pp. 310–312 ; and 324, 49. f. 38.]
Jan.24–26. 421. Minutes of Council and Assembly, S. Carolina, containing the Conference held with Chigilee and the Headmen of the Lower Creeks and with Long Warrior of the Cherokees relating to a peace then made between them. Council Chambers, Charles Town. 20 pp. [C.O. 5, 387. No. 70.]
Jan. 26.
422. President Ayscough to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 14th Nov., " a duplicate whereof went 17th Dec." etc. Continues :—I am now to lay before your Ldships. a full account of the late transactions of the Council and Assembly; those of the latter will, upon a thorough view, appear the most absurd and ridiculous, as well as disrespectfull to H.M. and His authority, that perhaps have ever happened in this country; for which reasons I dissolved them with the advice of the Council and writts are now issued for calling a new Assembly to convene the 1st of March. Refers to Speech of 18th Oct. (v. 1st Nov.); and the pressing manner in which he laid before them H.M. recommendations etc. Continues :—All the regard or return to it was their vouchsafing to enter H.M. sign manual in their Minutes ; but ordered the draught which the King had expressly recommended to lie upon their table, and to appoint that day sen'night for taking the Speech into consideration. From the 18th to the 22nd their time was taken up with disputes about swearing some of their Members, they insisting upon it as their inherent right to have their Members sworn in their own House, which occasioned my sending them a copy of part of H.M. Instructions whereby it appears that I might either commission fit persons for that purpose or have them sworn before me in person ; and therefore I told them, to avoid disputes, I was ready to swear them. The 22nd of October the dreadful hurricane happened, so that the House only met and adjourned from day to day till the 28th, when they sent me a long message with reasons for their still insisting on having their Members sworn in their own House ; but upon examining into precedents I found many more instances against such a pretended right than those they mentioned which made for them; however I thought it hardly worth while to obstruct the publick affairs, they having come to a resolution to proceed to no business till such time their Members were sworn in the House ; therefore I waived the dispute and granted a dedimus, and pursuant thereto two of the Council went down to the Assembly and administred the oaths to four of their Members, and then the House put off the consideration of my Speech to the 1st of November, and from thence to the 2nd, then to the 3d. ; so the Council finding the House did but trifle with, and evade, H.M. recommendations, they advised me to send to them a message to remind them thereof; this Message being written with some warmth and zeal the House laid hold of it and made it a handle for their not proceeding to business till they had received satisfaction for the high indignity and breach of priviledge offered to their House which they conceived tended to the entire subversion of their Constitution; and then they sent me up a long and indecent message demanding redress and satisfaction, and at the same time came to a resolution to proceed to no other business till they had received satisfaction and reparation for the high indignity and breach of priviledge offered by the said message and the infringement of their liberties ; I endeavoured all I could to moderate matters, and sent them a message which I thought would have pleased them ; but on the contrary they voted it not satisfactory and came to a resolution that whosoever prepared and proposed the said message in Council was an enemy to the very being of Assemblys to his country etc. ; and then they reduced their quorum to five Members to meet and adjourn, and the rest of them dispersed themselves to their several aboads : This made me on the 18th advise with the Council whether to prorogue them or to keep them sitting; and they advised me to keep them together. But the House would proceed to no business only five Members met and adjourned from day to day till the 7th of December, then the Council advised me to prorogue them to the 2nd day of January instant, and accordingly they were prorogued by Proclamation etc. Their proceedings from the 2nd of January to the 17th, on which day they were dissolved, will appear to your Lordships more absurd than the former : I could not possibly get a quorum of the Council together before the 10th of January, which put me under a necessity of desiring the Speaker to adjourn the House to the 4th, this was complyed with, and on the 6th I sent them another message setting forth the want of a quorum of the Council, and therefore desired them to adjourn to the 10th, but in place of complying therewith they voted to continue sitting and to proceed to business, tho' but a very thin House : This breach of their duty obliged me to assert H.M. Prerogative and to prorogue them to the 10th, and having then got a sufficient number of the Council together I laid before them the fresh instances of H.M. great goodness, as your Lordships will please more particularly to observe by the Speech I made to them (inclosed); but I was soon astonished at their proceedings, for the moment after I had spoke to them they returned to their House and immediately, without the least consideration of H.M. recommendations, in a violent and disrespectful manner rejected the draught with disdain and ordered a bill to be brought in for reviving and continuing their laws, and voted only six months subsistence to the soldiers in a separate bill, and, having spent some days about their Perpetuity Bill, they voted (tho' not inserted in their Minutes) to give the King in this new bill no more than the old Revenue mentioned in the late 21 years laws, and then they passed the usual Additional Duty Bill entituled, an Act for raising several summs of money and applying the same to several uses; which they sent up to the Council on the 14th, and the Council having passed the same in their legislative capacity I desired their opinion and advice, as the King's Council, whether they thought it consistent with my duty to H.M. to give my assent to it since the Assembly had rejected the draught of the Perpetual Bill so strongly recommended by H.M. and of so great consequence to the country ; and they advised me to pass the said bill and were entirely of opinion that I should, after I had given my assent to it, dissolve the Assembly and forthwith issue new writts for calling another, which was accordingly done, but I really cannot flatter your Lordships so far as to say that I expect better success from the ensuing Assembly; they seem to be obstinate and headstrong against providing for the soldiers in any Perpetuity Bill nor will they (if they continue in their present circumstances) receive any draught that comes from home, tho' recommended to them in the most powerful manner by H.M. I have taken the first opportunity that has offered since the dissolution to give your Lordships a faithful account of their unaccountable proceedings, that H.M. may be informed of their undutiful behaviour in slighting so much goodness and condescension offered and recommended to them. It is not proper for me, nor shall I presume, to point out what measures may be proper to be taken to bring these people to a due sense of their duty and obedience to their King; your Ldships may observe from long experience that H.M. gracious offers, His lenity and condescensions have been but thrown away upon them, which makes the most considerate men here so far from thinking the two Independent Companies a burthen to the country that they rather think a Regiment necessary for the security of the King's Government and the country against both their foreign and intestine enemies; and, should the Assembly refuse to allow them an additional subsistence in the manner former Regiments have had, that then H.M. Governor might be empowered to take such other measures for their subsistence as H.M. shall think most proper: I shall say no more of Assemblys only that it is indispensibly necessary that some speedy remedy be applied to make H.M. Government here less independent upon them otherwise a Governour cannot subsist unless he parts with his Instructions and gives up the Prerogative to the unsatiable will of an obstinate people. We have not heard from Admiral Hosier since he sailed from hence the 26th of the last month: It is not improbable but some unquiet spirits here, who endeavour on all occasions to distress the Government, may use undue means to stir up some of the merchants at home to make a clamour against the measures the Council and I fell upon to assist Admiral Hosier with seamen, without which it had been impossible for the Admiral to have gone to sea : I sent in my last letter a copy of our proceedings thereupon to the Secretary of State and hope the same will have met with H.M. approbation etc. Signed, J. Ayscough. References to Minutes of Council and Assembly are given in the margin, in confirmation of above narrative. No enclosures. Endorsed, Reed. 10th, Read 11th April, 1727. 6 ¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 16. ff 349–352v.]
Jan. 26.
St. James's.
423. President Ayscough to the Duke of Newcastle. Describes his dealings with the Assembly, repeating part of preceding covering letter etc. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, R. 10th April. 4 pp. Enclosed,
423. i. President Ayscough's Speech to the Council and Assembly. Urges unanimity and dispatch in considering draught of Revenue Bill etc., and communicates the Duke of Newcastle's letter upon it, etc.
423. ii. Duplicate of Dec. 16 dated Dec. 17, and endorsed, R. April 10. Copy. 3 ½ pp. [C.O. 137, 52. ff, 314–319v.]
Jan. 30.
424. Anon, to Lord Townshend. Represent the " deplorable state of new England since the late dishonourable peace concluded by Lt. Govr. Dummer. We have had lately several captives taken by the Indians and those who took them captive being apprehended and imprison'd with visible marks of guilt have been set at liberty to our great amazement. The King's prerogative and liberty of the subject have been invaded by our last general Court, in their expelling Judge Minzies the house for his writeing to the Lords of Admiralty that he has been frequently served with prohibitions by the provincial judges here, and could not get 12 honest men that would do the King justice in this place, and the liberty of the subject has been violated by the General Court's denying a very considerable body of people lately come from Ireland, liberty to erect townships in our frontiers onely because they were not Congregationalists tho' good protestants, and loyal subjects of King George. Episcopal Ministers have been mobbed here and bonefires made near their houses, mock'd and insulted and forc'd to keep within doors. Mr. McGregore, the only Presbyterian minister here, a man of bright natural parts and extraordinary learning has been anathematiz'd. Press warrants have been deny'd to the Captain of H.M. ship when his men had deserted him, and strick orders given by our Lieut. Govr. to our vessels to pay no regard to our sd. ship, and the Captn. threatned to be shot if he offer'd to press any of their Congregationalists. And all this is done under a pretext of law and priviledges of their Charter, which if effectually broken would make all easy, and till then, or that Govr. Shute come over to us, or some other that will assert the King's prerogative, we utterly despair of peace with the Indians, or peace with ourselves, much more of seeing this a flourishing country. Begging your favourable regards to our grievances, your pardoning this trouble and concealing our names for fear of being anathematiz'd by our Congregationalists and arbitrary assembly etc. Signed, A.T., B.A., C.Y., J.M., T.S., F.A. Addressed. Postmark. Seal. 1 p [C.O 5, 752. No. 34.]
Jan. 31.
425. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report thereupon. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 22nd Feb., 1726/7. 1 p. Enclosed,
425. i. Minutes of Assembly of St. Christophers, 19th Feb., 1725(6), upon Lt. Governor William Mathew's refusing to account to the House for money entrusted to him by the Act to build a fortification on Brimstone Hill etc. Copy. 1 p.
425. ii. Address of the Assembly of Saint Christopher's to the King. Notwithstanding Governor Hart's repeated orders to Lt. General Mathew to account for the £4,150 paid into his hands as above etc., we could only obtain a bare account without any vouchers. He refused to meet a Committee of the House to explain said account, and by a letter to the Governor has represented us as wanting in our duty to your Majesty in requiring an account from him. Your Majesty's subjects in St. Christophers have always been remarkable for their zeal for your Majesty's service their affection for your person and Government and their duty and submission to your royall authority in the persons of your Governours etc. Praise the mild and just administration of Governor Hart etc. We have given directions for laying a fuller state of this matter before your Majesty herewith etc.. Pray for H.M. order for their redress and preventing the like attempts for the future. 6th March, 1725/6. Signed, John Griffes, Clk. Assembly. Endorsed, Reed. 14th Feb., 1725/6.6. I large p. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 304, 305v., 306, 307, 307v.]