America and West Indies: April 1727, 16-30

Pages 254-270

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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April 1727, 16–30

April 18.
509. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. The Princess Amelia Capt. John Misenor Commander arrived here the 3d. instant from the East Indies when according to my 21st Instruction in relation to trade, I sent the Custom House Officers on board with such orders as H.M. commanded me to give them in the like case etc. Encloses copy, and reasons given that obliged the Captain to bare away for this Island, which was on account of a leak etc. Continues:—And whereas the Captn. gave only an account of 2,228 bales of coffee, and 6 casks of aloes, tho' I am very well informed that there is a very considerable cargo besides ; and to prevent her trading here, I issued a Proclamation promising a reward of £200 to any one, who should give me inform of her breaking bulk, selling or disposing of any of her goods etc. Upon this the Captn. and supra-cargo prefer'd to me a petition praying leave to take out so much of the said ship's cargo of coffee, as might so far lighten her, as to enable workmen to come at the said leak, and to the said petition joyned the deposition of the three mates, carpenter and boatswain etc., and of two carpenters belonging to H.M.S. the Berwick and Lenox, which came in here the day after the Indiaman, and are now sailed in order to joyn Admiral Hosier ; Capt. Dent, the Commander of the Lenox told me, that three of the sailers that belonged to the said Indiaman, were on board of him, and had said that their said leak was not so considerable, but that they were willing to proceed with the said ship to England. Wherefore I sent the judge of the Admiralty on board to take their depositions etc. v. enclosures. Continues:—And indeed by the best information I can get, tho' she has been here above a fortnight, the leak is not very dangerous for in two or three minutes in half an hour they can pump her dry. The Capt. and supra-cargo made a representation to Mr. Lascells the Collector of H.M. Customs here, word for word the same as they made in their petition to me (v. supra), and that the coffee so taken out might be put on board some vessel in Carlisle Bay, to be hired by them for that purpose, and there to be kept under the custody of the Officers of the Customs here, until the said leak should be stopt, and then to be reloaden on the said ship Amelia; which representation Mr. Lascelles having laid before H.M. Attorney General here, he was of opinion that my Instruction in relation to the not giving any aid relief etc. to any ship, or ships arriving here from the East Indias, which have any goods etc. of the East Indias on board, tho' she should be in distress, danger of sinking, or upon any other reason or pretence ; cannot be extended to the ships belonging to the British East India Company, and that the bare moving any of the goods or commodities out of the said ship into any vessel, provided the said goods or commodities be there under the custody of the Custom house officers, cannot be deemed an illegal importation, or breaking bulk; which Mr. Lascelles having represented to me in a memorial, desiring my directions or approbation to persue the opinion of the Attorney General; I directed him that in pursuance of the Attorney General's opinion, he might suffer the said Capt. to procure a vessel to lye alongside of the East India ship to receive from her (in the presence of a sufficient number of Custom House officers) so many bales of coffee as requested etc. etc. And as I was informed there was a considerable quantity of other goods on board the said ship, which the said Captn. reported to him to be the contents of his cargo, that he should take particular care, that no other goods whatsoever should be removed from the said ship to the other vessel, or out of the said ship, but the coffee, and no more of that than what should be necessary to lighten the said ship to come at her leak as aforesaid ; and that he should not take, have, or receive, nor permit or suffer any person to take, have, or receive any East India commodities in payment of any charges the said Captn. might be at etc. ; and that as H.M. had so strictly charged me, under the most severe penaltys, that the laws in this case made and provided should be put in execution with the greatest care, diligence and application, he should take especial care to keep a sufficient number of officers on board the Princess Amelia, as well as the ship the Captain might hire, etc., to prevent any illegal proceedings etc. Refers to enclosures. Continues:—I shall use my utmost endeavours to prevent any unlawfull trade, that the officers and sailors of this ship may here attempt etc. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Rd. June 9th. 8 pp. Enclosed,
509. i. Governor Worsley to Henry Lascell(e)s. 3rd April, 1727. Directs him to inspect the East Indiaman, Princess Amelia, and not to allow her to land any goods, but to give notice to the Commander to depart without giving him any relief etc. Signed, Hen. Worsley. Copy. 1 p.
509. ii. Mr. Lascelles to Governor Worsley. 4th April, 1727. The Captain states the cargo as in covering letter, and he, his officers and all his people declared that unless they could have liberty to stop her leaks and refit, they must quit the said ship etc. Signed, Hen. Lascelles. Copy. 1½ pp.
509. iii. Consultation of the Super-cargo, Captain, three mates, boatswain and carpenter of the Princess Amelia 17th March, 1726/7 Owing to a dangerous leak, the only way to save the ship is to bear away for Barbados etc. Signed, Fras. Everest, John Misener, Phin. Frognall, Charles Windebank, Robert Thompson, Wm. Potter, John Lee. Copy. 1¾ pp.
509. iv. Proclamation by Governor Worsley. 6th April, 1727. Offers £200 reward for information of said ship breaking bulk etc. v. covering letter. Signed, Henry Worsley. Copy. 1 p.
509. v. Capt. Misener and Mr. Everest to Governor Worsley. Petition for leave to lighten the ship. Described in covering letter. Signed, Fra. Everest, John Misener. Copy. 3¾ pp.
509. vi. Deposition of the three mates, boatswain and carpenter of the Princess Amelia, as to the dangerous nature of the leak, and that the ship must be lightened in order to stop it. 8th April, 1727. Signed, Phineas Frognall, Charles Windebank, Robert Thompson, John Lee, William Potter. Copy. 2¾ pp.
509. vii. Petition of the three mates of the Princess Amelia to [? Capt. Misener] 17th March, 1727. Ask him to hold a consultation as to what is to be done in their present dangerous condition. Signed, Phineas Frognall, Charles Windebank, Robert Thompson. Copy. ¾ p.
509. viii. Duplicate of No.iii.
509 ix. Deposition of William Story, carpenter of H.M.S. Berwick. 7th April, 1727. Corroborates No. vi. Signed, Willm. Story. Copy. 1 p.
509. x. Deposition of William Wye, carpenter of H.M.S. Lenox. 8th April, 1727. Corroborates No. vi. Signed, William Wye. Copy, ¾ p.
509. xi. Deposition of Robert Ottaway, mariner. 13th April, 1727. The Princess Amelia makes no more water than she did, and deponent would venture to go in her to Great Britain as she is etc. Signed, Robert Ottaway. Copy. 1 p.
509. xii. Deposition of Robert Jones. 13th April, 1727. Agrees with preceding. Signed, Robert Jones, his mark. Copy. ½ p.
509. xiii. Deposition of John Gascoin, mariner. 13th April, 1727. Confirms preceding. Signed, John Gascoin, his mark. Copy, ¾ p.
509. xiv. Mr. Everest and Capt. Misener to Mr. Lascelles. 11th April, 1727. Petition for lightening the Princess Amelia in order to stop her leak, as described in covering letter. Signed, Fras. Everest, John Misener. Copy. 3¾ pp.
509. xv. Jonathan Blenman, Attorney General of Barbados to Mr. Lascelles. April 15, 1727. v. covering letter. Signed, J. Blenman. Copy. 2 3|4 pp.
509. xvi. Mr. Lascelles to Governor Worsley. Asks for H.E.'s directions upon preceding. Signed, Henry Lascelles. Copy. 3 pp.
509. xvii. Governor Worsley to Henry Lascelles. 17th April, 1727. Order upon preceding. Described in covering letter. Signed, Hen. Worsley. Copy. 2 pp.
509. xviii. Petition of 13 sailors of the Princess Amelia to Governor Worsley. Petitioners would willingly have proceeded to England. They have had very barbarous usuage for 30 months, and pray H.E. assistance for the security of their wages etc. Thirteen signatures. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 44. Nos. 108, 108 i–xviii.]
April 18
510. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate of preceding covering letter. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 20th June, 1727. 8 pp. Enclosed,
510. I–xviii. Duplicates of enclosures preceding Nos. i–vii, ix–xviii (iii bis). The whole endorsed as covering letter. [C.O. 28, 18. ff. 356–359v., 360v.–365, 366, 367–368, 369–370, 371, 372–376, 377–379v., 380v.– 383, 384, 384v., 385v.]
[April 19] 511. Proceedings of Court of Chancery, Barbados, March 22—April 19, 1727. 4 pp. [C.O. 33, 27. No. 9.]
April [—]. 512. Arthur Middleton, President of the Council and Commander in Chief of S. Carolina, to Governor Nicholson. After a long and tedious Sessions our Assembly at last broke up, and I think I have provided for most things necessary for the Province. Several vessels have gone from hence to London since the rising of the Assembly, without any letter from me for I stay'd for the getting ready the Journals and Acts etc. There is provission made in the tax for yours, Mr. Sharp's and Mr. Yonge's mony. The General Assembly have appointed Mr. Wragg their Agent. I hope he will be acceptable to your Excellency etc. Encloses petition from the General Assembly about the paper money. Continues:—If there is anything farther necessary to be done by our Assembly to put a final end to the dispute with the proprietors, please to let me know it and I will imediately call them to get it done ; I know you will think it strange that the Assembly have appointed such Commissioners to correspond with the Agent, but I could not help it without making a stir in the house etc. The Assembly have desired me to appoint a new Chief Justice, and I having put it to the Council the major part of them etc. were for putting it off till Mr. Yonge's arrival, which they say will be very soon, as he writes to several here, and so that affair rest for some time. The Assembly having had great reason to complain against Harvey the Marshal have desired me to displace him, accordingly I did, and put in Mr. Bampfield. I doubt not but he will be very dutiful to and thankful to your Excellency to continue him etc. Encloses letter from him. Continues:—I shall say no more of that fellow Whitaker only that he makes his braggs that he has receiv'd a copy of my letter to your Excellency, I can't persuade myself that he has receiv'd anything ; or not anything more than a paragraph wherein I tell you that he has left your interest. I again say he has and I daily see it by his actions, etc. Complains that he has suffered loss through a bill of exchange of an officer of the Garrison. Continues:—I wait with impatience for your coming back or to hear further from you, for we have nothing talk'd of here but warr with Spain, upon the first news of which I will call the Assembly, and get Port Royal put in some posture of defence, in the mean time I will have a watchful eye on that side, and I am in great hopes we shall be easy with our Indians etc. Asks H. E. to give an order for the two years salary due to him etc. Continues :—The Council has wrot to your Excellency to desire you to get the Council fil'd up, indeed it is time, for as here is but seven, the burthen is very great on them, and it is as much as I am able very often to make a Council etc. Signed, Ar. Middleton. Endorsed, Recd, (from General Nicholson) 28th June, Read 5th July, 1727. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 360. ff. 1, 1v., 4v.]
April 20.
513. Mr. Middleton to Governor Nicholson. Since writing preceding, I have very little to acquaint you with, but that, sjnce the Tax Act past etc., the people are stirr'd up to say, that it is very difficult for them to pay, since pitch and tarr is worth nothing; that they want an Act to enable them to make tender of their produce, both in tax and to theire creditors, that the present currency is to be soone sunk, which will throw them under greate hardships wth. theire creditors, that a Cheife Justice is wanting to regulate the Courts, and not to have everything carryed according to the different interest and humours of the Attorney pleading at the Barr as they say, it now is, and severall other such complaints, and accordingly they are from all parts signeing a petition to me, and the Councill to have these things redresst etc. Refers to enclosures. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 360. ff. 2, 3v., 4v.]
April 20.
514. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. My Lords Commissioners etc, send you the inclosed Act passed in Virginia in 1726, for laying a duty upon liquors, as also a copy of the Charter of William and Mary Colledge, etc., and desire, as soon as possibly may be, your opinion in point of law, whether the £200 pr. ann. appropriated by this Act for the relief of the said Colledge, is thereby directed to be solely apply'd for and towards the maintaining and supporting the full number of Masters and Professors who are to reside in the said Colledge. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 314, 315.]
April 20.
515. Governor Phenney to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 30th June. Continues :—
I am sorry find Captn. Barker did not perform his promise in a careful delivery of the plan of the fort as I then design'd and have now almost finisht; But I hope your Lordsps. receiv'd a small plan of the outworks in mine of January last. I am very much obliged to your Lordships for sending copys of my last papers to the Duke of Newcastle's office, but I always transmit the same publick papers to the Secretary of State which goes to your Lordships according to H.M. Instructions etc. Continues :—The rumour we have of an approaching war has occasion'd me to deferr my design of throwing down the old gate of Fort Nassau till the certainty of war or peace is more known, and to prepare to erect a small fort more imediately necessary to secure the Eastern entrance of the harbour, but the very great want of gun-carriages and other stores of war make our fortifications naked etc. The Board of Ordnance refuse to take any notice of us, which occasions me to send the enclosed account of stores wanting, hoping your Lordships will continue your goodness to interceed with H.M. for us. I have received a copy of H.M. gracious warrant for the money lodg'd in Mr. Mulcaster's hands and am very thankful for your Lordsps. favor therein, etc. The quit-rents formerly paid to the Lords Proprietors do not appear a disencouragement to people's settling with us, but the want of some person to reside here with sufficient authority to survey and grant patents of lands for such people as are already here and such as may for the future come to settle. Refers to enclosed replies concerning negroes imported etc. Encloses "an affidavit of some of our people's being lately plunder'd by a Spanish piragua, who always I observe talk of a right to our produce and for want of a small ship of war being station'd here I know not how to convince those sculking fellows of the contrary, but have great hopes we shall obtain one by your Lordsps'. representations" etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 10th Nov., 1727. 22/3 pp. Enclosed,
515. i. Deposition of George Raddon and Benjamin Bullock, mariners of the sloop Benjamin of New Providence. 25th March, 1727. On 18th March, being about 3 leagues W. of a key called Key Lopes (which lyes on the edge of the Bahama Bank within the jurisdiction of these islands) a Spanish periagoa belonging to St. Domingo on Hispaniola boarded and plundered them, stripping deponents of all their clothes etc. Signed, George Raddon, Benjamin Bullock. Same endorsement. Copy. 1 p.
515. ii. Answers to queries from the Board of Trade. Repeats replies given formerly, v. C. S. P. 28th Jan. 1726, concluding with a return of negroes imported : 1718, 30, from Jamaica; 1721, 295 from Guinea; 1723, 2 from Jamaica; 1726, 15 from Hispaniola. Same endorsement 10 1/8 pp.
515. iii. Account of Stores of War brought to the Bahama Islands by Govrs. Rogers and Phenney and what remained in Jan. 1727. Signed, Tho. Butler, Gunner, Willm. Shott. Same endorsement. 2½ pp.
515. iv. Accounts of stores of war wanting. 10th March, 1727. Signed, G. Phenney and six Councellors. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
515. v. List of Christenings, marriages and burials in the Bahama Islands for 1726. Signed, Tho. Curphey, Minister. Same endorsement. 1 folded p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 107–110, lllv–117, 119v.–122v;., 123v.–124v.]
April 20.
516. Governor Phenney to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to enclosures and repeats concluding portion of preceding covering letter. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Rd. Nov. 4th. 1 1/3 pp. Enclosed,
516. i. Minutes of Council of the Bahama Islands, 16th May, 1726—1st Feb., 1727. 54 pp.
516. ii, iii. Lists of ships entered and cleared, New Providence, 30th Sept.—25th Dec., 1726. Signed, Jno. Warner, Navl. Officer. 6 pp.
516. iv–vi. Duplicates of encl. iii–v preceding.
516. vii. Accounts of public revenue, 1726. Totals:— Receipts, £323 12s. 1d. Expenditure: £85 12s. 9d. Signed and sworn in Council by, Pr. Goudet, Treasurer. 2 pp.
516. viii. Duplicate of encl. i. preceding.
516. ix, x. Lists of ships entered and cleared, N. Providence, Dec. 26, 1726—March 25, 1727. Signed, Jno. Warner, Naval Officer. 4 pp.
516. xi. Duplicate of encl. ii preceding.
516. xii. Petition of Governor and Council of the Bahama Islands to the King, for the removal of Lt. Ferrall. Duplicate of C. S. P., Sept. 20, 1726.
516. xiii. Petition of Same to Same. 10th April, 1727. The scituation of the Bahama Islands making it absolutely necessary for the preservation and safety of the Trade and Navigation between your Majesty's American and West Indian colonys that they should be and remain part of the British Dominion as well as for the command the possessors of them may have of both the windward and Gulph passages, and thereby be a great curb on the Spaniards, of which they were so sencible that it was the first part of your Majesty's Dominions that they attempted in the last war, and still continue (on pretence of being the rightful owners of these islands) to take and pillage such vessells belonging to us as they can meet with. On these considerations Governor Phenney has repaired and augmented the fortifications etc., but we are no ways capable of supplying the garrison with stores of war, the quit-rents, tenths and royaltys being in the hands of the lessees to the Lords Proprietors and not applied to publick uses. No proper person being resident with sufficient authority for surveying and granting patents for lands discourages the peopling of these islands etc., as is the want of an Assembly to compose a body of laws suitable to the circumstances of the Colony. And it appears to us by the accounts laid before us that since the Lessees have ceased sending their shipping hither, the charges in transporting recruits for your Majesty's Independant Company runs so high as makes it impracticable upon the savings thereof sufficiently to supply it etc. Pray for a supply of stores of war, officers and gunners, the appointment of a resident surveyor, authority given for calling an Assembly, appointment of a ship of war to be stationed there, which may transport the necessary recruits, and the appointment of another independant company, at least during the threatened war with Spain. Signed, G. Phenney and 9 others. 2 pp.
516. xiv. Address of the Council, magistrates and principal inhabitants of Providence Island to Governor Phenney. 24th May, 1724. Thanks for Broad Seal and request a small stationed ship etc. 31 pp.
516. xv. Address of the Justices, Grand Jury etc. to Governor Phenney. 24th Aug. 1724. Duplicate of C. S. P. Dec. 3, 1724, end. ii.
516. xvi. Address of the Justices, Grand Jury and principal inhabitants of New Providence met at the Quarterly Sessions to Governor Phenney, Feb. 26, 1726. Express satisfaction at H.E.'s application in directing the soldiery in garrison in rebuilding and augmenting the ruined fortifications etc. Continues:—We have been long sencible that your Excellency receives no assistance from the Bahama Society towards carrying on the public works, and the few negroes we have been at times able to spare are but a small help etc. Throughout your administration you have shown the strictest regard to justice etc. 40 signatures. Copy. 2 pp.
516. xvii. Address of Same to Same. 28th Feb., 1727. Request H.E. to assure H.M. of their loyalty etc. and to petition him for a grant of stores of war and the appointment of a Surveyor, and patenting of lands, and permission to hold an Assembly, " when we will agree in promoting H.M. interest and the mutual good of his subjects " etc. 25 signatures. Copy. 2 pp. [CO. 23, 13. ff. 442, 442v;., 445–471v., 472v.–473, 474–476v., 478–479, 480v., 481, 482v., 483, 484, 486v., 487, 488v., 489, 490–494v., 496v., 497, 498v., 499, 500v., 501, 502v., 503, 504v., 505, 506v., 507.]
April 21.
St. James's.
517. Order of King in Council. Approving draft of Commission for Governor Hunter. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Reed. 3rd, Read 4th May, 1727. 1 p. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 361, 362v.]
April 21.
St. James's.
518. Order of King in Council. Referring letters from Mr. Ayscough (v. 26th Jan.) to Committee of Council. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [CO. 137, 16. ff. 365, 366v.]
April 24.
St. James's.
519. President Ayscough to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to letter of 15th Feb. and Minutes of Council and Assembly now sent to the Board of Trade. Continues:—The Assembly's behaviour has been such that put me under a necessity of dissolving them on the 17th of March. Your Grace will please to observe from the Speech I made to them at the opening of the Sessions herewith inclosed that I laid before them in the most pressing manner H.M. commands concerning the draught which had been so earnestly recommended to them by H.M. for perpetuating their laws ; But they treated the same with disdain, for the first thing they did, without so much as reading it they put it to the vote whether they should receive the said draught or whether it should be on the table, and it was carried for the latter ; The next thing they fell upon was concerning a decree that was sent over hither from the Court of Delegates for awarding restitution for some unwarrantable captures formerly committed by some privateer vessels; and one Leaver, who had been a part owner of one of those vessels, was taken by the Provost Marshall in execution upon the process issued out of the Court of Delegates in England, and pursuant to that decree the Provost Marshall detained the said Leaver in his custody until such time restitution should be made agreeable to the sentence of the said Court: soon after that Mr. Leaver was taken into custody some of his friends procured him to be elected an Assemblyman imagining (as I suppose) his being elected after he was taken in execution would be a means of procuring his enlargement and thereby evade making restitution etc. ; and accordingly on the 4th of March Mr. Leaver presented to the House a petition complaining of an illegal commitment and detainer by the Provost Marshall and demanding his seat in that House ; whereupon the Provost Marshall's Deputy was served with an Order of the House commanding him to deliver up the said Leaver, or the Provost Marshall to attend and show cause to the contrary; To which the Provost Marshall made a return to the House of all the process and proceedings that had been in that cause ; then a day was appointed for hearing Mr. Leaver's Council at the Barr of the House, which was heard accordingly on the 15th, and the House came to an unanimous resolution that Mr. Leaver was illegally detained by the Provost Marshall, and ordered their Speaker to sign a warrant for his immediate enlargement; and the Provost Marshall's Deputy being served therewith by the Messenger of the House, he made some hesitation at it, and some words happening between the Provost Marshall about delivering Mr. Leaver up, the Messenger made a report thereof to the House ; Upon which they ordered their Speaker (without the least application to me) forthwith to issue one of the most extraordinary warrants that ever yet was assumed by an Assembly in this Country; for they therein empowered their Messenger to call to his aid and assistance all Magistrates, Justices, Constables, fitting men and other Civil Officers for the siezing and apprehending the Provost Marshall and his Deputy, which obliged the latter to abscond, and the Provost Marshall was forced to have recourse to me at the King's house for protection, whom I was obliged to aid and assist in the execution of that sentence in obedience to the commands I had received in a letter from my Lord Townesend which accompanied that decree. Then the Messenger with several others in a tumultuous manner had the impudence to endeavour to sieze the Provost Marshall's chariot before the door of the King's house when he himself was then on business with me; so great a piece of insolence and indignity offered to the King's authority became insupportable especially when I saw a tumult was like to ensue, which made me summon a Council and laid the whole proceedings of the Assembly before them, and they advised me to dissolve them immediately, which I did by proclamation ; and writts are now out for a new Assembly to convene the 23rd of May next. Your Grace will plainly observe from a view of their proceedings the absolute necessity there is for representing to H.M. the incroachments on the Prerogative which Our Assemblys endeavour daily more and more to grasp at; and it is become a common saying among some of the leading Members that if a Governour don't yield to their desires they will grant no supplies, and that if the Government can subsist without money they can do so without laws ; such is the present humour of the people and I am really apprehensive of their continuing in the same disposition of mind until some vigorous measures are taken by H.M. or the Legislature to bring them to a due sense of their duty, and dependence upon the Crown of Great Britain. From my speech your Grace will please to observe the state and condition of this Country ; the droughth still continues to that degree the like was never known here, and there is neither trade nor money stirring, in short the Island is in a deplorable condition : When I came to the administration of affairs I found the Revenue greatly in debt, the funds anticipated ; and the Assembly have not thought fit to give one shilling to the support of the Government; the country subsistence for the soldiers expired in February so that they are now driven to great want; from all which your Grace must be sensible of the many difficulties I have encountred even to keep the publick peace and quiet of the Island : I should be untrue to the trust H.M. has reposed in me did I not lay these things before your Grace with the utmost candour and integrity that, if H.M. thinks fit, proper remedies may be speedily applied. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, R. 10th July. 4 ½ pp. Enclosed,
519. i. Duplicate of Feb. 15th.
519. ii. Copy of the Daily Journal, London, 6th May, 1727, publishing the Address of the President and Council to the King (v. C. S. P. 14th July, 1726). Printed. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 326–328, 329v.–332v.]
April 24.
520. President Ayscough to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 26th Jan. Continues:—I am now to lay before your Lordships a detail of the proceedings [of the Assembly] which have proved so undutiful and disrespectful to H.M. and his authority that it put me under a necessity of dissolving them on the 17th of March. Continues as preceding covering letter. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, Recd. 11th July, Read 28th Sept., 1727. 4½ pp. Enclosed,
520. i. Copy of the Weekly Jamaica Courant, 22nd March, containing President Ayscough's Speech to the Council and Assembly 1st March, 1726(7). Endorsed, Recd. 11th July, 1727. Printed. 4 pp. [C.O. 137, 17. ff. 13–15, l6v., 18–19v., 20v.]
April 25.
521. Extract from a letter from a Merchant in Charles Town to a London Merchant. Our precinct Court hath not answered the expectation of the country people and the last sitting the Assembly past another law for the better establishing those Courts wherein there shall be no process but by an arrest for debt and not by summons as formerly, and the people have so farr deterred the Marshall from going into the country that few or no debts will be recovered. The people are very much in debt are now entering into an Association to pay no taxes, the next step will be paying no debts, subvert the Governmt. and become Levellers. I never saw such a spirit in the people as now and how it will end God knows. One of the Heads is now in prison but its expected he will be rescued and when a mobb is together nobody knows what mischief may be done for my part I intend to pack up books bonds and papers and send them on board the man of warr. Endorsed, given in by Governor Nicholson (? to the Duke of Newcastle's Office), July, 1727. Copy, ¾ p. [C O. 5, 387. No. 71.]
April 25.
522. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of Pennsylvania, 1726, for re-emitting such bills of credit as by former Acts are directed to be sunk, etc. [C.O. 5, 1294. p. 1.]
April 25. 523. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Liquor Act of Virginia in reply to 20th April. The money cannot be applied to the support of the masters till after the College is built, in accordance with the Charter etc. v. April 26. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Reed. Read 25th April, 1727. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1320. pp. 127–128v.]
April 26.
South Car.
524. Edward Massey, Capt. of an Independent Company of Foot at Fort King George, to the Rt. Honble. Henry Pelham (Secretary at War). In obedience to H.M. commands signified to him at London, 19th Aug., reports upon the condition of his company, etc. The Fort (if a place incapable of defence may be called by that name) is 150 miles beyond any Settlement, and in the most desert part of the Province, for the security of which or any part of its trade, it might as usefully have been placed in Japan, it's whole extent does not exceed 1/3 of an acre, part of it is in a marsh, which renders the air extremely unwholesome, this joyn'd to the hard necessity of eating salt provision all the year, has destroyed great numbers of men, of which the death of 4 Commission Officers a Surgeon and 130 odd Serjeants and private centinells in six years, is too fatal a proof, not to mention the great desertion it has occasioned. We are destitute of every inconveniency and accommodation, and under the greatest difficulties in procuring even salt provisions ; which must be laid in once a year, there being but one season for growing beef and pork, great quantities of which go bad in six months. This has occasioned frequent mutinies, and the men would desert in a body, if they had no hopes of being relieved. Refers to "the unaccountable and injurious treatment we receive from the Country, for whose assistance and relief H.M. was pleased to raise and pay the Company, they deny quarters to the recruits when landed, as likewise to any detachment on service, and refuse to supply the Garrison with either bedding, fire or candle" etc. Describes lack of accommodation in the Fort etc. Continues:—Cannon indeed I have, but without ball, hammer or sponge, for all which I have applyed and been refused etc. I find I am not to expect assistance from the country, who I firmly believe (some few persons excepted) would sacrifice not only this unfortunate Company, but all H.M. Forces if in their power, could they either save or gain half a score paltry negroes by it etc. On the strictest enquiry I cannot find, the late fort was burnt by design, but have reason to suspect the men were not so active as they might have been in extinguishing the fire, in hopes they should be delivered from the miseries they had so long suffered, which are inexpressible etc. Has composed differences amongst the Officers etc. P.S. In divers parts of the Province for some days past, the people have been, and are assembling in a riotous manner under pretence of petitioning, but in reality forming a seditious if not treasonable Association. Yesterday one of the Ringleaders was apprehended and committed by Mr. Skeene one of H.M. Councill. April 27th. Just now a Justice of the Peace has granted quarters to two men of my Company, to guard a criminal convicted of murder etc. They still refuse quarters to recruits or any detachment on the King's service. Signed, Edwd. Massey. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 387. Nos. 72, and (part only) 73.]
April 26.
525. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Propose Act of Virginia for laying a duty on liquors, 1726, for H.M. royal approbation, after stating objections urged against it by Governor Nicholson, one of the Trustees of the College of William and Mary, and the Board's views thereupon. Set out, A. P. C. III. pp. 153–156. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 315–322.]
April 28.
526. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Act of Antigua, 1726, for laying a duty of powder and money on all vessels trading to or from this Island, for the defence of the Island etc. [C.O. 153, 14. p. 232.]
April 29. 527. H.M. Commission to the Bishop of London for the exercise of the Spiritual and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Plantations. Printed. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 192. ff. 310–312v.]
April 30.
528. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Duke of Newcastle. Since my last dated 24 November (sic), I have the mortification to tell your Grace for H.M. information that there arrived here from Boston one Mr. Gambell formerly a Lieut, in the army, who I am told came from England with Major Cosby to Boston where the Major still continues, tho' I have order'd him to his post at Canso, and in defiance and disobedience to my orders stays in New England to know the result of the said Gambell's fallse complaints against me, after his arrivall here from England he associated himself with some Boston antimonarchical traders, who together with some evil intended french inhabitant that had lately taken the oaths of fidelity to his most gracious Majesty, which they never could be brought too before by any former Commander, and incited them to signe such complaints as he had formed against me, telling them I had no power nor authority to administer them such oaths, and also that Major Cosby would be with them this spring with full power to govern the Province, in short he has instilled such rebelious principels into the inhabitants of Minos and Boabassin, two of the principall settlements ; to the former of which I sent Capt. Bennett to administer the oaths and Eno. Philipps to the latter, they are both return'd with the said inhabitants answers and resolutions not to take any oath but to their Notre bon Roy du France, as they express it (v.encl.), and all this occasioned by the incitement and ill conduct of the aforesaid Mr. Gampell and three or four New England traders, who are now tradeing with the said inhabitants that are rebel's against H.M. and this his province of Nova Scotia etc. The French Missionery preists, at the abovesaid places have assembled a great body of Indians, with a resolution to begin the warr against H.M. subjects of this Province and New England, all which troubles are occasioned by the abovesaid Mr. Gambell and his abettors. I must begg your Grace's protection against the said Gambell's complaints, for sure I am he must be incouraged by some people that enemys and envy me the honour of making a peace with the Indians, and setleing affairs upon a just footing in this Province for H.M. service. Otherwise he would not presume to come into this Govermt. of himself, and committ so many evil practices against H.M. intrest here, and with so much contempt against me, that does all that lyes in my power for the dignity and honour of my King and Countrey. I must in conjunction with the rest of our Officers obsarve to your Grace the present state of this Garrison (encl. iii) to be lead before H.M. for his information etc. etc. whereby you will see the absolute necessity either to repair it or demolish it, and errect another fortification at Minos or wherever it shall be thought most proper to quell the rebellious inhabitants to their duty and obedience to his most gracious Majesty King George. I most humbly represent to your Grace the necessity of sending some presents such as I mentioned in my last by which means the Indians may be kept to presarve the peace so lately effected both with pains and trouble after the loss of many of H.M. subjects barboursly massacred and murdered in the last warr with them etc. The Marquiss de Bournoire Govr. Genll, of New France or Quebeck has assembled the heads of nine Castles or Tribes of Indians and demanded of them who had made peace with the English, up stood three of the Chiefs and declared they had, upon which the Marquiss tould them he had nothing further to say to them, but as for those that would continue the warr's he had presents for them in powder, ball, arms, cloathing etc. ; this news was transmitted by the Lieut. Governour of New England, and also pritty nearly confirmed by the Indians themselves, that has a mind to preserve the peace, they tell me two warlike savage Nations beyound Queebeck towards the River Massacipy, are comeing to make warr upon the savages that made the peace with H.M. Provinces as well as naturall subjects, the said Indians further have informed me that 25 Chiefs are actually gon to Queebec to know the Governour's reasons for disturbing their present tranquility, all this may be a fetch of the Indians who are given to stratagem and conning in order to amuse us from being on our guard, which they will be mistaken in, yett they have promised me they will return from Queebec, and bring me the Govemours answer to their demands. Monsr. St. Ovide the french Govr. of Cape Britain last fall sent letters to me and the late deceased Lt. Govr. Doucett for liberty to have chosen refreshments for himself and his officers on board a vessell he then sent which vessell winter'd here and is now purchassing the said refreshments with money, for he brought nothing else, which I have thought proper to indulge him in, in regard to the frendship and alliance between the two Crowns, and that the french Governmt. might not complain of our want of friendship to them. May it plase your Grace even this indulgence is censured by the New England marchants, and I beleive there will be complaints sent home against me for so doing; but I shall do nothing but what I shall acquaint your Grace and Lords Commrs. for Trade and Plantation off etc. Continues:—The bearer, Capt. Bennett can further tell your Grace the dispossition of the people or French inhabitants of this Province and also of the conduct of their missinary preists; who instill an inculcated heatred into both Indians and french inhabitants against the English, he can also inform you what difficultys I have laboured under to gett provissions for my ready money to suport the King's troops with dureing the time I have been here. I most humbly begg your Grace's protection for this Gentleman and hope you will dispatch him back as soon as possible with some orders and instructions how I shall act in the aforesaid emergencys etc. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Rd. Jan. 23, 1727/8. 6 pp. Enclosed,
528. i. Deputies of the inhabitants of Beau Bassin to Lt. Governor Armstrong. We cannot take the oath you require from us, by reason of the savages, who have threatened to take the hatchet against us, so soon as we shall have signed it, and because we wish always to be faithful to Our good King of France. We submit to your Government, however, paying the taxes as we did whilst under the French etc. Signed, Charles Bourgeois and 4 others, their marks. Copy. French. 2 pp.
528. ii. Ensign Philipps to Lt. Govr. Armstrong. The inhabitants of Beau Bassin (Chignectou) resolutely refused to take the oath I tendered them (v. preceding). They said that rather than sign it they would leave their habitations and repair to the Island of St. Johns. One said that there was no encouragement for their takeing the oath, and that the inhabitants of Annapolis Royal that had already sign'd were worse treated than ever before, their oxen being worked on the King's account, without being paid for them. Joseph Ignace, the Missionary preist, incited them to this course. He often repeated to me in private the number of young men that could bear arms in the place and that he himself would take up arms rather than the people should sign. There are 120 heads of families there. It was impossible to have any just account of their black cattle and sheep. As to your Honour's directions to them not to transport any of their corn or cattle out of the province without the Governors and Councils leave, they answered that they thought themselves at liberty to dispose of their goods to the first that would pay for them, whether French or English etc. Signed, E. S. Philipps. Copy. 3½ pp.
528. iii. Capt. Bennett to Lt. Gov. Armstrong. In spite of all my persuasion the inhabitants of Menis refused to take the oath etc. cf. preceding. Concludes:—"In my opinion they are too a man intirely disaffected to the Government of Great Brittain." 2¼ pp.
528. iv. Deputies of inhabitants of Mines to Lt. Govr. Armstrong. Cf. preceding. The terms of the oath frighten the inhabitants from taking it, but they assure your Excellcy. that they will not commit any act of hostility etc. 24 signatures. Copy. French. 2 pp.
528. v Further representation on the state of the fort at Annapolis Royal. Since our last the breaches have increased etc. Describe rotten state of the drawbridge and gateway etc. At their own expence Lt. Gov. Armstrong and the Captains of the Garison have palissaded the ramparts within the parapet etc. Signed, L. Armstrong, and 11 Officers of the Garrison. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 38. Nos. 15, 15. i–v.]
April 30
529. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Council of Trade and s Plantations. Duplicate of preceding covering letter, mutatis mutandis. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, (Duplicate, original not recd.) Recd. 23rd Jan., Read 31st May, 1728. 4¾| pp. Enclosed,
529. i–v. Duplicates of enclosures i–v, preceding. [C.O. 217, 5. ff. 26–31v., 32v.–34v., 35v.–36; and (duplicate of covering letter) 217, 30. pp. 23–25.]
April [ ]
530. [? Duke of Newcastle] to President Ayscough. I have received your letter of 16th Dec. with the proceedings of the Council of Jamaica, with regard to the supplying Admiral Hosier with men ; which having been laid before the King, H.M. was extremely well satisfied with the great care and diligence that had been shown on that occasion, and the ready compliance with the Admiral's request; which H.M. takes the more particular notice of, as it happened at so important a juncture. From this instance of their zeal for H.M. service, He is fully persuaded of their giving the same ready assistance in any case of the like necessity, and that you will not be wanting on your part to contribute towards it. I wish I could at the same time acquaint you with H.M. approbation of the proceedings of the Assembly with regard to the settling the laws of the Island ; but I find by this and your former letters, that they are not so sensible of H.M. gracious intentions towards them, as might be reasonably expected; however, I will not now enlarge upon this subject; since H.M. has been pleased to appoint Brigr. Hunter to be Governor of Jamaica, who will soon set out with full Instructions on that head. In the mean time H.M. has commanded me to signify to you His entire approbation of your conduct, being sensible that you have not been wanting in your endeavours to convince them of what has been recommended to them; and H.M. questions not but you will continue to act with the same zeal and vigilance for His service and the good of the Island, so long as the Government thereof shall remain in your hands. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 312, 312v.]
[April]. 531. Bill of lading of the Anne brigantine, Capt. Thomas Jenkins, commander. Merchandize to the value of £600 shipped by Cha. Lewen. 1 slip. [C.O. 388, 27. No. 81.]