America and West Indies: September 1728, 1-15

Pages 191-208

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 36, 1728-1729. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

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September 1728, 1-15

Sept. 3. 376. Petition of Joanna Clarke, widow, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Prays for payment of arrears (£108 15s. 9¾d.) due to her late husband, Samuel Clarke, who served as Chamber Keeper ever since the establishment of the Office, for sums laid out by him for the use of the Office. Endorsed, Recd., Read 3rd Sept., 1728. 1 p. [C. O. 388, 79. No. 29.]
[Sept. 3.] 377. [? Mr. Curphey's] List of men capable of bearing arms in the Bahama Islands besides the garrison; Providence 66; Harbour Island, 17 ; Islathera, 32. List of 20 inhabitants that went off. Names given. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Curphey), Read 3rd Sept., 1728. 2¼ pp. [C. O. 23, 2. ff. 162– 163v.]
Sept. 5. 378. Thomas Missing of Portsmouth to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Memorialist believes it would be a great security and advantage to encourage the Protestant Palatines to go to Carolina, and "as he hath a correspondence that way, and hath with reputation carried over a great many to America," he will on the Government's encouragement, engage to deliver yearly such a number as H.M. shall appoint and victual them till they can support themselves etc. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th Sept., 1728. ¾ p. [C. O. 5, 360. ff. 74, 75v.]
Sept. 6.
379. Nicholas Trott to [? the Duke of Newcastle.] Hopes for encouragement to return and live at Oxford in order to print his explication of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. If nothing else can be done for him, asks to be restored to his office of Chief Justice, by a Commission from H.M. "to which place I think I have as good a right as any man in the Province hath to his land." Continues :—For I had a Commission from the Lords Proprietors for that office not dureing pleasure but dureing my good behaviour etc. Argues that their surrender of their Charter cannot void any grant made by them, for if so, all the people's grants for their lands are null and void etc. He once presented to his Lordship at the House of Lords one of the printed specimens of his explication of the Hebrew text etc. Signed, Nicholas Trott. 3 pp. [C. O. 5, 387. No. 83.]
Sept. 9. 380. Thomas Lowndes to [? Mr. Popple]. I having under the direction of the Earl of Westmoreland, been instrumental in bringing about the Crown's purchase of the Carolina's, hope the liberty, I take, will not be looked upon impertinent. I have accounts from good hands that the Agents for the Penn family have quarrell'd with the Palatins, and have refused to let those persecuted people, to have any more land, in Pensilvania. You without doubt must know, that great numbers of Palatins, have for many years gone to Pensilvania, so that they have raised the price of land from £65 the 1000 acres to £700. The accident I mentioned puts a stop to any more of that Nation going to that Colony. The next year a great number of the better sort of inhabitants must be forced to quit the Palatinat upon account of their religion. If proper encouragemt. was now given for a few familys to go and settle in South Carolina, so that they might acquaint their countrymen with the goodness of that Province, South Carolina might be quickly peopled with honest planters; and that vast tract of uncultivated land to the southward be let out at a better quitt rent than has hitherto been paid either in Virginia or Carolina. For the rivers to the southward are very navigable, and the land perfectly sound and good, and not fenny as about Charles Town and to the northward. And the timber is the largest in all North America. I am well informed that in the last eleven years there has gone to Pensilvania more than 17,000 Palatins and the poorest master of a family has by a fair computation taken with him besides paying the passage £50 sterling, and many of them more than £600, and they always go well provided with arms. Signed, Tho. Lowndes. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th Sept., 1728. 2¾ pp. [C. O 5, 360. ff. 72–73v.]
Sept. 10.
381. Mr. Popple to Thomas Missing. In reply to 5th Sept., the Lords Commissioners for Trade etc. think the settlement of a number of Palatine families in S. Carolina will not only speedily render that Province of great advantage to this Kingdom, but will also make it of great consequence to H.M. other Plantations in America, by strengthening in so effectual a manner their Southern frontier. But as you observe to their Lordsps., if proper encouragement should be given to these parties, that you can form a method of sending over such a number of them yearly, as H.M. shall appoint etc., I am to desire you will let their Lordsps. have your opinion, as soon as possible, what encouragement you think will be sufficient, to induce a sufficient number of families to settle there, and what your proposed method is. [C. O. 5, 400. pp. 239, 240.]
Sept. 10.
382. Same to Mr. Lowndes. Reply to 9th Sept. Duplicate of preceding, omitting words in italics. [C. O. 5, 400. pp. 239, 240.]
Sept. 10. 383. Mr. Mulcaster, Agent to the Independent Company at the Bahama Islands, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Knows nothing of the complaints against Governor Phenney sent to him by the Board. Asks for time to send copies to him and for his reply. Thinks that Mrs. Phenney's trading was done if at all without any intention to exclude others, but purely from a necessity to preserve the lives of the garrison and inhabitants, who, by Mr. Curphey's account, are of so lazy a disposition, that they never will work, nor even look for sustenance till hunger compell them, nor buy more commodities at a time than is necessary for present support etc. Signed, John Mulcaster. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th Sept., 1728. 2 pp. Enclosed,
383. i. Mr. Arnold, Clerk at the War Office, to [Mr. Hughes] Judge Advocate General. Whitehall, 27th August, 1723. Upon Capt. Phenney's representation, the Lords Justices were pleased to pardon John Wadsworth etc. Signed, Rd. Arnold. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 164–165, 167v.]
Sept. 10. 384. Cuthbert Jackson of London Merchant, Attorney to Governor Phenney, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Mrs. Vere's complaint (Aug. 27) is false and malicious. From all accounts, Providence was in a miserable condition both before and in 1721, till the Bahama Society dispatched the Providence pink, Capt. Woodward, with goods and necessarys. She arrived Aug., 1721, and Sept. following the Bahama galley arrived there with 295 slaves from Guinea. The Althea, Capt. Roberts, arrived with Governor Phenney, Nov., 1721, having a very rich cargoe and severall hundred barrell of flower for sale. The Samuel, Capt. Hampton, was dispatched with goods and necessarys, but was lost in her passage, and the Providence pink sent again with provisions. All these cargoes were sent by the Bahama Society and consigned to their factors there, viz., Thomas Walker and Mr. Goheir, and after Mr. Goheir came away, to Mr. Walker and Skinner, but Skinner being taken by the Spaniards in a trading voyage, Mr. Innes was sent over in his place, and Walker dying, Skinner was again sent thither. The sd. factors kept a storehouse and sold their goods for the account of the Society, and the Governor was supplyed from thence in the same manner as the rest of the inhabitants. The value of these cargoes amounted to much above £15,000 sterling, not £800 whereof was ever sold to the inhabitants, exclusive of the Governor, because of their idleness and poverty, tho' sd. goods were purposely sent to accommodate them, so that the Society was forced to dispose of their goods by sending them off the Island and break up their storehouse about two years since. This is a plain confutation of Mrs. Vere's assertion that Governor's Lady immediately engrossed the trade, since both he and the inhabitants were supplied out of the same store for some years. After the Society had declined sending provisions, the Governor supplied himself and garrison, at his own charge and risque, from Ireland and elsewhere, the Hanover brigantine loaded at Cork once and the ship Joseph another time, his flower he usually had from the Continent, and has always acted with that prudence as to have constantly several months store beforehand etc. Mrs. Vere's assertion that the Governor's Lady made it her practice to buy all the commoditys the place produced to make voyages home etc., must certainly be false, because most of the bark (which is the most valluable commodity the place produces) has come to Mr. Samuel Wragg and others by way of Carolina, wherein neither the Governor or his Lady had any concern etc., and the platt is a new thing there which has been wholly oweing to Mrs. Phenney's industry in shewing the inhabitants the way and putting them upon it, and a most inconsiderable quantity has yet come from thence. Mrs. Vere was housekeeper or servant to Goheir, who came from thence in 1721 being indebted to the Society for 10 slaves etc., which Mr. Skinner sold for the account of the Society. This she calls taking the uneasie charge off her hands. 'Tis well known to the whole Island that Mrs. Vere was for some time under great uneasiness and horror of mind, the occasion of which as she declared, Mr. Curfen both has told and can tell; so 'tis no great wonder the negroes would not obey her when she was not able to govern herself. As a sloop is expected every day from Providence with several of the inhabitants on board, prays the Board to suspend the matter, "till we shall be able to produce unanswerable evidence etc., to clear a very worthy gentleman, to whom I am possitive his reputation is more dear than his very life." Signed, C. Jackson. Endorsed, Recd., Read 10th Sept., 1728. 5½ pp. [C. O. 23, 2. ff. 168– 170v., 171v.]
Sept. 10. 385. Copy of Privy Seal for payment of salaries of the Board of Trade. Countersigned, John Wooddeson, Depty. 5 pp. [C. O. 388, 79. No. 34.]
[Sept. 13.] 386. Governor Burnet to the Duke of Newcastle. I arrived here on the 19th of July and published my Commissions, and met the Assembly on the 24th of that month, and have been sitting with them ever since in order to obtain a fixed salary from them according to my Instructions, but all the success I have yet had is to bring the Council into those measures, as for the Assembly, they continue very obstinate against it. I hope by the next vessel to give your Grace a more satisfactory account of their proceedings, and am with the greatest respect, My Lord, Your Grace's most dutifull and most obedient humble servant. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Rd. 7th Nov., 1728. Dated by letter of 26th Oct. Holograph. 2 pp. Enclosed,
386. i. Petition of Sundry Members of the Church of England, living in the towns of Rehoboth and Barrington in the County of Bristol, to Governor Burnet. Sept. 2, 1728. Appeal for protection, three of them having been distrained upon for the support of the Dissenting Ministers of those towns, and the rest being equally liable. Signed, Jno. Bowen, Jabez Brown, John Bullock, Nathl. Browne, Saml. Carpenter, Jno. Hill, Daniel Browne, Luke Thornton, Mathew Allen, Joseph Browne, Charles Carpenter, Benja. Brown, Olliver Brown, Isaac Brown, Hezekiah Brown, Thomas Lindley, John Butterworth, Peter Robinson, Ebenezer Robinson. Read in Council, 5th Sept. Copy. Certified by J. Willard, Secry. 2½ pp. [C. O. 5, 898. Nos. 45, 45 i; and, endorsement only, Rd. Dec. 10, of duplicate of covering letter, 5, 752. No. 36.]
Sept. 13.
387. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. To same effect as preceding covering letter. Encloses copies of votes with passages marked relating to the salary. Concludes: In justice to the Council I must say that they are well inclined. I intend to continue sitting with the Assembly till they comply, that the country who pay about a thousand pounds a month to the Council and Representatives by way of wages during their attendance, may feel the inconvenience of their standing out etc. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 6th Oct., Read 7th Nov., 1728. Holograph. 3 pp. [C. O. 5, 870. ff. 121– 122v.]
Sept. 13.
388. Same to Mr. Popple. To same effect as preceding. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 1 p. [C. O. 5, 870. ff. 123, 124v.]
Sept. 13.
389. Governor Worsley to the Duke of Newcastle. The 7th instant I had the honor of receiving your Grace's letter of the 24th of May last, with a copy of a petition of the Majority of last year's Assembly to H.M. dated 4th Jan., 1727. I can never sufficiently acknowledge H.M. great goodness, in being willing to hope that this complaint has no just foundation, and if it had I should alwayes be unworthy of the least of the honours and favours H.M. has been pleased to confer upon me. I shall now consider the facts in the petition abstractedly from the embellishments that spleen, invention and words could make it: It first setts forth that "to obtain the redress of several grievances, the Assembly, on my arrival here, were wrought upon to submit to a settlement of £6000 sterling per annum on me, during my residence here in the quality of His late Majesty's Governor." When I arrived, and they proposed to make a settlement on me, I told them, I should be contented with what salary, they could conveniently allow ; But I am surprised to find they should alledge it, to be only during my residence here in quality of His late Majesty's Governor when the very Act itself, which H.M. confirmed etc., has these words, Provided always that this Act shall be in force etc. for so long time as H.E. Henry Worsley shall continue to be H.M. Governor etc. and shall in that quality personally reside etc. Certainly by construction of law, the King never dies, nor could it be the intent of the law, for in another paragraph the tax is granted to His Majesty, His heirs and Successors. The next is, "That the Militia has been totally neglected, the forts, breastworks and batterys are gon to ruin, the publick stores are embezled and wasted, and all persons in offices under H.E. busied in nothing, but how to raise fortunes from the ruins of the people, by inventing new fees, and perquisites, and increasing the former fees and emoluments of their several offices." As for the Militia it was setled by a law of 1697 (v. 20th May last), by which the Colonels have got the sole command of them; Indeed the Governor grants the Commissions, but how is that? after he has given the Colonel his, the Colo. insists upon having blank Commissions for the other officers. I have always put in the Field Officers, but that has been a heart burning. I own I have not made a general review of them, this would put the Island to a considerable charge, and has been a ground of complaint against former Governors ; I proposed it in Council the 12th instant, when the Councellrs. told me it would be very prejudicial to the inhabitants, who are now planting, and therefore must defer it till next spring ; and then if there be ever so many defaulters, or any that want arms, or accoutrements, as prescribed by the law, I cannot fine them, but is only in the power of the Colonels to do it, or remit it; By the Act of Militia whoever does not send his complement, every foot defaulter pays 5 shillings, and every horse defaulter 10s., and if they are exercised only every two months, that will be in a year £3. for a horse and 30s. for a foot soldier; and what gentleman of a considerable estate would not rather pay the fine than be oblidged to keep the man ; and most of them, either do not pay at all, or compound with the Marshalls who collect the fines, and I believe I could make it appear that most of the gentlemen that made this complaint do not send their complement, and some I am told send none at all; 'tis likewise said I have suffered several of the Regiments to be without officers ever since my arrival here, tho' I did then issue proclamation, that all officers should continue in their posts, but they are of such a temper, that if the Colo. should die, the other officers neglect the Regiments, as if they held their Commissions from the Colonels, and not from the Governor: and as I have heard about three months since that H.M. had been pleased to appoint me (by a new Commission) his Governor here ; I have all the blank Commissions ready, and only waite the arrival of it, in order to fill them up, and deliver them out : and I can assure your Grace, they shall not have any occasion for the future, to complain of their not being reviewed ; and I design every exercising day to see one or other of the Regiments exercise as I have lately done, and were it in my power to fine the defaulters, and them that are anyways diffident in arms, or other accoutrements, they should have no reason to complain. As to the forts etc. being gon to ruin refers to letter of May 20th. shewing that "I had always represented to the Assemblys their ruinous condition, and if they will not provide for the repairing them, I hope it will not be imputed to me as a fault. As to the embezlement and waste of the publick stores," refers to letter of 20th May. Continues:—I am the more surprised, that if this country did lay under such dismal apprehensions, in case of a war, for want of a sufficient qty. of powder or other stores, that they did not make up the late Storekeeper's accounts, tho' I order'd in Council the 20th Feb. last the Committee of publick accounts to make them up ; and I did again recommend it in Council to Mr. Lightfoot chairman of the said Committee etc. Refers to Minutes of Council. Continues:—I can't therefore think they are realy under such apprehensions, in case of a war, of want of powder and other stores, and the country I believe is now fully sattisfy'd that there has been no embezlement of them, the several gunners and mattrosses, having voluntarily given their oaths that no embezlement has been made, and that the powder removed out of the old magazine, to the several forts, is truly and bona fide the same powder that was so removed, without any alteration whatsoever. The next head of complaint is, "that all persons in offices under me, are trusted in nothing but how to raise fortunes from the ruins of the people, by inventing new fees and perquisites, and increasing the former fees and emoluments of their several offices." I can't imagine what they can mean by this; a complaint was made to me against the late Deputy Provost Marshal, for exacting fees; this I refer'd to the Judges and to the Attorney General etc. They made me the report not in favour of the said Depty., who thereupon resigned etc. (v. supra). If that Deputy has injured anybody he may have his remedy at law and may prosecute him ; I have done all that I am impowered to do by my 54th Instruction : and as I am impowered together with the Council, by H.M. 38th Instruction to regulate all fees, I have order'd lists of them to be laid before me in Council etc., and on 20th Feb. appointed a Committee of the Council to examine them and report etc., but they have not yet done it, alledging they have not been able to make a Committee of five to meet. If this was so great a grievance to the country, surely five Members of the Council would find time to meet in order to have the fees regulated. They further say that the trust and custody of the Magazine has been in the hands of William Webster Esqr. Deputy Publick Secretary, and my Secretary, and principal Agent, on whom I had bestowed the following places; Major of the Guards, Master in Chancery, Capn. and chief gunner of the principal fortifications, Surveyor General and Captain and Commander of the Magazine Guards. I now beg leave to represent to your Grace how the Storekeepers have always conducted themselves in their office; they have always appointed a Deputy in St. Michael's etc. Colonel Peers the present Speaker when he was Storekeeper, one Mr. Thomas Hacket acted for him: the succeeding Storekeeper Colonel Downes, employed Mr. John Cornor; Colonel Leslie who succeeded Colonel Downes, employed Mr. Edward Nichols : Colonel Forbes, the present Deputy Register in Chancery, who succeeded Col. Leslie, employed Mr. Christo. Fowler, and Col. Leslie, who was chosen again soon after my arrival here, employed Mr. Edward Freeman, Colonel Durousseau the present Storekeeper, who was chosen by the last Assembly, and still continues ; employs his son in law Mr. William Whitesides and one Thomas Keeling. The Storekeeper that receives the stores from his predecessor is obliged to give security in a bond of £2000 sterling, for the faithfull execution of his office ; as for Mr. Webster, he tells me he never had the care or custody of the magazine ; Mr. Freeman tells me he has always had the care and custody of the magazine and stores, under Col. Leslie, and assures me Mr. Webster never had ; for that he the said Freeman did always receive the powder and clear'd the ships in his own name for Col. Leslie, of which he will give his oath. If the Committee of Accounts would but make up the accounts, they would soon see whether, or not, the powder has been embezled, or wasted : Mr. Webster was recommended to me by the Court of Portugal, where he had lived many years ; upon his arrival here, I made him Captain of Needham's Fort, and the rest of the forts and batterys of St. Michael's Division, in which division there are four under gunners and 20 mattrosses, the salary is £100 currant mony of this Island pr. annum, which is paid in course, and is sometimes 5 or 6 years after the order is granted before it is paid, and the perquisites may amount to about £70 curt, mony more pr. annum. I own I made him afterwards Surveyor General, for running out and setling the bounds of lands, which place is worth to him about 50 or £60 a year, and I think about 2 years ago he was Captain of the men on guard at the magazine for about a month, upon the death of the former Captain until I had pitcht upon another; and I did likwise make him one of the Masters in Chancery which post is worth about 30 or £40 pr. annum. As to his being Major of the Horse Guards it is a post of expence and no proffit; and his being Deputy Secretary and my Secretary, that was by deputation from Mr. Whitworth the Pattentee, who put in Mr. Webster's name in case of the death or absence of Mr. Hammond, who is gon off to North America for his health, and upon his return has the office again. However 'till then, that the General Assembly may have no reason to complain, I design to put in another Captn. gunner in St. Michael's division, in that they say, in their Minutes of the 29th past, that the offices of Secretary and Captain gunner are incompatible, because the Captn. gunner is to deliver in upon oath to the Secretary of this Island, a true and just account, of what shall be due to himself, under gunners, and mattrosses; tho' having laid it before the Council, as it depended on the construction of a law, it was refer'd to H.M. Attorney General, who has reported that it is not incompatible, and that he might swear to his, and the under gunners and mattrosses accounts before me in Council, which he accordingly did. The said petition further sets forth, that about their "procuring a redress for some of their most crying grievances with all the calmness and moderation imaginable, and with due defference and reguard to me, I sought all occasions to exasperate, maltreat, insult and abuse the Assembly, who, however resolved to overlook all indignitys for the good of their country, and I finding that I could not provoke the Assembly to return the ill treatment they met with from me, did on the 5 of October last command them to adjourn for 4 weeks etc." I refer for answer to this, to their address to me, and to their Minutes of the Assembly, the last year: surely the supporting H.M. prerogatives according to my duty ; the not passing a bill to exclude all officers civil and military from being Assembly men ; the not suffering them to choose a pro tempore Speaker without my approbation ; the taking notice of their adjourning themselves from time to time and from place to place without my consent; and to adjourn and prorogue them when I see them attempt to bring in a bill to lessen the number of H.M. mattrosses and their salarys, with which they cannot support themselves at present as they are paid, cannot be thought insulting and abusing the Assembly, and tho' they may think they are doing good for their country, it can't be imputed as a crime in me. Your Grace may have observed by what principles they are actuated, from the Address of the present Assembly to me, on my Speech to them and their subsequent Minutes etc. Repeats part of following letter. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Rd. 13th Nov. 25 pp. Enclosed,
389. i. Petition of William Webster, Captain Gunner, the under-gunners and matrosses of St. Michael's division to the Governor in Council. Request payment of £349 3s. 11d. for their salaries, 9th Sept., 1727— 9th March, 1728. 1 p.
389. ii. Account of above salaries etc. Signed, Wm. Webster. Copy. 2 pp. [C. O. 28, 44. Nos. 124, 124 i, ii.]
Sept. 13.
390. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats parts of preceding covering letter. Adds:—The 7th instant I had the honour of receiveing your Lordships' letter of 12th April last, by which I find that I may shortly expect H.M. commands in relation to the Assemblys assuming to themselves a power of adjourning as they think fitt, which they have constantly done this sessions, (except the first time they met) as also of choosing a pro tempore Speaker without my approbation, as I have had the honour to advise your Lordships. The publication I order'd to be made in all the churches of the repeal of the Act declaring and ascertaining the rights and powers of the General Assembly has undeceived many of the inhabitants thereof who before thought the Assembly of Barbados had the same powers as the House of Commons in Great Britain, and that they had "a coercive power to call before them such persons as shall be able to give evidence in matters relateing to grievances upon H.M. good subjects of this island, or to send for persons papers and records in order to the better discovery and redressing such grievances, and for the better enquiry into the breach of H.M. good and wholesome laws of this Island, without which they could by no means attain to such good ends for which it shall please H.M. to call them, which would very much tend to H.M. dishonour and disservice and very much to the detriment of H.M. subjects of this Island" etc. This is the preamble of the Act, which upon its arrival in England was immediately repealed by King William tho' the Habeas Corpus Act which they had passed the year before was not repealed till 1702, upon this consideration I did refuse to comply with the Address of the last year's Assembly for the copy of the report of the Judges upon the complaint against the Deputy Provost Marshall, in that they had no power to redress grievances, which your Lordships will observe they do still assume to themselves in their Address they make to me this year, and as they have no power to send for persons, papers and records, I did refuse to lay before them the lists of the fees, especially as H.M. by his 38th Instruction has provided a redress. Quotes instruction to Governor with advice of Council to regulate fees and that tables of fees be hung up in publick places where they are to be paid. Continues:—And in order thereto on the 28th of November last I ordered all the officers to lay a list of their fees before me in Council, and on 20th Feb. last I appointed a Committee of the whole Council, or any five of them to examine them, and to make their report to me in Council, but they have not yet done it, alledging they have not been able to get a Committee of five of the Council to meet, if this was so great a grievance to the country, surely five Members of the Council would find time to meet in order to have the fees regulated. Quotes postcript from Board's letter relating to French and St. Vincents, v. 12th April. Continues:—In the island of St. Vincent's, there are blacks, Indians and some French, the blacks being superior to the Indians, possess the inland part of the island, and the Indians are retired to the sea-coast, where the French settle, and intermarry with them, and as I have been informed they do raise corn, but no French vessells have brought any here, whether any English sloops have, or not I am not certaine, but if they have I don't know of any law, that can hinder them. As to the French man of war pretending to seize any English sloops there, for cutting of timber, I never heard he did, but about a year and a half since a French man of war was sent from France fitted out by the merchants at Nantz, as I have heard to prevent the counterband trade, that was carryed on at Martinique by English ships, who went directly to Sta. Lucia with beef, and other provisions, or toucht here, and sold their provisions and carryed away our money with which they went to Sta. Lucia, to purchase French sugars, which were clandestinely carryed to them from Martinique, and then proceeded with them to Holland, or other forreigne ports, where they could enter, this allarm'd the French merchants, and was the occasion of their petitioning for the said man of war, who when she arrived, went to Sta. Lucia, and seized several English ships and other vessells, who had on board sugars, or other French commoditys brought to them clandistinely from Martinique without paying the King of France his duty. I have the honour to inclose to your Lordships the Minutes of the Assembly of the 29th past; which is in answer to the Councillors' reasons for their amendments to the Excise Bill. The Assembly say 'tis notorious that many excise bills have been passed even during my Government, whereby in certain cases an address of the General Assembly was made necessary, previous to the passing orders for money rais'd by those bills, as perticularly in the cases of defraying the charges of the entertainments of the Courts of Grand Sessions, and of the repairs of Pilgrim etc. Continues:—As to the first case, it dos not appear in any other, but the two last excise acts, by a law of this island the expence of the Grand Sessions is to be paid out of the casual revenue, but by my 46 Instruction, H.M. commands it shall be paid out of the publick Treasury of the Island, and with some difficulty I got it inserted in the Excise bill in the year 1726, and the expression (upon the address from the General Assembly) did indeed escape my notice, but this is so far from proving a right, that on the contrary it shews how necessary it is (even in the most minute things) not to suffer innovations. Some from a bare indulgence in small things are apt to put in a claim of right to much greater, as to the second case, the repairs of Pilgrim House, by my 27 Instruction H.M. commands that the General Assembly are permitted to assign, or provide such a house or rent of a house, and consequently I thought it just and reasonable that they should have the enquiry into the repairs or buildings, and even laid before them the workmen's receipts of the money expended for the said repairs. But the question now I take to be whether the Assembly have a right of inspecting, regulateing, or approveing of accounts, before an order be issued for them, which is contrary to H.M. 34 Instruction, which I laid before them before they passed the bill the second time. The Assemblys have always addressed the Governour in Council for moneys upon several occasions, and it has been formerly granted, but in the ordenary use of any former excise act an address was never made necessary, and that without it no order should pass, or if it did, the Treasurer should not pay it, or if he paid it, the Committee of Publick Accounts should not allow it, 'tis certain there never was such an use in any preceeding excise bill, since the settlement of the island. But this proceeding of theirs will appear more extraordinary, when your Lordships shall consider, what these uses are for, nothing less than for H.M. stores, and fortifications, what will naturally follow this, will be the payment of the gunners, and the matrosses in the same manner, and then all the power H.M. Governour will have, will be to name the matrosses, who will certainly serve them, that can pay them; and as for the Militia by a law in this island passed by President Bond, the Collos. have got the sole command of them. Indeed the Governours grant the commissions, but how is that? after he has given the Collo. his, the Collo. insists upon blank commissions for the other officers. I have always put in the field officers, but that has ever been a heart burning. The Assembly do not pretend to make out the warrants, or orders for money, that servile part they leave to the Governour and Council; nor do they command the Governour and Council to issue orders in pursuance of their addresses; but they tell them not to issue the money for such uses, till they have first addressed for it, so that notwithstanding that the Governour, and Council have found it necessary for H.M. service, and the publick good, to employ persons at the publick expence in pursuance of the general interest, as well as the title of the law, and that those persons should faithfully do their duty accordingly, they shall never have an order for their money unless they have interest enough with some leading men of the Assembly to procure it for them, these persons were formerly paid on the head of emergencies, which orders were always paid preferable. They particularly mention my granting an order to Mr. Hammond Deputy Secretary and Deputy Clerk of the Council, I did grant it, with the advice and consent of the Council, for his attending at the Council Board, and for transcribing fair minutes and duplicates thereof to be sent home, and entring and transcribing the laws, and publishing them in the churches, and for administring an oath to all masters of ships, appointed by a law passed in 1706, and for doing many other things for the publick, as appears by an account sworn to, and which I have againe ordered to be examined, and is refer'd to a Committee of Council for that purpose, and certainly every man ought to be paid for the work he hath lawfully done. But though I with the advice and consent of the Council did grant it, it is not paid, nor can, but by an use in the excise bill, when the Assembly shall think fitt to make one; on the other hand the Clerk and Marshall of the Assembly have their annual salarys, and even made preferable to the payment of H.M. gunners, and matrosses, the Clerk has £200 per annum, besides an allowance of about £60 per annum for extraordenarys pens ink and paper. The granting the Secretary orders for such extraordenary services for the publick, as before mentioned, has been often practiced in this island, by the Minutes of the 23rd April, 1723, an order was granted to Mr. John Lenoir the Deputy Secretary for the sum of £325 18s. 9d., and on the 21st day of January 1723/4;, an act was past for the payment of the same as appears by the Minutes of Council of the same day. The Committee of the Assembly alledge further that Collo. Leslie by my intervention farmed the office of storekeeper to Mr. Hammond, and insinuate as if it was for my use. The store-keepers have always appointed deputys to act under them, who live in town, on account of the daily departure of the ships, and the storekeepers give bond, and security in £2000 for the stores they receive; if the Committee of accounts would but make up his accounts, which he has desired them often to do, for he has now been near twelve months out of that office, they would soon see if any of the powder was imbezled or wasted; ever since the 20th of Feb. last, as appears by the Minutes of Council of the same day, I have ordered them to do it, and notwithstanding it is not yet done. But as for myself I know of no contract by my intervention, betwixt Col. Leslie and Mr. Hammond, who has been now gone off of this island for North America since April last was three years, and if there has been any it is not for my use, as they would insinuate. The Committee of the Assembly further add in the said Minutes, "that several orders had been issued, and that too for some thousands of pounds to William Webster Esq., Capt. Gunner of St. Michael's division, who at the same time he was, and is Captain Gunner, was, and is H.E.'s Secretary and Deputy Secretary of this island, though those two offices of Captain Gunner, and Deputy Secretary of this island are incompatible, the Captain Gunner being obliged to prove his accounts on oath, which is impossible in this present case." I am surprized how they can make so great a mistake, for about three years only Mr. Webster has been Deputy Secretary and Captain Gunner, the salary of Captain Gunner is £100 currant money of this island per annum. Every half-year the Captain Gunner, under gunners, and matrosses, petition for separate orders for each man's salary, which with the advice and consent of the Council I grant separately, the annual expence for this division for the payment of the said Captain Gunner, under gunners, and matrosses amounts to about £700 per annum, but Mr. Webster has only the orders for his own salary, and some small charges. I have sent your Lordships inclosed a copy of one of the petitions with the account annexed, by which your Lordships will see whether several orders of some thousands of pounds have been granted to Mr. Webster or not. As for the incompatibility of those two posts, because the Captain Gunner is to deliver in upon oath to the Secretary of this island for the time being a true and just account of what shall be due to himself, under gunners, and matrosses, for these are the words of the law, it was referr'd to H.M. Attorney General, who hath reported, that they are not incompatible, and that if he delivered his account upon oath before me in Council, it answered the true intent of the law, which he accordingly did. The Committee of the Assembly observe as to the orders issued to Collo. Leslie "for supplying the forts etc. with necessarys etc. that the sums therein charged for such supplys pretended to be furnisht are in many instances many hundred pr. cent, more then such supplys (if actually furnished) could really have been worth, as for instance forty or fifty pounds have been therein charged for flaggs, that might have been bought for fifteen or twenty pounds." Col. Forbes the Storekeeper before my arrival as I am informed did charge £45 for a flagg, and Mr. Wadeson since my arrival charged one at the same price, and one in Collo. Leslie's time was charged at £40. But the Committee of Council, who I ordered to examine the accounts before the orders were passed, fixed the price for the future at £35. Your Lordships will observe by the Minutes of Council what care I took in granting the orders to the Store-keepers for the necessarys, and utensills they supplyed. In the Minutes of Council of 24th May, 1723 your Lordships will see the report of the Councillors to whom the petition of Collo. William Leslie for necessarys, and utensills he had formerly supplyed the forts with, was referred to examine, and afterwards an order was granted to him for £420 Is. 10½d. In the Minutes of 29th Sept. 1724 is the report of the Councillors to whom the petition of Collo. Forbes was referr'd for £392 12s. 2d., and of Samuel Wadeson for £303 2s. 11d. the late storekeepers; and then orders were issued for the payment of the same. In the Minutes of Council of 11th May, 1725, there is a petition of Collo. Leslie for £388 11s. 7d. which was referr'd to a Committee of Council, who deducted £5 of the account, and therefore an order was afterwards on the 2d July following granted for £383 11s. 7d. only. These are all the orders that have as yet been paid, though since Collo. Leslie was removed from being store-keeper, he has brought in his accounts for the years 1725, 1726, 1727 for which indeed orders were passed without referring the accounts, but that the Assembly may not have the least reason of complaining I have referr'd them to a Committee. I must observe to your Lordships upon the head of the Storekeepers' accounts, that formerly their disbursments were paid as emergencies, and as such were paid immediately, and therefore the flaggs might have been afforded cheaper, and the question then will be whether £24 or £25 in hand is not better than £35 5, 6, or 7 years hence, in a country where money is at 10 pr. cent., for as the orders are now paid in course the soonest they can expect to be paid in, is 4 or 5 years, and they may be longer. As the Assembly have in these Minutes desired that H.M. would be pleased to determine the point in dispute between them and the Council, the Excise bill is dropped till an answer arrives. In Mr. Crow's Government there was a dispute betwixt the Council and Assembly about the latters appointing Agents in the Excise bill. I have sent your Lordships copys of the proceedings out of the Council books, the Assembly did then agree to the Council's amendments as appears from the very Act. I have inclosed also a copy of the uses in that Excise act etc, I am extreamly obliged to your Lordships for your kind congratulation upon H.M. great goodness in haveing been graciously pleased to re-appoint me His Governor etc. This go's by Capt. Wickham in the Brigantine Eagle. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 20th Nov., 1728. 13 pp. Enclosed,
390. i. Minutes of Council of Barbados, 8th March—1st April, 1708. Copy. 7½ pp.
390. ii. Uses in the Excise Act that passed in Mr. Crowe's Government. 25th March, 1708. Endorsed, Recd. 7th Nov., 1728. Copy. 2 pp.
390. iii. Duplicate of encl. i and ii preceding. [C.O. 28, 20. ff. 49–55, 56v.–61v., 62v.–63v.]
Sept. 13. Jamaica. 391. Governor Hunter to Mr. Stanyan. Repeats following, written to Mr. Delafaye as Agent for the Island. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Rd. Dec. 1st. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 84–85v.]
Sept. 13. Jamaica. 392. Governor Hunter to Mr. Delafaye. Mr. Ayscough's conduct etc. has much disconcerted my measures whether it be that he thinks keeping afloat old grudges between the Council and Assembly or the govt. and them may in some measure throw the blame of pass'd miscariages upon the Assembly, or any other hidden cause I know not, but his activity in promoting that Sugar bill, his getting himself industriously nam'd as one of ye Council, without my knowledge, to joyn with a Committee of ye Assembly for instructing the Agent whilst he well knew that this very step would obstruct the Bill, and is, on my begging it of him as a favour that he would excuse himself from that nomination, not only refusing but owning that it was done to obstruct ye passing of the Bill, and that the Council thought themselves injured in ye Instruction apponting two of ye Council only to be joyn'd with five of ye Assembly for that purpose, makes it evident to me at least that his intention is to perpetuate these animositys which I am studying hard to root up. For at this very time he was under the scrutiny of ye Assembly for some misapplication of publick money and will be so in ye next Session notwithstanding of my endeavours for him in softning that affaire. You'll think it odd that the Council after having themselves pass'd the Sugar Bill, should advise me not to give my assent to 't, I'll give you the history of that; I desir'd to be acquainted when that Bill should be sent up to the Council, (for you must understand that here contrary to ye practice of ye Councils to ye Northward they clame a right to sitt by themselves when in their Legislative capacity which is indeed of ill consequence) having heard the Bill read I told them that being a bill of a very extraordinary nature affecting the trade of Engld. and credit of ye Island I thought it would be expedient that a Clause should be added suspending ye execution 'till H.M. pleasure was known and offer'd another amendment, wch. they receiv'd but took no notice of ye first. After I remov'd, Mr. Gregery mov'd that in regard to the consequences of this Bill and what I say'd he thought it expedient the consideration of it should be putt off 'till Tuesday when there would probably be a fuller Board, but to no purpose for that party, five, read the bill thrice in one day, if I remember right and pass'd it without having committed it. When there was a fuller Council I lay'd the Instructions before them and desir'd their opinion if the bill was not of ye nature of these to which I am forbid to give my assent, and they gave it as their opinion that it was, and one of them desir'd his reasons for such his opinion might be enter'd in ye Minutes which was done. I told you in my last that the Atty. Genll. had inform'd me that Mr. Ayscough had apply'd for a privy seale to constitute him Cheife Justice here, I know not what way his intrest may lye at home, but I'll be bold to affirm that if it were comply'd with confusion must ensue and the Govt. be brought into contempt; it is true the present Cheife Justice Pennant is so weake a man that the Bench is grown contemptible and I am now resolv'd to putt in another, for he was put into yt. trust in Mr. Ayscough's time only to keep out another who was indeed very unfitt. Upon the whole I know no better expedient for bringing matters to bear here for the ease of ye Government and quieting the minds of the subjects here, then leaving Mr. Ayscough out of ye list of Council by a new Instruction or special letter for that purpose, for the dread of many that they may once more fall under the lash of his power gives much uneasinesse he being a man of pride resentment and litle judgement. The next in seniority in Council is Coll. Gommersell a man of probity and experience and well belov'd. I had formerly recommended to his Grace and the Lords of Trade in case of vacancy there Alexr. Forbes Esq., Will Needham and Ed. Charlton, all men of character and fortune the first was recommended to his Grace by the King's Advocate whilst I was yet in London. The Assembly is to meet next moneth, I hope in better temper for on second thoughts many of them are cool'd as to ye Sugar Bill, which was indeed no more than a piece of art for an evil purpose etc. P.S. Communicate all or what you think fitt of this to his Grace. I have wrote to the same purpose to Mr. Stanyan. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 1st Dec. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 82–83v.]
Sept. 14.
393. John Bennet to the Duke of Montagu. Returns thanks for letter of May 16th. Continues:—The universal character that your Grace has, with men that are for promoting the good of mankind, in such a laudable manner as your genius leads you to, was the most prevalent reason that I give your Grace the trouble, and myself the pains on the affair of St. Lucia. I have lately in pursuance of that opinion ventured to write you by Mr. Harper etc. I now again affirm and am able to give the strongest reasons in the world, that if we do not secure that island, we shall be outed of all the Charibees and consequently of the whole sugar trade. The French be they never so good allies, are the onely persones that we are to dread in those parts. If anything can be done for the good of these Coloneys I humbly presume to think that your Grace might contribute very much towards it, etc. Signed, John Bennet. Endorsed, Recd. Read 11th Dec., 1728. l½ pp. [C.O. 28, 20. ff 74, 74v., 75v.]
Sept. 15.
394. Lord Townshend to Governor Hunter. As H.M. still receives complaints from the West Indies that the Spaniards continue to interrupt the trade of His subjects, and to make depredations upon them in a piratical manner, He has directed orders to be sent to Comodore St. Lo, or the Commander-in-Chief of H.M. ships in the West Indies, to seize and secure such ships and vessels as shall act piratically, or under illegal comissions or shall make depredations on H.M. subjects since the cessation of arms has been declared. And as the King has likewise had advices, that the Spaniards are strengthening their naval force in America, and finds that tho' open hostilities are ceased, yet their behaviour is such as gives grounds to entertain jealousies of their designs, H.M. thinks in prudence he ought to be upon his guard, and therefore has thought fit to direct you to get the best information you can of their strength by sea, and of the ships that come from Old Spain to reinforce their naval armament in the West Indies, and accordingly to be watchfull of their motions and to put your self in such a posture, that you may neither be insulted nor surprized. Signed, Townshend. l½ pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 86, 87; and (duplicate) 88, 88v.; and 137, 18. f. 3.]