America and West Indies: May 1729, 1-10

Pages 360-369

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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May 1729, 1-10

May 1. 683. Daniel Hintze to Mr. Popple. Encloses following to be laid before the Board. Signed, Daniel Hintze. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 6th May, 1729. ½ p. Enclosed,
683. i. Humble proposal of Daniel Hintze to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Proposes to procure from the Palatinate 3, 4 or 500 Protestant families, well skilled in cultivating lands, and handicraftmen, "who to avoid the persecution they now groan under will be willing to transport themselves at their own expence to any country having a fertile soil that H.M. shall be graciously pleased to appoint them between ye Rivers Kennebeck and St. Croix." For any other province less fertile can procure 100 families etc. at the public expense. Estimates expense of sending 100 Palatine families to America, each family averaging 4 persons at £4 per head, = £1600. For his own expense 20s. per day for 4 months for himself and each of two Palatines, who will help him in this affair, to bring the said families to the waterside in England etc. 1 2/3; pp. [C.O. 5, 870. ff. 212, 213, 213v., 215v.].
May 1.
684. Governor Lord Londonderry to the Duke of Newcastle. Begins with duplicate of April 15. Continues :— I am now to trouble your Grace with Mr. John Lyndesay, the late Governour of St. Eustatius's escapeing to this island, and with Mr. Everard Roecx, the present Governour's applying to me to have him secured if possible, and to deliver him up. St. Eustatius is a very small island under the Dutch, about three leagues to leeward of this, it is a place of some trade (tho' much dwindled) carried on by a company of merchants. The Governour's profitts proceed from the commission he draws from the sales of the negro's and goods consign'd to him by them, and 'tis said, and I beleive very truely, that Mr. Lindesay by giveing too great a credit to the French at Martinico has caused great losses to the Company, for which reason they sent out a new Governour with orders to secure the old one, and to call him to an account etc. They have seized all his effects etc. This Gentleman, whilst he was Governour, lived always very freindiy with the inhabitants of this island etc. He had been confined an year or more, before he made his escape here, and at present as I think it would be very improper in me to either secure, or deliver up, without particular directions, for if I mistake not, 'tis what is seldom ask't, or at least seldome comply'd with in cases of debt, especially when persons of this island under the same circumstances (I mean debt) have always had protection given them there, so I shall wait your Grace's commands etc. Signed, Londonderry. Endorsed, Rd. June 16th. Copy sent to Lord Townshend, June 10th, 1729. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 43–44v.].
May 1.
685. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses 4 acts, which with 3 others transmitted some time since, are all that have passed since his arrival here. Their titles sufficiently explain them etc. They are calculated for many good and useful purposes, containing nothing of any unusual or extraordinary nature; but greatly tending to the general service of this island etc. Hopes shortly to hear of their having received the Royal assent. Is endeavouring as fast as he can to get the Minutes of the Councils and Assemblies to 1st Jan. etc. Concludes with case of Mr. Lindesay as in preceding. Signed, Londonderry. Endorsed, Recd. 18th, Read 20th June, 1729. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 17. ff. 73, 73v., 74v.]
May 2. Admty. Office. 686. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. H.M.S. Oxford, under the command of Lord Vere Beauclerk, and Squirrel, Capt. Osborn, design'd for Newfoundland, and the Rose, Capt. Weller, design'd for Canseaux, being in a readiness to sail thither, asks for Heads of Enquiry as usual. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 6th May, 1729. Addressed, ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 8. ff. 194, 195v.]
May 2. Whitehall. 687. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Requests that Lord Vere Beauclerk's answers to Heads of Enquiry may be transmitted to this Office etc. [C.O. 195, 7. pp. 175, 176.]
May 3. Boston. 688. Mr. Willard to Mr. Popple. Sends Minutes of Council and of Assembly, for the last half year, and acts then passed. Signed, Josiah Millard. Endorsed, Recd. 17th June, Read 15th July, 1729. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 870. ff. 255, 256v.]
May 3. 689. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the fifth of April I reced. H.M. commands by His Grace the Duke of Newcastle to put this island in a posture of defence against a Spanish invasion, sayd to be design'd on the north side, where we are weakest; the enclosed copies of the Minutes of Council and Council of Warr etc., will let your Lordshipps into what has been done and what we are doing. Haveing provided for the defence of this side as well as I could in the time, made a disposition for the march of our force to the place of alarm, and left instructions with the Council for their conduct dureing my stay on the north side; I imbarke in the Plymouth to-morrow in the evening for Port Antonio and Edward's Fort, the rendezvous of our detachments, the greater part of which is already arrived there, and the rest on their march. I have done a great deal in a little time and a little more will put us in a better condition, etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 14th June, Read 1st July, 1729. l ½ pp. Enclosed,
689. i. Minutes of Council of Warr, St. Jago de la Vega, 7th, 8th, 29th April, 1729. Endorsed, Recd. 14th June, 1729. Copy. 8 pp.
689. ii. Governor Hunter's Instructions to the Council, during his stay on the North side of the Island, 3rd May, 1729. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2 ¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 18. ff 23, 23v., 24v.–28v., 29t;.–31v.; and (duplicate of end. ii) 137, 47. No. 8.]
May 3.
690. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats part of preceding letter, adding :—I dispatcht an express to M. St. Lo who was then at our Bath about fifty miles from hence, but he was then in a very weak state. He order'd however two ships to cruize to the windward for advice, and after that two more, the one to carry some provisions for our men detach't to the North side, and then to look into St. Iago de Cuba, the other to cruize between Cape Maize and Cape Nicola. He dyed on the 22nd of April. I have perfected the Hannover line, our chief defence on this side, and I have mounted twenty-two thirty-six pounder guns upon it. I have rebuilt the Rock Fort, cut and made roads of communication between the places on this side, and have great numbers of slaves at work in clearing three several passages through the mountains for a communication between the two sides of the island. I have form'd the trusty slaves into small bodies to be commanded by some reform'd officers, and have order'd a thousand lances to be made for arming more, who cannot be provided with fire-arms, and have all hands at work making and mending carriages for guns. And having given orders to the Commissaries in the several towns to secure for the publick service all arms not in use, provisions and utensils for work, posted horsemen in all the several stages for the speedy dispatch of orders and advice, and left with the Council Instructions for their conduct during my stay on the North side, I embarke to-morrow etc. as preceding. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. June 14. 2 ½ pp. Enclosed,
690. i.–ii. Duplicates of i, ii preceding.
690. iii. Minutes of Council of Jamaica, March 4—April 26, 1729. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 142–159v.]
May 4.
691. Governor Phenney to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses following etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, R. 12th July. 1 p. Enclosed,
691. i, ii. List of ships entered and cleared at New Providence, 26th Dec, 1728—25th March, 1729. Outwards 10 (mostly fruit and turtles) for S. Carolina (4), Jamaica (5), Barbados (1); Inwards 14 (mostly with wine and European goods) from S. Carolina (5), Jamaica (4), Barbados (1), Antigua (2), Havana (1), Hispaniola (1). Signed, John Warner, Naval Officer. 4 pp.
691. iii. Minutes of Council of the Bahamas Islands. New Providence, 25th Aug., 1729—15th June, 1730. 26 pp. [C.O. 23, 14. ff. 111, 112v.–114, 115v., 116, 118–130v.]
May 4.
692. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses last quarter's list of shipping etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Recd. 21st July, 1729, Read 22nd April, 1730. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 208, 209v.].
May 5. 693. Governor Philipps to Mr. Stanyan. Acknowledges letter with answer from the Admiralty rejecting his request (v. April 2) "upon the supposition of my takeing up a great deal of room, whereas my whole family will consist of myselfe only and a couple of servants" etc. Prays that his request may be seconded from the office, the merchant ships going late to Newfoundland, "and my longer stay will but increase the King's displeasure" etc. Signed, R. Philipps. 2 pp. [C.O. 217, 38. No. 23.].
May 6.
694. Col. Dunbar and Mr. Coram to the Council of Trade and Plantations. We have considered several reports made by your Lordships upon proposals for makeing settlements upon Nova Scotia etc. and are humbly of opinion, that Nova Scotia still remaining under a military Government no good or profitable subjects can be prevailed on to settle, before a civil Government be erected there etc. As Nova Scotia and the other large tract of Crown lands adjoining it, now laying wast and unpeopled between that and the Massachusetts, are together 450 miles in length, we humbly conceive it absolutely necessary for the service of the King and the future security and advantage of H.M. northern Plantations, that the said tract between the Rivers Sagadahock, alias Kenebeck, and St. Croix, be erected into a royal province under H.M. civil government (not military charter nor proprietary Government) with all proper powers and instructions, separate and distinct from that of Nova Scotia or New England, it being too great a distance from both for any protection or assistance from them etc. Propose that a suitable portion of land be laid out to each settler without fee, every settler to pay a quit rent etc. As the expense of sending a number of familys from England and subsisting them for a year, will be inconsiderable in proportion to the advantages the Crown will reap by such settlement, and would also save the greater expence for maintaining a military force there, we hope your Lordships will duely consider it. Conclude : We do not finde by any of the reports made by your Lordships upon the proposals laid before you etc., that there was intended any greater reserve or advantage to the Crowne than 14 lb. weight of water-rotted hemp pr. annum for every 100 acres, to commence at the end of the fourth year, to be doubled the twelveth year, and trebled the twentyeth, and so to continue for ever at 42 lbs. of water-rotted hemp, which at the highest cannot be computed at more than one penny sterling pr. annum per acre. Whatever your Lordships may judge sufficient and reasonable to be reserved to the Crowne as a quit rent, we are humbly of opinion should be received there in good merchantable hemp fitte for the use of H.M. Navy; particularly for to encourage the raising, well ordering and cureing that commodity there, after the best manner, for an ample supply thereof in due time from thence for the use of H.M. Navy and Kingdoms. Signed, David Dunbar, Thomas Coram. Endorsed, Recd. Read 6th May, 1729. 3 pp. [C.O. 217, 5 ff. 106–107v].
May 6. 695. Col. Dunbar to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As the distressed people who have applyed by your memorialist for liberty to settle on the east side of Kennebeck river etc., impatiently wait an answer, that they may before the season of the year is too farr spent, either remove elsewhere, or make some shelter and provision for themselves before the winter, prays for dispatch of their report, that he may repair to America etc. Repeats assurance that the new settlement shall be made without any expence to H.M. except a few guns, ammunition and colours for a fort etc. Continues :— As your Lordships seemed of opinion to recommend the erecting that tract of land into a separate Government etc., offers to execute it without a sallary until H.M. shall think him deserveing it, and the quit-rents, or dutys there, afford it. As to the Palatine familyes who are willing to transport themselves, Mr. Hintz who proposes the chooseing the better sort of them, and conducting them to the country is obliged to send into Ireland for two men of the Palatines there, to come to London and to go with him as assistants, and as the season is far advanced, your Memorialist hopes Mr. Hintz may have immediate orders what he is to doe. If a separate Governmt. is made and the said tract of land be erected into a new and distinct Province, it may be named New Hanover etc. Proposes that 6 or 8 of the new inhabitants may be sworn of the Council and made Justices for one year, in which time their Lordships will be fully informed of the progress and state of the settlement and then give further instructions. Signed, David Dunbar. Endorsed, Recd., Read 6th May, 1729. 2 pp. [C.O. 217, 5. ff. 108, 108v., 109v.]
May 6.
696. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. You will see by the enclosed Minute of Council of the Bahamas a state of the dispute between the deputies of Messieurs Byng and Jobber, and the Agent of the Lessees, (v. 23rd Nov., 1728 etc.) Encloses Bahamas Charter and the Proprietors' Surrender, for his opinion in point of law whether the rights of Admiralty are comprehended within the said Surrender. [C.O. 24, 1. p. 123].
[7th May].
Pall Mall.
3 a clock.
697. Commodore Lord Vere Beauclerk to Mr. Popple. Pail Mali, Encloses following, "wch. I sent in Oct. last to my Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty. In two or three days I shall have from Portsmouth the account of last year's Fishery" etc. Signed, Vere Beauclerk. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 8th May, 1729. 1 p. Enclosed,
697. i. Commodore Lord V. Beauclerk's Answer to the Heads of Enquiry etc. The Admirals of the several harbours never give themselves the trouble, or think themselves oblig'd to see the laws observ'd, and only regard the Act themselves so far as it suits with their interest and conveniency, and instead of hindring other ships flinging out their stone ballast in the harbours, very frequently are themselves the first aggressors, which has been so constantly practis'd in the remote parts to the Northward, that most of them I am inform'd are now intirely spoil'd, and hardly possible for ships to anchor in them with any safety, particularly Carbonier and Bonavista. I have never heard that the Admirals keep or transmitt to Great Brittain any journals or accounts of the number of fishing ships, boats or persons employ'd in the Fishery as the Law directs, nor is any regard had to the bringing the number of fresh men prescrib'd by the Law, excepting only such as endeavour to be Admirals, the others being a few Irish men who are generally Roman Catholicks and remain here, that the number is already very great and may in time be of ill consequence. The Admirals never think of demanding their certificates from the Custom house or of obliging them to carry back the same number they brought out with them, so that many servants and green men are yearly left here destitute, not having wherewithal to defray their passages home themselves or purchase provisions to keep them during the winter, but are obliged to accept of the offers made them by the New England masters of vessells, who do not scruple carrying them away notwithstanding the bonds we oblige them to enter into before their departure, they being very seldom prosecuted and never condemn'd to pay the fine. As the Admirals are generally illiterate ignorant men, and being traders in most causes are more or less partys concern'd, and are therefore generally partial in their decisions, which is the reason that very little regard is had to their determinations, and their authority openly slighted, that before the arrival of the men of war, and after their departure the greatest irregularitys are committed, which is but too much encourag'd by the principal inhabitants, who find their accounts in it by the vast quantity of rum they dispose of to the fishermen and servants as do the masters by stopping their wages for pretended neglect of duty, that between both they are most shamefully oppress'd and wrong'd. The stages and flakes belonging to the ships are destroy'd every year partly by the ships themselves and partly by the inhabitants for fewell, that att their return in the spring they chuse rather to hire rooms of the Planters than be att the charge of building new ones, so the ship's rooms are neglected, the planters yearly encroach upon them, that in a few more there will be no ship's rooms left. All these irregularitys have been long committed and often repeated, which has prejudic'd the trade very much, and must in time ruin it, if not prevented etc. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 194, 8. ff. 202, 203–204, 205v.]
May 8.
698. Governor Hart to Lord Townshend. In obedience to your commands I have considered of what you were pleased to mention to me concerning Porto Rico. Situation etc. described. Continues :—It is a very fertile island, well water'd; and capable of producing everything that grows, both on the Islands and Continent of America. But the Spaniards being restrain'd from planting sugar or tobacco, or even opening of their mines, which are said to be rich in gold, apply themselves to the raising of provisions, and killing of wild cattle, with which their woods abounds, for their hides and tallow cheifly. Their principal port, which is esteemed the best in the American Islands, is St. Juan de Porto Rico; a deep and commodious bay, situated on the north side of the island; defended by two castles at the entrance of no great consequence, and within the bay, upon a little island, stands the city of the same name, which is joyned by a bridge to the main island, surrounded by an old wall, and may be bombarded when the entry is once forced; and by taking possession of the bridge might easily be reduced even by famine. It is generally computed that the number of inhabitants capable of bearing arms most of them molattoes, including the garrison of 200 soldiers, may be about 2000; and one fourth part are supposed to dwell in the town, and whoever is master of the town may in time reduce the rest of the Island; as was formerly done at Jamaica, after the taking of Port Royal. For an expedition against this place, with a prospect of maintaining our ground, and reducing the rest of the island; four ships of war, at least, from hence, with the two already stationed at Barbadoes and the Leeward Islands, two bomb vessells, 2000 regular troops, with proportional transport ships, stores, artillery and ammunition, would in my humble opinion be absolutely necessary, etc., Two of these six ships, ought to be at least of 60 guns, which will be requisite to force our passage. I do not apprehend much difficulty in taking the town afterwards. For that if the troops are immediately landed, and fling up intrenchments to secure their rear from the alarms of the Cassadors, or hunters, in the country, the want of provisions in the town, woud in a few days reduce the inhabitants to the utmost distress without the effusion of much blood. This is humbly offered as my opinion, from the information I have had of the state and condition of Porto Rico, during my six years residence in my Government, in their neighbourhood. If an expedition is intended this sumer, etc., the hurricane season in those parts, are August and September etc., which are to be avoided; from the great danger the ships would be in at that time. The hurricanes happen usually about the full moon in those months; tho' I have known them in July: But if great dispatch were usd, the ships might arrive in the harbour of Porto Rico, before the hurricanes are expected, where they would be safe from all winds. It is true that there are two or three years together without any of these violent storms, the last year, there was a violent one, and it seldom happens there is any the succeeding year. Besides the reputation the taking of Porto Rico would give to H.M. arms, there are many and great advantages woud redound from that conquest to the Publick. For that island is at present a nest of pirates (the Dunquerke of America) who under the pretence of being guarda de la costa's, greatly infest the American seas; and make frequent depredations on H.M. subjects, as is too notorious; and therefore the dislodging so troublesom a neighbour, woud be a most acceptable service, by securing our trade: nor is it to be doubted but the situation of this port and island, if we were masters of it, woud enable us not only, greatly to anoy the Spanish settlements in those parts, especially Cuba and Hispaniola; But likewise to render their outward bound navigation of their galleons and flota difficult, if not impracticable, which is of the utmost consequence to them etc. Another advantage, which I take to be of great importance, is the security it would be to the Leeward Islands, in case of a war with France. I beg leave to represent, as I have often done to the Lords Commissioners for Trade, that the French in the Islands of Martinique, Guardeloupe and Marygalante are so much superiour to us in numbers in those parts, that it is far from being impracticable for them to destroy our Plantations, especially at Antegoa, Montserrat, Nevis and St. Christophers; the three last of which were plunder'd by them in the late war, and Antegoa savd by an accident: and what force the French are capable of transporting at a short warning their late expedition to St. Lucia is a memorable instance. But in my humble opinion, even the ruin of these islands, which God forbid, woud be more than recompenc'd by the acquisition of the noble island of Porto Rico; which contains a greater scope of ground than Barbados and the Leeward Islands if collected into one body; and far exceeds them in goodness of soyle, the plenty of water and safety of harbours, which woud soon invite numbers of inhabitants, and render it a flourishing Colony; and probably in time enable them better to defend themselves and even become formidable to the French as well as the Spaniards in those parts. Whereas the Islands of Barbados, Antegoa, Nevis, Mountserrat and St. Christophers being separated by the sea, and at such a distance from one another, makes them more liable to the depredations of a powerful enemy. The method I shall humbly propose for the peopling of this Island, is to obtain a promise from H.M. of a certain number of acres of land to each Adventurer, free from quit-rent for some years; and under a moderate one for all time to come. This I am perswaded from my own personal knowledge of the Brittish Colonies on the Continent of America, woud draw great numbers of inhabitants from thence to settle at Porto Rico, especially from Virginia and Maryland, where the tobacco trade is in a declining condition, from the great quantities now made in Europe. Offers his services etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. Holograph. 6 pp. [C.O. 152, 40. No. 25.]
May 8. 699. Capt. Rogers to the Duke of Newcastle. Some particular merchants and traders being now getting hands for a petition to H.M., to recall the order which your Grace has been pleas'd to procure, that the Independant Company comanded by Capt. Pitt Governor of Bermuda, be sent thence, to the Bahama Islands, where at present, they are more wanted, and can be of greater service and benifit to the trade of America, than I presume they now possibly can, at the island of Bermuda. Asks permission to wait on his Grace before his departure in a few days etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. l ½ pp. [C.O. 23, 12. No. 100.]
May 10.
700. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. H.M.S. Rose being fitted out for a voyage to Canso, for guarding the Fishery there, and not to call at Newfoundland, nor to be under the direction of the Lord Vere Beauclerk, who will command the Oxford and Squirrell bound thither, enquires whether the Council of Trade have any heads of enquiry, or informations to send Capt. Weller of the Rose, relating to the Fishery at or about Canso etc. It is necessary she should sail without losse of time etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 11th, Read 14th May, 1729. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 217, 5. ff. 110, 111v.]