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America and West Indies: December 1729, 11-20

Pages 557-565

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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Citation:

December 1729, 11-20

Dec. 11.
St. James's.
1020. Order of King in Council. Referring to a Committee of the Council the Representation upon the Acts of Jamaica relating to Port Antonio etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 30th May, Read 4th June, 1730. l¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 18. ff. 74v, 74v., 75v.]
Dec. 11.
St. James's.
1021. Order of King in Council. Approving draught of Commission "for George Forbes commonly called Lord Forbes" to be Governor of the Leeward Islands etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 17. ff 138, 139v.]
Dec. 11.
Whitehall.
1022. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lord Townshend. Enclose following to be laid before H.M. Annexed,
1022. i. Same to the King. Enclose following as ordered Nov. 28.
1022. ii. Draught of Commission for Jonathan Belcher to be Governor of the Massachusets Bay, "in the same form as that granted to Mr. Burnet."
1022. iii. Commission for same to be Governor of New Hampshire. [C.O. 5, 916. pp. 224–260].
Dec. 11.
St. James's.
1023. Order of King in Council. Approving draught of Commission for Governor Johnson etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 30th May, Read 4th June, 1730. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 361. ff. 107, 108v; and 5, 192. f. 47].
Dec. 11.
St. James's.
1024. Order of King in Council. Approving draughts of Commissions for Governor Belcher, Nos. 1022 ii, iii. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 30th May, Read 4th June, 1730. 1¼ pp [C.O. 5, 192. f. 249; and 5, 871. ff 112, 113v.]
Dec. 11.
St. James's.
1025. Order of King in Council. Repealing 10 acts of New York relating to the Indian trade, 1720–1729. On hearing the petition of the merchants concerned and the Agent of New York, the Committee have reported that the fur trade appears to be highly affected by the said act, and that the clauses relating to the execution of them are greivous and oppressive etc. Cf. A.P.C. III. No. 165. No signature. Endorsed, Recd. 30th May, Read 4th June, 1730. 5½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1055. ff. 125–127v, 128v.]
Dec. 13.
St. James's.
1026. H.M. Warrant for appointing George, Lord Forbes Governor of the Leeward Islands and revoking the Commission of the Earl of Londonderry. Countersigned, Townshend. [C.O. 5, 192. pp. 25–40.]
Dec. 13.
St. James's.
1027. H.M. Warrant appointing Robert Johnson Governor of S. Carolina, and revoking the Commission of Francis Nicholson decd. Countersigned, Townshend. [C.O. 5, 192. ff. 48–62].
Dec .15.
Whitehall.
1028. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchet. My Lords Commissioners having been informed that Capt. Davers had transmitted to the Lords Commrs. of the Admiralty some account of the present state of Sta. Lucia and St. Vincents, particularly in relation to the proceedings of the French there etc., requests a copy. [C.O. 29, 15. p. 121.]
Dec. 16.
Whitehall.
1029. Mr. Popple to Mr. Scrope, Secretary to the Treasury. Desires copy of surrender of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the Crown, and of all such papers as may be necessary to be perused for forming Instructions for Governor Johnson etc. [C.O. 5, 400. p. 270.]
Dec. 16.
St. James's.
1030. H.M. Warrant appointing Jonathan Belcher Governor of New Hampshire and revoking the commission of William Burnet. Countersigned, Townshend. [C.O. 5, 192. ff. 251–264.]
Dec. 16.
St. James's.
1031. H.M. Warrant appointing Jonathan Belcher Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, and revoking the commission of William Burnet. Countersigned, Townshend. [C.O. 5, 192. ff. 345–359.]
Dec. 16. 1032. [? Duke of Montagu to the? Duke of Newcastle]. In answer to request of 5th currt. sends following report upon "the state and trade of the French Islands, especially that part of Espaniola belonging to France." Though we were the first settlers of the Caribian Islands, we left the best for the French, both as to harbours, rivers and extent etc. Their fortifications are more regular and better kept in order than in any of our islands. They have 14 or 16 companies of the King's in their islands much better taken care of than ours, the K. sending constant supply of provisions and cloaths from France. They have besides the officers of these companies several old old officers of the King's who act as Lieutenants to the General, posted about the island etc. Now, since the sending the General and Intendant prisoners to France, they have a guard of Swiss in Fort Royal. Their islands in general being mountainous especially Martinique makes it naturally very strong and with its numerous inhabitants impregnable, as must have been the opinion of M. de Philipeaux, who was much too great a man for an American General. Tells story of his banishment to Martinique for speaking disrespectfully of the Duke of Savoy, and how, as Governor he began to prepare for a revolution there and to set up a free state of Martinique after the Venetian model, "only no changing the Doge." Papers relating to this scheme were found upon a protégé of his who died in Paris, after the death of M. de Philipeaux. The latter had been attended for a fit of the gout by a phisician newly arrived from France and recommended to his protection, who gave him something to ease his pain, which did it effectually, and then disappeared. Continues:— Before I heard this story I was told that the General and Intendant (who was sent home by the people at Martinique to France) had orders to discourage as much as possible the settling any more plantations at Martinique, and to exert the laws against trading with foreigners with severity etc., because the Court resolved to encourage Espaniola more than these Windward Islands, but after I learned the above affair I was of opinion that the Court was jealous of the strength of that Colony etc. Describes in detail the arrest of the General and Intendant, 8,000 men having been got together secretly under arms, determined to defend themselves from oppression, and acting with perfect discipline etc. They can at present command about 15,000 white men for defence, and as many good negroes. Continues :—As to its trade it is encreased prodigiously both as to the export of its produce to France which consists of sugars, muscovado and clayed, also cotton, and in a little time expect to send home cocoa again, when their young trees are grown up, as also coffee, having in many plantations several thousand trees which will prove more profitable than cocoa etc. I believe now every year there is more than 200 sail of good ships sent loaden to France. Next is it's trade here in America by it's great number of sloops, which does not amount to much less than 150 and ten men one with the other makes 1,500 seamen. What encourages this navigation is, that their port charges is not excessive as ours are, but very easie or little or nothing taken, a pass port for six months, many of these sloops are coasters about Martinique, etc. Those that go further off carry many men and rich cargoes and goes all over the Spanish American coast to their own great island of Espaniola, and by stealth to the English islands, some have been lately to Brasil etc., some to Canada and Cape Briton, some by virtue of the English registers they buy with the sloops and Irishmen goes to our Northern Colonies, especially to Boston, where they send their molasses and rum in our vessells on freight and build vessels for their own trade, which should be taken notice of, and which the French Governments countenance, because the trade of France is not prejudiced by selling the rum and molasses to the English, some goes to the Cape Verd Islands, and some of them now and then steals a voyage to the coast of Guinea, several to Cadiz and the Canaries, now they have the liberty, on securing the K. his dutys as if they went to France. And tho' their K.'s orders are as strict against all forreign trade, yet their great Officers on several occasions have a discretionary power to dispence with that severity when for the subjects' good, especially as to such things as does not hurt the navigation and trade of France vizt., horses, mules, slaves etc., sometimes provissions when wanted, payments in rum and molasses of no service to France, nor the ships from France, further all Spanish vessels are welcome into any of their ports because it is well known they bring no goods to sell that can hurt the manufactorys of France, nothing but money or some American produce which is an advantage in buying the French goods etc. Another great matter that advantages their trade is their excellent maritime laws that no nation in the world can boast of the like, these keep their seafareing people under better orders than ours both masters and men, which if misbehave on a voyage to the prejudice of the merchant are certainly punished on a complaint made to the Intendant or Commissary of Marines, without the charges of an Admiralty Court, as with us. I wish we would imitate the French in what is solidly good, especially in these maritime laws, as well as in little apish tricks, and buffoonery. I had almost forgotten to take notice of the advantage the French have over us in the sugar trade from their Islands directly from Spain and the Canarys, tho' their laws doe oblige their subjects the same as ours to go directly to France with all their produce of their own Colonies, in order to secure the K.'s dutys, yet on a representation made relating to the trade with Spain for sugars, cocoa etc. the K. has been so indulgent as freely to permit sugars etc. to be carried directly from his West India Islands on securing him his dutys the same as if the ship had arrived in France. That is a vast advantage more than the English have, who must carry the sugars etc. to Great Britain there pay one freight and many other charges, then another freight from thence to Spain besides other charges and a double risque, so that no man can dispute but that the French at this prudent management will soon destroy our sugar trade etc. Describes Guadeloupe, Grand Terre, Saintes, Dominica, Granada, Cayan, and Hispaniola, giving history of the latter and details of French settlements there. Guadeloupe "has its own Government, a K.'s Lieut, or two, about 4 companies of foot, and can make about 1,500 men with as many fine negroes, and half a dozen sloops" etc. Points out the danger threatening British Sugar Islands from a combined movement by French troops from Hispaniola and Martinique. The only ways of preventing the rest of the former Island from falling into French hands are for the Spaniards to strengthen their garrison there or to give it up to Great Britain, in which case it must be promptly and strongly fortified, settled and garrisoned. Most of the Spanish part is very fine rich land. We should then not only be out of any great fear of the French, but soon be able to deal with them in the sugar trade in any part of Europe, and the indigo too. The Spanish part is always counted very healthy etc. Europeans of all Nations not being Papists should be encouraged, there is also mines in it of gold and copper as good as any in the world. Endorsed, Sta. Lucia. D. Montagu. R. Aug. 16, 1730. 28½ pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 116–130.]
Dec. 16.
Whitehall.
1033. Mr. Sharpe to Mr. Popple. Requests the Council of Trade to attend the Committee of Council at the Council Chamber in the Cockpit on the 18th at 6 p.m. Signed, Wm. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 18th Dec, 1729. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 29. V 8.]
Dec. 18.
Admty.
Office.
1034. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Encloses following extracts in reply to letter of 15th inst. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 30th Dec, 1729. ¾ p. Enclosed,
1034. i. Extract of letter from Capt. Davers, H.M.S. Dolphin, to Mr. Burchett. Barbadoes, April 3rd, 1729. A master of a scooner has been with me to complain of the ill-treatment he had met with lately from the French at St. Vincents, he says they would not suffer him to bring away the wood he had cut there, but fired at him all night with small armes from the shore, and encouraged the negroes and Indians to set fire to his vessel, and told him they had orders from the General of Martinico not to suffer any of the English to cut wood there for that all the large timber was preserved for carriages, etc, to help to fortify Martinico ; I wish I could say that we were taking that care at Barbadoes, for our fortifications are in a miserable condition, and half the guns to the Leeward part of the island are either plug'd up or filled full of stones by the French traders of Martinico. The French are settling every day with their families upon Sta. Lucia, Dominico and St. Vincents and I am credibly informed that they are going to settle at Tobago, but the three islands I first mentioned are so well inhabited by them that there is not a bay or anchoring place but they have made themselves master of it. Copy. 1½ pp.
1034. ii. Extract from Same to Same, 27th May, 1729. I called at St. Vincents to enquire into the complaint of the master of the scooner etc. (No. i). Continues :—Finding his complaint very just, I represented it to the general of Martinico who has promised to have the offenders taken up and severely punished. 'Tis computed that the French has upwards of 300 families settled at St. Vincents and not many less at St. Lucia and Dominique. I could not find any settlement at Tobagoe, only poor fishermen that was turtling. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 21. ff. 23, 24–25, 28v.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
1035. Order of Committee of Council. Several of the Petitioners heard upon enclosed memorial quoted, agreed that the method pursued by the present instruction, relating to Governor's salary, would not be liable to any objection, in case the money so to be settled, was limitted to a reasonable sum, and that such sum was particularly specified in the said Instructions. The Lords of the Committee are therefore of opinion, that for preventing the grievances complained of, for the future, a reasonable sum ought to be limitted and specified in instructions and settled by the first Assembly after the Governor's arrival etc. And for preventing any inconveniency that may arise to the British trade, from any of the duties to be raised for this purpose, that a clause should be inserted in the acts settling the same, to prevent their taking effect, till H.M. in Council hath approved thereof etc. The Lords Commrs. of Trade are to consider what sum will be sufficient to be raised for the support of H.M. Governor of the Leeward Islands with dignity, in addition to the salary of £1200 pr. annum allowed from hence, and to the known perquisites arising to the Governors within the severall islands, the amount of which the said Lords Commissioners are to inform themselves of. And they are likewise to report what proportion each of the said islands should bear, in raising the said sum etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd, Read 30th Dec, 1729. 3½ pp. Enclosed,
1035. i. Petition of merchants and planters and others interested in and trading to the Leeward Islands to the King. State past and present state of affairs with regard to Governors' additional salaries. Recent qualifying instructions (1721 and 1728) have enabled Col. Hart and Lord Londonderry to receive additional gratuities amounting to 3 times the £1200 paid them by the Crown. Petitioners have found by experience that the additional instruction tends greatly to the endangering of the peace and welfare of these islands, and to the creating of animosities and divisions amongst the planters etc. there with one another and with the merchants here etc., to the impoverishing of the islands and burthening of H.M. trading subjects of this Kingdom etc., particularly those concerned in the negro and sugar trades. Pray that it may be discontinued etc. (v. A.P.C. III. No. 170). Signed, E. Warner, Samuel Travers, Edwin Sommers, Charles M. Neily, Joseph Lowe, Saml. Bonham, Edward Byam, James Alford, Allard Bekin, Crooke Thomas, Samll. Symes, Tho. Butler junr., Wm. Try on, W. Gerrish, Archd. Cochrain, Rowd. Frye, Rd. Harris, Saml. Martin, T. Wall, Pr. de Lamotte, John Yeamans, Hum. Morice, E. Papillon Ball, Pre. Soulegre, Wm. Coleman, Rd. Boddiott, James Fitter, S. Bethell, Thos. Tryon. Copy. 7 pp. [C.O. 152, 17. ff 108– 113, 114v.]
Dec. 18.
Whitehall.
1036. Order of Committee of Council. Upon considering the enclosed petition, the Lords of the Committee, looking upon the said proceedings of the Governors to be unwarrantable, and to tend greatly to the discouragement of so advantagious a trade as that of the Fishery, and being of opinion that all kinds of fishery ought to be entirely free to all H.M. subjects, their Lordships hereby order that the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, do prepare draughts of Instructions, for putting a stop, for the future, to all such claims of the said Governors, and strictly requiring them not to give any discouragement of any kind to the fishery of H.M. subjects upon the coast of America but on the contrary to give all proper encouragement to the same. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd, Read 30th Dec, 1729. 1? pp. Enclosed,
1036. i. Petition of Thomas Coram to the King. Heretofore great advantages hath accrued to your Majesty's subjects settled in severall of H.M. Plantations from the oyl and finns etc. of whales killed on their coasts etc. For some years past the Governors of some of the said Plantations do as often as they can seize and take to themselves the oyl and other produce of such fish from your Majesty's subjects as being your Majesty's right, pretending that whales and some fishes are royall fish, which is a great discouragement to that fishing in those Plantations, and to many persons from settling themselves there, and is hurtfull to the trade of Great Britain etc. Prays H.M. to order that fishing of all kinds shall be entirely free to the inhabitants in Nova Scotia, and all other Plantations, as it is to the inhabitants of the Massachusets Bay, and that the Governors do not make any exactions or otherwise discourage the Fishery. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 323, 9. ff 24–25v., 27v.]
Dec. 19. 1037. Governor Johnson to Mr. Popple. According to the information you gave me that it would be agreeable to the Lords for me to lay before them such things as I conceived might be necessary for their consideration, I beg leave to observe to you, that (i) An Act of Assembly being past about six years ago for sinking gradually the paper money, and orders from H.M. having been since given not to alter that law, this has occasioned so great an uneasiness yt. the Assembly cannot be induc'd to proceed upon any business previous to ye alteration and settling their paper currency, by insisting upon a liberty to reissue all that was to be cancell'd by the aforesaid Act in order to defray the contingent expences of several expeditions against their enemy which they requested about three years ago by an humble address to his late Majesty etc., the subject matter of which lyes undetermined, and such is the obstinacy of the Assembly in not being gratifyed in this matter that they refused for three years past to provide any tax whereby to raise money for the defence and security of the Province. Therefore this is a point etc. upon which I request to be very fully and clearly instructed. (ii) In the disposing and settling the quitt-rents of lands as well to be sold, as those already purchased it will be necessary to peruse an Act passed above 30 years ago to ascertain the prices of land and payment of quittrents etc., which Act the Assembly insisting the Lords Proprietors were bound by, and the Lords requiring to be paid in Proclamation money this occasioned the shutting up the Land Office and no land being sold for many years nor any quitt-rents being paid for above 20 years etc. Asks for full and clear Instructions. (iii) If the arrears of quitt-rents are to be requir'd it will be necessary for me to be instructed in what manner they are to be applyed etc. Suggests, to building a State House, fortifications etc. (iv) The boundaries of N. and S. Carolina are absolutely necessary to be ascertained, to prevent the inhabitants of S. Carolina from running to Cape Fair and setling there to defraud their creditors, and for the remedying this evil, that Cape Fair be made a port and a Collector of Customs appointed to reside there, and the said Port declared to be within the limits of South Carolina. (v) Another Company of soldiers are much wanted for the security of the frontiers from the Indians, and to do duty in Johnston's Fort, which commands the ships coming up to Charles Town. (vi) Great guns for Johnston's Fort and the bastions and line next the sea at Charles Town are greatly wanted, vizt. 40 twelve pounders for the bastion and line at Charles Town, and 20 eighteen pounders and 12 sakers for Johnston's Fort, and 500 light muskets, as many pair of pistolls, swords and pouches. All the forts are almost ruin'd by the hurricane about a year ago. (vii) A new Broad Seal and Commission for trying pirates will be necessary, (viii) As the Charakee Indians, a numerous Nation who have behav'd themselves well towards the English, sent by the hands of one Mr. Savy who liv'd amongst them, an Address to H.M. accompanied with a present of carpets etc., it would be very necessary for me to be instructed to own H.M. receipt thereof, and to send them in return to the value of £200, which would very much attach those people to the English and be of great service to the Province. (ix) Lord Townsend has directed me to acquaint their Lordships that it was advisable that a clause in the bounty Act which obliges all tarr makers to burn the moeity of every kiln of tarr into pitch should be recommended to the Parliament next session to be repealed because his Lordship is informed by Mr. Spotswood that it is apprehended this clause continued will bring a great disreputation upon American tarr, and moreover that his Lordship is of opinion the numeration should be taken off all rice carried from Carolina to the Southward of Cape Finesterre. (x) By the Act for establishing an agreement etc., there is a saving to all persons lawfully claiming any office under any grant made before 1st Jan. 1727 under the Common Seal of the Lords Proprietors etc. Some doubts have arisen concerning the legality of some of the said offices. Asks for instructions thereon. P.S. Nothing is so much wanted in Carolina as white inhabitants. It is my opinion therefore that if H.M. would be at the charge of transporting of about 200 familys of Swiss or other foreigners and give 40s. a head to each man to buy working tools etc. and lands at easy rates wth. what the Assembly of Carolina are inclined to do for them, they will find themselves so happy and easy that they will soon invite great numbers to follow them to Carolina as they have done to other Colonys without further charge to the Crown. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Dec, 1729, Read 28th Jan., 1729/30. 2⅓ pp. Enclosed,
1037. i. Act of Carolina (N. and S.) 1696, to ascertain the prices of land etc., referred to in preceding. Same endorsement. Copy. 18 pp. [C.O. 5, 361. ff. 34–44v., 45v.]