America and West Indies: September 1730, 21-25

Pages 286-291

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 37, 1730. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1937.

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September 1730, 21-25

Sept. 21.
449. Col. Dunbar to Mr. Popple. Encloses "a deal box with the iron tools I formerly mentioned to you, and with them a long letter, partly giveing an account of some malicious persecutions I lye under here; I have putt in the box the journals of one session of the General Court here, wch. if my Lords have not already seen, will be diverting, I have turned down two places in it for your first perusal; I believe ye Governour tells you how he has failed in getting the sallary fixed. Nobody here imagines he desires it, and believe he has a private instruction to dispense with the 27th Article. Others say he has actually undertaken at home to prevail with this people to fix the sallary, and think he will be suddainly superseded upon this disappointment, but one who is much with him tells me he will spin out three years in his Governmt. by promising that next years Assembly will comply." Signed, David Dunbar. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 28th Oct., 1730. Holograph. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 871. ff. 191, 191v., 192v.]
Sept. 21.
Windsor Castle.
450. H.M. Warrant for affixing the Great Seal to Commission the Prince William privateer, for seizing pirates in the seas of the Spanish West Indies. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 233, 234.]
Sept. 22. 451. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to Act of Antigua, 1730, for cutting of the intail of certain lands formerly of John Bradshaw decd., and settling the same upon Francis Delap etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd Sept., Read 1st Dec, 1730. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 18. ff. 145, 146v.]
Sept. 24.
452. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
452. i. Draught of H.M. Instruction to the Governor of Barbados. Whereas the French for some years past have pretended a claim to the Islands of Sta. Lucia, St. Vincents and Dominico under your Government, altho' We conceive We have an undoubted right thereto, and whereas it has been agreed between Us and the French Court, that until the right to these islands shall be determined, they shall be entirely evacuated by both Nations: It is Our will and pleasure and you are accordingly to signifie the same to such of Our subjects as shall be found inhabiting any of Our said islands, that they do forthwith quit the same until the right to these islands shall be determined as aforesaid; and that they do comply with this Our order in thirty days from the publication thereof in each of the said Islands respectively, under pain of Our highest displeasure. But it is Our will and pleasure that you do not execute this Our order, until the French Govr. of Martinique shall have received the like directions from the French Court, and shall jointly with you put the same in execution without any exception. And you are hereby further ordered to transmit to Us by the first opportunity a full account of your proceedings, as likewise of those of the French in this behalf, taking care by all opportunities to inform yourself, whether Our subjects, and those of the French King, do punctually comply with the true intent and meaning of this agreement until such time as the right to the said islands shall be absolutely determined as aforesaid. Endorsed, sent to Ld. Waldegrave, Sept. 28th, 1730. l½ pp. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 31, 31 i; and 20, 15. pp. 209–211.]
Sept. 25.
453. Circular letter from the Duke of Newcastle to Governors of H.M. Plantations. H.M. having received repeated complaints, that the trade of his subjects in the West Indies and elsewhere in America, suffers much damage and molestation from pyratical vessels, especially from vessels fitted out from the Spanish Islands in the West Indies, notwithstanding the peace and friendship subsisting between the two Nations, and contrary to the Orders of the King of Spain, 25th April 1728, to cease all hostilities etc., and of 14th Dec. 1729, to make restitution of all prizes taken since 22nd June, 1728 etc. (v. Jan. 22 supra), and notwithstanding the repeated applications that have from time to time been made to the Court of Spain for satisfaction for the losses and damages sustained by H.M. subjects from such pyratical proceedings, and that effectual care might be taken to put a stop to them, and also notwithstanding the orders which have been given from time to time to the Commanders of H.M. ships stationed at the several Colonys of H.M. subjects, in the West Indies and elsewhere in America, to seize and bring in all pyratical vessels or freebooters not lawfully commissioned, or that make depredations on the trade of H.M. subjects contrary to the Treatys, The said pyratical practices of the Spaniards and others nevertheless still continuing, to the great damage of H.M. subjects; and as all vessels acting in such manner, in time of peace, are to be reputed no other than pyrates, whether they cruize at sea without any commission, or having commissions do nevertheless spoyl and plunder the ships and goods of H.M. subjects, contrary to the Treatys, and there being great reasons to believe, that the said freebooters are chiefly upheld in their pyracies by the secret encouragement and protection which they meet with in many sea-port towns in the West Indies from whence they are fitted out for the sea, and to which places they retire with their booty, His Majty. being determined to use all possible means that may most effectually put a stop to such violences for the future and protect His subjects in their lawfull trade and navigation, has commanded me to signify to you His pleasure, that when any of His subjects following their lawful trade in the West Indies and elsewhere in America, shall be unjustly plundered or despoiled of their ships or goods by any persons of what Nation soever, the said sufferers do, by the first opportunity, give in the most authentick proof of the damages and losses they have sustained, upon oath, before the Judge of one of H.M. Vice-Admiralty Courts in the Plantations, which Judge, after due examination of the matter, is to deliver to the said sufferers, a declaratory sentence under his hand and the seal of the Court, setting forth the particular circumstances of the fact, when, where, and by whom committed, from what port the vessel or vessells that did the damage was or were fitted out, and to what port the ship or goods were carryed; and the value of the same, and that the whole has been duly proved upon oath before him, which sentence or a duplicate thereof is to be lodged in the hands of ye Governor of the Colony where such declaration is made; and if such sentence or duplicate shall in pursuance of this order happen to be lodged in your hands, and the Commander in Chief of H.M. ships in the West Indies, or any of the Captains of H.M. ships, shall then be in your Island [Island. Colony. H.M. Province under your Governmt. in Margin], or upon the arrival there of any of them you shall deliver unto him such declaration signed and sealed as aforesaid, who is thereupon to repair himself or send one or more of the ships under his command to the port where such ship or goods of H.M. subjects shall have been carryed in, or from whence such ship or ships or vessels was or were fitted out, in order to procure the immediate releasement of such of H.M. subjects as may have been taken, together with full restitution of the ship or goods so plundered or taken, or the value thereof, or else the delivering up to him or them of the persons and ships which committed the fact, or to make reprizals in such manner as is directed by the orders in that behalf to the said Commander in Chief and to the Captains of H.M. ships stationed in America. It is H.M. further pleasure that you give publick notice in the several ports of your Government, of such part of this order as concerns H.M. subjects whose ships or effects shall be thus pyratically taken that they may know where and m what manner to apply for redress; and that you send from time to time to one of H.M. principal Secretaries of State, an account of your proceedings in the execution of these orders. Corrected draft. 6¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 257–260; and 5, 4. No. 45.]
Sept. 25.
St. Johns,
454. Governor Osborn to the Duke of Newcastle. I was in hopes upon my arrival in Newfdland to have had the honour of acquainting your Grace of the good effects produced by the measures I had taken last year to execute H.M. commands, and that a proper submission and respect had been paid to the orders I had given, and to the Magistrates I had appointed, but insteed thereof, the Fishing Admirals and some of the rest of the Masters of the ships and traders in this Island, has rediculed the Justices of Peaces authority very much in my absence, and have used their utmost endeavours to lessen them in the eye of the lower sort of people, and in some parts have in a manner wrested their power from them. The Admirals have brought the power given them by the Fishing Act in competition with the Justices, and have not scrupled even to touch upon mine; but how far these two powers interfere with humble submission I shall leave to your Grace's determination. All this discord proceeds from a jealousey the Admirals and the rest of the masters of ships have conceived (fomented by some troublesome ill desineing persons) that their privilliges granted them by the Act before mentioned are invaded by these Magistrates, which power the Admirals hardly ever could be brought to make use of (without it was justly to serve their own purposes) before, nor till they see these officers established; and are now a doing all the little spiteful things they can against these men only because they bear this Commission, indeed I find by their will they would be sole rulers and have nobody to controule them in their arbeterry proceedings. I have expostulated with them in the best manner I was capable upon these affairs, but I think to no other purpose then to raise their indignation against me for being the Justices' abetters, indeed I cant charge the Justices with any arbeterry steps on account of the trust reposed in them; rather their fault is the contrary, whereas the Admirals are guilty of many etc. Refers to enclosed petitions. Continues:—Indeed these Commissions of the Peace are in general disliked by all the masters of the ships, and they are the chief people who have oposed most of the steps I have taken; by which means and partly by the indifferrence of some of the Justices in their office, who think they suffer in the way of trade and gain the ill will of the people they deal with by doing their duty, and partly by the incapacity of others the Commissions of the Peace are but indiffirently executed; I have since my arrival apointed Majestrates in all those places which for want of time I had omitted last year etc. Encloses "scheem of the order of disposition I have made therein, and make no dought but by the measures your Grace may be pleased to recommend to H.M., and the protection and countenance your Grace will think proper to give these Majestrates for the future but yet they may be encouraged to do so farr their duty as thouroughly to answer H.M, intentions, The prison at St. Johns with the Court house is in a manner finished, and in general, the people have very well complied with the raite that was laid upon them for building the same, and to prevent impositions of any kind on offenders I have caused the prison fees to be regulated by the Justices of Peace in such a manner as I thought was most agreable to the place, and in regard to the inhabitants on the South parts of this coast who can reape but little advantage from this prison, by reason of the expence and lose of time they must be at in sending offenders so great a distance, I have upon a presentment made by the Justices of Peace, and principal traders at Ferryland, agreed to a raite proposed to be laid on the people in that district for building a prison in that place (copy enclosed) etc. I don't doubt but even the sight of these two prisons will in some measure checque many of these people in their evil courses of life. The state of the Fort and Garrison at Placentia is the only thing more I have to lay before your Grace" etc. Refers to enclosed reports and trusts to his Grace's justice in attributeing the situation of affairs to the principles of these people rather than to any want of endeavour on his part etc. Signed, Hen. Osborn. Endorsed, R. 23d. Nov. 5¾ pp. Enclosed,
454. i. Inhabitants of Ferryland to Governor Osborn. In pursuance of public meeting convened by him 14th Sept., 1730, to consider means to raise money for building a prison, propose a levy of 1/6 per head on servants, to be paid by masters; the prison to be built at Ferryland. 20 signatures. 1¼ pp.
454. ii. Division of Newfoundland into districts, with magistrates appointed therefor (cf. C.S.P.; Oct. 14, 1729). 1 p.
454. iii. State of the Garrison at Placentia. Absent, the Col. (Lt. Govr. Gledhill) Fort Major, Chaplain, Surgeon and Commissary, and five out of eight gunners. Of one Company of Foot, consisting of Captain, Lieut., Ensign, two Serjeants, two corporals, one drum and 34 private men, there are present only Lt. John Hollingsworth, confined to his bed by age and infirmities: 2 Serjeants, 2 corporals, one drum and 11 men.
The Parapet, chimneys, storehouse and palisade of the Fort are much decayed etc. Signed, Edwd. Hopley, Storekeeper. 2 pp.
454. iv. Messrs. Keen, Weston and Southmayd to Governor Osborn. We are like to meet with some obstructions in the due execution of our office as Justices. The Admirals, whose authority is limited by the Act to disputes concerning the Fishery, determine other matters, as criminal cases, and direct their warrants to the Constables to put their sentence in execution and require our assistance to punish persons by virtue of their order etc. Signed, Wm. Keen, Wm. Weston, A. Southmayd. Copy. 1½ pp.
454. v. Messrs. Signac, Salmon and Buchanan, of Placentia, merchants, to Governor Osborn. Similar complaint adding, "The Admirals further appointed public houses which had no licences from us. They told us we were only Winter Justices and seem'd to doubt of your authority for appointing of Justices, and that their authority was by Act of Parliament, your Honour's only from the Prive Council." Signed, Pet. Signac, Tho. Buchanan, Tho. Salmon. Copy. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 24. Nos. 18, 18 i–v.]
Sept. 25.
St. Johns, Nfland.
455. Governor Osborn to Mr. Popple. Refers to letter of 8th Sept. from Placentia. Finds the sentiments and practices of the masters of ships and traders towards the Justices of Peace in the other parts of the island pretty much the same as there. Continues:—I have since appointed majestrates in all those places I had omitted last year etc. Transmits for their Lordships' approbation a scheme of the disposition he has made therein throughout the island. Continues:—I make no dought that from the measures their Lops. may be pleased to recommend for the future, and the countenance and protection they will think proper to give these majestrates, but yet they may be incouraged to do so far their duty as thoroughly to answer H.M. intentions. The prison at St. Johns etc. as preceding. Concludes:—I shall trouble their Lordps. with nothing more from hence, but if anything material should happen, I shall do myself the honour to lay it before their Lops, on my arrival etc. Signed, Hen. Osborn. Endorsed, Recd. 4th, Read 12th Jan., 1730/1. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
455. i.–iii. Duplicates of preceding encl. i, ii, iv. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Jan. 1730/1. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 36–37v., 39–40, 41, 42v., 43v., 44v.]