America and West Indies: October 1730, 11-20

Pages 312-321

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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October 1730, 11-20

Oct. 11.
N. Provi-
480. Governor Rogers to Charles Delafaye. Acknowledges "kind and friendly letter" of 20th Dec., which he answered by the same conveyance. Continues:—Mr. Bonnet (v. 3rd Sept.) has been gone about three weeks on his third trip to Hispaniola and will stop at some part of Cuba as they return etc. I have done him all the service in my power etc.; he has been at my table as one of my family these eight mo. etc. I am extreamly concerned that I have been obliged to stay so long before I could send the Acts of Assembly and other papers which now go to His Grace etc. Others will be added with the duplicate of his letter by next conveyance etc. Begs him to read his tedious letter to the Duke of Newcastle etc. Entreats his good offices if needful, "since I doubt some clamour is, or will be raised at home, by what I have heard lately from Carolina. Mr. Phenny carried his spouse with him hence, and did not part with me on such good terms as he ought in honour, for by his own intreaties and earnest request I undertook to keep his wife on the island that she should not follow him to Great Britain, where he had (as he assured me and I was well informed from severall others) sufficient evidence to prove all that is expected at Doctors Commons for a divorse" etc. Continues:— This I came into, beleiving it became a man of honour to serve an abused man etc., and for some time he held his integrity etc., but he could not hold it and relented too soon etc., and they are gone from Carolina to London, where I doubt not she will be as noisy and troublesome as she can and he will underhand sett her on, as he has too frequently etc. Mr. Eden, Sir Charles Wager's Secretary, is my Agent and I have sent him some few examples of Mr. Phenny and his spouse's conduct here, scarce to be equal'd elsewhere etc. This comes by Capt. Bankes who brought me hither etc. Has desired him to wait upon Mr. Delafaye etc. Concludes:—I beg you'll be pleased to make my duty acceptable to my Lord Townshend and humble service to his Excellency Horatio Walpole to whom I can't write till next conveyance to own their great favours etc. Postscript, in his own hand, to duplicate. Sr. The above I hope has been delivered to you. This comes as far as So. Carolina by Mr. Bonnet who is to forward it thence and whether he will not soon follow to do some businesse for me in England I han't yet determin'd. A ship will sayle directly from this place for London in about ten days by whome I shall write you very particularly. I beg you'l pardon this hasty scrawle and allow me to be always Sir Yr. most humble most oblig'd and obedt. servt., Signed, Woodes Rogers. 3½ pp. Enclosed,
480. i. Minutes of Council of the Bahama I, 25th Aug., 1729—15th June, 1730. 26 pp. [C.O. 23, 14. ff. 118–130v., 135–136v.; and (duplicate dated Oct. 12) 23, 14. ff. 143–144.]
Oct. 11.
New Providence.
481. Governor Rogers to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of following letter to Council of Trade. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Rd. Feb. 18. 5½ pp. Enclosed,
481. i. Duplicate of following enclosure i. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 23, 14. ff. 137–139v., 140v.–142.]
Oct. [11.]
482. Governor Rogers to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 24th Oct. Continues:— I am under much concern that the Acts of Assembly could not be forwarded till now, having been disappointed of two ships successively, which I depended would have sailed for England several months ago etc., and I could not think it safe to forward them via North America knowing miscarriages frequently has attended letters that way etc. This is the first opportunity directly for Great Britain since 15th Nov. And as there is nothing enacted for my private interest nor I hope contrary to the laws of England, having taken such precedents as we could find from Jamaica, Barbadoes, and other American Colonies as near as the circumstances of this Government would admitt of. I hope the delay will not offend your Lordships, nor have any ill consequetices. I depend we shall have conveyances more frequent for the future etc. Will send duplicates by a vessel sailing in a months time. Repeats titles of acts passed (v. C.S.P. 12th Nov. 1729). Continues:—I found the place so very poor and thin of inhabitants that I never mentioned any salary to them for myself or any one else and the fees annext to all offices and places here being the lowest of any part in America no one can support himself thereon without some other employment. All the money that was raised for the first six months amounted to no more than Ps. 8/8 418. 1. and this year will be expired in January next when I am afraid all we shall raise will not exceed Ps. 8/8 1000., little or none of which shall be issued out of the Treasurer's hands till the Assembly meets, because I hope to prevail on them that almost the whole money be applied towards the fortifications which are in great want of it. Your Lordships will perceive by the enclosed remarks in what a wretched condition I found the fort, and the absolute necessity there was for my being at that great expence I have been at to provide a barrack for shelter and conveniencies for the garrison to preserve the people in health and keep arms and stores dry, and by the acct. transmitted to England I expected to have found the fort in a quite different posture, which made the Assembly when they considered the mean condition of the fortifications desire to have Mr. Phenney called to account how he had disposed of the money which had been raised for the publick service, and by what authority he had levyed the same knowing by what appeared that there could be very little of it expended for the service of the garrison and they applied to me for my consent that he should be obliged to reimburse here what was illegally raised and received by him of the publick money whilst he was Governor, which I would not consent to but then they insisted I should take security from him for 1200l. sterling, the sum that he had received, until H.M. pleasure be farther known, which I consented to, and hope it will be transmitted me from your Lordships Board, and if anything is represented to my prejudice, I beg leave for time to reply before any impression can be made to my disadvantage which from what I have been informed since Capt. Phenney and spouse left Carolina I may expect will be attempted, tho' I have acted here as much in his favour as I could without being censured for partiality, and I shall not trouble your Lordships any farther on this head unless I am obliged to explain myself to shew how I have behaved towards him as becomes a man of honour and an honest man. Your Lordships' queries came to my hands by way of Carolina in August when I was not in a condition to answer them, and having but just recovered out of that illness and this vessel on sailing I intreat you'l be pleased to excuse my not doing it till the next conveyance. As yet we have made little progress in new improvements but since the act passed to encourage the raising of cotton, more has been planted this year than was for some years past and more and larger vessels are building than has been this ten years at once there being now seven on the stocks and three more will be soon set up, having the best timber for building in any part of America and hope it will be a great encouragement to the settlement. We have since I arrived in the island two plantations began raising canes for sugar works and one rum work. Planting indigo would soon answer very well, but none yet follows it. One of the best employmts. the inhabitants have had of late is sawing mahogony and Madera plank to ship for Europe. Salt may be raked in March, April and May enough to supply our American Fisheries and all our Northern Colonies had we sufficient inhabitants that would employ slaves and be industrious themselves. The people here promised me to go in a body of about 200 men including slaves the last salt season, but very few of them proceeded, tho' I was at the charge of providing a new snow of six carriage and swivel guns for a guard ship to lye there, and did send one fitted to protect those who went to Exuma our chief salt pond, to prevent the Spaniards surprising them as they often had done yet there was but few went and not above 18,000 bushels of salt was got in the whole when they might have raked ten times as much. The people of these islands have been so long accustom'd to neglect the salt seasons, that I am afraid I shan't get half so many as are able to go the next season and except they are stirred up little or nothing will be done but raising a small stock of provisions and waiting till they are almost naked in expectation of wrecks, they were poor and backward enough to labour the last time I had this Government, but now much worse, tho' I hope the new inhabitants will shew them examples of industry. We are increased since I arrived 50 men, 65 women, 46 children and 55 negroes, and had our lands proved so fit for sugar works as it is believed from the reports of the old inhabitants, we should have people from St. Christophers and other places enough to fill the island, and I am sorry to acquaint your Lordships that the land on this island is good but in few places and mostly in little patches and more rocky in the middle of the country and generally worse for planting than that which appears at the water side, which has deceived me in the accounts I credited formerly of what I could not see till now. We have search'd to find land for inhabitants who wanted to come from St. Christophers to make large sugar works here, and they could not find sufficient quantities at any one place. But Cat Island all people in general agree is much the best of the Bahama Islands having large valleys of fine land and plenty of water, yet till I have seen it I shall not report from the hearsay of any in these parts, tho' the people who have been here from St. Christophers and who have viewed Cat Island assure me that they and many families who have no land would immediately come from St. Christophers to settle Cat Island with negroes sufficient to set up a sugar works and entreat me to begin a settlement, which I cannot encourage without Instructions, it requiring fortifications to be made there which wou'd very much hinder this place and I apprehend will not be attempted before we are well settled here. There will be a great many people going from Bermuda, St. Christophers, Barbadoes and the Virgin Islands and since they do move thence I believe there is no part where they can be of more service to our country than amongst these islands were they industrious people, and if those islands will be lessend in the numbers of inhabitants 'tis better they should come to an English Colony than go to the French and Dutch as some have already and more will if no encouragement can be given them here or at Carolina and Pennsylvania where many familys have gone already and more are going from Bermuda and the Carribee Islands especially from Bermuda which is so full of people and has so little land that they can't be supported there. The militia were almost in as bad a condition as the garrison having very few small arms ready that were serviceable, but they are now filled up and tollerably provided for service and I have supplyed them out of the King's stores with what amunition and little necessarys they wanted to keep by them to make the militia as usefull as possible. They are as before divided into three companys and now about seventy men one company with another fit to bear arms when they are all at home, but we have seldom above 150 on the island at one time besides the garrison and commonly less, sometimes we cant get together above 100 white men of the inhabitants to bear arms, being continually coming and going in small boats and vessels belonging to the island and are all obliged to come to, and go from the harbour and clear at the fort every trip, tho' the inhabitants are spread from east to west almost the length of the whole island on the north side for 24 miles and upwards. We have now but 26 guns mounted in Fort Nassau which are as many as need be till the ramparts are in a better condition to support them. I brought 32 new carriages from home for present service, but as Europe timber will not last, I prevail'd with the Office of Ordnance to allow me as much iron work and other stores as would make new ones here of this country timber and to contribute towards the plattforms and storehouses or whatever buildings should be found necessary for the publick service expecting the iron work of the large carriages my predecessor brought out of England with him would lye here ready for me but I was surprized at the disappointment, and depend your Lordships will think it justice for him to allow me a hundred pounds as he has towards making new carriages and putting the fortifications in repair, since he has sold this iron to that value, and left no carriages fit for service and the place in a worse state of defence than it was above eight years agoe. I hope to have 50 guns mounted by the spring of the year and were the inhabitants able I would begin a work on the top of the hill to defend that which commands the fort, but I have neither strength to do it nor money to support the charge and hearing it is and will be a Peace I shall wait till we are more capable to go thro' with it, tho' I hope about 800 or 1000l. would go a great way in doing what would very much strengthen the place as we have guns and ammunition and other stores sufficient by us and the inhabitants will do all they can towards it and as soon as the Assembly meets which will be in about a month or six weeks we will make the best estimate we can of the expence that is absolutely necessary for the whole fortifications and what part the country can and will contribute themselves, and by your Lordships' patronage that we may render the harbour of such service as the scituation is capable of, tho' this island cannot be so much of it converted to sugar works as it was expected, yet the scituation and consequence of a settlement here if it can be supported in a warr with our neighbours will be of great consequence and in a peace would be a receptacle for pirates was it quitted, and if any other Power should possess it, they could annoy and distress our trade to America as much as we may that of our neighbours in the Gulph of Florida, Windward Passage Coast of Cuba Bay of Mexico and all the valuable parts on this side of Spanish America, all I need say more on this head will be but repetitions of what has often and long been represented by the principal merchants of London and all parts of Great Britain etc. The Independant Company from Bermuda was very short of their complement and mostly old men, so that it will be a great charge to recruit them and they are not at present of such use as I expected but hope soon to fill up the Company and make them more serviceable. My own Company is as compleat as any in America tho' I have had the misfortune to lose 23 men this last year or should [have] had enough recruits ready for the Bermuda Company. We are in great want of a Chaplain to the Independant Company and hoped we should have had the Rev. Mr. Dyson who the Secretary at Warr was pleased to allow to supply us till a Chaplain was appointed for us, he belong'd to the Independant Company under Captn. Massey at Port Royal in South Carolina where there is a good Church and Pastor that they would not have been disappointed whilst he was here, but his temporal affairs has taken up his time so much that I have had nothing but letters and promises so long that I now dispair of his company and intreat your Lordships' good offices that we may have one appointed and I hope for a worthy good man who with the pay of the Company and what the Colony would give him may have above 200l. sterl. a year immediately and is sufficient for him to live here handsomely and depend it will be soon much more. We are forced to have Divine Service read in our Church every Sunday by an Officer of the Garrison which is not so regular nor well liked by strangers and is some discouragement to new inhabitants and the whole Colony have requested me to get an orthodox Divine as soon as possible. Your Lordships must have seen maps of these islands done by different hands with descriptions of this harbour and fortifications which for want of time and expences or ability in the persons that attempted to do it where but unfinished sketches not to be depended on tho they served to give some light which was wanting till more exact ones could be procured. And Capt. Gascoign in H.M.S. the Alborough with H.M.S. the Happy both under his directions are employ'd to survey as many as are needfull of the Bahama Islands, with the Bahama Passage, Coast of Cuba, Gulph of Florida, Windward Passage and places adjacent, as he has already Port Royal in Carolina with the Harbour of Charles Town and good part of the coast, as far as St. Augustine and he has likewise surveyed that Harbour with some places next adjacent and having so much time and assistance to do it etc. he can perform with more exactness than any one else etc. Before he returned from hence in February last to Carolina he informed me he had finish'd his rough copy and remarks and would soon after send thence finisht drafts of all he had done in these parts to the Lords of the Admiralty and that I should have a copy on his coming next to me which I believe.will be some time before Christmas, and if any more can be added to what he does it shall be attempted in the best manner we can etc.. etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Recd. 11th Jan., Read 4th June, 1730/1. 4 large, closely written pp. Dated by letter of Feb. 10, 1731, q.v. Enclosed,
482. i. Remarks upon the condition of the fortifications at New Providence, when Governor Rogers arrived, 25th Aug., 1729. Cf. preceding. Confirmed by, V. Howell, Lt.; E. Knight, gunner, Peter Bessick, serjant, John Mills. Endorsed, Recd. 11th Jan., 1730/1. 12/3 pp. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 236–239v. (with abstract), 241, 241v., 242v.]
Oct. 12/23.
483. [——] to A. Bernaert, merchant, Ostend. Anonymous rumours about Spanish Fleet and the despatch of troops to Jamaica, etc. Signed, Anonyme. French. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 47. ff. 118, 118v.]
Oct. 12.
484. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Hunter. As you will have had from Mr. Delafaye an account of your former letters being received, I have not troubled you with particular acknowledgements of them, having no commands to send you from H.M. upon the contents of them; But the last which I had from you of the 4th of July, with the inclosed copy of what you wrote, at the same time to the Board of Trade, being laid before the King, H.M. was extremely concerned to find by it the defenceless condition of the Island under your Government. His Majesty approves your care for the defence and security of the Island, but considering the ill situation that you are in at present, H.M. has been pleased to order the two Regiments of Foot commanded by Brigr. Newton and Colonel Hayes, which are now at Gibraltar, to be forthwith sent from thence, which you are, upon their arrival, to take under your command, and make the best provision you can for their reception and subsistence at Jamaica, in the manner that has been formerly practised on the like occasions; the King cannot doubt but his subjects of Jamaica will receive, in the manner they ought, this instance of H.M. great goodness to them, and care for their security and welfare, and that they will readily contribute whatever may be necessary, on their part, over and above the establisht pay, for the support and maintenance of those troops, which H.M. has thought proper to send thither for their protection and defence. The King hopes that this reinforcement will enable you to provide for the peace and security of the Island. I have laid before the King your Memorial for a supply of Ordnance Stores for the service of Port Antonio, which H.M. has referred to the Board of Ordnance, with directions to apply to the Parliament, at their next meeting, for the necessary sums to defray that expence, which if it be granted, the stores will be sent you as soon as possible. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Copy sent to M[?ajor] G[?eneral] Hunter, 9th Nov. Draft. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 270–271; and 137, 47. ff. 63–64v.]
Oct. 12. 485. Extract of a letter from Port Royal, Oct. 12, 1730. The Tryall is arrived from the wreck, and has got good part of the treasure, she sails, in a few days with a fresh supply of divers, and Ct. Mitchell in the Experiment was left to guard the wreck. Yesterday Ct. Mayne saild to relieve her, the spirit of piracy is much revived here, severall sloops has been fitted out; and all think they have a right to plunder, some has met with success and have run away, and I suppose designe to returne to their former course of life. Wee have had strange doings and much confusion but every thing now seems very easie. The treasure is on board the Lyon, believe Lord Muskery will carry it to Cadiz, if a Spanish man of warr from Carthagena, wch. is expected does not prevent him, the amount whereof perhaps may be about 70,000l. sterling, ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 53. f. 272.]
Oct. 13.
486. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, act of Antigua (1730), to continue the act of Courts, and two acts of Montserrat, (i) to repeal an act impowering Justices to decide differences not exceeding 6l. (1729); and for raising a poll-tax and assessing the houses in Plymouth etc. (1730). [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 57, 58.]
Oct. 15.
487. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses for his opinion in point of law 6 Acts of Jamaica (i) for vesting 20 acres of land in Lynches Island to the Crown; (ii) an Act for the better amending the highways, (iii) to oblige the inhabitants to provide themselves with a sufficient number of white servants etc. (iv) for raising several sums etc., (v) for the better suppressing rebellious and runaway negroes, (vi) for the better regulating slaves etc. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 295, 296.]
Oct. 16. 488. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon Act of Antigua, 1725, to enable William Gregson of London, gent., to dispose of a plantation formerly belonging to Roger Williams. Recites Act etc. The question arises whether a fine and recovery levied and suffered here of lands in Antigua will have any operation or effect so as to bar the entail and remainder of lands created by deed there etc. Apprehends that it will not; otherwise, this act is entirely unnecessary, for it is intended to supply the want of it. Continues: The method is very common, but the manner of obtaining it most extraordinary and unprecedented, for it is passed upon the application of a creditor to a person who never had a title to this estate; it is passed upon the single application of Mr. Gregson who was a creditor of Roger Williams who never had a title to the estate supposing fines and recoveries do not extend to Antigua and without the consent or knowledge of Thomas Vaughan the son of the testator James Vaughan who is alive and tenant in tail in possession. I apprehend there can be no instance shewn where any legis lature ever interposed so far as to divest a tenant in tail and barr his issue and the remr. over unless it had been upon his own application or he had been privy or consenting to it, and to give certain known assurances in the law operations and effects which of themselves by law they would not have and to supply defects in a conveyance without the consent of all parties interested. This is in my apprehension so extraordinary a stretch of power in the Legislature, for it is actually taking upon themselves to convey away the estates of the planters to whom they please, that it ought to meet with the utmost discountenance from your Lordships. Another objection to this act is that there is no clause of reservation of the rights of all persons interested whose consent to the act did not appear. This is a clause constantly incerted in all private acts. But it is so much the contrary in this, that the right of all persons claiming under the title of James Vaughan is expressly barred, though they were none of them privy or consenting to it. Upon the whole I am humbly of opinion that this act is not proper to be passed into a law etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Oct., Read 10th Nov., 1730. 5 pp. [C.O. 152, 18. ff. 139–141, 142v.]
Oct. 17.
489. Certificate by Edward Foy, Mayor of Bristol, that Capt. Charles Willis, Commander of the Benjamin galley, has this day deposed that Timothy Salter, a Councillor of Barbados, died on board, 25th July etc. Signed, Edw. Foy, Mayor. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Leheup) 28th Oct., Read 25th Nov., 1730. Stamped. Sealed. ½ p. [C.O. 28, 21. ff. 130, 131v.]
Oct. 19.
490. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The 30th of the last month, I received the honour of your Lordships' letter of the 6th of November last, as also H.M. new Seale etc. Returns former Seal. Continues:—At the same time I had the honour of receiving your Lordships' letter of the 17th of April last, and am to give your Lordships my most humble thanks for your great goodness in recommending Thomas Maxwell Esqr. Haggatt's place in the Council. I have already communicated to the Council that paragraph of your Lordships' letter which relates to the Act for reducing interest etc., and shall endeavour to get an explaining law past in order to prevent for the future any disputes upon this subject etc. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 14th Dec., 1730, Read 24th Aug., 1731. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 75, 75v., 76v.]
Oct. 19.
491. Same to Mr. Popple. On the 30th of the last month I received your letter of the 9th of December and 17th March last etc. Will reply to queries in former and observe instruction as to whale fishery in latter etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2/3 p. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 77, 78v.]
Oct. 19. 492. Mr. Partridge to Mr. Popple. Secretary Popple, herewith send thee my memorial to the Lords Commissioners for Trade, praying they would please to report upon 4 of the New Jersie laws in order for the Royal Assent, wch. I desire thou wouldst please to lay before them wherein thou wilt oblige Thy Friend. Signed, Richd. Partridge. Endorsed, Recd. 20th Oct., 1730, Read 10th March, 1730/31. Addressed. 1/3rd p. Enclosed,
492. i. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. London. Oct. 8, 1730. Requests report upon four of the Acts of New Jersey submitted 4th March, 1729. q.v. Signed, Richd. Partridge. Addressed. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 972. ff. 198, 199, 199v., 200v.–201v.]