America and West Indies: November 1732, 16-30

Pages 258-266

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 39, 1732. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1939.

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November 1732, 16-30

Nov. 16.
460. Bishop of Durham to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. Gives his testimony to the character of Mr. Bradley, whom he knew in Worcestershire in good circumstances and credit as a lawyer, and also particularly distinguished himself in defence of the title of H.M. royal family etc. Signed, E. Duresme. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
460. i. Mr. Bradley to the Bishop of Durham. New York, Sept. 18, 1732. Begs for his interest with the Duke of Newcastle on his behalf to preserve him his office etc. as Sept. 18. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1086. ff. 56, 57, 57 v.]
Nov. 17. 461. Memorial of Messrs. Rice, Ashe and Montgomery to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Abstract. Refer to former memorial (v. 16th Sept.), complain of "still more extravagant actions" by the Governor, and apply for protection against his wrath and malice, for he sticks at nothing to crush those who submit not to his violent and arbitrary acts, (i) The Chief Justice has been forced to resign and the Assistant Judges arbitrarily replaced without any charge being exhibited against them, and this he did with only two of the Council, Mr. Little, a man publicly accused of bribery, extortion and other crimes, has been appointed Chief Justice, (ii) Mr. Ashe complaining to the Governor that his servants had seized two of his mares and branded them with his brand, the Governor jeered at and abused him and threatened to take some of his slaves. Mr. Ashe thereafter filed an information in the General Court, but the Court decided that such suits could not be brought against a Governor in the Plantations, but must be brought in England, a most preposterous and extravagant judgment, based as they alledged on xi and xii Wm. Ill, cap xii. The case argued. Immediately on coming out of Court, Mr. Ashe was apprehended for publishing a scurrilous libel, as his information was stiled etc., and carried before the Governor and Judge Owen. At the Governor's direction, the Judge demanded of him £1000 sterl. for bail for himself and £500 each of his securities to appear at March Court, without ever examining into the cause of commitment. Mr. Ashe refusing to comply, he was carried to the common stinking gaol, by a mittimus, ready prepared, from Judge Owen, there to continue till he complyed with that demand, it being a condition in the precept and what rendered it illegal. Mr. Ashe petitioned the Chief Justice for a Habeas Corpus, who, when he was brought before him, refused to examine into the legality of the cause of commitment (altho' the King by his Instructions, and the Habeas Corpus act itself directs it) for he well knew no person was punishable for seeking a remedy by law for any injury he conceived done him; he only mitigated the bail by one half etc. Prays for protection, it being very evident that the Governor designs his ruin etc., and that he has taken an effectual method by holding him under such bail, to prevent his prosecuting that affair, though the judgment of the Court refers him to Great Britain, as well as from appearing as an Agent for the country, most of the principal inhabitants (for want of an Assembly) having impowered him to represent their grievances etc. (iii) The Governor having exhibited a charge in Council against Mr. Montgomery, Attorney General, he filed his answer upon the day appointed, 31st Oct. After one day's hearing, the next day having been appointed for hearing Mr. Montgomery's witnesses etc., the Governor perceiving that his innocence upon every article would plainly appear etc., dropped the prosecution and abruptly broke up the Council, by which means the Attorney General had no opportunity of having his witnesses examined, or proofs read in Council. His Excellency has caused the charge with the depositions taken against him to be inserted in the Council Journal, with his answer etc., to be sent home. This is his method in almost every case that comes before the Council; So far is he from being ashamed of such practices, that he values himself upon them, as instances of his great abilities in politicks and the arts of Government, (iv) The Governor has (on pretext of some former precedents of the Governor and Council appointing precincts, where no precincts before were, the legality of which has been denied by the Assemblies) proceeded with the advice and consent of such of the Council as are of his own appointment etc. to divide old precincts established by law, and to erect new ones in places, where by his arts he has endeavour'd to prepossess people in a future election according to his desire; his designs being to get a majority of his creatures in the lower House, or, if he should fail therein, as is probable, to prevent the Assembly proceeding to business, he being well assured from what has passed in former Assemblies, that the Assembly would object against such an invasion of their privileges etc. For he has earnestly promoted such petitions, even writing some of them himself, where there was no necessity for such precincts, some having not 30 families inhabiting them etc. These considerations moved Mr. Rice and Mr. Ashe to offer in Council reasons against this method, which (we have much reason to suspect) he will not suffer to be entered in the Council Journal etc. (v) He takes occasion at public meetings, as at Courts, of abusing, reviling and defaming gentlemen without any regard to truth etc. Such is the case of Mr. Moseley, Mr. Ashe, Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Swan etc. (vi) Since our last remonstrance to your Lordships, notwithstanding our frequent applications to him and objections against his arbitrary disposal of the King's lands, he has solely proceeded to issue many hundred warrants in undue proportions, taking to himself 2s. 6d. in silver or gold Virginia currency for every 50 acres, and this last Genl. Court, tho' the Council unaminously gave it as their opinion, that warts, ought to be issued pursuant to H.M. Instructions, yet he declared his resolution to pursue his usual method; which he perceiving Mr. Rice and Mr. Ash designed to protest against, abruptly broke up the Council, not meeting them afterwards during that term, so that they were obliged to file the inclosed protest by way of caveat in the Secretary's Office, to prevent (if possible) any more warrants issuing in such an arbitrary manner, and the consequences which would attend such a practice, vizt. either the defeating the King's intent of sealing the uninhabited parts of this Province, or very great injuries to the purchaser of such warrants, if H.M. should not approve of them. This so highly provoked him, that it is believed to be one of the principal motives of his violent proceedings against Mr. Ash etc. He would not receive the said protest and caveat when offered him by the Dep. Secry. etc. He endeavours to impose upon the Ministry by exhibiting charges against gentlemen in the Council and stifling their answers, or making answers for them, as will be apparent from some inclosed answers of Mr. Montgomery, Col. Moseley and Col. Moore; which are true and genuine answers by them made, tho' by him wholly suppressed, or altered; which will be evident by comparing them with the Council Journals, a very vile and wicked practice etc. Believe he has used them in the same manner. Pray to be informed of any charges he may bring against them, so as to have an opportunity of vindicating themselves etc. Set out, N.C. Col. Rec. III. 375–391. Signed, Nath. Rice, Jno. Bapta. Ashe, John Montgomery. Endorsed, Recd. 13th March, Read 3rd April, 1733. 11 pp. Enclosed,
461. i. Remonstrance offered by Nathaniel Rice and John Bapta. Ashe to the Governor in Council. The Governor hath issued out a very great number of warrants for lands in undue quantities, not observing the rule of proportion prescribed by H.M., of granting lands by and with the advice of the Council, vizt. of 50 acres only for every person in the grantee's family. Pray that H.M. Instructions may be observed in future. If the method described above be not approved by H.M., it may very much injure people who have paid their moneys to the Governor for such lands etc. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1¾ pp.
461. ii. Reasons offered in Council by Messrs. Rice and Ashe against dividing precincts and erecting new ones by the Governor and Council alone, without the concurrence of the Assembly, v. covering letter. Copy. 3½ pp.
461. iii. Caveat entered in Secretary's Office by Messrs. Rice and Ashe, on finding that in spite of their remonstrance (No. i.), the Governor conntiues to issue warrants for lands in undue proportions, requesting the Dep. Secretary to prefer the same to the Governor before making out any more warrants etc. Copy. 1 p.
461. iv. Writ of Habeas Corpus for producing John Ashe in Court with the cause of his commitment etc., as described in covering letter. 10th Nov., 1732. Signed, William Little, C. J. Copy, 2/3 p.
461. v. Warrant for arrest of John Ashe for publishing scurrilous libels against the Governor etc. 10th Nov., 1732. Signed, Win. Owen. Copy. ¾ p.
461. vi. Mittimus for detaining John Ashe in gaol upon above charge, until he give bond in £1000 sterl. and his securities in £500 each to appear at the next General Court etc. Signed and dated as preceding. Copy. 1 p.
461. vii. Judgment of General Court, 10th Nov., 1732. Upon hearing the information exhibited by John Ashe against George Burrington, Governor, for an offence committed by him whilst Governor, the Court is unanimously of opinion that it cannot hear or determine the same, since by Act of Parliament it is ordained elsewhere to be heard and determined etc. Signed, Wm. Little, C. J. Copy. 1 p.
461. viii. Case of Ashe v. Burrington, referred to in preceding. Oct. 31st, 1732. Ashe exhibits an information against Mr. Burrington for seizing two black mares belonging to him etc., on 15th Sept. Procedure thereupon. Judgment as preceding. Copy. 6½ pp. Nos. iv.–viii. endorsed as covering letter. [C.O. 5, 294. ff. 36–40, 41, 42, 43, 44–53 v.]
Nov. 18.
462. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicate of 20th Sept. Samuel Moore, one of the Council is dead. Repeats former recommendation of William Gordon Esq. for the vacancy; "he is Custos and Col. of the Militia to Windward, has a plentiful! estate, is a man of good sense and interest in the country" etc. The party mention'd in his last have met with success etc. Refers to enclosure iii. Continues: The rains and floods to the Windward which have continued longer than has been known in the memory of man have obstructed in a great measure the pursuit of the slaves in rebellion, but our partys are sent out as often as it is possible or practicable; There being an appearance of better weather at present I hope to be able to give some better account in a short time; upon the whole, I am confirm'd that they are dispers'd into small partys for their subsistance and much distress'd for want of provisions, for our partys come up frequently with new haunts lately deserted, sometimes so suddenly, that they leave their arms and other things behind them; they have lately kill'd two watch negroes in the night time in a gentleman's plantation to Windward. I have heard of little other mischief that they have done since their derout. On the last day of the last month our Assembly met. Refers to speech and reply encl. i., ii. Continues: They sent up to the Council a new Party bill who made some necessary amendments which they rejected so that bill was dropt; The Council think the former bill more effectual for the purposes intended, therefore there is no great loss in that; They sent up an other bill which was of no great consequence, wanted amendments as much as the other, and the Assembly sending a message at the same time desiring a recess, after which according to custom they do no business, the Council advis'd granting it by a prorogation for a few days and a desolution immediately after, that the country may have an opportunity of a fresh choice, which I wish may be a better for their own sake, for nothing is ask'd or expected of them but what is requisite for their safety and interest. The writts are to be made returnable the 13th day of March next by the same advice. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 30th Jan., Read 28th Nov., 1733. 3 pp. Enclosed,
462. i. Governor Hunter's speech to the Council and Assembly of Jamaica. 31st Oct., 1732. He judged it necessary for them to meet in order to improve the success of the parties against the slaves, who are dispersed into small gangs and much distressed. Refers to his former advice as to the means necessary for their complete reduction. Will lay before them all information, which and the continual desertion of the negroes employed in that service will show what measures are needed. Continues: As this service has been carry'd on at a great but necessary expence and the demands for money on that account very pressing, I must acquaint you with much concern, that all the methods which I have taken or could think of for collecting the vast debt due to the publick have had little or no effect, so that there is an absolute necessity of falling upon some more summary and expeditious method for bringing in the same etc. H.M. has been graciously pleas'd to grant me his leave to go to England for six months, but my earnest desire to see matters so settled that etc. the safety of the island may not suffer by my absence, as well as my late bad state of health and the season of the year determin'd me not to make immediate use of that great indulgence etc. Will do his utmost for the public utility and represent to H.M. their loyalty etc. Copy. 2½ pp.
462. ii. Address of Assembly to Governor Hunter. 1st Nov., 1732. Return thanks for preceding speech, and will immediately enter into the most serious deliberation upon its subject matter. Nos. i. and ii. endorsed as covering letter. Copy, ¾ p.
462. iii. Extract of Capt. [Ebenezer] Lamb's Journal, describing the pursuit by his party of the rebellious negroes, Sept. 22–24, 1732, and an attack upon one of their "towns" on a steep rocky hill, approached through a ravine, which they captured. List of provisions, arms and implements seized there. There was no plantation, etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 2½ pp. [C.O. 137, 20. ff. 106–107 v., 108 v–110, 111–112, 113, 114, 115 v.]
Nov. 18.
463. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Refers to enclosed copy of letter to Council of Trade. Continues: The low value of the produce of this island and general decay of trade of all kinds must put our Legislature under the greatest difficultys to find ways and means for the immediately necessary safety and defence thereof. They have order'd their Commissioners to instruct their Agents at home to represent this in the most humble and earnest manner. I have recover'd some measure of health but little of strength since my last, and as I have omitted nothing in my power that might be conducive to H.M. service and interest of his subjects here, in the execution of the trust he has graciously repos'd in me, your Grace may depend upon the same conduct whilst I am here, that I may still be intitled to the honor of your Grace's patronage and of subscribing myself with the greatest zeal and honor etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 3rd Feb. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
463. i.–iv. Duplicates of preceding letter and enclosures. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 110, 110 v., 111 v.–113, 114 v., 115, 116–118, 120–121 v.]
Nov. 21.
464. Governor Belcher to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. Since his letter of 14th Aug., the Assembly has met. Journals enclosed. Fears the Representatives will be so obstinate against H.M. Instructions as to run the risk of losing the Province rather than supply the Treasury as H.M. has directed etc. Requests his Grace's attention to his Speech to the Assembly, 2nd Nov., respecting the raising of naval stores etc. Continues: This climate and soil is well adapted for raising these things, and I wish the Assembly wou'd give a larger bounty for raising them. But lest they shou'd not do it sufficiently, might it not be worthy to be laid before the Parliament for their giving a good bounty to encourage the raising of these stores in the British Colonies, which might prevent a vast sum of English moneys going to the Northern Crowns, and instead H.M. be supply'd from His own Plantations, and in return for the manufactures of Great Britain etc. I humbly conceive nothing could make these Plantations more serviceable to the Mother Kingdom, nor so naturally divert them from interfering with her manufactures. This is indeed what I have been aiming at ever since my arrival to the Government, and have prest it once and again upon the Assemblies etc. Argues that if the stores from America are not so good as those from the Baltic, yet they will improve etc., etc. Richard Wibird, member of Council of N.H., having died three weeks since, and there being only six surviving Councillors, and it being a great damage to H.M. service and the public affairs to have the Council so thin, proposes Coll. Joseph Sherburne, Capt. Ellis Husk and Capt. Richard Wibird, eldest son of deed., to fill the vacancies, being fully qualified according to the 8th Instruction etc. Set out, Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll. 6th Ser. VI. 216. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, R. 13th January. 10 pp. (quarto, gilt edged). [C.O. 5, 898. ff. 466–470 v., 471 v.]
Nov. 21.
465. Governor Belcher to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Repeats gist of Oct. 20th. In reply to queries of 16th June, as to manufactures set up or trade carried on affecting the trade and navigation of Great Britain, refers to his return of Sept., 1731. Since that time there have no laws been made in the Massachusetts Bay that anyways affect them etc. Continues: Indeed since my last letter on these heads there is another paper mill set up at Falmouth in Casco Bay, but the undertakers have not yet begun on that manufacture for want of materials. As to New Hampshire there is no alteration in these matters since my last, yet I think I omitted to say, that after the passing the act there (about 10 years since) for incouraging iron works, the then Governor and Council made a grant of about 8000 of the King's lands in that Province, as a further encouragment to the proprietors and undertakers of those iron works. I also forgot to advise your Lordships that there is no impost, nor has been any impost act in that Province for 7 or 8 years. But the port is on that head open and free, and nothing coming into the Treasury that way, and the excise which is some support to that Government has decreast this last year etc. Will strictly observe Additional Instruction of 5th May, and inform the Board when anything new occurs on that head etc. Concludes as in preceding letter to Duke of Newcastle, on Naval Stores and Councillors. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd Dec, 1732. Read 30th Aug., 1733. 13 pp. [C.O. 5, 875. ff. 112–118, 119 v.]
Nov. 21.
Charles Town
So. Carolina.
466. Governor Johnson to the Duke of Newcastle. Pursuant to his 39th Instruction, he has, with the advice of the Council, called a Court of Exchequer, to be holden so often as occasion requires, "there being several informations already exhibited, for trespasses committed on H.M. lands, which I have ordered the Attorney General to prosecute. And further that I think it highly necessary for H.M. service that a constant Court be established here. If your Grace shall approve of this proposal, it will require that a Chief Baron, Puisny Baron, Escheators and several other officers, be appointed, the allowances, or sallarys to whom will occasion some expenses, which I am wholly at a loss how to provide for: This Court being entirely erected for H.M. service, the Assembly will not be prevailed on to give any allowances to these officers, and I cannot propose any other way to defray that expense than out of H.M. revenues here" etc. Signed, Robt. Johnson. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 388. ff. 53, 53 v.]
Nov. 21.
Charles Town
S Carolina.
467. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate of preceding, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. 9th Jan., 1732/3, Read 27th Aug., 1735. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 364. ff. 158, 158 v., 159 v.]
Nov. 22.
468. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Duke of Newcastle. Since my last dated the 15 instant., I have judged proper, upon the frequent complaints of both officers and soldiers, of the bad conditions of their barracks, to cause a survey to be made thereof, by the military and staff officers of this garrison etc. Encloses report. Continues: As it is absolutely necessary for the security of the place, that these reparations be speedily ordered, I beg your Grace will move H.M. to give the necessary directions etc. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. R. 12th June. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
468. i. Lt. Governor Armstrong order for a survey of the storehouses, magazines and barracks etc. ut supra. 20th Nov., 1732. Signed, L. Armstrong. 1 p.
468. ii. Report by the Officers of the Garrison at Annapolis Royal, 21st Nov., 1732. In obedience to preceding, report that "almost all the buildings want solid foundations, having been rais'd upon a sandy ground, which has moulder'd away into the cellars" etc. The barracks require new floors and roofs, and the men new berths and bedding, they being rotten and full of vermin etc. The ramparts of the fortifications are in good repair, except in two or three places etc. The west bastion towards the river is in danger of being wholly washed away by the incroachment of the tide, unless prevented by some work proper to defend it. The outworks are almost all out of repair, vizt. the counterscarp, covered way and glacis, and a line of palisades all round the fort is very much wanting for ye defence of the place. We desire also to represent that the place appointed for Divine Service is in danger of falling without a speedy repair, and also that the great bell of the Garrison is split whereby it's rendered unserviceable. Signed, Henry Daniell (Capt.) and 14 others. 2 pp. [C.O. 217, 39. ff. 59, 59 v., 60 v., 61, 63, 63 v.]
Nov. 22.
469. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicates of preceding covering letter and enclosures. Endorsed, Recd. 6th March, Read 18th Oct., 1732. 5 pp. [C.O. 217, 6. ff. 256–257, 258, 258 v., 261 v.]
Nov. 23. 470. Commission by the Trustees for Georgia etc. empowering James Oglethorpe to appoint a commander of the Militia etc. [C.O. 5, 670. pp. 25, 26.]
Nov. 29.
471. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following to be laid before the King. Annexed,
471. i. Same to the Queen. Submit draughts of General Instructions and Instructions relating to the Acts of Trade and Navigation for Governor Lord Howe. Continue: In these instructions we have made no alterations or omissions from those which your Majesty has already approved for your other Governors in America; But we have not prepared any Instruction with respect to the additional salary which may be settled upon the Lord Howe by the Assembly, because we have already humbly represented our opinion to your Majesty upon that subject in our representation 17th Dec. last, etc., which still depends before your Majesty for your Royal determination thereupon. We have likewise omitted the two articles given to Mr. Worsley (No. 99 and 100) relating to the recovery of debts in the Plantations, they being provided for by the Act of Parliament pass'd in 1731, for the more easy recovery of debts in H.M. Plantations and Colonies in America.
471. ii. Draft of H.M. Instructions for Governor Lord Howe. [C.O. 29, 15. pp. 304–413; and (covering letter only, autograph signatures) 5, 195. f 172.]