America and West Indies: September 1733, 1-30

Pages 179-197

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 40, 1733. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1939.

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September 1733, 1-30

Sept. 2.
330. Governor Lord Howe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have the honour to inclose to your Lordsps. copys of the Journals of the Council and the Minutes of the Assembly from the day of my arrival to the 12th day of July inclusive. Upon looking over the Council books I find there had been an order of his late Majesty in Council to remove Col. Thomas Maycock from being in the Commission of the Peace, which as I had not an opportunity of knowing before the last Commission of the Peace was made out and it having slipt the gentlemen that had the care of regulating that commission, he was inserted, but as soon as I found the mistake I immediately acquainted the Members of the Council with it, who unanimously agreed that a writ shou'd be issu'd to supersede him, which was accordingly done etc. Col. Leslie, one of the Members of Council, is dead etc. Recommends Henry Peers jr. Esq. to supply the vacancy. Mr. Pilgrim, one of the Members of the Council and chief Judge of the Bridge Court, being gone off the island for his health, Mr. French and Mr. Weeks two of his assistants having desir'd to be excus'd from serving any longer and the Members of the Council being unanimous in their opinions that the other two assistants Mr. Young and Mr. Charnock were not proper persons to be continued in that Court I have with the advice of the Council fill'd it up by appointing Judge Beccles chief Judge, Mr. Brace, Mr. Ball, Mr. Nath. Haggat and Mr. Roberts assistants. Signed, Howe. Endorsed, Recd., Read 7th Nov., 1733. 2 pp. [C.O. 28, 23. ff. 118, 118 v., 121 v.]
Sept. 8.
331. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The inclo'd copys of the three letters which I lately reced. from Mr. Draper the Commanding Officer at Port Antonio, Mr. Ashworth the Chief Magistrate and Commissary there, and Mr. Swanton, who commanded the 200 sailors will inform your Lordships of the late miscarriage of the most promising effort for the reduction of the slaves in rebellion that has hitherto been made. How the Commanding Officers came to alter the original disposition I had made is not as yet clear'd up, which was, that the three different partys consisting of 200 seamen commanded by their own officers, a detachment of 100 from the two Independent Companys with their Officers or such as had warrants from me under the command of Lieut. Allam, and an other of 100 party men rais'd by an act of Assembly and commanded by one Oliver should march by three different routs to the negro haunts, concerting the matter so with one an other as to fall in at the same precise point of time. Upon information that a body of 200 of the rebels were plundering some out settlements four days' march distant from their haunts, I wrote to the Commanding Officer that in case of any alteration in the situation of the rebels the Commanders might alter or depart from the disposition I had made and by concert make a new one, but there happen'd no alteration, for the rebels were and are still in their old haunts. Upon these advices I assembl'd the Council who agreed and advis'd that seeing the sailors were immediately to be imbark'd for Port Royal nothing could be attempted offensively with any prospect of success, that the partys on foot should be continu'd for a guard to the settlements next to the rebels and to cover the town of Titchfield or Port Antonio, and that I should apply to Sr. Chaloner Ogle that he would be pleas'd to order one of H.M. ships to be station'd in the Eastern harbour there, as a guard near the Isthmus which joyns the town to the main against any attempts the rebels might meditate against that place, which he has agree'd to do so soon as he has got one ready and which is all that can be done untill the Assembly meets, which is fixt to the 3d of next month. But what they will do when met is not easie to be guess'd, for they seem to be runing headlong to ruin with their eys open, for they have been forewarn'd of all that has happen'd. The general cry and opinion at present is for Martial Law, but besides the great inconveniencys that must follow upon that resolution, the men to be employ'd in the reduction of the slaves must be of the same sort with those hitherto employ'd, that is to say drunken and disorderly, for rum, the ruin of this island, is easier to come at here than small beer in England, and numbers in marches through a country consisting of mountains, rocks, and deep river courses are only an incumbrance, and the rear hitherto has commonly given way whilst the front was engag'd. If your Lordships will look back into the history of the several administrations, I believe you'll be of opinion that it has not been so much the Governors as Government that has been disagreeable to the Assemblys. How can it be otherwise, when the men of greatest substance and best education have ever made it their choice to ly by at their ease, whilst these of an opposite character are industrious in getting themselves elected, some for protection of their persons, others with design to embroil matters and perplex the administration from private resentments or worse intentions, and your Lordships well know that there are neither gratifications or mollifications in the power of the Governor, who with much difficulty perswades men fitt for them to accept of any employments in his disposal. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 21st, Read 25th Nov., 1733. 3pp. Enclosed,
331. i. Lieut. Swanton to Governor Hunter. Port Antonio. 4th Sept., 1733. I am sorry to acquaint your Excellency of the misfortune which happen'd on Wednesday last about 4 in the evening. We being within half a mile of the N.E. river, where we intended to halt for that night, which is not above 2 miles from Negroe Town ; the advance guard commanded by my brother was fir'd at from a new ambush, which they attack'd with the utmost fury, and being soon supported by the main body they forced by it, in the doing which several were killed on both sides. The pylate by me was killed, and myself wounded at the same time ; our men behavd themselves at the first with the greatest bravery : At once there was a general confusion, which I afterwards understood from Mr. Thompson and the rest of the Officers proceeded from another of the pylates (one Hossop) calling out to the people to leave the pass we had gained, get up the hill, or they would be all surrounded and cutt off ; who then flying, most of them follow'd him. Some of the forerunners meeting with the soldiers who were in our rear, told them I, and most of the Officers were killed, and passing thro' bushes up to the baggage where was likewise Officers and soldiers to guard it, they told them the same, and night coming on order'd the negroes to lay down their bags and fly, which they did ; the sailors and soldiers then fell to plundering and destroying every individual bag and box broke and threw away all the Surgeon's instruments and medecines, and pulled the beef and bread all out of the baggs and hove them down the precipiece ; and to prevent our rallying, broke open some of the ammunition boxes and threw away the powder and ball, drank what liquor they could, and all the rest they started. At this time I was in the middle of the ambush for some time alone, but soon join'd by three of my own Officers with some private men, the whole number being eleven of which 7 only had peices that were serviceable. The rebels saw us in this condition, and order'd a party to take us alive, but we had goot under a large rock, where they did not care to come. All this time the negroes continued surrounding us, and had left only one pass open which by the cover of the night, and a shower of rain, we got thro' into the woods, and fell in with Mr. Allam, Mr. Thompson and several Officers and a few men : We agreed that night, to rally in the morning and sent positive orders for our men to come down, but they absolutely refused. At dawn of day Mr. Allam's men had deserted him and most of them with me were wounded. We then went up the hill to the baggage in hopes to find the people there, but they were gone ; by chance Mr. Cox, Surgn. to the land, his medicines were not entirely destroyed, who assisted to dress the wounded which are about 14 and 10 killed on the spott. My brother who lay on the other side the river all night join'd us the next morning and we are forced to come back, after having got thro' the greatest difficulty and by what I can find little left to be done. This morning all our people will be in from the Breast Work : Hossop is a prisoner as are some of our deserters etc. His march and wound prevent him from being more particular. Recommends Lamb, one of his guides. Signed, Thos Swanton. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 1 pp.
331. ii. Mr. Ashworth to Governor Hunter. Titchfield. 4th Sept., 1733. Mr. Swanton was so hurried on board the hulk being fainty and desirous to have the bullet drawn out of his breast that I had not time to get a thoro' information of their unhappy proceedings. He gives hopes to believe that the rebells have not got any of their ammunition but allows the baggage negroes lost great part of their provisions ; assures me that the rebells gave way to the first and 2nd Division of sailors and that the main body advanc'd with all imaginable expedition and bravery, upon which 90 od of the rebells were seen in one gang to move out of an ambush, each having a gun and above 30 more from another double arm'd. The engagement was began by Lamb the principal pylot with young Mr. Swanton leading the first division consisting of 13, Mr. Swanton following close with the 2nd. Lamb had timely aprized the partys of an ambush at hand and every man was prepared. But the rebells had form'd an ambush on both hands small distance short of that Lee was kill'd at and on a level place. Lamb finding himself abreast the muzles of their guns fir'd and march'd on as did all of those Divisions. The rebells' fire from both sides was much superior, kill'd 8 of the first Division, wounded Mr. Swanton, several others and some kill'd of the 2nd. The body of sailors advanc'd and tho' the rebells were upon moving they pass'd several volleys on both sides till they march'd off, at which as it's said a wicked unlucky pylott (Henry Hossop) drew away the greatest part up a ridge imagining the rebells wo'd surround them when in reality they were marching towards their settlement. By this Mr. Swanton with few others were left expos'd which encourag'd some of the rebells to rally, a heavy showre of rain and night saved him. Refers to Mr. Draper's account. Continues :It still remains a mystery to me the cause of their marching in one body up the rt. arm of Back river, that the provisions was lost or left behind, that the soldiers did not advance to the engagement and why they did not on Thursday morning when the door was open unite forces and march into the Negro Town. If they don't fit out again from Br. Work where provisions etc. is sufficiently provided it will in the opinion of everybody here be for the interest of the island to maintain and make good what we have by securing the Br. Work and Hobbie's Planta. with strong guards, and a detachment thence to be frequently searching those quarters, also to secure Sutton and other expos'd out-settlements. The out setlers having familys, as the two Passleys and others, have mov'd into this town and in everybody's mouth that the rebells will attack this place etc. Will keep a night watch on the hill overlooking the isthmus etc. Suggests that a wall be built across the isthmus etc. Capt. Aubin declares that he will sail for Port Royal the moment he receives the sailors etc. They will then have no other asistance than from the hulk moored near the pass. If the Commodore would order a ship to be stationed in the Eastern harbour, the rebels could not succeed in any attempt against the town. This is the request of the whole town etc. As such a numerous and well fitted body of men has failed against the slaves, and as in the engagement they told the party they came a day too soon, for that Sambo was not to be on Caron Crow Hill till Thursday (the day agreed on by the Officers for entring the rebells town, which puts it out of doubt their having certain correspondence etc., presumes this will be enquired into and their means of obtaining powder and arms etc. Continues : The consequence which must ensue on their seeing such an army retreat so confusedly leaving Mr. Sparke's and possessing Hobbie's plantation many days without interruption. If the Gentlemen of this Island will seriously consider these misfortunes, they must (I think) admit that unhappy Jamaica is in a tottering state and requires nothing less than the most vigorous and speediest means to save it from the impending danger which now seems to be ripe, for everybody believes their numbers are greatly increased. I will send the negro taken up and others on suspicion of corresponding with the rebels by the first opportunity etc. Mr. Campbell assures me the ammunitia is safe etc. The sailors are soon to be convey'd on the Deal Castle. Signed, J. Ashworth. Copy. 2 pp.
331. iii. Lt. Draper to Governor Hunter. 4th Sept., 1733. Breast Work. Forwards Lt. Swanton's report. Cf. No. i. Describes ambush. After Lt. Swanton was wounded etc., he ordered Lt. Thompson to march on with the men "who did with vast deal of briskness and chear'd up his men with such a spiret as can scarce be imagin'd who advanc'd with like chearfulness with full resolution to break in upon their ambush. Weaver ye pilot being kill'd and Lamb not to be found they calld out for a pilot to shew them the way. Henry Hossip pilot went down to them, came up went down again and came up run away and call'd to ye seamen not to go down there, if they did they would certainly be all cutt off, the wild negroes are surrounding you, which affected the men with so much cowerdice that they all run after the pilot and abandon'd their Officers" etc. Thompson ran up to rally his men, but "not one man would stirr to their assistance notwithstanding they see ye wild negroes advance within two muskett lengths of their Commander and ye rest of ye people with him ye wild negros some said Dam 'em no shoot Backaras tak 'em alive. Lt. Strutten spy'd a conveneant rock where he carried Lt. Thos. Swanton too with ye small body that stood by him there remained all night ye wild negros call'd out, you Backaras (fn. 1) what make you come too day you rong Sambo no here till to-morrow. Lt. Robert Swanton and Badloo who brush'd by the ambush with ye remaining men of ye advance guard got into convenient places on each side the river to ambush ye rebells. As they went along the river they saw 30 of the wild negros go by them with two and three musketts apiece. Lamb also saw of another body ninety-six arm'd in ye same manner pass very near them as they quited their ambushes, their number was too small to attack ye main body but fir'd at five stragling negros and kill'd them, they took their ears. I have seen 4 pr. ye other pr. some of ye men have stole. Lt. Swanton tells me 6 or 7 of their men are kill'd and about 16 wounded ; by all accounts I can have Lt. Swanton and his officers behaved themselves like men, if their people had stood by them they must have had ye wisshed success etc. The Independants plundered the baggage and some got drunk on rum. The sailors were as bad at plundering etc. Has proposed several times to Lt. Swanton to fit out his men again and return to Negro Town. "The Independants has behav'd ill. Lts. Allam and Scott went down to Lt. Swanton and order'd their men to follow but not one of them would. Lt. Allam sent a corporal to Lts. Robinson and Cample to order them to march ye men down and none of them came near him" etc. Lt. Allam is now come in with his officers and men. I have askt the two commanding officers whey they did not next day proceed and attack ye Negro Towns. Signed, J. Draper. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 20. ff. 180-181 v., 184-186, 187-188, 189 v.]
Sept. 8.
332. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of preceding, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. Nov. 30th. 3 pp. Enclosed,
332. i.-iii. Duplicates of preceding encl. i.-iii. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 342-347, 348-349.]
Sept. 9.
333. Governor Lord Howe to the Duke of Newcastle. Transmits following. Signed, Howe. Endorsed, R. 19th Novr. 1 p. Enclosed,
333. i. Address of Council of Barbados to the King. 4th Sept., 1733. Return thanks for Act for encouraging trade of Sugar Islands etc., "which we doubt not will in due time, have the desired effect, and enable your industrious subjects in this part of the world, to enlarge their trade as soon as they are upon an equal footing with their rival neighbours ; whereby the British sugar commerce must dayly increase, and nurse up and maintain great numbers of seamen for your Majesty's service," etc. Pray for long life of H.M. and his royal Consort. Signed, James Mytton, D. Clk. of the Council. 1 large p. [C.O. 28, 45. ff. 271, 272 v., 273 v., 274.]
Sept. 10.
334. President of Nevis to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I do myself the honour to transmit to your Lordshps. the following Minutes of Council, delivered me by the Secretary of the Leeward Islands, and his deputys, which are compleated as near as could be to this day vizt. St. Christophers from 26th November 1731 to 7 June 1732 ; 2 June 1732 to 18 September 1732 ; 4 October 1732 to 28 June 1733. Antigua26 July 1731 to 25 June 1732 ; 9 August 1732 to 30 May 1733 ; Montserrat 5 February 1731 to 3rd January 1732. Nevis22 October 1731 to 26 February 173 2/3. I cannot but represent to your Lordships the very great hardships laid upon the Secretary of these Islands, and his respective deputys, as they are obliged by H.M. commands to furnish Minutes of Council, and diverse other papers to be transmitted to your Lordships, that the Legislatures here should think fitt not to pay them :especially since they have no sallarys allowed for this purpose, and their income solely ariseing from eventual fees. I am the more induced to make this representation to your Lordshipps because it is much the interest of this government to have their transactions fairly laid before H.M., and your Lordshipps, that H.M. might be enabled to judge of any proceedings in a part of the world so distant from his Kingdom and give his royal directions therein. I am in hopes your Lordshipps' interposition herein may occasion some better regulation for the future in this matter, which can't well happen to the contrary since H.M. determination in the case of the Secretary of Barbadoes (a similar case) has put the justice of it beyond contradiction. I have not been wanting in directing the respective clerks of the Assembly, to deliver me transcripts of their respective minutes, in obedience to which, I could wish I had no occasion to write your Lordshipp they have been extremely remiss : but as I am tyed up by my Instructions not to suspend any officer without the consent of at least seven of the Council of that Island wherein such officer shall happen to reside, I am not a little apprehensive, that their knowing the difficulty of my obtaining such consent, has contributed to the growth of their extraordinary negligence. I enclose to your Lordshipps also Mr. Smith the Secretary of these Islands tryal for his late deputy takeing twelve shillings for a writt of execution, a fee that has been long customary in Antigua, taxt from time to time by the respective Chief Justices and even continues so to this day. And as I found he was not so much as chargd as augmenting himself any one fee whatsoever, I thought it a very hard case, and an encroachment on his patent, and therefore did suspend the fine that H.M. might give his determination thereon. Signed, Mich. Smith. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Nov., 1733, Read 18th July, 1735. 2large pp. Enclosed,
334. i. Trial of Wavell Smith, Sec. Leeward Islands, for extortion, 27th Feb., 1731 (v. preceding). Copy. Same endorsement. 27 pp. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 52, 52 v., 53 v.-67 v.]
Sept. 10.
Annapolis Royall.
335. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following in reply to enquiry touching the pretensions of the Seigniors etc. Has nothing as yet from any of the rest. Alexander Le Borgne is "the son of Mary the daughter of Seignior James Latour (alias St. Estien) by Madm. Daunay. She after the reduction of the Province retired to Canada for about three years and then returned etc. Refers to the account of these Seigniors he has already given, and which he has not yet found contradicted by anyone etc. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Jan., Read 5th Sept., 1734. 1 p. Enclosed,
335. i. Order by Mr. Adams, upon an order by Lt. Governor Doucett, 1st June, 1732, that all the inhabitants of Mines should show their bounds and title-deeds to M. Alexandre Le Borgne, Sieur de Bellisle, "in order that he may report to me if there are any lands not granted by his late father, Emmanuel Le Borgne, then Seigneur of the Country. Signed, J. Adams. Annapolis Royal. By order of M. le Governeur. Signed, John Doucett. French. Copy. 1 p.
335. ii. Order by Emanuel Le Borgne, Governor of Acadie, part of New France, that is to say, "depuis la rivire de L'Isle Verte, rangeant la cote maritime jusques la rivire de Mines qui est au cul de sac de la Baye franoise, and isles adjacent a dit pays," Lord and Proprietor thereof. La Rochelle, 3rd March, 1668. All subjects of King of France are at liberty to fish on the said coast and at the ports thereof, with the exception of the port and roadstead of Chibectou, where the said Sieur de Borgne reserves the fishery for himself etc. ; but they are forbidden to trade with the Indians there, etc. Signed, Le Borgne. French. Copy. 2 pp.
335. iii. Order by Jean Adams, Member of Council of Nova Scotia. Les Mines. 16th April, 1732. Appointed to examine into the differences between the inhabitants of Le Grand Pr aux Mines. Le Sieur Alexandre Le Borgne, eldest son of the late Emanuel Le Borgne, Sieur de Bellisle and Seigneur of a part of Accadie, having made it appear that, since the capture of the Fort he has always remained under the dominion of the King of Great Britain, and rendered service to his Majesty's subjects whenever opportunity has occurred, and rescued their persons and effects from the hands of the savages, and on that account is obliged to leave his dwelling at Penobscott with his whole family to live at Grand Pr where he had not land enough even to make a garden (ou il n'avait pas de terre seulement pour faire un jardin), although his father was Lord and Proprietor of the country, and petitioning me to give him permission to take lands in the Grand Pr des Mines not granted by his late Father etc., permission is hereby granted to him to take possession of all the high and low land in the Grand Pr and in all the Mines, after all the grants of the inhabitants obtained from his father have been fulfilled (on soit fournie) ; so long as he shall behave faithfully to the King and with obedience to the Government, until further orders by the Governor etc. Signed, J. Adams. French. Copy. 2 pp.
335. iv. Commission, by Louis XIV, upon the recommendation of the Directors of the Company of the West Indies of Sieur le Borgne de Bellisle to be Governor of part of Acadie, as in No. ii. 4th April, 1668. Signed, Louis. Countersigned, De Sionne. French. Copy. 3 pp.
335. v. Petition of Alexandre Le Borgne, on behalf of himself, his mother and sister, to Lt. Governor Armstrong and the Council of Nova Scotia. Without date. Excuses himself for having so long delayed taking the oath of allegiance to H.M., whose faithful subject he now is etc. Refers to his father's Commission (encl. iv) and his sacrifices and expenditures in settling the country etc. Refers to Lt. Governor Doucett's order (encl. i) etc. Notwithstanding, petitioner is still without a morsel of land, without evicting the inhabitants who have wrongfully taken possession. Presents his case and prays that it (encl. vi) may be submitted to H.M. for the confirmation of his claims, and that in the mean time, in view of his great distress, above orders (i and iii) may be put into execution, so that he may be able to cut enough wood and make hay to support himself. Signed, Borgne de Bellile. French. Copy. 5 pp.
335. vi. Reply to the claim of the children of the late M. de la Tour, to inherit from the late M. d'Aulnay, to the prejudice of M. Le Borgne, creditor for a large sum (1658), to whose expenditure the settlement of the county is due etc. French. Copy. 4 pp. Nos. i-vi endorsed, Recd. 24th Jan., 173 3/4. Cf. Oct. 23, 1733. [C.O. 217, 7. ff. 31, 32 v., 33, 34-37, 38, 41-42 v., 44-46, 47, 47 v., 48 v.]
Sept. 11.
Rhode Island.
336. Mr. Kay to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I transmitted to your Lordships the 2nd Septr. 1732 an Act of this Colony for emitting sixty thousand pounds in bills of publick credit upon land securitie : and have now inclosed another Act for emitting one hundred thousand pounds of the like nature. What the consequences and effectts of those proceedings will prove, is humbly submitted to yor. Honours. I likewise inclose an Act of this Colony imposing a tax upon shipping for powder money, wherein they would oblige me as Collect, of H.M. Customes, not to clear any vessell (tho' she hath comply'd with all the acts of the Customs, the acts of Navigation and Trade) until the Master of the said vessell hath produced a certificate to me that she hath paid the said tax, for the use of this government which the Masters and merchantts owners of the shipping refusing to pay ; alledging itt to be contrary to the King's Instruction to the severall Governmts. in America ; and there being no penaltie laid in the said Act, compelling me to observe an act, which I humbly concieve could not appertain to me, refused to comply herewith. Since which they have made an additional act which I have inclosed, and in all submission referr it to your Lordships. As I am an officer imploy'd by the Lords of the Treasurey and the Commrs. of H.M. Customes and faithfully discharging my duty, both as to the Laws of Great Brittain and my instructions from home, whether this Governmt. laying restrictions upon me in these proceedings doe not interferr with the said laws. And humbly lay it before yor. honourable Board ; whether this Act doth not contemptuously treatt an officer impower'd from home, in making a penaltie upon him finall by the judgment of a single Justice of the Peace ; and not allowing him what is common justice and equitie ; the indulgence of an appeal, which must tend to make all officers in America, imploy'd from home, useless in their imployment, And therefore I hope will pardon me, in making my appeal to yor. Lordships. Signed, Nathll. Kay. Endorsed, Recd. 5th Dec., 1733, Read 18th Sept., 1735. Holograph. 2 pp. Enclosed,
336. i. Copy of Additional Act to the powder Act. Passed in Rhode Island, July 20, 1733, obliging the Collector of Customs not to clear any vessel without a certificate that she has paid powder-mony, under a penalty of paying the same himself, to be recovered, if under 40s. at a Justice's Court etc. Endorsed, Recd. 5th Dec., 1733. Copy. 2 pp.
336. ii. Copy of Act.
Sept. 12.
337. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to the Board's commands for sending an annual account of laws, manufactures and trade affecting trade, manufactures and shipping of Great Britain, repeats part of Oct. 5, 1732. Knows of no law in that government, which can in any sense be said to affect the British trade. As to manufactures repeats Oct. 5, 1732. There have lately been many attempts made towards the discovery of tin and copper mines. The tin mines have been discovered since Oct. 5th last, "so that they are gott no further than the surface." As to trade, repeats Oct. 5th. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Nov., 1733, Read 15th Jan., 173 3/4. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1323. ff. 93-94 v.]
Sept. 17.
Charles Town.
338. Governor Johnson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Has "nothing else material to impart." Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. 15th, Read 28 Nov., 1733. 1 p. Enclosed,
338. i. Deposition of John Calcock (Colcock), mariner. 17th Sept., 1733. The following is to the best of his knowledge (and what he could learn at the Havanna) the particulars of the loss of the Flota who sailed 2nd July last under the command of Dn. Rodriguez de Torro as Admiral in a ship of 60 guns, one ship of war of 60 guns built in the Havanna, and commanded by Capt. Daniel Ohony, two other ships of 60 guns, 15 merchant ships, a snow bound to St. Augustine, and a small sloop, in all which were about fifteen millions of money pr. register, chochineal, indigo etc. unknown. On 4th July a very violent storm of wind arose about No. which kept increasing and going against the course of the sun till at S.E. it proved a hurricane, in which deponent very hardly escaped, being about 35 leagues to the westward of the Spanish Flota near the Tortugas bank in a schooner bound to this port, the manner of their working their vessels in the storm is unknown, but on 11th July as he was entring the Gulph, the wind being scant, was obliged to stand close in shore, were on the Islands call'd (in genl.) the Martiers, he saw three large ships, and presently after it falling calm perceived a launch with about 20 or 30 hands, who very civilly acosted this deponent, informed him they were part of the Spanish Flota cast away, that one of the men of war commanded by Capt. Ohoney they believed was saved, all the rest being ashore except the snow, which foundered the beginning of the storm, and in the end desired deponent to take in some of the passengers to the Havanna, which he did, and at his arrival was immediatly seized for the service of the King, himself and people, with his cargo of skins turnd ashore, and he obliged to maintain his people almost five weeks, which time they had kept his vessel, and at the delivering of her up gave deponent only 124 ps.8/8 and 5 rials, the men's wages only amounting to near that sum, without their victuals, hire of the schooner or detriment of his cargo considered ; but on his complaint was told he had but two remedies, patience or beating his head against the wall etc. Hearing of some design the Spaniards had on Port Royal in this Province, he asked Mr. Nicholson what might be the truth of that report, who said such a thing had been debated of in Council, but the want of a pilot had put it off, for that time, untill the next Barleventa Fleet should arrive, which is generally in March or April. Signed, Jno. Colcock. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2 pp.
338. ii. Deposition of Edward McIver late chief mate of the brigantine John, Andrew Bisset master, 17th Sept., 1733. Extracts from his journal kept at Havana. July 2nd. Sailed from hence the Spanish Flota etc. Describes ships of war, as preceding. The merchant ships are described as, one Genoese built ship, 20 guns mounted, 400 tuns ; one La Vera Crux built ship 30 guns (this ship had two teer of ports), 800 tuns ; one Dutch built frigat 24 guns mounted, 500 tuns ; 4 English built vessels, each 24 guns, 600 tuns apiece ; one New England built ship of three decks had 36 guns, mounted two teer of ports, no wast, 900 tuns ; 6 Old England built frigats of 4 and 500 tuns apiece, some 20 others 24 guns mounted. One Old England built ship 30 guns mounted, 700 tuns. One small ship about 90 tuns, 6 guns mounted, and a snow about same burthen bound for St. Augustine etc. 6th. The Governor ordered a sloop out to discover whether the Flota had come to damage. 11th. She returned with an account of 6 sail ashore the So. end of Key Largo. 6 Sloops was directly sent with provisions to relieve them etc. 13th. There arrived in the Havana a launch and 40 men who gave the following accot., that two of the men of war, and one of the large merchant ships (the Admiral being one of the men of war), was cast away upon a shoal, about 14 miles from the shore, etc. Describes wrecks. Three ships let go their anchors and rode it out etc. The rest of the large vessels stuck fast upon the Banks etc., except Capt. Ohony etc., but so commodiously cast away that nothing would be lost etc. 15th. Orders arrived from the Admiral for all vessels to repair to the wrecks. Describes salvage, 16th Sept., of plate, cochineal and money, "without the knowledge of any lost, amounting as is said to 15,000,000 ps. 8/8." Continues The following account is what I had of an English seaman cast away in one of the ships of war, being an account of their manner of working. Describes weather, "hard gales from the N.E. which backed round against the sun till came to S.E. from whence it blowed a hard storm, with thunder, lightning and rain, betwixt one and two they handed their main sail, and wore under their foresail, and when almost before the wind they instead of easing of their fore sheet, they cut it, after which the said foresail blowed in pieces, they also cut their masts and bowspreet away and lay trying a hull, and likewise throwed 14 guns over board, and cut all their anchors from the bowes and 10 at night was fast aground etc. By the 25th Augt. the wrecks was burnt to the waters edge for the iron work." Signed, Edwd. McIver. Same endorsement. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 362. ff. 201, 203-205 v., 206 v., 208 v.]
Sept. 17.
Charles Town.
339. Governor Johnson to the Duke of Newcastle. Has given Mr. Holzenderf (v. 22nd May) a Commission in the Militia, and will gratify him in all things to the utmost of his power, to shew his great regard for his Grace's commands etc. Signed, Robt. Johnson. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 388. f. 108.]
Sept. 18.
Charles Town.
340. Same to Same. Duplicate of letter to Council of Trade, Sept. 17th, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, R. 30th Nov. 1 p. Enclosed,
340. i., ii. Duplicate of Sept. 17 encl i., ii. [C.O. 5, 388. ff. 109, 110 v.-113 v.]
Sept. 20.
Experiment at Port Antonio in Jamaica.
341. Capt. St. Loe to the Earl of Westmorland. I have done myself the honour of writing to your Lordsp. by every opportunity I could lay hold of, but it has been my misfortune never to have heard of yr. Ldsp's. wellfare since I left England. I arrived here the 13th inst, to defend this harbour and town of Titchfield fm. the insults of the rebellious negroes, who have done much mischief among the neighbouring plantations, and most of the people are flown to this place for shelter etc. Describes the expedition and reverse at Negro Town etc. v. supra. Concludes : Our seamen are in great wrath, not being supported in this action, as they think they ought to have been, and by their passions I perceive will not be easily prevailed on to make a second attempt, being strangers to bush-fighting. I shall speedily be relieved here by an other ship, and then proceed on a cruize etc, Signed, Jon. St. Loe. Endorsed, Recd. (from the Earl of Westmorland), Read 19th Feb., 173. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 1, 1 v., 6, 6 v.]
Sept. 20.
342. Governor Pitt to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The honour of your Lordships' leter dated ye thirteenth of Sept. 1732 I have but lately receiv'd. I am very much obleig'd to your Lordships for the favorable representations, your Lordships were soe good to make in my behalfe to his Majesty. I have communicated the contents of yr. Lordships' l'r to the Assembly ; they desier time to consider, by what method to raise an equivolent in lieu of ye licences granted for the whale fishery, for the future, the difference yt. is beetweene us is the three yeares arreares wch. they seem to think tho' they have had all the proffitts arising, not to any ways concern them, neither will they take any method or thought how to pay it, in this affaier I humbly beg yr. Lordships will be soe good as to instruct mee, for as it is a parte of my sallary it is as justly my right as any other parte, and to loose three yeares would bee a hardship upon mee as I conceive, but in this and every thing else shall submit to yr. Lordships' decision. I have done my selfe ye honour severall times to returne your Lordships my thanks for yr. Lordships' interest in returning the Independent Company from Providence and should bee glad for H.M. sarvice, and the good of the iland, that wee had a small man of warr station'd heere, but as there is soe much difficulty in it, must be contented till a more favorable opertunity. I shall allwayes esteeme it a great favour to be honourd wth. any commands from yr. Lordships etc. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Nov., 1733, Read 24th Jan., 173. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 122, 127 v.]
Sept. 20.
343. Governor Pitt to Mr. Popple. Repeats part of preceding and encloses acts and votes of Assembly etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 123, 126 v.]
Sept. 21.
Hampton Court.
344. Draft of letter [? from the Duke of Newcastle] to Governor Fitzwilliams. As Mr. Colebrooke, who is brother to a gentleman here of distinction and for whom I have a particular regard, has been settled some time in the islands under your Government ; I desire to recommend him, in the most strong and earnest manner, to your favour and protection. I am persuaded that you will find him worthy of your friendship, and that his assistance will be of use to you in the carrying on of H.M. service in your Department, and I beg you will be assured that I shall be extremely obliged by any good offices that it may be in your power to do him. Draft, in handwriting of Mr. Delafaye. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 14. f. 231.]
Sept. 27.
345. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Belcher. Acknowledge letters and enclosures of 20th Oct., 21st Nov., and 23rd Dec., 1732, and 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th Jan., 5th Feb., 10th and 19th May and 28th June, 1733. Continue :And since they relate chiefly to ye difficultys which you have had with your Assemblies, and to ye disputes they have had with the Crown about fixing your salary, the issuing a greater quantity of paper mony than allow'd by your Instructions, and to the supply of the Treasury in an unjustifiable method, we were willing to deferr answering those letters till their pretensions had been determined by His Majesty in Council, and by the House of Commons here. Copies of which determinations we presume have long since been sent to you, by ye Agent of the Province, and we hope they may [have] had their p[r]oper effect, by bringing the people under your Government, to a due sence of their circumstances, of the dependance they ought to have on their Mother Country, as well as, of the duty they owe to the Crown ; and that in general their behaviour will have been such, as to give no occasion of renewing in the next Sessions of Parliament here a further enquiry into their conduct. The sense expressed by you in all your letters to us, as well as in your Speeches to the Assembly, upon their late extraordinary behaviour wants no approbation from us, since it has already mett with that of the Parliament of Great Britain, in rejecting their very extraordinary Remonstrance for the alteration of the fundamental points, so frequently and so deliberatly determined by H.M. in Council. We therefor flatter ourselves, that by the next accounts we shall receive from you, we may be apprized of ye Assembly's having made a proper provision for the King's service, and ye necessary protection of the Province, which will otherwise be exposed to such imminent danger, that we apprehend the Legislature of Great Britain may think it necessary to interpose for ye preservation of the Massachusets Bay, if the Assembly should any longer refuse to take care of themselves. And if thro' their obstinacy, there should be an absolute occasion for such an interposition, we would desire to be informed by you, what duties may be most conveniently laid in New England with the least burthen to the people there, but adequate to the services of the Government. We have reced. the returns you have made to our enquiry concerning laws made, manufactures sett up, or trade carryed on, which may any ways affect the Trade, Navigation and Manufactures of Great Britain, and we desire you will send us once a year at least an acct. of what variations shall happen, if any shall have been made therein. The Parliament of Great Britain begins to be very jealous of any manufactures sett up, or trade carryed on, to the detriment of this Kingdom. We observe what you write concerning the propagation of Naval Stores in New England, and have considered your proposition for giving a bounty thereon. But as the production of Naval Stores, and of all other things that do not interfere with the trade and manufactures of this Kingdom, is manifestly for ye advantage of New England, as well as of Great Britain ; since the Parliament of Great Britain, have already taken the lead in giving large encouragements for that purpose, we doubt not but the Province of the Massachusets Bay will find their interest in giving such further assistances as may be found wanting for so desirable an end. In your letter of ye 23rd Decr. last you have furnished us with very good reasons in support of ye opinion we have always been of, against the issuing of paper mony in general, and therefore we refer you to your first letters, for an answer to what you writ us in those of latter date, desiring leave to give yor. assent to a bill passed both Council and Assembly for emitting of 50,000 of yt. currency, to which you prudently declined giving your assent, as being contrary to your Instructions. The method prescribed by that bill, you apprehend to be the best foundation for a paper currency of any yet passed in your Government, and perhaps it may be so. But as the sume therein proposed was beyond your Instructions, you will have further time to consider of it, when for the future you shall give your consent to the issuing of any paper mony consistent with your Instructions, for we have not sufficiently consider'd that plan to be able to decide concerning it. We have considered what you say concerning the alteration of your 15th Instruction, forbiding you to give your assent to any law for repealing any other then in being, without inserting a clause to prevent it's taking effect, till H.M. pleasure shall be known, but we conceive this article of your Instructions to be founded upon such good and solid reasons, that we cannot at present advise H.M. to make any alteration therein. We hope you have before this received from Mr. Wilks, Agent of the Province, the sevl. papers we have put into his hands in relation to the settling of the bounds between the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, and that upon the return of your answer thereto, no further delay may be occasioned, to the accomplishing a matter of so much advantage to both Provinces. We have now under our consideration another bill passed this year in your Province, for giving you 3000 salary. We shall shortly lay our opinion thereupon before your Majesty. In answer to such parts of your letters as relate to the appointment of Councillors in New Hampshire etc. enclose list of the members as they now stand etc. [C.O. 5, 917. pp. 8390.]
Sept. 29. 346. Office expenses of the Board of Trade, Midsummer Michaelmas, 1733. See Journal. Endorsed, Recd., Read 2nd Oct., 1733. 6pp. [C.O. 388, 80. ff. 81-84 v.]
Sept. 29.
Romney at St. John's.
347. Governor Lord Muskery to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Signed, Muskery. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Jan., Read 9th April, 1734. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
347. i. Governor Lord Muskery's Answeir to Heads of Enquiry at Newfoundland for 1733. The answers to Nos. 1-31 are chiefly to the effect that the regulations have been observed. (ii) Prisoners, with witnesses, are being sent home for trial for felonies committed in the winter. (xxvii) The Fishing Admirals have little regard to anything but their own interests. (xxxii) The inhabitants are subsisted with provisions from Great Britain and Ireland, and livestock from the Plantations in America, "together with rum, molosses, sugar, bread, flower and tobacco to the value of 16,000 sterl," (xxxiv) Fishermen are paid 25 to 10 per man. They are paid in clothing and other necessaries great part, and the remainder by bills of exchange payable in England. (xxxv) One boat and fitting costs 100 to 120 sterl. (xxxvi) The inhabitants have no other imployment for their servants then taking and curing of fish etc. (xxxvii) After the fishing season, the inhabitants imploy themselves in sawing boards, building boats etc. (xxxviii) The furring trade is carryd on the winter season in Trinity Bay and to the northward of Cape Bona Viste, and taken last winter to the value of 170 sterling, but I don't learn that they have any traffick with the Indians. (xxxix) Their houses are at proper distances so as not to obstruct the Fishery. (xl) They claim a right to all the improvements which have not been posses'd by the Fishing ships since 1685, and what they do not make use of themselves, they set to hire to the by-boat-keepers etc. (xli) Five flakes of 120 feet long are allow'd for a boat's room, and built according to the ancient custom from the shoar up into the land, nor a greater extent of front room then formerly allow'd. (xlii) I cannot finde yt. any account has been k pt of the room belonging to the fishing ships before or since 1685. (xliii) The fishing ships are victual'd and provided with all necessarys for the fishery from Great Brittain. (xliv) No ships are admitted as Admirals but such as bring with them a certificate from England of their being duely quallified. (xlvii) From Bredeford and Barnstable the custom of allowing shares to their ships' companies, but all others give certain wages. The charge of a ship of a hundred, fourteen boats and fifty men, 1500 sterl. (1) The commodities imported from the American Plantations are for the use and consumption of the Fishery and not for exportation etc., not sufficient to carry on an indirect trade. (li) The New England merchants carry on their trade by disposing of their commoditys for fish and bills of exchange, the former if they cannot dispose of for bills of exchange they ship to foreign marketts. The value of rum, molosses, tobacco, bread flower etc. this year amounts to 16,000 sterl. (lii) At St. Johns are 14 taverns or publick houses and them kept by the inhabitants only. The fishermen are generally trusted on the credit of their masters, who deduct their debt out of their wages, and many, run so far in debt as not being able to pay the same, endeavour to get to New England. (liii) I am informed it's common for the inhabitants to trust their servants with rum and other stores to the full value and often more then their wages. (liv) The by-boat-men and inhabitants alow for their and their servants' passages from England to Newfoundland 2 10s. pr. man and 30s. back, paid at the end of the year in merchantable fishes. (lv) The method of trusting the servants is certainly the occasion of many disorders. (lvi) I cannot learn that the commanders of fishing ships leave any number of men behind them. (lvii) The New England traders do still continue to carry away numbers of fishermen and seamen in the ports where H.M. ships do not reside, but I can't learn that it's for the interest of the inhabitants to assist or contrive at the carrying away such men, since by the very means the wages do yearly advance. (lviii) I have oblidged all the ships belonging and bound to New England in all the ports I have been into not to carry any men more then their ship's company brought with them under the penalty of 500 sterl. (lix) I have given particular charge to the several Admirals that they inspect into the curing and husbandring the fish in their several harbours. 10 hhds. salt is sufficient to salt 100 quintals. It's often the wettness of the season that prevents the well curing and husbandring the fishes, not but the fish lying long in the boats and small vessels the summer season generally take damage before it's brought into the harbours etc. Nor do I see any way to prevent such abuses unless some proper persons well acquainted with fish should be appointed sworn cullers to cull all fish sold and delivered. (lx-lxii) Has not been able to get any information in relation to the French fishery etc. (lxiii) I do not find that the Officers in the Garrison are any way concern'd in the Fishery or setting out to hire any fishing stages or letting out the soldiers to fish. (lxv) Upon the strictest enquiry I do not find that the Justices of the Peace have proceeded otherways then in virtue of the Commissions, or that they have any way enterfeerd with the Fishery etc. Signed, Muskery.
347. ii. Scheme of Fishery of Newfoundland for 1733. By harbours. Totals :Ships and sack ships (including 63 ships from America) 281. Number of men belonging thereto, 3926. Passengers on British fishing ships, 1970. Boats belonging fishing ships, 1129. Byboatmen, 2559. Quintals of fish made, 319,670 ; carried to foreign markets, 223,800, and 550 tierces of salmon. Train oil made, 1649 tons. Prices, fish pr. quintal, 12s. to 12s. 3d. ; salmon pr. tierce, 2 to 2 5s. 0d. ; train oil pr. ton, 11 to 12 10s. Seal oil, value 1382. Furs taken by inhabitants, 182. Number of stages, 451 ; of train fats, 108. Number of families, 336, of whom 53 kept taverns. Land improved, 50 acres. Number of inhabitants, 3602 (masters, 315, mistresses, 25, men servants, 2497 ; women servants, 46 ; children, 478). Remained in the county last winter, 2590. Dead, since return of last convoy, 62 ; Born, 63. Signed, Muskery. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Jan., 173. 1 large pp.
347. iii. Muster-roll of Garrison at Fort Frederick in Placentia. Signed, S. Gledhill, Lt. Gov. Endorsed as preceding. 1 large p.
347. iv. Account of provisions and stores of war at Fort Frederick. 28th Aug., 1733. Signed, Tho. Prendergast, Lt. etc. Same endorsement. 7 pp. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 192, 193-196 v., 198 v., 199 v.-202, 204, 204 v., 206-209 v., 210 v.]


  • 1. Presumably the obvious word of abuse which Dr. Samuel Johnson described as "a term of endearment among sailors."