America and West Indies: October 1733, 16-31

Pages 216-232

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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October 1733, 16-31

Oct. 16.
361. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council. Representation upon Lord Fairfax's petition concerning lands in Virginia (v. C.S.P., 25th July, and A.P.C. III. No. 281). Conclude : We find the description of this tract of land as set forth in the petition is strictly conformable to the terms of the original grants from the Crown and as we have been made acquainted by letters from Virginia as well as from the petitioners complaint that disputes have arisen upon grants made by H.M. Govrs. of Virginia of lands situate within the district in question, we are humbly of opinion that H.M. should be pleased to issue his orders to the Lt. Govr. etc. to nominate three or more Commissioners (not exceeding five, for the prevention of too great an expence,) who in conjunction with a like number to be named and deputed by the Lord Fairfax, may survey and settle the marks and boundaries of the said district of land agreeable to the terms of the patent under which the Lord Fairfax claims after the arrival of H.M. Orders for that purpose, and that in the interim the said Lt. Govr. of Virginia be restrained from making any grants of lands within the abovementioned tract. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 110-113.]
Oct. 16.
362. Same to Same. Enclose following in pursuance of order of 15th Aug. Annexed,
362. i. Draught of H.M. Additional Instruction to the Governors of Virginia and S. Carolina, requiring them to admit Surveyors General of Customs in those Provinces for the time being to sit and vote only as Councillors Extraordinary, with the exception of George Phenney, who having been already appointed a Councillor inordinary in those provinces is to be continued in that station. The said Governors are hereby required by the first opportunity to move the respective Assemblies to provide for the expence of making copies of all acts and papers relating the Office of said Surveyor General, which in the meantime Mr. Phenney is to be allowed to inspect without paying any fee etc. cf. Aug. 8th, and 15th. [C.O. 5, 1366. pp. 114-118.]
Oct. 18.
363. Mr. Wheelock to Governor Armstrong. Your letter of the 10th of July to My Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations which was received yesterday having been laid before them as likewise your former letters of the 15th and 22nd of November last, with the several papers therein referred to ; their Lordships upon information that a ship is ready to sail to-morrow for Nova Scotia, would not defer acknowledging the receipt of them, and have therefore commanded me in Mr. Popple's absence to acquaint you with it, and that you may expect by the first opportunity their Lordships' answer to such part of those letters upon which they have not already given you their sentiments. I am further commanded to return you their Lordships' thanks for the accounts you have given them ; who commend your care and vigilance particularly with respect to the conduct of the French and their missionaries, as likewise of the Indians ; and their Lordships will be in expectation of your continuing, as you promise to inform them of all occurrences that may happen from time to time. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 271, 272.]
Oct. 18.
364. Mr. Wheelock to Nicholas Paxton, Sollicitor of the Treasury. Encloses, in Mr. Popple's absence, an act of S. Carolina, 1696, to ascertain the prices of land etc. "which may be of use to you, in forming the drat. of a new bill, you have instructions to prepare, relating to the quit-rents, and titles to land in that Province. And I am further ordered to desire that ye. sd. drat. may be dispatch'd as soon as possible, since ye affairs of Carolina are much in confusion, for want of a proper act being pass'd upon yt. subject." [C.O. 5, 401. p. 75.]
Oct. 19.
365. Lt. General Smith to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses papers "all concerning my suspending a fine of 50 imposed on Mr. Mun and releaseing his imprisonment for 6 months for sending a libel or challenge to Mr. Spooner, Sollicitor General of these islands. I little thought I should have had occasion of troubling your Lordships, just as I am expecting to resign the Government to Generall Matthew, but the unpresidented manner of the Assembly of St. Christophers, intermeddling in matters not properly cognizable before them, and the extraordinary proceedings of the Deputy's Deputy Provost Marshal of that Island, under ye sole influence and guidance of Mr. Spooner, in detaining Mr. Mun in gaol, notwithstanding I had by two writts or warrants commanded his releasement from prison by pardoning his imprisonment for 6 months, and suspending the payment of his fine until H.M. pleasure be further known etc., makes it absolutely necessary that these matters should be laid before your Lordships etc., etc. Continues :Mr. Mun's offences deserve every man's discountenance etc., but when I came to consider, how the prosecution was carried on, not my Lords by indictment, but by information, a sort of suit (as far as I can learn) never before introduced into this Govermt., I had a mind to discourage the practice, as it takes away from ye subject here, their right to a Grand Jury etc. Tho' in many cases informations are used in England, yet the same reasons will not hold good for their being introduced here ; because the Judges in Brittain, are men eminent for thier virtue and great learning in the law. There, too, the Barr is filled with numbers of men famous for thier knowledge in that profession, and all under the immediate observation of H.M. and his Parliament etc. But in this a distant part of the world, we are not bless'd with such an immediate superintendence as will not permitt things to go out of order, and as I therefore conceived, wild work might ensue, by these sort of processes, I thought proper not to favour them in the beginning etc. This was but one motive that inclined me to extend the King's mercy to Mr. Mun ; the rest were a persistent distemper in the gaol, his inability to pay the fine, the intercession of many that convinced me, of the implacable resentment of Mr. Spooner (which I think his letter will abundantly shew etc.). Whether that letter was a proper one to be sent me, I humbly submitt to your Lordships' determination, as to the votes of the Assembly, they were taken upon the spot, without examination, and on the very day, the Councill were only appointing a distant one, to examine into this whole affair by my direction. Everybody knows who drew those resolutions, as well as ye influence Mr. Spooner has in that island etc. The representation of the Judges was framed subsequent to my order dated Sept. ye 4, and the pardon under the Great Seal to inforce the former dated Sept. ye 10, and came to my hand the 17th without date ; I have reason to conclude 'twas with a design, it should appear to yr. Lordships, that I had extended H.M. royal mercy to Mun against a representation of the Judges etc., etc. Mun is kept still in gaol, on ye judgment of the Court yt. condemned him, under ye pretence of the informality of these pardons, nor is one single instance given to the contrary, which in cases not capital, have ever been customary in this Goverment, notwithstanding Mr. Spooner taxes me with overthrowing ye judgment. I humbly conceive, if such contempts from subordinate officers are allowed, hard will be ye fate of H.M. subjects in this Goverment. I was serv'd with notice by Mr. Spooner that depositions were to be taken against me before the Councill att St. Christophers. I gave meself no trouble about them, being assured I have acted in all things with the utmost integrity. I have been inform'd there were two fines I have suspended in St. Christophers, and that one of them mentions some I have suspended in Antigua. That of Mr. Smith's I transmitted yr. Lordships my reasons, and that of Nisbitt's, I now transmitt a letter from ye Judges, interceeding in his behalf, and one of the subscribers is Ashton Warner, who has been long Attorney General of these Islands ; of this I suspended sixty pounds, by an order under my hand (no way useing the great seal) nor was any opposition made to ye manner, the lawyers there knowing it to be ye custom of this Goverment, in cases not capital. I had almost forgot to mention to yr. Lordships, the resignation Mr. Gregory the Deputy's Deputy Provoost Marshal made of his office in Councill ye 4th Sept., and how he reassumed it again ye evening of ye 6th to carry Mun to goal, how regular this conduct is, must submitt to yr. Lordships. I have ye testimony of my own conscience and every unprejudiced person to clear my innocency in this affair etc. Submits whether, as C. in C. he has power to pardon offences and suspend fines till H.M. pleasure be known, or whether subordinate officers may refuse obedience to his orders and pardons for that purpose etc. P.S. Oct. 31st. Before the sealing my within letter, I had an account from St. Christophers the poor unhappy man, Mun, is dead in gaol etc. He has left behind him a disconsolate family, which but for the charity of well-disposed people on that island would be drove to great extremities, and all owing to the extraordinary proceedings of subordinate officers in disobeying my orders etc. persuaded by Mr. Spooner etc. Refers to Minutes of Council and concludes : I doubt not yr. Lordships will represent him as intirely guilty of that subject's death, and utter ruin of his family etc. Signed, Mich. Smith. Endorsed, Recd. 1st Feb., Read 16th May, 1734. Holograph. 3 large, closely written pp. Enclosed,
365. i. Certificate that enclosed is a true copy of the trial of Theobald Mun etc., 27th Oct., 1733. Sworn by, James Losack, Depty. Clk. Crown.
365. ii. Trial of Theobald Mun upon an information for challenging John Spooner, Solicitor General of the Leeward Islands. After the latter had refused to admit him to be a practitioner at the Bar, since he refused to be examined as to his ability and skill in the law etc., Mun wrote to him "a cowardly heart is always the inseparable companion of a base mind, wherefore I conclude that you dare not come to any appointment to satisfie for the injury ariseing from your villany" etc. Basseterre, 14th Aug., 1733. Condemned six months imprisonment and fined 50. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 3 large pp.
365. iii. Petition of Mr. Mun to Lt. General Smith for suspension of above fine. Signed, Theobald Mun. 1 p.
365. iv. The case of Theobald Mun. He demanded that questions and answers at his examination should be in writing, which was refused etc. Endorsed as covering letter. 7 pp.
365. v. Minutes of Council of St. Christophers. 4th24th Sept., 1733. Relating to the fine, imprisonment, pardon and enlargement of Mr. Mun, ut supra. Same endorsement. Copy. 2 pp.
365. vi. Petition of Mr. Mun to Lt. General Smith. Disregarding the General's order for his enlargement and suspension of his fine, Robert Donaldson Depty. Provost Marshal and James Gregory took petitioner again into custody, whilst he was preparing his recognizance etc. Signed, Theobald Mun. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
365. vii. Journal of Assembly of St. Christophers. 14th Sept., 1733. Resolved nemine contradicente, that the Commander in Chief's remitting the punishment of many offenders [by an order in his own name and under his private seal] without being truly informed of the proceedings against them etc. is highly derogatory to the honour of the King's Courts, an impeachment of the Justices of their proceedings, an encouragement to profligate and disorderly persons etc., and may be of dangerous consequence to the peace and welfare of this island etc. That the Sollicitor General has behaved himself with great integrity and honour etc. and that the releasing Mun from his punishment for an offence committed against an officer of such high trust may be of very ill consequence etc. That the Agent of the island be instructed to lay these resolutions before H.M. for redress etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 4 large pp.
365. viii. Lt.-General Smith to Mr. Spooner. Nevis. 31st Aug. 1733. Has suspended his answer to Mr. Mun's petition, in accordance with his promise, to inform Mr. Spooner when the affair came before him. Thinks Mr. Mun's case very hard, and though his expressions to Mr. Spooner were rash and unbecoming, they were prompted by passion roused by being deprived of his means of livelihood. He is therefore inclined to relieve his distress etc. Signed, Michael Smith. Same endorsement. Copy. p.
365. ix. Mr. Spooner to Lt. General Smith. St. Christophers. 12th Sept., 1733. Abstract. Received preceding letter a day after the Lt. General had given an order for Mun's release, and complains that he had not first been heard. Is resolved to complain to H.M. in Council. The Lt. General has remitted Mun's punishment before he knew what his offence was etc. He was not fined and imprisoned upon account of a difference with John Spooner Esq., but for offering one of the greatest outrages to H.M. Solicitor General etc. For the Governor to release offenders from the punishment inflicted upon them by the law, is to defeat the ends of Government. Yet every criminal that has applied to the Lt. General has received some remission of his punishment. Is astonished at the soft epithets he gives to Mr. Mun's epithets etc. Concludes by demanding 20 pistoles promised him as a fee 4th May last. Signed, J. Spooner. Endorsed as preceding. 3 large pp.
365. x. Representation of Jeremiah Browne, Chief Justice, and the Justices of the Court of King's Bench, St. Christophers, to Lt. General Smith. If Mun's punishment should be remitted, it would bring the Courts of Justice into contempt etc. Since he has done the like to every offender that has applied to him, no man will stand in fear of offending etc. Mun had no provocation etc. Mr. Solicitor deserves his grace and favour, both for his long and faithful services, and because he has behaved well in this case. Mun's crime is of a most enormous size, without mitigating circumstances. He behaved throughout the proceedings with the greatest insolence to the Court etc. Signed, Jerem. Browne, Peter Thomas, Tho. Pilkington, Richd. Wilson. Endorsed, Recd. 1st Feb., 173 3/4. 1 large pp.
365. xi. Account of the fines imposed by the Court of King's Bench, St. Christophers, 1731-1733, since H.E.'s Government. 15 cases, including that of Mun for libel, 2 cases of trespass, 12 of assault and battery or riot. Total fines, 325. Total remitted, 162, in 7 cases. Copy sworn to by, James Losack. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p.
365. xii. Justices of Antigua to Lt. General Smith. Antigua. May 29, 1731. In reply to his letter, answering theirs of 7th, referring to them what part of Archibald Nisbit's 100 fine should be remitted, propose a remittance of 60, and that H.E. take such measures as he shall think proper for discharging Mr. Nisbit from prosecution or imprisonment for the whole fine, upon his paying down 40 and his fees etc. Signed, Natha. Crump, Geo. Lucas, Geo. Thomas, Ashton Warner. Endorsed as covering letter. 1 p.
365. xiii. Lt. General Smith to the Chief Justice and Judges of St. Christophers. Nevis. 17th Sept., 1733. Reply to No. x. This morning I received a paper etc. which etc. I suppose to be the Representation of Mun's case. I desire to know (it not being dated) when you signed it, and why sent me without a date. I can see the design, but as am sattisfied have not advanced one single step beyond H.M. Commission and Instructions I am determined to submitt to his Royal pleasure in this affair etc. Signed, Mich. Smith. Endorsed as covering letter. Copy. 1 p.
365. xiv. Deposition of Somers Payn. Nevis. 2nd Nov., 1733. Deponent received on 16th Sept. a letter from Jeremiah Browne to Lt. General Smith which he forwarded on the 17th etc. Endorsed, Recd. 1st Feb., 173 3/4. 1 p.
365. xv. Testimonial addressed to Lt. General Smith, 11th Dec., 1731, that the bearer, William Hardtman, is an industrious and peaceable man etc. Signed, Walter Thomas, J. Williams, Member of Assembly, John Anderson, a Minister etc. Endorsed as covering letter. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 35-37, 38, 39, 40, 41-42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 52 v., 53, 55-66, 67-69, 70, 71, 72, 73 v., 74, 75-76 v., 77 v., 78, 79-82, 83, 84, 84 v.]
Oct. 20.
366. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. The Council and Assembly of this Island humbly beg that the inclos'd Address may be most dutifully presented to His Majesty. The Assembly which met on the 2nd of this month have hitherto done nothing for the safety of the Island, they have been hammering upon two several barrack bills, I am afraid to little purpose, for if they are such as those offer'd in the session they will again be rejected by the Council. Our partys on the north side are in constant motion in destroying the plantain walks, and ground provisions of the rebels where they can come at them, but are not strong enough to attempt attacking them in their fastnesses, and now the rainy season coming in they cannot march a mile from their barrack. When anything of moment falls out here, I shall not fail to acquaint your Grace by the first opportunity etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. Janry. 7th. 1 pp. Enclosed,
366. i. Address of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica to the King. 18th Oct., 1733. Return "most humble and hearty thanks, for your [Majesty's] most gracious care of the declining state of your Sugar Colonies, in giving your royal assent to an Act of Parliament for their further security and encouragement. The great distance from your royal person, being one of the greatest misfortunes to your remote subjects of this island, nothing can be a greater support to us under them, than our being convinc'd, that we are not absent from your fatherly care and princely consideration, which equally diffuses itself through all your extensive dominions. We humbly hope the dutifulness of our actions will demonstrate to your Majesty, we have inclinations for your Majesty's service, equal to the best of your subjects, and that we shall never incurr the forfeiture of the favour and protection of so great and good a King." Signed, Jos. Maxwell, Cl. Concil., Wm. Nedham, Speaker. p. [C.O. 137, 54. ff. 362, 362 v., 363 v., 364.]
Oct. 23.
367. Council of Trade and Plantations to Committee of Privy Council. Representation upon petition of Mrs. Campbell. Continue : We have discoursed hereupon with Coll. Philips, H.M. Governour of Nova Scotia, and likewise with Mrs. Campbell the petitioner, who hath laid before us several papers and affidavits relating to her title to the aforesaid lands and quit rents in Nova Scotia, from whence it appears, That in 1631 the Most Christian King Lewis XIII gave the Government of Nova Scotia or Accadie to Monsieur Charles de St. Estienne, Sieur de la Tour, grandfather to the petitioner, who had Letters Patents granted to him thereupon. What the particulars contained in the said Letters Patent were, does not appear, because no copies of them have been produced to us, but upon the death of Lewis XIII, his son Lewis XIV etc. having been informed of the progress and improvements made in Accadie by the said Sieur de la Tour was pleased by new Letters Patents bearing date February 25th, 1651, to confirm him in the post of Governour and Lieutenant General of Accadie or New France and likewise in the full and free possession of all the lands which had been before granted to him in that Province with full power to dispose of them to whom and in such proportions as he should think proper ; as appears by a printed copy of the said Patent which refers to the former of 1631, and for want of that former Patent it cannot be ascertained whether the whole Province or what part thereof was granted to the said de la Tour. It would seem that the second Patent of 1651 was issued by way of confirmation of La Tour's title just after he had been acquitted of certain charges alledged against him ; for the petitioner hath produced to us a decree made for that purpose by the Masters of Requests in the French King's Court and Chancery bearing date the ninth day of February of the same year 1651, and in this decree mention is likewise made of a former Commission granted to the Sieur de la Tour dated Feb. 8th, 1631, constituting him Lieutenant General for the French King in the said Province of Accadie, Fort St. John, Port de la Tour, and the places dependant upon them. This decree was confirmed by the French King's Order in Council dated the 26th of the same month, and the said Sieur de Tour was thereby absolved from all accusations which had been preferred against him for treason or maladministration in his government of Accadie and reinstated and maintained in the full possession and enjoyment of all the lands which had been acquired by him or in his name in the said territory of Accadie or New France. Under the authority of these Letters Patents and of the decree of the Masters of Requests and Chancery confirmed by the French King's Order in Council Mrs. Campbell alledges that the said De la Tour, her grandfather, for the good of the State and for the encouragement of those who desired to settle in this new colony, as well as in conformity to the intention of the King his master, distributed part of the lands he had acquired in the Province under his government at a very low rate to the new inhabitants, upon certain conditions or Articles made with them in his own name or in the names of his attornies or agents, which contracts were either plundered and taken away from the Petitioner, or burned in the last descent and invasion of the Indians in Nova Scotia, in which the Petitioner's first husband was killed. She supposes however that copies of these contracts might be found in some of the publick offices in Nova Scotia, and that altho' they should be entirely lost, yet her long possession with the successive and uncontested payments of rents to her, down to the years 1729 and 1730, would be sufficient proofs for the support of her present claim. The aforesaid Charles de St. Estienne de la Tour being dead, the petitioner alledges, that his only son the petitioner's father succeeded him in all his estates, titles, possessions, honours and privileges, which he continued to enjoy peaceably to the time of his death in the year 1704, leaving several children his heirs who enjoyed his inheritance under the guardianship of their mother until the year 1713, when the Province of Nova Scotia was yielded to Great Britain by the 12th Article of the Treaty of Utrecht. By the 14th Article of that Treaty, it was expressly provided that the subjects of the King of France in Nova Scotia should have liberty to remove themselves within the term of one year to any other place if they should think fit, with all their moveable effects, but that such as should be willing to remain there and be subject to the Kingdom of Great Britain, should enjoy the free exercise of their religion, according to the usage of the Church of Rome, as far as the laws of Great Britain do allow the same. But her late Majesty Queen Anne was pleased by her letter to General Nicholson bearing date the 23rd day of June, 1713, in consideration of the French King's having at her request released some of his Protestant subjects from the galleys to allow the French inhabitants in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to hold their lands or dispose of them if they thought fit etc. Letter from Queen to Governor Nicholson quoted. (v. C.S.P. 23rd June, 1713). Continues :Hereupon soon after the publication of the foregoing letter in Nova Scotia, the several brothers and sisters of the Petitioner's coheirs of the land and premises in question retired into the neighbouring Provinces under the domination of France, and left the Petitioner who would not abandon her country, sole proprietor in possession of all their lands and rents, under certain conditions agreed upon amongst themselves. The conveyances which were made to the Petitioner upon this occasion have been produced to us and bear date November 9th, 1714. The Petitioner sets forth that notwithstanding the refusal made by the inhabitants of Minis to pay her the rents to which they were engaged by their articles because she durst not go thither to compel them for fear of the Indian savages, by whom she was seized about seven years ago, and run a very great hazard of being massacred, the revenue ariseing to her from thence amounted to 80 or 90 pounds sterling p. annum which she offers to confirm by oath, not being able at present to give better evidence of the value of the income arising from the said rents ; and she likewise further avers that her lands are now set for a 20th part of their real value. To prove her possession and enjoyment of the lands and premises in question, the petitioner produces two orders under the hand of the aforesaid Governor Philipps dated July 5th, 1721, and Sept. 19th, 1722, by which all the inhabitants and landholders are ordered to pay her the rents stipulated in their contracts. She likewise produces a certificate subscribed and sworn to by the Reverend Mr. Robert Cuthbert, sometime minister of Annapolis Royal where the Petitioner resided, as Chaplain to Colonel Philipp's regiment, who deposes that during his residence at Annapolis he was well acquainted with the Petitioner etc. who was seized and possessed of a large estate of inheritance lying in and about Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia and was reputed and esteemed both by English and French and other the inhabitants thereabouts to be Lady of the Mannor lands and premises situated as aforesaid and to be legally intitled thereto, and as such received the rents and profits thereof during this deponent's stay there ; and this deponent saith that he hath been present and several times seen the rents and profits of the premises aforesaid paid to her from the French, and believes that in her own name she gave proper and legal receipts and discharges for the same, and that the said Agatha Campbell held and enjoyed the aforesaid lands and premises without any interruption or molestation and free from any claim or demand whatsoever during this deponent's residence there. The Petitioner hath likewise produced to us three affidavits of Mary Barton, John Welch and William Tipton, who severally depose that they have lived many years at Annapolis Royal during which time they were well acquainted with the Petitioner etc. and that during their abode in Nova Scotia she was acknowledged sole Lady of the Manour, lands and premises of all the inhabited parts of that Province and that in her own right she received the rents and acknowledgements thereof from the inhabitants enjoying the same without molestation, and that she was a Protestant of the Church of England and greatly beloved by the inhabitants her tenants, as will appear more largely by the said affidavits etc. annexed. Having heard what the petitioner had to alledge in support of her claim, we thought it proper upon this occasion to discourse with Governor Philipps etc., by whom most of the facts alledged by the Petitioner in support of her right have been confirmed, particularly as to the value of the quit rents, and her receipt of them, as the rightful proprietor thereof, and that she would have continued to do so to this day but that a stop was put thereto in 1730 in consequence of H.M. orders upon a representation from the said Colonel Philipps till Mrs. Campbell's title should be further enquired into and H.M. pleasure be known thereupon. We have also examined the Histories of this Country and searched the books of our office with respect to the facts alledged by the Petitioner, from whence it appears amongst other things, that in the year 1621 the country of Nova Scotia was granted by King James 1st to Sir William Alexander, afterwards Earl of Sterling, who took possession thereof, drove out the French who had encroached upon it, and planted a colony there. That in the year 1630 the said Sir William Alexander sold his right to Nova Scotia to Monsieur Claude de la Tour, a French Protestant, to be held by him and his successors under the Crown of Scotland. That about the year 1631 King Charles 1st made some sort of concession of the said country to the Crown of France, reserving nevertheless the right of the Proprietor who had before enjoyed it. That in 1633 notwithstanding this lastmentioned concession the said King Charles 1st by Letters Patents bearing date the 11th of May in the same year granted to Sir Lewis Kirk and others full privilege not only of trade and commerce even in the River of Canada, which is to the northward of Nova Scotia, and places on either side adjacent, but also of planting colonies and building forts and bulwarks where they should think fit, but the said Sir Lewis Kirk and partners were molested by the French in the enjoyment and exercise of their privileges. That several years afterwards in the year 1654 Cromwel having then a fleet at New England caused the country of Nova Scotia to be seized, as being antiently a part of the English Dominions to which the French had no just title, and the proprietor of the said country Sir Charles de St. Estienne, son and heir to the fore-mentioned Monsieur de la Tour, coming thereupon into England and making out his title under the aforesaid Earl of Sterling and the Crown of Scotland, his right was allowed of by Cromwell ; whereupon the said St. Estienne, by his deed bearing date the 20th of November 1656 made over all his right and title to Nova Scotia to Sir Thomas Temple and Mr. William Crown ; one or both of them who did accordingly continue to possess and enjoy the same with the profits thence arising until the year 1667 when Nova Scotia was yielded to the French by the Treaty of Breda, and was accordingly delivered to them in 1670 by virtue of an order from King Charles the Second to Sir Thomas Temple, who then resided as Governor upon the place. From this time to the Treaty of Utrecht, when N. Scotia was again surrendered by France to the Crown of Great Britain, our books make no mention of the descendants of the abovementioned Monsieur de la Tour ; but as the Petitioner with her brothers and sisters were found in possession of the lands and quit rents abovementioned, we think it highly reasonable to believe that after the surrender of Nova Scotia to France in 1670, the French King did thereupon restore Monsieur de la Tour, the Petitioner's father, to the enjoyment of his estate, and it appears to us upon the whole that the Petitioner Mrs. Agatha Campbell is daughter to the last mentioned Monsieur de la Tour and grand-daughter to Monsieur Charles Saint Estienne, Sieur de la Tour, whose right to Nova Scotia was allowed by Cromwell, and that partly by right of inheritance and partly by cession from her relations, she is justly entitled to all the possessions and rents belonging to her said father and grandfather not disposed of by them during their respective lives ; but what those rents and possessions were does not appear to us for want of the first Letters Patent to the Sieur de la Tour in 1631, excepting the quit rents abovementioned of eighty or ninety pounds pr. annum. Whereupon we would take leave to propose that H.M. should be graciously pleased to order a valuable consideration to be paid to the Petitioner for her said quit rents, and also for the extinguishment of her claim to any other part of Nova Scotia ; and in the meantime to issue his Royal Orders to Coll. Philipps, the present Governor of Nova Scotia or to the Commander in Chief there for the time being to give the necessary directions in that Province, that all arrears of rents or quit rents due to the Petitioner from the inhabitants of Nimos or others since the year 1730 or from the time of her receiving the last payments be paid to her the said Agatha Campbell without delay ; and that she be re-instated in the possession of such lands and quit rents as she was possessed of before the late orders for stopping the payment of her rents, and to enjoy them without any let or molestation, until the aforesaid consideration shall be paid. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 273-292]
Oct. 24.
368. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, act of St. Christophers, 1733, for appointing an agent in Great Britain and settling a salary upon him etc. [C.O. 153, 15. p. 236.]
Oct. 27. 369. Bond for 2000 entered into, 27th Oct., 1733, by Lt. Gov. Gordon for observing the Acts of Trade and Navigation. Signed and sealed, Patrick Gordon, James Logan, Isaac Norris. Certified by Lt. Gov. William Gooch. Williamsburgh. 14th Nov., 1733. Endorsed, Recd. 21st May, Read 22nd Aug., 1734. Copy. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1268. ff. 134-136 v.]
Oct. 28. 370. Some considerations relating to the security of the British Colonies in America. If a war should break out between England and France, it is natural to expect they will attack us where we are weakest, and that is in America. The Leeward Islands may be overrun in a very few days from Guardaloupe or Martinique, etc. Barbados would make but a very poor resistance, having no forces but their own militia, and their fortifications in a very bad condition. Jamaica might possibly be defended by a powerfull sea force against a descent from Hispaniola, but ye French have near 20,000 people in their part of that island, settl'd within ye space of a few years, whereas Jamaica tho' planted in Oliver Cromwell's time, and capable of maintaining 200,000 inhabitants by ye last returns from thence had no more than 7,648 white people, including men, women, and children. And is under daily alarms from her runaway negroes. Gives details of numbers of inhabitants : 74,525 slaves etc. Argues that the Leeward Islands being so small are not capable of supporting a sufficient number of inhabitants to defend them against the superior forces of the French in their neighbouring Colonies. There may be between 3 or 4000 in the four islands, but they are dispers'd, and can never be brought together for their common defence : and therefore the Crown has constantly been at the expence of maintaining a regiment of foot there, which has been an expence thrown away to no manner of purpose etc. This Regiment has been so manag'd that ye inhabitants could have expected but very little protection from it, being always vastly deficient in its numbers, and ye few soldiers that were effective, except tradesmen who could earn their own bread, have been almost starv'd for want of subsistance, consequently much fitter for hospital than for service. Proposes that the Colonel should be immediately ordered to his post and to make, in conjunction with the Governor, a return of the strength of the Regiment : that it be forthwith recruited ; and as it is impossible for the common soldiers to subsist there upon their own pay, that the Governor be instructed to recommend to the people to make the same additional provision for them at least, which the Assembly of Jamaica give to their 2 Independent Companies. But this Regiment compleated to its full establishment will be but of little use without a Naval force etc. The loss of these islands, or even the destruction of their sugar works, would be a great detriment to England, and an irreparable damage to the inhabitants, who have not to this day recovered the losses of the last war etc. The Admiralty have a very good harbour at Antegoa, and we should upon the first apprehension of danger, have two ships of war at the least upon this station. The property of the King's subjects in these islands, including their slaves, stock, coffers and buildings is computed at near three millions sterl. Barbados has of late years given so much money to their Governors that they have not been able to lay out any upon their fortifications, but their charge upon that head is at present considerably diminished and therefore their Governor should be instructed to recommend to them to take care of the necessary repairs for their fortifications and supply of their magazine. For I fear the number of their inhabitants is much lessen'd of late. Upon the least umbrage of a war they should have the same number of ships for their defence which were employ'd on that station during the last war. This will be the more necessary at present, because of the French encroachments at Santa Lucia which lies within sight of Barbados, and of the encrease of the French inhabitants in their neighbourhood. Jamaica has always been deservedly our chief concern, as well upon acct. of its scituation, as of its real value, and if the inhabitants had understood their own interest or had half so much concern for themselves as we have had for them, they would not have been in so bad a condition as they now are. Instead of being a great burthen to us, they might, with good conduct, by this time have been able to stand alone, and have been the terror of the West Indies. But it is too late to look backwards, and some way must be found out effectualy to people this island, or we shall certainly lose it. Our Fleets indeed may do a great deal for the defence of Jamaica ; but it is to be consider'd that the same winds which may bring a force from Hispaniola, may confine our ships in port ; and an Iland upon which we have long valu'd ourselves, be lost, notwithstanding our naval force, in a very few days. It will therefore be highly necessary to send some person of spirit, integrity, and capacity to command this Iland. He should be instructed to send home a full and true state of their condition. How it comes to pass that they are not better peopled? What impediments there are to the settling of the country? and how they may be removed, either by the Legislature of the Iland, or that of Great Britain? for this is too valuable a jewel in the Crown of England, to be lost by the petulance of the inhabitants, or the exorbitant avarice of a few leading men, who have eat up all their poor neighbours and expelled them the Iland. Something in the nature of an Agrarian law must be made for Jamaica if we intend to keep it. No man should be allow'd to hold more land than he can cultivate, and great encouragment should be given to draw inhabitants thither, for England could not lay out money to a better purpose. In the mean while we should allow them as many ships for their defence in case of danger, as they had any time the last war. And we must not wait till we hear the French are going to send ships into the West Indies ; for we may be undone by the land force they have there already etc. Suggests sending, upon the first apprehension of a rupture a strong land force also into the iland, under the command of some experienced officer. The Bahama Ilands in case of a war would lye greatly expos'd to an invasion from the Spanish Colonies at Porto Rico, Hispaniola or Cuba, but especially from the last. The temptation of attacking them will not arise from the plunder, the inhabitants being hitherto very poor, but their scituation is of very great importance, and therefore they will merit a farther land force for their defence, having only one Company there at present. And as they have a good harbour at Providence for 20 gun cruisers, two ships of that size may be station'd here to good purpose, to watch the Spanish plate fleets, and be a cheque upon the navigation of the Gulph of Florida. It were to be wished that these were the only British Dominions in America expos'd to danger ; but it is certain that the French may make themselves masters of Nova Scotia whenever they please. It is easie to perceive from one cast of the eyes upon the map, that this Province is surrounded almost on every side by the French settlements of Cape Briton, L'isle Madam, Anticosta, the river of St. Laurence, and Canada, in all which places, the French are very strong and numerous, especialy at Cape Briton and L'isle Madam etc., but we have hardly one civil inhabitant in the whole province of Nova Scotia, and what is still worse, we have upwards of 3000 French Papists settled in the heart of the countrey, who have remained there ever since the Peace ; and tho' they have with great difficulty been prevail'd on not long since to take the oaths of allegiance to the King ; there is no doubt that they would readily joyn with their countreymen to recover this Province for the Crown of France etc. Something should be done without loss of time. It may not perhaps be adviseable to ask the assistance of Parlt. yet nothing can be done without expence. Palatines or Saltburgers might certainly be had in Holland, and in my humble opinion they ought to be had. But there is one other way which has formerly been recommended as advantageous to the publick in every respect, and that is to engage the straglers, now settled in Newfoundland, where they do a great deal of harm, to transport themselves to Nova Scotia, where they may be of some use to their Mother Countrey. And as these people are already inur'd to the hardships of these cold climates they would be of more service there than a much larger number from any other place. All reasonable encouragements should therefore be given to them, and indeed to any other people that are dispos'd to settle in Nova Scotia, till that Province shall have acquir'd a reasonable defence. It may likewise be for the King's service, that Col. Philips should be order'd forthwith to recruit his Regt. to the full establishment, and if the men were allow'd to carry wives with them they might in time do something towards peopling the countrey. But this is only one of those gradual expedients to which many more might be added, but which would not save the present emergency etc. The preservation of this Province, and of the Fishery upon its coast, which is preferable to that of Newfoundland, would always deserve a station ship, and more in time of war, with another regiment. Without date or signature. Endorsed, Oct. 28th, 1733. 5 pp. [C.O. 5, 5. No. 2.]
Oct. 29. 371. Lt. Governor Armstrong to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of following letter, mutatis mutandis. Endorsed, R. 30th Jan., 173 3/4. 4 pp. [C.O. 217, 39. ff. 65-66 v.]
Oct. 29.
Annapolis Royall.
372. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As this may probably prove the last opportunity that I may have this year of writing to your Lordships ; I have therefore judged it necessary to acquaint you, that on the 21st Septemr. last, there arrived here a ship from the Tower, with cannon, carriages, shot and other ordnance stores, with bedding and cloaths for the poor men. As I have the wellfare of this Province much at heart, I hope your Lordships will excuse my so frequently reminding you thereof, in order that the same may be promoted and secured from being disturbed by our neighbours, the French, who are very assiduous in carrying on their fortifycations at the Island of St. Johns in the Bay of Vert, and at St. Peter's about six or seven leagues distant from Canso, which is to them a very great eye sore ; and I heartily wish it were put in a state of defence, for 'tis a most valuable place, and in case of any disturbance, it will, I am much affraid, be abandon'd, to the great prejudice of Great Britain, which I hope your Lordships will consider, and move its being fortifyed ; otherwise it must certainly fall a sacrifice, being in a most miserable condition, without barracks or houses, for either stores of war or provisions. I have also formerly advised your Lordships of the information which I had received of the French carrying on a very great Fishery at Cape Gaspy, where there annually resorts a great number of vessells, and of greater force, than at Lewisbourg, which must needs prove detrimental to our fish trade, and which I wish could be prevented by the man of war's visiting these parts, with Instructions to report the particular state and scituation of these places, which is not possible for me to do, being obliged at such a distance, to give ear only to the informations of others. This ship from the Board of Ordnance, which is to carry home all the cannon, mortars etc. hath much revived us, and makes us hope that care will be taken of us, they having also sent some artificers, with directions to their storekeeper, to put the Garrison and the outwork in repair, which at present wants it much : We have ever since the spring been employed in patching and repairing the roofs and the foundations of the houses, to prevent their falling ; and I hope that in a few years, the whole Garrison will be in a tollerable good condition ; and I heartily wish our storehouses and magazines were likewise ordered to be made bom proof, which would be a great safety to the place. I am informed from Canso that they have not only cured a great many cod fish (tho' not so many as last years) but also killed a great many whales, and made a considerable quantity of oyle. This trade is carryed on by a number of sloops in company, fitted out from Connecticut and New England, who catch them off at sea, and bring them to the port of Canso. They about the 20th of Septembr. last had about seventy sloops put in there, deeply loaded with fourteen whales ; and they were daily in expectation of one hundred sloops more, also full freighted from the Banks, where they report are whales in great abundance ; and as this is an advantageous branch of trade, I hope your Lordships will be convinced, that there is a necessity for the fortifying of that fort, and promote the same, that the views of our encroaching neighbours of Cape Breton, or of any other of the French Governments, may be thereby disappointed ; and I am of opinion that the annual dutys arrising from the trade at Canso, will far exceed the annual expence of the Government in having it well fortifyed ; Besides it would draw multitudes of people there, by which the trade would yearly increase, were there such a fortifycation, and a sufficient number of men for their protection etc. Our Indians begin to be uneasy, and 'tis alleadged that it proceeds from having never received the presents formerly sent to them by his late Majesty : the French, who have always been incendiarys, improve their opportunitys, and make use of every the least pretence, to incite them against us ; and also to engage them further in their own interest, do punctually send them annual presents, which, wou'd the Government of Great Britain do, and order them some red and blew strouds, a few arms and a smal quantity of powder and shot yearly, it would, I believe, be the most successfull method of securing them to the British interest ; or could this Government trade with them on the same footing as that of New England, by having truck houses erected in several places of the Province, especially at the River of St. Johns, to prevent their being imposed upon by other traders (who prefer their present profit to any future publick good) as the Government of New England hath done, for their publick peace, tho' they are otherwise loosers by the traffick, I am apt to believe, could a fund be ordered to supply such houses in this Province, that it would in a great measure answer the end, if faithfully applyed, (tho' they are at best, by all I can learn, a perfidious people to the English, through the means of their Missionarys). The loss by selling cheaper, or buying their furs at an higher rate than the traders do, being but a triffle to the publick in comparison to their freindship to the Government, if it could be procured through these means. I am informed that a geat body of Indians are gone to a place called Peanycook, upon the frontiers of New England, and lay claim to several tracts of land, which much alarms that Government, and etc. I have advice that another body of them, under the conduct of one Astage, a Missionary Priest, intend to take up their quarters this winter at Chickenectua, in this Government. Their designs are not as yet fully discovered ; But 'tis suggested that it is partly to prevent my perfecting the magazine at Mines ; and I beleive that both the Government of Quebeck and Cape Breton are at the bottom of it, as formerly signifyed to your Lordships ; However I shall as carefully as possible, watch their motions, and advise you accordingly, and from time to time lay before you whatever I may think necessary for the wellfare and interest of this Province, being zealously affected towards H.M. service etc. Signed, L. Armstrong. Endorsed, Recd. 28th Jan., Read 5th Sept., 1734. 4 pp. [C.O. 217, 7. ff. 28-29 v., 30 v.]