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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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In this section


The papers dealt with in this volume cover the year 1733 and are approximately equal in volume to those of each of the two preceding years, though the number of items is somewhat smaller. For 1731 there were 595 and for 1732, 518. Here we have only 473.

I. General.

Interest of Parliament in colonial affairs.

The most notable general feature of the year was the continuing interest taken by each House of Parliament in colonial affairs which was referred to in the Introduction to our preceding volume. (fn. 1) Much time had been devoted to the debates on the Sugar Bill and the petitions presented by those who supported and those who opposed it had excited much attention. But there were other matters of colonial interest raised in each House, and requests were sent to the Crown asking for definite information about them.

Position of the Board of Trade and Plantations.

The preparation of the replies involved much work in the Plantation Office, the seat of the Board of Trade, and in considering how this was carried out we may also conveniently mention an associated matter which was briefly touched upon in our preceding Introduction. (fn. 2) To what extent do the documents calendared here give evidence as to where the effective power of decision on colonial policy and matters of importance lay? From the papers of 1732 the position of the Board of Trade seemed subordinate, and those of 1733 go to confirm this.

We may recall that the documents now included in the C.O. series, which are calendared here, come from two sources, the State Papers proper, which were the archives of the Secretary of State, and the papers of the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations, which were a separate collection and did not come into the hands of the Secretary of State until the abolition of the Board of Trade in 1782. From the merging of both in one series it results that we often find among our papers duplicate or nearly identical documents. One of them was addressed to the Secretary of State and the other to the Board by some correspondent in the Plantations. If the Board wrote to the Secretary of State, we find a draft or copy of the letter among the papers and also the original letter as received by him, and vice versa.

Filing of papers.

The Board of Trade had a much better organised system of filing papers than the Secretary of State's office. They retained copies of all their out-letters in entry books, and kept a full Journal of all the business transacted. The receipt, reading and despatch of letters were recorded, and the various stages in the preparation of reports were noted, but no details of their contents were given. No resum of the discussions at the meetings of the Commissioners is given in the Journal or among our documents, but we sometimes have reports of verbal evidence given by witnesses or petitioners called to attend the Board and they form an essential complement to the papers here abstracted. The Journal is, in fact, not only an elaborate index to the business passing through the hands of the Commissioners, but it also forms an essential part of the colonial records.

The Board of Trade papers as colonial archives.

The Board's files were constantly consulted by the Government for the earlier history of the questions that arose, and there are many indications that they were so carefully arranged that the Board could give information as to what had happened concerning the colonies as far back as the Restoration of Charles II. They often had to apologise for their inability to supply information as to events before that period since there were no connected records. It seems clear that their files were regarded as the central archives of the colonial empire, for the State Papers were neither so full nor so systematically kept as to admit of easy consultation.


Among our documents there are frequently interspersed in order of date Orders-in-Council and orders of the Committee of Council on Plantation Affairs. Our abstracts of these have been made from the Board of Trade papers from the copies that were sent to them from the Privy Council Office. Some short time after their receipt the orders were bound together into volumes in order of date. But they had already been recorded in the Privy Council Register in the Council Office from which they emanated. The volumes of the Register are now in the Public Record Office, but they have not been abstracted for our Calendar for two reasons. In the first place the Register is being printed verbatim in the series of Acts of the Privy Council, and secondly entries relating to colonial affairs have already been abstracted and published in the volumes known as Acts of the Privy Council (Colonial).

These latter volumes contain much evidence which is complementary to our documents and in some cases, as in regard to the Orders, it duplicates them. But there is also a good deal of matter which is not to be found among our papers. Leaving aside entries relating to judicial appeals which we will mention later, this is due to the fact that the Committee for Plantation Affairs did not always send on to the Board of Trade all the papers in their hands about a particular matter. The task of the Commissioners was merely to advise, and in consequence the Committee only sent such papers as they thought necessary for the preparation of that advice.

Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial.

The collection in the Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial is only selective and it does not exhaust the colonial and allied material contained in the splendidly kept volumes of the Privy Council Register. All the Orders included among our documents are to be found recorded there, but they do not always appear in the printed volumes, though it would be unsafe to base any general conclusions upon their absence. The arbitrarily chosen extracts of the Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial are not arranged strictly in chronological order, as are the abstracts in the Calendars of State Papers. The extracts relating to a particular matter are collected under the date at which it first appears in the Register, even though they cover many years. A detailed examination of one such case will illustrate this point and show how our Calendar is related to the A.P.C., Col.

Progress of a typical piece of business. The Fairfax claims.

On 19 July, 1733, the Committee on Plantation Affairs received a reference from the Crown (i.e. the Secretary of State) of the petition of Thomas, Lord Fairfax which prayed for the determination of the boundary of his lands in Virginia. It is set out in full (A.P.C. iii, 385-6). On July 25 the Committee referred the petition to the Board of Trade for their report. It therefore appears among our abstracts on that date (271 i), and in the Journal we find it recorded that the Committee's order and the petition were received on July 26. The date of receipt was duly endorsed on the Order, and it was put away in the file by the clerks. It was not read until September 26 at a meeting of the Board at which only one member, Martin Bladen, was present, as was often the case (Journal, p. 357). On the following day, when a second member was also present, directions were given for preparing the draft of a representation upon the petition (ibid.). The draft was ready by October 3, having been prepared by the clerks of the Board or, as we should say now, the permanent Civil Servants. It was discussed on that day and was signed on October 16 and forwarded to the Council Office (Journal, p. 358), but the Board did not learn what was to be done on the petition until December 20, when an Order-in-Council for the appointment of commissioners by the Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, that had been made on November 29, was read to them (Journal, p. 368).

Power of decision in colonial affairs.

If we translate this procedure into modern terms, we can see that it is closely parallel with the practice of to-day. The permanent clerks of the Civil Service prepare drafts of whatever letters, reports, instructions or orders they deem necessary for dealing with the particular matter under consideration. These are then submitted to the authority which makes the actual decision as to what is to be done. At the period of this Calendar the preparatory work was done by an office staff as the Colonial Office does it to-day, but then as now it was a political authority that held the effective power. The decision was sometimes made by the Secretary of State himself, and this seems to have always been the case in regard to important appointments. But policy was discussed and decided in the Committee of the Privy Council for Plantation Affairs, and at every turn our documents show that it was there that power resided, for the Privy Council as a whole had by this period ceased to be a deliberative body.

The Fairfax claims.

Returning to the petition of Lord Fairfax, we find that the Committee took the representation of the Board of Trade into consideration on 2 November, 1733, but we have no means of knowing what discussion it provoked. The Committee were of opinion that commissioners should be appointed, and advised the Crown to that effect (A.P.C. iii, 386). Accordingly (and probably after consideration by the Secretary of State, though this is not here stated) the necessary Order-in-Council was made on November 29 (ibid.). As has already been remarked, the system adopted in the printed extracts of the Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial collects together the later references in the Register under the earliest date when the matter came up, and from them we can see that the Fairfax case dragged on for twelve years and was not concluded until 1745 (A.P.C. iii, 386-391). The concurrent papers of later date than 1733 among the documents of the Secretary of State and the Board of Trade do not appear here, but according to our chronological plan will be dealt with in their proper place in later volumes of this series under their individual dates.

It is unnecessary to trace at similar length the procedure in other cases, but it can be followed on the same lines again and again, as for instance in regard to the case of Mrs. Agatha Campbell in Nova Scotia or the application of Charles Dunbar, Surveyor General in North America to be appointed to the Council in each of the colonies within his district (see Index), two examples relating to matters of very different tenour which can be paralleled in many other pieces of business. All the examples show that it was in the Committee that effective decisions were made and that the task of the Board of Trade was merely ministerial and preparatory.

The Committee of Council on Plantation Affairs.

Since its records are not among the documents here calendared, this is not the place to discuss the work of the Committee on Plantation Affairs in detail, for which reference should be made to the Introductions to the Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial. (fn. 3) It may be remarked, however, that whereas the meetings of the Board of Trade were usually very sparsely attended at this period, there frequently being only one or two of the Commissioners present, who were persons of quite secondary importance, the Committee on Plantation Affairs was always attended by some of the King's Ministers, and the Duke of Newcastle himself was sometimes present. The names of those present at the meetings are not given in the printed extracts in the A.P.C., but reference to the Privy Council Register shows that they were always recorded. (fn. 4) The Committee was composed of those who were wielding the powers of the Crown and were in a position to carry out what they decided upon. The President of the Board of Trade, the Earl of Westmoreland, often took part in these decisions, and thus was far more influential than any other of the Commissioners. He did not often attend the meetings of the Board, and in the 104 meetings of 1733 he was present only on 15 occasions (see Journal). When reports had to be presented to the House of Lords, it was he who spoke to them and offered any explanations needed, thus filling the same place as a minister does in modern times.

Committee on Appeals.

Colonial matters were not always referred to the Committee on Plantation Affairs, for when they involved appeals in legal cases they were referred to the parallel Committee of the Privy Council for Appeals. Their action is recorded in the extracts given in the Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial, but the papers concerning them did not come at this period into the hands of the Board of Trade, and so they do not appear among the documents here calendared. They form, however, a considerable part of the extracts printed in the A.P.C., which in this respect must be consulted as an independent source.

Replies to Parliamentary requests for information.

Turning from the procedure adopted in dealing with the matters raised in the colonial papers to the contents of the documents, we may again note how the quest for information by the Houses of Parliament led to the preparation of long reports by the Board of Trade which form an authoritative source from which to obtain a comprehensive view of the colonial empire. The long debates on the Sugar Bill had ended before this volume opens, but the interest of the Houses was not exhausted. They wanted detailed information on various other points and the Board was ordered to supply it. On 25 May, 1732, the House of Commons presented an address to the King asking for an exact and particular account of all laws made in the Plantations which might affect the trade, navigation and manufactures of the Kingdom etc., and on 7 June, 1732, order was given to the Council of Trade and Plantations to furnish such an account. The Board had already furnished an elaborate report on these matters in February 173 1/2 from which lengthy extracts were given in our previous Introduction. (fn. 5) After preparing it, they issued further enquiries to the Governors of each of the Colonies, and all the additional information they could now supply was derived from the few replies they had received. There was nothing of any importance to add to the earlier report concerning competing manufactures in the Colonies and the Board devoted the greater part of their attention to the other questions asked by the House of Commons.

Gifts to Governors.

The first related to the giving of presents to their Governors by Colonial Assemblies to augment their salaries, a practice which was not approved by Parliament, for it was believed that it might make the Governors subservient to the Assemblies and neglectful of British interests. The question was thus allied to the earlier question relating to competing Colonial manufactures and it is therefore of interest as indicating the growing protectionist feeling in Parliament at the period. Attention has been drawn in earlier Introductions to the dislike by the Colonies of Parliamentary influence in colonial affairs ; the colonists trusted the Crown to balance and regard impartially the interests of every part of the Empire, but they believed that Parliament narrowly preferred the interest of Home merchants, manufacturers and creditors to those of the colonial producers, ship-owners and debtors. The Board made a careful examination of the Instructions issued to the Governors of each Colony in turn since the Restoration and found that in most of the island colonies the prohibition of the accepting of presents by Governors had been introduced in 1702 and 1703, when a circular letter was sent to Barbados and the Leeward Islands. In 1704 the prohibition was introduced as a General Instruction to the Governor of the Leeward Islands and in 1706 to Barbados, since which date it had been a regular part of the Instructions to all succeeding Governors until 1721. In that year the Instructions to Barbados and the Leeward Islands had been in similar terms and Acts of the Assemblies varying the amounts granted for additions to their salaries and for house-rent and upkeep had been disallowed (pp. 30-31). In Bermuda the same practice had been adopted since 1721 and in the Bahamas since 1729, but the Duke of Portland as Governor of Jamaica was permitted in 1721 to receive such addition as the Assembly should think fit to make to his salary. This permission was continued when Governor Hunter was appointed, and it marks off Jamaica from the other islands, as is often the case in other respects. This goes to confirm the general impression derived from the documents that Jamaica stood in a class by itself among the island colonies.

On the Continent the practice was less uniform. In Virginia and Maryland the Instruction issued to the Governor of Barbados was applied in 1702 and continued to succeeding Governors, but it was not introduced in South Carolina until 1720. The salary of the Governor of New York was increased from 600 to 1200 in 1703, and the Instruction was then issued to him and continued to his successors. The first of the Instructions to the Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire on this matter also dated from 1703, but it differed from the others, for the constant disputes about the establishment of regular salaries in those colonies rendered it impossible to introduce a consistent practice (p. 33).

The Four and a half per cent. duty.

The Board were not able to give any comprehensive answer to the last question of the House of Commons concerning the repair of fortifications in Barbados and the Leeward Islands, and they could only refer to a single Instruction on the subject which is not quoted. Apparently it referred to the four and a half per cent. duty charged on sugar in those islands, which was no longer solely allocated to the expenses of fortification, for much had been diverted to other purposes (32, p. 33).

The House of Lords and Massachusetts.

Besides these matters the House of Lords was interested in our relations with the Indians and required from the Board of Trade an account of the conference held by Governor Belcher with the tribes at Falmouth in July 1732. They also demanded copies of the Journal of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts (110), and accordingly the Board forwarded the several items required by the House (115).

Assembly of Jamaica and Money Bills.
Constitutional Position in the Colonial Councils.

The long-standing dispute between the Lords and Commons as to their powers with regard to Money Bills found its echo in the Colonies, and the question was raised between the Council and Assembly in Jamaica in April 1733 so acutely that Governor Hunter had to prorogue them to put a stop to the differences that were holding up public business. The Assembly asserted that they had the right to raise and apply money like the House of Commons, while the Council denied the Assembly's right to question their sole privilege of advising a dissolution. They maintained that they were accountable only to the King for such advice as they gave on the point (142 i). This illustrates the fact that in the Colonies the Council was not only the Upper House of the Legislature, but also fulfilled the functions performed by the Privy Council and its Cabinet Committee in Great Britain. This point is further brought out in the papers relating to the long and acrimonious disputes of Rip van Dam, President of the Council, and Lewis Morris, Chief Justice, against Governor Cosby of New York. In the complaints embodied in Heads of Articles presented by Rip Van Dam to the Governor (441 i) it will be seen that, while some of them arose because of Cosby's apparently autocratic proceedings, in others the ambiguous position of the Council, being equivalent both to Privy Council and Upper House of the Legislature, was at fault. Thus Van Dam writes :"You have taken upon you (in order to influence the debates [of the Council]) to sit among them and act as their President, though H.M. has given you only a negative voice," i.e. the Governor had taken the position of the Sovereign in his Privy Council, while Van Dam wished him to have only the power of giving or withholding his assent to legislative measures as the Sovereign did with Acts of Parliament. Again "Where the advice of the Council has been thought necessary, you have not given general summonses, but have only summoned so small a number as would constitute a Quorum in which you were sure of a majority." Thus the Governor was adopting the current English practice in regard to the Privy Council, where there was no general summons. Cosby summoned only a few of those who worked in unison with him, just as the Ministers in England summoned only a few of those belonging to their own party.

Constitutional change.

There are many other complaints in Van Dam's Articles, but they refer to matters of merely local and temporary importance and are evidence of factious opposition on the one hand and on the other of an impatient desire to keep the machinery of government working in spite of interested insistence on technical rights. Such disputes have little in them of abiding interest, but along with them there was going on a gradual process of constitutional change to adapt the machinery of government to the new needs of a growing community, and it was perfectly possible for either side to hold honestly opposing views without deserving the accusations of tyranny which were levelled against the Governor or of self-seeking and incompetence against his opponents.

Surveyors-General of Customs as Councillors.

A point of minor constitutional interest concerning the Councils arose during the year in connection with the Surveyors-General of the Customs. The Surveyors desired to be appointed as regular members of Council in each of the colonies within their districts in order that they might be aware of any matters proposed or considered concerning the management of the Customs (239). An enquiry was addressed by the Treasury to the Commissioners of the Customs (286) and from their reply we learn that there were three districts into which the colonies were divided. Charles Dunbar was Surveyor-General of the Customs in Barbados, the Leeward Islands and the Bermudas, George Phenney in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the Bahamas and Jamaica, and John Peagrum in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New England (i.e. Massachusetts), New Hampshire and Newfoundland (291 i). The allocation of these districts may indicate some special community of interest in the customs affairs of the colonies belonging to each of them. Nova Scotia was not mentioned, but it seems to have been included in Peagrum's district. It is interesting to note that Jamaica was not included with the rest of the West Indian colonies, but was associated with the Carolinas and Virginia with which it had many contacts.

It was at first designed that the Surveyors should be appointed as Councillors Extraordinary in the colonies of their districts (295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301) without the right of succeeding as senior Councillor to the administration of the Government upon the death or absence of the Governor or Lieutenant Governor. They were simply added to the Councils for customs affairs, and instructions were given that they were to be supplied free with copies of all acts and papers bearing upon the duties of their office and to have power to inspect all such papers. But when these Instructions had been prepared, it was found that they could not be carried out, for Phenney and Dunbar had already been appointed as ordinary Councillors in certain of the colonies in their districts (306, 362 i). Since that was the case, they could not be excluded from any benefit which attended the seniority of their rank in the Council. This clearly gave rise to an impossible situation, for the Surveyors-General in pursuit of their duties had to travel about from colony to colony and where circumstances arose which might make one of them as senior Councillor responsible for the administration, he might be far distant. The Committee for Plantation Affairs would not remove Phenney from his position as ordinary Councillor, but they recorded their intention that in future appointments his successors as Surveyors-General of the Customs in those provinces should be admitted only as Councillors extraordinary (306). The whole matter illustrates the complexity of colonial administration and that those who were responsible for it were sometimes not fully aware of the circumstances with which they were dealing.

Colonial patronage.

In earlier Introductions reference has been made to patronage in colonial appointments and to the special interest of the Duke of Newcastle in small pieces of patronage as rewards for his clients. Cases among the papers of 1733 further illustrate this point and show how little the interests of efficient administration were regarded. James Wedderburn, a younger son of Sir Peter Halkett Wedderburn, formerly a member of Parliament for the County of Fife, had met with a great loss of trade by the failing of his correspondent in London, and John Drummond, who looked after Newcastle's political interests in Scotland, was desirous of doing something for him. He wished to assist him because the election for Fife was very much in the power of Wedderburn's father, and Sir John Anstruther who had succeeded Sir Peter as member was willing to further the suit of the son of one who was a firm supporter "of the Protestant succession," i.e., to speak more plainly, could be trusted to vote straight for the Ministry. Drummond had already bought two small patent places in South Carolina for Mr. Wedderburn from Mr. Thomas Lowndes, who had acquired them in the days of the Lords Proprietors. He now wished to add to them the office of Clerk of the Pleas in that colony in order to serve the three offices by deputy and pocket the surplus of the fees over and above the small sum paid to the deputy (114). To such a suit Newcastle could make but one reply, and accordingly a warrant was issued countersigned by him appointing Wedderburn (132), but making no condition as to residence.

Interference of British factions in the colonies.

Another document suggests that English politicians were not too scrupulous in carrying their intrigues into the colonies, if they thought it would serve their turn. It will be remembered that in the spring of 1733 party strife was particularly acute and that Pulteney was attacking the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, with fierce rancour. Governor Cosby of New York wrote in his uncouth spelling (fn. 6) to Newcastle "I do not in the least doubt but that your Grace has long since been informed that the extraordinary behaviour of the Boston people has not proceeded immediately from themselves but as they are spirited up from home by Mr. Pulteney and that faction, he not only keeping a constant correspondence with them, but also with some of the other colonies as Rhode Island, Connecticut etc. which their first people that direct them brag of very much" (24). The correctness of Cosby's information may perhaps be minimised, for he was not an observer of much discretion, but the question would probably repay investigation.

Patent places as property.

A case in Barbados illustrates the way in which the interests of those in the colonies were opposed to the clients of the magnates in Great Britain in pursuit of the pieces of personal property as which the patent places and even their deputyships were considered. One Warron, an attorney, had been appointed by the Barons of the Court of Exchequer in Barbados to perform the necessary duties attaching to the office of Clerk and Remembrancer of the Court, which was held by patent by an absentee who was resident in England. When Charles Huggins was granted the patent place in 1720 he appointed a resident in Barbados, one Mr. Hope, to serve as his deputy and Warron was compelled by a trial at law to deliver up the place and to account for his profits during his tenure. Warron, however, nursed his grievance for many years, and in 1733 Huggins learned that certain persons in Barbados were striving to reopen the question by a new lawsuit in which the validity of his patent was attacked. He therefore complained to the Duke of Newcastle that their action was a vexatious attack upon his property and his plea was acceded to. The Duke wrote strongly to Governor Lord Howe to stay the proceedings against Huggins's patent and, though he added the phrase "as far as you may by law," it was clear that he meant the Governor to take decisive action (174).

The colonies as a refuge for wastrels.

In another case we can see how Newcastle was more swayed by the interests of his clients than by care for the peace of a colony. A Mr. Colebrooke had been sent out to the Bahamas apparently with the old idea of giving a wastrel a new chance by shipping him off to the colonies. The Duke recommended him to the Governor not upon his own merits or as likely to do much for the good of the colony but because he was the brother of "a gentleman of distinction for whom I have a particular regard" (344). Colebrooke had already made himself a nuisance in Bahama before this letter was written, but that made no difference. When Governor Fitzwilliam replied, he declared that Colebrooke's character was so bad that he was afraid that he would not "long be able to keep within the bounds of decency." "He is," so Fitzwilliam reported, "a person of so restless and turbulent a spirit that he has kept the people of [the Bahamas] in a continual flame ever since his arrival" and had designedly led them into mistakes "in order to render himself considerable by lessening and even contemning all orders of the Governor and Council." The task of the Governor was difficult enough in a poverty-stricken colony, that had hardly yet been redeemed from its piratical past, without being saddled with a remittance man of so objectionable a sort. Everything was in very great disorder and there was scarce any form of Government remaining, "every man having for some time past done what his own inclinations led him to, all which riotous proceedings" had been occasioned by Colebrooke's turbulency (423, 424).

Newcastle and patronage.

Newcastle's greed for patronage made him disregard even the clear provisions of an Act of Parliament. The Navigation Act of William III made the Clerk of the Navy Office, commonly called the naval officer, entirely accountable to the Governor, and when the office fell vacant in Massachusetts Governor Belcher according to unbroken precedent appointed his son-in-law. It was one of the best perquisites of his Government which his Commission said he should hold and enjoy. Newcastle ordered, however, that he should expel his nominee and appoint one Pemberton to the place, and the Governor regarded the order with a bitter sense of grievance, as his letter shows (350). Pemberton on his part wrote to the Duke's secretary, Charles Delafaye, to give his account of the affair, and from his letter we learn that Belcher was appealing to various members of the Ministry, particularly Lord Wilmington, to get the order revoked. He firmly maintained that the King (i.e. in fact Newcastle) had no power to order anything contrary to an Act of Parliament and that it was the duty of Governors to disobey such orders. Pemberton also wrote to Sir Robert and Horatio Walpole and Lord Wilmington reminding the latter that he only withdrew his application for the consulship at the Azores because it would have interfered with Wilmington's nephew at Lisbon (354). In the long run Belcher thought it best to obey and Pemberton got his place. The whole affair, which was still causing trouble in the following year, shows what bitterness arose over such matters of patronage in the first half of the eighteenth century.

Ministerial interest in South Carolina.

It was not uncommon for the nominees of the ruling clique to boast of their powerful interest at home when they were contending with the colonial authorities, and a case in South Carolina affords a flagrant example. James St. John was Surveyor-General of the colony and Deputy Auditor-General to Horatio Walpole who held the post of Auditor-General for the Colonies, a lucrative office that derived its income from heavy fees. St. John had carried matters with a very high hand in the issuing of land grants, and the Governor's letters from South Carolina are filled with accounts of his misdoings. But when the Council protested against him, he loudly proclaimed that he "did not value the Governor and Council a fig." He gave out that he had an interest with the Ministry in England superior to any interest of Governor and Council and pretended to receive letters from Mr. Walpole and other great personages assuring him of their superlative favour at home (28 i). Such quarrels as these led to gnawing discontent in the colonies and made them feel that their interests were entirely subservient to those of the leading persons in English politics.

Treasury control.

Though the office of Auditor-General of the Colonies was held by an English politician, Horatio Walpole, who could give no attention to its duties since he was frequently abroad as an ambassador, the office was by no means a sinecure. The Deputy-Auditors were active in each colony and the central office in London was the means by which the control of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury was applied to check expenditure and see that everything was done on proper authority. Though we have drawn attention to the scandals of patronage and slackness in high places, it would not be fair to regard the service as entirely rotten. The checks of the official system were really effective in a large number, probably the majority, of cases and the general impression left by reading the documents is that the civil servants, to use the modern term, were doing their work diligently. A single instance of official control must suffice. In Virginia an adjutant had been appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Council for disciplining the militia of the colony, obviously a necessary appointment. When in due course the Auditor-General, acting by his deputies in London, came to audit the colonial accounts, it was found that the erection of the office of adjutant had never been sanctioned by the Treasury. The payment of his salary was accordingly disallowed and the Governor had to appeal to the Secretary of State for his good offices in representing the matter to the Lords Commissioners and so setting matters straight (250).

Private Acts.

The procedure in regard to submitting the public acts of every colony for allowance or disallowance by the Crown fills a large place among our documents as usual and need not be specially referred to. But there appears to have been some slackness on the part of certain Governors in the submission of the private acts passed by the colonial legislatures and steps were taken during the period to tighten up the procedure. These acts were of considerable importance in the legal system of each colony. It was only by means of a private act, for example, that an entail could be barred (293), but there was sometimes a very long delay before the acts were approved, and this gave rise to much trouble. In St. Christopher an Act had been passed in 1722 to enable the representatives of two infants to sell their lands and secure the proceeds for the payment of the debts upon their estate. The Act was sent home for confirmation but apparently without the necessary compliance with regulations. It lay in the Plantation Office for ten years (436), and it was not until August 1733 that it was submitted by the Board of Trade to their legal adviser, Mr. Fane, for his consideration of the point of law involved, and meanwhile the heirs had come of age. Fane found no objection and the Act was duly approved, but the case caused some concern to the authorities and in consequence a circular letter was prepared for issue to all the King's Governors in America directing them according to the forms prescribed by their Instructions to transmit with every private Act a certificate that those forms had been complied with (Journal, p. 349 ; 238, 436).

Imperial defence in the West Indies.

Turning from such questions relating to the general administration of colonial affairs we may consider next the matter of imperial defence which was causing great concern. Great Britain was at peace both with France and Spain, but there was a fear that this would not persist and that the West Indian colonies would be defenceless against a sudden French attack. Among our documents there is a very interesting memorandum which was submitted to the Government by an unnamed writer, but obviously one who had sufficient experience and competence to deal with the whole question of West Indian defence in a broad and comprehensive way. The author dealt with the situation in the islands not only in so far as individual islands were concerned, which was the usual piece-meal way of considering the question, but in regard to the tasks to be performed by the navy and the army and the economic resources upon which defence must be based. In the opinion of the writer it was natural to expect that, if a war should break out between England and France, we should be attacked where we were weakest and that was in America. He did not deal with the inland frontier of the Continental colonies but confined himself to the Sugar Islands, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, the defence of all of which rested mainly upon the navy. From internal evidence it seems probable therefore that the memorandum may be attributed to a naval officer, and if so it shows that some sound strategical thinking was going on in the service.

The Leeward Islands.

Jamaica, in the writer's view, "has always been deservedly our chief concern, as well upon account of its situation as of its real value." The Leeward Islands may be overrun in a very few days from Guadeloupe and Martinique, and Barbados, lying within sight of St. Lucia, where the French were daily increasing, would be an easy prey if only its militia and decaying fortifications were relied upon for its defence. He argued that the Leeward Islands were so small that they were incapable of supporting a sufficient number of inhabitants to defend them against the superior forces of the French in their neighbouring colonies. There were only between 3 and 4000 in the four islands, but they were dispersed and could never be brought together for their common defence. The British regular regiment that had long been stationed in the islands had been an expense thrown away to no manner of purpose. It had been so managed that the inhabitants could have expected but very little protection from it, for it was always very deficient in numbers and the few soldiers that were effective, except tradesmen who could earn their own bread, had been almost starved for want of subsistence and were consequently much fitter for hospital than for service. Even if the regiment were completed to its full establishment, it would be of little use without a naval force. This was, according to the writer, absolutely essential, for the loss of the Leeward Islands or even the destruction of their sugar works would be a great detriment to England and an irreparable damage to the inhabitants, who, although they had never recouped their losses in the war of the Spanish Succession, yet held property amounting in value to at least 3,000,000. The essential necessity for defence was a mobile naval force based upon the Admiralty's establishment in the fine harbour of Antigua. Barbados, too, on the least umbrage of a war should have the same number of ships for its defence as were kept upon the station in the last war. If the inhabitants would keep up their fortifications and properly defend their magazine, they would with the aid of the ships be able to beat off any attack, even though the number of white men capable of serving in the militia had been considerably reduced.


Jamaica although capable of maintaining 200,000 inhabitants had no more than 7,648 whites including men, women and children, though there were 74,525 slaves. On the other hand the French had upwards of 20,000 people in their part of Hispaniola who had come thither within the space of a very few years and were a constant threat to the safety of our colony. Our fleets might do a great deal for the defence of Jamaica, but the same winds that might bring a force from Hispaniola, would confine our ships to port, and an island upon which we had long valued ourselves and which had been so great a burthen on the funds supplied by the Crown, would notwithstanding our naval force be lost in a very few days. The writer severely condemned the inhabitants of Jamaica for their lack of care of their own interests and their incessant appeals for British help. He went on "[Jamaica] 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 eaten up all their poor neighbours and expelled them [from] the island. Something in the nature of an Agrarian law must be made for Jamaica, if we intend to keep it. No man should be allowed to hold more land than he can cultivate, and great encouragement should be given to draw inhabitants thither, for England could not lay out money to a better purpose. In the meanwhile we should allow them as many ships of war for their defence in case of danger as they had at any time in the late war. We must not wait till we hear that the French are going to send ships into the West Indies, for we may be undone by the land force that they have there already. On the least apprehension of a rupture a strong land force [should be sent] into the island under the command of an experienced officer."

The Bahamas.

The Bahamas lay open to an invasion of the French from Hispaniola or of the Spaniards from Porto Rico or Cuba. The temptation of attacking them would not arise from the plunder, for the inhabitants were very poor, but their situation was of very great importance. The harbour of Providence could accommodate 20 gun cruisers which might be stationed there to very good purpose to watch the Spanish plate fleets and be a check upon the navigation of the Gulf of Florida.

The writer concluded by pointing to the defencelessness of Nova Scotia and its great need for inhabitants, but this was not an essential part of his argument and it was to the strategic position in the West Indies that he mainly directed his attention, and it is for this reason that the paper is of considerable interest (370, pp. 227-230).

French and Spanish designs on Jamaica.

England and Spain were still at peace but there was an everpresent fear in Jamaica that the Spaniards were in communication with the negro rebels, who could not be put down, and with the disaffected Roman Catholic Irish servants in the island. There are many references to this in the official letters, but perhaps the most striking evidence appears in a letter written by a private correspondent to the Duke of Newcastle where the danger to be apprehended from the Spaniards of Cuba on the one side and the French of Hispaniola on the other is set out. It exhibits a painful picture of the conditions. The rebel negroes are said to keep constant correspondence with the Spaniards of Cuba and as to the French there were 1500 coureurs de bois in one part of Hispaniola alone, while it was said that there were 2000 regular troops in Martinique. If the Spaniards had any spirit or courage or were helped by the French, they might easily make themselves masters of Jamaica. A strong naval squadron would always be a check upon them, but the winds, which were sometimes terrible enemies, might render shipping of little service. The population of the island was unfortunately quite undependable. Among the whites there were four different nations, English, Scots, Irish and Jews. "Two-thirds of the pretended Christians," said the writer, "are not only disaffected to the present Government, but zealously in the interest of the Pretender, and of such characters that it's almost a disgrace to have any intimacy with them. The much greater part of them are all involved in debts, and a great many under prosecution and so entangled that 'tis almost impossible they should ever clear themselves without some extraordinary event." They would prove a broken reed, if tampered with by an enemy who designed an invasion (131 i). The Bahamas, too, with their few decayed forts and a poor and necessitous population without means to provide themselves with arms were constantly in danger from the powerful Spanish forces at Havana (57 i), and Carolina also was in dread of attack. It was rumoured that three 60-gun ships of war were fitting out in Havana to attack Port Royal and South Carolina and the master of a sloop which had been there brought word that an embargo had been laid on all the ships in the harbour to prevent intelligence of the project reaching the English (111 i).

Spanish seizures.

News came from as far afield as Massachusetts of such Spanish designs. Governor Belcher wrote to tell the Duke of Newcastle "of a high insult offered to His Britannic Majesty in an attack upon one of His Royal Navy by two Spanish men-of-war near the Island of Tortuga" (127), but we have no details of the affair, since the captain of H.M.S. Scarborough, which was the ship insulted, reported direct to the Admiralty, and that paper is not included among the documents here calendared. The Spaniards dreaded an English attack just as much as the Jamaicans feared them, and they took drastic steps to get information of any preparations for such an attack. It was said that an English sloop, the Mary, had been taken out of Port Morant harbour in Jamaica by a pirate, but when the Mary came back to Port Royal, it appeared that the seizure had been made by a commissioned Spanish guarda costa acting under the direct orders of the Governor of Santiago de Cuba. Her master, John Harris, brought with him a certificate from the Governor which coolly set forth the reason for the seizure without any apology. "Having received information from the Governor of Cuba, which he received from natives or traders of Jamaica that there were in the harbour of Jamaica 24 English ships of war without knowing whither they were bound, in order to obtain full knowledge of the truth, I resolved to despatch a sloop adequately equipped with orders to sail to the coast or some harbour of the said island, and there to seize the first vessel they came upon and to bring her into the port [of Santiago de Cuba] that I might obtain from her crew full knowledge of what was reported ... The sloop of John Harris having been seized accordingly in Port Morant and he and his crew having denied that there was any such armament in Jamaica as reported" they were allowed to sell some barrels of flour and other provisions as a recompence and to depart (76 i). Before they would allow him to go, however, the Governor and Royal Officers charged him 60 dollars for duties for his vessel and negroes, and Harris vigorously appealed to Governor Hunter when he got back to Jamaica (76 iii).

The case aroused great indignation in the colony as a flagrant violation of the agreement made between the Commissioners of England and Spain in 1732 for the avoidance of such seizures (76 iv, v). Hunter prepared a protest to the Governor against his action as a breach of international law and asked Sir Chaloner Ogle, the commanding naval officer on the station, to send a ship of war to deliver it (76 vi). Ogle, however, was of opinion that Harris had condoned the action that had been taken against him by accepting permission to sell some of his goods (76 viii), and though the Vice-Admiralty Court in Jamaica passed a declaratory sentence stigmatising the action of the Spanish authorities as piratical (101 ii), no naval action was taken. The reply of the Governor of Santiago to Hunter's protest was significant as showing that in such cases of seizure the right was not only on one side, and it is for this reason that we have drawn attention to the case. "My object in fitting out the cruiser to take and bring into port [Harris's]sloop," wrote the Governor, "was not to inflict any damage but to ascertain the truth of the information given by the Captain General" of Cuba which he derived from a New England sloop that came into Havana "of there being 24 men-of-war in Jamaica, the design of which was not known." "In any case," he went on, "it is always necessary for us who are entrusted with the government of these places to mistrust what may happen, as was done by your Excellency or your predecessor, who on receiving notice that several ships had been seen to come into the port [of Santiago], fitted out a ship of war which took an advice ship coming from Spain .. and carried her to Jamaica where she was detained for some time. Two sloops, again, were carried into your port, and when I knew the reason you had for this proceeding I made no complaint, deeming it permissible for everyone to take care to secure himself against what damage may come upon him" (145 vi). With that rejoinder the matter dropped, though the correspondence was all sent on to Mr. Keene and the commissaries at Madrid to use in connection with their protracted negotiations with the Spanish Government.

Plunder of Spanish wrecks.

The Spanish ship La Dichosa, whose seizure in reprisal by an English man-of-war was mentioned in our previous Introduction, was restored to her owners at Campeachy just before the time limit fixed by the Spaniards for satisfaction of their claims had expired (22). However, they could not recover the goods and treasure that had been plundered out of the Genoesa when she went ashore with the President of Panama and other high dignitaries aboard. The factors of the South Sea Company, on the representation of the Spanish Government, had been directed by the Governor of Jamaica to fit out and employ certain persons to carry out the salvage of the wreck so that their belongings might be restored to the shipwrecked Spaniards. But it was impossible to recover more than a fraction of what could be salved. The agents employed a Jamaican shipmaster, one Neal Walker, to carry out the work, but as soon as he got to the wreck of the Genoesa he fished out what treasure and goods he could and made off with it. He seems to have been a thoroughpaced scoundrel who ought never to have been trusted with the task. He also plundered another Spanish wreck, the St. Michael, which had been cast away on the Cayman Islands. Information of these affairs and orders for his arrest were sent round to all the colonies where Walker might be likely to seek shelter to dispose of his plunder, but nothing could be heard of him. Though Governor Hunter gave stringent orders to carry out the search, there seems to be little doubt that the wrecker had found a refuge for disposing of his ill-gotten gains in one of the harbourages that only a few years before had sheltered the pirates. The employees of the South Sea Company must have connived at the plundering of the St. Michael, for it was notorious that wine and brandy which came from her cargo were being almost openly sold in Jamaica (22 i (a), 144). The old piratical practices of the island might have been suppressed and Port Royal was no longer the pirate nest that it had been in the last century, but the old lawless spirit was still abroad and there was little scruple where the goods of Spanish wrecks were concerned. When certain persons were arrested and charged with complicity in the plundering and disposal of the goods, the Grand Jury threw out the bills against them, much to the surprise and disgust of Governor Hunter (233).

Disaster to the Plate Fleet.

The wreck of the Genoesa with the loss of its treasure and the effects of the dignitaries on board was overshadowed by the disaster that befell the Barloventa fleet in July 1733. The two depositions from seamen who carried the news to South Carolina were at once sent on to London by Governor Johnson and they contain valuable and interesting particulars about the composition of the merchant vessels in the fleet and the war vessels that guarded them (338 enclo. i and ii). The flota was cast away in a hurricane on certain sandy shoals called the Martiers at the entrance to the Gulf of Florida and very few of the ships rode it out. Those that were stranded did not break up, and so their cargoes could be salved before the middle of September. It was said that the total value of the lading in plate, cochineal and money amounted to 15,000,000 pieces of eight, and from this estimate it is clear that even so late as this period the Spanish treasure fleets were of great value.

Each of the four guard ships carried 60 guns and one of them was built in the Spanish Indies, but the thirty-six merchant ships of the convoy were of very various build and each of them was heavily gunned. They might not be able to guard themselves against men-of-war, but they would certainly have proved hard nuts for any pirates to crack. Of the thirty-six vessels enumerated (given in place of fifteen mentioned in the first deposition) eleven were stated to have been built in England, one in New England, and one each were Dutch and Genoese built. This may be indicative of the large part played by Englishmen in the carrying-on of Spanish commerce at this period, and it is certain that some of the ships had English or partly English crews (338 encl. ii). The English sailors who first carried the news of the stranding to Havana were pressed by the Spanish Governor into the work of salvage. The cargoes of their barks were put ashore and they were bundled off empty in order to load up with the goods from the wrecks. It was not unprecedented to press local boats for such a service, but the British shipmasters complained that they only received very inadequate pay for the services rendered and no recompense for their loss of voyage. They therefore felt very bitterly about it and their complaints did something to fan the flames of agitation and hatred against the Spanish guarda-costas who had shared in the work (338 encl. i ; 420).

A piratical exploit in the Azores.

We have spoken of the activities of the Jamaicans in wreck-plundering as akin to piracy, but judging by the documents here calendared the actual piracy that had been so flagrant in the West Indies a few years before had now been suppressed. The only paper about a piratical exploit during the year concerns the waters of the Eastern Atlantic and deals with the claim of the Portuguese Government for redress. A ship, the St. Anna and St. Joachim, had sailed from Lisbon to Terceira in the Azores with a crew consisting partly of Portuguese and partly of Englishmen who had been taken on board as a defence against the Moorish pirates who infested the Narrow Seas. When they arrived in Terceira harbour the Englishmen overpowered the Portuguese members of the crew and stole off with the ship. Out in the open sea they transferred her cargo to an English ship bound for America and scuttled her. These stolen goods were found when they reached Philadelphia, and on the confession of the runaway crew they were condemned as the produce of piracy. The Portuguese owners claimed that the goods should be restored to them. The question was referred to the King's Advocate, from whose report we learn these facts. More than the usual period of a year and a day between the offence and the complaint had elapsed, but the opinion of the King's Advocate was that this limitation did not apply against foreigners. The goods could not be restored, however, until the complainants proved that what had been seized at Philadelphia was that which had been stolen at Terceira, and we have no information as to whether this could be done (58 encl. i).

The Logwood dispute.

The long-standing dispute with Spain over the logwood cutters in the Bay of Campeachy and Yucatan gave much trouble to Benjamin Keene and his fellow-commissioners at Madrid and Seville and our papers include some long historical memorials from them about the claim of British subjects to carry on the trade. In November 1732 the Duke of Newcastle had written to the Commissioners directing them to enter with the Spanish commissaries into a disquisition of the right of the King's subjects to cut logwood in the Bay of Campeachy and to complain of the orders given by Spain for hindering the exercise of that right. They were directed to demand that those orders should be revoked, but the Spaniards flatly refused to enter into further discussion of the matter or to suspend the orders (20 v ; 20 xi) until the British produced further proofs. Our Commissioners had to confess to the Duke that they had already supplied the Spaniards with all the information and proofs that they possessed and they had to ask for further instructions (20 x). Together with this they forwarded copies of the proofs they had already laid before the Spaniards, but we have not printed these in extenso (20 ix) because they are almost an exact reproduction of the case as stated in the negotiations of 1717. The replies of the Spaniards are, however, given more fully, from which we can see that they complained not only of the activities of the logwood cutters in Campeachy but also of other British encroachments on Spanish territory. These included New Providence in the Bahamas, Tortola and other of the Virgin Islands and various parts on the borders of Florida (20 ii). However, the British commissioners took no notice of these further complaints and confined their attention to what had been done in the Lagos de Terminos, on the Bay of Campeachy, and the region of Yucatan between Cape Catoche and the Gulf of Honduras and the River Vallis or, as we now call it, Belize. Since these latter places now are included within the modern colony of British Honduras, this limitation is of interest in the history of that colony. It indicates that even thus early our most material interests were being concentrated on the western side of the Peninsula of Yucatan, where they were successfully vindicated some fifty years later.

Lack of new evidence on British claims in Campeachy and Yucatan.

The Board of Trade gave very careful consideration to the request of the Duke of Newcastle for further proofs in support of the British claims (Journal, pp. 330-1, 337-8) and they at once called for information from Richard Harris, "one of the most ancient traders to the West Indies" (44, 70), whom they had consulted on previous occasions. Harris could give no help, for, as he told the Board, he had not been able to collect any further matter on this head since the year 1716 when he laid before them all the information concerning British claims in the Bay of Campeachy (49, 70). That information is set out at length in our Calendar for 1717-18 which is therefore indicated as the principal source for the early history of the modern colony of British Honduras. Faced with this absence of new evidence the Board of Trade had to content themselves with a re-examination of the old documents among their archives coming from Sir Thomas Lynch's time. They were of opinion that the essential basis of British claims must be the Seventh Article of the Anglo-Spanish treaty of 1670 by which "all lands, regions, islands, colonies and places whatsoever being or situated in the West Indies or in any part of America, which the King of Great Britain and his subjects then held and possessed, were given up by the King of Spain for ever, with plenary right of sovereignty, dominion, possession and property," a cession that was confirmed by the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713. By the evidence of documents which the Board re-cited from the records of 1673 (see C.S.P. under that year) it was contended that British subjects were cutting logwood on the coast of Yucatan and had erected buildings far removed from any places occupied by the Spaniards in 1665, five years before the conclusion of the American treaty of 1670. Any interruptions of their trade, therefore, had been contrary to the treaties and, so far from invalidating our claims, were subjects of complaint from our side (70).

The Danes and Santa Cruz (St. Croix).

In May 1733 the Board of Trade was again called upon by the Secretary of State to make historical investigations among their papers. News had been received from the British envoy at Copenhagen that the French ambassador had sold or contracted to sell to the Danish West India Company the island of Santa Cruz in the Leeward Islands, which is now called St. Croix (169). It was believed that Great Britain had certain rights in the island, and the Board was instructed to report, for clearly the French could not sell to a third party that to which they had no right. A preliminary investigation of the records showed that the King's title to Sta. Cruz was not so clear as could be wished, but an interim report was furnished by the Board in general terms so that representations could be made to the Courts of France and Denmark. The main bulk of the papers concerning the matter will be calendared in our next volume for 1734, but it is interesting to note here what had been the main points in the history of the island as showing something of the vicissitudes of the Leeward Islands during the period when swarms of landless men were surging backwards and forwards in the Antilles in search of ground to plant with tobacco. Before 1645 English and Dutchmen shared Sta. Cruz between them with a certain number of French deserters from St. Christopher among them. After much strife the Dutch and the French left the island to the English, but in 1650 the Spaniards drove them off and they fled to the English settlers in St. Christopher. A little later the French expelled the Spaniards who retired to Porto Rico, and in 1653 the King of France ceded Sta. Cruz to the Knights of Malta, though they never took effective possession. Until 1671 the island remained in possession of the French, but the settlers were then removed to aid in the establishment of the new colony that was then being established in Ste. Domingue (Haiti). Thenceforward for the next sixty years there were no settlers in the island but a few English woodcutters, but it had long been an instruction to the English Governors of the Leeward Islands to permit no other nation to settle there, and it was upon this ground that the Board of Trade recommended the Crown to oppose the French claim to dispose of the island (225).

The Neutral Islands.

In the Introduction to the previous volume of this Calendar we remarked that there was a lull in the long dispute with France over the right to colonise the Neutral Islands of St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Dominica. (fn. 7) Both sides had agreed to evacuate the disputed islands, but the evacuation was very dilatory and it was believed in the British colonies that the French were not acting in good faith. The documents about the evacuation which were forwarded by Lord Howe, Governor of Barbados, to the Duke of Newcastle and which are calendared here, do not support this belief (40, 119, 169 and especially 313 and enclosures i-vi), but they show that the Governor of Martinique was very insistent upon punctilio in the matter. While things were dragging on, the French settlers in St. Lucia, at least, were digging themselves in so that it was hard to get rid of them, and French culture was so strongly rooted that even to-day in St. Lucia it is very marked. According to the French contention St. Lucia really belonged to them, while St. Vincent and Dominica belonged to the native Caribs in accordance with the Treaty between England and France of 31 March, 1660, which the Governor of Martinique, the Marquis de Champigny, definitely told Lord Howe his sovereign desired to maintain (313 ii).

The French and the Indians of Nova Scotia.

Among the documents of 1733 there are fewer papers than in previous years relating to French intrigues among the Indians on the borders of Canada and Nova Scotia, but this is purely accidental and does not appear to signify that their activity had sensibly diminished. The most interesting passage concerning this matter occurs in a letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Lawrence Armstrong, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia to the Board of Trade (372). He wrote, "Our Indians begin to be uneasy and 'tis alleged that it proceeds from having never received the presents formerly sent to them by his late Majesty" [George I]. (This allegation was well founded as will appear in detail in the papers of 1734.) "The French, who have always been incendiaries, improve their opportunities 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." "I am informed that a great body of Indians have gone to a place called Peanycook upon the frontier of New England and lay claim to several tracts of land which much alarms that Government ... I have advice that another body under the conduct of a missionary priest intend to take up their quarters this winter [in Nova Scotia]. Their designs as yet are not fully discovered, but ... I believe that both the Government of Quebec and Cape Breton are at the bottom of it" (p. 232).

Accusations against Governor Cosby of New York.

Advices from New York gave even more alarming accounts of French designs. It is possible that some of these were exaggerated, for some of the information was sent to the Board of Trade by Lewis Morris, the Chief Justice of New York, in furtherance of his complaints against Governor Cosby. At any rate, he wrote "By the accounts we have among the mercantile folks the French are laying in large stores of provisions in all their garrisons in America ... They make prisoners of any Englishman who goes to Canada ... I sometime since sent a son of mine with [another] to Canada to learn the language, but the Governor of Canada made prisoners of them and sent them back" (441, p. 257). Governor Cosby makes a vast profit of the presents to the Indians, and "the consequence is that our garrisons are left defenceless, and we have lost a great part of our Indians, who are gone over to the French. The soldiers now at New York are most of them either convicts transported or papists, or both : not the most likely people to make a good defence against the French or the fittest to be trusted in a frontier garrison" (441, p. 258). Morris and his fellow malcontents maintained that a French sloop which had come to New York ostensibly to purchase provisions to relieve a famine at Louisbourg was really a spy. Governor Cosby had given permission to the Frenchmen to make the desired purchases, but his enemies maintained that this was an evidence of his lack of proper concern for the defence of the colony. They believed that the Frenchmen's plea of famine was entirely false and that the sloop had really been sent with an engineer and three pilots on board to spy out the defences of New York and to make soundings in its harbour (441 encl. i, p. 260 ; 440 encl. ii, iii). Of course the Governor indignantly repudiated this as a baseless calumny, and on the whole the documents seem to show that the story was false. At any rate it shows how sensitive people in New York were to suspicions of French designs against them.

Distress at Louisbourg.

There is no doubt that Louisbourg was really in distress, for the garrison depended on Canada for bread and pease, and the crops of the province had been a serious failure in 1733. As Governor Cosby wrote to tell the Board of Trade, a garrison depending on beef and pork from France and on uncertain crops of grain from Canada must be in a very precarious position in time of war if we held command of the sea and our men-of-war were active (440, p. 256). The barrenness of the island was such that the French could raise no provisions round their strong fortifications, and so they were entirely dependent on what could be imported (439).

Last stages in the controversy over the Sugar Bill.
"No taxation without representation."

Turning from these international questions to the economic position of the colonies, we must remark that the long contest between the Northern and the Sugar colonies was in 1733 concluded in favour of the latter by the passing of the Sugar Act through Parliament. We have referred at length to this controversy in the Introductions to our two preceding volumes, and here we need not say much further on the subject. Between the time when the Bill passed the Commons and its introduction to the House of Lords, the Agent for New York presented to the Duke of Newcastle a final protest which so explicitly summed up the contentions of the Northern Colonies that it is worthy of attention as the last document while the question still lay open. "Inasmuch as there is a bill lately passed the House of Commons" wrote the Agent in March 1733, "[which bill imposes] high duties on the importation of sugar into the Northern colonies from the foreign sugar plantations and [the bill] is likely to be brought up soon to the House of Lords, the gentlemen of New York apprehend if it should pass into a law will be rather worse in the consequence of it than the bill of prohibitions last year. Besides the injury it will be of in itself almost tantamount to a prohibition, it is divesting them of their rights and privileges as the King's natural born subjects and Englishmen in levying subsidies against their consent when they are annexed to no county in Great Britain, have no representatives in Parliament, nor any part of the Legislature of this Kingdom, and that it will be drawn into a precedent hereafter whereby an incredible inconvenience may ensue ... As it is not a common money bill for raising a duty out of the Kingdom, we pray this petition may be presented to the House of Lords in a proper time after the bill has been read a first time" (79). It will be noted that the petition goes far beyond the economic question as to the advisability of the proposed duty. It raises in unmistakable words the constitutional plea of "No taxation without representation," which was to play such an outstanding part in the controversies preceding the American Revolution, and it is therefore worthy of note that more than thirty years before the Stamp Act the argument should be so conclusively stated.

However, the Sugar Act was passed, and very different memorials from the foregoing were received in England from the sugar colonies. The Assembly of Barbados forwarded an Address to the King in August 1733 conveying their hearty thanks for the passing of the Act and stating that "the passing [of] that law is justly apprehended as a signal and most valuable instance of your Majesty's paternal care and concern for your Sugar Colonies, who now entertain hopes through the blessing of God and your Majesty's favour and protection, of being restored to a flourishing condition" (316). The address of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica to the King which was passed in October was couched in even more fulsome terms. "The great distance from your royal person," they wrote, "being one of the greatest misfortunes to your remote subjects, nothing can be a greater support to us under them than our being convinced that we are not absent from your fatherly care and princely consideration which equally diffuses itself through all your extensive dominions" (366 i).

Memorial on the Sugar trade.

Although the Sugar colonies were grateful for the passing of the Act, they did not believe that it was enough to enable them to compete on equal terms with the French planters. To do this they appealed again for a removal of the regulations under the Acts of Trade which required them to land all their sugar in England before exporting it to foreign markets. The case is well set out in a memorial entitled "The Sugar Trade with the incumbrances thereon laid open" which was presented to Governor Lord Howe by John Ashley, a Barbados planter. The memorial is closely argued and well written and it sets forth the economic circumstances of the trade much better than many of the diffuse appeals which had been presented to the Board of Trade during the long debates over the Sugar Act. The essential point was the need for direct exportation both to foreign countries and to Ireland. "The result of the present system," said the memorial, "is to enable the French, who have had the direct exportation since 1726, to undersell us at all foreign markets, and is one of the principal causes why so many of our planters are insensibly run behindhand and impoverished" (p. 199). "The late Act of Parliament will in due time be of great service to the Sugar Trade, more especially as it will make it easier to obtain the liberty of going directly to foreign markets with our sugar ; and the prohibition of foreign produce to Ireland with the high duties thereon when imported to our Plantations will render such a liberty much more beneficial than it could have been had not that Act passed, insomuch as it lays so considerable a restraint upon the vent of foreign produce by way of our Plantations. The Kingdom of Ireland and our Northern Plantations, our sisters, can now be no longer our adversaries ... The supplying the Kingdom of Ireland with our produce (although at a roundabout rate as to sugar) will occasion a much greater vent than we had before ; and the duties upon foreign produce imported into our Plantations will give us the advantage over foreigners notwithstanding the duties of 18d. per cwt. and the 4 per cent. paid by us upon exportation. But as to the supplying of foreign markets, that must still be given up to the French, if we remain under the restriction of unloading our sugars in Great Britain, whilst they have the liberty of sending theirs directly to foreign markets without either unloading or so much as touching at any port in France. The bounty of 6s. per cwt. on refined sugar and 9d. per cwt. additional drawback will by no means counteract that advantage, for before such 1 cwt. of refined sugar is shipped, there is above 6s. per cwt. paid on the raw sugar from which it is made, besides other charges" (p. 198).

The memorialist appended instructive tables, although we have not reproduced them in the Calendar, showing the saving of freightage, port charges, insurance, commission etc. by direct voyage to the Continent and the Mediterranean markets, and these afford detailed information which would be of interest to the historian of commerce. "Wharfage and pilferage, risk and insurance, are dead losses upon this trade, as is the second freight, and the loss of time and the first market is often ruinous to many voyages" (p. 199). It was desired to set up factors for the disposal of the raw sugar in Cadiz, Leghorn, Genoa and Naples, and the writer gave many reasons to show that the result would not be to diminish our balance of trade with those countries, but rather to improve it. On the whole the memorial is a valuable argument for the removal of sugar from the list of enumerated articles under the Acts of Trade and it is certainly worthy of consultation as a contribution to the discussion of the Mercantile System at this period (349 i, pp. 197-202). The Address of the Barbados Council and Assembly to the King praying for additional relief by an amendment of the Sugar Act and the imposition of an excise instead of a part of the import duties is less valuable than the foregoing memorial, but is worthy of note as indicating that there was considerable divergence of opinion, at any rate in Barbados, as to the value of the Act and disappointment as to its results even within a few months of its enactment (416, 416 i, 417 ii).


The La Tour claims in Nova Scotia.

The principal object of discussion in the papers of 1733 concerning Nova Scotia was undoubtedly the case of Mrs. Agatha Campbell and the La Tour lands to which she laid claim by right of inheritance. The history of the case is best summarised in the long report of the Board of Trade upon it in October 1733 (367, pp. 223-227). It may be of interest here to show briefly how the case arose and to indicate the order of the principal documents connected with it.

In the Instructions to Colonel Philipps on his appointment as Governor of Nova Scotia he was directed to bring the inhabitants who had remained in Nova Scotia after its cession to Great Britain by the Treaty of Utrecht (being all French Papists), to take the oath of allegiance to the King on certain conditions. For many years they stubbornly resisted, but after much persuasion Governor Philipps finally persuaded the majority of them to comply (203). When this had been secured, the Governor proceeded to inquire what were the rights, liberties and properties to which every inhabitant was entitled to according to the promises made under the Treaty. The most material claim that was made was that of the heirs of Monsieur La Tour, the first French Governor of Acadie. They claimed that in virtue of the patent granted by the King of France they were entitled to quit-rents to be paid to them as seigneurs and proprietors of all the inhabited parts of the Province including even the spot of ground on which the Fort of Annapolis was erected (p. 123). Governor Philipps refused to accept this claim until he had communicated with the Secretary of State (March 1730/1). He permitted the claimants to receive all the arrears of payments due to that time, but put a stop to all further payments until he should receive orders from home. He did not collect or receive any part thereof, but left them in the tenants' hands until the matter was settled.

The principal heir to the La Tour property was Agatha, granddaughter to Monsieur Charles Saint Estienne, Sieur de la Tour, whose claim to Nova Scotia was recognised under Cromwell. In 1656 he ceded his rights to Sir Thomas Temple and another Englishman who held them until 1667 when Nova Scotia was re-ceded to France by the Treaty of Breda (p. 226). After the recession the King of France in 1670 restored the rights to Monsieur de La Tour, Agatha's father, and partly by inheritance from him and partly by cession from her brothers and sisters she held them in 1731 when the sequestration by Philipps took place (p. 227). Agatha de la Tour married first a Mr. Bradstreet, a subaltern in Colonel Philipps's regiment which was in garrison at Annapolis and after his death Hugh Campbell, an ensign in the same regiment (203 iii). According to Governor Philipps, Mrs. Campbell after the death of her second husband had "by cunning address got the others to make over their pretensions to her on promise of some small consideration." She did not do this so much for the right to the quit-rents but in order to bring pressure to bear on the Government to grant her an addition to her pension as an officer's widow. (See C.S.P, 1730, p. 253).

The original papers in support of the claim were submitted to Governor Nicholson and he carried them away when he left Nova Scotia, so that all the evidence the claimants could produce to Governor Philipps was "a foul scrap of paper which they said was a copy of part of the original grant" (C.S.P. 1730, 2 September, 1730, 411 ii). However, this made no difference when the history of the case came to be thoroughly examined in 1733, for Mrs. Campbell presented a variety of evidence for her support. The papers cast an interesting light on the early history of Nova Scotia and they can probably best be studied by reference to Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial where the principal of them are collected (A.P.C., Col., iii, pp. 359-362 and A.P.C., Col., Unbound Papers, vi pp. 231-2). The detailed examination of the case was entrusted to the Board of Trade and Plantations and they made their report on 23 October 1733, (367, pp. 223-227). It was sent on to the Committee of the Privy Council for Plantation Affairs which had referred the case to the Board (15 August, 1733, 307). The Lords of the Committee accepted the report and recommended to the Crown that orders should be issued "to Colonel Philipps or the Governor or Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Nova Scotia for the time being to give the necessary directions for the payment of all arrears or quit-rents to [Mrs. Campbell] since the year 1730 and to allow her a reasonable sum for the purchase of the said quit-rents and for the extinguishment of any claim of right of seigneurie which she may have to any part of the said Province" (A.P.C., Col., iii, pp. 361-362. For the terms of the report of the Board of Trade on which this recommendation was based, see 367, p. 227). Accordingly an Order-in-Council was issued on 20 December 1733, directing the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to consider what sum should be paid to Mrs. Campbell (447), and so the long case was brought to an end. It illustrates the care which was taken to see that justice was done, even though the claim of Mrs. Campbell had at first been characterised as "frivolous and vexatious" (A.P.C., Col., iii, p. 360). The following are the principal papers relating to the case in this volume of the Calendar : 89-96, evidences ; 182 ; 203 and enclosures i-iii ; 307 i, petition ; 335 and enclosures i-vi, evidences ; 367, Report of Board of Trade ; 447, Order-in-Council.

The Canso fishery.

The state of affairs at Canso, to which we have referred in several previous Introductions, continued to give much concern to the authorities in Nova Scotia. The Board of Trade called Colonel Philipps, the Governor of Nova Scotia, to enter into consideration of the fishery there while he was in England (Journal, pp. 336-337) and they carefully examined the replies of the naval commander on the station to the usual heads of enquiry as to the statistics of the fishery which he had returned after the end of the fishing season of 1732. In December Captain Fytche returned similar statistics for the 1733 season and from them it appears that there were far larger numbers of Americans engaged in the fishery than British. There were only 14 British sack ships with 130 men, while there were 115 schooners and sloops from America and 6 larger ships, employing in all 740 men. 40,000 quintals of fish were carried to foreign markets and 6,000 to New England (437 i). It is thus clear that the Canso fishery, the only enterprise in Nova Scotia, was of far greater concern to New England than it was to the British fishing ports. Besides the cod fishery the Americans also used Canso as a base for a new whale industry which was rapidly on the increase, as we mentioned in the Introduction to our previous volume (C.S.P. 1732, Introduction p. xxxiv). Lieut.-Governor Armstrong informed the Board of Trade of this and wrote :"I am informed from Canso that ... they have killed a great many whales and made a considerable quantity of oil. This trade is carried 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 [20 September 1733] had about seventy sloops put in there, deeply laden 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" (p. 231).

The rise of this whaling industry in the ports of Connecticut and Massachusetts became of great importance to those colonies, for their sailors acquired especial skill and the American whale ships in later years played a large part in maritime history.

Americans in the Newfoundland fishery.

The American fishermen also took a considerable share in the Newfoundland fishery, and from the answer of the naval Governor there (Lord Muskerry) to the heads of enquiry we learn that in 1733 out of 281 ships engaged in the fishery there were 63 American (347 ii). The New England merchants imported quantities of goods into Newfoundland for the use and consumption of the fishery, mainly rum, molasses, tobacco and flour. None of this was for export, for there was not sufficient to carry on an indirect trade. They disposed of their commodities for fish and bills of exchange, and the fish they could not dispose of for bills they exported to foreign markets (347 i, p. 195). The intimate connection of New England with the Newfoundland fishery is apparent and it seems that to some extent the Americans were displacing the fishing merchants of the western fishing ports in England from a trade which was regarded as of so great an importance to the nation.

The fur trade in Newfoundland.

The only industry in Newfoundland besides the fishery was the trapping of fur-bearing animals during the winter, but this was only very small. According to Lord Muskerry the furring trade was carried on by some of the inhabitants who resided permanently in the island. They trapped round Trinity Bay and to the northward of Cape Bona Vista, but as the value of the furs collected in 1733 was only 170l., (347 i, answer xxxviii), it added very little to the support of the resident community which was still almost wholly dependent on the codfish.

Bermuda whaling.

The only other colony besides Nova Scotia in which we hear of whaling was Bermuda, then the poorest of all the colonies except the Bahamas. There a portion of the Governor's salary had been defrayed by the proceeds of licences for the whale fishery. In 1731 complaints had been made to the Crown that the Governor had appropriated to his own use the produce of whales taken on the coasts of the islands on the plea that the whale was a royal fish. In consequence the Governor was instructed in December, 1731, to abandon this practice and to secure instead an additional allowance from the Bermuda legislature not exceeding 100l. per annum (32, p. 32). This caused Governor Pitt much trouble, for the Assembly under plea of poverty refused to comply (55), and the matter for a long time filled a good deal of space in his somewhat infrequent letters. As he told the Board of Trade "[The Assembly] desire time to consider by what method to raise an equivalent in lieu of the licences granted for the whale fishery for the future. The difference that is between us is the three years' arrears which they seem to think, though they have had all the profits arising, not to any ways concern them. Neither will they take any method or thought how to pay it... As it is a part of my salary, it is as justly my right as any other part, and to lose three years would be a hardship upon me as I conceive" (342).

Survey of the Bermuda colony.

Lt. Gov. Pitt's letters as a rule were concerned only with such petty things, but in March, 1733, he at last sent in his answer to the queries that had been circulated to all colonial Governors by the Board of Trade in 1729 (C.S.P. 1728-9, Introduction, p.xiii and Nos. 1009. 1011) and of which he had been again reminded (32). The reply gives an interesting and comprehensive survey of the Bermuda colony and its industries. The support of the inhabitants almost entirely depended on the success of their navigation by which they industriously supplied the British Northern Colonies with salt and from those colonies carried all sorts of provisions, lumber etc. to the British and Dutch islands in America. They transported Indian corn from the Northern Colonies to Curaao and St. Eustatia and from Bermuda itself onions, ducks and live cattle, returning laden with sugars, rum, molasses, cocoa and cash (72 i). In these trades there were engaged annually some 60 ships ranging in burthen from 100 down to 20 tons and manned by about 200 white and 150 negro slaves as sailors. The produce of the palmetto trees which were indigenous to the islands was manufactured into women's hats, and of this 8 to 10,000l. worth was sometimes exported annually to Great Britain (pp. 54-55). Onions, oranges and lemons, cabbages and potatoes were often sent to the other colonies, and ducks, turkeys and other sorts of poultry to the sugar islands to yield good profit. If the exports of platt were excluded, the annual value of the exports was about 10,000l. Bermuda currency or 7500l. sterling. But the breadstuffs raised in the islands were insufficient for the population and they had consequently to import from Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia and New York (p. 55). It is interesting to note how closely the economy of the islands in 1733 resembled that of to-day with the exception of the tourist traffic. The total population of the group was about 5,000 whites and 4,000 blacks, but it was decreasing owing to the drain of emigration to Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the Bahamas, an outflow that had been a consistent feature of Bermudian life almost ever since the first settlement of the islands in the seventeenth century.

Poverty of the Bahamas.

We have already said something of the chaotic conditions in the Bahamas in connection with the troubles caused by Colebrooke, and there is little else of interest to remark. They were even more poverty stricken than the Bermudas, for although some part of the people were sea-faring there was no well-established and well-organised shipping industry as in the more northerly group. The rights to land were still vested in the expropriated Lords Proprietors, and Governor Fitzwilliam, who had been appointed after the death of Woodes Rogers, was of the opinion that the difficulty of securing clear titles to land made it impossible to expect that a stable population could be attracted (57 i). Only necessitous persons and fugitives from Carolina would come to the Bahamas and consequently most of the group were uninhabited. Even New Providence, the most closely settled island, had only a very small and unstable population. The others had only a few salt rakers and sponge fishers. In July, 1733, there was a serious hurricane which destroyed many of the crops and caused a great scarcity of provisions. Governor Fitzwilliam believed that this was a cause of the outbreak of serious sickness which carried off many of the inhabitants (423) including the leading member of the Council who had administered the Government in the interim between Governor Woodes Rogers's death and the arrival of Fitzwilliam, his successor (424). Two or three others of the Council also died of the sickness, so that only three were left of those named in the Governor's Instructions, leaving nine vacancies (424).

North Carolina. Governor Burrington.

Turning now to the Continental Colonies, we may mention first North and South Carolina because of their close historical association with the Bahamas. North Carolina was still suffering from the misdeeds of its Governor, George Burrington, to which we referred at length in our previous Introduction (C.S.P., 1732. Introduction, pp. xxxix-xl). There are in this volume a considerable number of papers referring to his frauds (122 and enclosures i-iii, 123 and enclosures i-ix, 310 and enclosures i-xv) and it was said that he had "been guilty of almost every crime, saving that of murder, and in that he hath bid very fair on the person of the King's Attorney-General" (310, p. 161). The deposition of Attorney-General Montgomery gives a lurid picture of the conditions prevailing in the Government of the distressed colony when the principal legal adviser of the Governor could be treated by him with so much indignity. In January, 1733, Burrington coming into the house of one, Trotter, without any provocation, took up a chair and damned the Attorney-General and with all his force endeavoured to strike him on the head. He disabled his arm and attempted to strike him a second time, and then closing with him got him down and with his knee several times violently punched him on his belly. Montgomery believed that Burrington intended to take his life, and he applied for a licence to leave Carolina, but the Governor told him to go to the devil and challenged him to fight him in Virginia (123 ix).

Burrington sent home a lengthy defence of his actions, (172 and enclosures i-ix), but it was a weak production and the authorities had had quite enough of him. At the beginning of the year he had already sent home a long letter (1) describing the state of North Carolina owing to his efforts. He said that it was in a state of perfect quietness and that peace and good order subsisted throughout the whole Province. But in the light of the other evidence they had received the Board of Trade took this description with a grain of salt. There are, however, one or two points of interest in the letter which may be more trustworthy, as they did not relate to the quarrels in which the Governor was involved. The population was very migratory. Plantations sold very cheap, those with houses, barns, orchards, gardens, pastures and tillage grounds fenced sometimes yielding only about thirty or forty pistoles, though they had cost four times as much. The reason was that the owners chose to remove into fresh places for the benefit of their cattle and hogs so that newcomers might always buy convenient settlements for less money than the buildings and other improvements could be made. A planter from Virginia, for example, had bought eleven such plantations and worked them with his wife and ten negroes whilst the hundred former inhabitants had moved on (p. 1).

No negroes were brought direct from Africa to North Carolina, so the settlers were compelled to buy the refuse, refractory and distempered negroes brought from other colonies (p. 2). Land was not wanting, though much of it was of very poor quality ; what was wanted was men for land, and though the population of the colony was increasing, the needful numbers would never be secured without great charge and labour. Much of the land was unplantable and men could not be tied down by their grants by obligations of cultivating soil like that in the barren pine-lands or the several sorts of wet lands (pp. 2, 3).

Supersession of Governor Burrington.

In March, 1733, the Duke of Newcastle informed the Council of Trade that the King had appointed Gabriel Johnston to be Governor of North Carolina (78) and directed them to prepare his commission and Instructions. The discussion of the Instructions went on for several months (105 i, 153, 154, 251, 252, 279, 288, 289, 413) and Johnston had not left England to take up his appointment when the year closed. Meanwhile Burrington continued in office and, if we can accept the reports that he sent home, the situation in North Carolina settled down to comparative peace (353) with an abundance of new settlers coming in the winter from the Northern Provinces (353).

Land claims in South Carolina.

As usual South Carolina was troubled with difficulties over land grants that had come down from the time of the Lords Proprietors and with the land-jobbing which was mentioned in our previous Introduction. Lord Carteret, one of the late Proprietors, laying claim to eight baronies of 12,000 acres each, desired to have them handed over to an agent to whom he had sold his rights, who proposed to survey them and sell them in parcels to settlers (59, 212). But the Governor and Council of the colony were not at all prepared to accept such shadowy claims, for to hand over the lands would forestall those who were actually ready to take up and work their grants. They therefore returned a polite but firm refusal to Lord Carteret (60 ii) and sent on the whole correspondence to the Duke of Newcastle for his information (60 and enclosures i-iv). Thomas Lowndes was also actively trying to make money out of the land claims that he had acquired under the Proprietors, and this gave much trouble to the authorities in South Carolina. There are many papers concerning these claims and Lowndes wrote lengthy letters to the Board of Trade (171 and enclosures i, ii) and individual members of the Board (206) in support of his claims and what he called "the scandalous, unreasonable interpretation put upon the Governor of South Carolina's Instructions" in relation to this and the allied matter of quit-rents (199, 206, 220, 222). There are also long papers of complaint from those who contested this and similar claims (e.g. 165 (p. 102), 427 i), and reference to the Index will show the inextricable tangle in which the whole question of land grants in South Carolina had become involved.

Pury's Swiss colonists.

Pury and his Swiss colonists suffered seriously from the interference of land speculators with the lands on which their new settlement of Purysburg had been established (176 i, 211) and the Board of Trade had to send out special directions to the Governor to prevent their grants being interfered with (214 i).

The boundaries of Virginia.

The papers from Virginia are rather fewer than usual, but perhaps the most interesting among them is a long letter from Lt.-Governor Gooch relating to the pretensions of the Proprietors of Pennsylvania, Maryland and the Northern Neck to the lands lying westward of the great mountains of Virginia (42). This gives many interesting details concerning the claims of Lord Fairfax, to which reference was made earlier in this Introduction. The geographical information concerning the nomenclature of the headwaters of various rivers mentioned in the dispute is of considerable interest (see especially pp. 37, 38). Lt.-Governor Gooch recommended that as there appeared "such uncertainty in the description of these Proprietary grants, made without due information or knowledge of what was intended to be passed to the several patentees ; and since the Proprietors are neither likely to agree amongst themselves where their boundaries are, nor how they interfere, nor seem to be contented with what may reasonably be supposed the Crown granted them, it is high time to take some speedy measures to put an end to these disputes" (p. 39, see also 361). Gooch was very much opposed to the erection of new Provinces on the frontier and to settle them with great numbers of foreign Protestants to prevent the extension of the French. He represented "that the erecting of new Provinces [would] be attended with many inconveniences : such as the weakness of an infant settlement to support itself : the difficulty of bringing foreigners to the knowledge [of and] under the subjection of English laws, where they are left to themselves, and not incorporated with an English Government : the disputes that may arise concerning their boundaries if a tract of land should be granted them, the true limits whereof cannot be with certainty described" (pp. 39, 40). He advised instead that they should be settled within the limits of Virginia and that the Government of the colony should only assign lands to them proportionable to their number. No more land than was already entered for on the back of the mountains should be granted to any other person whatsoever till they had their full complement assigned them (p. 40).


As was remarked in the Introduction to our preceding volume the papers of the Georgia Trustees which are now included among the Colonial records will be published separately in the Calendar (C.S.P. 1732, Introduction, p. xli). From Governor Johnson of South Carolina we learn that Mr. Oglethorpe and his Georgians arrived there on 13 January 173, and at once proceeded to Port Royal to begin the founding of the new settlement (p. 10). The Carolina Assembly were willing to give him all the assistance the colony could afford. They voted him boats to carry his people to their designed settlement and sent twenty Rangers to protect them against molestation by wandering Indians. The rice, cattle and hogs that were supplied must have formed a useful addition to the resources of Oglethorpe and his advance party (31). Among his various complaints Thomas Lowndes gave information to the Board of Trade about a grant of 1717 by the Lords Proprietors of Carolina to Sir Robert Montgomery of the territory on which Georgia was now being founded, but as the grant was since void no valid claims could be founded upon it (222, p. 129).

The Middle Colonies.

There are few papers of interest concerning the Middle Colonies among the documents of this year and we need only note that those from New York mainly deal with the quarrels between Lewis Morris and his supporters and Governor Cosby to which we referred in the earlier part of this Introduction. They are filled as usual with accusations from both sides, and many of the printed sheets in which the controversy was carried on before the New York public were enclosed with the letters that were sent to London. These have been noted among the items in the Calendar but have not been abstracted. The only other item in the correspondence from New York to which we need refer is the question relating to the Equivalent Land which may be traced by reference to our Index.

Massachusetts. Governor Belcher.

In Massachusetts and New Hampshire the perennial quarrel between Governor Belcher and Lieutenant-Governor Dunbar still went on, but the papers relating to it in 1733 were not quite so interminable as in some previous years, and we need not add to what we have said about them in preceding Introductions. Affairs in Massachusetts were in a serious position despite all that Governor Belcher could do, and there is a painful letter from him complaining of the long delays at home in the issue of the orders enabling him to obtain his salary (7). He found the Assemblies so "humoursome and capricious" that he doubted whether he could get a new Assembly to vote as their predecessors had done and so he would be deprived of any salary at all if he were not immediately granted permission to accept what had been offered (p. 9. See also 229, p. 132). Notwithstanding all he had said to the Assembly, Belcher reported, there was not (and had not been for a long time) any money in the public Treasury, which exposed the King's Government to great hazards and inconveniences (127). The Massachusetts paper currency was very low in value, despite the restrictions on the Governor's power to authorise the issue of bills of credit, for Connecticut and Rhode Island could issue whatever they wished without any control (229). Thus even if Belcher received the permission he requested to accept the 3,000l. voted by the Assembly, its value would be so reduced that he would find it very difficult to pay his way.

It is easy to realise why Belcher felt deserted in his unending struggles with the Massachusetts Assemblies, for it was not until September, 1733, that the Board of Trade replied to the letters they had received from him in the preceding twelve months. In a single letter they then acknowledged twelve letters written by the Governor between October, 1732 and June, 1733, and even then they did not give him any help in his difficulties or a definite reply to his petition to be permitted to accept the money voted by the Assembly for his salary (345). No Governor in the whole Empire was in so difficult a position as the Governor of Massachusetts, and it says much for Belcher's loyalty and determination of purpose that he was willing to carry on. It was not until November, 1733, that an order was issued to the Board of Trade by the Committee for Plantation Affairs to prepare an Instruction to Governor Belcher giving him leave to assent to the Bill of Assembly granting him 3,000l. (375 and enclosures i and ii, 394).

Paper Money in the Northern Colonies.

The issue by the little colony of Rhode Island of bills of credit on a very large scale to the amount of 100,000l. was regarded by all the traders in the Northern Colonies as most damaging to commerce, and various merchants in Boston gathered together to form a private bank with a capital of 110,000l. to emit notes to be paid in silver and gold and so put a stop to the losses caused by the decline of bills of credit. The scheme was interesting (389) and shrewd, and Governor Belcher's remarks upon it and the evils it was intended to cure are worthy of note (384, pp. 236-7).

III. The West Indies.

In the General section we have already dealt with some of the more important points contained in our documents relating to the West Indies as a whole, and we now have only to supplement them with some notes as to the affairs of particular colonies in the islands.

The State of Jamaica.

There is among the uncertainly dated documents at the end of our abstracts an interesting anonymous paper embodying criticisms on a pamphlet entitled "The State of the Island of Jamaica," which had been submitted to the Duke of Newcastle through Mr. Walpole, probably Horatio, the Auditor-General of Colonial Revenues. Internal evidence shows that the document can be probably assigned to 1733. The main question raised was concerned with the raising of a sufficient revenue to carry on the government of the island and provide defence against its internal and external enemies, but the significant facts were added that lay at the base of Jamaica's troubles. "The value of the produce of Jamaica in sugar is now near treble what it was at the Revolution [of 1688], and the number of negroes more than double, yet white people in the island bearing arms are not so many by some thousands. This is because before the Revolution the plantations were very small ones, and not any one planter had as many negroes as every owner of a sugar plantation has now. The increased production has not been occasioned by many new families settling, but by the descendants of those who had settlements before the Revolution, either purchasing the small plantations, or runs of land near them, or settling the lands which their fathers had early obtained by grants from the Crown" (463, p. 277). We have thus a succinct description of what was happening not only in Jamaica but in all the British West Indian islands. The white population of small holders had almost disappeared, and in its place there were only large planters exploiting their estates by increasing numbers of negro slaves. It is not surprising that the dread of servile insurrection hung persistently over Jamaica and that the letters from the island were filled with accounts of the negro rebellion which every successive effort failed to suppress. As in several previous years the despatches from Jamaica were filled with accounts of these failures and the plans for remedying them, but it is unnecessary to refer to any of them specially. They can be conveniently consulted by reference to the Index.

Lord Howe, the new Governor of Barbados, arrived in the island in April, 1733, (118), and at once began active work to clear up the abuses he found in its Government. We have already referred to some of his measures in the first part of this Introduction and there is little further to add.

Eulogy of Barbados rum.

The Barbados planters were in the forefront in the controversies over the sugar trade and a pamphlet written over the pseudonym "A Barbados Planter" is noticed here (349 i, and see 416, p. 245, showing that the writer was the Deputy Auditor-General). The writer was a warm believer in the virtues of rum. He hoped that "our worthy patriots at home will be of opinion that the produce of our Sugar Colonies should be almost as tenderly regarded as the produce of Great Britain, and that RUM should be put nearly upon the same foot with British spirits and in opposition to French brandy ... a commodity that is as pernicious in every degree as rum is beneficial : such an encouragement would put the sugar planters upon their industry and endeavours to make a spirit that might be wholesome and consequently more acceptable than those foreign spirits for which we are annually at a great expense of bullion... It is observable that within these few years [Barbados] has improved in their rum or spirit to a very great degree ; and it is allowed to be already not only a wholesome liquor and what mixes well with British malt spirits, but a sovereign remedy in many cases" (p. 202).

After he had been some six months in the island Governor Howe wrote a letter of thanks to the Duke of Newcastle marked "Private" to accompany a present of "Barbados water" and sweetmeats. This was apparently some kind of cordial. The Governor did not forget his interest in British politics, for he wrote, "I hope the gentlemen in Nottinghamshire will behave themselves at their next elections in such a manner that may deserve your Grace's favour. I am sure all those that call themselves my friends and would have me believe they are really so, will do all they can to serve your Grace's interest" (378).

The Barbadians and the protection of the Sugar trade.

Although Parliament had passed the Sugar Act greatly to the discontent of the Northern Colonies, the Barbadians were not content but clamoured for further protection. The petitions from them that Lord Howe forwarded with long recapitulations of their contents (e.g. 416, 416 i) contain all the familiar grievances that we have remarked upon in previous Introductions and assert that "the people of this sinking colony" (417 ii) are "generally in a most miserable condition" (416). Unless they are permitted to export their sugar freely and direct to foreign markets as the French plantations do, they will be utterly undone.

Relations of the East India Company with the West Indies.

There is rather an extraordinary letter from Lord Howe showing how the ports of a British colony were forbidden to certain British ships even when in distress. It raises certain questions as to the relations of the East India Company with the colonies which became of considerable importance some forty years later at the time of the 'Boston Tea Party.' Howe wrote in May, 1733 : "On Tuesday last came to an anchor here about noon two large East India ships in the greatest distress ; the cargo of one was valued by the Captain at 300,000l. and it was thought was in danger of sinking even in the Bay." By the Governor's positive Instructions in relation to ships coming from the East Indies he was forbidden to receive them and his predecessor had been severely censured for not obeying the order. Howe therefore "immediately ordered them to weigh anchor, for they should have no relief .. [He] sent Custom House officers to stay on board them till they were under sail which with much difficulty [he] forced them to by break of day the next morning, the fort having been obliged to fire several shot at them before they would obey." This was an extraordinarily drastic measure to adopt, for Howe was of opinion that if the ships could not get into some of the islands to refit, it would be impossible for them to reach England (193).

The Leeward Islands. Governor Mathew.

Colonel William Mathew, who had seen so much service in the Leeward Islands and as Lieutenant-General had so often administered the Government in the interim between successive Governors, at last received the definitive appointment (77, 99 i, 146, 147). The Board of Trade prepared his Instructions in the usual form (128 and enclosures i, ii, iii) and he was empowered to receive an additional salary from the Assembly in each of the Leeward Islands in accordance with the precedent established for Viscount Howe in Barbados (215).

Wavell Smith as a pluralist.

The omnivorous Wavell Smith gave difficulty as usual in the preparation of the Instructions and a special Order in Council had to be issued directing that his name be left out of the list of Councillors for St. Christopher "in regard he does by himself or Deputy execute the several offices of Clerk of the Council, Clerk of the Courts, Clerk of the Ordinary, Register in Chancery and Register of the Admiralty in the said Island and in all the rest of the Leeward Caribbee Islands, some of which offices are inconsistent with and others beneath the dignity of the office of a Councillor" (258, 259). He was at the same time Secretary to the Government of the islands (334) and his notorious extortion of fees had given great difficulty to Governors previous to Mathew. In 1731 he was put up to trial for the extortion of his deputies and in earlier Volumes of this Calendar we have frequently noted him in opposition to Mathew as acting-Governor. The new rgime, therefore, did not open under very favourable auspices with a new grievance provided for this shameless pluralist to disturb the peace of these small communities.

Negligence in compliance with regulations.

Other officers than Wavell Smith raised this vexed question of fees and strove to enforce their claims by litigation and by petitions to the home authorities. Newcastle characterised some of these applications as "vexatious and frivolous" (e.g. 356), but there were incessant disputes in the islands on these and similar points, and the despatches from the islands are filled with lengthy accounts of them (e.g. 365 and enclosures i-xv). In the interim before Mathew arrived in the islands to take up the Governorship, the duties were carried on by Michael Smith, the senior Councillor or President of the decayed island of Nevis, who took up the post of Lieutenant-General by seniority. He was not a man of much ability or position and he commanded little respect. In consequence he found it impossible to get the Clerks of the Assemblies in the various islands to supply him with the transcripts of their Minutes that he was directed to send to England. He could not suspend an officer without the consent of seven of his Council, and in small Councils which rarely could command a quorum of seven such a consent was impossible to obtain. The Clerks therefore snapped their fingers at Smith and took no steps to remedy their negligence (334).

IV. Miscellaneous.

Disturbances near the Board of Trade Office.

Alured Popple, the Secretary of the Board of Trade, found the business of his office in Whitehall greatly impeded by the riotous disturbances in the street before it. Numbers of dissolute persons assembled there, particularly in dark evenings and in the night time, and it was dangerous for persons having occasion to come or go from the Office. He was therefore instructed by the Commissioners to apply to the Secretary at War for a sentinel to be placed near the Office door to prevent such disorders (43). It does not appear whether the Board obtained the protection they desired.


  • 1. C.S.P. Col., 1732. Introduction, p. xvi.
  • 2. Ibid., pp. xxv-xxvi.
  • 3. Especially A.P.C. iii, Introduction.
  • 4. See e.g. Privy Council Register, No. 3 of George II. P.C. 2/92.
  • 5. See C.S.P. Col., 1731. Introduction, p. xxii ; 1732, pp. xvi sqq.
  • 6. It is to be found in the abstract, but is here modernised.
  • 7. C.S.P. 1732. Introduction, p. xv.