The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685. Originally published by London, 2002.
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Freeman's Letters, 1679: nos 133-158
133. Robert Helme [Nevis]
[London, August 29, 1679]
Itt's now the 29th of August. The pr.misses is a coppy of our last to which we referr. I have since receivd severall from your brother adviseing of your being gon to M.tsarratt and Antigua, which am somewhat troubled att (though it may be to our advantage) that you should hazzerd yourself att that dangerous season to pass amongst the islands. What I have now to add is to advise you to declyn rather the buying the freight negroes and to make home what possible you cann of our effects out of that concerne of comission negroes, which I think more prudent now you are comeing off then to run up a multitude of debts & to draw noething from itt after soe many yeares mannadgment, as you will finde what we have drawen to be very inconsiderable, the sloop being paid for. Which please to take into a serious consideration. And I am sure you will [p. 141] be of my oppinion when you have well weighed itt that a man heer cannot valew himself anything upon debts in the West Indies, espetially considering the vast debts we of necessety must have there upon the acco.t of trade. That I hope you will also indevor to draw inasmuch as you cann before you. And for our goods now sent, if you could finde some trusty carefull men to put part in their hands to dispose upon Antigua and M.tsarratt, it might be a means not only to dispose our goods the more speedely but alsoe to make us something considerable the next yeare in returne. Which wee referr wholly to your discretion. Pray faile not to stock our own plant. very well with good slaves & to settle our interest in George Liddels plant., I meane our halfe part of itt, soe as that he may not have the power of the disposition of the pr.duce to lay it out upon the plant. but that it may be shipt as made. You will not finde that satisfaction in any interest there when you are heer, as now you have itt under your owne eye, as experience hath taught mee by mine in M.tsarratt I can well tell. I only give you this caution to take time to settle all thinges well beforehand and not to leave all things to be done at the last when its possible you may not finde time to doe itt as it should bee. Pray pr.caution your brother, and whoever elce you intrust with the disposition of our goods, that they may be very carefull of makeing bad debts. But rather keep our goods by such as are salvant men. Let them not spare to trust, but what are like to be long debts. Rather lett them be upon Nevis then any other islands. But shall not send any other goods but wines and servants heerafter. The latter we hope may purchase ready payment when disposed by the Masters of the shipps. ...
134. Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, September 2, 1679
My brother Baxter & self haveing taken into consideration the weightyness of our business, which wee judge too greate for any single p.rsons mannidgm.t and that it will lie wholly upon your brother, espetially at your comeing off, wee have thought fitt to make Tho. Westcote a pr.position to mannidge part of itt, either upon St. Kitts or Antigua. Which if you acquiest with us in, would have you to draw Articles to the same effect betwixt us & him. & If he settles upon St. Christophers, if you can finde any trusty p.rson upon Antigua and M.tsarratt to make the same agreement with them. For our designe is that your brother should make sale of as much as he can this next ensueing yeare and, after that, would have him make itt his sole business to compass our debts that he hath already contracted, & would have him to have noething to make sale off that might anywayes put a stop to his pr.ceedings. Wee being resolved now to send noething more but wines, servants or horses. And if you approve of imploying some other p.rsons this way, would have you put into each of their hands a p.rcell of our goods last sent, reserving in your brothers hands what you judge he may be capable of vending this next yeare. And at Xtmass Next some 12 mo., desire whatever of our goods remaines in his hands undisposed may be putt in some one or any of their hands as you may judg convenient to dispose [p. 142] off. To which end, leave necessary instructions with him at your comeing off that soe he may have noething to doe that ensueing yeare but to gather in our debts. And whoever you contract with, bee sure to bind them that they may have noe advantage by coopridge or any other way but what our allowance is which is to draw 10 p.r c.t upon returnes, but noe comission on sales. If you have coopers of our own or can bring up any to the trade to supply them, it will doe best. And when you come home, we will consider of some way to advance your brother upon his own accompt. Which you may give him assurance off for his incouridgm.t for the good serviss he hath done us. For I know it's your desire as well as mine to doe something for him, which you shall never find me backward in. With whomsoever you contract, I referr it to you to come to an agreement with them for what allowance may be convenient for the gathering in of such of our debts as are already contracted, which I judg 5 p.r ct. for comission & storidge sufficient, & is what they may be content with. ...
135. [p. 143] Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]
[London,] September 14, 1679
The foregoeing is a coppy of my last since which I have received the caske of onotto, but what to doe with it I know not, being a comodety I doe not understand. The most I am yett pr.ferred for itt is 2s p.r pounde, it being very bad as they tell me, if it were good and weare worth 4s 6d or 5s p.r pounde. Hereinclosed you have a receipt for the booke that cost 30s which is in Capt. Lawrence his owne custody. The sloop is pritty forward and will be ready to sayle by the last of this moneth. I shall not be heer to dispatch her, being goeing into the country, but have taken order that nothinge may be wanting to dispatch her, and shall leave orders with the Master Mr. W.m Helmes to sayle with the first faire winde. I wish she may awnswer your expectations. Shee will come to a great deale of money, I pr.sume, more then you expected. I have noething to add but my serviss, & to tell you that it's much to be doubted the R. Companyes charter will fall. Wherfore I thinke it not convenient for you to be forward in seizures; but if you make any, to keep the full effects in your own hands. Two Capt.s of the Kings shipps that took [p. 144] severall interlopers off Barbados have been arrested, and have been forced to give bayle. & Upon a heareing before the King and Councell, it was ordered they should stand their tryall att law, which is not yett come to a heareing, but will in a little time. They were forced to pr.vide their own bayle; neither K. nor Company would defend them. & It's very much to be doubted they will come by the worst, and generally believed the trade wil be laide open. Keep this to yourselves, & mannadge your business with discretion. I give it onely as a hint, knoweing you may expect that severall interlopers wil be about the islands this yeare upon this late incouridgment they have had.
As for your buying the comission or freight negroes off what shipps you have to come, unless you buy them extraordinary cheape, I am rather against medling with them, being now desirous to reape some of the fruits of those comissions, which hitherto hath been soe inconsiderable what we have drawen off, that it amounts to a very small matter, as you will find by the last accompt sent you.
I sent noe paper by reason I sent a p.rcell p.r Mr. Clayton out of which Mr. Helmes may furnish you with what you desire, at the price currant heer of its coste and charge. Soe that it's needless to send. ...
136. Randoll Hull [Cork]
London, September 9, 1679
Since I saw you I have discoursed Mr. John Bawdon, and have acquainted him with your pr.posall to mee of ladeing the horses upon the creditt of our deale, bords, & we have come to a resolution to alter our intended consignation to Mr. Seely, and have heerwith sent you an order to Capt. John Ashly, Comander of the said shipp, to deliver the said cargo of bords to yourself. & For your incouridgment we are content to remitt you 200£ towards the p.rchaseing a ladeing of horses, to be put on bord said ship with pr.vitions and all other necessaryes for them, which we conceive may be about 60 or 70 horses, be it more or less. Would have as many put on board as she can conveniently carrye & upon your first notice [p. 145] to use of the shipps arrivall there, we will remitt you the same. Or if you finde a conveniency of excha. that you judge may be to our advantage at 6, 8 or 10 p.r c.t, I allow you may draw upon us for the same. Now, Sir, you are to observe that Mr. Bawden haveing corresponded with Mr. Seely about this affaire & ordered him to pr.pare water caske in a readiness, the more fairely to come off with him, I have formally bought Mr. Bawdon's halfe part of the cargo & upon noe tearmes would not have you discover to him or any other p.rson anything to the contrary that might give him any seeming disgust. And to this effect Mr. Bawdon doth now write Mr. Seely for confirmation, & hath pr.pounded to him to deliver you all such water caske as he may have pr.vided upon this accompt, which we doe oblidge you to receive of him at the rates he hath agreed to pay he workemen for the same. & In case of his refusall, it wil be convenient for you to pr.pare forthwith as many as may be convenient.
Sir, God sending the shipp to arive in safety, its our request that you forthwith repaire on board the said shipp, & consult with the Master of said shipp how many horses she can take in & reasonably stow & carry. & Haveing dewly considered the same, then forthwith to buy soe many good, serviceable & young horses, rather then old, fitt for labor cheefly, viz. draft or carridge, which rather have a respect to than to their shapes. & Be carefull that none of them may be diseased, but such as you judge to be sound & hardy. & For their prices would have such as may be bought from 40s price to 3£ 10s or 4£, but would not willingly have any to exceed that price. And also we desire your care in pr.pareing hay, corne & all other thinges necessary for their pr.vender or ought elce that may be convenient for them dureing that voyage. That much wee committ wholly to your care. And if possible you cann pr.cure any lusty men servants to put on bord, you will oblidge us, but request you to make itt your business to pr.cure 3 or 4 lusty stout fellowes at least that may be serviceable on borde in looking after the horses. & If possible you can pr.cure any pr.vitions that may be put on board upon freight, though you take it in on moderate tearmes, it wil be a great conveniency to us.
Now, Sir, you must observe that by Charter Party we are oblidged to pay the Master 60£ in part of his freight there, which please to supply him with & charge your bills upon us for the same. & We are further oblidged to supply the Master with what more his occations may require for the victualling his shipp which we desire you to supply him with alsoe & take his bills upon Mr. Gregory Page, merchant in this citty, for the same payable to us.
Sir, Pray be watchfull when the shipp arrives imediatly to receive on borde the said shipp and deliver this our inclosed order to the Master, & look up the letter directed to Mr. Seely, wherin the Bills of Loading for the cargoe is, according to the contents of our order to him.
137. [p. 146] Robert Helme & William Helme [Nevis]
London, September 13, 1679
Since our last to you we have treated the Leverpoole refinors, who we finde are not willing to come to any certein agreement with us untill they see our sugars landed, alleadgeing that those they have had have pr.ved so bad that they are not willing to come to any price untill they see how they proove. & On those tearmes we think it not our advantage to send our goods to an uncertein markett, where when they are arrived wee must be content to take what price they will please to give us. Wherfore we judge itt convenient to alter our designe of Mr. Rivetts returne with our ship Abraham to Leverpoole, but desire he may returne to London, with such sugars as you can lade upon him for our owne accompts or upon freight as you shall judg convenient. But its our request & desire that you lade upon him or any other of our shipps what possible you cann upon our own accompts, rather then upon freight. I suppose we shall agree for a small vessell or two of sugars for West Chester, of which we shall heerafter give you a further acco.t. I pr.sume we shall not need to give you any orders to Mr. Rivett, this being sufficient. But you may shew him this our letter, if he desire itt, by which he may see this our order, which he is to observe, notwithstanding any former order given him by us. Over leaf you have a coppy of ours relateing to a ship we have hired to take in horses in Ireland, to which I referr you as to that p.rticuler. ...
138. Colonel Phillip Warner [Antigua]
London, September 15, 1679
I have received yours by Mr. Bennett with 28 hhds. of sugar, which proved very good, and am sorry the markett would not afforde a more considerable price. I have sold them att 23s 6d p.r c.t, thats 6d or 9d p.r c.t beyound a comon markett price, and that's the most I could reach for them.
I have also received yours of the 30th July with a duplicate of yours of the 24th of July, by the Wheel of Fortune who is not yett arrived. Neither Mr. Symmons with your sonns. As soone as please God they doe, I shall follow all your directions. & In the interim shall make 150£ insurance for you on the Wheel of Fortune, when please God she arrives. I cannot see any way to avoyd the payment of your dead freight, though I shall doe what I cann in itt to salve you; but I finde the freightors are in the same condition themselves. [p. 147] I cann give you noe good news, but what is. The Duke of Yorke is now att Windsor to the great satisfaction of the honest gentry & as much to the contrary of the factious party that now grow numerous & are countenancd by noe less a p.rson then the Duke of Monmouth, who begann to sett up to make himself popular. For which reason, His Majestye hath thought fitt to command all his comissions from him, & to depart the Kingdome in tenn dayes. The next month the new Parliment sitts. Pray God they may pr.ve a healeing one, for certeinly this kingdome never stood more in need of a good one then at this conjuncture. That rebellion is publickly discoursed in every coffee howse. His Majestye hath been lately very ill, but pritty well recovered, whose long life we have all reason to pray for, as affaires now stands. ...
139. Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, September 15, 1679
I have received yours relateing to W.m Hearne, & one from himself, an answer thereunto I heerinclosed send you open to p.ruse. (fn. 1) & If you thinke convenient, you may shew it the Generall before you deliver itt to him. It's expressly against the will of his relations that he should returne. And if he p.rsists in his obstinacy, putt him upon the plant. and make him worke untill he knowes himself better. Upon the result you gave use of your intentions to stay till the next summer, wee have adventured largely, and are now out abundance of money. And therfore desire you will see the fruits of the next cropp before you or at least good part of itt. Which pray make itt your indevors that it may be as large as possible, for this yeares returne hath been very inconsiderable to what we might reasonably have expected.
I pr.sume you are not unsensible that Mr. Carpenter drew his pr.portion of money out of my hands to put out upon interest; and what you have lately drawen and ordered, I cannot be in disburse. Therfore pray take care to send home as much as charges upon that accompt. I have p.d Mr. Bartlett 150£ & he desires another 100£, which I pr.sume is upon the creditt Mr. Carpenter gave him, as he tells me. And to give you my oppinion I had rather draw off now than continue our stock there to improve to advantage, I haveing fixt my resolutions to withdraw from all trade as soone as I cann.
I shall not now expect to see you here untill June or July, by which time I hope you will doe somethinge considerably in poynt of returnes. In the interim, I heartily wish you all happiness, and hope to have a happy meeting with you the next summer. ...
140. William Hearne [Nevis]
London, September 15, 1679
I have received your confident lines, which none but an impudent servant would have pr.sumed to have sent to a Master. And in awnswer thereunto, I shall follow those directions your father gave me before he bound you to mee if I doe not by my next from Mr. Helmes receive a better character of your behaviour to him, and that you demeane yourself in my serviss as you ought to doe, in dischargeing the trust that is committed to your care with faithfulness and dilligence. You may remember I tooke you my apprentice when your father would not receive you in [p. 148] his howse nor admitt you in his pr.sence, without a farthing of money with you, which is not usuall to take servants & imploy them in that quallety. I have done you with nothinge, for which I am like to be well rewarded. But to be short, your fathers order & desire to mee was if you did not demeane yourself as a good & a faithfull servant in my serviss that I should putt you upon my plant. to worke as an ordinary servant, which you shall assuredly doe if you p.rsist in this way. You cannot alleadge or pr.tend that I am anywayes oblidged to the contrary, since it was your own fathers request, who would not have left you a penny if you had not had good freinds to have interceded with him on your behalfe. And what you have now to trust to from his estate is very inconsiderable. His will being pr.ved according to law, your pr.portion which he left you is not worth above 3 or 400£, which he hath expresly ordered in his will that you shall not receive a penny off untill you arrive to the age of 23 yeares. & I am well satisfyed you have a brother in law that hath donn as much to see that right should be done you, as your father could have done if he weare living, according to the contents of his will. I am sorry you demeane yourself soe as to expect noe imployment from me heerafter, which you should as soone have had as the nearest of my relations if you have wanted itt. But you beginn too soone to make tearmes with a Master. And now I doe expressly forbid your returne from the place where you now are dureing the time of your indenture to me. To which end I have given Mr. Helmes orders, who is a p.rson better knowne to your relations then you render him to mee. & Since you take this course, I will speedely take another with you, if I have not a better acco.t of your behaviour. Which, on the contrary, if you follow your business as you ought to doe, I shall remitt what is past & continue myself as you shall deserve from your Master.
141. [p. 150] Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, September 19, 1679
This serves to advise you that I have paid Mr. Thomas Bartlett two hundred pounds upon the creditt you gave him & have taken his receipts with allowance of interest for the same. Which he is content with, in regarde I have none of your moneyes now in my hands, & doe myself allow interest to the Gen.ll for money I have made use of his. Pray take care that the same may be repaide me as soone as possible, for I have att pr.sent great occations for money. Your bill p.r Thompson shall be paide. The sloope I hope will be ready in less then 20 dayes, will amount to neer 400£. I am resolved to withdraw from trade and therfore desire that accompts may be made up and settelled betwixt us, & that the pr.fitts of our comissions of negroes may be returned, & not disposed off there though to advantage. ...
142. Robert Helme & William Helme [Nevis]
London, October 12, 1679
This serves to advise you that Mr. Bawdon haveing hired the shipp James, John Ashly, Commander, for a voyage to Norway and from thence to Corke in Ireland where she is to take in as many horses as she can carry & soe to pr.ceed to Nevis, & to returne for London, we have come in the half part with Mr. Bawdon in the freightment of the said shipp, and have ordered the horses to goe consigned unto yourselves & Mr. John Prewett joyntly to dispose of the rest. And as soon as you have disposed them to devide the debt equally, you takeing the one half part therof upon our accompts, & he the other on Mr. Bawdens. And likewise you are to dispatch the shipp according to Charter Party, either upon freight or our own accompts, which you can best accomplish within her time. Wee hope the deales she will deliver in Ireland wil bring downe the freight pritty reasonable. Pray indevor to make us what returnes you possibly can this yeare for we are out very largely. ...
143. [p. 151] Anthony Henthorne [Chester]
London, October 12, 1679
This serves to advise you that yesterday Mr. Danvers and ourselves settled the price of our next shipp of sugars, which we conceive you may now expect in a little time. The price agreed upon is 24s 9d p.r c.t, only my plant. sugars excepted, which you are to land and draw them. & What in your consciences you finde they deserve more then the p.rcell, you are to allow mee. Now, Sir, when please God the shipp arrives, I desire you to give her a speedy discharge, & both you and he to receive the goods and weigh them as they are landed, which Mr. Danvers hath pr.mised me shal be done. And lett the p.rson be there in a readyness to take the weights that soe noe time may be lost. I expect your awnswer to my last in reference to the shipp you pr.posed might be hired there. & I would intreat you or Mr. Cleveland to prepare 5 or 600 moulds to oure sugar, to gett them made, if possible, a size less then the largest sort you make use off, and bespeake them as for your owne use that they may be made of the best. And if you have any packt caske, I would send them with that moulds on the first shipp I send out from that port. ...
The marke of my plant. sugars is HF. I suppose there wil be 40 or 50 hhds. I never sold them under 12d p.r c.t beyound an ordinary markett price.
144. William Freeman & William Baxter to Robert Helme & John Pruet [Nevis]
London, October 14, 1679
This comes unto you by the ship James of London, Capt. John Ashly, by us freighted from Ireland with horses where we calculate she will take in about 60 or 70 & wil be put aboard by our freind Mr. Randall Hull of Corke, for our acco.t in equall halves & consigned to yourselves joyntly. The number our said freind will advise you when she is arrived at Nevis. We recomend to you there sales for our most advantage which we apprehend may be best p.rformed joyntly. & After finishing there sales to devide the debts by lott or [p. 152] or otherwise, as you shall agree between yourselves, to whom we referr itt. Please to note the Master receives to himself the cabbin & round howse & eight tonn of the shipps tonnidge. The rest we are oblidged you shall loade in 70 dayes. All the sugers are to be fetched from the shore at the charge of the owners with the shipps, boats or sloopes that the Master for that end must hyer. If any indigo, ginger, or cotten wool be loaden, wee are not concerned therin, being only oblidged to loade suger in butts, punch.ons & hhds., & would not willingly have other unsizable caske to avoyde disputes heare about the tunnidg. However, if there be any such, we have agreed to reckon itt heer according to custom we have in Doublin, Corke & 30 dayes demorage allowed in the whole. But we have no doubt of your loading her at Nevis within the limited time through your joynt indevors & industry. & What roome our owne sugers doe not occupye, wee intreate you to pr.cure on the most advantageous tearmes from others, & afford us an acco.t of all that is aboard & at what freights. The shipp is a good strong vessell & the Master an injenious dilligent man. All which we hope will tend to a quick dispatch at least within the time. The port charges is to be paid 1/3 by the owners, 2/3 by us. It's like we shall have other shipps att the same time for our p.rticuler acco.ts on whom you may loade the unsizeable caske and nothing but butts, puncheons & hhds. aboard Ashly.
145. Robert Helme & William Helme [Nevis]
London, October 18, 1679
This serves to advise you that since our last order to you contradictory to our first order by the Abraham (for her returne to Leverpoole), we have come to an agreement with Mr. Anthony [p. 153] Henthorne, sugar baker in Chester, for two shipps loadeing of sugars to be delivered him this next ensueing yeare. And since we understand Mr. Rivett, Master of said shipp, is still in Scotland or Ireland, & that he cannot reasonably arrive with you before after Xtmass, at which time the season beginns for the next cropp, we have therfore entered into contract that shee shall returne to the said port of Chester for one of the two shipps. & In order thereunto, we now send this our request & order to you: to loade the said shipp if possible upon our own accompts &, as soone as you have dispatcht her, to give your instructions & orders to Mr. James Rivett, Comand.r of the said shipp, to sayle to the port of Chester or as neer therunto as she can conveniently come with her ladeing, and to deliver the same to the aforesaid Mr. Anthony Henthorne or order. Which shall be our sufficient order to Mr. Ja. Rivett for his soe doeing, notwithstanding any former order we may have given him to the contrary. Pray what sugar you lade indevor it may be good which hitherto wee have had great complaints off from that port. & Also wee desire the shipp may be fully laden upon our owne acco.ts, except what small quantetyes there may be from the plant. of W.F. & J. Bramly from Mountsarratt, which you may send upp for & take in, as also from the plant. of W.F. & Mr. Rob.t Helmes which is the remainder. If possible it can be accomplisht, pray let it be laden all upon our acco.ts in thirds, though you keep the shipp soe much the longer. Our second ship for this port you may expect to follow in 3 months after this. ...
146. Anthony Henthorne [Chester]
London, October 18, 1679
I have receivd both yours of the 11th and 14th Instant with the 2 bills for 200£. & In awnswer to your former, your 207£ 7s is still unpaid, nor never like to be paid by this man. Yesterday my man mett with him at his lodging who denied himself to be the p.rson & told him he was gone out. But my servant understanding by some of the people of his lodging that he was the man, spoke with him againe to his shame, but could gett noe awnswer from him whether he would pay the money or not. Soe that by the circumstance you may judge what he is. & I would advise you not to be kept out of your money longer. & Indeed, it's but reasonable the drawer should pay interest for itt, it being 3 mo. since the date of your bill, I beleive, which comes to 3£. When your other bills are received, I shall advise therof. [p. 154] As to the hier of the vessell you advised off, I shall not adventure to take any vessell p.r the month unless I could be ascertained her burthen. & The rate they demand is much more then what I can hyer for heer. And wee haveing taken the same into consideration that it wil now be late before we can send out a shipp for your first supply & Mr. Rivett being still in Ireland, & haveing stayd much longer then we expected he would, must now come ther in a very seasonable time to loade home, both for dispatch & good goods. Soe that we have this day sent our orders to Ireland to him, & also to Nevis, that he shall pr.ceed as wee had first ordered him, that is to your port for yourself. We judge the vessell you pr.posed to hyer might bring within tenn tunns as much as shee can, which difference is not greate, & what we doubt not but you can dispence with. & Soe we will order you only one vessell more, which shall follow her about 3 mo. hence, or sooner or later, as you desier. Therfore, pray let us know what time wil best sute your conveniency. & As to the price, we apprehend it would be better to conclude it certein, if you thinke fitt, att 24s 9d which cannot be to your disadvantage in regarde the markett is now at the lowest of the yeare & cannot be expected to fall but rather to rise. But this we referr to your discretion. & If you thinke not fitt to be soe concluded, we are willing to referr itt to an indifferent p.rson heer to decyde, adding 18d to the currant markett price at the time it arrives, & shal be content to referr the price to Mr. John Fleet to decide betwixt us, who is the most competent judge we know in London, and an indifferent p.rson betwixt us both, he being the only great buyer in London, and a p.rson you may depend upon will doe as equall justice. Pray take order with Mr. Cleveland that I may have some sugar potts gott in a readyness to send out with my next vessell that arrives. I shal not make anything of our contract knowne to Mr. Danvers, since you desire the contrary. ...
147. Colonel Phillip Warner [Antigua]
London, October 19, 1679
Honored Freinde, Sir,
I have receivd severall of yours & in p.rticuler that by your sonns, but had not the good fortune to be in towne when they arrived, though I staid somewhat longer then my occations would p.rmitt on purpose to receive them. However, I left directions with my brother Baxter for their reception, who hath punctually observed all your directions. & Blessed be God they are now both very well, though your eldest sonn hath been yll since his arrivall, but very well recovered. My Lady your mother is pleased to take the charge of both, & I wil be carefull that dew payment shall be made for your youngest & all other things fulfilld according to your desires, & those things you have given orders for shal be sent p.r first. Sir, this may advise you that I have now removed my habitation out of the citty, for which reason I cannot be soe serviceable to my freinds as I would bee, & therfore have comitted your sugar to the care of my brother Baxter to dispose, as also to make you the returnes according to desier, who I doubt not but you will find dilligent. I am confident more capable then myself. I doubt not but it will be to your satisfaction, in regarde he doth your mothers & all other your relations buisness, who hath very well approved of his actings. & Futurely, I desier you will please to let your consignations runn to him or, if you are not sattisfyed in him, let them runn to me & him, & I wil be answerable for what he doth. & If you can recommend any of your freinds buisness to him, I shall take it as great a kindness as donn to myself. I have comitted all my own concerns to his disposition. For indeed as long as I was in the Citty, I had more buisness then I was able to mannidge, which made my life uncomfortable. Soe that I have now taken resolutions to declyne all.
Your 12 hhds. of sugar p.r Symons pr.ves very bad to what the former did; is sold att 23s p.r c.t but not yett weighed off. The Wheel of Fortune arrived but not yett come up the River. As soon as the sugars out of her are landed & sold you will receive Acco.ts of Sales of both p.rcells from my brother, & an acco.t of the former 28 hhds. you shal have from myselfe as also your Acco.t Currant p.r next. & What remaines dew to your acco.t from me shall make good to my brother Baxter. I shall have a p.rticuler care of your sonns & for all other things I referr it to him to give you an acco.t. Your bill of 34£ to Capt. Symons I have p.d. This, with my hearty serviss & thankfullness for all your kind recomendations (which I desier you will please to continue to my brother Baxter), wishing yourself & family all prosperity, I conclude.
Sir, If anything offers worthy your notice, I shall not faile to advise therof as oft as is needful. Had I continued to trade, I should have gladly accepted your kind offer, & have sent you the coppers desired, but have taken resolutions to withdraw my small concernes & to desist from any further concerne.
148. [p. 156] William Fox [Montserrat]
London, October 20, 1679
Worthy Freind, Sir,
I have receivd yours of the 9th August with my plant. acco.ts which I have not yett had time to p.ruse & compare with the former, but pr.sume those creditts you mention are wanting, viz. the joyners worke, still howse & c., which I shall heerafter advise. Neither have I any creditt for teaching Bando & c. One thing more: I observe & desier the acco.t may be againe drawen out & rectifyed in that p.rticuler, that is, it's without date, when it beginns or ends, nor noe dates to any of the p.rticulers of goods bought or the sugars p.d away, which is noe method in acco.t. Nor can any contradiction bee to any such acco.t. Another thing I admire att: that my mony & goods should lye by undisposed off and severall things bought & payments made for the plant. use. That I pr.sume are since those arrived, which must needs be to my great pr.judice. & What is most unreasonable – that I should not have the disposition of my own part, nor what I can never allow off. Pray informe Capt. Bramley I intend to order some beef that shal be made for the plant. use out of Ireland suddenly, & desier him to resolve you whether he will accept itt upon our joynt acco.t & adventure for the plant. use. If not, let him not pr.vide any for my part, for I shall order itt whether he will soe accept itt or not to supply my own part. Also please to informe him that Mr. Ball, who he consigned his sugar to for payment of mee, as he writt me, is dead, but I have not receivd anything off itt. (fn. 2) Sir, I would have sent you the sett of cases & wedges by this shipp, but there is not a sett of 18 made in towne, nor have any been brought this mo. from the mills. The waters are soe out by the greate raines that none cann pass. I have bespoke them &, as soon as they can be had, shall be sent you, which hope may be p.r next. I have writt to Capt. Bramley to lade what sugar he cann upon our joynt acco.t upon our shipp Abraham for Chester. If he approve not therof, pray lett what you can be laden on my perticuler acco.t from the plant. or any other my concernes. & Please to write to W.m Helmes to suplly you timely with account for that purpose and to reserve soe much tunnidge as you can lade. Which please to advise me of the quantety by some other conveyance. ...
149. General William Stapleton [Montserrat]
London, October 20, 1679
I have received severall of yours which I have omitted to answer haveing been in the country &, since my returne, have been occupied with removeall into another howse, which hath obstructed. But I shal be carefull to answer all your demands. & This now serves to give you the good news of your Ladyes safe delivery yesterday of a beabe daughter, & both very well, pleased be God. Mad.m Russell & Mad.m Williams are both down with the smallpox, but upon recovery. (fn. 3) All your children except W.m hath hitherto escaped them & are in very good health. The Duke is now heer & suddenly intended for Edenbrough, where he is to reside. (fn. 4) I shall send your acco.t as soone as I am settelled. This is all time at pr.sent will admitt of from & c.
Sir, I have just now receivd both yours by Capt. Hare with the severall incloseds, which shall take care to deliver. I heartely thanke you for your care of my interest in case of warr, which we have noe great apprehensions of at pr.sent. Yet am of your oppinion that whenever they make warr, will beginn it in those parts &, in such case, I desier you to doe by my interest as you doe by your owne. & Whatsoever the success is, it shal be allowed off by mee, & alwayes acknowledged as a singuler favor. I have soe often represented to the King & Councell the same thing you now desier that it wil be to noe purpose to doe itt againe. & I am very sensible the Kings condition will not allow him to keep a fleet there constant as the French doth. Therfore, the Islands must pr.vide for their own safety & defence. & I very well approve of your designe to secure one island rather then loose the whole, which am of oppinion can never defend themselves. It's said that Count Esties is in France. What they mean by sending such fleets upon such errands constantly I cannot imagine. It's beyound my comprehension. Heer is no news but that the Parliment is pr.rogued till the 26th January. & When they meet, I fear will not answer the end the K. designes them for. The Lords are all still in the Tower and cannot be tryed till the Parliment sitts. ... [p. 157] I delivered yours to Sir Robert Southwell who tells me he hath receivd the money and cancelled the bill in my pr.sence. I am now trying what may be donn againe about your old arreares.
150. Robert Helme & William Helme [Nevis]
London, October 21, 1679
This serves to advise you of the receipt of yours p.r Capt. Hare yesterday, as also that I have ordered Mr. Randoll Hull of Corke to loade upon the shipp hired by Mr. Bawdon & myself 20 barrells of beef for the joynt acco.t of Mr. Rob.t Helmes & myself for our owne plant. use, also 30 barrells beef for the joynt acco.t of Capt. Bramley & myself for our plant. which, God sending in safety, I desier your care in receiving itt, & sending up to M.tsarratt to Mr. W.m Fox & s.d Capt. Bramley. Faile not to loade our shipp Abraham for Chester according to our last advise & in conformety to our contract. Also I desier Mr. William Helmes to loade upon him the returne of the pr.ceeds of the small p.rcell of canvis I have ordered by Mr. Clayton. Pray write to Mr. Fox & Capt. Bramley what sugars there is ready at my plant. there. Please to accomodate freight for by the Abraham & assist them with a sloope to fetch it down, with a more carefull Master then the last was, if you cann. For what sugar made at our plant. at Nevis, I referr it to Mr. Robert Helmes, his discretion to loade in London or Chester. But our contract there is 2d p.r c.t better then this markett price. Pray lade as good sugars as you can upon the Abraham for the generall acco.t. Otherwise, you will discouridge our further dealeings that way. ...
The ps. 8/8 I had pickt out of 20,000 & were the lightest I could pr.cure. I have only gott 10£ of Sir Richard Haddock, so that you & Mr. Carpenter must share stakes; the rest I believe lost. However, pray send both the orders of court attested p.r the Secretary.
I could not keep the papers if I would.
151. Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]
London, October 25, 1679
This accompanyes the sloop Africa, Mr. Willliam Helmes, Master, which I hope will answer your expectations in sayleing, the builder haveing taken all the care he cann according to your directions, and the best of his own skill, as hee tells mee. I hope she will answer the end you assigne her for, but I doubt will never earne the money shee stands, being a very [p. 158] chargeable vessell, and of small burthern built altogether for sayleing. I would have had her sheathed, but they p.rswade me it will hinder her sayleing. Soe you must take the more care in turneing her keel upp often to keep her from the worme. I cannot yett send you an acco.t of her cost & charge, haveing not yett made an end with the carpenter, but I judg shee will come to neer 400£. I would advise you to take care what you doe as to seizsures of interlopers least you should come to damadge therby. This I only give you as a secrett hint, which keep to yourselves, and mannidge your affaires in such cases with discretion. Wee have drawen out a great deale of money more then you have made home this two last yeares, which I doubt not but is laid out to good advantage. Yet I am more inclynable to draw of my part then to improve itt there by letting itt lye soe long, where wee cannot think it safe upon a rupture of warr, which we are alwayes in feares of. Therfore, I desier you now to make home something of our pr.fitts and not to hazzard all our seaven yeares trouble, which please to take into consideration. ...
152. [p. 160] William Fox [Montserrat]
London, December 2, 1679
Worthy Freind, Sir,
My last to you was p.r Capt. Lawrence, wherin I advised of the receipt of yours & should have sent you the cases & c. you desired by him could they then have been pr.cured. The reason they were not then to be had I writt you, but they are now on bord Winter who will be the first shippe for those parts, & I pr.sume may sayle about fourteen dayes hence. (fn. 5) I also advised of the receipt of my plant. accompt, which is soe imperfect being without any date, when it beginns or ends, nor any date to any of the p.rticulers when goods bought or sugars paid away, which is in effect noe accompt. Soe that I can make noe objection to anything, though there should be sound reasons for itt. Wherfore I intreat you to gett it drawen out anew, from the time that acco.t beginns to Christmass Next, & send it me. & Before you send itt, please to p.ruse it well, & if any errors or wrong charges to my pr.judice, pray adjust them with Mr. Bramley before you send it me. For you know at this distance I cannot soe well judge of things; or if I should object, they cannot be answered heere. But one thing I take notice of that you hint: I find neither c.r for the stillhowse nor joyners worke, & Mr. Bramley makes a charge for staves bought. Which I wonder should be brought to accompt, when I have given such large suplyes for my own use & found noe occasion therof, only for 20 hhds. all this yeare. Pray let ther be an accompt given how the caske they made weare disposed. & Let my own timber be wrought for my owne use, if not for our joynt accompt. I shall not trouble you further on this subject untill I have an answer of my former pr.posalls to Mr. Bramley. Only to desire you, if he accept therof, to see that a just acco.t be put before Xtmass Next, & all debts discharged on my part, as I have desired in the inclosed. Which please to p.ruse, seale & deliver. & If Mr. Clayton lades att Mountsarratt, I desire that any my concernes may be laden on him or on Mr. Rivett in the Abraham; which you judg convenient, it's equall to mee. & I further intent you to advise alwayes what shipps you designe to loade any my concernes upon. & If conveniencyes of freight be wanting at M.tsarratt for London, pray write to W.m Helmes to take freight as is convenient at Nevis. Pray favor me in loadeing what possible you cann of my concernes as early in the yeare as possible. ...
153. [p. 161] Colonel Abednego Mathew [St. Christopher]
London, December 17, 1679
I have writt you severall since I had the good fortune to receive any from you, & in p.rticular one or two relateing to your sonn, who is a very ingenious & hopefull young man. He still continues without imployment, though not without some assurance & pr.mises of some considerable one, when any shall fall. But in my oppinion, there is noe depending on pr.mises of that kind. As cases now stand with His Majesty, who hath many that depend for imploy & as few to oblidg them with. Which I referr to your consideration, & desire to know your pleasure as to a supply for your sons meintenance. I have already furnished him with one hundred pounds, & cannot see that he is anywayes guilty or inclynable to any ill usance, but hath had some occations extraordinary by sickness, which we must all submitt too. Sir, I have weited a considerable time, expecting the Generalls order for remittance of the soldiers some money, haveing received 2 years pay since I sent them any bills for their supply. But haveing not receivd one line from him to that effect, I pr.sume he expected I should have done itt as formerly. & Considering their wants may now be great & fearing least some complaints might come that may cause some reflection upon their officers, it being common with some who makes it their business to find out such occations, for the pr.vention therof, I have thought fitt to send them a supply by bills which I have sent the Generall for twelve hundred pounds charged upon Mr. Robert and Mr. W.m Helmes, at sixty dayes sight. & If any futher cr. be desired have writt to them upon Sir W.m Stapleton's or your owne request to supply itt. Your two comp. are in areares of their pay, 12 mo. and as much as since July Last, which I am useing all my indevors for. But the Kings necessityes are such that I fear it will be some considerable time yet before I shall receive itt. If I could but gett it settled on some good fund, I should thinke itt pretty well. I have also used my indevors for your old areares, but cannot yet accomplish itt. For news I referr you to Capt. Crisp, who tells me he gives you an acco.t at large of all pr.ceedings. The Generall informes me you are makeing choice of Coll. Gamiell for your agent, which can be no wayes gratefull to him, he being next to Sir Charles Wheeler [p. 162] the greatest enemy he hath in England, & only wants an oppertunety to doe him some displeasure. (fn. 6) Which I thought fitt to give you a hint of that please to keep to yourself. ...
154. William Helme [Nevis]
London, December 17, 1679
I have received yours of the 8th of Sept.br purporting Capt. Tiddemans being neer laden & that he would sayle in few dayes after. But as yet heare nothing of his arrival. Which gives us some cause to doubt his welfare, it being now about 3 mo. since. Wee take notice of what you wrote relateing to the interloper, but are sorry you did anywayes ingage yourself in that concerne, it being contrary to our desires that you should medle in the least therwith, knoweing the consequence therof must needs be very pr.juditiall to our concerne, by occationing the countryes disgust. & The factors being capable to manidg their own concerne in that affaire, we hope futurely you will be more cautious in that concerne & mindfull of the great concerne we have comitted to your care & manadgement. Which we hope this yeare by your care & prudence to receive very considerable from, in regarde hitherto our returnes hath been soe inconsiderable. & Indeed, if we should this yeare faile of our expectations therein, we shal be driven to some streights by our large adventures. Wherfore we intreat you to use your utmost dilligence in hastening us returnes home. & In order therunto we have thought it convenient to concerne ourselves the half part of a considerable shipp with Mr. Bawden that is now ladeing horses in Ireland joyntly betwixt us & him. & Hope you will not fayle to loade our half part of the shipp upon our own acco.ts togeather with what other freights you have, & shall take & pray be very carefull to loade it all, if possible, in the largest hhds., well hooped & well filld, which will be very much to our advantage. We have also taken upon this ship Brothers Goodwill, William Winter, Commd.r, 20 tunns freight. The coppy of our contract is heerinclosed, which we desire you will not faile to comply with, on our own acco.ts, in large hhds. also. & Pray faile not to advise us alwayes timely on what shipps you lade for our acco.ts & the quantety as neer as you cann. Wee are sorry to heare that our beefe turns to noe better acco.t. We hope you may have put it off though to loss. We alwayes esteemed it well timed for that comodety. Pray endevor to vend what possible you can of our goods this yeare at any of the Islands, we being resolved to continue our resolutions to send nothing more but to call in our concernes. And therfore desire to dispose what we have already sent with expedition, that there may be noething to hinder the pr.secution of our adventure. Heerinclosed you have Bill of Loadeing for 7 thousand hoops & bundles packt staves, which we would have cutt to large hhds. ... If Tho. Westcot accept my pr.posalls to him, keep him supplyed with as much of our goods and wines constantly as he finds vent for.
155. William Fox [Montserrat]
London, December 17, 1679
Deare Freind, Sir,
I have by this ship Brothers Goodwill, W.m Winter, Comand.r, sent you the sett of cases with wedges & brasses according to order. I hope they will come timely enough. Sooner they could not be sent. Sir, I intreat you to follow my former requests in shipping the pr.ceeds of my plantation as fast as its made, either for London or Leverpoole, either joyntly with Mr. Bramly or p.rticularly as he pleases. And if our ship wherof Mr. Clayton is Master lades there, I desire you to put what you can on borde him, either from my plantat.n [p. 163] or the pr.ceeds of my goods. For if the ship lades there, I had rather have it shipt than sent by sloopes to Nevis, to goe for Leverpoole, & I still intreate you to advise me timely on what ship you lade any of my concernes, & the quantety as neer as you cann. I hope I may now receive considerably from it being clear of all debts. Pray indevor to lade what you can on such bottomes as may come from thence by the last of June, but none after (without my p.rticuler order) before the latter end of September.
Sir, I intreat you to discourse Mr. Bramly about my mony debt which I have now great occation for, & get his order for payment of itt. For it can be no advantage to him to pay me interest, & let his own money lye dead. & I have been constrained to take up money att interest to supply my own occations. I shal not write him p.r this oppertunety nor any other untill I receive his answere to my former. But please to comunicate the contents of this to him. ...
156. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]
London, December 19, 1679
I have receivd both yours of the 7th and 8th of September. The latter gives us the ill news of youre brothers death, which I am as heartely sorrowfull as if he had been my own brother, & doe assure you I have not a freind nor relation in the world that I had a greater esteem for. (fn. 7) I doubt not but he is happy, where God grant wee may all pr.pare to follow.
Sir, the King hath been pleased to conferr the honor of a barronett upon you, for which I am now passing the pattent, w.ch shall deliver your Lady as soon as effected. I take notice that the island of St. Xtophers is makeing choice of Coll. Gamiell for their agent, which I desire you to obstruct, for, I assure you, he is the greatest enemy you have in England, next Sir Charles Wheeler, & by what I have p.rceived by his discourse, only wants an oppertunety to doe you a diskindness, & Sir Charles his only creature. Hee in discourse told me that he would make complaint against you for not liveing on St. Christophers, which is the only obstruction of the settelment of that island. [p. 164] I gave him a short answer to it: you vallewed not his complaint, & bid him pr.ceede. I have hinted the same thing to Coll. Mathew. You need not take notice of what I write further then to make use of it as you judge requisite.
I am now petitioning the Lords againe about your old concernes, & will skip no oppertunety according to the utmost of my endevors to get it settled for you on some good fund. For ready money it cannot be expected, there is noe such thing now to be had. The Kings necessetyes are such. I hope speedely to get your last years pay & sallery setled on the harth duty, but will not be receivd this 9 mo., there being already tallyes struck upon itt for the whole invoice to that time.
Sir, I expected your order for the reimburse of the soldiers pay before now. There have been two years pay receivd since I remitted any. Soe that I conceive they must be now very much necessitated. & I pr.sume the reason you have sent me no orders about it is you expected I should send you bills as formerly for it when received. Wherfore I have now adventured to send you bills for twelve hundred pounds, for release of the under officers & private soldiers. For your own & all the rest of the principall officers, their will remaine sufficient to make good their pay, which you may please to order as you see good. My bills are charged upon Master Rob.t & W.m Helmes, at sixty dayes sight, & I have writt them to give them what further creditt you shall please to order. If it be noe diskindness to yourself, I desire what you shall thinke fitt more to order for their pay; you will accept of by bills, which will now be a great courtesie to mee (if without pr.judice to yourself it may be done) in withdraweing part of my concernes from thence, that now is very greate there. & I have taken resolutions to leave of all trade, & to withdraw as much of my interest as I can, in regarde Mr. Helmes is comeing off. I hope hav.g so remitted may be no inconveniency to your p.rticular interest. If I thought it might, I should not have done itt. Nor will not returne any more by bills or any other way, [until] we have your p.rticular orders for itt. Which please to let me receive from time to time, as you see fitt. I admire you have not sent me an acco.t how many negroes falls short off the 72 that I might discount for them. If I have it not speedely, shall be forced to pay all the money. Wherfore pray doe not omitt itt by first by your Lady (who is now in good health & all your children). You shall not faile to receive your acco.t. Most of your money is upon interest now. & If you will take my oppinion, I would advise you to make some purchase, which if you please I will use the best of my endevors to find a good one for you with as much care as I would for myself. If you approve of my advise, send me your orders possitive & full to act for you in it. & I shall accordingly follow them.
Heer is noe news at pr.sent but all things in disorder & the people generally under great discontents for the pr.rogation of the Parliment till December Next. The Duke is in Scotland where he was rec.d with great splendor. The Duke of Monmouth is dismist of all his imployments & not admitted to the Kings sight for returneing into England without the Kings leave. What the issue of these will be I know not. ...
157. Monsieur Chevalier de La Pateri
London, December 19, 1679
I receivd yours of the 8th of July by Capt. Simons, accompanied with one from Mr. Samuell Winthrop, with Bill of Loadeing for a p.rcell of sugar p.r said shipp for your accompt. & Haveing removed my habitation out of the Citty, & withdrawen myself from all concernes in that kinde, I comitted the disposition of your goods to the care of my brother in law Mr. W.m Baxter who cheefly mannadges my own concernes. & He, haveing disposed the same for your best advantage, according to the quallety of your goods (which was very bad), hath now rendered you an acco.t therof. & For what remaines dew to you, will punctually observe your orders therin, and pay or dispose the same as you shall please to direct. The pewter you sent orders for he hath now sent you, & charged the same to your owne accompt. In regarde Mr. Samuell Winthrop hath no concernes [p. 165] in my hands, it is consigned to said Winthrop, as you were pleased to direct. I should be glad to serve you or any freind of Sir W.m Stapletons, to whome I shall return thankefulness for his kinde recomendation, & assure yourself that whatever occation you may have to make use of my aforesaid brother in law, in the way of merchandize, hee will serve you with as much care, honesty & punctuallty as I am capable off. Soe that you may make use of him at your pleasure. ....
158. William Baxter [Lisbon]
London, December 22, 1679
I have receivd yours of the 21th of November p.r the ketch Batchellor & take notice of what you write as to each p.rticuler. As to the first, that you hope we will take no demoridge for the 12 dayes, supposeing we have made an advantageous voyage, which am sorry wee cannot acquiess with you therin, in regarde your supposition is groundless. For the acco.t of the voyadge being made upp, we are loosers money out of pocket by the voyage. Yet have been very favorable in that p.rticular to yours and have only taken soe much for those dayes of demoridge as the mens victualling and wages amounts too for soe many dayes, which is not above the half of what was our just dew. & Had it been a gaineing voyadge (as you supposed), should have taken noething. We thanke you for supplying half chests where whole ones would not stow. & In requitall for that, have laded half a tun fr.t upon the wine & small chests.
As to the next p.rticuler, I have given you advice by 2 or 3 former letters what I had receivd in your acco.t which is 100 sterl. & 1,000 ps. 8/8 which shall alwayes be ready to answer your commands. And touching the last p.rticuler, which is what you have suplyed the Master with, wee are sorry your expectations cannot be answered in that p.rticuler & must needs blame your indiscretion for giveing soe young a man soe large a creditt for what he had occation for. The use of the ketch, as by his acco.t appeares, was not above 6 or 7 sterl., besides port charges, which by contract you are oblidged to pay 2/3 parts off. & All the rest you have given him creditt for was imployed in mine & other things on his owne p.rticuler adventure &, the fruite pr.veing rotten & that & other things comeing to an ill markett, will not neer pay the cost therof. & You cannot suppose that we would discount the Masters bills out of our freight for that vessell which would be to give away our own money to pay his debts. For that half part of the ketch that belongs to him, we received little or noething for itt, but by agreement are to receive it out of her first freights & his demurrages which will not this voyage amount to half our payment. Soe that if you come by dammadge therby, must blame yourself haveing noe order from us to give him any creditt. Nor is he anywayes capacitated to comply with his obligation to you. However, since it soe falls out, we are willing to be shearer with you in the loss & will pay 30£ sterl. in part of your bill, which is upwards of 20£ more then his disbursements were for the use of the ketch. & Indeed, what was really on that acco.t you ought to have discharged for us & charged to our acco.ts there in the money of that plant., as it was p.d haveing effects of ours in your hands to answer itt, & not to have charged us sterl. money at 7s 6d p.r milrs. But the summe being small, we shall make noe scruple theroff. We will endevor to serve the remainder of your bill for you by haveing a quarter part of the ketch made over for your securety untill the Master is able to pay you. & This is the utmost that we shal be able to doe you in itt. ...