Freeman's Letters, 1680: nos 183-207

Pages 166-192

The Letters of William Freeman, London Merchant, 1678-1685. Originally published by London, 2002.

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Freeman's Letters, 1680: nos 183-207

183. William Freeman & William Baxter to John Bedingfield & George Liddell [Montserrat]

London, July 16, 1680
Wee have receivd yours by Mr. Clayton with the 6½ tuns sugar. tunnidge is soe small that it would not have been called above 4½ tuns if loaden by any other men, & such that was never before laden from Mountsarratt. Which occations the charges upon itt to rise soe high that is pr.duces in a manner noething. It's in vaine to complaine, since we must be content with what you thinke fitt to doe. However, we were in hopes you would have ballanced this long acco.t of 4 or 5 yeares standing without giveing us any further trouble about itt. But find the old excuses are not wanting that the shipp could not take it in, though we sent her there on purpose, & yet brings about 3/4 part of her ladeing on freight for other mens acco.tts & yet our own small p.rcells left out. And we desired Mr. Helmes to give you an allowance for all such debts as were insolvent & to take such others into his own hands that really remaind unp.d upon our acco.tts, if you would not take them with allowance for advanceing the payment. But we find noething of this done. Soe that there is never like to be an end of such acco.tts when men resolve the contrary. They will not leave themselves without some pr.tences. Pray give us noe more trouble about itt, but lett this acco.t be ballanced somehow or other. For such as are solvant debts must be resolved before we claim the insolvant debts. Please to render us an acco.t of upon oath that they were really contracted for our goods, & that they stand out upon our acco.ts; & we must lade them the remaineing ballance. If not shipt before now, pray let it be foorthwith done. I hope we may have noe further trouble about itt. ...

184. Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, August 10, 1680
I have receivd your severall letters of the 23th & 29th March & 5th of Aprill, with 10 tuns of sugar p.r Mr. Clayton. An Acco.t of Sales therof you have heerwith. The price is not soe high by 9d or 12d p.r c.t as it might have pr.duced had not I by contract sold all the sugars that should be consigned me wherin I was anywayes interested for the whole yeare some time before that ships arrivall att 23s 6d p.r c.t. Which was by all people judged then a very good bargaine on my side & what noe p.rson would have taken off the buyers hands (who was Mr. W.m Wrayford) for 200 lbs. But since that, sugar hath held up a price beyond what any man could reasonably expect or imagine, yet is now sinkeing, & I doubt not but wil yet be a good bargin on my side before the yeare comes about. Soe that if you ship anything more considerable this yeare, noe doubt but the price will make amends for what is past. For I am sure it's a much better price, takeing the year round, then hath been sold for this 4 years last past. And none could expect but that they would have been lower this yeare then any [p. 210] of the former, considering the great expectations of a large cropp was likely to bee. However, if it should happen to be amiss, & that I have made an ill bargaine, I hope you will excuse mee, since I have done the same for you as myself. & If it should prove a good one, you have the same advantage with mee. ...

185. William Fox [Montserrat]

London, August 10, 1680
Worthy Friend,
I have receivd yours of the 26 March & thanke you for your continued kindness to my concernes from which I have hitherto mett with noething but disappoyntment & continuall trouble. I find strange the sugar that had laine soe long made could not bee shippt on Rivett, but left to the very last & soe left out. Which doth not only give mee great disappoyntments, but also putts mee to an unnecessary charge of insurance. Where the fault lyes I cannot tell but am sure I am the great sufferer. Had the sugar come home by Rivett, I had by contract sold itt for 3 p.r c.t more than it will yeeld now, whensoever itt pleaseth God it doth arrive. Besides the freight would have been att 40s p.r tun less, & my insurance of 7£ 10s lost. Soe that heer will be neer half a hundred pounds loss to mee upon 20 hhds. of sugar that, as Mr. Bramley writes, most of them were ready in the howse before Xtmass. Itts now full 3 years since I have not had soe much from that Plant. as the charge it hath putt mee too. I say the goods I sent out intending to supply itt. If this case were any other mans, I am sure they would think itt hard measure. When I take freight heer, then there is noe sugar; when there is sugar, noe freight to bee had. Soe that in fine [p. 211] I receive nothing from an estate that if I were there to see the mannadgment I should not doubt but to make of itt 1,000 sterl. p.r anno, as we have of a Plant. att Nevis, where there is not half the land, slaves or any other conveniency. Had I noething but this to trust to, I should be in ill condittion. Pray, Sir, excuse mee for this my abrupt way of writeing. I assure you I doe not doe itt anywayes reflecting upon you, but shall forever own your great kindness to mee & the trouble you have taken in itt, which I have been ashamed off. But still findeing noething but trouble & charges comeing from itt makes me a little impatient. I intreat you, Sir, in case you doe not hear from mee (before the latter end of October Next) that I have contracted freight on some shipp that you will please to imbrace any oppertunety of freight that offers either from Nevis or M.tsarratt on any good shipp that offers, & lade what sugers I have or may have belonging to my part ready by that time. & Please to adjust the acco.t to that time or as you shall judg convenient, that soe I may have my full pr.portion lade, since it doth not sute with Mr. Bramlys conveniency to loade in partnershipp this yeare.

Sir, I further intreat you that the effects of the money & goods may be sent us soon as possible you can, for the great disappoyntments I have had from this Plant. togeather with the short returns I have had in trade hath extreamly streightned mee. & Whenever the returns of the mony comes, I cannot expect to make soe much advantage by it as comon interest of 6 p.r c.t would have made mee, besides my hazerd of the seas & c. & Indeed, the French are soe powerfull at home that we are in continuall feares of them, for which reason I am very desirous of withdrawing what part of my concerns I cann conveniently. Wherfore pray forward itt as soon as you cann.

I hope I may now have a good p.rcell of sugar lyeing ready at my plant., altho I shall never expect any. You writt me the last yeare, after I had the last acco.t from Mr. Bramley did bear date the 20th July, that there was field of cane to grinde & that there was sugers in the howse & that they did still continue grinding. Which letter of yours bears date 24th August. Betwixt which said 20 July & 25th Xber following I find creditt in the Plant. acco.t but for 11,141 lbs. sugar, which is not above one weeks worke. Indeed, Mr. Bramley writes mee that some of these 20 hhds. was made before Xtmass, but omits of the great quantety of canes you writt off, & of their holding on grindinge. Its strange soe little sugar should be made, as if these 20 hhds. had been all made & packed besides before Xtmass. It was not in all above 3 weeks worke. I noewayes doubt Mr. Bramley's justice, but these acco.tts soe farr short of advice: Noe man less would take notice of. Yet please to keep it to yourself, only giveing me a breef acco.t of the reasons if you please. ...

Sir, if you take freight on any shipp, pray fayle not if possible to give me timely advise therof on what vessell you loade, the quantety you design & c.

186. [p. 212] William Helme & Thomas Westcott [Nevis]

London, August 10, 1680
This accompanyes the shipp Adventure, W.m Clayton, Mast.r, who we have sent upon the same designe she went upon the last yeare, which we pr.sume you are not unacquainted with. & Therfore, we shall not inlarge upon itt further then to desire your extraordinary care & prudence in the mannadgment of itt, with all dilligence, secresie & dispatch, it being a concern of great weight & vallew in which we runn a more then ordinary adventure & what, if we should miscarry in, would be an extraordinary loss to us. Yet we doe not apprehend any great danger in the designe, if mannadged with the same discretion as Mr. Robert Helmes hath heertofore donne. Which doubtless hath given you a good pr.sident. Soe that we hope you will meet with noe great difficulty in it, as we have laid the plott. Yet if you should meet with any rubbs, wherby it cannot be soe carried on as we have designed itt, must then leave it to your prudence to act as you find cause for our safety therin. Heerinclosed we send you a coppy of our instructions to Mr. Clayton which you will see how we have ordered him to pr.ceed & request, upon the very first notice you have from him of his arrivall there, to take our great sloope Affrica in case she be there (which we have confidence Mr. Carpenter will not refuse you when hee knowes it's our request you should, as your brother & myself are half concerned, & let him know he may att any time comand the like) or, in case she be not there, to hier some other, & imediatly pr.ceed to New England as we have ordered, leaving behind her all the cocketts with you to cleer the goods, in case any should question them upon the island. And although they are really French goods, yet, notwithstanding the Act of Pr.hibition, (fn. 1) brandy and all other linnens are as frequently now imported into England as ever, & soe exported by the name of English aqua vite & the linnens by the name of German linnens, as you find itt expresst in these cocketts. Soe that noe scruple can be made on that acco.t. However, the shipp being gone, it wil be impossible for any p.rson to prove that those goods are of the growth or pr.duction off France, in regarde the like liquors and [p. 213] other goods are made in England & other parts of the world & none can denye the cocketts to bee good cocketts. You see we have ordered the Master Clayton to send down all the linnens & other dry goods by the same sloope that he sends down to give you notice of his arrivall, which are all packt in English trunks, & the candles like English goods. Soe that you may imediatly land them & secure them soe by altring the packs & c. yourself, that none should be able to proove them to be the same goods in case a discovery should afterwards be made. Now for the brandy. If it can conveniently be landed the greatest part at Antigua & soe afterwards brought down by degrees, only carrying by sloope or sloopes such a convenient quantety to Nevis & St. Christophers as may not make a great noise att first, we judg that to be the best way. & Soe, to open of the linnens but a little at a time as you find vent for them & keep the rest up close, we judg that to be the best way also. But all these things must referr to your discretion to act as in your prudence shall serve meet. But whatever you doe, be sure to be secrett, & to have a care that you scatter noe words which may give cause of suspition or jealousy. After you have seriously p.rused this letter with our instructions to the Master, pray take a note of such heads of both as may be needfull, & then burn them, that soe noe other p.rson whatsoever may come to the knowledg therof. & Be very carefull that you give not the least intimation of the concern to noe other p.rson whatsoever. For what goods are laden from hence, you have Invo. & Bill of Loadeing for the same heerinclosed, which are signifyed in the Bill of Loading as laden p.r Jo.n Westcott & consign'd Tho. Westcott, that in case any dispute should happen those may pass as goods only taken in upon freight from other p.rsons, which can be noewayes lyable, haveing p.d the Kings duty & laden upon an English built shipp. Now, what we have ordered to be laden in trunkes heerwith, viz. 35 or 40 tuns of the very best Nants brandy, part in butts, part in large barrells, & part in smal caskes, which Mr. Clayton will give you a more p.rticuler acco.t off: 200 ps. ¼ dowles of severall sorts, some very fine, some course; about 15 or 16 thousand ells of good vitree & partee canvis, such as the last was; 80 or 100 reames of paper fine & ordinary; 100 ps. kentings, & some black silks & some p.rfumed kid gloves, if to be pr.cured reasonable, but otherwise the 3 latter comodetyes are to be left out; & [blank] dozen bottles that we have sent from hence in caske to bee fill'd with the best clarett & white wine. Now it's our desire that 10 ps. of the dowles, 20 reames of fine paper, 10 bales of the canvis, 10 tuns of the brandy, & such a pr.portion of the other goods, together with what have at hand & other comodetyes our own occations may require to make up the lot for our own use there, & such other goods that you find will turn to a good acco.t, may be landed and left to the disposition of Mr. Edward Dendy att Antigua in case he bee there or with the p.rson that mannadgeth our concern there, provided he be a p.rson capable of that disposition. & All the rest of the goods we desire may be transported to Nevis & St. Christophers and there disposed of by yourselves. & We doe allow you joyntly comission for that sume, according to agreement with Tho. Westcott. Yet in regarde we are doubtfull if much of the goods should be disposed of on the island of Nevis, it may be pr.juditiall to the getting in our concerns on that island, & therfore had much rather they should be sold on St. Christophers, espetialy the dry goods, though they should lye longer on hands. & Soe let them lye att Nevis & bee carried down in small p.rcells to St. Christophers, as you finde needfull. & One thing wee desire you to take p.rticuler care of: that you doe not transport in any sloope or sloopes at noe time any considerable p.rcell of goods without sending some trusty p.rson with them to pr.vent the running away with sloopes or anything in that kinde, which sometimes happens.

Wee have putt a small p.rcell of goods on board which Mr. Clayton must carry to New England that are exprest in the Invo. to purchase his ladeing of lumber there. & At his return from New England, you see what instructions we have given him, which pray observe unladeing & reladeing the shipp, & take care that at some of the Islands we may have a p.rcell of sugers in a readiness that he may imediatly goe to worke without loss of time. & Soe continue till the shipp is fully laden, it being our desire that shee should have as speedy a dispatch as possible, & be laden with our own goods if it can be accomplished.

187. [p. 214] Nicholas Lee [Nantes]

London, August 2, 1680
This day I have receivd yours of the 3d Instant yo.r stile, takeing notice of the extraordinary rise upon brandy. I hope you will find an oppertunety of buying itt cheaper before our shipp arrives that is now neer ready to sayle. This week wee hope will fully compleat all things in order to itt. Soe that if a faire wind pr.sents, shee may be quickly after with you. The brandy in drum hhds., provided it bee as good & the cask as substantiall, will be better for our purpose then the pipes. Soe that we leave it to your discretion to buy either sort of caske. As to the cask that we have desired you to gett made, if you have not already bespoke them, viz. 200 rundletts & 50 barrells, wee had rather they should be made after the same manner our last was (if your coopers can doe itt) then, like Renish wine caske, espetially the barrells, & would not have them less then the last was. & What further wee have to desire of you is to gett all the caske made & well seasoned and gett all things pr.pared in a readiness that now we give you directions for. Which is the full quantety of goods we designe to loade upon her. Soe shall give you noe further trouble of our severall orders. This being a coppy of what is designed by the shipp: viz. 35 tuns of the best brandy or, if you find itt fall to 42 livres or therabouts, lett it be 40 tunns of which, if you thinke convenient; one peer or two may be double brandy to strengthen the rest, if you judg itt will require itt, of which pray draw of the aforesaid 200 rundletts & 50 barrells; & let all the rest goe in the same caske, which pray make choice of the thitest & strongest caske & draw of the worst cask in those smaller ones; 6 tunns of the richest & best clarett & white wines, which pray let be very fine & drawen of into those bottles that we have sent p.r the shipp for that purpose & soe packt up in the same caske againe carefully that the bottles may not breake; & let them be very well corked, the corks well knockt in & wyred or tyde downe; 400 ps. of 3/4 dowles, some very fine, some course, as the former p.rcell was; about 15 or 16 thousand ells, which is about 14 thousand @ of good vitree & partree canvis, such as the last p.rcell was; the bales covered with canvis made up as the last was, as we have directed the Master; 80 or 100 reames of paper, half the fine sort & half the courser sort; 100 ps. of kentings, if not very deare; such a p.rcell of black alemodes & lutestrings, as you sent last yeare; & the 40 dozen of gloves desired. If to be pr.cured, lett the dowles, silks, gloves, kentings, paper & c. be packt in the trunks which we have sent for that purpose, & soe covered as the last was. I intreat you to prepare all things in a readyness that soe the shipp may have a speedy dispatch without loss of time, for a little loss of time may be of great pr.judice to us. & If it should happen that the full quantety of any the aforesaid comodetyes cannot be pr.pared in a readyness, we had rather they should be left out than that therby the shipp should have any hinderance of loss of time in dispatches. But endeavor to pr.pare all things in order against her arrival, espetially the brandy in those smaller caske desired, & let the wine be fined fitt to draw that it may be foorthwith done. We intreat you also to draw out an Invo. of all the goods laden & send with the Master, [p. 215] reduceing it into English money at 5s your crowne, & date itt from London, adding none of your charges at the foote of the Invoice but in one article, say for freight, custome, insurance & all other petty charges, 250£ or therabouts as you judg it may amount too, vallewing the freight & insurance att 200£ & signe it by my order as laden from London. Which please to deliver the Master with orders to deliver the same to our correspondents according to instructions. This is the needfull relateing to that affaire. Mr. W.m Baxter will heer inclose you a bill for one or two thousand crownes, if he can pr.cure such as are good; if not, by next post you shall have itt. By the shipp, we designe 5 or 400£ worth of lead, if can buy it soe as to doe any good by sending itt; if not, shall send you bills in a fortnight or 3 weeks for what may answer your disbursements. Which would have done now, but that the exch. is falling & we hope in that time may pretty considerable. Since my last, it's fallen from 55½ to 54¾. Soe that we hope you will excuse us for being a little backward in itt, which hope may not bee much to your pr.judice. But if your occations should require itt, please to let us know itt by first post, & you shall not fayle by next following of whatever you shall require. I thank you for your care of the clarett for my p.rticuler. Which pray lett be extraordinary good & amongst it two hhds. of the best white wine that can be bought. ...

Please to lett all the goods be marked HBF & numbred from 1 forwards, except these following goods bearing my marke & number as follows: viz.: HF, 2 bales of very strong canvis of a midling sort, not the finest nor coursest, containing both about 6 or 7 hundred @; F.B., 2 more bales of the like sort and goodness about the same quantety as the other: WF, 1 burgrate containing 4 or 500 @ of very good canvis & 2 ps. of very fine dowles packt in the middle of the canvis. Lett these 2 ps. dowles be over & above the 40 ps. beforementioned. Please to send distinct acco.tts of these 3 last p.rcells of the cost & charges of each p.rcell. Pray let there be 2 hhds. of the bottles of wine & of the very best wine of the p.rcell, packt half with white wine & halfe clarett in each hhd, & let the one be marked W+S & the other W+R, which let there be great care taken both in the packing & stowing aboard the shipp, being pr.sents.

188. [p. 217] Colonel Phillip Warner [Antigua]

London, August 14, 1680
I have receivd severall of yours by which I p.rceive you approve of my comitting your concerns to the care of my brother Baxter, who I doubt not but will act in all things to your satisfaction. I have answered your comands in delivery of such letters & other papers to him as you ordered, & should be glad to render you any serviss. Your sonn I sometimes call to see, & sometimes att breakings up have him home to my howse, which would doe ofener did it not disgust my Lady Marsh. My brother Baxter & self have by this shipp Adventure, W.m Clayton, Master, sent you & your sonn Russell a hhd. of bottles of red & white Port, otherwise called French wine, which we desire your acceptance off. All French goods are now imported as free as ever only by other names, & are as cheape heer as ever I knew them. If your occations now requires any, they may be sent you, though they could not last yeare. This shipp belongs to my bro. & self, who we suppose will unloade & relade at your island, which we have left to the discretion of W.m Helme, & have ordered the Master to stop att your Islands untill he receives his orders. Pray, if in anything you can serve him, doe, as his occations may require. In which you will add much to your former obligations. Heer is noe news worth troubling you with. All things att pr.sent with the French pretty quiett & hope they may continue soe for a little time. My serviss to your sonn Russell. I am glad to hear he is soe well seated, to his own & the inhabitants of the island satisfaction. My serviss also to R. Manwaring, with the like to yourself, good Lady, & family.

189. [p. 219] Captain William Clayton [Commander of the Adventure]

London, August 1680
Wee doe heerby order you to sayle with your shipp, with the first faire winde, directly to the port of Nants in France, & at your first arrival there to apply yourself to Mr. Nicho. Lee, & deliver our letters to him, & to receive on bord your shipp all such goods as shall be laden by s.d Lee on bord you for our acco.tts. & Those truncks that we have putt on borde you heer you are to deliver them to the said Lee to pack the dowles in & such other goods as is pr.per. The canvis or barr.s & rope you are also to deliver him to cover the bales of canvis with, as formerly, according to our directions as wee have given Mr. Nicholas Lee. & For all the dry goods that shal be lade on bord you by Mr. Nicholas Lee, bee carefull soe to stow them that they may lye ready att hand to be first landed. Also be very carefull that dureing the time of your ladeing att Nants or stay there, that neither yourself nor none of your comp. declare to what port you are bound to in the West Indies, but give out that you are bound to Ireland to discharge your ladeing there. & Give Mr. Lee three authentick receipts for what goods you take on borde. & Then fill up & firme Bills of Loadeing yourself & carry them with you for all the goods you take on bord in France, according to the method of this Bill of Loadeing heerinclosed, which you or our factors there may pr.duce on any occation to shew the goods were laden from London. & Take a true & p.rfect acco.t in your booke of all things that you receive on bord in France, to see that all things are landed att your port of discharge, as was received on bord.

Pray be carefull not to lett any of your men have knowledg of your goeing for France before you are cleer of England. & Afterwards such as you can confide in, you may injoyne them to injoyn the rest that they make not discovery to any p.rson of your touching in France, but that all your ladeing was taken on bord in the river of Thames. Now when you have receivd on bord from Mr. Nicholas Lee all such goods as we have ordered him to loade & that you [p. 220] you have receivd your dispatches from him, you are then to sayle with the first faire winde directly to the island of Antigua, & when please God you shall arrive there at such a convenient port as you shall judge most convenient to ride att, where you may be least under command. You are to goe on shore & acquaint the Governor & Coll. Warner that you are come from London & that you belong to Mr. W.m Baxter & myself, pr.duceing your cockets to the Governor if hee require itt, & to give him an that your loadeing is cheefly lumber with some liquors and dry goods & that your orders are to discharge most of your goods there in case Mr. W.m Helmes shall judg itt convenient, & to relade your shipp att Antigua if we have effects there of our own ready to doe itt. But in case there be not, you are to receive orders from Mr. W.m Helmes what part of your ladeing you are to discharge there, & the remainder to discharge where he shall order them. & Soe to pr.ceed with your shipp to New England, & there to lade lumber & horses & soe to returne to Antigua & the rest of the Leward Islands & then to relade for London. Also you may acquaint the Governor that you have some goods on bord on freight that by Bill of Ladeing are consigned to Nevis which you think fitt to send down by a sloope that you will hyer to give W.m Helmes & Tho. Westcott notice of your arrivall there, that soe you may loose noe time in waiteing for there orders. & If it be needfull you take the Governor's licence for soe doeing, then you must before you putt any of the goods on bord the sloope. Now itt's our order that you doe imediatly, after haveing given this acco.t to the Governor according to custome, hyre the best sloope you can gett there & putt on bord all the canvis, dowles, & other dry goods that shall be laden in France, except 10 els of canvis & 10 ps. dowles the we will order to be packt by themselves, that we desire shall be landed & sold att Antigua, & send down your own brother or mate with the said goods to take care to secure them on bord the said sloope, & send by him our letters to W.m Helmes & Tho. Westcott with orders to deliver the letters to none but themselves & also advise them of your arrivall there & our orders to you to send down said goods to them to land & secure there to pr.vent any further danger. You may also send as many hoopes as the sloope can conveniently carry. & Let said Helmes & Westcott know itts our orders & desire that foorthwith one of them may come up to you with a good sloope, & discharge your shipp att Antigua p.r landing part there & transporting the rest to Nevis, & to discharge you of the goods with all expedition. Dureing all which time, keepe your ships comp. from conversing with any p.rson. & As soon as ever your shipp is discharged of the goods on bord her, we order you imediatly to pr.ceed with the shipp to New England to the most convenient port you can reach, & carry with you such goods as we have put on bord you for that place, which, when you arrive there, you are to deliver to such p.rson as we shall direct you, or to dispose them for our most advantage, as wee [p. 221] shall heerafter order & to make use of them & such other creditt as we shall give you as will be needfull for the reladeing your ship with lumber or horses as you shall judg most for our advantage. Wee desire the cheefest part of your ladeing may be hhd. staves for our own use, with some few butt staves amongst them, the fewer the better. But be sure to take in a very considerable part of your shipps ladeing in hdd staves. & Being soe reladen in New England, you are to return to the island of Nevis direct, & there to deliver Mr. W.m Helmes such a pr.portion of staves as hee shall judg convenient to require for our own p.rticuler use, & from thence to pr.ceed imediatly to St. Christopher & there to deliver all the remainder of your ladeing to Tho. Westcott, only reserving on bord a good p.rcell of hhd. staves till you goe up to Antigua which you are to deliver our correspondent there to make use of for our own caske. & We desire you may not take in less then 40 thousand staves at New England, if possible, of which we would have none disposed but kept all for our own use at the severall islands aforesaid. Now when you have delivered your goods to Tho. Westcott, wee doe order & desire that he may relade all such suger & other goods as he hath in a readiness on borde you for our own acco.tts, & haveing taken the same on bord, you are to pr.ceed with your shipp to Antigua & deliver those staves that you have reserved on borde to Mr. Edward Dendy or any other that is our correspondent there (in case of his death) & to receive on bord your shipp all such sugars as is there ready to be laden on our own acco.tts. & Haveing receivd such goods on bord your ship there, you are to touch att M.tsarratt in your way down & take in such sugars as are in a readiness at the Plant. of W.m Freeman & Jo.n Bramley, or any other goods that may be there in a readiness for our own pr.per acco.tts. & From thence you are to pr.ceed againe with your shipp to Nevis & take in such other goods as Mr. W.m Helme may have for our own acco.tts ready to putt on borde & from thence to pr.ceed againe to St. Christopher to Tho. Westcott & there to loade all goods that he can putt on bord you upon our own acco.tts. & In case you doe not receive as much goods from all the aforesaid p.rsons upon our own acco.tts as will fully compleat the loadeing of your shipp, then you are to take freight att Nevis or St. Christopher on the best termes you cann, to compleat the loadeing of the shipp, useing your utmost dilligence att each island to dispatch. Pray be very circumspect dureing your whole voyadge, that you give none of your men an oppertunety to make a discovery, by discourseing with any other shipps men or by being ashore. & Haveing thus dispatched your affaires att all the aforesaid islands, you are to returne directly to the port of London. & Dureing your whole voyadge, pray be very oblidgeing to all your shipps comp. & let them not want liquor or anything elce with moderation. The success of the voyadg depends wholly upon your prudent mannadgment. Wherfore we doubt not but you will shew your double dilligence & soe oblidg your men [p. 222] that they will serve you with all integrity & secresye. & In case you should be sick or indisposed, itts our orders & desire that you comunicate these our orders to your Mate, who we hope is a p.rson quallifyed for such an undertakeing. & Pray injoyne him to the p.rformance of all things heerin conteined as occation shall require. Now, in case you should not be able to reach Boston in New England, or such a convenient place in New England as may be requisite for the ladeing your ship, in such case if your are forced to putt into New York, Carolina or Virginia, or where elce your buisness may be best donn as aforesaid, we must leave that to your prudenc to mannadg the reladeing your shipp with lumber & c., as you cann procure. Pray be very carefull dureing the whole time of your lyeing at any of the Leward Islands not to lye ashoare or out of your shipp, neither spend as little time ashoare as possible you cann, but keep constant on bord your shipp. By which means you will give your seamen the less oppertunety to be idle or enter into any discourses. Which must be your great care dureing the time of your discharge. Thus desireing to hear from you of all your pr.ceedings as often as oppertunety offers, wishing you successfull in all your undertakeings, is what at pr.sent offers. Saveing wee desire that what brandy or other goods you take in upon your own, wee desire you to dispose off to W.m Helmes & Thomas Westcott for our acco.tts, to whom we have given orders to buy itt & to give you as good a price for the same as any other p.rson will doe that will make you as good payment, which you are to have a respect to in your sales. This we doe upon noe other acco.t then that the sales of your goods may not be pr.juditiall to the sales of our owne in underselling. There is one hhd. of the bottles we have ordered Mr. Lee to marke WS which we send as a pr.sent to Gen.ll Stapleton with a chest of Canary wine. That take care to stow itt well, & send itt down with the first boat to Nevis that you send down to fetch upp W.m Helmes with our other goods. Also one hhd. marked W+R, a token to Coll. Warner & the Governor of Antigua Mr. Russell, that you are to take the like care off, but not to deliver till WH or TW comes up from Nevis, which alleadg you cannot come att till you break bulke. Be sure alwayes to ride as much out of command as you cann & keep alwayes on bord yourself

You have heerwith a letter of creditt from Mr. French which you may make use off either in New England, N. Yorke or any other place where you come upon that coast for the reladeing your shipp with lumber. & Be sure for whatever you take upp on the said creditt that you alwayes buy at the cheapest rate or for ready money being alwayes esteemed att 20 or 25 p.r cent better then

[p. 223] goods in track for what you soe make use off. You are also to charge bills upon us heer payable to said French according to our agreement heer. ...

190. Nicholas Lee [Nantes]

London, August 14, 1680
... But to be ingenious with you, our designe is private & will not admit of anything that may ocation the least suspition of the shipp stopinge in France, & doubtinge that any other man may give advise to any p.rson here of her being there, may prove to our greate prejudice, wee have given orders to the Master Clayton to call the ship by the name of the William during the time shee is there, as wee desire you alsoe to doe & to enter her by that name, though on yo.r receipt, Bils of Loadeinge or ought elce, upon giveing her dispatches, take them by the name of the Adventure. & This please to conceale from yo.r servants or any other p.rsons, & give out that the ship is bound for Ireland. The Master hath alsoe instructions to this purpose.

Mr. Baxter, per order in my absence, sent you bills for 2,000 crownes & hath laden on bord the ship in lead to the valew of betwixt 2 & 300£ cons.d yourselfe, an acco.t of you will receive from him. I shall be remittinge you more mony as the affaire will require. Continue to corispond Mr Baxter. ...

191. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]

[London, August 16, 1680]
Itt's now the 16 August, & this goes by Capt. Billop, Comd.r of His Majestyes ketch the Deptford, who is ordered to attend your comands. By whome I sent your seales and escutchin, according to directions. The cost of the same togeather with Capt. Billops receipt is heerinclosed. Yesterday, I concluded with Mr. Wachtendunck & p.d him. I could only gett 100£ abatement & much adoe I had to end itt, as Coll. Bayer will informe you att large, who was the moderator betwixt us. I have done in that as I shall in all other things that relates to your concerne – to the utmost of my power. I am faithfully promised by the Lords Comissioners one yeers pay & sallery for you this weeke; the other yeare must be forced to waite for. Yesterday Capt. Billop told me the 10 barrells of powder, which was ordered by the Lords Comissioners in leiw of your 6 barrells, are not yet on bord, which I was told was long since. I shall endevor to gett them sent on bord or, in case they are not, to send them p.r next oppertunety. ... Jemy is very well.

192. [p. 225] Richard Seay [Waterford]

London, August 17, 1680
I receivd yours. In answer thereunto, 300 barrells beef is what we designe. 20 barrells more I shall order for my plant. use. That must be very choice meat, & would have the barrells of it larger gage then ordinary. The meate please to make as you have usually done for Mr. Bawdon or Mr. White. I mean soe fedd such as is usuall for the trade of the West Indies. That I suppose is not stall fedd. But pray let it be very good. I am goeing in the country for a week or tenn dayes & at my returne shall take care to remitt you money. ...

193. Captain Abraham Terry [Commander of the Abraham]

London, July 20, 1680
Wee doe heerby order you to receive on bord your shipp all such goods as we have given directions to Mr. Anthony Henthorne of Chester to putt on bord you at that port, with all convenient speed, togeather with such necessary pr.vitions for your voyadg as you judg that port will afford on better tearmes then can be pr.vided in Ireland, but none other. & Haveing receivd such goods on borde & putt your shipp in a condition of sayleing, you are then to imbrace the first oppertunety of a faire winde that offers without loss of time & to sayle to the port of Corke in Ireland &, at yo.r first arrivall there, to apply yourself to Mr. Randoll Hull, merch.t, & receive on bord from him all such pr.vitions & other merchandize as we have given him directions to loade upon you, & to take in all other such pr.vitions as may be necessary for the victualling your shipps comp. & such passingers as you may have dureing the terme of your voyadg. & Rather take a mo. pr.vition more then less, that soe your may have noe occation to buy abroad att a double rate. & For what creditt you may have occation for att Corke for the victualling or fitting your shipp, with what may be necessary & convenient, itt's our order & desire that the afforesaid Mr. Randoll Hull should supply you with money for the same. & We doe oblidge ourselves to bee responsible to him for such bills as you shall charge upon us, with the usuall allowance of excha. for the sume. & You haveing soe dispatcht your affaires att Corke (which you are to doe with all expedition without loss of time), itts our further order that you imbrace the first oppertunety of a faire wind & sayle directly to the island of Madera. & When please God you shall arrive there, imediatly to apply yourself to Mr. Richard Pickford & Mr. Obadiah Allen & give them a full & just acco.t of all the goods we have laden on bord our shipp, which you are to take an exact acco.t off from Mr. Antho. Henthorn & Mr. Randoll Hull. & Whichever of the aforesaid goods s.d Pickford & Comp. shall judg pr.per for their markett & shall require you to loade & putt on shore there, either of the pr.vitions or other merchandize, you are foorthwith to deliver them, takeing their receipts for such goods as you shall deliver them. & Haveing soe done, you are foorthwith to receive on bord your shipp 160 pipes of wine which we have given s.d Pickford & Comp. orders to loade upon you for our acco.tts & not to receive one pipe of wine more into your shipp upon any acco.t or pr.tence whatsoever, upon the pennalty of forfeture of your share, except a pipe or two wee doe allow you to take in for your own & shipp comp. expence, & not more. & Haveing receivd the aforesaid wines on borde ( you are to doe with all expedition) & taken your dispatches from Mr. Pickford & Comp. you are foorthwith without loss of time to sayle directly to the island of Nevis, & deliver there such wines as p.r Bill of Ladeing are consign'd to Mr. W.m Helme, makeing all dispatch. & Imediatly after landeing the same, to pr.ceed with your shipp to the island of St. Xtophers & there to deliver to Mr. Tho. Westcott such wines as p.r Bill of Ladeing are consignd to him, togeather with all such pr.vitions & all other goods or merchandize that we relade on borde you, p.r Mr. Antho. Henthorn att Chester, or Mr. Randoll Hull at Corke, that were not before taken on shore att Madera, p.r Mr. Pickford, which you are to shew said Westcott the receipt for. & Then you are to consult said Westcott what sugars or other goods hee [p. 226] may be able to loade upon you for our acco.tts in a reasonable time, viz. within the compass of 8 or 10 weeks, desireing him to strein to loade what possible he cann for us. & The like you are to doe with Mr. W.m Helmes before you goe down to St. Christophers. & After you have soe consulted them, you are foorthwith to take in such ballast as may be convenient, & turn up to the island of Antigua & there to deliver such wines as p.r Bill of Ladeing are consigned to Mr. Edward Dendy. But, in case of the said Dendy's mortallety, you are to deliver the said wines to Mr. W.m Helme, & consult him & follow his orders therein, either in pr.ceeding with your shipp to Antigua or otherwise, as hee shall judg convenient. & Further, we order you, when you goe up to Antigua with the shipp, whether the said Dendy bee liveing or dead, that you make noe long stay with the shipp att that island, but foorthwith land the wines & take on borde you with all expedition all such sugars or other goods as the said Dendy may have in a readyness imediatly to putt on borde for our own acco.tts or any that Mr. W.m Helme or Mr. Westcot may order you there to take in for our acco.tts. & Rather then make any long stay there with the shipp, hyre a sloop or two as may be convenient to give you an imediat dispatch; or if Mr. W.m Helme shall judg itt inconvenient for you to goe to Antigua with the shipp att all, then you & hee is to hyer a sloope & send up the wines & bring down our goods. But in case there be anything considerable, wee had rather the shipp should goe upp. Wee also order you to goe upp to the island of M.tsarratt, & there to take on borde such sugars as may lye ready for our own acco.tts, togeather with such sugars as may lye ready to be laden from the plant. of W.m Freeman & Jo.n Bramley in case there be any considerable p.rcell. But in case you should receive an acco.t from thence that ther is none ready upon the said acco.tts or at least soe small a p.rcell that itt's not worth the shipp goeing upp thither, then you are to desist. But if you goe up to Antigua, fayle not to touch there in your way downwards, & take in whatever there is. Now, haveing thus dispatched our concern att Antigua & M.tsarratt, you are then imediatly to sayle down to Nevis & there to take in all such sugers that Mr. W.m Helme shall lade upon you, reserving such a quantety of tunnidg as Mr. Westcott may have in a readiness for our own acco.tts att St. Christophers, where you are foorthwith to goe down after you have receivd your dispatches from Mr. W.m Helme, & to take in all our goods as Mr. Westcott shall putt on borde. & If in case what shal be laden by all or any of the aforesaid p.rsons on our own acco.tts doe not fully compleat the ladeing of the shipp, then you are, with the advice & direction of Mr. W.m Helme, & Tho. Westcott or either of them, to take soe much goods on freight as will fully compleat the shipps ladeing, letting the same att the highest & best tearmes you cann. & Haveing soe laden your shipp and receivd your dispatches from the aforesaid p.rsons (which we desire you & they to doe with all imaginable expedition that soe the shipp may lye there as short a time as possible), itts then our further orders to you that you pr.ceed on your voyadg home, direct for London. Pray use your utmost dilligence in the p.rformance [p. 227] of these our orders, & fayle not to make the best tearmes with your seamen when you ship them, according to the usuall custome of that port, which is to pay noe wages there till the shipp is got over the barr, & afterwards but half pay until she sayles out of Ireland....

194. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat]

London, September 6, 1680
My last to you was by Capt. Billop, Comand.r of the Deptford, ketch accompanied with a coppy of a letter I sent you by Mr. Clayton, both which are still in ports, the former windebound. The coppyes of both you have heerwith to which I referr you.

I was confident by this time I should have given you an acco.t of the receipt of one years pay, att least haveing had such assurances therof from them, but now I know not what to say to itt after haveing been soe often disappoynted. The last answer they gave was they were disappoynted of a summe of mony on which they depended, that a banker has pr.mised to lend the King part of which was ordered for you &, being soe disappoynted, the King had not money att pr.sent. & Therfore, you [p. 228] must waite untill it can be pr.cured. I have drawen another petition to the King and Councill, a coppy wherof I heerwith send you, which will pr.ferr the next Councill day. I know not what more to doe in itt. I am oppoinion that £50 well applyed would have pr.cured itt sooner than the Kings order, for those orders are most effectuall nowadayes. But I will not dispose of a penny any such way but by your p.rticuler order.

The comittee of the Royall Comp. have not satt lately. As soone as they doe shall move your buisness to them. & I thinke the best way will be to gett an order for you to have the choice of the shipps att the Comp. price, viz. 16£ p.r head, to pay by bills, at which rate they pr.posed to sell them, by the whole shipps ladeing, such as were able to goe over the shipps side. Soe that if you have the choice negros att that rate, I beleive it will be cheaper to you than to pay there 2,500 lbs. sugar p.r head for them there, & soe to send home your sugar. This I have considered off, & judg itt will be the most advantageous way that can be pr.posed for your interest. For certeinly 2,500 lbs. sugar shipt from your plant. will cleer you heer above 16£. Yet I will endeavor to gett them att a lower price, if I can pr.vaile with the comittee to get an abatement.

The 10 barrells of powder were sent you by the Norwich, as I am since informed. Here is noe news. Only the Parliment will sitt the 21st of October Next. ...

195. William Fox [Montserrat]

London, September 6, 1680
I have receivd yours of the 29th June by Wilson with the acco.tts, which are much to my satisfaction. Only in that you have omitted to charge what you ought to doe for your own paines & trouble, which hath been soe great in this as well as in all other things that I am ashamed I should putt soe much upon you, being noewayes capable of giving gratifycation. The 12 hhds. of sugar are also landed. They rise very well. You need not appologize for yo.r not writeing, since when you doe it's a kindness more then I can reasonably expect, yet am soe bold to desire itt, & when your leasure p.rmitts shall esteem it as a favor. Heerwith, you have an acco.t of the cases & c. last sent you, which I p.rceive by yours I had omitted. I am sorry to hear you had a loss by Needs. For that small matter you mention to mee, you may please to take your own time for reimbursing; & for the remainder of the acco.t you last sent mee, the sooner you shipp, the greater kindness it wil be to mee, for I have had such slender returns upon all acco.tts of late that I have been very much streightned. The reasons I doe not know, but suppose it may be occationed by the Islands being overdone with trade. From my plant. att M.tsarratt that I expected much from, have receivd noething this 3 yeares. What I have lately receivd from itt is now gone out againe for the next years supply. Which I doe not give you the trouble off in regarde Mr. Bramley takes it upon him, & I hope will be most to both our satisfactions. Your letter I sent forward according to desier. ...

[p. 229] The next sugar you shipp for mee, pray consigne itt to Mr. W.m Baxter for my acco.t by reason of a duty that is incumbent on unfreemens goods. I also intreat you when you lade me any more sugars to lade as large hhds. as you cann & let them be very well filled. & Pray take care the cask may be good, very well hooped & neyled, for want of which sugers often times receive great damadge. ...

196. John Bramley [Montserrat]

London, September 6, 1680
In my last (a coppy of which I heerwith send you) I advised you of Wilsons arrivall & of the receipt of yours of the 29th June by him, which I have now before me to give answer too. The 40 hhds. sugar by him for our joynt acco.t are all landed & sold. An Acco.t of Sales therof you have heerinclosed & as soon as the money is receivd will carry half the nete pr.ceeds of the same to the creditt of your Acco.t Currant. The hhds. way lighter farr then usually those doe that are laden by planters or indeed by merchants nowadayes. Which is our loss in freight. Therfore, I advise you heerafter to inlarge the caske, which you may well doe 1½ lb. or 2 lb. in each, being well fill'd. Which please also to take notice of. As also that the cask may bee made very strong, well hooped & nayled. What hoops & nayles are bestowed upon them extraordinary wil be well expended, for oftentimes bad cask is a great means of damadg & extraordinary wastidge. I have aded to your orders 3 setts of iron hoops & some other things, which I judge may be needfull. Also have by this ketch Globe, George Sankee, M.r, sent you all those things conteined in the inventory you requested, except such ironware as I have ordered of Bristoll & c. The greatest pr.vitions out of Ireland part of which is laden on the Abraham, & the remainder shall be laden on any other shipp out after Christmass. I have ordered the beefe ½ lb. in a barrell larger then ordinary & therfore will cost soe much dearer, being for our own use. There wil be something saved in freight & caske. There are also 500 ps. 8/8 that are packt upp in the trunk which I hope will supply all things that you find occation for. The Invo. you have hereinclosed, the amountant of which is £[blank]. The Bill of Loadeing I send to W.m Helmes to take up the goods & have desired him to send them upp in the Abraham or otherwise to follow your orders in sending them upp, which pray give him. & If you can send some p.rson with them, the sloope men are not to be trusted. As soon as I have an acco.t of the cost & charges of those goods laden from Bristoll & Ireland, shall make up the acco.t of all. & The surplus of the £150 bill & your half of the like pr.ceeds of these 40 hhds. of sugar shall be carried to your creditt upon acco.t of your bond. An acco.t of all which shal bee sent you.

I observe what you write as to the rum & molasses. & In answer therunto, I doe not desier that any such p.rticuler acco.t may be rendred mee as pints & quarts, but that in the acco.t you send me you may bring itt all in one article. But in the acco.t you keep there, such a detayled acco.t must be kept for your own satisfaction. & Indeed, most of the molasses might be boyled upp into sugar, as is done in Barbados; & much might be saved in that p.rticuler, if the molasses sesterns were leaded, & you made use of earthen potts & dripps, as they doe there. But lead & potts may be sent from hence, if you desier itt. There is 2 or 300 potts & dripps we have sent by the Abraham. I have writt W.H. & T.W. to give you notice therof &, if you desier them, that you may have them before any other p.rson & that they may not dispose of them until they receive your [p. 230] answer. I also judg it may be convenient to make some tryal of claying sugar, about 10 or 20 hhds. at first. & As you find they will turn to acco.t, you may for the future governe yourself.

As to the next p.rticuler of loadeing sugar, I am freely willing to leave it to you at any time or season to contract freight there, as long as you loade joyntly. But whatever you loade in those dangerous months, would willingly be advised therof beforehand that I may make insurance. & Yett I think itt better to contract freight heer for some, for then we are att a certeinty for part. & Although you should not be able to comply therwith, yet it may be lett out to others. & I wil never take itt on such termes that we may be any great loosers therby. Yet I would alwayes p.rswade you to beginn your cropp as early as possible, & to shipp of what you can early in the yeare, for there are many inconveniences attend the latter part of the season.

I am noewayes against anything that may tend to the injoyments or comforts of your life, nor shall I disallow of anything that may contribute therunto, as farr as may be judged reasonable for mee to doe, but shall indevor in all things to answer your expectations on my part. I was in hopes of a farr greater quantety of sugar this cropp than you mention to shipp, viz. 10 tuns more. The crop must fall very short if itt makes but 120 hhds., viz. 60 to my share, which if there be but 40 more, I shall receive noe more, which wil be a very inconsiderable produce. But whatever it is, I must be content. I can expect noe more then what falls to my share. I shall use my indevors to pr.cure workemen, but they are very hard to bee gott. ...

197. [p. 231] William Helme [Nevis]

London, September 6, 1680
This accompanyes the ketch Globe, George Sankee, Master, on which we have laden a cargo of dry goods & have consigned them to Tho. Westcott. I have also laden upon her a p.rcell of coppers, stills, cases, gudgeons, wedges & c., amounting to 407£ 15s 06d as p.r the inclosed Invoice appeares that are for the joynt acco.t of my bro. Henery & yourself & are consigned to you to dispose of as a beginning of what I intend for your incouridgm.t heerafter. Shal be sending you more as I can conveniently, but your returnes have been soe slack considering how large our adventures have been that I have & am greatly streightned for want of money. I have lately made a calculation of all the goods we have sent since I came for England, & also of the pr.ceeds of all that wee have receivd home in returne upon acco.t of merchandize, & upon an exact calculation I finde we are out ten thousand pounds of our principall money more then wee have receivd. This after 5 years adventures to be out of principall is hard. Which pray take into consideration & forward the getting in our debts, & be shipping as fast as possible you cann. This ketch we have ordered first to land our goods at St. Christophers that are consigned Tho. Westcott & then to goe up to Nevis & land your goods togeather with all others for the place. & In regarde we conceive the Abra.m may bee there about the same time, we judg itt the best way (& to this effect have writt Tho. Westcott) that as soone as shee hath discharged the rest of her ladeing att Nevis that she returne againe to St. Kitts to Tho. Westcott & there continue to loade. & Let the Abra. be kept att Nevis, Antigua & M.tsarratt to loade there, upon which shipp pray use your utmost endeavors to loade what possible you cann upon our own acco.tts. I suppose att M.tsarratt there wil not be considerable except from my own plant. Soon after Xtmass I designe my bro. out with a cargo for your joynt acco.t. In the interim, whatever I send, I doubt not but you will mannadg for your joynt interest to the most advantage. & Itt's my desire that you should enter into partnershipp togeather in all concernes, beginning att the expiration of your time with your brother, according to your last contract with him. And although I would have you apply yourself wholly to the getting in & settling our old concerns, yet you will loose noe time on your own acco.t as long as he wil be still transacting for you. & Whatsoever he & you or either of you heerafter shall receive from us, wee doe allow you to draw comission upon your joynt acco.t. Although he is not there att pr.sent, yet Rich.d Watts shall assist you & act in his behalf untill he arrives, which will not bee long. First, we shall send you noething but wines & such like goods upon comissions; all other goods shall come upon your own acco.tts. For whatever dry goods you have lyeing by undisposed that belongs to any our former cargoes, make out a p.rfect Invoice therof & deliver them to Tho. Westcott, makeing an exact computation of their first cost & charges p.r Invo. & send us an acco.t therof, that soe you may have noething to hinder you from settling and adjusting acco.tts with all p.rsons. Which pray let be your first buisness. & Still as you settle acco.tts with any p.rson, observe to follow the method I pr.scribed to you per my last, viz. either to take their bonds or bill for the ballance or elce to these write & acknowledg the acco.t at the foote therof, that soe if you come to sute with any person, there may need noe other proof of their debts. & After you have thus settled acco.tts with all persons, then be as pressing as possible for the getting in our debts. & Such as will not pay without rigor, spare not to use the utmost rigor with them. There is on bord this ketch a p.rcell of goods consigned Mr. Bramley, which are for the use of our plant. in M.tsarratt. Pray give him notice therof as soone as the vessell arrives & send up my letter; & if the Abraham goes upp, send up the goods by her or otherwise by the safest oppertunety you cann, takeing his advice therin first, if you can conveniently have itt. There is also a p.rcell of sugar potts & dripps on bord the Abraham that are upon the generall acco.t. If you find our plant. att Nevis hath occation for them, make use of them, alloweing a moderate price for them. Or if there be noe occation for them, then give Mr. Bramley notice therof. & If he desires to have them, let them be disposed to noe other p.rson. Heerwith you have an odd case you writt for, which is included amonst your owne, soe that when you dispose of itt must give your own acco.t creditt [p. 232] for the same. What hoops or anything elce you finde occation for our own use, Tho. Westcott hath orders to deliver you. & If you find a small p.rcell of blew linnen or any other course goods wil be wanting for the supply of our own plant. at Nevis, you may take a small p.rcell of such goods & keep by you for that use & noe other, & render him an acco.t of the same, at moderate rates, as if they were to be disposed to another p.rson. & Soe make him payment in money or goods for the same, because I desire the full pr.duce of the plant. may be constantly sent us home; & what you have occation otherwise to buy for the use of itt, pray alwayes pay ready money for, that soe it may lye under noe incumbrance to my p.rson.

Pray heerafter take a spetiall care of the weights of what sugars you receive & pack the caske well – observing what I formerly writt you that some cask want 30 or 40 p.r c.t, which cannot be by wastidg alone. Advise by all oppertunetyes as neer as you cann what you loade us. You have heerwith a coppy of ours by Clayton. But doe not soe much as seem to take notice you expect any such shipp, or in the least mention his stopping att Antigua (if any others have advice of his departure from hence). He may bee with you as soon as this. Therfore, fayle not to have a sloope in a readiness. What brandy you have to dispose off, hold upp the price as much as you can. Its risen 50 p.r c.t in France within this 2 mos. Be sure to mannidg that affaire with prudence & when Clayton arrives give him a speedy dispatch. ...

If John Beddingfeild should have occation for a sett of coppers & all other things therunto belonging, pray supply him therwith, he paying you as another would for them. But before you dispose of them, advise him therof, in regarde he desired mee to send him a sett, & I have writt him that you have some & will supply him. Pray be mindfull heerof, & make your own bargaine with him. Heerinclosed you have a Bill of Loadeing for severall goods for the use of our plant. in M.tsarratt that I request you to receive & take care off. & If the Abraham be not goeing upp, doe not send them untill you have Mr. Bramleys order, unless by some very safe conveyance. There is likewise some pr.vitions on the Abraham on the same acco.t. & You will also receive some iron worke from Bristoll from Mr. John Cary. All which I request you to take the like care off. ...

198. [p. 233] Thomas Westcott [Nevis]

London, September 8, 1680
Pray use your utmost endeavors to make us as speedy returnes of our effects as possible you cann by all conveniences that offers. & We will endeavor to give you a good incouridging trade. & Because we are desirous you should not receive any comissions from any p.rsons but ourselves, knowing that wil be pr.juditiall to our concernes, whatever goods of any kind or quallety whatsoever that you shall desier that you finde vendible there, we will alwayes supply you & Doe therfore injoyne you not to accept of any comissions of any kind whatsoever from any p.rson but ourselves. If you doe, itt will be a discouridgm.t to us to pr.ceed. & For the imployment of your own stock or whatever stock your brother John desires to come in, we have pr.pounded to him (which seems to his good likeing, as we doubt not but it will to yours) that you & he may come in with us, either a quarter, 1/3, or half part, in the dry goods trade, which pleases you & him best, & soe that trade shal be carried on amongst us heerafter if you soe agree. For I am sensible noe man can without great trouble dispose of severall mens goods at one & the same time. & If at any time any bargin of advantage there may happen & your stock being soe ingaged in ours, we are freely willing itt should goe upon the [p. 234] generall & that you may make payment out of the same. All these pr.posalls I make you, to give you a full imployment & because you should not meddle with any other p.rsons concernes, which may be detrimentall to us & you. When wee have your orders, shall send w.t you require on a joynt or p.rticuler acco.t. I observe you charge the custom & caske att the price currant which is not according to agreement, which you must rectifye & give us creditt for. & Heerafter imploy those hoops, staves & c. that we send to our own use & whatever you want for our occations, viz. hoops, staves, heading, workemanship or ought elce, pray pr.cure at the best hand & on the cheapest termes you can for use. After Xtmass, we shall give you another supply of beef & other pr.vitions out of Ireland & a constant supply of wines as may be needfull. You wil find wanting in this cargoe cloth & some other things which we now omitted in regarde we sent soe large a quantety therof in Estes cargo, which was as good & as fashionable as could now be sent & suppose it cannot be all sold. & Therfore, we now have sent W.m Helmes orders as this our order to him is (which you may acquant him with) that whatever goods remaines in his hands of that or any our former cargoes unsold, that he doe foorthwith deliver all such goods unto you. Which pray receive and dispose off for our most advantage, in regarde we have resolved absolutely to decline our retaile trade of dry goods on that island, in order to the getting in our debts. & With these new goods, wee conceive those old ones may goe off the better. Pray follow my former orders in holdinge all those new acco.tts with my brother Baxter, & directing your letters & returnes to him on all new accompts, only ballanceing the old with mee. I hope you will not faile to shipp the ballance of Vickers acco.t p.r first. ...

199. [p. 235] Henry Carpenter & Robert Helme [Nevis]

London, September 6, 1680
This serves only to advise that I have putt on bord this ketch Globe, Geo. Sankee, Master, 42 setts of truss hoops, half for butts & half for hhds. The cost of the same you have heerwith. Would have sent some hoops also could the vessell have taken any in. P.r the first conveniency that offers shall send them. I have paid your bill of 85£ 3s to John Perry & 34£ 17s 7d to George Church. Pray advise whether the shipp I bought the negroes off be arrived, & whether your have receivd them according to contract. This is the needfull, haveing advised you formerly that Singleton refused the payment of the 900 lbs. sugar, unless you sent his bill for itt. ...

200. General Sir William Stapleton [Montserrat] Postscript

[London,] September 6, 1680
Mr. Blathweight hath p.rswaded me to desist from petitioning the King againe. He tells me the Lords of the Treasury will take itt ill, which may be a means of their retarding the payment rather then forwarding itt. Pray please to putt Capt. Crisp in mind to make us payment. I think I shall putt out £1,000 for you upon a mortgage very speedely, if there be noe deffect in the title, which is neer all that will remaine now in my hands. I have made good to your acco.t 3 mos interest for the £1,500, which was as long as my occations required itt. This day I receivd the £750 upon the publique acco.t of Mr. Trant. Pray omitt not to send your discharge that I may take up my bond, with your orders whether I shall carry itt to the creditt of your acco.t or how you will please to dispose of itt.

201. Robert Helme to William Helme [Nevis]

London, October 1680
After nine weeks being at sea and much bad weather, wee (God be thanked) arrived safe in Plymo. & Since my comeing to London, I received yours of the 17th August p.r Capt. Hare's shipp, upon which I find you have not only laded ten tun short of what was contracted for but suffered us to pay dead freight for that quantety, was more then ever that they conceived did, though have been more streightned then you could be now. If you had been disappoynted for suger of our owne, you might doubtless have taken freight of others to compleat our complyment. Since my arrivall, Mr. Baxter & Mr. Freeman [p. 236] tells me they never had my Acco.t of Sales of any p.rcell or cargo of goods sent you since their concerns lay under your mannadgment. Nor did you deliver mee. Nor have you since sent them a list of debts, which is the greatest surprise to mee that ever I mett with, you having often told mee that you had sent them Acco.tts of Sales of most of their goods & also that you would put up among my other papers I brought with mee a p.rfect list of debts. & I find neither done. I am certein I saw good part of it done before I came from thence & never doubted but in soe matteriall a thing you would be as good as your word. You well know that the concern is great & that all men desires to know of the disposall of their adventures, & what advantages may be hoped for therby. This is the least can be expected. I am sure I find your returnes have been very short. & Another thing I have found: wee have infinitely suffered in more then other men that mannadges that trade, that is the great wast & short weight of our sugers, I find to bee in comon 14 p.r c.t more then the comon wast of other men. Wheras there loss is but 12 p.r c.t usually, ours loose 20, 24 & 30 p.r c.t; nay some of our cask without any damidg have lost betwixt 40 & 50 p.r c.t & I find also the three tunns of sugar shipt by Tho. Westcott from St. makes us as much money as 4 tuns you shipp from Nevis. I doe not advise you this as words, of course, but on my examination of your Invoices & inquiring into other mens weights of sugers doe find this to be a reall truth & a most discouridging thing in our trade. & The reason of itt I cannot imagin, though I know you careless enough; yett it cannot pr.ceed wholly from that. But you must of necessety have some dishonest p.rson that is concerned in the receiving your sugars either by Copp or others that are about you. This & the foregoeing omitions have reflected hard upon mee heer, as well it might, for it's the next poynt to injustice in you soe long to keep mens estates & never give them acco.t of them. I am sure you never wanted caution or of adviseing you to these essentiall things as the duty of a factor to render acco.ts & giveing punctuall advice, which is another thing you are shorter in then any man I know that lives abroad. You never give acco.t how anything sells there or what is most vendable to advantage, soe those that imploy you are left in the dark. Much of this is what I feard & have been since my comeing home my greatest trouble. I would be loath to beleive any unjust principle in you. But your late actions have been soe apparently careless & your writeing to your freinds are on such p.remptory termes that I know not what to judg of you. Your actions towards me & oblidging me to your own termes I may overlooke, but why my freinds, which have been soe extreamly yours, should be soe ill used I cannot judg the reason, but want of a better consideration. I am sure they have outdone you in more then you have or can expect. Therfore, twil be my greatest satisfaction to hear you make it more your buisness to serve them better for the future.

I hope you have your eye sometime at the plant. & that the overseer I left there will prove according to expectation. I judg they may by this time have cleered most of the wood wee designed donn & as fast as it cleered planted. I advised you when I left you to take [p. 237] your oppertunety to buy of Proctor John the reversion of that plant. for Mr. Freeman & myself, which if you have not done, pray doe it speedely. Mr. Morgan told mee he could p.rswade him to sell it for thirty five or forty pounds. But then he must have five pound for doeing itt. But I suppose you may doe it without him. Pray see the carpenters that are building the howse that they follow their work, elce there might be too great an expence of Tho. the taylor had nine yrds serge for here that I bought of the Inst. & remaines in his hands, which you must putt upon him for. You must also remember to have an acco.t from W.m Baker of the customs of liquor when the other gent. acco.tts with them. I find Mr. Freeman & Baxter have sent Clayton on a second voyadg I hope you have mannadged with the same secresie & dilligence as I did the former. If you will take my oppinion that I have soe often repeated, you will find them the best freinds you have in the world, if you indeavor to serve their interest to the uttermost of your power, you ought in all honesty & gratitude to doe.

Your mother & relations are all well & have received your token. Your sister Christian is with me in London. I am sorry to hear Mr. Carpenter & you can noe better agree. I know not where the misunderstanding lyes. You know I advised you to humor him rather then to be at a difference. But why he should denye you to receive sugar in our storehouwse, I know not. I shall now write him to know the reason. He has writt Mr. Freeman a tart letter against you, but he is soe kind as to give it the best construction on your part. He gives an acco.t of six negros you bought of him towards settling a plant. of yours at Antigua, I wonder you should doe without my knowledg. If any such thing be, I well know it must be done from our estate. You know I have been often pr.ferd land there & alwayse refused itt. I know a plant. cannot be settled without a great stock, & I know none you have, unless your freinds assist you. I am p.rswaded you have more honesty then to doe any such thing. If you should not, myself & freinds would lye under a great mistake. This comes by Capt. Winthrop in the first shipp that sayles for your parts since my arrivall & at pr.sent have noe more then to wish you well & recomend you to the advice I left you, remembring that keeping a good conscience in all your actions will give you peace heer & reward heerafter. ...

Brother, I hope you will observe my orders in shipping home our plant. sugar as fast as it is made & not pay any away. Let it be put in good large caske with 16 hoops on them, well lined and headed. & If you have but a fortnight worke or three weeks, though it fill but 3 or 4 tuns, let it be sent home on any good shipp, pr.vided the freight be reasonable, & not stay for any of our own shipps yours.

202. [p. 241] Captain John Bramley [Montserrat]

London, October 30, 1680
... I now doe agree that you shall at any time as you think fitt take freight upon any vessell there bound for London & shipp at all seasons as you please, as long as you shipp joyntly. Pray endeavor to make our cropps of & shipp them as early in the year as you can. & If possible you can, advise from time to time what shipps you lade upon. & If you can conveniently avoyd itt, would not have above 10 tuns loaden upon a shipp. Lett the consignation of your next Bills of Loading run to Mr. W.m Baxter, in regarde there is a town duty required for unfreemen, & direct your letters in my absence to Mr. W.m Coode. I shall take care of the disposition of the sugars myself. I have pr.vided such another p.rcell of beef & c. as went p.r the Abraham for the latter part of the yeare.

203. William Helme [Nevis]

London, October 30, 1680
... I hope you will use your dilligence in hastening our returns. Wee are now after 6 years loseing tenn thousand pounds out of our principall money in those islands, all in your hands & Thomas Westcotts. Which I referr you to judg of. Pray take it into consideration. We desire you to settle all our concerns, & send us our Acco.tts of Sales of all, which to this day we have not had one, also our Acco.tts Currant & List of Debts as soone as settled. & Follow close your instructions as to the adjustment of all acco.tts all people, & takeing their bills for our acco.t at your bro. Mr. Rob.t Helmes hand & your owne & then pr.secute all our debtors with vigor. But it wil not be prudence to doe it untill you have adjusted acco.tts. I have ordered Richard Watts to assist you in all things. I hope you have receivd the goods sent you for my bro. Henery & your own acco.t by the Globe, ketch. When you doe inable mee by makeing returnes, shall be ready to serve you further. But at pr.sent, am extreamly streightned by your short returnes. ... Mr. Carpenter hath writt mee a long letter of your misbehavior to him. I hope you will have a better understanding betwixt you. I have desired you may have the use of the storehowses by way of request but not command, which we cannot doe. I know he will not be against itt. Pray let there be noe animosities or misunderstandings may happen to be to our pr.judice. ...

204. [p. 242] Henry Carpenter [Nevis]

London, October 30, 1680
I have rec.d both yours of the 12th & 18th August intimateing Mr. W.m Helmes misbehavior to you, for which I am not a little concerned. But as cases now stand with mee, I must be silent, though he hath given me noe less occation by his lines that I am forced to pass by in regarde we have soe great a concern under his conduct & mannadgment which I have good reason to beleive hath not been mannadged to that advantage it might have been. Yet I hope he is indued with better principles then to settle [his own] plant. with mine & other mens stocks, as I well know he must doe if he hath any such designe afoote, for that he hath noe other bottom to carry it on. I hope you beleive better of mee then that I should incouridg any such insolent behavior to you. Yet I desire you to give what contenance you can to our concern; & if it may not be pr.juditiall to the Comp. interest, to let him have the use of our half part of the storehowses to receive our sugers in, at such times as they are not fully imployed. may be a kindness to our concerne & noe pr.judice to you. Yet not by way of command but curtesye, which I shall own as a favor, though his insolence may not admitt of an acknowledgment. Your several draughts of excha. are come to hand, which I have given dew acceptance too & shall make punctuall payment, though I am & have been more then ordinarily streightned; & to comply therwith togeather with other occations that hath happened to mee (by means of the short returnes hath been made us) hath compelled me to take up a considerable summe of mony upon interest that I was in hopes to have discharged myself of before now. But never fayled soe much in my expectations as this yeare. Therfore, I hope you will not take it ill to bee charged with such interest as I shall actually be in disburse for you, in regarde itts noe more then what I really pay out of my pockett to comply with your draughts. By next you shall have the acco.tts by which you will find yourself indebted mee £300, besides £200 p.d Bartlett by your order, Mr. Helms tells me you are solely concerned in. Hee also tells me that Mr. Bartlett alleadges to you I had taken it upon myself. But I assure you it's noe such thing, for I never did anything like itt. But in regarde I was forced to pay interest for money myself, I did oblidge him to pay me interest for the same untill such time as you should reimburse mee, which noe man can judg but reasonable. Therfore, pray take care to secure your payment, for I am noewayes concerned in it further then to have an allowance of interest which you are to receive from him, in regarde I p.d it in your favor at such time as I was not possessed of any effects now that you may not adjudg itt unreasonable to pay interest for what mony I am in disburse for you, in regarde I knew you had money in your coosen Coopers hands. Upon the first advice I had of the bills you had drawne, I went to Mr. Cooper & gave him notice therof & acquainted him how cases stood with mee, that I had not effects of yours, as likewise that I was soe streightned that I could not advance for you any other way but by takeing up money upon interest att 6 p.r cent. & Therfore desired him to advance the money in his hands & in case he had not your orders for soe doeing that I would give him my bond to save him harmeless & to pay interest for the sume in case he had not your allowance. But he answered mee your money was out & that he could not comply therwith. I have given you this acco.t that there may be noething imputed to mee & this I have done in the pr.sence of Mr. Robert Helms.

Sir, I was in hopes Mr. Helmes would have settled all things [p. 243] soe p.rfectly in that acco.t with him & you & us in Nevis that everything would have been cleer & that I might have had an acco.t by him. But that I find is omitted. Soe must bee referred to his next comeing over, which may be now in a little time, as he tells me he designes. I now resolve to acquitt myself of the Royall Comp. interest, soe that the factory wil be solely in yourself & Mr. Helmes. & Therfore desire you not to interest mee in any further concern, either in the purchase of negros or otherwise in comissions or the purchase of negroes, & ship home the concern joyntly as fast as you cann. Or if you think you may make a better improvement of your own part there, then I desire you to draw of my part. Only please to shipp soe much joyntly as will discharge what I am in disburse on your acco.t. Which pray fayle not to doe by the very first shipps, for I am extreamly streightned by the means of greate disappoyntments by short returns this yeare. I referr you to Mr. Helms for the future carrying on of things betwixt you. The next sugars you shipp, let the consignation of the Bills of Loadeing bee to Mr. W.m Baxter, in regarde there is a town duty required from unfreemen, & let your letters be directed to Mr. W.m Coade at Mr. W.m Baxters howse, who I have imployed in the mannidgment of my concerns, being sometimes out of towne myself. (fn. 2)

205. Colonel Abednego Mathew [St. Christopher]

London, September 19, 1680
... I hope you are well satisfyed with the charge of £100 I supplyed your sonne with, which was on noe other acco.t done by mee then to serve you. I pray let me have your allowance therof, or your answer to the contrary. If you doe not allow of itt, [p. 244] I must expect it from your sonn who hath noe other way to reimburse mee but by selling his place in the Guards, is great pitty he should doe. Yet noe reason I should be the looser, for if I had not supplyed him, he had not wherwithall to subsist till that place fell. Pray please to take this into consideration & doe not discouridg the young gent., who is very deserving & both sober and industrious, & in all respects meretorious of your favor. The last 2 guinnyes you find in your acco.t paid him was when he had a violent fitt of sickness which had like to have cost him his life, & his pay only affords a bare meintenance. Soe that he had not money beforehand to supply his necessityes at that time. If you dissallow of that, I must be content, in regarde I had your orders to the contrary. Yet I have soe much respect for you that noe sonn of yours shall ever want any such small summe upon the like occation, though I am sure never to be paid itt. If his imployment would admitt him to be at my howse, he should not want such accommodation as my poor habitation would afford. I assure you itts very bare with him, notwithstanding his good husbandry. A small allowance from you would much contribute to your honor, but that I referr to your discretion. Itts not fitt for mee to pr.scribe you what ought to be don in such cases, but I cannot but pitty the young gent. condition, who is very much cast down at your discountenances. Pray pardon my being soe large on this subject. I hope that heerafter you will thank me for; I hope you will have receivd your goods by the Globe ketch long before this comes to hand. I have not as yet receivd any of your pay. For all other matters, I referr you to Sir W.m Stapleton. ...

206. Robert Helme to Henry Carpenter [Nevis]

London, October 31, 1680
... I have only to say that I am sory he should still continue in his same p.remptory humor. I hope you are convinced that I never did justifye him & doe asure you I never will. You may remember his carridg to mee for two years past & how vexatious he hath been to mee & how to help myself then I could not tell. You know the gentlemens interest under his mannadgment is great, & then to take it out of his hands I could not well doe till had been in England. We are to sensible of his neglects & abuses I hoped to pr.vent at my comeing over, shal be as speedy as possible. & Till then I hope you will not hinder him from receiving sugers in our storehowse at Morton's Bay or in anything elce that may be our conveniency & noe disadvantage to you. (fn. 3)

The next Court after my comeing to towne I waited on the Royall Comp. when there was a full bench. They bid me welcome & told me there concerns was great under our mannidgment, I well knew. But that they insisted on was the letter we gave the Generall, wherin we say that he never denyed us anything that we required for the [p. 245] serviss of the Comp., but never mentioned that his officers did not pr.secute his warrants & orders, we were to blame in. You may remember the Gen.ll told us it should lye by him & that he never designed to send itt, but doe assure you it was at home the Lords of the Councell before they arrived, & they sent it to Mr. Benjamin Newland, the Deputy Governor, & that very letter will hinder the Comp. from makeing any complaint of the abuse of their interest in that island. (fn. 4) The Bills of Excha. we drew on Mr Freeman are all paid. You left the bill of 88£ 12s the ballance of Capt. Cope's acco.t, to draw & signe he was troubled att, which I did at sea in your behalfe, seeing the ballance of the acco.t firmed by Mr. Harris. Mr. Freeman shewed me your acco.t in his books, where I saw he had not money to comply with your half of the bills drawn on him. But he hath paid them in your favor. You may remember we designed to buy noe more freight negros after these two last p.rcells, we cannot doe, were it more our advantage, till we have more money at home. & Now there are soe many interlopers gone & c. goeing out that negros as well as other comodetyes wil be sold extream cheape. They pr.fer heer, & I know a p.rson that have bought 20 or 30 Gold Coast negros 12£ 5s p.r head, to be delivered at Anteguas. & They make it there buisness to offer them at that price. As soon as the Parliment are a little at leasure, we shall see whether the King will further justifye the Comp. charter or whether twill fall. The tother party are soe numerous that they will have more shipps out then the Comp. from Bristoll & London.

As soone as I came to towne, I visited your freinds Capt. Cooper & Mr. Nicholls. Both familys were glad to hear of your good health. Your cousin Nicholls wife lay in, soe did not see her. Your daughter Mrs. Bethia is a modest pretty young woeman – as much improved as it's possible any p.rson could be in the time. She hath been at home. They give her all the education that is needfull for any gentlewoman & she need goe noe further then where she is to learn vertue & goodness. We have bought Harry a few toyes & put them in a box by Capt. Winter. I hope he is in good health, which I wish a continuance of. In the box, you will find the Kings speech & some Gazettes where you may informe yourself how difficult the times are that men are cautious of what they write. Sir Rob.t Cann of Bristoll is sent to the Tower in sayeing this was noe plott & indeavoring to possess some of his freinds with the same, & received the sentence from the Howse upon his knees. (fn. 5)

207. [p. 246] Thomas Westcott [Nevis]

London, November 22, 1680
I have rec.d yours of the 9th of September intimateing the great scarcety of suger & the small quantety that was then on bord Huchinson, whose dayes was then neer 2/3 out. Which gives us cause to suspect wee are likely to pay both demoridg & dead freight upon him, as wee have already done on Hare, is a very great discouridgment as well as a loss to us. However, we must submitt & require noe more of you but to doe your indevors, I noewayes question you have not been wanting in. But we cannot but strange that W.m Helme should not signify the loading of anything upon him. Certeinly things are strangly altered upon Nevis that, out of the vast concern we have there, nothing should be shippt from thence. But all things must be submitted to with patience. I take notice of your desires of haveing what we send to come directly to you [p. 247] which we have already taken into consideration & soe ordered itt, by giving you a timely supply of all things pr.per for that markett as we judge, hope ere this is come to your hands, viz. a cargo of dry goods p.r the Globe ketch, amounting to neer £1,200 a p.rcell of pr.vitions, & wines p.r the Abraham, & a p.rcell of dry goods & liquors p.r Clayton, all which we judg will not amount to less then £3,000 sterl. principall cost. & Wee shall after Christmass order you another p.rcell of beef, which, with another supply of wines, is all we designe you for this yeare & all we can doe untill we are inabled by your returnes & other our interests in those islands, where we have run out our whole capitall. Which I now desire you to take into consideration & intreat you to use your utmost dilligence in makeing us as speedy returnes as possible you can, without which noe trade can long be supported. This I doe not doe by way of complaint, for I doe assure you we are well pleased with what you have done & had others done soe much we should have been in a better condition & had noe cause of complaint.

Now, I come to give answer to the heads of your letter. As to the first p.rticular that you desire the assistance of W. Hearne, Mr. Helms tells me he left positive orders with his brother that he should imediatly send him down to you, & I doe not a little strange that he should not follow his directions therin. However, I doe heerinclosed send an order to him, either to send him or Richard Watts to you to assist you for some time, to settle your booke & acco.tts & looke after things at home, that therby you may be the better inabled to gett in effects abroad. As to the next, I take notice of your complaint of being at an extraordinary charge for storeidg. & To that I answer I desire you yearly to send us an exact & just acco.t of the whole charge of storeidg you pay, & accordingly we will consider to allow you such a pr.portion of extraordinary charge that shall in some measure salve you. For we are desirous you should earn money by our imploymwnt & we know you also think it fitt that we should live by our trade. & I doe assure you hitherto we cannot say whether we have gott a penny by our last six years trade, of which we are tenn thousand pounds principall money to this day in disbursement. & If an imployer cannot gain as well as a factor, you know there can be noe incouridgment to drive a trade. The next thing is what I am to object against, viz. that my pr.posall to you was that you should buy us hoops, staves & c. or make use of such as we should send you & soe charge us noe more then what you should really pay for the makeing up our caske, as likewise for the 4½ p.r c.t which you charge the comon price contrary to agreement. This you must alter & give us creditt for the overcharges, according to agreem.t. For I assure you without these things done, the trade runs soe low there is noe driveing itt. & You know our supplyes are not like ordinary comission imploy. Yours I pr.pose to you are not less then Mr. Bawdon gives Mr. Pruit, who in a little time its thought hath got ten thousand pounds, as I wish you may. I am now to put you in minde & to desire you alwayes to have a spetiall regarde to the w.tts of your suger, in receiving from Nevis we have been great sufferers by. & Your last p.rcell by Hare wasts 6 or 7 p.r c.t more then any of the former p.rcells you have laden. Pray alwayes have a spetiall regarde to that p.rticuler, & be sure alwayes to fill your cask well & make them very large, & bestow more hoops & nayles on them then ordinary to make them strong, in a great measure pr.vents damadge. I also desire you not to fayle of sending us Acco.tts of Sales as soon as you can after any of our cargoes are disposed off. & If at any time any dry goods remaines unsold of a cargo, by which means you cannot shutt up the acco.tts to render us an Acco.t of Sales, in such case you make take an acco.t of them & make our new acco.t of merchandize Dr. to the old for what soe remaines at a moderate price. & Soe as they are sold, let the new acco.tts have C.r for the goods as they are sold. By which means you may every yeare send Acco.tts of Sales & also acco.tts of what remaines unsold. & Please from time to time to be as large in your advises to us as you can, & let us know how & what rates comodetyes vends & what turns best to acco.t, & what lyes upon hand & doth not vend. At any time when we have not shipps there, take freight upon others for us on the best terms you can, that soe our effects may be hastned home without delay. & From time to time [p. 248] fayle not advise what shipp you lade upon, & the quantetyes as neer as you can. Continue to correspond with my brother Baxter according to my former advise, & take the Bills of Loadeing as I directed, viz. for acco.t of Rob.t Helms & Comp. & Let them come consigned to W.m Baxter & direct your letters to him. ...


  • 1. The Poll Bill of 1677/1678, otherwise known as the "Act for Granting an Additional Duty to his Majesty upon Wines for three years," received the Royal Assent in March 1677/78 and forbade the importation of "French wine, brandy, linen, salt, silks, paper, and all other commodities of the growth or manufacture of France" for at least three years. The Journals of the House of Commons, vol. 9, p. 435; The Journals of the House of Lords, vol. 13, pp. 176a, 189b; Danby Pickering, ed., The Statutes at Large, vol. 8 (Cambridge, 1763), p. 419 (30 Car.II, cap. 2).
  • 2. William Code was a junior partner in the firm.
  • 3. Morton's Bay lay on the northwest coast of Nevis, about one mile south of the site of Jamestown which was destroyed by earthquake on April 30, 1680, and at the north end of what is now known as Pinney's Beach. In 1676, it was considered one of the two "considerable" places for trade. It had few houses, however, because ships rested at Charles Town and sent their long-boats to Morton's Bay for lading sugar, molasses and rum. Until the boats arrived, the sugar would be stored in one-and-one-half-story "storehouses, not exceeding 60 feet long and 20 broad," built with the country timber. Calendar of State Papers (Colonial Series), 1677–1680, p. 499.
  • 4. Benjamin Newland, Merchant of London. Assistant of the Royal African Company, 1675–1682/84; Alderman for Vintry, London, 1683–1687. Woodhead, Rulers, p. 121; Shaw, Knights, vol. 2, p. 254 (created Kt.B., August 3, 1679).
  • 5. Sir Robert Cann was knighted in 1662. Shaw, Knights, vol. 2, p. 236.