America and West Indies
June 1726

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

Year published

1936

Pages

76-94

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: June 1726', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 35: 1726-1727 (1936), pp. 76-94. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72331 Date accessed: 16 September 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

June 1726

June 1.
St. James's.
157. H.M. Warrant for affixing the Great Seal to two Commissions for ships for seizing pirates in their respective voyages to Madagascar and Buenos Ayres. Countersigned, Holies Newcastle. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 196, 197.]
June 1.
St. James's.
158. Copies of the two Commissions referred to in preceding. [CO. 324, 35. pp. 197–200.]
June 1.
Jamaica,
Spanish
Town.
159. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. As the importance of the matters represented to your Lordships in what I wrote in Dec. and Jan. etc., may have given occasion for some new Instructions to be sent, before your Lordships can have known the event of those struggles I then laboured under, a full account whereof was sent the 11th April etc., I judged it would not be improper to try, and am accordingly takeing such measures I can to gett a new, and if possible a better dispos'd Assembly than the last has lately been, so as not to be preposes'd with a spirit of opposition, but more dispos'd to comply with such further instructions as H.M. may judge proper, either before or upon his being acquainted with what has past in the last Sessions, of all which I now transmit the duplicates. The general tranquility and satisfaction that has ensued, and continued ever since the passing of this last Perpetuity Bill sent over, (and seems in great measure owing thereunto) is such, that as it makes me hope I may be able to gett H.M. expectation answered, as to any thing not materially differing or inconsistent with that Bill, it also satisfies me that the aiming at any thing in contradiction thereto, or in opposition to their pretended rights and priviledges, (except H.M. pleasure thereupon be fully signified and the hands of the Government effectually strengthened) how well soever the new Assembly may happen to come disposed, will be vain and hopeless. What may deserve some consideration My Lords is that the many inconveniencies and discontents there were, before the passing of that bill, were such as that no body could well then have took upon himself to have answer'd for all the hazards he would have been expos'd to; but what would the confusion and distraction by this time have been, especially at this juncture, when people are fill'd with rumours and expectations of warr, had they been continu'd any longer without laws. Having by some of the last ships that came from England received a pamphlet entitled the State of the Island of Jamaica etc. which is said to have made some noise there, it ought not to pass unobserved by me, it plainly appears to be a collection of facts, that, for the most part, have happened before my arrival here, and seems at this time published to answer some private view, with an apparent indication of finding fault with the Government. Altho' the particulars therein mention'd will some of them meet with their answers at home, others are grounded on nothing but malice, as can plainly be made appear if thought of moment enough to be taken notice of, or enquired into, and the rest excepting some observations concerning trade, which are confessedly good, are general representations and assertions with respect to the state and circumstances of the Island, grounded upon imaginary conciets, without the least colour of truth to support them. I cannot help taking some notice of the want of candour there is in the blending of all those facts together as an uniform complaint against the present Government, and of the carefull omission of such particulars as might tend either to my proper vindication, or to the setting of those facts in a true or fair light, as may appear by comparing what is publish'd of the Assemblies proceedings with their Minuits, wherein the publisher of this pamphlett has omitted taking any notice of that Address whereby the Assembly after all their enquiries and complaints were over vizt. upon the 14th of October do fully acquit me from any imputation, by confessing, that as they never doubted my inclinations to serve them, so they were entirely satisfied by my actions, of my constant endeavours to promote the tranquility, advantage, and prosperity of this Island. I suppose it is for the same reason that in the second Resolution page 76: about the ill accomodation of the soldiers, and that barracks should be built for them, he concludes it with the words that an Address should be presented to His Grace etc., and so leaves it as a matter incumbent on and neglected by me, purposely omitting the latter part of the same resolution, which directs a clause to be incerted in the Deficiencie Bill for the raising of money for providing necessaries for the soldiers, which would have shewn that no provision had ever been before made by the Assembly for that purpose, nor none as yett, but an imaginary creditt. As to what concerns any losses sustained from the Spaniards by depredations on the shore, in taking off of negroes, had the author added any dates to those depredations it would appear that none at all of that kind have happened in my time, as has in a great measure if not wholly been oweing to the Comodores employing of the man of warr sloop which was done at my instance, and that is also carefully omitted, tho' appearing by the Minuits, and as to any losses of shipping since my coming, which by the dates in his printed list will appear to have been far fewer than formerly, I can give full satisfaction that I have upon every representation or complaint of that kind taken the most effectual measures, not only by letters sent to the respective Governours, but have even prevailed with some of the men of warr to carry them with an express charge to claim and insist to have right done to H.M. subjects; and have often recommended to the persons injured to give me a true state of the facts, that I might transmit and represent the same at Home. But the merchants who have made the greatest complaints have so entirely neglected this recommendation, that I can't help thinking their totall neglect of it, to be grounded on that supposition I have in former letters so fully represented, as if the assistance of the Government in their affairs was not requisite, but that applications thro' other channels at Home were the shortest and most effectual way of proceeding: in which opinion they are confirm'd by the behaviour of the men of warr, who take upon themselves, without the least participation of the Government, the intire management and protection of the Trade ; which should free the Government here from imputation for any loss in that respect, tho' at the same time it makes the merchants conclude it to be entirely insignificant with respect to their concerns; the rather too because they cannot but observe (which I unwillingly do, and would not take notice of further than to take of the least suspition of neglicence here) the delay at home in answering such things as have been represented and required a speedy answer, and that those complaints which have been made in this respect have been dropp'd, or laid aside without any answers, tho' expected. There is not only too much foundation given for the inculcating of this notion by the proceedings of the Lords of the Admiralty, who seem chiefly to support and favour those who affect to act independent and in direct opposition to the Government; But likewise by the negligent and disrespectfull behaviour of most of the Sea Officers, of which, tho' I have already given your Lordships some instances, I cannot forbear taking notice of a fresh one, and that is in relation to Captain Solgard, who as I am inform'd, upon his late coming hither could find leisure enough to go on shore for his refreshment, for two or three days, while the other ships were preparing to go out with him, but in all that time, or whilst he was here, would not treat the Government with that decorum or respect as to make me one single visit, or even to send me the lest direct message or signification of his arrival, but left it for me to be aprized of by hearsay. A sort of treatment he would scarcely have used had I stood here without any character from H.M., but in that capacity exposes me to disagreeable and strange reflections. The notion also which I understand is entertain'd at home by some people, as if I had much concern'd myself in protecting and screening of the Marquis Du Quesne from the enquiries of the Assembly, must be owing to some such like disingenuous representation of that affair, since I gave them, as will partly appear by their Minuits, all the room, and all the aid I could to their enquiries, expressing my desire to be fully informed of all just reasons of complaint, and showing no dislike, but to the manner of their proceeding, as unusual, and, seemingly at least, abitrary; and that [at] a time when no body could guess upon whom it would fall, it ariseing plainly from an inclination to find fault, with or without reason, as appear'd in the progress of that matter. For after shewing their spleen against the friends of the Government, and upon the strictest examination finding nothing they could lay hold of to charge my self, as in effect is confessed by their Address, as it was necessary there should be something done to save their credits, and ingratiate themselves with the people, they attacqued Marquis Du Quesne, who, after seeing what they had to charge him with, which with difficulty he obtain'd, or their leave to make his defence, gave in such an answer to their charge (which answer the compiler of the forementioned pamphlett has not thought proper to take the least notice of) as gave satisfaction to the Publick, and was thought would have satisfied the Assembly, had not their honour been too far engaged to let a thing drop which they had begun and prosecuted with so much fury. And after all, as they to prevent the matters being taken into consideration in Council, hook'd them also into their censure, and instead of making any application to the Government here for redress, (which had they realy desir'd it, would have been the properest and speediest method) ended the affair with an Address to H.M., which made every body conclude their designs therein was only to raise a dust and leave it there, and as the Council were intent to enter upon their own vindication in the matter, and would certainly have pass'd such a censure on the Assembly's proceedings, as would have thrown all things into a flame, it was thought most adviseable to forbear any further proceedings in the affair, and to drop it in the manner it has been. Encloses the publick accompts audited and stated in due form, etc., which it was impossible to do sooner, by reason of the death (a good while past) of Mr. Poyntz the late deputy Auditor, and of his long sickness before etc., and that it is but lately another, Mr. Tymmes, was appointed. The like obstruction has been with respect to the affairs of the Naval Office, wherein by deaths and removals, such an interruption of business has happened, as has made it impracticable to have any such accompts as are required to be sent home. But the present Officer Mr. Montel having directions for that purpose, they shall likewise be transmitted with that expedition I can. I am to acknowledge the receiving (since writing of the foregoing) of your Lordships letter of the 4th of March last, and am very glad to find thereby that the refusal of my assent to that bill which had a clause to repeal the Additional Revenue Bill etc. is approved of by your Lordships. But I think it incumbent on me to represent, that the method intimated of sending hither the draught of a bill to perpetuate the laws, is in my opinion the most likely of all others to be attended with disapointment, distraction, and confusion, there being nothing more repugnant, nor so averse to the temper and disposition of the people here; as may sufficiently appear by the Minuits of the Assembly, and more particularly by their address of the 25th of February last. And as such a draught cant be proposed whilst the perpetuity bill last sent over stands in the way, and continues so to do till H.M. pleasure concerning the same be signified, and as I can't apprehend that the publishing or proposing of any such draught can be of any manner of use or service, but quite the contrary, since I have too much reason to believe they never will, unless directly compelled, give way to any bill that hath not its first rise among themselves; so in case it should be H.M. pleasure to insist on their so doing, and to reject the Perpetuity Bill last transmitted, it will be absolutely necessary to strengthen the hands of the Government, with such means of compulsion, and such instructions about the application of those means, as may justifie the use of them, and let these people see it will be vain for them to contend any longer with the Government. It may also be well worth considering, whether their obedience to any law obtain'd in such a manner, may any longer be depended on, than while the same means shall be kept up, by which it may happen to be obtained, and this consideration My Lords deserves to be put into some ballance with the weight of any such objection as may be made to any bill or bills transmitted with meer respect to their having had their rise here. I must therefore earnestly desire, particularly in case new Instructions be framed and sent before notice or the arrival of what I lately have sent over, and now transmit duplicates of, that there may be no time lost in considering and letting me have H.M. further instructions, and sentiments in relation thereunto. I can't inform your Lordships where, or how it has happened that the contents of my letters have been exposed. But I can affirm that I my self have seen whole paragraphs, copied out of my letters to your Lordships, that have been transmitted to private persons here from England, and agree almost verbatim with the originals. I don't doubt but by your Lordships prudent care, if it proceeded from any of your Officers, that such a practice will for the future be prevented, etc. P.S. I believe it will be neither improper, nor disagreeable, to acquaint your Lordships that I have lately received a letter from Admiral Hosier, dated the 21st of last month at Donna Maria bay, where he intended to stay no longer than to take in wood and water, and then proceed forthwith according to his Instructions. I am obliged to make up this pacquet without the duplicate of the Minuits of the Assembly, which is occasioned by an unexpected disappointment from their Clerk. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Aug., Read 16th Nov., 1726. 6 large pp. Enclosed,
159. i. Accounts of H.M. Revenue, Jamaica, 29th Sept., 1722—7th April, 1725. Audited by Deane Poyntz, Depty. Auditor. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Aug., 1726. 22 pp.
159. ii. Accounts of fortifications, Jamaica, 29th Sept., 1722—7th April, 1725. Audited by John Tymms, Depty. Auditor. Endorsed as preceding. 12 pp.
159. iii. H.M. Account of Impost, 30th Sept. 1722—7th April, 1725. Audited and endorsed as preceding. 10 pp. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 291–293v., 294v.–296, 297–300, 302–307v., 308v., 309v., 310, 311v., 312, 313v., 314, 315–316v., 317v., 318, 319v., 320, 321–325v., 326v.]
June 1.160. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats preceding covering letter, omitting paragraph relating to leakage from his correspondence, and adding: Being lately honoured with your Grace's letter of 5th March last, assuring me how little foundation there was for insinuating as if H.M. intention were to continue the laws from year to year, in order that I might undeceive those people who had been made to believe the contrary, it obliges me to referr your Grace to what has past in the three last sessions of the Assembly, whereby you will see that no endeavours have been wanting to undeceive them in that point. But that their jealousie and incredulity has been such, that as it was not to be satisfied even with what H.M. had declared in his own letter, and by his Instructions to the same effect, there could in my opinion have been very little hope of their acquiescing under what your Grace has certified etc. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Rd. 9th. 7 pp. Enclosed,
160. i. Copies of H. E.'s Speeches to the Assembly of Jamaica, with their Addresses and replies, Jan. 11—9th March. 1725(6). 22 pp. [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 246–249, 251261v.]
June 2
New York
161. Governor Burnet to Mr. Stanyan. Refers to appointment of Lt. Smith (v. following) and requests that his recommendations may in future be speedily laid before His Grace, "for a great part of my influence here over the Officers depends on their expectations to be recommended to rise in their turns" etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. p. 776. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Rd. 20th July. Holograph. 2 1/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1092. No. 48.]
June 2.
New York
162. Governor Burnet to the Duke of Newcastle. Has received two Commissions confirming the two he had appointed, and one appointing Lt. Thomas Smith in place of the third he had appointed, Lt. Walter Butler, who will thereby receive no pay. Asks that Smith may be ordered to his post etc. Continues:—The Assembly have raised a new support of Government for three years to come. The funds they have provided will, I fear, prove deficient etc. The Acts to prohibit the trade to Canada being all expired, the Assembly has taken another method for to encourage the trade with the Indians and discourage that to Canada, by laying a single duty upon the former and a double duty upon the latter. This method will be more punctually executed then the laws before in being, and therefore I hope more effectual tho' less severe etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. p. 775. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Rd. 18th July. 2¾ pp. Enclosed,
162. iii. Duplicate of Nos. 164, 164 i. [C.O. 5, 1092. Nos. 49, 49. i, ii.]
June 2.163. Duplicate of preceding covering letter with postscript of 25th June enclosing an account of the inhabitants of N. York, 1723. Endorsed, R. Aug. 11. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1085. No. 57.]
June 2.
New York,
164. Governor Burnet to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Replies to queries of 1st Oct. 1725. Has given orders for the return of accounts of revenue, quit-rents, escheats etc. Had heard that the accounts yearly transmitted to the Treasury would be accepted as a sufficient compliance with his Instructions on that head etc. As to numbers of planters, refers to account sent 16th Dec, 1723. Continues:—I would have ordered the like account to be taken in New Jersey, but I was advised that it might make the people uneasy, they being generally of a New England extraction and thereby enthusiasts, and that they would take it for a repetition of the sin that David committed, and might bring in the like judgments etc. But since your Lordships require it, I will give the orders to the Sheriffs etc. As to accounts of christenings and burials, they have never been kept regularly, and it would be extremely difficult to bring it to bear for here in New York, there are not Church of England Ministers in half of the counties. And there are many Dutch and some French and some Dissenting Ministers that baptise and bury, some of which keep no account, and others that perhaps, do understand no English. In New Jersey there are few Church of England Ministers, several dissenting Ministers, who keep no account and many Quakers who are never baptised. Has made or given directions for making the other returns required etc. Concludes:—I have met the Assembly here this spring, and they are now ready to break up. I could not obtain of them a new support for longer then three years, nor is it sufficient by 3 or 400 a year to defray all the usual charges of Government, but it was necessary to take as much as could be got at this time, because the old Revenue expires on the 13th of this very month and I must make it my business to get them to supply the deficiencys as they fall out, from year to year. As to the Acts to prohibit the trade to Canada and to encourage the trade with the far Indians, I found the former laws were so ill put in execution, by the people of Albany's screening and concealing one another, that I have thought it best to come into a new method, which is by laying a duty of 30s. on every peice of strouds carried to Canada, and 15s. on what is to go to the side of Lake Ontario. These duty's will be effectually raised and will make a difference; but I found that the old laws would not have signifyed anything, if the oath had been made less severe as I have been informed your Lordships reported it ought to be etc. P.S. June 25th. Refers to enclosures. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 776779. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Aug., 1726, Read 22nd Feb., 1726/7. 8 pp. Enclosed,
164. i. Number of inhabitants of New York, 1723. Totals, Whites, 34,375; Negroes, 6205. v. N.Y. Col. Docs. V. p. 702. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Aug., 1726. 2 pp.
164. ii. Account of escheats at New York, Dec, 1721— June, 1726. Total, £35 6s. 8d. Endorsed as preceding. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 75–79, 80–81, 82v.–83v.; and (duplicate of covering letter only, without postcript, and endorsed, Recd. 18th July, Read Feb. 22nd, 1726) 84–87 v.]
June 2.
New York.
165. Governor Burnet to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges letter of 1st Oct. received on 23rd May. Has therefore had no time to get the accounts required ready. Continues:—There were ships that arrived here last fall who left England a fortnight after the date of your letter, and two that arrived this spring from England who left London a month before the ship that brought your letter. I am at a loss to know whence this delay comes, but I was obliged to inform the Lords of it, that they may not think me remiss in answering letters. The Minutes of Council and Assembly which you miss were certainly sent, and I beleive received, but however I have ordered new copys to be prepared. P.S. I now send the minutes of Assembly for 1724 which were missing. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 18th July, 1726, Read 22nd Feb., 1726/7. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 88, 89v.]
June 3.
Boston.
166. Mr. Willard to Mr. Popple. Encloses Minutes of Council and of Assembly and Acts passed at Session held 5th Nov., 1725. "This is the first good conveyance we have had for this month past." Signed, Josiah Willard. Endorsed, Recd. 26th July, Read 11th Aug., 1726. ¾ p. [C.O. 5, 869. ff. 327, 327v.]
June 13.
Whitehall.
167. Duke of Newcastle to the Governor of Pennsilvania. On the application of the Swedish Envoy, requests that the children of Isaac Bauer, formerly Lt.–Col. of Swedish troops in service of Holland, who died in Pennsilvania, may be sent to their uncle in Sweden for their education etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Annexed,
167. i167. i. John Bauer to the Swedish Envoy. Stockholm, 19th May, 1726. Request as preceding. After the Peace of Utrecht his brother went to the West Indies and there married etc. Translation. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 201–203.]
June 14.
Whitehall.
168. Order of Committee of Council. Referring representation and draught of Revenue Act for Jamaica to the Attorney and Solicitor General, for their report on 21st June. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd., Read 20th Oct., 1726. 1 p. Enclosed,
168. i. Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General to the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council. In reply to preceding, propose some amendments. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 287, 288–289, 290v.]
June 19.169. Lords Proprietors of Carolina to the King. Pray that the following Articles may be inserted into the Instructions of the Provisional Governor of South Carolina, (i) That he be assisting to the Proprietors in their demands of their just dues and rights by their Charter etc., and especially in collecting and receiving their quit-rents etc.; that in case any difference should arise between the Proprietors' Officers, and the Planters, in collecting their cheif rents etc. such differences may be immeediately heard, and determined, according to the customs, and laws of the Province, and Justice between them may be equally and impartially administered. Petitioners humbly conceive that if a Register was established in the said Province where the grants that have been made, and those which shall hereafter be made should be entered, and the quantitys of lands granted, and the cheife rents therein reserved should be expressed; it would put an end to all disputes of that nature that could arise, and the peace and quiet of the country would be settled and established, (ii) That the Provisional Governor be directed to continue such Officers (as by their sd. Charter your petitioners have power to appoint) in their several and respective offices, and imployments, during their good behaviour, and that they may be countenanced, and protected whilst they justly perform the dutys of their imployments. (iii) Many of the inhabitants after they had deposed petitioners' Governor (who was approved by your Majestie) did after an illegal and unwarrantable mannor, enter into and possess themselves of the lands of petitioners without any claim or right thereunto, and therein did cut down great quantities of the most valuable wood and timber, which has reduced those lands to less than half the value they were esteemed at before; upon which account great injury and damage has been done to the estates of your petitioner's Governor may be instructed to turn those illegal intruders out of your petitioners lands, and that your petitioners may again be restored to their antient inheritance and that a stop may be put to such illegal proceedings for the future etc. These Instructions would tend greatly to the settlement of the peace, quiet and happiness of that Colony, and to the support of the just rights of the Proprietors etc. Mmd. All the Lords signed this. [C.O. 5, 290. pp. 175, 176.]
June 20.
N. Provi-
dence.
170. Governor Phenney to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to letter of 28th Jan. and encloses Minutes of Council and Custom House papers etc. Continues:—We have acted in all cases with an honest intention and to the best of our knowledge, and hope you'l please to grant us some indulgence on account of the circumstances of this Colony, being here almost totally without precedents, but as we have from time to time collected them from our neighbours. A rumour we have had for a month past of a war obliges me to remind your Lordships of our great want of gunpowder, carriages and other stores, our largest canon being all dismounted, and what carriages I have made here being of little use for want of a good wheelwright etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Recd. 26th, Read 27th Jan., 1726/7. 1½ pp. [C.O. 23, 2. ff.37–38v.]
June 20.
N. Provi-
dence.
171. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Acknowledges letter of 29th Oct. last, in relation to Mr. Wood's Patent for the coyning of half-pence, pence and two pences for the use of H.M. Dominions in America, and shall be aiding and assisting him as your Grace orders etc. Concludes as preceding. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Rd. 25th Jan., 1726/7. 1¾ pp. Enclosed,
171. i. Minutes of Council of the Bahama Islands, 14th Nov., 1721—16th May, 1726. 265 pp.
171. ii, iii. List of ships entered and cleared from Providence 26th Dec, 1725—25th March, 1726. Signed, Jno. Warner, Nav. Off. 3 pp. [C.O. 23, 13. ff. 285, 285v., 286v., 288–422, 424v., 426, 427v.]
June 21.
Whitehall.
172. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Requests his opinion in point of law whether the Act of Parliament giving further encouragement for the importation of Naval Stores etc. can be construed to take away the right reserved to the Crown by the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay of trees of 24 in. diameter etc. v. Feb. 16th, 1726. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 456, 457.]
June 21.
Whitehall.
173. Order of Committee of Council. Referring back to the Council of Trade and Plantations their report of 30th March upon Governor Shute's petition. They are to consider of the most effectual methods proper to be taken, to oblige the Councils and Assemblys of the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire to pay the petitioner's arrears and to settle a fixed and perpetual salary on H.M. Governor suitable to the dignity of his post. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 30th June, Read 6th July, 1726. 1 p. Enclosed,
173. i. Copy of Governor Shute's Memorial, v. 4th March. [C.O. 5, 869. ff. 263, 264–265, 266v.]
June 22.
Whitehall.
174. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Worseley. Recommends to his favour and protection, so far as may be agreable to law and justice, the case of Henry Morgan, relating to a grant from the Crown to him and his wife of the possession of an estate in Barbados till a debt of £3,500 be paid him, due by mortgage and judgment enrolled etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 203, 204.]
June 24.175. Petty expences of the Board of Trade, Lady Day to Midsummer £148 19s. 2¾d. Postage, £13 1s. 4d. Stationery, £79 16s. 4d. Endorsed. Recd., Read, July 14, 1726. 7 pp. [C.O. 388, 78. ff 143, 144v., 147–148v., 150, 150v.]
June 24.
Whitehall.
176. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, 6 Acts passed in New Jersey, 1725. (i) for the support of the Government, Sept. 1725–1730, (ii) to lay a duty on wheat etc., (iii) to ascertain the size of casks etc.; (iv) for the better regulating of elections etc; (v) concerning the appointment of the Commissioners of the Loan Office etc.; and (vi) prescribing the forms of declaration of fidelity, abjuration and affirmation etc. [C.O. 5, 996. pp. 142, 143.]
June 24.
Whitehall.
177. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Burnet. Acknowledge letter etc. Refer to discrepancies between his acounts of exports of furs and those of Custom House. Mr. Kennedy is appointed to the Council. Ask for return of negroes imported. P.S. Instruction as to correspondence as in Postscript to June 30 etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V, pp. 779, 780. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 384–387; and (rough draft) 5, 1079. No. 143.]
June 24.
Whitehall.
178. Mr. Popple to Same, Refers to discrepancies in returns of exports of furs owing to his merely recording number of cases without number or value of contents. Requests that accounts of furs and skins may be kept in future in accordance with the Custom House method, enclosed. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 780, 781. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 388–390; and (rough draft) 5, 1079. No. 144.]
June 25.179. Governor Burnet to Mr. Popple. Encloses a duplicate of part of postscript to 2nd June. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Aug., 1726, Read 23rd Feb., 1726/7. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 90, 91v.]
June 28.180. Account of negroes imported into Virginia 1710–1718. Endorsed, Recd, (from Col. Spotswood), Read 28th June, 1726. 7 pp. [C.O. 5, 1320. ff. 5–7, 8–l0v.]
June 28.
Whitehall.
181. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Burnet. Acknowledge letters of 12th May, 1724, and 2nd Jan., 1725, "as also the several Acts and other public papers therein mentioned, which we desire you will be punctual in transmitting for the future" etc. Enclose Attorney and Solicitor General's report upon gold and silver mines in New Jersey (v. 30th Nov., 1723). Continue:—We have considered the Act for an additional support of this Government and making current £40,000 in bills of credit etc. We must take notice to you upon this occasion, that we are very cautious of recommending to the King the confirmation of any bills of this nature, considering the many ill consequences, we have observed to proceed from them; But as in this bill proper care seems to be taken of the security required from those to whom these bills shall be lent, and that the bills to be raised by this Act would be sunk in tenn years time, if the manner prescribed for sinking them, were punctually put in execution, and that there would then be a profit to the public of £5,772, we shall let this Act lye by probationary, in hopes it may answer the end proposed by it: But it is with some concern, that we are obliged to observe, you have already broken into the appropriation of this Act by an Act for the support of the Government of New Jersey, commencing 23rd Sept., 1725, and ending 23rd Sept., 1730, by which you take away from your sinking fund the first year's intrest arrising upon the bills lent out, which proceeding is a very bad precedent, and we apprehend will be detrimental to the credit of your paper money. Proceedings of this nature have had that effect in other Colonies, where at the first setting out, they have made very good laws for sinking the paper bills, but have afterwards broken in upon the funds appropriated for that purpose: we must therefore recommend to you, to take particular care that no further alteration be made in the funds given by the first Act for sinking the paper bills: and we shall let this second Act likewise ly by probationary, till we hear further from you; we observe, that the whole provision made by this last mentioned Act for the service of the Government for five years amounts to £6350 7s. Od. of which £2410 7s. is said to be necessary for the first year's service only, which greatly exceeds the general provision for the whole five years; we apprehend this may be best explained by an account of the annual charge and income of the Province, which we desire you will send us, as also the like account for New York. [C.O. 5, 996. pp. 137–140.]
June 28.
Whitehall.
182. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General. Encloses, for their opinion in point of law, extract of letter from Lt.–Gov. Drysdale, and queries relating to the case between the King and the Proprietor of the Northern Neck etc. [C.O. 5, 1365. p. 287.]
June 29.
Virga.
183. Lt. Governor Drysdale to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Sends returns required Oct. 1st:—The forming a list of twelve persons fitly qualified to supply the vacancies in the Councell, is a task more difficult than at first I apprehended; and the more I consider of the qualifications requisite in those who ought to fill that post, the more I am concerned, lest by any mistake in my choice, I should doe a disservice to the Crown, or Country: for a knowledge of in the law, is a requisite, as principles of loyalty, where the Councell are the onely judges of men's properties and estates and few gentlemen here has made much progress in that study: Again, the gentlemen of the best estates here, are so nearly linked by blood or by intermarriages, that I cannot judge itt adviseable to put the power of judicature in the Genll. Court too much into one family: some again are well qualified as to their circumstances, but are barren in their intellects: others of good sence and understanding, want ye advantage of a suitable fortune etc. These difficulties together with an ill state of health for a long time past which has hindred mee from the personall knowledge of many of the Gentm. of the country that live remote, and ye apprehension of being deceived in the charecters of men, has hitherto obstructed the sending that list required etc. Encloses list that will suffice for some time (v. encl. i). Continues: —The number of planters and inhabitants are onely to be known by the list of tithables, etc. v. encl. ii, iii. Continues:— As to the condition of the batteries erected for the defence of the sevll. rivers, (for forts there are none) your Ldpps. will bee pleased to know, that about 1720 there were erected etc., on Point Comfort at the mouth of James River a battery of 21 gunns : but itt was so ill situated, and the work so badly finish'd, that a great part of itt was broke down and carried away, by the storm and inundation that happened in Augt., 1724, so that there remains now onely 10 gunns mounted, and another such storm would render them useless. Two batteries opposite to one another on York river, the one at York town, on the South side, of ten gunns, the other att Tindall's point on the North of 14 gunns, both in pretty good repair. A batterie of six gunns at ye mouth of Coretomen river which falls into Rappa. about ten miles from the mouth thereof; another of the like number of gunns about 40 miles up Rappahanock river, at a place called Hobbs's hole, where the shipps usuall ride: both these batteries are in good repair. But many of the cannon having been long in the country and little care taken of them, are become so decay'd and eaten up with rust, that they will bee of small service, if ever there should bee occasion to use them; and your Lddspps. will likewise observe from the account of the stores, how slenderly these batteries are furnish'd with shott and with gunners' stores and that there is not one skane of match in the country. The obtaining a compleat mapp of the Colony would bee a work very desireable but withall of so much expence, as has made any attempt of that kind impracticable, and I fear is little to bee hoped for, til the country grows richer. As to the strength and situation of our neighbours, 'tis the happyness of Virga. to bee seated almost in the centre of ye Brittish Empire on this Continent: there is not any European Nation inhabiting near us: wee have N. and S. Carolina between us and the Spaniard: Maryland, Pensylvania, Jersey and New York between us and the French; so that unless the French have extended their setlements to the westward of us (of wch. wee know nothing at present) wee have no neighbours that can at this time give us any disturbance: As to the Indians, there is not any considerable nation within some hundreds of miles of our frontiers: and the few tributaries that live amongst us, are inconsiderable, and withall so divided among themselves that they seem rather to want our protection, than to seek to give us any umbrage. Refers to other enclosures. Continues:—The Courts of Judicature in this country are 1st the Genll. Court which is held twice a year in April and October at Wmsburgh: the judges are the Govr. and Councell etc. Refers to Act of 1705 for establishing the General Court, "in which Act your Ldpps. will see the whole extent of its jurisdiction: the salary to the Councell, is £350 per ann., distributed among them according to their respective attendancies in the Genll. Courts and Assemblys: The Sheriffe of York County and his deputies are the officers attending that Court: for which he has £2000 weight of tobacco for each Court paid him by the Genll. Assembly: the cheife Clerk of the Secretary's Office is clerk of the Genll. Court, and the fees on all causes prosecuted there, are paid to the Secretary of this Dominion. The Courts of Oyer and Terminer held the 2nd Tuesday in June and Decr, are established pursuant to H.M. Instructions etc. It is held by speciall Comission from the Governour directed to the Councell, who lays claim to the priviledge of being the onely judges: the Clerk of the Secretary's Office is also Clerk to this Court, and the Sheriffe's of York and James City summon and attend with a grand and petit jury, for which they have an allowance out of the £100 allow'd for the charge of each Court, and the rest is distributed amongst such of the Councell as attend the service. The County Courts are held once a month in each county, and are constituted by comission from the Governour to such Justices as he with the advice of ye Councell thinks fitt to nominate in each county, who are termed Justices of the Peace and are not limited to any certain number, but generally proportioned to the extent of the severall counties: these have noe sallary, nor other profitt from their places: the Sheriffe of the county is the officer of the Court, and is always nominated from among the Justices: the Clerk of evry County Court is appointed by the Secretary and is removeable at his pleasure etc. Refers to Act of 1710, for establishing the County Courts etc. Describes Court of Vice-Admiralty etc. Continues:—The cheife buisness for this Court is prosecutions of shipps for breaches of the Act of Trade, and suits for mariners' wages etc. It is a Court that has very little buisness, and perhapps the less, because its jurisdiction is as little known, as the methods of proceedings therein: yett it is to be wish'd that some certain forms were establish'd for the better regulating thereof, it being a judicatory absolutely necessary, for the better putting in execution the Acts of Trade etc. The Court of Hustings of the City of Wmsburgh. is a Court of Record, erected by letters patents under the Seal of the Colony by the late Governr. The Judges are the Mayor, Recorder, and Aldermen, their jurisdiction is limited to causes of £20 value arising within the precincts of the Corporation: and these act as Justices of the Peace therein: they have a town clerk, and a marshall, whose fees are the same as those of the County Court etc. The fees to the officers of each Court except that of the Admiralty are contain'd in an Act of 1718, for ascertaining the fees of the Secretary etc. Continues:—The one patent office exercised here by a deputy, is, that of the Auditor Genll, of the Plantations, whose deputy is Nathll. Harrison Esqr., one of H.M. Councell, a person of good charecter and capacity, and who has hitherto discharg'd that trust with diligence and fidelity: This office must always bee executed by a Deputy, since the severall parts of his province being so remote from one another, it is impracticable for the Auditor Genll, to act in all places in person, and I apprehend from the first institution, a personall attendance in America was never intended to bee required of this Officer: neither doe I conceive any prejudice to H.M. service, while he appoints fitt persons to act in his stead. Another officer who holds his place by patent under the Great Seal is the Secretary of this Colony, generally granted to a person residing here; he has the custody of all the records of the Genll. Court, and of all instruments that pass under the Seal of the Colony; and claims by usage (without any speciall grant in his patent) the appointment of all the County Court clerks, who under him have also the custody of the records of those Courts: so that he may be called rather the Custos Rutilorum of the Country than Secretary, for he doth not concern himself in the preparing any matters of State: This Office from itts first establishmt. was only granted during pleasure, which made the Secretary very much dependent on the Governour, and a necessary assistant to him, in evrything wherein the service of the Crown was concerned: but the present Secretary has obtained a patent for that office during life: This may occasion a great change in the administration of this Government; since as the Secretary, he has the absolute disposal of no less than 28 clerkshipps of counties, and all of 'em places of considerable profitt, and held onely during his pleasure: whenever then a person in this station shal have a mind to thwart the King's service, or to carry on any private design of his own, he has itt in his power to gett each of his clerks return'd one of the Burgesses for the severall counties, or to gain one Burgess in each county by the gift of the clerkshipp, and soe to have one half of the lower House of Assembly intirely in his interest, and ready to vote as he directs, for which service, they have the encouragement of this support during his continuance in his office, that is, as long as he lives: I am farr from reflecting on the actions of the gentleman now enjoying this post; I am directed by H.M. instructions to report to your Ldspps. what is fitt to bee done or altered in these patent offices; and I think it my duty to lay before your Ldspps. this great change from the antient constitution etc., and submitt itt to yr. Ldspps., what manner the growing power of this officer may bee made subservient to H.M. interest and service etc. Continues:— As to the wants and defects of the Colony etc., it is much more easie to describe the wants, than find out means to supply them: It is most certain there are many things wanting for the necessary defence of this Colony against forreign invasion: our harbours lye open to an enemy, against which a few batteries now in being are but a weak defence: our Militia are ill arm'd, notwithstanding the strict penalties inflicted by law for not providing themselves therewith: the common excuse is the poverty of the planters, who compose the body of the Militia, occasion'd by the low price of their onely product tobacco: and the Genll. Assembly have laid aside all thoughts of providing armes at the publick charge, since they have been restrain'd from laying duties etc. I design (as soon as the condition of my health wil give mee leave) to make a more exact enquiry into the present state of the trade, the improvements which may bee made in those branches already in use, and what other new products and manufactures may bee discovered and put in practice, by proper application and industry, etc. Signed, Hugh Drysdale. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 14th Sept., 1726. Holograph. 21 pp. Enclosed,
183. i. Gentlemen fitt to supply vacancies in Councell:— Wm. Dandridge, recommended by his Grace the Duke of Montagu, is an English gent, of a plentifull fortune etc. John Custis, of a great estate in this Colony, whose ancestors have been of the Councell, he is little ally'd to any of the present Councellors; his many qualifications renders him fit for that board etc. Thomas Jones is an English gent, long residing here, where hee has acquired a very considerable estate; he is every way qualified etc. Henry Armstead. Every way qualified. "I place him last, in expectation that one of the four Councellors now sitting, who are all nearly ally'd to him in blood, may dye before it comes to his turn" etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 1 p.
183. ii. The present state of Virginia. Lists of officers, civil and military, magistrates, ministers, Militia, etc. Tithables (by counties):—Accomack County, 1300; Brunswick, 160; Charles City, 1082; Elizabeth City, 813; Essex, 2472; Gloucester, 3421; Hanover, 1941; Henrico, 2453; James City, 1347; I. of Wight, 1844; King George, 1300; King and Queen, 2685; King William, 2389; Lancaster, 1249; Middlesex, 1150; Nansemond, 1692; New Kent, 1348; Norfolk, 1188; Northampton, 1044; Northumberland, 1723; Princess Anne, 1046; Prince George, 1624; Richmond, 1450; Spotsylvania, 950; Stafford, 1800; Surrey, 2049; Warwick, 701; Westmorland, 2011; York, 1625. Endorsed as preceding. 3 large folded pp.
183. iii. Account of stores of war in and wanting in Virginia. Same endorsement. 1 p.
183. iv. Account of negroes imported from Africa, 24th June, 1725–1726. 1671 in 10 ships. Same endorsement 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1320. ff. 41–51, 52v.–54, 55, 56, 56v., 57, 58v.–59v.; and (duplicate of No. ii only, without date or endorsement) 5, 1337. No. 31.]
June 30.
Whitehall.
184. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Phenney. Acknowledge letters etc. of 10th Aug. and 24th Dec, 1723, 3rd Dec., 1724, 16th April, 1725 and 26th and 28th Jan., 1726. The draught of Lord Carteret's bastion (10th Aug., 1723) has not been received. Continue:—We have sent to the Duke of Newcastle the papers etc. you have transmitted with respect to the piratical practices of the Spaniards, and hope you will soon receive a satisfactory answer from his Grace. We are now preparing a representation to H.M. wherein we shall offer our opinion that an Assembly may be appointed for the Islands under your Government pursuant to your request and that some stores may be sent, to you. We shall likewise propose to the Treasury that the bills in Mr. Mulcaster's hands may be applied as you and H.M. Council desire. We have discoursed with the lessees concerning the granting of land in the Bahama Islands and they have promised to use their endeavours to get the quit-rents fix'd upon a reasonable rate to encourage the people to settle with you etc. P.S. We have no regular accounts in our Office from the Bahama Islands of the number of negroes that have been annually imported there either by the African Company or by the separate traders, and therefore we desire that you will send us by the first opportunity as perfect an account as you can etc. for as long a space of time backwards as you can, and that for the future a regular account may be annually sent etc. As letters from the Govrs. of H.M. Plantations, as well as the papers referred to in their letters do frequently miscarry, you are desired for the future to take notice in the body or postscript of all your letters by whom you send them, and by the next conveyance constantly to send duplicates etc. that it may be known to whose neglect the loss of letters is to be imputed. [C.O. 24, 1. pp. 79–82.]
June 30.
Whitehall.
185. Same to Lt. Governor Drysdale. We have lately had under consideration your letters etc. of 6th June and 10th July, 1724, and 29th Jan., 31st May and 17th Nov., 1725 etc. We have received the opinion of Mr. Attorney and Sollicitor General in relation to the exorbitant grants of land made by Colo. Spotswood, but as we are inform'd that Colo. Spotswood has petition'd H.M. upon this subject, we are willing to wait some time before we send you our thoughts upon this matter. As to the settling the boundaries between Virginia and North Carolina, the Lords Proprietors paving, as we are lately inform'd, given Instructions to their Governor, to settle them according to the proposals made by Colo. Spotswood and their late Governor Mr. Eden, we shall now lay a copy of those proposals before H.M., for his approbation likewise. We send you inclos'd a copy of a petition from some merchants of Bristol, praying to be reimburs'd some duties they have paid in Virginia for negroes imported there, after the Act for laying a duty on liquors and slaves, had been repeal'd here, upon which occasion we desire you will let us know what money has been collected by virtue of that Act, and how the same has been applied. We have not as yet receiv'd the opinion of the Commissrs. of the Customs upon some extracts of your letter in relation to a vessel having carried English wrought iron from Ireland directly to Virginia (v. C.S.P. 27th Aug., 1725), but so soon as we receive their opinion, you shall be inform'd of it. We have sent to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle several affidavits you sent, 10th July, 1724, relating to ships taken by the Spaniards. John Grimes is appointed to the Council etc. Repeat preceding postscript as to returns of negroes imported and correspondence. Acknowledge letter of 20th April just received. We have sent the queries enclosed to H.M. Attorney and Solicitor General (v. 28th June). [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 288–291.]