America and West Indies
July 1726, 6-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1936

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96-115

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'America and West Indies: July 1726, 6-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 35: 1726-1727 (1936), pp. 96-115. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72333 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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July 1726, 6–10

July 6.
Whitehall.
194. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Portland. Acknowledge letters of 2nd Aug. and 26th Jan. last. Continue:—We are glad to find that all things in your Island are in a state of tranquility etc. We have prepared the draught of a Revenue Bill, and we hear, that the same has since been approved of by H.M. in Council; so that your Grace may now soon expect to receive H.M. directions upon this affair. We sent to your Grace, 31st March, 1724, certain queries, to which we desired your particular answers; upon this occasion we must inform your Grace, that these were circular queries which we sent to all the Govrs. of H.M. Islands in America, in order to enable us to lay before H.M. a true state of the said Islands; And it is now long since we have received answers from every one except your Grace: Wherefore we must desire that you will send us by the first opportunity your answer to the said queries.
As letters from the Govrs. of H.M. Plantations, as well as the papers referred to in their letters, do frequently miscarry; your Grace is desired for the future to take notice in ye body or postscript of all your letters, by whom you send them; and by the next conveyance constantly to send duplicates of your last letters and of the papers inclosed therein, that it may be known for the future to whose neglect the loss of letters is to be imputed. We have no regular accounts in our Office from Jamaica of the number of negroes, that have been annually imported there, either by the African Company or by the Separate Traders, since 1707, and therefore we desire your Grace will send us by the first opportunity, as perfect an account as you can get, of the negroes imported yearly since that time distinguishing those imported by the African Company from those imported by others; and we desire that for the future a regular account of the same may be annually sent to us. Postscript added to duplicate, July 28th, 1726. Since the writing this letter, we have received one from your Grace without date, with the new Revenue Act, etc.; and as we conceive the said Act to be contrary to H.M. Instructions to your Grace, we shall lay the same before H.M. to be repealed. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 100–102, 104.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
195. Same to Governor Worsley. Acknowledge letters of 20th April, 1st July, 14th Aug., 13th Sept., 1st Oct., 14th Nov., 1725, and 27th April, 1726. Inform him of representation of May 3 upon Act to prevent carrying off slaves etc. Continue:— We don't doubt, but you will shortly receive an Instruction accordingly. We have sent to the Duke of Newcastle (v. 11th May) extracts of your letter in relation to the people you detain upon suspicion of piracy etc., upon which we suppose you will soon receive H.M. directions. Conclude by repeating Instructions as in preceding as to correspondence and accounts of negroes. [C.O. 29, 14. pp. 424, 425.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
196. Mr. Popple to Governor the Earl of Orkney. My Lords Commissioners have been lately inform'd that Lt. Governor Drysdale has got a licence for returning home for his health, and has already taken his passage, so that according to your Lordship's Commission and Instructions the administration of the Government will be left in the hands of the first Councillor, Colo. Jennings, who is, by reason of his old age, grown incapable of this service. Enquires what account he has had of this matter. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 294, 295.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
197. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Hope. Acknowledge letters of 20th March, 10th, 21st and 22nd Aug., 7th Oct. and 20th Nov., 1724, and 27th Jan., 22nd June and 30th Sept., 1725, together with several papers inclos'd. Continue:—But as some letters and papers therein referr'd to have miscarried, we desire, that for the future, you will take notice in the body or postscript of all your letters, by whom you send them, and by the next conveyance, that you constantly transmit duplicates of your last letters and of the papers inclos'd therein, that it may be known to whose neglect the loss of letters is to be imputed. We take notice, in your letter of 20th March, of what you say with respect to the Act in addition to the Act to prevent the destruction and transportation of palmetto tops and brooms passed 1698 and confirmed 1708, the execution whereof has been suspended for many years; upon this occasion we must observe to you, that no Governor and Council have authority to suspend the force of any Act, after once it has been pass'd, even tho' it should not have receiv'd the Royal assent. But as this law has been confirm'd, we think it a greater fault, that the execution of it has been suspended; wherefore we desire, if you have not already done it, that you would immediately put the same in execution. And if you apprehend any ill consequences may result from it, you may pass an Act for repealing this law, provided that you take care that a clause be inserted therein to suspend the execution thereof till H.M. pleasure be known. We think you have done very well in refusing to join in the petition for the Habeas Corpus Act, and in declining to give your consent to any act which you think contrary to your Instructions. Since our Secretary's letter of 2nd April, 1724, with several objections to an Act for lessening the number of the Assembly, and registring the Acts, passed 1723, we have receiv'd several letters from you, and having considered your reasons for such an Act, we have no objection to your passing a law for that purpose, provided there be a clause suspending the execution of it till H.M. pleasure be signified concerning the same, and that it be not liable to the objections in the letter abovementioned, by which however we do not mean to lessen the salaries propos'd by the last act for the Members of the Assembly, which we hope may encourage them to attend better than they do at present. We have consider'd what you have writ in relation to the confusion caused by the repeal of the Act to supply the deficiency of the several funds etc. We have also consider'd the reasons you sent us for passing the same, and we think them the strongest that could have been given for sending you the instruction which you acknowledge to have receiv'd; it is because worse acts have been pass'd, that they have become common, and therefore it was thought necessary entirely to put a stop to acts that affect in any manner the British trade. We have consider'd what you say, with respect to your being at a loss how to raise money to supply the deficiencies that happen in your funds, as also your proposal for laying a duty on platt, to wch. we do not at present foresee any objection, this being the produce of the island. We hope the news you send, 21st Aug., 1724, in relation to the man of war's being taken by a pirate, is not true; we are sorry to find the seas still infested by them, but as the putting the laws in execution against these common enemies, may in some measure discourage their pernicious practices, so we hope, all H.M. Governors of the Plantations take due care in that respect. We have discours'd with Mr. Aytoune, late Collector of the Customs in Bermudas, upon the trial of the ship Salamander, transmitted with your letter of 20th Nov., but as we find that the sentence passed upon her in Bermuda, has been revers'd here, we have no more to add upon that subject. In your letter to our Secretary, 27th Jan., 1725, enclosing the copy of a letter from you to the Duke of Newcastle, you desire that we will accept of that letter as address'd to us, but we must observe that this is not a proper correspondence with us. You likewise refer to several papers Mr. Aytoune brought over with him in relation to the distraction the Colony of Bermuda was in; but we have not receiv'd those papers, and therefore desire for the future you would regularly send what papers are for this Board, directly to us, and not inclos'd to any other person. You likewise refer us, 30th Sept. last, to several papers said to be sent therewith in relation to the behaviour of the Provost Marshal; but as they are not come to us, it is not possible for us to form any judgment upon them. We have no regular accounts in our Office from Bermudas, 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 get, of the negroes imported yearly, distinguishing those imported by the African Company from those imported by others, for as long a space of time backwards as you can; and we desire that for the future, a regular accot. of the same may be annually sent to us. [C.O. 38, 8. pp. 32–38.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
198. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Propose John Daily and John White for the Council of Montserrat in place of John Cockran and Wm. Irish, decd. [C.O. 153, 14. p. 215.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
199. Same to the King. Propose Col. Carey Broadbelt for the Council of Nevis, in place of Richard Abbot, decd. [C.O. 153, 14. p. 217.]
July 6.
Whitehall.
200. Same to Governor Hart. Acknowledge letter of 6th Jan. and 20th May. Repeat Instructions as to correspondence and returns of negroes given to D. of Portland, No. 194. Continue: —We are surpriz'd to find by your last letter that you give so very different a character of Mr. Pym Burt from what you did 11th July, 1722. We have recommended Mr. Daily and White for the Council of Montserrat etc., and referred the acts transmitted with your last letter to Mr. Fane etc. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 217, 218.]
[July 6].201. Proceedings of the Court of Chancery, Barbados, 13th April—6th July, 1726. 6 pp. [C.O. 33, 27. No. 7.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
202. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following for their report. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 28th July, 1726. 1 ¼ pp. Enclosed,
202. i. Petition of William McDowall of St. Christophers to the King. Notwithstanding H.M. Order of 13th Feb., 1722, Governor Hart continues to disturb petitioner in the possession of his plantation in the late French part of St. Christophers, and to plant part of it for his own use, etc. Prays to be restored etc. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 276–277, 279v.]
July 7.
Kensington.
203. H.M. Warrant granting leave of absence for one year more to John Colleton, Councillor of Barbados. Countersigned, Holies Newcastle. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 204, 205.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
204. Duke of Newcastle to Governor the Duke of Portland. Pursuant to what I had the honour to write, 5th March, I have now the satisfaction to acquaint you, that the draught of the bill for settling the revenue, and perpetuating the laws of Jamaica, having undergone such a thorough examination as was found necessary, in order to make it effectually answer the ends proposed by it, H.M. hath been pleased to approve it as it is now prepared, and hath commanded me to transmitt the same to your Grace etc. Refers to following. Continues:— "which renders it unnecessary for me to enlarge upon it, not doubting but your Grace will recommend it in the strongest terms to the Council and Assembly, and use your utmost endeavours that they may accept it in the manner it is now drawn, without making any the least addition or variation, otherwise than by filling up the blanks, or supplying what may be otherwise wanting purely in point of form. I am sensible from your Grace's last letter of 23rd Jan., and from several of your former, of the many difficulties you have met with in this affair, and of the groundless clamours and jealousies that have been raised by the people of Jamaica upon a notion (as your Grace expresses it) of their being yearly tennants for their laws: But your Grace must at the same time be sensible, how much the Government of Jamaica, and the support of it has depended upon the settling this Act in the most perfect manner, and that the reason of its depending so long, has been that the draughts, which have hitherto been transmitted from Jamaica have not been sufficient to answer the true intent of it. But now that these objections are over, I hope the Council and Assembly will readily acknowledge this instance of H.M. gracious intention to perpetuate their laws, and that your Grace will have no further trouble than the going through the forms of getting this draught pass'd into a law, and of transmitting it hither for H.M. approbation. As to what concerns your Grace in particular, I did not fail to represent to the King the great regard you paid to your Instructions in not giving your assent to the last draught prepared in Jamaica before it had been considered here by H.M. in Council, as likewise the great care you had taken to prevent any confusion or other inconveniences that might have happen'd in the Island, for want of the laws there being renew'd. I wish your Grace all good success in this affair, and everything else that may tend to make you easy in your Government, and am with great truth and respect My Lord, your Grace's most obedient humble servant. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Annexed,
204. i. Copy of No. 209.
204. ii. Copy of draft of Act of Jamaica for granting a Revenue and perpetuating the laws.
204. iii. Estimate of charges on the Revenue (salaries and fortifications £1250, public buildings etc, £1530, subsistence of two independent companies and contingent charges £2,532 125. 0d. etc., officers and gunners of Charles Fort, £839 12s. 6d.), £10,000. Estimate of proposed revenue (by impost at a medium of seven years, £2,966 2s. 1d.; quit-rents, £1,460 14s. 3d.; fines, forfeitures and escheats, 487 13s. 3d.; wine licences, £200; gunpowder, £257 2s.11d. ; new impost including indico at 3d. and sugar at 1s. pr. hundred, at a moderate computation, £3,000 ; other duties found by experience to produce, £2,000)— £10,371 12s. 6d. [CO. 324, 35. pp. 206–237.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
205. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Worsley. I have lately received from you one letter of the 14th and two of the 27th April last, and with one of those of the latter date I received an examination taken by you in relation to Messrs. Hales and Hodges's petition to H.M. But as that matter was recommended to you by H.M. Order in Council, the answer should have more properly been returned to the Council Office. However, I have ordered it to be lodged there, and as to the information you send me concerning Mr. Sutton, who is complained of in the said petition, I will not fail to make a proper use of it, when that affair comes to be examined in Council. I have not as yet heard of any complaint made against you by the said Mr. Sutton, and as I dare say you will not give any just cause of complaint, you may be assured nothing of that kind will make any impression upon me to your prejudice, or that any attention will be given to it, at least without your having an opportunity to justify yourself. I have likewise received the duplicates of these and of your former dispatches with copys of the Minutes of Council, Acts of Assembly and other proceedings relating to the Government of the Island. It is a very great satisfaction to me to receive such particular informations from you, and I take this occasion to assure you, that I have not failed as any occasion offered, to represent to H.M. your great care and exactness in the course of your correspondence. Your letter of 13th Sept. last informs me, that the French pretend a right to Dominico, as well as St. Lucia, St. Vincent's and Tobago, though it does not appear, that anything has been done by them in support of those pretensions, otherwise than that some French familys are settled there. It is not the King's intention that you should in any wise give up or recede from H.M. right and title to any of the Islands, the Government whereof is granted to you by your Commission. But according to the directions I sent you by H.M. Order in my letter of 4th May, 1725, in relation to Tobago, you will act upon this occasion in the most civil and amicable manner, and agreable to the strict friendship and alliance, which at present subsists between the King and his Most Christian Majesty, and the mutual good correspondence, which ought likewise to be maintained between their respective subjects, which I doubt not but by your prudent conduct you will manage so as not to give any just grounds of complaint, or to enter into any disputes upon this head, where they can with a due regard to H.M. service be avoided. As to what you mention in your letter of 14th Nov. last concerning your proceeding against Julien de Lyon and Jean Bouyé as pyrates, I did, by H.M. command refer the consideration of their case to the Judge of the Admiralty, and I herewith transmit to you a copy of his report thereupon, by which you will perceive, that as the facts are stated, he is of opinion, the said persons cannot properly be tryed as pyrates, wherefore it is H.M. pleasure, that you should act in this behalf conformable to the said report. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Annexed,
205. i. H. Penrice, Judge of the Admiralty, to the Duke of Newcastle, Feb. 14, 1725. Is of opinion that Lyon and Bouyé cannot be charged with piracy or brought to trial at an Admiralty Sessions, piracy being robbery upon the sea, and they being charged with plundering a factory at Cape Lopez etc. Signed, H. Penrice. [CO. 324, 35. pp. 239–245.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
206. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Burnett. The last letters I received from you are of the 17th and 24th Nov. last, with a copy of what you wrote at the same time to the Board of Trade by way of explanation of several acts of Assembly past in the New Jerseys, which being under the consideration of that Board, I have nothing at present to observe upon them, but will not fail, when they have passed the proper examination to do my part towards the obtaining the King's approbation of them, so far as they shall appear to be for H.M. service and advantage of those Colonys. I am sorry you have found any difficulty in what I recommended to you, 3rd June, 1725, in behalf of Mr. Walpole, or that your endeavours to do him justice in his office,, should meet with any opposition on the part of the Assembly. However I am glad you have been able to obtain redress as to the greatest part of what has been complained of, and that you will continue to give your assistance in recovering what still remains due. I do not enter into the particulars of Mr. Walpole's demands, since you tell me you have wrote to him yourself, and I question not but he or his Agent will give you such further information as may be necessary upon that head. In the mean time I make no doubt but you will take all proper opportunitys to make the Assembly sensible of the reasonableness and necessity of using your authority, as H.M. Governor, to support the Patent Officers, and especially those relating so immediately to the Revenue in all their just rights and perquisites. Signed, Holies Newcastle. [CO. 324, 35. pp. 245–247.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
207. Same to Lt. Governor Dummer. I have received your letters of 8th and 18th Jan.; in the former of which were inclosed copys of the conferences held with the Delegates of Indians, and of the Treaty you had thereupon concluded with them. The King is very well satisfied to find, that the endeavours you have used for the interest and security of His subjects in those parts have proved so successfull, and that the peace you have made with the several tribes of the Indians seems to be settled upon so good and lasting a foundation. The account you send me in your other letter of the General Assembly's having accepted the explanatory Charter, which I some time since transmitted to you, is no less acceptable to H.M., who was very well pleased with the loyal and dutifull expressions contained in the Address, which was at the same time delivered to me by your brother. The assurances they have therein given of complying with the terms of that Charter, and of manifesting their duty and affection to H.M. person and Government in other respects, will undoubtedly engage H.M. to do everything that may be expected on his part for their ease and benefit, which you will take the first proper oppertunity to acquaint them with. I have nothing farther at present in command from H.M., but to recommend it to you to continue the same zeal and vigilance,, which you have hitherto shown for H.M. service and the good of the Province, so long as the Government thereof shall remain under your care. Signed, Holies Newcastle. [CO. 324, 35. pp. 247–249.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
208. Same to Governor Hart. It has been represented here in behalf of Lt. Gen. Matthew, that his residing at St. Christophers, which, in compliance with your orders, he is at present obliged to do, is a great prejudice to him in his private affairs, being thereby debarred the liberty of residing in Antegoa for the improvement of his plantation there, which is the greatest part of his fortune, and that by being confined to one island, he has not the liberty to exercise the powers granted to him by his commission of Lt. Genl. of all the Leeward Charibbee Islands : You are certainly the best Judge how far it may be necessary for H.M. service, that an officer under you should reside in one Island rather than another, neither is it my intention, by writing to you on this head, to abridge you of any power or authority, which belongs to you as H.M. Governor and Capt. Genl. of the Leeward Islands. But as you reside yourself at present at St. Christophers, it does not seem necessary, that Col. Matthew should be there at the same time; and therefore I would recommend it to you to make this matter easy to one another, so that he may be permitted to go from one island to another according as his occasions may require and according to what has been usually practised by the Lieut. Genl. of the Leeward Islands, still reserving to yourself the power of commanding him to repair to St. Christophers or any of the other islands, whenever H.M. service shall require it. Signed, Holles Newcastle. [CO. 324, 35. pp. 249, 250.]
July 7.
Kensington.
209. The King to Governor the Duke of Portland. Right trusty and right entirely beloved Cousin, "We greet you well. Whereas you did some time since transmit hither for Our consideration the draught of a bill for granting a Revenue etc., and the same appearing upon a thorough examination not sufficiently to answer the purposes intended thereby, the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council, to whom We were pleased to refer the consideration thereof, caused a new draught to be prepared, in the framing whereof they received the several opinions of Our Commrs. of Our Treasury, Our Commrs. for Trade and Plantations, and Our Attorney and Solicitor General, in order to remove the several objections to which the former draught was liable ; which said new draught having been presented to Us in Our Privy Council, We have taken the same into Our most serious consideration, and judging that the same will, in the manner it is now prepared most effectually conduce to the welfare security and good Government of Our Island of Jamaica, We have caused the sd. draught to be herewith sent to you, which you are forthwith to recommend to Our Council and Assembly of Our sd. Island in order to it's being past into a law, and transmitted to Us for Our Royal approbation ; and in the passing thereof We do expressly command and require you to take all due care, that proper funds be inserted in the Bill for raising the additional £2,000 for the maintenance of the two Independant Companys in Our sd. Island, and that the same may prove the more effectual, that such branches of the Revenue raised in Our sd. Island by annual Acts for contingent services as have been found by experience to answer the sums for which they were given, may be appropriated in this Act towards raising the sum of £10,000 per ann. for a perpetual revenue for Us, and We do further expressly command and require you to recommend the sd. draught of a bill with the sd. necessary additions concerning the funds, to Our sd. Council and Assembly, as the terms which we expect from them in return to Our gracious condescension, in confirmation of their laws, and in departing from Our patrimonial revenue in Our sd. Island for their welfare and defence etc. Countersigned, Holies Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd., Read May 24, 1727. 2 ½ pp. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 372–373v.]
July 8.
Boston,
New
England.
210. Memorial of the Lt. Governor and Council of the Massachusetts Bay to the King. Your Majesty's Lt. Governor did on 28th June last communicate to the Council certain intelligence of a pirate scooner on this coast, which he received from some who escaped in a snow, that had been some weeks in their possession; upon which your Majesty's Council immediately gave their advice, that a sloop should be forthwith at the charge of this Government taken up equip'd and man'd, with about 40 men, and suitable officers, and a bounty given to such as should enlist to proceed in quest of the said pirate ; in pursuance whereof a sloop was accordingly taken up, and at six o'clock the next morning the encouragement for enlisting was publish'd by beat of drum ; after which, about noon, your Majesties Lt. Governor received a letter from Capt. James Cornwall Commander of your Majesties ship Sheerness, importing his readiness to go in quest of the said pirate, and that in case he might be supplied with thirty or forty seamen, he hoped to be at sea in eight and forty hours at furthest etc. The Council thought it not advisable that an impress of men should be made at that time; this Government being under great discouragements from supplying the said Commander with seamen, since he presumed in August last, at one time to dispose of twenty men for the service of a merchant ship bound out from a neighbouring Province ; and the occasions of the Government being answered by a cheerful and ready appearance of voluntiers upon the bounty offer'd for that service : which sloop was judged most suitable for the design, she being just ready to sail, and most capable of following the pirate, in case he should stand into shoal water, and the pirate vessel having then no more than ten men, six whereof were pirates; the said sloop was the next morning hawl'd off into the road, in order to proceed with the utmost expedition etc.; but she was stopt and brought to anchor by your Majesties said ship Sheerness then riding within musket shot of the town of Boston, being threatened, if she did not bring to immediately they would fire upon her, notwithstanding the officer aboard the sloop gave them an account, that the sloop was sent out by this your Majesties Government in quest of the pirates; of which Capt. Cornwall could not be ignorant having been informed thereof, the evening before by the Lt. Governor, as a reason why an impress of men was not granted ; and afterwards when the said sloop by fresh orders from the Lt. Governor was brought to sail, Capt. Cornwall fired several shot at her, two of which went thro' her sails, and an officer of the said sloop was in great danger of being killed. Which proceedings not only delayed, but tended wholly to frustrate the good design of this your Majesties Government for the speedy suppressing the said pirates before their number should increase, and to expose the lives and estates of your Majesties good subjects not only of this Province, but of Great Britain also, to the rapine, and violence of those common enemies of mankind. Which behaviour of Capt. Cornwall we humbly hope your Majesty will look upon as a great insult on this your Majesties Government, and a manifest obstruction to your Majesties service ; and that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to express your Royal displeasure thereat etc. And we further beg leave humbly to observe, that the management of the said Capt. Cornwall has been such, as is very far from answering your Majesties gracious intentions in sending your ships of war to this Province ; for altho' it be near two years since his first coming hither; your Majesties said ship has lain still in this port of Boston during the whole time, except a voyage of about three months to Barbados and Tertuga and the said Commander has performed no other service, save his manning two sloops with about fifty men, taken up by this Government for an expedition against the Indians, for about the space of seven weeks ; and while at Tortuga, he was so far from encouraging the merchant ships under his convoy, that he sequestred and engross'd a great quantity of salt to his own use, to the great damage and discouragement of the Trade; so that the merchant ships who used to desire the Station ship here for their convoy, chose to let their vessels go without a guardship, rather than be subjected to the impositions of the said Captain Cornwall. For all which reasons we fear, that the further continuance of the said Captain Cornwall on this Station will be no ways for your Majesties service, or the protection of this Province and the trade thereof. Pray for recall of Capt. Cornwall, and that such Instructions may be given to H.M. Governors as may enable them to direct the imployment of H.M. ships of war stationed there, in such manner as may be most for H.M. service and the interest of the Province etc. Signed, by order, Josiah Willard, Secretary. Endorsed, Rd. Sept. 12th. 1 large p. [CO. 5, 10. No. 183.]
July 8.
Whitehall.
211. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Requests his opinion in point of law, upon enclosed proceedings upon the trial of the sloop William at Bermuda, v. 30th Sept., 1725, and asks for return of the original document enclosed. [CO. 38, 8. p. 39.]
July 8.
Whitehall.
212. Same to Same. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, 3 Acts of Antigua, 2 of Nevis, 4 of St. Kitts and 2 of Montserrat. [CO. 153, 14. pp. 219–222.]
[July 8].213. Petition of William Mathew to the King. Petitioner was appointed Lt. General of the Leeward Islands and Lt. Governor of St. Christophers in 1714. He laid out and completed the fortifications of that island and reorganised the Militia etc. Governor Hart commended his services, but chosing that island for his residence about two years past, thought it most for H.M. service that petitioner should reside at Antigua, the chief island of that Government. Whereupon petitioner farmed out his estates in St. Christophers, and removed with his family to Antigua, and hoped he might have been permitted some leisure to attend the improvement of his plantations there, which is the greatest part of his fortune etc. Governor Hart having lately conceived a causeless displeasure against him, hath lately attempted to deprive him of the honour of Lt. General etc., and to that end on Oct. 2nd last sent him a peremptory order in your Majesty's name to repair to St. Christophers as Lt. Governour. Petitioner remonstrated to him the unusual form of such an order as seeming intended to confine him to St. Christopher as Lt. Governour thereof, and that his removal would prejudice him to the value of £500, however he would pay obedience thereto. He imbarked next day and arrived 5 days only after the date of said order, and instantly being much fatigued, sent a letter to H.E. by his aid de camp, desiring to receive what commands he had for H.M. Lt. General of the Leeward Islands. H. E. sent a verbal answer requiring him to attend a Council on Saturday. There petitioner asked H. E. what business he had for him and said he was ready to obey etc. H. E. construed the said letter and question as disputing the orders of his superior and gave no other answer thereto than severe reprehensions and that he took it to be the Lt. Governour's duty to reside at St. Christopher's till further orders and ordered said letter and answer to be entered in the Council book etc. At the next meeting petitioner laid before H. E. a representation, explaining his meaning and in humble manner supporting the office of Lt. General etc., which H. E. refused to permit to be entered in the proceedings of the Councill, or to give any answer thereto. On the 19th he sent petitioner notice by letter that he was that day imbarquing for Antigua, which he acquainted petitioner with that he might take charge of the Government of that island as usual. The Captain General being returned to St. Christophers, at a Council held there 3rd Jan., opened the meeting with calling your Majesty's petitioner to account for not having been to visit him, telling your Majesty's petitioner in reproachfull words not used between Gentlemen and with a behaviour not fit to be used towards whom your Majesty has been pleased to honour with the second station in the Government, that he would make petitioner do his duty (without charging him with any other instance of his neglecting it), and threatned him with his resentments in very severe expressions. All which petitioner bore with all possible patience, and told Mr. Hart that he had suffered by his absence from Antego not less than £500 on his plantation, and desired leave to return for six weeks, otherwise his losses would increase to more than he could well bear. The Captain General answered that if he had his leave to go thither, he should not as Lt. General of the Leeward Islands act in any civil capacity on that island. Petitioner might (he said contemptuously) if a member was wanting to make a Board of Councell, sitt there or view the Militia, and on petitioner's saying that if on his arrival at Antigua he should find that the Lt. Governour there should doubt the authority given to your petitioner by your Majesty, he should appeal to your Majesty, he was pleased to answer no, he would determine it. Petitioner at length told him, that since he should not be permitted in the execution of his post as hitherto, he would on your Majesty's leave (which he then laid before H. E.) go to Antigua by the first opportunity, settle his affairs there and by the first ship embark for Europe. The Captain General read said lycence and with rancour said that if petitioner went on that leave without his too under his hand and seal he would suspend him, and that he should not go to Antigua to settle his affairs and embark thence, but should if at all embark directly from St. Christophers for England. H. E. by thus calling and confining petitioner to St. Christophers attempted to depreciate, if not destroy H.M. Commission to him as Lt. General. Petitioner is thereby deprived of the power of doing the duty of that office in any other island, and whilst the Captain General and Lt. General are both in the same island as at present, the latter is divested of all authority etc. By obeying H.E.'s said orders, petitioner will be ruined, and by disobedience he is in danger of being reduced to more grevious distress through your Majesty's displeasure etc. Prays for H.M. protection and directions and that the Lt. General's Commission may be explained. Endorsed, a letter wrote upon it to Govr. Hart, July 8th, 1726. 4 ½ pp. [CO. 152, 40. No. 18.]
July 9.
Cleifden.
214. Governor the Earl of Orkney to Mr. Popple. Reply to July 6th. Continues: That Major Drysdale had gott a licence for returning home for his health etc., I don't doubt their Lops, knew of, since I ordered Mr. Lehup to apply to the proper offices where that leave was to be obtained, and as I was very well apprised, that in case of absence of the Lieut. Governor, that the first Councelour was to act, yet being informed that Coll. Jennings was by his old age turned perfectly dos'd and childish, it fell a course to the next in rank, who I am told is very capable (his name I think is Coll. Carter) which I hope is the oppinion of the Lords. Commissioners, and that Mr. Lehup has acquainted them of all this affaire, which I had not fealed to do my self, had I been in any condition of health when that happen'd, but was confined to my bed. It is about two months ago since I had the account of the Lieut. Governour's state of health, and since that I have heard from him, that he did not think of leaveing that place, till he had called an assembly and setled everything which he hoped would be to their Losps. and evry bodys approbation, and that he was convinced there was a very great harmony amongst them, and that he did not doubt to find it so at his returne, so that I fancy their Losps. must be missinform'd, when they think he has already left Virginia, for I don't find the Assembly was to meet, till the midle of this month etc. I am now laid up with a fitt of the gout, else I had waited of their Losps. Signed, Orkney. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 14th July, 1726. Holograph. 1 ¾ pp. [CO. 5, 1320. ff. 27, 27v., 28v.]
July 10.
Virga.
215. Lt. Governor Drysdale to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The generall Assembly which began the 12th of last May being now prorogued, encloses journals and acts of the session etc. Continues:—The constant expence arising from the reparations of the Capitoll, the annuall salaries of officers establish'd by the Genll. Assembly, and the paymt. for negroes convicted of capitall offences (all which are by former laws appointed to bee defray'd in money) made itt absolutely necessary to establish a fund for those charges, and no other could bee found out so proper as a duty on liquors, put in practise on many former occasions, and particularly recommended by H.M. instructions as the most suitable means for lessening the levy pr. poll; for these purposes an Act for laying a duty on liquors is now passed, by which 3d. pr. gallon is laid on all wine, rumm and distilled spirits, and 1d. pr. gallon on all ale, beer, and cyder imported here, except from Great Brittain, which duty is to have continuance for the term of five years : By the same Act a further duty of 1d. pr. gallon on wine, rumm, and other distilled liquors is laid for 21 years for raising 200ll. pr. annum for enabling the Colledge of Wm. and Mary to found its full number of Masters, which the uncertain revenue of that Colledge, and the various accidents attending it, has hitherto obstructed : I could not but bee greatly concerned to see a work begun with so much piety, so little advane'd in the space of thirty years time, and therefore thought it my duty earnestly to recommend to this Assembly the making provision for itts support, and I have the pleasure to find their benevolence to exceed my expectations, and I hope the regard to the memory of the Royall Founders King William and Queen Mary, and the great advantages which the youth of these Colonies may receive by perfecting this seminary of learning and religion, will bee a sufficient recomendation of this Act, and silence all endeavours to deprive the Government of the necessary support provided for in the first part thereof, or the Colledge in that of the latter, especially since care is taken herein to remove the onely exception that could have been made to the former Acts, by putting all the traders in liquors upon an equal footing, whereas in the former impositions liquors imported in vessells owned by the inhabitants of Virga. were onely liable to the paymt. of half duties. The Act appointing a Treasurer being no more than what is usuall upon the raising any new duty, and passed in the common form, needs no remark. Many have been the attempts to repeal or amend the laws made in 1706 concerning the levying of executions for debt; ev'ry session of Assembly since that time has produced greiveous complaints of the many scandalous abuses committed in the valuation of goods taken in execution, yet the repealing of laws which gave debtors so great an advantage over their creditors being very unpopular, no House of Burgesses till now would listen to any proposalls made for that purpose: But the Act intituled an Act to repeal the Act directing the manner of levying executions, and for releife of poor prisoners for debt etc. has effectually remidied the inconveniences heretofore complain'd of, and established so equall a measure of Justice between creditors and debtors that it may truly be reckned one of the best laws, and most conformable to the practise of England of any this country enjoys. The Act for amending the Act concerning servants and slaves, and for further preventing the clandestine transportation of persons out of this Colony, is the same with that passed in 1722, except in that part which related to the better goverment of convicts imported, which gave occasion to the repealing that act, and is entirely left out of this : and there being now nothing contain'd in this, but some necessary regulations for the due ordering of servants and slaves, and an additionall provision for preventing the transportation of debtors and servants out of the Colony, I doubt not it will meritt your Ldspps. approbation. The Act passed in 1723 for security and defence of the country in times of danger, and another in 1718 for ascertaining the fees of the Secretary etc. being expired, and the further continuing of these, is the subject of the Act for reviving and continuing two Acts therein mentioned, the first for 2 years, and the latter till the end of the next session of Assembly, and that your Ldspps. may be the better inform'd of the reason why the latter is to have itts continuance for so short a time, it is because the Assembly intend att the next session to frame a new table of fees more proportioned to the services of the respective officers, and to establish new fees in other cases, where former laws have made no provision : and this being a matter requiring much consideration, they thought fit to make itt the work of another session. Ever since 1679 the importation of tobacco from North Carolina has been prohibited by law, and when the whole body of the laws of this Colony were revised and re-enacted the same prohibition was continued by a new act which was perused and approved by your Ldspps. board, but that act being doubtfully penn'd and seeming onely to restrain an importation by water (as in truth there could bee noe other at that time, when the fronteeres of both Govermts, were so little seated and no roads to render land carriage practicable) and the mischeife increasing greatly within these few years by the number of people that have seated as well within ye bounds of controversy between the two Govermts. as on the Northern fronteeres of Carolina, it has been judg'd necessary to putt a stop to that practise, by the Act passed this session, for the more effectual preventing the bringing tobacco from North Carolina and the bounds in controversy : the reason of which is sett forth in the preamble, that the people of Carolina and of those boundaries being under no regulation in the manner of making and packing their tobacco doe by the importation of trash greatly injure the reputation of the Virga. Manufacture, and it is hop'd this prohibition will facilitate the determination of the controverted boundaries, and bring the people seated there more easily to submitt to the Govermt. of this Colony : since by a proviso in this act they are to bee no longer restrain'd, than till ye limitts of the two Govermts. be determined. The Act to prevent the setting of hedges into rivers and creeks, and the falling of trees therein being onely supplementary to some former laws for preserving the navigation and making the heads of the rivers more convenient for trade, is a law which carries in itt so much of publick benefitt, that I need offer nothing more to recomend itt. The last Act of a publick nature is that for raising a publick levy, and being what passes of course every session for defraying the publick tobacco debts, I shall onely remark thereon, how much the former duties have eased the levy pr. poll, when eleven pounds of tobacco on ev'ry tithable discharges the whole publick expence for three years last past, the greatest part of which has arisen by the rewards given for killing of wolves in the fronteer counties, and is so usefull an expence, that ye inland parts are by itt entirely freed from those destructive animalls etc. There are six other acts of a private nature, wch. I shall but just mention, since there is but one of them that comes within the direction of H.M. late instruction concerning private bills : (i) The Act for ordring a Court house in Spotsilvania county, was made upon the petition of divers of the inhabitants for leave to build a Court house at a more convenient place in that county by subscription, without laying any further burthen on any but such as that become voluntary contributors thereto, (ii) The Act for dividing St. Paul's parish in Hannover county is also made upon the petition of the people, who have lately seated that fronteer, and were too remote from the parish church, and too numerous for the cure of one Minister, (iii) The Act for settling new ferries over Rappahannock Northanna and Appamatock rivers is such a publick conveniency as must frequently bee provided for as the country encreases. (iv) The Act to make the Secretary of Virga. for the time being a person capable in law to take and hold certain lands therein mentioned, and to make leases thereof, was necessary to vest the property of certain lands appropriated by the first Company of Adventurers to this Colony on the place of Secretary, but has hitherto proved of little use for want of a legal capacity to recover his rents, and prevent the wastes that have been made thereon by severall of the tenants : This Act being in favour of one of the principal officers of the Govermt. who holds his place by H.M. immediate commission, I hope it will meet with no objection att yr. Ldspps. board, (v) The Act to prevent swine running att large within the limitts of Gloster town, was prepared upon the petition of the inhabitants of that place, and is on the same reason with other laws of the like nature passed in former sessions etc. (vi) An Act to confirm the title of Richd. Randolph to certain entailed lands and to settle other lands of greater value and two negroe slaves to the same uses, has passed in all the formes required by H.M. instructions, and is not to take effect, untill H.M. approbation bee obtain'd, for which suitable application will bee made to your Lordshipps etc. Continues:—I have transmitted the Address of the Council and Burgesses, 2nd June, to the Earl of Orkney to bee presented to H.M., and since part of that Address contains a supplication for H.M. bounty to the Colledge, the Burgesses who seem to have that matter most at heart, have by a vote of their House appointed the Revd. Mr. James Blair President of the Colledge to sollicite the same, he will attend your Ldpps., and I humbly begg leave to recomend him to your favour and interest so far as he may have occasion in this negotiation. Refers to the representation upon the manner of giving judgement upon an appeal to the Privy Council (v. July 12), which he has transmitted, but will concern himself no further therein, as he must presume that the Committee would not have given a judgment not exactly conformable to law etc. Continues:— As the state of my health was such at the begining of the session as determined mee to seek the recovery of itt by a voyage to England, I have the pleasure to find the affections of the people towards mee on that occasion expressed in a very particular manner both in the Address to H.M., and in those of the Councell and Burgesses to myself, but having since found great benefitt from a doctor I have lately mett with, who gives mee hopes of a perfect cure, I have now resolved to remain here, tho' I had some months agoe desired my freinds to make application for H.M. leave to return home, and I am the more confirm'd in this resolution from a late rumour of a war like to break out with Spain, and I could not in such an event desert the post H.M. has been pleased to honour mee with, whatever may bee my fate in itt; being in hope that if any attempt should bee made on this Colony by the enemy, I shall bee better able to doe H.M. service than anyone in whose hands the administration could be left during my absence, and I should not doubt being vigorously assisted therein by a people who express so great a satisfaction in my conduct etc. Encloses Minutes of Council since 5th May, 1725. Continues:— In the journall of the 10th and 12th of June, 1725, your Ldspps. will observe the necessity of my interposing to remove two scandalous Ministers, whose ill lives had given just offence to their parishes : there being no other judicature to which application could bee made for that purpose, since the Bishop of London's Comissary had not then received his comission etc., but as the consciousness of their guilt induced them to a voluntary submission to depart the Colony, I had the good fortune to gett rid of them to the satisfaction of their parishoners, and without entring into that disputed point of ecclesiastical jurisdiction which is claim'd by the Bishop of London, and by the Genll. Court of this country, and is very fitt to bee setled one way or other, whenever your Ldspps. more weighty affairs shall permit etc. In the journall of 22nd April last your Ldspps. will find that on expectation of your Ldspps. resolution on the report of the Attorney and Sollicitor Genll, concerning the grants of lands in the counties of Brunswick and Spotsilvania : the Councell have advised that the officers of the revenue doe not demand the quit rents for the large tracts held there, til H.M. pleasure bee signified; wch. occasions my renewing my applications to your Ldspps. for expediting what orders shall be thought necessary etc. The great quantities of land wch. your Ldspps. will find petitioned for, 5th Nov. and 4th June last, are indications of the prosperous condition of the country, and how much H.M. revenue of quit rents is like to increase thereby. I cannot but with regret mention the proceedings of the. 24th and 25th of June which relate to the suspension of Coll. Jennings from being President of the Councell: for tho' I must own his long indisposition of body and mind has made itt very unsafe to trust the administration of the Government in the hands of a person under so great an incapacity to preside here, either in case of my death or absence ; yet had I then received the encouragemt. I have since had to hope for the recovery of my health, I should not have been perswaded to remove from the Presidentshipp and Councell one who has served so long in those stations, nor added this to his other afflictions which ate very great: both from the infirmities of his body and mind, and the low condition of his estate, thro' the great debts in which he is involved : his distemper is a palsey, which seized him two years agoe, and has quite deprived him of his memory and understanding : the dayly expectation I had of his death made mee negligent in informing your Ldspps. of his condition, but now I find he may languish many years in a sort of a still life, I grew determined thro' his incapacity not to suffer the reins of Govermt. to drop into his hands, as it must have done, as President, upon my dying or leaving the country, so I ventured on his suspension : but since I am now in so fair a way of recovery, as to leave little apprehension of the Govermts. devolving upon him, I should be glad to know your Ldspps. sentiments about him, whether your Ldspps. will command mee to restore him, or allow mee to name another person to his place. Refers to enclosures. By which your Ldspps. will perceive the thriving condition of the revenues, and I doubt not the export of tobacco for the current half year, will furnish bank for the support of ye Goverment. Refers to enclosures to the Secretary. By which your Ldspps. will plainly discover the vast increase of tithables since the last return of the like form etc. Signed, Hugh Drysdale. Endorsed, Recd. 9th, Read 14th Sept., 1726. Holograph. 19 pp. Enclosed,
215. i Account of H.M. Revenue of Quits-rents, 25th April, 1725–1726. Totals :—Receipts (including balance brought forward of £6,213 16s. 3½d.) £ 8,983 19s. 11¾d. Expenditure :— £1, 823 17s. 5¼d. Signed and sworn to in Council, John Grymes, Recr. Genll. Audited by Nathl. Harrison, Deputy. Auditor. 4 pp
215. ii. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2s. pr. hhd., 25th Oct., 1725—25th April, 1726. Totals:—Receipts (including balance brought forward of £3,217 1s. 6d.) £4,615 7s. 4 ¾ d. Expenditure:—£1,693 3s. 6¾ d. Signed, etc. as preceding. 2 pp. Nos. i and ii endorsed as covering letter.
215. iii. Account of births and burials in Virginia, 15th April, 1725–1726. By parishes. Totals:—Births, males, 1174, females, 1137 ; male slaves, 607, female slaves, 677. Burials, males, 476, females, 458 ; male slaves, 268, female slaves, 317. Same endorsement. 1 large folded p.
215. iv. (a) Speech of Lt. Governor Drysdale to the Council and House of Burgesses of Virginia. Recommends to them the support of the College and announces return to England for his health, (b) Address of the Council of Virginia to the Lt. Governor. Acknowledge his disinterested zeal for the public benefit etc. (c) Address of the House of Burgesses to the Lt. Governor. The present tranquility of the country is due to his prudence and moderation etc. (d) Address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Congratulate H.M. on his safe arrival etc. Your wonderful escape from the dangers of the deep was a matter of the greatest joy imaginable throughout this Dominion etc. Taking notice of the present distressed state of the College of William and Mary etc., and of many accidents and misfortunes which have concurred to delay the progress thereof, and knowing of how great moment the promoting this charitable, and pious design is to us and our posterity, we have agreed to lay a duty on liquors imported and to appropriate £200 per annum to the support of this College etc. and hope that your Majty. will after the example of their late Majtys. King Wm. and Queen Mary, of your royal bounty contribute your farther assistance etc. Testify to Lt. Governor Drysdale's just and mild administration etc., and will esteem his speedy return a great happiness etc. (e) Address of the Council and Burgesses to the King. Protest against judgment on appeal in case of Perry v. Randolph. Copy of July 12, q.v. The whole endorsed as covering letter. Copies. 7 large pp.
215. v. Copies of Proclamations by Lt. Governor Drysdale. (i) 10th June, 1725, proroguing the Assembly to 18th Nov. (ii) 10th June, 1725, offering £20 reward each for the apprehension of Henry Irby, John Dennet and Palister Bowles who have broke gaol and fled justice from Charles City, and (iii) 19th Oct., 1725, proroguing the Assembly to 12th May. Signed, Hugh Drysdale. Same endorsement. 3 pp. [CO. 5, 1320. ff. 60–72v., 73v–81v., and (duplicate of No. v only) 5, 1343. No. 2.]