America and West Indies
December 1727, 1-15

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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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407-420

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'America and West Indies: December 1727, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 35: 1726-1727 (1936), pp. 407-420. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72358 Date accessed: 23 August 2014.


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December 1727, 1-15

Dec. 1.
St.
Christophers.
805. Lt. General Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicate of 12th Oct. and refers to other papers sent home, including accounts from Montserrat, where the forts " are in a most scandalous condition, and as badly supply'd" etc. Continues:—All these I desire Mr. Meure to present to your Lordships, there being no Agent for either of these islands. Acknowledges letter of 1st June and has written to Lt. Governor Byam to move the Assembly of Antego to pass another powder Act as therein directed, and in accordance with the Board's orders of 18th July, has recommended to the Council and Assembly of St. Kitts the repeal of so much of the Common Law Act as alters the Secretary's fees. Has published H.M. Proclamation continuing officers etc. (v. 11th July). Mr. Beak will attend the Board with proceedings of Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas for St. Kitts, June—Aug., 1727. Continues :—" And now I learn from the Lt. Governor of Spanish Town that H..M. was proclaim'd there in the best manner could be on the 5th of Oct. last. I send to Mr. Meure the Proclamations sign'd by the inhabitants there to be deliver'd by him at your Lordship's Board, and etc. an accot. of the number of negroes imported into Antego 25th March—20th Nov. 1727. As 'tis expected H.M. will appoint a new Governor of His Leeward Islands, I humbly offer to your Lordships whether the following alterations in His Commission will not be expedient vizt., That the words " that you take the oath for the execution of the office and trust of our Captain General " be omitted, or the form of such an oath be given with the Commission, no such being here, or ever taken, only the Parliamentary oaths and oath of Trade. " And also to suspend any of our Lieutenant Governours." Should not the words be "to suspend our Lieutenant General and any of our Lieutenant Governours," to correspond with the 13th Instruction. "Summon or call General Assemblys." I humbly propose adding the words "or Assemblys of each particular Island." The words General Assembly are allways taken for an Assembly representing the four islands, and has for about seventeen years past been disus'd. They were never call'd but where business was to be propos'd and laws made that regarded the whole Government, as in time of warr to settle to each island it's quota in general provisions for defence, expences of general concern, as on a cartel hireing vessells to return prisoners etc. But now the Islands are so independant of each other, that a case can hardly offer to require calling such an Assembly. 'Tis besides ungratefull to the people to be summon'd off their Island, and for that reason, and on squabbles about precedency of the Islands such summons of Assemblys have heretofore been evaded, not obey'd and of no effect. Each Island now in it's respective Assembly, wch. is never call'd General Assembly, provides laws etc. for it's own service. " And that you the said John Hart or in your absence our said Lieutenant General or Lt. Governours, shall have full power and authority to make laws." This clause has occasion'd doubts and debates thereon. The word absence certainly means no other absence than if a General be at Antego he is absent from St. Christophers. Where he is absent from the whole Government a provision is made in the Commission. But by this clause an independent power is seem'd to be meant, as if a law made at St. Christophers whilst the Chief Governour is at Antego and passd by the Assembly Council and Lt. Governour be ripe (without the Governour's passing it, and affixing the publick seal) for being presented for H.M. assent. And this in former times was so, and we have laws in Antego that pass'd under the Lt. Governour's Seal only. But I humbly submit it to your Lordships, whether this clause should not declare all laws shall be presented to the Chief Governour for his assent or dissent, that the negative may be in him onely, that the publick seal (in his keeping only) may be affixd. And to declare that each Lieutenant Governour in his Legislative capacity is only a member of H.M. Council in his respective Lieutenant Government, as nominated in H.M. Instructions. And as to the negative voice, will not a subsequent clause therefore be to be alter'd. But the adjourning or proroguing must continue in each Lieutenant Governour. 'Tis impracticable for the Chief Govr., who can be but in one island at one time. And here the words " Generall Assemblys " should be Assemblys only A Lieutenant Governour (not Commander in Chief) can never preside at a General Assembly. I humbly offer that the following clause as farr as it empowers Lt. Governours be left out. 'Twould breed strange confusions, if a chief Governour when on St. Christophers commissions an officer and goes to Antego the Lt. Governour should suspend that Commission or appoint another. The words in the Commission are "And we do hereby grant unto you, and in your absence to our Lt. General or Lt. Governors respectively full power and authority to appoint Judges, Commissioners of Oyer and Terminer, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, etc." The word Sheriff must absolutely be left out. That office is calld here Provost Marshall, a post now pattented by H.M. in England. And as the Chief Governour has the custody of the Great Seal, I humbly offer that the following clause be alterd, and that he, only, have power to grant lands. Tho' formerly the Lt. Governors usd to grant them, and some titles still are in being under a Lt. Governor's seal, but hardly within these forty years. The clause now runs thus. " And we likewise give and grant unto you and in your absence to our Lt. Genll, or Lt. Governors respectively full power and authority to settle and agree for 'such lands" etc. Encloses lists of Councillors etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd March, Read 5th April, 1728. 5½ pp. Enclosed,
805. i. Accounts of stores of war and condition of forts in Antigua, Oct.—2nd Nov., 1727 (v. preceding). Endorsed, Recd, from Mr. Meure March 26,1728. 7pp.
805. ii. Treasurer's Accounts, Antigua, Jan.—Nov. 1st, 1727. Receipts and expenditure, £16,073 19s. Signed, Geo. Byam, Treasurer. Endorsed as preceding. 6 pp.
805. iii. List of burials and christenings in the several parishes of Antigua, 29th Sept. 1726—1727. Totals .—Burials, 110 ; Christened, 126. Endorsed as preceding. 7 pp.
805. iv. Account of negroes imported into Antigua, from April 8—Nov. 20th, 1727. Total 1658 in 8 ships from Africa and one from Barbados. Average price £20 sterl. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 190–195v., 196v., 197, 198, 200, 201–203v., 204v–206, 207–208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214–215, 216v.]
Dec. 1.
St.
Christophers.
806. Lt. General Mathew to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Is sending the following, just received, to Mr. Meure etc Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 23rdMarch, Read 5th April, 1728. l ½ pp. Enclosed,
806. i. List of Councillors in the Leeward Islands. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd March. 1 p.
806. ii. Treasurer's accounts, Montserrat, 1st June—9th Nov., 1727 Total:—Receipts, £846 lls. 1 ½d Expenditure, £759 6s. 1 ½d. Signed and sworn, John Roynon, Treasr. 2 pp
806. iii. Account of annual revenue and salaries, Montserrat. Signed, John Roynon. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Meure) 26th March, Read 5th April, 1728. 2 pp.
806. iv. Account of guns and stores in H.M. forts at Montserrat. 9th Nov., 1727. Signed, John Roynon, Fort Major and Storekeeper. 1 p.
806. v. Account of powder received and expended, Montserrat, 13th June—9th Nov., 1727. Signed as preceding. Endorsed as No. iii. 1 p.
806. vi. Account of negroes imported, Montserrat, 25th March—9th Nov., 1727. One consignment of 62 at £17, and one of 130 at £20 sterl. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p.
806. vii. Proclamation of accession of King George II at Spanish Town, 5th Oct., 1727. 43 signatures. 1 p.
806. viii. Proclamation of accession of K. George II at Montserrat, 26th Sept., 1727. 66 signatures. 1 large p. Nos. vii and viii endorsed as No. iii. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 217, 218–219, 220v., 221v, 222, 223, 224, 224v., 225v.–227v;., 228v., 229v–230v.]
Dec. 1.
Whitehall
807. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following
807. i. Same to the King. Representation upon Capt. Massey's report (v. Sept. 23rd). Sketch history of Fort King George, now abandoned, quoting Nicholson's report, Nov. 28. Conclude:—Altho' the situation of the Fort may not be very healthy, and altho' there may be some reason to complain, for want of proper accommodations, whatever inducements the Council and Assembly might have to withdraw the Garrison, for any immediate service, from thence to Port Royal, yet we are of opinion that the Fort ought not to be abandoned, but that orders should be sent without loss of time for resuming the possession of it lest the same should fall into the hands of the French or Spaniards, the reasons being at present rather stronger for maintaining of this fort than they were at first for erecting of it; This may be done by sending only a detachment of the Company to Alatamaha, for we look upon this fort at present rather as an evidence of your Majesty's possession, than as a place capable of making any considerable defence. This detachment may from time to time be relieved, from Port Royal, by which means the soldiers will have the means of preserving or recovering their health, and it may be left to the discretion of your Majesty's Governor there, to change the situation of the fort to any other place, not lyable to the same objections with this, provided the same be situate in a place that may command the navigation of the said river We the rather recommend this because we are informed, the Spaniards are equiping several periaguas to cruise upon that coast, and they may probably take possession of this river if not speedily prevented. At the same time, we would humbly propose that orders may be sent to your Majesty's Governor there, to furnish the soldiers with all proper conveniences, and to give all possible encouragement for the carrying on so important a service. It may likewise be necessary that your Majesty should be graciously pleased to give directions to your Board of Ordnance, to send some powder and ball, to Carolina, for the service of the said fort, their stores being entirely exhausted. Autograph signatures. 5 ¾ pp. Enclosed,
807. ii. (a) Deposition of Jacobus Kiersted, late master of the sloop Two Brothers, of New York. 8th Sept., 1727. Bound from Pennsylvania to S. Carolina, he was captured by two Spanish sloops, 21st Aug., which afterwards captured another sloop commanded by one Middleton (v. No. ii (b)), and a snow from Bristol, Capt. John Hall, bound from Honduras to S. Carolina with logwood etc., which the Spaniards gave to the English prisoners etc. Deponent was told on board the Spanish privateer, which was commanded by one Bloss from the Havannah, that they expected a snow of 12 guns and 120 men from the Havannah and a schooner of 35 hands to cruize on the coast of Carolina, etc. Bloss told him it was war, and that ten or twelve pettiaugers were fitting out of St. Augustine to come along the coast, and shewed an instrument which he called a Commission from the King of Spain, and Governor of the Havannah, and said there were ten or twelve such sent from the King of Spain to the Governor etc. Signed, Jacobus Kiersted.
(b) Deposition of Solomon Middleton, late master of the sloop Betty of S. Carolina. Charles Town. Sept. 5th, 1727. Bound from Philadelphia to Charles Town, he was captured etc. as above. Capt. Bloss Roderegoes told deponent that he came with four sail of privateers all belonging to the Havannah to convoy the Flota Armado through the gulf, consisting of ten sail freighted with silver and gold etc. Signed, Solomon Middleton. Copies. The whole, 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 383. Nos. 30, 30 ii, iii; and (duplicate of covering letter) 30 i; and (without enclosure ii) 5, 400. pp. 232–237.]
Dec. 4.
Barbados.
808. Governor Worsiey to the Duke of Newcastle. The bill to exclude members of General Assembly from certain offices (v. 16th Oct.) has been brought into the Council where were seven Members present. Mr. Salter, Mr. Maxwell, Mr. Weeks and Mr. Bond were against passing the bill, and the other three, Mr. Maycock, Mr. Lightfoot and Mr. Haggatt, were for it; Mr. Haggatt proposed that the Puisne Barons of the Exchequer the Assistants to the Judges of the several Courts of Common Pleas, and the Lt. Collonels and Majors of the several regiments, should be left out of the bill, and that only the Chief Barons, Judges, and Collonels, should be excluded from being chosen Assembly men, which motion was seconded by Mr. Lightfoot, but the aforesaid Members of the Council, to clog the bill did also oppose that amendment, and when the question was put, whether the bill, as it was sent up from the Assembly should pass, or not, the said four Members gave their negative, and the other three, notwithstanding their amendmt. was flung out, voted for the bill ; I cannot hope for much service from such Counsellors ; I have been very much deceived in Mr. Haggatt's conduct, which I expected would have been quite different when I had the honour of recommending him as a person fit to be a Member of H.M. Council here. Refers to enclosures. Continues:—By the title of the Address (No. i), your Grace will see, it is to me in Council, but as I do not think that either the Council or Assembly can take any cognizance of what I do by H.M. particular commands to me, I did not think it proper to have it read there, tho' I first shewed it to H.M. Attorney General, who was of opinion, it did not lay before the Council, however that this Island may have no reason to complain of my not having done them justice upon this head, I have ordered all the Officers to lay a list of their several fees before me in Council, in pursuance to my 38th Instruction where H.M. commands me, with the advice of the Council, to take special care to regulate the officers fees and that no exactions be made upon any occasion ; and I shall at the same time according to my 54th Instruction, be as carefull to countenance all Patent Officers in the enjoyment of their legal and accustomed fees etc. Your Grace will observe by the said Address, an insinuation as if the Governors had too much favoured the respective Deputies to the Patent officers. I have always thought it my duty to support them in their just rights, and out of the great regard I have to H.M. patent, I have favoured them as far as is consistent with justice, and I wish I could say they had all deserved it from me. Mr. Bignal H.M. Deputy Casual Receiver here is a Member of this present Assembly, and has shewn himself, upon all occasions very violent, etc. By the Minutes of the Assembly your Grace will observe, that he not only voted for the abovementioned Address, but also made a motion for an Address to me to recall warrants I had given to several matrosses by law established, and that I would not issue further orders for the payment of the said matrosses till further provission should be made for the same. The 5th of Oct. last, they recalled their said Address to me, and would effect it by a bill, to regulate the number and salaries of the matrosses, and ascertain the method and manner of paying them by a law. Your Grace will find by the inclosed Minutes of Council that Collo. Saml. Durousseau a French Protestant naturalized in Great Britain is made Storekeeper; Collo. William Leslie has had that office, as also that of Comptroller of the Excize duty for these three years last past. The Minutes of the present Assembly shows how dutifully he has behaved himself in whatever regarded H.M. service, and I must say of this Gentleman that he refused the offers that were made him, of continuing him in the said posts, if he would have fallen into the measures of the present Assembly; I cant help observing upon this occasion, the ill use this present Assembly makes of the privilege the Crown has formerly granted to the General Assembly of this Island, of appointing the Treasurer, Comptroller, and Storekeeper, the two former of these officers, they say, is absolutely in them tho' as to the latter the Assembly does only nominate the person who they, joyntly with the advice of the Council recommend to the Governour for his confirmation, and indeed in this present case I might have refused him ; yet I thought it more prudent not to disagree with the Council at the same time I differ with the Assembly etc. Encloses Act to regulate and ascertain the elections, manner of accounting, powers and proceedings of Churchwardens, which has passed the Assembly and the Council here, but as it repeals some clauses in an Act of this Island, 1648, giving power to Churchwardens to make sale of lands etc., and so much of the first and second clauses of another Act, 1676, appointing the sale in open of effects attached for the Excize, the parish dues etc., as relate to the sale of effects attached for parish dues, and also one other Act, 1720, to oblige Churchwardens to account etc., and as I suppose these Acts have had the Royal assent, therefore, according to my 21st Instruction, I refused to give my assent to it, till H.M. further pleasure should be known concerning the same, and indeed I doubt whether it ought to have a retrospect to the former Church Wardens, or not. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Rd. Feb. 1. Enclosed,
808. i. Address of the General Assembly of Barbados to the Governor in Council. 5th Oct. 1727. We have for some years past labour'd under most severe and unparalled grievances and oppressions by means of the Patentee Officers farming out their offices to persons generally of but small fortunes, who having been too much favoured by the Governours, have taken an unlimitted power in exacting exorbitant fees contrary to the laws etc. Request H.E. to order them to lay before the House a list of the fees by them taken etc., and to order a copy of the Attorney General's report to himself upon several abuses committed by some of the said officers, " in order to have them severally inspected that proper and expedient provisions may be made for the subjects relief" etc. Signed, Robt. Warren. Cl. of the Assembly. Copy. 2 pp.
808. ii. Address of General Assembly of Barbados to the Governor in Council. 5th Oct., 1727. Ask for confirmation by the Governor and Council of their appointment of Samuel Durousseau as keeper of the Stores of the Magazine for one year, in place of William Leslie, whose appointmt. has expired. Signed as preceding. Copy. 1 p.
808. iii. Duplicate of No. i.
808. iv. Act to regulate and ascertain elections etc. Copy. 12 pp. [C.O. 28, 44. Nos. 117, 117 i–iii (without enclosure iv); and (enclosure iv only), 28, 39. No. 50.]
Dec. 4.
Barbados.
809. Governor Worsley to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Duplicate of preceding covering letter. P.S. This goes by the ship Charles etc. Signed, Henry Worsley. Endorsed, Recd. 1st Feb., Read 29th March, 1728. Enclosed,
809. i, ii. Duplicates of Encl. i, ii, preceding.
809. iii. Minutes of Council, Barbados, 24th Oct., 1727. 7 pp.
809. iv. Copy of bill to exclude members of Assembly from certain offices etc. Passed Assembly 5th Oct., 1727. 3 ½ pp.
809. v. Copy of bill to ascertain the elections of Churchwardens etc. Passed the Assembly, 5th Sept., 1727. 13 pp. Nos. i–v, endorsed as covering letter. [C.O. 28, 19. ff. 147–152v., 153v, 154, I55v–I6lv., 163v;.–170v., 171v.]
Dec. 5.
N.
Providence.
810. Governor Phenney to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In my last of the 20th of November by the Guinea-Hen, John Stephenson Commander, I did myself the honor to give your Lordships an account of our proclaiming his sacred Majesty etc., and since when I took the oaths in Council etc., and Tuesday last being the Quarter Sessions the major part of the inhabitants of this island did so too etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Feb., Read 8th May, 1728. 1 p. Enclosed,
810. i. Minute of Council of the Bahama Islands, 23rd Nov., 1727. The Governor and Councellors took the oaths etc. Endorsed, Recd. 19th Feb., 1727/8. Copy. 2/3 p. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 125, 126, 127v., 128v.]
Dec. 5.
N.
Providence.
811. Governor Phenney to the Duke of Newcastle. Begins as preceding covering letter, and encloses " an humble address which I beg your Grace to lay before H.M. " etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, R. 18th Feb. 1 p. [C.O. 23, 13. ff. 510, 511v.]
Dec. 6.
Whitehall
812. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representation upon the Act of New York, 1726, for easier partition of land held in common and promoting the settling and improvement thereof, and for confirming former divisions in the settled Townships of this Colony. There does not appear to be any essential reason for constituting such an extraordinary method of proceeding for the partition of lands held in common, as is prescribed by this Act, which is general and extends to the whole Province, since the same purpose might be effected by writs of partition, or private acts, where they should be found necessary ; but on the contrary, we conceive the said Act to be lyable to many objections etc. The property of private persons might be in great danger of being prejudiced, not only by the methods of partition prescribed, but for want of due provision therein for minors, and persons under other disabilities. This Act would in great measure, operate as a private law, and thereby your Majesty's Instruction requiring in all private Acts the inserting a saving of the right of the Crown and of other persons therein mentioned, as also that publick notification should be made of the parties intention to apply for such Act etc. would be evaded. But the consideration of greatest importance with us, is, that we have reason to apprehend the principal design of this Act is to defraud your Majesty of vast tracts of land, at present held upon pretence of certain exorbitant grants, upon which very small or no quit-rents are reserved to your Majesty. The Legislature of New York have long been desirous of a law for this purpose etc. Refer to Representation of 26th Sept., 1722. Conclude :— Altho' there be a clause in this Act to prevent it's taking effect till your Majesty's pleasure shall be known, yet we humbly propose that your Majesty should signify your disallowance thereof, that the like attempt may not be again renew'd etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 843, 844. [C.O. 5, 1125. pp. 108–111 ; and (rough draft) 5, 1079. No. 148.]
Dec. 6.
Whitehall.
813. Same to Same. Recommend for confirmation Act of Antigua for holding a Court to hold plea of foreign attachments etc. (v. Oct. 19th). [CO. 153, 14. pp. 274, 275.]
Dec. 6.
Whitehall.
814. Mr. Popple to Mr. Harris. Reply to 13th Nov. My Lords Commrs. will hear you any morning upon notice etc. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 240, 241.]
Dec. 8.
Whitehall.
815. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose copy of postscript to Lt. Govt. Gooch's letter relating to ships taken by Spanish privateers. Continue:—When we receive a more particular account, we shall transmit the same to your Grace, etc. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
815. i. Copy of postscript, Sept. 21st, 1727. [C.O. 5, 1344. Nos. 4, 4 i; and (without enclosure) 5, 1365. p. 373.]
Dec. 8.
London.
816. Governor Lord Londonderry to the Duke of Newcastle. Requests extension to 32nd Instruction, permitting Governor to accept present from second Assembly etc. as July 23 q.v. "I apprehend it will be for H.M. service, for then a Governour will be under no inducement on his first arrivall, to deferr meeting the Assembly (which perhaps H.M. service may require) untill he has made acquaintance, and freinds in the respective Assemblys" etc. Signed, Londonderry. 3 pp. Enclosed,
816. i. Copy of 32nd Instruction of the Governor of the Leeward Islands. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 22–23, 24.]
Dec. 12.
Newport,
on Rhode
Island.
817. Address of several of the Episcopal Clergy to the King. Express loyalty, and conclude by arguing "the great necessity of a resident Bishop" etc. Signed, Timothy Cutler, Samuel Myles, James Honyman, James McSparran, George Pigot, Samuel Johnson, Ebenr. Miller, Henry Caner. Endorsed, Rd. March 7, 1727/8 from the Bp. of London, who desired it might not be inserted in the Gazette. 1 large p. Parchment. [C.O. 5, 898. No. 42.]
Dec. 12.
Whitehall.
818. Council of Trade and Plantations to Lt. Governor Gooch. Acknowledge letter of 21 Sept. Continue:—We take this opportunity of congratulating you [upon your arrival], and of approving your conduct in relation to the proclaiming H.M., and to your having published the Proclamation for continuing all officers in the execution of their respective trusts etc. You acquaint us that the meeting of the house of Burgesses is deferr'd, in hopes of receiving some Instructions etc., before their meeting etc. The new Instructions prepared for the Earl of Orkney, are not yet finished ; wherefore we think you will do well to act by virtue of those you carried with you, till such time as you shall receive the new ones. We shall expect a more particular account by the first opportunity, of the ships and sloops taken by the two Spanish privateers mention'd in your letter. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 374, 375.]
Dec. 12.
St. James's.
819. Order of King in Council. Approving draught Instructions for the Governors of Jamaica, New York and New Jersey relating to pirates' effects etc. (v. 26th Oct. and 8th Nov.). Signed, Ja. Vernon. A true copy, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 29th, Read 30th April, 1728. 3 pp. [C.O. 323, 8. No. 90.]
Dec. 12.
St. James's.
820. H.M. Commission to David Dunbar to be Surveyor General of H.M. Woods in America. Copy. [C.O. 324, 49. ff. 51–54.]
Dec. 13.
Williams-
burgh .
821. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges receipt of Proclamation for continuing all officers etc. Continues:—All the returns are ready to be sent by the first ship bound for London; I did not think it proper to convey them by an out-port ship, indeed am told 'tis not the custom. I am now to acquaint your Lordships with the death of Col. Nath. Harrison, one of the Council, and Deputy Auditor of this Colony: for the last vacancy there are interests made to Mr. Walpole, from Col. Hen. Harrison and Mr. John Blair, nephew to the Commissary; for the first I recommend to your Lordships the same Gentleman brother to the deceased, and Col. William Randolph; and as they are both of them well worthy of that honour, firmly attach'd to H.M. and family, I hope your Lordships will favour one of them; and guard against any other application, especially, one person I have reason to suspect is endeavouring after it upon no other merit, than that he is brother to Mr. Cockburn, one of the Lords of the Treasury: this I confess would go a great way with me in his behalf, were not the essentials wanting. Your Lordships shall soon have a list of persons proper for the succession; since the General Court, I have been very ill, and the most useful person in this country to a Governor confined by the loss of his leg; that I hope your Lordships will make some allowances if I am not got into the exact method of relating business etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 15th Feb., 1727/8. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1321. ff. 10, 11v.]
Dec. 14.
St. James's.
822. Order of King in Council. Referring to Committee of Council representation of 6th Dec. on Act of Antigua for constituting a Court to hold plea of foreign attachments etc. Signed, Ja. Vernon. Endorsed, Recd. 29th, Read 30th April, 1728. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 328, 329v.]
Dec. 14.
St. James's.
823. Order of King in Council. Referring to Committee of Council representation of 17th Nov., upon Act of Antigua for securing the title of George Thomas etc. Signed, Edward Southwell. Endorsed as preceding. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 332, 332v., 333v.]
Dec. 15.
New York.
824. Mr. Colden to Mr. Popple. As the Assembly continues in their design of weakning H.M. Government here, it seems necessary to lay hold of all means which may be usefull in putting a restraint upon them. The Assembly preceding the last endeavoured to make the Officer's of the Government wholly dependent on them etc. The last Assembly has not been content with this, and with their having in effect the nomination of all the Officers who are not immediately apointed by the King, but have gone on to weaken the two principal Courts of Judicature etc. Refers to Act for preventing of prosecutions by information and their resolves against the Chancery Court etc. (v. Dec. 21, 1727 and Jan. 4, 1728). Continues:— It is not easy to be conceived to what degree of weakness the administration here is reduced, the consequences of which may be very dangerous to the safety of the Province in general and the properties of the subjects, for in case of any foreign attack or tumult among the people, the Government here is not able to make any stand without the immediate assistance of the Assembly, and the authority of the Courts of Judicature will depend upon the humours of the prevailing party in that house. In short if they shall be allow'd to go on without some speedy remedy to put a stop to them, it is to be fear'd that a resolve of the House of Representatives will in time be lookt on as of more force than his Majesty's most positive command, or even perhaps than an Act of Parliament if it be not accompanied with sufficient force to put it in execution. All this is occasioned by H.M. not having any fund to support his Government here, but what is given by the Assembly yearly or every two or three years, and though the governing party in that house may recommend themselves to Coll. Montgomery at his arrival, by granting a support for some few years, as is usual, yet assoon as those years shall be near expiring, we shall again fall into the state we now are in, and the longer the remedies are delayed, they will be aplied with more difficulty and danger. The only thing that I know in the power of the Government here whereby to gain a certain support, is an enquiry into the grants of lands, etc., and if this enquiry be made in a proper manner, it will not only be effectual for the purposes design'd, but may also become popular etc. Waits to know whether what he wrote 12 months ago is acceptable to the Board etc. Set out, N.Y. Col. Docs. V. pp. 844, 845. Signed, Cadwallader Colden. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Jan., Read 1st May, 1728. Holograph. 4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff 260–261v., 262v.]
Dec. 15.
Whitehall.
825. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following to be laid before the King. Annexed,
825. i. Same to the King. Lay before H.M. draughts of general Instructions for Governor the Earl of Orkney and of those which particularly relate to the Acts of Trade and Navigation, "with some alterations and our reasons for the same," vizt. The 8th Article, which relates to the manner of proceeding against the Members of the Council of Virginia, is made conformable to an Act passed there in 1706, for establishing the General Court, etc. The 82nd Article, formerly given to the Earl of Orkney, relating to the manner of granting lands, not being intirely consistent with several laws passed there since, we have substituted the 47th Article in the room thereof. The 50th Article, in relation to the quit rents, is made more full and explicit than it formerly was, there being great part of an Instruction to the like effect, which your Majesty has already approved of to Major General Hunter etc., added to this. We have added the latter part of the 51st Instruction, Major Drysdale having represented to us, that the method of selling your Majesty's quit rents, by inch of candle, is a prejudice to your Majesty's revenue. We have omitted the latter half of the 54th Instruction, containing directions about constituting a Court for determining of small causes, and about the time for holding of General Courts, the same being provided for by two Acts passed at Virginia in 1706 and 1710 etc. The former Act (for establishing the General Court) making particular provision in case of appeal, we have made the 74th Instruction conformable thereto. By the 101st Instruction formerly given to the Earl of Orkney, his late Majesty signify'd his pleasure that the trade between his subjects of Virginia and the Indian natives, should be free and open; by the latter part of the said instruction, the Earl of Orkney was directed to acquaint the people, that his late Majesty preferring the particular benefit of his subjects there before any other advantage that might accrue to him by restraining the trade with the Indians, had granted them this permission, but the keeping this trade free and open, being contrary to the inclination of the principal inhabitants of Virginia, and the 1st part of this Instruction containing all that is necessary for the Governor's guidance therein, we think the latter part is better omitted. We have omitted the Earl of Orkney's former 87th Instruction, directing him to be aiding and assisting to such persons as are or shall be appointed by the Lords of the Treasury, to be Agents in the West Indies; as this Instruction was given in time of war, and relates only to prize goods, we think the same at present useless. The latter part of this Instruction directing the Govr. to transmit from time to time exact accounts of all occurrences concerning prizes, would yet seem necessary to be continued; but that the present 127th Instruction directs the Governor upon all occasions to send particular accounts of all his proceedings, and of the condition of affairs within his Government, We have likewise omitted the 105th Instruction, directing him to take care that there be no trading from Virginia to any place in Africa within the charter of the Royal African Company; that trade being now open to all your Majesty's subjects. We have also omitted the Earl of Orkney's former 114th, in relation to the qualification of jurors, it being provided for by an Act passed in 1706, concerning juries. We have also omitted the former 118th directing him to provide for the raising of stocks, and building workhouses for employing the poor, least it should encourage the setting up such manufactures as might lessen the consumption of those which at present Virginia takes from hence. We have made the 122nd Instruction, in relation to Admiralty rights and pirates' effects, conformable to an order from the Lords of the Committee of your Majesty's most Honble. Privy Council, 26th Oct. last. What other alterations or additions have been made, are such as your Majesty has already approved in your Instructions to Major General Hunter or Governor Montgomery etc. Annexed,
825. ii. Draft of H.M. Instructions to George, Earl of Orkney. [C.O. 5, 1365. pp. 376–433.]