America and West Indies
March 1724, 11-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) and Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1936

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56-71

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'America and West Indies: March 1724, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 34: 1724-1725 (1936), pp. 56-71. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72383 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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March 1724, 11-20

March 11.
St.
Christophers.
82. Governor Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicates of 3rd and 11th Dec. last. Continues: If the originalls are not arrived, which I am apprehensive of, from the tempestuous weather that happen'd about that time; I humbly intreat your Lordships to take them into your consideration and favour me with your sentiments upon them, at your convenient time. On the account of the death of the Regent of France, which filled these Islands with a pannick fear, that the war with France wou'd be renew'd, which had almost proved the ruin of these the Leeward Islands; I took that occasion to lay before the Council and Assembly of Antigua the state they were in, in case of such an event, etc. Refers to enclosed Speech and Addresses on that subject. Continues: In the conclusion of that Speech, wherein I have thank'd the Assembly for the affectionate regard they have alwaies show'd me, especially in that part of making a provision for my better support; a majority of the Council of one took umbrage at it, etc., and expostulated with me upon it at the Board in terms so high as no ways suited with the decency and order that ought to govern at that place, nor with that respect that is due to H.M. Commission. I am sorry to represent to your Lordships that this proceedure of some of the Gentlemen of the Council has been frequently repeated; and as they have no one thing to object to my conduct in my administration, I cannot impute their misbehaviour but to the same factious temper, which made some of them principal actors in that bloody tragedy, in which my predecessor Mr. Parke and several others were sacrificed to their rage. Two of the most violent actors therein, vizt. Nathaniel Crump Esq. and Archabald Cochran Esq. are now of H.M. Council. It might have been expected that the favour these Gentlemen received from the Crown, not only in being pardon'd for so notorious and flagrant an[d] offence, but in being promoted to the stations they are now in, would have given a happier turn to their demeanour; But their tempers and dispositions are no ways changed by their promotion; and submit it to your Lordships whether their continuance there, will not be an encouragement for restless spirits to disturb the peace and quietness of that Island etc. Not only the Assembly, but ninteen in twenty of the people in that Island are affectionate to me, being under the utmost concern, least the unhappy humour of these gentlemen might fling them into the convulsions they formerly laboured under at the death of Mr. Parke etc. Refers to Address of Grand Jury (end. i?); Continues :—Their principal intention was to lett these gentlemen of the Council know, that their behaviour towards me, was by no means the sence of nor agreeable to the people in general. Sir William Codrington a Member of the Council of Antigua, residing in England without any lycence that I know of; and there being no prospect of his return his place is in effect become vacant, which I submit to your Lordships, whether it ought not to be filled up with another person; But in case he shou'd return that he may be restored to his former station. Agreeable to my Instructions, I lay before your Lordships the names of six persons qualified to sett in Council etc., vizt. Francis Carlile, Charles Dunbarr, George Lucas, John Gunthorp, James Wetheril and Thomas Williams Esq. I must confess to your Lordships that it wou'd be very difficult to recommend so many persons for the Council, that were not some ways tinged with the general defection that was show'd there at the time of Mr. Parke's death, as some of these named were driven to it by the impetuous rage of their friends. But as a true contrition is next to innocence, I can assure your Lordships that their deportment ever since has meritted favour; and that fact is never mention'd by them but with the utmost abhorrence. My Lords, I find Monsieur De pas Feuquires Commander in Chief of Martinique and all the French Islands in America, was under the like apprehensions of war that we were upon the death of the late Regent of France, and being soon informed of the Speech I made to the Council and Assembly of Antigua to put that Island in a posture of defence, was jealous that I had received advice that a war was commenced etc. Upon which he dispatched a Captain and fifty men in an armed sloop; who arrived at Antegoa the tenth day of February and delivered me enclosed letter (encl. v). The substance of my answer was that I had not any account but that the same amity still subsisted between the Crowns of Great Britain and that of the Most Christian King; and that for my part, I should live in the same good correspondence I had hitherto done. But that it was very true, I was putting the Islands under my Government into the best posture of defence, which was the natural effect of my duty to the King my Master; that I might be always provided, in case the subjects of any other Nation shou'd make us a visit without invitation to make them a suitable compliment. I hope your Lordships will excuse me for answering a French letter in a French stile, for to say the truth in case of a war the French are so powerfull in the Islands of Martinique and Guardeloupe that nothing but a good naval force can protect these Islands from an invasion from thence, and I shall soon have an oppertunity of more fully informing your Lordships of this matter, when I come to answer the queries you have lately sent me. And I humbly beg your Lordships patience, till I have visited the Leeward Islands of this Government, particularly those noble Islands, vizt. Crabb Island and Sainta Crux, intending then to lay before your Lordships an exact history of this Government. I shall proceed on that voyage as soon as H.M.S. Hector returns from Antegoa, she being now careening here. Encloses Act of Antegoa past 9th Dec, for attainting several slaves now runaway and for the better government of slaves. The intention of passing this Act is fully exprest in the title and preamble, and to prevent the inhumane murdering, maiming and castrating of slaves by cruel and barbarous persons (as has been too much practiced) by laying a fine on those that shall be guilty of such crueltys. When this Act was on foot, I used my utmost endeavours to make the murdering a slave punishable with death, but could not gett it past in such a manner, nor in any other than as it is now etc, I take it as it is to be a great point gain'd; there being no law before this that laid any penalty on offenders for the crimes mention'd. Encloses Act constituting a Court to hold plea of forreign attachments according to the custom of the City of London. The reason for making this Act was to provide against the evil practices of merchants and others trading to this Island; who when their circumstances became in a bad state, or with intention to defraud their creditors withdrew their persons to some of the neighbouring islands, whether French, Dutch or Danes; and then their effects were openly exported for their use, before the faces of such who had sold those very goods to them; there being no law in force to attach them. However usefull and necessary this law is to the honest traders at Antegoa, yet as it constitutes a new Court of Justice, which I am restrain'd from by my Instructions I cou'd not pass it without a reserving clause till H.M. pleasure was signified thereon, which will I hope find the Royal approbation by your Lordships recommendation. I have at last effectually prevail'd with the Council and Assembly of the Island of Antegoa to revise their laws; and they have voted the Attorny General £500 money of that Island for that labourious and usefull wor k—so that I hope in six months, I shall be able to transmit them to your Lordships compleat. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Reed. 1st June, Read 19th Augt., 1724. 7 3/4 pp. Enclosed,
82. i. Governor Hart's Speech to the Council and Assembly of Antigua, 23rd Jan. 1724. Recommends revisal of laws and measures of defence, and the discharge of public debts, the Island being in the most flourishing condition that ever it was etc. Thanks Assembly for their kind regard in making provision for his better support etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. Copy. 3 3/4 pp.
82. ii. Address of the Lt. General and Council to Governor Hart. Reply to preceding, referred to above. Signed, Wavll. Smith. Sec. & CI. C. Copy. 3 pp.
82. iii. Address of the Assembly of Antigua to Governor Hart. Feb. 6th, 1724. Reply to No. i. Signed, Ashton Warner, Speaker. Copy. 3 3/4 pp.
82. iv. Address of the Grand Jury of Antigua to Governor Hart. St. Johns, 11th Feb., 1723(4). Return thanks for his just and prudent administration, and his care for the encouragement of trade, increase of the inhabitants and defence of the country etc. Signed, P. Stoodlie, Hen. Osborn, Richard Oliver, Bayer Otto Bayer, Rich. Sherwood, Henry Lyons, Cæsar Rodeney, Pat. West, Ja. Parke, John Burke, John Eliot, James Gamble, Robert Weir, William Paynter, Peter Hasell, Thoms. Jarvis, Geo. Weatherill, P. Raynolds, Francis Burton, Tho. Dunbar Parke, Philip Darbye, Jno. Booth. 1 large p.
82. v. M. de pas Feuquières, Governor of Martinique, to Governor Hart. Rumours of arming in the Leeward Islands and Europe, and the passing of a squadron bound for Antigua lead me to enquire whether there is any misunderstanding between the King of England and my Master etc. Signed, Depas Feuquières. French. Copy. 2 1/2 pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 264–267?., 269?–278?.]
March 11.
So. Carolina,
Charles
Town.
83. Governor Nicholson to Lord Carteret. Is preparing copies of correspondence with the Governor of St. Augustine etc. ?. March 10th. Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Rd. April 27th. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 387. No. 43.]
March 12.
So. Carolina,
Charles
Town.
84. Same to Same. Encloses duplicates of preceding and repeats part of letter of 10th March relating to correspondence with Governor of St. Augustine. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 1/2 pp. Enclosed,
84. i–ix. Duplicates of Nos. 81. iv–xii. [C.O. 5, 387. Nos. 44, 44. i–ix.]
March 12.
So. Carolina.
Charles
Town.
85. Governor Nicholson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicate of 10th inst. etc., and proclamation "further prorogueing the Assembly to the 23rd inst. by wch. time I hope (in God) to have the honour of receiving your Lordps. commands. Before yesterday I could not gett the proceedings concerning Messrs. Godin" etc. (?. 20th Jan.) Continues:—The affidavits were taken before Mr. Chief Justice Hill in their presence; Lawrence Coulleit the Clerk of the Court telling me that they wanted copys of the sd. papers I told him they might have as many as they pleased, its probable they may send them to Great Britain by this opportunity, and Mr. Benjamin Godin intends to go in the ship Carolina frigott which he Mr. Counseillere and Capt. Shubrick ownes, etc. I writt to the Honble. the Comissrs. of H.M. Customs concerning the said ships register (and sent them a copy thereof) and likewise the trading to the French Islands etc. and sent them a copy of my 69 Instructions, and I hope an effectuall stop will be made to this sort of trade or else I am apprehensive it will be prejudicial to the trade of Great Brittain, and also concerning the trade of the New Englanders by sending their own manufacture of iron etc. into these plantations and they are setting up a trade for making rum which they do out of mollasses etc. from Surinam the French Islands and Cape Francois of which they have already brought hither some quantitys and we are in daily expectation of more. I suppose they will endeavour to engross all the trade of mollasses from both the former places and also our Islands if so they will furnish all this Continent with rum and how prejudicial this affair will be to the trade of Great Brittain, the Plantations on the Continent and the Islands in America your Lordps. will be the best Judges. I have according to my duty done all that lay in my power to have my 69 Instruction complyed with, but when Messrs. Godin and Counseillere were brought before the Chief Justice and heard the first depositions made, I taxt Mr. Counseillere being one of the Council about that Instruction and they seemed to make sligt of it and that they would trade that way, indeed I did not then much wonder it they being both French men and I am apprehensive that the French man named Detchegoyen who came from Cape Francois to them was both upon the accot. of trade and as a spye. And I herewth. send an extract of an affidavit taken before me and H.M. honble. Council last night but it being so late could not be sent before Mr. Chief Justice Hill. I suppose these two Gent, will endeavour to gett affidavitts concerning this affair, but they are acquainted that if they have any affidavits it must be done as publickly as these were and that H.M. Attorney General must be there etc. P.S. Encloses papers relating to the Two Friends etc. "by which your Lordps. may please to see in part how the trade is managed to these Islands from Boston to this place and backwards and forwards, and that the trunk that was entred at Boston as of English goods the contents were abt. 50 or 60 peices of chints and in the clearance from hence it was writt a trunk of chints and in my humble opinion if those sort of East India goods can be legally brought into the plantations, and Islands and shipt from one place into another 'twill be the genl. wear of the inhabitants and how prejudicial that will be to the wollen and linnen manufacture of Great Brittain is humbly submitted to your Lordps. by," Signed, Fr. Nicholson. Endorsed, Reed. 24th, Read 29th April, 1724. 3 1/4 pp. Enclosed,
85. i. Proclamation by Governor Nicholson, March 12th, 1728(4), proroguing the Assembly to 23rd March. Same endorsement. 1 p.
85. ii. Extract of an affidavit by Francis Lamande, late Interpreter to the sloop Two Friends of Boston, on a voyage from thence to S. Carolina, from hence to Cape François, and from thence hither again, relating to one M. Detchegoyen, whom they took on board near Cape François. M. Detchegoyen brought in some goods here and took away two Indian slaves and two pieces of fine chints etc.: he was recommended to Messrs. Godin & Counseillere etc. Continues:—There were about 50 pieces of chintz in the trunk mentioned in the Master's manifests etc., some of which were sold here by Messrs. Goddin & Conseillere to whom the sloop was then consigned etc. Same endorsement. Copy. 2 pp.
85. iii. (a) Deposition of Christopher Rhymes, Master of the sloop Two Friends. Charles Town, 13th Nov. 1723. Deponent received orders from the owners Peter Lucel and Temple Nellson, of Boston, to deliver a cargo from Boston to Messrs. Godin and Dela Councelier at Charles Town, take lumber thence to Cape François and apply himself to Martin D'Etchivery there etc. He then returned hither. Signed, Christopher Rhymes.
(b) Manifests of the cargoes of the Two Friends on above voyage, showing rum, fish, timber, bricks and a trunk of English goods consigned from Boston to Godin & Councelier; timber and a trunk of chintz shipped by them for Jamaica; and sugar, cocoa, indigo, rum and molasses consigned by D'Etchivery to Godin & Councelier from Cape François.
85. iv. Clearance of the Two Friends from Boston, 31st July, 1723. Signed, John Jekyll, Collr. 1 p.
85. v. Clearance of the Two Friends from Charles Town to Jamaica, 4th Oct., 1723. Signed, Rich. Wigg, Searcher; Thomas Gadsden, Collector; Wm. Hammerton, Naval Officer. Copy. 1 p. Nos. iii–v endorsed as covering letter.
85. vi. (a) Depositions made before Chief Justice Charles Hill in the presence of Messrs. Godin and Conseillere and Samuel Eveleigh, relating to Detchegoyen, a Frenchman brought into Carolina by Capt. Rhymes, by Thomas Lamboll, Depty. Secretary, William Hammerton, Naval Officer, John Smith, pilot.
(b) Deposition by John Ranchon, Jan. 18, 1723. Detchegoyen informed deponent that he had brought into the Province sugar, cocoa, indigo, and rum, effects of his own to the value of £1000 this country money, and consigned the same to Godin & Conseillere. He offered to sell indigo to deponent and asked whether he had any East India goods to sell etc. Signed, John Ranchon. Same endorsement. Copy. 6 pp. [C.O. 5, 359. ff. 168–171 ?., 172?.–175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 180v.; and (abstract of covering letter) 5, 406. pp. 14, 15.]
[Mar. 12.]86. Governor Philipps to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In reply to Lord Carteret's reference (Feb. 26th) explains the expense he was at in building and maintaining the William Augustus for making the survey ordered in his Instructions. Continues:—I put her under the command of Capt. Southack, and upon her arrival, with accounts properly audited, from Boston, proceeded with the Ingeneer to take a survey as far as Le Have, etc., when it was necessary to send her first for provisions for the garrison at Canso, and then against the Indians and as a guardship to that harbour, and since is laid up. Accounts showing disbursements of nearly £2000 will be laid before the Board etc. The best and cheapest method to finish the survey is to imploy the same vessel, which may be done to perfection in less than two summer seasons, and the Surveyor may use the same opportunity to set apart the wood intended for the Crown. "It's my humble opinion that need not postpone the settling of that country but that proper reserves may be made of such woods in the respective grants, etc. Till such time as fortresses shall be built (?. 28th Nov. 1723), I cannot think that Province to be in any way of being settled it being not reasonable to imagine that any persons of condition will venture their lives and effects upon so precarious a footing." Urges need of a fund fixed for the support of Government etc., for no person who has once experienced the trouble and attendance in recovering money advanced for the public will easily be moved to put himself a second time in such circumstances. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Recd. 12th, Read 17th March, 1723/4 . 2 large pp. [C.O. 217, 4. ff. 207, 207?., 208 ?.]
March 14.87. Mr. Ayon to Lord Carteret. Your letter to the Lords of the Treasury in my behalfe (?. 27th March, 1723) tho' read twice at that Board, has produced nothing but a couple of Minutes, not much inferiour to rejecting, etc. It will be my utter ruin unless you see perfected what you have already begun. My unhappy state of health incapacitates me from seeking a lively hood abroad etc. Signed, Michael Ayon. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 40. No. 11.]
March 14.88. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to the Act of S. Carolina for vesting the Governor's House in Robert Johnson etc. Signed, Rd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 18th March, 1723/4. 3/4 p. [C.O.5, 359. ff. 7, 8 ?.]
March 14.89. Same to Same. Has no objection to Act of New York, 1721, to impower Gilbert Livingston to sell and dispose of certain lotts of land situate in New York. Continues :—But I would beg leave to observe that in private Acts where the right of particular persons are bound for ever they ought not to be drawn in generall words, but the impressions ought to be particular and plain by which all the circumstances of the case may fully appear to your Lordshipps In the present Act it appears that the land intended to be sold came to Mr. Livingston by his wife and to his wife by the will of Col. Henry Beekman, but whether such device was for life, in tail or in fee it is impossible to say etc. As it is a fault frequently committed by the drawers of private bills in all the American provinces I mention it for your consideration whether it might not be amended by some proper direction to be given as a general rule in these cases. As for the Act for exempting Gilbert Livingston £300 due from him for the Excise farmed by him, in case your Lordshipps are of opinion that compositions of this kind for debts due to the publick are usuall or proper to be made in the Colonies abroad, I have no objection etc. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 14th March, Read 2nd April, 1724. 1 1/2 pp [C.O. 5, 1053.ff. 173, 173?., 174?.]
[Mar. 14.]90. Daniel Preverau to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Under Lt. Governor Hope's direction, prays for a favourable report upon Act of Bermuda, 1723, for lessening the number of the Assembly and registering the Acts etc. Signed, Danl. Preverau. Endorsed, Recd. 14th March, 1724, Read 25th March, 1725. 1 p. [C. O. 37, 11. ff. 16, 17?.]
March 16.
St.
Christophers.
91. Governor Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 4th of February past, I received the disallowance to the Act at Mountserrat for my better support, which, your Lordships were pleased to advise me 21st June last, would be disallow'd; The Order of their Excellencys the Lords Justices is dated from Whitehall 27th Aug., 1723, and came to my hands without any letter with it; But as soon as I received it, I writ to Mr. George, Lt. Governour of that Island signifying that the said Act was disallowed, and order'd that nothing further shou'd be collected by vertue thereof. On 26th Feb. (being then at Mountserrat) I personally publish'd in Council the aforesaid Order of the Lords Justices, and also communicated to them the paragraph of your Lordships letter of the 20th of June relating thereto etc Refers to enclosed Journals of that Island. Continues:—This is the first copy of the proceedings of the Council that I have been able to procure from Mountserrat; and indeed I am out of countenance to transmitt them to your Lordships in so lame and indigested manner as they are sent; and your Lordships may please to observe that the paragraph of your letter and the Order of Council are sett down in that Journal without any introduction how they came to be inserted, tho' I gave my reasons in writing, knowing the inability of the Clerk. I must own that the Patentee of the Secretary's Office of this Government has put his Deputys upon such a rack rent (as I acquainted your Lordships before) that persons who have a capacity for them, can find better bread in other imployments; and if I should suspend this Deputy I know not where to get any person to supply his place, and humbly desire your Lordships directions thereon. Your Lordships may please to observe in page 85 of the said Journals, that I inform'd the Council that William Gerrish Esq. who was named in my Instructions as one of the Council, being a considerable merchant and resident in England for more than five years; I order'd him to be struck off from the number of the Council, by vertue of my fifteenth Instruction, and John Parsons Esq. being dead, I appointed Col. John Brambly and Mr. James Cruckshanks in their rooms; As for Mr. Brambly he has formerly been of the Council of that Island, and is a Gentleman of undoubted affection to H.M. of good estate and great probity, and it was by advice of the majority of the Council that I named that person; at the same time they offered out of the great respect they had for Mr. Brambly, that he should take his place as he had formerly satt at that Board, tho' some of the Council afterwards refused it. Upon this recommendation of the Council, I sent for Mr. Brambly and told him that I intended to call him as a member thereof. On which Mr. Brambly modestly excused himself from acting till he had reparation done his injured character, by the representation of William Fry Esq. to the late Mr. Hamilton that he was a disaffected person etc., who was the occasion of his being removed from the Council. Upon my enquiring of Mr. Fry, who is first named in the Council, etc. whether he had so represented Mr. Brambly, etc.;—Mr. Fry arose from his place with all the symtoms of a disrespectfull and unreasonable passion, which cannot properly be expressed in words. He cry'd out, No, No, Mr. Brambly wou'd not averr it to his face; I desired the said Mr. Fry to compose himself and sitt down in his place, and to think of the disrespectfull gesture and manner he had exprest himself in, which he refusing to comply with; and finding that Mr. Fry wou'd have fix'd a falseity upon me by the force of his indecent behaviour alone; I then order'd Mr. Brambly to be call'd into the Council, and desired him to relate to me and the Council the reason that he gave me etc. On which Mr. Brambly spoke to all those particulars already mentioned to your Lordships, ad ding such circumstances as was a plain proof to me and all present; To which Mr. Fry made no other answer to Colonel Brambly in his defence, but with his former exclamations No, No, I did not, I did not, and continued walking all the time. Upon which finding that Mr. Fry would make no acknowledgments for his misbehavior, I ask'd the opinion of the Council, since he obstinately persisted in it, whether a Member of that Board behaving himself in so indecent a manner, ought not to be suspended untill H.M. pleasure was known; and then communicated to them my Instruction and desired their opinions agreeable to it; But instead of answering me, turn'd their perswasions to Mr. Fry to make his submission; which he also refused to them; so having repeated my demand of the opinion of the Council upon this head, they desir'd to be excused, saying they were sorry for Mr. Fry's behaviour; Upon which I suspended the said Fry from setting any more in H.M. Council till His Royal pleasure was known thereon: This I did by vertue of the last clause of my 13th Instruction; for these reasons which I cou'd not communicate to the Council, (vizt.) That a majority of them were his very near relations by blood or alliance, Mr. Wyke being Mr. Fry's own nephew, Mr. Irish married his neice, and is also his relation in blood, Mr. Cook and Mr. Hodges are his cozin Germans; which if I shou'd have openly mention'd wou'd have been accusing them of partiallity; and wou'd have had a very ill effect. I hope this will find its proper weight with your Lordships etc. Mr. Fry in his universal character is a very weak and indiscreet person; and has no talents to recommend him as a Councilor, besides that of a tolerable good estate; It is indeed a misfortune to Mountserrat which is but a small Island, and the number of white men upon it not exceeding 400; and two thirds of them being Papists, who are justly excluded by the Law from having any share in the Government; the Commanders in Chief are confined to a very narrow choice in the recommending persons every way qualified to be of the Council there; But with great submission I lay it before your Lordships, whether this ought to be any incouragement to those already named to offer such insults as Mr. Fry has done; and I cannot but add that if this person shou'd be restor'd, it wou'd give such incouragment to insolent tempers (which are not wanting in these parts) as wou'd prove very prejudicial to H.M. service, weaken the hands of His Governours, and so render them incapable of acting up to their duty. But in my humble opinion an example of this kind is absolutely necessary, and that there wants nothing more to preserve decency and order at the Council Boards and in all other branches of this Government, which I hope will find your Lordships approbation, and that you will please to recommend to H.M. that he may be removed from his seat in the Council etc., and that Mr. Brambly be restored to his former station, and Mr. James Cruckshanks confirmed in his place there. Encloses Act for raising a levy or pole tax towards paying and discharging the publick debts of Mountserrat, which lays six shillings per pole on all white persons and negroes, and being in the usual forms I need not give your Lordships more trouble in explaining it; and shall only remark that they had not past any levy bill in two years, and did this on my recommendation. Encloses Act for granting to H.M. etc. certain dutys upon the impost on lyquors, and upon house-rent, and mills in this Island for the payment of £500 annually to His Excellency John Hart etc The impost on liquors is by virtue of a perpetual Act of the country, and in this is only appropriated to the use mention'd, which doth not amount to above £500 per annum money of Mountserrat. This Act lays a duty of three pounds per annum on each windmill and thirty shillings on each cattle mill, and £100 per annum on house rent in the town of Plymouth; and as this Act is perfectly agreeable to my Instructions; I hope your Lordships will favourably recommend it for the Royal approbation. Your Lordships may please to observe by the message of the Gentlemen of the Assembly to me and the Council, etc., they desired that a provision might be made for H.M. Lt. Governour. But the Council show'd so great an unwillingness to come into it, that Mr. George enter'd a Minute by which he declin'd pressing them any further against their inclination. But that he wou'd apply to H.M. for a further support. I presume your Lordships will think that Mr. George has not made an exchange to his advantage; For when his friends obtain'd him the Commission for that Lieutenant Government upon the sallary of £200 a year; his company of Invalides, he had in England, was otherways disposed of; and if with one dish of meat he can live within the compass of his sallary, he will be a very good husband; so extravagantly dear are all the necessarys of life in the West Indies. But as I cou'd not suffer an Officer in authority by H.M. commission to live in a despicable manner, by this ungenerous proceeding of the Council; I have allow'd Mr. George £100 per annum out of my own appointment together with all my own fees accrewing in that Island, and I hope your Lordships will please to recommend Mr. George's case to H.M. My Lords, All the laws and records of the Island of Mountserrat being burnt by Mounsieur Cossart when he took that Island in the year 1712, the Acts that were then in force and pleaded in the Courts, are only in the hands of some particular persons, and in loose papers, which is very much to the detriment of H.M. subjects there, and as it is impracticable to make an authentick collection of those laws; I humbly desire your Lordships will please to give your orders that all the laws of that Island which have received the Royal approbation, may be copy'd from your Office and transmitted to me. The Council and Assembly being willing to gratifye the extraordinary Clerks that will be imploy'd on this occasion. The fortifications of that Island are very much ruin'd and the whole frame of their publick affairs in so great disorder, that it will take up some time of my residence amongst them to put them under a proper regulation, of which I hope hereafter to give your Lordships a better account. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 1st June, Read 19th Augt., 1724. 9 pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 279–283, 284v.]
[Mar. 17.]92. Draught of a clause propos'd to be inserted in an Act of Parliament for giving a further encouragement to the importation of Naval Stores. The premium of £4 per tun to be continued on all tar made in the Colonies in the manner specified by the Act of 1724. Endorsed, Recd, (from Sir Jacob Ackworth), Read March 17th, 1723/4. 3 1/2 pp. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 129; and 323, 8. No. 46.]
March 17.
Whitehall.
93. Lord Carteret to Lt. Governor Drysdale. Recommends the bearer, the Revd. Mr. Garcia, "who goes to Virginia on account of some Church preferment there" etc. Signed, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. p. 58.]
March 17.
Whitehall.
94. Same to Governor Phenney. Acknowledges receipt of letters etc. of 1st March and 10th & 30th August last, "all which I have laid before H.M., who is very well satisfied with the continuance of your endeavours for his service." Continues:— Altho' I have no particular commands to you at present from H.M., I take occasion etc. of assuring you, that I will not be wanting on my part to represent your services, and as any proper opportunity offers, to promote the benefit and further improvement of the Islands under your Government. Signed, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 85. p. 59.]
March 19.95. Same to Lt. Govr. Dummer. Acknowledges letter of Sept. 27th last, recommending to H.M. mercy Patrick Cunningham and John Brown, two of the pirates who were tried and condemned in July last at Newport in Rhode Island. Continues:—H.M. hath been pleased to grant them a pardon and to order them to be inserted in the first and next General Pardon that shall come out for the poor convicts of Newgate etc. Encloses warrant for that purpose. Signed, Carteret. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 60, 61.]
March 20.
Bermuda.
96. Lt. Governor Hope to Lord Carteret. Encloses following. Signed, John Hope. Endorsed, R. June 8th. 1 1/2 pp. Enclosed,
96. i. Copy of following. [C.O. 37, 28. Nos. 20, 20. i.]
March 20.
Bermuda.
97. Lt. Governor Hope to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Asks pardon for not sending the Minutes of Council home like the other public papers. Continues: Your Lordships will find in the enclosed papers nothing but business which happens of course until the third of this month, which I must desire your Lordships to take notice of more particularly: as likewise of the proceedings of the Assembly upon the same occasion. Your Lordps. may there perceive that I have refus'd passing of three Acts, because the nature of them was contrary to my Instructions; and that notwithstanding the sufficient reasons given for my refusal, the Assembly continu'd to press me to pass the Habeas Corpus Act; first, by desiring a conference with a Committee of the Council, and after that, by a petition to me (without any notice taken of the Council) unto which every member of the Assembly subscrib'd his name. I think it necessary for your Lordps.' more clear understanding of this affair, to acquaint you that ever since my arrival here, there never has been anything put to the vote, at the Council table, but I have always found a hearty unanimous concurrance, to anything propos'd for H.M. service, so that there is not a man at that Board but who was sencible, that what the Assembly wanted, was impossible for me to grant, and tho' it were in my power, that such an Act wou'd be of very bad, if not dangerous consequence in this place. The Committee of the Council spar'd neither pains, reasons, nor the precedents of other Colonys to convince them, that what they urged was impracticable, but to no purpose, for they immediately desir'd to be adjourn'd in an unusual manner, which after having explain'd themselves was very readyly comply'd with, there being no business of consequence at present that does require their consideration, nor can there in all probability anything happen that may necessitate me to call them till such time as I receive your Lordps.' answer to this, or till H.M. pleasure is signified here, touching the Act for lessening the number of Assembly men etc. My Lords, It is now a year past since I recommended this Act to your Lordps.' consideration etc. (?. C.S.P. 1723). Continues:—I have as much as the nature of the thing wou'd allow, been tender of characterizing the capacitys of our Assembly men, and I have shunn'd as much as possible the troubling of your Lordps. with the politicks of this place, and the private views of designing men. But as the proceedings of the Assembly now inclos'd, not only justify what I have said upon this head; but in a great measure confirm me in my apprehensions of what may happen, I think I shou'd be to blame if I any longer defer setting this affair in a clear and plain light; and however mean or rediculous this scene may appear when open'd, I beg your Lordps. will be pleas'd to remember, that the subject I am about to describe, is the cause of it. The General Assembly is constituted by the free election of the inhabitants, call'd Freeholders. There are nine parishes, each of which sends four Representatives to sitt, and vote in the Assembly. When the Assembly is summon'd it is impracticable to keep them longer together than three days; else their familys wou'd starve for want of fish, and their negroes wou'd turn loose. Of the 36 Members, perhaps most of them can read and write; But to my experence, there is not six in their House that has any manner of notion of publick business, either tending toward the support of their Government, or to the advancement of the trade and interest of their country. Far from it! for, as a reasonable man prizes the advantages and the satisfaction that he enjoys in a well regulated Society; so the great good of these people is (what they call) a maroon life: This is wandering from one uninhabited Island to another (in their sloops), fishing for wrecks, and trading with pyrat's, and living not like animals that are imbued with reason. It is fitter to be imagin'd, than for me to tell your Lordps. the effects which rum punch produces in an Assembly of 36 men, such as I have describ'd, which the men now at the Council table have often lamented to me, both in publick and private. Those Gentlemen indeed I cannot mention here without giving of them their due, as having a great regard to the welfare and happiness of their country, being all men who have visited most parts of the trading world in the quality of Commanders of vessels. They are very well to live, and are respected in the country; But when the Assembly are met, I observe their influence is but small. My Lords, I don't desire you to take this upon my bare assertion, nor from the observations of the wisest here; But I must desire your Lordps.' to consider the productions of that worshipfull House, I mean their Acts, as they now stand in a printed book, whereof mention is made in my Instructions. They are for the most part of no manner of consequence, all of them defective, several not to be understood, and some of them indeed are (begging pardon for the expression) nonsense. Till my arrival here with that book above-mention'd, most of the Acts that ever had been made here, were believ'd to be in force; amongst which there was an Act against bastardy and incontinency, which at first was design'd for nine months only, and levelled at a particular man, but by connivance was put in execution till excepted against in 1707, at which time there was an additional clause to it pass'd here, with a design to make it perpetual; to be seen folio 75 Bermuda Acts, which has never been confirm'd (as I believe) because not to be understood, for these reasons, and its being contrary to the laws of England, it has been thought fitt to drop it etc. Copy enclosed. Continues:—I have call'd all those people to account who had any of that money in their hands, and I have ordered it to be given to the greatest objects of charity in the country. The next to be taken notice of is in folio 8, an Act for the recovery of debts from persons insolvent. Folio 61, an Act for establishing fast days etc., a very pious intention; But it has frequently happen'd that those days appointed by the Act for fasting, have fallen upon days appointed for the Church for thanksgiving. I shall trouble your Lordps. with no more of them, but only beg you will be pleas'd to take notice of a clause inserted in several of them etc. "provided further that the Governor's assent to the passing of this Act shall not extend or be construed to extend to the determining this present Sessions of Assembly." I have been at some pains to enquire about the meaning of it, but I can learn nothing but that the man that was Clerk to the Assembly at that time is dead. The late Governor can give no account of it, but that he was glad to pass anything they pleas'd, provided the Government was to be supported, and that notwithstanding the clause before-mention'd, the next thing they desired, was to be adjourned. My Lords, it is a sin to call a parcell of poor ignorant men from their daily labour to consider of matters they do not understand; and this they seemed sencible of themselves, by passing the Act for the lessening of their number; and there can be no better reason given to your Lordps. for the passing of it, than what now lyes before you; I mean, my Lords, the behaviour of these poor men, in relation to the Habeas Corpus Act. I can positively averr, that there was not one man in the House, that knew or understood what he was asking; For, they are now all convinc'd that if H.M. wou'd be so gracious, as to pass that Act, it wou'd be passing a thing inconsistent with our constitution and situation; for as it is possible, that the suspension of such an Act, might sometimes be necessary; yet after it has once receiv'd the Royal assent, the suspending thereof is impossible, till H.M. leave be obtain'd for so doing. The next thing that is worthy of your Lordps. taking notice of, is the last Minute of Council on the 16th of this month. The Acts therein mention'd, are to be seen fol. 16 & 46 of the Bermuda book of Acts, both confirm'd, but so lame, that the design they were made for, is frustrated, and they have accordingly been very chavalierly treated, considering that they had receiv'd the Royal assent. The latter was publish'd here in Nov. 1698, and in six weeks thereafter was suspended by their Governor and Council (on purpose to serve a friend) for six months, and from that time until 20th Feb., 1707/8 that it was confirm'd at home, no more notice was taken of it. The Assembly then petition'd the Governor in Council that it might be put in force; But that was not agreed to; because the platt therein prohibited to be exported, was now become the commodity that answer'd best at home. This is the history of that Act, and the true representation mention'd in the Minute of Council which I am to make, is, That there can be nothing of worse consequence than the presumption these people and their Governors have been guilty of in suspending of this Act: the consequence whereof is evident: for no mortal takes further notice of a law here, than what suits his own convenience; and in their discourse, cite this Act commonly, as a precedent to vindicate themselves for the breach of another. If your Lordps. do not send me contrary Instructions, before the time limitted in the Minutes of Council, it will be absolutely necessary, to put it in execution, were it for no other reason than to oblige this country, to petition, to have it repeal'd, in a regular manner. For tho' it is an Act of no great consequence any manner of way; there is one good that may be expected from it, and that is in order to have it repeal'd, they may be willing to lay a duty upon it, that may support the expences of the Government. Your Lordps. perhaps may think it strange that (till now) I have taken no notice of this; But this excuse I must make for myself: There are several things here of greater consequence which require to be rectified, and when opportunitys offer of broaching of them to the peoples liking I shall watch the occasion: But till then, it is best to let these grievances sleep etc. Requests that the Act for lessening the number of the Assembly may be either confirm'd or repeal'd, "that we may know what we have to trust to." Signed, John Hope. Endorsed, Recd. 9th June, 1724, Read 28th June, 1726. 9 pp. [C.O. 37, 11. ff. 113–117, 118?; and (abstract) 37, 24. pp. 20, 21.]