America and West Indies
July 1724, 1-10

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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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126-143

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'America and West Indies: July 1724, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 34: 1724-1725 (1936), pp. 126-143. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72389 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

July 1724, 1-10

July 1.
Lincoln's
Inn.
229. Mr. Attorney General to Mr. Popple. Upon considering the two Bills from Jamaica etc, Mr. Solicitor General and myself have observed that one of the questions stated by His Grace the Duke of Portland to the Councill of Jamaica is whether the alterations of the duties on sugar and indigo be consistent with his Grace's Instructions, (v 4th March). Asks for a copy of his Instructions etc. Signed, P. Yorke. Endorsed, Recd. Read 2nd July, 1724. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 14. ff. 325, 326v]
July 1.
Whitehall.
230. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. His Grace the Duke of Portland having some time since transmitted hither the Revenue Act passed in Jamaica etc.; I make no question, but that the said Act is under yor. Lops, consideration. But this being a matter of great importance to H.M. service in that Island, in regard it does so immediately concern the renewal of the Laws there, which will otherwise expire in October next, and H.M. finding, that no Representation has yet been made to Him upon this subject, hath commanded me to recommend it to you in a particular manner, that no time be lost in laying the said Act before Him, together with such observations, as you shall judge proper. I am likewise to recommend it to yor. Lops., that you do with all convenient expedition prepare the proper representations to H.M. upon any other Acts, which are, or shall be transmitted to your Board from any of the Plantations, to the end that H.M. pleasure may be signified upon them in due time. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. Read 1st July, 1724. 1 1/2 pp. [C.O. 137, 14. ff. 323, 323v, 324v]
July 1.
Whitehall.
231. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Reply to preceding. Explain that they await the opinions of the Attorney and Solicitor General and the Treasury, before making their Representation. Conclude: We observe what your Grace is pleased to recommend to us relating to the dispatch of our opinion upon Acts transmitted from the Plantations etc., and we take leave to inform your Grace, that we generally divide the Laws of the Plantations into three different classes, that is to say, such as, for the service of ye Colonies or the security of private property, demand an immediate confirmation; such as in their own nature are so pernicious as to demand an immediate repeal; and lastly, such of whose effect being doubtful, we think it necessary to let them lye by as probational, till we shall have been fully informed what effect they may have in their execution. As to all Acts of the two first kinds, we never fail to represent upon them without loss of time to H.M., but as to those of the third class, we generally lay our opinions concerning them in a great number at once before H.M. occasionally, as ye respective affairs of the different Colonies fall under our consideration. But as to the Laws of the Plantations in general, we take leave to observe to your Grace, the fewer Acts there are confirmed, ye greater will be the dependance of ye Colonies upon the Crown; of which the present state of the Island of Jamaica is an instance. Autograph signatures. 3 pp. [C.O. 137, 46. No. 41; and 138, 16. pp. 475–477.]
July 1.
Whitehall.
232. Same to the King. Recommend Saml. Moore as Councillor of Jamaica, in place of Capt. Morant decd. [C.O. 138, 16. p. 478.]
July 1.
Whitehall.
233. Mr. Popple to Anthony Balam, Inspector General of the Customs. Asks for a return of imports and exports of sugar, melosses, rum and spirits for New York, Christmas 1714–1722. [C.O. 5, 1124. pp. 344, 345.]
July 2.
Chertsea.
234. Mr. Worsam to Col. Bladen. Encloses following. Signed, R. Worsam. Endorsed, Recd, (from Col. Bladen) 2nd, Read 21st July, 1724. 1 p. Enclosed,
234. i. Further considerations on the sugar trade. Cf. June 18. Points out how Barbados sugar is handicapped by duties in comparison with foreign etc. R. Worsam. 4pp. [C.O. 388, 24. Nos. 153, 153. i.]
July 2.
Whitehall.
235. Mr. Popple to Mr. Attorney General. Encloses papers as requested in No. 229. [C.O. 138, 16. p. 479.]
July 3.
New York.
236. Governor Burnet to the Duke of Newcastle. Requests H.M. approval of his appointment of Francis Harrison as Recorder of the City of New York, in the room of David Jemison, "whom I have displaced on account of his advising the Corporation to insert scandalous and malicious reflections on the Government of this Province in a paper delivered by them to me, which the enclosed Minute of Council will shew your Grace that the said Corporation have retracted, and have cast the blame on the said Jemison and their own inadvertency in agreeing to it. I have directed my Agent, Mr. Peter le Heup to attend your Grace in this affair" etc. Signed, W. Burnet. Endorsed, R. Aug. 24. 2 pp. Enclosed,
236. i. Minutes of Council of New York, 24th June, 1724. Referred to in preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1092. Nos. 31, 31. i.]
July 4.
Kensington.
237. Order of King in Council. Referring to Committee of Privy Council the draft of an Instruction to Governors relating to duties upon European goods imported in English vessels etc. (v 4th June). Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 14th., Read 22nd July, 1724. 3/4 p. [C.O. 323, 8. No. 47.]
July 4.
Kensington.
238. Order of King in Council. Repealing Act of Bermuda to supply the deficiency of the several funds etc., 1723. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 11. ff. 103, 104v]
July 4.
Kensington.
239. Order of King in Council. H.M. was pleased to signify his disapproval of above Act. "And whereas it hath been observed at the Board, that an Act of the same kind was past in the said Islands in 1721, laying a duty on European goods, and that the same had been repealed by order of this Board, H.M. is therefore pleased to order, that a Committee of the Privy Councill do consider the Instructions given to Coll. Hope about passing laws, and report to H.M. at this Board how farr the said Governor hath pursued the same." Signed and endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 11. ff 105, 106v]
July 4.
Kensington.
240. Order of King in Council. Referring to Committee Act of Barbados to raise a levy etc., and representation thereon, 4th June. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Reed. 14th, Read 22nd July, 1724. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 18. ff. 78, 79v]
July 4.
Kensington.
241. Order of King in Council. Dispensing with that part of Governor Hart's Instructions which confines the passing any Act for making an addition to his salary to the first Assembly, and permitting him to assent to an Act passed by the present Assembly of Antigua, if not liable to the objections made to the former Act and in every other respect agreable to H.M. Instructions. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 14th, Read 22nd July, 1724. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 262, 262v, 263v]
July 6.
London.
242. Merchants trading to Jamaica to Mr. Popple. Reply to 24th June. Enclose following etc. Cf. 31st May. When 7 or 8 holy days and Sundays follow successively as was the case last Whitsuntide and is every year so to about the latter end of Oct., business is hindered in a very greivous manner, when, for instance 30 or 40 sugar ships are unloading at the same time, and half that number of foreign ships lye waiting at the same time to load sugar and tobacco, they must stand still till the holydays are over etc. Neither the Dutch nor any Protestant trading cities in Europe are lyable to such, etc. Signed, Rd. Harris and 9 others. Endorsed, Recd. 10th, Read 15th July, 1724. 3 pp. Enclosed,
242. i. An account of customary holydays. 47 days or more, exclusive of Sundays. 1 p.
242. ii. Charges attending a sugar ship of 100 tons from Jamaica in respect of the ship only. Registration and harbour fees in England, inwards and outwards, amount to £19 11s. 2d. Powder money at Jamaica, £5 10s. Fees at Port Royal, £8. Convoy money, £11. Total: £44 11s. 2d. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 24. Nos. 148, 148. i, ii.]
[July 6.]243. Dutch and Hamburg Merchants Exporters of sugar and tobacco to the Council of Trade and Plantations. If the duties on sugar in the Plantations were entirely taken off and drawbacks allowed on re-exportation, the French could not so frequently undersell us etc. 29 signatures. Endorsed, Recd. 6th, Read 21st July, 1724. 2 pp. [C.O. 388, 24. No. 154.]
July 6.244. Mr. Attorney and Mr. Solicitor General to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon the two bills from Jamaica (v 25th June). The principal considerations arising from these two bills, appear to us to be rather matters of prudence and policy than of law etc. As to the Revenue Bill etc., the reduction of the duties upon sugars and indico does not appear to us to be contrary to the terms of the Governor's Instructions, because it cannot take off or in any way affect the generall prohibition of trade with France, for the duty can take place only upon indico lawfully imported, and not such as is prohibited. But if the trade of that commodity be chiefly in the hands of the French, and notwithstanding the general prohibition of trade has been carryed on with them in a clandestine manner (wch. the Duke of Portland's letter imports) whether this reduction of the duty will tend to encourage that clandestine trade or rather to encrease the open importation of indico in a lawfull way, is proper for your Lordships' consideration, etc. The Revenue given by this bill is made perpetual, and the Laws continued by it, are continued for ever, which makes it the more necessary to consider whether the provision be such as will be sufficient to answer the exigencies of ye Governmt. For if it should happen not to prove so, the people of this Island, having their laws secured to them in perpetuity, may think themselves in a better condition to withstand even reasonable demands wch. may hereafter be made by the Government to supply any deficiencies on that head, than they have hitherto been, whilest their laws were temporary and precarious. And this seems to us to be of the greater weight by reason of ye unusual method taken to annex to this bill, an estimate of the annual expenses of H.M. Government in this Island by way of debtor and creditor, wch. by reference is made a part of the bill it's self, and is computed to amount to £8000 pr. annum, and the clause whereby ye Assembly have engaged themselves to supply deficiencies is only upon the contingency of this Revenue falling short of that sum. The clause concerning the Laws of the Island and their continuance is penn'd in a manner much less liable to exception then that sent over the last year, tho' not so free from objection as it might have been. The effect of it is—, That this Act and all Acts and Laws, as they now stand and are accepted and used in Jamaica, are thereby declared to be and remain in force for ever, except the present Revenue Act, and four Acts lately passed. This clause concerns two kinds of laws, (i) Such laws of England as have been accepted and used in Jamaica, (ii) Acts of Assembly. We apprehend from the words of this clause, and from the Councill's answer to the Duke of Portland's queries (v 4th March), that the first sort of laws are what the Assembly had more especially in view. But as it is confined to Acts and laws as they stand accepted and used in this Island, we conceive no inconvenience can follow from it, because no other part of the Law of England will be established thereby, but such as by acceptance and usage in Jamaica has already gained the force of a law of that Island, and such would continue to be laws there without the assistance of this bill. The greatest objection to this clause concerns the Acts of Assembly. For as it is now penn'd all their temporary Acts of Assembly which are at present in force will be made perpetual (except the four wch. are particularly excepted). And it can hardly happen but some of their temporary laws are not fit to be continued for ever, at least it seems fit that they should be fully looked into and considered before they receive such an establishment. As for the bill for augmenting the Duke of Portland's salary, we have no objection in point of law against the same. Signed, P. Yorke, C. Wearg. Endorsed, Recd. Read 8th July, 1724. 3 2/3 pp. [C.O. 137, 14. ff. 328–330v]
July 6.
New
Providence.
245. Governor Phenney to Lord Carteret. Encloses duplicates of papers sent by way of South Carolina and also "a copy of what I had lately wrote to the Governor of the Havana without any return or intention of his to make one: By (encl. ii.) the Assiento Factors, I find nothing is to be expected from thence, be the demands never so reasonable" etc. Asks for directions how to behave. Continues: Mr. Ruchier formerly Governor of Bermuda, and Mr. Nicho. Trott of these Islands continueing to sollicit their Attorneys here to demand in their names, Abacoa, Hog Island, the Exumas, together with the sole property of the braziletto wood and salt, I have generally answer'd, that when any such claimants produce authentick copys of the original assignments from the Lords Proprs. they shall be admitted, but I presume they will be obligd to settle those great tracts of lands they claim so as to provide for their defence according to the tenor of the usual patents. As all patents under the great Seal are to be in H.M. name I have sent your Lordship a draught of one, desiring your Lordship will be pleasd to direct how to fill up the blank for reservation of rent, and beg leave to observe that the broad Seal is not yet arrivd, having only the impression in lead which was first sent. Timber being very scarce, and the palmeto tops exhausted in Bermuda have inducd several of those people hither, which with my encouragement has made several of our women go to work in making platt, which considering the great quantitys of palmeto here may in time bring as considerable advantages to this place as it has done to Bermuda. We have now almost finish the last bastien, and shall continue with all possible diligence to finish the outworks, but the total decay of the carriages we had from home makes the necessity of the stores of war desird to be sent hither to be every day more pressing. By a letter from Mr. Burchett, 18th Oct. last, I am acquainted that the Lords of the Admiralty had under their consideration my desire of having a small ship of war to be station'd here, but I have heard nothing further since. We have now a Spanish periagua among the windward of our Islands which is suppos'd to be waiting to catch some of our vessels going for salt. The inhabitants at our last Quarter Sessions by an Address pray'd me to continue my sollicitations for a ship of war, and such other things as may be necessary for our security, and I hope your Lordship will not take it ill that I so often repeat these things, as we are not yet able to maintain any person at home to remind your Lordship of our wants. I am but too sencible that our dependance on any other than your Lordship is uncertain, and having no reason to expect any shipping from England this year, I am at a great loss for the clothing and the recruits I have sent for, and the carriages and stores which I hope your Lordship will order. It was our misfortune not to have an opportunity sooner to show our duty to H.M., and hope your Lordship will please to present our Address enclos'd, with favor to us, etc. Signed, G. Phenney. Endorsed, R. 23rd Sept. 2 pp. Enclosed,
245. i. Governor Phenney to the Governor of the Havana. N. Providence, 18th March, 1723/4. Requests delivery of Joseph Alibert, a deserter from H.M. Garrison, and refers to former application to which he received no answer. Copy. 3/4 p.
245. ii. W. Nicholson and J. Calder to Governor Phenney. Havana, 2nd April, 1724. Your letter to our Governor touching the deserters was urged on our parts with all possible efficacy, but to no purpose, the Governour insisting that deserters are always protected in time of war, and ought much more in time of peace, besides the consideration only of becoming Christians of the Romish Church is a sufficient motive to dispense their remaining here. The truth is that our Garrison has not been for a long time supplied with men, so that all renegados of French or English are immediately taken into their pay etc. Signed, Wargent Nicholson, J. Calder. Copy. 3/4 p.
245. iii. Duplicate of Replies to Queries Dec. 24, 1723, encl. i. 8 1/2 pp.
245. iv. Draught of patent for land, referred to above. 1 1/2 pp. [C.O. 23, 13. ff. 169–179v]
July 7.246. William Wood to [?Mr. Delafaye]. Sr., I presume on what passed between Mr. Horatio Walpole and my selfe, concerning the Act of Jamaica rejected last summer, to trouble you with the enclosed paper etc. Signed, Wm. Wood. 2 pp. Enclosed,
246. i. Same to Same. Proposes (i) that the Duke of Portland be immediately instructed to move the Assembly of Jamaica to continue the present Revenue Act together with all the laws that are in force for one year longer from 1st Oct. next in order to avoid the confusion that must arise from the Island having no laws; and (ii) that it be taken into consideration, what of the present laws, and additional ones, may be proper to be confirmed. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 71, 71v, 73, 73v]
July7.
Whitehall.
247. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Requests reply to June 25th as soon as possibly may be. [C.O. 138, 16. p. 479.]
July 7.
Whitehall.
248. Mr. Popple to Mr. Oxenford, Assistant Inspector General. Asks for a return of imports and exports to and from New York from Christmas, 1720. [C.O. 5, 1124. p. 345.]
July 8.
Custom
House.
249. Mr. Oxenford to Mr. Popple. The Inspector General is only required to keep accounts of goods exported from and imported into England, and therefore has no accounts of American ports etc. Signed, John Oxenford. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 23rd July, 1724. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1053. ff. 218, 219v]
July 8.
Whitehall.
250. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Enclose Office Accounts from Michaelmas, 1723, to Midsummer, 1724. There was then 9 months salary due to the Secretary and other Officers etc. Accounts, certified, annexed. [C.O. 389, 37. pp. 239–24.]
July 9.
Kensington.
251. H. M. Warrant to Governor Shute for admitting Archibald MacPhedris to the Council of New Hampshire. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. p. 73.]
July 10.
Kensington.
252. Like warrant for admitting John Frost to the Council of New Hampshire. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. p. 74.]
July 10.
St. Christophers.
253. Governor Hart to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses (i) Act for the establishing a Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas and for the better advancement of Justice in the Island of St. Christophers and for settling certain fees and repealing a former Act for establishing of Courts etc. I beg leave to make some remarks to your Lordships of the most material alterations in this Act, from the law which was formerly in force; and I shall endeavour to acquaint your Lordships with the reasons, which, I conceive did induce the Legislature of this Island to make the said alterations. And the first amendment is that the said Courts are now appointed to be held constantly at one place, that is at the town of Old Road, which is deem'd to be the center of this Island; the former method of holding the said Courts alternately at the windward side of this Island was found to be too inconvenient, there being no fitting accommodation to be had at that part of the Island for the entertainment of people, who must attend at the Court; Besides the mischief of carrying the papers and records of that Court about from one place to another is now prevented. This new law directs a declaration to be filed and served on the defendant in all actions whatever, which is according to the practice of the Courts in Westminster Hall. The former law made declarations unnecessary in most kinds of the common actions, which was too summary and often laid hardships on the defendant in his pleading. In the next place the proceedings in prosecuting actions, or attaching the goods of absent persons is by this present law more fully declar'd; and the mischiefs, which might attend such actions or attachments, is better guarded against, by giving the absent defendant a reasonable time to reverse the judgment and plead to the action. Then the time for filing special pleas, replications etc. and entering the records of all the proceedings more at large is better settled and directed than it was before. The next alteration, which is a very material one indeed, is the form of the execution, and the practice which ensued thereon; By the former law, when any goods were taken in execution the defendant had liberty to have the said goods appraised and the plantiff was obliged to take the goods (as appraised) in discharge of his judgment; This was a prodigious hardship on the creditor, and a great discouragement to trade, for by that method the plantiff got only the liberty to make a new debt of an old, for he could get no money; But was sure that the defendant wou'd put the most unusefull part of his chattels on him, and that at a full price, (for the appraisement was to be upon oath) which the plantiff must sell again, and probably at a less price, and if the new vendee proved to be of the same principle with the old debtor, the creditor must sue again for payment, and take other goods in execution, and so on, ad infinitum, without getting his debt, and this course often laid defendant himself under equal or greater hardships than the plaintiff, as for instance, for a judgment of sixty pounds, a lease and house thereon was levy'd on, and apprais'd at £200; By this means the defendant lost his house, and yet the plantiff cou'd not have it, unless he paid £140 more, which he refusing to do, the house remain'd under execution, till it fell to ruin, and both plaintiff and defendant lost their interest therein. This evil is now remedied by the goods being sold at outcry, which puts an immediate end to the suit. The common complaint of goods being sold at outcry at a very under price, by reason of the great scarsity of the species of money which brought few bidders to market, to the great damage of the defendant, is now obviated by allowing sugars and the other commoditys of the growth of the country to be taken in payment: The defendant may hereby expect a reasonable price for his estate taken in execution, and the plantiff cannot suffer by receiving payment in such commodities as he may turn into money either here, or at London, which, is the principal mart of all our trade. In the former Act there was a clause which restrained lands when taken in execution from being sold, provided they cou'd be sett out at a rent sufficient to pay the debt in five years by extent, this was design'd only to preserve the inheritance after the personal estate was supposed to be gon. But it gave room for a landed debtor to skreen his personal estate from his creditors, by eloining or secreting his personal estate from the view of the Marshal, and obliging him to levy on the lands, which, cou'd not be sold in five years, and thereby kept the creditor so long from his debt. For this reason this clause is now left out of this Act; and if men will suffer their lands to be levy'd on, they shall be sold as chattles, according to the law, and practice of most other Colonies. The great scarsity of Freeholders in this Island, and the neglect of Jurors attending, made it absolutely necessary to qualify substantial men, tho' not Freeholders, to serve on jurys, and to enlarge the fine upon their neglects of attending to five pounds, which was formerly but forty shillings. I confess here now comes a clause in this Act, which seems extraordinary, and is a power not practiced in Westminster Hall, that jurors shall be oblig'd (if the Council on both sides consent) to find a special verdict under pain of fine and imprisonment. But I conceive the two Houses were moved to find out this extraordinary remedy from the very great obstinacy they had observed frequently in jurors here, who contrary to the Judge's directions, and even request, wou'd often find an issue generally, altho' it rested on one or more intricate points of law, which the Jury cou'd not be presum'd to understand, nor were oblig'd to judge of, that by such general verdict the party griev'd is barr'd of having his right determin'd by them whose province it is, or of appealing upon the merits of his cause, to His Sacred Majesty in Council, which is the most certain resource the subject has of Justice. The remedy of attainting jurys if they mistake the law is uncertain and cannot well be practis'd here. This law gives a power to the Lt. Governour or President with the Council to hear appeals; formerly a substitution to them was necessary, which was often subject to delays and put the party to great expence. The method of suing for negroes by writ of replevin was very inconvenient and it is taken away by this Act. The interest of mony and the damage upon protested bills of exchange is reduced to a certainty, and several lesser alterations are made by this law, the reason whereof appear at first view to the reader etc. No. 2 is an Act to prevent abuses committed in the importation of wheat, flower and bottled liquors. The reason of passing this Act, is to prevent the impossition of the importers of flower from the British Colonies of America; the inhabitants when bought by the barril, paid for 200 weight, whereas it fraudulently contain'd but 150 weight, which is provided against by this Act. The like deceipt was likewise used by the importers of bottled liquors, especially by such as came from Bristol, from whence the greatest quantities are imported, and is provided against by this Act, which ascertains the measure. No. 3 is the tax Act for St. Christophers, which being without any variation from the usual tax acts, I presume wants no explination. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. 21st Sept., Read 1st Oct., 1724. 7 pp. [C.O. 152, 14. ff. 298–301v]
July 10.
St.
Christophers.
254. Same to Same. Encloses Act of St. Christophers for settling £300 current money on Lt. Governor William Mathew for house-rent. Continues: Mr. Mathew has always acted with great zeal for H.M. service, and very assiduous in his duty as Lt.–General, and by his indefatigable industry is a great means of putting the Island of St. Christophers into the best condition of defence of any in this Government, both as to the regulation of the militia, and by the erecting so many fortifications; particularly of that noble work on Brimstone Hill etc. I can truely say that for the honour of H.M. service, he does not expend less from his private fortune besides his appointments than £1000 per annum, so excessive are the prices of all the necessarys here etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Recd. Read 4th Jan., 1724/5. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 15. ff. 1, 1v, 2v]
July 10.
St.
Christophers.
255. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Congratulates him on his appointment, and, according to his Instructions lays before him a state of the several islands under his Government, in the form of answers to queries from the Council of Trade. Continues:—Your Grace may please to observe in this state, of what importance the Colonies in the Leeward Islands are with regard to their principal Great Britain; both in respect to the consumption of vast quantities of British manufactures therein, and the great incouragement it gives to Trade and Navigation, and as they furnish large sums to H.M. Revenue. At the same time your Grace has a faithful view of our fort and our foible, with respect to the numbers of our Militia, the strength of our forts and fortifications, as also the strength of our neighbouring islands inhabited by the subjects of foreign princes and states; as those of Martinique and Guardeloupe by the French, that of Porto Rico by the Spaniards; St. Thomas and St. Johns by the Danes, and St. Eustatia and Saba by the Dutch. Of which I humbly beg leave to represent that the French in Martinique and Guardeloupe are in case of a war the most formidable, both from their advantagious scituation and numbers; But as H.M., in his great wisdom, cultivates the arts of peace, these islands enjoy all the affluence of peace and plenty: and in time of war, H.M. being Master of the seas, I am humbly of opinion there is not much reason to be apprehensive of danger from that quarter, if there are no more than three ships of war appointed on this station. I humbly beg leave to represent to your Grace that the subjects of the King of Denmark having sometime, before my arrival here, possess'd themselves of the Island of St. Johns within my Government; and refused to evacuate the same on my asserting H.M. right and title to it; refers to his letters to Lord Carteret and the Council of Trade enclosed. v 12th July. Continues:—I humbly submit it to your Grace's superior judgment, whether the Danes, if permitted to possess the Island of St. Johns in this manner, will not have the same pretentions to the Islands of Sta. Cruix and Crab Island, which two islands are capable of making as much sugar as Barbados and the Leeward Islands together, to the destruction of that valuable trade to Great Britain. Repeats part of July 12 relating to St. John's and asks for his Grace's patronage and protection etc. Signed, Jo. Hart. Endorsed, Rd. Sept. 11. 5 pp. Enclosed,
255. i. Duplicates of No. 260. i, ii, iii, viii. [C.O. 152, 42. Nos. 132–135.]
July 10.
Montserratt.
256. Lt. Gov. George to Mr. Stanyan. Encloses letter to the Duke of Newcastle and begs him to second the request he makes etc. Continues:—If you can get those two persons removed [from the Council] it will be of great service to me, and what fees of offices there are, I shall write to Kingsmill Eyres Esqr. to pay etc. Continues: I have my father (a man of some fortune in whales (sic) ) who is very ancient has no other children but myself, nor have I any freinds about him to take care of my interest in case he should dye, for which reason I would beg the favour of you to obtain a generall leave (I think they call it so) to be absent from my Government, from the time of my having occasion to leave the same, which I give you my word I will not doe but upon account being sent me of such an accident, or of any complaint or misrepresentations that may at any time be exhibited against me, for the people of these parts are so fickle in their tempers that one is scarcely ever safe, or if there should be a misunderstanding between His Excellency (who is a very good man and I hope it will never hapen so) and I, he doubtless would refuse me lycence of absence to manage my affairs as above, or to clear myself in person at home, in case of falce accusations; for at this distance it would be too late perhaps at that time (when I should have such information of any kind) to send to England for leave, but the having it by me (as Lt. Genl. Mathew Governor of St. Christophers has) would be of vast servicess to me; for I have very good reason to beleive Lt. Genl. Mathew does not wish me very well, and to be sure will oppose my interest here, or any favour I might ask of H.E. I have one or two more reasons etc. The first is in case a man should be seised with an indisposition not curable here (for our physicians have but little more knowledge than a barber chirurgeon in England) and the second, supose a good card should turn up trumps for me, such as a good widdow with much cash, then I should be desireous to make the best of my way for England to make interest for the disposall of my Governmt., (as Majr. Talmash did) and with an adition to the produce thereof make interest to purchase some majority of dragoons or Lt. Coll. of foot, whereas, if I have not this leave by me, I must be obliged to wait six months (if not more) etc. Signed, Paul George. Endorsed, Rd. Sept. 16th. Holograph. 3 pp. Enclosed,
256. i. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Montserrat, July 10th, 1724. Congratulates him on his appointment, etc. Continues: The whole perquisites (or le tour du bâton) of the Governor of this small Island doth not amount to 40 pistoles pr. annum. I formerly imagin'd that West India Governours were petty kings, but I find it very much to the contrary at present, being among a set of people who are one half Roman Catholics, and near the other half Jacobites; after this my Lord I leave your Grace to imagine how wellcome I am amongst them (comme un chien dans un jeu de quille), they always allow'd the Governour of that Island £200 sterl. pr. ann. out of the public stock, and they have voted me nothing: I have proposed in Council several amendments to their old acts to be made, which I am confident would very much contribute to H.M. interest, the good of the poorer inhabitants and the benefit of the traders; but when anything of this nature is put to the vote, it passes in the negative, four to one at least, and often six; so that till I can be happy enough to obtain of yor. Grace for the removal of a couple of these Councellors, it will be impossible for me ever to support H.M. authority, the interest of trade, the relief of the poor inhabitants and the defence of the Island, the latter of which is intirely defenceless, by all their fortifications being out of repair, nor will they come into any measures (notwithstanding all the repeated instances I have made use off), in order to their raising a fund, which would enable them to fortify the Island against the attempts that may be made to the prejudice of H.M. subjects here; and I think the persons who ought to vote most for what I have above mention'd should be such as have posts in the Government, which happens to be quite contrary here; for the Collector of this Island being appointed long since one of the Council (a procedure intirely unprecedented and never practis'd before in these parts) who opposes me in everything I offer in Council, for which reason I would begg the favour of yor. Grace to give directions that he might be remov'd from the Council, and to procure a mandamus for one Charles Dayly Esqr. to serve in his room, who is a gentleman of honour and estate, and has a regard for this present happy establishment: there is also one person more in the Council I would intercede might be removed, he being the mouthpiece and director of all such who opposes whatever is moved by me, or those in my interest, his name is Anthony Hodges; I should be thankfull if in his room one William Hynes Esq. could be named; the removal of these two members would intirely be a means for all buisiness to go on glib, and for the good of the poorer sort of people who ought to be supported, otherwise they would soon leave such a small island as this is destituted of inhabitants; this Island has been for several years past without a Governour on the spot, so that the then President (and Council which was made up mostly of his relations) never minded to make any laws or acts that might be beneficial to the poor and encourage their coming to settle there; but to the contrary, the richer people (very arbitrary in these parts) acted with such a high hand over the others that those who they could not drive off of the Island, yet they us'd them so, that they were oblig'd to quit and dispose of their small habitations for one quarter of their value. I hope yor. Grace will make no question of the truth of what I have herein inserted, since I can assure yor. Grace that in 1712 there was on this Island 1500 fighting men, and upon my honr. my Lord there is not at present 250, which is a convincing proof that it is highly necessary some alterations should be made in the Council, before it is possible that any wholsesom law can be obtain'd for the encouragemt. of people to come and settle amongst us etc. Asks for a general leave of absence, as in preceding. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 42. Nos. 137–139.]
July 10.
Wmsburgh.
257. Lt. Governor Drysdale to Lord Carteret. Takes the opportunity of the return of the London ships to transmit journals and public papers for last year, etc. Continues:—I account it a particular happyness that such is the present quiet state of this Colony, that there is nothing therein, which requires my giving your Lordspp. any trouble. It was with great satisfaction, that I received some days before, the honour of your Ldspps. comands in favour of Mr. Garcia the Spanish clergyman. I have placed him in a benefice, wch. hee seem'd most fond off etc. Signed, Hugh Drysdale. Holograph. 2 pp. Enclosed,
257. i. Proclamations by Lt. Governor Drysdale (a) 16th April, proroguing the Assembly to 9th July; (b) 6th May, prohibiting the export of corn until 1st August, in view of the badness of last years crop of corn and the great export already made thereof, etc., (c) 10th June, proroguing the Assembly till 12th Nov. Signed, Hugh Drysdale. Copy. 2v pp. [C.O. 5, 1337. Nos. 27, 27. i.]
July 10.
Wmsburgh
in Virginia.
258. Lt. Governor Drysdale to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Journal of Council and public papers. Refers to letter of 8th June and the opinion of the Council, entered in the journal of 23rd April, that the limiting the quantity of land to be taken up in either of the two new counties is prejudicial to H.M. interest, and a discouragement to the speedy settlement of that part etc. Continues:—I pray your Ldspps. favour in interceding with H.M. to remove that restriction etc. In the same day's minutes, your Ldspps. will observe that the Governour of North Carolina, has renew'd his instances for appointing Commrs. on the part of Virginia to lay out the boundaries etc. I had the honour some time since to inform your Ldspps. how earnestly H.M. pleasure was desired on the proposall agreed on by both Goverments in 1715: but Mr. Burrington letting mee know how that since the Proprietors have approved of that project, he can no longer resist the importunities of the people of his Goverment, who are impatient to runn that line, whether I concurr in itt or nott. I must intreat your Ldspps. will be pleased to forward to mee such powers, as may enable mee either to joyn in a finall determination of those boundaries, or to oppose any partiall attempts of Carolina to establish their own bounds, without H.M. permission: I am sensible the delaying that settlement is prejudiciall to H.M. revenues, since by that means a large tract of land lies wast, which otherwise would be soon taken upp, and cultivated. Encloses revenue accounts. Continues:—As the balance by the quit-rents has been much increased by reviving the antient method of sale of the quit-rent tobacco, so that of the 2s. pr. hhd. has received a considerable addition, by the taking upp great quantities of land, which has occasioned a large demand of the treasury rights. And since both these revenues have so great a dependance on the price and quantity of tobacco, I take leave here to mention to your Ldspps. the present apprehensions of a small cropp this year, it proceeding from a long continuance of a very dry season, which has prevented the planting those quantities of plants the late law allows. In the Journal of 2nd May, there is the case of one Mr. Pearson, master of the shipp Globe, of Whitehaven, who being questioned for importing from Dublin some wrought iron, which was alledged to be contrary to the Act of K. Charles II etc., this matter being examined before mee in Councell, appeared to bee thus; that a merchant interested in the cargoe of the Globe had bought upp at Bristoll this quantity of wrought iron, and finding no opportunity to shipp itt to Whitehaven, sent itt over to Dublin, to lye ready against the time the Globe should touch there, where she was to victuall for her voyage to Virga., and this appeared as well from the master's affidavit as from a cocqt. under the hands of the Custom house officers in Dublin: upon which the Councell unanimously declared their opinion for discharging the master from prosecution: But because some have made itt a question, whether Brittish manufactures transported once to Ireland, may bee shipp'd from thence the Plantations by the strict letter of the above Act: it is likewise urg'd, that such a practise might give countenance to the fraudulent shipping of Irish manufactures instead of English: I have taken the liberty to represent this matter to your Ldspps. (as I have to the Commissrs. of the Customs) that I may thereupon receive such directions, as may leave no room to give trouble to fair traders, nor allow a liberty to fraudulent practises: I perceive this case is so very new here, that no officer in this Government has known any instance of such an importation till this. Amongst the Acts transmitted last session of Assembly there is one for dissolving the parish of Wilmington, which had its rise from the application of the people of that and some other adjacent parishes, and was passed after a full hearing of all parties concerned: but it seemes the minister not contented with the favour of suspending that act for near two years, that I may have an opportunity of presenting him to a living of equall if not better value (which has since happened) has, as I am informed, gott subscriptions to a petition to bee presented to H.M. for repealing that act; for which proceeding I know no other reason than his own private discontented humour: Among the many substantiall reasons which induced the Assembly to pass this act, I shall onely mention a few, which I hope will bee sufficient to preserve itt in your Ldspps. favour, and these are, that by itt, above three fourths of the inhabitants will bee now nearer church than they were before, that they will now have sermons ev'ry Sunday, whereas before they had one onely in 3 weeks: many of them will bee exempted from the trouble and charge of crossing a large river to goe to Church; their parish charges will bee considerably less, and an adjacent parish which was not able to support a minister is by this act enlarg'd, and capable of allowing their minister the legall salary: and that these advantages to so many people, must all give place, to the humour or interest of one man, I beleive your Ldspps. will not think reasonable; nor that any representations on his behalf, will have any weight with H.M. when the truth of the case shall be fairly stated by your Ldspps. I doe assure your Ldspps. I have no other view in the support of this law, than a just regard to the ease and conveniency of the people, and that I think itt will bee a bad precedent, if encouragement should be given to private persons to arraign, what the wisdom of the legislators have acted for the publick good etc. Having hitherto received no comands from H.M., to make the convening the Assembly necessary, I have prorogued itt to the 12th of Novr. I shall conclude this letter with the unfortunate account of the taking of 3 of our shipps off the Capes on the 5th and 6th of June last, by a Spanish garde de costa, as he pretends himself etc. Refers to enclosed affidavits. Signed, Hugh Drysdale. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Sept., 1724, Read 26th Aug., 1725. Holograph. 5 pp. Enclosed,
258. i. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2s. per hhd., 25th Oct. 1723–25th April, 1724. Totals:—Receipts (including balance brought forward) of £3890 11s. 2 1/2 d.), £5,308 6s. 2 1/2 d. Expenditure: £1724 17s. 0 1/2 d. Signed and sworn to in Council, John Grymes, Recr. Genll. Audited by Nathll. Harrison, Depty. Audr. 2 pp.
258. ii. Account of H.M. Revenue of Quit-rents, 25th April 1723–1724. Totals:—Receipts (including balance brought forward of £3294 9s. 61/2d.) £5672 0s. 4 3/4d. Expenditure, £1309 3s. 7d. Signed and audited as preceding. Nos. i and ii. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Sept., 1724. 4 pp.
258. iii. Duplicate of Encl. No. i preceding.
258. iv. Deposition of John Jones, sole owner of the ship John and Mary, bound from Africa to Virginia, with 175 negroes. 13th June, 1724. On June 5th, off Cape Charles, after parting company with H.M.S. Enterprize, "a ship came up with deponent and saluted him with the surprizing command of God damn you strike you English doggs, strike; which was the more unexpected because the said ship all along had English colours flying." The pirates made deponent and his four men prisoners, and took possession of his ship, and two hours later captured a Boston vessel, one Mousell master, bound into Virginia with West India goods. Next day the pirate captured a ship of Topsham, Capt. Beere, laden with dry goods for Rappahanock. This ship was also taken as the former under English colours. After plundering his ship, the pirate sailed away upon the approach of a sail and deponent made his way to Virginia. Deponent was told by divers English and Irish belonging to the crew that the ship was the St. Francis de la Vela, fitted out at Cuba, and that the Commander, Seignior Don Benito, had a commission from the Governor of Cuba. She had 6 great guns mounted and upwards of 90 men, most Spaniards etc. Signed, John Jones. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Sept., 1724. 2 1/4 pp.
258. v. Deposition of Thomas Mousell, master of the brigantine Prudent Hannah of Boston. 12th June, 1724. Confirms preceding, with further details of the crew. Was informed that the Spanish ship belonged to the Governor of Cuba who had hired it to Don Benito etc., and had taken two brigs belonging to Boston etc. Signed, Thos. Mousell. 2 1/4 pp.
258. vi. Deposition of Theodore Bere, Master of the Godolphin of Topsham [?12] June, 1724. Confirms preceding. Signed, Theodore Bere. 13/4 pp. [C.O. 5, 1319. ff. 199–204v, 205v–211v]