America and West Indies
October 1724, 1-15

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

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

Year published

1936

Pages

221-235

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: October 1724, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 34: 1724-1725 (1936), pp. 221-235. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72398 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

October 1724, 1-15

Oct. 1.
Whitehall.
[Mis-dated
1725.]
367. Mr. Popple to Mr. Barker. Enquires whether he has received any copper ore from Governor Hart etc. [C.O. 153, 14. p. 167].
Oct. 1.
Whitehall.
368. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose extract of Governor Hart's letter (10th July, 1724) relating to the Danes taking possession of the Island of St. John's, and copy of representation 18th July, 1718, "by which your Grace will perceive how indisputable a right H.M. has, not only to this Island, but also to St. Thomas, which the Danes have long held upon sufferance only, and by a copy of Col. Hart's letter to the Lord Carteret of the 24th May, 1722, sent herewith your Grace will perceive what importance this Island may be of to the British trade; Wherefore we beg your Grace will be pleased to receive H.M. orders concerning the measures proper to be taken upon this occasion," Autograph signatures. 2 pp. Enclosed,
368. i. Extracts from Governor Hart's letters, 10th July, 1724, and 24th May, 1722.
368. ii iii. Copies of Governor Hart's letters to the Governor of St. Thomas, 1st May, 1722, and June 6, 1724.
368. iv. Copy of Representation, July 18, 1718. v. C. S. P. 1718. [C.O. 314, 1. Nos. 6, 6 i–iv; and (without enclosures) 153, 14. pp. 167, 168.]
Oct. 1.
Whitehall.
369. Mr. Popple to Governor Hart. Encloses, as desired 16th March, attested copies of Acts of Montserrat passed before 1712, etc. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 169–171].
Oct. 2.
Treasury Chambers.
370. Mr. Scrope to Mr. Popple. Encloses following for the report of the Board thereon. Signed, J. Scrope. Endorsed, Recd. 3rd, Read 6th Oct., 1724. Addressed. 1 p. Enclosed,
370. i. Petition of Robert Armstrong to the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury. Late Naval Officer and Collector of N. Hampshire, and Depty. Surveyor of H.M. Woods in America, petitioner has been removed from his employment upon complaints which he had no opportunity of answering. The only ground of complaint against him was his having done his duty in seizing great quantities of trees fit for H.M. use cut down and destroyed by the informers etc. Prays to be heard before the Board of Trade etc. Signed, Robert Armstrong. 1 p.
370. ii. The Case of Robert Armstrong. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 869. ff. 62, 63, 64, 66v.]
Oct. 2.
Whitehall.
371. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Encloses for his opinion thereon in point of law Act of Antego, (i) for cutting of the intail of certain lands etc. belonging to John Vernon of St. James', Westminster Esqr. (1724) (ii) Acts of St. Christophers (1723), for continuing the fortifications of Brimston Hill and Charles Fort etc.; and to prevent the unloading of ballast or rubbish in the havens etc.; and (1724) to prevent the abuses committed in the importation of wheat, flower and bottled liquors; and for establishing a Court of King's Bench and Common Pleas etc.; and for raising a tax on negroes and other slaves, and on the inland trade. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 171, 172].
Oct. 7.
Bermuda.
372. Lt. Governor Hope to Mr. Popple. I received your letter of 2nd June this day, for which I am infinitely obliged to you; and I am very sorry to find that the trading part of the Nation of Great Britain shou'd have so little to do as to imploy their time in opposing Acts of Assembly pass'd in Bermuda etc. The Act passed in 1721 and repealed etc. was passed before my time, and was of a very different nature from the Act now depending (if you will but consider that we have no other grounds to go upon), for by it, dry goods only were lyable to a duty of 5 p.c., if imported by strangers only, and that to continue 21 years: but in this last Act the duty is laid upon trade in general, (Indian corn and pease excepted); the inhabitants who paid nothing before, are made lyable to two p.c. and that for the term of four years only. My 23rd Instruction, excepting revenue Acts from the necessity of a suspensory clause, misled me etc. I desire your further advice upon it. As to the money raised not being granted to H.M. etc., I have no excuse to make, but that if I can it shall be incerted for the future: But if you will be at the pains to peruse the accounts of this country which I have transmitted to the Board of Trade, you will think it strange that we are not guilty of more mistakes. It has never been in our power (I mean the Governor and Council) since my arrival to induce any of the Assembly to a previous consideration of business before they are actually met; nor is it possible then to keep them together above three days, which is generally spent in doeing of little to the purpose. I have met their Speaker in a Committee, several times; but when one talks of laws, or of Instructions, or of the interest of the trade of Great Britain or the interest of their Islands, they do not understand it; and they have an oath of secrecy by which everything they do, or intend, is kept secret, nor wou'd they ever allow any Governor to have the least hand in penning of their laws; so that till their Acts are ingross'd, and laid before the Governor in Council, it is impossible to know their meaning (which for the most part is never to be understood) and immediately they desire to be adjourn'd. It is true I can order them to sitt still untill their business is dispatch'd; but I am very certain if I shou'd do so, that above the one half of them wou'd run away; so that the only thing I have in view, is, to get the gross of the business dispatch'd, without starting at forms: nor will it ever be in any Governor's power here to do otherways, unless that the number of Assemblymen is diminish'd. The last objection is from the merchants, as to the difference made between inhabitants and strangers trading thereto etc. I wish the views of those people who call themselves merchants trading to Bermuda were examined into; or that the nature of this Colony were taken into consideration; for (one Jones excepted), all of them were very well pleas'd with the 4 and 2 p.c. Act etc. If I had not found them so, I should not so readily have assented to it as I did etc. If the inhabitants and strangers are put upon a level in respect to taxes upon trade, the inhabitant must trade at a very great disadvantage; because he is lyable to watching, and all parish duties, and taxes, and serving in the Militia; nor can he recover any debt due to him, but in the common course of law, which is here very tedious: whereas the stranger is exempted from all these dutys and taxes, and can immediately recover any debt due to him, upon application to the Governor for a warrant for holding of a special Court. This I have fully represented already, but it seems to no purpose, and I shall look upon the advice you have given me of the additional instruction design'd to be sent, as if it was already arriv'd; nor shall I upon any pretence, pass any Act that does lay any tax upon European goods imported. But if the Excise upon goods and commoditys retail'd and consum'd, will be more acceptable at home, you may beleive it is all that I wish for. I have already recommended it to the Councillors, and shall do the same to the Assembly, whenever the repeal you mention arrives; but there is one difficulty which I am afraid will be insurmountable. How can an Excise (light enough for the inhabitants to bear) be collected; for all liquors are already tax'd, and all the revenues we have are not sufficient to defray the current daily expences of the Government. The fortifications are in ruins, and it will not be a small sum that will repair them. We have had the 5 p.c. duty upon dry goods, and we have now the 2 and 4 p.c. upon trade; but neither of them have ever rais'd £400 sterl. per annum; tho' the collecting thereof costs the one 10 p.c. and the other but 5. But if an excise is laid upon commoditys retail'd and consumn'd, I beleive the half of the neat produce of any of the former dutys will be all that it can yeild; because of the difficulty and expence that must attend the collection thereof. Signed, John Hope. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Feb., 1724/5, Read 30th June, 1726. 5 ½ pp. [C.O. 37, 11. ff. 151–153v., 154 v.]
Oct. 9.
H.M.S.
Argyle,
St. Johns
Harbour,
N.F.L.
373. Commodore Bouler's Answers to Heads of Enquiry relating to the Fishery at Newfoundland, 1724. (iii) Describes how he stopped two ships heaving out their ballast at St. Johns etc. (iv) No complaints, (v) and (vi) Complied with. (vii) No complaints, (viii) No. (ix) Instances 3 masters who were, and 6 who were not provided with certificates from the Custom House at Dartmouth as the Act directs for Green men etc. (x) Complied with. (xi) None. (xii) No. (xiii) Observed as the Act directs. (xiv) Accots. are kept in each harbour, which is taken from the Admirals by the men of war, but none of 'em (in my oppinion) return any account to G. Brittain as the Act directs, (xv) and (xvi) Complied with. (xvii) None. (xix) The country produces nothing for the subsistance of the people except fish, so that they are chiefly supplyed from England, Ireland and the Plantations. (xx) Chiefly supplyed from Great Brittain. (xxi) They are paid in bills or fish from £21 sterl. to £6 a man for the season. (xxii) £110. (xxiii) The inhabitants employ their servants entirely in cureing of fish during the fishing season, and have about 4 or 5 men to a boat, but their fish is geny. dearer than the Bank fish by a ryall in a quintall, and this year in most places 'twas three ryalls dearer, (xxiv) They employ themselves and servants in providing things necessary for the next fishing season, but there are no persons to administer justice during the winter in any of the places (except St. Johns) and there last year Jno. Jago, Allen Southmead and Saml. Rook, were chosen by the majority of the people to administer justice for the winter season, as appears by an instrument under their hands, herewith transmitted, (v. C. S. P., 1723, Nov. 26). (xxvi) Complied with, (xxvii) None. (xxviii) The flakes are all extended up into the land and have no larger front than formerly allowed. (xxix) Slip rooms are known by the masters tradeing here and inhabitants, but no other accots. are kept, no complaints made thereon, (xxx) The most part of the provisions brought heither for the fishermen is from Great Brittain and Ireland but they generally compleat for a home voyage by provissions from New England. (xxxi) None but what comes directly from G. Brittain are admitted Admls. (xxxii) None. (xxxiii) No. (xxxiv) One or two ships only from Barnstaple and Biddiford continue to allow their companys share of what they make in the voyage and the charge of fitting and maintaining a ship of 100 tuns in that case may amount to about £1300. (xxxv) None that can be discover'd but there is reason to suspect wine and brandy are brought from France as well as salt. (xxxvi) Whatever may be brought from France or any other place is vended among the seamen and inhabitants. (xxxvii) All plantation goods are generally vended amongst the inhabitants. (xxxviii) By the accounts of the several merchants transmitted to me, the rum, mollosses, wine etc. sold this year is computed at only £7392, all paid for in fish or bills, rum at 1/9 pr. gall., mollosses ½ pr. gall., sugar 30s. to 40s. pr. cwt., flower at 16/s. pr. cwt., etc. But in my opinion these accots. are far short of the real quantity disposed of. (xxxix) There are about 74 taverns or publick houses, 50 of which are at St. Johns, kept only by inhabitants, the masters of the fishing ships and other traders supply 'em with liquors and necessarys for their houses, and these inhabitants again trust the fishermen etc., but whether upon their own credit or the credit of their masters is not to be discover'd, however they trust them too often so much that at the end of the season they have nothing to carry home, and therefore choose to go away to New England in some of the vessels of that country, which (as I was informed) generally contrive to get to St. Johns for that purpose soon after the convoy is sayled from thence, (xl) Not to be discovered, (xli) They say they pay the masters of fishing ships either in fish or oyl for the passage of their servants after the rate of 40s. each out and 30s. home, (xli) The credit the fishermen meet with occasions many disorders, frequent debaucheries, and thereby the well cureing of the fish is very much neglected. (xlii) The masters say they do not connive nor encourage their men to remain in the land, except such as come passengers to carry on the seal and furr trade to the no'ward. (xliv)'Tis believed (the New England traders continue to entice away seamen etc.) but no proof can be had of it. (xlv, xlvi a.) Complyed with, (xlvi b.) The Admirals of the fishing ships seem more diligent in their shopps and storehouses ashore, than in takeing and cureing of fish, however the chief reason of the fish not being so good as it us'd to be is that the fish do not come in so early as heretofore, so that a great part of the summer season being over, the latter part is mostly attended with wet, and that prevents their being thoroughly cured, there is no abuse in the ordering thereof nor is there any method to be taken to make' em better, (xlvii) There is no account of the French fishery to be had at N. F. Ld. (xlviii) and (1) will be answered by Capt. St. Lo., who had orders to take care of the Fishery in those parts, (xlix) No account to the contrary, (li) George Skeffington had all the encouragement and protection I could give him in his undertaking, but he complains of his being disturbed there very much by the Indians, who come once or twice a year to gather oker, and this last time kill'd him a man, and he says if the Govermt. would allow him two boats with 6 men each, he would engage to keep the country allways clear of the Indians. There is one other salmon fishery lately erected, by Masters and Wattson, at Grand Salmonier, Little Salmonier, Cornonet and Piscay Bay, they employ'd this last year 16 men at the charge of £300 wages and outset, and made 180 tierces of salmon, most of which was ship'd for forreign markets before I sayled from St. Johns, but they being very much disturb'd in this undertaking by the people of the country humbly desire your Lordships' favour and protection. Signed, E. Bouler. 18 pp. Annexed,
373. i. Scheme of the Fishery at Newfoundland for 1724. Totals:—Fishing and sack ships, 195 (23 from America); burthen, 15,253; men belonging thereto, 3137; passengers on English ships, 1477; boats, 677; by-boatmen, 1126; quintals of fish made, 109,530; carried to foreign markets, 92,090; teirces of salmon, 550; train oil, 659 tons; seal oil, £1890; furs, £790; stages, 293; trainfatts, 174. State of the inhabitants: Number of families who keep private houses, 257; who keep taverns, 74; inhabitants, 2702; of which remained in the country last year, 2455; births, since departure of last convoy, 51; deaths, 49. Names of persons who administered justice last winter, John Jago, Allen Southmead, Samuel Rook, at St. Johns only. Signed, E. Bouler. Endorsed, Recd. 25th March, Read 8th April, 1725. 4 pp. [C.O. 194, 7. ff. 231 v.–240, 241,–243, 245v.)
Oct. 9.
Whitehall.
374. Duke of Newcastle to Governor Burnet. I have lately recd, a letter from the Commrs. and Trustees for the forfeited estates, concerning an estate in New Jersey forfeited by the attainder of Jno. Cameron of Lochiel; wherein they represent several difficulties and hardships, wch. Mr. James Rochead their steward in that countrey has met with in the execution of the powers sent him from hence for the sale of the sd. estate. They likewise complain of divers unjust and violent prosecutions carried on against the sd. Mr. Rochead and his brother on account of their good intentions for the publick services, and mention it as an aggravating circumstance, that this ill treatment of their Agent has been with the concurrence of some persons of power and authority in New York, who ought rather to have given him all such necessary support and assistance, as the case required. Refers to enclosures, "which having been laid before the King, H.M. hath commanded me to transmit to you, that being thoroughly informed of the state of this complaint, you may be the better enabled to redress it," etc. Continues; H.M. is concerned to find, that any person acting under the authority of Parliament, by wch. the forfeited estates are applied to the use of the publick, should be any way interrupted or molested on that account: and it is more particularly displeasing to H.M. that persons employed in offices of power and trust should make use of their authority to obstruct the service of the publick, and the free course of Justice. It does not appear to me who those particular persons are, but so far as they may be under your influence and authority, as H.M. Governor, H.M. directs you to put a speedy and effectual stop to their violent proceedings, and to use all proper means, that the publick may reap the benefit of the sd. forfeited estate. Encloses a letter from the Trustees to him, and acknowledges letter of 9th Aug. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Enclosed,
374. i. Commissioners and Trustees for the forfeited estates to the Duke of Newcastle. Trustees Office, Edinburgh, 26th Sept., 1724. Refer to former letter concerning the forfeited estate of John Cameron of Lochiel in New Jersey. Continue: We have had a new application in behalf of the Steward appointed by us in that country, representing that not only has he met with difficulties and oppositions in executing the powers sent him, but that his brother and he on account of their readiness to serve the publick have been injuriously prosecuted by vexatious and calumnious prosecutions, carried on by the concurrence of some of those who have authority in that place, and from whom they rather expected all the support and encouragement which their office and power enabled them to give. A prosecution for dammages was carried on against John Rochead, brother to our Steward, for having said that John Cameron was forfeited, in which it appears by the account sent us by our Steward, the procedure against them was in a manner very arbitrary and unjustifiable, and the violence of the prosecution against them has been increased since our powers were sent over. Refer to enclosure. For greater security, ask His Grace to forward their letter to Governor Burnet, and request his support. Signed, Denis Bond, H. Houghton, Arthur Ingram. Copy.
374. ii. Memorial of James Rochead, merchant in New York, and John Louthian, writer in Edinburgh, to the Commissioners and Trustees for forfeited estates. Describes "two unjust, scandalous and malicious prosecutions" brought against him and his brother, in order to damage their fortunes and reputations, though happily without success etc. and ask for protection. Signed, John Louthian. Copy. [C.O. 324, 35. pp. 89–97].
Oct, 10.375. George Clarke, Dept. Auditor at New York, to Horatio Walpole. Not having had the honor of your commands how to act in what I formerly mentioned of calling Col. D'peyster to account, for several sums in the two long bills, I have gone no further than to send several messages to his wife acquainting her that her husband must account for them, and desiring her to get them prepared, but instead of giving me an answer she applyed last session to the Assembly, who came to the several resolutions inclosed, this gave me occasion to talk to Mr. Philips upon it, whom I found entirely prepossessed in favour of the Colonel, and the House was unanimous in their resolves. I thought it behooved then to give him cause to beleive I should proceed against the Colonel without loss of time etc., referring to the judgment given against the late Treasurer in the Supream Court, that he should account etc. I fee'd a lawyer (Mr. Bickley my former lawyer being dead) to assist the Attorney General, but they can find neither pleadings, nor records and Mr. Alexander, the former Attorney General, denys that he has them, saying they are in the Secretary's office; but my Deputy and Clerks averr they were never delivered to them, this is plainly a trick to defeat the King, but I shall baulk them I hope; the rule for judgment being in the books; my enquiry after these proceedings will give me a fair occasion of waiting for your commands without suspicion. The reasons contain'd in those resolves are no other than what that House has before made use off, and may as well be applyed to any demands of accounts of money hereafter to be given, as to the present case, for if the appropriation of the money, in the Acts themselves, barrs the Auditor, there is an end of his authority for the future, but they give these reasons for want of others, for they know that Col. D'peyster has before accounted for several sums particularly appropriated, and that his son the present Treasurer accounted for the money given twelve months ago, notwithstanding it was then their intention that he should not account for them, the honour of which the Governour takes to himself, how much soever he was against it when the bill past, but when I spoke to him about the late Treasurer's accounting he said that he was not in his power, as the present Treasurer is: You are sensible how grudgingly everything comes, and I hope when you have a little leisure from the great affairs that now engross your time, you will please to think of some methods to preserve your office from this precarious situation, for in every instance I find some mask is put upon it, to let the world see that it is submitted to for the present only, of necesssity; When the bill I mentioned passed in 1723 the officers residing in the Government were only considered but this year in a bill of the same nature, by the Governour's interposition the words residing in the Government were left out. So that one would have imagined your warrants, that were then unpaid, would be paid out of that money, without scruple; yet they were not, the Treasurer telling me it was not intended they should, for that you were not an officer of the Government, nor is your 5 p.c. a salary, and gave me a hint that this was the sense of the Assembly, but told me at the same time he would pay me as the revenue came in. I knew that would soon enable him, however to assert your right, I threatned to sue him on the Revenue Bill, which directs him to pay warrants in course, as they are numbred. He went to the Governour to complain, who thought, with the Treasurer, that yours was not a salary but a fee; I could not submit to it, I urged the parity between yours and the Treasurer's 5 p.c., but the Governor said that was a different thing, giving me to understand that it is well yours anyhow, at the same time speaking to me to forbear suing the Treasurer; I told him at his request I would; this I did to let him see that I would stretch a point to oblige him when it did not interfere with your commands. Asks for directions. Copy, of later date. 2 ¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 1085. No. 49].
Oct. 10.
Boston.
376. Mr. Cumings to the Council of Trade and Plantations. In obedience to your commands I take leave most humbly to represent to your Lordships what occurs to me for the benefite of the trade of Great Brittain etc. I doe find that the trade carried on betwixt our Colonies and the dutch and french settlements in Surriname, Cayan, Martinico and Guardulupe with horses is very prejudicial to our West India trade for without horses thesse forreign settlements cannot improve ther plantations of suger, for all their milns are wrought with horses not having windmills as wee have and the returns wee have for our horses being generally in molosses they not knowing what to doe with itt generally distill itt into rume which debauches our people much so that a prohibition of trade to those places with horses will be of great service to our plantations in making our sugers more vendable at forreign marcates and the lesser quantities of rume drink upon the Continent besides the prevention of illegall trade carried on betwixt those places and the Continent for hollands linens, french lulstring and alamodes, wines and brandies which are often runn on shore and for want of more officers cannot be so well prevented as otherwise but a prohibition of trade would in a great measure prevent it. I have a scheme which I could lay before you for the advantage of trade and whereby I can demonstrate to your Lordships to save att least annually to the Crown about £80,000 sterling and make the plantations more beneficiall and under a greater security from forceing attacks if your Lordships would be pleased to allow me £600 for the expence of my voyage and while I am in Great Brittain, for I never received any reward for my services and representations made to your honble. Board etc. Signed, Archd. Cumings. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Dec., 1724, Read 11th Augt., 1726. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 869. ff. 330, 330 v.]
Oct. 12.377. Mr. West to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to Act of Antigua for cutting off the entail of lands belonging to John Vernon of St. James, Westminster. Signed, Richd. West. Endorsed, Recd. 12th Oct., 1724, Read 21st Oct., 1725. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 15. ff 126, 127 v.]
Oct. 15.
Whitehall.
378. Mr. Popple to Mr. West. Encloses for his opinion in point of law Acts of the Massachusetts Bay 1715–1723. List annexed. [C.O. 5, 915. pp. 411–424].
Oct. 15.
Jamaica.
Spanish
Town.
379. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Since the last I had the honour to write to your Lordships, which was by the Adventure man of war the 13th of July past, I have receiv'd yours of March 31st, etc. I have as yet heard nothing in answere concerning the extraordinary behaviour of Capt. Laws, nor anything else relating to the behaviour of the rest of the Captns. of the men of war, which I have often represented as destructive to the good of this Island, and must continue to do so, till I am forbid, since my duty requires it; nor have I receiv'd any informations or directions concerning the Spaniards having protected and secur'd the pirate ship Cassandra etc. I have receiv'd the Queries your Lordps. sent etc. I have communicated them to the Council, and given every one in particular a copy of the same, requiring them to make the best enquiries they were able in their respective precincts, and have also sent orders to all the proper officers to get in and send me the best accounts they could, wth. the utmost dispatch, but as yet have not receiv'd what I have recommended to them in the strongest manner, and am not only in this, but in several other things oblig'd to wait their leisure, as well as their pleasure. I have also receiv'd the Order in Council relating to a petition of Isaac Miranda etc., and have acquainted the Council therewith; proper steps are taken to examine into that matter and as soon as I can, will send your Lordships a particular accot. of it etc. I did propose, and have been aiming to send over a perfect state of the affairs in this Island, but find it impracticable in the manner I co'd wish, which obliges me, from time to time, to acquaint your Lordps. wth. things as they occur to me, should I wait till I co'd reduce everything into a method to be laid all at once before your Lordps. it wo'd require more time than the nature of affairs, will admit of, and such a delay might be look'd upon as negligence in me, therefore shall always continue as I have hitherto done to acquaint your Lordps. as soon as possible, wth. whatever happens or what I can discover, in order to desire your Lordps. countenance, and assistance, and to receive your Instructions therein etc., also answers to the Queries will render the State of Affairs unnecessary etc.
Refers to case of Chandois and Esperance (v. 13th July). Continues: I co'd never have thought people would have ventur'd to attempt proceeding wth. so much arrogance clamour and obstinacy as they have done in all this transaction; The persons concern'd in the ship and sloop had made such a party, that without a good deal of resolution and steddyness in our proceedings, they wo'd have got the better of the Governmt. but they were surpris'd not to find the same weakness (avoiding to give it any other name) as they had upon the like occasions here before done. Some persons in whome I have found a very great change ever since my arrival and much different from what I expected of them by their characters before I came away and of whose behaviour I have in my letter of March the 4th taken notice, that they contrary to my expectations had raisd groundless jealousies in people's minds, did joyn wth. those concern'd in the sd. ship and vessell and were the chief advisers and promoters of most if not all what co'd give uneasyness; I shall enlarge further concerning them in another paragraph. I don't at all question but after this trial of skill, wherein they found nothing co'd move me from pursuing what is expected from me at home, they will be discourag'd for the future, and think it hereafter a vain attempt to struggle with the Governmt. in pursuit of their own ends, contrary to Law and Instructions. I was oblig'd in order to stem the fury of the rais'd party, who had almost got the better of the Vice-Admiralty Judge, by intimidating him, to suspend him pro tempore, and to appoint another to supply his place, they had carry'd it so far, as that I co'd find none disposed to accept of it, wch. oblig'd me to enjoyn H.M. Attorney Genl. to officiate, who seeing the indignity attempted against the Governmt. readily comply'd, and has wth. a good deal of resolution and credit, not minding the insolent threats of those concern'd in the party, gon thorough wth. it; They had even prevaild wth. the Officers of the Court to joyn so far wth. them as not to mind and stand out in contempt to the orders of the Attorney Genl. who then was Judge of that Court, wch. oblig'd him to exert himself, and in order to see a performance of his decrees was forc'd to put those Officers under confinement, whilst so, their insulting behaviour can hardly be describ'd and their party carry'd it in so arrogant a manner, that more than ordinary care has been wanting to preserve the publick peace, their meetings were so numerous, and so contrary to the customs us'd here (where people generally meet in a sort of an undress) by their appearing constantly dress'd and arm'd that nobody co'd tell what they intended, or might have attempted, when their reason was drown'd, and their spirits rais'd wth. liquor, wch. they never us'd to spare; That party had also even got some of the Assistant Judges to side wth. them, who countenanc'd them with their authority contrary to law and beyond their power, in their insulting proceedings against the Government. Things being push'd wth. so high a hand, it was then time for me to shew myself, and was forc'd immediately to remove those Judges, and to take the necessary measures to prevent all manner of disturbance, declaring I was resolv'd to suffer no such abuses; When they found I was in earnest not to yield to all this struggle, they then thought proper to consider better themselves, and to submit by complying wth. the orders and decrees of the Court, wch. they wo'd feign have made (had they been suffer'd to go on) serve only their private purpose and advantage; If they do appeal at home I hope I shall have an opportunity to set this in as clear a light as may be, being satisfy'd nothing but a misrepresentation can countenance their behaviour and that my transactions in this will meet wth. approbation, and when well examin'd into if they complain of any hardships it may perhaps be thought I have been too indulgent. Now to explain what I have said concerning the change in some persons, etc. Your Lordps. will think I might well be surpris'd to find that they disappointed me, and that I had good reason at my first arrival to repose a confidence in them, since it was Mr. Bernard himself and his friends who under the colour of being very zealous towards the service of the Publick and shewing a particular regard to me, have in their secret transactions, acted quite contrary to their publick professions. I have sevll. times been at a loss to discover by what artifice, what had been secretly concerted for the service of the Island, had been publish'd at a time I thought no body co'd have the knowledge of it, and people's minds ready prepar'd against it, by their being misled and prejudic'd in their opinion beforehand. What has help'd me towards detecting it is, that upon every urgent trial, where the assistance of Mr. Bernard and his friends, was particularly requir'd, I have found more trouble and disappointmts. than I co'd well have expected. At first their characters had such a weight wth. me, that I gave way to their reasons, thinking them better judges of the people, and of the constitution of this Island, than I co'd be. But now at last, it too plainly has appear'd, that those reasons have chiefly been frivolous excuses to deceive me, and that they abus'd the confidence I had repos'd in them; They made use of their emissaries to disclose what they thought of use for their purpose, and to poison, as well as they co'd, the minds of the people, and I don't at all question, but that to their private correspondents in England they have writ over, such things as they durst not here publickly declare, but I am very easy about that, being satisfy'd time will allways discover the truth, and my aim chiefly being that my transactions whenever enquir'd into may speak for themselves to the world; The chief and only reason I can give for all this, is, as your Lordps. very well know, that when I came over, Mr. Bernard had a dormant commission by him of Lt. Governour, wch. was superceded by the commission granted to Collo. Du Bourgay, and whoever knows Mr. Bernard personally, must know, that his pride, the imperiousness of his temper, and the violence of his passion, wo'd never give him leave to sit still and be easy under it. He has carry'd his resentment privately in his heart ever since, and will never (if I am not mistaken) forgive the Ministry for such an affront as he takes it to be. Pretended friends certainly are the most dangerous enemys. By what I can find and learn he allways has had the Government here in view, and thought his commission a sure step towards it, not questioning but that in case any accident sho'd have happen'd to Sir N. Laws, who is his father in law, he certainly wo'd have succeeded him, and wo'd now be thought to be of that consequence, and moment here, that nothing can be well carried on without his assistance, and if in his power, wo'd feign put matters in such a confusion as to be thought of, at home so necessary, as that he may receive some hopes, or have some prospect, of what his ambition leads him to aspire to, how proper that wo'd be, I submitt to better judgment but cant help saying, sho'd his temper ever be gratify'd; that I apprehend this Island then, wo'd be in the greatest confusion. He has been the adviser and supporter of the disturbance wch. has happen'd concerning the condemnation of the aforesd. ship and scooner. It was he who prevail'd wth. the Officers of the Court not to comply wth. their duty. His passion in that got so far the better of his judgment as to appear so publickly, that all his private transactions beforementioned, wch. tho' discovered by me, and only privately suspected by others, are now become the common and general discourse, and by most, if not by all, a good deal censur'd. I will only mention one particular concerning his behaviour, wch. is, that the very day the Officers of the Court of Admiralty were put under confinement, he obli g'd his Lady to go to the house where they were, and to take wth. her all her friends and acquaintance, wth. a design to dance there all night, altho' but a day or two before, she had excus'd herself from coming here, under pretence of an indisposition, upon the solemnization of H.M. accession to the Throne, wch. was observ'd in the handsomest way this place wo'd admit of, by an entertainment, and a ball, what made a more remarkable was, that it happen'd upon one of our weekly publick nights, and strove by all the ways they co'd think of, to prevent anybody's appearing here, but wch., when discover'd, several people receiv'd their invitation wth. indignation, and repair'd here full wth. the news of it, but the poor Lady, who in obedience to her husband's commands, and contrary to her own inclinations, had gone where she was order'd to go, got such a sickness there, as cost her her life, within a few days after. Her death was lamented by all those that knew her; It is to be observ'd that all those who attempted to make a disturbance, were all particular and intimate friends of Mr. Bernards; He co'd by his single advice have prevented all manner of unneasiness, wch. plainly appear'd afterwards as soon as he declar'd it was not adviseable to stand out any longer. At least as a Counsellour, and one wth. whom I had always kept a constant and more than an ordinary friendship, one might have expected that he wo'd have come, and have given me the best intelligence he co'd, as also acquainted me wth. his opinion, in case he had thought anything wrong, but to the surprise of everybody, as well as my own, he never came near me. but joyn'd with them in every thing that co'd be thought of, to raise clamour, and to insult; His behaviour ever since (now he thinks that by the lengths he has gone all his private and underhand transactions are discovered) has been very extraordinary; But as I have always avoided to put myself in any one man's power, and resolv'd, after a due consideration to act wth. steddyness (which by experience I have found to be the only way to have the general approbation and assistance) the best method to be taken concerning him, is, to let him alone, and take no other notice of him, than what the station he is in requires, and don't at all question but that I shall disappoint all those who are chiefly led by any private views or designs of their own. I hope I shall succeed in what may come recommended to me, for H.M. service, and for the ease and advantage of this Island. The Assembly met here according to their last adjournment, the 20th of Sepr. last, and having receiv'd no informations or instructions concerning what I sent last over to your Lordps. I have further adjourn'd them to the 20th, of this month; We wait with impatience for the arrival of a ship that may bring over some satisfactory news, sho'd it prove to be H.M. approbation of what has been sent, it certainly wo'd be receiv'd wth. great joy, and believe I may venture to say, that altho' there sho'd have been some alterations to make it entirely conformable to H.M. intentions, tho' they might meet wth. some opposition (which wo'd chiefly come from those I have been mentioning here before) yet they might with good management be remov'd and overcome. It is my opinion by what I see now, since the laws are expir'd that the generality of the people are rather inclin'd to wait wth. patience, for H.M. final determination concerning their laws, and the Revenue Act, than to receive any other Instruction to continue them upon the foot they have been, and their confidence in me (tho' modesty will hardly admit me to say so) seems so entire, that they dont express the least uneasiness at the expiration of their laws, only some and their numbers few, and the same who strive to raise difficultys and create a confusion wch. I can assure your Lordps. it will not be in their power to do. Apologises for length of letter, etc. If I err in anything shall be oblig'd to you for setting me right etc. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, Reed. 23rd Dec., 1724, Read 28th April, 1725. 7 ½ large pp. Enclosed,
379. i. H. E.'s Speech to the Council and Assembly of Jamaica, St. Jago de la Vega, Sept. 30, 1724. Adjourns them till 20th Oct., expecting H.M. Instructions on the Revenue Bill and renewal of laws etc. Endorsed, Reed. 23rd Dec, 1724. Copy, l ¼ pp. [C.O. 137, 16. ff. 54–57v., 58v.–59v., 60v.]
Oct. 15.
Jamaica.
Spanish
Town.
380. Governor the Duke of Portland to the Duke of Newcastle. Acknowlwdges letter of 2nd April and compliments him upon his succeeding Lord Carteret etc. Refers to former letters and the case of the Chandois and Esperance (v. July 13), continuing as preceding covering letter from second paragraph. Signed, Portland. Endorsed, R. Jan. 7. 7 pp. Enclosed,
380. i. Duplicate of No. 379. i. [C.O. 137, 52. ff. 83–87v.]