America and West Indies
February 1728, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1937

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24-36

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'America and West Indies: February 1728, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 36: 1728-1729 (1937), pp. 24-36. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72442 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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February 1728, 1-15

Feb. 2.
Whitehall.
30. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of New- castle. Enclose Address from New Jersey, to be laid before the King. (v. Dec. 18, 1727.) Autograph signatures. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 980. No. 44; and 5, 996. p. 249.]
Feb. 2.
Montserrat.
31. Capt. George to [?the Duke of Newcastle]. Refers to letter two years ago asking for the Government of Bermudas, which he had hoped to obtain, but now learns it is disposed of to Mr. Pitt. Continues : That which I at present have, is such an expence to me (for the country does not give me one shilling) that even the pay and perquisites of my Company is not sufficient to defray etc. Asks leave to dispose of his Government and Company, "which together, will ammount to about one or two and twenty hundred pounds," and retire to S. Carolina or Virginia, "for I see no probability in the station I am at present in, of laying up anything, towards discharging such debts, as was the occasion of my leaving England, but the contrary." Refers to his services in the army for 25 years etc. Signed, Paul George. Endorsed, Rd. May 24th. 1 ½ pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 25, 25v., 26v.]
[Feb. 6.]32. Edward Johnson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Asks for copy of the reasons alledged by Lt. Governor Mathew for displacing him as Judge etc. (v. C.S.P. 15th Aug. and 6th Oct. 1727.) Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Matthews, Mr. Johnson's Agent), Read 6th Feb., 1727/8. 1 p. [C.O. 152,16. ff. 139, 140v.]
Feb. 7.
Whitehall.
33. Mr. Popple to Mr. Scrope. Refers to letter of 16th March, 1727. Continues :—My Lords having now under their consideration Instructions for Col. Dunbar, appointed Surveyor General of H.M. woods in America, think this a proper occasion of reminding the Lords of the Treasury of the draft of the bill for the better preservation of H.M. woods therein enclosed etc. [C.O. 324, 11. pp. 60, 61.]
[Feb. 8.]34. Extracts of letters from John Bennet, Merchant in Barbados, to the Duke of Montagu, (a) Barbadoes, Sept. 17, 1726. There are now about 300 French families settled on St. Lucia, and some of them owners of 20 or 30 negroe slaves, so that 'tis not to be doubted but they will make themselves masters of it by degrees, as also of St. Vincent and Dominico, by means of their Fryars and other Missionaries who use all their arts to gain the Indians and negroes. Proposes that the English should have some encouragement to be making settlements on St. Lucia, as well as the French, for it is certain they are connived at and underhand encouraged. Continues :— We have now a great many vessells trading in the Petite Careenage and also about the Island for timber, which is very valuable, and would be more so, should we be denied by the Dutch to trade to Surrinam, of which there has been some talk, and some of our vessells have actually returned, without being permitted to trade etc. Many of our English would likewise make settlements on St. Lucia, and clear up parcells of land in such parts as suited them, provided they had some assurances from your Grace, that they should not be dispossessed of their lands, but should hold them by some certain easy and reasonable tenure. Should your Grace impower any person to give out grants in your name, in such manner as was Mr. Uring, the English would settle there as fast as the French without putting you to any further expence. The consequence of which might be, that possibly the French might get possession of one half of the Island, and we of the other, as formerly on St. Christophers etc., which would be better than to suffer the French to settle it entirely. Their possessions are too great already amongst these Islands etc. Suggests, alternatively, a Treaty with the French etc.
(b) Nov. 30, 1727. Acknowledges letter of Jan. 24, 1727. Encloses following, showing how the French are making them- selves masters of St. Vincents by the only advisable method. Were they to do it openly and by force, the negroes and Indians would obstruct them, as they have formerly done, but by the preaching and insinuation of their Fryers, and gratuities of rum sugar, and other little commodities, they insensibly in- sinuate themselves into the affections of those people, and begin to make themselves not only acceptable, but usefull and necessary amongst them. It is certain that St. Vincent has of late supplied Barbadoes with several sloop loads of corn. All which is enough to alarm the British Ministry as they regard the protection and trade of the Caribbee Islands, for they are growing so powerfull that if not speedily, nay immediatly stopt in their progress, they will certainly destroy all the Leeward English Islands and Barbadoes itself. Besides the French Court has transmitted to Martinique an Edict prohibiting all manner of trade in the W. Indies with the English Danes and Dutch and ordered several sloops be employed as guarde de la costas etc., and at the same time giving licence to all French vessells to trade to the Spanish Islands of Margarita, Trinidada and Portorico. Your Grace will best judge for what reasons this is done etc. I have sent to Mr. Woodbridge a small sample of the tobacco that the French make on St. Vincents, which I had from Mr. Ridley etc. Copy. Enclosed,
34. i. Deposition of John Ridley of Barbados, 28th Nov., 1727. On 4th Nov. deponent, master and owner of the sloop Endeavour, proceeded to Corbaco, a fine bay in St. Vincents, to meet another sloop he had sent to cut timber. There were settled six or seven French families, and about a league to the north in another bay fourteen or fifteen. The said inhabitants raised provisions and a great quantity of very good tobacco, somewhat like that of Brazil. Deponent was informed that there were French inhabitants settled in most parts of the Island, and in one part there was a considerable town and a Mass house; that there are a great many free negroes and Indians on the Island and the French are daily coming over to settle there from Martinique, and that they raise and export great quantities of corn. He was informed by a schooner from Martinique, that a French man of war was coming from Martinique to seize their sloops, or to know by what authority the English cut timber there, whereupon deponent hastened to Barbados, etc. Sinned, John Ridley. Endorsed, Recd, (from D. of Montagu), Recd. 8th Feb., 1727/8. Copy. The whole, 4 pp. [C.O. 28, 19. ff. 92–93v., 95v. ; and (duplicate of enclosure) 96, 96v.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
35. Mr. Popple to Lt. General Mathew. Acknowledges letters of 31st May, 24th June, 15th Aug., 12th Oct., and 1st Nov. Continues :—In these letters you mention several papers to be presented to the Board by Mr. Beak, Mr. Butler, and Mr. Meure; But this being a method of correspondence not approved of by their Lordships, I am commanded to signify to you their desire, that your letters to them, and whatever papers are therein referred, may for the future be sent sealed directly to the Board. H.M. having been pleased to refer to their Lordships a petition of Mr. Greathead etc. (v. No. 28), and they having moved that both you and he may be directed with such other persons as you and he shall think proper, to make affidavits before any judge or magistrate in St. Christophers etc., and that the said affidavits be mutually exchanged between you, and then transmitted to my Lords, under the Seal of the Island etc., their Lordships expect, that you should punctually comply with what is above proposed, as soon as possibly may be. I have wrote by their Lordships' order to this purpose to Mr. Greathead. Mr. Willett, having complaind of his having been ill used by you in Council (copy enclosed), my Lords expect you will in like manner transmit your answer thereto etc. I have also acquainted Mr. Willet with their Lordships' directions etc. Their Lordships observe by your letter of 15th Aug., that you are preparing an account, in the nature of a present state of the Leewd. Islands which, as their Lordships think it will be of great advantage to them, I am to desire you will transmit it as soon as possible. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 307–309.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
36. Same to Mr. Greathead. Directs him to proceed as above. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 309, 310.]
Feb. 8.
Whitehall.
37. Same to Mr. Willett. Directs him to proceed as above, "as their Lordships are of opinion that every Member of the Council ought to enjoy freedom of debate and vote, their Lordships are always desirous of doing whatever in them lies, to promote the same" etc. [C.O. 153, 14. pp. 310, 311.]
Feb. 8.
H.M.S.
Berwick
Port Royal,
Jamaica.
38. Capt. Gordon to Mr. Delafaye. This [is] the poorest squadron that ever went home from these parts, all of them having drawn monney from home except Capt. Solegard, and which is worst of all, no monney in the country to be sent home. I have been but once at sea since I came to this country, and on the second day after I was out, lost all my mast, sailes and rigging, and lye in harbour now till my stores come from home; however those that goe to sea can meet with nothing out of harbour, all the Spaniards keeping close in port etc. Has sent an express to Admiral Hosier with Sir Charles Wager's orders, in accordance with enclosed instruction etc. Signed, Geo. Gordon. Endorsed, R. 15th April. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
38. i. Commodore St. Loe to Capt. Gordon. Bredah, Port Royal, Dec. 1727. Instructs him to forward by express any letters that may arrive to him off Point Canoa etc. Signed, E. St. Loe. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 16, 17, 18v.]
Feb. 8.
Custom ho.
39. Mr. Carkesse to Mr. Popple. The Commissrs. observing that it has been the practice to permit logwood of the growth and produce of the Bay of Campechea to be carryd directly to Holland and other foreign parts from New Yorke and other British plantations and it being required by law that all fustick or other drying wood of the growth, production or manufacture of any British Plantation in America, Asia or Africa which shall be exported from thence, shall be brought directly to some port in Great Britain and there put on shoar, the Commrs. desire you will move the Lords of Trade and Plantations for their opinion whether Campechea is to be esteemd a Plantation belonging to the Crowne of Great Britain etc. Signed, Cha. Carkesse. Endorsed, Recd. 8th, Read 9th Feb., 1727/8. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 388, 27. T. 7.]
Feb. 9.
Whitehall
40. Mr. Popple to Mr. Carkesse. In reply to preceding, encloses copy of Representation of 25th Sept., 1717. [C.O. 389, 28. p. 332.]
Feb. 9.
Whitehall.
41. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose following. Continue :—Your Grace will perceive etc. that the French are actually peopling the islands of St. Vincents and Sta. Lucia, and that their strength is increasing so fast in the Charribbee Islands, that if some stop be not speedily put thereto, there is great reason to fear that all the Leeward Islands, and even Barbados itself, will be in great danger in case a rupture shou'd happen between the Crown of France and this Kingdom. Your Grace will likewise perceive that the French at St. Vincent do raise and export great quantities of corn, and that Barbadoes has of late been supplyed with several sloop loads thereof, to the detriment of the trade formerly carried on between that Island and some of H.M. Northern Plantations. There is one particular more, which we begg leave to mention to your Grace vizt., that a French man of war was expected from Martinique to seize what English sloops shou'd be found at St. Vincents, or to know by what authority the English cut timber there; we need not upon this occasion repeat to your Grace the too well known consequence of permitting the French thus to become masters of places to which H.M. has an undoubted title and therefore shall make but this one observation, that the French, if left at liberty to become masters of these islands, will be possess'd of the finest and safest harbour in all America; by which means they will not only have it in their power to make themselves masters of all the trade to the Spanish West Indies, but will have many more opportunities of clandestinely importing into H.M. Charibbee Islands such foreign goods as ought legally to be imported thither from hence only, to the manifest detriment of the trade of this Kingdom. Autograph signatures. 3 pp. Enclosed,
41. i. Copy of letter from Mr. Bennet, No. 34 (b).
41. ii. Copy of deposition of John Ridley, No. 34. i. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 22, 22. i, ii ; and (without enclosures) 29, 14. pp. 431, 432.]
[Feb. 10.]42. List of papers received from Mr. Meure, referred to by Lt. General Mathew in late letters, relating to the removal of Chief Justice Greathead etc. 2 pp. Endorsed, Recd. 10th Feb., Read 5th April, 1728. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 16. ff. 258, 258v, 259v.]
Feb. 10.43. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By H.M.S. the Dunkirk (which is the first opportunity that has offered since my arrival) I have the honour to acquaint your Lordships that, after a very agreeable passage of eight weeks, I came safe here on the 29th of the last month etc. My Commission was published the next day etc. and a general satisfaction appeared among the inhabitants. I have with the advice of the Council, issued writts for calling an Assembly; and they are to convene the 28th of March: I am in hopes they will meet with a good disposition to promote H.M. service and the interest of their country. I have not as yet had leisure to inform myself particularly into the several branches of H.M. Instructions, upon which I am commanded to correspond with your Lordships; But I shall, without loss of time apply myself to the faithful discharge of my trust etc. Prays for their favourable construction etc. Continues: Admiral Hopson intends to sail to-morrow for Carthagena, with such ships of his squadron as are fit for sea; and by the latest advices we have from thence the galleons were still in that port: It is generally believed that, if they stay much longer there, most of them will be rendred incapable of returning to Europe, etc. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 24th April, Read 2nd May, 1728. 2 pp. Enclosed,
43. i. Governor Hunter's declaration in Council, 31st Jan., 1727–8, with Council's Answer. Mutual assurances of good will etc. Endorsed as preceding. Printed. 1p. [C.O. 137, 17. ff. 40, 40v., 41v.–42v.]
Feb. 10.
Jamaica.
44. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats part of preceding letter, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. April 15th. 1 2/3 pp. Enclosed,
44. i. Duplicate of No. 43 i. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 19, 19v., 20v., 21.]
Feb. 12.
Williamsburgh.
45. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Minutes of Council to Dec. last, Naval Officer's lists of imports and exports for half year ending Michaelmas, and accounts of imports from Madera and the Azores, and of the negroes from Africa to the same time. Continues : Pursuant to the directions of his late Majesty, I have appointed Wm. Byrd, Richd. Fitzwilliam and Wm. Dandridge Esqrs. Com- missrs. (the two last are in the place of Col. Harrison deceased) for settling the boundaries between this Government and the Province of North Carolina: and have so far concerted this matter with the Governor of that Province that the Com- missioners on both sides are to meet 5th March in order to put a final end to that dispute, which has been so many years in contest, and I hope my next will bring the account of its conclusion. The jealousies that had lately spread themselves between our Tributary Indians and some of their neighbours (whereof notice is taken in the Journal of 2nd Nov., and of which I some time since sent your Lordships the report of the march of some of our Militia under the command of Col. Harrison) are I hope so entirely removed, as to leave no further apprehension of any rupture between them, which otherwise might have given great uneasiness to our frontier inhabitants. It would I presume be needless to trouble your Lordships with observations drawn from these Journals: seeing they are either necessary orders for qualifying officers on H.M. accession, or private disputes about entrys for land, which are of little consequence. But there is one thing in the Journal of 4th Nov. which concerns myself etc., 'tis an unanimous vote of the Council for paying me £300 out of the Revenue towards defraying the extraordinary charge I was at in transporting myself and family hither; This resolution was so unexpected that I had not the least notice of it till the day it was proposed at the Board, and I thought it would not become me to refuse this extraordinary instance of their regard. All I shal offer further on this subject is, to pray your Lordships' favourable construction as well of their offer as my acceptance; and I hope it will pass the better when your Lordships consider the present state of that Revenue as it appears in the late half year's accompt (which is also inclos'd) the ballance whereof is upwards of £6000. Perusing my Instructions, I found one (No. 119) wherein I am enjoyn'd to propose a law for making the Virginia estates of bankrupts liable to the satisfaction of their English creditors; but upon examining into the practice in such cases (with submission) I am perswaded those creditors have as great advantages now for the recovery of their debts, as they could expect or reasonably desire by a special law for that purpose: for if a merchant in England breaks and has effects in Virginia, everyone of his creditors there has not only the benefit of their dividend from his effects upon the commission of bankruptcy sued out there, but they have the oppertunity on his failure, of sending over hither, and here bring suit for the recovery of his effects in this country, and in such case they have an equal share of whatever is discovered in this country in proportion with the Virginia creditors ; whereas the latter can pretend to no part with them of what is recovered in England, seeing the distance makes it morally impossible for them to make out their demands before the Commissioners here have finished their accompts and made the dividend. This being the true state of that case, I doubt not your Lordships will be of opinion that there's no occasion for such a law etc. The General Assembly called by my predecessor being of course dissolved by the King's death: I have called a new one which met the first instant. Encloses Speech and Address etc. Continues: By the choice the people have made of their Representatives, I have reason to hope for an happy issue of their proceedings, etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 17th April, Read 2nd May, 1728. 2 pp. Enclosed,
45. I–iv. Duplicate of Nos. 46 i, iii–v. [C.O. 5, 1321. ff 22, 25–28, 29v., 30, 31v.–33v. ; and (abstract) 23.]
Feb. 14.
Williams
burgh.
46. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Duke of Newcastle. Having in my former letters given your Grace a relation of the most considerable occurrences since my entring on the administration of this Government: etc. encloses journals of Council to Dec. Repeats parts of preceeding. I presume it would be needless to trouble your Grace with observations drawn from these journals; seeing they are either necessary orders for qualifying officers on H.M. accession, or private disputes about entrys for land, which are of little consequence. Encloses Speech and Addresses. Concludes : That [address] to H.M. I am desired to recommend to the Merchants to attend it when presented to H.M. by Micajah Perry Esq. one of the City Members, which I do by the same conveyance, directing Mr. Perry to wait upon your Grace with it. By the choice the people have made of their Representatives I have reason to hope for an happy issue of their proceedings, etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Rd. April 15th. l 1/3rd pp. Enclosed,
46. i. Address of the House of Burgesses of Virginia to Lt. Govr. Gooch. We cannot sufficiently express the joy with which our hearts are filled, to see ourselves under the government of a person in all respects qualyfied etc. The character wch. in your private life you had established among all that knew you, reached us before your arrival etc. But since we have had the pleasure of seeing the beauties of that character illustrated by the example of your life in what concerns the dutys of religion, your courteous and affable behaviour to all etc., your hospitality and charity, and the prudence and evenness of your temper, wch. you discover upon all occasions, we have abundant reason to think ourselves an happy people etc. Nor can we doubt but example, wch. is the best of all instruction, will have a great influence on all that see you, to follow those excellent rules you was pleas'd to lay down in your Speech (No. iv) for wch. we beg leave to return you our humble and unfeigned thanks. Copy. 1 p.
46. ii. Address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Their sorrow for the loss of the King his father is turned to gladness by his peaceful accession, etc. Continues :—It is the peculiar happiness of this country that we are more than any other of the American Plantations united in the religion of the Church of England, and our civil rights and liberties are secured to us by the same excellent laws, which have ever been the boast of the English Nation, and have made them greater than any other people. Therefore it merits our most thankfull acknowled- gments that your Majesty has been pleased to declare your resolution to make the establishment in Church and State your first and always your chief care. And as we have always been happy under the protection and Government of the Crown of England, so we already at this distance feel the extensive influence of your Majesty's just and wise councels in placing over us Mr. Gooch etc. Pray for H.M. long reign etc. Copij. 1 ¾ pp.
46. iii. Account of H.M. Revenue of 2s. per hhd., 25th April 25th Oct., 1727. Totals :—Balance brought forward, £4660 13s. 4 ¾d. Received, £3745 18s. 2 ¼d. Expenditure, £2102 4s. 7¾d. Balance, £6304 6s. 11 ¼d. Signed, John Grymes, Recr. Genll. Audited by Nathl. Harrison, Depty. Auditor. Sworn to in Council by John Grymes. 2 pp.
46. iv. Lt. Governor Gooch's Speech to the Council and Burgesses in Assembly. Will make it his constant care to promote and propagate religion and virtue. It is his peculiar felicity to come to a country where the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church of England, are not only established, but almost universally received, but if there are any Dissenters among them, with consciences truly scrupulous, he will think an indulgence to them so consistent with the genious of the Xtian religion, that it can never be inconsistent with the interest of the Church of England. Urges loyalty to the House of Hanover and enforcement of the laws, and also the observance of the social virtues of civility, good-nature, hospitality and good neighbourhood etc. Recommends to the Burgesses repair of the battery at Point Comfort and the building of a light-house on Cape Henry, which is so much wanted for the preservation of the shipping from the danger of the enemy as well as seas, that he hopes they will once more consider it. "A clause may be inserted to prevent you being at any danger thereon, unless our neighbours of Maryland either will or can be compelled to contribute towards its maintenance." Recommends to the Council agreement upon some methods to prevent delays in the Courts of Justice, and a new law concerning tobacco, and promises his concurrence in all measures for the encouragement of their trade and happiness etc. Copy. 2 1/3rd pp.
46. v. Address of Council of Virginia to Lt. Governor Gooch. Return thanks for preceding Speech and express loyalty and good-will. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1337. Nos. 41, 41. i–v.]
Feb. 15.
St. James's.
47. Order of King in Council. Approving draughts of Governor Burnet's Commissions etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 29th, Read 30th April, 1728. l¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 870. ff. 59, 59v., 60v. ; and 5, 194. f. 113.]
Feb. 15.
St. James's.
48. Order of King in Council. Repealing Act of New York for the easier partition of lands etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 29th, Read 30th April, 1728. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1054. ff. 234, 234v., 235v.]
Feb. 15.
St. James's.
49. Order of King in Council. The Committee for hearing appeals etc. having reported that Mr. Hope's Counsel agreed to Mr. George Tucker being restored to his offices of Secretary and Provost Marshal General of Bermuda, ordered accordingly, and that he be paid one moiety of the profits arising from said offices during his suspension; and that in case there should be any refusal in such payment, petitioner be at liberty to put the security in suit, in the name of whomsoever it has been taken etc. Signed and endorsed as preceding. 2 ¼ pp. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 7–8v.]
Feb. 15.
St. James's.
50. Order of King in Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their immediate consideration and report as to the methods which will most effectually conduce to the ends proposed, "H.M. in Council judging it highly necessary for the service of his Navy, that the strictest care ought to be taken of H.M. woods in North America and all proper encouragement given for the raising of hemp and all other navall stores" etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 20th Feb., 1727/8. 1 ½pp. Enclosed,
50. i. Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the King in Council. Admty. Office. 13th Jan., 1727. We having received frequent complaints of the illegal and unaccountable waste and destruction of your Majesty's woods in North America, by the unjustifiable liberty the inhabitants of New England have taken in cutting down, and converting to their own use, not only great numbers of the trees in the said woods, but even those, which were the most proper, and absolutely necessary for masts for the ships of your Majesty's Royal Navy, insomuch that if some speedy and effectual care be not taken to prevent the same there will not be any trees remaining for the said service; we thought this a matter of too great consequence to your Majesty's service to let it longer pass, without taking the necessary precautions, as far as the same does relate to us etc. We have upon enquiry, been informed by the Principal Officers and Commissioners of the Navy, that Mr. Burniston, who was in 1718 appointed Surveyor Generall of H.M. Woods etc., hath not either by himself, or deputy, given them any accounts of his proceedings etc., and that he hath not personally been in North America, but constantly resided in England, notwithstanding that it was so absolutely necessary that he should have constantly abode in New England etc. It would have been of great advantage if he had been bred a shipwright, and skilled in the nature and quality of naval stores etc. Mr. Gulston, who is under contract to furnish masts for the Royal Navy from New England etc. hath represented to the aforesaid Commissioners, that very great abuses have been committed in cutting down, and exporting timber fitt for masts; which exportations have probably furnished foreign countreys in enmity with Great Britain; and that unless speedy and effectual care be taken to cultivate and preserve timber trees in New England, especially near the water side, the Royal Navy cannot be supplyed from thence, or that at least it must be very expensive to the Crown. The preservation of masts, and all sorts of timber trees, fitt for the Navy, as well as the planting and improving of other navall stores in general in N. America, is of great importance to your Majesty's service, and the same doth principally depend on the care of a diligent and honest Surveyor of your Majesty's Woods, supported in the due execution of his duty by the authority of the Crown. The said Commissioners of the Navy are humbly of opinion the aid of an Act of Parliament may be requisite, to regulate and restrain the licentious pretences of townships in your Majesty's said Government of New England, to cutt down any timber within their districts, fitt for masts, and that if the said Act did enforce the penalties mentioned in the Charter granted in the third year of the reign of King William and Queen Mary, and extend to the prosecution of all offenders, and to the inflicting severe punishments, even upon the Governours of the provinces, and the Surveyor himself, and his assistants, when legally convicted, it might effectually obtain the end proposed; for that thereby all sizes of masts might be preserved for the Roy all Navy, as well trees under 24 inches diameter for future supplies, as those above, and no tree be cut to waste, but converted as occasion should require, by a skillfull hand, nor any pine tree whatever be cutt down by the inhabitants of any district, until it should be first surveyed, and a mark of leave put thereon by the Surveyor, or his assistants, Such endeavours for obtaining a supply of all naval stores from your Majesty's own plantations, deserves the greatest care and attention, since it may prove of infinite advantage to this nation, in case of a rupture with the Northern Powers, from whom the Navy is usually supplyed; but the woods have been under no other inspection for many years past, than of an officer of the Customs, deputed by the aforesd. Mr. Burniston, whose education did by no means qualify him to be a proper judge of masts etc. The said Commissioners have represented, that as to the usefullness of the Naval Stores imported from America, the pitch and turpentine have proved very serviceable, and no ways inferior to that of Sweden or Russia; that the tarr hath likewise been found very usefull in the Navy for ship work, tho' not yet arrived to the perfection that it is to be hoped etc. for making cordage; and that the hemp had been so improved, that upon an experiment made of a sample thereof, brought from Virginia, it hath appeared equal in goodness to the best Riga hemp, insomuch that if proper instructions were given to the Surveyor Generall of the Woods, the planters might be induced by him to improve the same, and large supplies of that commodity, in time, be procured for the service of this Kingdom; and the tarr improved, which, as well as other naval stores, hath of late years been imported from thence in great quantities etc. We entirely concurr with the above observations of the Commissioners of the Navy, and most humbly represent, that the preservation of the woods, and using all possible means to cultivate hemp and other stores, will very much tend to the advantage of your Majesty's service, with respect not only to the Royal Navy, but to the Nation in general; and that, in order thereunto, it is absolutely necessary the Surveyor General should constantly reside in North America, and employ his utmost care and skill not only in surveying your Majesty's woods there, and preserving them from waste, but in the instructing and encouraging the inhabitants to propagate all sorts of stores which the country will produce; and that he should have such instructions for his government therein, as shall be judged, may most effectually conduce thereunto. Signed, Torrington, Jo. Cokburne, Jno. Norris, T. Littleton, L. Malgras. Copy. 4 2/3 pp. [C.O. 323, 8. Nos. 83, 83. i.]
Feb. 15.
St. James's.
51. Order of King in Council. The Council of Trade are to insert a clause in Lord Londonderry's Instructions impowering him to receive an additional salary either from the first or second Assembly, as was done in the case of Governor Hart, according to the prayer of his Lordship's Memorial etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd., 27th Feb., Read 5th March, 1727/8. 3 ¼ pp. [C.O. 152, 16. .ff. 153–154v., 155v.]
Feb. 15.
St. James's.
52. Order of King in Council. Upon report of the Committee that owing to Mr. Shute's absence, H.M. sign manual, April 10, 1727, directing him to recommend to the Assemblies of the Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire the settlement of the Governor's salary, had not been communicated to the Assemblies, H.M. in Council, "judging it highly reasonable and necessary, that a due provision ought to be made for the support of his Governors of the said Provinces, is pleased to order etc., that the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations do insert an article in Mr. Burnet's Instructions agreeable to the said Sign Manual "etc. Cf. A.P.C. III. pp. 105–107. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 28th Feb., 1727/8. 3 pp. Enclosed,
52. i. Copy of H.M. letter to Governor Shute, 10th April, 1727. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 870. ff. 49–50, 51–52v.]
Feb. 15.
Williams
burgh.
53. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Acknowledges letter of 5th Oct. received since his last of 12th Feb. The opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General is entered in the proper offices as ordered. Encloses following. Continues :—In order to its being presented with the greater solemnity, I have sent the original to Mr. Leheup our Agent, directing him to deliver it to Micajah Perry Esq. now one of the members of Parliament for the City of London, that it may be attended by the Virginia merchants. I shall not trouble your Lordships now with any other account of the Assembly's proceedings which hitherto has been chiefly employ'd in settling the common forms necessary at the beginning of a new session; only beg of your Lordships to consider what is necessary to be be done with our neighbours of Maryland, in case they should not be willing to contribute to the lighthouse I have recommended as absolutely necessary for the security of our shipping: for I can get no answer from them about it, notwithstanding it will be of much more usefulness and service to them, than to the Virginia ships; for at present we can go to sea in the night, but not come from thence, and they can do neither. I hope my next will carry such a relation of the consultations of our Assembly, as will be agreable to your Lordships etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 17th April, Read 2nd May, 1728. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
53. i. Address of the Council and Burgesses of Virginia to the King. Duplicate of No. 46 ii. Endorsed, Recd. 17th April, 1728. Copy. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1321, ff 34, 35v.–36v., 37v.]