America and West Indies
February 1731

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1938

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31-51

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'America and West Indies: February 1731', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 38: 1731 (1938), pp. 31-51. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72565 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

February 1731

Feb. 2.
Austin
Fryers.
42. Mr. Coleman to Mr. Popple. Reply to 29th Jan. The memorialists being unable to attend on Thursday next, pray for a day next week to be appointed etc. Signed, Wm. Coleman. Endorsed, Recd., Read 2nd Feb., 173 0/1. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 28, 31v.]
Feb. 4.
Admty.
Office.
43. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. H.M.S. Salisbury, commanded by Capt. Clinton, and another ship of the sixth rate, being design'd this year for Newfoundland, and Capt. Waterhous in the Winchelsea, for Canseau, requests that Heads of Enquiry may be timely prepared, etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. 5th Feb., Read 19th March, 173 0/1. Addressed, ½ p. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 71, 76v.]
Feb. 9.44. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Quote from Governor Philipps' and Col. Dunbar's Instructions as to laying out lands. Continue: But they having represented to us, that, if they are obliged to follow the letter of these Instructions, it would be a great discouragement to the settlement of the Province, inasmuch as the finding out of proper tracts of wood lands for the service of the Royal Navy would require much time and consequently delay, if not disappoint, the intention of such persons as may be at present disposed to settle in Nova Scotia, more particularly great numbers of Palatines and Irish Protestants, who are now willing and desirous to become planters there ; we take leave humbly to propose to your Majesty, in order to remove this obstacle, that Colo. Dunbar may be impower'd, notwithstanding the said Instructions, so soon as he shall have mark'd out any quantity of woodlands for the service of your Majesty's Royal Navy, to set out an equal quantity of land not fit for that service for such persons as shall be disposed to settle etc., always taking care, that the lands, for the use of the Royal Navy, be first mark'd out, and that those intended for private settlements be on such lands only as are not fit for the service aforesaid; by which means the service of the Royal Navy will be effectually provided for, and the settlement of this Province may at the same time go forward etc. Propose to prepare Instructions to them accordingly. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 224–226.]
Feb. 10.
Whitehall.
45. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Mr. Wentworth, the late Lt. Governor of New Hampshire, being now dead; we presume your Grace will have very few applications for that employment, which is really of very little value, having no salary annexed to it, nor any perquisites but such as arise from the good will of a very poor Province, and therefore we take leave to recommend Col. David Dunbar, the present Surveyor Genl. of ye Woods, to succeed him, thro' your Grace's protection and favour. And we do this purely out of regard to H.M. service, because we apprehend this would encrease Mr. Dunbar's authority in those parts and greatly contribute to ye preservation of H.M. Woods. Autograph signatures. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 931. No. 19; and 5, 916. p. 400.]
Feb. 10.
N.
Providence.
46. Lewis Bonnet to Mr. Delafaye. Warns him against Mr. White, who has joined with Mr. Colebrooke to embarrass the Governor for their own ends. Continues:— Mr. Colebrooke was chosen Speaker of the Assembly in which were several of his creatures, so that by his artifice, and the ignorance of the majority of the members, he carryed everything as he pleased, and Mr. White being a great talker in the Council, most of which were the old inhabitants and illeterate, they two consulted their measures with the Assembly so as to be continually pushing forward their own views, by which means they soon began to lord it over the people in a very haughty and imperious manner and to oppose the Governor in everything they could, espetially in his designs of repairing the fortifications etc. Mr. Colebrooke by his logick and sophistry, which the people were very much unused to, prevented their coming to any resolution about it, and Mr. White exerted himself to the same purpose in the Council, which appearing very plain to the Governor upon receiving a very extraordinary message from the Assembly, he desired Mr. White and one Mr. Jenner another tool of Mr. Colebrooke's to retire from the Council Board into another room whilst he would acquaint the other Gentlemen with something which he would not have them enter into till it came to be debated in Council, they accordingly withdrew and the Governor in a very little time sent for them to take their seats, to enter on business, but Mr. White was gone and hastened to acquaint the Speaker, Mr. Colebrooke with this affair, and Mr. Jenner denyed to go in, saying Mr. White was gone and he would go to etc. tit supra. Continues: Upon this Mr. Colebrooke took upon him to harangue the Members of the Assembly in a very extraordinary and seditious manner, told them they Were threatened with arbitrary power, and bid them joyn with him and he would make an humble address to H.M. that he would please to send them an honest Governor who would act by law, and recall his tyrannical and arbitrary Governor home, and amused the people with speeches to this effect, and prevented their proceeding to do any business till he had quite tired their patience, and the Governor found it necessary to disolve them to lett the poor people go about their private affairs since it was evident their Speaker would divert them from doing the publick any service. As soon as the Assembly was disolved, Mr. Colebrooke seized upon all the books and papers thereof, and would not deliver them to the Clerk, and afterwards denyed them to the Governor in Council, who required them in order to send fair transcripts home etc. Then Mr. Colebrooke applied himself to make a party in the following Assembly, now sitting, and joyn'd himself with the most ignorent of them in order to have a majority of voices, and became reconciled to a man of whom he always spoke with the utmost contempt, and who always represented Mr. Colebrooke as one of the vilest of men, and the most obnoxious to any civil Government, yett by giving him and others large credit (out of the effects of some gentlemen at home who intrusted him) and promises of more, he has got them over to his side, and now he goes on very strenuously in his old strain of opposing the fortifications being repaired, and said publickly in the house at the first meeting of the present Sessions that he always detested and abhorred the garrison etc. Continues: The great opinion I have of the Governor's honour, and his constant endeavours to promote the welfare of this Colony, and the very bad usage he has received from these two persons who were both so much obliged to him, and Mr. White being returning home on purpose to do him all the prejudice he can, extorted this epistle from me etc. Signed, Lews. Bonnet. Endorsed, R. April 24. 2½ large pp. [C.O. 23, 14. ff. 183–184v.]
Feb. 10.
New
Providence.
47. Governor Rogers to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On the 11th Oct. last I had the honour to write your Lordships directly hence by Capt. Bankes, and sent a duplicate of the same via Carolina. I have herewith by a direct opportunity forwarded duplicates of the Acts of Assembly, some of which I since have found are in some measure difficient through the ignorance of great part of our Assembly and artifice of one person whom I had some confidence in or my first arrival when the ill condition I found this Colony in did not allow me time to weigh and deliberate on them with that circumspection I intend for the future. During the sessions of the late Assembly I endeavoured pursuant to H.M. Instructions to recommend the state and condition of the fortifications, which much wanted all the assistance possible for their repair etc. (v. 11th Oct. 1730). I did not find the major part of the Assembly averse at first, but since they have been diverted from their good intentions by the insinuations of one Mr. Colebrooke, their Speaker, who imposed so long on their ignorance, that I was obliged to disolve them, lest his behaviour might influence them to fall into schemes yet more contrary to the good of the colony and their own safety. Another Assembly is lately elected and still find the effects of the above Mr. Colebrooke's influence on the most ignorant of them, who are the majority, and whom he has possess'd with notions of their being subject to the garrison, which he publickly declared in the House he always detested and abhorred, stiling it an arbitrary power and what the [y] ought to oppose, though I never heard any complaints against the garrison since my arrival. And he also attempts to take from the Officers, and such of the soldiers of H.M. Garrison as are equally freeholders with the inhabitants the liberty of voting in common with their fellow subjects, so that I perceive I am to expect but little publick service from the resolves of the present Assembly ; being mostly influenced by him to oppose any support towards the work of the fortifications, in which designs I found he was assisted by one Mr. White who was of H.M. Council here, and an old acquaintance of Mr. Colebrooke's, and acted in concert with him in his designs to the great prejudice of this Government, in which I was enough confirmed by messages from his accomplices in the Assembly opposing the country's assistance towards the fortifications, for which reasons, at a meeting, being willing to acquaint the rest of the Council therewith, I, in the most friendly manner, desired him and one Mr. Jenner (who followed the same measure and was a dependant on Mr. Colebrooke) to retire into another room whilst I advised with the other Gentlemen of the Council, telling them it was on something I did not judge proper then to mention before them, till I had discoursed the rest present who were for going on with fortifications. This affair happening on our receiving an extraordinary message from the Assembly relating thereto and and after having conversed with five of the Board present wch. did not take up a quarter of an hour's time, I sent to desire Mr. White to joyn and make a board as usual, but found he was gone to consult his friend the Speaker of the Assembly, and upon his being duly summonded the next morning he refused to attend, which he signified by a letter to that purpose, whereupon having first taken the advice of the Council present and believing it more for the quiet of the Colony that I should suspend him without entring the reasons at that Board, which on extraordinary occasions as I humbly presume this was, I made use of H.M. permission according to my Instructions till H.M. pleasure be further known, and suspended him from acting as one of the Council till that time, leaving Mr. Jenner to declare his intentions which he often has since and refused to attend the Council, abiding by what he had wrote in concert with Mr. White. I am not in a state of health nor have I time by this conveyance to trouble your Lordships further on this affair but shall by next conveyance which I depend will happen very soon after this and hope to do it from Carolina. I have published H.M. order of 25th Sept. etc., since when we have lost two sloops from this port, one of which we hear is carried into the Havana. I daily expect the masters will be here to make regular complaints thereof as prescribed by H.M. said orders. Two sixty gun ships with warlike stores are lately arrived at the Havana and as I am informed by a vessel lately arrived thence they have encreased the number of regular forces in that city and garrison and that my Lord Muskerry in H.M.S. Adventure lay there ready to sail in her passage from Jamaica to Cadiz, with the money aboard her which was saved out of the rich Spanish wreck some time since lost near Jamaica. The present ill state of my health which has been lately much impaired obliges me to have recourse to H.M. permission of going to South Carolina for change of air, from whence I hope to return in three weeks or a month, and that one or two of H.M. ships will accompany me thence in order to make a demand of our vessels (taken by the Spaniards) pursuant to H.M. orders. Mr. White etc. was some time Chief Justice in this Colony appointed by me, in which he acted with partiality and I have displaced him from that office. He comes home by this opportunity and as he has misconstrued almost everything I have endeavoured to doe for the publick service, I have reason to believe he may also misrepresent my actions in some sort of complaints from himself or others by his and Mr. Colebrooke's instigations, which I cant here yet be apprised of; and I entreat your Lordships goodness that I may be allowed time to answer to anything of that kind before it has made any impressions to my disadvantage, having done everything here to the best of my judgement for the service of the publick, and if I should have inadvertently been guilty of any mistake, it has not been thro' want of zeal for H.M. service and the welfare of this Colony, in which I shall always act with that integrity that becomes a man of honour deserving your Lordships patronage and protection. Acknowledges Additional Instruction of 2nd Feb., 1730, in regard to the Receiver of the Sixpenny Office money etc. Signed, Woodes Rogers. Endorsed, Recd. 21st April, Read 4th June, 1731. 2 large closely written pp. [C.O. 23, 2. ff. 247, 247v., 248v.]
Feb. 11.
Westminster.
48. H.M. warrant re-appointing Thomas Lowndes to be Provost Marshall and Clerk of the Peace and Crown in South Carolina, "for and during his own life and the life of Hugh Watson" (v. 27th Sept., 1725) on his surrender of his patent from the late Lords Proprietors. Countersigned, Cocks. Copy. [C.O. 324, 49. ff. 81–84.]
Feb. 11.
Whitehall.
49. Mr. Popple to Col. Dunbar. Acknowledges letters of 2nd and 25th May, 5th and 16th June, 19th Aug., 15th and 21st Sept. and 21st Oct. Continues:—My Lords Commissioners would sooner have given me their directions in answer, but that the great dispute, relating to the claim of the Massachusets Bay and of several private Proprietors to lands in that part of Nova Scotia where you are, is not yet determin'd; But as the Sollicitor of the Treasury has with the approbation of My Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations laid before the Attorney and Sollicitor General a full state of this matter for their opinion in point of law, who are now hearing Council on both sides thereon, it will shortly receive a decision. In the mean time you are at liberty to lay out lands as directed by your Instructions between the rivers Penobscot and St. Croix and their Lordships wish you success in such settlements as you shall make there: But until the King's title to the lands between Kennebeck and Penobscot shall be finally determined, you are not at liberty to make any settlements there. But as to those which you have already made in the neighbourhood of Pemaquid, you will perceive by the duplicate of an Order to the Governor of New England which was sent you some time ago, that H.M. has been pleased to direct that they shall not be disturb'd till his further pleasure shall be known. And if the right shall appear upon enquiry, to be in H.M., we apprehend the people you have settled there will never be disturb'd. All settlements to be made at or near Annapolis Royal and Canço or in any other part to the N.E. of Santa Croix are left entirely to the direction and care of Colo. Phillips and therefore you will have nothing more to do there but lay out the lands pursuant to Colo. Phillipps' directions, but this may be done by your Deputies that you may have the more leisure to comply with the other parts of your duty elsewhere etc. Although you are directed by your Instructions to lay out another hundred thousand acres of land between the Rivers Penobscot and St. Croix, yet you are not confin'd to any particular place but may mark them out according to the best of your judgement even in the different parcels if necessary, always taking care not to incroach upon private property, and my Lords do not doubt your integrity in the execution of this trust. And whereas their Lordships have observed by the copies of the letters between Col. Phillipps and you which you transmitted to the Board relating to this part of the execution of your trust, that great difficultys did occur to Col. Phillipps in the peopling of Nova Scotia, in case such persons as were desirous to take up lands there should be oblig'd to wait till the whole three hundred thousand acres proposed to be reserved for the service of the Royal Navy should have been mark'd out and set apart by you for that use, their Lordships have represented this matter to H.M. and expect shortly to receive his directions thereon. "My Lords taking notice of the discouragement which you apprehend it may be to the settling of lands to the Eastward, that the title to those lands tho' layed out by you may hereafter be lyable to dispute have commanded me to direct you, that Col. Philipps is directed by his Instructions to affix the Great Seal of the Province of Nova Scotia to all such allotments of land as you shall set out to the westward of St. Croix, whereby the titles to such lands will become indisputable, and when any number of allotments shall be ready for the Great Seal they may be sent all together to Col. Philipps for his confirmation. My Lords Commissioners have commanded me to send you a copy of the petition which Mr. Waldo has presented to the King in relation to such claims as are set up against H.M. title to the land between the Rivers Kennebeck and Penobscot that you may transmit to them what informations you can upon that subject, tho the validity of these claims may possibly be determined before this letter can reach you. Their Lordships presume you have sent duplicates to the Admiralty of those letters to me wherein you complain of the difficulties you lye under of obtaining right in the Courts of Admiralty in New England on seizures and condemnations in behalf of the Crown; However I have received orders to transmit copies of your letters to the Admiralty, and my Lords will readily concur with the Lords of the Admiralty in anything that shall be proposed for redressing that grievance. My Lords do not make you any particular answer to what you say in relation to the settling the bounds between the Massachusets Bay and New Hampshire, because the Governor of those Provinces having received very full Instructions from H.M. has already laid them before the Assembly of New Hampshire, and we hope they may have a very good effect. It is with great concern that My Lords Commissioners have read that part of your letters wherein you mention the ill usuage you have met with in the execution of your employment, and they are sorry to find that you have put yourself to any expence beyond what the duty of your office required of you, because of the difficulty which must attend the application for repayment, in a case where no fund is appointed for that purpose: But if the money which you have expended for the publick service shall really appear to have produced some advantage, My Lords are very willing to recommend the repayment thereof to the Lords of the Treasury, and for the future it will be prudent for you to be very cautious how you engage in any expence beyond what you are directed to make. Upon this occasion you particularly mention your expence in prosecutions and your opinion that the Advocate and Attorney General may be ordered to attend them to make their demands home, and that the fines imposed might not only pay this charge but afford some small salary or travelling charges for them. My Lords take it for granted that it is the duty of all the King's Officers to assist you in these prosecutions and would be willing to propose the fines as a fund for this purpose had they not upon your recommendation to the Lords of the Admiralty prepared Instructions to the several Governors of the Colonies which have since been approved of whereby the King's moiety of all fines is given to the Informer. My Lords observe what you have wrote concerning the construction which is put upon those Acts of Parliament which impose fines upon offenders in the woods in America, and for your information in this particular I am commanded to send you a copy of Mr. Fane's opinion whereby you will perceive that fines imposed by English Acts of Parliament are deem'd to be and must be paid in sterling mony. My Lords Commissioners are very sorry to find by your letters that your health is so much impaired as to incline you to think of resigning your employment, should you yet have the same intention my Lords would very willingly at your request propose your brother Mr. Jeremiah Dunbar for your successor ; but as the nomination of this Officer is not in them you might by this step run the risque of losing your employment and your brother not succeed you : My Lords therefore hope your health will return and that your dilligence and fidelity in the execution of what you have now in charge may lay a foundation for recommending you to a less painfull employment. My Lords Commissioners having at your request transmitted to the Lords of the Admiralty the proceedings of the Vice Admiralty Court at Portsmouth in the Province of New Hampshire, upon an information exhibited by Arthur Slade, one of your Deputies against Jeremiah Foolsom, for cutting ten white pine trees without H.M. licence first had and obtained ; I am commanded to inclose to you a copy of Dr. Saver's opinion thereupon whereby you will perceive that the person who prepared the information against Foolsom laid the foundation for the decree as it is pass'd, by admitting the said trees to have been cut within the township of Exeter which does not appear to have been an offence within the Statute upon which the information was grounded. You will therefore be more cautious for the future in any prosecution upon the foot of this Act: But as that pass'd in the second year of His present Majesty's reign entitled an Act for better preservation of H.M. Woods in America etc., is much more explicit, I am commanded to send you a copy thereof for your better guidance in this particular. P.S. Since the writing of this I have received and laid before my Lords Commissioners your letter containing a narrative of your proceedings from 17th Nov.—2nd Dec., which they will take into consideration as soon as possible etc. [C.O. 218, 2. pp. 227–236.]
Feb. 11.
Jamaica.
50. Governor Hunter to the Duke of Newcastle. Acknowledges letter of 30th Nov. etc. Continues: The officers and soldiers are in good health and condition. I wish they may continue so. But neither tents or cloathing of Col. Hay's regiment is as yet come, but as he says expected daily. Repeats parts of preceding. Continues:—A negro woman lately taken (v. 23rd Jan. encl. iii) and who has been some years with the rebels confirms the account we had of their correspondence with the Spaniards of Cuba. Three of them lately being hotly pursued and despairing of an escape cutt their own throats and that of a negro woman they had carried off from a plantation. Encloses duplicate of 23rd Jan., and the original of the letter (23rd Jan., encl. iv) "from the Head of our Missionarys" etc. "He perhaps may make some discovery that may be of use to us here." Continues:—I think I ought to ask pardon for the trouble of the inclos'd question offer'd by the Head of their polititians to the Assembly, but it may serve for a specimen of their learning as well as good intentions etc. Encloses Address. (enc. ii). Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, R. 16th April. 4¾ pp. Enclosed,
50. i. Question offered by Mr. Arcedeckne. Whether such of the Regiments as shall be inclin'd to enter into a civil life or serve the planters may do it and that it shall not be in the power of the Commanding Officer to hinder them but that their cloaths and arms should be preserved for and return'd to them whenever H.M. pleased to recall them, or order them upon military duty. Copy. ½ p.
50. ii. Address of the Council and Assembly of Jamaica to the King. We etc. are highly sensible of your paternal care, in so early providing for our security, by ordering two regiments of soldiers to be sent over to assist us etc. This instance of your tender concern for us, must engage us to express our gratitude to your Majesty on all occasions to the utmost of our power etc. Copy. 1 1/3 pp.
50. iii. Duplicate of encl. i. [C.O. 137, 53, ff. 312–314, 316, 317, 317v., 319, 320.]
Feb. 11.
Jamaica.
51. Governor Hunter to the Council of Trade and Plantations. By this conveyance of the Enterprise, Capt. Smith, Comr., I have the honour to acquaint your Lordships that Capt. Dent arrived here on the 7th of this month with four of the transports, the other two being arriv'd three days before ; the officers are in good health etc. The Assembly now sitting are come to some resolutions towards providing for them, viz., that 20s. per week be paid to the commissioned officers and 5s. to private men after the provisions brought hither with them are expended, for the Officers, from the day of their arrival here. They have also resolv'd that 10l. pr. head be paid to officers and soldiers for every rebel slave by them kill'd or taken alive and are now preparing bills for the additional duty for one year and a capitation of a shilling on slaves and three pence on cattle for that expense besides the deficiency bill. I had before their coming ordered all the houses that could be had at Port Royal to be hired for their reception on their landing, but these upon the view of their Quarter-Masters not being sufficient; their Officers thought it adviseable that they should continue on board for a day or two till we could provide better, but hearing that they began to sicken on board, I have ordered them to be landed forthwith and what we cannot lodge at Port Royal to be sent to Kingston that we may discharge the transport. The Tartar was sent to cruize to windward with orders to the Officer commanding to detach six companys directly for Port Antonio to save time and expense. They escaped him, I suppose in the night and the cruizer is not yet return'd, but that number shall be convey'd thither speedily, having on my first advice ordered hutts and barracks to be built for them there, where they are much wanted, the chief strength of the rebels being near to that place. On the first of this month our Country party fitted out for another attempt on these slaves set sail from Port Royal for Port Antonio, under convoy, I have heard nothing of them since, and expect little good from them, their Commander of whom I had a very good opinion being arrested contrary to law for a petty debt, and whilst in custody in the Deputy Marshal's house barbarously murdered; for which the Marshal and his men are now in gaol in order for their trial next Court. I am now very much busied in giving orders for the repartition of the soldiers, it being judg'd by the Council, and Assembly most for the service of the Island that they be barrack'd in several different parishes. I hope (by Capt. Dent who is to sail in a short time) I shall be able to transmitt to your Lordships the acts of this session etc. P.S. Capt. Brook who had the command of the late party etc. (v. 24th Dec.), has been mulct of his pay. Signed, Ro. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 21st April, 1731. 4 pp. Enclosed,
51. i. Speech of Governor Hunter to the Council and Assembly. Announces despatch of two Regiments from Gibraltar etc. As their established pay is far from being sufficient for their subsistence in a country where provisions are so dear, H.M. makes no doubt but that they will make provision for their subsistence and lodging etc. Endorsed as preceding. Copy. 2¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 16–17v., 18v.–20v.]
Feb. 12.
Virginia,
W'msburgh.
52. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to account of negro conspiracy (v. 14th Sept., 1730) Continues: Since which the negro's, in the countys of Norfolk and Princess Anne, had the boldness to assemble on a Sunday while the people were at church, and to chuse amongst themselves officers to command them in their intended insurrection, which was to have been put in execution very soon after: But this meeting being happily discovered and many of them taken up and examined, the whole plot was detected, for which the major part of them were severely punished, and four of the ringleaders, on full evidence convicted, have been executed. This, with the imprisonment and correction of some of the most suspected in the other parts of the country, where the designs appeared not so far concerted, have brought them now to be very quiet and submissive: But as we cannot be too much on our guard against such desperate combinations, I have ord'red the Militia to patrole twice or thrice in a week to prevent all night meetings, and every man to bring his arms to church on Sundays and Holydays, lest they should be siezed by the slaves in their absence, if the same mutinous spirit should be revived amongst them etc. By the death of Colo. Page etc., there is a second vacancy at the Council Board ; I hope the first is or will be speedily filled up by H.M. appointment of Colo. Harrison whom I formerly recommended: and I must heartily wish the second might be supplied by the choice of Colo. Henry Armistead, a gentleman of a fair fortune and character, and of the same county in which Colo. Page lived; and I am the more sollicitous for Mr. Armistead because that county of Glocester is the most populous, and where there are more negros than any other county in the Government, and hath always had one sometimes more of the Council residing in it, who had the direct command of the Militia, which in all probability would not be very easie if put under the conduct of another who had no estate or interest there. For these reasons, as well as out of regard to the merit of Mr. Armistead I humbly recommend him etc. But if Mr. Corbin's friends have prevailed, and he is preferred to Colo. Harrison, or they still insist on his being one of the Council, I must then intreat your Lordships to interceed for Mr. Harrison in the place of Colo. Page, postponing Mr. Armistead until another oppertunity; since the interest of the former in a frontier county, bordering on the Indians, and where their impressions are generally directed, may bring more advantage to the publick service, than the inconveniency which may happen in the other county by Mr. Armistead's present disapointment, if we must have Mr. Corbin. I doubt not, my Lords, there are other persons here who on this vacancy will endeavour (by some pretence or other, or by forming of an interest among the merchants, perhaps a more powerful application) to succeed Colo. Page. And I am apprehensive lest some posse[s]t with the ambition, whom I never should have thought fit to insert in my list, do yet expect to obtain it by an interest at home. But I beg your Lordships will be pleased to allow some difference between a Governour's personal knowledge and observation of the conduct and qualification of men here on the spot, and the superficial knowledge that can be attained by others, from an epistolary correspondence; or the judgment that can be framed of any person's abilities in the Legislature of a country, and in dispensing of Justice or the conducting affairs of Government, meerly from the weight of his consignments. My Lords, the office of a judge of the General Court, ought always to be considered in the choice of a Councillor; and it is the duty of a Governour to propose none to be his assistants in the administration, but those whom he knows zealous for H.M. service, and well disposed to promote the publick good (especially now we are like to be under a new law with respect to our trade, in which H.M. interest is so much concerned) and admitting that he may sometimes be mistaken in his men, it must be allowed strangers are more liable to be imposed on ; and I cannot but lay it down as a principle founded on reason and prudence, that in the choice of gentlemen for publick offices, private affection ought not to be concerned, unless there be sufficient ability and integrity in the person to execute that trust, etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd., Read 14th May, 1731. Holograph. 2 1/3 pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 160–162, 163, 163v. (with abstract).]
Feb. 12.
Whitehall.
53. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Belcher. We take this oppertunity of a ship wch. sails this evening to acknowledge ye receipt of your letter of 10th Dec. with ye bill for settling yor. salary etc. We think you did very well not to give your assent to ye said bill, as it does not agree with ye tenor of H.M. Instruction, and we desire you will be very cautious how you consent to anything that shall not be strictly conformable thereto. As you say, you have a reasonable prospect of their doing the matter still better, at ye Session which was to commence 16th Dec, we shall waite yor. next letters, before we make our report to H.M. upon this subject. [C.O. 5, 916. p. 401.]
Feb. 14–
March 20.
54. Extracts of letters from Col. Hayes, Col. Townsend, and Col. Cornwallis, Port Royal, Jam. [C.O. 137, 53. ff. 320–324v.]
Feb. 14.
New
Providence.
55. Governor Rogers to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of same to Council of Trade, 10th Feb. supra, mutatis mutandis. Signed, Woodes Rogers. 2 large pp. Endorsed, R. April 24th. 2 large pp. Enclosed,
55. i. Journal of Assembly of the Bahama Islands, Sept. 29, 1729—Dec. 8th, 1730. 55 pp.
55. ii. Deposition of Thomas Nusum, late master of the sloop Carolina of New Providence. Feb. 14, 1731. On 6th Oct., bound for Jamaica, he was taken off Tortuga on the coast of Hispaniola, by a large sloop under Spanish colours with 65 men, etc. He found on board Capt. Samuel Wickham and eight more Englishmen who said they had been taken by the said Spanish crew in this sloop then called the Sea Nymph bound from Jamaica to Rhode Island laden with molasses. They were carried into Barracoa on Cuba and there the sloop was condemned, refitted, and renamed the St. Antonio. Deponent was told they had taken and plundered the Scipio of Bristol. On deponent's informing the Captain, Juan Fandino, that there was peace betwen the English and Spaniards, the interpreter made answer that the Captain had notwithstanding three or four commissions and took all vessels he met with. Deponent and his crew and Capt. Wickham and five of his men were put ashore on Grand Coicos on Oct. 9th whence they were taken off on 9th Nov. by a Bermuda sloop, etc. Signed, Thos. Nusum. 1½ pp.
55. iii. Remarks on the condition of the fortifications at New Providence, 25th Aug., 1729. Copy. 2 2/3 pp. [C.O. 23, 14. ff. 148–175, 177, 177v., 178v.–179v., 180v.–182.]
Feb. 19.
Whitehall.
56. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses acts of Antigua, constituting a Court of Chancery (1715), and an Act to supply the defects of an act for constituting a Court of Chancery etc. (1728). Continues:—Their Lordships desire you will reconsider these two acts, and let them have your opinion in point of law whether his Majesty may not, by virtue of an Instruction to his Govr. or otherways, prevent his granting or dissolving injunctions in causes depending in Antigua, whilst he is resident in any other island of his Government, notwithstanding the clause in the aforementioned act of 1715 whereby it is enacted "that all injunctions, subpoenas and other process issuing out of the said Court, shall be granted, sign'd and sealed by the Capt. Gen. or Govr. in Chief for the time being, as hath been usual, and no otherwise." [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 69, 70.]
Feb. 20.
St.
Christophers.
57. Lt. General Mathew to the Duke of Newcastle. In obedience to H.M. commands, which I received 25th Sept., I immediately issued proclamations throughout this Government, informing all H.M. subjects here, whose ships or effects had been pyratically taken, where and in what manner they might apply for redress. I have had no application made to me since for such redress, but in one case of a shallop drove on shore in distress on Guadeloup with three men in her, who lost their ship in the night, where she was seiz'd tryed and condemnd. The men here applyd to the Judge of the Admiralty, and on their declaring the facts, he gave them a declaratory sentence. With this Capt. Barnesley, H.M.S. Scarborough, went to Guadeloup to demand restitution. But in vain, etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, R. April 28th. Holograph. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 143, 144, 144v.]
Feb. 20.
St.
Christophers.
58. Lt. General Mathew to Mr. Popple. Encloses letter to be laid before the Board and refers to enclosures. Has forwarded the packet to Dr. John Edwards mentioned in his letter of 29th Oct. etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 27th April, 1731, Read 25th July, 1733. Holograph. 1 p. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 170, 173v.]
Feb. 20.
St.
Christophers.
59. Same to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicates of 19th and 24th Nov. last, and acknowledges letter of 22nd Oct Has entered in the Council books their determination in relation to the controversy between Wavell Smith Esq. and the Assembly. Continues:—As your Lordships direct, I now send to your Secretary directly, duplicates of the Naval Officer of Nevis's lists of all vessells trading to and from Nevis, and their lading from 25th June, 1720–1729; duplicate of Minutes of Council of Nevis, 5th Jan., 17 2/3 9/0—25th Aug., 1730; Journal of Assembly of St. Christophers from the 31st Oct., 1729—26th Nov., 1730; Minutes of the Council of St. Christophers from 18th Sept., 1729—18th March, 17 2/3 9/0; and from 28th March—17th Septr. And I inclose herewith the latitudes and longitudes of several of the islands in this Government, wch. I got Capt. Barnesly, Commander of H.M. ship Scarborough stationd. here to get me taken from the observations of himself and officers. Signed and endorsed as preceding. Holograph. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 171, 172, 172v.]
Feb. 20.
Whitehall.
60. Mr. Arnold to Mr. Delafaye. Encloses following to be laid before the Duke of Newcastle. Mr. Noden says that the original has been lost and that no directions will be sent from his Grace's Office for recalling the Bermuda Compa. from the Bahama Islands etc. Signed, Rd. Arnold. 1 p. Enclosed,
60. i. Sir W. Strickland to Lord Harrington. Whitehall. 5th Dec., 1729. Great numbers of merchants trading to and from Bermuda, having in their petition to the King represented that since the Independant Company of Foot etc. was removed from thence in Feb. last to the Bahama Islands, the negroes who are more numerous than the white people have destroyed many of H.M. subjects by poison and many more are lingering under that misfortune whose lives are despaired and altho' some of the actors of that horrid villany have been discovered, convicted and publickly executed in a severe manner for the same, they continue to meet in numbers in a most mutinous manner, which the said merchants conceive to be with an intent utterly to exterpate the inhabitants in that Colony, which will undoubtedly prove of the most fatal and dangerous consequences to the whole trade of the King's Dominions in America, the said merchants have thereupon most humbly besought H.M. to recall the said Company to Bermuda and H.M. has been graciously pleased to grant their request etc., and therefore hath commanded me to acquaint your Lordship therewith to the end your Lordship may signify H.M. pleasure to Governor Rogers etc. to send back the said Company by the first opportunity etc. or by the man of warr on that station etc. Signed, Wm. Strickland. Copy. 1½ pp. [C.O. 37, 26. Nos. 41, 41 i.]
Feb. 22.
New York.
61. Governor Montgomerie to the Duke of Newcastle. Has appointed Edward Clarke, son of the Secretary of the Province, a man of great merit, Lieutenant of Capt. Henry Holland's Company. Continues:—The giving some commissions in the companies doing duty here, to gentlemen of this country, will very much promote the King's service etc. Requests confirmation. Signed, J. Montgomerie. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1093. ff. 160, 160v.]
Feb. 22.62. Mr. Leheup to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. Lt. Governour in Virginia having directed me as Agent for that Province to apply for H.M. royal confirmation of the act for amending the staple of tobacco etc., offers answers to the objections of the Commissioners of Customs etc. (v. 29th Dec., 1730). They were framed upon hearing one side only without the Agent's being made acquainted with them till a copy of the letter was sent to him signed, though he had applyed and attended for that purpose etc. Repeats Lt. Governor Gooch's arguments v. 23rd July, 1730. Replies he could not have any other view in recommending this act than remedying the great frauds in the tobacco trade etc. (i) As the Gentlemen of the Assembly are planters, they are the best judges of the benefits that will accrue to their trade from this law. The 3s. Virginia money to be paid for inspecting and nailing the hhds. etc. is a very small additional expence. Planters already pay 2s. or more for nailing and weighting. It was so far from being intended to discourage the lower planters that the only act that might affect them was repealed at the time of making this, that of limiting the number of plants to be raised by each tythable. (ii) Mr. Carkesse omits mentioning that the Crown pays ½d. pr. lb. for all the bad tobacco burnt here. The Crown will be saved this and the planter the freight etc. The bad sort is so far from being most in request here, that the buyers here will not give more than the duty for it, the consequence of which is that the importer is obliged to send it abroad and then the whole duty is drawn back and lost to the revenue, (iii) The master is obliged by the Act of Parliament to swear to the marks and number of hhds. on board, but they never swear to the weight, which is most material to the revenue etc. The Lt. Governor thought he had done eminent service to the revenue in passing this act. It is continued only for three years, in which time the advantage from it will manifestly appear. Prays the Board to recommend it for confirmation etc. Signed, Peter Leheup. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd, Read 23rd Feb., 173 0/1. 4½ pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 95–97, 98v.]
Feb. 24.
Whitehall.
63. Mr. Popple to John Oxenford. Requests an account of sugar, rum and molosses imported into this Kingdom from Nova Scotia, New England, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Carolina and Pennsylvania, from Christmas, 1725, to as near the present time as the books are made up, as soon as possible, distinguishing each year and from whence imported. [C.O. 29, 15. p. 224.]
Feb. 24.
Whitehall.
64. Mr. Popple to Governors of Plantations. Circular letter to all Governors, enclosing opinion of Attorney and Solicitor General upon fines and recoveries etc. v. supra. [C.O. 324, 11. p. 242.]
Feb. 26.65. Mr. Oxenford to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Ships from Nova Scotia and New Jersey are omitted as they generally make their entries from the adjoining ports. Signed, John Oxenford. Endorsed, Recd. 26th Feb., Read 21st May, 1731. 1 p. Enclosed,
65. i. Accounts of imports of rum, sugar and molasses from New England, New York, Virginia, Maryland, Carolina, and Pensilvania, 1725–1729. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 872. Ff. 94, 96v., 97, 99v.]
Feb. 27.
Whitehall.
66. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Upon your Lordship's recommendation to me of Col. Dunbar to succeed Mr. Wentworth, etc., I moved H.M. to grant him that employment; But having since received from Mr. Belcher enclosed further account of the disputes betwen him and Col. Dunbar, which perhaps may make that affair appear in a different light from what it did by the former letters, I must desire that you will consider them, and let me know whether you are still of the same opinion as to Col. Dunbar's having that Government; and in the mean time I have ordered, that his Commission for it should not be delivered out till I have your answer. Signed, Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd, Read 3rd, 172 0/1. 1 p. Enclosed,
66. i. Copy of Jan. 11. Belcher to Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 2nd March, 173 0/1. 4 pp.
66. ii. Copy of Jan. 14 ditto. Endorsed as preceding. 5 pp.
66. iii. Deposition of Capt. Heath, Commander of H.M. Fort Richmond in Kenebeck River. Boston, Dec. 14, 1730. Describes visit to Pemaquid with Lt. Gov. Tailer etc. Signed, Joseph Heath. Endorsed as preceding. 2 pp.
66. iv., v. Copies of Jan. 11. Encl. ii, iii. Same endorsement. 3 pp.
66. vi. Certificate that the following are authentic copies etc. Signed, J. Willard, Secretary. ¾ p.
66. vii. Minutes of Council and Assembly of the Massachusetts Bay, 30th May, 1716. Resolved that for the more convenient administration of Justice all the lands, familys and settlements within this Province to the eastward of the Province of Maine shall be annexed to the county of York and shall be part of the same etc. Copy. 2/3 p.
66. viii. Copy of Jan. 11. Encl. i. Same endorsement. 11 pp.
66. ix. Copy of Instructions given by Governor Belcher to Lt. Governor Tailer and others to view and report the state of the several fortifications, with an account of what passed at Frederick's Fort or Pemaquid between them on that occasion. Same endorsement. Copy. 24½ pp. [C.O. 5, 872. ff. 22, 23v.–25v., 26v.–29, 30v.–31, 32–35, 36, 37–55, 56v.]
Feb. 27.67. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Having last night received a copy of a report transmitted to your Lordships from the Commissioners of H.M. Customs etc. (v. 29th Dec. 1730). I am greatly surprised to find that Board influenced by the misinformations of persons, who either know nothing of the tobacco trade, or wilfully misrepresent it etc. Offers some remarks on their report, which will convince all indifferent judges, that this act for amending the staple of tobacco will really increase H.M. revenue. Answer to 29th Dec., 1730. (i) Almost all the tobacco made by the common people, (and they make the best), is sold to the merchants in this country and the factors from the out-ports, for cloathing and other necessaries which the planters want etc. Their manner of dealing hitherto hath been that if a planter wants but a pair of shoes at one of these stores, he must lay out a whole hogshead of tobacco, seeing the merchant will not receive a less quantity, neither will he deal at all, unless the tobacco lyes convenient to his Receiver; and by this means the poor planter is often obliged to take goods that are of little or no use to him, and at what price his neighbouring storekeeper pleases to impose, because he cannot otherwise have what he really hath occasion for; This has indeed proved a discouragement to many industrious people, and must in time obliged them to leave off planting, and apply their labour to better purpose. But by this act the greatest encouragement is given to the common people to make tobacco that could be then thought of : for after their tobacco hath passed an inspection, they may take as many notes for it as they please; i.e., notes for fiftys or hundred pounds, dividing their tobacco into what parcels they think proper; these notes, the same as money, will be accepted as payment at any store or shop, and as it is much easier for a planter to carry home his goods, than to remove his tobacco to the conveniency of the merchant, he will not henceforward be confined to one particular merchant, but will be at liberty to deal where he can meet with the best goods and the best purchase. These advantages being what the common planters see their account in, they are, and will be. more particularly fond of the method proposed for payment in these transfer notes, and will thereby be incited to apply themselves to this manufacture with greater attention than they have hitherto done, under the disadvantage of being stinted in their plants, a low price and an useless return. As to lessening the consumption by advancing the price, I can see no ground to apprehend such a consequence: for since the rich and even people of middling fortunes will ever be fonder of smoking good than bad tobacco, be the price what it will; so custom having made smoaking as necessary as food to the labourer and mechanick, it will not be an half-penny, or penny pr. pound that will lessen the consumption of what they find necessary to the gratification of their desires: but 'tis rather to be expected that a more agreable tobacco will draw them into a greater inclination to use a much larger quantity : Besides, that which is sold at a very low price in England, to the poor people, is not tobacco, but the stalks flatted and cut up by the tobacconists. A commodity which ought not to be vended, the prohibiting whereof must be submitted to the wisdom of the British Parliament, (ii) This is answered by the fact that the poor planters make the best tobacco etc. Believes there was the same quantity of tobacco consumed in England when it was sold at 10d. pr. lb., as now, when it is sunk to 8d. or 7d. If there is no tobacco so bad as to deserve to be burned as unmerchantable, the King's revenue must be increased proportionately etc. Further discussion of fraudulent running of tobacco etc. Continues: I must now beg your Lordships to consider some of the consequences which must unavoidably follow the disallowance of this act. (i) As the Tobacco trade is sunk to that degree that abundance of the planters are no longer able to live by it, and are in some hopes of relief from the regulations now proposed, if that fails, they must of necessity leave off planting or starve for want of cloathing and tools to work with, (ii) The last session there was a considerable party in the House that opposed this act, also strongly insisted on reducing the quantity of tobacco to be planted to no more than 3000 plants for each tithable, which in the most favourable year would hardly amount to 20,000 hhds. But as I assured them I could pass no such act, I had the good fortune, I must still cal it so, to prevail with them to try this experiment, in which everybody here sees how much the interest of the revenue has been considered, and if we are so unhappy to be disapointed in this, I know no other expedient, consistent with H.M. interest, to keep up the spirits of the people from sinking into despair of ever being able to retrieve the miserable circumstances into which the continued bad price of their tobacco for several years past hath plunged them. And it is to be feared that many poor familys will desert the country and retire to the new settlements that are making in Carolina to get out of the reach of their creditors. And what effect this must have on H.M. revenue as well as the British trade, I humbly submit to your Lordships. I cannot but express my concern, with an aching heart my Lords, that any private representation of the state of this Colony, or the interest of the people, with regard to H.M. advantage, should have more weight with the Commissioners of the Customs, than the united and deliberate sentiments of the whole Legislature: and for my own part, tho' I had some share in carrying this act in the Assembly, yet, I shal be contented to own myself in the wrong, if any just arguments can be brought against it, but hitherto I have heard of none. Some are prejudiced against it from private interest; others fancie they know more of the trade than they really do, etc., and a few, who being used to a beaten path of business, are unwilling to go out of their way, tho' they are led in to a better and an amended road. Before I conclude your Lordships will suffer me to do justice to myself. Under the late repealed law of a stint (of 6000 plants per tithable etc.), the country in a favourable year made 40,000 hhds. of good and bad tobacco which was constantly sent to Great Britain. All rents, and publick dues, as the Parish, the Country, and the Country levies, which the planters are to discharge by an equal tax pr. tithable, were paid, it will be believed, not with their best tobacco; insomuch, to instance in one article only, the King's quit-rents, tobacco, with the inconveniency the buyers were under in collecting such tobacco, was generally sold from 3s. to 5s. pr. cwt. at the same time that the current price all over the country was 10s. and 12s. at least. Under this new law, which leaves every planter at liberty to make as much tobacco as he can, it is taken for granted, that the Colony in a seasonable year will make about 60,000 hhds., and 'tis imagined, if the Inspectors do their duty, that one fifth part or more will be destroyed as trash. By which method the 45,000, or it may be 48,000 hhds. passed will be all very good and fit for any market, and out of this the quit-rents and all other dues will be paid, and the publick tobacco will then sell for as much money in the country or elsewhere, as any other. 'Tis also proposed, that by the goodness of the tobacco we shal encourage an increase of the consumption: and this act, my Lords, as far as we are able to guard against frauds, secures the duty of all that is consumed in G. Britain to the King etc. Maintains that the advantages of the Customs and the interest of the people are so linkt together by this apt disposition, that 'tis impossible for man to devise a better. The delay caused will prevent the first year being a proper trial, but if any defects are revealed, future Assemblies will remedy them etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, Recd. 10th, Read 12th May, 1731. Duplicate, 30th March, 1731, by the Mayflower of Bristol etc. 6¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 149–152v.]
Feb. 27.
Custom ho.,
London.
68. Mr. Manley to Mr. Popple. Mr. Fitzwilliams having informed the Commissioners that by order of the Lords Commrs. of Trade he attended them in relation to a law passed in Virginia for amending the staple of tobacco etc., when a memorial of Mr. Leheup was read, wherein he alledges that he had not an oppertunity to be heard by the Commrs. of Customs etc. (v. 22nd Feb.) request copy for their information etc. Signed, Jno. Manley. Endorsed, Recd. 27th Feb., Read 3rd March, 173 0/1. Addressed. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 1322. ff. 99, 100v.]
Feb. 27.
Whitehall.
69. Duke of Newcastle to Lt. Governor Mathew. Encloses following. Concludes:—The effects of the Catherine sloop are to be kept safely till H.M. further orders etc. Signed, Holles Newcastle. 1¼ pp. Enclosed,
69. i. Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the Duke of Newcastle. Admiralty Office, 17th Feb., 1731. Request order as above, the effects of the Catherine having been seized by H.M.S. Pearl at Antego and there condemned as private goods, and that matter being soon to be laid before H.M. in Council, on appeal granted by the Court of Chancery in those parts etc. Signed, Jo. Cokburne, Cha. Wager, A. Hamilton. Copy. 1½ pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 145, 145v., 147, 147v.; and 324, 36. pp. 262–264.]
Feb. 27.
St. James's.
70. H.M. Commission appointing David Dunbar, Lt. Governor of New Hampshire in the room of John Wentworth, deed. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. p. 267; and 324, 49. f. 68; and 325, 50. pp. 57, 58.]