America and West Indies
July 1731, 16-20


Institute of Historical Research



Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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'America and West Indies: July 1731, 16-20', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 38: 1731 (1938), pp. 188-196. URL: Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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July 1731, 16-20

July 17.303. Certificate by James Bertie that some time before the treaty for the sale and surrender of Carolina to the Crown was set on foot, Mr. Thomas Lowndes petitioned the then Lords Proprietors that his grants of 12.000 acres each might be exchanged for other grants of small parcels etc., which was unanimously agreed to by the Board etc. Signed, Ja. Bertie. Endorsed, Recd, (from Mr. Lowndes) — Sept., Read 22nd Sept., 1731. 2/3 p. [C.O. 5, 362. ff. 34, 35v.]
July 17.304. Certificate by Richard Shelton as to above transaction. but the petition and minute are lost or were delivered to Mr. Leheup of the Treasury amongst several other loose papers etc. Signed, Ri. Shelton. Endorsed as preceding. [C.O. 5, 362. ff. 33, 35v.]
July 17.
305. Lt. Governor Pitt to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses journals and acts, as following. Signed, John Pitt. 1 p. [C.O. 37, 29. No. 14.]
July 17.
306. Lt. Governor Pitt to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses answers to queries of 20th June, 1729, which he is ordered to transmit annually, with alterations that have happened since his last, and Journals of Assembly acts lately made, vizt.: — (i) for the attaching the goods of any persons inhabitants or others not residing upon these islands; (ii) to supply the deficiency of the several funds etc., and for defraying the charges of the Government; (iii) to prevent attorneys defending titles of lands and tenements without giving security to make good costs and damages; (iv) for the further and better regulating negroes and other slaves, and for the more effectual and speedy way of prosecuting them in criminal causes, being duplicates of those he last transmitted. Signed, John Pitt. Endorsed, Recd. 11th Oct., Read 1st Dec, 1731. 1 p. Enclosed,
306. i. Replies to Queries of 20th June, 1729. Same as Jan. 11, 1730, q.v., with alterations, (i) There are 65 vessels, the biggest not exceeding 120 tons; (ii) British and East India goods were about two years since imported directly from London in some of the Bermuda vessels, but have for several months past been imported by the way of Barbadoes, which is all the trade from hence to any part of Europe, (viii) No. of inhabitants, White, 4,353; Blacks, 3,248. (ix) They are decreased within these two years 1,173, the chiefest reasons whereof are that the inhabitants daily remove their familys to other Colonys for their better support, and the blacks are often transported, (x) Militia, 509, besides officers, (xi) The fortifications are now almost repaired, (xvi) Finding that the sums raised for defraying the charges of repairing the fortifications were not sufficient, the act supra (No. ii) has been lately made etc. Endorsed, Recd. 11th Oct., 1731. 8J pp. [C.O. 37, 12. ff. 90, 91v.– 96v.]
July 17.
307. Mr. Delafaye to Mr. Popple. Begs pardon for not answering sooner his letter relating to Act of Jamaica for the better regulating slaves etc. and return thanks for notice of Mr. Williams' memorial. The reason for his delay was that his agency for Jamaica expired last March. "I had left my papers relating to it in town, and I was obliged to send for them to look them over, which the multiplicity of business and the hurry we have had here has hindred me from doing" etc. Has written twice to Governor Hunter for his reasons for passing the act, but not heard from him. But it appears from the act itself and his letter to the Board, 10th May, 1730, "that the intent of the act was cheifly to prevent the rebellious negroes from mixing among the other inhabitants of Jamaica, frequenting their markets, trading with them and being supply ed with arms and ammunition. Whether those rebels, provoked by the attempts that have been made against them and not subdued, but rather elated with the ill success of those attempts, are less dangerous now than they were when that act was past, or whether the act itself was a proper method of cutting them off in some measure from the advantages of commerce and from the opportunities of being supported in their rebellion is what I must humbly submit to their Lops.' better judgement. As this regards the publick good and even the safety of the island, it seems in my humble opinion to deserve attention in the first place. Mr. Williams's case and that of other free negroes who are men of substance, if there be any more such, does also deserve consideration, and I must own that as it is stated it appears to be a hard one; for which reason I cannot desire that the act should be confirmed unless Major Genl. Hunter should send over such reasons for it as may convince their Lops, of the justice and necessity of it; But till I hear from him, I humbly begg their Lops, will be so good as to suspend the rejecting of the act. I hope that upon what I have written to Mr. Hunter, the law will not have been put in execution so as to prejudice Mr. Williams, or any others in like case, and that some act will have been past for taking off whatever may be too severe against persons in those circum- stances. If I do not in a reasonable time receive from Jamaica a satisfactory explanation of this matter, the loss of the act (if they think it a good one) must be imputed to themselves, etc. Signed, Ch. Delafaye. Endorsed, Recd. 17th, Read 20th July, 1731. 3 pp. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 73–74v.]
July 19.
308. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Duke of Newcastle. The course of trade from hence to London affording me now a convenient oppertunity to convey to your Grace the journals of Council and other publick papers of this Government for the last year, it is with pleasure that I can inform your Grace, that as no extraordinary event has happened to disturb the public tranquility, so there will be found nothing in the journals to shew any other than a perfect harmony in the Government, and a general satisfaction amongst the people. Providence hath hitherto favoured this Colony with the greatest prospect of a plentiful crop of all the usual productions of the earth than hath been known for many years, particularly that of tobacco; and if I could be so happy as to have H.M. approbation of the late act for amending the staple of tobacco, I have certain hopes not only of seeing a new life to this lately lanquishing trade by advancing the reputation of Virginia tobacco both at home and abroad, but also a very considerable increase of H.M. Customs. As this act hath no other meaning than doing justice to the Crown, meliorating the quality of our staple commodity, and establishing an honest method of dealing between the buyer and the seller, I need use no other arguments to engage your Grace's favourable recommendation of it, and therefore shall only add, that whilst it remains uncertain whether it is to have continuance or not for the four years it is intended to be in force the minds of the people will be kept still wavering and the due execution of the measures thereby established thence greatly discouraged, which makes me, with the great charge the country hath been at, the more sollicitous for its speedy confirmation. I have one thing more to trouble your Grace with. It is to have the opinion of H.M. Attorney and Sollicitor General etc., whether slaves, Christians or not, convicted in the Plantations of such crimes as by the laws of England are within the benefit of Clergy, are intitled to the priviledge of the statutes of England concerning Clergy. The case as it is stated here by our lawyers, I have ordered our Agent Mr. Leheup to wait on your Grace with etc. Signed, William Gooch. Endorsed, R. 24th Sept. Holograph. 1 ¾ p. Enclosed,
308. i. Proclamation by Lt. Governor Gooch. (a) proroguing the Assembly to 20th May. 8th Oct., 1730. (b) for preventing the unlawful meetings and combinations of negroes and other slaves. Directs the enforcement of the Act of 1723 for preventing the meeting of slaves at other plantations than those to which they belong and punishing such as shall assemble together, great numbers of negroes etc. having of late been suffered to assemble and divers wicked conspiracies framed amongst them etc.; also orders the publishing of the act of 1705 concerning servants and slaves, and that the militia patrol the precincts of their several counties at Christmas, Whitsun and Easter-tide holydays, "and for further preventing the dangers which may happen from the secret combinations of negroes etc., also orders that all persons serving in the militia and all overseers having arms do at such times as they repair to their several churches or chappells constantly appear with their arms etc. 28th Oct. 1730. (c) proroguing the Assembly to 24th June. 6th May, 1731. (d) proroguing the Assembly to 18th Nov. 10th June, 1731. Williamsburgh. Copies. Signed. William Gooch. 2 large pp. [C.O. 5, 1337. Nos. 51, 51 i.]
July 19.
309. Lewis Morris, President of the Council, New Jersey, to the Duke of Newcastle. The intention of this is to give your grace the melancholly account of the death of Collo. Mont- gomerie, our late Governour; he dyed suddainly at New York about foure of the clock on thursday morning the first of this month: some say of an appolectick fit, some say the gout with which he had been for some time before afflicted got into his stomach and carried him off etc. He was buried on fryday evening, on Saturday I received the seales and papers relating to this Province and immediately repaired to it, but it being the heigth of harvest here and the gentlemen of H.M. councill living verry remote from each other I could not get a councill together till the wedensday and then but foure of them besides myselfe; when I took the oathes usuall on such an occasion: and at the desire of that councill summoned another to meet at this place on the 16th pass'd. the inclosed addresse or memoriall to me which they desire me to lay before your Grace, is what I believe they chiefly intended by that meeting, if I am rightly informed, what is there said to me is the generall sence of the whole or by much the greatest part of the Province, and the truth of the matters of fact alleged by them consists with my knowledge. If H.M. should be graciously inclined to comply with their desires, I humbly submit whether it would be incon- venient to call the Assembly together to try whether a suitable support will be raised by them in case they should be indulged with such a seperate governour; which perhaps they may now have verry vigorous resolutions to do in an ample manner, whilst their desires are strong : and which may flagg when they are gratified, the gentlemen of the Councill dwelling so remote from each other; and all but two from this place it is not easie to get a majority of them together. I find there are verry many officers both civill and military wanting which I shal try to supply in the best manner I can agreably to H.M. instructions and endeavour by my conduct to approve myselfe H.M. faithfull and loyall subject and your Grace's most obedient and most humble servant, Signed, Lewis Morris. 2 pp. Enclosed,
309. i. Address of the Council of New Jersey to Lewis Morris, President of the Council. Perth Amboy, July 18, 1731. Whilst expressing concern at the death of Governor Montgomerie, congratulate him upon his accession to the Government, and promise their support. Continue : — "If his Majesty shall not think it inconsistant with his service to suffer it to be longer than is usual on such occasions, we shall esteem it as a great instance of H.M. royall goodness and favour unto this Province. Tho' the late Governour was pleased to dispence with your attendance during the setting of the last Assembly so that you were not present at the many debates that then were concerning the government of this Province by a Governor seperate and distinct from New York etc., which (by the consent of the late Governour) at last ended in an address to H.M. etc. (v. 4th June). Yet the know- ledge you have of the nature and circumstances of this Province and the long experience you have had of the methods of Government both before and since the surrender of it to the Crown (you having been nigh fourty years concerned in it and for the most part at the head of the Council during that time) makes it impossible for you to be unacquainted with the reasons which induced the Assembly to make that address etc. The generall Proprietors did upon their surrender of the Government in 1702 concieve they were in some measure intitled to have a distinct Governour etc., and the making the same person Governour of New York etc. being destructive of their interest, they understood that a distinct Governour was to be appointed and flattered themselves with the hopes of it. And if we are not misinformed, a person was by the then Queen named for that purpose: But the Lord Cornbury who had been some time before appointed Governour of New York (and who had then actually departed the Kingdom with a commission for Governour of New York only) did by the intrest of his friends at Court prevail on the Queen to alter her intentions in that point and obtained letters patent constituting him Governour of this Province also. The inhabitants soon found the ill effects that was the consequence etc. and the then Assembly by their remonstrance to him represented the inconveniency of his long absence and residence in New York etc., but their complaints on that head, however reasonable have not been hitherto attended with the desired success, nor indeed have we any room to hope that any person Governour of New York supported by the large sallary and numerous perquisites of that govern- ment with a garrison at his command and a sumptuous habitation provided by H.M. for his residence with ease and splendour will be easily prevailed upon to have so much self denyall as to reside for any con- siderable time amongst us who have not great conveniencies for his reception and whose coming into this Province is not only attended with an expence to himself but a hazard of suffering some loss by his absence from New York. But however convenient the Governour's residence in New York may be to himself and however imaginary the supposing of him verry much under the influence of the Councills of that Province to the prejudice of this may be deemed to, be yet that the almost constant residence of the Chief Magistrate of any country out of the country to be governed by him has been and alwaies will be inconvenient and prejudiciall to that country we take to be self-evident etc. It is but too notorious a truth that the residence of the Governours of this Province in New York and their necessary application to the affairs of that Province have to often occasioned almost an intire neglect or forgetfulness of the concerns of this and when offices of the Government have become vacant they have been often suffered to continue so for a long time or filled with persons unfit for them to the great hurt of the country which we perswade ourselves would have been otherwise had the Governours been upon the spot and taken the advice of the Council here who dwelling in severall parts of the Province must be better acquainted with both men and things then a Governour residing in New York can probably be, it is no difficult task to multiply instances of this kind, few of the commissions either civil or military having been renewed by the late Governour, and some not since the accession of his present Majesty etc., whereby severall of the Courts of Justice have with great difficulty been kept up and the militia in most places remaind undisciplined which in case of an invasion may be of bad consequence. The Governour's attending on the affairs of New York hath made it convenient for him to summon the Council to attend him in a part of the Province verry remote from their habitations that his meeting with them might be with the greatest ease to himself but at the same time could not be done by them but with great fatigue as well as an extraordinary expence and often when the publick affairs of the Province make applications to the Governour necessary, such is the inclemency of the weather in the winter season that it is not seldom verry difficult and dangerous to apply to him at New York but some times altogether impracticable. The Governour's being absent for a year and oftener for six months has been the occasion of great delays in the administration of justice both in causes depending in Chancery and in those before the Governours and Council on write of error to the great impoverishing of the parties etc., who have been necessitated in order to expedite their business to consent to hearing in Chancery at the City of New York where at a great expence and loss of time they have attended with their Council for that purpose and in cases of appeals by writs of error which lye before the Governour and Council has been in this Province so seldom is a means of protracting those causes to such an extraordinary length as almost amounts to a denyall of justice and renders the judgment on which such appeals are brought in a manner altogether ineffectual. The Governour's residence in the Province of New York and expending in that place the sallary raised by this Province gives a great discouragement to the raising the necessary support of the Government the inhabitants conceiving they are not without an equitable pretence that the money raised by them should circulate in this Province and not be exported to another this they account in some measure detrimental to their trade which being but small is the less able to bear any discouragement. Sir, as His Majesty is the common parent of all his subjects who are how farr soever remote from his royall person equally the objects of his care and tenderness, so we flatter ourselves that when he is informed how incon- venient and detrimentall it is to this Province how prejudiciall to his service to have the same person Governour etc., his royal goodness will be induced to commissionate some person to be Governor different and distinct from the Governor of New York etc., and we pray that you would be pleased to lay before one of His Majesty's principall Secretaries of State what has been said to you on this head. Signed, John Anderson, John Hamilton, John Parker, John Johnston junr., Peter Bard, Ja. Smith. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 983. ff. 26, 26v., 27v.–28v.]
July 20.
310. Mr. Popple to William Wood. The Board has appointed this day fortnight to hear the merchants against the Act of Jamaica laying a duty on negroes etc. [C.O. 138, 17. p. 327.]
July 20.
311. Same to Mr. Delafaye. Reply to letter of 17th inst. Refers to his of 30th June. Concludes: Their Lordps. being press'd to make their report, and the objections offer'd to the act, being very strong their Lordps. could not avoid laying the same before H.M. for his disallowance, and they were the rather inclined to do so, because not hearing from you on the day appointed, they naturally imagined you had nothing to offer in behalf of the said act. [C.O. 138, 17. pp. 328, 329.]
July 20.
312. Governor Hunter to Mr. Popple. Acknowledges letter of 24th Feb. and encloses list of acts passed last session. Continues: That which enacts the additional subsistance for the two regiments for six months longer, that is to say twelve months from their landing, was carried with great strugle but by the majority of one vote, so God alone knows what must become of them when that time is expired. I am at present busied in fitting and ordering out a party consisting of four companys of the regular troops at Port Antonio, fourscoure armed negroes and fourscore baggage by the advice of the Council, in conformity to an Act pass'd last Session to march against the slaves in rebellion in the North East parts, but the wheels of this machin move so heavily, and the levys go on so awkwardly that I have but little hopes of any great feats to be done this bout. Neither I nor any belonging to me have any lands at Port Antonio. In the beginning of the settlement I did put my children's names in some patents for the encouragement of others, but upon the landing of the troops I sold my negroes and abandon'd the grants which was always my intention when the place was once secured, as everybody here with whom I conversed intimately well knew. Your cousin Henderson who has lately lost his Lady will probably write by this conveyance more fully to you. Signed, Ho. Hunter. Endorsed, Recd. 8th Dec, 1731, Read 8th Feb., 173 ½. 2? pp. Enclosed,
312. i. List of 6 Acts passed in Jamaica, 1731. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 19. ff. 102–104, 107v.]
July 20.
313. Mr. Popple to Mr. Scrope. Having laid before my Lords Commrs. your letter of 4th June, inclosing two from Mr. Worseley, relating to the arrears due in Barbados, upon an act for supporting the honour and dignity of the Government; I am commanded to desire, you will please to acquaint the Lords Commrs. of the Treasury, that as the people of Barbados have alledged that they have by the said act made a much larger provision for their Governor than they are able to bear, frequent disputes have arisen between him and them upon that subject; and they have endeavoured to avoid the force of the said law : However, if the law be sufficient for the purposes for which it was intended (as the Govr. seems to apprehend it is) he has it in his power to put the same in execution; and my Lords Commrs. do not apprehend it necessary that the Royal authority should interpose between the Govt, and the People upon this occasion. [C.O. 29, 15. pp. 228, 229.]