America and West Indies
January 1732, 21-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Cecil Headlam (editor) Arthur Percival Newton (introduction)

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1939

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25-33

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'America and West Indies: January 1732, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 39: 1732 (1939), pp. 25-33. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72618 Date accessed: 20 October 2014.


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January 1732, 21-31

Jan. 21.
Whitehall.
34. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Committee of H.M. Privy Council. In pursuance of your Lordships order of 23rd Nov. last, we have considered the petitions of Patrick Blake etc. and the acts of St. Christophers, 1712 and 1718, for setting the estates and titles etc. and for the general quiet of the inhabitants etc. We have likewise been attended by the petitioners and by some persons on the part of the island etc. Represent, that in 1712 the first mentioned act was passed at St. Christophers in order to quiet the inhabitants in their possessions etc., and to prevent the vexatious law-suits and disputes to which they might be liable for want of the proper deeds and conveyances of their estates, which have been lost either during the time of the hurricanes and fires with which that island had been visited, or whilst it was conquered and in the possession of a foreign enemy. But when the said act came to be taken into consideration at this Board, it was referred to Sir E. Northey etc. Refer to his objections and the letter of the Board of 3rd March, 1718 (v. C.S.P. under date). Continue : In consequence of which the Assembly did pass the act of 1718 etc. Repeat representation of 24th April, 1724 to his late Majesty, that the act of 1718 should be confirmed, " which in our humble opinion is highly reasonable for quieting the possessions of H.M. faithfull subjects in St. Christophers, and in case H.M. shall comply with our opinion, we would afterwards propose etc. that the act of 1712 be repealed, as being an act for the same purpose with that of 1718, but liable to several objections." [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 126–128.]
35. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Your Grace will perceive by the papers which we take leave to annex hereto, (from Lt. Gov. Gordon and President Rip Van Dam, v. No. 41) the encroachments the French are now making on H.M. Colony of New York, and the danger the trade and security of that Province will be exposed to thereby, if no measures should be taken to prevent their further progress, wherefore we must desire your Grace will please to lay this matter before H.M. and receive his orders thereupon as a thing of very great consequence to the British interest in America. [C.O. 5, 1125. ff. 180.]
Jan. 21.
Whitehall.
36. Same to the King. Report in obedience to Order of 12th Aug. etc. We have discoursed with the petitioners who in support of their complaint have laid before us, some particular cases and facts that have hapned in the Plantations, and have also taken notice of several laws now in force in some of your Majesty's Colonies in America, wherein they conceive great partialities have been enacted in favour of the inhabitants of the respective Colonies, where those laws passed. With respect to the recovery of debts due to persons in Great Britain, from those who reside in the Plantations, we conceive suitors lie under difficulties, both as to the manner of making legal proof of their debts in the Courts of Justice in the several Colonies and likewise as to the execution of the law after a verdict has been obtained in favour of the plaintiff. The first of these grievances arises from the expence and difficulty of sending proper persons from Great Britain to give personal evidence in the Courts of Justice in the Plantations, which certainly ought to be redressed, and in our humble opinion, when any person residing in this Kingdom shall commence a suit in any Court of Justice throughout your Majesty's Colonies in America, and shall transmit to his Attorney, the necessary accounts and vouchers for proof of his debt verified upon oath before a proper magistrate and attested in due form by a Notary Publick, or by an Instrument in writing under the Corporation Seal of the City, Burough, or Town Corporate where the same shall be taken, the said affidavits ought to be received, and have the same force and validity for proof of the said debt, which the oath of the person deposing would have had, if he had given the same evidence viva voce in the said Court. The difficulty of attending the execution of the law after a verdict hath been obtained in favour of the plaintiff, consists in a privilege, claimed by some of the Colonies, particularly that of Jamaica, to exempt their houses, lands and tenements, and in some places their negroes also, from being extended for debt; But we conceive it to be highly reasonable that all lands, tenements, hereditaments and negroes, throughout the several Colonies and Plantations, should be made as liable to the payment of just debts and demands as lands, tenements, and hereditaments in Great Britain are under the like circumstances. These two last mentioned grievances have been more than once recommended to the Governors of Virginia and Jamaica for redress ; but the Assemblies of those Colonies could never be induced to divest themselves of these privileges by an act of their own ; and therefore in our humble opinion, these points may be very proper objects for a Parliamentary consideration in Great Britain, as they are of importance to your Majesty's subjects trading to America. As to the laws cited by the petitioners, wherein they conceive the British merchants are treated with inequality, we beg leave to acquaint your Majesty, that some of them have never been complained of before, and are of very ancient standing, having been enacted in the infancy of the several Colonies, when it might be necessary to give the inhabitants some particular encouragements, in order to encrease their numbers, which was the point most essential to their prosperity. But with respect to acts of later date, such as have fallen under our notice, we have never failed, upon complaint to represent against those that have appeared to us to be prejudicial to the trading interest of Great Britain ; and so soon as we shall have throughly considered the nature and tendency of the several laws complained of by the petitioners, we shall lay such of them as shall be found justly liable to objection before your Majesty for your disapprobation, and in the mean time, we would humbly propose, that all the Governors of your Majesty's Colonies, should be strictly forbid, upon pain of your Majesty's highest displeasure, to give their assent for the future, to any laws wherein the natives or inhabitants of the respective Colonies under their Government are put on a more advantagious footing than those of Great Britain, and that the said Governors, should be directed to pay due obedience to your Majesty's royal Instructions whereby you have been graciously pleased to forbid them to pass any laws by which the Trade or Navigation of this Kingdom may be any ways affected. [C.O. 324, 11. Pp. 248–253.]
Jan. 24.
London.
37. Governor Philipps to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I send my Secretary to wait on you with my answer to your Lordships' querys which were ready to have been transmitted by ye first ship bound home last spring ; but haveing at that time receiv'd orders for my return to England, determin'd me to put it up with ye rest of my papers and baggage, which did not arrive till within these few days, etc. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Recd. 24th Jan., Read 23rd Feb., 1731/2. 1 p. Enclosed,
37. i. An account of the scituation commerce etc. of the Province of Nova Scotia in America in answer to several Queries propos'd by the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, (i) The scituation of ye Province is between ye 43rd and 49th degrees of North Latitude and 59 degrees West from London etc. ; the climate is mostly temperate, that part of ye soil that has been cultivated is found to be fertile etc. There are a few settlements about the Bay of Fundy etc. (ii) The reputed boundaries are from Kennebeck River to Cape Rozlers, north and south, and from ye Islands of Canso to ye South side of ye River St. Lawrence, east and west, but haveing never been settled, the French disputed ye Islands of Canso and other places on ye one side of ye Province, and ye people of New England a tract of country now call'd Georgia on ye other side, (iii) The present constitution of the Government, is ye Governor and Council, (iv) The trade of this Province is carry'd on with shipping, from Great Brittain and New England which import Brittish manufactures and export in return cod fish, furrs and grain. No shipping properly belong to this Province, the increase in respect to ye fishery is very considerable, as to ye other mentioned commodities no great augmentation, (v) The sorts of British manufactures consumed etc. are cheifly red and blew strouds, kerseys and strips of several kinds, and linnens imported from Great Brittain. There may be annually consum'd of all these to ye value of about £10,000 ster., the severall species and quantities whereof may best be seen in ye Custom house books. (vi) This province hath no trade with any foreign plantation but Cape Breton for a little corn and a few live cattle which is paid for by the French there, in their silver coin. And their trade to Europe is dry cod fish which is cur'd at Canso, amounting to ye quantity of 50 or 60,000 quintalls annually, which is exported to Spain, Portugall and Streights in ships belonging to Great Britain and New England, (vii) By the usuall methods of officers of ye Customs, which have been found effectuall for that end. (viii) No other produce of commodities than what hath been mention'd in ye 4th article, the exports, communibus annis, may be computed to about 60 or £70,000 sterling in value, (ix) There can be no certain account given of ye mines, from ye few settlemts. Made as yett in this country but by severall marks, those that are known are one of copper and one of sea coal both lying towards the upper end of the Bay of Fundy, the first whereof hath never been open'd, the other is difficult of access notwithstanding a chance vessell hath now and then loaded there, there are at this time some persons about makeing a tryal whether they can digg ye coal and load vessells there and if found practicable intend to apply to the Government for leave to export it to New England. (x) The inhabitants here are for ye most part French, computed to about eight hundred families, no blacks, few English inhabitants besides ye garrisons, (xi) The French inhabitants are increas'd near one half within these ten years ; the few English are rather decreas'd, for want of power in ye Governmt. of makeing grants of lands, (xii) No Militia established, the French inhabitants being all Papists, (xiii) There is no other fort or place of defence within this Government, besides Annapolis Royall and that in a bad condition. There are troops posted at Canso for the protection of that important fishery, who are as yett without any fort, magazine for provisions, or place of defence either against ye weather or enemy, (xiv) The Indians (seated within the bounds allotted for this Province in ye first Article) consist of many tribes for the most part inclin'd to ye French interest and may when joyned together make about five hundred fighting men. (xv) The neighbouring Indians seated without ye bounds of this Government are said to consist of many nations, who send assistance to those seated within this Government when in warr with the English, (xvi) The neighbouring Europeans are French, settled in Canada and the Island of Cape Breton. Their strength in Canada consists of severall strong fortifications, well garrison'd with regular troops, besides a body of militia said to amount to ten thousand men. And their strength on the Island of Cape Breton is no less formidable in particular ye harbour and settlement call'd Lewisbourg which is made amost impregnible by a strong cittadell, and severall forts and batterys well mounted with cannon. Their regular troops consist of six hundred men and their militia a thousand at least, (xvii) The French settled in Canada by their scituation on ye back of New York, New England and this province, and the good correspondance they hold with ye Indian nations, may and do disturb the tranquility and trade of these Governments, whenever they find it to be their interest; but particularly the French Settlers at Cape Breton, by reason of their near neighbourhood to ye province of Nova Scotia or their influence on ye inhabitants being of ye same nation and religion with them ; will be able to render their Oath of Allegiance taken to ye Crown of Great Brittain of little effect and in case of a rupture at any time between ye two Crowns may easily make themselves Masters of that Province in a few hours. (xviii) The whole revenue of this Government, in it's present situation, doth not amount to above thirty pounds sterling which arises from a quintell of cod fish or ye value thereof paid yearly by every proprietor of a fishing room at Canso. (xix) 1st the ordinary or extraordinary expenses of ye Governmt. are ye continuall repairs of ye Fort of Annapolis Royall, and ye butts and lodgements for ye Garrison at Canso, which post hath never yett been taken under ye cognizance of ye Board of Ordnance. .2ndly Allowance to civil officers as are mention'd in ye next Article, who have serv'd hitherto without any such provision. 3rdly The maintenance of a vessell with a master and six sailers for ye necessary services of ye Government. 4thly Presents and supplying of Indians, who never fail twice a year to come to ye Governour under pretence of renewing ye peace, and expect to be dismiss'd with presents. 5thly The expense of messengers and interpreters for getting intelligence etc. All which expenses are advanc'd by ye Governour, who hath no other fund for those purposes, but ye abovemention'd thirty pounds, (xx) The Civill establishment consists of Governour, Lt. Governour and Council, the first by H.M. Patent under ye Great Seal of Great Britain, ye second by H.M. Commission, and the third by appointment of ye Governor in Chief in virtue of his power by ye sd. Patent, a sherriff, Justices of ye Peace and constables by the same power and appointment. And a Court of Vice Admiralty. The military establishment made for ye Province upon forming of ye Government consisted as follows, vizt. A Governor of ye Fort of Annapolis Royall. A Lt. Governor ditto. A Fort Major. A Chaplain etc. and five Companies of Col. Philipps's regiment with their proper officers. Afterwards upon ye demolishing ye works at Placentia and reducing that fortification and erecting a new one to contain one Company only, it was thought proper to remove ye other four that were there, to take post at Canso, where they remain at this time, so that ye whole military force now in Nova Scotia consists of nine Companies of ye regiment afores'd amounting to 324 men exclusive of officers. Signed, R. Philipps. 5¼ large pp. [C.O. 217, 6. ff. 86, 87–89 v., 91 v.]
Jan. 27.
St. James's.
38. Order of King in Council. Confirming 17 Acts of The Massachusetts Bay; (i) empowering Commissioners to determine the bounds with N. Hampshire etc. ; (ii) in addition to the act for the settlement of the estates of intestates ; (iii) for explanation of and supplement to the Act referring to the poor ; (iv) for regulating the soldiers ; (v) to prevent deceit in the gauge of cash ; (vi) to prevent frauds in muster-rolls ; (vii) to prevent unnecessary law suits ; (viii) for erecting a county to be called the county of Worcester etc. ; (ix) for naturalizing Protestants of foreign nations etc. ; (x) in addition to the act encouraging the killing of wolves etc. ; (xi) for encouraging the raising of hemp etc. ; (xii) empowering Courts to adjourn and remove from the towns appointed etc. in case of sickness by the small pox ; (xiii) for the relief of and to prevent the oppression of debtors; (xiv) for dividing the town of Taunton and erecting a new town there by the name of Raynham ; (xv) for payment of the members of H.M. Council and the Representatives from Oct. last etc.; (xvi) for supplying the Treasury with £6000 ; (xvii) in further addition to the act for the due regulation of weights and measures etc. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Aug., Read 7th Sept., 1732. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 874. ff. 138–139 v.]
Jan. 27.
St. James's.
39. Order of King in Council. Approving report of Committee upon petition of John Yeamans, that the Additional Instruction, relating to the holding of a Court of Chancery in Antigua, directed to be prepared 12th Aug. last for Col. Cosby, may now be sent over to the Commander in Chief, with directions to carry the same into immediate execution etc. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 15th Aug., Read 7th Sept., 1732. 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 131, 131 v, 136 v ; and 324, 36. pp. 308–310.]
Jan. 27.
St. James's.
40. H.M. Additional Instruction to Michael Smith, Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, the Act of Antigua, 1728, relating to the Court of Chancery having been repealed, etc. (v. Aug. 12, 1731. A.P.C. III, pp. 322–6), to prevent any delays or inconveniencys to Our subjects in the prosecuting their rights in Chancery by reason of the absence of the Commander in Chief for the time being from Antigua, you are to recommend to the Council and Assembly the passing of an Act to repeal so much of the act passed in 1715 or any other which may restrain the power of Us etc. from appointing who shall preside in the said Court. So soon as they shall have passed an act in compliance, "You shall cause Our will and pleasure to be signified to them, and to be entered upon the Journal of Our Council, that Our Capt. General or Commander in Chief etc. during his residence in Antigua etc. shall preside in Our said Court of Chancery there, that in his absence from the said Island, the Lt. General of the said Islands for the time being shall preside, and in the absence of [them] both etc., the Lt. Governor of the said Island etc., and that each of them respectively during the time they shall so preside shall and may execute all the powers and authorities belonging to that office according to the laws of that Our said Island. Signed, G.R. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. pp. 311–313.]
Jan. 27.
Whitehall.
41. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Your Grace will perceive by the papers which we take leave to annex hereto, the encroachments the French are now making on H.M. Colony of New York, and the danger the trade and security of that Province will be expos'd to thereby, if no measures should be taken to prevent their further pro gress. Wherefore we must desire your Grace will please to lay this matter before H.M., and receive his orders thereupon, as a thing of very great consequence to the British interest in America. Autograph signatures. 1 p. Enclosed,
41. i. Extract of letter from President Rip Van Dam to the Council of Trade, Nov. 2, 1731. 2 pp.
41. ii. Copy of letter from Lt. Gov. Gordon, Nov. 10, 1731, q.v. 3 pp.
41. iii. Copy of letter from President Rip Van Dam, to Lt. Gov. Gordon. Oct. 9, 1731. 1 p.
41. iv. Copy of letter from Commission for Indian Affairs to President Rip Van Dam, Sept. 25, 1731. 1 p
41. v. Copy of Minute of proceedings of Commissioners for Indian Affairs, Sept. 25, 1731. 1 p.
41. vi. Copy of Journal of Assembly, New York, Sept. 30, 1731, Resolved upon information in preceding that the French with about 80 men had built a fort and house at Crown Point on the South end of Corlaer's Lake etc., and designed next spring to go up with 200 men to Tiederondequat, on the S. side of Caderachui Lake, above Oswego, to stop the English trade at Oswego, etc., that the President be addressed to represent the encroachments of the French etc. to H.M. for relief etc. 2 pp.
41. vii. Copy of examination of Jonah Davenport, Indian trader, taken before the Lt. Gov. of Pennsilvania. Oct. 29, 1731. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 1086. ff. 38, 39, 39 v., 41–42, 43, 44, 45, 46–47 v.]
Jan. 27.
St. James's.
42. Order of King in Council. Referring following, received from the Agent of the Massachusets Bay to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report thereupon. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 31st March, Read 4th April, 1732. ¾ p. Enclosed,
42. i. Six Acts of the Massachusetts Bay, 1731. (i) granting £5,400 towards the support of H.M. Governor ; (ii) in addition to an act directing the admission of town inhabitants ; (iii) for allowing necessary supplies to the Eastern and Western Indians and for regulating trade with them ; (iv) making more effectual provision for the calling of precinct or parish meetings; (v) for supplying the Treasury with £5,400 ; (vi) to subject the unimproved lands belonging to non-resident proprietors to be sold for payment of taxes or assessments levied by order of the General Court etc. True copies, Signed, J. Belcher, J. Willard. 1¼ pp. and 6 printed pp. [C.O. 5, 874. ff. 51, 52–55 v., 57 v.]
Jan. 27.
St. James's.
43. Order of King in Council. Approving draught of Charter for Colony of Georgia, and ordering warrant to be prepared for H.M. royal signature for passing the same under the Great Seal etc. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd., 15th Aug., Read 7th Sept., 1732. Copy, 1¼ pp. [C.O. 5, 362. ff. 91, 91 v., 94 v. ; and 5, 21. f. 15.]
Jan. 28.
Whitehall.
44. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representations of a petition referred 19th Jan. Continue : In all probability, great advantage may be derived from the growth of coffee in your Majesty's Sugar Islands and particularly in Jamaica, as well with regard to the peopling that important Island, as the good effect which it may have in time upon the general commerce of this Kingdom, by supplying your Majesty's subjects with coffee, both for their home consumption and for exportation to other European markets, whereby large sums will be annually saved to Great Britain, which she is at present obliged to remit to foreign countries for the, purchase of this commodity. We are therefore humbly of opinion, that all reasonable encouragement should be given to the petitioners for promoting so usefull an undertaking. [C.O. 138, 17. Pp. 355, 356.]
Jan. 29.
Whitehall.
45. Mr. Popple to Lord Baltimore. Refers to the Board's Queries as to laws, manufactures and trade affecting Great Britain etc. Continues : Observing by some late newspapers in an article from Maryland, that your Lordp's. Deputy Govr. had received answers to those Queries from the Assembly etc. requests a copy if received. [C.O. 5, 1294. p. 45.]
Jan. 29.
Whitehall.
46. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Concludes : It is H.M. pleasure, that you accordingly lay before them the papers desired etc Signed. Holles Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. Read 3rd Feb., 1731/2. 1 p. Enclosed,
46. i. Resolution of the House of Commons, Jan. 28, 1731/2 that an humble Address be presented to H.M. that etc. the Commissioner of Trade etc. lay before this House copies of all papers etc. which have been laid before them since the last Session of Parliament, relating to the dispute between H.M. Sugar Colonies, and Northern Colonies in America etc. Signed, N. Hardinge, C1. Dom. Com. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 22. ff. 150, 151, 153 v.]
Jan. 30.
Nevis.
47. Michael Smith, Commander in Chief of the Leeward Islands, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Reply to Queries of June 10, 1731. I have taken particular care since I have been honourd with the administration of this Government, to pass no laws nor suffer any manufactures to be set up, which may effect the trade of Great Brittain, being directly contrary to H.M. most gracious Instructions, and for what trade and navigation has for some years been perniciously carried on that may effect the trade and navigation of Great Brittain, I can't render your Lordships a more particular account, than has been represented in an humble Remonstrance to your Lordships from ye severall branches of this Government etc. Signed, Mich. Smith. Endorsed, Recd., Read 24th March, 1731/2, Read 23rd Feb., 1732/3;. Holograph. 1p. [C.O. 152, 19. ff. 139, 140 v.]
Jan. 31.
Nevis.
48. President Smith to the Duke of Newcastle. Encloses Minutes of Council and Assembly of Nevis, of Council of Antigua, Montserratt and St. Christophers, " and shall those of the three Assemblys as soon as finish'd, which commence from the time they were delivered Lt. Gen. Mathew," etc. Enclose accounts of the effects of the Catherine sloop (v. 27th Feb., 1731). Signed, Michael Smith. Endorsed, R. 13 March. 1 p. Enclosed,
48. i.–iii. Accounts of effects of the Catherine sloop, Dec. 29, 1729. Signed, Wavll. Smith, Secry., Edward Jesup, Provost Marshall, Charles Dunbar. Copies, 9 pp.
48. iv. Minutes of Council of Montserrat, 28th July, 16th Sept., 1730. 4 pp.
48. v. Minutes of Assembly of Nevis, Jan.—Dec, 1731. 9 pp.
48. vi. Minutes of Council of St. Christophers, 1st Oct., 1730– 26th Nov., 1731. 45 pp.
48. vii. Minutes of Council of Nevis from 28th April—2nd Dec, 1731. 17½ pp.
48. viii. Minutes of Council of Antigua, Jan. 26, 1729–11th June, 1730. 31½ pp., and 20th July, 1730–19th July, 1731. 105½ pp. [C.O. 152, 43. ff. 159, 160 v, 162– 163, 165, 166–167 v., 169, 169 v., 171, 171 v., 173, 173 v., 175–176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 187–197 v., 198 v., 199 v., 200 v., 201 v., 203, 204, 205, 206–214 v 218–226, 229–244 v., 247–299, 300 v.]