America and West Indies
April 1734, 1-15

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1953

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'America and West Indies: April 1734, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 67-82. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72756 Date accessed: 30 October 2014.


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April 1734, 1-15

[April 1.]106. Representation of the state of Barbados and the Leeward Islands by the merchants trading to and interested therein to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Think it their indispensable duty to represent (i) the weak state of defence of those islands, and the great danger they are in of being lost in case of a rupture with the Crown of France; (ii) the many ill consequences which must attend the loss of them; (iii) the best method of defending them; (iv) the state of their trade, what further encouragement they want, and methods for their relief. (1) In Barbados there are no regular troops, and the number of their white inhabitants is of late years so greatly diminished, that they are not halfe so numerous as they were some years since, many of the inhabitants, from the great decay in the sugar trade, having been necessitated to retire to North America, and no setlers having come either in their place, or to supply the great decrease in their white inhabitants, by the death of the old setlers. During the last war, their militia were numerous and in good order, as well as their fortifications; But their militia are now so few, and in such bad order, and so destitute of arms, that they can be but of little service in the defence of the island; and their fortifications are since fallen to ruin, and several of them are even without any ordnance, and the few ordnance they have, are so bad that they are almost useless; My Lords, it is certain there is a great want in this island both of men and of arms, and other stores and provisions of war of all kinds (powder only excepted), the few militia they have being forced, many of them, to appear with sticks instead of musquets, bayonetts and swords. In the Leeward Islands, the Crown has maintained a Regiment ever since 1700, five companys of which are quartered at Antigua, three at St. Christophers, one at Nevis, and one at Montserrat. These islands lye much exposed by reason of the many easy landing places therein; the number of their inhabitants, who have never been very numerous, hath decreased one half since the Peace of Utrecht. Their fortifications are in a very bad condition, and they want warlike stores of all kinds. As these Sugar Islands have thus sunk and declined, so the French neighbouring colonies of Martinique and Giuardaloupe, Grande Terre and Marigalante, have since the last war vastly encreased both in men and riches, there being more men able to bear arms in Martinique alone than in Barbadoes and all the Leeward Islands together, yet notwithstanding the French Sugar Colonies were during the last war in a much weaker condition than they are now, the French plundered the island of St. Christophers, Nevis and Montserrat, and actually formed a scheme for making themselves masters of Barbados and Antigua, and should the same be attempted in any future war, there is too much reason to fear, it might be attended with success, as well in respect of their superior strength, as on account of their situation, being in the neighbourhood and to the windward of the said islands. These considerations, with this further one, that we have not at present in the West Indies either strength within or without the said islands, to oppose any invasion, give the strongest apprehensions of the risque the nation may run in regard of these islands, in ease of a sudden breach with France; and it is not unreasonable to believe that the defenceless state these islands are now in, may even prove a temptation to the French to attack them, and strike there the first blow. This is further to be feared by considering the many ill consequences as to this Kingdom, which must attend the loss of these Colonies, as well with regard to the great and irretrievable damage which on the one hand will be thereby brought on the British trade and navigation, as with respect to the national advantages which on the other hand will accrue therefrom to the trade and naval power of France. This will best appear by acquainting your Lordships, that the property H.M. subjects have in these islands, consisting of negroes, buildings and utensils for making sugar, amounts in value to many millions sterling, and that the profit thereof, tho' considerably diminished of late, centers in Great Britain: that the negro trade to the coast of Africa in a great measure depends on our Sugar settlements: that the Sugar Colonies are a means of consuming vast quantities of our own manufactures, and employing many thousands of our industrious poor, and if properly encouraged so as once more to regain the sugar trade in foreign markets, will bring very considerable yearly additions to the national wealth: that the islands employ also annually many thousands of seamen and many hundreds of ships to the advancement not only of the trade, but the naval power of Great Britain: All this large share of British property, and all these national benefits and advantages arising from the Sugar Islands, would be swallowed up and lost; and as to this nation, should ye French ever become masters of them and the French settlements on Hispaniola, would soon be com pleated on the ruin of the English Sugar Colonies, which could never be resetled without ye extraordinary aid and assistance of Parliament, France would then have it in their power not only to make sugar enough for all Europe, but to set their own price upon it, as being without any competitor in the sugar trade: so that instead of our supplying foreign countries with that commodity, and bringing back in return their wealth to Great Britain, much specie of the Kingdom would go to France to purchase sugars even for our own consumption, many thousands of the poor employed in our manufactures and otherwise, by the means of the sugar settlements, wou'd want employment, with this further melancholly reflection, yt. this loss wcn. ye trade and naval power of this Kingdom must sustain in these circumstances, will bring a proportionable encrease of each to that of our greatest and most dangerous rival etc. Hope that their Lordships will see that it is a matter of the highest importance to preserve these Colonies entire to the Crown. Continue:—The best and most natural way of doing this, and of defending these islands at all times, seems to be by a naval strength, since they can be attackt no other way than by sea; but is more especially so at this time from the defenceless state of the islands and the small number of white people there. There are now two ships of war stationed, one of 20 guns at Barbados, and the other of 40 guns at the Leeward Islands, and H.M. has been graciously pleased to give directions for three more ships, one of which of 50 guns, is going directly from hence, and the other two, one of 50, and the other of 40 guns, by the way of Guinia; but these two last can hardly arrive at the Sugar Islands sooner than Xtmas, and these five ships when they are arrived there, we humbly apprehend, will not, in case of a war breaking out, be near equal to the defence of 5 several islands from a powerful enemy so greatly interested in their destruction; more especially as Barbados is at the distance of 100 leagues from the Leeward Islands, etc. No ships of war sent to Jamaica can possibly be of service in the protection and defence of the Windward Islands, as the course of the winds and currents in those parts is almost constant and invariable, setting from those islands to Jamaica, but not from Jamaica to them. Montserrat was plundered in 1711 in sight of 8 of H.M. ships, 4 or 5 whereof carried 50 guns each, the Commander of which in a Council of War came to a resolution that they were not strong enough to attack the French Fleet. We therefore humbly submit it to your Lordships whether it be consistent with the interest of the Nation to trust these islands under the apprehensions of an approaching rupture, without a squadron of 12 saile, 6 for Barbados, and 6 for the Leeward Islands; which might with proper instructions join as occasion should require; and for the careening and refitting of which there is a very convenient bay in Barbados, called Carlisle Bay, and a very good and safe harbour at Antigua, called English Harbour, with a storehouse belonging to the Crown; such a squadron of ships stationed at those Sugar Islands would be likewise of great and publick use and service, as they would be a means either to prevent or destroy the great number of privateers tlie French would otherwise, in all probability, tit out, and which in the last French war, were a great annoyance to the British trade to all our Sugar Islands etc. As the French Islands are very populous, so they cannot raise among themselves provision sufficient for ¼ part of their inhabitants (excepting Hispaniola, which is at a great distance from the other French Islands), their beef and flesh kind they have at present from Ireland, and their bread kind, with many Plantation necessaries, they have from our Northern Colonies; so that in case of a war, a squadron of ships of sufficient strength would not only protect our islands, but by cruising to windward of the French islands, to prevent any provision ships coming to them, they would be put under the greatest distress for want of provisions, and abundance of their people would be thereby reduced to the necessity either to quit their settlements or be starved; and by rendring provisions scarce among them, it would have this further good effect, to make any intended imbarkation from thence, to invade our islands, almost impracticable. During a great part of the last war they were chiefly supplied with provision by the provision ships bound to our Sugar Islands, that were taken by the French privateers, which a good squadron in those parts to protect the British trade would effectually prevent; but for want of such a squadron our people will, in all likelyhood, be themselves in great want of provision, and the French be supplied by those ships sent to carry provisions to feed our own people. The stationing such a squadron of ships of war at Barbados and the Leeward Islands, and sending them a sufficient supply of ordnance and other warlike stores, are the principal points that seem at present to call for the immediate attention of the Government, with regard to the Sugar Colonies. The session is now so far advanced that we must humbly refer it to your Lordships' further consideration, and the wisdom of the Legislature, whether the trade thereof does not want for some further encouragement, and whether the very high duties both at home and in the Plantations, upon English sugar, and the low duties of the French, will not as effectually ruin the Sugar Colonies, in process of time, as an immediate blow from France would ruin them now. Barbados and the Leeward Islands pay 4½ pr. cent, in specie abroad, upon exportation of all their commodities, and all English sugar imported here pays ¾ nott duty for every cwt. here at home, which when sugar sells at 20s. per hundred is about £35 per cent, more upon the neat produce after freight and all other charges of importation arc reduced. The French pay abroad £1 p. cent, upon the exportation of sugar, and at home the West India duty of 2 pr. cent, and the new duty of 4½ pr. cent., and this by the composition (hereof with the farmers of these duties upon importation does not amount to above 3 pr. cent, in the whole etc. The Crown of France gives a premium on all negroes imported into any of the French sugar islands from Affrica in French ships, and the sugars which arc brought home in return for such negroes, pay but half the aforesaid duty, which encouragement the Crown of France have thought fit to give for the supplying their sugar settlements with negroes. Another advantage the French have over us is, that the fortifications in their sugar Colonies are raised and maintained by the Crown, who also payed the salaries of the several Govrs. But the English fortifications have cost the Colonies immense sums of money, and the Governors over and above the salaries paid them by the Crown, depend upon the people for a further support. And as a further encouragement for the peopling their sugar colonies, the French soldiers are discharged and allow'd a year's pay, if they marry and become settlers there. It may also be a matter worth your Lordships' consideration whether the money drained out of the Kingdom to pay for such vast quantities of French brandy as are imported and run here, amounting as has been computed to £300,000 a year, may not be saved by lowering the duty on rum of the produce of H.M. Sugar Islands, and by that means substituting this commodity in the place of French brandy, as also whether a liberty of going from our Sugar Islands to foreign markets directly with our sugars, under reasonable restrictions, may not advance the trade of Great Britain in general, and be of great use and service to retrieve the declining condition of our Sugar Colonies. Without date, signature or endorsement, but see April 3, No. 114. Copy. 7 pp. Enclosed,
106. i. Same to Same. Since we prepared the representation above, the following paragraph from a Custom house Officer of Barbados fell into our hands. W. Rawlins to Charles Dunbar, Surveyor General of the Customs for the Southern District of America, in London. Barbados, Feb. 3, 1733/4 The greatest news is, the preparations the French are making at Martinico, in case of a war, and the apprehensions we are under from it, our fortifications being so intirely ruined, and in no manner of condition of defence. The Fox last week arrived from St. Lucia, and brought us an account that they had muster'd 26,000 men, and had got two men-of-war and sixteen sloops, ready at an hours warning, and that they design'd a descent somewhere, the moment a war was declared etc Signed, W. Rawlins. Copy. 1 p.
106. ii. Extract of letter from (Governor Lord Howe to Council of Trade and Plantations. Feb. 4, 1734. To same effect as preceding. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 40. Nos. 41, 41 i., ii.]
[April 1.]107. Representation to the Duke of Newcastle. Duplicate of preceding representation and enclosure i. Endorsed, R. (from Mr. Tryon) 1st April, 1734. [C.O. 2K, 45. ff. 315–318 v.]
['April 1.]108. Remarks upon [?] preceding representation from the merchants of Barbados and the Leeward Islands, (v. Feb. 3.) They do not say what number of white people they have, but represent them to be few and unarmed, and the fortifications to be much out of repair, and very few ordnance and those bad. if their number of inhabitants is so much decreased, while the French are increased, it must be for want of proper encouragement: If those they have are undisciplined, and in want of arms, it is their fault, who should discipline them; and provide arms; and it is apprehended that the Islands have been always used to keep their fortifications in repair for their own security, and at their own expence. N.B. There are but few places where an enemy can land at Barbados. The Leeward Islands are more exposed, therefore a regiment is always kept there as set forth, but the true reason of the decrease of inhabitants does not appear to me; I think it cannot be the decay of trade, because the French increase in both, as is supposed we may do with the like industry and frugality. It is very true, that in the late wars, the French plundered some of our Islands, when they had a superior strength; and it is as true that in our turn we plundered their Islands, and even took their part of St. Christophers from them, and the same things may happen again, in case of any future war; but the French will never in my opinion think of more than plundering our Plantations, should they have an advantage by a superiority of strength; for if they come to divide the inhabitants they have, they would be too weak to defend themselves in any place and consequently would be more liable to be attacked and ruined than our Plantations are now; and in case of war would, no doubt, even as they are, be in danger of being invaded and destroyed by a superior force, in case His Majty. should think fit to carry a war into that part of the world; but to send numbers of ships of war whose seamen have always prov'd sickly, and dyed in great numbers when they have continued any time, upon a suspicion or supposition of a war only; they might be incapable, if a war should break out, ever of bringing their ships back again without more men and more ships being sent to strengthen and releive them. If the French Islands (except Hispaniola) are supported from Ireland, and our Northern Plantations, that would be stopped of course in case of a war, or may be prohibited and prevented without a war; if it were thought proper; and small cruizers are more fitted for intercepting such supplies than squadrons of vast expence and subject to the inconveniences of sickness &c. before mentioned. If a large squadron were sent now to Barbados, and the Leeward Islands, and no war should happen, will it not be said, as is often, that we are at the same expence in time of peace as in war, and upon imaginary dangers, send our seamen to perish abroad, when they may be wanted at home. As to encouraging the trade, I think our Colonies should be enabled to send their sugar to market, as cheap, or cheaper than the French, either by taking off the duty, or suffering them to carry it directly to the best markets, as the French do, in some measure, or any other way that can be thought on: But a way should be thought on to encourage new setlers to come to our Islands as the French do, and not making the servants little better than slaves, which keeps them down that they never recover spirits like other men; and sugar should, as it then may, be made as cheap as in the French Islands, and exportation of rum from thence would do very well to be encouraged. I doubt whether the fortifications &c. in these Islands is done at the expence of the Crown of France. I think it is done by the W. India Company chiefly; and men-of-war that have been sent thither have been paid for by the Company, and often come home loaden with sugar &c. Lord How's letter seems to avoid mentioning the number of inhabitants but by their having sent arms and wanting 4000, the number does not seem to be so small as I really thought it was. But whether they have not always found themselves arms, and kept up their fortifications at their own expence is, I presume, known. But I think there never was a squadron of ships kept at Barbados, but have generally stopped there in their way to the Leeward Islands and Jamaica. Without signature, date or endorsement, but see April 3, No. 114¼ pp. [C.O. 28,45. ff. 308–310.]
April 2.
Whitehall.
109. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses Act of Barbados, 1733, for the further regulating fees of the several officers and Courts etc., for his opinion thereon in point of law. [C.O. 29, 15. p. 431.]
April 2.
Whitehall.
110. Mr. Popple to Mr. Fane. Encloses, for his opinion in point of law, Acts of Montserrat, 1733, (i) for raising a poll-tax and assessing houses in Plymouth, etc.; (ii) for selling flower, bisquet, corn and oates by weight. Act of Nevis, 1734, for providing an honourable support for H.E. etc.; and acts of St. Xtophers, 1734, (i) for settling £1,200 for one year from 25th Dec. past, and after the expiration of said year, £800 currt. money pr. ann. upon H.E. etc.: (ii) for raising an annual sum of £800 current money by a duty of I4d. pr. poll on all slaves etc., and £400 by an additional tax of 7d. pr. poll on said slaves for one year from Dec 25th past etc. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 244, 245.]
1734. April 3.
St. fanirs's.
111. Order of King in Council. Appointing John Gollop to the Council of Barbados in the room of Joseph Pilgrim deed. Signed, W. Sharpe. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. l½ pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 45, 45 v., 50 v.]
April 3.
St. Jainos's.
112. Order of King in Council. Dismissing, for non-prosecution, the petition of the last General Assembly of Barbados, relating to H.M. Order in Council Sept. 28, 1732, whereby the Attorney General of the Island is required to commence suits against all persons who should not pay arrears of taxes due before the Act for supporting the Government etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. 1½ pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 47, 47 v., 48 v.]
April 3.
St. .James's.
113. Order of King in Council. Repealing Act of S. Carolina, 1696, for the encouragement of the better settling of S. Carolina. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 363. ff. 66, 67 v.]
April 3.
Whitehall.
114. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose extract from Governor Howe's letter, 4th Feb., relating to French preparations for an attack upon Barbados, and copy of representation from merchants trading thither etc. Continue: To which we beg leave to add, that should the island of Barbados fall into the hands of the French, the Leeward Islands would soon share the same fate; and as this is a matter of the greatest consequence, we desire your Grace will please to lay the papers we now inclose, before H.M. for his orders thereupon. Autograph signatures. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 28, 40. ff. 158, 158 v.; and 29, 15. p. 432.]
April 3
St. James's.
115. Order of King in Council. Appointing Thomas Hals to the Council of Jamaica, in the room of John Moore deed. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734. I¾ pp. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 69, 69 v., 74 v.]
April 3.116. Deposition of Jane Goodwin (v. 15th Feb.) etc. Deponent, only surviving child of John Alley decd., did not authorize any person to appear on her behalf to oppose any act of Assembly in New York relating to any conveyance by Mary Miserol. She was not 21 years of age until a considerable time after 1719. At midsummer, 1719, several children of John Alley and James Bennett were living in England and were infants also, all which children are now dead. Deponent never relinquished her claim to the real estate of John Price. If any person has pretended to do it, it was without the authority or knowledge of deponent etc. She is the cozen, heir at law and nearest of kin to said Price deed., who, as deponent always heard in the family, went to New York and setled there about 1700, and carried over some fortune with him, and followed the business of a ship carver and had good business and got a considerable sum by it before he married Mary Miserol in 1714, so that deponent doth not know what Master Hunter could mean by suggesting that Price came accidentally into New York. Deponent has received repeated accounts from New York, that Price left £1500 of his own acquisition, all which Mary his widow possessed herself of etc. Ever since she came of age she hath been frequently writing to persons in New York whom she was recommended to, to inform her particularly of her right and to look after the same, but such persons have neglected the same, and not dealt fairly by her, though they have demanded and had of deponent recompense for their pretended troubles etc She had no knowledge of the death of Mary until within a year and a half past, and employed Master Paris within a few days there after to recover her right etc and sent for copies of the wills etc Signed, Jane Goodwin. Endorsed, Herd. Read 3rd April, 1734 1¼ pp [C.O. 5, 1056. ff. 102,102 v., 105 v.]
April 3.
Whitehalll.
117. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Recommend for confirmation, as being in conformity to H.M. Instructions, Act of Nevis for support of H.E. etc. [C.O. 153, 15. p.246]
April 3,
Whitehall.
118. Same to Same. Recommend similarly acts of St. X to pliers for settling £1200 etc. and raising £800 etc. (v. 2nd April.) [C.O. 153, 15. ff. 247, 248.]
April 4.
Jamaica, Spanish Town
119. Major Ayscough, President of the Council and C. in C. of Jamaica, to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My Lords, I think it my duty to embrace the first opportunity of acquainting your Lordships with the melancholy news, of the death of General Hunter, who departed this life the 31st day of March last, and as by H.M. Commission and instructions to his late Excellency, the administration of publick affairs, has devolved upon me, so I immediately took all possible care for the security of this goverment. H.M. will be more particularly informed of the weak state, and condition this island lies under, by the late humble Address of the Governor, Council, and Assembly, that hath been lately sent to H.M. for its immediate relief, against the attempts of the rebellious negroes, who have infested of late some settlements towards the north east part which are scituated nearest to them, but I hope the measures already taken, will for the present, put a stop to their excursions; a duplicate of which address is now transmitted to H.M., and herewith your Lordships, receive a duplicate of the Representation of his Council and Assembly lately sent home to your Lordships. The multiplicity of publick affairs has prevented me hitherto, from narrowly inspecting into the severall Articles of H.M. Instructions, where I am commanded to correspond with your Lordships, but I shall without loss of time apply myself with great vigilance, and discharge my duty therein, and while I have the honour to continue this station, H.M. interest the welfare and prosperity of his Colony, and rendring myself acceptable to your Lordships, shall be my constant care etc. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 12th June, 1734. 2 pp. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 62, 62 v., 67 v.]
1734. April 4.
Jamaica. Spanish Town
120. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Begins as preceding. In place of last sentence, concludes: I hope my former administration of the public k affairs after the decease of the late Duke of Portland have been so well approved of, as will recommend me to H.M. favour, and if H.M. shall he graciously pleased, to continue me for some time in this station, I shall with the utmost vigilance, care, apply myself to the faith full discharge of this trust reposed in me, and with a due regard to H.M. honour, prerogative and instructions etc Encloses following. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, R. June 6th. 21/8 pp. Enclosed,
120. i. Duplicate of Address of Council and Assembly of Jamaica to the Duke of Newcastle, March 11. 2 large pp.
120. ii. Duplicate of Address of Governor, Council and Assembly to the King. v. March 11. l¼ large pp. [C.O. 137, 15. ff. 41–42 v., 43 v., 44, 45 v., 46.]
April 4.
Jamaica. Spanish Towi
121. Same to Mr. Popple. Herewith you'l receive a Box directed to the Right Honble. the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations which contain the Minutes and Journall of the Council beginning the 4th Sept., 1733, and ending the 9th March following, with the Acts passed in that time, and the Minutes of the Assembly beginning the 2nd October, 1733, and ending the 16th November following, and also the duplicates of the Minutes and Journals of the Council beginning 3rd July, 1733, and ending the 17th March following, with the Acts passed in that time, and also the duplicates of the Minutes of the Assembly in three books beginning the 13th March, 1732, and ending the 17th of August following. I think it proper to advise you that I have sent to their Lordships, by the Phenix man-of-war, a duplicate of the Representation of H.M. Council and Assembly, with an inclosed letter to their Lordships, acquainting them with the death of Genl. Hunter, as also a duplicate of the same letter by the Rochester, Captain Turner. Signed, J. Ayscough. P.S. Yours I received by Captain Dumerique after his arrival here, on his return home to England out of mistake he carried severall letters back as far as Hispaniola of which yrs. was one. As soon as ever I received it, I ordered a pipe of wine to be bought, which you'l receive by the Crawley pink etc. 2 pp. Endorsed as preceding. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 63, 63 v., 66 v.]
April 5.
Whitehall.
122. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following. Concludes: I am to signify to your Lordsps. H.M. pleasure, that you comply with what is desired in the said Address. Signed, Holies Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 11th April, 1734.1 p. Enclosed,
122. i. Address of the House of Lords, April 1, 1734. Ordered that an humble Address be presented to H.M. by the Lords with white staves, that he will be graciously pleased to order the Coramrs. for Trade and Plantations to prepare and lay before this House at the next Session of Parliament a state of the British Islands in America with regard to their trade, their strength, and fortifications together with their opinion what may be further necessary for the encouragement of their trade and security of those Islands. Endorsed, Recd. 5th, Read 11th April, 1734.2/3 [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 20, 21, 23 v. C.O. 5, 5. ff. 95, 97.]
April 6.
Whitehall.
123. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following and signifies H.M. pleasure that they comply with what is desired therein. Signed, Holies Newcastle. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 11th April, 1734. l⅓ pp. Enclosed,
123. i. Address of the House of Lords, 5th April, 1734, praying H.M. to direct the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, during the recess of Parliament, to revise and consider the several proposals that may at any time have been laid before them, relating to such encouragements as may be necessary to engage the inhabitants of the British Colonies on the Continent of America, to apply their industry to the cultivation of naval stores of all kinds, and likewise of such other products as may be proper for the soil of the said Colonies, and do not interfere with the trade or produce of Great Britain, and do lay their observations thereon before this House at their meeting the next Session of Parliament. Copy ¾ p. C.O. 323, 10. ff. 2–3, 4 v.]
April 6,
Whitehall.
124. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Report upon act of Barbados for the further better and more certain regulating and appointing the fees of the several officers and Courts. Continues: The intention of which act in my humble opinion is to give the Governour very extraordinary and unprecedented powers to restrain H.M. royall prerogative in a most essential part of it; and to strip the Crown patentees of their properties without a legall fair and just tryall. By this act the fees of the officers in the severall Courts are appointed, that is a table of fees which was setled ever since the year 1668 and transmitted and approved here has been taken away and a table [of] fees appointed not adequate to the trouble of the officers, and fettered with such conditions, that it is impossible for the patentees to enjoy their freeholds under it; and this not proceeding as appears to me, from any complaint of the people, but from the mere motion of the Governour whom your Lordshipps will have some reason to think from severall clauses in this act had an inclination to grasp at more power than he ought to have. By this act some old laws relating to fees with severe penalties, which I cannot find were esteemed to be in force, are reenacted and inforced, and particularly a law passed in 1649 or 1650 wherein there is a clause that" the Secretary nor any other officer etc. by himself, deputy, clerk or servant shall not take any other fees etc. than is hereafter expressed etc. under penalty of forfeiting his office etc. and lying in the common gaol without bail or mainprize the space of one month, the same to be executed upon him immediately upon his conviction upon the oath of one or more witnesses or other sufficient proofe before the Governour or any Justice of the Peace and the Governour is to have the naming the successor." This clause etc. is so severe that without any other objection to the act I think it would be a sufficient reason for disallowing of it. For the patentees are subjected in this case to be stript of their freeholds in a most summary and arbitrary manner and their liberty to be taken away from them, tho' perhaps the offence might arise from the treachery of their servants; The proper method of proceeding agreeable to our constitution upon complaints of this kind, if it was thought proper to punish so severely the Patent Officers for such offences would be, I apprehend, by trying the fact by a jury, when the officer accused might have an opportunity of defending himself, but to do it in this summary way is contrary to law and the practice here: and I beg leave to say when the Governour has the power of lilling up the vacancy, unhappy must be the man, who shall be so accused; Besides, H.M. prerogative of disposing of these employments is in this instance highly infringed upon. For it is in the power of the Governour to turn the officers out as fast as the Grown shall name them, and put in officers of their own upon any complaint stirred up and determined by himself etc. In this act there is another clause that enacts" every officer or his deputy residing upon this island before he shall enter upon the execution of his office should give such bond in such penalty and with such sureties as the Governour in Councill shall direct and approve etc. for his due and faithful execution of his said office" etc., and in case of refusal or of acting contrary thereto etc., the Governour is empowered, by and with the advice and consent of the Council to displace him and substitute another person in his stead etc. This i apprehend is still encreasing the power of the Governour to the manifest prejudice of the Crown Patentees; for if the Governour insists upon such security as the officer can't give, then he gets the office into his own hands (which seems to be too much ye tendency of the whole act) and the patentee is absolutely without remedy. By another clause it is enacted," that if any new business arises in any of the offices, the respective officers shall apply to the Legislature to set proper fees for such business, and shall not presume to take any fee whatsoever till it has been ascertained and setled by them, and in case any of the said officers shall act contrary to the directions and appointments of this present act or shall be guilty of any malfeazance in his office, besides the said penalties and forfeitures in the former laws appointed such bond so appointed to be entred into in the former clause shall be assigned to the party grieved to be put in suit in any Court of Record in this Island and such officer and his sureties shall answer and pay all the losses and damages suffered by the said party greived." The former part of the clause very plainly shews the Legislature's good disposition for the Patent Officers, who I daresay will think it to very little purpose to apply for an appointmt. of fees for new business to them; but the latter part of the clause is most extraordinary, for the Legislature for fear the penalties and forfeitures were not severe enough by the former lawes have added this further punishment of giving liberty to the party greived to put that bond in suit for his satisfaction against the Officer which was given by him for a due performance of his office. This is, I believe, an entire new method of proceeding; but will be an effectual! one, for it will be the certain ruin and disgrace of the officers, especially when the conviction is to be in a summary way before the Governour or a Justice of the Peace. Upon the whole I am humbly of opinion that this is an act not fit for H.M. approbation, as it is infringing upon his royall prerogative; as it is laying very heavy and severe penalties upon his subjects without any reason or foundation as appears to me and without due course of law. And it is contrary to the Governour's Instructions by which he is expressly directed not to pass any law of an unusual or extraordinary nature without incerting a clause suspending the execution of it till H.M. pleasure is known thereupon etc. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Read 10th April, Read 4th July, 1734.5⅓ pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 55–57 v., 58v.]
April 6.
Whitehall.
125. Duke of Newcastle to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses following etc. Concludes:—I am to signify to yor. Lops. H.M. pleasure, that you comply with what is desired in the said Address. Signed, Holies New castle. 1 p. Enclosed,
125. i. Order of the House of Lords. April 5, 1734. That an humble Address be presented to H.M. etc. in the words proposed by Lord Westmorland March 12 fin. supra—relating to a report upon encouragement of Naval Stores etc. Copy. 1 p. [C.O. 5, 5. ff. 91, 93.]
April 7.
Sunday.
126. Earl of Westmoreland to Mr. Popple. Encloses copy of Address of House of Peers on Naval Stores, v. preceding. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 11th April, 1734. Addressed. Holograph, ½ p. Enclosed,
126. i. Copy of April 6 end. i. [C.O. 323, 10. ff. 5, 6, 6 v.]
April 10.
Whitehall.
127. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Committee of the Privy Council. Pursuant to your Lordships' order of the 23rd of Novr.1733, we have considered the Memorial of Charles Dunbar Esqr., Surveyor General of H.M. Customs in Barbados, Bermudas, and the Leeward Islds., and principal officer of H.M. Revenue in those governments, humbly praying, for the reasons contained in his Memorial, that he may be appointed a member of H.M. Councils in ordinary in all the said Islands, but more especially in Barbados and Bermudas, where he proposes chiefly to reside. We have enquired into the character of the said Mr. Dunbar, and thereupon we take leave to acquaint your Lordships, that we find him to be a person of considerable fortune, and of good repute for his integrity and abilities, for which reasons, added to those assigned in his memorial, we are humbly of opinion it may be for H.M. service that Mr. Dunbar should be appointed a Councillor Extraordinary in the several govts, of Barbados, Bermudas, and the Leewd. Islds., and that as vacancies shall happen in any of the Councils of ye sd. Islands he may be admitted into ye sd. Councils respectively, upon such vacancy as a Councillor in ordinary, care being taken in such case that the sd. Councils do never exceed the number of twelve, according to their origl. and establish'd institutions. [C.O. 29, 15. p. 433.]
April 10.
Whitehall.
128. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Lords of the Committee of H.M. Privy Council. In pursuance of order of 22nd March, have ascertained that Sir Charles Payne and his brother Abraham Payne Esq., the first of whom is father to Abraham Payne junr., Esq., are at this time members of the Council of St. Xtophers. It appears to us also that a sister of Abraham Payne is married to a son of Mr. Estridge, who is President of the Council, and that Mr. Joseph Phipps, who is likewise a member of that Council, is a very distant relation to the family of Payne. But we must observe that these are facts of which we were not apprized when we proposed him for the Council etc., upon the good character and fair recommendation we had of him. Some of these alliances however are pretty distant ones, and indeed in such little islands as these are, most of the people of substance and good character are generaly allyed either by consanguinity or marriage. And as the Councillors in that island have no votes in the Court of Chancery, the objection against the alliance among the Councillors does not seem so strong, as it would have been in those places where the Council compose that Court, [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 249, 250.]
April 11.
Whitehall.
129. Same to the King. Recommend grant of supplies as desired by the Agents for Antigua and St. Xtophers, and the Governor of the Leeward Islands, "considering this importance to the Trade and Navigation of Great Britain and the great danger and hazard to which they would be liable from the French Colonies in their neighbourhood in case of a war" etc. Annexed,
129. i. List of Ordnance and stores of war required for above. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 251–254.]
April 11.
St. James's.
130. Order of King in Council. Confirming Act of Nevis, 1734, for the support of Governor Mathew etc.; Act of Antigua, Nov., 1733,for support of Governor Mathew etc.; Acts of St. Christopher, Jan. 1734, for settling £1200 for one year and £800 per annum subsequently on Governor Mathew etc., and for raising £800 annually etc. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 1st, Read 20th June, 1734.22/3 pp.[C.O. 152, 20. ff. 105–100 v.]
April 13.
Spanish Town in. Jamaica.
131. Major Ayscough to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My Lords, Colo. Gumersal one of the members of the Council dyed this evening, which makes three vacancys. I presume General Hunter hath recommended to your Lordships, some gentlemen in the room of Mr. Moore and Mr. Laws decease'd; and I humbly make bold to recommend to your Lordships, Colo. Varney Philp, a gentleman of a good estate, and of as good parts and understanding as most in the country, and very well affected to His Present Majestic What with the thinness of the Council, sickness and several of the members living at a distance, will make it difficult to get a Council; therefore hope your Lordships will fill them up. With the utmost regards, My Lords, your Lordships' most humble and obedient servant. Signed,., J. Ayscough. Endorsed, Recd. 7th, Read 12th June, 1734. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 64, 65v.]
April 15.
Portsmouth N.H.
132. Lt. Governor Dunbar to [Governor Belcher]. Sir, on Friday last the carrier delivered to me a packquet at Exeter where I was upon H.M. service, and in it an Order from your Excellency dated from no place the 11th instant for conveneing the Council here and asking their advice upon a Proclamation for a general Fast upon the 25th instant, dated also the 11th instant, and say'd to be from the Council Chamber in this town, when everybody knows you were at Boston, and I know no Council was held here on that day, I have alwayes been of opinion and am confirmed in it by the advice of every gentleman except a few here under your influence, that you have no right to send orders hither in the manner you do, a few days will convince you that you have not, in the mean time shall only say in answer to the Proclamation that I can by no means be instrumental in issuing of it, the day appointed being a Festival of the Church by Act of Parliamt. I was in hopes two or three mistakes your Excellency had made at Boston in proclaiming a feast on a fast and a fast on a feast day of the Church would have prevented any more such, except it was done in contempt of Church authority which may be reasonably suspected by your giving sanction to your platform of worship, where you say that Archbishops, Bishops etc. not being plants of the Lords planting shall be all rooted out and cast forth at the last, I do not doubt but you have or will hear from home upon that act of government; as to your warrant for paying your sallary in advance, I must presume that sending to me was in case I should offer it for the Council's approbation (tho' it is already signed and countersigned as if by their advice) to make use of it as an argument against my demanding any part of it, for which reason I shall not only suspend offering it, but protest against paying it untill I knew who has the right to it, your Excellency knew there is no mony in the Treasury and so delaying this for a few days untill ships arrive can be no detriment. I did not intend to have troubled you with any letter at this time, but having this occasion I cant avoid taking notice of your treatment of me in sending your orders from Boston to the militia officers here without any notice of me, this, Sir, is unprecedented and not like a soldier, and no man but yourself would have done it; this and your other usages of me is in effect taking H.M. Commission from me wch. I shall not give up untill it is H.M. pleasure to take it, yet your construction of my power has made it so contemptible here that I meet with all the opposition and disregard in the execution of my duty and in support of the king's service as Surveyor of the Woods; I presume by the time this reaches you our dispute will be ended from home; your manner of sending your orders was I suppose to avoid saying, Sir your humble servt. Signed, David Dunbar. P.S. I will call the Council to-morrow and if they will join with me, I will appoint Fryday the day after yoi. Excie's. appointmt., being the 26 instant, for fasting and prayer &c. D.D. 1½ pp. [C.O. 5, 10. ff. 96, 96 v.]
April 15.
Jamaica .Spanish Town
133. President Ayscough to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses Minutes of Assembly, which were sent to him 'too late to send by H.M.S. Phanlx etc Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, Recd. 19th June, 1734. Head 11th July, 1735. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 158,161 v.]