America and West Indies
April 1734, 16-30

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Year published

1953

Pages

82-95

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'America and West Indies: April 1734, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 82-95. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72757 Date accessed: 20 August 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

April 1734, 16-30

April 17.
Admiralty Office.
134. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. H.M.S. Romney, under the command of Lord Muskery, and Lowestoff, commanded by Captain Cotterell, being designed this year for Newfoundland, etc., requests that such heads of Enquiry, as the Lords Commissrs. for Trade and Plantations shall think proper for them, may be prepared, and sent hither, as soon as may be. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Heed. Read l5th April, 1734. ¾ p. [C.O. 194,9. ff. 247, 250 v.]
April 18.
Admiralty Office.
135. Same to Same. Since my letter to you of yesterday's date, my Lords Commissrs. of the Admiralty haveing determined to send the Romney, under the command of Lord Muskery, and the Roebuck, commanded by Captain Crawford, to Newfoundland, and Captain Cotterell, in the Lowestoff, to Canso, I am commanded by their Lordships etc. as preceding. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Read 19th April, 1734. ¾ p. [C.O. 194, 9. ff. 248, 249 v.]
April 18.
Whitehall.
136. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representation upon Act of S. Carolina, 1723, for settling the estate of Richard Beresford deed. Recapitulate Mr. Fane's objections to it. Continue: The reason why no complaint hath been made against this act during the several years which it hath lain in our Office, is that the eldest son of the said Mr. Beresford, whose interest it was to sollicite the repeal of it, is but lately come of age, and having now made his application to us thereupon, we humbly take leave to lay the said act before yor. Majesty for your disallowance. [C.O. 5, 401. pp. 95, 96.]
April 18.
Whitehall.
137. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring back to the Council of Trade their reports on the defenceless condition of Barbados, and need of stores for the Leeward Islands. They are to get the best information they can of what stores are necessary for each island and to inspect the laws passed there for raising money for repair of fortifications, establishing a militia etc., and to enquire what money has been charged and raised on the inhabitants for the said purposes, and to what uses such money has been applied, and likewise to enquire into the reason of the decrease of white men in the said islands; and to lay the same before the Committee with their opinion thereon. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd. 19th, Read 23rd April, 1734. 1¼ pp. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 34, 34v., 39v.; and 152, 40. No. 35.]
April 18.138. Order of Committee of Privy Council. Referring following to the Council of Trade and Plantations for their report thereon. Signed, Temple Stanyan. Endorsed, Recd 11th May, Read 26th June, 1734. 12/3 pp. Enclosed,
138. i. Petition of Col. John Peter Purry to the King. Abstract. Governor Johnson, in pursuance of H.M. Instructions, caused a township to be surveyed and set apart on the Savannah River in S. Carolina since called Purrysburgh, containing 20,000 acres, and issued a Proclamation, Sept. 1st, 1731, forbidding any person to survey or take up any lands within six miles of the said township, such land being by H.M. Instruction ordered to be reserved for the use of the said town. The township was at the request of Petitioner declared to be for the use of a colony of Swiss Protestants, many of which are since transported and settled there by petitioner and more designed to be sent etc. When the Governor caused a survey to be made of the six miles contiguous, the Surveyors found that several persons had under divers pretences caused to be surveyed all or most of the south and east side of the lands adjoining the 20,000 acres laid out for the township, which are the best and most valuable lands etc. Petitioner will thus be unable to grant the said lands to the Swiss settlers, and be deprived of having in the said six miles the 48,000 acres granted him by H.M. Additional Instruction as a reward for his trouble and expense. The Governor apprehends himself not fully empowered to remove persons pretending a right for having surveyed the said lands antecedent to the survey of the said township, or the six miles contiguous, altho' petitioner is ready to prove, and it is indeed admitted that the scituation of the said township was fixed and agreed on and the Governor's Proclamation issued long before such surveys for the persons claiming were made. Several persons of substance and prudence, whom petitioner has appointed and will appoint as overseers to protect, advise and assist the rest of this new Colony, have no allowance for their trouble and daily attendance etc. Purrysburgh for conveniency of navigation is settled on a swamp or morass on the side of a river, and as well for health as conveniency it will be necessary to drain the morass. which will be very expensive to those whose lotts are scituated on a rivulet which runs through the town etc. Prays for H.M. Order to the Governor to cause the six miles round the township, on that side of the river where it is situated, to be surveyed and set apart for its use, notwithstanding any surveys made thereof since the town was first cut out, and that the said lands be reserved as well for the intended grant of 48,000 acres to petitioner as for the use of such Swiss or other foreign Protestants as petitioner or his agents shall cause to be transported to settle the same. Petitioner further prays transport to settle the same. Petitioner further prays that the "overseers" (described above) may, in consideration of their charge and trouble, be allowed such additional quantity of lands within the six miles limits by the Governor as shall be thought an adequate reward etc., not exceeding 300 acres per person. Their services to be certified to the Governor by petitioner. Prays that the inhabitants whose lots are scituated on the aforesaid rivulet, on condition of their cleansing and clearing it, may be allowed a double lott in the said town in consideration of their extraordinary charge and labour: And as several foreign Protestants who have been obliged to fly their country in Germany and other parts of Europe for the sake of their religion and are well skilled in the production of silk and wine are willing to go and settle at Purrysburgh, petitioner prays H.M. that they may be reputed and received amongst the number of Swiss Protestants which he obliged himself to carry to that place. Signed, Charles Purry, Agent for Colo. John Peter Purry. Copy. 53/4 pp. [C.O. 5, 393. ff. 69–72v., 74v.]
April 18.
Antigua.
139 Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. The box of publick papers comes with this to Mr. Breholt to whom I write to wait upon you with it etc. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 22nd, Read 27th June, 1734. 1 p. Holograph. 1 p. Enclosed,
139. i. List of persons employed and fees taken in the Treasurer's Office, Antigua. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p.
139. ii. List of persons employed and fees taken in the Secretary's Office, St. Kitts. Same endorsement. 2 pp.
139. iii. Docquet of fees taken in the Secretary's Office, Montserrat. Same endorsement. 5 pp.
139. iv. Docquet of fees taken by the Clerk of Assembly, Montserrat. Same endorsement. ½ p. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 118, 126v–128, 129, 130–132, 133v., 134, 139v.]
April 18.
Antigua.
140. Governor Mathew to the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations. I send by this oportunity the following publick papers, besides the duplicates of those I last transmitted to Mr. Popple to be presented to your Lordships. An Act of the Island of Montserat for the more speedy building a church in the parish of St. Anthony. This Act is provided for in the Levy Act of that Island, which I formerly sent. There must be some such provision made for every parish in that Island, for there is not, since the last hurricane, a church standing, and on this article give me leave to observe to your Lordships, that in that one Island, tho' it be otherwise provided by general laws made by General Councils and Assemblys, the parishes are not govern'd by vestrys, or church wardens, nor the Rector paid by parochial levys, No, my Lords, they pay their clergy there out of their publick Treary., and when no levy is rais'd, as there have been intervals of years, the poor parson starves. I am endeavouring to bring them to the same way of thinking in this case, as other H.M. Church of England subjects do, and if your Lordships should think fitt to send me your orders on it, they would greatly assist me in obtaining this new regulation, at least in those parishes where the inhabitants are mostly Protestants, for there is one parish almost wholly Irish Roman Catholicks, as indeed is the better half of the inhabitants in all the Island. The Secretary of that Island telling me there were four Acts of that Island in his office, passd by Mr. Smith, the Commander in Chief before my arrival, I took them to send to your Lordships. They are vizt. 1 An Act for constituting a Court Merchant; 2 for naturalizing William Vessuup etc.; 3 to ammend a clause in the Court Act: 4 to explain the Sessions Act. With these 1 send an Act of that Island providing three hundred pounds p. an. that Island's currency for my support payable in sugars, just half what they settled on Lord Londonderry. I hope your Lordships will be so good to me as to let it be laid before H.M. with your report in my favour. They offerd mc four hundred pounds a year, if I would promise to reside three months in the year in that Island, but this was so out of proportion with my duty to Antigua and the other Islands, contrary to the intent of H.M. Instruction, a summe that exceeded what Nevis had given me, that was better able than Montserat, and would have broke through the resolution I had evry where else most strictly pursud of owing wholly to H.M. recommendation these additional sallarys, not to any the least stipulation or sollicitation of my own, that I refus'd it and chose a less provision, as your Lordships will find by the Minutes of both Council and Assembly of that Island and these I send herewith vizt. Minutes of the Council of Montserat from 22 Dec., 1733, to 25 March, 1734. Minutes of the Assembly of Montserat from 6 Novr., 1733, to 25 March, 1734, I likewise send the docket of fees taken by the Secretary in that Island and the Clerk of the Assembly's dockett. The list of six persons to fill up vacancys in the Council of Montserat which I transmitted to your Lordships from St. Christophers, must be alterd. For Michael White, William Fenton Senr. and Peter Lee Esqr. refuse coming to that Board. I found but five Councillors there, one of them the Revd, Mr, Cruikshank very old and infirm, and these are but just a quorum. I got them however to attend constantly till my settlement was determind, that no surmise or suspicion might be that I had any views in my choice for my own sake, but that being over, to make up the number seven as H.M. directs, I swore into that Council Simeon Bouveron and George Wyke junr., Esqrs. I am humbly of opinion in an Island where there might be even more candidates for the honour of sitting at a West India Council Board, these two gentlemen would allways be thought worthy of it and I did not swear John Roynon Esqr., he being Trearer., and since I was there, I am of opinion a Trearer. ought to be a member of neither House. I send the Minutes of the Assembly of Nevis from 8 March, 1732/3, to 25 March, 1734, Minutes of the Council of St. Christophers from the 8 October, 1733, to 20 Feb., 1734, and the St. Christophers Secry's office dockett of fees and with these three Acts of that Island vizt. 1 An Act for giving an estate of inheritance in fee simple to such of the inhabitants of this Island as have built or shall build houses within the several fortifications of Brimstone Hill, Charles Fort and Fort Londonderry; 2 for obliging the churchwardens and vestrymen of the parish of St. George Basseterre to keep watch in the town of Basseterre and Irish Town by night etc; 3 for reducing the fee of three shillings p. sheet taken by the Secry. as Clerk in Chancery for the copys of bills and answers in the said Court filed in the Secretary's Office and for appointing a more reasonable fee in the room thereof. As to the first of these laws, I am to inform your Lordships that about twelve years ago when I undertook fortifying Brimstone Hill, I at the same time recommended a law to encourage the inhabitants to provide within the works houses to shelter their familys from the weather in case of the Hill being invested by an enemy and to make their confinement there sit more easily on them, and not make them think too soon of surrendring, and then a law was made giving a right of 52 years. But no enemy was then or since, till of late, thought of, and that, and a subsequent Act did not build one house, except that as an example to others, but in vain, I built a house there. But now the danger seemd to come within view, I got this new law on foot and passd and the first accot. we get of the danger being nearer still, will set a many at work. I laid out a great many spots of land as directed by this Act before I left that Island. As for the fortifying, that is closely pursuing and likely to be continued now till that Island will be in my humble opinion, out of danger of submitting to any enemy. I pray leave to referr to the Minutes of Council and Assembly for what I have on this article recommended to them, and on which the Assembly came to suitable resolutions before I left that Island to go to Montserat. The second of these laws, I will not trouble your Lordships with any remarks of mine upon; it speaking plainly for itself, except that I took some pains to have appeals to the Legislature, instead of having them to the Courts of Law, wch. would reduce evry grievance to an expensive suit, but the lawyers would have it. otherwise, and I chose rather to pass this law their way than reject it. The third law I must observe more particularly upon, as I apprehend there will be much said before your Lordships for and against. This law is suspended in its execution till confirmd by H.M. And by H.M. Instructions I could not otherwise have assented to it. Mr. Secretary Smith, who oposed this bill, as touching the Revenue of his Office very considerably, wrote me a letter after it had passd the Assembly to induce me to reject it. For that (letting me know too he soon intended for England) this Act took from him a fee settled originally by law and ever since enjoyd by his predecessors and him, therefore this was a downright encroachment on his patent, against H.M. Instructions to me and against a case in point determind by your Lordships and for it appeals to your Lordship's letter to the Govr. of the Leeward Islands 18 July, 1727. He further observd to me how the Assembly of St. Christophers had not observd that letter, that he still was upon that accot. a sufferer as well as by the Judges' Clerk usurping a part of his office, that his enemys designd ruining his office for opposing their irregulartys whilst he was at the Council Board, which he was going to lay before H.M., and that the suspending clause did not releive him from the trouble and expence of a sollicitation in England to get this Act rejected, or that it ever was the intention of the Crown to permitt bills to pass with a suspending clause that takes away a right from a man about which there is no manner of doubt. These reasons made me doubt what I should do. They kept me in suspence on one side, and on the other if the fee was exorbitant,' twas high time to releive those concernd from it. This releif I could not give you without a law, nor that law but with the suspending clause, and if Mr. Smith's right is an indefeasible right, he would find it in his success at home, and if the grievances not being releivd would be chargd no where. He gave in a petition much to the purport of the above letter, and the prayer was to be heard by himself or Council before the bill passd. This was granted, and a long time for it. But on ye day, his deputy told me he had applyd to a lawyer, who refusd appearing, saying' twas appearing against his own opinion on the matter, and on my asking whether I should appoint him Council, he told me no, he beleivd they all thought as this one he would have engagd did, and therefore the bill must take its course. In the mean while I had wrote to the Attorney Genll. at Antigua (a gentleman of great worth and fair caracter) for some of his sentiments on this matter. His answer determind me for passing the bill, for among other things, he sent me what I chiefly wanted, that was, what the fee was at Antigua, for what three shillings had all along been paid at St. Christophers, and that he wrote me was but ninepence. I could then waver no longer, when ye inhabitant of St. Christophers was willing by this new law to tax himself eighteen pence, for what the Antigua man paid but half that price. I humbly submitt myself. I send-a list of persons employd and of fees taken in the Treasurer's Office at Antigua. I am forcd to send these paper so incoherently, because I can get them no otherwise, it gives your clerks the trouble of placing ym in order. There are many more I ought to send, but I was a long time after my arrival so very ill, I could not do much business, what indulgence your Lordships will please to give me on that score, I will endeavour to merit, by following my duty, now I have health, very closely. I have seen printed mapps of Antigua, St. Christophers and Nevis, but I cannot learn any one ever was made for Montserat. Whilst I was there, I attempted some such thing, and hope to have it to present to your Lordships herewith, or by the very next oportunity. I will not warrant it exact, as if I had actually surveyd it by admeasurement, but I think it very like the Island, and not very eronious. Among the many things I laid before your Lordships as necessary for the security of these Islands in case of a warr, I omitted two things and beg tho' this letter is grown so long I may now lay them before you. Let any one of these Islands be attackd, I shall find, I am well assurd, the other three cold enough in their zeal to assist the fourth in danger, either fearing to weaken themselves, or for other reasons. I may indeed by the power H.M. has given me, call many to go with me, but if they won't, I see no remedy. The Articles of warr will stand but in little stead, where the Court is to be composd of Judges of the same mind with the offenders. The King's Regiment I know I can compel to go. But then, my Lords, vessels must be hird or pressd. These must be appraisd as to their value, victuald, and the hire paid. I shall stand answerable for all this. The Island of Nevis has owd me £300 above thirty years on such an article, and never would or will pay me. This service must be done, if these vessels should fall into an enemy's hands, it may bring a debt upon me, I may hardly be able to bear. The Island I carry succours from, to be sure will pay nothing. The Island I carry them too, when an enemy is gone off, may not remain able. There is an old law making some provision for these emergencys, but' tis now out of date, and from the new face these Islands have (since that law was made) now put on, the proportions mentiond in that law are most preposterous. St Christophers by that law pays but ⅓ of what Nevis is to contribute, and but ½ of what Montserat is to pay. But the produce of St. Christophers at this time of day is double the produce of both those Islands. I beg your Lordships will consider this, and obtain some directions from H.M. to cover me from this danger of ruining my family in his service. In the meanwhile I will try what can be done here in each of these Islands, that is by putting to them, how farr they will go to pay for the succours brought to them. Still I shall be in danger without H.M. protection. The Laws and my post may keep me out of a gaol here, but I shall be open to prosecutions on my return to England. The other point I pray leave to lay before your Lordships is: a Governour of the Leeward Islands is under great disadvantages a Governour of any other Colony is not. This Colony is of many Islands, the Governour's duty calls upon him frequently to visit them all. These visitts are so many sea voyages, attended with expence. The ship of warr is not allways at hand to give the Governour a passage, and the Captain of this Station Ship (which indeed is not the case now) is sometimes as willing to do anything else. The Governour then is reduced to hire the vessel he can, this expence with laying in provisions for the usual guard that goes with him and such gratuitys as are expected from him and he must bestow, is not trivial. I was forcd to make my passage so from St. Christophers to Montserat, and thence to Antigua. I assure your Lordships it cost me in extraordinary expence not so little as fifty guineas. I would therefore humbly offer, and entreat your Lordships countenance and protection in the sollicitation I have desird Mr. Coope to undertake. That a vessel of small burthen, be it sloop or yacht, might be bestowd by H.M. on this Government, to be wholly disposd of as the Governour shall think fitt. That she have ten three pounders, and as many swivel guns, and that towards maintaining her, I mean paying the crews' wages, victualling and keeping her in repair, H.M .would please to give his casual Revenue in this Government and his third on all captures. Towards manning her a serjt. and his guard of the regiment here might allways be kept and victuald in her, in case of a warr a bigger guard and a subaltern, the rest saylours. Such a vessel, beside tending the Governour in his passing from one Island to another, might allways be at hand to assist the officers of the Customs, might be as a guard de côte both to protect our own trade, as also to break through the clandestine trade (notwithstanding the late Act of Parliament made for our releif) still at noon day carryd on (by Road Island vessels especially) from the French Islands, with molass to that Island, and other northern Colonys, and indeed, my Lords, we are in utter want of such a vessel for this purpose, and we dayly see that law eluded, for not having such a one. But if a warr happen, here is a fine privateer or station vessel, to attend the ships of warr and pursue the enemy in such shoal water as H.M. ships cannot follow them in. And on an Island being invaded this vessel may stand in great stead towards releiving the late difficulty I mentiond of transporting succours where wanted. I assure your Lordships I exagerate no one circumstance in this state of our wants. For the rest I submitt myself to your Lordships' better judgement. I send an Act of the Island of Antigua entitled An Act for building a platform, cisterns or reservoirs of water at English Harbour in this Island for the use of H.M. Ships of warr. I can give your Lordships no other remarks on this than that it shows how willing this Island is to do their utmost for their own safety, by engaging thus H.M. ships of warr to be much here, for the protection of this Island. I allways am with greatest respect. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 20th, Read 27th June, 1734. Holograph. 10 pp. [C.O. 152, 20. ff. 119–124v., 125v.]
April 19.
Whitehall.
141. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Committee of Privy Council. Upon petition of Thomas Parke (v. 8th Jan.) recommend that H.M. order Governor Mathew "to move the Assembly of Antigua to direct the Treasurer to examine what proceedings have been had thereon and settle the claim of petitioners and afterwards to pay them such sums as shall appear to have been due to Daniel Parke Eqre. at the time of his death." [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 254–256.]
April 20.
St. James's.
142. H.M. warrant appointing Thomas Hals to the Council of Jamaica. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle Copy [C.O. 324, 36. p. 457.]
April 20.
St. James's.
143. H.M. warrant appointing John Gollop to the Council of Barbados. Countersigned, Holles Newcastle. Copy. [C.O. 324, 36. p. 456.]
1734.
April 23.
Whitehall.
144. Mr. Popple to Mr. Burchett. Reply to 18th inst. Encloses usual Heads of Enquiry relating to the Fishery at Canco. Same as C.S.P. March 30, 1731. Concludes:—My Lord Muskery having a Commission and Instructions for the Government of Newfoundland from His Majesty, my Lords Commissioners have nothing further to offer upon that head for this year. [C.O. 218, 2. p. 298; and 195, 7. p. 340.]
April 24.145. Council of Trade and Plantations to the Duke of Newcastle. Enclose copies of Capt. Taverner's Memorials (v Feb. 2nd and 12th, 1734) relating to French settlers at Portabask Harbour etc. Continue:—This Board have always thought it was not for the interest of the Fishery of Newfoundland to encourage settlements there, even of H.M. subjects; But as a settlement of the French upon a part of Newfoundland, where the French King's subjects have not any right even to catch or cure fish, must prove of ill consequence upon account of illegal trade which they carry on; and as they cannot fall under the description of those who were permitted to remain there by virtue of the Treaty of Utrecht, we are of opinion they ought to have notice to depart; and therefore we desire your Grace will please to receive H.M. orders that my Lord Muskery, who is now going Governor of Newfoundland and Commodore of the Convoy designed to protect the Fishery in those parts, may be instructed accordingly. Autograph signatures. Endorsed, Copy sent to Ld. Waldegrave and the Lords of the Admiralty, May 13th, 1734. 2 pp. Enclosed,
145. i., ii. Copies of Memorials from Capt. Taverner to Board of Trade, of Feb. 2nd and 12th. [C.O. 194, 23. Nos. 43, 43 i., ii, and without enclosures, C.O. 195, 7. pp. 340–2.]
April 24.
Barbados.
146. Governor Lord Howe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Encloses duplicate of last letter and act for regulating fees, and sends Minutes of Council 17th Oct.—20th March, list of inhabitants and Journal of Assembly 13th Nov.—6th April, 1734 etc. Recommends for Council Mr. John Gollop, to fill the place of Mr. Pilgrim, who has died in London. Signed, Howe. Endorsed, Recd. 26th June, Read 2nd July, 1734. 1 p. Enclosed,
146. i. An account of the inhabitants of Barbados. Men, 4917, women, 5822, boys, 3745, girls, 3629. Total, 18,113. Negroes, 46,362. White men fit to bear arms, 4,708. Endorsed as preceding. ¼p. [C.O. 28, 24. ff. 52, 53, 54 v].
[? April 24.]
Barbados.
147. Governor Lord Howe to the Duke of New castle. Duplicate of preceding covering letter. Without date, signature or endorsement. 1 p. [C.O. 28, 45. f. 313.]
April 24.
Whitehall.
148. Lord Harrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. H.M. having been pleased to appoint Henry Cunningham Esqr. to be Governor of Jamaica in the room of Robert Hunter Esqr.; it is H.M. pleasure, that the draughts of his Commission and Instructions may be prepared, in order to be laid before H.M. for his approbation. Signed, Harrington. Endorsed, Recd. Read 25th April, 1734. ¾ p. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 25, 29v.]
April 25.
Whitehall.
149. Council of Trade and Plantations to Secretary Lord Harrington. Enclose following to be laid before the King. Annexed,
149. i. Same to the King. Submit following.
149. ii. Draught of H.M. Commission for Henry Cunningham Esq. to be Governor of Jamaica. In the same form as Governor Hunter's Commission, March 14, 1727, q.v
April 26.
Tower Hill.
150. Mr. Harris to Mr. Popple. Sr., Two days since I received the letter from Jamaica, whereof the enclosed is an extract, relating to the rebellion of the negroes on that island. And which I am sorry to find answers my fears which I expressed when I had the honour of attending the Board some time since, vizt. that our next letters would bring advices, that slaves from many plantations would soon join their fellows, on the successes they had had over the partys sent against them. So, as the island would quickly be in imminent danger and I wish our future advices on this subject may not be worse and worse, the consequence whereof being too important to remain in silence, I therefore thought it my duty to trouble you herewith in order to be laid before your honble Board from, Signed, Rd. Harris. Endorsed, Recd. 26th April, Read 1st May, 1734. 1 p. Enclosed,
150. i. Extract of a letter from Jamaica dated the 15th February. 1733/4. We received advice yesterday from Port Antonio of 22 plantation negroes, and some which belonged to the party having deserted and gone over to the rebells, and from St. Thomas in the East, we have an account of about 40 able Cormantine negroes having deserted their masters, and it is supposed are likewise gone over to them. This has occasioned a fresh alarm, and some people are under such apprehensions, that it is confidently reported the Governour has thought of Martial Law as the only means of preventing the infection from spreading; The Assembly is now sitting, and we shall soon know their resolutions. In fine this affair has been a meer trade for some years, and the country bubled out of vast sums, the consequence we fear may prove fatall to us if some measures are not speedily taken to suppress those rebells, who certainly encrease in strength and are grown very insolent upon the success they have met with. We doubt the country is not able without some assistance from England to do it effectually, and therefore we hope our friends will in time consider what is necessary to be done towards it. We forgot to mention that 29 negroes belonging to H.M. and imployed in clearing Lynch's Island which forms Port Antonio Harbour, were likewise going to the rebells but were intercepted by a party sent after them, and are now in irons on board one of the men-of-war. Copy. 11/8 pp. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 43, 44, 46v.]
April 26.
Portsmouth.
N. Hampshire.
151. Lt. Governor Dunbar to Governor Belcher. Your Excellency may remember the complaint I made you when last here, of the opposition I met with from time to time in the town of Exeter, and of the great wasts committed on the white pine trees by people imployed in that town, particularly by Coll. Gilman, Major Gilman, and Major Thyng, all in the Commission of the Peace there, and in my complaint I told your Excellency that whilst the owners of mills were magistrates and officers it would be impossible to restrain the people from destroying the king's woods, and Major Thyng pleading his innocency and little concern in logging or sawing, I compared him to the late Jona Wild of London, who neither robbed or stole himself, but was in confederacy with a 1000 theives and robbers, I am now to acquaint your Excellency that on Fryday the 5th instant I went to Copyhold Mill in the township of Exeter, where 87,000 feet of white pine boards are by the Court of Admiralty decreed to H.M. as being sawed out of forfeited logs, and having some intimation of a design to insult me, I ordered an officer and 12 men of the Exeter troop to attend me; upon my arrival at the said mill, I was saluted by hallowing, shrieking and many small armes from the woods contiguous to ye mill, Major Gilman was there, but denied he knew who the men were, who kept fireing and hallowing, and running in gangs to and fro, as if they would be believed to be Indians, he asked me what I intended to do with the forfeited boards, I answered if I could not sell them to defray the charges of prosecutions I would separate them from boards that were not condemned, and burn them, he replyed with warm yt. they should not be burnt on his land, the king had no business on his land, and should burn no boards there, I was a good deal provoked at such disrespectfull expressions, however bridled my resentmt. and came away, and as soon as my back was turned, several of the men who made the noise in the woods came with their armes to the Major, laughed and talked to him, but he chid them, wch. I think was short of his duty as a magistrate; as soon as I returned to town I acquainted the Council with the insult I had received and desired their advice upon it, Mr. Waldron for the majority told me, it was not their business to advise, but properly a lawyer's, and did not so much as minute down that I asked the Council's advice upon it, thus am I treated here. I am now to acquaint your Excellency that on Monday last I hired and pressed ten men and a boat to go to Exeter and thence to Copyhold and Blackrock Mills to separate and mark with the broad arrow the forfeited boards, which at these two mills amot. to 200,400 feet, and sent an order to Coll. Gilman to send an officer and 24 men to each mill to protect the men imployed in separating and marking, and with the men on Tuesday I wrote to the Collo., a copy whereof is inclosed; on Tuesday afternoon I followed them and carried with me Mr. Justice Penhallow and Doctor Peirce, and ordered Sheriff Russel to meet me next Monday at Exeter, we lay on Tuesday night at Newmarkett, and fortunately we did so, for as soon as candles were lighted, a great number of men rushed into the house where my 10 men were to lodge at Exeter, and where I usually lay, put out the candles and beat and abused them to that degree that some are in danger and most of them disabled for some time to come; and in the time of this tragedy one cryed out, while they were upon a man that is mostly in my family, smurder the dog outright, he belongs to Dunbar, I hope this can be proved upon one who is no small man among them. On Wednesday morning I went to Exeter and ordered the 2 Gilman's Justices, and Major Thyng with Cpt. Penhallow to take the examinations of the wounded men and any other relating to the fact, I was ashamed to see the behaviour of the three Exeter Justices, every one present judged them promoters of it, they sayd very little, but in excuse for those accused, Major Gilman and Major Thyng with sanctified fizzes sayd they heard nothing of it untill 9 O'clock next morning, which is scarce credible when the outcry of murder was heard more than a mile from the town. The boat was cut to peices at Coll. Gilman's wharfe, and one sail, the other stolen, one man was thrown out of a window, another carried by 4 of the riotters, and thrown from a pile of boards 20 feet into the mudd, and almost killed; I send your Excellency a copy of Mr. Greely's affidt. proveing the design to murther me, and before it was spoke of Coll. Gilman among the Justices desired and advised me not to go to Copyhold, for that I should run very great danger, which I think is a proof that he is privy to the intention in Mr. Greely's affidavit, tho' I beleive the Indians therein mentioned are Exeter men disguised as such, or how could Nettick Indians in ambush know Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Greely and me, from other people. I have ordered the Council to meet this day, when I intend to propose to them issuing a Proclamation while the thing is hott with a reward and pardon for the discovery. I will send your Excie. copys of the examinations and the proceedings of Council upon them by next opportunity, I intend also to propose summoning the Exeter justices to be examined before the Council. Signed, David Dunbar. 13/4 pp. [C.O. 5, 10. ff. 98–99.]
April 27.
Whitehall.
152. Mr. Popple to the Agent of Barbados. My Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, having under consideration the condition of H.M. Island Plantations in America, with respect to their defence, have commanded me to desire, you will give them the best information you can of what quantity and sorts of stores of war are necessary for the defence of the Island of Barbados, as likewise an account what laws have been pass'd since the year 1702, or so far back as you are able, in the said Island for raising money for the repairs of the fortifications, for the establishing a Militia, or other defence of that Island, and what money has been charged and raised on the inhabitants of the sd. Island for the said purposes; and how, and to what uses the same has been applyed, and also what number of men there are at present able to bear arms for the defence of the Island, and from what cause is the decrease of white men there, and what encouragement is wanting to induce new settlers. To all which you are desired to return speedy and full answers so soon as possible.
Similar letter, mutatis mutandis, to the Agents of Antigua, Nevis, St. Christophers and Montserrat. [C.O. 29, 15. p. 434.]
April 29.
Portsmouth,
N.11.
153. Lt. Governor Dunbar to Governor Belcher. Refers to his letter of 26th, and his summoning the Council to offer a reward for discovering the rioters at Exeter etc. Continues: I was exceedingly surprized at the behaviour of six of eight gentn. of the Council then present, who have refused taking any notice of it, or joining in the Proclamation proposed, Mr. Secry. Waldron will send your Excellency the Minutes of Council, which I have told him were partially taken, but that is his custom in anything relating to me; as soon as I proposed that Proclamation with the reward, that gentleman as a Councillour asked me from whence should the mony come, I reply'd from the publique, and I would advance it and trust to the next Genl. Court for a reimbursement, upon which most of the gentlemen voted for it, but upon his saying that I had no power to issue Proclamations, that belonging only to your Excellency, they retracted, and refused—or advising such a Proclamation, and now the currant talk about town is that the Council refused doing anything in it, which will encourage the country to proceed as they have begun; this will sound well at home where it shall be impartially related with proofs, in the mean time the people who have destroyed the king's woods not only go unpunished but reap the benefit of their robbery, to the value of near two thousand pounds in boards and condemned logs, and His Majesty must pay the expence of prosecutions as adjudged in New England, wch. if I am not mistaken is contrary to the Laws of England, but laws and Royal orders are [? not] much regarded here, witness a thousand instances, and among them where Royal Commissions and Mandamus's are disobey'd; and wrested constructions put upon them against the sense of all mankind except a few concerned: I have wrote so often and being convinced of a villainous practice of intercepting my letters, that I think myself under a necessity of going to London to lay my complaint before His Majesty and Ministers, and for that end I desire your consent as far as it is necessary; my staying here henceforward can serve no purpose, for I am persuaded no body will advise my going again into the woods. I have given orders at the Fort that no vessel laden with lumber at mills where forfeited boards lye shall pass the Fort, if I cant justifye this, I will recall it upon your Excellency's advice, and if I can, it would be proper to advertize it in the newspapers, to prevent lumber vessels from going to any branch of Piseataqua River in New Hampshire side. This is all the revenge or remedy left to punish villains that conspire against His Majesty, however to endeavour all that is possible to detect them, I have ordered Mr. Jaffrey, Mr. Gambling, Mr. Peirce and Mr. Penhallow to summon the three Exeter Justices, and others to examine them; I am convinced that Mr. Slade, whom I have lately discharged from being one of my deputys, has been instrumental in inciting yt riott, having as it was proved at the examinations at Exeter, told the country people yt. I was sending to bum the boards yt. were forfeited. When the examinations are taken of the Exeter justices. I will transmitt copys to your Excellency. Signed, David Dunbar. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 10. ff 100, 100 v].]
April 30.
Charles Town.
154. Governor Johnson to the Council of Trade and Plantations. The first Sessions of the new Assembly ended the 9th of this month, when 17 bills were assented to, which shall be transmitted to your Lordsps. as soon as possible. By this conveyance which is the Aldborough man of war, (in which Mr. Oglethorpe takes his passage for England,) I send to Mr. Fury, our Agent, the humble Address of the Governour Council and Assembly of this Province to H.M.; the humble Remonstrance of the same on the Currency, and the Memorial and Representation of the State of the Province as to the dangers we are in from our neighbouring French, Spaniards and Indians. The Assembly have made provision for mounting the artillery, and we shall take all the properest measure we are able to put our selves in the best posture of defence in case the rupture in Europe should happen to affect this part of H.M. Dominions etc. Signed, Robt. Johnson. Endorsed, Recd. Read 2nd July, 1734. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 363. ff. 76, 76 v., 76 (a) v.]