America and West Indies
September 1734, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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1953

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242-248

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'America and West Indies: September 1734, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 242-248. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72768 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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September 1734, 16-30

Sept. 16.
Jamaica,
Spanish Town.
316. President Ayscough to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My Lords, the duplicates of my letters to your Lordships, of the 21st of August last, are sent by the first opportunity. In the Act for the additional allowance to the forces expected here, your Lordships will observe that the Assembly have provided for them only to the 28th day of next March, for that the Act for the Subsisting of the two Independant Companys here does expire at that time, and then the future provision for them will commence altogether from that day. The duty on wines is laid for a less time than one year, for the subsistance of the soldiers to the 28th of March next, for the reason before given; but I thought it proper to lay before the Council, H.M. Instruction on that head, for their advice, before I gave my consent, the reasons of whose opinion I have inclosed to your Lordships. I must acquaint your Lordships that by a hurricane, that was very violent for a few hours, above the half of the Island from the eastward, suffered considerably, which with the heavy rains that before fell, has hindered the marching of our partys against the rebells, but they are ready to proceed on their intended expedition, as soon as the weather will permitt. I have here inclosed to your Lordships an account of the damage the ships sustained and what sloops and vessels were drove ashore. It has been thought by the Legislature, very necessary to remove the main body of the party from Port Antonio to Port Morant situated on the south side, not only on the account that the men have been unfitt for service, through their excessive drinking in the unlicenced punch houses (although there are severe laws made against such that keep them) but also from the great danger and inconvenience of a deep, and rapid river, that lies between the Breast work, and the rebells' Town; which in any quantity of rain falling is not fordable, and such a number of men is only kept there as may serve to defend the breast work, and the out settlements, there being a nearer way found out from the South side, to come at the rebells, where there are no rivers to hinder their march. In the last session there is an Act passed on my recommendation of it to Legislature, for laying an inland duty of seven pence halfpenny p. gallon on rum consumed by retail in this Island, which tax, if well collected will raise five or six thousand pounds per. ann. and will not be found burthensome to the country: This project if well seconded in another session may be of great service to the country, for an additional duty of this sort will ease the people of the greatest part of the heavy taxes they now labour under. For the conveniency of H.M. Navy the Assembly have passed an Act for vesting certain lands in Port Royal in H.M. for their use. I herewith send to your Lordships all the Acts that were passed this last session as also the Minutes of the Assembly which is prorogued to Tuesday the first day of October next. I am likewise to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordships' letter, and the proposal sent to General Hunter in relation to the assistance we might have from the Musquita Indians against the rebellious negroes which was taken into consideration by the Council; but they are known to be a people too weak and tender in their constitution and in no wise warlike or enured to hardship and very unfitt for any military services especially in the woods. I shall send the Journals and Minutes of the Council by the first opportunity etc. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Dec., 1734, Read July 11th, 1735. 2 pp. Enclosed,
316. i. Minute of Council of Jamaica, 31st Aug., 1734. The Governor desired the opinion of the Council whether the bill for raising several sums of money etc. was not inconsistent with H.M. 16th Instruction to Governor Hunter etc. The Council advised that the necessities of the government were such, as would in some measure justify their deviating from H.M. Instruction, more especially as the bill is to provide for the reception and subsistence of H.M. troops, in accordance with H.M. requirement etc. Endorsed, Recd. 4th Dec, 1734. Copy. ¾ p.
316. ii. List of vessels that received damage and run on shoar the 31st Aug., 1734. 6 ships, including H.M.S. Scarborough; 3 snows, 1 brigantine, 15 sloops, 2 schooners. Most are already got off, and it is expected that not above 4 or 5 will be lost. Endorsed as preceding. 1 p. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 169, 170—171, 172 v.—173 v.]
Sept, 16.
Jamaica,
Spanish Town.
317. President Ayscough to the Duke of Newcastle. Repeats gist of preceding covering letter. Signed, J. Ayscough. Endorsed, R, 7th Dec, 1734. 2 pp. Enclosed,
317. i, ii. Duplicates of encl. i, ii preceding. [C.O. 137, 55. ff. 108, 109—110, 112.]
Sept. 17.
N. Carolina.
318. Governor Burrington to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My Lords, being directed by the ninth instruction to give your Lordships notice, if I suspend any member of the Council in this Province, without acquainting the other councelors therewith, and allso to render your Lordships my reasons for so doing: I trouble your Board with this letter to inform your Lordships that yesterday I suspended Nathaniel Rice Esqr. Secretary of this Province from his seat in Council; the reasons for so doing were, the preservation of my life, and the peace of this countrey. Lately there was a villainous contrivance to murder me, I have reason to think, and believe, Mr. Rice was deeply concern'd in that wickedness. I design to send your Lordships a clear account of this matter in the next sett of Council Journals. My Lords, many times the Councellours have been summoned, several Courts have passed, when the Council ought to sit and meet in course yet I have not been able to make up a sufficient number of members to hold a Council, nor Court of Chancery since July Court last was twelve months. Therefore Mr. Halton and Mr. Ashe are summoned to appear, att the Council Chamber on the 25th of this month, to shew cause why they have absented themselves. It is allmost two years that Halton has neglected comeing to Courts or Council; Mr. Ashe and Mr. Rice more than a year. I purpose soon to fill up the Council to the number limited by the Instructions, that the business of the country may be carried on in the usual course which I hope will prove to the good likeing of the Lords of Trade and Plantations. Signed, Geo. Burrington. Endorsed, Recd. 16th Decr., 1734, Read 3rd Sept., 1735. 1¾ pp. [C.O. 5, 294. ff. 185, 185 v., 190 v.]
Sept. 17.
N. Carolina.
319. Same to the Duke of Newcastle. Last year Mr. Fury gave me intelligence that H.M. had appointed a new Governour for this province; impatiently I expected his comeing (being very desirous to be rid of my charge) and notwithstanding the horrible villainys. Rice, Smith, and Montgomery had carried on against me, in this country, and in England, I refrained from giveing them disturbance etc. For the preservation of his own life, however, has suspended Rice etc. (v. preceding). Hopes speedily to receive the King's leave for coming home etc. Thinks the Board of Trade should await his return before making alterations in the Instructions etc. Signed, Geo. Burrington. Endorsed, R. 13th Dec. 2 pp. [C.O. 5, 309. No. 3.]
Sept. 20.320. Mr. Fane to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Has no objection to 4 Acts of Jamaica passed in 1731. Signed, Fran. Fane. Endorsed, Recd.1⅓ pp. [C.O. 137, 21. ff. 88,88 v., 93 v.]
Sept. 25.
Treasury
Chambers.
321. Mr. Scrope to Mr. Popple. The Lords Commissrs. of H.M. Treasury have had some papers lately communicated to them, by which they are given to understand that the King's woods particularly in the Province of Main in New England are cut down and destroyed by the country people there at pleasure; and it appearing to their Lordships etc. that the differences and disputes which are subsisting between the Govr. and the King's Surveyor in those parts, as also between the said Surveyor and his deputies or some of them give opportunity to the country to make the destruction complained of, or at least, delays the taking such measures for the King's Service, as may put a stop to such destructions, and hinder and restrain the riotous and disorderly proceedings of the country people therein, etc., encloses following to be laid before the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations for their consideration. Signed, J. Scrope. Endorsed, Recd. 25th Sept., 1734. 1 p. Enclosed,
321. i. List of papers enclosed.
321. ii. Copy of a letter from Arthur Slade, Boston, June 29, 1734, to the Commissioners of the Navy, relating to the Surveyor of Woods in New England.
Sept. 26.
Whitehall.
322. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Lord Howe. You will perceive by the copy of our letter to General Mathew, H.M. Governor of the Leeward Islands sent you inclos'd that the Danes are settling Sta. Cruz under a French purchase. It has been thought for some time that this Island belong'd to the Crown of Great Britain, and your Lordship will do an acceptable service to the publick, if you can collect any proofs to support the King's title to it, and transmit them under the seal of your Island to us. [C.O. 29. 16. p. 36.]
Sept. 26.
Whitehall.
323. Council of Trade and Plantations to Governor Mathew. Have transmitted extract of his letter of 19th March to Lord Harrington etc. (v. 12th Sept.). Continue:—As to the island of St. John, there can be no manner of doubt, but that it certainly belongs to H.M. But we have not quite so clear proofs of the British title to that of St. Cruz; yet as this last is certainly a very valuable island, and the settlement thereof by any other nation might prove prejudicial to us, we must desire you to get what proofs you can from the ancient inhabitants under your Government to fortifie our pretentions to it; you will take such depositions as you can collect for this purpose upon oath, and transmit them under the seal of ye Leeward Islands to our Board. But that you may be the better inform'd what sort of proof will be most material in this case; we shall give you a state of the affair as it appears to us from such materials as we have hitherto met with etc. Give a short history of Sta. Cruz (cf. 27th June, 1733 and 12th Sept., 1734). Continue:—It would be very material to settle the following points, vizt. (i) In what year the French removed to St. Domingo in Hispaniola? (ii) What claims they have at any time put in, and when, to preserve their right to this island since they removed their last Colony from thence. As to the first of these points, that is, the time of dereliction, some fix it in 1671, others in 1691. But the French authors say positively, it was not till 1696; and if this last assertion should be true, the Treaty of Breda in 1667, and that of neutrality with France in 1686, will be insuperable difficulties in the way of our title, unless we can support our right upon the foot of dereliction by the law of Nations, a very nice point, in which the greatest lawyers have often differed, and therefore it would be very material to shew, if we can, that the French left this island before the Treaty of Neutrality, and that even during the time they possessed it, we put in our claim, and made several efforts for the recovery of it. But if nothing of this sort can be proved, we shall then be reduced to the single point of dereliction, in which case it will be necessary to prove that we have had an uninterrupted possession of Sta. Crux ever since the French removed from thence, that we have had regular settlements, and Govrs. established there by proper authority. And this brings us to the second enquiry etc. (above). For if the French have frequently claim'd this island, if they have taken our vessels tradeing there, or in general exercised any other acts of property to preserve their right; we are apprehensive, such proceedings will make it very difficult to assert our title to this island, how desirable soever it may be, to prevent its being settled by any other nation. By this state of the case you will see where the difficulties lye on our part; and you will do a very acceptable peice of service to the publick if you can remove them. It is certainly both our duty and yours, to assert the right of the British Crown in all her just pretentions, But it is also our duty not to engage the Crown too far in a dispute without a sufficient foundation. We therefore recommend to you to use your utmost endeavours, to enquire into the truth of these facts, and to send us the best answers and proofs concerning them, that we may be enabled to lay a very full report thereupon before H.M. That nothing may be wanting to compleat this inquiry, we have also wrote by this occasion to the Covr. of Barbados, upon the same subject for his assistance there. [C.O. 153, 15. pp. 266–275.]
Sept, 26.
Treasury
Chambers.
324. Mr. Scrope to Mr. Popple. In reply to letter of Dec. 18, 1733, the Lords of the Treasury very readily consent to the expense of sending maps of the British Empire in America to each of the Governments there. Signed, J. Scrope. Endorsed, Recd. Sept, 20, Read Oct, 23, 1734. Addressed, ¾ p. [C.O. 388, 80. ff. 113, 114 v.]
Sept. 28.
Edenbro.
325. Minutes of Council, North Carolina, Sept. 26–28, 1734. Copy, certified by Robert Forster, Clerk of the Council and Governor Burrington. Seal of Province attached, 25 pp. [C.O. 5, 306. ff. 67, 68–79 v.]
Sept. 29.326. Petty expenses of the Board of Trade, Midsummer to Michaelmas. v. Journal. 5¼ pp. [C.O. 389, 37. ff. 107, 108, 109–110 v.]
Sept. 30.
Admiralty
Office.
327. Mr. Burchett to Mr. Popple. Encloses following. Continues:—"If some speedy stop is not put to those unjust proceedings, the Navy must undoubtedly be distressed for want of the usual supply of masts, etc. I am commanded etc. to desire etc. that the Lords for the Council for Trade etc. may please to send such directions to the Governor of New England, or otherwise, in the most pressing manner, by the ship which will sail from hence to those parts in few days, as they shall judge may most effectually put a stop to those unreasonable obstructions, prosecutions, and abuses" etc. Signed, J. Burchett. Endorsed, Recd. Sept. 30th, Read Oct. 1st, 1734. 1½ pp. Enclosed,
327. i. Ralph Gulston, Contractor for New England masts, to the Commissioners of the Navy. Sept. 27, 1734. Having lately received an account from my Agents in New England of an attempt made there and even carried into execution, which if not prevented, will be of very evil consequence to the Royal service, inasmuch as it may in a great measure divest the Crown of its just right and property to great numbers of white pine trees in those parts fit for masting the Royal Navy, I think it my duty to lay the same before your Honrs. My workmen there having found a fine new vein of trees in the township of Berwick and County of York, which said township has been laid out since the date of their last Charter in 1690, and consequently both by their said Charter, as well as by the late Act of Parliamt. relating to the woods in those parts, all white pine trees of 24 inches diameter and upwards at twelve inches from the ground, whether in private propertys or not, are reserved to the Crown, and until this new instance, the King's right and property, even in the said very county of York, was never yet disputed, insomuch that a very great part of the masts I have ever yet had, for the supply of my contract has been from thence, but the owner or owners of the land upon which the aforesaid new vein of trees was discovered claim them now as their own property, and not only so, but moreover declared that if any person should cut down any of the said trees, they would either destroy them after fell'd, or cut down trees cross any roads that should be made for the hawling them down to the waterside: and accordingly some evil-disposed persons did last winter actually destroy and render unfit four of the said large trees, but the Surveyor General of the Woods interposing his authority and promiseing reward to any that should detect and convict the offenders, put a stop to any further attempts of that nature; the owners of the said lands took another method, which if not put a stop to will entirely divest the Crown of its right and title to the woods, which was this, Several of them brought actions against my workmen, and sued them for damages, not only for cutting down the mast trees, but likewise for cutting down other trees to make roads for hawling the masts down to the waterside etc., and in both cases they recovered damages etc. My Agents further write me, that they are threatned by many other people there, to he prosecuted for like trespasses (as they call them), so that unless something is immediately done from hence, with regard to said prosecutions etc., my workmen may not only be harassed by vexatious prosecutions, but even be hundred from getting any masts etc., for as their tryals are there by a jury of men who are livers there, and possessors of land in the very same county, they become judges in their own cause, and that even where the property of the Crown is concerned, and no redress can be expected there, for as by their laws no appeal to Great Britain is allowed, unless the value is upwards of £300 sterling, it is to be supposed they will always take care to lay their actions for sums under that value, that their determinations may be finally decisive, the consequence whereof must be, that no masts can be had for the Royal service from any propertys at all in that county of York etc., and should these their proceed not be prevented by our Legislature, it may be feared that not only the province of New Hampshire, but others will follow their example etc. If some provision be not made by Parliament for making roads to hawl the masts to the waterside, the King's property to the trees will be no significancion at all etc. Only one ship being designed for New England this autumn, which will depart in a few days, no time ought to be lost in sending the order to the Governor for stopping the prosecutions etc., and moreover least there should be any disturbance from the French or other Indians, I pray that the Governor may be directed to afford guard for the protection of my workmen etc. Copy. 3 pp. [C.O. 5, 876. ff. 67–69, 70v.]