America and West Indies
November 1734, 21-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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1953

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309-319

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'America and West Indies: November 1734, 21-30', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 309-319. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72773 Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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November 1734, 21-30

[Nov. 21.]390. Mr. Ochs to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Refers to former petition for settling a new Colony beyond the mountains of Virginy. The Board reported favourably thereupon, but the Lords Baltimore and Fairfax and Messrs. Pen opposed this project, as having a claim to the land, although it can be undeniably proved by their own Charters, maps, etc., that it lies far beyond their west limits etc. Yet their Lordships were pleased to put a stop to this business, until the said proprietors should have regulated their limits, which they went accordingly to perform in person. Petitioner did not intend to make any further solicitations, but being every year troubled with these poor strangers that came over, to provide them passage, and take care of them, which he hath now done these two years with much loss of time, assisting them in all honesty, integrity, good advice and expenee, having sent last year 57 persons att their request to Pensilvania, and this year in 2 shipps 49 persons to S. Carolina, induces him to offer his service once more, that these people may not only be taken care of for their passages, but also to settle them together etc. If the Board is inclined to promote a colony behind the mountains, petitioner therefore offers to perform it with the utmost care and assiduity, he having been there 25 years labouring to find out the best methods to make a Colony flourishing etc. But having been informed that there has been taken up already about 300,000 akres behind these mountains, the new-comers will be obliged to settle in remote parts, to their great inconveniency. If their Lordships are rather inclined to assign land up to the mountaim in Virginy and going southwards into North Carolina along the sayd mountains for about 150 miles in length and 50 in breadth, he offers to settle them there. The chief reason he chooses near the mountains, is that it will be most agreeable to the constitutions of the Swissers. But as they are about 200 miles from the sea, it will be very chargeable and difficult to bring the people and goods there etc. Signed, John Ochs. Endorsed, Reed., Read 21st Nov. 1734. 1¾ pp. [CO. 5, 1323. ff. 112, 112 v., 117 v.].
Nov. 22.391. Memorial of the Governor and Company of Merchants trading to the South Seas etc. to the Council of Trade and Plantations. Objections to Governor Cunningham's Memorial for permission to lay a duty on negroes imported and exported at Jamaica. Abstract. The Company think it not reasonable that the trade of Great Britain .should be burthened with taxes to ease the weight thereof on a Colony. The Company ought to be considered as a Corporation carrying on a trade under a national contract by most persons agreed to be greatly for the advantage of Great Britain, and therefore to have all possible encouragement, and more particularly from Jamaica to which they are so many ways beneficial, by provisions bought and money spent there etc., and the great increase of negroes brought thither by means of the Asiento trade, out of which the planters may furnish themselves at a cheaper rate and the country duties raise greater sums on the negroes left on the islands than they would otherwise do. '' For as to the common objection that the Company pick the negroes brought to Jamaica and leave only the refuse negroes for the planters, it is well known that the Spaniards are so nice as to size, colour and want of perfection that they will reject a negroe for want of a tooth or a nail or for having a yellow cast, none of which render him worse for the Jamaica planters, but on the contrary the Company's refusing such negroes leave a greater plenty and at a lower rate for the planters. And as to the usual argument that the Company making use of the island, ought to contribute to its support etc., it ought to be considered that they are not owners of any lands in the island, nor are they in the case of merchants sending cargoes thither for a market etc., and therefore as they can receive no particular benefit by the preserving the property there they ought not to be taxed for that purpose " etc. Continue : —There seems no more reason to tax the negroes bought for the use of the Assiento than there would be to make a passenger in an inn at a thoroughfare town contribute to the parish rates, etc. The exigencies of the island have constantly been the pretence for laying this duty. Though the Governor asks for a small duty, yet it allows those duties to be the principal branch of supply. This application is merely a repetition of what has been for several years attempted, and decided in the Company's favour etc. When the Company fixed upon Jamaica as the place from which to cany on the Assiento trade, they were induced thereto from some promises made them that no hardships whatsoever should be put on them, but all the favour imaginable allowed them. The Company on finding themselves treated in a quite contrary manner will be obliged to remove their trade to some other of H.M. Colonys, where the same may be at least to equal advantage carryed on and where they have reason to expect they shall meet with no such impositions. Signed, By Order of the Court of Directors, W. Smith, Secry. Endorsed, Reed., Read Nov. 26th, 1734. 3 pp. Enclosed,
391. i. Abstract of proceedings, 1717–1734, in relation to duties on negroes in Jamaica. 7 pp. [CO. 137, 21. ff. 112–113, 114–117 v.]
Nov. 23.
Barbados.
392. Governor Lord Howe to the Council of Trade and Plantations. I have the honour to inclose to your Lordships duplicates of my last packett. Upon looking into some of the old Council books I found some of the former Governors' Commissions, in which I see there is a clause that no laws pass'd by them shou'd be in force longer than two years unless confirm'd within that time. One of the laws which I represented to your Lordships as necessary to be repeal'd for the benefit of the trade here, intitul'd, An Act to prevent the inconveniencys upon the inhabitants of this Island by forestallers, ingrossers and regrators, dated Novr. 29, 1676, was pass'd when Sr. Jonathan Atkins was Governor, who had the above-mentioned clause in his commission ; but on a strict search into the Council books I cannot find that act has ever been confirmed; therefore as I very much doubted whether that law was yet in force, I had a case stated and order'd H.M. Attorney General to give me his opinion upon it, which I have herewith inclos'd to your Lordships that I may receive directions in what manner I am to proceed in relation to the law mention'd in the above said case. Signed, Howe. Endorsed, Reed. 4th Feb., Read 16th July, 1735. 1½pp. Enclosed,
392. i. State of the case referred to in preceding, with opinion of the Attorney General of Barbados thereupon. Nov. 20, 1734. Signed, J. Blenman. Endorsed as covering letter. 4 closely written pp. [CO. 28, 24. ff. 122– 124 v., 125 v.].
Nov. 24.
Virginia.
393. Lt. Governor Gooch to the Duke of Newcastle. By the conveyance of the ship Williamsburgh bound for London, I have the honour of forwarding to your Grace, the copys of the public transactions in this Government, amongst which are the Journals and Acts of the General Assembly, which seperated the fourth of last moneth. As I flatter myself your Grace will find none of these Acts repugnant to the laws of our Mother Country, nor disagreable to H.M. Instructions, I shall forbear enlarging this letter with any particular observations on them, nor on the Council's Journals which accompany them ; and only add that as both the Journals of Council and Assembly will evidence the honest endeavours of all that have any share in the legislature to promote the interest of trade so necessary to Great Britain as well as to this (Colony ; so it is with great satisfaction that I can assure your (Irace of the perfect quiet and tranquility there is among all ranks of persons in this Government. And I hope the Address of the General Assembly to the King which Mr. Leheup will lay before your Grace, will be a proof of their loialty and affection to H.M. Person and Family. Signed, William Gooch. Holograph. 1 p. [CO. 5, 1337. f. 168].
Nov. 25.394. Mr. Wood to the Council of Trade and Plantations. States the case of the planters of and traders to Jamaica with regard to the duties on negroes, in answer to Governor Cunningham's Memorial. They do not believe Jamaica is in the very sad circumstances therein represented and unable to raise the supplies necessary to defend [itself and] suppress the rebellious negroes, etc. Refer to past Instructions and reports on the subject. The negroes in rebellion are mostly negroes born in the mountains and bred entirely there and cannot properly be called slaves at all. If the Island is really in such sad circumstances and under pressure of numerous taxes as represented, what service could a small tax on imported negroes serve ; a large one would ruin the traders etc. Signed, Wm. Wood. Endorsed, Reed., Read 26th Nov., 1734. 20½ pp. [CO. 137, 21. ff. 98–108, 109 v.].
Nov. 26.
Boston
395. Governor Belcher to the Duke of Newcastle. In . conformity to my duty to the King, and from a just regard to his people, I have lately been to my other Government of New Hampshire, and held an Assembly and gave them the usual time of a sitting of an Assembly of that Province ; indeed the business there is so minute that they may alwayes do in a week what is necessary for the Province for a whole year. And I now inclose to your Grace all that past in the Session, being only a few votes in answer to some trifling petitions, and after I found they wou'd make no supply to the Treasury in order to the repair of the only fort in the Province, and of the prison, and for the payment of the publick debts, I determin'd to dissolve them, as inconsistent with the King's honour, or with the safety of the Government and of this people to suffer such an Assembly to subsist. As I have mention'd in my speech, they came to a vote the 18th of Octi. upon the supply of the Treasury, and it past the negative by 10 in 16. This the House of Representatives were so much asham'd of, and so much afraid of the people, that they wou'd not suffer the Clerk to enter the vote in their Journal. Thus, my Lord Duke, is that poor Province naked and defenceless, both with respect to an enemy, and to the support of Law and Justice, and it's now about four years that the Treasury has been empty, and poor people all this while kept out of their just due : How mean, and how unjust has it been in the Assemblies, and how dishonourable to the King's Government and authority. And the source of it all, my Lord Duke, is from the Lieut. Governour, and his few adherents, and I can't but think it a poor game he plays in that littleJProvince, to do all in his power to prevent the (lovernour's succeeding with the Assemblies for His Majesty's honour, and service, and for the good of the people, and then to write your Grace the Govr. has not interest enough to do any thing in the Province. Mont certainly, my Lord Duke, it is easier to do mischief than to do good, but I think it a poor mean way of passing life. Were it possible, he wou'd before now have got some complaint from the people against the Governour, but I defy him and all my enemies to blot my administration of the Government, or to say I have not done everything in my power to support His Majesty's honour, and to promote the good and prosperity of His people ; and were Coll. Dunbar out of that Province it wou'd be in perfect peace and serenity ; but I don't suppose any place will ever be so, where he has the least power. Upon his further application to me about the King's Woods, I held a Council at New Hampshire, and now cover to your Grace what past in that affair. I have just heard from him what has been done in consequence of my last warrant ; when he found the first did not take effect in the manner he desir'd from the Justices, he might have sent it to any other of the King's Justices conformable to my proclamation issued in May last. I have now, my Lord Duke, made seven journies to New Hampshire, which have cost me upwards of £800 to bring that people to a sense of their duty to the King, and of their own happiness ; and notwithstanding the difficulties I have met with, I intend to make another journey thither this winter, hoping they may come to see the absolute necessity of their doing their duty. The assembly of the Massachusetts is now sitting, and I hope will proceed in all things, with a just sense of their duty to the best of all Princes, and with a tender care of the people. This is what I inculcate upon 'em on all occasions, and I think this Province is more quiet and easy than for near twenty years past etc. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, R. 31 March. 6 pp. [CO. 5, 899. ff. 112–114 v., 115 v.].
Nov. 26.
Antigua.
396. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. Enclosd is an Act of the Island of Nevis entitled an Act for raising a poll tax on negroes and other slaves belonging to the plantations and inhabitants of the Island of Nevis which you will please to lay before their Lordships. I am honoured with their Lordships' commands relating to Sta. Cruz. They came to hand the 20th inst. I have sent to Anguilla, Spanish Town and Tortola, to get the best informations I can from the oldest inhabitants there to enable my sending to their Lordships full answers to their questions. By what I learn here our pretensions are over ruTd both by the Treaty of Breda and the Treaty of Neutrality in 1686. But if there be no resource and we must have harbours for our enemys in neutral ports just at our noses, and if the Danes eh use Sta Cruz, it still is of vast moment to us that they have but one ; and quit to H.M. his Islands of St. Thomas and St. Johns. On these terms I much doubt their sticking to the choice of their new acquisition, nor indeed can they settle it, unless they quit the other two, and in their new project their chief means they purposed for settling Sta. Cruz was and is, by debauching H.M. subjects from these Islands to become settlers and Danish subjects there, and 1 am sorry to say their success is most likely to be very fatal to us. Is there no recalling H.M. subjects to their allegiance both from under the Danes at Sta. Cruz and the Dutch at St. Martins ? I have propos'd here encouragements by laws to bring them back, but nothing is done in it, or can I tell when there will. I mistook when in the state of these Islands I said the French carry'd off from St. Christophers about twelve hundred negros, pray alter it to about four hundred, and the argument is still the stronger. I cannot even yet tell you how to fill up the blanks of inhabitants in Montserat and Nevis. I have at last receivd lists from both those Islands. But those from Montserat are one parish or division under one sort of denominations, another in another method, so that I cannot reduce ym to one sett. And as for Nevis the President could not obtain, any obedience to his orders for calling in those lists, He then had warrants issued, and from those warrants he got with much ado the imperfect lists he has sent me ; for nevertheless out of the little number of plantations and familys there, he has returned me forty six that would not give in their lists, and some of them of the first rank, two are of the Council and the Trearer. is a third. I can not help it. They have patrons in England. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Reed. 28th Feb., Read 27th March, 1735. Holograph. 2¾ pp. [CO. 152, 21. ff. 11–12 v.].
Nov. 29.397. Mr. Wood to Mr. Popple. Asks leave to inspect some Acts of Jamaica and accounts in order to support his memorial of 25th Nov. etc. Encloses following, since it is still insinuated that the merchants are not against the liberty requested by Mr. Cunningham etc. The traders of this City to Africa and Jamaica are all, to a man, against any duty either on the import or export of negroes etc. Signed, Wm. Wood. Endorsed, Reed., Read 3rd Dec, 1734. 3 pp. Enclosed,
397. i. Extracts from letters from the Merchants of Bristol 18th and 23rd Nov. The merchants of this City are against a duty on negroes, not only at Jamaica, but at all H.M. settlements in America etc. Ip.
397. ii. Extract of letter from the Merchants of Liverpool, trading to Africa and Jamaica. 22nd Nov., 1734. Are all of opinion that any such duty would be a great discouragement to that trade in general and to Jamaica in particular. " Unless the rebellious negroes can be suppressed by other means than at the expense of the traders from Great Britain to Africa and Jamaica, few or none will trade thither on such foot : and it seems to them to be very unreasonable, that the traders of Great Britain should be at the charge of quelling their rebellious negroes. For, as the negroes sold to the Spanish West Tndios cannot give any disturbance to the island, it must be only those sold to the planters that are rebellious, and they becoming their own property, they themselves ought, in reason, to be at the expence of suppressing them " etc Request Mr. Wood to appear on their behalf. 1 p. [CO. 137, 21. ff. 122–123 v., 125, 125 v.].
[Nov. 30.]398. Petition of Merchants of London trading to St. Christophers to the Council of Trade and Plantations. On 21st Aug., 1732, the Assembly of St. Christophers, during the Presidentship of Michael Smith Esq. passed an act for continuing the duties of gunpowder and small arms upon the tonage of vessels trading to this Island etc. Which Act, tho' by the title of it, it purports only to be a continuation of the duties laid by a former act (1722) etc., yet in the enacting part there is a proviso that the whole duty of one pound of pistol powder charged upon every tonn which such ship or vessel shou'd measure, shou'd not be paid in specie, as by the act of 1722 was directed, but that the one half thereof only shou'd be paid in specie and the other half in money, and that every pound of pistol powder to be paid in mony shou'd be rated at two shillings current mony etc. It is likewise enacted that it shou'd be lawfull for any person to pay 30sh. for and in lieu of any firelock by vertue of the said act to be paid. Petitioners conceive the said act to be passed in breach of several of H.M. Instructions, and to be very unreasonable and improper in itself as well as greatly detrimental to the welfare and defence of the said Island. 15 signatures. Endorsed, Reed., 30th Nov., 1734, Read 27th Feb., 1734/5. 1 large p. [CO. 152, 21. 8, 8 v.]
Nov. 30.399. Governor Philipps to the Council of Trade and Plantations. My Lords, at my return to London out of Essex, where I had been confin'd lame 3 months, I found a letter from Mr. Secretary Popple by your Lordships' command, acquainting me that your Lordships having been inform'd that the Indians on the borders of Nova Scotia were uneasy on pretence they had not received the presents sent them by His Late Majesty, it was your Lordships' pleasure, that I shou'd let you know in what manner those presents were disposed off. In obedience to your Lordships' commands, I here lay before you the state of that matter as far and as prefectly as my memory will assist me, in an affair of fourteen years past, and thro' what means it came to pass, that the Indians had disqualified themselves from all pretention to H.M. favour before the presents could be deliver'd to them. But first, it behoves me to acquaint your Lordships of the misfortune that happen'd at home thro' the knavery (I must call it) of the person who had the power of solliciting, receiving, and laying out the money that should be given for the uses intended ; this person was the late Mr. Bamfield, at that time in a station of trust in the Plantation Office. The first part of his trust he took care to execute to the full, vizt., the obtaining the King's order for the issue and getting the money into his hands. The other of laying it out he grossly and shamefully ahused both in the quantity and quality of what he bought. First in the quantity, it was plain by the letter under his own hand, which accompanyed the things he ship'd off, wherein it was specifyed that they were one part of the Kings presents to the Indians, and that the other part would follow by the next opportunity, which other part has never yet been heard of, nor any advice to the merchant to whom the first were consign'd of any such goods having been ship'd, by which deficiency and the exceeding bad quality of the most of the species he did send, being the worst that ever were bought with money, it may be concluded without straining the matter, that he converted to his own use one half at least, if not two thirds of the sum he received. His death prevented the more full detection of that fraud. But the disposal of the things which came to my hands, being the part I am to account for to your Lordships, by reason it is said, that the Indians are now uneasy because they did not receive them. Your Lordships will see by what follows, that themselves necessarily put a stop to the delivery of the King's presents (which were designed for friends, not enemys) at the very time appointed for their receiving them, when it was expected they would appear with hearts affected with peace, love and Friendship instead of hands imbrued in the innocent blood of H.M. subjects. To demonstrate this to have been the case, your Lordships must be acquainted, that those presents ship'd by said Bamfield arrived at Boston in November, 1720, where (of necessity) they winter'd by reason of the lateness of the season, that would not admit of their proceeding to Nova Scotia, so did not arrive there till the 30th of July, 1721, whereof I took care to advertize the Indians throughout the whole province, first of their arrival at Boston, and afterwards in Nova Scotia ; at which time being about to embarque for Canso (as I had before determin'd) to take a view of that post, and the lodgement of the Companys I had placed there the winter before, which I had never seen, I appointed the Indians to make that their place of rendevouz for receiving the presents the King had graciously sent them, and I pass'd a very bad winter there, that I might be ready to receive them in the spring of the same year 1721, being the soonest they could come together ; but notwithstanding all this precaution and their knowledge of the presents waiting them, a war had been concerting all this year and resolved upon, which was to breake out with the surprizing the Fishery, proposing thereby to enrich themselves as they had done two years before ; so that instead of assembling for their presents as Canso (as I expected) they were assembled in another part, to begin the bloody tragedy they had concerted. However (to amuse us) they detach'd one of their chief's to Canso with some of his followers more probably to view our posture than receive presents ; but all their consultations being yet a secret, I receiv'd them as Friends and enquired why their people were not come, to which they answer'd T shou'd see them Roon. And having entertain'd them two days civilly (during which time they press'd much for dispatch) I delivered to them in the King's name what I judged to be their proportion of the presents, with charge to let all their friends know that I attended their coming. But they had not been gone above 4 or 5 days before the scene open'd and the alarm reach'd Canso, that the Indians had surpriz'd many of the Fishing sloops in several of the harbours, putting part of their crews to death and reserving the rest to navigate the vessells in order to turn pyrates, their intention being to take all vessells they met on the banks, and then to attack Canso. The first part of their design they put in execution, but were prevented in the other by the good service done by two vessells fitted out at Canso well man'd, arm'd and equip'd, to whom I gave commissions of mart, and put a detachment of soldiers with an officer into each to sustain the fishermen, who met with those privateers, engaged and routed them with a great slaughter and many prisoners, recovered every vessell they had taken, to the number of near a score, releas'd many poor souls from impending death, quieted the fishery that were about to break up in confusion in the midst of the business, and among the trophies of victory brought home, was the head of that very chief who had received the King's presents of me but three weeks before. Thus your Lordships see they had totally disquallifyed themselves to receive H.M. presents, and for them to murmur now for want of what they so deservedly lost, or to pretend that those presents shou'd be reserved for them during the course of five years' war, as a reward for all the murders they had or should committ within that time, is I humbly conceive so very extraordinary that it deserves no attention. They have never yet assign'd any reason for that last war, they begun and ended with so many crueltys. It proceeded from the councils of our good neighbours, by whom they were furnished with ammunition, and whenever they shall see good to begin another, it matters not what pretext they make, whether any or none, for when call'd to arm against H.M. Government they will all ways be ready. They are so firmly attach'd to that interest both by inclination and yearly pensions, and prowd to be call'd the Allys of France, and (in regard to us) are taught to hold the Government in so great contempt on the score of religion, equal to the most bigotted papists, that they are not to be drawn from that party by all the douceurs or presents the King shall make them ; this is a certainty we are to depend on ; for as sure in its kind as the gospell, therefore I can never advise that the Government shou'd be at any farther expence of that kind, it will not answer any end ; they will take all whatever we give them and cut our throats next day if our neighbours see it their interest to disturb our settlements ; such money will be laid out to much better purpose, in sending over such a reinforcement of men and building a Fortress at Canso as may beget their fear, for their love and Friendship we can never purchase. There is no person who knows anything of the state of that country that (I dare say) ever thought the Indians wou'd be quite tranquille in the present posture of affaires in Europe, tho' at so great a distance they are not uninform'd nor undetermined what party to take in case of a rupture with France ; this is the true motive of their sullenness at this juncture which they seek to cover with a very rediculous disguise. When I was last in the Government betwixt three or four years gone, I had an opportunity of seeing and speaking with most, if not all the Indians of the Province, when I was adminstering the oath of Allegeance of the French inhabitants to His present Majesty, they being then assembled to learn what was doing, which being explain'd to them they seem'd well enough satisfyed. Upon which occasion I made them presents of goods that I bought of a merchant to a considerable value, and liquors to drink H.M. health, a voucher whereof is forthcoming. In return I had the Indian dance in token of their being pleas'd. This sure had been a good opportunity for them to have spoke of the King's presents, had they thought there was any colour of right, or reason in such a plea, but it's pretty plain they were not then of that opinion, and therefore if it is got now into their heads after nine years' silence, it is easy to imagine in what school it has been taught. The Indians thus having disquallifyed themselves in the most effectual manner as has been related, of all pretention to that His late Majesty's intended grace and favours, it remaines that your Lordships shou'd be acquainted how they were disposed of, since the Indians had but a small part delivered to them. And here your Lordships have been told of the abuse committed of Bamfield, who saved me the trouble of a long accot. But something was to be done in that time of hurry and confusion with the things in my possession. The Indians had begun a war which they boasted was to end with the world, and scearce a probability appeared of an opportunity to dispose of them in the manner they were design'd, at the same time there was a necessity of removing them from Canso, for want of a place of cover to lodge them, even the soldiers' provisions lay then in the open air. And having no conveniency of transportation but by the Fishery then returning home, the season being ended, I was necessitated to send them back to New England to waite there some time the event of things but with instructions, in case of the war's continueing and the stuff receiving damnage, and to save the growing charge of storage, that they shou'd be disposed to the best advantage for account of the Government; as accordingly I believe they were, the amount whereof was £150 which sum stands an article of credit to the Government in my accot. of disbursements, for contingent services of that province, to supply which there has never been any fund from the foundation of that Government. I have only this farther to add in relation to this affair that if (after what has been said) it shou'd be imagined that I have been a gainer in the disposing of the part of those presents that came to my hands, I am ready to give my oath in any or all the Courts of Justice, and even at the altar, that having given the Government credit for that £150 that I am so far from profiting so much as a shilling by them, that on the contrary 1 am in several articles of charge, as store room nine months at Boston, freight from thence to Annapolis, thence to Canso, and back to New England, commissions &c, not less than £20 out of pocket. Thus I have the honour to give your Lordships an honest and true state to the best of my knowledge of this matter etc. Signed, R. Philipps. Endorsed, Reed. 6th Dec, 1734, Read 5th Sept., 1735. 8 pp. [CO. 217, 7. ff. 136– 139 v., 140 v.]
Nov. 30.
Boston
400. Governor Belcher to the Duke of Newcastle. Abstract. Recommends Mr. Shirley's application, Nov. 19, q.v. Signed, J. Belcher. Endorsed, R. March 12. 7 pp. [CO. 5, 899. ff. 116–119 v.]