America and West Indies
January 1735, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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1953

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368-373

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'America and West Indies: January 1735, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 41: 1734-1735 (1953), pp. 368-373. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=72779 Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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January 1735, 16-31

Jan. 16.
Whitehall.
460. Council of Trade and Plantations to the King. Representation upon Lord Baltimore's petition (8th Aug., 1734). Continue: We may have to acquaint your Maty, that the lands in question commonly called the Three Lower Counties on Delaware River supposed to be excepted by the words hactenus inculta, appear to us to be included in the limits granted by King Charles the First to the Lord Baltimore's ancestors, but they have been in the possession of the Penn family for several years, which made it proper for us to communicate the purport of Lord Baltimore's Petition and of your Majesty's Order there upon to the Agent for Messrs. John, Thomas, and Richd. Penn the present Proprietors of Pensylvania, that they might have an opportunity of laying before us what they should think proper in relation to this Petition and to their title to the said lands. And we have been frequently attended by the said Agent and by Mr. Richd. Penn one of the said proprietors upon this subject who promised from time to time to lay an account of their title before us; but after having kept us in expectation thereof for several months, they at last refused to proceed therein, whereby we are disabled from offering anything to your Majesty relating to their claim, except what we find by our books, namely, that for some time past when any of their family Proprietors of Pensylvania have nominated a person for the approbation of the Crown to be Deputy-Governor of that Province and of the said Three Lower Counties, they have given declaration under their hands and seals which are extant in our office from the year 1702, to the last nomination in 1733, whereby they acknowledge and agree that the said approbation and allowance shall not be construed in any manner to diminish or set aside the right claim'd by the Crown to the said Three Lower Counties. Upon their refusal to proceed herein, we thought it our duty to examine the facts set forth in the Lord Baltimore's Petition, and the equity alledged by him as a ground for his hopes of your Majesty's favour in this case; whereupon we beg leave to acquaint your Majesty, that we find the Lord Baltimore's original Patent bears date the 20th June, 1632, and there is no room to doubt that the lands in question are comprised within the limits described in that grant. And with regard to the interpretation of the words hactenus inculta, we have examined the ancient records of our Office, and find by an Order in Council dated the 4th of April, 1638, which recites the purport of a former Order dated the 3rd of July, 1633, that one Capt. William Cleyborn having in behalf of himself and partners, set forth in a petition to the King, that divers years past they had discovered and planted upon an island in the great Bay of Cheasapeak in Virginia which they had named the Isle of Kent; and that they had likewise settled another plantation upon the mouth of a river at the bottom of the said Bay in the Sasquehanaugh Country, and that the Lord Baltimore taking notice of the great benefit that was likely to arise to them thereby, had obtained a Patent from His Majesty, comprehending the said island within the limits thereof, upon which he besought His Majesty to grant him a Patent under the Great Seal for the quiet keeping, enjoying and governing of the said island, plantations and people etc. Whereupon all the parties having been fully heard, we find the sense of the Council expressed in the following words, "that upon what then appeared to them; and also upon consideration of a former Order of that Board, dated July 3rd, 1633, wherein it appeared that the difference now in question being then controverted, the Lord Baltimore was left to the right of his Patent, and the petitioners to the course of law; their Lordps. having resolved and declared as above said, the right and title to the sd. Isle of Kent and other places in question to be absolutely belonging to the Lord Baltimore, and that no plantation or trade with the Indians ought to be within the precincts of his Patent without license from him, did therefore likewise think fit and declare that no grant from His Majty. should pass to the said Cleyborn, or any others of the said Isle of Kent or other parts or places within the said Patent whereof His Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General are hereby prayed to take notice." But we find that upon a dispute betwixt the Lord Baltimore and the Duke of York (for whom Mr. William Penn was then Agent) concerning a tract of land in America, commonly called Delaware, wherein we conceive the said three lower Counties to be comprised, the Lords of the Committee for Trade and Plantations reported their opinion in May 1683, that the land intended to be granted by the Lord Baltimore's Patent was only land uncultived and inhabited by savages, and that the land then in dispute was inhabited and planted by Christians at and before the date of Lord Baltimore's Patent; whereupon they proposed that ye land lying between the River and Bay of Delaware and the Eastern sea on the one side, and Cheasepeak on the other, should be divided into two equal parts by a line from the latitude of Cape Hinlopen to the 40th degree of northern latitude, and that one half lying towards the Bay of Delaware and the Eastern sea, be adjudged to belong to His Majesty, and the other half to the Lord Baltimore as comprised within his Charter. Soon after King James the 2nd's accession to the Crown, that is to say, in 1685, this Report was ordered to be carried into execution and was confirmed by the late Queen in 1709. Whereupon, as the sense of the Crown and the Lords of the Council in these several decisions seems to have been governed by the acceptation of the purport of the words hactenus inculta, we beg leave to observe to your Majesty, that notwithstanding these words are in the Preamble, yet they are not inserted by way of restriction in the body or granting part of Ld. Baltimore's Charter; and as the authorities seem to us to be equal with regard to the interpretation hitherto given them, we must humbly submit it to your Majesty whether the sense in which they were understood by the Privy Council in 1633 and 1638, being so soon after the date of Lord Baltimore's Patent when the real intention of the Crown in that grant might have been more clearly known to the Lords of the Council, or the later decision thereupon when this matter was again made the subject of an enquiry in Council, so long afterwards as 1683 and 1685, should have the preference. Thus much hath occured to us upon the subject of Lord Baltimore's pretensions to the lands petitioned for, and we cannot enter into any examination of the claim of the Penn family, because they have declined to proceed therein before us. But if it should be determined that the right to the lands in question still remains in the Crown, we humbly beg leave to offer our opinion that the Lord Baltimore hath very just pretensions to your Majesty's favour in consideration of the great sums of mony that have been expended by his ancestors in setling the Province of Maryland, and in bringing the cultivation of tobacco to perfection there, whereby the trade and revenue of this Kingdom have gained and do daily receive very great augmentations, But to whomsoever your Majesty shall be pleased to grant the said lands if still remaining in the Crown, in our humble opinion proper care should be taken to preserve the inhabitants settled there in the full possession of all their religious and civil rights. [C.O. 5, 1294. pp. 71–78.]
Jan. 20.
St. Christophers.
461. Governor Mathew to Mr. Popple. I being now crippled with the gout in hand and foot, you must excuse this being cobbled at a very so so rate, I write in some pain. I find it impossible to form here a sett of testimonys upon oath to prove when the French wholly quitted Sta. Cruz. It is long within the memory of man, and yet I can not find here one good accot. of it. The President of Montserat (whose memory is of most audible note in these parts and can tell you what cloaths any man had on when he saw him fifty years ago) yet here I was quite disappointed. All he could remember besides what they had for dinner that day was that at ye attacking of Marygalante (which was as he places it in 1691) one Capt. De Poracy, whom they took prisoner there, told him he had only a third of his company there, the other two-thirds of it being then stationd at Sta. Cruz. At Antigua I could gather no manner of accot., not even from Governor Byam, who must then have been full thirty years old, and this dereliction, I should think must have been well known here. At St. Christophers I sent for a very old French inhabitant, a man of honesty and worth, all he could tell me was that he was at St. Thomas about June 1695. That he dayly saw French gentlemen coming back and forwards as from Sta. Cruz, but whether the settlement was then broke up he can not tell. The Governor of Anquilla writes me can send me no intelligence, this gentleman, too, is full fourscore years old and allways here, he referrs me to enquire at Spanish Town, for he thinks as soon as ever the French left Sta. Cruz, those of Spanish Town immediately got thither to look for what was left to pick up. But from Spanish Town the Governor writes me "sending for some of the oldest inhabitants, but could not upon examination get any other accot. to inform your Excy. therewith, then that they remembered the French settlement, and their removal, but not the year. Whether 'twas in 1686 they possess'd or since, they can't remember. But are assur'd since the time they deserted and left it, they since have never had any possession or settlement, or hinderd the English from settling and cutting timber thereon, before the year Colo. Woodrope had a Commission." This Commission to Woodrope was from Lord Londonderry as Commandant of H.M. subjects there. But this the French bore so impatiently that one of their men of warr and a guarde de cote sloop went thither, burnt two English sloops there, and carryd away a third with them, on wch. I expostulated in severe terms with Monsr. Champigny the French General, and remitted at that time to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle the whole accot. of that affair. Now, Sir, out of all this inchorent medley what testimonys upon oath can I shape to give their Lordships the information they want. Please to know their farther sentiments of this, for my guidance. Enclosed herewith are Minutes of the Council of Antigua from 7 Oct. to 20 December, 1734; Minutes of the Council of Montserat from 24th Sept.—25th Dec., 1734; Minutes of Assembly of Montserat, from 12 October to 14 December, 1734. These I desire, you will lay before their Lordships and with them the enclosed law of Tortola entitled "An Act for punishing the rebellious negroes and such of them as desert their masters services, and for the better encouragement of such of the Christian inhabitants or slaves as shall apprehend or take any such rebels or runaways, so that they may be brought to justice." I believe this is the first law that ever came to England from that Island. This negro murther so terryfyd ym. lest it should spread into a negro rebellion, that they dispatchd to me for help. I sent ym. a supply out of H.M. stores, and orders to the Govr. of Spanish Town, their next near neighbour, to be ready to assist them in case of need, till I could provide better for them. They sent me at the same time a law they had made among themselves, with a saving clause at ye end of it to be in force as long as I should like it etc. I put this in a better dress, and it comes now in the usual enacting stile, directed by H.M. Instructions. Signed, William Mathew. Endorsed, Recd. 23rd April, Read 30th July, 1735. Holograph. 3¾ pp. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 100–101 v.,102 v.]
[Jan. 21.]462. Mr. Yeamans to Mr. Popple. The Lords Commissioners for Trade having received directions to lay before the House of Lords "a state of the British Plantations with regard to their trade, strength" etc. submits some points to be laid before the Board:—One great encouragement to the trade of the Sugar Colonies would be to permit them to carry their product directly to the several ports of Europe, to the southward of Cape Finisterre, after the example of the French, and pursuant to the precedent the British Legislature itselfe has made in the instance of South Carolina, which I presume has sufficiently shewn how beneficial such an indulgence has been (and if enlarged may farther be) to Great Britain. And this, Sir, I am credibly informed was the chief design of a noble Lord, and very able Minister, in promoting the South Carolina Act, namely to try what effects such an act might produce if it were extended to H.M. Sugar Colonies etc. Argues that such a concession would increase the sugar crop and British shipping. Another encouragement would be the lessening of the import duties upon rum into England, now amounting to four times its original value, in order to compete with French brandy and Dutch spirits, and stop smugling, which is always encouraged by high duties etc. Signed, John Yeamans. Endorsed. Recd., Read 21st Jan., 1734/5 2 pp. [C.O. 152, 21. ff. 1,1 v., 7 v.]
Jan.[—].
Whitehall.
463. Duke of Newcastle to the Governor of Jamaica and Lt. Governor of Virginia. I send you by H.M. command, a copy of a Memorial presented, by the Spanish Ambassr. here, containing a complaint, that many Indians, subjects of His Catholick Majty. in his Dominions in America, have been, at different times, brought to Jamaica, and sold there for slaves. And I am to signifie to you H.M. pleasure, that you make enquiry into the true state of this matter, and transmit to me, as soon as may be, an account of what grounds have been given for this complaint of the Court of Spain: that H.M. may give the necessary orders thereupon. Draft. [C.O. 137, 55. f. 151.]